Extra marital affairs (EMA) can have ghastly effect on your marriage. It can just destroy the sanctity of your relation with your spouse. Sometimes the result of an affair can be repaired but lots of times they leave you nowhere. How do affairs happen? Studies show that extra marital affair is not a result of one particular reason. There are many of them, which contribute. The biggest of the reason is that one wants to escape distress. A spouse might be highly disappointed, sad, and lonely. There also might be feelings of distress in a marriage.
So how is distress caused? You are constantly creating a relation with your partner. You might like it or not. You might be aware of it or not. Yet you are creating it. Whatever you do or say creates a climate. If you use harsh and helpless tone you create distress. When you cut on your partners concern you cause distress. Shutting out your partner could be another reason for distress. Your behavior might be unintentional at times yet it creates distress.
Refusing to talk, withholding sex, forgetting to do something that is important for your partner, someone else becomes more important than your partner, all this show that you are suffering. You add on to this suffering when your partner expresses a need and desire more than once and you refuse to grow and stretch. You go to an extent of labeling your partner as self centered, and this is how you end up causing distress to yourself.
Extra marital affairs The damage is already done and now you look for a way out. You look out a way for fulfilling that unmet needs, feelings of disconnection and withdrawal, which has built within you. Different people react differently in such situations. Some build an impenetrable wall and withdraw themselves and some others bury themselves in work. Many turn towards their children. But then there are some who look towards someone else.
EMA often begin as innocent relationships. Several things convert them into an affair. You are living in distress and now you have a shoulder to cry on. You have somebody to listen to you. You receive all that care, concern, attention, respect, interest or other things missing in your marriage. If you feel more connected to this someone than your spouse than that means that you have moved several steps closer to an affair.
Slowly the relation, which initially began as concern and care heads towards the sexual intimacy zone. You have a choice but then something comes in. You stop being rational and tell yourself that the relationship is harmless, that you are not doing anything wrong, it's just a friendship, etc. The same justification is given to anyone who asks about it. You reach a point where you have two people in your life. One whom you think is causing you distress and the other listens you and is always there for you. Being human you opt for the person who cares for you. Now fantasy comes into picture.
You start fantasizing this new person. Justification comes in form of "This new person is so much more loving. This is what I need. If I'm with them, they'll be like this with me -- which is what I always wanted -- and I'll feel happy like this forever." This deepens as you start spending more and more time together. Both of you make each other happy and this goes to an extent that you thoughts are filled with them.
Now you start rationalizing. "If this new person makes me feel like this, which I haven't felt in so long, it must mean that we're meant to be. Maybe we're really soul mates. My feelings won't lie. Why shouldn't I experience happiness?" And so it grows
Your relationship is going on a high and the feeling might be amazing, but this feeling will end soon. EMA is like a drug, which definitely surfaces after a particular point. Slowly now you start experiencing the same distress that you felt in your earlier relationship.
The involved partner pulls back even more from their primary relationship -- in thought and behavior, even when the betrayed partner does not know about the affair. Energy, attention, focuses; aliveness is going towards the fantasy partner.
Alcohol consumed during this time plays havoc. It affects the frontal lobes of the brain, which is the section, that normally cause us to think about the consequences of our actions, the impact it will have on others, our personal moral values that would normally guide our choice.
Also some people face Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). People with this disorder are more inclined to affairs because of their impulsive behavior. Here we do not mean that everyone with ADD will have an affair, but rather that they can be vulnerable because of their impulsivity.
Extra marital affairs You can also get involved in an affair because you do not have enough skill in dealing with conflict, frustrations, hurts, anger. You simply blame the other person and then feel that you need the right person. Then there is the cultural contribution. Media sends messages like if it feels good then just do it. Casual sex is very normal in television and movies. Instant stimulation and gratification is the name of the game.
Finally the question is do you want a satisfying sexual and emotional relationship? Do you want to feel valued, cherished, respected, appreciated, loved, and cared about by your spouse? Can you use your ability to make and keep a commitment, use your core values, use your frontal lobes to think about the consequences and impact on your life and others as you make choices? The answer for all these questions is a yes. The decision is up to you. There might be ten reasons why you are into an affair, but you always have the option of making choices.