the affair fantasyI received an email the other day from a young man I’ve been mentoring for the last few months. I thought it might be helpful, enlightening and inspirational to some of you.

A little background first…

His fiancé was having an affair with her boss. She was deep in the fog and the affair fantasy. Wedding was called off.  The young man moved out of their shared apartment fully intent on starting over without his fiancé.

About a month later the affair partner’s wife found out about the affair – so he ended things. The fiancé suddenly snaps out of her fog and wants to come back.

The young man was having a difficult time dealing with all the pain and hurtful things that his fiancé said – and did – but realizes that he still loves her very much.  He starts to consider reconciliation, though he was still quite hesitant due to the pain he was experiencing.

That’s the very short version.

OK. Here’s the email…

Thanks Doug!

I really appreciate it and I feel that it is all starting to make sense. We had a long talk yesterday and we are going to do this [reconcile]. You see, I made the mistake of believing the fantasy aspect of it – that she found this amazing, perfect guy. But at the end of the day, I know and feel that I am her perfect guy and she lost her way for some time.

Many factors were responsible for this but at the end of the day, I feel that I have come to truly believe some things involving affairs that will help me bring our relationship not only to its previous state but even better and stronger.

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In affairs, I have heard that people think they have finally met the person that knows them and understands them. False – how can they? I know her better than anyone else. I know her family, her upbringing, her best friends, what makes her laugh, what makes her cry, what she loves about me, what she hates about me (haha), and everything in between.

I think it is safe to say, that while during the affair, she thought he knew her so well. Hell, you probably thought your AP knew you so well but there is no way she did as I assume she never met your kids who are the most important people in your life other than Linda – another person she never met.

I think the people in our lives definitely define us and make us the people we are – my fiance’s AP never met her parents, her sisters, her best friends – he doesn’t know our real history, our traditions, our memories. The people in affairs don’t really know each other and I feel really good about that!

I read a blog recently in SurvivingInfidelity. I was in the Wayward Spouse forum because I feel like I really learn a lot from them and what their thought process is/was. She was talking about how she didn’t understand why the WS had to think their AP was a bad person. Now I don’t think a cheating person is a bad person, in most cases. I think it is a good person who at a time was broken and lost and did a hurtful thing. But then she said, and I quote, “We knew each other and cared for each other. In the end, I helped him with his marriage.”

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As someone who is full force with reconciliation, I can say that is complete bullshit. Maybe deep in the fog, people may think that. But what improves a relationship after an affair is determination, loyalty, hard work, and most importantly, love – this has nothing to do with the third party. They are over and done with.

I think what this woman underestimated is that her AP’s marriage was probably strengthened because there was always love there- a deep-rooted love that never really went away – life and stresses got in the way.

I would give anything for this affair not to have happened – you probably feel the same way. But at the end of the day, your marriage made it and I have hope that we can make it because there is such mind-blowing, week at the knees love there. We just got lazy and now we are not.

I want to thank you Doug for everything! I know I am a complete stranger, but I am proud of you and I am proud of Linda. If you guys didn’t have such strong love and relationship to fight this fight, then many people would still be at a loss of what to do!

I am optimistic that no matter what happens, I have changed, grown, and become a stronger person, and will be ok! I will be sure to keep you posted with our progress. Who knows – maybe fiance will finally be wife 🙂

I really hope that this email can give many of you reading it some measure of optimism for the future. If you have anything to say, please do so in the comment section below. Thanks!


    14 replies to "The Betrayed Spouse Can’t Get Sucked Into the Affair Fantasy"

    • exercisegrace

      Here’s the main question that comes to mind. What is this woman doing to fix herself? Because it is her own flaws that got her into this mess. It’s not enough to get dumped and come running back to the safety of her boyfriend. Is she getting counseling? Working hard to figure out what she was really chasing when she had the affair? It simply isn’t enough to say….whew I dodged a bullet. My AP wasn’t what I thought he was after all. She needs to figure out why she isn’t who SHE thought she was.

      The cynic in me wants to tell him to run far and run fast. But the “cooler head” can prevail and say……..IF this is handled the right way, it could give them a very strong foundation. But in order for that to happen, she will have to be willing to do some very hard and painful work on herself. Because being willing and able to cheat before marriage is a danger sign. If she doesn’t figure out where she went wrong, adding in the stress of running a home, sharing responsibilities, careers and later on kids, and, and, and…. He could be staring down the same stuff.

    • tryinghard

      Oh boy Doug, I don’t know about this. I think if you have little to no investment in the relationship it’s better to cut your losses and move on. These two already have pretty insurmountable bad odds of making it.

      My son reconciled with his cheating ex wife for a while only to get pregnant and get divorced anyway 6 years later. Thank God for my grandson because he is the delight of my life but this child is going to bare the brunt of their parents mistakes. He’s 4 and they are dealing with anger management issues already with him.

      I don’t know I wish they had divorced, but then I wouldn’t have my grandson.

      It’s hard enough to reconcile when you have everything to lose let alone when you have nothing to lose.

      I disagree that they will build a stronger foundation. It’s more like a shaky foundation. I say run young man, RUN!!!

      • Doug

        Well, I might agree with you ordinarily when someone isn’t even married yet, and I failed to mention this but these two have like a 14 year history together. So I think there is a fairly steep emotional investment at least.

    • forcryin'outloud

      I have to agree with TH. My brother dated a girl who cheated on him with a friend then dumped my brother. Several years later they saw each other at a party. My Mom told him to “run and run fast.” Instead my brother starting dating her again. They married a few years later. This time she waited until they were married a month before she cheated with a neighbor and moved out. They divorced a few months later. Craziest thing about it was she kept my brother’s last name – still has it! I keep telling my Mom I want our name back. LOL!

      I also was engaged VERY young to a young man who cheated on me. When he started trying to get back in my life a year later I talked to him but I saw him for who he was and cut off contact. He then spent the next decade trying to insert himself in my life. From my point of view only because he didn’t like it that I didn’t want him back. I once loved him very much but he was an abusive control freak and I’m thankful he dumped me. Best thing he ever did for me!
      So to the young man with his entire life ahead of him. Let her go!

      • Strengthrequired

        Fcol, I say the same thing to my h, as his ow still uses our surname. ” I want our surname back”. I also told him, I’m not so fussed on our last name while she uses it the way she does. I told him, I feel like going back to my maiden name, yet I don’t want to be different to my children, that’s why I don’t.

    • tryinghard

      OK well maybe I missed something. It sounded like they were only engaged.

      Maybe an emotional investment at 14 years no doubt, but I hope if they don’t have too deep a financial investment and no children that he is really looking inside himself to see why he wants to stay with this woman? Is it/she worth it?? I get crazy weak knee love but it’s a big world out there and it sounds like he’s the kind of man who has lots of love to give to someone who better deserves it. Does he really believe he can forgive, forget and trust someone with this huge character flaw for a veryyyyy long time?

      I don’t know, I think I still stand by my first assessment. Emotional attachment or not. If this were my son I’d say run which is what I should have done to my own son but didn’t. Now it’s too late and they are forever bitterly bound together by my adorable grandson and he doesn’t deserve the crap those two put out. It’s awful. I tell that young man to save himself a lot of heartache and find a better woman. There’s MANY out there.

      • exercisegrace

        I have to agree. 14 years is a LONG time to have invested, with no marriage and no kids. She risked throwing all that away. If it were my son, I would tell him to walk. Not to confuse length of time with someone as meaning there is an obligation to stick it out. Most of us here have the added incentive of whole lives built, including kids. While I would not say that I stayed because of my kids, they certainly played a large part in my decision. If this had all happened to me prior to marriage, or during the years we were married before we had kids? I am fairly sure it would be over by now.

    • Strengthrequired

      Ok, 14 years is a long time, they have built a connection together somewhat of being Iike a married couple. They had committed themselves to each other. He does sound. Like he has a lot of love to give, and is so very forgiving. I think he needs to make sure she is very remorseful in what she has done. I actually rolled my eyes when I read she said, she actually helped the ap with his marriage, and how they really did care for each other. Now I have to wonder is she really out of the fog?
      She did not help the ap marriage, it is the wife of the ap, that held the upper hand all along, she had his vows, his commitment and most likely his family, she had his heart and love all along. If anything she caused undue distress and torment to the ap wife, and children. No she didn’t help, she has sketched an image of herself into the mind of the bs head, for the rest of her life, especially if she stays with her cs. She may not have meant to, but that is exactly what she did.
      As for this young man, he seems to be very devoted to his fiancé, and I am happy for him that he has a chance at making his relationship work, I just hope that he holds off on the marriage for a bit to make sure he can truly see the trust return, his fiancé has to prove her worth to the relationship, as marriage is a huge step in a relationship and to have the person you care about most in the world to break your heart before a marriage is one thing, have them break your vows, your commitment (which is in writing) is another. Bring children in to the mix, a whole new kettle of fish.
      I feel the same as eg, I am pretty sure too, that if my cs cheated on me before I married him, or before we had children, I highly doubt I would have stayed. If they can show that much disrespect for your relationship when you aren’t married, what chance does your actual marriage have?

    • Shifting Impressions

      My concern would be the fact that her affair partner ended the affair. Had she ended it realizing the mistake she had made would make a lot of difference. She is now alone so she miraculously “snaps out of the affair fog” and wants him back!!! I would be very cautious in this situation.

      Will he be able to get past the deception and the lies?? Has she really figured out why she cheated in the first place???

      • Strengthrequired

        That’s right too, the ap ended it, not her, then comes running back with her tail between her legs, wanting to be forgiven etc. If she had ended it, she would have looked better. She appears not to have wanted to be alone.

    • Tryinghard

      And the fact that she thinks she “helped” the APs marriage??? Yeah not so much. Maybe she should talk to his wife about that. Probably doesn’t have the guts to do it. Most don’t. They’re only good in the dark where no one sees them.

      This chick sounds like a real loser. Doesn’t sound remorseful or ashamed. Almost arrogant about her role.

      I repeat, RUN!!!

      • Strengthrequired

        Exactly… I would probably be worried about her ap contacting her again, wanting to restart the affair. I would be concerned about what her response would be.

    • forcryin'outloud

      I’m wondering when the 14 years began? That could say a great deal about the maturity at start and now of both parties.

    • 2nd Time Around

      Okay just my two cents! This is not my first rodeo. I was engaged to someone at a very young age who cheated prior to our marriage I broke it off and walked away. It took 10 years to get over him but I know now 20 plus years later it was the best thing I could have done for myself.

      Stupid me in my mid 40’s I started dating someone who was cheating with not one but two other women!! He told me he broke it off and I continued to date and eventually marry him. Now here I sit 7 weeks past D-day because for the last year he has been having an EA with at least 7 different women not to mention his other issues.

      I get that people go into a fog but REALLY grow up!! Without some serious therapy for both of these young people they don’t stand a chance. He already caught her once, how does he know this is the only time she cheated? My H also has the ability to fall deep into his fantasy world and he has a long hard road ahead of him if he wants to make this marriage work.

      We are each in therapy plus we are seeing a marriage therapist and we still don’t know if we will stay married.

      PLEASE get some help!!!

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