Remind Yourself You Are Not Responsible For The Affair

We wanted to expand a little on the discussion from yesterday with a suggestion that I learned from Dr. Gunzburg’s book, “How to Survive An Affair” pertaining to the importance of reminding yourself that you are not responsible for the affair.

It’s an unfortunate truth that the betrayed spouse in an affair often feels that they are somehow to blame for the affair, and possibly even ashamed that they weren’t able to prevent it. You will never get over the affair if you continue to blame yourself.

Remember, the affair is not your fault and if you get bogged down in the idea that you are somehow responsible for the affair and start to feel some shame cropping up inside you, one of the things Dr Gunzburg recommends is to carry a note with you that reminds you that you are not responsible for the affair.

The note could have one of the following statements (add more as needed):

  • The Affair was NOT my fault. (Explain why this is true.)
  • I’m going to get through this. (You might add the word “too” at the end of this sentence if it applies here).
  • He (or she)  had the affair without my permission, encouragement, consent, or knowledge.
  • Just because he (or she) was dishonest and acted like a creep doesn’t mean I have to lower myself to his (or her) standards.
  • I am a good person worthy of being treated well.

In the space below write that note to yourself now. When it is written, photocopy it and carry it with you to remind yourself that you have nothing to be ashamed of. This will help you cope with feelings responsibility for the affair and the shame that accompanies it.

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For more information about Dr. Gunzburg’s course, click here.

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7 Responses to Remind Yourself You Are Not Responsible For The Affair

  1. RR January 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    I have come to realize that the affair is not my fault. However, I’m starting to focus on and project more of my anger onto the OW. My husband swears up and down that he wants to work on our marriage, but he is still in contact with her. I have no way of knowing what promises he is making to her as well. I keep wondering what might be going through her head. I have two small boys ages 3 and 4. We were caught up in the day to day grind, working opposite shifts. We lost track of one another. The OW on the other hand likes to go out and party, has no kids or any real resposibilities. I believe that is what attracted my husband to her. She is the opposite of what our life has been like. She is his escape from the mundane. But, again, what is she thinking. Does she think my husband is going to leave his family for her? Is she willing to sit around and wait, how long? Doesn’t she want to find someone without so much baggage? Can’t she find someone else to hang out with that doesn’t have to go home to their wife and kids? I just don’t get it. What the hell is so appealing about a married man with two toddler children? Does she want to become a step-mom? And, we barely make ends meet every month, so it’s not like my husband has any money…..

  2. RR January 21, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    I just wanted to add too that I did try to call her, twice. I wanted to confront her for trying to break apart my family. She knew it was me calling because my husband told me that she knew it was me trying to call. But, apparently she was too chicken@@#% to pick up the phone. If she were that in love with my husband, wouldn’t she want to tell me instead of hiding from me?

  3. RR January 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    oK, now I’m irate. I just found out today that the OW is 26. My husband is 43….

    • anaffairtoremember January 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

      Call from your husband’s phone and I bet she’ll answer! What a bimbo. Hope your husband wises up.

  4. anaffairtoremember January 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    RR,
    I would call from my husband’s phone – bet she’ll answer then! I feel for you, these woman don’t think anything about what effect this will have on your children. If she’s a partier, then she’s probably cheating on your husband too. I hope he realizes what he stands to lose before it is too late. Best wishes!

  5. Frank Lewis January 26, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    I know that I am not to blame for my wife’s affair. It was a decision she made. But…after much reflection I do know that there are things I could have done over the course of our marriage that would have made her less vulnerable.

    I don’t blame myself, but the obvious truth is that something was missing from our relationship that made it easier for her to “justify” the affair. Women and men have needs. Physical and emotional. I believe the instinct for emotional survival will find a way to be fulfilled eventually.

  6. Kristine July 17, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    I did think I was to blame for the affair for a long time because as my husband was in his “affair-fog” he’d blurt out things that bothered him about me. It took a while for me to put the pieces together that’s what he was trying to say though so I was really blindsided by it. Not only was it completely out of character for him to behave that way but the way he was treating me was, too.

    Once I started reading about adultery and how/why it can happen I started realizing some things my husband may have been lacking even though he never expressed those things to me. I felt a HUGE amount of regret, shame, sorrow. It really is a lot to carry on one’s shoulder’s when you think you are the cause for something so horrible. It caused me to have serious depression thinking I was experiencing such pain because it was ME that inevitably caused it.

    With more reading though I finally came across some sites and books that expressed the betrayed spouse is in fact NOT responsible for the betrayer’s conduct. While yes, there may have been things in the marriage that contributed by both parties to the breakdown of the marriage, the betrayer had OTHER CHOICES. I was not asked if I wanted my marriage to participate in something so horrible and devastating. No one consulted me. I was not given an option to be treated this way and to go down this path in my life.

    In fact, looking back at the past, I realize now there were things my husband did and didn’t do in our marriage that I would have liked to have happened or NOT happen but I didn’t go out and seek someone else in spite of it.

    It was very freeing to know that the adultery was HIS choice and not my fault. His very bad and poor-minded choice that he now regrets and sees all the consequences of it.

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