Emotional Affairs vs. Sexual Affairs

Emotional Affairs vs. Sexual Affairs.  I believe it is a breach of fidelity when inappropriate relationships and behaviors are kept secret from a significant other; such as communicating online, using sexual innuendos, sexting, flirtatious banter, and sharing deeply personal thoughts and feelings.  When two people share personal information it makes them vulnerable, and vulnerability leads to intimacy and emotional connection.

An affair is the act of behaving unfaithfully and cheating on a spouse or significant other.  Sexual intercourse may or may not occur.

People who share their marital and sexual problems with a friend of the opposite sex begin to feel emotionally close to that friend, and sometimes that emotional affair leads to a sexual one.  In Marriage Counseling, I work with couples who are struggling with these challenges.

Victoria Milan, a dating site for people seeking affairs, asked 5,000 of its members how they feel about a sexual affair versus an emotional one.  “Many people are searching for affection, a deep connection that can lead to real feelings, not just sex,” said Victoria Milan, CEO Sigurd Vedal.  “What kind of cheating is more painful?  It totally depends on the individual, and maybe on gender as well.”

As you can see from the results listed below, men and women have very different ideas about what is forgivable and what is not.

Their findings include

  • 72% of men said sexual affairs were worse than emotional affairs.
  • 69% of women said emotional affairs were worse than sexual affairs.
  • 76% of women would forgive their partner for a strictly sexual affair.
  • Only 35% of men would forgive their partner for a strictly sexual affair.
  • 80% of men said they would forgive an emotional affair.
  • Only 30% of women would forgive an emotional affair.

Researchers from the University of Michigan found that women viewed “forming a deep emotional bond” during infidelity a much bigger concern than did men.

Whatever your views on the subject, betrayal never feels good.  As a Marriage and Couples Counselor, I specialize in Affair Recovery and believe that affairs are symptoms of other issues affecting the relationship, not the least of which may be a partner who is inherently promiscuous.  I enjoy helping people learn why they do what they do and how to stop hurting themselves and their relationships.

For more information please contact me at (858) 735-1139

Suspect Your Husband Is Having An Affair?

Suspect Your Husband Is Having An Affair?  On the surface, everything seems fine.  You’re relatively happy and content.  Your husband tells you that he loves you.  Sex is normal.  He calls you from work and comes home every night.

Your intuition tells you that something isn’t right.  You see him texting and emailing on weekends and at strange hours of the night.  He works later than usual, seems distracted, hides his phone, something he never did before.

If you don’t know whether something is really going on or if you’re just being overly suspicious, here are some signs your husband may be having an affair.

  • Unexplained time away
  • Has cheated in the past
  • Suddenly shaving, wearing cologne, and dressing more attractively
  • Hides his cell phone
  • Communicates secretly with other people
  • Flirts with women
  • Has new favorite items he wears when he goes out to a particular place (could be a gift from another woman)
  • Disheartening feedback on his behavior from others
  • Loss of interest in your relationship
  • Appears bored and preoccupied
  • Cheating in other areas of his life
  • You find yourself wondering more and more if he is cheating.=

While these signs can certainly provoke anxiety, they may or may not actually be evidence that your husband is having an affair.  I recommend having an honest conservation with him about your observations and sharing your feelings of insecurity.  If he has nothing to hide he will be open to a dialogue about your concerns.  If he withdraws and seems unwilling to communicate, consult with a Marriage Counselor who specializes in infidelity and affairs.  A trained counselor can help neutralize the discomfort surrounding this sensitive topic and open the door to more productive communication.

I have worked with both married and unmarried couples who have experienced the trauma of infidelity.  The relationship does not have to end because of an affair.  With time and commitment to the recovery process, couples can and will emerge from the storm stronger than ever

I specialize in Affair Recovery.  If you think your partner may be having an affair, please call me at (858) 735-1139.

When Is Enough, Enough?

When Is Enough, Enough?  I’m working with a couple who has been in affair recovery for over a year.  The husband had been cheating for ten years.  The wife discovered the last infidelity via text messages which pretty much summed up his behavior with her over the course of the year.  No doubt she was devastated to discover this affair.  He also disclosed his other discrepancies during the course of those ten years.  We succinctly talked about how their marriage was derailed and was able to get some traction over the course of therapy for stabilization.

A moving forward plan was developed based on what they wanted from one another to remain in the marriage.  Expectations and boundaries were put in place to ensure appropriate behavior was being exercised.

Throughout the course of counseling, the husband showed insight into his behavior and was committed to the process of being transparent and forthcoming.  As much as the wife understood and appreciated his insights and appropriate moving forward behavior, she continued to bring up events from their past and ruminated over them indicating she was “stuck” in the process.

In the most recent events, the wife discovered her husband had been communicating with his first “affair partner” a few months ago as they were planning on making arrangements to talk to each other.  His reasoning is far less important than the breach of his commitment to exercise transparency and being forthcoming.

As their Marriage Counselor, I have been working with the wife to help manage her anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and co-dependency to get some insight into her continued rationalization of why she tolerates these boundary violations.  At this point, the issue isn’t about why he continues to lie, (lie by omission, etc.), it’s why she continues to tolerate his inappropriate behavior.

As a Marriage Counselor specializing in Affair Recovery, I understand individuals stay in relationships because of the “pay-off” they receive.  Different “pay-offs” for different people.  At this point in Affair Recovery, the wife needs to take a more serious look at herself and what she’s doing to enable bad behavior and live with the “good enough” progress they’ve made, or accept he cannot meet her expectations for moving forward and choose to move on, because when is enough, enough?

For more information about Affair Recovery please contact me at (858) 735-1139.