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 ‘whys’ 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, its 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.

500 comments

Jasmine D.
Jasmine D.12 hours ago

Am JASMINE D. from Scotland. I was having serious relationship problems with my boyfriend and it had resulted in him moving out to his friend’s apartment. Everything got worse because he started going to bars and strip clubs frequently with his friend%2C getting drunk and passing out. He always threatens me on phone whenever I call him because of all the bad advises that his friend has given him. I really love him and we had been dating for 8 years which gave us a beautiful daughter. I had also lost a lot of money on therapists until I was introduced to Dr. Ade by a friend whom he helped to marry her childhood boyfriend%3B this gave me total confidence and strength to get him back. I did all he asked and after 48 hours my boyfriend called me and rushed back home%2C things just changed between us emotionally. He has a job and stopped drinking and keeping irrelevant friends. It’s a miracle I never believed was possible because I had lost all hope until I found Dr.Ade. So that’s why I promised to share my testimony all over the universe. All thanks goes to Dr.Ade for the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is the email address in situation you are undergoing a heart break%2C and I assure you that as he has done mine for me%2C he will definitely help you too. Adespelltemple%40 gmail. com or call he on %2B2348148487280.

SEND
Jasmine D.
Jasmine D.12 hours ago

Am JASMINE from Scotland. I was having serious relationship problems with my boyfriend and it had resulted in him moving out to his friend’s apartment. Everything got worse because he started going to bars and strip clubs frequently with his friend, getting drunk and passing out. He always threatens me on phone whenever I call him because of all the bad advises that his friend has given him. I really love him and we had been dating for 8 years which gave us a beautiful daughter. I had also lost a lot of money on therapists until I was introduced to Dr. Ade by a friend whom he helped to marry her childhood boyfriend; this gave me total confidence and strength to get him back. I did all he asked and after 48 hours my boyfriend called me and rushed back home, things just changed between us emotionally. He has a job and stopped drinking and keeping irrelevant friends. It’s a miracle I never believed was possible because I had lost all hope until I found Dr.Ade. So that’s why I promised to share my testimony all over the universe. All thanks goes to Dr.Ade for the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is the email address in situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assure you that as he has done mine for me, he will definitely help you too. Adespelltemple@ gmail. com or call he on +2348148487280.

SEND
Aku A.
Aku A.2 days ago

I' m julie from Florida ,this is incredible! I still imagine how Dr. UZOYA brought my husband back to me in just 24 hours.. No one could have ever made me believe that this testimony that I’m about to write now would actually one day be written by me. because I was the world’s biggest skeptic. I never believed in magic spells or anything like that, but I was told by a trustworthy source (a very close co-worker) that Dr. UZOYA is a very devoted, talented, and gifted spell caster, and after much cajole she got me to visit this email: [driraborspellcaster@gmail.com] .It was one of the most excellent thing I have ever done in my whole life. My love life was in total mess after my husband dumped me for another woman,and I wanted to try harder to make our relationship work, but my husband didn't seem to care. So, with nothing but my pride to lose, I checked it out. I was flabbergasted. This man is for REAL. He did whatever magic he does, and lo and behold – more than 48 hours later, I had my husband back! It was like a miracle! He suddenly wanted to go to marriage psychotherapy, and we’re doing very, very well right now. and now he has loved me more than ever..Thank you so much Dr. UZOYA for your Love and for reuniting my family back sir, his Email: [driraborspellcaster@gmail.com] OR Tel:+13019098775
his website https://driraborspellcaste.wixsite.com/spell-caster

SEND
John M
John M.4 days ago

I never believed in spell casting, but After 6 years of dating, I still imagine how Dr Aza brought my ex lover back to me in just 24 hour. No one could have ever made me believe that there is a real spell caster that really work. am sandra by name,I want to quickly tell the world that there is a real on line spell caster that is powerful and genuine, His name is Dr Aza, He helped me recently to reunite my relationship when my ex lover who left me, When i contacted Dr Aza he cast a love spell for me and my ex lover who said he doesn't have anything to do with me again, he called me and started begging me. he is back now with so much love and caring. today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the powers of bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my lover,and the most surprise,is that our love is very strong,every day is happiness and joy. and there is nothing like been with the man you love.i am so happy my love is back to me with the help of Dr.Aza if you have similar problem i will advice you to contact him ,he is there to help you and put a smile on your face. his email: azaspellcaster@gmail.com or you can whatsApp his line:+2348107155060 or see more at http://azaspellcaster.wixsite.com/spell-caster

SEND
Aku A.
Aku A.5 days ago

What a wonderful spell caster i have ever meet I almost lost my life when my lover of 6 years left to be with another woman. I cried and sober every day, until it got so bad that I reached out to the Internet for help.And i saw a testimony of a spell caster who help a girl called Clara and i said let me give it a try so i contact him for help and he cast a love spell for me which i use in getting my love back and now i am a happy man.For what you have done for me, i will not stop sharing your good name to people out there for the good work you done for me. I hope God blesses you as much as you have help me to get my Love back, it is ideal i published this on a local newspaper for others to brings more customers to him, he worth more of this and his reward are sure. thanks and visit him on [driraborspellcaster@gmail.com] OR call him direct on +13019098775 is the only answer to your problems website https://driraborspellcaste.wixsite.com/spell-caster

SEND
Aku A.
Aku A.11 days ago

Grace is my name and I am one of the persons that have benefited from Dr. UZOYA Love Spell. Dr. UZOYA appeared in the middle of my life when all hope was lost. I gave up on life and thought the best way to cure my broken heart was to take my life after I tried several processes and traveled to India seeking for spell to reunite with my husband who dumped me after three years of our marriage for another lady but none of my effort worked. I made up my mind to continue with my suicide plan before a strange spirit came over me like a rain and ministered to me to search online after seeing so much talks about Dr. Uzoya Love Temple. I reluctantly searched and found amazing testimonies and recommendations about him which encouraged me to contact him via his email. He replied and asked me to wipe away my tears and quit any act to take my life; he said that my case is solvable after consulting his Oracle. Well, here I am today thanking Dr. Uzoya for saving my life and bringing back my Husband. We are so happy today and happier than we have ever been. I am so grateful for being among the people sharing this testimony and Dr. Uzoya telephone number is +13019098775 OR email him on; [driraborspellcaster@gmail.com]

SEND
 .
.18 days ago

My name is Vicky Hicks from USA My boyfriend and I were happy as far as I could tell and I never thought that we would break up. When his cousin died in a tragic car accident he went back to Canada for a week to be with his family. I could not go because I was in the middle of entertaining out of town clients for work. He did not seem to be upset that I could not go so I let him be. The next thing that I know, he reconnected with an old friend from high school that he had a crush on years ago and they started to have an affair! I had no clue what was going on until a month after he came back from Canada.He proceeded to see both her and I until I caught him testing her one night. I confronted him and he told me the truth about what happened. We broke up and went our separate ways. Neither of us fought for our relationship. I was angry and decided not to be upset about it and just keep it moving. Then after about a month of not speaking to him I became sad. I wanted him to tell me that he wanted to be with me and not her. I contacted Dr.OCUSODO for a love spell and he totally helped me! he was able to get him to miss me to where he wanted to get back together again. He had a lot of regrets and felt bad for not fighting to keep me and for cheating in general. He values our relationship so much more, now and we are together now! You can also get your lover back with the help of Dr. OCUSODO contact him through his email:drocusodospellcaster@gmail.com or drocusodospellcaster@yahoo.

SEND
Aku A
Aku A.28 days ago

I am very surprise for the miraculous experience and wonders of Dr,UZOYA that have been spreading on the Internet and worldwide, How he marvelously helped people all over the world to restored back their lost lovers I contacted him after going through so many testimonies from different people how he help to bring back ex lovers i was deeply in love with my boyfriend and he was with me but suddenly one day he broke up with me. I tried everything but nothing seemed to workout, I thought it was going to be over forever.I never believed in spells but I was so desperate I thought I got nothing else to loose. I started searching for different spell casters and I finally found 'Great UZOYA Temple' who helped me through the process and I eventually got my boyfriend back and we are so happy together. I am so grateful to him. If you ever need a spell caster who can get you ex back then contact him on [driraborspellcaster@gmail.com] and his telephone number is +13019098775.

SEND
Amber T.
Amber T.1 months ago

Priest Ola, Here is my testimony from a Heart Warming indebted Client (Amber Todd from United states) Sir i had to write back to you though I am at work now to let you know that your spell has successfully worked, and he has returned back to me just as you said it sir. A beautiful of red roses was just brought to my place of work from the man I contacted you about on July 15th. Sir i am so happy to tell it to the whole world now that he returned back to me through your powerful spells yesterday at about 6:00pm. Everything worked out just the way you said it. No more doubt. Because Lord Priest Ola realizes we were meant to be, and that we were compatible. This is actually hard for me to believe now. It’s really surprising!! Thank you so much Priest Ola for weaving you magical powers on me, and for reuniting me and my ex together with your utmost powers. You can contact him for help via email successspells@outlook.com . You can also contact him directly on his website. www.successspells.net.

SEND
Amber T.
Amber T.1 months ago

Priest Ola, Here is my testimony from a Heart Warming indebted Client (Amber Todd from United states) Sir i had to write back to you though I am at work now to let you know that your spell has successfully worked, and he has returned back to me just as you said it sir. A beautiful of red roses was just brought to my place of work from the man I contacted you about on July 15th. Sir i am so happy to tell it to the whole world now that he returned back to me through your powerful spells yesterday at about 6:00pm. Everything worked out just the way you said it. No more doubt. Because Lord Priest Ola realizes we were meant to be, and that we were compatible. This is actually hard for me to believe now. It’s really surprising!! Thank you so much Priest Ola for weaving you magical powers on me, and for reuniting me and my ex together with your utmost powers. You can contact him for help via email successspells@outlook.com . You can also contact him directly on his website. www.successspells.net.

SEND