What exactly is a soulmate and why do unfaithful people feel their affair partner is their soulmate?

affair partner is their soulmate

By Linda & Doug

Infidelity is one of the most painful experiences that anyone can go through. One of the most common beliefs that can make an already terrible situation even worse is the idea that your spouse’s affair partner is their soulmate.

This myth can be so damaging when it comes to infidelity and can make it extremely challenging to overcome the hurt and betrayal caused by the affair. That’s why it’s essential to debunk this myth and understand the truth behind it.

What the Heck is a Soulmate?

First, let’s define what we mean by the term “soulmate.” Well, the idea of a soulmate varies from person to person, and it can be quite subjective. Generally, people think of a soulmate as someone with whom they share a deep and profound connection.  It’s as if their souls are intertwined.

It’s often seen as a relationship where two people are perfectly matched, understanding each other on a profound level.  At the same time, experiencing an extraordinary sense of compatibility.

Here’s the reality: just because someone has an affair with someone else does not mean that they are their soulmate. In most cases, affairs happen because one or both partners believe they are unhappy in their marriage or relationship. 


They are searching for something that they think is missing. That missing piece could be anything from attention, passion, or emotional connection. The affair partner is merely filling that void at the time, but that does not make them the ideal match for the unfaithful person.

Moreover, the chemical reactions in our brains can lead us to believe that someone we are attracted to is our soulmate. When we meet someone new and experience the initial stages of infatuation or “falling in love,” our brains release dopamine, which is responsible for our feelings of pleasure, reward, and motivation. Our brains become addicted to this feeling, which can make us believe that our affair partner is our soulmate.

Why Does the Unfaithful Person Describe Their Affair Partner as Their Soulmate?

When a person who has cheated describes the individual they cheated with as their “soulmate,” it can often be indicative of deeper psychological needs and desires that they may feel are not being met within their current relationship.

  1. Seeking Validation: One of the primary reasons why cheaters might describe their affair partners as soulmates is that they may be seeking validation. This can especially be the case if they feel neglected, underappreciated, or emotionally distant in their current relationship. The new person provides them with a sense of importance and worthiness that they may not feel they are receiving from their current partner.
  2. It’s Exciting and New: Humans crave novelty and excitement. An extramarital affair can bring a rush of adrenaline due to its secretive nature and the thrill of the unknown. In this context, the other person is seen as a ‘soulmate’ because they provide an avenue for experiencing something new and different.
  3. Emotional Connection: Often the cheating partner may form an emotional bond with the other person, leading them to perceive this person as their soulmate. This could happen if they feel emotionally disconnected from their current partner but find emotional intimacy with the new person.
  4. Idealization & Fantasy: Often, when a person cheats, they may idealize the person they are having an affair with. This person seems to fulfill all their fantasies and desires, which may be unrealistic in the real world. The term ‘soulmate’ is often used in these circumstances because it represents an idealized version of what they want in a partner.

The Fantasy, Role Playing and the Playbook

Is It Just an Excuse?

Now, it’s important to also understand that this whole “soulmate” thing is often a rationalization or an excuse.

See also  4 Lessons Learned: 20 Years After My Affair

Here are a few reasons why unfaithful people might use this excuse:

Emotional Justification: Some cheaters genuinely believe they have a unique connection with the person they cheated with, even if it’s based on infatuation or a temporary emotional high. They might use the term “soulmate” to validate their feelings and make their actions seem more acceptable in their own minds.

Guilt and Rationalization: Labeling the person they cheated with as a “soulmate” can be a way for cheaters to cope with the guilt and rationalize their behavior. It shifts the blame from their own actions to the idea that they couldn’t resist this extraordinary connection.

Manipulation: In some cases, cheaters may use the term “soulmate” to manipulate their partner’s emotions. By making their infidelity seem like an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime connection, they hope to elicit sympathy or understanding from their partner.

Remember that genuine soulmate connections are based on trust, mutual respect, and a commitment to building a healthy, lasting relationship. Cheating, on the other hand, betrays these principles and causes significant harm. In reality, no one is perfect, and there is no such thing as a perfect match. Our partners will always have flaws and shortcomings, and so will we.

If you’re someone who has experienced infidelity, it’s essential to challenge the myth that your spouse’s affair partner is their soulmate. Instead, focus on understanding why the affair happened in the first place and try to address any underlying issues. Seek the help of a therapist/mentor/coach who can help guide you through the healing process.  They can provide you with the tools you need to deal with the pain and betrayal.

See also  Finding an Affair Recovery Specialist

To demonstrate the “soulmate” mindset, our friend, counselor Tim Tedder, LMHC shares the following:

Tim Tedder, LMHC

“As I work with men and women caught up in affairs with emotional connections, I hear pretty much the same story over and over again. I wonder what they would think if they all were in one room and had to listen to each other’s arguments about why their affair was so different, why their affair would not end like almost all the others.

Here’s how one of my clients expressed it in an email:

“[The other woman] is mysterious and uncertain, but the connection is SO POWERFUL, I feel hopelessly drawn to her. At times I want nothing more than to write that story and see the ending.

“Everyone says this is infatuation but it seems so much more to me. I’ve been thinking about this for the past few weeks and it seems like the only reason why I want to stay in my marriage is because it’s what is expected of me, but the reason I want to be with [the other woman] is because that is who I’m meant to be. My head feels so clear too when I think about this…

“Here’s another point. I know this sounds so crazy, but it’s almost like [the other woman] meets me where we both need to be in conversation… I realize that we haven’t had what’s considered a true relationship but this has been going on for 7-8 months. We’ve had some pretty serious conversations and I can honestly say that we are always connecting with each other. It’s uncanny the stuff that comes out of her mouth is almost verbatim the stuff that comes out of mine. 

“I mean I know I’m talking crazy talk right now, but I’VE NEVER EXPERIENCED SOMETHING LIKE THIS BEFORE! Every time I have conversation, I learn something new that just connects me ever closer to her. One would say, “Well, stop talking to her” but it’s like my soul is thirsting for more. It’s my soul and my heart. 

“This isn’t just some high school crush. I feel love, deep deep love for someone a love that I never thought I would ever feel. It’s the same love I feel for my kids. That true unconditional love. Even at our highest peak, I’ve never felt anything like this for [my wife]…

“This absolutely kills me. If I were to choose [my wife], then I’m afraid I lose my soul mate. I know I know I know I know I know, life with [the other woman] would have hardships, but this relationship feels so pure… Her views of intimacy go hand in hand with mine. Where the hell was this person 10 years ago? Why now?!”

Different affair; same story.

He thought he found relationship perfection and so he was willing to abandon the 14 years of investment in his marriage. Too bad he didn’t realize the connection he longed for was more likely found on the path that wound through the ups and downs of “for better and for worse” than in his paradise mirage.

Do you think your affair really is different? If you sat with me long enough to hear the thousands of stories I’ve encountered in my years of counseling and recognized the themes that repeat again and again, would you change your mind?

Probably not. Affairs have nothing to do with making smart choices. They’re not even logical, so maybe you won’t recognize your affair for what it is until enough time has passed. I wonder what will be left when that finally happens. How much regret will you face?

Maybe you can stop long enough to see the cracks that are already showing in the facade. Maybe you can see you’re not so different from everyone else. Since you’re not so unique, that means the same opportunities for healing and change are available to you as they were to those who have been through this before.

You are telling a story with your life. This part, the affair chapter, is too predictable. Why not change the script? It deserves a better ending.”

Click to read the full article.

Stacey Chenevert, a former unfaithful person and  infidelity recovery coach, shares her views on why unfaithful people feel their affair partner is their soulmate – based on her own experiences.

Infidelity is a devastating experience that can be challenging to overcome. However, believing the myth that your spouse’s affair partner is their soulmate can make it even harder to work through the pain and betrayal of the affair. The reality is that affairs do not typically happen because someone has found their perfect match.

Please share your thoughts and comments below.  Also, feel free to share on whatever social media you use.


    1 Response to "The Myth That Your Spouse’s Affair Partner is Their Soulmate"

    • Jules

      I never believed my husband was this other woman’s soulmate .. she wrote it to him .. it seems infantile that a grown adult woman would say this about my husband , married 25yrs at the time
      Just as I thought it ridiculous that she also wrote that my husband was her best friend , one she could trust and rely on … how can she trust the person who is cheating on his wife ??
      However it was still hurtful to read those words from her to my husband ,it also felt humiliating and infuriating
      I wish I could have called her out on it , the love bombing ,the ego stroking , it’s just so obvious and ridiculous , this isn’t high school ,this is real life , long term marriages , and families they’re interfering with .
      I’m still hurting 4 yrs later , a mixture of emotional pain , anger , disbelief
      I never knew who the other woman was , someone he met through work ,
      As we all do ,I’ve played the mind games over and over , what they were like together ,it’s torture
      I guess the world soulmate has triggered me today ,
      To these women a soulmate is an unavailable married man , made more exciting and unattainable by the secrets , betrayal and deceit


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