sexual relationship between two married people who are not married to each
other. Also, known as infidelity, cheating, two-timing, and adultry.
Our modern American culture still extolls the virtues
of monogomous relationships. Despite
the current acceptance of alternative
lifestyles (gay, swinging, open marriages,
|etc.), there is still little room for those in an exclusive relationship
to experience an intimate relationship
with a third party.
That being said, the subject of extramarital affairs becomes
all the more curious in that surveys reveal some 70% of married people
admit having cheated on their mates. To make the point even further,
modern medical science has given us DNA testing. When applied to
newborn children, we now understand that at least 15% of them are not related
to their mother's husbands. Somebody had some explaining to do and
it isn't the fathers.
Historically, ancient cultures practiced multi-partnering.
Even the Biblical record is replete with numerous accounts of men who were
allowed to have many wives. Solomon is the prime example with over
500 wives and concubines (sexual playmates). Of course, he found
himself in crisis time after time due to his amazing collection of lovers.
Since then, the concept of manogomous relationships
has been solidly identified with modern day society and civility.
Those who stray from their singular mates are now considered to be immoral,
unfaithful, no good cheating bums. Some are indeed all of that and
more. Others simply have not been able to gather the courage needed
to tell their mates that it is over between them.
An affair is rarely nothing more than a sexual mistake.
More times than not, it is a clear indication that the marriage is either
in serious trouble or finished.
There are four possible scenarios as to why once committed
partners find themselves caught up in an extramarital affair....
Accidental: It simply just happens. Irrespective
of those who are out of control and given over to old-fashioned lust, those
who are genuinely heart hungry souls have a way of finding each other.
Fear not the purely sexual variety of cheating. Those situations
where two people relate to each other in every way and feed off of each
other's presence in their lives are so much more dangerous to an unsuspecting
When two individuals work or socialize together,
a connection can take place so easily when both have been denied the basic
needs that any love relationship originally
promised to provide. Affairs are not always planned. More times
than not, they just happen.
Philandering: Frequent and multiple affairs occur when an individual
is unable to empathize with the feelings of their mates and all those who
are negatively impacted by continual sexual misbehaviour. Up through
the mid-1960s philandering was glorified
under the guise of "The New Morality" and the "Free Love" movement.
Previous to that, there were three types of sexually transmitted diseases.
There are now 67 types of venereal disease in the United States and 115
worldwide. Just one of them, the AIDS epedemic, is so widespread
that it has singlehandedly revived monogomy and inspired the "Safe Sex"
movement, thus combatting the sexual promiscuity of modern day "philanderers."
Romantic Infidelity (primarily women): The need to fall in love
and again experience all of those wonderful feelings that come with it
is what motivates some to seek an intimate
relationship outside the boundries of marriage. Those who take part
in this type of an affair are seeking
to find those elements that are missing in their own marriages. Consequently,
when these types of infidelities are discovered, the blame is placed almost
solely on the unfaithful party. Any responsibility on behalf of the
offended mate is ignored. As a result, any kind of reconciliation
becomes impossible because the faithful
mate is not willing to accept that they are not fulfilling the needs
of the other person nor are they willing to make the changes that would
give the marriage a chance to work. Wise was the woman who told her
unfaithful but repentent husband, "This is not your problem. It is
Open/Swinging: This type of extramarital affair includes swinging
and open marriages. The idea here is if both parties agree to sharing
intimacy with someone else, then no one being considered as cheating.
Open marriages are those where each one gives the other permission to experience
physical intimacy with others as long as the primary relationship stays
intact. Swinging occurs when two people agree with each other to
share themselves with other couples; sometimes together in foursomes; sometimes
separately as couples. Such relationships are the least accepted
by our culture, yet, there are those who practice them while still maintaining
There are four thoughts as to why men and women cheat
on their mates. Since affiars continue to happen, we continue to
try to understand why.
Genetic: Occurs in every time and in every culture (a stone
age mindset living in a modern world). Otherwise, since it is woven
into the fabric of who we are, all of us are "tempted," although, not everyone
gives in to infidelity because we also have moral values and wills.
Emotional: People who feel unfulfilled in their marriages
will seek outside relationships to fill emotional gaps that cannot be responded
to in any other way. There is a fine line here between those who
truly go without basic emotional needs being met by their partners and
those who have an unrealistic view of relationships as they search for
the perfect mate--the "Walk on the Water" syndrome. This type of
an affair is the most difficult to overcome because it is actually based
on two people bonding together in so many more ways than just having sex
© all rights reserved - 10/22/2001
The mission of this not-for-profit website is to promote clear insights
and toleration regarding the many variations of primary relationships that
exist in our world. We ask for neither acceptance or approval but
hope that each visitor who reviews the pages of this site will leave them
with a better understanding of the numerous cultural, historical, preferential,
religious, sexual, and sociological approaches to coupling that have always
existed and will continue to exist as long as there are at least two human
beings living on this planet. If the effort put into creating and
maintaining this site results in others coming to the realization that
the basic human need to love and be loved takes on many forms which are
accepted by those who practice them, whether right or wrong as determined
by the personal belief system of others, then it will have served it's