Wish We'd Known: 20 Things No One Told Us About Having an Affair,Ever thought about cheating? (C'mon, not even once?) If you have, trust us - it's normal, especially if your relationship gets overrun by the stress and lack of privacy of parenting. But read this before you consider doing anything more than just fantasizing,
The hottie at the gym. Your sweet coworker. The UPS guy. Nearly all women fantasize about cheating at some point in their relationship, but only a fraction of those women actually go through with it. We talked to women who did: Before you even think about having an affair, here are 20 things they wish they'd known.
It Probably Started Out 'Innocently'
Unless you were married to a total jerk and spent every free hour on Ashley Madison looking for an extramarital bedmate, chances are you didn't set out to cheat. Maybe you were bored and lonely, or just vaguely unsatisfied. Perhaps you 'reconnected' on Facebook, forged a friendship at work or started flirting with a friend. At some point, the line between right and wrong got blurry...but in hindsight, all of the signs were there.

You Won't Consider the Ramifications Until It's Too Late 
It felt good or right or just different enough, and at the time you felt powerless to resist. When your hormones were raging and someone was there telling you that you were beautiful and special and fabulous and really listening to you, thoughts of broken families and hearts were a million miles away. It won't be until you've physically crossed that line that you realize everything you stood (or stand) to lose.

You'll Try to Justify It 
Your spouse didn't pay attention to you. There was no passion. You married too young. You were roommates, not lovers. He was controlling, emotionally unavailable, a slob. He was cheating, too - or maybe you just suspected that he was. You'll come up with ten thousand different ways to excuse your actions, and for a while at least, they'll seem convincing even to you.

The Excitement Will Fuel You...For a While 
New lust is powerful stuff, and hiding an affair can be as exciting as the affair itself. For the first time in as long as you can remember, you have something that's all yours, and your little secret is more energizing than a case of Jolt.

You'll Live in Constant Fear 
What if your lover calls? What if he doesn't? What if someone sees you together? Can you call him? Should you call him? When should you call him? Are you acting differently? Dressing differently? Do you smell differently? When you're not busy obsessing about these questions, you'll play over all of the possible outcomes in your head until it spins.

The Guilt Will Be All-Consuming
You're someone's wife, someone's mother. You took vows and you were building a life and a family. You're living a lie, day in and day out. You'll cry in the shower, in the car, in the bathroom at work. You didn't want it to be like this and sometimes you're not even sure how it happened. You used to talk with your friends about the skanky cheaters you knew, and you were so sure they'd get what was coming to them. Now the cheater is you, and even if you know you're meant to be with this new person, the shame never, ever goes away.

Affairs Are Expensive 
Fancy dinners, faraway hotel rooms, sexy lingerie, trusty babysitters, personal training sessions... a cheater's tab can get out of control in a flash. And because of that pesky paper trail business, most of it will have to be taken care of in cash. Be prepared to get intimately familiar with the term 'creative financing.'

You'll Pull Away From Your Friends 
In the beginning, the totally exclusive, utterly secretive nature of your affair will be one of its biggest appeals. It's the two of you against the world and you'll relish that bond. But eventually something will happen and you'll want to talk to someone about it, and you'll have nowhere to turn. You'll realize that even telling your best friend will put her in a bad position, and could possibly put the affair at risk. So you'll stew quietly and feel very much alone.

Kids Make It Eighty-Jillion Times More Complicated 
Every minute you spend with your lover - even if the kids are in school or otherwise happily occupied - will feel like moments you're stealing from them. You'll worry about what they'd think if they found out, and how you'd feel if their future partners did the same thing to them. You'll cry yourself to sleep thinking about what it would do to them to rip apart the only family they've ever known.

Sleep Will Be Something You Used To Do 
Your days will be a busy blur of juggling and secrecy, so you'd think that once everyone else is tucked neatly into bed, you'd pass right out. Except you won't. Your mind will race through your day, retracing your steps and trying to be sure you haven't left any clues. And even when you're confident that you haven't, these evening hours will be filled with a tormenting torrent of whys and what-ifs.

You'll Wonder How You Could Have Fallen For a Cheater 
(Irony!) The very (illicit) nature of your relationship means that you can't reach out to your lover whenever the urge strikes. When that window finally presents itself and you can't reach him, your first thought will invariably be: He's with someone else. (You'll try to shove this thought far from your conscience, but it will be there.) And every time he's distant, unavailable, moody or not in the mood, that terrifying thought will again rear its ugly head.

You'll Discover That No Relationship is Perfect 
Just when you least expect it, your perfect lover - the one you risked life and limb to be with at every secretive turn - will do something to irritate, disillusion or disappoint you. The arms you sought solace in to escape your spouse's apathy will turn indifferent; the one who drew you in with quiet confidence will turn needy. All relationships take sacrifice, work and compromise, you'll realize. This ah-ha moment will be as profound as it is painful.

Guarding Your Computer and Cell Phone Will Be a Full-Time Job 
Even if you try to keep your communication to the bare minimum, you'll have to arrange those risqué rendezvous. Which means your computer and cell phone likely harbour all sorts of damning evidence. You'll suffer regular panic attacks wondering if you actually left your laptop open, and when you forget your mobile you'll have to run home to retrieve it immediately, every single time

You'll Worry You'll Say the Wrong Name at the Wrong Time 
Over coffee it will be a concern; in bed it will border on crippling. (Because if you're maintaining the façade of a 'real' marriage at home, you're probably still getting intimate with your husband. And when you are, you'll be thinking about your lover. Welcome to your new world.) Chances are you'll stop addressing both men by their actual names and stick to something generic like 'honey.'

You'll Appreciate Things About Your Spouse That You Never Even Noticed 
Blame it on intense guilt (or maybe you're suffering a bit of buyer's remorse), but when your spouse brings you your coffee just the way you like it or remembers to send your stepmom a birthday card, your heart will break just a tiny bit. If the lustre is starting to dull on your other, newer relationship, the ache will be intensified.

The New Sex Will Get Old, Too 
As skilled as your new bedmate may be, the fact is that once the sheer novelty of sleeping with someone new wears off, the temperature will dial down a bit. Maybe not way down, and nobody is saying it'll get anything close to boring - but what used to feel like an electrical jolt may start to seem more like a tingle.

To Conceal or Confess? Both Options Suck 
At some point, a part of you - maybe a huge chunk from armpits to ankles - will get tired of the lies and desperately want to come clean. And then you'll remember what's at stake and shudder deeply. Fessing up might mean the end of your marriage (and obviously there are reasons to stay or you'd have bailed already). It would hurt and anger your partner and, if you have kids, upend their world if your marriage dissolves. You'd be branded with the scarlet A. Your life would never be the same again. So you're back to the exhausting game of hide-and-lie.

Ending It May Be Disastrous 
The whole thing was a mistake. Or it's just too complicated. Or you're exhausted - or he is. Unfortunately, just because one of you wants out doesn't mean the other does, too. If you try to end it, he may threaten to spill the beans to your spouse. If he's the one who wants out, you might make outlandish promises if he'll agree to stay. Whatever the circumstances, if you're not on the same page, it can be a really turbulent ride.

You'll Have Regrets 
Even if the affair was the catalyst that ended a disastrous, miserable marriage, there will be things you wish you did differently. Hearts, promises and trust will be broken, and if you knew then what you know now, you'll wish you could go back and rewrite at least a few pages of your history.

An Affair Can Actually Strengthen Your Marriage 
If you decide the affair was a colossal mistake, you'll also likely realize how much you've lost in the process. This epiphany may turn you into the most attentive and appreciative partner on the planet. At that point, you have two choices: You can confess everything so you can try to move forward in honesty - and hope that your partner wants to salvage your relationship. Or you might feel that sharing all of the dirty details will only hurt your partner and decide to suffer silently. In the latter case, you'll have to live with your guilt as well as a healthy degree of paranoia that somehow he'll find out. On the flip side, if your affair is the start of the relationship you always wanted and you're willing to accept the incredible challenge of a divorce, then it may be the start of a new chapter in your life. Either way, an affair will change you and your relationship - and hopefully, you'll be able to accept the outcome.