Infidelity can happen at any time in a marriage but there are certain times and circumstances when the spouses are more at risk. Throughout the life of nearly all marriages, certain events incubate infidelity.
After the first year of the marriage, spouses settle in, and the whirlwind ends. The routine sets as the acids of daily living together begin to accumulate. The emotional high is gone, and the bride and groom of just yesterday no longer supply what is needed to recapture that high. A casual fling seems just the remedy. There is no real emotional attachment to the other person. The faithless spouse loves his or her partner. Nevertheless, the chances of straying again later on in the marriage have increased substantially.
After a child is born, the marriage changes dramatically. The new arrival brings stress, fatigue, and it shifts attention from the husband or wife. Affairs after the first child are brought on by the changes in couples feelings towards each other.
The so-called seven-year itch happens somewhere around this time. The couple gets married, has kids, buys a house and establishes themselves as Mr. and Mrs. Solid Citizen. Now what? The anticipation of greater things is gone. Doing the same thing day in and day out seems to be a dreadful fate.
This is the cruel twist in the American Dream – and a most common cause of all affairs. A man or woman may feel that the project is completed and nothing is left to do but sit and watch the days pass. They are bored, unhappy or just plain tired. A new house may be purchased, perhaps a new car. Or even another baby. Anything to add some excitement. But the rush from these quick fixes is short-lived and bittersweet at best.
Affairs occurring at this stage in the relationship are often the most damaging. The cheating individual traditionally develops a deep bond with the other person. The faithful mate questions the other’s fidelity. Affairs occurring during this period continue for the longest period of time as well.
Affairs also happen on the cusp of the so-called Golden Years. The children are all grown and both spouses question their lot in life. The couple inventories where they started and where they are, and sometimes each throws a cold eye on the marriage trying to decide whether they want to spend another twenty plus years with the same individual.
A second childhood brings around noticeable changes in both men and women. A man might buy a sports car, a woman might feel the need for a new youthful hairstyle. They will not be doing this for the benefit of the other. They do it for themselves.