Everyone who has had a relationship or even an extramarital affair knows that communication is a key component of any relationship. To be able to articulate your ideas clearly is something which every adult needs to know in order to be successful in their extramarital affairs. Despite this need for communication though, we don't tend to focus in on how much you need to listen. Most people would think that they were listening when in truth they were just hearing.
News flash, these are very different processes and the way that we store the information that we hear versus how we work with information when we're listening is quite different. This is especially true in a world where everything is loud. We want our opinions heard and we want them heard now. If we're constantly formulating our own opinions, however, how are we supposed to truly be able to empathize with someone without interrupting with our own experiences and thoughts?
It's not something that's easy, especially when we've all become so used to having things work a certain way. The problem with this is that when you're having an extramarital affair or within any relationship, you're not going to be able to put yourself in someone's shoes if you're too busy trying to insert yourself into their situation. It sounds like an oxymoron, we know, but in order to truly be able to walk in someone else's shoes you need to be able to take yourself out of the equation.
So when someone else is talking about something serious…
1) Don't be the advice giver who doesn't shut up.
Oh there are times when people want advice, don't get us wrong, but there are also a lot of times when they don't want the advice that you're giving. Have you ever noticed just how good it feels to vent? Sometimes that's all a person needs so don't give advice that is going to interrupt that cathartic flow of bile. This is particularly true of extramarital affairs since while someone might want to vent about their spouse or another affair partner, there's no way for you to have a good idea of what's going on in their marriages. At least not so well that you could give advice to them. Marriages are complicated and nuanced so the advice that you give could be disastrous. If you're sure that the person wants advice, start with a general idea and tailor it into something that would fit them more through their feedback.
2) Remember that it's not all about you.
Have you ever wanted to interject so badly that you cut someone off midsentence? Well it's not a very nice thing to do when they're trying to talk about something that is serious or personal to them. Don't interrupt. Show that you're being attentive by nodding your head or making small agreements, but don't interrupt. Even if it's just to add a little comment, you could completely derail a person's train of thought if they're focused in on one specific issue. Wait until they're finished and then feel free to give your opinion on the matter if you think it would be wise.
3) Remember that it's definitely not all about you.
A repeat, you say? Ha! It's something that is worth repeating. It's natural for us to think about ourselves in the situations of others and to make comparisons between ourselves and them. You have to keep in mind that you're not the same as the other person and while it might make sense if your affair partner acted in a certain way, the thought might never have occurred to them. Don't rely on any conclusions that you may have drawn from your comparison of you and your affair partner. They're talking to you about something serious so focus in on them and let their words/body language tell you exactly how they're feeling about this.