Annie's Affair and Aftermath

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Published: 19th May 2011
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Annie's Affair and Aftermath

When it comes to matters of the heart, it does not matter how smart and wise you are. Age, gender (though women definitely have the upper hand on insanity when it comes to love), education, life experience, married or single, money, popularity - all of these concepts vanish into thin air when you are smitten by the bug. Unfortunately, more often than not, it is just that, a bug with its characteristic effect of making you feel small and spent. This is all the more true when it comes to extramarital affairs.

Annie (not her real name) has been my patient for about 4 years and regularly comes for acupuncture treatments, which, she says, keep her relaxed and young. She is a busy mother of four and a chiropractor with a struggling part time practice. One of her children is also a patient of mine. To say that her life is hectic and stressful is an understatement. Yet, she is always positive, cheerful, compassionate and generous. She's been happily married for about 25 years, and she and her husband do a marvelous job of juggling their various responsibilities and keeping the family happy and together.

I noticed a few months ago that something was up with Annie, but didn't push her for any details. She became moody, high one minute, low the next, and would talk almost incoherently now and then. As she's an attractive woman in her late 40's and in good health, I had no reason to suspect any serious physical ailments. I continued to treat her for the evidently high anxiety and insomnia.

A few weeks ago, she broke down during the acupuncture treatment (not uncommon). I calmed her down and told her to relax into the treatment. I rescheduled the next appointment, and sat with her for the next hour during which she talked a mile a minute and told me her story. Over the next few sessions, with the help of acupuncture, homeopathy, Bach flower remedies and especially an impartial and non-judgmental counseling, she was able to resolve her situation and move on to mend her life and marriage. With the additional help of other adjunct remedies, she quickly bounced back from her "bad dream" as she calls it and is almost back in her element as a wife, mother, friend and doctor.

I asked her permission to share her story with my patients and the world at large. I feel it is important to learn the lessons from Annie's story. If any of you are (a) faced with a choice of entering into something like Annie did, or (b) if you're already deep in an affair and lost your thinking capabilities, please read her story and evaluate your options.


I've distilled the various sessions into a narrative in her voice. Here it is:

I had my schedule penciled down to the half hour slots. That is how busy my schedule is, with my kids' activities, my private practice and just maintaining a home and family. When Curt came to see me as a patient, I wasn't sure that he really wanted to become my patient. I thought that maybe he just wanted to be a friend. He seemed like a nice enough guy, and seemed fun and easy going. He told me about his life, about how he doesn't find his wife attractive, so he doesn't sleep with her, and they live more like brother and sister, and about his two daughters, whom he clearly adored. He also told me of his numerous affairs, one long term affair in particular. I was not attracted to him at all, so there was no question of anything inappropriate. He came to see me a few times, and before I knew it, I was involved with this man.

Over the course of the next few months, it escalated into a feverish pitch, and I pretty much lost my rational thinking altogether, and even though I knew I was putting my marriage and family in jeopardy, I was swept into a tornado. My husband found out about the affair and went to enormous lengths to stop it. He used various means of surveillance, including tapping my emails and activating the gps on my cell phone. His interference actually made me angry with him, rather than want to stop the affair. At this time, he disclosed that he too had an affair and a couple of one night stands over the years. So, I retorted that how dare he stop me then! He confronted Curt and the whole thing became an ugly scene and sent me to heights of anger and humiliation.

At this point, to his credit, Curt did try several times to end it, but I insisted that we remain friends, which is what we primarily were. The sex part was negligible. He has performance anxiety and it just didn't work. The relationship was pretty much all emotional attachment. I also found out that he has Hepatitis C, which he failed to tell me, even though he came to me as a patient.

For reasons I still cannot fathom, my husband was hell bent on finding out everything about the affair, when and where we met, what we did etc. I told him a bit here and there, but was just too embarrassed for the most part. I asked him his reasons for wanting to know, but he couldn't give me a straight answer. I mean, what difference does it make where we met or what we did? I don't want to know what he did during his affairs. In fact, I wish he didn't even tell me.

Finally, when my husband threatened to tell his wife, Curt panicked and told him every minute detail about all of the times we spent together in exchange for a promise that neither my husband nor I would ever contact him. Right about that time, I'd also finally started to see Curt for what and who he is, and wondered what the hell I got myself into, and had set a deadline to end it, regardless of whether I want to be with my husband or not anymore. It ended shortly before my deadline. I didn't care by then.

I'm still not recovered from this experience, though I've processed it and moved on. This was devastating not only to my husband and marriage, but much more so to my self-esteem and self-worth. With Dr. Partha's help, I'm in a much better emotional place now and am piecing myself back together.

There is always a reason for things like this, and when I think about what caused me to get involved with him, I can think of only one thing: boredom. The ridiculously high levels of stress in my life kept me busy, but I was still bored internally, fed up with most of my tasks. After a long time, I enjoyed some outside attention, and it wasn't meant to go as far as it did, but it was as if I was in a spell, and no matter how much of a jerk Curt was and no matter how he used me and disrespected me, I simply did not see it. My friend Lisa, who knew the whole story from the start, warned me right at the beginning that this guy was not a good man, and I should stay away from him. In fact, her words were "he doesn't even deserve the time of the day from you." Even after that, she repeatedly told me that this guy was only taking and taking from me, without giving anything in return, emotionally or otherwise. She told me that he was a user and a player and I should dump him immediately. At some inner level, I knew she was right, but I didn't listen to her sage advice and made a colossal fool of myself, and am now paying the price of redemption with intense self-analysis and accepting the consequences of my mistake and trying to rebuild my marriage and my self-esteem.

As I told my husband, if he just left it alone, I would have probably just got it out of my system and come running back to him, but his perverse need to find out every single detail of my affair actually made it worse. My anger toward my husband has been so intense that I was seriously contemplating a separation. It was at this time that I was told by a medium that someone very powerful had indeed put a spell on me and my husband to split us up. This medium also suggested that I talk to Dr. Partha about it. I felt cuckoo saying this to her, but she understood exactly what I was saying, and suggested a ritual to negate the spell. I followed her instructions half-heartedly because I didn't really believe in it and it was not cheap. But, almost immediately, things improved between my husband and me, and 40 days later, we were back together as husband and wife. I still don't understand how it worked, but I'm convinced that it really turned things around for us. There are still feelings anger, humiliation and betrayal, and we both recognize that it will take some time to restore what we had. But, the desire and willingness to make it work are back, and I'm sure we'll be alright.

I guess the ironic part of all this is that for all the turmoil this caused in my marriage, the affair wasn't even that great. I wasn't consciously seeking for an extramarital relationship, but if I did want to have an affair, I could have and should have found someone better. As you will read below in the dialog between me and Dr. Partha, this was a no brainer. I should not have done this, and this mistake still haunts me from time to time, and I have to use every ounce of my mental power to not berate myself and to look to the bright future I want to create with my husband and family.


The following is a condensed dialog of several sessions between Annie and myself.

Dr. Partha: What was it about Curt that attracted you?

Annie: Actually, like I said, I really wasn't physically attracted to him. It was just the idea of doing something different and fun, and he just showed up at the right time. I wasn't looking for even fun really. I was too busy to even think about it. It just happened.

Dr.: Did you think he was good looking?

Annie: No. He's not my type. I like tall and well-built men.

Dr.: Like your husband?

Annie: Yes. There's no comparison. My husband's very handsome.

Dr.: Did Curt pay a lot of attention to you, praise you and such?

Annie: Initially, yes, but that quickly stopped. I cannot even recall one compliment from him after the first couple of weeks. During the entire time of the affair, almost four months, he told me only once that I was beautiful. Other than that, he never said or did anything romantic.

Dr.: What happened after the first couple of weeks?

Annie: By then, I was giving him so much attention that he felt he didn't need to put any effort into getting me. Lisa would often ask me if he bought me any gifts or did or said something special.

Dr.: Did he?

Annie: No, nothing. He only paid for the lunches when we went out.

Dr.: Did you give him anything?

Annie: Yes, a couple of treatments, various supplements and remedies. Maybe it evened out. I hope so anyway.

Dr.: Tell me about the sex.

Annie: There really was no sex, except once.

Dr.: Why not?

Annie: He couldn't get it up.

Dr.: Even the one time, why did you have sex with him when you knew he had Hep C?

Annie: He said that he didn't have Hep C any more, and I believed him. It was at this time that Lisa very strongly told me to dump him because he is a dishonest and cunning man for not being upfront with me about the Hep C. I now wish I listened to her. As for the sex, we had sex only one time, and that was after he supposedly took some viagra. It was a mechanical act. There was no love, and it was all about him proving to himself that he was a man. There was no intimacy. He made no efforts to please me.

Dr.: Did you have any orgasms?

Annie: Not even one, although I once lied to him that I did. My normal two to three orgasms every time I have sex with my husband is something I'd gotten used to, so it was certainly disappointing.

Dr.: You said that you started to see him for what he is? What triggered that?

Annie: When I mentioned to him at one point toward the end that I might separate from my husband for a short while, he suggested that I get help from my ex-brother in law or my father to support myself. This guy is worth 3 or 4 million dollars, and this is what he said to me. He never once offered to help me. I doubt that I would have taken any help from him, but I wanted to see how he would react, and his response immediately cleared the fog from my mind. My husband confirmed this later.

Dr.: How?

Annie: I never told him about my conversation with Curt, but he picked it up. My husband is very intuitive, especially when it comes to me. When we were having a candid talk at one time, he said the following: "it should have tipped you off when there were signals where you may need financial assistance and there was no semblance of even an impression that "don't worry, you're mine and I'll take care of you. It doesn't matter what's happening. I'll be there for you." Your relationship was where you'd have given him anything. He was not there. He was completely rational and calculating the whole time. He never even bought you small gifts; thought that buying you lunch was enough. At one level, it is having a sense of "this person I can ask anything and I have full confidence that it will be granted. I don't need to ask. If I have a need, that person will do anything without asking." You thought he felt the same way about you, but he did not, you were just another conquest for him." All of this, my husband said on his own. He still doesn't know about that conversation with Curt. He said that he understood Curt and figured out what kind of a person he is, but oddly enough, my husband was very compassionate toward him. He said that Curt has perhaps never truly loved a woman and probably views his relationships as business deals, trying to get the most from the other person while giving the minimum.

Dr.: Your husband is wise.

Annie: Yes, he is, most of the time.

Dr.: Let's wrap this up. You latched on to him even though you didn't find him good looking or attractive, you did not have good sex, he did not treat you with proper love or respect, starting with hiding his Hep C condition, he not only never treated you to anything special or offered to help, but when you indirectly hinted for help, he backed out.

Annie: That's right. Lisa said that she was in a similar relationship some time ago, and all she could think for the longest time after it was over was "how could I get involved with a stupid f--g jerk like that?" That's how I'm feeling now.

There was an Angelina Jolie movie, where she falls for this guy, whom she thinks to be a good guy. He turns out to be a very bad guy, a serial killer in fact. When she discovers his real nature, she is disgusted and tries to clean herself out by repeatedly washing herself. That's kind of how I feel, only it's worse. The dirt is in my mind, my poor choices and their consequences in the shape of demeaning memories.

Dr.: Do you wish to get revenge or somehow hurt him?

Annie: Not at all. He's completely out of the picture. I'm now only dealing with my own behaviors and how I've lowered myself for someone so undeserving of me, and almost destroyed my family in the process. Remorse for causing pain to my husband, remorse for degrading myself to the extent that I did. That's what I'm feeling now.

Dr.: Ok. That's enough. Don't beat yourself up about this any more. It is done. A lot of women go through this kind of a humiliating experience at least once in life. Let it go. You're lucky that you are able to pick up the pieces and restore your happy life. You are strong and you will overcome this in no time. Continue with your treatments, the affirmations and develop the habit of daily and regular meditation. We'll talk more about these things in the coming sessions.

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