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Marriage Counseling Coach Says...
Cell Phones are Revolutionizing the Ease of Conducting a Marital Affair

by Nancy Wasson, Ph.D.

 


“ Cell phones are causing marriage problems in ways the inventors probably never could have imagined,” says marriage counseling coach Nancy Wasson, Ph.D. “Every week I deal with cases involving emotional or physical affairs that are impacted by the secrecy that cell phones afford.”

Wasson continues by saying, “This has gotten to be a fairly common problem. The spouse often never suspects that the partner is having intimate conversations with someone else throughout the day. When confronted, the secretive partner often defends what’s happened by saying that the other person is just a friend.”

According to Wasson “In some cases, that’s true, and in others, the two individuals are involved in a sexual affair. Many spouses never know for sure whether the relationship was really a physical one.”

Wasson admits to still being astounded by some of the cell phone stories that she hears each week. “One husband woke up in the middle of the night to find his wife crouching in the closet talking on her cell phone to her male ‘friend.’ Other spouses tell of mates who lock themselves away in the bathroom for private conversations, giving lame excuses afterwards.”

When asked to give an example of a typical case, she replies:
“ One common example is a husband who discovers that his wife has been secretly having frequent cell phone conversations with another man. Often the other male is a co-worker, and the wife will say that they are just ‘friends’ and that their relationship is not sexual.”

Wasson shares that it’s difficult to ferret out the truth in many cases. The husband lacks concrete proof that there’s been a sexual affair. He just knows that something is amiss but often doesn’t know what to do about it. He doesn’t want to drive his wife further away or lose his marriage.

What advice would Wasson offer the husband in this situation?

“ I’d tell him that whether there was actual physical intimacy or not is important, but it’s not the defining criteria for whether betrayal occurred or not. His wife ‘crossed the line’ with the ‘friend’ when she began having secret conversations with him that she didn’t tell her husband about. Another line was crossed when the frequency of the calls accelerated to numerous times each day.”

Wasson feels that at the least, secret phone calls are indicators of emotional affairs. Even if sex was never involved, emotional affairs take energy and focus away from the marriage and provide an escape from tackling marriage problems directly.

“ Marriage counseling is certainly indicated,” says Wasson. “Secret cell phone calls can be viewed as a crack in the marriage foundation that needs prompt attention. The trust has been damaged and fast action is needed to address the issues in the unhappy marriage.”

Wasson poses the following questions to spouses who are in this situation:
1. Are the two of you spending quality time together?
2. Do you still go out on “dates”?
3. Do you sit and talk at least ten or fifteen minutes each day?
4. Do you know how to share feelings easily?

Wasson’s final marriage advice to couples who want to stop divorce and transform an unhappy marriage: “Be creative and proactive and see what is possible in improving your marriage. Finding out about the secret cell phone conversations may turn out to be the catalyst for you and your spouse to transform your unhappy marriage into one that better meets the needs of both of you.”

Marriage counselor Nancy Wasson, Ph.D., has been a Licensed Professional Counselor for more than twenty years. She coaches couples in unhappy marriages and provides immediate help through the privacy of telephone and email consultations. She is the author of “Keep Your Marriage: What to Do When Your Spouse Says ‘I Don’t Love You Anymore!’ ” She offers a free weekly marriage advice newsletter at www.KeepYourMarriage.com.

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