Relationships are difficult to manage for many reasons. So it is not unusual that people want to run away from life through “Fantasy Games.” At times, relationships can be threatened by how we relate to each other, other people, the fantasies of our minds, and our actions. When one person in the relationship is concerned about the “interpersonal relating aspects” of the marriage, and the other is not as focused on it, then a number of issues have to be considered.
What is an Affair?
The definition of affairs can vary widely among individuals and groups. The best definition is one that focuses on whether or not the activity is taking away more time from the primary relationship – or it is an activity that one devotes too much time to rather than having more of a balanced life. It further concerns whether or not enough time is being devoted to the primary relationship/activities – or doing any of your other work that needs to be done in life.
It has to do with “why or what results” from the time you devote to another activity. Affairs do not have to be sexual in nature or actually involve “real” relating to another person.
Affairs are usually signs that something is wrong in our personal psychological lives and relationship. Affairs are “quick fixes” for our feelings because of the “excitement of the unknown and the issue of the risk.” Affairs happen when we do not want to deal with what is happening in our lives. Affairs are additions where you devote too much of one’s energy and life to an activity.
Affairs can happen with a computer, other activities, another person, pornography, fantasy experiences, phone calls and chats, or when you are finding yourself “leaning on another person outside of the relationship for support.” Affairs happen when the trust is lost out of the relationship.
An innocent friendship moves to an emotional affair if it involves:
- Intimacy (generally a higher level of intimacy than with the primary partner)
- Secrecy from the primary mate
- Sexual chemistry even if the relationship is non-sexual in nature.
When something is missing in a marriage or relationship, people often look elsewhere to fill the void. However, many people who have affairs, even fantasy affairs, they will “make the excuse” that is because their needs are not being met in the relationship.
Fantasies are always more exciting than the daily reality of life. It allows us to avoid dealing with the real issues in our life. It allows us to run away and avoid real life issues. In reality, affairs have more to do with the person who is “acting out” than it does with the relationship itself!
Fantasy as an Affair
“Non-sexual” affairs are more alluring than a marriage because they are based on fantasy.
Fantasy is not necessarily a negative element, but when it starts distracting from the current relationship it can cause serious problems for the person doing it and the marriage.
An “Affair” happens when one partner devotes a good amount of time to someone, or something else, outside of their primary relationship. This includes “talking on the phone, on computer chat rooms, or in situations where you rely on “the other person” for your emotional needs.
With pornography, computers (Internet & e-mail), it is easy to become lured into a relationship because of the privacy, intimacy, secret, intimate and immediacy of the experience. Many times people don’t realize what they have gotten into until they find themselves more deeply emotionally involved than they had anticipated. With computers, or pornography, it can only take a few seconds to feel good about oneself. When fantasy feedback is immediate, there is a lot of exhilaration, and it is very easy to become addicted to the excitement.
Fantasy affairs of the mind allows one to eliminate all physical factors and the daily stressors that accompany the work of a “real” relationship. Anonymous secret affairs creates more mystery and excitement.
In fantasy, your perceptions are limited and stereotypes can be avoided or enhanced. Fantasy allows one to avoid the mundane conditions of everyday domestic life, kids, finances, etc. Sometimes people lose sight of the fact that fantasy and reality are two very different realities.
Fantasy allows someone to create their own perceptions about the other person or situation and permits one to feel and react more unrestrained. Fantasy allows one to “wear a mask,” hide one’s self, and take risks safely. Fantasy allows one the freedom to blur reality and the real boundaries of human relating.
The bottom line is that fantasy affairs help the person to “avoid growing up” and dealing with life, and relationships, in mature terms.