I think family therapist Lisa Bahar might be trolling us. I’ve read some asinine relationship listicles in my day (HuffPo I’m talking to you), but this one takes the biscuit — 7 Reasons Your Husband Left You for His Emotional Affair Partner. (Spoiler alert: It was you. You suck.)
“She filled the gap and was willing to be a part of your relationship knowing all too well the troubles he had with you.” (Is this a naughty double entrendre? Filled the GAP? Or has divorcedmoms.com no editor?)
Anyway, it’s nice of Lisa to put it so plainly. Other articles by Lisa include:
7 Reasons Your Sexy Skirt Prompted That Rape
5 Ways Your Inadequacies Force Others to Drown Kittens … and
13 Crazy Ways Cancer Cells Divide to Punish You
The common denominator here, of course, is YOU. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. The Universal Bullshit Translator was curious to learn all 7 ways you suck, so here goes:
1. What he felt: He felt inadequate and insecure and needed your praise of what he is doing right versus what he is doing wrong in the relationship.
What the emotional affair provided him: Emotional validation that he is good and adequate, she understood his frustrations with you. She most likely provided suggestions such as flowers, gifts, what to say or not say to help make things better in the marriage.
The result: He felt heard, understood and calmer, and he associated these good feelings to the EA.
The missing link in the marriage: Both spouses were unskilled in how to validate one another daily, despite the differences, being able to identify how you are both doing and being something positive in the relationship.
She was just there making polite bouquet suggestions “Avoid carnations!” and that’s why he had to fuck her. Excuse me, form a chaste, personal bond of the sort that compels one to leave his marriage.
Women, don’t leave your men alone with daffodils and total strangers who care deeply about your marital satisfaction. He might associate good feelings with daffodils. Or strangers. Or mailboxes. Anyway, the world is a psychedelic kaleidoscope of sensory stimulation. He could bond at any moment. Remain vigilant.
2. What he felt: He wanted sex and wasn’t sexually satisfied.
What the emotional affair provided him: She made him feel desired sexually and responded with flirting and innuendos and most likely gave him some ideas on how to please you.
The result: He felt more desired as a sexual partner and more attractive, most likely leading to working out and buying new clothing as well as trying to please his spouse, but, at the same time, thinking of her. He associates the other woman’s sexual openness to his need to be desired as a sex partner. He associates these feelings to her when he is with his spouse and confusion may occur leading to obsessiveness and need for more contact with his emotional affair partner.
The missing link in the marriage: Intimacy and sexual desire weren’t consistently worked on and protected in the relationship.
There she is again, just offering your husband “ideas on how to please you” and YOU REFUSE TO BE PLEASED, frigid cow that you are.
She desires him. She is sexually open. And she is also trying to save your marriage, if you’d let her. But of course you won’t, because he’s at the gym/working late/and is listed as “Bob” in his cellphone.
You failed to protect him.
3. What he felt: Bored in the relationship, like they were “roommates,” instead of a married couple.
What the emotional affair provided: A sense of fun and play, even coordinating an event that she may be present at with her own spouse or significant other.
The result: He arrives at the social gathering, eager to have fun, however, preoccupied with the emotional affair partner. When his spouse questions his preoccupation with her he brushes off the concerns by telling his wife, “she is just a friend.
He shares with his affair partner, how the time went, and they both find a common theme, generally leading to a thought, if not said verbally, that they could have had fun together if the spouses were not involved. The fantasy of meeting and being together appeals to them both.
The missing link in the marriage: Enjoying pleasant activities together and doing the “clichéd” but effective date night. You both needed to protect and make time for one another, invest in a sitter, nanny, in-law, older sibling to watch the kids if necessary, but you failed to keep those times alive and nourished.
You failed to enjoy pleasant activities together, like that social gathering he just arrived at. You need to make time for him, even though he’s in the corner chatting with his “friend” plotting to leave you. (A friend with whom he has NEVER had sex. He plots to leave you with all his friends.)
Had you only invested in a sitter… he would’ve fucked her too.
4. What he felt: He wanted to talk to his spouse, but when he tries she is always busy with the children, work, commitments and can’t talk or find time for conversation with him.
What the emotional affair provided him: She was available and provided him company and a listening ear. This happens many times with those that travel.
The result: She becomes his companion and he feels connected to someone that does not make demands on him. He may, given the circumstances, have her join him on a trip at some point.
The missing link in the marriage: Not being mindful of when you call one another and when you are both drifting apart or disconnecting. It takes active participation to notice, remember and follow up on the call or his need to communicate if you were not able to talk at the time he reached out.
Her ears were available. This happens many times with those who travel.
Call him! Reach out! Cellphone service is not available in his area. Follow up! No, still can’t reach him. No, it’s a dead spot. No really, talk to Verizon. St. Louis is VERY patchy. What are you insinuating? HE WAS IN A HOTEL ROOM DISCUSSING DAFFODILS! FOR YOU!
5. What he felt: Controlled and not trusted due to your questioning and checking his phone, iPad, etc.
What the emotional affair provided: He may have decided to now escalate into using “burner numbers.” He gets more strategic to protect his connection with his affair partner. (question, in a situation like this, wouldn’t the EA affair partner offer him the trust that is missing in the marriage?)
The result: Adrenaline, the rush of secrecy and a feeling of being alive occurs. The addictive mind starts to obsess with the fear of not being found out, which fuels the feeling of being desired, not being bored, understood and validated.
The missing link in the marriage: It’s time for couple’s therapy. There is a need for someone to help with what is happening in the marriage, go to therapy each week. Commit to regular therapy times and protect that time will have a positive effect on the relationship. When you find, yourself checking computer use, cell phone calls and social media accounts, there is a reason for that, use your wisdom, be mindful and listen to your gut.
Commit to regular therapy so Lisa can tell you this is all your fault. It may not be immediately obvious to you that this is all your fault, so you need a trained professional.
Are you mindful and listening to your gut? Is it telling you to check his phone? That makes you a distrustful shrew who compels men to cheat on her. #yourewelcome #thatwillbe$120
6. What he felt: Guilt over the emotional affair. “I don’t want to hurt her, I should not be doing this.”
What the emotional affair provided him: His affair partner is understanding and may even make the suggestion they stop corresponding.
The result: The emotional affair most likely renews the need for a connection with random unnecessary excuses to continue to see and talk to each other. He feels guiltier which spurs on the adrenaline rush he gets from engaging in the affair.
The missing link in the marriage: Remain aware of how you are responding to his odd behavior during his affair. Odd behavior which is usually projection and accusations of you doing something. Counseling is essential at this point.
Is he acting oddly? Has cell phone reception been particularly patchy in St. Louis? Whatever chaste, not-sex thing he’s doing (looking at gardening catalogs with women who only want the best for you), he feels guilty about it. (He hides bulb catalogs under his bed, and when you’re not around he jerks off to dahlia tubers.) Remain aware of how you are responding to this. Call Lisa.
7. What he felt: Anxious and distressed about being in the marriage and desiring the emotional affair.
What the emotional affair provides him: An ultimatum or need for him to leave his spouse. The emotional affair partner desires control and wants him to divorce his wife.
The result: He tries to find ways to make his wife leave him first to relieve the guilt he feels over the affair. Perhaps this has happened to you, you may have argued, stood your ground, asked him to leave. He may go, and you separate, or he stays at a friend’s house. In these situations, divorce is in your future.
The missing link in the marriage: If this is the case, time for personal reflection, counseling, self-care, support and a willingness to look at your part in the demise of your marriage. Stick to your values, avoid generating an emotional affair as well to get back at him or relieve your own pain.
She needs him to leave you. This woman, so concerned for your marital happiness and welfare. Who cares about the quality of your floral bouquets and the sex you’re having. A woman who only listens and provides fun, but never sex! Anyway, she requires your husband to leave you. And because he is easily stimulated (mailbox! daffodil! hamburger!) he considers it.
Look at your part in the demise of your marriage. Did you express pain at his plotting to leave you? Did you ask him to choose? If so, divorce (DIVORCE!!!! SHAME! FAILURE! DIVIDED 401KS!) is in your future. He will go to her ears. Those listening ears and all the sweet, stolen nights they spent together listening in St. Louis.
He will leave for her, because you suck. Practice self care. Reflect. Call Lisa.