When we are newly married, happy, and carefree, usually a time before children are in our lives, the thought of an affair seems impossible! Why would anyone stray from this marriage? This person? The person you married is incredible, sexy, and fun!
However, a few years down the line could potentially paint a different picture! Imagine your beautiful, sexy, fun wife as a tired, rundown, working mother with a full time job and a toddler. OR is she a stay at home mom with multiple schedules, children, a newborn baby, and a house to take care of! A husband who feels like he doesn’t see himself in his wife’s eyes anymore. A husband who feels insecure and invisible to his wife when the kids are involved.
Sometimes in a marriage, the fun disappears. The validation disappears. You no longer feel wanted or needed by your spouse. Or you feel insignificant as a person, and you are no longer receiving the validation and security that you used to feel from your spouse. So you stray.
This is a three part series. Next blog will explore in greater detail why do women and men cheat. Some reasons overlap and some are unique to the gender.
In marriage, there are three different reasons why people have affairs.
- When affairs begin, a person is falling in love with an imagined way of life, an imaginary person who they think will fill their needs.
- Affairs signify validation, and the need to be wanted or needed by another person.
- That “NEW” feeling. The beginning of something exciting, and also the need to be bad sometimes is very alluring. Usually the need to be in a situation that is considered taboo, and the thought of getting “caught” brings excitement to one’s life. But the feelings of others involved is not usually considered.
What can we do to prevent an affair from destroying our marriage?
- Appreciate your partner/spouse
- Be intimate – not just with sex. Share your innermost desires and thoughts with each other.
- Be empathetic – sometimes the most you can do is listen and provide an empathetic ear.
- Support each other’s friendships outside of the marriage – we need friendship.
- Grow together! Personal growth is necessary in all stages of life, support each other through your personal growth journey.
- NO subject is off limits – talk about everything, anything, all the time! Communication is Key!
- Be Active together! Find an activity that you both enjoy and want to do together regularly.
- Independence – this is important! Have a life outside of your marriage that features all the things that make you, YOU!
The most important thing to remember is that an affair usually means a deep longing for your own identity. A sense of self. You are not getting something that you used to from your spouse – validation. You can give yourself validation, so that your spouse no longer has to provide that for you, and you will also not have a longing to stray! Be good to yourselves and each other. Remember the person you were that your spouse fell in love with, and remember your spouse and the good times you had in the past. The memory of those good times can help to rekindle a flame that is dying out. The validation of knowing who you are and gaining the security you need can help you to fix anything that may be breaking up your marriage.
Couples counseling can help prevent affairs before they start, but it can also help heal from an affair. Understanding the unique needs of each couple and creating marriage 2.0 is my strength. Contact me to find out how I can help create a relationship of your dreams!