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View Full Version : Need a good reason to have an affair. :)


Danalynn
06-04-2009, 03:47 AM
Not sure if this should be posted here or in the Sandbox, so my apologies if I'm putting this question in the wrong place.... :o


To set the stage: I have a 14 yr. old main character named Kacey in my YA ďrealistic fictionĒ WIP that has been physically and verbally (but NOT sexually) abused by her alcoholic father since she was born. (He was abused by his own alcoholic father in much the same way during his entire childhood, too.) Dad loves his wife and 6 yr. old twin daughters deeply, and heís not abusive with them, itís only ever Kacey that he takes things out on.

Iím 14 chapters into the novel, and I donít use an outline, but I have a fairly clear idea of where I want the story to go from here. Anyway, I have it in mind that the reason why heís only been abusive toward her is going to come out toward the end of the novel.

I think weíre going to find that Kaceyís mother actually had an affair and slept with another man (Dadís oldest brother--Uncle Billy). I think it was a one-time thing -- she only slept with him that once.

Dad found out about the affair right after it happened, though he doesnít know who she had the affair with -- either that or she just gave him some random guyís name and didnít tell him it was actually with his brother (who Dad has always been very close to). Mom got pregnant as a result of that affair. Kacey isnít his daughter (though Mom never told Uncle Billy that Kacey was his daughter, either. Uncle Billy has no idea that Kacey isnít Dadís. And Kacey also has no idea that Dad isn't her real father.
The only two that know about it are Mom and Dad....).

Dad was devastated by all of this, but he loves Mom and said he's forgiven her. But he has never actually forgiven her. And instead of punishing Mom for her mistake, he takes everything out on Kacey. Mom is loving with Kacey, yet she turns a blind eye to the years of abuse and pretends like itís not happening (with a few exceptions here and there) because she feels so guilty and knows everything is all her fault. Plus Dad does it behind Mom's back a lot, usually when Mom isn't home, and for certain reasons Kacey hides the abuse from her mother -- from everyone.


Okay, so having said all that -- I need help. . . .


Why would Mom have an affair not long after they were married? And whatís a good way for Dad to find out about it. And then what would be a good reason for them to know the baby isnít his? And THEN, what could happen at the end of the novel where all of this is finally revealed, and Kacey finds out the truth about everything.


Iím thinking maybe Mom and Uncle Billy loved each other, but she was already with Dad, and maybe after they were married he went out of town to a business conference for a week or something. One thing led to another and Mom and Uncle Billy ended up in bed.

Or maybe I should make it so Dad was out of town for more than a week -- like two or three months for job training or something? When he comes back, Mom is pregnant, and Dadís been gone so long, thereís no way the babyís his?


Does any of that sound plausible? Anyone have any ideas / input you feel like tossing my way?

:D

Dale Emery
06-04-2009, 04:21 AM
Why would Mom have an affair not long after they were married?

The marriage did not lead to her fantasy of unconditional love. The other man clearly adored her, or at least appeared to, which did satisfy that fantasy, however temporarily.

And whatís a good way for Dad to find out about it.

She found that she could not bear to lie to her husband, even by omission. So she told him.

Dale

Cyia
06-04-2009, 04:22 AM
If they have twins, it's possible that twins run in the family. Mom got drunk, thought Uncle Billy (her hubby's twin) was actually her hubby and dismissed all of the clues that he wasn't until she was sober. Uncle Billy had a thing for the brother's wife, so he didn't volunteer his true identity (or maybe he was smashed, too).

Totally crushed by what he's done, Billy fesses up - though he swore he'd never tell.

Danalynn
06-04-2009, 04:29 AM
LOL! That's good. But no, Dad and Uncle Billy can't be twins. Uncle Billy is the oldest of 7 boys, and Dad is the youngest....

;)

Sharonb423
06-04-2009, 04:46 AM
Is there ever a "good" reason to have an affair? If it was just a one time thing it could've just happened... like most one night stands do.

OR since it was early in the marriage, she could be out with single friends, feels constricted by her recent marriage, maybe even taunted a bit by her single friends and winds up doing good ole Billy in the back room of the pool hall.

Ohhhh or I know, out drinking, wild and crazy night, single friends, blah blah, slow dance with Billy, he puts the moves on her, says why not? You think Ralphie (or whoever) didn't have a good time with your friend Mary Sue over there at his bachelor party? And there you have it - revenge sex. ta-da! Only that makes Ralphie as guilty as mom but maybe that's part of the reason he's abusive too - only he was unfaithful before the wedding and she did it after.

Are you writing the scene or just revealing it later in the story?

Not sure about how he finds out though - would prob have to involve an accident and needing blood, dad's wont match, etc etc.

Hope this helps, good luck!

Dale Emery
06-04-2009, 04:52 AM
LOL! That's good. But no, Dad and Uncle Billy can't be twins. Uncle Billy is the oldest of 7 boys, and Dad is the youngest....

;)

Ahh, but they are twins--actually septuplets--because they are all clones of Grandpa!

Dale

Danalynn
06-04-2009, 04:56 AM
Is there ever a "good" reason to have an affair? If it was just a one time thing it could've just happened... like most one night stands do.

Are you writing the scene or just revealing it later in the story?



True. That's a good point -- it could've just happened.


I'm revealing it later in the story -- there's gonna be a big blow up, and Dad is the one who spills the beans and tells Kacey she's not his.

I think....

Fullback
06-04-2009, 06:01 AM
Some people just can't handle a life where everything is good. They are passengers in the back seat of a "sabotagemobile" that steers itself over a cliff.

frimble3
06-04-2009, 08:59 AM
The two men have strongly similar features, and you know how some guys are better looking with a little age on them? Once the pretty-boy fades? That's Uncle Billy. He's the older, more 'grown-up' version of the man she married.
And once the honeymoon is over, maybe her husband isn't fulfilling her girlish dreams of a man to love and take care of her. Maybe they have a squabble of some sort? So set up the drinks and in comes Billy. A one night stand, in the morning both are regretful, but she gets pregnant.
Maybe she tells her husband? They agree to keep it secret for the sake of all the people they love. He's probably not the first guy to say "I still love you, I'll love the baby like it was my own!" and not be able to actually do it. Especially if he was always conscious of being Billy's baby brother, getting hand-me-downs.

ChristineR
06-04-2009, 06:10 PM
I agree, alcohol was almost certainly involved.

If Dad was out of town, the only real way for him to find out is being told. You could always have Uncle Billy leave his drawers at the house or have Mom keep a diary or something like that, but those tricks get awfully close to someone wanting Dad to know. It doesn't have to be Billy or Mom that tells--what about Mrs. Billy? If your plot requires that Mrs. Billy not know, then she could be gone and replaced with a second Mrs. Billy. Maybe Mom talked because she felt she couldn't keep this a secret. Or maybe she told him in the middle of a fight. Or maybe Billy taunted Dad.

As for the other motivations, take your pick. She didn't realize her husband would be gone for a week and wanted to punish him. She was always attracted to Uncle Billy and felt entitled because of something Dad did. Billy actively seduced her--he's always been jealous of Dad because Dad always got the best stuff. And if Billy was already married so that Mom couldn't marry him, then it makes sense that she married Dad instead.

It really all depends on your characters, and what motivates them. Try this: Ask Billy and Mom why they did it. Let them answer you in their own words. Then ask them how Dad found out. See what they say.

christinalbarr
06-04-2009, 07:55 PM
Okay, first of all there isn't any kind of "good" reason to have an affair, ever. Anyone who does should be ashamed of themselves.

That being sad, movies and so on usually make the character that's cheated on so much of a jerk and the other guy is so nice that people begin to believe it's okay.

In real life, people tend to cheat (especially men) because they feel unappreciated. Maybe Dad hasn't properly adjusted to married life yet and he still likes going out with the guys a little too much and isn't mindful of his wife's feeling. Another reason why women cheat is if their man is being emotionally withdrawn, because women are emotional basket cases.

Or maybe it could be about revenge. Maybe she thought Dad cheated on him so she cheated on him. Or may she planned on leaving him so she subconsciously pushed him away by sleeping with her brother as an exit strategy instead of having to break up, but she had second thoughts.

CarolSanDiego
06-04-2009, 08:57 PM
Quote from Dale Emery: The marriage did not lead to her fantasy of unconditional love. The other man clearly adored her, or at least appeared to, which did satisfy that fantasy, however temporarily.


I think this is a great answer. I can easily see it happening - and it doesn't mean she doesn't love her husband. Billy fulfilled for her something she thought was missing - even if it was a subconscious need. The need to feel adored. It could have been one night of her emotions and lust getting away from her, and she made a huge, and costly, mistake.

Ms.rachel
06-04-2009, 09:08 PM
first when they try having babies they have difficulty...doctor reveals that husbands sperm is...wonky.... this causes fights and tension, she turns to the brother, they have sex...when suddenly she turns up pregnant dad gets suspicious...she confesses, then later they find out that he can actually have babies (maybe he had just been drinking too much Mountain Dew at the time) and so she kind of confessed for nothing...ish

or whiskey...whiskey also works.

DeleyanLee
06-04-2009, 09:09 PM
Curiosity. If Mom & Dad were married young and Mom had little to no experience, she could've been curious about what it would be like to have sex with another man. Some round-about convos with hubby and she gets the idea that he said it was all right (maybe she agrees that it's an open marriage), as long as it was with someone he trusted. Billy-boy is a logical assumption from that perspective.

Only, the convo understood by Dad is not the convo understood by Mom. When she comes back all aglow and wants to share the experience with her, it all blows up.

I'm just so tired of drunken affairs, honestly, but that could be just me.

dirtsider
06-04-2009, 09:50 PM
If you're willing to stretch a little, perhaps Mom had her affair with Uncle Billy during her bachelorette party and, whoops, she got pregnant.

Another angle is Mom and Dad got into an arguement and Mom turns to Uncle Billy for advice on how to deal with Dad (seeing as they're brothers). Only the conversation turns a little too amorous. They both regret it later but well, she's still pregnant.

sassandgroove
06-05-2009, 02:26 AM
The two men have strongly similar features, and you know how some guys are better looking with a little age on them? Once the pretty-boy fades? That's Uncle Billy. He's the older, more 'grown-up' version of the man she married.
And once the honeymoon is over, maybe her husband isn't fulfilling her girlish dreams of a man to love and take care of her. Maybe they have a squabble of some sort? So set up the drinks and in comes Billy. A one night stand, in the morning both are regretful, but she gets pregnant.
Maybe she tells her husband? They agree to keep it secret for the sake of all the people they love. He's probably not the first guy to say "I still love you, I'll love the baby like it was my own!" and not be able to actually do it. Especially if he was always conscious of being Billy's baby brother, getting hand-me-downs.Yes. Sometimes peopel think they'll be able to do something and don't anticipate how they will actually feel when the reality hits.

Okay, first of all there isn't any kind of "good" reason to have an affair, ever. Anyone who does should be ashamed of themselves.

That being sad, movies and so on usually make the character that's cheated on so much of a jerk and the other guy is so nice that people begin to believe it's okay.

In real life, people tend to cheat (especially men) because they feel unappreciated. Maybe Dad hasn't properly adjusted to married life yet and he still likes going out with the guys a little too much and isn't mindful of his wife's feeling. Another reason why women cheat is if their man is being emotionally withdrawn, because women are emotional basket cases.

Or maybe it could be about revenge. Maybe she thought Dad cheated on him so she cheated on him. Or may she planned on leaving him so she subconsciously pushed him away by sleeping with her brother as an exit strategy instead of having to break up, but she had second thoughts.Yes. Very good understanding of people. Cheating is usually a sympton of something else wrong in the relationship.


I'm just so tired of drunken affairs, honestly, but that could be just me.Good point.

RJK
06-05-2009, 10:28 PM
Dad takes long term out-of-town job assignment against mom's wishes.
Uncle Billy is always around to comfort her.
Mom hears through the rumor mill that Dad is philandering around while out of town.
Mom hits bar and gets drunk
Uncle billy rescues her from bar, brings her home
Mom cries on Uncle Billy's shoulder untill they start petting
One thing leads to another. Uncle Billy has always had the hots for mom.
Next morning it's a wolf trap wake up.

Smiling Ted
06-06-2009, 03:44 AM
Cheating with your partner's sibling isn't a one-time slip-up - it's a reflection on your personality. It means that Mom and Billy are both people who have to generate drama in their lives, leading to a messed-up environment for everyone else as well.

And that means you're looking for the wrong thing. It's not a reason to have an affair...it's an excuse.

CarolSanDiego
06-06-2009, 07:42 PM
Reason, excuse... is there a difference, really, when it comes to an affair? A lot of the reasons/excuses posed in this thread are very human, and can still lead to a sympathetic character with very real flaws, IMHO. It's very human to give into lust and heat of the moment emotions without fully thinking through the consequences.

Birol
06-06-2009, 07:51 PM
As for Dad knowing Kacey isn't his, the simplest reason would be for the period of time when she was conceived, he and Mom could not or did not have sex for one reason or another. Dad was out of town (maybe he was in the service or had a job that required him to travel or attend some type of extending training) or else he was under doctor's orders not to or he and Mom were having problems, even if it was early in their marriage, and he was sleeping on the couch while they worked it out. They last one could lead to questions about why her infidelity was not the final straw, but there would be ways to deal with those.

scarletpeaches
06-06-2009, 07:58 PM
Cheating with your partner's sibling isn't a one-time slip-up - it's a reflection on your personality. It means that Mom and Billy are both people who have to generate drama in their lives, leading to a messed-up environment for everyone else as well.

And that means you're looking for the wrong thing. It's not a reason to have an affair...it's an excuse.

What, you mean like they're not perfect? A bit like, ooh, let's see...everyone who's ever lived, bar Jesus Christ?

Smiling Ted
06-06-2009, 10:21 PM
What, you mean like they're not perfect? A bit like, ooh, let's see...everyone who's ever lived, bar Jesus Christ?

Hey, nice sarcasm, Peaches! But I'm not making a moral point; I'm making a psychological one.

I've had a couple of friends who cheated. They had great explanations for it, too. But then they had to find new ones when they...oops!...cheated again. Tthe explanation wasn't a reason, it was an excuse.

Moonfish
06-06-2009, 10:42 PM
I think "explaining" the affair is the easy bit - but why does the mom not step in on Dad's abuse? Dana-Lynn, you say it's because she feels guilty - but wouldn't that make her step up and defend her daughter? I know you said a lot of it happens when she's not home - but I got the picture that she's around for some of it. Mom's are usually (although I don't claim always) very protective of their offspring - an abused wife can stay around for years, until the man hit's the children for the first time. Then she's outta there. (Generalizing, I know, but you get the idea.)

Poor Kacey, her mom doesn't step up for her and the man she's taken crap from for years turns out to not be her dad at all... Her reaction and how she deals with this are some of the more interesting points in the story, so don't end the book before you get to them!

Birol
06-06-2009, 11:06 PM
And sometimes, the mother does let it happen. For numerous reasons she turns a blind eye to it, justifies it, excuses it. You see it all the time in real life.

Danalynn
06-07-2009, 11:09 AM
Thank you for the replies, everyone! This helps me out tremendously.

:Clap:

And feel free to keep the comments coming.



I think you're right, Smiling Ted, it's NOT a reason, it's an excuse. Thanks for pointing that out. ;)



Poor Kacey, her mom doesn't step up for her and the man she's taken crap from for years turns out to not be her dad at all...

Her reaction and how she deals with this are some of the more interesting points in the story, so don't end the book before you get to them!

Moonfish: Yes, I agree. Add to that the fact that it all could've turned out very differently for Kacey if Mom would've told the truth in the beginning and fessed up about Uncle Billy being the father instead of covering it up and hiding the truth. Uncle Billy is in the picture, he's in Kacey's life and Kacey is close to him.

Kacey's life could've been much better with Uncle Billy as a father instead of Dad.


But then . . . we wouldn't have a story. lol! :D


But yeah, that is all actually a majorly HUGE plot point to the novel, so I'll have to address those issues you mentioned before I get to the end. :)



I'm getting close, too. I think I only have like 4 or 5 chapters left to write in the novel. It's getting juicy 'round there. lol! Things are heating up, and t'won't be long now before it all boils over. :e2brows:

The proverbial shit is about to hit the fan. . . .

:popcorn:




By the way, I posted a chapter from this novel in the YA Share Your Work section on here, if anyone wants to read it?

Here's the link:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=143630

Feel free to post on there and let me know what you think of it?


:)