Everyone is susceptible to an affair, and I do mean EVERYONE. I'm sure you're saying "Huh? Not me...!" Well, listen up because it can happen to any of us if we're not paying attention. For the most part, I am talking about you, and what you can do to safeguard YOU (not your partner) from a tryst, entanglement, emotional or physical affair. Few affairs are intentional and in fact most take someone completely by surprise.
So you're married, or in a committed relationship and things are 'okay' or maybe 'not so great'. It's not SOOOO bad that you feel the need to do something about it, like work with a coach or therapist. Maybe you think you're fine, you're tough and you can handle it. If this sounds familiar, pay attention because an affair could be happen to you. How do I know this? Full disclosure, it happened just like that to me, and I see it again and again and again in my coaching practice.
You see, when we shut ourselves down, disconnect and fail to honor what our hearts and minds are telling us, we are disconnecting. Instead of looking under the hood, we keep driving, not taking it for maintenance. What started as needing a 'little oil' now needs a full blown engine overhaul. And while all that was happening, someone else appeared to have the right parts for what was broken. Back to relationships vs. mechanical metaphors. When we ignore that something is going wrong, it paves the way for someone to enter into our lives to show us just exactly how wrong it is and "turn on" what we're missing. (pun intended) When the switch is flipped, it takes nearly super human strength to turn away. Let's face it, it's the perfect storm and we didn't even know it was brewing.
The best think you can do is to fix the roof before it's leaking. If you're unsettled in your relationship, find a coach or therapist and ask your partner to work on it with you. Resentments build mountains over time, and those mountains are rough terrain. It's hard to be vulnerable, to say you need or want help, but it's so worth it.
This next area is about safeguarding you from putting yourself in harms way, or the need to be super human. I know the current Gen X or Millennials may disagree with me, but hear me out. Opposite sex friendships, work relationships etc. can be the wellspring for affairs. It's innocent to start with and may remain that way for some time. Causal conversation about politics, weather or maybe it's after hours projects followed by drinks. As friendships develop a deeper emotional connection, it's normal to share more intimate details about our lives. You begin sharing how unhappy you are, or what an -$$ your partner was/is. Genuine empathy builds and an emotional bond/attachment occurs. Whether it's emotional or sexual, whenever there is energy going outside your relationship it's considered an affair. We are hard wired for connection, both emotional and physical. We want connection, we need connection, it's a basic human need. The problem is we need to work on the connection with our partner, not the person we're commiserating with.
Challenge: Is there an area or areas in your partnership that needs some work? Talk to your partner about where you would to make some changes. Have you found yourself sharing with someone other than the person that can make the actual change? Pay attention to whom you are sharing with, be honest with your butterflies or girlish giggle when you're hanging out with a person. What can you do to bring it back home?
Laura Blundo is a Relationship Coach. For more information about Laura and how she can help you bring your relationships to the next level, please visit her website, RelationshipAwakenings.com.