Sexual exclusivity in a marriage is a given, partners vow to be intimate with only each other and do so with the utmost sincerity. They do believe that they will be faithful to their life partner, but as marriage chugs along and the routine and everyday struggles start casting their shadow over romance and sex, couples do begin to lose interest in each other. A friend looks at them differently, pays an extra compliment, shares shayries in the collective WhatsApp group, and the heart somersaults. No one begins by thinking that this harmless attention will lead to a full-fledged extramarital affair, but often it does.
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While we read all about the disaster that an extramarital affair brings upon all the people involved, a new trend is being written about where this very relationship outside the bonds of marriage has been seen to help the sacred union! It sounds ridiculous, right? Affairs are the enemies of marriages. Yet many marriages become tolerable for the simple fact that there is someone to pick the slack that one of the married partners always falls short on. Can there be advantages of an extramarital affair? Yes, not one but many.
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12 ways an extramarital affair can help your marriage
What if an extramarital affair was the bump in your marriage that was needed? What if the affair prompted you to take a closer look at your relationship, figure out the larger issues that perhaps led to the affair, and fix those? What if this helped the two of you make each other a priority in your lives again? Even though the passion and romance fade as the marriage progresses the desire to feel the passion and be romanced, doesn’t. All couples need to work against this biological tide of waning passion and perhaps in your life that has come because of an extramarital affair!
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While experiencing an affair, there are new revelations, many of which could be directly linked to your marriage. Here are 12 ways in which an affair might contribute to the growth and stability of a union.
1. It boosts your confidence
The longer your marriage is, the higher is the frequency of your ‘dry days’. Your sexual inactivity lowers morale; you feel that your partner does not desire you. You stop putting in efforts to look good, and life becomes even duller. An affair brings back the motivation to work on yourself again. You begin hitting the gym, get a hairstyle change, maybe get a bikini wax!
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Your affair partner compliments you and you feel those butterflies in your stomach again and the slight intoxication. Songs make more sense; you find yourself humming and cheerful. Being desired and wanted is a huge confidence booster. You become more energetic, and you love this new you! Your spouse sees this new vibe in you and feels a stir. He/she too steps up the game, hits the gym, and before both of you know, you are making crazy passionate love with your spouse.
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2. You will be able to revive your marriage
New experiences give you new perspectives and ideas. You bring all that you do with your affair partner to your own home. You take the time to reconnect with your spouse, go on long drives, listen to romantic songs together, give each that forgotten compliment. Watching cute shows on Netflix. Even trying new things in the bedroom. All the hardness that has crept up in the marriage can slowly chip away as softer feelings; affection makes its way in.
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3. It can help you identify the problems in your marriage
Many marriages suffer from a lack of emotional and sexual intimacy. But busy in the rat race and the regular humdrum of life, couples do not give it a priority or even feel the lack. Some couples go for days without as much as a hug or a soft touch. Sex is scheduled and works on a timetable. Bother about it. There is no space for spontaneity. The extramarital affair fills that lack.
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When couples introspect on the ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘where’ of the affair, often deep-seated issues like this indifferent attitude towards the important issues spring up. The extramarital affair can help couples identify the void and work on it to save it. This is something that many reports as an advantage of having had an extramarital affair.
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4. You realize that no one is perfect
All the irritation, annoyances, complaints you have with your spouse starts creeping up with the affair partner too (if the relationship lasts long enough). You find them cooking up small lies, trying to avoid things, not being sensitive to your needs. Once the charm wears off, you see their weaknesses and quirks, you see them with all their human flaws and frailties, and in that, you begin to appreciate the positives of your spouse. This is one great way an extramarital affair makes you appreciate your married spouse even more. Here is a piece of the most common things Indian couples fight on.
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5. There is more breathing space
The affair automatically makes room for breathing space. In this modern marriage of mostly nuclear families against what we had in the previous generation, a husband and wife are each other’s go-to person for all and everything. Emotional, physical, family, kids all issues are discussed and managed by the couple. You look for romance with the person you share a toilet with. There is an overdose of each other’s presence, both mental and emotional. An extramarital affair gives you some respite, here is another person to discuss issues with, which means a little less negativity with your married spouse.
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6. You could bring back the spark in your marriage
‘I chat with him in the day and make passionate love to my husband at night’, said a lady who was still to move from an emotional to a physical relationship. An extramarital affair gives wind to those long subdued and suppressed inner desires and sexual cravings. You will crave being passionately desired again, and this will help you be more exploratory about your sexual fetishes and fantasies with your spouse. Some try new techniques at home that they have learnt with their affair partners. One man began shaving off his chest, which was incredibly attractive to his wife. The spark that you thought has vanished could be brought back, and all those dry days are going to decrease. A lady wrote about her affair partner that he made her realize things about her that she hadn’t.
7. Your guilt will direct you towards your partner
There is a reason why cheating is morally wrong. Going behind your partner’s back is betrayal. After the affair gets boring, you will start feeling guilt which in turn will make you kinder towards your spouse. You will overlook their small annoying habits and start appreciating the fact that they are not like you and have not cheated on the most important relationship. All these emotions will make you bend backward and mend ways with your spouse and go that extra mile to bring a smile on their lips. This is a major benefit of an extramarital affair. Here are some pointers on how to get over the cheater’s guilt and get your marriage back on track.
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8. It will make you think about your marriage
People usually tend to ignore the issues of their marriage and continue to chug along. The response to any outburst (by the spouse who may be trying to bring something to attention) is met by stonewalling. An affair opens the window of serious introspection. You think about your marriage more because of the secrecy and guilt and take steps towards fixing them. We get many queries which never get fixed or looked into, a man who said that his wife had gained weight and he no longer felt sexually attracted to her. Another lady wrote that her husband cut her off socially, and she was distressed. It is when they get into an affair that the spouses begin to notice the dissatisfaction. Ironically it is the affair partner who makes you think about your spouse a mot more!
9. You become a happier person
Affair releases the feel-good hormones, flowers are prettier, songs make more sense and you almost go off heavy food cause you don’t want to be belching, bloated, or have a gut. You look good, you feel good you know that someone out there thinks of you, and that is indeed a pleasant thought. We had a story where the person mentioned how she never haggled with the vegetable vendor for money when she was ‘in love’ in the extramarital relationship. She overlooked silly grievances and went out of her way to make others happy! This somehow also helps you with your partner, all the courtesies you extend to others around you, you shower on your spouse too. You have fewer fights, and in turn, your marriage is at peace for a while.
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10. You will be more conscious of your actions
Doing something that is against the rules of marriage and betraying he promises you had made to your partner pushes you to think about your actions. You start to think about the repercussions, and this will make you want to deal with it before the burden eats you up from inside. You will either seek help to stop or want to communicate with your partner about it. Oddly discussing an extramarital affair of the partner had brought couples closer and more involved with each other than when they were before.
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11. You will realize that it is temporary
Most extramarital affairs work as a break from the boredom of the everyday routine and the rat race. It acts like a bubble where one retreats to recharge and not think of the myriad responsibilities one has. To make one feel better. It is almost like going to a doctor when you are unwell. But once you are healed or have had that respite you want to get back to essentials- your family, work, etc. Often times many affairs fade away just because they have run their course. It actually came with an expiry date. It is at these times the wayward spouse understands how permanent the marriage is and how temporary the extramarital affair was.
12. You will realize where your marriage stands
Having an extramarital relationship puts your marriage to the test. All those vows and promises of togetherness are at risk here. The emotional rollercoaster that you go through during this time is what makes you realize what your marriage means to you. You will realize whether your marriage is a dead-end or your end game.
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In both cases, you will be able to save it.
How to maintain an extramarital relationship?
You can protect your marriage from your extramarital affair. Successful extramarital relationships are the ones that never exposed but die their death. A time will come when the tediousness of what one feels in the marriage will percolate in the affair too. The novelty will wear off (given that there are no real major issues in the marriage). You are obliged to do all it takes to minimize risk and exposure so that your marriage partner is not hurt in the process of your extramarital affair. Do not let the affair destroy your marriage, set some ground rules. Here are some tips:
- Keep your end clear. Express what you want from the relationship and are prepared to give and check what expectations the affair partner has from you. Stick to what both of you mutually agree on.
- Keep checking where each of you is in the affair. Are you getting attached? Is the affair partner getting so? It is important to try and make sure the affair partner is not single here.
- Be kind. Your fling is a real person, do not make false promises or treat them as a means to an end.
- Ensure that your schedules don’t clash with your family time. It will just make your partner more suspicious
- Keep track of your messages. Make sure that you have cleared all your chat histories before your phone falls into the hands of your partner
We get married because we want to spend the rest of our lives with the person we love, with the idea that it’s going to be forever. But then monotony sets in. Irritation, discontentment, and frustration creep in the ‘happily ever after’ and we start blaming the person instead of understanding that marriage is tough. Two people staying together and managing shared responsibilities is no bed of roses. Of course, issues are bound to come up. It is important to understand that your affair is perhaps the result of that boredom and irritation rather than you and your partner not being right for each other!
Lying to your partner can be difficult. You feel that you love your partner but still feel the need to fulfil your desires elsewhere. An extramarital relationship, if exposed, can destroy a marriage, and if not that then definitely take away the peace and trust from it. If kids are involved, it gets even trickier, and you stand to scar more lives than the ones in the relationship. Be careful when you indulge in an affair and make sure to cover your tracks if you want to keep it under wraps. Because your wife isn’t going to like what’s under them.
For the victims of extramarital affairs, please read on ways how you can forgive your partner and move on!