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Why do people have affairs?





blue77
Firstly, let me say that I am not starting this thread with a view to casting judgement on the topic, or on anyone who has had an affair. I have simply been thinking about this recently and an genuinely interested as to what motivates us to do this. I wanted to introduce the debate at a level which was not in direct response to anyone's personal problem/situation. I wondered whether to place this in the rellies forum, but chose BTS as sex is often an inevitable component of affairs (Mods, feel free to move this if you think necessary.)

People who admit to cheating on a partner on HB, or other public forums usually get flamed. I'm not saying this is right or wrong, but what is it that makes us feel so strongly? I guess a large part is based on our own experiences or those of people we know/love. But is it a case of things not being "black and white"?

Are we too constrained by social doctrines? Is it possible to love a long term partner but want sex with another person? Can these two concepts be separated?

Is it because we like to play one role with a regular patner, but enjoy "being someone else" when we are with "our affair"?
Or are we too scared to leave a secure situation to risk it all?
dac_nip
because it is man's nature to be greedy. another reason is the machismo attitude for guys. and for women, sometimes they just want revenge and they can show this by doing what guys can do. Very Happy sorry, did not give a lot of thought on this answer
HoboPelican
I think there are lots of reasons why it happens. Anger, boredom, low self-esteem, moral ambiguity and others, I'm sure. I've never cheated on a partner, but I've been tempted. Very tempted. I think being in a committed relationship doesn't make you immune to desiring others. I love my wife, I even like her (which is very different), but on occasion, Ive met a lady who was a great match for me, was attractive was interested in me. I had to think about it, briefly.

It seems pretty natural to me, finding others who seem to have everything you want. But the whole concept of a "committed relationship" relies on just that...committment. You choose to stay with one person above all others. At least until you decide to break up.
eggg
blue77 wrote:
Are we too constrained by social doctrines? Is it possible to love a long term partner but want sex with another person? Can these two concepts be separated?


Yes, yes, and yes.

In Olympia, I've known several couples who were in polyamorous relationships. They're quite in love, but they allow eachother to have sex with different people. They're open about it. They agree not to be jealous or dishonest from the start, and for a lot of people it works fine.

Of course, in Olympia, there are a large number of bisexuals. In a lot of these relationships, the reason they are polyamorous is to allow their partner to have sex with a member of a different sex without creating tension. But that's not universal.

I think that in order to do this, you have to establish a few basic beliefs concerning love and sexuality. It's important in this sort of thing to believe that sexual desire is natural and healthy, and not something that is necessarily born out of dissatisfaction with one's partner. Also, feeling secure in the knowlege that your partner can love someone else without loving you any less is very important.

Even with agreements at the beginning, these relationships still somtimes crash into a pit of jealousy and bitterness, which is predictable, I suppose. But it can work, and for some people it works better than a conventional relationship.
benjmd
There is a separate thread that asks if you can love two people at once. You have to define what love is before you start talking about it too much, b/c different people have very different definitions.

From what I think love is, it is not possible to have true romantic love with two people at the same time (again, see other thread). Some people enjoy the pleasure of sex without being as concerned about how it can best be partnered with emotional intimacy. Part of the foundation of a desire for monogamy is finding that paralleling emotional and physical intimacy offers the best experience.

I don't feel like giving a proof here of what I am saying (too long and I'm hungry...), but I think if you're having sex with another person then you are denying your original partner their deepest experience of intimacy with you - and I think that is an act inconsistent with love...

As for the topic about cheating, I think it is when someone doesn't love another quite enough, or isn't really sure what it means to love someone - or as others might say if they are selfish or pleasure-seeking or desperate or vengeful. Some cheat because they are falling in love with someone new and falling out of love with the other person. But ultimately I think it's a failure, for however many moments, to truly care about one's partner's happiness (i.e. to really love them).
cloudship
Like in a football match, if you are able to cheat without letting the referee and the audience know, you will not be blamed for that.

I think, in a marriage or relationship, if one really needs to have an affair with another, without being caught and noticed by the partner and all the information sources of him/her, then he may cautiously make the decision, whether or nor to have affair, whether it deserves the possible cost.

Thus, the problem ist not the moral responsibility of the affair, but the cost and revenue of the behavior. When the affair costs too much, then he/she may consider to stop the affair or stop the relationship.
xkobram
I think adrenaline makes lot of work!
Subsonic Sound
Quote:
you will not be blamed for that.


Only because no-one knows to blame you. Ever heard of sportsmanship?
honestman
I think that having an affair is about the cahhlenge of it and in many its about taking a risk which makes the sex much more exciting (so im told by the way).

Its nothing to do about undervalueing anybody but simply that risk taking aspect and its associated excitement.

Jim
molif
i guess i will have an affair in future.. as in, currently, im dating someone who i think we can never work it out in future due to religious matters but we love each other so much...

i don noe wat to do though, but she suggested that, one day, we get ourself someone to marry with, but we still keep in contact and still out for an affair coz we cant live without each other..
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