Relationships go through many stages, ups and downs, good times and bad. Most of the time we get through these difficult periods. At times, our intuition tells us that the relationship is in the midst of a crisis. Affairs can threaten your trust in the relationship.
Clues to Unfaithfulness
- There is a sudden, and new, interest in one’s physical appearance.
- New friends and acquaintances are developed outside of the marital relationship that become a focus on energy, focus and involvement.
- There are concerns about aging, time left, and a rush to focus on new interests, ideas, places, and changes in personality (midlife crisis).
- There is a total lack of desire to be at home for very long. There is also a lack of interest, or pride, in what is going on at home.
- There is an emotional shut-down where there is a lack of sharing.
- There is an increase in irritability, blaming, upset, and reactivity to even small issues. Finding fault over little things becomes more an issue.
- There is a sudden guilt, or disinterest, over what you are doing. There is a do what you want, it really doesn’t matter type of attitude.
- There is a tendency for you to deny obvious signs, symptoms or evidence that is clear to others. It is important to pay attention to your intuition without over-reacting.
What To Do If You Suspect an Affair
Drop your denial. Quit looking for alternative explanations about the “evidence”. Start by being honest with yourself. Are you willing to work this through and forgive, or does it mean that the relationship is over? Sometimes, this can be the last straw that pushes us over the edge in deciding if the relationship is worth saving.
Don’t yell, scream, demand, or become irrational. Remain strong, direct, clear, and set boundaries. There needs to be an easy way for your spouse to tell you the truth, even if it hurts. Tell them you want the truth even though they would rather not tell you. It may be painful for both of you, but you your partner is able to do this, there is hope of working it things through.
Ask your spouse whether or not there is any hope of love in the relationship. Many times there is a sense that the romance and interest is lost after a period of time, sometimes years, of withdrawing from each other. There is still value in seeing if it is possible to work on the relationship.
Set limits, boundaries and ultimatums. Tell them that they need to stop the affair and work on the relationship or the marriage is over. There should be no qualifications, limits or conditions. Ask why the affair had to happen. Insist on marriage counseling to help in refocusing issues, opening up discussions, and starting the relationship all over again.
Do not become the “crazy detective” who becomes obsessed with “looking for sign, evidence, checking wallets, etc.” If you suspect, intuit, feel, then ask and deal with it. Don’t become the “controlling parent” from which we all want to escape. Avoid “crazy behaviors” where you start to yell, demand, obsess, call and check excessively or punish your mate.
Get a commitment from your spouse to “emotional honesty.” Each partner needs to tell the other what they are feeling, if negativity is felt, or when he/she is feeling unloved. Once you have a commitment to stay in the relationship, set aside time for romance and time to talk and play together.
Don’t beg, whine, become clingy or desperate. Don’t let your whole future happiness hang on what you partner does, or does not do. Decided that no matter what happens, you are a good person and deserve to have a good honest relationship. Learn what you have to change in yourself. Understand that you, too, have contributed to the problems in the relationship so that you can avoid repeating the patterns of the past.