How affairs can be "the best thing that ever happened"

Tammy Nelson, PhD explains how for some couples, an affair can actually be a catalyst for positive change
Relationship Advice for Parents | How affairs can be "the best thing that ever happened" to your marriage
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How affairs can be "the best thing that ever happened"

Can an affair end up being the best thing that ever happened to you? Actually a lot of couples that I see in my therapy practice will say, actually, maybe this affair was the best thing that could have happened. Now, it takes a while to get to that place. So if you're not saying that right now, that makes total sense. But that's because you're at a different place in your recovery. In the beginning phase of a recovery from an affair, you're in a crisis. And it in no way feels like this is a really good thing that this happened. But you do get through that. And after the crisis, there's a whole other phase where you start to have some understanding and some insight of like, how did we get here? What happened to us? And if you get through that and really work together on the inside the why of the affair, there is another phase after that where you create a new relationship, where you start to share a new vision going forward. And a lot of times, couples in that phase will say, you know what? If this affair never happened to us, we would never have this. We would never understand each other and what we really needed from each other. We would never have had this opportunity to talk about what our goals are and what our vision is of the future going forward. A lot of couples say, we were on a really bad path there, and this would not have lead to the vision of our lives that we have now. The life that we really want to lead, a more intimate, more connected, maybe more sexually satisfying life. So for some couples an affair is a wake up call. It's kind of like a smack in the face. Like if we don't do something now to make this work, it's never going to work. And some couples are, if not grateful, at least aware.

Tammy Nelson, PhD explains how for some couples, an affair can actually be a catalyst for positive change


Expert Bio

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Tammy Nelson, PhD

Psychotherapist & Relationship Expert

Tammy Nelson PhD is the author of several books including, “Getting the Sex You Want; Shed Your Inhibitions and Reach New Heights of Passion Together”  (2008) and  “What’s Eating You? A Workbook for Anorexia and Bulimia (2004)” and her latest  book “The New Monogamy; Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity” (January 2013) is receiving critical acclaim.  She has been a featured expert in New York Times, Washington Post, Self,  Glamour Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, MSNBC,  Shape, Men’s Health, Women’s Health Woman’s Day, Women’s Health, and a source in Time Magazine. She writes for the Huffington Post, YourTango and can be followed on her blog

Tammy Nelson is a Board Certified Sexologist, a Certified Sex Therapist and an Imago Relationship Therapist.  She is an international speaker and a licensed psychotherapist in private practice with over 25 years of experience working with individuals and couples.  She travels and lectures internationally on her quest for global relational change.

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