couple holding hands

Can Affairs When Both Parties Are Married Ever Have a Happy Ending?

Affairs when both parties are married can seem like a forbidden and immoral thing, but they undeniably happen and are a part of the complex landscape of human relationships. While society largely condemns these relationships, the reality is that affairs exist in the shadows of marriages around the globe.  

To paint a complete picture of such affairs, it’s important to first challenge our preconceived notions. The judgment and taboo surrounding affairs often make it difficult for married people to discuss them openly and honestly.

This silence fuels misunderstandings and perpetuates stereotypes about why they occur and the impact they have.

Why Do People Have Affairs When They’re Married?

Many factors can lead to individuals having affairs outside their marriage. It is rare that there is just one reason that people choose to have an affair – often, it is a variety of reasons that all contribute to the ultimate decision to have an affair. 

Not all affairs happen for the same reasons; and depending on the individual, they could arise from a range of factors.

1. Their Current Relationship is Unsatisfying

As humans, we have a tendency to get bored or restless in a long-term relationship. This can be down to things like a lack of intimacy, reduced emotional connection, or simply growing apart over time.

Dissatisfaction can also come from unresolved conflicts in a marriage. This makes the idea of an extramarital affair feel like an escape or a way to regain lost happiness.

An affair partner can provide a sense of being desired and appreciated. Many people feel like this kind of admiration is missing in their marriage, and so an affair can fill this need.

2. They Feel Trapped

Sometimes, individuals may feel stuck in their marriages, leading them to seek freedom or excitement outside their relationship. This could be due to feeling suppressed, unappreciated, or having a lack of personal space within the marriage.

An affair might provide a temporary sense of liberation or serve as a form of rebellion against the constraints they feel. 

3. Their Emotional Needs are Not Being Met

Emotional intimacy is a fundamental part of any relationship. When these needs aren’t met, it can lead to feelings of loneliness, resentment, and frustration.

An affair can often be an attempt to find the emotional support and understanding that they feel is lacking in their marriage. Emotional affairs start to fill an emotional void.

4. They Want to Feel Desirable Again

Over time, it’s not uncommon for individuals to feel unattractive or undesirable in their relationships. This can be due to age, changes in physical appearance, or a lack of affirmation from their spouse.

Engaging in an affair can be an effort to reclaim their self-esteem and to feel wanted and attractive once more. 

Many people feel guilty for wanting to receive validation from someone other than their spouse, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel attractive.

5. Curiosity

Sometimes, curiosity can lead people to have extramarital affairs. They might want to know what it’s like to be with someone else, or they may be enticed by the thrill and novelty of a new relationship.

In such cases, the affair is less about dissatisfaction with the marriage and more about exploration or seeking new experiences.

couple enjoying meal

The Success of the Affair is Likely to Depend on the Reason for the Affair

If an affair is a reaction to a temporary issue in the marriage, like a disagreement or misunderstanding, it’s likely to be short-lived. The individual may soon realise that the affair isn’t a solution but rather a complication to their existing problems.

A romantic affair that is a result of long-standing issues in the marriage, such as emotional neglect, lack of intimacy, or ongoing conflicts, it may last longer. The person having the affair may find in it the emotional support or satisfaction they’ve been missing in their marriage.

For affairs sparked by a desire to feel desirable or a wish for freedom, its success may depend on the level of validation or freedom the person derives from it.

Once the person feels their needs are met, they may choose to end the affair, or it could potentially develop into a deeper relationship.

How to Make Your Affair Successful

Many people who are intrigued by the idea of an affair are concerned about the best ways to make their relationship a success. An affair needs to be nurtured for it to have the best chance at dating success

You’ll need to work at establishing a happy and successful affair, and even then, there are no guarantees. 

couple eating together

1. Respect Each Other’s Boundaries

Respecting each other’s boundaries is crucial in any relationship, and an affair is no exception. 

This means understanding and acknowledging the limitations of your situation. Both parties need to understand that there are certain lines that should not be crossed to avoid unnecessary complications and misunderstandings. 

It’s essential to keep your affair discrete and to respect the personal space and commitments of each other.

2. Maintain Open and Honest Communication

Maintaining an open line of communication is vital for any relationship to thrive. Be honest about your feelings, expectations, and fears. It’s okay to feel scared or anxious going into an affair – it’s normal, in fact. 

It’s important to remember that you’re both in an unconventional situation that could become complex, so clear and open communication can help in navigating through the potential challenges – and ensure that your 

3. Spend Quality Time Together

Spending quality time together is another cornerstone of a successful relationship, and this goes beyond the physical.

Take the time to get to know each other, understand each other’s likes, dislikes, and interests. Sharing experiences and creating memories together can help strengthen your bond. 

4. Put in the Effort to Make the Relationship Last

In the end, an affair requires effort and care from both parties. This means investing time and energy, showing empathy, understanding, and patience

Be there for each other during difficult times and celebrate each other’s successes. An affair might be unconventional, but if it is to last, it requires the same level of commitment and work as any other relationship. 

happy couple

Common Reasons Why Affairs Don’t Last

No relationship is a guarantee, so it’s important to understand what can cause affairs to fizzle out. Sometimes there isn’t an obvious reason. 

Some of the common reasons you might encounter include: 

  1. Lack of commitment
  2. Being discovered
  3. Misaligned expectations
  4. Feelings of guilt
  5. The excitement fades

Just because this can happen to couples engaging in an affair doesn’t mean it will for certain. If you’re committed to making it work, affairs can flourish over time and provide both partners with a fulfilling relationship. 

What to Do If Someone Finds Out You’re Having an Affair

Discovering that your affair has been found out can be a deeply unsettling experience, leading to a whirlwind of emotions and potential consequences.

It can be a good idea to prepare yourself for what you’ll need to do if you are discovered.

found out cheating

1. Take Responsibility for Your Actions

The first thing to do if your affair comes to light is to take responsibility for your actions. 

This means acknowledging what you’ve done without trying to shift blame or make excuses. 

2. Express Your Genuine Emotions and Apologies

Being honest about your feelings is essential. If you’re sorry – express this honestly. 

It’s important to understand that saying sorry won’t immediately fix everything, but it’s an essential part of acknowledging the hurt you may have caused your spouse.

3. Give Yourself Time to Reflect & Consider Your Future Options

Discovering an affair can lead to a significant period of upheaval. It’s vital to give yourself time to reflect on what led to the affair and what it means for your future.

Do you want to mend your existing relationship, end it, or continue with the person you’ve been having an affair with? It’s a time for thoughtful introspection and careful decision-making.

4. Be Honest and Truthful

Being untruthful will only exacerbate the situation you’re in. Be open about what happened, why it happened, and how you plan to address the issue. 

Honesty may not fix everything, but it will be a step towards rebuilding trust and healing.

couple talking after affair

The Verdict: Can Affairs When Both Parties Are Married Ever Have a Happy Ending?

When it comes to affairs where both parties are married, defining a ‘happy ending’ can be complicated. It entirely depends on individual circumstances and the reasons behind the affair.

Affairs can and do lead to lasting relationships. Both parties might leave their respective partners and build a new life together, or they might continue their liaison secretly.

If you’re happy in your affair, then that is what matters.


Do Affairs Ever Work?

Affairs can work – they are often an effective way to meet physical or emotional needs. 

How Do You Keep An Affair Secret?

It can be tough to keep an affair secret. You’ll need to be careful with your communications and meeting places to ensure you go undetected. 

How to Know It’s Time to End an Affair?

There’s no easy way of knowing when to end an affair. It is something you’ll need to decide for yourself as your situation evolves. 

Is it possible to Have an Affair with a Married Person and Still Be Happy?

Absolutely! Having an affair can be an incredible way to grow as a person, enjoy new experiences and feel fulfilled. 

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