Based on hearing the personal experiences of so many people during the past 20 years, I
have come to recognize some typical patterns that often appear, regardless of the specific
situation. Here are a few key points that seem to be quite common (both for the person
having an affair and for the spouse):
1. Person having an affair: Keeping the affair "separate" from the rest of life. Many
people having affairs "compartmentalize" their lives and keep their family relationship and "outside"
relationships separate in their own mind―as if one has nothing to do with the other.
2. Spouse: Being "crushed, humiliated and in pain" are almost always the reactions
to learning of a partner's affair (even if there was a suspicion beforehand, but even
more so if there was no suspicion). The most common word used is "devastation."
To be continued below...
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3. Person having an affair: Flatly denying an affair and/or not communicating about
the affair once it's discovered. There seems to be an unwritten rule among people
having affairs: "Never tell. If questioned, deny it. If caught, say as little as
4. Spouse: Having a difficult time understanding how/why this happened; struggling
with the feeling that this doesn't "make sense." (Affairs are not based on being
rational; in fact, people having affairs tend to "rationalize" their behavior in order
to feel OK about themselves.)
5. Person having an affair: Wanting to "put it behind us" and go on instead of dealing
with it and trying to work through it.
6.Spouse: Losing a lot of weight and having a hard time simply functioning. In fact,
the struggle to physically deal with the pain and loss is the first order of business
for most people.
7. Both: Wanting to find a quick/easy solution to the upheaval caused by an affair.
Seeing a therapist can help, but getting over the pain of the situation and
trust takes a lot of time and work. It can't be rushed. Some factors that make a
difference are: willingness to answer questions, hanging in through the inevitable
emotional impact, and severing contact with the third party. (These are not absolute, but usually indicate a willingness to resolve this issue instead of trying to
bury it alive, where it just keeps coming back.)
8. Both: Wanting some "guarantee" that it won't happen again. There is no simple
one-time action that can provide protection. Preventing an affair in the future requires
a commitment to ongoing honest communication.
For more perspective on the issues related to understanding and recovering from affairs,
see The Monogamy Myth.
this to a friend!
P.S. - Peggy Vaughan is a relationship expert, specializing in dealing with the issue of extramarital affairs. She reaches an international audience
through her own Website at: http://www.dearpeggy.com
Following is a list of readings that we recommend for you:
the most painful and devastating experiences, The Affair, you are not
alone. Claimed as the Bible of The Affair, Dr. Bob Huizenga’s
Free from Affair gives you a step-by-step guide
to help you break through the confusion, fear and move on with A
Greater Life ahead. Break
Free from Affair
You can save
your marriage TODAY! With impressive success rate of 90%, Dr.
Lee's proven and effective approaches will rescue
your marriage starting from today, and you could have the
relationship of your dreams! Save
Your Marriage... see what you think...
found the effective 4-Step "strategy" to help you survive
the relationship crisis, heal your broken heart and bring
back your love. That is called Bring
Back the Love of Your Life! I highly recommend it. See what
you think... Bring
Back the Love of Your Life!
How to have the GREAT
SEX you can ever have in your life? How to have MULTIPLE
orgasms you can have TONIGHT? How to make your partner crazy
about you sexually? Killer
Orgasm, we highly recommend.
Your Internet Porn Addiction-
Do you suspect that your loved one is addicted to Internet
pornography? What are the options for treatment? How to rebuild
your life free from Internet porn? "Treating
an Addiction to Internet Pornography" explains to you the
answers for the above.