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September 23, 2017 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Love

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Question:

I've been seeing a married man for 5 years. He doesn't love his wife anymore and is talking to attorneys about divorce. He also tells me he is not like other men and wants me to believe what he says is true. Deep in my heart I do believe what he says, he has proven it to me so many times. His wife knows things about me, but of course he lies to her to cover up the truth. The only bad thing is that he owns his own business and he is scared he will lose everything if his wife finds out.

What are the typical "comments" that married men will tell their lover?

Katie, 35-year-old woman

Answer:

Dear Katie,

I hate to say this, but they say exactly what you relate in your email. Others include the following. "My wife doesn't understand me." "It has been over for years." "We have only been staying together for the kids." "We have only been staying together because of finances or business." "We can't afford a divorce right now." "We can't get a divorce yet because the kids are too young." "The passion is dead and we don't have sex anymore. But you're the one I really care about." "We are getting a divorce soon." These are some of the more popular ones.

Usually, the person who is cheating is lying to their lover, and rationalizing their behavior. Sometimes they are lying to themselves. Once in a great while they are telling the truth. However, that usually doesn't change anything because there is almost always a greater truth underneath.

Most people who get involved on both sides of infidelity have very poor relationship skills that make them an unsafe long term partner. They can often handle the beginning of a relationship well. They love the feeling of falling in love and can be quite romantic. They often judge the worth of a relationship solely on the feelings. Often, they view the day to day commitment and responsibility of a relationship as the antithesis of love. They then believe they are "out of love" and begin searching for another.

They commonly have poor communication skills and don't confront issues. They are often passive and let concerns build up until the feelings of love begin to lessen. They tend to have very immature ideas about what constitutes a good relationship and therefore overreact to typical and very solvable problems.

Underneath, most people who enter into affairs have closet commitment phobias. People with commitment phobias often desperately want relationships, but are equally afraid of relationships and therefore pick inappropriate ones. These would include people who are married, people who have severe problems such as alcoholism, and other issues that would make long term satisfying relationships impossible.

They either make sure they stay out of relationships where commitment is necessary, or they have multiple relationships and skirt the issue in that manner. When in a relationship, they often feel safe enough to date almost as if "mother" or "father" is the person at home. They are as terrified of being alone as they are of being cornered by intimacy with one person. They have a hard time leaving anyone because they fear being abandoned as much as they fear being smothered. This is a recipe for having an affair.

The longer the affair goes on without a resolution, the more likely that you have a commitment phobic on your hands. Five years is a long time. Even if he leaves his wife, you both have started out this relationship in the worst possible way. Both of you know that you are capable of lying and cheating in relationships. This is not a moral judgment. Most people who have affairs are nice people who are just scared, but trust will be difficult for both of you.

I would recommend finding a therapist and working on your commitment issues no matter what happens with the relationship.

Take care.

Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT

This question was answered by Jef Gazley M.S. Jef has practiced psychotherapy for twenty-five years, specializing in Love Addiction, Hypnotherapy, Relationship Management, Dysfunctional Families, Co-Dependency, Professional Coaching, and Trauma Issues. He is a trained counselor in EMDR, NET, TFT, and Applied Kinesiology. He is dedicated to guiding individuals to achieving a life long commitment to mental health and relationship mastery. His private practice locations are Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona. You can also visit Jef at the internettherapist, the first audiovisual mental health online counseling center on the net.

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