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Do Affairs Happen When there's Not Enough Sex in the Marriage?

Updated: Jul 25, 2022

You've heard the whispering (mis-informed) judgment before: 'He/she wouldn't have strayed if they were satisfied at home."



But in our society we like to believe it. The 'they weren't getting it at home' is a common, too-easy generalization that omits pretty much every other reason that an affair happens. And there are endless other reasons affairs happen.... all of which are more accurate than this unfortunate misconception.

The truth is that there are many reasons affairs and infidelity happens in a marriage. The most important thing you can do is get the counseling and support to understand what vulnerabilities existed that opened the door to an affair.

BUT! Sometimes the vulnerability is just that we are human. That we aren't made of stone, and that life happens. We may get close with someone outside of the marriage and somehow we end up straying.

I use the analogy of a frog in boiling water. Being in an affair is like being a frog in boiling water. If a frog is put in boiling water, he jumps out. But if.a frog is put in room temperature water and the heat slowly turns up over time until its eventually boiling, he stays put and.... well, we know what happens to the frog.

Similarly, most affairs heat up over time. So incrementally that before even they know it, the people having an affair are also wondering "how did I get here?!" But, it's heated up so slowly that they now don't/can't jump out. They're in it. Much to their own surprise.

Affairs are confusing for everyone involved. When an affair happens in a marriage you owe it to yourselves, either together or individually, to understand how you got there. Blame is easy to cast. Gaining accurate personal responsibility is much harder work. And, it's also the only way to heal.

A marriage is made up of two people who create a third thing together: their relationship. It's up to you to assess what your individual roles were, and how those individual roles were brought together to form the quality and the makeup of your unique marriage. You can then understand how the affair happened with more compassion and clarity. This is essential.

So the next time you hear someone say "they must not have gotten it at home," you can say

"we actually have no idea what happened. But hopefully they do."

Lauren provides boots-on-the-ground lived experience combined with invaluable professional expertise working with infidelity. She is committed to helping individuals and couples deal with and heal from marital affairs in a highly effective, yet warm and judgment-free style.

Lauren's articles help share much-needed information, and reduce the stigma and shame around the common experience of infidelity. Contact Lauren at to learn more about working together.

Lauren, Affair Specialist


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