I interviewed Ann (pseudonym), who is a middle-aged woman who is a mother of three and has always been a happy, loving, and positive human being. However when I knew that I was going to interview her, I instantly knew that I was going to focus on the topic of how extramarital affairs (emotional and or sexual relationship a spouse has outside of their relationship) and divorce affects middle aged women. I chose this topic as the effects it has on a woman can be life-changing and can result in them becoming an entirely different person, and in the case of Ann it couldn’t be any more apparent. It is important to acknowledge that a divorce and the effect that it has is one subject matter, but a divorce caused by extramarital affairs is an entirely separate issue as it can have damaging short term effects, long term effects, and financial consequences. While divorce is not a primary process of aging, it is a secondary process that affects a large amount of women as they age in life. Understanding the basics of extramarital affairs such as the prevalence of them, who participates in them, and why they participate in them is the first step in understanding the effect they can have.
There isn’t a known culture that accepts extramarital affairs (Jankowiak, Nell, and Buckmaster, 2002). Eric Widmer, Judith Treas, and Robert Newcomb (1998) published an article concerning attitudes on premarital sex, teenage sex, homosexual sex, and extramarital sex in 24 different countries. Their research consisted of surveying over 33,000 people. Their findings were very interested as while premarital sex gathered the strongest acceptance and homosexual sex gathered the most varied responses; it was extramarital sex that countries agreed on the most. In 24 countries, only 4% of people found that extramarital sex was an acceptable behavior.
In addition to extramarital affairs not being accepted by any culture or society, 99% of married people expect their spouse to only have sex with them (DeMaris, 2009). However a large portion of people hypocritically engage in extramarital relations. Michael Wiederman (1997) published an article in the Journal of Sex Research that had the goal to find out the prevalence of extramarital sex. The method of the research was face to face interviews, and then the participants were given a small questionnaire to privately complete. The sample was randomly chosen and the sample size was 884 men and 1,288 women. The results of the research were that men were more likely than women to engage in extramarital sexual relations. 22.7% of the men engaged in extramarital sex compared to only 11.6% of the women.
When asked what the basis was for engaging in extramarital sex, men cite more sex and variety in sex as their reason more often while women cite emotional support more often (Lauer & Lauer, 2009). Other reasons given were sexual frustration, being seduced, and for revenge (Lauer & Lauer, 2009). In regards to whose...