Affair healing Blog
This article is a guest post from blogger and neuroscientist “Dr L”, who writes about limerence, purposeful living and the psychology of infatuation at livingwithlimerence.com.
Affair fog. The mysterious mind-altering cloud that seems to descend on people caught up in affairs. It's an apt term, because it captures the idea that the cheater is no longer seeing the world clearly, that they've lost their old sense of direction, that they are now wandering around in a dreamy haze, heedless to the world around them. Peering through the fog the only thing they seem to see clearly is their affair partner - who stands out as a dazzling source of light and wonder. Their spouse, when they notice them at all, is a dull obstacle that stands in their way. They may even look backwards, and rewrite the history of their marriage from this new perspective - emphasizing all the negative experiences and unhappy memories, and downplaying the joys and love.
So, what's going on? Have they lost their mind? Have they really fallen under the bewitching spell of their affair partner? Why can't they see what is so obvious to everyone around them: that they are an everyday cheater making a fool of themselves, and harming the people that love them?
As a neuroscientist, I tend to look at this from the perspective that such large-scale changes in mood, perception, and behavior must have their origins in the brain. So, the answer to the puzzle of affair fog lies in figuring out what's going on in our heads.
After reading my earlier post, But My Affair Is Different, I talked to a woman whose husband continued to describe his past affair as a special loving relationship. This conversation occurred during a recent Open Care Q&A session. Listen to the entire conversation using the player below. Here's how the conversation started:
Caller: Your latest article, But My Affair Is Different, resonated with me. That's what my husband has said about his affair. He's recommitted to the marriage and cut off contact with the affair partner, yet he still says, "It was real love. It was something different. Mine was special..." Does that ever go away? Because it hurts me to hear him say that.
I've heard this story before: you have a strong emotional connection with your affair partner and believe your affair is uniquely wonderful. Even though your affair is probably among the 96% destined to fail, you remain convinced (like so many before you) that yours is an exceptional experience. But belief doesn’t change the fact that it almost certainly is not.
I know this because I once told that story, too.
Unless otherwise noted, articles are written by Tim Tedder, a licensed counselor and creator of this site and its resources.