Thank you for joining us again for this four part series on why affair partners often make for poor spousal choices. We get it – it seems so obvious! You have such a good time together and you seem such like a great match. Why wouldn’t it be a match made in heaven? Well, statistics reveal that affair partners rarely if ever make for lasting marriages after the fact. If you are only just joining us, we recommend that you take a moment to get caught up first. Otherwise, join us as we take a look at why these relationships don’t usually survive.
“Tradition wears a snowy beard, romance is always young” – John Greenleaf Whittier
Ahhh, the magic of romance – candlelight and wine and kissing in the rain. Until midnight, when the magic wears off and suddenly you’re stuck with a pumpkin, a handful of mice, and a girl with only one shoe.
This is not to say that romance isn’t wonderful, and that a regular dose wouldn’t be appreciated, but it isn’t an accurate reflection of daily life. Romance isn’t sufficient to sustain a relationship – there must be more substance. People who are in love with romance, not a person, are guaranteed to be disappointed and disenchanted every time.
Being in love with love, instead of being in love with your partner, means that you are more focused on the way the relationship makes you feel than the person who is in it with you. This means that when the “newly in love” chemistry wears off, which it will, you will be forced to seek out new partners with which to reignite that flame, trapping yourself in a cycle that will leave you perpetually dissatisfied.
“I love you the more in that I believe you had liked me for my own sake…” John Keats
This is one of the hardest issues to come to terms with. ‘Like’ is not the same thing as love, but they are both very important. You may be extremely attracted to your affair partner (obviously!), and you may care very much about them. In fact, you may think that you are in love with them. But do you like them?
Think about it. Do you really, actually, honestly LIKE them? As a person. Without the sexual aspect of the relationship, would you want to be friends with them if you had met under different circumstances? Do you enjoy their company when you are together but not being intimate? Would you introduce them to your mom?
This is critical. Because if you don’t, this is 100% doomed to fail. Good sex is not enough to sustain a relationship, and nor is ‘being in love’ with someone. You have to actually like them, enjoy spending time with them, want to do things together that can be done in public with your clothes on. Ask yourself this question next time you’re together. Then listen really closely to your own answer. It may surprise you.
“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” – Carrie Fisher
This is a toughie. ‘Guilt’, and it’s ugly stepsister, ‘Shame’, are awfully heavy burdens to bear, and only seem to get heavier as time goes by. However, when guilt and shame come together, they often conceive that most unloving of emotional millstones – resentment. Any new relationship built on a foundation of deceit and infidelity isn’t going to have trouble weathering the storms of life to survive intact.
After some time, as the “new and exciting” aspect of your relationship wears off, you may find that under it all, you are resentful of your affair partner. Custody issues, child support arguments, spousal support and lawyers fees. It’s a lot to handle, and they were complicit in putting you in this position. Which is why you may start to feel resentment, which is the death knell for a relationship.
Join us next time as we wrap up this series on affair partners up. Until then, if your marriage is falling apart and you need help determining what your future is going to look like after a divorce, call us at 517 886 1000. The skilled family law attorneys at the Kronzek Firm have helped countless people in mid-Michigan through their divorces. We can help you too.