No matter how desensitised we become as a society, no matter how many statistics tell us differently, people having affairs is no small thing.
To those who have crossed that line, you know that infidelity comes with risks and usually some measure of damage control, even if you survive it to become a stronger couple.
What needs and hurts plant the seeds for a blossoming affair?
Let’s examine what lies behind a person’s decision to throw caution and commitment to the wind:
1. Distance and disconnect. Communication keeps couples close. Unfortunately, many affairs begin when communication at home stalls and partners start to feel disconnected. Coming and going, more like roommates than lovers, can lead to a search for excitement outside the relationship. If communication isn’t repaired, the emotional void may be filled with attention from someone else.
2. Backburner sex life. Everyone wants to be desired, wanted. Many people start an affair to meet those needs. Obligatory sex does very little to keep the home fires burning. In fact, a refusal to prioritize your sex life often fans the glowing embers of extramarital possibility and opportunity.
3. Sexual inadequacy, insufficiency, or monotony. Some people engage in affairs because they want more sexually than they feel is available from their partner. Whether problems are related to sexual performance, the amount of sex, or type of sexual activity, an affair can seem a way to meet those needs.
4. Priority problems. When life happens and responsibilities get in the way of everyday connection and concern for each other, your relationship is ripe for an affair. Kids are important. Work has its place. However, a couple that doesn’t make space for the relationship quickly becomes disillusioned and resentful. If the problem persists, one or both may look for a connection that makes them feel less lost in the shuffle.
5. A validation void. Committed relationships are hard work. When that work goes unnoticed, dissatisfaction and resentment can set in. If someone feels ignored or taken for granted, someone with a sympathetic ear, friendly face, or strong shoulder to lean on may provide appreciation that can quickly turn into something more.
6. Emotional damage and low self-esteem. Many people have emotional baggage and personal issues that become relationship barriers. In an effort to deal with early mental, social, and emotional wounds, extra sexual attention and activity may become a way of dealing with internal pain and insecurity.
7. Escape. It may be that one partner uses sexual intimacy as either an escape from the pain or problems in their primary relationship or is actually indirectly signaling an exit from the commitment itself. Either way the relationship has become intolerable in some way, and rather than deal with it, an affair is a way out.
8. Sensation seeking. Sometimes people enter into an affair to relieve their own boredom or curiosity. They simply want to spice up their lives sexually or emotionally. They want to know what it would feel like to be with someone new or very different from their current partner.
9. Punishment or Revenge. Affairs are sometimes just the weapon of choice. An emotional or sexual interaction with someone else may be a person’s way of getting back at his or her partner for neglect, unresolved conflict, or a previous indiscretion. Whatever occurred, in this case, the affair is usually motivated by attention-seeking and anger.
Whatever the reason, weigh the cost. Having affairs may not bring you the emotional or sexual relief you seek.
Interested in Counselling for Affairs? Call today on 07970 860 711 to set up a free 15 minute telephone consultation.