5 myths about who’s accountable for infidelity in a relationship | PD reader

Writing about infidelity has its share of professional risks.

In my work, I have seen many common misconceptions about extramarital affairs.

From guilty of “the other woman” to assuming that you know every detail of another person’s relationship, these misunderstandings only hurt everyone involved.

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Here are five ignorant things people say about who is responsible for infidelity – and how it happens.

1. “The other woman (or the other man) is a handyman!”

The truth is, an affair is the final symptom of problems in a marriage, not the first symptom.

When it comes to an affair, the fact is that the two spouses have often been hurt for a long time.

The problem is, none of them talked about it. Or if someone tried, attempts by one to repair it went unnoticed and unnoticed by the other.

Eventually all communication broke down, and one desperate party left the marriage with another.

Of course, there’s also the scenario where one party is a vicious narcissist or some other mental or emotional disorder and acts out all the time, but the other party hasn’t seen the signs.

Either way, problems have been brewing for a long, long time.

The affair isn’t when the problems start. The affair is when the problems become so visible that neither spouse can ignore the problems anymore.

2. “I wish women were kinder to each other. We shouldn’t steal each other’s husbands / friends “

There are some ethics there.

When we “others” (the person someone is cheating with) see you emotionally and / or physically abusing your spouse, we need not feel sorry for it.

For my part, I can and will say, “Look, something is wrong with this person’s behavior. It is not up to you, you are a lovable person and you are wrong if you think that this behavior is your fault. “

And I’ll do that with a clear conscience.

“Others” can recommend therapy to your spouse with a clear conscience.

If your spouse signals to us that he does not want to save the marriage, is ready to go and wants to be with us, we can accept that with a clear conscience. (With a signed divorce decree and all necessary papers filed first.)

What “others” cannot do with a clear conscience is to observe a situation in which counseling has collapsed or no attempt has been made.

They seek with us to meet all of their needs – needs that the spouse should adequately meet.

Staying involved and promoting that person’s dishonesty is not ethical.

Even if the “other” loves the spouse. Even if it breaks your heart. An “other” who transgresses these boundaries could rightly be called the “theft” of your spouse. And that’s not cool.

Some people are ruthless, but you can’t control them, only you.

If you throw a glass in your own house, your spouse is injured and bleeding, and you don’t put on the bandages, the first step is to become aware of it when you actually are.

It is not always. Each affair is its own unique situation and we need to pull back and see the big picture.

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3. “Cheating is selfish”

I firmly believe that cheating is the result of attachment problems that began years ago, often when we were babies and very young children.

Something happened in the house that disrupted our ability to fully and freely connect and anticipate another person and trust that our needs would be met.

Something was hindering our ability to know and share our emotions. Something made us feel like inferior, unlovable people.

In my situation, something happened that gave me a control freak about a mile wide. my Mom had borderline personality disorder, and dad and stepfather were both addicts together.

In his husband’s case, his mother was an alcoholic and his father was a dishcloth who was a co-addict.

In the case of his wife, as far as I know, she was a very sensitive little girl who was suffocated by a domineering mother.

We may not remember it. We may think our childhood was normal or even wonderful.

But it happened, and the scars show up every time we can’t bond in our marriage, every time we can’t talk about problems, every time fear keeps us from leaving, even if we know we should, and every time we take our pain to a third party.

The cure for what ails us is simply hard work in therapy on our own pain and childhood brokenness.

Aside from serious problems like addiction, strong narcissistic traits, or a personality disorder, people don’t cheat for being selfish.

Unless it is a caring situation with an incapacitated spouse, people are cheating because they have had serious emotional pain from early childhood, they haven’t known a better way, and they don’t know how to otherwise deal with it.

4. “You should be ashamed of staying with someone who cheated”

My married ex-husband has been married for over thirty years. You have lovely children and grandchildren and a lovely family. Nobody is a bad person.

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If a marriage and family can survive unbroken, so should they.

The best outcome for this family is that the wounds will be healed and the marriage will become a reality.

The trick is that this healing process takes work. And work is a four letter word.

To save a marriage you have to work, not repairing that other person so that they will show up as always – but repairing yourself.

And that’s tough. Nobody wants to do that.

If one person in the marriage is ready to do the job and the other is not, then the marriage should end.

And for the person willing to work and change, divorce will be a matter of self-preservation.

But sometimes both people are ready to get the job done and the relationship makes an amazing and beautiful breakthrough. This is a great triumph of the spirit and by no means shameful.

If you look inside the relationship from the outside, you can’t be sure what happened (unless you were a fly on the wall in your counselor’s office.)

In short, if they are holding hands and are happy and glad they stayed together then get excited for them and come out.

(Even if it’s Bill and Hillary Clinton or some other famous couple.)

5. “I can judge what you’ve done”

I don’t assume that because I’ve been social like this for thirty years, I know all of the problems involved.

I’ve worked tons of it for six years, and that’s because I’m very upset about the whole infidelity situation. It was important to me that in the end I could live with what I set out to do.

And for all the work I’ve done, I’m still willing to admit that if I am presented with evidence to prove it, I could be wrong.

Everyone watching an affair must be willing to do the same. You probably don’t have all the information.

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This article was originally published on Medium.com. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

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