I continue to pose and write as cheated-on wife. My unfaithful husband seeks forgiveness and a return to my bed. This third part of my four-part game plan helps me evaluate and judge his contrition, sincerity, and future value to the family.
Part C — Confuse with the Unexpected
We now live separate lives under the same roof, but I have more convictions about my life than he has about our lives together or separate.
- I live in a world different than he expects. As wife and husband we are different people than mother and father of our kids. I repeatedly draw distinctions in these roles to clarify and keep the children out of our dispute.
- I believe that one unfaithful event breaks marriage vows. He claims that he just dented them. So, we’re on new ground. I gently but deliberately take command of the home in which he’s permitted to live. It’s my home, and he disqualified himself as the king. If I neither blame nor accuse him, his guilt may help and promote my queenly ascendency to the throne.
- I don’t fight with him. I just refuse to engage on his complaints. Mystery helps me.
- I treat him as if he’s adrift from home and family. He’s welcome to shelter but he’s now an outsider, except that the kids must continue to show respect as before. Their relationship with their father remains the same, if he can keep it. (I recognize that he’ll probably explain our marital differences differently than I do. But kids given one side of an argument often ‘kill the messenger’. And I can’t stop him anyway.)
- Whether we live separate lives in the same house or he moves out, our relationship starts over by going back to Day One. Should he ever want to return, he has to win my hand again. If he truly wants me, he must prove it with actions instead of wordy promises.
- I turn home and myself into totally neutral zones. I’m calm but not inviting, pleasant but not encouraging, and simple but no longer a pushover for his charm, apologies, and promises.
- The day I found out about his cheating, I started to restore myself to the girl he courted and married. Maybe I’ll become even better. This also means I have to view and evaluate him not as vow breaker or cheater but as new Mr. Good Enough.
- He faces his conscience, and I want to inspire more of it. Whether he separates, divorces, or seeks return to me, one path suits my needs better than all the others: I keep him exposed and let him remind himself of what he’s losing or lost in both kids and me.
- Living where his money goes bonds him better to family than sending it to us if he leaves. This makes no separation work to my advantage.
- Confused that my dedication to virtual virginity resists his irresistible charm, he learns, accepts, adjusts, and honors my insistence about no sex, no sleeping together. Otherwise, we’re getting nowhere toward my taking him back.
- I make him figure out what I’m thinking. I don’t help him by either confirming or denying. The greater my mystery, the greater respect I earn.
- I never bad mouth or condemn him either to or in front of the children. They will choose sides, and I should expect them to favor the one criticized. I need them on my side and disparaging their father achieves the opposite.
- I remember this wisdom: He isn’t leaving for the sex down the street, he’s leaving because our harmony (aka chemistry + mutual enjoyment of each other) broke down somewhere in the home. Who’s at fault is of no consequence. So, for strategic purposes I accept blame without informing him. [Guy says: Lawyers will reject the blame idea, but that’s another war].
- I resist with great calm and stubbornness any charm, apologies, and promises he offers. Every time I buy into his arguments, I lose whatever I gained before. Acquiescent isn’t where it’s at this time. He courts me as I expect, not as he prefers, and he has to figure out the difference. If he won’t work to get me back, he won’t stay with me as long as I wish.
- Some months earlier I detected that his faithfulness might be weakening. At that time I undertook a weight loss and exercise program. It worked, and I now am shaped more closely to our courtship appearance. With haste I upgrade my wardrobe and manner of dress. I now dress at home and in public to make other men and especially his peers drool. He deserves their pity.
When he supplies other attentions, affections, and appreciations that persuade me he wants me more than sex with me, then we’re making progress. Part D follows tomorrow.