Relationships: My Husband Cheated on Me - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
The issue of betrayal of a spouse or a partner having an affair is really one of the biggest issues that any couple can face. Here are some of the things we found that can make a really, really big difference. The research is really clear that if you communicate about what you are feeling: the hurt, the fear, the anger, the sense of betrayal, the sense of how are you going to trust each other again, even though this may seem like, “Oh gosh, we really should not really talk about this because it is going to make everything fall apart,” really the opposite is true.
If you talk about these things, particularly with someone who can support both of you, you have a very good chance of not only re-establishing your relationship, but establishing it stronger than it was before. What we know is that people who conceal the affair, then get caught, and then do not work on their relationship, do not have a very good chance of them re-establishing or rekindling their relationship.
So, one of the things that Freud said, people asked him at the end of his life, what was the most important thing that he had learned in his 75 years of work. He said, “Secrets make you sick.” In relationships the secret of the affair is not only what fuels the affair, we have really found that it is the secrecy that really gives the affair it is juiciness, not the affair itself. When that secret gets revealed, often all of the romantic intrigue just drops away and the person can see what it is that they got into the affair in the first place to try and achieve.
The other thing that we like to recommend for partners is that both people take responsibility for having this happen. That does not mean blaming yourself instead of blaming your partner. It means letting yourself genuinely wonder about what was going on in our relationship that made it possible for this to happen? And what do we need to do about that? What do we need to learn? What do we need to open up to? What do we need to kindle? It is almost always something that you had a secret about earlier, a way in which you were not really fully participating in your relationship that creates that opportunity for the other person to look somewhere else.
If we realize that we do not get all of our sexual needs and our emotional needs met fully in our relationship, in this particular sense. We want people to really enjoy all of their sexual feelings. That is one of the perks of being human. We are all walking around checking each other out all the time. If you let yourself really enjoy that a lot of people will not let themselves do that because they are afraid that if they let themselves feel their sexual feelings, they are going to act on them. Actually the opposite is true. If you let yourself feel your sexual feelings, you are much less likely to act on them, especially if you share that with your partner.
I can remember a time in my relationship with Gay where he would just communicate to me like, “Yeah. That, now see, that woman is really hot, you know. See, I really like the way… See how she is swinging her hips, there? I really like that.” At first I got all, “Oh, that means there is something wrong with me and I am not sexy.” But, when I really let myself enjoy what he was enjoying, I could go, “Oh, yeah. I see that. Yeah, I can really get why that, that is really attractive.” Sharing that with each other allows you to share the juiciness of your sexuality without having to act on it. So, we recommend that people be really clear about their agreements, enjoying their sexual feelings liberally and being really clear about their agreements with each other.
So, one of my agreements with Gay is that we tell each other about any kind of behavior that we would not have engaged in if the other person was not in the room. That is one of our agreements with each other. We have not had that happen in many, many years, but we have been together for 32 years. So, you know, in the first 10 years of our relationship, we had several of those conversations where he would be at a party that I was not. Then he would interact with somebody just a little flirtatiously, and he would come back and share that with me.
If there was anything that came up from me, I would communicate about it: I felt scared, or I was jealous, or I thought, “Ooh, I am not as feminine as that person.” When we did that over a period of time, we found that we were able to really, really appreciate the vast array of sensuality that is present as we are moving around in the world, and to really have our sexual communication be exclusively with each other.
So, that is what we recommend, because we have really found that monogamy is the best way to really go deep with each other and enjoy the kind of benefit of being able to let go into another person fully, and know that they are really there for you. And, if there has been a betrayal, the best thing that you can do is to communicate about it and find out what there is for you to learn about it.