couple laughingWhen having a marital affair, all you have to give the other person (OP) is yourself.  To you, the cheating spouse, this is just fine since the OP does not expect you to make the money, do the household chores or take care of the kids.  When the only requirement of your affair partner is that you be yourself, it is naturally very liberating. There is no stress, no responsibility, no pressure.

You are able to give yourself freely.  You begin to believe that you do not have to be successful, work hard, be a great dad or be a great spouse, because the OP only wants you.  That is the fantasy of the situation.  The affair becomes the oasis from the stress and the mundane.

While in your marital affair, you become addicted to the belief that the OP wants only you.  When they call or text you, they want YOU.  This can be very exhilarating, but again, it’s nothing more than a fantasy.  The OP doesn’t expect anything from you but your company.

This cannot last however, as the real world will eventually infiltrate the affair and you will be asked to offer more than just your companionship.

At some point, perhaps when you get caught, or perhaps when you profess your love for each other, the OP will want more of a commitment.  This is unsettling because this means that you will have to give more of yourself, more of your time, more of your money, and more of your responsibility.  This is probably not what you really want with their OP since that is what you were trying to escape in the first place.

See also  Infidelity Devastates a Kid

I believe the lure of an affair is the belief that OP loves you just as a person, and does not care about your accomplishments, how successful you are, how helpful you are, what a great father you are, etc.

Unfortunately, what you are really portraying to the OP during your marital affair is something and someone you are not. You only show them the traits that they find appealing. Those traits that are missing in their spouse.  You are displaying conditional love.

All of us want to feel that our spouses only want us because of who we are, not because of what we do for each other.  Even though love is based on how we make the other feel and what we bring to their lives by our actions.  I guess all of us long to feel that our spouse wants to escape with us, and that WE can be their oasis from the stress and the mundane.


    23 replies to "A Marital Affair is an Oasis From the Mundane"

    • mil

      I am sure it is this escape from the mundane that fuels the affair but as I said a couple of days ago (which may have got lost in the long list of comments) if this is the case are we not all predisposed to affairs as everyone gets lots of mundane patches in a long term relationship? Would this then mean that only the very strong willed or too scared to risk it could resist the temptation to go out and grab themselves a bit of fun on the basis that you only live once etc. etc?
      What prevents some people from having affairs and accepting their mundane lot whereas others don’t? Is it the chance opportunity that the OP comes along at just the time you need them and before you know it you are engulfed in the affair mist?
      I am 100% sure I would not be able to do that, not necessarily because I don’t want to hurt my H (sometimes I’d love to give him a taste of his own medicine even though I love him (well he did it while loving me didn’t he?) but because I am a faithful, committed type of person.

    • Yuki

      I have read that a person who has an affair has a character flaw – a correctable one, but a flaw nonetheless. Mil, you and I must not have that flaw because I sure did not have many emotional needs met when my husband was having his affair. Life was not only mundane, but often miserable. But I did not go out and find it elsewhere. And like you, I did have opportunities. I am just a loyal, faithful partner.

    • AlmostOutofIt

      I think the point is that both spouses need to work at their marriage and prevent it from getting mundane. You can bring some of the excitement of an affair to a marriage. Or perhaps a better way to look at it is to focus on keeping the marriage exciting. Not letting it get mundane. Like Linda said in a different post, it’s far too easy to let life get in the way. Then all of a sudden you wonder where the excitement went.

    • Confused76

      i have moved out and left her at home to look after the kids and see if she can have a relationship with him but she has told me he is demanding and very insecure and got moody when she said our kids would come before him so hope its a quick process of her realising there relationship will not work in the real world

    • tryingtoowife

      Mil and Yuki I completely agree with you that a person that ‘choose’ to have an affair have a character flaw, certainly it is true with my husband, I believe it.
      Mundane is what I feel about my relationship with my husband now! I used to love him so much! During his affair, I noticed the distance and coldness from him and nearly went mad myself trying to find ways to reach him. As soon as I found out about the affair, everything I knew about us lost value. I used to think that we were one of those special people that were lucky to have found each other, I don’t anymore.
      AOOI, Doug and Linda talk about injecting some of the excitement of the affair back into our lives, for us the BS would have been so much easier to have been given that chance before it all has been tainted by someone else’s destruction. I know Linda is a BS, but I think you had the right tool to work on it, I don’t feel (yet) that capable! I, before the affair would have done anything, and I mean anything had I known I had to, to “change, enhance, excite” the relationship. I wanted sex as much as he did, although for lack of communication, it was not happening in the way we wished! Now I just feel like an empty vessel, I still don’t know what should go inside there. Even though I read a lot, I talk to him about it… We have good days too and then I hope and hope!
      I live with the knowledge that he was able to just ignore the hurt and destruction that his actions caused by accepting someone else in his life (or OURS!). He went back to his sense, and full of remorse, but he has been spared of loosing his family and all that he ignored and gambled with, perhaps hoping that he would never been found out?!
      I am and other BS spending a huge amount of time and energy trying to heal and picking up the pieces, and still trying to work in the marriage! I know people would say that staying in a marriage is my choice and I agree, I am here by my own choice, and still want to learn how I can create something worth of having! It is too hard! Every sexual touch is painful with memories of words he used to her and images, and sex can still be intense but very sporadic and basic! Every day matched to the same time he was distant and with another woman on his mind, finding precious time for texting, e-mailing enjoying secret meetings and sex. Now he is sorry, but he had fun! I only have destruction.
      AlmostOutofIt in a way your wife is lucky not know, she has been spared one of the greatest pain and devastation of her life! But I wonder if she senses it, because you said in an earlier post that you have talked about your marriage problems with her.
      I know what I have to do, I read it here and on books, I listen, but how can you move on from this? Sorry about the long post. I need to talk today.

    • mil

      I still say that someone who’s experienced the highs of an affair can never again be truly exhilerated by their marriage however exciting they try to make it and however much they love their spouse. Also, how can a spouse of many years ever have the same mystique, allure, clandinestity and newness of an OP which is what provides the thrill of an affair?

    • Fiorastar

      I’m mixed on this. My partner and I have been working on what I instinctively knew to do…make him remember just WHAT was exciting to us in the first place by going back to those things with him. The problem is, in our case, those were the exact things he was seeking with someone else, all while I was telling him how much I missed those things with him. So, it’s his resolve and my resolve right now that is keeping us together.

      Ultimately, I have a BIG problem with the idea that it is somehow my responsibility to keep things exciting for him, when it was he who was pushing me away, having those things with another woman while I was busy at work all day (he has no job). I was begging him to remember “us” and to let me in again rather than giving those emotional intimacies to her!

      If a person is mature enough to be in a longterm relationship with children, then they also need to be mature enough to take their most deep, loving selves to the person they chose that relationship with first. Only if that significant other isn’t willing to make that wonderful stuff happen is it in any way “justified” that it might be the “mystique” of newness.

      I’m still very upset about the whole thing. He’s working on it with me, but I’m not even sure how I’ll ever be able to trust that it isn’t just a way of getting me off his back so he can seek elsewhere without me suspecting.

    • R

      I may sound naive here, but I am almost 4 years post EA and PA, and my husband says our relationship is better than theirs could have ever been. He said he knows now he never really loved her. He just wanted to feel loved and admired. We, like tryingtoowife, due to lack of communication weren’t connecting as well as we could have so there was resentment and frustration on both our parts. I agree, it is his character flaw that caused him to have an affair. He took the easy way out (or so he thought). Instead of saying what was on his mind to me, he chose to go elsewhere. He almost lost me and our family in the process, so yes, I believe our marriage actually has been as exhilerating for him as the affair ever was. He sees me and us in a whole new light and realizes what he almost threw away. In other words, I think it gave him a new lease on life. He said the guilt was almost unbearable, and she was always putting pressure on him to leave me. That can’t have been much fun. He went into the affair wanting to supplement what we had, not replace it, and I think that is what most betrayers do. They are looking for something they are afraid or don’t know how to ask for. I, like everyone else here, still deal with painful memories and the thoughts pop into my head at the worst times. I just pray about them and then try to think about something positive to push them out. It is an ongoing process. We have a better marriage now than we ever have as far as better communication and better sex but the triggers are still there. I’m not sure when and if those will ever go away, but I have decided that my life is better with him than it would be without him, so I am in this for the long haul! The devil and the OW are not going to win!!

      • Doug

        R, thank you for your insight, it is so comforting to know that couples can survive. I know how difficult it is and to know that your are four years past Dday makes me feel so much better. I can relate to many of the things you said, I also believe that Doug found an easy way to get his needs met and never thought about the implications. It has been a long journey for us with many ups and downs. Your experience and advice would be beneficial to everyone on this site. Thank you for contributing. Linda

    • Yuki

      My husband said last night that it’s difficult to be excited about our relationship at this point because he can often still see the hurt in my eyes when I look at him. He said that he loves me and is committed to doing whatever it takes to make it work, and he thinks the excitement will return when I can move past the pain. I’m thinking about that one… I don’t know what to believe about it.

    • Donna

      The HURT is more than I can bear sometimes. I wonder too how my marriage can be as exciting as his EA. He says to me that he is still in love with OW. I hate that he thinks about her and still wants to be with her. I am grateful that he has chosen to be here with me and his children. He says that he wants his marriage more, he just has to let go of something that he also wants.

      I took him to the airport today so he can have 3 weeks of time out for himself and hopefully just have time to think. This will be the longest that we have ever been apart in 15 years of being together. I am sad and will miss him like crazy and yes I am putting words in his mouth here and would say that he is probbly grateful for the time away and will not miss me like he once would have. Then again maybe he will. It is always so easy to go towards the negative way of thinking than the positive… why is that? When I hugged him goodbye at the airport, it was the kind of hug you would give to a person who you don’t know very well. It hurt and I got in the car and just cried. I hate all this hurt, I look forward to the time when he is able to pull me in close and be afraid to let go of me. Maybe I need to let go of that dream for now.

      I am trying to look at the positives and not the negatives. i too as R says will win this fight and not be a statistic and let the devil win. I am of Christian faith and have a deep belief and hope that my marriage will work. Just living it day by day is hard slog.

    • Yuki

      Donna – I am praying for you.
      R – thank you so much for your insights. It has reminded me of things my husband has said. He told me I would never regret my decision to stay in our marriage after his affair. I have to remember that as I reach the time when I need to make a decision about staying or leaving.
      My therapist said to wait at least three months before making any major decisions. That will be January 17. What am I going to do? I still love him, but I am not doing well at getting past the pain and the memories.
      It is hard work to learn to forgive and not dwell on the past. Sometimes it seems so wrong that I have to go through this. Why should I have to work so hard to not think about how he betrayed me? Why should I have to reprogram my mind not to react to triggers? It would be easier to call it quits. Then I could hate him forever and not worry about reprogramming my mind. But could I really hate him? I don’t hate him now. I’m just so hurt and so angry and so frustrated. And I do still love him. But is that love worth all the agony and loss of pride and self-esteem? He’s not helping much at this point, either. At first, he said and did all the right things. But now, he just wants to be done with it. We had a huge fight last night about that.
      I don’t want to be a statistic and I don’t want the devil to win the war. But I seem to be losing today’s battle. Help me, Lord.

    • BreeAnn

      I hate to read all this pain…. It’s like you are all living my pain too. But, you need to have faith for your betrayed spouses stuck it out with YOU!! Mine didn’t. He wanted me, but “she” was a very good friend that he wanted more. We’re over and I’m still reading about repairing our relationship but he has no intent. I’m alone in all this but you all have your spouse. And, it WILL get better!! God bless all of you and keep the strength!!

    • Yuki

      Thank you, BreeAnn. I’m saying prayers for you, too. Your post is a good reminder to be happy that my husband wants to stay with me. My problem is with the probability that he is not staying because he wants me. He does not say so, but I suspect he’s staying because he does not want to give up our family and way of life… also because he does not want everyone finding out what he did… also because things didn’t work out with her. I feel like I’m the default… I just come with the package.

    • Donna

      Yuki, thank you for your prayers, I too am praying for all the broken hearts on here as well. BreeAnne, thank you also for the reminder that my husband is still here with me. I am broken hearted for you over your situation. I don’t think my husband is here for me, but like Yuki I think he is here because we have 4 children and he likes the idealness of what we have.. although I am sure he would rather be in a loving relationship which he doesn’t give to me because he is in love with another. Either way, I will be grateful for what I do have.

      Husband is on the other side of the country at the moment, for 3 weeks. I have a question! Do i call him to talk at the end of each day or do I wait for him to call me? I don’t want to be a noose around his shoulders, I kind of want him to feel the lonliness and need to call us. Maybe I have it all wrong and I should call him. What do you think on this?

      • Doug

        Hi Donna, I see no harm in checking in with him to be sure he made it to his destination safely, etc., but I wouldn’t call him much – if any – after that. I think BreeAnn gives you good advice on this one. You might want to tell him that you will leave him alone, but that he is free to call you if he wants to talk, check in on the kids, etc.

    • Yuki

      I’m not an expert or anything, but if it were my husband, I think I would call. I don’t believe separation is the answer to figuring out problems, and three weeks is a long time. Depending on his state of mind, he could head in the wrong direction, and there would be no one to bring him back to his senses. Also depending on his attitude about it, I might not call every day, but I would feel out his opinion on it. Good luck with it.

    • BreeAnn

      Donna, I’m not sure what I’d do if I were you. I’d probably keep in touch via texting or emailing, but I’d try to keep my distance. I’ve been reading so much on affairs, and the last thing I read was that we should give the spouse freedom to miss us, and that means staying away. I think you have a good opportunity to try that strategy. However, I didn’t do that strategy and I think I should have. Actually, I don’t know what to think anymore. I thought if I laid all my confusing feelings on the table, that would make me more attractive becasue I was showing my vulerable side. I think it showed him I was needy and insecure (which I am at times.). There’s no clear cut answer for anyone, and I’m my thoughts are with you during this time. Hang in there!!

    • Yuki

      I hear you, BreeAnn. I laid everything out, too. I said I was beyond playing games. But now he is trying to call the shots. He tried to give me an ultimatum the other night. He said I either had to accept what happened and stop talking about it, or he would leave. I refused to take that bait, and he didn’t leave, but now we are fighting up a storm. He just wants it over and done with. A lot of it is because our therapist told me the same thing. She said that if I loved him, I would forgive him, and if I had forgiven him, I wouldn’t bring it up anymore. It has made a mess of things for us.

      • Julie

        Hi Yuki,

        I think you need a new therapist. You are experiencing trauma and you need to be allowed to ask questions freely. I would just suggest you only ask questions that help you understand why it happened, and stay away from learning the painful details if possible.
        My spouse tried throwing me out, even though he betrayed me. He too, was the angry, aggressive one making ultimatums. Looking back, I realize he hated himself and the person he’d become. I was afraid to show my pain because he was such an emotional wreck and I feared he’d take his life if I wasn’t strong. He had to take a job in another city to end his 2 year affair with a co-worker. I stayed behind to get our daughter through her final year of school. I have become so much stronger now that I have breathing space. We continue to work on our marriage and I’m not sure we’ll make it, but I no longer am fearful of being without him. Love your self and take care of yourself.

    • Donna

      Thank you all for your very valued comments. I too BreeAnne had heard that I needed to give some space, this can be so hard, however a great opportunity for me to do so while he is away.

      In doing so, he has only been gone 3 days, and he has been the one to contact me. I text him a message to say yay you have made it and then he called me an the kids later that evening. He has now called every night which has been nice, so it is on his terms.

      I did call him late lastnight as I was a little sad, had just heard my sister in law has a brain tumour and it is cancerous and non operative and has been given 1 to 2 years to live. I called him to let him know and I just needed to talk. He was glad I let him know and he side tracked my thoughts and made me feel so much better.

      Anyway, thank you for all your thoughts. I CAN get through this!

    • BreeAnn

      Yuki – is the EA still in the picture?

    • Yuki

      No, not to my knowledge. They had already broken it off when I found out. But she wanted to be his friend and was still sending him little notes to “keep in touch.” I could see clearly in his responses that he was trying to keep it platonic, but she was still calling him “Sweetheart” and telling him she loved him. When I found the emails, he promised to not contact her again, and I think I believe that he has kept his word.

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