Agony Aunt for Mums

Problem Corner: Is It Selfish To Want To Leave My Partner?

The Problem

Agony Aunt for Mums
Agony Aunt for Mums

I don’t really know where to start, you asked if my unhappiness is affecting the atmosphere, well I’m sure at times it does, I know I can be lost in my own thoughts and feelings and sometimes snap at those around me unduly. 

I met my partner when I was 16, though we didn’t get together until I was 21, he was a recovering addict at the time but shortly after the death of our son about a year later he started using again. Then he stopped. Swapped for alcohol etc, had a terrible time. I’ve supported him through so many therapies, 3 failed rehab attempts to get him off the methadone, he’s walked out after afew days each time. The last time killed the last bit of love I had for him. That was dec 2011. 

See as he’s had these problems he’s not worked, so has been around a lot for the kids and has been very involved and despite everything he is an amazing, attentive and devoted dad! Which in a way makes it harder for me, a lot of dads work, have little interaction, doesn’t leave a big whole in the childs life if they’re not living together day in day out. Whereas I feel like splitting with my partner is going to be a bigger and harder blow to my kids because he’s so involved with them. 

As everything stands, I know I’ll be ripping everyone lives apart and causing such heartache just because I’M unhappy. And that feels so selfish and heartless. I come from a long long line of couples that stayed together forever. Its a very deep-rooted introject I have that you stay together no matter what. And that’s hard to shake!! 

Like I said before, if I could see my unhappiness was affecting my kids then I could be out as I’d feel Id have a justified reason. As it stands I feel like I don’t have a leg to stand on. But I’ve been unhappy for years, and feel things are getting to a point where I just cant keep it all in anymore, somethings got to give, I need ot make a decision and stick to it and get through it. But I can’t make a decision. Feel like I go round and round in circles, and it always come back to the same question ‘what type of mother puts their happiness before their childrens?’ I don’t want to be that bad selfish mother. But I don’t want to be unhappy either. 

Here’s some more information I got from her:

  • They get on well at home, but when they argue it is physical from both of them and the kids have seen it once.
  • The kids are doing well at school
  • She has Fibromyalgia and is now 29
  • He is still lieing about things, which she has found out by snooping, but hasn’t confronted him

 

My Answer: The Worm Has Turned

 

I have thought about this long and hard lovely, I’m a big fan of marriage, but not at any cost, so I’m also a big fan of divorce.  It is a very tricky situation and I totally see why you are struggling.

This is very typical of what I call ‘The worm has turned syndrome’.  Women will take so much, over and over again, that often men think they can keep behaving badly (and vice versa).  But we can switch off VERY suddenly and very TOTALLY.

You seem to think that you are being selfish, but I think that you are STILL turning a blind eye to behaviour which is not acceptable from him.

You have been with him so long that you can’t see the difference between what is ‘normal’ (i.e. no man/woman makes the perfect partner) and what is unacceptable.  My parents were alcoholics, and although he is a great Dad, it may not be as ideal as you think for them to be growing up with him.

Plus being an addict, he is probably deeply manipulative and knows exactly what buttons to press.  I don’t think it is helping him to let him keep getting away with it.

Someone can be a wonderful Dad, but terrible partner.  He can still be a wonderful Dad when he’s not seeing them every day, but he won’t be a terrible partner any more.  (I’m not underestimating that there are downsides to this as well, as the grass is never greener).

The bottom line is that your relationship is emotionally, mentally and sometimes physically abusive and bad for your health as Fibromyalgia is proved to be stress related; you will be initiating the fight/flight response in your body permanently whenever he is in the house.

I think that you should look on the fact that your kids have had a very good and close start with your husband as a good thing.  It means that  whatever happens and however he behaves in the future with his addictions, they will always have that as a good strong foundation and know the good side to him.  This will be important as they grow an adult relationship with him.

Plus is sacrificing everything that makes you who you are, an example you want your children to follow?  Or staying in a relationship which will be exasperating the illness that you have?

I always say “it takes as much work to leave a relationship as to stay“, the problem is that you are in a nowhere zone at the moment.  From what I know of you I think that you would be up for some relationship counselling or coaching?  I reckon it would be a really good idea to get an objective party in to help to explain how you feel to him.  It might not fix it (probably not, although stranger things have happened), but it will give you some support and a mediator during a difficult time.

Don’t panic about time.  Something else that I say is ‘a relationship isn’t over until it is over‘; there’s no point rushing out, because issues need to be dealt with.  No decision should be made in panic; but that doesn’t mean that a decision shouldn’t be made.

 

The steps I recommend are:

 

1) Talk with a friend and write a list of what is unacceptable in his behaviour; you need the friend to highlight to you what is not acceptable and make a list of the things that you need to change.  No you can’t promise that this will make you fall back in love with him again, but it’s worth doing, and if they are reasonable requests they will probably do him good anyway.

2) Focus on yourself, getting stronger, feeling better about yourself; that way there is no wasted time.  Work out what you are not doing because of him or where you are being held back and get it started.  Stop being held back.

3) Explain to your partner that you are very unhappy, and that it stems from that time a long time ago and that if there is any chance of lasting you guys will need help.

4) But whenever talking to him about it, make sure you DO NOT use the word YOU.  I talk about it in this post about how to turn around a disrespectful relationship.

5) Start going to relationship counselling/coaching together.  Not necessarily in order to stay together, but to make sure that your issues with each other are resolved and if you split that it is not acrimonious.  You can sell it to him as how important it is for him to be able to retain as good a relationship with the kids as he has now, which would be badly affected by the split being acrimonious.

6) If he says no to counselling or coaching, then that is a deal breaker; you are not happy with the situation and you need a third party to monitor his behaviour because of the addictive and manipulative personality.

7) If he says yes, but then there is always a reason to not be able to go; that’s a deal breaker too.

8) Hubby needs to get a job!  Even just a part-time supermarket job; just something that gets him out and about.  If there are no jobs, then he needs to volunteer somewhere.

9) Set a deadline of when you will call it a day if there is no progress; probably 1yr.

10) Make some practical plans and do some research about how to go about divorcing him.  This doesn’t mean that you aren’t putting in the effort to the relationship, just that it will stop you panicking about wasted time.

11) It will be tough, there is no doubt about it.  And it WILL be tough on him as he has been with the children day to day.  There is a daddy blogger who was a stay at home Dad who you can read to see the reality of it.  Not to stop you.  But so that you know.

12) Very gradually when the opportunity arises chat to your kids and show them examples of where it has worked when parents divorce.  After all it can be very good for them to get proper quality time with each parent separately and there are many, many success stories.

13) With the whole ancestors pressure I would like you to take each couple in turn and write down the DOWNSIDE for each of them and their families that they stayed together.  You need to see that there are pro’s and con’s to staying or going.  But the important thing is doing what your heart needs, because a person with a dead heart is no good to anyone.

14) To help you feel like your life is making progress, sit down and think about 3 things you what DEFINITELY to have achieved when you are on your death bed.  Yes, it maybe selfish, but is staying in a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship really what you want one of them to be?  When you have picked your three, remind yourself of them every morning; this is a little trick I teach in my book ‘6 Steps To A Sparkling You‘ as it keeps you focussed on what you want.

15) Write down the DOWNSIDEs for your children for you to stay with your husband with the relationship as it is.  There ARE downsides, because there are downsides to everything, even chocolate.  I just want you to get a more balanced perspective on the situation.

 

Keep in touch lovely, and let us know how you do; you can always add an anonymous comment.

Plus check back in a few days as I’m sure that this story will hit the hearts of many Mums out there who will be able to add their twopennyworth to my ideas.

We’d love to hear back from you in 6-12 months time to find out how your story progresses as well.

 

Re-igniting Sexual Desire

I read a couple of heart-rending mummy blogs recently, where two Mums were asking for advice about their lack of sex life and wondering how come their partners appeared not to be interested.  They were distressed because society gives off the impression that men only think about sex, so now they are wondering why their partner’s are not thinking about sex with them.  I also read a fascinating article in the Daily Mail by a sex therapist, which offered some really simple start off advice, like just trying to hold hands and spend time together for a bit <click here for more>.  Of course there are also many Mums out there who have totally lost interest in having sex themselves, either due to giving birth, or the stress of general family life.

Now, this is just a quick blog with some ideas to help out.  I probably won’t be able to cover the whole subject in one go, especially as I have a 2 week old baby sitting next to me, who is bound to wake up very soon!  So bear with me, and if I haven’t covered a particular scenario, just pop a comment at the bottom and I’ll cover it next time ;o)

Step 1 – What’s your priority on what to fix?

One of the blogs was from a lovely Mum, who has two little girls, and has been looking at loads of ‘problems’ like her weight, getting her inner sparkle back, going back to work, and of course her sex life.  Having thought about her situation and how my clients like to tackle things, my advice is to remember that sometimes we can only sort out one problem at a time.  It was a very wise actress/writer client of mine who one day halted my enthusiasm for her coming on another workshop of mine, by saying ‘give me a chance Lisa, I’m just sorting out this other area of life at the moment’!  She was sooooo right.  I might have workshops and services for any problem, but that to attempt to fix everything in a couple of months would be very disorientating for my clients.

So I also advise people generally to take their ‘fixing’ gently and just focus on one or two areas at a time.  Little steps, will still get you there.

So list all the ‘problems’ you have, and then prioritise them; not in the order that you ‘should’ tackle them, but into the order of the amount of ‘brain noise’ they create for you.  Also, look at the potential dangers from them not being fixed in the next 2 months, and then reconsider the order.  For instance, if you are looking at going back to work now, then tackle that one first.  But if there is a chance that your relationship is about to break up any minute, then put work on the back burner and tackle the sex issue.

Step 2 – Is the issue the lack of sex, or something else creating stress?

Now, from Step 1 you have a list of problems or issues.  Have a look at them.  Is it possible that one of them is the actual cause of the stress and lack of intimacy between the two of you?  In which case, tackle that first and you might well ‘kill two birds with one stone’!

For instance, are you lacking in confidence due to your body image?  Hows about going out and finding yourself a FUN exercise class.  (Combining fun and exercise is much more effective, than just exercise).  For instance, I recommend belly dancing, pole dancing, any kind of general dancing, walking with other mums.  Do you need a hair cut?  Do you remember to cleanse & moisturise your face every day?  Do your clothes make you feel rubbish?  Do you drink water every day?

Is it your husband worrying about his body image?  Then hows about getting him into a hobby that will just take up a couple of hours a week, and help him to feel more masculine?  My husband needs some time to himself every week, otherwise he will feel suffocated.  Bike riding works for him.  Others might like martial arts, or to go to the gym or to play football with some mates.

Is your balance of work/life/rest/play out of whack?  That is, do you have any rest or play, not do you have as much time resting and playing?  If you don’t get 1hr for a bath a week, then of course you aren’t going to feel relaxed enough for sex.  Do you have any fun?  We are not talking about quantity, but quality?  Does your partner have any fun during the week?

Whatever you think the problem is, create an action plan for tackling it, and put a time scale to it.  Now double the time scale to make sure it is achievable!  Then it’s time to start, and each week have a look back and adjust your action plans if things change.

Step 3 – Make Time

Take your time, and make time is another good hint.  Little things like saying ‘thank you’ or ‘you look great today’ or giving them a kiss goodnight can help.  With the stress of the family, do you forget to look at each other in the eye when you talk to each other, because you are barking orders, whilst keeping an eye on the kids (don’t feel guilty, we’ve all done it!).

Is there a chance you could go out for dinner and just talk; don’t put pressure on to have sex, you are just aiming to chat and reconnect with each other.  If not, hows about lunch?  If not, hows about a take away and a bottle of wine?  I know you are tired, but will 1hr really make a difference?  Hows about getting a film and sitting on the sofa together holding hands, with some pop corn?

Step 4- Finances

FINANCES arrgghh, they are so often the cause behind lack of intimacy.  The reason is because it creates stress, but also, it they are used as secret power weapons in the relationship.  Now, I’m going to give you a big secret weapon in another blog, but there is some preparatory work for that, so if it is money that is causing your problem, then make sure that you have signed up for my free newsletter (don’t worry, I don’t send out lots of spam) and read the ebooks on values and finances, and listen to the audios.

Step 5 – Be Caring

This also needs a much bigger blog, and again if you really want to know how to switch on your partner’s buttons, then you totally need to understand how they tick and how you can press their buttons.  But first, you need to get my introduction to values, which arrives free when you join my email list.

Here’s a couple of things to think about – being caring is not about doing things for people, it is about doing things that they like!  BOTH women and men are easily turned on by appealing to their values, it’s a mental thing for both of them, not just men, and it’s a piece of cake if you know them well.  But we don’t know our partner’s very well, we often just make huge assumptions (again, this is just the way that we are, so no criticism is meant).

Right, got to go, little pink is waking up.  Feel free to ask questions for more information, but please don’t leave comments about what is missing from the blog, because there is bound to be stuff missing as it isn’t a book ;o)

Coming soon:

  • The secret weapon to stopping money getting in the way of sex
  • What ‘creates’ sexual desire – it’s not what you think.
  • How to tackle more indepth sexual issues

Swap Guilt/Pain From Affairs For A Bright Future

Blimey, what’s going on with the celebrities this month, we have Tiger Woods and his addictions, John Terry and the girls desperate to become WAGs, and now Vernon Kay with his daft texts.  I feel for anyone who discovers that their partner has been unfaithful in any manner, but I particularly feel for these women, as the whole drama will get played out infront of the media.  It must be much harder in some ways, because they also have to face the most massive public humiliation.  The only upside is that so many of their compatriots will be able to help out, whereas in a more ‘normal’ life these things are often kept secret.  So as BabyNo2 is still preferring the warmth of my tummy, rather than the snow outside, I’ve written this blog, for those women who find it when they are in pain, to show them that there is a chance of a pain free future.

Lets play the ‘Society Says’ game …

  • Society says that affairs are wrong.
  • Society says that the ‘adulterer’ should feel guilty.
  • Society says and the poor ‘victim’ left behind will feel devastated.
  • Society says that ‘other person’ was a predatory horrible person.
  • Society says that if you stay together the relationship will never be the same again.
  • Society says that if you don’t, all your future relationships will be tainted by the pain of the past.
  • Society says that the guilt and bad start means that if the affair continues, it will eventually dissolve disastrously.

Are you planning on playing a life like the game ‘Simon says’ from our childhood?  Do you know how much conditioning of how we are meant to feel affects us?  Hows about ignoring what everyone else says, and instead look for the potential that could come out from the events of your past?  Someone once told me ‘Out of great destruction, comes great creation‘, maybe that would be a more useful mantra?

Now don’t get me wrong; I am not belittling the pain of feeling like your life is falling apart, or the shock of discovering that your partner is not who you thought they were.  There is the feeling of being a total fool, either because you didn’t guess, or because you did, but were willing to be persuaded you were wrong.  There are so many painful thoughts that go through the heads of the people involved, that I couldn’t possibly do them justice here.  However, I don’t need to, because the market is jam packed with books and material about ‘victims’, ‘surviving affairs’, and pain, pain, pain, pain.

My plan is add to the less frequent voice of people suggesting that there can be opportunity, miracle, transformation and an extremely bright future once the storm has passed.  The reason that I go for this camp, is because what I care about is that everyone involved in the affair is able to have a life full of potential, where they can see the opportunities ahead of them.  There are the couples who could remain together, and go on to have a relationship which is stronger and more fabulous than before.  There are the couples who could split up and go on to have the most incredibly relationship of their lives.  There is the opportunity to mentor to our kids that they will survive even the toughest of challenges, so that there is no need to fear pain in the future.  There is the shift in the people involved reminding them of their potential to create outside of the relationship as well.  All of these opportunities will be stifled by fear and guilt.

I’m suggesting that this is possible, not just because it sounds like a ‘nice’ idea, but having had 10yrs of training, loads of clients, and my own experiences.  Some people are able to achieve this all on their own, which is a truly brave and courageous feat.  However, because of the heavy pressure of ‘society says’, many will need some assistance, and it might take some time.  But, that time will be little in comparison to the amount of potential years ahead, so I thoroughly encourage you to be open to the fact that maybe it won’t do us any good to berate the ‘guilty’ or sympathise with the ‘victim’.  I’ve used those terms in my previous posts I admit, so that I could win over your trust and hope that you would continue to listen to me when I got a little more controversial.

Now how I help people through this process is a little complicated to discuss in a post, but I’m going to give you a little insight into some of the steps involved.

  1. It’s important to be sure about why we feel guilty or are upset.  People assume that everyone who experiences the same problem feel the same, but actually we don’t.  If we dig deeper, we’ll find out that we have a very specific description of how we feel about it.  (This is not about the story, but about the character traits or description of the actions of the parties involved).
  2. The other thing that blanks us is to imagine that we ‘would never’ or ‘have never’ done the same thing and that the ‘guilty’ party is totally guilty.  What helps is to see that no one is ‘totally’ a particular characteristic in every area of life, and neither are we quite as perfect and untainted as we might imagine!  Some people call this ‘reflection’; it is the theory that the reason one thing upsets person A, but not person B is because person A is reminded of themselves and by something they have done somewhere in their life.
  3. The next most vital steps in the process are looking for those ‘opportunities’ that I mentioned before.  These are the ‘silver linings’ behind the clouds, and the reasons why we didn’t just gain from the experience, but when we look at reality, we actually don’t want to change the way it worked out.  (Now, don’t throw things at me and say ‘how could you say that’; just imagine how it could feel if I proved it to you!).

Now, I don’t really think that you need loads more complicated detail about the steps involved, but if you would really like to know a load more about the methods I use, then there is much more in depth information on my ‘Dance of Life‘ website and blogs, which are all purely focussed on the Demartini Method.  I can also recommend a book called ‘The Heart of Love’ by Dr John F Demartini.  I also recommend that you read the rest of my blogs under the category of affairs; there will be more to come too!

For the rest of you, I hope that I have opened you up your eyes to the potential of hope and an extremely bright future. You don’t have to fear it happening to you, because if you believe I might be talking sense, you know you will be OK.   For those who have experienced an affair; It’s Ok to be a miserable mess or still held back from either guilt or pain, but if at some point you would like to have a future free of the past, I’m here to tell you that it is possible.

What's The Motivation Behind The 'Other Woman/Man'?

So why do people go for someone who is already ‘taken’ when there are so many single people available?

Well, I’m going to explain some of the most obvious reasons, but basically the motivation for anyone’s behaviour is their value set (the hierarchy of what they love to get from life and do in life).  So the ‘unfaithful’ person will get involved because it appears that the new person matches their values more than the old one, and the ‘other person’ will get involved because it basically works for them.  If you would like to know more about working out your own value set, or that of the people around you, I give a free introductory ebook and audio when people join my email list for my newsletter.

The problem is that society puts such a lot of charge onto affairs, that people look for HUGE reasons why they happen, and often there is no obvious answer or problem to explain it, so it can be confusing (see my other blogs). Also, people are so sure that it is ‘bad’ to be the ‘other woman/man’, that they don’t look deeply into how come often very ‘nice’ people can get themselves into a difficult situation.  Mind you, there are also the less ‘nice’ reasons for it too ;o)

Infatuation: What Is It?

The reason why ‘nice’ people get all twiddled up in an affair is purely because they become so infatuated that they are totally controlled by their passion.  Ironically, I could ‘cure’ them of this within a few hours given a chance, because all I need to do is take off their rose tinted glasses (and I have the cruel tools to be able to do so!).  They will only see the fabulous things about this new person in their life, and will completely ignore the things that the partner sees; like snoring, farting, looking rubbish in the morning, being grumpy, being lazy, or being high maintenance (the list is endless, because we all have less attractive sides to us!).  Then they will be totally convinced that this person is bringing something to their life that they have either never experienced elsewhere or could never experience elsewhere.  So it is just a matter of showing them that they already have everything that they think they are missing, they are just not appreciating where it is.  I bet the partner would love to be sexy too, given the chance, or spend loads of time at the gym and become gorgeous.  Given a bit of caring attention, the current partner would probably be up for being less grumpy and more fun to live with as well (or whatever the complaint is about something being missing)!  Plus, there is always a hidden cost to the infatuation.  For some it is the loss of pension or half their savings.  For others it would be the loss of regular contact with their children, or losing friends or the disappointment of relatives.  It’s always there!

Addiction

With Tiger Woods in the media at the moment, the subject of ‘addiction’ also comes up.  Now this is a more complicated subject that I will blog about at another point.  But it’s like the most extreme infatuation that you can imagine to either the romance of new relationships, or the lust of sexual desire.  It is totally fixable, but it would take more than a couple of hours, and would be more in depth than what I described for the general infatuation cycle.

Being Invincible

There are a few people (either the partner or the other person), who just generally believe that they will get away with anything, can charm anyone, and either won’t get caught or will always be able to get out of a situation or problem.  It’s a type of narcicism/big ego syndrome, which many famous people probably suffer from (aka a few footballers), plus a few of those people often termed ‘lovable rogues’ or ‘charming’.  If this is the problem that the unfaithful partner faces, then without help, they are unlikely to change their behaviour, and they are unlikely to ask for help, because they don’t see what is wrong with what they are doing.  Unfortunately, they need to learn from their mistakes by paying a big price, i.e. seeing one of their values hit big time.

The people who therefore have affairs with these types, are probably either easily led or easily charmed.  When in a good mood, a narcisist will make you feel a hundred dollars.  Just remember, that if they can do that, they can also do the opposite and make you feel like you are bankrupt!

They Have Already Proved They Can Commit

If the ‘other woman or man’ would like to be in a relationship, they can be pretty sure that it is also in the values of the person that they have the affair with, as they have already proved their ability to be in a relationship!  (The logic of wanting a relationship with someone who has the ability to be unfaithful as well, doesn’t tend to figure!).  Society gets very shocked when a woman gets involved with a married man with children.  However, he has already proved that he would like to commit, and procreate, so he is a good bet, especially if it is possible he could afford the maintenance and a new wife!  These people will be able to ‘sniff’ out someone who likes being in a relationship, but is currently dissatisfied with their partner, and offer themselves as a much more attractive option.

I’ve noticed similar behaviour in my coaching/therapy business!  I often assist my mentor at large events that have a couple of hundred people attending, including my own clients.  What is interesting is that sometimes I have noticed my compatriots shamelessly targeting my clients, rather than ‘fresh blood’.  It might seem unprofessional, however, you can see the logic to it, because they have already proved that they are willing to spend money to change their lives, so they are a good bet!

Outright Ambition

The previous option of finding someone who has already shown they can commit, can become a conscious and very ambitious, purposeful strategy.  These people are competitive, will have a strategy, and will make it very difficult for the committed person to resist them.  They don’t just target footballers and golfers either!  Basically, they will target anyone who could give them the lifestyle they are after, plus still afford to pay off the first partner.  In a previous post I suggested that sometimes we need to watch over our partners and almost ‘protect’ them from impossible temptations.  Lets put it another way;  If it is possible that you could be competing with people like this, then make sure you are not holding yourself back, because they will make sure that your partner knows they will do anything to get them, so are you showing that you are willing to do anything to keep them?  (I’m not suggesting you do anything that would belittle yourself, or that you don’t want to do.  But there is always a compromise, you just need to really know them well and what their values are, so that you can tick enough boxes!).

I know that you will think that this is outrageous behaviour on their part, but think about it this way; Hundreds of years ago, these people would have made fabulous adventurers, providers, hunters and protectors.  I suppose that they are frustrated predators.

Not Looking For Something Serious

Then of course there are people whose values mean that they would currently prefer to not be in a relationship that is heavy or heading towards marriage.  If someone is already in a relationship, then they make the perfect option.  It’s all about fun, and none of the boring suburban stuff.  They are obviously very attractive to the person in the relationship, because they appear to be offering ‘no strings’, and appear strong because they are not ‘needy’!  These people are unlikely to want to get found out or caught, unless they also have a high value on danger.  Sometimes, it might be because they are just trying on the concept of a long term relationship for size, so this is their half-way house enroute to finding their own partner.

Sometimes the unfaithful partner gets attracted into relationships like this because they can’t manage to see their partner as both a sexual being and a long term partner.  There are some cultures around the world, where it is deemed perfectly reasonable for a husband to have a wife and a mistress, as long as they behave respectfully.  It would be possible in this situation to help both parties to get over any ‘issues’ they have and combine the roles together.

A Word of Warning/Comfort

If your relationship fell apart due to an affair, be assured that ‘what comes around, goes around’, which is how come so few relationships survive when they start off with unfaithfulness.  Even if it doesn’t hit their relationship, it will hit them somewhere important in their lives.

If you were party to splitting up a relationship, then you might want to consider getting some assistance to work through the guilt of it, and the fear of it happening to you.  Because it is that guilt or fear that will attract the same situation back into your life.  This is not due to a judgmental ‘karma’, it is just so that you get to understand what it feels like on both sides of the story.

Why Do Affairs Hurt Some People More Than Others?

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).

Why Do Affairs Happen If You Aren't Bitchy or Frigid?

I was infuriated this morning by listening to some chappie on the TV saying, ‘well you never know what was going on at home, maybe it was a sexless marriage!’; PLLLLEASE!  That is such an urban myth, that affairs happen because the partner did something ‘wrong’.  I’m not saying that something was not going on in the relationship.  But because no one is taught what I’m about to explain to you, often the partner has no hope in hell of staving off the unfaithfulness of their partner.

Why do affairs happen if there is no bitchy wife or lack of sex?

Affairs are fascinating, as there really are reasons for them to occur, which explain what often appears to be totally illogical.  Take the recent captain of the english football team, with a beautiful wife and family; is he really so vacuous that he is incapable of refusing a woman who throws himself at him?  What about the famous golfer who appears to have slept with anything that walked, despite childhood distress when his Dad was unfaithful; why did he get himself into that situation?

The answer is a mixture of the points below, most of which you will never have heard of before (and I’ll keep blogging as well, to fill in the gaps and add extra information in the future, like why the ‘other woman’ gets involved, and can a relationship survive unfaithfulness).  p.s. I’ve used the words ‘victim’ and ‘culprit’ and ‘other woman’ just as convenient titles, but that is just for ease of identity, I don’t believe that it helps if you consider yourself to be the ‘wronged’ person, and I will continue to blog on ideas on how to pick yourself up afterwards, whichever role you played.

1) There is ‘baggage’ in both the ‘victim’s and ‘culprit’s emotional lives about unfaithfulness.

Either they have been unfaithful and it’s time for them to experience the opposite, or they are still upset about someone being unfaithful to them.  Often, I have found that the ‘baggage’ goes all the way back to the parents too and something that happened with them.  This is one of the key problems for the golfer, because he probably vowed he would never be like his Dad, but there is tremendous wisdom in the saying ‘Never say never’.  If we are unaware of the potential for being unfaithful, then we can easily get caught unawares.  Often, when we then discover with horror that we have done exactly that, the guilt paralyzes us, and we ironically keep doing it, because we just don’t understand how on earth we got there.

2) There is a change in the ‘victims’ empowerment levels.

It can either happen because they suddenly become disempowered or ironically because they become more empowered.  I bet this is particularly true of WAGS, because as they get more and more worried about their partner’s being unfaithful, they will become less and less sure of themselves.  If they are not sure of themselves, then they are not sure of their value, and their partner will subconsciously pick up on that.  When their partner picks up on the change they will either match it (by becoming more or less empowered) or look for someone else who matches what they used to be like.  Because of this affairs often happen at what appears to be the most ‘socially unacceptable’ point in time, because that is when the ‘victim’ is most disempowered, e.g. when they are pregnant (very prevalent).

3) ‘The victim’ is not selling themselves to their partner in terms of their partner’s values.

Values are what we think are important in life.  They give us purpose, and determine what we love to do and have.  In fact they are basically what makes us tick.  (If you would like a free ebook on values and how to start identifying yours and your loved ones, sign up for my free email newsletter).  The ‘victim’ may not be being horrid, but it could be as little as just taking their partner for granted a little or assuming that they will always be faithful.  It’s not very romantic to say this, but all relationships are a deal, where you show that your particular brand is better than all the other brands out there.  I know what you are going to say ‘but what about love’ or ‘but what about vows and promises’?  I totally know what you mean, but as a major people watcher and studier, I can ensure you that there’s no point in saying ‘but we SHOULD be faithful’, because that just isn’t the way life is, apart from a very small group of people who have an incredibly high value on faithfulness or loyalty.

Often, the person having the affair will have blamed all that is wrong in their life on their partner and assume all that is good is down to the new relationship or the high they get from the one night stands.  So they definitely have a tendency to not taking responsibility for their lives and what they are dissatisfied with.  Sometimes, they have terribly low self-esteem, and it would literally be impossible to pamper their ego’s as much as is required to keep them faithful.  Or sometimes, they have been spoilt so badly, that they literally have no impulse control or are easily swayed by people who are more important in their values (e.g. team/work mates).

Now this is obviously a complicated subject, so I’ve just started by giving you a taster in order to help you understand the rubbish behind the urban myths around affairs.  When I get a chance I will write some more, for example:

  • Why it is totally possible to survive an affair and come out of it with a better relationship (if you would like to)
  • Why it’s also OK to not stay in the relationship, but how to make sure you don’t end up repeating old mistakes
  • How come you ended up being the ‘other person’ in an affair
  • And loads more!