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How should an affair end?

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blakesteele posted 7/18/2013 18:48 PM

I have read many books on affairs.

I just read a chapter in the book Love Busters. It captures in 3 statements what I have spent hours reading about and understanding.

Here is what is said.

Affairs almost always die because they are nurtured by dishonesty and thoughtlessness, characteristics that eventually destroy any relationship.

The passion that keeps an affair alive cannot be sustained with honesty and thoughtfulness.

Once the passion has ended, the foolishness of the affair becomes apparent to the unfaithful spouse.

Three simply written statements that capture the path of the affair my wife chose to simple, yet so very hurtful and destructive. I guess at the end of the day...Affairs really ARE simple with regards to their life cycle...but complex in the the way they jack with people.

I soooo see all of the above from the vantage point of having gone through this personally. Of course, try telling me all of that in the beginning and I would not have believed it...not the way my WW was acting and saying. It appeared to me even that she had found her soul mate...had ME questioning how that was a real possibility.

So if you are new to adultery being brought into your marriage...try and do better then I did.

Here is the part that has me troubled...has from almost the beginning....

The author states...
The unfaithful spouse will either end the affair the right way by making a decision never to see or talk to the lover again, or the affair will end the wrong way--by dying a natural death.

In my situation it was actually my wifes AP that chose not to continue the A. Her A died a natural death due to the OM choosing to kill it.

Unfortunately the author does not explain what happens if the affair dies a natural death. I still have this underlying feeling that my wife is in this marriage by default...not by full choice. And that is not a good feeling and is a barrier to me wanting to expose myself to her again...I try, but this feeling is there and does not appear to be lessening.

I do engage my wife on this...both alone and in counseling...have not made peace with what has been revealed. Some of what has been said has basically been....She is here isn't she?...and She isn't stuck, she has options, and you do to. (meaning divorce). Sometimes she says...She chose me because I am the much better man....and She appreciates the opportunity I have given her to R our marriage.

I still wrestle with the facts that she stepped out on me\marriage\family once...and did not really ever make a hard choice to end the A. The kicker in my situation is her AP made that choice to kill my wifes A...but he doe not appear to be working to fix himself....I say that because when I talked to his wife she had a laundry list of things SHE did wrong that made him step outside his marriage. I have also since seen him in a compromising position with another woman...not his wife. (so maybe I am posting for nothing...I guess he stopped his affair the so-called RIGHT way...and look where he is at). I guess he failed to get to the end of the affair life cycle I spoke of earlier...failing to see the foolishness affairs really are.

TTing plays into this. With time and actions by my wife, I am moving past this being such a big factor...but it still hurts...and the fog hurt as well. I really do believe now the best thing for the BS to do early on is to detach so as not to get hurt more. I don't beat myself up over this, I was ignorant, was in I did the best I knew how.

Dang...long post. I tried to capture that which I wrestle with.

BS or WS....anyone have a more firm understanding how the best way for an A to end is? I am not looking for R guarantees here...but am looking to see if anyone with the wisdom from living through the different ways affairs end will chime in and relate how their small part of hell WS choice or by default due to the AP killing the A?

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:09 PM, July 18th (Thursday)]

blakesteele posted 7/18/2013 18:49 PM

By the way...if you don't have the book Love Busters...get it!

I wish I had read it pre-A. It speaks directly to one of My issues that was destroying intimacy with my wife...had no idea. makes sooo much sense now. sigh.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:50 PM, July 18th (Thursday)]

UndecidedinMA posted 7/18/2013 18:59 PM

I was gonna say by a huge bus driving over the C

I think you are more right

blakesteele posted 7/18/2013 19:05 PM

hmmmmm....yeah....I have no pride left after this experience...but I am gonna step out on a limb and say I probably have better insight on this one then you do UndecidedinMA!

God bless you for making me laugh! It feels so good to laugh.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:06 PM, July 18th (Thursday)]

solus sto posted 7/18/2013 19:27 PM

I'm gonna go with, "before it begins."

I think that the "natural death of the affair" approach vastly increases the odds that the marriage will end, as well.

blakesteele posted 7/18/2013 20:52 PM I digested this chapter more now.

It appears how the affair ends has little bearing on how the marriage fares afterwards...some who choose to end it may NOT choose to do the heavy lifting needed to change themselves (perhaps because they felt they weren't that broken because, after all, they DID end it...they think they are in complete control of themselves)....while some who experience the natural death choose to do the heavy lifting of R their marriage (maybe because of the hurt they feel over their AP ending the A, whom they thought was their true soul mate, maybe because of the reality that has set in and the foolishness of the affair...meaning that they actually realize how NOT in control they were during the affair, how their emotions took over and possibly how their AP manipulated them...that they are committed to avoiding repeating this mistake...committed to honesty).

The parts in the parenthesis are my own thoughts. The other stuff I deciphered from the stories he told.

So....sorry for a waste of a thread...looks like there is not good way for an affair to end. No good way to determine the chances of a WS repeating their pattern.

Still a good book though...really enjoyed it and I have new perspectives into myself and how I thought I operated, how it actually came across, and what my new goals for myself are.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:00 PM, July 18th (Thursday)]

UndecidedinMA posted 7/22/2013 16:29 PM

No thread is ever a wasted thread - just like no question is stupid.

If this book didn't help maybe the next will or maybe the next thread will, don't give up.

ArableSands posted 7/22/2013 17:35 PM

My one overriding principle in handling my wife's treachery and deciding on whether or not I want to reconcile has to do with how I view the marriage as a whole. Do we BOTH want to remain married, because we BOTH want to be with each other? Because if the answer is "no", I am not putting a single extra erg of energy into it.

That means if I doubt my wife is begging for forgiveness and reconciliation because she wants to be married to me, and that she's doing it because I'm comfortable, or her life would just be too difficult, or whatever, we are DONE. I don't even feel I need evidence. I'm going by my intuition on this, just like I should have months ago when I suspected there was something going on.

I'll have to protect my kids, but I can start over. I checked myself in the mirror today, and I still look presentable and frankly I think I'm an attractive package. I note there are plenty of beautiful women out there who haven't chosen to cheat on me. Blakesteele you might want to consider the same.

whatnow8 posted 7/22/2013 22:58 PM

I'm assuming that my husband's A was a natural death. He did not choose to end it. They had NC off and on til I called her pastor to get help, because she was pregnant and refusing to get a paternity test.

This is still a huge issue with me 5 years out. I will always know that he didn't choose me over her. I feel like the consolation prize...he got to keep his house, seeing his kids everyday, no child support,etc. But he also has done very little of what I want him to do. He does a lot more than he used to, he has changed. He helps with the kids, cleaning up the house, working extra overtime so we can do more family stuff, etc. But he doesn't put in the hard work on fixing himself. And even if he did I don't know that it would help, because my biggest issue is that ultimately he chose her.

I hope things work out better for you.

Wonderingwhy11 posted 7/23/2013 01:55 AM

You have touched upon a lot I think about. Why the A happened? Why did it finally end? Who really ended it? It drives me crazy thinking about it. I try to stop thinking about what can't be logically explained. I have read some books about affairs and find it hard to come to peace.

I think the A ended a natural a death. My WH said the realization that fantasyland was not possible in real life, raising someone else's kid, only seeing our kids on weekends and realizing our marriage was good and we had more in common. WH said it lasted longer than it should because he could not figure out how to get out of it. I struggle with this. I don't believe that is true.

I know I was not perfect but I know I wasn't a complete bitch who sucked the life out of him. He admits this. He admits he was screwed up. I think it is easy for him to fall back into blaming someone else for his unhappiness. He says he is working on this.

I think an A should never start so there should be nothing to end. I don't think there is ever a good ending to an A.

some who choose to end it may NOT choose to do the heavy lifting needed to change themselves (perhaps because they felt they weren't that broken because, after all, they DID end it...they think they are in complete control of themselves)..

This is an interesting thought. I can see some of this thinking in my WH.

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