Just because infidelity in increasingly common doesn't mean that most people understand it. So much of the advice on television shows and in popular books about how to affair-proof your marriage is misleading. In fact, much of the conventional wisdom about what causes affairs and how to repair relationships is misguided.
Popular thinking about infidelity - the therapy that deals with it - is clouded by myths. The facts, which my research and clinical experience prove, are much more surprising and thought-provoking than unfounded popular and clinical assumptions. Here are a few truths that you will learn from this book:
Assumption: Affairs happen in unhappy or unloving marriages.
Fact: Affairs can happen in good marriages. Affairs are less about love and more about sliding across boundaries.
Assumption: Affairs occur mostly because of sexual attraction.
Fact: The lure of an affair is how the unfaithful partner is mirrored back through the adoring eyes of the new love. Another appeal is that individuals experience new roles and opportunities for growth in new relationships.
Assumption: A cheating partner almost always leaves clues, so a naive spouse must be burying his or head in the sand.
Fact: The majority of affairs are never detected. Some individuals can successfully compartmentalize their lives or are such brilliant liars that their partner never finds out.
Assumption: A persona having an affair shows less interest in sex at home.
Fact: The excitement of an affair can increase passion at home and make sex even more interesting.
Assumption: The person having an affair isn't "getting enough" at home.
Fact: The truth is that the unfaithful partner may not be giving enough. In fact, the spouse who gives too little is at greater risk than the spouse who gives too much because he or she is less invested.
Assumption: A straying partner finds fault with everything you do.
Fact: He or she may in fact become Mr. or Mrs. Wonderful in order to escape detection. Most likely, he or she will be alternately critical and devoted.
- An excerpt from Not "Just Friends" by Shirley P. Glass, Ph.D.