Soon they realized that a very intimate and emotionally close bond had developed.It definitely felt like much more than just a friendship. Linda, who was my patient, said that neither of them wanted to disrupt or leave their primary relationship, or "mess it up." So, they chose to keep it platonic.
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.
Aside from the challenge of remaining on the chaste side of the sexual borderline, such "lovers" must hope that their primary partners continue to believe they're telling the truth.
And there's a risk that what they're not finding in their primary relationship will become increasingly disruptive to it. Bill thought this was fail-safe, because no one would suspect.
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.