Conditions Favorable to Affairs
We all fantasize at times about what it would be like to have an affair with one person or another. These fantasies can reflect the dissatisfaction we may experience at some points in our lives, the frustrations, the boredom, or the need to recapture the excitement of a time in our lives that now seems gone. At times these fantasies are indications of something amiss in our lives. Acknowledging them helps us face and address the issues at hand. Fantasies about affairs, however, may also just reflect curiosity, the excitement that comes from someone new, and the sexual attraction we may experience for this person.
Because we live in a society where there is constant contact with people other than our mates, the opportunities to fantasize about them abound. 2 out of 3 women and 3 out of 4 men admit to having had sexual thoughts about a co-worker. And, if we consider that most of the affairs develop between co-workers, we can see how daily contacts with other people can facilitate the development of feelings, friendships and sexual fantasies.
However, even though all of us are exposed to these daily opportunities, it is important to know the difference between fantasy and reality, and be mindful of not going over the threshold between the two, unless we are quite clear this is what we want to do and have thought through this decision. While some affairs may develop into healthy, long lasting relationships, statistics indicate that very few lovers actually stay together for more than four years. And, of those who marry, 75% end up in divorce (Ceo, 2009.)
We will discuss elements that contribute to the occurrence of most affairs. These are grouped under three major headings: situational, psychological and physical elements and will be discussed in this and subsequent blogs.
Let’s begin with situational elements. Are certain situations more likely to make people vulnerable to extra marital infidelity?
Some situations are typical of long term relationships. When people have been in a monogamous romantic relationship for some time, the initial spark and passion for one another typically decreases. The predictability of married life, added to external stressors such as little children, busy schedules, financial strain and spousal disagreements and conflicts, can lead to dissatisfaction between romantic partners and lack of or dissatisfying emotional and physical connection with one another. These conditions may make one or the other partner more vulnerable to an extra marital infidelity. The affair can function as distraction from the nitty-gritty of daily life, and is seen by the person who engages in it as an oasis in the middle of a desert, a cocoon devoid of stress, where communication is open and sexual and emotional needs can be reciprocally fulfilled.
Does this scenario resonate with you? Please join this conversation by adding your viewpoint. You may do so by clicking on the comment button below!