Why do Spouses have Affairs?

Most husbands and wives who cheat on their spouse fully expect that they can continue their marriage and their affair(s) with little disruption. They sneak and hide to cover their tracks so that their spouse is none the wiser. They want both, the marriage and the affair. Should a man's affair be discovered, he would probably end it rather than the marriage. However, the odds are greater that an offending wife would end the marriage.

However, as destructive as it is, sometimes an unhappily married man or woman will use an affair as a way to end the marriage.

Often they are not as afraid of their spouse's anger, than they are of the own conflict in trying to fix the marital problems. The affair then provides the reason for the marriage to end. Often a partner who may have been faithful throughout the marriage doesn't have an affair until being emotionally ready to leave it.

The "goings-on" in the affair itself usually provides the support the exiting spouse needs to pull away from the marriage. As it continues, the cheating spouse may even feel that their new partner is their "soul mate;" this type of conclusion provides even more reasons to want out of the marriage. They let evidence of the affair act as a catalyst to facilitate a divorce because they are unable to directly confront the spouse.

If the consequences of the exit affair happen as expected, the betrayed spouse will start the divorce process and both of them will start focusing on the divorce process. When hasty and ill-conceived tactics like the affair and divorce are undertaken, the spouses invariably ignore their marriage's fatal flaws.

In fact, it may take so long for the pain of the affair and the damage of the divorce itself to subside, that neither of the spouses may ever analyze the marriage and ascertain the real reasons for its failure. Also, it's very possible that if the partners to the affair continue their relationship, that relationship, or subsequent marriage, may eventually end because of the same type of problems that ended the prior marriage.

In an exit affair the betrayed spouse often directs his/her anger at the other person in the affair instead of focusing on the adulterous spouse and the destructive issues that ended the marriage. Rather than studying the real causes for the marriage's demise, the other person, then, becomes the betrayed spouse's reason the marriage ending.

The affair certainly provides the means to an end. It triggers the end of the marriage, but it usually is not the real reason the marriage came to such a painful end.
Copyright, Shery, 2006

Author's Bio: 

Dr Shery’s office is in Cary, IL near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, and Lake-in-the-Hills. He treats depression, anxiety, marriage and anger problems. Make an appt, sign-up for his FREE newsletter or read more articles at: www.nextdayappointment.com