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
Codependency becomes an addiction when codependents subconsciously seek out troubled individuals as a way to avoid dealing with their own problems. By compulsively trying to “fix” an alcoholic, a codependent can feel, by comparison, like a healthy person with no problems. Yet, if the alcoholic goes away, the codependent will compulsively seek out another troubled person to “fix” in order to avoid his or her own feelings of low self-esteem and inadequacy. Like any addiction, codependency stymies personal growth as the codependent uses it to avoid dealing with emotional pain just as the alcoholic uses alcohol to avoid dealing with emotional pain. Codependents are generally nice individuals who are very stressed from carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. They are perceptive of others but not at all perceptive of themselves. Therapy with codependents involves teaching self-care skills, and most importantly, convincing them they are not selfish, or in danger, for choosing to take care of themselves. http://serenityonlinetherapy.com/codependency.htm
Numbing the pain
for a while
will make it worse
when you finally feel it.
You can learn a lot about codependent relationships in the library, even if you aren’t in the self-help section. In the fiction area, Romeo and Juliet features a couple who felt their relationship was more important than their own lives. Over in the history section, the wives of Henry the Eighth found that marriage to the self-absorbed king could lead to misery (or worse) if they didn’t produce the son he craved, says Tina Tessina, PhD, a marriage and family therapist in Long Beach, Calif. Most codependent relationships don’t end in tragedy, of course. But they do keep people from living the full, rewarding lives they could be enjoying. “Codependency, by definition, means making the relationship more important to you than you are to yourself,” she tells WebMD. “It’s kind of a weird phrase, and it doesn’t sound like it means a one-sided relationship. But that’s what it is. It means you’re trying to make the relationship work with someone else who’s not,” Tessina says.
Eric Metcalf, MPH
Accept everything about yourself;
I mean everything!
You are you
and that is the beginning
and the end;
Every time I have loved a woman it left a mark on me and became a part of what I think love is. Every failed love, when I was fooled or got lost in deception is marked on me. When I loved and lost there is a scar left behind. Sometimes it all combines to make me not want to love again which is always followed with the sure knowing that love is like air to breathe; I must have it. A few days ago I came across a perspective that helps. Love is like grass. If you fall on it, it may leave a stain and some temporary pain. But you’ll get over the pain, it will eventually stop hurting. Now maybe the stain ruined your favorite pair of jeans, or maybe it was nothing special that was ruined, but either way the stain remains there. And with time, it will begin to fade, but it will always be there, a permanent reminder that you, too, once fell. And if I fell once or fifty times… I can fall again.
We are not held back by the love
we didn’t receive in the past,
but by the love
we’re not extending in the present.
Plenty of disappointments have come. I have known the loss of loved ones. I have hated and lacked forgiveness for what was done to me. Worse yet, I have despised and lost esteem for myself. Nothing has even been as insufferable as breaking the heart of a woman I truly loved. Not knowing what I had until it was gone is now a personally proven fact beyond question. My guilt lessens, but haunts me like a ghost keeps one from being able to fully rest. Of all things to bear, regret has proven to be the most difficult to bear. I regret my lies. I regret not going to her, not telling her the truth and not saying “I screwed up, let me try again.” like I should have. Deep down I wanted to make her proud, but instead I practiced my dysfunction and made her leave. It has been in being an upstanding man and shouldering regret that my redemption was planted and now self-forgiveness grows.
Dishonest people conceal their faults
from themselves as well as others…
Christian Nevell Bove
When someone you love has left you there is a feeling of missing a part of yourself. Like one who has had a limb removed, you constantly reach for a lover that is no longer there. It’s the being alone that is the most maddening. It brings an insatiable hunger to be loved and a monumental fear of being alone. When one who is codependent suffers a breakup every fiber of the loneliness is amplified to where one can barely stand it. Then come the perceived cures that only numb the pain for a short while. Some jump right into another relationship, some drink, others do drugs or become workaholics. The romantic relationship cycle will continue over and over as one tries in vain to fill what feels like a hole in the soul. Read a book. Get counseling. Find a support group. Lean on a close friend. Or do all of it. If you want a different way of being and relationships that are healthy,work on yourself and let the pain pass so love can shine in.
Renoir was painting with only his fingertips
because arthritis twisted and cramped his hands
when asked why he continued to paint answered
“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”
Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting it back together (unknown). Just like a shattered vase, sometimes relationships are so broken they can’t be pieced back together. To even try can do more damage. There is one true constant: everything is impermanent and in time nothing stays the same. If a relationship works for a while and then fails that does not mean it was a failure. Saying “it didn’t work out” is untrue. It simply worked for “its time”.
Holding onto something that is dying doesn’t keep it alive.
Sometimes you just have to say your goodbyes,
dry your eyes and walk away.