Competing with the Fantasy Deciphering what was real and what was fantasy is incredibly clear….now.Back then however, in the middle of the mess, things were foggy, confusing and about as fantastical as they could be. This is a normal point of crisis and confusion for any unfaithful spouse as they face duplicity and double lives.Real life was hard. From the fights with Samantha, to constant miscommunication to the rejection I felt from her romantically and sexually. She was just never happy with me and I could never do enough.The affair however, was filled with incredible happiness, understanding and sexual fulfillment. My affair partner never rejected me, always wanted me, and almost always understood my feelings and concerns. I understood her and always seemed to have the right words to help her feel better about her life, her struggles and her pain. It just clicked.I justified my affair by complaining that home life was nothing but Samantha having babies, disappointment, rejection, stress, bills and responsibilities. You know, mature real life expectations. I was running from it all.When you’re trying to justify your actions, you’ll re-write history. You’ll do anything to make yourself feel better about the shame you feel for the hidden life you’ve developed.Time with my AP was hidden, secret, and filled with escapism. Eventually I was hooked.Yes it was (and is) much like a drug.But for the grace of God, and our kids, there is no conceivable way I would have made it back to my marriage on my own. There just isn’t.The fact is my affair partner was a fantasy situation. No fighting, sex always working, no mood swings, no bills, no differing opinions, no real life stressors at all: just escapism in every sense of the word.How can a wife compete with that? She can’t. It’s self-deception, lust and fantasy.To think we know how to end an affair or to think we can do it on our own is even more fantastical than the affair. You need help if you’re going to end it. If your spouse is in an affair, they’ll most certainly need the right kind of help to end things and break free from the affair partner for good. Not just any help. Experienced help from people who have been there and lived through the fantasy becoming a nightmare.To think they’ll never do it again, or this time they really mean it and they’ll stop, are equally as fantastical as the affair. Research has proven relapse is almost guaranteed if they do not get help from experts who’ve been there before and know how to teach them how to take responsibility for their own recovery. You, the betrayed, cannot babysit them and keep them accountable. They need to learn how to manage their own recovery and own accountability, along with standards between you both.