Examines some of the common reasons why individuals in relationships decide to cheat
Why those who are addicted to sex bother to tie themselves to any one person I will never completely understand. Could it be that marriage or being involved in a long-term relationship offers them the ruse of respectability while they really explore the deeper, darker side of their personality? The Tiger Woods of this world have an insatiable desire for sexual variety that is in no way connected to traditional relationships. It does not mean that a sex addict is not able to appreciate having a spouse and a central point of reference from which from which he or she can navigate. The central point is just not enough when it comes to the sense of sexual fulfillment because addicts need constant sexual variety to feed their habit. For them the high of sex is used for medicative purposes or sex becomes a form of escapism. It is used to cover other personality deficits. Such an individual is therefore unable to be faithful unless these underlying issues are addressed.
Many affairs begin because individuals fail to erect emotional boundaries in their relationships. They are either emotionally needy and their current relationship does not cater to this or even if it does, they make the error of dropping their emotional guard with someone else. Although not exclusive to women, this phenomenon is perhaps more common among them than men. In the same way that we have a driving sexual centre which cries out for fulfillment, we also have an emotional centre which must be addressed in our relationships. This centre cries out for affirmation and validation.
When this need to be affirmed is ignored because our spouse fails to listen to us, we can often inadvertently look to others to fill this void. If we are a woman and this person is a man, then the emotional bond with another has the potential to create a sexual attraction which if not brought under control, can lead to a full-fledged affair. The same holds true for the guy who gets loads of attention from a specific woman in the office. If there is a missing emotional connection with his wife or significant other, then he becomes vulnerable to creating an emotional tie which can lead to sex.
The thing is that emotional fidelity is quite lethal on its own even when sex is not involved. Some believe that as long as they’re not having sex then there is nothing wrong with pursuing a close emotional bond with another. While the potential for such a relationship to evolve into a sexual one is always on the horizon, even if it never does, such ties rob the primary relationship of the type of emotional energy that is needed to cement and distinguish it as being “set apart” from all other relationships. If this issue is not addressed, what will develop is a case of divided loyalties which will undermine the primary relationship. This spells disaster with a capital D.
These affair profiles are not exhaustive by any means. The truth is that some will cheat just because they can do it and get away with it. It’s called human selfishness. Some will do it just for the fun of it. Of course they are the “Relationship Imposters” who are really immature and selfish and really not emotionally ready for any serious commitment. The good news is that fidelity is not outside the ambit of human behaviour. Many new studies point to the benefits of monogamy. If the energy and creativity that are needed to make an affair work and preserve its secrecy, were perhaps applied to our primary relationships, then probably the effort alone would bring us a sense of hope and renewal.