Rick Reynolds, LCSW
by Rick Reynolds, LCSW
Founder & President, Affair Recovery

Six Types of Affairs: Wanting the Marriage and the Affair

Category 1: One Night Stand
Category 2: Fallen in Love
Category 3: Sexual Addiction
>Category 4: Wanting the Marriage and the Affair
Category 5: Emotional Affair
Category 6: Love Addiction

Category 4: Wanting the Marriage and the Affair

In this situation the affair partner is integrated into the betrayer’s life style. There is no intent to leave the marriage or to stop the affair. They want the benefits that come from having both their mate and their affair partner (AP). At times the unfaithful mate will financially support the AP to maintain the relationship. It’s not uncommon for the AP to believe the unfaithful mate is going to leave their spouse to be with them. These relationships can go on for years. In certain cultures or family systems, covert approval is given for this behavior. However the fact that the AP is kept secret from the betrayed spouse is proof the unfaithful party knows their behavior is unacceptable.

This person is committed to stay, but they are also not committed not to stray. They are often happily married and the betrayed spouse also believes they have a great marriage. Before the revelation of the affair the betrayed spouse believes the positive characteristics of their mate far outweigh their defects, which allows them to easily write off any character flaws. The level of deception from this type of affair can leave the betrayed spouse feeling there is no way they could ever again trust their mate.

The unfaithful spouse shares one part of themselves with their mate and then reserve another aspect of life for the affair partner. Daily activities and information are divided into two realms: that which will be shared with the spouse, and that which will be shared with the affair partner. When this person tells their mate they love them and want the marriage it is nearly impossible for the betrayed spouse to believe.


  • This person wanted the benefits of having both their marriage and their affair partner.
  • They often have a high level of marital satisfaction and have been a good spouse.
  • After discovery they will choose their marriage over the AP. 


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I believe my husband fits into the category of wanting the affair and the marriage. I certainly have a difficult time with why he is choosing me after 4.5 years with someone else who he claims he loves. In your description of this affair, why is it that they have a tendency to go back to their marriage?

type 4 wanted marriage and a supplemental "ap"

So, we are 3 plus years out from discovery and this is what he did....and I don't trust him, and he behaved with her the way he behaves with me and it stinks, I am in counseling and have been for the whole time, some days I just want to quit, it is too painful, and I am better but still every day, and some days, all day/night I just want this over....

I just want to talk! You

I just want to talk! You strike a cord with me! 63 years old! 5 children!

So what does this say about

So what does this say about the unfaithful? They are spoiled, want their cake but to eat it too? They are selfish.

Type 4 have your cake and eat it too

I too am still hurting deeply after 3 years since discovery of my husband's affair. He says he doesn't believe in monogamy, but will honor his commitment to me from now on to be faithful and monogamous because he understands it is a precondition to continuing our marriage. He acknowledges how his betrayal and deception hurt me deeply. It makes me feel like throwing up when he says we "have different values about sex". But he is committed to fidelity in our marriage. I think this different values is CYA and a huge warning sign. We have been in counseling for 3 years. I am not sure i can ever love or trust him.


I believe my husband about never intending to leave me. Our marriage was good. I always was shown affection. However when i discovered they bought christmas gifts, he even had me buy her a birthday cake and gift (we do this for all employees) and then found out they text for 3 hours every night when i went to bed just about sent me over the edge. I fired her and all he could say is that is not my place to fire her. I kicked him out and weeks later he got the "aha" that he can't lead 2 lives. He is remorseful and could not be a better husband. However I am not sure i care anymore.

He wanted it all

Good grief! I can't believe how this explained my husband perfectly! He would have told you we had a great marriage. We even taught marriage classes together. He was having a physical affair with the yoga instructor at the gym and an emotional affair with another lady also from the gym! After d day he immediately broke off the physical one. (He did not know that I had already discovered both women.). When kept meeting with the second one I finally confronted him about a month later. He broke it off quickly as well. And you are correct....I don't trust him or believe it when he says he loves me or that he wants to be married to me. I think he just can't give me up because of all the trappings that he would lose if he did like kiids, church, reputation, big house, holidays etc. Do I think he will cheat on me again? Probably! I have no idea what to do. I feel stuck. Not who I thought I married. Not what I thought marriage was. Totally blindsided. Not sure I can ever trust him again... Not sure if I even like him anymore!

OH! my dear gal. Try being 60

OH! my dear gal. Try being 60 -something and still in it!


I'm dealing with this now...I suspected infidility pretty quickly but it took 6 months for me to find out the truth. We were having mad problems yet he was saying how he wanted it work and was mostly happy. When I discovered the truth, I was relived but wasn't prepared for the pain and everything that was confessed. My husband is a teacher. Well respected...blah blah blah. He admitted that he had cheated in past relationships but never explained to what extent. I still don't totally know but I believe his dad cheated on his mom ( they have been married over 40 years) his brother has also cheated on his wife (they are still married but live separately) That is not the life I want. We have been together for 3 years.
I am 6 years older than him. I cheated on my first husband and decided I never wanted to put someone else through that pain. I walked away from my husband because I knew I wasnt happy and I didn't want to keep putting him through that.

2 weeks ago I found out he is still in contact with the two women. This time around I've decided to say nothing. Before finding out we had been going back and fourth about staying together. Now I realize he really doesnt want a divorce. He just wants me to accept his behavior (keeping secrets and not having a transparent marriage) and allow him to get the emotional needs met from other women. However before I found out the truth I've repeatedly said I can tell you are not being honest about something.

Unfortunately its going to take me to move out for him to either make amends and admit his behavior as well as get help or I will divorce him and he will continue in this pattern.


So how does the betrayed get past this and how does the wayward spouse avoid this from happening again ?


So how does the betrayed get past this and how does the wayward spouse avoid this from happening again ?

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