Overcoming the pain that infidelity causes can be a long lonely road. Shock, disbelief, anger tie you up in knots. Uncertainty of your future, self-doubt, blame drag you around through an emotional roller coaster ride. Ultimately you have more questions than answers. I recently found this interview with Dr. Haltzman, psychiatrist, marriage therapist and author of “The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity” on the website www.marriagegems.com The owner of the site, Lori Lowe, dedicates her efforts to offering her visitors information and tips on how to improve their marriage. She has conducted many interviews with couples who have experienced crises such as infidelity, drug addiction, harsh illnesses, financial problems and more.
Lori takes the time to ask Dr Haltzman some questions that many of her visitors ask and I’m sure many of you have thought about too. Some of the questions focus on the wayward spouse, while most of the questions revolve around how the betrayed spouse and couple can move forward. Lori’s purpose with this set of questions to Dr Haltzman is to provide a ray of hope on relationships experiencing rather cloudy, dark days.
So here is a twist. Here are the questions Lori asks Dr Haltzman (reworded though) in the interview, but with my opinions. Find out how Dr Haltzman answers the questions to overcome the pain of infidelity.
Questions Posed to Dr Haltzman On Overcoming Infidelity
How difficult is it for the wayward spouse to break off communication with their lover?
Orlando’s opinion from InfidelityFirstAidKit.com: In my case when I committed infidelity in my first marriage I actually got out of my marriage in hopes to pursue a future with my “girlfriend”. She too was married which added an additional challenge to the relationship. I ended up getting really close with her and learned a lot about myself and life. We became good friends. Of course now I have a different view on involving oneself who is with someone else. I do not believe it is a good choice to cheat, but the point here is we depended on each other. Both of us were struggling in our relationships and looked to each other for emotional support. Had I stayed married and had my wife at the time asked me to cut off contact with “her” in order to stay together I would have become extremely depressed. In my eyes at that time, my “girlfriend” was my angel, someone who saved me from the misery of my authoritative and self-centered wife. Of course, the justification for me to even be in the relationship to begin with was that my girlfriend and I were meant to be together, but our timing was off. We just met at the wrong time of our lives.
Is it true what they say, “Once a cheater, always a cheater?”
Orlando’s opinion: As a former cheater, you even wonder yourself if you are capable of cheating again. Just as it takes time for the betrayed spouse time to heal from the shock and pain of infidelity the betraying spouse needs time to reshape their thinking and see the whole picture from the outside. Cheating is a selfish decision and involves tricking your own mind into believing your own lies about why you deserve to abandon your partner in order to seek self-serving benefits.
After the affair has been discovered, I believe your main objective to determine the likelihood of your spouse cheating again is to gauge their selfish behavior. Do they still show signs of having a regular selfish character? Do they show regret? Do they appear to be looking at the big picture of how an affair just leads to a dead end? A wise person even after doing something out of character can tell the difference between a road that leads to nowhere versus one that leads to something they can be proud to partake in. Does your wayward spouse seem to view the affair as a mirage in the middle of the desert? Like something that looked good from far away, but at a closer glance has no value in the end just a negative outcome.
Is it more likely you will cheat the longer you are married?
Orlando’s opinion: There are many factors to consider besides the length of time in a marriage such as how tolerant each person is in the relationship of handling differences in a relationship. How do they handle the differences? Do they shy away or do they face the divide head on? How do they handle sharing in the relationship? Do they proactively look to help enrich their partner’s life without looking for their spouse to return the favor? Despite all these other elements I would say just focusing on the factor of time in a marriage that the chances do indeed increase. Eventually each spouse will be hit on and flirted with. All it takes is the perfect storm for them to fall into the temptation: feeling down while that cute girl from work just makes your husband feel so special and liked. That’s something he hasn’t felt for a while. And the longer you are married the chances are opportunities will come up to cheat.
What are some measurements you can take to prevent an affair from occurring?
I personally believe the major factor in someone cheating is the character and life experiences of each person in the relationship. In other words, who is that person today right now? You can affect how your spouse feels to a certain degree, but if they are selfish and needy then someone will come along who, at least at the time, offers them something that makes them feel good. If your spouse lives life by how they feel than it can create a challenge. We all go through ups and downs, and it is important to realize that. The person that wakes up one morning and says, “I just don’t feel happy today. I’m bored with my life. Something is wrong. Feeling bored must mean I need to make a change,” is someone who has not fully matured in life and who is not wise enough to realize that feeling depressed (I mean normal levels of depression) and sad is a normal part of life. Plus another factor is how secretive your spouse is. Are they afraid to face their own feelings and personal challenges? Do they take ownership of their downfalls or areas of their life they wish to improve? If they do not then you are married to a needy dependent person.
So guess what a needy, dependent person does when they face turmoil? They look for someone to bail them out. If it is not you then they may be open to making it someone else.