Lasting impacts of extramarital affairs

“I like to eat apples and bananas”

Couples choosing to have children embark on what is likely the most important decision they will ever make together. Becoming a family involves a readjustment of priorities and responsibilities. There is an obvious shift in focus to children. Healthy families intuitively develop child-centered decisions. Where to live, work, and play realign with the new reality of living with babies and young children.

Many couples struggle with this intense period of care-giving and start a pattern of neglecting their relationship as a couple. Wise couples develop a healthy balance of wellness where both martial and family needs are met. Regular date nights, occasional weekend get- aways together, and family holidays are some of the strategies that help to grow strong marriages and healthy families at the same time.

When children or adolescents witness the breakdown of their parents marriage and discover that one parent has become emotionally or sexually involved with someone else, the news can be devastating.

Children do not have the emotional sophistication required to truly grasp the reasons couples grow apart, engage in habitual neglect of one another, or simply reject values of monogamy, honesty, and commitment foundational to family life. Some people grieve the loss of sexual and/or recreational freedom they experienced as single adults.

The impact of divorce and extramarital affairs on children are usually long lasting. Processing the historical emotional pain related to this early trauma is important especially before marriage.

Children are innocent, immature, and sensitive. They often suffer collaterally when families fall apart. There are several resources and counselling services available to help.

A child-centered approach is suggested when this type of problem is revealed. The devastating impacts of deception, disloyalty, and sexual infidelity is real. It hurts the adults directly involved and the children witnessing the revelations that follow.

Responsible healthy adults weigh decisions carefully and catch themselves when or if they are attracted to someone other than their spouse. We are finally arriving at a time in history when there are truly no reasons for secrets.

Many couples have courageous conversations about these feelings and learn to grow together or decide to take a break.

Couples counselling services may help where conversations are circular, stuck or unhelpful. It is best to engage the support of a counselor together.

Children feel the pain of extramarital affairs too. They rarely have the perspectives to fully grasp what’s going on and may never fully forgive, accept, or come to terms with a history of cheating.

#wellness #heal #healthy #values #family

Values-based problem solving & next steps

Choosing next steps is akin to a chess move

When you have been in the field as long as I have, it is plain to see that people need time, support, and kindness when deciding next steps on matters of most importance.

Saying “yes” or “no” to a person’s overtures for romance, friendship, or companionship requires a lot of steps. Some of the ways you land on a decision are clear to you, and other factors may be less so.

Deciding to move on with your career, earn another diploma or certificate, or gain a new skill also involves conscious and unconscious problem solving steps.

Easy factors to understand major life moves are usually practical and include reasons like an increase in salary, gaining new skills, meeting new people, and professional growth and advancement.

More deeply held reasons for making decisions are values-based. Your values do shape the ways you make decisions even where these values are hidden from view.

What is a value and how does it impact your problem solving may require some time to re-surface. Values are core principles that provide you with your own guide for healthy living. Your personal values are usually formed in your early years and reflect your ancestry, culture, and traditions.

When you are immersed in situations, relationships, workplaces, or perspectives that are fundamentally contrary to your value-systems, your health may suffer.

Counselling often reveals the ways your core perspectives have been compromised, misused, or undervalued. It is only when you take the time to deeply think about your next steps in relation to your personal values that solutions to problems reveal themselves.

Life is like a game of chess. People however are not pawns to be played with in a game of life. Instead, every person has a right to speak up when personal values are infringed upon and to act in your own best interests when your values are not shared or honoured.

Health and wellness happens when you live in congruence with your deeply held values of honesty, loyalty, hospitality, respect, equity, justice, and charity. What will your next move entail and why is it important for you to make this decision ?

#wellness #health #counselling