Infidelity and such ......11/12/08

Smartmarriages smartmarriages at
Thu Nov 13 05:41:56 EST 2008



> Diane, 
> You say the orlando smartmarriages conference will be heavy on sex.  Should't
> it be heavy on infidelity - that's the real problem. An artilce in today's WSJ
> says infidelity is the main presenting problem in couples therapy and that
> many couples seek counseling from several therapists.
> We need help in treating infidelity!
> Pat

Ah yes.  BUT we're a group that believes in education and prevention. IF we
can help couples create Marital Sex As It Ought To Be and understand how to
create satisfying Couples Sexual Styles (Barry McCarthy) or HOT Monogamy
(Pat Love) or learn how to Mate in Captivity (Esther Perel) or Hold each
other Tight and Emotionally Attach (Sue Johnson) and learn how to avoid
Close Calls (Dave Carder) or deal with Porn Addiction (Mark Laaser) - then,
we hope this will help prevent affairs before they happen.  However, we know
it's not either or and we will also have the healing from Infidelity ground
covered.  The conference program will be available in a few months and
you'll see that there will be plenty on dealing with Humpty after the fall.
- diane  



Why Infidelity May Not Be Cheating Anymore
Brain Blogger
11 Nov 2008 

Cheating implies some sort of deviation form the norm ‹ staying faithful.
But as new research suggests, the chances of infidelity in a relationship
now varies between 40 and 76%; and this implies that infidelity itself could
be the new norm.

³It¹s very high,² according to researcher Genevieve Beaulieu-Pelletier, a
PhD candidate at the Universite de Montreal¹s Department of Psychology and
author of this new study. According to her findings, people with
avoidant-attachment styles are particularly likely to have multiple sexual
encounters, and they are afraid of intimacy. She collated her results from
two different studies, one on 145 students and the other on 270 adults with
the same results.

The explanation for avoidance-attachment is often sought in childhood, as a
direct result of inadequate parenting. In adult life, in order to prevent
commitment-phobia many of these individuals in relationships cheat to
reassure themselves of their own space and freedom. As a followup to the
previous studies, two further studies revealed that the number one motive
quoted as a reason for infidelity was a conscious will to distance oneself
from commitment and one¹s partner.

Does this imply that frighteningly, large segments of humanity have become
attachment avoidant, which could increasingly become a universal trend. It
is quite possible that things may shape that way in the future with
increased emphasis on personal freedom, and less on one¹s ties with the
community and family. The study found that men and women were equally likely
to display infidelity, and for exactly the same reasons.

With such high numbers of self-confessed ³cheats² in the study, it is clear
that infidelity no longer provokes the same kind of moralistic sentiments
than it used to, even 50 years ago. And if it becomes an accepted norm, it
might well usher in the next step in our social evolution ‹ universal
attachment ‹ avoidance.

Infidelity dissected: New research on why people cheat
08 septembre 2008
Probability of cheating during the course of a relationship varies between
40 and 76 percent


Advances in Couples Therapy Tackle Trauma of Infidelity
Wall Street Journal
October 12, 2008

For couples troubled by infidelity, going for counseling has long been a

While cheating is the biggest reason couples seek counseling -- and the most
commonly cited reason for breaking up -- it is also the issue that
therapists say they feel least-equipped to treat.

Now, therapists and counselors are developing new techniques that increase
couples' chances of arriving at the best possible outcome after an affair.
In a special issue last month of The Family Journal, a scholarly journal,
and a volume of 14 studies published last year, researchers are laying out
proven methods to help couples troubled by infidelity, from easing
individual spouses' depression and despair, to enabling distressed couples
to make peace and move on together.

One novel twist: Therapists are treating injured spouses like war casualties
or hurricane victims, providing post-traumatic stress debriefings. They've
also begun classifying affairs based on the underlying motive of the partner
who strays -- a factor in a marriage's odds of survival.

"Infidelity is an incredibly hot topic" among couples and researchers alike,
says Paul Peluso, editor of the recent research volumes and a program
coordinator at Florida Atlantic University. As more therapists learn how to
handle it, "really good improvements in the treatment" of troubled couples
should ensue. Some 22% to 25% of men and 11% to 15% of women report to
researchers that they've had extramarital sex -- likely an underestimate,
researchers say.

No therapist can help save a marriage if one partner refuses to work at it.
But in many cases, wronged spouses fault therapists for failing to address
cheating head-on. In a 2002 online survey of 1,083 spouses whose partners
had cheated, a large majority of those who had sought counseling said their
therapists failed to focus clearly enough on the affair, says Peggy Vaughan,
an author and researcher who conducted the survey on her Web site,

Suzy Brown, Kansas City, Mo., who runs divorce recovery workshops, says many
couples emerge from therapy without having thoroughly discussed infidelity
problems. Instead, some partners spend time "dancing around the surface
stuff without getting down to why this was happening," says Ms. Brown, who
has started a Web site, Such problems are so
complex that nearly half of couples who seek therapy see three or more
therapists for help, Ms. Vaughan says.

Counseling techniques for post-traumatic stress disorder include discussing
facts about the trauma, the feelings and symptoms it caused and what it
means to the victim. This process helps victims understand how to identify
and control the emotional effects of the trauma in their day-to-day lives
and decision-making.

The techniques can work well in marital therapy, says a study by Gerald
Juhnke, a professor of counseling at the University of Texas, and others,
because jilted spouses have some of the same symptoms as disaster or war
victims. For example, they may have flashbacks to the moment the affair was
discovered, or think a spouse is cheating again every time they're home a
little late from work.


Some very good advice about putting up hedges around your marriage - hedges
or moats - from a blog called "thoughts from the life of Joe".  Reminds me
of the Gary Chapman keynote in San Francisco when he gave good advice for
men who "get the tingles at the water cooler".   - diane

Home » Blogs » joe's blog
12 Nov 2008
Sexual Hedges

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been reading the book, No Ordinary
Men, which on the whole, is a very thoughtful diagnosis of the struggles men
face and then some suggested alternative approaches to life. This afternoon,
while reading the chapter on the dynamics of relationships between men and
women, the author offered some advice to any man who finds himself
interacting with women other than the one he's married to ... which pretty
much means any man. For the common good and hopefully some interesting
discussion, I thought I'd post Salminen's suggested sexual hedges that
should be erected to protect a man's faith, marriage, and family:

    Refrain from verbal intimacy with women other than your spouse. Do no
bare your heart to another woman, or pour forth your troubles to her.
Intimacy is a great need in most people's lives - and talking about personal
matters, especially one's problems, can fill a need for intimacy, awakening
a desire for more. Many affairs begin in just this way. (142)

    Do not touch. Do not treat women with the casual affection you extend to
the females in your family. How many tragedies have begun with brotherly or
fatherly touches and then sympathetic shoulders? You may even have to run
the risk of being wrongly considered "distant" or "cold" by some women.

    When you dine or travel with a woman, make it a threesome. This may be
awkward, but it will afford an opportunity to explain your rationale, which,
more often than not, will incur respect rather than reproach. Many women
business associates will even feel more comfortable dealing with you. (143)

    Never flirt - even in jest. Flirtation is intrinsically flattering. You
may think you are being cute, but it often arouses unrequited desires in
another. (143)

    Be real about your sexuality. Most men don't take seriously the power of
their sexuality. It is possible to fall. It is possible to become sexually
attracted to a woman other than your spouse. (143)

What other hedges have you found helpful? Women, what is your response to
male associates who make a point of establishing these hedges to guard their
own hearts and lives?


And, in case you haven't read it lately, from Smart Marriages quotes page,
our marching poem:

> A Fence or an Ambulance

> Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
> Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant.
> But over its terrible edge there had slipped
> Full many a youthful peasant.
> So the people said something would have to be done,
> But their projects did not at all tally;
> Some said, "Put a fence 'round the top of the cliff."
> Some, "An ambulance down in the valley!"
> But the cry for the ambulance carried the day,
> For it spread through the neighboring city.
> A fence may be useful or not, it is true;
> But their hearts became brimful of pity
> For those who slipped over the dangerous cliff.
> And the dwellers in highway and alley,
> Gave pounds or gave pence, not to put up a fence,
> But an ambulance down in the valley.
> "For the cliff is alright, if you're careful," they said,
> "And if folks even slip, or are dropping,
> It isn't the slipping that hurts them so much
> As the shock down below, when they're stopping!"
> So day after day as these mishaps occurred,
> Quick forth would their rescuers sally
> To pick up the victims who fell from the cliff,
> With their ambulance down in the valley.
> Then an old sage remarked, "It's a marvel to me
> That people give far more attention
> To repairing results than to stopping the cause,
> When they'd much better aim at prevention.
> Let us stop at its source all this nonsense," he cried.
> "Come neighbors and friends, let us rally.
> If the cliff we will fence, we might almost dispense
> With the ambulance down in the valley!"
> "Oh he's a fanatic!" the others rejoined.
> "Dispense with the ambulance? Never!
> He'd dispense with all charities too, if he could!
> No, no, we'll support them forever.
> Aren't we picking up folks just as fast as they fall?
> And shall this man dictate to us, shall he?
> Why should people of sense stop to put up a fence
> When the ambulance works in the valley?"
> But a sensible few, who are practical too,
> Will not bear with such nonsense much longer.
> They believe that prevention is better than cure,
> And their party will still be the stronger.
> Encourage them then, with your purse, voice, and pen,
> And while other philanthropists dally,
> They'll scorn all pretence and put up a fence
> Round the cliff that hangs over the valley.
> Better guard well the young, than reclaim them when old,
> For the voice of true wisdom is calling.
> To rescue the fallen is good, but 'tis best
> To prevent other people from falling.
> Let us close up the source of temptation and crime
> Than deliver from dungeon and galley.
> Better put a strong fence 'round the top of the cliff,
> Than an ambulance down in the valley.
> Joseph Malius, 1865

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