Overcoming Infidelity: The Types of Affairs

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Coping with infidelity starts the moment a person uncovers that his/her spouse is engaged in an affair. Too often, the numbness and confusion, the pain and anger of uncovering the infidelity is intensified by the myths and half-truths about affairs, that makes surviving infidelity that much more draining and difficult - both mentally and emotionally. Initially, overcoming infidelity requires challenging one's beliefs about extramarital affairs. What are they?

For one, most believe that someone who has an affair "fell out of love" with his/her spouse and "fell in love" with someone else. It's almost as if "love" is some magical powerful force to which we fall prey and cannot influence. Coping with infidelity for the wounded spouse may mean dealing with the seeming fact that s/he is no longer "loved" and in reality that "love," which was so sacred, is given to someone else. And, honestly, what is more emotionally devastating than to feel unloved?

Another common misconception is that someone jumped into the arms of someone else because the marriage was awful. Quite often, this means that the sex was awful, or even nonexistent. And so, the cupboard of marriage was bare of sex and/or intimacy and the cheating spouse just "had" to get his/her needs met... somewhere else, of course.

The remaining spouse, in his/her attempts to cope with the infidelity, thus is confronted with his/her sexual (in)adequacy, his/her limitations in being able to meet the needs of his/her spouse. Additionally, and often without major dialogue, this finds him or her forsaken, alone, and incredibly jealous of the other person (OP) how is now getting all of the goodies. The 7-year itch. Ever heard of it? It may be an excuse to wonder and wander.

To cope with infidelity the wounded spouse is often blind-sided by the impulsivity of his/her spouse and is left home, coping with infidelity by trying to hold his/her world together in the midst of the chaos. And, last but not least, there is the rationalization of (in)compatibility. The married couple just was not compatible. Or, the cheating spouse, in a moment of insight, came to the conclusion of their incompatibility and needed to find his/her "soul mate" or someone with whom s/he felt compatible.

The wounded spouse is left lamenting the arguments and the points of differences with his/her spouse as if those differences tainted the marriage or relationship. Coping with infidelity and moving toward healing and recovery is enhanced by breaking down these myths and half-truths, and learning about the complexity, patterns and themes of infidelity and extramarital affairs. Knowledge about infidelity becomes power.

Knowledge about infidelity brings great relief, quite often right then and there. Knowledge about infidelity gives options to act, feel and think differently, which gives one a tremendous feeling of personal power. The "wounded spouse" moves beyond playing the victim, and now recognizes that he or she is not at fault for the affair taking place. S/he is not defective. She or he can confront him or her with a basic educated guess as to the end result of that confrontation.

Each affair is unique. Each different type of affair serves a unique purpose to the cheating husband or wife. Here are areas of knowledge that, once studied, generate tremendous relief and hope.

1. There are different types of infidelity. My research came up with 7 types of affairs. (My Marriage Made Me Do It, I Can't Say No, I Don't Want to Say No, I Fell Out of Love...and just love being in love, I Want to Get Back at Him/Her, I Need to Prove my Desirability, and I Want to be Close to Someone...but can't stand Intimacy.

2. The reasons behind the varying types of affairs are distinctive. One may be motivated by compulsion, another by strong personal needs for excitement, another for revenge, another to maintain distance in all relationships, and another to project blame onto someone or something else.

3. These motives derive not from the marital relationship or the wounded spouse, but from the personal coping patterns of the cheating spouse. Additionally, these characteristics, motives, and patterns were already set well before the marital couple even met. At some level, it was necessary for the cheating spouse to "play out" these patterns. Unsurprisingly, most of this acting out (if not all of it), or at least the motivation behind the acting out, are well outside the consciousness of the cheating wife or husband.

Once the wounded spouse becomes aware of these patterns, the complexity of the infidelity and the motives for the cheating spouse - and other person as well - a flood of relief flows. The more one can make distinctions in a situation, the more refined those distinctions become, the less power that situation has to control the feelings and behavior of a person. Knowledge is power because it comes with options.

The wounded spouse is not suspended in time. The wounded spouse is NOT helpless. The wounded spouse is definitely not less than the cheating spouse and not any less than the other person. Now, the wounded spouse can actually step back, and on some level even appreciate the anguish, the disjointed striving, and the veiled inner indecision of his/her spouse. And the wounded spouse can now cope with infidelity in powerful ways, charting words and actions that disrupt this powerfully destructive pattern and give hope for resolution.

I am dedicated and passionate about educating and helping people face the infidelity crisis in their marriage or relationship. My goal is to help couples as well as infividuals cope with the unique extramarital affair facing them. I provide useful articles to help identify types of affairs and plan different tactics to stop the infidelity or extramarital affair quickly and help heal the pain and agony in order to survive the affair.
surviving infidelity and surviving infidelity forums

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