It’s once again Good Friday and the day reminds me of a post I wrote on Good Friday four years ago about my selfishness being a root cause of the emotional affair and for my actions once it was discovered.

I say “a root cause” and not the root cause, as there were certainly other issues at the time that plagued me, but that’s a story for another day.  (Wait, I think I wrote about that too!)       Anyways…

Since we’ve been quite busy this week preparing our home inside and out for a boat load of guests on Easter, we thought it would be a good time to rerun it.

My Emotional Affair – Selfishness Personified

It’s Good Friday and I’m at my office.  Nobody else is here and it’s incredibly dead quiet.  So I thought I would write.  I got to thinking about a discussion Linda and I had the other day about how the person involved in an affair can profess to love their spouse,  yet still carry on an emotional affair with another person and knowingly inflict immense amounts of pain on his/her partner. 

I know in my situation, I never really stopped loving Linda, though I may not have felt the “in love” feelings that I once had for her.  That didn’t mean that I ever stopped loving her.  After all we have been together for 30 years, she is the mother of our children, and is a wonderful, caring person.

So how was it that I could sneak around behind her back with someone else?  I’m not a bad person at all, really.  I’m a good father.  I thought I was a decent husband, and I was brought up in a loving, caring and religious family, absent of any marital infidelity.

I guess the best word to describe why I did it was selfishness (though I’m sure Linda would offer you many more).  I was selfish in that I was too concerned with my own feelings and what was missing in our relationship, and didn’t think about the consequences my emotional affair could have on Linda.

I was too selfish (and stupid) to share my feelings of discontent with Linda in the first place, and instead did so with another person.

I was too selfish to allow myself to get wrapped up in the feelings of infatuation and illusions of love that existed in my emotional affair with Tanya.

And I was too selfish to honestly admit my affair when it first came to light on the “D-day” when Linda found out.

It took the possibility of losing everything staring me in the face to change the way I look at everything—not only in marriage, but in life itself.  And in knowing what is important and what is not.

They say that an affair is a traumatic event, and I can attest to that wholeheartedly.  It has been traumatic for Linda more so than me, but it has certainly been a life altering event and has made me realize how devastating taking someone – or something – for granted can be for all parties involved.

This event has changed me forever, and I hope that I am becoming a better husband, father, worker, communicator and writer.  It’s a shame that it took something like this to ignite these mass improvements.

I guess in some sense, you could say that even after my emotional affair I’m still being selfish.  I can’t help it.  For some reason I have to have a great family, happiness, freedom, success, and a loving, forgiving, beautiful wife  that was there all the time.

 

    7 replies to "Post Rerun: My Emotional Affair – Selfishness Personified"

    • Rachel

      Nice story, Doug
      I’m sure it’s been posted before,but with a clearer head I’m finally able to focus.
      Happy Easter!

    • gizfield

      Happy Good Friday to everyone as well. I took today off work and am in a “catpile” on the bed with my husband and daughter, lol.

      I understand how you felt about still loving Linda, Doug. I dont know if I’m unusual but when I had my affair I thought I loved my husband, and that I loved him and my affair partner equally.

    • tryinghard

      Oh Doug, that almost made me cry. I really haven’t gone back into the archives and read anything you had posted during the “storm” and this is priceless. I can almost imagine my husband saying the same things.

      You are a good person, hell we all are and I know you and many other repentant WS have realized just how close they were on the brink of losing everyone and everything they cherished and took for granted. Amazing how hindsight is 20/20 right?

      You are right, it’s not about whether or not you still love your Linda. I never questioned that with my H. I knew he loved me and that is why I fought so hard for our marriage.

      I hope you guys have a wonderful Easter.

    • Patsypie

      Thanks for your post Doug. It makes me wonder what has transpired in my husband that, even though he has told me how immature and selfish he is being, he still continues his affair despite the immense pain he has caused our two young children, our very close extended family and myself, the huge financial strain our impending divorce will cause (he’s amassed a huge amount of debt) and the potential negative implications to his business. It’s amazing an affair relationship can be worth all that loss. He’s still in such denial and continues to lie. We’ve been separated five months and I discovered the affair two months ago. He has such feelings of failure as a father (he’s been pretty absent for a long time), a husband and in his career. His lies are beginning to make me feel like I’m living in a soap opera. He’s says he can’t face the person he’s been and just wants to move on with a new life. I find that so cowardly and pathetic. Feels like I’m dealing with a 15 year old rather than a mature responsible man. He’s told me repeatedly that he won’t come back. Somehow I hang onto a shred of hope that he’ll become a man with morals and integrity and do the right thing for our family. He knows I’d do anything to save our marriage and family even though I filed for divorce about a month ago.

    • EyesOpened

      Happy Easter Y’All !

      Thank you LINDA and Doug for this brilliant website .

    • Joan

      Trouble is, my partner of 28 years has admitted since the emotional affair that he has NEVER loved me. With hindsight , his treatment of me over that time bears that out but I loved him so much that I that I convinced myself that he did.
      Now, 10 months since D day2, he is doing all the things that he should do and is desperate to show me that he loves me but I know that I still don’t have the whole truth, and the bit that I do have ,I found out by myself.This along with the revelation of knowing that our relationship has been a total lie is preventing me from moving forward. I want to be with him as I am still inlove’ with him but the constant contradictions in the affair story and the recent accidental discovery that the affair didn’t end because he wanted a fresh start with me but because of a disagreement with her (when I’d asked him to end it) all this has made me question his real feelings for for me now
      He was truly nasty with me during the affair and constantly told her that he loved her, it was very intense. I’m still suffering badly from flashbacks of that time as I’m now living through the ‘dates’ that I now know certain events happened on. It’s so very painful still.
      I don’t want to throw all his efforts back in his face but I still feel that I’m on ‘shaky ground’s even though I now have the spouse that I’ve always wanted. It doesn’t help that he’s 74 and I’m 68. We don’t have the luxury of time.
      What shall I do?
      By the way thank you both for the help of your timely emails. Your articles have helped me so much , I read them every day and find that if I don’t hear Doug’s favourite word ( b?#!X*!*) at least once a day I go into withdrawal!

      • stickfigure

        I noticed that nobody replied to you Joan and I wanted to say something. When my husband was ‘in love” with the other woman, he moved out and he told me that he was “probably over me after the first month of marriage.” At that time we had been married for 20 years. That has been the single most traumatic thing that was ever said to me because it is not easily forgotten and it erases every good memory we have ever experienced including three children and two grandchildren. His affair had only just begun at that time and continued long after we “reconciled.” (he moved back in without telling me he was in an affair and it went on for a total of 8 years without my knowledge) If I had known he was in an affair when those words were spoken I would have framed them differently. But, I would not find out for another 7 years that he was ‘in love with another woman at the time.” We have now been married for 30 years believe it or not and we are doing really well. I believe with all of my heart that, when he uttered those words, he believed them. I think, in comparison to the ecstasy he was experiencing when he reconnected with his high school girlfriend, his feelings for me seemed small. Time has a way of revealing the truth though. And lust, passion and reliving his youth went from being everything he ever wanted to a trip into hell and back. He now describes that time in his life as vile. He says that he doesn’t even recognize who that man was. I think it was a combination of alcoholism, insecurity and selfishness that ruined my family. But, the good news is that i have a new family with the same man. He is different now. Over the last four years he has matured and deepened and is wholeheartedly in love with Jesus first and me second. Do I think that he was really over me after the first month. No. I think he was just a very troubled, selfish, immature person who had a hard time tolerating the mundane of life. He thought he was special and deserved ‘special.” Now, he sits in a place of contentment that is sweet and we get along really well and sometimes he cries out of the blue and tells me how sorry he is for hurting me. And he wishes it could go away but realizes it never will. I don’t know your husband or your situation but i would guess that he loved you very much. They just go insane when they are working from a place of intense emotion and selfish pride. For me, I love Jesus first and my husband second So, there is really nothing my husband can do or say that can really take away the contentment I feel knowing that I am the apple of God’s eye. And so are you.

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