Posted on: July 14th, 2013 by Tanya No Comments

Good People in Good Marriages are Having Affairs

A common misconception is that infidielity occurs to people who are intentionally seeking thrills and sexual adventures. Though this happens, what we commonly see in the process of helping couples is that infidelity mostly occurs between people who unwhittingly form deep connections outside their relationship before realizing that they crossed the boundary of platonic friendship into romantic connection. Contrary to some popular thought most people had good intentions and had not planned to stray. How do we miss seeing the danger: from signs of emotional intimacy to inability to stop once we are deeply involved. Part of the problem is that we underestimate human nature and the fact that when we open ourselves to secret emotional intimacy in “friendly relationships” we can slowly move to the slippery slope of infidelity. This is strongly evidenced by the reality that in many couples it was discovery that stopped infidelity rather than self realization. Only once caught do we realize that we did not only betray our partner but also our own morals and beliefs, provoking deep moral crisis as well as maritial.

Once discovered, the infidelity becomes a traumatic event for the betrayed partner. People faced with finding out about their parnters affair commonly react as if they were viciously attacked. Instantly their assumptions about the relationships are violated and shattered. They can lose a sense of self, a sense that the future is predictable and can have a sense of extreme loss of control. Common statements that reflect this termoil are: I dont know you, you arent the person I thought you were, and our relationship is not what I thouthg it was.

Because the experience is often highly traumatic, the process of recovery can become like stearing a ship through a storm. Careful guidance is of great importance. Unfortunately many people recieve advice from helpers, both professional as well as from well intentioned friends and family members that is value laden rather than considering of the complexity of the individual responses and relationship dynamics in the face of this type of attachment trauma.

Couples first require support in containing emotional turmoil and destructive exchanges that often characterize intial responses to the discovery of an affair. Strategies aimed at re-establishing a sense of safety, predicability and help to regain a sense of control are required. Once strong emotional reaction are able to be managed the work to restablish trust and intimacy can begin and couples begin to gain new insights and behaviours that can strengthen them as individuals and as a couple and help them to explore and establish meaning around the affair.

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