Reason for an affair

QUESTION: Masters my husband and I deeply care for each other but we are poles apart in our personality. All these years there has been trust between us and we have shared every aspect of our life for 33 years. About two years back my husband was soul searching and as he was also looking for new business opportunity as well in a different country, I suggested he go away and find himself. He ended up having an affair which I got to know. I didn’t say anything to him when he came back. I could see he very much wanted to come clean but couldn’t. Finally, after a year he spilled the beans. He was very apologetic and promised it would never happen again but also said he had to have that experience. I am trying to understand what the cause and learning was from this incident for both of us. ~Neelu, United Kingdom

ANSWER: Telling someone to go and find themselves is an open invitation to engage in various experiences they have not previously had. Your life had reached a point of friendship and mutual comfort. It was not exactly exciting or challenging. You had started treating each other more like siblings or best friends than inseparable lovers.

Your husband needed to explore his options, both professionally and personally, and you encouraged him to do just that. He was exposed to all sorts of new stimuli, including of a sexual nature. Uncertain as to what you meant to each other after all your time together, he was enticed by something new and romantic. He felt sought after and valued in the way your relationship had begun so many years ago but currently lacked.

His short time as a desired love object taught him that there were much more important things in a relationship than sex. He discovered how much your attention meant to him and that your attraction remained, just without the neon signs someone different had blasted at him.

He did need the experience to understand how significant you are in his life. He also learned the importance of communicating when feeling something missing in the way of excitement. For you, it is a wakeup call in evaluating when things have become too comfortable and preventing them from becoming boring. Both of you have the ability to create what you each need to feel complete in this union.

As couples spend a lot of time together, they become lazy in providing what their partner needs to be fulfilled. Many couples grow apart until they are no longer the people who joined in the marriage ceremony. Both of you need to honor yourselves in this situation and determine what it is you see as necessary for your future.