Looking At Infidelity In A Different Light

Looking At Infidelity In A Different Light.  Rethinking Infidelity.  Is it cheating if you sleep with other people after having a discussion about opening up your marriage?  Is talking to people on the internet or dating sites considered a betrayal?  There are many reasons why men cheat and other reasons why women cheat.  Whatever the reason, affairs are less about physical sex than they are about desire and the need to feel desired.  As a Marriage Counselor and Affair Recovery Specialist, I hear compelling stories about why boundaries were crossed and why indiscretions were made.

In Affair Recovery, there are three options discussed with the couples I work with as I guide them through the crisis phase.

Option 1: Status Quo – Do nothing more than what they have been doing.  Internalizing thoughts and feelings and continue to inappropriately act them out through bad behavior.  Never getting the professional help needed to acquire moving forward skills and manage emotions.

Option 2:  Move Forward – With a therapist who specializes in working with couples in affair recovery.  My couples receive a Moving Forward Plan developed specifically for them as every couple has their own set of unique circumstances where they can understand and gain insight into why the affair happened and what is needed to be able to make an informed decision about whether or not they can stay together.

Option 3:  Move On – Separation or Divorce.  I believe you cannot make an informed decision whether to stay together or leave the relationship without undergoing the Affair Recovery process.  Thereby making moving on premature where you may have regrets if you do so.  Divorce makes no room for repair, resilience, and recovery.

In rethinking infidelity, affairs can be a form of self-discovery, a journey for a new or lost identity and a silverling where couples can develop a newfound relationship filled with content and happiness.  Infidelity is likely to be a symptom of a problem.  Exploring the underlying issues can be an experience for the “cheater” to grow, explore, and transform.

Call me at (858) 735-1139 if you want to talk about rethinking and reframing infidelity.  As awful as an affair can be there can be something positive that comes from it.





Why Some Men See Prostitutes

Why Some Men See Prostitutes.  The definition of a prostitute is a person who engages in sexual activity for payment. Prostitutes are also referred to as sex workers, escorts, and hookers.  Some people are quick to judge these men, especially if they are married and label them as “horndogs, sex addicts, assholes, pigs, and pricks.”  Sex with a prostitute is typically the commodity traded making sex transactional, anonymous or commercial.  Sex with a prostitute can alleviate a lot of psychological problems that men may have with their primary relationships.  Prostitutes are wanted because of their attitude.  They are typically assertive and confident.  They know what to do.  They are, after all, professionals.  Some men go to prostitutes for quick sex, convenience, control or to be controlled, to indulge in a fantasy, or to avoid complications.

As a Marriage Counselor, more than one man has said to me, you don’t pay the hooker to come, you pay her to leave.  Here are other reasons outside of what those trendy relationship magazines write about why some men seek prostitutes.

Love-Lust split (Madonna-Whore complex)  –  Some men have what is referred to as a Love – Lust split. This happens over a course of time where once there was a voracious appetite for sex with their partner can turn into tenderness or even worse, an aversive sexual response to his partner.  Some men manifest an incapability to integrate closeness and sexual passion as there are sexual blocks to his erotic psyche. These men have unhealthy childhood pasts as they have done a bit of codependent caretaking of females in their lives, typically their mothers, experiencing what is known as an intrusion trauma that inhibits physical intimacy with them. Some of these men see prostitutes because their availability is a turn on that frees them from any caretaking responsibilities as they tend to see their wives as “mothers” rather than intimate other or lover.

Another reason to seek services of a prostitute can be due to Performance Anxiety. There’s a myth that men want sex all the time no matter what.  Another myth says it’s a man’s job to be able to please a woman all night long even if he isn’t up to it. Having bought into the oversold definition of male sexuality as being biologically driven, uncomplicated, always ready, and always in search of novelty, comes at a price for some men in the form of being obsessed with performance and having anxiety about it.  This male mystique can turn men to less emotionally complicated forms of sex to include, masturbation, and utilizing sex workers, or prostitutes.  Having sex with prostitutes makes for a level of dissociation that they bring to their sexual proclivities as a response to these uncomfortable emotional pulls.  Time with a prostitute can create a space where insecurities, fear, and anxiety to perform are minimal as the freedom and control they seek in their anonymous partners manages the relational and emotional connection they are trying to avoid.

The appeal of paid sex is the promise that for that specific period of time, the prostitute is on the clock and she’ll take away the complexities of the male sexual myths and ease their life pressures.  For the time paid prostitutes put men at the center of women’s attention relieving them of their sexual vulnerabilities and are relieved of any pressure to perform as they are in the position to fully receive.

As a Marriage Counselor, I have successfully worked with couples whose husbands had cheated on them with a prostitute. In counseling, we talk about the reasons behind the transaction and get to the core problems which lead to helping the couple understand what went down and what is needed to move forward.

Please contact me at 858-735-1139 for more information about being able to move forward from an affair consisting of a sex worker/prostitute or other betrayals.

The Crisis of Infidelity Part I

The Crisis of Infidelity.  The single most destructive threat to committed relationships is when one of the partners engages in a sexual relationship with another person. This is not an uncommon event. Conservative estimates suggest that about a quarter of women, and a third of men, have violated their marital commitment to their partners. About 65 percent of marriages struck by infidelity end in divorce.

The impact on the lives of those who practice infidelity is enormous. It violates the integrity, trust, and commitment upon which marriage is based. When two people enter into a committed relationship, they make a promise to love and honor each other. This involves making a heartfelt promise to work through the problems that are sure to arise within the relationship. To break that promise means dishonoring the trust of the person who has agreed to live with you and build a life together. When an extramarital affair is discovered, a crisis ensues. Now the question is – can this relationship continue? In more than half the cases, the relationship does end – but, depending on how this crisis is dealt with by both partners, the relationship does have a chance to continue. In some cases, this relationship crisis serves as a watershed event that opens the door to self-examination and honest communication that may put the relationship on stronger ground.  As a Marriage Counselor working in Affair Recovery that is exactly what happens to the couples I help who are committed to the process.  They state despite the difficulty in talking about the affair the sharing of thoughts and feelings brings about a vulnerability that creates an emotional connection between them and they feel closer to each other than ever.  Hence the phrase, “the affair has become the best thing that has happened to us.”

Whether infidelity leads to the negative outcome of the dissolution of the relationship or, at the other extreme, a more positive outcome with a stronger commitment and better communication depends on many factors. An important variable, among others, is whether the partner who cheated came from a family with infidelity. People with parents who were unfaithful are at higher risk for infidelity within their own relationships – although this is certainly not always the case, and many people from these families are determined never to repeat their parent’s mistake. Yet we learn many things in our families of origin, and one of those is to copy the behavior of our parents – and sometimes to act out our unresolved issues.

Young Man On Sofa Looking At Stressed Woman

Another factor that may determine whether a relationship can survive infidelity is the nature of the affair.  Some affairs lack any emotional commitment, while others involve a deeper level of intimacy and connection than is found within the primary relationship. While a marriage or relationship may survive the former, as long as the underlying issues are brought out into the open and worked through, the latter type is not as hopeful. The couple would have to put in a great deal of work to save this relationship.

The serial affair, for example, involves many one-night stands or a series of affairs. This type of affair lacks emotional commitment and intimacy, and the motive is often sexual excitement. These affairs usually occur out of town or away from areas where friends might find out about them. A sex addiction might be present in serial affairs. Although a person who engages in serial affairs is not interested in establishing an emotional investment with his or her partners, there is also a lack of attention paid to the vow of fidelity within the primary relationship – and this is a serious issue that must be addressed if the relationship is to continue.

The more formidable threat to a primary relationship is the romantic long-term affair. In this case, there is an emotional commitment to an outside partner, and some of these affairs can last for several years. If the primary relationship is to have any chance of surviving, the affair needs to come to an end. If the affair were to continue, the straying partner would likely not have the emotional energy or motivation to repair the damage done to the main relationship. Some Hurt Partners, however, allow the affair to go on and pretend not to know about it because they don’t want to end their primary relationship – but the price they pay is a high one.  As a Marriage and Couples Counselor in San Diego, I help couples who are dealing with the aftermath of discovery of an affair and help them sort out what to do next.  I will be discussing the different Types of Affairs in my next Blog which include:

Life Transitions

Unrealistic Expectations

The Cry for Help

Breakdown in Communication

The Exit Strategy

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


What To Do After An Affair Is Discovered

What To Do After An Affair Is Discovered.  You’ve just discovered your husband or wife is having an affair. You’re flush with a range of emotions and are feeling very vulnerable. You’re overwhelmed because you think your relationship – and life as you know it – is over.

As a Marriage Counselor who specializes in Affair Recovery, I would urge you to slow down, breathe deeply, and not do anything impulsive.  Acknowledge your feelings but don’t act on them.  Try to exercise appropriate behavior as you begin the recovery process.

girl holding a shirt with the imprint of lipstick.

As a Couples Counselor I provide these helpful steps to help you deal with the discovery of an affair:

    1. Normalize your emotions – You will be on an emotional rollercoaster.  Don’t ignore your feelings, don’t be in denial about the seriousness of the situation, and don’t exacerbate the situation by telling everyone that your husband (wife) is a lying, cheating, adulterer. Keep it private.
    2. Give each other space – Don’t get into each other’s face and start judging and criticizing.  This will accomplish nothing and only produce more bad feelings.  Give yourselves the gift of time away from each other to talk to a Couples Counselor; Affair Recovery Specialist, someone who can get you communicating productively and moving forward.
    3. Don’t rush into discussing explicit details – Wait until you get into Marriage Counseling with a Marriage Counselor before airing out the dirty laundry.  A trained Marriage Counselor will guide you through this awkward and difficult process so that you can make emotionally intelligent decisions on the path for recovery.
    4. Tell only select and trusted people in your life –  Empathic support is vital to the healing process.  Don’t isolate yourself.  Good friends create and maintain the momentum needed to through this difficult time.
    5. Seek professional help with a Marriage Counselor – Find a Marriage Counselor who specializes in Infidelity and Affair Recovery.  They have the tools and the training you will need to survive and move forward.
    6. Your children see and hear more than you know.  Remember, your children are under your protection.  They suffer when you speak badly of the other parent, so don’t.
    7. Keep the faith – Your Marriage Counselor may be able to offer more choices than separation or divorce.

Dealing with infidelity can be excruciatingly painful. Focus on understanding where your best interests lie.  As you consider your options, don’t wallow in self-pity; be compassionate toward yourself.

Some partners can overcome an affair and make their relationship work as well, if not better, than ever before.

I specialize in Infidelity and Affair Recovery.  If you want more information about what to do when an affair is discovered, please call me at (858) 735-1139.






Is An Emotional Affair Worse Than A Sexual Affair?

Is An Emotional Affair Worse Than A Sexual Affair?  Just because you didn’t have sexual intercourse doesn’t mean it wasn’t an affair.  An affair is the act of behaving unfaithfully and cheating on a spouse or significant other.  As a Couples Counselor I believe it is a breach of fidelity when inappropriate relationships and behaviors are kept secret from your significant other.  An example could be when you are communicating with someone online and start including sexual innuendos, sexting, flirtatious banter, and sharing thoughts and feelings that lead to intimacy.  Whenever personal information is shared with the opposite sex an intimacy, albeit, an inappropriate form of intimacy is developed.  The process of sharing such personal information makes people vulnerable and vulnerability makes people feel intimate or emotionally connected.  As a Marriage Counselor I see couples who illicit my help as they have triangulated another person into their marriage by sharing their marital problems, as well as sexual problems with their friend of the opposite sex, and now feel close to that friend.  As their friendship strengthens they feel an emotional connection and sometimes this leads to a sexual affair.  If it doesn’t the fact they have been sharing intimate information about their marriages and one another to each other develops a deeper connection between them and that leads to trouble as an Emotional Connection now becomes an Affair.

Side view of unhappy young couple standing back to back at home

A dating site for people seeking affairs, Victoria Milan,  surveyed 5,000 of their members to find out their attitudes about cheating — specifically, how they felt about sexual affairs versus emotional affairs. It turns out, men and women have very different ideas about what’s forgivable and what’s not.

Here’s what they discovered:

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

“Many people are searching for affection, a deeper connection that can lead to real, feelings, not just sex,” said Victoria Milan CEO Sigurd Vedal in a press release. “What kind of cheating is more painful? It totally depends on the individual, and maybe on gender as well.”  Researchers from the University of Michigan found that women viewed “forming a deep emotional bond” during infidelity as a much bigger concern than men.

Whatever your views on the subject Betrayal never feels good.  Working as a Marriage and Couples Counselor in private practice I specialize in Affair Recovery.  I believe affairs are symptoms of other issues effecting the relationship.  Of course, affairs are also part of a personality challenge in some people known as Philanderers.  I am here to help those who want to learn more about why they do what they do and how to move forward so their behavior stops hurting themselves and their relationships.

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