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Are You "the Other?"

Are You

Part One...


In light of the recent Tiger Woods scandal, I began to think about infidelity from many perspectives. Keep in mind, even though some have more responsibility then others, everyone needs to take responsibility for their role in the affair.


Are you tempted to or are you having an affair with a married person? The very idea may be exciting and exhilaratingat first anyway. The married individual may seem intriguing to you for some obvious reasons and some not so obvious or hidden reasons. It might be helpful for you to think about what are the obvious and not so obvious reasons. This can be tricky at times to allow yourself to really see clearly. Be honest and truthful with yourself about why you're here in this situation. What is really in it for you? Being "the other one" is more common than most people realize. For many, having an affair is difficult to maintain and in the end it provides little stability. All sorts of feelings arise when you know you are the other, sometimes even shame. For others, the affair takes little time, energy and may even feel freeing because of the little demands put on them.


Statistics show that the needs of the "other person" will rarely come first. Sometimes, the person in a committed relationship may find themselves bored or feeling stressed; therefore, for them it's easy to escape the day-to-day grind to be with someone who does not represent what is ordinary or whom they may not have any financial or emotional responsibilities for.


Many of us will get involved in relationships that directly reflect either our parent's relationships or those adults that were close to us as children. Ultimately, as we do our personal work, we mature to a place where we want more for ourselves. This would include a flourishing and growing relationship where we feel treasured, cared for and secure. However, the very premise of an affair creates a lack of safety and intimacy.


Seriously consider how much of yourself you want to give to a relationship that is mostly one-sided. When statistics tell us that most "other..." end up being alone once the affair ends, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:

1. Have your relationships been short term or have you ever had a long-term, committed relationship?

2. Have you ever lived with someone for a number of years or been in a committed relationship?

3. What was that like for you?

4. What were the issues between you and your partner?

5. Is this being the "other person" a pattern for you?

6. What feeling comes up around intimacy?

7. What's your fantasy outcome about this relationship?

8. Would you want to marry this person?

9. How is the power dynamic between you?

10. Is there a power imbalance and/or an age difference?

11. Are you in completely different stages of your lives? You might want to think about if this is this something you want to continue indefinitely.

Please be kind to yourself as you think about the situation.

Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Howard PhD

by: Jennifer Howard PhD
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