213: Rules Of Engagement

I had a little wobble recently and got angry. I got angry at me, at Leigh, at everyone. I doubt it was anything to do with infidelity. I think it was probably a dose of pandemic cabin fever coupled with a ‘bad mood 24 hours’ as sometimes happens with me. In that moment I wrote this.

Even in a good mood, this is still a list worth remembering however, and if you have some crazy notion about what it’s like to be the Affair Partner (male or female), here’s my take on it. Because let’s be honest, there is nothing especially romantic or fun about it unless you are slightly unhinged or deluded. It’s a situation and you should always treat it like a business arrangement to some degree.

Do it if you can’t imagine being in any kind of relationship with a happy ending, or if like me, you just can’t face commitment and have the kinds of trust issues I am still trying to work through. It sates my need for connection and intimacy without me having to commit to someone and being unlikely to follow through with them long term. So here are my rules for if you are planning on taking a leap into the murky world of extra marital affairs. Ignore them at your peril:

  • Never be at their beck and call
  • Have your own life
  • Never get jealous – you have no right to anything
  • Never wait for them
  • Remember, it will always end
  • They are lying to others, they will lie to you
  • You are replaceable
  • Never fall in love
  • You will always be in second place, never let them be in your first place
  • Your loyalty to them is not a given, as their loyalty to you never existed
  • Make them your convenience as much as you are theirs
  • Hold the cards, don’t be vulnerable if things turn sour
  • When it ends, walk away graciously and with dignity. Revenge is unattractive and you will come off the worse, or at best looking like the bad guy
  • Learn by your mistakes
  • Take note of the red flags

If you don’t believe me or you need a second opinion, Loveshack.org is your one-stop shop for the messy fall out that comes with infidelity in all its guises. They have a forum section dedicated to infidelity from all perspectives, and you would be wise to consult it. It has lots of sage advice which will keep your feet firmly on the ground and I regularly check in there to remind myself of the situation I am in. It helps me to remain balanced. It’s been incredibly helpful, informative and interesting.

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