Affairs come in all types and varieties. The types of affairs listed below occur separately or in combined form with other types of affairs.
1) “I-Need-Communication-And-Intimacy” Affair: In this affair, though there is sex, both men and women find it easier to communicate, confide, and be more sexually expressive with friends in affairs.
2) “Pre-Meditated” Affair: More typical of women than men, this affair is the result of having considered the safety, confidentiality, etc. of the potential candidate.
3) “Peer-To-Peer” Affair: Such affair, common especially to women but also to men, is when participants are on an equal footing. For example, when a married woman has an affair with a married man. Such arrangement often works well for both their time schedules and helps to avoid tendencies toward becoming overly-dependent on each other. Other “Peer-to-Peer” affairs include those between full-time employed women and full-time employed men, etc.
4) “Work-And-Mutual Respect” Affair: This affair evolves when two individuals work together in the same area. Friendship and mutual respect grow as the mutually encouraging energy evolves into something more “satisfying.”
5) “Fulfill-What’s-Missing-In-My-Marriage” Affair: Repeated and ongoing unresponsiveness to sex, feeling of worthlessness, lack of affirmation, and loneliness can be a major trigger for an affair.
6) “I-Need-An-Alternate-Family” Affair: Some marriages not only lack the capacity for support. They destroy every possibility for affirmation, self-esteem, and shared love. Such marriages, often characterized by dramatic dysfunction and/or mental illness, do not provide any marital fulfillment. In order to cope, partners may seek and develop an alternate family. This family usually begins with a friend and develops into an affair.
7) “Let’s-Just-Have-Fun” Affair: Whether a one-night-stand or a multiple event, this affair is just “for kicks.” The release from pressure and monotony provides an added “lift” to life via sexual involvement.
8) “I-Can’t-Stand-The-Loneliness” Affair: When other strategies and attempts to cure loneliness fail, the affair can offer a “quick fix.” The sexual connection made can trigger pheromones and hormones long suppressed by loneliness and other depression-related syndromes.
9) The “Mother/Father-Figure” Affair: Freud was right. Normal individuals do seek after opposite-sexed individuals emulating parents or idealized parents. Sometimes this affair will be marked by a great age disparity between individuals. In other instances the affair will be between like-aged individuals with extremely similar personality traits to parents. Pastors and others in the helping professions are extremely vulnerable to this type of affair as they can be perceived as substitute parents.
10) “I-Don’t-Believe-I-Did-It” Affair: This affair happens when individuals suddenly let down their guard. It could be a friendship which suddenly becomes an “intimate encounter.” Or it could be a counseling session, renewing of an old acquaintance, or something just “out of the ordinary.” However it happens, it may be either premeditated or spontaneous.
11) “We’re-Reunited-Again” Affair: The euphoria of being reunited with acquaintances can often trigger feelings of longing for “what could have been.” Acting on these feelings, an affair is sure to follow.
12) “Let’s-Risk-Getting-Caught” Affair: Sometimes the thrill of doing what is wrong–and getting away with it–produces an attraction and euphoria greater than the sexual act itself. For some, this euphoria is irresistible.
13) “I’m-Grieving” Affair: One of the most tell-tale signs of grief is that it brings back memories of former attachments which have been taken away. These attachments come with striking force as current grief brings back the fond memories of past relationships. This, strengthened by the need for bonding in time of loss, make grief a common–and formidable–trigger for affairs.
14) “We-Don’t-Need-A-Reason” Affair: This affair occurs “just because it’s there” or for a number of other possible reasons. Whatever the reasons, this affair really doesn’t care. It just “happens.” It wasn’t there yesterday. It may not be there tomorrow.
15) “I’m-Doing-It-For-Revenge” Affair: Designed to “get back” at one’s spouse, this affair is a way that individuals act out and direct their anger at their spouse. Other variations of this type of affair include engaging in affairs to hurt, betray, damage or destroy another person. This type of affair is all-too-common in political arenas and is the plot of one of the Bible’s most famous affairs, Samson and Delilah.
16) “I-Want-Attention” Affair: Individuals who lack a history of being able to make strong, positive relationship bonds often seek substitutes for this lack of bonding by getting attention. Too often, the best way to get attention is to have an affair with someone by whom they can get lots of attention. When caught, they get it…by being thrust into the public spotlight with their partner.
17) “Vicarious-Encounter-With-A-Stranger” Affair: When one has an unquenchable longing for a sexual partner forbidden or inaccessible to them, they may seek substitutes. Pornographic media (TV, Internet cyber-affairs, magazines, etc.) may be used at a lesser level “Vicarious Encounter.”
At higher levels, massage parlors, topless bars, and other such “pay-for-play” places provide a greater sense of realism for fantasy fulfillment. In the vast majority of cases, either or both of the partners’ names are not known. They may also use aliases. This, however, is irrelevant since the partners will never see each other again. Nor would they recognize each other.
18) “Give-Me-What-I-Want” Affair: In this affair, there is an exchange of sex for something desired by the other partner: power, position, advancement, money, things, etc.
19) “I-Can’t-Keep-Burning” Affair: In First Corinthians 7, Paul said it is “better to marry than to burn.” Those who can no longer contain the burning find release in having an affair.
20) Other Types Of Affairs: The listing is virtually endless. What is most important, however, is that since the listing is virtually endless, the needs, drives and opportunities for affairs are also virtually endless. Given the “right” dangerous combination, affairs can–and will–happen to pastors, Christian leaders, congregational members and even you!