If philandering was once predominately a male form of adultery, exit affairs are perhaps the female equivalent. Most exit affairs are the result of women who have pronounced their marriage dead, even buried, while clinging to the security of the relationship until a new source of that security can be found. Typically, they say that they spent years trying to fix their marriage and have simply reached the point of exhaustion. They usually do not connect the affair with the demise of their marital relationship and see the two as mutually exclusive relationships.
Exit affairs are usually discovered early on, as little effort is made to conceal them. Some involved in this type of infidelity might actually announce to family and friends that someone new has come into her (or his) life and is all the things that have been lacking, missing or denied in the marriage.
Many exit affairs are actually an effort to end the marriage, long thought dead or beyond salvage while avoiding being the “bad guy” who files for divorce. The thinking seems to be that by having an affair, the betrayed spouse will file for divorce or show signs of being vindictive, and so justify and affirm the assumption made by the cheater that the marriage has been long dead anyway. Most seem genuinely surprised to find that their spouse was completely unaware of the status of their marriage as being dead.
Combating Exit Affairs
While it would be an easy assumption to conclude that any marriage that has been hit by this kind of affair is beyond repair, as the very nature of it implies that the marriage ended before the affair began, these can actually be the easiest type of affair to bring to a rapid demise. The reasons for having given up on the marriage can often be quickly and easily identified. A demonstrated willingness to correct these things is key if you hope to save the marriage. With counseling and a specific plan designed to address the issues of the spouse who saw an affair as a way out of an untenable relationship many of these marriages can rapidly and simply be turned around.