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Are Affairs Ever Justified

31 replies

EchoFallsRose · 02/09/2021 22:51

I know most affairs involve emotions but I know affairs evolve mostly around sex. I have always been against infidelity but I can now see how affairs happen and why and that sometimes the reasons are justified (I know this is probably not a popular opinion.) I am in a position where the sex side of my marriage is pretty non-existent, over the last few months, I have initiated sex twice, DH on the other hand hasn’t attempted to initiate sex with me. I haven’t had an orgasm for a very long time.
I can now see the appeal of an affair, the excitement, the desire, the passion, everything that is missing from a sexless marriage. I can also see the other side, the deceit you have to carry and knowing at some point you will get caught. I now don’t know whether if my head was turned, I’d be able to say no and I now understand why people find themselves having affairs.

What are people’s thoughts on affairs, based purely on sex?

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Sadsammy · 02/09/2021 23:21

There are honourable ways to split up with someone and having an affair isn't it.I appreciate all you say about the nonexistent sex life etc but you need to discuss this with your husband. The fall out of betrayal and an affair isn't worth it.

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EchoFallsRose · 03/09/2021 00:10

I should just add, I don’t have any intention of having an affair but living the life I do now, I can see and understand why it happens, before I just couldn’t see it.
@Sadsammy, for many, separating isn’t always an easy option, finances are a huge factor, which doesn’t always make it easy for either partner to leave, so people spend months/years stuck in a sexless marriage.
I have spoken to my DH many times on this topic but realise this is just how it is now.

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AverageGuy · 03/09/2021 09:41

@EchoFallsRose A sexless marriage is no way to live. Been there, done that...

Have you discussed the possibility of an open marriage? It wouldn't be an affair then, as everything would be out in the open. Not ideal, but if you can make it work, it might resolve some issues for you.

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ComtesseDeSpair · 03/09/2021 10:08

Broadly, my view is that if you aren’t having sex with your partner and refuse to address the situation or solve the reasons behind the lack of sex, you really can’t be surprised when they end up having sex with somebody else. Sex is often seen in this odd dichotomy by the partner who doesn’t want it: something that shouldn’t be of such great importance that you’d consider ending an otherwise good relationship over it; yet so important that when your partner does it with somebody else it’s the end of the world.

Of course, in a perfect world, everyone would end one relationship before beginning another. But life isn’t always tidy and just as most of us line up a new job before resigning from our current one and find another house to buy before selling our current one - because we need the security in our lives - giving up the security of your relationship for a leap into the unknown is just as scary.

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EchoFallsRose · 03/09/2021 10:49

@AverageGuy - I know that an open marriage would not be welcomed by my DH, so it’s not something I could mention. I know in some cases it can work though and I agree it is no way to live.

@ComtesseDeSpair - You’ve hit the nail on the head there. When my marriage was happier and we had an active sex life, I couldn’t imagine doing anything other than remaining faithful to DH, now I feel undesired and unwanted and the thought of sex with another man who can give me what I’m missing, is so appealing (although I’m not going to act on this.)

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Sadsammy · 03/09/2021 11:05

Have you told your husband you're thinking of an affair? Would that jolt him to his senses? I do appreciate its a horrible situation for you. I've been there myself.

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SirenSays · 03/09/2021 11:32

What are you doing to wake your relationship up? You said you've only initiated twice in months, what else are you doing? Date nights?
It would be interesting to know what your DH has said during these talks where you tell him you're not happy.
Personally I think you should talk to him about opening up the relationship, even if he says no he will understand that you are serious about things needing to change.

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Morningsaregreat · 03/09/2021 12:08

Sex is always treated differently. Say you partner never wanted to go on holidays or new places etc. You can go on your own or with a friend. No issue. Maybe they have more liberal attitudes in other countries but certainly in the UK it is an unspoken subject.

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altmember · 03/09/2021 12:47

Generally, no they're not justified, but they are an inevitable part of life.

Of course there's an exception to every rule. I know a bloke who's been having an 'affair' for 40 years. Him and the other woman are quite happy together, but his wife has MS and is severely disabled, so he's stood by her and been her carer all this time. But she's very bitter and twisted (maybe because of the disability, maybe because of the other woman, or maybe she's just a horrible person and was always like that).

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EchoFallsRose · 03/09/2021 14:15

@Sadsammy - No I haven’t told him this but have made my feelings known many times regarding the sex side. The problem is, he’s ok with how things are, to him, it’s not a problem and as I just go with the flow, there’s no real need for him to change IYSWIM.

@SirenSays - I have only initiated sex twice because I’m at a point where I don’t want to be the initiator all the time. We’ve had date nights, this changes nothing.

@altmember - That is a tricky one because his wife has a health condition which prevents her from having a normal sex life and that can’t be prevented. I can empathise with both in these circumstances.

Everyone is happy, I’m not but I'm left with a choice of leaving and disrupting my children’s lives, or remaining in my marriage and carrying on with how things are.

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xpc316e · 03/09/2021 14:19

I think that one shouldn't pass judgement on someone's views unless and until you have walked a mile in their shoes. EchoFallsRose is a classic example of this as she admits that she was very much against infidelity, but can now see why and how it might happen. She certainly is not condoning it, but saying that she can understand how it might happen.

I hope that she can move on from where she now is, and find a loving relationship, either with her current partner, or with someone new. Our relationships offer the potential to give us the greatest joys; they can also bring us to dreadful depths, but only a fool shuts themselves away from the chance of loving and being loved.

Best wishes.

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altmember · 03/09/2021 15:11

@EchoFallsRose
I'm pretty sure the problem wasn't just lack of sex. The affair wasn't just about sex (if at all), it was full on best friends/real relationship. They did so much together as a couple. Whereas his wife rarely left the house (obviously mobility challenges a part of that). But she was so very bitter that it must've been hell to live with her.

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SirenSays · 03/09/2021 15:48

Everyone is happy, I’m not but I'm left with a choice of leaving and disrupting my children’s lives, or remaining in my marriage and carrying on with how things are

I'm sorry you feel so stuck. Are they really your only options? What have you tried so far? Why did your sex life dwindle in the first place? How do conversations go when you bring up leaving, counselling, affairs, open relationships..?

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Wherearemymarbles · 03/09/2021 23:44

The problem is you’re talking.
Situations like this need ultimatums.
It goes like this.
I am not living the shit show any longer. These are the options

  1. Decent, willing sex life xxx times a month
  2. Open marriage
  3. Divorce.
  4. I have an affair


There is no option 5. And choosing option 1 and not following through will result in option 3 or 4.

I realise above may sound simplistic in the extreme but it will save you from years of misery
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SpottyBlueTeacup · 06/09/2021 16:32

@EchoFallsRose I spent over ten years in a sexless marriage. I had married a man ten years my senior and had been practically (aside from a bit of play on a car one evening when I was 19) a virgin when I married him. My husband was also inexperienced sexually. Sex was unfulfilling. No passion. Dead. I had a gut feeling things weren’t right and, in the end, I realised that I lacked attraction towards him. We also didn’t connect and as I got older (and matured) my feelings got worse. Sex was a chore with him. It really was. He was an on/off guy and did nothing to please me even when asked. Looking back, we were both inexperienced. I stopped all intimacy over 10 years ago. There were other issues there but, in general, we got on ok but, for me, there was always something missing. We struggled to conceive and ended up with IUI. Doctors told us there were no issues with either of us physically. Maybe it was not meant to be but we did have 2 children with help. This was before the marriage became sexless.

Years went by. I worked and looked after the children and my mum. The kids got older. I returned to work full time and I lost my mother (cancer). My husband was very unsupportive and unaware of my existence really.

Roll on another 2 years (aged 45). Menopause. The dreaded M word. It hit me like a high speed train. My periods stopped suddenly and never returned and, very soon, I felt very strange. My life was turned upside down. I felt detached from reality. And, unusually, horny which I now know is the menopausal sex surge that some women experience. It lasted 6 months but has left me very changed in that area. I couldn’t go near my husband. I was physically repulsed by him. I got to know another man. Unintentionally but I realised I’d let myself get to such a low point. I get on extremely well with this man. It was wrong, looking back, and we ended up well …
We are still in touch after 5 years although we only met 5 times. It was enough for me to realise that my marriage was dead. It was also enough to let me know Id married someone lacking in that area. I went through a lot of soul searching. I spoke to a GP, a counsellor and a good friend. I felt more guilt and bitterness over the fact that I had deprived myself of a passionate, sexual relationship and where we were connected on many levels. I settled down a lot but came out of it a very different person. I filled for divorce. Out of 23 years of marriage, 12 had been sexless. No intimacy. No kissing. No holding hands. No support etc. He had never complimented me or told me, verbally, that he loved me. It was obvious, underneath, I was affected by this. I was totally out of it when my hormones went crazy but started to realise why. I’d made
myself unhappy by protecting the happiness of others.
I wish I’d ended it earlier. I never realised what life was meant to be.
Don’t stay in a sexless marriage.

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gindrinker17 · 10/09/2021 15:57

This thread has been really interesting for me as I have had the same thoughts recently as OP.

I have been married 3 years and we have no sex. For the most part is medical problems which has now knocked his confidence. I do understand which is why I've put up with it for so long but I can't carry on in this marriage like this. I too have been thinking how easy it would be to get my needs met elsewhere. I wouldn't act on it, but I too can now see how affairs can easily happen.

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Wandawide · 10/09/2021 16:41

There will be exceptions to what I say below.
In my friends and in my own experience I have seen many sides of this.
An affair or deliberate unfaithfulness is often an ugly thing. Usually with regrets later.
The long term 'serious' ones I know about best were both the failure to acknowledge and solve a problem. One a woman was fed up with being neglected, both she and husband were made redundant. She got on and built herself another career. He became dispirited and glum and seemed to age more than she did.
The sex stopped. She was disappointed he refused to see it as a problem. Similar to mention above. Because she was still going out and meeting business people she met and paired up with a bloke. He was in an open marriage.
Husband of my friend did not question her. Even when she went away for weekends and all nighters he said "as long as you come home"
She not really happy with the arrangement. It continues with the two of them knowing it is not a basis for happiness or even contentment.
Who knows what OM really thinks, probably just pleased to be seen out with smart woman younger than him or his wife by 15years and shagging when convenient.
Nobody happy. But no one talking about the problem either.

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peachycream31 · 11/09/2021 06:51

@Wherearemymarbles

The problem is you’re talking.
Situations like this need ultimatums.
It goes like this.
I am not living the shit show any longer. These are the options

  1. Decent, willing sex life xxx times a month
  2. Open marriage
  3. Divorce.
  4. I have an affair


There is no option 5. And choosing option 1 and not following through will result in option 3 or 4.

I realise above may sound simplistic in the extreme but it will save you from years of misery

I love this. Perfect approach. 👌🙏
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Thewookiemustgo · 09/01/2022 23:49

Since the question is simply “Are affairs ever justified?” I’d answer with a simple “No.”

Far better to resolve the situation honestly than deceive another person, even if you believe they are to blame for the situation. Probably not as easy to resolve, but a far better choice.
Can I see how it happens? Of course. But seeing how situations come about still doesn’t mean they are morally justifiable. Life isn’t that black and white or simple or fair, but whether something is right or wrong is usually pretty straightforward. I have huge sympathy for people in unsatisfactory and miserable relationships with partners who flatly refuse to address the issue raised, but at that point I’m also with @Wherearemymarbles, you set your stall out and be honest. Deceiving another person to get your own needs met isn’t justifiable to me. You can’t cherry-pick a relationship where you agreed initially to be mutually exclusive.

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wsbts · 10/01/2022 11:58

I think that the majority of split ups divorces revolve around sex or the lack of. Its because people will not admit to it in public quite rightly so unless you wish to make it public. After all why have a dispute/affair issue if the sex and intimacy is good and satisfying for both

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ImprovingHusband · 10/01/2022 16:19

So tough to hear all this. My two penneth...

Oxytocin is released during sex which causes the emotional bond between sexual partners to strengthen. It is why sex is the 'glue' in any relationship.

Even if you don't think there's a spiritual side to life the ancient biblical phrase 'when a man is united with his wife the two become one flesh' would seem to echo this.

On this basis I don't subscribe to the concept of no-strings-attached sex. There is always an impact to sexual activity, whether you intend it or not; infidelity always causes a degree of damage to all parties.

I really hope you manage to resolve this; affection in all its forms is vital to a strong and happy marriage. Did your marriage vows include anything like 'to love and to cherish'? They are both actions not just feelings, and need effort and a positive decision to 'do'; same as 'forsaking all others' i.e. being faithful. If your husband is not fulfilling his vow to love and cherish you he's dropped the ball.

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flyingdream · 22/01/2022 09:11

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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JSL52 · 22/01/2022 12:17

@Wherearemymarbles

The problem is you’re talking.
Situations like this need ultimatums.
It goes like this.
I am not living the shit show any longer. These are the options

  1. Decent, willing sex life xxx times a month
  2. Open marriage
  3. Divorce.
  4. I have an affair


There is no option 5. And choosing option 1 and not following through will result in option 3 or 4.

I realise above may sound simplistic in the extreme but it will save you from years of misery

@EchoFallsRose. If you just 'go along with it' nothing will change.
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MissNothing1991 · 22/01/2022 18:09

No. They are not justified. Ever.

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Pky45 · 23/01/2022 08:41

@Wherearemymarbles

The problem is you’re talking.
Situations like this need ultimatums.
It goes like this.
I am not living the shit show any longer. These are the options

  1. Decent, willing sex life xxx times a month
  2. Open marriage
  3. Divorce.
  4. I have an affair


There is no option 5. And choosing option 1 and not following through will result in option 3 or 4.

I realise above may sound simplistic in the extreme but it will save you from years of misery

I’m a man, but in the same boat, wife has no post menopause libido, she never initiates , (of course), so I just get rejected all the time.

I know this would never work
Decent, willing sex life xxx times a month, < this almost sounds controlling

So I guess it’s divorce for me, let’s see how she gets on without my money to spend
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