START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Why Some Experts Believe An Affair Can Save Your Marriage

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.

Read more: Love, Relationships, , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

YourTango

YourTango is a digital media company dedicated to love and relationships. No matter what lovestage our users are in—single, taken, engaged, married, starting over, or complicated—we help them live their best love lives.

228 comments

+ add your own
12:56PM PDT on Mar 27, 2015

I LOST MY JOB AND THEN MY WIFE LEFT ME AND THEN SHE ALSO WANTED OUR KIDSBECAUSE SHE KNEW I HAD NOTHING.ALL THOSE YEARS WE SPENT TOGETHER WHEN ALL WAS WELL SHE FORGOT IN A BLINK OF AN EYE.MY WORLD WAS FALLING TO PIECES AND I WAS HELPLESS.By some cosmic accident that i don't even believe in, i found a witch doctor named Mutton Osun on the internet who out of desperation i contacted for help and somehow placed all my hope on and heave bless him, he lived up to his words. He asked for materials which i provided After four day he sent me a package asking that i follow the instruction he left along with the package. I did all he asked of me and like a miracle i was called back to my job at J .P Morgan with them saying i have been given a second chance after six month? and just after the spell? it only explained on thing that the spell is at work and i won the custody case of my girls just as i asked. You reading should not just believe me. Contact Mutton Osun let him help you and your problem them you will believe all this is as real as it gets. Use this as contact godsofosunx@rocketmail.com

5:00PM PDT on Mar 24, 2015

My name is Lorna, i was able to save my marriage with the help of Dr.Kwale spell of kwaletemple@gmail.com. my husband left me for over 16weeks and he stop responding to my call and emails but after i contacted Dr.Kwale he did a spell that made my husband to come back to me within the period of 24hours and ever since my husband came back to me he is so committed to me. To save your marriage you can also contact Dr.Kwale on his email or call his # +2348056141089.

3:10PM PDT on Mar 15, 2015

stella
I have great joy in my heart as I'm writing this testimony about the great man called Dr.adoga, When my lover left me, I thought i will not be able to get her back after all she has put me through, but I am so happy that after the interference of Dr.johnson, I was able to get my lover back within 3 days. And I can proudly say that who ever need help in getting his lover back should contact Dr.johnson on is email address (udahomeofsolution@gmail.com) for quicker response of what I have just witness in my relationship.

3:06AM PDT on Mar 14, 2015

WTF
How much spam do I have to flag

12:39PM PST on Mar 5, 2015

READ MY STORY. ON HOW I GOT MY AIDS CURED].
i was tested HIV + positive last 3years. I keep on managing the drugs i usually purchase from the health care agency to keep me healthy and strenghtful, i tried all i can too make this disease leave me alone, but unfortunately, it keep on eating up my life, this is what i caused myself, for allowing my fiance make sex to me unsecurely without protection, although i never knew he is HIV positive. So last few 4days i came in contact with a lively article on the internet on how this Powerful Herbal Healer get her well and healed. So as a patient i knew this will took my life 1 day, and i need to live with other friends and relatives too. So i copied out the Prophet suleman healer's email id: Prophetsuleman@gmail.com

7:35PM PST on Feb 20, 2015

Hello friends i want to share my testimony and how grateful i'm since my lover came back to me because of the great help Lord Masuka whose email address is lordmasukaspelltemple@hotmail.com.com render to me. my boyfriend broke up with me first week of july this year because he thought i was cheating on him, he told me that his friends has been telling him that i have been seeing someone else when he is not around i tried to make him understand that his friends are lieing to him but he did not give me the chance to explain to him this was how he left me. after a month of our breakup i tried to live a normal life without him but it was very hard for me to cope then i decided to contact Lord masuka via his email address lordmasukaspelltemple@hotmail.com which i came across this months September 12th during my search looking for help how to get my lover back he cast a love spell for me and make my lover to come back to me within the period of 48hours. with this grate joy in my heart i want to say a big thanks to lord masuka he is the best spell caster and he is the best solution.Here is his website http://lordmasukalovespelltemple.webs.com you will be happy thereafter here is his phone number +2347053105287. You can add him up on Skype his user name lord.Masuka

4:10AM PST on Feb 20, 2015

So - of 203 comments, well over 100 are total SPAM. What's more, they read so much like 'Nigerian letters' that they could be positively dangerous to anyone reading this who is in a vulnerable position due to a monogamous relationship gone sour.,

Of the 80+ comments that aren't spam, most say this 'advice' is a load of hogwash.
Which it is!
As some posters have pointed out, wedding vows are made in the expectation of truth, love, exclusivity. If the relationship isn't working then the only honest thing to do is to either end the relationship with care and consideration, or to work harder at making it work. NOT to play away from home.

12:48PM PST on Feb 18, 2015

Are you finding it difficult finding the right solutions to all your problems? you don't need to hide your problem because if you do, you will never find the solution to it. so i advice you to visit PROPHET ODUWA today and get all your problem solved. i am a living testimony to his good work.marriage problem, you want ur man to love you more? what ever your problem is, get them solved because god didn't send you to this world to suffer.if you are interested you can contact us via email>prophetoduwatemple@gmail.com

4:55AM PST on Feb 17, 2015

GET YOUR PROBLEM SOLVE TODAY BY MY PROFESSION IN
ANY KIND OF PROBLEM YOU ARE FACING IN LIFE MY
NAME IS Dr Okosun Alaba AND THIS IS MY EMAIL FOR
CONTACT(dr.ksun01@gmail.com) OR YOU CAN
FOLLOW ME UP ON FB BY MY NAME OR CALL +2349030782693, I AM ALWAYS AVAILABLE
TO RENDER YOU MY HELP.
1. Getting your lover or husband back
2. Spiritual bulletproof
3. Training
4. Money spell
5. Long life spell
6. Prosperity spell
7. Protection spell
8. Get a job spell
9. Becoming a manager spell
10. Get a huge loan without paying any fee spell
11. Getting your scam money back
12. Child spell
13. Pregnancy spell
14. Freedom spell
15. Love spell
16, vanishing spell
17. Invisible human spell
18. Success or pass spell
19. Marriage spell
20. Avenging spell
21. Popularity spell
22. Killing spell
23. Cancer spell
24. Supernatural power spell
25. Madness spell
26. Free house loan spell
27. Production spell of films and movie
28. Hiv/aids spell
29. Tuberculosis spell
30. Loose weight and body spell

contact me of any of these today at dr.ksun01@gmail.com got solution to all your problems here:

3:59PM PST on Feb 8, 2015

I am from chicago USA, I can't stop thanking Dr Shakes Spear Africa for this Great thing that he has done in my life, I am so greatful to him, i was suffering from HIV seizures and kidney failure when i contacted Dr Shakes Spear Africa after reading the wonderful testimony that people has been sharing about him, when i contacted him, he assure me that he will cure me with his herbal medicine which he really did, and i am now completely cured from HIV seizures and kidney failure. What will i say rather than thanking him for saving me.
Why suffering in silence when there is remedy to your deseases.Dr.Worrior Africa also specialize in curing the following desease:
*Hiv/Aids
*Kidney failure
*Arthritis
*Diabetes
*Hypertension
*Stroke
*Obesity
*Infertility/Impotency
*Cancer
*Eye Problem
*Skin Problem
*Fibroid Tumor
*Ulcer
*Prostate Problem
*Asthma
*Weight Management
*Gonorrhea/Staphylococcus
*Candidie
*Low sperm can
*Weak erection
*Weak ejaculation
*Pile e.t.c
For more information contact Dr Shakes Spear Africa via email:shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Just awesomeeeeee, really cracked me up, still laughing.

Useful information, thanks.

Thanks for sharing

Deborah W., is right. Instead of congress going after the EPA to make cuts it is imperative that US…

thanks for the recipe...love cabbage

CONTACT THE EDITORS



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.