OUTCRY MAGAZINE Lara Publications, St. Louis, Missouri. 314-653-0467
COUPLES TO COUPLES
A ROMANCE CLINIC!
Learn from other couples how they learned to save their romance and love for each other.
PREVENTING YOUR SPOUSE FROM HAVING AN EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR
Extramarital affair or suspicion is a leading cause of divorce, and domestic violence. Lisa M. was 27 years old, and college educated. She was married to an accountant, John M., who is 29 years old (her high school sweetheart) and lived in Chicago in 1992, working for a computer rental company. Occasionally, she went out of town on weekends to conduct expo shows for her company. She had been married for two years when she started doing the out- of-town shows which forced her to stay away from her husband some nights. Initially it was no problem (she thought); later problems started when her husband ran into an article (in the library) in Glamour Magazine of April 1996 written by Amy Pagnozzi about why women are having extramarital affairs. He was shocked! He made a copy of the article which he brought home, and placed on the dinning room table without a comment to Lisa. After reading the article, she immediately got the message that her husband might be insecured, or suspicious of her activities out-of-town. Neither Lisa nor John mentioned the article; each was waiting for the other to bring up the infidelity issue.
Although Lisa came from a strict family, she had many carefree friends who used drugs, partied every weekend, and jumped from man to man. Lisa did not care for that type of lifestyle, she therefore went to college and got married. However, Lisa kept in touch with some of her old friends whom she believed have gone overboard in their feminist movement. For example, one of them had two to three boyfriends at the same time, another had kids by two different men and lived as a single parent with her two kids. Lisa also had a friend who just believe in using men only for her pleasure and draining their wallets (she was very attractive, she called herself "expensive panties"). Still, another married friend who lived more traditional lifestyle had a female lover with the consent of her husband.When Lisa protested to her friends regarding their unconventional life styles, they tried to break her by fixing her up with a man when they went to a club drinking one night. They always tell her, "Chill out Lisa; this is the 1990s!" Lisa's husband knew all about her friends because he and Lisa never stopped talking about them. He wished she never associated with them, but refused to force her to give up her high school playmates.
There was a little problem in the relationship; John knew Lisa had a big appetite for sex and would go crazy without it. This was a part of his worry while his wife was out by herself in hotels. John had had an affair with one of Lisa's old friends while they were engaged. Lisa's friend had revealed the affair; Lisa felt humiliated but later forgave John. Since then, John had been preparing for the time Lisa might want to get even. Little did he know, that was the last thing in her mind after they got married. She wanted a traditional happy family, different from that of her friends.
While out of town, Lisa had managed to control herself and remain a faithful wife, although she had occasionally entertained fantasies about other men, while hungry for passion away from her husband. She dared not share the thoughts with him, or he might kill her -- she thought.
A few days before Lisa went on another out of town assignment, John became agitated and angry, but refused to say anything about his fears to his wife. He wondered how many men would see such a very attractive brown-blonde-haired woman like Lisa and not want to get inside her panties. Would she have the will-power to resist? She always wore high heels, hip tight skirts, and pretty blouses showing a little cleavage. Lisa was a well-endowed woman with a slim waist, who easily caught men's attention. But he said nothing about the way she dressed, which appeared to him conventional for an ambitious sales woman. Her sexy figure was part of the reason she got such a high paying job, anyway, he thought. At the airport when he dropped her off, they kissed, and she looked directly at him, realizing she had to say something because John was so tense. With a big smile she said, "John, while I'm gone, I want you to keep on your underwear because I've been keeping up my panties while I'm out of town -- I never mess around with anybody but you." John was caught off guard. He was embarrassed and shocked to hear those words from his wife, as if she was reading his mind and understood his fear.
Lisa's reassurance relieved John. He had secretly planned to re-established a secret passion with one of his old girlfriends, but Lisa's statement put an end to that thought. On the evening that Lisa came back from her trip, she made a passionate love to John, he had been waiting and hungry for her. Seeing what was happening, Lisa decided to allay her husband's anxiety by consulting a female family psychotherapist regarding how to handle the situation at home. The wise female therapist invited a male therapist to join in the session with Lisa to educate her about men's fears and to provide her with strategies for deflating extramarital suspicion. Both therapists asked Lisa to confront her husband's fear by discussing the issue with him in a neutral setting, and also to build a safety valve in their relationship if there was a high risk for such activity. Lisa was madly in love with John and wanted the marriage to work. After leaving the therapist office, she understood that the power to resolve the problem in her marriage depended on her psychological maneuvering of the situations.
Lisa bought a couple of books about relationship, marriage, survival of extramarital affair. She wanted to empower herself, then confront her husband's fear and jealousy by dealing with reality. Learning about men's fear of their wives' extramarital affairs was not as bad as dealing with the possibility of her own impulse to stray if the desire started to build up for whatever reason. From the books, she learned that every married person develops desire to be with somebody else; whether a five or ten-year-itch, an itch is an itch, but it can be controlled and remain a fantasy.
Two weeks later, during a relaxed moment with her husband in the living room, Lisa brought up the issue of his fears about what she might be doing while out of town. She revealed to John that straying had crossed her mind many times, but she had kept it a fantasy because she did not want to destroy her marriage. John was shocked about Lisa's openness, as a result, he also discussed about his initial intention of having a fling with his ex-girl-friend, but never acted on the impulse. Both John and Lisa opened up a door of conversation about extra marital affairs which most couples found difficult to initiate. They spent the rest of the evening discussing the issue and what each person feared and desired. From that evening on, their relationship changed, they learned to open up with each other. Later, their discussion went to a higher level where they both revealed things that turned them on. The more they talked, the more they realized their mutual need to be loved and nurtured within the marriage, which precluded involvement of another person. They decided to build a safety valve in their relationship. They tentatively agreed to a set of conditions which would render straying allowable as they considered sex a biological need. For example they agreed that it would be cruel to force each other to remain faithful if separated for a period of more than a year, or one of them became physically disabled. Before any incident, they were to discuss any extramarital involvement before it actually took place and to emphasize the idea that no matter what happened it was crucial to preserve their relationship and marriage.
By confronting reality, Lisa helped to diffuse John's anxiety and also dealt with her own fear of falling for another man. The more they talked about the issue, the less important it was, and the more they were both able to demystify the power of extramarital affair and the possible agony hovering over them. They both learned that the pain of extramarital affair is not primarily as a result of penetration of another person's body, but of the betrayal.
John and Lisa developed strong trust between them, increased communication, shared fantasies, and continued to ignite their romantic passion with new ideas and experimentation. They successfully demystified the agony of extramarital affair and agreed to consider it as recreational sex. "I know how good I am in bed with my husband, and I don't think any woman can out do me," said Lisa when asked about how she would react to her husband's affair. "Nobody can give him the type of candies I give him in bed," she added. Lisa further explained when asked about how a wife should react to her husband's affair, "A wife should never react with anger or self pity when her husband sleeps with another woman,(be sure he wears condom, however), but must remain in control as her weapon, and to try everything possible to render his affair unimportant. Sex with a new partner may be fun due to novelty and quickly wears out, but sex with a person you love is more fun and it's probably the best!"
Engaging in extramarital affair may be devastating to a man's emotion. Take the case of Harry, who had an affair with a neighbor's wife. Mary, his wife did not get angry but made fun of him so badly. "How low can you go to sleep with a neighbor's wife?" asked Mary laughing at Harry. Her response made Harry even more upset with himself and what he did, he became depressed and Mary had to comfort him. He blamed himself for being so stupid. Harry finally confessed, the evening he spent with his old girl friend was a painful ordeal and he got nothing out of it. He claimed he could not feel anything for the woman, the physical sex was no fun, she did not smell pleasantly and was unlike anything he was used to having with Mary. Harry sworn never to have sex with anybody again except with his wife Mary.
If you have an interesting couple story of how to improve a relationship send us an E.mail -- Outcryfirstname.lastname@example.org
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