Why Some Experts Believe An Affair Can Save Your Marriage

By Tiffany Anton for YourTango.com.

I recently read an article on Slate.com by Hanna Rosin titled The Upside of Infidelity: Can An Affair Save your Marriage, and it really got me thinking. My first reaction was joy at knowing therapists are changing their puritanical views of martial infidelity and realizing how our flawed self can bring us healing & reparations. I was also impressed with the idea that monogamy as a social expectation doesn’t equate our biological nature, as well as the validity of differing relationship and sexual needs. My second thought revolved around the vastness of reasoning behind affairs.

Many therapists have a list to explain the ‘why’s’ of affairs. Those whose partners cheated tend to search rapidly, and in a fit of panic to find the “reason” the affair occurred. There are many, many why’s and I’ve listed several below.

More from YourTango: 4 Types Of Infidelity & How Affairs Help Marriage

Many of the ‘whys’ of affairs:

  • Situational availability
  • Need for excitement
  • Attachment issues
  • Emptiness in their marriage
  • Lack of sex at home
  • Desire to be wanted
  • An ego boost
  • An escape
  • Attention
  • Affection
  • Sexual diversity
  • Entitlement
  • Intimacy avoidance
  • An out: a way to end a marriage/relationship
  • Externally meeting your sexual and emotional needs
  • Impulsivity
  • Revenge
  • Conflict avoidance
  • and many more

By understanding the ‘why’s’ of affairs, you can look at and hopefully address the challenges in your own marriage, share your needs, and create a new and reinvigorated relationship and sexual expression.

Michael Formica, in his YourTango article 4 Types of Infidelity and How Affairs Help a Marriage, states the that “an affair can add fizz to a flat partnership — what was once stale gets refreshed by a new energy.” Second, if you’re having an affair you’re probably doing it because you’re missing something in your first relationship. If you analyze the affair you might be able to see what it is that you lack, and address that problem. Finally, people tend to get into the same kind of relationship over and over again, but affairs are different. According to Formica, they can be “a more authentic barometer for what we actually need in our relationships.”

Another article Can Adultery Be Healthy? 6 Kinds of Sexual Affairs and How They Can Be Good for You by Douglas LaBier offers similar explanations. “Some affairs are psychologically healthy,” he writes. I agree. An affair can help leverage you out of a destructive or deadened relationship that’s beyond the point of renewal. It can springboard the couple into greater emotional honesty and mature action. Of course, you have to be honest with yourself here, and not rationalize yourself into having the affair while postponing necessary action.

More from YourTango: Having Sex After The Affair

An affair can spur you to confront what you really want from your existing partner and motivate you to try creating it. Larry, for example, had an affair for nearly four years. After an argument with his lover one day, he realized he was beginning to feel much of the same irritation and sexual boredom that he felt towards his wife. “This is pretty screwed up,” he said to me. “I’ve got to do something.” As he examined what he really wanted and valued, he recognized his own role in evading long-standing conflicts in his marriage.

There’s always a reason for beginning an affair, and it usually relates to some issue in your existing relationship. It’s far better to face and resolve that first. You don’t just “find” yourself having an affair, or “end up” in bed with someone. It’s your choice, but it can be rationalized. So take a look at what’s missing or unfulfilling in your relationship, why that is, and whether you can — or if you even want to — do something about it. It’s preferable to try renewing your relationship, or end it with mutual respect before taking up with someone new.

By acknowledging that an affair means you’re living a lie in some form, you have a greater chance to deal with the emotional and practical consequences of the affair in a healthier way. And there are plenty of consequences for yourself, your children, and your existing relationship. But if you fool yourself about the reasons for your affair and what it may set in motion, you can squander irreplaceable years, trapped within illusions and rationalizations. When it all comes crashing down, loneliness and emptiness may be all that remains.

That’s why I advocate awareness at the outset: you can become more conscious of your actions, and use that awareness to deal maturely with their consequences. Or you can remain oblivious, but then you still have to deal with the consequences!

LaBier’s article leads me to my third thought — the costs of an affair. Aside from the potential to end your marriage, even affairs “undiscovered” by a partner comes with a price tag: your heart. Most affairs are short lived despite fantasies of longevity. Therefore, a posible outcome can be equated to a heartbreak that rivals the intensity of adolescent/early adulthood relationship endings.

According to Sam J Buser in the article, Why Your Affair Will Never Lead to True Love, “some research suggests that about only one in ten affairs lead to a long-term relationship. Of these, only about 10 percent are permanent. This means that there is about a one in a hundred chance that you and your affair partner will stay together for the long haul.” But that doesn’t mean the feelings aren’t there. In the article The Emotional Cost Of Infidelity, writer Pam Gerhardt notes how many people feel as though they’re falling in love. “According to researchers and eyewitnesses, thousands of people have life-changing affairs and use nearly identical language to describe the passion, betrayal and pain associated with them. “No one ever made me feel like that before.” “I wanted to kill myself.” “If I had to choose one person to live with me on a deserted island, it would be him.”

More from YourTango: Can An Affair Ever Become A Healthy Relationship?

It can create quite a whirlwind of cognitive challenges, visceral sensations, self rejection as well as exploration and growth. A Psychology Today article The Eight Reasons that People Cheat On Their Partners adds to the sentiment with the following: “Extramarital affairs clearly represent a complex mix of desire, anguish, and need for connection. Rarely are they apparently entered into without conflict or even distress. They may be the product of, or the cause of, the ending of a marital relationship. Happy couples may decide to experiment and, as Calhoun observed, find that their marriages survive intact if not improved. However, as shown in these studies, it’s a risky venture, not one for the faint at heart.”

Are you currently experiencing this in your life and marriage? Below are some questions that may benefit you if you’re feeling confused.

Your Sense of Self:
Who am I to make a choice that would hurt my spouse whom I still love? How do I feel good about myself? What does commitment mean to me? Can I remain monogamous? Do I need to end my relationship? Do I need an open relationship? What is empty or at void with me that I am filling in ways to go against my commitment? How do I meet my needs in respectful ways?

Challenges Your Values:
How do my values and behavior align? What do I value in marriage? Do I value monogamy? If not, it is a high value to my partner? What does my faith say about my choices? How do I understand my values and implement them in a way that doesn’t feel judgmental or suffocating? Do I tell my partner?

The most challenging times in our lives provide the greatest room for growth. The above examples of the cost of an affair can provide an excellent learning ground to reduce judgement and create a wonderful learning opportunity. Despite the ability for an affair to promote self growth and relationship enhancement, be aware that the costs are high and it’s an emotionally expensive way to learn.

This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: Can An Affair Save Your Marriage? Some Experts Believe So.

597 comments

Belinda T.
Belinda T.11 days ago

My name is Raymond Anevay, I want to give a testimony on how I got my wife Annabelle back after three years of separation. Few months after our 4th daughter’s birthday I cheated on my wife (action which I regretted and wished I never did) which led to Annabelle filing for a divorce. We divorced and for some years I searched for her and ways to get her back until one day when I went online searching for a fast way to get Annabelle back and I saw a post about Dr Osume and how he has helped numerous people, I contacted him and told him how I was feeling not having my Annabelle with me. He offered me a help with his powerful love spell and promised that my Wife Annabelle would return to me just within 24 hours after the spell. I waited after the spell and just about the time promised by Dr Osume I received a call from my wife saying that she was sorry for leaving and would want to reunite. Thank you Dr Osume, Am happy that Annabelle has finally returned back to me and my family is happier than ever. Dr Osume is great and you can contact via (dr.osumevoodoospells@yahoo.com ).

SEND
Andy S.
Andy S.24 days ago

I promise to share this testimony all over the world once my husband return back to me Thing don't just work out out until you make the right choice in your life, In my life i made the right choice when i contacted Dr.KEN the great spell caster who is specialized in restoring broken relationship or marriages. My name is unice from Albany New York City USA, and am here on this site to thank DR.KEN for a job well done, Because i never believe that i would have gotten my husband back if not for the sake of Dr.KEN that is why i won't be leaving this site without dropping the contact details of Dr.KEN which are via email: drkenlovespell@gmail.com you can also call him directly on +1 903 847 0267 contact Dr. KEN in order to restore your broken marriage or relationship.

SEND
Richard K.
Richard K.1 months ago

Hello to you all on this page, am Helena, i want to use this opportunity to share with you all on this page how i was able to get back with my man Jackson, after 2 years of breakup, it all started 2014 when my husband traveled from our city texas to Florida for work where he met this other lady since then my husband started to treat me like am was nobody until one day he left the house to start living with this other lady, me and our daughter of a year and 2 months then, were left alone, i cried and tried everything possible to plead with he to make he return home, but nothing worked, and i loved my husband so much and i knew he loved me as well, at this time i noticed all was not in it right senses with my husband, i made up my mind not to rest until am able to get my family back on track again, September 23 2015 my friend Darcy from Houston told me about this powerful spell caster, called Dr Gozza of hollygozzasolutiontemple@gmail.com, at whom she claim has helped her and some others with relationship issues,at first i was skeptical about this thing called spell casting, but after thinking for days i said to give it a try because i loved my husband and i want my child to grown up with both parents , i contact this Dr Gozza on his email, and also texted him on the phone, and explained everything that has happened between me and my husband to he , and he told me what to do, i did it all and he told to wait for three days after his w

SEND
Brianna J
Brianna J1 months ago

Good News! I am Brianna Jett ,Sincerely i was so crushed when my Husband left and moved to Australia to be with another woman.after 5 years of marriage.leaving me with the 3kids alone.The pains was just too much for me to bear that I couldn't just bear it anymore. So i had to reached out to the Internet for help until i found out that Dr. Jatto was the man that could help me after so many testimonies on his name. after reaching to him. i asked for his help and he cast a spell portion for me and told me that in 48hours my husband will be back to me. and truly as he has mentioned to me my husband came back to me in 48hours apologizing and telling me he will be a better husband for his kids and now my life is balanced and i am happy again. Dr. Jatto you did a great work for many lives. Friends in case you need the help of Dr.Jatto kindly mail him on his email: drjattolovespelltemple@gmail.com or drjattolovespelltemple@yahoo.co.uk or his Mobil:+2347050270268 or his websites:https://drjattolovespelltemp.wixsite.com/drjatto

SEND
Johnson C.
Johnson C.1 months ago

REAL SPELL CASTER (DR.OBILUJESU) THAT CAN HELP YOU GET YOUR LOVER BACK WHATSAPP HIM @+2348143481000

Hi everyone, I was going crazy when my husband breakup with me and left me for another woman!! All thanks to Dr OBILUJESU the best love spell caster online that helped me to bring back my husband today and restore happiness in my marriage.. I'm Logan Jack by name i lives in England. My husband breakup with me and left me to be with another woman, and i wanted him back. I was so frustrated and i could not know what next to do again, I love my husband so much but he was cheating on me with another woman and this makes him break up with me so that he can be able to get married to the other lady and this lady i think use witchcraft on my husband to make him hate me and my kids and this was so critical and uncalled-for, I cry all day and night for God to send me a helper to get back my husband!! I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr. OBILUJESU can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me so much, Oh My God! i was so happy, and today i am happy with my man again and we are joyfully living together as one big family and i thank the powerful spell caster Dr.OBILUJESU, he is so powerful and i decided to share m

SEND
Johnson C.
Johnson C.1 months ago

REAL SPELL CASTER (DR.OBILUJESU) THAT CAN HELP YOU GET YOUR LOVER BACK WHATSAPP HIM @+2348143481000

Hi everyone, I was going crazy when my husband breakup with me and left me for another woman!! All thanks to Dr OBILUJESU the best love spell caster online that helped me to bring back my husband today and restore happiness in my marriage.. I'm Logan Jack by name i lives in England. My husband breakup with me and left me to be with another woman, and i wanted him back. I was so frustrated and i could not know what next to do again, I love my husband so much but he was cheating on me with another woman and this makes him break up with me so that he can be able to get married to the other lady and this lady i think use witchcraft on my husband to make him hate me and my kids and this was so critical and uncalled-for, I cry all day and night for God to send me a helper to get back my husband!! I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr. OBILUJESU can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me so much, Oh My God! i was so happy, and today i am happy with my man again and we are joyfully living together as one big family and i thank the powerful spell caster Dr.OBILUJESU, he is so powerful and i decided to share m

SEND
Ruth M.
Ruth M.1 months ago

I gave Dr. Alli a call regarding sudden change of my wife and he made it clear to me that my wife will love me till the end of the world,that she will never leave my sight. Now me and my wife is back together again and has started doing pleasant things she hasn’t done before, he makes me happy and do what she is suppose to do as a woman without nagging. Email him for any kind of help you may need Email: allispellhelp1@gmail.com Or Phone number:+2348100772528,.

SEND
Ruth M.
Ruth M.1 months ago

I gave Dr. Alli a call regarding sudden change of my wife and he made it clear to me that my wife will love me till the end of the world,that she will never leave my sight. Now me and my wife is back together again and has started doing pleasant things she hasn’t done before, he makes me happy and do what she is suppose to do as a woman without nagging. Email him for any kind of help you may need Email: allispellhelp1@gmail.com Or Phone number:+2348100772528

SEND
Maria C.
Maria C.1 months ago

nnnnn

SEND
Sonia E.
Sonia E.1 months ago

After being in relationship with him for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email: drosedebamenspellhome@gmail.com you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything. CAN NE

SEND