Sunday, March 21, 2010

Why Do Women Have Affairs? Knowledge is Powerful Preventive Medicine In Protecting Your Relationship and Marriage

Why do women have affairs? For the same reason most men do: because there’s nothing exciting them at home. What excites them may be quite different from what excites us, but boredom is even harder for them to handle than for us, so don’t expect them to handle it – do something about it before it happens!

Before we get started, I want to remind all of you again about our new forum. With fewer than 100 members, there are already some great relationship discussions rolling along, a lot of fun stuff starting to hit the Hobbies forum, including some good info on coffee roasting and grilling, several women getting involved, a suprising percentage of singles (confirming my suspicion that singles are interested in a lot more than just bedding someone and are willing to prepare for a long-term relationship), and more. And I haven't even had time to load up the newsletter archive or anything yet; these members are just talking, learning, and enjoying each other's company and friendship.


Forums can take anywhere from a month to a year to take off, but they always seem to end up creating a community worth belonging to if you have anything in common with even a small percentage of its members, and even at this early stage, you may really be missing out on something special, so take a few minutes to check it out at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/. Let me know what you think. Really. If you see something you like, take a minute and tell me, and if you see something or see something missing that causes you to not be interested, I'd really appreciate hearing about that, too. I'm not fishing for compliments here. I want to hear the bad as well as the good. I've put more work into this forum than you can imagine just to get it to where it is, and I don't want it to go to waste due to lack of communication with the people who want and need to use it.

I had a wonderful phone call from an old friend (I’ll call her Dina), and I do mean OLD – we went to grade school together and have kept in touch ever since. We had a mutual “crush” in the third grade, became good friends, and eventually got to be so much like brother and sister that “hooking up” was never a thought, let alone an option, for either of us. She got married in the middle of college, had three kids, and the kids are grown now and she and her husband, Danny, also a long-time friend, are left with a great big empty nest and each other. They’d had a major problem develop a few months prior, and she called to give me the details of how things were back on track and better than they had ever been.

Like so many other couples, they had been so involved in their kids that they had grown apart and while they still love and respect each other, their life together was much more like that of casual roommates than a married couple. They didn’t have much to talk about, didn’t sleep together often – I’m really talking about sleeping here; he fell asleep on the couch most nights watching TV, and they had “intimate relations” a couple times a year. OUCH!

That’s a lot of problems for two people to deal with, especially when you bring the causes into the mix. Their intimacy was severely hampered by occasional prostate problems he suffered, lack of personal interaction, different interests and schedules, “empty nest” syndrome – the couple had defined a huge portion of who they were as “parents” so when the kids were gone they had overwhelming feelings of lack of purpose and loneliness from the hole that was left in their lives -- and it finally caught up with them.

Dina had been particularly taken with a new employee in her office, a manager, her new boss (yes, that’s about as cliché as it gets, but remember that things become cliché because they are so common), and was working late both for the extra money and something to do. She enjoyed working for him, because he was a strong leader, good motivator, was genuinely interested in his employees’ welfare, and had a great sense of humor. He was also married and quite bored, being in a similar situation to Dina.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what came next, does it? Look at the boss. Strong leader, an alpha male characteristic. Good motivator and great sense of humor, both traits indicative of above average communications skills and very ANTI-BORING. Leadership and motivational skills coupled with his position as her boss put him in a position of defining authority for her frequently. Genuine interest in employees’ welfare coupled with good communications skills is intimacy waiting to happen.

He tripped her attraction triggers nine ways from Sunday, and in her mid-forties, she’s still quite physically attractive, intelligent, a good conversationalist, and has always been playful and a little flirtatious, so she tripped his, too. They finally succumbed to the temptation and immediately knew they had done something that they shouldn’t have done and couldn’t undo. Dina called a few months ago to tell me about all of this, and I went to visit them.

She disclosed all of this, and we went through all that had happened over the years (the same process described in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” for determining if you are with someone who is a good match for you, a critical step in fixing any major problems in mature relationships – if they’re bad for you, why fight to keep things together???) and she knew beyond any doubt that he was the man for her and that they had slowly and surely grown apart as they focused too much on their kids and careers and not enough on each other.

She knew she had to tell Danny what had happened, for a number of reasons, and asked me for advice. I gave her a copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and told her to go through it with him, to help him prepare for the news he was about to get and be better able to understand what had happened. She was scared, but he was and is pretty level-headed, so she agreed.

When he got home, she showed him the book and told him I had written it and wanted their evaluation of it, which was true (I’m always interested in reader feedback on any of my books), and over the days that followed I got letters and phone calls from him about various things, and when it was obvious that he had a good grasp of what attraction is, and how powerful a force it is in a woman, especially when she is bored and vulnerable, I told Dina it was time to find an opportunity to confess, which she did within a couple of evenings as they were discussing part of the book. She kept a small digital recorder handy waiting for the discussion so she could send it to me, and e-mailed a recording to me with some notes.

He had read a passage in the book talking about how women get bored and can literally lose their ability to reason and control of their actions when somebody restores that feeling and he said, “Man, that sounds like a recipe for disaster. If you were to get caught up in something like this, I wouldn’t like it, but I don’t think I could blame you, at least not any more than I would have to blame myself.”

Being a bit more direct than most women, and a lot more direct than I was accustomed to her being, she looked him dead in the eye and said, “Danny, it has happened, just once, and I knew the minute it was over that it shouldn’t have. I love you, and I’m taking responsibility for this. I didn’t choose to let you grow away from me, but I didn’t choose to prevent it either. I didn’t know what was happening, and thought it was something that just happened to everyone when they’d been together as long as we have, and didn’t think it would be a problem. I want you, and nobody else. I want to grow very, very old with you. I can’t promise you that I can live long enough to do that, but I can certainly promise you that we can keep this from happening again for as long as we are alive, and you know we can, too. I’m not going to ask for your answer now, because I can see you’re in shock and need time to think things through. You tell me when you’re ready to talk about this.”

He said to her, “I’m ready now. I’m no fool. I know why you did it. We’ve been sitting here talking about it for weeks. I’ll share the responsibility with you, because I’m just as guilty of ignoring both of us as you are. I knew things weren’t right, but didn’t know what to do about it. I love you, we’ve raised three kids and paid off two mortgages together, and frankly, I’m sick to death of the way things have been going. We’re in a rut, and we’ve got a tow-truck here in this book. It may be awhile before I can be with you without thinking of another man being with you, but as long as I know that we’re working on this together, I’ll get over it. I’m going to Randy’s (his brother) for the weekend to do some fishing and get my mind right, and when I get back, we’re going to take back our marriage.”

Dina was weirded completely out. Danny got up, threw some stuff in a bag, kissed her on the cheek as he went out the door, sent her a couple of text messages while he was gone that just said, “Thinking of you…” and came home Sunday night and went to bed. Come Monday morning, he woke her up with a kiss and a smile, and said, “This is it, Kiddo. Time to get back to being us. I’m going to go cook us some breakfast while you shower.”

Danny’s always been pretty much a “take-charge” kind of guy, and he did. He took what was in my book, added it to what he already knew of Dina, and had her swept completely off her feet in about three days. They still have occasional problems; Dina transferred to another department for obvious reasons, and didn’t enjoy the job as much as she did because she was working for her old boss, who was a bit weak and disinterested, and Danny occasionally has a nightmare about her affair, but they’re on track, regularly intimate, and haven’t had any discussions of the affair in several months now. Dina’s now found another job, not to leave the company where the affair happened, but to find something to do she can enjoy. Things are looking up all around.

There was a lot that went into saving their relationship. It took knowing that they were right for each other – highly compatible -- and that their 22 years together was a good investment that they needed to keep. It took knowing exactly what happened and why, so that there were no grudges, feelings of guilt or betrayal, or especially unworthiness. It took knowing how to fix the problem, choosing to fix it, and following through on that choice, too.

These things came from my book, some personal coaching to help them get through the emotional upheaval at times, and their knowledge of each other. The biggest thing required was the commitment to do what was necessary to fix the problem, which was much easier to make when they had read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and therefore knew that it not only COULD be done, in their case it SHOULD be done, what would be required, and that it was worth it.

Affairs can be avoided if you’re proactive, and they can often be overcome if you’re not, as long as you know what to do and just do it. I can give you all you need to know in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” but learning it and doing it is up to you. I strongly recommend the proactive approach, because the obvious emotional upheaval of an affair can be devastating, and it’s a risk of sustaining permanent damage that you don’t have to take at all. It’s rare that the easy way out is the best possible way, and you should always take advantage of such an opportunity, because it doesn’t come around that often. Your easiest and best way out of this situation is waiting for you at http://www.makingherhappy.com/, so go get it and get started, because life’s too short to do things the long and hard way (unless of course you’re talking about sex!)

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!
David Cunningham

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