Barry and Karen once had a warm and tender relationship. Barry enjoyed nothing more than curling up under the blanket next to the fireplace with Karen. Then about 4 years into their marriage something changed. It didn’t happen overnight and it’s hard to point to the one thing that happened. In fact, what caused Barry and Karen to grow apart is still a mystery. Unfortunately, the result of their growing apart was infidelity. Whatever the issue was Barry ended up having an affair.
So, what drove Barry into the arms of another woman? Was it Karen’s lack of attentiveness? Perhaps it was her pursuit of climbing the corporate ladder and working 10 hour days and 2 more hours after dinner? Maybe, just maybe, it was the fact that the kids became her focal point and Barry was 2nd fiddle. It could be all of the above or just as easily, none of the above.
Confused? Well, infidelity is confusing at times. As difficult as this might seem, maybe Karen didn’t drive Barry into the arms of another woman. What if Barry drove himself out of his selfish desires and used Karen as the scapegoat?
Isn’t it human nature to pass the buck and blame others for our bad decisions? It’s very common in marriage to blame your spouse for the marriage struggling or falling apart. Sometimes spouses create marital strife as a way to justify their inappropriate actions.
That’s what happened to Barry and Karen. Barry started an online relationship with another woman and innocent conversation turned into destructive actions. This is how most affairs play out.
- Contact is made, innocent at first
- Relationship is formed and a bond is established through repetitive communication or interaction
- Personal trust is established and the spouse becomes the villain
- Both individuals feel the need to connect to fill a void (real or unreal)
- The affair occurs and justified through all of the complaining and negative feelings expressed about the marriage and spouse
- The offended spouse is left wounded for life and having to try to pick up the broken pieces of the marriage
- The willing cheating partner is out of the picture, off to find another happy home to wreck
Karen in this case was left trying to raise their two kids as a single mom and is struggling to allow Barry to be apart of his children’s lives.
It’s never easy dealing with infidelity. It’s easy to get into an affair but extremely painful to recover from it. One night can destroy 5, 10, 30 even 50 years of a great relationship. It’s all erased with just one encounter with a willing adulterer.
Now, Barry didn’t plan on having an affair and ruining his marriage and hurting his children. However, he made the wrong decision.
If you are married, you too will have to make the same decision, more than once in your marriage. The choice will be to work to keep your marriage together or to satisfy your own desires. I’m not just talking about intimate desires. I’m referring to your desire to do your own thing or have things always go your way.
It all boils down to either you are working together and moving in the same direction or you are working against each other and slowly drifting apart. The latter is dangerous because the more you drift apart the more susceptible you are to finding someone else to satisfy your needs.
Now, let’s get back to Barry and Karen. Karen is slowly coming around to considering forgiving Barry and giving him a second chance. If she does, it will be up to Barry to keep from running afoul again. Karen will also play a major role in keeping Barry from straying.
If Karen is still bitter and resents Barry for cheating on her it will be hard for her to trust Barry again. Without trust, their relationship will continue to be distant. When there is too much distance between spouses, there is room for someone to step in and steal time and anything can happen after that happens.
If you are married, please realize that you can easily replace Barry and Karen with you and your spouse’s names. No one is immune from having an affair. You have to guard your time and keep your relationship from becoming distant. Make sure your marriage is always improving and you will reduce the chances of becoming Barry and Karen.