This means that if the two of you agree to allow each other multiple relationships there is no affair because there is no betrayal.
Often however, one person knows his or her partner would object, and unilaterally grants themselves permission to connect with a third party.
This often leads to chaos. Committed partners who want to create and maintain a healthy,
respectful bond must come to a consensus on the rules of their relationship.
So often we blame our partner for what goes wrong and fail to see the link between our personal, lifelong conflicts and the conflicts
in our relationship---between the damage we carry within ourselves and the damage we experience as a couple.
In attempting to assign responsibility to infidelity, hurt partners tend to think, "You were screwing around with someone else, don't blame me."
The unfaithful partner tends to think,, "You were not there for me; you drove me away."
The feeling of a tender, secure attachment to your partner lies at the heart of most enduring, committed relationships, surpassing in joy and fulfillment the momentary sparks and marvels of romantic love.
Sexual intimacy is inseparable from emotional intimacy, each embracing, each illuminating the other. Both ask you to be generous with acts of kindness, and to be available to each other in essential ways. Both give you the strength and vision to stay connected---to the last course---even at those times when you don't feel particularly loved or loving.
When either bond is broken, physical and/or sexual intimacy, and secrets held, each individual in the couple experiences negative emotions, and a strong psychological impact from the damaging experience.
Often there are early experiences and themes of either overt or covert abuse or abandonment which says, "People I love will hurt me."
This schema of abandonment is imprinted on the individual in their future relationships.
Early growth experiences which create safety and security and competence as an adult include: feeling safe and secure as a child, learning to function independently in the world, having solid emotional connections with others, being valued, being free to express yourself, being free to let go and have fun, living with realistic expectations.
Deprived of any of these emotional experiences you are likely to have grown up with emotional wounds that affect your choice in partners.
You may have been drawn to someone who, over time, lets you replicate your early experiences with love, unfulfilling as they may have been. Unconsciously we make efforts to correct our early imprints of abandonment in our adult love relationships.
When an affair occurs a bond of trust is broken and early imprints of abandonment and or emotional abuse are relived painfully for each partner.
The Unfaithful Partner may seek out a lover to distance themselves from their partner or lower the emotional temperature between them both. An affair reduces their fear of being emotionally dependent on someone who, they assume will inevitably leave or hurt them. It can also keep 'who they are'
a secret from their partner, and afford them a temporary sense of freedom and control.
The Hurt Partner may have been also been abandoned in their youth, and unable to relate to others in an intimate or authentic way, and end up clinging to their partner or making excessive demands on their partner's time. They also may assault their partner with unfounded suspicions (from past experiences of abandonment). They may precipitate what they fear most---being abandoned.
After the Affair, J. & M. Spring