Category: affair recovery advice

Handling Your Partner’s Anger

How can you cope with an anger partner?

Important relationship advice during affair recovery.

  1. Stay calm – Don’t get into a screaming match. If your partner gets ‘overheated,’ explain that you will be willing to talk with him/her. But, right now, tempers are too high for things to settle. Promise to discuss the issue at a later time when you are both in a calmer state. Pick a specific time to ‘check in’ with each other. Say something like “How about talking tonight when we are both in a calmer space?” or “…when you feel you are ready to talk about it.” I call this withdrawing with reassurance.

Be sure to follow up on your promise. If the other person is still upset when you check in, set up another time to check in. If this keeps happening, then it is clear that you need a third party to help you communicate properly again.

  1. Don’t argue with your partner about his/her feelings.
  2. Listen to what the other person has to say.
  3. Establish what you can legitimately agree with.
  4. Don’t try to justify your action.
  5. Listen. People feel better if they get things off of their chest and feel that someone is listening and acknowledging their feelings.
  6. Really listen to what is making your partner angry and try to identify anger themes.
  7. Don’t patronize your partner.
  8. If the anger is repeated, try to be patient and stay calm. If this behavior constantly repeats itself, then it’s time for a counselor to step in. Family and friends are very important for support, but using them as a referee can have disastrous results. Because handling intense anger in these circumstances can be difficult, you may need to rely on the knowledge and objectivity of an experienced professional.

The way in which two people handle anger and conflict significantly impacts their relationship. Often, they do not know how to successfully argue, or even disagree, and the end result is disastrous.

I hope that the above information has increased your understanding of anger and has given you some tools to start examining your own and your partner’s anger themes.

 

Savannah

 

 

Savannah EllisDBA, MBA, BBSc, MPsych (Clin)


Make an appointment | sav@savannahellis.net | 

Licensed Online Therapy and Counseling

The Difference between Acceptance and Forgiveness

Our culture places a great deal of value on the idea of forgiveness. In some part, this is done without thinking about what forgiveness might mean in extreme situations like the one you have been in.

There are all kinds of culturally defined connotations to the idea of forgiveness. Many of them are reflected in the way we colloquially talk about forgiveness. You might hear phrases like “to forgive is divine” or “just forgive and forget.” Ultimately, you could be confused about what it means to forgive. It could seem that you aren’t ready to forgive your partner if these ideas are tied to the act of forgiving.

The truth is that while we use the term forgiveness quite often in our everyday language, we do so loosely. The idea of forgiveness is actually fairly poorly defined.

What does it mean to forgive someone?

Does it mean that you forget what has happened?

Does it mean that you understand why they did what they did?

Does it mean that you are in a position to absolve them of their crimes?

Does it mean something else entirely?Affair recovery www.savannahellis.net

Many volumes have been written on forgiveness, and no two definitions seem to match very well. At best, we could say that a person’s understanding of what it means to forgive comes entirely from them. It is very difficult to generalize about what it means to forgive.

If you feel like you have a good understanding of what forgiveness means for you and you feel like you are ready to forgive your partner in order to move on, by all means do so. I do not discourage people from the idea of forgiving their partners. I am sure it is a very healing experience. But the truth is that most people don’t have a particularly clear idea of what it means to forgive.

It is also true that you don’t have to forgive your partner in order to move on with your life and create a beautiful relationship together. You can do that with acceptance. We have already defined what acceptance is at this point. Essentially, it is coming to terms with that which you cannot change. This is very different from the standard ideas of forgiveness in a number of ways.

Acceptance does not mean that you have to forget the affair. It does not mean that you divinely overcome the pain you are feeling. It does not mean that you let your partner off the hook or that you absolve them of guilt. Acceptance does not carry with it any of the more abstract and difficult components that forgiveness carries. Instead, acceptance simply means that you accept what has happened as an unchangeable event and, at the same time, move forward in a positive direction toward a better life together.

In order to make sure that there is no misunderstanding about what I mean by acceptance, let’s investigate the five myths that surround acceptance.

The Five Myths that Surround Acceptance

Unfortunately, most people in our culture have the wrong idea about what acceptance means. There are five primary myths that abound. I would like to describe each myth for you, and then tell you why it is a myth.

Acceptance Myth #1: Acceptance Can Happen All at Once

This is the #1 myth about acceptance because it is totally unfounded. Like so many other types of magical thinking (some of which have been addressed in this course), people tend to believe that acceptance is black and white, a switch of some kind that you either turn on or leave off.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Even if you wake up one day and say to yourself, “I am ready to accept the past and move on,” it is the result of an accumulation of small changes occurring over time. You might notice one day that the affair has less immediate impact on your life and that slowly you are beginning to accept it. Or perhaps you are thinking about your situation and realize in retrospect that you have been paying less and less attention to the affair and more and more attention to the future with your partner.

Acceptance is a process. It can fade in and out for you over a period of time. There might be days when you feel you are really moving forward, and there might be days when you feel you are drowning in your emotions about the affair. This process is natural. Acceptance typically takes time.

Fortunate or unfortunate as it might be, human beings are much more complicated than a simple light switch. We are not robots who can turn emotions on or off with a switch.

Even if this were possible, it wouldn’t be a final solution to all the difficulties inherent in an intimate relationship. People make mistakes in judgment. There will undoubtedly be other things your partner will do that will hurt your feelings, perhaps in ways that are difficult to come to terms with.

A long-term or life-long relationship means that you are in it together through thick and thin. Being in a relationship means that you offer to be emotionally present to own up to the wrong things you do and your errors in judgment that end up hurting the one you love. It could be either one of you on the hurting end of this equation, and your commitment needs to be to stay together and work it out within the relationship to create an even stronger bond in the long run. Surviving these hurtful times without bringing up the “D-word” (divorce) and without demeaning or disrespecting your partner builds trust in each other and in your commitment to grow old together.

The need to accept again and again is inherent in any relationship. It is particularly necessary in intimate relationships where the softer, more vulnerable parts of you are opened up and shared with another. Inevitably, your partner will step on your delicate feelings. You need to learn to accept their mistakes authentically to keep the relationship alive and thriving. In other words, don’t sweat the small stuff.

Acceptance Myth #2: Once You Accept the Affair, Positive Feelings Will Replace the Negative Feelings You Once Had

Many people have the mistaken notion that if they can accept the past it will be like taking some sort of magical potion that will replace all of their negative feelings with lighter, more positive ones. This isn’t the case.

Accepting the affair will not undo the hurt your partner caused you. It can’t, and it isn’t about that. Accepting the affair is a way of saying that you have opened your heart to your partner again, that you are ready to leave the past behind, and that you want to move forward with your relationship. Do not allow yourself to get fooled into believing this means the past has been obliterated. The idea of acceptance is predicated on the fact that the past has happened and, in fact, cannot be undone. After all, if you could change it, wouldn’t you?

At this point in the program you should have a sense that your relationship is growing into something new and fresh. It should be different and better than it was before. Ironically, it is your past that has allowed that to happen. An affair isn’t good in any sense. But it can be used as a stepping stone; you can rise above it to make your relationship better than it ever has been, if both of you are working hard at reestablishing your relationship the way I have been describing in this course.

Negative emotions are useful to us. They tell us that something is wrong and that we need to change something in our lives. In the case of an affair, the negative feelings that you both faced over the course of this course have allowed you to realize that you want to move forward together toward a better more fulfilling relationship.

Accepting isn’t about eliminating these negative feelings; it’s about using them to your benefit. It offers a method for you to use the terrible negative event that has happened in a positive way.

Don’t worry if you still have negative feelings about the affair. Let those negative feelings operate as a reminder that you are committed to accepting your partner everyday. Accept the past again when the negative feelings come up. In this way, you are putting those difficult emotions to good use. As difficult and painful as it might be to do in the short-run, when the cheater helps the injured work through the bad feelings by active listening and understanding it helps heal the relationship in the long-run. Through active listening, understanding, and taking the “hit” for guilty actions, the cheater begins to demonstrate that they are on the injured person’s side, sharing together an understanding of how awfully the cheater acted in the past (the “old” version of the person who cheated.)

Acceptance Myth #3: Accepting the Affair Means You Were Wrong to Have Had Such a Strong Reaction to It in the First Place

Acceptance is sometimes associated with an admission of guilt or the idea that you somehow weren’t justified in what you were thinking or feeling. This also is an absolute falsehood. You had and have every right to think and feel your thoughts and feelings about the affair. Accepting it does not mean that you now need to recant and say that these thoughts and feelings were wrong.

Don’t feel like you have to rationalize your thoughts about the affair or your need to accept it and move on. This is about the two of you as a couple. In your heart you know what’s right for you. Remember to protect yourself by waiting until you can authentically accept (not agree with or like) the affair as part of your history. Follow your heart’s voice.

Acceptance Myth #4: Accepting the Affair Means Your Partner Is off the Hook

At the beginning of this section, we read about Christine’s concern that Craig might think he was off the hook if Christine told him she was ready to accept the affair and move forward with their relationship. Many people have this concern. What’s worse is that some cheating partner’s seem to think this is true.

Neither you nor your partner should make any mistake about this point: acceptance does not mean that you are releasing your partner from the responsibility they carry for what they’ve done. They are not off the hook. In fact, it is only when your partner shows you that they understand what they have done and are ready to own their responsibility in it that you will be ready to accept the affair and move forward.

Acceptance means you are able to accept the fact that the affair took place and continue to do the work necessary to heal your relationship. Carrying on in this matter means that both of you need to take responsibility for your relationship and what you have done in and to your relationship.

This means that the cheater is not off the hook.

In fact, they are never going to be relieved of their responsibility for the affair. They will have to continue to bear that burden.

Nonetheless, acceptance might come with a sense of relief for both partners. Realizing that you are willing to let go of the past a little bit and move forward with your life can be a breath of fresh air. Let it be that.

Acceptance Myth #5: Accepting the Affair Does Not Mean Forgetting about It

Though it might be true that you are ready to move on, accepting the affair does not mean that you need to forget that it happened. On the contrary, I encourage you not to forget about it completely so you can keep some perspective on how far you have come, as well as the road that lies ahead.

This also doesn’t mean that you need to dwell on it night and day if you feel that you are ready to move beyond that. Accepting the affair without forgetting means that, eventually, it won’t play a role in your day-to-day existence. In some ways, if you have been following my plan, you will probably start getting closer to the life you were living before the affair, but with more openness and honesty.

But you don’t want to forget the progress you’ve made either. Try to strike your own balance between remembering how far you have come down this path and letting go of your daily memories of the affair.

forgiveness

 

Is forgiveness preventing you from moving forward?

Are you struggling with your decision on if you should forgive after the affair? Try asking yourself some of these questions, and answer them aloud to yourself.

Questions include:

  • Why can’t I move forward? What is holding me back?
  • What could my partner say, to help me process this feeling?
  • What could my partner do, to help me process this feeling?
  • What are the risks of forgiving or accepting?
  • What are the benefits of forgiving or accepting?
  • What has your partner done so far to help you process the affair?
  • What will you do to overcome these barriers?
  • What are the potential risks and benefits of letting go of your hurt or anger?
  • What strategy do you have if you cannot overcome the barrier? Eg you can’t stop dwelling on xyz…what will you do?

Perhaps you can think of a few other questions to ask yourself to help you process your feelings. Make sure you share your “self questions” with others by typing them in the comments section below.

http://savannahellis.net/affair-recovery-course-2/

Best wishes on your affair recovery journey,

Dr. Savannah Ellis

Founder of The Infidelity Recovery Institute

www.infidelityrecoveryinstitute.com

 

SOURCE: This article was part of the Infidelity Recovery Course, Part 6: Acceptance V Forgiveness. Available online. CLICK HERE

 

https://www.udemy.com/the-movie-therapy-course/?couponCode=Movie_Lover_Discount_Coupon Movie therapy

The Top 10 Movies about Affairs

Why do we love to watch movies about affairs and cheating? What is it about the affair?

It’s steamy, it’s hidden, it’s secretive.

Cheating movies are a great choice for your MOVIE NIGHT or DATE NIGHT movie choices.

Cheating movies are popular because they allow a nice man or woman to imagine what it would be like to be with someone else. Or do they? They give the viewer an opportunity to dream, and to relate to the person who is cheating, or to be mad and be sympathetic to the person cheated on. They spur debate, they challenge our viewpoints, they offer consolation to those who have actually cheated.

Overall, movies with affairs in them will help you as a couple, discuss the impact an affair would have on your relationship. Consider it “affair prevention.”

Here are my choices for the top ten cheating movies:

1. “Unfaithful” with Diane Lane and Richard Gere.

Unfaithful follows the story of Connie Sumner (Diane Lane), a woman living in New York City who engages in an extramarital affair with Paul (Olivier Martinez), a man she meets while attempting to hail a cab. Though it starts out innocently enough, their relationship soon turns into a very sexual one that is noticed by her husband, Edward (Richard Gere). After discovering the affair, Edward ends up killing Paul in a rage, and disposes of the body in a dump. Killing Paul is clearly not a great method of problem solving, but apparently that doesn’t matter to Edward.

The film is undoubtedly the most iconic when it comes to portraying an extramarital affair; though it’s not exactly a masterpiece, Lane’s performance as the troubled wife stepping out on her husband is nothing short of spectacular, and not to mention supremely hot, as the sex scenes boil over with passion.

2. Fatal Attraction. I didn’t personally care for this movie as much as Unfaitful, but everyone else did. I think this is the number one most popular cheating movie of all times. It’s the standard that all other cheating movies are compared to. Glenn Close played quite a part as the homewrecking office female.

3. Disclosure. Demi Moore and Michael Douglas made quite the pair in this movie. Although Michael Douglas said no to Demi Moore’s advances, the movie still is about cheating because he did kiss her before they stopped. He cheated on his wife. This movie shows what happens when a woman doesn’t get sexually what she is looking for. Guys, beware!

4. Indecent Proposal. Demi Moore gets another spot on the top ten list. I really love all of her movies as well. You may ask how this movie is included, because Woody Harrelson knew that Demi Moore was going to cheat on him, because he was allowing it. They needed the money to pay back the debt he incurred by gambling. Sorry, Woody, you shouldn’t make your wife part of a solution to your gambling problem. This movie shows what happens when the bond of marriage is broken, even if both parties mutually consent to it.

5. Legends of the Fall. This was one of Brad Pitt’s earlier movies. Do you recall, the tale of three brothers? The first brother meets the woman, and she becomes his fiance’. Then, when he brings her home to his family, she falls for the second brother. The first brother then dies in battle, so second brother gets the gal. Then, second brother has all sorts of issues within, and leaves the gal alone for many years. She finally gives up waiting for him, and gets with third brother. Then, second brother returns and she is still in love with him. But now, it’s too late. What a tale.

6. English Patient. This movie is perhaps the saddest cheating movie of all. It has such a story behind it. The woman is cheating on her husband, and he discovers this. She goes off with the other man, and their plane wrecks. The lover has to go find help to try and save her, but he doesn’t make it back in time. So it was all for nothing. Of course, there’s much more to this love story that involves cheating, but this is the gist of it.

7. The Color Purple. The Color Purple is a movie to watch for many reasons, and cheating could be the least important reason of all. However, the cheating in this movie was almost accepted as the way people did things in that day and time. That certainly doesn’t make it right. Whoopi Goldberg had a husband, Danny Glover. She didn’t pick him, he just basically bought her from her family. Of course, he just wants her to do his cooking and cleaning and take care of his children. It’s no surprise when he then takes on a mistress, and she even comes into their home when she gets sick and stays with them. Whoopi ends up becoming attracted to the woman as well, and it is insinuated that perhaps she has an affair of her own.

8. What Lies Beneath, starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer. This was a pretty spooky and realistic movie, as far as cheating movies go. Of course, I wouldn’t necessarily believe that a girl could send signs from the dead, but I also wouldn’t dismiss it totally. Michelle Pfeiffer looks really pale and scary in this movie, and it makes the whole thing all the more believable. Harrison Ford apparently always doesn’t play the good guy.

9. Random Hearts, with Harrison Ford. Okay, now Harrison Ford get a chance to redeem himself. He was the one cheated on. Imagine them finding your wife at the bottom of the ocean, with another man on a plane that crashed? That would be awful.

10. Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Okay, in this movie, she gets really mad. She’s supported her husband through thick and then, and then he wants to throw her out and be with someone else? This is a great story of revenge for someone who was cheated on.

If you can add to this list of great movies with affairs in them, let us know in the comment section below.

 

The Movie Therapy Course can be found HERE. It is recommended for every couple to stay emotionally connected and to improve communication skills.

 

The Split-Self Affair

The Split-Self Affair

About:

Romantic Affairs are intense. Of all the basic types of affairs, none is so crazy as falling in love with someone who is not your spouse. Often the romantic affair partner is someone much younger or older, someone with even bigger problems than our own, or with a lifestyle that is filled with the excitement that we feel has been missing from our lives.

 

   “They feel life is for the taking, and that everyone deserves happiness no matter what the cost.”

― Suzanne Finnamore, Split: A Memoir of Divorce

 

The Split Selves have tried to do marriage right. Both spouses have sacrificed their own feelings and needs to take care of others, and the deprivation has caught up with one of them. The affair is serious, long-term and passionate. The spouse who is having the affair focuses on deciding between the marriage and the affair partner and avoids looking at the inner split.

 

The “split-self” affair is generally a man living a double life, who values the comfort and appearance of a long-term marriage but also has a mistress, maybe even another family. We give a “poor” prognosis for resolving issues that come out of these affairs, but a “low” probability of divorce – perhaps the most depressing combination.

 

Why this affair happened?

 

The split self-affair is an attempt to experience the emotional self that has been denied for a lifetime in the service of doing things right. Typically this has been a middle aged mans affair, someone who has been married for 20 or more years, and he regards himself as a family man.

 

Advice:

If this relationship is to heal, it is important to have in-depth individual and couples’ counseling, so that each person can be open about feelings.

– Recovery Potential: Good

– Affair Reason: Relationship void

  • Vulnerability comes from need for affection & attention
  • The focus has not been on the marriage but the happiness and needs of the family.
  • The marriage typically revolved around the children
  • “The Great Family Man”
  • “The Perfect Mother”
  • Little if any attention to marriage enrichment
  • Cheater will break up with the lover to “save face” with work and social or work position.

 

The Family of Origin

Split selves, both the infidel, and the spouse, are people who learned early in life that they were supposed to do the right thing, rather than pay attention to their own needs and feelings. They have used their rational selves to survive and succeed. Because they have had to sacrifice their emotional selves in order to survive, they are about five years old emotionally.

The family they know best, the one they grew up in, provided a negative model. Split selves have worked at being just the opposite of their original family. If mother was smothering, they create some distance. If dad was angry, they are nice. Their intent was to build the perfect family- and this means Care-taking and accommodating.

When problems happen

It often becomes apparent in midlife, when the kids leave home. This leaves the couple with even less to talk about. As they lack in emotional partnership, they will look elsewhere for relief and satisfaction.

Close work friendships often provide some of the emotional satisfaction that is missing at home. Typically the affair partner is a unmarried woman a generation younger, who has unresolved issues with her father that she plays out in the affair. The younger woman is attentive, understanding, and accommodating. The affair is invigorating. It brings excitement and romance.

In this affair type, the marriage feels empty, as opposed to sexual addiction with the individual feels empty.

The couple may or may not even share a bedroom and may lead very separate lives. Their communication is limited to practical matters like taking out the garbage or social necessities. Best described by many of my clients as a “Functional Communication Style.”

The Lovers Profile:

  • The affair itself is typically a serious relationship.
  • Much younger that the infidel – typically by 10 years +
  • One up/One down relationship
  • The lover will be waiting patiently for the infidel to get up enough courage to leave the wife/husband
  • They feel passionately for each other.
  • The OW/OM/Lover has unresolved FOO issues; boundary issues
  • Comfortable living in a “fantasy” state for an extended period of time.
  • Will ask for sympathy after the affair is discovered.

Research

A Romantic Affair is what might be called an “affair of the heart.” It is one in which a strong connection and intimacy is felt by the person having the affair.

A person involved in a Romantic Affair will often speak of having found his or her “soul mate.” The draw can be quite powerful and feels almost as if fate has brought the parties together. For those involved in such an affair, the feelings attraction and connection can cause them to forsake nearly everything they might have to be with their lover.

While there is a common assumption that men and women fall in love at different rates, or that men cheat primarily for sex while women are more likely to be looking for an emotional connection, this may not always be the case.

Dr. Frank Pittman suggests that men are typically more honest about the sex than women, perhaps because men are better able to separate the issue of sex from that of emotional attachment. He believes that this is due in large part to the fact that men have their genitals on the outside rather than inside and so men seem to separate sexual response from a lasting and committed relationship more easily than do women.

Gender Differences in Romantic Affairs

In his practice, he says that he has seen many cases where men admit to the sex and deny any emotional connection to the affair partner, while women tend to talk of strong emotions and feelings of love while denying that sex took place. He believes that if a man denies the sexual context of the affair and dwells on the emotional connection above all else, he is probably lying. He finds that women, on the other hand, more easily talk of an emotional connection and the feelings induced by an affair while denying any sexual context to the entire episode.

Given the general gender differences in response to sex, many of these women may also be lying. It does, however, point to a significant difference between the sexes when it comes to the response to having an affair. The reasons men often give for an affair are related to more sex while women typically point to emotional reasons for deciding to cheat. At the same time, there is no real evidence that men and women fall in love at different rates, or that one sex cheats entirely for love while the other does so for sex.

Those caught up in a romantic affair seem quite capable of sacrificing any part of their lives to prolong or sustain the relationship. They are willing to give up their jobs, break up their families, destroy their own finances and give up almost anything that belongs to them to feed the relationship. Among the various types of affairs, romantic affairs are most likely to lead to divorce, though very few lead to lasting relationships between the affair partners. The obsessive desire to sacrifice for the cause diminishes as the chemical rush of the relationship subsides, and little is left that can be given by the time that takes place. The feelings of “I gave up everything for you” demand ever-higher levels of sacrifice in return, and with little return on investment, the feelings wane and eventually die.

The perfect romantic affair is between a victim and a rescuer. The ideal affair partner is that damsel (or dumsel) in distress, someone with even bigger problems than our own. They typically begin by helping the affair partner with some serious crisis and, as often as not, this crisis is related to the marriage of one or both of those about to have an affair. Intimacy is created that, while based on a falsehood coupled with a wildly out-of-character and even out-of-context sexual or emotional connection, leads the affair partners to the conclusion that the affair is kismet or destiny.

 

Advice for the betrayed spouse

Romantic affairs are the hardest to break when discovered, and they often go without detection until the cheating spouse leaves the marital home. They usually come as a complete shock to the spouse being left behind and seem so out of character that many looking upon the sequence of events question the sanity to the person having such an affair. Those involved in such an affair exhibit the symptoms of narcissistic and borderline personality disorders.

Little can be done to counter this type of affair. Various attempts to shock the unfaithful spouse out of the insanity of throwing away a life that has taken years to build are met with speeches of the marriage being wrong or for the wrong reasons, and this new relationship having all the right characteristics. The new is in reality mere fantasy, based in large part on the excitement of its inappropriateness. Not many couples recover from this type of affair unless the affair is ended or nearly so by the time of discovery, or unless it is discovered and confronted in the very beginning stages.

Once a spouse commits to leaving the marriage for this new relationship, the affair is seen as the new and right relationship, and the marriage has been turned into the biggest mistake of the cheater’s life. Every reason that can be given as to why the marriage should be saved has already been resolved in the mind of the person walking away. Even if the affair itself dies quite soon after the choice to leave is made, a return to the marriage is nearly impossible and another “newer” and “better” relationship is sought instead. The old has been justified into being unviable and sent to the scrap heap as so much garbage.

Some couples do one day get back together after separation and divorce as the result of romantic affairs, but not many. However, there are some involved in such affairs who one day see the folly of what they are doing and choose to try to return to the marriage.

If the marriage was generally good or long term and you both had a strong sense of commitment to family and vows, some are cheaters are willing to end the affair. This is more likely in the very early stages of the affair, which is why it is critical in a marriage to be aware of what is going on in the life of your spouse.

Once your spouse is in love with someone else, it might seem to be too late for the marriage. Since one of the subsets of romantic affairs is the conflicted romantic affair, this is not always the case. This is the classic “torn between two lovers” scenario about which songs, movies and romance novels rely upon for their lyrics and plots. In this case, a person feels as if they are in love with two people at the same time and do not really want to give either one up. When confronted, they often respond by claiming they want a divorce to pursue the affair relationship. Few actually follow through with this idea, however. What they want is the marriage and the affair. It is usually little more than an attempt to leverage the spouse who confronted them into accepting the idea of allowing them to continue both relationships.

If a romantic affair is discovered and confronted early enough, or if the cheating spouse does not see it as a replacement for the marriage, or the affair has not been justified by turning the marriage into Hell on Earth, even romantic affairs, especially the conflicted romantic affair can result in reconciliation.

Ignoring the infidelity once discovered or being so out of touch with your spouse that your first sign of trouble is when you come home to find the house empty is not very likely to result in keeping the marriage intact.

Treatment Strategy

(When doing the 7 Step Affair Recovery Program)

  • Your challenge will be with having the Infidel commit to Step 1: Commitment. The Infidel will say to you that they will not contact the lover over the next 90 days, but as they are “in love” with this person, here is the challenge – they won’t be able to stay away, so don’t ask them to lie! They will have a challenge in writing the Letter to the Lover activity, and delivering the letter.
  • In this affair type, you may need to be flexible in running your program, knowing that the lover is lurking in the background. The same can be said for Step 2: The affair story. The absolute truth is often too overwhelming for the betrayed partner, and can be counterproductive to the global program outcome.
  • With the Spilt Self Affair Type, it is best to focus on the positive aspects of the relationship in your treatment strategy. The marriage has been going for over two decades, so do relationship enrichment assessments and activities earlier rather than later. This helps  you both create empathy, friendship, love and rapport, where we can then work on communication and conflict resolution.

 

 

Infidelity Recovery Coaches are trained to classify your affair type and develop a strategy for prevention based on your past patterns. While a person may have aspects of different types, one type is likely to dominate. Each affair type requires a different form of treatment.

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Deciding Whether to Stay Married or Get a Divorce?

 

time to wait before divorce

The decision needs to be based on thoughtful assessment rather than emotional reaction.

 

Based on the results of a survey of 1,083 people whose spouses had affairs

 

How long after discovery was there a decision as to whether to stay married or get a divorce?*

56% – Less than 3 months

30% – Three months to a year

14% – More than a year

 

The fact that most respondents (56%) made a decision about the fate of the marriage in less than 3 months after discovery reflects the tendency to feel pressure to quickly decide what to do.

However, most people are so overcome with emotion during the first few months that any decision reached during that time is unlikely to be based on clear, rational thinking.

If at all possible, it’s better to remain open to either possibility (rebuilding the marriage or divorcing) until after spending time and effort getting more clarity about the prospects for the future of the relationship.

The bottom line is that the decision is best made based on the prospects for the future rather than being based on what happened in the past.

Any life crisis (and an affair certainly qualifies as a crisis) “changes the world as we’ve known it.” And it takes time to envision the world based on the new reality—and even more time to reach some understanding of what has happened and what to do about it.

Even if there is a decision to get a divorce at some future time (after investing a lot of effort in determining whether the marriage can be rebuilt), this does not mean that a decision to divorce should have been made earlier. That’s because it’s not just what decision is made—but how well you can live with the decision.

Those who divorce only after investing lots of time and energy into determining the possibilities for rebuilding the marriage are likely to be able to live with their decision, knowing they did all they could. But those who decide to get out too quickly tend to second-guess themselves and wonder “what if…” or “should I have…”—so they have more difficulty living with their decision.

Even if the final decision is the same, the process used to reach the decision makes a significant difference.

What was the decision? *

54% – To stay married

19% – To get a divorce

27% – Still undecided

 

Most people DO stay married.

There has long been an assumption that most marriages end when an affair is discovered. That assumption is related to the fact that the secrecy surrounding this issue leads us to only hear about affairs in those marriages that end. When couples stay together, they may never share the information about the affair, leaving the general public to falsely assume that most marriages end when there is an affair. This assumption is further strengthened by the fact that most people will say, “if my spouse ever had an affair, I’d get out.” But any such comment is meaningless, since nobody knows what they would do unless/until it actually happens to them. At that point, there are many factors, both emotional and practical, that come into consideration.

Every couple needs 3rd party help after an affair. If you cannot see a counselor face-to-face, try our online affair recovery course.

SOURCE:

1. Peggy Vaughan  www.dearpeggy.com

 

Can a couple survive an affair?

Affair recovery story

It was just before midnight one night in October when Hillary Rothrock, a 30-year-old stay-at-home mom, discovered a side of her husband she’d never known existed.

The Lancaster, Pa., couple had been to an exercise class at the YMCA, then took their two small daughters for ice cream. When they got home, Ms. Rothrock put the girls to bed, took a shower and decided to check Facebook.

“Hey, can I look at your computer for a sec?” she asked her husband, Paul Rothrock, a 30-year-old product-support representative for a social-media ad company. He was in the living room, on his laptop, and his reaction stunned her. “No!” he hissed, pulling the computer to his chest.

Confused, she asked him again, and he became even more agitated. “You are not looking at this!” he insisted, gripping the computer tightly.

That was when Ms. Rothrock realized what was wrong.

There are few moments more painful than the disclosure of an extramarital affair, an event that provokes stress and anger in both the betrayer and betrayed. What each spouse does and says in the aftermath will reverberate a long time.

It is critical to stay calm, counselors say. The realization “felt like being punched in the chest,” Ms. Rothrock recalls, of the moment her husband wouldn’t surrender his laptop. Her training as a mental-health crisis counselor served her well when, as calmly as she could, she told her husband to hand over his computer-and his phone-or they were “done.”

Counselors say it is possible to repair a relationship after infidelity, but only if both parties are willing to work hard and honestly acknowledge shortcomings in the relationship and in themselves.

Some 20% of men and 14% of women who have ever been married have had extramarital sex, according to federally sponsored research conducted since 1972 by the social-science research organization NORC at the University of Chicago. (Reliable statistics about infidelity are scarce, largely because many people won’t own up to an affair.) Mr. Rothrock’s affair took place by video chat and other electronic means, but it was no less sexual or emotional, he says.

How many marriages survive infidelity? Peggy Vaughan, a San Diego researcher who runs the website Dearpeggy.com, surveyed 1,083 people and found 76% of those whose spouses had affairs were still married and living with the spouse. That figure may skew high, though: Respondents were self-selecting visitors to Ms. Vaughan’s website, an “extramarital affairs resource center.” Estimates from a sampling of marriage therapists range from 30% to 80%.

Several studies indicate couples in marital therapy dealing with infidelity were just as successful as couples for whom no cheating was involved, says Jay Lebow, psychologist and clinical professor at the Family Institute at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., who published a review of couples-therapy research in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.

Whether a marriage survives an affair depends on how healthy the marriage was to begin with, how long the affair lasted and the manner in which it was discovered.

“The couples who have a real chance of making it are the ones who are committed because they really want to be with each other, not because of the kids or because they feel obligated,” says Joan Sherman, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Lancaster, Pa.

For years after their wedding in 2004, the Rothrocks had fun. They went camping and to concerts and enjoyed their children. But with Mr. Rothrock working days and his wife working nights, they were exhausted and rarely saw each other. Their sex life suffered.

“We were in a mommy-and-daddy rut,” Mr. Rothrock says.

Ms. Rothrock quit her job last year to spend more time with the kids and found it difficult to adjust. Mr. Rothrock began going to Washington, D.C., twice a week for business.

When he was home, he found the din of family life hard to take. He started to think of his wife as a mother. When she became irritated with him, he felt scolded like a child. He withdrew emotionally and began to snap at her. When Ms. Rothrock asked him what was wrong, he replied: “I don’t know what you mean.”

In his Washington hotel room, Mr. Rothrock went to a social-networking site and communicated with people online, including an attractive single woman in the Midwest. She was about his age, and she was a flirt.

Soon, he was spending several hours a day talking with her on Facebook, via text and in private video chats. He told her he felt disconnected from his marriage. He sent her a birthday present and made plans to meet her at a tech conference. They had virtual sex, via instant message and video, but it was more than physical.

“It was definitely an emotional affair,” Mr. Rothrock says.

While re-establishing trust and communication, each spouse has a difficult task, says Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and Rutgers University research professor. The betrayer has to be willing to answer questions honestly. The betrayed has to stop asking questions eventually and never mention the affair again.

Ms. Rothrock spent hours reading her husband’s correspondence with the other woman, at times crying, while he sat by her side, she says. “I was completely devastated.”

The two stayed up the entire first night talking. Ms. Rothrock asked her husband questions about the affair, which he answered honestly. They talked about what they had each done wrong and what they wanted in their marriage. Mr. Rothrock apologized. And, perhaps for the first time, they openly discussed their sexual desires. In the morning, they took off their wedding rings.

“We both said, ‘We burnt down the house,’ ” Ms. Rothrock says.

And yet they kept talking. They got a therapist—Ms. Rothrock found a man, so her husband wouldn’t feel outnumbered. Mr. Rothrock cut ties with the other woman. The couple decided to tell their family and friends about the affair—which they feel helped a lot. “They gave a lot of feedback, like ‘Paul is a great guy, he made a mistake,’ ” says Ms. Rothrock.

The Rothrocks decided to start over-together. They treated each other as if they were the people they would date if they had divorced. They wrote a “constitution” to express what they each wanted: “A partner who trusts me to take care of things,” Mr. Rothrock says. “A partner who tells me what he’s thinking,” says Ms. Rothrock, who is now wearing her wedding band again.

Back to Happily Ever After “What Couples Do in the Aftermath of an Affair Can Determine Whether They’ll Have a Future Together”
By Elizabeth Bernstein

Why do men cheat?

Men & women think very different to each other when it comes to commitment, monogamy, and attraction.

Quite simply, men are highly visual and highly sexual. It is biological and instinctive.

As a woman, you could debate this from your view point, “my man loves me for my mind”, “my man loves me because I am the mother of his children”…… and that could all be true.

But men can be attracted to another woman INSTANTLY.

As a woman, it takes more than a glance to be attracted to a man.

What does this have to do with cheating?

Well people are a polyamourous species, and monogamy requires work (consciously programming belief & value systems, having the right role models, few addictions). People can and do have multiple partners throughout there life. So SUBCONSCIOUSLY, unless we feel 100% safe, satisfied, and fulfilled…people hunt for another partner. They do this consciously or subconsciously depending on their personality type. This is human nature.

So what can YOU DO to ensure monogamy?

1. Sex must be good – Become interested in pleasing yourself as well as your partner. Sex is great if both people are enjoying themselves and responding to touch.
2. You must have sex – if you are not having sex, ask yourself why you don’t want it. Is there something medically wrong? If not, when did you check out?
3. Sex must not be stale – Try something new, get creative. Read, study, and research what others are doing in the bedroom.
4. Maintain your looks and appearance – Stay in shape & eat well. If you feel good about yourself, then you will feel positive in the bedroom, and in general!
5. Keep the passion alive! – adventure & excitement, come up with ideas for your date nights. Create an environment of intimacy, flirt with your partner! Try a couple course.
6. Talk about your values & beliefs – communicate about what your model of the world looks like, and understand what your partner thinks, rather than assume you know what they think.

I would love to know your point of view.

With Kindest Regards,
savsign

DBA, MBA, BBSc, MPsych (Clin)

how to apologize www.savannahellis.net

How to apologize after an affair?

forgiveness

An apology needs to be an unequivocal statement that communicates to the injured partner a real understanding of the pain the cheater has caused and a legitimate and heartfelt promise never to engage in the same behavior again.

The apology might also include, as an optional bonus, an explanation of what or how things have changed and are changing in the cheater’s personal world, perceptions, understandings, and experiences that contribute to the cheater’s re- commitment to faithfulness.

In this apology, the cheater should explain that they understand they are solely responsible for the affair, and explain in detail, setting the scene into context, how they have caused their partner pain. They should apologize for the pain they have caused and assure the partner that they intend to do everything in their power, giving details whenever possible, to make this relationship strong and stable again.

Above all, this apology must be genuine. If you try and apologize in order to move the healing process forward more quickly, your partner will sense this and you will simply do further damage to the relationship. This means that you need to wait to apologize until you really feel the apology in your heart.

You will know when it is time.

If you have already apologized for your actions, you need to do it again. And again; and again; until your partner can hear it.

Even when you do it “perfectly,” it almost always takes a few repetitions because the injured person wants to hear the authenticity again or wants to make sure of some specific point you might have made earlier.

This doesn’t mean you should rain down apologies every time you see them. It means you should take every available opportunity to let your partner know how badly you feel for what you did.

I’m here to help you on your path to recovery,

 

savsign2

DBA, MBA, BBSc, MPsych (Clin)

 

 

 

Join us online http://savannahellis.net/7-step-infidelity-recovery and learn how to recover from betrayal together – as a couple.

Los Angeles: 5 steps you should take to protect your relationship from infidelity

Cheating Map us

When I first decided to start an Infidelity Recovery Clinic in Las Vegas, people would say, “Las Vegas! Sin City! That town is full of strippers, cheats, and immoral people. You will be so busy in that town.”

Of course what people don’t think about is that the Las Vegas Strip is the destination city for over 40,000,000 people per year from around the world. People from other USA cities come to Vegas to have a good time, attend conferences, and some, statistically, will be unfaithful!

I will be the first to defend Las Vegas families and say that cheating happens in every city and in every country. In fact, I have found that couples from Las Vegas fight harder to save their relationships after an affair, to keep the family together, and provide a stable and loving home for their children. More so than other cities I have worked in such as San Francisco, L.A, and Sydney.

Last year, in the Las Vegas clinic, I had a popular lawyer come in to the clinic with his wife, and tell me he wanted couple counseling, to prevent the relationship from temptation. “What can we do to ensure we can protect our relationship from infidelity”, he said. Both husband and wife were good looking and intelligent people, however, they knew that once they started to “admire” the looks of other people, the relationship is in trouble.

So what type of person cheats in their marriage? With an estimated 57 percent of men and 54 percent of women cheating on their partners at some point in their relationships, it’s safe to say we can do a better job protecting our partnerships from infidelity. Ashley Madison, the website that encourages affairs, has done extensive research in the most unfaithful USA towns. Guess what? Las Vegas is not even in the Top 10 towns for cheaters!

BTW – I personally think sites like Ashley Madison should be shut down, because of the effect it has on weak and misguided people e.g. “Most of society”. If we can ban smoking and drinking advertisement during certain times because greater society knows that people are weak and vulnerable, powerless to suggestion, then why not ban sites that encourage married people from being unfaithful. I am passionate about this point because I know that good people make the mistake of having an affair, and it destroys their life and that of their family. It is totally preventable by learning HOW to prevent affairs, and HOW to protect a marriage. With each generation, more people are desensitized to divorce and cheating. People may find it wrong to cheat – 91%, but more than 1/2 the population has admitted to cheating on their spouse. People need to be coached, to be the best they can be in their marriage.

I opened my new clinic in Los Angeles, California, in Santa Monica. Will I be busy in Santa Monica? If we look at the map again, we will find Los Angeles is ranked 5th in the USA for cheaters. I can see why already. This town prides itself on its “fast pace, sexy people, international flavour, entertainment industry darlings, the latest & greatest.”

First and foremost, it’s important that we’re honest with ourselves about the power and influence of sexual temptation. Unfortunately, everyone seems to think they’re invincible when it comes to being able to avoid it, but let’s be real with ourselves — we’re all weak when it comes to sex. It’s natural. To pretend otherwise is why the excuse “one thing led to another…” is so popular.

We see it all the time. Even some of our most important spiritual leaders have fallen victim to sexual temptations, so what makes us think we’re any stronger? We must stop lying to ourselves. We all need explicit boundaries in place to keep us from becoming that next statistic — especially since so much infidelity begins with positive and innocent intentions.

Here are five steps you should take to protect your relationship from infidelity:

1. Be honest with yourself about your weaknesses.

When are you vulnerable when it comes to sexual temptations? Maybe it’s physical touch or pornography or an inappropriate emotional connection with a friend of the opposite sex. Regardless, you need to be completely and explicitly honest about your weaknesses with yourself. We fail not when we’re strong but when we’re at our weakest.
2. Discuss your boundaries.

What good is acknowledging your weaknesses without creating boundaries to help you avoid them? While you’re being thorough about where these temptations typically occur, ask yourself what boundaries you can put in place to steer clear. Share these with your partner so you’re on the same page with what you can expect from each other.
3. Avoid tempting situations, not the temptations themselves.

Stop playing with fire! I always say, if we can avoid that “one thing,” we don’t give ourselves the opportunity for it to “lead to another.” Be proactive.
4. Talk to friends who can hold you accountable.

Accountability is so underrated when it comes to relationships. Fellas, which of your boys can you trust to keep you on your game when you’re struggling? Ladies, which of your friends is ideal to have on speed dial when you need the support? Make sure they have your best interest and your relationship in mind, and reach out when you feel weak.
5. Make better choices.

At the end of the day, you simply must be mindful of the choices you’re making and the repercussions they have on you and your relationship. Make better choices and you’ll get better results.

 

If you value your relationship, take these steps today. Like, right now. Don’t wait until problems arise to address this issue.

It’s normal to feel like you don’t need to create and enforce boundaries — and a lot of people don’t — at least, not until it’s too late. Don’t wait until you hit the iceberg to take preventive measures to protect your partnership. Ask any couple that’s ever experienced infidelity and they’ll tell you the same thing.

Making these steps a habit will continue to reap trust, loyalty and faithfulness long into your relationship.

Remember, love always protects.

savsign

Affair Recovery Advice for the Unfaithful partner & for Affair Prevention.
Affair Recovery Advice for the Unfaithful partner & for Affair Prevention.

Psychologist, relationship coach and founder of The Infidelity Recovery Institute. | The worlds Premiere Infidelity Recovery Prevention & Recovery coach, Savannah Ellis is on a mission to help unmarried, married, and millennial couples build the most strong and healthy relationships possible. For more on relationship tips and advice, couples events and private coaching opportunities, visit savannahellis.net

Santa Monica, California, USA 1640 5th Street, Suite 201, Santa Monica, California 90401 Questions: (415) 877-4004

 

 

 

Santa Monica, California, USA

1640 5th Street, Suite 201, Santa Monica, California 90401

Questions: (415) 877-4004

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

2831 St Rose Pkwy #200, Henderson, NV 89052

Office: (702) 818-1000

Questions: (415) 877-4004

Sydney, Australia

Questions: (02) 8003-7050

 

Santa Monica, California, USA 1640 5th Street, Suite 201, Santa Monica, California 90401 Questions: (415) 877-4004Las Vegas, Nevada, USA 2831 St Rose Pkwy #200, Henderson, NV 89052
Office: (702) 818-1000 Questions: (415) 877-4004
Sydney, Australia Questions: (02) 8003-7050
Do you have a question? Ask via Skype. Skype   Savannahsb – See more at: http://infidelityrecoveryinstitute.com/contact-us/#sthash.ZJESJYu5.dpuf

Why do women cheat in their 1st year of marriage?

G’Day Everyone!

Elle Magazine Australia recently interviewed me regarding the growing issue of women having affairs in their 1st year of marriage.

For those of you who cannot grab a copy of this months Elle Magazine, Australian Edition, May 2014, I have attached the article for you.

Please feel free to add your comments. Do you think it is a growing concern? If so why?

We’ve all heard of the seven-year itch – the stage where couples lose interest in their relationship and stray. Now, new research shows the time frame for cheating has lurched forward dramatically: eight per cent of Australian female newlyweds who signed up to controversial dating website, Ashley Madison, admit they were unfaithful before they’d even been married for one year.

Researchers have pinpointed the seven-month mark as the flashpoint where extramarital affairs begin, giving rise to the seven-month itch phenomenon. “Traditionally, seven years into a relationship used to be make-or-break,” says Savannah Ellis, founder and coach at the Infidelity Recovery Institute. “But now, in our ‘have it all, have it now’ culture, because our courtships are much longer, romance often wanes way before the wedding. Then, after the natural high of the honeymoon period wears off post-wedding, all too often you’re left with two people with everyday problems and stresses. And if romance isn’t happening in our marriages, many women are tempted to seek the new-relationship high elsewhere.”

On her wedding day, Cressida Smythe*, a Melbourne-based advertising executive, was the perfect picture of a loved-up bride. At 28, she was marrying her childhood sweetheart, James. They’d travelled overseas together and had spent the past few months planning their dream wedding. “It was the happiest day of my life. I’d always imagined growing old with James – I couldn’t wait to be his wife,” she says.

Smythe is the first to admit she assumed marriage would lead straight to happily-ever-after. While she was saying her vows in front of friends and family, it never crossed her mind she’d cheat on her husband before they celebrated their first anniversary. Yet she says that almost immediately after the wedding, cracks appeared. “Before we married I’d found the fact that James was the jealous type flattering. After our wedding, I noticed him becoming more possessive,” she says. “He seemed to think that because we were married it was – everything James wasn’t at that time. We swapped numbers and met for coffee.”

Smart phones have a key role to play in infidelity – it’s now easier than ever to cheat. “Having unlimited opportunities to connect online makes it easier to contact people outside of our marriages and this can have an effect on someone who is not happy with the state of theirs,” says Denise Reichenbach, counsellor at Relationships Australia.

Dating sites and apps make it simpler to find people outside of your immediate social circle to cheat with, and opportunity is a big factor when it comes to stepping outside of your relationship. Meanwhile, social networking makes it easy to blur the lines of what constitutes infidelity. “When does harmless Facebook flirting turn into cheating?” asks Ellis.

Smythe continued to text and meet with the man she met that night. “I convinced myself it was innocent friendship until we went out for drinks and ended up sleeping together. I’d never been unfaithful before and the guilt was crippling but still, I felt a sense of defiant freedom.”

Living together before marriage might also be responsible for infidelity in the first year. Research by psychologists at the University of Denver reveals more couples are marrying simply because it has become the expected next step, rather than because they actually want to wed. Psychologists have even coined the term “sliders” to describe co-habiting couples who “slide” into marriage without any real desire to make a lifelong commitment. The study goes on to find that female sliders who move in with their partners before they get engaged are statistically around 40 per cent more likely to get divorced compared with those who don’t.

Sara Bright*, a management consultant from Sydney, admits she felt pressure from her social circle to marry. “Tim and I were introduced by mutual friends at a party. The night we met, he practically moved in to my place,” she says. “The physical attraction between us was intense – we couldn’t get enough of each other. We were both in the same line of work and in our forties; I felt like we were soulmates. When we launched a business together, it only compounded that feeling, but soon our business became all we talked – and bickered – about. It caused so much strain that we stopped having sex.” Bright’s friends, oblivious to the problems they were having, continued to pester the couple about when they would tie the knot.

“I was stunned when, out of the blue, Tim proposed,” she says. “I said yes straight away – I really believed marriage might help to bring us closer. The months planning our wedding were heady with romance. But it was only once we were unpacking our bags after the honeymoon that I felt a pang of regret. I couldn’t shake the feeling that he wasn’t the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Returning to work, the same pressures and stresses were there. Within days, I felt exactly as I had before we’d got engaged – frustrated and bored. And it was even more galling to feel that way because we were married.”

Relationship experts believe unrealistic expectations about what married life will be like can quickly lead to bitter disappointment. This breeds resentment, which makes infidelity more likely, especially for women. “We expect that being a husband automatically makes our partner a better man and marriage should give us a more rewarding relationship,” says Ellis. “But in reality your new husband is the same man he was before your wedding – and it doesn’t take long to feel frustration because nothing’s changed or improved.”

“Being unfaithful to Tim hadn’t entered my head until seven months after we married,” admits Bright. “I attended a work meeting with a client, who happened to be an attractive single guy. The conversation turned flirty and, before I knew it, we were in bed. I was shocked I didn’t feel guilty. I felt desirable for the first time since my wedding night. Craving that, I slept with him again soon afterwards.”

As divorce rates in Australia rise, leaving a marriage when things don’t work out feels increasingly normal. “It is more acceptable now to walk away from a struggling marriage,” says Ellis, “Our culture centres around, ‘If it doesn’t work, get divorced’.” Reichenbach agrees: “Often we’re not prepared to work on ourselves and our relationship to make it work. We just expect everything to run smoothly, which isn’t the reality of marriage.”

In the end, Smythe was prepared to fight for her marriage, but it took two years of hard work. “I realised that I didn’t want to leave James so I ended my affair,” she says. “I had infidelity counselling and came to my own conclusion that I owed it to James and our marriage to confess. He was devastated and asked me to leave but once he’d cooled off he admitted his controlling behaviour was partly responsible for driving me away. He’d been feeling insecure, but could appreciate how ironic it was that his behaviour had driven me to cheat and promised to work through his jealousy issues. We had couple’s counselling and now, looking back, I regret being unfaithful, but my affair made us both realise what we stood to lose. Now, we’re finally happy.”

However, if the love and commitment isn’t there anymore, those who have acted on the seven-month itch agree there’s little point in struggling on. Bright’s infidelity was the wake-up call she needed. “Eventually, I confessed to Tim,” she says. “He was furious and we split. I was sad but relieved, too. In hindsight, I was naive to think marriage would suddenly make us right for each other. Instead of talking weddings, we should have talked about how we really felt.”

It’s not easy to be brutally honest about what you expect from your marriage but pre-marital counselling can help couples determine whether they are both in it for forever, before they say “I do”.

In 2014, no-one should feel like they have to tie the knot – unless they really want to. “Before you get married ask yourself: ‘Am I in this to the end? What are our goals? Maybe there will be years where we don’t have great sex or have financial problems – can I handle that?’” says Ellis. “If the answers are ‘no’, then don’t do it. Live together, have fun, but don’t walk down the aisle.”

This article appeared in Elle Magazine, May 2014.

Written by: Beth Pope

– See more at: http://infidelityrecoveryinstitute.com/women-who-cheat-in-the-1st-year-of-marriage/#sthash.EsmNBv5t.dpuf

We’ve all heard of the seven-year itch – the stage where couples lose interest in their relationship and stray. Now, new research shows the time frame for cheating has lurched forward dramatically: eight per cent of Australian female newlyweds who signed up to controversial dating website, Ashley Madison, admit they were unfaithful before they’d even been married for one year.

Researchers have pinpointed the seven-month mark as the flashpoint where extramarital affairs begin, giving rise to the seven-month itch phenomenon. “Traditionally, seven years into a relationship used to be make-or-break,” says Savannah Ellis, founder and coach at the Infidelity Recovery Institute. “But now, in our ‘have it all, have it now’ culture, because our courtships are much longer, romance often wanes way before the wedding. Then, after the natural high of the honeymoon period wears off post-wedding, all too often you’re left with two people with everyday problems and stresses. And if romance isn’t happening in our marriages, many women are tempted to seek the new-relationship high elsewhere.”

On her wedding day, Cressida Smythe*, a Melbourne-based advertising executive, was the perfect picture of a loved-up bride. At 28, she was marrying her childhood sweetheart, James. They’d travelled overseas together and had spent the past few months planning their dream wedding. “It was the happiest day of my life. I’d always imagined growing old with James – I couldn’t wait to be his wife,” she says.

Smythe is the first to admit she assumed marriage would lead straight to happily-ever-after. While she was saying her vows in front of friends and family, it never crossed her mind she’d cheat on her husband before they celebrated their first anniversary. Yet she says that almost immediately after the wedding, cracks appeared. “Before we married I’d found the fact that James was the jealous type flattering. After our wedding, I noticed him becoming more possessive,” she says. “He seemed to think that because we were married it was – everything James wasn’t at that time. We swapped numbers and met for coffee.”

Smart phones have a key role to play in infidelity – it’s now easier than ever to cheat. “Having unlimited opportunities to connect online makes it easier to contact people outside of our marriages and this can have an effect on someone who is not happy with the state of theirs,” says Denise Reichenbach, counsellor at Relationships Australia.

Dating sites and apps make it simpler to find people outside of your immediate social circle to cheat with, and opportunity is a big factor when it comes to stepping outside of your relationship. Meanwhile, social networking makes it easy to blur the lines of what constitutes infidelity. “When does harmless Facebook flirting turn into cheating?” asks Ellis.

Smythe continued to text and meet with the man she met that night. “I convinced myself it was innocent friendship until we went out for drinks and ended up sleeping together. I’d never been unfaithful before and the guilt was crippling but still, I felt a sense of defiant freedom.”

Living together before marriage might also be responsible for infidelity in the first year. Research by psychologists at the University of Denver reveals more couples are marrying simply because it has become the expected next step, rather than because they actually want to wed. Psychologists have even coined the term “sliders” to describe co-habiting couples who “slide” into marriage without any real desire to make a lifelong commitment. The study goes on to find that female sliders who move in with their partners before they get engaged are statistically around 40 per cent more likely to get divorced compared with those who don’t.

Sara Bright*, a management consultant from Sydney, admits she felt pressure from her social circle to marry. “Tim and I were introduced by mutual friends at a party. The night we met, he practically moved in to my place,” she says. “The physical attraction between us was intense – we couldn’t get enough of each other. We were both in the same line of work and in our forties; I felt like we were soulmates. When we launched a business together, it only compounded that feeling, but soon our business became all we talked – and bickered – about. It caused so much strain that we stopped having sex.” Bright’s friends, oblivious to the problems they were having, continued to pester the couple about when they would tie the knot.

“I was stunned when, out of the blue, Tim proposed,” she says. “I said yes straight away – I really believed marriage might help to bring us closer. The months planning our wedding were heady with romance. But it was only once we were unpacking our bags after the honeymoon that I felt a pang of regret. I couldn’t shake the feeling that he wasn’t the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Returning to work, the same pressures and stresses were there. Within days, I felt exactly as I had before we’d got engaged – frustrated and bored. And it was even more galling to feel that way because we were married.”

Relationship experts believe unrealistic expectations about what married life will be like can quickly lead to bitter disappointment. This breeds resentment, which makes infidelity more likely, especially for women. “We expect that being a husband automatically makes our partner a better man and marriage should give us a more rewarding relationship,” says Ellis. “But in reality your new husband is the same man he was before your wedding – and it doesn’t take long to feel frustration because nothing’s changed or improved.”

“Being unfaithful to Tim hadn’t entered my head until seven months after we married,” admits Bright. “I attended a work meeting with a client, who happened to be an attractive single guy. The conversation turned flirty and, before I knew it, we were in bed. I was shocked I didn’t feel guilty. I felt desirable for the first time since my wedding night. Craving that, I slept with him again soon afterwards.”

As divorce rates in Australia rise, leaving a marriage when things don’t work out feels increasingly normal. “It is more acceptable now to walk away from a struggling marriage,” says Ellis, “Our culture centres around, ‘If it doesn’t work, get divorced’.” Reichenbach agrees: “Often we’re not prepared to work on ourselves and our relationship to make it work. We just expect everything to run smoothly, which isn’t the reality of marriage.”

In the end, Smythe was prepared to fight for her marriage, but it took two years of hard work. “I realised that I didn’t want to leave James so I ended my affair,” she says. “I had infidelity counselling and came to my own conclusion that I owed it to James and our marriage to confess. He was devastated and asked me to leave but once he’d cooled off he admitted his controlling behaviour was partly responsible for driving me away. He’d been feeling insecure, but could appreciate how ironic it was that his behaviour had driven me to cheat and promised to work through his jealousy issues. We had couple’s counselling and now, looking back, I regret being unfaithful, but my affair made us both realise what we stood to lose. Now, we’re finally happy.”

However, if the love and commitment isn’t there anymore, those who have acted on the seven-month itch agree there’s little point in struggling on. Bright’s infidelity was the wake-up call she needed. “Eventually, I confessed to Tim,” she says. “He was furious and we split. I was sad but relieved, too. In hindsight, I was naive to think marriage would suddenly make us right for each other. Instead of talking weddings, we should have talked about how we really felt.”

It’s not easy to be brutally honest about what you expect from your marriage but pre-marital counselling can help couples determine whether they are both in it for forever, before they say “I do”.

In 2014, no-one should feel like they have to tie the knot – unless they really want to. “Before you get married ask yourself: ‘Am I in this to the end? What are our goals? Maybe there will be years where we don’t have great sex or have financial problems – can I handle that?’” says Ellis. “If the answers are ‘no’, then don’t do it. Live together, have fun, but don’t walk down the aisle.”

This article appeared in Elle Magazine, May 2014.

Written by: Beth Pope

– See more at: http://infidelityrecoveryinstitute.com/women-who-cheat-in-the-1st-year-of-marriage/#sthash.EsmNBv5t.dpu

Best Wishes,


 

 

Savannah Ellis is a psychologist, educator, relationship counselor, speaker and author of Reboot Your Relationship & I Cheated – available on AMAZON. Find her at savannahellis.net and @infidelityguru

 

We’ve all heard of the seven-year itch – the stage where couples lose interest in their relationship and stray. Now, new research shows the time frame for cheating has lurched forward dramatically: eight per cent of Australian female newlyweds who signed up to controversial dating website, Ashley Madison, admit they were unfaithful before they’d even been married for one year.

Researchers have pinpointed the seven-month mark as the flashpoint where extramarital affairs begin, giving rise to the seven-month itch phenomenon. “Traditionally, seven years into a relationship used to be make-or-break,” says Savannah Ellis, founder and coach at the Infidelity Recovery Institute. “But now, in our ‘have it all, have it now’ culture, because our courtships are much longer, romance often wanes way before the wedding. Then, after the natural high of the honeymoon period wears off post-wedding, all too often you’re left with two people with everyday problems and stresses. And if romance isn’t happening in our marriages, many women are tempted to seek the new-relationship high elsewhere.”

On her wedding day, Cressida Smythe*, a Melbourne-based advertising executive, was the perfect picture of a loved-up bride. At 28, she was marrying her childhood sweetheart, James. They’d travelled overseas together and had spent the past few months planning their dream wedding. “It was the happiest day of my life. I’d always imagined growing old with James – I couldn’t wait to be his wife,” she says.

Smythe is the first to admit she assumed marriage would lead straight to happily-ever-after. While she was saying her vows in front of friends and family, it never crossed her mind she’d cheat on her husband before they celebrated their first anniversary. Yet she says that almost immediately after the wedding, cracks appeared. “Before we married I’d found the fact that James was the jealous type flattering. After our wedding, I noticed him becoming more possessive,” she says. “He seemed to think that because we were married it was – everything James wasn’t at that time. We swapped numbers and met for coffee.”

Smart phones have a key role to play in infidelity – it’s now easier than ever to cheat. “Having unlimited opportunities to connect online makes it easier to contact people outside of our marriages and this can have an effect on someone who is not happy with the state of theirs,” says Denise Reichenbach, counsellor at Relationships Australia.

Dating sites and apps make it simpler to find people outside of your immediate social circle to cheat with, and opportunity is a big factor when it comes to stepping outside of your relationship. Meanwhile, social networking makes it easy to blur the lines of what constitutes infidelity. “When does harmless Facebook flirting turn into cheating?” asks Ellis.

Smythe continued to text and meet with the man she met that night. “I convinced myself it was innocent friendship until we went out for drinks and ended up sleeping together. I’d never been unfaithful before and the guilt was crippling but still, I felt a sense of defiant freedom.”

Living together before marriage might also be responsible for infidelity in the first year. Research by psychologists at the University of Denver reveals more couples are marrying simply because it has become the expected next step, rather than because they actually want to wed. Psychologists have even coined the term “sliders” to describe co-habiting couples who “slide” into marriage without any real desire to make a lifelong commitment. The study goes on to find that female sliders who move in with their partners before they get engaged are statistically around 40 per cent more likely to get divorced compared with those who don’t.

Sara Bright*, a management consultant from Sydney, admits she felt pressure from her social circle to marry. “Tim and I were introduced by mutual friends at a party. The night we met, he practically moved in to my place,” she says. “The physical attraction between us was intense – we couldn’t get enough of each other. We were both in the same line of work and in our forties; I felt like we were soulmates. When we launched a business together, it only compounded that feeling, but soon our business became all we talked – and bickered – about. It caused so much strain that we stopped having sex.” Bright’s friends, oblivious to the problems they were having, continued to pester the couple about when they would tie the knot.

“I was stunned when, out of the blue, Tim proposed,” she says. “I said yes straight away – I really believed marriage might help to bring us closer. The months planning our wedding were heady with romance. But it was only once we were unpacking our bags after the honeymoon that I felt a pang of regret. I couldn’t shake the feeling that he wasn’t the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Returning to work, the same pressures and stresses were there. Within days, I felt exactly as I had before we’d got engaged – frustrated and bored. And it was even more galling to feel that way because we were married.”

Relationship experts believe unrealistic expectations about what married life will be like can quickly lead to bitter disappointment. This breeds resentment, which makes infidelity more likely, especially for women. “We expect that being a husband automatically makes our partner a better man and marriage should give us a more rewarding relationship,” says Ellis. “But in reality your new husband is the same man he was before your wedding – and it doesn’t take long to feel frustration because nothing’s changed or improved.”

“Being unfaithful to Tim hadn’t entered my head until seven months after we married,” admits Bright. “I attended a work meeting with a client, who happened to be an attractive single guy. The conversation turned flirty and, before I knew it, we were in bed. I was shocked I didn’t feel guilty. I felt desirable for the first time since my wedding night. Craving that, I slept with him again soon afterwards.”

As divorce rates in Australia rise, leaving a marriage when things don’t work out feels increasingly normal. “It is more acceptable now to walk away from a struggling marriage,” says Ellis, “Our culture centres around, ‘If it doesn’t work, get divorced’.” Reichenbach agrees: “Often we’re not prepared to work on ourselves and our relationship to make it work. We just expect everything to run smoothly, which isn’t the reality of marriage.”

In the end, Smythe was prepared to fight for her marriage, but it took two years of hard work. “I realised that I didn’t want to leave James so I ended my affair,” she says. “I had infidelity counselling and came to my own conclusion that I owed it to James and our marriage to confess. He was devastated and asked me to leave but once he’d cooled off he admitted his controlling behaviour was partly responsible for driving me away. He’d been feeling insecure, but could appreciate how ironic it was that his behaviour had driven me to cheat and promised to work through his jealousy issues. We had couple’s counselling and now, looking back, I regret being unfaithful, but my affair made us both realise what we stood to lose. Now, we’re finally happy.”

However, if the love and commitment isn’t there anymore, those who have acted on the seven-month itch agree there’s little point in struggling on. Bright’s infidelity was the wake-up call she needed. “Eventually, I confessed to Tim,” she says. “He was furious and we split. I was sad but relieved, too. In hindsight, I was naive to think marriage would suddenly make us right for each other. Instead of talking weddings, we should have talked about how we really felt.”

It’s not easy to be brutally honest about what you expect from your marriage but pre-marital counselling can help couples determine whether they are both in it for forever, before they say “I do”.

In 2014, no-one should feel like they have to tie the knot – unless they really want to. “Before you get married ask yourself: ‘Am I in this to the end? What are our goals? Maybe there will be years where we don’t have great sex or have financial problems – can I handle that?’” says Ellis. “If the answers are ‘no’, then don’t do it. Live together, have fun, but don’t walk down the aisle.”

This article appeared in Elle Magazine, May 2014.

Written by: Beth Pope

– See more at: http://infidelityrecoveryinstitute.com/women-who-cheat-in-the-1st-year-of-marriage/#sthash.EsmNBv5t.dpuf

We’ve all heard of the seven-year itch – the stage where couples lose interest in their relationship and stray. Now, new research shows the time frame for cheating has lurched forward dramatically: eight per cent of Australian female newlyweds who signed up to controversial dating website, Ashley Madison, admit they were unfaithful before they’d even been married for one year.

Researchers have pinpointed the seven-month mark as the flashpoint where extramarital affairs begin, giving rise to the seven-month itch phenomenon. “Traditionally, seven years into a relationship used to be make-or-break,” says Savannah Ellis, founder and coach at the Infidelity Recovery Institute. “But now, in our ‘have it all, have it now’ culture, because our courtships are much longer, romance often wanes way before the wedding. Then, after the natural high of the honeymoon period wears off post-wedding, all too often you’re left with two people with everyday problems and stresses. And if romance isn’t happening in our marriages, many women are tempted to seek the new-relationship high elsewhere.”

On her wedding day, Cressida Smythe*, a Melbourne-based advertising executive, was the perfect picture of a loved-up bride. At 28, she was marrying her childhood sweetheart, James. They’d travelled overseas together and had spent the past few months planning their dream wedding. “It was the happiest day of my life. I’d always imagined growing old with James – I couldn’t wait to be his wife,” she says.

Smythe is the first to admit she assumed marriage would lead straight to happily-ever-after. While she was saying her vows in front of friends and family, it never crossed her mind she’d cheat on her husband before they celebrated their first anniversary. Yet she says that almost immediately after the wedding, cracks appeared. “Before we married I’d found the fact that James was the jealous type flattering. After our wedding, I noticed him becoming more possessive,” she says. “He seemed to think that because we were married it was – everything James wasn’t at that time. We swapped numbers and met for coffee.”

Smart phones have a key role to play in infidelity – it’s now easier than ever to cheat. “Having unlimited opportunities to connect online makes it easier to contact people outside of our marriages and this can have an effect on someone who is not happy with the state of theirs,” says Denise Reichenbach, counsellor at Relationships Australia.

Dating sites and apps make it simpler to find people outside of your immediate social circle to cheat with, and opportunity is a big factor when it comes to stepping outside of your relationship. Meanwhile, social networking makes it easy to blur the lines of what constitutes infidelity. “When does harmless Facebook flirting turn into cheating?” asks Ellis.

Smythe continued to text and meet with the man she met that night. “I convinced myself it was innocent friendship until we went out for drinks and ended up sleeping together. I’d never been unfaithful before and the guilt was crippling but still, I felt a sense of defiant freedom.”

Living together before marriage might also be responsible for infidelity in the first year. Research by psychologists at the University of Denver reveals more couples are marrying simply because it has become the expected next step, rather than because they actually want to wed. Psychologists have even coined the term “sliders” to describe co-habiting couples who “slide” into marriage without any real desire to make a lifelong commitment. The study goes on to find that female sliders who move in with their partners before they get engaged are statistically around 40 per cent more likely to get divorced compared with those who don’t.

Sara Bright*, a management consultant from Sydney, admits she felt pressure from her social circle to marry. “Tim and I were introduced by mutual friends at a party. The night we met, he practically moved in to my place,” she says. “The physical attraction between us was intense – we couldn’t get enough of each other. We were both in the same line of work and in our forties; I felt like we were soulmates. When we launched a business together, it only compounded that feeling, but soon our business became all we talked – and bickered – about. It caused so much strain that we stopped having sex.” Bright’s friends, oblivious to the problems they were having, continued to pester the couple about when they would tie the knot.

“I was stunned when, out of the blue, Tim proposed,” she says. “I said yes straight away – I really believed marriage might help to bring us closer. The months planning our wedding were heady with romance. But it was only once we were unpacking our bags after the honeymoon that I felt a pang of regret. I couldn’t shake the feeling that he wasn’t the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Returning to work, the same pressures and stresses were there. Within days, I felt exactly as I had before we’d got engaged – frustrated and bored. And it was even more galling to feel that way because we were married.”

Relationship experts believe unrealistic expectations about what married life will be like can quickly lead to bitter disappointment. This breeds resentment, which makes infidelity more likely, especially for women. “We expect that being a husband automatically makes our partner a better man and marriage should give us a more rewarding relationship,” says Ellis. “But in reality your new husband is the same man he was before your wedding – and it doesn’t take long to feel frustration because nothing’s changed or improved.”

“Being unfaithful to Tim hadn’t entered my head until seven months after we married,” admits Bright. “I attended a work meeting with a client, who happened to be an attractive single guy. The conversation turned flirty and, before I knew it, we were in bed. I was shocked I didn’t feel guilty. I felt desirable for the first time since my wedding night. Craving that, I slept with him again soon afterwards.”

As divorce rates in Australia rise, leaving a marriage when things don’t work out feels increasingly normal. “It is more acceptable now to walk away from a struggling marriage,” says Ellis, “Our culture centres around, ‘If it doesn’t work, get divorced’.” Reichenbach agrees: “Often we’re not prepared to work on ourselves and our relationship to make it work. We just expect everything to run smoothly, which isn’t the reality of marriage.”

In the end, Smythe was prepared to fight for her marriage, but it took two years of hard work. “I realised that I didn’t want to leave James so I ended my affair,” she says. “I had infidelity counselling and came to my own conclusion that I owed it to James and our marriage to confess. He was devastated and asked me to leave but once he’d cooled off he admitted his controlling behaviour was partly responsible for driving me away. He’d been feeling insecure, but could appreciate how ironic it was that his behaviour had driven me to cheat and promised to work through his jealousy issues. We had couple’s counselling and now, looking back, I regret being unfaithful, but my affair made us both realise what we stood to lose. Now, we’re finally happy.”

However, if the love and commitment isn’t there anymore, those who have acted on the seven-month itch agree there’s little point in struggling on. Bright’s infidelity was the wake-up call she needed. “Eventually, I confessed to Tim,” she says. “He was furious and we split. I was sad but relieved, too. In hindsight, I was naive to think marriage would suddenly make us right for each other. Instead of talking weddings, we should have talked about how we really felt.”

It’s not easy to be brutally honest about what you expect from your marriage but pre-marital counselling can help couples determine whether they are both in it for forever, before they say “I do”.

In 2014, no-one should feel like they have to tie the knot – unless they really want to. “Before you get married ask yourself: ‘Am I in this to the end? What are our goals? Maybe there will be years where we don’t have great sex or have financial problems – can I handle that?’” says Ellis. “If the answers are ‘no’, then don’t do it. Live together, have fun, but don’t walk down the aisle.”

This article appeared in Elle Magazine, May 2014.

Written by: Beth Pope

 

 

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