I think the only way my H was able to compartmentalize for as long as he did (knowing him as I do) is bc the AP was a plane ride away. I noticed his behavior was "off" many times over. But bc the person was never here - in our town -I never suspected it was an A until too many things started hurtling towards me in 2011 when we were in my home city visiting family which is also where she lives. Then there was no holding me back. I was watching. But things got quiet in 2012....(you can read my story if you want to know more).
RP: I know that the connection (real or imagined) of a lost love, esp a former HIGHSCHOOL bf or gf is VERY powerful. This is bc the feelings in that time in our lives are heightened. We are overwhelmed by loooove. That is why so many people seek out that particular person for an A or when divorced or widowed. The attachment they have to this person, based on how they felt during those magical years, is very powerful.
In fact, I read that an EA between a women and her high school boyfriend is all consuming and thus a VERY difficult A to work through.
If you look for HUFI-PUFI - a member here - and read his profile, you will see quite a story between a grown man in love with his wife who....sought out his teenage love and subsequently buggered up his life and love with his wife.
He and his wife are still together. In fact, he seems nuts about her. But that lost love story of his is compelling.
badchoice: My H definitely has addictive and compulsive traits and it is something I have asked him to look into.