Many people have heard the statistics that anywhere between 40 and 70% of couples in a committed relationship will experience an affair (an 'affair' defined very broadly here from sexual interaction to flirting via text).
Infidelity is one of the number one reasons why couples find themselves in a therapists office.
Because prior to the affair, the couple likely was unable to address some tough issues. They were likely unable to have those very very uncomfortable conversations...
- "I don't know that I'm in love with you anymore."
- "I feel attracted to a co-worker."
- "I'm not attracted to you anymore."
- "I don't want you anymore."
- "I am confused about how I feel about you and don't know what to do."
No one wants to have these kinds of conversations with their spouse -- but if these tough conversations are ignored what happens is an even tougher conversation...
- Your spouse gets a phone call from the spouse of the person that you got involved with and you feel like your world comes to a crashing halt.
- Your partner finds text messages, emails, or Facebook messages where you are communicating with someone in a romantic, intimate or sexual manner.
- Your partner finds an app that you have downloaded on your phone where you are browsing dating sites of some kind.
- You find yourself sick with guilt and confusion about whether or not you should tell your partner about a tryst that you had months or even years ago that you still think about all of the time.
These situations are real.
They are gut retching and traumatic for all parties involved.
Infidelity in Relationships
Infidelity forces tough conversations. There is no turning back and what ensues are days, weeks, months of sleepless nights, sickeningly honest conversations, threats, anger, and grief that can be beyond words. Many people describe it as hell. And it is.
So how in the world do you prevent going through these impossible challenges in your relationship?
You absolutely must step in to the hard conversations now. You have to. Because if you don't, one of you will likely do something that will force the conversation -- and then it may be too late.
No one wants to initiate these conversations — and more couples do not invite them because they do not know how to handle the emotional fall out.
- “He will get so mad if I say that to him!”
- “I cannot even imagine what she will say when she hears about how I really feel.”
- “This will devastate him!”
And do you want to know why it will devastate your partner — because they likely have had no idea. Because in some small ways you maybe have not been 100% truthful about what has been going on with you for the last many years or months.
And I don’t mean that you have not told them that you are unhappy — or even that you are happy but you wonder if you could be happier — it is that you both have not been able to really listen to one another in a calm, mature, and rooted way. Maybe you have said, “This is not how I thought my marriage would look!” And slammed a door. That is different from having a peaceful but painful conversation about what you are feeling and then getting curious and asking for your partner to open up and share with you as well.
And here is the key…when they share, DON’T FREAK OUT. I know that you will want to -- that is your natural reaction but now is the time to dig deep.
- Stay anchored in yourself.
- Ask questions.
- Get help and support.
- Move slowly and do not make rash decisions.
If you want to affair-proof your marriage, you must be able to pro-actively have the tough conversations that you don’t want to have. And if you cannot have these kinds of conversations, get help to learn how to…I promise you that it will radically change your relationship.
Call us today and our Client Ambassador will answer any of your questions to see if we can help you. Call now 720.457.3342. We are excited to hear from you!