When you’re early 60’s with more than four decades as an adult interacting with people from all walks of life you’ve seen this before. Nowadays affairs are often spawned in the workplace. You witness the hurt and turmoil infidelity creates in peoples lives because it always extends to family and friends. Adultery never ends well.
You’re immersed in an unrealistic romantic fantasy. It’s easy to feel attracted to someone you work with or interact with outside the marriage. They’re exciting, new and different and you talk about adult things.
You’re only seeing the “good” in the other person and that’s what they’re presenting. You’re presenting the best side of “you”. Your covert unnatural “relationship” is not burdened with the mundane realities of a marriage. No lawns to mow, house to clean, bills to pay, cars to repair or sick children to manage. A long term relationship can’t compete with secret exciting trysts in a hotel room.
Every married person in an affair feels they’re special, they’re different, they’re “soulmates” and divine intervention has brought them together. They believe the fantasy that life with their illicit and covert lover will be more exciting and perpetual bliss. However you don’t know what’s it’s like to live with a person until you’re living with that person.
If you leave the marriage for another married person you’ll have devastation in your wake. It’s no solid foundation for a new relationship with two marriages torn apart. If it’s double betrayal … you’re having an affair with a friend … mutual friends will generally side with the faithful spouses and many relationships will be destroyed.
It will damage your children (if you have them) and they’re unlikely to warm to the new person and theirs are unlikely to warm to you. If you’re a woman know married men rarely leave their wife for their affair partner. They’ll make promises to keep the sex going but when it blows up reality hits and the logical male brain kicks in. They’ll shove their lover off a cliff and scamper back to their wife on bended knee pleading for forgiveness. If you’re a man then read the above sentences again.
Make sure you have a Plan B because if your spouse finds out (and they usually do) you don’t know how they’ll react. They may leave or kick you out. They may file for divorce. You have a marriage contract and exchanged vows so you must have connected in the past. The right thing to do is to have a discussion about your feelings and seek professional counseling. Go through a process to make sure you’re not considering walking away from a good partner who probably doesn’t know you’re feeling the way you do.
You must try to repair what you have but also understand no matter whom you pair up with the limerence and infatuation wears off after about a year. The majority of people who leave a marriage for an affair partner regret the decision. They discover after immense emotional and financial destruction life is not better and in most cases worse. They long to have the familiarity of their spouse and family unit. You have a shared history and an investment with your partner that’s worth something.
When you betray your spouse you betray your children, extended family on both sides and possibly mutual friends. The indirect hurt is far more than people imagine because they’re self absorbed in an irrational romantic fog.
You owe it to yourself, your spouse, family and friends to have counseling and give it a good shot. If there’s a deep seated problem and the marriage is not repairable then officially separate ready for divorce before you start seeing other people. That’s the ethical way to do it.