An affair partner who still speaks to your spouse or beloved is one that makes you lose sleep. It is already bad enough that your partner had an affair but now having to tolerate and almost plead with them to stop contacting their affair partner is literally “taking the piss”.
As a therapist my first incline is to help you navigate the pain as the one who was cheated on and for the partner who cheated, assist you in letting go of your affair partner completely both physically and emotionally. These steps are applicable and work under situations where we are talking about affairs that aren’t facilitated by any form of otherworldly assistance.
You: Hold on, are you saying you believe in the spiritual and its role in affairs?
Me: The flipping heck yeah!
The choice to ignore the existence of a realm beyond the one you perceive with your 5 senses doesn’t keep you safe or logical, it’s sensory suicide. -Temple Obike
Resolving infidelity and recovering fully from it is possible. The fact that you were cheated on by your partner does not make you the victim. In actual fact, the partner who cheated IS THE VICTIM. I know you may not believe this but a quick read on my post about Understanding Affair Types
may help you with this.
There is a case Study:
My wife had an affair with a man she met in June 2021 after joining a multi-level marketing company in Nigeria. I caught her having x-rated video calls, sending nudes and chatting explicitly with this man and she has cried, begged and pleaded that i forgive her. I told my elder brother about what happened and he advised that i give her a chance. I have done all this but she still speaks to this man.
She sneaks to go visit him and i had to call him at some point to request that he stays away from my wife. He denied any affair but when i gave him my facts, telling him my wife had confessed and shown me his pictures, given his address and office location, he apologised. What worries me the most is that i saw a message from my wife to him asking him why he was being cold towards her even after i had to call him myself.
The funny thing about an affair and it’s associated emotions is that after a while it starts to mirror a drug use scenario. It begins with little flashes of self-esteem boosts courtesy of dopamine release coming from the affirming words the affair partner (AP) says to you. The danger and thought of getting caught heightens your adrenaline rush as well. So you are hooked on two hormones at once
Ending the relationship with the AP is a very gradual process. There will be resolute deciscion moments and then followed by moments of indecision. At Temple’s Counsel & Mind Academy, we conducted a research on affairs and why it’s difficult for men and women to end them with about 200 respondents. The 5th reason given was Poor self esteem meaning that the individual suddenly felt better about themselves the moment someone else started telling them sweet and reaffirming words they were not hearing from their spouse/partner. The other reasons were, disconnection between partners, poor communication, Heavy internet use(social media/forums), boredom, alcohol use, porn addiction, revenge and so on.
The type of affair you had will most times determine the length of time required to end it. A one-night stand is easier to break than a sexual addiction or Exit Affair
If you and your partner are caught up in this affair triangle, here are practical steps to take;
A) Understand It’s Your Spouses Problem not Yours: As difficult as this is for you, You have to first of all know this and then define your standards. You need to begin planning for your future. Let your partner know that you would love them to feature in it but if it doesn’t happen, you will still do amazingly well creating it for yourself. This thought is the first thing that ensures you do not tolerate abuse.
B) Go Bigger Picture: Sometimes it helps to also begin going the petty “in the moment” happenings. Look at the grander picture and see if things are changing, Maybe they stay at home a bit more, maybe they can now leave their phones near you and attend to other things, Do they listen more etc. Notice these things and you would not be bothered too much about the current situation.
C) Have a Supportive Group Who Truly Care: When going through situations like this, what tops your wish list is to be listened to and understood. This is the time to get emotionally mature family members of friends (not those who would dip into some popcorn while observing things unfold with you). Affairs are quite complex and take some time to get resolved. While the memories and pain experienced due to the disappointment will get better over an average of 4 years, you will never forget the issue. You need this support group to help you through this traumatic phase.
D) Be Direct: When your partner asks you to give them more time to “resolve the issue”, you must unpack this statement by asking them “What do you mean by this”? OR “Tell me 2 things you need to do to achieve this? Once your partner can have a conversation around this and you hear active steps and points, then both of you may recover from this point. If it’s met with subtle or obvious anger/reluctance, there may just be bigger problems ahead.
E) Demand Boundaries: After the affair and a certain reluctance to completely let go, you are well within your rights to demand that boundaries be set between your partner and their affair partner. You cannot share your spouse with another man or woman and thats that. If this is not met with respect, i can tell you that your marriage may be toxic
or abusive. (Learn about the toxic types and how to handle them)
Navigating infidelity could be a very sensitive place to find yourself and as much as infidelity must not be condoned, opting for a divorce after one or two affair episodes really may not be a great move.
Please note: I have heard spouses temm me that they told their partners that infidelity was the deal breaker for them but yet, here they are. I tell them that it’ amazing to mention at the onset but theres a downside to it. Please allow me these few lines to explain. In Neuro-lingusitic Programming, Modeling is one of the NLP training techniques that has gained the most attention from successful entrepreneurs, athletes and more. It’s based on the law of attraction – the idea “Whatever (positive or negative) you consistently think about and focus upon you move toward.”
Everytime you tell your spouse that infidelity is a deal breaker, you are unknowingly “modeling” The more they think about it as a fear for their marriage, they gravitate towards it. You have just programmed them to first move towards it and secondly not inform you when they begin struggling with it.
This is where I’d love to conclude today’s discussion. I believe we’ve been able to come up with actionable steps that would help you navigate this period when your partner isn’t letting go of their affair partner.
Written by Obike Temple.
Temple Obike is a licensed marriage and family therapist, speaker, author and psychotherapist who has counseled over one thousand, two hundred clients comprising of couples, individuals, abuse victims (substance, physical, emotional and sexual) and grief-stricken clients. With over 70,000 in-counseling minutes (1,000+ hours) accrued in practice. He runs his private psychotherapy & counseling practice out of Lagos, Nigeria and has counseling centers in Abuja and Port-Harcourt. His practice also provides options for both online and on-site services.
His private practice has positively empowered lives through his online counseling, podcasts, free advisory services and free online materials. Readership of his articles also receive a growing number of visitors alongside subscriptions to his email newsletter at templeobike.com. His passion for empowering and uncovering the secrets to lifelong marriages and personal development led to his new book titled “Soul Bodega” available on amazon and across other online and traditional stores.
Never give up on yourself! You are a journey happening through various destinations.
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