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.
If you don't know who the other woman or man is, you may be painfully curious --iIs the other person more attractive than me? What did my partner see in him or her? You may think that confronting them will make them back off or that they might tell you certain details of the affair that your spouse will not reveal. But it's never that simple.
The realization that technology has truly changed the dynamic of relationships in any tech-friendly area of the world these days. Gone are the days of monogamy and trust. It's just all too easy to cyber cheat, or to have computer, phone and tablet screens hide the dirty work of actual cheat cheating. Where do you draw the line?
Too often, an unfaithful spouse whose affair has been discovered will continue to see and/or contact their affair partner. Sometimes this is done in secret. They may assure their spouse that they've ended the affair; however, their lack of transparency and untrustworthy behaviour indicates otherwise.
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.
Ever get this nagging feeling that your man is pulling away from you, but you don't know why? Your mind creates vivid images about him spending time with another woman because somewhere deep down inside you don't feel good enough for him. If this is something you're experiencing, then your man is dating an insecure woman.
She's got everything: beauty, talent, money. She's in the best possible position to get divorced. Why would she allow someone to hurt her the way she has? Why would she just sing about her husband's betrayal when she could kick him to the curb? What message is she sending the rest of us if she decides to stay with someone who has deceived her?
Listening to a friend talk about their divorce, I pause and think -- this all sounds familiar. My friend details the lead up to her separation and there are so many similarities it's a bit unnerving. Same actions, same words, same behaviour. How is that possible? Turns out similarities are not even unusual but predictable, right down to the language a departing spouse might use.
No matter how independent, self-reliant, and strong we are, sometimes there's a part of us that wants to self-destruct. Usually, after a traumatic experience, when we feel especially vulnerable, scared, and alone. And after the devastating breakup with my fiancé and boyfriend/best friend of nine years, I self-destructed in a big way.
In my experience as a psychologist working with couples, unless a relationship has truly run its course, most people who cheat end up regretting their choice and hurting more people than they could ever anticipate. Wouldn't it be helpful to conduct a simple self-assessment to gauge the strength of your connection?
You look the other way and pretend not to notice or be bothered. You force yourself to not ask who your spouse is texting and not show how worried or hurt you are. You lay awake and stare at your partner's phone, wishing you could look through it but not wanting to cross that line. Finally, you crack.
The recent Ashley Madison hack hasn't just exposed user data - it's also brought to light our various attitudes toward marriage and monogamy in today's high-tech, high-strung society. There are many reasons people stray and technology enables infidelity in a way that is faster and easier -- although certainly not more secretive -- than ever before. Yet in the end, it is always a question of choice. "Will I break the promise I made to my spouse?" In the wake of the Ashley Madison hack, we're seeing a lot of "You got what you deserved!" opinions.
I'm a big believer in some personal autonomy. I don't feel I owe it to my husband to share every one of my deepest and darkest secrets. And I don't push him to tell me everything on his mind either. God no, I don't want to know everything on his mind. I'm a gal who enjoys a bit of mystery and his over-sharing would be a buzz kill. But there is a difference between "thought" and "action". It's fine to fantasize -- no harm is done.
The media likes us to think that the perfect body, both male and female, is what we want to hold forever, but I'd like to disagree. I'd like to watch time take its toll and hear the words "I love you" with the same sincerity that was spoken when I was once young and beautiful. There is something in this that means so much more than the superficial joy of having someone frozen in perfection.