The Christmas holiday season has been found to be cause of more babies being born in September than any other month. The need to feel close to those we love, build hope for the new year, mourn over the losses of the past year and recover from burnout from work or parenting means we seek out more feel good social events at this time of year.
In Australia our culture has alcohol consumption as big part of our experience of the Christmas season. Work parties, catching up with friends or family, and public events like New Years all promote consuming alcohol in quantities that are not healthy. Many cultures have alcohol as part of their eating and drinking experience without the excessive nature or binges that occur in Australia. It is the excessive use of alcohol is a the problem and can lead to making poor decisions, especially around relationships.
In my experience these are the 3 factors that most influence individuals to make the mistake of having an affair, especially at Christmas and New Years;
- Drinking to excess without support of others. Alcohol reduces our ability to reason and make judgement calls about what we should or should not do. Many Australians find themselves drinking to excess and regret their actions afterwards. Unfortunately most don’t assigned a “reasonable person” to help them make decisions when out drinking. We have a culture of having designated drivers, I would suggest a designated decision maker as well! It is at these type of private or public events that alcohol can lead to poor decisions and affairs are rife at this time year. TIP: either plan to reduce alcohol intake or assign a mate to remind you not to do something you will regret later.
- At Christmas we need to feel close to others because our media promotes happy families sharing good times. Many families are not happy and getting together can create more problems. When we feel rejected it can be common to try to make up for lost time. With the extra time off at Christmas many might go online or out to events to feel part of something. I think many individuals go out looking for emotional closeness or friendship but that can lead to an affair. Not that they were thinking that was the goal. TIP: Be aware of your needs for emotional intimacy and seek out to connect with those that will build your self of confidence.
- Being clinically depressed is a cause for affairs. Many of my clients have been in a state of severe depression at the time they attend counselling for having an affair and trying to repair their marriage relationship. When we are depressed, it is normal to seek to feel better. Affairs are like an antidepressant and feeling in love helps to activate the brain. Often depressed persons are vulnerable to affairs because the depression has affected their relationship, and the affair serves as a life ring to feeling better. TIP: If you are depressed then seek professional health for depression with counselling or medication, which will be much cheaper than divorce. Once you are feeling better that feeling of “needing” the affair like a drug will lessen and give you a chance to build a better relationship with your partner.
If the average caring person who values their partner knew these few tips at this time of year, I am sure that there would be less unplanned affairs. The heartache felt upon discovering your partner has had an affair can be gut wrenching. The pain of divorce is the unbearable consequence of many unplanned affairs. It can all happen very quickly and without much thought, and the consequences can last a lifetime.
To make an appointment with one of our experienced relationship counsellors, go to Online Booking or call M1 Psychology on (07) 3067 9129
Author: Vivian Jarrett