DearPeggy.com


Help and support for men!?
by Peggy Vaughan

This was previously posted as one of my Questions and Responses—but I'm posting it as a permanent part of the website so it can be available to the large number of people who continue to request information about this specific aspect of dealing with affairs.

Question:
Despite searching for several months, all the information/websites I have found seem to deal with the female partner's point of view when discussing affairs. I have yet to find a site which offers support to the man who has been "cheated on." Can you help??

Peggy's Response:
I receive a lot of letters from men whose wives had affairs. Many people do not realize how prevalent this is—or how many men try to work through it to stay in the marriage. In fact, during the past decade, about 40% of the people who have contacted me have been men whose wives had affairs.

Since there are many, many men struggling to deal with their wife's affair, my work has always addressed BOTH. So I find it astounding that this question was submitted to my website. I can only assume that the man who wrote it has not read The Monogamy Myth, the articles about affairs posted on the site or the many previous Questions and Responses—which have been submitted by both men and women.

I long ago recognized that the person having an affair (whether the husband or the wife) exhibits similar behaviors, including the secrecy, deception, and resistance to answering questions once discovered. At the same time, the spouse (whether the husband or wife) exhibits similar behaviors, including feelings of devastation and of struggling to recover and rebuild the marriage.

Several years ago when I had a message board on the website, it became obvious that men and women experienced a spouse's affair in much the same way. In fact, if you removed the name of the person posting the message, along with references to husband or wife, it was virtually impossible to determine whether any given message was written by a man or a woman.

And BAN (Beyond Affairs Network) is open to both men and women, and many of the local BAN Coordinators are men.

In addition, the Survey on Affairs that I conducted through my website was open to both men and women. In fact, 25% of the 1,083 respondents to the survey were men, and their answers were extremely similar to those of the women who responded—including the fact that they provided identical responses to the question about the current status of marriage to spouse who had affair(s):
--76% of the men reported still being married to their wife who had an affair
--76% of the women reported still being married to their husband who had an affair.

Also, the results of the survey showed that overwhelmingly, both sexes wanted to know details of the affair. They healed and developed trust in the same proportions, and the same percentage (44%) felt their relationship had "improved" since the affair.

Finally, here's an excerpt from The Monogamy Myth in which I describe the universality of this issue.
One development related to affairs (which many people still tend to ignore) is that this has become an "equal opportunity" problem in that both men and women regularly face this devastating experience. ...there is virtually NO difference between men and women in their efforts to cope with a partner's affair—or in their ability to be supportive of others in similar circumstances. Unfortunately, there has been very little support available to help men in working on these issues; but since The Monogamy Myth is not slanted toward one sex or the other, it is a resource for all alike.

(end of excerpt from The Monogamy Myth)

So while I was saddened by the fact that the writer of this question failed to realize that all my work is aimed at helping and supporting BOTH men and women whose spouses have had affairs, I appreciate this opportunity to clarify that this is my goal and the focus of all my efforts.

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