Living with a person who is overly critical and insists that things be done their way can, over time, wear their partner down mentally, emotionally and physically. Marriage is usually viewed as partnership where both people compromise for the betterment of the family unit. It can be extremely tiring when only one individual is bending. Everyone is different and there is no set remedy that will fix all situations. One of the partners needs to stay positive and that requires charging your emotional batteries. Ideally your spouse should help you accomplish this but if it’s not happening find something else and insist on spending the necessary time. For some people it may be physical activity as it gets the body moving and eases stress. For others it may be painting or writing. Or maybe it’s some time out with friends just to talk and laugh and get away in general. Take the time to heal yourself because if you’re not whole you won’t be able to help your spouse. By Cindy Abbate http://www.helium.com/items/2341232-how-to-deal-with-a-demanding-spouse
Don’t smother each other.
No one can grow in the shade.
Withdrawal is the emotional reaction to the loss of something that gives great pleasure. It’s similar to the feelings an alcoholic has when he makes a commitment never to drink again. It’s also similar to the grief that comes from the loss of a loved one. A lover is like alcohol and like a loved one. Not only do unfaithful spouses miss what it was their lovers did, meeting important emotional needs, but they also miss the person they had come to love. Our most common emotions are anger, anxiety and depression. Symptoms of withdrawal usually include all of these in a very intense form. I usually suggest that anti-depressant medication be used to help alleviate these symptoms. While the most intense symptoms of withdrawal usually last only about three weeks, in some cases they can linger for six months or longer before they start to fade. It is extremely likely that a commitment to remain separated from a lover will be broken unless extreme measures are taken to avoid it. That’s because the emotional reaction of withdrawal is so painful. Honesty is an extremely important element in reconciliation, and it should be understood that if the unfaithful spouse ever sees or communicates with the lover, he or she should immediately tell the spouse that it happened. They should then agree on a plan that would prevent a recurrence of contact in the future. But as soon as any contact is made, it throws the unfaithful spouse back to the beginning of withdrawal, and the time it takes to overcome the feelings of grief begins all over again. It’s the stage of recovery after withdrawal that gives spouses the best opportunity to learn to meet each others most important emotional needs… By Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5060_qa.html
If a relationship
is to evolve,
it must go through
a series of endings.
It’s not only patronizing, but it’s also false to assume that your spouse cannot bear to hear the truth. Illusions do not make us happy, they cause us to wander through life, bumping into barriers that are invisible to us because of the illusion that is created. Truth, on the other hand, reveals those barriers, and sheds light on them so that we can see well enough to overcome them. The unsuspecting spouse of an unfaithful husband or wife wonders why their marriage is not more fulfilling and more intimate. Knowledge of an affair would make it clear why all efforts have failed. After revealing an affair, your spouse will no longer trust you. But lack of trust does not ruin a marriage, it’s the lack of care and protection that ruins marriages. Your spouse should not trust you, and the sooner your spouse realizes it, the better. If you knew that your affair would be discovered — that right after having sex with your co-worker, your spouse were to find out about it — you would probably not go through with it. And if you were honest enough with your spouse so that YOU would be the one to tell him or her what you did, your honesty would be a huge reason to avoid any affair. How the victimized spouse should respond to the revelation of an affair is a subject of a later column. I do not have the space to treat it here. But a spouse is twice victimized when he or she is lied to about an affair. Truth is far easier to handle than lies. From “Coping With Infidelity Part II” by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5060_qa.html
The first and worst
of all frauds
is to cheat one’s self.
All sin is easy after that.
Guilt sometimes sets in right after the first sexual encounter, and it continues to build as one lie is added to another. Depression follows guilt and it’s not unusual for a wayward spouse to even consider suicide as a way to escape the nightmare he or she has created. As an act of desperation, honesty is sometimes seized as a last resort, often in an effort to relieve the feelings of guilt. The revelation of an affair is very hard on an unsuspecting spouse, of course, but at the same time, it’s the first step toward marital reconciliation. Most unfaithful spouses know that their affair is one of the most heartless acts they could ever inflict on their spouse. So one of their reasons to be dishonest is to protect their spouse from emotional pain. “Why add insult to injury,” they reason. “What I did was wrong, but why put my spouse through needless pain by revealing this thoughtless act?” As is the case with bank robbers and murderers, unfaithful spouses don’t think they will ever be discovered, and so they don’t expect their unfaithfulness to hurt their spouse. But I am one of the very few that advocate the revelation of affairs at all costs, even when the wayward spouse has no feelings of guilt or depression to overcome. I believe that honesty is so essential to the success of marriage, that hiding past infidelity makes a marriage dishonest, preventing emotional closeness and intimacy. It isn’t honesty that causes the pain, it’s the affair. Honesty is simply revealing truth to the victim. Those who advocate dishonesty regarding infidelity assume that the truth will cause such irreparable harm, that it’s in the best interest of a victimized spouse to go through life with the illusion of fidelity. It’s patronizing to think that a spouse cannot bear to hear the truth. Anyone who assumes that their spouse cannot handle truth is being incredibly disrespectful, manipulative and in the final analysis, dangerous. How little you must think of your spouse when you try to protect him or her from the truth. From “Coping With Infidelity Part II” by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5060_qa.html
To cheat oneself out of love
is the most terrible deception;
it is an eternal loss
for which there is no reparation,
either in time or in eternity.
Most affairs depend on repeated contacts and evidence of those contacts can usually be found. That’s how M.S. discovered her husband’s affair. When his lover was living in the same city, he was able to hide his affair, but after he moved, it became almost impossible for him to keep his communication a secret. He was addicted to daily contact, and M.S. saw evidence of it almost immediately after the move. But how many people move away from a lover? It’s very rare, and if M.S.’s family had not moved, she may never have discovered the affair because she trusted her husband. When a couple spend their leisure-time away from each other, it is not only a breeding ground for an affair, but it can also be another clue to an affair. That’s especially true when a spouse doesn’t want the other to be present at their favorite activity. Anything that takes one spouse away from the other overnight is an invitation for an affair. Any evidence that this relationship is anything more than pure business is, from my perspective, a gigantic clue that an affair might be in progress. That’s also the case if a spouse and opposite-sex co-worker spend a great deal of time working together. We are all wired to have an affair. We can all fall in love with someone of the opposite sex if that person meets one of our emotional needs. If you don’t think it can happen to you because of your conviction or will-power, you are particularly vulnerable to an affair. From “Coping With Infidelity Part II” by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5060_qa.html
Almost everyone denies an affair at first, even when confronted with overpowering evidence. When a woman I counseled broke in on her husband having sex with a neighbor, he tried to convince her that she was having a hallucination. While seeing your spouse in bed with a lover is sure-fire evidence of an affair, that kind of evidence is usually close to impossible to find. But there are many other less intrusive ways to detect ongoing affairs. For an unfaithful spouse to engage in an affair without detection, two separate lives must be created, one for the lover and one for the spouse. A certain amount of dishonesty is required in both of them, but the major deception is with the spouse. So one of the most common clues of an affair is an unwillingness to let a spouse investigate all aspects of life. If two lives are necessary for an affair, and if a spouse is curious enough, the secret second life is relatively easy to discover. Difficulty in getting a spouse to talk about events of the day can be a sign of trying to hide the second life. One of the most common smoke-screens used by unfaithful spouses is to express shock that their spouse would be so distrusting as to ask questions about their secret second life. They try to make it seem as if such questions are an affront to their dignity, and a sign of incredible disrespect. They figure that the best defense is a good offense, and so they try to make their spouses feel guilty about asking too many questions. I am a firm believer in letting each spouse do as much snooping around as they want. Nothing should be kept secret in marriage, and no questions should be left unanswered. If a spouse objects to such scrutiny, what might he or she be hiding? From “Coping With Infidelity Part II” by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5060_qa.html
The cruelest lies are
often told in silence.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Unfaithful spouses usually don’t want their marriages to end, and yet they want emotional needs met that the spouse does not meet. Discovery of the affair, in most cases, would ruin the “solution” to their problem. But there comes a time in almost every affair that an unfaithful spouse realizes that it has run its course, or it wasn’t a good idea to begin with. In some cases, it’s the lover who ends the relationship, finding that the spouse isn’t living up to expectations. And in other cases, it’s the spouse that ends it when the disadvantages of the affair begin to outweigh the advantages. In most cases, affairs end peacefully and in secret. By their very nature, there is not much of a commitment to hold them together, and a desire to do the “right thing” is usually the excuse an unfaithful spouse uses to end it. But the real reason is usually that the affair has become more trouble than it’s worth. Occasionally, a scorned lover will go berserk, call the spouse all hours of the day and night, file lawsuits and create all kinds of trouble. But that’s very rare. Affairs usually end quietly. In the vast majority of cases, affairs are never revealed to spouses. They are usually kept so secret that even when children are born of an affair, the victimized husband is usually not told that the child he is raising is not really his. I know of over 20 instances where a father is unknowingly raising another man’s child. From “Coping With Infidelity Part II” by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5060_qa.html
Marriage is not a simple love affair,
it’s an ordeal, and the ordeal
is the sacrifice of ego
to a relationship in
which two have become one.