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Potential Contributing Factors – Affairs

The couple’s relationship:
  • Frequent arguments or unresolved issues
  • Lack of emotional closeness
  • Little time devoted to fun activities that both partners enjoy
  • Little physical intimacy
  • Unmet expectations
  • Difficulty balancing goals of the relationship with personal goals

Influences outside of the relationship:
  • High work or family demands/responsibilities
  • Too many extracurricular activities (excluding partner)
  • Stress from various sources (e.g. illness, financial, extended family)
  • Too much time spent with individuals who don’t support the relationship
  • Too little time spent with individuals who support the relationship
  • Exposure to situations which provide for opportunity for outside emotional or sexual involvement.

Aspects of the participating partner:
  • Self-doubt and vulnerability
  • High desire for individuals outside of the relationship
  • Participating in behaviours that contribute to difficulty in maintaining a healthy relationship.
  • Personal beliefs about affairs (emphasizing the positives and minimizing the negatives)
  • Difficulties maintaining commitment

Aspects of the injured partner
  • Self-doubt interfering with emotional and physical intimacy
  • Participating in behaviours that contribute maintaining difficulty in the relationship
  • Difficulties in coping with relationship disappointments. 

Baucom, D. H., Snyder, D. K., Gordon, K. C., & Snyder, D. K. (2009). Helping couples get past the affair: A clinician's guide. New York: Guilford Press.

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