The Slippery Slope of Infidelity
I’ve written in past about the slippery slope of technology. Now I’m onto another slippery slope…infidelity. They’re actually somewhat related because sometimes one is used to lead to the other. But that’s not always the case. Affairs often happen with those you don’t expect it to: a close friend, a co-worker, the mom or dad of a child on the soccer team. It can be anywhere. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have sat with partners, as they try to pick up the pieces and rebuild trust, who say things like, “I would never have guessed s/he would ever do this to me.” So to those who think it would never happen to their relationship, you might want to rethink that and guard against the possibility. You see, most people do not walk down the aisle on their wedding day wondering when the affair will happen or how long it will take until they ‘cheat’. They have hopes and dreams, often idealistic, of a life together with the partner they have chosen who they love dearly. But life gets in the way and it can become difficult to stay connected in this crazy fast paced world. If the right set of circumstances arise, at the right time (when the relationship is at a low), then the slippery slope may be stepped on and away you go.
What does the slope look like? It’s a glance. It’s a feeling. And it’s full of energy and momentum. It often begins emotionally (emotional affairs are real) and sometimes develops into a physical affair. Either one hurts.
How do you guards against it. Spend time with the person you love and remember the commitment you made to them to love, honour and cherish (or whatever your vows stated). If you feel that ‘flutter’ with someone else be honest with yourself and use it as a sign that your relationship needs a little work. If you’re hesitant to tell your partner that you’ve had coffee, lunch or are texting with someone else it’s a sure sign that the ride down the slope has begun. Stop rationalizing it (We’re just friends) and call it what it is…..DANGEROUS!! Don’t beat yourself up, just know that now is the time to stop it and don’t hesitate to seek a good therapist to guide you in reconnecting with your partner. In the early stages a few sessions can really help prevent long term damage.
It’s hard to describe the pain I see in couples who have experienced the betrayal. And it’s difficult to predict who will or won’t be able to survive the affair. So do yourself, your partner and your family a favour—don’t step onto the slope. Because once you do it’s a very slippery and fast ride.