In more than twenty years of counseling couples I have discovered that many men and women cheat on their spouse without even having sex outside of their relationship. I want to identify several types of monogamous cheaters to see if you are one of the millions that are married and yet feel alone.
The first type of cheater is the emotional affair cheater. This spouse shares their emotions, dreams, aspirations with anyone other than their spouse. They may do this at work, on Facebook, texting old flames, or just always having a friend of the opposite sex available to share with. So when this cheater comes home, they really don’t need to connect emotionally with their spouse because they already have someone else for that.
The second type of cheater is the porn addict. This person literally is neurologically and psychologically attached to a fantasy world. If they have viewed porn for most of their life, it has robbed them of the emotionally maturity needed to be monogamous in a relationship. As this cheater’s spouse you feel shut out, like you are never enough and feel confused. This is especially true if you don’t know if their cheating with porn. It’s always good to ask your spouse how much porn they are viewing so it’s not a secret between you.
Intimacy anorexia is also a type of monogamous cheater. This person has the following characteristics: 1) too busy for their spouse, 2) blames the spouse for all the problems in the marriage, 3) withholds love, 4) withholds praise, 5) some withholds sex or connected sex, 6) withholds spirituality, 7) unwilling or unable to share feelings, 8) controls with silence or anger, 9) ongoing or unwarranted criticism of you, 10) can control or shame you around money. Often if you’re married to this man or woman you feel like roommates not lovers. Take the test at www.intimacyanorexia.com.
The next cheater is married to their money and not their spouse. This spouse is married to the deal, or the next big investments and are always chasing the illusive “it.” You are second in line at best. This person can also be the proverbial workaholic.
The “cause” cheater has the best friend of all. They are married to a cause whether it is a social, political, religious, local or personal cause. They seem justified in all the time, energy and emotion they give to their cause. After they give so much to the cause, just like the money cheater, they have little left over for you and you can feel alone in this marriage.
The last monogamous cheater is a person I call the pleasure cheater. This person has some hobby or way they pleasure themselves, be it working out, marathon running, hunting, fishing, art, the list goes on and on. The pleasure is more important than the spouse.
When you are married to a monogamous cheater you often feel alone, less wanted or like you are living in their world, not in a world together. Over the years, pain can cause this spouse to start to medicate to numb the lack of connection and value they hoped to have.
If you are the monogamous cheater, get honest about the imbalance in your life and the consequences it is having on your marriage and spouse. If you are the spouse I would encourage you to first get educated in the area that your spouse cheats on you. Then get support from others; a friend, counselor or support group are great options.
After you feel educated and supported, then address the issue of monogamous infidelity. Have a plan for help so your spouse can demonstrate progress. For example; reading books, getting counseling, attending support groups, agreeing to boundaries with consequences, dating each other, regular sex or whatever would bring balance to your marriage.
The monogamous cheater is often in denial but if you, as their spouse, start this journey, then it is possible to bring your marriage back to where you both have a more satisfying relationship. I have seen many couples in our 3 Day Intensive get these necessary tools to make this happen.
To learn more about Intimacy Anorexia purchase the book. While you are reading this book, it if any time questions come up we are here to answer any questions. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 719.278.3708.