Relationships

Mandy Kloppers

7 Reasons why people have affairs

Have you ever wondered why people have affairs? Hopefully, you aren’t someone that has been at the receiving end of infidelity. If you have, I am sure you have wondered what the reasons were behind the affair. Research has shown that there are certain commonalities that exist when people stray.

The reason why people have affairs is varied and depends upon individual situations but human nature tends to be quite predictable. I am going to list the main reasons why people have affairs and explain what you can do to cope if your partner strays.

1.Boredom

Some people stray because they crave excitement. Unfortunately, many couples stop making an effort after the honeymoon period has ended. Of course, it is very easy to get stuck into a routine where life takes over. By this, I mean that we habitually focus on the monotony of daily life and we stop making an effort to connect with our partner.

When you think of a relationship, consider it to be like a beautiful garden. If you do not tend to it and weed regularly, it becomes neglected and overgrown. Relationships take work, they cannot continue to chug along without both people filling up the ‘Love Reservoir’. A relationship can be likened to a bank account in that you need to deposit before you can withdraw.

Boredom does not have to appear if you prioritise your relationship throughout.

2.Needing validation

Another reason why people have affairs is to feel desired and worthy. Sex can become stale between two people after many years together – awful that matter after a short time together. Some individuals crave attention and like to feel desired. We all want to feel desired but some of us have better ways of addressing this need. Individuals who are less able to emotionally regulate will seek excitement outside of their relationship.

This type of affair is normally short-lived because once the individual has won over a potential partner and is validated, they tend to move on or become bored. For the individual that engages in this type of affair, they are interested in the endorphin hit more than a relationship outside of their current setup.

3.Narcissistic tendencies

Narcissists tend to lack empathy and do not feel any guilt when they are unfaithful. This is often due to their tendency to feel entitled and superior to others. Narcissists go for what they want irrespective of the feelings of others. They are almost like the child in the sweet shop who will steal the other children’s sweets. They want what they want when they want and many feel entitled to cheat. Their attitude will often be – what my partner doesn’t know won’t harm them. Their needs will always come first.

4.Seeking an emotional connection

Individuals with empathy prefer a relationship that offers many dimensions. For people with empathy, they tend to seek out relationships where there is an emotional connection as well as a physical connection. Sometimes the physical connection is the only existing bond and subsequently, loneliness sets in.

Emotional affairs can cause just as much damage as purely sexual affairs. Is the first tend to be deeper and more complex and this type of affair does have the potential to be long-lasting. I have known of affairs of this type to go on for many years, even more than a decade. Loneliness is the key factor that motivates people to cheat and have an emotional affair. The last one

5. Opportunistic affairs

Some people have affairs due to an opportunity arising. I may not have been actively looking but something unexpected presented itself and if they began. The shelf life of this type of affair is not usually very long although there will always be exceptions. The truth is that many people become quite set in their ways and their relationship becomes more of a habit.

An opportunity can present itself at any time, and an individual still has a choice as to whether or not to be unfaithful. In this instance guilt may be one of the main reasons why and Afraid of not continue.

It is not true that if somebody is having an affair, they do not love their existing partner. Some people are able to compartmentalize their main relationship from their affairs. I have spoken to many married people who have explained that an affair did not detract at all from their love for their existing partner.

I used to be very black and white about infidelity. I always told myself that if my partner was ever unfaithful there would be no second chance and that the relationship would be over. Nowadays I tend to be a little bit more flexible in my thinking. Depending on the circumstances, I may not immediately end the relationship over one indiscretion.

It seems a silly decision to make – to end years of happiness other one mistake. Clearly, there are many reasons to end a relationship once infidelity has been uncovered. All I am saying is that the process of having an affair can be quite a complicated and intricate one.

6.Revenge affairs

This is a pretty childish way of dealing with infidelity. One person cheats and the other partner decides to seek revenge by cheating as well. Two wrongs do not make a right and this tit-for-tat behaviour is likely to end badly. It is important to communicate and uncover the underlying reasons for an affair. Has the excitement gone? Has there been a lack of communication? If necessary seek counseling to reset the relationship and get you back on track.

7.Lack of sex in a relationship

There is no problem in a relationship if there is never any sex – it can work if both partners are on the same page. As long as both partners want sex equally when it comes to frequency (or lack of frequency), there is no issue. The problems arise when one person wants sex more than the partner does. Again, this is something that can easily be dealt with in couple counselling. I 100-percent believe in the virtue’s of couple counselling.

Couples get stuck in a rut and communicate in the same way over and over again. Communication dynamics can become so ingrained and it can be hard to think outside the box and change the dynamic without the help of an objective counsellor

People are complex and we can enter into complicated situations that we did not anticipate. The reasons why people have affairs will always involve an unmet need. Whether that is related to physical, emotional or validation needs – affairs will always tempt people.

How to affair-proof your relationship

The most important thing you can do is to prioritise your relationship. Ensure that you communicate regularly and clear the air whenever there is tension. Plan fun things together because our brain is constantly making associations.

Make sure then your brain and your partner’s brain associate the relationship with feeling good and having fun. The adventures together and try new things as this will bond you closer together.

Always talk about issues worries that you may have about the relationship. Resentment is poison to any healthy relationship.

Ensure that you deposit into the relationship and that you don’t continually take. It has to be a balance for the relationship to thrive.

Finally, stay in ‘adult mode’ with your partner. Treat each other as equals. Problems often arise when we are condescending and judgemental (this is known as parent mode) or when we play mind games and use tit-for-tat strategies (child mode).

Be open, clear, and honest. Have fun and be affectionate. A great friendship is a fantastic basis for a good relationship. If you keep these things in mind and practice them on a regular basis you will have a better chance of a happy healthy faithful connection.

Mandy X

 

Photo by Hutomo Abrianto on Unsplash