How to Break Your Addiction to a Toxic Relationship


The book Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to an Ex Love does a fabulous job explaining why romantic relationships are addictive. If you’re searching for tips on how to break your addiction to a toxic relationship, your first step is to understand how love affects your brain chemistry.

“When you fall in love, it sets your limbic system ablaze,” writes Dr Lisa Marie Bobby in Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to an Ex. “You go through a process that essentially addicts you to another person on a primal level, in parts of your brain that are much deeper and older than your neocortex. This isn’t your fault and it doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with you. This is what you were built to do. But its’ why you feel so powerless to control the feelings you have for your ex.”

Breaking your addiction to a toxic relationship is crucial to moving forward with your life. And, your willpower alone won’t heal your broken heart — or rewire your brain so you fall “out of love”! You need to understand what’s happening in your brain and body. Then, you’ll find it much easier to cope with the feeling that you’re addicted to your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband.





My most commented-on blog post is 5 Ways to Stop Obsessing About Him. If you read through the comments, you’ll see how difficult it is to break an addiction to a toxic relationship. And, you’ll see yourself in those stories. If you’re struggling to break your addiction to a toxic ex, you’ll find support and understanding here. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

3 Tips for Breaking Your Addiction to a Toxic Ex Relationship

“Love is a biologically rooted experience that exists beyond the influence of consciousness and outside of the direct control of your neocortex,” writes Bobby in Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to an Ex. “It is not verbal. The commands love issues from the irrational, primitive, and dark nooks and crannies of your brain can possess you entirely, without your permission or intention. Love has a life of its own. Love is a drive.”

1. Be aware of the power of addiction

Love is a powerful “drug” that affects your brain in deep, primal ways. You literally feel addicted to someone you love — especially if you can’t be with him. And, you know how difficult it is to break an addiction to anything (smoking, drinking, shopping, gambling, eating) — why would breaking an addiction to an ex love relationship be any different?

How to Break Your Addiction to a Toxic RelationshipThink of all the support that is needed to break an addiction to eating, gambling, or drugs. Support groups, counseling, in-patient programs, certain types of food (eg, Nicorette gum to help people quit smoking), and even prescription medications are used to break addictions. That’s because addiction is powerful. It’s important to realize that falling in love, breaking up, and healing your broken heart — toxic relationship or not — is similar to breaking an addiction to any type of substance.

It’s painful and difficult to break your addiction to a toxic relationship because that person has literally changed your brain chemistry. Getting through a breakup when you’re still in love is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.

But wait, there’s good news! Just because you feel addicted to your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband right now doesn’t mean you’ll always feel this way. Take heart, have hope! Maybe even dig into your faith and belief in God. That’s the love that conquers all.



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2. Learn how love affects your brain

“Because love is so vital to every aspect of our reproductive success, we have love-inducing machinery hard-wired into our brains,” writes Bobby in Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to an Ex. “In fact there are old, deep, and specific structures and neural systems in our brains that are built for this very purpose, ready and waiting to flare into action…and when the light of romantic love begins to glow, it is very difficult to turn off.”

Understanding what’s happening in your brain chemistry after a breakup — even if you don’t feel addicted to a toxic love relationship — will help you heal. When you get a glimpse of the underlying biological processes, you’ll see that your feelings are a symptom. You feel addicted to your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband because your hormones are adjusting to the withdrawal of that person. You’re struggling to break your addiction because you wanted more than a relationship: you wanted security, comfort, and long-term love.

Even if you’re not recovering from a toxic breakup or relationship, you’re still grieving a very painful experience. Learning how love is addictive — how it affects your brain chemistry and wiring — will help you move on. You’ll feel more in control and empowered. You’ll understand what’s happening in your body, which will reassure that you’re normal. And that this, too, will pass.

3. Learn how to stop being consumed by love

This third tip on how to break your addiction to a toxic love relationship isn’t in Bobby’s book. It’s from my research and experience with healing your heart without relationship closure.

I’ve learned that when we pin all our hopes and dreams on one thing: a person, relationship, possession, job or child, we’ll be destroyed. That person or thing can’t hold up under the weight of all our hopes and dreams! We can’t make one person, relationship, or thing the center of our lives. They’ll fail us in some way — even if they’re a good person, even if they love us and would never do anything to hurt us. They simply can’t be everything to us.

Have you made a man or relationship the center of your life?

Don’t put that pressure on him, because nobody can bear the burden of being your “everything.” It’s not humanly possible for him to be everything to you, and it’s not fair to expect that from any person, relationship, or thing. This isn’t even about struggling to break an addiction to a toxic relationship. It’s about being a whole, healthy, smart woman whose life isn’t just about a relationship.

Your comments are welcome below! Are you consumed by a breakup, or struggling with addictive thoughts about a toxic relationship? Are you devastated by your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband’s betrayal or departure? Writing about your feelings and experience may help you move forward in your life.

How to Break Your Addiction to a Toxic RelationshipRead Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to an Ex to learn more about the addictive effect of love after a breakup. Dr Lisa Marie Bobby does an excellent job of explaining the biological process of a brain in love. This insight will help you heal after breaking up with someone you love — even if it wasn’t a toxic relationship.

You’ll also find How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets and Practical Tips for Healing Your Heart After a Breakup helpful. I collected different types of tips for moving on, to help women of all ages and life stages heal after a breakup.

May you find hope and healing for your broken heart. May you listen to the still small voice of God, who is calling you to look upwards and outwards to Him. He is waiting — and He has the answers and peace you’re searching for. Jesus is the only truth that will set your heart free, the only source of love and joy that will lift your spirits.

Take time to hear God’s voice. Spend quiet time alone, searching your soul and listening for the Roar of Something Greater. You’ll find Jesus there, and you’ll never be the same. 



xo




Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.




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113 thoughts on “How to Break Your Addiction to a Toxic Relationship

  • J

    Well it’s over. I think this time for good. He wanted to meet me for coffee after I worked yesterday. Called me on the way to meet him, because he’s too cowardly to say things to my face, and said I booked a trip this morning. Said they are going on a romantic week long getaway the week of Valentine’s Day. Said he needs to try to create experiences and memories with her to feel emotional intimacy with her again, which will lead to romantic feelings. I said ok. He still wanted to meet and have coffee. Keep in mind just the night before he tried to hug and kiss me and told me how he’s always erect around me and that he loves me. Anyway we talked over coffee for a long time and I told him that I no longer respect him, I don’t like who he is anymore, and I no longer wish to be treated so disrespectfully. He said I’m not sure if I can be friends with you because the romantic feelings are too strong. I said he’s very selfish because he doesn’t even think to ask what I want, and that he was wrong in assuming I want to be friends, because I don’t because I don’t really like him anymore as a person. He said I don’t blame you because I did a lot to push you away. I said that was very cowardly. I said I would’ve preferred to still love him and just not be with him after all we shared over almost 2 years, but now he has ruined that and diminished what we had. He also said he’s been playing the middle to keep me around because he’s afraid he will never get over me but then said maybe he will. We continued to talk over coffee about other things. Laughed a little and he looked very bothered. He kept rubbing his eyes and staring off into space. He was tearing up and honestly I’m not sure if it was just an act to pretend he has a heart. When it was time to part ways he looked extremely sad. I just smiled and said have a good night and he again looked like he was going to cry. I feel okay right now but I don’t know if it hasn’t set in. In the past nc has been so hard for me because we are normally in constant communication. I’m sure it’s going to start hurting. But I really can’t continue with him. Sit by waiting while he’s on a romantic getaway! I’d be a total fool. Our relationship was never like some of the other ladies in the sense that we were getting divorced to be together. Once we fell in love, the plan was always to leave our spouses and be together. I always told him I wasn’t interested in an affair that wasn’t going anywhere. He assured me many many times that what we had was the real deal and we were going to be together. I believed him, what a trusting idiot i am. Do you think this is it this time? Or will he be back? Any words would help. Thanks

  • J

    Ladies please help me through tonight. I’m feeling so low and awful. I just want the pain to stop. I pray every night to stop caring about him. I don’t know how many more slaps I can handle. He’s been super sweet and flirty but I’ve resisted him. We’ve still been seeing each other and talking non stop as “friends”. We decided to go shopping together tonight and to exchange birthday gifts. He was being very nice and kept trying to hold my hand or put his hand on my leg and rub my legs. I stopped him for the most part. He kept gazing at me, kissing my head, rubbing my back. Towards the end of the night we were running late and he was getting nervous about his story at home as to where he has been for so long. When it was time to leave he tried to give me a hug but I resisted him. I then felt so depressed about our relationship and what’s happening. He asked if I was upset about us not being romantic or hugging/kissing. I answered that I’m depressed about leaving him. He said that he’s also sad about it and that it’s extremely hard not to hug and kiss me because he loves me so much. Said he’s struggling but he can’t give up on his marriage and said he must behave in an attempt to get closer to his wife. Then told me that he’s trying not to self-pleasure in an attempt to force himself to finish the sex act with his wife since the last two attempts he lost his erection. He thinks that maybe if he stays away from me and doesn’t touch himself, he will be forced to have a release with her. He said he is not attracted to her yet, but he thinks he can be if she keeps losing weight because she’s not repulsive. Then said he’s trying to spend lots of time with her to possibly rebuild and create a spark with her. And he may even be planning a vacation with her to rekindle. I cannot handle any of this. This is so beyond what any normal woman can deal with from a man she’s in love with. Right? This isn’t normal, is it? Have any of your mm told you these kinds of things? I don’t think I can or want to be friends. Why would I? So I can wait for him to tell me about their sex attempts, or if his plan worked of not masturbating, or so he can tell me about their rekindling vacation??!?!! Is he just honest? Or cruel? Or is this a game to continue hurting me? Is he so selfish and narcissistic that he doesn’t hear how hurtful he is? Why tell me how much you love me and love spending time with me and want to hold me but then tell me about your plans with your wife? What do I do? Please tell me if your mm say these things. I’m so distraught.

    • lara

      J you are feeling awful because he is essentially pushing your face into the dirt! This is very very harmful to you psyche and IMHO you must END this behavior ASAP.
      I heard some “TMI” stuff like this at the beginning of my affair but finally I stopped it! I repeated these words very loudly and firmly: “I never want to hear BOO about your sex life again with your wife EVER!” “I am not your therapist and this is a giant boundary cross even within this marital affair!” “If you need a marriage counselor then get and see one with or without here, but do NOT involve me in your marital/sexual problems.” This set a boundary in our relationship and was the beginning of me asserting my rights. He knew I meant business too. I hope this might be helpful. The other thing I recommend without a doubt is to find a good therapist and go to see someone in real life and explain this. I for one have certainly benefited from therapy.

  • Natalie

    Hey folks..how r u all getting on? I’m just absolutely deflated..I’m sick of waiting about..me giving so much but getting very little in return..I was fine..thinking that I shld just try n get on but feel like I am fighting my demons all the time..how hard can this be..We r in contact all the time ..but I am I in the realisation that this will never work out?? The realisation that he will never leave? Is he just using me? When we r together it feels so real..am I just kidding myself?? Any words of wisdom wld b much appreciated Coz I am driving myself crazy xxxx

    • Lois

      Hey, Natalie. It’s hard to know if he’s using you or just afraid to let himself be fully with you. Over the past few weeks, I have come to realize that we have to put our needs and feelings before MM. If you can’t explain or discuss how the situation makes you feel, I think you start losing self respect and control over things. It’s quite difficult to end the relationship when you wor together or have constant interaction. I have tried the friend thing and the no contact when he’s ending things and haven’t been success. He can’t do it either. I believe that at least one party has to be truly to the point that’s they ate done in order to truly end things. It doesn’t seem like MM and I are really to that point. We have feelings and enjoy our time together but the guilt compounds over time and he decides to pull back and then ends things. Sorry I don’t have much to offer except we do know what you are going through and pray your heart heals. We are here to listen and give support.

  • Lois

    Oh I have a gut feeling things are headed south again with MM. I have been down this road too many times. I know he’s going through a lot with his brother who has cancer and things at work this week gave been crazy. I really can’t put my finger on it but feel that he regrets being with me again. I find myself having that awful gut feeling. I just don’t want to go through this again. Ugh what a mess.

    • J

      Hi Lois,
      Sorry about your feelings. I can relate unfortunately. That gut feeling when you detect a slight change. It’s just going to repeat over and over unless we stop it. Mine has told me that he is even trying to avoid any form of adult videos because they only remind him of me. I guess god has told him that’s wrong too. However tonight he wanted to meet and was acting extra sweet to me, telling me how beautiful i look. He said he wanted a hug, I could tell he was getting flirty, so I left. He always gets like this once I pull away from him. It’s like he knows he’s pushed me too far and he wants to make sure I still want him. I don’t think I want to continue with him. The ups aren’t good enough anymore to deal with these downs. Good luck.

      • Lois

        I finally asked MM why he never initiates things…he responded “I still have this underlying feeling that is wrong, so I think that is why.” So, I responded okay, thanks I will behave. thanks for being honest. He respond, no problem. I guess it is not wrong when I initiate things. I am confused?

        • Lois

          MM further explained that some days the wrong feeling isn’t so bad while others are worse. He said it never really goes away…the intensity just seems to vary. I do appreciate his honesty and understand because it is wrong. I don’t have an answer to fix things. Neither of us are willing to leave and would I ever expect him too. My kids are teenagers. He has kids 13 and under, and I wouldn’t want him to miss out of things with them. My only choice is to continue on this emotional roller-coaster or be done. Of course, I know it maybe out of my hands if and when he decided it’s too much. I noticed a pattern about every couple of months, he has ended things then we end up back together. I think, he does want to be with me but it gets to a point that it’s overwhelming and can’t take the emotional drain, so he pulls back and tries to do what he feels is right. He made the comment that the feeling of it being wrong holds him back. He is concerned that if gets to the point where he doesn’t have that feeling then he knows it’s too far gone with his wife. I think he’s afraid of letting himself get close to me…just as I am with him. It’s a complicated situation. I dont know how long either of us can continue. I really do understand…it just sucks.

        • J

          What a hypocrite. Oh he’s such a good man with his underlying feeling that it’s wrong. But I guess he can get over his feeling when you initiate and he gets to have sex. What are you taking advantage of him?! Is this a manipulation? If he really felt it was wrong, then he wouldn’t be having sex with you.

        • lara

          lois, I think you are confused because he responds to you in riddles. If he thinks it is “wrong” try backing off completely to see how long it takes for him to initiate. (Just a suggestion). He will be back I assure you. But then you can ask him if he did he does not feel it is “wrong” anymore? 🙂 In my experience the married person often wants to deflect responsibility for their actions and blame the lover or blame their guilty conscience, but often they do NOT take responsibility directly for their own actions directly. (Just my humble opinion.). l.

          • Nomad

            Dear Lara,
            How are you holding up with NC? Mine is day NINE already and he did not reach out to my desk phone or any work email or voicemails; he didn’t even let me know he dropped by office for a meeting but unfortunately we bumped into each other at the gate but we had ZERO eye contact (saw each other afar but I looked away deliberately).

            Mixed feelings. I thank him for the no contact which makes things easier for me, hence a breakthrough this time. On the the other hand, I know I’m still hoping and waiting subconsciously but can you assure me, just as you did to Lois, that “he will be back?” I couldn’t believe this is it! I couldn’t accept that I’m being rejected but no choice right?His rejection came soul crushing firm whereas my past rejections always ended up as hoax. 20mths then he decided we were not worth the risk and he found his moral compass and decided to end.

            He was so shocked and guilt stricken to learnt the extent of my damage, having to resort to therapist, so he’s now deflecting responsibility for his actions and blame his guilty conscience? He’s so screwed up, guilty towards family, then my spouse then now me. His guilt is seemingly lame excuses to want out. I told him too, if you are in it, why let guilt and fear come onto us? He said he’s being honest and he couldn’t help it whenever he’s home facing the innocent people. He turned weak when he saw me so his selfishness and greed would overpower his moral values. It helped him too when we NC. So then I always decide for him, let’s end, then he would throw crumbs for whatever reasons which only he knows the truth. Now, he stopped throwing but Lara, relationship does end, so is this it for my case? He knew our affair no longer serves us in our original intent – affection, sex, uplift each other and what we are deprived of at home. Now, we are drained by the drama fueled by my jealousy, insecurity, anxiety and irrational mind (what do I want from him? Divorce is out), and his guilt&fear, his desperation to get an promotion at work (plates are full and no time for me). He complained about I drained him and had high expectations for him, he had raised his bar too high when he sweptme off my feet 20mths who. But he didn’t sincerely try to work it out with me each time I went back. He wasted me I thought.

            I’m still very hurt, still wasting most of my time on him, and tension in my heart seems to take forever to ease enough for breathing. I’m packing myself with healthy distractions on weekend but couldn’t resist replying to you when you assured Lois🙂

        • Felk

          Hi Lois, As you know you can drive yourself crazy trying to figure out why our MM do things. But that’s really true of any human being. We’re just hard to figure out! I’d take your MM at his word as to why he doesn’t initiate texting, etc. He doesn’t initiate because it makes him feel guilty. It makes it all more real to him. He wants to be in the affair, but he doesn’t want to think that he’s actively making it happen. He wants to think he’s a passive respondent who can’t help himself. He wants to believe that he’s trying to be “good,” or that he’s not the one pursuing. As you know, my MM rarely initiated, too. I think it was a guilt/reality thing, and I think it made him feel weak or pathetic to initiate. I think it made him feel out of control. Four months after the break-up, it’s still like that. 🙂 And we’ve talked about it since the break-up, too. It is clear that he wants to spend time with me, but he rarely initiates. He is typically very eager to agree when I suggest, though. When I’ve asked him why he doesn’t suggest more, he’s said things like, “You’re the one who usually initiates. It’s just habit.” So, I think it’s all these things. I think it’s habit, I think they feel weak, I think they feel guilty, and I think they also feel insecure because we are married and they want to know that we want to initiate.
          As for your other post about feeling things might be going south again, this is the hell of the affairs we’re in. What you describe is the hell of the last 9 months of my relationship with my MM. First, maybe things aren’t going south again and it’s just the typical difficulty with an affair where you never have as much information or comfort as you would like. Second, maybe things are going south again and he’ll go through another period of guilt and distance. For me, in those last 9 months, it was both. He was pulling away as he was feeling more guilty about it all, and there were also just the typical periods where he couldn’t be around as much because of having a family. But the insecurity of wondering if he wants to end it (again) coupled with the regular insecurity of an affair was hell. For 9 months, I didn’t feel right (and it was because I could feel him pulling away). Sure, there were many “ups” in those 9 months where I thought things were fine and we were back on track, but then something new would happen and I’d worry again and that’s a terrible way to live. And I think he felt similar things and that’s why he finally ended it. It is just too unhealthy.
          Now, is it better? Not really. 🙂 We are still in love and are attempting to be friends. We still want to be together but we can’t (and especially he can’t). It is a complicated situation. I know he loves me and misses me still (he has told me again recently). This time, it helped a lot. I didn’t experience the same hurt that I often do when I realize he still loves me but we can’t be together. This time, I’ve felt okay for the last few days. And as all of us here know, when you can string a few days of feeling okay together, it’s fantastic. I feel like I need to get to a point of acceptance that he loves me and wants to be with me, but that all we can have is a friendship. I’m not there yet, but it’s felt closer to that recently. And I know there will still be some rough days. You can’t be in love with someone who you can’t be with and not have rough days. I was reading a post by J recently where she was spending time with her MM and it was just really painful after. I know that feeling. I am worried I still have days like that to come. When we want something we can’t have, it’s excruciating. So, I’m trying to get to a point of wanting what I can have – a close friendship with him (where I know he loves me).

  • Sophie

    How wonderful and meaningful to find this community. Thank you. I am 41, married, no kids, for the last 10 years. My first marriage to an alcoholic got over within three years. I got involved in an extra marital affair to my now husband. I had flings while I was in a relationship with my now husband. I guess, I was still figuring out if he was the right man. I, however, took a very wrong decision, and married again. My husband and I have had a very boring relationship. Plus, I realised he was very serious about not having children (and I love babies) when he refused to adopt twins that were offered to us through an adoption agency. That incident broke me completely even though the adoption officer told me not to lose heart and guided us to spend more time together. My husband slipped into his regular pattern of caregiving and working from home (only child, and grandchild of divorced parents, throughout he has been looking after his folks but in the process I cannot help but feel he’s neglected me big time). While we anyway went on very few vacations even when things were alright between us, in the beginning of our marriage, we stopped traveling together or even spending time together in our bedroom. We no longer sleep together and frankly I am
    Now okay with it. Initially, I found our sex alright because I wanted children (that I could never conceive was diagnosed later) but on the whole I always had issues with the way he was in terms of sex (and I wish I had counted this as a major flaw before we got married, because I had a chance to understand it). Post the adoption fiasco, I no longer felt emotionally attached to him, and have resented him for the longest time even though I have tried to move on to start afresh. Now, I got into a toxic relationship with a man who was divorcing his wife of 20 years but for a relationship with his girlfriend who was dillydallying in her decision to be with him. I ended it courageously even though he was a wonderful guy but I was always hurting. I tried to start afresh with my husband and things were okay for some time but I couldn’t help but think I was in a very dull marriage. I tried telling my husband that we needed to travel (I love to travel) together to rebuild our relationship but soon my mother in law was diagnosed with cancer Stage IV and it has been over two years since we even stepped out of town together (in any case, our brief holidays were only for two-3 days, not more). While I kept realising that my husband and I would never be on the same page, while I had already walked out of a toxic relationship, and started solo Travel and had flings (for a girl in india, solo Travel while being married is still considered weird), I recently found myself propositioned by a MM who is a friend’s friend. After being in therapy for depression for a year after my previous toxic relationship, and trying to rebuild my second marriage (for no good emotional reason (I would realise) but only for practical reasons), I found my MM irresistible. We went out drinking on our first date and by the second, I was in his home, making out with him. For someone who was sex deprived for a long time, this felt so good. But I noticed something bizarre – he just wouldn’t be in touch with me. No calls or SMSs. Nothing. I even called up and told him that I would understand if he had some guilt inside of him because of his wife and two kids but that it would be nice if he could give me the respect to tell me that. It ended (or I thought so) abruptly and I made peace with the situation, blocked him on social media platforms (I had panic attacks after seeing the family pics one morning). Since we are part of the same social circle , I briefly met him and his family (in fact got along really well with his wife and daughter, 12 years old). That strengthened my resolve to not be in touch with him. I moved on, busy in my work, happy to at least share some good moments of lighthearted talk with my husband, etc, even though that’s infrequent anyway given how my husband is never available and only busy being a caregiver). Two weeks ago, unexpectedly, he messaged and asked if I was okay. He wished me happy new year and I just wanted closure and so I told him that he had upset me, broken my heart and that I was healing by getting back to my first love, music. I even thanked him for helping me get music back in my life. If it wasn’t for the hurt, I wouldn’t have distracted myself and found solace in writing poetry and singing. He said he had no idea about it but agreed that he had miscommunicated. He then asked me to meet him – now here’s where I failed. I decided to meet him at his place so he could be in a comfortable environment and I could tell him things rationally and say a decent goodbye. As soon as I reached, we hugged and my first thought was, “god, please don’t ever let us part. Always let him be a part of my life.” We spoke, ate dinner, I loved preparing the dinner setting, loved sharing a blanket with him and talking, and kissing and making out. And it was bliss. He was showing me a world I have craved for – true love, and fun, which I lack in my current marriage. I went back feeling giddy, excited and happy. I imagined singing songs for him and thought perhaps he realised that he was rude to me. But the next day, I shuddered when the same pattern repeated. He doesnt message or call me. If I message saying, “wow, that’s such a handsome pic of you on Whatsapp” he will say “thanks”. That’s it. Nothing else. No calls, no messages, nothing. I don’t message him at all now. But I can’t help but think of our next rendezvous, which I know will coincide again with his wife and kids going out of town. So effectively, jam the person who will be called or messaged to come home only twice or thrice a year to coincide when his wife and kids are away for a night during the kiddos break). I feel abused, battered and so horribly sad. In him I see a life that I craved for. This family travels together, goes on holidays, the couple parties together and have a genuinely nice bond (and he has never said anything negative about his marriage; always maintained that he has a happy home). It hurts that my second marriage has been a bigger flop show than my first. My husband’s intent may have been honest (he says he loves me but I don’t see him doing anything to repair the damage that he has created in this marriage). I realise I just don’t love him and that he will not change his ways. He is obsessed about his mother and family since day one of our marriage, he is obsessed about the dogsbut he has never given me the importance that I deserved. He leaves our home to work from my mother in law’s house (she was very unhappy at the thought of the two of us living separately and my husband feels guilty to hurt her, a reason why he works from her place from morning to night). I sometimes feel that maybe my search for true love and a better quality of life will happen once I leave my husband but I don’t see it happening anytime soon (it is convenient because if I’m out, I have to search for a house, earn even better, plus the taboo of being a divorcee the second time around in this Indian society). I am a classic case of a person having taken the wrong decision all the time. I don’t know how to say no.

    • lara

      Sophie, Thank you for your share and welcome! Please stay and read the many stories here. I hope you will find them helpful. There are many wonderful people here. Your last lines of your share seem to imply you blame yourself unnecessarily in my opinion. You seem very hard on yourself. This might be? an aspect of your culture? I am not sure. But to say you are a “CLASSIC PERSON OF A PERSON HAVING TAKEN THE WRONG DECISION all the time” is something that might be very untrue if you look at it differently. Have you learned a lot of wisdom along the way of your life? Have your difficult experiences been teachers for you or guides or something that you can use to help others? Even if the answer is no, which I doubt is true, I think every person on this planet makes plenty of wrong decisions all the time. Those who appear to be living perfect lives usually have the most to hide! I have learned this over the years. Hugs Lara

  • Hope

    Hi all 🙂

    Hope you all are well. I know some of us are feeling down lately, me too. Dear myself and others ‘DO NOT WORRY for we shall better soon’ 🙂 I read this beautiful article about a reddit user who said he felt like a zero, like there was sadness in life and he felt he didn’t even care enough to change and was just living life because he had to. Anyway a superb guy called Ryan from Canada replied to it and it’s so powerful it’s become so huge, people are taking printouts of it and making notes, etc. So I thought I’ll share it with you lovely ladies in hopes of improvement for all of us. Here it goes…

    Ouch. Sounds like you’re having a tough time max. That sucks. I’ve been there, so I kinda know what you’re talking about. I’ve been in the ever circling vortex of self doubt, frustration, and loathing. It’s no bueno. I know. If you don’t mind lemme tell you a couple things. You can read em if you want, read em again later if you feel like it. But honestly man, if I spend all this time typing this out to you and you don’t let it be a little tinder for your fire, well, you’re just letting us both down. And you don’t HAVE to do that. You don’t HAVE to do anything. But you get to choose.

    (Who am I? My name’s Ryan and I live in Canada. Just moved to a new city for a dream job that I got because of the rules below. I owe a lot of my success to people much cooler, kinder, more loving and greater than me. When I get the chance to maybe let a little bit of help out, it’s a way of thanking them. )

    Rule numero uno – There are no more zero days. What’s a zero day? A zero day is when you don’t do a single f’ing thing towards whatever dream or goal or want or whatever that you got going on. No more zeros. I’m not saying you gotta bust an essay out everyday, that’s not the point. The point I’m trying to make is that you have to make yourself, promise yourself, that the new SYSTEM you live in is a NON-ZERO system. Didnt’ do anything all f’ing day and it’s 11:58 PM? Write one sentence. One pushup. Read one page of that chapter. One. Because one is non zero. You feel me? When you’re in the super vortex of being bummed your pattern of behaviour is keeping the vortex goin, that’s what you’re used to. Turning into productivity ultimate master of the universe doesn’t happen from the vortex. It happens from a massive string of CONSISTENT NON ZEROS. That’s rule number one. Do not forget.

    La deuxieme regle – yeah i learnt french. its a canadian thing. please excuse the lack of accent graves, but lemme get into rule number 2. BE GRATEFUL TO THE 3 YOU’S. Uh what? 3 me’s? That sounds like mumbo jumbo BS. News flash, there are three you’s homeslice. There’s the past you, the present you, and the future you. If you wanna love someone and have someone love you back, you gotta learn to love yourself, and the 3 you’s are the key. Be GRATEFUL to the past you for the positive things you’ve done. And do favours for the future you like you would for your best bro. Feeling like s**t today? Stop a second, think of a good decision you made yesterday. Salad and tuna instead of Big Mac? THANK YOU YOUNGER ME. Was yesterday a nonzero day because you wrote 200 words (hey, that’s all you could muster)? THANK YOU YOUNGER ME. Saved up some coin over time to buy that sweet thing you wanted? THANK YOU. Second part of the 3 me’s is you gotta do your future self a favour, just like you would for your best f’ing friend (no best friend? you do now. You got 2. It’s future and past you). Tired as hell and can’t get off reddit/videogames/interwebs? This one’s for future me, i’m gonna rock out p90x Ab Ripper X for 17 minutes. I’m doing this one for future me. Alarm clock goes off and bed is too comfy? This one’s for my best friend, the future me. I’m up and going for a 5 km run (or 25 meter run, it’s gotta be non zero). MAKE SURE YOU THANK YOUR OLD SELF for rocking out at the end of every.single.thing. that makes your life better. The cycle of doing something for someone else (future you) and thanking someone for the good in your life (past you) is key to building gratitude and productivity. Do not doubt me. Over time you should spread the gratitude to others who help you on your path.

    Rule number 3- don’t worry i’m gonna too long didnt’ read this bad boy at the bottom (get a pencil and piece of paper to write it down. seriously. you physically need to scratch marks on paper) FORGIVE YOURSELF. I mean it. Maybe you got all the know-how, money, ability, strength and talent to do whatever is you wanna do. But lets say you still didn’t do it. Now you’re giving yourself s**t for not doing what you need to, to be who you want to. Heads up champion, being dissapointed in yourself causes you to be less productive. Tried your best to have a nonzero day yesterday and it failed? so what. I forgive you previous self. I forgive you. But today? Today is a nonzero masterpiece to the best of my ability for future self. This one’s for you future homes. Forgiveness man, use it. I forgive you. Say it out loud.

    Last rule. Rule number 4, is the easiest and its three words. exercise and books. that’s it. Pretty standard advice but when you exercise daily you actually get smarter. when you exercise you get high from endorphins (thanks body). when you exercise you clear your mind. when you exercise you are doing your future self a huge favour. Exercise is a leg on a three legged stool. Feel me? As for books, almost every f’ing thing we’ve all ever thought of, or felt, or gone through, or wanted, or wanted to know how to do, or whatever, has been figured out by someone else. Get some books max. Post to reddit about not caring about yourself? Good first step! (nonzero day, thanks younger me for typing it out) You know what else you could do? Read 7 habits of highly successful people. Read “emotional intelligence”. Read “From good to great”. Read “thinking fast and slow”. Read books that will help you understand. Read the bodyweight fitness reddit and incorporate it into your workouts. (how’s them pullups coming?) Reading is the f’ing warp whistle from Super Mario 3. It gets you to the next level that much faster.

    That’s about it man. There’s so much more when it comes to how to turn nonzero days into hugely nonzero days, but that’s not your mission right now. Your mission is nonzero and forgiveness and favours. You got 36 essays due in 24 minutes and its impossible to pull off? Your past self let you down big time, but hey… I forgive you. Do as much as you can in those 24 minutes and then move on.

    I hope I helped a little bit max. I could write about this forever, but I promised myself I would go do a 15 minute run while listening to A. Skillz Beats Working Vol. 3. Gotta jet. One last piece of advice though. Regardless of whether or not reading this for the first time helps make your day better, if you wake up tomorrow, and you can’t remember the 4 rules I just laid out, please, please. Read this again.

    Have an awesome day ☺

    tldr; 1. Nonzero days as much as you can. 2. The three you’s, gratitude and favours. 3. Forgiveness 4. Exercise and books (which is a sneaky way of saying self improvement, both physical, emotional and mental)

    Edit2: Someone asked what I meant by “much more when it comes to how to turn nonzero days into hugely nonzero days”. The long and short of it is a simple truth, but it’s tough to TOTALLY UNDERSTAND AND PRACTICE. It’s this: you become what you think. This doesnt mean if I think of a tree, I’ll be oakin’ it by august. It means that the WAY you think, the THINGS you think of, and the IDEAS YOU HOLD IN YOUR MIND defines the sum total that is you. You procrastinate all the time and got fear and worry goin on for something? You are becoming a procrastinator. You keep thinking about how much you want to run that 5 k race in the spring and finish a champion? Are ya keeping it in mind all the time? Is it something that is defining your ACTIONS and influencing you DECISIONS? If it is, then you’re becoming the champion you’re dreaming about. Dreaming about it makes it. Think and it shall be. But do not forget that action is thought’s son. Thoughts without actions are nothing. Have faith in whatever it is you’ve steeled your mind to. Have faith and follow through with action.

    If you feel Ok, Ryan that’s a bunch of nice words n s**t, but how does that help me turn slightly nonzero days into hugely nonzero days. Do you believe all these words you just read? Does it makes sense to you that you BECOME WHAT YOU THINK OF? Ask yourself: What do I think of? When you get home and walk in the door. (how quickly did you turn that laptop on? Did turning it on make you closer to your dreams? What would?) At the bus stop. Lunch break. What direction are you focusing your intentions on? If you’re like I was a few years ago, the answer was either No direction, or whatever caught my eye at the moment. But no stress, forgive yourself. You know the truth now. And knowing the truth means you can watch your habits, read books on how you think and act, and finally start changing your behaviour. Heres an example: Feeling like bunk cause you had zero days or barely nonzero days? THINK ABOUT WHAT YOURE DOING. and change just a little bit more. in whatever positive direction you are choosing to go.

    • lara

      Hope this is fantastic stuff . Thank you for sharing! It is all very true and talks to those of us who need to learn how to begin to show up for ourselves and our lives (and care less about the life of a married person we do not live with). It is they type of list you can print out and paste to the fridge etc. :). Helpful and upbeat! I like the “exercise and books” rule. As I said I am devouring a couple of books on managing one’s feelings by controlling what we THINK. (In other words we think first then feel next most of the time). SO it very important to repeat new phrases to ourselves in order for us to not feel all the despair of rejection / abandonment / hurt from breaking up with a married person. For example if I think to myself: “Breaking up with the ex MM has brought enormous growth and activity to my life” I feel so differently than if I think this thought: “Breaking up with my ex MM shows how undesirable and unlovable I really am.” The former thought makes me feel hope while the latter thought makes me feel despair. I hope this is also helpful to you or any of the other ladies on this board. This kind of break up is NOT easy but it can be done and we can heal! (Another positive thought and another positive feeling!) Hugs, Lara

  • Lois

    It’s been one of those days and several people at work were having the same kind of day. It must be a full moon. Lol. Well today is MM kids’ birthday and he actually told me which is a shocker because usually he’s private. I asked if any big plans and chit chatted a bit. This afternoon as I was leaving I told him that I would be have myself so he could enjoy his family time. He kind of chuckled and said good luck with that. I said, I think I do fairly well under the circumstances. He said yeah I guess. I said really and he responded peaks and valleys. He may have been joking but don’t think so. It just didn’t set well with me because I am very understanding and don’t expect much out of him. I just felt like his comment was more about me not being able to behave when he’s ended thingS. I don’t know…as I said, it’s been one of those days and maybe I’m reading too much into it. I just needed to vent. Thanks for listening.

  • Lara

    Hi there I want to give a little update. I waited and waited for my ex MM to call me back regarding my son or his son or anything to do with the discussion we had last Wednesday about the welfare of both of them. But no call ever came. It was devastating all over again to be ignored and abandoned especially when I really needed the emotional support. So much for friendship post affair with him. He’s playing games to get me back to sleeping with him but he doesn’t really actually care about my issues in his heart. Either he is selfishly taking care of his life only? Or he is the same way at home and doesn’t do much there either. I blocked him on the advice of nomad and I’m so glad I did. I sent a little closure before the block. Because when I just block with no words he accuses me of “disappearing on him” and “not understanding him” Ha! Projection much?? Hell yes!

    He is a classic narcissist and this is typical behavior now that I’m reading about it. All the blame towards the other person and all the gaslighting. These behaviors in the past have made my sel-esteem go farther and farther down to the point where I didn’t even want to live anymore if he could not be in my life.

    But I feel so much better now. I told him that it looks like a post affair friendship is not possible right now. That I need to work on my own life and he should work on his own life. I reset that critical boundary that was broken years ago when I allowed him into my life and space and heart. The no contact/blocking thing is all about me setting a boundary for me.

    Looking back I wonder if he was ever my friend really? I loved him and cared about him and always talked to him about anything any time of day when he was going through anything. But boy was that a one-way street. I’m realizing it’s exhausting being in a one way relationship. And leaving my phone line open to his texts and calls whenever he feels like it is re-creating the dynamics of his and my dysfunctional relationship all over again. This I do not need if I want to heal and move on! When he doesn’t call I get to relive being blown off all over again. Aaarghhhh

    But the farther I moved away from sex with him the easier it was to implement a plan because while those sex brain chemicals were involved my head I was in a complete fog when sleeping together. So now my simple advice for anyone trying to get out of this really really difficult type of situation (if that is your goal) is to try to end the sex first for a while and get your head clear. Try to see what the relationship really feels like with all that ” icing on the cake”. The sex is obviously the icing on the cake. I wanted to find out if there was actually any “cake” underneath? I found out nope.

    Luckily for me I have a new man in my life who is a friend who is there for me any time for me to talk about my problems my emotions my issues etc. Even better he is single! (A widow) So what I got in my life is what I needed in my heart! I am Very very grateful for this gift. Yes the sex is gone with ex mm but I longer feel that great sex was worth the price. I need to heal now. The no contacts/blocking action feels like a huge relief to me. Now I can concentrate on my own life my sons, my problems, my pain, my gifts, all free of the burdens of a one way relationship that’s draining me so much. Someone mentioned a “gratitude list” below. Yes I so agree that I need to focus on the gifts I actually have in my life because they are everywhere! I’m sending love to all of you and courage to make whatever choices you want to make! This forum is priceless and I feel love towards you all! But I also want to say that I do have professional help and I do take prescribed medications. For me, getting out of this relationship has been one of the hugest issues of my whole life and it has been no joke dealing with it. All the isolation of being in a “secret” relationship affair and all of the lies and more secrets of the affair and hiding what is going on in me while no one around me knew contributed to how extremely difficult it has been for me to get out of it Xxxooo Lara

    • Hope

      Dear Lara,
      I am so sorry for the pain you are in. I am devastated to see how much this has affected you especially after seeing you do so well for so many months. But you are a survivor Lara and you will get through this.

      Yes, I agree with you, he is ONLY playing games with you, your ex mm is one of the worst kinds of human, he DEFINITELY wouldn’t have cared about very many people in his life and I wish you didn’t love him 🙁

      I understand how you felt at one point you won’t be able to live your life without ex mm, I felt the same, honestly if I didn’t have my daughter who knows, but I am so grateful that I am here, so glad you are too and very glad the rest of us are here too. OUR LIVES are worth so much more than RUINING them just because we lost in love.

      How is your son now? Hope things are improving for him. I am glad you have a friend to help you through this 🙂 Take comfort in your friendship Lara, I know it’s a very tough situation but this friendship will help you get through this.

      Ex mm didn’t ignore or abandon you Lara, trust me he is doing all this to keep you under his control and he is still very much interested in keeping you entangled in his web of lies just so you turn a BLIND EYE to YOUR and YOUR SON/FAMILY’s needs. He is like J’s mm, he loves causing pain so you get down and he can have you exactly the way he wants you.

      Don’t worry Lara it’s just a tough phase, you didn’t have sex, you didn’t get sucked into his lies and give in/call him begging for answers, instead you blocked him. You are the same Lara who gave us hope months ago, who helped me when I was crying in bed. You can definitely do it, you can make your life enjoyable, less stressful and happy. You have done it before, you have been doing it for years and you CAN DO it now. Hell you didn’t contact him for years, pursued your further studies and enjoyed life 🙂 I hope he rots in hell for the pain he has caused you.

      Take care, sending you love, hugs and prayers.
      Hope xxx

      • lara

        Hope I can not thank you enough for your words! THANK YOU! They mean so much to me. You are right I did NOT give in. During the past few days I have been clearing my head and concentrating on my work. In addition, my son agreed to go to therapy at long last. WooHoo! I too went to therapy this week. And I have new books to help me. One I purchased on the recommendation of Laurie (here) and one on the recommendation of my male friend. They are BOTH about the same thing! Learning how to not let your emotions control your life. They are extremely helpful.

        I have been repeating a simple phrase during the day: “I make the choice to let go of negative thoughts”. I see this over and over again and it amazing how my head clears and there is room for thoughts that have NOTHING to do with the ex MM. I have been loving having more space in my head. The ex was taking up so much space. Too too much. As for me getting sucked back in to the drama even without the sex I guess my upbringing makes me a real glutton for punishment and this I must work on to CHANGE.

        The most chilling part of what you said to me is this: “he is still very much interested in keeping you entangled in his web of lies just so you turn a BLIND EYE to YOUR and YOUR SON/FAMILY’s needs. He is like J’s mm, he loves causing pain so you get down and he can have you exactly the way he wants you.” is true I am afraid but very chilling. My ex MM is NOT a nice person for sure. Thank Goddess I can see this at last but the emotional abuse has left a giant scar for sure….L.

  • J

    Hello everyone,
    Today I avoided my mm. We do not work together but we are so entangled with each other because we run together and workout together. We also used to take a class together for about 6 months, which we stopped now. We saw each other last night and he flirted with me and touched me very playfully. But then said he needs to behave because he promised god he would. He then texted me all night flirting with me and being very suggestive. Told me how much he loves me. Then mentioned that we would need to workout the next day very early because he’s taking a class with his wife. Also mentioned that he needs to check with her and may not be able to workout with me at all, depending on what she wants. So he believes I’m to be on call depending on his wife and what she says. He texted me all day, and said he worked it out that he can workout with me because his wife said it’s ok. Then mentioned to me that he must behave again and his he’s avoiding any sexual thoughts of me at all. I said ok let’s not talk about sex at all then and he said ok. I never met him at the gym for our workout because I feel I’m such a non existent priority to him. If his wife says jump, he says how high. I used to feel so important to him but now I feel like a big nothing to him. He asked a few times why I wasn’t coming and I told him I’m busy. He asked doing. However he came running to have sex with me all weekend long. But then his guilt started up. I’m so sick of it all. Much of the advice here has been good for me. It’s very true that this cycle repeats over and over. But it seems like every time the cycle starts back up, he treats me a little worse. I don’t want to be mistreated anymore. I’ve never been treated like this before and have no idea why I’m letting him do it.

  • J

    My mm and I seem to be like magnets. We hooked up again, the 3rd time in 3 days. Afterwards he told me that he is afraid of death now because he’s so sinful and that we should really try to resist each other. I think I’m ready to be done with this. I feel so disrespected. Wish I was stronger. Im so disappointed in myself.

    • Lois

      No freaking way…I can’t believe the nerve of this guy. Please don’t be too hard on yourself because your feelings are genuine and only following your heart. He is not a very nice person…sorry but this was very mean. He sounds like he has issues…more than you need to deal with. It’s not going to be easy but think you should get away from him. You deserve so much better. I just cant believe he said that to you….that’s wrong. My prayers are with you. We are here for you!

    • Nomad

      Were you pushing and testing his limit, J?
      It’s a cycle, I’ve seen this before, he’ll retreat until his guilt subside then he’ll be back.. are you ready for that or how different you feel this time?

      • Lois

        Unfortunately Nomad, the MM in my life goes through this cycle. It seems like we do fairly well for a couple of months then out of nowhere the guilt, etc seems to get to him and he ends things. It is more like an emotional rollcoaster (cycle) and it sucks. However., I can say that these cycles have only driven me further from her because he each that it happens and I go back less of me goes back to the situation. Each time the NC gets easier and for longer period. This may not happen to everyone but it has with me. I think it’s human nature to protect your feelings and no matter what I’m not the same person who ended things with the first time or two. I remember it and was devistated, depressed and cried. Thus last time was hurtful and wanted the pain to stop but it wasn’t that awful gut wrenching feeling lIke before. Don’t get me wrong if he would end things tomorrow I would feel hurt and sorrow. Unfortunately, I know it is only a matter of time before it happens again so I’m trying not to let myself get too close. It will hurt but I cant control things. If it’s what he wants, how can I change his mind? I know on my heart that I given what I could without sacrificing my self respect. Trust me, I don’t want things to end and dread the day he tells me. I just keep thinking that eventually he will end it and one of these times I will be at that point to say you’re right because I am done too. Until then, I will take one day at a time. Enjoy it while it lasts and know one day I will be free of it.

    • Lara

      J
      I second what Nomad and Lois said. Do you really wish to get out of this relationship or do you feel it’s impossible? You are very entrenched right now with him especially because of the sex and all of those bonding chemicals which will confuse your brain . Read What Laurie the site owner says above about the addiction of love. His comments about religion guilt and death are really ridiculous because he never follows through on religion actually. If he feels that guilty he can go out to a priest and confess! He is very addicted to you but it doesn’t seem he really wants to stop at all. So if you stay with him plan on hearing a lot more of this talk because I think it’s his way of dealing with his guilt.

  • Hope

    Hi all,
    Hope you all are doing well. Lois I loved what you said about being grateful for what we have, thank you so much for all the positive vibes 🙂 I am very grateful for my beautiful daughter, for my parents my brother, my husband (this may sound weird to some but I am grateful for his help) I am grateful that he is trying to improve, for having food on the table, Oam grateful to be able to take care of my loved ones, for my work, my friends including all YOU awesome ladies on this forum 🙂
    An update on me, I am doing well, still have stood my ground and it’s starting to feel good at times(Yay!! 🙂 Yesterday I was out with family and was really able to ENJOY and be in the moment 🙂 Tomorrow will be the first day his wife is away and I am sure sooner or later he will say that he wishes I was there (grrr) yep NO THANKS! I am making progress and do not wish to go back to the DRAMA. There’s so many negatives in an affair and so much pain, I am surprised we all still endure it.

    So here’s the plan I came up with that helped me, may be it’ll help you guys. I had to unblock ex mm because the guilt of what I DID to HIM was eating me (Yep I know, I am working on reducing that damn guilt as I was the one being used here!! I have to keep reminding myself not to fall for what ex mm says as HE used me!!) Anyway so I unblocked him, told him I am determined to put this behind me (he didn’t like it but f$$k do I care!!) and that now that I have unblocked him we need to come up with a plan so neither of us is waiting to hear from the other (I am sure most of you like me have waited hours/days to hear from mm) So told him let’s ONLY talk on Fridays if either of us is up for a chat, in this way at least other days will be peaceful and won’t get wasted, so far it works. I don’t hear from him nor am I waiting all day to hear from him. I am able to enjoy the moment rather than constantly chat with him.
    Of course I have many low moments too, in those times I plant a tiny kiss on my shoulder and tell myself IT’S OK 🙂 It helps me remind myself that it’s ok to take my time to get over this relationship. What happened was really painful for him (and for him) and it’s ok to shed tears or be sad.

    So this week even if his wife is away, I’ll stick to my plan (there’s no question in my mind about going back to the mess I was, no thanks!) and may be even avoid texting him on Friday. Don’t know but I don’t think there’s much else left to talk?? I just need to work on the guilty feeling I get thinking something might happen to him and I might lose him but I keep telling myself it was his choice and I shouldn’t feel responsible when he says to me that he feels crushed and sad.
    Take care all you lovely ladies. Sending you hugs xxxx
    Hope.

    • Felk

      Hi Hope, Saw your plan for contact only on Fridays and love how you’re taking control of your situation. Waiting for the other to call/text/chat/email is awful. Take control and do it on your terms so you’re not sitting around waiting all of the time. And, I don’t know why, but I love the tiny kiss on your shoulder. It’s the enacting of self-love. And, of course, I love your resolve that you know you will not go back to the situation. Even though you still feel things for this man, it’s great that you know you will be strong enough to resist. As you say, it was his choice and you can’t feel guilt for the choice he made. You’ve unblocked him. You’ve given him access to you on Fridays. Try to let that take away your guilt. He can contact you if he needs you, and it sounds like you will be there for him. But it also sounds like you don’t need him, and that’s great.

      • Hope

        Dear Felk and Lois,
        I have missed you ladies! Sorry about the late reply, I was feeling a bit down yesterday. Thank you for your kind words.
        Lois, sorry it’s been a bad/full moon kind of day for you and sorry you feel like you are reading into things, REMEMBER what Lara said ‘Don’t forget your truth. Don’t question your truth later on to try and justify things’ If YOU FEEL it didn’t sit right with you, TELL HIM it upset you and that you compromise SO MUCH and it hurts when he fails to acknowledge it. Don’t be scared to say anything in FEAR of him ending things again, so what? You are hurting already. Because you are still with him it’s a tougher situation but I hope and prays the lows don’t come.

        Felk, I agree with what you said about sometimes needing a break instead of dwelling on this. How’s work going? How have YOU been? Thank you so much for your kind and wise words the other day, I really loved what you said ‘if it took time to fall in love with mm it will take time to fall out, if it took time to lose the spark in marriage it will take time to bring it back’ how true, of course there will be sadness at times for all of us who end it with mm but you are so right about the lows not being the usual low. Take care Hun.

        To all new to the forum, Natalie and many others, WELCOME we are all here to help each other. Stay strong and hope you feel empowered to make your own choices 🙂

        Hope xxx

        • Natalie

          Hi hope..hope u r well..The past week I have bn up n down..was supposed to be meeting him tomorrow but things have came up and we both can’t manage..what’s the point anymore, feel like we r just delaying the enviable…fell like he is constantly letting me down. 1 minute am fine the next I’m soo low. Today I was in tears, I just don’t know when it’s going to end. But I know deep down that it must be me who ends it..which is such a bitter pill to swallow…It has to b me, as long as I allow it it will still go on..on the plus side I have got the job I soo wanted..I’m coming into a bit of money in the next few weeks so hopefully my 1st holiday abroad with my children..which are soo dear to me..i just wish he wld come with me 😢 all of the women on this forum have helped me through some really bad days ..immediately am soo thankful I am not the only one..sending hugs to all u out there xxx

        • Felk

          Hi Hope, I know I’ve been quiet lately, but it’s been hard being back around my ex-MM. I know I should expect it to take a long time to heal from a five-year relationship (especially since I have to see him at work), but knowing that it will take a long time doesn’t make it that much easier. I still miss him and us a lot. It’s a slow process of trying to let this go. And, as I’ve said, we’ve had normal conversations at work. Good conversations, and that makes it easier and harder. I still long for the day when I no longer feel sad. I know I will get there, but it’s slow going. And it’s hard knowing I’m going to have to go through more pain and sadness to get there. But I’m trying to be true to me and trying not to act out of fear. I know I am still have some fear that talking to him or emailing him or texting him will drive him away, and I am trying to get to the point of not caring. Oh how freeing that would be.

          • Lois

            Hey Felk. I understand it gets to point that even writing about sucks. However, I do appreciate your insight on things. It has helped me grow so much over the past several weeks. I’m starting to understand more as to why MM does and says the things he has. I do think he’s concerned to let his feelings go because he’s afraid once he does there’s no going back. He basically told me this so like you I understand why there’s a need for him to keep his distance. It really sucks because we do rnot each othere company. I dont how long we continue and we don’t have a choice our lives are in different situations and it can never be. Just doesn’t make it hurt any less…maybe even more because it does feel so right. You are in prayers.

            Hope, thanks for checking on me and for all of your advice. I truly appreciate your support. With your help, I am thinking about things and making sure to be true to myself. Sending hugs and prayers.

    • Lois

      Hey Hope! Thanks for your lovely comments. We need to think more positive and so glad to hear you enjoying time with family. We do have lots to be grateful. It’s easy to get wrapped up in these affairs and lose track of what really matters to us. For me. I would not give up being a mom for anything in this world. Thus, I am so very grateful for my children. I hope you continue to heal and find what makes you the happiest. We all deserve happiness! Please keep us posted. Sending hugs and prayers.

  • Lisa

    I am thankful for your articles. I dated someone in high school that I knew from middle school as well. We had not seen each other in 40 years. He was transferred to the state I reside in and had a long term project. He heard through mutual friends that my husband of 30 years had recently died, that I was a young widow. He was married with three children for 18 years, then divorced, then quickly married another woman without children and has been “unhappily” married to her for 15 years. When he contacted me, it began as a deep friendship. There was instant synergy between us the way there was when we were younger. We had that history and years of mutual friends. He told me how much he loved me and he was the happiest he had ever been in his life, that I understood him better than anyone and he could love me more easily than anyone. After three years of a long illness with my husband, and him being gone two years, I found myself truly involve with this past boyfriend. With him being here and only going home every 5 weeks, this delusional relationship began. I knew it was wrong. I honestly don’t know how it became so involved. It just happened and we could not stop. After 11 months he was transferred back to his home state with his wife and his life. He texts and calls me constantly. Now, after 3 1/2 months, I see the relationship for what it is. He may very well feel the way he says towards me, but he says his life is too financially complicated to leave unless he knows we have a future. He does not want to be alone. I think it is best to end communication, then after a time try and communicate as friends if that is possible. I am heartbroken, I feel disappointed with myself, and I can’t believe I have carried on with this relationship for this long. I feel like my deceased husband would not want this for me, and more than that, I am the beloved daughter of a King who has forgiven me, and for certain this is not the relationship for me. How do I move forward???

  • LifeLessons

    MM contacted me after 3 Days of NC. He said babe why didnt you reply to my message and I said I never got a message from you. He said I sent it Weds, I was just asking you about you coming to the kids game. I said, oh i never got a message from you. He said o ok. We didnt talk long but he said he would call back. Once he called back, we chatted for a few minutes and I said to him, I was tired because I didnt get to sleep until 6am. He said why is that and I said, I was talking on the phone, he said oh that was pretty intense conversation. He said who were you talking to and I said a new friend, he says oh ok did you meet him online and I said no. I said, i actually met him throught a friend. He said oh thats whats up. I said yea it is. He says he will call me tomrrow on his way to work but it hasnt matter that him and I havent talked in a few days. Probably because i have been talking to my new friend.
    Let me say, i have been dealing with MM for an entire year and I have feelings for him but even without the new friend…I am getting tired of not being able to talk to him when i want to, hang out with him when I want or even have him sleep over. I really desire being involved with someone who is free to love me! I dont know if MM felt a way about me having a new friend or not. He didnt have much emotion about it so it shouldnt be difficult for him to let me go when I am ready to break it off….we shall see
    Talk to you all soon!

    • lara

      Lifelessons thanks for the update! Your life sounds like mine in a tiny way. I have a sort of new guy in my life (but I have known him for a very long time) but it’s non romantic and I think it will always remain that way. I learned he might be moving to the West Coast to be with his son yesterday. For me, he is the example of a stable caring male that handles his life in a way I can admire. He lost his daughter to illness some months back and he lost his wife years ago to a similar illness. But he is very strong and very spiritual. He is a role model for me as a good man, to tell you the truth. He is man who has taught me how men can deal with really difficult circumstances in life without turning to addictions like sex alcohol etc. He is kind and caring. Almost to a fault some times. I can call ANY TIME and he will get right back to me. (By the way for you newer ladies here I am single (divorced) …no H at home to give you some context)

      The ex MM is an actual narcissist who seems to me to be more text book by the day. We have not had sex on over a year but are still caught up in some kind of emotional affair I think.

      His behavior is always about HIM even when he pretends the opposite. The ex MM and I developed some really bad emotional patterns over the years and I STILL need to heal from the impacts of these. I a really scarred I think. My affair went on too long and I just got totally used to ignoring my wants and needs. I think I actually LOST relationships skills over the years. I just got so used to minimizing my needs that I have almost forgotten how to ask myself what I truly need and want. And I have forgotten how to say these words this to another man without having an argument with the ex MM. Without me hearing stuff like this from the ex MM: “I bring this up too much”……”I cant get all my needs met because he is married and dont I understand that??”……. “I overdramatize things” “I am so emotional” etc etc etc etc etc This type of “gas lighting” is what I called “normal” for too long and by talking to the first man I am talking to above I see how much I have actually LOST in having the affair. I have lost all normal give and take and relating skills with a man as a result. But I am beginning to HEAL from this slowly one day at at time. If I go back to the affair, I know I am choosing to also go backwards emotionally for ME for sure.

      So BOTH men said this week they cared about a problem I am having: my son going thru a very bad break with a very long term partner (my son is 30 and some he has been doing acting out with alcohol ) and me being SOOOO worried about him. The man that is my good friend (above) is there every night for me to talk to if I wish. He worries about his own adult son and the same issue too. We talk about the issues of our adult sons and their love lives and temptations for alcohol and how we feel and what we can do etc. Since my father and my ex-husband are both alcoholics this a HUGE issue for me. My friend understands this but does not put me down about it.

      How did my ex MM react? When I told him, he reacted by telling me HIS story about HIS son having gigantic alcohol and drug problems and getting arrested multiple times and now being in rehab! He told me he knew exactly how I felt. I asked the ex MM how long this had been going on? He told me FOUR YEARS. HUH??? He was hiding this from me I find our for the past 4 years! I was like HUH? 4 Years you did not tell me this? Why not? He said he didnt know but maybe he was ashamed. So I realized that when I has asked him in the past about how his son was doing he lied to me basically.

      Actually I really felt so badly for him. And in this exchange I also forgot all about my own feelings for my own son and got kind of swept up in the his drama. This is what always happens. So then he said the famous last words: “I know how hard you have had things with the alcoholic men in your life and I will call you Friday to see how you are doing”.” When he said this I melted a little bit. Maybe he would call me? Maybe he DOES care about my feelings? Maybe I have been too hard on him???? So Friday I waited. All day. No call. Saturday I waited. Nope No call. Sunday I waited. NO CALL. Nope…..

      That is why people who wisely go No Contact say No Contact is for US not them. No Contact means “no new hurts.” Well I feel too guilty blocking him now knowing that his son is in that state he described! What kind of person would I be to BLOCK now? But when he finally decides to call me, what do I do? Ignore? Tell him to go away? Tell him he hurt me again? (I already told you that does not work) BLOCK the PHONE NOW??? Tell him to work with his wife on these issue? He was supposedly in a “loveless marriage” but I saw them HOLDING HANDS on my street last Easter which was really the final nail in the coffin in this very dysfunctional long-term relationship.

      Suggestions anyone? I am all ears. I am soooo sick of this guy and do NOT want back in for the affair but he works right next door to me. And we have known each other for years. But I want CLOSURE. and I want to live in PEACE on my own street.

      Sending hugs, Lara

      • Hope

        Hey Lara,
        Thanks for sharing. Now let’s try and break this down:
        Now I am with you, 100% your ex mm is a narcissist. And he is selfish. I feel he wants you to only ever give him attention and no-one else, not even your own son. First after telling him he still cracks it because he was uphappy you blocked him and made it a big deal instead of supporting you in this tough time. Now after the explaining the situation in detail to him he somehow manages to make it all about HIM again. Sorry Lara but I have doubts about his honestly. From what I have heard so far from you about your ex mm I think there is a fair chance he made the whole thing up just to have your sympathy, is there any chance that this may be the case? I am so glad you have your friend helping you through this, yes it is a beautiful feeling to be able to contact a person when you need to/want to, to be able to have that freedom. You deserve it, it’s ok if you are not attracted to him romantically, for now friendship is just fine too 🙂

        Now coming back to ex mm, he does not want to help Lara and I am sorry but he doesn’t care much about the problems with your son, if he would have he would check with you the very first time you told him about it and not the third or fourth time. My suggestion would be if he contacts you don’t give him a reaction, if he knows it upset you and you immidiately started thinking of him and his problems instead of the issues your son is facing, he would do it again to get your attention. Be cold and distant to him. After a few days block him or just minimise all contact.

        He knows how to play with your heart Lara, but not anymore for you have help. I know it’s easy to say and much more difficult to do it, don’t give this man any more attention. Even if it really is true (his son having issues too) not your problem, you are not responsible to support him, his wife is. He can’t just use you when he needs attention.
        Hugs Lara, take care X
        Hope.

        • Lara

          Hope I cannot thank you enough for your comments and expressions. Thank you 1 million times over! He is selfish yes and a narcissist yes. He tried to sound empathic last Wednesday but his actions : going MIA again after I actually expressed an emotional need to talk about my situation gives the whole thing away. I’m so hurt he didn’t contact me I have no words for it. Did he lie about his son being in a rehab and arrested multiple times? If he did this man is truly very ill. But it Says a lot that he told me “it was going on for four years and he never told me about it.” Like, Huh??? And That he “trusts no one” . A narcissist would not be able to admit to such family problems and he and his wife are evidently hiding the situation about their son from the whole world. Whatever. As for me I have very good news that my son went to his first therapy appointment today. He was very mature about it. I’m trying to talk as much as I can to him about it and tell him there’s nothing wrong with going through a hard part of life and that I’ve been there done that! He knows nothing about the affair thank God. He still has a very good job and lives in the same building with me and thankfully I can see is not visibly acting all crazy. It’s just that over the holidays there was a night when he drank too much and got into some trouble. I know it’s because he’s broken hearted after his break up. I’ve been worried about him and praying for him and trying to help him in anyway I can. Actually having the MM compare our sons when the problem he was describing with his son was so much bigger than mine was shocking. I was very upset. Intold him that when things go wrong in my life I wonder if it’s karma for having had a relationship with him when he was married. Of course he wanted to talk me Down from that point and my therapist will say the same thing. But let’s face it the guilt of being in these situations messes with our heads in bad ways. Not having the thrill of sex for a long time with him now makes it much easier to detach from him even though the emotions are still very strong. I’m taking up nomads offer and starting no contact today. I do feel a bit guilty about it but he has treated me really too badly to respect His wishes. Sending hugs to all!! Lara

      • Nomad

        Dear Lara,
        Join me to block and no contact… I’m into day3. I’m blocking for myself,my sanity and had I not, I’ll be waiting and hoping subconsciously.

        This time it will work because he has rejected me when I asked if he decided to continue; because he was shocked that I’m seeking professional help and he got paranoid feeling unsafe so he’s running as far and as quickly as possible. I’m seizing the situation to let go, regaining my inner peace and sanity… at least for 30days…I really need the time and space since there’s nothing much I could do…

        Stay strong Lara, I need all of you here to help me pull through… not sure if the rest have run out of words for me, perhaps they are helpless seeing that I’ve been ruminating and in denial of the situation. But I’ll still be here to read and to heal…

        • Felk

          Hi Nomad, You know that we’re all still here. Unfortunately, there comes a point, and we all have faced this and are still facing it, where others’ words can’t help anymore and you have to deal with the situation on your own. There has been plenty that others have said on here that has helped me. And sometimes just writing about and talking through my thoughts/feelings helps me. But we also come here looking for some magic solution because we just want the pain to go away, and we know there’s no magic solution. There is nothing that someone is going to say that is going to make it all okay. I hope for that every day. For the pain and difficulty to be gone, but we know that time and distance are what heals. You’re on NC day 3 and that’s really hard. It’s really hard early and you know that because you’ve gone through it before. But you also know it gets better over time. And you’ve heard a number of us on here say that. I’m four months into my break up and it’s better. Much better. There are set-backs, sure. There are hard days. But, overall, I feel better. The lows aren’t as low. The thoughts aren’t as intrusive. The sadness isn’t as intense. And the understanding and acceptance are greater. I also feel more energy and more interested in my life again. The hardest part of a break up is the simple reality that you will be in pain for some amount of time (especially if the break up wasn’t your choice) and there isn’t a lot you can do to stop that. There is a lack of control that is very hard to handle. But, part of regaining control is recognizing you’ll be sad for a while and that it’s okay. And then the other part of gaining control is taking steps in your life to move on. It’s okay if you can’t do that initially. It’s okay if you spend days crying and missing him. But, soon enough (and with the help of your therapist), you’ll do small things each day to focus elsewhere and get your life back. You blocked him. That’s great. That’s taking control. At first, for me, I kind of had to force myself to do things to distract myself. But it helped. I think you said you were married and you had a good husband. If you still want to be in your marriage (as I do), then that is a great place to focus. Slowly. That will probably take a little forcing, too, but just as it took time to fall in love with your ex-MM, it will take time to fall out of love. And just as it took time to lose that spark with your husband, it will take time to build that closeness back. We’re all still here, but, yeah, sometimes there are no words that can help. And, sometimes, honestly, I need a break from reading and writing about all of this because I need to focus elsewhere. While this site helps, it can also get me to dwell on my situation and I know it’s best to step away.

        • Lara

          Nomad I am joyed you I just pressed block what a beautiful word. Block and let go. I thought he was going to contact me but it’s Monday night and I never heard from him. And tonight I had to deal with a side of him together with his wife at the restaurant. We will be fine nomad! I know we will be fine because I’ve done this before. I too am seeking professional help and have an appointment on Thursday. We both deserve better than hanging on the end of the phone waiting for a crumb from someone!

  • Lois

    Good morning ladies. Hope this post finds everyone well. It’s a cold day in the Midwestern part of the US. My heart goes out to people in southern California with recent fires and now mudslides makes me appreciate my life even more. I think all of us could have things much worse in our lives. Although the pain we feel is real, we could have pain far worse. I’m grateful for my healthy children, my home, food to eat, car to drive, water to drink, etc. Many people across the world are faced with heartache that we know nothing about and for that I’m grateful to have the life that I have. Please stop and think about what you are grateful for and tell us. I can’t really explain it but something in me changed over the holiday break. With the support and advice from people like Felk, Lifelesson, hope and Lara i be been doing lots of soul searching and have come to realize that my feelings are important. I’ve been so worried that MM would end things that often I wouldn’t speak up or was afraid to push him away. I was losing sight of me and my needs and feelings. Yes, things between MM are good right now so my heart isn’t breaking and fo t have that awful gut wrenching feeling but I am different this time. We hooked up this past week and usually i would give him space so he could not think about what he’d done with me so the guilt didn’t consume him. I did this so he wouldn’t feel guilt and end things. It normally took a couple of days to suppress my feelings because I would be on such a high and want him even more that it was like an obsession…not this time. I have not checked or even asked how he was doing with guilt because I don’t care…maybe it’s because I don’t truly believe he is as guilt ridden. I don’t know. Although I still have to initiate the text, he hasn’t gone MIA this time either..it’s weird and like he senses that I am different. I finally got it in my head that I have given a lot to this situation and get very little in return. If he decides to end things, I have no regrets because I have given it my best in the situation that we are in…there’s nothing g more I can do or will do. I thank you ladies and good lord for helping me see things through a different perspective. I do hope and pray that I continue to see things for how truly they are and not go back to the way things before break. So, thank you.

    • Nomad

      Hi Lois, I’m sincerely happy for you that you had a breakthrough and are following your heart and things are going well the way you wanted. Enjoy the moments and may you find the strength and the way to let be, whichever way you can bear and works well for mm and you. 🙂 hugs abs it’s a good start to the new year! Take care of your ❤️

      • Lois

        Hey Nomad. I am taking baby steps but feel they are in the right direction. I don’t know what tomorrow, next week may bring but I know it’s time to be true to myself. Of course it’s easier said than done but over the weekend I have texted MM and he’s responded. In the past. I would have never texted him in fear it would cause guilt. So, I am taking steps to put my needs and feelings before his. If it causes him too much guilt then it’s his problem and he can deal with however he needs to. Hopefully, this mentality of mine will continue. Thank you. Hugs and prayers! ☺

    • LifeLessons

      Lois,

      Good job reflecting on how your feelings are changing.
      I pray for you and all of us who is trying to understand these affairs and wanting to move forward. I think if you continue to recognize certain things, you will be able to move forward without him! Maybe he is guilty maybe he is not but that does not have to be your concern. Try to focus on you and your needs. I really did not fully understand what an affair entales. It takes a lot of courage, support, strength and prayer to get out of it.
      I am not sure if you write in a journal or anything but I did something i think will be helpful for me and may be helpful to you and others. I wrote down what I need vs what I want in a relationship. I needed to see what i am looking for in order to be able to identify it when it arrives. I was actually reflecting over all of my bad relationship choices and realized, I wasnt clear about what I wanted. Therefore, i continued to meet the same guy over and over again. I put myself through the same situations repeatedly. However, i am truly tired of it i am 34 and I want to have a successful relationship with someone who wants to endure the good/bad/ugly/forgiving obsticales of a long lasting relationship. I prayed for what I need and I feel pretty sure that GOD will send it. I think it will take time but he will deliver it. I honestly believe God has a plan for us all but we dont always take the route he designed for us, we tend to go our own route which makes it more challenging to get where we are trying to go. I am in no way a bible scholar or a consistent church go-er however, i do believe in GOD.
      Lois, take a moment to write some things down on paper for you to read. Write about how this relatioship makes you feel, why you think you are involved with him, what can he ever do for you, does he respect you and are you respecting yourself, what are you gaining/losing by dealing with MM , do you want this to continue or not and anything else you can think of.
      Once you have done that…create a plan to either accept what youre dealing with while entertaining the MM or create a plan to get out of this. You may not succeed at your plan but at least have one. You know I am not here to judge to but to help and motivate you to do whats good for you.
      Written with LOVE, HOPE and CARE!!!

    • Felk

      Hi Lois, It’s good to hear that you’re trying to do the relationship on your terms now. That’s really important. We know that these are hard situations that require a lot of compromise, but we also know that we can go too far with compromise and push aside our needs because we’re too scared the relationship will end. When we are afraid to ask for reasonable things because of fear, then we have compromised too much. I know it’s not that easy, and it’s often a mental battle of figuring out what is “reasonable” to ask in an affair. We know we can’t have the same expectations as in a non-affair relationship. But, you know when you feel bad. You know when you feel something is unfair. You know when it isn’t right. You know when you feel bad more often than you feel good. It sounds like you’re responding to those feelings, and maybe he’s noticing. Like you said, maybe he can tell you’re different or maybe he missed you over the holiday break just as you missed him (and he doesn’t want to go MIA). It’s powerful if you’ve gotten to a point of feeling you’ve done everything you could and if it doesn’t work, then you can end it with no regrets. I really hope you can continue asking for the things you need and your MM can continue handling his guilt and not putting you through the rollercoaster again.
      For me, it’s been hard going back to work. At first it was a little awkward, but we have had some nice conversations. Mostly work/fun/joking normal conversations for us. It felt easy and good. And that is very hard. It makes me want more. I am missing him again this weekend, as I often do after we have a good conversation. It reminds me of all we were (and still are). It is so clear why NC is encouraged after a break-up. Continuing to tease yourself with the other person is rough. I know I’m still choosing it because I can’t imagine not having his friendship, not having these conversations. But I do wonder if I’ll get to a point of having to go full NC (as much as I can when working together) because it continues to feel bad to miss him? I hope not. As I’ve said on here before, it’s getting better but keeping this person in your life slows the healing immensely. And, of course, I wonder what he’s thinking after this first week back of seeing each other. I figure he’s thinking and feeling similar things, but he often seems so much stronger than I do. Here and there throughout this break up, he’s shown and told me about how hard it is on him. So, I know he’s struggling, but, sure, there is comfort in hearing him say it. I’d like to hear him say it again, but at what point does it become counterproductive for us to keep talking about how hard it all is? I’d love to just trust our friendship and take comfort in that, but there’s this whole “in love” thing that keeps getting in my way.

      • Hope

        Hi Lois and Felk,
        Lois I am so glad you payed attention to your needs and so you should!! Glad you had a good time and I am so glad your mm’s guilt trip afterwards didn’t continue this time and that you weren’t scared of facing his usual reaction after a catch up. That’s really good, may be he is finally realising it’s not just about him and his guilt towards his wife but also about you and your feelings. And I am so glad you have reached a point where you know in your heart you did the best you could. Bravo!!
        Oh Felk my heart goes out to you, your post hit a sore spot and I have felt everything that you mention. It’s scary that we all have faced similar things in our relationships..so true.. you know when you feel bad more than you feel good, you know when something is unfair, this made me cry Felk and I am so sorry you had to go through the same pain that I have, it hurts. I understand the pain you feel maintaining the chats/jokes with mm as I felt it too when I spoke to ex mm via text after unblocking him. Pain of wanting more. Yes NC is ideal but please be easy on yourself, I sure as hell couldn’t block ex mm for long! Who knows someday you will be able to practice NC, until then this is ok too. Working with mm is so much more harder, there’s no where to hide! It’s a tough situation Felk. I can understand the ‘in love’ thing getting in way of friendship. Keep letting us know, we will listen, we care about Felk. Hugs and prayers xxx
        Hope 🙂

        • Felk

          Aw, Hope, thanks. The support on here is just so great. Although I have a few friends I can talk to this about, they don’t really understand not having been in the same situation. (And they’ve also been listening to me for five years so I like to give them a break!) The feeling bad more than you feel good is really a thing. Or sometimes it’s simply that you feel bad too often. Maybe you still feel good more often than bad, but the bad is really bad. Or the bad is still more often than it should be. For me, I noticed that I cried more than I had in any other relationship. And sometimes it was because of the difficulty of an affair and simply not having the time we wanted with each other, but at other times it was because he was distant and unfair. And, it was likely a product of the affair because he had to give attention elsewhere and had to protect his own feelings because he was in a tough situation, but it led to me crying more than I should have in a relationship. That’s why, when he ended it, I didn’t try to talk him into staying. He said it wasn’t working for him, and I wasn’t willing to compromise any further and offer any more to help it work better for him. It had gotten too hard for both of us. We were too in love (and too married to other people). 🙂
          I will continue to try to go easy on myself (but you could hear I was beating myself up a little bit earlier today). And I know it will get easier as we see each other at work more regularly. It was just a little hard getting back into it after that time apart. I will continue to remind myself that I want a friendship and it will be hard, but if I think it’s worth it, then I’ll put in the effort. And I won’t ignore that he’s putting in the effort, too. I’m grateful that we are still friends and that I didn’t lose this person who was a big part of my life for five years. And I will try to stay true to myself and not be silent out of fear if I think he’s being unfair in our relationship again. And, very important, I remind myself that I’m grateful that I still have a loving husband who is my best friend. Lois is right about the importance of reflecting on that which we have. Instead of dwelling on what I no longer have with my MM, I’m going to think about what I’m grateful to still have with him, with my husband, and with many other friends and family. And, of course, grateful to have you all on here to listen and share.

      • Lois

        Felk, I think working with them us luke torture. MM and I have tried so many times that it’s hard to take it serious. He will say it is for real and 100 % certain he will not change his mind. We have gone a couple of months with no sex but only a few weeks of no flirting and about a week of NC. Hinestky, I don’t think he wants to end it or he would. He says he misses talking with me and sex is goI’d too but it’s talking he mostly misses. I dobt know but working with them sucks. Like you we start of joking. E6c and then it just seems to happen. Although I usually initiate it except this last time and he brought up something in sexual joke and it started from there. I’m not sure what is going on now because he hasn’t gone MIA which I’d unlike him. It’s weird. Please keep me posted. Sending prayers and hugs.

  • Thought I was different

    I have been so lucky to have found this forum. I started looking for some help about a year ago when I knew my relationship with mm was going nowhere. I have my “departure letter” typed up and just as I was going to hit send, received a text telling me I’m still the one for him! I need to find the inspiration, courage and guts to hit send and go NC like many of you on here. You are so strong and I promised I would not start a new year like this!

    • Natalie

      I can only say that if u hit he send button u have to mean it I’ve done that soo many times..and h e still went back ..only until u r truly done with the situation that u can do that. It take a lot of guts..am telling a. .hats off to u..I’m really struggling ..everyday/night..its awful..wishing u all the best..xxx

    • Lois

      Wow…I can see why you are conflicted that’s a tough situation. Do you think he’s made a decision to be with you? Or just for you to continue to be second or third in his life…can’t remember if he has children. If he’s not committed to making things how you want, then I would say send it and be done. How long has the affair gone on? Do you think he’s serious or playing mind game? If course it’s easier said than done but you owe to yourself to make your feelings and happiness a priority. I think all if us have put our feelings wants and needs on the side for too long. Please keep us posted. I’m sending hugs and prayers.

  • J

    Hello,
    So I hooked up with my mm again tonight, the second time in 2 days. As soon as I tell him I want him, he’s available. He said it’s the best ever with me and he can’t resist me no matter what. Said we belong together and it’s the best ever when we are together. Well it was time to go and he mentioned having dinner reservations with his wife, I was going out with friends. Texted me while being out with his wife a few times. Then around 10 pm texts that he’s out with her listening to music somewhere, a band he enjoys. This completely upsets me and ruins the rest of my night. About a month ago he and I had plans to go see this band together. But we never made it as we spent the entire evening at a hotel and going to dinner instead. But I found this incredibly upsetting as he always says how much he wants to take me to listen to this band and how much he wants to dance with me. I really am enabling him to have the best of both worlds. All in one night he can have sex with me and go dancing with his wife. I also feel it gave him joy knowing he was hurting me. I’m making his marriage stronger every day that I continue with him. Within this almost 2 year period, his marriage has gotten better and mine has deteriorated because of my lack of attention. What am I gaining staying in this?

      • Nomad

        Hi J, while I’m envious that mm and you could get back together and enjoy each other, I could relate the part about being the third wheel and improving their marriage. He is making up to his wife because he’s guilty towards her and he’s cover up keeping business as usual at home. My ex-mm somehow made effort to rekindle the sparks with his wife by bringing her for coffee and movies, initiated holding her hands but was shook off by her, buying new bed to sleep together, trips overseas, doing chores to relieve her, fetching her, work on new routine to hav more meal time together, br home earlier, cut down away time, taking leave to celebrate her birthday, sent 😍😘emoticon and photos to her in WhatsApp, all that he claimed he didn’t do before us. I must have taught him how to romance his wife, what a woman needs (or lacks and yearn for). That upsets me like what you’ve experienced.

        I couldn’t apply the same he taught me towards my husband. I couldn’t get intimate with my husband as I’d think of mm and tend to compare. I even avoided my husband so as to stay “faithful” to mm. Silly I know.

        I don’t know how to relax and enjoy the best of both worlds that’s why I’m trying to end. It’s now easier since he rejected me last fri. Even the hook ups couldn’t lure him back into my arms…

        • J

          Hi nomad, I’m sorry for what a hard time you’re having and unfortunately we can all relate. I totally agree that my mm has been acting extra nice to his wife to make up for his guilt. He has been taking her to the gym to encourage her to lose weight, he says so he can possibly be attracted to her again. He has been going to dinner, drinks, playing pool, walks, concerts, and whatever else you can think of. He even has been cooking and shopping even though she doesn’t even work! All of his attempts and he still can’t stop thinking of me. Maybe eventually he will be able to forget me and sexually function with her, who knows. But one thing I do know is that i really don’t want to sit around waiting to find out. He used to talk about his wife all of the time, how unhappy he was, how she’s so dumb, how he can’t talk to her, how she’s never been a partner, etc. But I’ve noticed he doesn’t do that anymore. I truly believe I am enabling his marriage to get better which is why I should get out now.

    • lara

      J I have a question: What make you think it gives him joy knowing he is hurting you? This is such a relationship red flag. Is it because he is jealous of you and your husband alone when he is out and alone with his wife and not you? Why does he react this way and how would this play out in a “real” relationship with him “one on one”? I ask because many of these men have MO’s…they have clearly recognizable behavioral and emotional patters. In other words if he does that to you, then maybe he also gets a joy hurting his wife when he is with you too? I think it is best if we can find and see some of these patterns so we are not also hurt. I have known my ex MM long enough to know that the way he treat his wife and the way he treats me are different yes, but they are very RELATED. In both of our cases he totally compartmentalizes his feelings. But he also “projects”
      and stereotypes a lot from his primary relationship (his wife) onto ME and our relationship. I hate that. He really isn’t free and clear enough oh his primary relationship to be able to relate to me honestly and openly. I got so tried of all the LIES small lies big lies lies he didn’t even have to say. He is really not available for a true bond but through sex we found an exhilaration and closeness and chemistry together that seemed like enough for a long time. Then I started growing out of the relationship at long last.

      • J

        Lara, thanks for your comments. The reason I think he enjoys hurting me is because of my believe that he’s a narcissist. I read several of your posts explaining narcissistic behavior and looked it up like you suggested. I do think he fits so many aspects of narcissism. The way he love bombed, because everything I desired, did everything for me, but then once he had me I noticed he was critical at times. He’s insecure and loves attention. He acts so religious, but come on, how could he be. When I pull away from him, he always pulls me back in. But what you said about enjoying hurting his wife when he’s with me is very interesting. I think you could be right. He’s probably in a narcissistic relationship with both of us. His wife is very needy with no job and totally dependent on him. I think he really likes that aspect of their relationship. It’s quite sad actually. I don’t think he will ever be happy no matter what. He’s using our affair as the reason for his unhappiness right now, saying the guilt makes him feel so disappointed in himself. But i know that even if I was erased, there would be another issue for him. I think he is driven by drama and conflict. He’s toxic for me, I just wish I didn’t love him so much. Because even though I know all of this about him, I’m so drawn to him and so attracted to him. It’s insane.

  • Natalie

    Hey folks….its been a long long week for me ..don’t know about yourselves 😕 he msgd me coz we’ve I’ve not been in touch with him..had our 1 of many crazy arguments…feel like I’m going round in circles ..constantly..I feel like I am fighting my demons all the time..fighting for the love I have for him & fighting for what I deserve…when is it going to end… I’m trying to have as least contact with him as possible..its tough.

    • Nomad

      Hi Natalie, you are not alone and if we are heading towards the same direction to end with mm, then you have me to walk alongside you. I’ve been trying NC since last Jun and over time, the frequency of trigger NC had increased and the duration stretched but we are getting there… I saw how mm has progressed, from almost killing him (needed to drown his grief through beer), finding new hobbies and interest to distract himself, making effort for his family until last fri, he could reject me in my face when I asked if he has decided to end. He said yes better, now at least we could contain the damage within the two of us and he could abstain from sex as he has been living that way until we started. After so many rounds of NCs, we are drained and have come to terms that we are (he is) better off ending affair. It’s hard for me because I WAS still waiting and hoping and wanting him. But now, he has rejected me, only then, we will break away from the circles. It is tough if he’s not helping you by staying away.

      Then, why don’t you stop suppressing and avoiding him? Go with the flow, succumb to his way, What will happen? How would you suffer? Since going back or staying away is suffering for you, then which is a lesser evil? I chose NC because I’m compelled to act each time I know about his guilty conscience and fear of being found out. Each time he had to steal time and rush off after meeting me, each time he mia after office hrs and after sex. I thought let me help us to resolve from the root cause. Setting for less is merely treating the symptom. But I realized I hsve been denial. When he is adamant to leave, I panicked and I would do anything to suit him so long as he’s giving us another try. But he’s tactfully rejected any chance of continuing.

      • Natalie

        NOMAD…today has been a crazy day..why is it that we give them soo much of our time..mentally..I feel like I am going crazy..and that’s on a daily basis…I am up n down all the time..1 minute I feel like…that’s it I’m in control to then feeling like ..shit! We r constantly in contact which is driving me crazy…I soo desperately want to cut all contact but feel like he is a drug to me. Am soo addicted I don’t know when to stop..what will.i do..surely I cannot go on like this ..

        • J

          Natalie,
          I know exactly how you feel. I can’t escape my own brain with non stop thoughts of him, what is he thinking, what is he feeling, does he miss me, is he going to say he feels guilty again, and it goes on and on all day. Hard to function at work or even talk to people because I’m consumed thinking of him. I hate that he controls my mind like this. And it’s like this strong addiction. And we communicate non stop making it so hard.

  • J

    Hello everyone,
    My mm and I hooked up last night. He started with the flirting texts and I can’t deny that I participate because I’m so attracted to him. I told him I wanted him and suddenly he became available. Told me how no matter how hard he tries, he can’t resist me. Told me he loves me and how being with me is the best it can be. I enjoyed it at the time. I just realize that things can continue as long as I want them to. But it will continue to be the ups and downs. He will continue saying he needs to work on his marriage, but then he will continue having sex with me when I want him to. So I realized that the decision is all mine. Do I want to settle for this relationship with him. It’s def less than it was for the first 1.5 years we were together. He doesn’t go out of his way to love bomb me anymore like he used to. He used to shower me with attention and love and I was his first priority. Now he’s supposedly working on his marriage but not really if he’s still sleepiing with me. I’m seeing him as such a hypocrite with all his god and church talk.
    As far as what some have sad about absence making the heart grow fonder. I believe it does. I believe out of sight, out of mind only applies if the people are not in love. Absence def makes the heart grow fonder if 2 people are in love. I know any of the times I’ve attempted no contact, he went crazy thinking of how much he loves me, and has told me so.

    • Natalie

      Hi J.. my story is… I’ve bn in a relationship for almost a year now with someone who’s bn engaged for 9yrs..He keeps saying he’s gonna leave. But ..’can’t put a time in it’.. its been like this for some time…last year he was leave by the summer..then Xmas. .then over this new year…what I am saying is ..what I am trying to say is for as long as u keep giving in..He will always b there..u will have to be the stronger person & cut all contact…If u mean that much to him he will come to u. Don’t be 2nd best …It worth more than that.. and so am I…. Xxx

    • Lois

      Hey, J. I can totally relate because MM and I hooked up again too…twice since before Christmas. Ironically, mm told me the same thing as yours…he can’t stop thinking of me no matter how hard he tries. I know it’s only a matter of time he will end things because of guilt and church. It just blows me away the ups and downs of this situation. We do have control and choices. I can quite explain it but I feel differently. In the past, I would be so worried about his guilt that it would weigh on me for a few days after we were together. This time, I seem to careless. I think it’s because he has used these excuses so much like calling wolf too many times that I just don’t believe it. If he was truly religious he wouldn’t be with me having sex. If things were truly good at home, he wouldn’t be having sex with me. I think he does have feelings and I’m sure those feelings keep him coming back too. In the past, I would put distance between us after being together to give him space so the guilt wouldn’t bother him. I was afraid to contact him in fear the guilt would cause him to end things. Over Christmas break, Felk and others helped me realize that my feelings are important too. Therefore, I have been in contact with him because I wanted to and if it pushes him away than it does. But I’m going to do what makes me happy and if he chooses to end things than he can but my feelings are important too. So far he has been receptive and hasn’t gone MIA lIke in the past. I wonder if he noticed the change in me because I haven’t chased him like before…my texts are different…I’m different. I don’t know how it will last but at least I havey self respect. I will keep you posted.

  • LifeLessons

    Lois and Felk,

    Thanks so much for your encouragement and positive words. You all will help me move forward, I just know you will. I went on a date with the new guy. He is very attractive!!!! He is looking for a friendship that will hopefully grow into a relatiinship. We have talked daily since Tuesday. He said he enjoys talking to me. I am definitely enjoying conversing with him.
    I havent spoken to MM since Tuesday. He is easily annoyed. I have not contacted him at all since Tuesday. He had an attitude because I could not hear him while we were on the phone due to bad service 😩😩 I said are you easily annoyed and he said NO and I said it seems like it. He rushed off the phone like a crazy person. I was going to call him yesterday but I changed my mind. I will let him call me. My son text me and said my friend dad is dropping me off home (MM) at the same time, the new guy was coming to pick me up for our date and he was minutes away. I did not want MM to see me with someone. I dont know why it mattered but I was saying please do not let them get to my home at the same time. They didnt!

    The new guy has a pretty interesting past. He was in the military and he fought in the war. He admitted to having PTSD and says he has gone to therapy and is not ashamed of going to counseling. He has what seems to be a great personality and he is friendly. I cant believe he loves to talk just as much as I do. I am hoping to hang out with him again soon. I will continue to keep you ladies posted. As for MM I am 3 days NC and hope to keep it up. I dropped his son off yesterday and his wife came to the door to wave…he was not home. I am sure he will call me and I am hoping to stay strong and not give in to him.

    Pray for me as I will be praying for you hugs and kisses

    • Lois

      Awesome Lifelessons…that’s great! Sounds like you are on the right path…good for you! I am sure MM I’d wondering what in the heck happened. It sounds like this new guy has helped you realize you are a strong wonderful woman. I look forward to hearing how things are going. I hope this will help you get over MM because you deserve happiness with someone who is a available. Wishing you the very best!

  • Nomad

    Dear All,
    I have met mm over lunch and I’m convinced it is the end of us. I’ve no regrets now to leave us behind as I couldn’t be more honest to him in our 2.5hrs talk. I admitted my weaknesses and vulnerability. I threw away my pride and asked point blank if we could continue. I respect his decision to leave for his family and accept that he didn’t love me enough to stay by my side and his reluctance to fight against his guilty conscience and fear to continue the relationship. I’m hoping to reach where Felk has arrived now in 4 months time. I would think NC suits my situation better. Time and distance. I’m badly hurt and feel numb, perhaps I’ll feel the physical pain and nauseating effect when I wake tomorrow. My mind is blank now that he has rejected me tactfully but clearly. It doesn’t help when he “assured” me that he would miss me and try harder not to contact me to make it easier for me. but at the spur of the moment he asked to meet me. Yet he was cautious not to give me hope. When he learnt that I started to seek professional help, he was concerned if he’d be exposed and shocked that the affair could affect me so drastically and dangerously. He then felt guilty towards me to have caused such damage to my daily life. He then apologized for not trying harder to abstain from sending a “harmless” message and meet for lunch without agenda. He thought we could engage that way and underestimated the impact because I looked normal on the outside.

    I’ll be seeing therapist next week to kick start my journey of healing and moving on. Hope this is it…

    • Nomad

      To add… I felt disappointed that he didn’t care if the therapy is effective and helping me, instead, he cares if his identity would be revealed. He asked how he can heal me. I said stick to his decision and be firm not to return to peel the scap off my deep wound if it ever heals…remember the reasons why he has decided to forsake me. It hurts my ego that his “love” for me ain’t enough to choose me. He’s being kind to avoid saying harsh words to kill my hope but I could feel and see. We hugged and kisses and I smelled him for the last time. Still addicted. Mid Dec was indeed the last time we made love… no more ever but I couldn’t cry though I couldn’t bear to leave. I’ve blocked him with his consensus as it would help me to stop waiting and closed the door tight. He agreed not to call my desk. I have left no gaps for him to creep his way back I hope. Moreover, he has guilt towards his family, me and my spouse. I told him unlike his repulsive wife, my spouse actually loves me and dotes on me… I have been too considerate not to bring in my own guilt to complicate the affair. It’s always his guilt and his family that matters… he even imagined he would lose his job or his wife would jump with the kids if we were found out.

      He asked if I hate him. I don’t know…he said he’s worried about my wellbeing. He said so many stuffs but I only registered he decided to end. I told him i understand, no need to defend or explain further…

      I hope to seek comfort here… I really don’t know how to survive this weekend, next week, next month and shut him out of my life… I don’t believe in myself because I kept caving in each time he sneaked back… I’m sure he’s still recovering from the shock to hear how damaged I have been and he can’t just come back at his convenience on every Friday (past 3 Fridays have been like that). I just hope this is my rock bottom and I’m done…no matter how reluctant I am, he has given me no choice, not even agreeable that I should settle for less… yes he said I shouldn’t settle for less as it’s too tough for me..

  • lara

    I do not what I would do without this board honestly! Hope: honestly your words to me below have helped INCREDIBLY and I am going to take you up and report the latest details with the MM. But later. First the POSITIVE: I need to take positive actions if I want to get out of the emotional and psych. rut of being hooked on the MM. So I ordered the book mentioned above “Living Beyond Your Feelings” and at first I was hating it. I really was. I am not as Christian as the writer. I practice another religion as well. A different one. So it takes some getting used to as the author talks about her own Christian faith a great deal. But she got me interested after she wrote she had been abused by her father. She talks about this honestly in the book. And how this experience led her to have many uncontrollable feelings later as a married adult. She talks about how awful it really feels when our emotions seem to take hold of us and we are unable to take any actions because we are only FEELING. I have my own abandonment and emotional abuse issues with both my parents for various reasons and I have been i therapy a very long time. Even with therapy and medication however, some days my FEELINGS seem to just take over my whole body! I can not think or act rationally . I can only FEEL. This is especially what happened to me with the MM. My feelings drove me so much. OMG!! MY feelings like these: My need to be needed. Wanted. Loved. Close to him. Loving him. Having time with him. My arms around him. On and On and On. But this book is helping me realize that I can do more than just FEEL. I can act! And that will make me have new feelings. Does this make any sense?

    SO y MM came back around to wish me a Happy Bday a day late. Very typical. But now he knows I block him on the phone and then he gets very compulsive about contacting me. I realize his feelings are out of control too. He has abandonment and abuse issues too. So I am being hurt by a hurt person.

    In the meantime yes there is someone new that I am slightly interested in that is very very kind and spiritual. I have known him avery long time. We are friends. But I can not even imagine sleeping with him. It is quite impossible for me. I will discuss this in therapy next week. Maybe I simply prefer to be friends with him? That would be fine but this is also the problem: kind men and emotionally available men have never ever been my thing. Now I have turned a giant corner into a new decade. Is it too late for me to learn? DO I have it in me? I really do not know anymore. My past is littered with narcissists and various kinds of addicts when I think about it. Can I change now? I don’t know but now I DO know I am praying for guidance for God (pick any God from any religion) to guide me to whatever I am supposed to do. Hugs to all of you women here! It is an extremely tough place to be: to be involved with a married person of any sex and I would never wish the pain on anyone else. But I know we also choose these situations for reasons, sometimes invisible to ourselves. Then we must deal with the whatever the consequences of the affair are: emotionally, psychotically, sexually,financially morally etc etc Sheesh Makes me exhausted just thinking about it.

    • Hope

      Hey Lara 🙂
      You are welcome anytime!! First of all I am so glad you are taking positive steps, you go girl! Glad the new book is giving you insights and i am sure it help, so many times I have similar questions, why do I feel so strongly? What is it that I am missing? Why did I get into this? etc. I’ll look into ordering this book too if possible. Lara I am so sorry about the hardships you have endured, I often think of how much you have been through in life and I hope and pray you get only happiness from here on.

      Now about mm, it’s a bit weird that he wished you a day late? You said it’s typical of him, so in past when he did that did you tell him that it upset you? Could it be that he did so to get a reaction from you? Anyway from what you have told he sounds like a real jerk. What else did he say? I hope it didn’t upset you.

      I can understand you wanting to be friends with this other guy. Take your time Lara, you don’t have to rush into things. Do it when you are ready. For your questions, NO it’s not too late for you to learn to be attracted to kind and available men. Good attracts good Lara. It’s never too late to find love. You CAN DO IT. We’d be CRAZY if we kept doing the SAME thing each time and expect a different result, won’t happen. WE NEED to bring the change for it to happen. Just give someone a chance when you are ready and see where life takes you 🙂

      So true about the affair and the pain it brings. Hurts like hell but I know only way forward is for us to push through and stay positive.

      Lara, Felk one of my biggest fear always has been (I have never said this to anyone) because ex mm is 32 years older than me, I often fear what if something happens to him, I lose him one day and regret this choice? Would I be losing few years left of his/our love and then would regret it? I know it is not ideal to fall in love with a man that older than me but I did. I know I am doing the right thing but this has always been on my mind every time I have tried to break it off in past. Since October break up and constant NC, I feel at peace, don’t miss the DRAMA, I am able to enjoy my time with my daughter but this tiny sense of guilt is there when I am happy sometimes, what if in 10 years I lose him, what am I going to do? Should I not do NC?
      Hugs to you too Lara, and everyone 🙂 Sending you all prayers 🙂
      Hope xxx

  • Kub

    Hello everyone
    Here I am, among you. After 2 years in a relationship with a married man, I need to get my self-esteem back. It is not because he is a liar and horrible person. I know he loves me and would want to do thing differently. But these feelings and thoughts are too late for me- too late since his marriage!
    A serious relationship can be tough. In my country people in my age mostly have their first kid already. But I am a single woman and I do not plan to get married in a short time, I dont think that I am ready for it. Maybe just because of that or maybe because my bf was married, this relationship gave me the hardest time of my life. I am a good person, an engineer. I came to this point in my life with trying so hard. I do not want to loose them all to a man. Even though I love him so much, at the points that is not reciprocal extinguishes me. I gave so much effort. I do not think that a relationship is supposed to be this exhausting.
    Anyway, this one is one of the many fights that we had. But I feel differently. I feel intoxicated by him. I just want to leave all this behind of me. Suddenly wake up in the morning and realize that he is and all the feelings for him is gone! But I know this is a process. This is not my first boyfriend. I am experienced from before, from previous relationships. I know I have the power in me. Just as a woman it is underneath of my feelings. But this is not preventing that the power come and take everything over. I am decisive this time. Even it is a true love, it should not be like this 🙂 concluding, this is not the one. Can’t be.
    Thanks in advance for your support and existence 🙂
    Love

  • LifeLessons

    Felk,
    I was super excited today. A friend of mine asked if she could give my number to a guy that is single whom works with her. I am not a blind date kind of girl but she had already showed him a photo of me and he liked it. He called today and we talked for hours. I know whenever you meet someone in the beginning you talk a lot until you get to know one another a little better. I dont care even care about whether or not this turns into anything. What I realized today, is I am SINGLE and I should be dating. I should not be so tied up into this man whom I will never be able to call my own (and I dont want to). I asked my friend what made her want to hook me up with this guy and she said to get your mind off of MM and she said just kidding. I think she meant that and I appreciate it. MM called me and yes I talked to him but the entire time I was on the phone with him, i was wondering how he is going to handle things when i finally break it completely off. I know it may not matter but I still care for him….
    I just wanted to share that with you! I am sure I left a message for you on the other forum too.

    P.S We all appreciate you Laurie xoxoxoxox

    • Lois

      Hey, Lifelessons! . I am so proud of you that is so awesome. I cannot wait to hear all about the date. I agree your friend may have said she was joking but not only…good for her! MM probably will not handle it very well but this was his choice. You are single and have so much to offer someone. I only know you through this forum and you are an amazingly strong woman who deserves happiness. I wish you nothing but the very best. Please keep us updated! Sending hope, faith, hugs and prayers!

    • Felk

      Hey LifeLessons, What I wouldn’t give to have a blind date! As a MW, that’s a little hard, though. 🙂 So happy for you. And it’s a step in the right direction. As you’ve said, even if this one doesn’t turn into anything, you’re getting back out there and dating, seeing what other things men can offer you, and giving yourself the opportunity to have a relationship where two people can truly be there for each other. Even when affair partners really do care about and love each other (as opposed to situations where people are using others for sex), they can’t truly be there for each other. The relationship is never what you can have in a loving, mutual relationship. When there are spouses involved, they will always demand our married partner’s attention. It was true of me and true of my MM. So, put yourself out there. Give yourself a chance for a relationship with someone who can give you all the things.

  • Natalie

    I myself feel consumed by the relationship I am in..sometimes I feel like I am going crazy..today is the 1st day I’ve decided to try and snap out of it..take time for myself concentrate on me again.which I haven’t done in such a long time. It’s been almost a year and I can honestly say I couldn’t see the wood for the trees, sometimes I feel like actually hate him. I’m up and down..He ruined my Xmas… its just time to let him go, it’s been going on for too long, and I’m fed up feeling lousey quite a it of the time., fed up waiting ..fed up doubting myself, fed up feeling insecure, like I was nvr good enough..and for what?? Nothing!! He will never leave, I’m not waiting anymore. Now its the time just to move on..i do love him..its just not enough. I deserve better than this shit..before I met him I was happy in my life but I allowed it, I enabled him. It’s my own fault, I should have got out way earlier. I’ve definately learned alot from this & about myself. We all make mistakes just move on & learn from them.
    And can I just say how much this forum had helped me, helped me see what I didn’t want to see..
    All the best folks xx

    • Lois

      Hey, Natalie. We can all sympathize with you because we know first hand what you are going through. It is difficult but having this forum to share your story does help. It is the only place where I can be honest and feel judged. Unfortunately, for many of us, we have said and done things that we are not proud of but we understand each other. The support and advice given by others can put things a different perspective which has helped me out greatly. I hope you too will find comfort and support.

      • Natalie

        Lois..Thank you..This forum has really helped me soo much..to know that I’m not the only one.
        Given our situations it’s difficult to be able to tell anyone else without being judged..Thank u for your kinds words

    • Kub

      Hi Natalie,
      The first 3 days are the hardest ones. I hope you can still put yourself together. I know the feeling for your ‘before-me’; I was a way more happier person before him. I could enjoy the moment. But that means you can do it again, pls be patient, be patient for yourself. Hang on to yourself. May the force be with you 🙂 with all of us.

      • Natalie

        KUB..Thank you..I take soo much comfort from reading about this and knowing that I am not the only one..its a horrible place to be. I start as I mean to go on…what have I got to lose..nothing..I’m gonna get focused and try and be and do positive things everyday…and 1 day I’m gonna look back on this and think what the heck was I doing..but you have to live to be able to learn from the good and the bad..Thanks for listening about me.. means a lot x

        • Kub

          Hello Natalie,

          Listening your opinions is comforting for me, too. Because I understand that I am not the only one. That gives me somehow power; power and realization; this situation cannot last forever, right? No matter what we deserve better. Take care :*

          • Natalie

            KUB..today has been tough…going things over n over in my head..I feel I am just torturing myself..doesn’t help that he has bn msgn me to say he means everything he has said..i have not replied tohim, hopefully I will continue to do so…I can’t or I would going straight back to square 1..got to keep going I tell myself constantly..I have been here many time b4 with him and I always feel weak and give in..no contact is a tough 1..but at the same time I need it to try and think straight…hope you are ok x

  • Nomad

    Dear J,
    Your mm is really an a**h***. I am sorry because how could he bear to make you hear about his bedroom story with his wife? what is wrong with him??? I would have gone mad if I were you. For my mm, he said i am his only sex partner for past year (though I find it hard to believe and i cannot imagine but still this white lie kept me happy and calm at times); he said before telling me the truth often works against him andI am not sure if he’s hinting me that he has to lie to me by telling me things I want to hear and so he did and he obliged. Am I in a better position? well, sometimes I wished my mm can be like yours, do or say things that could kill me, numb me and throw me down to hit the rock bottom then I might feel totally hopeless and could leverage on resentment against him to let go and move on and save myself. I am still in this shit because he is still giving me hope and throwing me crumbs and I still do not know each time when I push him away, is he going to return to me. One thing for sure, he is no longer showering me with that high degree of affection and attention, be it due to guilt or fading limerence and that hurts too! it hurts each time he MIA, i thought i could stop waiting and hoping but I couldn’t. Longest record was 28 days…today is NC day 3 and this time it was him who blocked me and deleted my contact! I still couldn’t believe it that he is that “determined” after enough is enough. I am finally being punished by him for blocking him and hurting his ego so many hundred times.

    Absence only makes hearts grow fonder if both are truly in love. In an affair at this dwindling stage, absence only helps to make the mm see the reality of working hard to provide for family, be morally right so that they can be good role model to their kids, sex is not important but being a responsible family man is far more satisfying; absence only helps them to appreciate how trusting, innocent, pure and faithful their ignorant wives are compared to mw who cheats on their husband, mm are so thankful that their wives do not cheat and they are guilty towards mw’s spouse too!; absence helps them to apprecaite the mundance but peaceful life versus the guilt and fearful life in secret, walking on eggshells and waking up in cold sweat; Absence makes them realise that quitting an addiction is possible with time and distance.

    • J

      Nomad. Thanks for your response. Yes many on here have told me that mm is a narcissist, thoughtless, a jerk. I don’t know if you read my other posts, but he’s also outlined far worse sex attempts with his wife. Tells me he doesn’t want to talk about it, but then he is the one to tell me all the details when I don’t even ask. He has told me he’s trying to work on his marriage and it’s what he has to do. Tells me how he can’t stay erect because it’s nothing in comparison to me. He even told me one night that he couldn’t stay erect so he gave her oral sex. It disgusts me and makes me feel like vomiting. But someone I think I’m becoming numb to it because it’s like he’s killing some part of me. So sorry for your pain. Sounds like you’ve had the same rollercoaster. The ups and downs are so bad for us mentally and emotionally.

      • Felk

        Hey Lois, Thanks for asking. Really. The support you all show on here is appreciated. The update is pretty much nothing. It’s been hard, as expected. We haven’t talked much. Exchanged a little work e-mail. Talked a little here and there in the hall but just keeping things professional. We joke a little so it’s not cold, but my tension/anxiety is back to two months ago (not as bad as immediately post break-up but not great). I get the sense we’re both trying to avoid each other a little. Definitely hard coming back to seeing him after so much time apart. And I’d imagine my MM feels the same way. It hurts still. Being away was hard, but being near him and not being able to have more is harder. I, of course, mean “more” as a relationship, but mostly I just mean “more” as a normal, non-anxious friendship. I know it’s not that simple, but I really would like to feel ease and happiness around him again. I’d like to stop caring, but I know that takes a long time. I know I still care because we had a lot of good years together. Had there not been so much love, I wouldn’t care as much. Even though I know it, it’s still hard.
        I’d love to talk to him more about it all, too. I’d love to just talk about how hard it is and how we’re trying. And I’d imagine we will again, but I’m also trying not to push too much. If he’s struggling still (as I expect he is), I don’t want to make it harder on him. That does neither one of us any good (if my goal is a friendship with him). So, I will continue to tough it out. Try to make work interactions as normal as possible and try to remember that he’s feeling what I’m feeling. As I see so many of us write about, one of the hardest things is worrying that they’ve stopped loving us. The rejection of that is crushing. So, I remind myself that he does still love me. As I’ve said, he told me this the last time we saw each other before the Christmas holiday. He did not stop loving me in the three months between then and when he ended our relationship. And he has not stopped loving me since he last told me a month ago. Sometimes I think it would be easier if I knew he stopped loving me. But, it doesn’t matter because that’s not the reality. The reality is that we both still have strong feelings for each other, and we have to see each other nearly every day and act like we don’t.

        • Lois

          Hey Felk. It was nice to hear back from you sorry for delayed response but have been busy with work and kids. I understand how you are feeling about the awkwardness because mm and I do the same thing especially when he’s ended thingS and it’s been a period of time that we’ve not seen or spoken. It’s craxy. It’s like neither of us know what to say to the another…it’s an awful feeling especially when we are trying to end things. So, I feel your pain. With mm and I we eventually talk about things and some tones well most of the time, I find myself hurting and wanting him to change hisin and be with me. However. It does help when we talk because he will admit things about his feelings than he normally does. Then it seems we eventually will succomb to our feelings. We don’t seem to last very long. Just like this time, we ended up together before christmas and again this past week. However. I can tell you that I am different this time. You helped me realize that my feelings do matter and the need to regain self respect. Normally I would put distance between us after we’d have sex so the guilt wouldn’t bother him but not this time. I’m tired of worrying about his feelings and driving him away. So I started putting my feelings before his. It seems to be going well for now anyway. He usually would go MIA but hasn’t this time. I’m not sure why maybe he can sense I am feeling different…I don’t know but it’s weird. We’ve texted every day but keep it somewhat short nothing sexual. Like I said , I have come to realize that I have given him everything that I could and if that’s not enough than it needs to be done. My feelings do matter…I matter and if chooses to end things because of it I dobt gave a choice but at least I put me first…if that makes sense. So. I thank you with all my heart for the support and opening my eyes to his perspective on the situation. It has truly helped me and I’m grateful. I wish strength and courage. Please keep us posted.

  • Hope

    Hi all,
    Hope you are all doing well. To all friends dreading seeing mm at work… Felk, Lois wish you all the best!! Hope this week goes well for you 🙂
    I am still feeling positive, despite ex mm’s advances I have managed to stand my ground and say NO to ‘free sex without responsibilities’… that’s how I feel it is in my case anyway. I think he reason he is trying to convince me and not going MIA is that he wants me to give in and just have sex with him when his wife is away (how pathetic is that, I keep thinking how did I not see that??!) Told him the answer is no mate.
    I do have my bad moments but I keep reading advice given by Felk, Lara and many others. Here are few things that helped me and might help you guys too:

    – I am learning to nurture myself. Just like Lara I have trouble looking after myself and always feel guilty at the thought of doing so. No more sister! I am working towards getting fit, losing my baby tummy/food baby! 🙂 I exercise for 2 hours everyday, it helps me clear my head. There is something about the hormones that are released while exercising that make you feel better and in my case it works. My parents are visiting so they look after my daughter and off I go for a long walk. So yes daily walks have helped me very much and made me feel better.

    – Reaching out to friends. Don’t know about you guys but I got so engulfed in the affair I neglected my friends. My affair was my world. Which is why every time I tried to break it off in past I went crying back as I was feeling worse, I had nothing to do or no-one to talk to! Now I have started reaching out to friends. Met my girlfriends last week and we had so much fun! Here I was miserable that ex mm never went out for a coffee or lunch (forget dinner!) with me but didn’t think there were other people in my life who could do those things with me!! Why did I fuss over a situation that was completely out of my control I do not know! Anyway things that I always begged my mm to do, I try and do those with friends 🙂

    – Confiding in a friend/therapist. I can’t afford to see a therapist but if you could then go for it! I told my close friend about it. I was worried I might lose her if I told her, but I didn’t. She helped me understand that I was doing the right thing. So if you can find someone whom you can be honest with do it.

    – Reading posts on this forum. I check this forum first thing in the morning. I live in Australia so I am able to see your comments only early in the morning and oh I check it first thing in the morning!! I copy advice given by Felk, Lara, Lois, etc. in my phone and I read it all the time! Thank you ladies, without this forum I never could have been able to feel the way I feel right now, strong and empowered! Of course I love ex mm deeply and of course it hurts like hell at times and of course I miss him but I tell myself it’s OK to lose in love. It’s absolutely OK and I did everything I could to nurture the affair, there was NOTHING more that I could have done. If he didn’t want more that’s OK too. And this has helped me to accept that there is really nothing more to it and that I NEED to try and make the best of what I have. I have a friend who is 36, ended her year and a half relationship as the guy didn’t want more. In one and half year he still didn’t fall in love with her (and she is the most beautiful and kind person). The guy was CONFUSED. There are people like these all around us. What I tell myself is that it’s ok if the man I loved didn’t want the same things as me, it doesn’t make me any less. Good luck to him and I wish him all the best but man I am not for 1 more second going to listen to him talk about his wife or look at their photo or try and console HIM when I know in my heart he is being a prick! Not 1 more second I am going to involve myself in HIS issues. May sound selfish but what am I getting for doing all those things for him?? Life in hiding, loneliness, depression, self doubt, list goes on!!!!
    So yes to all you ladies hope you feel empowered to make your own choices. Hugs, prayers and love to all of you 🙂 Stay blessed xxxx
    Hope.

    • Felk

      Hi Hope, Really like what you say here. You sound strong. I like your plan not to give in to sex while his wife is gone. We know we’ll have moments of weakness and sadness still, but when I read words like this, I know you’re healing. It’s especially that last paragraph that struck me. First, I think it’s okay to be “selfish” when it comes to your well-being. You’re looking out for yourself. That’s pretty important here. You no longer owe him anything. Second, love what you wrote about “I did everything I could to nurture the affair.” Me, too. I have told myself many times that I did my best to make it work. (In my case, so did he.) It does no good to second guess or wish “if only.” Trust that you did your best in a really tough situation. Affairs are hard. That they often don’t work is no surprise. But, no regrets. I did my best, and I had five pretty nice years with a good guy. And I don’t just think about the good times. I recognize the stuff that was crap and the reasons it needed to end. And, hopefully, I still have a friendship ahead with him.
      Yes, reading what you all write has helped me get to where I am now. Oh, what a difference four months makes.

      • Hope

        Thank you so much Felk 🙂 for your kind words. Yes you are right as always, it is important to take care of myself, I have realised that after talking to all of you and I plan on continuing to nurture and take care of myself. I know you did everything you could to nurture the affair, you compromised, never once pressured him into leaving, put him first because he has kids and you felt things were harder for him. You did everything Felk, you did so much more than I have! So yes walk away knowing there was nothing more that you could have done to change the outcome. I am so glad you had nice 5 years and have no regrets, you are such a strong woman Felk, I wish I could say that about my affair but the truth is I do regret it. I would never tell ex mm that because it might hurt him but the truth is going back I would not do it. Yes 4 months makes such a difference!! Do you remember how miserable we were around September? Time does heal, tiny bit at a time. In the beginning we are too messed up to notice the healing but slowly but surely we do. See now NC is not that difficult for us (geez I remember how brutal NC felt 4 months ago!). Thank you for everything Felk. You, Lara, Lois, J and many others are no less than super woman!! Take great care of yourself 🙂 xxxx
        Hope.

        • Felk

          Hi Hope, I still have hard days, but, yes, they’re nothing like what it felt like four months ago. That was day-after-day of misery. That was crushing and gut-wrenching. Now, I only feel gut-wrenching pain like once/month. 🙂 But I still feel a lot of pain. It’s not as intense as it was, but it’s still there. It’s hard to lose a loving relationship that lasted five years. It’s hard to come to expect access to a person and to no longer have that access. And it’s hard to know what our friendship is going to be. We’re both taking it rather tentatively and that’s leading to some distance and low communication. But, I still feel his friendship (he’s making clear attempts), and that’s helping me (I think). Sometimes I wonder if this pain continues a lot longer if I’ll eventually regret our affair, but, for now, I still have no regrets (except for wishing I would have stood up for myself a little more at the end… but it’s a small thing).

    • Lois

      Hello, Hope. What a great way to start off this forum. I’m so very proud of you. You’ve come along way! You’re a strong amazing woman who deserves so much than what Ex MM was willing to give you. Unfortunately, I have not reached the point of no return and know my efforts to end things will not do me any good until then. I think it’s safe to say and we would all agree…that you have to want to end it before you can succeed. It’s so lIke a drug addiction…you want it, crave it, can’t live or function without it. Plus all common sense leaves your body. For many of us the affair is so out of our characters but love does make us do strange things. We know it is not right but dang it feels so right. It’s an emotional roller-coaster and the only way to stop is for us to get off of the ride. Some of us deal with narassastic MM while others are trying to let go of the soul mate who can’t leave their situation maybe due to kids, etc. Whatever the reason or situation there are several of us here to listen and provide support without judgement. This forum allows you to be honest which is so helpful in the healing process. I am here to tell you that sucks and can be unbearable at times but we are for support. It us great to get different perspectives on things. I can’t tell you the number of times that Felk, Hope, Lara, Lifelesson and a few others have helped me through sone tough times. Just know you are not alone. I hope things are going well for everyone. And Hope, I am so happy for you please keep us posted!

      • Hope

        Hello Lois,
        Thank you, your words made me smile 🙂 Yes you are absolutely right, you have to reach the point where you can’t take it anymore. Can’t tell you how many times I tried to break it off, can’t remember! But keep trying to at least minimise the contact so you are NOT as dependent on the drug. Yes it sucks at times, yesterday during my walk I burst into tears but told myself it’s OK to be sad, we all have been through so much and it’s absolutely OK to be sad. Wiped off my tears, continued my walk, went home and had a great time with my daughter. I was able to be in the moment and enjoy my time with her which is so important to me. I want to enjoy my life Lois, we all do! I don’t wish to spend it always waiting for HIM. Yes it does hurt to let go of someone who we feel is our soul mate but it’s THEIR responsibility just as much as it’s ours to make sure we don’t lose each other. Yes being able to be honest about the situation is a big part of healing and I am very grateful this forum provides us that. Be easy on yourself Lois, it’s a very tough situation and you are already doing the best you can. One day you will reach the point where you are ready to end it, you would have had enough and the little perks would make little to no difference compared to the pain. Take care 🙂 xxxx
        Hope.

    • lara

      Hope today you are sounding positively inspiring to me. Brava! Girl, you sound like you have made some decisions and are on your way to keeping your boundaries firm! I really loved reading this today. It is my birthday and I was sick at home and also having to deal with some stuff (no hot water in my building today ugh!). In fact this is a big birthday as it is the beginning of a new decade! I was emotional about this fact today of course. I got so many birthday wishes from friends and families and in particular my two grown sons really went out of their way to make my day a nice one and I was very touched. My eldest gave me a beautiful card with words that brought tears to my eyes. He is the one who is having some emotional issues over a break-up…..he was together with his girlfriend for many years. I say this because I know my son is vulnerable at this time because break ups are so hard and I can see his state for myself. I had explained to the ex MM that my son really had a kind of meltdown over the holidays. But the MM never tried to contact me afterwards to ask me how my son was doing. He was simply angry I was “unavailable”. So of course he did not wish me a happy birthday today either. I have to count my blessings that I am beginning to finally realize how hurtful this man has been to me over the years. For no good reason actually. It takes so much effort for me to recognize how his behaviors are anything but loving! That is on ME to figure out why not. But now at least I DO realize he does not help me in any way to help me blossom into my best or truest self. I only thought he did. That is because the sex was always so great! I too have tried to love him the best way I could. But in the end I can only say “things just did not work out because in fact, we were never really on the same page because there was never actually an “us”.” There was never ever just TWO of us; we were always a THREE-some. The “us” I thought we had was a figment of my very good imagination! ( am an artist so duh). The hard reality is this: I was a third party in the middle of a permanent two-some, in this case a legal marriage. But I really truly thought I was an “us” with tan MM! Again this on ME to figure out why I could not accept the truth sooner. He might have a good marriage or it be the worst one ever. I will never know. And I no longer care to know! I just know this: No more of that torture, thank you very much. It was killing me inch by inch. Onward to a new decade, God willing! May I never be a third wheel ever again!

      • Hope

        Dear Lara,
        Happy birthday to you….happy birthday to you…happy birthday dear Lara…Happy Birthday to you!!❤️ Wish you loads of happiness, smiles and good health! God bless❤️Xxxx 😊
        I am glad I was able to make you and that too on your birthday, yasss! 😊 Aww I am so glad your 2 beautiful boys made your birthday extra special (you deserve it!!). You raised those boys so of course they grew up to kind, sensitive and respectful towards others. Great job! I wish my daughter loves me this much when she grows up 🙂 Thank you Lara, I am feeling positive and even more now after reading all your kind thoughts and posts 🙂
        So sorry about your son’s break up, it’s hard ending a relationship that has lasted for years, we get so used to the other person’s presence. But he is YOUR SON Lara, of course he is amazing, kind, caring, sensitive and understanding towards women, he will find someone really amazing who will appreciate all these qualities. Someone who will love him and care for him. It’s a tough time for him now and for you as all you would want to do is jump in and protect your little one. I am sure after a while when he is ready he will meet someone amazing who makes him truly happy. I understand how you feel about ex mm not even caring to ask how your son even after you told him about your son’s meltdown during holidays. The EXACT thing happened to me (far out…. sometimes it feels we were dating the same guy!! So similar at times that it’s spooky!) once during our tiff I told ex mm that my little daughter was unwell and I told him I was worried if the fever didn’t go down I would have to take her to hospital. He went on with his life didn’t even ask me the next day how she was! I feel bad for saying this but I think he didn’t care because she is NOT HIS daughter. That’s how selfish sometime some mm could be. I know it hurts when they don’t even care to ask about someone who is so important to us but it proves a lot about who they really are. If situation was reversed and it was their kids we would move mountains to help. So it’s sad that they even think to check on our kids even after being told about the problems. No more sister, men who don’t care about our kids should have no place in our lives.
        Hard reality of us being a third party in their twosome is so true and man it still hurts so much. But it’s OK Lara, we will be fine. Yes there never was an us, we were just the third party. For you it’s much tougher Lara because your ex mm is cruel!! It’s always about HIM and it must be so difficult for you to not let him play with you. Next time if he says something to you and you are not sure what his intentions are behind saying that, just post it here and we all will try and figure it out! We are here for you Lara, you a compassionate, caring, kind and gorgeous lady and I wish all the years all filled with heaps of smiles for you 🙂 btw did you mention few posts ago that you have your eyes (or half eye! Lol) on someone else? How did it go? 🙂
        Take care lovely! Hugs, prayers and love xxxx
        Hope

    • Nomad

      Hi Hope,
      I’m feeling hopeless and Time is crawling this week. NC for 5days and this time it feels real that he’s not coming back anymore… why so? He blocked me for the very first time and colleagues said he’s one who would execute what he sets out to do (except that he gave up on me on us and returned to his family and I actually hate this rejection)

      I haven’t been productive at work. Unblocked him 5 days ago so that he won’t csll my desk but he has totally not called or WhatsApp me for 5days! This time I’m counting, waiting and hoping, I think it’s because I’m taken a back by his blocking and deletion of my no from his phone, in the past he would endure and waited for me to calm down and check in. I couldn’t function and I’ve been re-reading messages from Felk (her mm also left for family), you, J, Lois and those who have been long enough to know each other and support each other here. I’ve been penning down benefits of quitting mm to encourage myself, reasons to leave, thank him for making a breakthrough and helping me, but it is hurting more than ever! Is he gone forever? Reading Felk’s story, i think I’m following her footsteps, mm is determined to work on his marriage and I gave him the benefit of doubt that he’s guilt to cheat is hard to bear and so, he left for peace and happiness. I’ve no confidence that he’s missing me or loving me… can he stop feeling so just after 5days? he’s good at switching and compartmentalised.

      I’m missing him very much.., I took care of myself by signing up yoga, Zumba and knitting, all starting this week. I jogged every other day. All these are new frontiers which I’ve never done before (thanks to him). I also initiated lunch with colleagues. However, I’m still weeping in the office toilet missing him and feeling the void & the pain. I don’t know how to encourage myself further…

      Please tell me he’s going to call… but then, I chased him away telling him not to return. I’m conflicting I know… so much tension in my heart… it’s so unfair that he’s living normally whereas I’m actually not ready to let go…

      • Lois

        Hey, Nomad. Unfortunately, what you are experiencing is something we have all felt at one point and some times too often throughout our affairs. There are so many emotions going through your mind and body that it is difficult to concentrate. At times the hurting is so unbearable that you would do anything for it to stop including giving up your self-respect by contacting him to only be hurt even more. Honestly, I could never imagine myself being in this situation because of morals and values. I watched my mom be treated on for years, so I have always been totally against it. Yet, here I am…do not every say never. LOL! I too questioned whether MM could stop caring so quickly because he has a way of not showing his emotions. Felk helped me to realize that it is not possible for someone to stop caring that soon (unless they never truly did). Of course, he still thinks and cares about you…it has only been five days. How many times in the past have you or him tried to end things to only end up in each others arms again? For me, we have gone about two months with no sexual activity and only about a week of NC before we start missing each other. So, no, I do not think in a few days their feelings go away. Right now, things with MM are good. It is weird but good which is a different story all together. This forum has helped me so much to realize that I too have given everything to this affair including my self-respect, so if it is not good enough and he decides to end it then I am left with no other choice. However, I will not stand by any longer and let my feelings be dismissed because I am too afraid he will end things. Felk and Lara have given me a different perspective on things, so I am going to call things how I see them. Matter of fact, I am planning to question MM about something that happened at work when I have a chance. I have been patient, flexible, caring, loving, etc. and what I have been given an emotional roller-coaster; on again/off again, I want you/don’t want you,blah…blah…blah! In the end, we cannot do anymore than we already have done and given to them, so we need to respect ourselves and not give them so much control and power in this situation. Lord knows, it is easier said than done but is not time that we think about us for a change…do not we deserve better? Just like now, I know it is only a matter of time…next week; tomorrow; in a moth…MM will end things and I will be left miserable and heartbroken. Is this how we want to live? Shouldn’t we take control of our lives and happiness? Honestly, is this happiness…maybe right now but it does not last. My only suggestion is to literally take it day by day and know there will be days that you are numb and days when your anxiety level is through the roof. Just remember baby steps. Sending hugs and prayers.

        • Nomad

          Hi Lois, thank you for your kind words… that he still thinks and cares about me and I do find comfort to know that.
          I have tried to end things hundreds of time since last May and each cycle has become viciously frequent and longer duration.
          Nov, we spoke once briefly when he rang my desk and met 2 weeks later when he appeared at my desk, worried that I might forget him. Then I left for 2 trips to escape and hoping that when I were back, I would be done! but I was so wrong about myself and the outcome. Instead, absence has prepared him to make more sensible decision to leave me and move on to the life before me, mundane but so what, it is at least peaceful and guilt free and no fear! he could face his girls without shame; absence has prepared him to be more brave and honest with me, able to articulate about the difficulty to continue with me. I drained him and he is prepared to part and he knows how to execute the separation. Absence does not make hearts grow fonder. So longest record was in Nov whereby I only met him briefly at my desk after 28 days. Longest record whereby we could abstain from sex was about 1.5 months, some time in last jun – jul. After my first trip, we couldn’t hold our desire and headed for the room in mid dec, then i left for my seond trip and back before the new year. I still blocked him and he rang my desk last fri. I initiated lunch becuase I missed him very much. He was confused by my actions. So, it has been 1 month since I was in his arms and it pains me whenever i think about that was the last time ever. During the lunch, we both felt the temptation to lock arms and lips but then guilt stopped him. He abruptly left the lunch and deleted my contact that very night. Then, my world was shattered and my anxiety has definitely hit through the roof… if only i can be more understanding? flexible? not pushy or dramatic which turned him off and drained him dry?

      • Felk

        Hi Nomad, I appreciate the things you say about me being rational and understanding and positive. That’s how I feel. Doesn’t mean it’s not hard as heck, but I feel a lot of understanding for him and what he’s going through. I feel understanding for me and trying not to beat myself up too much for not being over him yet (even though I beat myself up a little). And I feel optimistic that it will get better because it’s already getting better.
        It sounds like you’re still going through some rough stuff. It sounds like your MM is trying NC. As we know, we try NC so it’s only understandable that they try NC. I know that my MM was trying NC during our holiday break away from work. He contacted me near-zero despite telling me he was still in love with me right before we went on break from work. The NC hurt, but I understood. I knew he’d have to give the NC a chance, see how he felt. See if he could focus his attention on his family and see if he could attempt to move on from me. It sounds like you know that your MM has not forgotten you or stopped loving you in five days. He misses you. He is hurting. But it sounds like he’s trying to get off of this rollercoaster that causes them as much pain (if not more) than it causes us. We don’t hear a lot from men on here because not only do they internalize their emotions more than women but women are also taught to share emotions more. So, we’re better at expressing them AND we want to express them more. Men would be better served by not holding in their emotions so much, but society doesn’t allow them this as much as it does women. I think men feel weak by expressing their emotions, where I think we feel strength by sharing on here. Recently, I told a friend my whole affair story (well, the short version). It felt so good to tell someone everything because we have so few people we can tell. It felt so good to just talk it out and say the words out loud about how I knew I had to move on, and how I knew he did what was best for himself and his family. Saying these things helps me.
        I know you were also saying that you felt pathetic for still holding on to a relationship that you know is toxic and causing you pain. But, I think it’s good that we feel pathetic at times. I mean that. When we feel pathetic, it motivates us to do something to stop feeling pathetic. If you feel pathetic, it means you at least know that you shouldn’t be holding onto this relationship and if you know you shouldn’t (on some level) then you will make some attempts to not hold on. Of course, we have to act on that. Can’t just sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. Yes, sit around a little. Give yourself a break a little. Be kind to yourself, but at some point start moving. As others on here have said, exercise, go out with friends, do whatever it takes to distract yourself.
        I know it’s a battle right now. I know we’re holding on and letting go, but we are letting go. I have said it many times here. I feel better across these four months. It’s still hard, but it’s better. Even today at work did not feel as bad as the lowest lows months ago. It was hard, but it’s better than it was before and it will keep getting better over time.

        • Nomad

          Dear Felk, I feel you…it is NC day 7 and it was last fri since we met for lunch and he told me he loved me and missed me; it was 2 fridays ago since he left me a voicemail murmuring he loved me…I wanted to believe but somehow I think he said it because I wanted to hear it. This week has been very difficult because he has blocked me and deleted my no. and when I unblocked him for 7 days, he did not call me. I am still in a state of disbelief that he has finally taken the action to remove me. I still couldn’t function well at work, fortunately now is the lull period. Perhaps I should ask for new projects to drown and distract myself at work.

          Here’s the dilemma….to block or unblock him? if i were to block him, I feel safe and in control of the situation and no more waiting or hoping that it is him each time my phone buzzed; but then, there is no point to block him since he is not going to call but then, unblocking him gives me hope and I will wait but then, I know when my office desk rings, it is not him. Anyway, I supposed I made good progress in that I stopped stalking his last seen, his status and over analysed his profile picture and resisted to check on his calender and messenger status, deactivated my facebook. Truth is that I have no courage to find out he is still blocking me everywhere or he’s on leave. I listed down the triggers and trying very hard to avoid those triggers to my ruminating thoughts. It is very hard… so much harder than before (lame NCs and roller coaster for 8 months)… i lost the fighting spirit to walk away… I stopped moving ahead and kept looking back hoping he would chase after me but not this time… i know regression is part and parcel of healing but this week feels like years… I am counting days…
          Yes, I do worry that he has stopped loving me and that the rejection of that is crushing. Unlike you, i have difficulty reminding myself that he does still love me and he’s hurting and fighting hard not to contact me, to make things easier for me. I would imagine he’s enjoying his family bliss, no more fear and guilt. I am confused with the reality but deep down I know it is hopeless, he has left me for good, and we must part for good.

          • Felk

            Hi Nomad, I have difficulty, too, reminding myself that my ex-MM still misses me and loves me. I know it’s true, but it’s hard really feeling it when we talk so little now. Your MM and my MM are also not suddenly enjoying family bliss without fear and guilt. My MM has told me that it is not all suddenly bliss. But, if this is what your MM wants and he is tired of the rollercoaster, it’s understandable. I know that hurts. You know I know, but if we keep thinking they’re going to come back then we can’t move on.
            As far as blocking or unblocking your MM, I would recommend blocking him, especially if he has blocked you. Then you take some control of the situation and you’re not just waiting for him to come back to you. Sure, you may wonder if he’s tried to contact you and if that is going to make you miserable then maybe you’re not ready to block him, but there is strength in the decision to block him if you’re able to do it. Seven days of NC is a lot. We all know that. But we all also know that it gets easier. It will take (a lot of) time, though.

          • Nomad

            Dear Felk, I woke up early this morning still in a denial and ruminating what happened over lunch yesterday. The problem with me is that I forgive and forget easily. Wasn’t it yesterday I reaffirmed by asking him point blank a few times if he has decided to forsake me, the “love” for me isn’t strong or worthy enough to fight against all odds to continue? He nodded his head said yes and I also prepared him all along with the countless NC. He quickly assured me there’s no other woman and he’s been good and he will be in months to come. He will miss me those the intensity and frequency has faded over time and he could hold it for 1-2 wks before he has the urge to contact. Funny that he also assured me I’m his best woman in his lifetime, he gave me his best, I enjoyed the best of him and he couldn’t imagine sex like ours with another. He can execute abstinence. I’m dumbfounded because I’m after his affection, attention and emotional connection (then comes sex) which he said he couldn’t give and sustain due to guilt and fear. I told him I understand and I need him to stick to his decision because I’m weak and vulnerable. I’ve no self confidence to let go and move on and I stopped promising myself or anyone that each contact would be the last one. He was back yesterday even though a week ago he deleted and blocked me after I told him to work on his self control and don’t ever return.

            Felk, we share the same difficulty and situation but you are 4 mths ahead and you give me hope and prep me for the path ahead. I seek comfort and refuge in reading your words, helping me to regain the emotional balance when I started to create negative scenarios in my head about mm. Like telling me MM are also not suddenly enjoying family bliss without fear and guilt. I need that. You helped me to confront my honesty and that I’m not ready to let go but has been avoiding just so to protect myself from rejection and reality of losing.

            Again I declared here and to therapist that yesterday was the ultimate breakup where I had my closure and he’s inclined to ending the affair before it’s too late. I’m just flogging a dying horse. But I’m scared – I can’t make it – I still not ready to remove him. I heed your recommendation to block him again so that I feel safe and in control of the situation. I don’t deny I experience Wee bit of inner peace when I blocked him. If he ever rings my desk, I shouldn’t pick up. If he ever show up at my desk, I will stay calm and act professionally. These are my replies to the therapist’s questions. I must WANT to distract myself. I must commit to end.

            I will try my best to inch along the morally right track, readin now is because mm left me with no choice but then I hope the reason will change soon and that it is because I respect myself and for the sake of my sanity. Mm isn’t going to come back and I must WANT to accept it.

      • Hope

        Oh Nomad, I am so sorry for the pain you are going through. It hurts like hell, me and Felk were in the EXACT same position last year. Good on you for taking care of yourself, reading advice on this forum and trying new things to divert your mind from the pain. Only advice I can give you is be easy on yourself, it will hurt, first few months are the absolute worst and I wasn’t sure if I would make it but I did. If you feel like crying, cry… let the tears come out, it’s such a big loss and tell yourself it’s OK to be sad, to cry. Four months on I still broke down yesterday, but one thing I can tell you is that the pain will ease up. Oh Nomad my heart goes out to you, I completely understand how you feel crying in the office toilet, I did the same and still do it some times. It’s so hard to focus but I can tell you it gets better slowly with time.
        I wish I had answers to your questions Nomad but I don’t. I pleaded with my ex mm to give me some answers just so I had some closure but guess what he never did. Please understand you might never have answers to all your questions and as Lara said it’s what makes moving on so much more difficult. You can do it Nomad, you are capable of being fine even after enduring so much pain. You can only get stronger from here. Just take one day at a time. Hugs and prayers xxxx
        Hope.