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How To Stop Your Partner Having Affairs

April 09, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 135

Most people who are having an affair feel very mixed up, like a kid stealing sweets, they want to and they don't. Having taught Motivational Psychology for 20 years, I'm convinced that changing behaviour to prevent having affairs is no different to making any other important life change. If you are having an affair, or you believe your partner is having an affair, and you want to feel less mixed up here are some ideas that will help.

Permission Giving Beliefs

A permission giving belief is a thought, or belief, that is manufactured with the express purpose of doing something that we know we really shouldn't. Everyday life is riddled with them. They become so insidious that we hardly notice them; "one more piece of cake won't hurt" and "I'll start my diet next week" are the kind of common statements we all make all the time to enable us to carry on doing things that we know we should change. We look for ways to justify these behaviours to ourselves, to make it easier to accept, and to keep on doing something we know we shouldn't. It is exactly the same with having affairs.

When I'm in a psychotherapy session with a person who is having an affair I'm always very interested to hear what the Permission Giving Belief is. The common ones are:

  • My wife/ husband doesn't really love me.
  • I can't help it, it just kind of happened.
  • It's not that serious and nobody will find out.

All these statements, whether true or not, go towards serving only one purpose, to ease the way for doing something we know is wrong. So, what next?

After you have identified the Permission Giving Belief it's important to reframe it. To change it completely is often a step too far, but to go from "I can't help it, it just kind of happened" to "although it feels like it's out of my control and I can't help it, I am responsible for my actions and I can change if I want" for most people is a helpful and positive step towards change. When a belief is reframed in this way it has a huge impact upon behaviour.

This in itself is no guarantee of change but it will certainly make it much more difficult to carry on without changing.

Ambivalence Resolution

As I said at the outset, most people who are having an affair are pretty mixed up. To be more precise they are classically ambivalent; feeling at least 2 different ways about something. As Professor Rollnick wisely observed in his work on motivation, "the true meaning of ambivalence can be witnessed when a person who is having an affair oscillates violently between spouse and other partner". When I am in a psychotherapy session talking to a person who is having an affair I want to hear both sides of their ambivalence; why they do and why they don't.

Unfortunately, a lot of traditional counseling and psychotherapy tends to inadvertently elicit defensive behaviour, permission giving beliefs and only one side of ambivalence. The only real way to resolve ambivalence is to be able to understand and explore both sides remembering the old psychological adage that "we learn what we believe as we hear ourselves talk". Therefore if I am constantly hearing someone say "I can't leave my wife for my other partner" I know they won't. Not because they can't but because they are learning that they can't. The more they say this statement, the more they begin believing it. This is an important and central point in all ambivalence resolution.

When you are talking about your affair, or with your partner who is having an affair be aware that what you say informs your beliefs, and your beliefs shape reality. Be extra aware of the language that is being used and increase the language that elicits change.

The ideas that I have written about do work and help people change. They are part of an evidence based therapeutic approach that I use on a daily basis and have been involved with for over 20 years. If they do not help you, just keep looking until you find something that does. One approach does not fit everybody and there will be something that works for you.

Affairs and infidelity ruins peoples lives and it's important to know that help is available and there will be something that is helpful for you.

Find out more about how people are overcoming relationship problems, affairs and all manner of life's difficulties. Read about normal people making incredible changes

If you are trying to cope with an affair and want to sort your life out you might want to talk to a professional

Source: EzineArticles
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