Life can be highly difficult and lonely at times, even within a good relationship. Overwhelming stressors – layoffs at work, terminal illness of a spouse or family member, the loss of a loved one or the need to make an important, potentially life-changing decision – can all seem too much to deal with.
When someone has a hard time coping with these deathly sobering issues, they can become vulnerable to engaging in an affair. These are known as distraction affairs, as the person is not actively seeking to deliberately cheat on their spouse or destroy a good relationship. More or less, the affair serves as a distraction, an outlet for pent up frustration, feelings of loneliness, grief or hopelessness.
Distraction affairs also serve to show an individual that they may have been anxious over involuntary changes that coming into their lives. Large changes in our lives which require more energy from us can seem exhausting, especially when they’re not by choice. A distracted cheater might understand this effort is mandatory, yet still shy away from stepping up to the necessary challenge. Instead, his energy is directed elsewhere until he either feels ready or is forced to make that change.
Distraction affairs can appear helpful to the parties involved at first, but they only waste time and energy. A distraction affair delays the inevitable action the distracted cheater must take, whether it’s to make an important final decision on a large purchase, the need to prepare for possible funeral arrangements, or investing in resources to tackle a hefty project at work that is largely understaffed.
How to Handle a Distraction Affair
Distracting yourself from life’s problems is only a temporary plug that eventually wears off. Instead of expending time and energy into your affair, you’re better off taking a deep breath and tackling the problem. Begin outlining a defined plan of action to resolve the conflict which stresses you out. If you fear the problem is too large to handle, remember the popular adage which states: “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”
Is This a Distraction Affair?
If you can answer yes to at least two of these questions, then there’s a strong chance this was (or currently is) a distraction affair.
Are/Were you miserable about life or a pending life event at the time your affair started?
Are/Were you dejected about your relationship in any way?
Did/Do you feel “stuck in-between” two different tides in life?
Do/Did you feel indecisive or ambivalent towards how to handle feeling trapped?