Dr. Luann Linquist

Excerpts from Secret Lovers

Advice from Those Who Know

Therapists generally advise: Don't do it! If married, get a divorce or improve your marriage. Nonetheless, if you're having an affair or are on the verge of one and don't see any other alternative at this particular time, listen to the advice from people who've been there as well as from therapists.

Recognize your motives for having the affair: It's helpful if you recognize what you're getting out of the relationship so you can decide if it's what you really want. In some cases, an affair may help you examine what is missing in your life so you can start making changes.

Accept the affair for what it is: An affair works best when you have no expectations that it will be any more than it is.

The illusion: Therapists say affairs are relationships that provide an outlet from everyday living. There are no sick kids, demanding spouses, broken washing machines or crab grass. You are free to revel in the fantasy of a romance where the petals don't fall off the rose. Secrecy is part of the turn-on.

Living in two separate worlds: Some people establish a life literally separate from their single or married lives. They live in both worlds simultaneously, and often, different aspects of themselves are expressed in each.

Examine your marriage and decide if you want to improve it or get out of it: Sometimes having an affair keeps a marriage ongoing when it otherwise might fall apart. Only you can decide whether to fix your marriage, end it or keep both relationships going until you finally decide what to do about your marriage.

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Dr. Luann Linquist, MCC

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