Affairs

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 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.

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. 

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." Some will call them white lies, or lies of omission. People hold secrets to protect others, out of fear, they feel it could end a relationship, or because it's their job. As a therapist I hold many secrets. I can't count the number of times someone has said "I've never told anyone else that." Usually after a person reveals their secrets they experience a powerful sense of freedom. As the saying goes, "The truth will set you free." Toxic secrets can "haunt" you and cause emotional havoc. They can become poisonous and bleed dysfunction into your relationships and your moods.

Here are some examples of toxic secrets:

  • Abuse- Keeping the secret that someone is hurting you emotionally, verbally, sexually, or physically will make things worse for you and possibly for others. If you do not voice your pain, the perpetrator could inflict abuse to someone else down the road. Sharing this secret could save someone else's life- including your own. (**If you are in an abusive relationship, please seek professional help to consult on a safe way to disclose the abuse.)
  • Affairs- When you have an affair, it will block the relationship from being fulfilling. Even if it is scary to reveal this secret, many couples are able to heal and create a relationship they never thought possible if they do it right.
  • Addictions- When someone is struggling with an addiction, it will only thrive more when they keep it a secret. The first step to overcoming an addiction is not keeping it a secret anymore to yourself and others.
  • Legal issues-Keeping these a secret could be dangerous and cause pain for others around you. If you have a legal matter, not revealing it in a close relationship could cause someone to feel betrayed. You are lying to them by hiding part of yourself.
  • Health concerns- Keeping these fears inside will block you from being able to lean on a support system and your doctor. You may need help from others. If they don't know what is going on, they won't know what to do to help you.
  • Emotions- Hiding your emotions can result in internal turmoil for someone. Keeping your emotions a secret will cause you to carry your pain alone. Sharing your emotions will keep you real and open up doors to emotional intimacy in relationships.

We are not saying you need to share every detail of your life with everyone you meet. There are boundaries to keep in mind and you need to make sure you are revealing secrets to people you feel emotionally safe with. Remember toxic secrets have more power when they are kept. The more you keep them, they more alone you will feel.

Check in tomorrow as Tammy tells us about healthy secrets!

Guest post by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW is a licensed virtual therapist at Renewed Horizon Counseling. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Renewed Horizon Counseling services Indiana & Florida.

Emotional Infidelity Warning Signs 7-9

Getting too close with someone of the opposite sex is definitely a slippery slope in your marriage. We see this happening more and more with the boom of social media. It's so important to protect your marriage. That is why we felt it was important to talk about the warning signs of emotional infidelity. Hopefully by now you are getting a feel for what they look like. Here are a few more. 7. Not engaging in normal family activities with your spouse, kids, or even work

If you are experiencing the "natural high" from an emotional affair that we have discussed this week, it makes sense why you would continue to go after that. As you do, the things that once gave you joy will pale in comparison. What is the natural thing to do when something isn't as exciting as a "high"? Disengage.

If you find yourself not wanting to do the things you used to or even dreading when your partner does try to do the things you used to beg them to do, you are probably disengaging. Or if you find yourself in another world when you are with your kids, you may be disengaging as well.

8. Keeping secret activities and covering it up

I always tell my clients, "If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to hide." It's always difficult to understand why someone will look at you point blank and justify an "innocent" friendship yet they didn't tell their spouse about hanging out with them or calling/texting them. If there was nothing wrong, why is there a secret?

If you find yourself hiding where you've been from a spouse, you again, are on a slippery slope. Even if you are 10 minutes late because you stopped in the grocery store parking lot to have a text conversation and you lie about being late. Technically you weren't with anyone but you were engaging in an activity that you don't want your spouse to know about.

I always tell people to not say anything to the opposite sex that you wouldn't say with your spouse standing next to you and don't go anywhere that you wouldn't feel comfortable if your spouse showed up.

9. Making sure you have a list of all the reasons that say what your doing is okay

The most deadly combination of feelings a person can feed to open the door to an emotional affair is ~Resentment ~Entitlement ~Justification

When a person is unhappy in a marriage and they continue to focus and re-focus on those circumstances that make them unhappy, they form a breeding ground for these feelings. When they feel resentment for their unhappiness they start feeling entitled to something that will make them happy. This only gives them justification to move forward with talking to this person, meeting this person, or even fantasizing about this person.

The fact is, if you are unhappy in your marriage you are responsible to talk to your spouse about it. I understand that you may have done that and there has been little to no change. This still does not justify an affair. It's important at that point to gain the help of a third party- a Therapist, not a co-worker or friend, to support you and devise a plan for you to cope with what's happening in your marriage. Even if that person won't change, they deserve the right to know that you are no longer interested in working on it and have decided to move forward with another relationship (We do not recommend this by any means. I am just saying they have the right to know).

If you find yourself in any of these situations or even close to any of these situations, please seek help. It is so important to talk about it before anything happens rather than after the devastation of an affair.

Tomorrow Joleen will share 3 more warning signs. See you then.

*Source: Warning Signs That It’s Emotional Infidelity- And Not Just Friendship by Athena Staik Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville

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. Statistics

It is difficult to have "accurate statistics" due to the secrecy of affairs and the shame of people admitting their relationships have fallen victim to one. The following statistics were taken from www.menstuff.org. These give you an idea of what people are willing to admit to on the topic of infidelity. Keep in mind these statistics are not up to date, and the numbers are mostly likely much higher in reality.

  • 22 percent of married men have strayed at least once during their married lives.
  • 14 percent of married women have had affairs at least once during their married lives.
  • Younger people are more likely candidates; in fact, younger women are as likely as younger men to be unfaithful.
  • 70 percent of married women and 54 percent of married men did not know of their spouses' extramarital activity.
  • 5 percent of married men and 3 percent of married women reported having sex with someone other than their spouse in the year 1997.
  • 90 percent of Americans believe adultery is morally wrong.
  • 17 percent of divorces in the United States are caused by infidelity.
  • Only 46% of men believe that online affairs are adultery.
  • About 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an affair at some point in some marriage- according to "Monogamy Myth" Therapist Peggy Vaugn. (This number has believed to have gone up and is nearly equal between men and women at 60%.)
  • Affairs affect one of every 2.7 couples, according to counselor Janis Abrahms Spring, author of After the Affair, as reported by the Washington Post on March 30, 1999. Ten percent of extramarital affairs last one day, 10 percent last more than one day but less than a month, 50 percent last more than a month but less than a year, but 40 percent last two or more years. Few extramarital affairs last more than four years.
  • Frank Pittman has found that the divorce rate among those who married their lovers was 75 percent. That means you only have a 25%  of a successful marriage if you marry the person you had an affair with.
  • 31% of people have had an online conversation that has led to real-time sex.
  • It is estimated that 53% of all people will have one or more affairs during their lifetime.

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.  Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.