Marriage Counseling and Affairs
Chicago Relationship Counseling
By:Â Robert J. Smith, LCSW
241 Golf Mil Center, Suite 708
Niles, IL 60714
Ph.Â (847) 824-8366
Email. Â counseling@RobSmithLCSW.com
In light of recent media attention given to Anthony Weiner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Tiger Woods, among others, I wanted to offer a perspective on this topic.
In my work as a couples therapist over the past 30 years, I have found there are many reasons for married people having affairs. Much of the time, couples describe a distancing occurring in their relationship where they donâ€™t spend enjoyable or meaningful time together. Their sexual relationship also becomes less frequent or non-existent. Unfortunately, when this happens and couples donâ€™t discuss their difficulties, there is a high risk of one partner having an affair. In addition, with social media being so available, either one or both partners may seek to meet others on the internet. These meetings often begin out of lonliness, but turn into more emotionally intimate and sexual connections.
It is also common for men and some women to view pornographic websites when feeling angry, sad, or alone as a way to channel the negative emotions. These behaviors of having an affair, or using the internet do not solve the problems within the marriage. Avoidance only postpones the needed connection and communication in the marriage in order to solve the marital discord. The longer the disconnection, the more difficult it can become to re-connect and save the marriage.
I have seen many couples on the verge of divorce. When both partners are willing to work in the reconnection process, they can have very good success on not only saving the relationship, but having a better relationship the ever. When one partner wants to work on the marriage and the other is ambivalent or is â€œsitting on the fenceâ€ about remaining married, it is still possible to improve the relationship and save the marriage. Divorce does not necessarily lead to people being happier in their lives. And, second marriages have as high a divorce rate as first marriages.
I believe that we have aÂ choiceÂ in how we deal with conflict within a relationship. BeingÂ direct and honestÂ with your partner can often lead toÂ working through differencesÂ and making your relationship better. Having open conflict and discussing it, is a healthy way of dealing with your relationship. Avoidance, lack of communication, dishonesty, holding on to resentments, anger, alcohol and drug abuse, and going outside of your relationship is a sure way of bringing on more problems and most likely, divorce.
I invite you, my readers, if you are in a troublesome relationship, to take on the challenge of being open and direct with your partner about your feelings. Do this in a conversational way while being respectful in how you present yourself. If you or your partner is angry, cool down before approaching one another. There is really no such thing as being â€œright or wrongâ€. These are only beliefs, not facts. If you think you are right and your partner is wrong, the chances are that you will lose out on an opportunity to work through your differences.Â Being respectful, direct and honestÂ can be stressful. However, the rewards can be high. Being negative or avoiding your partner will result with little or no reward, and probably very high stress.
Contact Robert now atÂ Chicago Relationship CounselingÂ to schedule your appointment.Â Come in together or come in alone.Â You can be on the way to healing and building hope in your relationship.
Email:Â Â counseling@RobSmithLCSW.comÂ or Ph. (847) 824-8366.