Though it is easy find reasons to condemn the married person who has an affair, I prefer the approach of insight, compassion, love, and wisdom that I am offering here. To begin with there are many reasons why people enter into an affair. They include — the need for excitement, a feeling of loneliness, a desire for sexual exploration, the need to be affirmed as a person, and at times a genuine feeling of love for the person the married individual is having an affair with.
Having said this before I go through the list again above and offer insight and understanding, I will share a basic teaching that is part of most advanced psychology degree programs. It is called “triangulation.” This very fancy word simply means when two people are in conflict with each other, they attempt to form a triangle (find a third person) to relieve their need to confront each other and their stress.
If I am married to you and our marriage is no longer exciting to me, I am lonely, I want more sexual variety, or I believe you are not affirming, valuing, and paying attention to me enough — it seems much easier for me to have an affair than to communicate to you about what I am going through so we can work on healing this together. Or, it seems easier to have an affair than to face the painful truth that our relationship needs to come to an end. (That is what the woman in that commercial is thinking when she is too afraid to confront her husband about his abusive and disrespectful behavior. At the end of the commercial she looks over at another man and thinks, “Hmmm… this might be better.” The commercial ends by saying “When divorce is not an option.” I prefer it would say, “When your love for yourself and others is way too low to be honest, we believe deception seems the only way out.”)
Though “triangulation” always seems to provide immediate relief, it can complicate things in a much more extreme way as the triangulation continues because now THREE (instead of two people) need to have their feelings, needs, desires, communicated and expressed. Plus, triangulation frequently involves deception. If I don’t know how to be honest, if I don’t know how to be truthful with you (because I am afraid and don’t have the courage to do the loving and right thing), then more than likely I will be dishonest with myself and all others I am with (spouse, lover, business partners, friends, family, etc.)
The layers and layers of dishonesty can lead to some bizarre acts of deception. (Like traveling to Argentina to see your mistress, while pretending to everyone around you that you are on a “hike on the Applachian Trail.”) That dishonesty also leads to physical ailments, intense bouts of guilt and shame, and the eventual killing off of your joyful nature and spiritual soul. Most sadly of all it creates a diminshed capacity to love — yourself and everyone else around you.
What might some of the remedies be for triangulation? Obviously, honesty is the number one thing that is needed. If in your attempt to be honest your partner is abusive, uncooperative, unfeeling, and is unable to have true compassion or understanding regarding what you are sharing with them, then at the very least counseling is advised with someone very skilled to help you through it. If this still doesn’t work, divorce may have to be an option. And, if it comes to this I encourage you as much as possible to make it a PEACEFUL DIVORCE. (See www.divorce-inaday.com to learn how lawyers will prey on couples who are divorcing to keep them fighting and hostile as a way to ensure lawyers get paid $300 to $400 an hour, while destroying your pocketbook, equity, and family in the process).
And, what about that rare event where a married person really does find his soulmate? As I say in my book, BEYOND THE SECRET, soul mating can only happen between two soulful people. All the rest is ego. Then, ideally the married person, spouse, and even the “other man or woman” all need to be considered in the process. As do the children and all other factors involved. True, I have seen two couples (a married person and someone outside the relationship) who made it and eventually ended up together. But, they went through a process few people want to participate it. They sought at the highest level to love and understand each other. They made every attempt to be harmless to everyone involved. The end result was that they expanded the circle of love for all.
But, how many people can play at that high conscious loving level? Extremely few. Which is why the majority of married people who leave their spouse to marry the “other man or woman” find themselves ending that relationship faster than they ever imagined. (Most likely because they were infatuated and stuck on the “high” of the romance in their affair, over really learning to love, cherish, and value each other flaws and all).
In the end, what is most important to me is that no matter what happens people learn to love! That love requires courage, honesty, compassion, insight, wisdom, and more. To married, unmarried, and every person I wish an abundance of this to all.
Dr. Lisa Love
Copyright © 2009 by Lisa Love. All Rights Reserved.
About Dr. Lisa Love
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Best-selling author of BEYOND THE SECRET: Spiritual Power and the Law of Attraction. She is also a Life, Relationship, Law of Attraction, and Tranformational coach. There’s a reason my clients tell me by working with me they get major breakthroughs fast! Decades of coaching and counseling experience combined with my extensive training and work with clients from all backgrounds help my clients make shifts in a rapid way. Contact me to discover what I can do for you.
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