So what do you do when you discover your partners affair and after they stop the affair another set of problems is created?
What if the expected remorse doesn’t happen? What if the guilt they should be feeling doesn’t appear? What if the pleading to be forgiven is replaced with apathy?
Some people believe having an affair was justified. They may agree in principle it was wrong, but they will have stacked their reasons and the resentment that drove them to the affair are still there.
So we are in the “I’m sorry, but you drove me to it” type of thinking.
This person will battle at least two challenges after stopping their affair.
The original reason they had the affair will still be there and unresolved.
Secondly, they will have an attachment to the energy the affair brought where they loved how they felt about themselves and now they will miss that.
This combination can keep them stuck in no man’s land.
To be clear it’s not the person they miss, it’s going to be the feelings they created within themselves during the affair, feelings such as freedom, release from responsibility, passion, playfulness, and connection.
So they might be back home, but they can be distant and emotionally numb.
The challenge they face is they are waiting for new feelings to descend.
They know being back home is probably the right decision, but they don’t feel what they need to feel so they ask for space and wait.
The problem with this is those feelings can’t descend whilst the original problems are left unresolved.
Without a desire to properly reinvest, those important feelings will stay dormant.
The problem they face is being able to define those problems so they can understand and solve them.
Plus waiting for feelings to change is an indicator to me of a hidden root problem in their knowledge that would have been part of the original problem.
You see the affair was never the problem, it became the problem and their focus due to the upset affairs always cause, but the root problem is where they need to put their effort.
If they keep hold of the root problems they won’t feel connected or safe enough to reinvest.
In fact, for some being withdrawn might be the first time they have taken some power back and this gains them some level of control.
Couples in this space need to address the core issues that led one person to the affair.
If the partner that is stuck will not attend then the other must get help alone so they can learn what to do to free them both.
You see they need help reinvesting because without that their feelings won’t return and their struggle will compound as every day becomes proof that what I feel doesn’t feel right.
This can take a person to the wrong conclusion.
Plus to have the affair it’s likely they will have created an identity of who they think their spouse is.
They can protect themselves from that perception.
The answers sit in understanding how they got there because it will tell us the nature of the dynamic what they were experiencing and why reinvesting is either not attractive or safe.
My advice is don’t sit back and watch the disconnect get worse taking action quickly to put them back on track is important.