Not every affair begins because there are problems in the marriage. The reasons can be very surprising. And knowing those reasons is part of being protected against it happening to YOU…
Our marriage was in good shape, so WHY is he having an affair?
“Dear Claire, I just found out that my husband has been having an emotional affair (he says it has not been physical and I do actually believe him on this) and I feel wrecked.
I can NOT see what the cause was at all. Don’t men have affairs when there’s something WRONG in a marriage? We were doing just fine!! I don’t see how this happened, and I’m not sure how to get back on track.
I want my man and my marriage with a strength and anger I never knew I had in me. We’re going to get some help, but meanwhile please tell me: WHY why why do men who are happily married have affairs??!” — Clara
I’m so sorry you’re going through this, Clara.
And I’m thrilled to hear you raise the banner of “I want my man and my marriage!” so fiercely.
I used to think like you — that affairs happen because there’s something WRONG in a relationship. And that does happen.
But very often affairs happen when a relationship is in a pretty ordinary place.
NO ONE is immune to the sudden, exciting thrill of the attention of a new love interest. But some relationships are more susceptible than others, simply because of timing, levels of maturity, personal history, or the things you have or haven’t worked your way through before…
YOU might have an affair IF…
- You’re happy enough, but you think you can be happier. The excitement of an affair tends to make you feel energetically and dramatically “alive.”
- You are trying to leave behind the person you’ve become: predictable, dull, overwhelmed, or even ordinary. An affair lets you see yourself as a very different person; usually as someone exciting, sexy, fresh and new.
- You and your partner don’t have strong boundaries around your relationship, and have never needed to (or had to) really protect it against outside forces.
- There is a major unmet need in the marriage or relationship. It could be your need or one your partner has. Neither of you may even understood or have communicated what that need is.
- You are trying to live with deep wounds from childhood, addictions, or unhealthy patterns that you have not yet been able to break.
- You are under a lot of stress and the two of you have not figured out how to work through crisis together yet.
When an affair is exposed, you have three choices:
CHOICE #1: Stick it out
You can enter crisis mode and begin to break things apart so that they can be rebuilt stronger and better with your current partner…
Clara, it sounds like that’s the choice you and your husband are making. Not every marriage should continue, but it sounds like the two of you have a fighting chance and are willing to do the hard work of rebuilding.
I hope you can hear me cheering from here.
CHOICE #2: Throw in the towel
Sometimes a relationship should end. Usually that’s when there has been abuse, addictions, insurmountable differences, or one or both of you believe that life will be better and easier with a different partner.
Sometimes that’s true, and sometimes you bring your troubles into the new relationship with you.
CHOICE #3: Let someone else decide
You can do nothing and be at the mercy of everyone else’s decisions.
In some cases, a woman (or man) is simply overwhelmed, blindsided, or doesn’t have a healthy and loving circle of friends and mentors to help them through.
Not choosing is also a choice, and there are cases in which one partner can pull BOTH people through a bad situation and come out better in the end.
If your relationship is in serious trouble, PLEASE consider this…
Affairs wreck relationships and lives.
If you want to rescue your marriage and prevent an ugly, painful divorce, please, please consider help from Amy Waterman, who is brilliant at helping couples on the brink.
Click below to read her article!
This is POWERFUL.
When you are feeling desperate, exhausted, and at the end of your rope, it can almost magically turn back the clock on your marriage so he can see you as the woman he fell in love with and ADORE YOU again…
EVEN if you feel like all you do is fight now.