What To Consider Before Having An Affair

Advice for the “other woman” before you think of sleeping with a married man

Christine Todd shares her insights on what makes people enter into an affair. 

It has been 12 years since I started investigating myself: my roots, my personal influences, the major experiences, my dreams, my results, my mind, my emotional world, my red buttons… At the same time, I started looking around for life examples and researching not only my life and my story, but also those of my clients while coaching them.

What most amazed me were the vast learnings and influences I had inside me, and the way I have articulated some of them. I also realised that we are all looking for the same answers: we want to be a bit better, achieve our dreams, and live a life full of blessings and happiness, which, among other things, is a result of the quality of the relationships we create around us.

As I observed myself and others around me, I came to the conclusion that our emotional lives work pretty much the same way: we navigate from one experience to another, and when we get a negative impact, we suffer, we heal ourselves or not, and then we move on to our next impact. Often, we are still in a state of numbness and trauma. This can result in our shutting ourselves off from the world and relationships, or we become aggressive to others.

When we become aggressive, we are unconsciously looking for good reasons to mistreat others around us and hurt them. But the ones we normally attack are not, in many cases, the ones who traumatised us in the first place. I believe this happens because many of us don’t take ownership of our own feelings, especially our pains and hurts. So we project them outside, because we can’t hold them inside anymore.

Why women have more headaches than men

Einstein said that a state of madness is when we do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Perhaps humanity is mad, when we see the same problems happening generation after generation, and we don’t do anything differently.

For me, betrayal falls into this category. Betrayal is a behaviour that we inherit; we are influenced strongly not only by our relatives or parents, but also by others around us, books, TV programmes, magazines, etc…

I felt life turned me around at the age of 17, when I discovered my boyfriend had another girlfriend that he loved too. I remained in the relationship for another 10 months despite their affair.

Life continued turning me around when my first husband betrayed me, one, two, three times, with different women. We were together for 12 years.

The cycle continued; my second husband also had an affair. We have three children. Our relationship lasted 10 years.

From all of these years of not understanding why I was betrayed, I thought many times of those women who were on the other side: the lovers. The challenge in my heart has been accepting that, out there, there were other women wanting to be loved, just like me, but who came silently into my life and without asking, went to bed with my husbands and tried to put themselves in my place. Why would someone do such a thing?

Why Would A Woman Enter Into an Affair with A Married Man?

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Many other women like me, intelligent, sensitive, educated, beautiful and dedicated, have suffered the same betrayal.

From my personal observation and conclusions of my life, my friends and clients, I gathered some important information which I believe could be a good foundation for educating women and teenager girls, in order to prepare them for such a challenge:

  • Most women don’t realise that they became someone else’s lover simply by the fact that they went to bed with them only once.
  • It takes two people to have an affair, not just one. Please don’t think you are being drawn into it or you have no power over it at all.
  • The man you love is already committed to another woman and relationship. If he wants a relationship with you, he must first finish the one he has back home.
  • Some women will enter into an affair and become lovers because they came from an unhealed previous relationship in which they were themselves betrayed. I have had some examples such as these around me: a lover my ex-husband had, a friend who became a lover, and a few clients I have helped to come out of this type of behaviour. I concluded that these women acted out from their past and never found a place of forgiveness in their hearts. On the other hand, they also had troubled relationships with their fathers, or suffered some kind of abuse from them at a young age and never recovered from this.
  • Other women enter into an affair and become lovers because they believe they have found the only man on the planet they could ever love. I had a woman like this in my life – a client was a lover for 12 years. Today she has a child from this man, she is miserable and alone, and he is trying to gather the bits and pieces he has turned his wife and children into. My client’s story? Her father had a lover for more than 10 years, which she witnessed silently and confused.
  • From the 20 cases of betrayal I know, only one resulted in the man divorcing his wife and marrying his lover.
  • All relationships are sacred and special and should be treated with respect.
  • How serious are you about relationships? Why have one with someone whom you know is not available?
  • Do you really want a relationship with one man? If yes, why are you choosing one with a man and a woman involved?
  • The Electra Complex occurs to girls between the ages of three and six when one day they realise their father loves their mother, they feel the competition with their mother and they want to possess their father. You might be suffering from this.

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  • There is a part of our brain called the reptilian brain, which is the part that lives in the desire, repetition, trauma, passion. This part becomes active once an affair is happening. There is also the neo-cortex, where high-consciousness, discernment and high-thinking can be developed, but won’t be if you use the other part instead.
  • When a woman finds out that she has been betrayed by the man she loves and by a woman she does not know, she finds herself in a space of deep pain and darkness; it might take years before she recovers from this, gets her life back and restores her happiness. Do you really want to be part of this story?
  • If this man has a family with children, how would you live with this?
  • Do you still believe in fairy tales and princes on white horses? If yes, look for help, quickly. You are in danger and putting others in danger as well. It is like carrying around an atomic bomb. If it goes off, it will cause serious damage to yourself and others.
  • Have you considered where your self-love stands, as well as your relationship with your feminine? If you don’t respect his wife, a woman you don’t know, how can you respect yourself?
  • How can your happiness happen at the expense of someone else’s betrayal?
  • What kind of man tells you he is not happy and does not deal with his own problems?
  • All relationships have ups and downs. He might be in a low phase.
  • Talk with his wife. I remember how upset, hurt and angry I felt when I discovered my husband was having an affair. I became part of it without being asked if I wanted to or not. I remember finding out that his female friends knew about the affair, and questioning how women can hide such behaviour from other women.
  • Look at your childhood and family history (there are different techniques), and surround yourself with tools that could give you some insight into where you are coming from, your primal influences in life, your very first example of a relationship (which was with your father), the history of the women in your family, and how that history has affected you and your perception of life, love and relationships.
  • Ask about his childhood history and relationships with other women. If he does not want to tell you, that is not a good sign.
  • Look around you; there are other beautiful men in the world. Available men.

*Not her real name. Christine Todd has used a pseudonym to protect her clients.

The facts:

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According to the latest Marriage and Divorce Report issued by Statistics South Africa in March 2015, divorce is on the increase. In fact, in 2013, more people were divorcing than marrying. Data from 55 of the 62 courts that deal with divorce reveal that 23 885 divorces were granted in 2013. More women (50,6%) compared to men (33,5%) initiated divorce proceedings. The median age was 43 for men and 39 for women, with the largest percentage of divorces for marriages that lasted between five and nine years. Almost half of the divorces in 2013 (47,6%) were marriages that lasted less than 10 years. Most of these were first marriages.

Around 21 073 children aged less than 18 years were affected by divorces that took place in 2013.

The law:

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The South African Constitutional Court ruled in June 2015 that adultery was no longer grounds to sue for damages in a divorce. The court stated that there can be no monetary value placed on marital fidelity, and the third party involved in the infidelity cannot be sued for damages. The court ruled in the written judgment that: “In the present case, the breakdown of the marriage was as a result of a failure by the spouses themselves to sustain their marriage, and thus it would be inappropriate for the courts to intervene. In contrast, maintaining the claim in our law would infringe on various rights of adulterous spouses and the third parties, including the rights to dignity and privacy. Accordingly, adultery should no longer be punished through a civil damages claim against a third party.”

South Africa joins a number of countries, including England, New Zealand, Scotland and Canada, where adultery is no longer a criminal offence. It is still a legal offence in Cameroon, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan and Pakistan. Worldwide, there are 15 countries where the legal punishment for adultery is stoning to death. It is also considered a crime in around 20 states in the USA, although prosecutions are rare.