Term Paper: Adultery and Its Causes

Pages: 10 (2866 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] "Family therapist and psychiatrist Frank Pittman believes "There may be as many acts of infidelity in our society as there are traffic accidents." He further argues that the fact that adultery has become commonplace has altered society's perception of it. He says, "We won't go back to the times when adulterers were put in the stocks and publicly humiliated, or become one of those societies and there are many in which adultery is punishable by death. Society in any case is unable to enforce a rule that the majority of people break, and infidelity is so common it is no longer deviant (Adultery Kirby Anderson http://www.probe.org/docs/adultery.html)."

When a family's children grow up and move out and an affair occurs it does not have to mean the end of the marriage. While the loneliness is what precipitated the affair there can be steps taken to alleviate the parental loneliness and therefore take care of the underlying problems and feelings that led to the affair. One of the biggest myths about adultery is that it is about sex. Many studies have concluded that adulterous affairs have nothing or very little to do with the actual sexual component. The affair has more to do with alleviating the feeling of loneliness or in the case of empty nest syndrome, the feeling of being abandoned than anything else (Perlman, 1989). A parent who no longer sees her children every day can turn to a lover for that daily connection.

The affair is providing something that the parent of the grown children needs. The underlying problem can be corrected and therefore end the desire or the need to seek outside attention and love to feel needed again. It is important that the public become aware of the ways that empty nest syndrome can destroy a marriage by leading to the breakup of the marriage. " Only about 35% of couples remain together after the discovery of an adulterous affair; the other 65% divorce. Perhaps nothing can destroy a marriage faster than marital infidelity (Adultery Kirby Anderson http://www.probe.org/docs/adultery.html)."

There are several things that can be done to avoid an affair caused by the empty nest syndrome. One of the first things that can be done is the parent can become active in volunteer work. Whether it is helping in a children's hospital or donating books and reading time to a library, volunteer work can help to alleviate the need to be needed in a constructive fashion. Another thing that can be helpful is for the spouses to set aside time each day for conversation. Often times what the parent misses in the empty nest syndrome is the daily conversational contact. Because they have been focused for so long on the children they may find that they have stopped discussion with each other. Renewing that bond and providing a daily time of conversational contact with each other may help to alleviate the loneliness that empty nest syndrome can cause.

As parents watch their children move out and begin their own lives it is important that they remember it is not a no contact order. There are many methods of maintaining contact that can be used to alleviate the empty nest syndrome of loneliness (Empty Nest Syndrome (http://205.180.85.40/w/pc.cgi?mid=12555&sid=8835).Parents can send cards to their children. They can email with them, or call them to see how their day went. There are several ways to maintain contact without interfering that can help the parents adjust to the loneliness that empty nest syndrome causes. If the parent develops some of these habits, along with developing some new hobbies and interests, the temptation to turn to an extra marital affair when the syndrome hits will be lessened. The hobbies that have been out aside for several decades now wait for attention. The parent can use the hobbies to continue connection with their children if that is a need for them. A photography hobby can be turned into providing matted photographs for the children in their homes. An interest in pottery can be turned into wonderful birthday and holiday gifts. As the parents adjust to the children being on their own and having their own lives, they will become used to having the house to themselves and having time to pursue individual interests. The empty nest syndrome is one in which good and bad can come of it. When the syndrome occurs the parents can turn to affairs and adultery to alleviate their lonliness which in the end, will only prolong their problems. Or they can turn their hobbies and interests into their new time users and even use those hobbies to maintain contact with their children in a non-interefering way.

One of the most important things to remember as a parent who has empty nest syndrome is that counseling is available for them. The feelings of loneliness, the second guessing about their years of parenting choices, their wishing they could turn back time and enjoy a few more years with their children, are common to millions of parents each year as they move about the quiet house. The silence of the stereo, the lack of wet towels on the bathroom floor and the missing sibling arguments are all things that contribute to the realization that the children are gone, the job of parenting is over, and the future looms ahead with scary quiet. Counseling is a way that parents can learn to adapt to their new found freedom and quiet. It allows them to talk about their feelings of loneliness and the fact that it went by so fast it seemed like a blink and parenting was over. Therapy can provide the place for conversation that many affairs being by providing. Therapy also allows the parents with empty nest syndrome to engage in productive discussions about changes and looking at the positive side of empty nest. Changing the children's room into an office, a studio or a dark room can go a long way in alleviating the wish that the children still lived there. Therapy provides an outlet for the feelings and emotions that accompany empty nest syndrome and it also provides a safe haven for working through and choosing possible solutions.

CONCLUSION

Empty nest syndrome can be debilitating for the parent who has devoted himself or herself to parenting for two decades. The silence in the house can be deafening to parents who spent 20 years telling children to please be quiet. The suddenness folds around the parent and the despair can threaten their very existence. It is no surprise that empty nest syndrome can contribute to the development of extra marital affairs but if the parents seek help for their feelings of loneliness an affair can be avoided.

References

Rokach, Ami; Brock, Heather, Loneliness and the effects of life changes.. Vol. 131, The Journal of Psychology, 05-01-1997, pp 284(15).

Rubenstein, C, & Shaver, P. (1982). The experience of loneliness. In L.A. Peplau & D. Perlman (Eds.), Loneliness: A sourcebook of current theory, research and therapy (pp. 206-223). New York: Wiley Interscience.

Sadler, W.A., & Johnson, T.B. (1980). From loneliness to anomia. In J. Hartog, R.J. Audy, & Y.A. Cohen (Eds.), The anatomy of loneliness (pp. 34-64) New York: International Unversities Press.

Shaver, P., Furman, W., & Buhrmester, D. (1985). Transition to college: Network changes, social skills, and loneliness. In S. Duck & D. Perlman (Eds.), Understanding personal relationships: An interdisciplinary approach (pp. 193-219). London: Sage.

Jones, W.H., Rose, J., & Russell, D. (1990). Loneliness and social anxiety. In H. Leitenberg (Ed.), Handbook of social and evaluation anxiety (pp. 247-266). New York: Plenum Press.

Lobdell, J., & Perlman, D. (1986). The intergenerational transmission of loneliness. A study of college females and their parents. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 48, 589-596.

Adultery

Kerby Anderson

http://www.probe.org/docs/adultery.html

Peplau, L.A., Bikson, T.K., Rook, K. S, & Goodchilds, J.D. (1982). Being old and alone. In L.A. Peplau & D. Perlman (Eds.), Loneliness: A sourcebook of current theory, research and therapy (pp. 327-347). New York: Wiley Interscience.

Perlman, D. (1989). Loneliness: A life span, family perspective. In M. Hojat & R. Crandall (Eds.), Loneliness: Theory, research and application (pp. 190-220). London: Sage.

Empty Nest Syndrome

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