Affairs Aren’t the Answer, Says Portland Marriage Counselor

January 22, 2013 by

You’d think that the people coming to see a Portland marriage counselor would all be trying to find out how to fight for their relationship, but every now and then, I’ll talk to someone who really just wants me permission to cheat on his or her spouse.

The situations are usually pretty similar. They’ve been with their partner for years and really love them, but the sexual spark is just gone and they want something new. Maybe there are even valid reasons for this lack of intimacy that they are trying – in their own way – to respect, such as medical issues or young children. Rather than rocking the boat at home, doesn’t it make more sense for them to just find a little something on the side?

I’m not unsympathetic to these issues, but my answer is always the same: no.

Portland Marriage Counselor: Affairs Don’t Solve Problems, They Cause Them

The lack of a satisfying sex life can lead to serious relationship problems. I want to be clear on that, because I don’t want to demonize the people who are genuinely worried about what will happen in their relationship due to this lack of physical satisfaction. The problem is, when people start to consider having an affair to “solve” the problem, they’re not really thinking clearly. Affairs always cause more problems than they solve.

You’ll kill off trust. As a Portland marriage counselor, I can honestly say that there’s nothing that destroys trust in a relationship quite like one partner cheating on the other. The victim has to live with the knowledge that their spouse was willing to deceive them – possibly for a long time – in order to make themselves happy. Inevitably, this will make them start to question everything about the relationship – what else might their spouse be lying about? And how can they ever believe them again?

You can cause a downward spiral. Cheating on your spouse can cause a whole host of negative self-image problems. Was it because you didn’t find them attractive anymore? Because you didn’t love them? Because you find them pathetic or wanting in some other way? None of these things may be true, but it’s quite possible to send someone into a depression through your selfish actions. That makes dealing with any relationship problems ten times more difficult.

You may hurt your kids. Children don’t like it when their parents fight, but they tend to like it a whole lot less when the family falls apart. Often, after affairs, that’s what happens, particularly if you don’t seek help. Don’t let this happen to you. Before you act on your urges, talk to a Portland marriage counselor.