What are the most scandalous extramarital affairs ever recorded?

The hard fact of the world of a committed relationship is the existence of extramarital affair. We may love not to talk about it openly or better like to ignore it under the assumption that our bond is stronger and nothing can breach this trust. If we go by the stories shared by victims of extramarital affairs, they were also under the same assumption until that shock and surprise knocked at the door one day tearing apart the finely woven fabric of the family.

Interestingly, the extramarital affair is a universal phenomenon happening everywhere without any advantages and disadvantages of socio-economic or cultural identities. Studies suggest that the universality of the affairs is because of the common evolutionary conditioning for dynamism in love, pleasure, belongingness, self-actualization, and validation. We, humans, are wired to explore experiment and seek rewards. Accordingly, we create an image of self and seek approval and validation of those personality traits. Once these approval and validation stops coming from the partner we start seeking them from outside. A little cue of validation from anyone attracts you towards the source resulting in the birth of affair.

Simple observation of cases in the public domain suggests that there a set pattern that unfolds starting from escapism and moves to external validation seeking, primary stage secrecy, public exposure, acceptance & discord followed by divorce, marriage, and divorce again.

Most Scandalous Extramarital Affairs

Modern history is full of stories of extramarital affairs and how it shaped the lives of those involved in it. As said, it is rampant in all possible socio-economic hierarchies but we come to know about only those few that come into public life. Here are some of the most popular affairs in recent history:

Mary-Shelley Affair

This is one of the most scandalous affairs of the literary world; you can call it Frankenstein affair. This all began in 1814 when 16-year old Marry Godwin met 21-year old romantic but married poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Just like a fantastic plot, they met in secret resulting into pregnancy and leaving of a wife.

The Frankenstein moment hits when Shelly’s pregnant wife commits suicide by drowning in Hyde Park. The Marry-Shelly marriage happens but short-lived as Shelly also committed suicide a year later. Interestingly, the idea of the world-famous novel Frankenstein was conceived during that period in 1816.

Catherine-Potemkin Affair

It is a perfect story with ingredients of power, love, lust, sacrifice, and revenge in royal background. This all begins when 33-year old Catherine the Great finds 22-year old dashing commander Grigory Potemkin and uses his military skill to overthrow incapable husband Czar Peter III in 1762. She found a good looking great counselor, commander to fulfill all her ambition and needs. Unfortunately, the steamy relationship ended too soon as Potemkin died untimely. This relationship helped in shaping history by one of the most powerful women in history.

Dickens-Nelly Affair

Creative passion creates an unknown vacuum, and normal regular emotions cannot find space in that vacuum. The midlife crisis in the life of literary superstar and father of nine kids Charles Dickens happened in 1857 when the 45-year-old genius entered in an adulterous affair with 18-year-old actress Ellen “Nelly” Ternan. Everything looked perfect in married life with name, fame, wealth, power and good family comprising nine kids. This affair just destroyed his family but the relation with Nelly sustained until death. However, his effort to hide the affair in secrecy inspired the characters for his later novels, including Great Expectation and Estella.

Henry-Anne Affair

It is one of the most meticulously shared affairs from the annals of history through movies, books, and television shows and has a very strong connect with public imagination. Little deep digging suggests that Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn were in an intimate relationship prior to the marriage and the annulment of the first marriage to Catherine of Aragon. This effort to legitimize the marriage led to the break of the English empire from the Roman Catholic Church. Meanwhile, Anne gave birth to the future Elizabeth I and was beheaded.

Taylor-Burton Affair

It is a perfect example of affair grooming in a distance-proximity context involving highly successful celebrities. Two highly successful married actors, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton away from the real-life of the family develops a strong and intimate relationship while acting in Cleopatra (1963). The strong love-lust relationship culminates into marriage with 10-years of super-hyped life. The relationship takes an ugly turn in 1974 resulting in divorce, remarriage, and divorce again.

Sinatra-Gardner Affair

The affair begins when the “The Rat Pack” legend starts when Frank starts dating actress Ava Gardener in 1943. Attracted by the beauty of the actress, the legendary singer leaves his sweetheart Nancy behind and marries the actress in 1951. Just like any other emotion-driven relation, this also ended in divorce six years later.

Eddie-Elizabeth Affair

This could be one of the most famous triangular affairs in celebrity history. A beloved husband falls in love with your most trusted fired. The emotional paradox isn’t. The actress Debbie Reynolds finds at a dinner party that her singer husband Eddie Fisher is in love with friend Elizabeth Taylor. Later in 1959, Elizabeth married Eddie but opted to split in 1964.

June-Johnny Affair

Emotional world is fragile at least when we see from a celebrity perspective. It took Johnny Cash just a fraction of second to breach the trust of “I Walk the Line” with Vivian Cash. The trigger to breach came in 1956 from the country singer June Carter. The friction culminated into divorce despite several attempts to reconcile. Ultimately, Johnny married June in 1968 and spent life together for the best part of life until 2003.

Prince Charles-Parker Affair

It was like a volcanic eruption in the world of relationship. Although not a new phenomena in royalty, but his openness was really a surprise for everyone. Apart from the element of surprise in Princess Dianna and Prince of Wales, it was known to her that the price loved in Camilla Parker Bowles. It became officially known Dianne in the year 1986 but it took another six-year to verify it when the taped conversations were leaked. The royal divorce happened in 1996 and a year later she died in a car accident. Price married Camilla in 2005.

Arnold-Mildred Affair

This story is like a terminator is on or eraser mission to transgress. The shock to the famous journalist wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger came in 2011 when he made it public that he was in a relationship with housekeeper Mildred Patricia Baena in 1997 and fathered a son. Wife of terminator Maria filed for divorce following the exposure but the story continues as politics is in between.

Britney-Timberlake Affair

Rhythm is not always divine. The iconic duo of 2000s Britney & Justine parted away in 2002, as rumors erupted about the singer’s intimate relationship with dance choreographer Wade Robson. Although the official reason made public by Britney was “mismatch of need” between stars, the rumor mill suggests that something strong was brewing on the dance floor.

Berry-Benet Affair

No one is immune, even Oscars can’t save you from adultery. Everything was perfect between Halle Berry and R&B singer Eric Benet until she came to know about the cheating. All efforts to reconcile went in vain and resulted in a split in 2003. Both moved on their path.

Pitt-Aniston Affair

What a love story, a perfect plot to build a romantic story. The trilogy starts in 2004 when Aniston announces her desire to start a family with Pitt but rumours started erupting in the same year about Pitt’s intimate relationship with “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” co-star Angelina Jolie. The flood of rumours and no clarification resulted in a split in 2005. Nine years later, the most handsome couple promised each other to love forever but all ended in 2016.

Letterman-Birkitt Affair

This could one of the best survivor stories from the celebrity club. All ingredients of an illicit affair, red-handed catch, ransom threat and apology followed by survival all in one story. David Letterman successfully managed to hide his relationship with Late Show assistant Stephanie Birkitt, until her boyfriend caught them red-handed in a car in 2008. The boyfriend was arrested for ransom threat. Interestingly, David openly apologized on-air to his wife Regina Lasko. The good part was, the relationship survived, despite the scandal.

Woods-Elin Affair

The world’s best golfer turns out to be a sex addict with affairs with more than 15 women. What else one could expect other than beating from the wife. That is exactly what happened with Tiger Woods. Then-wife Elin Nordegren chased Woods when she came to know that he is sexually involved with nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel. Once the canister opened, it turned out that it was not one or two but 15 women. The Tiger entered rehab in 2009 and in 2010 the star of the golf finally agreed to sign divorce papers.

And the list is endless with the common factor of search of validation from the other-self, which one creates within the mental frame. This is never-ending the saga of dynamism in emotions but your learning helps you to master the art of controlling emotions. With this art of control, you can save your relationship with not just wife but your kids as well.

5 real extra-marital affair confessions

Unfortunately, no matter how much couples brag about concepts like true love, soul mates and ideal marriage—infidelity exists and things do fall apart sometimes. What seemed like a perfect relationship in the beginning might end up going sour and partners turning disloyal. That’s the bitter truth. Period. Here are some real extra-marital confessions…


Confession #1

“My husband and I never had good compatibility. After a few months of our marriage, he got a job abroad and shifted there, leaving me alone. Soon, we grew further apart, both physically and emotionally. A year passed by, and he still had no intentions of calling me there or coming here to meet me. Frustrated, one day I installed a dating app and ended up meeting a divorced guy who was genuinely interested in me. We are in a relationship now, and I plan to disclose this to my husband once he comes to India.” Roshni Jha, 33


Confession #2

“I was forced to get married by my parents and even after putting sincere efforts, I could not strike a bond with my wife. We are simply two different people who have different views on everything. I hate to confess but I talk to other girls about my problems and future plans. I share with them what I should ideally be sharing with my wife.” Sahil Behl, 31


Confession #3

“I have no regrets for having an extra-marital affair, and in fact, I am about to file for a divorce. My husband is an alcoholic and used to abuse me physically and mentally. After being harassed for years, I fell in love with my colleague. After a few months of dating, I told my husband about this affair and left him.” Garima Tyagi, 27


Confession #4

“I kind of had this nature since my teens—I could not stick to one person for a long time. After two years of being married, I cheated my wife and had an affair with one of my ex-girlfriends. She still does not know about it.” Shashank Lohia, 34


Confession #5

“I had a healthy relationship with my husband for about 10 years of our marriage.We had a beautiful life together but I soon started losing my emotional connection with him. His daily routine was all about going to office, and coming back home for dinner and retire to his bedroom. This boredom led me to wander off for some time. But I soon realised my mistake and started making efforts to make our relationship work.” Nitya Choudhary, 36

5 Major Effects of Extra-Marital Affairs

What Impact Does an Affair Have on the Victim Spouse?

When one partner goes outside of the relationship for emotional or physical needs, the other partner may end the relationship, or forgive and stay in it, but either way, extra-marital affairs have major, negative effects that can be felt for some time.

1. Damage to Self Esteem:

The person who has been cheated on will suffer a blow to his or her self esteem. They may have the usual thoughts of, “Was I not enough?” or “If I hadn’t let myself go this would not have happened.” Just as children tend to blame themselves for their parents’ divorce, many victims of an affair respond to an affair by blaming themselves. The decision to cheat was not yours, and although their have been problems in the relationship, you did not make the decision to have an affair. Chances are it had much more to do with a deficiency in your partner than in you.

2. Loss of Trust in the Cheating Spouse:

The victim of an affair will find it difficult to trust. He or she may doubt their judgment of others. Even if this relationship ends, and another begins, the baggage of infidelity can follow. It is important to deal with your trust issues, even if it means getting professional help to do so. You and your future partner will be grateful in the long run that you dealt with the negative consequences of the affair.

3. A Sense of Emotional Instability:

You may feel your world has turned upside down. The things in your life that gave you a sense of security have been shattered. It is normal to feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you. It is important to find that sense of stability inside yourself. Look at your survival skills from the past and realize you can cope with this, too.

4. A Roller Coaster of Emotions:

One minute you may feel like crying, the next screaming. You may blame him today, blame her tomorrow, and blame yourself at the same time. It is common when facing infidelity to feel a myriad of emotions. Realize this is normal. Feel what you are feeling and work through it. Don’t stuff your feelings. Seek outside help if you need someone to talk to about how you are feeling or if you are feeling overwhelmed.

5. Impacts all Areas of Life:

Extra-marital affairs can cause a ripple effect in your life. You may find yourself looking differently at your job, your friends, your life choices. This can be either positive or negative, but most victims of an affair say that it brought on changes in all other areas of their lives. It’s important that you not make changes to major areas of your life while in the midst of the emotional turmoil that accompanies an affair.

There are many reasons for cheating, usually it is done without much thought or consideration of the effects it can have on the other person. However, the effects can be devastating and take a long time to get over and work through. It is important that you address these effects, and find ways to work through them. Build a support network of family and friends, your clergy, professional counselors, or anyone else you can trust to help you overcome these effects and move on to a better future.