I asked him "How could you have had so little respect for me?" (seeing as this was early on, and he wasn't that foggy yet, and seemingly could have called a halt to things more easily.) He responded as he usually does, and then added: "I also had no respect for myself or I would not have been in that position."
And then I realized, the person he perhaps had the least respect for in this situation was the AP. So strange that you can think you are doing something out of "love," but it is truly the most hurtful, destructive, and soul-sucking thing you can do to someone else. And of course, the same was true for her. An affair is the antithesis of love; you are using someone, and putting that person's lifestyle, security, and sometimes even their life at risk if they are married, and particularly if they are dependent on their spouses financially (as his AP was.)
It helped me to remember that today, when we have been slogging through some gory details.
[This message edited by bionicgal at 12:22 PM, January 21st (Tuesday)]
I edit, therefore I am.
When he asked why my boundaries with men are the way they are, I really considered it... I realized that I would be horrified if a man mistook something I said or did as a come on. It would be so embarrassing to me if they returned it in a flirty way and I would then need to fix that mess. H says that type of self respect is what he was missing. (Does that make sense?)
So yes, it definitely is the antithesis of love but I believe it is also the antithesis of respect. Of both love and respect for themselves, first and foremost.
So unloving to all concerned.
My messed up H risked everything for someone that he never pretended even to himself to love. He felt no guilt at how he treated her, however, since when she got involved with him he immediately lost all respect for her (and clearly never did respect himself). And he felt that she was using him as much as he was using her. He describes their "relationship" as "mutual fuckedupness".
Affairs are nasty, toxic things in general.
But you are right -- it is not something you would do to a real friend: "Let me sow the seeds of the destruction of your entire life, and that of your family. . ." So NOT loving. So NOT friendship.
But, this is why Double Betrayals can be so insidious - you know each other, there is a certain level of familiarity and affection to start with. And yet, neither of them could see what a toxic brew they were concocting.
Someone save me from that kind of friend ever again!