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    Affairs: Emotional, Physical or a combination

    Affairs, either emotional or physical, usually create a high level of anxiety when discovered. The internet and work offer more opportunity than ever before to have an affair. Christians who are married have affairs and at the same frequency as people not practicing a faith. Affairs mean different things and do not mean a marriage is over.

    Emotional affairs can be evaluated by looking at these questions:

    • Is it easier to talk to my friend than my partner?
    • Does my friend seem to understand me in a deeper way than my partner?
    • Have I stopped telling my deepest feelings and concerns with my partner and now turn to my friend for these needs?

    The betrayed partner often experiences a sense of shock and comes into counseling stunned. Working through a transgression often means dealing with what you learned and then dealing with more as it is “discovered” or confessed. Forgiveness is a complex process and does not mean "forgetting". It is important for both people involved to talk. If that does not happen one person can forgive an affair through their willingness.

    I am a Marriage Friendly Therapist believing that with work, a couple can trust again, recover and even thrive in their marriages or partnerships. While I cannot make anyone stay in a committed relationship, I can encourage the healing process to occur. To work on a relationship actively I ask that couples commit to a limited number of sessions. During this time each partner is more likely to take an active part in working on the relationship rather than stating they will leave.

    See my Blog entry Healing After Infidelity for specific books, YouTubes and other resources.

    I can also offer support during a discussion process, help with sleep disturbance, anger or other issues. Creating a new start isn’t easy but can be very rewarding. Either with, or without your partner, you can heal.

    Barbara Massey MA LMFT