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The WHY of an Affair. 
The 7 Types of Betrayal.

The WHY of an Affair. The 7 Types of Betrayal. Written by Vicki Childs. Relationship Therapist.

The WHY of an Affair. 7 Types of Betrayal Explained.

All Affairs have a significant impact on relationships, whether the Affair was intentional or an 'Accidental Affair' bears little relevance.

The shock, embarrassment, and disbelief all feel like you've been stabbed through the heart with a red hot poker.

For some people, they may have had a feeling or an inkling that something wasn't quite right in the relationship, for others the reality of an affair comes as a complete shock, seemingly out of the blue.

Along with the harsh reality that a person you love has betrayed you, there's always the ever-present WHY? Why do people have affairs?

You may be surprised to know that there are 7 different yet identifiable types of affairs.

These are:

The Accidental Affair
Also known as the One Night Stand. This type of Affair is not a pre-planned event. On most occasions, this Affair takes place by chance and circumstance. In fact, most people who fall into an Accidental Affair are those who have been in long term relationships or reasonably happy relationships.

The Accidental Affair is most likely to take place on Business Trips, Wild Night Outs, Drug Fuelled Events or out of curiosity.

Most people who have an Accidental Affair are plagued by guilt and remorse after the event and cannot understand how or why it happened.

There is usually no emotional attachment, with this type of Affair fulfilling a physical need.

The Avoidance Affair
The Avoidance Affair is an affair which results from Couples never being truly honest with another.

The very thought of opening up, being vulnerable or even allowing conflict into a relationship is avoided at all costs.

As a result of emotional avoidance with one another, often the 'Betrayer' will seek outside acceptance from a non-judgemental partner.

The Avoidance Affair happens when REAL intimacy is lacking in a marriage.

The Philanderer Affair
Also known as The Player Affair. These types of Affairs are all about conquests and are always ego driven.

Both males and females can be Philanderers. The Philanderer affair is often serial in nature; the Philanderer will seek out confirmation of their power and right to enjoy an 'occasional' interlude outside of marriage.

In this type of Affair, the 'betrayer' will show no guilt or remorse, and may, in fact, resent being called out on their behaviour genuinely believing they are entitled to have affairs whenever they see fit. The Philanderer Affair is a form of addictive behaviour, often stemming from a Narcissistic personality.

The Entitlement Affair
Also known as The Revenge or Infatuation Affair. This type of Affair is all about Entitlement.

The Betrayer believing that they are entitled to an extra-curricular activity.

Often this type of Affair is resultant of a sexless marriage, where one partner doesn't like or need sex.

It can also be the product of a permanent love triangle, where a person doesn't want to be married, yet doesn't want to be divorced, therefore, feeling entitled to intimacy with a third party.

An entitlement affair can also be similar to a 'hall pass' situation, where an individual misguidedly believes they can have an affair as the new partner is someone they look up to or have held in admiration for many years.

The Split Self Affair
This type of Affair has 3 known relatives, those being;

Midlife Crisis Affair

Coming Out Affair

Romantic Affair

All 3 form part of the Split Self type of Affair.

Here we see individuals exhibiting behaviours which are generally not on display. Some of these behaviours may have been hidden or repressed for many years.

These types of Affairs are arguably the most shocking of all.

Who hasn't had a friend cry on their shoulder while recounting how their partner of 30 years decided to 'get a new model?'. Or, who hasn't heard the latest gossip about a 'straight' man of 40 years suddenly taking up with a same-sex partner?

These types of affairs are all about EMOTIONAL connection, where there has been a lack of connection or intimacy in often long term relationships.

There is usually a very defining turning point when these affairs commence. Affairs of the Split Self occur when a person has been denied their needs or desires in some way in their existing relationship.

Often these affairs are about the need for AFFECTION and ATTENTION.

Sometimes the 'betrayer' is surprised and confused to find themselves 'in love' again or addicted to feeling that 'new love' sensation, which is highly addictive and intoxicating.

This type of Affair has the lowest rate of therapy success in the known affair types.

The Sex Addict Affair
This type of Affair is actually a very complex type of Affair as it has little to do with the quality of the relationship and much more to do with personal Addiction.

Individuals with a Sex Addiction will express dismay and remorse at their actions, yet feel entirely unable to stop the unwanted behaviour. Such is the nature of Addiction.

In many cases, the physical act of sex produces a chemical high, similar to that of alcohol and drugs, but even more powerful, the Sex Addict, like other Addicts, chases that high, regardless of consequences.

Sexual Addiction is a very serious problem which is cloaked in fear and shame, without appropriate intervention, this behaviour may escalate to unthinkable proportions and have dire consequences for all involved.

The Exit Affair
Also known as the 'I'm out of here' Affair. This type of Affair is normally the catalyst for moving on.

In most cases the 'betrayer' has been checked out of the relationship for many years, merely going through the motions, until the children are themselves married, or have completed their education.

In some cases, it may accompany a midlife crisis or even a coming out affair. The Exit Affair is one where a person may have been thinking, planning or dreaming about leaving the existing relationship for many years.

Exit Affairs can often be opportunistic in nature, it is quite likely an opportunity to connect with another is present and may have been for many years, the chance of infidelity becomes much more realistic, and with that, an Exit Affair commences.

This type of Affair is generally one which has been role played in the mind of the 'Betrayer' for years on end and finally becomes a reality. As devastating as Affairs can be, there are always two ways of looking at things.

An Affair can signal the immediate death knell of a relationship, or it can present an opportunity to understand that perhaps the existing relationship was not enriching or exciting, meaning while there is work to be done, improvement and enhancement may be possible.

If you have experienced Infidelity or would like help processing the ramifications of an Affair, please book an appointment with us today. 

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