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Is "Affair Fog" a real thing?

(48 Posts)
Balletballyflats Mon 02-Feb-15 19:13:34

Or just something cheated spouses cling to?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 02-Feb-15 19:15:08

How are you defining 'affair fog'? Who is in it? The cheating spouse?

babbityann Mon 02-Feb-15 19:32:35

Yes it is. It's also called 'limerance'.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 02-Feb-15 19:35:11

Is that 'infatuation' in old money?... hmm IME affairs happen for as many reasons as there are individuals. For some it's the real thing, 'true love' stuff and for others it's sheer opportunistic self indulgence.

So who is in the fog OP? You?

Balletballyflats Mon 02-Feb-15 20:17:59

Balletballyflats Mon 02-Feb-15 20:54:22

i think limerance is different somehow - isn't that infatuation?

I watched my sister struggle with her soon to be ex husband and his very sudden and very voracious infidelity and she was convinced he was having a breakdown/in a fog/MLC. But no, he didn't change back to the doting husband he had been previously.

aglassofmandms Mon 02-Feb-15 21:11:00

Limerence is different.

As someone who was cheated on, the affair fog certainly does exist. It wasn't til I joined mumsnet that I heard about it.

WaitingForMe Mon 02-Feb-15 21:29:07

I believe in it but I don't believe it's an excuse.

SelfLoathing Mon 02-Feb-15 21:38:07

Limerance is closer to obsession than infatuation. I am a limerance sufferer (I was the OW). If you've not experienced it, it is difficult to explain. Think of trying to explain a deja vu (if you've had one), to someone who has never had that experience. It is almost impossible.

Limerance has benefits - it gives you a sky-high high better than any kind of drug you could imagine - just from being in the presence of a person. It makes you feel utterly alive. But it is equally devastating - characterised by seriously, life destroying intrusive thinking.

A typical feature of limerance though is that the love object is slightly out of reach... limited time spent together. It rarely is sustainable long term in a day-to-day relationship warts and all because it is fundamentally founded on clouds.

You may find limerance in an affair but my guess is that mostly it would be in the OW/OM rather than in the M partner.

However, to answer you question about affair fog - I've said this before but an affair is very exciting at the start because it is a fantasy relationship; it is unreal.

Both partners have lots of sexual chemistry - which is normally exciting even in a "both single - could this go anywhere" set up.

Add into that for the M partner feeling that someone (usually) younger and desirable wants them plus the newness of a new partner after years of fidelity.

Add into that for an OW/M (who may not know the M person is married) a pursuit like they have never experienced. The M partner chases like hell, with hindsight, because they have nothing to lose - they have a husband/wife so rejection doesn't really matter. This is so flattering and makes you feel like this is your soulmate; in fact it is just the security of their primary relationship. No one single chases a person like that - but until you've been a victim of this, you don't realise it.

Add into all of that for the MM/W, it is exciting because it is forbidden and they know they shouldn't be doing it.

And then the icing on the cake is that it's all romantic dinners, expensive hotels, champagne and roses - NOT headaches, farts, dirty laundry, snotty noses etc.

It's not real - so yeah there is a fog. A fantasy fog.

Shonasnowqueen Mon 02-Feb-15 23:55:50

Do you think that people having affairs never fart in bed or have a headache and are all rich enough to afford expensive hotels and champagne?

AWholeLottaNosy Tue 03-Feb-15 00:05:20

Brilliantly explained, Selfloathing ( ditch the user name tho, please!)

SelfLoathing Tue 03-Feb-15 01:50:43

Do you think that people having affairs never fart in bed or have a headache and are all rich enough to afford expensive hotels and champagne?

My point - which was obvious if you weren't being so literal - is that affairs are not about dealing with a partner's headaches or farting - because typically the time spent together is fleeting and snatched. The affair partner never has to deal with the headaches or farting or man/woman flu. Affairs are rarely about (eg.) coping with a grumpy ill partner who wants to spend the day lazing around because s/he is sick/has a hangover/expects to be catered to. It is like a never ending first date where both are on their best behaviour, presenting their best dressed, best bodied, most romantic side. It's not real. It doesn't last and the end is usually catastrophic for at least one person in the equation.

And although not everyone can afford expensive hotels and champagne, those who can will find that fantasy aspect features heavily. And yes, my own experience as an OW was exactly like that (I didn't realise he was married initially btw). For those who can't afford it, it will still be the unreality of an affair at whatever level they can afford: "I want to impress my new lover with gifts and romance and my new hair cut."

Chickencup Tue 03-Feb-15 09:54:08

Interesting. My husband thinks that i am in a fog. I don't know. I had a short fling, entirely out of character, and he found out. And since then I've sort of gone into shutdown. I had the fling I suppose because I felt massively rejected by him, and he's since agreed he had withdrawn and now he wants it to work, but it's like a switch has been flicked and I can't think of him that way.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 03-Feb-15 10:11:34

As a regular on these boards, and having been the cheated-on DW in the past, I'm often struck how the innocent party looks for ways to keep a relationship alive against all odds.

The excuses..... he's stressed, he's not thinking straight, it's a mid-life-crisis, a temporary aberration, he'll realise he's made a mistake .... fly thick and fast. Next up is to blame the 'OW'...... she lured him in, led him on, turned his head, caused him to act out of character, hunted him down, flattered his ego ... etc. Finally, it's to blame themselves.... I haven't been attentive enough, I've put on weight, I've said no to sex too often, I've been too wrapped up in the kids/work/etc...

I think people cycle through all the above in a desperate, knee-jerk attempt to explain the shock discovery and as a way to scrape a little hope out of the situation. Because the alternative - he fancied a bit on the side and didn't care enough about me to restrain himself - is too harsh to contemplate

Chickencup Tue 03-Feb-15 10:20:47

I agree. Fundamentally, even though I astonished myself, it was my choice. I wasn't overtaken by an alien force. I did it because I could, cos I was really pissed off and because I thought I could get away with it. When my husband found out I thought itd frighten me into wanting to save and improve our marriage but instead it's kind of shocked me into huge withdrawal that feels like a fog. My husband is desperately doing all he can and I am at best ambivalent. I chose the affair but I didn't choose or expect this bit.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 03-Feb-15 10:33:37

That's not fog you're describing Chickencup, it's emotional detachment. Ever experienced that sensation when you've bought something new and you're waiting for it arrive... a car or a sofa or something else substantial.... and you look at your old one that you used to love dearly, and suddenly you see all its faults? It's no longer satisfactory because something better is up for grabs. Suspect your DH is no longer satisfactory either. Time to stop being ambivalent about it because it's cruel to keep him hanging on desperately trying to save something that's dead.

Chickencup Tue 03-Feb-15 10:40:14

Do you think there's any way of reviving it?sad He has made a lot of really significant changes which if he'd done it years ago would have made a massive difference yet now I can't seem to appreciate them, or him. He's a good, kind man but I cant shake off this detachment.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 03-Feb-15 10:45:51

I don't think there is, no. Certainly not if you're the one who stepped out of the marriage but are expecting him to be the one making all the changes. All he's effectively doing is demeaning himself and doing what is known sometimes as the 'Pick Me Dance'. If it carries on you'll go from feeling detached to feeling contemptuous.

Chickencup Tue 03-Feb-15 10:53:17

I begged him for years to come for counselling, give up weed, look after himself etc and he simply didn't. Before he discovered the fling I had decided we should separate and told him I had seen a lawyer. Even that didn't spur him into action, although by then that wasn't why I did it, I just thought there was no way we could go on like this. Then he discovered what I'd done, and was so astonished that he made the changes he had been promising to do. And he was/is also scared of us splitting, seeing less of the kids etc.
He's seeing a counsellor and we have agreed to go as a couple but I'm so worn out with it. I battled for years to make it work and now suddenly he's all motivated and I feel like climbing into a cave and staying there.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 03-Feb-15 11:00:51

The expression is 'too little, too late'. If it's over, there's no point going into a cave because that achieves nothing. Equally there's no point going to counselling if you're not going to be fully engaged. You've already seen a lawyer, you have the information, you won't stop him seeing the kids and maybe you can salvage an amicable split from a bad marriage.

Chickencup Tue 03-Feb-15 11:30:25

That's so sad. I do love him, I care for him and for what happens. I Saw a therapist for a while, and she said that she thought he had kind of made me into his mother somehow and it kind of feels like by ending it and splitting, I'm letting go of one of my children. Crying now. sad
I saw the therapist to try and establish why our sex life had died - he just didn't want it, and at the time refused to see anyone about it.

pocketsaviour Tue 03-Feb-15 11:59:12

Because the alternative - he fancied a bit on the side and didn't care enough about me to restrain himself - is too harsh to contemplate

That's interesting though because surely that is less harsh than "He doesn't love me and wants to exit the relationship"?

If a partner is a good parent, emotionally supportive, does their bit around the house, etc, I can't really get too upset about them occasionally getting a bit of outside action, providing of course they use condoms and aren't inconveniencing me/kids or over-spending.

An emotional affair would be a different matter but I do think we as a society rate sexual monogamy far too highly, especially given the majority of people seem to have trouble sticking to it. I'm aware this viewpoint isn't popular grin

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 03-Feb-15 12:12:50

@Chickencup you can still love and care for someone whilst at the same time recognising that they make a lousy life partner.

Chickencup Tue 03-Feb-15 12:20:28

Pocketsaviour I would have agreed with you but the thing that no one tells you about having a bit on the side, is the way it can also make you feel about your partner and primary relationship.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 03-Feb-15 12:21:01

'He doesn't love me and wants to exit the relationship' .... would be harsher, you're right. However, quite a few cheats will vacillate, say they haven't quite made up their minds, 'not sure what they want' and give the appearance that there's scope for discussion, even if there isn't. I think that all adds to the idea that there is 'fog'.

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