Why do people have affairs?

Statistics show that between 20 to 75% of people have affairs within a marriage. Why that varies so widely is because a lot of people can’t decide what cheating constitutes. For some people it might be simply talking to another man or woman and then some people it will be intercourse.


So maybe we need to look at the timing of affairs i.e. when they happen to understand a little bit more about why people have affairs. So they tend to happen around deaths or soon after the birth of another child and it does tend to happen a lot around kind of midlife point. Now I think that really does give a hint about why do people have affairs because those times are real times of reflection so for example when you have the death of someone close you really begin to question what life’s all about and you might find a part of your life lacking. And having a child is a loss of role, it’s a massive change in relationship so again they might have been something that might have been forgotten about in the relationship when you’ve got a new priority you like looking after a child. All of these are times of real reflection and change and in this time people might find it there’s something lacking from their life and someone else might have come in the picture purely by chance and give them that sense of change and excitement – like a quick fix for something deeper in their life.


So the main two reasons for having an affair was because people wanted to improve their sex lives and the second reason was because people wanted to have greater emotional intimacy. But they don’t necessarily need to signify the end of a marriage. If you can talk through them and understand why it happened it’s been found that about 86% of people who spend time working through it and discussing it can actually continue on their marriage and many report that it actually helped improve their marriage. For this to happen there needs to be a couple of important steps.The perpetrator is a bit of a harsh term but the person who has done the cheating needs to read and take responsibility for hurting their spouses or partners feelings. Interestingly you don’t have to feel guilty about having had the affair because the affair  could be a sign that something was wrong. The important part is feeling guilty about hurting the other half. The person who’s being cheated on needs to build up their own self-esteem and think about what they want, how they can get their confidence back, so it might be through doing activities having space to re-discover themselves a little bit and I also need to resist that very tempting urge to hear sordid details about what happened and where.


If these steps can happen there’s no reason why you can’t learn from it and there’s no reason why you can’t have a better and stronger marriage.


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