Why People Have An Affair

SCENARIO

Many women either suspect or discover that their partner is having an affair. What a lot of women then ask themselves is “what am I doing wrong?”

Do people cheat because of their partners? Can what you say or do cause your partner to stray?

CONSIDER THIS

VICKI:
People have affairs because of their own thoughts and belief systems. While it’s easy to blame a partner it has nothing to do with them.

Sex means many things to many people. For some it’s a physical need and for others it can be about self-worth or manhood/womanhood, etc. There are so many reason why people cheat on their partners that they couldn’t all be covered here. What so many people don’t understand is that the reasons are generally mental and/or emotional needs that are not being met. Many of the unmet needs having nothing to do with sex at all.

If someone has unmet needs it’s their responsibility to discover what they do need, whether through counseling or inner reflection, and discuss it with their significant other. No adult is responsible for another adult’s emotional well-being.

With that being said I want to add in that anyone who has a partner who is withholding sex will most certainly stray. Especially men as their sperm can only build to such an amount then there is a physical need to expel it. We all need human touch and masturbation can only cut it for a certain amount of time.

JILL:
It should first be said that not all female partners do blame themselves. However, the ones that do may do so for two reasons.
Their self-blame may come from low self-esteem. We are inundated with all forms of media that tell us that to the thin and beautiful comes the perfect life complete with a perfect marriage. Reality shows feature men dropping to their knees to ask the newly transformed woman to marry him, the subtle message being that he would not have proposed to her as she looked before.

Secondly many women instantly want to fix a problem, to make it all better. They don’t take time to analyze what has transpired and more importantly to see where the other person is responsible for their actions. If that person was looking for a change in his life or if something triggered feelings of unhappiness he should have done the right thing and talk to his partner.

All this doesn’t mean that there should not be a time of quiet reflection for the woman. An honest evaluation of what has transpired will bring with it positive self-growth and recharged self-esteem.

Advertisements

Dealing With Adultery & The Loss Of A Mother

QUESTION

I was reading your site about adultery. My husband has had personal ads on sex websites for a couple of years now. I keep forgiving him, and he keeps doing it. He even carries condoms in his work bag. He knows I know they are there, but won’t get rid of them. I even confronted him about them; at first, there were six and now there are three. Did he use three? I confronted him again, and he says he masturbates with them. At work? I feel he is cheating on me, and doesn’t care what I think. Also, I think he wants me around financially and to help take care of his 14 yr son. I am so hurt and tired of trying. Emotionally I’m exhausted.

On top of all this, I just lost my mom to cancer a few months ago and I’m trying to heal from this. I know you can’t tell me what to do, but can you tell me what you think? Thank you for listening.

ANSWER

VICKI:
My condolences on your loss.

So much has taken place in your life that it’s no wonder you are exhausted. You have a lot on your mind.

You are a a place where you need to make many decisions about what is good for you at this time.

You need to be the priority in your own life presently – you must take care of you. Please do find a therapist to work this out with. After the loss of your mother and all the emotions that go with that, you need someone to help you sort through your thoughts and emotions, so you can make the right decisions for yourself, including when it comes to your marriage. It’s too big to do alone.

If you’re not ready for that step yet then please do some journaling to get your thoughts and feelings out. Holding all that in your body can only lead to a compromised immune system and illness.

Make your first step a commitment to your health and well-being.

JILL:
As a life coach, I would first like to address your emotional exhaustion that has been exacerbated by the death of your mother. You should not try to work through your marital situation while you are in that condition.

Here are some suggestions that are just for you & for your well being.

Try to get away for awhile, to give yourself some time to start both the process of healing and renewal. There are wonderful women’s retreats being offered, do you or a friend own a cabin that you can go to or is there someone that you can visit? Maybe there is a friend or family member with whom you feel safe and relaxed enough to stay with for a few days? If none of these suggestions are feasible, seek out a grief support group or counselor or if there is a spiritual or religious connection that strengthens you now is the time to reach out.

At life’s most difficult times our instincts usually tell us the truth before our hearts are willing to accept what is happening. As hard as it is, try to look at the facts objectively. A personal ad on a sex site is placed because someone is looking for a response. It has been two years & he continues to ignore your feelings. He takes condoms to work and (or) he masturbates at work. Neither is within the scope of what a married man should be doing.

You write ‘I keep forgiving him’, ‘I confronted him, again’ and ‘I am so tired of trying’. You deserve to be treated with love and respect. Marriage is not based on the money that you bring in or roles such as being a step mom. It is about how you are treated as a women and a wife and how you feel about yourself within the relationship. It is about your feelings for your partner. Do you still feel love, respect and trust for him?

I believe that you already have the truth inside yourself and what is needed is the enormous strength that it takes to do what is right for you. I hope that you find it, as well as the time & peace that you require to grieve the mother you have lost.

Forgiving A Cheating Husband

QUESTION

How do I forgive a cheating husband?

ANSWER

VICKI:
Thank you so much for asking this very important question that I know will touch many people’s lives when it comes to forgiving anyone about anything. Forgiveness is the only way for anyone to truly move on with their life after any hurtful situation. I also want to mention that forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean keeping the person that hurt you in your life; even if you leave someone it is necessary to forgive in order to remove the heaviness from one’s heart. So much for forgiveness in general, let me speak to your situation.

Forgiveness is not an easy road and it requires a lot of self-examination. This is because the hurt, resentment, and all other ill feelings are inside of yourself, therefore, looking at anything outside of yourself won’t help.

Since I can’t know exactly all the emotions that you are feeling I will have to use examples with some of the most common emotions and thoughts that clients in your situation have expressed to me.

This first thing is about forgiving yourself. Which is due to most women feeling that they are to blame for their husband cheating. Something almost each client has expressed is feeling inadequate and wondering what they did wrong or what was wrong with them. This feeling of inadequacy usually stems from our insecurities about ourselves. A woman will look at what she is uncomfortable with such as her body, age, personality, etc. and believe that one or all of what she is insecure about was the reason her husband strayed.

To move past this particular feeling a woman must come to understand that her husband didn’t cheat because of her. No one does anything because of anyone else. Whether he didn’t have the self-control to resist or he is acting out because of his own insecurities about aging, his manhood, inability to ask his wife for what her really wants, etc., it is never about his wife. With that point of understanding a woman must still forgive herself for any flaws she feels she has. She must recognize that it is not her duty to be perfect in any way shape or form and that no human being is – This is the first piece of forgiveness.

From here you must examine your emotions one by one and question them in order to discover what they are about for you. The best thing I can recommend is what I call the “Because Question”. Use the following statement: I am feeling _________ about/that _____________ because ______________. The “because statement” will always be about yourself. I will give you an example below.

Another frequent emotion in your situation is grief, which is always about the loss of something. In this case the Because Question may look like this: I am feeling a sense of loss that my husband wasn’t faithful because I have lost the dream that I am the only one he could ever have feelings for.

As you explore your emotions and realize that they are all about your beliefs about yourself and life it slowly lessens all the negative feelings you are now holding inside and you start eliminating the blame. This is how it becomes easier to forgive. When there is no longer any blame and you have no ill feelings, forgiveness is possible.

Again, this is not an easy process and it takes time – it does not happen overnight. Even though you work through an emotion once does not mean it is finished with – the same emotion will tend to come back with a different “because” answer. What this means is that the emotions you are feeling will repeat themselves. This process is best done within counseling. I wish you all the best with this long and very worthy process.

JILL:
Vicki’s answer is thorough and complete. I am therefore just going to take a more general viewpoint on forgiveness.

1. The process of forgiveness can only be started after you have worked through your own feelings. In this case those feelings are probably anger and grief.
2. If you have decided to stay within the relationship, the act of forgiveness does suggest approval.
3. To forgive is to give yourself freedom. When we dwell on our pain we risk damaging or physical health, our mental well-being, and we risk it eating away at us spiritually.
4. It is important that once you have started to forgive that you do not use your husband’s cheating as a weapon. You cannot keep throwing this act back at him. If you do this then it is a sigh that you have not forgiven him.
5. The act of forgiveness is a gesture towards the healing of yourself and will allow your relationship to start growing again.

I echo Vicki’s wishes for your success at this difficult time.

Read 10 things that you never knew (and possibly never wanted to know) about Vicki and Jill.