Karina Balkh (2004) The Dynamic of a Love Affair with a Married Individual

This paper is a study of the psychological dynamics of attraction and romantic love between single and married individuals. It is primarily concerned with the type of involvement where a single person pursues a romantic relationship with a married partner over a long period of time, and/or has been in a relationship with more then one married partner. It will examine the dynamics of the relationship, the unconscious motivation behind the attraction, and the pursuit of the relationship primarily from the single lover’s perspective.

The study was focused on single individuals who claimed that they want to get married, and are looking for a suitable partner. However, they were only capable of being sufficiently attracted to, falling in love with, or wanting to marry individuals who were already married. They stated that if the object of their affection was available, he or she would be just right for a marriage. However, contrary to their stated objectives, these people seem repeatedly end up with frustration related to their unrealized desire. Furthermore, an interesting finding of the study was that when some of the subjects were given the opportunity to become an exclusive partner of their lover, they usually found themselves unable to follow through. Some other aspect of the relationship became visible as an obstacle to the realization of their desire.

The study included subjects of both genders. In the course of the research, remarkably few differences in the dynamics of motivation and the behavior of men and women were encountered. However, there were some gender-related similarities and differences found. This topic is explored in the Results and Discussion chapters.