The Argument Against the Affair
By Laura Snyder
Sure, you've thought about having a little fling outside your relationship. You're certainly not alone. Most recent statistics claim between 20 and 40 percent of married persons have actually had at least one extramarital affair.
Having an affair seems almost too easy - especially when almost half of all couples are apparently doing it. But before you hop into someone else's bed, think over these sobering reasons for resisting temptation.
- You've Got a Good Thing Going. "Contrary to popular belief, many men and women who have affairs are happily married," says Dr. Salvatore Cullari, professor emeritus of psychology at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pa. "Affairs often start off as innocent opposite sex friendships and then evolve into a sexual relationship over time."
- You Will Ruin Someone's Life. "Trust in the unfaithful partner is often lost forever and this mistrust tends to generalize to the entire world," says Cullari, adding that the betrayed partner often suffers symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder. "The most common description that couples use after an affair is 'devastating.'" Do you really need that kind of bad karma?
You'll Probably Be Looking at the Business End of a Divorce. "Discovered extramarital affairs are one of the most common reasons for seeking a divorce," he says. The consequences tend to be more serious when the woman has the cheating heart, but regardless of the specifics, infidelity is one of the most damaging events in a relationship.
- You'll Be Traumatized. Naturally, your partner will be upset by your infidelity, but it may be more traumatic for you than you think. "Suicides in either party are not uncommon, and the road to recovery is usually a long and difficult one," says Cullari.
- You Probably Will Get Caught. "Our technology has made the unearthing of an affair much more likely than in the past," he says. "Nowadays, many affairs are discovered through unerased e-mails, cell or long-distance phone bills, tapping the phone or hidden cameras." No matter how careful you are, there's always a chance you'll be busted.
Now, are you prepared to face the consequences?
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