If your wife cheats on you and her affair partner is clearly a highly attractive guy, it’s stomach churning, but at least it makes some kind of logical sense. She traded up and everyone likes getting a better deal.
But there are also plenty of times when the affair partner is frankly not all that impressive. The husband is the king of awesome and the wife has an affair with “some loser who has a kid in the same class as one of my kids.” The loser has a smaller house, a beat up car, a mundane job, is divorced yada yada yada. On paper it makes no sense. Why him?
The missing piece of the puzzle is that people tend to get into affairs based on getting what their current relationship lacks. The lower Sex Rank affair partner may only need to supply that one element that the higher Sex Rank marriage partner lacks. Thus…
If you’re broke, it’s a guy with a good income that’s the threat.
If you’re fat, it’s the in shape guy that’s the threat.
If you’re ignoring her, it’s the guy that can emotionally connect and hold a conversation that’s the threat.
If you’re boring, it’s the guy that’s fun that’s the threat.
If your penis is non-functional, it’s the guy with a working dick that’s the threat.
If you’re [insert weak point], it’s the guy [strong at your weak point] that’s the threat.
It’s also a factor that the affair partner doesn’t need to supply the entire relationship. Our king of awesome above, let’s say he’s got a great income, houses, fancy cars, vs. the loser with his small house and moderate standard of living. The wife in question doesn’t lack for finances because the husband supplies it, so the lower income of the loser isn’t that much of a point against him. If the loser however can provide a lot of emotional connection and conversation, and the husband is essentially so busy being the king of awesome he ignores her, suddenly the loser has something of value she craves. She can get one need met from the husband and the other need meet from the loser.
Or put more plainly, the husband is almost always unwittingly providing support for the Other Man to seduce the wife. The husband is typically supplying most of the wife’s needs, meaning the Other Man only has to supply the remainder of her needs to have an in.
This is incidentally why you blow an affair up and demand an all in or all out decision. When the husband threatens to end the relationship unless the wife punts the Other Man out of the picture, it puts the Other Man into a position where if he wants to continue the relationship with the wife, he now has to be able to supply the entire relationship, which he may simply not want to do, nor be capable of.
Or put another way, if all the Other Man has to do is provide a listening ear, a bunch of text messages and a hotel room once in a while, that’s not that difficult. If he has to provide an income, medical insurance, a place to stay, break up his own family and live with your wife 24/7, that’s a lot more difficult. He may not be willing to do that, or even be able to if he wanted to. Typically the come-to-Jesus-moment-of-horror for the cheating wife is that in the middle of her husband blowing the affair open, the Other Man denies her request for a complete relationship. Sorry honey, you’re just a piece on the side, not the main dish, go away.
Immediately upon realizing she just went from two men in her life to potentially zero men, she heads to the nearest bathroom and throws up.
Or alternatively, she realizes that the Other Man compared to the husband is a loser, and she has no desire at all for a complete relationship with him. Thus when ultimatumed, she dumps the Other Man.
Just bear in mind that even if she comes back home and tearfully and genuinely wants to work on things, there’s still the initial background issue of whatever that weakness in the husband was. At some point, he’s got to address that, or eventually all this plays out again.
And as always, prevention is the best medicine. If you have a glaring weakness in your marriage, that’s your top priority to fix.