Equal Opportunity Affairs: Infidelity and the Web of Shame.
Infidelity & affairs contribute to shame, and the inner critic.The Inner Critic
For most of my clients, affairs start innocently enough. They are equal opportunity affairs –These situations happen to both men and women in equal proportions. Many clients tell me, “I can’t believe this happened to me.” These situations often begin innocently enough at work.
For instance, you might find yourself talking to a co-worker about his/her unhappy marriage, dilemmas with parenting, and soon you develop a relationship. They seem easy to talk to.
In these intimate conversations, you feel listened to, heard, valued & understood. For the first time in a long time. Your spouse may have checked out emotionally, or sexually, a long time ago. The intimacy in your marriage is lacking and talking to your coworker fills this void.
Pretty soon, you can’t wait to see this person at work. You start to notice feelings and excitement that you haven’t felt in a long time at home. Instead of nurturing your relationship with your wife/ husband, it becomes more energizing to talk to your “work wife” or “work husband.” Affairs seem to happen frequently these days, and are equal opportunity — men and women cheat on their spouses, in order to fill a need for intimacy that isn’t being filled.
Often, it seems “easier” to start another relationship than to patch up the existing one at home. This way, you don’t have to deal with the conflict that you know will ensue if you try to start a conversation with your spouse. You may have “tried” to tell him/her before about your discontent, but you feel like they didn’t hear you, or listen. You get frustrated with this dynamic, and you check out. This leaves an opening, a relationship void, that desires to be filled.
Once you find yourself in this predicament, you may be sworn to secrecy. The secrecy fuels the passion and fire you feel towards your affair, but also contributes to shame.The inner critic contributes to shame
When we can’t share what is happening we internalize our pain, and isolate from others. This leads to a build up of toxic shame and self-doubt.
If you find yourself in this situation, as many have, please reach out to me for a free 20 minute consultation today. Therapy provides a safe place to work through these intense and complex situations. I will help you navigate and walk through this difficult season without judgment, and support you, as you find the best possible outcome for your life and relationships.