More Like, 'my Affair Had Me'my affair did have me - for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. it chewed me up, spit me out, and i have yet to recover. we were in love, and probably still are (i definitely am) but ultimately it was my choice to end it - i didnt want to end my marriage for various reasons and knew that this was no way to live. i have ok days and i have terrible days and everything in between and i do a lot of thinking about myself and the men in my heart and love in general. one of the things ive come up with is that the phrase 'im married, not dead' exists for a reason. i think were all susceptible to having feelings for other people, and the reasons we choose to act (even if we didnt 'intend' for it to happen, at some point we still made a choice) on those feelings are deeply personal and varying and yes, sometimes it is indicative of a deeper problem in the marriage and sometimes its indicative of a deeper problem within ourselves. once we do take the next step with someone and find ourselves in a relationship we feel all types of things, some of them having nothing to do with the person were with as much as it seems it is at the time. those of us who think affairs are very uncharacteristic of us will have to do even more mental and emotional acrobatics to justify our feelings, and often those acrobatics involve words like 'soulmate'.
none of this is to say that we dont genuinely feel that way or that we dont ever meet people that may have been a better choice for us than our current/primary partners. but at the end of the day, no matter who were with, we will experience problems and temptations. its so rare that you hear affair stories with happy endings - although there are some out there- and i think that thats in part due to the fact that when people leave one partner for a new one they often do so under the guise of finding this magical one-of-a-kind connection with someone else and maybe dont put in the effort required to maintain a healthy relationship, believing instead that this connection, this love will carry them through. and then, when they begin to experience some of the familiar trials and tribulations of a normal relationship - to include being attracted to other people - its that much more devastating to them, especially as that magical but somewhat contrived ba
so my thinking is this. the decisions you make should be about your marriage not about your affair partner. its very very difficult to truly understand what your affair relationship will turn into in the context of 'the daylight', and really there are so many people that you can find yourself attracted to (mentally, emotionally, physically) - the challenge with regular dating is that we make that decision, whether attraction is a possibility, very quickly. we dont have time to truly let things develop. it is so rare that we find that 'love at first sight' connection and even when we do there are often so many reasons to ignore our feelings or write them off when were single and looking for our ideal partner. but the fact that so many affairs blossom between coworkers, neighbors, people we spend significant time with is a testament to the fact that sometimes when we get to know someone, even someone we would never really have been interested in, a kind of chemistry can develop that we cant simply ignore or write off. if you think about it, not since college have we been in a situation where were able to slowly develop feelings for people we know, and as such, as adults when we date we make these snap decisions of yes or no, potential or no potential. then we finally settle down and when we find ourselves once again in a situation where feelings can slowly develop, maybe we read more into those feelings than we should...?
i think those of us who have found ourselves in these dramatic, intense, heartwrenching, soulshaking affairs should consider that many, many people out there live full and happy lives with one person while carrying a muted flame for another. many people have first loves they never truly got over..it doesnt mean theyre not happy with their current partners or even that they'd want to be with those they still think of, but just that life and love and the human heart are very, very complicated things. when we break up with someone it is always devastating and its so hard to imagine life at the end of the tunnel as being anything close to happy again. but it probably will be. look around you, look at what others have gone through, what they've gotten over. so again, it shouldnt be about your affair partner but about your current partner - can i be happy with him/her long term if affair partner isnt/never was in the picture? was this affair about something intrinsic to my primary relationship and can that thing be addressed and fixed? and if it cant, is it a deal breaker?
affairs can sometimes wake us up to see problems in our primary relationships that we were unaware of and i dont think this is a bad thing. i think we owe it to our spouses, if they are truly innocent parties, to try and honor our marriage vows of loyalty and fidelity. at the same time, we owe it to ourselves to be truly happy in life. if our spouses are abusive or a problem is unfixable and a deal breaker, then the affair may have been a well needed wake up call to leave.
my last thought on this is that if you wouldnt be happy with your decision to leave your spouse if the affair partner relationship were to fall through for any reason (to include random death of your new partner - hey you never know) than that is a big red flag that you shouldnt leave. good luck to all of you out there suffering, hurting, confused. i hope we all find the potential for happiness in our lives and are able to realize that potential. may you all be happy and content with all of your decisions.