People clutched their proverbial pearls when the Ashley Madison scandal hit the news last month. Hackers released the identities of 37 million account holders on a website dedicated to facilitating extramarital affairs. Simultaneously, a resounding chorus of male voices practicing their alibies echoed into the stratosphere. Meanwhile, scorned women poured themselves a glass of Pinot while plotting their revenge.
Despite the larger-than-life nature of the event, it had severe consequences including marital disputes, divorce filings, job losses and even suicide. To avoid further damage, Steven Riznyk, producer of Relationships901, provided insight into repairing damaged relationships.
“If your name was released in one of the 79 countries affected and your partner is aware, giving up is not the only option,” Riznyk said.
According to Riznyk, using a site like Ashley Madison is not the primary problem, but a symptom of something else. The first step in recovery is discovering what that ‘else’ is.
Common reasons that people resort to cheating are a lack of self-esteem or sexual satisfaction, boredom with their partner, or a sex addiction.
“The cause that is most prevalent is that the relationship they are in broke down to some degree and they don’t feel wanted, loved, needed or appreciated,” Riznyk said.
A Fox News study revealed that 7 percent of men who cheat do so for sex, while 48 percent sought an emotional connection.
“Clearly, the cheating isn’t about a better looking person,” Riznyk said. “It’s about the new connection and what it means to the cheater.”
For some, unveiling affairs could be the best thing. It provides the opportunity to discuss grievances and come to a resolution. The majority of relationship breakdowns occur due to insufficient communication.
“Events occur and neither partner brings them up,” Riznyk said. “At some point, one partner may do something that takes the relationship past the point of no return.”
Additionally, partners should create a plan to execute their promises.
“What was missing in the relationship has to be present and the partners have to design a way of making that a reality,” Riznyk said.
Patience and empathy are essential in this process as repairing a relationship is easier said than done.
“All people hear through their own filters, so communication is difficult even under the best circumstances,” Riznyk said. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to listen and try to understand the spirit of what the other person communicating.”
Steven Riznyk is a high-level negotiator and the author of Relationships901(.com), a 6-hour streaming program that shows people how to resolve relationship problems in a week using his conflict resolution model. At least 25 percent of the net profits from the sale of the program will go to Mr. Riznyk’s charity, the Black Tie CEO Club, in order to pay veterinary bills for abandoned and abused dogs.