We all assume that affairs hurt everyone, in exactly the same way, but in fact they don’t and it is NOT because one person loved their partner more than the other person did. I remember when I lived in Lincolnshire there was a sudden flurry of partner’s being discovered to be unfaithful, followed by divorces. I watched as some of the wives were so heart broken that their lives fell apart, whereas others seemed to have an ability to quickly find a new rythmn for their life.
There are a couple of reasons why this is so, and therefore even if you find yourself in the extremely distressed camp, you can switch to the less painful camp.
1) A Balanced Mix Of Interests In Different Areas Of Life
You can split life into 7 areas:
- Spiritual – having a sense of purpose, bigger reason to be, or religious views
- Mental – continuing to learn new things however old you are
- Vocational – job or clear role in life
- Financial – understanding of our financial value, even if we are not bringing in money
- Social – having a strong, wide, network of people in different groups/places
- Familial – our family and relationships
- Physical – health, taking care of ourselves, exercising, eating well
A person who focusses on just a one or two areas of life, like their family and their physical appearance, will be hit terribly hard by the discovery of what they see as ‘betrayal’ from their partner. Whereas, someone who has lots of interests and a perception of a degree of ability of power in more areas, will be less harshly affected. This is the difference from feeling like the rug has been pulled out from your whole life, and feeling as though there is still a strong future for yourself.
So if your rug has been pulled, then there is something that you can do; get out there and start doing something about the other areas of your life. I promise you that you are a valuable and fabulous human being. I know you don’t feel it right now, but the beginning step is to fake it until you make it.
2) Having A Strong Belief/Value That Gets Hit
If you have a strong romantic streak, and belief that there will be ‘one’ person for you, it will be tremendously hard to handle affairs. It’s amazing how many people I’ve had to help because of the new ‘Twilight’ series of books. I love them too, but there is a significant downside with the message of love for eternity and lack of focus on the downside on that kind of incredible infatuation. Also, people who have a tremendously strong belief in the strength of vows for either religious or moral reasons, will be not only shocked, but also deeply mortified by their partner’s unfaithfulness.
Sadly a lack of reality check is one of the biggest causes of pain for people. We focus on how life ‘should’ be, rather on how humans actually behave. We ignore reality, and have unrealistic expectations for the people that we love, which means that they are bound to let us down. For instance, put a toddler in a room full of chocolate, and there is no doubt that some will be able to resist because they have a stronger people pleasing and rule awareness. But put my son in there and he will come out with a face covered in chocolate and a VERY long story about how his invisible friend forced him to eat the chocolate because otherwise the world would have blown up!
I totally get your love of fantasy or these beliefs, but they are causing you pain. Let them go. The real world, really isn’t that bad, at least you won’t get shocked or distressed by it. (Check out my free ebook on Values, which you get if you sign up for my email newsletter).
3) Seeing the Silver Lining
The whole premise behind the methods that I’ve trained in for the past 10yrs is to empower people, not leave them as ‘victims’ of their past pain. It’s fine to get to the point where you are just ‘over it’ or indifferent. Some therapies can even get you to the point of ‘acceptance’ or ‘forgiveness’. But I am ambitious! I get people to the point where they are free of their past, and it doesn’t affect their future, apart from the fact that they would never want their past to be any different and they are totally grateful for it. ‘How the hell do you do that’ you maybe asking? Well, it’s not easy, obviously, but it is totally possible, and it is totally possible very quickly. Jo Wood is a particularly good example of the first step, which is to look for the silver lining, which is always there. She admits that she would never have left her husband Ronnie, but that her life has taken off incredibly since he left her.
So literally, it’s about looking at our lives and looking over a period of time for what we have gained, how we benefited, or how we have come out better for the experience. By keeping stacking them up, over and over again, we will really start to appreciate our lives, get stronger, and have a future filled with potential. When we are full of hurt and pain, we unfortunately ignore and miss the opportunities that life offers us. Whereas when we can see that there is tonnes of stuff in our lives to be grateful for, we will be not be held back by our past, but will ready for the rest of our lives with vigour.
In Conclusion (for now!)
Affairs are a complicated subject obviously, so I’ll be blogging lots about them over a period of time. I recommend you check out my other blogs under the category of relationships or with a tag of affair.
(Also, please note, that in most of the things that I blog about, I’m nearly always stressing how capable we are of sorting our own lives out. But affairs are one of the things that are considered so socially unacceptable that it can be very difficult to cope alone, especially if the couple are attempting to remain together. If you would like to know more about how I work, or people trained similarly to myself, then feel free to contact me directly, and check out my other blogs and websites).
5 thoughts on “Why Do Affairs Hurt Some People More Than Others?”
It’s all about trust isn’t it? If your partner has an affair and you carry on as normal, isn’t that encouraging your partner to do it again. After all, the adulterer might have been caught, but they haven’t been punished.
I trust my husband 100%. If he ever did do it, I would be naturally mortified. And I think only then would I know how to react.
A very thought-provoking and interesting post.
Hiya Crystal – very good points, I’m going to blog on how to tell whether there is a chance that your other half has a fighting chance of changing their ways. Plus, very wise not to jump to conclusions about how we would behave in those circumstances.
I had a very strong belief that marriage was based on the vows taken when you get married and I took them very seriously. Yes I was focused on kids, and my husband and our home, but I also had a job that I loved and was very involved, along with my husband, in theater and music! So, our life/my life, was not single minded or not focused in a lot of directions. And, after it was over, it was over and I moved on. However, I was hurt, and it did change the way I trust people, as my now husband has found out, and it changed the way my children look at marriage and relationships as well! And, honestly, anyone who says that betrayal doesn’t change them or their kids (if there are kids involved) are kidding themselves!
To be honest, I suspect that the majority of people take their vows seriously. What can go wrong for them is that they don’t know themselves well, and have unrealistic expectations about their ability to remain faithful. The other thing that can happen is that although sticking to our vows is on our values list, something else sneaks up higher, which then happens to get us into trouble.
You’ve done really well to keep your relationship together, especially as you particularly had such strong beliefs in vows (which is not in any way unreasonable).
I know what you mean about the change – yes, I’m not saying that it won’t change a person. But I do have considerable experience in this area, and the change does not have to be one that is driven by pain. But you are right, that in the majority of cases that is what happens, because people do not generally have access to the techniques that I use – I do hope to change that in the future.
Take care of yourself, I saw on your blog that you are a little worried about your health – I hope it all works out better than expected.
I really won’t know about what’s going on with me health wise until after the MRI! But, I’m sure one way or another it will all work out!