Seven Complications That You Might Encounter In Affairs When Both Parties Are Married

Updated April 5, 2024by Regain Editorial Team
Extramarital affairs are problematic, but they’re also used as a solution to underlying problems. It’s easy to feel trapped in these affairs. When confronting the primary purpose (payoff) of the affair, we can help that void with something that is healthier, safer, and even more satisfying.  ” - Nicholas DeFazio, MRC, LPCC-S, LICDC

Having an affair can impact your own life as well as your spouse’s and any children that are involved. While you might know that cheating on your spouse is wrong, you may feel unable to help yourself. If you're thinking of having an affair with someone, you may want to take a few steps back to think first. The consequences of an affair can be far-reaching, and once an affair has taken place, things are bound to change in some way. If the person that you're thinking of having an affair with also happens to be married, it could create an even more complex situation. Let’s look at seven complications that you might encounter in an affair when both parties are married.

Wondering about the long-term impacts of an affair?

1. Double the risk of being caught

Having an affair with another married person can be particularly risky. When you're having an affair with someone who is single, they don't run the risk of being caught. When both of you are married, though, each of you is going to be cheating and lying to your spouse. This can increase the risk of someone making a mistake and, eventually, you both might wind up getting caught. Even if you are very careful about covering your tracks, your lover might make a mistake and their spouse could discover the affair.

Once your lover has been figured out, the affair may come back on you as well. If your lover's spouse determines it was you that they were seeing, then they might let your spouse know as well. Having an affair with another married individual can make it even less practical than it was before, and it might not be worth the risk in the end.

2. You'll need to find a place to spend time together

Another problem that you might not have considered is that you both won't be able to use your own homes to meet up with each other. Granted, some people do sleep around in their marital beds while their spouses are away at work. However, this can increase the likelihood that you will be caught red-handed. Regardless, when you're sleeping with another married person, they’re not likely to want to take you back to their house. So, this means that spending time together can be much more difficult than if one of you were single. It also means you’ll need to find a convenient place to see each other without the risk of getting caught.

Many affairs between married people wind up taking place in hotel rooms. This can also present a problem because someone must pay for the room. Most hotel rooms on the market don’t allow you to pay in cash. Many require a credit or debit card to be used as payment and this will show up on your statement. This makes it more likely that your spouse could notice that you have been spending money on strange things, which could alert them to the fact that you're having an affair.

3. Potential STD risk

Whenever you’re sleeping with another person, there is a risk of contracting a STD. Further, when you're sleeping with someone who is still regularly sleeping with their spouse, there may be an even greater potential STD risk. You have no way of knowing whether your lover's spouse isn't also cheating on them. If you contract an STD, it could then be spread to your spouse, making the situation even worse. 

If you were having an affair with a single person who wasn’t sleeping with anyone else, you might feel safer. There's always the potential of getting an STD when you start sleeping with someone new and unfamiliar, though. You can never really know if someone is being loyal to you. Giving your spouse an STD could be a tragic way for them to find out that you're cheating. Even if you do have issues with your spouse, this can be an incredibly hurtful thing to do to someone that you love or have loved in the past.

4. Matching up your schedules may not be easy

If you are dating someone who is also a spouse, and potentially a parent, then they may not have a lot of free time. Just like you, they’ll need to be able to get away from their house without raising any suspicion. This may make it impractical for you two to see each other very often. Even if you're sleeping with someone from your place of employment, it may still be challenging to find time to be together when you're off the clock. Risking your job to act on your sexual impulses while you're on the clock could also be unwise. 

5. Your children might know each other

It's possible that your children could know each other if you live in the same town. Many affairs between married individuals can become even trickier when kids are involved. Your children might be friends, or they could be bitter enemies at school. This just makes things even more awkward if you do get caught or decide to get with your lover after divorcing your current spouse. Integrating two families together when the kids are similar ages is not necessarily easy. You probably want to take the feelings of your children into consideration.

You might not even have kids yourself, but your lover could have several. If you aren't interested in being in a step-mom or step-dad situation down the line, then you may want to avoid having an affair with a married person. Many married individuals have kids and dating them can wind up meaning that you're interviewing to become a part of the family someday. If you plan on being together for real, then this is a reality that you’ll likely have to face at some point. It's a potential complication that many people may not consider, especially when they’re caught up in the excitement of the affair. 

6. Hurting two families instead of just one

Having feelings for someone else while married isn't unusual but having feelings for another married person can be even trickier than a typical affair. You won't just be causing damage within your own family if things go south, but you could also be harming the lives of the people from your lover's family. Taking a step back and trying to see the bigger picture can help you make wiser decisions. People's lives are involved in this scenario and your actions have the potential to seriously hurt others.

Being married but in love with someone else can be tough. You might not be satisfied with your current marriage and maybe even want out. If you want to move on, then doing things the right way could be healthier for you, your family, your lover, and their family. You might have a lover in mind, but they may need to handle their own affairs before being able to be with you. The same could be true of you. Consider your options and know that your affair could decimate two separate families. There may be another way that doesn’t involve sneaking around, lying, or causing unnecessary hurt

7. Adultery is illegal in some places

It can be important to know that adultery is illegal in some places. There are still many states in America that list adultery as a crime. This means that you and your lover could potentially both be punished by the law for your actions. If you care about your lover, then it might not be a wise idea to keep seeing them. You could wind up getting into serious trouble and put you in a bad spot if you ever seek a divorce from your current spouse. Further, if you do care about your lover, it’s likely you don’t want to bring them harm by getting them in trouble with the law. 

If your lover keeps pushing to see you even though you know this is wrong, then you might need to think about whether they really want what is best for you. If they aren't willing to divorce their spouse, will you ever really be able to be together? Are they just seeking sex or is it a true love connection? If it's really love, then waiting until what you're doing isn't illegal could be an option for each of you to consider.  

Wondering about the long-term impacts of an affair?

Online counseling with Regain

Whether you’ve been involved in an affair yourself or have found out your spouse is in one, knowing what to do next can be challenging. Some couples seek to save their relationship, while others find that the betrayal associated with cheating is too much to bear. If you need to work through your feelings related to infidelity, consider confiding in a licensed online therapist through Regain. Regain provides services to both individuals and couples, depending on your needs. Even if you and your partner have busy or demanding schedules, online therapy is available 24/7 from anywhere you have an internet connection, allowing you to get the support you need. 

The efficacy of online counseling 

Online counseling can be helpful for couples facing a variety of problems in their relationship, including infidelity. One study assessed the effectiveness of an online couples therapy intervention for improving relationship satisfaction and decreasing relationship distress. Researchers found that couples participating in the intervention were able to make “concrete changes in their relationship” and understand one another better. Further, the couples were able to identify the problem in their relationship and address it by working together.


Affairs can complicate relationships and cause a variety of outcomes whether they’re discovered or not. Not only do affairs within a marriage affect each spouse’s partner, but they can also impact any children in the families as well. If your marriage has been affected by an affair, you may be struggling to decide whether you should end your union or try to work things out. Every marriage and situation are different, and it may take you some time to figure out how you’d like to proceed. You are not alone in this journey, and a licensed online therapist can be there for you as you process your feelings and make important choices in your life. Regain can provide you with a safe space to discuss whatever is on your mind, and you can reach out whenever you feel ready.

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