This post is part two of the eight-part series on affairs and how to save your marriage. If you haven’t read the first part of the series, the link is below! Before reading Andrew G. Marshalls book, How Can I Ever Trust You Again?: Infidelity: From Discovery to Recovery in Seven Steps (affiliate), I didn’t realize there could be so many types of affairs. Today we are going to be talking about the “Cry For Help Affair.”
- The Accidental Affair
- The Cry For Help Affair
- The Retaliatory Affair
- The Self-Medication Affair
- The Don Juan and Doña Juana Affair
- The Tripod Affair
- The Exploratory Affair
- The Exit Affair
The Cry For Help Affair
These types of affairs are very different than an accidental affair. One key difference is that the couple is aware that there are problems in their relationship, whether the problems have been around for a couple months or even a year. The tendency in these relationships is one of the spouses will ignore the problems and hope they go away, and the other spouse is feeling alone and abandoned in the marriage.
This emotional distance and isolation is the perfect way for an affair to happen. It could be something as simple as a friend flirting with you to start the affair. These affairs are not planned and malicious, but more come from opportunity. Like the accidental affair, these affairs can be either emotional, sexual, or both.
The unfaithful partner in this marriage is not covering their tracks, they aren’t being hidden or planned about it. In fact, they might even want to be caught. These unfaithfuls have felt so alone, and the guilt might be eating up that they hope their partner finds out so they can reconnect with their partner through counseling. Usually the unfaithful, when caught, will give complete disclosure of everything that happened.
With this type of an affair, there can be an identifiable trigger like deaths, job losses, pregnancy, depression, etc.
The faithful spouses are often shocked because in these types of affairs the unfaithful is not acting like themselves. They are not the type to be unfaithful, which adds to the shock for the faithful spouse.
How To Save Your Marriage
Once these affairs have taken place, there are ways to save your marriage. This affair is the second to lowest on the severity of affairs, meaning there is a higher chance to save your marriage. These affairs are a poor way for a spouse to send a message to the faithful spouse to notice them, or to see there are problems in the marriage.
If you and your spouse post discovery are willing to work on your problems, saving your marriage can be achieved. Taking a hard look at each of the spouse’s behaviors, the issues within the marriage and individual issues each has is the first step. If you can address the root causes of the marital distress, there is hope for your marriage. Get into marriage counseling.
Addressing the root issue is key because once the problem is out in the open, it doesn’t have as much power over the couple. Even in recovery from addictions, they always say, “you’re only as sick as your secrets” so once the secret problems are brought out to the open, that is half the battle.
The one caveat to this affair is that the issues do need to be addressed for healing to occur, for both spouses. If the unfaithful spouse sees that there is no effort to face the issues head-on, and the faithful remains in an avoidant state, then this unfaithful might make this affair behavior apart of their pattern to self-medicate their pain. So addressing the issues is very important once this affair comes out. Addressing the problems now, rather than finding out your cry for help affair partner has escalated their unfaithful behaviors to more severe affairs like a tripod affair, which will be covered later in the series.
If you are currently struggling with communication, subscribe to get my 7-tips on communication, or, sign up for the waiting list for my course on how psychology can benefit relationships. In the course, we address some of those root issues, like your childhood, attachment styles, communication patterns, and more. Save your marriage now, don’t wait.