"I've been having an affair and my wife doesn't know about it," John, a forty-two-year-old salesman, told me remorsefully. "I feel so guilty for sneaking around with my lover," Betty, a married woman with two small children, expressed with exasperation. Husband and wife, Victor and Sandy, both admitted to me in their private sessions that they wanted to have an affair but they controlled their desire. However, they thought that if things kept up the way they were, they may pursue other lovers.
These are only a few examples of the many clients who admitted their desires and experiences of extra-marital relationships to me behind the closed door of my office. My response to every one of those distraught clients who confirmed that they loved their marriage partner was, "If you could have with your spouse what you are receiving from your lover, would you end your affair?" The answer from practically every guilt-ridden client was, "Yes." In fact, there was a sign of great relief on their faces as they entertained the thought that they could receive what they wanted from their husband or wife.
With a process I developed, HART which stands for Holistic and Rapid Transformation, I then proceeded to explore with the client what they found lacking with their spouse that they were seeking in others. Once they were clear, I invited their partner in for a session to do the same. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I discovered that the spouse also felt discontented in the relationship.
They too were having a secret affair, or they were expressing their frustrations in other ways-for example, by gaining weight, not keeping their agreements, overspending, withholding affection, nagging, or being verbally or physically abusive. Ironically, I found that both husband and wife were in tune with their wants and needs. In fact, we can make one list that applies to both partners.
The following is a short summary of what most people want from their marriage partner: 1) respect and appreciation 2) support to be their unique selves 3) quality time together 4) new and varied activities 5) win-win problem solving 6) constructive communication 7) alone time 8) some separate activities 9) affection and fulfilling love making 10) unconditional love Experiencing these qualities with your spouse is probably the best insurance policy that you can have in your relationship. There is no need to look elsewhere when you have it all.
Copyright 2006 by Helene Rothschild, MS, MA, MFT, a Marriage, Family Therapist, intuitive counselor, speaker, and author. Her new book is, "ALL YOU NEED IS HART!". She offers phone sessions, teleclasses, books, e-books, MP3 audios, tapes, posters, independent studies, and a free newsletter. http://www.lovetopeace.com , 1-888-639-6390.