I have to confess that I’m addicted. To cigars that is. When I take a break from work through out the day, or if I need to gather my thoughts, I’ll go outside and take a few puffs on a cigar. It relaxes and distracts me to the point where I can get back to whatever I’m doing with better focus. I guess over the last year or so, it’s become a habit that I need to give up. I want to give it up. It’s not that easy.
Monday morning as I left the store where I purchase my cigars, I thought about this past Saturday when Linda and I spent our entire day (12 + hours) driving to, attending, and then driving home from our daughters’ dance competition. I didn’t have a cigar all day. In fact I didn’t even think about, nor did I crave them once during the entire day.
Even as I sat through dozens of brutally bad dance routines (except for our daughters’ routines of course) where I tried everything I could to sway my attention from the awfulness that was before me, the thought of heading out to find a cigar to smoke never entered my mind. And I felt better that day. I felt healthier. I could breathe better. Why was that?
As I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t need or want a cigar because I was removed completely from them. They were nowhere in sight, smell or reach at any point during the day. At no point could I simply grab a cigar, walk outside and fire it up to experience the pleasure that a not-so-good cigar provides me.
So how does my cigar story relate to an emotional affair? Well, first of all, just like with cigars, I obviously should have never started in the first place. And as it is with most addictions, the quitting process took way too long and was far more complicated than it should have been.
It took some time for the emotional affair to evolve to where I realized that it was not all that great. The once carefree, exciting, fun days gave way to Tanya’s jealousy, irritability and attempts at controlling me. I was leading a double life and it was becoming too difficult. Tanya was affecting my emotional health and well-being in a negative way, and the affair was certainly taking its toll on Linda and our family life. The simple solution would have been just to quit cold turkey.
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For me to break away from the emotional affair, I had to completely remove myself from Tanya. I had to quit the talking, texting and meeting for lunch – cold turkey. The addiction was tough to break. I knew she had to be out of sight, and out of mind for me to be able to, and when I finally decided that ending the affair was the thing to do, that’s what I did. That’s what you or your spouse needs to do.
Now if I could just do the same with these damn cigars!