Affairs

What is an Emotional Affair? Recovery and Building Trust

What is an Emotional Affair? Recovery and Building Trust

Once you have identified that you are in an emotional affair or you have been caught in an emotional affair, there is a specific reconstruction process to follow to heal your relationship.

These are the first 5 things to do once the initial disclosure has come out…..

What is an Emotional Affair? Signs and Symptoms

What is an Emotional Affair? Signs and Symptoms

There are many signs of emotional affairs, if you know what to look for.  While these signs can also be related to other life issues, as well as physical or sexual infidelity, there are some common themes to look for when dealing with an emotional affair…..

What is an Emotional Affair? What it Looks Like

What is an Emotional Affair? What it Looks Like

What does an emotional affair look like?

Harry and Sally both worked at Eli Lilly. They were on the IT team together and worked on several projects as a great team. They started going out to lunch to talk shop. One day Harry was very upset about a fight he and his wife had the night before and decided to get some advice from Sally. Sally then shared her struggles in her marriage with her husband. Seem pretty innocent? Let's continue...

Secrets: The Difference Between Toxic and Healthy Secrets

Secrets:  The Difference Between Toxic and Healthy Secrets

So now you know what toxic and healthy secrets look like and how they impact your relationships… How do you know the difference between the two?  Here are some questions to ask yourself that might help you determine the difference:

Secrets: Toxic Secrets

Secrets:  Toxic Secrets

This week we are talking about secrets! Secrets come in many forms. There are healthy secrets, but also toxic ones. What is the difference? A toxic secret is one that will block you from intimacy and puts walls between you and your loved one. Support4change.com says, toxic secrets “hide a part of your heart, disguise your vulnerability which denies a gift to your loved one, or prevents your loved one from supporting you.”

All About Affairs- Healing From an Affair

All About Affairs- Healing From an Affair

The Imagine Hope ladies have shared some great statistics and information on infidelity, and how to affair proof your marriage, but what can you do if an affair has already happened?

  1. Seek out a professional counselor that has knowledge and experience in healing from infidelity.  This one is imperative, because if you can't heal from the affair, it will cause more damage to your marriage on down the road!  It's important to understand how your relationship got to this place, and without professional help, it can be difficult to do so.  We all have blind spots-- that's what makes us human.  Most of the time, it's necessary to have someone who is a neutral party help us understand things from an outside perspective.

All About Affairs- Affair Proof Your Marriage

All About Affairs- Affair Proof Your Marriage

Unfortunately, too many people wait to walk thru our doors once an affair has happened. Although there is hope if an affair has occurred, it is much easier to prevent one from happening by affair proofing it. How do you affair proof your marriage?

All About Affairs - Are You At Risk?

All About Affairs - Are You At Risk?

If you haven't read Teri's guest blog yesterday on the statistics of affairs, please read it. The stats are alarming, depressing, sad and scary. It's easy to spiral and think, "It's only a matter of time before this happens to me!" Remember, there ARE marriages that don't have infidelity.

How do you know which category your marriage will fall under? Below are some signs that show who is at risk for an affair. This is not scientifically sound; this is to be used as a tool to assess whether your marriage is at risk:

All About Affairs- Affair Statistics

All About Affairs- Affair Statistics

Infidelity is an issue we work with multiple times a day at Imagine Hope. Unfortunately it is an epidemic that is plaguing America's marriages and relationships. This week Imagine Hope is digging deeper into this issue to give you a glimpse of how to protect your relationships, how to heal if you have experienced this, and whether or not your relationship is at risk for one.

Why is Your Wife Not Attracted To You? Part 4

Why is Your Wife Not Attracted To You? Part 4

This week, Imagine Hope is finishing up with the last two reasons why your wife might be unhappy in your marriage. As we shared in last weeks blog series (the counterpart to this week-- Why is Your Husband Not Attracted To You?), unhappiness can look a lot like your spouse is not attracted to you.

How Emotional Trauma Affects Everyday Interactions Part 3

How Emotional Trauma Affects Everyday Interactions Part 3

As Teri and Tamara have discussed so far this week, trauma is not necessarily something that happens that creates Post Traumatic Stress, but is often times things that may seem small that happen to us when we are growing up or events that occur as adults. As Teri said, a trauma reaction is when the victim transfers the abuse experience to that moment and feels like they are transported in a time machine back to the traumatizing event. Today I want to discuss with you the traumatizing affects created from an affair. 

4 Myths about Affairs Part 2

4 Myths about Affairs Part 2

There's no doubt that affairs cause grief, heartache, destruction and pain in relationships. One of the most important things to do when dealing with infidelity is to get information. Not only information to heal, but information that is correct. This week we're discussing myths people may have about affairs.

The difference between toxic and healthy secrets

So now you know what toxic and healthy secrets look like and how they impact your relationships... How do you know the difference between the two?  Here are some questions to ask yourself that might help you determine the difference: 1.  What is the intention?  If the intention is to restore or promote passion and intimacy (e.g., not telling a spouse about a surprise date or party on their behalf), chances are that it's a healthy secret.  If the intention is to try and keep someone from feeling "hurt" (e.g., keeping someone from feeling angry that you have done something hurtful), the chances are that it's toxic.

2.  Is the secret effecting the relationship?  For example, if you feel that your partners behavior or appearance (e.g., their physical appearance or weight, their emotional outbursts) are causing you difficulty with intimacy, sharing your feelings about this "secret" can have a positive impact on the relationship (even though it might be painful for your partner to hear this).  If certain issues aren't impacting intimacy or other aspects of the relationship, but you are sharing a lot of critical and judgemental things with your partner, it may not be necessary and only push them further away and cause them to feel inadequate.

3.  Does someone get hurt as a result of keeping the secret?  Secrets like physical, emotional, and sexual abuse can cause someone t0 get hurt as a result of keeping the secret, and are therefore toxic.  Even if it's someone you don't know, having the knowledge that someone is (0r has been) abusive and keeping it a secret can keep the abusive person protected, which allows the abuse to continue with others.  If you are keeping a secret about an addiction or an affair, it can cause feelings of betrayal in the relationship when the truth finally comes out (which it will!).  If no one will get hurt as a result of the secret, it most likely is a healthy secret.

4.  Do YOU get hurt as a result of keeping the secret?  Secrets such as spending money and acquiring debt, having an affair, withholding information about previous abuse or neglect, can cause so much shame over not allowing your partner to know who you really are and what you struggle with in your internal world.  This not only hurts the relationship, but hurts YOU.  It doesn't allow others to know who you really are.  If a secret is hurting you, it is most likely toxic.

These are just a few of the questions to ask when trying to determine whether a secret is toxic or healthy. Thank you for reading!

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.