Why Did My Spouse Have An Affair?

By Katie Lersch: I often hear from people who are looking for answers in regards to their spouse’s affair. They are looking for these answers because their spouse has been unwilling or unable to provide them. One of the biggest questions that the faithful spouse will have is simply “why?” They want to know why their spouse would do this to them when they thought they had a good marriage between two people who genuinely loved one another.

An example of a comment that you might hear in this situation is a wife saying: “I honestly just don’t get why my husband had an affair. The other woman is older than him and not attractive. I honestly believe that we had a good marriage. We laughed and had fun all of the time. Our sex life was very good. I also believe that my husband loves me and did at the time of his affair. I have gone over our life with a fine tooth comb and I can’t uncover anything that might have driven my husband to cheat on me. I have asked him repeatedly why he did this and he truly doesn’t have any answers for me. He can only answer that he just doesn’t know. And he will then say that he is fully aware that he made a mistake and he begs for me to forgive him. I can’t even consider forgiving him unless I understand why he did this. Can someone please explain to me why a man who looked like he was happily married had an affair?”

Unfortunately, the only person who really knew why the affair happened was the husband. And he wasn’t providing any answers. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he was trying to be dishonest or that he wasn’t willing to share his motivations. Sometimes, people who cheat are confused about what motivated them to risk everything in order to betray their spouse. So in the following article, I will offer you some of the common motivations that cheating spouses offer on my blog. Obviously, I can’t tell you which, if any, are applicable to your marriage or to your husband. But hopefully, this will give you a place to start.

The Affair Is A Way To Shake Up His Stagnant Life Or Address His Mid Life Crisis: This is a very common reason and it’s also a very common cliché. But men very commonly have affairs at a time in their life when they are having to face their own mortality or are struggling with the aging process. They can begin to worry that there’s nothing exciting to look forward to anymore and that they are living on borrowed time. So, anything that they can do in order to feel more alive or vibrant is going to be attractive to them. Sometimes, they aren’t planning to cheat, but an opportunity presents itself and, when they act, they’ll tell you that they feel as if they are actually alive for the first time in years.

The Affair Makes Them Feel Better About A Personal Struggle They Are Facing: I find that many normally faithful people will cheat when they face a very difficult situation that pops up in their life. They may lose their job or face an illness. Usually, this is a life altering event that scares them or puts life in a different perspective for them. Because of this, they are more vulnerable to an affair then they otherwise would have been.

 They Are Reacting To A Passive aggressive Need To Address Their Anger At Their Spouse: Sometimes, if you dig really deeply in a marriage that has been damaged by an affair, you will see an unresolved issue that the cheating spouse was very resentful about. Often, the faithful spouse wasn’t aware of this and is quite surprised about it because the cheating spouse never really mentioned it or let on what a big deal it truly was. So, rather than being a responsible adult and telling his spouse what she has done to make him unhappy or hurt, he will have an affair as a passive aggressive way to get back at her.

The Self Sabotage Theory: Some cheating spouses will tell you that the only reason that they can figure that they cheated is because they were well aware of the fact that they didn’t deserve their spouse or that their spouse was too good for them. So, for whatever reason, the affair was an attempt to balance the scales. Some people will tell you that it’s a pattern in their life to mess things up when they are truly happy. If this is the case, you will generally see a distinct pattern of this over the course of their adult lives.

The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time With No Impulse Control Theory: Many cheating spouses will tell you that they never envisioned themselves as cheaters and they never planned to cheat. But, for whatever reason, fate brought the other person in their path and they could just not resist even though they deeply love their spouse and had a good marriage.

As I hope you can see, there are various reasons that cheating spouses give for their actions. And often, they aren’t sure which are applicable to them because they weren’t thinking clearly when they acted.

If I had to put a finger on the motivations of my own spouse’s affair, I’d go with him having a life crisis at the time. His job was very difficult and changing at that time. I don’t say this to excuse his behavior. But it does help me to pinpoint where he might have been vulnerable. If it helps you can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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