About 1 in 10 affairs lead to a long-term relationship.
You don’t know what it’s like to be married to her until you’re married to her.
Your family — especially daughters — will never forgive you for your affair.
“You don’t know what it is like to be married to someone until you are married to them.”
When a guy has an affair with a new woman, he may not start out thinking of making it a permanent relationship, but sometimes, if the relationship persists, that question pops up. Much like when you were dating before you were married, it is typically the woman who first starts talking about “taking the relationship to the next level.” Some guys who are having an affair would never consider this. Others, though, might see this new woman as a possible antidote to a failing marriage or as the one they should have married in the first place.
Because the odds are against you
You should know that the odds are heavily against going from an affair to a long-term, lasting relationship. Some research suggests that about only one in 10 affairs lead to a long-term relationship. Of these, only about 10% are permanent. This means that there is about a one in a hundred chance that you and your affair partner will stay together for the long haul. And you thought the approximately 50% divorce rate was high!
One reason for this dismal statistic is that when a relationship begins with an affair, both parties know the other has been willing to betray their spouse, so they lack trust in each other.
Because it’s not reality
Some men give up their careers, their children, their homes, and everything else to pursue that hot babe. Most of those men eventually wind up in counseling because they have jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Affairs are not good solutions for a failing marriage; they only make matters worse. If you are in the midst of an affair, we therapists would recommend that you, at least temporarily, put the affair on hold and resolve what you are doing about the marriage. If the marriage cannot be salvaged, then it is best for you and all those concerned to end the marriage rather than to carry on a double life.
Remember, too, that being in a torrid love affair is quite different from a long-term, committed relationship like marriage. You don’t visit her grandmother, you don’t pay taxes with her, you don’t raise kids with her, etc. Affairs and marriages are apples and oranges. You don’t know what it is like to be married to someone until you are married to them.
Because your children won’t approve
Don’t expect your affair to remain a secret from your children. They eventually figure it out. When your children are old enough to understand that you left their mother for another woman, they are likely to feel that you betrayed not only their mother but the family, as well. In my experience, this seems particularly true for daughters. One of my daughters, then just entering adulthood, proclaimed that if I ever had an affair, she would never forgive me. I asked her why she would even think that and then wondered if she had given her mother the same admonition. She responded, “I know Mommy would ever do that!” Just being a guy can get you halfway convicted by your daughters, perhaps because they’ve experienced cheating boyfriends. Extenuating circumstances for your affair, such as the fact that you and your ex-wife hadn’t had sex in years, will be neither understood nor accepted by your children. Furthermore, if you and your new love try to stay together, your children are going to resent her, putting even more strain on your relationship with her.”