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What Makes the Alienator an Affair Down?

By Kenda-Ruth Stumpf

The alienator is an affair down, but how or why? I am not saying the alienator is inferior, less of a person or that you are morally superior--you aren't perfect either. Some people who attract MLCers do so out of their own broken desperation. Some enter a relationship already at a disadvantage of emotional instability--such as those with personality disorders. But this is not the case with all alienators. Innocent friendships develop into intimacy. The downfall of the alienator that makes her an affair down is not in who she is but in who or what she becomes through the act of being in an adulterous relationship.

In many situations the alienator is privy only to the MLCer's filtered version of his marriage and she fills in the pieces with her imagination: the wife has different interests, is too preoccupied to be attentive, withholds sex... But a relationship with someone who is married is a fantasy within a garden of growing doubt. The alienator imagines marriage to the MLCer, placing herself in the current wife's role when in reality her role as a new wife would be as the resented home wrecker in the eyes of family and friends. Instead of the nice house he has with his wife, he would size down to a smaller house or an apartment because of the splitting of assets, attorney's fees, child support, alimony... As the new wife she wouldn't just be the step-mother to his children; she'd get the honor of being the step-monster to hateful kids who blame her for destroying their family. When you a marry a person, you often marry his problems, but in the case of marriage to an affair partner you're relationship is the cause of the problems.

The alienator worries about her status. How does she compare to the wife? Will he choose her? If he's chosen her, will he continue to choose her? Will he cheat on her like he cheated with her? She may become paranoid. She resents sneaking around and longs for a public relationship; she secretly hopes his wife will find out. Then, when she gets what she asked for, the dynamics of the relationship change; the fantasy distorts like a funhouse mirror as the MLCer cycles between his wife and her or as he withdraws from his wife to be with her and yet becomes increasingly agitated and depressed when he should be feeling relief that they can finally stop sneaking around and have a real relationship.

This emotional upheaval combined with in-fatuation hormones sends a person who may have been healthy and stable spiraling downward into desperation where though she may not have a personality disorder, she may begin exhibiting personality disorder traits. In-fatuation is obsessive; she may call and hang-up, drive past the MLCer's house or resort to emotional blackmail. In MLC, these tactics create an atmosphere of drama that through emotional highs can sustain the relationship through multiple break-ups.

I say that MLCers affair down not because they choose alienators who are already desperate--though this is true of some alienators--but because the circumstances of being the other woman cause a person to lower herself, creating the affair down.

I'm Kenda-Ruth and I believe in marriage.
Are you tired of hearing...
  • Once a cheater always a cheater?
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