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Infidelity- The Emotional "Fog"


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My ex cheated on me, and a friend of mine suggested I read this article about infidelity, and the emotional "fog" that the cheating SO and the other person are in. Here is the link:


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If you don't feel like reading it, it basically talks about how the cheating SO (WS in the article) gets such a thrill from the "in love" feelings from the other person that they being to think that this new person is their soul mate. They begin to over analyze the past of their relationship, and pick out all of the flaws. The being to think things were bad for a long time, and this is their ticket out.


The other person feels this same thrill, but also feels that they are rescuing this person from a bad relationship. They also get an ego boost from stealing away someone from a long term relationship, because they must be "better" than the other spouse.


I was hoping to get people's experience and thoughts on this theory. I saw this change in my ex, and this illogical behavior. She had the sudden change in personality, and started making decisions based solely on emotion, and what made her feel happy at the time.


Has anyone ever cheated, and had this "fog" clear to realize what they have done? Have you tried to reconcile after making a "bad" decision like cheating?


Thanks for helping my try to understand all of this.

Take Care.

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Macgyver4ever, you know already that you and I are in very similar situations. I wish I knew the answer of whether the fog will ever clear...I just don't know yet. I enjoyed reading this article (if one can enjoy such a thing) and thank you very much for sharing it.


The only question I can pose is when the fog clears, what changes?

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This was very insightful to read. My story is slightly different but it applies. I have been married 10 years. Well before I got married, I met a woman and fell in love with her, got struck by the thunder bolt, thought she was my soul mate, etc. I broke up with my then girlfriend to take a chance with her, only my "soul mate" had a boyfriend. She initially rebuffed him to take a chance with me, but then saw me as a great unknown and accepted her boyfriend's proposal. I went back to my old girlfriend, and eventually we got married.

Fast forward 10 years. The woman who struck me with a thunder bolt contacted me out of the blue and told me she made a mistake, and should have taken the chance with me, and wanted more than anything for another chance. I was floored, and realized I was still head-over-heals with this woman. I believed then, and believe now she is my soul mate. We progressed together for a few months, and she made steps to separate from her husband. (I need to point out that we've never slept together, the basis of our relationship--despite having an intense physical attraction--has always been this unbelievable natural connection. It was there 10 years ago, and it's still there.) I keep having a hard time making the move to do it. I'm not sure what's going on. We've since temporarily broken off communication and decided to take care of our own separate lives, and if we're both in a position to give eachother all of ourselves, then we'd move forward.

But I read this and I see I've been doing all the things typical of someone in a fog--finding the flaws in my marriage, looking for red flags and warning signs, trying to justify everything. But I don't know. I thought this other woman was my soul mate 10 years ago and it's the only time I've ever experienced love at first site. I wanted to marry her back then. And getting to know her again now, she's even better than what my memories were of her, and it's obvious we are compatible in every way. Yet my wife has been there for me for the rest of the time. She loves me, and it seems unfair to do this to her. I am not perfectly matched with my wife. We are opposites in many ways. Just very different people. I haven't had a bad marriage, it's not tumultous, but I wonder whether I've stayed because it's comfortable. I was having issues well before my "soul mate" came back into the picture, problems with communication and intimacy, feelings early on that I did the wrong thing. But I've always soldiered on and tried to make it work because I made a commitment and my wife is a good person.

So is this different? Because I knew her from before and fell in love with her before? These are not new feelings, and it's not someone I met at Starbucks or something. And it has not been a torrid, dirty, hourly motel room thing at all. Any thoughts and perspective?

If I sound confused and all over the place, it's because I am. One minute I have my foot out the door and running to my soul mate, and the next I am thinking I can't do this to the woman who made this commitment to me. And yes, I am in counseling.

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I'd say its different and also that you are a wonderful mature person who is not letting the fog take over their mind. I would definitely start with a link back to this one, and maybe even post in Ask Caro33 thread, she always seems to have good advice.

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This is amazing insight, and I wish i could give you an answer but I don't know. All I can tell you is that it sounds like you are going through the same thing my ex did.


My ex became depressed after drunkingly cheating on me last April. When a coworker began hitting on her, complimenting her, and making her feel good about herself, she started getting feelings for him. She broke it off with me to try it with him only to come back a week later. I eventually found out about the other guy, and told her she had to end it. She didn't. They kept talking and seeing each other for the next 3 months until she eventually felt strongly enough about him, and found enough flaws in me. When I found out she still liked him I ended it.


The next few months we tried to work things out, and figure out what was going on. She kept saying it wasn't as much about him, as it was that she felt I wasn't "the one," but at the same time, she said if he wasn't around she would have no problem spending the rest of her life with me.


She built up tiny flaws in me to be enormous unforgivable sins. We are different in many ways, and our senses of humor don't always mesh. This was the deal breaker for her, which is a pretty lame reason to end a long term relationship unless you are a professional comedian.


I don't know if she ever thought that he was her "soul mate," but I do know that she has abandoned all previous priorities in her life to be with him. She gave up religion, her family, her stance about not dating her coworkers, and is doing very poor at work. She also lost me, which is, as you can imagine, a huge loss.


It seems as though she has "brainwashed" herself in this this fog, and the other guy has pushed, and played his cards right to get her. They could be soul mates for all know, but I'm not sure if it is worth what she has given up.


I had that feeling that you are talking about. The first date you fall in love, and you can't get that person out of your mind. There are girls in my life that I have always wondered "what if?" and if they would have contacted me when I was with my ex I probably would have left her for the opportunity. That magic is undeniable, but is it worth the risk? Love is more than that magic, chemical feeling. That rush only lasts for so long before you are left what is really there, and most times it isn't what you had before.


Affairs rarely work for a reason. There is guilt, shame, and when the passion dies off you are left looking for that same thrill again. Your best bet is to not talk to the other woman for awhile. Clear your head. It's great that you are in counseling. What do they have to say?

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When my wife had an affair it mirrors the "escapism". Escape from the humdrum.


Regrettably she wasnt really experienced in dealing with a co workers interest. She also had depression and cutting a long story short embarked on an affair with the person she thought was the best thing since sliced bread.


I was with her for 12 years, childhood sweethearts, married for 5 in that time, had 2 daughters.


She threw it all away for a sordid affair that lasted about 3 months while we were married and it lasted about 2 years when I was out the picture.


She is adult enough to admit that she made a biiiig mistake. She was naive, stupid, inexperienced and wanted a thrill.


The article and Macs post are so right.


Bluespicker - work on your current marriage. Cut all ties with this other person. She is clouding your judgement and its not fair on you...or her.

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As much as I shouldn't blame myself, I'm the reason they are together now.....



I broke up with my ex when I found out she had still been spending time with him. For the next few weeks, she was still hanging out with him, but they were dating, or kissing. I was tired of the disrespectful way she was treating me, and sitting at home on the weekends waiting for her to decide to come back, or mess around with this guy. I told her to start dating this guy, because that is the only way she will get it out of her system. I told her not to talk to me until he was out of the picture. I gave her permission to try out this fling, and she enjoyed it.


I figured it was either now or later. She would do it eventually, and hoped kissing him, or whatever would get it out of her system. She eventually got drunk and took it to the level she knew I wouldn't forgive.



I guess I am wondering that since she is now in a relationship with him, will this fog lift after the "honeymoon phase" is over, is the the relationship with me done. I am assuming it is done so I can move on with my life, but I am curious if she is going to "wake up" at some point.

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bluespicker, i understand exactly what you're saying. your situation sounds very similar to mine. i have always wondered, in my 8-year-long marriage, whether i made the wrong decision to marry. and it has never been a particularly bad marriage, it's been comfortable. and i worry that i stay because it's comfortable. for the past two years i've basically been incredibly connected to a close friend of mine and haven't been able to get away from the idea that we're supposed to be together. but at the same time, i know that love and attraction and all of that is just the way our brain is receiving and transmitting thoughts and emotion, so i continue to try to push the feelings away. my husband has always been committed and kind toward me, and i don't want to hurt him. i also don't want to lose him because he is my touchstone. however, is it fair to stay with someone you don't feel passion for? don't they deserve passion? by staying with my spouse, i am eliminating the chance for him to receive passion and that is selfish too. i guess there is no easy answer. the question i ask myself is this: can i imagine life without my spouse? and no i cannot. he is my family. the current conclusion i have made is that in this world of disloyalty and selfishness and deceit and war, my spouse is the most constant thing i have and i trust him with my life. giving up that is like pushing away the greatest gift. but what is fair to our spouses? and what is fair to ourselves. i think all of it takes an enormous amount of self-reflection. who do you want to spend the rest of your life with? however, another problem with that question is that when we're in the throws of chemical attraction and desire, we only want the object of our desire. and we can't trust chemistry.

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The man that I had the affair with also felt he was saving me from my relationship and he also thought he was the better man for me but as it turned out my husband was the better man all along.


A few nights ago I had a dream that I was the "other man." There was a girl from work, that I had never really been interested in, but we started working closer together. She started telling me about her relationship problems with her fiance, and I would just listen, and be a good friend. She started complimenting me on being a good listener, and one thing lead to another and we started falling for each other quickly. Remember, this was just a dream, but the feelings and emotions I felt as the "other man" were real.


One evening after work we were in her car, and were about ready to consummate the affair. I was filled with the feeling that I was saving this poor girl from a future of sadness, and that I was "the better man" because she was risking a long term serious relationship to be with me. I must be something special!!! Right before we kissed, I said I couldn't do it. I felt it wasn't right for me to be the wedge that pushed these two apart. If things were bad, they needed to work on it or end it before I get involved. I took the high road.


I wish th "other person" would do that more often. They are almost as guilty as the cheaters we love(d.)

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The "other" person should burn in hell.


Sorry but in my opinion you should get your own house in order BEFORE embarking on any affair.


In my example we may have split amicably (like my mate Graham and his Mrs who decided after FIVE years of trying to divorce, however there was NO funny business, the realtionship had simply run its course and they made a matured, adult decision to end things) because we couldnt get along or whatever but having some other vulture lurking meant that rational decisions could not be taken.


I do know now that if that other cnut was not in the picture we would still be together now. How do I know. She TOLD me.

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All I would ask that is if there is no solid reason for you to want to leave such as abuse, infidelity(!), an addiction - alcohol, drink, drugs then you owe it to make things work.


Marriage is a partnership. Please seek help even if its counselling. It could just be the "spark" has gone. Anyone new is providing this "spark" and an escape from reality.


If you geniunely cannot then end it (and have a period of separation/divorce) before you embark on a self destruct mission with a third party.

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The "other" person should burn in hell.


Sorry but in my opinion you should get your own house in order BEFORE embarking on any affair.


In my example we may have split amicably (like my mate Graham and his Mrs who decided after FIVE years of trying to divorce, however there was NO funny business, the realtionship had simply run its course and they made a matured, adult decision to end things) because we couldnt get along or whatever but having some other vulture lurking meant that rational decisions could not be taken.


I do know now that if that other cnut was not in the picture we would still be together now. How do I know. She TOLD me.


My ex said the same thing. If it wasn't for the other guy pushing for a relationship, she would have no problem spending the rest of her life with me. As much as I should blame my ex for this, I blame him more. He took advantage of her in a delicate state of mind. She was depressed and confused, and he pushed all the right buttons to get her from me.

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He took advantage of her in a delicate state of mind. She was depressed and confused, and he pushed all the right buttons to get her from me.


Which is why they deserve to burn in hell. Same with me and the ex-wife.


As a result the kids now see their dad only at weekends and we had a long drawn out, bitter divorce.


And for what at the end of the day?

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I have a feeling that my ex's new guy did the same thing. The things I was hearing from friends who saw this whole disgusting thing take place told me the things he was saying...and it is the stereotypical stuff that would elicit such a response.

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Last week I realized I was experiencing the "Emotional Fog" from the betrayed SO in the relationship. I started to think "well maybe this guy is her soul mate, and he is better than me" and stupid stuff like that. I doubt any of it was true, and it just made me feel worse about myself. The more time that I spend away from her the less I think about her. It's a good thing. I am getting back my life, and I know that good things will happen.


As for her, I could care less. I hope Karma gets her.

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excellent article and spot on...my husabnd had the affair and he would say that this happened exactly...he saved someone from a bad marriage at work and they grew close and had the affair...he had been withdrawing from me for several years....his therapist also mentionned the projecting of negative characteristics onto me that the article mentions...


this is tough stuff but after 3 years of hell, he says he is finally committed and the "fog" is gone...but deep down i wonder if he is staying out b/c he is comfortable and for the kids....we both deserve more than that...


affairs truly cause so much pain...it is a true addiction and you have to treat it like one!


hang in there and good luck to you all!

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Funny how all of this works huh? My wife (soon to be ex) decided to file for divorce just over a month ago and within two weeks of filing, went on a date. They have been out several times since then and she claims they haven't had sex but I really doubt it. She makes no attempt to hide her attraction to him and has told me that she's always been attracted to him. She's definitely in the fog. She's a very smart girl but she makes absolutely no sense in this whole thing. Even her friends have told me they don't get it. She lost a bunch of weight at the end of last year and I think once this guy showed interest in her, she thought she'd cut it off with me and run to him. This is after an 8 year relationship (4 married) and a 2 year old daughter!!!!


I'm amazed daily how selfish people can be. You know what everyone, being the dumpees/cheated ons, we deserve much better than these people. As macguyver4ever said, karma will get them...All we can do is move on, find the RIGHT person for us who would never treat us like that, and live happy!!!

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affairs truly cause so much pain...it is a true addiction and you have to treat it like one!



This is an excellent point Radioheader.


Affairs can be an addiction. The can get addicted to the excitement and new life the other person can offer them and they get so engrossed in it that nothing else matters. My ex gave up me, her family, and her religion once she cheated. Now she is living with people she hated 6 months ago and partying with this guy all the time.


For some reason I can feel her regret starting to surface. I can feel that she is questioning her decision, and I think that is the first sign that the fog is lifting. Will she come back? I doubt it, but I wouldn't be surprised to get a "testing the waters" phone call at some point.


I'd love to hear more examples and opinions on this. From what I have heard it is a real thing Does anyone think it is not? I'd love to hear opposition.

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Well, my saga continues and evolves daily...some of you probably have read my forum ( ) and I found out this morning that she did have sex back in February just under a month before filing for divorce. This was with the same guy that she is still dating. It was at a party and she was at least honest with me once I found out about it. The funny thing is I would have never known except for my 2 year old daughter that dug out a bunch of stuff out of one of her bags and there were printed off emails from them to each other. They regretted they did it but only because they felt guilty that they didn't wait until the papers were filed. She said it was protected and they were drunk. The sad part is that she still had sex with me for a few weeks afterwards (although that was the only time they had sex until the papers were filed).


I always suspected it but now it's confirmed. I'm actually happy because now I truly know what type of person that she is. This will allow me to truly move on with my life as the attraction to her is now officially gone. It is pretty rough thinking that she had sex with another man while we were married but I'll get over it.


While filling me in on her thought process and why she did it, I could totally tell she was right in the middle of the FOG. Comments like "I can talk to him the way I never felt comfortable talking to you" which I'm guessing means dirty talk and that's what I always asked for, "I feel an emotional connection to him that I haven't had with you for a long time", etc. Of course, it's new and exciting!!! Amazing how these people are just blind to logic, reason and true feelings. No opposition here. Now, she keeps calling me for help to everyday stuff like were buddies as she doesn't feel comfortable asking him for help yet. I tell her to call him for help....It just makes me laugh at this point. Truly pathetic.

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  • 1 year later...

Part of the fog involves believing that the other person is your 'soulmate'. This soulmate crap is perpetuated by the media, and most people haven't really learned how long-term love works.


Yes, there is often a period of intense romantic love at the beginning of a relationship. This generates intense feelings, and is the time when most people see their partner as their 'soulmate'. However, after 1-2 years typically, these feelings fade, and a more mature love must kick in or the relationship will suffer. Mature love is not what you feel, it is what you do. Love is a choice.


If you actually think you've found your 'soulmate', think again. You are probably being fooled by chemicals in your brain and the ignorance that has been thrust upon us by the media and popular culture. This is not to say that you and your partner cannot have a wonderful loving life together. I am just saying that there is not 'one true love' out there for each of us. Work to understand yourself and what love really is all about.

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  • 1 month later...

O.K., so it does sound like your ex is in a bit of a mess, but there are at least two things (highlighted in bold above), that scream to me that you should be glad the relationship is over.


Nobody forced your wife to have an affair. It sounds like there were some key things missing from your relationship. Macgyver, you deserve to be with someone who would choose you above everyone else.


Even if what you call "the fog" lifts, and she comes crawling back, you will still be facing the unpleasant reality that both of you have merely "settled", rather than be alone; in short-- co-dependancy.


(Hopefully this doesn't sound harsh, and I in no way condone her behaviour. Cheating is selfish, cowardly, and unacceptable. However, take comfort knowing that not only is there someone out there who is better for you, but that when you find this person, you will be able to trust them to be responsible with your heart, as you would be with theirs.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I read all this, and it hit home hard. Everything that has happened to me in the past 4 weeks, is directly related to this fog. There is no other explanation, other then that she maybe mentally ill. (I dont think so)


I have a question, What If I print "the fog" out, and give it to her next time I see her? I have a son with her, and this fog is destroying every bit of relationship we could have maintained, and its ruining her relationship with my family. Over no reasons.


Would it help my situation, or make it worse? should I just wait and let her find out she screwed up big time when it all clears? Im already at a point of no return with her, she burned all her bridges.. I do love her and want to be with her, but I cant live my life like this.

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