Common Marriage Problems: The Extra-Marital Affair
With four out of ten marriages ending in divorce, and nearly half of all marriages being affected by marital unfaithfulness, I think it’s safe to say that the “extra-marital affair” has become (unfortunately) a common marriage problem.
Few things in life are as painful as discovering that your spouse has had, or is having, an extra-marital affair.
Betrayal hurts, and the pain runs very deep. As is often the case, it often leads to marital separation and divorce.
But here’s the deal (and this is something people don’t usually want to hear), typically it’s another problem(s) in the relationship that triggered the affair.
A cheating wife or a cheating husband is usually the outcome of underlying conflict that festers and remains unresolved. Which is exactly why it’s so important to address problems as they arise because it protects the relationship and saves the marriage.
Ignoring marital problems in the hopes that they will take care of themselves, or leaving them unaddressed for too long, only worsens the situation because here’s what will happen: anger will increase, frustration will deepen, and intimacy will decrease.
An ever-increasing likelihood that one or both of the spouses will seek satisfaction outside of their marriage, paving the way for an extra-marital affair either physically or emotionally.
Are you flirting with the idea of having an extra-marital affair – with cheating emotionally or physically?
If so, then this is a warning sign of a deeper problem in your relationship that needs addressing NOW.
When needs persistently go unmet in a marriage, the risk of an extra-marital affair dramatically increases.
One solution to this risky situation is to restructure your daily schedule so you and your spouse have more time with one another – to put each other first.
Every couple requires quality time together to create a healthy relationship.
So plan a date night, have lunch together, watch a movie or get involved in activities that interest you both. Share your goals, dreams and hopes; share your thoughts and feelings about any marriage problems or issues that exist within your relationship.
Starting right now, consider your husband or wife your first priority – the most important person – in your life.
Besides inadequate time together, money problems are another problem that triggers extra-marital affairs.
When a couple struggles to meet their financial obligations, deal with debt, or pay rent, while at the same time worrying about losing/keeping their source(s) of income, they face a situation that exerts extreme stress on even the healthiest marriages.
Sometimes a spouse will use an affair as a coping mechanism for dealing with financial worry and distress. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Instead of cheating, discuss the situation with your partner to explore solutions and strategies together.
Now, if you’re the one who has had the extra-marital affair, and you and your spouse wish to save your marriage, then take action now by following these steps to repair your relationship:
- Confess the affair to your spouse. Let him or her know that you want to save the marriage no matter what it takes.
- End the relationship with the other person whether the betrayal is physical or emotional.
- Inform your spouse that you have ended the affair.
- Apologize for your mistake. Without justifying or defending your actions, honestly share the real reason why you had an affair.
- Be faithful. Period. Repeated betrayal destroys trust.
- Explain to your spouse the measures you are taking to keep your promises and to stay faithful – remind him or her that you are committed to this relationship and will do whatever it takes to regain their trust.
Sadly, extra-marital affairs are a reality for far too many marriages. But the good news is this: betrayal can be worked through and the marriage can be saved; love’s fire can be reignited again.