People have extra-marital affairs for all sorts of reasons but primarily because there is something lacking within their marriage. If you are considering having an affair it is likely that you are seeking an escape from an unhappy marriage.
You shouldn’t underestimate the power of affairs; however liberal society has become, affairs remain a common cause of divorce. However it is very rarely the affair itself that is the root cause of the marriage breakdown – often the affair is the affect rather than the cause – the final nail in the coffin.
Affairs happen because of unresolved conflict so before you act on your impulses try to work on the core issues, if put right then maybe, just maybe, your marriage could get back on track.
So why not look at these three common reasons for having an affair and take note of our recommended advice.
Lack of physical intimacy
This is one of the most cited reasons for marriage break-ups and affairs – for both men and women. A dull or infrequent sex life can ruin the bond between the couple even if they feel they still have a strong emotional connection. Put simply; many people start to look outside of their marriage for romance and intimacy if it is lacking within.
Our Marriage Advice: Don’t wait for your partner – take action yourself. Compliment him to show him that you still fancy him, consciously become more tactile with him whenever you are together, send racy texts when he’s on his way home from work or start the day with morning sex and put a smile on his face all day!
Don’t let your sex life decay; take action now to bolster your physical connection. You should also remember that there is a close connection between physical and emotional intimacy so check out our next point too.
Lack of emotional intimacy
In this day and age there is more opportunity for women to have affairs – many from close friendships in the workplace, at the gym or on social networking sites. Friendships with the opposite sex can become more intense if there is a lack of emotional intimacy at home. You can find yourself confiding more in your friend, perhaps telling him things that you don’t discuss with your husband. Typically your friend becomes the person that you call and text throughout the day to share your news and feelings. Even if you are at home with your husband you are still in regular contact with him.
Having a close friendship that replaces some or all of the emotional intimacy you should have with your spouse can lead to affairs. Some also consider this close friendship to be ’emotional infidelity’ even without the physical affair.
Our Marriage Advice: Be careful to set boundaries in your friendships. Take steps to ensure you and your husband have time to chat and share. Ideally you should incorporate physical affection when you talk so give him all those ‘I love you’ signals; snuggle up together on the couch, hold hands, touch him when you pass by him and so on.
Provide mutual support and appreciation for each other to prevent yourselves from drifting apart. Understand the connection between emotional and physical intimacy and work at them both together. If either of these important marital issues is not right then you could be heading down a rocky road.
In a Rut
Many couples get to a point when the marriage becomes routine or even boring. They may feel disappointed and become curious about what an extra marital relationship could offer them to spice up their lives.
These feelings may come at a point when the woman is changing role; perhaps the kids are getting bigger and don’t need her as much. It may be a way for her to rediscover her womanhood and let go of the intensity required in the motherhood of young kids.
Our Marriage Advice: Decide what it is that is lacking in your marriage; what it is that is causing you to look elsewhere – is there a way to inject this into your marriage rather than seek it from someone else? And is there an issue with your expectations? Any new relationship is exciting but all graduate towards routine in time, so perhaps your expectations cannot be met long term and you need to consider how realistic they are.
It may be better to set new expectations for your marriage. You can discuss things that you feel would make both of you happier; more regular sex, more joint activities – perhaps trying something new together, making the effort to inject more love and romance into your day. Tell him all the little things that would mean so much to you and find out what he needs too. You may find that you can get all that your are looking for from your husband; it’s just that everyone needs a steer now and again (and a second chance!)
Having an affair puts a marriage in severe peril and for many, when the affair is discovered it is the final straw. So before going down this marriage-wrecking route you may want to make a last ditch effort to save your marriage. This last attempt could well lead you to rediscover the happiness you once shared.