Rumor has it that once courts reopen after our quarantine, the number of divorces will skyrocket. Is that true? I checked my crystal ball and it has stopped working. I do know we have received an increasing number of calls from new clients and couples in distress.
Back in the old days – i.e., pre-pandemic – about 50% of the couples we saw came to therapy as a result of one partner having an affair. Those couples have continued working with us virtually. This extended period of confinement has actually helped their relationships. They’ve had an opportunity to build trust, work closely as a team, manage COVID-19 stress together, become a more cohesive family. It’s increased the amount of “family time” exponentially, along with a renewed appreciation of the family unit.
All of this made me wonder, what has happened to undiscovered “affairs”; the ones that are still a secret? Are they continuing, just virtually? Have they stopped? Has the person having the affair realized the value of his spouse and decided to work on his marriage? What happens when one partner discovers the other’s infidelity while quarantined?
A new client, Alana, called for just this reason. She suspected her husband was having an affair over the last six months. Mitch began working late more often and stopped letting her know what time he’d be home.
Since the quarantine, Alana caught him several times acting suspicious around her. He quickly closed his computer when she came in the room, and several times seemed to shield his phone. He wanted to go for walks alone, even though she offered to go with him. He always took his phone.
While he was out on a walk one day, Alana decided to check his email. When she opened his computer, she found he had changed his password. She couldn’t get into it.
Alana noticed another change. Mitch started to take more of an interest in his appearance. He began working out and lost 15 pounds. He bought some new clothes and seemed to take more time grooming in the bathroom.
Over the last several years, their sex life had dwindled. Mitch seemed less interested, which was fine for Alana. His desire had always been greater than hers. She just thought he was getting older.
Alana reached out to me for an individual session. She shared her story and realized, after putting all the clues together, that Mitch was likely having an affair.
She confronted him the next week and Mitch acknowledged he had been seeing someone from work. Alana was devastated, but also relieved that her suspicions were real, that she wasn’t “crazy.”
If you suspect infidelity, this might be a “good time,” or a “not so good time,” to face the question. It could be an opportunity to work on things instead of living parallel lives. However, if you confront this, you have to be ready to deal with the response you get. If you’re not, it’s best to wait.
Most people think if their husband or wife had an affair, it would be a deal breaker. For some it is; but for many, when it happens, it’s just not that simple of a decision. You have a life and maybe kids together, you still love the person despite the intense pain you may feel, and a “family” is at stake.
An affair severely wounds a marriage. However, for many partners it does not mean the end. We have worked with many couples who have faced the pain and developed a new relationship that is deeper and more intimate than ever before. Don’t give up if this is your situation. If you decide to work on it, CALL US now! We are here to help.
Your relationship deserves the highest level of support. Relationship Experts, Bob and Lori Hollander are committed to helping individuals and couples build connection and deepen bonds in a world that often makes it difficult.
Call them at 410-363-2825 or email them today, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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