I’m not even sure which one I’m writing to at this stage, there’s been a few, so I’m going to start with the ones who knew that the person they became involved with had a partner and a family.
If I’m being honest you’re the ones I hold least respect for, you see you knew about us but you didn’t care, your selfish desires were at the forefront of your mind and satisfying your immediate wants to fill vacuous spaces within seemed all that mattered—not once giving a moments thought to the destruction and fallout infidelity has on others, (including the cheater believe it or not). How long does the buzz last for I wonder? Surely there must be a rebound effect, is it worth the pain? I can almost imagine how good it must have felt for you though, the intoxication from being the object of affection/attention—enjoying the adrenaline rush of pursuit and conquer—all the while without one skerrick of reality or responsibility, simply relishing in affair fantasyland.
It truly must be amazing, you must have felt so important and special—momentarily.
You most probably felt like you cared about my cheater and this was reciprocal, heck you might have even felt like it was true love. Perhaps you thought that you really understood him whilst I just didn’t. You we’re always “there” for him—did you assume that I wasn’t? And of course the illicit sex you were having was wild and amazing compared to married sex that’s boring and mundane (another assumption)—but I know, you really “got” each-other didn’t you. Sound familiar?
Did you ever stop to wonder what this was all based on?
I L L U S I O N
None of it was real yet you thought you had some magical connection, maybe in some disassociated way you thought you were just having fun. The harsh reality is that all you had was an illusion—built on deceit, neediness, entitlement, avoidance, insecurity and delusion. Smoke and Mirrors honey…plus truckloads of denial!
If you really cared about the unfaithful you might have thought twice about what you were doing, you might have been curious to what was actually going on for them, perhaps even explored a little deeper into motives (yours and theirs)—rather than hoping you could build something amazing on the lust and limerence you both shared. Did you ever stop to think that someone cheating on their partner might actually be feeding you a whole lot of lies? Ahh of course, they wouldn’t lie to you because you had something special, right? Hmmmm, moving on…
And now to the affair partners I actually empathise with, you were a pawn in their game, you actually had no idea of this other persons world. You met someone charming, attractive, engaging, kind, adventurous, spiritual, generous, funny, attentive—and the list could go on. Sadly, unbeknownst to you, you were being groomed, deceived and used to fill the gaping black holes in their hearts. But hey you weren’t to know because the unfaithful are masters at coverup. So while I’m sorry for you—you also fell for the I L L U S I O N they were trying to sell—N.B. my apology doesn’t extend to those who saw and turned a blind eye to the wedding ring on their finger. If you saw the ring, chose to ignore and then continued to consume the carrot dangling in front of you then you can go straight to the first category of affair partner. No, the apology is not for you! You might have even continued the relationship because you guys were “just” friends, well, as soon as anyone adds “just” in any context it is minimising an action to suit a narrative. What is it exactly that you are getting or hoping to get out of this kind of friendship?
No, my apology is reserved for those self respecting individuals who discover that their possible love interest is actually in a relationship and then are secure enough to call out inappropriate behaviour or advances. They are courageous enough to walk away and abruptly end any emotional or romantic entanglement, they are dignified and have a strong sense of self-worth. To the ones who challenged the actions and motives of a potentially unfaithful acquaintance kudos for you, I respect you. Sadly I’ve yet to encounter too many people of this calibre but I’m 100% sure they exist.
Hey affair partners, this might be hard to hear but most of you only served the purpose of filling the void in a persons’ life. That person is someone who never learnt how to be emotionally mature, they didn’t learn how to self regulate, self soothe or engage in healthy conflict. They also never learned how to have healthy boundaries nor ask for what they needed. More than likely they are known people pleasers. They may have looked and acted with confidence and although present in adult bodies there is always an orphaned child trapped within.
Well I’ve got news for you, and it’s awesome news for betrayed spouses, once an unfaithful partner wakes up, grows up and begins the painful and confronting task of healing past wounds, affair partners are no longer needed because an unfaithful in true recovery is no longer looking for an easy fix to soothe their discomfort. They’re prepared to do whatever it takes for however long it takes to heal and they desperately want to distance themselves as far and wide from the chaos and confusion of infidelity as is possible. With time and diligence these people become the most amazing partners, parents and friends anyone could hope for.
For the ones who don’t make this monumental shift, what a shame you don’t get to experience the incredible freedom of true recovery. Also, if you’re an affair partner who lands the prize catch of an unhealed cheater, did you know that statistics show that 75% of these marriages end in divorce?
In closing here’s a public service announcement to any future affair partners for cheaters on the repeat cycle, they’re yours, take them—you are welcome—just be sure to have plenty of diapers, tissues and pacifiers on hand, you’re sure going to need them.
I wish you well,
You might also like to read Dearest Betrayed & Dear Unfaithful, or our complete memoir Beyond Betrayal, 28 Years, Lies-Deceit-Infidelity.