So you’re having an affair….

It’s the age ol’ story … a couple meet, fall in love and marry, whisked off to live happily ever after. If that’s reality, than I don’t know what world I am living in, as the “happy ever after” fairytale, seems to be an unattainable goal for many of my friends and family members. In fact, happiness in marriage seems so difficult that many people I know have separated or divorced. Usually however, I note that these people search for happiness outside of the marriage first. This may be through increased extracurricular activities such as through hobbies or sporting activities. Others may increase their social activities, while a few seek happiness from other people. Sometimes, this search for happiness leads to an affair.

For the first time in a long time the person seeking happiness starts getting wanted attention, making them feel good about themselves. This can lead to the desire to start focussing on their looks a bit more than previously. It is like dating all over again. Then there is the excitement of receiving the desired attention AND ‘getting away with it.’ Whether it be a text message that is sent when your partner’s back is turned, or that extra hour at work.

Slowly the person is swept off their feet, walking on cloud nine and craving more. Ask anyone who has had an affair and they often can not explain how exactly it got so heated. “It just happened,” you will often hear them say. “One thing lead to another.” Affairs however do not just happen. It starts from the very moment you say or do anything with another person that you would not do if your partner was standing beside you. One thing leads to the other because the person makes that first move to begin with. Once that move is reciprocated, it doesn’t take long before you find yourself in the arms of another person.

For some people, this will be the end. They will feel guilt or the fire will have burnt out. For others, it will continue. This is when things can get a little tricky. Let’s face it, an affair is a relationship. This can sometimes be difficult to accept. One friend of mine, refused to admit she was having an affair, despite the fact that she openly admitted to sleeping with a man behind her husband’s back. She gawked at me telling her she was in a relationship. “It is just sex,” she would say. Three months later she admitted to falling in love with her lover.* Relationships are hard work. Sometimes it is even difficult for me to meet the expectations of friends. Having a partner AND a lover at the same time must be extremely difficult. It would be even worse if the lover wanted more than you are willing to offer.

Let’s go through a scenario. My husband works very closely with his Personal Assistant. All of his PA’s (so far I can count seven) have been females. As a Manager, it is his role to act as a mentor to his direct reports. The hubster is a fantastic Manager, however his desire to help and assist others, particularly those of the opposite sex, often results in office gossip. Let’s say that this gossip was true. As his wife, I may notice some minor changes to his hours at work and his grooming. The gossip would surely increase, resulting in some cases, with others treating him differently. The office affair can lead to added attention behind closed doors or in conference rooms. Let’s say, they got caught in the throes of passion. Management may be informed, warnings issued and reputations marred. Work colleagues would surely react, some choosing to treat them with disdain.

Friendships could be lost, their work could be in jeopardy and the totality of this affair on their other relationships would no doubt have added pressures.

Regardless of this, the PA has fallen for my husband and wishes to continue their affair. My husband, flattered by the added attention, continues the affair, not knowing the extent of feelings his PA has for him. She is now putting added pressure on my husband to meet up and respond to her text messages. Eventually, this affair is seeming like hard work. My husband starts pulling back, resulting in the PA feeling insecure. She starts making demands now. The hubster agrees to meet with the PA “one last time” determined to tell her that the affair can no longer continue. The meeting, held behind my back of course, results in sex “one last time.” The PA can sense that things aren’t quite right, but that there is still something there between her and the hubster. She seeks to maintain the excitement and happiness she once felt, but falls into the trap of acting desperately instead. While the hubster is showering, I hear three text messages come through on his phone. “Last night was great. Thanks for meeting with me, I hope we can catch up again and repeat the performance,” the first reads. “I miss the smell of you, the feeling of you in my arms,” the second one reads. “Maybe we can catch up again tomorrow night?” the third one says.

Imagine the conversation between the hubster and I! Not only has the hubster lost friends and respect at work, he now is potentially going to lose his marriage.

The results of affairs spread so far out, that this one scenario only touches the edges. The ripple effect of having an affair can ruin so many lives. We have all heard of the jilted lover that has murdered. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned – that goes for lovers and wives!

Before you embark any further in having that affair – ask yourself if it is truly worth it. If there is nothing that can be done to save your current relationship, then end it. Have the relationship you want without putting yourself or others at risk.

* By the way, my friend and her lover eventually got caught out. She wanted to continue the relationship, but he chose to work on his relationship with his wife. The insecurity and heartbreak she felt took her about a year to get over.