Are you married and having an affair? Do you find yourself, to your surprise, continuing to stray from your marriage?
When you’re in the throes of an affair, you might feel like you’re drowning. You know this is the wrong thing to do, but you want to ignore all the reasons why affairs are bad.
The highs of being with your affair partner are amazing, but the lows that follow can be all-consuming.
And if you haven’t had an affair before, you’re most likely feeling way out of your depth when it comes to how to handle it.
Nevertheless, you need to take a good hard look at the choices you’re making, for the present and the future!
Here are 5 reasons affairs are bad, spelled out plainly
1. You are not soulmates.
It may feel that way, that after years of marriage with someone who just doesn’t get you, finding someone who does feels like such a gift. It feels like you finally have a chance at the happiness that has been out of reach for so long.
Most people don’t set out to have an affair. They usually start with two people talking about mundane things. Those mundane things shift to more personal things, things you don’t share with your spouse.
Before you know it, you feel very attached to your affair partner and are having an emotional affair. More often than not, that attachment becomes sexual in nature and the physical affair begins.
And you’re sure that you’ve finally found your soulmate and that you are totally justified in having this affair. But this, I’m afraid, is just an illusion.
What you’re feeling right now is that initial excitement that everyone feels at the beginning of any relationship. That period of time when you stay up all night talking, every day feels brighter, and the sex has never been better.
Over the course of a relationship, that initial excitement transitions into a more comfortable attachment, one that leads to a committed relationship.
With people who are having an affair, that transition never happens because there’s no committed relationship, just two people who are meeting clandestinely, having a relationship outside of marriage.
So, understand that while you think you’re soulmates, you’re really two people who have an intense emotional and chemical attraction, whose time together is always exciting because it’s an affair!
2. You’ll hurt your children.
One thing that people don’t think of is the effect that the relationship might have on the children.
I have a client who had an affair with a friend’s husband. The families spent a lot of time together and, before the affair, that time was healthy.
But, as the affair continued, the married couple having the affair brought a different energy to the get-togethers, one that the other spouses and the children didn’t understand but definitely noticed.
The families started spending less time together and the children suffered because of it.
Another client who was in the same situation and they were caught. Their children had to deal with the emotional and societal fallout that was the result.
They didn’t understand what was happening — all they knew was that things were bad. And, as a result, those kids were destined to repeat the same mistakes when they grew up.
So, as you move forward with this affair, think about the effect that it might have on your children, both in the short and long term.
3. You’re not addressing the issues in your marriage.
Many people who have affairs are emotionally disconnected from their spouses.
One of the reasons they are drawn into an affair is because they feel angry, lonely, or even resentful with their partner.
They would like to address those issues and make their marriage strong again, but it’s way easier to get involved with someone else instead of putting in that work.
I have a client whose therapist told her that, by continuing her affair, she was having her emotional needs met and that was keeping her from trying to make her marriage a happy one.
The longer the affair continued, the less she required from her husband. Their marriage was suspended in a bad place, with no hope of change.
In order to have a happy marriage, it’s important for your spouse to meet your emotional and physical needs. If you go outside of your marriage to have those needs met, your marriage just might be doomed.
4. You won’t ever be together.
Many married people who have affairs believe that they will ultimately leave their spouse and be with the person who is their soulmate. And they work towards that goal everyday — or so they believe.
The reality is that leaving a marriage is very difficult. The societal, familial, and financial issues that arise paralyze people, leading them to stay in a marriage, even if it is not a happy one.
Divorce can lead to substantial financial issues that affect both spouses. It means visitation with the kids and not seeing them every day.
Divorce means having friends who need to take sides. It also means letting go of traditions.
It’s way easier to continue the affair and be in a marriage that’s “good enough” than to take the steps to get a divorce.
And, if one person is willing to take the plunge and the other is not, that will lead to even more unhappiness, this time in a relationship that is meant to cause joy.
5. You will be caught.
You might think you’re being super careful. You’re using an encrypted app to communicate, you meet places where no one knows you, and the stories you tell your spouse about why you were late are readily accepted.
But, the reality is that the longer the affair continues, the more likely it is that you will be caught.
Don’t kid yourself — you will be caught. People make mistakes and the world is small.
Being married and having an affair are way more common than most people think.
Fifteen percent of married women and 25 percent of married men have affairs, according to the Institute for Family Studies.
If you’re reading this article, you might be wondering what to do about your affair. Is it truly something you want as a part of your life?
Yes, the ups are amazing but how bad are the downs?
So, keep in mind that you and your affair partner are not soulmates, you won’t ever be together, your children’s health is at risk, and you will be caught.
Are any of those things worth the risk that you are taking every day?
Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based, certified life and love coach. Let her help you find, and keep, love in this crazy world in which we live. Email her at [email protected] and get started!
This article was originally published at Let Your Dreams Begin. Reprinted with permission from the author.