are as many reasons why people have affairs as there are people.
But usually an affair is an external sign of an internal desire
for change. Something in the person's life or the relationship isn't
OK - and the affair creates the trigger for change.
aren't only about sex. In fact, relationship experts maintain
that any intimate activity between two people that breaches the
trust of a partner constitutes an affair.
Is your relationship at risk?
are some common causes of affairs
* Relationship problems - if you're unhappy in your relationship
you'll be more tempted to look elsewhere.
* Boredom - if you're bored with your life, an affair may seem
like an adventure.
* Low self-esteem - you may need reassurance that you're attractive
Types of affairs
Although there are many reasons for affairs, most fall into
one of four categories:
boat-rocking affair - when one partner has an underlying dissatisfaction
with the relationship. The affair is an unconscious way of drawing
attention to the problem and bringing things into the open.
exit affair - when an affair is used to get out of a relationship.
Rather than confront the fact that a relationship isn't working,
an affair forces the issue.
thrill affair - the illicit nature of an affair brings with
it an adrenaline rush. Add to that the excitement of sex with
someone new and the romantic trimmings of a fresh relationship,
and it can seem irresistible.
three's company affair - can go on for years; it can also
describe a string of successive affairs. Some people find it difficult
to commit to one person; they feel stifled by monogamy and fear
putting all their emotional eggs in one basket. Having a third
person on the scene can provide an outlet for difficult emotions.
TIPS TO HELP AVOID AFFAIRS
Be open - honesty is the key to avoiding affairs. Share any temptations
with your partner and agree to support each other.
Be close - build and maintain emotional and sexual intimacy in
your relationship. The closer you are, the stronger you are.
Be smart - don't slip into complacency: everyone is vulnerable
Be alert - if you find yourself feeling attracted to someone,
take action to avoid getting any closer.
Behave - if you'd describe yourself as a natural flirt, remember:
if you don't want to get burned, don't play with fire.
When affairs are discovered
Whether the discovery of an affair is gradual or sudden, shock
is the first emotion you're likely to experience.
the shock wears off, you may be left with feelings of anger, sadness,
confusion and perhaps embarrassment, especially if you were the
one being unfaithful.
people find themselves wondering how this could have happened
and questioning whether there can be any future for their relationship.
Surviving the affair
Trust is essential for a healthy relationship, and it's something
we often take for granted until it's gone. If you're the one that's
had the affair, you'll need to work hard at reassuring your partner
that it's them you truly love and that you've learnt from your
you're the one who's been cheated, you may find yourself asking
questions for a long time. But as time passes, you'll find yourself
feeling more secure and confident about your relationship.
only takes a moment to break, but much, much longer to rebuild.
At first it may feel that your relationship will never recover,
but with hard work and patience it can survive. An affair always
signals a turning point in a relationship - but it doesn't have
to signal the end.