Usually the partner hurt by the affair questions what attraction the ‘other person’ had for their partner. Was she sexier than me? Smarter? Did he have more money?
The more pertinent question for the one who strayed is “What part of myself did I bring to the affair that I do not bring into my marriage?”
USA Today 4-25-12
Excellent article describing how the individual experience of wartime deployment causes emotional detachment and rage and negatively affecting marriages and family relationships.
A divorce is like an amputation: you survive it, but there’s less of you.
- Margaret Atwood
Many times I see couples who are deciding whether or not to get divorced. Usually there is one partner who is wanting the marriage more than the other – the concept of two people amicably agreeing to divorce is a myth in my opinion. There is always one person more in favor of the decision and in the other goes along unwillingly. Though not all marriages can survive I believe it is important to slow this decision process down so that the lifelong implications can be weighed realistically and each partner has an opportunity to understand what brings them to this point. If there is an outside emotional relationship with a promise of those heady times of infatuation, it is very difficult to halt the demise of the marriage. Often this important piece of information is not disclosed in therapy and the focus is on what is missing. This leaves the more committed partner believing it is his/her fault and potentially a lifelong mystery as to what went wrong.
In working with stepfamilies I find that there are often unrealistic expectations of a ‘Brady bunch’ blending and confusion about how to handle discipline with step children. My opinion is that the bio parent should be the one to handle discipline with their own children with the step parent backing them up. Too often the step parent feels the ambiguity of their role and wants to assert power by directly disciplining the step kids which can cause resentment and ongoing problems. foundation for respect and open communication. Understanding the children’s point of view is key. They’ll likely feel uncertain about the changes and how they will affect relationships with their natural parents. Acknowledging and respecting their conflicted feelings will lay a good foundation for respect and open communication. Most importantly expect this adjustment to take time!
“Do not make a life altering decision while you are in the initial stages of surviving infidelity. Even though it may feel as though there is no hope at all for your relationship, there may still be hope. Even though your spouse has done this awful thing, it is possible that he/she still loves you very much and perhaps you still love your spouse as well. …Many people have completely ended their relationships in the emotion of the moment, only to find themselves later in a 2nd marriage to someone who is 2nd best. Later both spouses realize that they both had actually loved each other more than anyone else and they could have worked it out, had they only tried. Don’t doom yourself to a future filled with “what ifs.” (Anne Bercht, from Beyondaffairs.com article “Ten Strategies for Surviving Infidelity”)
I’ve seen this happen before. It’s easier to flee then stand in the fire. And the fire can temper a material into something stronger than it was before.