Are You Having an Affair?

Other Relationships Relationships The First Year


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Years ago, people used to talk about having an affair in a totally different context. They would send engraved invitations to people in the community, ensure that the catering would be of the finest caliber and order a new ball gown. Their goal was to have "the affair" of the season.

We talk about people who "put their affairs in order", meaning that they take care of their financial matters and prepare a will.

Psychologists frequently hear about other types of affairs when couples request help with their relationship problems. The guilt and betrayal felt by the individuals involved can be devastating.

Sometimes during marriage counselling sessions, I surprise the clients by mentioning the word "affair" and am swiftly and clearly told that there is no other person involved! I then remind them that affairs do not have to involve other people. They do, however, represent the focus that we have in our lives and are measured by where we put our time, energy and money. It is easy to be distracted from relationship building when we live in a world of distractions!

Relationships take work. Honeymoons end. We wouldn't expect a crop without sowing seed and then fertilizing it.

Try drawing two intersecting circles and then divide each into sections that represent where you spend your time. How many hours do you devote to developing the "us" where they intersect?

If an affair can be defined as the place where you focus your time, energy and money, perhaps, using this definition, you might be actually having an affair with golf, gourmet cooking, work or stamp collecting.

Do you want to have the affair of the season? Try investing in your relationship with your partner.


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com


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