Tuesday, October 13, 2009

When Does An Affair Begin?

I have watched how people's dog hobby can develop into something destructive to their marriage. People with dogs gravitate to people with dogs. Just like people who find hobbies online will gravitate to others also online. If you are into dogs, then get your spouse involved, too. But, beyond that, it is important to keep your relationship healthy. Don't let problems fester. Be responsible. Put in effort. Learn to listen and love. Don't escape into the arms of another, but learn to focus that energy into your marriage. Practice love... don't betray your partner and cheapen yourself and your relationship by cheating.

Affairs not only kill relationships, they eat away at your soul and destroy you and your partner and your kids over time. And it affects your dogs, too.

Those fights you have over the dog aren't really about the dog.

How do you know trouble is brewing? Often it comes as people start asking, "what 'technically' is cheating?" The answer is:

The first moment you're doing something you don't want your partner to see. "In the last three years, we've seen an astronomical increase in Internet-related affairs," said Sharpe, with the Life Connection Counseling Center. "This whole affairs thing is just off the charts." Sharpe said these illicit relationships usually start slowly and innocently, develop over time, and last a year or more before they are discovered. He said that 95 percent of the time, the spouses will never admit to the affair until they are caught, usually by their partners finding e-mails or phone bills.

What to do?

1.) Stop trying to escape the real world. Put effort into your relationship, including acting like an adult and solving the problems you face, and accepting that life is a series of struggles. The struggles of life never end... that is the way the real world works. Love only ends when you allow it to end. Learn to work through the problems of life, instead of using them as an excuse for escape, or as a club of revenge against your spouse. Don't let your dog hobby become an escape from your marriage. It is all too easy to think that other people, of the opposite sex, who share your interests somehow "understand" you better... that's just self deception. If you were with them, you'd have a whole new set of life challenges, maybe even more difficult than the ones you are facing right now.
2.) Talk with your spouse about your interests and hobbies and activities, your concerns and temptations, the challenges of life and the plans you both have to work through them, what boundaries you are going to set, and be completely transparent about your time and intent. Share passwords, phone numbers, calendars, and account information. Invite your spouse to accompany you to your hobby events, and if you are the one invited be sure to show interest and attend yourself. And get involved in those things that interest your spouse, too.
3.) Recognize the signs of infidelity: "When one or both partners get involved in Internet relationships with the opposite sex, it causes tremendous damage to the relationship. It can take a long time to rebuild trust," she said. After helping people with what he calls addictive behavior related to the new media — pornography, video games, cell phone texting, affairs and other abuses of Twitter and Facebook — he is ready to see people unplug.
4.) Set consequences. Make it clear up front that if there is infidelity or hiding / secrecy, that the relationship is over. If the other person thinks they can get away with it, they will be more tempted to cross the line and cheat the first time, and treat you like a doormat, then they will do it again and again.

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