An Affair Doesn't Necessarily Spell The End

An Affair Doesn't Necessarily Spell The End

With infidelity at such high rates it’d be understandable to feel your relationship was positively abnormal if you remained faithful. Think of the gossip - your ears burning as those in your neighbourhood or at work exclaim, "Can you believe it, they've actually been faithful to each other!" Surveys vary but on average finding over 40% of men and nearly 40% of women have been unfaithful.

 

These very sad statistics reflect a number of trends of our times. Instant gratification is expected from fast food to quick communications, so if you're not happy at home you may seek that happiness elsewhere. And that "happiness" will be on offer at practically any bar, where people now sleep together barely knowing the other's name. Also traditional values have all but disappeared. Where once social pressure ensured couples worked on issues, now many look for a quick getaway. Or they decide to stay but on their own selfish terms that may include a fling. After all, the reasoning goes it’s their pleasure that's important, isn't it? Figuring if their partner isn't pleasing them or far from perfect their behaviour’s excused.

 

You don't need me to explain if you've been cheated on how devastating that is, impacting on every aspect of your wellbeing. However what might surprise you is 60% of couples survive the gut-wrenching pain of infidelity. Considering they've shared their lives, maybe had children, gone through career changes - the whole package - this can make sense. Some survive, find greater strength and actually say things improved. Some simply survive. There are key things that can help you successfully stay together if choosing to.

 

Most important, explore why the affair occurred. For example, we hope as a couple that life's hurdles will bring our strengths together. However research shows that when typical hurdles arise, like the birth of a child, many take each other for granted. And worse, silently feel angry about such stresses and strains, deciding they might be happier sleeping elsewhere.

 

But there are many types of adultery. There's the ‘Opportunist’ who doesn't necessarily look for opportunities but strays when one’s presented. At a conference an attractive stranger or colleague hands them a fling on a plate and they don’t have the resolve to say No. Or quite the opposite, there's the ‘Serial Adulterer’ who actively looks for a thrill. Bored easily they feel alive when playing away. An interesting type psychologically is those who use an affair for revenge. The ‘Revenge Adulterer’ may do so if their partner’s had an affair. Two wrongs never make a right though. Sometimes their partner’s not had an affair but they feel hard done by them and think, "I’ll show them." Typically they’re poor communicators who can’t discuss unhappiness and express it this way.

 

Another type is when the unfaithful partner loves their partner but is unhappy/bored by their bedroom routine. They think a sexual liaison won’t interfere with their significant relationship. And affairs are linked to mid-life crises, where panic-stricken, a person explores alternatives to their current relationship.

 

Here are some considerations if you or your partner’s been unfaithful:

 

ü  It's tempting but don’t make rash decisions. Your gut reaction might be to throw them out or leave yourself but calm down before acting.

ü  Through the anger and hurt agree a cooling down period where it’s a good idea to seek emotional support from friends and family.

ü  Everyone views infidelity differently. Some would never take an unfaithful lover back. But if you feel there’s a chance of sorting it out then have it a ‘go’. Don't be pressured by friends or family to dump the deceiver. Do what's best for you.

ü  When ready, explore what went wrong. The adulterer needs to accept full responsibility for their actions but there may be things you both need to improve to solve your problems.

ü  Only ask for the details you can cope with. Sometimes knowing too much makes it harder to heal. This is a very individual thing.

ü  Anger, hurt, and guilt are all emotions that won’t disappear over night. Be prepared for them to resurface at unexpected times.

ü  If you’re going to move forward you’ll have to stop throwing the affair into every argument. For example, if you disagree over how to spend the weekend don't throw the affair into the mix.

ü  If you decide to stay together you’ll need to continually evaluate honestly how you’re both coping. This is a time to be express concerns and fears.

ü  After dissecting the affair as far as the person who has been hurt wants to, you'll need to draw a line under such discussions. That means they can’t constantly raise, e.g., what the “other person” was like. The other person must be forgotten at some point.

ü  If you want to stay together but can’t seem to move forward see a couples’ counsellor.

 

Some tips to help prevent an affair:

ü  Don’t take each other for granted. Daily make small gestures and give loving comments.

ü  Remind yourself why you originally fell in love – and keep remembering that!

ü  Your sexual relationship is important so if one of you has lost interest explore why this is. Don’t let it get into a rut. (Obviously in the aftermath of an affair you may not feel like sex.)

ü  Make special time for each other. Have proper ‘dates’ even if only once a month.

ü  Be aware of temptation. You might think it's fun to flirt at work but it's a slippery slope.

ü  Be honest - if you're about to slip, tell your partner and maybe you two can stop an affair.

ü  Small surprises go a long way - make them random and meaningful. Spontaneity will keep things fresh.

ü  Resist sweeping things under the carpet – face them head on.

Relate Couples Counselling - 0845-130-4016

 

Published in the Express Newspaper


Did you find this article interesting?

Enter your details below to join the monthly mailing list.

Archive


Getting Together Again? Affair-Proof Your Relationship The Ultimate Christmas Relationship Survival Guide... Understanding and Overcoming Your Pre-Wedding Jitters and On-the-day Nerves... Getting Together Again... Excuses at the Ready ... How to Re-light Your Fire - And Make the Second Time around a Success! Two People, But One-sided... Some thoughts on people with love Plan-Bs Passion Fatigue... How to Walk Away from an Unhappy Relationship... Subconscious Sabotage... Whatever Makes You Happy... Money does matter... Body Image Nightmare... Understanding and Overcoming Your Pre-Wedding Jitters and On-the-day Nerves – Age-gap anxiety... Friends Connected at the Hip & Dating... Marriage SOS... Dating Again after a Breakup... Laughed straight between the sheets.... Too Good to be True... Beware the Mention of the Exes... Murder on the Dance Floor.... Lusting after Another Love... The Rise of the Plan B Pact... How Romance Can Be like Extracting Teeth... Credit Crunch Couples... Christmas time advice for struggling couples... Third-Party Interference... Opposites That Don't Attract... The Female Self-Destruct Button The Convenience of Compartments... Unlikely Apologies... Masculine Confidences The Chill Look of Contempt... He/She Isn't the Person That I Settled Down With.... Dating at a Distance... The Imperfect Perfectionists... Why He Doesn't Ring When He Says He Will... The Curse Of The Competitive Couples... It Seemed So Right, Now It’s So Wrong.... I married my mother... Never Under-estimate a GSOH... Don't Get Too Comfortable... Why Not Indulge Him? Bickering Versus A Good Old Barney.... Pre-Wedding Jitters? Join the Crowd... Do They Really Mean It? Never Underestimate The Power Of Affection And Touch ... The Facts About Flirtatious Behaviour... He Has A Nose Like Groucho Marx What Do We Lose When We Gain A New Lover? When your partner reflects on you... How to Get Things Started When You Meet Someone New Advice for struggling couples:... A Guide to Having A Happy Engagement ... Use the days between Xmas and New Year to recharge your relationship How to Get Back into the Dating Game Whose Chat-up Line Is It Anyway? 10 Steps to Overcome the Green Eyed Monster How Love Unrequited Links so Many of Our Hearts How to Breakup Amicably... Beware of the Love Pirates...Here is a warning about the lads who will capture your heart Love is in the air - seven signs that say he's attracted to you! The Best Dating Tips Ever... Whirlwind Weddings – Too Much, Too Soon! Adultery and betrayal, here are some things you might want to consider Does Your Relationship Need Resuscitation? Welcome to the crowd... Has Your Man Disappeared into His Communication ‘Cave’? Kissing tips that work! When the Internet Comes between You Bridge That Glaring Age Gap The Ultimate Couple's Communication Guide QUIZ: What's Your Love Profile? Try these love challenges (1) Understanding Men A Few Points About Some Male Personality Types - Try these love challenges (2) Become An Action Woman To Find Love Try these love challenges (3) Single Women - Personal Growth Try these love challenges (4) "Couple time" at the weekend is crucial! When You and Mr Right Want Different Things Relationship damage-limitation: quick fix communication tips - The three tell tale signs you aren't quite over your ex Some points about men who might give you "mad cow disease" A Few Thoughts on Successful Relationships Five Top Tips for Long Distance Relationships Notes on when to talk about BABIES - The Stages of Relationships A few top communication tips! Dating after a break-up Keeping positive when you want to start dating again! Finding love and fun on holiday! When you "down date" Dating "firsts" Beware - the problems with Internet dating! First dates - some dos and don'ts! More thoughts on first dates! Some top dating tips! Couples - put your relationship through an MOT! Top speed dating tips! The key to looking interested not desperate when dating! My Thoughts on Pre-Marital Counselling Do You Recognise Yourself in These Romantic Profiles? Making Compromises or Being under Someone's Thumb? Some Thoughts on Adolescent Relationship Worries A Few Thoughts on Broken Hearts When He Pays Too Much Attention to TV, Computer Games or gadgets! Are You Staying with Him or Her Because of Your Lifestyle? Some Questions And Things Men Wonder/Worry About From platonic relationship, to one night stand, to affair An Affair Doesn't Necessarily Spell The End Nine Things You Should Never Say To Your New Love! Get Some Va Va Va-voom for Valentines! What Happened To The Innocence Of Valentine's? QUIZ: What Every Woman Who Wants To Marry Should Know! Christmas-proof Your Relationship For The Fraught Holiday Season! Why Mismatched Couples Should Beware! You Can Get Out Of An Abusive Or Violent Relationship! Just How Manly A Man Do You Want? Understanding The McCartney's War Of Words When They Divorced Toy Boys - The Latest Celebrity Girls’ Fashion Accessory What's the real meaning behind his Valentine's gift to you? Guys - some top tips for buying her a fabulous present! Stop Worrying About Your Wedding! Beat those wedding-day nerves! Dating tips for MEN - The Secrets Of Her Body Language Dating tips for MEN - Your First Date, First Phone Call and First Kiss Dating tips for MEN - Surefire Ways and Where to Meet Women Dating tips for MEN - Don't Be a Romantic Loser Dating tips for WOMEN - Capturing His Attention Dating tips for WOMEN - What to Do When Things Go Wrong Dating tips for WOMEN - The Wise Woman's Guide to The Art of Flirting Dating tips for WOMEN - Love at First Sight Thoughts on Why Infidelity Is on the Rise Four Fabulous Steps To Improve Your Relationship! MEN: You behaved badly - what to do! Suspect He's Cheating? Seven Secrets of Successful Long-Distance Relationships Find Love For Valentine's Day! QUIZ: Is It Love or Is It Lust? How To Decipher Male- Versus Female-Speak QUIZ: Are You A Man's Woman Or A Woman's Woman? How Marriage Changes Through The Decades Relationship Guaranteed: 10 Little Tricks To Stay Together Marriage SOS – Seven steps to save your relationship! QUIZ: Are You Marrying For The Right Reasons? The Great Matchmaker Guide Prevent A Mid-Life Crisis In Your Marriage The Millisecond Marriages – Too Much, Too Soon! Money, Men And You Why Do You Have Repeated Relationship Failures? Are You Too Needy In Relationships? The Unique And Quirky Guide To Finding Love In The New Year! The Nine Signs of a Non-committer Eight Things You Should Never Say To Your Partner Has Your Relationship Suffered Over Summer? The Ten-Minute Window in Relationships Prevent an Affair! The Secrets of Seduction A Warning Call To The Lonely And Single Generation! QUIZ: How Likely Are You To Have An Affair? QUIZ: How Insecure Is Your Love? Could He Be A Natural-Born Cheat? QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Your Man? Seven Secrets of Successful Long-Distance Relationships The New Dating Dilemmas - And How To Cope With Them The Deal Breakers That Threaten Your Relationship QUIZ: Don't Ditch Your Relationship Too Soon! Warning - Divorce Is Dangerous To Your Health! The Fabulous Flirt Guide QUIZ: Great EX-pectations - Is Your Ex Jeopardising Your Relationship? QUIZ: Harness Those Wedding Day Doubts And Nerves QUIZ: Are You Still Haunted By The Ghost Of Your Ex? Beware - Your Broken Heart Should Come With A Health Warning! Heal Your Xmas Holiday Break-up! A QUICKIE FOR YOU: My top five tips for a long relationship Some crucial tips to avoid money related arguments! Top Relationship Tips For Preventing Christmas Stress Couples: Be careful what you bicker about QUIZ: Are You Bored To Tears With Your Relationship? Separated But Still Under The Same Roof! Six Signs Your First Date Could Signal Love! The Seven Deadly Signs Your Relationship Is In Trouble Seven Ways to His Heart You Probably Haven't Thought Of! QUIZ: The Great Guide To Having A Second Go! Find Love In A Few Weeks!