How do extramarital relationships differ from marital ones?
According to a poll featured on about.com, 28% of people in relationships are falteringly devoted to their partners.
They never lust after anyone else, find themselves attracted to anyone else, or even consider the idea of someone on the side. To those martyrs, the idea of an extramarital affair must seem preposterous and inconceivable; a product of the weak and something no righteous person would ever partake in. If an affair is such an unthinkable evil, why has 72% of the self-proclaimed monogamous population at least thought of having one, if not actually carried one out?
The truth is that there're a variety of reasons why people have affairs. Oftentimes, the philanderer has something he or she is trying to work through mentally or emotionally. Other times people just need to indulge in some adventure, in this case, adventure takes the form of an extramarital affair. Julie Boehlke of LiveStrong.com cites, "escape from reality, detachment from spouse, sexual experimentation, and unresolved issues" as some common factors associated with the initiation of an extramarital affair. Personally, I think these driving causes seem more like attempts to enrich one's life in some way, or even repair relationships than efforts to reduce one's partner to shambles. They actually seem like a sort of therapy.
Could it be that a majority of extramarital affairs are therapeutically driven? An excerpt from a series called 'The Infidelity Articles,' on divorcemagazine.com states that, "60-75% of couples who have experienced a betrayal stay together." In all likelihood, those adulterers haven't sought out extramarital lovers because they want to get out of their current relationships, but because they desperately want to find a way back to the happiness that they once knew. Others may indulge in infidelity for excitement, or because they're just not wired to be faithful to only one person. This sort of behavior can lack malicious intent entirely and have naught to do with one's partner, but rather with one self. American author and psychotherapist, Mira Kirshenbaum preaches that the right type of affair can be mutually beneficial to couples. She maintains that, "people who get involved in extramarital affairs are actually well-intentioned or good people."
So in short, the main difference between extramarital and marital relationships is typically that extramarital relationships can serve as a form of therapy for those who pursue them.
Share this article :