What “I Need My Space” Means

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This is an interesting article for those of us who are dealing with husbands who are either in affairs 
or we suspect may be considering moving out so they can have an affair etc
Dr Don Harvey in his book
 “When the One You Love Wants to Leave” is great 
for explaining in a Christian way how to handle the separation process 
as well as the reconnection process & how to make sure that 
the motives for reconnecting are done for the correct reasons
Dr Jim Conway in his books describes the Mid Life Crisis, 
& the whys & the stages that the MLCers will go thru 
& some of the likely actions which will occur during that process
This article by Dr Huizenga 
is more like a dissection of the issues which the MLCer is going thru 
when he’s involved in an affair & he’s selling an e-book 
which I’ve never purchased since I’m a person who wants to be able to sit & reread sections of the pages while I’m trying to understand the information which is being presented to me
The items in high lights are my take on what he’s saying 
when taken in comparative with the other authors 
who I’ve gotten the chance to read their books or have seen during chats or website b boards with the authors I’m referencing in the high light
*** Start of Article *** 
Infidelity Discovered: "I Need My Space!" Say What?!
By Dr. Huizenga - The Infidelity Coach

When infidelity rears its ugly face, the cheating spouse often explains his/her dilemma with the words, "I Need my Space!"

You ask a couple questions, i.e. why are you doing this? What’s going to happen? When will this end? etc. and the same ol’ response is, "I don’t know. I just need my space for a while."

You are left hanging. You have no clue what that means (nor probably does your partner). Neither of you are able to articulate specifics, which usually means you are stuck.

Not good!

Allow me to point out some common themes behind this phrase. I want for you to get to the "heart of the matter" more quickly and with more confidence move toward resolution.

Putting "flesh" on this phrase will help you move from being stuck to confronting the "real issues" head on.

1. Someone primarily in a "I Don’t Want to Say No" extramarital affair, wants you off his/her back. They want to do what they want to do when they want to do it. Little regard for you (sorry). I need my space, means: "Leave me alone. Don’t put any pressure on me. Stay away. Do your thing, and I will do mine."

(this is the selfish MLCer in a nut shell – sounds like the childish teen or toddler who has no care or thought of anyone else’s needs other than their own – there is no reasoning with a 2 yr old so basically you’ve got to accept that you’re not likely to be able to reason with your husband when he’s in this stage either – simply do what you can to stay out of his way & do what you can to protect yourself both financially as well as emotionally – during this time period you’ll see a lot of anger directed at you for everything that ever been wrong in his life)  

2. "I need my space" for someone in the "My Marriage Made Me Do It" affair means, "I need to get away from the marriage (you). I don’t know how to respond to you. I give you too much power! I want to run away and find the Greener Promised Land where something out there will make my life all better!"

(Dr Don Harvey & Dr Jim Conway both seem to make it clear that during the MLC process until our husbands work thru their issues & finally figure out for themselves that the Grass really isn’t Greener over the Septic Tank all we can do is be emotionally supportive showing AGAPE Love but staying our distance from their drama & work on our own positive life changes – Dr Harvey’s book is great as it explains the “How” we can get thru this time period while Dr Conway’s book gives us the “Why” our husbands are acting this way)

3. Your partner who "Can’t Say No" needs to hide. He/she needs to hide from his/her shame. "I need my space" means, "I can’t stand to face who I am. I can’t stand to face you, because I’m reminded of how often I fail, of how little and basically impotent I am. I want to keep hiding from my truth."

(this is so typical of MLCers with childhood issues & gives you a clue as to some of the issues which he may need to deal with –

Was your husband a man with low self esteem & why he was so unable to say “NO” to people in the past? It may be time to check into some things which in the past you have done to inadvertently helped to continue the low self esteem issues which your husband had… change those things which you are able by seriously thinking about how you may have said things were they up-building or were they by tone possibly indicating disapproval or incompetence? This was one my own problems the way I said things I didn’t realize were condescending & too blunt so I’ve had to work on the “how” I say things as well as looking for ways in which I can give praises to Byron for those things which I do appreciate him for those things which he does do for me & the family)

4. Your partner who "Fell out of Love…and just loves being in love" cannot pay attention to you. It is diverted. It is gone. He/she is obsessed with the OP. The theme here: "I MUST be with the OP. I MUST purse my feelings. (I am owned by them). I MUST have this drama and adrenaline in my life. I MUST be with someone where this "high" is triggered.

(This is all part of the MLC process – just plan to do a lot of research reading & this is the time period to work on some of those life projects which you had for yourself so that you can move thru this time period positively – there is nothing that we can do to make this process go any faster since we’re not the ones who broke our husbands we’re unable to fix it – regardless of what they may say to us & many times they will say the cruelest things as well as the wildest & craziest –

5. "I Want to Get Back at Him/Her" drips with anger and frustration. "I need my space" means: "How does it feel, huh? You hurting? I hope so! When I say, "I need my space" do you get scared? Feel powerless? Do you feel the anger seething just below the surface? That’s what I’ve been feeling for a long time and I kinda enjoy you squirming."

(ok this one isn’t a MLC issue in itself – Revenge is the Reason for this affair – this is a case of the husband being unable to forgive at this moment for a previous wrong –

there may be some legitimate trust issues on the part of your husband as well as he may have gotten involved emotionally with this person while you were out in the far away land –

2 wrongs do not make a right & it’s great that you’ve come back to God’s plan for your marriage,

Dr Willard Harley’s book His Needs Her Needs may be a good place to start in trying to figure out where you can work on improvements in your marriage & pin pointing just where you need to change to meet the needs of your husband –

Dr Don Harvey’s book will help to assist you while during this time period your husband is out in this type of affair & definitely use this time to work on showing your husband that you have changed not by saying it but in your whole life in actions & how you conduct yourself during this time period

Know that regardless of what you did in the past & what your husband may throw in your face now because of that past – It IS In The PAST & God has FULLY Forgiven YOU & IT IS FORGOTTEN as far as the East is from the West it is Removed from God’s Memory so if God has Forgiven You Forgive Yourself & Pray that God will open your husband’s eyes & heart that he’ll also be able to forgive you as well


6. Your partner may choose infidelity to prove his/her sense of desirability. The theme is: "I’m hurting. I’m confused… big time! I’m doing what I really don’t want to do, and I can’t seem to get a handle on what’s driving me. I feel like I’m inflicting pain on you, and I don’t want to do that. You don’t deserve it. Please give me some space to heal myself and get rid of my demons.

(this is so very much a classic example of the running away & actions during the Replay stage of MLC which Dr Jim Conway – the need to Prove Desirability)

7. "I Want to Be Close to Someone…but can’t stand intimacy spells ambivalence. "I want my space…I think?!, but you will still be there for me, won’t you? I’m confused. I don’t know what I want. I need time to sort it out. (But, it never gets sorted out. He/she finds "space" between you and the OP where commitment to neither is attained.) Feel like you are dangling on the end of a rope?

(Dr James Dobson in his book Love Must be Tough would address this type of behavior by making an ultimatum & sticking to it & let your husband suffer the loss of your family life

Dr Don Harvey in his book When the One You Love Wants to Leave would advise that you allow your husband to simply have his wish at this moment in time & definitely DO NOT Make Love to your Husband during this time period so that he has to face the whole truth of his actions & have the loss of your sex life while showing AGAPE Love until he’s ready to re-commit to the marriage

Dr Willard Harley in his book His Needs Her Needs seems also to give that impression as Dr Harvey that your husband has to see that the OW is unable to fully meet his needs & Dr Harley seems to advise also that you give your husband an ultimatum – what I like is that Dr Harley does advise us to actually look at the OW & try to see what is it that the OW is meeting as far as the MLCer’s needs

Dr Jim Conway’s approach is to love our husbands from a distance with the understanding that they are sick right now but also work on the issues which MLCers seem to focus on as complaints & show AGAPE Love during this time period)

Take some time to reflect on the pattern that seems most prevalent in your situation. Understanding may help calm your feelings.

Seeing the patterns often helps intentionally plan some statements or actions that enables both of you to articulate more clearly some of the powerful personal needs that dominate and create havoc.


***** End of Article ******


I hope that this article has given you a chance to think about some of the information which is out there & allows you to know that much of what our husbands are doing & saying is just so predictable &

as Dr Don Harvey says on page 17 of his book –

“Rich or poor, educated or not, it makes little difference –

people in crisis all tend to behave the same. … It is because there is such commonality in crisis & pain that I can write this book,

for with crisis & pain & commonality comes predictability.

There is predictability in the pain by an individual in crisis.

There is also predictability in the courses of action followed by a couple in separation.

The fact that there is predictability in personal crisis allows for intervention while giving us room for hope.”

So now it’s back to going thru the study guide questions in the book "The Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Omartian

Your Sister in Christ





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