People who have had an affair often wonder whether or not they should tell their spouse.
Every person must make this "to tell or not to tell" decision for themselves. However,
there are some factors to consider that might not at first be obvious. While there's an
understandable caution about the potential risk of telling about an affair, there's also a
risk if it's "not" disclosed. In marriages where affairs are kept secret, certain topics of
discussion are avoided because the deceiving partner fears being discovered and the
other is reluctant to appear suspicious. This causes many relationships to be dominated
by dishonesty and deception. It's doubtful that a couple can keep something like this
hidden for the rest of their lives without a terrible strain developing. A large part of the
high divorce rate may be due to the alienation caused by the dishonesty inherent in
affairs, even if the affairs are never confronted. So it may be that there is no escape from
the pain, regardless of whether the affair is kept hidden or exposed.
To be continued below...
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This is not meant to diminish the pain of finding out. But one of the advantages of
volunteering the information about an affair instead of waiting until it's unexpectedly
discovered is that it allows a degree of preparation that can significantly reduce the pain
of finding out. The person doing the telling has a responsibility to take steps to increase
the likelihood that the disclosure will lead to building a closer relationship rather than
tearing it apart. First of all, they need to be motivated by a desire to improve the
relationship, not a desire to unload their feelings of guilt. They also need to be prepared
to hang in and work through their partner's reactions to the information, regardless of
what those reactions may be.
To be continued below...
the most painful and devastating experiences, The
Affair, you are not alone. Claimed as the Bible of
The Affair, Dr. Bob Huizenga’s Break
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
So it's not a simple matter of whether or not to tell. It's a matter of why, when, and how.
Perhaps the most responsible course is one that doesn't rule out telling "at some point,"
and uses that thinking to consistently improve the honesty and commitment to the
relationship in such a way as to make it possible to eventually "tell." In the meantime,
this will have the benefit of strengthening the relationship, regardless of whether it leads
to telling about the affair.
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
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