Dealing with Affairs in the News
by Peggy Vaughan

I know that many people who have personally dealt with affairs go out of their way to avoid books, movies and TV shows about affairs. But the news stories about the affairs of celebrities are so prevalent that realistically, it's a losing proposition to try to avoid the subject.

So I want to encourage those of you who have been hurt by affairs—and who understandably shy away from focusing on the issue—to consider that it just might be beneficial to go ahead and face the news stories head on.

For instance, The most recent affair stories have involved Sandra Bullock dealing with Jesse James's affairs and and Elin Nordegren dealing with the affairs of Tiger Woods.

(I previously wrote a Commentary about Sandra Bullock and I have now written a piece about The Process of Deciding, using as an example Elin's process before deciding to get a divorce from Tiger.)

Since you really can't escape this topic, it's actually best not to try. I've had people tell me proudly that "we never talk about it anymore," but that's actually a red flag. Recovering from any life trauma doesn't mean never focusing on it or talking about it.

Imagine any kind of life-altering event people face (like losing a child or losing a limb, etc.) It's unreasonable to think they should never speak of this and just try to bury it or ignore it. It's the same way with affairs.

In fact, when it comes to affairs, the goal is specifically NOT to get where you "never talk about it;" it's to get where you CAN talk about it—but without the pain.

This can be a slow process that takes a long time, but gradually the painful times can get less often, less intense, and last a shorter length of time. It's a little like the process of 'desensitization' used to help people overcome fears of snakes, elevators, etc.

Of course, you never 'forget' this experience, but it doesn't have to define who you are. You CAN get to the point where you can see movies or hear about affairs without re-experiencing the pain. It's not easy, but you're more likely to fully recover by following this path.

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