People have a misguided idea that when people commit adultery, they “affair up.” Think of the many movies we’ve seen where the good-looking, well-to-do man sees the woman of his dreams across a crowded room, and against all odds they overcome obstacles like being married because they were “meant to be.” Think of the romance novels where the wife is a frigid nag, and the poor husband has to endure her abuse until one day he meets the young, beautiful, charming, sympathetic heroine of the story. Or the songs about leaving to be with their “destiny”! It’s no wonder people get the wrong message.
But, if affairs really were about looks and money, it seems logical that the most beautiful women would have the absolutely most loyal husbands. See these women? They are as close to our definition of beauty here in the USA as anyone possibly achieve, and each one of these stunningly beautiful women had their husband not only cheat on them, but leave them cold!
See these men? They are good looking, rich and powerful, and each one of them had their wives leave them cold too (or did you forget about Ben and J’lo?).
Affairs are not about “looks” “money” “sex” or “affairing up.” The Other Person is not sexier, doesn’t look better, isn’t richer, and isn’t a better lover…usually. That’s because affairs are not about improving as a person or about love! Affairs can not be “love stories” because love literally means committing to one person and thereafter treating that person in a kind, caring way. It’s an action, not a feeling.
In real life people usually have affairs with someone a little under them, because it makes them feel better about themselves. Men have affairs with the secretary; women with the co-worker at work. It’s not at all unusual for the Affair Partner to have had an affair before or to have a police record, and yet people overlook the facts in order to continue their fantasy. And that’s because affairs are about unmet needs. Men fall for the secretary because she listens to him like he’s interesting, she acts like she desires him, and she wants to spend time with him–she acts like she understands what he’s going through. And women fall for the man at work because she respects him, he pursues her, he acts like he wants her and like he thinks she is smart, funny, and interesting–he acts like he understands what she’s going through.
Are affairs about sex? 99 times out of 100 the answer is “No.”