RD&T Contributing writer, Robert Taibbi, discusses the reasons why affairs don’t last and eventually fall apart.
While we can think of cases where affairs have eventually turned into healthy marriages — Duke of Windsor who abdicated the British throne and Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous American architect, each who seemed to have finally found their soulmates — most of us mere mortals don’t fare so well. Look up the length of affairs on Google and apart from one-or-two-night stands, the consensus is that most run their course in six months to two years.
Affairs Don’t Last
Why? Here are some of the psychological underpinnings to affairs that sabotage their ability to become more than short or long exercises in acting out:
1. The ‘affairing’ couple is united around shared misery and excitement.
Just as Romeo and Juliet were in part pushed together by being united against their feuding families, the affairing couple is often brought together by their shared unhappiness in their partners. They think, “This new person understands how I feel (as compared to my partner who doesn’t).” And like Romeo and Juliet, the beginning of the relationship brings excitement — of getting to know and feeling appreciated by a new person, of sharing your story to an interested listener, the excitement of breaking out — of the boxed-in life — of breaking rules, the excitement of new flesh and sex.