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Anatomy of an affair pt1

August 15, 2013

Because my post about The mistress and the wife is still my top read post even after 2 years, I thought it might make sense to write about the insides of affairs. Long-term affairs to be specific. I don’t know as much about short-term or one night stand type affairs.

In reflection, having on ongoing affair is similar to dating over several years. You meet, write, talk, text. If you’re lucky, you can meet in public for food or drinks. If your luck holds out, you can attempt to attend a movie or event. Only the especially blessed can vacation together!

You must put in energy and effort to keep the relationship alive. There has to be concessions and compromise. There’s hope and disappointment. At times you question why you’re together followed by times you wonder why you’d ever be apart.

The only difference, and this is a big one, is there’s a third person with you at all times. Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, the spouse is always around in one form or another.

Affairs can be rewarding due mostly because of the effort that is out into carving time to be with or talk with the lover. There’s a sense of urgency. In the early stages its displayed as passion. In the later stages a longing to spend more time with each other.

I’d say overall theirs more jealousy involved. Jealous of the spouse who has the lover full time. Jealous of other obligations stealing away precious time. You envy people in “normal” relationships and fall into a trap of feeling slighted by circumstances.

There’s freedom in an affair. If your life is hectic and chaotic, the lover will never demand more time. If you’re not in a place to maintain dating in real life because of work, family, work, life the affair affords you the chance to live fully without the normal guilt that comes from a boyfriend/girlfriend situation. It might seem contrary to the jealousy you experience. Well, it is. And that’s a true plus of an affair. You get to feel both sides because there’s a plethora of variances tugging at your heart and head.

As quickly as you can be disappointed by missed opportunities with your lover the time is filled with meetings, parent conferences, practices, and deadlines. I visualize it much like an hourglass. There’s a magical time while the glass is being flipped which there’s no sand in either place. Perfection. Utopia. But with a tip one way or the other and it’s all over. You literally feel the weight of the sand piling over you.

Affairs end. Marriages end. Affairs create pain. Marriages create pain. Relationships, no matter the form they take, are difficult and complicated. While I’d like to say I have the magic answer, I only have a path I’m walking.

25 Comments leave one →
  1. njuri permalink
    August 15, 2013 7:35 pm

    Hmmm, some interesting stuff there. I also think it’s important to know what you want from an affair. I like the affair between two marrieds. The both know that they don’t want to leave their marriages. They just have as much fun as they can together, filling themselves with stuff their partners take for granted or become complacent with. As for going on vacations, my lover and I do that. As a matter of fact, we are leaving for a five day tropical vacation in October. He just likes being with someone who is uncomplicated, and welcomes him into her arms…

    • August 17, 2013 1:18 am

      Soooo jealous you get a tropical vacation together! How I’d love that. Sounds romantic and perfect!

      • njuri permalink
        August 17, 2013 3:00 am

        Yeah we’ve gone to other cities together for as much as 3 nights, but never out of the country… tickets purchased. I will let you know how it was when I get back.

      • August 17, 2013 7:47 pm

        Wow! That’s awesome. Steve and I had a chance to spend the night together a couple of times. Oh how I wished for more.
        I can’t wait to hear all about the trip!

  2. The lonely one permalink
    August 15, 2013 11:44 pm

    The thing about having a long term affair is the emotional investment one puts into the relationship. For me, the emotional aspects are the toughest to handle… plus all the logistic arrangements we need to make to carve out time together without doing anything which will raise suspicions – even if it was for just for a meal or drink. I totally feel the jealousy and envy part you mentioned and they can be overwhelming and painful at times. Lots of self control needed to handle this.

    But i guess because of all these constraints, every possible moment together is precious, and so sex is usually amazing.

    Looking fwd to pt2 of this post 🙂

    • August 17, 2013 1:21 am

      Not sure what I’m going to write for part 2 actually. Still formulating it all.

      A mental shift has to be made. Has to be accepted in order for an affair to continue for any length of time. It’s a constant fight between what you want and what you can have.

      • The lonely one permalink
        August 17, 2013 12:52 pm

        Thanks. I am new to this. Have only been in this arrangement only recently. Still grappling with the emotions roller-coastering, so need all the advice i can get. Agree with you totally on having to make that mental shift. It’s painful..

      • August 17, 2013 7:45 pm

        It is painful. You have to decide for yourself if the reward is worth the pain. And it’s ok if it’s not. Just as with any relationship, it’s important to keep an eye on what’s healthy and feels right for you.

  3. TheOWToo permalink
    October 2, 2013 1:13 am

    Speaking of the reward… that’s what lead me to this page. I recently began an affair, honestly, without even considering it. I mean, I have never engaged in anything like this before, and have always been against it. He charms me in ways I never imagined, So, here I am among the ranks of “Mistresses or Other Women.” I haven’t experienced pain or guilt. Just the isolation of not being able to share it with anyone but him… or should I say FEELING like I’m unable to share it. However, being that this is all new to me, he has brought up in several conversations a “reward” for me. What do I want that’s rewarding? He’s mentioned his time, affection, attention, etc, which is obviously limited and has boundaries but keeps asking me what I want from this? What are examples of rewards? I haven’t answered, first because I want to be totally mindful of my thoughts, feelings and answers and two, how would I know?! I never said I wanted this… I just followed this feeling where ever it goes and it’s going, and going. Everything feels so wonderful with him. Any ideas on what’ rewarding for the mistress? And thank you for having this page. It feels great to share!

    • October 3, 2013 12:08 am

      Rewards? Hmmm. It’s somewhat hard for me to answer. What I looked at as rewarding while in the early stages if an affair was different.
      I think being fully in the moment. Appreciating each other, not taking each other for granted – those are all rewards affairs can afford you. It’s easy to get into a routine in a normal relationship and stop trying to make everything special. Affairs are full of passion and desire which boosts your ego and gives you an euphoric high.

      • gingerb1 permalink
        October 3, 2013 3:37 am

        Thanks doll! I appreciate your time, energy and open heart here! This is a wonderful way to step outside the isolation and relate! I’m not sure when I’ll see him next, I never really do but I do see him a fair amount. I plan to clarify this the next time we see each other. Although I do adore the lightheartedness and synergy we share. 🙂

        So, while I’m here, I’ll pick your brain on this too… I’m getting a hunch he may want to get caught as strange as that sounds. Our last meeting we weren’t discreet in the least and he loved it. Likely, the youthful rush of exhibitionism, but risky nonetheless. I know there’s
        those kind of affairs” that have been dubbed looking for a way out, I’m just not certain how to distinguish that with him. Any insight?

      • October 3, 2013 12:19 pm

        It could be he wants to get caught, but it also may be the thrill of the risk. Being able to get away with something so “wrong”.
        I’d caution you though, if he is looking to get caught. You don’t know what his spies is like or what she’ll do. In general the husbands aren’t the ones blamed for the affair and the vengeance would come down on you. Make sure to stick with your boundaries and what you’re comfortable with. It’s extremely easy to get caught up in the thrill.

      • October 3, 2013 4:53 pm

        My MM asks me, “What is it that you want out of this [affair]?” a lot. It’s an unsettling question, because I think it should be obvious to him… I usually tell him, “Nothing, really.” I mean, I stepped into my situation without really looking for it. It kind of just “happened.” If I had to think of something that is in this “for me,” it’d be, I guess, my MM’s time and genuine care/affection. Just having another human being having genuine care and concern for me is enough. I kind of wanted to reply to this, gingerb1, because I understand the weird “wait, what do I /really/ want out of this?” feeling that comes and goes.

        As far as your guy wanting to get caught, I’m kind of on the fence – like COYHM said, it could be he wants to get caught *or* it could be the thrill of the risk. My MM is very hush-hush in public… not a risk-taker in terms of exhibitionism… I wish I could give you another approach to this.

        I’d say be cautious, like what COYHM said. You have to protect yourself (your dignity, feelings, heart, mind, stability, and all those synonyms).

      • gingerb1 permalink
        October 4, 2013 2:14 am

        Yes, it is a bit unsettling. He definitely liked the thrill of it for sure. 3 people observed us at different times. It’s likely I’m over reacting, but I do agree, I need to protect myself. Sometimes I resist acing like a possessive child. I too happened into this. He pursued me and still does, I never even initiate contact. Not because I don’t want too, I just feel out of place doing so, and I’m cautious. I haven’t heard from him since our last escapade, but he always volunteers what’s upcoming for him so I don’t expect to hear from him, and so far, he’s surprised me every time, sneaking in calls and text when I don’t expect it. I’m sitting here, feeling lonely, but there isn’t anyone/place I’d rather be. I wonder if he feels that same? He captivated me since the moment our eyes met. Confession: I looked his wife up on FaceBook. I’m indifferent still, as shitty as that sounds, although I don’t wish her any harm or pain. Quite the opposite. My ex husband had an affair that ended our marriage… whatever was left of it by then. So, this has been a very insightful experience for me. I’ll be the first to admit, my pain and anger was misplaced towards his mistress. I know my risks here vividly with that too. What I found though by looking her up, was a lot of differences that confirmed my hunch. And there is no evidence of a happy marriage here either. Because I know he’s not appreciated, nagged and bitched at all the time, his time with me helps him deal with that. Perhaps, helps him stay. I’m fine with that for now, but need to stay aware in case those feelings change. If they do, I need to bail. I’m not committed to him, and he gets off on me dating other people when I do. Almost makes him desire me more? I’m not interested in dating at all really. I’ve been doing it since 2009 and have faced a lot of bullshit, games, and disappointment. I’m resigned that what love I looked for all those years doesn’t exist. I’m ok with that too. I feel like I have the upper hand not committing too or needing anyone but me now. Almost making this arrangement ideal….unless I’m lying to myself? I kind of feel like crying. Had a stressful week, and while he’s paying house, I sit here venting to mere strangers… ahhh that actually made me giggle. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if we were all in the same geography and we could have girls nights!? I love and hate what we have in common here. Xo I appreciate everyone’s feedback.

      • October 4, 2013 12:16 pm

        You’re a brave woman seeking out information about his wife. I’m glad it helped you though. For me, I never wanted to know anything about her, except I was always so curious! I wish I could have observed them together.

        I think every one of us mistresses have felt that loneliness and wished for more. The biggest down fall of being a mistress.

        I’m gal you are here. There are a lot of great people who are much wiser than I who respond and give you more insight.

      • October 5, 2013 6:27 pm

        It doesn’t sound shitty to be indifferent, gingerb1.

        I’m indifferent to my MM’s wife and all of her business (I looked her up on Facebook, too). MM tells me about all the annoying things his wife does, and I really think it’s just him needing to vent to me. I can tell that he relies on me to “be there” for him, emotionally and all that, when she can’t be. I think my presence helps him be able to “cope” with his marriage (“helps him stay” as you said). I can understand where you’re coming from, in that regard.

        I used to believe he’d leave his wife to be with me, and he said he had thought about it from time to time. His kids keep him in the marriage. He doesn’t want to disrupt “their” world in order to make himself happier. I know that he won’t leave her, now, and I guess I’ve come to accept that. He wants me to see other people and find somebody who treats me right. Maybe your guy wants you to date other people because he wants you to be able to be someone’s first priority? Or it could be what you said (making him desire you more, and stuff). There are a few ways of looking at this…

        COHYM is right in that every one of us (if not most of us) has felt that loneliness and “need” for more from time to time. It comes and goes, and that’s OK. I mean, you like dude’s company, so it only seems natural that you’d want to spend more time with him.

        I came across COHYM’s blog last year when my MM went over seas during the summer, with his wife and kids, and he and I didn’t speak hardly at all during that time. I was looking for a blog that kind of addressed the experiences of being a mistress to a married man who was considerably older… mine is 20 years older than me (he used to teach me, too, did I mention?). Anyway, yeah, last summer, he was gone. He’d sneak in an e-mail here and there (when the rest of the family was busy or asleep) to check in with me.

        COHYM and her blog has helped me feel “normal” in my other-woman-ness. I wish we were all geographically close so we could sit around and chat about all of our experiences. It’d certainly be nice.

        I’m glad that you’re here and able to talk out your feelings with the rest of us. 🙂

      • October 6, 2013 12:09 am

        We are all normal! Those who disagree with us are the odd ones 🙂

      • gingerb1 permalink
        October 7, 2013 1:14 am

        Wow that must have been even harder! I’ve put a lot of thought into this since my last post. With everyone’s thoughts and experience in mind. I agree with COYH, that I should probably speak to him. I haven’t heard from him since we saw each other last. He said his mom would be visiting. I don’t contact him anyways, and probably won’t. I know he’ll never be mine. I don’t know that I’d really want him to be in that aspect either. At this point, I don’t know that I want anyone to be. I have come to the realization that what I’ve searched for most likely doesn’t exist, and I feel as though, not being committed to anyone allows me the upper hand. She who loves east, wins? I know that sounds bitter. But, It’s my truth. I am more than likely going to end it with my MM. I don’t want to be in the shadows, behind secrets, lies, and part time anymore. I’d rather be my own company. All of my experiences have led me to really search my soul, find out why I keep attracting unavailable men, and fix me, take care of me, and just be happy. The part about him being aroused by me dating others is because he is a cuckold… I’m in over my head with that, because that IS NOT something I’m interested in experimenting with. Not sure how to end it? Not respond, or when he contacts me, just tell him? Not sure how to prepare for that.

      • October 10, 2013 12:37 pm

        I agree with Malvalentine. It’s easy to walk away, but then there’s always questions.

        Talk with him. End it and start the process of learning about yourself.

      • October 7, 2013 2:10 pm

        I think it’d give you closure (and peace) if you confront him and end it like that. It seemed to kind of work out for my MM when he called it quits with me the first time (this happened a year ago… he came back a few months later).

        Oh, you mean outright aroused at the thought of you dating other people… Okay, that’s kind of… odd. I’ve never heard of that.

        Soul-searching does wonders. You’re doing a good thing for yourself figuring out all of this now.

        There’s no easy way to prepare for telling him “thanks, but no thanks.” It’s kind of different for everybody. You’ll do fine, though (you seem to have your head on straight!). Good luck, and always take care of yourself! 🙂

      • gingerb1 permalink
        October 7, 2013 2:40 pm

        I agree with the closure part. That’s always a good thing. Thank you for your encouragement!

      • October 8, 2013 2:35 pm

        For sure! I had encouragement when I was having troubling times sorting this all out, and it did wonders. Keep us posted, if you want! 🙂

    • The lonely one permalink
      October 3, 2013 7:28 am

      I don’t think you can measure or expect ‘rewards’ from being in any relationship, much less one such as ours. Agree with confessions that we need to live in the moment. For me I treasure each moment I get to spend with him. His time, his affection, his care and concern for me are the key motivations. But the challenges are very real and we need to be strong enough to handle the emotions that comes with our relationships.

  4. Leslie Batte permalink
    September 14, 2014 3:24 pm

    Question? my husband of five years says that he cant have sex anymore – its been a year due to fear of heart attack. Im sorry, if you can climb a flight of stairs you can have sex – sold Viagra for 7 years and know the clinical evidence behind this one. I have asked numerous times and am sick of asking – feedback? Advice? from anyone?

    • September 14, 2014 10:23 pm

      I’d say look into counseling. Obviously he has something in his mind that won’t let him move past the fear. Maybe talking through some of the irrational or illogical thinking will help him find peace in order for him to be intimate again.

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