Extra-marital affairs: The four rules of entanglement

Published Aug 24, 2014, 4:13 am IST
Updated Mar 31, 2019, 10:05 am IST
Extra-marital affairs have an invisible code of conduct although it's seen as wrong
Picture for representational purpose.
 Picture for representational purpose.

An extra marital affair demands its own share of commitment

So it may seem a bit ironic that for people looking outside of their own existing relationships, there should even be any talk of commitment. But an extramarital affair is not some bohemian free-for-all.


The concerned parties may have their own reason to stray but what they enter into is eventually a relationship of sorts.

Not honouring one commitment does not mean one shouldn’t honour another.

As strange as it sounds, sometimes people who are dissatisfied in one relationship find that committing to another gives them a sense of control over their lives and a semblance of stability that was missing due to a tumultuous relationship.

That said, don’t be the clingy person who is married but expects their affair partner to be single-mindedly focused on them alone.


There’s a good chance that the suffocation in their legitimate relationship drove them into your arms, so why would you want to give them exactly what they ran away from?

There’s an unwritten code of commitment that presumes you won’t behave like a product of the ‘60s.


The dangers of a happy extramarital affair include the impending possibility of a sense of sameness creeping in; something that often drives people into affairs in the first place.

Once the thrill subsides and indifference towards society sets in, you revel in the freedom around your affair.


It rapidly turns into a long-term committed marriage, which means it looks at comfort over satisfaction.

That effectively means that you’d rather be in your cotton granny panties than bring out that Victoria’s Secret velvet number.

This, albeit inevitable, can be tricky because the feeling of comfort trumps one’s need to keep things spicy.

Most affairs are fleeting; very few end up in long-term marriages.

But statistics aside, it is only fair that both the man and the woman make the effort to keep things spicy.

However, don’t overcompensate in your affair for the failings in your marriage. That is unnecessary baggage.


Be sensitive

You’ve decided to engage in an affair for whatever may be the reasons and usually after the first flush of novelty sex, one decides to emotionally invest in the relationship at hand.

If you were in it just for the sex, make sure that your partner is aware of how much or little you’re invested in it.

Don’t make them feel like a machine to provide you with free, exciting sex.

That is a disgusting level of objectification that will win you no respect.

However, if both of you are not looking beyond the physical, then at least you can take comfort in the fact that you both want just as much from this relationship.


Whatever you do, do not make your partner feel like he or she is a dispensable sexual commodity who is there to literally service you.

Kings had concubines. Get off your high horse and be sensitive about the relationship.

It is society’s job, sadly, to judge your relationship, not yours!

Disclose with care

Unless your spouse busted you, do not decide to tell him or her about the affair without previously discussing it with your lover.

It is imperative that you’ll have discussed what you intend to say in the event of being busted and make sure your versions are reasonable.


That said, you know best how to deal with your spouse and what is the most effective way to get across to him or her.

Usually one is either caught or is wrecked with guilt to prompt such a desire to come clean.

There’s nothing you can do if it is the former, but if it is the latter, then it makes sense to speak to your partner first about the guilt you feel about the relationship you’ll share.

If you cannot reach a consensus, it might lead to a breakup.

But not speaking of the guilt and blabbing to your spouse instead is just unfair, and ironically quite unethical to your partner.


You’re in this together, don’t forget that.