So why do people go for someone who is already ‘taken’ when there are so many single people available?
Well, I’m going to explain some of the most obvious reasons, but basically the motivation for anyone’s behaviour is their value set (the hierarchy of what they love to get from life and do in life). So the ‘unfaithful’ person will get involved because it appears that the new person matches their values more than the old one, and the ‘other person’ will get involved because it basically works for them. If you would like to know more about working out your own value set, or that of the people around you, I give a free introductory ebook and audio when people join my email list for my newsletter.
The problem is that society puts such a lot of charge onto affairs, that people look for HUGE reasons why they happen, and often there is no obvious answer or problem to explain it, so it can be confusing (see my other blogs). Also, people are so sure that it is ‘bad’ to be the ‘other woman/man’, that they don’t look deeply into how come often very ‘nice’ people can get themselves into a difficult situation. Mind you, there are also the less ‘nice’ reasons for it too ;o)
Infatuation: What Is It?
The reason why ‘nice’ people get all twiddled up in an affair is purely because they become so infatuated that they are totally controlled by their passion. Ironically, I could ‘cure’ them of this within a few hours given a chance, because all I need to do is take off their rose tinted glasses (and I have the cruel tools to be able to do so!). They will only see the fabulous things about this new person in their life, and will completely ignore the things that the partner sees; like snoring, farting, looking rubbish in the morning, being grumpy, being lazy, or being high maintenance (the list is endless, because we all have less attractive sides to us!). Then they will be totally convinced that this person is bringing something to their life that they have either never experienced elsewhere or could never experience elsewhere. So it is just a matter of showing them that they already have everything that they think they are missing, they are just not appreciating where it is. I bet the partner would love to be sexy too, given the chance, or spend loads of time at the gym and become gorgeous. Given a bit of caring attention, the current partner would probably be up for being less grumpy and more fun to live with as well (or whatever the complaint is about something being missing)! Plus, there is always a hidden cost to the infatuation. For some it is the loss of pension or half their savings. For others it would be the loss of regular contact with their children, or losing friends or the disappointment of relatives. It’s always there!
With Tiger Woods in the media at the moment, the subject of ‘addiction’ also comes up. Now this is a more complicated subject that I will blog about at another point. But it’s like the most extreme infatuation that you can imagine to either the romance of new relationships, or the lust of sexual desire. It is totally fixable, but it would take more than a couple of hours, and would be more in depth than what I described for the general infatuation cycle.
There are a few people (either the partner or the other person), who just generally believe that they will get away with anything, can charm anyone, and either won’t get caught or will always be able to get out of a situation or problem. It’s a type of narcicism/big ego syndrome, which many famous people probably suffer from (aka a few footballers), plus a few of those people often termed ‘lovable rogues’ or ‘charming’. If this is the problem that the unfaithful partner faces, then without help, they are unlikely to change their behaviour, and they are unlikely to ask for help, because they don’t see what is wrong with what they are doing. Unfortunately, they need to learn from their mistakes by paying a big price, i.e. seeing one of their values hit big time.
The people who therefore have affairs with these types, are probably either easily led or easily charmed. When in a good mood, a narcisist will make you feel a hundred dollars. Just remember, that if they can do that, they can also do the opposite and make you feel like you are bankrupt!
They Have Already Proved They Can Commit
If the ‘other woman or man’ would like to be in a relationship, they can be pretty sure that it is also in the values of the person that they have the affair with, as they have already proved their ability to be in a relationship! (The logic of wanting a relationship with someone who has the ability to be unfaithful as well, doesn’t tend to figure!). Society gets very shocked when a woman gets involved with a married man with children. However, he has already proved that he would like to commit, and procreate, so he is a good bet, especially if it is possible he could afford the maintenance and a new wife! These people will be able to ‘sniff’ out someone who likes being in a relationship, but is currently dissatisfied with their partner, and offer themselves as a much more attractive option.
I’ve noticed similar behaviour in my coaching/therapy business! I often assist my mentor at large events that have a couple of hundred people attending, including my own clients. What is interesting is that sometimes I have noticed my compatriots shamelessly targeting my clients, rather than ‘fresh blood’. It might seem unprofessional, however, you can see the logic to it, because they have already proved that they are willing to spend money to change their lives, so they are a good bet!
The previous option of finding someone who has already shown they can commit, can become a conscious and very ambitious, purposeful strategy. These people are competitive, will have a strategy, and will make it very difficult for the committed person to resist them. They don’t just target footballers and golfers either! Basically, they will target anyone who could give them the lifestyle they are after, plus still afford to pay off the first partner. In a previous post I suggested that sometimes we need to watch over our partners and almost ‘protect’ them from impossible temptations. Lets put it another way; If it is possible that you could be competing with people like this, then make sure you are not holding yourself back, because they will make sure that your partner knows they will do anything to get them, so are you showing that you are willing to do anything to keep them? (I’m not suggesting you do anything that would belittle yourself, or that you don’t want to do. But there is always a compromise, you just need to really know them well and what their values are, so that you can tick enough boxes!).
I know that you will think that this is outrageous behaviour on their part, but think about it this way; Hundreds of years ago, these people would have made fabulous adventurers, providers, hunters and protectors. I suppose that they are frustrated predators.
Not Looking For Something Serious
Then of course there are people whose values mean that they would currently prefer to not be in a relationship that is heavy or heading towards marriage. If someone is already in a relationship, then they make the perfect option. It’s all about fun, and none of the boring suburban stuff. They are obviously very attractive to the person in the relationship, because they appear to be offering ‘no strings’, and appear strong because they are not ‘needy’! These people are unlikely to want to get found out or caught, unless they also have a high value on danger. Sometimes, it might be because they are just trying on the concept of a long term relationship for size, so this is their half-way house enroute to finding their own partner.
Sometimes the unfaithful partner gets attracted into relationships like this because they can’t manage to see their partner as both a sexual being and a long term partner. There are some cultures around the world, where it is deemed perfectly reasonable for a husband to have a wife and a mistress, as long as they behave respectfully. It would be possible in this situation to help both parties to get over any ‘issues’ they have and combine the roles together.
A Word of Warning/Comfort
If your relationship fell apart due to an affair, be assured that ‘what comes around, goes around’, which is how come so few relationships survive when they start off with unfaithfulness. Even if it doesn’t hit their relationship, it will hit them somewhere important in their lives.
If you were party to splitting up a relationship, then you might want to consider getting some assistance to work through the guilt of it, and the fear of it happening to you. Because it is that guilt or fear that will attract the same situation back into your life. This is not due to a judgmental ‘karma’, it is just so that you get to understand what it feels like on both sides of the story.