5. "Ending the affair was a process." When I found out about Doug's affair I wanted him to stop all contact with her. He was unable to do that immediately, even though I was deteriorating both physical and mentally before his eyes. He said it took time, I guess they had to wean themselves from each other, almost like being addicted to a drug. Did I just say addiction? Hmmm.
6. "We have nothing in common anymore." Of course we don't. You are so busy living a second life that you really don't have time to ask me out to lunch, go to a concert or play tennis. And of course it is so easy to talk about what you and your affair partner have in common, though you really don't have to do any of them.
7. "I love you, but I’m not in love with you." What does that mean? That after thirty years together you don’t have that exciting, fresh feeling that we used to have? That instead you have deep, committed feelings that come with commitment, history, acceptance and honesty? That it may not produce that tingling feeling you had when you were a teenager (which eventually ends, but with time and effort you experience a much more meaningful kind of love)?
8. "Kids are resilient." While Doug was involved in the affair, he believed that if our marriage ended our kids would be OK. I knew that if this happened our children would never be the same. Not only would their future be affected, they would have looked at their past as a lie. All the good memories would have been viewed differently and they would have also carried enormous guilt believing that this may have been their fault.
9. "We are just friends." If you were just friends, then why is it that I never met her, and why did you never tell me when you were with her? If you were just friends, why was your relationship based on lies and secrets?
There you have it. I'm sure eventually I can come up with many more! When I do, you can be sure I'll post them here.
Doug&Linda have a blog—Emotional Affair Journey—where they write about infidelity and their experiences from Doug's emotional affair with a co-worker. You can also follow them on Twitter at http://twitter.com/emotionalaffair.