You might have caught your partner red-handed, or perhaps you merely suspect it.
Even if not, it makes sense, with the proliferation of cyber-sex and affairs among both men and women, that it will cross your mind to wonder what drives a spouse to cheat in the first place?
Maybe nothing. That is, nothing that you’ve done wrong. Sometimes things really do ‘just happen’.
We are all, in the end, biological creatures with physical needs and weaknesses.
In the midst of the heat of an unexpectedly delicious moment at the office party with that guy you’ve had a little crush on, or that reassuring hug you gave to the sexy neighbor when her cat got run over, things felt just a little too good.
Like the first bite of a succulent steak, you can’t help craving it, if even just for a moment. Unfortunately sometimes that means you go where you shouldn’t and before you know it, you’ve crossed the line.
If it’s really that innocent, your relationship can probably survive using disclosure, apology and conscious intent.
But what if the indiscretion is ongoing? What if your spouse can’t or won’t stop seeing the ‘other’, or even seems to ‘get off’ ongoing behind your back?
That’s the problem.
People often cheat because it just plain feels good.
However, a solid friendship, trusting relationship and the security and partnership of marriage feels good, too, so why do so many people risk all that for a roll in the hay or a fling?
Here are some reasons why people cheat on their partners:
1. You fight too often
2. Your sexual compatibility has eroded and your mate isn’t satisfied
3. Gradual erosion of trust
4. Over-familiarity (boredom)
5. Experimentation (Maybe she doesn’t think you’d approve of the fantasy she’s dying to live out in bed – so she tries it with someone who she feels won’t judge her)
6. You’ve been too busy for intimacy
7. Your mate is no longer attracted to you that way (have you let yourself go? Be honest. You have limits too when it comes to physical appearance, hygiene, etc)
8. Has petty bickering and nagging drained all the joy, humor and affection from our relationship?
9. There is a grudge there that needs to be addressed
10. She feels taken for granted
11. He feels unappreciated
12. There’s a basic incompatibility in your relationship
13. She feels like she’s getting old and less pretty and wants to feel young and desirable again
14. He feels older and less manly and wants to feel that testosterone rush again to make him feel good about himself
15. He’s just a chronic adulterer
16. She doesn’t have the relationship skills to maintain or work through a long-term relationship
17. He has deep sexual kinks (bi curious, S&M etc) that he feels are inappropriate to live out with his wife
18. She needs to feel the power and flush of strong romantic love again. She needs that reassurance and sense of being cherished and adored.
Can your marriage recover from an affair? Yes, it’s possible, even if your spouse has feelings for the object of her obsession.
But be aware that it won’t be simple or quick. Both of you will have to work hard and probably involve a therapist to help guide you.
But it is possible.