Infidelity in marriage — what does “Hedonic Adaptation” have to do with it?

A number of academics are now working in field of what makes people happy.  Part of the work is studying the concept of hedonic adaptation”.  What this means is  when we get what we want, what we wanted loses its allure very quickly.

This is a concept very applicable to both marriages and affairs.  After the “satisfaction” of the desire, people revert to their former level of happiness or unhappiness.  That’s why the so-called “marriage boost” (the honeymoon period after a marriage) only lasts about 2 years.

What is a married couple to do when faced with this reality?  Some stray from the marriage to try to achieve that “high” feeling again.  Unfortunately, that “high” feeling, like the high when you first got married also fades because of the “hedonic adaptation”.

So if you’re thinking of embarking on an infidelity (or have already done so), don’t think that your marriage is necessarily at its end.  That’s the other mistake most people made.  Consider the affair a “wake-up” call.   Reframe it as a “good” thing to have happened.  There is a potential solution, and that is “truthfulness”.  And you might find truthfulness to be a powerful aphrodisiac in your marriage.

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