In the Information Age, cheating has a new dimension. Where "affairs" used to primarily describe an extramarital physical relationship, they can now be electronic---an emotional attachment to someone online you may have never met that's greater than your attachment to your spouse. However, most serious online affairs do eventually turn into physical infidelity. The reasons are infinite, but here are just a few.
Fear of Commitment or Intimacy
Wedding vows that last forever can be intimidating. The quickest way to minimize them is to build walls using third parties. Affairs are the surest way to make your spouse realize he or she is not your one and only, and give you someone to turn to when you can't communicate with your spouse.
Day-to-day routine gets boring. To spice things up, some spouses will form an attachment to an outsider and enjoy sampling new, out-of-the-way restaurants and hotels to avoid being seen, or share new activities with a lover that their significant other isn't interested in, both in and out of the bedroom. The prospect of getting caught adds to the excitement.
Spouses who who may be hooked on the ideals of love and romance may seek new partners when those elements become routine or die in their marriage. Sex itself can be another addiction, and an affair the only way to release pent-up sexual tension when the marriage doesn't give it an outlet that's frequent or satisfying enough.
Many affairs begin at work, because people spend most of their waking hours with others who share their interests. At home, their spouse may have no interest in their job. Experiencing something important with someone who shares common ground can be irresistible, and can often lead to a physical connection.
Neglected spouses may cheat for attention---from the third party or from their inattentive spouse. The affair may be a cry for help, and the marriage can become even stronger if both parties commit to trying harder to deliver what the other person needs.
Spouses who feel neglected may seek out someone to lavish attention on them, or someone who needs attention in return, providing a haven of intimacy and mutual admiration that doesn't exist at home. Or if one spouse has cheated, the other may indulge as a way of making his or her partner experience the same humiliating feelings of anger, betrayal and rejection.
Some people can't stand being alone, and they can't end one relationship without having the next one on tap. Or they may have an affair to prepare their spouse for the big announcement that the marriage is over ("See? I've already moved on.") and they want a divorce.
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