12
   

Cheating on your spouse can be more of a blessing than a sin

 
 
Reply Sun 8 Jun, 2008 02:54 am
At least that's what a therapist ...

http://i29.tinypic.com/2v8sn6s.jpg

... writes in her new self-help book


http://i30.tinypic.com/34o4jrb.jpg
(The Observer, 08.06.08, page 17)
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 8 Jun, 2008 02:54 am
The Observer: Why adultery can help save a marriage
Quote:
Therapist is under fire for saying that cheating on your spouse can be more of a blessing than a sin

Amelia Hill, social affairs correspondent
Sunday June 8, 2008

A controversial self-help book for married philanderers claims most adulterers are good, kind people. It says affairs can help a marriage and that those who stray should never admit it because the truth can cause even more damage.
'Cheating on your spouse isn't a moral act, but most men and woman who have affairs are good people who made a mistake,' said Mira Kirshenbaum, author of When Good People Have Affairs, published this week. 'They never thought it would happen to them but, suddenly, they're in this complicated, dangerous situation. We all agree that infidelity is a mistake. But once you've crossed the line, what then?

Kirshenbaum has been criticised by her peers for saying cheats deserve sympathy and understanding. 'Adulterers are neither kind nor good people, so what sort of sympathy are we supposed to give them?', said Leila Collins, a psychologist who has given relationship counselling for 15 years. 'A good person doesn't betray their loved ones. A good person who is unsatisfied in their relationship ends it before starting a new one.'
Kirshenbaum, clinical director of the Chestnut Hill Institute, a centre for relationship therapy and research in Boston, Massachusetts, admits that infidelity is a controversial topic to address sympathetically. 'But these people are suffering terribly and need to be relieved of their sense of guilt and shame because those emotions are paralysing,' she said.

Those who have affairs are seeking real happiness and love in their lives, believes Kirshenbaum, who has been treating couples and individuals for 30 years and has written 10 books on relationships. 'Until now, the story of these men and women has never been told,' she said. 'Shame and fear have kept it in the closet and so they haven't had the understanding that might save them from ruining the lives of everyone involved.'

She believes that society's refusal to have a sympathetic discussion of infidelity has meant that the positive sides of betraying a spouse have been ignored. 'Sometimes an affair can be the best way for the person who has been unfaithful to get the information and impetus to change,' she said. 'I'm not encouraging affairs, but underlying the complicated mess is a kind of deep and delicate wisdom. It's an insight that something isn't working and needs to change.'

Her views reflect the plotline of Adrian Lyne's 2002 film, Unfaithful, in which Richard Gere's love for his wife, Diane Lane, is rekindled by her affair with a younger man, Olivier Martinez. 'If handled right, an affair can be therapeutic, give clarity and jolt people from their inertia,' she said. 'You could think of it as a radical but necessary medical procedure. If your marriage is in cardiac arrest, an affair can be a defibrillator.'

Kirshenbaum believes there are 17 reasons why people have affairs, including the see-if affair, the distraction affair and the sexual-panic affair. To help people decide whether their infidelity should spell the end of their marriage, she lists a few that she believes do indicate the relationship is over - and those that do not. 'You should stay with your partner if your affair is a heating-up-your-marriage affair, let's-kill-this-relationship-and-see-if-it-comes-back-to-life affair, do-I-still-have-it affair, accidental affair, revenge affair or midlife-crisis affair,' said Kirshenbaum.

'But you need to think carefully about whether to stay with your primary partner if your affair is of the following kinds: the break-out-into-selfhood affair, unmet-need affair, having-experiences-I-missed-out-on affair, surrogate-therapy affair, ejector-seat affair,' she said.

Kirshenbaum is adamant that an adulterer must never confess - not even if their partner asks directly. 'This is the one area in which the truth usually creates far more damage in the long run,' she said. 'A lot of people confess because they feel they just have to be honest. Well, honesty is great. But it's a very abstract moral principle. A much more concrete, and much higher, moral principle is not hurting people. And when you confess to having an affair, you are hurting someone. If you care that much about honesty, figure out who you want to be with, commit to that relationship and devote the rest of your life to making it the most honest relationship you can,' she said.

There are two huge exceptions to not telling. 'If you're having an affair and you haven't practised safe sex, you have to tell,' she said. 'You also have to tell if discovery is imminent or likely. If it's clear that you're going to be found out, it's better for you to make the confession first.'

Another reason for not telling is that it makes it far more difficult for a remorseful adulterer to return to the fold. 'If your partner will find out about your affair, your whole future happiness together depends on whether he's basically vengeful or basically merciful,' she said.

Kirshenbaum's opinion on what constitutes a happy ending is also controversial. Divorce, she believes, can be the path to a bright future. 'Sometimes - many times, in fact - divorce is worth it,' she said. 'It plays an important function. It gets us out of misery-making marriages and we have a chance of finding happiness somewhere else.'
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Jun, 2008 03:09 am
Mira Kirshenbaum's blog: Affairs: The Secret Epidemic: What to do when you find your spouse has been cheating:

Quote:
Now if you want to save your marriage, here's what you need to do.

Understand that your marriage needs to be on life support. It may not survive even if you want it to unless you get professional help. So now is the time to let your partner know you know he has cheated. Don't get caught up in his denials. Just let him know that if he wants to stay married to you he's got to go into couples therapy with you. That's it. Cheating means couples therapy. It's a very simple equation.

Here's why this is smart. In couples therapy you will be helped to avoid making a lot of mistakes, and it's mistakes at a time like this that could kill a marriage that could otherwise survive.

Until you see your therapist, try as hard as you can not to make a bad situation worse. If you want your spouse to sleep on the couch, fine. But try to avoid talking about it. You'll just be creating the possibility of more lies or else one of you saying things you'll truly regret.

If you don't want to save your marriage, again go slow. But this time you need to see a lawyer before you do anything. Don't even confront your spouse yet. A lawyer can show you what you need to do to protect yourself, and a lot of those protections will go by the board if you talk to your spouse before you talk to your lawyer.

With your lawyer's guidance, you will be able to get your ducks in a line before you say anything to your spouse.

And what if you just don't know what to do? Again, get help before you confront. This time you need help in the form of a therapist. You need to talk to someone wise and experienced who can help you figure out what you want and what's best for you to do.

What does all this advice add up to? Look before you leap. That's it. You're in an emotionally charged and very dangerous situation. Nine times out of ten, it's the bad handling, not this situation itself, that causes all the damage.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 03:03 am
Today, the Telegraph has a report about this as well:


"Having an affair could save your marriage". This is according to a "controversial new self-help book", and is based on the idea that "helps to jolt people from their inertia".
0 Replies
 
Bohne
 
  3  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 05:43 am
I don't care how messed up my marriage was...

An affair would NEVER be the answer!

However, there is no denying that some couples went through this and emerged (maybe stronger than before).
I know at least one!
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 05:59 am
I think it depends on the couple.

Im not FOND of the idea of people having affairs, but Im not so sure I strike it completely from the books either ya know?
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 06:04 am
I have long believed that an affair can often keep a marriage together. I am referring now to people who are in bad marriages, when for one reason or another ( religion, kids, finances, etc.), divorce is an undesirable option. In those cases, the affair will often bring to it the relief that the marriage needs to hold it together.

Marriage is a process, which takes hard work. Sometimes, during one's lifetime, when life becomes rocky, even in a basically good marriage, an affair can enable a person to get through the rough spots. I am not talking now about people who make a game out of cheating, over and over again. IMO, that is a personality problem which needs to be adressed professionally.

I am referring to the once in a lifetime "slip", that will sometimes enable the cheating spouse to realize the value of his/her marriage. I agree with those who say that the affair should never be revealed to the spouse.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 06:43 am
I think Walter is projecting.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 08:40 am
JPB wrote:
I think Walter is projecting.


Not really - but I admit that a similar theme had been part of my exams and licensing, ages ago ([German] Scientific Society for Client Centered Therapy).

I thought it to be interesting that some ideas of the past-68-years are now coming up again.
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 09:55 am
walter quoted :

Quote:
"Having an affair could save your marriage".


instead of whispering "sweet nothings" into mrs. walter's ear , might walter have whispered : "Having an affair could save our marriage" ? Laughing Shocked

waiting for latest self-portrait of walter showing black-and-blue eyes . :wink:
hbg
0 Replies
 
cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 09:57 am
Yeah, Walt, why don't you try it and report back on how it goes.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 04:01 pm
hamburger wrote:
walter quoted :

Quote:
"Having an affair could save your marriage".


instead of whispering "sweet nothings" into mrs. walter's ear , might walter have whispered : "Having an affair could save our marriage" ? Laughing Shocked

waiting for latest self-portrait of walter showing black-and-blue eyes . :wink:
hbg


obviously not paying attention to the part that says that the cheating spouse must never tell about it
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 04:12 pm
re the central point: Absolutely, cheating can save a marriage.... even better it can go a long way towards making a spouse who feels unloved and unwanted whole again. I personally have a problem with cheating, but many people don't so there is not a good reason to condemn the author for fleshing out this argument. The negative response is another example of the PC Police trying to force peoples thoughts to conform to reality as they wish it was, rather than reality as it really is. Scr*w them, we should not let childish complaints suck our time and energy. we dont have either to waste, we moderns have many real problems that demand our attention.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 04:21 pm
huh?

just which author are you referring to? The author of the thread or the author of the book?

Just in case you were referring to my comment directed at the author of the thread, that is my actual, honest-to-goodness-no-PC-police-whatsoever opinion, k?
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 06:12 pm
JPB wrote:
huh?

just which author are you referring to? The author of the thread or the author of the book?

Just in case you were referring to my comment directed at the author of the thread, that is my actual, honest-to-goodness-no-PC-police-whatsoever opinion, k?


I was reacting to the following in the second post
Quote:
Kirshenbaum has been criticised by her peers for saying


I don't know this author, I don't know this book, I don't know about particular reaction to this book, but I do know how this story goes. It is mostly fine for pro's to make unpopular arguments in professional settings, it is mostly fine to publish troubling case studies in professional journals, but it is an unforgivable sin to publish professonally unpopular ideas in the popular press. Pro's who make arguments that are viewed to be unhelpful to the profession, even if there is every reason to think the points are valid, are vilified as a matter of course. Her taking the tack she does, stating that she does not believe in cheating and is only try to help those who have cheated or who have a spouse who has cheated understand what has happened and make the most of it will not protect her from the flame throwers.

She has enough money and is old enough that she does not care, she will speak her mind and let the angry mob do what they will, is the way I read this. Bravo.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 06:37 pm
What about respecting the other person enough to treat them like an adult so that they can know what the hell is going on in their own life and can make an informed decision about whether or not they want to be married to someone who would and/or has cheated?

I'm sorry - but I think this approach is just ******* paternalistic and cowardly to use two words. And it's a cop out.

Don't ever let someone you're supposed to love and who, by the way is maybe trustingly loving and respecting you know who you really are and what you really did and that, by the way what they've always believed might be true about their own life is (for god's sake) an utter lie because really - that's the KINDEST thing to do -
Jesus Christ.
And keep just smiling in their face while you're lying to them and sleeping around because that's the KINDEST THING to do FOR THEM- yeah, okay...

And people buy this ****?

I fully accept that people fall in and out of love and that's fine - that's life - but to live a lie and force another person to be complicit in that lie because they don't know any better is not kind -no - not kind at all.

And I don't care how many degrees she has - common sense tells me different.
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 07:24 pm
I don't see how cheating on your spouse can be a good thing for either of you. Maybe the counselling and talking after can help clear things out, but cheating is clearly a betrayal. Yeah, I'm old-fashioned. If I was going to cheat, I'd leave my partner first. I think it's a dirty thing to do to someone you say you love. Unless you're both into non-exclusivity, in which case, that's a whole different ball game.
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 07:53 pm
It's have your cake and eat it, too.

Control...

KMA
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 08:54 pm
Quote:
Kirshenbaum is adamant that an adulterer must never confess - not even if their partner asks directly. 'This is the one area in which the truth usually creates far more damage in the long run,' she said. 'A lot of people confess because they feel they just have to be honest. Well, honesty is great. But it's a very abstract moral principle


How ridiculous. Honesty is an abstract moral principal, huh? It's one of the first moral principals we teach our children when they are two or three years old and begin using language.

Is it an abstract moral principal to the one being lied to or only conveniently to the one who wants to continue to lie - whether by commission or ommission.

I wonder if the tables were turned, if the one who feels that they are being the 'lying protector' would also enjoy being the 'lied to protected'.
The concept of honesty would probably seem a lot less abstract and more concrete to him or her then.

And if you don't want to hurt someone - you don't hurt them. You don't do something that you KNOW will hurt them and then lie about it to keep from hurting them.

Is this what any of us would teach our children to do? If so - I'm scared as **** to continue living in this world-where the very people who are supposed to understand and teach others how to function are advocating taking the power of decision out of another adult's hands- advocating making unilateral decisions that will affect another person for the rest of that person's life.
I find this indescribably crazy.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 09:02 pm
Phillip Wylie once wrote that he would be disappointed if he learned in his old age that his wife had never had a single affair. He felt that humans are as animal as any other creature, and that comparative animal studies show humans to need the extracurricular partner from time to time. It is advice I have never followed.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Cheating on your spouse can be more of a blessing than a sin
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.05 seconds on 07/19/2019 at 09:37:25