Archive for the ‘Divorce’ Category

How to Survive an Affair

Affair_0Extramarital affairs come in all shapes and sizes, and they usually do not end well. Whether it’s a reckless one-time fling or a long-term affair, this all-too-common betrayal is the ultimate deal breaker and can prove devastating to a relationship.

Experts say that 68% of women and 74% of men admit that they would have an affair if they knew they could get away with it. Of course, most people don’t – get away with it, that is. The novelty and thrill of a clandestine affair creates an endorphin rush that can cloud judgment, reality and common sense. As a result, the cheater may become careless and get caught, or the affair can seem more important than his or her vows, leading to an unsolicited admission of guilt.

An affair often begins innocently enough with a friend or perhaps a colleague at work, but the moment boundaries are crossed – and all couples know what those boundaries are—the relationship will never be the same. It’s a point of no return, a jumping off place where everything that was once assumed sacred and true is now thrown into question.

So, is it possible for a relationship to survive an affair?

The answer is yes, and in fact there is evidence it can actually thrive. Whether you’re the cheater or the betrayed, here are a few things you can do to increase your odds of a happy ending in the face of an affair.

• Avoid making rash, irreversible decisions. The immediate feelings of hurt, rage and resentment are natural, but they can cause you to say and do things you might regret later. A third party professional like a marriage counselor or therapist can help you manage those feelings, take a breath and gain some perspective. Can you still love this person? Are you willing to work through your anger and pain? Is the relationship worth salvaging? Seeking outside help highlights your maturity and dedication to the love you share with your partner.

• Commit. Once you’ve made the decision to try to work it out, you must commit yourself fully. You must recognize and discard all your learned defenses and be willing to talk about uncomfortable, painful feelings and events that you may have avoided in the past. Again, an experienced therapist can help you learn (and implement) some simple communication skills that have probably been missing in your relationship from day one. As you develop your emotional intelligence, you will both become more aware of each other’s feelings and be able to listen to each other and articulate them in an honest, respectful and mature way.

• Admit to any other secrets that may be festering. As the saying goes, “you’re only as sick as your secrets.” And if one partner is sick, the chances of your relationship healing are slim to none. Secrets are a cancer that slowly eats away at the integrity of the love and respect that holds a couple together. This is best time to lay everything on the table. It’s now or never, but if either partner is going to hold back, you may as well throw in the towel now.

• No private correspondence. Agree that no email, voicemail, phone conversation or any other form of communication is off limits to your partner. This only makes sense, since secrecy and lies were what fueled the illicit affair. Mutual trust must be re-built, so even if you’re not the cheater, your personal interactions should be an open book. If you’re uncomfortable with the thought of your partner being privy to private communications—even if you aren’t ‘doing’ anything—then you may be sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings with the wrong person–someone other than your mate. This is not constructive and suggests you should be working harder at honest communication. You should be able to tell your partner anything and everything, no matter how embarrassing or hurtful. Ultimately, emotional transparency is the goal. No inner secrets.

• Talk to others who have experienced infidelity. Learning about other couples’ experiences (and triumphs) can pull you out of the devastation and loneliness you’re most likely feeling. It can help you to see that you are not the only one who has experienced this – far from it – and that there is life after betrayal. The emotional roller coaster you’re currently experiencing is nauseating but common. If you don’t have friends who have been in your situation, or if you can’t sleep and it’s too late to call someone, there are plenty of online discussion forums. A word of caution: Don’t make the mistake of kibitzing too much with divorcees, even if they are close friends. Someone whose marriage has failed will tend to use you as a sounding board for their unresolved issues and vitriol. Their advice is suspect, because your situation is likely to open personal wounds. Stick with the winners, those who put in the work to salvage their relationships and have made it through to the other side better off.

• Rediscover your partner. Once you’ve worked through the initial hurt and anger and are sorting through your deeper feelings, make it a priority to learn how to appreciate your partner. Remember why you fell in love in the first place. What are the characteristics about him or her that attracted you in the first place? What makes him special to you? What’s good about your relationship, and why do you make such a great team? In the end, make sure you both know that no matter what, you will be there for one another.

• Remember romance? Start making time for each other – in the morning, at night and in between. Make a date at least once a week for lunch à deux. Go out with friends and re-establish yourselves as a couple, since socializing with others helps to establish boundaries and reinforce trust. Spend the night together somewhere on a regular basis, even if it’s just a local hotel.

It may seem impossible in the heat of the moment to reconcile a partner’s infidelity, but if your heart, head and gut tell you that you want to make your relationship work, it is possible. But reconciliation is a fluid process and doesn’t happen all at once. If you can survive the initial emotional hurricane and take a breath—if you can begin to sort through your deepest feelings while remembering all the good things about the person you fell in love with—then your odds of success are good.

Remember: Don’t go it alone!  Gather a positive support system that values your relationship (friends, family, counselor etc.). Allow yourself to be angry and to grieve for a period of time, and then make the choice to do whatever it takes to get through this difficult time with the person you love. With an open heart, there is always hope!

PS – Do you have a story about infidelity that you’d like to share? …Don’t worry, we’ll support you with love.

Name
Email

 

Share/Bookmark

Are You Joining Me in the War?

There’s one key to a successful marriage: Being able to know what we want, and to then be able to communicate it to our partner.

 

You must find a way to be together that brings out the best in both of you. In this way, the relationship becomes strength-based. In this way, you ultimately become responsible for creating your partnership, and for rediscovering the intimacy and romance. It is communication on a deeply emotional level. And you must understand that whether you are doing something or nothing, you are always communicating something. Every minute of every day, you and your partner are either getting closer to one another, or further apart. You must recognize the different forms of communication: verbal, physical, emotional, sexual, spiritual, and cognitive.

 

Mixed race couple hugging in sidewalk cafeYour relationship with your significant other has an impact on everything in your life – your health, your financial situation, your relationships with your children, everything, even including the legacy that you leave when you are long gone.

 

But you can make a difference. You can join this war against divorce with me and other Modern Monogamists.

 

We can help change the future in a way that transcends our own marriages and our own lives. Through our collective efforts at redefining commitment, we can help make society itself a better place, helping to propel it into the kind of society where, ultimately, people thrive on the most deep and intimate feelings the universe has made available to us. The kind of society where even war is deflected, and love – true love – becomes the new backdrop of civilization.

 

Are you joining me? If you’re joining me, let me know in the comments section. So that you don’t miss out on more juicy info… Enter your name and email below to get my tips delivered right to your inbox.



Name
Email

Marriage…. We’re Failing MISERABLY

marriage_we're failing miserablySeriously, we’re failing so miserably at marriage. So, let’s change it.

 

My job as the Modern Monogomist, is in part, to raise awareness about the importance of the commitment we make to the person with whom we choose to take our life journey.

 

Here’s an interesting fact: thousands of years ago, marriage was a business transaction – a way to protect yourself or a way to perpetuate the species. “Love” never came into play –au contraire. In China, love was seen as a threat; in India, lovers were deemed anti-social; in Africa, love was alienating and in Greece, love was considered a mental illness. Not until the 1500s did marriage become something that was celebrated. Somewhere, along the lines, that all changed. But, we’ve went from one extreme to another. Let me explain.

 

We are expected to maintain this intense, profound, happily-ever-after for the rest of our natural lives, yet we are left on our own to figure out how to do it successfully.

 

What if we treated everything in our life like we do marriage?

 

We would be unprepared; we would be completely unrealistic and irresponsible; we would base everything relating to our lives on an attraction that happens because of chemicals that wear off sooner than we realize. Just like any strong building, marriage needs a strong foundation.

 

What if marriage came with a better foundation? What if we lived in a world where happily-ever-after was redefined? A world where love – realistic love – ruled the day?

 

What if?

 

What do you think? Leave us a comment and let us know. Share on your Facebook page, too!
Stay tuned for Part #2.

 

PS – Want to get our updates delivered to your e-mail for easy access? Sign up here.