Affair Proof Your Marriage
By John H. Thurman Jr., M.Div.,M.A., LCMHC, BCPCC
“How did this happen?” is a question routinely asked by an unfaithful spouse once they have been discovered. That is one question that has been in the news lately. Be it a Southern politician with a mistress in Argentine or a former Presidential candidate, a preacher, or the businessman, businesswoman in the office next door or a stay at home mom just down the street.
Extramarital affairs are one of the “Frequent fliers” in my counseling practice. Not that I would ever wish it on anybody because recovery from such a devastating event is doable but very tough.
Several years ago, I met Dave Carder, a therapist in Southern California, who specializes in Affair Recovery. His book Torn Asunder has revolutionized my work with couples who are trying to repair their marriage as a result of infidelity.
In his training, he is quick to point out that there are numerous predictable patterns than can identify those at risk for an affair. His most recent book, Close Calls: What Adulterers Want You to Know about Protecting Your Marriage, gives the reader important information in affair prevention.
Over the next few postings I will review them. Be sure to pick up your copy of Close Calls, it could save your life, your marriage, your job, and your soul.
Close Call Tip # 1 – Know Your Dangerous Partner Profile
· You don’t marry someone like your dangerous profile partner because, in your gut, you knew that they would not be a good, long-term investment.
· You spouse probably is different that your dangerous profile partner, but that does not mean they are less attractive to you.
· The dangerous partner profile can be made up of those individuals that seem to meet all of the deficits and shortcomings that you bring into your marriage.
· The dangerous person often defies all of your culture, training, common sense and values. Logic has nothing to do with it.
· A dangerous partner profile lurks within all of us and should be dealt with.
For more information read pages 17-37 in Close Calls.
Need Affair Recover? email John
Avoiding Extramarital Affairs Part # 2
By John H. Thurman Jr., M.Div. M.A., LCMHC
Can you believe how many politicians are cheating on their wives! What about Ensign’s lover’s husband trying to get more money for his kids because his wife cheated on him? Things are really messed up.
Marriage is a commitment, marriage is hard work, and marriage is risky business. In this second installment of Avoiding Extramarital Affair, I will be reviewing personal risk factors you could face.
What are your risk factors for an affair? Hint: We are all at some risk.
In his book Close Calls: What Adulterers Want you to Know about Protecting Your Marriage, Dave Carder does an exceptional job unveiling the personal factors that can contribute to a close call.
High-Risk Family of Origin Issues
· A family history of infidelity
· Single Parent/Step Family
· Physically Abusive/Chronically Conflicted Family
High-Risk Personal Factors
· Sexual Molestation – The National Center for Victims of Crimes suggests that between 20-40 percent of young women and up to 20 percent of young men report having been sexually molested when they were minors.
· Adolescent Promiscuity – Some experts state that this would represent a person who has had six or more partners between ages thirteen to twenty. This is one great reason for abstinence for young people.
· Learning Disabilities and ADHD
· A Lack of Personal Boundaries or a Personality Style that would tend to be very dependent.
· A Lack of a Moral Compass
· An Indulgent Lifestyle
Socrates said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.”
Those who bring trouble on their families inherit the wind. The fool will be a servant to the wise.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
Avoiding Extramarital Affairs, Part 3
By John H. Thurman Jr., M.Div., M.A., LCMHC
As you continue to look at risk factors that can lead to an infidelity or cheating you must look at your risky history.
While I was in graduate school one of my fellow students asked the professor if there was ever a time that a person could be free of risks and temptation. The professor wisely pondered the student question and answered, “Of Course, when you are no longer breathing. Then it will not matter.”
Knowing and understanding how our family history and personality style work are important. However; we also need to be keenly aware of certain situations that can open us to higher risk factors of getting involved in an affair.
Cheaters rarely cheat in a vacuum.
A working knowledge of your risk factors will go a long way in protecting you from an affair.
Dave Carder’s research, in Close Calls, shows that there are certain “High Risk Zones that we need to keep an eye on.
· Times of loss
· Life Transitions
· Chronic, Long-Term Illness
· Opposite Sex Friendships
· Workplace Affairs
· Volunteer Opportunities
· “Soloing” in Public Places
Live with your heart and eyes open.
John Thurman, M.Div., M.A., LCMHC, BCPCC
Avoiding Extramarital Affairs: Part 4
Risky Marriage Styles
By John Thurman M.Div., M.A., LCMHC
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the couple with a baby carriage.
It doesn’t always work out that way does it? With over thirty-five years in the people helping business I have never met someone who planned on cheating on their spouse or having an affair. I don’t believe anyone starts off a marriage with any idea that it could crash and burn because of a third party. Having said that, I am amazed at how much a couple will spend on a wedding without investing in some premarital counseling. It seems that or media-based culture has put more emphasis on the event than on the relationship.
Whatever happened to the vows, to love and cherish, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse…All that being said, research has shown us that there are certain styles of marriage that are at a higher risk for and affair.
My mentor and friend, Dave Carder, first wrote of these styles in his book Torn Asunder and expands this concept in his book Close Calls: What Adulterers Want You to Know about Protecting Your Marriage.
The Windshield Wiper – This type of marriage centers on avoiding intimacy at all costs through bickering, fighting, demands, criticism, mean-spirited teasing, stated disappointments and even open conflict.
Dial Tone – This is most like the dial tone on your land line phone. There is never any deviation, no variation, extremely predictable and conflict is always avoided. One example; She puts the food on his plate because; “He won’t eat right unless I put it in front of him.”
Empty Nest – This couple looks good on the outside. They are the perfect, conscientious business man or the perfect mother. They have put their time in, done their duty, and are out of the door the around the same time the last child goes off to either school or marriage.
If you are feeling like you fall into one of these styles be sure to take measures to protect your relationship. If you would like a realistic look at your relationship, why not check out the Couple’s Checkup.
Keep and eye on your heart, mind, and marriage.
Fight for your Marriage,
John Thurman(c) 2009 John Thurman