Table of Contents

I Set the Goals and Expectations: create “space” and change rules of the relationship

Karen Does Not Want to Share

What does Karen want? (goals?)
What is most important? Be Laser focused.
Giving Up the Goal
Affirming Karen
Another Goal
The Beginning of Healing
Keys to Healing

Difference Between Fear and Anger
Forget about Robin
Ahhh… the Younger Woman

The Turning Point
Love Based Goals

A Few Hours After the Session
3 Days After the Session
8 Days after the Session
13 Days after Session
20 Days after Session
24 Days after Session
One Month after Session

How Karen Saved Her Sanity and Marriage From Infidelity


You have the opportunity to witness the powerful and intimate transformation of Karen.

I’ve worked hard over the past 30 years, working with thousands of couples and individuals, identifying exactly what brings about their desired healing and change. The later years of my practice has been especially generative as I’ve narrowed healing, change and transformation to a specific step by step process.

I’ve spent the past five years and more dissecting every part of my 25,000 hours of clinical client contact, analyzing what worked, poring over the notes of successful cases, reflecting on the different forms of therapy that were effective and condensed this information into a sequence of steps that is the CORE of relationship change, restoration, healing and well being.

I’ve developed an 11 step FORMULA that incorporates the essence of healing and change. When employed by a spouse, a ripple effect hits the partner and the partner of emotional investment cannot not change. So called “miracles” occur at this point.

My work with Karen demonstrates this process.

Karen’s Introductory Email

Karen’s Introductory Email

I am very interested in meeting with you. I have down loaded the sheet and I will work through this on Monday morning. I have been reading every thing on your web site I can access. Long story short, my partner had a short term affair over October, Nov, Dec last year. He was away working and the OW lived in the same apartment complex! He came to me and our Children at xmas as his job finished and has been home ever since. I was completely blindsided by his revelation. He was very angry with me when I told him I loved him and wanted us to work!! He felt sure I was going to say leave .. I hate you!! I know if he left for OW he would have come back to me at some point. But he came home in the middle of his affair and had to face me. I’m not sure what affair type maybe ” my marriage made me do it! as he says it was because I shut off from him..which is true as he’s always criticizing me and wanting to fight. It has been a roller coaster mainly because it took him so long to let go of the OW..he went mental literally!! He did a lot of crazy stuff. He believed he was in love with her!!! { limerence} I know better, Its infatuation/ fantasy not love. I ve wasted JAN Feb March trying to convince him of the fantasy. Big waste of breath I now know! The hardest part for me was trying to get him to shake off the OW. She only got phone calls and TXT from Feb onwards..but boy she was determined to have him. He told her many times he was staying with his family. However the contact continued until April. Finally I kicked him out. The OW put the pressure on to commit and he came home again. Finally the fantasy was over for both! Now we are back to us and our crappy fights. Today is the first day I actually in my heart have forgiven him. I have realized this whole battle was a battle with my self. Ive let go ! I Have a lot more insight that he does, he’s still trying to figure out what happened! I know he loves me and I love him but we are hard work together. We have 2 children 14 and 11. We have been together 20 years he is 44 and I’m 53. Ive been married before to a man I met at 16 married at 25 and it lasted 18 months before I and an infatuation affair and left. I get it now…not knowing my self. Never regretted the split. I also had a one night stand affair 7 years into this relationship! Ive grown up since then!!! Boy what a messy life! Id love to hear from you.

I offer (or at least did at one time) a free 30 minute session to those who download and use the 11 Step FORMULA. At that time, I needed to test the effectiveness of the FORMULA. Karen took me up on the offer and had gone through the 11 Step FORMULA before our session.

Note the personal effort of Karen working on her self awareness.


Video #1: He’s Giving me Absolutely NOTHING!

Background – This 5 minute segment depicts the beginning of the session as Karen gives background information.

What I noticed in the first 5 minutes…

The first 5 minutes with Karen are typical of 95% of those who are slammed with infidelity. The cheating spouse is focal point as well as the status of the affair. Most want to fix the problem, find a way to get their partner back and put an end to the affair. The anger, frustration is targeted at the cheating spouse. Hurt, pain, tension, frustration and confusion reign.

Pay attention to Karen’s level of tension and anxiety. Note her rate of speech. Notice her written letter and her strong desire (desperation?) for him to change (get help) and move toward resolution.

I Set the Goals and Expectations: create “space” and change rules of the relationship

At the 5:16 mark I speak of the purpose of the session: create space and change rules of the relationship

Start with a Specific Disturbing Past Event

Step 1 of the FORMULA is to bring up a specific incident or situation that was highly disturbing. Remember a time when you felt fear, pain, rage, humiliation, etc.

Karen Does Not Want to Share

After the interview, Karen contacted me and was not pleased with what she shared as a significant event. She was embarrassed and did not want it shared with others.

This is not uncommon. Almost all are not pleased with these situations since they seem to represent the worst of us and/or our partner.

I agreed to cut her description of the situation from the video.

In reality, the content of the situation is not critical. I use the description of the situation as a beginning focal point.

What is critical are the goals, thoughts and feelings brought up by the situation.

These goals, thoughts and feelings are brought out in the rest of the video.

Video #2: Karen Describes What She Wants (Goals)

What does Karen want? (goals?) Watch this video as we explore her goals.

We quickly identify:

What is most important? Be Laser focused.

I help Karen identify the most important goal. We want to be laser sharp in our focus. And, we want to focus on the goal that is generating the most upset. We want to hit the center of the target.

Giving Up the Goal

At the 1:19 point I ask her to “consider” giving up the goal.

That is quickly followed up with, “What’s it like when you say that?” (when you say you will give up that goal?”)

Affirming Karen

Rather than describing a feeling or thought, Karen gives a mild self deprecating response. (I probably have controlled in the past.)

In no way do I want Karen to be critical of herself. I point to the positive intent of her behavior, “You’re still working on him…. spending a lot of energy on this aren’t you?

Another Goal

2:37 Karen brings up another goal: to understand his behavior.
I ask her to consider giving up on that also.

The Beginning of Healing

What is that like trying to meet those goals?
3:30 Karen exhales, “It’s exhausting!”
Me: And when you are exhausted, where do you feel it in your body?
Karen: I feel relief.
This is the beginning of her healing. Much more to touch on, but this is the beginning.

Keys to Healing

4:42 I ask her to take deep breathes. Breathing deeply and fully seems to be a key to healing. I want her initial steps of healing to be locked in.

Note: How does healing take place? An interesting question. I used EMDR (Eye Movement and Desensitization) for a number of years in my private practice. I had a number of occasions when someone using the protocol of moving their eyes back and forth while reliving their trauma produced astounding healing. I’ve also researched the power of instantaneous healing when “breathing through” strong feelings/thoughts associated with an upsetting situation.

There is a school of thought which thinks that feelings (associated with an upset) generate a neuropeptide which flows through the body, locates and becomes locked into a cell(s.) Feelings are physiologically based. Perhaps in this manner, characteristics are transmitted genetically?

To heal means to change our physiology, using protocols that consider physiology, such as eye movement or deep breathing?

For that reason, I ask Karen, where in her body she experiences the discomfort.

The important fact is that Karen’s experience of “relief” is the start of her healing process.

Video #3: The Importance of the Body in Healing and Change

In the first part of this section, Karen talks about not making progress, giving up, yet fearful of giving up in that her and the children would face certain consequences.

At :49 Karen expresses sadness. She feels the sadness in her chest.

She previously had also pointed to her chest as the location of her fear and anger.

Difference Between Fear and Anger

I explore with her if there are any distinctions between the anger, fear and sadness.

Note: Making distinctions in feelings and thoughts are critical. The more specific you can be in describing a feeling/thought the more power you have over that feeling/thought and the better able you are to express yourself powerfully. This becomes important later in the session with Karen.

Forget about Robin

At 3:58 I make a significant comment. Karen says, “WE (Me and my partner Robin) have a lot to contend with.” Such a statement reinforces Karen’s tendency to focus on Robin. I make a huge shift by saying, “YOU have a lot to contend with.” I follow that statement acknowledging her strengths (assumes responsibility, fixes and holds things together.)

An important shift takes place at 6:13. Karen acknowledges responsibility for some catastrophic thinking.

Ahhh… the Younger Woman

Karen brings up another theme: (6:27) I’m being replaced by a younger woman.

This is a secondary theme. Karen has “worked through,” as she says, a number of issues related to her sense of worthiness. Believing one is defective is a primary fear factor for some, but not Karen. Karen’s fear factor and fear based goal is her focus on Robin and what he is not doing or giving to her.

This section ends with another goal: to have a healthy family.

Karen more forcefully expresses her anger about this lack.

Video #4: Karen “Heals”

Karen is angry.
This 3:29 clip IS Karen’s healing.
Make sure you watch it.

Video #5: Summary

I give a summary of the process with Karen.

Karen reviews her efforts at recovery.

The Turning Point

1:34 is a turning point. Once the fear-based goals and their emotional hold are let go, the question becomes, “What do I replace them with?”

Love Based Goals

I begin point Karen in the direction of setting love-based goals.
2:00 – Love-based goals stand between pursuing and distancing.

Video #6: The Impact on Robin

4:42 Once the “space” is created by giving up fear-based goals, you have room to create loving goals for the other person.

Here’s the problem: Setting love based goals is foreign, not part of our history or training and are difficult to articulate and implement.

Watch this short video as Karen and I try to articulate a loving goal for Robin.

Video #7: Another Summary

2:38 Karen and I summarize what happened.

Karen is concerned about what she will do in his presence.

Video #8: The FORMULA in Action

:59 Another summary: acknowledge fear based goals > give up goals > healing > space > love

View the Entire 33 Minutes - A Feel for the FORMULA

View the entire 33 minute session – the introduction…. begin with goal articulation… to conclusion. Get to know Karen and her healing.

An Overview of the 11 Step FORMULA Process

Premise: The purpose of my work with Karen is to remove the tension and anxiety fueled by hostility, fear and/or indifference in her so the relationship and Karen naturally heal and a free flowing love emerges. The relationship becomes love and Karen experiences the power of love within herself and the relationship.

Key Points

  1. You want to EXPERIENCE LOVE. The process lends itself to an experience of love. There is a wealth of information online, much of it “fluff,” that tries to help you understand love, that gives you lists of concepts and ideas of love. You may agree or find them interesting but they seldom lead to LOVE or change the patterns of fear or hostility in your relationship.
  2. This process is effective and can have a profound impact on your marriage or relationship even if your spouse or partner refuses to participate. I recommend you not invite your spouse to share the process for the first week.
  3. Some steps in the process may seem rather strange or counter intuitive. For example, one step asks you to give up or cancel what seem to be entirely reasonable or positive goals. Please know there are specific reasons and purposes for each step. Trust me.
  4. I want you to encounter, use and appreciate some of the seemingly unorthodox methods I recommend to save your marriage. Please know that conventional marital advice has been less than effective. The divorce rate hovers at 50% and 9 out of 10 report unhappy in their relationship. Just look around at the relationships near you. Something new is needed.
  5. The process addresses the CORE issues of love building. I’m sure you have tried different strategies and conventional suggestions (new communication skills, date night, seminars, romantic get aways and even therapy) and perhaps felt some relief. But soon the old feelings and problems reared their head. the process gets to the CORE issues of love building.
  6. This process is not one and done. Learning to tap into the reservoir of love is an ongoing process. You want to experience love time and time again. You want to experience it more profoundly each time. Your experience of love will only grow over time and will forever grow.
  7. Through the use of the process you will discover that you and your spouse or partner do indeed have the love answers within you, are intrinsically lovable and can be uniquely you with all your power within the relationship.
  8. This process enables you to experience a love that transforms you and your marriage or relationship. But there is more. You must unlearn much of what you have absorbed about marriage, love and relationships over the years. You must create new “brain cells” that think of love, marriage and relationships differently. Read my emails and blogs as new information is offered to help you see and experience your love life differently, the way it was intended to be.

Karen’s Input and Comments After the Session

A Few Hours After the Session

A few hours after the session she emailed me…

“Thanks for your insight today Dr Bob. I feel a whole lot lighter.”

Note: Healing lifts the burden, the heaviness of carrying, in Karen’s case, the need to change Robin.

Fear is heavy, a burden. Love is light, a calm and peace.

3 Days After the Session

Hi Dr Bob,

I thought I would drop you a line and give you an update. I know it’s only been 3 days since we spoke, I cannot believe the turn I have experienced!

There were a couple of hiccups over the weekend but… When my spouse told me that it kills him that he can’t contact his OW (other woman.) I said, “OK you can…but my boundary is this.. I don’t want to know about, I don’t want to hear about it and I do not want the children to see, hear or know any thing about it!!

He turned around and said, “I appreciate that.” And then he said, “I probably won’t really want to see her now.”

I figure the flame will die out if there is no drama and no illicitness. There may be not much left to talk about. Am I right?

Sunday afternoon after a small drama, I stated, “This is your drama not mine, you deal with it as you need to… It s not my problem.”

What a turn around in attitude towards me. Its… Can I give you a hug, cleaning the house, taking daughter out to get nails done, booked me a massage which I sobbed through!

Spouse {Robin} said, “I really hate it when you are upset. Can we go out to dinner with the kids?” We did and had a lovely evening. We talked about old memories we all had. Robin talked about things he wanted to do, like bake cakes with the kids. He wants to bake our boy’s 14th birthday cake. Which is great because only 3 months ago he was in the affair fog and stated we have only ever had a business arrangement and I love you but not in the romantic sense!!

I really don’t know how I have gotten thru of all this. But I am! I am now seeing how he pulls me into his dramas and I am reacting so much less. I can see he has immense stress and I am learning to sit and listen let him get it out and just nod and once its out he’s done!

Bob, I feel so privileged to have spoken to you on Friday. You are a genius. I have soaked up as much knowledge. I have helped my Mum understand her own crap that she experienced with my Dad. I make the parallels ! Thank you.

8 Days after the Session

Hi Bob We are virtually functioning as a couple besides the fact there is an OW sitting waiting apparently!! He won’t fully commit to me and won’t leave for OW !! So it looks like I am on my own until he comes to his senses. If he ever does.

Comment: Progress or healing is not a straight line. There are bumps and setbacks. We go back to that which was familiar.

13 Days after Session

Hi Bob,

My spouse has been doing nice little jobs for me and I him. I am trying to stay centered and doing mindfulness and trying not to buy in or create drama. I not pursuing!

15 Days after Session

I had a lot to tell you but I have realized that in a nut shell I am switching between logical and emotional thinking. The logical mostly winning out. I have to constantly remind my self that I am a great person with lots to offer.. a good catch.. and affairs are NOT about LOVE… I remind myself my spouse has never left home, doesn’t see his OW in person…. No idea if he calls her…If he does I expect it will be based on guilt…and she will wake up and move on if she hasn’t already done so and we are still together. He is a good person, just did a dumb thing and got emotionally and physically infatuated. I am learning to control my over reactions and its making a huge difference. I am not pursuing, I am calm not angry and doing loving and appreciating things for Robin. I am getting back now… today I got genuine empathy and a txt message saying’ you’re special to me honey, I hope you know that… I nearly fell off my chair!!! We are both reflecting on our life together so far… This whole mess has been a huge learning curve… I’m going to take a punt and call it ” mid life crisis’. Possible triggers.. his nana dying and my sister having terminal cancer?? Just thoughts.

20 Days after Session

I have just read the email the 8 feeling paths. Wow that is so timely. I feel calm and at peace.

I even said to my spouse you deserve to be happy also!!! Meaning if he needs his OP he can go to be with her. I’m 99 % certain he doesn’t. I realize there is always a small chance that he does, but possibly in his head more than the reality I suspect. He kinda back tracked and said I can’t be selfish and I love my family. Not only that I’m sure the contact with the OP was actually little to none of late…Silly I bought into all that. I am hopeful we are on the right path. I actually feel calm…This does not feel normal. Thank you Bob you’re one of lifespan’s precious gems.

Kind regards,

Comment: Healing is often a process on continually integrating what we experience. Sometimes the joy is powerful as we grasp who we truly are and what we can create.

24 Days after Session

I have realized that in a nut shell I am switching between logical and emotional thinking. The logical mostly winning out. I have to constantly remind my self that I am a great person with lots to offer.. a good catch.. and affairs are NOT about LOVE… I remind myself my spouse has never left home, doesn’t see his OW in person…. No idea if he calls her…If he does I expect it will be based on guilt…and she will wake up and move on if she hasn’t already done so and we are still together.

He is a good person, just did a dumb thing and got emotionally and physically infatuated. I am learning to control my over reactions and it’s making a huge difference. I am not pursuing, I am calm not angry and doing loving and appreciating things for Robin.

I am getting back now… today I got genuine empathy and a txt message saying’ you’re special to me honey, I hope you know that… I nearly fell off my chair!!!

We are both reflecting on our life together so far… This whole mess has been a huge learning curve…

One Month after Session

Just checking in. I am working through your course (The Marriage Building Online Course.) I am very grateful for this. At present I am mastering charge neutral. The OW has ramped it up and pushing for commitment and to see him and contact. {keep in mind she lives in another city}

I know my wayward is going no where! I am so calm and so neutral I never thought I could be like this. I have literally said, “This its your drama to deal with.” I said I know you are going no where so sort your crap out. I also said, “If you could just let me know when you’re done I can finish the script.”

We are getting on so well and communicating so well no tension between us at all. He’s calm and so am I. I laughed when he said ” I want you both’ ..cake eater. Why is fantasy so hard to shake?

I have suggested if she’s lonely we can all be friends and hang out… non sexually of course. Talk about removing the juice!!!

I guess she will ramp it up a bit and then disappear. I just can’t believe just how immature he is at the moment…growing slowly! I HAVE NO PAIN AT ALL….just amusement right now. Waiting to see the next move! Charging neutral.

I have however stated, “I only do this because its non sexual. But if you decided to make it sexual again, or ever pull a stunt like this again your ass will be on the street before you can say lawyer. And I mean it!!!

OH and if he does say, “I am leaving [ unlikely ] I am going to say, “OK. As I know that I am perfectly fine and he would be back before I could say “Too Needy.”

I do love him he’s just being a bit silly right now.

Comment: Love is the absence of tension. Grab your Front Row Seat as you watch, listen and learn What happened to Karen


I hope you were encouraged and inspired with Karen’s healing and transformation.

Healing, recovery, change and transformation IS possible, if you have a plan (FORMULA.)

Please know that not all relationships are alike and don’t assume or expect that your journey will be just like Karen’s. Your relationship will most likely have different patterns and themes. (Please know I identify 7 unique types of affairs.)

Your movement through the FORMULA may not be as dramatic as it was for Karen. Karen struggled with infidelity for some time, had engaged in a ton of research, reading and learning, and had the courage to face troubling themes in her life, i.e. lack of self worth. The FORMULA hit her at an opportune time.

Although your patterns and themes may differ, the FORMULA moves beneath the patterns and themes, to basic CORE issues of fear and love that all of us face individually and in our marriages and relationships.

Where to Find What You Need

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About Dr. Huizenga

Dr. Bob Huizenga is an author, researcher and coach specializing in relationships of emotional investment. He began his practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in 1981 working since then with thousands of individuals and couples wanting better relationships. In 2002 he wrote one of the first and best selling ebooks on infidelity, “Break Free From the Affair”.

In addition, Dr. Huizenga recently finished two online courses,
The Infidelity Recovery Center, and the
Marriage Building Online Course

For information on Personal Coaching with Dr. Huizenga visit

Dr. Bob Huizenga