I read an article about why women have affairs and it seems that many many women will cheat regardless of what you do for them. Apparently, it’s a fantasy, and their narcissitc egos crave the attention, passion, and taboo that affairs bring. They are like addictions. Note, I realize that men do this too, but I’m writing from the perspective of a man that this happened to.
I also read that they all follow a similar pattern and both spouses and lovers often seem to think that their ‘love’ is different. The claim is that the same words, sentiments, and behaviors are predicatable the vast majority of the time. People involved in affairs often become powerless to stop them regardless of the pain they cause, risk of humiliation, and destruction to their lives.
It’s a sad mix of pleasure and pain that too many people find themselves caught up in. Families, homes, faithful spouses, and children get destroyed. And the worst thing is that very few people take responsibility for their role in the carnage. In fact, of the ones that do, it seems that most either find some excuse to justify what they did or look at as an “oops, by bad” type of deal. People are truly shitty.
Regardless of whether it was their intention or not to begin, the people who engage in these disgusting acts, don’t seem to self reflect. The article I read talked about men who engaged with married women. They seem to think that they are somehow ‘saving’ the woman from her marriage. That he’s better than the husband. Or they take pleasure out of knowing that they can get her to leave. These pathetic losers seem to be under some sort of delusion, that they’ve found their one. Half of them are willing to take on the responsibilty of taking care of her and (often the kids) while the other half just like it for the no strings sex. Many married women for some reason want to be their freakiest for these men. In their minds, they want these single men to be addicted to them. They become addicted to the fact they want them so bad even though they are unattainable. It’s a clusterfuck of egoism, lust, and selfishness. The worst thing is that even if they are self aware to know that it is what it is, they are addicted to the feelings and can’t let it go.
They are trapped in the feelings and sin. The regular marriage can’t sustain, nor ever come close to recreating that high, and it’s pretty much fucked from there. These men stupidly think that they can maintain that high, not realizing that the only reason it was so intense is because she was married in the first place. They stupidly fall in love thinking that they are somehow different. That their dicks are actually bigger, that she actually loves him more, that her acceptance of him is anything more than a fantasy. Apparently many of them get their hearts broken when the wife decides that her family is really more important. Also common is if the husband leaves her for good, she doesn’t want the affair partner anymore. She might hang on for a little while, until she can find someone else, but she often finds that the ‘grass really isn’t greener’ for her.
Everyone ends up getting hurt. They both (the affair partner nor the wife) doesn’t realize that the intensity of the affair actually ruins any chance for a real relationship because those highs can never be realized once the side relationship becomes the main one. In fact, the side guy, (if single) may never understand this, but the cheating wife has become damaged goods as she won’t be able to get as ‘high’ off of a regular relationship anymore. He’s in real danger of her seeking that “high” again be searching for an affair partner. It’s why they say that once a cheater, always a cheater. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but everyone thinks that they are an outlier. The common factor is that if the husband she left was really a pretty good man, she was just bored and was getting high off the validation.
The question is, though, is it worth it to ruin a family, children, your integrity, and ultimately yourself for such a small chance. I suppose that at the time, it seems like a sure bet. Most people don’t research these things until it’s too late and even then, it simply becomes, “oops, My bad.”
Many of the people who go into these situations never thought it would get to this. This knowledge really should be a part of pre-martial counceling. It’s a silent marriage killer and many people might avoid the temptation if they only knew how easily addictive and consuming affairs can become. Unfortutely, it’s not talked about much, and the shame and stigma (as it should be) prevent people from talking openly about their experience. It’s only often years of self reflection that people can really look back and say how they messed up.
It might be too late for my wife. I still pray for her and it seems like she’s getting it finally, but I think she’s still in the ‘fog’. We should also realize that affairs and extra-maritial sex is very likely going to be a part of the deal when married. I didn’t realize this. At the time of getting married, I always thought that this would be a deal breaker. I’m afraid that this entire episode has tainted me in a way that now I’m thinking that this is ‘normal’ behavior and should be expected. Experience has taught me that it’s still hard to walk away after you’ve invested so much and that your ego can take quite a beating if you love your family unit. It’s amazing how much we can/will endure when we think about the pain our kids will face if we just call it quites. Those vows mean a lot more than, I just love you until you start acting like an unapologetic asshole.
Marriage is playing life on “hard mode”. It’s hard turn on the ‘off switch’ and just stop loving someone. From that aspect I can understand how it’s hard to just stop having an affair once feelings get involved. I’d imagine that it would be even harder because you experience that “in love” feeling on steroids due to the illicit nature and ‘openness’ that affair parnters generally have with one another. When dating while single, you guard your heart a bit more and it takes time to tear those walls down. While married, your heart is a bit more open. It’s easier to open up because you know that you have someone else to fall back to if this relationship fails. In addition, having a loving spouse at home validates you enough that you can either take or leave this relationship at any time, so it makes you more courageous and confident. This further feeds both parties. The spouse may feel more courageous, confident, and powerful than they’ve ever felt and along with the dopamine spikes due to honeymoon phase love, they feel unstoppable. The affair partner is drawn to this openness and the ability to sync with someone so easily. Marriage seems to be a springboard to having really intense outside relationships and sexual experiences. Unfortunately, they often come with a heavy price to someone else.
With the knowledge that a wayward spouse could have such an intense experience with someone else, that once engaged, they are pretty much powerless to stop, and that they can experience highs with someone else that they never did or ever could with you, marriage is a dangerous place to put yourself in. How much more so if they are unaware, or unreflective enough to realize this? Your love is like comparing smoking weed to injecting heroin directly into their veins. They often can’t or won’t realize this and will continue chasing that high. They will feel that they are just settling because you can’t bring them to that level of high anymore. Even if the affair partner ‘wins’ them, they won’t be able to sustain them for long. This explains way wayward spouses generally waffle between the spouse and affair partner. Regular relationships can’t compare to the high that the illictness and safety that having multiple partners offer. They ate of the ‘forbidden fruit’ and can’t be satisfied anymore. The tragedy is that the faithful spouse’s heart is sacrificed for them to have that experience. Of course they will never realize nor appreciate it.
Hopefully knowledge of this can help, but most people don’t care enough to look into things like this. Even if they come across it, they are so wrapped up with the other person, they can’t think straight and the advice will fall on to deaf ears. They will think that they are the outliers or they really just don’t give a fuck at that point.
Knowing all of this, I stand by my new found revelation that romantic love and marriage isn’t really worth it. I mean, people cheat, have affairs, chase highs, and it doesn’t really matter how good their intentions are in the beginning, people will ultimately go back to being shitty individuals.
The only thing I can do is pray for my wife at this point and hope she can see things for what they are and that God will deliver her from this trap. Or pray for the strength to move on. It still sucks to know that infidelty is very often and increasingly becoming a part of the modern marriage. Without fidelify, trust, and respect, what’s the point?