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One of the common threads we have noticed from comments to this blog as well as from the emails we receive, is that many of the emotional affairs that exist are being carried out with old boyfriends or girlfriends — many times from decades ago.
We thought that was kind of interesting and decided to do a little research on the subject. We were kind of surprised to find out that this sort of thing has been a growing trend. Probably the most notable person who has conducted research for this phenomenon is Nancy Kalish, Ph. Her initial survey request for participation appeared on radio stations, television shows, in magazines and newspapers, and on the Internet which at the time would have been in its infancy. As a result of that first survey, Dr.
Kalish found that reunions with former boyfriends or girlfriends were common in all age groups. Two-thirds of the participants had reunited with their first loves from when they were 17 years old or younger. To me, that is shockingly high!
However, something changed as her research model switched to more internet based research. Recently, she conducted new research on participants who have typically found each other online through sites such as Facebook , Classmates.
These participants are very different in one respect: They are in unexpected emotional and often physical extramarital affairs with their old flames. These extramarital reunions were generally not successful, and the reconnections were devastating to the spouses, children, and the lost loves themselves. Although most participants believed they could carry on the affairs until they decided what to do about their marriages, most were caught by their families.
Because of the high extramarital affair rate, successful reunions for this group of participants was low: If they were not caught, most ended their reunions after a few years.
Thinking about an old flame is fine, but beware of contacting them because it can escalate into an affair with amazing speed and force. One survey participant noted that her first boyfriend found her on classmates. Therapists tend to underestimate the powerful nature of such old loves, especially first loves, Kalish argues.
As a result, they tend to tell such patients that their feelings for their re-found loves are based on fantasy and that they can find the same feelings in their own marriages if they only try. But that fails to take into account that reunited lovers really do know and love each other, and a first love, in particular, remains unique.
The reunion is a continuation of a love that was interrupted. Some research indicates that a teenager may attach specifically to a first lover in much the same way as a baby attaches to a mother. Psychologist Linda Waud says,. According to the late infidelity researcher Shirley Glass, Ph. Almost immediately, the relationship deteriorated. I was foolish—I saw what I wanted to see.
Repairing trust in a marriage is hard enough after an affair. But bouncing back from a lost-love affair is far more complicated. Many couples are unable to rebuild the relationship without professional help. The solution is as individual as the two people involved, but a good marriage counselor should be able to help find it.
So just how worried should married people be that their spouse is going to have an affair and leave them for their first love? In fact, most will eventually remember why they ended their relationship in the first place. In most cases, these relationships are over for a good reason. If so, you may want to listen to this audio where Larry Bilotta helps you make sense of what a midlife crisis REALLY is, why it's happening to your spouse and how to end the chaos that is destroying your family.
Thank you for this. Its hard to hear but good to hear. Even more so because I now have found out about another ex that she has had contact with. She is mad and hurt that I keep looking at the past. And keep looking for her faults. Me and my wife spoke today about how my lack of trust hurts her. I had only this to say. She knows what she did. And she was fine with it for the most part.
So my digging is only causing myself pain. So I need to work on myself. And get better for me. Thanks for the help and hope that she comes around. Michael, Does your wife realize that her actions have caused you to be cautious and mistrusting? The really horrible thing is that I thought we were happy. In fact, we just had one of the greatest weekends of our marriage.
Our kids were gone to summer camp…We made love for hours every day. Loving, uninhibited, passionate, amazing love. My husband said it was the best in his memory of our years together.
Racing to get back to work with no sleep. He works at night 4 hours from home, only home every other weekend. Once for 96 minutes, once for 88 minutes, many 5,7,10 minute calls all day.
Dozens of texts…I could not believe it!! We were that couple everyone was jealous of because we seemed so happy. After reading this article, I have hope. I even hit him and scratched him up a bit.
Even says the last visit they agreed never to see each other again in person. He promised never to contact her again. Am I a fool to believe??? Just wanting to believe to satisfy my sorrow???
He insists there was never physical contact. Just the roller coaster of feelings rushing back. Says he felt like he was in high school again. Is there hope for us?? My husband is ready to divorce me because I communicated with a guy I dated in High School on Facebook. We emailed each other on and off for about 2 weeks. I never had any intention of getting together with this guy.
I called the guy twice and we chatted about what each of us had been up to over the last 40 years. Darla, It sure sounds as though you had an innocent conversation for the most part, but the fact that you withheld information and lied to him has created mistrust for your husband.
My husband did almost the exact same thing. It was about 2 weeks as well and ironically it happenned in the same timeframe. He is just really hurt. I am there too. We have went through counseling and I continue to go through counseling. This is exceedingly significant to my situation and may really help with my finding the forgiveness, or at least understanding, to save our marriage!!! Thanks for the feedback. We have gone to a counselor 3 times now and hopefully, things are on the mend.
He wants me to do a lot of soul-searching and give him a reason why I did this to him. I told him it was mostly out of curiosity but I truly believe the real reason was that I felt neglected, invisible, unappreciated and worthless and the fact we stopped interacting with each other.
Darla, Trying is the first step. I would suggest instead of telling him that you did it our of curiosity, that you be transparent and tell him your true feelings. Otherwise, he has no basis to change. This is very interesting. Albeit not what I am currently worrying about. However, it does remind me of a post I read awhile ago — http: Admin, Yeah and it all seems so innocent. Or at least like it should be innocent. After a lot of soul-searching, I believe I know the real reason I even considered communicating with the guy to begin with.
We had distance between us anyway and after going to the counselor and finding out for the first time that my husband had a great deal of resentment for other things in our marriage which contributed to this distance. I began to feel very lonely, emotionally neglected and unloved. When we did communicate, I felt I had to pull information out of him on day-to-day stuff.
I just hope we can work through this and build a better, stronger marriage. So when you feel lonely, invisible and negelected — how do you not get sucked into an emotional affair?
And then you have to parent, on top of that. And in my case , work full-time. As a single parent, there is no one else to take a turn waking up in the middle of the night.
No one to take the next feeding, no one to be on baby watch while you nap HA! Like a nap would ever happen. Surprisingly to me , I missed that. And honestly, as a single mom, this likely looks a lot different than you might think. For someone else, it might look like doing yoga every morning. Or a regular Starbucks run. Or making sure to take naps. The little things we do to recharge our souls are what keep us going.
You need to find your mom tribe. As a single mom, you need a village. You need a mom tribe, whether IRL or online. I have only a few mom friends that I actually meet up with, but I have found my mom tribe in virtual cloth-diaper groups, the comic book world, and in my writing groups. You need space to decompress from the Sanctimommies, or vent about what a jerk your toddler is being. She didn't have an ally at home.
We were rascal kids. I want to build a family with someone who will provide help and love. We were raised in a family that talked about my father often. My mom told so many stories about him, and we learned what his best and worst qualities were.
I know what albums he loved Paul Simon and what alcoholic beverage he ordered a White Russian. He was young when he died, and we grew up with the deeply-imbedded knowledge that life can change instantly and in unexpected ways. My mom's greatest lesson to us is to live a full and vibrant life. I don't wait for things to happen down the road. She encourages us to be passionate, to love deeply and to live every day fully -- like our dad did. My favorite picture of my father is one where he is teaching me how to build a sandcastle, and I look utterly puzzled.
Another is him helping my brother learn to walk. My dad is wearing reading glasses and a t-shirt that says, "Shut up and dance. I loved the photos of my mom and dad getting married under the tree in our backyard and the ones of me as a toddler in bed with him when he was recovering from chemo. There are photos from family vacations and ones of water fights in lakes.
A picture of him wearing a striped beret still makes me and my brother laugh. Our photographs are the first thing I pack and unpack when I move. Just before my grandmother died, she trusted me with her oldest photos of her childhood, and I keep them safe to this day. The absence of my father will always be a thread running through the needle of our family.
But my mother loves life. She advocates meeting new people, seeing new countries, trying new things and always growing. I went far away to college and even farther away to study abroad. I have traveled to many countries and come back with new memories and, of course, new photos. But that doesn't mean you can't have numbers for a plumber, painter and handyman stored in your phone. When I was very young, I thought my mom stopped existing when we weren't by her side -- but weekly sleepovers with our grandparents were probably welcome and necessary breaks for her.
Our grandparents gave us a second home where we felt loved, supported and whole. My mom will not live forever, but she has said that I will always have the strongest bond with my siblings. If there is ever a time that my brother and I can go do something fun together, she encourages us to go off on our own.
She often takes one for the team so that our sibling bond can stay strong. She had plenty of things to do at home after work or on weekends, so we delighted in being outside in the California sunshine, playing in the grass and getting our feet dirty. My mom was able to do more in one day than most people I know. But she couldn't be in two places at once so as we grew older, if she needed help, she asked for it. Sometimes my basketball coach would drop us off at home after practice or I would stay with a friend the night before a tournament.
I rang a pregnancy advisory clinic and booked in for the soonest appointment, in four days' time. I told Ben over the phone. We met in a pub and I held him as he sobbed into my chest. Shouldn't it be the other way around?
Amazingly, that night he wanted to have sex. As I pretended to sleep he hovered over me and whispered, "Do you have any condoms? I paced his flat all night, re-reading back copies of the NME and chain-smoking. In the morning, he snapped at me. I left in a cab and have not seen him since.
The pregnancy advisory clinic offered no advice on pregnancy, only how to end it, which was what I wanted anyway. It was my only choice. Annoyingly, the nurse confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. She then had to hold me down while I was examined by a doctor. You are doing the right thing for this stage in your life. I know, I thought, but I was shocked to hear myself crying. I was booked in for an anaesthetised termination in a month, giving the ball of cells time to grow big enough to be surgically removed.
After the clinic, I cried in a heap beneath a statue of Queen Victoria, assuring concerned passers-by that I was completely fine. I gave up smoking and drinking. Friends found that a bit strange.
There was a bomb scare on a bus and my first thought was, what about the baby? I needed to get rid of it and move on. Ben made it clear in no uncertain terms that he would never speak to me again if I had the baby.
I had never been even remotely maternal. It was a just a ball of cells. I booked a couple of incentives: I didn't feel qualified to make a life or death decision. I wanted the correct answer to come from someone else. My friend found me a counsellor at Brook Advisory.
I booked in with another one at university. I rang the Samaritans in the middle of the night. They all said "Hmmm" a lot. Even my mother who is a Christian and not keen on the idea of abortion just said, "I will support you whatever you decide to do. The day before the termination, I cancelled it. I decided I wouldn't enjoy travelling the world and dancing all night if I had got rid of a baby in order to be able to do it. I didn't want a baby but I didn't want that guilt either.
I had been a silly girl but I was 22, not I would have to deal with the consequences of my actions. Ben's response to my decision was: Five days later, I went to the gig without Ben. I felt completely out of place and thought, "This is the last time I will ever go out. Instead of going back to university, I took a year out and went full-time at work. I decided to find out the gender of the baby at the week scan. I was having a boy. I lay awake at night feeling Max wriggle. I hated my housemates for partying till dawn.
I despised women on "helpful" internet forums for talking about their "DPs" darling partners. I was so lonely and angry that I detested women in pregnancy books for having men to rub their backs. I hated students on the bus for worrying about trivial things like exams and deadlines. I really hated Ben. Most of all, I hated myself. Despite the insistence of my stoned housemates that I could keep Max in a cot in the corner of my room, I knew I would have to move.
I returned to Mum's house just before Christmas. She bought me a smaller bed to allow space in my room for a cot. Now I was afraid. I didn't want to live with my mum.
One of the common threads we have noticed from comments to this blog as well as from the emails we receive, is that many of the emotional affairs that exist are being carried out with old boyfriends or girlfriends – many times from decades ago. Hi Mica I also can relate to ‘seeing’ our loved ones in someone else and the heartache and terrible loneliness returns. I have lost my three sons 2 through suicide and the youngest who had profound mental and physical disabilities died at 17 when his little body could not take anymore and he slipped away in his sleep. Nobody wants to die. But its hard to go from wanting to die to suddenly being cheered up. If you say, “I want to die” and everyone else says, “Oh, cheer up, there’s so much to .