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Three years ago, I had passionate sex with a married man (I’m also married). It was the kind of sex and attraction that was out of this world — one that left me craving for more. And so be it. We have caught up yearly since then. This made me fall for him even more… and he now tells me that he just can’t see me anymore because the guilt is killing him, but that I have left him with some very fond memories. Do you think he will be back for more?

Thank you for the opportunity to serve.

I admit, I am curious about the motive behind your question. For example, are you wondering if he will come back for more… based on the ego’s desire to be “irresistible”, and the proof being he simply “can’t help” but come back for more? Or are you wondering if he will come back for more because you want some closure? Since I can’t know for sure which it is for you, let’s take a look at both — starting with the ego’s desire to be irresistible.

Here’s the thing…

Sex within affairs can be extremely intense, exciting and exhilarating — like the first time you skydive. The forbiddance, the taboo, the fear of being caught, all play a part in producing a lot of adrenaline and other high octane type chemicals into the bloodstream, mimicking the euphoric effects of a narcotic. And so it’s no surprise to find that many people do in fact use affairs like a drug (to escape from reality), and many affair partners are seen like a drug dealer (supplying the pleasure).

The challenge?

Just like how narcotics can only create artificial highs (not real happiness), so do affairs. What it boils down to is this: pleasure and happiness are two very different things.

So while pleasure makes you feel good, it’s also fleeting… and usually comes at a price. So what is the price of all that intense pleasure produced by affairs?

You guessed it. Guilt!

And there’s where the real conflict is created, and why almost all affair partners can expect to experience some type of internal tug-of-war between the pleasurable feelings produced by the affair sex and the unpleasant feelings produced by guilt.

Sadly, the longer they stay in the affair, the more the struggle builds. Until eventually, they are forced to make a choice: continue the guilt-producing behavior or abandon it.

Seems to me that your affair partner has made his choice. He has chosen to avoid the guilt-producing behavior rather than continue it. And sometimes, that can leave the other affair partner with a lot of confusion and unanswered questions.

Questions like:

  • They said they loved me, so how can they simply walk away?
  • What we had was so special; how could they want to go on without me?
  • They told me things they never shared with other people… didn’t it mean we are destined to be together?
  • We had an “out of this world” type of connection; how can they live without it?
  • Now that it’s over, does that mean the words were lies? Were the feelings false? Was it all just an illusion?

And perhaps the most perplexing question:

  • Why wasn’t the sex, intensity, connection and depth of emotion we shared, enough to keep them hooked, to keep them coming back, and to ensure they choose me (or affair sex) above everything else including family, integrity or self-respect?

And that last question is the real pain point at the end of the affair… because it often leads to the realization that you might be the one at the losing end of that power struggle.

So what is the power struggle I am talking about?

Well, as stated above, affairs, by nature, are both intense pleasure-producersas well as massive guilt-producers. They put people in an emotional tug-of-war between these two: pleasures at one end, guilt at the other end. The push and pull between these two creates a lot of tension, stress and pain.

Here’s the thing…

Because guilt is such an incredibly unpleasant emotion, people will do almost anything to avoid it. In fact, if human emotions have a rating scale like earthquakes do, guilt would probably rate 9.8 on the pain scale. So the question of “which will people eventually choose,” is not so hard to predict. In the end, most people will choose to abandon the guilt-producing behavior — despite how much pleasure it creates for them. This is why most affairs are in fact doomed to fail.

So am I suggesting that all who enter affairs set themselves on a collision course with loss and abandonment? Yes, that’s exactly what I am saying. Today, you’re having to face that moment, you’re having to deal with this reality, and it could be that you’re not ready to deal with it yet, which brings us to the second possibility behind your question: closure.

If your question is motivated by the desire to have closure — maybe you’re wondering if it’s really over — then here’s a couple of things to consider.

Your closure is not HIS decision… it’s YOURS. However, as long as you leave the door open, as long as you keep “hope alive” that he could come back for more… as long as you mistake the addicting quality of affair sex as proof of your desirability, then you set yourself on a path to pining and misery. And since that’s not the best future you can create for yourself…

Here’s a few suggestions:

1. Maybe it’s time to let go of the affair you’re no longer having? To help you do this, you might want to consider my coaching session Dismantling Emotional Affairs. In that session, I will coach you through the process of letting go of the wish, the hope, and the fantasy of a future that’s not in your own best interest to have.

2. Maybe it might help if you don’t make the end of the affair so much about “you”, but rather, make it about respecting his decision to make a higher choice for himself. Remind yourself, he’s choosing to abandon the “guilt-producing behavior” and not necessarily you as a person.

Perhaps most importantly…

3. Keep in mind that whoever you think you are… you are way more than that.In other words, you are way more than a passionate sex partner, you are way more than a temporary “escape from reality”, you are way more than an excitement or adrenaline supplier, and you are way more than a guilty pleasure to be kept on the back burner.

In other words…

Passionate sex is NOT what makes you irresistible, and being in an affair is not the place to find that proof of what makes you valuable and indispensable to others.

So with that, I leave you with a new question. If passionate sex will not provide proof of your indispensability to others, then what does? Let the answer guide you back home.

Until we speak again…

Remember… Love Wins!

Suzie Johnson

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This blog is a non-judgmental and love-based conversation about how to deal with the after effects of infidelity. If you are looking for a place to lash out, vent anger or spew hate, this is not the place for you.

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