What are some reasons people have affairs?
In my work, I have found that "stepping out" happens for no one particular reason other than that the betrayer CHOSE not to uphold the commitment to the sanctity of the promise. We can enumerate the reasons but the bottom line is the choice to break the commitment or the vow. Thoughts?
Temptation is very strong. For some more so than others. I believe many families are affected by this!
I mean of course it is human nature to find others attractive, but it is about respecting your mate and honoring the commitment.... easier said then done right?
Now as for why... well some people may be more sexual and tempted that way, others may be insecure and want attention, some may feel neglected and want what they aren't getting somewhere else... either way I don't think any of these are valid excuses.
You're right, Robert. Great and accurate reasons but not valid excuses to cheat.
It is not so typical of me to refer professionals online but I feel like I owe a lot to firstname.lastname@example.org who helped me track my cheating husband when he was having an affair, I got to find out that he has been lying to me for the past 5 months a
(1) There are people who are simply thrill seekers. They view having affairs as psychological, even psychic conquests. They see "lovers" as notches on their belts.
(2) A subcategory to this, there are people who find monogamy whether marital or committal as boring......Dullsville. They believe that the more "relationships" they have, the better/merrier. They believe in living life to its reddest, juiciest, & most succulent moment.
(3) Rebellion against the so-called societal relationship norm. There are people who can be classified as unconventional. They feel that the strictures, especially relationship ones, imposed by society are stultifying to say the least. They refuse to be bound by the 1 on 1 relationship which they find imprisoning in multiple ways. They believe that in order to grow, they must have as many affairs as possible.
(4) There are people who AREN'T monogamous & aren't about to be. They intend to have affairs & are quite unapologetic about it.
(5) To add spice to their lives. Many people have affairs because their current relationship, whether marital or committal, has lost....its spice. They believe that having an affair/affairs will put THAT SPICE back into their lives.
(6) Not being appreciated, respected, & taken for granted in the relationship. People have affairs because at least THOSE OTHERS will appreciate them for the individual sexy people they are instead of being known as wife/mother, husband/father, or significant other.
Oftentimes people will ask the cheater: "If you're not getting what you want or were that unhappy why didn't you just end the relationship?
Generally speaking cheaters aren't looking to "replace" one relationship with another. They're looking "compliment" what they already have.
The primary goal of most cheaters is to hold onto all that is "good" in their primary relationship while addressing their other "needs" on the side. These so call "needs" vary from person to person.
They may be physical, emotional, ego driven, or for excitement.
If for example a married man with three children finds himself with a wife who has lost interest in sex. They've talked about it and tried other things but she simply has no desire. From his point of view he has three options.
1. Accept the fact he is done having sex for life.
2. Run down to the courthouse to file for divorce, move out of his house into a one bedroom apartment, pay child support and possibly alimony, become a weekend dad, and divide up family and friends as they choose sides.
3. Find a woman who is attracted to him and enjoys having sex.
Many go with #3!
A few years ago the following question was on HP.
"Is sexual incompatibility a valid reason for ending a marriage?"
Over 90% of the responses said "no". That's exactly how cheaters feel too.
I imagine some folks feel they cheat in order to (stay or tolerate) unhappy marriages. Whatever issues they're having doesn't justify divorce to them. I believe there are 3 basic types of cheaters:
1. The Incessant Cheater
This type of cheater most likely has never been faithful in any long-term relationship. They get bored easily.
Their motto would be: "Variety is the spice of life!" Whenever they attempt to be monogamous they find themselves behaving like an overweight person trying out a strict diet. Most likely it's not a matter of (if) but (when) they will cheat.
2. The Unbelievable Opportunity Cheater (Caved in to temptation)
This person wasn't proactively looking to cheat but an unbelievable opportunity arose be with a "fantasy" or secret crush who hit on them. Oftentimes due to guilt this cheater may confess at some point.
3. The Discontented Cheater (He/she blames YOU!)
Something (you did or stopped doing) led them to venture outside of the relationship. Someone else put a smile on their face and made them feel "special" again.
Cheaters never believe they'll get caught so it's a better option than divorce in their eyes.
In my professional experience as a licensed marriage, family therapist (and also in my other business as a life coach) there are many, many reasons people use to consciously rationalize and justify the breaking of marital vows. More importantly, there are many completely UNCONSCIOUS reasons that people cheat on their significant others / spouses - they literally are driven by compulsive forces that initially present as being completely beyond their control. Ultimately, many humans have big, empty spaces in the center of them that threaten to fill with unrecognized pain, need, anger, rage, and grief - often unknowingly repressed during childhood. We fill this empty space with all kinds of things, specifically, people, places, and things. Anything to soothe the ego and feel better about ourselves. If a person is feeling rejected in their marriage and feels powerless and/or helpless to reclaim the attentions of their partner, yet for various reasons (children, etc) choose (or cannot) leave the partnership/marriage, soothing one's pain and bolstering one's self esteem via accepting the attentions of another can seem like a reasonable option. Sometimes a person is in a relationship that at root is no relationship at all - they are completely emotionally disconnected, yet they sleep-walk through the relationship and stay together for multiple reasons, and therefore are very vulnerable to having an affair as well. Some people are flat-out narcissists: They feel entitled to do and have whatever and whoever they want, and they do not care at all if they hurt others, including their partner; as long as they don't have to be inconvenienced by getting caught. I've met very religious and also 'spiritual' people who have affairs: In nearly every case, they felt it was justified. However, living a lie is just that: Living a lie. In the end, it serves no one to cheat on another and have to cover up events and facts. The distorting of reality and the 'gaslighting' of someone who trusts us is an emotionally aggressive act, and very, very damaging to the psyche and the soul of all parties involved. We diminish ourselves and our truth, and our trustworthiness as human beings, by doing so. However, having worked with both the cheater and the cheated upon in my practices, in the end, I agree with the psychologist Karen Horney, who said that "in the end, we are all just striving and struggling humans." I vote for compassionate understanding every time. Some relationships can survive an affair, with professional help. Some cannot, and it is better that they end, because of the affair, and other reasons as well. Affairs are a symptom of a relationship that needs healing and attention; not a solution, ever. That's my two cents worth. - Rebecca, MA, MFT
Thank you so much, Rebecca, for your "two cents" answer which is worth a lot more. I appreciate your wisdom and experience on the matter. I too, have worked with the betrayed and the betrayer and vote for compassion, on both sides, every time.
I always feel that you are a loving person, Janis, but you make this sound simple. Why do some people do abortions? Are they all bad?
My take is that it is human weakness. Some of us seem to want to do what we do, while others get caught up, sometimes innocently, in certain circumstances. That is why our Lord suggests that we do not judge.
A woman is perfectly straight and she spends 15 years in an all female prison, and comes out a lesbian. A man looks at the internet for some time and then finds himself doing things he never thought possible. Is the weakness the prison or the internet?
Sure enough, there are external catalysts. Many! But the problem is within the inherent weakness of man. We are really a work in progress, and would never imagine how weak we are, until exposed to certain situations which caught us unawares, so to speak.
Choice is not always simple. We are bound by universal laws, some being cause and effect; action and reactions, and while I'm not saying that there is any hard and fast rule, sometimes we are just meant to be where we are.
My journey is not yours, and yours is also not another's. Isn't this wonderful? Much Love, Janis. God bless you.
Much love to you, too, Manatita. I appreciate your answer and agree that weakness and human nature are culprits that often lead to the decisions we make. I have a poem hub that toys with this notion. Thanks for your wisdom.
Thank you Janis. Many fears are borne out of loneliness and insecurity. Ask seemingly satisfied friends, then you will be surprised. We are all innately human. Some will not tell you this. The 'mask' is a form of protection. Love.
For physical fulfillment they don't think they get at home (note, women, don't shut him out or he may seek it elsewhere)
For emotional fulfillment (mostly for women), which is the death of a marriage
For novelty or out of curiosity, which is pure selfishness
I will say it is because the husband&wife they are not loving each other.if we get into a married life,then we are taking an oath that, in any case happen we love each other till death.love is sacrifice, with out it no family life.
Frankly all this boils down to the nature of man which is polygamous. I have yet to come across a setting where there is no adultery and no extramarital affair. I will say that married men are more likely to indulge in these frolics. In a way, Islam accepted the polygamous nature of man and approved 4 wives and simple divorce.
Coming down to the Christian nations, I don't think divorce is allowed in the catholic community, yet I found that in Italy there were a maximum number of extramarital liaisons.
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