4 Reasons Why Adulterous Affairs Can Be So Addictive

Updated on March 7, 2018
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Michelle's experience with domestic abuse and adultery drive her to learn about human relationships and the psychology behind them.

You could easily say that people who pursue and/or participate in affairs are simply bad apples or unworthy souls who betray their partners and families out of selfish desire.

However, there's more to it than that.

Whether you disapprove or not, there are some pretty compelling and addictive elements that factor in to the circumstances that surround many people choose to have affairs. Here are four of them:

There are reasons why adultery happens so often. Getting addicted to the sensations of an affair can be a huge part of the thrill.
There are reasons why adultery happens so often. Getting addicted to the sensations of an affair can be a huge part of the thrill. | Source

1. The Adrenaline Rush

We all know that engaging in something we're not supposed to do will usually give us a jolt of nervousness or butterflies in our stomachs. Adrenaline will rush through your blood and make everything around you seem heightened.

This surge of adrenaline can be a highly desirable feeling. Many people get this kind of rush when they exercise as well as when they feel emotions such as excitement, fear, or panic.

Having an affair with someone, whether you are the one who's married, the other person is the one who's married, or both of you are married -- is engaging in the kind of taboo behavior which lives off a sense of excitement and fear which drives adrenaline through the roof.

Many people find themselves addicted to the secrecy, hiding, and looming fear of getting caught when engaging in an affair. Though they may actually grow weary of all the sneaking around and lying over time, there will always be that thrill of almost getting caught.

People often get complacent and bored in their committed relationships and the allure of an illicit affair will give them that feeling of being alive that parallels the adrenaline rush. Most of us know how disastrously affairs can often end but those exciting chemicals in the brain can often lead people down a questionable, drama-filled path.

"Many people find themselves addicted to the secrecy, hiding, and looming fear of getting caught when engaging in an affair."

The thrill of an illcit affair can be surprisingly addictive
The thrill of an illcit affair can be surprisingly addictive | Source

2. The Double Life

Another tempting aspect to an affair for some people is that they can escape who they are in their regular lives and essentially be someone else -- someone free of the usual burdens they feel at home or with their families.

Seeking solace in the arms of another person to get away from your wife, husband, or kids seems unbelievably callous, but it happens more often than most of us want to admit. When some people become unhappy in their relationships or marriages, many of them tend to have affairs instead of telling their partners the truth about how they feel.

When a person is not happy in a relationship or marriage, a lot of the time it has to do with their own personal happiness. Quite often, if a person is not satisfied with their own decisions, accomplishments, or direction in life, those feelings will bleed into their relationships.

An affair can seem to be a quick fix for unhappiness or even an attempt to gain some control back, but it's usually just a temporary distraction for real issues at home that are being avoided.

When you stray from your partner and have an affair with a new person, they don't know any of your habits or idiosyncracies. You can essentially be brand new as if you were single and dating again. This concept can be very enticing for some.

"An affair can seem to be a quick fix for unhappiness or even an attempt to gain some control back, but it's usually just a temporary distraction for real issues at home that is being avoided."

Instead of communicating honestly with their partners about unhappiness, many people choose to escape into affairs
Instead of communicating honestly with their partners about unhappiness, many people choose to escape into affairs | Source

3. Experimentation

Most people know that after you've been in a long-term partnership or marriage for many years, it can get more and more difficult to maintain the spark of romantic intimacy. It takes effort and communication.

Many couples have trouble in the sex department due to a lack of honesty or communication as to what they really want in the bedroom. When partners stray and have an affair, it's common for them to want to experiment sexually with their new paramour.

Though sex is not the only reason people engage in affairs, it certainly plays a big role. Often times, the sense of freedom felt in having a new lover leads to a surge in wanting to try new things and experiment sexually. Many of the sexual acts people engage in during an affair are quite different than sexual acts practiced at home with their partners, if sex is still happening at home.

The desire to experiment sexually can either be a reason why people cheat or it can come naturally within the affair, but experimentation goes hand in hand with living the "double life" and can be thrilling, addictive, and hard to give up.

"Often times, the sense of freedom felt in having a new lover leads to a surge in wanting to try new things and experiment sexually."

Affairs often create a space to experiment sexually which can be very exciting
Affairs often create a space to experiment sexually which can be very exciting | Source

4. Lack of Domestic Boredom

A good majority of people who end up engaging in affairs are married. Most marriages come with homes, children, jobs, bills, and responsibilities. When engaging in an affair with someone, you don't exist in the same kind of environment.

When you're having a romantic rendezvous with your lover in the midst of an affair you're definitely not discussing the kids, which person is taking the trash out, or other more mundane subjects that might ordinarily spoil the romance.

That's why so many people get drawn into affairs. It's a fantasy world where you have a lover who is giving you the attention and affection you want but not demanding the commitment and responsibilities that go along with a domestic partnership. This is often not an easy situation for people to give up.

Certainly, if people who are having adulterous affairs together were ever to be put under the same kind of pressure and domestic stress that regular couples go through, the alluring nature of the relationship probably wouldn't last long.

The freedom and excitement felt by those participating in affairs is usually soon replaced by guilt and depression. Affairs cause destruction on many levels and the people who suffer the most are usually spouses and children of broken marriages who are left behind to clean up the mess. Though the temptation can be intense, affairs are rarely worth the risks.

"It's a fantasy world where you have a lover who is giving you the attention and affection you want but not demanding the commitment and responsibilities that go along with a domestic partnership."

The consequences of an affair can be damaging to many people
The consequences of an affair can be damaging to many people | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Michelle Zunter

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      • Readmikenow profile image

        Readmikenow 3 months ago

        I believe these are just sad excuses. Individuals in a committed relationship need to look beyond themselves. How a person honors their commitment to another person says a lot about them. When they makes up excuses to not honor their commitment, it says even more about them.

      • dashingscorpio profile image

        dashingscorpio 3 months ago

        You've made some excellent observations.

        "Certainly, if people who are having adulterous affairs together were ever to be put under the same kind of pressure and domestic stress that regular couples go through, the alluring nature of the relationship probably wouldn't last long." - Very true!

        The goal of most cheaters is to hold onto all that is "good" in their primary relationship while addressing their other "needs" on the side. They're not looking to (replace) one relationship with another but instead "compliment" what they already have.

        I believe there are 3 basic types of cheaters

        The Incessant Cheater

        This person has never been faithful in a long-term relationship. They're always looking for the thrill that comes with being with someone NEW. They get bored easily and monogamy for them is the equivalent of going on a strict diet. It's not a matter of (if) they will cheat but (when). Their motto is: "Variety is the spice of life!"

        Some them genuinely attempt to be monogamous in the "beginning" if they're infatuated with someone who insist upon it but eventually they revert back to them self.

        The {Unbelievable Opportunity} Cheater

        This person isn't proactively looking to cheat. They may have a secret crush on someone or come across a person they consider to be extremely attractive. One day the object of their affection actually flirts with them or gives then a sign they have a shot at turning a fantasy into reality!

        If you factor in the odds of not being caught because they're out of town or their significant other is out of town this "opportunity" may be too tempting for them to pass up.

        Sometimes this type of cheater feels guilty afterwards and may confess weeks, months, or years later to rid themselves of the guilt they've been carrying around.

        The Discontented Cheater

        This cheater blames YOU!

        If (you) hadn't did or stopped doing whatever they would have never stepped outside of the relationship. Oftentimes when cheaters are caught they will pretend to be this type of cheater because it's the only one where a betrayed person might buy into the idea that (they) contributed to their mate's reason for cheating. Some betrayed people are willing to forgive and seek couples therapy because they truly believe that (they) played a role.

        Ultimately both monogamy and cheating are personal choices! People do whatever (they) want to do!

        Being in an exclusive relationship or marriage is optional. Cheaters are too cowardly to give up one thing in order to pursue something new. Monogamy requires a willingness to sacrifice by learning to accept whatever it is you have.

      • Coffeequeeen profile image

        Louise Powles 3 months ago from Norfolk, England

        Yes, I can understand a lot of the points you listed here. Certainly the excitement of it can lead someone to having an affair. I think a lot of the time it doesn't mean they don't love their husband or wife, but like you say, if they're bored or in a rut this can lead to affairs.

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