You are not quite sure how you got yourself into the affair, and even less sure about how to get out of it. You love your paramour but hate the sneaking and cheating. You vacillate between ending the forbidden relationship and giving yourself totally to it. You feel intense emotions for your lover, but even as you tell yourself…or your lover…that everything is going to be wonderful, deep within a small voice says that it will not be.
When together with your lover, you feel an amazing blending of ecstasy and peace.
When alone, you feel guilt-ridden. Sadness and shame surface sporadically because you have not defeated your feelings of guilt about what you are doing. Instead, your own morality and integrity have tunneled deep inside you to war with your soul.
Your conscience wants to end the affair while your heart finds incredible fulfillment in the illicit relationship.
Earlier you tried a few times to end the relationship, but each time your willpower faded and your emotions dragged you back. You felt responsible for your lover; you feared that they would be decimated, or get sick, or lose everything if you went away. At times, you feared that if you ended the relationship, your lover would be so distraught that they might destroy you, your reputation, your family, or your finances. Though you wanted to do the right thing, ending the relationship was too difficult emotionally, mentally, or physically. With time, you gave up the idea of ending it and evolved into the situation that now controls you.
Secretly, you wish that your dilemma would somehow resolve itself without your having to do anything. You find yourself thinking that if your lover would walk away, you could get past this, but the idea of losing your lover terrifies you. If either or both of you are married, sometimes you think that if your spouse or your lover’s spouse found out, everything would be resolved without your having to make hard decisions. The situation would be bad for a while, but you would accept whatever path available to you after the shouting subdued. Maybe that would mean staying with your spouse. Maybe it would mean divorce occurs and you could be with your lover. Maybe it would mean being alone, but even that sometimes seems a better state than what you are in now.
Though you do not wish to admit it, occasionally you fantasize about your spouse or your lover’s spouse having a car accident, or dying from some natural cause. That would make things easy. Your children, friends, church, and everyone else would be by your side in mourning, and later all would rejoice in your marriage to your paramour. No one would ever know about the affair.
Those fantasies make the guilt worse. Sometimes you wonder if you are the same person you used to be, or even if you know who you are.
You may feel great love and trust for your paramour, but deep within there is fear.
You fear the future without your lover. You fear your future with your lover. You fear losing your children. You fear what you are becoming, and fear that you will never again be who you were. You fear God. You fear that if you do not end the affair, you will lose connection with certain family members and friends.