Having an Affair?
The exact percentage of people having an affair seems to be hard to pin down. The statistics in general, however, suggest that if you are reading this, and you are in a committed relationship, then there is at least a fair chance you have had or are having an affair. A number of truly wonderful people with strong values are struggling with the pain and confusion of being in an extramarital relationship. Yes, the situation is the result of a series of choices, but these are most often made without a conscious consideration of the outcome. The inner conflict created by the situation pulls at the heart of a person with such alarming force that it can be overwhelming. “This isn’t me—it isn’t something I would ever have imagined I could do”, they say. “I don’t know what to do… Should I tell my wife (or husband) and see what happens?—It might make me feel better to confess…” “Does this mean that I am not married to the right person? I can’t get out of this mess without hurting someone—maybe everyone that I care about.”
The answers aren’t so easy. What is clear, however, is that the inner turmoil is a signal that something has to change. And although, the path can be murky, it begins with a series of smaller choices. There absolutely is hope. If a decision is made to re-commit to a marriage, then it is certainly possible. Many people who have had an affair find it hard to reconcile the mixed feelings. Often a person is dealing with grief– loss and confusion—about the ending of an intimate relationship with an affair partner, and with guilt, remorse, shame and sympathy for a marriage partner who is reeling from the betrayal at the same time. Or in an instance where the marriage partner is unaware of the affair, dealing with the continuing battle to stifle or hide hugely difficult feelings of grief and confusion and regret from a partner. This is perhaps harder than hiding the affair was to begin with . If a decision is made to end the marriage to either be single or perhaps to be free to be with the affair partner, it is a similarly difficult and emotionally complex journey. Contact me at [email protected] if you need some help untangling this knot.