An affair can seem exciting and thrilling to those involved, but the consequences can be devastating. The type of affair can range from a drunken one night to a long lasting sexual relationship. Whatever type of affair it is, the results can be very upsetting to all those involved. An affair will see you lose the trust of your partner, and this can be extremely difficult to win back. If there are children involved, then the consequences can be all the more distressing.

Affairs happen more than we would like to think, and, on some occasions, they can end in happiness for those involved, with several second marriages turning out to be better than the first. But there will always be people who get hurt because of your actions, and you must realise that there will be consequences. But if you truly value your relationship, then it may still be possible to win back the trust of your partner.

Why do people have affairs?

When people have an affair it is often an indication that there are underlying problems in a relationship. This may be due to an argument being left unresolved, or because the partner wants change but is afraid of the implications. Having an affair is not all about sex, as most people would believe. If a person feels unloved in a relationship, then it can be a way of seeking the attentiveness of somebody else. Affairs can also be caused by a need for reassurance if you have low self-esteem, and can often be a way of escaping the monotonous routine that life can become.

Different types of affair and their meaning

There are various types of affair, and they can in a way help you to understand why your partner has decided to look elsewhere:

  • Long lasting affair – If your partner has been having an affair for many years, or been cheating on you with several different people, then this may be an indication that your partner has difficulty being emotionally attached to just one person. For some people, having an affair can be a way of expressing emotions they can’t with their partner.
  • The buzz – For some people, the very idea of an affair can seem exciting and enthralling. They may also want to recapture the buzz they felt when you first started out together.
  • Wanting to end a relationship – Some people use an affair as a way to end a relationship, for fear of discussing their true emotions and confronting their partner.
  • Underlying problems – Underlying problems in a relationship can cause people to use an affair as a way to get things out in the open.

Indicators of an affair

There are particular behaviours that can indicate your partner is having an affair:

  • Change in personal hygiene – If your partner is taking an unusual amount of time making sure that they smell good, and look presentable then this can be an indicator. Women often work to lose weight if they are having an affair, and both sexes may try out new stylish haircuts. Of course, these do not automatically mean your partner is having an affair.
  • Becoming more romantic – Those involved in an affair often feel guilt at their actions, and this can result in them exhibiting more romantic gestures. This can range from flowers to small gifts, or a rejuvenated outlook in the bedroom. Once again, these are mere indicators.

How to avoid having an affair

An affair can be the easy option if there are problems in your relationship, but you can work to avoid this:

  • Share your feelings – If you feel like you may be leading up to an affair, then inform your partner. Once your partner has got over the initial shock, you can work together to make any necessary changes to stop this from happening.
  • Don’t think yourself above it – Each individual is susceptible to temptation, and will likely have feelings for someone else at some time during their relationship, but you must remain vigilant if you are to remain faithful.
  • Build a strong foundation – If a relationship fulfils your emotional and sexual needs, then there is less chance you will look elsewhere.
  • Ease back on your flirtatious ways – Some people are naturally flirtatious with others, and this can be enough to cause hurt to your partner. You must learn to cut back on such playful ways.

When an affair is discovered

When an affair is discovered it is met with shock and sadness for all those involved. There will be hurtful things said at this time with just cause, and it can seem like there is no coming back from such a devastating revelation. The worst result of an affair is that the trust has been broken. If it is you that has had an affair, then it is up to you to express your desire to remain in the relationship. For those who have been cheated on it can seem like a shock there is no coming back from, but with time trust can be rebuilt. However, if trust can not be restored then the relationship has no future.

What now?

Once the wounds have begun to heal, you as a couple must come to the decision whether your relationship is worth fighting for. This decision may also incorporate the needs of your children, and if so, you must realise that an unloving relationship can be just as harmful to a child as can two separate parents. If you decide your relationship has a future, then you may wish to work through this with no outside help. You will need to discuss how you feel, and what changes are needed if a foundation of trust is to be rebuilt. But if you are in need of further assistance, then a therapist can offer support and advice as you work to get through this difficult time.


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