For a period of time right after I discovered my husband’s affair, I went on a quest for information about infidelity and love. I found that there is a difference between affair love and real love, and the difference is clear enough for a rationally thinking person. I get it that the “high” and the adrenaline rush of an affair is often mistaken for love by affair partners, but it is nothing but an illusion. It will not stand the test of time and the light of day. But what about the first love phenomenon? Affairs between people who were first loves in their teens is becoming very common. They reach out through Facebook or whatever other social media and SMACK, the fire is rekindled and they find they are still in love. I’ve read that this happens because there is a bonding that occurs between young people in first love that is like imprinting between a mother and child. It’s a permanent wiring in the brain. Even if they go on to other loves after they grow up, they always have that wiring for their first love. So when they meet up again, those neurons fire off and it’s like they had always loved each other. If they are in a relationship with someone, it can spell disaster.
My husband’s affair was with his first love from high school. But he says he doesn’t think he was really in love with her during the affair. He says he realized at some point that he was in love with a fantasy, with someone who no longer existed. She was not the same person. The person she had become was not someone he wanted to be with. He said it had been nothing but an illusion – and he made that statement before we had done any reading on the subject, so it was interesting that he used exactly the same term to describe it. So the way he described it was that it was affair love, not real love – even though she had been his first love. He said it was not a rekindling of real love or “love interrupted” for him. It was just affair love, and not real in any way.
I know that I am still in the trauma phase of my recovery from his affair, and that I suffer many of the symptoms of PTSD, so maybe my judgments are not right on target, but I don’t know if Ibelieve him. He has lied to me so many times. Sometimes he lied because he wanted spare my feelings. Sometimes he lied because he did not want to face the reality of the devastation he caused in our marriage. But for whatever reason, he has lied repeatedly over the last six years, before and after D-day. For a while after my D-day, I thought he was no longer capable of telling the whole truth. But that’s another story for another day.