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Interview with Martyn
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Couples in Crisis: Affairs & Infidelity (1)
Dealing with Consequences © Martyn Carruthers

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

Are you having an affair? Is your partner having an affair?

Signs of Affairs . Confronting Your Partner . Recovering from Affairs

Infidelity is a dark shadow of partnership. Affairs can provide excitement for the bored, adventure for the restless and pride for the egotistic. Affairs also provide heartache, guilt, disappointment, depression, shattered dreams and damaged lives
- especially for children whose parents have affairs.

Although this may be a difficult time for you, you can save your sanity.
Do you want to end an unhappy partnership peacefully?
Do you feel lost in conflicting emotions?
Do you want to make a decision?

Who has Affairs? ... People like You!

Many people have romantic or sexual fantasies now and again. It might be fun to imagine what he would be like in bed or what she would look like naked and so on. Fantasies are relatively safe but can you resist your impulses? Can you say "No" to yourself ... and to interesting, attractive people?

The most common justifications for affairs that we hear are: 1) it's cheaper than divorce; 2) their partner reminds them of a parent; 3) they want to motivate themselves to leave their partners; and 4) just because they could. So, who has affairs?

  1. People like you!
  2. People in mid-life crisis
  3. People with immature parts
  4. People with opportunity and time
  5. People who are passive-aggressive
  6. People who want to fulfill a transference
  7. People who cannot manage their impulses
  8. People who want to punish a partner or past partner

Are you trying to end or get over an affair?
Do you want to resolve maturity, partnership or marriage problems?

Do you feel hurt by a partner's romantic, intimate or sexual affair. Or perhaps you feel guilt about your own acts of betrayal. Yet the real casualties of adultery include the betrayed children who may later be found in depressed corners of society.

It's as annoying to be blamed and criticized for what you have not done as for what you have. While wrongly accusing someone or being wrongly accused of having an affair can cause big problems ... can you give and demand the truth?

Before our ancestors developed agriculture, humanity walked on the edge of extinction.
We humans survived partly because we could produce children at almost any time,
without a mating season. But prehistoric survival is no excuse for so much suffering.

What Price is a Free Lunch?

Some people flirt because they don't know how else to relate. Some people use internet chat to build more emotional intimacy than they want with their partners. Some people take training in seduction, with the hope of more casual sex. But few lunches are really free, and the total cost is higher than most people expect.

Seduction: From a book about dating for misogynists, predators and psychopaths

They say movies is a terrible first date because you can't talk much, but I think that's perfect, you donít want to know her - you just want feel her up and get some action later.
She'll never know you faked the date.... but who cares - you'll never see the bitch again.

There's no such things as secret affairs! Most people involved in sexual affairs behave in distinctive ways! Family members will often notice and react to these changes, even if they are not told and even if they are young children. Will someone you love pay for your free lunch?

My father had affairs while he lived with us ... he wasn't only betraying our mother -
he was betraying me, my brother and my sister ... now he is very upset that
we all divorced him. None of us want anything to do with him now.

Types of Affairs

Probably you or your partner could have affairs. Happy partnerships do not eliminate infidelity - and affairs allow people who are enmeshed with a parent or fixated on a past-partner to reduce the intensity of their intimacy with their partners. Few affairs mature into long-term committed relationships.

I had an affair with my husband for three years before he left his wife and children
to be with me. And now, only two years since our wedding, he is having an affair
with another woman. I am paying the price for his inability to set boundaries.

Most people having affairs focus only on their own needs. They may forget or ignore the needs of a life partner, an affair partner and any children. They will often avoid considering the consequences of their affairs on other people. After all, no-one else knows ... right? See Signs of Affairs

  • In-love affairs often end in suffering and stress
  • Pressure-relief affairs may relieve boredom, frustration and loneliness.
  • Brief sexual affairs and one-night-stands rarely become love affairs or long-term friendships and may indicate passive-aggression
  • Love affairs can become long friendships, although betrayal and guilt may trigger separation from the partner or affair partner
  • Business sex (trading sex for money or favors; including prostitution) may have the least emotional bonds but the highest risk of venereal diseases

Men & Affairs

Men often tell us that they only want affairs for sex. Men may boast that they can pretend to be in love with women to have sex with them. And many women have told us that men pretended to love them only as a basis for casual sex. (Some male sexual predators target single women with children).

My wife helps me realize how very wonderful is my girlfriend.

Many men dislike their female partners having close male friends, but avoid confronting their partners about extramarital affairs.

Seducing an idiot is never worth the effort!
(Don't sleep with someone crazier than you are!)

Younger men usually seek sexual rather than love affairs. Their primary motivations are physical pleasure, to hunt, to impress friends and to gain experience. Older men are more likely to seek women who understand, accept and appreciate them. They may want to gratify sexual desires that they would not ask of decent women ... their wives.

The ONLY woman I ever loved was another man's wife
... my MOTHER!
  Bumper sticker seen in America

Men who are emotionally bonded to their mothers (see emotional incest) may have affairs to avoid or to sabotage a committed partnership. They are also likely to boast to their male friends about the number and variety of their sexual adventures.

Women & Affairs

It seems that the longer a woman is married, the more likely she will have an affair. Women may choose sexual affairs for pleasure, for experience or for missing intimacy, especially if she feels bored or disappointed with her partner or her marriage.

A 2006 survey in America found that nearly twice as many married men as women admitted to having had sexual relations with someone other than their spouse. Dr Catherine Mercer, head of analysis for the study, says the gender gap may in part be because women are less likely to own up to cheating. From: BBC News June 2012

Both men and women may satisfy some of their emotional needs by

  • cheating on their partners
  • mentally reliving past romantic affairs
  • obsessing about lives of other people (gossip, soap operas etc)

How can I divorce my wife without telling her? She will be very angry.

People having affairs may say, "I want to feel good regardless of the consequences of my choices on my partner or family - or on my affair-partner's partner or family". They may justify the pain and suffering associated with affairs, saying, "I only wanted ...

  1. excitement and adventure
  2. to rescue or help someone
  3. to seduce or to be seduced
  4. to avoid the reality of my aging
  5. to fulfill an impulse or a compulsion

Attacking, criticizing or blaming will not improve relationships. We help people understand each other, restore harmony and build healthy partnerships.

Signs of Affairs . Recovering from Affairs

Healthy relationships require partners who respect each other's values and cooperate to fulfill them. Contact us if you want a better relationship.

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 2002-2018
All rights reserved

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For online help, email us at:

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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email