Emotional highs are associated with attraction and attachment, but not with lust. An affair is a relationship of intense emotional highs. A break-up involving either attraction or attachment wreaks havoc in the hormonal systems, triggering obsessive behaviour and jealous outbursts in alienators and MLCers; it can also trigger such outbursts in spouses. Fisher's phases can occur in any order, though in non-arranged couplings the listed order may be most familiar. In its initial stages infidelity is not always planned; it becomes planned when a couple crosses an emotional and intimate boundary. The precursors to this may seem harmless to the parties involved. Some alienators are predators from the start, seeking to seduce for lustful purposes or for more insidious goals toward attachment; but this is not true of all.
For non-MLCer infidelity, disclosure or discovery can lead to its demise; it is the beginning of the end. Though knowledge of infidelity is also the beginning of the end for MLC affairs, this is usually constitutes a longer time and involves different reactions and behaviors.
A person who is not in MLC may be regretful and seek professional help to repair his marriage. In MLC, disclosure or discovery serves as an opportunity to fulfill the fantasy of being with the alienator in a real relationship. But regardless of MLC or not, an affair involving a transference of emotional fulfillment from a spouse to an alienator will rarely end quickly and neatly. Affairs can be emotionally volatile with multiple break-ups and even remorseful non-MLCers may return to an alienator and break-up a few times. These multiple yet incomplete break-ups of the affair relationship, along with refusal to forfeit possibilities of communication are the maintenance of an affair. Life with an alienator is perpetual suffering--though like an addict high on drugs yet living in filth only for his fix, the suffering is often without realization.
MLCers cycle and may confuse themselves along with everyone else as they try to choose between their wife and the alienator--often changing their minds over and over. The factors fueling the level of cycling vary with each individual situation.