Being an intimacy and relationship coach, I am often asked a variety of questions on a daily basis from people who seek advice. One of the most frequent topics asked is about cheating and affairs. Today, I wish to share with you the most asked questions about cheating and affairs
1. Can treatment take place after healing?
Yes. On the condition that both parties are willing to commit to a process of painful healing
2. Is there a set criterion that a cheater would fall into?
According to Sue Hickey and Phillipa Sklaar, in their book called The Affair, a cheater can fall into any four categories:
1. The Narcissistic Cheater who constantly needs his ego stroked. He is likened to a needy child, always seeking reassurance from a new lover. He needs to be the center of attention.
2. The Opportunistic Cheater will look for an opportunity to cheat whilst away on a business trip or a bachelors party. They usually blame their love-less marriages for the reason why they are cheating. They do not believe they will be caught.
3. The Romantic Cheater has a certain fantasy about a new lover. The fantasy is about the love, not the person. These types of cheaters have no idea how the relationship will play out in reality. They are soul-mates.
Lastly, The Sexual Predator is known as the serial womanizer. Women also fit into this category. They use their sexuality to lure men in. Men use money as bait. These sexual predators see each conquest as a sexual victory and they love the thrill of the chase.
3. You spoke of a serial womanizer, is there an equivalent of this for women?
Women can fall easily into any of the above 4 categories. Women in 2018 have become sexual predators and believe that “what is good for the goose, is good for the gander”.
4. Younger people in their 20’s-30’s, seem to be engaging in affairs far earlier than in previous generations. Is this because of social media?
From as early as age 10 and onwards, kids are subjected to sitcoms where the concept of “cheating” is very prevalent. For example; So and so “cheated “ on so- and- so with so- and- so’s best friend. Sitcoms such as Two and a Half Men show Charlie as womanizer and how his nephew is exposed to his liberal lifestyle continuously. Social media also makes it a lot easier to hide affairs. Phones have passwords to protect one’s privacy.
5. Do you think a partner can trust again after cheating?
It is possible to trust again after an affair as long as both partners are willing to work really hard at a process of therapy. Accepting that in order to build the relationship up again, it must be torn down with love and support. In a very gentle and loving manner, the couple can begin to heal.
6. Do you think there are any positive outcomes of an affair?
The couple are able to rekindle a new spark. If they are open to exploring sexual fantasies, the couple can reach new levels of intimacy since vulnerability has already been explored in such detail.
7. Do you think that certain types of cheating are worse than others, for example, a kiss opposed to sex. Are there are different levels of cheating, some that are more acceptable than others?
If you are doing something that you are hiding from your partner, then you are cheating. The couple need to negotiate what they consider cheating, or not.
8. Women have a fear of relationships because the infidelity aspect is so real. What advice would you give to these women?
Believe it or not. Men have the same fear. Trust is one of the biggest issues in a relationship and without it, the relationship has no base. However, as a few wise people have said, “better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all’. We need to choose partners who is most similar to ourselves and we need to take a chance.
9. What are the tell-tale signs of cheating?
- A new obsession with self
- Weight loss
- New hairstyle
- New wardrobe
- Obsession with gym and body
- Secretive behavior
- Disconnected from the family
- Not present