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Runaway Spouse Syndrome

The Runaway Spouse Syndrome

By Sarah P. It all started a long time ago—probably as long ago as marriage existed—but most recently this phenomenon was brought into focus by Vikki Stark in her book Runaway Husbands.  I am calling this post The Runaway Spouse Syndrome because this is not necessarily a gender-specific phenomenon. While this behavior may be found […]

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trauma after an affair

Affair Trauma Part 3: What I Learned at the Gottman Affair Trauma Seminar

By Sarah P. This is part three and the final post of the trauma series. I wanted to start this post with song lyrics, by Amanda Palmer, wife of Neil Gaiman (Dresden Dolls), that describe the paradox of trauma. Because really, trauma is a paradox. Biting keeps your words at bay Tending to the sores […]

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ptsd and affairs

Trauma Series Part One: PTSD and Affairs

By Sarah P. Anytime there is an affair, trauma is not far around the corner. In fact, I have never spoken to a betrayed spouse who says something to the extent of: “Yeah, my spouse’s affair was no big deal. It’s just one of those things—no more hurtful than getting home late for dinner.” If […]

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sense of self

Danger Ahead – You Can Live Without Your Spouse, But Not Without Yourself

Infidelity can annihilate our sense of self. By Sarah P. From the time we are children, we are told that when we grow up we must find a prince or princess charming and get married. Much of the mass media trades on this idea. It is so ingrained in our society that people rarely question it. […]

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talk about infidelity

The Big Five: Gottman’s Communication Techniques to Talk about Infidelity

By Sarah P. It’s almost always a struggle for couples to communicate about topics that matter to one but not the other, especially if this topic references past hurts. Unfortunately, just talking about such heated topics can cause a fight. When marriage becomes one fight after another, most couples withdraw from hot topics. After all, […]

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what is stonewalling

The Last of the Four Horsemen: Stonewalling

By Sarah P. Not all negative communication patterns are alike. Sorting through the most harmful of these patterns has been one of the main areas of research for Drs. John and Julie Gottman. They have narrowed the four most harmful communication patterns down and refer to these patterns as The Four Horsemen: Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, […]

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You Decide

You Decide: Is it an emotional affair or not?

We are launching a new series that we’ll run periodically called “You Decide” where you will provide your opinion on a fictional affair scenario. For each column, there will be a different scenario that has to do with infidelity. The purpose of this exercise is to define what infidelity means as well as to help […]

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unethical amnesia

The Perfect Spouse: How Unethical Amnesia Might Affect Getting the Truth

By Sarah P. Imagine this scenario: you have a friend who always tells little white lies. Or worse, imagine that you have a friend who intentionally cheats on taxes or has extramarital affairs. From your perspective, it is evident that this person is being highly unethical in his or her behavior. But, this same person […]

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trauma bonding

Trauma Bonding: Why It’s So Hard to Let Go After an Affair

By Sarah P. Abandonment causes deep shame. Abandonment by betrayal is worse than mindless neglect. Betrayal is purposeful and self-serving. If severe enough, it is traumatic.” Patrick J. Carnes, PhD (1) The other day when I was looking for studies in psychology databases, I saw an abstract that caught my eye. The abstract basically said […]

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heal from the affair

The Nuts and Bolts of Affair Recovery – The elements that need to be present in order to heal from an affair.

What are the basic elements that need to work together to help you heal from the affair? By Sarah P.   This article is about some of the ‘must-haves’ that need to occur during the healing from infidelity. Conversely, there are other actions and processes that are more nuanced that need to occur, but this article […]

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