Part VIII: Affair Partner
As a wife and mother it is hard for me to fathom why a woman would even want a man who is willing to walk out on his wife and children. I would like to think that it occurred to the affair partner at least once, that if my husband was capable of abandoning me after 18 years of marriage (and his children) that he would do the same to her when she failed to meet his needs. Apparently, adultery was behind the demise of her own marriage. Familiar with the agony of betrayal, isn’t it interesting she was still willing to begin a relationship with a man who was doing the same thing to his wife?
It is fascinating what people are willing to tolerate: lies, deception, adultery- so long as it is directed towards someone else. It becomes easier then to justify the married partner’s actions by exchanging the truth for a lie and falsely believing the adulterous relationship to be “unworldy.” Although the phrase “I love you” was exchanged, through introspection my man has come to realize that what he “loved” was the adoration he saw mirrored back to him in her eyes. The precise thing he wasn’t getting from me.
Frank Pittman, an American psychiatrist who used to write a regular column for Psychology Today, found that the divorce rate among those who married their affair partners was 75 percent (menstuff.org). That’s a good reason to stay in your current marriage. Affairs thrive in secrets and that is what makes them so enticing, but they are not realistic in terms of the daily grind of real life. When my husband was in the midst of his extra marital relationship, he was sleeping in a hotel (while traveling for business) and eating out for every meal.
All he had time to do with his affair partner was hang out at sushi bars, the beach and play tennis. He admitted that she paid him all the attention I stopped giving him and he liked it. But, they didn’t have any responsibilities together, just a fantasy based on lies and deception. Perhaps one of the reasons the divorce rate is so high for marriages born from affairs is the dose of reality that comes with the status change! You know… guilt, bills, in-laws, guilt, stepchildren, guilt, alimony, guilt and child support.
As a therapist, I understand that her participation in the affair came from a place of loneliness and desperation. She has her own losses, insecurities and damaged emotions to work through. She has little understanding of the sanctity of matrimony, a poor self-image and no concept of her value through the lens of God. A person’s standards are extremely low when they are willing to accept lies and secrecy as a method to furthering their union. No one should have to settle for crumbs in a relationship; both partners deserve to be the others priority.
You are not your partner’s priority if he/she is married, has a family and financial obligations (house, car, business, etc.) with someone else. I might have felt sorry for the affair partner if she didn’t know he was married, but when the affair started, my man was wearing his wedding ring, so she knew. Although he was the one who (initially) pursued her she didn’t seem to have problems responding to his advances, going on dates or climbing into bed with him.
My point is this, If a married man is coming on to a single woman and the single woman has issues with the band of gold said man is wearing, why give him a business card with contact information? I believe she gave the card hoping he would contact her. It’s not like they’re in the same line of work; she is an interior designer and he is in the pharmaceutical industry. If we needed design and decorating services we could easily contract with someone in North Carolina. I’m sure we have plenty of talented design experts in this state.