In-fatuation is an energetic state of emotion as well as a biological state distinguished by fantastical expectations of idyllic passion without consideration for growth and development of the relationship. Often referred to as in-love, it is an imitation of being in-love and therefore shares some of the same components, but is not a form of love--not even eros. For many relationships it is a seed that may or may not grow into in-love and can be a fuel for eros as well as for lust and attraction. But in-fatuation itself is wholly absent from reality, without which it can never develop to a state of being in-love. MLCers lack the ability to differentiate fantasy from reality. Though in-fatuation chemicals contribute to this confusion, they do not prevent recognition of reality--though they can make it a challenge. In-fatuation can override rational behaviour and brain functioning; the hormonal flows activate the reward and pleasure center while disabling a person's ability related to moral judgment and suppressing neural circuits associated with assessment of others. In MLC it is the simultaneous emotional burdens of the identity crisis along with the self-medicative in-fatuation hormones that inhibit reality and make a person susceptible to the illusion of fantasy. In Why We Love, Dr. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist and one of the foremost researchers in the science of love, outlines three phases toward love. These are outlined below along with the neurotransmitters and hormones associated with each phase.
Often there are needs the spouse is not or was not meeting that the other woman is meeting, but these are not due to spousal neglect, rather they are due to the midlifer's refusal to allow the spouse to meet these needs. Some cheating midlifers continue sexual relations with agreeing spouses, some would continue, but the spouse refuses. But after disclosure or discovery many transfer monogamy to the other woman, thereby forbidding the spouse from meeting the midlifer's sexual and accompanying needs.
Instinct rules the primitive brain systems, whereas critical thinking and imagination (the application of creativity) rein supreme in the neocortex, the most advanced and final brain portion to evolve. The neocortex enables humans to recall the past and visualize the future, thereby defining the experience of time and allowing for sequential thinking. It is the portion allowing for language, writing and speech. The primitive brain systems react instinctively and make excuses for behaviours, whereas the neocortex is the check-and-balance center for the primitive systems, assessing and requiring responsibility of all actions--instinctive or chosen. The three portions of the brain create a synergistic system working in concert; all systems are necessary for functioning. MLCers are responsible for their behaviours, even when in the hormonal clutches of in-fatuation.
Toys are a well known luxury of male MLCers--the MLC sports car has become a stereotypical midlife joke. A peacock's feathers are indicative of health and yet they lack functionality and can be a hindrance. They are all beauty, a sign of ornamentation or status, like a corvette--nice engine but it can't change a diaper. For physically mature human males, toys such as cars, motorcycles and boats are analogous to male adornment in animals. Females assess a potential mate based on status, which is indicative of his ability to provide. Males assess potential mates based on physical attractiveness, which is indicative of her ability to bear healthy children.