But cultural attitudes have clearly shifted towards acceptance of affairs.
They're seen as a lifestyle choice; an option for men and women yearning for excitement or intimacy that's lacking or has dulled during a marriage.
Safe and discreet, a perfect solution for me." She decided it was a rational alternative to the disruption of divorce.
Of course, the public always enjoys being titillated with stories of the affairs of public figures, especially when hypocrisy is exposed.
Suddenly they were in the midst of an affair that neither wanted to end.
They thought they could keep it secret; that neither would make any demands on the other and it would be perfectly safe. Most "family" affairs are interwoven with family dysfunctions and buried resentments.
They found they had much in common, a similar outlook on life and spiritual compatibility as well.
Soon they realized that a very intimate and emotionally close bond had developed.
I find that people in this kind of affair find something in each other that's lacking in their "real" relationship, and they're not dealing with that.
Aside from the challenge of remaining on the chaste side of the sexual borderline, such "lovers" must hope that their primary partners continue to believe they're telling the truth.
Given that new reality, I put together what I've learned about the psychology of affairs, their meaning and their consequences for people in our current culture. We ended up in bed, as well as a lot of other places! The liberating and compelling feeling from this kind of affair, though, can mask hidden emotional conflicts.
Based on my work, I have found six types of affairs that people have today. It can feel really intense, but it's also the quickest to flame out. An example is a person who's able to feel sexually alive and free only in a secret relationship, hidden from the imagined hovering, inhibiting eye of one's parent, which the person may experience unconsciously with his or her spouse.