If one of you has had an affair then both of you enabled it
There are many reasons for infidelity or having cheated on your partner.
It is important to understand what led to you to be unfaithful because it is never as straightforward as it may seem.
In the South Asian community, having an affair is often seen as a common trait in men. History shows this, where kings even kept mistresses openly.
However, today, times have changed where Desi women are embarking on affairs in a much more active manner.
Some women are known to have affairs, especially after they marry in countries like India because it is ‘easier’ to conceal being married.
What Really Makes People Cheat?
Some people cheat because they were bored, felt neglected and had stopped communicating with their partner, others desired the thrill and excitement whilst others still suffer sexual addiction.
Socially constructed ideas of the normal show that there is a general belief that men and women are unfaithful for different reasons.
It is believed that men often feel secure in their relationship and have no desire to replace their partner they simply seek attention and sex. Whereas women often seek out extramarital affairs because they feel emotionally dissatisfied, that is they are lonely and aren’t getting the love or affection that they need.
However, it can be clearly said that the desire for sexual stimulation is not exclusively a male thing, neither is the desire for love, affection and attention exclusively a female trait.
Lack of sex or the quality of it can play a major role when it comes to having affairs for all genders.
With this in mind, curiosity does arise as to why is it that you cheated on your husband and had the affair? And is there enough emotional love and sexual intimacy in the marriage to prevent you from straying again?
My therapeutic experience unveils that there is usually a fault in the relationship dynamic which facilitates one or the other partner to believe that an affair or sexual encounter outside of the marriage is viable.
If one of you has had an affair then both of you enabled it. That doesn’t mean that the person who had the affair should be allowed to hop skip and jump away without recompense, ultimately that person chose to breach the trust in the relationship rather than say something about their difficulty.
The right thing to do is always raise the difficulty rather than run away and have an affair or release tension elsewhere.
Broken Trust & Impact
Breaking trust in a relationship often creates an irreparable chasm between couples.
Sometimes good solid bridges can be built, other times really solid unions are forged in the aftermath but sometimes the wounds and cracks left behind are deep and persistently spew out toxic waste, even if only tiny amounts, into the day to day experience of the relationship.
If you don’t feel loved emotionally or sexually or are lonely in the marriage then you need to find a way to let your husband know so you can work towards a happier union. Things left as they are could lead to another affair and the ultimate complete breakdown of your marriage.
Whatever the reason for the infidelity, the impact it has on individuals and the relationship cannot be underestimated.
Sexual and emotional infidelity, by its nature, leads to a wide range of psychological and physiological issues including physical and emotional pain, jealousy, abandonment issues, trauma, depression, anxiety, financial problems, or violent and aggressive behaviour between the couple to list a few.
Revealing the Affair
In this case, you are in a bind, if you don’t tell your husband it is possible that the secret will torment you and cause you significant distress which could manifest in a psychosomatic
However, if you do say something it is possible it will signal the end of your relationship or change it for the worse.
It could, on the other hand, trigger the confidence in both parties to really communicate about the relationship and you could collectively choose to make positive changes for the future. This can often mean embarking on a journey to seek forgiveness from the partner cheated on.
It would be easy to completely blame you for what led to the infidelity, this burden needs to be shared with your husband. As for taking the final step and breaching trust, that’s solely your burden.
Ultimately no matter how bad your marriage is, it is you who you took the decision to cheat, alone.
In South Asian culture the shame of being caught having an affair is significant. Also, the family unit is of great importance so being excluded or cast aside could cause tremendous emotional and financial loss.
Affairs do happen of course and having seen many couples with this problem, there are those that choose never to reveal the affair or that they cheated on their spouse to their family and community.
Rather they would do their best to continue the relationship, even if it lacks warmth, than lose their place in the family or community.
However, this may not apply to everyone and you may decide that the reason for the affair was that the relationship was over already.
Finally, take heed and note: if you are not looking after the emotional and sexual needs of your partner, who is? All relationships require commitment and work to re-ignite the love between them and to continually grow together.
Lohani Noor is an experienced empathic psychotherapist with a special interest in psychosexual therapies. She is resident at the Manchester Institute for Psychotherapy in Chorlton Manchester. Lohani works with individuals and couples covering a wide range of difficulties. She also offers long term group therapy. Details regarding Lohani and her practice can be found on this website.
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