Do you know the differences between admiration and infatuation? Sadly many couples do not. Blurring of those two often lead to affairs.
This blurring of infatuation and admiration is particularly problematic in vocations where a power imbalance exists. When there is a relationship based on a power imbalance, such as the relationships between teacher-student, dentist-patient, police officer-citizen, pastor-layman, boss-employee, there are some inherent dangers.
The danger exists on each side of these equations. For the person in the ‘power’ position, there is often a need to be admired, respected, listened to. When someone comes along and provides that in a way that their spouse is not listening to them, respecting their position, societal standing, etc., they confuse the admiration with infatuation. The respect turns into lustful desires when allowed to simmer long enough.
For the lesser of the power positions, it is common to respect those in authority. Along with that respect is also some admiration and desires for some of that power themselves. Those in the power-less positions often want more power. The relationship with the power person is seen as a way of attaining that power. The feelings of admiration can easily become sexually charged. When sexually charged, they become dangerous when acted on.
There is an excitement to power imbalance relationships. When you have power, you may feel a sense of control over the other person. It is well known that the stripper-customer relationship is often about power plays. The stripper controls the arousal level of the customer. The lines quickly blur between power arousal and sexual arousal. Although it is easy to see how it can occur with a stripper, this same dynamic happens with the other power imbalance relationships.
It is not unusual for people to fantasize about relationships with the power people, it becomes dangerous when the line is crossed and they act out those fantasies. The sexualizing of the power positions is one of the reasons behind a high level of sexual addictions among people in power positions.
The admirer often looks up to the power position. Being in a position where they look up to those in the vocation, they are inclined to do anything to get close to those they admire, even if it means being sexual. When it is an employee, they may be doing it to get ahead, or out of fear of being fired. There are also those in the power positions that have been known to exploit such power positions.
Knowing how to deal with admiration is critical in avoiding affairs. When admiration is confused with infatuation, the danger for affairs is high. If you or your spouse are in one of the vocations that involve admiration, the risk of affairs is higher than for other professions.
Knowing this risk and talking about ways of dealing with it are important in overcoming affairs. You will need an action plan for dealing with those situations when admiration crosses the line. It may be you, it may be them. Regardless of who initiated the blurring, you still need a plan for dealing with this risk.
The affair may have started with a blurring of lines. Knowing the risk and taking action to reduce it makes good sense.
Without a plan, you or your spouse may be at risk for affair relapse.
Nothing in this Work is intended to replace common sense, legal, medical or other professional advice. If your situation warrants it, please seek competent professional counsel.