The Seven Types of Affairs

rememberYes, there are different types of affairs!  It’s occurred to me how much on blogs and forums we throw around the word “affair” as if they are all about the same.   As if a one-night stand is the same as 5-year, deeply emotional and physical affair.  I think  that properly identifying the type of affair that has occurred or is occurring is important because it will lead the betrayed spouse to make the right decision – should I stay or should I go?  Answer the question of who they are really married to? 
There are MANY opinions on the different types.   Below is really my own hybrid.   I  pulled this together from similarities in 3 different lists/articles, and some of my own summary and understanding of each (my words).

All of these types of affairs are dangerous, but in different ways.  What struck me was the idea that the type of affair (or affairs) that occur definitely affects the likelihood of being able to recover a marriage.   I also see that there are hybrid affairs — having the characteristics of more than one, especially over time (which was my case).

THE SEVEN TYPES OF AFFAIRS

1. The Double Life Affair

a-double-lifeThis type of infidelity occurs when the cheater has very little emotional attachment to his/her spouse.   Their marriage is more like a business partnership.  They are committed to their marriage and making it work, but they long  something they don’t have in their marriage:  An intimate, loving, emotional connection.  Romance.  To be understood, loved and adored.  But, more than likely, their commitment to the marriage will prevent them from ever leaving their spouse.  They may very well be in the “Semi-Happy Marriage”   –   too safe to leave, too boring to stay.     So in this type of marriage, if opportunities present themselves, this spouse will likely get their unmet needs met…by someone else…and try to keep it secret so that their marital arrangement, even as imperfect as it is, is not disturbed.   They compartmentalize the affair. Rationalize it in their minds.  And become masters of lying and deception to make it possible and keep it going.

This type of affair almost always means pain for the OM/OW and the cheating spouse.  Rarely does it turn into a long-term, committed relationship.  Marital problems have to be quite severe before a spouse will leave the marriage for another person.

A double life is led.  One with the spouse which may revolve around “real life” activities like raising the kids, paying the mortgage, etc… and a second life with the affair partner which may revolve around “fun life” and romantic activities.  The cheating spouse may be very content in this type of arrangement.   Between the two (or more) people in his/her life, their needs are likely being completely met because no one of them could meet them alone.

You will often hear such a cheating spouse say, “But my wife/husband is happy!  In fact, I’m a better spouse because I’m having the affair.”    They don’t feel that they are depriving their spouse of anything, and in fact, their double-life allows them to stay in their marriage (by defusing some of their discontent).   If they find a willing Affair Partner, and are careful to not be discovered, these can go on for a very long time without the Betrayed Spouse being aware.

ea2. The Emotional/Non-Physical Affair

This type of marital affair can be just as, if not more so, shocking and destructive as a sexual affair.    The lack of sexual involvement is often used as a rationalization as to why it’s not it’s not an affair.  People involved in emotional affairs will oftentimes become indignant at the suggestion that an affair may be occurring with “my best friend who just happens to be someone of the opposite sex”.  And, in fairness, people are so good at rationalizing that they may be deeply involved in an emotional affair and truly believe that it is simply a very close friendship.  However, the emotional intensity of this type of relationship and what it drains from the marital relationship is much more than what happens with a best friend.

This is NOT a friendship — close friendships do occur between married people of the opposite sex and are not cheating.   However in this type of affair, the emotional attachment goes deeper than a friendship.   And there is flirting, sexual tension, and likely even sexual discussion, even if, for whatever reason (distance, circumstance, conscience) prevents the two from consummating the affair.   It is an affair nevertheless.  It may be the hardest one for a Betrayed Spouse to actually discover because the Wayward has “plausible deniability.”   This type of affair is most frequently uncovered when an errant email or text is discovered which shows an emotional involvement that goes beyond “friendship.”

3. The Opportunistic/One Night Stand Affair
This type of affair is usually unplanned and are usually due to an impulsive decision in which one was lost in the moment.  Business trips or nights out on the town are often when these occur and, while one night stands can sometimes happen with someone known, the majority of the them involve a relative stranger.   Alcohol or other recreational drugs may contribute to the situation.

The vast majority of people who have one night stands want to stay in their marriages and are plagued with guilt or a fear of being found out.   Frequently the opportunistic affair is associated with a person with low self-esteem who needs the attention of a stranger to feel better about themselves and feel desirable and attractive.   This type of affair, because of the type of person it attracts, is among the most dangerous and can often become “serial” in nature (eg, one encounter after another as opportunity arises).

7206113-woman-walking-out-a-door4.  The Exit Strategy -I’m Deeply Unhappy with My Marriage – Affair 

As indicated by the name, in this type of marital affair the partner who strays is unhappy in the marriage and may feel as if s/he is no longer in love with their spouse. Or, they may say that they love their spouse as a brother or sister but no longer are “in love” with their spouse.  They may see their marriage as a dead end.   The affair may be an “exit strategy” to get out of their marriage — unwilling to let go of one vine until firmly grasping the next vine (a typical thought-process of the female cheater).  The Wayward Spouse has gone out and “tested the waters” to see if “something better” is out there for them to provide a “soft landing” after leaving their spouse.

These types of affairs typically have their roots in friendship which become romanticized over time.   They may start with a mutual disclosure of unhappiness in their respective marriages.

While these relationships will usually be sexualized, their real power comes from the emotional needs that are being met that are lacking in the marriage.  They are usually long-term romances in which the affair partners feel that they are in love with one another and may be talking about a new life together.  Happiness can only be found when they are together.

Although they are oftentimes not aware of it, the feelings generated by this type of marital affair are often intensified by the illicit nature of the affair.   Although people in this type of affair don’t like hearing this, the odds of them having a successful long term relationship are very low.

The marital problems combined with the seeming fulfillment of the affair oftentimes make these people very reluctant to work on marital recovery.  However, all is not lost.  In virtually every relationship no matter how bad, there remains some good. Helping the straying partner focus on the remaining good, the tendency for humans to use a self confirmation bias to prove to themselves that all is bad when it really is not and helping them realize what they may actually lose oftentimes at least helps bring them to the point of being willing to give the marriage one last try.

These marriages have a surprisingly high survival rate if the partner is willing to commit him or herself to a period of time to restore the marriage. Sometimes asking for a initial commitment to try of say 15 weeks and they re-evaluate is more likely to work than asking for a complete commitment because it gives them some sense of freedom.

5. The Serial Cheater/ Sex Addict/ Tiger Woods and Bill Clinton Types

Most people are familiar with how Tiger Woods’ sexual addiction drove him to have an extraordinary number of affairs.   Many people who have Tiger Woods types of affairs describe themselves as relatively happy in their relationship.  However, they’ve never been able to find complete fulfillment from it because they are enslaved by obsessive needs and compulsive behaviors.  Hard as it is for many to believe, sex addicts truly feel powerless in their ability to control their desires.

Just like Tiger, more often than not the sex addict does not want his/her marriage to fail. Its about something inside of them, not the marriage.  Usually they were addicts before the marriage and may have stopped for awhile when first married only to be pick up again when they realize that the marriage can’t meet the needs of their addiction.

They may feel trapped in a destructive cycle of feeling hopelessly trapped by their behaviors and at times by their marriages, but are afraid to come clean because they don’t want to lose their marriage or their addictive behavior.

This type of betrayal can be very difficult for the spouse because a) the breadth of the betrayal can seem so enormous and b) while most people can understand alcohol or drug addiction, sexual addiction is a tough one for most to have much empathy for.

loveisthedrug6.  Love is the Drug for Me Affairs  

Love addiction marital affairs differ from Tiger Woods types of marital affairs in that, although they have an addictive quality to them, they are more about the intensity of a new relationship than sex (although sex is often involved).  Love addicts tend to move from one relationship to the next and they will oftentimes feel very uncomfortable or lost if they are not involved in an intense relationship.

The goal of the love addict is to find that one right person, except they never seem to be able to find that person.  They may have a some sense of security in their marriage, but it just doesn’t feel 100% right to them.   They may feel as if they married the wrong person and have a one foot in one foot out feeling about the marriage as they search for their perfect mate.

revenge7.  The “I’ll-Show-You”/Revenge Affair

This describes affairs done in retaliation for a partner’s affair or due to mistreatment by the marital partner.  In some cases, a Betrayed Spouse has an affair to “even the score” — and may make sure that their Wayward Spouse knows they did it.  These actions almost always lead to separation and divorce.

In extreme cases, you have the narcissistic explanation for an affair.  If the narcissist thinks his or her spouse has flirted with someone or is likely to have an affair, the narcissist can begin an affair as a pre-emptive strike against his or her spouse to maintain the upper hand in the relationship.  Narcissistic rage is fueled by thoughts such as “How dare they do that to ME?!”  The narcissist is also likely to have an affair with a spouse’s relative or someone whose closeness with the spouse would make the discovery of the affair especially traumatic.

The Type of Affair Affects the Likelihood of Recovery (my view)

Personally, I think the ones hardest to reconcile with someone would be certainly the Sex Addict type married partner, and frankly, the one-night stand/attention whore type partner, as well as the “Love is the Drug” type.   I don’t know how you ‘reconcile’ from those.  The affairs are so much more about who THEY are and less about what your marriage is.  The Betrayed Spouse can’t really do much to fix things in this case- only the Wayward can — and they must fundamentally “change”, which is extremely hard for most adults.  In all other types of affairs, the root cause is more in the marriage than in the person.  At least the Betrayed in these cases can work with the Wayward to correct whatever had gone wrong (or at least to take a shot at it).

And of course, because many times an affair is a hybrid of one or more, there are frequently issues both within the cheater and within the marriage that need to be addressed to really reconcile.   And addressed simultaneously.   Plus often the huge overlay of a history with the couple, and lists of other grievances and judgments upon each other.  And the likely very different personalities of both parties and their personal histories to overlay on top of that.  Not a simple task.

Fixing these things is just not simple or even as simple as people like Dr. Harley would even have you believe.   It can be done.  But it can be a lot to deal with.

So what was MY affair?  Not just one, but three of them.

And stressful at each and every point.  Looking back, I see mine as sharing the characteristics of three of the categories — it changed over time.   For the first month or two, we were just friends, but flirting. I hardly knew her. We didn’t even speak on the phone until almost 3 months went by.  Then from month 3-6, it became an “Emotional Affair”.  Heavy flirtation. Discussion of sex.  Sharing fantasies and naughty photos.  At month 6, it became physical as we met for the first time since our initial meeting.

For the next 6 or so months, I was in a  “Double Life Affair”

Not wanting to leave my marriage (and outwardly seeming to be content and participating cooperatively in my home life, for the most part), but I had found someone who filled in the missing pieces.   Who seemed to “get” me.  Interested in me as a man, person and sexual being.   Who liked doing activities with me that my wife seemed uninterested in.   I had no interest in either leaving it or pushing it to “the next level” (although my OW definitely started pushing it to this level at about month 8, which became ultimately her undoing and the reason it was discovered).

After about a year, eventually it morphed into the “Exit Strategy/Deep Unhappiness with Marriage Affair.” 

The longer it went on, the more unhappy with my life I became and the more I started to believe that this OW was the “vine” I needed to get out of my miserable marriage.   It’s true power was not in the sex, but in how completely my emotional needs were being met by the OW.  And I started to believe in my mind what my OW was telling me.  That not only was it right to follow my heart (by leaving my marriage for her), but that it was “humane” to let my wife go.  I definitely started going in this direction the last 6-7 months of it, although I was deeply conflicted and troubled about it all.  But like an addict, I was only happy when I was talking to her and with her and I spent most of my time wanting her, even if I was torn.  Even if I was troubled.  I couldn’t go without my “fix.”

Fortunately, my mind swung away from that and I figured out what I had been thinking was wrong.  And the characteristics I was projecting on my OW were largely wrong.   She was not who I thought she was. In combination with D-Day, and the fact that my wife had the month before finally really started to talk, I got out.

 

© COPYRIGHT 2006, 2007, 2013 Recovering Wayward Enterprises, LLC

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23 thoughts on “The Seven Types of Affairs

  1. I think this was an excellent post! The only area in which I disagree, and it could simply be b/c I am a woman, is the type of affair that is “easier” to recover from. While the sex addict affair, is definitely a MAJOR issue for reasons of it’s own, and a serial cheater is going to have so much personal work to do that it might not be possible, to me, I feel as if the Long Term/Double Life affair would be the hardest to recover from. It seems to me that forgiving a one night stand, would be so much easier than forgiving years of betrayal. I am/was the OW (not sure which since we do still talk) and he has always maintained that his wife would LEAVE immediately if he cheated, BUT, based on what I have seen and heard about their relationship, I do not believe this to be the case. He has never bad mouthed her and is probably a perfect candidate for wanting to maintain both his marriage and still have his emotional needs met elsewhere. It just seems that if she were to find out that her husband had spent the last 3+ years (and 2 years, almost 15 years ago) “in love” with the same woman, that her entire life would feel as if it were a lie. It seems to me, that if the roles were reversed and my husband had a lengthy affair with someone with whom he loved and cared for, as well as had sex with, that I would have a MUCH harder time forgiving THAT, as opposed to a drunken one night stand in Vegas.

    Either way…I see myself in a few of the categories as well. I am definitely the “Exit Strategy” one, not because I want my husband to find out so I can leave, but b/c I was already “done” with my marriage. I don’t think that I need a vine, as much as I would have NEVER had an affair, if there was ANY love left. I also see myself a bit in the revenge role, only b/c my husband was emotionally abusive to me, and I know that part of the reason I felt “okay” about having an affair was b/c I was so angry at him and at what he had done to me/us. Finally, where I seem to be at rest, is in the Double Life Affair. And you were correct when you said it was painful for the OW/OM. It is very painful to be in this place, b/c I do want more, but am also not willing to push or out him. He wants more too, but I feel as if our timelines are going to ultimately be our undoing. And so I am left struggling, constantly, with whether or not to just enjoy this for now, or to let go and heal, so that I can move on, with someone else, b/c I know that I will be divorced and thus, available, before he will be. Part of me wants to wait, but the other part of me knows, that once I am free, it will be very difficult for me to not want more. I would not however, ever push, or out him. I would never deliberately tell his wife or try to deliberately hurt her. (and I know that many believe that by even being a part of this, I already am). I guess I am just saying that I love him enough to NEVER hurt him. I may not always be able to continue on and give him this part of me, but I feel as thought I own my choices and so, if one day….I find myself having to end things for good and with a broken heart, it is no one’s fault, but my own. But I will never turn on him.

    Anyway…thanks for the read. I want to show this to my MM, if I ever decide to resume seeing each other, b/c I feel that he needs to understand so much of this. He always says he wants to be with me too, and I believe him (after so long, you can pretty much filter out the bullshit VS. the truth) BUT….b/c he does not want to hurt her, even though he doesn’t enjoy the marriage and isn’t in love with her, I am not sure he will ever be able to follow through and leave. And I also know that he cannot leave FOR ME. He has to leave b/c he wants a different life for himself….not just to be with me. Such a tangled web we weave…..

    But thank you. Again.

    • Thanks for your input. Certainly none of these types of affairs are easy to recover from. Most couples frankly never do. Divorce is more common than reconciliation after infidelity of any kind. And certainly every circumstance is different. Every couple is different. Some people do not have the capacity to forgive any type of infidelity, even minor ones — I watched a blog from one woman who was a workaholic, let herself go, avoided sex — and then was shocked that her husband had a 2 week email affair with a coworker — and couldn’t get past it. And apparently they are divorcing. Really? She absolutely refuses to forgive, recognize her huge role in neglecting her husband, or to even consider reconciling. It’s all about her being the victim. To each his own!

      But as I said, every one is different. I led the double life and my wife has forgiven me, so it can occur. If I were in her shoes, I don’t know if I would’ve had the strength and character to have extended forgiveness and pursued reconciliation. It’s not a gender thing. We are all different.

      I think the point that I (and others from where I borrowed some of these descriptions and conclusions from) was trying to make was this –the double life affair can often be overcome because usually the reasons for leading the double life point back to the marriage — that important, critical needs of the cheating spouse were not being met in the marriage, so he/she found someone else who was more than willing to meet them. So knowing that, if a Betrayed Spouse has the courage and self-awareness to look at themselves in the mirror and realize that they played a big role in creating the atmosphere where an affair became possible, then you have a shot at reversing course. Starting over in the marriage, if you will. Recognizing what both of you were not doing, and now doing them. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s possible.

      I’ve read this basic idea many times — the reason most married people cheat is because of long-term unhappiness in a marriage. That the person who was once their boyfriend/girlfriend no longer acts that way after being married. Long-term neglect is the cancer that makes an affair possible. So if that neglect is reversed, a couple has a chance to remake their marriage and overcome infidelity.

      One night stands, on the other hand, usually are far more about the cheater than their relationship. It’s more of a character issue. That they have impulse control problems. That they cheated merely because of “sexual opportunity.” And most people who have one-night stands end up doing it again. It’s a high. A thrill. They are therefore harder to trust. One drunken night in Vegas? that’s the excuse? So the next time he/she gets drunk when they are away from home, we can assume that they might cheat again? I think that type of person probably can’t be trusted, no matter how good of a spouse you are or how hard you trying to meet their needs. So it can be real hard to overcome.

      That’s really my only point here. None of them are easy to overcome, but some are harder than others. But every circumstance is different.

    • You have just described my feelings to a T. My AP is stuck between a rock and a hard place; he doesn’t really trust his finacee…suspects SHE may be having an affair…but is torn between leaving her and staying with me. She is facing some possible serious health issues, and he doesn’t want to abandon her in that case. I ended by primary relationship (but not for my AP…my relationship was dead and it was time for us to go our separate ways) and now I do want more from my AP, but do not want to demand. LIke you, I would NEVER deliberately hurt my AP and have no intention to EVER out him to his friends and family.

      Like you, I take full responsibility for my actions, and if I end up with a broken heart, it’s because I put myself in that situation.

      You are correct in saying your MM can’t leave his wife for you; he has to leave for himself because HE wants a different life. Hang in there. You are not alone.

      • Well, not all middle-aged women are crazy. 😉 But, seriously, if you truly love someone, you will NEVER deliberately hurt them. My AP is facing decisions that ONLY he can make. I have to respect that.

        Now, that doesn’t mean being a doormat. I told him a few home truths a couple of days ago when he put our physical relationship on hiatus…and he has to watch how much he communicates with me. It’s frustrating and very hurtful, but I do understand where he is coming from.

        While he hasn’t addressed my concerns directly, and i haven’t had any communication from him all weekend, I know he is thinking things over very carefully. I also have a feeling I’m not going to be happy with his decision. But I took that risk when I started the affair, so I have to accept the consequences of my actions.

      • I agree. I got mixed up not only in the wrong THING to do, but with the wrong person to have done it with.

        Affairs rarely last, hon, and even if the married lovers leave a spouse (or spouses) for each other, these relationships rarely last very long either. It’s the nature of them.

        I think it would be good for you to prepare yourself for the disappointment you sense is coming.

      • Oh, I am.

        At this point, I know him pretty well. However, he knows I’m right in what I said to him…especially about his fiancee. That’s what he’s torn over. He knows she isn’t right, but he really doesn’t want to abandon her if she is ill. I’ve told there is the right thing… and the right thing to do for HIM… and not to let guilt from his past determine his future.

        I’ve gotten much wiser over the last year. So, if this affair ends the way I suspect, I’ll have had a valuable lesson, and be a much better partner/lover for my “One…”

  2. I like this. My ex was in the exit strategy affair, except he wanted out of the country (Uganda) more than anything else. He had been lying about finances for years and he needed a way out of the mess he had created. He met another woman and proposed to her. He then left me with a text message (the first I knew of any problems) and then proceeded to marry her 6 days later (yeah, that’s bigamy). I guess he was also double life in a way – he had two wallets, two bikes, two names he used and, for a time, two wives. It’s tragic that 16 years ended this way. But, I have learned the difference between trust and complacency. I realized that just because you knew someone, it doesn’t mean that you know them.

    • That certainly was also true in my case. The person I thought I was having a relationship with was not exactly who she said she was. I found out who she really was only after I terminated things.

  3. What an excellent post. I have been trying to figure out the “whys” behind my affair, and you have really helped clarify my thinking.

    I also chuckled as I read this post, because I went through the exact same stages (and even length of time) that you did in your affair. At first, just friendly Facebook chats as we caught up on each other’s lives (he was an Ex…and the first man I had been in love with). About a month in, It then proceeded to weekly lunch “dates” which were quite proper in public, but about three months in, we started exchanging sexual fantasies and naughty pictures. The physical affair then started about five months in, continued for five months…then he ended our PHYSICAL relationship…while the EMOTIONAL affair continued. (He was afraid he would get caught.) Then four months later the physical relationship resumed…but is now on hiatus because his partner is experiencing some health issues and has some suspicions about his faithfulness.

    Obviously our affair started as an emotional affair, and has since morphed into a double life affair. On my end it became an “escape strategy” affair, while I believe the resumption of the physical relationship is a “revenge” affair on his part; he suspects his fiancee is either involved in, or about to start an affair with a toxic ex.

    I have no idea where the relationship is going. I know I am trying to be patient and understanding…but sometimes the OW/OM need to stand up for themselves and express their hurt and pain to their AP. (which I have done) and just let the chips fall where they may.

    • Thanks for the response and for finding the blog. I appreciate your input. I find that every affair is different, yet, often you see common threads and experiences too, even across genders. You are in a tough spot. He seems to be calling all the shots. You can either accept it or withdraw. It’s truly up to you.

      Anyway, welcome

  4. My husband has been involved with a co-worker now going on 8 months. We have 3 teenage sons who will never have anything to do with the OW. The OW has a 3 year old. I know deep down that it will never work, but part of me thinks she will do whatever it takes to hang onto him. She is borderline personality and he has no clue. I have started to move on with my life and stay positive and strong for my kids. I wish he could read some of these blogs and maybe it would open his eyes up. The only problem is when you are in the affair fog, things aren’t clear. I love reading about how affairs don’t work. He seriously thinks he is different and this is his soul mate. If only he knew how bad the train he is on is going to go off the cliff.

  5. Thank you for this. My husband is #5 and you wrote about it with compassion and in an eloquent manner. Being with an addict is such a difficult thing, he is in recovery and attends NA, he was also an alcoholic and drug addict. Like the Tiger Wood’s and Bill Clinton’s of the world he was very functional, he was the VP of a billion dollar company and he was actually promoted to President the same day he checked into rehab. He was able to get away with it for so long (7 years) because he traveled weekly for work. By all appearances we had a wonderful marriage, I thought we were happily married. My one and only complaint was that he drank to much, I tolerated it because I grew up with an alcoholic father and it just seemed kind of normal. I would never in a million years have imagined the things my husband was doing. Our therapist and a psych testing all indicate that my husband’s sex addiction was a result of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of his mother and then as an adult fueled by environment, bad influences (most of the men he worked with were unfaithful, it was their work culture), and then
    addiction to drugs and alcohol. My husband will have 2 years sober on Jan 14, 2014….. hopefully he’ll remain sober for the rest of his life. God willing.

  6. Reblogged this on Leave it on the page and commented:
    My husband was a solid #5 when everything came out but may have started out as a #3. I thought this was a great post describing the different types of affairs.

  7. At first I was frustrated by this post because I didn’t seem myself in any of the types, but upon re-reading the Double Life I realized it was spot on. I was initially thrown off by the opening – “This type of infidelity occurs when the cheater has very little emotional attachment to his/her spouse. Their marriage is more like a business partnership.” The truth is I love my wife and dread the thought of hurting her. Sadly, over the 38 years we’ve been together her desire, enjoyment and creativity with sex has diminished while mine continued unabated. I found myself in an emotional affair with an old friend out of town but where I traveled often for business. She was going through traumatic divorce and I was there to comfort her, and then we crossed the line. The sex was amazing and for five months I lived the double life. She recently ended it saying she was wracked by guilt (doing the same thing as the OW in her own failed marriage) and recognizing we had an unsustainable relationship. We never talked of my leaving my wife for her. So now I’m grieving the loss and wondering if I’ll ever have great sex again, while trying hard to be a good husband to a good woman. At this point I don’t see any gain that could come from my confessing the affair (there is almost no chance she would find out any other way – I’ve deleted the emails which were in a password protected private account anyway). The main thing that holds me back is that I know it would cause her so much pain and that wouldn’t be fair to her. One step I took in my own recovery is calling an old friend and laying the story before him. I realized it was a bit crazy-making that the only one I could talk to about any of this was my AP for the past 6 months and that no longer works. Oh yes, and talking about it in this forum and through personal email to Affair Advice – thanks for responding! I do have one question here though. Right now this is a lifeline for me. I wonder if continually coming back here though becomes its own connection to the affair when I would be better off moving on. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

  8. My wife cheated on me…an emotional affair with a fellow actor (community theater). It turned physical with lunchtime kissing…four seperate meetings of passionate kissing. They were on the brink of full-on sexual affair when he was discovered by his wife. This affair is complicated by my having cheated on her many years ago via my sex addiction problem deeply involving porn, phone sex and secretly posting photos of my wife online without her knowledge…until of course she discovered it all and my problem came crashing into the light. In trying to understand the whys it occurred to me my situation is truly complex. I had the addiction problem…now 11 years in recovery and sober thanks to a great sex addiction group and much self-work and life changes. But she obviously never forgave me. I think she is in the escape mode, emotional attachment that moved to double life. Very complicated. We are in individual counseling…early stages. It was 6 weeks ago I learned of her affair with this attorney/actor. He has 4 school age kids. Ours are grown…been together 34 years…in our mid 50s. Trying to work it out. Pray for us. I find myself blaming my past screw up for this recent fall. I cannot get images of them kissing out of my minds eye at times. I cannot fail to think where this was going maybe days later if undiscovered by his wife. I have fears that if his relationship with his wife fails he will try to reconnect with my wife. She has had no contact since the confrontation 6 weeks ago. She is coming out of the fog. I was totally unaware and feel grateful his wife stumbled across some telltale messages he failed to delete on his phone. So complex. So painful each day…a roller coaster 6 weeks. I am changing myself…with or without her I am committed to being a better person.

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