On any given day, thousands of people around the world are involved in an extramarital affair. In fact, may find that right now your own relationship is in the midst of an affair. Or, maybe one of you is considering having an affair.
To the person who is having an affair or considering one, the idea of an affair can at first sound like an exciting alternative to business as usual in what has become an uneventful marriage. After all, the opportunity to be with someone totally new and exciting can be hard to pass up, especially if you are not happy with your current relationship.
To answer some common questions about affairs, here is an extramarital affair FAQ:
Q1: Is it illegal to have an affair if you are married?
A: In most parts of the Western world, you cannot actually go to jail or be fined for cheating on your spouse. Still, having an affair can have serious legal and personal consequences for you. For example, in many places, having had an affair that leads to a divorce can lead to a greatly-reduced set of rights for the one who did the cheating. In other words: if you cheat, you do not have much of a leg to stand on when it comes to the lawyers fighting it out to see who gets which possessions. Bottom line is, by being caught cheating you give up many of your legal rights in the event of a divorce.
Q2: Is it safe to have an affair?
A: Having an affair can generally be a safe thing – if you do not get caught and if you practice safe sex, that is. However, if you do not practice safe sex or if you get caught cheating, your affair can be anything but safe. By having an affair you are definitely opening yourself up to some serious risks. These risks include: the spreading of sexual diseases to yourself or your spouse, facing the rage of a jealous lover (think “Fatal Attraction”) or dealing with the wrath of a jilted spouse. Of course, being caught cheating can also lead to divorce, which can result in loss of the companionship of your spouse, the loss of many of your material possessions, and even loss of the right to live with your children. Ouch – not sounding so safe now, is it?
Q3: How do I stop my affair?
A: If you are currently having an affair, you need to start by deciding what it is you really want out of life. Do you want your spouse, your lover, or neither? After all, your affair may be thrilling at times. Or, maybe for you, just thinking about what you are doing to your spouse is tearing you apart inside. Either way, you know that you cannot sustain your affair forever. The sooner you face facts and decide what your next move should be, the better off everyone involved will be.
Q4: What do I do if my spouse is having an affair?
A: Sooner or later, you will need to confront your spouse about the affair. But, before you do that, think hard about how you want things to end up. Do you want to stay with your spouse or call it quits? Decide which way you want things to go before you bring up the affair. Another tip: when you confront your spouse, bring with you some irrefutable evidence you have found that proves the affair. Otherwise, if you merely accuse them of having an affair without proof, they will likely try to deny it, which of course will be adding insult to injury for both of you.
Q5: How can I keep myself or my spouse from having an affair?
A: If your spouse has a wandering eye or if you think they have their sights set on having an affair with someone else, the best remedy is to make yourself the center of their world again. You need to basically insert yourself in there so there is no space for anyone else. Do this in an assertive but loving way. Also, be tactful: if your spouse pulls back at the sign of your wanting to spend more time with them, it could be a sign that they are not happy in the relationship.
If either you or your spouse is currently involved in an affair or is considering one, it obviously means that your relationship is in trouble. While an affair might appear to be a convenient short-term solution to your problems, the smartest bet is to find ways to mend your marriage and get back into a loving relationship again.