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Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships.
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An Affair is No Way to End a Marriage
can be a struggle for so many reasons. Struggles may be as simple as; immaturity
of one or both partners; financial pressures; caring for aging parents; sexual
boredom; care of children; juggling jobs and so on.
a healthy marriage as struggles ensue, the partners raise issues between
themselves and seek to resolve them through direct dialogue. In other words,
is by no means always easy. Issues raised may be sensitive for any variety of
reasons. A spouse may need to comment on his or her in-laws, care of the
children, sexual needs, money, etc. Owing to the sensitivity of the subject and
the ability of spouses to be forthright and also receptive to comment, issues
may be addressed entirely, partially and sometimes, not at all. When issues are
only partially addressed or not addressed, spouses may
harbour any number of
feelings including, upset, resentment, sadness and anger. Unresolved, these
feelings can fester, leaving spouses feeling more upset, either one to the
other, or equally between themselves. In some marriages, this shows up as
conflict with fighting sometimes erupting over seemingly trivial events. For
others, festering feelings can lead to a distancing between the spouses where
they no longer talk at all.
unresolved, spouses can find themselves angry and/or lonely in their marriage.
For some this may lead to feelings of retribution – wanting to get back or in
other situations, an emotional vulnerability or neediness. Some persons may at
this point consider an affair as a solution to the issue of a now problematic
definition, affairs are harmful. They are secretive events that when discovered
bring more turmoil to the marriage and undermines the integrity of the
participants. If undiscovered, the participant must live with the wound to his
or her own integrity, as an affair requires deceptive behaviour and demands
lying to carry on. If caught, lies
not only continue but often escalate as the participant seeks to minimize or
obscure their participation therein. Once
determined by the marital partner, the integrity of the marriage is undermined
in a way that tends to trace back to the spouse having the affair. Hence
whatever else had transpired leading up to the affair, the affair becomes the
focal point and that spouse is branded a cheater. What follows next is a cascade
of problems. The non-offending spouse feels betrayed, embarrassed and humiliated
at the hands of the spouse having the affair. The spouse having the affair is
subject to scrutiny from friends, family, and workmates. He or she may be
thought of as untrustworthy, tainted, out of control and even dirty. When the
marital couple has children, they are immediately thrust into the turmoil and
are likely to align with the non-offending parent. Hence an affair not only
fractures a marital bond, but also parent-child relationships.
lieu of an affair, couples in distress are advised to talk and work things out
between themselves. If they cannot address matters and resolve them between
themselves, they should seek help from a reputable marriage counsellor.
In the event that the marriage cannot be improved and one or both spouses
seek to end the marriage, they can do so without the added injury imposed by an
affair. Ending a marriage before an affair improves the likelihood that they
both may enjoy ongoing relationships with their own children as well as extended
family and friends.
that anyone wants to see a marriage end, but certainly some ways are better than
others. Seek help and do all you can before ending a marriage. If it ends,
spouses should not have to endure any extra pain and upset for an affair along
the way. An affair is no way to end a marriage.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.
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