What is affair fog?
Have you heard of it?
I didn’t want to assume you, my readers, really know what the heck I’m talking about, when I write about it.
So here’s my input and perspective on it, from someone (yours truly) who was in that ‘affair fog’ 12 years ago.
So, this is Part 2 of a 5 part series on different aspects of affair fog.
Read Part 1 here, “What affair fog is not”.
In this post I’ll define what is affair fog, the signs of affair fog, and answer if it affects women differently.
First, I’ll share a story from my own experience, with being in affair fog.
Then I’ll list the 5 signs to understanding what affair fog is.
All I can share is what I know personally, and have lived through.
But I also like to gather information, input and knowledge from the many unfaithful women I’ve talked to over time,
and the hundreds of affair books, and information online, that I’ve devoured. (Yea I know that sounds weird).
My story of affair fog.
I remember throwing on some clothes, gathering up my toiletries bag and make up,
and leaving my precious 3 boys (who were 16, 13 and 8 years old at the time), and my husband behind.
I walked out on this family of mine, that I had adored and would have given anything for just months earlier.
I’m ashamed to say, the next few months I spent between my house and the other man’s.
Definitely not my most shining moments.
Just 2 months later, on Mothers Day, I met my family at Applebee’s.
But do you think I came to my senses and broke off the affair and ran home to my family for good?
I wish I could say I did, but I didn’t.
But what would make me do such a very uncharacteristic thing for me?
I remember the torn feelings I had, because I knew the affair partner was waiting for me.
Never mind that this was freaking Mother’s Day and I should be with my family and not committing adultery!
These children that I decided (joyfully) many years earlier to not pursue a career for,
so I could stay home and spend the majority of their childhood with them.
But here I was, going to be with my affair partner after a Mother’s Day lunch with my family.
The next few months are a blur now, as I was back and forth between my house and the other man.
I know I risk a lot of judgment in sharing my story like this. But I’m committed to being honest with you,
because I’ve been where you are. Shame from affair fog has to leave when it’s brought out into the light.
But I share this story with you to show you, I understand the power of deception.
The slow decline of a soul, that stepped further and further away from her Lord and started believing the lies I heard whispered in my mind.
Because that’s what affair fog ultimately is… deception.
The hidden voice behind ‘affair fog’.
The lies we believe are as strong as that day in the garden of Eden with Eve.
Satan knew her weak spot. He knew he could trick her by asking ‘did God really say?’
Whether you come from faith and believe the story of Adam and Eve or not, you must admit, if you were the unfaithful spouse,
there was some version of that lie spoken to you before you fell too.
Did God really say? Don’t I have the right?
So we make justifications, and then we take the bait and get entangled in an affair that shows us no mercy.
Affair fog ‘s grip gets tighter and tighter, while we still think we’re free.
It’s the ultimate deception- to believe you are free and having fun when you’re more bound and deceived than ever before.
So let’s dive in.
1. What is “Affair Fog”? Understanding the 5 most common signs of affair fog.
Simply defined, it’s a term to describe the extreme change in behavior, thinking and even memories of a cheating spouse.
An otherwise loving and devoted spouse, becomes distant and aloof, often before the betrayed spouse knows about their affair.
This change is sometimes the catalyst that gets the affair exposed because the betrayed spouse starts suspecting is wrong.
The wayward spouse pulls away from their spouse, and often, even distancing from their own children to some degree.
They spend more and more time with their affair partner, fueling the secret life they’re developing.
Here are the most common signs of affair fog in an unfaithful spouse:
A. Their behavior drastically changes.
- They begin distancing from the marriage, and family, which creates a dramatic shift in their behavior and attitude.
- Any previous softness of heart seems to be replaced by a heart of stone.
- The walls they’ve put up almost shut them down completely to feeling compassion and empathy for their hurting spouse.
- This drastic shift in attitude shocks many betrayed spouse’s so much , that many will often comment:
“they’ve become like another person that I don’t even know anymore.
- A spouse who may have been reserved and modest, suddenly seems free and expressive sexually.
B. Their thinking and reasoning abilities seem to be polar opposite of who they normally are.
- Affair fog changes the wayward spouse’s thinking and reasoning.
- A person who’s dedicated to their work, is diligent and loves their job; suddenly seems willing to throw it all away.
They knew having the affair would jeopardize their job if it came out, but they went straight into it anyway.
- It doesn’t take too long to look back in history (even recent stories on the news) of men, and women, who’ve lost careers,
military positions and long standing reputations, all because they had an affair.
- Many on the outside ask ‘why?’ Why would he throw it all away for some woman?
Why would she leave her family for this other man?
(who often is so much less appealing in so many ways than their spouse, by the way).Why? Affair Fog.
C. They develop a type of ‘altered memory’.
- No, I don’t mean genuine amnesia obviously, but it might as well be, according to their betrayed spouse.
They develop a memory distortion.
All the years of, what the other spouse thought was a shared belief of being happily married, suddenly hears otherwise.
- Their wayward spouse explains how they were either never happy,
or they don’t remember the marriage relationship in the same way the betrayed spouse does.
- It’s selective memory and it’s often called rewriting history.
- The unfaithful spouse often finds fault, is impatience and starts arguments with their faithful spouse,
which is another way affair fog is affecting them.
Also, if they fight, then the wayward spouse doesn’t have to feel as guilty.Which leads to my next point in What is affair fog, the why.
2. Why would they suddenly develop a distorted memory of their marriage?
- I think it happens for a few reasons.
But it’s gets back to how the deception of an affair begins in a persons mind,
until that deception leads to making choices they wouldn’t have otherwise made.
- In order to have an affair, and maintain it, they have to alter the story, or memories of their marriage, to be more negative than it was.
- This is how an, otherwise moral and high values, individual can make choices that led them into having an affair.
- Once we change the tapes of our history, and amplify the problems we had in our marriage,
it becomes easier to allow ourselves the ‘right’ to have an affair.
- Compartmentalizing the affair often becomes common and this closes off feelings about their spouse,
which would likely create enough guilt to cause them to want to end the affair.
- Justifications and changing the real history of the marriage is a dangerous and slippery slope, and it all happened one compromise at a time.
3. Affair Fog makes no distinction between the genders.
- The altered state of mind we just listed in affair fog, can happen with either a wayward wife or husband.
- Sometimes people think it’s just the women who get emotionally involved in affairs,
and that it’s all about sex for the unfaithful husband, but that’s not true.
I’ve heard of many husbands who’ve left families, careers, church leadership positions, military ranking and status,
all because they were seduced by affair fog.
- In this respect, gender isn’t affected as much because affair isn’t picky about who it takes down.
- But the one commonality among those who develop this fog; they’ve all crossed a line into an affair.
- Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t only about those who are having a full blown sexual affair.
Many people dipping their toe in the waters of an emotional affair, will slowly get the ‘affair fog’ effects.This fog will be what ultimately leads into justifications that facilitate the jump into a sexual affair.
4. How does affair fog affect women differently?
- Women typically get into affairs for the emotional connection, and so they often put their whole hearts into their affair partner.
So they naturally will give more attention to their affair partner, which fans the flames of affair fog connections.Affairs often happen with women who got into an affair to feel desirable sexually, to know ‘she still has it’,
to feel the power and excitement of someone needing and desiring them for more than Mommy or Wife duties.
- Many women who’ve had affairs, are in the mid life season of their lives, and they’re looking for a diversion
and escape from the demands and dullness of their lives.
- Not all middle-aged women will cheat, so understand that I’m not saying that.
But it’s a more vulnerable time for women, than most people understand or talk about.
- So when Affair Fog hits women, it often hits hard.Many women have a very hard time breaking off the affair, and if it was an emotional connecting type of affair,
they begin to believe they can’t ever live without their affair partner.
Of course that’s not true, she certainly can live without her affair partner, but it’s the power of affair fog talking to them.
I’ve heard of women who left their husbands and children to marry their affair partner, thinking he was her ‘soul mate’.
Only to later realize, it was all an illusion, he wasn’t as great as her mind told her he was (often women affair down by the way).
Unfortunately, for some women, it’s too late and their marriages have ended (although I believe God can still do a miracle even if divorced).
But it just illustrates the high price that comes from listening to the voice of affair fog.
I almost became one of those women.
5. The illicit nature of infidelity only fuels affair fog more.
The truth is, everything seems more intense and romantic in an affair.
But the reality is, the unfaithful spouse is just in the midst of stage 1 of love affairs, also called the Limerence stage.
Many of us have experienced this euphoric feeling of new love.
We think we never felt like this before (see #3 above, it’s the affair fog talking and rewriting history).
This Limerence stage is so closely tied to the early stages within an affair, it’s like they’re twins.
It doesn’t help that our own brain chemicals contribute to the affair fog in the unfaithful spouse.
In part 3 of this affair fog series, we’ll dive into:
Why people have affair fog, And how long it typically lasts.
In part 4,
we’ll answer the questions of what you’re supposed to do with your unfaithful spouse, if you’re the betrayed spouse watching all this.
How should you react?
You might be interested in these similar posts too:
Are you a wife who’s having the affair? Read my posts for you, here.