Face it, at one time or another in any of your relationships you have thought about “stepping out” on the other. Maybe it was with that really smart, good looking guy at the party or an interesting women that just got hired at your job. What started out as simple conversation grew into this ravenous affair that you have no idea how it began. All of a sudden you have this cozy little love affair that no one knows about. This person drew life into your tired and miserable marriage. Maybe they spoke a kind word that your ears longed to hear, or a gentle touch of your face that long had been ignored. They said you were beautiful and touched your body like you were a Goddess. Or, she didn’t notice you were graying and had gained 15 pounds since high school but thought you were so handsome. It’s the same for men and women; we feel the same way when we are neglected, forgotten about and under appreciated. I’m not talking about people who need their ego’s continually stroked, I’m talking about people who are in long term relationships or marriage’s where they feel abandoned, lost, and broken.
One might think well ”What would an affair hurt? My spouse doesn’t care about me anymore, he thinks I’m fat and stupid and tells me so daily! It would serve him right, maybe he would notice me then!” Or a man saying “My wife doesn’t appreciate a single thing I do; she won’t have sex with me, she never says anything nice to me and just uses me like an ATM! I deserve to have another woman in my life she think’s I’m special and I work hard all week long!!” No truer words have been spoken out of either’s mouth. Or so they think.
When being faced with neglect and withdrawal in a marriage or relationship many people feel desperate and think that having an affair or extracurricular activities are not only appropriate but they deserve it. They deserve to feel love and appreciation. Some may feel that it’s a form of punishing their spouse, teaching them a lesson for treating you so bad. Resentment turns into revenge, anger turns into spite, and love turns to hate. Oh so many emotions and pain flowing around in your head…it would be so easy to just slip away and indulge….We do deserve to have love and appreciation but I promise you cheating is not the way to go. You may think you are punishing the other but in reality, you are only punishing yourself.
The ‘person’ you are getting back at is not going to feel the pain of the affair like you are. Guilt, shame, regret, fear, anxiety, the lies, the deceit, the deed…it only sinks you lower than the person you are getting back at. It may seem thrilling and exciting and the “other” may feel the same way. The drama, the scheming, and the lust push you both into an ulterior existence. They find you irresistible, sexy, smart and you passionately count the minutes until your next meeting. All along you have your dirty little secret in your pocket like a million dollar bill and you are so smug, and so sure this is the best thing ever. But then it crashes………..and it will crash.
You begin to look at yourself and see that you have turned into something you never thought you would: a liar and a cheater. You sold your soul for a good time, and a few good words. The pain you have put into your own heart will take along time to wash away. You didn’t let your spouse down so much as you let yourself down. It all started off so innocently, or so it seemed, and now it’s a giant mess.You can’t take it back and it won’t go away. All of a sudden these thoughts come rushing to your head: What was I thinking? Why did I do this? What is going to happen? How do I make it stop? Oh my God, what am I going to do???
Well, you could wake up and realize it’s all a bad dream, that you really didn’t partake in the adventure. You could take a good long look in the mirror at yourself and see what about you needs to grow and change to have a successful relationship with your spouse. You could initiate difficult conversation with them and ask them how they feel about the relationship and share your feelings with each other. I know that sounds painfully awkward, embarrassing, and maybe even scary. Yet, if you’re willing to go there you may be pleasantly surprised. They may feel the exact same way as you. The above people having an affair is really a couple cheating on each other. They both felt the same way, looking for the same things from other people. Repairing a broken relationship is not easy and sometimes it isn’t possible but I promise you, it is better than the before story.
Change with anything begins with us instead of pointing our finger and telling someone what is wrong with them. In Relationship Coaching, the coach acts as a mediator, a person to ask the hard questions and initiate that difficult conversation and help bring resolve. I can teach you how to hear and truly listen to what your partner is saying with out prejudice and assumption. It’s about learning to communicate WITH each other not AT each other. We can’t change a single thing about the past and we begin with a fresh, a clean slate. There isn’t a single thing we can change about the past, nothing, so we let it go and we learn from it.
If you have taken the route of above and had the affair, I can help you work through that as well either individually or as a couple. Either way, learning to heal from it is important. We can look at it as information and how not to make the same choice in the future. You can also learn how to effectively communicate what is in your heart while not feeling so desperate and alone. Relationship Coaching is a great tool for any stage of a relationship or marriage.
January 12, 2014 at 4:02 PM
I like the way you capture the whole process, how things can start simple and move on to be something dangerous. Somethings things can start off simple enough, no major thoughts of revenge and it ends up a trip down the rabbit hole that you will never forget.