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
- 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
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 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’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.