Rick Reynolds, LCSW
by Rick Reynolds, LCSW
Founder & President, Affair Recovery

Six Types of Affairs: Fallen in Love

types of affairs

Category 2: Fallen in Love

In this affair type the unfaithful spouse has an intense attraction to the other person. The unfaithful spouse believes they've fallen in love, and feels powerless over these powerful emotions. These overwhelming emotions are an indication of what is called limerance. It is not uncommon for the betrayer to feel guilty over what they are doing, but they justify their behavior by telling themselves they love their mate, but are no longer in love with their mate. They often tell themselves they mistakenly married the wrong person and have discovered their one true soul mate. If it feels so right how can it be wrong? These relationships may spring from existing friendships that transform into an obsession as emotional intimacy grows over time. They may also spawn from the spontaneous attraction that is referred to as love at first sight.

The driving force for this type of affair is the intense emotion generated by infatuation. The unfaithful spouse is obsessed with the other person and at the very least will be ambivalent about the marriage. They believe they can never be happy unless they get to be with the one they love. When they are with their mate they're miserable and when they are with the other person they feel alive, but guilty.

It's not uncommon for the unfaithful spouse to unconsciously rewrite the marital history and believe they've never been happy in the marriage. Let me be clear – while all marriages have problems the marriage itself is never more than 1/3 to blame. In a Type 2 affair these marital defects typically serve as justifications to continue the affair for the unfaithful spouse.

While this description may cause you to believe the situation is hopeless, please know that it is not. There are many couples who have recovered, and will even report that they are grateful that they were able to reconcile. If you are in this category don't lose hope.


  • The betrayer believes they can never be happy in the marriage.
  • Their justification for the affair is that they are in love.
  • The intense emotions generated by this type of affair may lead them to sacrifice life as they know it for the opportunity to be with their lover.
  • Frequently, there is a pattern of the betrayer swinging back and forth between the marriage and the affair partner. When they are at home trying to do what is right, they are miserable and feel they will never be happy. When they are with their affair partner, they are ecstatic, but may be feeling so guilty that they can't stand it. So they move back home, only to feel miserable and to realize once again that they can never be happy unless they go back to the affair partner. This dance of insanity can continue for years.
  • The betrayer often seems incapable of making a decision about what they are going to do. Even though the betrayer doesn't want to be in the marriage, other factors may keep them from choosing divorce. For example, feelings of guilt or of failure may cause them to stay. There may also be strong feelings regarding what is best for the kids, so they may decide to stay for the children.


RL_Media Type: 

Add New Comment:


fallen in love affair

This describes the situation I found myself in almost three years ago. Thanks for sharing this information. I couldn't understand the bouncing back and forth, I just wanted my husband to make a decision and stick to it, even if the decision was the other woman. I was on a roller coaster ride and I couldn't get off, or wouldn't get off. You described it perfectly, a dance of insanity! My husband's behavior was so bizarre that I believed he was on drugs or insane and I believed at times that I would go insane. Here was a man who was willing to risk everything he'd spent his whole life building everything I believed was important to him; his family, his career, his reputation, his faith. He was willing to walk away from it all! I had heard about people who had been involved in affairs or were the victims of an affair but I had never heard any stories that sounded like what I was living. I wanted my husband, my marriage and could not accept the fact that he no longer loved me. It has been a three year battle with many ups and downs along the way. We have by no means arrived but a little over a week ago we celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary by renewing our vows.

Thank You & Congratulations

Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations for your successful outcome. My fiancé has been back and forth between our relationship and the other. This is the 4th year (we are now together 10 years)...I’m not sure how we’ve gotten this far without giving up but, it shows that we are not only the love of each other’s lives but, truly best friends. I’m 38 and this is such an instant gratification time we live in that couples fail at working hard to maintain what they’ve worked so hard to gain. Due to this, we’ve been proud of our 10 years. Those who are aware of the affair think we are crazy for not quitting. For those who stay together we have learned that there is such a deeper level that opens within the relationship, I’m sure that’s something you can attests to as well. Congratulations for such an accomplishment of a beautiful 36 plus years. May you enjoy the many more to follow.

husband has had an affair

I found out my husband has been having an affair last week

He stayed with the woman

I am sad and having spoke to him

Fallen in love affair (Brenda)

I am living this nightmare as we speak, he continuously tell me he wants his wife (Me) and life back, )the person he use to be) but can’t seem to leave the AP, I do not want to give up on my marriage I am still Madly in love with my husband like the day we started talking ( been together almost 38 years and been married will be 20 years July 15th I’m just wondering how the heck does he get away to be able to make our marriage stronger then ever??? PLEASE HELP i am in a very dark place!

Husband is in love with affair partner

I too am suffering through this now. My husband cheated on me 5 months ago and I discovered today that he reached out to her and professed his love for her. He admitted to being in love with her! I don’t know what to do. He’s been lying to me that they were just friends. Anyone with any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Type of affair

This is the situation in my marriage .. My husband fell in love with the other woman .

Type of affair

I am the unfaithful husband. Wife doesn't want to fix it work in it what do I do .......

one too many...

I can't speak from personal experience, my ex spouse had more then a couple of each affair type and strangers became us. But if the marriage is worth holding on to, affairs of this sort can potentially be worked through.

Infidelity by spouse.

This just happened to me a couple weeks back. It's scary how on the point this article described my husband. He said she was his soulmate, love at first site, never been happy. We were married 13+ years and dated 6 yrs. he cheated on me with a girl at work. He is completely in love /infatuated. He does not want to work on it as he sees no point as he is in love with her but yes he loves me. I've been the bread winner our whole marriage and that role was scheduled to change this month. So now I've lost my husband, our life/future together, and my job. I'm trying my best to turn it over to god. But so hard!!

I feel you

I'm 27 my ex husband is 34 he meet a 19 years old girl at his work. he was about to leave. he was so committed to his relationship with her. everything turn horrible. i lost my life, my family, my faith. everything he is living in the house. he says he want to work thing with me but I feel like is only because she don't want him anymore with her. everything he is with me I feel like he dreamed with doing all of that with his AP. since they talk about kids and a life together. I lost hope to be happy with him or with out him


This describes my hubby all the way. After three years of his initial moving out, this week he now is back to living by himself. Now what??? I find myself having all those feelings I had when he was trying to decide what to do three years ago. He said he needed to move out to clear his head. Wasn't long till he moved in with the ow. He is angry about it and don't want to talk about it. I don't know where I stand in his book. I feel all mixed up emotionally. What do I prepare myself for? What does it look like to just trust God? Do I allow myself to get my hopes up for his return? I read about false attempts to return and I don't want that. But do I just sit back and not hope for it?

This was my Affair

This is a good example of the type of affair I had. Being admired and cared for, after a long period of neglect by my husband, was a powerful drug. My affair partner told me how beautiful my eyes were, how I was the perfect companion, how he wished he had a time machine so he could go back and meet me first instead of his wife...He was very verbal and attentive, the opposite of my husband. His words seemed to speak love to me, my husband's silence seemed to speak lack of love to me. Again, I want to emphasize what a powerful drug this is...letting go of those hits in the brain is extremely difficult, especially when the relationship that remains (your current marriage) is lackluster at best. We are coming up on the four year mark in two weeks - in the last few months, I have finally gotten to the point where I do not think about the affair or AP multiple times daily, even though I have lost respect for the OM a long time ago and accepted that "we" were never going to be. There are many good things about my marriage, though my husband and I are at extremes of many facets (initatior vs. receiver, over-functioning vs. under-functioning, verbal/attentive vs. independent). Also a mature (35+ years) relationship is very, very different than a "new" relationship. I am glad I closed the door on the affair and walked away, though every cell in my brain was screaming at me to not give it up. Giving up the drug of the affair is a PROCESS. It takes a long, long time, a lot of tenacity, and a great deal of introspection, soul searching, and faith that God will provide something better... in order to do it successfully, completely, and with true healing.

Same circumstance

I was wondering how you got through the soul searching process. Your story sounds very similar to mine. I m currently struggling with giving up the drug and I'm curious how you were able to achieve this step. Grateful for any advise

How did you walk away? How

How did you walk away? How did you deal with the pain?

Really interested to hear

Really interested to hear views on this as I am in the same position.


What a difficult situation, I have a similar thing going on

6 year affair

This describes my situation exactly. My husband has been with the AP for over 6 years. Multiple break ups. Most recent is only a few days ago. I catch him, he claims to end it, I catch him, he claims to end it.....I'm hoping this time is it. He's actually taking some initiative to get some help. I have moved him out of the bedroom but not the house. Hoping that with help, he can break this very destructive cycle. This affair has been slowly destroying both of us. I told him at midnight tonight, New Years, it's a new year, no mistakes have been made, it's a chance to make it right. If anyone who has been here and is on the other side would be willing to mentor us, we would greatly appreciate it.

Evolution of types of affairs

Is it possible for the affair to progress from emotional to falling in love to love addiction? I feel like that has been my path.

Of course

Of course it describes your situation. It’s general, all-econompassing, unspecific advice. It’s like reading the horoscope: there’s always something that resonates.


This describes my emotional affair. I reconnected with a former boyfriend from college. We saw each other a few times and quickly realized feelings were developing. Nothing happened. We disconnected and only remained in contact via Facebook. Then after several years, we saw each other again, and it hit us both like lightning rods. I have had a struggling marriage before we connected. My husband and I argue a lot. Our children are teenagers now, and I wonder if I am staying it for them. I feel I fell out of love a long time ago OR am I blinded by the connection I feel with this other. I don't know how to proceed, AND I don't want to hurt anyone, my husband, my children, my AP or myself.


I know its been a year since you are in this situation how all of this end?

I can't imagine it getting better.

I have lost all hope, this is my husband exactly. He is miserable and has re-written our story, we are only 2.5 months out from discovery but he has pretty much left me for dead. He won't stop seeing her, talking to her, sleeping with her. I has been going on for 6 months at least, he told me he had a crush on her the whole time he has worked at his current job.
I feel that there is no support out there for someone in my case, all the support is for people who want to work on things and the unfaithful that wants to stay. There is no help for someone who has literally been abandoned by their spouse. I am going through with my divorce because I can not keep being blamed for everything. I'm so sad and feel so alone.

I am in the same spot you are

I am in the same spot you are with my husband of almost 9 years (together for 15)... 5 months ago my husband told my ILYB and that we were roommates and he was done with our marriage... Almost 2 months ago he confessed his emotional affair with a "good friend" of mine. He told me he loves her and wants to pursue a relationship with her, she is also married with kids. Her husband is aware of the affair and moved out shortly after discovery because she refused to end it. I have endured lying and blame from my husband and of course re-writing of our history to justify his actions. I have apologized for my part in neglecting him and not truly making him feel desired and for putting the kids first. But he took that as I was an awful partner for 15 years.. About 1 month ago I asked him to leave to save some of my dignity and sanity. His affair only intensified after he left and I am now convinced that he will actually marry this awful woman. We barely speak and he has withdrawn from our kids, he sees them everyday for short periods of time but does not have the relationship he had with them just 6 months ago! I have started working on myself since he left and do feel better about the situation from my stand point. I can't change his mind and can only change how I handle things... So at this point I feel like he has made his decision (even though I think he's a moron for choosing some horrible person over his family) and I need to make decisions that are in the best interest for me and my children!
I truly hope you find peace and know that there is nothing that you did that made him cheat... He has flaws within himself that he needs to fix otherwise he will be doomed to repeat history over and over regardless of what relationship he is in .. even with the new love of his life (cue major eye roll). Cheating is a direct reflection of the cheater not the spouse!


Me too, we’ve had 11 wonderful years just the two of us, his affair started while I was 7 months pregnant, and ended when the baby was 2 months old, he’s now 4 months old and I’m preparing myself for single motherhood. I’m so lost and abandoned.

Me too :-(

My husband blindsided me and said he didn’t want to be married to me when I had a 2 mth old, 2, 5 and just turned 8 yr old.
He went on one last business trip a mth. Before our baby was born and that’s where I pinpoint a change. He still denies an affair but I know enough info (he doesn’t know what I know). I believe they got physical on that trip, then he stuck around while baby born but he was different, and then he left me. While he was still in the home during the separation process he’d say stuff like, I’m not going to divorce you until I’m ready to remarry. Who talks like that just coming out of a 17 yr relationship. Someone who’s already in love and setting the stage. He’s re written history saying the whole marriage was horrible. He’s now brought the woman around saying they met in the summer, and now he’s introduced her to our young children. How can this woman even come around the poor little kids who she participated in destroying their family. I’m devastated. He’s so mean to me. Was cheating and leaving not enough. He says I forced him to leave he bc of how I treated him. That Im a failure of a wife and a failure of a mother. It’s incomprehensible how he could be like this. Like I’m literally a piece of garbage he threw away. 17 yrs and 4 kids mean nothing to him.

Lost and confused, our

Lost and confused, our situations sound so similar. I am 3 months since Dday.
H has no interest in working on marriage. He is willing to give up everything so he can see where the relationship with OW can go.
We have been married 18 yrs, together for 25. Two kids 14 & 16.

I asked him to leave two weeks ago and feel their relationship has intensified. He saw the kids for two hours last week in total.

It is like he walked out and never looked back.

I am heartbroken.

How are things for you?

I feel you

Im here with you I know first hand your pain

How did it all end up in the

How did it all end up in the end? I experienced something similar

Going through the process of killing the addiction with the drug

I was the unfaithful wife. The encounter with the 3rd person came as a surprise, and similar to some of the other commenters, I felt drawn to the attention, admiration, and recirpocated desire from the other person. It was a rollercoaster of emotions for everyone involved. My husband and I went to a number of couples therapy sessions. At one point, I kept thinking things would never get better with my husband, he wasn't the guy I deserved to be with, etc. etc. Yes, my husband and I had a number of things to work on (like communicating better, actually being kind to one another, supporting each other, paying attention to one another, etc.), but I kept sabotaging the relationship because I kept thinking HE was the one who had to change to make us work. Actually, WE both needed to change, and especially ME. I needed to own up to the person I was/became. I needed to own up to all the lies. I needed to be honest with myself and my husband. I had to look myself in the mirror and ask myself, why am I so drawn to this other person. Why do I crave love from another person? Do I not love myself? Because I knew that if I left my husband for this other person I barely know, I knew deep down I was running away from my problems and I will only experience the same problems again with the new person. Once I acknowledged it and sat with the person I had become, I was finally able to be on the road to recovering my relationship with myself and my husband. Once I did that, it was easier to cut ties with the 3rd person, but it was painful. It was like cutting the drug from your life and I felt like a demon had possessed my mind, I was afraid of it, yet I craved it. I still think of the other person every now and then, but my relationship with myself and my husband has never been stronger. I'm grateful that my husband never left me, that he continued asking for us to keep trying to find love with myself and with us again. I'm also grateful that I knew deep down, I didn't want to leave my husband either. I love him, and he loves me. Love always wins. Looking forward, if there's one thing I know now... it's naive to take your relationship with our significant other for granted and assume that you or your partner would never cheat. I never thought I would, but at my weakest moment, when I craved attention and love so much, I got it from someone unexpected. My husband and I are more vocal about our needs, attentative towards one another, more affectionate, and more responsive. He is the best person I could imagine myself to spend my life with.

Thank you so much for the

Thank you so much for the encouragement. My wife is similar to you and while I know that it's a marathon sometimes it feels hopeless. Thank you again for sharing since there is so little resources for betrayed husband's. To read your heart helped me to understand that even in the most hopeless moments, that there still is light. May God bless you and your marriage!

How long has it been??

Hi, I was also the unfaithful wife and my husband and I went to Counseling and worked through it too. It has been almost 2 1/2 years and I still feel sad and guilty. We are at a point now that we hardly ever talk about it and we are happier and healthier than we have been in a long time. And I too had been “pushed away” by my husband for years and felt lonely and connected with an old friend who made me feel so loved again. It was so hard to walk away and some days it hurt to breath.. but I could have left but once my husband knew and he was soo hurt and I knew instantly that I made a huge mistake and that he did love me, so I stayed. But it kills me that I even did that to him. I feel like he will never look at me the same, like deep down I’ve tainted our marriage. again we don’t talk about it, he’s never thrown it in my face, and we are happy. But will I feel this guilt forever? I know in my heart that if he didn’t push me away I never would have cheated, but it still haunts me that I did that.. have you forgiven yourself??

How long has it been...

Thank you for sharing your story. I just found out that my wife had an affair 15 years ago, and it hurts like it was yesterday. Let me start off with I cheated 1st in the relationship while we were dating and she forgave me (I DO NOT SWEEP THIS UNDER THE RUG). We got married and 5 years later amd she met a guy at work that showed her alot of attention. I was working alot to keep the bills paid and she had an affair - in our home. It lasted for about 3 months, everytime I went on 3rd. I figured it out 15 years ago and confronted her about it, she denied it while it was going on.She wanted to tell me after it ended (or after he rejected her offer for a relationship), but I told her not to and we moved on I pried for details because my imagination was running wild, and she gave me them. I really am hurting about it, I just got some antidepressants to try to help control my array of emotions. She didn't disclose everything at 1st, said she didn't want to hurt me. But the more truth I uncovered, the more I didn't believe some of her responses.Don't withhold information from the spouse you cheated on, it will do more harm than good. I hope the pain eases up, but to be honest I am a mess. I have missed alot of time from work and since discovery, I haven't worked a whole week. I know, I know, I know that I opened the door 1st....but in our home while I'm at work, talking to me while sitting next to him while he gropes you? Talking to me on the phone while with him? Having unprotected sex with him even though we tried to have kids for 5 years? When does the movie stop playing, when do the tears slow down, when can I be happy again? I love her with all of my heart, and again it was 15 years ago, but I am really hurting.

re: “ i know in my heart that

re: “ i know in my heart that if he didn’t push me away I never would have cheated”

i know you are in pain. However, this is so insulting. Please own up to your choices, and do not blame the betrayed.

A month ago I found out my

A month ago I found out my husband has had a six week affair. Our marriage was not in a good way for some time, we lost communication and intimacy and our sex life was dying. I read this over and he thinks he is in love but I and a few others around him think it’s Limerence, he looked for what we lacked and found it in her and her situation is complex as she wants to leave her husband but o think she needs someone to move onto as she has done this with a married man before. It’s not what I know to be love, it’s all about what this woman does for his ego and how he had to save her from her awful husband and be a hero.
He made the decision to stay with me, but then he doubts the decision and goes back on the no contact thing and contacts her. Then it’s decision time again and he chooses to remain in our marriage. We’ve done this about four times now. When he is with me he is attentive affectionate and we are communicating well and becoming intimate. He just cannot seem to stop messaging her- recently it’s shifted from needing to talk to her all the time and wanting to go drive to be with her (she’s an hour away) to messaging her only to check she was ok. Is this progress? Is it just him having his cake and eating it too? When we argue about anything he suddenly “changes his mind” and tells me he should be with me not her. Then once he is calm he is sorry and tells me how much he loves me and he isn’t going anywhere.

Love or lust??

I've been with my husband for over 27 years. We've had a simple but good marriage. I found out 3 months ago that my husband was having and affair with someone at work..and someone that is much younger than he is. (he is 46 and she's 24). Over the summer I started to feel a disconnect from my husband and couldn't figure out why. I questioned him over and over again.. All the signs were right in front of me but I just didn't see it. He still showed me some affection but it just wasn't the same. In 2016 we both embarked on a weight-loss journey and we both loss a significant amount of weight.. I felt that our relationship blossomed. Almost like we were back into the honeymoon phase. We didn't fight, we enjoyed working out together several times a week and the sex was pretty good in my opinion. A few weeks before finding out about the affair I had numerous conversations with him trying to "figure out where I stood in his life"... Many many tears were shed... But I just didn't see it. The day before I found out about his affair he left because of another talk I was having with him trying to figure out where I stood in his life and that he wasn't giving me what I needed and he couldn't handle it anymore. The following day I called him and that's when he told me that he did something he shouldn't have. The next 2 weeks were pure hell... Me trying to save my marriage and him being "confused" about his feelings. So much happened during those 2 weeks that would be too long to share on here but through it all, he always said that he did love me. He wrote me text saying how much he does love me and will always love me... And that I was a beautiful person inside and out... And that it took a person like me to forgive like I do.... He mentioned how he lost sight of what was in front of him the whole time. After losing his dad the year before it got him thinking about death and how life is short and not guaranteed.. And it led him down a path he couldn't control. I could see he was so broken but just couldn't give her up. On the last week I called him asking for a decision as I couldn't be left hanging anymore. That is when he told me that he wasn't coming home. He was throwing everything away to be with her. Come to find out... She was engaged to someone else (another long story on how that came about) my husband truly thought that she had broken it off with her fiancee because she had moved out and was living with a friend. Once the fiancee found out(unfortunately he found out through me) he approached my husband in a non friendly manner and definitely gave him a scare... He broke it off with her the next morning and came home. Saying he wanted his family back.

He has been home since Nov 29th and has been fully engaged in MY healing and has answered so many of the questions I had about his affair with her. He has shown so much remorse and tells me that he is fully committed to me... And still to this day he handles all of my roller coaster of emotions very well and has NEVER once blamed any of the affair on me. In fact he tells me that it really had nothing to do with me... It was all him and how he messed up. (he told me this before he made the decision to leave me as well).

With the way he is handling things and how caring he has been towards me... We have been able to maintain an intimate relationship and have focused so much time on each other since this time.. Even to the point that we had a weekend get away in January. Maybe I jumped back in too soon but I felt it was how I needed to handle it. When we discuss the affair there are no raised voices and we can talk with respect.

But I am still dealing with so many emotions, anxiety and fear of losing him again. He tells me often that this is where he wants to be and that he will never hurt me like that again. I want to beleive him but I see so many comments that they often stray again. My heart wants to trust him but my head says not to be too naiive.

Emotional rollercoaster pure emotional hell!

Oct 16 th of 2008 my boyfiend of 12 years who I am still madly in love with gave me the first suspicions that things were off big time in our relationship.It took him 10 days and 3 different and separate confrontations for him to finally tell me he had slept with another woman.In those 10 days the truth of his infidelity went from it happened once and it was a mistake to I love you and always will but I have feelings for her and may be in love with her.I have still kept contact from that mid October day up until today and have continued sleeping with him and letting him back into my life 9 separate times with every time ending the same with the man I love choosing the other woman every time over the course of the last 4 month.I am a complete and total wreck and have been for months and I feel like I am losing it and my shattered heart has been through hell and It won't heal and I can't graap

What do I do

My wife cheated on me 15 years ago and I just found out today. I had caught her in this guy back then but they both swore it was nothing sexual.
I would ask her throughout the years from time to time and finally she broke down and came clean. I was devastated. I ended up finding out it was her old high school boyfriend. We been together 28 years.
I just dont know how to get pass that she cheated and lied for years about it.
Are relationship has been the strongest its ever been these last four years.
I just cant get the thoughts of her being sexual with another guy.

What type of affair was it?

Our free Affair Analyzer provides you with insights about your unique situation and gives you a personalized plan of action.
Take the Affair Analyzer