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About Conversations That Heal Affairs Part I

About Conversations That Heal Affairs Part I

“We have the same conversations over and over.  She gets triggered and tells me about it.  She’s in a great deal of pain.  I listen and tell her I’m sorry. I am sympathetic.  Sometimes she even lets me hold her.  But we just keep going through the same events, the same emotions, just as intense, again and again. This feels like hell.  Will it never end?  Why isn’t she getting over it?”   This is where many couples who are attempting…

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Why “Being Good” Won’t Heal Your Affair

Why “Being Good” Won’t Heal Your Affair

I don’t know why she can’t get over this. I ended the affair, have been spending much more time at home, doing more around the house, paying more attention to her, being more affectionate. I’ve told her I’m sorry and reassured her over and over that it was a mistake, that I love her and it will never happen again. I’m being so good! I don’t see why she won’t let it go! I’ve heard these bewildered voices countless times….

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Heading Towards an Affair?

Heading Towards an Affair?

Of all of the people who show up for therapy struggling with some aspect of an affair, those in the infatuation, pre-affair (or maybe emotional affair) stage are the least likely to appear. This is such an important decision, you’d think one would seek assistance in reflecting on the implications of taking such a step. In fact, I expect that this post will generate many less readers than others I have written. Why is that?

Difficulties Couples Encounter Trying To Heal From An Affair

Difficulties Couples Encounter Trying To Heal From An Affair

The revelation of an affair is frequently a shocking experience. In long-term relationships the fidelity of one’s partner is, more often than not, taken for granted, providing an emotional foundation for the couple. Trust and a sense of security rest on this foundation. Strength is derived from this secure bond. This strength enables each partner to function relatively smoothly in the world, and to be open to new and growthful experiences that life offers. If either partner has a history…

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What Happens to the Brain During an Affair?

What Happens to the Brain During an Affair?

Affairs in film and television series are often portrayed as exciting adventures, fun and mischievous; a way of breaking free from oppression… a conduit to a joyful existence. To the person contemplating an affair, it can seem like a solution to depression, boredom or worse in a marriage; desperately needed relief from intense loneliness, and/or a bolster to one’s self esteem. The reality of the experience of an affair is almost always very different. The explosion of brain research in…

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Rebuilding Real, Deep Trust After the Affair

Rebuilding Real, Deep Trust After the Affair

“How can I ever trust you again?” “How could I have ever trusted you?” “Trust me, this will never happen again.” “How can I win back your trust?” The sudden loss of trust is shocking. It may seem impossible to imagine ever regaining it. As important as it is, it is also true that before the discovery trust may have been something that was hardly ever spoken of. How often do spouses say something like, “I feel so much trust…

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Asian Americans and Affairs

Asian Americans and Affairs

Over the years I have helped many Asian American couples heal from affairs. Many of the couples involved have been first or second generation Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese or South Korean. These are the Asian countries whose cultures are most organized around Confucian philosophy. Yet, when I ask, invariably, each person in the couple has never read any Confucian philosophy, even as a child. Even though Confucianism functions somewhat like a religion, it isn’t one. A religion has a godhead. Confucius…

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Why Can’t I Get Over My Partner’s Affair?

Why Can’t I Get Over My Partner’s Affair?

By “getting over” I don’t mean forgetting about it, or somehow making it okay. But I am writing to you if you find yourself consumed by pain and anger and obsessive thoughts that feel unrelenting over a long period of time, and if you don’t have a sense that these experiences are part of a healing process. I am writing to you if you feel that your marriage is somehow still worth saving even though an affair has occurred and…

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Affairs and Ultimatums

Affairs and Ultimatums

“Should I give my partner an ultimatum…the other person or me?” This is a question I hear frequently. Discovering your partner’s affair can be traumatic enough. The best chance for healing the marriage is if the affair is relinquished and all of your partner’s energy turns to you and your relationship. But this doesn’t always happen. Some people in affairs are up front about not being willing to end some kind of involvement with the affair partner. Some do end…

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Does an Affair Mean the Marriage is Over?

Does an Affair Mean the Marriage is Over?

It’s definitely what most people believe, and tell their spouses early on.  “If you ever have an affair, it’s over!”  There are many reasons some find it important to take this stand at the outset.  But sometimes, once it happens, it all seems more complicated. For a long time it was commonly believed that affairs were actually the leading cause of divorce.  But now we know that is not true.   The most recent studies show that only about 25% of…

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