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Cheaters get a pretty bad rap.

Infidelity isn’t something most people have much empathy for — unless you’re the one who was cheated on. Most of the advice out there on the subject of dealing with an affair tells you how to prevent an affair before you have one, or how to repair a relationship after the affair is over and done with.

But what if you’re currently having an affair, and have no idea what to do about it?

You have rights too, even if other people see what you’re doing as categorically Bad — or maybe even see you as being fundamentally Bad. …

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You’re engaged to be married. And you’re starting to realize you have very mixed feelings about this state of affairs.

You thought you wanted to get married. You thought you wanted to spend the rest of your life with the person who is soon to become your legally wedded spouse — if you, um, go through with the wedding, that is. You thought that having a wedding would be great.

But then, somewhere along the line, you started to feel slightly nauseous every time somebody congratulated you on your engagement. At some point, you noticed yourself twitching a little bit every time someone asked you how the wedding planning was coming along. …

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They say marriage is all about finding that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.

There are two dominant narratives about romantic relationships in our culture. Either they’re REALLY good and if so, that’s great — or they’re BAD, and if they are, that’s a PROBLEM.

We have an extensive shared vocabulary for talking about all of the wonderful aspects of relationships. We celebrate the joy of connection and intimacy. We love the idea of there being a “soul mate” or “true love” out there for everyone. We recognize the beauty and value of the support and stability a long-term relationship can provide — as long as the relationship is continuously “happy,” or “fulfilling,” anyway.

And, on the other hand, we have lots to say about relationships that aren’t good. …


Marie Murphy

Relationship coach, specializing in helping people who are having affairs decide what they want to do. No judgements.

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