They thought they could keep it secret; that neither would make any demands on the other and it would be perfectly safe. Most "family" affairs are interwoven with family dysfunctions and buried resentments.
Neither Bill nor Tina, his sister-in-law, looked seriously at the issues in their respective marriages or inter-locked families; or even how dangerous it was.
Suddenly we found ourselves talking, feeling like we had known each other for years." The affair "just "happened," George added. Another one sounding a bit more "strategic" came from Jan, a 41 year-old lawyer.
She told me that her affair was a "marriage stabilizer..and discreet, a perfect solution for me." She decided it was a rational alternative to the disruption of divorce.
George began by telling me that "She was standing off by herself during a conference break, leaning against a wall, sipping coffee.
"As I walked by, our eyes met and I felt a sudden jolt -- a rush of energy, real connection.
The available partner believes that the other really will leave his or her spouse, given enough time and patience. " But that takes two equally available and committed people.
Visions of Woods, Jessie James, Mark Sanford, John Edwards and others came to mind -- along with the similar stories of countless patients over the years.Based on my work over the decades, I find six kinds of affairs that people have today. It can feel really intense, but it's also the quickest to flame out. An example is the person who's able to feel sexually alive and free only in a secret rela-tionship, hidden from the imagined hovering, inhibiting eye of one's parent -- which the person may experience unconsciously with his or her spouse.People make their choices, but I think a non-judgmental description of these six kinds of affairs (but with a tinge of humor) can help people deal with them with greater awareness and responsibility. John and Kim met through work, and felt a strong physical attraction. The lust affair is often short-lived, and passion can slide downhill pretty fast as the excitement declines or un-derground emotional issues surface again.She knew that "getting back" at her husband wasn't going to produce empowerment or healing, but nevertheless began a disastrous affair.She subsequently discovered that the man was only interested in a narcissistic conquest, and he quickly dumped her.Of course the public always enjoys being titillated with stories of public figures' affairs, especially when hypocrisy is exposed.