For the Spouse

 

Denial of Anger Is . . . Genuine Forgiveness Is . . .
Unawareness of feelings Acute awareness of all feelings
No vacillations in attitude Cyclical/seasonal vacillation in attitude
Overly predictable relationship with tendency to gut it out, to “stay committed” (i.e., simply married) without much joy Unpredictability at times—the normal roller coaster ride of a healthy marriage
No change in relationship style Many changes, some of which are quite frightening
Focusing on projects outside the self Focusing on the self and the marriage relationship
Acting out feelings, often injuring self and mater; or suppressing feelings Ability to talk about feelings with mate
Nurturance received exclusively outside the marriage from friends, children, job Beginning to give and receive nurturance from mate
Emotional heaviness; nothing as good as anticipated Freedom, exhilaration, feeling unbelievably alive at times.
Never being thankful for the fallout of the affair Gratefulness for the changes the affair has brought into the marriage and the infidel’s life
Refusal to discuss the affair with others who could benefit—intense feelings of shame Ability to discuss the affair relatively pain-free, given appropriate processing and the passage of some time
Less respect than ever for the infidel; carries cloaked disdain for him/her Greater appreciation developing for mate
mental accusations of multiple infidelities Healthy, biblical sexuality; children benefit from new levels of family intimacy
Continually placing sole responsibility for condition of marriage on infidel Growing awareness of his/her own shortcomings that contributed to the affair; shared responsibility
Victimized feelings (“one down”) or superior feelings (“one up”) healthy sense of wholeness without comparing self to infidel—growing mutual self-respect