Relationship Help With Infidelity
Often well-meaning, men and women of faith and good character can end up in a place they never thought possible. An innocent slight glance, warm smile, or humorous exchange may be just that. However, if one is not careful, warning signs may be missed along the way creating an “accidental” affair never intended.
“Definitely I would never end up in affair!” you may be thinking to yourself. Yet, it happens at an extraordinary high rate. “While percentages of extramarital sex (EMS) vary from study to study, it can be estimated that 50-60% of married men and 45-55% of married women engage in extramarital sex at some time or another during their marriage.*”
There are some common reasons both men and women end up having an affair.
- Unresolved discord in their marriage
- Ineffective communication skills
- An unsatisfactory marital sex life
- Financial pressures or distress
- Feeling unloved or taken for granted in the marriage
- Lack of physical affection
- Lost emotional connection
- Stressors of having and raising children
- Alcohol, substance, or drug use/abuse
- Unhealed childhood issues
Fortunately, if these elements are present in a marriage, this does not mean there will be an infidelity. It simply means that each partner should be careful to ensure they are addressing and healing what is wrong in their marriage.
Before an affair actually occurs, there are many steps or “warning signs” along the way. When these are heeded, an affair can definitely be stopped before it starts. Yet, when they are not… look out!!
Here are some common signs to be aware of…
- Feeling excited or “alive” when seeing the other person
- Thinking about the other person more than occasionally
- Finding excuses to have contact via text, email, phone, or in person with the other person
- Fantasying about the other person
- Comparing your spouse to the other person
- Finding more faults with your spouse
- Becoming more impatient or irritated with your spouse
- Rationalizing your thoughts and behaviors about the other person
Fundamentally people in our modernized society get married because they are in love and believe their marriage is going to work. They sign up for a lifetime of happy wedded bliss. However, when that is not the reality, having an affair is not the answer! If you feel you may be on the road of having an affair- simply stop, turn around, and reach out for help.
When you find out you have been cheated on by someone you love the pain you experience can feel absolutely devastating. To be betrayed by your partner in this way is not only emotionally difficult and can bring you to your knees; it also negatively impacts the other areas of your life.
For those men and women who have gone through this, they report feeling unable to think clearly, perform at work, and some are even incapable of getting out of bed until the initial shock and impact wears off. They then move into anger, bargaining, and finally acceptance. In other words, those who go through this are actually moving through a grieving process; just as one does when they lose someone to death.
Each person is unique in the time frame in which they handle and react to this process; however, the course is always the same. If they go through the stages of grief and allow themselves to heal they can move forward with their life and relationship in a positive manner. On the other hand, if they do not allow themselves to feel these negative emotions or get stuck in one of these stages, this often will be reflected in their life, as they will remain stuck and unhappy.
I am frequently asked if a relationship can survive an infidelity. My blanket answer is always a resounding YES!
However, there is a qualifier that goes along with this answer and that is “willingness.”
Each partner must posses the readiness and motivation to work on and heal what caused the infidelity in the first place.
When I have two partners in this state, everything is possible. In fact, in most cases, their relationship not only makes it through the infidelity but also becomes healthier and stronger because of it.
I also have men and women who have been cheated on who want nothing further to do with their partner. They are looking for help in healing and moving on from it and their relationship. In these cases, as long as the person is willing to do the healing, they absolutely can create a whole new beautiful and thriving life.
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