As is said above--EA, can be as bad or worse, as the heart is given to the other man----makes no differance tho---in the end its all inappreopriate---no matter which way it went--she gave herself to another man---basically saying forget the mge, forget the H., forget the kids
The EA IMO is harder to break then the PA.
I also think the EA is a deal breaker, I mean why try to love someone who loves someone else.
Were as the PA is just sex, in my case a band aid to help relieve a problematic marriage.
It can be argued that with a PA there is some sence of emotion that some need to have the sex, but I believe most of my WW OMs were just boytoys used by her and disgarded when any snece of commitment or emotion was expressed by OM.
Yes I'm weird, but the EA would have caused me to divorce my WW, b/c I was not going to fight for her. If she was confused or attempted to "fence sit" I would have been gone. Hell I was already gone it wouldn't have taken much to totaly bail on a already fragile marriage.
So when I confronted her she never had any emotion for the OM so it was easy for us to work on a healthier marriage. There wasn't an emotional influence that we had to deal with. If there was I'd be outa here.
I think a lot of times, it's difficult to separate the two, or the lines become blurred. It might start off as just physical, but after enough contact, it becomes emotional as well. Same on the other side... Enough texts and phone calls and sitting in a parked car talking leads to kissing, then petting, then sex...
I can say with absolute certainty my wife has never cheated in any/either way. But I can't agree that a non physical affair would be 'worse'. Why? People get passionate about all sorts of things, hobbies, friends, cooking, and a million other things. But it's not a watershed even like rolling around naked with someone.
I was a victim of the EA from my ex. And yes, I would have preferred a PA because the intimacy was the crushing blow. Knowing that they had first spoke about their "terrible spouses" and then it got more and more intimate.
To me that was the greatest betrayal I have ever experienced.
Eventually, it became a PA but that was just a confirmation and had very little impact compared to the EA.
For me a PA no matter whether it was a ONS or a result of an EA would be a complte deal breaker.
An EA depending on how far it progressed would be as well. EAs manifest themselves in many ways and go through stages. So I will leave this with, it depends.
These are just my boundaries. I completely understand the question however. You will find me urging husbands whose wives are in an EA to have a sense of urgency to engage it. First to engage it before it is past the point of no return and prior to it going to a PA. I realize people have their own boundaries. In either case though waiting is not the way to go. Some folks have the attitude of letting things burn out. I cannot even go there.
I suffered through my ex wife's EA/PA the first time I was married. With this wife, it was an EA. Its already agonizing enough when they give their heart to another person, to give their body as well is the deal breaker for me. It will not suffer the mind movies again. As a man, a PA on top of the EA, is so devastating to the self esteem. Was OM a better lover? Did she like him because he had a larger penis or something? Did she orgasm more with him? Did she do stuff with him in bed that she wouldn't do for me? The list goes on and on. Its devastating when sex life with the WW is conservative and she won't try or do anything new, then you have the mind movies of her having hot and wild sex with an OM. Yeah, the mind movies would be too much and I wouldn't want to go through that again. Hence, a PA is my deal breaker, and that's the ONLY reason this one is getting a shot at R.
If circumstances were different, and OM was in the country or at least close by, I know she would have been banging his brains out.
I was going to post something similar. There are no "stages of Affairs". An affair is an affair, no labels attached. They will all lead to sex and consequences are devastation to the human being, to all persons involved. People get even killed for that.
Without getting into a long drawn out discussion I just want to weigh in that in my opinion there are definite stages to an EA.
I actually believe that low level EAs are rampant. Folks may not wish to call them affairs. That is where we probably have a different view. I think most are seen as very close opposite sex friendships. But they can go through some very definite stages.
At some point it becomes unfaithful. This is probably what you and I would agree on as a true affair and as being bad, simply because this is pretty much a ticking time bomb leading to the almost inevitble PA. So we vehemntlky agree on this, that once things get here it is just bad and the steps / stages really do not matter. It is an affair.
There is a big difference between being very happy to be around someone and banging them at some secret place of their choosing. The affair starts somewhere in between.
But we see this in my boundaires. Past the very early EA I am not about stage. It is all bad after that. It is then a definite betrayal.
EA makes WW find it difficult to recommit to the M. PA makes BH find it difficult to recommit to the M.
In other words, with EA, you will find WW having difficult time readjusting to your demand for NC and reconnect with you as she just cannot turn off her feeling for OM. With PA, she may find it easy to kick OM to the curb and seek R, but you will have more difficult time accepting her back as we men are wired to feel disgusted with the taintedness of our Ws.