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Stepping Outside Your Marriage

Professionally speaking, I have treated numerous couples suffering from infidelity that has had an adverse effect on their marriage. Marital couples do not intend for “it to happen”, yet when it does happen, they find themselves in a challenging situation. The primary question is “Why do people step outside their marriage?” The most common response that I hear in session is “My emotional and/or sexual needs were not being met”. Let’s take this opportunity to discuss these points a little further to gain a deeper understanding of “emotional” and “sexual” needs. Emotional needs are feelings or conditions to feel happy, fulfilled, and harmonious.

Experts have identified that emotional needs involve one or more of the following:

  • Affection

  • Acceptance/Validation

  • Security – Feeling safe in your marriage

  • Trust

  • Attention

In addition, sexual needs may include one or more of these listed below:

  • Orgasms - Physical release

  • Libido – Sexual Desire

  • Frequency – How often to engage in sexual intimacy

  • Fantasies

When these emotional and sexual needs are consistently being met by your spouse, you most likely will not be seeking it elsewhere. Therefore, it is imperative to communicate to your spouse if you feel lonely and unloved in your marriage to prevent stepping outside your marriage. What is it that you need to feel loved by your partner? What do you do to make sure your partner feels loved? “Let all that you do be done in love” 1 Corinthians 16:14. The focus is to ensure that both partners’ needs are met and to openly communicate these with your partner as soon as you feel emotionally and/or physically disconnected.




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