As Great as She Thought I Was Rick’s newest article once again, kicked me right in the teeth. Let me quote from it briefly, and if you’d like to read the whole thing, you can go here to read it: Nine Signs of an Emotional Affair (To have an affair) “Deceive yourself into believing you’re as wonderful as your Emotional Affair Partner sees you to obtain maximum benefit from your new found relationship. Always believe the lie that they’re better than your mate and that you’d have been far better off if you’d married them. Marriage partners are the makeup mirrors of our lives. They highlight every flaw and blemish. Emotional Affair Partners are vanity mirrors. We look amazing in their eyes. Approval seeking requires we suspend reality and imagine ourselves as seen through our EAP’s eyes. Failing to deceive one’s self makes entitlement almost impossible.” Though there are several key elements to his article, I’d like to highlight a pinnacle truth within many affairs. There’s no way around the fact that I allowed myself to be deceived into believing I was as wonderful as my affair partner saw me, made me feel and constantly told me. It was a fantasy; an escape from reality. Illicit sex, no bills to pay, constant romance, infatuation, little-to-no criticism or responsibilities to have to live up to from real life pressure…..not real life in the least bit. I have an intense amount of grief for how I allowed my affair partner to fall in love with me and for how I had to end it basically overnight. Still 7 plus years later, I mourn for what I allowed to happen. My wife Samantha time and time again has had to serve as a makeup mirror to help me become the man I so want to be, and quite frankly, need to be. My affair partner made me feel amazing due to the fallacy I believed I was. Her infatuation with me was just not real life. And I hate it. I wish I was the man she saw me to be, but that man isn’t real. Even now, what helps me stay clear of relapse is the fact that what I thought I was isn’t true and won’t ever be true. That’s what fantasies do: they lead you to believe there is this secret world out there that exists, when in reality it’s just not true. Sure there are things Samantha had to work on, and even more that I had to work on. The joy in my marriage, along with the friendship, romance and passion which has been resurrected and restored, is real joy, romance and passion. The kind that stands the test of time and real life obstacles. The kind that ‘decides’ to overcome life, faults, bills, changing seasons and mature responsibilities. The kind that is based upon maturity, integrity and a willingness to be molded and shaped in life, refusing to constantly need an escape from the pressures of life, kids, mortgages and 401K’s. I hope you’ll come out of the clouds of self-deception today. I hope you’ll see that life is not about fantasy where we play God and see only the good and decide what happens and what doesn’t. If you’re reading this, I’m quite sure you’re old enough, and have seen enough in life to know what fantasy is. Perhaps you’re like me and learning to grow up more and more, though you are already a grown up. Don’t stop my friend. 7 plus years later, even with the bad, I’m in love with my wife and family and the lack of fantasy in my life right now. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s yours for the taking.