Extramarital Affairs

The term ‘extramarital affair’ is actually a tactful way to describe terms such as ‘cheating,’ ‘unfaithful,’ and ‘committed adultery.’ The most commonly assumed definition of ‘extramarital affair’ is that two people were in a monogamous relationship, and one of them had sex with someone beside their spouse.

When a couple decides to enter into a relationship, usually they both intend to remain faithful to each other. Granted, there are people who get into relationships who can’t be faithful to anyone, but these are exceptions. For the most part, people in relationships want to remain faithful, and, when one or both of them has an extramarital affair, the relationship is permanently changed. If the couple stays together after an affair, trust will always be an issue. If the couple divorces, they start new lives, including new relationships which may or may not remain monogamous.

The Beginning – A Bright Future

The beginning of a relationship is the most optimistic time for a couple. They have each met someone who has similar interests and goals in life. During the courtship phase of a relationship, just about everything seems new or more enjoyable than before. They may take a weekend trip to a city that one of them visited many times before, but, with the new partner, they can both have a unique experience because they are doing it with each other for the first time. At this point, extramarital affairs are the last things on their minds.

A memorable example of this situation was seen in the film “Annie Hall.” In this film, Woody Allen and Diane Keaton try to cook fresh lobster. As they place the lobsters in boiling water, the scene becomes a comedy of errors. Later in the film, after Woody Allen and Diane Keaton have broken up, he creates the same scenario with a woman who appears to have no sense of humor and the experience is horrible. The moment has been lost because the new relationship is much different than the one that has ended.

A newly formed couple who has made a mutual commitment will engage in experiences that are not only newly enjoyable, they help to solidify each person’s decision to become a couple. The couple can look forward becoming engaged and getting married. They can also look forward to ending what may have been a long and frustrating search for a compatible partner. Again, extramarital affairs are not even thought about at this time.

The Middle – Boredom and Temptation

After the couple settles into their marriage, life can become mundane and predictable. The newness of the relationship has ended, the planning and excitement of getting married is over, and life starts to become routine. The couple knows each others likes, dislikes, and behavior patterns. Their work lives may have little variation, and each day feels the same. A married couple may let their lives slip into mediocrity. This results in boredom and apathy. The couple feels that there is nothing to look forward to, and their lives together will remain dull and commonplace. Briefly, they may contemplate an extramarital affair to relieve boredom.

It is at this point that the couple needs to take stock of their situation. There may be nothing wrong with them, but married life can get boring – unless the couple works to keep their life together new and interesting. The focus needs to be on the couples’ future life together. Many couples think that having an extramarital affair, an open marriage, or bringing a third person into the relationship will be the solution. However, it is common knowledge that an alternate situation to traditional marriage tends to result in the dissolution of the marriage.

In addition, the Internet can be a significant temptation and conduit for extramarital affairs. Websites advertise thousands of available people, and discreet meetings for the sole purpose of having sex can be arranged within minutes. Issues of trust, betrayal, and abandonment usually accompany such activities; the issue of monogamy is now at a crisis with the committed couple.

The End – Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Ideally, a couple won’t have to face the end of their marriage. If they remain faithful to each other, avoid extramarital affairs, and they keep their marriage interesting and passionate, there will be no need to make a decision regarding the future.

Extramarital affairs irreparably damage a marriage. When one person cheats, the other person will always find that they do not trust the unfaithful partner as much as they did before the affair took place. When a couple begins to have problems with their marriage, they are well advised to see a marriage counselor. A good professional counselor can help them fix countless problems and work on marital issues; however, once an extramarital affair has taken place, the marriage becomes damaged, often beyond repair and divorce ensues.

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