Your spouse is involved in at least an emotional affair at work–and it may even have gone physical. You look at them and they still LOOK like the person you fell in love with and married–but in no way, shape, or form does the alien in front of you, screaming about how miserable they have always been and blaming it all on you, have anything in common with the person whom you know as your spouse. It’s as if some other person has invaded their body, like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and inserted a different personality into the body of the person who would have previously been described as “kind, thoughtful and loving.” They went from being on PTA and being “a good Christian” to living at the bar and committing adultery, all while blaming you! Now words come out of their mouth that literally make NO SENSE and you have to wonder to yourself, “Are you even aware of what you just said, because it is literally unbelievable!”
Does anyone recognize what I’m talking about? Has anyone else had a disloyal spouse that would speak and the things that come out of their mouth just are not true, are definitely not logical, and you can’t help but think, “Oh you could not possibly have thought about what you’re saying because it is not even close to reality!”? This phenomena is actually to-be-expected, or at least it is very common, in a disloyal spouse, and just to identify it, I call this “Disloyal Crazy Babble” (or “Babble” for short).
In psychological terms, Disloyal Babble has it’s roots in denial (that is the Disloyal does not want to face the truth) but as Christians we know the full truth: that Disloyals know that being unfaithful is sinful, but they want to keep doing it! Thus, they create a whole world and life that justifies why doing what they know is sin…is okay for them–as if the moral law has an exception or can be changed for their specific circumstances. Psychology might also say that Disloyal Babble has to do with projection (that is the Disloyal projects their own actions, thoughts and feelings onto others not recognizing they are the ones doing exactly what they accuse others of doing) but again as Christians we know that this too is tied to sin and wanting to justify doing what they know is wrong. Nonetheless, sometimes the things that a Disloyal spouse says when they “babble” are just MYSTIFYING! They can’t possibly really believe what they just said…or maybe they just didn’t listen to themselves and think before they spoke? When a Disloyal is saying things like that–things that just make NO sense and are so completely unrealistic it makes your head spin–what do you do? How does a Loyal Spouse ‘combat’ the nonsense? Here are a few tips!
1. The first tip is actually an easy one: agree with them. Often the Disloyal will say outrageous things with the intent of pushing your buttons so you’ll react…and then they can project blame on you. For example a very common Disloyal Babble would be something like: “Who could love a person like you? You’re controlling and verbally abusive.” (See how the Disloyal is poke the Loyal hoping for an angry response?) So rather than disagreeing and giving them what they want… agree. It takes the wind right out of their sails! And I’m not suggesting you take all the blame they’re dishing out. No–rather I suggest you just agree. “It would be hard to love someone who is controlling or verbally abusive, you’re right” or “Hmmm…maybe you have a point there. Could be that you’re right.” This technique disarms them and does not say you actually ARE controlling or abusive, just that it’s true–it would be hard to love that kind of person!
2. The second tip is similar to the first: agree with them and twist it back on them. This one takes a little practice but like the first tip, it disarms the Disloyal and completely shines a light of clarity through the affair fog! In this example, if the Disloyal were to babble: “Who could love a person like you? You’re controlling and verbally abusive” rather than just agreeing, you turn it back on them! “You’re right. Who could love a person like you who is controlling and abusive” or “You’re right. You are controlling and abusive.” This technique is PARTICULARLY useful for those moments when the Disloyal Babble is clearly projection! This may not necessarily disarm their attempt to poke and start a fight (after all, you are holding up a mirror and showing them their own reflection) but it does sometimes at least show them that their choices and their actions are exactly what they claim is so horrible about you!
3. The final tip is also easy and a little funny: say “Huh?” and then ask when or what? So again let’s use our example: “Who could love a person like you? You’re controlling and verbally abusive.” Rather than fighting or disagreeing, just look at the Disloyal, all confused and innocent and say “Huh? What did you mean?” You are not agreeing with what they said, but you are throwing them off balance and asking that they REPEAT the silly thing they just said. Often just the action of *thinking* about the words that just came out of their mouth is enough to stop the babble in it’s tracks!
NOTES TO SELF:
Don’t assume it’s a permanent, long-term truth. We all know that Disloyal emotions and plans change day-by-day (if not moment by moment) and if they say they would “never be married to you” one minute, they’ll be saying they want to move back home the next. Just recognize it for what it is–verbal vomiting.
Don’t take it personally. Even though their words say that “you” are this or that (insert hurtful adjective here), a Disloyal spouse rarely actually is thinking of the Real You and address You. Usually they are thinking of themselves and you are sort of an illusion in their head of what they have created to justify their affair. Just recognize that that hurtful adjective is not you.
Don’t always assume it is babble. Disloyal babble can be exceedingly hurtful but it’s been my experience that what they state usually has about a 1% truth factor–so before you just dismiss it as babble and worthless hot air, take a moment and look at yourself in the mirror and be honest with yourself. If there is an issue…work on it.
Soooo…how about a few “real world” examples of Disloyal Babble and how to respond:
I need my own space. — “I agree, I need my own space too.”
I love you but I am not in love with you. — “Huh? What does that mean?”
You need to move on. — “You’re right I do need to move on. In order to do so I would need a place to live, a place to care for the kids, and an enforceable financial commitment from their other parent.”
Go get the Divorce. I don’t want to be married to you anymore. — “You’re right. It would be hard to be married to someone like you.”
Why won’t you talk to me? Don’t you love me? (when the loyal spouse is in ‘No Contact’) — “Huh? When did you give me 100% of your affection and loyalty?”
I’m not giving you more money! Where is all the $$ I gave you? — “Huh? Oh are you willing to show me where you spent your money now?”
You are so fat, if you lose weight I would come home. — “You’re right. I have gained some weight over 25 years and I was meaning to address that. Thanks for reminding me!”
You can’t come over to my house without permission. — “You’re right. You can’t come over to my home without my permission.”
I can’t trust you. — “You’re right. You haven’t acted in a trustworthy way.”
You ruined my life. — “I can see how living with a faithful person would ruin your life.”
She is just a friend. — “Huh? When did she tell you to give 100% of your affection and loyalty to me?”
I was planning on leaving way before the affair. — “You’re right. I thought about leaving long before you had your affair.”
This is for the good of the kids. — “Huh? When do kids’ grades increase and psychological issue decrease when their parents divorce?”
You are crazy. — “You’re right. You are not acting very sane.”
It was never the same with OP (other person) as you. – “You’re right. The OP has never been blamed by you or had to pay bills with you. It’s not the same.”
It isn’t you, it’s me. — “You’re right. It’s not me…it’s you.”
She’s a great woman and mother (talking of the OW). — “Huh? When does knowingly committing adultery with a married man make someone a great woman?”
You are terrible in bed. — “You’re right. That’s something I had hoped to work on. Do you have any specific suggestions?”
I didn’t come back for you, I came back for the kids and house. — “You’re right. I’m mostly staying for the kids and the house too so I know how you feel.”
I have strong feelings for him/her. — “Huh? What you mean you developed feelings because you spend so much time with him/her?”
I am moving out to clear my head. — “You’re right. You need to move out so I can think clearly.”
OP made me feel alive. S/He made me feel like me. — “Huh? When did being with someone who will lie and cheat make you feel like yourself?”
I’ve worn a mask for 15 years. — “HUH? What you mean is that the 15 years of being a moral person were fake, and the 6 months of committing adultery is the real you?”
If I see him/her one more time, it will be the last. — “You’re right. If you see him/her one more time, it will be the very last time you see me.”
I didn’t tell you because of the way you act. — “You’re right. I also didn’t tell you things because of the way you react.”