February 23, 2021
What strikes me about an affair, not the person you’re having the affair with so much, but the actual affair, is that it becomes the center of your existence. It’s everything you think of, it’s everything you exalt about everything else in your life.
You may very well not be I love with the person; in fact, it is unusual if you are. That’s not what affairs are about. Affairs are about selfishness and short-sightedness. They’re about the deliberate subjugation of everything that is good and right and important and meaningful in life.
You may not think about the affair all the time, but you think about the affair more than you think about anything else. Every time you give or receive affection from your partner, the emotions associated with the affair fill your mind. You’re transported back to the intimacy of being with that person. And then, after being back there, you think of the one you’re with right now, and you don’t know what to think.
You grasp at justifications just beyond reach, desperate for an understanding that eludes. You may feel justified. You may feel regret. You may feel guilt. You may feel small. You may feel unloved, worthless, ugly. Or, going back to that original place, you may feel justified. That’s the easiest way to make it all OK. To think you deserve to be doing this awful destructive thing you’re doing. The reason why doesn’t really matter. It’s how you fool yourself into somehow thinking you have a right.
Affairs are easy to justify. Because relationships are really really hard. Hell, I’ve never had a successful one. Affairs are just as easy for me, even easier for me, and I can justify them because I’m not the one that’s cheating. But, actually, I’m cheating myself. I’m robbing myself of the opportunity for something good and right and enduring and fulfilling. But that’s not how I see it. I feel justified. That’s the easiest way to make it all OK. I think I deserve to be doing this awful destructive thing I’m doing. Because if I don’t want to be alone, in my selfish short-sightedness, it doesn’t feel like I have any other option.
Feelings are real, but they can’t be trusted. Doing the right thing is honorable, but we just don’t. Sometimes, but not sometimes.