Although some people are more curious than others, it’s very common to have lots of questions about the marital affair, especially initially. If you have little interest in the facts, so be it. However, if you need to know what happened, ask. Although the details may be uncomfortable to hear, just knowing your spouse is willing to “come clean” helps people recover. As the unfaithful spouse, you might feel tremendous remorse and guilt, and prefer avoiding the details entirely, but experience shows that this is a formula for disaster. Sweeping negative feelings and lingering questions under the carpet makes genuine healing unlikely. Once there is closure on what actually happened, there is typically a need to know why it happened. Betrayed spouses often believe that unless they get to the bottom of things, it could happen again. Unfortunately, since the reasons people stray can be quite complex, the “whys” aren’t always crystal clear. No one “forces” anyone to be unfaithful. Infidelity is a decision, even if doesn’t feel that way. If you were unfaithful, it’s important to examine why you allowed yourself to do something that could threaten your marriage. Were you satisfying a need to feel attractive? Are you having a mid-life crisis? Did you grow up in a family where infidelity was a way of life? Do you have a sexual addiction? It’s equally important to explore whether your marriage is significantly lacking. Although no marriage is perfect, sometimes people feel so unhappy, they look to others for a stronger emotional or physical connection. They complain of feeling taken for granted, unloved, resentful, or ignored. Sometimes there is a lack of intimacy or sexuality in the marriage. If unhappiness with your spouse contributed to your decision to have an affair, you need to address your feelings openly and honestly so that together you can make some changes. If open communication is a problem, consider seeking help from a qualified marital therapist or taking a communication skill-building class. There are many available through religious organizations, community colleges and mental health settings. By Michele Weiner-Davis, M.S.W. http://www.divorcebusting.com/a_healing_from_infidelity.htm
Guilt and no guilt:
these were the worst things.
The only thing worse
than the guilt was
the fear of getting caught.
We don’t always fall for someone simply because their positive qualities complement our own but also because their negative traits fit ours so well. Therefore, the first thing to do when entering into a relationship (or improving one, for that matter) is to take a look at yourself and at the history of your relationships. What are the qualities that you typically look for in a partner? Are there certain negative qualities that always seem to show up and eventually drive you crazy? Do you have a pattern of choosing a person with specific traits, only to end up dissatisfied with them? Do your relationships seem to always break up for the same reasons? Once you recognize a pattern, you have something that you can work with. By figuring out how you go about ending up with the same objectionable partner in every relationship, you will know what to do to break this cycle. With each choice you make and action you take in a relationship, it’s important to have a good sense of what is operating within you that’s motivating your behavior. When it comes to love, it is advisable to not only go into it with your heart; but to go into it with your head. That way, instead of automatically selecting the same type of person for the same negative traits, you can try selecting a partner who is entirely different. For instance, if you grew up feeling invisible or ignored, you may avoid someone who shows a real interest in you. Instead, you may feel more attracted to someone who is distant or withholding of affection. You can consciously decide to be open to the possibility of being with someone who is different from the people you typically choose, for example, someone who expresses a strong attraction to you. This change will most likely cause you to feel somewhat ambivalent. However, because you have identified your pattern, you can be aware of the negative factors influencing your decision. Perhaps your disinterest in this person may be largely motivated by the very interest that he/she is showing in you. When you consciously choose to break a pattern, you can establish a better relationship with a better, albeit unfamiliar, outcome. If you hang in there, and give this out-of-the-ordinary person a chance, you can become accustomed to this out-of-the-ordinary relationship. Yours could be one of those stories of friends who fall in love or unlikely seeming couples who live happily together. From an article by Lisa Firestone http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-firestone/wrong-relationship-choices_b_830989.html
Perhaps we can recognize
our way out of patterns
rather than repeating
our way out of them.
While men make up about 10 percent of patients with anorexia and bulimia, both sexes struggle almost equally with binge eating. According to the Binge Eating Disorder Association, 40 percent of the estimated 10 million Americans who binge eat are men. Binge eating is defined as consuming large amounts of food within a two-hour period at least twice per week, combined with loss of control. Those struggling with this disorder often consume thousands of calories in one sitting, followed by an overwhelming sense of shame and self-loathing, which leads to further binging. The causes and underlying mechanisms of binge eating are similar to other eating disorders. Binge eaters may suffer from low self-esteem, past trauma or weight-related bullying, or use food to numb emotions and cope with stress. One factor that differentiates binge eating in men and women is that it is more likely to go unnoticed in men. Even if they are overweight or obese, as an estimated 70 percent of people with binge disorder are, eating more and carrying more weight are more socially acceptable for men than women. Heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and other weight-related health conditions are common, as are mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Binge eating, like other eating disorders, can impact a man’s career, relationships and every area of his life. Compounding the problem is the reality that many men do not seek treatment for fear of appearing weak, strange or like less of a man. Although men may not reach out for help as often, treatment is equally effective for men as it is for women. There are also support groups and eating disorder treatment programs, some of which have specialized tracks for men. From an article by Carolyn C. Ross, M.D., M.P.H http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/real-healing/201210/binge-eating-in-men-0
We have it in our head
that if we fill our stomachs,
we’ll fill our hearts.
There are a number of reasons why men gamble. Money is one, the emotional states gambling can engender is another. Some men gamble for the high… the action. For others gambling covers over problems of depression, panic attacks, mania, drug and alcohol abuse. Most gamblers are men. In 2005 The National Council on Problem Gambling estimated that, of the approximately 2.9 million young people between the ages of 14 and 22 gambling on cards on a weekly basis, 80% are male. The National Council on Problem Gambling estimates 1% of American adults (nearly 3 million people) are pathological gamblers. Another 2%–3% have less serious but still significant problems. They fear that overall as many as 15 million people are at risk from gambling. There are a number of signs & symptoms that could indicate a problem with gambling:
• You secretly gamble.
• Your gambling makes you take time away from work and family commitments.
• You try quitting gambling but then start again and again losing money that is needed to pay bills.
• You lie, steal, borrow or sell things to get gambling money
• You gamble to win back losses. You dream of the “big win” that keeps you in a spiral of debt.
• You gamble when you feel down or when you feel like celebrating.
• Relationships are breaking down because of your gambling.
By Jerry Kennard http://menshealth.about.com/od/psychologicalissues/a/Men_Gambling.htm
The sure way
of getting nothing
Gamblers Anonymous http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/
Men frequently overestimate their ability to sacrifice themselves and be agreeable. Accommodating feels thankless when they nonetheless encounter complaints from their partner. Patterns of self-sacrifice lead to a buildup of resentment and hurt, of which the guy is often unaware, except by way of his partner’s unhappiness and persistent accusations. Men minimize their feelings, but unbeknownst to them, the hurt and resentment find their voice in another form. These feelings may be disguised, even from men themselves, and expressed through behaviors such as forgetting, lateness, tuning out, silence, and grouchiness. When resentment manifests ambiguously and without awareness or accountability, frustration follows – without resolution. Men are under tremendous pressure to perform, measure up to other men, and be successful. They aren’t supposed to complain, be scared, or depend on others. Perhaps the most challenging of the responsibilities they assume is making women happy, a daunting and seemingly unsolvable mystery. Contrary to stereotypes, boys begin life even more vulnerable than girls — as infants they are more distressed by separation from mothers, less secure, and show greater difficulty recovering from distress. Growing up, boys are shamed for showing sadness, fear, and dependency — feelings that are universal, not the territory of gender or age. Boys learn quickly these reactions will get them labeled a “momma’s boy.” Under penalty of humiliation, they shun vulnerability, eventually becoming removed from awareness of even their own experience of these feelings. Later, this condition may manifest in reacting to women’s hurt by feeling criticized – responding with insensitivity, contempt, or counterattack. To ward off shame brought on by hurt or loneliness, men may act opposite to how they feel, “suck it up,” distract themselves through work and addictions, or become controlling. These unconscious defenses mask the part of men longing for love and support, thereby perpetuating misunderstanding and unfulfillment. From an article by Lynn Margolies, Ph.D. http://psychcentral.com/lib/male-and-misunderstood/0002654
The single biggest problem
is the illusion that
it has taken place.
George Bernard Shaw
Loving and respectful parents are also approachable and nonjudgmental. Their children know that they can go to them with anything as there will be a logical discussion of the matter, instead of out-and-out condemnation. They also not threatened by the fact that their children will no longer need them as much when they become older and more independent. In fact, they view this as an evolution in their respective parent-child relationship. They do not try to psychologically infantilize their burgeoning young adult child. They realize that their parental role must progress to that of friend and/or confidante when needed. It is natural that children will love and respect such parents. No, not because it was a parental directive but because it was shown by parental example and treatment. Children with respectful, loving parents truly care for and love their parents. They enjoy and want their parents in their lives. Besides that, as they become older, their parents are more their friends than parents. These are the children who sacrifice and willingly do things for their parents. They are not loathe to include their parents in their adult lives or even care for the latter when they are unable to care for themselves. Parents who treat their children respectfully and with loving kindness in their formative years are amply rewarded with children who gladly reciprocate, especially when the former reaching their advanced years. Many parents who treat their children in less than respectful ways are oftentimes quite puzzled when the latter reciprocate in kind. They unknowingly have sown the seeds for such disrespectful treatment. Many of these parents often wonder why their children detest, even hate them. Some of these parents as they reach their advanced years, wonder why they are alone as their children have disowned them as a result of the quasi-abusive treatment the latter received as children. Parents who love and respect their children tend to have children who love and respect them in return. These children learned the value of loving kindness towards their parents from how kindly they were treated. They actually want to be around their parents, their love and respect increasing and evolving in their lives. These are the children who will be with their parents throughout, even in the latter’s old ages when the fruits of parental loving kindness will be ultimately demonstrated. Yes, one does sow what he/she reaps. The way parents treat their children for either good or ill will be justly compensated in kind. From an article by G. M. Williams http://gmwilliams.hubpages.com/hub/Children-React-to-Their-Parents-The-Very-Way-THEY-are-Treated
You don’t really understand human nature unless
you know why a child on a merry-go-round
will wave at his parents every time around -
and why his parents will always wave back.
William D. Tammeus
Close, trusting relationships with others help you avoid depression after life stresses and help prevent illness, speed recovery, and promote longevity. But a bad relationship can cause depression and make your life seem like hell. In the best relationships, the partners calmly and tactfully talk about irritations, disagreements, and conflicts without blaming each other and then problem solve, negotiate, and compromise. Occasional arguments with yelling can feel good when it unearths important issues and leads to problem solving, but it often results in hurt feelings, sabotages problem solving so that problems become chronic, damages trust and closeness, and may lead to a partner feeling very justified in lying or deceiving by omission. Research shows sharing feelings is much more important to closeness and happiness in relationships than the sharing of facts. Work on recognizing anger early, before it escalates. Point out when voices get louder, faster, more tense, or more demanding. Use unkind sarcasm or failure to follow through on commitments as a clue to anger. Once you recognize your anger, make a polite request. If it works, you don’t even need to express your anger. If it doesn’t work, use your anger to tactfully insist on negotiation, compromise, and problem solving. The anger will pass if you accept it and express it respectfully. Anger often covers up feelings of hurt, insecurity, inadequacy, or fear. Use “I feel (an emotion) when (this happened)” statements, but not “I feel you …” or “I feel (an emotion) when you …” statements, which often lead to critical, blaming comments. From “Controlling Anger in Relationships ” by Chuck T. Falcon http://www.sensiblepsychology.com/improving_anger.htm
always make sense.
from the outside
Stop missing out on enjoying time with your partner, by worrying about something that hasn’t happened, with people that aren’t part of your relationship. …stop focusing on that which you DON’T want to happen, and spend more time creating what you DO want. The universe doesn’t understand that what you are thinking about all the time is something undesirable. It takes any thought you create as a request and conspires to manifest those requests. So, if you constantly focus on the negative thoughts around your relationship, chances are you will keep inadvertently creating negative situations between you and your partner. Changing your thoughts, and letting go of the fear, makes room for more thoughts about what you really want to create in your relationship. It’s a much better way to use your energy and if you focus on how to give more love, how to strengthen your bond and create more intimacy, you’ll find you easily manifest the good loving you really desire. All of this is not to say that you should be ignorant of any intuition or signs of infidelity. If you have a feeling things have gone astray, or there are obvious signs that your partner’s focus may have shifted, then you should trust your own intuition and be willing to address your concerns. Having an honest, adult, and somewhat vulnerable conversation with your partner about what you’re worried about can be the difference between realizing you had the wrong end of stick and getting on with loving each other, or letting your mind run away with the worst case scenario and having that fear ruin your relationship. Open, mature conversation about boundaries and expectations is the only way to really approach the fear of being cheated on and a much more promising way to build a lifetime of love. From an article by Rachael Lay http://www.rachaellay.com/why-worrying-about-cheating-is-pointless/
For a marriage relationship to flourish,
there must be intimacy.
It takes an enormous amount of courage
to say to your spouse, “This is me.
I’m not proud of it — in fact,
I’m a little embarrassed by it –
but this is who I am.”
When men and women speak, the human brain processes the sounds of those voices differently, Britain’s Mirror and Agence France Presse report of a new study from the U.K.’s University of Sheffield. While most of us actually hear female voices more clearly, men’s brains hear women’s voices first as music. But it’s not music. It’s someone giving them a honey-do list. So the brain goes into overdrive trying to analyze what is being said. Bottom line: Men have to work harder deciphering what women are saying because they use the auditory part of the brain that processes music, not human voices. Men’s brains are not designed to listen to women’s voices. It’s not the pitch of the woman’s voice, but rather the vibration and number of sound waves that cause the problem, notes Discovery News. But guys have no trouble at all hearing each other because men use a much simpler brain mechanism at the back of the brain to decipher another man’s voice and recognize it as speech. “The female voice is actually more complex than the male voice, due to differences in the size and shape of the vocal cords and larynx between men and women, and also due to women having greater natural ‘melody’ in their voices. This causes a more complex range of sound frequencies than in a male voice,” lead researcher Michael Hunter told The Mirror. “When men hear a male voice they process it in the ‘mind’s eye.’ This is the part of the brain where people compare their experiences to themselves, so the man is comparing his own voice to the new voice.” Here’s a really bizarre side effect: These findings help explain why people who suffer hallucinations usually hear male voices. It’s just too hard for the brain to create a false feminine voice as accurately as it can create a false masculine voice. The research findings were published in the journal NeuroImage. http://webcenters.netscape.compuserve.com/men/package.jsp?name=fte/womenspeak/womenspeak
Most people do not listen
with the intent to understand;
they listen with the intent to reply.
Stephen R. Covey
“It is not love that is blind, but jealousy,” according to the writer Lawrence Durrell. Jealousy is defined as a fear and rage response that preserves romantic bonds between sexual partners. Its function, it is believed, is to curb infidelity between parents, which advances the survival of their children and their subsequent reproductive success. Romantic jealously is widely understood to be different for men and women because each gender has a different level of investment in reproduction. For a man to provide for genetically distant children decreases his reproductive success — and because men are uncertain whether they really are the father of said children, they are most susceptible to sexual infidelity. By contrast, women can rest assured that they are the mother of their own children; however, they are more dependent on men for resources, making them more sensitive to emotional infidelity, since it could threaten the supply of resources for herself and her child. While many subscribe to this view, the research has been admittedly inconclusive. Now, a team led by Hasse Walum of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden has broken new ground. Participants were presented with two hypothetical infidelity scenarios: “Sexual jealousy: ‘You suspect that while your boyfriend/ girlfriend was on vacation s/he had a one nightstand. You realize that even if s/he did have sex with this other person, they will probably never see each other again. How upset do you think you would feel if this happened?’” “Emotional jealousy: ‘You suspect that while your boyfriend/girlfriend was on a trip s/he fell in love with someone else. You realize that even if s/he did develop these feelings, s/he will probably never see this other person again. How upset do you think you would feel if this happened?’” They were then asked to answer these questions along a 10-point scale, ranging from 1 (not at all) to 10 (extremely). What did they find? Consistent with prior research, women reported higher levels of jealousy on both measures, and both men and women scored higher on sexual jealousy than on emotional jealousy. However, men reported greater jealousy in response to sexual infidelity by comparison to emotional infidelity. These findings square with the theory that men and women differ when it comes to the types of jealousy, that is, sexual vs. emotional. From an article by Vinita Mehta, Ph.D., Ed.M. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/head-games/201308/whos-more-jealous-men-or-women
In jealousy there is more self-love than love.
François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld