He desperately needed that freedom to be himself and be accepted and appreciated.
He didn’t feel that he had to pretend or stay within a certain mold, since it was a brand-new world with no rules except those he chose to create with the partner.
He dropped his illicit relationship and arranged for his secretary to be transferred to a distant office, and she resigned rather than move. Little did he know that a growing depression was engulfing his wife and beginning to affect her health.
When he finally brought Angela in for help, she had very little of herself left to consider her anger at Stuart. It took some digging to link her feelings of “frustration” with the incredibly swift processing of the betrayal.
Remember, forgiveness is a process; all the characteristics of genuine forgiveness will not always be present, but they should become increasingly apparent along the journey.
An entangled affair is always the result of an intimacy deficit in the marital relationship.
Following is a four-part integrating process designed to reestablish the intimacy that was crushed by the infidelity.
Take each step as you both can handle it, adapting it to your own situation.
In effect, she was moving toward forgiveness right through her anger, not by going around it.Angela claimed that she had forgiven her wayward husband, but I had a hunch that hers had been a surface–only forgiveness and that her depression was the result of buried feelings of hostility toward her unfaithful husband.After the affair Angela determined to go on as though nothing happened and be a “hero of God’s grace.” She kept a stiff upper lip in their church circle and was viewed as a paragon of virtue.In her heart, however, Angela was dying a slow death.Stuart seemed appreciative of her quick forgiveness—after all, that was his style too: His slogans of “Move on,” “Get over it,” and “Don’t look back” helped him to soon forget it too.But the best part is that they know for certain that they have forgiven one another.As a result, they know that their relationship is growing closer as time goes by, not more distant.When Angela finally got angry and both she and Stuart began to grieve, it was like a huge festering sore that had finally been lanced.Their relationship worsened at first as the anger surfaced.Stuart had indulged in a short entangled affair with his secretary five years earlier.Both Stuart and his wife vigorously assured me that they had gotten over it long ago.