The allure of the illicit relationship can be addictive. You may have fallen in love with a married man, but will he ever leave his wife, or is he being allowed to have his cake and eat it?
You fell for a married man. You never meant for it to happen. You started out as friends. Then you realised, there was a ‘connection’. Things spun out of control and now you’re in love with a guy who’s already taken.
But he keeps promising that he’ll leave his wife. He just needs to wait until…
- The kids are a little bit older
- After Christmas
- After her birthday
- After gets his promotion
- After his mom gets better from her illness
- After he finds the right time to reveal the affair
The list of excuses is endless… and they will probably never end.
That’s the opinion of relationship counsellor and clinical sexologist, Leandie Buys. “The anxiety involved in keeping the ‘other woman’ a secret can create a rush which gives the relationship an added high.
There’s no ‘good’ end to the situation
There are a number of scenarios that can play out.
- His wife will find out about the affair, and he leaves you to go back to his wife and kids. (According to TheDivorceSource.com, less than 75% of cheaters leave their spouse for their affair partner)
- His wife finds out, and he pretends to leave you, but continues with the affair (until she finds out again).
- He leaves her, you begin a relationship, but there are major trust issues, and it all ends in tears.
- He leaves her, you begin a relationship and it has a tiny chance of working out.
According to TheDivorceSource.com, the probability of you and him eventually tying the knot is only between 3% to 5%. And of these marriages which began in infidelity, many are likely to join the 75% of second marriages that fail.
Why are affairs so “attractive”?
The beginning of a romance is always a ‘whirlwind’. You FALL in love, you don’t carefully plan for it. When you meet someone that you click with, your biology and hormones kick in, and you’re filled with all the feel-good hormones you might not have been experiencing in your everyday life.
Add the ‘illicit’ nature of the relationship to the mix, and you’ve got feel-good hormones plus adrenalin. This is why the ‘high’ of an affair is often so overwhelming and attractive to those involved. The cheaters enjoy the feeling they get from being with each other so much that they don’t fully consider the consequences of their actions.
The cheaters enjoy the feeling they get from being with each other so much that they don’t fully consider the consequences of their actions.
But what does it really take to make a relationship work?
If you think about a relationship like a cake, the ‘fun’ part is the icing on top. Cakes are made up of several ‘boring’ individual ingredients like flour, eggs, baking powder, and sugar which all combine to make something delicious. The added element of fun is the icing on top.
Relationships are the same.
They include a few ‘boring’ ingredients that make up a whole life together. Together with dreams and teamwork, relationships also include bills, responsibilities, day-to-day admin, chores, careers, and parenting responsibilities. The ‘icing’ on top is made up of trust, commitment, fun times together, and sex.
If you think that your affair will lead to a relationship that’s only made up of ‘icing’, you’re kidding yourself.
Every relationship has a ‘cooling off’ period after the initial honeymoon phase. This is normal. The attraction of long-term relationships is not a daily dose of adrenalin, it’s the security of having someone on your team no matter what. It’s the intimacy, trust, and enjoyment of each other’s company PLUS the ‘fun’ parts all added up together that makes a fulfilling relationship.
What leads to infidelity in the first place?
“In my opinion, an affair does not necessarily mean the end of a relationship,” says Buys. “In my experience, affairs often happen because people become discontent and disconnected from their relationship, and instead of seeking ways to solve the problem internally, they look outside of the relationship for the things they are missing.”
“In many cases, individuals who are discontent with themselves seek affirmation from someone other than their partner. They fall in love with the feeling that they get when they are affirmed by the other person. Instead of confronting their own insecurities, and why they are discontent with themselves, they pursue a relationship with someone who makes them ‘feel good’.”
Relying on someone else to make you feel good about yourself will always lead to disappointment, says Buys.
“Learning to be content with who you are is the first step in being able to be content in a relationship. No one else is ever going to make you ‘feel good’ all the time. You need to be responsible for your own happiness,” says Buys.
READ MORE: Finding your way after infidelity
So will he ever leave his wife for you?
There’s a very slim chance that he might. But the fallout will be chaotic. You’ll be vilified as ‘the other woman’, and the relationship between you and him will be based on the ‘adrenalin’ of the initial affair. When the ‘rush’ dies down, you will more than likely experience trust issues.
“Think very carefully about what you’re getting into if you choose to become involved with a married man,” says Buys. “You should never be an afterthought or a booty-call. You are worth more than that. You are worth someone’s full attention. Learn to love yourself, and you will find someone who loves you completely.”