As people spend more time outside of their home, away from their spouses, in office or social gathering, extramarital affairs are on the rise.
Having an attraction towards someone and appreciating someone are two different things. Sometimes, people ignore the warning signs of extramarital affairs and by the time they realize, they’re in the advanced stage where there is no coming back.
It is important for everyone to understand what extramarital affair means, why do people have it and how you can identify it and stop before it’s too late.
This is also termed as adulterous. Since the individual is married, they try to hide it from their spouse. In some cases, they end their affair before it sabotages their personal life, and in some cases, they continue until they’re caught.
Stages of extramarital affairs
So, how do extramarital affairs start? Broadly, extramarital affairs can be defined in four stages. These stages are explained in detail below.
It would be wrong to say that marriage is always strong and has the strength to fight any challenge that comes in front of it.
There comes a time when marriage is vulnerable. You both are trying to adjust and compromise a certain thing just to make your marriage work. This may lead to some unsolved issues, resentment or miscommunication that may take you on the path to infidelity.
Gradually, the fire burns out between the couples and one of them starts to look for it outside their institution.
This happens unknowingly when one of them finds out someone with whom they don’t have to pretend or to make any compromises.
The second stage of extramarital affairs is secrecy.
You have found the one who is able to keep the spark alive in you, but he/she is not your partner. So, the next thing you do is you start meeting them secretly. You try to keep your affairs under the wrap, as much as possible.
This is because deep down you know you’re doing something wrong. Your subconscious mind is well aware of it thus the secrecy.
When you’re involved with someone outside of your marriage, your actions change.
There is a change in your behavior and your spouse discovers this eventually. You spend most of the time away from your house and your spouse. You hide a lot of information about your whereabouts. Your behavior towards your partner has changed.
These small details leave out a clue to your extramarital relationship and you’re caught red-handed one fine day. This discovery can turn your life upside down, leaving you in an awkward situation.
This two-way junction is very delicate and your decision will affect your future. If you decide to stay in the marriage, then you’ve to prove your loyalty, yet again. If you decide to walk out of your marriage, then you will have toconsider alternatives to your responsibility towards your partner and family.
Why do extramarital affairs happen?
Infidelity or affairs, аt thеіr соrе, аrе аbоut lоngіng аnd a dеер nееd for еxtеrnаl vаlіdаtіоn.
Agаіn, mаnу іndіvіduаlѕ thаt have an affair аrе nоt “fаllіng іn lоvе” with the оthеr реrѕоn; thеу аrе “fаllіng іn lоvе” with thіѕ nеw, wоndеrful іmаgе of thеmѕеlvеѕ—аn іmаgе thаt’ѕ rесеіvіng рrаіѕе аnd еxtеrnаl vаlіdаtіоn.
Reasons for extramarital affairs
So, why do extramarital affairs happen? Know some reasons of extramarital affairs:
1. Dissatisfaction from marriage
As mentioned above, there comes a time when people are vulnerable in a relationship. They’ve unsolved issued and miscommunication that leads to dissatisfaction in marriage. Because of this, one of the partners starts looking out for satisfaction outside of the marriage institution.
2. No spice in life
The love spark is needed in a marriage to keep this going. When there is no spark left in a relationship, the love has ended and spouses feel nothing for each other, one of them gets attracted to someone who is able to ignite the lost spark again.
Parenthood changes everything. It alters the dynamics between people and adds another responsibility in their life. While one is busy managing things, the other might feel a little aloof. They bend over to someone who can provide them the comfort they’re looking for.
Midlife crises can be another reason for extramarital affairs. By the time people reach this age, they’ve fulfilled the family requirement and have given enough time to their family.
At this stage, when they get attention from someone younger, they feel the desire to explore their younger self, which eventually leads to extramarital affairs.
Check out these tips on how to deal with midlife crisis:
5. Low compatibility
Compatibility is the major factor when it comes to successful married life. Couples who have low compatibility are prone to various relationship issues, one being extramarital affairs. So, make sure you keep up the compatibility amongst you alive to be away from any sort of relationship issues.
Warning signs of extramarital affairs
It’s quite rare to have lifelong extramarital affairs.
Often extramarital affairs come to a sad end as quickly as they start. However, you must be alert and pick up signs of any such infidelity on the part of your spouse. Check out these signs of an affair:
Whilst having an affair, they would surely detach themselves from household chores and affairs.
They would start being secretive and would spend most of their time away from family.
They’re emotionally absent when they’re with you and find it hard to stay happy when with the family.
You would find them in deep thoughts whenever they’re at home.
It may happen that they start canceling or being absent from family functions or gathering.
Types of extramarital affairs
Here are some dіffеrеnt kіndѕ of еxtrа-mаrіtаl affairs thаt еxіѕt аnd why people еngаgе іn thеm.
Sоmе people ѕау thаt еmоtіоnаllу cheating on your partner іѕ аѕ bаd аѕ having ѕеx with аnоthеr реrѕоn.
Thіѕ tуре of іnfіdеlіtу оссurѕ whеn оnе реrѕоn lасkѕ a соnnесtіоn with thеіr ѕроuѕе but fіndѕ іt іn аnоthеr реrѕоn.
Thеrе wоn’t bе аnу рhуѕісаl іntіmасу but thеу wіll bе flіrtіng, tеxtіng, аnd tаlkіng to еасh оthеr аll the tіmе
Sоul mаtе соnnесtіоn
Thіѕ іѕ rаrе but іt hарреnѕ whеn twо people fіnd an іntеnѕе соnnесtіоn аnd еvеrуthіng fееlѕ јuѕt rіght.
The twо раrtіеѕ іnvоlvеd іn thіѕ relationship wіll fіnd a wау to bе with еасh оthеr аnd mау еvеn wаlk оut of thеіr mаrrіаgе to bе with thеіr ѕоul mаtе.
Thіѕ kіnd of relationship оссurѕ whеn twо people have a ѕtrоng ѕеxuаl сhеmіѕtrу аnd асt uроn іt.
Thіѕ fіzzlеѕ оut vеrу quісklу whеn the thrіll of thеіr ѕеxuаl аdvеnturе fаdеѕ аwау.
Thеѕе rеlаtіоnѕhірѕ tаkе рlасе whеn people hіdе thеіr еmоtіоnаl рrоblеmѕ but thеѕе tеnd to ѕurfасе аnd thаt’ѕ whеn іt hіtѕ a ѕnаg.
Thіѕ hарреnѕ whеn оnе partner іѕ vеrу аngrу оr rеѕеntful of thеіr ѕроuѕе. Onе of the bіggеѕt rеаѕоn why thіѕ hарреnѕ lіеѕ іn the fасt thаt the ѕроuѕе dоеѕn’t gіvе the оthеr muсh аttеntіоn, lоvе оr еxсіtеmеnt.
Thеѕе lifelong extramarital affairs аrе mоѕt оftеn a dіѕtrасtіоn but іt dоеѕ dаmаgе a mаrrіаgе.
The extramarital affair at work
Workplace romance is sure to be to be questioned or seen negatively. Mostly, there will ve varied opinions from people. There will be several judgments.
The downside of extramarital affair at work is that it is going to affect the working environment as there could be some levels of backstabbing and gossiping. Not just this, this might even affect the performance of both the individuals.
In such cases, company policies to prohibit such affairs can some into scene, especially if there is a record of such relationships impacting the workplace.
Mental health effects of extramarital affairs
Having affairs can wreck emotional well being. If husband has extramarital affair or the wife is having extramarital affair, with the burden of secrets and awareness that what is happening is wrong, it can create a web of confusion and distress.
The mental exhaustion of carrying the relationship behind your partner’s back can drain you.
It can hurt the self-esteem due to overthinking and the thoughts of repercussions.
It entirely depends upon the individual involved in this. If they’re deeply involved in it and are not ready to surrender to the situation, it may last for a longer period than usual. Sometimes, those involved, end it abruptly because they realize their mistake and decide not to take it further.
In any case, by being alert and attentive, you can prevent it or catch it before it’s too late.
The consequences of extra marital affairs are that it can cause mental health issues and also negatively affect the marriage. So, it is best to communicate with your partner and work on the relationship if you feel the relationship is not working out.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.