If we are truly in love, we have eyes only for our beloved and nothing else. But how about our love for our children, our parents, our first love, if any? There arose the question of whether we can really love more than one person at the same time. When married couple fall in love with someone else, they don’t usually fall in love with someone who is an exact double of the person they are with. They are usually interested in additional qualities that are missing in their partner. And, it is really hard on relationships to ask that everything be provided to you. Undoubtedly, rare that someone is everything. Many people supplement these missing qualities with platonic friends, lover or soul mates.
The myth that you can’t be in love with two people at the same time is held an assumption. Two people who make your life complete – separately as well as collectively. Maybe they were based on different kinds of love: one companionable while the other was passionate. Our heart and appetites are bigger than we say they are.
Stories of polygamous relationship abound us. One of which, I may named her Anna, who is a woman who loves her husband. Their relationship, always warm and supportive, nonetheless became less totally engrossing. Anna started spending more social time during business day with their clients. One day she got a text message for a special request to meet one of her clients, which turn out to be a widowed person and handsome. He turned to be very funny and she liked spending time with him. Over time, they fell in love but she did not fall out of love with her husband, which other people might say. It may be that Anna, being released from passionate stage of her marriage, she can easily take sex elsewhere. There are probably good reasons to love another person. Maybe he’s great in bed or she is the best mother in the world. There is something special about each of you.
Another story goes this way. Alex has been married to Sonia since their last year of college. They are both fifty now. But Alex does make a room in his life for two women, his wife and a woman who is married to someone else. This situation has been going on for four years. As said by Alex, “You know you can love people in different ways. I love Sonia as the mother of my children. I have never been unfaithful except with Maria (other woman), and that was unexpected it doesn’t feel like an affair. It feels like another best friend.” But Maria was attracted to Alex and told herself that she could just flirt and enjoy this a little without getting in trouble. It was a powerful feeling between them. They couldn’t keep their hands from touching. And they dated in a motel. Maybe, they have their eyes before or their love surfaces from the past and while the present relationship is just fine, there is something special still alive from old relationship.
Affairs can happen to anyone. It may not even be consistent with a person’s value system, but if the circumstances, places and time are right and the opportunity presents itself, they may be tempted. You don’t really know how you got into this affair or why, but damn, it feels good.
Men express themselves emotionally through sex and that the male brain can separate love from sex. When a causal fling (lust) moves to the next stage – romantic love – it signals the internal beginning of an “affair.” The main difference between men and women is that men usually stay in the lust stage longer than women, which means that while he’s still in it for sex, she’s moved on to the next stage. Men see an affair as physical involvement, not necessarily an emotional connection.
Women, however, see an affair whether it involves sex or not as an “emotional affair.” It includes intimate texting, sharing personal emails, regularly going to lunch or coffee and so on. They may confide more in their new “friend” than with their husband/wife and may share more intimate emotional feelings and secrets with them.
Most infidelity surveys show that around 50% of men and 30% of women have “affairs” and a 2006 survey showed that infidelity was the most cited cause for separation/divorce in a survey of 150 cultures. Why do we cheat? A poll in United Kingdom in 2008 showed the reasons men gave for playing around were:
- Loss of attraction to their wife
- Sex problems, they want more sex or more variety of sex.
- Wife preoccupied by family life
- Aggressive seduction by another woman
- Male self-image, such as sex appeal, ageing or an easy ego-boost
The reasons why men/women had an affair were:
- Loneliness. Most are classically lonely souls searching for something they never seem to find in their relationship.
- Not made to feel desirable enough. They are looking to boost their egos – they want to feel needed and desirable. Sex is not their driving force; it’s emotional nourishment.
- Lack of appreciation by husband/wife
- Lack of romance and excitement in bed
- Husbands/wives too self-absorbed and full of hand-ups
- Need to escape the routine in their life
- Bored and isolated by the routine dullness of his/her life.
- Opportunity was offered at the right time.
Most men usually don’t plan an affair, it just happens. Women are much more likely to have a planned-affair that has been on the drawing board for some time. Many women have affairs also extends to sex and the idea of being touched by or having sex with someone else. Women also reported that the affair had been formulating in their minds for most of the time.
We may feel that our partner has lost interest or doesn’t spend time with us. Either way, we wonder what rating we might have on the mating market. We no longer know if we’re still attractive to the opposite sex. We have this affair because we feel we must satisfy our self-doubts. Other reason is the “getting-even affair.” Your partner has cheated on you so you have a revenge affair to even the score or to show your partner how it feels. You don’t go into this affair for the emotional or sexual experience; you do it out of spite.
When you spend more time opening up your heart to the person, affair will likely to happen. You feel understood by the other person, they support and encourage you. Or the other partner refuses to do something you say you really need – be it emotional connection, sex and so on and so forth. So you risk your entire relationship by getting it elsewhere, and find another person who will satisfy you. But this is more lust.