Daniel Linder, MFT
Leave my partner for the person I’m having an affair with?
A lot of times, when people are carrying on affairs, they’re very passionate; and maybe the sex is so great and they’re so intensely involved with each other that they begin to think that, since they’ve been questioning their other relationship all along, maybe there’s a basis for a real relationship here. Often they are thinking: “Should I leave my partner for the person I’m having an affair with?” They begin to think that maybe they’ve found something that really works only to find out that thinking about it in that light turns it into a whole new relationship. When they leave their lovers or their other relationships and they try to have a primary relationship with each other, it’s going to be no longer driven what’s missing in their lives. It’s going to be very challenging for the two of them to create intimacy or to create a new basis for the relationship. They’re going to be fish out of water. It’s going to be a totally different ballgame.
Everything that’s missing in your relationship, or the frustrations that are happening in your relationship that are making you want to get away from it and find something new, are distorting your perception of the person that you want to have an affair with. You’re thinking it’s much better because you’re coming from a place of what’s missing and not working. You project everything that’s missing from the old onto the new relationship, so one becomes negative and one becomes positive.
You don’t really have a realistic take on this person that you’re having an affair with. Your perception is skewed. It’s idealized. Your perceptions are favorably distorted. You’re selecting what you want to see and what works and not seeing all the negativities: potential conflicts, personality quirks. The issues you’re not seeing with the person you’re having an affair are those that you’re trying to escape from your old relationship. You don’t want to have conflicts with the person that you’re having an affair with; you just want to have excitement, passion, support, and adoration towards each other. It’s very one sided. It’s not a real relationship. It doesn’t operate in the confines of reality.
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