I don’t consider it an Affair Down; she’s a teacher, she’s athletic, she has her own house, she’s full of energy and that leaves me feeling worthless.

Here are my original Affair Down articles.

Affair Down Stereotypes

Sterotype of an Affair Down

Sterotype of an Affair Down

  • Uneducated
  • Chronically unemployed or in a low paying or minimum skills job
  • Relies on others for financial security or is a renter
  • Partier – recreational drinking and even drug use
  • Immature
  • Young
    If not young/er

    • May have several children from different partners
    • Divorced at least once, often a few times
    • History of spouse stealing
    • Cheated on their spouses or partners

I’m not saying everyone holds all or even any of these beliefs, though stereotypes become what they are because they contain truths. Those traits are not uncommon for Affair Down alienators, but that does not mean all Affair Down alienators hold them.

An Affair Down might be someone like you, except that rather than being married to someone in midlife crisis, they are the one in midlife crisis. Right now, your MLCer also qualifies as an Affair Down in the context of being an affair partner to someone who is also in a midlife crisis. In addition to another MLCer, an affair down might be someone who has an unmanaged mental illness. Affair Down alienators often act out in manic ways and seem to have a lot of characteristics of Personality Disorders. That does not mean that they have a personality disorder; we all might have a few such traits that surface in certain situations—such as when we are afraid and lose control. But an alienator could be someone who respects marital boundaries when not in the throes of an unmanaged state such as a manic episode.

Alienator’s are often unstable and desperate, which makes them needy since instead of taking responsibility for their own joy and purpose in life, they require someone else to validate their worth and make them happy. Such an emotionally insecure person is in a state of perpetual emotional crisis and monopolizes their partner’s time; MLCer’s, with a rescue complex willingly take on the gallant role of knight, but there’s always new drama and as they continue to rescue; they enable the needy dependence.

Think about what that last phrase: they enable the needy dependence. The MLCer has a part in making the alienator an Affair Down. Compare it to your own emotional attachment to your MLCer—most LBSs go through their own crazy-time in the beginning after Bomb Drop. An LBSs crazy-time is not simply due to their own shock and fear; it’s also a reactive phase when the MLCer may be deliberately attempting to incite arguments and anger—the MLCer enables your crazy-time just as they enable an Affair Down to continue to be an affair down. This is most true of those Affair Downs who do not fit the stereotypes.

Strong people who value themselves don’t allow themselves to become involved with people who are married. An affair down is about mental and emotional instability. Some people compartmentalize well and are brilliant in their professional lives while being unable to maintain a healthy relationship. Emotional and mental instability knows no socio-economic or cultural bounds.

Not Your Stereotypical Affair Down: Examples

Lisa Nowak

Lisa Nowak was an Astronaut. Affair Down?

Lisa Nowak was an Astronaut. Affair Down?

Lisa Nowak is a graduate of the US Naval Academy. She earned her BS in aerospace engineering and went on to earn a Master of Science in aeronautical engineering, and a degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. She became a robotics mission specialist for NASA. In July 2006 she was a member of the crew of the space shuttle Discovery when it went to the International Space Station.

In 1987 Lisa married a classmate from the Naval Academy. In 2004, after ~ 17 years of marriage, she began an affair with another astronaut who was newly divorced. He broke off the relationship near the end of 2006 and began seeing someone else.

In February 2007 Lisa Nowak took weapons, ammunition, and a disguise along with other items and confronted the new girlfriend at the airport. The girlfriend thought she was being followed and ran and Nowak followed her to her car. The girlfriend locked herself inside, but rolled down the window when Lisa began crying. Lisa then sprayed her with pepper spray. She got away and called the police. The first officer on the scene witnessed Lisa throwing away a bag of trash at a bus stop. She was arrested on charges of attempted kidnapping, battery, attempted vehicle burglary with battery, and destruction of evidence.

Lisa Nowak’s professional resume does not look like what we expect from an Affair Down.

Mary Kay Letourneau

Mary Kay Letourneau was a schoolteacher and married mother four. Affair Down?

Mary Kay Letourneau was a schoolteacher and married mother four. Affair Down?

Mary Kay’s father was a university professor and California state senator and U.S. Congressman. Her mother was a chemist and Republican political commentator. Two of her brothers held prominent posts in Republican presidential administrations. Mary Kay was married with four children and working as a 6th grade elementary schoolteacher when she had an affair with her 13-year-old student Vili Fualuaa. She plead guilty to child rape and was forbidden to ever have contact with her former student. She gave birth to their first child during her trial. While on probation the two were caught having sex in her car and she returned to prison to serve her full 7+ year sentence. Their second child was conceived during her brief time out of prison. When she was released in 2004 Vili was over 18 and petitioned the court to remove the no contact order; they married early in 2005.

Mary Kay was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder during her trial. Her father’s political career ended when it was discovered that he had an affair and fathered two children with a former student.

May Kay’s pedigree does not read like that of an Affair Down. Her father’s lifestyle may or may not have influenced her ideas about marriage and fidelity, but not in the way we stereotype as for an Affair Down. What may be more important is her Bipolar Disorder which was undiagnosed at the start of her affair.


It’s not about whether someone has a resume for becoming an Affair Down; it’s what they become in an affair. In-fatuation makes many people crazy, but add a husband or wife and family into the mix and it is setting the situation up for drama.


What Makes an Affair Down?8 Comments

  1. My husband or shall I say ex affair down in every way. It’s six years and they are still happy together. He has just posted pics of him and her as profile pic on Facebook. I thought such things will no longer hurt, but still does a little.

  2. My now ex had an affair for 20 yrs; towards the end I found out that he was also having a affair with 2 so called friends all at the same time….ha ha busy man. Now the 20 yr mistress is no longer, 1 ex-friend no longer and 3rd on her way out. Our children havent spoken to him in 18 months; he has no friends left; The children and I for 2 yrs were in the state of shock; we have now slowly recovered and getting back to normal life. He is now not in a good place and I am guessing regretting his action; I feel sorry for him and forgive him but I will never forget……NO. I do this for myself so I do not become bitter and twisted. Its taken a long time to get to this place; I was very lucky that I had my children, family and friends supporting us. Time is a great healer.

  3. When my ex married his affair down I could not believe it. He had fired her years earlier for being the company wh_ re. She has two teenage children and she was 10 when my husband and I had our first child. His world appears to be falling apart but he is much too proud to admit it. I stand and pray for his salvation because I believe God has called me to do so. Caring less for him each day. Time is truly a healer. His children no longer know him and the grandkids feel distant from him. He has lost so much I now pity him. The OW treats him terribly but he must like it because he continues to stay.

  4. A few weeks ago, 6 years post bomb drop, my ex married his bipolar soulmate (who also blew up her own marriage/family of 3 children). Crazy is what he wanted. Crazy is what he gets. I saw her facebook page once (by mistake) and it was covered with stuff about being bipolar, so she actually is diagnosed. She certainly acted crazy during the time I knew about her and the details I knew about their affair. I'm sad this woman is now my kids' step mom. I don't look forward to sharing their life events with her. 🙁

  5. My ex (married to him for 20 yrs.)is currently involved with his borderline personality soul mate. My kids won't have anything to do with her and he can't figure out why. Hmmm, because maybe kids can see right through people. How I am handling it is by letting him be and feeling very sorry for what he is headed into. Be strong all of you guys out there in these types of similar situations. Things happen for a reason that we can't explain, but in the end we all will be happy. Happiness is from within. Have faith that you are being led down the path you are suppose to take. One thing I have held so sacred is this statement. In order to get through it, you need to go through it! Let the pain that you feel only be temporary. Go out and live your life as the person you want to be and not the person somebody else expects you to be. Lastly, make the most of the little moments of joy. This life we have can be a crazy at times, but let those moments go and surround yourself with people that make you laugh, smile, cry and feel at ease.

  6. The main issue is this: breaking so as to have begun a new relationship trust,this likewise sows the seeds of concealed judgements,judgements that will develop and circle back around to gradually eat away at your choices.A person can run just so far before needing to begin managing the very issues that created the past arrangement of relationship issues eating away at the prior relationship.The initial couple of months of any affair may feel magical,yet sooner or later judgment and past patterns will crawl over into the circumstance to bring about the vast majority to repeat the seeds of emergency they were running away from.

    Amy Pearson.

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