Are you are vulnerable for an affair?
By Dr. Lovegood
Everybody in a long term relationship wonders at some point if they are in the right
relationship. They wonder if they might be happier with someone else. Many times a good
part of this wondering is subconscious. People aren't even really aware that they are
questioning the relationship.
There are two things that cause most infidelity (not including constant infidelity of
people unable or unwilling to make a sexual commitment). Those two things are needs not
being met and consciously or unconsciously looking for greener grass. If your needs are
not being met, you are vulnerable for an affair. Of course, people's needs vary by
temperament and type, but here's a short summary.
In a relationship, a Guardian needs admiration, respect, and praise for jobs well done.
Guardians can become vulnerable if their mate takes them for granted, never thanks them,
and does no romancing. Sex is important to all temperaments, but especially to Artisans
who also want admiration and praise. Artisans may become vulnerable to an affair if there
is too much routine, too many rules, and not enough sexual excitement. Rationals want to
be esteemed for their incisive reasoning and ability to not be swayed by illogical emotional
appeals. They can become vulnerable to an affair if they have no intelligent admiring
audience for theories or their intellectual expression is squelched. Idealists need to
be esteemed for their ability to help others, particularly emotional help. They may
become vulnerable to an affair if their partner doesn't talk to them from the heart,
doesn't catch their vision, and isn't romantic.
It is quite possible and, in fact, happens often that a person doesn't get these needs
completely met by their partner but does get them met by family members and close friends.
This can be a very stable situation unless the person wants their partner to meet more of
If your needs are not being met by some combination of your partner, family, and friends,
you are at risk for an affair. Unless you actively work against it, you are likely to find
yourself consciously or subconsciously trolling. An Idealist in an unhappy marriage was told
by an Artisan friend that she could find someone better for herself. The Artisan said that
he'd met several people just recently. Her reply was that the difference was that he knew
he was available, and she knew she wasn't. (Her marital problems were eventually resolved
without resorting to an affair.)
Here's a plan for dealing with your own vulnerability to an affair.
- Identify the need(s) not being met. The ones listed here are just a starting point.
- Talk to your partner. Are their needs being met? Can they help with yours?
Would counseling help?
- If they can't or won't meet your needs adequately:
- Find other ways to get your own needs met through God, close friends, family, therapy and
- Leave them and hope to find someone who can.
In the absence of other major problems such as abuse, infidelity, illegal activities, etc.,
Option A is the best way to start. Option B, starting over, often seems more attractive.
The problem is we never really start over. There is no clean slate. We bring the marks
and scars of every previous relationship with us. It's best to stick with Option A until
there's nothing left to work with. Be aware of your own needs so you don't accidentally
tumble into an affair.