Considering an affair? It makes so much sense. Doesn’t it? Perhaps your marriage or partnership has grown predictably stale. Maybe you’ve gone too long without having impersonal, sterile sex. Adding to your confusion are the attractive coworkers, charming store clerks, and chiseled personal trainers that have you making unnecessary errand runs and volunteering for extra shifts. Does any of this sound familiar? If so, welcome to marriage.
Under the worst conditions, an affair won’t fill the void you’ve been feeling. If you’ve got even the slightest bit of a conscious, it will make you feel dirty and hollow. The lies will become harder to conceal. What was once a little fib will grow into a monster that lurks within the darkest corners of your mind – begging to be released. Before you know it, the happiness you once received from your extramarital activities won’t provide the same high; you’ll need more. You’ll lie and cheat your way through existence until the charade comes crashing down, destroying more than your reputation, rather your family. And the person you once promised your life to? What will they get? A liar is what. The trust you once had will be gone forever, and your bond left unsalvageable. The guilt will be harsh, swift, and unforgiving.
Take a Look Around
Before you let yourself get to this point, take a step back and look at a couple of things. Think about relationships and its many stages. As we all know, the good ones start with the infatuation phase. Their heart is your world to escape into, and their happiness is the only thing that matters. The sex is great, their jokes are funny, and everything seems perfect. Remember that feeling? Falling in love is truly amazing. How it makes your heart jump within your chest at the site of your beloved. The way their smell lingers, how you memorize the way their laugh sounds, how the first touch electrifies every sensation imaginable. Oh, to feel this way about someone is one of life’s most valuable treasures! However, don’t let these feelings fool you. It is a fleeting time that won’t last forever, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone. Stick with me here.
Depending on the length of your time together, several factors may be contributing to your relationship’s dry spell. Whether it’s kids, lack of sleep, an abundance of work, or never-ending household duties; the marriage is most commonly what suffers the most. It is so hard to still see what your partner or spouse has to offer when you are up to your eyes with responsibility and tension. As challenging as these years may be, they do come to an end. The trick to surviving them is to not lose each other during the fight. This, in itself, is the most difficult part. Before you know it, you’ll be sitting in an empty house with someone you hardly know anymore – a roommate. The only thing worse than being alone is feeling as such in a marriage.
I believe every marriage struggles with this at some point. For many, this is where the road splits. One exit is paved with fool’s gold, the other lacks appeal but is almost always more fulfilling. Of course, we want to make the right choice, but this goal is easy to lose sight of while our eyes are focused on the good-looking person who’s disconnected from all of the hardships that seem to be in the way. It’s just…easier, right? It seems as such, especially when the other road isn’t even fully paved. However, we must remember that it’s more rewarding to regain the love of the one we know than to discover the faults in the one whose mysteries intrigue us.
Speaking from experience mature love is the absolute greatest! To have years of memories to look back on, knowing another person so deeply and intimately, to trust someone with every fiber of your being – these emotions don’t come easily, nor do they come quickly. Before throwing all of it away for someone you’ll surely come to realize is just as human as your ex, take a step back and think about what made you fall in love in the first place. Look at yourself with an equally critical eye as you do your spouse or partner. Over everything, be understanding, gentle, and loving. You did not enter your vows alone. We are all flawed with that said, we are all beautiful.
Thinking of having an affair? My only word of advice is simple: don’t. If your relationship is truly over, take the high road and end things officially before letting another have the keys to your heart and the deed to your dignity. It hurts to end a marriage, but it hurts worse to be cheated on. Take some time to yourself, examine what the problems are, and take responsibility for your part of things. Contrary to popular belief, it is never one person’s fault. After you have done the necessary work, fight like hell to find the love of your life. If you’re lucky enough to achieve this, protect it with all you are, all you have. The rewards are truly golden, made pure of unadulterated beauty. It will be worth it, I promise.
Let’s talk again soon, I’ll bring the coffee.
-Ruth McLeod-Kearns, wife of 15 years.