Married and Having an Affair: 7 Lies We Tell Ourselves

Married-and-Having-an-Affair---7-Lies-We-Tell-Ourselves

‘Conversation in the Rain (Explored #83)’ by flashcurd available here under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Full terms here.

An affair can keep your marriage intact is the controversial headline of a recent article (8 August 2014) published by the Economic Times. If the headline invokes a strong emotional reaction within you, you are not alone. In my professional experience, an affair can have irreversible negative consequences for a marriage relationship.  This is backed up by a recent survey conducted by the law firm Slater and Gordon published in March 2014, which asked the question ‘Why do people divorce?’ to a total of 1,000 divorcees. The result was a list of the top 10 reasons why people choose to divorce. Not surprisingly, the top answer was, you guessed it, infidelity! You can see the infographic here.

The issue of infidelity as the most prevalent reason a couple divorces, underlines the significance and irreplaceability of the trust that is broken, respect that is lost and love that is betrayed.

Nonetheless as a society, we seem to be fascinated by the theme as we witness it being played out time and again in the media (the never-ending line-up of Hollywood couples continue to sate our appetites), the movies, T.V. soap operas and in our ‘own backyards.’ In contrast to the romance and heightened adrenaline that we witness on screen, our own relationship can feel mundane, boring, lacking in excitement, unsupportive or just plain hard work; and so enters ‘the affair.’

Are you married and having an affair? If the answer is ‘yes,’ I urge you to read on. In my experience, an individual may be discontent or unhappy in their couple relationship, however rarely does that same person seek out an affair with a view of getting a divorce. One of our best mechanisms of defence against inappropriate or poor behaviour is self-deceit, the ability to choose, whether consciously or unconsciously, to ignore the reality of our behaviour by justifying our actions.

Here are 7 Lies we tell ourselves:

  1. ‘I’m not hurting anyone.’ Don’t kid yourself. Infidelity is always a betrayal of your partner’s love, trust and respect for you. Your infidelity will hurt your partner far deeper than you can possibly imagine.
  2. ‘I don’t want to hurt anyone’. You have hurt your partner, your family/extended family and the person you are having the affair with.
  3. ‘I love both of them.’ Your marriage is based on a serious commitment to your partner. Bringing a third person into your ‘marriage bed’ is a betrayal to that commitment.
  4. ‘My partner is not enough for my sexual needs.’ This belief does not give licence for an affair. You need to address the issue and any underlying problems with your partner. This is a challenging issue for most couple’s to deal with, however with the help of a Counselling Professional it may be possible to resolve these difficulties.
  5. ‘I’m bored in my relationship.’ Boredom is not necessarily a sign that a relationship is dead, however it may be stuck and in need of attention to encourage stimulus and growth. Introducing some novelty and exploring new experiences together can bring back some fun and energy into your relationship.
  6. ‘I don’t love them anymore.’ If this is your reality, you need to be honest with your partner and have a conversation about what the implications are for your relationship.
  7. ‘I am afraid of my partner’s reaction if I leave.’ If your marriage relationship is an abusive one, I encourage you to seek help by speaking to a Counselling professional about your experience. With support and the provision of additional resources, you may be better equipped to leave the relationship.

If you or your partner are struggling with infidelity, and need direction and support to repair your relationship, then here’s what you need to do; contact me on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how I can best help you or press book now to book on my online diary.

The Best Predictor of Divorce

What would you consider to the best predictor of divorce in a relationship? Is it betrayal or cheating, perhaps financial stress or is it boredom? Dr John Gottman, world renowned relationship expert, has researched this very topic and come up with one single quality that, more than any other, predicts the demise of a relationship.

Criticism.

Unfortunately, we don’t have to go to school to learn criticism. It seems to be a part of human nature, easily tripping off our lips and often directed toward the person closest to us, but rarely with a positive impact. Criticism seeks to find fault in others, ignoring what is working so that the ‘object’ of the critic’s contempt feels unappreciated, diminished and disrespected. In fact, over time, criticism corrodes love by its abrasive and mean-spirited nature.

Are you unhappy in your couple relationship? If you took a measure of the amount of space criticism has in your relationship, what score would you give it out of 10?

According to John Gottman, ‘criticism is a habit of mind that the critic applies to everything’. Where one, or both people in the couple relationship, are highly critical of the other, there is minimal space for change unless the critic recognizes their own need to change. You see, contrary to the opinion of the critic, it is not the other person who needs to change. The real work needs to be done within the critic whose critical nature is but a reflection of how they see themselves.  Self-loathing and self-contempt often hide behind the mask of criticism, urging the critic to seek out the failure of others rather than dwell on their own failure. It takes a strong and courageous person to confront their own self-contempt.

So how do you train yourself to refrain from criticising your partner? Dr Gottman’s answer is to choose  not be involved in looking for your partner’s mistakes but look instead for what’s working  and what’s right in your relationship. Learn the practice of cultivating a culture of appreciation for your partner and take notice of the ways in which it begins to change your relationship.

Watch the video below as Dr John Gottman speaks on this subject of criticism in relationships.

Are you unhappy in your couple relationship? Is your couple relationship marked by criticism and contempt for the other?  You can learn how to cultivate a relationship marked by appreciation and respect. Call Colleen on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10 minute consultation on the specific needs of your couple relationship. If you are ready to make an appointment, you can do so by clicking on the orange icon on this page BOOK NOW and follow the prompts.