Dr. Ellen Kreidman, Ph. D.
"I've been with someone else." Those
words are like a wrecking ball that crashes through your life. The
roller coaster ride that comes with infidelity is filled with hurt,
betrayal, anger, love, threats, hope and depression. It may seem
like your marriage is over... but it's not.
While you may not think so, your pain
will force you to grow. Pain is our greatest teacher. Regardless of
where the pain comes from, there are always lessons to be learned.
Physical pain alerts you to a problem in your body that needs
attention. Emotional pain does the same thing. It tells you that
there is a lesson that you need to learn so you can grow stronger.
It usually forces you to look inside and ultimately to stretch,
grow, and gain more knowledge and understanding about yourself and
What I have told thousands of people in
your situation is, "You can use this pain to make your marriage so
strong, that no one and nothing can ever come between the two of you
again or you can let your pain lead to the end your marriage. If you
choose the first statement, I promise that I can help you have a
different marriage and the healing will begin.
I know it's easy to blame your spouse
and especially the other person involved, but it's much harder to
look at yourself and ask, "Was there something lacking in me that
made my spouse want to connect with another person?" Thousands of
men and women, just like you, have learned how to use the pain of
infidelity to make their marriages better than ever!
We were married for 8 years when I
finally found out my husband was cheating. The crazy hours, nights,
weekends - how could I have been so naïve! I lost all respect for
him and felt so violated. If it weren't for the kids and lack of
finances, I would have left. Over time, we learned to tolerate each
other. He was sorry for what he did but I made him pay for it
One night I fell asleep on the couch and when I woke up at 2:00 A.M.
there you were on TV talking about why people have affairs. It was
hard looking at myself and for the first time understanding that
what I said, what I did and what I didn't do, all contributed to him
finding someone else. You were right, it takes 2 people to have an
affair and once I took responsibility for my part, the healing
began." Shannon T. - Lexington,
For 23 years I've helped couples
understand the reasons why
infidelity has happened and how to
prevent it from ever happening again. I have never found a case
where a man or woman woke up one day and spontaneously decided to go
out and have an affair. It's a decision that happens due to months
or years of neglect and being taken for granted. If you use
infidelity as a wake-up call, you can have a better marriage than
you ever dreamed possible.
Why Infidelity Happened In The First
Here is an eye-opening fact that Oprah
had me repeat 3 times when I was backstage on her show. It really
does explain the "Why" of marital infidelity.
A man falls in love because of the way
he feels about himself when he is with a woman. When he doesn't feel
good anymore he's going to find another woman who does make him feel
good. That's what an affair is all about. It's not that he's in love
with the other woman. What he's really in love with is the way he
feels about himself when he's with the other woman. A woman feels
the same way. Do you know how many times a woman will say to me,
"Dr. Ellen, now that I'm in love, I feel beautiful, I feel sexy, I
feel special and needed." We have a right to feel like that for the
rest of our lives, and when we don't, we try to find someone else
who will make us feel good.
I was doing a radio show in Texas and a man called up and said, "I
don't believe this. I dropped a hamburger in my lap. I went to a pay
phone and just had to call you up to tell you that what you're
saying is so true. For three years I have been having an affair and
I couldn't put into words why! My wife is pretty, she's intelligent
and she's the pillar of the community. But the truth is that I feel
like ‘nothing' when I'm with my wife and I feel like a ‘king' when
I'm with this other woman."
I spoke to a woman who had been married
for 9 years and started to have feelings for someone she worked
with. She said, "My husband is successful, smart, good-looking but
the other guy makes me feel beautiful and special."
Many people think that if they were better-looking or had more
money, then things would be different. It's not about getting
thinner, better looking or making more money. Some of the wealthiest
people in the world are by themselves; some of the most beautiful
people on earth are lonely. This is about how another human being
feels about themselves when they're with you. So, it isn't about me,
but how does my husband feel about himself every time he's with me.
And, it isn't about my husband, but how do I feel about myself when
I'm with him. If we both make each other feel so good about who we
are, why would we ever want to be with anyone else?
We have the ability to make another human being feel that they are
important, special, attractive, sexy, intelligent, funny, wanted and
needed. That's what a loving marriage is all about and that's the
lesson that needs to be learned. If you do, your spouse will never
again want to be with anyone but you!
Dr. Ellen Kreidman is a highly
acclaimed relationship expert and the author of the best-selling
programs, Light His Fire and Light Her Fire. For an effective way to
deal with infidelity without marriage counseling, visit.