The unsuspecting jilted spouse usually senses a problem when an affair begins. For one thing, an affair usually takes up quite a bit of time, and all sorts of excuses are given to be away from home — having to work late, impulsive trips to the store and unexplained absences from work — they all become more and more difficult to believe. Telephone records and credit card receipts are carefully hidden, for if they are found, they will often reveal the scope of the affair. When the spouses are together, an emotional distance usually prevails. Sex is almost always a problem for women who are having an affair, and many men having an affair find they cannot make love to their wives, either. In many cases, intimacy in marriage becomes so bad that a separation is requested to “sort things out.” An affair is often suspected by the jilted spouse, but almost always vigorously denied by the offending spouse. It usually takes solid evidence… to get an unfaithful spouse to admit the truth. I’ve seen so many spouses lie about affairs, that when one spouse wants a separation, my best guess is that he or she is having an affair. I’m right almost every time. Why would anyone need to be alone to sort things out? It makes much more sense to think that being separated makes it easier to be with their lover. Granted, there are many good reasons for a separation, such as physical or extreme mental abuse. But of all those I’ve seen separate, most have had lovers in the wings. Since an affair usually creates emotional distance between spouses, lovers describe their increasing dissatisfaction with their marriages. They talk about how incompatible they are in marriage and how compatible they are with each other. The addiction they have for each other turns the relationship into a passion that makes an eternal relationship with each other an absolute necessity. Many would rather commit suicide together than to return to their horrible spouses. “Coping With Infidelity” by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5059_qa.html
A love affair is like a short story–
it has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
The beginning was easy, the middle might drag,
invaded by commonplace, but the end,
instead of being decisive and well-knit
with that element of revelatory surprise
as a well-written story should be,
it usually dissipated in a succession
of messy and humiliating anticlimaxes.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
There was a time when I thought I had my first wife fooled and she did not suspect I wasn’t being faithful. Only years later after our divorce did I learn she knew all the time. She suppressed her thoughts and feelings and never expressed them to me. Suppressing an emotion is one of the most common responses to a difficult situation. One is aware of the unwanted emotion, but chooses to avoid or ignore how one is feeling. For instance, a wife who knows her husband is having an affair may feel hurt, but choose not to say anything about it because she feels she must maintain a stable home for her children. When the hurt overtakes her, she many ignore it by taking on activities to keep herself from thinking about it. Suppression, however, is only a temporary fix, until you deal with them, the feelings won’t go away. From “The Enabler: When Helping Harms The Ones You Love” by Angelyn Miller
Man is not what he thinks he is,
he is what he hides.
Sometimes it is difficult to accept responsibility for mistakes I have made or wrongs I have done without feeling the need to explain. That’s a reflex action taken with a mostly false sense that an explanation somehow changes what happened. Unless I have been asked to talk about my actions there is no good reason for jumping to rationalize and justify them. In most cases it only makes things worse by reliving the blunder and dragging someone else through it as well. The appropriate words to say are “I’m sorry”; apologize and move on. In all circumstances, feeling misunderstood and the need to make myself abundantly clear usually comes from a weak view of myself; a shortage of self-esteem. Thinking I am what I do as it is perceived by others is not healthy. What matters most is accepting myself as a fallible human being. I am perfectly imperfect and will make mistakes and do wrong things. To see myself otherwise is to expect myself to be something other than human.
If people refuse to look at you in a new light
and they can only see you for what you were,
only see you for the mistakes you’ve made,
if they don’t realize that you are not your mistakes,
then they have to go.
A young apprentice applied to a master carpenter for a job. The older man asked him, “Do you know your trade?” “Yes sir!” the young man replied proudly. “Have you ever made a mistake?” the older man inquired. “No, sir!” the young man answered, feeling certain he would get the job. “Then there’s no way I’m going to hire you,” said the master carpenter, “because when you make one, you won’t know how to fix it.” Moral of the story found in a Fred Rogers book: An unlearned lesson of a mistake creates a destiny for it to be made again. Making a mistake is usually not the worst thing. Not learning from it is!
The only real mistake
is the one from which
we learn nothing.