Last week we talked about the pain of the online affair. We talked about the virus that infects a relationship’s foundation of trust, communication, and intimacy. We also discussed how an affair extends beyond physical intimacy to include emotional detachment from your spouse. We dove into how to be honest with ourselves and our spouse. This week we want to talk about boundaries and building the right connections and avoiding the bad ones.
If you missed last week’s post CLICK HERE.
In any affair the spouse who is straying from the nest is usually sharing more time, information, and feelings with someone other than their spouse. If you are not sure if you are doing this then ask yourself “Does the person I am talking to know more about my spouse, relationship, or feelings than my spouse knows about this person?” If you find yourself talking more to someone else than your spouse you are creating a “bad connection”. You are connecting more and more with this other person and “disconnecting” from your spouse.
Even though the disconnecting spouse is not meeting with the other person physically right away there is still a deep emotional closeness, a bond, that is forming. Often an encounter on the internet leads to a physical encounter because there is an emotional hole that seems to be filled by this other person and the natural progression is to move into physical closeness. Without addressing the underlying needs, the disconnecting spouse will likely continue advancing closer and closer to the sex act itself.
In the last post we talked about the deception involved with the online affair. Often people engaged in online extra-marital affairs are deceived because they only present one side of themselves and the other person does the same. When they come together in the real world and their fantasy bubble is burst they are disappointed.
There is a solution to this Bad Connection. Two of the most important solutions we talked about in the last blog post were to cut off contact with the other person and be completely honesty with your spouse about what has been going on. Talking about the affair adds reality to the fantasy and helps end the affair. Next it is important to build good connections with your spouse and then put boundaries in place to guard yourself and your relationship.
Next time we will look at Healthy Boundaries and how to recognize when they’ve been breeched.