Have you been contemplating having an affair? Not getting your needs met with your current partner? Chances are you are feeling ignored, not desired, not listened to, taken for granted, or not important. Perhaps you are craving a combination of these elements?

Typically both men and women who contemplate an affair have longed for these cravings, and typically for some time.

Many clients, students, and people in general have heard me state this many times: I do not condone or excuse affairs! The information below will help significantly in reducing the possibility of affairs or the relationship becoming boring and ending! If an affair surfaces, the following is a starting point to heal and perhaps pave the way for one’s relationship to become even stronger and more intimate.

Most of the couples I see in my office evolve out of an affair being exposed. Either the husband or wife (GF/BF) had been caught having an affair. Actually, no matter what the biased statistics report, just as many women have affairs as men!

I typically refer to the number of affairs occurring as such: 85% percent are caused by a group of “reasons.” The remaining involved in infidelity typically are left to this: the man is a dog, or the woman is a hoe. It’s your choice if you want to stay in that situation.
Now, let me get down to those so-called reasons people may wander into the world of infidelity. It is important to express that I never condone or excuse affairs! Though, we must know what caused them in order to rectify the issues at hand if possible. Then we work towards rebuilding trust.

Reasons typically are expressed in my office as: Not feeling important, loved, desired, respected, or variations relating to those domains. Often, one partner may feel a lack of importance versus the kids, relatives, work, friends, you name it. For most, me included in the mix, not feeling desired or being able to turn your partner on, simply sucks and hurts to the core. Seeking out to reduce or eliminate those pains typically what creates the onset of affairs.

Believe it or not, most affairs are not planned out, or calculated. They commence as little conversations, with the feelings of being actually noticed and heard. Awww, those feelings of feeling important and cared for catapult the cravings lost in the relationship to the surface. They become addicting, in a sense. Pretty soon, those feelings turn physical into a full-blown affair.

There are typically three types of affairs involving “the other person:” 1) physical; 2) emotional; and the most common 3) the combination of the two. An emotional affair is where there is an emotional and psychological bond that formed. Here the emotional connection involves intimate life details that should be share with one’s partner. It’s like a being a best friend to another person of the opposite gender (same gender in homosexual situations). Emotional affairs do not involve sexual activities. Obviously, the two other affair types encompass sexual sharing.

Getting back to trust building. There are three items that must be in place for the relationships to heal and for the trust building to take root. I talk about these three items with each couple at the onset of the first session involving an affair situation. The first thing we must know is “Why did the affair occur?” Without this question being answered, (“I don’t know why it happened”) how do we know as a team what needs to be worked on? This question must be answered to help ensure trust building to the partner who was betrayed and that this will not happen again. Often, the “reasons” involves the dynamics I explained above regarding not feeling certain crucial elements.

Secondly, the person who had the affair must exhibit genuine remorse and guilt for her/his actions! Genuine remorse and guilt actual shows the betrayed partner empathy, care and compassion that hurt was created. Without this, the relationship most likely will not last. I often tell the betrayer they will have to eat crow (shit) for a while. If the betrayed person asked “Why did you hurt me so much” a month or two after the affair, and the partner says “I already answered that, let it go!” this does not show the betrayed person genuine remorse. It just represents that he or she wants to sweep it under the rug.
Here, it is advise that the betrayer try holding the other, telling how sorry they were and they want to earn their love and trust back. This is of course simply stated for the practicality of this article; it’s not as easy at times with actual couples.

Lastly, the third element needed to help rebuild the relationship after infidelity is to show a recommitment back to the relationship or marriage. Commitment is huge after an affair! This may mean showing one’s cell phone when asked, releasing email passwords, and a firming acknowledgment of one’s whereabouts. This can become tiresome and annoying for the betrayer, though needs to be in place to help rebuild trust and the recommitment back to the other partner who was crushed. Remember, eating crow, or shit for a while.

Now for the one who was betrayed. This person will fall into the victim role real quick. It is my job to help establish perhaps their responsibility in this situation. I do not blame the person who was betrayed! It’s getting him or her to take responsibility for their part in the relationship’s challenges. Perhaps the person who had the affair felt unloved, not desired, important or what have you. Remember way back, I mentioned potential reasons for an affair? ;) How can the betrayed partner change those things and show the betrayer they are remorseful and want to show him or her they are desired, important, valued, loved, or not taken for granted? Again, this may not be an easy task after getting one’s heart ripped and devoured emotionally.

I want to be clear, that even if the betrayer does everything perfectly to earn the trust back, the betrayed partner may never be able to move forward. Taking the risk to find that out is a crucial step for the betrayer however, and can help the hurt person begin healing. I said can help, though may not work.

I spoke on a previous The Art of Relationships Radio Show episode on “What Men Want!” Here's some insights from the show to key in on. Listen to the recorded show below!

1) Respect, 2) No Nagging, 3) Affirmation, 4) Affection, 5) Look at Disagreements differently, 6) Don't Treat Men like only a Paycheck, 7) How Men Show Empathy, 8) Dress Nice Once in a while.

For Men: Pay attention to her, show her you still desire and crave her body and soul. If work or buddies take more precedence over her the majority of the time, then she will find someone who will make her feel important, will leave your ass, or both. Stop taking her for granted! Express your appreciation and respect for her. Keep kissing her deeply and keep touching her sensually. Do not stop telling her how much she is adored, loved, and that she is beautiful. Little gestures of appreciation as in notes, making her feel emotionally safe and secure go a long way. Take her out occasionally, just the two of you! Do not belittle or call her names (pet names or bedroom names she loves is definitely okay! LOL)

For Ladies: Do not take him for granted or make him feel like just a paycheck. Laugh and joke with him! Most men feel a deep emotional connection when being with you sexually; Don't forget this! If you're man does not feel important and takes a back seat to your friends, the kids (if had together), or your family; he will distance himself. Do not stop showing desire for him! One of our biggest fear is that once we marry or live with you, the sexual relations will dwindle and cease. This will make us feel not desired, not loved, and being used. Once we feel as such, we will pull away, leave, or find someone who shows and gives us what we crave from you.

Both: never stop talking, I mean deeply! Not just about the weather, work, or the kids. Talk about each other!!! If your partner is feeling loved and desired, plus accepted and appreciated! Make sure you actual hear one another, listened to, and stop being "too busy" for one another!

The above will help significantly in reducing the possibility affairs or the relationship becoming boring and ending. This is a condensed version of why people swerved into cheating or infidelity. Another consideration may actually be a physical decrease in attraction towards your partner, or chronic medical conditions. Sadly, these may seem superficial, though do create the human cravings most of us long for. However, most affairs stem from a lack of the connection and “getting one another” on the emotional levels. This is the first place I target with the couples I serve.

Greg Dudzinski, MS, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
Relationship and Sex Expert

Author's Bio: 

Greg is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Michigan. He is also a Relationship and Sex Specialist helping couples achieve that total connection that they never could have imagined!