Affairs – Who Is At Fault?

January 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Posted in gender/sexuality, love/relationship/marriage | Leave a comment
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Affairs are never pretty experiences, when they have to be dealt with in the primary relationship. So who is responsible? Who is at fault?

When Is It An Affair?

An affair, by definition, is a dishonest relationship with someone other than the partner you are in primary relationship with. This relationship usually involves strong feelings, affection, sexual desire, lust or love. It is dishonest because it is usually kept a secret, involves lying or deliberately leaving out details about your whereabouts.

Different people will have various definitions of what an affair is, often to justify their actions. If there is something involving a person of the opposite sex (or the gender you are sexually attracted to) that you don’t want your partner to know, then it is very likely to be part of an affair as it does not adhere to your spoken or unspoken couples agreement.

Emotional or physical

Affairs don’t necessarily have to include sex. There is intimacy between two people long before two bodies even touch. You can enter into a cyber or phone affair without even knowing or seeing the person. ‘We didn’t sleep with each other’ is therefore no excuse if you have had strong feelings, flirtations or other connections that involved dishonesty towards your primary partner.

Couples agreement

Basically it comes down to what you have agreed with your primary partner. If you haven’t made it perfectly open and clear yet, it might be time to discuss what’s the bottom line for both of you. There are no set rules to follow, so each couple makes up their own agreement, which both parties need to be happy with. If sex with other people is ok, you need to both agree to it, before entering into a secondary physical relationship.

Renegotiation is needed at regular intervals. It is absolutely normal that your preferences transform over time. If one partner feels that their bottom line has changed, they need to bring this up for renegotiation.

Who is at fault?

For an affair to be instigated there will be a cause in the primary relationship in most cases. I haven’t yet seen a perfect couple anyway but with couples who are dealing with the aftermath of an affair you can track back to the disintegration of intimacy, connection, commitment, love, understanding or a common dream within the last six to twelve month prior.

Even though the partner who took action on entering into an affair is responsible for it, both parties have contributed to the fact that it came to this point. It is therefore vital in working through this that both accept this fact and work towards resolution.

What do you think? Do you agree? Please leave a comment!

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