Monday, July 14, 2008

Question: Could You Survive An Affair?

I recently read a book about recovering from affairs. The thing I found interesting in the book was that:

1. The Christian author believes that everyone, high in morals or not, and under the right conditions can find them self cheating on their spouse.
2. More marriages experience some kind of infidelity then those who don't.
3. People often cheat on each other because they are not getting their emotional needs met. The 10 most important "emotional" needs include Affection, Sexual Fulfillment, Conversation, Recreational Companionship, Honesty and Openness, Physical Attractiveness, Financial Support, Domestic Support, Family Commitment, and Admiration.
4. Although devastating, it's very possible that a marriage suffering from infidelity can often be better after the couple have recovered from the affair.

The book I read was called Surviving An Affair by Willard H. Harley an expert in helping couples as they try to get their relationship back together after infidelity. I was surprised by how optimistic he was about the ability to help such couples and that life after the affair could eventually be better then it was before. He believes that with the right help and following the right principles a damaged marriage can be restored to a place that is is much superior to where it was. I like this radical optimism. One thinks that one could never recover from an affair (indeed I have thought this) never mind have the relationship improve, but it seems that the author has helped thousands of couples do this exact thing.

So here's my question: could you see yourself recovering and even improving after an affair? Do you think it's possible? What are your reasons? I was discussing the book with Jobina and found that when you get past the idea that such a thing is really possible (most people refuse to go there) you may find yourself surprised by the emotions and thoughts it brings up. Some people think that by ignoring the topic they will be immune to it. I certainly don't think its something we should fixate on, but realizing that one of the results of a marriage where needs are being met could be an affair is just honest and realistic thinking (and incentive to work harder on prevention). Anyway, an interesting and realistic topic I thought. If you'd like to read more on the topic, I recommend Harley's classic book His Needs, Her Needs: Building An Affair Proof Marriage.

May Light increase!

1 comment:

Elayne said...

Wonder why nobody is commenting on this Mark?

Maybe they all feel as I do. The thought of it so disgusts me I don't even want to go there.
One friend told me that the most difficult aspect for her was the fact that her husband kept lying to her about the affair. For her that was more painful than the fact that he had sex with another woman. They divorced and after a number of years remarried. Their marriage almost didn't survive the second time around however they are happily married today. It is possible to survive this but I doubt there's anything easy about it.
Some time ago you posted a Bob Newhart video clip and I have to say that is how I feel about anyone sensing that they are headed in this direction: STOP IT! before it's too late! Just don't let yourself go there!
Sound too simple? I don't think it is.