♥ DAILY LOVE TIP – Monday September 12, 2011
Affairs call forth images of betrayal, cheating, deceit, two-timing, traitor, adulterer, liar, dishonesty, dirt-bag, being unfaithful and disloyal,…….feelings of rage, guilt, depression, shame, hate, humiliation, aggression, obsession, disgrace, sadness, helplessness, dishonour, grief, embarrassment…….INTENSITY….others you have?……..
It shatters hopes and dreams….discovering that a partner has been unfaithful is a traumatic event that shatters all the basic assumptions of commitment, ♥LOVE and honesty.
So you find out that your partner has had an affair – and there is a very statistically high possibility that may happen to your relationship – 60% of men and 40% of women will have an extramarital affair!!
There are many MYTHS about Affairs – maybe you might even have thought I’ll just skip today’s post as that doesn’t apply to me and my relationship!
SOME MYTHS about AFFAIRS
These are all NOT true!
Anne Bercht is a woman whose husband Brian had an affair. It stimulated her to write her book – My Husband’s Affair became the BEST Thing that ever Happened to Me. It is a very raw and honest account of the real and intense feelings that are a part of the impact of an affair on a marriage and a family… especially in the beginning months after disclosure.
Anne and Brian have emerged champions from this experience and have gone on and are an amazing resource in the area of Affair Recovery – see their website http://www.beyondaffairs.com/ for a comprehensive amount of resources. Anne writes:
“When my husband came home one night and told me he was leaving me for another woman, my life was shattered. One of the first things I did was to head down to a local bookstore looking for a book to help me survive. I wore a hooded sweatshirt and dark sunglasses. I was so afraid someone might recognize me looking for a book on affairs. I found 2 books, I bought them both, and I’ll admit they were helpful. But part of me just wanted to throw the book at the wall and scream – Don’t give me this how-to theory crap by some psychologist who learned about this in university. Give me the true life story of someone who’s been through this!
Does anyone know how I feel?
Many days I wondered if it was even sane to believe I could ever know a single day of happiness again. Today, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Our marriage is stronger than ever. I still remember everything about my husband’s affair, but when I remember there is no more pain.
It took us 2.5 years to heal. Much of the help we received during that time actually made the journey more difficult than it needed to be. Our goal today is not only to show couples the principles of healing a marriage after an affair, but to share with the professional community so they can be more effective in their work helping couples in recovery……..”
The messages we want to get out loud and clearest are:
1. Everyone needs to affair-proof their marriage/relationship!!! Now! Do a Relationship Education course every year and learn the ♥TOOLS and ♥SKILLS to create a joyous and successful partnership that has the appropriate boundaries and security around it. People spend big money to put locks and all sorts of security on their houses and children and cars and everything else they can think of yet they leave their marriages/committed relationships open and unprotected and at risk! If you are unsure how to make this assessment in your relationship please email or ring me.
2. If there has been an affair in your marriage/relationship there are some very crucial steps that the couple needs to go through and if you haven’t your relationship is at risk no matter how long ago the affair happened.
3. Treat an affair as a traumatic event – like you would any crisis or emergency. If your partner had a heart attack you or they wouldn’t just carry on regardless and pretend it didn’t happen. Much the same way that people prepare and protect for cyclones and hurricanes and bush fires and so many other things – they have a procedure and the TOOLS and resources ready. And an affair hitting a marriage has huge potential to destroy like cyclones, hurricanes, floods and raging bush fires. Everything you held sacred can be obliterated and wiped out and feel like it is reduced to nothing left!!
4. If an affair is disclosed you need triage immediately in much the same way as you would with a heart attack. Some of the worst damage is done in the period after disclosure which is one of the reasons why everyone needs to be prepared. And you need to seek help with a professional who is trained and specializes in working with Affairs. Just having counselling or psychology or social work or even relationship training doesn’t equip them to be an expert in working with affairs. You wouldn’t take someone with a heart attack to a cosmetic surgeon or someone specializing in Pediatrics or an Orthopedic specialist! A very reoccurring comment we hear is clients going to untrained counsellors who can actually do considerable damage.
5. And YES an affair can become the BEST Thing that ever happened to both you and your partner and your relationship – if you have the right help and the ♥TOOLS!
YES! – another soapbox of mine. I’d appreciate some support from any readers sharing some of your stories about any pieces that resonate for you. It is important to get the message out how widespread and ‘common’ affairs are.
I will pick this up and share more specifics about what do if there is an affair in a relationship in another post……..With ♥LOVE and sending much ♥HOPE, Susie.
On another note – todays’ Addition to Shelton’s list of ♥favourite things is……dogs of all shapes and sizes – going on a walk with Shelton is about saying hello to every dog he meets….here’s Shelton and Freea with our dear dog Teddy who died some time ago….and dear Shelton is really ‘hanging out’ wanting to get another dog…..I think maybe he could start a new business as a ‘dog walker’ :O)