What’s Going On in Affairland?


I have seen a lot of talk lately, amongst folks who are in a longer term “Carrot & Stick” stage or “Consequences” stage…wondering what is going on in AffairLand–curious what their Disloyal Spouse (DS) and the OP is up to while they are being dark and silent. Here, to answer your questions and soothe your enquiring minds, is what goes on in AffairLand while the Loyal Spouse (LS) is in Consequences stage.

Let’s start with a little background to set the stage. DS and LS got married and have a couple kids. Like all young couples they thought their love would “conquer all” and never even considered that one of them would cheat. Sure that happens to other people, but their marriage was different and special and it would never happen to them. But LS put DS through college so they could get ahead in life, and LS always thought that his/her sacrifice would be paid back worth it “someday” when they were successful as a couple. Meanwhile, DS worked and worked to climb the corporate ladder, thinking that he/she was “providing for the family” and doing it to get ahead. LS began to be involved with the kids and their activities and forgot to take time for DS. In fact, when he/she did see DS, he/she complained because DS wasn’t helping out. And DS also forgot to make time for LS and began working longer and longer hours at work. Sometimes they didn’t even see each other awake for DAYS…and when they did, one or the other of them had negative things to say.

Right about then…enter stage left the the Other Person (OP). OP is a colleague at DS’s office, and OP wears nice business outfits and nice cologne–whereas LS wears jeans and a t-shirt. OP knows all about DS’s work…what he/she does…how he/she does it…what is hard about it…what is easy about it…what DS struggles with…and probably spends 8 hours a day with DS–whereas LS is bored hearing about work, has no idea how hard it is, and spends hardly any time with DS. Pretty soon, DS starts talking to OP about a fight that he/she and LS had the night before…and OP is understanding and takes DS’s side. Then DS starts going to OP with work conferences and kind of seeks out OP and sits by him/her at lunch. Soon, they are talking like school kids at lunch–phoning each other on the cell phone “for work”–and emailing all night long. And pretty soon after that, one of them mentions that they have feelings for the other … and that’s it. The decide they are “in love” and it becomes a Physical Affair. Shortly thereafter, the LS discovers the Affair (D-day) and finds Affaircare. Everyone with me so far?

Okay, so after finding Affaircare, the LS does an appropriate “Carrot & Stick” stage and the DS goes headlong into the affair and moves out to be with OP. The LS goes into the next step: Consequences Stage.  And THIS is where many of you find yourselves today…either you somewhat recently began your Consequences Stage or you have been in your Consequences Stage for a little while and your minds are wondering, “What good is this doing? What is my DS up to? Are they still with OP…still in the affair? How exactly is this supposed to save my marriage when they can’t even see the changes I’m making?”

When a LS goes into Consequences Stage, it is supposed to be after a fairly good, sustained “Carrot & Stick” stage So for our story tonight, we will assume that each one of you did a good “Carrot & Stick” so that your DS could see that you realized you needed to make some changes, you MADE the changes, and they are permanent. “Carrot & Stick” shows the DS that the LS is capable of meeting the DS’s Love Kindlers and ending the Love Extinguishers, and capable of creating a love-environment. For me, “Carrot & Stick” was also a reinforcement of me…I became the best ME that I could become and got back to being the person who initially attracted DS and met his/her needs!

So, when the DS refuses to end the affair, and refuses to do No Contact with the OP…when the DS moves out of the marital home and (usually) moves in with the OP…the LS goes to Consequences Stage. And while the LS goes through a withdrawal of their own–detaching from the DS and the drama of the affair…disentangling their life from the DS’s life–here’s what is happening to the DS and the OP.

At this point, let’s talk a little bit about the DS & OP’s “Affair Fantasy.” I call it the “Affair Fantasy” because we all know that destroying two marriages, damaging several children, tearing about two families and innumerable immediate relatives (in-laws) IS NOT a “love story.” But that is what the DS and OP believe it is in their “Affair Fantasy.” In the Affair Fantasy, the DS and OP think that they are star-crossed lovers whom Fate has joined together. Their LOVE can withstand any obstacle (like spouses) and they are SOULMATES. They complete each other, and without each other, their lives miserable–whereas WITH each other, their lives are nothing short of bliss. (Remember…this is their Affair Fantasy.) They fantasize that they are FINALLY understood and deeply loved for who they truly are. The fantasize that the OP can perfectly meet all their ENs without even being told what needs to be done. They fantasize that if they could only “be together” that everyone would be happy for them because they are in love and supposed to be together. They fantasize that their kids will not be harmed or be resentful–in fact, the kids will be happy to see their mommy or daddy finally happy. They fantasize that they can just remove their former spouse from their life and insert the OP…and that they will get to keep all their former money and use it for themselves. Finally, they fantasize that their decisions will have no real consequences to them–everyone will just be happy and accepted and “in love.”

THAT is the DS’s and OP’s Affair Fantasy. Once the LS goes to a dark and silent Consequences Stage, to the Affair partners AT FIRST they think that life is finally going their way! AT FIRST they might celebrate because now they don’t have their pesky spouses on their backs reminding them of their guilt. AT FIRST they may act like life is AMAZING because now they can finally be together just like in their Affair Fantasy.

At about this point, the LS can make one of two choices.

CHOICE ONE:

If the LS stays really dark, communicates only through the intermediary, and allows the attorney and court to do the talking for them...here’s what happens: The DS begins to wake up in the morning with the OP and guess what? He/she has bad breath in the morning and farts in bed. Hmmmm…not exactly the Affair Fantasy…but (insert foggy excuse here). Then OP’s kids are angry with OP and DO NOT LIKE DS AT ALL and are brats around him/her. They leave a mess and OP does not discipline them. They scream at DS “why did you break up my family?” and slam doors. Hmmmm…not exactly the Affair Fantasy, but DS thinks, “Well MY kids are not like that!” Oops! DS hasn’t even seen his/her kids in a few WEEKS and they start to feel guilty about that. So DS tries to call LS about seeing the kids, but LS won’t be manipulated or guilted into it like they used to be. Hmmmm…now the DS can’t see their own children whenever they want to! Hmmmmm…not exactly the Affair Fantasy! Okay, well the DS finally stops calling the LS and writes to the intermediary like they are supposed to, and they arrange to have the kids. But the LS won’t let the kids come over if OP is over, and the DS really, really misses the kids, so the DS asks the OP if they can stay away for one night so they can see their kids…AND OP GETS PI$$ED ABOUT IT! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT!!?? I thought OP understood everything about the DS! Now OP won’t even do this one little thing so DS can see the kids. And after a big fight, and OP finally agrees to go stay at a friends’ house…DS gets the kids and takes them to McD’s and buys them a new video game…and the kids are MAD!  What!! WS’s kids are acting just like OP’s kids! They’re not happy!! Hmmmm…not exactly the Affair Fantasy.

A few weeks or a month goes by, and DS has to go to court with the LS. DS and OP think “Yay, we will finally be legal! We will finally get the funds from the sale of the house and the judge will tell that stupid LS that we can’t afford child support-and- alimony.” The DS goes to court, and THE JUDGE tells DS, “You have a choice. Either you sell the house and give LS half the proceeds or you give the house to LS. But you’re not getting it. And oh, btw, you are a parent and have an obligation to your children before your lover…so you WILL pay the LS for child support and since LS put you through college and now you can earn a lot more, you have to pay a small amount of alimony too.”

The OP is FURIOUS!!!  How are they supposed to live?? I suppose this means DS will have to work even MORE hours at work, and can’t take OP out to dinner or to the bars like they used to. Hmmmm…not exactly like the Affair Fantasy is it?? And OP begins to have projects with another co-worker at the office and stays later and later…and has lunch…and emails with the co-worker…and sure enough, finally one day the OP dumps the DS.

If the LS has been in a dark, silent Consequences Stage…right about then the DS is realizing that the LS was right and that the grass was NOT greener on the other side. But the DS wonders if there is any way they could EVER, EVER work it out again, and has some pride and is afraid to find out. But the LS says, “If you’re willing to go to individual counseling and marriage coaching with Affaircare, and really work on your issues…I will consider it.” And the DS IS willing to do it because their addiction (the OP) went away and the DS withdrew from the fog and could see that they behaved like an idiot.

CHOICE TWO:

If the LS DOES NOT stay really dark, communicates via phone, text message and email, and fights the advice from the attorney and court…here’s what happens: The DS begins to wake up in the morning with the OP and guess what? He/she has bad breath in the morning and farts in bed. Hmmmm…not exactly the Affair Fantasy…but (insert foggy excuse here). So the DS speaks to LS about it on the phone, and the LS says not to tell him/her about sex with the OP and they end up in a fighting match, and DS thinks, “That’s why I’m leaving LS! I can put up with bad breath and farts any day! I can’t stand that screaming (insert name calling here).” Then OP’s kids are angry with OP and DO NOT LIKE DS AT ALL and are brats around him/her. They leave a mess and OP does not discipline them. They scream at DS “why did you break up my family?” and slam doors. Hmmmm…not exactly the Affair Fantasy, but DS thinks, “Well MY kids are not like that!” Oops! DS hasn’t even seen his/her kids in a few WEEKS and they start to feel guilty about that. So DS calls LS about seeing the kids, but LS hangs up–is demanding and all self-righteous–and is judgmental and critical. Hmmmm…now the DS can’t see their own children whenever they want to! Hmmmmm…not exactly the Affair Fantasy! FINE–the DS decides to get his/her attorney to FORCE LS to let them see the kids and claims Parental Alienation. Finally the LS agrees to a night but won’t let the kids come over if OP is over, and the DS really, really misses the kids, so the DS asks the OP if they can stay away for one night so they can see their kids…AND OP GETS PI$$ED ABOUT IT! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT!!?? I thought OP understood everything about the DS! Now OP won’t even do this one little thing so DS can see the kids. And after a big fight, and OP finally agrees to go stay at a friends’ house…DS gets the kids and takes them to McD’s and buys them a new video game…and the kids are MAD!  What!! DS’s kids are acting just like OP’s kids! They’re not happy!! Hmmmm…not exactly the Affair Fantasy. But it must be because of LS’s Parental Alienation, which the attorney will fix shortly.

A few weeks or a month goes by, and DS has to go to court with the LS. DS and OP think “Yay, we will finally be legal! We will finally get the funds from the sale of the house and the judge will tell that stupid LS that we can’t afford child support -and- alimony.” The DS goes to court, and THE JUDGE tells DS, “You have a choice. Either you sell the house and give LS half the proceeds or you give the house to LS. But you’re not getting it. And oh, btw, you are a parent and have an obligation to your children before your lover…so you WILL pay the LS for child support and since LS put you through college and now you can earn a lot more, you have to pay a small amount of alimony too.”

The OP is FURIOUS!!!  How are they supposed to live?? I suppose this means DS will have to work even MORE hours at work, and can’t take OP out to dinner or to the bars like they used to. Hmmmm…not exactly like the Affair Fantasy is it?? So the DS calls the LS and pressures the BS to agree to a lessor amount of child support and they end up in another screaming match, calling each other names. The LS is all hurt by the continued abuse…the DS gets to control the situation again and through intimidation gets exactly what they want, and the OP is THRILLED that now they don’t have to pay that much!

The OP and DS set up house and continue in their Love Shack. Since the LS has not been in a dark, silent Consequences Stage…right about then the DS is blaming EVERY THING on the LS: the LS’s anger, the LS’s criticism, the LS’s Love Extinguishers, and the LS’s Parental Alienation. NONE of it is the DS’s fault. The grass IS greener on the other side. But the DS has some pride and will never, ever consider going back, because that would require admitting that they participated in the demise of the marriage. The DS never does go to individual counseling, never does learn or grow or change, and the DS and LS end up in divorce.

Naturally this is a gigantic generalization…but this should give you some idea of that is going on in AffairLand while you are in a strong Consequences Stage. Now you know why we suggest/request that you stay in a nice, quiet, dark, silent Consequences stage. It is for your own good (so you can heal from the drama of the affair), it is for your marriage’s good (so any love for your DS can be saved), and it is for your DS’s good (so that when the affair dies it’s natural death, they can swallow their pride and return IF THAT’S WHAT YOU–THE LOYAL SPOUSE–WANT!!

Any questions???

6 thoughts on “What’s Going On in Affairland?”

  1. Pingback: DS Anger
  2. So what happens if they don’t move out and the affair continues? Hard to handle a silent consequences stage when they are living in the same house. My DL spouse is involved with an employee.

    1. Carol, if your Disloyal Hubby is involved with an employee at work, and refuses to move out even though he has chosen to destroy his family, then you can not make him unless you owned the home prior to your marriage or inherited it directly yourself…in your name. If either one of those situations are true, you can pack his things, call a cab, send him packing and change the locks! But usually it’s not the case. Usually both spouses work and mingle the paying of bills and both have their names on the deed, etc. Soooo…he has just as much LEGAL right to the house, as you (and kids if you have any) do.

      If that’s the case, and he will not move out, then you can still separate your finances. Do not have your money contributing to paying for the bill that is supporting his adultery…let him pay that all by himself! Have your funds going toward providing for you or the family. Also, you can still move to another bedroom. Yes, it should be him that moving since he’s the one stepping out on the marriage, but the only person you can change is you…so you ask him to move to another bedroom and then if he won’t, you do it. You can wake up and leave the house before he is awake, and you can cook meals for yourself and your children. You can think of ways so you are not meeting his emotional needs.

      Now, he is likely to say something like: “See why I can’t be with you? You’re controlling and a *itch!” but don’t let that bait you or pull you in. If you want to respond, I’d say just one statement …and this is one I encourage people to MEMORIZE: “I am not controlling you. You are 100% free to decide to honor your promises and give me 100% of your affection and loyalty, or not. Are you ready to do that now and commit to no contact with your affair partner? You’re not? Okay bye!” then smile, wave and walk off as if you’re just fine.

      Memorize that “100% of your affection and loyalty” part and every time he tries to talk to you or engage you, just ask: “Oh I asked not to talk to you until you were ready to give me 100% of your affection and loyalty. Are you ready now? You’re not? Okay bye!” (big smile and walk away).

  3. Thanks for your reply. I must be overlappig stages. Working on myself, but probably having stepped into the consequence stage by offering a settlement proposal. I retained an attorney months ago not wanting to put up with being cheated upon. At that time I did not know about a MLC. I forced him to get an attorney. I wanted him to face what he was doing and the consequences. He has been in a fog as you put it.

    Yes we co own the house, yes he is here in another room (moved him there
    several months ago after he ignored my birthday.).I think he was surprized. Since then he has withdrawn more. He choses to hibernate there. His man cave. Continuing his texting with the OP, ignoring myself and the kids
    (who are in their 20’s). You would think we were the ones who harmed him!

    After I first found out about the OP he didn’t talk to any of us for weeks.
    I am guilty of relationship talk and yelling about him and the OP. But I have recently stopped this.I try only to talk about money, what needs to be done around the house and the kids.

    I do not do his laundry, cook for him. He shops for some of his own food. I do the shopping and cleaning. He does the outside work and the finances. At this point I think the only money going for the OP is for his second phone. Basically he has shut us out of his life. I am trying to go into shut down.

    Recently I have used the I’m not in control of you tip. He was surprized at my response.

    btw…his employee “friend” is recently divorced and 18 years younger then he. He continues to jeopardize everything, his family, his job, his reputation. There is no talking to him. He feels trapped and doesn’t see what he is doing.

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