September 23, 2020

Why people have affairs with Dr. Victoria Holroyd

Unhappy Young Couple has Problems in Relationships


Ever wonder why people have affairs?

​Have you wondered if it’s possible to recover and heal after an affair?

In this podcast episode, Elizabeth Polinsky interviews Dr. Victoria Holroyd on why people have affairs.



  • The quality of our relationship determines the quality of our lives. 
  • Affairs are connected to the science behind love relationships. 
  • There are 7 types of affairs. 
  • Most affairs are the result of loneliness and a lack of loving connection in the relationship.

We are on the leading edge or the cutting edge of science when it comes to love and relationships”

Dr. Victoria Holroyd


Affairs are connected to love. 

  • There is a science to love that has been most significantly researched in the past 10 years. Love begins with infants where they learn to read facial expressions to determine emotional connection and know whether they are safe and secure. It is with early caregivers that infants learn to reach out for love and connection. The research says that love is a human necessity. The absence of loving connection is damaging and causes emotional deprivation. However, not everyone learns how to love, and people play out the same patterns of connection that they learned in childhood. If someone didn’t have this type of love in childhood then it impacts their mental health; there is hope though, because people can create this safe aand connected love with someone in adulthood.

Love is all about emotional connection….it is an emotional resonance. I don’t just logically understand what my partner is saying, I emotionally understand.”

Elizabeth Polinsky

The majority of affairs are born out of loneliness.

  • When you start to feel alone–that you aren’t seen, or heard, or valued in the relationship–it makes the relationship emotionally unsafe to reach out for connection. This is when people typically look for that emotional connection with someone else because we all need to be seen, heard, and have that emotionally close connection. ​

The quality of our relationship determines the quality of our lives.”

The 7 Types of Affairs

  1. A Protest Affair is when someone has an affair when they have felt hurt in the relationship. The person may have an affair out of revenge but what they are really longing for is for the relationship to improve. 
  2. The Come & Get Me Affair is a plea to be noticed in the relationship. It’s not in retaliation or revenge; it is about trying to get their partner to pay attention to them and prove that they care. Because if someone else notices them then maybe their partner will sit up and notice them as well. 
  3. The Hedgefund Affair is where the person has a deep view of themselves as unloveable or unworthy, and views their partner as unstable. They think the relationship can’t last, and so they keep someone else on the side as a way to hedge against what they think will be inevitable abandonment.
  4. The Romantic Fantasy Affair happens when turning to their spouse or partner isn’t working, and so they turn to someone else for excitement and stress relief. These affairs can go on for years and are the hardest to work with as the person may love their spouse as well as the affair partner.
  5. The Burned Out Affair is when someone is looking for emotional connection outside of the relationship after many failed attempts for connection in their primary relationship. Deep down they are wanting the relationship with their primary partner to work but they feel hopeless about having that connection with their primary partner.
  6. The Power Player Affair is when the person thinks that romantic relationships are fundamentally unsafe, and that the only way to be safe and secure is to have power and control in relationships. These are short affairs that are usually only about sex as it allows them to feel in control and secure in the primary relationship–it helps guard against feeling powerless.
  7. The Compulsive Affair is where someone tries to numb intense emotional pain through sex, pornography, strip clubs, etc. These are just sexual and the person is using sex to cope with emotional pain. These affairs are often labeled as addictions.

The majority of affairs are born out of loneliness.”

Dr. Victoria Holroyd

Words of Wisdom from Dr. Victoria Holroyd:

Couples really need help from a therapist to help them process and have the difficult conversations that are too painful to talk about on their own–going it alone rarely works for couples. It is also important to make sure that both partners actually want to improve the relationship, and that the affair is over–the affair needs to be over for effective couples therapy. There is hope for relationships after an affair and the relationship can be even stronger than it was before the affair. ​

Working with Dr. Victoria Holroyd:Dr. Holroyd is able to accept clients in New York and Virginia. She founded The Relationship Center of Hampton Roads which has two offices–one in Norfolk Virginia and another in Williamsburg Virginia. For more information, see

Liz’s Useful Links: 

Podcast Sponsor: The Relate Assessment is the most comprehensive relationship assessment in the world and is based on 10 predictors of marital stability. It’s supported by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and is the one my husband and I used during our premarital couples counseling. To get 20% off the assessment, go to and enter “POLINSKY20”.

Thanks for Listening!


Join the Communicate & Connect Newsletter

Join our bi-monthly newsletter with tips for improving your relationship. The newsletter is part of The Communicate & Connect Podcast which focuses on military and veteran couples; however, much of the information is applicable to civilian couples as well.  

    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.


    About Author

    Elizabeth Polinsky is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist (EFT) providing EFT marriage counseling in the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. She also provides EFT training and supervision to therapists looking to become certified in EFT Couple Therapy. As a military spouse, she has a special passion for working with military and veteran couples, and is also the host of The Communicate & Connect Podcast for Military Relationships.


    My podcast, blogs, videos, newsletters, and products are general information for educational purposes only; they are not psychotherapy and not a replacement for therapy. The information provided is not intended to be therapy or psychological advice; and nothing I post should be considered professional advice. The information provided does not constitute the formation of a therapist-patient relationship.

    I cannot answer questions regarding your specific situation; you should consult your doctor or mental health provider regarding advice and support for your health and well being. If you are experiencing a medical or mental health emergency, you should call 911, report to your local ER, or call the National Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

    The podcast, blogs, videos, newsletters, and products are not a request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement from clients regarding counseling. If you are a current or former client/ patient, please remember that your comments may jeopardize your confidentiality. I will not “friend” or “follow” current or past clients to honor ethical boundaries and privacy; nor will I respond to comments or messages through social media or other platforms from current or past clients. Current and past client’s should only contact me through the professional contact information provided on the website.

    ​Lastly, accounts may be managed by multiple people. Therefore, comments and messages are monitored by staff and are not confidential.