General information about infielity that does not directly relate to private investigations but may be of value to our readers.

Inkling of infidelity drives dads to DNA

August 12, 2005

LONDON: It is a wise child who knows his own father, as Homer has it. But in Britain, Shakespeare’s aphorism may be more pertinent: it is a wise father who knows his own child.

Research suggests that, as cases of teenage pregnancies, sexual infidelity and multiple partners increase, one in 25 fathers could unknowingly be raising another man’s child.

With improvements in genetic testing, thousands of fathers every year are discovering that “their” child is someone else’s. A study by scientists from Liverpool John Moores University concludes that 4per cent of all men are unwittingly bringing up a child they have not fathered.

Of the men who demand a paternity test because they suspect infidelity, one in four have their suspicions confirmed.

The team gives warning that the trend, known as “paternal discrepancy”, poses serious implications for the future of the family.

Paternity tests have also featured in high-profile disputes involving celebrities and politicians.

This year, David Blunkett, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, learned that he was not the father of the latest child of his former lover, Kimberly Quinn.

Actor Liz Hurley won child support for her son Damian after tests proved that Steve Bing, a millionaire television producer, was his father.

Recent scientific advances have resulted in a boom in the use of DNA profiling and genetic testing, which is relied on in areas such as organ donation and criminal investigations.

They are also being used by a growing number of men keen to have access to a child or to disprove a claim for child support made against them.

An estimated 10,000 paternity tests are carried out each year. While many of the checks are conducted under the scrutiny of the Child Support Agency or the courts, there are an increasing number of internet DNA-testing services available.

The researchers, led by Mark Bellis, of the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool, analysed a wide range of international studies, looking at estimates of paternal discrepancy between 1950 and last year.

Their findings, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, show that rates of cases where a father was not the biological father of his child ranged from 1per cent in some studies to as many as 30per cent. Experts generally agree that the rate was below 10per cent.

“For any father, identifying that the child they are raising as their biological progeny is actually sired by another man can have substantial health consequences,” the researchers said.

“Such knowledge can also destroy families, affecting the health of the child and mother as well as that of any man who is ultimately identified as the biological parent.”

Suspected infidelity, as a result of a man finding out that a child is not his own, can lead to domestic violence.

Genetic tests can be carried out using hair or a mouth swab sent to laboratories by post.

The researchers said in a society where services and life decisions were increasingly influenced by genetics, this difficult issue could not be ignored.

The Times

Cheating can be sexual and emotional

Cheating may not mean just sneaking in and out of the hotel. Your husband’s friend has just phoned again-for the third time this week. While you’re slaving away in the kitchen or putting the kid to bed, you hear them laughing on the telephone and your hackles rise. Are you being unreasonable and petty, as you know they are only friends and nothing more?

Not really. When your spouse starts keeping others company and his interest is diverted elsewhere, it is perfectly normal to feel betrayed in some way. Infidelity is not necessarily only sexual – it can be emotional too and yes, this can make a marriage suffer. A strong emotional connection between your spouse and a friend/colleague, with whom lots of emotional intimacies are shared, will eventually drive a wedge between spouses, whether there is a sexual relationship between them or not. Very strong emotional attachments elsewhere could be very dangerous for your relationship or marriage. Is there much to choose between emotional infidelity and sexual infidelity or is one worse than the other?

Suspicious Spouses Turn Sleuths

Technology is the kiss of death for illicit romance. In this era of camera phones, e-mail, text messaging and bugging devices, are we having the final fling, asks Prem Paul Ninan.

These are troubled times for unfaithful couples. Living in an age where technology has taken control of every part of the lives of people, relationships too have come to be defined by it. However, individuals across the globe who have flirted with technology in an attempt to cheat their better halves (always better when being cheated by the other, and who, these days, don’t always have to be married to one) have discovered soon enough that it is becoming increasingly difficult to cheat technology. True, technology has made it a lot easier for many to have relationships with people other than their spouses or partners, and to be quite discreet about it too. But sooner or later, very often, the same technology that helped one maintain a clandestine relationship for a while turns into the very evidence that brings about the downfall of the affair. Like a carnivore turning on its captors!

Commonly used media

Take mobile phones and the internet for instance – probably the most widely used media used by unfaithful partners for illicit affairs. The relative permanence of data stored by the use of software, is the basis for suspicious spouses-turned-sleuths to turn the heat on their partners. People use software because it gives them a sense of privacy and a feeling that they may actually be able to pull off something (no pun intended).

Consider the mobile phone. The benefits of text messaging, for instance, are many. There are many instances in which a person, while talking to his partner on the mobile phone, receives a message from someone he might not have ever met before, but with whom he has been carrying on a distance affair. The person is able to view the message and even dash off a quick salacious reply to his or her lover, only to return to the beloved’s call, without the unsuspecting partner even realising anything might have transpired.

Once the affair is on in full flow, however, it’s hard to keep your partner from being suspicious. There was a case in which a man carelessly left his mobile phone in his car and to his misfortune, his girlfriend saw a message coming in from his lover. She even went through a deleted items’ folder he did not know existed, and extracted more incriminating messages.

While most lovers are undoubtedly cautious in deleting ‘private’ messages, there is no telling when they might slip up. Ashwin Mohan, a wellness consultant, says that a friend of his who was in a dual relationship, once inadvertently sent a message intended for his lover, to his intended instead. He had hell to pay after that. Pradiksha Oommen, a third year BA student, says her friend once left her mobile phone with her boyfriend, so she could visit the loo. At that point, a message came in from her boyfriend’s male friend with whom she had been communicating for some time. Not bothering to confirm the nature of their friendship, the jealous boyfriend furiously broke off the affair.

The camera phone

Then, you also have today many mobile phones coming with built-in cameras and recording devices. These can be switched on quite casually without the unsuspecting unfaithful even knowing a thing. How one goes about this is one’s own affair, but there’s no denying that once recorded, it is quite an incriminating piece of evidence. You also have small digital voice recorders that can virtually be hidden in the hand. Atin Gupta, a marketing executive, says that one of his friends, who once got suspicious, got a girlfriend of his girlfriend to record a telephonic conversation she once had with her lover. With this evidence in hand, he confronted his one-time girlfriend, who, after an initial denial, finally gave in.

Detective agencies

Private detective agencies commonly use such recording devices to track the activities of cheating individuals, in infidelity cases. However, Puneet Kumar, executive director of the Globe Detective Agency in Bangalore, says that his agency primarily relies on physical surveillance in such cases. “Most affairs of an illicit nature are generally physical, involving sex, and only sometimes get emotional. In order to keep track of a person’s activities, the agent’s physical presence is critical, and no device can replace this.” The detective service usually sends two agents, who carry basic cameras, on the track of the suspected cheater.

The agents prepare detailed reports of the victim’s movements and take photos only if there is absolutely no risk involved. Bugging devices can only be planted if the affair is going on in one’s own house, in which case the spouse is made to plant the device. “Otherwise, there is no telling where the affair may be taking place. It could be anywhere – hotels, cars, the workplace.”

Come now to the internet, which is also extensively used by unfaithfuls. While chat rooms have allowed illicit affairs to mushroom manifold, through the hidden identity it provides people, there are dozens of spyware programmes being developed that allow people to sneak view the suspected cyber relationships of their partners. Software programmes like Spector, developed by Spectorsoft in the US, are able to record such activities in detail. The programme operates like a quick-clicking camera, taking pictures every few seconds of whatever appears on the screen. The pictures can be played back in a slide-show fashion, like a jerky 20’s film. Prashanth Ninan, former manager, IT infrastructure at Altivo Information Technologies Pvt Ltd, Bangalore, says that there are even key-logging software programmes, that record every single key typed, including the spaces! This means, that with a little bit of effort, even an amateur can hack into the e-mail accounts of his or her partner. And what makes these softwares so attractive is that they are generally not very expensive and can therefore be sneaked into the home computer quite easily.

Credit card bills

But it’s not all about software either. There have been so many small technological advancements that have allowed couples to spy on each other fairly easily. For instance, credit card bills provide suspecting individuals ample fodder, especially with unusual gifts, restaurants, travel or unspecified charges. Unexplained bank statements, detailed phone bills containing data on unusually long calls made to certain unknown numbers, even the receipts that are billed from shopping centres, regarding unusual purchases made, can be recovered by a prowling cuckold on his partner’s trail. For some, the snooping around can become almost an obsession, as one such individual in the US candidly admitted, after spying on his wife’s cyber indulgences.

And if you think that such snooping around is confined abroad, you’re quite mistaken. Puneet says that his agency gets about 15 to 20 cases of infidelity a month, in Bangalore. A majority of the complainants are men, he says. But is it morally wrong to spy on one’s partner, using technological aids? Prashanth definitely thinks so. “It is a despicable thing to do, and anyone who does so is not worth being in a relationship,” he says. “Most people who do so are not married, but are usually in live-in affairs and are not willing to commit anyway.” Atin, who is going to be married in December, feels the same. So does Deepa Priyadarshini, who is into corporate communications. Both feel that trust should be the basis of any relationship, and that misgivings about any extra affair could always be handled at the personal level.

Whatever may be the view, it is clear that technology has made snooping a lot easier, and affairs a lot more challenging!

FIDELITY CHECK

Signs that your partner may be cheating on you:

Sudden increase in time away from home

Decreased sexual interest

He or she is often distracted and day dreaming

He or she is often unavailable at work

He or she attends more work functions alone

Cell phone calls are not returned in timely fashion

He or she leaves house or goes to other rooms to talk on the

telephone

He or she uses the computer alone and secretly

He or she asks about your schedule more often than usual

Mileage on car is high when only short distance errands are run

Clothes smell of perfume, massage oil residue and sex

Clothes contain makeup or lipstick smudges

He or she gets the laundry done independently

Viagra usage increases

Extramarital affairs: Are women really to blame?

Background Information: I am a graduate of Chemistry, and a retiring teacher and inspector of education after 31yrs of meritorious service in altogether five stations with the Federal Ministry of Education. I am also a freelance writer having publications in certain Nigerian print media. in May 2005 I and my wife shall clock 30yrs as a married couple. my wife also is a civil servant. together we have two grown up sons. We have all managed to keep afloat and weather the storms of the tempestuous seas just as many families, in spite of all odds, have done.

Attitude to published works of other writers and authors.

I am an old boy of Old Government College where the old custom is subsumed in the doctrine: ” it is good, if you want to criticise the published works of other writers and authors, do it amicably and justly and not sarcastically, where necessary and applicable. It is better, obviously to write and publish your own observation from your own angle and point of view on the same subject instead of criticising the published works of fellow writers and authors. in reviewing a book, let your views be based more on the book’s merit than on its demerits”.

And so in this response write up, instead of placing undue emphasis on the apportioning of blame, efforts are made to identify the causes and profer lasting possible solutions to the problem created by the indulgence in extra-marital affairs.

Real life experience or no real life experience basis.

There are many schools of thoughts on the current subject of discussion: extra-marital affairs: are women really to blame?

Actually, I have no opportunity to read the main article written by Rotimi Oyekanmi of the Guardian Group of Newspapers and so it is hard for me to accurately estimate what degree it was based on real life experience solicited by you from respondents. There is a parallelism between real life experience and true confessions stories characteristic of the sleek magazines. I hope Oyekanmi’s main article was not a true confession.

If every human angle story were to be based on true life experience, then it would be absolutely necessary for only those who have achieved sainthood and gained the rewarding positions in the kingdom of God in heaven to write creditably books on HOW TO BECOME SAINTS or HOW TO GO TO HEAVEN, instead of prophecies for their followers, apostles, disciples on earth aspiring to sainthood to read and implement in their life-styles.

who is qualified to write and comment on marital subjects?

There is the school of thought based on the Lizz and Dick affairs, which speculates thus: “can Elizabeth Taylor, world famous actress twice married and twice divorced by Richard Burton, equally world famous actor, write a book on successful marriage?” the answer is “Yes, if she knows her onions well and can identify the mistakes of broken marriages and can point out lasting possible solutions to rectify those mistakes, or better if she can identify ways of preventing such mistakes which result in broken marriages from occurring, since it is true that prevention is better than cure.”

The person who can firstly estimate or measure accurately the distance of a race before actually embarking on running, it can so often better assess what the race will be like than the person who firstly runs the race before estimating or measuring its distance. however, not all races are the same.

My observation

On the subject of discussion, my observation is based purely on nobody’s true life experience but on the absolute ideal truth tenable and contestable everywhere in the world. It is unsurprising that indulgence in extra-marital affairs also known as adultery is condemned in the Christian scripture. In the lighter mood in the Old Testament books, the female subjects were considered the concubines of their male admirers and protectors, chivalrous cavaliers. certain extra-marital affairs resulted in highly sensational, scandalous and negative consequences until the Divinely Anointed King of Glory, Jesus Christ, came into the world in His human form and preached not only the permanence of the marital union: “Let no man put asunder what God has joined together”, but also that “No man can give his wife a write of divorce except for adultery”.

These bits of knowledge are well known to every student of Holy Bible. Those who do not want to gamble and dangle with their lives for survival make efforts to avoid the indulgence in fornication and adultery. It is because of the highly sensational, scandalous and negative consequences of the indulgence in extra-marital relationships that many scholarly and scholarstic foreign statesmen and women insist strongly on mutual fidelity and so desist as much as possible from fueling the furnace and fanning the embers of discord between spouses.So they consider that menopause and senility are in suggestible, inexorable and insufficient excuses for the indulgence in secret , clandestine extra-marital relationships which can stain records of service, family’s good name, honour, respect, erudition, ambition, tradition, socio-economic status, reputation, integrity, prestige, character, charisma, history, sweet reasonableness, peace and decorum, unity and stability inter alia.

Factors which motivate extra-marital affairs

Naturally, everywhere in the world, the population of the female is denser than that of males. However, by every intellectual guess, common and stretch of imagination, it is unfair to the other gender group for one to say that women only or men only are really to blame in extra-marital affairs which take two to tango.

The indulgence in extra-marital affairs is traceable to multi-faceted factors, viz ; socio-economic factors, geo-political factors, genetic factors, satanic attack and personal factors.

Socio-economic factor

Societal attitudes, do’s and don’ts, norms and forms, values, customs, cultures, traditions, beliefs, regulations and rules of law and order often provide the adequate or inadequate enabling environment for good behavior or misdemeanour, as one chooses.

This is more so where the hard distinct to follow the Joneses and the peer group pressure to respond to every peer group impulse, urge, whim, caprice, fancy, fantasy, and the youthful persuasion to belong to the peer group impact heavily on the person who is apparently unequipped or inadequately equipped to resist and overcome the uncosmetic influence of the bad and the ugly, and to embrace, harbour, welcome, receive, accommodate, imbibe the cosmetic influence of the good and the beautiful of God’s creatures. Every circle of the society has its own trays of eggs including those bad eggs which constitute bad company which corrupts manners. Those bad people in the society are often like mind-benders who, seeing innocent people who do not indulge in extra-marital relationships have their own ways of inducing and convincing them to indulge in same: “Eh, every one does it oh.

Why do you want to waste your life away like that as if you were a sacred cow? No be me oh.” See my list of my conquests in my diary. Na bottom power be that, or so dem de call am. Money for hand, back for ground no be better.” In a rapidly advancing, civilized society where each of the cost of living and the standard of living but not the cost of living allowance is rising by leaps and bounds day by day, it is easy for a married man or a married woman to be tempted to indulge in extra-marital affair with a supposedly buoyant sugar mummy or sugar daddy as the case may be just to make socio-economic ends meet.

sometimes greed, selfishness, not scarcity, is the motivating factor. Sometimes those who happened to have been led by the nose to have sexual intercourse with married adults when they were still virgins turn around as if to revenge by seducing virgins of the opposite sex to do same with them. then it becomes like what St. Thomas Aquinas in his well known book titled SUMMA THEOLOGICAL theorised as the chain of reaction in which one hand moves a staff which moves yet another staff, which moves yet another staff and that continues in an endless progression.

GEO-POLITICAL FACTORS: Battles and wars, more than natural disasters, constitute the worst culprit for the gross imbalance in the female: male population everywhere in the world. they also constitute the worst culprits through battles and wars to indulge in adultery. sometimes it is because of the gross imbalance in the female: male population of certain geo-political units that one may find that in certain geo-political units, the indulgence in extra-marital affairs is considered unpardonable taboo, abomination before God and man, whereas in certain other where there is no such gross imbalance in the female: male population or where there exists such population imbalance the indulgence in extra-marital affair is considered fun, nothing evil, unpunishable culture, custom, tradition, is surely more likely to indulge in it even when that spouse’s partner comes of a geo-political unit where such is considered a taboo punishable by penalty.

GENETIC FACTOR: Genetic factors runs parallel with geo-political factors. and so the spouse who comes from a family where the indulgence in extra-marital affairs runs through the lineage and so is considered a pastime, fun, unpunishable event, often tends to indulge in it even where and when the other spouse comes of a different family and genetic back ground which on the contrary considers such indulgence an abhorrable abomination before God and man.

other genetic factors are complete bareness and unisexual births in the family. the occurrence of bareness lasting several years can engender frustrations, boat-rocking episodes, accusations and counter-accusations. the consequence may be that one or each spouse may look for an escape route to indulge in extra-marital affair so as to validate his innocence of potence or her innocence of fertility because it is well known that impotence and infertility constitute two of the main causes of bareness. to tell the truth, the elephant’s route never closes unless it has no offsprings.

Concerning unisexual births, when a couple’s biological children are either all boys or all girls, depending on the spouses’ personal psychological balance, one or each of them can be tempted to indulge in extra-marital affair so as to have a baby of the opposite sex from that of their biological children except each of the spouses is strong-willed enough to resist and overcome the temptation, instead of sitting back later to await the results. the motivation is not the fun and enjoyment of extra-marital sex but just to have a daughter where the biological children were all boys , or to have a son where all the biological children were girls.

SATANIC ATTACK: Cupid the God of love teaches that when a well has stayed too long under the eaves of a house, Satan dips hand into it. In the same token, the idle mind is Satan’s workshop. idleness of the mind is known to result in anti-social acts such as juvenile delinquence, sexual harassment or sex abuse, crime etc., but not so often in satanic attack.

Satanic or demonic attack can harass, embarrass and drive the sufferer into indulge in extra-marital affairs simply because the sufferer considers those members of the opposite sex he or she interacts with as not only eligible sex partners but also as eligible spouses. In Igbo language, the common term for satanic attack of the adulterous type is di uwa. the sufferer is sane quite alright but yet possessed by Satan just like a mad person, lunatic, until he or she is ransomed by a genuine divine healer from Satan.

where the sufferer is completely ransomed from Satan, every desire to indulge in extra-marital affair is cured completely also. whereas where the sufferer is incompletely ransomed from Satan, relapse can occur; the unclean spirit continues to instigate the bad habits of reckless adultery, sexual permissivity, seduction, promiscuity, harlotry, prostitution.

PERSONAL FACTORS: People are aware that the indulgence in extra-marital affairs breaks marriages like cassava sticks and that were such indulgence as popular as even the game of football. those couples who cherish and recognise the sanctity of marriage would still hate to play it. yet still, because so many people find it hard to control and overcome their personal limitations, short-comings, they indulge in extra-marital affairs. the spouse who prior to marriage suffered from the unclean and bad habits of lizards or had anti-social antecedents or was sexually hypersensitive and hyperactive like pigeons, and has not renounced nor jettisoned those bad habits at marriage can more likely indulge in extra-marital relationships with former, pre-marital sex partners than the spouse who had no such pre-marital antecedents. as soon as the spouse begins to flirt and the other spouse discerns it and begins also to flirt, there is a time when the man returns home and finding his wife absent from home, he begins to raise dust and enquire: “Where is my wife for God’s sake?”.

The rest of the personal factors include the spouse’s inability to resist and overcome the temptation to lust and flirt and indulge in adultery arising from unnecessary distractions brought about by physical attraction, sex appeal, beauty, sexy manner of dressing, psychedelism, brand and size of the opposite sex, eye-service, signs and mannerisms and pass-words dropped by members of the opposite sex supposedly expressing passionate appeal, desire for intimate relationship with the spouse concerned.

Head or tail, standing or kneeling, the tempter wins where the tempted spouse succumbs to the temptation. Another personal factor motivating spouses into indulging in extra-marital affairs is sexual incompatibility. sexual incompatibility between spouses is evidenced by unsatisfied sexual intercourse where there is no orgasm, climax, ecstacy achieved by each of the spouses or by one of them only .the sexually unsatisfied spouse may resolve to seek sexual fulfillment in extra-marital relationship with an external partner, in spite of whether the couple already have biological children or have none.

The factors which bring about sexual incompatibility and its consequent indulgence in extra-marital affairs include infidelity resulting in the unfaithful spouse who after cheating is no more in the mood for another round of sex and so is temporarily dysfunctional, groggy and unready to have sex with own spouse; certain psychological barriers resulting in one spouse’s aversion for sex generally or specifically with own partner even when the woman is not menstruating; one spouse’s outward or pretended chastity toward own spouse:” I an fasting, don’t disturb me”.

Other factors which cause sexual incompatibility between spouses include the inability of the man to achieve and sustain erection and penetration and subsequently orgasm, climax, ecstacy; the woman’s frigidity which is one main reason against girl-child circumcision also known as female genital mutilation. sometimes proper dieting coupled with pre-sex romance and mutual stimulation and encouragement help a lot to reverse the state of affairs, and enhance sexual arousal and readiness. it is important to know o commence and when to terminate coitus.

Other personal factors inducing spouses to indulge in extra-marital affairs are the urge to escape from masturbation also known as accidental discharge; the application of drugs such as performance enhancement pills and concoctions which enhances the spouses’ hypersensitivity and sexual hyperactivity; the use of contraceptive devices and pills which apparently neutralise fears for unwanted pregnancies but not for sexually transmissible diseases which to some sufferers do not obey the physical law discovered by Sir Isaac Newton: “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

LOVE AND FIDELITY: THE SOLUTION AND WAY FORWARD; Love is the greatest commandment of God and the greatest tool of every religion. love is also the all-important binding energy of every tru marriage, love is the answer, elixir, panacea, true and lasting solution to every marital problem. the absence of true love in the family makes the heart fonder. the outcome can be to search the research for an excuse, escape route, an opportunity to indulge in extra-marital relationship until one finds it.

Where every well-meaning, honest-to-each-other couple of good character and learning have love in focus and always remember that in this geo-political and socio-economic unit seeking to become equally democratic as the ret of the world’s best democracies. nothing and no one should put asunder what God has joined together in marriage so that the perplexing idea of extra-marital affairs will be put to rest finally or to flight from every couple who therefore can be once married, always married.

it is well-known truth that the Canadians geese and genders are known for their fidelity and loyalty to one sex partner. this sounds incredible and utopian in the human ear. but what binds the Canadian goose and gender together is love and mutual respect and the feeling of being the others keeper. if human beings can become like the Canadian geese and genders through religion, culture, custom, tradition, and so eradicate the factors militating against marital unity, stability, fidelity and love, each spouse would stick to his or her own marital partner and on one else would come between the couples. where everyone behaves himself well as his brother’s and his sister’s keeper, the domestic rodent can no more be led by the nose to the exact bearing and location of the crayfish in the home and so it can no more run to nitify and lead the bush rodent to the crayfish especially in times like this when people have expanded their horizons of knowledge to the level of awareness that by foreign estimate foreign crayfish earns more foreign exchange than local aiya.

When each concerned spouse, by way of self-analysis which is intuitive, psychological, psychotherapeutic, deductive, and so practicable identifies his or her problem as the uncontrollable indulgence in extra-marital affairs, and recognises the paramount fact that the Great Master Jesus Christ did not condone adultery but yet He did not allow any one of the Jews who wanted to stone Mary Magdalene to death for indulging in adultery to cast a stone on her, the that spouse’s problem is near to solution point. more efforts will be crowned with success.

CONCLUSION: By every intellectual guess, common sense and stretch of the imagination, it is unfair to the other gender group for one to pass the judgement unilaterally, arbitrarily and emphatically that either women really are to blame or that men really are to blame in extra-marital affairs. to say so is like to say that one gender group enjoys the sexual act better and more than the other.

Such unilateral, arbitrary and emphatic judgement is unbalanced. judgement akin to make a preference of either the cosmetic sweet fragrance of a banana and plantain republic or the equally cosmetic sweet fragrance of a pineapple republic just because there is a choice, an option. Supposing everyone were a man or everyone were a woman, who then would be blamed for adultery and fornication?

Marriages hurt by affair can be saved

Good Advice from an excellent reporter

Jim May
Midland Reporter Telegram
07/24/2005

DEAR FAMILY: I recently found out that my husband was having an affair with a woman from another office at work. I found an e-mail saying he loved her. I waited two weeks and then I finally told him I knew. -Of course, he denied it, but by then I had collected plenty of evidence. He says he wants to stay married to me and I want the same thing because I have always loved him. We have been married almost 20 years. He says the affair has been going on for two years.

He says they only made love a few times and then stopped because they decided it was wrong. She works in (another city) and he has to go there regularly. I told him I would have to go with him until I could trust him again. He has agreed. He says he’s sorry but he doesn’t want to talk about it anymore, and I do.

My problem is even though I want this to work out, I have days I cannot quit crying. It’s as if I can see them together and it just happened yesterday. It used to be every night but I have gotten better. I have read at least five self-help books. Our pastor has moved and I don’t feel like I can talk to the new one about this. It is too embarrassing. How long does it take to get over this or can I? How long is too long? Six months, a year? Should I see a marriage counselor? Could you recommend one? I don’t know that he would go, but maybe I should go. I would appreciate any help. Sometimes it is really unbearable. It’s like someone very close to me has died. – VICTIM OF HIS AFFAIR

DEAR VICTIM: It is very hard to get over an affair but it can be done successfully. My professional experience in dealing with affairs is consistent with the research findings that most marriages involving an affair can be saved. Not all of course, but most. The main criterion is that the cheating spouse ceases all contact with his or her lover. When this criterion is met and the couple goes to marriage counseling the five-year survival rates are excellent and those couples even report that their marriage is better than before the affair.

There are a variety of thoughts from experts in this field that may help answer some of your questions. Peggy Vaughan’s research on more than 1,000 spouses whose partners have been unfaithful shows “the key to personal recovery and to staying together is a willingness to talk about the betrayal over a long period of time; but there is no quick fix.” Michelle Weiner-Davis, author of “Divorce Busting,” says, “…healing from infidelity is not a straight line; it is a jagged line with many setbacks. The partner who has been unfaithful may be willing to talk at first, but will balk when the subject is brought up again and again. Recovery takes endurance and patience and compassion.” I would add that since an affair is primarily a violation of trust then “bed-rock” honesty in answering all of your questions is vital.

I have found Dr. Janis Spring’s book, “After the Affair,” to provide the best all around “self-help” presentation for recovering from a spouse’s affair. She organizes her approach around three stages: Reacting to the Affair: “Is What I’m Feeling Normal?”; Reviewing Your Options: “Should I Stay or Leave?”; and Recovering From The Affair: “How Do We Rebuild Our Life Together?” Reading her book should help answer many of your (very normal) questions.

In my experience, marriage or pastoral counseling is a vital component of the recovery process. It would be much better if both of you would go as a couple but if he refuses, it will help if you go. I will be glad to e-mail you the names of counselors if you would like; but be sure to keep God actively involved in the process.

I want to strongly encourage you and your husband to work on your marriage. It is a death but there can be life after death. As Dr. Eric Erikson stated, “A crisis can be a turning point; by making you vulnerable, it can heighten your potential for positive change.” Good luck!

Married with secrets

Married With Secrets

Anger, confusion accompany revelation that a spouse is gay.

WashingtonBlade.com
By ELIZABETH WEILL-GREENBERG
Friday, July 22, 2005

WHEN I FOUND out my boyfriend of four years was gay I felt a mixture of relief, disbelief and incredible guilt. He was the first person I went to with a personal crisis. But he struggled with his anguish and guilt alone.

I learned that he had been with men during our relationship after I confessed to cheating on him. He told me he had been unfaithful too, also with men. Strangely, the significance of that didn’t sink in at first. He insisted he wasn’t gay; he was bisexual.

I believed him when he said he wanted to stay together. Until that point our relationship had felt close to perfect; breaking up was not something I ever considered. I saw our indiscretions as harmless, a need for sowing our wild oats.

So we both continued having affairs. We convinced ourselves this deceitful arrangement could work. But, of course, it couldn’t.

We finally admitted to each other that we needed to break up when I fell in love with another man. We had become best friends and roommates — not lovers.

But even after we split he still would not acknowledge being gay. There was no Jim McGreevey-style news conference and definitive declaration that he is a “gay American.” This grayness infuriated me. I wanted to understand how our relationship had deteriorated. If he was gay, then our problems made sense.

I kept expecting a meteor of revelation to hit us. He’d come out and admit our relationship had been a lie.

Spouse is out of the closet, now what?

By PAT BURSON, Newsday

Like many other female fans of Terry McMillan’s work, LaKeisha Rodgers was shocked to learn that the “Waiting to Exhale” author’s husband recently came out of the closet.

“You think some marriages are good, and it’s, like, you think they’re happy, but I guess some things are very well hidden,” says Rodgers, single and 35.

Rodgers saw the movie based on McMillan’s best seller “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” inspired by the love affair the writer had with Jonathan Plummer, 23 years her junior, on a Jamaican vacation in 1995.

McMillan, now 53, recently filed for divorce in California from Plummer, 30, after he told her he was gay. However, Plummer’s sexual orientation is only one of many issues in what will be a very messy, public divorce.

The breakup has all the intrigue of last year’s bombshell from former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, who held a televised news conference — his wife at his side — to announce his resignation after coming out as a “gay American” and admitting he’d had an adulterous affair with a man.

While titillating and tragic, such revelations have more than a few women wondering: If McMillan, a savvy woman who has made a fortune writing about male-female relationships, could be married to him for six years and not know he was gay, are the rest of us only an exhale away from finding out the same about the men (or women) we’re dating or married to?

Finding out your partner is gay is not so uncommon, says Amity Pierce Buxton, executive director of the Straight Spouse Network, which provides support and resources to heterosexual husbands and wives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and gay-straight spouses. Buxton, whose ex came out after 25 years of marriage and two children, wrote about the experience in “The Other Side of the Closet: The Coming-Out Crisis for Straight Spouses and Families” (John Wiley & Sons, $18.95).

When spouses announce they’re gay, the focus usually is on them, while the heterosexual mate is ignored or forgotten, Buxton says. “People don’t pay attention to them; they sympathize with the person who came out,” she says. “What they don’t realize is when you’re married, it becomes a family matter.”

Straight spouses must not blame themselves, she says, but allow time to work through their anger and to grieve.

Questions from friends, family members and others can compound the pain heterosexual partners report feeling, leaving them asking, “Why didn’t I know?” But when a partner has become a master at keeping his or her sexual identity hidden, it’s not so easy to know the truth, Buxton says.

Connie Williams, 39, an educator from Maryland, discovered her ex-husband was gay after he contracted HIV from an infected man with whom he’d had a homosexual relationship. Williams, who says she is HIV-negative, now coordinates the Straight Spouse Network’s outreach to spouses of color. “The issue of homosexuality is not dealt with in these communities as much as it is in the larger society because there’s still so much stigma associated with being gay,” says Williams, who is African-American. “We believe that’s why we see increased HIV infection rates among women of color.”

While it appears more husbands come out of the closet, wives do, too, says Dr. Scott Haltzman, a clinical assistant professor in psychiatry at Brown University. Haltzman says he’s treated men who have had not one but two divorces because of wives revealing they’re lesbian.

Ruth Houston, who wrote “Is He Cheating on You? 829 Telltale Signs” (Lifestyle, $29.95), says if the situation arises, you should confront your partner with solid proof that he or she might be in the closet, not just with your suspicions.

Brenda Stone Browder, author of “On the Up and Up: A Survival Guide for Women Living With Men on the Down Low” (Kensington, $21), suggests listening to your intuition. Browder is author J.L. King’s ex-wife who wrote her recent book in response to his tome about having sex on the side with men during their eight-year marriage.

If you sense something is wrong, she says, be direct. In referring to certain sexual acts, ask, “Has anyone ever done this to you?” or, “Have you done this to anyone?”

If he acknowledges being gay (or you catch him) and you can both still communicate, try to figure out some mutually acceptable way to handle the situation, she says, including whether to stay together and only have protected sex, to separate or to divorce. If talking about the situation is too difficult, find a counselor skilled in handling these types of marital situations, she adds.

If you’re in a heterosexual relationship and find you’re attracted to someone of the same sex, do some soul-searching before discussing it with your mate, says Simma Lieberman, a diversity consultant who specializes in cross-cultural dialogue and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues.

She suggests seeing a counselor or contacting a support hot line or group “to help you figure it out — before you wreck your marriage.” If you have these feelings before you say, “I do,” don’t get married, she says. “Don’t do that to somebody unless you have an open and honest discussion.”

After the hurt and pain, you can go on, heterosexual spouses of gay mates say. Browder remarried and has been with her husband 21 years. She and her ex are starting a national “conversation of reconciliation” tour this summer to discuss their experiences and promote safer sex practices, HIV/ AIDS education and testing for everyone, and honesty in relationships.

Whatever you do, don’t be immobilized, Williams says.

Emotional infidelity – fact or fiction?

Your husband’s friend Angela has just phoned again. For the third time this week. And while you’re slaving away in the kitchen, you hear them laughing on the telephone and your hackles rise. Are you being unreasonable and petty, as you know they are only friends and nothing more?

“Not necessarily,” says Cape Town psychologist, Ilse Terblanche. “When much of the social attention that is usually present in a marriage is diverted elsewhere, it is perfectly normal to feel betrayed in some way. Infidelity is not necessarily only sexual – it can be emotional too. And yes, this can make a marriage suffer.”

“People’s insecurities are brought to the fore by a situation where someone else is receiving an enormous amount of their spouse’s attention. But there is a big difference between being a bit jealous and jealously obsessing about your partner. If your partner goes out once in a blue moon for an hour to have a drink with an old school friend, you are overreacting if you go into jealousy overdrive. But if it’s the fourth time this week, you have every reason to be unhappy.”

“A strong emotional connection between your spouse and a friend/colleague, with whom lots of emotional intimacies are shared, will eventually drive a wedge between spouses, whether there is a sexual relationship between them or not. And very strong emotional attachments elsewhere could be very dangerous for your relationship or marriage. But both partners should also be allowed to see friends, obviously within reasonable limits. If you don’t allow your partner any outside contact, you have already signed the death warrant for your marriage. No-one likes being made to feel that they are in a prison.”

“Similar feelings of betrayal can be brought on by emotional infidelity than by sexual infidelity. The spouse who sits at home wonders whether the other man or woman is more compatible with their partner than they are, why they were not invited along and why their spouse no longer makes them feel special.”

“However, it must be guarded against that all friendships are suddenly seen as emotional infidelity,” says Terblanche. “Married people do need friends, sometimes of both sexes, as no one person can fulfill all your social needs. The question just remains where you draw the line and whether your first priority is still with your partner.”

So when does the line get crossed between normal friendship and emotional infidelity?

Time factor. When you realise that your spouse spends more time with this friend than with you, there is a problem. If the friend is only here for three days from Europe, obviously that’s different. Your spouse’s first responsibility lies with you and your relationship, not with an outsider. We all need time out from our partners every now and then to watch sport, to go shopping, to go fishing, or whatever. But the majority of free time should still be spent with you.

Spouse not invited. If things get planned to which you are specifically not invited, there could be a problem. If you suspect that work-related activities could be merely a guise, investigate. But remember that there are things such as genuine work-related things, so don’t get too suspicious. It’s not good for your blood pressure. But if your spouse and his/her friend start doing things like going to the movies or eating out on a regular basis and you get the feeling that your presence will not be welcome and you are made to feel like an outsider, you have every reason to complain. One or the other of them could have ulterior motives.

Too much involvement elsewhere. There is a big difference between helping a friend who’s just had a burglary or helping a brother buy curtains for a new flat and spending weeks helping a friend who’s looking for a house to buy. Or getting overly involved in helping them buy a car. Or lending them lots of money – possibly without telling you. Or if your spouse is spending time fixing things at the friend’s house when there are millions of things waiting to be done at home. Your spouse’s main focus should be at home with you and the children – for most of the time anyway.

Didn’t I tell you? When you feel that you are no longer the main confidant of your spouse, alarm bells should start ringing. When your spouse’s friend knows about a promotion or an illness or a winning lottery ticket before you do, there’s a problem. Or if little everyday things are no longer shared with you, because they have already been shared with the friend, you are being systematically excluded. Or if you get the feeling that your spouse is discussing your relationship with this friend, you have every reason to complain.

Duty vs. pleasure. When paying the bills, going to the supermarket and the PTA evenings are the only things you do with your spouse, you should be getting worried. Especially if all the fun things are being done with one or more other people and you just are around when the boring stuff happens. Relationships should consist of a mixture between duty and pleasure. And what’s more, if your partner starts associating you only with boring duties, the writing could be on the wall.

Always part of the equation. Your spouse somehow feels responsibility for the well-being of this person – to the point where you feel that no plans of yours are made without considering this friend and his or her needs and wants. You feel you have to explain why he or she cannot accompany you on some family outing or holiday, whereas no explanation is really needed.

Friend takes priority. You get the feeling if both you and the friend were to have a crisis at the same time, your spouse might just go to the friend first. You are beginning to feel like you’re being taken for granted and that you and your needs and your relationship are becoming of secondary importance.

The friend is pitted against you. When you feel the friend is starting the one-upmanship game, such as lording it over you when he/she knows something before you, red lights should be flashing. This friend is competing for your spouse and his/her attention and is certainly no friend to you. On the contrary. It is also quite possible that your spouse is enjoying having two people fight over his/her attention and is pitting the two of you against each other. If this friend were really a friend to both of you, you would often be included in invitations and gatherings. And the two of you would do things on your own sometimes as well.

What should you do?
This is a difficult one as you don’t want to provoke the kind of situation where a huge fight takes place and your spouse goes to find solace elsewhere. It is important to share your feelings calmly in a non-accusatory manner. An example of this would be, “When you go out for the third time in a week with Gary and leave me here, I feel rejected and unwanted.” Tell your spouse how you feel, but try not to explode or shout and scream. You will only look jealous, possessive and unattractive. And this will make the company of the friend look all the more attractive. If your spouse’s friend indeed does have ulterior motives, your are playing right into their hands by fighting with your partner. Ask to be included in some future activities – this is not unreasonable.

(Susan Erasmus, Health24)

Is infidelity only about sex?

Joy Crawford
The Jamaica Observer

Monday, June 27, 2005

Is infidelity only about sex? Is it different between the sexes? Are men unfaithful for different reasons than women are?

Men and women view infidelity differently. For women, infidelity is usually a life-long thing. They take it personally and, often, their relationship is irrevocably harmed by the knowledge that their man has been unfaithful. Men, on the other hand, view so-called infidelity as no big thing. As my good friend Dr Aggrey Irons explained many years ago, men perceive it as fidelity versus loyalty.

A man can be unfaithful by sleeping with fifty or even a hundred other woman but the problem arises when he is disloyal, meaning he is ready to make a commitment to another woman. In fact, to take this theory to its natural conclusion, a woman is in a better position if a man has several dalliances with faceless women than if he has one steady other woman with whom he spends all his time and lavishes her with trinkets.

When I was younger, I used to literally die at the thought that my man could ever, ever want to stray, much less do so. Eventually I realised that what men do with their bodies is recreational. I cannot say that I like it, but I have learnt to understand it. However, I certainly don’t want to know about it. It is not so much a fool’s paradise as much as acceptance of the things that one cannot change. As a result, I have embraced the Serenity Prayer:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.”
It seems that, since time immemorial, women have had to endure infidelity. Our Victorian predecessors openly embraced their husbands having bed wenches because it gave them a break from the rigours of sex. Our eastern counterparts are resigned to be one of many wives. They have accepted what is.

But why do people stray? Men do it maybe because it is expected of them. Some view monogamy as an unnatural phenomenon and feel very little remorse about sampling other fare. They want variety. They want to constantly feel desired and desirable, even if they have paunches and receding hairlines.

Men are having it good now. In fact, Levitra, Cialis and Viagra are doing booming business. Men have acquired a new lease on life. For them, there is indeed life after impotence.

So men will see a nubile, young thing and simply rise to the occasion. They are not, at that time, thinking about how much they love their wife or woman. In fact, if one were to take the time to ask them, one would find that they do love their wives.
Love has absolutely nothing to do with it. It is merely raging hormones and male pride, misplaced as that might be.
A man is able to love his wife and still find the time and energy to service another woman. It is simply business, no tugging at the heart-strings. For a man, infidelity is usually only about sex, hence Aggrey’s theory about fidelity and loyalty. (I am, however, not for one moment, saying that some men don’t stray when their relationship has problems, like the wife not wanting to have sex.)

As women, we may not like it but we have to learn to try and cope with it, since we can’t accept it. And I do not subscribe to the philosophy that two can play. This tit-for-tat business has never worked, but it all depends on what you, as a woman, are looking for.

Women, on the other hand, are unfaithful because they are usually hurt and looking for companionship. The average man who plays usually makes the mistake of not doing his homework. He neglects his wife.

He is usually so absorbed in his sexual callisthenics that he has nothing left for home. That causes a strain because his woman will, invariably, pick up on something and the closeness they once shared is severely compromised to the point that she will find comfort elsewhere, often by just confiding in one of the opposite sex, and, voila, an affair begins. The thing about it is that very few women can just have sex with a man. When the average woman has sex, the man is usually getting everything she has.

Far too many men lose women they never planned to lose to another man because they don’t get it. When a woman is unfaithful, her emotional being is usually engulfed with the other man. There are so many men who play the field and have friends keeping their wife company only to realise that those friends take over.

When will we ever learn? Perhaps never; but women need to take control of their emotional lives and try to understand their men better, for like it or not, they are all we have. We can’t live without them, or can we?

Joy Crawford is an attorney-at-law.

Red flags of infidelity

Fri, June 24, 2005
By JOANNE RICHARD, TORONTO SUN

DOES HE LOOK at other cheating men disapprovingly?

Does he reassure you, “I’d never do that?”

Is he getting distant, critical, and secretive about money? How about giving you expensive gifts unexpectedly?

Well, he’s probably cheating.

Statistics show that a surprising proportion of men — 35% — cheat on their wives, and authors Elizabeth Landers and Vicky Mainzer, contend that every unfaithful husband exhibits the same signs along the way.

In fact, cheaters follow the exact same script — which is the name of their new book: The Script: The 100% Absolutely Predictable Thing Men Do When They Cheat (Hyperion, 2005).

“It’s the same words and actions every time … almost always in the same order,” says Mainzer, who along with Landers interviewed hundreds of women across the country, and heard the same lines over and over again.

Mandy D. of Etobicoke can attest to the predictability: Her husband of 11 years had an affair with a colleague during which he was guilty of many of the common red flags, including telling her that she was “useless, crazy and didn’t contribute enough. He told me I didn’t have enough ambition or drive. He became militant, derogatory and emotionally void,” says Mandy, who does not want her real name used.

Her husband was out late every night using his sales job as an excuse and constantly putting her down when it came to appearance, the children and the house. “I couldn’t do anything right.”

When she’d confront him, he’d tell her she had the problem and should see a psychiatrist.

It’s all in the cheating man’s script.

“They’re ridiculously predictable — scary common what men do when they’re cheating. I’ve talked to so many other women, and their husband all did the same things,” says Mandy, mother of three, who has stayed with her husband but they still struggle with the fallout of his infidelity.

“Every woman who experiences an unfaithful husband feels confused and baffled by his contradictory statements and behaviour. She starts to believe that she really must be crazy, unappealing, selfish, and unloving, just as her husband says,” says Mainzer, who’s been divorced for 15 years and lives in Idaho.

But it’s just all part of the Script, they say.

The Script is a wakeup call to women everywhere, says Mainzer — their month-old book spells out the red flags of infidelity in order that women can take action and turn the tide of disaster before it’s too late. They’re out to interrupt the script early on and revise the ending to a happy one.

The authors believe it’s important to recognize the pattern, fix what’s broken in the relationship and put an end to divorce everywhere. “You get cheated out of social status, financial status and your family gets cheated — it get ripped apart. And children undergo very difficult struggles.”

According to Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, the fall-out is enormous, like an emotional nervous breakdown that rocks a marriage to its very core — “it takes years to built the trust and for sexual healing to occur.”

Through her extensive work in infidelity, she believes 70% of men cheat — “one partner in 80% of marriages have an affair,” says Eaker Weil, author of Adultery, The Forgivable Sin (Hudson House) and most recently Can You Cure and Forgive Adultery (Infinity Press).

According to Eaker Weil, a New York therapist who specializes in working with couples who want to overcome the devastating effects of betrayal, “an affair is a cry for help. It’s an inability for one partner to get close so they seek to self-medicate with a quick fix — the adultery fills the emptiness momentarily but it doesn’t solve the problem and the fallout reverberates for generations to come.”

The most stressed out men are the most likely to have affairs — “it does calm them down momentarily and fills that emotional chemical emptiness but not for long.”

Meanwhile, adds Mainzer, interrupt the script along the way — if you see something, say something: “Treat the pain early. In other words, if you feel something is up, talk about it sooner rather than later because it will be easier to solve when it’s a small problem …”

But if the bomb is dropped and he says he’s leaving, then take command, advises The Script. “You’ve been shot by a stun gun. But don’t let it stun you into inaction. By taking command, you calm those around you and gather your forces … call a lawyer.”

TELLTALE SIGNS

Keep your eyes open for these behaviours, advises infidelity expert Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil.

HE:

– Picks fights

– Acts unappreciated

– Becomes critical and finds fault

– Become distant and non-communicative

– Changes his image, i.e. loses weight, buys new clothes

– Telling you there’s something wrong with you and you should seek professional help

– Changes his money behaviour

– Changes in sexual behaviour, patterns, positions and frequency

– Buys gifts and does good deeds, such as chores around the house and helps more with the kids — “this assuages the guilt he’s feeling and it counteracts his bad behaviour away from home”

– Unexplained absenses

– Hang-ups on your home phone

– Starts leaving earlier for work and arriving home later