Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Relationships: The Three Horseman

Or Marriage, Infidelity and Divorce

Remember when I said I would save “that” for another time….? The topic was relationships and how what was once the focus of your dreams ends up becoming the cause of all your problems…..

Your worst NIGHTMARE!

Ok, so it was not too hard to remember.  Well, before we dive head first into this “black hole”, I thought you might find these so called “facts” interesting.

The following enlightenment is derived, in part anyway, from a book by Dr. Holly Hein, where she explores marriage, infidelity and divorce. Ok, enlightenment is not really the word but I think you will find some of this stuff interesting.

Were you aware that affairs are actually quite common; that we are not really as monogamous as we profess to be? Ok, so it’s not all that much of a surprise to you given the statistics on divorce and what you know about your friends but what about this infidelity thing in general?

Would it surprise you if I said that nearly 70% of all married men and 60% of all married women have reported having affairs? Does that surprise you at all? Ok, so you knew men were “horn dogs” but what about the women?

Putting it in another way, infidelity impacts two out of every three marriages. MMMMM put these statistics to use in your own social circles…. Then again, maybe not….. It just might be a little too uncomfortable…..

Now, how about divorce? We all know we are a throw away society; everything from containers to automobiles. We also know that with today’s stressors, marriage is very difficult to keep on track but did you know that every ten to thirteen seconds someone gets divorced. Sort of gives you whip lash doesn’t it?

And it looks like a revolving door, carrying with it much of the past into other future relationships…

Ok, so why stay in an unhealthy relationship that makes you angry, at either yourself or your partner?

You deserve more than being pissed off don’t you? Well, how about this statistic? Would it surprise you to know that 50% of women and 33% of men remain angry for up to ten years after a divorce? Wasn’t divorce supposed to solve something or make you feel better? Wasn’t it supposed to make you less angry at someone? MMMMMMMMMM

Ok, so you get the divorce. What about starting over? How easy is it to start over? Did you know that traditionally women have more trouble starting new relationships than divorced men do? For some reason the big “D” doesn’t affect men the same way it affects women.

Men are still looked at as “commodities” while women are often seen as “damaged goods”.

Ok, we already know that two out of three couples have not stayed within the confines of a monogamous relationship. How does that pencil out with divorces? Well, the statistics are quite interesting…

While more than 90% of divorces, in long-standing relationships, involved infidelities some time during their marriage and more than 50% may be currently involved in a affair, only 25% list an affair as an actual reason for their divorce. This reinforces what many therapists have said for years.

Affairs, though damaging, don’t in themselves break up marriages. Marriages can get beyond infidelity and often do.

Now that we all know divorce is such a popular past time and affairs, though not the reason can be a factor in the divorce. Does divorce solve anything?

Well, that question is difficult to answer. We do know that approximately 80% of those who divorce during an affair regret their decision. We also know that over 75% of people who marry partners in an affair, eventually divorce. We also know that the divorce rate and ratio of infidelity are much higher among marriage partners who are involved in an affair. Now, does divorce solve anything?

You tell me.

What else do we know about affairs and infidelity? Well, we know that the average affair lasts two to four years and if an affair becomes public, it begins to fail. The affair seems to only thrive in secrecy and once the affair becomes public it often ends; no matter the promises, no matter future intentions.

If by chance an affair replaces the marriage, this new marriage is subject to the same emotional stresses as the former marriage but is twice as likely to fail. It appears that affairs are transitional past times at best….

We have already explored the fact that once an affair becomes public it dies, so the possibility of the affair developing into anything long lasting is against the odds. So what about just keeping an affair an affair? Well, due to the nature of the beast, an affair prevents binding ties from being formed. Consequently, it has nowhere to go. Therefore, sooner or later it will suffocate in secrecy.

In the end, it appears affairs die for the same reason as marriages crumble; lack of intimacy.

Now is all this etched in “stone”? No, it’s not. Statistics are just that, statistics and they can reflect anything. I am sure you all know someone involved in a monogamous relationship. Maybe you and most of your friends are. I find it interesting to see the numbers but one must be careful on how we apply them. Remember Statistics can and do support almost anything….

None the less, I do believe we can say that nothing good comes out of secrecy and intimacy is vital in almost all relationships. Especially if one wants to keep them around for any length of time. Plug that into trust and respect and you might just have a receipt for a relationship that lasts.

So until next time, where do you fit into all these statistics?

As always, it is your choice. I have made mine. It’s now time to make yours if you have not already….

Remember, “Not all that shines is Gold. It may just be the refection of a Snipers Scope”. Or NOT….. And “proceed with caution does not mean not to proceed at all”….

So, the next time you are looking for something brighter in the next pasture or over the next hill, make sure you and the other are free of past commitments or No Future is to be had…

It will be an exercise in TRANSITION at best.

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