Monthly Archives: November 2006

The New Crisis of Infidelity


I receive many letters and emails each month and more and more the letters and emails are from married men and women (and men and women in committed partnerships) who are becoming involved in office romances.

Here’s a recent example:

Dear Dr. Jackie:

I have been married for 12 years. I have fallen deeply in love with a co-worker (though she says she only wants to be friends). Though we don’t have sex, we spend a lot of time together and we have become very close. I can not see enough of her. She is funny, intelligent, sexy, and I love being with her. For a while I pretended that everything was okay in my marriage. Then I told my wife I was feeling confused, trapped, and needed some time to work some things out. I know she is devastated by the sudden change in me. I offered to move out and she said no. I feel badly about all of this. On one hand I am loved by someone who would welcome me back in a second. On the other, I am totally consumed by someone else. This is not like me. What should I do?

The late Dr. Shirley Glass, author of NOT “Just Friends” spoke about "the new crisis of infidelity."

By her definition, infidelity is any clandestine “sexual, romantic, or emotional involvement that violates commitment to an exclusive relationship,”

“The crisis is that … men and women are working with people that they respect, people that they have intellectual interests with, people that they share excitement over projects, frustration over deadlines. And so the relationship begins as a platonic friendship that’s very deep and rich. And what happens is that, over time, they begin to share more and more of their personal lives together.”

This type of intimate sharing of personal thoughts and feelings is, Glass asserts, more detrimental to marriage because, unlike casual sexual encounters, these interactions create strong bonds between the people.

And once this level of personal intimacy grows, the dreaded sexual affair is just on the horizon.

Please be aware that personal and professional friendships between men and women have become so prevalent and accepted that, according to Glass, even "good" people in "good" marriages can be swept away in a riptide of emotional intimacy more potent than sheer sexual attraction. Even strong, nurturing marriages can be rocked by office romances.

NOT "Just Friends" is the first book to shatter popular assumptions about infidelity, including: a happy marriage is insurance against infidelity; the betrayed partner must have ignored obvious clues; and the unfaithful partner was compensating for emotional or sexual deprivation in the marriage.

I enthusiastically recommend this book to all my readers and clients. Don’t hide your head in the sand. Don’t be scared. Be smart and be proactive.

Until next time remember…

Only YOU can make it Happen!

Family Gift Giving For the Holidays

This tip focuses on holiday gift giving for family and friends. The holidays can be a stressful time of year for many people. Often you are juggling shopping, traveling, visiting and entertaining. For many of you, the most stressful part of the holidays is family gift giving.

Here are some suggestions to ease your stress:

Key questions to ask yourself:

  • Who do I want to buy gifts for?
  • How much do I want to spend?
  • What do I want to give?

Make a list of all of the people you would like to buy gifts for. Set a budget of how much you’d like to spend and then jot down at least two gift ideas for each person on your list.

Tips to reduce the number of gifts you buy:

Make a list of all family members, write each person’s name on a slip of paper, each adult selects one slip of paper and only buys a gift for that family member. You only have to buy one gift and no one gets left out.

Agree among all the adult gift-givers on a dollar limit and do not exceed the agreed-to amount when purchasing your gift.

Only buy gifts for children under 17 and grandparents.

For more distant relatives or friends, send a nice holiday card with a family photo instead of a gift.

Tips to spend less money:

  • Buy gift certificates for movies, ice cream shops or coffee shops.
  • Bake cookies or banana bread and wrap in an inexpensive tin or basket. Use this as a hostess gift or give to your child’s teacher or school bus driver.
  • Take advantage of your arts and crafts skills: knit a sweater or scarf, build a bird feeder, make a bulletin board with fabric and ribbon, make a scrapbook of family photos or a personalized calendar.

Tips to save time:

  • Ask family members and friends to fill out “Wish Lists.” This is a great way to get an idea of what people want and need.
  • Shop online or in catalogs. Many stores offer free shipping.
  • Set a time to shop. Get a babysitter if necessary.
  • Create a detailed plan including which stores to visit and what items you are shopping for.
  • Don’t leave home without your list

Get organized, be creative and resourceful and enjoy the holiday season!

Happy shopping everyone!

Until next time remember…

Only YOU can make it Happen!

How to Have a Successful, Committed Relationship

Your life will not be ‘better’ if you are in a relationship. We take ourselves with us wherever we go – especially into love relationships.

A successful, committed relationship depends upon being ready:

  • Physically
  • Emotionally
  • Financially
  • Legally
  • Spiritually

for the life and relationship that you want. Get your personal work done first!

Be sure you…

  • Spend enough time clarifying your personal Vision, Requirements, Needs and Wants

  • Spend all the time it takes to answer the questions: Who am I? What do I want? How do I get what I want?
  • Focus on developing and practicing dating skills.
  • Be as ready as you can be to meet your ideal mate and create the life and the love life that affirms and esteems your best self!

Until next time remember…

Only YOU can make it Happen!

Dr Jackie Black Newsletter

Hello. I am Dr. Jackie Black, your Couples in Trouble Expert. Since 1999, I have guided many formerly frustrated and desperately unhappy Couples in Trouble to happiness, closeness and having more fun together than they ever imagined. My years of experience combined with your commitment to your personal growth will enable you to welcome the results you have always wanted and never believed were possible in your marriage.

Learn more at