From the Oval Office to Hollywood homes most recently Elin & Tiger Woods …. infidelities make headlines around the world. According to the “Myth of Monogamy” by Peggy Vaughan, 60 % of husbands and 40 % of wives will have an adulterous affair and 65% of those marriages will end in divorce. Infidelity can destroy even the strongest relationships. The betrayed partner is left with feelings of shame, guilt, and anger. These feelings can be extremely difficult to overcome, however, it is possible to emerge as a stronger couple with the support of family, friends, a therapist, and each other. However, not all couples will survive an affair. Jenny Sanford decided to walk away from husband Mark Sanford, South Carolina governor, after being completely honest with herself and her family about not wanting to work through it.
There are many reasons why someone has an affair. It can range from poor judgment and a lack of impulse control at the office with a co-worker to a more common search for an emotional connection. Whatever the reason the effect is devastation to the relationship. “Nothing rocks a person’s sense of self, trust, and marriage more than infidelity,” says Michelle Weiner-Davis, author of The Sex-Starved Marriage. “Infidelity leaves people questioning their sanity, as well as everything they believe to be true about their spouse, and about the viability of their marriage. Infidelity is crippling.”
Consider these 5 Reasons Why You Can Survive An Affair:
1. RAW HONESTY. After all cards are on the table, the couple has an opportunity to create a new pathway to healing and growth. Honesty is about more than just not lying; it is also about not withholding relevant information.
2. EMOTIONAL NEEDS. The needs of each individual can now be truly discovered, and these needs will need to be met on a daily basis to keep the couple walking on the pathway to healing and growth.
3. ACCOUNTABLITY is needed on a different level, which creates a sense of security and trust. This also includes letting your spouse know when you are attracted to someone else. This will keep it from being in secret, thus decreasing the opportunity to manifest into an inappropriate relationship.
4. COMMUNICATION. There is no way around it. When a couple decides to fight for their marriage, deep and intense communication emerges over time. The myth of “what I don’t know won’t hurt me” robs individuals of being able to act on facts.
5. REBUILD TRUST. Rebuilding trust for the offended person is the most difficult part of the healing process because the offended person does not know what has been true and what has been a lie in their marriage. The offender thinks that forgiveness is the key and that it will make the relationship better. However, forgiveness is not for the offender, it is for the offended person. When that person forgives, it brings healing and it opens the door to rebuild trust and starts the journey to healing.
Weiner-Davis, M. (2003). The Sex-Starved Marriage: Boosting Your Marriage Libido: A Couple’s Guide. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Vaughan, P. (2003) The Monogamy Myth: A Personal Handbook for Recovering from Affairs, Third Edition. New York: New Market Press.
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Adolescent Expert, Jim West offers expert advice to Local and National TV News & Schools Internationally and provides phone or face-to-face counseling in the Orlando area. Jim is an Author, Communicator, School Consultant, Nationally Certified and State Licensed Counselor and specializes in counseling for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADD/ADHD) and Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD). Jim has been interviewed for multiple TV, Radio, magazine and newspaper articles. He is president of Total Life Counseling Center and his Total Life approach accelerates the therapeutic & healing process by relating to children, adolescents and adults and incorporating wellness. Jim’s clients travel from all over Florida, England, Georgia, Cayman Islands and the Bahamas as he has been able to treat clients with ADHD, Anxiety, Mood Disorders, Depression and more with FDA approved supplements and Dietary Modifications. 85% of his clients have not needed medication or used less medication than when they first came to Total Life Counseling Center.
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