Everyone has their own personal beliefs about affairs.  These beliefs can stem from how we saw adults around us behaving with each other during our childhood.  They can stem from how our parents and other relatives talked about and regarded affairs, from the particular culture you grew up in, and your religious upbringing and beliefs.  Sometimes beliefs about affairs are really rationalizations that allow the affair to go on.  If you really believe these things, than you don’t feel that you should have to apologize and you may be truly shocked at how traumatized your partner is upon discovery.  Janis Abrahms Spring lists some beliefs that justify affairs (and I’ve added a few of my own):

It’s okay if I truly love the other person.

It’s okay if it’s just for sex and my partner remains the most important person to me.

It’s okay as long as we don’t actually have sex.

What my partner doesn’t know won’t hurt him or her.

A one-night stand doesn’t change anything.

I deserve to be happy and since my partner isn’t meeting all of my needs, it’s okay to go outside of the relationship to get them met.

My lover makes me happier and enables me to be a better spouse.

My affair allows me to stay married.  I’m doing it for the children.

People aren’t meant to be monogamous.

All men do it.

I’m entitled to privacy in my marriage.

People shouldn’t have to sacrifice what  they need to make their  partner feel secure.

Men are different than women, they have a stronger sex drive and shouldn’t be sexually frustrated.

Sex is not the most important thing in a marriage so it’s okay.

I’m a good provider, therefore, I’m a good husband;  having an affair won’t change that.

Does one or more of these describe your attitude?  If so, how did you come to believe this?  Do you still truly believe it?  How are these beliefs effecting your life and the lives around you? If you are having trouble sorting all of this out, therapy can play a crucial role in helping resolve such inner conflicts.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    I must be crazy. I was married for 5 yrs and my husband had affairs from the get go and continued until I left. Its been 30 yrs now and I find myself wanting an apology. We had two children together. He gave me an STD but I stayed with him as I loved him wholeheartedly. Then I came to my breaking point and moved back home. Why do I feel this way? I want an apology and I want him to understand the hurt he caused me as well as our two children. I have been newly married for 25 years and I don’t treat my husband at all as well as I did my ex. Am I crazy? What’s wrong with me? I never thought much about him except until our daughter disowned me and told her dad’s side of the family that I was a dumb stupid cunt. She won’t talk to me now. Its been 3 yrs and no contact with my grand kids as she tells them I’m mean. I’m truly a loving goodhearted person, I just don’t understand.

  2. Anonymous

    My guy has ADHD. IS this a good enough excuse ? I never got an apology from him and he would not show me that he actually put a total end to it. I don’t know if they are still conversing in that way still. She’s sort of a co-worker of his,in a different location but lives close by. I was totally shocked when I found out what he was doing. Caught him sex-texting, etc. Found sex toys in his car. He spent many nights getting home at 3 a.m. too. And some nights he never got home. Said he was with a friend(?) I wonder because he would not answer my messages or calls. You know what I’m thinking. I’m sure.
    I’ve asked him to tell me it’s really over, but I don’t get the answers I need. I can’t understand that if he still wants to be with me. Why is he doing it? Out of obligation? We have no kids together and we are not married. But we’ve lived together for nine years already.
    He used the excuse that he can’t fuck anybody anyway, so I shouldn’t worry. But soon after that, he managed to fuck me? So what am I supposed to believe?

  3. Anonymous

    First off, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions and then seriously reflect on the answers before doing anything. What is the true reason behind you telling her? Do you want an exclusive relationship with him or do you think, you should tell her because its an act of kindness?

  4. Anonymous

    What brings one to an affair? There decision was made by an all about me attitude . The could have easily walked away and put in the hard work to create a happier marriage. But the choice they made was only for themselves was to have an affair. I’m not sure I get the ideology that the marriage or the wife/husband created this choice. An affair is based on your choice, I don’t think it’s the marriage or spouse, hey we are having a hard time please go cheat.

  5. Anonymous

    Leave him and don’t look back…that’s what you do.

  6. Anonymous

    Well, I have been married for 22 years and my husband has been engaged in an on again, off again affair for the past 5 to 6 years. We have argued and fought about his affair for years. He has NEVER admitted it or apologized for the affair. Even when confronted with tangible proof, he denies everything. Well, we have stayed together for financial reasons, (we have a business together), but in the past two weeks I decided once and for all that I want a divorce. I am just DONE! Well, interestingly enough, my husband, after 5 years of torture and cruelty, has done a 180 on me! He doesn’t want me to leave, he wants his family, he loves me…even crying to another family member about it!!! WTH is going on??!!! Anyone have any ideas??? I don’t know what to do now! Is this just a ploy to keep me hanging in there until things settle down or is he truly remorseful? The biggest problem is that I cannot be his wife anymore! I cannot force myself to love this man when I don’t feel anything anymore! I feel sorry for him, but I don’t love him or sexually desire him! What do I do???

  7. Anonymous

    been married for 40 years. During that time, my wife has gained about 160 pounds, quit her job and developed an attitude that I am always wrong and she is always right. Further nothing I ever do is good enough for her. She pays no attention to me and there is no sex life. At first, when I was younger, I stayed for the kids. The kids are gone now. In my 60’s I got attention from a younger woman, mid 50’s, who makes me feel young again, appreciated, that what I do and say is important. At this point, it is an emotional affair. We haven’t reached the physical, yet. That will happen soon. Her husband, is an alcoholic, doesn’t appreciate her, never a kind word. They have been seperated for over a year. I feel lucky that we have found each other. That is why I am having an affair.

  8. Anonymous

    you must ask however, what brings one to an affair?

  9. Anonymous

    It’s okay if I truly love the other person.
    What my partner doesn’t know won’t hurt him or her.
    I deserve to be happy and since my partner isn’t meeting all of my needs, it’s okay to go outside of the relationship to get them met.
    My lover makes me happier and enables me to be a better spouse.
    My affair allows me to stay married. I’m doing it for the children.
    People aren’t meant to be monogamous.
    I’m a good provider, therefore, I’m a good husband; having an affair won’t change that.

    I heard all of the above from my husband after his almost 5 month long affair with a co-worker 9 years younger than him. (At this point we had been married 8 years with 3 children.) I thought he had lost his mind when he said some of those things to me. How can having an affair possibly make you a better spouse when it enables you to avoid solving the problems in your marriage? How can lying to your spouse, whether directly or by omission, make the situation ok? Does devaluing the mother of your children really help them? Are you really in love with your affair partner or are you drunk off the chemical high you get from being in lust with him/her?

    It really is all about the offending spouse, protecting his/her ego and shielding themselves from the consequences of their actions. Some can wake up and see what it is they are really doing to themselves, their marriages, and their families (destroying them), others remain stuck in that fog and can’t fathom that they are wrong about any of their justifications. I’m thankful that my husband is one who was able to see how deeply truth mattered in our marriage and how owning his part in this ordeal was healing to us both.

  10. Anonymous

    At least five of those points I used as rationalizations during the affair. After it, i’ve realized they’re just false justifications, and no I don’t believe them anymore.

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