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I often hear people say that their partner's affair or request for separation came "out of the blue" and that they had "no clue" their partner was that unhappy. Yet when the situation stabilizes a bit and they're able to look back with the clarity of hindsight, they usually admit that there were little cracks beginning to show.
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Finding out that your husband or wife has been unfaithful isn't just a time of profound heartbreak and shock, it's also a time of intense confusion. There are so many unanswered questions and so many overwhelming emotions. Unfortunately, not all unfaithful partners will react with honesty, humility or empathy when their betrayal is discovered.
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Many people feel that marriage counselling is ineffective, yet it remains the prevailing approach to relationship troubles, even in the majority of situations where psychological problems are not present. It's time to think outside the box.
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The truth is, many opposite-sex friendships are sustained because of a simmering attraction between two people. If circumstances were different, they could easily be sexual partners. And they know it. This underlying current of attraction makes talking, texting and spending time together as "just friends" all the more exciting. It has an erotic edge to it.
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I am not by any means condoning Josh Duggar's behaviour. His actions have been reprehensible. What I am doing is pointing out an all too familiar calling card that has been handed out time and time again by the same backwards religious fanatics that America calls its own. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have failed utterly as parents by refraining from doing one thing: protecting their children.
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Ashley Madison caters to married people and the motto of the site is "Life is short. Have an affair." This leads us to bigger questions regarding relationships and an examination of why a "cheating" website has such a huge number of users. What does this have to say about the modern state of marriage and monogamy?
While cheating can be extremely damaging to most relationships, an affair actually begins long before the act itself. Having an affair is often one person's way of signaling to their partner that something is wrong in the relationship. And, often one person uses cheating as a catalyst to either fix or flee from the problems.
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I think we should all put on an oxygen mask when we see the smoke of politicos' personal lives being pushed in our faces. Their work should be the measured based on their achievements as our representatives. All's fair in love, war, and politics? Each seems to contain an element of the other in one way, and each needs rules of its own. Let's see who can play the election game fairly and not manipulate voters into believing a flaw in someone's personal life equates to them being ill suited to honourably serving the public with devotion and distinction.
By withholding the truth about her affair from her husband, Tabitha holds all the cards when it comes to their marriage. She is able to preserve what matters most to her-her family life, financial security and the love of her husband-but on her own terms. Her husband is continuing to commit to the relationship under false pretences.
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It can be really easy to live with a secret. Three and a half years ago I was living in Toronto's East end, long time boyfriend and cat at home. It wasn't long before I met someone who did more than wolf-whistle out a car window. One night a few of us went out dancing. Mid-twist he kissed me and all my senses were on fire. But innocent walks turned into conversations tinged with sexual innuendo. Alleyway makeout sessions, then sex -- anywhere we could. I found myself turning into this seemingly new person. People who have never cheated ask how you can do it mentally, emotionally. It's different for everyone. But what they don't understand is that it gets to the point where recklessness overpowers all logic and all sense of "right."
You need to see that your partner has suffered too, not from your anger, but from the weight of his or her own actions. If you believe your partner deeply regrets his actions, knows he was wrong, and even feels he violated his own personal standards, you will feel more trusting and open to forgiveness.
Should we still be signing up for monogamy 'til death do us part? When we sign up to be faithful, what assumptions are we making? There are so many assumptions we make when we sign up to be faithful 'til death do us part. But we shouldn't make promises we can't reasonably expect to keep.
When I got an unnecessary text from him, I smiled. And while that was interesting and made me feel powerful, it also made me sad. I knew how it would end and it had not even begun. I made references to his wife, to him not being available in a way that made me feel respectable. But the sexual tension rose, and the encounters became more and more heated. He continuously told me he wanted me.