Reasons for an extra marital affair may be as varied as the kind of partners indulging in it. While a sexual and emotional disconnect are the most common reasons for straying in a marriage, an equally valid reason could be lack of intellectual compatibility between the spouses.
TIP: Read the guide to prevent a break up or get back with your ex.
What is intellectual compatibility?
There may any number of reasons which brings two people into a relationship as committed as marriage – they may be physically drawn to each other, they may share a common cultural background or they may be attracted to each others personality, however different from their own. Intellectual compatibility is an important force of attraction which enables a couple to be interested in roughly the same things and take pleasure in similar kinds of mental preoccupations. Essentially an intellectual compatible couple are on the same or at least similar intellectual wavelength – they can talk about, discuss and pursue things which are mutually enjoyable.
Various nuances of intellectual compatibility
However for intellectual compatibility it is not necessary that partners belong to the same professional background - thus a doctor will wish relish playing chess or talking about Impressionist paintings shared by a teacher partner whereas a blue-collar worker and his stay at home wife may look forward to their bowling dates every Friday evening. Again a relationship is made of two separate individuals and as such it is natural that each has his or her own interests. The very fact that two people want to come together means that they are looking for ways to complement their individual selves and not searching for a clone of their own selves.
Moreover, psychologists and behavioral scientists these days are increasingly discovering that there are different types of intelligence – spatial, inter-personal, musical, theoretical and many others. While one partner may be more clued into numbers and figures, another may be better at managing people and relationships. Neither of them can be considered inferior in any absolute sense and each has qualities necessary for a quality life.
And yet some amount of similarity in educational background is indicated for intellectual compatibility. An academic and scientist couple may owe their first meeting to a science convention or a tech fair and later they may have got to know each other better over a common passion for Sudoku. While another professor at a college may be attracted to an office receptionist, it is unlikely that the relationship is primarily driven by intellectual compatibility.
How important is it in preventing an affair
But if two people can come together even from disparate academic backgrounds and intellectual inclinations, why should this factor matter so much in keeping a relationship healthy? The answer to this perhaps lies in the fact not all relationships can be happy by meeting just the basic requirements. After the initial euphoria of physical and emotional attraction is over, a relationship needs more substantial grounds to hold the partners together. Common values, shared interests and the ability to offer each other something new in other words intellectual compatibility come to matter more in the long run.
“Man does not live by bread alone”, goes the famous saying. Something similar is true for a relationship as well which needs more than just love to be fully satisfying. This is especially important if you are looking for a long-term relationship. It is difficult for two people to spend an entire lifetime together if they have nothing interesting to talk about. After the declarations of love are over and discussions on kids’ homework are done with, what do you say to each other? If one partner finds immense satisfaction in an intellectual discussion and the other’s idea of an interesting evening is watching the daily soap on TV, what are the chances that of such a marriage being fully satisfying to each?
As it is the hectic pace of modern life – long hours at work, commute and on the internet – is severely restricting the time spent with a spouse in a modern marriage; on top of this if the partners do not even share common interests and hobbies there will be little to keep them together in the long run.
Nature abhors a vacuum
If the need for intellectual companionship is not satisfied at home, it will be fulfilled elsewhere. Thus even if two people in a marriage love each other deeply, intellectual incompatibility may drive one or both to seek pleasure in other people’s company which usually the seed of an extra marital affair. So many times it is not merely sex that a person is seeking when he/she cheats on a spouse – rather it is the satisfaction in meeting someone new, exploring a different personality and finding a connection in matters of mutual interest that drives a person to an affair outside marriage.
Intellectual compatibility works on more than one level to keep a marriage intact. It not only makes for interesting and open exchanges but also helps in maintaining the attraction that one partner has for another. Thus if you take up a new hobby like pottery-making or sign up for a wine-tasting workshop, the things you come to know add an entirely new dimension to your personality, one that your spouse finds even more stimulating and attractive. It is important for each person to keep evolving, not only for personal growth, but also to add layers of interest and attraction in a relationship. And when a spouse offers all these in a marriage, what possible reason could his/her partner have of looking elsewhere.
Intellectual compatibility may not the be-all and end-all of a marriage or perhaps even its most important requirement for marital success. However it definitely plays a significant role in keeping a couple attracted to each other in the long run and thereby minimizes chances of an affair which is one of the most common causes of rupture of the marital bond.