What Type of Affair Was It?

Only a few short days after discovery, I started searching the internet for answers. I wasn’t even sure what I was looking for, I just randomly entered search phrases such as “my husband had an affair” and “how can I survive my husband’s affair”. It still boggles my mind that there are literally millions of internet sites to choose from on the topic!  It’s staggering, shocking even and so incredibly sad to realize that adultery is so prevalent. I was haunted by the weight of the numbers. With so many sites to choose from how would I ever get the answers that I was looking for?

Then I discovered Affair Recovery. It seemed to be the site that had what I needed. I soaked up the blogs and recovery library, searching for anything that could soothe my agony. But the ability to post questions, receive answers and hear from other betrayed wives is what kept me coming back.          

Expecting to find insight into my husband’s actions I took the affair analyzer. Rick outlines the six types of affairs and gives a short explanation of each.  

Types of Affairs

1. One Night Stand.

This is an affair of opportunity. A spouse is traveling away from home. Maybe had too much to drink and didn’t say no when opportunity knocked. The affair wasn’t sought out and is not an ongoing relationship.

2. Fallen in Love. 

The unfaithful is infatuated with the other person and believes they’ve fallen in love. They believe their marriage will not make them happy and are willing to sacrifice their family for their lover. Yet out of guilt or duty, they swing back and forth between home and lover, incapable of making a decision about what to do.

3. Sexual Addiction. 

Unfaithful who suffer from sexual addiction have a habitual pattern of extramarital sexual behaviors such as strip clubs, pornography, compulsive masturbation, prostitution and multiple sexual partners. They want to save their marriage but are compelled to look elsewhere to fulfill their “needs”. If you or your spouse are struggling to decide if the unfaithful is fighting this addiction, you can find clarity by completing a Sexual Addiction Screening Quiz such as this: https://psychcentral.com/quizzes/sexquiz.htm

4. Wanting the Marriage and the Affair.

The unfaithful want the benefits of the affair but have no intention of giving up their marriage. Sometimes the AP believes the unfaithful mate will leave their spouse to be with them. Before D-Day, the betrayed spouse believes their spouses’ defects are outweighed by the positive characteristics of their mate. Marital satisfaction is often high and the unfaithful is a good spouse. After discovery they will choose their marriage over the AP.

5. Emotional Affair

While there is no sexual involvement in this type of affair the unfaithful still permits the AP to enter intimate areas of their life that should be reserved for the spouse only. Marital boundaries are violated and the unfaithful feel emotionally closer with the AP than they do their spouse.

6. Love Addiction.

Unfaithful in this affair move from relationship to relationship seeking love, that never lasts. They are usually women who are ambivalent about their marriage. They overvalue the person they are infatuated with and are incapable of judging the negative in their AP. They may feel that they’ve married the wrong person.

Unfortunately, my husband’s affairs didn’t seem to fit neatly into any of the categories. He didn’t have a one night stand and didn’t fall in love. He isn’t necessarily an addict and the affairs were sexual in nature, not emotional. The first was a sex worker that he visited once a month or so. Years later when he had a five-month long affair he tried getting out of it within a few weeks of starting. His AP threatened to expose his actions and he felt stuck. He was unhappy in our marriage but didn’t want out. On D-day, he told me he was trying to get out of the affair and get counseling. He would decide in the future whether or not to tell me the truth.

As I outlined in a previous blog my husband was looking for intimacy. Our marriage had grown stale. We were living as roommates instead of lovers. So when I took the affair analyzer and discovered that my husband didn’t fit neatly into any of the six categories I was frustrated. I desperately needed answers!

I started to compare my pain to that of other betrayed spouses. (Stay with me here….as I get vulnerable and honest)

“Thank goodness my husband wasn’t a sex addict. I don’t know if I could handle that.”

“What a relief that he hadn’t fallen in love with his AP. It was easy for him to let her go, a relief actually. I dodged the bullet of him being emotionally entangled with his AP.”

“What a nightmare it would have been if my husband fathered a child with his AP.”

“I’m “lucky” my husband’s affair wasn’t as “awful” as those I read about on AR.”

These and more are all thoughts I would have as I read about the pain of others. I’m ashamed to admit that I judged the anguish and pain poured out in the postings.

Your husband only had a one night stand, one time! What are you complaining about?”

Well at least your husband was only emotionally attached to the other woman. You don’t have to suffer the pain of sexual betrayal.”

Yeah, I’m disgusted with myself. In trying to place my husband’s betrayal in a nice, neat category I completely minimized the pain of others.

It took me a long time to understand that in the end, it doesn’t matter what type affair my husband had. Sure, having a category to place his betrayal in would have been helpful. Getting advice from those whose husband or wife committed the same type of actions makes a huge difference. But betrayal, no matter what type, causes the same pain. The loss of trust is the same. The overwhelming agony is the same. The fear, despair, loneliness, heartbreak, and deep sadness are all the same. We suffer together regardless of how we got here.

Affair recovery takes the same steps, no matter the type of betrayal. I’m grateful for Affair Recovery in so many ways. No matter where I’ve been on this long journey Affair Recovery has been right by my side. The message boards have been a source of comfort and hope. As I’ve written many times, you’re stronger than you think, braver than you believe. Don’t give up. There is hope and healing. Grasp it and never let it go.

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My husband's affairs didn't

My husband's affairs didn't fit into any categories either, and I believe he was looking (always) for affirmation. For intimacy, which he longs for, but doesn't seem to really know what it is.

He's emotionally abusive, bullying, and still minimizes his involvement. It's been 19 months since D-day.

Still praying for miracles

Been Missing you

First I have to say I have been missing you. SO glad you posted again.

Your blog was so on point for me in so many ways. My husbands affairs did not fit into a category either. My damaged brain (i really think that the stress and trauma of discovery actually damages the our thinking) actually kept telling me recovery would be easier if our story fit here or there. But just like each betrayal, each recovery is different.

HUGS and Love

Thank you

Thank you Lisa. I often wish my husband had a sexual addiction and not have fallen in love. That is crazy I know. Thanks for the reminder that all betrayal is painful and the feelings of loss of trust and isolation are the same in all situations. There is no "better betrayal ". God bless and keep writing please!

How to relate to others

I so wish I had someone who had the same issues in their marriage and the same type of affair my husband had to talk to. It does make a difference when you can get perspective from someone who has been right where you are. I understand that all the pain is the same. But it just sucks. All of it. I don't have a neat box to put my husband's affair into either.