We’re Not As Monogamous As We May Think

We’re Not As Monogamous As We May Think.  Remember that quote from former President Jimmy Carter in Playboy magazine “I’ve looked on many women with lust.  I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times.  God knows I will do this and forgives me.” How many of us do the same thing?  An anonymous online survey was taken asking what behaviors would be considered Infidelity.

 The results are as follows:

  1. 73 out of 100 people thought falling in love with someone other than their partner with no sexual contact still counted as an infidelity.
  2. 31% thinks staying up all night talking to someone else constitutes cheating.
  3. 7%  thinks just thinking about another person inappropriately was unacceptable.

So where do you draw the line when it comes to Infidelity.  Being nice to someone who is nice to you? Reciprocating a sweet gesture?  Human connections are the lifeline of emotional survival.  To have conversations with the opposite sex that are genuine, deep and filled with substance can be fulfilling, especially if you aren’t receiving that connection with your partner.  Even the most fleeting kindness and flirtations with strangers enhance our well-being.  These brief moments of human interchange can heighten are senses all around.  Why wouldn’t it spike up intimate feelings?

Thinking such thoughts and acting on them are two different things, however, the thoughts do exist.  We may think because we are with one partner and haven’t had intercourse with another makes us monogamous.  As a Marriage Counselor, I speak to men and women who are in monogamous relationships yet talk about how they are attracted to someone at their place of work, a parent at their children’s school or how the neighbor next door is sweet to them.  They admit they flirt and like the attention they receive when engaging in “harmless” sexual banter. Sure the energy you receive from that connection is exhilarating.

More importantly, what do you do with that energy?  The ideal is to take that energy and incorporate it into your monogamous relationship and enhance that connection.  Some people do.  The point here is that as much as we say we believe in Monogamy, our behaviors don’t always support it. We continue to laugh and flirt with the opposite sex and encourage the excitement that can make our day.

So when these opposite-sex friendships serve the purpose of enhancing your experiences and adding to your life it’s difficult to comprehend what exactly is so out of bounds about it.

For more information on putting internal and external boundaries in place call me at (858) 735-1139, so you know when you may be crossing that line.

 

 

 

Signs Your Husband May Be Having An Affair

Signs Your Husband May Be Having An Affair.  Are you observing strange behavior from your husband that keeps you up at night wondering if he’s cheating on you?  Your intuition tells you that something just isn’t right.  But on the surface things seems fine.  You’re relatively happy and content.  He tells you that he loves you.  Sex is fine.  He comes home every night and still calls you from work.  But you see him sending and receiving text and emails at strange hours of the night and weekends.  He works later than usual when at home and seems distracted at times.  He hides his cell phone when he didn’t in the past.  If you’re not sure whether you’re just being jealous or something really is going on, here are some signs your husband may be having an affair:

Signs Your Husband May Be Having An Affair
  • Unexplained time away.
  • Cheated in the past.
  • Suddenly shaving, smelling of nice cologne and dressing better.
  • Hides his cell phone.
  • Secret communication with other people.
  • Flirt with girls.
  • He has a New Favorite or Special Item he wears when he goes to a particular place. Could be something given to him by his girlfriend.
  • Feedback others give about him.

  • Losing interest in your relationship.
  • Bored and preoccupied.
  •  Cheating in other areas of his life.
  • Are you wondering if he’s cheating?
  • Evidence of cheating.

Of course none of these signs are proof that your husband is cheating or having an affair. But the signs are anxiety provoking to say the least.  I recommend having an honest discussion with him about your observations and your feelings associated with them. Share your feeling of insecurity.  If he has nothing to hide he will be open to a dialogue about your concerns.  If the information becomes too difficult to discuss talking to a Marriage Counselor who specializes in Infidelity and Affairs could help neutralize the topic and help you both move forward where you can become more comfortable talking about what needs to be said.

I have worked with Couples married or not married who have experienced the devastation of Infidelity.  The relationship does not have to end because an affair occurred.  Knowing how to survive an affair takes time and commitment to the process of recovery to make the outcome successful.

Please call me at (858) 735-1139 if you would like more information regarding your partner possibly having an affair and how to manage your situation.

When Is It An Emotional Affair?

When is it an emotional affair? In my personal and professional opinion an Emotional Affair becomes a betrayal when intimate information is shared with a person you spend a lot of time with. A buddy at work can easily become more than a buddy at work. If you share more with your “friend” than with your Spouse/Intimate Other, you might be having an Emotional Affair.

 

When Is It An Emotional Affair?

Emotional affairs are real and typically do start out as friendships.  They are innocent at first usually starting off as online friendships that move on to become more flirtatious. Some studies show that more than 70% of those friendships end up as actual romantic affairs.  Some things to look for to discern if you may be confused about when things become inappropriate or unacceptable:

  • You start talking to a particular person way too much online or at work.
  • You contact them during inappropriate times.  If it’s a work friend then contacting them via text, computer, phone, outside work hours would constitute inappropriate time.
  • Sharing problems or your frustrations about your relationship with them.
  • Talking negatively about your spouse/partner.
  • You start testing the waters with sexy or flirty messages.  You like what you hear and push the envelope to see how far things will go.

  • You meet them for drinks or coffee and don’t tell your partner.
  • You share secrets with each other and not with your spouse.
  • When on the computer your partner walks in on you and you close out your screen.
  • You start exaggerating your problems about home life or your partner.
  • You think about them all the time and constantly check your phone and computer for any contact.

When Is It An Emotional Affair?

When you connect with another person with or without a physical or romantic connection, you are essentially creating a bond with that person to the exclusion of your partner.  Especially when you have established that you can talk negatively about your spouse with this person.  You then set up a close and emotional relationship where this person can fill the needs that your partner can’t. Sometimes people do this unconsciously to see if this person will meet these needs.

Again, it’s perfectly normal to be attracted to someone you have formed an emotional connection with.  It’s just not appropriate to take it to the next step.  If you can relate to this article and think you are involved in an Emotional Affair and afraid you might cheat, it is recommended you talk to your partner sooner rather than later and be honest about your feelings.  If you need help in doing so please give me a call at (858) 735-1139.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do Affairs Really Have To End A Marriage?

Do Affairs Really Have To End A Marriage or Relationship?  There are many reasons why an affair occurs. It is most important to understand that an affair affects both people in a relationship.  The healing process can lead a couple to deeper levels of intimacy or a closeness they’ve never shared before.  For Couples who want to rebuild their relationship after one partner has had an affair it is imperative both parties, despite their own personal pain, try and look within themselves to see how their own behavior contributed to the demise of the once happy and working union.  I am not suggesting the Hurt Partner is to blame in any way.

Do Affairs Really Have To End A Marriage?

I am only recommending taking a look at how each person in the partnership may have brought implicit or explicit neglect or abuse into the spiraling down dynamics of their relationship.  I’m not talking about chronic Philanderers or people who have continuous affairs, they’re in an entirely different category.  I’m referring to those who have had an isolated incident in one affair that is creating the need for change within the relationship.

In working with couples who do take a look at their individual part of this devastating situation prognosis is typically better than those who would rather blame the person who had the affair by continuing to berate that person in how they have made their life miserable. Do Affairs Really Have To End A Marriage?

When you’re ready to take a look at what happened to the relationship it would be good to seek the help of a Marriage Counselor or Couples Counselor who specializes in Affair Recovery and helping couples get through the process of determining whether they can or want to stay together or move on.  In Couples Counseling the couple will need to acknowledge the problems prior to the affair as sometimes the affair could be a symptom of some other underlying problem.  Just because infidelity strikes your marriage doesn’t mean it has to end in a separation or divorce.  Often times an affair can be the best thing that ever happened to a relationship as it brings an end to a relationship that wasn’t working and gives the couple an opportunity to develop a new relationship by developing a New Monogamy.

A new monogamy explicitly says what is wanted and what is not wanted in moving forward. It helps with affair prevention because both parties discuss and document the specifics on how to behave more appropriately. Marriages don’t have to end because someone stepped out and had an affair.  Marriages don’t have to end due to betrayal.  I have been providing affair recovery services for over 20 years. Because the couples I work with allow me to take them through the affair recovery process, I have a more than 90% success rate. Very few divorce. Nobody wants to leave their primary relationship. Couples have a history together, some may have children, financial resources, and great memories. Affair recovery puts things into perspective, and with time marriages are salvaged.

 

For more information on developing the relationship you have always wanted please call me (858) 735-1139.

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.

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