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Marriage Counseling: Affairs & Infidelity 2
Recover from Betrayal Martyn Carruthers

Online Help: Counseling & Training

Do you want to rebuild a committed happy partnership?
Or do you want to end an unhappy partnership?
Or do you just want to make up your mind?

Are you having an affair now? (See Part 1)

Might your partner be having an affair? (See Signs of Affairs)

We both just wanted to be happy ...

Intimate affairs are a primary cause of separation, divorce and parental alienation. Affairs often cause lasting suffering and damage for children. Although affairs often represent a search for romantic love and happiness, they rarely last more than a year.

The experience called romantic love may seem to replace any need to develop mature partnership skills. However, when the problems of daily life together causes lovers to evaluate and confront their goals and responsibilities, then they can create deeper bonds, stagnate, separate or have affairs ...

I had affairs because ... my partner was too good to throw away,
but not bad enough to keep me happy!

Predictable Partnership . Enjoying Partnership . Consequences of Abortion

We both had affairs ... we thought it was better to have four happy
people than two bored people! But we divorced anyway.

Who has Affairs? People like you!

Many people appear to have intimate affairs so as to feel aligned with a parent or ancestor. Dissolving unhealthy bonds with your parents or ancestors can greatly reduce the motivation to repeat their drama and suffering.

Almost anybody can have an affair if they decide to. Here are some common justifications.

  • Do you have opportunity and time?
  • Do you yearn to fulfill a transference?
  • Do you want to relive your younger years?
  • Do you want to punish a partner or past partner?
  • Do you have unmet physical desires or emotional obsessions?
  • Do you want to diminish the intensity or intimacy of your partnership?

Reasons for Intimate or Sexual Affairs

You may say that an affair merely fulfilled your needs, and helped you avoid feeling lonely or bored. Your behavior may imply, "I want to temporarily feel good regardless of the lasting consequences of my choices on my partner or family - or on my affair-partner's family - or on our future families".

We repeatedly find that people having extra-marital affairs are entangled with their parents. If they cannot enjoy stable, committed monogamy, they may justify their sexual or passive-aggressive motivations with: "I want ...

  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 compulsion
  6. to feel desirable or sexually potent
  7. new or unusual sexual experiences
  8. to enjoy love, intimacy, and companionship
  9. to defy my social, religious or parental rules
  10. to enjoy sensual pleasure and sexual release

Attacking, criticizing or defending these justifications will not improve relationships nor manage partnership needs. We can help you change your entanglements and restore peace, balance, respect and love in healthy relationships.

Sexual Abuse . Sexual Dysfunction . Sexual Solutions

But we were so much in love ...

Romantic love may seem so wonderful that you do not consider other people. However, sooner or later, you will be confronted by your responsibilities, guilt and the reactions of your betrayed partner as well as the consequences for any children.

Predictable Partnership . Enjoying Partnership . Consequences of Abortion

Affairs & Divorce

  1. Some people say that affairs help them stay married,
  2. but divorce is more frequent among people who have affairs.
  3. Women who have multiple affairs have the highest divorce rates.
  4. If a woman's male partner has a homosexual affair with a man - there may seem no alternative to separation.
  5. If a man's female partner has a lesbian affair with a woman - some men may not perceive this as betrayal.

Women may give sex to get love and men may give love to get sex!

Affairs & Recovery

Although you may use complaints and excuses to justify your deception and betrayal; our first step to recovery is relationship diagnosis. Have you:

  1. lost your "sense of self" (lost identity)
  2. identified with someone else (identification)
  3. experienced chronic conflict (complex conflict)
  4. obsessed about some person (entanglements)
  5. been unable to control your sexuality (emotional incest)
  6. experienced trauma and overwhelming emotions (trauma)
  7. followed toxic role models or suggestions (mentor damage)
  8. avoided communicating your values and needs (partnership skills)
  9. expressed toxic or resourceless "I am ..." beliefs (relationship bonds)
  10. carried guilt or depression from previous relationships (entanglements)

Coaching after Affairs

The consequences of romantic affairs may be delayed until an affair is over. We can help you manage emotions such as anger, sadness, fear and guilt, and the behaviors these emotions typically provoke. (This is not a complete list).

  • Anger provokes Blame: Following exposure, the partners may energetically and uselessly argue about topics such as "Who really caused this?" or "Why did you make me do it!"
  • Sadness provokes Grief: The suffering of betrayal, broken dreams and shattered love may be overwhelming to the betrayed person. In extreme cases a suicide attempt follow a romantic affair.
  • Fear provokes Denial: Many people who choose sexual affairs will deny and lie about their actions if the truth may bring immediate unpleasant consequences.
  • Guilt provokes Depression: The betraying partner, the betrayed partner and the "third person" carry burdens of guilt, which may be immediate or delayed. Guilt can manifest as anxiety, depression and psychosomatic symptoms.

The children of parents who had affairs may carry emotional burdens.
A common example is that an adult child feels compelled to find
and marry someone who is like a parent's affair partner, or like a
parent's first love. Emotions can cross generations.

Following a partnership crisis, you may have to manage overwhelming emotions and childish reactions. We can referee desperately needed discussions and clarification with  your partner. We offer:

  • Individual coaching with both partners to clarify negative emotions and relationship problems
  • Couple coaching with both partners to recognize and change transferences, make decisions and plan their future - together or apart.

Healing after Affairs

Short-term solutions that attempt to fix and forget the surface symptoms of affairs may not change your underlying fixations, conflicts and emotions. We can help you heal your self-sabotage, improve your maturity and manage your relationship challenges.

Online Help: Counseling and Relationship 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.

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
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For online help, email us at:

Soulwork systemic coaching in America & Hawaii


Soulwork systemic coaching in England, Wales & Scotland

Soulwork systemic coaching in Croatia & Serbia

Soulwork systemic coaching in Poland



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