Continuing with our Monday post reruns…

This post was originally written by Linda back on December 9, 2010 in response to a discussion we had regarding the fantasy aspect of affairs and how a betrayed spouse cannot compete (or should not try to) with it.

Please continue reading for some excellent advice on this subject from our good friend Dr. Robert Huizenga, including 13 questions to ask yourself to help move you in the direction of self awareness and away from the game playing.

emotional affair fantasyStop Playing the Infidelity Game

Today we wanted to follow up on our discussion from yesterday and provide you with some excerpts from the email that was mentioned from Dr. Huizenga, The Infidelity Coach. In it he discusses how to deal with competing with the other person and with the fantasy of the affair – or as he calls it “playing the infidelity game.”

In the email he states that there is a dilemma when faced with this situation: Do you need to play the game better? Or, how do you extricate yourself from the game and still care about your spouse?

An affair is indeed a game, but just because your spouse plays the game doesn’t mean that you have to. It also means you can still care and “connect” with him/her.

There is the tendency for the betrayed spouse to want to make improvements to themselves in order to “compete” with the OP. But most of the time, these improvements don’t work, or if they work, you may win the spouse back and say, “Hmmmm, is this all there is!?” And, if we pursue these improvements to win him/her back we are merely playing the game, and feel this lack of personal integrity.”

See also  Behavior Towards Betrayed Spouses that is No Longer Acceptable

“Not playing the game means standing back, learning about you, seeing the affair for what it REALLY is, and connecting to your partner by making comments ‘about’ him/her, the situation and/or yourself.”

For example, you assume this other person is getting something special from your spouse, some sort of movie-like “romantic love.” It may appear so, but Huizenga states that affair relationships have a terribly horrible track record.

He mentions that in his work, he deals with many who are involved in an affair who feel trapped or on a course of self-destruction. And, usually “those relationships self-destruct in very messy ways.”

Learning about yourself is very different from making improvements. You don’t have to improve! You need not “get better!” But, you do want to grow and create a richer more whole life for yourself and those you touch.

Dr. Huizenga suggests you ask the following questions to help move you in the direction of self awareness and away from the game playing:

  • What am I tolerating? What am I willing to tolerate? How and what can I stop tolerating?
  • How can I simplify my life – getting rid of all the relational and physical clutter – so I live from a center of peace?
  • How do I become a person of extreme integrity – doing that which is right and healthy FOR ME?
  • How do I speak my personal needs in a way that others naturally want to respond, “Yes, let me know how I can help you.” How do you get beyond your neediness?
  • What do I need to do right now to manage my life (finances, children, body, work, etc.) in a way that gives a sense of well being, where I can say, “This is good!”
  • What boundaries need to surround me to protect my soul, heart and mind from the slings and arrows of toxic people and situations?
  • What are the standards in my life? How can I double my standards to be more fully me?
  • How can I create reserves of time, space, money, energy, opportunity, love, information, wisdom, self and integrity in my life – getting beyond my neediness so I may live bound by purpose?
  • How can I live RIGHT NOW rather than regretting the past or fearing the future?
  • How can I surround me with people I want and who are good for me and me for them?
  • How do I protect what is vitally important for me?
  • How do I orient my life around my values so I feel truly fulfilled by the goals I set and met?
See also  Struggles After the Emotional Affair

As you move through these questions, which will take some time (could be weeks or months), declare your thoughts and findings to your spouse. “Act on tolerating less, let him/her know your boundaries, state your standards, live out your values in his/her presence.”


Great advice as always from Dr. Huizenga.  Check out his site at for more articles, advice, blog and free resources.


    9 replies to "You Don’t Have to Play the Affair Game"

    • Jeddy

      After about a month of feeling pretty strong, I lost it yesterday during our therapy. Knowing that he portrayed me as this awful person to his ow, and generally talked smack about me to his family and friends for basically a year during his ea, has made me question a lot. My name got dragged through the mud while he had an affair. She made him happy and I made him miserable. I love my husband but I don’t know if I want to be with someone who could so easily do that to me. I accomplished so much on my own while this was going on. And he shared my successes with her too. Which leaves everything tainted. They had a mutual pity party for their lives while they ruined others. And I’m standing in the rubble not knowing how to rebuild. Do I rebuild with whats left or do I move on and start over. The humiliation is crippling me. This may be february blues or perimenopause bringing me down, but when I think I’m doing ok, something drags me back to the visceral sadness.

      • Rachel

        Your story is all too familiar to me. The ex bad mouthed me to his family because I didn’t make him happy. Yup, all my fault. And he and his soulmate had pity lunches about how miserable they both are being married. Well so he says. She is still with her oh so awful husband and I and the idiot are divorced.
        Starting over was something I thought that I could never do. I didn’t think I could survive without my husband. How could I breathe without him??
        Well survival mode takes over and you survive. You find you again and happiness.
        You have to let it happen though.
        Good luck.

    • gizfield

      Jeddy, never underestimate the horrible, horrible negative effect these affair partners have on every aspect of your spouse. My sweet, previously loving husband became a total prick under the influence of his girlfriend. I actually began to wonder if he’d been that way all along and I didnt notice. Nasty, nasty stuff. Thank god hes sweet again or he’d be gone.

    • emotionalrollercoaster

      Jeddy, I feel the same way. Part of me wants to keep trying then part of me says get rid of him, get on with your life and be happy, I know my husband he will be miserable with the ow as she has 4 kids at home. Our son is on his own we have a very quiet home which he says he likes. I guess I want vengeance
      I want him to be misserable like me.

    • Jeddy

      I have vengeance dreams too. Mostly involving dragging her name through the mud in her field of work, she may end up doing that herself. But I always say that karma is a bigger bitch than I am. I also would like her and my h to HAVE to be together. Like in a pit. Of mirrors (she’s ugly in the best light). And I’d feed them bad oysters and let their love have at it. Because they were such a formidable team. And me and my new boyfriend, the billionaire underwear model, retired, would watch and laugh and have a good belly laugh before we drove off to go mansion shopping, in the new car he’d just given me. A girl can dream. But shit, I still love that imbecile. And a part of me wants this to just work.

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