So a man comes into my office and he is distraught and suffering the results of his fiancé’s having left him. As two people couple up, they grow together, getting more attached to each other as time passes.
The more they grow together romantically toward a common goal, in this case, marriage, which fewer and fewer couples entertain as a possibility these days, the more emotional ties they build between them. It’s as if they are being emotionally sewn together by a giant needle and thread or rope of emotion.
Ideally, this would be taking place between both parties but in some cases, one develops these ties, while the other? Not so much, as is the case in this gentleman’s circumstance. The story continues.
A friend of the man reports to the man that he witnessed his fiancé getting out of another man’s car in a local supermarket parking lot. His fiancé kissed the driver of the other car, then proceeded to go into the supermarket. As the other man drove off, the witness and friend jotted down the license plate of the departing man.
Concerned for his friend who was engaged to be married, the witness arranged to relay the information to his friend, including the plate information of the automobile.
Confused and dismayed, the man let the information obtained from the witness roll around in his head for a few days, trying to make sense of it all, which left him only with more unanswered questions the more he thought about it.
They, one day, unable to help himself he took his fiancé with whom he had been cohabitating for a couple of years for the term of their engagement, out to dinner. Confronting her, he asked her about the information that had been related to him by the witness/friend, whose identity he withheld.
She, the fiancé, denied everything, except that she had gone to the supermarket to “get him groceries” for meals she cooks for him. She further accused his unidentified friend of wanting to break them up and accused the husband-to-be of having an affair. She maintained that he was accusing her of having an affair to justify his own. The man said there was no infidelity on his part, that he only wanted her and no one else.
Obviously, at an impasse and not wanting to create a scene at the restaurant, they agreed to sleep on it and decided to talk about it after he returned home from work “tomorrow,” the following day.
The next day, the man returned from work to find his fiancé and her belongings gone. No goodbye note, nothing.
He tried to locate her via family and friends and was met only by responses regarding calling authorities and getting restraining orders, as his fiancé had already planted the cover story of his being an abusive and controlling manipulator from whom she was afraid for her life, so the friends and family pledge to help protect her from the man.
Hungry for answers, only armed with a copy of her driver’s license, a sales receipt from the supermarket, and an unknown man’s license plate, contacted a private investigator.
The results from the investigation concluded that the license plate number did belong to a man who she may have had sexual relations with, but if so, only the one time. This was not a long-term affair. Then, there was an extra sizeable retirement account. She had one built from her service to the State, and the other from an unknown origin.
The last bit of information, the one that held the biggest impact on the man, his fiancé was an active prostitute and had been prior to their engagement, throughout their cohabitation, and ever since she had left.
The investigator provided him with the current address of the former fiancé in a neighboring state.
In an attempt to reach out to her, he sent her a note stating a time and place for them to meet not far from where she lived. He showed up. She did not.
Now, the man is in my office wondering what he should do next, as he is still very in love with her. He is aware that she has had a traumatic past and sees the prostitution as a potential coping mechanism for the pain from her past trauma.
I asked the obvious question, “And you weren’t picking up any clues?”
He says, “No, I never knew I was engaged to a prostitute.”
As a love and relationship counselor or coach, undoubtedly you will be having clients facing challenges with infidelity. If you’ve done this kind of work for long, you realize that people stray for any number of reasons, and if you can remain supportive and non-reactive or judgmental, you may be the pivotal player in this relationship as someone who can assist in the relationship’s recovery, or at least, help the relationship end in the most amicable fashion.
Infidelity is a good indicator signaling that something is wrong in the relationship. It’s up to your clients to see if they can unravel the root cause if they intend to try to rebuild the relationship. It will take full commitment to the process from both parties if the relationship is to move forward, not so much if there is no hope and one or more or your clients is determined to call it quits.
Even if a couple starts off as the perfect match in the beginning, there is the tendency for people to grow and change or deteriorate and change over the course of time. There can be many reasons why things might change that may make the once compatible couple incompatible, resulting in irreconcilable differences, for which there is presumably no remedy. Though this is not always the case, as any impasse today could be a challenge to face and deal with another day.
Researchers who study cheaters only have access to cheaters who have either been caught cheating or have volunteered the information about their infidelity. The clergy will have access to greater and more detailed information, but this information is protected by clergy-penitent privilege. Anthropologists, on the other hand, are able to study animals for clues about our sexuality and how common infidelity is among members of the animal kingdom that share our DNA, like primates and mice. Then, there are others who are unfaithful who have gotten away with it and will take this secret with them to the grave. None of us will have access to that data.
The most common form of infidelity is neurotypical infidelity. This is to say that perfectly normal and average people will have a tendency to stray from an otherwise typical monogamous relationship. Anthropologists insist that the tendency to seek sexual gratification or variety outside of a monogamous relationship is hardcoded in our DNA inherited by our ancestors.
People cheat out of anger or revenge, because they have fallen out of love, or “accidentally.” By accidentally, I mean, they were unfaithful for the same reason that a non-criminal might commit a crime, they were in a weakened state and found themselves in a situation where they were presented with the means, motive, and opportunity to engage in a crime or sexual tryst.
Other reasons include the inability to commit or limited emotional bandwidth for a long-term commitment, feeling as though they are not being attended to appropriately, mismatched sex drives, and/or a hyperactive sex drive which may include a strong desire to have sex with other people.
Emotional issues, such as low self-esteem, insecurity, unworthiness, or unresolved trauma from the past may also be contributors to being unfaithful, as seeking a sexual relationship (even if sex is not consummated) outside the couple may boost their confidence, helping them to cope with their other unresolved emotional issues.
Addiction is one of those tricky areas where there is hope for recovery because we have so much evidence of success stories that it is reasonable to believe that one who suffers from any addiction can overcome it. Addictions may be contributors to infidelity and come in many forms such as alcoholism, addictions to drugs (pharmaceutical or prescription), compulsive gamblers, eaters, spenders, sex addicts, etcetera.
Addictions come in varying intensities. For those whose addictive tendencies are mild, the hope for recovery can be high, though even so, one must realize that relapses are quite common. Severe cases may require supernatural intervention, like (insert addiction) Anonymous. I have often found God to be a powerful ally in battling addiction for my clients.
Considering the nature of sex addiction, certainly one would expect to see infidelity rear its ugly head in any relationship, though few may struggle with the addiction but refrain from acting out completely. This still puts a tremendous strain on the relationship.
These addictions that may include different forms of infidelity are uncontrollable urges that cause the victim to act out unfaithfully. They do so, not to offend the faithful partner, but often participate in such activity in an effort to self-medicate serious underlying issues such as being haunted by an unresolved traumatic past, anxiety, depression, unworthiness, guilt, shame, or when feeling overwhelmed by other psychological issues.
Sexual Orientation Infidelity
No longer in the dark ages, people in the modern world are empowered to express themselves sexually in authentic ways that may have been prohibitive in the past. There is a trend in the laws of the land to support all types of sexual orientation. One of the participants in a presenting relationship may experience a change in sexual orientation. Though one does not normally change their sexual orientation, just simply come to realize that their previous commitment to a particular sexual preference was a lie.
This is a change for the other partner who did not see this coming, though there’s a good chance that the partner who is awakening to his or her true sexual orientation may be just as surprised when this reality comes to light. You are born with your unique sexual orientation but often develop a socially acceptable sexual persona to in effect find an easier way to make your way through life.
In some cases, an individual will look as though he or she is a sexual chameleon, changing his or her sexual preference from one to another over time. This is common enough, especially if their previous programming to adopt a false-facing-front sexual orientation has been prolonged. It may take experimentation over time to finally discover one’s true sexual nature.
If you are in a relationship with someone who is on this sort of path of exploration and personal growth, this can put a great deal of stress on a relationship and may very well lead to the end of the relationship, especially if the explorer is intent on eventually finding a more suitable partner, or maybe his or her path will lead to having no steady partner at all.
In the rare circumstance of finding yourself paired with a malicious predator who may be a narcissist, sociopath, or psychopath, someone on the Anti-social Personality Disorder spectrum, you may suffer from infidelity because your partner gets a thrill from controlling, abusing, and torturing you in a variety of ways and you may never have any method of proving infidelity (or any other secrets he/she may be keeping from you) concretely. If he or she gets the slightest idea that you might be questioning his or her fidelity, you will be verbally and psychologically assaulted (gaslighting), discredited, disrespected, and made to feel like a fool.
If you are in a relationship with a predator, it may be difficult to find adequate help, as these individuals, if they are highly skilled, have the ability to be very persuasive with an incredible ability to con people (he or she conned you, right?) and may be able to manipulate any counselor you might like to see.
If you see this happening, just play along and look for another counselor who has experience with victims of narcissists, sociopaths, or psychopaths who can help you to protect yourself and deal with your situation without having to endure more pain or loss.
With the expansion of sexual orientation, relationships are changing and evolving and the idea of monogamy is becoming less popular, as it is being seen as an unnatural archaic method of approaching romantic relationships. Instead, the current trend is toward supporting a more advanced tolerant relationship between a main pair of individuals, allowing for straying partners. This is referred to as ethical non-monogamy (ENM) or consensual non-monogamy (CNM). Observed as being ethical because there is full disclosure, thereby eliminating the “cheating” label, and consensual due to both parties agreeing on certain parameters.
It happened. You found out, by whatever means that your partner was unfaithful. Here are 7 steps to recovery from the affair. Infidelity has broken your trust and the relationship, but there might still be a chance you can recover from the affair and resume life with the cheater, if you can include these 7 steps in your process of healing and growth together.
People make mistakes, and none of us is flawless. We all experience moments or weakness or indiscretion, but this need not be the death blow to your relationship, though it may feel like that when you first become aware that your partner has cheated on you.
7 Steps to Recovery from the Affair Infidelity
There is a successful formula that can be followed to achieve the best results possible when discovering an affair, dealing with the cheater and the betrayal, and reconciling. Note that even in the best of circumstances, only one of four sincere attempts as at recovery achieve a satisfactory degree of success.
If your attempt to reconcile includes the following 7 ingredients, these elements greatly enhance your chances of success.
1. Initial Separation
When one first hears about or otherwise discovers that there has been a betrayal of trust in the relationship, the initial emotional reactions of either or both parties may be counterproductive to recovering from the affair. It is suggested that a period of separation be imposed by the betrayed to establish a period of time (a minimum of 72 hours or more as designated by the victim) for the victim to have time to process the information and achieve grounding before digging into the details of the tryst. It also gives the unfaithful partner time to consider the gravity of his or her actions. If, during the separation, he or she who conducted the affair contacts the extra-relational partner (especially if sexual conduct is involved) or acts as if he or she is “single,” this will indicate the relationship is unsalvageable, even if the betrayed partner has no awareness of it.
2. Full Disclosure
When the betrayer is forthcoming in disclosing the details openly and honesty, there is a great deal of hope for recovering from the infidelity. The unfaithful partner must be remorseful, and humble. This can be extremely difficult for both parties. The victim of the affair must take caution in asking about details of the affair and have the strength to deal with the answers received in the best way possible. This is very sensitive territory and it will be hard for the partner who had the affair to be forthcoming because he or she doesn’t want to hurt your feelings. That’s why they would rather lie about it, because in most circumstances, he or she still loves you. To prove it, he or she will be…
3. Stepping Down
The cheater must be willing to step down and let the suffering partner take chief position in the effort of trying to repair the damage caused by the infidelity. The betrayer has usurped his or her authority by stepping outside the healthy bounds of the relationship. For recovery to be possible, they must be willing to hand the torch to the victim of the betrayal, who will now direct how the process of recovery will go. While steeping down, adopting remorseful humility and establish non-defensive approach to reconciling, will empower effort to reconcile for a more positive and sustainable outcome.
4. Focus on Rebuilding Trust
The trust has been broken and without trust there is no authentic relationship. The victim takes the role of the conductor, guiding the couple through any steps that might be necessary to rebuild the trust. Patience, humility, and loving-kindness in the attitude and responses offered by he or she who conducted the affair will help move things in a positive manner, but be forewarned that this may be a lengthy process as wounds from infidelity often run deep and are the most difficult to heal. This healing will take hard work, dedication, and time.
5. No Contact
The partner who has conducted the affair must be willing to sever all ties to the person who was involved in the act(s) of infidelity. According to the offended partner, the offender may have to conduct a message of “ending it once and for all” with the person with whom he or she conducted the affair with. The wounded partner may want to participate in the statement of final statement of closure in person, or listening in on the statement. Such a message of closure must also include a statement of love, commitment, and dedication to recovery to the betrayed partner. This individual must be avoided at all cost and may have to include a change of job or social interactive circumstances.
6. No Secrets
The unfaithful partner must be willing to live their future with full confidence in the betrayed partner, willing to commit to a full disclosure vibration, keeping no secrets from the partner. If there are any secrets kept, they should be kept with the wounded partner, no one else, in the recovery process. This may include full disclosure or passwords and other keys, surrendering of burner phones and inclusion of historical records, including banking or other secluded information. 100% openness and transparency indicates increased hope of successful reconciliation.
7. Focused Healing
Both parties must be focused on the healing that is necessary to recover from the betrayal of trust in the relationship. Wounded victims may suffer not only emotionally but physiological suffering may have a negative expression in the biological sphere of the betrayed. This may expressed as a deterioration of immunity, loss of energy and added propensity to chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, and/or increased risk of sickness or disease. If both participants are focused on the healing and reparation of the relationship, there is a greatly enhanced hope for recovery.
With these 7 steps to recovery from the affair, infidelity recovery can be possible if two people are committed to arriving at a possible outcome and if they are a part of the recovery process can greatly increase your probability of success.
If you can survive this as a couple, you may be able to continue to grow and increase your intimate connection having survived such a challenge and emerge as one of the power couples that the rest of us mere mortal admire so much.
May you be such an example of overcoming and rising to new height of love and life that we all aspire to.
If not, know that a faithful, loving, and monogamous partner is waiting for you, but he or she will not be able to appear until you have released this one, and signed off on the final chapter of this part of your journey.
You can often predict if there is hope for your relationship after infidelity by paying attention to how the cheater replies to the awareness that such a betrayal has occurred, and how the information was obtained.
If the cheater comes to you with the details of the affair and appears to express remorse over the event and says that he or she will do whatever is necessary to repair the offense and the relationship, there is a good chance the relationship is not only salvageable but may grow to be better and stronger than before the infidelity.
What if You Find Out About Cheating in Any Other Way?
If you heard about the affair in some other way, such as hearing about the infidelity from a third party or caught your partner either in discrepancies or worse yet, actively engaged in unfaithfulness, then there may still be hope for the reparation of your relationship.
If you have been betrayed by your partner, this should never be taken lightly. This is the worst thing that could possibly happen in a relationship. I don’t know how many times I have been told by couples that infidelity is the one dealbreaker in the relationship, to where there could be no recovery. Yet, I have seen these same couples face such a relationship crime and not only recover but thrive as their relationship grows beyond the possibility of couples who have not faced such a challenge.
How the Cheater Responds Will Help Predict Your Relationship Future
If the person who participated in the infidelity demonstrates any of the following responses, there is little or no hope for your relationship having any successful outcome.
Relationship Death Clues
Leaves the relationship without discussion
Devalues and disrespects the betrayed
Protects objects of infidelity
Inability to be truthful and honest
Does not accept responsibility
Chooses to live a life of secrecy and deception
The adulterer thinks their needs are primary
Adopts an air of superiority
Blames the betrayed partner
No respect for the relationship
Not seeing any worthwhile future
You may hear statements that are commonly used by those who are unable to rebuild trust and take the relationship to a new level. These cheaters will say things, like,
It’s my body, I can do what I want
Any sexual urge I have must be satisfied
If no one knows, it doesn’t matter
I must feel good, whatever it takes
If I am aroused by someone else, I must be with the wrong person
If I am stressed, I need (outside) sexual energy
That’s how I one-up my partner (by having someone else)
I always give, now I’m taking
I’ve been with so many, I could never go back
And even though these attitudes and statements statistically reinforce the idea that there is no hope for the relationship, there is still hope, even though the outlook appears to be bleak.
The thing to look out for here; is that someone with sociopathic or predatory psychopath tendencies may feign efforts to reconcile only to further brutalize you far worse by increasing the stakes monumentally.
In this case, the sooner you end the relationship, the better.
You can see this is a delicate balance, and by now, you are starting to see the wisdom in seeking out third-party help in a family counselor or relationship coach to help you navigate these murky waters.
Once a Cheater Always a Cheater
It is commonly said “once a cheater always a cheater” and statistically, there is truth to the statement in general, but it does not take into account the great number of success stories that abound about cheaters turned faithful spouses.
How Can I Predict If There Is Hope for My Relationship After Infidelity?
There are certain clues to look for that will in a sense predict if your relationship has a higher chance of surviving infidelity.
Surviving Infidelity Successfully
The number one indicator is that the offender came to you directly, humbly, remorseful, and this is how you found out. In this case, he or she has intimated to you his or her sorrowfulness for the betrayal and the willingness to do anything to make up for the affair. This is the best hope you have for a stronger relationship in the future.
Regardless of how you became aware of the infidelity, the initial response of the offender is a leading indicator of a healthy and positive outcome from this otherwise relationship-destroying crisis.
Takes full responsibility, does not blame the faithful partner
Is remorseful, sincerely apologetic, and feels guilty for the betrayal
Seeks forgiveness, and is willing to do whatever is necessary for as long as it takes to heal the relationship
Is completely honest and forthcoming about any and all details regarding the infidelity
Makes a complete break with the object(s) of the infidelity, i.e., no contact
Surrenders all devices and communication methods if requested (burner phones, bills, bank records, email accounts/passwords, etc.)
Allows the betrayed partner to dictate the path the relationship-healing will take
When a cheater is willing to come forth and cooperate in such a manner, the person who was betrayed by the unfaithful partner is more than likely able to do the work necessary to establish trust in the relationship once again.
If your unfaithful partner is willing to come to you with this level of openness and honesty, there is a high probability that a supremely successful relationship with this person who has failed the relationship is likely. (Unless he or she is a predatory individual on the Anti-Social Personality Disorder spectrum.)
These are the two extremes.
No Chance of Recovery
Signs of little chance of success, so that you can feel better about cutting your losses and finding ways to shore up your own self-love and wellbeing and severing ties with a cheater who is likely to make matters even worse if given half-the-chance.
Being forewarned is being forearmed. Unless you decide to try to rebuild the relationship even from this seemingly hopeless position. Let it be known that there are no absolutes in statistics regarding infidelity because after all, the participants are human beings, not statistics. I have seen relationships recover in the harshest circumstances but be fully aware that this is very rare indeed.
Best Chance of Full Recovery
The other extreme depicts the humbly brokenhearted contrite spirit of a man or woman who admits his moment of weakness, acknowledging his or her mistakes, and willingness to do whatever it takes to reestablish trust, wholeness, and oneness.
Restoration is Possible
Even in the best of circumstances, successful relationship restoration may not or may be possible. The best chance of full recovery is only the starting point. In no way am I saying that if the cheater represents himself or herself as honest and repentant as can be, does not mean that the betrayed partner should forgive and reembrace the betrayer based on face value.
Infidelity is a psychological and/or physiological activity that indicates that there is deep work to be done which either or both parties may have no idea what may be simmering deep beneath the surface of either one or both participants in this relationship.
Only the Beginning
Regardless of how you decide to go forward in this relationship, this is only the beginning of a long journey, that could end up being your worst nightmare, or the most glorious awe-inspiring example of love’s power to overcome even the worst of circumstances.
This is why you should seek out a family counselor or relationship coach to help you deal with this growth process who has experience in such things.
What if your spouse or partner is sneaking around behind your back and not being forthcoming with details? Is your partner being unfaithful? Does it mean he or she is having an affair?
When you notice that your beloved’s behavior does not seem to be congruent with the intensity of the relationship that you think the two of you share, definitely something is going on. Is your partner cheating on you?
It’s not a good idea to jump to conclusions at the first sight of inconsistencies in your relationship. But when you notice things are not as they appear, or you’re feeling like something’s wrong, it is time to start paying more attention to what is going on.
So, what are some of the signs that might cause blips on your radar of suspicion?
Anything that looks or feels like secrecy, specifically things that go on in your partner’s life that you are intentionally made unaware of. What is he or she hiding? And why?
It makes any normal person wonder, what’s up?
Does there seem to be some secrecy surrounding the phone? Is there a regular practice of deleting texts, caller ID numbers, or emails? If you are aware of a particular phone number and you search for it on your partner’s phone and discover “Nothing Found” it could indicate a diligent deleter and potential cheater.
Is there regular and lengthy telephonic, electronic, or face-to-face communication with “a friend” taking place in your absence?
This is almost always an indication that something’s going on behind the scenes, especially when you feel like this activity is going on behind your back. At the very least, this is indicative of an emotional affair.
At the very least, you can be certain that trust is eroding rapidly, or may no longer exist.
If your partner is reluctant to put a stop to the extracurricular conversation and relationship, this is a good indicator that your relationship is in trouble. You already know that if he or she seems to accommodate your wishes to no longer contact but then takes it to another deeper level of secrecy, you’re in real trouble.
If your partner refuses to cutoff an outside relationship that may be causing conflict in your relationship, you know that this person has more value to your partner than you do.
Do Not Accuse
Your first response to becoming suspicious or aware of inconsistencies in your relationship is not to accuse or respond negatively to your partner. Don’t start stalking or going through their personal belongings looking for clues of an affair. Just don’t do it. If you get caught trying to catch your mate sneaking around – and nothing’s going on – and you get caught doing so, it will not reflect well on you. Nothing good could come from that.
Your relationship is about sharing your lives one with the other, it is totally appropriate to share your feelings, being certain to begin your statements, not with, “You,” but rather with, “I feel…”
Admit that your feelings are causing you to draw conclusions that may be wrong, and invite him or her to explain.
You are allowed to have feelings. Also, be aware that your feelings may mislead you or cause you to come to conclusions that are less than rational. This usually heavily influenced by your past and may have little or nothing to do with this relationship. Nonetheless, you are still entitled to have feelings.
If you are accusatory and your accusations are unfound, then you can do some inner work to see what is there under your skin that might be making you feel suspicious about your partner.
Note your partner’s response. If he or she responds in a respectful, caring and concerned response, there is hope and your fears may have been unfounded. On the other hand, if your partner laughs at you, makes fun about how ridiculous your feelings are, and especially, if your partner counters with accusing you of having an affair (which means he or she probably is)… There is not much for you to work with. You could do far better, regardless if there’s an affair going on or not.
If your partner admits that he or she was pursuing someone else’s attention, this kind of open transparency, honesty, is the best possible outcome, and can open the relationship to another level of intimacy.
You love your partner, but you can’t help it, you want to have an affair. Why is your attention captured by that other person? Do you want to have an affair?
Top 7 Reasons You
Want to Have an Affair
There are so many reasons why you’re tempted by the idea of having an affair. Probably the number one reason you want to have an affair is that you’re not feeling like you did in the beginning.
1. Not Feeling Loved
In the beginning, you were cherished and adored by your partner, and lately, you’re getting along, everything is going just fine, but you’re feeling like you’re pretty much invisible. When perfect strangers treat you better than your partner, they are courteous, making you feel special, admired, and desirable. Isn’t that what we all want? Of course, you want to have an affair.
2. You’re Angry
Many affairs are conducted out of spite. You are angry about something your partner has done, maybe you’ve been disrespected, disregarded or abused either physically or emotionally, and striking back at your partner would be unacceptable. Having a revenge-affair seems like a more safe and sane way to express your angst and get it out of your system.
3. Sexual Incompatibility
If you are sexually subdued, inhibited, not very interested in sex with your partner who is a sextrovert (or vice versa) one or both or you will be looking for someone more sexually compatible with you in your spare time.
4. Curiosity Experiment
Sometimes a partner is just curious and seeks out to engage in an affair as an experiment. Nothing is wrong in the relationship, everything is going really well, you are fulfilled and there is nothing lacking, but you just want to know what it would be like. Maybe you get away with it, maybe not.
5. Thrill Seekers
Adrenaline junkies are more apt to take all kinds of risks in life and fidelity is just another limit to be challenged for the avid thrill seeker. There is a particular energetic reward for the person who likes living on the edge and is often found looking for the next exciting event or activity.
6. Sexually Incapable
If one of the partners in an otherwise healthy relationship is unable to engage in the healthy sexual activity, the remaining partner who still has a strong desire to have a sex as a valued component in his or her life will seek to subsidize his or her sex life outside the relationship.
7. Reignites Love at Home
There are relationships which are regularly visited by affairs because the affair reignites the flame in their relationship as the jilted partner tries to win back the unfaithful by turning up the flame of love in an effort to save the relationship. And it works.
Those are just some of the reasons you might want to have an affair.
In most cases, a real relationship can survive and thrive with and without infidelity. By getting a grip on what you might be facing based on the intimate details of your relationship with your partner, you can avoid the affair, or survive the pitfalls associated with an affair.
Want to have an affair?
Ask yourself, why? Then, see if there’s a way to reignite the flame of love at home without having to seek what you desire outside the relationship. You may be surprised to find everything you’ve ever wanted, you already have waiting for you at home.
There is no doubt, the hardest a challenge couple may have to face, is when an otherwise sacred relationship has been visited by an affair. While infidelity can come in many forms of infidelity, the most difficult kind of affair is that of sexual infidelity. Life after the affair can be uncomfortable and traumatic due to the severity of the breach of trust to the relationship.
If you ask a couple before an affair what might be the one unforgivable breach of trust in a relationship, the common answer is sexual infidelity. Yet, in so many cases, an affair is the gateway to a deeper an far greater relationship, resulting in a far more powerful and successful relationship.
Often, a sexual affair, or a wandering eye if caught early enough, is an indication that there is trouble in paradise. When one of the partners is turning their attention away from their partner, seeking some type of sexual attention, validation, or gratification outside the relationship, something is not right.
This is why it is so important to have a firm foundation of trust and openness in communication established within the relationship prior to any such breach of trust. In the best-case scenario, the partner with the wavering attention or wandering eye can feel as though talking about his or her feelings would be respected and safe within the sanctity of the relationship.
In the event that the moment of clarity came following the sexual act has taken place, then having the structure agreed upon in advance to fall upon as the basis of having such a critical and potentially volatile conversation has been agreed to by both parties.
Infidelity Life After the Affair
As humans, there is a primitive part of us that is automatically engaged when someone we’ve shared a sacred intimate relationship engages with another in the insertion of body parts and exchange of fluids. The initial reaction of rage is followed by a sense of being victimized by your partner. This is the natural course of human emotion; therefore, it must not be denied when this traumatic breach of trust is detected.
If you are the transgressor and have engaged in a romantic affair (even if it hasn’t turned sexual, yet), your relationship would be far better off and stand a better chance of recovery if you are the one to bring it to your partner’s attention.
While recovery following the discovery by a third party, or accidental discovery, may still find a way to recover, the path to finding the love in your relationship is closer within reach if you are the one to take the responsibility to deliver the news.
If you are not the one who has reached outside the relationship for sexual gratification, but your partner has, then you are entitled to the initial rage and feeling of victimization, but if your relationship is to have any hope of surviving you must find a way to keep your wits about you.
As soon as possible following the initial conversation, both parties would be well advised to avoid any good-guy/bad-guy, accusation, or placing of blame. Be willing to give up the idea that someone has committed an unforgivable sin and that the other party has been victimized.
The emphasis should be placed on digging deep within the partner whose attention was diverted outside the relationship to discover why he or she might be looking elsewhere for this type of attention or validation?
Also, look inside yourself. Is there something within you that may have contributed to the affair?
If you can keep your wits about you, and both parties are committed to resolving the issues which led to the affair or the wandering eye, then this work could be conducted with a successful outcome. Otherwise, it might be a good idea to enlist the aid of a third-party relationship coach or counselor to ferret out the details before giving up on the relationship altogether.
I have found it common for a wandering eye to be the symptom of many varieties of reasons, such as not feeling as though one’s creativity is adequately expressed or validated by his or her partner. A partner may be feeling as though he or she is not properly valued in the relationship, or roots of insecurity, abuse, or a sense of unworthiness could be traced back to childhood, which if known, could have predicted such a breach of trust.
An affair is the turning away of one’s attention from the partner to elsewhere. Now is the time to keep your attention focused upon each other, and when you feel the urge to turn your attention away, turn your attention back to your partner, and feel open, honest, and safe enough to mention it. Then look to uncover the why.
Digging down to uncover the cause can either be rudimentary or very messy business. Suffice it to say, it would be folly to insist that every relationship could follow a particular set pattern for discovery.
Being open, honest, compassionate, understanding, and communicative are the keys to the high level of love that is necessary to sustain a long, happy, and fulfilling relationship surviving infidelity. Life after the affair can be extraordinary, and having survived can draw you closer than ever if you’re willing and able to do the work of love.
In my work with couples I hear a lot about the different ways that mates are unfaithful in their commitment to each other, there are many other ways to practice infidelity, and there are so many ways to break love’s sacred love bond. So, infidelity it’s not just sexual.
In a therapeutic environment, you might be surprised what might be genuinely considered infidelity, and you may have been none the wiser, thinking that you’re within the bounds of your love relationship when you are actually far over the lines which make up the boundaries of love’s commitment. For instance,
Just to give you a taste of some of the most common affairs that you might not think of at first blush as being considered cheating (if you’re the offending partner).
Here are 9 of the top non-intercourse-related infidelities and destroyers of relationships,
1. Flirtatious Infidelity
While flirting may seem like harmless fun because there is no intention of following through in a sexual manner (at least not on your part) therefore you reason that you’re just enjoying a little playful banter. Certainly, there’s no harm in that.
On the other hand, you’re unconsciously communicating to the person with whom you are flirting with, that you might entertain the idea of having a secret relationship outside of your current love relationship. To add to the veracity of the seemingly insignificant jesting, you are communicating to the person with whom you are flirting that you think there might be a better deal available, one that is better suited for you, than what you have waiting for you at home.
Even though simple flirting may not seem harmful on the surface, this is the breeding ground and part of the grooming process for almost every sexual affair.
2. Confidence Infidelity
Having a confidant, someone to whom you can bare your soul to and share your deepest and darkest secrets who shares the same gender as your love interest is another form infidelity.
You may justify your reaching out to this person because you just needed someone to talk to, but the truth of the matter is, you are placing more trust in this third party than your mate, and after a while as the bond grows between you and your confidante, is easy to understand how things can easily get intimate with someone with whom you share your most intimate details.
If you do need to talk to someone, seek out a coach, counselor, therapist or clergyman to talk to. At least, these people have taken a professional oath not to threaten your relationship but to assist in its advancement.
3. Financial Infidelity
Seventy percent of all relationships fail due to money issues and financial infidelity is never more real today than at any time in history. If you, or your partner, is funneling and/or siphoning household finances for any number of reasons, this is a severe breach of trust and when it comes to light, can be just as bad (if not worse) than a sexual affair.
Motives are complicated to uncover because partners who engage in financial infidelity are likely to keep their lips sealed, take the money and run, when they’re found out.
Some of the most popular couple money swindlers are closet shoppers, and gamblers, addiction feeders, and secret money hoarders. In any case, financial infidelity is serious business.
4. Activity Infidelity
When things get a little dicey at home, you might prefer to be somewhere else, unwinding with someone who will not respond to you, like the person who is awaiting your arrival at home, especially if your relationship is going through a tender phase.
There would appear no harm done and there should be nothing that would alert your mate’s suspicions by simply having a little time away, taking a break with friends to loosen up. Plus, you always come home in a good mood. So wouldn’t your partner encourage such an activity?
The problem is, again, that these soirees can (and often do) lead to flirtatious infidelity or confidence infidelity which are gateways to sexual infidelity.
5. Whistleblowing Infidelity
When you report intimate details and off-color remarks about your partner, you are communicating that there is trouble in paradise, and the more you blab about your mate’s inadequacies, the more your friends, family and whoever hears your tales of woe will encourage you to save yourself from such a horrible fate.
Now, you may be just sounding-off or letting off steam, in an effort to find some release for some pent-up frustration in your relationship. But when you start talking to others about your partner’s misdeeds, you are not only breaking the confidence of your love relationship but putting down your partner in his or her absence is far more damaging than just being disrespectful.
Talking to others about your partner behind his or her back is often a signal that the relationship is unsustainable and if left unchecked, it will fail.
6. Digital Infidelity
Simply chatting it up with someone over the Internet, playing games, which involve chatting back and forth, or simple, harmless banter using only your devices can wreck and ruin a love relationship.
Just like you shouldn’t participate in these trysts in the real world, likewise, they shouldn’t be condoned in the virtual world, especially with someone who shares the same sex as your partner. Again we have all the elements of the previous infidelities including playful banter, possibly confiding intimate details, obviously spending time in an online activity, and could include an element of talking behind your partner’s back.
While being online may give you a false sense of safety, we all know that crossing the bridge from digital relationships to face-to-face encounters is very real and it happens every day.
And if your digital relationship includes sex-talk (or more) then this is clearly upscaled to sexual infidelity, even if it is virtual sex.
7. Catwalk Infidelity
You know what this is; things are getting a little lackluster at home, and you’re just not feeling as sexy as you once did, so you get all dolled up to walk the catwalk in an effort to get some appreciation for your appearance that you feel like is being taken for granted at home.
To start with, you probably wouldn’t want your partner to do this in your absence, and the idea is to attract a certain type of attention, which usually has a sexual element to it, so don’t do it.
If you really want to be appreciated for being all dressed and made up, looking and smelling nice, then honor your relationship and schedule a night out with your partner. Then when people respond to your (maybe even sensual) good looks, they may think about how lucky your partner is to be with someone so desirable.
8. Withholding Sex Infidelity
Yeah, how about that? Who’d a thought that not having sex with someone else could be considered infidelity? Sure enough, in therapeutic environments, it comes up quite often in couples counseling.
Withholding sex is a powerful weapon used in relationships, and even masturbating, which doesn’t even involve another person at all, can be just as harmful to a relationship as any other kind of sexual affair.
No matter how you look at it, withholding sex is generally not considered a healthy move for building a sound relationship, and there are a lot of programs, counselors, coaches, and therapists who specialize in these things. Consider seeking one of these, or at least do some Googling to see if you can discover ways to put more excitement and satisfaction in the bedroom.
9. Child Infidelity
Yes, it happens all the time. When one of the parents feels as though they are not getting all the love and support that they want from their partner, they focus intently on their children to drain all the love from them that they can. And children will love you unconditionally, at times when your partner may not be willing or able.
When your relationship with your kids supersedes your relationship with your partner, the sacred bond is broken, and the relationship will deteriorate and die.
That’s a lot of Infidelities
Yes, it is. And what might be considered infidelity for one person, might not be considered infidelity to another person. It’s up to each couple to make their own way through this life together if that is your goal.
Times are a changing, and relationships include a lot of give-and-take, negotiation, and establishing rules and boundaries if they are expected to survive and have any longevity.
That is unless you are able to love unconditionally.