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I Don't Get It

By Kenda-Ruth Stumpf

He acts like I will be his friend and put this betrayal behind us, but he shows no regret.
Show him what that means. You are not his buddy. You will always be a friend in that he can call you when he has fallen down the stairs and he needs someone to rescue him--literally. But you will not have a relationship with him outside of a marital context.

He wants to still be friends, it helps his guilt, but it doesn't make sense to me.
Divorced friends are usually people who have gone through this and healed after years or who split up cordially and possibly mutually--without animosity and the pain of betrayal.

I want us to be friends.
Well that is not possible. You are treating me like trash and that's not how my friends treat me. My husband is my friend; when you choose to be him again, we will be friends.
Notice the present tense--since he may still legally be your husband, but this is also a recognition that the true person is still there too.

Why does he want to be my friend and talk to me? He just abandoned me. Why not talk to the alienator; she's supposed to be his fantasy?
Since in many cases an affair begins because two people are able to share their problems when they feel they cannot share them at home, it may seem odd that an alienator is not a person for confiding. Why?

He has left you, and since according to the problems he was confiding, you were the problem. He got rid of the problem. Yet he is still not happy. He's supposed to be happy now since he is with her. She used to sympathize, but now that she is failing to fix him, she has no patience for his moaning complaints and desolation. She's disappointed because she rescued him from you and he should be happy and grateful, but instead he's angry or depressed. You've shown acceptance, love and forgiveness. You are becoming what the alienator was to him in the beginning. You listen and validate. You've become the comfort he sought through an affair.

Why didn't he see me as this [comfort] before having an affair?
Maybe you listened and validated and he still cheated. Maybe you didn't, but you have changed. The affair opened your eyes to the problems and to your mistakes. He chose to cheat, but you were not perfect either. You are now making a conscious effort to be attentive and show kindness, and he is noticing.

Why lie all this time, keep me stringing along, enjoying nice connections and caring from me. Why not file immediately?

    There are multiple reasons.
  • Some wait so that you can adjust and there will be less resistance later.
  • If they don't have anyone (OW) pressuring for quick action, helping you adjust may not be the main motivation, it's just easier to do nothing and live the easy life.
  • He is aware--at least somewhat--that he either doesn't want a divorce or that he does not know what he wants. Thus he does not want to take permanent action.
  • He doesn't want a divorce and he needs to string you along so that you are there when he's ready.
  • Why give up the good life--best-of-both-worlds where he can be friends with you and have his whore on the side. Especially true for those MLCers who are living alone--not living with the alienator. They have freedom, family and forbidden sex.
  • He may want to stay married to you to avoid committing to the alienator.

Can't he see what a loser she has to be to sleep with a married man, especially if he is still at home?
But he's a loser for doing it, so he can justify their being together because they are alike and deserve each other. He is not good enough for you. If she feels disgusted because he is married, her level of desperation overrides her disgust; this is her only chance at a decent man--as a long-term married man he has a history of commitment. A desperate person is willing to compromise their principles and happiness for a long-shot. In the in-fatuation stage, she's not a loser to him; she is the fulfillment of all his fantasies and even in the absence of the fantasy he's too caught up in the flattery that another woman found him interesting and attractive.

He signed a long-term contract for a condo/cell phone etc. with her; he has committed to her.
Companies often pressure or even require a person to sign long-term contracts and alienators usually pressure for long term commitments. The contract may be indicative of both or either of these and not that he was committed in the relationship when he signed it. Also, MLCers think the relationship is going to be forever--especially those in the initial in-fatuation phases.

MLCers are incapable of making a true commitment because they change their minds with cycling. But they are unaware of this. They mean it when they make many (not all) of their promises.

He is shy with women.
He was flattered when someone was interested. This is common for affairs. That doesn't mean the relationship is real and that it will last. He needs to feel wanted, useful, appreciated and he needs to feel that he is sexy and can turn on a woman.

I'm Kenda-Ruth and I believe in marriage.
Are you tired of hearing...
  • Once a cheater always a cheater?
  • You're better off without him?
  • She doesn't deserve you?
  • I guess it just wasn't meant to last?
  • Divorce is no big deal?
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