Why? Early Warning Signs
As with everything
you read at the Marriage Toolbox, it is not about coming to a
place for an authoritative 'bible-like' answer. We are never saying
we know the 'truth' or what is right or wrong for you. We are
here for one reason and one reason only: to present new thoughts,
cutting edge ideas and good questions so you can examine your
belief system, re-look at and retool if necessary your approach
to life, etc...etc.... If you approach reading a page like this
with that in mind, it changes everything because, you won't be
judging what you read as right or wrong (or that we're right or
wrong) you will be reading only as a learner, a student. Isn't
the mind of a student the most open to learning?
PEOPLE CHOOSE AFFAIRS? TEN EARLY WARNING SIGNS
Note: If you
go to Affair Prevention: Ten Tools
you will read preventative tools that can prevent an affair from
happening. The 10 preventatives correspond to everything on this
be one motive to stray from relationships. After time passes and
the newness wears off, the romance may not so exciting. Since
humans have a tendency to be romantics at heart, there can be
a potent attraction to being desired by someone. And because secrecy
itself can be a powerful entity, this alone can keep a mysterious
and secret romance alive.
LACK OF INTIMACY
A lack of intimacy
can devastate a relationship. True intimacy is not about romance
or sex, but rather about a feeling that someone really understands
how you feel and cares enough to listen to you and communicate
with you. If individuals are not allowed or do not feel comfortable
expressing themselves in a relationship this could be a motivation
to look elsewhere for this deep and meaningful connection.
MISSING SENSE OF SELF
happen when individuals loose a sense of self or an understanding
of who they are. The result of this can be a frantic hunt for
identity outside of themselves, called externally referencing.
The search will include unconsciously seeking out an individual
to help them feel more complete. If this person appears, the individual
may desperately latch on to them so that they can feel whole again.
lack self-confidence they can start to look to others for approval
and recognition. Feeling unworthy, lacking purpose, and feeling
unfulfilled by their role in life these individuals are prime
suspects for affairs. In these cases, the individual will unconsciously
seek out someone similar to them in personality who can provide
a mirror-like reflection of themselves. Consequently they will
receive what feels like approval, not realizing it is a false
sense of self and that it will not last.
be an impulse for developing a so-called "wandering eye"
simply because an individual is not willing to take responsibility
for the hard work that relationships demand. A functional relationship
demands you to "be" the right partner rather than feel
you have to "pick" or get lucky enough to have "found"
the right partner. Since relationships require commitment and
discipline it sometimes may feel easier to simply give up and
is an essential factor in a relationship, ineffective or the lack
meaningful interaction may cause a person to look for fulfillment
Honesty is another
important component to relationships. Honesty has to start with
yourself. An affair is an example of total dishonesty, not just
about what you are doing but who you are and what your values
are. There is evident confusion about one's belief system if you
allow yourself to become involved with someone outside your relationship.
POOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION SKILLS OR MISUNDERSTANDING THE NATURE
very normal in relationships. The inability to deal with discord,
can cause one to become frustrated. If you do not deal with each
friction as it arises, they will start to pile up and your anger
at the other person will become resenting, confusing and overwhelming.
You will not even know why you do not like your partner any more.
Affairs are usually conflict- free because they are not real,
but rather more like a fantasy. If an
individual is fearful of or avoidant to conflict, then he/she
may seek out a fantasy relationship rather than a real life one.
NOT TAKING GOOD CARE OF ONESELF
is unable to meet their own needs and does not know how to ask
for what they need from their partner, the normal tendency is
to project their unhappiness on either the other person or condemn
the relationship. The resulting frustration is due to not taking
responsibility for one's emotions or actions, but rather put the
blame elsewhere. This provides a reason or excuse to look for
one's needs to be met outside the relationship from another person.
Generally one will start to look for exits from the relationship
such as working long hours, overeating, watching too much TV,
not listening when your partner talks, drinking too much, becoming
involved in activities that do not involve your partner, etc.
Exits are used to avoid one's partner and usually are easy ways
to seek a temporary and false sense of gratification. Exits easily
becomes bad habits and only makes the frustration worse.
may simply be thrill seekers and get turned on or motivated by
the secrecy and moral indecency of an affair. Just knowing that
what they are doing is socially unacceptable can be a turn on.
The underlying problem here is an insecurity and the need for
feeling powerful and important.
This page was
written by Pam Oren, a counselor and therapist living in Colorado.
©1999 Pam Oren.
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Prevention: 10 Tools