6. The same coping styles are still in place.
At some basic level, having an affair is about cutting and running. Yes, some folks feel the affair is only arising because they have exhausted their efforts to improve their partner relationship and it hasn’t worked; they’ve given up, and in some ways mentally moved on.
But for many others, it is the opposite – they have been unhappy but haven’t truly worked on the partner relationship and problems, and their overall coping style, especially in potentially conflictual situations, is to avoid.
These coping styles don’t change in the affair. When the going gets tough in the affair, they cut and run again, suddenly ending it or moving on to another someone new and so the cycle continues.
Lessons to learn
All this said (and morality aside for a moment) the ending of affairs can leave behind some useful lessons that the individuals can choose to carry forward into their view of themselves and their partnered relationship. For some, it is the ability to see themselves in a new light, one that is less downtrodden, more attractive, and capable than they saw themselves before. This can be affirming, increase their self-esteem, embolden them to not continue to take what they get, but instead be more assertive and decisive.
For those who were sitting on the fence about divorce, the affair offered a training-wheel relationship that gave them the confidence that they could survive post-divorce, gave them the courage to do what they, in their hearts, have wanted to do for a long time.
Finally, while affairs can be seen as bad solutions to other problems, embedded within them was often the opportunity to understand more clearly what one needed and wasn’t getting, what was missing most in the partnered relationship. This information is invaluable and can be folded back into the partnered relationship, into future relationships, making them all the stronger.
Affairs might seem very exciting, and adventurous in the beginning, but with time most of them tend to fall apart, bit by bit. Once the sense of excitement leaves the relationship, the same problems crop up after a point, which then slowly leads to the disintegration of the relationship. And before you know it, you don’t want to be involved with each other anymore.
If you want to know more about why affairs eventually fall apart, then check this video out below: