Rick Reynolds, LCSW
by Rick Reynolds, LCSW
Founder & President, Affair Recovery

How do you respond to blackmail?

How do you respond to blackmail? I received the following e-mail after 12 AM last night. I’m curious, what would you do? How do you deal with someone who's trying to manipulate you into doing something they want? “My mate has been on an angry tirade the last 2 days. I've done my best to stay calm, but tonight was unbelievable… Tonight, he was in a rage and was yelling at me and belittling me. I asked for a timeout and went to my bedroom, but the screaming continued through my bedroom d…
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Re: self preservation mode

I am 8 weeks into the explosive news of an infidelity (14 months long).  19 years of marriage and 5 children together and here we are.  I have now slipped into self preservation mode because I believe (although not seeing "her" anymore) he is still in crisis.  I was being very patient and empathetic and offered forgiveness right away.  Now that I have spent 2 months in recovery from this, tending to my children as usual, his selfish behavior continues as usual.  Now, I'm at the point where  I cannot communicate with him even with the counselor present and found myself "losing it" at our last session, so of course I looked and felt like a nut.  I just keep asking myself, "what is wrong with this picture?  You cheated and now I have to "prove" to YOU why you should still love me?  I think I'm in up side down world. "

He said he is sorry, so what else do I want from him, he asks.  He is paralyzed with guilt and shame and because 2 of our kids are still young (5 and 8), he is taking full advantage of the "pretend everything is normal" routine.   I stand by my offer of grace and forgiveness, but he does not really "get it" like you stated.  Promising to not to have another affair is kind of "the given" and assumed information.  I'd like to believe there is nothing he can say or do to make up for this pain and I'm certainly not in "revenge" mode, but there is more to all of this and he just keeps looking at me queerly and asking, "what do you want from me?"  He is not a very good communicator in the first place and in order to get any kind of repair going on the trust issues with me and our 3 older daughters (17, 15, 14) he needs to be transparent and he is far from altering any of his poker nights, football parties, overtime shifts, secretly purchasing cars he likes to fix up and resell as a side hobby, adding to that 2 bible studies to see if any of that "church stuff" as he calls it, will help.  He is attending a different church then the res of us because some of the people know about our issues.  

These are obviously only short little glimpses, but after giving up on "fixing", and reading everything that says to just work on yourself and go to the gym, be happy, blah blah blah,  I am trying to focus on that and just wait him out with the communicating.  His counselor uses the phrase "keep moving forward"  and I am, but not with him until he works on more communication skills by himself.  

Sometimes I just wish someone would SHAKE HIM and tell him, " DUDE, YOU ARE SCREWED UP...GET IT TOGETHER OR YOUR GOING TO LOSE YOUR FAMILY!"

betrayl

I cry everyday. I cannot trust him. He works just the hill from her. I stalk her everyday. I want to humiliate them both! Like they have done to me and my boys! In my head,even though he says it's over, they are still together. When I can't get ahold of him for hours on end, I believe he is with her! I don't know to ever believe him! Help!

The Other Woman (or man)

I would like to know how to heal when the OW attends the same church and was once my best friend/worst enemy.  Also when that person thinks she has the right to have a relationship with my child (23) and after agreeing to leave him alone she is at it again.  Am I wrong to think that the minute she stepped over the line with my husband she lost the right to have a relationship with anyone in his family.

"Blackmail"

Rick,

 

I'd like to offer some advice as a "betrayed" spouse that might offer some insight. I notice the "betrayor" did not mention how much - if at all - she has apologized for her actions.

I'm not going to get into my entire relationship, but here's the long and the short of it: I reacted foolishly and immaturely to my wife's negative qualities by withholding sex from her. She warned me of the consequences for over a year, and I simply ignored her. Between January and July of 2008 our marriage hit the skids, and I was like a deerm caught in the headlights. It finally got to the point I couldn't take any more, and on July 26, 2008, at 12:15 a.m., I proposed reconciliation to her. That night we had the greatest sex of our marriage. The next day she revealed that she had had an affair, a sevn month emotional affair followed by a one night stand.

For five months she was sitting on a fence, not knowing where she wanted to go.  During that period of time, I was oin my knees as many as five times a day, praying to the Almighty. Also during that period of time, we were attending church every Sunday for the first time in whatn was then an eleven year marriage. Again to make a long story short, mostly out of love but partly out of necessity we ended up staying together - to the point that in Feb., 2009, my wife observed that something was determined to keep us together - but we never really healed from the affair or my negative contributions. My wife stopped talking about divorce and began making short and long term plans, but her whole attitude toward the affair was "get over it."

 

I'm a district leader for a minor political party. While I have issues with him, the county leader is excellent at fundraising, and out of gratitude toward organizations that suppoert him buys tables to their dinners. About a month ago my wife and I were on the way to a dinner when a song came on the radio, "I hope she cheats on you with a basketball player." I'll leave it to your imagination the effect this had on me. Not pretty. No threatening to post her affair, but lots of ranting and raving and low key anger.

Three days after my temper tantrum cooled off, I came down with a nasty, nasty cold. I had to go to the doctor, but my wife had to use the car to take her aunt and mother shopping. While she was doing this, I went to some resources on adultery on the computer, and left one of them on. My wife always became angry when she saw me looking at them. I went ot the doctor, and after about fifteen minutes of waiting, she called me and asked what the story was. i was on a prepaid cell phone with very little time left, so i told her we'd continue the dicussion at home. We did, and we had four days of some of the most open, honest, and healing conversation we've had.

 

The difference between all the other times and this time was that my wife finally decided to show me some empathy. Not sympathy, but empathy. She made me realize that I had erroneously built her paramour up to be an earthbound God, she told me that while her affair had had its moments it hadn't been "the moment," and she told me that it had felt so good only because I had been devoid in "servicing" her. She also told me she had had the affair because she had wanted to jettison the marriage. She called her falling in with her paramour "demonic." Then came two pieces of very sweet icing on the cake. First, I was getting out of the shower the next day, and she told me I was better endowed than her paramour. Then later on, she told me she had heard a sermon on inferiority, and understood now that my ranting and raving was not be trying to show how superior I was to her by ramming home her sin to her again and again, but me expressing my inferiority. Rick, SHE FINALLY GOT IT!!!!!

 

I still don't feel completely healed but much, much, much better and freer than I've felt in a long time. Whether the remaining pieces of the puzzle fall in remains to be seen, but I have resolved this thing is no longer going to control me.

 

I would of xourse need much more information to evaluate that woman's situation, but I would suggest from what little I know that she has failed to demonstrate empathy. Again, not to be confused with sympathy, empathy. She might benefit from the different way my wife finally decided to handle it.

 

 

"Blackmail"

Rick,

 

I'd like to offer some advice as a "betrayed" spouse that might offer some insight. I notice the "betrayor" did not mention how much - if at all - she has apologized for her actions.

I'm not going to get into my entire relationship, but here's the long and the short of it: I reacted foolishly and immaturely to my wife's negative qualities by withholding sex from her. She warned me of the consequences for over a year, and I simply ignored her. Between January and July of 2008 our marriage hit the skids, and I was like a deerm caught in the headlights. It finally got to the point I couldn't take any more, and on July 26, 2008, at 12:15 a.m., I proposed reconciliation to her. That night we had the greatest sex of our marriage. The next day she revealed that she had had an affair, a sevn month emotional affair followed by a one night stand.

For five months she was sitting on a fence, not knowing where she wanted to go.  During that period of time, I was oin my knees as many as five times a day, praying to the Almighty. Also during that period of time, we were attending church every Sunday for the first time in whatn was then an eleven year marriage. Again to make a long story short, mostly out of love but partly out of necessity we ended up staying together - to the point that in Feb., 2009, my wife observed that something was determined to keep us together - but we never really healed from the affair or my negative contributions. My wife stopped talking about divorce and began making short and long term plans, but her whole attitude toward the affair was "get over it."

 

I'm a district leader for a minor political party. While I have issues with him, the county leader is excellent at fundraising, and out of gratitude toward organizations that suppoert him buys tables to their dinners. About a month ago my wife and I were on the way to a dinner when a song came on the radio, "I hope she cheats on you with a basketball player." I'll leave it to your imagination the effect this had on me. Not pretty. No threatening to post her affair, but lots of ranting and raving and low key anger.

Three days after my temper tantrum cooled off, I came down with a nasty, nasty cold. I had to go to the doctor, but my wife had to use the car to take her aunt and mother shopping. While she was doing this, I went to some resources on adultery on the computer, and left one of them on. My wife always became angry when she saw me looking at them. I went ot the doctor, and after about fifteen minutes of waiting, she called me and asked what the story was. i was on a prepaid cell phone with very little time left, so i told her we'd continue the dicussion at home. We did, and we had four days of some of the most open, honest, and healing conversation we've had.

 

The difference between all the other times and this time was that my wife finally decided to show me some empathy. Not sympathy, but empathy. She made me realize that I had erroneously built her paramour up to be an earthbound God, she told me that while her affair had had its moments it hadn't been "the moment," and she told me that it had felt so good only because I had been devoid in "servicing" her. She also told me she had had the affair because she had wanted to jettison the marriage. She called her falling in with her paramour "demonic." Then came two pieces of very sweet icing on the cake. First, I was getting out of the shower the next day, and she told me I was better endowed than her paramour. Then later on, she told me she had heard a sermon on inferiority, and understood now that my ranting and raving was not be trying to show how superior I was to her by ramming home her sin to her again and again, but me expressing my inferiority. Rick, SHE FINALLY GOT IT!!!!!

 

I still don't feel completely healed but much, much, much better and freer than I've felt in a long time. Whether the remaining pieces of the puzzle fall in remains to be seen, but I have resolved this thing is no longer going to control me.

 

I would of xourse need much more information to evaluate that woman's situation, but I would suggest from what little I know that she has failed to demonstrate empathy. Again, not to be confused with sympathy, empathy. She might benefit from the different way my wife finally decided to handle it.

 

 

I am the wounded spouse.  All

I am the wounded spouse.  All of what you said is me, not all at once, but throughout this time after D day it has been.  The rollercoaster ride that never ends.  Thank you, it actually made me feel better that others feel this way, I'm not alone and at least someone understands my pain.  Thank you for sharing!!!

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