People who cheat are taking a risk and walking a fine line they frequently take it too far. They believe that time is on their side and they find themselves caught in a web that leads them to a place where they say, “I don’t know what to do”, and they don’t. Many say that their marriage is good and they are unable to identify any specific reasons why they should not end the affair and remain with their spouse. They are confused. Why?
Their confusion partially comes from the fact that at the moment they are enjoying the “experience” that the affair offers and they attribute their enjoyment almost exclusively to the affair partner. Feelings of entitlement and combined with grandiosity rage and they feel in control, powerful, often because they have two people who want to be with them, the affair partner and their spouse. So they are stuck and the Involved/Participating Partner often does nothing, paralyzed in fear. Often not wanting to be alone, the Involved/Participating Partner is dominated by the thought, “why leave an affair that feels good for a marriage that may not work?” So in their paralyzed state they neither end the affair, nor re-commit to rebuilding the long-term relationship.
The Hurt Partner may be aware of the affair and for their own reasons they choose to hang on. Boundaries are vague and the hurt partner is either hesitant or unable to express their expectations and needs. No doubt they are in their own state of paralysis. As a result the Hurt Partner fails to care for their emotional and spiritual self. I consider this enabling behavior since it gives the Involved/Participating Partner more time to become more entrenched in the affair. It also allows the Involved/Participating Partner off the hook because he/she does not have to take the the Hurt Partner seriously and they don’t. This can be damaging to the Hurt Partner as it often impacts their ‘s sense of self-esteem, intrinsic value and overall confidence.
In such cases, months can go by with no change and this allows the toxic situation to become more toxic. Often it, continues until the Hurt Partner reaches their breaking point and they conclude with sadness that they, “can’t do this anymore”. It is at that point that the rubber hits the road and the Involved/Participating Partner wakes up. Fantasy is replaced by reality and the situation comes to a head. The Involved/Participating Partner may beg for forgiveness and attempt to convince the Hurt Partner of how badly they want their family and the Hurt Partner back, but by this time it is often a case of too little too late and the marriage or common-law relationship comes to a bitter end.