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From "innocent friendship" to AFFAIR

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  • From "innocent friendship" to AFFAIR

    How did it happen? This is what many people think to themselves when they become involved with someone outside the marriage. Many individuals see themselves as having a good friend, often at the workplace. They begin sharing more and more information about their personal lives. Think about the components of these interactions: eye contact, communication of concern, admiration, interest, focused attention, validation and empathy. EXACTLY WHAT YOU HAD WITH YOUR PARTNER IN THE EARLY STAGES OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP. This kind of attention is intoxicating!

    How can you safeguard your relationship against affairs? Let me hear from you.

  • #2
    so hard! Initial relationships seem to not only be intoxicating, but easier since there's less reality and day to day grind and so many 'business' issues to attend to.


    • #3
      People entering into that 'new' relationship find it exciting and easy for good reasons. They once again are in the romantic stage in which there are increases in dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. They become highly focused on this person who seems so interested and attentive. These changes in neurochemistry make us FEEL GOOD. Then it's very difficult to be rational, and see that what's happening is destructive to the people you love.

      In Imago Theory, we refer to an affair as a way of exiting the relationship. Exits can manifest in many ways: addictions, pornography, chat rooms. They are all ways of avoiding the primary relationship. Only if we can close the exits can we really work on the primary relationship.


      • #4
        wow. so you have to actually engage the 'exited' individual and get them to the table so-to-speak first. I always imagined that you get them to talk or therapy first, then the affair might end.... does that ever happen?


        • #5
          Yes! Some people do end the affair in order to save the marriage. I've seen couples who navigate through this successfully. I've also seen couples who struggle for extended periods of time with the ability to trust again, and with forgiveness.