Author Topic: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?  (Read 22650 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Hidden

  • Champion Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2007
  • Posts: 596
  • Gender: Female
  • Wearing my ruby slippers!
Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« on: August 26, 2008, 08:17:41 PM »
http://aboutaffairs.com/?p=22

17 Feb
Can Relationships That Start as Affairs Succeed?

I came across an interesting statistic recently; 25% of relationships that start as affairs succeed. Actually, I was surprised, if I had to guess, I would have thought the figure to be much lower. But a statistic is just that, and doesn?t tell you anything about your own individual situation.

Feeling torn between two lovers can be an agonizing experience. Besides the guilt, and fear of discovery, you also know that sooner or later you will have to lose someone you love or have loved. Thinking about this, you may wonder what the chances are that a relationship that starts as an affair will succeed.

Pitfalls of Affair Relationships

Relationships that start as affairs have many strikes against them.

First of all, affairs are like rebound relationships. Frequently they are arise out of an urgent emotional need, a need so urgent that a thoughtful process of getting to know someone and assessing what kind of partnership the two of you would have is not part of the bonding process. Rebound and affair relationships frequently have rescue fantasies attached to them, these fantasies can be overpowering and cloud your vision.

Relationships that start as affairs are frequently started in order to escape difficult interpersonal dynamics in the primary relationship. If there is no attempt to work these out, but instead find an escape with someone else without gaining any real insight into what your part in the problem is, this is a setup for another failed relationship as we tend to repeat patterns over and over until we come to understand ourselves and stop blaming the other person for all of the problems.

Trust is the foundation of successful relationships. Another reason why many affair relationships fail is that it is difficult to deeply trust someone who has started the relationship by being unfaithful and deceitful with someone else. You can?t help but understand that their solution to a difficult interpersonal situation was betrayal. In the initial blissful stage, it might be unimaginable that they could do the same thing to you, or that you could do the same thing to them, but once you hit the stresses of real everyday life, things can feel different and much less secure. Imagine you or your partner has to go on a lot of out of town business trips some years into the relationship during a time when you are struggling with conflict. What do you imagine you and your partner feeling?

There is also the issue of not having the support of family and friends. Having long-term successful relationships are difficult enough without trying to do them in a vacuum. Acceptance is usually won over eventually, but it can take a long time. Your new partner may truly be a wonderful person but many friends and family that are close to you are going to be so prejudiced that it will be hard to give the new person a chance. You face going from the bliss of secrecy into a tailspin of conflict with many people at once. Of course, you face this once the affair is disclosed, no matter who you end up with, but it is less awful if you are attempting to repair the damage with your primary partner. This is not to say that you should make your decisions based on what others would think or feel. But it is important to honestly assess your affair and think about whether this relationship could stand this kind of stress. Can the two of you exist in a relatively socially isolated situation for some time?

Losing a long-term partner, even if things feel bad, is still a loss and needs to be grieved. New lovers vary on how willing and able they are to cope with your grief over losing your partner. You may stuff these feelings in order to maintain the new relationship, only to discover down the line that you have many unresolved feelings about your partner that are interfering in your new relationship.

The question of whether the new relationship will succeed relates to what function it is playing in your relationship with your partner. If you have the kind of primary relationship where you initially experienced a significant amount of time where you were mutually in love and satisfied with the relationship and then grew apart because of life stresses or conflict and you entered the affair to experience being in love again, this does not bode well for the long term success of the affair relationship. That is because almost all relationships follow a predictable course of developmental stages, all at some point going through a period of disillusionment which, if you can get through, lets you out into the side of a mature, dependable and sustaining love based on reality rather than romantic idealization. If you deal with the disillusionment by betraying the commitment you have made, then you may not have the tools to navigate this stage which is waiting for you down the road in your new relationship.

Affair Relationships That Have a Better Chance of Success

If, however, your primary relationship/marriage was somehow ?wrong? from the beginning; if one or both of you weren?t in love, if it was a marriage of convenience, or if it has been mostly miserable or abusive, if it was simply to escape loneliness or have children, that is a different story, and could truly be about having not been equipped at that time in your life to make an appropriate choice for a life partner. Admitting the reality of these situation is painful because you can still feel very attached (as distinct from connected) to this person and the idea of leaving can fill you with dread of the loss of security this relationship has provided.

In my experience, these relationships are very hard to repair. Meeting someone when you are more mature, know yourself better and have learned how to have relatively healthy relationships (maybe you have been in therapy by now) certainly can bode well for a promising future together. Meeting someone who you are genuinely attracted to and at the same time respect, who you know genuinely cares for you, with whom you share values and at least a few interests, and with whom you can work through conflicts can be a catalyst for not only a great and lasting new relationship with a new person, but with yourself as well.

For example, if, prior to entering your primary relationship, you had the unconscious belief that you were unlovable, or didn?t deserve to be loved, you may have ended up with someone who couldn?t really give you love. If you have changed, but your partner has not, and you now believe you deserve to be loved, (and are truly willing to give love in return) you will be attracted to the kind of person who would be capable of this kind of reciprocity. The whole foundation for your relationship would be quite different than what you have experienced before.

What Next?

With all of this said, I believe that in most cases the most promising path is to separate the question of whether you want to end things with your current partner from whether you want to have a relationship with this new person. If the aloneness that this entails feels too intolerable to you, talking to a professional might be very helpful. Admittedly, it is truly the road less traveled but most often has the richest rewards.


Omnia vincit amor: et nos cedamus Amori
Hope, and the ability to envision a future different from your present, are critical to being happy even if your life isn't "perfect." :wub:

Offline Hidden

  • Great things are going to happen to me now. One door closes a better one opens
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Join Date: Aug 2008
  • Posts: 1,124
  • Gender: Female
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2008, 09:07:02 PM »
Wow, this makes so much sense, and I believe is very true.  I am torn because all though I love my x(m)m, I'm not sure that we would have been able to make it, especially with all the things you mentioned.

I still miss him very much and wish he were mine but in all reality maybe I was being selfish in trying to take him away from someone who he had/has a wonderful future with in comparison to me.

Still, though that doesn't change the hurt from the way he ended things.
"It's not about what you lacked, It's about him and his issues."...q from Critter

"The best thing he can do for you is to stay away".

Offline Hidden

  • Champion Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2007
  • Posts: 596
  • Gender: Female
  • Wearing my ruby slippers!
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2008, 09:48:59 PM »
I found that article, and a few other interesting ones on a blog written by a psychotherapist.
Omnia vincit amor: et nos cedamus Amori
Hope, and the ability to envision a future different from your present, are critical to being happy even if your life isn't "perfect." :wub:

Offline Hidden

  • Junior Member
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2009
  • Posts: 60
  • Gender: Female
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2009, 07:38:01 AM »
this was definitely helpful
OnlyTheBest

Offline Hidden

  • Champion Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jun 2009
  • Posts: 539
  • Gender: Female
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2009, 07:50:09 AM »
Thanks for digging this up MrsJay...what a terrific article. Sadly, I still think that The Captain and I would have weathered the storm just fine (I'd be doing all the paddling though), but I also know that I can't change a person, so all I can do is accept the choice he made.

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed~Alexander Pope
xMM=The Captain/TC     W=Tenille
TC's BFF's OW=Twiggy

Offline Hidden

  • Champion Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Sep 2007
  • Posts: 593
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2009, 10:09:51 AM »
BINGO!!

Almost a script of my A w/my former Xmm.  (Now my H.)  We were one of the few lucky ones, but was a very long long road.  Not until he went thru some intense IC & MC were we able to really get through some things.

Quote
Relationships that start as affairs are frequently started in order to escape difficult interpersonal dynamics in the primary relationship. If there is no attempt to work these out, but instead find an escape with someone else without gaining any real insight into what your part in the problem is, this is a setup for another failed relationship as we tend to repeat patterns over and over until we come to understand ourselves and stop blaming the other person for all of the problems.

Sadly-  When paddling alone, you can eventually end up doing a full circle.

Real good food for thought.

nygirl

  • Guest
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2009, 11:22:32 AM »
great article...food for thought.

I cannot stay in my M any longer, his prior infidelities and mine have damaged the respect and trust to no avail. we separated last year and got back together in the spring 2009. once again, the trust and disrespect issues we've had have emerged.

this coincides with the reconnecting of an old boyfriend from before i got married...my story is too long to post here. but this article really makes me separate the 2  questions. leave or stay in my M? Is my MM the one for me?

Offline Hidden

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Nov 2008
  • Posts: 241
  • Gender: Female
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2009, 12:56:07 PM »
I'm really glad I didn't find this site or any others before my AP and I divorced our spouses and moved in together.  I was nervous, but blissfully unaware of the statistics and the "conventional wisdom" that a relationship that began as an affair would not succeed.

We've been together for over five years and its working.  We both did individual therapy in the year before we moved in together, while we were ending our marriages, so maybe that helped.  We have never had a problem with trust and I find the whole notion of once a cheater always a cheater to be nonsense.  I think it's the sour grapes of the former spouse, who says he's going to cheat on her, just like he did to me.  Everyone nods and agrees.  We've each traveled out of town alone during this time, and neither of us has quaked in fear that one of us would be unfaithful. 

Don't believe the statistics and the doomsayers.  Trust your heart.

Offline Hidden

  • Banned
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Nov 2009
  • Posts: 108
  • Gender: Female
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2009, 01:19:20 PM »
I'm with you runnergirl.  I think information can be helpful at times, but you do have to live from your own truth.  Thanks for sharing your story and thoughts.  It is always good to hear the other side.  My thought too is that I'm sure many couples that did start as an affair may have not had a dday, so no one may know they started as an affair and they stay off the radar as far as statistics go. 

Offline Hidden

  • Champion Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Feb 2009
  • Posts: 462
  • Gender: Female
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2009, 02:06:09 PM »
I've always wondered about that statistic.  Mostly because the idea of the 'other woman' and the whole notion of an affair is still so frowned upon that most people would never openly admit to it. 

Frankly, the game plan for OG and I (Before my world crumbled that is) was to start dating openly a few months after he asked for a divorce and to make it look as if we'd just started.  This was to protect his children, and mine. 

I think that this might be a fairly common scenario, though I could very well be wrong. 
He said 'I'll love you forever', she smiled and said 'just warn me when forever's about to end'.

'Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where you backbone ought to be.' - Clementine Paddleford

OG = MM...er...xMM?
DH = StbxH

Offline Hidden

  • Superhero Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2008
  • Posts: 2,886
  • Gender: Female
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2009, 02:46:27 PM »
I have a colleague whose dad was a serial cheater, but eventually left his mom & married the last OW.  They are still together.  I don't know if he still cheats.

"The more people I meet the more I like my dog." - Unknown
My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am.  ~Author Unknown

evil spawn=young adult child

Cleo

  • Guest
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2009, 03:05:14 AM »
I don't think the statistics are bullshit to be honest.

Yes, there are LOTS of couples who started their relationship while one or the other was still married to someone else. I know plenty. But of I look at the overall picture, and then do some calculating, I don't think the 3 - 5 % thing is far off. If at all.

Frankly all you have to do is look at the member base here and count the one who got the "OW-Happy-End" and stayed happy. There are some, sure.

But the vast majority look at a totally different scenario, and the really heartbreaking ones are the ones where the man left the marriage or primary relationship just to go back, and the ones where he left and the relationship with the OW broke up .

The fact of the matter is that few leave, of the ones that DO leave many go back home, and of the ones left not all work out as a relationship.

Sorry, I don't want to paint a bleak picture here but one has to try and be realistic.

No-one is stopping each and every one from believing to be the one who beats the odds. People buy lottery tickets in the hope of beatig MUCH worse odds, after all. As far as gambling is concerned 3% or 5% or whatever isn't THAT bad....

Offline Hidden

  • Banned
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Join Date: Nov 2009
  • Posts: 108
  • Gender: Female
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2009, 11:47:25 AM »
elo... I think you are very right.  If your A works and you end up with them, you are not seeking out support, and you definitely are not telling people about it! 

I went to another board before this one and sometimes wonder if it really affected the turn out of things because immediately I had thoughts of doom and gloom.  There was not near the level of support that this board offers.  Maybe I just want a reason for it not working out, right? :) 

Either way, I think in general, people are for marriage and keeping it together at all costs and I think where there is an agenda, there is always information to support it.  I'm not even saying that that is wrong (keeping marriage together), but I guess, I'm more of the persuasion that people should be with their true love and if they make a mistake, they shouldn't pay for it for their whole life.  I think happy individuals make happy families (even if blended family) communities and ultimately it impacts our society as a whole.  I'm sure I'm just out there with my line of thought, but that is what I feel and I feel there is no greatness in living a lie, which it seems like many do because of kids, money, image, etc.  I guess I'm not pro marriage or pro divorce.. just pro being true to your heart.  Just a dreamer!!!

Cleo

  • Guest
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2009, 12:14:30 PM »
Cleo, I think this forum isn't quite representative, just on the theory that if it works out (like for my sister), you don't need a support group.

I didn't "need" a support group to survive being in an affair, I just wanted a place to talk about something that can't really be talked about as openly amongst friends and families.

Honestly, I have spent a hell of a lot of time and effort researching, and reading other people's research, and I honestly don't think the statistics are far off overall.

Having said that I know for certain that it can work out because it has worked out for me before (and then he died which put a spanner in the works...)

And I do know several couples who started as affairs, and some are blissfully happy. I know some more who started as affairs and are horribly unhappy, and some who started as affairs and it didn't work out. Remember the 3-5 % are not the ones where the mm leaves his wife and gets together with the OW - they're the ones where he left, got together with the OW - *AND* they are still together a couple of years down the line. Leaving wife is only the first step

Offline Hidden

  • Champion Member
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2009
  • Posts: 566
  • Gender: Female
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2010, 12:07:05 AM »
I beg to disagree, I have been married for well over twenty years, very happy loving years. So has my MM.
 Neither of us had cheated before, we have just fell out of love with our current spouses. If we did get together , I am sure I would never cheat on him, and I would manage to trust him. If we lasted as long the second M, then that should take us both up to graveside age.
You could all meet a SG and he cheats on you, nothing is guaranteed for life, just make the best of the R that you have at the present time, make everyday count. Enjoy today and let  the tomorrows take care of themselves.
H = James
MM = Joe

Offline Hidden

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Sep 2009
  • Posts: 438
  • Gender: Female
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2010, 08:33:02 AM »
Totally agree, nothing is guaranteed in relationships.

Maybe I've just particuarly unlucky but my xH cheated on me throughout our M but is very happy with his new wife (who was the OW btw).
A few years later I met a SG, we got engaged but he cried off - he is now happily married though.
A couple of years after that I met another SG - recently divorced; he dumped me for his xW!
I'm now 3 years into an A with a MM... who knows how that'll end - fingers crossed it'll be happily ;o)
M & A - my boys/kids          P - xMM          I - young single guy          B - x-Hubby         BW - Ex-H's Wife/his ex-OW
Teaches - good male friend        Dances - good female friend

Offline Hidden

  • Guardian Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jan 2010
  • Posts: 6,432
  • Gender: Female
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2010, 09:13:22 AM »
This is a very interesting article. Dodger seems to fall into the last category as he married Amber because he felt sorry for her. Now, he is older and wiser and knows what he wants in a relationship.

As do I.

Does that mean we have a better chance at success? I hope so.....
MM - Dodger
W - Amber
Their son - Squirt

DS - Spirit
DD1 - Fire
DD2 - Sweet

My BFF - Breeze

"Walking away from u isn't on my list of options..." from My Dodger
"If you can't find a way to be happy where you are.. You will never be happy with where you are going".. Roxii.
The love of a lifetime is worth at least a million tries.. Chris Young (Goodbye)

Offline Hidden

  • I have ME back, and I love HER!!
  • Legendary Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jan 2009
  • Posts: 4,733
  • Gender: Female
  • Anything is possible...
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2010, 12:02:27 AM »
Excellent article!  My 2c worth - all R's are a gamble. It just seems that with an EMA, the odds are stacked in a certain direction.
"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have."
 
Frederick Keonig
 

HM = Hollow Man = xMM

Offline Hidden

  • Banned
  • Junior Member
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2009
  • Posts: 70
  • Gender: Female
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2010, 02:00:02 AM »
this is frustrating!  I have tried to find solid articles/studies to give some stats but finding it difficult.  What I have found does not give adequate references to research.  Found one that stated
Quote
Fewer than 10 percent of people having affairs divorce their spouse and marry their lover. 75% of these marriages end in divorce. ...
http://articles.maxabout.com/marriage-divorce/the-anatomy-of-extra-marital-affairs-part-ii/article-6411
Where do these numbers come from? Despite this, don't feel that these are really bad odds. 

Cleo

  • Guest
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2010, 03:39:14 AM »
Well, it depends on what you consider "not too bad odds" - compared to winning the lottery the odds are very good....

But most of these relationships do not work out long term. The statistics quoted (about 3 in 100 making it long term) do actually tie in with what we see here on the boards, and what my own research has shown.

Another reason to make it all about "what is" and not about "what could be one day"

It is what it is, essentially.

Offline Hidden

  • Banned
  • Junior Member
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2009
  • Posts: 70
  • Gender: Female
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2010, 01:45:00 PM »
where is this 3 in 100?  I was unable to find this anywhere.  Are you able to provide a reference for this?
[mergedate]Posted August 03, 2010, 01:46:38 PM[/mergedate]
the odds I was referring to was the 10% and the 75%.

Cleo

  • Guest
Re: Can Relationships That Start As Affairs Succeed?
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2010, 02:03:42 PM »
where is this 3 in 100?  I was unable to find this anywhere.  Are you able to provide a reference for this?
[mergedate]Posted [time]Tue Aug  3 09:46:38 2010[/time][/mergedate]
the odds I was referring to was the 10% and the 75%.

Well, if only 10 % leave and marry the OW and 75% of those marriages end in divorce that actually gives an overall statistical probability of 2.5% in favour of working out ( If 10% of 100 leave wife and marry other woman that's 10, and 75% of those divorce makes 7.5  (of the original 10 that left wife ) divorcing, and only 2.5 % of those starting out making it long term......)

The 3% thing is the commonly quoted percentage of mm leaving wife and the relationship between him and the OW surviving for a couple of years after he divorces.

I believe it to be about right. It would tie in with every set of statistics I've seen, and with my research (years of it, extensive)  and with what we have seen here on the forum over the years.