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The Process of Affairs (Part 1 of Affairs Series)

This series of articles on Affairs focuses on emotional affairs as opposed to one-night-stands and fleeting infidelity. In all affair types, a lack of emotional maturity, connection, and a lack of respect for one’s partner are the basis of the problem.

There are many reasons why people act out sexually. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Lack of respect or concern for one’s spouse underlines the process of affairs. The errant spouse does not consider the risk of contracting and spreading Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Infections (STD/STI) to their spouse. The term “safe sex” is a misnomer. No type of protection makes sex RISK free!
  • Lack of communication—unspoken needs lead to unmet needs. When needs are unmet, resentment builds (even when one knows it is his/her fault for not voicing their concerns).
  • Anger at one’s spouse is not used constructively. If efforts are not made to communicate and improve the situation, it causes a deep rift and anger and resentment builds. One begins to feel justified in his or her quest for extramarital sources of love, acceptance (affirmation of worth), or pleasure.
  • Self-Centeredness (e.g. Narcissism/Emotional Immaturity)—a person who acts out often has feelings of entitlement to “get what they want.” They focus on their own desires without regard to their spouse and think of themselves in terms of an individual when they should view their relationship as a partnership.
  • Collusion by denial—the spouse who acts out is not always the only guilty party. At times, the faithful spouse is uninterested in the needs of their spouse. Emotional distance makes the heart grow fonder—of someone else!
  • Low Self-Esteem/Co-Dependency/Lack of Boundaries—one element or a combination of these elements leave one open for an affair. In essence, a lack of boundaries gives permission to submit to these urges.
  • Many clients expressing their inclination to act out sexually were based on temptation and the intensity of desires and fantasies. The intensity of the emotional fulfillment and/or revenge is further emphasized by the process of “sneaking around.”
  • Adult survivors of sexual abuse have been “sexualized” early in their emotional development which leads them to view life experiences through their sexuality. It defines the way they interpret life experiences and relationships. It also sets them up to follow the fantasy world they construct.

For more help with this issue, contact CrossRoads to make an appointment at 317-842-8881 if you are in the Central Indiana area. Upcoming Articles will include further detail on these points and explore the most common reasons affairs take place as well as types of affairs. By understanding these key factors, you and your partner may be able to identify and prevent these issues. Click here for the next article in the Affairs series.