This is the second post on the subject of tolerating less – both from the cheating spouse, and in other areas of your life.

why we tolerate the cheating spouseBy Linda

In the first post we looked at why we tolerate and put up with so much. Now, we begin to look at how we begin the process of tolerating less in our lives.

I think it’s safe to say that most of us don’t have a clue how much we tolerate. We put up with and tolerate so much in our lives that we become numb to those tolerations and don’t give them a second thought. In reality we don’t know what it is that we tolerate or put up with.

Some things that others have mentioned that they tolerate with their cheating spouse are:

  • Coming home late or not at all
  • Constant lying
  • Leading a secret life
  • Talking on phone and texting in private
  • Always checking his/her phone
  • Denial of any wrong doing even when confronted with proof
  • Complaining
  • Blaming me for the affair and all the problems in our marriage
  • Extreme moodiness
  • Hostility
  • Prioritizing work before family
  • Temper tantrums if I want to talk about our relationship
  • Avoiding initiating sex and intimacy
  • Lack of communication about anything that involves feelings, emotions, or our relationship
  • The past is always being brought back up
  • Lack of affection
  • The cold and distant feeling coming from him/her
  • Verbal abuse
  • Making me feel like I am inferior
  • Cold shoulder treatment
  • Does not acknowledge special occasions
  • Continuing to see the OP
  • Still speaking to the OP on the phone
  • Indecisiveness & “confusion”
  • Lack of effort
  • Will not face responsibility for his/her actions
  • Refusing any type of counseling or assistance to get us back on track
  • Giving all emotional energy to someone else
  • The affair is over but will not say anything critical of the OP
  • Rage
  • Reluctance to answer questions about the affair
  • Visual images of the affair
  • Minimizing of the destruction that the affair has caused
See also  ‘Tis the Season for Infidelity, Triggers and Painful Memories

Dr. Huizenga suggests that the first thing to do is become aware of what it is that we tolerate. At the same time, he cautions that if you have recently discovered the infidelity and are in the stage of shock, denial, numbness, rage, victimization, depression or utter sense of helplessness, this probably is not for you.

You must move beyond those feelings (and you will) before you begin clearing your life of tolerations.

However, if you are emerging from the shock and demoralization and are considering what you need to do to resolve the infidelity, this is where you should start

Think about what you tolerate or put up with in your home and at work – or another part of your life. Simple things, like how the mail piles up, kids leave shoes on the floor, the toilet seat is always up, etc.

Huizenga states that there are reasons for beginning to focus on your tolerations at such a basic level.  Here’s why:

1. This begins the process of shifting the focus away from the cheating spouse and the affair to your self and your self care. Remember that you have to take care of YOU. This is necessary if you want to make progress dealing with the infidelity.

2. This shift will give you greater power to “charge neutral” a basic skill that helps change the flow of your relationship with your spouse. Charging neutral means you are intimately connected to your cheating spouse but you are not reacting to him/her. Your feelings thoughts and actions are under your control.

See also  The Emotional Affair Made Me Feel Worthless - Part 2

3. It will increase your sense of control and empowerment.

4. You will play less and less with him/her the “game” that locks him/her into the affair and you in your misery and agony.

5. This is a vital beginning point if you hope to eventually strategize, depending on the kind of affair facing you, to resolve the infidelity and your relationship.

Here is a 3-step process that Dr. Huizenga suggests you begin right away. He also suggests you should NOT make references to the infidelity or the behavior of your spouse. That will come later. You probably lack the skills to face that effectively at this point:

1. Make a list of the top 5 things that you tolerate or put up with at home. Your list may include things such as having to pick up after everyone, being expected to do all the cleaning, cooking and general household organization, having no time to yourself, etc.  You get the idea.

2. Then make a list of the top 5 things you tolerate outside the home. Like constant interruptions at work, too much traffic, ignorant bosses, unreasonable expectations at work, rude people, etc.

3. Now choose one of the items at home and one of the items outside the home and begin to strategize for its elimination.

Here’s an example of a strategy to help you rid yourself of tolerations.

Toleration at home: My family never picks up after themselves.

Strategy #1: Make a direct request for help (no demands, no yelling, no anger, no threats)

Strategy #2: Negotiate.  I will take care of this, if you do this…

See also  Discussion - Your Needs in the Affair Recovery Process

Strategy #3: Place the items that are left around the house and lock them in a closet until…

Can you think of any additional strategies?

Remember, the goal is to empower you… to move you from the sense of helplessness and victimization.

Choose something that you tolerate and get to work at eliminating it NOW.

For more on Dr. Huizenga and/or to read more of his articles, you can go to his website or blog, by clicking here.

    9 replies to "How to Tolerate Less After the Affair"

    • Diana

      I would love to read more on this topic.

    • Yuki

      My therapist says I am still in the denial phase, but I think I have already been in the process of tolerating less. It seems to be a natural part of my recovery.

      • Doug

        Yuki, I think that in some respect all of us continue to live in the denial phase. It would be too painful to face the full reality of the situation. Just as our spouses justified the affair, we create a story to justify saving our marriages. In order to get through the day and forgive my husband I had to erase certain feelings I knew existed between the two of them during the affair. I had to chalk it up to infatuation and fantasy, if I didn’t the pain would be to great to live with. Some may say that I am living in denial but I believe it is my way of surviving this mess. Linda

        • Yuki

          Ah, someone has finally stated what I have been feeling. I’m probably taking it a step further than you intended for this post, Linda, but I’ve had a problem with the idea of infatuation and fantasy – it has always seemed to me that, even if it were a fantasy, they perceived those feelings to be real, so in essence, they were. And like you said, the pain of my belief is overwhelming. I will likely have to deal with it in the same way you have. I’m so grateful to have you, someone a few steps ahead of me, who can share your insights. I really appreciate it.

    • Alice

      I am confused by your comment Linda. Are you stating that Doug and Tanya shared a true, deep, real love and you are in denial of that?
      I thought Doug himself said he was in love with a feeling, rather than Tanya herself? I Am confused.

      • Doug

        Alice, No I do not believe that Doug shared true, , real feelings for Tanya. I am convinced now more than ever because of all the work we have done with Jeff Murrah on fantasy and all the conversations that Doug and I had concerning the affair. Doug has stated that after time you are able to step back both as the cheater and the betrayed spouse and see things for what they really were. Doug has admitted he knew very little about Tanya, and the part of her he did know was idealized. He was in love with the idea, the situation and person she presented to him, which I am sure is much different than the real Tanya. You can not base a real,lasting relationship on those kind of feelings. What I try to forget and deny is how he felt while in was in the affair. Even though he admits that it was all based on fantasy and his thoughts and feelings have changed so much in the last two years it is still very painful. Doug and I have been together for over 30 years and to know that there was someone else who occupied his time and his mind is difficult even if it was based on illusions and lies. Linda

        • Yuki

          Exactly, Linda. I also never meant to say that the love shared in an affair is real. But in the moment, when affair partners are in the affair fog, it feels real. The excitement, the longing, the desire, the perceived love – they are all there. Of course, we know that the feelings they have are artificial and artificially strong. They usually never last in the light of day. But the fact that my husband felt these things in any way, shape, or form with someone else just kills me. I suppose I just need more time – the 17th will make 5 months out from D-day for me – but right now, it still consumes me.

          In regards to the subject of this post, I do tolerate less. My husband understands that this is a one-time grace I am allowing him. Any more betrayal will come at the price of our marriage. Period. Even though I love him more than life, I cannot tolerate any more betrayal of that love. I am not that strong.

    • ruth

      I ask my husband why was he still with me if he was so in love with her when I gave him every oppertunity to leave and be with her since I move out over 90 miles away near my family and left him with her. His answer was she was like getting a new puppy everything is exciting and you love that puppy but I was like the old dog who’s love is very deep and has so much more memories. He also told me that when she wanted to do things with her family he realized that he would never have his family again. He told me that the more she pushed her family on him the more he wanted to come home. There is still hurt and pain but we are working on it. He has finally said that he will never do anything again to lose me. Right now I believe him but trust is not there yet. I hope one day the trust will come back. So may times I just wanted to give up and move on I am so glad I didn’t. This sight is what helped me hold on.

    • Jessica

      Like Ruth I have asked my husband the same thing. I think there were times during the EA he thought about it, the EA lasted seven months but I think as he got to know her he saw she had so many issues and was very emotionally needy. I have been so hurt and devastated to know after 16years together he could do this. The trust is gone no matter how much he does to try and make up nothing he does can take away the lies and images in my mind. He says I am high maintenance now what it is is I no longer hold back anything, I no longer tolerate him not communicating. I call him on everything his work schedule who he’s having lunch with and pretty much demanding he takes my calls at work even if to say he’s in a meeting. While he was having the EA he would not takey calls and then call me back after their lunch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.