The Fog. The Fog, the Fog, the Fog. She is deep in the Fog. Great update, it sounds like she’s finally coming out of the Fog. Oh wait, she’s gone back into the Fog. Don’t pressure her to come out of the Fog, lest she go deeper into the Fog. The Fog has got her. She must come out of the Fog on her own. When the Fog clears, she will have an epiphany, a Fog Epiphany. Oops, she’s gone back into the Fog. The Fog is finally clearing! No, it’s back! Your poor wife, she’s in the clutches of the Fog. She knows not what she does. Too Foggy.
Jesus, I clung desperately to that shit for eight months until I finally snapped out of my Fog and divorced her. Ten years later, she’s still in the Fog.
— David (comment left on Stupid Shit the Reconciliation Industrial Complex Says)
If you’ve spent any time reading infidelity articles, you’ve stumbled across this peculiar weather phenomena “affair fog.”
It’s a cloud that descends on otherwise respectable partners and absolves them of responsibility.
Sorry chumps, you don’t get a fog. That’s a very angry question you asked, and perhaps we’ll revisit it when you can calm down and be less judgy.
Meanwhile, here are four reasons “affair fog” is not a thing.
1.) Cheating is a choice. “I’d like to blame my neurotransmitters” is a game we all can play. Did I club Schmoopie over the head with a rock? Well, my pre-frontal cortex got riled up and I have an evolutionary imperative to kill mate poachers. That wouldn’t go over well in the court of law and neither should “I fuck around because… limerence.”
Fog is just a handy euphemism the RIC has for devaluing. Abusers know exactly what they’re doing. It takes a lot of executive functioning to create a double life.
2.) Fogs are not selective. Had you actually been under the influence of a cogency-obliterating fog, it would permeate your entire life, not just the way you treat your partner. Consider dementia. You don’t selectively turn your impairment on or off. Similarly, your cheating wife is not confused by pomegranate purchases at the grocers.
But, but! She quit her job under the influence of her affair fog! So it does permeate her whole life!
Because she wanted to. See point #1. She did the cost benefit-analysis and chose the gratification of kibbles. Is this person muddled in every aspect of their life? Paralyzed by indecision? A determination to cheat or quit a job is a series of decisions, not confusion.
3.) Fog is a stalling tactic for cake. Waiting for the fog to clear keeps you in place as Plan B. It’s the power of maybe. Perhaps they’ll have an epiphany and come back!
4.) Enchantment needs witch doctors. If cheaters are under a spell, then you need a voodoo professional. Who deals in hopium? Who creates these cockamamy theories to “stand for your marriage” and singlehandedly fix your relationship? The Reconciliation Industrial Complex. The Plan B holding pattern is very profitable.
Now then, about that chump fog. I’m sorry to tell you, that doesn’t exist either. It’s totally human to be traumatized by betrayal, to be afraid, and seduced by false hope and a sense of control. But we chumps also make choices — to spackle, minimize or deny.
The good news is we also have agency and get to make decisions. Like leaving the foggy pumpkin patch and declaring the Great Pumpkin a fraud.