I feel we live our lives thinking that the choices we make are ours. If we want to go and buy that new handbag or car we can (providing we have the means to pay for it!), if we want to go out with friends for an evening out we can. If we want to be in relationship with someone we can. However, when that relationship includes a third party, which one is unaware of, then choices that are made between the two of you actually include a third i.e the other man or other woman. For the sake of argument, we will refer to this third party as the affair partner. This affair partner, now has a window into a relationship that is not theirs to look into. All of sudden their unknown influence is having an effect on the primary relationship. In my case my now ex was acting more cold and aggressive towards me. In addition to this he was making more time to go out 'with the lads' which I later found was a euphemism for his dates with my now ex-friend. He took greater pride in his appearance (he obviously wanted to look his best for her!).
When all of the deception and lies were exposed I could not help but feel that my soul was publicly hung out for those to take a pot-shot at it and believe me they did. Those that I thought were my friends decided to sit in judgment of my relationship and my reaction to the affair. His family members, although angry at first at him, decided they'd take a pot-shot too! With regards to her family, whom I was friends with originally, they too eventually decided to side with the betraying couple! All in all it was and still is an ugly, painful mess.
There are so many things that I have learned from this experience. The most paramount is that when a relationship breaks down so publicly, ex's and soon to be ex friends and their families have no qualms in showing their true colours. In the case of my ex and ex friend they went on a PR battle to justify what they had done. Their argument was that they have found 'true love' and that they were never meant to be in their previous relationships! Only time will tell if this relationship will survive.
What I will say to those of you who are about to embark on an affair, think long and hard about the consequences of your potential actions. To go through with it causes a monumental amount of hurt to so many people as well as your betrayed spouses. If you truly feel that you belong together, then do the decent thing and let your spouses know. Affairs, when exposed, causes so much hurt and pain. They truly are an assault on the soul of the betrayed.