Bad Affair Advice
When an affair becomes part of your relationship, it’s natural and reasonable to reach out for help and advice from professionals, from people who care about you, and from people who have already gone through the same experience.
Unfortunately, while family and friends can be a great comfort and strength, they are rarely equipped to give good, objective advice and can unwittingly add to the pressure and stress of an already difficult situation.
Therapists, as we’ve often discussed, are rarely trained in infidelity and it’s concerning that so many have a shallow and indolent understanding of infidelity. Their contribution and guidance can be ineffective, and even damaging.
The infidelity support community can be an excellent source of advice for dealing with an affair but, understandably, the quality and nature of the advice is heavily influenced by the tone and stance of each individual site.
Tinfoil Hats Required
Our members -like most- have sought advice and help for dealing with an affair from a variety of sources. They have kindly allowed me to share some of the bad advice they had been given, for this post.
You might want to put your tinfoil hat on before reading further, as added protection against this stuff seeping into your brain and turning it to goop …
When you are suitably protected (and looking more than a little ridiculous, though a quick Google search can yield some fascinating ideas for tinfoil hat styles), it’s safe to read on. 😆
Whilst some sites and therapists might herald the following pearls of wisdom (ahem) as examples of a courageous and tenacious fight, commending them as mustering and mobilizing resources in defense of the marriage, our view is entirely different. The headings under which I’ve (loosely) grouped these little nuggets indicate why they are entirely inconsistent with our own approach.
Real ‘Advice’ Therapists/Other Sites Gave Our Members
Manipulation & Damaging/Demeaning Yourself
- Spend quality time together, and be loving and nonjudgmental so that he’ll feel connected.
- Love him through it.
- Become a domestic diva.
- Cry a lot.
- Consider getting pregnant.
- Seduce him, wear pretty lingerie, and remind him what he’s missing.
- Talk to the other woman and ask her to leave your husband alone.
- Start spying.
- Expose the affair.
- A failed marriage means she wins.
- If you think of divorce as an option, you’ll never be fully committed.
- Focus on how much he loves you.
- You need to begin to trust her again so stop being so suspicious – you can’t have a good marriage without trust.
- Three weeks after D-Day you should have asked (and talked about) all and any questions, and be ready to move on.
- We need to move forward, communicate, and have more sexual contact.
- Wait until he’s been living with her for two years before filing for divorce.
- Have a really short memory.
- Talk him into seeing a pastor.
- Order pubic lice over the internet and put them in his underwear.
- Have an affair too.
- Expose the affair (yes, the advice also easily fits into this category).
Because it’s Just Appallingly Awful, Desperately Terrible Advice
- Move out.
- It’s cheating to take anti depressants. If you don’t feel the pain you’re not really dealing with it.
- Turn it over to ‘god’ – this is happening because you’re an atheist.
It’s worth stressing that some of this really hideous advice came from therapists and counselors. Before you part with your hard-earned cash, interview any potential therapist to understand their ideology, their biases, their approach, and their specific training and qualification in infidelity.
Have you been advised to befriend the affair partner? Or maybe to call your cheater’s bluff by offering an open marriage? Perhaps someone has suggested that you spike your cheater’s drinks with prolactin? Or that you should make yourself look like the other woman? Maybe someone has kindly pointed out that you should be flattered that the other man found your wife attractive enough to have an affair with her?