Is cheating different from infidelity? Dr. Bob Huizenga believes so. The signs of a cheating spouse will be different from signs of infidelity.
We respect very much the work of Dr. Robert Huizenga. His book “Break Free From the Affair” helped a great deal immediately following the discovery of my emotional affair. Just this Tuesday we received his newsletter and I thought the article he included was very good and was worth sharing to you all.
We’d be curious to hear your thoughts on what Dr. Huizenga has to say. Perhaps we need to substitute the word “infidel” for “cheater” or “cheating spouse” in many of our posts from now on.
Signs of a Cheating Spouse, and How they Differ from Signs of Infidelity
By Dr. Robert Huizenga
Cheating is different from infidelity?
Yes, I believe so. Signs of a cheating spouse will be different from signs of infidelity.
In talking to thousands of people embroiled with a cheating spouse or infidelity over the past two plus decades, I’ve noticed a difference. In our society the word cheating carries different meaning than infidelity.
This is important for someone discerning the signs of a cheating spouse or the signs of infidelity. A person who “cheats” is different from someone who is involved in “infidelity.”
Cheating is most closely described in my e-book as someone who “Doesn’t Want to Say No.” This is only one of 7 kinds of affairs. The other six kinds of affairs lean more in the direction of infidelity.
The true cheater is a rather rare bird, but is probably most glamorized and comes closest to our stereotype of cheating or infidelity.
Infidelity, in general, is marked by confusion, pain, doubt, ambivalence and a period of craziness in a person’s life.
Cheating is an ongoing lifestyle.
Here are some signs of a cheating spouse: (substitute the word she for he, if you like.)
1. There most likely will be more than one other person. He sees affairs as conquests, usually sexual, and not as a place to find intimacy. Actually he lacks many of the tools and the mind set to have intimate relationships. He most likely will move from one conquest to another. His gratification on a basic level remains primary.
2. He will have little internal conflict about the affair. This differs markedly from the person who can’t say no. Your spouse will view the affair or affairs as entitlement. He deserves them. He deserves to be adored. He deserves to have excitement and personal gratification in his life. He has earned it. There is nothing wrong with this. Actually others, perhaps you included, ought to understand this!
3. He will operate in a world that supports his illusion and behavior. He will surround himself with those who look the other way or actually encourage his philandering behavior. You will probably not find yourself welcomed in this world. He and his colleagues and friends collude to maintain their world.
4. You might run into a problem with the other person or persons. Remember the movie, Fatal Attraction? The other person might attach herself to him with specific expectations to be cared for and perhaps married – perhaps part of his strategy in his conquest efforts. When she is “dumped” or the expectations fail to materialize she may pursue revenge. You might be involved.
5. You may not experience a great deal of conflict with him. There is no talk of divorce. Your life might be quite copasetic – unless you rock the boat. He has his playtime and you fill another specific role of quiet support. Keep the balance and life moves along fairly seamlessly.
6. There is one problem, however. The problem of aging. Depending on his social context, you might become a liability as you increasingly fail to project a young attractive vibrant image. He wants those around him to reflect back beauty and perfection. If you fail in this regard you may be cast aside. Part of this depends on the financial cost of such “trade-in.”
7. His fragile, illusionary world and yours may crumble if he encounters failure. Failure is his “Achilles heel.” Unfortunately, the distortion and illusion he lives under do not always coincide with reality. He pushes and bends the rules to his advantage. He may not pay close attention to the consequences of his behavior. Those consequences – legal, financial or health – may bite him at some point. He most likely will count on you to be there for him, to cry on your shoulder (perhaps literally) and help him regain his confidence.
To read more of Dr. Huizenga’s material, check out his main website.