Having An Affair Made Me Realize That I’m Not In Love With My Spouse

By: Katie Lersch: It’s not uncommon for people to experience very strong and overwhelming feelings when they are carrying out an affair. Many insist that they “have never felt this way before.” Or they claim romantic feelings that are brand new and they’ll say that they “never felt this way about their spouse.” So they assume that these feelings mean that they absolutely are in love with the other person or that they absolutely are not in love with their spouse and potentially never were.

You might hear one of them say: “I’m sorry to say that my affair is over. I know that this sounds horrible and that it shows what a bad person I am. But the affair changed something inside of me. It showed me how I want to live my life. It showed me that I was sort of just sleep walking through my life. I never want to live that way again. I want to embrace life. Experiencing the feelings that I felt for the other man made me realize just how much I absolutely no longer love my husband. I know that it would make the most sense for me to try to save my marriage since the other man went back to his wife and has cut off all contact with me. But I just don’t think that I can do this. I realize that I don’t love my husband anymore and I suspect that I never really did. I married him because he’s a good, solid person but not because I was desperately in love with him. I have recently felt what that type of love feels like, and I now realize that this is not what I had with my husband. And this is sad because we started a family based on the pretense that we loved one another.”

When people say these sorts of things, many of them honestly believe that they are saying something ground breaking and earth shattering. They don’t realize how common their feelings are. Countless people have come before them and said exactly the same thing. And countless people have changed their minds with time. Some have even returned to their families and have been quite happy.  If you talk to many of these people who were so madly in love with the other person a year later, many of them have changed their tunes quite dramatically.

I know that you’re probably not even ready to hear what I have to say. You are still in the glow of the affair. But it is very common for this to fade. People get caught up in the excitement and the emotions of an affair. At the time, it often DOES feel intense and satisfying. If it didn’t, you wouldn’t risk so much for it.

But when it cools, as it almost always does, that is when people realize that they were reacting to the situation and not to any real and new feelings.

I am not going to try and convince you that you still love your spouse. Perhaps you don’t. But I would caution you to reconsider breaking up a family over feelings that might change. That is especially true if the other person in the affair has made it clear that it is over and that his priority is his own marriage.

I am not going to tell you that one day you will realize that what you have with your husband is solid and lasting and what you had with the other man was a fantasy. But I am going to suggest that, with time, this is the conclusion that many people end up with post-affair.

That is why it doesn’t make a lot of sense to immediately act on this and to say or do something that you can not easily take back. I hear from a lot of folks who went and announced their new revelation to their spouse, devastating everyone and ending their marriage. And then six months later, they are filled with regret because they now see very clearly what they have lost.

They no longer have the affair. They no longer have their spouse. All they have is the realization that they were wrong and, as a result, they now have created quite a mess.

You can’t really evaluate your love for your spouse when the affair is so fresh. I am not saying that in six months from now, you won’t feel exactly the same way that you do right now. But I am saying that it makes sense to give yourself the time to get a new perspective without doing something that essentially removes your future options, especially if your children are involved and affected.

Even the faithful spouse’s feelings change after the affair.  I was sure I could never trust my husband again.  I was sure that things would never be the same between us.  But in many ways, things are better. If it helps, you can read more about my own experiences on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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