The effects of an extramarital affairs are not always destructive. It is very
unusual, in fact, for an affair to break up an otherwise healthy relationship.
A major factor in determining the impact of an affair is the duration of the marriage
and the depth of trust the partners have in each other. Newer marriages are most
likely to end because of an affair because the partners have not had time to develop
a repertoire of coping mechanisms. Additionally, they have not experienced years
of trustworthy behavior to measure this violation against.
It is easy to confuse a comfortable relationship with a happy relationship.
Comfort is not a bad thing, but it's also not engaging, dynamic, or intimate.
So if your relationship is more comfortable than enticing, consider making it
more lively. There has to be growth, or a sense of expansion, within the individuals
and between them for a lasting connection to be maintained. Without a connection,
couples don't stay together. Often one or the other connects with someone else.
A successful relationship doesn't mean that you're joined at the hip. Being
separate is as important as being together. Cultivating interests and relationships
apart from one another adds freshness and vitality to a primary relationship.
The odds that a spouse will leave a marriage for an affairee are low. The
odds for a successful marriage should the affairees get together are lower.
Couples who have happy, long-term marriages consistently rank these three
qualities as the most important assets in their relationship: being best friends,
having mutual respect, and sharing common goals and values
It shouldn't come as a big surprise that happy people have happy relationships.
It's not the other way around. Relationships do not make anyone happy for very
long. A healthy relationship adds to your happiness and fulfills certain needs,
but don't look to a relationship or a partner to make you happy. That's up to
Paying attention to your partner is one of the most important things you can
do to keep your relationship healthy.
It is the day-to-day intimacies, the sharing of small discoveries, the expression
of appreciation, or words of love that create strong bonds between partners. If
these gestures are not part of your everyday life, then you are putting your relationship
Pay attention to what your spouse says and does. Even the most off-hand comment
can yield a wealth of important information.
What you do and don't do in the first few hours or days after you discover
an affair can have a significant impact on the future of your relationship.
Your partner's emotions during the course of an affair will have an effect
on your relationship. Be prepared by recognizing where they're coming from and
put them into proper perspective.
Twenty percent of both men and women affairees said the confession of their
affair made their marriage better. After that there was a big difference in how
a man's confession of an affair affected his marriage and how a woman's confession
When women confessed, 70 percent said the confession had a negative impact
of their marriage, while only 30 percent of men said the same. Most men said their
confession had little or no impact on their marriage long term.
When you ask your partner for information, limit it to what concerns the two
of you. Ask about his feelings for you, how he feels about himself, and how he
feels about his decisions. Keep the focus on the two of you, not on the other
affairee and certainly not on the two of them. Getting more information about
them will only hurt you, and it is hard to forget even after you forgive. You
can always ask for more details about the affair later if it really matters, but
you cannot "un-ask."
There's a very good chance that you can restore your relationship to a level
of happiness that is as good or better than what you once had.
The innocent trust you once had with each other is gone. It is shattered,
and you will never have it again. This loss is one of the reasons an affair is
so devastating. It will be a long time until you can just accept what your partner
says at face value. When the former affairee says, "I'll be a little late,"
a chill runs through your whole body and like a shot, your brain sends a warning
signal, telling you danger lurks. Overcoming your instincts to protect yourself
from the pain you felt when you discovered the affair takes years of patient,
unwavering reassurance from your partner.