Is It Normal to Have Feelings for the Person You Had An Affair With?

Few people simply jump to infidelity. There is usually a process, one where the person grapples with what the effects of their affair before they ultimately decide that they are ready to consider being unfaithful to their partner.

People have affairs for many different reasons. But it’s not uncommon to go into the affair only for sex, looking to feel important or special, and to find some type of release.

Intimacy and Feelings

Sometimes, however, those “meaningless” affairs can develop into something more. It’s not uncommon for those that engage in unfaithful behavior to start to feel like they’re developing feelings for the person they were with. In fact, most of the time it is normal.

Similarly, it’s not uncommon for those feelings to last, either. Whether you were caught in the affair or the relationship simply ended, the feelings that you had are unlikely to magically disappear on their own.

This is important, because these feelings can stand in the way of repairing your relationship after an affair:

  • You may still find yourself missing the person you had the affair with, which will cause complications for committing yourself to repairing the relationship.
  • You may become resentful against your partner for ending the affair, because you may feel like they’re forcing you away from someone you care about.

Further complicating matters is that your partner is not going to feel empathy for your pain, and if your goal is to repair the relationship, your hurt over losing the person you had the affair with is likely to drive your current partner further away, as they will be upset that you still hold those feelings.

What to Do When These Feelings Remain

The first thing to realize is that missing someone that brought you physical or emotional attention is normal, especially if they were taken out of your life abruptly. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t want to repair your current relationship. Any time someone else is used to fill a void in your life or relationship, their presence is going to be something you value and something you miss when it’s gone.

If your goal is to stay together, then you need to be okay that you have those feelings, accept that they are natural but not necessarily indicative of your future preference, and make the current relationship your primary focus in order to overcome the impact of the affair. Strengthening your current relationship will help you overcome those feelings, and allow you to see your relationship as your sole, primary romantic connection.

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