Coping with Infidelity: Knowledge of Types of Affairs Gives Power
Coping with infidelity begins the day that a person discovers his/her spouse is having an affair. For most, the pain, confusion, numbness and anger of the revelation is compounded by myths and half-truths about infidelity that make coping with infidelity that much more difficult and emotionally draining.
Coping with infidelity initially demands confronting one’s taught beliefs about infidelity and extramarital affairs.
What are those beliefs when coping with infidelity?
For one, most believe that someone who has an affair “fell out of love” with his/her spouse and “fell in love” with someone else. It’s almost as if “love” is some magical powerful force to which we fall prey and cannot influence. Coping with infidelity for the wounded spouse may mean dealing with the seeming fact that s/he is no longer “loved” and in reality that “love,” which was so sacred, is given to someone else.
And, what feels more devastating than NOT to be loved?
Another common misconception is that someone jumped into the arms of someone else because the marriage was awful. This may, and often does mean, that the sex was terrible or nonexistent. And so, the cupboard of marriage was bare of sex and/or intimacy and the cheating spouse just “had” to get his/her needs met… somewhere else, of course.
The remaining spouse in his/her attempts to cope with the infidelity thus is confronted with his/her sexual (in)adequacy, his/her limitations in being able to meet the needs of his/her spouse. In addition, often without significant conversations, finds him/her abandoned, alone and extremely jealous of the OP (other person) who now is getting all the goodies.
The 7-year itch. Ever heard of it? It may be an excuse to wonder and wander. To cope with infidelity the wounded spouse is often blind-sided by the impulsivity of his/her spouse and is left home, coping with infidelity by trying to hold his/her world together in the midst of the chaos.
And, last but not least, there is the rationalization of (in)compatibility. The married couple just was not compatible. Or, the cheating spouse in a moment of insight came to the conclusion of their incompatibility and needed to find his/her “soul mate” or someone with him s/he felt compatible.
The wounded spouse is left lamenting the arguments and the points of differences with his/her spouse as if those differences tainted the marriage or relationship.
Coping with infidelity and moving toward healing and recovery is enhanced by breaking down these myths and half-truths and learning about the complexity, patterns and themes of infidelity and extramarital affairs.
Knowledge about infidelity becomes power. Knowledge about infidelity brings relief, sometimes almost instantaneously. Knowledge about infidelity gives options to act, feel and think differently, which gives one a tremendous feeling of personal power.
The “wounded spouse” moves out of the victim role, now knows the affair is not his/her her fault. S/he is not defective. S/he can do something about confronting him/her with having an educated guess as to the outcome of that confrontation.
Here are areas of knowledge regarding coping with infidelity, that once studied, generate tremendous relief and hope.
1. There are many types of affairs. My research came up with 7 types of affairs. (My Marriage Made Me Do It, I Can’t Say No, I Don’t Want to Say No, I Fell Out of Love…and just love being in love, I Want to Get Back at Him/Her, I Need to Prove my Desirability and I Want to be Close to Someone…but can’t stand intimacy.
Each affair is unique. Each type of affairs serves a different purpose of the cheating husband or cheating wife. To learn more about types of affairs, click the link below:
2. The motives for the different types of affairs are different. One may be motivated by compulsion, another by strong personal needs for excitement, another for revenge, another to maintain distance in all relationships another to project blame onto someone or something else.
3. These motives derive not from the marital relationship or the wounded spouse, but from the personal coping patterns of the cheating spouse. As well, these motives, patterns and characteristics were well set before the marital couple met. The cheating spouse, at some level, needed to “play out” these patterns. Of course, most, if not all of this acting out, or the motives for acting out, are well beyond the awareness of the cheating husband or cheating wife.
Once the wounded spouse learns of these patterns, the complexity of the affair and the hidden agenda and motives for the cheating spouse – and other person as well – a flood of relief flows. The more one can make distinctions in a situation, the more refined those distinctions become, the less power that situation has to control the feelings and behavior of a person.
Knowledge is power because it now gives options.
The wounded spouse is not frozen in time. The wounded spouse is NOT helpless. The wounded spouse is not less than his/her cheating spouse or the other person. The wounded spouse can now stand back and at some level even appreciate the pain and disjointed striving, and inner hidden ambivalence of his/her spouse.
And the wounded spouse is now coping with infidelity in powerful ways, charting words and actions that disrupt this powerfully destructive pattern and give hope for resolution.[wpsharely id=”6941″]“Cheater Cheater, Affair Repeater”[/wpsharely]