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Friday, November 02, 2012

How to Have an Afffair

I wanted to read more about the Congressman caught in his second affair last week, but couldn't remember any details. So I Googled affair and half-way down the first page found, "How to Have an Affair,"  subtext, "And Not Get Caught."

Turns out the Tennessee congressman's name is Scott DesJarlais. It is an ugly story, probably only half true.  (My mother-in-law tells us that we should believe only half of what we hear, and in this she is probably correct.)  We can only hope.

Google landed on How to Have an Affair, however, and crazy thing is I had no interest in reading the article, assumed it a teaser for an e-book.  I'm all about the affair being between two committed partners, preferably married partners, but not necessarily.  This is satisfying, too, and less time-consuming.

The usually tepid, if sometimes torrential, intramarital love affair has no beginning and no end, mitigates conflict naturally, and is not as rare as people who have extramarital affairs seem to think.

No need to elaborate much on the benefits, but marriage has  many inherent stresses, and the intramarital affair buffers stress, as it is designed to do.  The sense that one has a dedicated-to-exclusivity-with-a-vengeance  life-partner, one who works at love (because this takes much work) under any and all circumstances, even if it doesn't feel like love all of the time, even when communication seems to indicate the opposite of love, even when a person has no clothes on, perhaps even more for that, is highly rewarding.

It is more rewarding still if one can whip a lackadaisical partner into shape, not literally, not unless that is what he or she desires, rather can shape said partner into the role, for lack of a better word, of true partner. Meaning get him or her to wash and put away dishes, serve once in awhile, perhaps fix a broken bicycle or hire someone to fix the doorknob.

I prefer reading about this sort of thing to reading about behavior that jeopardizes this sort of thing.

It doesn't take tremendous imagination to see why people still want to have extramarital affairs, however, and do so, and to see why they don't want to get caught, although wanting to get caught is likely the impetus for the affair in the first place.  Why would anyone want to get caught?

Still working out cutting school is why, or not cutting school, not having pushed limits enough as children.Or still working out the identified patient role.  Children misbehave, they act out, to get caught.  They want to draw their parents into therapy, at least get them to talk to one another, to bond, if necessary, over the problem at hand, their errant child.

Being a problem child can be about expressing frustration over bullies, abuse, difficult teachers, learning disabilities, Pediatric Bipolar Disorder, Diisruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, or a host of other childhood issues, but it isn't always.  Often it is about looking to fix their broken families, expressing the pain of the family, or merely needing more time and attention.

As the saying goes: Any attention beats no attention, even negative attention.  Negative attention being an angry response or punishment from a parent.

So getting caught is the objective.

And we get better at it, acting out to get caught, as we age and need to individuate, to be our own persons.  We do it by stretching parental limits, by saying, "You're not the boss of me," and breaking rules,  getting away with breaking all kinds of rules, especially the ones that matter most to their parents.

Fast forward.

therapydoc

4 comments:

couples counseling said...

Having a intramarital affair is stressful and not good in any marriage.It will always end up in hurting either yourself or others and even both.

Negi said...

Thanks for great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get this tips from you.

psychotherapy nyc

Beno said...

About time someone paid attention to the "intramarital affair," which is probably more relevant than the extramarital affair but gets a lot less press (except perhaps in Cosmopolitan magazine). I thought this was an interesting take on it:
http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/08/09/granderson.date.night/index.html

therapydoc said...

That was cute, Beno. Sounds like he didn't spend enough money or imagination on date night.