Top Relationship Problems: The Danger of Women Having Affairs

Think having an affair is just one of many dating choices these days? Think again. The number of women having affairs is rising--approximately 25 % of women have them. Smart, professional women know that affairs make you crazy—not happy.

The grass on the other side of the fence is not greener, it is rotten. Affairs are dangerous because they rot your integrity, create a false sense of excitement, hurt too many people and perpetuate a weak and frightened inner core in women.

Weak and frightened? Who--you? Yes, affairs often occur as botched efforts to get close by avoiding the emotional bravery required to get close. Research reveals that many highly capable women do not manage true intimacy wisely. They often try by first choosing nice men who seem comfortable with a strong woman. This niceness, however, often hides the men’s lack of life skills and fears of failure and assertiveness. Soon, the women can’t sustain love because many of these men are emotionally unreliable avoiders.

Yet, these nice guys seemed just the right medicine for women who never want to feel hurt or deserted again. Women harbor these fears because many of today’s professional women in their twenties to early forties come from the largest percentage of divorced parents. This past leaves a fear of No More Unhappy Endings. Many of these women believe the only way to guard against them is to stay in charge—or select a man who also seems to be a take charge kind of man. But--oops, sometimes these strong men turn out to be mean men who really want all the control.

And then the trouble really starts. Many women who over-value being strong might hold on to Mr. Nice Guy as an emotional insurance policy in case the affair with Mr. Capable doesn’t work out. Or, women might have affairs with nice guys while holding on to Mr. Capable-turned-Mean for his status, wealth and power—things that some nice guys can’t provide.

If you’re really smart, by now you’ve realized that the primary relationship and the new affair share one thing in common—neither are true partnerships based on mutual respect, sharing of power and closeness. If you fear getting close and dropping those outer defenses that protected you too well from past hurts, then you are at risk for using affairs to solve your unhappiness.
So, what can a professional woman do to avoid the anguish of affairs and find solid love instead? There are no magic solutions, but now that you have learned this important, research-based information, try these tips:

  • Re-think the “lessons” you learned from your parents. To begin new brain connections, repeat these two sentences out loud often: Not every man is mean and hurtful. I am strong enough to let go of my past.
  • See your husband or partner in a new light. Remember why you fell in love in the first place. Make changes together in your relationship where you can help each other grow—without criticizing each other.
  • Do something you’ve always wanted to do—but were too afraid of looking and feeling stupid or wrong. The more comfortable you get with making mistakes and feeling out of control the more likely you’ll be able to drop your guard, give up false control and truly be a stronger, smarter woman.

Thought-Provoking Questions:

Do you confuse being emotionally vulnerable with being weak?

Do you think that being in control guarantees happiness?

*** For Women Only: If you would like to be part of Dr. Wish’s research for her next book on women’s love relationships and get one hour of FREE counseling, go to her website and click in the Research box in the upper right and take the online research survey. Be sure to include you contact information and the word SELFGROWTH so that Dr. Wish can contact you.

Author's Bio: 

LeslieBeth Wish is a Psychologist, Clinical Social Worker and author who is nationally recognized for her contributions to women, love, relationships, family, career, workplace, and organizations.

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