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Offices in Garden City, Roslyn Heights, and Rockville Centre
info@lipsychologist.com

Do People Remain in Long Term Relationships With Those They Have An Affair With?

by Dec 28, 2016Divorce and Separation

Something drives someone to having an affair. It may be something that they are looking for in their life, such as affection, excitement, or the desire for secrecy. It may be something they are missing from their relationship, such as a connection or time.

What it is differs between each person. But for everyone involved in the affair, a question usually remains – if the person having the affair leaves their partner for the person they were with, is it likely to start a long term relationship?

Why This Question Arises

Almost everyone involved in an affair asks themselves this. The unfaithful partner wonders if they would have a successful relationship if they left their partner. The partner wonders whether the person will leave them for the new relationship. The other man/woman wonders if a relationship would work out with the married person, and whether or not they should ask them to leave their partner.

Do those that have affairs and leave their partner usually have long term successful relationships?

The answer is complicated. But the answer, at least in my experience, is usually no.

Yes, there are occasionally successful relationships between those that leave their partners. But often those occur only when the affair was due to something deeper and unexpected developing between the two individuals. Those that have affairs with “lost loves” of the past, for example, may possibly be candidates for a successful relationship.

But that’s not what most affairs entail. The majority of affairs have characteristics that make them less than ideal for a long term relationship.

  • The Affair Fills a Single Void – There is a reason that someone starts an affair while staying with their current partner. Usually the affair is there to fill a void. But the current partner usually fills other needs, which is why they desire to stay with their partner. Leaving that partner simply opens up new voids, along with the stress that comes from ending the relationship.
  • Elicit Affairs Have Excitement – Affairs are exciting to people. They represent having something that you’re not supposed to have. They’re something that feels special, because it’s a secret, and it gives the affair an aura of something important. But if it’s no longer an “affair,” that excitement is gone.
  • Relationships Are Real – Similarly, real life is messier than an affair is. Because affairs are so secretive, they are often limited to passion and affection and away from the burden of reality. But when the affair over, suddenly the pressures of reality take away the mystique. Bills, kids, cleaning – there is a reality to relationships that has not been tested on affairs.

Is it possible that someone can have a successful long term relationship with someone they had an affair with? It’s possible, but little about the affair usually indicates that it will happen. Affairs are not like real, true, relationships, and their likelihood of long term success is not strong.

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