Saturday, 21 July 2012

Dangerous Liaisons


I've just been having an intense debate about 'affairs' and I just can't understand the mindset of some people and I'm not even trying to say this in a derogatory way. Nowadays I seem to be in a minority on this one.

What is it that makes a man or woman in a long term relationship or marriage embark on having an affair? What is it that causes a person to lose their integrity, throw all morals out the window and drop common sense whilst at the same time suffer amnesia and turn into a professional liar? They do all of this for a bit of sex! Wow, things must be bad, but according to some folk, things are looking up - no pun intended.

I've been told that an affair can actually help and enhance a relationship by allowing someone else to step in and supply the sexual needs of the partner when their 'other half' is no longer willing or able to do so. I've even heard that in some cases they turn a blind eye to their partners affair. Really! 

Am I then wrong in thinking that 'Affairs' cause mistrust between people and can be extremely damaging and painful to both parties - more so for the one left behind? Is there no guilt or shame in destroying someone's marriage and splitting a family anymore? 

Am I the only one who can't see the point in dabbling with someone's else's partner and emotions on a serious level? How do you turn a blind eye knowing that your beloved is sewing their wild oats with someone else? And not only that, but be happy about it? 
Or are we so dependant and reliant on keeping a 'relationship' that we will allow and tolerate anything? Who's that special?


If you are a cheater, then do you really believe that you will be able to have a trustworthy long-term relationship with no issues with the person you are/were cheating with? 

I'm no angel but this one is too crazy for me. I'm gonna need some help here. 

Has anyone experienced the devastation of being betrayed?

Have you ever had an affair? and if so, how did it enhance your relationship?

Don't forget - you have the option to post 'anonymous'... and your secret will be safe with me. I'd love to hear your comments. 

24 comments:

  1. Affairs are never just about sex, they're about filling an emotional void. Cheating is sex. Cheating is getting drunk in a bar on a business trip and having sex with somebody attractive. A one-time mistake. It's still indicative of an underlying issue but nothing as systemic as an ongoing affair.

    Honestly I can't see an ongoing affair enhancing a relationship. At best it's making one party feel whole as they're filling all of their emotional needs from a combination of their spouse and their lover, but the other spouse is going to start feeling one of a number of emotions, doubt, suspicion, fear, etc. An ongoing affair is a sign of serious underlying issues within the relationship that are usually beyond repair. I know very few people who have been in a relationship that involved an affair and have been able to work it out. I'm sure it's possible, just not very common.

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    1. Not sure I agree with what you say in the very first paragraph here, that there is a distinction to be made between an affair and cheating (anyone is welcome to come back to me on this one). But I do appreciate what you say next.

      It's not just about the needs of the unfair party but about the hurt, pain and distress that the betrayed one suffers. Thanks for your comment Bretlonder.

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  2. When I was going through my divorce, I started spending time with my ex-boyfriend from 25 years ago, with whom I'd remained friendly over the years. He was in a relationship, having lived with his girlfriend for about 4 years. Not surprisingly we ended up having an affair. Although I don't think his girlfriend knew about us, they ended up breaking up; they had quite a few relationship issues to begin with. I don't know what I was thinking...I actually got a California medical license because I thought I'd move out there to be with him. He ended up "cheating" on me with a woman over twenty years his junior. I ended our "romantic" relationship, but we are still friends. I care for him as a person, but now that I've experienced a "mature" relationship with him, I've gotten him out of my system, washed him out of my hair, so to speak. Looking back on it, neither he nor I behaved very maturely. I've been happily married to my husband now for three years. I met him while I was still involved with the old boyfriend. It was a real wake up call...I realized I had settled for less, having unrealistic expectations about re-kindling an old flame from the past, especially with a man who had cheated on his ex-wife and live-in girlfriend. I've been married 3 times, and have never considered cheating on a spouse, nor have any of my spouses gone behind my back. I've grown up a lot in the past few years and have come to value trust, above everything else, in my relationship.

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    1. Anonymous. Thank you so much for your honesty and for sharing your experience here. Just a quick thought though.
      Would you say it is a good idea for people to spend time with their ex-partners - especially after you said ' Not surprisingly we ended up having an affair?
      Is this type of a relationship ever likely to work out well?
      The floor is open.
      I'd be delighted to hear from anyone with an opinion on this.

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  3. Anonymous 2, as you already have another anonymous person.
    My boyfriend cheated on me. I knew for a while that something was going on. He was always too busy, and talked a lot of crap when I questioned him about his day. During the weekends he use to say that he was busy in the day and could only see me in the evenings, whereas before, we use to spend the whole weekend all day and night together. Then one day, a woman came knocking on my door as she found my address in his notebook. She thought I was the one having an affair with her boyfriend, when it was my boyfriend that was having an affair with HER.
    I felt like killing myself. I cried for months. I lost a lot of weight as could not eat for weeks. He denied all of it and that was when I knew I had to leave him or seriously hurt him. I wanted to make a grand statement by smashing all the windows in his apartment but I didn't.The lying bastard. I am very happy now and with a trusting boyfriend for many years. Cheating has a bad effect on everybody. I was so upset for such a long time about it, and this effected my own family as well. Everyone was angry about what he did to me.
    I hope many people read this post and think about who they are hurting when they cheat. It is a good thing that we had no kids.

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    1. Anonymous 2
      You raised a good point about the whole family being affected by what your boyfriend did to you. As sometimes we don't always realise that this person gets to integrate with our family and therefore the shock-wave of the breakup impacts on them as well.

      Thanks for sharing your comments.

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    2. When there are children involved it is even worse. Cheaters are being unfaithful, not just to their spouses, but to their children. The time, energy, money, affection, etc., that is spent on the illicit lover is being stolen from the children. If there is a divorce it will not be good for the kids (nor will the period of misery their parents go through if there is a reconciliation). I have friends in the 40s and 50s who have never forgiven the cheating parent for the damage done to the family. Others have forgiven, but have never really felt the same about the parent.

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  4. My take is this: if he is no longer happy and found someone else he'll be happier with, then go. I just can't live with an abusive person. Never an affair will enhance any relationship. Be truthful.

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    1. Point taken. People should consider just leaving if they no longer wish to have a relationship with the person. Thanks for your input Littleyana.

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  5. I was the mistress in an affair, and will tell anyone who will listen that to even be a factor in an affair is THE WORST and most soul-destroying thing a person can do. I don't need to post anonymously, because I've blogged about it. I ended it and have never looked back, despite the fact that he has tried to get me back. If someone feels they have to cheat in order to stay in their relationship, (which is a cop out, by the way), then they have no business being IN a relationship with someone who is capable of the devotion they are so clearly lacking. I saw an interview with a famous person's mistress who said she believed she was doing his wife a 'service' by making him a better lover, or making him happier. Complete bullshit. I did it because I was a selfish miserable cow and ended it when I finally grew the hell up.

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    1. What can I say? Strong words, brutely honest, open and hard to refute. I'm sure your words have helped a lot of people. Thank you so much for putting so much of yourself out there.

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  6. In terms of an affair making a marriage better...every case is different. I think where this whole notion comes from is when partner A cheats on partner B, both parties are now FORCED to deal with their issues, and in turn some buried feelings could surface and thus, the line of communication is opened. In the aftermath, so long as the one party forgives the other, the relationship has begun anew, and both are more aware of past issues.

    That being said, this is not a universal truth. It depends on the individual people. I will say that these days, with all the new strides in therapy, marriages that have been ruptured by affairs have a better survival rate than they did, say, twenty years ago.

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    1. Granted communication is vital and the life blood of any relationship. But still,
      it sounds like an affair is a very hard price to pay to open up communication in a marriage.

      You're right about 'therapy' because there are a number of places that people can now go to in order to help their marriages nowadays. Thanks for your input Katie.

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  7. This is a very unknown subject to me.

    I am still in doubt if I should post this comment.

    It stand to reason that any affair or cheating is wrong, but I cannot claim any knowledge on the matter.

    I feel as a teenager in the hub of a circle of a lot of old-timers with more experience that Methuselah.

    I had not time to have an affair, in truth I had not time even to get used to a routine which could develop in "affairs", and I strongly doubt I would've taken that lane. But I will never know.

    As I told you Rumpunch in some other comment, I had my Eurydice but I was not luckier than Orpheus, worse maybe, since I could not find the door to Sheol to go and redeem her whatever the ransom.

    And the inner vacuum seems as if it will never be filled again. Not that I am out of hope, but the tissues in my deep self are so frayed and ragged with no feelings or reason that it is doubtful they will be recomposed again. There is only hope.

    So, I feel out of place in here. Maybe I should have not posted now, but after reading some brave, and candid comments it looked as if I didn't, I would be a craven coward... Which I think I am.

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    1. A wise man learns from other people's mistakes Untony, so I feel you are in a real good position here.

      I always appreciate comments whether they agree or disagree, and I always invite people for a view or suggestion etc, so I'm glad you had a voice. :)

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  8. I don't think you could ever trust your partner %100 after an affair. When I was a young, single girl right out of college, I had a boyfriend for 2 years who was leading a double life--he had another woman on the side. Talk about being blind-sided and stupid!!! All I can say in my defense is that I was very young at the time--but it scarred me--I still have trust issues even to this day, which my husband just can't understand. I think we project those past fears and grievances on the current people in our lives to a certain extent--hard habit to break.
    Great, thought provoking blog post, Rum Punch. Good job!

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    1. Yes, it can have long term repercussions and we knowingly or unknowingly bring that baggage into new relationships, and then slowly destroy it. As hard as it seems, we have to learn to trust a new relationship and allow that other person to prove themselves.
      Thanks you so much for your comment Menopausal mama.

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  9. It is a true reflection of current society. I do feel that it is a matter of "because I can".

    Commitment to someone else takes courage and plenty of sacrifice. This is a lot to ask in our modern civilisation. The taste of betrayal seems to be a terrible return for many of us. It is sad.

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    1. You make a good point here James. Commitment is a serious matter, and it takes time to develop a good honest relationship.

      Thanks for your comment James.

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  10. An affair is not going to make a marriage better. It may make the cheater feel a little better temporarily, like the way taking drugs makes some people feel a little better while they ignore their real problems.

    There is no one reason why people have affairs. It is often a sign of trouble in the relationship, but that isn't always the case. Sometimes it is just a sign of a character defect in the person having the affair.

    Some marriages do recover from affairs (probably more than we know, since most people aren't going to talk about this much with their friends). But it is not easy. Trust takes a long time to build, and once it has been destroyed, it takes even longer to rebuild it. Some people who have recovered from affairs say that their marriages are better than they were before the affair. (I feel a little skeptical about that, but since I haven't had that experience, I'll take them at their word.) It isn't the affair that made the marriage better. It is working on the marriage that made it better. Sadly, in many cases, people don't make the effort to work on their problems until something devastating, like an affair or the threat of divorce, forces them.

    For everything you ever wanted to know about affairs, I highly recommend the book "Not 'Just Friends'" by Shirley Glass. It is well-researched, compassionate and practical, and will tell you everything you could possibly ever want to know about affairs.

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  11. Thank you for your comment Rosemary. I totally agree with what you stated "It isn't the affair that made the marriage better etc.............". That is so true. It is so sad how things seem to have to get that far in order to recognise there was a problem, and what a price to pay.

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  12. I don't know that I agree with everyone here. I have known an affair to make a relationship better. A young couple who were together with children as young teens. In University he fell in love with another woman, and proceeded to have an affair. Eventually she found out, and he moved in with the woman he thought he loved over his wife. For him it was much a matter of realizing all he thought he lost out on by becoming a father at 15 was nothing compared to what he had. I would say that it made them take a step back and recommit to a relationship they perhaps felt forced into by having children at very young ages. Kind of like dating as teens, which they never got the chance to do. If a couple can truly heal after an affair then it probably does eventually make their relationship stronger, but most time, eventually, it just cannot survive the betrayal.
    I have been with people in a relationship with another, but only if they had an open relationship. So far as I know, I only dated someone in a "monogamous" relationship once, he told me he was single. My friend it turned out, knew his very pregnant girlfriend. I never went out with him again, nor did I tell her, and asked my friend not to. I don't know if he did or not, and left that up to his conscience.

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    1. Even in cases such as you described here, I'm sure an affair can't be the only way for a person to find out who they really want to be with. Have I misunderstood you? Is that really what you are saying?
      It's always good to hear from you Jamie.

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    2. I in no way meant to imply it was the only way, simply that in their case it did improve their relationship. I personally think a break would have been a more honest and moral choice, but then again, I'm not a father of four kids. I also think one should ask those questions before fathering 4 kids before the age of 20, but then again, not something I ever have to worry about.

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