Marital Affairs

Marital Affairs

An Iowa farm wife finds herself in the throes of a sizzling marital affair with a roving photographer. His tender attention and fiery passion make her aware that her marriage has become sexually and emotionally unfulfilling. The Bridges of Madison County was a best-seller for 162 weeks. This movie themed marital affairs, grossed over $70 million. You know the story: Watch the full movie here.

Many people relate to the plight of this lonely farm wife — which might account for the tale’s popularity. What lessons can be learned?

Generally, as therapists, we see an marital affairs as a sign that there is something wrong in the marriage, or that the married lover should either correct the situation or get out of the marriage. This is because in our work we see more negatives than positives come out of marital affairs. However, as you know, there’s more than one side to a story. My reseach illuminates the patterns, passions, as well as the pitfalls of long term extra-marital affairs.

Here are some suggestions and cautions you may use with your clients who are involved in marital affairs.

Work with them to:

1. Recognize their motives or needs in having the marital affairs so they can decide if they are getting what they really need or want.

2. Be clear about the level of deception they can live with comfortably, and work out agreements about how to handle this in their relationship.

3. Accept the marital affairs for what it is, and enjoy it in the here and now without expectations about the future.

4. Recognize living in separate worlds with separate identities to maintain the secrecy of the marital affairs.

5. Decide if they want to do anything to improve their marriage or get out of it.

6. Examine their feelings of self-esteem and self-worth if they are a single lover. Is the affair really something they want, or are they involved in it because they feel unworthy of a committed relationship?

7. Look at the marital affair as a way of helping them satisfy current needs to grow as a person. View the affair as a way to bring out different aspect of themselves, and use it to learn more about themselves and their own potential.

8. Understand the illusion/fantasy aspects of the marital affair that provide an outlet from everyday living, an escape.

9. Avoid an addictive relationship which can be extremely damaging. Instead, build up self-esteem to overcome feelings of neediness or dependency.

10. Acknowledge the transitional aspects of marital affairs.

Powered by Yahoo! Answers