Infidelity In The Time Of Coronavirus

Infidelity In The Time Of Coronavirus. With social distancing and being semi-quarantined to our homes it’s harder than ever to physically meet up with people with whom to cheat. According to the New York Post, Ashley Madison, a dating site that encourages people to have affairs is seeing a surge in users. Some are just looking to chat with someone other than their spouse, some are seeking emotional validation or the fantasy of pursuing a secret sex life. As a Marriage Counselor and Affair Recovery Specialist, I haven’t seen an increase in people having affairs as much as I see a constant. People who want to cheat will cheat. People have affairs for many different reasons. Men and women have affairs even if they are in happy relationships. I don’t condone this, but I don’t judge or criticize either. Affairs enable a person to feel a sense of aliveness. The newness of any new thing is exciting. And like all new things that become normalized so do those new relationships. Normalization includes whatever they were trying to escape from in their primary relationship.

Infidelity In The Time Of Coronavirus

The rise in infidelity in the time of Coronavirus makes sites like Ashley Madison attractive as it is used as a release valve for the tension that’s built up at home.

Popular pet peeves of couples engaging affairs during quarantine based on 2,047 respondents:

58% “They have not initiated any sexual intimacy

28% “They are glued to their device”

19% “They are rude, moody, and/or constantly picking fights with me”

18% “They never give me any space or time to myself”

15% “they are messy and I’m constantly cleaning up after them”

Biggest benefit of an affair during isolation:

34% It’s something to look forward to

23% It’s a great distraction

14% I have someone to talk to

13% I can maintain some normalcy

10% It keeps my libido up

Members were asked if they’re trying to spice up their sex life with their spouses while socially distancing.  76% of respondents said no. As an Affair Recovery Specialist, a remedy for couples who have difficulty with monogamy is developing a New Monogamy.  A new monogamy agreement is designed with both partners’ input.

Just like love in the time of coronavirus, infidelity in the time of coronavirus is an opportunity to think about what you want in life moving forward. If the last 9 weeks have been unhappy being isolated at home do something about it. As a Marriage Counselor, I see some couples who have become closer due to the proximity of time and space. For others, that time and space adds to their unhappiness. A woman I’m working with said her husband doesn’t interact with her at all. She said it feels lonely while being in her relationship. She also said she’s taking this time to reassess her marriage as status quo is no longer wanted.

Rather than say, “life is short, have an affair,” how about saying “live is too short to live in a relationship that isn’t working for me.” Pick either option 1 – keep status quo, option 2 – move forward with an action plan, or option 3 – move on and find another life that best suits you.

If reassessing your relationship because of infidelity is something you know you want to do please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

Decide what your “new normal” is going to look like.

 

 

 

 

 

Starting The New Year With A Breakup

Starting The New Year With A Breakup.  The beginning of a new year is typically the time when couples either become engaged or separate and divorce.  As a Marriage Counselor working with couples deciding whether to stay in their relationship or leave it, January 1st is an important deadline for ending relationships.  Breaking up, separation, and divorce can be devastating.  It can also provide the opportunity for self-examination and a New Beginning.

Starting The New Year With A Breakup
There’s nothing easy about ending a relationship. Breaking up is seldom the ideal resolution to problems within relationships, but all too often is the outcome, despite our best efforts to prevent it. The person who was once your best friend and your companion for life, the one who knew you better than anyone else, has now in some ways become your enemy. You cannot believe that this has happened. How could that love have been destroyed? The breakup of a relationship is one of life’s most emotionally painful experiences. The depth of pain depends on many factors – how sensitive you are to the meaning of your life experiences, how much you have idealized the relationship, and how much you depended on your partner to make your life worthwhile.

Starting The New Year With A Breakup. A broken relationship shatters much that we have known and dreamed about. Our relationships, especially intimate relationships, help us define who we are. Our values, our views of the world, and how we define our most intimate feelings are all embodied within our love relationships. When our relationship comes to an end, our lives enter a chaotic period for which we may be unprepared. We suddenly find ourselves dealing with a host of emotions and thoughts – grieving, despair, anger, revenge and retaliation, hoping for a miracle, negotiating, feeling out of control, hoping for happiness again and not knowing how to get there, fear, and loneliness – and little of it seems to make sense.  Most of us have never acquired the tools to deal with a loss of this magnitude. When we entered the relationship, we put our energies into building a life with our partner. We put little effort into learning to be alone again. A breakup forces us to jump into an overwhelming, and often dreaded world of new experiences.

There are stages of grief that we all go through whenever we experience a loss.  During a Break-Up individuals will undergo a Grieving Process.  These are predictable stages commonly experienced by those in the process of a breakup.  They include:

Denial – Denying the truth of the breakup actually helps us postpone the pain, so denial certainly has a place in the process, at least initially. A problem occurs when we experience so much denial that we are unable to come to terms with the reality of the task before us. There comes a day when “this is not happening to me” is no longer an effective way of coping. Ending the denial stage involves a major shift in our thinking about ourselves, what our partner means to us, and where we must go from here.

Fear – Most people experiencing a breakup are forced to come to terms with a number of fears. What will people say? Whom can I trust to talk to? How can I handle my partner’s anger toward me? How do I deal with my own anger? Am I a complete failure? How can I be a single parent? What about money? Can I do the banking and buy groceries and pay bills and fix the car? Can I handle my loneliness? Am I completely unlovable? Will I ever love anyone else again? Do I have the energy for this much change? When we are dominated by our fears and feel unable to do anything about them, we increase the likelihood that these will be the very areas where we experience trouble. The best way to handle fear is to accept it, with awareness, planning, and support.

Loneliness – The loneliness a person experiences at the time of a breakup may feel overwhelming. The finality of ending the relationship, uncertainty about the future, as well as the knowledge that your partner will no longer be there to comfort you or to spend time with you, all contribute to an empty feeling that seems as if it will never away. While you were in the relationship, you defined yourself as being partnered and you felt that you always had someone there to share your experiences. And now you don’t. The clue to dealing with this is to change the feeling of loneliness to “aloneness.”  Loneliness suggests a longing to be with another person. Aloneness can be a time to observe who you are – you have the opportunity to explore your independence and challenge yourself to do things on your own. It can be a valuable time of self-exploration and self-enhancement.  Because aloneness may not last very long, or not long enough, it can be seen as a valuable opportunity.

Friendship – The breakup is a true test of just who your real friends are. It is important to draw on the emotional support of friends during this time. Unfortunately, many of your friends were those who knew you as a couple and they may have to choose between you. Those who try to stay neutral may find it difficult. Some may feel that your breakup somehow threatens their own relationships, and some friends may now find it difficult to relate to you as a single person. Not only that, but you may find it difficult to trust others during a breakup. Getting out, feeling free, trusting wisely, and opening up to others become major goals of healthy adjustment.

Grieving – It’s normal and necessary to experience a period of grieving over the end of the relationship. You may feel depressed for some time and experience changes in your energy levels, as well as your sleeping and appetite patterns. You may dwell on negative thoughts for a period of time and find it difficult to find pleasure in everyday events. If your negative thinking turns into self-destructive thoughts, you should find a  therapist who can help you through this challenging time. As unpleasant as this period of grieving may feel, comfort yourself with the knowledge that this is a temporary phase and it is how you are saying goodbye so that you can move on to a healthier and happier future.

Anger – People ending their relationships usually say that they never knew they could have so much anger. The rage seems overwhelming at times. Think about it – you have just lost one of the most important things in your life and your partner may seem like your enemy. You have a lot to be angry about. Use this opportunity to look within – explore your anger and find out how it helps and hurts you. One rule: don’t engage in any behavior you will regret as in Acting Out Behavior. Because it may be difficult to contain your anger at this time, your partner is not the appropriate target for your anger. Instead, process your anger by talking about it with a trusted friend or Counselor. Anger is helpful in the sense that it helps us end the loyalty and trust we used to feel for our partner, and this allows us to move on. Starting The New Year With A Breakup.

In Marriage Counseling I help Couples and Individuals think of the ending of their relationship as a process, which is taken one step at a time. Some of these steps are challenging. Not only do we have to confront all of the stages listed above, but we must also deal with making the final break emotionally, understand what really went wrong, learn to feel comfortable with ourselves again, see ourselves as single people, make new friends, forge new purposes and goals, and learn about trust and love again.  There’s never pressure in rushing through any of these stages as everyone grieves losses differently.  As painful as this journey may seem at first, it can lead to a life which is more satisfying as being in a relationship that isn’t working isn’t healthy. Starting The New Year With A Breakup.

You don’t have to do this alone.  For more information on the process of breaking up please contact me at (858) 735-1139

What Is Breakup Sex?

What Is Breakup Sex? Breakup sex is the bittersweet, passionate sex you have with your partner shortly after or shortly before breaking up with them. Some people consider sex after a break up to be even better than make-up sex. The exciting nature of “goodbye” sex is due to its unique circumstances: This is the last chance to enjoy sex with each other. Sometimes sex after a break up can be the best sex ever. In other words, “one for the road,” “the last hurrah.”

goodbye kiss

what is breakup sex

The psychology behind sex after a break up reveals why this questionable decision can feel super hot and awesome in the moment. Sex is exciting when their are no other expectations than arriving at an orgasm. Sex after a breakup can also be some form of denial that the relationship will actually be over. Having sex can be seen as an implicit way of saying the relationship is not over.

Breakup sex is one facet in the drawn-out process of ending a relationship. Most people think relational collapses are an immediate event when in fact, they aren’t.  Instead, breaking up is part of an ongoing process.  And having sex one last time can be an important part of letting go of that person. Sometimes it helps couples find closure in a healthy way.  Making love after a break up validates the good parts of the relationship before its demise. It can help a couple move past feelings of sadness and literally feel better. It can be healing because it has the power to validate certain parts of the relationship that may have once worked well.

Sometimes breakup sex can be a last ditch effort to save the relationship. If the decision is to terminate their relationship sex could be a means to engage in sex after their breakup. And to have what is also known as “friends with benefits” and “hook-ups.”

With the release of Dopamine, people can feel close to their sex partners.  It’s important to understand that sex with or without an emotional connection can weigh heavy on our psyche.

For more information about breakup sex contact me at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

What Exactly Is MakeUp Sex?

What Exactly Is MakeUp Sex? For some couples sex after arguing/fighting is almost like verbal foreplay. Makeup sex is sexual intercourse after conflict in intimate relationships. Conflict can range from minor arguments to breaking up. Sex under these circumstances can be emotionally charged and gratifying. Emotional significance can be conceived as a physical expression of reconciliation and rediscovery of a partner’s cathartic experience of a fight (psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions). Often times makeup sex can resolve underlying conflicts.

Makeup sex

Makeup sex:

  • Can make you feel more connected because you survived a challenging situation (fight)
  • The anger/aggression after fighting is energy that fuels high emotions turning good sex into hot sex
  • Sex can be used as an apology, the wronged partner overcompensates and makes sex a great experience
  • Is a band aid in dealing with the underlying issues
  • Restores the feeling of connectedness due to the release of Dopamine 

Couples therapist

Romantic conflict can increase feelings of sexual desire. Increased sexual desire is high due to the fear of losing the relationship. The experience can be psychologically threatening. Feeling threatened activates our biologically-based attachment system. This system keeps our important relationships intact. It motivates us to increase our sense of closeness and security with important people in our lives, such as our intimate partner.

The difference between couples who feel like roommates and couples who feel intimacy is the ability to share thoughts and feelings, ask for what they need and want, and avoid being conflict avoidant. Expressing feelings makes for being vulnerable and being vulnerable makes for intimacy. Fighting takes a lot of energy. That energy is a range full of emotions. When couples tell me they never fight I find their relationship suspect. Being cordial suppresses emotions that need to be expressed. The lack of sharing those emotions keeps couples from feeling intimacy.  Although fighting is not an appropriate means for resolving conflict, it does make for highly charged feelings.

For more information about makeup sex please go to my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com or call me at (858) 735-1139.

 

 

Monogamy Myths And Truths

Monogamy Myths And Truths.  Conservative estimates show that 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an extramarital affair. Most people expect monogamy to be a normal part of marriage or any committed relationship. When stating marital vows it’s either implicit or explicit that monogamy is expected. Some couples who come in for Affair Recovery do so where one of them has made a unilateral decision to open up their marriage by cheating.

Photo by Shawn Goldberg
Monogamy myths and truths

Some monogamy myths:

  • Society supports monogamy as the norm in society as a whole.
  • One person can meet all of your needs
  • If an affair happens, it’s strictly a personal failure of the people involved
  • Cheating and affairs are more common among the rich and less common in conservative cultures
  • If you really love your partner, you’ll remain faithful
  • We generally agree on what counts as cheating
  • Your partner won’t stray as long as you keep your sex life exciting
  • Most married people don’t cheat
  • Jealousy is an indicator of true love
  • Intimacy is only for romantic relationships
  • Monogamy means you don’t experience other attractions

Couples therapist

The reality about Monogamy is despite society’s lip service to monogamy there are significant societal factors that support and encourage affairs. Just look at advertising idealizing relationships by suggesting you can have it all.  That monogamy is not the norm by today’s standards

Monogamy is a choice. As years go by in long term marriage it is recommended to keep the line of communication open and be able to talk about what you like and don’t like in the bedroom. Being able to initiate conversation, express thoughts and feelings, and asking for what you need and want keeps the intimacy in tack to continue to choose monogamy. If and when couples choose otherwise, it would be advisable to develop New Monogamy agreements so relationship expectations are explicit rather than implicit.

For more information about monogamy and new monogamy agreements visit my website at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com or call me at (858) 735-1139.