What Drives People to Find Love Out of Wedlock?

By Shilpa Raina

New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) First ace golfer Tiger Woods and former England footballer captain John Terry scorched the headlines for their extramarital affairs. So what prompts people to seek a relationship outside wedlock, putting their family life and image at stake?

Experts say there is no specific reason - some do it for thrill, some for pleasure, while others get into extramarital affairs to avoid tension at home.

Although Woods has apologised for "irresponsible" behaviour in his first public statement since a November car crash unleashed a storm of revelations about extramarital affairs and stopped his illustrious golfing career in its tracks, he didn't explain why he got into such relationships.

The same is the case with Terry, who was stripped of his captaincy following allegations he had an affair with an England team-mate's ex-girlfriend.

"An extramarital relationship may be just a casual one for fulfilling needs of sex or thrill, or it may be a very intense, emotional bond. Usually, one would get into such a relationship once he or she has given up hope of getting something like love, sex, excitement, understanding, appreciation or respect in marriage," psychiatrist Sanjay Chugh told IANS.

There are no such rules to define why a person gets emotionally or romantically involved after marriage. Samir Parikh, a consultant psychiatrist at Max Healthcare in New Delhi, feels it varies from individual to individual.

"A marriage is a marriage and an affair outside marriage is an affair. It doesn't make any difference whether the partners initially had love or an arranged marriage. A lot depends on the changing individual psyche and it varies from individual to individual," said Parikh.

Twenty-eight-year-old Prashant Dubey (name changed) is looking for an extramarital relationship as tensions back home are increasingly taking a toll on his life and he wants something to divert his attention.

"Over the past few months, fights with my wife have become so frequent and on top of that arguments in the family have increased. I don't feel like going home. So I try to work extra hours in office or hang out with friends, but I can't do that every day. I need someone to talk to, to vent out my thoughts. It is the emotional support that I am looking for," Dubey said.

Like Dubey, there are many men and women, frustrated or tired of their relationships, who are hunting for solace in someone's arms.

There are others who have a healthy and happy married life but are still seeking adventure through an extramarital relationship.

The quest to find the "perfect" partner is one of the major culprits leading people to extramarital relationships.

"Extramarital relationships seem perfect because they are not spending much time together and get to see only the best in each other. The small fights that happen are also brushed aside because they value the relationship too much," explained Chugh.

Chugh also said extramarital relationships are like thrillers.

"There is so much happening, at the same time there is thrill (doing things on the sly, planning secret rendezvous), understanding and mutual guarding of a shared secret, tension (hiding from people), jealousy and anger, longing for each other, and wanting each other. In the limited time that the two get together, they are ready to do anything for each other. This 'thriller' is obviously appealing to any bored soul," maintained Chugh.

So are extramarital relationships really healthy for a person?

"There is nothing right or wrong about such relationships. The only thing one really needs to remember is that at the end of the movie one comes out of the theatre and goes home," explained Chugh.

"These relationships often do a great job of need fulfilment. If handled in a mature manner, the people involved will only grow and let the relationship metamorphose into a great friendship while they lead their individual lives separately. However, such maturity is not very common," he added.


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Comment on this article

  • Herbert , Mangalore/Sydney, Australia

    Mon, Feb 22 2010

    Man is generally a sexual animal by creation and biological nature, (what I mean by that is that men generally have extra sexual desire/drive/hormones playing up in them than women) and extra marital affairs are ventured mostly by disgruntled and rich men, when they do not get enough love and sex and thrills thereon at home from their spouses.

    In such cases, the poor men, tend to take up to extra drinking and smoking to wipe away their blues. It is common for women, though, once they have their babies, and as the age catches up, they lose interest in sex, but they find more pleasure in their children, and other material things like food and shopping, etc. Their medical condition also diminish their sex drive. So the conflicts start at home, and men venture into outside marital affairs to fulfil their emotional and physical needs.

    The present women`s working careers and their financial independence also give them more asertiveness and clout, thus escape from the clutches of their spouses. Even, the so called Prashant Dubey, discussed in the subject article would have had the same problems, perhaps, even though he is not so specific about it, which would have led to those conflicts and arguements. I am sure, Shane Warne, the famous Aussie spin bowler would have had the same problem too.

    Very good comments by you, Sourya Prakasha, Permude! By the way, a touchy and taboo subject Shilpa Raina, very nicely penned by you though, which is rather difficult to discuss and comment.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • James Fernandes, Barkur,USA

    Mon, Feb 22 2010

    "What Drives People to Find Love Out of Wedlock?"

    Money, Power, No-Morals, Bribery, and actually Ferrari.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Sourya Prakasha, Permude

    Mon, Feb 22 2010

    Sexual Desires are the only reason.
    When it becomes 'Ghar ki Murgi Daal Barabar' extra marital affair starts as its human tendency to explore new things in life.  Tension, frustration , fights and all other terms used are BAKWAS.
    The only thing in life is to control all these kinda evil is ‘ Dharma’ Those who lacks starts Extra or Otherwise ‘Peene walon ko peene ka bahana chahiyee !

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