Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Is Your Spouse Having an Affair?

Affairs are a destructive force in a marriage. When a spouse has an affair it usually has nothing to do with loving the person outside the marriage. Cheating is a symptom that something is wrong in the marriage or in the person's individual life and although an affair might seem a good way to resolve it, it isn't. Affairs don't fix anything!

Stopping the affair is critical to start the healing process both for the injured spouse as well as for the marriage. This process can take years to heal, with therapy. The wound of betrayal cuts deep, and the spouse who cheated must remember that just because he/she has stopped the affair, it does not mean that the pain is over for the injured spouse. In fact, the pain might get worst for a while. The injured spouse will not be able to simply trust again that, 1. the affair is actually over, 2. if his/her spouse will not cheat again, or 3. if the marriage can be repaired. It only takes one minute to break trust but years to heal it.

If you feel attracted to a person other than your spouse, get help. Call a therapist and talk about the underlying issues for wanting to step outside your commitment. An affair is like suicide: it is a long term painful solution to a short term solvable problem.

Jan Marquart LCSW

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