What May Be Going Through the Straying Partner’s Mind After the Affair
By Kajay Williams
Many people might think that the opinions of the straying souse are clear cut after the discovery of the affair – that they know whether or not they want to stay in the marriage or whether or not they want to forge a relationship with the affair partner. The reality in most cases is that the straying spouse is just as confused about their emotions as anyone else in the situation and they may experience a number of conflicting emotions. This can be especially difficult for the betrayed spouse, as they have to try to second guess the emotions of the wayward spouse. However, there are some common emotions that the straying spouse may experience following the discovery of the affair, and some of these emotions are outlined below.
Oftentimes, the wayward spouse may display a certain amount of ambivalence towards the betrayed spouse following the discovery of the affair. Immediately after the discovery of the affair, when they are still unsure of how to proceed with either relationship in the future, the straying spouse might refuse to be accountable for their actions, or they might even openly admit to still having contact or a relationship with the other person. Even if the straying spouse doesn’t actively pursue a relationship with the affair partner following the discovery of the affair, they might appear to have more concern for the feelings or the welfare of the affair partner rather than the betrayed spouse.
A very common emotion for the wayward spouse to experience is uncertainty – uncertainty as to whether they should continue on in the relationship with the betrayed spouse or whether they should end the relationship and pursue something more with the affair partner, or just a general uncertainty as to what the future holds.
It’s common for the straying spouse to constantly make comparisons between the other person and the betrayed spouse following the discovery of the affair – it’s kind of like they are weighing up their options as to whether they should continue on in the relationship with the betrayed spouse or whether they should cut their losses and try to move forwards with the affair partner. It’s important, however, for the straying spouse to remember that they are not comparing the two individuals in the situation fairly. The straying spouse will view the betrayed spouse through the eyes of time and longevity – yet they will view the other person through the eyes of lust, danger and excitement. Because the two individuals are not being compared fairly, it’s common for the betrayed spouse to come off worse.
Equally, the wayward spouse might make comparisons about themselves and the way they behave with their spouse and the affair partner – for example, the straying spouse might behave conservatively and maturely with their spouse, but with the affair partner, they might behave in a more carefree and light-hearted way. Thus, the straying spouse makes comparisons about the types of life they are leading with either partner, and again, it’s common for their life with their spouse to come off worse – simply because the straying spouse isn’t viewing either situation objectively.
Often, what attracted the wayward spouse to the affair partner in the first place is what causes problems later on. For example, the straying spouse might have started the relationship with the affair partner because they wanted excitement and danger – but in the long-term, those initial attractive qualities may no longer be attractive. Often, the affair partner is jealous of the betrayed spouse – and they behave in a clingy and needy way with the straying spouse. Although this jealousy and clinginess may be attractive to start with in that it makes the straying spouse feel wanted and needed, over time, it could become incredibly irritating.
Perhaps the most common emotion of any wayward spouse following the discovery of their affair is “I don’t know what I want”. The straying spouse may well find it difficult to decide whether they want to stay in the relationship with their spouse or whether they want to try to make things work with the affair partner. They may be reluctant to give up the trappings of their relationship with the betrayed spouse – their home, their lives and the knowledge that they have a spouse waiting at home for them – but equally, they may be reluctant to give up the excitement that comes with their relationship with the affair partner.
It’s fairly understandable that the straying spouse may find it tough to make a decision as to whether they should stay or whether they should go, but what is worse for everyone involved is the indecisiveness. Whilst they are trying to make a decision as to who they should stay with – or whether they should actually just go it alone – both the betrayed spouse and the affair partner are kept in a kind of limbo, not knowing what is going to happen next.
In this situation, many wayward spouses may choose to maintain some kind of relationship with the affair partner because they can’t seem to face breaking it off completely. They might tell themselves that they will be “just friends” and that their relationship with the affair partner can be exactly as it was before – just without the sex.
In reality, this is a sure fire way to destroy both relationships. If the straying spouse maintains contact with the affair partner, the betrayed spouse will be left feeling even more hurt and betrayed – and they’ll be wondering why they are not enough for their partner. Equally, the affair partner will be left feeling confused and upset and they will be forever hoping that their “friendship” with the straying spouse will eventually turn back into a proper relationship. Chances are, it will – and everyone ends up back in the same love triangle. In all situations, it’s best for the wayward spouse to make a decision one way or the other, instead of stringing both parties along.
What To Do If Your Partner Is Having An Affair?
Time To Act: Enough is enough.
Stop being the victim, stop living in self-denial, stop living in pain, stop living in agony and stop living in self-pity.
Be bold and take the first step in confronting the truth even if the truth is ugly and not what you want to know.
Whether you suspect your partner or spouse is cheating on you or whether you have just discovered your spouse’s affair or whether you are wondering if you want to save your marriage or opt for separation after an affair or whether you want to redefine the boundaries of your relationship or marriage to make sure you and your partner are on the same page, I can help you.
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