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Affairs, Why

(11 Posts)
GlobalTechIndustries Mon 19-Dec-16 03:00:26

To understand from a psychological perspective why do affairs happen in relationships and is it more complex than desire ?

Dadaist Mon 19-Dec-16 08:06:32

Yes - affairs essentially fill what is perceived as missing. So while that really can be all about lust and passion and the strong feelings from the first flush of romance (hard to recreate in a marriage) - it can also be to fill a gap where there is a lack of connection, intimacy, affection, respect, admiration etc etc.
Men may be more motivated to rediscover sexual adventure but there will often be underlying issues.
In my experience, women more than men are capable of insulating themselves from experiencing strong temptation, as they understand the the slippery slope signs very early. By contrast, men are more likely to ignore early warning signs, hence are slightly more likely to engage in infidelity.
But, once past the first hurdle, women (and often men too) can quite quickly convert to 'teenage brain' - and women may be more vulnerable in this regard to romanticising an affair relationship, seeing things as very good or very bad, seeing fireworks and new life, justifying their infidelity by idealising their affair partner while castigating their DH.
I'm not certain of the above - just my perception from boards like MN.
What I do know is that, like any drug addictions, an affair begins by offering you a little taste of heaven, before dragging you into hell. Few come out the other side unscathed. What do you think OP?

DirtyBlonde Mon 19-Dec-16 08:10:33

The reasons are many, as are the psyches of those who have them.

The only common thread is a willingness to cheat, which isn't a great quality to have.

Kr1stina Mon 19-Dec-16 08:17:43

I think it's about entitlement. Cheaters are selfish people who believe they are entitled to do what they want, regardless of the cost of anyone else.

They justify this in their own minds by blaming their partner for some real or imagined failing . The "I had to do it because there was something missing in my marriage " is post hoc justification, not cause.

Decent people who have problems in their marriage try to fix them. If that doesn't work they leave and then look for someone else.

Cheaters lie and deceive their partners, pretend that everything is ok. They want their partner to remain faithful to them, while they screw around.

Joysmum Mon 19-Dec-16 08:36:51

Yep, cheaters believe that their wants trump the needs and promises made to their partners and can always justify it to themselves. That's it in a nutshell.

jeaux90 Mon 19-Dec-16 08:52:03

I think that people waste their lives being in miserable marriages but don't have the balls to finish it first. But there are many types of affairs. The ones that perpetually cheat, the ONS where there is utter regret, the exit affair and then when they genuinely find love and marry the other man or woman.

Simplistic to say it's about desire.

I think people do feel entitled to find happiness but I don't disagree with that. You have one life after all and maybe the social construct of being with one person all your life is wrong.

GlobalTechIndustries Mon 19-Dec-16 09:49:58

Dadaist At the moment i think its a mix of desire and other factors. Although i do wonder how many stages a person perceives before engaging in full affair mode.

jeaux90 Mon 19-Dec-16 09:55:25

You talking about yourself global or your partner? In my experience with friends who have had affairs the marriage has been on the rocks for a few years for various reasons. Most of them have been exit affairs or where they did truly find love and stayed with the new partner

I wish they had had the courage to leave first but some people need a catalyst I guess

OhhBetty Mon 19-Dec-16 10:13:47

My ex apparently had an affair because he freaked out about becoming a father (like it was easy for me to become a mother). Apparently that was way more important than my wellbeing or his unborn/3 week old son (happened twice). The ow begged him to have a baby with her which he declined. She had another affair with a married man with kids. Got pregnant immediately and moved him in and he's just left her for someone else although she cheated too. I feel terribly sorry for her child and his other kids.

Same ex cheated again as I stupidly took him back what with me having a newborn. I kicked him out in August. His excuse this time was I didn't get over the first one quick enough. She was 19 to his 31.

So I think it very basically comes down to selfishness. Their wants are more important than anyone elses. He's been begging me to have him back ever since.

If you're unhappy just leave!!! There is never an excuse for cheating. Ever.

Everstrong Mon 19-Dec-16 13:23:14

I think people have affairs for many reasons, in many cases I do think it's simply a case of having your cake and eating it- no more and no less.

The grass is always greener and rather than putting effort into watering the grass they already have, some people find it easier to move on to someone else.

I've been cheated on, I would say it was partly my responsibility. I was going through a hard time and I pushed my partner away, so much that he went elsewhere. My own self destructive tendencies were to blame.

Regardless of the how's and whys, for me it boils down to this- if a relationship is happy and both parties are getting their needs met, then no one will cheat. I don't think any person who is truly happy ever cheats- they simply don't need too.

isagrey64 Fri 10-Feb-17 04:29:50

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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