You caught her red-handed and now you’re left broken-hearted and trying to find some sense in all of this. Do you break up? Do you even the score? How did this happen anyway? Everything is perfect until one day she accidentally sends you a text message that was meant for the other guy. Busted.
In many instances, the relationship problems start long before the infidelity. There are precursors of intimacy issues that, if you knew what you were looking for, you would be able to catch ahead of time. In many instances, the biggest issue in an established relationship is a lack of trust and the desire to keep secrets from a partner. Author of the book “Sexperiment” and pastor at Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, Ed Young might even say that the couple lost interest in each other because they got lazy and stopped rolling around in the hay. Which could explain why she’s been involved in an affair with a guy she works with in the office, but maybe it’s important to look at the bigger picture as well.
What’s Love Got to Do With It?
Many times couples are with each other for so long that they have become overly familiarized with their mate and the spark has died down. When sparks start to fizzle your relationship out, sometimes couples question whether they really love each other and wonder, “what am I doing with this schlub anyway?” The culprit in so many failed affairs is boredom.
Infidelityfacts.com says that after the first year of a relationship, many couples fall into a daily routine that can quickly dowse the flames of desire. This is doubly true if the couple starts having children. The first child can set the stage for either a healthy relationship or one that is set for possible failure.
So Many Types of Affairs to Choose From
According to Douglas LaBier of PsychologyToday.com, there are many types of affairs that can be serious roadblocks in a healthy, lasting relationship. There is the “Lust Only” affair, which involves only a sexual attraction. Many times a partner wants a sexual surrogate, when the other partner becomes disinterested in sex. Then there is the “I’ll show you” affair, which is along the lines of “an eye for an eye makes everyone go blind.” This, of course, happens when a partner either has had an affair or is suspected of having an affair and the other partner thinks he/she should even the score with having their own affair. This always ends in disaster. Then there is the “not-an-affair” affair, which is when the culprit is in denial that they are cheating at all or trying to rationalize what they are doing to harm the relationship.
There are many more types, but the most destructive affairs are not always ones that end up being physical or even sexual. Emotional affairs or even imagined affairs can draw a divide between partners. It starts out innocent; you find out that you and your co-worker like the same author that your partner hates and you start talking about your favorite books, food, movies and you find out that you have more in common with this other person than you’ve ever had with your girlfriend or boyfriend. You begin avoiding your significant and finding him/her annoying.
You aren’t having a physical affair with your co-worker, but Douglas LaBier of PsychologyToday.com would categorize this as a “Just-In-The-Head” affair, a really dangerous type because you think it’s very innocent when sex isn’t involved, but while you are busy with cultivating a caring relationship with your non-lover, how much time are you spending with your partner?
There is a Better Way
Before you decide how you will save your relationship, maybe it’s a good idea to find out if saving the relationship is the best option. Counselors can only be helpful if a couple want to continue moving forward in a relationship together and wish to grow together. Staying together for the kids isn’t always the answer, but at the same time many couples split up without attempting to see if differences can be resolved.
Dr. John Grohol of PsychCentral.com advises that couples seek counselors and get therapy for their relationship at the first sign that mediation is needed, rather than to wait for problems to spin out of control. If you can still find common ground, then you may still have a chance to rekindle the flame that was once extinguished and perhaps even start a blazing bonfire of attraction that is stronger than when you first started dating.
This is a guest post by Jason Torres. Jason’s dream is to be a real-life “Hitch,” a date doctor who diagnoses and treats guys with no luck in love. By day he is an account manager for a Fortune 500 bank, and by night he advises his friends on wooing women.