Do you think there is such a thing as emotional infidelity? In other words, can you be unfaithful to your spouse even if you never physically cheat?
I recently met with a young couple, Sarah and Kyle, who have been married for seven years. They have one child together, a two-year old boy named Logan.
However, their marriage has been on the rocks ever since Kyle discovered that Sarah has been messaging her coworker Jake after hours on Facebook.
“He acts like I cheated on him,” said Sarah defensively. “I never did! Jake is just someone I spend time with at work. I message him on Facebook when I come across things that I think he will find funny.”
“She sits there and messages him for hours!” snapped Kyle.
“So what if I message him for hours? I’m not having sex with him!”
“You both have really valid points,” I said. “But, in a sense, I do agree with what Kyle is saying.”
“Now, I am not saying you are having an affair,” I said quickly. “But, each of us is only given so much time each day. And if you are taking the free time you have and directing your energy to someone other than your husband, your relationship is going to get in trouble really quickly.”
“Oh, so I can’t have friends?” she demanded. “I should just sit home and be a mom and a wife and not have any other interests? Maybe the reason I need to talk to Jake is the only reason Kyle talks to me is to ask me to do a load of laundry or if I can change Logan’s diaper.”
Kyle was about to protest, but I interrupted. “Why do you think you to talk to Jake so much? How does talking to Jake make you feel?”
Sarah looked thoughtful. Then, she said, “Well. I guess he makes me feel funny. Interesting…Sexy, even. Like I am an attractive person. Like…how I used to feel before I had Logan.”
“You don’t feel that way with me?” asked Kyle, a hurt look spreading across his face.
Sarah teared up. “No…Not lately. I just feel like ever since Logan was born, I have become this blob to you. You don’t hold me or kiss me or flirt with me. The only time we ever talk is about Logan and his schedule, or what errands we need to run, or what time your mom is coming over to have dinner.”
“Do you agree, Kyle?” I asked.
He nodded. “Yeah… I feel the same way. I kind of think I lost my mojo after Logan was born too. I gained weight and stopped sleeping well. I don’t feel attractive or important to her either. And with her messaging this guy, now I feel even worse.”
Needless to say, it quickly became apparent to me that this was a vicious cycle of hurt and resentment. Sarah felt poorly about herself, so she reached out to Jake to make herself feel validated and desirable again. In doing so, she only pushed Kyle further away. Kyle in return defended himself by shutting her out. This only made her reach out to Jake more and need even more validation.
It was time to put the cycle to an end.
“Have you ever heard the saying, ‘Energy flows where intention goes’?” I asked.
They both shook their heads.
“Right now, you are each telling me that you want to fix this marriage. But neither of one is actually setting your behavior on this course. You are stuck in a cycle of hurt, anger, and silent treatments. The only way you can get out of this cycle is by actively making an intention to work on your relationship every single day.
It is so important to set an intention every day when it comes to your relationship. You have to get conscious and present if you want to deeply heal and change your marriage. You have to ask yourself: What can I do today to show my partner my love? What can I do today to make him feel sexy and wanted? Because, here’s the thing, once you start bringing that energy into your relationship, he is going to mirror it right back to you. He is going to give you that same sexy, frisky feeling right back—that’s the beauty of the Law of Attraction. If you generate the energy you desire and vibrate at the frequency you want to feel, the universe will respond ten-fold.”
Sarah and Kyle aren’t through seeing me yet, but Sarah has stopped talking to Jake outside of work. And they have made a pact to spend 15 minutes each day having non-parent related conversation. They have also set an intention to actively make sure their energy is focused on their marriage, not other people.