Health

Loving an adulterous spouse again

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Theirs is like the perfect model of what an ideal marriage should be. Anytime they appear together in public, with the way they trade banters, share jokes, call each other pet names and cuddle, not minding who is displeased or admiring their fancy affair, one could easily get away with the impression that all is perfectly well between Mr. Kingsley and his wife, Bethy.

They have been married for 15 years, but with their disposition when in public, they could as well look like newly-weds.

But, really, all is not well between this couple and, truly not all that glitters is gold. Since Bethy caught her husband cheating on her few years ago, their once rosy affair had taken a nosedive for the worst. While they struggle to maintain a glamorous relationship in public, they live like bitter enemies at home.

And given what usually obtains in such situations, their sexual relationship could have suffered a massive hit, communication, which is a requisite for a happy home, would have collapsed, while intimacy would only find expression in their dictionary.

According to a close relative, all efforts made by Kingsley to pacify his wife so life could return to normal between them have been futile. “Bethy would always say that if not for her children, she would have left him because she believes he could not be trusted, more so that he now has a child out of wedlock as a result of his escapades,” the source said.

Being in a loving, glamorous relationship is fulfilling and it makes the world a beautiful place to live. Apart from the absence of restrictions and the accompanying excitement to share one’s thoughts with a partner, a loving marriage is key to a person’s mental, emotional, psychological and even physical well-being.

But, in marriage and in fact any contractual relationship, betrayal of trust is hard to repair. But more specifically, in marriage, infidelity makes things worse altogether.

According to some studies, infidelity is the primary cause of broken marriages. Some figures can be helpful in this regard.

Previous studies had shown that about 70 per cent of men cheat on their wives; another study had found that women cheat more than men but they are smarter at making it a secret. But more instructively, the studies found that a large percentage of divorce cases are caused by infidelity and trust issues. And once it happens, such homes hardly remain the same.

Given that one of both parties could betray that trust, which could make the love they once shared fade out and the affair deteriorate or even become noxious, it is therefore imperative to know how to rekindle the affair afterwards, because people usually find it difficult to move on. Even when they want to move past the painful experience, the old, painful memories continue to flood their thoughts, which is a huge setback.

In some cases, some persons are contended with being ‘enemies’ for as long as is necessary, because their trusted partner betrayed them, but in some other instances, the person who suffered the hurt wants to let go but cannot help it. For those who want to get out of it and make their homes a lovable one again, these are solutions suggested by experts:

Replace hurtful thoughts: According to a psychologist, Prof. Olu Fagboungbe, making a person to love the partner again, in the circumstance described above, is a yeoman’s task, because the memory will always be there and one thing about human memory is that thoughts come automatically, especially when the right stimulus is available. But there is a way out. Fagboungbe advised that the person hurting should decondition his or her mind so as to replace the old memory. Thus, focusing on positive memories is one good way to overcome the hurt. He added, “The simplest way to do it is that when that unpalatable experience or memory comes up, try to replace it immediately with the pleasant memorable experience you once shared. With this deconditioning, things would get better gradually.

Sleep together always – It has also been said that when warring couples share the same bed, it brings about the likelihood of being close again. This is partly because when couples sleep apart, like in different rooms, that lack of physical contact could widen the distance apart. A clinical psychologist, Dr. Wendy Welsh, in her post on Health, a website that puts health into context in people’s lives, said if people touch themselves enough or sleep on same bed, they can easily bring about lost intimacy. And in that process, sex, which is known to promote bonding, could make it to the list before daybreak. She said, “When we touch – especially skin-to-skin – we get a little rush of the brain chemicals that help trigger those loving feelings.” Thus, to begin to love your partner again, share same bed. On this, Fagboungbe said sleeping together is an old weapon that could also help even in modern times. He said, “Apart from sexual activities that could come up, sleeping together can rapidly help them to come together and start loving each other again.”

Go on vacation: The urge is sometimes there not to have anything exciting to do with a partner that betrayed one’s feelings, but psychologists say if the person is desirous of turning things around, both of them should change environment and go on a vacation, because an environment has a way of reminding people of things that happened in the past. “So, moving away to another environment can help a lot,” Fagboungbe added. Other experts say such vacation does not need to be sensational, as something as simple as taking a walk in a quiet place affords them the time and opportunity to have a honest conversation and remind themselves of what attracted them to each other initially and why they need to move on happily. “In that process, they could be deconditioned of the bad experiences of the past,” he said.

Invite mutual friends for a date: This has also been found to help because both the hurting partner and the one who erred are constrained to talk kindly of each other in the presence of the visitors or guests. This, according to experts, could reignite some good feelings in their respective minds and that could extend beyond the date to the home.

Have regular eye contact: Some studies in the past have pointed out that people could fall in love merely by looking at each other in the eyes. Thus, for people who once lived in love, the partner who erred is advised to admit being wrong and then maintain eye contact with the partner from time to time, especially anytime they have discussions, perhaps this could rekindle their love. Also, when alone, Walsh advised that instead of pressing phone or any other gadget, such warring partners should drop the devices and have some eye contact while having a conversation. And in case they still have sex, that post-sex period is also good for having intimate conversation, thus, such couples should take advantage of it.

Make yourself happy: One of the things that worsen hurtful feeling is loneliness, and that could be aggravated by thinking the person does not care about the havoc they caused. According to psychologists, the person feeling hurt should get busy with things that excite him or her, like going to the cinema, engaging in sporting activities, etc. This move, they say, would put them in a good mood and ultimately, that could rub off on their relationship with their partner. “Say you love horseback riding, if you come home from a ride feeling energetic and alive, you can bring a fuller, more engaged self to your relationship, as well.”

Force yourself to do things together: While the feeling of being betrayed may continue to push a hurting person farther away from the partner, psychologists say if such a person wants the relationship to still work, they should endeavour to engage in certain activities with the (remorseful) partner. And one of the things that yield positive result is doing exercise together. According to studies, the hormones released during stressful exercise could increase bonding and fuel sexual desire, that none of the parties would be able to resist.

Make pleasant appearances: Out of anger, a hurting partner may not be inclined to attend events where their partners have interests or would be honoured, like an award ceremony or paper presentation. Honouring such a partner with your presence could make the person indebted and compel him to do whatever it takes for peace to return.

Manage your expectation: According to Walsh, falling in love again takes time, adding that before anyone can connect to a new person, the person must first reconnect to himself or herself. She explained that one of the ways to achieve that is for such persons to address their own shortcomings that could have led to or contributed to the trouble at hand. And if none at all, then, scaling down your expectations might help. But then, Walsh has this to say, “Even with all of these tips, no relationship will be perfect – and that is the most important thing to remember if you’re feeling dissatisfied with your love life. A lot of people end up in therapy because their expectations don’t match the reality of their life, and they’re hoping to change their environment. Sometimes, what they really need to change is their outlook because all long-term unions have ups and downs.”

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