By Tiffany Anton for

I recently read an article on by Hanna Rosin titled "The Upside of Infidelity: Can An Affair Save your Marriage," and it really got me thinking. My first reaction was joy at knowing therapists are changing their puritanical views of marital infidelity and realizing how our flawed self can bring us healing and reparations. I was also impressed with the idea that monogamy as a social expectation doesn't equate to our biological nature, as well as the validity of differing relationship and sexual needs. My second thought revolved around the vastness of reasoning behind affairs.

 Hepp, Getty Images //  Hepp, Getty Images

Many therapists have a list to explain the 'why’s' of affairs. Those whose partners cheated tend to search rapidly, and in a fit of panic to find the "reason" the affair occurred. There are many, many why's and I've listed several below.

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Many of the 'whys' of affairs:
• Situational availability
• Need for excitement
• Attachment issues
• Emptiness in their marriage
• Lack of sex at home
• Desire to be wanted
• An ego boost
• An escape
• Attention
• Affection
• Sexual diversity
• Entitlement
• Intimacy avoidance
• An out: a way to end a marriage/relationship
• Externally meeting your sexual and emotional needs
• Impulsivity
• Revenge
• Conflict avoidance
• and many more

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By understanding the 'why's' of affairs, you can look at and hopefully address the challenges in your own marriage, share your needs, and create a new and reinvigorated relationship and sexual expression.

Michael Formica, in his YourTango article "4 Types of Infidelity and How Affairs Help a Marriage", states the that "an affair can add fizz to a flat partnership — what was once stale gets refreshed by a new energy." Second, if you're having an affair you're probably doing it because you're missing something in your first relationship. If you analyze the affair you might be able to see what it is that you lack, and address that problem. Finally, people tend to get into the same kind of relationship over and over again, but affairs are different. According to Formica, they can be "a more authentic barometer for what we actually need in our relationships."