Sexual Affairs: To Tell or Not To
How honest can we be in relationships? This is a common concern among couples striving for intimate relationships.
often discuss the importance of being honest and truthful within their relationships. A
common question Im asked is: Should I tell my partner about a sexual
affair. While dealing with the issue of affairs is a common theme in couple
counselling, I would not advise a client to tell
their partner about an affair, even if I believed that to be the best course of action.
However, I will always give them the following information to help them make their choice.
First of all, secrets are very
destructive, whether the topic is abuse, addiction, or sexual affairs. Secrets within
families are responsible for many of our psychological and emotional problems. With secrets in the way, family problems do not get
addressed. And when they dont get addressed, they fester from one generation to
another. They also have the potential to make people ill and create neurotic behaviors,
simply because of the worry of being found out.
In specific regard to sexual affairs
there are of course other factors to consider. The fact that the affair occurred in the
first place, often indicates a lack of intimacy in the relationship. One hopes to find missing closeness by going outside the
relationship. One rarely does find it because the capacity for intimacy lies within our own ability to be open and honest with
ourselves and others. So searching for another partner to meet this need, rarely works.
Adding another secret to withhold only creates more distance in the relationship.
I would then go on to help a client
see the consequences of either continuing on with the secret or becoming honest about
their behavior. For example, its important for people to understand that telling
about an affair can cause the end of the relationship. Obviously, this is a very difficult
choice to make, especially where children and finances are involved. On the other hand, I
dont believe the relationship can become healthy with secrets in the way. Usually,
people already are aware of this. Thats what brings the subject up to the counsellor
in the first place. Deep down, most of us know the destructiveness of secrets and lies.
Sometimes, when this information has
been shared, people decide in favor of truth and are willing to face the consequences of
their behavior. They dont do this because of what Ive said, but because living
with secrets and lies is simply too difficult.
At other times, people opt to stay trapped in their secrets. They accept that the consequence of this will be a more distant relationship. They decide to settle for less intimacy in order to reduce the risk of ending their marriages. I honor both courses of action because my goal is to help people make more informed choices in their lives.
For more information, please contact Krisanna Jeffery
Copyright © 2003 Krisanna Jeffery www.Krisanna.com