When Is The Affair Bubble Going To Burst? When Will My Husband See This For What It Is?

By: Katie Lersch:  Many people describe the fog that people walk around in while having in an affair as an “affair bubble.”  It’s described as a bubble because if you’ve ever been around someone who is actively having an affair, you’ll see that some of them have an existence where they are separated from real life.  They live in a “bubble” that is not reality.  They feel isolated from real, every day life.  They convince themselves that they’ve finally found the answer to all their problems and that they can now go through life feeling happy and fulfilled without real world issues interfering.  Of course, like most things that are too good to be true, reality is often revealed in a harsh way.  This is when the “bubble” burst.

Often, the start of this is when the affair is found out or when someone confesses.  When this happens, the two people having the affair can no longer exist in secret without having to question or to defend their actions.  Many husbands have their bubble burst as soon as they are caught.  They see the hurt that they have caused or they are now faced with losing their family and the life that they had, so they come down to reality really quickly.

Others don’t.  They still cling to the idea that the affair is worth all of the sacrifice because, for whatever reason, they need it right now. They convince themselves that this relationship just might be the answer for them. Needless to say, this can be extremely frustrating for the faithful spouse whose life is going to be impacted by whatever happens.  She might say: “I’ve been told that the affair bubble most always bursts.  My friends say that I just need to bide my time, but I am seriously starting to doubt that.  My husband is basically telling me that he needs time to sort out his feelings and he swears that he wants to keep our family intact.  But I always have my suspicions as to when he’s communicated with her because he comes home walking on air, like an addict who has gotten his fix.  When I press him, he will admit that the other woman brought out a side to him that he didn’t know existed and that he likes this part of himself, which makes me think that the bubble will never burst.  And meanwhile, I feel as if I have no choice but to just wait.”

I don’t think that you have to wait.  You have a life that is your own and that you can live without just treading water to see what he is going to decide.  You still likely have a job, an extended family, and friends, plus your own interests.  Nothing says that you can’t focus on those things while he is trying to sort himself out.  You certainly don’t have to put yourself on hold while waiting and no one would blame you for not wanting to participate in a marriage that has one too many people.  Until he can end the affair for good and get serious about rehabilitating himself and saving your marriage, no one can fault you for not allowing him to have his cake and eat it too.  That doesn’t mean that you need to make any rash decisions, but it makes sense that you’d want to protect yourself while he’s still in the bubble.

Statistics prove that most times, the bubble WILL burst.  The only question is when.  Very few relationships that start as affairs end in happy or lasting marriages.  The numbers are in the single digits, as far as percentages go.  Statistics also show us that it’s far more common for a cheating spouse to attempt to save their marriage.  So, the odds are on your side.  The question becomes how long you want to wait for the bubble to burst.

And really, that has to be up to you.  Some wives see unquestionable progress and have young children, so they choose to wait.  Others will basically ask their husband to temporary live somewhere else (or they themselves will stay with family) while he’s still participating in the affair.  They don’t make any firm decisions, but they continue on with their life while they wait to see what is going to happen.  They continue going to work, parenting their children, and doing the things that make them happy.  Sometimes, their husband comes to his senses.  Other times, he does not.  But at least they didn’t put themselves on hold while they were waiting.  Others will give an ultimatum and take their chances.  Still others know that eventually, the relationship is doomed and that it will dissolve under the weight of itself.

I can’t predict which outcome you might have.  You’ve said that your husband swears that he doesn’t want to lose his family. In that case, I would certainly hope that his behavior starts to mesh with this.  If it doesn’t, you can certainly call him on it and say something like: “for a man who says he doesn’t want to lose his family, you are sure acting like we don’t matter all that much to you.  I don’t think that you can reasonably expect me to just wait for you to make up your mind.  I only have so much patience.  Because of our kids, I’m not making any rash decisions right now, but I won’t put this off forever. I am going to continue to live my life while you sort it out, but that offer may have a limited shelf life.”

Only you can decide if this route feels right to you.  No one except for the people living in the situation have enough information to decide the best course of action. I do believe that in most cases, the affair bubble will burst because statistics gives us undeniable proof of this.  But it’s up to you what you are comfortable with in the meantime. I know how hard this is, but remember that you are not the one who made this mistake.  And you likely have plenty of other safe places to fall with family and friends in the meantime.

I was lucky that my husband’s affair bubble burst the second he was caught.  He immediately turned his attention to me and cut off all contact.  Still, we had plenty of work ahead of us.  It was not always easy by any means, but we did eventually make it.   You can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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