When infidelity happens in a seemingly happy relationship, it can be devastating and completely baffling. But there are lots of reasons why affairs occur and plenty of things you can do to prevent them. Take a look at the top five reasons why people have affairs and give your relationship a health check.
1. The Protest Affair
Unhappiness and rowing can lead to a ‘protest affair’ because your partner may be trying to hurt you or to demonstrate how much you’ve hurt them. This type of affair generally starts in secret and is then ‘accidentally revealed’, so look out for phones and laptops left lying around, mystery numbers or messages written down and of course the classic ‘lipstick on the collar’. To avoid a protest affair try to nip arguments in the bud as soon as possible and as hard as it may be keep calm – that way you’re much less likely to say something you might regret. If the problems in the relationship can’t be resolved then don’t drag it out as it’s likely to lead to more hurt in the long run.
2. The You Don’t Love Me Anymore Affair
We all need attention and when your partner feels neglected it’s very easy for them to come to the conclusion that you don’t love them anymore. It’s important to make time for each other in order to maintain a healthy relationship and remind each other how you feel from time to time. This could be with a surprise date, a romantic gesture or a simple hug and kiss. A little reassurance goes a long way.
3. The Sex Drive Affair
Good sex is so hard to define because it’s different things to different people, but often, even in long term relationship people don’t talk about sex or address any problems there may be. However, it’s essential to discuss your issues tactfully as a negative attitude can be damaging. For example, it’s not a good idea to moan or complain about your sex life and it’s best to discuss it when you’re not in the middle of it! Start with the positives and explain what you love about making love with your partner, then rather than criticising, make suggestions about some of the things you could try to make your sex life even better. If there’s a medical problem like erectile dysfunction or vaginal pain and discomfort then encourage your other half to seek medical help.
4. The Romance is Dead Affair
The first flush of romance is a very powerful thing but it’s also impossible to maintain. Some people simply can’t live without the excitement of the chase and those butterflies in their tummy. But you can inject the romance back into a relationship, it just takes a bit of time and effort. If you think your partner is missing romance then do something for them you know they’ll love to get those endorphins pumping again, like a hot air balloon ride, weekend away or fabulous bunch of flowers for no reason. Remember, there are two people in a marriage so acknowledge the changing nature of your own relationship and don’t be afraid to discuss it. The first flush of romance is ephemeral but great oak trees grow from tiny acorns and the different kind of love that can develop between long term partners is incredibly special and can be the most wonderful experience of your life.
5. The Escape Route Affair
Often people have an affair as a means of escaping their current relationship, because that’s easier than saying ‘I don’t love you any more’ or bringing up the subject of separation. The best way to deal with this is with preventative measures, so if things seem to be going sour, don’t let them fester. Be open and honest about how you feel and put the idea of separation on the table so you and your partner can discuss your options rationally before things get out of hand.