Marty, I found your answer helpful. Emotional needs are complex. I realized that I could not in good conscience criticize my client for her affair because within the context of her life, and her marital relationship, it was understandable. I felt guilty for my response, that I wasn't firm enough, and questioned whether I was colluding with her for my own reasons. I concluded that she needs to continue exploring her own needs, her relationships, how she is coping with her choices. Most important is what does this affair mean to her? What is her experience of it, what are her options, why is she in the extramarital relationship? I believe the answers to the above are as individual as the clients we serve. Unless she comes to know more about herself and her emotional needs, she will remain ripe for an affair, miserable in her marriage, and the potential for even more destructive behavior is probable. Thanks for everyone's input.
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