Affairs In The Time Of Loneliness: Why We Seek Connection Outside Of Marriage

By Ikenga Chronicles November 4, 2018

Affairs In The Time Of Loneliness: Why We Seek Connection Outside Of Marriage

–Galina Singer

“Almost everywhere people marry, monogamy is the official norm and infidelity the clandestine one.” ~ Esther Perel

“It was actually so nice…that we decided to spend the night together!”
My married friend tells me how she hooked up with a married man she never met before while they were both on a business trip.

She tells me how they had a “real connection” and it was comfortable and tender to spend the night together. In the morning she left and they never spoke again.

This is how some married people in our day and age get to connect: they go outside of their marriage. What made an impression on me was that a single evening consisting of a meal, a sex act, and a sleep with a stranger qualified as “a really nice connection.”

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How lonely and disconnected are we?

Studies indicate that roughly 20 percent of the general population suffer from chronic loneliness at any given time, and among older adults, 62.5 percent of people who reported being lonely were married and living with their partner.

Most of us believe that marriage is an insurance against loneliness, but that is obviously not the case. It is not just sharing living space with someone that creates a connection, it is the quality of our relationships, based on honest communication, freedom for self-expression, and compassion.

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Humans are inherently responsive and relational beings, born with the desire to live in relationships. In fact, our tendency toward cooperation is now recognized among the key factors in our survival as a species.

However, our nature is in conflict with the culture we have constructed. Patriarchal ideologies over many generations have privileged stereotypically masculine qualities over those deemed feminine: we value self over relationships, individual success over the common good, the mind over the body, and thinking over feeling, which brings us to the crisis of connection we are experiencing today.

Most of us learn early in life to…

READ MORE: Affairs in the Time of Loneliness: Why we Seek Connection Outside of Marriage.