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Having an Affair? Prepare to Become Aware, Repair, and Share

The Epidemic

Why do so many people have affairs? Why do so many people look outside of their relationships to feel fulfilled? How is it that having affairs has become so prevalent in so many societies? Add to those high numbers all the men and women who are attracted to people other than their partners, even if they choose not to act on that attraction, and we have a true epidemic. It is time to fully understand what has happened and what can be done about it as individuals.

The common understanding of affairs is summed up in one word: cheating. That one word is defined by: deception, trickery, fraud, misleading, eluding, fooling, escaping, dishonesty, violation, artifice. All these strong words stir up even more hurt and anger than the first word. They all are about blame and judgment, which only makes the problem worse. It is a deeper understanding that we need to seek instead to make a difference.

What is the attraction that we can feel towards people other than our partners? It is the belief that our emotional needs are not being met within our relationship. When emotional needs are not being met in a relationship, we subconsciously look outside of it for a way to fill them. When we do this, it leads us into situations where we are attracted to somebody else.

Meeting Emotional Needs

The belief that our partners are not meeting our emotional needs points towards the core issue, which is the belief that our partners are responsible for keeping us emotionally fulfilled on some level. This exists in the majority of relationships, where both partners have the expectation and place the burden on the other to fill their needs.

If you look outside yourself to get your emotional needs met, I can guarantee you that you will eventually be disappointed, probably over and over. Despite what you have been taught, what you have learned, and what you have observed about all the relationships around you, the only true contentment and peace in a marriage or partnership comes when you learn how to meet your own emotional needs and bring that balance into the relationship.

What you are looking for outside yourself is simply a misunderstanding of what you need. Emotional needs can only be met internally. Affairs happen because so many people do not understand this. You can use an external attraction to help you identify what emotional need you need to meet yourself. Let me show you how this works.

The Steps in Meeting Your Needs

First, acknowledge that in the attraction that you feel, there is an emotional need that you want to be filled by this other person that your partner does not fill for you. This step should be relatively easy. Then think about that need and how you think it is being filled by this person that you are attracted to. You may not be fully aware of it at this point. To uncover it, look at what you feel in the attraction to the other person.

For example, you may be attracted to this other person because they make you feel important. The next step is to ask yourself, how is it that I do not feel important in my own life. If they make you feel appreciated, ask yourself how am I not appreciating myself? If you feel loved, ask yourself how I not loving myself.

Then look at that need from within the context of your existing relationship. Acknowledge the different ways in which you think your partner is not filling that need for you, how your partner does not make you important, appreciated, happy, etc. You could probably make a list of the different ways in which this disappointment has occurred in the relationship.

Now think about your past. How many times in your past have you not felt important, appreciated, loved, or whatever that emotional feeling is that you feel you are not getting in your relationship, but think you are outside of it. Are you beginning to see a common thread? You are reliving your past yet again and you will continue to do so until you finally figure out that you cannot get that need met externally. Thinking that it is being met in an affair or through your attraction is a short term gratification, which in the long term will not meet your needs, just like your relationship didn't.

Is There Hope For Healing?

How many times have you already tried to ineffectively meet this need throughout your life? Having an attraction to somebody else, especially if it has already led into an affair, is like the proverbial 2x4 being used to try to get you to wake up to this. If you are at this point, you have repeatedly not gotten the message and after the dust settles, the pain that you will ultimately experience will be devastating. Choose to learn how to meet this emotional need yourself, avoid the devastation, and stop the cycle of experiencing the pain of not having your emotional needs met.

For those of you who have already experienced the devastation that an affair brings, and there are millions of you, there is still hope and healing available to you. For the partners of those who have had affairs, there is a way to heal the hurt that the affair has caused. If you want to stay in your relationship, the core issues can be addressed in both of you, and you will be able to not only move past the affair together, you will be able to enter into a new level of intimacy that was not previously accessible.

Life is such that many times we require that depth of hurt in order to become aware of problems that we have been ignoring, mostly because we just don't know what to do differently. My purpose is to help you raise your awareness of yourself so that you can stop experiencing so much hurt and make different choices. You have been hurt in so many ways, but you don't need to experience that anymore. Your alternative is to learn what you need to know to grow as an individual.

Needing to Feel Important as an Example

One of the illusions that an affair brings is that you think you feel whole and complete, making you feel so alive. While you are in the middle of this feeling, nothing will convince you otherwise. You will typically have to wait until the illusion disintegrates and you are left with more pain than you started with. You can avoid that pain and make a choice to change now. Let’s use an example of filling the need of feeling important. First you watch to see where your beliefs tell you that you are not important.

The first ones that come up will be the beliefs that lay the blame on your partner. You only believe that your partner does not see you as important because you don’ t fully believe that you are important yourself. Your mind filters what you see and hear so that you find the evidence to support your beliefs, whether they are right or wrong. If your core belief on some level is that you are not important, that is all you will see. You will repeatedly collect evidence for that belief. When you look inside yourself to see where you are not important, go back into your past, go very far back into your childhood to see where that belief originated. That is where you will see how you first took on that belief.

The Origin of Limiting Beliefs

A limiting belief like not being important is created by either being told in so many words that you were not important, by being rejected on some level, by something having happened to you where in your little boy’s or little girl’s mind, you came to the conclusion that you just were not important to one or both of your parents. You have carried that belief into the present moment and that belief is the driving force behind your current actions. It is because of that belief that you keep looking for that feeling of being important to somebody, anybody, but you! The only real answer lies in recognizing where in your past you started to think this. When you understand the innocence of your mistaken belief, that it made sense to you so long ago but it is now hurting you, you can change that deeply hidden belief and forgive yourself for unknowingly hurting yourself all this time.

This alone will be tremendously freeing for you, knowing that you don’t have to do this to yourself anymore. From there you can choose to see how you have value and how you are important. There will likely be other beliefs that tie into that main one and as they come up, identify where they had a strong influence in your past and let them go. Letting a limiting belief like that go is not the same as stuffing it down. You need to watch your thoughts around the subject and watch how your mind leads you to that thought’s origin. Sometimes this can take a few days, a few weeks, or in extreme situations, a few months. Yet you will get there and have that “aha” moment that signals your understanding of yourself.

The Results of Meeting Your Needs

From there you can work on introducing new and supportive beliefs of how you do have value from the perspective of being important. All emotional needs can be very simply filled once you remove the barrier to seeing the need within yourself. From that point on your relationship will significantly change.

You will see how you have been expecting or burdening your partner with trying to meet that need for you. They will then have the opportunity to learn by example how they too can be responsible for filling their own emotional needs. That is really the wholeness that you seek in a relationship and this process, when done together is what leads you to that relationship that you have always wanted.

When you learn to fill your own emotional needs, you stop being attracted to other people, because you are already meeting that need. You are no longer at the mercy of trying to get other people to fill that need. There may be more than one need that you are not filling for yourself. It will become apparent as soon as you start to notice an attraction to somebody else. After you learn how to fill a need like this just once, it becomes much easier to know the steps you can take to identify and meet any other needs.

If anyone that you know if having an affair, is contemplating an affair or is attracted to somebody outside of their relationship, send this article to them. There is a whole world of people that need to learn how to meet their own emotional needs. Together, lets start a new mission of “End the Emotional Pain Now!”

If you want to repair an affair or want help with any other issue, get The Help You Need. Right Here. Right Now.

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Ewa Schwarz
OnlineCounseling.org

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