And I don’t just mean in cards or when playing Monopoly – although doesn’t that piss you right off too? 

Affairs are as old as the hills and far far away, the exact same place you always think you will run for should your partner ever cheat. 

So, the big questions are; do you think you could spot if your partner is prone to infidelity and what exactly would be the trigger to make them cheat in the first place?

56% of men who have affairs claim to be happy in their marriages.  Let’s just take a moment to stop and ponder on such a statement! 

So, from this gem of information it appears even though these men in are the main largely satisfied with everything they have and are not necessarily looking for a way out, they still just happen to find themselves in bed with someone else. 

Well suck a cactus and call me Betty! 

It is factual that most affairs die a natural death and from some; marriages and partnerships can improve, but regretfully in most cases the attempt to heat things up ends up causing a fire and wiping out everything. 

The trigger to an affair is something that we need to identify mainly for self-preservation reasons and because there’s nothing more than a bit of British self-flogging to improve moral. Why did it occur?  Will it be that final nail in the coffin to a relationship way beyond resuscitation? Or was it just a one-off mistake after a drunken night out?

The reasons why people cheat vary and knowing makes the whole sordid situation very real forcing you to either ignore it or carry on and move on, which is easier said than done!  Sometimes you just must simply pick yourself up, brush yourself down and walk away being the only set of steps to take.

So, when affairs occur, whether instigated consciously or subconsciously, is it the secrecy, the sneaking around behind closed doors, or are there deeper reasons like depression and genuine desperation with relationships that drive men and women to cheat?

There are many types of classifications of affairs which all provide some sort of justification and rationale to why a person has chosen to cheat; after all we are the master of every decision made in life and not held hostage by others.

The protest affair

This type of affair comes about from attention-seeking and may well be a way of saying `Look how much you've hurt me!'.  This is confirmation the relationship is not going well for whatever reason.  The main question to be posed is if the relationship is that broken then just get the hell out of it and don’t look back! 

The you-don't-love-me affair

Insecurity is a word nobody wishes to use in their list of current emotions but is recognised as something that can bring on an affair.

There are many types of insecurities a relationship can bring and with time as it changes the insecurities change too.  In pregnancy or child rearing a man may feel left out or insecure in the same way that it's easy for a woman to feel left out if her husband is too preoccupied with his work or hobbies.

Perhaps if the man had helped with the children instead of taking up golf the situation would be a tad different – however…. most insecurities are ill placed and should be erased with the magic of communication.  We are rubbish saying how we really feel, but sometimes to spill everything that is going on in that grey matter is a lot healthy than keeping it all locked away.  Without it we are all doomed!

The sexy affair

Do you think I’m sexy?

Rod Stewart has a lot to answer for!  Bad sex, lack of sex, no sex, all making your partner feel unattractive and all can cause problems.  This is an obvious observation without being a trained counsellor.  After all it is only natural for everyone to want to be sensational between the sheets and a hot favourite for the best lover in the world award. 

To be on the receiving end of your partner complaining about the quantity and quality can have a lasting and devastating effect.  But does this really give someone the right to seek sex elsewhere just to reconfirm what a sexy beast they really are?

The romantic affair

When the initial buzz has worn off relationships can become humdrum, some people choose to have affairs because they so desperately miss the romance.   Its just weird that they can invest more time and effort in creating the love buzz with someone else.

The escape-route/ ejector seat affair

When it looks as if there's no way out of a relationship except in getting a divorce, some partners will use an affair as an excuse and get out clause.   Confrontation is never easy and for a coward it appears the easier option and let’s face it probably more fun to race off with someone else than sit down and sensibly discuss separation.  Why not just man up otherwise it will end in tears.

Something better out there affair

Comparison affairs are the most common affairs females opt for when they feel certain emotional and sexual needs aren't being met.  Comparing a new lover to see if you're missing out a bit like a checklist which should have been compiled and utilised a long time ago. 

The underlying message in this predicament is the wrong person has been joined in holy matrimony and you will never be happy unless you do swapsies.  But will you live up to your new lover’s expectations?

Looking for excitement or an excuse affair

Happy with your marriage but bored.  With no desire to leave you are an excitement junkie and incredibly selfish.  Sometimes there is something more serious happening within the relationship like illness or you don't want to leave the marriage because of children or finances. 

These affairs are 'stabilising' affairs or known as 'three-legged stools' as with just two legs a stool would fall over but with three it's stable. But we all know stools are always very uncomfortable if you stay on them for too long and there’s nothing better than a comfy and familiar chair!

For revenge affair

An eye for an eye! The law of retaliation is the principle that a person who has injured another person is to be penalised to a similar degree.  But before you begin on this particular journey, remember to dig two graves. 

These payback affairs are never the answer only serving to distract your attention and honesty from the relationship you are in, no matter how sweet that revenge might be.

Midlife Crisis affair

Do I need to say more?  Yep, here we go, the ego is rearing its ugly head. Everyone wants to be wanted and if they feel unappreciated or unwanted then they can be tempted to stray.   Perhaps the turning of 40 or 50 with the realisation you are not where you want to be in life. Fears of dreams are slipping away, ageing or death are in the forefront of your mind!  It sounds like a horror movie but doesn’t have to end badly.

What’s the saying be happy whilst your alive as you’re a long time dead.  If you’re not a complete tosser and ruin someone else’s life just because you haven’t got your shit together then perhaps its time for a review!

Avoid facing the truth affair

To linger in no-man's land is a place without responsibility and one where you can choose to switch off and pretend.  Get with the programme, wake up and smell the coffee!

Reward affair 

You are such a great person you deserve it. Lots of people indulge in this one by having a 'safe' one-night encounter where the chances are getting found out are minimal. Trouble is, it turns into two nights, then three, then...

Ego Boost affair

Have you still got what it takes?  Steady on it’s a bloody risky way to boost your ego! The biggest difference between men and women is no matter how successful or charming young and old, rich and poor, weak and strong men in particular have very fragile egos. So much so they can recover much faster from a swift kick to their testicles than a direct hit to their ego. 

A few positive gestures along the way to repair his flagging ego will repair it faster than a tyre change and thus move on.

Trading up affair

You see it all the time when people become famous: the dutiful partner who helped them get there is rather rudely shoved aside for a sparkly young pert model.  The irony is then they normally do it back and the trade up is for one of loneliness and despair!

If your partner has cheated and tries to tell you it was because there were problems in the relationship, remind them you too have been living in the same troubled marriage/relationship but have chosen not to cheat.

This was a choice they could have made. A choice they are responsible for, not you.

Most adulterers do not set out to have an affair.  More, than often opportunity presents itself and they are too foolish  or too drunk, to resist.

Once a cheat, always a cheat?

You know what sucks more than being  cheated on?

Being cheated on twice, or three times.

Regrettably research has found that the more times a person cheats and subsequently lies about it, the less guilty they feel about it, so the more likely they are to do it again, over and over. 

Opportunistic adulterers take advantage of whatever pleasures come along without knowing or caring what anybody else thinks, of course without getting caught!  They are probably more likely to have either a one-off dalliance, or a series of one-night stands.

So, what constitutes “serial cheating” in the addictive sense? 

It is simply a pattern of repeated infidelity over time by someone who continuously seeks out extramarital sexual relationships and by definition makes them a serial cheater.

Signs to understand is the constant sexual validation looked for.  These individuals will very likely be addicted to flirting and inappropriate behaviour whilst drawn to people who find them attractive.  But it is short lived as they tend to move quickly from one relationship to another as the initial rush of attraction fades.

The effects of extra-marital affairs

When one partner goes outside of the relationship for emotional or physical needs, the other partner may end the relationship, or forgive and stay in it, but either way, extra-marital affairs have major effects that can be felt for some time.

Whether it is physical, emotional or cyber cheating, only a party to a relationship or marriage can define for themselves what they view as unacceptable.

The only way to define cheating and infidelity is if you feel your expectations of faithfulness from your spouse have been violated. When your expectations of faithfulness are not being met the emotional outcome are feelings of betrayal.

If those are the feelings you are having, then, yes, your partner is cheating.