Soon they realized that a very intimate and emotionally close bond had developed.
It definitely felt like much more than just a friendship. Linda, who was my patient, said that neither of them wanted to disrupt or leave their primary relationship, or "mess it up." So, they chose to keep it platonic.
The available partner believes that the other really will leave his or her spouse, given enough time and patience. " But that takes two equally available and committed people.
Jane, divorced for several years, began seeing a married man. I've seen many women and women over the years (though it's usually women caught in this trap) who truly believe their lovers will leave their spouses. Jane eventually realized that her lover never had any intention of leaving.
Aside from the challenge of remaining on the chaste side of the sexual borderline, such "lovers" must hope that their primary partners continue to believe they're telling the truth.
And there's a risk that what they're not finding in their primary relationship will become increasingly disruptive to it. Bill thought this was fail-safe, because no one would suspect.
Based on my work over the decades, I find six kinds of affairs that people have today. It can feel really intense, but it's also the quickest to flame out. An example is the person who's able to feel sexually alive and free only in a secret rela-tionship, hidden from the imagined hovering, inhibiting eye of one's parent -- which the person may experience unconsciously with his or her spouse.
People make their choices, but I think a non-judgmental description of these six kinds of affairs (but with a tinge of humor) can help people deal with them with greater awareness and responsibility. John and Kim met through work, and felt a strong physical attraction. The lust affair is often short-lived, and passion can slide downhill pretty fast as the excitement declines or un-derground emotional issues surface again.
Given that new reality, I put together what I've learned about psychology of affairs -- their meaning and their consequences for people in our current culture. We ended up in bed, as well as a lot of other places! The liberating and compelling feeling from this kind of affair, though, can mask hidden emotional conflicts.Paul was married, and Linda was divorced but living with a boyfriend.They found they had much in common -- a similar outlook on life and a spiritual compatibility as well.George began by telling me that "She was standing off by herself during a conference break, leaning against a wall, sipping coffee."As I walked by, our eyes met and I felt a sudden jolt -- a rush of energy, real connection.