I Said I’d Never Stay With A Partner Who Cheated On Me

I said I’d never stay with a partner who cheated on me.  We’ve all made this statement sometime in our relationship life.  “I Said I’d Never Stay With A Partner Who Cheated On Me.”  Who would want to stay with a spouse/partner who cheated on them? Obvious answer, “No one.”  But that question is not as black and white as one would think.  You may instinctively already know that infidelity is much more complicated than our culture admits.  That there are more choices in the aftermath than just separating or divorcing.  Affairs can be shocking and painful, no doubt, and can often cause untold damage.  However, for some couples, an affair may also be the path to strength and to a renewed and stronger relationship.

I Said I’d Never Stay With A Partner Who Cheated On Me

If individuals are confused about whether or not to stay together Couples Counseling with a trained Therapist in Infidelity recovery can help explore the options of giving your relationship another chance.

There are different components of an affair which include an outside emotional relationship, dishonesty, and a sexual relationship.  The outside emotional relationship is where a secondary relationship appears to be more important than the primary relationship where your partner’s affection for this other person is now a threat to your relationship.  Dishonesty is the deceitful behavior of lying, denying, or hiding evidence of an affair that destroys trust. The sexual relationship is the worst injury for most as a line of physical intimacy has been crossed and devastates a person’s self-esteem.

When an affair is discovered the immediate response is disbelief, anger, grief, loss, or sadness.  It can take several years before the hurt partner is ready to even consider forgiveness.  If you choose to stay and rebuild after an affair that doesn’t mean you forgive.  Forgiveness implies that you must now trust your partner’s promises of never straying again.  Asking for forgiveness places the responsibility on the hurt partner.  Forgiveness is a natural process that comes with an understanding and new awareness of your partner.  Then there is the guilt of not being able or want to forgive.  Or feeling guilty that you decided to stay in the relationship or guilty that you left the marriage.

Concentrate more so on ensuring you are ok, that your basic needs are taken care of, children are safe and you have a support system in place that includes family, friends and a Therapist who can help process the range of emotions you are feeling.  Be careful not to take too much advice from friends and family as they are biased in wanting the best for your well-being.

 

The decision is yours whether you stay in your relationship or leave it.  No one else’s.  Don’t allow anyone to judge or criticize your decision.  Develop and put in place a Moving Forward Plan for whatever you choose so that you know you have an objective tool to work from to evaluate your progress in getting what you want.  I help Individuals and Couples in Marriage Counseling develop Moving Forward Plans.  Each plan is different and unique to the people making them.  Give me a call at (858) 735-1139 and we can get started on your Moving Forward Plan.

What Happens At The Beginning Of A Relationship

What Happens At The Beginning Of A Relationship.  The Initial Phase of a Relationship is hot for about 3 months lasting up to 27 months, making for hot brain chemistry.  Same parts of the brain light up as it does for Cocaine.  Not Serotonin.  People become obsessed.  They don’t get much sleep, they text and make allot of calls.  Things don’t make sense at this stage.  PEA (Phenethylamine: an amine that naturally occurs in the brain and also in some foods, like chocolate. It’s a stimulant, much like an amphetamine, that releases Norepinephrine and Dopamine.) This chemical is found when you are falling in love. It’s responsible for the “head-over-heels,” elated part of love,  kicks in when you have new relationship energy.  PEA also kicks in when you have adventure or fear.  When you go on a scary ride for example at an amusement park. Your brain can’t maintain that intensity for more than 27 months.

After that you go into the Conflict Phase of your relationship.  You can have a conscious relationship.  Everyone has Eros energy; passion, aliveness and creativity.  Eros, in Greek Mythology, had sex with all the other Goddesses like Psyche.  Eros energy makes you feel alive and excited.  It makes you feel that life is worth living.  The problem becomes when the Eros energy isn’t the erotic part of the energy any more.  It gets shut down.  Without this erotic energy the relationship can feel hopeless.  This I refer to as Thanatos energy or the Death of Passion or death of Life Force.  The death force is that urge you feel when you want to bury your head under the pillow.  The desire not to exist.  Tantra is a goal of nonexistence by going through your partner.  At the end life we have a resurgence of Eros energy because it fights off the death force.  Intense Eros surge that flights off the doorway to death that they see opening.  To fight off drug addiction takes creative energy.

Globally the concept of commitment and trying to resurrect marriage/relationships is dying.

Signs It’s Time For Marriage Counseling

Signs It’s Time For Marriage Counseling. I always thought a class about relationships would have been beneficial to any high school curriculum. When I was in school Home Economics taught us how to cook and sew. Auto Shop taught us how to repair and maintain cars. But what about developing and fostering working relationships? The general population is clueless when it comes to understanding what it takes to be in a loving and caring relationship. We learned interpersonal and interactive skills from our families of origin. Depending on what was going on in your family those social skills could have been limited as all families have their limitations as they too did not receive any class ion How To Be In A Good Relationship or How To Find An Appropriate Partner. As a Couples Therapist I see dozens of Couples every month with similar problems. During the course of my years of practice I have continued to see the same problems over and over again. Communication difficulties, Sex, Children, Money, Past Issues, Unresolved Personal Issues (Baggage), and Infidelity.  So what are the signs for when it’s time for Marriage Counseling?

Signs It’s Time For Marriage Counseling:

Constantly Arguing.  Communication is key.  Whether you are constantly arguing or fearful of bringing up any issue a Couples Counselor is able to help the couple obtain clarity about what it is they want to talk about and help them understand what it is they really want.

Your Sex Life Has Become Mediocre.  If you haven’t been having regular or passionate sex this may be a sign of loss of intimacy and construed as a problem.  Also if your partner all of a sudden behaves like a courting lover or wants to experiment with new activities that he/she has never expressed an interest in before, could indicate that he/she is experiencing feelings of arousal that may not be originating from the relationship with you.

Children. Children are huge stressors in a marriage.  It is imperative that you are a united front and that your parenting styles, no matter how different they maybe, keep the children’s best interest at heart. Our jobs as parents are to raise our children to be responsible, self-sufficient, law abiding citizens with the skills to function in society as functioning adults.  If your parenting styles differ too much talking to a Marriage Counselor will help you put aside your own self interests and concentrate on what is best for your children.

Finances. Disagreements over money are one of the top reasons couples find themselves in conflict. If your spouse keeps you in the dark about family finances or feels the need to control everything related to money, it may be time to speak up. Christine K. Clifford of Divorcing Divas, suggests you say, “I want to be aware of our debt, our monthly bills, the balance on our mortgage, how many savings/checking accounts we have, etc.”   If your spouse is not open to this discussion it is definitely time to see a Marriage Counselor as being equal partners is part of the foundation of a healthy partnership.

Baggage.  When certain topics come up over and over again and seem unable to get resolved you can feel like you are going in circles to no avail.  This “looping” counterproductive process may be due to Individual issues that are affecting the Couples Issues. When the Individual issues are addressed then managed or resolved it helps with the Moving Forward Process within the Relationship.  When you notice the same issues coming up time and time again it is an indication they are not effectively being resolved.  Marriage Counseling may help alleviate further distress and deterioration of the relationship.

Holding on to the Past. We all have personal issues that may or may not be resolved.  Personal issues or past trauma like an affair or loss of a child can affect a Couple’s ability to move forward.  Every person processes trauma differently so it is beneficial to seek the help of a Marriage Counselor to help facilitate the process.

Infidelity. If one or both of you have had an affair and aren’t sure what to do next consulting the help of an Infidelity Specialist could help guide you through the process of “Should I Stay Or Should I Go.” Divorce isn’t always the end result of an affair.  Marriage Counseling can help the affair become the Impetus of a New and Better Relationship.

Marriage Counseling is about helping with communicating better and getting the clarity needed on what the problem is really all about.  When you aren’t sure where you stand with each other it can cause allot of stress.  It’s better to talk about issues in a proactive way sooner rather than later as waiting causes the relationship much anxiety and heartache.

Marriage Counseling is talking things out with an unbiased third party whose goal is to help your relationship feel more positive, improve communication so you and your partner can feel heard and respected, enjoy your time together, solve problems easier, build trust, and create a shared vision for your future.

Call me at (858) 735-1139 to see if Marriage Counseling makes sense to you.

Why Married Men Don’t Cheat

Why Married Men Don’t Cheat.  According to the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy dated 9/8/2013 22% of married men have strayed at least once during their married lives.  There have been many articles written by experts in the field as to why men cheat.  In 1995, Sheppard, Nelso & Andreoli-Mathie, reported men cheat because they are unsatisfied sexually.  Another study reported men cheat due to a lack of communication, understanding, and sexual incompatibility, (Roscoe, Cavanaugh, & Kennedy 1988). Marital dissatisfaction was the main reason cited in the 20th Century for infidelity for both male and female, however, there are many other reasons why men cheat and not just because they “can.”  There are also reasons why men don’t cheat.  A recent  article in AARP magazine by Joe Queenan takes a look into the mind of the male monogamist.  He states some men stay in their marriages without the stain of infidelity because men are:

Incredibly Lazy

As my ex-husband once said, “I’d never cheat because I’m too lazy, having an affair would be too much work.”  Men like to relax after a hard days work.  Downloading in their Man Cave drinking a beer, watching sports, on their computer, etc.  Romance, by contrast, is allot of work.  You have to shower, smell good, shave, exercise courtship behavior like buy flowers, go on dates and engage in conversation.  Cheating would require all of the above times two, the wife and the mistress.  Extramarital affairs are too exhausting if you consider wanting to make both women happy.

Startlingly Ugly

According to Queenan, “You might see a 10 with an 8, or an 8 with a 5, but you never see a 9 with a 2.”  That’s the reason unattractive men do not cheat on their wives.  “An ugly man is so happy that he found one woman willing to gaze at his dreadful countenance for the next 40 years” that he’s grateful and isn’t willing to risk everything by cheating on her.

Cheap

Taking women out on dates require a fair amount of financial resources and that’s additional money from the household income.  Often times men having affairs spend money on the same presents and dates for both their wives and mistresses.

Fearful of getting caught

Men know they aren’t as good at multitasking as most women and also know they don’t have that great of memory or are very organized.  So “shady” behavior like engaging in an affair is too risky in that they may get caught and don’t want to deal with the consequences of getting caught.

Under the assumption Affairs are time-consuming

There aren’t enough hours in the day to maintain an extramarital affair as having a mistress exerts as much energy as having a wife and family at home.  Their individual time gets narrowed down to no time and nobody gets the best of his time, not even himself.

(Bores) and can’t get dates

Just like the unattractive guys, boring guys are happy that they are able to find one woman who finds them half way interesting and although may think about cheating couldn’t find anyone interested in them to take them on.

They’ve seen the movie “Fatal Attraction” and bottom line they aren’t really good at it.

Neuropsychologist state there’s an area in the brain located in the frontal lobe that supports self-control processes.  These processes are referred to as “executive functions” and involve the ability to plan, inhibit or delay responding.  Resisting the temptation to cheat requires cognitive (thinking) effort. If you possess a high level of executive control, you probably are less likely to cheat on your partner as your way of thinking includes more inhibition and delayed immediate gratification capability opposed to someone with less executive control.  Whenever someone must focus hard on a task and ignore distractions, this area is particularly active. The extent to which these areas of the brain light up predicts a lot of important outcomes, including whether people are likely to follow the rule norms of society, resist a wide variety of temptations, and engage in risky behaviors.

Other Reasons Married Men Don’t Cheat have to do with character and good moral judgement.  A few to mention include:

Commitment to sexually exclusive monogamy

Integrity – a promise was made to vows; a commitment was given to exclusivity

Happy with wife – being in love their wife enhances the faithfulness

Don’t want to feel guilty

Civilized – the behavior of being unfaithful may be indicative to the contrary

Their wife doesn’t give them any reason to stray

Their father cheated on their mother and they don’t want to become like their cheater father –  repeating history and hurting other loved ones besides the hurt partner

Don’t want to possibly contract a sexually transmitted disease

Not empowering

The bottom line in deciding to engage in an affair happens to be a personal choice.  In Marriage Counseling I hear various reasons why affairs started.  They range from reasonable and understandable to the ridiculous.  As a Therapist who specializes in Affair Recovery, I believe affairs are symptoms of other problems that are being acted inappropriately when the initial step to prevent such behavior would be to talk to your partner about your feelings and go from there.  Marriage Therapy can give you the opportunity to talk about what you want in your relationship and how you can integrate that part of yourself that you feel while engaging in an affair.  Whilst married men who do not engage in affairs apparently are able to manage that part of themselves there are some who are not.  Bravo to those who can.

Please call me if you would like to understand more about affairs and why they happen at (858) 735-1139.

Is Your Body Language Getting Your Message Across?

Is Your Body Language Getting Your Message Across?  From first impressions to first dates, a smile can be worth everything.  A smile conveys warmth and friendliness.  It helps put the other person at ease.  Eye contact is an important nonverbal form of body language.  Direct eye contact shows respect for the other person, although, in some cultures, it shows disrespect and defiance.  However, in this culture, it shows interest in a person.  In fact, if you want to show a man you’re really into him, look deeply into his eyes as he speaks to you.  To catch the interest of a guy who you’re not on a date with (yet), catch his eye and smile, look away and hold his gaze the next time you glance over to him.

Ninety percent of our communication with one another is nonverbal.  Sometimes what’s in your heart and mind doesn’t come across in your body language.  When dating it’s important to make sure your body language is as sharp as your conversation skills.

Other signs that convey attraction include leaning toward a person, crossing your legs, tossing your hair, and lightly touching your arm and neck.  When people are really attracted to each other they often lick their lips.

If you’re wondering about him/her?  Same rules apply.  Some signs to look out for include fidgeting, crossing arms across the chest and darting eyes are signs of indifference or worse.  If he/she can’t stop scoping the room, it’s probably best to move on.

If you’ve been out in the Singles market longer than you wanted and would like help getting back into the swing of things with comfort and confidence Counseling with me can do just that.  Please don’t hesitate to call me at (858) 735-1139 so we can get started.