Having An Affair Sounds Like A Lot Of Work—How Do People Do It?

I was married for almost nine years, and while not all of those were happy, I never even considered having an affair. Not only would it be a total betrayal of my partner and our relationship, the whole thing sounds way too exhausting and dramatic.

  1. Keeping it secret is mentally exhausting. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t even like to wait for birthdays or Christmas because I want to scream from the lungs what I got people. I can’t imagine having to hide a secret like an affair from everyone. My brain would hurt by day two. Those kinds of secrets are always on your brain and having to carry that weight around with you can take a serious mental and emotional toll.
  2. How does one plan so much sneaking around? Again, I don’t have time to do my laundry most days. How do people who cheat plan meetups, weekends away, and secret sexy hotel room dates on a regular basis? That’s a lot of work for sex. I don’t know if I’m just lazy or not motivated enough but I just can’t imagine that being an attractive prospect.
  3. I had enough pressure on me in my marriage—I couldn’t imagine more. A marriage takes work whether things are going well or not. When there’s turbulence in the relationship, you want to add another man in your life to put added pressure on you? No thanks, I’m good. I can’t imagine having to look good and sexy for the other man in my life, not to mention all the other expectations that would inevitably come with our arrangement.
  4. I just don’t have time to have an affair. I rarely have time to myself in one relationship, so how on earth would I get any if I was seeing two different people? Adding another person to an already hectic life would just make things unmanageable. I need time and space to breathe and a side relationship is really not conducive to that.
  5. I’m broke already. I know guys tend to foot the bill early in relationships (even affairs?) but I’d still have birthdays and Christmas presents to buy at the very least. Then it’s lingerie and hair and makeup to look sexy for the guy on the side, not to mention eyebrows and waxing in all the right (or wrong) places. I can’t keep up with my bank account now, man!
  6. Having sex with someone else is just too much. Maybe it’s just me, but too much sex is just that—too much. Having sex with my primary partner is enough for me. I really can’t imagine having to add in more sex with someone else. I’m assuming most people start affairs for the sex, so what happens when that’s boring and tedious too? Does the affair end? Do you keep doing it just because? I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
  7. Emotionally, I really can’t carry that kind of weight. If you’re a decent human being, the guilt from cheating on your significant other must eat you up at night. The shame from wondering if people know or will find out lingers in your mind. The worry that it will slip out to someone or that someone will catch you at dinner must drive you nuts all day. That’s too much for me. I already have things that keep me up at night. I don’t need that kind of betrayal gnawing at my conscience too.
  8. If it’s a colleague, that’s bound to get awkward. You’re around your co-workers a lot, so it’s natural to grow relationships there. However, if you end up having an affair with a colleague, not only do you have to hide the affair from people in your personal life but you have to hide it from people in your work life as well. Plus, when it inevitably fizzles out (or explodes in a blaze of fire), that’s bound to make staff meetings pretty awkward…
  9. People get caught when things get sloppy. In an affair situation, people get caught when they’re not on top of their game. They don’t clear their computer history, they don’t erase text messages, and they don’t think about the cell phone bill that lists the phone numbers called. They use their credit card to pay for a hotel room and the bill gets sent to their house. There is so much to think about and stay on top of while having an affair. Who wants to dedicate so much mental energy to that?
I’m a 35 year old single mother who found herself in the midst of a separation this year. I’m finding myself and life again. I work full time during the day with at risk youth and freelance write at night.