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kaleidoscope7
Forget the part about it being possible to be in love with more than one person at a time. What we're really talking about here in affairs is chemistry, and that's science. Instead of thinking that your wayward spouse was in love with somebody else, consider that they were chemically triggered by someone else. It is possible to be chemically stimulated by more than one person at a time. Forget the part about whether he was in love with her or not. Understand that at the time, his brain was firing like the Fourth of July. It's peptides and neurotransmitters and the thrill of secrecy. Not love.

I care about my AP. A year ago I would have termed this "love". But with clear awareness of the morality and neuroscience, I know and see it doesn't compare at all to what I had or felt with my WS. And I hope to heaven that my WS is finding the same lack of depth or lasting meaning in whoever he's seeing now. I think any WS, myself included, terms it "love" in order to continue believing that it was all worth the trouble. If it brings us closer in our original pairing, I will say it was worth the trouble. Otherwise it was just a means through which came more self honesty, self discovery, and maturity.

[edited to add: I would believe him when he tells you he did not love her. Love is truer, sticks around, and takes time to develop. He married you. His commitment is to you.]
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Kalmarjan
kaleidoscope7 wrote:
Forget the part about it being possible to be in love with more than one person at a time. What we're really talking about here in affairs is chemistry, and that's science. Instead of thinking that your wayward spouse was in love with somebody else, consider that they were chemically triggered by someone else. It is possible to be chemically stimulated by more than one person at a time. Forget the part about whether he was in love with her or not. Understand that at the time, his brain was firing like the Fourth of July. It's peptides and neurotransmitters and the thrill of secrecy. Not love. I care about my AP. A year ago I would have termed this "love". But with clear awareness of the morality and neuroscience, I know and see it doesn't compare at all to what I had or felt with my WS. And I hope to heaven that my WS is finding the same lack of depth or lasting meaning in whoever he's seeing now. I think any WS, myself included, terms it "love" in order to continue believing that it was all worth the trouble. If it brings us closer in our original pairing, I will say it was worth the trouble. Otherwise it was just a means through which came more self honesty, self discovery, and maturity. [edited to add: I would believe him when he tells you he did not love her. Love is truer, sticks around, and takes time to develop. He married you. His commitment is to you.]


This.

Limerance. Plain and simple. I believe there is a reason that almost all religions forbid contact between another married man or womanès spouse. In fact, it's one of the 10 commandments!


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UrbanExplorer
I so deeply miss my AP and try to tell myself that it is all a fog and fantasy, but it is tough. I truly believe that if my AP and I had met while single, we would have dated in a legitimate manner. Full confession: I once had another AP, briefly several years ago, and I was never in a fog about him.

My therapist advised me to make decisions about my own married as if the AP had moved across the country and could never be a possibility. When I think of it that way, I suppose what remains troubling to me about my marriage is that I really didn't feel married in my head and heart for 13 years. It was like a pleasant roommate situation.
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UrbanExplorer
*decisions about my own marriage
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Kalmarjan
UrbanExplorer wrote:
I so deeply miss my AP and try to tell myself that it is all a fog and fantasy, but it is tough. I truly believe that if my AP and I had met while single, we would have dated in a legitimate manner. Full confession: I once had another AP, briefly several years ago, and I was never in a fog about him.

My therapist advised me to make decisions about my own married as if the AP had moved across the country and could never be a possibility. When I think of it that way, I suppose what remains troubling to me about my marriage is that I really didn't feel married in my head and heart for 13 years. It was like a pleasant roommate situation.


This is a function of your rewriting history to make it "okay" to have an affair. Believe me, I know this first hand.

While it's easy to jump to that new shiny relationship and think that it's all great and good, but think on this... When this new shiny wears off, will you be in a roommate situation again? You may say no, this one is different.

I left to live with my AP. It then turned into the same thing as with my wife. The honeymoon period was over, and the problems began.

I wonder if you can follow me here with some logic...

You wrote that if you had met your AP in different circumstances, I. E. You were not married, that you are sure you'd be together and it would be all great. There's a couple problems with your theory though, here goes...

1) your AP helped you cheat. Therefore they have that cheating spirit.
2) You have not yet accepted blame for your affair. You think the problem was with your marriage, or the person you were with. Like, if you were with the AP things would be different. Unfortunately, if you look deeper, you'll realize the problem lies with YOU. Not your relationship or your spouse.


Welcome to a safe place to voice your trials and tribulations. Here you'll find honest, raw threads about the impacts of our choices and our spouses choices. There's a lot of great stuff here, so hopefully you'll get a lot out of it.
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UrbanExplorer
I agree that the problem is me. My psychologist also thinks I am carrying a lot from childhood. I have always done what was responsible and made other people happy (until now), and I have always been non-confrontatonal to the point of sweeping things under the rug. She even suggested EMDR therapy.
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kaleidoscope7
Urban, do EMDR therapy. You'll get a lot of healing in a comparatively short time. It's a great supplement to other counseling.
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UrbanExplorer
Kalmarjan wrote:


I wonder if you can follow me here with some logic...

You wrote that if you had met your AP in different circumstances, I. E. You were not married, that you are sure you'd be together and it would be all great. There's a couple problems with your theory though, here goes...

1) your AP helped you cheat. Therefore they have that cheating spirit.
2) You have not yet accepted blame for your affair. You think the problem was with your marriage, or the person you were with. Like, if you were with the AP things would be different. Unfortunately, if you look deeper, you'll realize the problem lies with YOU. Not your relationship or your spouse.


Regarding 1, I think I did a poor job of explaining myself. I meant to say that if I had met AP in an alternate universe in which we were single/never married people, we would likely have found each other interesting and compatible enough to start a traditional dating relationship (which might or might not have worked out). That is, the appeal wasn't only the secrecy.

Regarding 2, you might be right. I take full responsibility for the affair, but it did take me about 13 years of marital unhappiness before I made that choice. In some ways, I worry that those years of emptiness are more of a death knell for my marriage than the affair itself is. I am in individual psychotherapy, and I see that I have some attachment/avoidance issues that have repeated over time. Something is off inside me in that I let so much time pass without fixing the relationship in a meaningful way and that I kept absolutely everything to myself but met expectations on the surface. My psychologist says I have a history of being "not 100% IN" relationships.

I often hear that it would have been better to be honest and get out of a marriage instead of having an affair, but what do you do if you are in a marriage and fear you will have another affair at some point? The only thing really stopping me is guilt and remorse over hurting others again, not a deep connection and feeling of commitment to my marriage. I have had this conversation with my spouse. I realize this means I am a broken person on some level. I'm only two months into therapy, so maybe it's too soon to tell.
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Tim2014
Well reread all you wrote in one breath you say we would have met and had a traditional relationship and next you write your therapist has said you have a problem with all in relationship well do you think that another person is going to solve that No way you're right you way to early into therapy to really know the real problem have you considered that you were unhappy for all these years because of the problem you have not because of your bs stop and think about all of this you know you can't see the forest for the trees guilt lies from betraying someone you love not from someone you don't care about just food for thought
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