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Affairs Are About Anything But Love
present affairs as arising by chance and based upon love and mutual adoration.
The relationship advances from flirtation to infatuation. This can happen
quickly or over considerable time. Eventually there is an expectation that the
affair advance to sexual behaviour. The participants then claim each other as
true love partners who understand each other better than their own spouses. It
sounds so romantic and so beyond their control. The relationship continues in
the surface and what may transpire is one emotionally vulnerable adult and
another adult seeking sexual gratification. More often than not, it will be the
woman who is emotionally vulnerable and the man who is seeking the sexual
gratification. Upon this scenario, the man professes his love and the woman in
part feels completed by his attention and in part badly about herself for the
context of the relationship.
is most important for women to realize is that this is not a healthy loving
relationship. More to the point, these relationships can be insidiously
emotionally and psychologically abusive of women.
are secretive by nature and represent a betrayal of fidelity.
Hence they contribute to marital turmoil and demise. Because of these
factors, affairs also diminish personal integrity. It is hard to feel good about
oneself entirely in this situation. If one does feel good about oneself, it may
be through a psychological process of disassociation or splitting. Through these
psychological processes a person cuts him or herself off from those parts of
oneself that are distressful. Hence the person is not fully integrated in terms
of feelings, thoughts and actions. It is a way to cope with loss of integrity.
men do not subject the object of their affection to such harm. Decent men would
not place a woman in conflict with her marital partner, family, children,
friends and community… or with herself. Men who engage in such activity tend
to be working towards their own sexual gratification over the needs of the
woman. The approach then, often involves a process of grooming towards the
sexual encounter. The man pursues, the woman resists, the man continues and
escalates displays of affection and adoration, and the woman succumbs. The
period of grooming will depend on the vulnerability of the woman and the
intensity of the pursuit. Guilt and shame are the most common of feelings when
the intoxication of the moment subsides and the woman is left to ponder the
a fellow truly admires a married woman, in the first place he wouldn’t
compromise her marriage, family or integrity, but in the event feelings deepened
and were mutual, he would resist the relationship so that the woman could choose
how to deal with her marriage first – without the complications imposed by an
affair. In the event the fellow is also married, his transgressions are
threefold; one against his spouse, the other against the married woman as
described above and the third to himself. He has also participated in
are about anything but love. Romance has nothing to do with it. Harm to the
participants and bystanders is an inevitable conclusion. Hardly the example
anyone would want for their children.
wonder affairs only happen in secret.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.
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