For all my MB
Member # 24900
"If the evil that is the affair
is allowed to separate and destroy a family
than the only thing that wins is the evil itself, by whatever name you give it."
The Psycho Bitch Stories
(Tales of the Werewolf: A Serial)
thoughts (not yet complete)
There are many peoples, in faiths and families that suffer from infidelities: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Bahai, Pagan etc. And there has been through the ages many ways to answer the evil and destruction that is an affair. But recovery and a stronger, better relationship is possible, if both people are willing to admit their responsibilities and mistakes, cease blaming and work hard toward recovery. Even when times seem the most bleak and dark, to never give up.
If the evil that is the affair is allowed to separate and destroy a family than the only thing that wins is the evil itself, by whatever name you give it.
Most every faith has the concept of mercy, and in the words of a great philosopher "Mercy means a second chance."
Recovery from the affair means rebuilding and looking at what was wrong inside the marriage and inside both parties that made an affair possible. For one to do that it often means getting a marriage counselor and possibility an individual counselor.
Good marriage counselors do not assign blame or weight blame to one side more than the other. It takes two to tango, it often takes two to sink a marriage.
Marriage counselors often act as the "translator" between a husband and wife who have ceased speaking the same language. And they "re-teach" how to talk and listen to each other.
If you think of it, the gift of communication between two individuals is a gift that was given to no other species on the planet. Sure they may have sounds or dances that convey emergency, food, etc. . .but there is nothing that equals the complex thought and conveyance of that thought to another the way two people can do.
It is that gift we often loose in marriage, for what ever reason -- with the person we most need to be able to communicate with, the one we chose as a life partner.
People grow away and grow apart when they no longer share and no longer communicate with each other.
But that's just one of the elements of damage that we often do to each other and our union while in marriage. For the most part, people don't suddenly turn off and turn away, it's a slow process. Unfortunately we refuse to see what we've done or deny that there is a problem, until it is too late.
For this relationship with a marriage counselor and rebuilding to work both husband and wife must also feel comfortable with the person who is counseling them. If after 4 sessions either of you is not comfortable, find another marriage counselor. The same is true with an individual counselor. They are not all the same, and are just as different and diverse as the people around them.
Also if you don't feel you can trust your counselor find someone else. Psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, etc. are bound by ethics and confidentially rules. They cannot discuss you or your case with anyone without your consent. But some are not as ethical as they should be. If you feel that your counselor is being unethical and you are not comfortable, find another one.
(If a marriage counselor and an individual counselor are different people they may ask you to sign a confidentiality waiver so each may talk to the other. This is usually done to make sure treatment. homework, etc. is in sync and one doesn't contradict the other. This is ethical, but only if you agree).
Be sure your counselor is trained in marriage restoration, etc. often times well meaning clergy and religious leaders try to fill this roll but are not trained in these areas.
IMHO after an affair has been discovered, marriage counseling should take place every week for a while, to deal effectively with the upheaval, the hurt and the betrayal. Leaving people alone for weeks, I believe does not set them on a good direction and lets too many damaging snipes to be taken or continue.
If you listen to Dr. Laura or are of a faith that says that if you've had an affair and your spouse does not know, you should not say anything, that's fine. But it doesn't take care of the problem(s) that brought you to the affiar in the first place. You should go to an individual counselor(IC). Both of you need to go to marriage counseling (MC) for the climate is still there. .
Nothing is fixed, or repaired by ignoring it and pretending it doesn't exist. or didn't happen. Problems are like cancers, they only grow if ignored.
Problems that are avoided are like many wayward spouses in affairs -- it's all about running away. You can only run so far. And once you've done running away, avoiding the problems, the conflicts and ending the affairs you see that what you were running away from didn't go away it only grew larger.
Plus you've done damage to your own self and your own self concept and esteem. There is pain in you for violating the person you thought you were and your own values and mores. You need to talk to someone, a counselor, to work it out.
Ideally the time to see a marriage counselor is before problems and conflicts get so large that the climate for an affair is set. But if that didn't happen, you now need to go even more.
I am also not in favor of exposing the affair to everyone in the world. If the affair has ended or ends shortly after discovery then letting as few people know as possible should be the reward. If the affair continues and everything else has been tried, only then should you expose the affair to everyone. You need to decide which way is best for you, your spouse and your family. more . . .
Affairs are in many cases worse than rapes and sexual assaults -- for the violation of trust wasn't between strangers, or even family members, it is between two people in which so much of ourselves is invested in. And in many cases the trust of life and future is present too.
In most cases you are not trying to live with your rapist. . But if you are trying to recover you marriage, you are trying to live with someone who has hurt you to the core of your being.
You wouldn't discourage a rape victim from seeing a counselor. To survive an affair, either emotional and/or physical, which is just as damaging, you should see a counselor.
I wish you all the best in your recovery.
What does Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have to do with recovery from infidelity?
Plenty. If you are a betrayed spouse you've just gone through a traumatic event. Your heart as been ripped out, you've been stabbed in the back and your trust has been torn into tiny shreds, all done by the person closest to you.
PTSD is a commonly experienced by most betrayed spouses. But you won't find infidelity listed as a cause of PTSD
Why? Because it is estimated that infidelity strikes 30% of all marriages, making it very common. For PTSD to maintain it's treatment "classifications" it must stay within the confines of an extreme, out of the ordinary event in a person's life.
However, betrayed spouses often find the they have all the symptoms of PTSD and finding counseling for PTSD helps them to recover from the very traumatic event of a wayward spouse's betrayal and infidelity.
National Center for PTSD: What is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?
PTSD Support Net
What "things" can help a betrayed spouse get through d-day and the many months afterward?
I'm not going to go through spiritual aspects of what may help you .. since many people of differing faiths access this page,. I feel it would be a disservice to the purpose of this site. But as far as "things" here's what I can recommend"
MB "Spin Off" Boards and more
Other Infidelity Boards
FWH 35 - (known now on MB as “Myad”)
D-day 5/2002, 6 week A
1st ended because of DV (domestic violence).