Married but cheating: The complex realities around it

Married but cheating: The complex realities around it

N Melo
by N Melo
April 25, 2022 0

Married but cheating: The complex realities around it

Most first affairs start off completely unintentionally for both men and women. You just get caught up in the moment. But afterwards, it feels like your life’s changed forever.

And it surely has. Most decide they’ve made a stupid mistake, and never stray again. Some spend years analysing their marriage to death. For a few, affairs become a habit.

Occasionally, an affair starts because you’ve fallen in love. Not because you’ve met someone wonderful, but more likely because you’re going through a crisis. Perhaps one of the many turning points in our lives: a new job, a death in the family, your last child leaving home.

Romantic affairs happen more often in good marriages than bad ones, for some strange reason, and usually with someone really inappropriate. Like their problems are even bigger than yours. But being in love is so exciting that for a little while your troubles seem far away.

A lot of divorces
Both sexes are equally likely to fall in love, but men generally go crazier and are more likely to abandon their children; while on the other hand women in love are much more level-headed. Either way, romantic affairs usually burn out eventually — leading on the way to a lot of divorces, and very few successful remarriages.

Read: Sexual health: How to resolve the problem of bad sex in your relationship

Affairs really damage good marriages, but they can stabilise bad ones, especially those that have become truly awful.

Often, these affairs start as a sort of coping mechanism, and things can get really complicated. Like there are men who keep the same mistress through several wives. And wives whose older “boyfriend” supplements the family income for years.

Then there are the rogues. Practically 100 per cent male, they’re often cruel, abusive, violent and don’t actually like the woman much.

So, they spend their lives endlessly seducing them with their strength, power and wealth. They’re charming, have no trouble finding women to mistreat, and think they’re only doing what all men would do if they weren’t such cupcakes.

Deeply in love
Men who get caught are generally honest about the sex and vague about the emotions involved. They say they love their wives and that their new squeeze means nothing. On the other hand, a woman usually says that she doesn’t love her husband, and that her new man is the love of her life.

She will say it’s fine to have an affair with a man if she loves him, and to lie about it to her husband. She’ll insist there’s no sex, even while admitting she’s deeply in love. She is more likely to worry about the effect of the affair on her children than on her husband.

Read: Is your partner cheating? We explore the signs

But both men and women will forgive a spouse’s affair and fight to hold on to a marriage, despite swearing beforehand that they wouldn’t. But only if the affair stops, is brought into the open and dealt with.

Both sexes can get violent, especially if the affair is denied or continues. So, infidelity is always messy, unpredictable and risky. But oh, so, common. Try not to go that way.

N Melo
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