Affairs. Betrayal. Tears. For some people, an extramarital affair is a deal breaker. For others maybe not. Affairs happen for many reasons. Affairs mean different things in different marriages. Some affairs end the marriage; some are the crisis that spur a couple to growth.
- The First Rule of Life is: If you can’t make it better, at least don’t make it worse.
- Knee jerk reactions almost always make matters worse.
- The Third Rule of Life is: Never make a major decision in a major mood.
- Calling it quits in a crisis, in a fit of anger, betrayal, hurt, and depression often leaves a wound that is slow to heal and can take years to recover from. Taking the time to really understand what it means leads to better decisions.
The most important thing is to make a wise decision. Instead of sweeping it under the rug, understand it. Affairs have layers of meaning and rarely mean the same thing to the injured party as they do to the other. Wise decisions bring peace. Even when an affair does bring an end to a marriage, a good divorce is possible. A good divorce is one where both people agree that it’s necessary but sad. They grieve. They heal. They move on.
But some couples don’t divorce. Some couples work through the anger and the tears and grow. They grow to understand each other’s emotional and sexual needs better. They grow into a deeper intimacy. They discover a richer eroticism. They become more vibrant and more committed as a couple.
So, if you’ve experienced betrayal and hurt. If you’re reeling from the pain. Take your time to grieve. Feel your feelings. Go to therapy. Make your choice wisely.
Dr. Sara Rosenquist is a Board Certified Clinical Health Psychologist (ABPP) and Fellow of the Academy of Clinical Health Psychology (FACHP). She is a sex therapist certified by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), and an approved consultant, certified in the practice of hypnosis by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH). DrSara helps families, couples and individuals with hypnosis, sex therapy, marital therapy, marriage counseling, sex addiction, postpartum depression, and infertility issues. She is the author of “After The Stork: The Couple’s Guide to Preventing and Overcoming Postpartum Depression”, and enjoys working with clients from her office in Cary, NC.