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xxiii

Since those personal revelations, I’ve seenmy insights confirmed again and again in twenty years of practice as a family therapist. I’ve counseled more than a thousand couples. The vast majority (80 percent) came to me because one partner or the other had been un-faithful.

In nine out of ten cases, my patients and I determined, over the course of therapy—sometimes involving four generations, grandparents as well as parents and children—that at least one partner was the adult child of an adulterer—an adulterous mother or father.

Very few patients recognized this family connection when they started. Most of them knew, but didn’t want to know, just like me. And like me, almost all of them had concealed their knowledge— and the emptiness and pain it engendered—deep inside themselves, even during therapy. Then one day, they or their loved one had an affair—and began to confront their secrets, with the help and support of other family members.

Traditionally, adultery destroys any relationship it touches; 65 percent of adulterous marriages end in divorce.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Only 2 percent of the couples I counsel divorce after they discover that adultery has been committed.

Why? Because I don’t agree with ”once a cheat, always a cheat”, the anguished accusationmade bymany awounded spouse: “You’ve committed the unforgivable sin!” My patients, parents, and I have demonstrated the opposite. Adultery can be a very forgivable sin.

In 1993 when I wrote the first edition of Adultery The Forgivable Sin , I knew adultery was passed down from generation to genera-tion. Since that time, (the second edition), I’ve been continually study-ing this phenomenon and through my research and those of my patients, not only is adultery passed down generationally as an “emotional emptiness”, but also as a “physiological” emptiness that can be cured even with repeat or serial adulterers, in my opinion. I started studying this with my 2% of adulterers who could not stop cheating but wanted to. This “biochemical craving for connection”,

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