According to a survey conducted by National Opinion Research Center, Chicago University, statistics on extramarital affairs reveal that around ¼th of married men and almost 17% of married women have an extramarital affair, and close to 75% percent of the marriages cannot survive this and end in a divorce. For the people who are caught unawares one day that their partner is cheating on them, it can be very heart wrenching. They experience a gamut of emotions, ranging from anger to sadness, and from humiliation to feelings of revenge. How to deal with extramarital affairs? Let us find out.
There are four main reasons why people indulge in extramarital affairs. Firstly, when they feel that they are not getting enough love from their partner, they start seeking it outside and thus, end up having an emotional affair. Secondly, if the couple is sexually incompatible or has lost the passion and desire, which they once had for each other, it can make them have an affair for sexual gratification. The third main reason of an affair is inability to cope up with the responsibilities and duties that come with a marriage, coupled with breakdown of communication between the two partners. And lastly, lack of self-esteem; people with low self worth often have a need to be reassured that they are still wanted by others. If such people have any problems in a relationship, instead of fixing them with their partner, they prefer to run from them by having an affair.
Dealing with Extramarital Affairs
Usually, when a person confides to their friends or family that their partenr is having an affair, many will suggest, "leave him/her ... you deserve better". But, as all of us who have been in an intimate relationship know, it is easier said than done. Breaking away is not the solution, especially if one still loves the erring partner. So, in order to deal with such a situation, the first thing that needs to be done is taking control over one's emotions. Confronting the partner, fighting with them, or accusing them of having an extramarital affair will not solve anything. Instead, patiently having a conversation with them about the situation is what is needed.
The cheating spouse should be first of all told that you are aware of his/her infidelity. Instead of going into the causes and the reasons behind the affair, take a strong stand and ask your spouse whether he/she wants to be in this marriage with you, or would he/she prefer to separate. After all, if you want to remain married to someone, the other person should be equally willing to do the same. If your spouse wants a divorce, there is really nothing that you can do about it, except for seeing to it that you are financially prepared for such an eventuality. Consulting a lawyer and having a proper understanding of what you will get as alimony is something that you should concentrate on in such a situation.
However, if your partner wants to stay in the marriage with you, the next step should be going in for marriage counseling. Along with marriage counseling, you may yourself require counseling to get over the trauma. Take professional help for getting to the bottom of the reasons behind your partner's infidelity. Identifying the causes behind long term affairs is the first step towards dealing with them. You should also tell your spouse in no uncertain terms that he/she can no longer keep in touch with the other person if he/she wants to save the marriage. The counselor will suggest a number of things that both you and your partner should do to work out your marriage. Follow these suggestions, and try to work things out with your partner.
Just like for everything else in life, the outcome of counseling cannot be predicted. Some marriages may be able to tide over it, while others may just fizzle out. Preparing oneself financially, mentally, as well as emotionally for any eventuality, and being strong enough to face any situation is the best way to deal with extramarital affairs.