Your wedding vows talk about a lifetime together, a life of unwavering loyalty, one of getting old together, through good and bad times. But as years pass by, that spurt of love turns into monotony.
This is when you discover the glitches in your ‘happily ever after’. And then enters the one we call an extra marital affair. Most of the times, he is the one who is also married.You both enter in it for fun and presume that you both can handle this relationship without disturbing your married lives. This special one makes you feel the soul connect with great sex, compassion and understanding that seemed to have gone missing from your marriage. Life suddenly becomes perfect again.
Esther Perel, a famous author and therapist addressed a gathering recently where she spoke extensively about the term infidelity. She said, “An affair brings together three key elements: a secretive relationship, which is the core structure of an affair; an emotional connection to one degree or another; and a sexual alchemy. And alchemy is the key word here, because the erotic frisson is such that the kiss that you only imagine giving, can be as powerful and as enchanting as hours of actual lovemaking. As Marcel Proust said, it’s our imagination that is responsible for love, not the other person.”
The one thing that people entering extra marital affairs underestimate the most is their emotions. And this changes the dynamics of the affair faster than they know. Sexual emotions are the strongest human emotions there can be and they can make you vulnerable to a degree that you can’t fathom at the beginning.
And this is when, the same affair that appeared like your redemption at first turns ugly. On condition of anonymity, Kanika shares, “I fell neck deep in love with this guy I met over a work meeting. When he abruptly ended the affair because I wanted more out of it, I wondered why I philandered. My husband never stopped loving me and I have an ever so adorable toddler, then why?”
Delhi-based life coach Ramon Lamba explains, “Men and women are wired differently. In case of a woman’s brain, sex and love are wired together, while in men, love means love and sex means sex. They rarely confuse the two. Sadly, the way woman handles an extra-marital affair is troublesome. For them, the affair starts by fulfilling emotional needs and then they start taking them very seriously. Most affairs end due to mismatch of emotional and sexual needs.”
Surprisingly, when we enter an affair, most often than not, we are not turning away from our partner but from the person that we have become over time. In general, the life of an extra-marital affair is not too long. It can last from a few months to maybe a few years. Dr Rashi Ahuja, counseling psychologist at ePsyClinic.com explains, “Every relationship has a honeymoon period. This period is all about feeling alive, feeling loved and wanted. And after this period ends, it starts to get boring. The same holds true for extra marital affairs.”
And there are times when these affairs make you see ‘good’ in your married partner. “Most married people entering an affair compare their spouses to the person, sometimes leading to a situation where they are reminded of traits that they once adored in their married partners,” adds Dr Rashi.
Not all affairs are about getting over life’s monotony or a craving for being desired. Some affairs are karmic. Ramon elaborates, “There are times when you meet someone outside the marriage and you instantly feel the connect. It is not a sexual attraction at first but you feel an intense pull towards that person. They are basically souls with whom you have unfinished business. You will experience a constant thirst to be with that person and you won’t find peace unless you indulge in that person in some way.
You like it or not, affairs are here to stay. As we read this, they are happening at your workplace, in your neighbourhood and maybe somewhere in your family too. And whenever they end, they will not only end up in hurt or betrayal but in lessons. Lessons of growth and discovery.