Based on my work over the decades, I find six kinds of affairs that people have today. It can feel really intense, but it's also the quickest to flame out. An example is the person who's able to feel sexually alive and free only in a secret rela-tionship, hidden from the imagined hovering, inhibiting eye of one's parent -- which the person may experience unconsciously with his or her spouse.People make their choices, but I think a non-judgmental description of these six kinds of affairs (but with a tinge of humor) can help people deal with them with greater awareness and responsibility. John and Kim met through work, and felt a strong physical attraction. The lust affair is often short-lived, and passion can slide downhill pretty fast as the excitement declines or un-derground emotional issues surface again.Postscript: One of their spouses eventually discovered the incriminating e-mails, and the family affair quickly turned into a family nightmare. We humans are experts at creating illusions for ourselves.

Paul was married, and Linda was divorced but living with a boyfriend.

They found they had much in common -- a similar outlook on life and a spiritual compatibility as well.

They enjoyed talking and looking forward to time together.

They spoke on the phone frequently and lingered around afterward working on the project.

He and his wife's sister finally had sex after years of mutual, erotic teasing.

Suddenly they were in the midst of an affair that neither wanted to end.

She knew that "getting back" at her husband wasn't going to produce empowerment or healing, but nevertheless began a disastrous affair.

She subsequently discovered that the man was only interested in a narcissistic conquest, and he quickly dumped her.

Of course the public always enjoys being titillated with stories of public figures' affairs, especially when hypocrisy is exposed.

But cultural attitudes have clearly shifted to-wards acceptance of affairs.

She had long felt unaffirmed, ignored, and disregarded by him.