There are various stages of an affair.
Understanding the stages of an affair can be helpful, so you can determine where you are now and how to best move forward to healing.
It’s important to first figure out which stage you are in. After all, how can one change what one will not, or cannot, acknowledge?
1. Every affair has a beginning, middle and end.
Many women like to think their experience was unique and their affair was special. In a way, that is true. Every affair is different because no two people are the same. Yet, the reality remains that most affairs begin in similar ways, most need to be a secret to thrive, and most affairs end in a similar manner. All affairs will cause pain and leave beyond destruction in some form or another.
This article is written more for the wife who has been unfaithful, or is thinking about being unfaithful. It describes most of the stages, or process that women go through in an affair. (However, the stages could also apply to unfaithful husbands).
‘When our emotional needs go unmet, we tend to feel empty and depressed and look for ways to fill them.”
Men and women each have their own ideas of what their most important emotional needs are.
It is a common known fact that men and women think differently.
We will usually feel happiest and most satisfied when our most important emotional needs are being met. When someone comes along and meets those needs that may be lacking in our marriage, we can easily be drawn to that person. That is how a lot of affairs start.
Just as there are many stages to an affair, there are many different types of affairs. There is the one night stand, a quick fling that was mostly about the sex. There’s pornography and lust of the mind, and there’s the emotional affair that never develops physically either because of distance or it was ended before developing sexually.
Then there is the most dangerous, the emotional connection that develops between two people who most started out as friends.
I’ll address mostly the deep emotional type of affair (feeling ‘in love’ with another man) in the following stages, as it’s the most common type of infidelity and also the most difficult to break off.
You can read more details about each stage if you click on each link.
To understand why women have affairs, click here.
Looking for fulfillment and flirting with opposite sex. Can easily become a vulnerable time for women to look for attention from another man. Flirting with another man, yet lying about the time spent with him. Justifying to self that it is only a friendship, leads down a danger path to an affair, if continued.
Secrets, lies, guilt, excitement, confusion all define this stage. As the affair continues on, the fog of the affair eventually begins to lift and the woman discovers the trouble and pain from the affair outweighs the benefits.
What most women go through during this phase of an affair. The difficulty in breaking off an affair, especially when a deep emotional attachment to affair partner has been established. Why it’s not easy to stop contact with an affair partner. How to break free of the affair is address here also.
The early feelings of withdrawal and what to expect. How to begin to rebuild trust and love in your marriage after an affair.
Be sure to read my advice for women who were unfaithful.
“No matter where an affair falls on the spectrum, it is there because it has met important emotional needs“.