Almost everyone denies an affair at first, even when confronted with overpowering evidence. When a woman I counseled broke in on her husband having sex with a neighbor, he tried to convince her that she was having a hallucination. While seeing your spouse in bed with a lover is sure-fire evidence of an affair, that kind of evidence is usually close to impossible to find. But there are many other less intrusive ways to detect ongoing affairs. For an unfaithful spouse to engage in an affair without detection, two separate lives must be created, one for the lover and one for the spouse. A certain amount of dishonesty is required in both of them, but the major deception is with the spouse. So one of the most common clues of an affair is an unwillingness to let a spouse investigate all aspects of life. If two lives are necessary for an affair, and if a spouse is curious enough, the secret second life is relatively easy to discover. Difficulty in getting a spouse to talk about events of the day can be a sign of trying to hide the second life. One of the most common smoke-screens used by unfaithful spouses is to express shock that their spouse would be so distrusting as to ask questions about their secret second life. They try to make it seem as if such questions are an affront to their dignity, and a sign of incredible disrespect. They figure that the best defense is a good offense, and so they try to make their spouses feel guilty about asking too many questions. I am a firm believer in letting each spouse do as much snooping around as they want. Nothing should be kept secret in marriage, and no questions should be left unanswered. If a spouse objects to such scrutiny, what might he or she be hiding? From “Coping With Infidelity Part II” by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5060_qa.html
The cruelest lies are
often told in silence.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Some affairs are “one night stands.” They usually take place when a spouse is away on a trip, or when one has gone out partying without the other spouse. These relatively loveless affairs usually happen when people drink and lose impulse control. Alcoholics are the ones most likely to have these flings. Other affairs start as a caring friendship and develop over years to become a complete relationship that solves most emotional and practical issues for the couple. These relationships become so complete and persistent that spouses are eventually divorced, and the lovers are united in marriage. But most affairs are somewhere in between one night stands and relationships that lead to marriage. Affairs usually take place because they meet important “emotional needs”. But most affairs meet only some emotional needs not met in marriage, leaving others that are being met by a spouse. That fact usually rules out the possibility of divorce, at least for the spouse having the affair. The wayward spouse knows that the lover, for some reason, is not able to meet some of the needs met by his or her spouse. So most affairs are never intended to lead to divorce and remarriage, but are “safety-valve” relationships that satisfy a need not met in marriage. Having drawn the above conclusion about the nature of affairs, it should be obvious why most wayward spouses would like their affairs to go undetected. Not only do they want to avoid all the unhappiness that goes with discovery, but they also want to continue the affair as long as it meets needs not met in marriage. In most cases, a lover only meets one or two emotional needs, while the spouse meets others. From “Coping With Infidelity Part II” by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5060_qa.html
If you cheat on someone
who is willing
to do anything for you,
you actually cheated yourself
out of true loyalty.
You or your spouse are more likely to have an affair than you are to divorce. And your chances of divorce are already 50-50. An affair is devastating to almost everyone involved. It’s one of the most painful experiences that the jilted spouse will ever be forced to endure, and it is also very painful for the children. Friends and members of the extended family are usually hurt as well. But what most people don’t realize is that the unfaithful spouse and the lover are also hurt by the experience. It almost always causes them to suffer acute depression, often with thoughts of suicide. With all this sadness, why do so many people do it? Affairs are almost always with friends and co-workers. That’s because the people you work with and those you spend leisure time with are usually in the best position to meet your most important emotional needs. But in the world of the internet, total strangers can also meet your emotional needs through chat rooms and e-mail because they meet your need for conversation so effectively. Do you and your spouse talk as much and as deeply as you talk to people on the internet? If not, watch out. As you probably know, an affair through the internet is becoming one of the most dangerous risks of owning a computer. We are all wired for affairs. The only people who are exempt are those who are utterly incapable of meeting someone else’s emotional needs. If you can’t meet anyone’s needs, no one will ever fall in love with you. But if your spouse has anything to offer others, and you are not meeting an important emotional need, commitment to “forsake all others” can become words without meaning. From “Coping With Infidelity” by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5059_qa.html
There are all kinds of ways
for a relationship to be tested,
even broken, some, irrevocably;
it’s the endings we’re unprepared for.
From “Not To Us” By Katherine Owen
People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one’s master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked…The man who lies to the world, is the world’s slave from then on…There are no white lies, there is only the blackest of destruction, and a white lie is the blackest of all. from “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand
Things come apart so easily
when they have been
held together with lies.
While in a monogamous relationship seeing an attractive woman and finding her physically appealing is a normal thing. Reacting to that attraction and cheating on the one committed to you is NOT! Sure, some men will tell you it’s OK and a biologically natural thing for a man to do. That is only rational thinking for when we were only animals grunting about in the bushes; not today. Following through on an urge to be unfaithful can be everything from a bad mistake to sexual compulsion to a form of addiction. A grown up should know better and if you can’t control yourself, do what I did; get help. Don’t let it come close to destroying your life as it almost did mine.
To cheat oneself out of love is the most terrible deception;
it is an eternal loss for which there is no reparation,
either in time or in eternity.