Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Marriage Made Me Cheat

Infidelity has different faces...and different signs and patterns.

Yes, infidelity is complex. You probably know that or perhaps feel the overwhelm and confusion.

Most I work with find tremendous relief, a sense of control, confidence and power once they pinpoint the situational signs of infidelity.

Understanding IS the beginning of healing.

Yes, there are general signs of infidelity that indicate that your husband or wife may be cheating. After you finish reading this page you will find a link for those general signs of infidelity.

But, to accelerate breaking free you need to dig into and nail down the signs and patterns of infidelity.

Did you know there are 7 different kinds of affairs? Well, there may be more, but after a couple decades of clinical work and research, I've identified 7.

And, if you look carefully, you will find that each form of infidelity carries different signs and markers. Know those specific signs of infidelity and you can save yourself much grief.

Let's begin here.

One kind of affair I write about in my e-book is called, "My Marriage Made Me Do It."

Here are some signs and patterns you can expect in this kind of affair:

1. Expect that your spouse will have a very powerful attachment to the other person. The other person will consistently be on her mind. Your spouse will shift energy away from you, the children, the household and her career to her affair relationship. She will be focused, but not on you. Your spouse will attempt to push you away by avoiding you, ignoring you, closing off communication or walking away.

2. The affair will most likely be a long-term affair. It will be very difficult for your spouse to walk away from the other person. He may try on a number of occasions but will continue to gravitate back to the other person. He will hold on tenaciously. This is probably the first or only affair for your spouse. Your spouse is not interested in playing or fooling around but powerfully attaching to the other person. The other person is the savior!

3. Don’t believe that the affair was planned before hand because of a bad marriage. These affairs usually just happen. They usually happen with someone in close proximity: co-worker, neighbor, friend (frequently of friends with whom you socialize), etc. The other person is usually the aggressor, your spouse lacking the confidence to seek out the affair. The rationale that it happened because of a lousy marriage comes after the affair is in bloom.

4. The more you try to persuade, convince or pursue, the more strongly he will attach to the other person. He will perceive your efforts as weakness and will want to attach more intently to the other person whom he (at perhaps an unconscious level) deems to be the powerful and loving answer-to-all.

5. Efforts to use moral or religious arguments to call a halt to the affair will be strongly resisted. Your spouse is not guided by rightness or wrongness. These standards have not been internalized and do not carry much weight, especially when it comes to the important chunks of her life. The actions and thoughts of your spouse primarily originate from her need to attach to another person. Any behavior or concept that serves the purpose of maintaining the attachment will be valued. Others are discarded.

6. Expect you will spend a significant amount of time and emotional energy in the next 2 to 4 years (especially if there are children) attempting to resolve the relationship. By resolve, I mean, coming to a point where each of you are fairly free of the emotional entanglement that holds you together and generates the pain and fear. It will be important for you to resolve the relationship whether you continue to be married or separate and divorce.

Does this fit your situation?

Do you see the importance of understanding in-depth the signs of infidelity. Once you do, you will have many more options available that will help you break free.

Dr. Robert Huizenga, The Infidelity Coach, has helped hundreds of couples over the past two decades heal from the agony of extramarital affairs and survive infidelity. Click here to read how he helped couples to struggle through their hard time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Talking About Your Divorce On Dates

I am divorced and trying to start dating again. My problem is that I find it difficult to know how or when to bring up the fact that I’m divorced, and how to ask whomever I’m out with about their situation.

Do you have any advice about what I might actually say? Should I just come right out with it? Should I bring it up on the first date, or should I wait for them to bring it up?

Dating Divorcee

Dear Dating Divorcee:

Timing is everything. Ideally, the divorce is not a "heavy" subject for you or your date, and it can be brought up lightly, but the way it gets brought up telegraphs loads of information. If your date is morose and bitter when talking about his divorce and his ex, you'll see it right away. The trick is to find out if this is a new divorce (new for one person can be a few months old -- or a year old) or an old one (anything over three years). If it's a new divorce and your date is bitter and morose, this may be part of his or her personality -- not just a reaction to the divorce. If it's a new divorce, it's completely understandable to be shell-shocked by the transition.

The person who brings up the divorce first, is usually the one who is more interested in a long term relationship because they want to get this item out of the way. If your date brings it up, then you don't have to. But if you date doesn't bring it up, you'd be wise to bring it up yourself. You don't want to waste your time with someone who isn't interested in long term relationship and you want to find out what happened in the divorce and how your date is handling it.

Things You Can Say To Bring Your Divorce Up:

"So, how long have you been divorced?"
"Was it amicable?"
"How do you get along with your ex, now?"

These are all innocuous ways of getting to know someone. This particular someone happens to be divorced, and the divorce is an important part of any responsible adult's life. If it isn't, you should take that into consideration!

The Do’s & Don’ts for Dating After Divorce

Dating after divorce is a great way to heal and re-create your life. On the other hand, divorce can be so devastating that it's hard to move on and there will be remnants of the divorce involved in your dating.

Tips And Advice To Make Dating After Divorce Less Devastating:

1. Do talk about the divorce while you’re dating. If two people on a date are divorced, not talking about their divorces can be like having an elephant in the room that everyone is trying to ignore. Getting to know someone means getting to know why they're divorced, how long it's been, and what their feelings are about the divorce. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn about your own divorce situation from listening to someone else’s.

2. Don't break up with a person if they're talking about the divorce too much. If the person you're dating isn't done with his or her divorce, emotionally-speaking, this is not a reason to break up with them. Everyone deals with a divorce in his own way, and it can take a year or ten years to finally feel that you just don't want to talk about your ex any more. Some people talk about their work all the time and some people talk about their children all the time. Others talk about their divorce. Consider the options.

3. Do steer the conversation onto other topics like work, children, family, current events or local events if you feel that you are sick of hearing about the other person's divorce. If the other person is talking about their divorce incessantly, tell them that it's really bothering you, and they should probably hire a therapist to vent and work through the feelings so that you can have a relationship that isn't mired in divorce discussions.

4. Don't get discouraged if you go through periods that are divorce discussion intense. When you date someone who's been divorced, the divorce is part of who they are. If you don't like it, then don't date them. But understand that there will be flare ups with the ex which will mean your honey wants to talk to vent, and to get your advice and perspective.

If you need some help getting back in the game after a divorce, check out my books, Think & Date Like A Man (for women) and Date Out Of Your League (for men), for some great advice!

April Masini -- nicknamed "the new millennium's Dear Abby" by the media, is author of the best-selling books Date Out Of Your League and Think & Date Like A Man, the two (just released) step-by-step dating and relationship manuals, 50 First Dates and The Next 50 Dates, and the critically acclaimed dating and relationship online magazine

All About Cheating