Some answers to some of the whys.
Q. Why did you have an affair?
A. There is know why? It is not something you plan. It is a build-up of feelings and emotions that at a certain point, grasps hold and then takes over. However in saying that there was a point where I made a decision to actually engage in the feelings and allowed those feelings to grow. Saying that though the decision is swayed by the emotional thoughts that are unavoidable and constant, making the decision biased.
Q. So could you have avoided the affair?
A. A good question. This is a long answer but I will keep it as short as I can. So, yes. But this takes a lot of awareness. That awareness has to come from both parties in the relationship. Communication is key but it is the way a crisis is communicated that is so important. A relationship has many aspects and we all deal with relationship problems but we also deal with work, children, life problems as well. We get absorbed into other situations (not on purpose) but these situations can take us down certain paths that take away our ability to function normally.
For example if a partner is feeling that the relationship is suffering and they tell their partner in a manner that is not direct, the other person might overlook the comment as they are pre-occupied by other things! How you communicate to your partner is key and you may have to take them out for a drink or a meal, get their full attention and let them know your concerns in a direct way. Make them address the problem.
My problem was I never did that. I skirted around the elephant in the room and dropped hints. I should have been direct and that might have made the difference. I wanted a connection and my affair partner became that connection. So, yes, I could have avoided the affair but maybe at that point I didn’t want to because I wanted a connection. I found a connection and enjoyed that connection.
In answer to your question. Could I have avoided the affair? Maybe.
Q. When you say you enjoyed the connection does that mean you enjoyed the affair?
A. I enjoyed dating my wife when we were younger. There was excitement and a buzz. I enjoyed those times and if I am honest, I did enjoy that aspect of the affair. It is a strange thing because during the affair it almost became two worlds. The world of the affair and the affair partner and the other world which was problematic and troublesome (because of the affair). I tried to avoid the problematic world because I was enjoying the affair world. Why would you have an affair if you didn’t enjoy it? We don’t do things if we don’t enjoy them, right? But I did not enjoy all the detriment affects of the affair. That is very important to know.
Q. You say in your book that something like 3% of affairs actually last and make it long term. Why did you not think that your affair would last, and why did you end the affair if you were so absorbed?
A. Of all those that made it (the 3%) and ended up with a happy relationship there was no guarantee. This is a really in depth question and there is so much more to the whys.
Whilst having the affair of course I thought about being in the 3%, of course I did as that was the fantasy land, I was in. but although you are wrapped up in the emotions and euphoria of an affair there is still moments of reality. During those moments of reality I would consider the what ifs? There is so much to an affair and the intensity of an affair can make a person make a snap decision. Personality can come into the mix here. However I absolutely analysed my world to death so much so that it was exhausting and so much so that I was running out of time.
The truth is and as difficult as it was, I made the decision to end the affair. Let me be clear you can’t just end an affair. You can end the actual affair but in no way shape or form can you end the emotion or feelings that you actually have.
Q. How did you mend you marriage?
A. The sad thing is that I have broken my marriage for ever. I am now a cheater and that element of betrayal will always be a part of my relationship. I have to accept that.
But my marriage is strong and we have moved on even though we have been through so much. Luckily my wife is the woman she is.
The answer to the question is hard work, change, new memories, understanding each other, time and a whole lot more.
Q. Do you think it could happen again?