Introduction When men leave their villages for better-paid jobs in cities or abroad, women get saddled with the farm work as well as their domestic chores. When newly rich men dabble in vice, village girls get dragooned into prostitution and middle-aged matrons wind up divorced.
The partner is often aware of the "other" and accepts the arrangement willingly or reluctantly. However in modern western cultures, the discovery of an affair often leads to a marital crisis.
The literature about the crisis of affairs seems to consistently indicate that couples go through certain quite predictable phases in dealing with affairs.
Following are the descriptions of certain phases that many couples go through when dealing with the crisis of a marital affair. Affair Takes Place General Description: Affairs can happen suddenly and unpredictably or can develop over a long period of time.
They can last a very short time or a lifetime. Unless it is an open affair, in most cases, secrecy, lies and deceit take a direct or indirect toll on the relationships.
The nature of the affair often dramatically changes once the betrayed partner has discovered or is ready to confront the involved partner. The discovery can happen abruptly or it can evolve gradually over a period of time when suspicion grows and there is at last a realization that the affair is indeed taking place and confrontation ensues.
Often the discovery of an affair or the confrontation regarding an affair launches the couple into a marital crisis.
Therapists may be privy to an affair before the uninvolved spouse when the unfaithful partner reveals the secret during individual therapy. Therapists should also try to identify the type of affair it is and sort out if it is driven by addiction, desire to score, midlife crisis, marital dissatisfaction, etc.
Therapists should attempt to be compassionate, understand the historical, cultural, marital, and other forces that may have contributed to the affair. Physical risk must be considered with women of certain cultures and situations.
The reason being that the discovery of a woman's affair by her husband or family can significantly increase the likelihood of the woman being ostracized by her family, friends and community and can also increase the probability of domestic abuse and even murder.
When therapists have an un-negotiated, moralistic, punitive or negative judgment regarding the affair, they should state it clearly to the client at the beginning of therapy and offer the client referrals to other therapists who may have a different attitude towards affairs. Discovery, Confrontation and Crisis General Description: When a secretive extramarital affair comes to light, it often launches a marital crisis.
The compromised partner often feels a sense of betrayal, violation, despair, hopelessness, rage, anger, revenge, fear i. These reactions may resemble a response to catastrophic events. Common reactions to the loss of innocence are anguish, grief, distrust, anxiety, and shattered assumptions including obsessively pondering details of the affair; continuously watching for further signs of betrayal; and physiological hyperarousal, flashbacks and intrusive images.
The betrayed spouse is often in a kind of shock during this phase. The involved spouse's feelings may range between shame, remorse, fear, anger, etc. He or she may fear that they will be punished forever for the betrayal while they grieve for the lost dreams associated with the affair. Additionally, the unfaithful partner may experience fear of losing important or meaningful relationships and may experience grief and anguish over the loss of the relationships.
At this stage, the betrayed partner often seeks support and empathy from anyone who will listen. The involved spouse is often upset when the exposure exceeds his or her comfort zone or includes his or her own friends, family and even children.
Basic disclosure of some aspects of the affair usually takes place at this early phase. While X-rated details can be harmful, basic general information of when, where, how long, etc. Usually people seek help during this phase.
More often than not, the betrayed spouse initiates the therapy. At this stage, the therapist may help the couple realize three important facts:Emotional Infidelity often leads to the death of trust, intimacy, future dreams, security for children, and the marital relationship.
Infidelity, whether it be sexual or emotional, often begins with a . I have worked with clients experiencing relationship/marital problems, anxiety and depression, as well as sexual and substance addictions." Email () Why Religion Matters Even More: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability Report Civil Society December 18, 36 min read Download Report.
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