“I don’t know why I cheated on my wife, I didn’t do it on purpose. I think maybe the argument was too much,” 41-year-old Mark – whose name has been changed to protect his identity – tells Mashable. “I never thought I’d be the guy with a girlfriend.”
Mark began dating another woman at the end of last year. “It’s one of the things that I felt sorry for at first and I wanted to stop and talk to my wife, but I kept on leaving it,” he explains. “I wasn’t trying to have a relationship. Looking back, I think it was just to get attention.”
Financial problems started between Mark and his wife in September 2021 and are about to end. “It was all kinds of things that were born from the hardships of life, rowing. We were living with prepayments, so that even a small increase in debt would leave us. Then we got a big increase.”
How the cost of life’s problems affects how we live
Soon, all their conversations were about money and where to get gas, electricity and petrol. “That’s when we started fighting every day.”
He met a woman he was dating at a bar after an argument. He said: “I didn’t want to cheat.” “This woman just started flirting and showed me the love I’ve had in months. I was doing bad things before I realized it.”
“I wasn’t trying to have a relationship. Looking back, I think it was just to get attention.”
Since the rise in the cost of living in the UK last year, thousands of people are turning to the products, according to the website. Unofficial Encounters, (mainly, a dating app for couples who want to cheat). The site, which has more than one million members, saw a 169% increase in new members this summer, with August 2022 registering a single month.
Money worries can lead to cheating
So what is causing people’s eyes to wander outside their families? There may be disputes over money. The latest report from Stowe Family Law showed that 20 percent of couples who are affected by financial problems often argue about how to divide their dwindling income. It’s stressful to be it has been proven to make people cheatIt’s probably not surprising how many things are happening.
Charlotte Fox Weber, psychotherapist and author What We Want: A Journey Through Twelve of Our Deepest Desires tells Mashable that couples often worry about money because money creates a “bad chance of success”.
“There is fantasy and reality and money, and the reality is disappointing,” he explains. “Couples in love may feel like they’re embarking on an adventure, but there’s no rude awakening like a reminder of not having enough money.”
People cannot afford to get their benefits at the cost of life’s problems
They also say that couples are always in terms of how much independence and freedom they want and how they can share responsibilities between them, especially when it comes to money, and this creates many opportunities for conflict and stress in many cases.
Further research from Illicit Encounters conducted a survey of 1,000 of its members, asking the question “Do you think that the rise of life’s problems affects your family and causes you to engage in illicit activities?” and 85 percent of them answered “yes”.
Of course, Illicit Encounters customers have scored high numbers on questions like “would you like to cheat?” but it does prove a real connection between international fraud and global financial stress
And this is not the first time we have seen this. Jessica Leoni, a spokeswoman for Informal Meetings, says the increase in enrollment follows what she saw during the 2008 financial crisis.
A research study from the Relate therapy company found the same thing, showing that the UK recession in 2008 caused a lot of stress for couples. Those most affected saw an increase in risk of up to 16 percent.
Loneliness, shame, and attention seeking
Fox-Weber explains that money matters are often fraught with shame and people often feel isolated and ashamed of their financial problems. Enduring heated arguments over the same problem over and over again can lead to self-destruction, and cheating is sometimes the way to go.
“Feeling wanted [through gaining positive attention from someone else] it awakens something inside. “And while hacking may not be a solution to life’s problems, it can tempt people who are looking for that idea,” adds Fox-Weber.
Raymond, a 51-year-old electrician, who did not give his name to protect himself, is one of many people who had an affair in 2009. He believes it all started because of the 2008 financial crash.
Raymond had been with his wife for 13 years when their relationship began in 2010. “I had already been out of the relationship, maybe two years ago,” he tells Mashable. “When the recession hit, our house was destroyed and I lost my job. My wife put a lot of pressure on me to fix it, which I don’t blame her for. She couldn’t work because of her disability so she couldn’t.” Let me fix it. But I couldn’t either. I failed as a man. I couldn’t take care of us.”
He explains that the pressure of rising bills, being out of work and feeling like he is not a good husband caused serious problems in their family. “No family is about to end.” I was the one who started the idea of ending the marriage, but he refused immediately. She said she didn’t want to be ‘one of those divorced women’ and I didn’t have to. And to be honest, I don’t think any of us can do it alone,” he explains.
“I was rocking a woman I met at a friend’s meeting before I knew it. I’ve never experienced so many mistakes. Every time I slept with the other woman, I was disgusted.”
Raymond thinks that’s why she had an affair. “There’s nowhere to go. I couldn’t fix it and I couldn’t let it go. I was rocking a woman I met at a friend’s meeting before I knew it. I’ve never been through so much. Every time I slept with that woman, I was disgusted with myself but it was like I was drunk. She didn’t need anything from me and it made me happy. too much,” he explains.
“It took about nine months, before my wife noticed and made me stop,” he continues. “We couldn’t break up. I got another job and things started to improve a little bit. We’re not struggling to make ends meet anymore, but our relationship has never been the same. We’re together now and we’ve decided not to talk to each other. [my affair] forever.”
Fox-Weber explains that, in times of economic crisis, couples at home are sometimes a reminder of reality, how deep uncertainty and how it affects love. Fantasy takes people away from that. “Someone who believes that they will fail, who feels that they are trapped and restricted by financial issues, may run away to find ways to make life match what they predicted,” he explains. “Self-destruction and selfishness are incredibly close.”
Which is like when another woman is in a relationship
Stowe Family Law also warned that many people could end up in Raymond’s shoes because of the problems in life. As priorities continue to rise, many couples seeking divorce cannot afford to pay for a divorce. Financial worries have always been a concern for couples breaking up (in many cases, divorce in the UK costs a lot of money £14,561 ($17,307) in legal fees) but Niamh McCarthy, partner at Stowe Family Law, says ‘the current situation of financial uncertainty and increased costs is increasing.’ Many of the company’s clients have expressed an interest in divorce, but are only considering other offers when faced with the numbers.
Raymond’s situation, and that of many other people who have lived in his place, shows a good example of social problems adding strain to relationships. For many of us, relationships are tied to self-esteem, and a lack of money can cause a person’s self-esteem to plummet. especially straight men. Most likely, this happens because of gender pressure.
While the reason for the rise in prices is obvious, it doesn’t have to be and it doesn’t have to be inevitable. Understanding and managing money is difficult at the best of times. And as the cost of life problems born out of war and government mismanagement continues to rise in the UK, more communication, patience and a little thought, will help couples think about how to deal with their stress and avoid harming each other.