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Question out of curiosity.

Do most affairs really end within 6 months of being exposed, and do most marriages survive them? If the marriage ends isit usually due to factors other than the infidelity?

Is there a physiological basis behind them ending in this timeframe?

What factors contribute to their demise?

I read so many tales of sorrow on these boards that I find it hard sometimes to believe the good Dr. Harley.

I would be very grateful for the input of any wise veterans on the board.

GH31


Me: 36
FWW: 36
1 son born in Dec 2009 - confirmed mine through DNA test
1 daughter born in Nov 2010
Together: 13 years
Married: 10 years

PA/EA: January 2008 to July 2009
FWW left for OM: 01/28/2008
FWW returned for 9 days: 04/2008
FWW returned 05/21/2008

......
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GH,

I don't know if the stats are international, but I would guess they are applicable "Down Under". Most marriages do NOT end after an affair. What they often do is limp along because no one has a clue how to rebuild nor a plan on how to do so.

It does seem 6 months is the average. Some end upon exposure, others go on longer. The factor that contributes to their demise or at least the main factor is REALITY coupled with guilt. The reality is that BS is not as bad as was made out by WS. The other reality is that BS' often "see the light" and change their behavior, thus making the Justifications used by WS to be moot. The other reality is the WS often learns that the BS really does love them, otherwise why would they endure this pain. Finally, the reality is that the affair damages many people not just the BS and the WS is at heart a good person, who got desparate and lost their way.

I have tried to simplify this for you, but as you know people are complex.

One thing you can bet on. If there is a marriage hit by an affair that does not change the people in it, (the BS and WS don't learn and grow) then often the marriage will end because both are fully aware of the others failures.

Your marriage can be saved GH. It requires you to fix the things you did wrong previously, and to have the strength to refrain from love busting now. Honesty by the way is not love busting although it can be painful.

God Bless,

JL

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Take a look at a post I recently made on rains thread. Anyway, the chemicals responsible for many, if not most, affairs, die a natural death in some period of time. The same chemicals are often responsible for the initial attraction between people who then go on to get married. The issue of the affair creates a dynamic that a) most often the affairees DON'T get married, and b) an earlier demise of the infatuation.

From what I have seen and read, six months is a good average. there are a lot of variables including discovery or not, effective action by the BS, or not, etc.

Larry

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Hi Larry and JL,

I think Australia is the same - human physiology doesn't change much with geography.

Thanks for your replies. I guess I am asking because my whole nightmare is now 6 months old. I have no idea where I've found the strength from to even get to this point.

I would be interested to hear from anyone else who has gotten through something like this.

GH31


Me: 36
FWW: 36
1 son born in Dec 2009 - confirmed mine through DNA test
1 daughter born in Nov 2010
Together: 13 years
Married: 10 years

PA/EA: January 2008 to July 2009
FWW left for OM: 01/28/2008
FWW returned for 9 days: 04/2008
FWW returned 05/21/2008

......
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What have you done with the 6 months?

Most affairs end within 2 years but the majority within 6 months.

How you have spent that 6 months and what you have done with the time will have a bearing on the chances of recovery of your marriage.


Me: 56 (FBS) Wife: 55 (FWW)
D-Day August 2005
Married 11/1982 3 Sons 27,25,23
Empty Nesters.
Fully Recovered.
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Yes, there is a physiological basis for the 6-mo. (ave.) timespan on an affair. It is called infatuation. Clinically, when someone becomes infatuated with another person, the brain releases a flood of brain chemicals, hormones and neurotransmitters, the most notable being phenylethylamine (PEA), which is closely related to amphetamine (phenylisopropylamine). Your brain produces its own drug-induced euphoria, which is what is referred to as being "in love" or romantic love. The person then becomes addicted to this euphoria, and thus intensely craves the other person. They constantly think of the OP, and get depressed when they haven't contacted him/her, and get a real high when they see them or hear their voice.

But, the brain doesn't sustain the production of these neurotransmitters. They subside after about 6 months, upon which the person returns to their normal self, and then see the OP for what they really are, as well as the foolishness of the A.


BH (me) age 55
FWW age 52
married 26 years
First DDay 2/23/08, 1 day after PA began, ~1-1/2 months after EA began
Multiple failed attempts at NC
confirmable NC since 1/23/09


(D 31; S 29) my first marriage
(D 27; S 25) her first marriage
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Most affairs end by 2 years time.

For many reasons. OP/WS one or both never wanted out of their marraige. One or both got bored with their affair and wanted a new love interest. Family, job, life changes, finaces made it to difficult to have the free time to continue affair. OP/WS finely see what the low rent person their affair partner is. WW gets pregnant OM then not wanting to be a dad dumps her. The BS of either one suspect and puts so much heat on them that fear being caught that they have to much to lose and dumps their affair partner. OP/WS families move to far to continue affair. OP/WS drops dead. OP/WS illness.

This is no reason to ignore an affair. If an affair is suspected the BS should search for proof and work to end it. Too much can happen if a BS was to sit and let their WS's affair run it's course.

The longer an affair goes on the greater the risk the WS can get a STD, pregnant by OM, both.

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Quote
I would be interested to hear from anyone else who has gotten through something like this.

I recommend that you check out Ace's Success Stories thread over in Recovery.

Who


I am the BW,
He is the FWH
D-Day: 12/02/03

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Originally Posted by Galoot
Yes, there is a physiological basis for the 6-mo. (ave.) timespan on an affair. It is called infatuation. Clinically, when someone becomes infatuated with another person, the brain releases a flood of brain chemicals, hormones and neurotransmitters, the most notable being phenylethylamine (PEA), which is closely related to amphetamine (phenylisopropylamine). Your brain produces its own drug-induced euphoria, which is what is referred to as being "in love" or romantic love. The person then becomes addicted to this euphoria, and thus intensely craves the other person. They constantly think of the OP, and get depressed when they haven't contacted him/her, and get a real high when they see them or hear their voice.

But, the brain doesn't sustain the production of these neurotransmitters. They subside after about 6 months, upon which the person returns to their normal self, and then see the OP for what they really are, as well as the foolishness of the A.


One small correction just in case someone starts a web search on the word, "phenylethylamine." It is spelled phenylethylalamine."

Note the extra "la."

And for the record, I would say that "romantic love" based on an infatuation is analogous to "Fools gold." For me, "romantic love" is based on oxytocin among other neurotransmitters, as Wikipedia so defines.

Larry

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Can I ask a series of simple questions? When does the 6 months, 2 years (or whatever timeline) begin? Is it at the beginning of the A? Is it upon exposure? Can certain events feed it or perhaps extend the period of neurotransmitter production? For example, excess drama requiring further "rescuing"? Silly questions perhaps, but maybe useful for new BS's.

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Tabby,

You and I walk the same similar timeline and I am indeed interested as well.

Not to mention that in my case, the "real life" has been set in for a long time with them and it seems to make them stronger together. I can't figure it out, and I am not trying to anymore.


BS 52, FWH 53, Married 1-1-84
D-day 5-14-07, WH moved in with OW
Plan A 9 months, DARK Plan B 3-17-08 until 3-2-09
WH and OW broke up 1-09
Started over 7-09
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Tabby, good questions. I'd like to know also.

My exposure hasn't been very good. Going to do it again and more expansive. But, my WW and OM both read and posted in my original thread. While that's not an exposure, would that be the first "strain" on their relationship. Of course, I guess it could have pushed them closer though. He11, I don't know. In my case, it seems no one I HAVE exposed to, even cares.

Last edited by MenOut; 07/31/08 11:10 AM.
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Hi GH,

Well, I'm still waiting. But since I have had to come out of B because the judge ordered us to work together and I've had more contact with OWH because he hired my attorney and filed for D, I have found out that all is NOT honey and wine in Affairland.

Slag is upset that OWH filed for D. Slag is upset with my WH, Mr. Gray because he is addicted to drugs and embarrassing her in public. She's addicted too, but I guess she "functions" better. Yeah, sure. Whatever.

OWH & I have the same problem you mentioned with exposure with some family members. My FIL & BIL on my side don't approve of the A but they say nothing. The kids are another story, however.

On OWH's side...he exposed to Slag's family and they don't approve but they say, "She is an adult, blah blah blah."

So I hear ya' on that one.

Hang in there, though. It will get better. And the affair very likely WILL end, eventually. Just do what you need to do to protect yourself.





Charlotte22

BS-42
WH-Mr. Gray-52
M-15.5y
DS*DIL-26, DGS-1
DS*DIL-22
DD-21
Dday: 6/27/07 (Plan A-sort of)
10/30-BRAVE NEW WORLD! Exposure!
11/1-Filed D
11/21-Temp hearing, Shiny takes all
12/15-Plan B
5/13/08-Spousal support extended, my Shiny
Attorney totally ROCKS!!
7/17-Court again, Shiny rules!
7/22-OWH temp hearing, Shiny kicks butt again!
12/11-Mediation; Gray won't budge, we are now headed for trial

Shiny="A Dynamic Force of Epic Proportions"

Shiny WILL win!! No doubt, Sugah!
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MenOut,

Quote
I don't know. In my case, it seems no one I HAVE exposed to, even cares.
I exposed the A to the world almost and NO ONE seemed to care at all. No one wanted to talk to WH. It broke my heart knowing that no one would help.

I just knew in the end I did everything I could possibly do to save my M and more. So my conscience was clear.

You are doing what you can.


BS 52, FWH 53, Married 1-1-84
D-day 5-14-07, WH moved in with OW
Plan A 9 months, DARK Plan B 3-17-08 until 3-2-09
WH and OW broke up 1-09
Started over 7-09
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Originally Posted by QueeniesNewLife
You are doing what you can.

I hear ya. It's just sad the OMW doesn't seem to give a crud either.

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Men,

Quote
It's just sad the OMW doesn't seem to give a crud either.
I have had the hardest time learning that I can't control what they do. I would, trust me if I could.

What I have somehow come to grips with is that I have tried and continue to try and save my M and that's all I can do.

So that if and when judgement day comes, I go with a pure heart.

I'm sorry you are hurting, but there is a lesson in this for you. You just have to seek it and work through it. Tough stuff and I hate it, but there isn't always a choice in life, is there?


BS 52, FWH 53, Married 1-1-84
D-day 5-14-07, WH moved in with OW
Plan A 9 months, DARK Plan B 3-17-08 until 3-2-09
WH and OW broke up 1-09
Started over 7-09
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Dancing,

Harley is very specific about this one point. If there are other addictions in play, such as you have mentioned, he won't even consider MC with the couple until those addictions are addressed and ended. It is tough enough to deal with a failed marriage without the added stress that addictions to alcohol, drugs, etc.

Your H, must address the drug issue first.

God Bless,

JL

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Originally Posted by Tabby1
Can I ask a series of simple questions? When does the 6 months, 2 years (or whatever timeline) begin? Is it at the beginning of the A? Is it upon exposure? Can certain events feed it or perhaps extend the period of neurotransmitter production? For example, excess drama requiring further "rescuing"? Silly questions perhaps, but maybe useful for new BS's.

the biological clock begins when the WS becomes infatuated, in other words, when the WS finds they can't think of anything other than OP, and they're counting down the minutes to when they can see or talk to them again. Exposure, discovery or even sex is incidental.

Some things may hasten the end of the infatuation cycle; in my WW's case, she admits the fog lifted partially after exposure and after a bout of jealousy when she found out another woman was interested in me. Anything that shocks WS with some reality should help shorten the infatuation cycle. But, YMMV.


BH (me) age 55
FWW age 52
married 26 years
First DDay 2/23/08, 1 day after PA began, ~1-1/2 months after EA began
Multiple failed attempts at NC
confirmable NC since 1/23/09


(D 31; S 29) my first marriage
(D 27; S 25) her first marriage
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Originally Posted by Just Learning
Dancing,

Harley is very specific about this one point. If there are other addictions in play, such as you have mentioned, he won't even consider MC with the couple until those addictions are addressed and ended. It is tough enough to deal with a failed marriage without the added stress that addictions to alcohol, drugs, etc.

Your H, must address the drug issue first.

God Bless,

JL

Thank you, JL.

Yeah, I don't know if he ever will. YDS had a good point about this because he had his own struggle with drugs for about a year or so. He said his dad probably thinks he's functioning normally and there is nothing wrong.

I don't know what it will take for him to wake up, if ever.

I am around DGS a lot, though and I have been sending him pictures. Since I am in Plan Whatever now. LOL!

I haven't heard from Gray since I sent him the email (respectfully) asking about this charge to the checking account he made without asking.

Thanks again!

Charlotte

(sorry for t/j GH!!)

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I had mixed results with exposure. It didn't end the A - in some ways it may have reinforced it though I still believe in the long term it will end (though it is going to hit the 2 year mark next month if you start from the beginning of the A, it's been 15 months since D-day/exposure). Most people were very supportive of me. WstbxH snowjobbed MIL 3 months before D-day (went to visit her and told her how unhappy he was with me sick meanwhile leading me to believe nothing was wrong). BIL#1 who had only just faced his D-day was angry with him, supportive of me but in the end stood by his brother. BIL#2 who watched what BIL#1 went through didn't speak to WstbxH for a long time - to the extent that it ruined MIL's 60th birthday party. MIL was furious with me and insisted on no contact between me and the BIL's. She then turned around and gave OW all the gifts she had bought for me for my birthday. She honestly believes that in the 5 days from when WstbxH asked for a divorce and I found out about the A, he met, fell in love and planned a future with OW!!!

On OW's side, she has a large family and they are very religious. Only 2 sisters still talk to her. One she is still close to (also blacklisted from the family due to an A of her own) and the other is a very tentative relationship since her husband and OWH are still very close. What little time OW allows OWH to see his DD, he has to take her around to visit her family as well as his since they won't allow WstbxH anywhere near them and OW won't visit without him.

Among friends, all of our (mine and WstbxH's) friends took my side. Virtually all of their (OW & OWH's) friends took his side. There is one couple that work with OW and WstbxH. They still get invited to their place for dinner and stuff but the husband confided in OWH that he doesn't like WstbxH. Also, that couple is now on my baseball team and I tailgait with them after the game. It was funny the week OW came - another couple came that had previously been friends with OW and OWH and were sitting with us. OW and WstbxH hung around by their truck, not 50 yards from our party, for about 30 minutes before finally leaving. I think they were waiting in hopes that I would leave so they could join. Basically through no effort or design, I have stolen their remaining friends.

So nobody "talked" to either one of them really, other than to tell them they were crazy. But it did shake up their entire support network which they don't think they need right now but someday they will.

The reason I think exposure may have reinforced their A in this case is that they have nobody but each other. They have had ongoing drama with OWH who has had to take OW to court just to be able to see his DD at all (OW and WstbxH bought a house in another city and moved without telling anyone until it was done). We also had some drama created by my DS's wedding which OW was specifically asked not to come to. And of course a number of stupid requests along the way which I have been in no way willing to oblige. So I believe they have a lot of "poor us" and "our love will get us through" crap. They are planning to get married as soon as the divorces go through so they still have plenty of scheming to do to keep them busy.

Now all that said, I tell every new BS here to expose, broadly, widely and swiftly. I still credit this very move for every positive thing that has happened to me since (yes, in retrospect there really are positive things). In addition to the tremendous support I received from friends, family and even strangers, I believe I got a better settlement (WstbxH was less willing to pursue most things when I reminded him that this was his doing). I also retained many friends that probably would have believed his snowjob along with his mother if I hadn't exposed. I also connected with OWH who was instrumental in getting information, not jsut about the A but ongoing information like when WstbxH was planning to rob my house or show up at my baseball game to taunt me. It made him look like a liar and gave me credibility.




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