At the same time, people need to adjust their views about marriage and committed relationships, Saltz says, referring to "unrealistic expectation that the person should not only meet all your needs, but you should be pretty universally happy in the relationship without a whole lot of work." Human beings and their relationships endure cycles. "Sometimes you'll feel bad. That's OK," she says and warns against drawing a false comparison between the excitement and fantasy of a new relationship and the mundane work that naturally accompanies a long-term relationship.
If you or your partner find yourself in this situation, therapists advise ending the affair (you wouldn't want to start a new relationship in deceit anyway, Saltz says) or trying couple's counseling. "Since this is a real crackup in your marriage, get yourselves in front of a really good marital therapist as soon as possible," Kirshenbaum writes. "And if the first therapist you see seems lame, look for another one. A good therapist can help you sort out whether this emotional affair is a cry for help with a good relationship or a sign that your marriage is beyond help. If you face your issues – many of which you may never have been able to talk about – you will be in the best position to see what's best for you to do. Lots of times when people address their marital problems, their marriage turns out better than ever."