Daniel Linder, MFT
People have affairs
Why does anyone have an affair? Why would you or your spouse have an affair? Affairs are relationships that serve a particular purpose or function, and that is to provide what’s missing in each other’s lives. In most cases, people get matched up together and get involved with each other and an affair occurs when either or both people are in a relationship that isn’t working, that they’re very unhappy with. There’s a lot of tension and frustration. Or a person may be very lonely and desperate and in pain in their life from not being in a relationship.
The affair compensates for what’s missing in their life and only works because of what’s missing in each other’s lives. Once any of those things change, for instance, if the basis for the affair is a bad relationship and you get into couples’ therapy or somehow start communicating and the relationship becomes more fulfilling, there isn’t going to be a basis for the affair anymore. There’s going to be no need to have an affair because there’s no longer something missing; the void or hunger or emptiness that the affair was providing or filling the need for will be gone. Affairs are not just about sex; they can (and do) involve emotional or financial shared intimacies, which for many betrayed spouses, is completely intolerable. After all, trust and intimacy might be ruined forever….
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