What Happens After Infidelity? — A Story of Love, Struggles, and Realizations 6

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No Contact Rule


Linda immediately quit her job and Mark lost all contact with her for a while. Any information about her location or the state of her marriage was kept from him. But then, Mark later learned that she temporarily lived with friends while her husband filed for divorce. He was feeling anxious; torn between his desire to save his marriage and his longing to be with Linda again. This inner struggle drove him to tears, anger, and despair.


For him, it was good that Anne didn't see all of this inner confusion and it would have hurt her even more. When he said that he wanted to put his family back together, Mark was telling the truth. And yet, he had let another woman hold his heart, hold his body, and he didn't know how to regain them again.


This is why the NO CONTACT rule is so significant if a marriage has any chance of surviving an affair. This is particularly true when the affair contains emotional attachment. Mark is convinced that a couple who is caught in an emotional affair whether or not it also includes sex will almost definitely refurbish their relationship at the first opportunity. There is basically too much power there. It might need some radical decisions to help guarantee that contact is detached, but Mark believes that it is necessary despite the fact that the cheating spouse will no doubt try to modulate the need for this.


It was indeed helpful for Mark not to know how to contact Linda. For all he knew, she had left the city and had no interest in seeing him again. In time, he thinks that the power of his ties to her would have shrunk.



The Wife's Pain


Mark had never witness such pain, misery, grief, and rage in his wife, but with the knowledge of his affair, these poured out on him in waves. He wishes he could have been strong enough to stand against them. He wishes he could have supported Anne. But Mark was broken, too. Or maybe he was just too weak. Whatever the reason, he did not give his wife what she needed. Since neither of them could give, they suspended themselves from each other.


Anne was never sure she would have his husband’s commitment again. Meanwhile, Mark was never sure if he would have Anne’s forgiveness. Their efforts at reconciliation were too weak and always out of sync. Mark had the sense that his failure would always be held against him and he believed that there was nothing on which to hang hope. Anne probably supposed the same.


After a couple months of constant struggle, Anne asked Mark to move out. At that point, he just wanted to run back to a place of comfort. He wanted to be with Linda again.


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