30thJuly 6.30 am
We have been through a long distance relationship, an interracial marriage, a miscarriage, a business loss and addiction problems. I didn’t mind going through all of that because you were with me. I believed we were for each other. But I was wrong. Your affair has betrayed my trust and ruined our marriage of 10 years. Luke, we are far from okay… it is over.
Tina slapped her phone shut. Hey eyes were swollen. She had cried the entirenight. For Tina a sexual affair was non excusable. Her marriage was over.
Like Tina,infidelity is devastatingfor any spouse. An affair is the worst blow that a marriage can suffer. An affair usually leads tobroken marital relationship, separation or divorce.
Regardless of these consequences, extra-marital affairs aremuch more common than we think.
Here are some contributing factors:
If a marriage is continually traumatizing due to fights and misunderstandings, a spouse could desire pleasure or emotional comfort outside marriage.
Friendship that was initially sought for emotional comfortcould transform into an affair.Or, a spouse could get attracted to a romantic/sexual opportunity as compensation for what s/he no longer receives from marriage.
If a spouse has cheated, the other spouse could have an affair as a revengeful reaction.
Not feeling valued by one’s partner:
If a spousedoesn’t feel valued by his/her partner, s/hemay desire someone else who can make him/her feel special.
A spouse doesn’t feel valued when his/her partner:
• Doesn’t invest enough time in their marital relationship
• Doesn’t share about life events openly
• Doesn’t make romantic gestures
• Is ungrateful for whatever his/her spouse does for their marriage
• Doesn’t acknowledge his/her spouse’s stresses and desires
• Doesn’t support his/her spouse during difficult circumstances
If a spouse has desires that marriage does not fulfil s/he may seek fulfilment outside marriage. Examples ofsuch desires are: more sex, adventurous sexor desiring a partner who is more available, rich, emotionally involved, attractive or supportive.
If a spouse is flirtatious or easily attracted towards appealing persons, s/he mayattempt an affair to satisfy these romantic/sexual desires.
Some individuals can never be satisfied with one partner and continuously seek to have sex outside marriage. This could be due touncontrollable sexual fetish, abnormal sexual needs or commitment phobia.
The factors that lead to extra-marital affairs can be numerous and difficult to predict. The possibility of infidelity can be avoided when spouses value each other and actively try to meet each other’s needs.
Author: Shirley Menezes