Sticky Bonds

Lost Loves, Romances, and Families in the 21st Century.

Just Lunch: After A Date With Your (Married) Lost Love

Many happily married people want to see their lost loves. They firmly believe they can control their actions and not "cross the line" with sexual contact. Can they? Read More

I understand what you say is

I understand what you say is totally true. It also makes me sick to my stomach that the people in this world are so weak that they project that weakness on to an undeserving spouse and destroy families in the process.

When the cheated spouse notices this infidelity whether it is physical or emotional. They get a dose of cortisol and feel the pain as they should.

Then the cheating spouse will claim it is a weakness in the cheated spouse and will use it as an excuse to continue the infidelity.
When the true weakness is with the cheating spouse

To Neil

Lost love romances (married, single, divorced, or widowed) are different from average romances. They share a history when they were growing up, like old friends. Most people do not have a lost love (someone torn from them by external circumstances), although most people do have ex sweethearts; the two are different, and for those who have never had a lost love, it's hard to understand.

Most of the men and women who are having extramarital affairs with lost loves are very torn. They were not cheaters before and they will never be again - it is just this one person. They love their spouses. They say they had no reason to cheat; they were surprised and unprepared by the lost love connection and didn't have their guards up like they would in the office or other places they see people attractive to them. They are ashamed.

Because they love their spouses and seek to end the affairs (that's why they contact me), they feel very guilty as well as distressed. They do not project anything onto the betrayed spouse. They see they families as innocent and betrayed by themselves. Everyone suffers.

A sympathetic piece...

...perhaps a little too sympathetic. As though one had experienced the whole event them-self?

I will admit, I for one know that story, and can remember each stage this piece refers to.

To James

Yes, they feel like they are going through this all by themselves. In high school, they had no spouses or children; it was just them. When they are having a secret affair, it is common for them to imagine they are in a bubble, like back in high school. To get them back to reality, they need to think about how it would be with the lost love if they were public, if they married the lost love: they would have angry ex-spouses to deal with forever, angry children and now step-children, split finances, problems with co-workers and community standing, etc. These are sobering thoughts and sometimes get them back to the present and out of this second adolescence.

I am not being sympathetic, nor am I judging, in my post. I am, as a research psychologist, telling what happens when someone who is married finds a lost love and thinks it can be innocent, thinks they are strong and smart and love their spouse, so they are in control. Those beliefs are mistaken.

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Nancy Kalish, Ph.D., is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the California State University, Sacramento. She is the author of Lost & Found Lovers.

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