TimT

 For the betrayed partner, what strategy is likely to be most effective in diminishing the unfaithful partner's emotional connection to the affair partner? 10  votes

 Expose the affair to friends and family. 2 votes
20%
 Separate until the connection is broken. 5 votes
50%
 Focus on changes that will win back the UP's affections. 1 vote
10%
 Require an immediate choice. 0 votes
0%
 Persist in initiating conversations; talk it out. 2 votes
20%
 Do nothing; just wait for the affair to run its course. 0 votes
0%
This poll has been closed.
There is little a couple can accomplish in regard to affair recovery as long as the unfaithful partner remains connected and loyal to the affair partner. For the betrayed partner, this is a painful and frustrating situation. I'm interested in your opinion in this matter, as well as personal examples from your own story.
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AHmember76
I did not vote becase I belive there is nothing the betrayed spouse can do. We did not choose to be cheated on, we can not do anything change the way the wayward spouse feels.
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Godspeach
There are no guarantees. But, sometimes, concentrating on changing our own lives CAN get the attention of the Wayward Spouse. Any positive change in the script gives you a chance. Starting to do things for yourself that are positive can make the WS wonder IF they are going to lose YOU. Whatever makes you look more important and not desperate might turn their heart. Not overnight. Anne Brecth's "My Husband's Affair was The Best Thing that Happened to Me" was a difficult, but good read. Of course, I was dealing with sexual addiction issues, so it's quite different.
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Scarlett
As the unfaithful partner, the only thing that would help me break the emotional connection to my AP is time, NC and my husband working to fulfill the area of our marriage that was missing prior to the affair...the area my AP filled. 
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HonestWife
AHmember76 wrote:
I did not vote becase I belive there is nothing the betrayed spouse can do. We did not choose to be cheated on, we can not do anything change the way the wayward spouse feels.



So true
Trying to make marriage work after my husband's 15 years of affairs. Just found out. Currently in house separation.
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TimT
AHmember36 wrote:
AHmember76 wrote:
I did not vote becase I belive there is nothing the betrayed spouse can do. We did not choose to be cheated on, we can not do anything change the way the wayward spouse feels.
So true


You are right in the sense that the betrayed partner cannot make choices for the unfaithful partner and many times the unfaithful partner remains bent on doing whatever they want to do despite any outside encouragement or effort. You are not responsible for what they do.

But I have watched many couples move through the process of affair recovery and it is obvious to me that the response of the betrayed partner often has powerful effects (for good or bad) on the outcome.

You do not deserve to be here. This is not your fault. And even if you were to do "everything right" there is no guarantee that your partner will shift in positive ways. But what you say and do still matters; you are not just a passive observer in the process.

Again, to be very clear, you are not responsible for your partner's choices and trying to fight against strong emotional ties can seem fruitless; but your responses still evoke reactions responses in your partner, sometimes positively. What do you think?
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Bridge
I do not think there is anything that can be done by the betrayed spouse. If we "have to do this, or have to do that" then I do not believe it will be sustainable. The key is does the unfaithful partner really want to break the emotional connection, or do they hold out hope the EMA will rekindle? If that hope is present then there is nothing that can break it. They need to make the choice themselves and take steps to remove the connection (like they chose to have the EMA) for the marriage to work.
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Intuition77
I voted separate my 2nd choice would be expose. I don't think there's anything a BS can do to affect a CS decisions. But I think you have a right to burst their little fantasy bubble as in expose and allow them to feel the repercussions of their actions. As I told my CS if your so proud of it & think it "couldn't have been helped" then why are you ashamed for everyone to know?

And I chose separate as my 1st choice because I think unless you have a full remorse signing themselves up for counseling ended it immediately begging to work it out spouse who gets your pain & takes full responsibility in actions then you need to worry about you & only you. And I think not separating while a spouse continues an affair or continues to be ambivalent makes it extremely hard on the bs to focus on themselves and often leads to the bs being the one trying to save the marriage alone. From my own personal experience. How I wish I could go back to dday & redo! We did separate shortly after but I did not emotionally like I should have.
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TimT
SUMMARY:

What surprised me most about this poll was the lack of response. With only 10 members answering the poll, the top choice for What strategy is likely to be most effective in diminishing the unfaithful partner's emotional connection to the affair partner? was: Separate until the connection is broken. (By the way, I think that choice is usually necessary when there is a strong emotional connection with the AP.)

Some of the response posts may give some indication of why there were so few response. For example, Bridge wrote: "I do not think there is anything that can be done by the betrayed spouse. If we "have to do this, or have to do that" then I do not believe it will be sustainable. The key is does the unfaithful partner really want to break the emotional connection..."

That strong sense of powerlessness, born out of unchanging experience, likely led many to conclude that no matter what they do, the betrayed spouse is going to follow the course they want to follow.

On one hand, I agree that there is often little that can be done to alter the course of the unfaithful partner. Their heart is set; their mind is made up. 

But I've also witnessed the ways a betrayed partner's response can make significant differences, one way or another. (Something I addressed in theWayward Spouse article.) In that sense, what the betrayed spouse chooses really does matter. 
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