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

By Robert Porter|Updated June 23, 2022
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 is something that can change your life in many ways. You know that cheating on your spouse is wrong, but you might feel as if you can't help yourself. If you're thinking of having an affair with someone, then you might want to take a few steps back to think first. This is going to negatively impact your life and it's also going to harm your spouse severely. If the person that you're thinking of having an affair with also happens to be married, then this could indeed be a very messy situation.

Affairs Can Be Complicated and Confusing
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Take a look at the following seven complications that you might encounter in affairs when both parties are married. This will give you some information to consider and it could help you to make better choices for yourself. Even if you're unhappy in your marriage, it still might not be best to have an affair. You need to consider the complications that you could encounter when sleeping with another married person. Once you have all of the information, it'll be time for you to make an informed decision about what you want to do with your life.

1. Double The Risk Of Being Caught

Having an affair with another married person is particularly risky. When you're having an affair with someone who is single, then at least they won't run the risk of being caught. When both of you are married, you're both going to be cheating and lying to your spouses. This increases the risk that someone is going to make a mistake and eventually, you might wind up getting caught. Even if you are very careful about covering your tracks, your lover might make a mistake and his or her spouse could discover the affair.

Once your lover has been figured out, the affair will likely come back on you as well. If your lover's spouse determines that it was you who he or she was seeing, then they might let your spouse know as well. This could all blow up in your face spectacularly if you aren't careful. It makes an affair even less practical than it was before and it might not be worth the risk if you really don't want to get a divorce.

2. You'll Need To Find A Place To Make Love

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. This isn't a good idea since it increases the likelihood that you will be caught red-handed. Regardless, when you're sleeping with another married person, they are also not going to want to take you back to their house. This means that you likely won't have a convenient place where you can have sex with each other without the risk of getting caught.

Many affairs when both parties are married wind up taking place in hotel rooms. This can also present a problem because someone has to pay for the room. The vast majority of hotel rooms on the market will not allow you to pay in cash. Most will require a credit card or debit card to be used as payment and this will show up on your statement. It makes it even more likely that your spouse will notice that you have been spending money on strange things and this could alert them to the fact that you're having an affair.

3. Potential STD Risk

There is also a greater potential STD risk when you're sleeping with someone who is still regularly sleeping with their spouse. This might not be a problem, but it could be and it's worth mentioning in this article. You have no way of knowing that your lover's spouse isn't also cheating on them. Someone could contract an STD in your sexual circle that you have going on. This STD could then spread to you and your spouse due to your careless actions.

If you were having an affair with someone who is single and isn't sleeping with anyone else, then at least you might feel more secure. 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 or if they're just using your affair for some fun on the side, so to speak. Giving your spouse an STD would be a horrible way for them to find out that you're cheating. Even if you do have marriage issues, this is a terrible thing to do to someone that you love or loved in the past.

4. Matching Up Your Schedules Won't Be Easy

It's also true that matching up your schedules won't be easy. If you are dating someone who is also a spouse, and potentially a parent, then they will not have a lot of free time. They need to be able to get away from their house without raising suspicion the same as you. It makes it impractical for you to see each other too often. Even if you're sleeping with someone from your place of employment, it isn't going to be easy to find time to actually be together when you're off the clock. You also shouldn't be risking your job to act on your sexual impulses while you're on the clock.

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 when both parties are married 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 decide to get together after divorcing your current spouse. Integrating two families together when the kids are similar ages is not necessarily easy. The feelings of your children should be taken into consideration.

Also, you might not even have kids, 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 dating a married person might not be best. Many married individuals have kids and dating them winds up meaning that you're interviewing to become a part of the family. If you plan on being together for real, then this is a reality that you have to face. It's a potential complication that many people don't consider when they're just full of lust and looking to have some fun.

6. Ruining 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 ruining your own family if things go south, but you'll also be ruining the lives of the people from your lover's family. If you're married but in love with another man, then you might not be thinking straight at first. It's just good to take a step back to try to see the big picture. 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 is tough. You might not be satisfied with your current marriage and maybe you even want out. If you want to move on, then doing things the right way would be better for your family. You might have a lover in mind, but he or she might need to handle their own affairs before being able to be with you. If you both really love each other, then wouldn't it be worth it to wait for when you can be together without it being wrong? Consider your options and know that your affair could decimate two separate families. 

Affairs Can Be Complicated and Confusing

7. Adultery Is Illegal In Some Places

Finally, you need 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 good idea to keep seeing them. You could wind up getting into serious trouble and it could put you in a bad spot if you ever do seek a divorce from your current spouse.

Being smart about things is going to be preferable. 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, then will you ever really be able to be together? What do married men want from affairs? 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 is going to be the best path to take.

Try Online Couples Therapy To Save Your Marriage

If you feel like having an affair is a bad idea after reading about the potential complications, then you might want to consider attempting to save your marriage. Your marriage might have significant problems that need to be worked on, but it is possible to fix things by signing up for online couples' therapy. This is a convenient way to get help when your marriage is on the rocks. A licensed counselor will be able to work with you at your convenience. Signing up today won't take much time and you can start going through couples counseling sessions right away.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do relationships from affairs last?

Most of the time, the answer is no. While a relationship from an affair could technically last, they tend to be short term. Research indicates that relationships from affairs are unlikely to be long term and that they're even less likely to result in marriage. If they do result in marriage, divorce is a feasible possibility. Statistics show that 40% of people who cheat are separated, whereas 17% of those who did not cheat are no longer coupled. That said, it's not impossible for a relationship with an affair to last.

How often do affairs turn into marriage?

Research shows that it's unlikely that an affair turns into marriage. Statistics indicate that only 3% to 5% of relationships that start or begin as affairs turn into a marriage. Some married people don't walk away after an affair and decide to work things out, where others make the choice to call it off. Both of these responses are equally appropriate. It all depends on the nuances of your relationship as well as your needs, wants, and beliefs. Whether you stay with your current spouse or move on, the important thing is that you're able to have a healthy relationship moving forward, which is why seeing a mental health provider can be beneficial after an affair.

How long do extramarital affairs usually last?

Six months to two years is generally the time frame for which an extramarital relationship or affair will last. That said, it varies depending on multiple factors. An affair could be short lived, but regardless, it will almost certainly cause hurt feelings and, at the very least, a change in the marriage. Research indicates that 20% to 40% of divorces are prompted by cheating. Other common reasons for divorce include frequent arguments, substance abuse, anger management issues, financial problems or disparities, lack of communication, lack of physical or emotional intimacy, and domestic violence. Attraction sometimes plays a role as well, as does the age that you get married. Sometimes, people will get a divorce due to a number of factors that mesh together. That said, not all affairs end in divorce. Sometimes, coming forward about an affair can help you acknowledge issues within the relationship and work through them. It's essential to be honest with your partner so that you can work together to sustain a healthy partnership. There may be something that you and your partner weren't confronting, such as difficulties with communication, stress, or feeling like you aren't valued or paid attention to by your partner. Identifying these issues will help you and your spouse and can be the first step toward a healthier, happier partnership. So, pick a time when your spouse isn't busy or overwhelmed and start the conversation.

Why do affairs happen?

There are a number of reasons that affairs might happen. Someone might pursue an affair for sexual fulfillment, the sensation that they're falling out of love with the person they're married to, or a negative change in the marriage they're in. For example, if they feel like their partner is emotionally distant or emotionally unavailable, someone might seek emotional availability somewhere else. That said, when someone gets cheated on, it is never their fault. The person or people having an affair need to take responsibility for their actions. If both you and your spouse were having an affair, that means that you both need to take responsibility. You must talk things through candidly and be honest with yourself as to if you can be faithful in your marriage and if you can develop trust with your partner, too.

How do affairs start?

Affairs can start in a variety of different ways. People having an affair might've met at work, when they were in college, or somewhere else. It could be someone that your spouse has known for a long time, perhaps even someone they used to be in a relationship with, or someone they met more recently. Some individuals may actively seek an affair using dating apps, social media, or by other means, where others might not have planned to start an affair prior to the beginning of an affair at all. This is sometimes referred to as an accidental affair. That said, a person must still take responsibility for their actions and understand that no affair is 100% accidental. When you are married or coupled, regardless of the length of time you've been together, you must communicate with your significant other and should never cheat. Additionally, remember that there may be legal implications to engaging in an affair.

Do emotional affairs turn into love?

There are multiple different kinds of affairs a person can have. There are physical affairs, one night stands, and emotional affairs, to name a few. There are also affairs that exist solely online, often using dating websites or dating apps. If someone is having an emotional affair, it could potentially turn into love, though that most certainly isn't always the case. Overall, it's unlikely that an emotional affair will turn into a long-term romantic relationship. It's also indicated that feelings of love that occurred during emotional affairs may not last. For the most part, anything is possible; people having an affair could fall in love despite the odds. However, there will likely be some things to work through. For example, if your relationship started as an affair, you may become suspicious that your partner will have an affair again, or they may worry about you cheating on them.

How long do affairs last after discovery?

Largely, this depends on the nature of the affair and the state of the pre-existing romantic relationship. In some cases, married people choose to work things out after an affair by going to couples counseling or through other means. Other times, often if the marriage was already on the rocks, people choose to break up, and an affair might continue. That said, it is statistically unlikely for affairs to turn into long-term relationships, and an affair could also end either soon after or directly after discovery. Depending on which of the kinds of affairs you or your partner engaged in, it could make a difference in how long they last. For example, if it was a one night stand, it will not last as long as an affair that was both physical and emotional and lasted long term. In addition to physical affairs, emotional affairs, and one night stands, there are also affairs that stem from sex addiction or those who are born out of anger and are for the purpose of revenge. The level of emotional involvement is certainly a factor in if an affair lasts, those statistically speaking, they usually don't, in addition to the purpose of the affair. If an affair stems from sex addiction, anger, or another mental health concern, it is important that someone seeks help so that they can have lasting relationships moving forward. Not only will getting help potentially save your marriage if that something you and your spouse aim to do, but it will also help you as an individual.

How many emotional affairs end in divorce?

Research indicates that about 40% of individuals who have engaged in infidelity are now separated. One thing that's unavoidable when it comes to affairs is that the affair will affect the marriage. That doesn't mean that couples won't be able to work through it, but it does mean that a healing process needs to take place. Couples counseling is one of the best ways to work through the effects of an affair and to improve your relationship overall. Infidelity isn't the only reason couples seek counseling. Couples can also seek counseling to prepare for marriage, to bring the love back into a relationship that's lost its spark, to learn to navigate conflict, communicate more effectively, or for anything else that's affecting the relationship. The reason it's important to note that couples counseling can help with more than the details of your affair is that there might be underlying issues in your relationship that you want to work through.

What percent of marriages survive affairs?

While statistics vary from study to study, research indicates that up to 65% to 75% of marriages survive affairs, meaning that only 25% to 35% of marriages don't survive. It's 10% more likely that a marriage will survive an affair if the individual who was unfaithful was male. If you are interested in couples counseling to help you and your partner work through any of the various kinds of affairs and repair your marriage, search for a mental health provider near you or consider online counseling through a website of your choice. To find a therapist, search for "couples counseling near me" or look for a reputable online therapy website with licensed mental health professionals like ReGain. You can also look for individual counseling to help you move forward after an affair or to work on any other concerns your face, whether that is a mental health condition, concerns regarding relationships, stress related to work, or something else. Mental health professionals are here to serve as an objective third-party and give you a safe space to talk about anything that's on your mind.

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