I believe we are made for connection and there’s nothing more beautiful than a marriage where both feel fully accepted and loved. There is safety in being vulnerable in relationships that provide this.
Intimate connectedness is our birthright and optimal state. Terry Real
It’s normal to have times of disconnection but there must be repairs for the relationship to stay safe and grow. However, when disconnection is left unrepaired this can eventually lead to a bleeding out of the marriage.
I consider both emotional and physical intimacy with a person outside of your marriage as an affair. A physical affair is any form of sexual touching. An emotional affair usually consists of sharing intimate information that should be shared with your spouse, receiving emotional support that should come from your spouse, feeling closer to that person than your spouse and sexual tension usually increases.
I don’t believe there is any excuse for going outside of the marriage to fulfill needs that should be met inside the marriage relationship. I do, however, understand how easily this can happen.
The humdrum of life, parenthood and jobs have pushed away date nights and sexual intimacy, feeling like your husband doesn’t hear you or even care to, feeling unappreciated, unrepaired hurts.
When you feel unprioritized and unchosen, it can be very hard to turn a blind eye to someone outside of the marriage who makes you feel wanted.
There are many factors that can lead a woman to have an affair. You could be trying to recapture the playfulness, flirty excitement that is important to you. It could be finding relief from loneliness or finding a sense of importance. Maybe it’s getting unfulfilled needs met, trying to give yourself what your husband has failed to give.
Are you looking for another partner or are you looking for another self? Do you feel you have lost yourself in marriage and motherhood?
When you are connected to a new person outside of marriage it can re-awaken parts of you that you missed … what would happen if you chose to try out those activated parts in your marriage instead? Can you bring your reinvented self into your current relationship?
What would happen if you stopped communication with the affair partner and switched full attention back on your spouse, spending time focusing on the good you can see? This is not to minimize the pain he has caused you but rather to help you redirect your awareness to the possible healing of the marriage. What first drew you to him? What does he do or say that shows he cares? Can you see him with new eyes?
Sometimes we have to go beyond what we presently feel in order to bring up the feelings we want.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” - Marcel Prous
I recognize you could be very close to the affair partner, possibly even in love. If you chose to leave him and work on your marriage this can be very hard as you will also be heartbroken over the affair relationship. However, most marriages are worth the fight.
You might be in a place where you have fought as much as you can with nothing in return. That can be a very lonely place. Are you able to grieve what you’re not getting from your husband and at the same time embrace what you are getting from him?
Are you willing to go to couples counseling with him to see if, just maybe, your marriage can reach relational joy?
Do you need to seek individual counseling first? I am happy to help you sift through your complex feelings and thoughts. Don’t let shame prevent you from seeking help. Even if you decide that you want to divorce your husband. There is no judgement here. Reach out to schedule an appointment.
*If you believe you are in an abusive relationship please schedule an individual appointment, do not seek couples counseling as abuse is an abuse issue not a relationship, communication, or anger issue. If you feel you are unsafe, please contact the police or abuse hotline.