Jerry Rogers had a dead-end job and a dull marriage.
He could usually cope on the job, but not at home. "After years of being
with the same woman," says Rogers (not his real name), "the desire to
have sex with another woman was overwhelming." When the opportunity for an
affair came along, he couldn't resist. "The affair helped me escape,"
By Jennifer Benjamin
Miss that erotic charge you had when your love was brand-new? Reboot in
the bedroom with these tips for turning up the heat on your old flame.
Long-term love brings all sorts of advantages: a shared history with the guy
you love most, a partner who you know will always have your back, and a warm,
satisfying sexual connection that can only come from years of intimacy. Still,
as great as it is to know each other so well in bed, how could you not miss
that crackle and...
Escape is a nearly universal attraction of affairs. Some people cheat to
escape boredom; others to escape conflict in the relationship. Whatever the
reason, the sense of escape is exciting. Only later comes the psychological
trauma with its cascade of negative emotions. Spouses who cheat often feel
angry, desperate, and guilty. Those who are cheated on also feel angry, not to
mention abandoned and fearful.
How you face these emotions -- and the extent to which you analyze what went
wrong and what you contributed to the situation -- will play a major role in
whether you find peace after the affair, regardless of whether the original
relationship endures or dies, according to Emily Brown, MSW, an expert on the
Reasons for the Affair
"It's easy to assume that an affair is about love, sex, selfishness, or
trying to inflict pain," says Brown, author of "Affairs: A Guide to
Working Through the Repercussions of Infidelity" and director of the Key
Bridge Therapy and Mediation Center in Arlington, Va. But affairs are much more
complicated than that.
Having an affair is one way of communicating that emotional issues aren't
being met by the other partner or the marriage, according to Brown. Having an
affair lets one partner get the other partner's attention and communicates that
the cheating partner is in pain. Sometimes affairs happen when one partner is a
sex addict. But a sexless extramarital relationship can also be an affair, ifa
strong emotional connection exists that is kept secret from the spouse, Brown
Infidelity Happens Often
Although hard-and-fast statistics are difficult to come by, infidelity is
common. One study of 300 subjects, published in August 1992 in the Journal
of Sex Research, found that 44% of husbands and 25% of wives had engaged in
at least one episode of extramarital sexual intercourse, says Shirley Glass,
Ph.D., a Baltimore psychologist and the study's lead author. Those numbers have
remained about the same since then, she says, based on her clinical practice
and other research studies; however, she notices the number of straying women