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  Recover From an Affair – Surviving the Holidays

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  Obsessive Focus - Relentless Thoughts or Conversations About the Affair

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.

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.

 

    11 replies 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
      Jules

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      • Rachel

        So many of the things you said have hit home. I only just recently found out, but I actually spoke with the other woman, or texted her. I told her that despite the “deep connection” she (and he) felt, it doesn’t trump ten years. She can claim she knows him just as well as I do (seriously laughable), but she does not. I told her that her beliefs on how he owes her something (like an apology — crazy, right?!) was absurd. She’s a grown woman, yet acting like she’s 20. I told her you took a big gamble, how did you think this was going to play out? But yeah, both of them called each other their soulmate and when I discussed with my husband, he couldn’t say that I was. I sent him this article. As an aside, his affair took place on the tail end of his deployment. He hadn’t even been home for two years. Im convinced he came up with a narrative about me and eventually believed it. I feel this recovery is going to be challenging.

    • David

      100% agree Jules. It’s absolute crazy-talk. Hearing my wife talk about how she “loved” her affair partner, and how he was a “really great guy” was so insane it was almost laughable. She was like a toddler believing in Santa Claus except void of the innocence and cuteness.

      We were facing challenges in our immediate family, which put a strain on the marriage both emotionally and financially. I didn’t handle either perfectly, but I stayed in and dealt with the challenges as best I could. I certainly wasn’t perfect, but it would have been easy to find another woman to confide in. Someone who would take my side whenever I discussed a problem at home. Someone who had zero emotional investment in the extended family and zero obligation to pay the family bills. It’s easy to “armchair quarterback” when you’re not playing the actual game.

      During the pain of our recovery, I often thought about the poetic justice if I had walked out and let her pursue things with her affair partner. I love her too much to let her follow-up the affair mistake with a much bigger mistake. There’s no question the relationship would have blown-up in short order.

    • Phoenix2020

      After 4 HARD years of recovery and rebuilding, there are still some of these articles and posts that hit sore spots. The whole “Soulmate” thing is one of them. Jules and David, I feel you!

      My WS was slow to understand the kind of work he needed to do to get on board the “Recovery Bus,” let alone drive it (he did get there in time), but he did come to recognize the absurdity of the AP’s ongoing pursuit claiming a “soulmate connection” that she says surpasses anything she’s ever experienced in any of her time on this plane or in the “fourth dimension,” where she says she travels and has cosmic hook ups with my H. (I’ll just leave that one right there and let readers draw their own conclusions). So Jules, I completely get your description of the AP’s talk as infantile fantasy. If these situations weren’t so sad and excruciatingly painful, they would almost be amusing. She was also cheating on her husband and ultimately divorced him, thinking that her perceived soul connection in the astral plane was evidence of my H’s unbreakable bond to her. These days, she is convinced that I have somehow manipulated the situation to thwart their connection in this life and that I am responsible for her pain. Oh, and I am also somehow responsible for her divorce. Go figure. She maintains that she and my H will be together in another life. And yes, we have pursued legal protection. Not to be an alarmist, but that kind of delusion could lead some in irrational and dangerous directions. Along with the devastation of the infidelity, we now get to live with the threat of an angry AP who uprooted her life, divorced her husband and moved a thousand miles to be near her “soulmate.” BTW, my H ended the affair 6 months before she decided to sell her home and business, move here, and ditch her husband. As terrible as his decision to get involved with her was, her decisions about her life are 100% hers.

      David, like you I also played out in my imagination what might have happened if I had bowed out and let them have each other. When the AP realized that the “misunderstood and mistreated” romantic, intellectual Southern gentleman hero she had idealized him to be can also sometimes be an inconsiderate, selfish, arrogant, bully of an old man, I expect the sparkles would have worn off the soulmate fantasy pretty directly. I also suspect that he would have bored with her once her continuous stream of adulation started to dry up after he the 87th time he left dirty dishes in the sink, left his latest machine building project unfinished on the kitchen table for a week, or ceased to be the insatiable stallion their steamy on line communications promised.

      The experts will say that affairs can happen even in marriages that are secure and happy. I have a hard time working that out in my head though I won’t say that it doesn’t happen. I just know that WE were in a difficult place when the affair happened to us. We were both stressed, sad, lonely, disconnected, and stuck. The AP had a teenage crush on my H decades ago, found him on Facebook in a lonely (and probably wine emboldened) moment of her own, started chatting, cooing, and buttering him up. I’m sure it felt great to him, and he could turn on the charm and be the knight in shining armor she imagined that he was way back when. She got her knight; he got his much younger, unchallenging, adoring damsel in distress, and it was off to Soulmate Fantasy Island, which I gather must exist somewhere out in the astral plane of the fourth dimension where only those who are ascending toward the vibrational frequency of ecstatic apotheosis can frolic while the rest of us pedestrian shlubs just pick up and wash the dirty dishes.

      Yep. It might be a trigger. 😉

      • LifeLessons

        Phoenix2020 – i laughed so hard reading this part “Fantasy Island, which I gather must exist somewhere out in the astral plane of the fourth dimension where only those who are ascending toward the vibrational frequency of ecstatic apotheosis can frolic while the rest of us pedestrian shlubs just pick up and wash the dirty dishes”
        I pray everything works out for you and your husband. And that AP of his stays away from your lives.

    • Jules

      Phoenix 2020,
      I read a quote on this site some time back .
      ‘ a marriage is between two people , sadly some women can’ t count ‘
      Their shameful interference is unforgiveable ,
      Affairs are dangerous ,not only to a committed relationship but because our spouses really have no idea the person they’re getting involved with , the seemingly fun , chatty new ‘ best friend ‘ turns into a physco chicken.
      At a time of great pain and anguish we also show restraint .
      In retrospect we had also grown apart in our marriage but I now recognise he became more distant and detached when he was involved with her
      I too felt lonely ,but remained loyal to him and our marriage
      The hardest thing isn’t what they did together , although that cuts deep , it’s the broken trust, his secrets within our own marriage, feeling vulnerable, that sense of vigilance that never quite goes away . He understands that he has created that situation and he has to deal with the fallout .At times it wasn’t pretty , I wasn’t pretty but the emotions are overwhelming .
      I resent my loss is security and peace of mind that was taken away from me by her and his infidelity.
      He is remorseful , regretful ,sorry for the hurt he has caused , he admits it was a huge mistake ,
      I love my husband but what is done can’t be undone . We are still together, the first 2 years were really hard , especially for me , I am an over thinker , I need answers to questions to process and understand a situation . we are in a much better place, but there is no room for relapses on his part , this can’t happen again .. ever
      Through all this I have realised that loyalty, commitment and the vows I took almost 35 years ago are incredibly important to me ,
      Phoenix I admire your sense of humour , describing the other woman, dealing with that would be a challenge , you have a restraint that I’m not sure I would be capable of .
      It sucks to be put in this dilemma not of our choosing , but only people who are going through this can truly understand our emotions and thought processes
      Stay strong , take care
      Jules

      • Susan

        You Take care too, Sister. You’ve got this!

        • Susan

          Oops. I guess if “psycho chicken” finds this, I’m outed.

    • Gaia

      Hi
      Im living in a nordic country and my english is not that good.
      My husband of 14 years and 3 kids (6, 10,13) told me in july that he no longer loves me. And then I found out his having an affair with my neigbour and my friend for 8 years (not the affair, the friendship). He told me that it happend in june. She has 2 kids on her own in The same age as ours.
      She has now left her husband and living in an flat where my husband spends his time every second week. The other week he spends at home with me and our 3 kids.
      We still have som inimacy and I do really still believe he loves me but often will vilify me especally when his with her. That it is my fault that it happend. That i never apprechiated him.
      I feel so sad now that his with her.
      He say it will never be us again but I really think his just lost.
      I just don’t know what to do. I’m calm. No pitting or nagging. Im friendly and Im working on my self. Not only physcally but spiritly (going back to Church) and emotional. But its Hard. Its so Hard to stand for your marriage alone.
      Please give me some hope. Some hope that he will wake up and realise that it is all wrong. We did not had a bad marriage. Sometimes a little boring. But most of time filled with love.
      Is it a midlife crise? His 44. Im 40.
      Just dont no what to do.

      • LifeLessons

        Gaia, I am so sorry of what you are going through. No one but you can tell you what to do. But for me when I confronted my husband over his EA. I told him I was not going to fight him but told him I was ready to exit marriage any time because that is how i deal with anything that will stress me (i get away from the source of stress), mind you I love him so much and we have referred to each as soulmates throughout our 25 years together. He apologized a million times I see his sincere, I have forgiven him but back in my head the trust I had is not there any more. He has not contacted his EA for over a year now (that I am aware of). Now he knows the minute I find out he is doing the same things again I am out – so he tries so much to be attentive that at times I feel like he is trying too hard. He does not want to loose our marriage, i see that very clear.
        So Gaia to each their own but when you say that you are sometimes intimate with your CS, i feel like you are giving him power to control both you and the AP, he has both of you why change anything. I know you said you love him, but ask yourself, do you love him enough to let him go? Sometimes it is the only way to heal – but again not judging you, like i said to each their own. I wish you all the best and I hope things will work out for you and your children (you all do not deserve to be treated they way he is treating you)

    • Audrey

      My husband left me for his affair partner. She is a truly vile and disgusting human who he knew through work long before the affair. She had been sleeping with several other employees when she added him to the mix. He now thinks she is his soul mate and has the chemistry he has always wanted. We had a decent marriage and always communicated well for over 13 years, and then he found her. We had a nice house, a great child, and considered each other best friends. One day, he just changed and became a monster. I found out about the affair, and he left. He no longer speaks to me and rarely sees our son. I know little about his life, but I do know he and his affair partner are huge drinkers and partyers. It has been so hard for me and my son to mourn his loss. But it seems he and his affair partner may be an exception to the rule and are truly happy together. It kills me, but I have had to just slowly move on.

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