Having an Extramarital Affair - Why the Odds are Stacked against you

Today infidelity is the number one reason for couples getting divorced in United States. While there may be as many reasons and excuses to stray out of a marriage as there are cheating spouses, the emotional chaos caused by an extramarital affair is never worth all the trouble. Here are a few reasons why it does not make sense to cheat on your partner and put your marriage in danger.

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The possibility of being found out

The sense of danger involved in an affair adds a certain thrill to the whole experience. Often it is the very lure of breaking a social rule or ‘eating the forbidden fruit’ that draws a person into an affair. But very soon he/she finds out that superhuman resources are required to keep an affair hidden and go on with an appearance of normalcy in daily life. As part of today’s society one is already juggling work, family and social responsibilities and having an affair is only bound to bring on more complications in the long run. Eventually the fear of being found out and the stress of keeping the affair a secret is too much to bear and the person is either forced to come clean or is found out. So before you think of jumping into an affair, consider if you will be able to endure all that strain and if the resulting chaos is worth the risk.

Technology is a double-edged sword

If cell phones, instant messaging and Blackberrys have made it easier to find a lover and carry on an affair, remember that covering your digital footprints has also become that much harder. These days you can Google yourself an affair partner or get in touch with your lover at a second’s notice. At the same time you have to constantly work to cover your tracks – delete received calls and messages, erase the browser history, clandestine photos of your lover or keep changing your email password. After a time this cat-and-mouse game may get to strenuous and your dalliances will most likely be found out.

Confrontation with your spouse

This is the most obvious consequence of your affair being discovered. It is a rare human who can breezily overlook the feelings of hurt and pain felt by the spouse once the affair comes out in the open. In fact, it will take all the resources of a confirmed sadist to sail through such a confrontation. So before you seek out a lover, consider if you are capable of so deeply wounding the person whom you had taken sacred vows with, whom you had promised to love and honor till death and who has always been there for you, in good times and bad.

Loss of self-respect

At the start of an extramarital, you may feel that you are doing this because it makes you feel good about yourself. The love of a third person makes you feel attractive, appreciated and desirable – perhaps all that you have stopped experiencing from your spouse. However, you may find that over time, having an affair has made you lose respect for your own self. Being brought up in a monogamous society and socialized according to prevailing values, it is notmal to feel a sense of guilt over what you are doing. This guilt may work in one of two ways – undermine your own sense of self-worth and create emotional turmoil or justify your transgressions and falsely blame your spouse over supposed inadequacies. Even if you do the latter, underneath you may always be conscious of being the liar the affair has turned you into.

Loss of trust in a relationship

Once you have transgressed in your marriage, you have broken the bonds of the most sacred of man-woman relationships. What is to stop you from cheating on your new lover again? Indeed how can you assure your new partner that he/she won’t be treated in the way you have treated your spouse. Your involvement in an extramarital affair will probably continue to cast a cloud on all your future relationships until you have thoroughly worked out trust issues, most likely with the help of a counselor.

Hurting your kids

One of the worst consequences of having an extramarital affair is the effect it has on kids. If you have children from your marriage, consider whether you are willing to wreck your family for the sake of a few momentary thrills. Even if you do the ‘right’ thing like divorcing your spouse and marrying your lover, imagine what message would that send out to your kids – that your own family is worth nothing, your own kids are completely dispensable before your desire for this other person. So before you go on with your affair, consider if you can live with your kids thinking this of you for the rest of your life.

Finally every extramarital affair brings about a ripple effect.  While you are cheating on your spouse, you may find yourself questioning all the values you have held till now, all the hard work you have put in your profession and the choices in life so you have made so far. in rare cases, a re-appraisal may help to bring about a fresh and more positive perspective on life and priorities. However when doing so under the influence of an affair, see that you do not wreck the foundations of your life and family for something flimsy and ephemeral.

By straying out of your marriage, you will be putting the initiative squarely in your spouse’s hands. It will be now his/her call to end the marriage or forgive and stay in it. But either way, you would have caused the relationship major damage and hurt all parties including you in the process. So before you embark on an affair think long and hard. In most cases, the negative consequences are hardly worth the momentary pleasure of an extramarital affair.