Maybe you’ve been married awhile and you’re beginning to miss that newly in-love tingly sensation that makes you thrilled to meet the day. Maybe you’re feeling bogged down in the mundane routine of your everyday activities. Maybe you feel like you’re missing out in life and that somehow another partner or a little fling would help you come alive.
Maybe. But maybe not. You should think carefully before you jeopardize your relationship, because having an affair will certainly be a threat. Before you cheat, try to think of the root cause of your temptation to stray.
Boredom. You’ve been together awhile. You know what he’s going to say before he opens his mouth. You’ve heard all his stories and laughed at all his jokes. And sex has become mechanical and predictable.
What to try first: You may not exactly recreate that brand new in-love feeling, but you can try new things with your partner. When you have novel experiences together—even just going to a new restaurant—the dopamine response in your brains will be stimulated. So get creative in the bedroom and in your life.
Need to Feel Appreciated. The cute guy at work thinks you’re pretty cool, so why doesn’t your spouse? Between the office and home and kids and everything you do to keep the household humming, you’re exhausted and feeling a little used. You just need to know you’re worthy of being loved. But your partner’s attention is focused on everything but you.
What to try first: You don’t need to suffer in silence. You’re an adult, and you can ask for what you need. That doesn’t mean yell at him or nag him or whine or complain. Just come straight out and say you’re feeling neglected and you’d like some recognition for all you do. And remember, it’s a two-way street. Maybe you could start by giving your partner a little more attention, too.
Desire. There’s that woman at work that is so attractive, funny in the break room, smart at a meeting. And she’s gone out of her way to find reasons to interact with you. She’s even flirted a little. And those butterflies that you thought were long gone with your spouse have suddenly appeared when your colleague is around.
What to try first: Go ahead. Flirt back. Enjoy the butterflies. But remember, even with your new relationship the butterflies will fly away again eventually. If you value your marriage, you’ll think about all you could lose if you have an affair. Like your partner’s trust. Which is very hard to earn back once it’s violated.
Lopsided needs for sex. You and your spouse have different libidos and you’ve been rejected one too many times. That can make you feel hurt and still wanting sex. It seems only fair to seek it elsewhere since your partner never feels like making love.
What to try first: Have a conversation. Make sure that there’s not a physical problem that needs fixing. For example, if she doesn’t want to have sex because it’s painful, see a doctor. But if you just have different needs for sex, then try compromising. She might have a little more and you might have a little less, but you’ll keep your marriage in tact.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: https://www.nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact