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Extra-Marital Affairs

Dr. Tom McGuiness, a counseling psychologist in New Jersey, gives this explanation of why many affairs take place:

“Married people seek out or succumb to affairs when they feel devalued or less than fully alive. They are bored. Overburdened. People who have affairs have a child’s deep longing to be touched, caressed, held, hugged and kissed, whether they admit it or not. They want happy surprises. That might mean a sentimental unexpected gift every once in a while. More important, it is the dependable gift of time and caring. The present of shared ideas, experiences, stories, nonsense and games, including sexual games. They want the world to butt out. They want a loving friend, a pal who isn’t judgmental. They want someone to convince them they’re still loved, lovable and very special. For a little while, now and then, they want out from under the grown-up responsibilities that have become predictable, dreary and difficult.”

If these are the reasons extra-marital affairs occur, couldn’t we guard against them by seeking to meet our mates’ deepest needs for affection, security, friendship, and sexual fulfillment? Maybe the best prevention for an affair outside marriage is to plan one with the man or woman we’re married to!

From Bad Beginnings to Happy Endings, by Ed Young (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers., 1994), pp. 122-123.