What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 211 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Question What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: Sometimes, when your spouse is having an affair, itís very difficult to think beyond tomorrow Ė much less well into the future. But once the shock wears off and the dust settles, many faithful spouses realize that this is exactly what they have to do. Because, in order to make a sound decision about the course of your marriage, it makes sense to consider what your marriage might look (and feel like) into the future. But this is often difficult to gage and itís a topic that you know is so important that you donít want to just guess at it.

I might hear from a wife who says: ďmy husband is begging me not to leave him because of his affair. I have agreed to wait a couple of months before I make a decision. But sometimes, I regret making this promise. I truly would like to save my marriage, but Iím not going to be naive about it either. My husband likes to pretend that we can just pick up our marriage like the affair never happened. I know that this is very short sighted. I know that this isnít reality. I have had friends who have dealt with the reality of an affair and it seems to me that almost all of them continue to struggle, long after the affair is over. Iím just wanting to understand what are the long term effects of an affair on a marriage? What does our long term future look like?Ē

This is a very difficult question to answer. Because honestly, the answers depend upon several variables like the depth of the deception, the length of the affair, the state of the coupleís marriage after the affair, and the amount of work done during recovery.

The Long Terms Effects Of An Affair Can Be Both Positive And Negative. But The Marriage Is Rarely Completely Unchanged: While the truth is that itís very likely that you are not going to have the same marriage after the affair, what is often up in the air is whether this will weaken or strengthen your marriage. To be fair, Iím going to list common negative and positive long term effects after an affair because I feel like both are completely possible. Honestly, the course that you end up on is, at least in some ways, up to you and your spouse and how much work and effort youíre willing to undertake.

Some people donít believe their spouse deserves their efforts and this is a fair argument. I understand it. Iím not trying to tell you what you should do. Iíd just like to give you a glimpse into possible outcomes, keeping in mind that all couples are different.

Negative Long Term Effects Of An Affair: I would say that most every couple knows those neighbors or mutual friends who have a marriage that is rocked by an affair but who never truly recovers. Although this couple stays together, itís often clear that they are doing so reluctantly and that there is still a good deal of anger present. There can also be resentment by both parties. The faithful spouse has resentment for obvious reasons. She has been wronged. But the cheating spouse can feel resentful too. Because he can feel as if heís going to have to pay for this mistake forever. And he can feel as if his spouse wants to make him grovel for the rest of his life, no matter how remorseful he is and no matter how much he tries to make amends.

In short, this couple is beaten down. Both of the are well aware that this isnít a great marriage and that neither one is happy or at peace. But, they just accept this as their lot in life. Often, they really do not want to live this way. They would like for things to be better. But they just do not know how to cross over toward healing. And so they feel stuck, frustrated, and a little bit angry most of the time. At the same time, they donít want to let their spouse off of the hook by just walking away.

Positive Long Term Effects Of An Affair: I hope that the above couple of paragraphs werenít too depressing. There is some good news. First, couples like the ones described above donít have to live this way forever. You can always chose a new way. You can always begin to heal even when you think it has been way too long.

And, some couples actually find themselves in better marriages than before the affair. I know that this is hard to believe. When a therapist told me this, I thought she was only trying to sell her services to us, at one of the most awful times in our marriage. But, with time, I can tell you that this is true. Iíve seen it in my own life and in the life of others. It is not easy. It is not automatic. And itís also not constant. There are ups and downs. Iím not going to tell you that every day in my marriage is rosy and that I never think about the affair because that wouldnít be true.

But I can tell you that bad days are mostly rare. In fact, our communication today is actually stronger than it ever was. We speak up if there is something wrong because we know what can happen when we become complacent. I have also made big changes in myself and in the way that I look at marriage and all relationships. My relationship with my husband is something I chose. It is not something that I depend on to define myself. Never again will I depend on someone else for my own happiness and self esteem. I trust my husband. I do not believe that he will cheat again. But if he does, itís not going to make me think less of myself. I spent a lot of time building myself up and becoming the type of person that I want to be. In part because of the affair, I have learned that all I can really control is myself and the way that I live my life. This has changed my outlook on control. I used to want to control my husband, keep him on a short leash, and make him feel guilty if he disappointed me. Now, I realize that this is manipulation based on fear. And itís not the way that I want to live my life. I can be responsible for my own happiness. And in turn, this has opened up our relationship so that we feel much less pressure. We know that we are both here because we want to be. And this really has transformed our relationship.

I hope this article has shown you that there are almost always long term consequences of an affair. Your marriage is rarely unchanged. But those changes can be positive and negative.


ďBut not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood.Ē ― Robert E. Howard
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post #2 of 211 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

IMO She way undersold the negative consequences of the affair...as for the WSs "resentment" - hard for me to feel sorry for them since they blew the whole thing up...can anyone add more either positive or negative to her list?

ďBut not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood.Ē ― Robert E. Howard
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post #3 of 211 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 05:03 PM
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

Quote:
By Truthseeker and katie
I’m just wanting to understand what are the long term effects of an affair on a marriage?
Your post above does a good job of describing some of the possible negative and positives of an affair. I will condense those negatives and positives and add a few of my own below:

Negative: “Anger-Resentment”….

I will add trapped and with those negatives it lessens the positives you can give the children. You may have less trust, less admiration in the betrayer, and have unsettled security.

Positives: “Better communication, prompt you to make positive changes in yourself, become more self-sufficient in your self-esteem, you get a better understanding of the fact that you can only control yourself and not others
.

I will add that you can be prompted to build in your spiritual life and be more of a giver to your family. By becoming more self-sufficient you have less fear of betrayal and gain in security. You get strong enough that you know that you can live with them or without them.



Quote:
What does our long term future look like?”
As you have stated this depends on several factors as you have described below

Quote:
Because honestly, the answers depend upon several variables like the depth of the deception, the length of the affair, the state of the couple’s marriage after the affair, and the amount of work done during recovery.
In my case with some success in reconciliation, this is what it looks like:

You eventually get to the point that the betrayal does not affect your life to any great degree. It will always affect you in some ways but not to a degree that keeps you from having a good life.

You are forced to give up some of the idealism that you may have had about marriage. Some of these ideals are:

That you can always trust your spouse to never stab you in the back.
That your spouse will always have your best interest at heart.
That your spouse has very strong integrity and strong beliefs that they will hold on to no matter what.
The traditional marriage vows as listed below do not apply to your marriage any longer:


Quote:
Do you promise to love her/him, comfort her/him, honor and keep her/him for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, and forsaking all others, be faithful only to her/him, for as long as you both shall live.

As a BS, I have been in R for over 20 years and I have a good life almost all of the time. I have a very good relationship with my children and grandchildren and other family members. My marriage is good most of the time, satisfactory at others times, and poor on very rare occasions.

I have heard some people say that the marriage after betrayal can be great. That may be true for some people but it is not true in my case. I do not have to have a great marriage to have a good life and that is what my long term future as proven so far.

Hope my post helps someone.

Last edited by Mr Blunt; 04-09-2017 at 05:08 PM.
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post #4 of 211 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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Originally Posted by Mr Blunt View Post
d most of the time, satisfactory at others times, and poor on very rare occasions.

I have heard some people say that the marriage after betrayal can be great. That may be true for some people but it is not true in my case. I do not have to have a great marriage to have a good life and that is what my long term future as proven so far.

Hope my post helps someone.[/COLOR]
It is a very helpful and VERY REAL post...and I agree in my experience the marriages that do stay together after infidelity seem to be like this - the BS usually takes satisfaction from other areas of life and not the marriage - wise words Mr Blunt - that you do not need to have a great marriage for a good life...I think in most if not all cases you can never put it all back together again but it can be good enough to enjoy other aspects of life...WSs really have no idea how they permanently damage things do they?

ďBut not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood.Ē ― Robert E. Howard
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post #5 of 211 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 05:38 PM
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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Originally Posted by Mr Blunt View Post
..
Excellent post mr blunt, this is how i feel 4 years into R. I am so busy with a great career and hobbies that my M is no longer what i need in life to be happy, its just a part of it. I dont think the prior notion i had about M being your primary source was healthy at all.
I hardly think much about my wife A, i mean i havent forgot and little things cause some trigger here n there, but not too painful at all, just a faint memory easy to overcome. Our M is better in most regards, some hiccups here n there but cant expect perfection.
Marriage is hard, think about it, live with someone else your entire life, that may sound simple but its actually pretty hard when you consider is two different people, moods, attitudes, etc.....hell i cant get along with myself a lot of Times
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post #6 of 211 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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Excellent post mr blunt, this is how i feel 4 years into R. I am so busy with a great career and hobbies that my M is no longer what i need in life to be happy, its just a part of it. I dont think the prior notion i had about M being your primary source was healthy at all.
I hardly think much about my wife A, i mean i havent forgot and little things cause some trigger here n there, but not too painful at all, just a faint memory easy to overcome. Our M is better in most regards, some hiccups here n there but cant expect perfection.
Marriage is hard, think about it, live with someone else your entire life, that may sound simple but its actually pretty hard when you consider is two different people, moods, attitudes, etc.....hell i cant get along with myself a lot of Times
Has your perception of your wife been forever altered/ It seems so or am I wrong?

ďBut not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood.Ē ― Robert E. Howard
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post #7 of 211 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 06:25 PM
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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Truthseeker
WSs really have no idea how they permanently damage things do they?

I think that is very true pre-discovery of the affair. Most eventually discover the enormous damage after the consequences are very evident but then it is too late. One of the positives that can come from reading a forum like this is that maybe some will read this forum that have not committed betrayal and can get a glimpse of the devastation and change their attitudes and actions.

When spouses that have children betray they also damage innocent children, not just the spouse and themselves. Betrayal causes enormous damage for years and sometimes for a life time and all you mostly get from betrayal is you get your warped feelings, sexual organs, and ego tickled for short time.

What do you gain in the long run when you get all the illicit sex you want but lose your integrity and respect from your spouse and children?
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post #8 of 211 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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When spouses that have children betray they also damage innocent children, not just the spouse and themselves. Betrayal causes enormous damage for years and sometimes for a life time and all you mostly get from betrayal is you get your warped feelings, sexual organs, and ego tickled for short time.

What do you gain in the long run when you get all the illicit sex you want but lose your integrity and respect from your spouse and children?[/COLOR]
The effect on children is enormous...I know over a dozen children of infidelity..maybe more..about half have gone on to cheat themselves...adultery might end but the reverberations last for decades...there is no way to avoid the aftershocks of cheating...like I have seen written many times before "I hope a little bit of starange was worth it"

I've seen some posts here and on other sites where BSs go through all sorts of therapies to get over being cheating on.some of the most unbelievable cases I've seen is when spouses cheat in reasonably happy marriage - WTF is that about? How do you do that?

ďBut not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood.Ē ― Robert E. Howard
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post #9 of 211 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 08:01 PM
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Cool Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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Originally Posted by Mr Blunt View Post
Your post above does a good job of describing some of the possible negative and positives of an affair. I will condense those negatives and positives and add a few of my own below:

Negative: “Anger-Resentment”….

I will add trapped and with those negatives it lessens the positives you can give the children. You may have less trust, less admiration in the betrayer, and have unsettled security.

Positives: “Better communication, prompt you to make positive changes in yourself, become more self-sufficient in your self-esteem, you get a better understanding of the fact that you can only control yourself and not others
.

I will add that you can be prompted to build in your spiritual life and be more of a giver to your family. By becoming more self-sufficient you have less fear of betrayal and gain in security. You get strong enough that you know that you can live with them or without them.





As you have stated this depends on several factors as you have described below



In my case with some success in reconciliation, this is what it looks like:

You eventually get to the point that the betrayal does not affect your life to any great degree. It will always affect you in some ways but not to a degree that keeps you from having a good life.

You are forced to give up some of the idealism that you may have had about marriage. Some of these ideals are:

That you can always trust your spouse to never stab you in the back.
That your spouse will always have your best interest at heart.
That your spouse has very strong integrity and strong beliefs that they will hold on to no matter what.
The traditional marriage vows as listed below do not apply to your marriage any longer:





As a BS, I have been in R for over 20 years and I have a good life almost all of the time. I have a very good relationship with my children and grandchildren and other family members. My marriage is good most of the time, satisfactory at others times, and poor on very rare occasions.

I have heard some people say that the marriage after betrayal can be great. That may be true for some people but it is not true in my case. I do not have to have a great marriage to have a good life and that is what my long term future as proven so far.

Hope my post helps someone.
Certainly not with the vast majority of infidelity victims!

"To love another person is to see the face of God!" - Jean Valjean from Les Miserables

My Story! http://talkaboutmarriage.com/going-t...andonment.html

Last edited by arbitrator; 04-09-2017 at 11:42 PM. Reason: Edification/Mispelled Word
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post #10 of 211 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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Certainly not witch the vast majority of infidelity victims!
Agreed..I remember reading an article where the WW referred to her affair as a "cruel blessing" or some such nonsense but after her BH had his own affair it wasn't such a "cruel blessing" - see how that works? Convenient isnt it?


ďBut not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood.Ē ― Robert E. Howard
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post #11 of 211 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 08:56 PM
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

Ultimately it diminishes the institution of marriage. It makes people especially young people not want to get married. I think this is particularly true when the betrayal is egregious and the BS continues in the abusive relationship.
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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IMO She way undersold the negative consequences of the affair...as for the WSs "resentment" - hard for me to feel sorry for them since they blew the whole thing up...can anyone add more either positive or negative to her list?
You wonder what the resentment and pain does to people physically. What sickness is brought on by stress.
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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You wonder what the resentment and pain does to people physically. What sickness is brought on by stress.
Oh yeah - stress in general is a killer but this is stress on steroids...I've read so many posts here and on another site where the BS twists themselves into a pretzel to beat the stress....what really p!sses me off is when a WS complains about the stress they are under from their BSs pain and agony..have you ever read a post like that? Makes my blood boil - they blow up the house and then complain about the debris...

ďBut not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood.Ē ― Robert E. Howard
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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Ultimately it diminishes the institution of marriage. It makes people especially young people not want to get married. I think this is particularly true when the betrayal is egregious and the BS continues in the abusive relationship.
I've personally known and read of cases where there is not one AP but multiple APs or an LTA that spanned years or sex in the home or even the marital bed..you name it...I'm not quite sure what is left to save after a spouse has cross so many bright red lines of decency...

ďBut not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood.Ē ― Robert E. Howard
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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The effect on children is enormous...I know over a dozen children of infidelity..maybe more..about half have gone on to cheat themselves...adultery might end but the reverberations last for decades...there is no way to avoid the aftershocks of cheating...like I have seen written many times before "I hope a little bit of starange was worth it"
I talked about this in another post on here but I can attest to this. After my father cheated on my Mother and left when I was 7 I believe for the next 3 years I basically raised myself in a lot of ways. My schooling suffered my relationships with my friends suffered as I spent a lot of time alone and sad. It took me until the end of high school to catch up academically. I needed help but there was no one there to do that for about 3 years, I don't blame my Mother she was crushed.

I believe also part of why I ended up with my first love who I proposed to and who was cheating on me was because I didn't have a good frame of reference of a good relationship and in a lot of ways I settled for a women who was really a poor choice. She had poor boundaries and I overlooked them because honestly I didn't think I was worthy of a girl who was more solid. At the time I saw myself as a child of divorce, kind of an outsider and so was she. I romanticized the idea of two misfits. I also lacked confidence at the time.

My wife now comes from a much more stable family. Funny thing was her parents asked me about being a child of divorce and what I thought of that when I ask for her hand. Now THEY are divorcing. I wonder if that question was really not directed at me but her Mom to her father. My wife was definitely more successful in her younger years then I was. I think that comes from being in a stable environment.

Being cheated on caused me to look at a lot of the damage that my childhood did. The problems in my childhood were a direct result of my fathers cheating. I spent some time IC figuring that out.

My mother ended up marring my verbally abusive step-father which I think was partly because she had given up after what my Dad did. Her father died when she was very young and she never learned to pick good men. In a sense many of the problems can be traced to him and his death. My step-father also created havoc in my childhood. I think I would have been much more confident a lot quicker if I had had a stable environment to grow up in. I feel like in a lot of ways, educationally, emotionally, confidence-wise I was like 10 years behind.

I don't believe you can be a good parent and cheat on your kids Father or Mother. When WS say this this is just another of their delusions.
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