We have written so much about the intoxicating feelings received during an emotional affair, and the pain and recovery of the betrayed spouse. However, one area we have neglected to touch on is the effort involved in maintaining an emotional affair. We are talking about the time, the specifications and the work that is required to keep the affair going. We know that at the beginning of the affair the partners agree that the benefits outweigh the risk. But when the newness and infatuation decline is all worth it?
As you have heard so many times when someone becomes involved in an emotional affair (or any affair), they claim that it just sort of happened. In some ways that is easy to understand because the contact is spontaneous. It may begin with a random text during the day, or a phone call on the way home from work just to catch up or an occasional lunch.
Your time with that person is fun and lighthearted – a severe contrast to your time at home which is full of responsibilities and conflict. There is no talk of commitment or expectations, but just how great it is being with someone that finally understands and appreciates you for who you really are.
As time progresses and those “loving feelings” increase, there becomes a need for additional contact because you want to keep experiencing that high. Unfortunately, this takes more time and effort. As busy as your life is now you wonder how you can possibly fit this all in.
In the beginning, you made sacrifices. You stop time away from work to be with your partner, took long lunches, had phone conversations in the office parking lot and maybe texting when you should be doing paperwork. There is constant effort to keep your secret safe at the office by appearing professional and uninterested. It is probably appropriate to everyone that you are having an emotional affair.
At home you begin to neglect your obligations by spending more time running “important” errands, working longer hours (so you can catch up on work that you missed while conducting your affair) or are too tired or busy to do things with your family.
Keeping the emotional affair details straight can be tricky.
In addition, there are a lot of logistical issues that need attending to while trying to maintain the affair. Remembering to delete all calls and messages and keeping your phone with you at all times. Taking a shower was complicated. Planning times when it was OK to call. What night is your wife at soccer? What time does your husband get home from work? Who did I tell my wife I had lunch with? Trying to keep straight what lies and what information you told your spouse and your air partner for fear of repeating a story twice.
What is so astounding is this occurred before your spouse even had a clue that something was going on. Once your spouse became suspicious you really needed to step up your game because not only is your spouse on high alert, your spouse partner is feeling threatened by the recent discovery and is demanding more of your time and attention.
Your affair partner begins calling and texting at inopportune times which makes you very uneasy. They become extremely jealous and begin to question how you are spending your time away from them. There is more talk of a commitment and you worry that they may spill the beans or do something really stupid like leave their marriage.
When you are at home your spouse is constantly asking to see your cell phone usage but you have run out of excuses for why that is not possible. You begin to wonder if you are being followed every time you leave the house. Your spouse is texting you the same time as your partner and you think that you just sent your spouse the wrong text. You avoid eye contact every time you speak to your spouse for fear they will know you are lying. You are experiencing anxiety, stress, headaches, and guilt. Your life is spinning out of control and you do not know whether you are coming or going.
Is all the trouble of an affair worth it?
You begin to ask yourself is all of this worth it? Were the moments of infatuation, admiration, newness, and excitation worth all this effort and stress? You thought to be in a marriage was hard work, but compared to this it was a walk in the park. You long for the normal, uncomplicated life you were living before you started this roller coaster ride. You secretly wish that you could have all these wonderful feelings with your spouse, without all the sneaking around and the secrets and lies. You realize you have made a terrible mistake and want it all to go back to the way it was. Unfortunately, you know that will never happen. Evidently, you will be required to take responsibility for your mistakes which will require a lot of work and effort on your part.
You know that your life and marriage after your emotional affair will never be the same again. However, if you are lucky and have the love, understanding, and forgiveness of an extraordinary spouse, your life and marriage will not be the same – it will be better than you ever anticipated.
Related Article: Emotional Affair – The First Step To Recovery