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.

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.



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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



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

  • Laurie Post author

    Thank you for sharing your devotional prayer, Lois – it’s beautiful! And, it’s a wonderful way to close off the comments on this post.

    As I mentioned a few days ago, this page is loading slower because of all the comments. I’ll turn off the comments here; feel free to come over to
    How to Protect Yourself From Being Used in a Relationship
    https://howloveblossoms.com/how-to-protect-yourself-from-being-used-in-a-relationship/
    to continue your conversations.

    Warmly,
    Laurie

  • lois

    This is my devotional prayer for the day:

    Dear God,
    Thank you for your great love and blessing over our lives. Thank you that your favor has no end, but it lasts for our entire lifetime. Forgive us for sometimes forgetting that you are intimately acquainted with all of our ways, that you know what concerns us, and you cover us as with a shield. We ask that we would walk in your blessing and goodness today. That your face would shine on us. That you would open the right doors for our lives and for our loved ones, that you would close the wrong doors and protect us from those we need to walk away from. Establish the work of our hands and bring to fulfillment all that you have given us to do in these days. We pray that you would make our way purposeful and our footsteps firm out of your goodness and love. Give us a heart of wisdom to hear your voice, and make us strong by your huge favor and grace.
    In Jesus’ Name,
    Amen.

  • lois

    Well, here I am at day 2…hoping it is better than yesterday. The bright side, I made it through yesterday and will again today, and tomorrow and the next day. That’s just it…I will do it!

  • lara

    Hello everyone, I was in the middle of my sons performance (he is an artist too) yesterday and I saw my exMM trying to call me. I saw his number. I thought I had blocked him? I checked and yes he was blocked but I saw his number come up on my screen anyhow. I braced. Hours later he got though by using another number. We talked for awhile. He wanted to tell me he is going to be “doing something” “soon” about his marriage. That he can not take it anymore and he has to “do something”. “Soon.” He is very unhappy, but there were no concretes. No time tables. And little to no info about the nature of the problem (but usually it is that she does not want “him.” She is not into sex much. (Supposedly). I listened. And he never mentioned “us” once. It was like we had no history together.
    What came out of my mouth was involuntary. I said, “Take your time!” “Don’t rush in an important decision like this one!” I do not where these words came from but they were self protective. Arguing is maybe what he was looking for but I am beyond arguments. I did not want to encourage him in this plan fact. Which is why I said “take your time”. But I did not know I was strong enough to do this. Until I said these words. Then I knew I am healing! Honestly I wondered why he had called me to say this. For pity? Or to test me? Certainly not because he had no plans for “us.”

    No matter. I got off the phone and tried practicing my mantra. It sort of worked. I tried to lose myself in TV and that sort of worked too. Then I tried to sleep. That was not so easy but I did get in a few hours.

    Today things got even weirder. I ran into him on the street face to face. He seemed to want to avoid me completely. There was no spark whatsoever in this man’s eyes and he looked beaten down and depressed. Kind of slumped over. The “nobody home” look. And I realized something new: I do not feel much of ANYTHING towards him in this moment! Pity? Just a droplet not my rain forest. I feel no spark no attraction to this vacant person and I felt nothing back from him either. Narcs are known for their ice cold anger. They get so angry they become icy. Maybe that’s it. He is in a silent rage? I thought he would have looked at me a little warmly as we had just discussed such a major life topic last might but NOPE. WTF?? Then it hit me.

    He is also having a hard time with this break up. And he has no idea how to handle his emotions. But he is also still trying to play me, using underhanded methods. The thought came into my mind that I was supposed to invite him over (in his mind) since after all, he had tracked me down (that took effort) and told me he was “leaving”? I was maybe supposed to fall into his emotionally controlling trap once more (in his mind)? Anyhow I didn’t.

    So either he is angry at her or me or both. Probably both. But I am thankfully not married to him. I can walk away. He can not control me unless I let him. And I am done giving him the emotional power I used to give him. A giant weight lifted from my body thinking about how disingenuous his behavior would be if true (and it sure looks true today at least). No? A giant weight of relief knowing I did the right thing by leaving him. That this man would do me no good in my life only harm. I am kind of sad to say and to realize the truth about him. But more strongly I feel more like I dodged a major bullet than anything else. I escaped a Narc! I protected ME! And he know this at last: that I respect ME!
    BTW Felk I saw where you asked if I was perhaps ready to date now? At this moment I can only say Hell No! Getting out of this affair is all I can manage right now. One day at a time.
    Hugs Lara xxx000

  • lois

    MM replied to my email and thanked me for sending it. He said he would honor my request for space and agreed that space was probably for the best. I did not respond and do not plan it. It is really hard.

    • lois

      Whew, the work day is over and have to say it was difficult especially after he replied to the email. In his message, he said thought about responding a few times but did not. I do not know what to think; why did he even respond…he never has in the past. I did not want him to respond only to leave me alone. It’s like he wanted a response from me whether it was thank you, or whatever. I really do not and honestly tired of trying to figure him out. He was to be the moodiest man that has ever walked the face of this earth. I get aggravated because all of the signs are on the wall. It is not just me that sees he is a phony…but yet, I find myself addicted to him. I just keep re-reading posts and reminding myself it is only part of the vicious cycle. Even if tomorrow, he would change his mind…it is only a matter of time and right back to where I am now…so why keep torturing myself. Why let him treat me so poorly? I am good person and have been very understanding about our situation. I was content being on the side and not asking anything…not gifts, hotel rooms, dinners…nothing just for him to be with me is all that I asked and he could not even do that. I questioned his mood several weeks ago, it’s wrong to keep stringing me along so he had time to figure out he wanted to end things again. He knew because I felt it which is it was questioned. I cannot and will not allow him to hurt me anymore…it’s just easier said than done especially when you work together. My heart is broken, my feelings are hurt but most of all I am mad that he says he did not know I had deep feelings for him. I went through our emails and chats over the past year. He knew because I repeatedly have told him so…why distort the truth. Is it to make himself feel better by making me feel like I am crazy for thinking we had something different. I do not get it. I have asked and prayed to God all day and will keep asking for his strength. Thanks for listening. I really need your support.

      • lara

        Lois, I am so sorry you are in pain. But his saying he did now know you had deep feelings for him sound like utter BS and adding to your pain. Unless he is having side effect of his brain tumor? and treatments perhaps? I can not understand why he would use this type of heartless behavior in a break up situation when he has to know he is deliberately riling you. Or is that the whole point? He enjoys riling you? It keeps your connection going? No matter.

        It is crazy-making stuff for sure and is called gas-lighting when your version of the past is questioned like this. “manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity”. But I DO understand your reaction to him saying this and I DO understand your saying “It is not just me that sees he is a phony…but yet, I find myself addicted to him.” Welcome to my world where I know a man is a clear red flag but my addiction to him has kept me going back so many times. You will kick this if you put your mind to it. You can and will do it! In the meantime are you saying that he thought you were writing him a “thank you”? If yes I am LMAO. He is beginning to sound like my narc to me. Or else, brain tumor behavior? Or severe moodiness to the point of some type of depression? Do not blame yourself and just try to move on. Use my slogan and repeat all day long to yourself: Make the choice to let go of negative thoughts and KEEP repeating it! This is like a mantra and it helps! Hugs Lara xoxo

  • Kub

    Hello everyone!

    This is day #31 !!!! I will congratulate myself and you know what, I will reward myself. I will give a happy anniversary of first moth of being brave 🙂 why would not I?
    What is I am most happy about is…I don’t feel love for him anymore, you know? This is shocking for me but I don’t. Maybe it will come back time to time. But in past I could not stand this love, missing etc feelings and text him or call him. But not anymore!
    Especially last Friday a friend at worked told me about my ex’s vacation plan in Jun as a joke but it really really hurted me… I mean it. So I drove. Drove through a coast for an hour. I cried during my driving, cried for all happy moments, sad moments, for every memory. Then I got home, toke a shower and slept. In the morning it was gone. Not completely but it was way less.
    I am working harder, seeing m friends more often. This week I will go to the beach for five days 🙂
    The most important thing is I feel his not being in my life less day by day. At first the nightmare became more calmer dreams. It was like impossible to leave without him, but this phase showed me that he has no real intention to be with me. He has a wife which accepts him in every kind of way so why would he leave her? He can leave everything he wants and then come back to home.
    I know he loved me. I know he was loyal to me. I appreciate everything he was. But… I don’t want these in my life anymore. I want to be with someone who is available for me. Who would not require to be secret with. Who I can be comfortable with. I was comfortable with him, too but only when we were in a hidden place 🙂
    So… I don’t have anger for him, or regrets for me. I want to be in future anymore. Not in the past.
    I want to share it with you too. Thanks for being here for me, thanks for every warning when I was weak. Thanks for all the consultations, thanks for everything chicas!

    • lara

      Kub you are welcome but most of all CONGRATULATIONS!!! You are moving out of the addiction and on with your life, You go girl! I am so proud of you and you have are proof that Yes we can do this!
      Each day will get better and the weeks will start to pass and you will feel better and better! Sending many hugs! Now you can inspire us with your journey too! Hugs Lara xxxooo

  • Lois

    After ignoring MM for most of the day, he replied to a text and told me he was finally able to get some clarity. I asked what that meant. He said needed to focus in his health, faith and what’s important in his life. Long story short, he decided to end things so he could focus on what was important after coming to grips with things. I didn’t ask what that meant because I was not taking the bait to ask about his health. I tried asking and he didn’t want to talk about then so why now. I told him that I agreed with his decision and felt in he didn’t have time for me in his life. Then I guess it mad him made because he questioned whether I felt that way.he Said if feel this way what did your text mean at 319. I told him that it meant I should have given him trouble. He said we needed to talk and told him that I didn’t feel it was necessary it’s over. He really got mad. He said so what you are really saying is you don’t care about what I have to say because you don’t like my decision. I told him that wasn’t the case but I had made progress and was at good place with things to move on. I told him I wanted someone who wants to be with me. He apologized for hurting me and told me how much he thought of me. yeah right. A few hours passed and I wanted him to know that I had composed several emails over the past few weeks and didn’t have the strength to end things just yet because I was torn. So I took a screenshot of my draft box that showed the dates of these emails. he was surprised and tried to say he had expressed his concerns about me getting too close. He said he didn’t know I had deep feelings for him. Bullshit…he did say he was concerned last year but since we’ve both expressed we had deeper feelings. I stewed on this all night and yesterday composed yet another email telling him that he was aware of my feelings and he and talked about giving space when needed and etc. He was well aware of my feelings. I told him that I needed more distance between us to move on and put all of this behind me. I told him how I felt about everything and that I didn’t want to talk to him right now until I was ready and strong enough to not be sucked back in. Ironically, I went back through the different posts on this website and found a post last year about this same time. It’s when I found this website because he ended things for the exact same reasons as this time…his health and blah blah blah blah. He told me that his health was bad and wouldn’t be able to hide from everyone and we’d see a change. I know it’s hard to believe but never saw a change and a month or two later the cycle began and about every two months it was the same viscous cycle…his guilt or his faith. I’ve questioned his supposed health and found out that was when his brother was diagnosed with cancer. I’m not buying his health is bad nor about his supposed guilt and can’t forget he wants to focus on his faith. Yet he lies and manipulates. He’s a hypocrite but not just because he has been with me. Sadly, I don’t think he even thinks about how he lies because he believes he’s righteous except for being with me. I feel that his crap this time has given me the strength to be done. I don’t want to continue on this cycle. Even if he would change his mind, it’s only a matter of time. I know the days ahead are going to be tough but so are most if the days with him. At least the hurting to be done with him will eventually go away and will finally be free of him. If I stay in the cycle it’s going to just keep hurting and never be free. I think the only solution is get through the pain to finally be done and free. If that makes sense. I’m hurting but fir the right reason this time not because MM has needs his space and has gone MIA. Please keep me in your prayers. It’s going to be tough but it’s what needs to be done.

    • Felk

      Lois, I doubt you’re surprised that your MM “found clarity” and said he wanted to end your relationship. You likely knew his MIA behavior was leading up to this. We know they’re giving the signs, even if we find it hard to admit (and I don’t even think you found it that hard to admit this time around). I’d imagine you are a little surprised, though, at him getting mad during your text exchange. It’s a little hard to tell from what you said exactly what he got mad at, but it’s probably that a) emotions run high at these times and anything can set people off during break-ups and b) he didn’t expect you to be so ready to agree to end it and not needing to talk. And just reading that you said those things to him is great. Maybe you weren’t ready to send those e-mails to him to end it on your own, but you were close to ready to end it and, thus, when he said he wanted to, you didn’t beg him to stay or say sweet/sad things. You just agreed, said that you felt he didn’t have time for you, and that there was no need to talk further. I love it. Now, I know it doesn’t end that easily. And you know it, too. I know you’ve told him that you don’t want to talk about it all right now and until you can talk to him without getting sucked back in. I really, really hope you can stick to that, but, working with her MM, I know how hard it is to not want to talk more and get more closure (and closeness, if we’re honest). And, please do not for one second think he will leave you alone. And, please do not be fooled by his attempts to talk to you or show closeness if you don’t talk to him. He will hate that you are not talking to him, and he will show kindness (even if it is just a “how are you?” at work or on text, like Nomad’s MM) that will make you wonder if he’s feeling regret for ending it with you and will get you to want to talk to him. And then you’ll talk to him and he’ll express nice things and you’ll express nice things, and then he’ll feel good again and go MIA again. Please, please be ready for him to not let you quit him (because even if he doesn’t want your relationship, he wants you to want your relationship). You have seen him come back before and go MIA all over again. I really hope you can be done this time, and, even more, I really hope you can be the one who goes MIA this time. You owe him nothing. Do not let him make you feel any differently. We can trick ourselves into thinking that we have to talk to someone after a break-up to be kind. No. Absolutely no. He ended it with you. Now you get to take all the space you want and you owe him nothing. The relationship is over.

      I know it really must have hurt to hear your MM say he didn’t know you had deep feelings for him. Yes, he did. You’ve said that here multiple times (that you’ve expressed that to him and that he’s expressed it to you). It is hard enough breaking up, but the worst is if the other person distorts the truth. That is just cruel. But, it seems you’re uncovering that this man lies a lot. Not only has he had another affair with another coworker, but the lies about his health and the way another coworker told you that he backstabs people at work. He’s showing a pattern of some pretty unsavory behavior (and you know I’m not saying we’re all saints given that we’re all having affairs), and I really hope you can see the positives of getting away from a man like this. It sounds like you know it will be painful and hard, but it also sounds like you’ve already started on that path of recognizing that you need to be free of him.

    • Kub

      Hello Lois

      First of all, we are all here for your during this hard phase. Trust me, it is do-able. Lots of us are afraid of this phase and it is the first thing that prevent us to step up for us.
      But you are gonna be okay, okay then you think. I promise you.
      With this blog, I am using Mend application thanks to Lara and I can not say enough for it, at first couple of days it seemed meaningless but day by day I am impatient to do that application and see my healing path.
      I would like to share an analogy from the application which was really, really helpful for me. Here me out, this is what you will need soon enough. It is called as ‘Ex Detox’ and here is the analogy;
      Think that you want to bake a cake. Imagine that you have never baked a cake. Your first trial, you put the ingredients and put the cake in oven. Every 10 minute you open the oven and check the cake if it is cooked or not, remember this is your very first cake baking experience. So eventually no matter how many times you try to bake a cake, you cake never gets puffed as in pictures or in coffee shops. So you search a little more and find out that you should not open the oven, since the hot air is really useful for the cake.
      After a break up, communication with your ex is quiet like baking a cake. You should not keep opening the oven, you should not keep communicating with your ex no matter what. Otherwise you will not be giving yourself a chance to heal. Trust me even though this part is the most crucial part it does not take too long. You will be surprised to see how you will fell after two weeks. Not the best but you will be in a place that you can handle with this situation.
      So I believe the first and the most critical point is to loose contact with him, no matter what. If for business you must contact with him, keep it in business level, nothing more. Remember, you will be protecting yourself from all these negative things.
      And also… Please do not give priority to other people including your ex, as how he is feeling, what he is doing, how his condition is etc. Everyone is moving on with their life. Noone stay in same emotional level after a break up, he will get better by time too. So do not feel sorry for him, especially for him. Because he will survive, too. You should focus on how are.. you?
      Create some rituals for yourself. For example, I drink a coffee in the morning with a friend, at work. I talk, listen etc. And also I do some painting at nights, with a tv in the back ground. I do not like to be alone most of the time so listen music, watch something most of the time. My some another ritual is therapy walk with my dog and my sister 🙂 we take a long walk and drink a cup of coffee.
      You can create your rituals, too. These are really helped me a lot in this phase.
      Also one last advice from me, be careful about spending money. I am a bit problematic person about this topic. So I especially stay away from shopping zone. Because sometimes unnecessary expanses make me happy 🙂 If you can afford go for it but otherwise watch out 🙂
      Remember, we are here. Listening to you. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, come, type and get it out of your chest. No matter what just write you words here instead of telling him.
      Take care !

    • lois

      Whew…it’s Monday and have dreaded coming to work all morning. I keep telling myself…I will not weaken; I deserve better. Please keep me in your prayers that God gives me the strength and courage to final break this viscous cycle.

      • lois

        For those of you who have been on this website for awhile, do you ever go back through older posts from the different articles Laurie has written. Today, is a kind of a struggle for me, so I decided to go read through my posts and it is the same thing every time…he ended things; my heart is broken; the need for me to move on; asking for strength and prayer; etc. It has been a viscous cycle but it has been the same reasons for ending things and same cry for help to get out the situation. I have been putting up with this crap for too long. Lord, give me the strength and courage to break free from it…I do so desperately want out of it.

      • Felk

        Lois, it’s going to hurt. A lot. Rejection sucks. And, worse, is the coming down from the high. It really is withdrawal symptoms from a drug. But, the only fix is abstinence, as with drugs. I’d say, for the first month, I had no idea how I was going to continue dealing with the pain. It was excruciating. It was so difficult to be near him at work knowing that I could no longer be with him in the way that I had been just weeks prior. It was so hard to wrap my brain around the change that felt so sudden. We were so in love. (We are so in love still.) And suddenly I couldn’t go to his office and sit down and just talk about anything? Suddenly I couldn’t send him a cute e-mail or text? Suddenly I couldn’t plan for our alone time together? Suddenly this man who talked to me online multiple nights each week wouldn’t be there? But “yes” is the answer to all of those and you get through it because you have to. I know exactly what you’re saying about how you dreaded going to work. I felt that for at least a month post breakup. And it was such a contrast to how excited I used to be to go to work because I’d get to see him and talk to him. Dread is exactly what I felt. And I hated dreading going to work because I love my job.
        Know that it is hard for him, too. I cannot stress that enough. Do not give yourself extra pain thinking that he is just going through his day easily while you suffer. He is not, and he has not been for months (which is what led him to ending it). It has been very clear that my MM has struggled through this break-up as I have. And, really, almost exactly as I have. He misses me and us and he hurts, too.

        You will miss your MM so much. And you’ll miss the thoughts about the next alone time with your MM. It’ll be sad to not only think about how you’ll no longer have that intimacy with your MM but sad to not even be able to think fondly about the last or next intimate time together. I found it hard to lose all of that. I found it hard to lose access to my MM. Like I say above, how do I go from having this man who I can tell so much to and who I talk to nearly every day to having this friend who I talk to once or twice a week about much more casual/surface topics? Excruciating.

        But it does get better. Slowly. You’ve been through it before so you know it gets better. What is most important, though, is that you stay away from him as much as possible. Working with my MM has definitely slowed my progress and putting intentional distance between us has helped me. Initially, I still wanted all the time I could get with him and I only put distance between us because I thought that was what he wanted. Now, I still want all the time I can get with him, but I put distance between us intentionally because I’ve learned that it’s the only thing that works. When we talk now, it’s wonderful and then painful (knowing we are no longer together). So, distance is best.

        Give yourself time to heal. Give yourself time to be miserable and sad. Do not feel pathetic for caring. Do not feel weak if it takes longer than you expect to heal. The biggest mistake I made in this break-up was setting expectations much too high for my healing time. I was unprepared for how much it would hurt and for how long it would hurt, and I so often beat myself up for not being over him yet. Now, I realize, when you’re that in love with someone for that long (and especially when you ended at the height of the addiction), it takes a long time to get that drug out of your system. I’m on seven months, and it’s still hard but nowhere near as hard as it was. I feel stronger and stronger as time goes on. I feel less distracted and more “me” all the time. Yes, there are setbacks, but if you are committed to being done with him, it will happen.

        You know all the advice for how to do this: 1) minimize contact with your MM. That is critical. Sure, it’s understandable at first if you need to have some closure conversations, but after that, tell him and yourself very clearly that you need distance to heal. And, keep in mind, summer break is coming soon enough. That will do wonders for recovery. 2) Distract yourself. Focus elsewhere. Get good sleep.
        Exercise. Sometimes doing anything is hard when you’re consumed with thoughts of your MM and what you could have done differently and why he didn’t want to continue the affair, but keep distracting yourself. Keep doing what you need to do and the day moves on. (Also, some days… just think about him all you want. That’s okay, too. Do what you need to do to heal.) 3) Use your social support system. Whether this is hanging out with friends or your H or your kids. It’s related to the distracting, but it’s more than that. Having positive interactions with friends and family does wonders for making you feel better. It’s not a cure, and there were plenty of times that I was breaking inside as I laughed with my friends and family, but there were also plenty of times when they were able to distract me just a little bit from my pain and it was what I needed very much. 4) Remind yourself as much as you need to why you and your MM ended. Journal about it. Write those reasons here. There are VERY good reasons. Not only is it an affair which has all sorts of risks and problems to start, but it was an affair that stopped working for him (and then you). He felt too guilty. We can wonder why. We can wonder why now. We can wonder why we don’t feel guilty, too. None of it matters. His guilt overwhelmed him and that’s normal in an affair. Can’t blame the other for that. And know that another good reason for ending the affair was because you were losing yourself. You were losing who you are. You were losing self-respect waiting for this man who gave you so little (and I did the same in the end of my affair). I can tell you that it feels very good getting my confidence back. And, if possible, 5) try to get closer to your H. This is complicated, I know. Initially after my break-up, I couldn’t get closer to my H. After about a month, I started to force more interactions and it helped (e.g., I found a new TV show for us to watch together). Since, that’s what I’ve been trying. Better interactions with my H and a little more time for us doing fun things. It’s not easy, though. I’m still in love with my MM, and I don’t feel that with my H. But I care about and love my H, and we get along well. And my H is in love with me and shows it. And I know I don’t want to lose it. 6) Keep reminding yourself about what’s important in your life (your marriage, your kids, the life you’ve built, your self-respect) and how you were at risk of losing that through your affair.

        You can do this.

        • Lois

          Thanks, Felk. I was doing somewhat okay until I got his message. I’m not sure why he responded but he did to thank me and agree with that it was probably best to keep distance. He thought about responded a couple of times but didn’t. I feel like he’s trying to get me to respond. I really don’t know his motive and maybe he was just being nice. It’s just strange because normally he doesn’t or hasn’t in the pasr. I am not too wrapped up in ttying to figure it out. I’m not responded and want to continue to heal to put all if this behind me. Thanks for listening and the advice. I’m going to need it but will succeed.

  • J

    Hi everyone, I’ve been away so I’m only just catching up on everyone. Hope you’re all managing well. I’ve been quite well. Mm was texting me non stop and I finally told him I’ve moved on, then I told him that I’m prob getting divorced but I found someone else. He went crazy needing to know the details of who this new man is. I told him that I owe him nothing and to continue in his marriage because I’m no longer interested in this game. He kept texting, I kept ignoring and telling him continue working on your marriage, and told him I’m happy now. He begged to talk to me. I agreed, we talked at length, I still said to continue working on his marriage. I ignored him. He begged to talk again. He was literally in tears. He cried real tears. Said he’s so sorry for the flip flops but that he’s so certain now because he’s never been so scared about losing me. Said it finally hit him hard that if he continues being scared to change his life he’s going to loose the life of his life. Said he’s come to terms with god and knows he needs to change his life. Swears he is leaving her and begged for this chance. He even wanted to talk about time lines, renting an apartment together, etc. he also said he understands I prob will not believe it’s real, but said he won’t give up trying, says he wants me to be his partner in life forever. Pointed out his dumb he has been. He’s been consistent and has followed through with everything he has said. I’m proceeding, but with caution. I love him. He seems dif this time. I believe his heart and intentions. We will see!

    • Kub

      Hahahaha J ! I don’t know if it is cruel to smile the words of your mm but I can’t stop getting angry and smiling at the same time ! What a … What a… WHAT AN A**!
      I am delighted to see you as moved on but honestly I am happy to hear you considering to getting a divorce. You should be with someone who makes you happy, living with a person you can not communicate any longer… is what leads you to be dishonest to him at first. Maybe you do not get the divorce but even considering this shows that you are respecting to yourself and you needs. And this is great. One word –> Great!
      Do you see how bad times we get through but finally ? Finally we survive. Because we survived with being with a married man and only who lives this knows how hard this is. If we survived that than it is obvious that we can move on, pass it, we are strong!
      I was feeling so sorry for you once… But look at you. Can you compare yourself with you when you were seeing him?

      PS: Please do not make him to fool you one more time. I know you are not, but I just wanted you say that with 100% confidence he is acting like a kid, whose toy is taken away from him. Now he is crying, begging all over you 🙂 Well ha ha! Too late!

      Congrats babe! Congrats!

    • Felk

      Hi J, I know the temptation to think that your MM is different this time. And, of course, it’s possible that he really is different this time and he really is going to leave his W this time, but given everything he has said and (not) done in the past, I don’t see how you can believe him until he actually does it. You said that he has “followed through with everything he has said.” Does that mean that he told his W he is leaving or that he has found an apartment to move into? I know you are in love with him, even despite this other man in your life now. It’s just that your MM has shown over and over that he is scared to leave his W. And, while that’s understandable, he’s treated you terribly, telling you repeatedly that he is going to leave and then coming up with excuse after excuse not to leave. This most recent time, the one that led you to try to be done with him, when he had sex with you earlier that day, told you he was going home to end it, and then his W got upset and she said they had to have sex for him to prove he didn’t want to leave? That was crazy. That made it seem like he was nowhere close to leaving. So, even if he is saying it now, I’d be very, very cautious. But, like I said, I know you want to believe him. I know you’re in love with this man. So, let him leave. Give him that space to leave. Let it happen without you in the picture. Let him show you that he will leave his W without your hand-holding and encouraging him along the way. Most importantly, do not meet up with him for sex. Put that on hold until he’s made his decision and shown you he’s leaving. He needs to show you that he is committed to this decision ON HIS OWN. If not, I’d be terrified that he’d run back home at the next sign that his W needed him or at the first sign of a problem in your relationship. I’ve said it here before, but I never expected my MM to leave his W (and I never planned to leave my H). There were many reasons, but one of the reasons was trust. I would have been worried for a while that he would think leaving was a mistake and he’d go back to his W. And that’s no way to start a relationship. So, you need to be sure your MM is done. And he needs to be sure. Not just because he’s jealous that you’re seeing someone else. Give him the space. Show him that he can’t just “get his cake and eat it, too” by saying he wants to leave, getting you to drop this other man, and getting to continue to have sex with you. I’m worried that’s what he’ll do, so my advice is do not “get back together” with your MM until he has left his W.

  • lois

    Hello, everyone. You know how MM has been distant for about a month. Today, I walked into office where he was at and said good morning. I did not respond. He stopped by my office a little while later and said hi, how are you doing? I said okay. I have not chatted…nothing. I am really annoyed. I still have email and like I said, if I still feel this way next week, I will be sending it to him. I just want to make sure that I am in the right frame of mind and just not doing it because I am upset. I will keep you posted.

    • Felk

      Lois, that’s all you get? You get a “how are you doing?” Ugh. A month of distance, with you attempting to reach out many times, and then you get this? He likely can tell you’re annoyed or sad. So, he stops by your office and that’s all you get. It is so little.

      I understand wanting to take the time to think about sending that e-mail. Sending it when (or because) you’re upset might lead you to saying things that you don’t really mean or ending it when you’re not ready. But, being upset can also be an important emotion to pay attention to. While you don’t want to send the e-mail *only* because you’re upset, all of the negative feelings can be a reason to send that e-mail. When something feels that bad for that long, it matters. From everything you’ve said here, I don’t think you want to end it because you’re upset. I think you want to end the relationship because you’re not being treated the way you want to be treated in a relationship. You do not have heavy expectations for an affair and your MM isn’t even meeting your low expectations for communication and kind treatment (for someone he supposedly cares about). I think you want to end the relationship because you’re tired of feeling the frustration and rejection from his periods of MIA. I think being in love with him (or the good times with him) is making you think it might be worth staying, but that is just the addiction talking. I guess it’s not surprising it’s hard to let go of the good times (especially given the heights of the good times in an affair), but when you compare the number of hours you were happy with your MM over this last month to the number of hours you were unhappy with your MM over this last month, I think you know that this relationship will continue to make you quite sad. In my affair last year, even when my MM was getting more distant, the good still outweighed the bad for me. We still had many hours of (very) good each week. But it just doesn’t seem like that with your MM. It seems like it’s more the hope that things will be good again instead of the actual good that is keeping you in this relationship. Oh, how desperate we are to feel those highs. I know it all too well.

      • Lois

        Hey, Felk. I know exactly what you mean. Please read my post. He ended things again after getting clarity. This guy has some real issues. I am so done with this crap and deserve better. He lives in his own world. I actually feel sorry for his wife because he is quite the conartist. She probably does not realize what a snake he really is. I. The 5 years, he’s been at our company. He’s had 2 known affairs don’t think I will be his last. If he was really remorseful and had all of this supposed guilt, why did have another affair after the first time. I’m hurt and anger. I won’t to be free.

    • lara

      Lois did he seem to listen to you sincerely when he asked “How are you?” I do not get that feeling from your words.
      Did you get the feeling he asked because he cared truly about your well-being or was he just feeling guilty because you did not say “Good Morning?” and he stopped by? or perhaps he was trying to be “normal” and chatty like nothing had happened between you?.

      I imagine working and having to interact with an exMM would be very very difficult. And there is no “manual” for what to say or how to act. Both people are hurting but maybe one more than the other. Words are useless at times.
      If you think you are hurting more than he is STAY AWAY as you can get hurt.
      Honestly I would not try not to get emotional one way or another over his words.
      I would be looking more to find the intent behind them. What was he trying to accomplish? Hope this helps. Hugs xxx000Lara

      • Lois

        Hey, Lara. Please read my updated post. He ended things again. I composed and sent my finally email to him and added his number as a spam. Of course, I gave to admit that I checked my spam messages a few times…baby steps right. I just cant jet going through this cycle with him. Seriously why should I for less than an hour of his time to worry for weeks if it was the last time because he feels guilt or needs to fix his faith. I am mentally exhausted and asked that we put more distance between us so I can move on. Its going to hurt and be gard but I just can’t do it anymore. I don’t deserve to be treated like o have. Please pray for me.

  • lara

    Hi Ladies,
    My exMM found another back door to communicate me. He sent me an email from a new account I did not recognize. How clever of him. In it, he told me he was ready to leave his marriage. I have not heard this from him in quite a few years. But yup I have heard this before. It changes NADA.
    I have let myself feel whatever emotions I have needed to feel this week. And this time I find that I am quite unmoved after all, to tell you the truth. I have gotten tired of thinking about this man I loved so much once.
    After reading about Nomad’s MM texting as she was on a plane, I realized it’s kind of the same thing my exMM is doing. He is contacting me now, that I am moving away. I am not a plane. I am right next door to him. But it is like I am flying away. He feels this and does not like it evidently. He complained he never sees me anymore. That he even “got worried” about me last fall.
    But he does NOT say “I love you”. He is so careful never to say this.

    Today I can feel myself saying in my head: “Whatever” and “please stop wasting my time” etc. I feel annoyed to be truthful. This is a far cry from the last exchange which made my emotions fly so high then crash and burn. This time I can hear myself saying to myself, “If its meant to be, its meant to be” and….. “some things don’t feel right here”. and…. “he is just probably trying to get a confirmation from me that I am still here and in love with him. UGH” And, “whatever!”
    In other words, the words in my head are MY OWN and they are coming from a new place. Does this make sense? I am not hearing the addictive/highly emotional voice I have heard in my past of, “Does he really love me?” “Will he come back to me?” “What is he going to do in his marriage? Leave her? Not leave her?” “How can he leave me all alone?” “I can not bear this!”
    This week, I am not hearing that addictive and vulnerable voice.
    Instead I am hearing a more logical, realistic voice and a more mature voice too.
    I think I am reading and writing here long enough to know that these attempts and my emotional reactions to them change pretty much nothing in the overall picture. He is still with her. He still wants me to stay with him too. He wants his cake and to eat it too. Nothing has changed. And I still left him. In stages, over the past couple of years I have leaving leaving. It was terribly terribly hard but it’s over. Really I feel the worst is over. I felt there was no more good reason to stay with him any longer. End of story. Nothing much new to see here.

    I really think there is almost zero chance he will ever leave his marriage. And I think there is 90 per cent chance he will go on complaining about it forever. I do not think he will leave his house and his things. And his grown children live with him and his wife. He will not leave them and his role in that household.
    I feel myself wanting to let go of the negative stuff! We are broken up. I do not feel like thinking about them all the time anymore. I want to move on. Change. Grow! I no longer want to be stuck. I am beginning to thrive in my field. I can feel how much I love my work. I really do! I don’t earn a big corporate salary but I am very good at what I do and I have done it all my life. I am a natural at my job. And I will keep on doing it. I have hired an assistant to help me with my books financial records taxes and other things I really HATE doing. This is because I need help in those areas. I have bought some new clothes and I have changed the way I wear my hair. These are the new things which, one day at a time, I am really enjoying! I am even enjoying little things like getting my car washed. Oh and the best part: I will have two art exhibitions next year and one is a solo show! WooHoo! These pieces are new in my life. They are happening because not all my creative and emotional energy is tied up with HIM anymore! Hugs Lara xxx000

    • Felk

      Lara, wow. Just wow. My first thought (after “wow”) was to reply to your MM, “Oh yeah? You’re ready now? Good for you.” The arrogance of sending you that message thinking that you’re just waiting around for him. After he treated you so poorly. After his communication was so poor in the end. After he was so selfish.

      The words you are telling yourself are the right ones. Pay attention to it not feeling right. You are likely right that he will not leave his wife, but, MUCH more importantly, you don’t want him even if he did. How many times have you said that here? How many times have you told us about how narcissistic and manipulative he is? You don’t want that man. He cannot treat you as you deserve.

      I hope it is easy for you not to respond and just delete his e-mail. But, I know it would not be easy for me (at this point still), so then I say… even if not easy, I hope you do not respond and just delete his e-mail. It really sounds great how you have flourished in your job and with your art. Keep moving forward and do not look back.

      • lara

        Thank you Felk! Amen to all you say. And no I did not respond to the email. Nowhere does he say “I love you”. It is almost comical how self-centered he is. Almost but not quite as he can be rather diabolical at times too. As he is next door and he will persist for while I think. Until he gets bored and realized he has to find someone else to torture. So I must remain vigilant. But I can hide from him pretty well. I have gotten quite good at it actually. And I have these new heavy and beautiful curtains I can pull shut any time of day. I remain unmoved. And uninterested. I want to “change this channel”….change this awful soap opera! I am sick of it and I already know how it ends with him. Pure hell. Hugs Lara xoxo

        • Felk

          Lara, Love your strength and commitment to being done with him. My guess is that you’re right and that the e-mail will not be the last you hear from him. It’s too bad you have to hide, though. Of course, do what you need to do, but I hope you can get to a point where you can see him and not care at all.

          • lara

            Felk you are so right it is a shame I have to hide! I want to be able one day to walk straight out my door and see him and NOT CARE at ALL! That would be true growth for me. I sometimes wonder how long this saga would have gone on had it not been for our close proximity. In so many ways he is not my type nor am I his. But here we are bound together by some karmic thread. There is no doubt he is here for my growth because I believe any person in your life that has this kind of impact on you is part of your destiny in this life and they are here for a reason.
            Felk you sound stronger and stronger and I get very inspired by your logic and your patience!!

            Yes I will hear from him again undoubtedly. But my gut feeling now says we could never work out because he is truly emotionally immature, stunted almost. This is brand new on my part. I thought for so many years I always wanted him. But now my gut says no, I do think I want him anymore. I have seen and had enough bad stuff with him, and I do not think I could ever be happy with him anymore. This a HUGE HUGE shift on my part. It is hard to describe how huge this is. I honestly am kind of shocked. I might be wrong but I do not think he and I are “meant to be” anymore. Hugs Lara xx00

          • Felk

            Lara, the close proximity is a killer. I am sure you would have been done with him long ago had he not been next door. The constant reminders keep that reward center of our brain active and it makes the healing process take that much longer. But, you’re doing it. You’re healing. I can tell you’ve realized how bad he is for you and how you don’t really want a man like that in your life. I know that you still have some complicated feelings (they don’t go to zero overnight), but I can hear that you mainly feel done with him. I feel stronger, too. And I appreciate that you can recognize it here. I’m still not there yet (where I don’t care at all), but I slowly feel better and better. Yeah, there are setbacks here and there, but this past week has been one of mostly strength. I know it will still take a while because we work together and the reminders are plentiful, but he and I are both working to try to move on (to just a friendship).

            So, out of curiosity, have you thought about dating again? It just seems like you’ve put so much intentional distance between you and your MM. It seems like you are pretty much done (even if you still have some feelings for him as demonstrated when you responded to that facebook message of his). And, if you’re done or mostly done, it seems like going on dates with others, even if you’re not looking for something serious, could help put the nail in the coffin of the relationship with your MM. But, of course, I understand if you’re not ready. I’m the type who looks to dating to help me put that nail in the coffin, but I know that other people want to be sure they’re done before they even attempt new dating.

    • Faith in the Future

      Hi Lara,
      I can totally identify with what you say here. My mm has done the same to me on numerous occassions – whenever I have pulled away he has texted/called me trying to explain that yes it is over with his wife, he wants to be with me, he just needs to sort out the practicalities etc etc and guess what…its all amounted to nothing. As soon as we’ve got back to where we were previously suddenly it all goes quiet again and we’re back to square 1.
      I too have recognised this pattern and realised it’s never going to change. If he gets in touch with me again my plan is to tell him I will not see him until he has actually sorted out his situation. His words are just not enough. He has proved over time they mean nothing. Needless to say I won’t be holding my breath for it ever happening!
      I have come to the conclusion, much like you say, that my mm will never leave his wife. He will complain about all their problems but never actually do anything about it. He will probably end up in an affair with another poor woman to ease his boredom and frustrations until she too has had enough of him. If he wants to live like that then good luck to him I say. I’m better off out of it!
      Hugs x

      • lara

        Faith in the Future, Yes they sure have a way of coming back no? You say: “whenever I have pulled away he has texted/called me trying to explain that yes it is over with his wife, he wants to be with me, he just needs to sort out the practicalities etc etc ” This is so predictable unfortunately! And it is gut wrenching until we figure out it’s another game. That is why I am so glad to have found this blog! Now I can see how many of us this happened to. It is part of the break up process: Expect to be told the married person is now leaving their spouse, at least once! My exMM never said the words, “I love you” NEITHER did he mention the practicalities of actually leaving his wife of many years, But he did express an interest in renting my basement apartment where, he said, “no one will find him”. HUH? His own family works with him in his restaurant next door to my house! Honestly I see this plan as pretty pathetic. No this is not a real proposal. This is just a lure hoping he will get me emotional enough to take him back (to bed specifically) so we can get back to Square One all over again. Only this time I have read a book about how not to let my emotions rule my life and have spent hours on this blog reading and responding to people in very similar predicaments to mine. So my affair which was secret for so long has now hit the light of day. And it ain’t exactly what I was hoping and dreaming for…..sigh. Mark Twain said this: “Illusion is a drug”. Hell yes it is! Yet another drug I have found!

    • Sophie

      Laraaaaa, oh my god! Solo show! That’s absolutely awesome. I am so happy for you, my friend. May you keep growing. Lots of love and congrats once again. Much love and many hugs

      • lara

        Sophie Yes!!! A solo show! 🙂 . I am still not feeling too well but I will get art done at a slower pace, over the summer when my teaching finishes up. I must plan how I spend my time and energy because I get fatigued very easily. And I am also in pain. There is not doubt this fibromyalgia has been made worse by my break-up but it is also making my gut feelings a little stronger and clearer to me. I believe there is a gift in going through the kind pain we are have experienced. We have to struggle to find it but it is there. I wish there was an easier way for us to learn things sometimes but then again, I did not personally create the system. 🙂
        Hopefully not everyone gets fibromyalgia but actually I was diagnosed years ago. It has just reared its ugly head especially over the past 3 years. Much love and many hugs Lara xxx000

    • Faith in the Future

      Hi all,
      I find myself in a similar situation to Lara and would really appreciate any advice or thoughts you all can give.
      As I’ve said before I have been seeing my mm for 5 years. For the last three years he has been saying he wants to be with me, wants to leave his wife etc. Nothing has ever happened however and he always says it’s so difficult, he needs to ‘sort things out’ or he stands to lose everything although he has never been clear about what it is he needs to ‘sort out’.
      I have pulled away and tried to end it quite a few times with him because of this but always seem to end up back in the same position. The last time for me was last year when he went on vacation with his family after telling me (yet again) how he was determined to ‘sort things out’. His reasoning for this was it was his daughters birthday.
      Anyway… I haven’t spoken to him for about a month now as the last conversation we had I said it was over as he still hasn’t sorted anything out. I blocked him on WhatsApp. But since then he has kept texting me every so often. I’m guessing to see if I’ve calmed down because no doubt he expects I will eventually go back to him as I have in the past.

      First time he called and I didn’t answer so he sent me a text saying “i was hoping you would call me back – that was my final attempt – take care and stay happy”
      A few days later I get a text of illegible writing. I’m presuming this is an attempt to make out he has accidentally texted me whilst his phone was in his pocket (he’s done this a few times before).
      Day after that I get a text saying “Ok i will get rid of your number “. Day after that I get “I cant do it – one day you might get in touch”. Then after a couple of weeks of silence I get a text last night saying “hope you’re ok”, then one this morning saying “ok I won’t contact you again”.
      I havent responded to any of these messages. He has done this on many occasions to me before- making out he’s never going to contact me again but then at some point he will. I know he is doing it because in the past I have always caved in eventually and replied, even if it’s taken a few months, either because I think I’m strong enough to deal with it or I’m over it. But it has always back fired on me and I have ended up back in the same situation again. I know I should probably block him entirely but I just can’t do it. I was feeling low yesterday and just seeing a text from him, even though I know I shouldn’t/wouldn’t respond made me feel better in a weird way. I think it’s just knowing hes still thinking of me. But at the same time it makes it harder to move on and forget him. I know he is manipulating me to a certain extent – he wants me back but on his terms (although he claims he wants to be with me but after three years of trying ‘to sort it out’ that’s not really true is it?) It’s so hard. Im so sick of feeling like this.

      • lara

        FITF are on a road I was on for a long time. The texts he sent made me laugh. They are very desperate in their own way. I think like Felk has said many of these men feel guilty and back off to alleviate their guilt. The need to create distance and so they go MIA. Then they tell us they are leaving their wives and can not live like they are living anymore. They make promises to leave. And then they do nothing. These predictable antics are becoming clearer and clearer to me and I wish I had know this earlier. I would have suffered less. I honestly do not think your exMM is actually ready to leave his wife. He might say he does but its more wishful thinking than something he can implement. The reason I say this is the length of your affair. Your behaviors and patterns are entrenched now together. Now, he might even call you selfish and impatient if you try to go NC . But so what?
        YOU must decide when you are ready to call it quits YOU not him. He will probably never leave you in the sense my exMM will never leave me either. (They might want us on the back burner “just in case”). But he will never leave his wife and family and in the end he expects me to place his needs over my own for HIM. I got very very very tired of that dynamic. Tired of the same ole same ole. And two summers ago I began leaving him. Little by little. I cut off the physical affair first. I think I have slept with him only once or twice since then. I would really have to think about it. That was very very hard to do but I did it. You can too when youa re ready! Hugs Lara xxx000

      • Felk

        Hi Faith in the future, You say it all in your post. Really. You know what you need to do. You know you need to block his texts once and for all. I know it’s really, really hard to let go. We can let go to a certain extent, but then we hang on to just a little bit because this person held this place in our lives for so long and how can we just cut them out entirely? So, we hold on just a little bit. And we feel like we’re moving on (and we are mostly), but the truth is that we can’t until we’re done with them entirely. You need to block his texts. And the reason you need to block his texts is not only that you want to be done, but that you know “he claims he wants to be with me but after three years of trying ‘to sort it out’ that’s not really true is it?” Exactly. If he wanted to leave his family, he would have. Of course, there’s a lot to sort out when you’re leaving a marriage and children. That must be incredibly difficult to do, but people do it all of the time. And, yes, it does take time. But, it doesn’t take three years. You know this. And that’s why you have tried to leave him repeatedly. You know that he is unlikely to leave if he hasn’t already.

        So, if you are hanging on in the slight hope that he really will leave his family, then I would say that you respond to his texts one final time and very directly say that you can’t keep waiting and hoping that he will leave. That you love and care about him, but that, for your own good, you have to move on. And, if he is sincere in leaving his family as he has said, then he should leave and then he can get in contact with you when he has left. And then block his texts. He will find you if he wants to. Or, you can just block his texts and be done. I think the latter is better. I think the former “solution” keeps you hoping and waiting for a bit, but it does seem you are still hoping and waiting for a bit (since you won’t block him for good). But, either way, I think you need to block him and be done. Now, while I know it feels good to get texts from him once in a while, doesn’t it also continue to prolong your sadness about the reality of the situation? Don’t those texts just remind you that he’s not leaving his family? Don’t they just remind you of what can’t be? We hold on because we’re desperate for that good feeling and we get it when they contact us, but then we just feel bad all over again when the reality hits. Block him and be done.

      • Kub

        Hey FITF

        I want to congratulate you for your patience, you did not give any response to his messages. That is really good, you should feel satisfying 🙂 even if you don’t, please feel 🙂
        I want to ask you just one simple thing. Do you think that he could not move on his life? But really, do you think that he is not living his life, not communicating with his wife, every day every night he thinks about you, he can not handle with being away from you, everything tortures to him… and so on.
        My dear, do you think this is what going on with him? Or… He is like some impulsively writing you, checking you if you are there, if you will response him today. Also he is living his life as he used to, nothing really dramatic has changes his life. He, also, moved on you but sometimes… He needs some change? Some colour? Some excitement?
        I am not meaning to simplify you, please do not understand me wrong. I believe you are an incredible person, who is respectful to herself. Finding the gut to leave him is not easy. That shows confidence. But, even if you did not believe that he simplifies you, you would not break up with him at first place, right? If you thought that he was giving you what you deserved your relationship would not be over now.
        But…
        But he was not. He was not giving you what you need, you want and especially you deserve.
        So… Do you think that he is in more emotional, vulnerable place? Has he ever been? Maybe yes, but when he was, how he acted? Did he leave his wife? Did he stood up for your relationship? Or did he play the hypocrite?
        I don’t know him, you tell us. What kind of a man he was? We, women, deceive ourselves with our emotions.
        But if you turn mute your emotions, which you can sure do, what your logic, your brain says?

        As one last note. My dear you already moved on. Why are you looking back? What do you want to see? Do you want to see that if its worths? Do you need it? Do you need to see it?
        Or… Or nothing will not change in your life if you block him 🙂 Keep reminding yourself, your reason for blocking him at first place.

        Take care!

    • Kub

      Lara

      You are one of the strongest person I have met here. Even being able to write these words… Needs strength. You have in it. You have love, too but also you are stronger than you were used to be.
      It is up to you, you know him the best. It is not easy to tell you to screw him, he is a liar. Because I don’t know him, all I know is how you introduced him to us.
      But you know him the best. Please ask yourself, is he telling the truth? Also, are you telling the truth to yourself? Are you sure that you do not want him anymore in your life? If you do, a tiny part of you want to be with him, it is totally normal. As I said there are feelings. But since you are in a logical phase of your relationship you have the advantage of being fair in this situation.
      If you think there is a chance and you want the door not fully closed it is understandable. What I am afraid of is you getting hurt. Our common and the biggest mistake is to care someone too much in a way that we let them to hurt us. Hurt deeply. Caring him more than you care yourself would lead you to more heartbreak.
      What I would like to tell you is listen to yourself. But completely be honest to you. And even if you somehow get in contact… Please remember how hard times you got through. The person who caused these is same. But you are not. So even if you get into contact please keep some distance. Stay in a distance that he can not hurt you. Remind him that you come first.
      Maybe giving him this message shows his real purpose.
      And also I think that his getting a divorce should not be because of you. Because if this happens he will be blaming you at every problem. He should be getting a divorce because he does not want to be with his wife anymore because they have nothing to share anymore. And you know what, for this second option he should not keep you informed. This is really rude, this should stay in private with his wife and him but in first minute he comes to share it with you, as he decided. And considering that you are not communicating for a long time… Feels like his words are meant to make you to believe him. Unfortunately nothing more…
      Whatever you decide, whatever happens we are always here for you. Always listening and supporting. I am sure that whatever you decide will be the best choice. Even if not, you always have a second option 😉

      Take care!

      • lara

        Kub when you say I am so strong it is funny but I don’t see it. I must think about this!! I But it makes me smile to hear your words! Thank you! You said: (My replies are in CAPS)
        “But you know him the best. Please ask yourself, is he telling the truth? NO HE NEVER TELLS THE TRUTH Also, are you telling the truth to yourself? NOT ALWAYS! I DECEIVE MYSELF QUITE A BIT WITH HIM Are you sure that you do not want him anymore in your life? YES I THINK IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE BETWEEN US WHEN I REALLY THINK ABOUT IT BECAUSE THERE WOULD ALWAYS BE HUGE DRAMA WITH HIS WIFE AND FAMILY AND HE IS NOT STORNG ENOUGH TO FEEL HIS FEELINGS AND ACT ON THEM

        If you do, a tiny part of you want to be with him, it is totally normal. THANK YOU! I CN NOT BELEIVE AFTER ALL HE DONE TO ME I CAN STILL HAVE ANY FEELINGS BUT SOMETIMES I DO.
        As I said there are feelings. But since you are in a logical phase of your relationship you have the advantage of being fair in this situation.
        YES THE FEELINGS ARE NOT FACTS. I THINK I LONG FOR HIM ON A CELLULAR LEVEL….MAKE SENSE? BUT I ALSO LONG FOR HIM NOT TO BE AN NARCISSIST AND NOT TO BE SUCH SELF-CENTERERED A–HOLE AT TIMES!
        BUT I CAN NOT CHANGE WHO HE IS. AND I CAN NOT HEAL HIM LIKE I ONCE THOUGHT I COULD. I THOUGHT OUR “Love” WOULD HEAL US BOTH AND THAT WE COULD BE HAPPY TOGETHER. NOW I THINK IT WOULD LIKELY BE A NIGHTMARE AND THAT IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.
        Hugs Lara xxx000

  • Laurie Post author

    Make sure you sign up for my weekly newsletter, so you don’t miss out on upcoming articles about “no contact” in relationships when you have to work together, how to handle an encounter after a period of no contact, and more! Felk and FW’s great suggestions 🙂
    http://eepurl.com/ca2mJr

    And take good care of yourself – for you are worth taking good care of.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Laurie Post author

    Hello, friends! I’m glad you’re here – and that you’ve found each other, you’re so supportive and helpful 🙂

    Because of the many comments on this article, I’ll have to shift us over to a new article. Otherwise, it’ll take forever for the page to load. So, my question is: what do you want me to write an article about? I can’t give personal advice, but I’d be happy to share a few Blossom Tips on any questions you have.

    Share your ideas/topics here, and I’ll write an article. Then I’ll post the link here, and we’ll move the comments to the new article. Then, the page will load fast and easy 🙂

    Thank you and blessings,
    Laurie

    • FW

      Hi Laurie!
      It’s great you have asked us what you think you could write about, thank you.

      I’ve been an avid reader and contributor to your website for a few years and it’s helped me through a few tough times AND I’ve made a friend, in France, I’ve actually met up with face to face with (I’m in the UK). Wonderful!

      How about writing about how manipulative some attached men can be around vulnerable women and how they will keep using you until you’ve had enough? Most (like me) will stay in affairs until the affair partner leaves the MM, but it’s not until cold hard truths and some reality checks hit do you find strength to do this (or something shocking and heart breaking happens – they do NOT chase you, not properly and if thry do they are still not leaving!). And of course support. I know you’ve written about affairs before, but it saddens me to return here after many months away to be reading about amazing women still being manipulated (as it seems that way). If men leave their partners, they will within months, not years. If they can’t, they are simply not free to do so and you should focus on your real life – I wish I had.
      If I could stop others going through what I had then I Would, but many are going through what I did and are also lucky enough to be married, I never have been.

      There’s no point being in 2 messy relationships – I love the baggagereclaim.co.uk website, so something like that but a more gentle approach?

      Sometimes there is no good time to end it, you will never feel like ending it – it just has to be done. Even if you fall over…. You are still moving forward.

      Thank you Laurie for bringing this website to me (2 weeks after I ended it) and the support I needed…. then a forever friend! X

      • Laurie Post author

        Thank you, FW, I’m so glad She Blossoms has been helpful to you. And how amazing, that you met a friend face-to-face through this blog! That’s awesome 🙂

        I’ll write an article called “How to Protect Yourself From Being Used in a Relationship”, and post the link here. If anyone has any advice, please feel free to share it here! I’ll include it, and keep you anonymous.

        All good things,
        Laurie

    • Felk

      Laurie, thanks again for hosting this site. You asked what we might want you to write about so I was thinking about the articles online that were most helpful to me when my break-up happened. Obviously, yours was one of them. I did a lot of reading about love addiction and how the brain changes when we’re in love. It helped me to read about the science of it. In general, though, I searched for tips on how to get over a break-up (when it ends while you’re still in love). Maybe an article about how important no contact is for getting over someone? Related, maybe an article about the challenges of an ex getting in contact with you again after some period of no contact? For a lot of us on here no contact wasn’t possible because we work with the person we broke up with, so maybe an article about getting over someone while you still have to see them at times? Advice I read rarely focused on that and some of what I read suggested that we should just get transferred or get another job, but that is probably not realistic for most people. Maybe an article about when it might be good to see a therapist? Like, signs of depression or anxiety disorders? Maybe an article about self-care during a break-up? Some of us may not be at the point where we feel we need therapy or we may not want to seek it for many reasons, but I found advice about meditation, relaxation, exercise, eating healthy, socializing, etc. to be helpful during the early months of my break up. And very honestly, maybe an article about why an affair is likely doomed to failure?

      • Laurie Post author

        Felk, thank you for your article ideas! They’ll be practical and inspirational for thousands of women; I’ll chip away at them, one at a time, and share the links as I write.
        In peace and passion,
        Laurie

    • lara

      Dear Laurie, How happy I am that I found your site! The first article I read by you was “How to Stop Dating a Married Man” . While I was surfing I found several articles on this top but your words stuck with me the most. You seemed to have the most awareness of the intricacies of the situation. And you have a way with words that made me feel like I could learn a lot from you. So I stayed and how I have learned! Thank you for being here and providing us with these articles as well as the space to chat amongst ourselves. I am sure you know how important it is for us to chat with each other. One of the articles I would like you to write would be one about the difference in falling in love with a true narcissist and an normal person. Narcissist are highly intoxicating people but they are also highly dangerous especially for highly empathic people. They blur boundaries, are skilled at the use of projection and gaslight people, making their victims lose faith in themselves. But they are also marvelous lovers and very confident. They can chip away at one’s pysche slowly over time and do great damage to one’s self esteem. How do we recognize this type of person (or another “red flag” similar type?). How do the dynamics of actually falling in love between two people feel different in a normal relationship? What should we watch out for? And how do we get away once they are fixated on us?? And how do we maintain a healthy sense if individuality when falling in love? Thank you. Lara xx00

  • Nomad

    I’ve landed in a foreign land which is a good distraction. 1 day before I flew, while I was at the hair salon, mm whatsapp me what time was my flight and wished me a safe trip. He found out I’ve unblocked him. I’ve unblocked him after he told me it’s over because I trust that he will only contact me for work and he will not contact me to send me mixed signals. I assumed that he knows I’m vulnerable and weak, heartbroken and all, so he should not try to befriend me. I never agree we can be friends.

    Hours before I flew, he just WhatsApp me “see you when you are back, have a safe trip” I started weeping and my heart aches again, so painful… I wanted to reply “am
    I still your baby?” Or “I thought u said it’s over” or simply “thanks” i know his message means nothing. But he shouldn’t text me because it gave me hope that it’s not quite over; it got me second guessing his intention, whatsapp me as a colleague or lover… moment of folly … I’ll play back that it’s-over scene to return to reality…

    Minutes before the plane took off, he whatsapp “ok?” “Bon voyage”

    After 8 hrs flight, his message came in “already landed”.
    Now, I decided to update here because his WhatsApp says “hope you are resting well after the flight”

    What’s going on? I haven’t responded because I remembered he said it’s over. I’m trying so hard not to over analyze and not to reply. Yet if I ignore, I worry he’ll not text, he text because he thought of me… his text were so emotionless and platonic… how shall I reply.. help!

    • Kub

      Nomad!
      Omg 🙁 I know it feels good that seeing his text but please do not make the mistake writing him back 🙁 You know he satisfies the feeling that being loved unconditionally. This is what I was worrying, we are weak. We expect them to approach, because that gives us hope. But it is really hard for us to stay strong through their msgs.
      Lets try to imagine two different scenarios; 1. You text him back, you hear what you want to hear, when you go back to your country he picks you up at the airport, somehow you initiate a communication and eventually (sad but true) you come back what you were trying to do this last couple of months. Do you expect any difference? Please be honest to yourself, if you really really but really think that this time somethings may change, okay. It is acceptable. Then you have hope and you would not regret it to try one last time.
      OR; 2. You do not text him back, even you do you keep the distance because you know it will be all same. And I think this time you will really really but really move on.
      I know what you are going through. And I can honestly say that this is not a good sign. He wants to be loved and he cares himself more than he cares about you and to satisfy himself he comes to you. Where are the words, it is over gone? Who is this guy, who was that one? How come he starts to worry about you? Is it because you are in another country? Because you are far, far away that he can not control you? That you are in a place more calm because he and any kind of remainder of him is not around you?
      Dear please think through all of these points. I know how hard this phase is but believe me if you keep contact with him it will be a nightmare. You got so far, I really do not want you to waste all that tears to his couple of msgs.
      Until you read my advice maybe you got in touch with him, nevertheless it is never too late to put distance. Just please… Please stick with you.
      Please.

    • lara

      Oh Nomad poor you! I feel for you, I really do! He is probably trying to be “friends” for one of many reasons. But it started as soon as you got physical distance! Pay attention to that fact. But for you the emotional impact is strong and immediate. These little texts launch your feelings and expectations like nothing else. Your mind starts racing and your heart start beating. It happened to me last week although the impact can not be as powerful as the one for you I am sure because you just now closed your relationship. And I have had more time away from the situation. Is it hard for you to imagine that he might want to stay connected to you but not have the romantic/sexual relationship you once had? This might one reason for his actions. But there are others. He might not understand the mechanics of his words on your emotions post affair break-up. He might feel guilty he hurt you by saying “It’s over” the other day after he saw your reaction and want to connect with you to make sure he still can. Fill in “other possibilities”. As for responding I would recommend the following. Just write a quick and simple and CLEAR/direct note: “Thanks for your concern. I would like to have some non texting time please. I need my space to heal.” And let it go. If he still texts then BLOCK.
      OR: Just BLOCK ASAP. Up to you. Hugs Lara xxxooo

    • Felk

      Nomad, that is so hard that your MM is still texting you. But please read everything Kub and Lara said. When I read what you wrote, I felt for you. I know how hard it is to have the ex-MM send you messages after you think everything is over. It is so very confusing and it gives us hope, and I can assure you, that’s not how he intends it. He does not want to start the relationship again. He wants: 1) to be kind to you because he did care and he’s trying to show that still. He knows the break-up has been hard for you and he’s trying to show kindness; 2) to know you’re still there for him. He misses you. He’s finding it hard, too. He wants to get that return message from you to know that you’ll respond when he wants. He’s not trying to be cruel, but it is selfish. And 3) to try to be normal. He’s trying to do “normal” things to feel as if everything will turn out okay. When my MM ended our relationship, he texted me two days later. He rarely used to text during our relationship and then when he texted (just something funny and not flirty), it felt so nice. I didn’t think he wanted to get back together. I thought he was just being kind and saying we were going to be okay. But then he texted a few days later again, and then the next week again. And, like I said, he rarely initiated texts with me during our relationship. It just wasn’t our main mode of communication. So, those texts started making me think he couldn’t let me go and he was still hanging around. And, in a way he was. In a way, it was hard for him, too. But it never meant that he wanted to get back together. It just meant that he wanted some contact with me still, just as I did with him. The problem with that is that they are still in control. They know we are there waiting to get back together if they just snap their fingers. They want that reassurance that we still love them and that we still care, but they are not willing to give us the same in return. That is the problem. So, Nomad, as best you can, try not to be sucked back into his texts. He told you it was over. Listen to that. Listen very clearly. He wants it over and he wants you there for him if he needs you. It’s not good. He wants it on his terms. You have been clear. You have asked over and over to get him back. I made it clear to my MM after our break-up, too. If he wanted it, we’d be back together. He gave mixed signals. He contacted me with sweet things (just as your MM is doing), and then when he got me to bite, he’d pull back. When he’d get the reinforcement from me that I was still in love with him, he’d make it clear that he couldn’t go back to the relationship. So, they want the relationship done AND they want you waiting for them. Again, I don’t think it’s intentionally mean. It’s just selfish and human. Of course they want to know we’re still in love. We want to know that about them. But they have the power since they ended it, and we have to stop giving them that power to treat us that way. He will treat you that way as long as you let him. You have made it clear what you wanted. He rejected that. There is no reason to hang around waiting for him.
      Block him again. Why not? If he needs to get in contact with you professionally, he can in other ways.

  • lara

    Hi everyone, Today is 90 days NC minus 2 days for that awful fall I had earlier this week. I know now that all the holidays trigger him because that is when I hear from him and that is when these slips happen. Bot I DID get up pretty quickly and resume recovery pretty quickly because it has become a kind of habit now. Its “what I do” now.. I have all my little recovery slogans routines etc. And they have become habits, good habits and I guess I kind of like routine after all. Because all these little habits make me feel safe and happier again. And in control of my life again. As opposed to HIM having so much power over me.

    Its just that sometimes I get so engrossed in my recovery routines that I almost forget all about what I was recovering from. I guess this could be seen as a good thing in some ways. But it is not so good really. It’s a kind of denial of the misery. I have to remember the misery I am coming out of with the affair. I know this from quitting alcohol. To end an addiction I have to remember my bottom. What was it? How and when did I know it had to end? What happened to me to make me really know and accept I could no longer stay in the relationship?

    But sometimes I just don’t want to feel the bottom so much anymore because I just don’t want to remember only the misery because there were some very loving moments too. Love addiction is indeed different from alcohol addiction. And I invested in so many years in this relationship I feel awful remembering it all as miserable. Because thats when I feel I made a huge and obvious mistake and wasted a lot of precious time! And I start to beat myself up. So now do I try and hang onto the good while remembering MORE the bad? Perhaps.

    I play lots if little denial games in my head I guess. But that leaves me vulnerable like I was last week. Last week I had forgotten my misery and my anger far too much, and remembered the good times too much too, so when my exMM contacted me I was mistakenly filled with love and hope not reality and pain. So BOOM! I fell down hard for some hours.

    But now I am back to remembering the pain I was in when I began this recovery process and the hell I went through with my exMM over the years which was more often than the love and joy to be honest. And how many times he kept repeating the same behaviors and somehow making me feel it was MY fault. Lucky for me he went MIA again this time (as per usual) reminding me how awful I could feel with him. How utterly worthless I could feel after an abandonment like the ones he is so famous for. So it’s a gift to have a consistent experience with him even if it is consistently bad because the hope quickly fades and the pain quickly returns. But the recovery quickly returned this time too! And the new found pleasure I have found in my own separate life as well. That is a miracle! I spent a truly lovely weekend with family and friends barely thinking of him at all and so glad he is not in my life anymore. I truly have the feeling once again that as afar as that relationship with him goes for me “Enough was and still is Enough!!” Hugs Lara xoxo

    • Kub

      Hey Lara

      Do you realize how strong you are? You are handling all kinds of addictions in your life. I admire you, i want to be at 90th day of my recovery and be as strong as you are!
      Ups and downs never ending but all of this is a phase and you are the one who knows this best. Just be understandful to yourself, because sometimes no matter how much time passes through somethings just hurts. It is important to know your weaknesses. Vulnerable points. No need to try to be a hero, we are human we loved and simply got hurt. We are supposed to be weak at some points. We are very welcome to grief.
      So… believe me after 6 months you will look back and be proud of yourself. You will say, yeah maybe there were some hard times bur I am okay anymore. We will be there to witness your process. We will say to you that how great you dealt with yourself.
      Wait for it.
      So proud of you. Look at you, you can handle your collapses in such a short time 🙂 give a prize yourself for that. Do something that you postpone recently. And share it with us too please :))
      See you!

    • Felk

      Lara, you gave me good things to think about once again. You ask questions about forgetting the misery and thinking more about the good times. At some point, I think it’s a good sign that you are letting go of the misery. I know it’s hard to know, though, whether you are denying/ignoring the misery or if your are letting go of the misery as you let go of the relationship. From everything you’ve written, it seems more like the latter than the former. Sure, maybe there is still some denial/ignoring as that’s probably just how our brain works. If we are optimistic or happy people, we probably tend to the positive and tend to focus there more. I know that’s what I do. There was a lot of difficulty in my relationship with my MM. There was a lot of insecurity and anxiety. There was frustration and confusion. But, much more than that, there was happiness. It doesn’t feel like denial to me to think about the good times. Sometimes I can get lost a bit in the good times, and that’s less helpful, but, for me, healing is mainly about moving past the misery and reflecting positively on what we had. I’m not there entirely, but, for me, it is a good sign to no longer feel the bottom. I know people are different, though, and you have to try to be honest with yourself about what you’re thinking and feeling (and I know you’re very good with that honesty). In general, though, I don’t think you’re in denial and I don’t think it’s bad that you want to remember the love, too. I do get the danger, though. Like I said, I can still get “lost” in thinking about the good times. Like last night, I found myself just staring out the window thinking about our first sex (that five-year anniversary is coming up soon). It was really nice thoughts. I wasn’t sad. But, I stopped myself because I know that I still can’t spend too much time with the good as it puts me in denial (and probably gives me hope) and also could make me miss him and feel sad again. I don’t want to feel sad anymore. I know that is my goal. I am trying to be honest about what triggers the sadness, and I have learned that dwelling for too long on the good times can do that. I know that I want to think fondly about our relationship (because it was mostly good), but I know I don’t want to idealize it or think too much about it. I don’t need to remind myself of the bad times too much (but I get that could be helpful for you). For me, the reminders that help most are remembering that we ended because the relationship was no longer working for him. Remembering that he was in turmoil trying to separate two lives. Remembering that his marriage was on the brink and it is completely understandable that he needed to end us to save his marriage and family. He has two kids, and he wouldn’t be the person I fell in love with if he left his children for me. And remembering that he can’t go back. It’s over. He has chosen that, and by holding on, I not only prolong the hurt for me, but I prolong it for him, too, as he is still in love and trying to heal, too.

  • Lois

    Well ladies. I have made a decision to end things with MM. I texted him earlier today after a couple days of NC. It started off casual then lke a fool sent a flirtious one…he didn’t respond. It was at that point I decided enough is enough. My heart was crushed and sent him a text asking if I’d done something. He replied no…his neighbor had come over. It’s hard to know the emotions through text but things are just off with us. I’m tired of worrying and wondering. I have given in him space and time to deal with his whatever he was dealing with. I’m a mom of 3 teenage boys who has enough stress raising them. I’m hoping to take control of this situation and be done on my terms. I want to srand up for my feelings. The last time we were together was amazing and that was mid march. Since then it’s been an emotional roller-coaster, it was funky mood, then he was sick with bronchitis, then last week it was guilt. I’m done waiting. I’m done giving space. I just want to be done and move on. I know it’s going to be a struggle and will need your support.

    • lois

      Ugh…I am so weak. I should have just texted him last night and told him it was over because today not wanting to have the face-to-face conversation. Although I am still certain it is what I want, I just do not want to have the conversation with. I do not know that I can face him and tell him it is over. There is a part of me who wants to be with him and afraid that I will weaken. So, I think for now…I am just going to lay low and try to keep it strictly work related and so how it goes. Ironically, I read Kub’s post this morning and she helped put this in perspective for me in how MM fills a void in my life. She is correct because I am lonely. It’s sad that I am married and feel lonely but it’s true. The romance MM and I have is awesome when it happens and the way he makes me feel at the time. Unfortunately, it is the days to follow that triggers his distance. There are times when he can deals with it pretty good and other times not so well. He admitted this to me a few weeks ago when things were good between us. I have also given consideration to the things Felk has posted. I think MM feels the same way as I do and cannot bring himself to end it with me in fear of hurting me. He may not have started out feeling this way but as the days and weeks passed then the guilt (supposed) complicated our already complicated situation. Trust me, I do understand because I was ready last night to be done and look at me today. It is so hard to come out and say it is over even after weeks of worrying of wondering; he has captivated my heart.

      • Felk

        Lois, No point in forcing yourself to end it if you’re not ready. Because if you do that, then you’re more likely to just end up going back on your decision and then that really weakens you. End it when you’re ready (or close enough to ready that you can see it through). It’s no good for you (or him) to end it if you’re not ready. If you do that, then you just end up sending mixed signals to him if you end up going back on it and that’s hard for both of you. And, like I said, it weakens your position and makes it hard for him to believe what you say. Give yourself more time to think about it all. It’s only been a few days since the two of you talked about giving each other space and thinking about the relationship. I do think he wants to end it, but I think he’s finding it hard to make that choice, just as you are. I think he feels a lot more guilt and angst than you do, and, thus, I think he will eventually end it even if he doesn’t in the next few weeks. He sounds like he’s going through what my MM did and it only seems a matter of time when they get to this point of continually considering ending it. It’s just miserable for you, though. Yes, you don’t want to end it prematurely, but you also don’t want to hang on too long. I think you’re at the point of too much pain and misery (from what you post on here), but only you can decide when you’ve reached that limit. Of course, he’s captivated your heart (that’s the addiction). The highs are just too good. The times with these men are so exciting. And they feel similarly with us, but, for whatever reason, they feel more guilt and a stronger pull to be good to their wives and children (going against stereotypes about how men are cheaters and women are nurturers!). I think the emotions are too much for them to handle and we handle them better (consistent with stereotypes). I think we’re better able to separate the two relationships, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that they can’t separate well, and their guilt and angst will be miserable for you. Your MM seems to be doing what my MM did in those last few months. Really good times and then a lot of MIA, and then good times and then MIA. My MM wasn’t like that until that last year, and then it was clear (and it’s much clearer in hindsight) that he was just readying himself to be done. Maybe you’re doing the same thing, but it sounds like you’re still holding onto hope that it can work. I know that feeling. I wish I could say something that would get you to end the relationship on your terms, but I know how hard it is to let go of these men and these relationships. I am just now, 7 months later (post break-up), finally getting to a point where I’m getting ready to let go. And it’s taken so long not only because of my addiction but because of his, too. He has held on, too. We’re both trying to let go and it’s really hard. I’d imagine your MM is going through the same thing. He wants to be done but he’s addicted, too. Just keep trying to think through it with a clear head. Don’t just think about the good times. And one thing I rarely considered but maybe worth thinking about is the risk you’re taking at your job and in your marriage. I was much too willing to ignore the risk to my marriage through my affair. That’s what addiction does, too. It makes us act in irrational ways and makes us take risks that we should not be taking. Makes us willing to do dangerous things just to get that high. I can easily say now that I am very glad that my H never found out and that I got out of the affair with my marriage in tact. I miss my MM and our relationship very much, but I’m also glad that we’re finding our way to a friendship and that he can live his life with less turmoil and pain.

        • lois

          Hey, Felk and Thistooshallpass. I asked to speak with MM yesterday and he agreed to chat after work. However, I told him that it just was not a good day for me. Last night, I decided to text him and replied. I asked him about his health and was told he would be fine. I questioned about his tumor and he became upset. He said the comment was not accurate and had been exaggerated. The person who told me is not going to make up the story, so once again I was faced with was he telling me the truth. Yeah, she could have exaggerated the story but the fact remains that he had a conversation with her and I am the one he is sleeping with. Something in me changed and seem to be okay with us not being together. I composed an email to him and will wait a few days to a week. If i still feel the same way, I am going to send it to him. In the mean time, I am laying low and and will be professional with him but nothing more. Like I said, it maybe the hurt and anger and frustration and confusion of the lies, etc. but I am really not losing anything by ending it with him. I have been really patient since mid March and have given space. I have allowed him to distance himself, ignore my texts and my flirtatious messages and feel I deserve more than 30 minutes of his time every once in while when he is not feeling guilt or horny. I will keep you posted. Thanks for the advice and support…it has been very helpful!

          • Felk

            Hi Lois, So, let me get this straight… you asked your MM about his health and his tumor directly and he denied it? Did he give any explanation for what is going on with his health? Did he explain what he meant by the story being exaggerated? If it’s exaggerated, did he tell you what the truth was? It doesn’t sound like he did, and that is very odd to me. I can understand why you’re so frustrated. He is not treating you with respect if he is willing to have sex with you but he can’t tell you the truth about his health. Period. He is not treating you as an equal, as someone who is important to him, etc. I understand privacy, but not when he has asked you to be close to him in other ways. Not when he has asked you to share something as important as sex (for months). Worse, it seems he’s lying. It’s one thing to be private, but it’s another to not come clean when someone asks you directly. I haven’t dealt with people like this much because I cut them out of my life pretty quickly. I know there is a lot that is great about your MM so I’m not saying it’s that simple. But, couple the secrecy with the MIA, the ignoring of your flirtation, and the crumbs that he’s given you over these last few weeks and why stay? You want more. You deserve more. We all know there are sacrifices we make in affairs, but this has crossed some lines and then some. He is asking too much. Or he can’t give enough. Either way, it will keep making you feel bad about yourself and that’s the worst.

          • Lois

            Felk, you got it straight. First, I sent him a text asking if he was going to be okay. He replied yes will be fine. He has been in his distant mood so asked if I had done something. He replied no why on earth would he be. I replied i have no clue. So, I point blank asked him…if he his brain tumor had grown. His response. Not an accurate statement and sent another yet another exaggeration. This info came from coworker he had affair with before me and told her about this supposed tumor in 2013. I replied glad to hear it’s not accurate. He was angry and texted this is why I shouldn’t tell people things and should have gone with my git and not said a word. Of course he didn’t tell me anyrhing about his health or try to explain how it could have been exaggerated. The fact is he had some kind of conversation with her and didn’t with me. I did reply and tell him that I have never betrayed his confidence and would not have. He said I know and has gone MIA since. I agree with you 100% and don’t deserve any of this. I am really struggling with things because in my head I know he’s a liar and cheat. And wants to feel guilt about us but not being a liar. What kind of a person says lies about their health when the brother truly has cancer and not doing well which I know for a fact is true. I’m so hurt and angry. I’m glad that I asked him because the person who told may have exaggerated a little but she’s not going to straight up lie. Now Mm on the other hand seems to do lots of lying. I think he have narcissistic tendencies because this behavior isn’t normal. I’m really hurt and sad because I thought he did cate about me. Thanks for listening. I will keep you updated. I still have not sent the email and,may never. I do know that I can’t and won’t continue down this path with him.

          • Felk

            Hi Lois, I really don’t know how you’re accepting this much distance from your MM. I know we all have our lines for what is acceptable/unacceptable, but, even at the worst last year, I was chatting online with my MM about 3 times/week at night for a few hours, exchanging e-mail and texts a bit, talking to him at work multiple days/week, and having alone time (intimate time) once/week. I don’t say this to rub it in at all. I say it to ask how you’re dealing with how little he has given you over the last month? Or, rather, I guess I’m asking why you’re staying even though he has given so little since you were last intimate together? Even aside from the lies it seems he’s telling about his health (which is probably a bigger problem), I guess it just seems like he’s treating you so poorly that it doesn’t seem good to stay any longer. You know I know how good the good times are, but when’s the last time you had a good time with him? And then, think of all the frustration and hurt in the weeks following. I do think he cares about you, but it’s probably true that he doesn’t care as much as you’d like him to. If he did, he’d tell you the truth about his health, and he’d have been talking to you more across these weeks. It just seems that he has shown you who he is. We know that, at this age, we cannot expect someone to change very much. If this is how he’s treating you now, why would it change?

            I also understand not necessarily sending him the e-mail. I don’t think you have to end your relationship with any big gesture or statement. You don’t owe him that, and you may also not be ready for that. For me, I wouldn’t send the e-mail unless I was sure I was done. Otherwise, I might end up going back on it and then it is not only confusing for him but it also would weaken any attempt to ask him to treat me better (if I’m just willing to come back after I’ve said it was over). I guess the e-mail could lay out how you need better treatment to stay and if he were to show that better treatment, sure you could come back, but you’d still have to be ready to hold him accountable for treating you better and not going back unless he did.

            I know you are still in love and that is the difficulty with ending it. But maybe ask yourself what you’re in love with? Him or a fantasy idea of what things could be like with him? Him or the feeling that you have gotten with him during the good times? Or maybe ask yourself why you’re staying in the sense of thinking about what you are hoping will happen. Then, ask yourself if that hope is realistic or likely given how he’s acted for many months. I’ve said it before but hope is brutal in these situations. Typically, we are deluding ourselves into thinking something will happen that will likely not.

    • Thistooshallpass

      Hi Lois,
      I enforced a do not initiate contact policy outside of work a couple months ago and that act alone helped restore my sanity. Now I don’t have to sit, wait, worry and wonder what he is going to do. It really shifts the pendulum in your favor because it shows the other person that you are busy living your life. Also, your time is precious and you will only give your attention to those that can return in kind. Plus, you are forced to focus your time on others that are free to give and share with you. I found it sent a very clear message of being checked out. I cut out the physical aspect of the relationship entirely. Do I miss the mind blowing sex? A resounding yes but not the emotional agony that followed. Giving my body and soul to him sent me to the depths of despair as I’m sure it has with many of us here. While we are wise not to implement policies in order to manipulate someone else, indifference and living well is inherently resuming your power. You’ll get through this with time and love. Maybe start out with some small changes for a week and see if that lifts your spirits.

  • Kub

    Hello everyone

    It is a different, bad different day for me. I started to see a therapist and we have taken a long wat through my life. And today we diagnosed that I was raised with loneliness.
    My therapist asked me that what he has filled in my life, what was that tempting me in that relationship. He asked what was different with him.
    And I realized that between all of my relationships, he was different the way he loved me. The way he take care of me. I knew noone ever loved me like this. I knew I have never hit it off with a man like I did with him. Our communication, ideas, romance it was all so beautiful.
    So my therapist asked me if he was filling the loneliness in me, or not. He wanted me to decide. And he mentioned about kids, who cry a lot when s/he just too little.
    He said that even though the mother feeds the baby, the baby just keeps crying. I knew when I was a baby I was anxious and cried a lot, my mom loves to complaint about me as how hard I was as a baby. So my threapist said to me, the mother does everything that she is supposed to do for the baby but… she is too busy to obtain an emotional relationship with the baby. And baby cries because s/he feels too lonely, anxious.
    So I realized during every phase of my life I was feeling lonely. Really lonely. Even though I had friends, even though I am a social person that does not fill the hole inside me.
    And my therapist kept going as, you feel lonely all your life and one day someone comes and fill that hole. He completes you and just when you start to trust him, he abandones you. He lefts you again to the that darkness in you.
    So… This is really upsetting. But it is true, I feel it deep deep inside. What I could not give up on him is that he completes me in a way… That I asked all my life.
    Now. The hard part is to fill that gap with myself. Or with someone else, but with someone else I must become so much careful. I don’t want to end up hurting deeply myself.
    I am trying to get every advice from here and seeing a therapist what you suggested me. So thanks everybody, this is harsh. But without facts I am so lost, I can not find a path to myself. One by one I will construct a way to myself. And I know I will find my way home.
    Nomad! Compeletly agree, we should meet at the half way 🙂 What I share here with you I can not share with anyone around me. They just don’t get it.
    Maybe this is good that now my concern is not about him, it is about me.
    Thanks for everything!

    • lara

      Kub I am so proud of your accomplishments! You are working so very hard to move beyond this relationship. And you WILL! But seeing a therapist and getting to know yourself better DO feel hard at first. Very hard. Getting to know your loneliness and coming to accept it and your childhood take work. I know as I am right there with you too. But you are already investing in YOU! You are giving yourself a chance to find out who you are beyond your pain from childhood and beyond your need to fill that “hole” with the perfect someone. In fact, no one can truly fill that hole. Not long-term at least. In the beginning yes a lover can feel like a cure for the “hole”. But after months or years or even decades it stops working to tell you the truth. This is because often the hole is also a spiritual one and
      we can feel rejected by the entire universe. So admitting you have loneliness is half the battle really. Next step is looking for healthier ways for you to fill the hole, ways that do not make the hole BIGGER.
      I hope this is helpful. You just need to do this one day a time: Show up for YOU first. Hugs, Lara xoxo

  • FW

    Hi all,

    I haven’t been on here for a while (ForeverWaiting) but have just read Nomads last post. I do agree about the MM ending it but too weak, although I was the one that walked away (went quiet)- they are never ever leaving their wives, and sometimes their lovers either. I won’t go over my story again (it ended in 2016), but it did waste 2.5 years of my precious life, my childbearing last years and ran for 3.5 years (first year I was with my ex).
    I’ve had just over 1.5 years to reflect, and I realise so much now, about me, about him (the narcissist, the guy who really cares about himself, please do NOT think otherwise about your MMs – some do leave, but you wouldn’t be here if they had/have).
    And when I should have been focusing on my relationship with my ex boyfriend (sorting it out or leaving, not running off and having an affair) I was instead targeted by this ‘too good to be true’ attached guy at work.

    He promised me the world and delivered nothing. We are actually speaking again but only because I needed a new job, my new (well, boyfriend of 17 or so mths) has no idea the extent of how we know each other, and it’s staying that way. Off on a tangent now…..

    I would love to go advising you all again, but back on reflection, I know what it’s like to be in the affair – the lies you believe as they are so convincing, so real (reading on the old blog, I see one MM is claiming God wants him to work on his marriage? god does not condone cheating and would advise one to walk away on a marriage which is not healthy or fair on the wife! mental health affects physical health, his wife deserves a husbands full time love) – fabulous excuse, five claps to him, but I’m sure he blames her, well done.

    When the goalposts are constantly moved, you know the answer (I was blind to this until I found this site and others who helped me). Unfortunately, one thing that I can, as a whole, and say about the whole thing was ‘it was just an affair’ (for him). I was lied too, I was stupid, I was naive. But hey, I was vulnerable, the empath, in a horrible situation when we met and just the narcs perfect bait at the time and he helped me escape my ex. I’m not saying he didn’t have feelings, but people can have feelings AND not care enough to do the right thing or care more about others than about themselves and their own security.

    We had the ‘perfect’ time together so he created this absolute ‘perfect’ future for us. Little did I know…. running off and finding my own place then living, what I can only describe as a painfully lonely 2.5 years, sickenly cruel life in fact (created by the ex narc attached man…’man’ being used lightly here!) as awful – utterly awful! I had to lie, that I didn’t want to date after leaving my ex.

    6 months people understand why I’m not dating, I’ve just broken up after 3 years with someone, then you need a year….but 18 months later? 2 years later?
    I was sociable, had many friends, went on girly weekends and holidays, friends over at the weekends, went away, I was popular, known as the good looking, the pretty one (so others said)….yes people mustn’t question you and they didn’t – but still, my parents must have wondered. i think they did. My friends knew about him, some of them, but when it got to 2 years after I left my ex, the ex Narc (I can’t call him anything else) went crazy saying that his best friend hadn’t dated for years etcetc ….I said don’t compare me! He needed 1 year for the business (2.5 years after we started)…then another year…then 3 months…then another 3 months….then 6 months…. 3.5 years? I hit 38 years old and 2 weeks before that I was told I was infertile – there is nothing like a wake up call than age and fertility (we’d been going to the clinic together, yep, he was even talking babies in secret, what a nice guy!) then not seeing him AT ALL as he lost his job and had no excuse to travel 70 miles, funny that. Wow, 3.5 years to nothing.

    On reflection (and I knew this at the time) – he was quite controlling, well, very. And quite nasty. I wasn’t allowed to question him as he’d get angry and I’d ‘make him repeat himself’ – all the red flags of him not leaving were there, but as he had me where he wanted me, I felt guilty for questioning him as he was manipulative. All the tick boxes of a MM not leaving were there. All the signs. Yes the cliche signs but they are cliches because they are true!. Oh and did I mention manipulation…passive aggressive…..I always questioned myself, why oh WHY did I never question HIM! When he was the one living a double life!

    He kept shouting that we WERE the exception (getting angry as he was scared he was losing his ‘supply’ = me) that he WOULD prove it. I BELIEVED we were in the 5% exception. We were perfect together. You all know what I mean, you have a perfect time. Of course you do, you don’t live the boring life of 100% committed dull chores, bills and stress of everyday life – it’s stolen time made perfect, putting on our best fronts, and even when we don’t, we are more forgiving, that’s what affairs are about. The real partners suffer in ALL departments.

    So, he never proved it. He stopped me dating, he let me be lonely every weekend for 2.5 long years (was my fault as he said, I should have left my violent ex…) he let me be the single one on couple weekends, he controlled me. He wanted to know where I was all the time, even if I popped to town (I had no idea where he was on a weekend, he knew I’d be upset if he was at in-laws and now I realise he played down EVERYTHING – he lives 70 miles away). He lied, And now I realise he had a perfectly normal relationship with his GF and their child and step daughter!

    I was in love with the man who was mirroring ME. I was not in love with the man his girlfriend of 15 years knows. And I know she isn’t a huge fan of his. I feel sorry for the poor woman.

    I didn’t know him, I thought I did, but if I did, he’d have left, and a lot sooner than he claimed. He just strung me along for as long as he could keep seeing me- basically as long as his job lasted. He never wanted me to leave my ex, he even admitted that ‘you should never have left him, you put more pressure on me’ – this was after a year! How long does an affair go on for?! I understand they should really leave within 3 months if serious! We do speak now a little via message (secret of course) and it’s fine, I’m over the emotional bridge, but looking back the whole 3 + years was horrific!

    I should have been focusing on my relationship at the time, whether to end it or stay etc
    I should have been dealing with one thing at a time
    I should have never involved myself with someone that was attached with a child
    I should have realised he wasn’t leaving after a year (the first true goalpost)
    I should have ignored the ‘I love you’s’ and ‘you’re perfect’ focused on his actions, or lack of
    I should have realised only 2 people should be in a relationship
    I should have not been in love with a reflection of me, I was blind. I forgive myself
    I should have realised I was simply weak those 3.5 years, vulnerable, crying out to be rescued

    There are many ‘I should have’s’ – But, on reflection, when you’re in it, it’s hard, as you’re at your weakest. I can promise
    you now ladies, if I was in this affair in this moment in time, his a$$ would be kicked and I’d be telling him some home
    truths, I’d be on the dating scene and I would have never got involved. I’d be giving HIM relationship advice (makes me laugh he
    hasn’t left, 5 years ago he started a 3.5 year affair with me and he is still with her? who wants a relationship like that! their baby was 8 months old!) or in fact telling his gf to run a million miles from him! a narcissistic control freak!

    I wanted his daughters and family (1 sister, parents, 2 daughters) (mine live 300 miles away), his life in his big house by the coast, his business and of course the wonderful (not) him. But………

    THE BEST THING ABOUT THE AFFAIR??!!

    A quote from Dalai Lama;
    “Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck”

    Why?
    I have since (2 months after my last text to him, Sept 2016) met the love of my life, who happens to be a marine biologist and lives in a harbour city and has a family 3 times the size who are amazing! (2 brothers,1 sister and 2 step sisters with partners, parents, Grandma). He is 6 years younger than me and knows of my fertility problems, he is cool to adopt if needed should we want kids, but we are both animal lovers and have many plans ahead of us, after 20 years of awful relationships, I’ve finally found ‘home’.

    They live 7 times as close (10 miles away). I’ve been made redundant so finally getting on top of my money problems which the ex narc controlled me with (he gave me min help on the old flat I moved too and half the amount he promised – another control tactic? I had little money to do anything so got into more debt). The ex narc used to say what’s the point of us ‘breaking up’ as it could take me years to meet someone when I’d already met him – so I might as well wait!. So he made me doubt myself meeting someone and he just needed time.
    But I started dating and my boyfriend was the first date I went on – 17 months later or so here we are – happy! I never ever dreamed that I’d meet someone, I was so scared when I first walked away, I’d been on hundred of dates when I used to internet date years ago, 7 years ago….I had no faith in it, then bam, my biologist turns up! things haven’t been easy for us – but it’s JUST us, and that’s the difference.

    And it’s just us. 2 of us. The way relationships should be. A very lucky escape. What a horrible man. He makes my skin crawl now! Yuck!!! (he doesn’t know this, when we talk he is nothing but compliments, the hoovering continues, it’s rather amusing, little does he know I’d educated myself deeply over the past 2 years!)

    I wish you all the luck in the world to untangle from the emotional mess and the physical exhaustion affairs cause oneself. You don’t realise this now, but you can and will live without them. Perfectly well and happy.

    Imagine you leave the affair today, and those of you who are married or in a relationship also leave that. In a years time, after you’ve got
    over the hurdles and hard time, have started healing and done well, got on your own 2 feet and started moving on….

    ……….on reflection, what do you think you’d say to yourselves right now?

    • Faith in the Future

      FW I love your post. It’s great to hear such a positive outcome and the best thing about it is it reminds me that we are all heading towards a positive outcome in the future! Now that positive outcome may be different for different people – fixing a marriage, leaving a marriage, meeting someone new or just being happy with ourselves but ultimately people are resilient and they DO move on – even though that feels impossible at times.
      Your mm sounds quite similar to mine in that he displays controlling traits – he has always wanted to know what I am doing, when and with who but is not so forthcoming on what’s going on in his life. I do sometimes wonder whether things are as bad in his marriage as he makes out – I suspect not or why the hell would he still be there? If I ever knew the truth I think I would be physically sick from the shock of the disillusionment I have been under all these years.
      FW I really needed to read your post today – why? Because if I am totally honest, despite nc and me refusing to see him there is a part of me that hopes he will ‘come to his senses’ and realise what he is losing with me. But if course that’s not going to happen. Oh yes, he will continue to get in touch with me, say he wants to see me but it will still all be on his terms – same old situation. As you say mm don’t leave their wives. I feel I need to repeat that to myself every day!
      The thing I love most about your story is that you have come out on top – you have met someone who makes you happy, far happier than the mm ever could. He is the loser here – still stuck in his relationship and still trying it on behind his girlfriend’s back. What a sad man. I suspect my mm will be like this always too. Never leaving his wife but always looking for something on the side. I will keep this in mind as it makes me slightly repulsed by him which is no bad thing!

    • Felk

      FW, great post. Of course, most, it’s so good to see that you’ve found someone outside of the affair who can make you happy. And I know what you say is true about how we can move on and we will. How we can be happy without our MM and we will. I posted that a week or so ago, saying that I know my attempts at distance will work. It is a slow road for all of the reasons you say about how hard it is to get out, but my MM and I are trying to give distance (with kindness) and it will happen.

      I love your question about thinking ahead a few years and looking back on ourselves now. It’s almost too hypothetical, but I’d imagine in a few years, I will look back on this time and think about how crazy it was. Think about how far I’ve come and how it’s a distant memory that I was even agonizing so much about a relationship ending. Honestly, in a few years, I probably won’t think about it much at all. It’s weird to think that right now, but that’s how time and memory work. I’ll probably also think back fondly on the affair but also think about how lucky I was to have gotten out. Your quote from the Dalai Lama is something that you can only appreciate in hindsight. When you’re in the thick of it, no one can tell you that not getting what you want is the best for you. But, now? Of course, I know that it’s fortunate that he and I got out of the affair without our spouses finding out. Or our bosses finding out. If I thought the affair ending was devastating, that doesn’t even compare to how devastating it would have been to lose my marriage or my job. Both of those are definitely more important to me than my affair. I try to remind myself of that as often as I can, that we were doing something very risky in continuing that affair and that I should be glad I got those good years with my MM and that we got out without destroying our marriages or our spouses (through them finding out). Knowing the hurt I feel with the affair ending, I would have hated to have my H go through that if he had found out about my affair. I know my MM had similar worries about his W and children finding out.

      I think you mentioned that you’re still talking to your ex-MM. It sounds like that’s just the last step for you, to finally cut him out of your life entirely and stop talking to him for good. Hopefully, in another few years, you can look back to how you cut him out forever.

  • Nomad

    Felk, Sophie, Kub, Lara, This too shall pass

    I am very grateful to all of you who have spoken to me when I reached out to you at my lowest, weakest and darkest, right after hearing those 2 shattering words from him “It’s Over” face to face, eye to eye. I have been feeling emotionally and physically weak since then. There was no tears since we parted until this morning, two mornings later, when I was changing my bedsheets, I burst into tears suddenly. So suddenly. The pain, the tension, the fear and the ache, both emotional and physical are so real and raw. I am so scared that I will start to hope again after all these feelings faded in weeks to come. When we kissed and hugged before i boarded the cab, he told me I was tempting him and he was getting a reaction. A glimpse of hope I felt. But I know he would let it pass rationally and would be proud of himself to won over the addiction. Yes… the healing has started and is going to be very slow. I have saved all your precious and encouraging words so that I could read them in days to come. I will replay that scene whereby he said to me “It’s over” and how i was shivering and shattering inside me. I will remind myself repeatedly that he is gone forever and I am thankful for the clear closure that he has given me. I supposed deep down I would want him to celebrate my birthday in few weeks time but that night I told him fine, we would keep contact to minimal and limited to work, no more hoping that he would return or celebrate my birthday with me.

    I am flying tomorrow. It is an impossible situation for me now. We are all here not because we do not know what to do. We are here because we need support, encouragement and understanding to go on… some of us still stuck the vicious cycle, some of us are healing, some of us thought we are done healing and ready and underestimated that one look, one “harmless” text, but one thing is clear, affair is an impossible situation and the breakthrough usually comes from mm, when they decided they had enough, stakes are high, not worth the risk, they showed you directly or indirectly that they actually wanted to end but too selfish and greedy to do so. Until they experienced that actually they could do it then they went ahead to do it, leaving you behind in shock, sadness, void, and devastation. These are my thoughts aloud…he has already made moving on so easy for me, I know I’m “fortunate” amongst us.

    I love you all, all of you are so real to me and perhaps one day we should meet up somewhere midway…

    • Felk

      Nomad, there is so much honesty and clarity in this post. I know you are shattered and hurting. The word I used for myself back when he ended it in September was “broken.” I felt broken for months. Not just my “heart,” all of me. But I don’t feel that anymore. For months now, I’ve felt stronger and I continue to get stronger. It takes time. You know that, but it takes realizations like the one you typed here. It takes those realizations over and over for a while. You have to keep telling yourself all the things you said about the relationship being over, about the vicious cycle, and about the impossible situation an affair is. And tell yourself the other things about how you tried your best and he tried his best and how an affair just cannot end happy. No one is at fault (except the two people for getting into an affair!). He loved you and you loved him. But you have spouses and it’s a mess. So, yes, for those of us MW on here, it seems that our MM feel the guilt more than we do and they pull away and try to end it for a while until they get up the courage/strength to finally end it. It seems MM feel more guilt about not providing at home (and I think they are failing in the bedroom and that really bothers them), and I think MM have a harder time “multi-tasking” with emotions where I think MW find it easier to do both relationships. Whatever it is, the MM have a harder time and usually get overwhelmed first and need to pull away. But we’re all left devastated. They don’t leave us “behind.” My MM is having a hell of a hard time getting over us and moving on. And your MM is, too. I am SO glad you were able to realize, though, that his comments at the cab about feeling temptation and getting a reaction were comments that he would let pass and he would not act on… and he would feel proud that he was staying strong and avoiding temptation. My MM does the EXACT same thing. He feels temptation, he acts on it a little, but then he reminds himself that he must focus on his family and move on and break the addiction. And he feels proud of himself for staying strong. There is nothing wrong with any of this. These men are not evil. They are trying to break an addiction just as we are. Think of all the times we feel proud for staying strong?

      It’s good that you’re going out of town tomorrow. Distance is only helpful in this situation. It’s a long, hard road. There is no waking up and suddenly being over it all. But, at some point in the future, you will be over it all and you will know it.

  • FedUpAndOverIt...

    Ive posted here a few times…but I can’t remember my user name…lol… so this is my new one…my ex-mm refuses to pick up his suitcase…he ignores my text to pick it up…I’m finally going to block his number and throw it away…Cuz clearly he doesn’t need it…I’ve had it for almost a year!!! He keeps saying it’s a gift…mind you he literally lives 3 minutes away…

    I’m so over him to the point that I want to throw up when I think about our affair…I think to myself like what the hell was I thinking dealing with this loser…he’s nothing special…I must of been under some spell…smh…

    • Nomad

      Are you saying these because you are hot headed now? Wait till he has had enough and never return… what do you think you will feel? Relieved?

      • FedUpAndOverIt...

        I’m not hot headed at all…it took me a long time to get to this point…and I couldn’t be happier…it’s the best feeling!! I feel free!! I could care less if he never returns…I actually don’t want to speak to him ever again…. it took about 6 to 8 months to completely get over him…

        I threw his suitcase out this morning…he clearly doesn’t need it…he’ll probably be upset…but guess what I really don’t care…I gave him enough chances to come pick it up…..oh well…he can buy another one…

        • Felk

          Fedupandoverit, you sound so strong and sure. I want to get to that point. I’m at almost 7 months post-break-up, and I’m feeling stronger and stronger. I still have set-backs, but I’m closer to acceptance about it all ending, it being a good thing that it ended, and just wanting to get on with my life without him. Great to hear you’re there.

  • J

    Hello ladies,
    I haven’t seen my mm in 5 days. I had it once and for all when he said he wasn’t sure if he could make our workout routine that we’ve been doing for 2 years. His wife refused for years but suddenly decided she’d try it. Which she despises and he’s forcing her to do in the hopes that she will lose weight. But none of that is my problem anymore. I feel it’s different this time. Maybe I finally reached my limit. I told him let’s just stop everything. He’s still been texting me quite often and truthfully I’ve answered when I feel like it. But I’ve been trying to retrain my brain to focus my thinking on this new flirtation. The guy is making me feel really good again, smiling, feeling beautiful and wanted. Not like some source of stress as mm was making me feel. Mm told me he loves me today a few times and how much I excite him. Yet the other day he didn’t want to be sinful. What a liar. So, I told him my husband is away on a business trip and that I bought some new lingerie, just to see how against sinful behavior he is. Guess what? He took the bait, yup, he was all over it. So, I think this cycle could repeat over and over. But I decided I don’t want it to. Yes I still love him, but it’s not worth the pain anymore. I’m so sick of wondering what mood he will be in, wondering if he’s going to tell me he’s working on his marriage, wondering how he’s going to act after church. I’m sick of hearing about his wife and I’m so sick of him saying his wife could possibly be attractive again if she lost weight. So, fine, go be with your wife. Try to be happy without me. I’m so sure he will not be happy, all of their problems will resurface without the bandaid I was providing. He even told me once that he has so many laughs with me that when he goes home he jokes around more. Why should I be enabling that?! This new guy has helped me tons. I can’t tell you enough. I’ve been feeling happier and lighter again. He helped me see that my relationship with mm will never be what I want again, what it was for the first 1.5 years. Never. I wish my H could be the man that I was focusing on, but he just can’t be for some reason. As I’ve said, I don’t know if this is the healthiest of solutions, and I don’t want to take it far or have another full blown affair, but for now it beats crying my eyes out in the shower and in my car everyday. I wonder how long mm will keep texting me? Will he see my new attitude and desperately try to win me back one last time?

    • Lois

      Wow J…preach sister because I’m feeling the same way. I’m tired of worrying and wondering. Honestly I don’t know what is worse my mm who will not say anything about his feelings. .I have no clue what is going on in his head except he needs space because of feeling like a hipocrite over his daughter. Who knows the truth. I’ve tried to be somewhat civil and a few times flirted to test the waters and wouldn’t take the bait. Then you have yours that spills his feelings. Boh leaves us miserable but not sure which is worse or if it even matters because I am exhausted. I’m doing okay this afternoo and truly hope it continues. Sort of like you j, there’s a couple of guy friends who I have been texting and chatting with one of them knows mm but has no clue of mm and I relationship which has helped because he sees right through mm and told me today that is speaks out of both side of his mouth. So this is reinforcing me to get our and stay out. Honestly, I’m not losing anything because we are together maybe an hour a week if that to be ignored or Mia or need space. Better yet, these last two months we’ve been together about every week or other week for about 30 minutes maybe 45. Prior to this is about once a month because of the guilt morally wrong…blah blah blah. He’s the one that will miss my sweet chats, chasing after him, finding treats on his desk, etc. It sure wasn’t reciprocated. I wish you the best of luck and hope both of journeys have come to an abrupt stop.

    • Thistooshallpass

      Hi J,
      Your sounds very similar to mine. He too has an overweight wife that is like 100 lbs overweight. Not to sound narcissistic but I’m 5’2″ and 110 lbs. Best of luck going from this to that. I’m far from perfect so please don’t mistake my words for arrogance. I just wanted to prove a point and ease my broken heart. Anyhow, we’ve totally been a bandaid to the space at home. I’m not here to repair someone’s mediocre relationship and you can’t help but feel used. I’m online trying to meet other guys and you’re right that attention from other men does help ease the pain of letting go. Affairs are one hell of a rollercoaster. Both sides have bipolar behavior and unpredictable mood swings. I include myself because it was such a juxtaposition of emotions. IDK why but today I’m itching to contact my mm. I won’t. It’ll push me back into the depths of despair. God bless and good luck moving forward.

  • Nomad

    Dear all

    Any words would give me the strength to live….

    Blocked his no since 8Mar after the last time in the room.
    He has never reached out since then. I have been trying hard to live normally, let it be, keep myself busy and distracted. Gotvused to no missed calls.

    Recently was in contact due to bbq and random work.
    I’ve seen therapist once to update my progress and download my struggle and pain. My work has suffered even more and I’m leaving for the work trip this sun, unprepared. I feel that I could collapse anytime.

    Few days ago
    Just saw emails that he has been assigned working on my project till end Jun. He started to send me work related emails sounding professional and working. Hate it to the max! I hate to see that he could work with me with indifference.

    1hr ago
    We met for work discussion and led to some reality checks talk. It is clear that he has moved on though he still misses me but not enough for him to risk his stakes.

    I told him it’s hard for me. Working together is hard. Seeing him is hard. I told him we are in an impossible situation and healing is very slow. I asked if we have ended; shall we continue. He said he’s happy with the way things are. No guilt and no fear and no mental stress. He’s clearly saying we have ended. I told him I missed him. I missed the sex. But nothing can make him want me or us. I exhausted my baits. I then feel guilty of showing hands, betraying my husband. Why didn’t the guilt stopped me from trying to get mm back? But after I failed then I’m slapped with guilt.

    I asked shall we go to the room. He said he’s tempted but it would be very difficult for me so better not go. He now knows I’m still stuck but offered no relief. He knows I’m still vulnerable so it’s better that he ran away. He said he has been able to let these moments of temptation passed by him. Yes, I’ve just showed him that I’ve lost control of myself and I’m still suffering. So what? I’m being honest with my feelings and knowing that he will not take advantage. In fact, knowing my real emotional and mental state would enable him to help me better now that he’s the rational one. He knows it’s hard for me. I thank him for making things easier by not reaching out. In a way I’m relieved that I bare my thoughts to him so that I get the answers from his words and body language – the reality check – that distance has sobered him instead of wanting us. In another way, I felt angry for being such a loser.

    I’m feeling the pain and tension all over again but I needed this reality check to kill my hope that was building up over time and distance. Every day I self talk to accept that it’s over and I’m healing. Just that spur of moment, I lost control and pride.

    How to hit rock bottom and convince myself that this affair is dead. Dead a month ago. Sick a year ago.

    What shall I do now? How should I be thinking? It’s worse than grieving a loved one who is dead.

    • Nomad

      I don’t know why I called him but it led to us having coffee after work. Most of time we were silent. I looked at him, heart sinking. I asked him to look into my eyes and said to me it’s over. He did.

      We talked about days ahead, what should I expect. It will be minimal contact on work related. If he calls my desk, I’ll pick up because it’s work related. I asked if he’ll be celebrating my birthday. He hesitated. He wasn’t sure. He didn’t want to disrupt me. I told him I’m flying off this sun for wk. He said he felt sick thinking of my husband and I. He said he hasn’t slept with wife and didn’t come close to any female colleagues. He said I’m his last. He said he’s preoccupied about making more money to provide for family for survival. He’s no longer in the mood of love and he doesn’t want all the draining drama which is detrimental to his mental health. I listened carefully and internalized his parting words. I hope this time I’ll not look back.

      I know I could’ve died of embarrassment but I needed this rock bottom. I needed this closure. Whatever happened today, it’s enough to kill my hope. Yes it’s no longer his fault. Yes it’s embarrassing. I’m the loser. I needed this reality check against my imagination that absence made his heart grew fonder.

      • Felk

        Nomad, I hope you continue to get some closure and motivation to move on from these conversations. I know it’s hard to hear directly that it’s over, but it’s also helpful to hear directly that it’s over. My MM and I went through months of mixed messages as we tried to deal with how much we missed each other while trying to break up. Those mixed messages are exactly that – mixed… so they lead to good and bad. They feel good initially and then they feel bad. And it’s the bad that I can’t keep going through. The good feels good temporarily and it tricks me into thinking that he and I have this figured out and then it feels bad all over again. I can’t keep feeling that pain. And the only way to stop it is to recognize that my time with him is causing it. My time with him is making me want more and reminding me of the good times. And since we can’t have more, I eventually feel bad all over again. So, the way to stop that is to stop contact. It’s the only way for now. I need to get to a much stronger place mentally before I can spend that kind of time with him. And I am getting stronger over time. I can feel it. But I also feel too much pain still, and I want that to stop. And if I want it to stop, I have to make the choices that I know will stop it. And I know he knows that reduced contact is the solution, too. I know he’s trying that also. I know he’s also scared to cut off our contact and he misses me and that’s why he continues to agree to spend time with me when I ask. He rarely asks, though. And I have to pay attention to that, too. I can tell that he is putting more effort into moving on. And, like your MM, we need to read those signals. It motivates me to try harder to move on, too.

        And it’s good you got the reality check that absence did not make his heart grow fonder. I looked for that with my MM, too. For months and through the mixed messages, I thought my absence would lead him to realize that he wanted to be with me. But, no. What it seems to have led him to realize is that he needs to try harder to get over me. He knows he’s still in love. He knows he still misses me. And I think those feelings just make him want distance more to try to get over me. He, like your MM, has decided to focus on his family. It’s understandable. And, if I can ask the hard question, why do you keep trying to tempt him away from that decision? I’m not trying to make you feel worse, but maybe it would help if you recognized that it’s unfair to keep trying to tempt him away from a decision that’s good for him and his family? I know you’re in pain and you want him with you, but he has repeatedly said that he wants to focus on providing for his family. I’m sure he’s hurting and he misses you. That seems clear to me. One of the things that has helped me give distance to my MM through all of this is recognizing that he needs that. Recognizing that he needs me to be strong, too. He needs me not to tempt him and push him. There are times over these months, as you know, where my MM and I have had sex, where we’ve kissed, held hands, and generally said close, loving things to each other. But, after those times, I know he feels worse, just like I do, and why would I want to keep doing that to him? It is not in my nature (to sacrifice for another), but part of my thinking through this is trying to do what’s right for him. It helps me to think that I have to move on because I know he’s in turmoil and I don’t want that. Not only will that not work for our affair (and it’s what led to him ending it), but I don’t want him in pain. Your MM will likely not agree to go to a room with you on your birthday, but, if he did, what good does that do? It will make him feel worse. It will make him feel regret and guilt. And then he’ll go MIA again. And it will hurt you all over again. Please recognize that prolonging this only hurts both of you more.

        • Nomad

          Hi Felk
          Help me to understand.
          You know his decision and his struggle yet there were still mixed signals, sex (that relapse you had in Jan) and physical closeness. Did you tempt him away from that decision? Else how did the mixed signals and relapse happened? If only you can be stronger to enforce NC? is that the situation for your story?

          Good question why I tempted him, just when I thought I’m done with him after NC, yet whenever he reached out or we met (work related), all it took was an eye contact and we would end up washing and rinsing. However, during the last chat, he said I didn’t meant it when I wanted to kiss him. He said I wanted to test him if he could hold back. Honestly, I wanted to kiss him and make love. His perception caused him to resist temptation and of course I was slapped with embarrassment. I know you won’t judge me as a And person who kept tempting him, holding him back, desperately trying to keep him by my side. I’ve let go my pride. I tempted him because I wasn’t rational, I just wanted him so badly now that he’s right there in front of me. As much as I could, I avoided him. I started to work from home more often. He asked if I did it on purpose to avoid him (he thought I checked his calendar and planned my schedule to avoid him, knowing the days he’d pop by my office). I acknowledge that I’m ready so I avoided as much as I could. But the moment I saw him, I’ve lost it.

          • Felk

            Hi Nomad, For my MM and I, NC hasn’t been an option. Because we work together and have been trying to be friends, we’ve never done NC during our break-up. You know that we’ve spent time together many times outside of work during our break-up. So, I think the relapses happened because neither one of us was ready for a cold turkey break-up. The sex that happened was at his initiation, but it definitely was mutual. I think he sends mixed signals simply because it’s hard to end a relationship with someone you’re in love with. He mostly doesn’t send mixed signals, and he’s getting better at not sending them, but he can’t let go 100% yet. I also don’t want full NC. I never have. I’ve said that on here. I know that distance is important for moving on, but since we work together, we can’t go full NC. He and I are trying to be friends, and it will work. It’s just hard. It’s hard to be in love with someone and know you can only have a friendship, but I’d rather be his friend than nothing at all. I just know that I have to work harder to put distance between us so that a friendship really can work. It’s really hard.

            That’s great that you’re working from home more often. Avoiding your MM is key. I know how hard it is to see him. I see him everyday at work and it reminds me every time of how good we were together. But, I really do feel stronger over time. I know that he and I will get to a point where we are able to be “just friends.”

        • Nomad

          Hi Felk,
          We’ve agreed it’s over and contact limited to work matters. We agreed not to celebrate my birthday because we talked about the aftermath and he didn’t want to go there. We are in good hands as far as closure of this affair is concerned. The rest is up to me, my own healing and recovery, it’s no longer his fault if I’m still stuck. Can I give you my word that I’ll stop tempting him? If he’s cool then so will I. Fake it till I make it. Unless… unless he says to me he’s taking back his words and he doesn’t want it to be over. But I know deep down, he will not. I fear that he’s developing guilt towards me and just obliged me. I do not want that. So let’s just leave it as it’s over. Even if he reaches out few months down the road, I need to Remind And Caution myself that’s it means nothing, we were over. I’ll work harder on my credibility (he knows I’ve lost it)

          Felk, good questions you’ve asked which forces me to dig deeper…why I can’t let go, what do I want from him or the affair, why I block/nc yet keep tempting him whenever he’s physically close. Both our mm, unlike others, have decided, mine has even showed that he has moved on, no sending of mixed signals to me since feb (he last initiated to meet after work after longest nc), why am I still here.

          I am clear about not tempting him and no sex on my birthday. I’ll breathe in IT’S OVER and I’ll breathe out IT’S OVER. I’ll get it soon.

    • Kub

      Hello Nomad

      I loved your honesty. Even writing about your defeat is hard but meaningful.
      To be completely honest to you, which I think what you need right now is this, his behavior is the best thing he can do to you. There is this fact, if a relationship is over then it means that something is wrong. Otherwise it would not end. So I suggest you to hold on this fact at first. Something was wrong in your relationship and at the end, it ended.
      And I think his distance is the greatest way to kill your hopes for him and move on! A clear closure. Believe me, this is the one that keep pain constant. Not having a decent closure. You have it. In my situation my mm never wanted things to end and he kept coming even though I told him the otherwise many times. And after a point I let my guard down, too and I had a time when I started to get used to break up but now I am again in square 1. Not blaming him, myself but not having a closure is the biggest drawback in front of moving on.
      I know you can not see the thing as a bless to you. But after a while, especially after you start to feel good about this break up you will realize that you are really lucky.
      I am putting a link here, a speech from TedX. Please. Please listen 🙂 You will feel really good;

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0GQSJrpVhM

      Take care

      • Nomad

        Thank you Kub and don’t envy me *smile* that I got my clear and decent closure. (You know somehow I envy that you still have access to your mm, it is bittersweet)

    • Felk

      Nomad, My first and strongest advice is to keep seeing your therapist. I cannot stress this enough. If you are already seeing a therapist, then you have someone familiar with your situation who can help. You need an objective and trained viewpoint to help you through this. We can tell you about our situation and give you some encouragement long-distance, but this cannot replace therapy.

      I am glad that you got to talk to your MM again, and hopefully that will help you work towards closure. I know that the hardest part of this is thinking that your MM is just able to drop you from his life. For me, it is the hardest reality to accept that my MM didn’t want us enough and that he prefers our situation now to what we were before. But that’s the reality. As your MM says, it was just causing too much stress/guilty/fear for them and they made a choice. It hurts. It really, really hurts. You know I know. And you know for me the hurt isn’t really jealousy. I’m not jealous of his W. The hurt for me is that I don’t have access to him the way I used to. I miss him. And the hurt is that he doesn’t want to come to me the way he used to. It’s so rejecting. But your MM has been honest with you and my MM has been honest with me, and they are telling us that the affair was too hard and that they no longer want the stress. The rejection is excruciating, but as best you can you have to try to accept that it wasn’t working for him. Affairs are very difficult, so how can we fault our MM for not being able to do it? Humans are not built this way. We are not built to maintain two relationships like this. Yes, you and I were willing to keep at the affair because we thought it was worth it, but our marriages were suffering and we weren’t treating our Hs well. We cannot ignore that part. I don’t think my marriage was suffering as much as my MM’s was, but I was pulling away from my H and it was unfair to him. I was selfish and cold and my H put up with it all. And I know I am fortunate that he did not find out or did not find someone else because I was so cold to him over those years. I don’t want to lose my H. I was not willing to give up my H for my MM and I think he knew that, and I think that’s part of why we had to end. Remind yourself over and over that affairs are doomed. We cannot sustain them at the level we want. It becomes too intense. Your MM needed to leave for his sanity. For his well-being. He could no longer do the affair. I can’t just talk you into this, though. Please talk to a therapist who can help you understand this and talk it through with you.

      Right now, it’s hard to see past how much you miss him and the void left by his absence, but you will start to fill that void slowly with your life. I think you’ve mentioned you have kids. It seems that could draw your focus as well. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer besides distance and time. This is not easy for your MM. He did not just drop you and forget about you. Those thoughts will destroy you. Those thoughts will linger and tear you down, but they are not true. He chose his health and the health of his marriage. That’s it. He cannot just forget you overnight. My MM is still in love with me. He told me this last week. He told me he thinks about me all of the time. I tell you this to let you know that your MM does not just forget about you. But, they are choosing their other life, their marriage, and their kids. This is a good choice. Deep down you know this. You know this is best for his children and for his mental health. You know the difficulty of an affair and how could we wish that on anyone? How could we fault someone for wanting to stop? I still am sad almost every day. I’d imagine my MM is, too. But he is choosing to accept that sadness over the guilt/fear/tension he was feeling every day with his marriage when the affair was on-going. He was in a terrible position and had to choose between two bad things. He told me this when he ended our relationship. But he was at the point where he had to make a change. I understand this. Yet it still hurts. So, I slowly try to understand and try to find my life again (without my MM).

      Right now, we are absorbed in our own self-pity. We are sad that we were rejected. We are sad that we are no longer experiencing those great highs in the affair. We are coming down from the addiction. The ONLY way to fight addiction is abstinence. You have to stay away from the addictive substance. Distance, distance, distance. For those of us who work together, this is brutal. But we can make choices to put more distance between us and our MM, and that is what I’m doing. It is slow. It is hard. But it will work.

      • Nomad

        Hi Felk,
        You nailed it. The hardest part is MM didn’t want us enough. For me, it is also the part to accept that reality that: I am losing him forever after all that we have been through; he would always come back but not anymore; I was forsaken after all; that he now said he must be crazy when he wanted us to last 10 years when we first started; I was actually his source of guilt, fear, unhappiness, drain, mental stress and he said he didn’t expect things to turn out THIS WAY (which way? I didn’t clarify…was it the way that I am being difficult to get rid of despite showing me and telling me that he has moved on, back to before us and he prefers the peace now? the way that he has messed up my life?

        Sorry… I tend to be negative in interpreting his intention and what he meant by THIS WAY. I asked what does he want me to do. He simply said he just wanted me to show that I am able to live normally and happily. How to show I asked? I told him to assume that I am living normally and happily then, I could sleep and eat. My marriage did not suffer on the surface. My H didn’t dream in his wildest dream that I was cheating. He knew I went for therapy but he has assumed that I have entered a new phase in life feeling stuck in mid life crisis. I am feeling down and insecure with friends and colleagues. We still hold hands, have coffee and talk like good old friends. Just that that I wanted the affection, attention, sex, prority and thrill that mm gave me. I have been there so I wanted that, just that.

        Even if I had been accomodating and settle for less, stretch the fantasy a little longer, what do I want out of it and what would I get in the end? whenever I think of you and Lara, after 5 or 10 years, what actually happened in the end? Like you, I am clear that we will not leave our H. Our guilt and fear are more manageable compared to mm. He is constantly struggling with guilt, fear and breaking into cold sweat of losing his family, kids and job.

        You nailed it when you said “they are telling us that the affair was too hard and that they no longer want the stress. The rejection is excruciating. ” they are brutally honest. He told me again that night that It would be me if we are not married to others. He told me I am his last woman. I asked him how would that help me? It is not his fault that I cannot accept the reality and I am left alone in the vicious cycle. Time and distance, time and distance, it’s over, it’s over, this too shall pass, this too shall pass… I am chanting these in my brain to fight off temptations to let him sneak into my thoughts.

        I am reminding myself over and over that affairs are doomed, impossible and hell difficult; reminding myself that he said to me “IT’S OVER” and the closure cannot be clearer that crystal clear. We lost our sanity, morals and control and he went ahead to regain them. It is up to me now. He could no longer do the affair, he just want to discard this episode that tainted his life. On that ground, he has been kind to me, patient with me, trying to see how he could ease my pain, agreeing to meet me, hearing me, making things easier by not reaching out etc. when he actually doesn’t owe me any explanation or closure because this is an affair. It was incidental.

        I am not sure if I can ever heal or feel happy and postive about my life again. It seems that I have gotten used to pain and it feels abnormal not to be in pain. It scares me. I threw away all the stuffs related to him, deleted all the photos, songs, drawings, quotes, messagse whatever that I could find and erase all traces of memories. This time, I have ensured that I really wiped out all traces. Prior to the final episode, I was still secretly keeping bits and pieces because I couldn’t bear to and i was still hoping. Yesterday I wore the new set of lingerie to work and I got over that mental block of only he could see me in it.

        Felk, I seriously wonder how are you finding your life again when you are still be there for him…he knows you are there when he needs you…we are sad to be rejected yet we have to put on a cool front to talk to him for work matters or trying to be nonchalant asking about how’s life? You said the only way to fight addiction is abstinence but I have the impression that you are not fighting addiction. You are not ready (I am worse) and you are letting things be. Therefore, it is damn hard and i am looking for answers in your story.

        Felk, I am grateful to you and I really grow to adore you as the pillar of this group for sharing, encouraging, being patient and empathtic and not judging. You understand the process and the cycles that all of us are stuck in and you are still with us today. Thank you and you are much more effective than the therapist.

    • Sophie

      Nomad, your last line, phew, was so intense. Showed the sheer control affairs of the heart can have on us. Listen, you are still in control Nomad. You haven’t stooped low because genuinely expressing your love for someone is not stooping low, it’s a courageous thing to do – you aren’t like this with anyone and everyone; he was special / he always will be. You just have to accept that you and he can never be on the same page and it is OK. Also, you never know his struggles; I think he cares for you, that said, you don’t have to search for that love and affection in every word that he says – detach yourself, accept that you have done the best that you could in the given circumstances. You are NOT a loser; that’s what you should be thinking Nomad. I’m really glad you look at him through the lens of gratitude – that’s genuine love – and you should be proud of yourself. You know, this Indian film which I saw recently had a beautiful dialogue – “my love is so complete that I don’t even need my lover to be around to love him till eternity. That’s the power of love; even if it is one-sided.” This really resonated with me; my ex MM told me quite clearly when I once genuinely tried to understand why he ghosted me within two hours of us spending time together – “there are only four-five people who fit in my daily schedule. Those are people I talk to. You are not one of them. It’s as simple as that.” Later, perhaps, to mask the piercing remark he said, “I don’t talk to my parents for weeks or even to some of my closest friends.” Anyway, since I am never articulate in front of him, I meekly accepted what he said; I should have said, but you do pick up the phone and talk to them, right? I don’t even get a birthday call or a private message on my birthday… there’s so much I should have said Nomad but I didn’t – and I realise one thing, when the exit of a relationship is not of your doing, a closure never happens. You will never feel a sense of calm because you will ALWAYS have something to say, things that you will realise minutes later after all the justifications are given – and , as Lara says, most of us put their feelings, their thoughts before ours. And that’s control – and that’s what we need to break and that’s where we’re all getting at 🙂 I should have been so upset about what he said (I was) but I was grateful that he came clean. Imagine, he will always be in my heart and on my mind even though I will never come in his “daily schedule”. Never. Like you, I told him, I loved him. He knows it. But that’s exactly what freaked out this man of two children and a lovely wife. But does that make me any LESSER? NO. Not at all. It’s just that we weren’t meant to be, and as hard as it sounds, it’s the truth and it’s alright. It’s the same with you – in his own way, he has cared for you. Now the priorities have shifted, it’s alright. You shift your priorities towards yourself. If you slip, be accepting of it but keep moving. KEEP MOVING. Like felk says, we have to accept its slow very slow healing. And thankfully all of us are in it together 🙂 PS: I did want to ask you how specifically the BBQ interaction have an after effect on you?

      • Nomad

        Sophie, thanks for the few powerful punches! I desperately needed to hear them from someone and you said it all, so forgiving, so comforting, so assuring, so calming – “you are still in control”, “it is OK.”, “it’s alright”, “detach yourself, accept that you have done the best that you could in the given circumstances. You are NOT a loser”, “be accepting of it but keep moving. KEEP MOVING.”,

        You asked specifically the BBQ interaction on 17 Mar, the after effect on me… I updated immediately after I left the bbq that he shows no sign of reaching out or I was his special someone. He acted casual and friendly to others. I initiated conversation with him but sensed he wasn’t keen or at ease. He avoided eye contact. I felt hurt. I went with a little hope that he might reached out and asked to meet after that. But he didn’t. In short, It’s better not to go. I only remembered the heartache after that. The next 2 wks was in contact due to work. Phone call, email and team meeting. Until 2 days ago, it was a one to one discussion to clarify issues before my business trip. It was me who initiated the coffee after work. I missed him. I wanted to find out where were we. He moved on while I was still hoping. So, he killed my hope. I’m amazed I’ve ways to rekindle the hope myself. This is bad…

    • J

      Hi Lois,
      Sorry for your pain. I’ve felt it too. And there are moments that I feel awful. And I do believe I love him and am addicted. We were also very in love, like Felk. But I must say forcing this flirtation has helped me quite a bit. At first I felt really guilty towards my mm. But then every time I felt pain, I started talking to this other guy. I know it sounds unhealthy to just replace him. But I felt I’d do anything at this point to get me through the pain. And this is helping me more than anything else ever has.

    • J

      Nomad, I’m so sorry. I know how awful it feels. I don’t know if you could possibly find someone new to flirt with. I know it sounds like I’m offering crazy advice, but the distraction is helping me so much. Just someone making me feel a little good sometimes.

      • Nomad

        No I can’t and I don’t want another … it has to be his smell and his kiss…

        I kept replaying the scene last night whereby he looked into my eyes and said IT’S OVER. Today, I grieve for losing him forever whenever I’m alone, couldn’t believe he could bring himself to say that and feel that… it can’t be more real than this soul crushing feeling… I hope to remember this hopeless feeling…days to weeks to months until I’ve fully accepted that he’s gone forever… it’s too hard for him…

        I’ve unblocked him because I trust that he’s determined to leave… to be control is no longer important to me now that I’ve lost it all.

    • lara

      Dear Nomad,
      First of all I hope you are feeling better than you did when you wrote this post. Clearly you were very very distraught. No man is worth this kind of despair. No man. You have to realize this first. No one not your husband not your MM and no one else have the power to deplete you like this. Unless you GIVE your power away. So first TAKE back your power NOW! Sit with yourself for a bit. BREATHE.
      Try to relax. Find some sooting music on youtube. Hindu chants have worked for me.
      Try this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps43KwRm6pQ.
      It is a beautiful mantra and has helped me heal a great deal from my exMM.
      And next you must find a power greater than this man to trust your deepest feelings with. If you like Jesus go with him. If you like the idea of Angels go with that. If you want a Divine Being go with that. Or do a mantra over and over. You need to know first that you and your life come from a greater source and YOU are the most important person in your life. Take back your power NOW.
      And put some kind of Spirit right by your side.
      When we take back our power and we we trust in something higher than ourselves and higher than any human especially the MM we can finally take a bit of distance from the MM. Is he/she really all that? Or have we allowed ourselves to get deluded? Is this person really worth all of our pain? Nope.
      So many of us here see the MM on a regular basis. We need to get away as much as humanly possible. Contact is excruciating especially if they have cooled towards us. We feel demeaned and abandoned. Nomad, I agree with you that we women, married or not, seem to have so many of the powerful emotions towards the married MAN. Maybe we are wired this way?

      You were so much better when you went away. Remember? You made so much progress then.
      Is there any way you can leave this job? Him working with you is torture for you. And your work is suffering. Can you get transferred to another department? Can you leave and find another good job?
      Felk asked me if I could move and the truth is No, not now. I make money from rentals in my building and I need this income and my situation will be extremely difficult to duplicate in another part of my city because I bought my house so long ago and it was very cheap back then.

      But I DID ponder the question (Thank you Felk). And I AM looking to go away this summer as much as possible when my exMM will be outdoors the most. I really do not want to see him. I really am sick of the relationship we once had and do not want to engage with him anymore. I am DONE. I am so DONE. For me: Enough is Enough.
      Nomad, Think about taking space. Collect yourself and breathe and know that you are strong and beautiful. You do not need this man to tell you because inside yourself somewhere you already know this. I hope this helps you. Hugs Lara xx00

      • Nomad

        Lara Lara…

        I’m not sure if I’m feeling better or worse. I feel dead. I don’t know what’s going to happen next. I’m still trying hard to come to terms to accept that it’s over forever. Therapist said I must discard the should have and what if; I must enforce “Yes! I can!” mindset; I must think that I can take back the power and waste no time to start living a decent life. It’s not the end of the world. It’s the easiest phase now whereby mm has decided he has enough and he’s determined to move on. His mental health, his family and his high stakes. So, I must think for myself, my action plans, how to move on, how to circumvent my weaknesses, avoid the triggers. Suggestions like doing community work to help the needy, put a loving photo of my H & I to remind how blessed I’m and to deter from temptation; try to engage my H, do things together, therapist thinks I am able to do something to rekindle affection and romance and butterflies with my H. I told her no way. it’s just no way and I just know it’s no way. We are like best of friends. Family love. He couldn’t possibly give me what mm could. So, I was asked what exactly about mm that I cling on? He’s fading away since my last birthday and it’s soon a year of moving on and he’s reaching the end of the tunnel. Sorry for ranting… it’s my fault now.

        SLEEP BREATHE WORK I need to do all 3. It was few days when I read about you and used that to remind and caution myself not to reach out, not to respond no matter how harmless or justifiable the situation was. Yet, shortly after, I fell for the same quicksand.

        Yes i do feel demeaned and abandoned. It’s horrible to be rejected by mm.

        Yes I remembered my record breaking of 26 days nc in Jan-Feb. I couldn’t remember where or how I garner my strength, courage and determination but I am feeling all worn out and helpless especially now that I heard it loud and clear from him it’s over. I think I panicked whenever I sensed that he has moved on and I couldn’t deal with this disbelief and abandonment.

        I can’t leave my job and I just got a transfer last year else there would be more interaction than now which is on as-hoc basis. I opted for the transfer partly because it was an action plan after my birthday to end the affair, to reduce contact. A year on, I should say it helped him to wean off.

        I know you are healing too… much quicker and stronger each time. But, how are you feeling? Coping well? Fell, got up and dust off? As always, You give me hope and your words are much surer than what I needed to encourage myself. You are amazing!

        • Faith in the Future

          Hi Nomad, I’m sorry you are feeling bad at the moment. Your therapist may be right saying you need to adopt the ‘yes I can’ mindset but that is so much easier said than done. I think it’s important to recognise that it’s not a magic wand and you will not suddenly feel better because you get a new hobby or put a photo of your H in a frame. That’s just unrealistic. I guess the point is that you try and keep your brain occupied with other things as much as possible in an attempt to retrain it to think about other things naturally over time. It’s hard I know – I have just come back from vacation- have been surrounded by people all week and been busy enjoying myself and seeing new places so yes it has been easier. But guess what- I’m back home now in my every day surroundings with my every day life and I can feel my thoughts going to him more already.
          Nomad you have written some posts here where you have sounded really strong. You will get there again. This is just a blip – we all have them – I have more than I care to mention. Remember you are strong at your core – you have proved that. Getting a transfer at work so you see him less is a massive achievement, especially when you still have feelings for him. Try not to be so hard on yourself. You have come a long way.
          Hugs x

  • lara

    Is there an answer to this? “I feel for HIM BEFORE I feel for myself. This is my red flag moment.” (I am quitting myself here)
    I went to therapy today and brought it up. I learned how complex we all are. How many factors affect our thinking and emotions. Our past experiences color much of the automatic way we react to things in the present moment, ESPECIALLY with the most significant relationships we have.
    So yeah I got an idea about my inner dynamics. I might be trying to protect myself from feeling rage towards him. Or abandonment. Or both. Or I might be a true empath and can feel him before myself sometimes. Most likely “both/and”.
    If you are here stuck in a repetitive rut and you can not get out no matter how hard you try, I urge you to please get yourself to a therapist and try to enjoy the process. It does help A LOT!

    • Felk

      Hi Lara, I don’t consider myself high in empathy (maybe low-average), but I do like the challenge of trying to answer your question about feeling for him before you feel for yourself. I’d say that comes from the pleasure we get from helping others. We try to make others happy because it makes us happy. In other words, I think it’s all selfish. 🙂 Of course, I think it’s deeper than that, too, if we have low self-esteem. I think we can try to take care of others before we take care of ourselves if we haven’t learned to value ourselves more or if a relationship has degraded our sense of self-worth. We can become convinced that another’s issues are more important than our own after years and years of another demanding to be put first. We think by pleasing the other that person will find us valuable. We can start to get our value from their praise or love or some other reward. Narcs will do that to you.

      I think your therapist is also onto something, too, in suggesting that by “feeling him” first you are just trying to ignore dealing with feelings of your own. I would imagine we can talk ourselves into thinking it is quite nice to feel for another when, in reality, we simply don’t want to deal with our own crap. Like, the abandonment. We fill ourselves with them and convince ourselves that we’re doing a kind thing because we don’t want to face the reality of our own needs and asking for what we want. We convince ourselves it’s generous to sacrifice when it’s really that we’re scared to ask the other to (or we don’t think we have a right to ask).

      Or maybe it’s that we think by showing caring for another that will convince them of what a wonderful person we are and they will want to come back to us?

      And you know I’m just guessing. Just throwing some things out there to think about. I know you’re working it through, too.

      • lara

        Felk I can not thank you enough for your insights. They are very helpful! I would say in my case yes it does make me happy to make others happy. Is that as you say “selfish”? Well not really in my book but okay I can see what you would see that. :). But the deeper reasons are there too:
        “I think we can try to take care of others before we take care of ourselves if we haven’t learned to value ourselves more or if a relationship has degraded our sense of self-worth. We can become convinced that another’s issues are more important than our own after years and years of another demanding to be put first.” Somehow I see this behavior (which I own as well) as being more selfish in fact. But it’s a hidden kind of selfishness. Because becoming convinced that HIS issues (my ex MM) and other narcs in my life are more important than my own I take the position that I can help them. Meaning I am important enough and have enough power to help them. But it is a lie because I am not even taking care of myself. I also expect these others to recognize the sacrifices I am making. And I am so pissed when they are not impressed and I never get my “due”!
        Does this make sense? Of course I am talking about narcs here, and of course the dynamics are “off” as there is no normal give and take. But the other word for this is co-dependency and it exists in many other kinds of relationships as well. With my exMM I was all about me giving away all my power but alas expecting the narc to reciprocate in some way. This NEVER works of course. They never reciprocate due to their nature. I have been learning how to STOP however. Since I saw him hand in hand with his wife on my street, and I comprehended his ability to do that, I began to be able to begin to STOP. Theray HELPS of course too.

  • lois

    Ugh…why does this have to be so difficult? I am really struggling today and trying my best to put distance between us. It’s hard when you work together. I have moments of sadness and moments of hurt/anger. Thanks for listening.

    • Felk

      Lois, you know you’re just at the beginning, too. It’s going to be hard for a while. Really hard. The sadness and the missing are the worst. Just that void of wanting those good times with that person. Of course, I think distance is most important, but you may need some conversations and some closure before you’re really done. I know that with my MM we talked for two weeks about ending our relationship before we really ended it. And then, as you all know from reading what I write here, we’ve spent the next 6.5 months still talking about it all (with lots of distance in between talking, though). Now, I don’t recommend continuing to talk as much as he and I have, but I understand not being able to cut it off cold turkey and wanting to have conversations to get some closure. You can’t really get closure, though. This relationship didn’t start under normal circumstances and it doesn’t end under normal circumstances. Especially because you work together. So, what I mean by not getting closure is that you’re both still married to the same people. It’s not the closure of one relationship ending and then eventually you starting a new one with someone else. And it’s definitely not a relationship ending because it’s run its natural course. That’s the hardest part by far. The relationship ends because it got too hard to be in love and that is a painful reason to end. Think about it. You’re ending because things are getting too good. That was true in my case and it sounds true in your case, too, Lois. My MM and I ended because his desire to spend time with me, the distraction of our relationship, his feelings for me, etc. were hurting his marriage (and his kids). And hurting his marriage and his kids was hurting his sense of identity and how he felt about himself as a person (as it seems to be for your MM, too). So, we had to end our relationship as we were madly in love. Ouch. So, not saying that “normal” relationships do not end when people are in love, but often relationships end when they’ve run their natural course and people can feel it ending. My affair was at its peak at the beginning of last year and then it all changed as he realized he had to make a choice (i.e., the point of no return in his marriage). So, while we did go through months of him pulling away, there were still so many highs and so much closeness and we ended while we were very in love. (We’re still in love… sigh.) That’s pain.

      You’ve felt it before when he’s ended it, and so I do think it will be less painful for you this time, especially if you make some conscious choices to try to end it, too. But, it’s still going to hurt a lot early on. It’s so hard to know this person who you like so much is so near and you can’t have the relationship with them that you used to have. And you’re going to be tempted to spend time with that person and it will temporarily make you feel better and then it will feel worse. But, through that, we learn about how important the distance is. I still find it hard almost every day. But, it does get easier. And eventually it is nice to not have the roller coaster.

    • Nomad

      Lois… this is eating up 90% of my brain cells after my talk with him an hr ago and how on earth am I going to represent my company for a foreign exchange program!

      • Nomad

        Married men and women are wired soooooo differently! They could compartmentalise and prioritize.

        How am I going to accept that it is over forever? While I don’t see a forever with him but I can’t imagine losing him forever either!

    • Thistooshallpass

      Hi Lois and Nomad,

      I totally feel you on the work front. I briefly saw my mm today although I’m not sure if he saw me. I grabbed my tea and left the kitchenette without turning my head. Still, the brief sight of him sent my heart to the floor. Of course he looked very attractive too… sigh. Even though I put the final nail in the coffin the pain of the ending is so tangible. I miss IMing during the day, coffee breaks, lunches, walks, hugs, deep convos on the phone. I have to get my head out of the clouds and stay close to the sheer misery of the reality. The reality is we really only saw each other privately once a week. We were never together at night or on the weekends. He would call but only on his terms. I couldn’t just pick up the phone and dial whenever. Everything was so stifled by circumstances and the relationship felt incredibly suffocating. When I walked home today I tried to impress in my brain that I’m not losing much if I do the math. The numbers say it all. Together we’d spend 6 hour increments alone in a week and that was a good week. I don’t count office time bc that’s mandatory. We’d talk on the phone a couple hours and when apart we’d email. When I crunch the numbers that’s 5% of our waking hours alone, 2% on the phone and I’m not sure how to quantify email exchanges. You all get the gist here. While emotions often defy logic the numbers also paint a very real picture. I thought that this exercise might help others that feel a big void. Is it as big as we think? How much of a loss have we really incurred? While that time may have given you the most incredible rush of your lives a huge crash is sure to follow. I hope I’m not diminishing the emotional suffering we’re all going through. I want everyone to feel better, heal and recover. The process is brutal but like Felk said, even if you give yourself the temporary relief of time with him, you’ll feel worse afterward. “The only way out is through”. Stay the course…

      • Lois

        You said it well…really how much time do we spend with MM? LIke you, we didn’t see each at all off hours only at work. We never spoke on the telephone. We texted some when he felt like texted back…he never initiated it. We chatted through work chat only when I initiated it. So, what exactly would I be missing…30 to 45 minutes a week which has only been in the last two months before that it was may be that one a month. I’m fulfill his need when he’s in the mood. I’m tired and mentally drained but I’m so addicted to the good times and the sex. I’ve got to get through this and be done. Good luck.

      • lara

        Thistooshallpass, I LOVE your math! So true. And I can appreciate it as reality too. Its the reality of an affair. It is simply never ever enough! hugs Lara x0

        • Nomad

          He initiated most of the time. I blocked him most of the time. He threw crumbs like a text a day then a text every few days “have a nice day”, all these after he started to realize he could move on. He’s less addicted.

          In Jan, two lunches 2-3hrs, room 2hrs. In feb, suddenly pursuing via email to hear him out, room and chat 3hrs, phone call to Lure me back 30mins. Mar, room 2hrs days before his holiday and then bbq, after that work related, and recently 1hr chat in office meeting room followed by 2hrs at cafe. In between he was blocked so much that he got blocked 95% of the time since nov. so he said I prep him well for the end. So little contact yet 95% of those past 1yr I’ve lost so much sleep and myself.

      • Faith in the Future

        Thistooshallpass, this is something I have often thought about. I no longer work with my mm but when we did the amount of time we actually spent together was very little. We see each other even less now – admittedly that is because I’ve told him I don’t want to see him now but before then it would be for a few hours once a fortnight / once a week at best. The vast majority of our relationship takes place in my head. That is quite embarrassing to admit but it’s true. I spend far more time thinking about him, us, his wife, him, our situation, him etc etc than we have ever spent together. I never see him on my birthday, his birthday, any special occassion. We don’t go on vacation together, I’ve never met his family or friends. So what am I really losing? Not a real relationship that’s for sure. More like something I’ve built up in my head to be far bigger and more important than it ever should have been. I say this after coming home from vacation today – with my family and kids- the people who are truly in my life. Who does he go on vacation with? Oh yes, that would be his wife! The person who is truly in his life! Not me. Hard to swallow but true. My life hasn’t actually changed much day to day since nc. Other than I have less repetitive strain injury from constant texting back and forth. Says it all really doesn’t it! Hugs x

        • Nomad

          Hi FaithInTheFuture
          What you said was so true. It’s all in our head. Their life goes on. There was a public holiday and he said he had a great time at the movies followed by ice skating, he was so happy to see the priceless joy and fun beaming on his kids’ face.

          Yes we really have nothing much to lose because we haven’t been getting much. This morning at yoga, I suddenly felt that I’m done… it’s over and I released the hurt as I exhaled… sense of liberation… hopefully this strength is sustainable

          Let’s walk the healing journey together and we will get there… when they occupy lesser space in our head

      • Felk

        Thistooshallpass, I really liked your post. As someone who works with her ex-MM, I know the pain of seeing him. I still cannot see him without feeling complicated, tough feelings. I’d imagine it’s the same for him seeing me. When we got involved in this affair almost six years ago, we knew working together would make it complicated but there’s no way we predicted it would be this hard. We were naive and probably thought we’d never break-up! Ha. But, the comments you made about how little time we actually spent together during the week, even if you count chatting online or texting, for us, it was probably about 15 hours (about 13%). I remember my MM once did a calculation of this. I can’t remember what percentage he came up with, but I remember it was similarly low and he was making the point you are making about how absurd it is that we attempt a relationship with someone while spending so little time with them. He was also making the point of how hard it was to be away from someone you’re in love with for all of those hours and to attempt to put energy and focus elsewhere. My MM brought this up a lot – the reality of how little time we spent together relative to how much we spent in our “other lives.” I know this is one of the reasons he ended our relationship. It was too hard for him to keep wanting us through all of that time. He told me he felt bad a lot of the time, and he didn’t like that. He didn’t like how much he missed me when we were apart, and he didn’t like how it was affecting his time with his family. It is one of the reasons I didn’t fight the break up very much. I knew he was in greater turmoil the longer we continued. And I knew our relationship couldn’t be happy as he continued to feel worse about it all.

        You know I agree with what you said about the rush and the crash. I didn’t feel that as much during our relationship. I felt the rush for sure, but I didn’t crash much. I felt that he was pretty committed to us so I felt some security. It is now, in the break up, when I feel the rush and the crash. The crash is the withdrawal from him because I don’t have the same security in our relationship (because we no longer have that relationship). So, now, time spent with him leads to that rush and then I usually have days after where I miss him terribly. Thus, I am reducing the time spent with him even further. And I think he’s trying to do the same with me. It’s kind of funny to think about how he and I are trying to be friends (and we are) and how we also both know we need even less time together. And we’re both trying to be kind to the other and we’re both still holding on a little, and, well, I guess I can only smile sometimes about the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into.

  • lara

    To all of you beautiful ladies here my sincere THANK YOU’s to all of you! I got relief so quickly from all of you. I feel so blessed. I really do. I feel such warmth from all of you even without knowing you. As you can see Pain has its purpose. We are all brought here by pain but we all learn so many lessons don’t we? Felk, Lois, J, Sophie, This Too Shall Pass, Faith in the Future I will read your words again and again and know I am not alone. And know that all my healing (including my mistakes) do NOT go to waste. I can begin healing right now accepting I fell for the old tricks.

    He reached out with the beautiful dove gif on a platform he had never used before and I fell into the trap thinking it meant he still “CARED” about me. I sent back a “Peace” thinking I could leave it at that. But I could not! The dove got me to thinking that he “cared” about me and this made me so happy. So I still give his behavior “power” in my head. And unfortunately I get impulsive. I got to thinking I should respond in kind. (In other words in my mind, if he was being so “kind” should’t I say more to him than Peace”?? And then in my mind: “Maybe he is truly not a narc after all?” ) Ahem.

    Yet in all of this I was aware of how he chose not to contact me to say “I am sorry for going MIA when your son was in trouble.” No straightforward apologies ever from this man. Instead he sent a dove that says: “let’s just forget the past, ok?” This is his MO. In the past I always used to let the past go so he has reason to think this might work. Somehow in my “addict’s brain” the dove meant he “cared” and therefore all was right with the world. They call this “magical thinking”.

    This is what is brand new for me after yesterday: I can finally see he (like me) has low self esteem underneath it all, (just like me) not the bravado he shows the world. Not the high self-esteem I was attracted to and the suave self-assuraance. Underneath it all now I think he desperately needs our “relationship” to continue just like I used to. Only now I have changed and I am getting stronger and he is having his own difficulties with “us” ending.

    But my own empathy is my worst enemy when it comes to him because like I once said empaths and narcs go together like peanut butter and jelly. He sends the dove and it triggers in me the usual sympathetic/compassionate response which is unhealthy for me in this situation. This is unhealthy because I feel for HIM BEFORE I feel for myself. This is my red flag moment. And there on my floor while all this was happening was my favorite slogan again! “Make the choice to let go of negative thoughts”. What was it doing on the floor? It got my attention and I tried and tried to re-focus. But I was distraught at this point.

    I will bring this to my therapist tomorrow: my need to feel for others even before myself. I am sure she will say this is what I learned having a narc mother and that “I need to develop better boundaries”.
    I think I am getting the hang of this here?

    Yes I know he is a narc. But….I still want him to change. That is what I learned yesterday. I still want some kind of change in order for to feel that all those years with him were not just a useless waste of my precious time and energy. Without the usual anger at him the despair was much more palpable. The anger makes the bottom higher I think. Without the anger, down down I go. I had the feeling of being left alone in a snowstorm with few supplies to fend for myself. I needed him to say something about my health diagnosis to me, be there for me FOR ONCE (!), to FEEL me for once, to empathize with me. But he simply vanished.

    And what about my mother and my relationship with her? It is eerily very very very similar of course. The abandonment. The lack of true connection. blah blah blah. Looks like I will have plenty to tell my therapist tomorrow. She also tells me “growth” is very often: one step forward and two steps backwards. AARGHHHH

    • Sophie

      Very nice post, as always, Lara. The sentence, “I want him to change” struck me as profound. Like you, I have always wanted to “change” the situation, the person infront of me. Why? Stems from my childhood days too – my parents not having the best relationship or marriage and me figuring out even as a kid that I will do so much better than them. And yet, falling into a deeper pit. I was also told that though my education etc was for my good, the ultimate aim was to get married and raise a great family – that was my ticket to truly “arriving”. That’s so tragic na?! But I believed in it then and I was never real in front of my lovers (I was always dying to be really “nice” in a sugar saccharine way, not the real me. And while the false personality dwindled over time with some lovers, with others (whom I truly wanted), it just made me more confused about myself and fumble for words. With my ex MM this hightened awarenesss of not raising conflicts with him, fumbling and stuttering with him, has led to my downfall. (Thankfully, the downfall, as I now realise, was temporary), but when it hit me, it was really hard. Like someone had smacked me hard across my face. Lara, hope you keep feeling better. I’m happy to learn of the boys’ progress. Motherhood is a tough job but you are doing it with so much sincereity and thoroughness that they will benefit in the long run. I wish for your speedy recovery from your physical illness (most of it i’m Sure stemmed from how you have been feeling emotionally about things, and there’s no iota of doubt that you will do better very soon) and continued healing. All my love to you. Big Namaste from india and a warm hug.

      • lara

        Sophie you have done a great deal of deep thinking. Your exMM has brought some gifts and like you pointed out to all of us, these painful relationships are not without gifts. I feel for you when you say you were not completely yourself in several relationships. So many of the cultures we live in really favor the male’s identity development, not the female’s. Some days on this blog while I am reading, I feel as though I am witnessing, through the stories here, more of the same old examples of sexist and sometimes even misogynist attitudes and behaviors that exist all around us. I have no doubt an affair could feel like an “out” from all the pressure and expectations we face as women, particularly as a married women. (I was married once so I know.). And seeking one’s identity or exploring one’s identity in an affair could be a way to see another part of oneself. This would make the affair all that much more difficult to break off. I am very struck but the fact that you felt someone had struck you across the face. In a way for you that made things clearer and faster and that is a good thing. But I would wager you still need an “out” from the pressures of marriage and motherhood sometimes. Don’t we all? The trick is finding an “out” that is a little less devastating emotionally. But still feels exhilarating. Skydiving perhaps? Rock climbing? :). I do think we need to find our true passions (besides unavailable men) and indulge ourselves post-affair. They gave us a high for a reason. We have to find out that reason I think. Namaste from North America. xx00 Lara

  • J

    Hello ladies,
    Well things have ended with mm again. We had been doing well, and I was using my side flirtation to help me deal with bad feelings when we were apart. He had asked me to go to a room with him a few days before Easter. Which I did and we had an amazing, passionate time. Things remained good afterwards for a few days. He commented that our time was so amazing that how could he even think about being with his wife because it pales in comparison. But then came Good Friday and Holy Week. He went to church 3 days in a row and like Lois’s man, said he felt like a complete hypocrite. Also told me the devil influenced him to have sex with me. Even spoke at the 2 hour Easter mass. Though we were still together and he was still professing his love for me until yesterday. Well yesterday I asked him what workout would we be doing at the gym, he answered that his wife wants to start trying to workout so he may or may not be able to do it with me yesterday. I said what’s going on and he said I don’t know. Well I heard the uncertainty and flip flopping for the last time. I said let’s jusy stop everything then if you’re not sure. He said ok because he doesn’t want to be such a sinner anymore although he loves me. I told him I met someone else who thinks I’m amazing and wants to be with me (which is true), that I may still get divorced and just move on with my life. Mm said he doesn’t think he’s getting divorced and i said it wouldn’t even matter if you did at this point. He briefly tried to ask who it was, I told him it’s none of his concern and that this guy pointed out to me that I’m amazing and gorgeous and why am I being manipulated and fulled by mm. Which is all true, this new guy has been an awesome friend to me and I confided in him about mm, and he pointed out that mm is totally using me, sounds crazy talking about the devil, and how he just wants his cake and to eat it too. Well mm texted me a few times last night and I avoided him. I feel pretty good right now, maybe this new flirtation was the best thing for me. He helped me realize why devalue myself and allow this treatment. I’m positive I’m making my mm’s marriage better by seeing him. He’s taking all of his happiness, joy, excitement, and passion from me and then applying it at home. Plus his guilt is blinding him to their issues and he’s trying to overcompensate and be so kind to her. I’m done ladies. I think. I hope. I feel strong. But, as always, what do you think will happen? With mm, who himself even admitted he’s sick of the rollercoaster (that he created). Will he be back?

    • Sophie

      Leave him, J. Very good that you have decided to drop him forever. The devil is inside of him, that’s why he’s hurting you. He wants the best of both the worlds. I love your observation about how he uses all the positivity from you and then applies it home. You are beautiful and gorgeous. Wish him peace and detach yourself forever. 🙂 hugs.

      • lara

        J, I agree with what Sophie just said: leave him. He is no good for you. he even admits he is not leaving his wife. Let him deal with his marriage on his own. Don’t be a band-aid for his marriage! You deserve so much better than that. As for this new person J be careful! This sounds very complicated. You do not need more complications in your life. You need simplification. Another man in your life who also wants to be with you might be flattering and uplifting and something you can use to make your MM jealous. But in leaning on this new person you run new risks emotionally. He is a new person with an agenda of his own and you do not know him very well. He may turn out not to really have your best welfare in mind. He may see an angle in this for himself that does not ally with your won life goals. You after all, are in a fragile state of mind trying to leave your affair.
        And you must actually end the relationship with your MM and process that loss. Otherwise the new person and you will be stuck in limbo land. Is the new person married as well? Hugs Lara

    • lois

      Hey, J. I am so very proud of you. It’s difficult and share very similar situations. He wants to think that he has me fooled but I could tell days ago where he was ended with things. I even called him out in a text and of course, he got very defensive and made me feel like I had jumped to conclusions. I am looking back on things now, and I do not think conclusions were jumped. I think, it pissed him off because I was right. At least your MM takes you to a room, I have never been given that opportunity…it’s always at work after hours. These past few weeks, I have given our situation considerable thought and you know, he is the one that is going to miss me. What has he ever done for me…nothing! I have bring him little treats, tell me how good he looks, blahblahblah! Sorry, I am really angry today. Hang in there. You deserve better…we all do!!!!!!

      • lara

        Lois he was tying to break with you after all? If so you were right indeed and he sure went about it a cagey way. But I know you also work together and maybe he is trying to avoid fireworks in the workplace. I give you the same advice I just gave J: Leave him! He is not being good to you. You deserve more and have given him so many chances and so much patience.
        You are right: he is giving you nothing in exchange for you giving him adulation and treats!
        That sounds an awful lot like my exMM. You can do better I am sure! Ride your anger wave and try to get DISTANCE from him. Anger is motivating at least! Hugs Lara. xxxooo

        • Lois

          Hey, Lara. I was having a cup of coffee and thinking about everything. Instead of reaching out to mm, I started reading our posts again on this forum. When MM said he thought we needed to talk and I jumped to conclusion and told him I thought I knew what it was about. He replied I don’t think you do…then I replied it meant he wanted to end things. If you recall he got upset with me for jumping to conclusions. Well the other day when I questioned why he wanted to talk he said it was to see where we were on things. I’m confused why dI’d he get upset and act like I jumped to the wrong conclusion if he was struggling with the guilt and was going to tell me he needed more space. Do you think it’s because I was right about his intent and made him maf? I don’t know…just curious.

          • Felk

            Lois, you’ll drive yourself nuts trying to figure out what he originally meant and what he means now. What’s most important is what he’s saying now. Weeks ago, maybe he didn’t want to talk about the guilt he felt. Maybe it was something else. Who knows? You can’t change what happened. Nothing you said or did made him feel the guilt he now feels. He’s felt that all along. If he’s again thinking he needs space to deal with the guilt, then it would have happened anyway. From the outside, I see you in the same position I was in last year with my MM where he kept asking for space and I kept giving it, all along knowing he was pulling away and getting to a point where he could really end it. It seems like that’s what your MM is doing, too. I know that sucks to hear. I just don’t want to see you wait around for him to decide whether or not your relationship is worth it (like I did). Even if your MM takes some space and says he wants to continue the affair, how long will he do it? What will be the next thing that makes him feel guilty and leads him to need space (and hurt you in the process)?

            I know the waiting and hoping. I know giving him space to figure things out. And I know the pain that occurs during all of that. It hurts a lot of give the other space when you’re in a relationship. Especially to do it repeatedly. But when someone is asking for that much space, you have to be honest about what it means about the relationship. When our affair was good, my MM did not want much space. When our affair was strong, he tried to find as much time for us as possible (or he reassured me when he needed space, he told me he was committed to the relationship). Then, it changed and he needed more and more space to work on his marriage. That was the sign that our affair was over, yet I clung to hope. And, sure, he was giving a lot of mixed signals. He didn’t know what he wanted. He wanted both, but it wasn’t working. Your MM is probably in the same position. He doesn’t know what to do, but, indirectly, he is telling you what he wants. You know that. But I know how hard it is to give up. I know how strong the pull of the addiction is. It’s taking my MM and I 7 months now, post break-up, to continue to try to end this affair. We’re finally getting there. And it’s a long painful road so that’s why I always hope that you can make the strong choice to get out and stop the pain sooner.

    • Thistooshallpass

      Hi J,
      In the embarrassing number of times I’ve been on the rollercoaster ride they always come back. He’ll miss you and try to win you back. Remember your words about making his marriage better. He’ll feel the deficiencies and whatever else caused him to seek outside relations. I don’t know about your personal situation but it sounds like you have someone consistent and attractive for company. I can’t wait to replace my feelings for my mm with someone else (definitely not another married one).

    • Lois

      Hey, J. If you are like me, the hypocrite reason for not being with me are words only just another excuse. This time he did put a spin on it about how his daughter attended a church function which I think was a lie. She has a school dance that afternoon and couldn’t have been in two places. I saw the pictures on Facebook where amother parent posted. Then he said she signed purity contact and he has overwhelming guilt over me. Today has been a horrible day for and stooped to the lowest level by contacting him numerous times thru chat. I told him I missed him and blah blah blah. Oh yes, I can’t believe how pathetic I acted. I can’t do this anymore…so I blocked his number on my phone. He won’t text or contact me but it was a big step for me. Hoping tomorrow is better day. I totally understand how flirting with someone else distracts you from the hurt. Just be careful. How are you doing?

      • Felk

        Lois, you know my mantra is not to beat yourself up for trying to talk to your MM. It’s only been days fresh off of your talk about needing space. Who can blame you for trying to get some closeness? I’ve e-mailed and texted my MM plenty of times through these 6 months when I knew I shouldn’t. When it felt immediately pathetic afterwards. And my MM always responded with kindness, but he also usually did not initiate contact or prolong the contact. Despite some mixed signals, he has been good about being clear about what he wants. It sounds like your MM will do the same in that he will not contact you much. It hurts, but it helps. We need them to be clear so that we can move on. The mixed signals that my MM gave me during this break-up felt so good and then did the most damage by giving me hope. Mostly, though, he is clear. Maybe you need more clarity from your MM, but it sounds like the chats did not go as you had hoped (if you felt pathetic after).

        Try to be kind to yourself and recognize that you’re doing your best to get through a very tough situation. You are not pathetic. I know you feel that way (because I usually do, too, after contacting my MM), but it sounds like you tried to contact him in a reasonable way. I know I have done the same with my MM, and I know that I have not badgered him by any means. It is not pathetic to want closeness from someone who gave it for so long. But, of course, at some point, we do have to stop wanting that or, in the least, we have to stop asking for it. I know that I feel pathetic for still feeling for my MM. For still being in love. For still feeling sad. But, I also know that I am not pathetic for feeling these things. We were in a relationship for five years and ended while in love. I should feel sad for a while. I also should still be in love (especially because we work together). It’s just hard to not be over him yet. And that’s why I feel pathetic. I want to be done hurting. It feels like an indictment on my strength, but I know it takes a long time to heal after that many years of all of those highs.

        So, give yourself time. A lot of time.

        • Lois

          In the past, mm has ended things because of the guilt, etc. So I am confused this time because he didn’t come out and end things. I asked him if he just soace he needed and said yes for the time being. I don’t know maybe he can’t get up the nerve to end things after telling me for weeks things were good between us. Then I have to question the truth because he said his daughter attended this convention which triggered the purity ring that caused this overwhelming guilt and being a hypocrite. He doesn’t know that a friend if mine daughter went to a dance with his daughter the day of this supposed convention. So unless she went there in the morning and left early fro it she wasn’t there but there were pictures on facebook taken shortly after lunch. My gut and time frame of things tell me he lied again. However there’s a slim chance she attended both but don’t think so. His conscious didn’t bother him one evening when he needed to get home for father daughter dance with his twins. It’s like he has selective guilt instead of hearing. He claims to fill guilt over religious beliefs yet there are situations at work they kind of disapprove his credit ability there too. He’s a supervisor and will tell one employee what the other employee says about them. He promises things to people but not doesn’t follow through. It’s to the point that I am questioning the story about his daughter whereabouts because the time line doesn’t add up. I’m really confused because I truly don’t like lying and not good at it. He tells me how much he trusts me, yet he won’t tell me about his health. It’s just one thing after another…more like one flag after another. So now I am thinking does he even care or has that been fictious too. Amother guy at work told me today that mm is a phony and doesn’t follow through on his promises. He said mm burned him really bad and isn’t the person he claims to be. The other coworker who he had affair with says the same thing. Yet. I am so addicted and struggle to end it with him. I am hurt, aggravated and confused…but more than anything mentally exhausted. Oh and don’t forget his health issues. He has told some it’s a brain tumor…the one coworker he had affair with he told back in 2013 and here recently told her the tumor has grown causing his problems. The strange part she still has access to his personal calendar and he has dr appointment with Dr who specializes in digestive diseases. Other people have been told high blood pressure. Etc. So once again what’s the truth. He told me sometime ago he had ulcerative colitis which makes sense with his dr appointment and probably not a topic he’d feel comfortable talking to me about. I just don’t know the truth and question whether he ever did care about me or just another game to him. I’m doing okay this evening and hope it continues because feel it’s best to distance myself and hopefully break free from it. Would love to hear your thoughts on things. Thanks

          • Felk

            Hi Lois, Like I said in my other post, there were a number of times last year that my MM didn’t come right out and end things even though, in hindsight, he wanted to. He just wasn’t there yet mentally, but he was trying to get there. It seems your MM is in the same place. He knows he should end it. But he can’t bring himself to yet. He is addicted, too. Just like my MM, and it took him a while to end it. But, doesn’t it seem like your MM is on that path? If you’re honest about his signals and all the distance he’s creating between you two?

            As for his lies, I really don’t know what to make of them. It sounds like your coworkers are saying things about him that are consistent with what you know. That’s not good. And I don’t know about the lie about his daughter. That story is a bit confusing so maybe he’s just mixing details (because he doesn’t want to divulge too much), but the point could still be that the purity pact his daughter made has made him feel guilt all over again. I don’t think the details of that story matter. The fact that he hides his medical issues has been odd to me, but I know that my MM is very private about his life and doesn’t like to seem vulnerable. Maybe your MM is the same way? It’s not good. It’s not good for closeness or a relationship. I can understand why you’ve been hurt that he won’t share his medical details with you and he has with the other person he had an affair with. But, again, you are the one who has to choose whether or not to put up with how he’s treating you.

      • J

        Hi Lois,
        Sorry for your pain. I’ve felt it too. And there are moments that I feel awful. And I do believe I love him and am addicted. We were also very in love, like Felk. But I must say forcing this flirtation has helped me quite a bit. At first I felt really guilty towards my mm. But then every time I felt pain, I started talking to this other guy. I know it sounds unhealthy to just replace him. But I felt I’d do anything at this point to get me through the pain. And this is helping me more than anything else ever has.

  • lara

    I wish I could do over today. I really really do. I wish I made different choices.
    But nope. Instead here is the reality: I had an exchange with my exMM on the computer that has left me very hurt and very depressed all over again. I have broken NC and for what?
    It started yesterday evening when I was on FB and I saw a message. Since we have never EVER communicated on FB ever before I was not expecting to see a message from him but there it was. He sent an image of a beautiful dove leaving some outstretched hands and message that said “If you want to make it in this world you must reach out to those who care about you. And to me too, if you wish.” I felt calm at first. I had had a wonderful day with my family for Easter. I had gone to church, felt the presence of Jesus and was in a very good mood.
    So I decided to sent back a peace symbol.
    And so I did. And then I went to bed not thinking too much more about it. “Peace” is all I want.
    I slept on it and went about my day for a bit then I got to thinking maybe I was not being very “nice” to him. Bad move. I should have left well enough alone. He had not replied meaning I did not have to respond again.
    But I thought I should appreciate him a bit more for the thought and so I said:
    “Thank you for the thoughts. You have your own problems to deal with.”
    And I thought that would be it too. A nice end to the discussion right? Peace??
    Not for long.
    But I know better don’t I? I guess not.
    Now he wrote back “Who in this world does not have problems? And later he asked, “How are you?”
    I guess I should I have said “fine” and moved away from my keyboard.
    Instead I decided to be 100 per cent honest with him. My guard was down a bit.
    I shared with him that I was not well and that recently I had gotten a health diagnosis that was very overwhelming and depressing. (This is true but I have not shared it here). I explained that it was not a fatal condition but it was in fact life changing. (And it is)
    Now there was silence for 30 or 40 min or so. I waited and waited for the response.
    Finally he said, “Do you need anything?”
    I tried to make a joke. “A new life plan” is what I said.

    And then he went MIA. Again. OUCH.
    It was bad enough he went MIA when it came to my son this past January. Wasn’t it?
    Now to go MIA when I just shared this with him? Oh shoot me for being so stupid. For trusting him to tell him that. I walked by tonight and peered in the restaurant to see whether he was doing what I figured what he was doing. Yep playing cards with his buddy. Ouch ouch ouch. Now I have to deal with my broken emotions. My broken NC. And the fact that for the first time in my life, I really truly wish I had never met this man, let alone fallen in love with him. I really feel the whole relationship was just a giant waste of my precious time and energy.
    Your thoughts are greatly appreciated of course. I am really down tonight. Hugs Lara xxxooo

    • lara

      One more thing:
      For all of you reading my “heartfelt” words about finding your own bottom so you can quit the addiction:
      Guess what? I have found my new bottom: the lowest of lows. I sincerely hope you do not ever have to go this low.
      Another thing: I am more convinced than ever that I am dealing with a classic narcissist.
      Lastly: I blocked him on FB now too.
      At least this action brings a new smile to my face! (After a long and horrible day)
      hugs Lara. xoxo

      • Felk

        Lara, I’m sorry you had to go through it again. I’d imagine there’s no way to move away from your MM? Good that you blocked him on FB. But you know I understand the pull of that contact from him. How good it must have felt to have him say he cared. And I know how we can talk ourselves into more contact to be “nice.” I talk myself into contact under the guise of trying to be a normal friend often enough. But my MM and I don’t have a normal friendship. We aren’t close to that yet. And I don’t even know if it’s possible right now. I fear, like you, that I still have lows to hit. I fear that if I don’t get more distance between me and my MM or if I don’t set clearer boundaries (for myself) that I’m in danger of more sadness. Things are getting better, as I’ve posted on here over the last few months, but I can feel myself holding on still. And that keeps me in danger. I know the things I need to do to get more distance, and I’m too scared to make those choices. I’m trying, though. Talking to all of you keeps helping me.

      • lois

        Lara, it’s okay. Just mark it as lesson learned. Your NC has not been in vein because it helped many of us take the necessary steps to move toward getting off our emotional roller-coaster. I sincerely appreciate you sharing all of your trials and errors because it does help others like myself. Hang in there. Sending a big hug and lots of prayers.

      • J

        Lara, I’m so sorry for your heartache. Please take comfort in knowing what a wonderful and strong woman you are. You’ve helped so many of us on here. You are an extremely caring woman. Your mm is a sick individual that needs to drain your energy to feel good about himself. Your heart is beautiful. The way you’ve helped me on here when I’ve been at my lowest. I’ve been crying my eyes out and then your message made me feel better. I’m sorry about your health, but you’ll get through it. You beat your addictions and you’re strong enough to kick the **** out of anything! Lara, I don’t know you in person, but I know your heart from here over many months. And it’s gorgeous, anyone would be lucky to have you.

    • Sophie

      Lara, my precious girl, i’m Sending all of the positivity in my capacity to you. Please heal, keep healing. Y’know, we forget that quite possibly angels have their own struggles – sometimes the wings are overbearing, sometimes the magic wand is heavy. You have had wings which have given so many of us on this forum a sense of freedom with your guidance; and your magic wand has given so many of us a sense of peace and calm. Without realising, you have sorted out so many of my issues in the head and i’m Sure many others feel the same. But so many of us forgot to find out just how you were feeling; if you had had a rough day, if you were coping alright, if you were fine. I wish I had asked all of this before to you my friend. Lara, I know you by now, you will take this new found low into something so energising and positive – simply because you are a person who is a giver, a natural healer. You will embark on a new found journey of love, happiness, infinite good health and countless blessings. Your being down and out is a temporary feeling because I know you recognise how you have this innate mission and sensitivity to heal and comfort everyone else around you. Your task is tough my girl, it was always meant to be But that’s because no one other than you can pull it off better. Your MM, gosh, such an unlucky man to not know how many admirers you have all over the world. His loss, darling, not yours. Hope you feel better. How’s your son? Family members? Hope all are well? Sending you the tightest hugs 🙂

      • Sophie

        PS: Lara, have made up my mind to NOT attend the dinner on April 26. It isn’t worth it. Nothing triggered it; I just realised I am not as well prepared as I should be so best to avoid it.

        • Felk

          Sophie, I think this is really good idea if you know you’re not ready. I was thinking of asking my MM if he wanted to get a drink this week, and then I recognized that I’m not in a good mental place for that. There are times I’m feeling stronger and this week is not one of them, and I knew I’d end up feeling worse if we had a good time together getting a drink. So, I deleted the e-mail and decided I need more space. Unfortunately, one of the hardest things for us to do is give ourselves space from our MM, but it’s also one of the most important things that we can do for our own healing. I am getting better at recognizing that space is what I really need. I know we are sometimes desperate for time with our MM and so we take the quick high of the closeness with them over the pain that the space gives us; and I know we are also trying to get back to “normal” and show ourselves that our MM don’t affect us anymore, but it does no good to rush that. And it’s really great if you’re recognizing that for yourself.

          • lara

            Felk I really appreciate this words you wrote to Sophie as they apply to me too:
            “Unfortunately, one of the hardest things for us to do is give ourselves space from our MM, but it’s also one of the most important things that we can do for our own healing. (edit) I know we are sometimes desperate for time with our MM and so we take the quick high of the closeness with them over the pain that the space gives us; and I know we are also trying to get back to “normal” and show ourselves that our MM don’t affect us anymore, but it does no good to rush that.” You are so gentle with yourself in this process Felk! It really strikes me this way. You are so right about the “quick high” too. And the pain that is felt at first when one takes space from the MM. This inspires me I must say. You also seem quite calm and logical. I think I have said this to you before. 🙂

            I think I am very hard on myself in the process because it is so obvious to me now that my exMM is not a man I could ever be truly happy with even if he was single and we were together. A classic narcissist can not love me in the way I dream he could. Why do I get to dreaming he or things could be different? But my emotions real havoc with me and now I think his emotions are reaching havoc with him as well. They are just invisible. But enough is enough. I can not save this man from himself. I can not love this man into wellness. And he is Married! Duhhhhhh. His wife is the only one in any position to fulfill his needs. If she cant do that well then I say now “tough luck, buddy” and “I tried my best with you that I could and you ignored me anyhow!”

            I need psychic S P A C E from him. For me the NC is all about disengaging emotionally. In spring and summer my situation is not do different from working together in an office after all. S I got to get ready.

            But I must say one thing: I am not feeling the pain I used to feel in the space away from him. That pain is changing into pleasure at the new people and activities I have placed in my life instead. And my self esteem is rising not falling! When I have been proactive in doing other things and scheduling other things for myself, and making sure I have some fun, I actually feel less and less pain from the space away from him. I have zero desire to find a new man right now, or to distract myself with a new man. My feelings for my exMM are still too present even if they are fading.

            Hugs Lara xx00

          • Felk

            Lara, I think the most important part of what you wrote was the part at the end about how you know you feel less pain now. You can feel that it is better. I think this matters a lot. We can feel hopeless when we’re still in pain months later but the honesty is that it’s getting better and to recognize that is really powerful. It will continue to get better as we get more distance from our MM. Yes, you had a setback and you might have another one, but, thing is, you recognize that, too. I appreciate you saying that I’m gentle with myself. I think that I am, but as you know, I have hard days, too, and days of frustration where I wonder why I’m still feeling so bad. That happened over the weekend. It was another wake-up call to me to put even more distance between me and my MM. I think I continue to put pressure on myself to get over this faster than is possible. So, I try to eventually recognize that the process is going to be slow and I try to remind myself that this will still take more time. And I try to be realistic about how there will be setbacks, but I’m trying to prevent the setbacks more now. I know I need more distance. I know I need to e-mail and text less (and it’s already really low). I know I need to stop thinking about the next time I will see him or talk to him or, worse, spend time alone with him going for a drink or coffee. For a while, thinking about the next time was all that was keeping me sane and not completely miserable. Now that I know he wants our friendship and I trust that, I know that I need to stop thinking about the next time. There will be a next time. We will be friends. Now, thinking about the next time is keeping him on my mind and he needs to be removed from my thoughts as much as possible. It is sad, but much worse is keeping him in my thoughts and not getting the emotional space I need. And it’s not easy. I never want to make it sound like it is. I know the temptation of choosing time with him to ease the pain, but I’m getting much better at recognizing that time with him is still very dangerous and I need less of it. I have also learned that I can get tricked by some of the good time we spend together, thinking that we’re “okay” when the reality is that I’m still very in love (and he’s still very in love) and it usually leads me to want more (and him, too, and then he pulls away and it hurts more). So, I’m recognizing that space is what’s best for me and it’s been a hard truth to learn over these months.

            And you’re probably right about your MM having low self-esteem. Or rather, unstable self-esteem. Research on narcs says that they have inflated self-esteem that is built on a shaky foundation. Thus, their self-esteem is easily threatened. As narcs, we like others’ admiration and love and we are selfishly not willing to give our others too much out of fear that is takes away from us somehow. That’s the whole self-esteem threat thing. I recognize it in myself, and I recognized it in my MM. Now, I only see some narc tendencies in me and my MM (I don’t think we are full narcs). But I think those tendencies allow us to enter into an affair. Not only soaking up that admiration and love from another, but feeling the entitlement to another relationship even though we are married. I think there have to be some narc tendencies to cheat (long-term as we have) on a spouse. And as you’re recognizing in your MM, I think this insecurity can look strong on the surface. We can assert control and we can look confident, but when we assert ourselves at the expense of others, that’s when you know there’s insecurity beneath it. When I can’t allow any of your issues or emotions or strength because then it might take away from mine, yeah, that’s insecurity. But it can look like strength as I dominate all of your issues. It’s not good, and this affair has helped me see more of it in myself and try to do less of it to my H.

          • Thistooshallpass

            Felk,
            You sound incredibly honest with yourself. I also hear acceptance and that is the panacea to moving forward. You don’t have to like it but acceptance is a huge hurdle. I’m impressed you were able to maintain a friendship although it sounds like there are definite challenges. My mm never wanted just friendship and that kept me involved for a long time. The no closure thing sucks. We’ve also talked through everything ten times over. Just when I feel like I have peace with the rationale for why we can’t be a couple I become angry, resentful, sad, depressed and bitter all over again. I even typed out all of my Q’s and realized no one can answer but him. I thought if you loved your spouse you couldn’t love another. Well clearly all of the posts here prove that the human mind is not binary. I just couldn’t cope with the idea of him loving and sharing a life with another. I hate it with every fiber of my being. The idea makes me want to crawl out of my skin. Sorry for the barrage of irrational thoughts. Long road ahead but your story gives us all hope that it gets less bad 🙂

          • Felk

            Thistooshallpass, Your words resonate with me. The talking through everything ten times over. I feel that my MM and I have done this, yet I want to talk more. I still have questions. I still don’t feel closure. And, most, I probably just want the closeness of talking to him about us again and again and again. And that’s the part that’s no good. In the beginning of the break-up, I felt that talking was useless and there was nothing left to say. Then, a few months later, I wanted to talk. I wanted to express how I was feeling about it all (and so did he). I wanted to hear how he was feeling, and, most, I wanted to hear that he was feeling the same missing me and still loving me (and he was). And those talks sent mixed messages because we were both still missing each other a lot. The talks (and holding hands) felt good and then they felt bad. They kept me hoping and confused. Now, as more time goes by, I’m recognizing how problematic the good/bad feelings are. As you said, just as I think I get to a place of accepting the rationale for why we can’t be together and the reality that I have to let go, I end up finding feelings of sadness and confusion all over again. And those feelings often make me want to reach out to him, but it just starts the pattern all over again. Talk to him, feel good, and then feel bad because we can’t be together. The talks trigger that dopamine response. They fuel the addiction. They reinforce my brain so that it waits for more and then crashes when it doesn’t get more. The talks keep me feeling close to him, and that is not helping us move on (and we both know it). So, I’m trying to put renewed effort into reducing the talking and spending time together. (And I think he goes through the same.) Right now, it hurts. Right now, it consumes me that I am not asking him to go to lunch or for coffee or for a drink. But I’m not asking. Next week is a sort of anniversary for us (of first sex five years ago), and we both know it (as we alluded to it during our most recent heart-to-heart last week). And it’s going to be hard for me to get through that without talking to him about it. But I am committed, for now, to sticking to this plan to not ask for time with him. I have to give that a real try. I know I wasn’t ready for cold turkey in the beginning, but now that I’m stronger I have to try to really cut out contact.

            Thistooshallpass, you also bring up the interesting point of loving two people. Thing is, there are different types of love. I think we can feel the warm/trusting/closeness type of love for many people at once. We can feel it for our romantic partner, close friends, and relatives. But there’s the type of love that involves passion and sexual attraction (I call this being “in love”) that we reserve for just our romantic partners. For that type of love, I think you can only feel it for one person at a time. I think that type of love shifted from my H to my MM, and it’s still with my MM. And that’s the pain I feel every day. The feeling of “in love” that goes unexpressed. That sits there and has no outlet. That just keeps reminding me of my attraction to my MM. I’m waiting for that to go away, and I figure there are three ways that goes away: 1) we fall in love with someone else… probably not going to happen in my case given I’m married and not looking to start another affair; and I don’t think I’m going to “fall in love” with my H again. I don’t think it works that way; 2) we habituate to the person and our brain no longer has the excited response to him/her. That’s what happens in most marriages over time. Again, not an option because that would require me spending a lot of time with my MM and, yeah, that doesn’t happen in an affair (especially when it’s over); and 3) time. We, over time, no longer get that reinforcement (those highs) and our brain stops waiting for them. #3 seems my only option, and it seems to require distance. I have to prevent the highs (which means reducing contact) so that my brain can stop wanting more. And this is why every expert recommends NC after a break-up to let your brain reset. Now, I just have to make the excruciating choice to stop spending close time with him. I have to keep it professional. I have felt the pain involved in this choice every day this week. My brain is screaming for me to reach out to him, and I’m just ignoring it and sitting with the pain. We’ll see how this goes.

            And during me typing this, he walked by my office and it reminds me about how difficult it is to work with him and see him five days a week. He is trying. I am trying. And it continues to be hard. I appreciate you saying that my story gives you all hope (and that’s what I’m trying to do), but I also need to be honest about how hard it is. I don’t want to make it seem like I have it all figured out. I don’t. As you say, “Long road ahead.”

          • Nomad

            Felk… I resonate with everything you wrote in this post. EVERYTHING. I’m left with option3 too. He thinks he was entering option2 that’s why he said that he shouldn’t raise his bar too high at the beginning.

            Our anniversary is mid May, 10 days after my birthday. Two hurdles to cross. You said you are committed and that has inspired me to do the same. We will see.

        • lara

          Sophie I am so glad you finally made a decision for the dinner. One way or other it was going to come down to your decision. If I can say anything now after my little fall it is this:
          You made a wise decision my friend! Do NOT underestimate the power of any affair or any affair partner involved. Feelings come out up from the depths and we are at mercy to them. We can fall into a sea of despair over our affairs and never even know what hit us! So good on you for choosing not to go. It is wise and safer for you.

          As for your beautiful words to me I can not express how much they mean to me. Your words are very deep and I believe in my heart you too are a healer and a kind of spiritual guide. (I use that word in the broadest terms of course). Thank you SO MUCH for thinking about how I was doing. I have been feeling sad (but not talking about it here) to cope with the fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and I have been diagnosed with several years ago. Being out of the affair has given me time to seek out the help I really have needed, and to focus on getting better if possible. But in seeking these out I have had to stop denying that my body has changed so much in the past few years. I am so much more aware that I feel a great deal of physical pain and/or debilitating fatigue a good amount of the time. But I have also taken so many steps lately to address these. I am in physical therapy now, I go the gym every day I do not go to PT, I get massage, I am on medication and now I am even trying a new medication. Being an “empath”, I have no problem feeling the feelings of everyone else and offering others support and love. But one of my biggest problems is putting my OWN feelings ahead of the feelings of others and in acting in my own best interest. And loving myself. I can get lost in the needs of others and it is easy to say why I would fall in love with a narcissist who is my polar opposite. But in leaving my affair and in seeking out healing I am in fact putting me first. It just feels very very weird I must say. So many hugs to you Sophie! Lara xxxooo

        • lara

          Sophie one more question you asked about my sons! THANK you for asking! My oldest son and I are developing a hole new adult relationship due to his break up with his 12 year girlfriend and his crisis at Christmas. It took awhile for me to stop worrying about him but he DID on my issuance start to see a therapist and he IS GETTING better! Much better in that he can now open up a bit more now (altho I do not pry). He has not jumped into any new relationship. He seems to be very cautious and measured right now but he also seems sane! My younger one is looking for work outside the place where we live and I am holding my breath that he and his girlfriend do not move too far away! But my relationship with them, too, is improving all the time. Getting out of a draining affair makes one able to really be so much more present to those one truly loves. And I know longer feeling the nagging guilt of those constant secret texts all the time on my cellphone while I am with people I love. I think I am modeling a bit sanity for both of them in fact because I have left my affair and am moving onto to healthier things. But of course, they never knew about my affair either. (Not consciously anyhow) But not feels like such a relief not to have to hide it anymore! Hugs Lara xxx000

    • Faith in the Future

      Please don’t be hard on yourself Lara, we have all been there. I certainly have. I think the thing about nc is after a while you start to feel stronger and you start to feel you could deal with mm if you ever had to again. And as great as this is it can lull you into a false sense of security- then if mm gets in contact again you think ‘oh well one text won’t hurt, I can handle it’ and before you know it you are in danger of being sucked right in again, or as in your case he goes mia and you feel almost back to where you started. This has happened to me on more than one occassion. And i know what you mean about thinking you are being hard on him by not replying or being too short with them. If only they were so thoughtful in return!! It hurts. And yes it’s a setback but it’s only temporary. You have made so much progress Lara, don’t let this get you down. You are stronger than this and you are better than him. He is not even half way to being a good enough man for you.
      The thing is ultimately it doesn’t matter so much about how many continual days of nc you have broken. That’s not the point. The point is you are on the right path- yes there are bumps in the road – yes you might stumble – but you dust yourself down and get up again.
      In your words; make a choice to let go of negative thoughts. That is something I try to think to myself now and that’s thanks to you.
      Big hugs x

      • Felk

        Lara, I echo what Faith in the Future says. It really is not about how many days of NC there are in a row. It’s total NC days. It’s the total progression that you’re making overall. One setback does not set back all of your progress. It can’t. That progress is there no matter what. On my rough days, I remind myself of the progress that I’m making and how I know I’ll get back there soon enough. And I always do get back there and notice continued progress.

        I think one of the hardest things for me continues to be how I keep expecting to be over him and done with all of this by now. But I’m not over him. And in my honest moments, I know I have many more months of healing. And so sometimes the lows for me are because I’m surprised to feel bad some days still. Because I have so many strong days, like all of your strong days, these low days catch me off guard and make me feel scared that I’ll never get over him. But I know that’s not true. What almost always ends up happening is that these low days motivate me to try even harder to move on. I wallow in the low for a while and I try to understand why I’m feeling the way I am, but then I recognize that the reason I’m feeling that way is because I need more space. And so I resolve even more strongly to give myself that space. It is hard with us working together, but I can do better than I am.

        And I am sure that my MM will send me a message or do something as your MM did to get me to care and hope again. He did it about a month ago and it got in my head for weeks. And I don’t think he’s cruel. I think he’s just trying to heal as I am and is trying to reach out at times because he hurts, too. But it affected me for a while. And then I got strong again. Last week, he and I had a good talk, and it made me feel like we just might get through this together as friends. And then I realized those good feelings only made me miss him again, and it’s going to take me some time to heal from that… again. But I will get strong again, and I will use this as a lesson to recognize that I still have to be very careful where he’s concerned. And I know you’ll use your low as a lesson, too. It’s a painful lesson, but it’s going to keep us moving forward.

      • lara

        Thank you for your words Faith in the Future! Yes I agree : We can get a false sense of security and get lulled back in! And this that you said: “I can handle it’ and before you know it you are in danger of being sucked right in again, or as in your case he goes mia and you feel almost back to where you started. ” Yes one thousand times! I was back at Square One emotionally in no time but I am snapping out of it with my slogan. :). How dare this man come back offering “help and support” and a white dove and then go and disappear again? Arrghhhh. The anger feels better than the depression I must say. TY. hugs Lara xoxo

        • Nomad

          Lara! I’ve no words when I read your updates after my short hiatus. Today, I’m like you a few days ago whereby I wish I could do over today. I wish I made different choices. I wish I could hold it, let it recess, instead of reaching out and slapped with the biggest embarrassment. I’m feeling ruined now too.

          I feel you Lara. HUGS!!! But so many here are so encouraging and supportive. I’ve stopped counting NC. It is the process of going through it, getting use to life without him, trying to live a normal life the way we did before him. So, it really doesn’t matter if your NC effort is wasted or ruin the 90days target because it isn’t!!! You have proven that you are stronger each day and you are able to bounce back very quickly after the slip. I’m sorry I’m not as eloquent but I think you are honest and brave, not defensive about responding to something seemingly harmless (I just did that and read your posts too late)

          My lesson learnt: (1) If i still don’t feel that it’s over or accept it in my heart, it’s not really his fault. He has said it and shown it. Specially shown it. It is therefore my fault! I was still gasping my last breath trying to see if we can celebrate my birthday, tempting him to go to the room and he did well by not being swayed because he’s mindful of the bad consequences. (2) Stop Hoping!!!! This is crucial for me to move on. I was careless and one lingering look at him just blew things up. No more wishful thinking!!! Game OVER!!! How low can I stoop so low again?? I thought I could handle it but again I was shameless and careless. Gotta Pick myself up and pay back!
          I’m still trying to catch up what others said to you when you caved in unintentionally.

          Till then, big hugs LARA!! Stay strong for yourself, your son and us!!!

    • Thistooshallpass

      Hi Lara,

      You didn’t break the no contact policy. He initiated the connection with you. Second, I’m terribly sorry for the torment you’re facing as a result. Please don’t beat yourself up. We’ve all been there and done that more times than we’d like to admit. The good news is that after your 90 day period of healing and recovery it’ll be much easier to rebound. You may feel like complete shit now but I swear it will evaporate quickly and you’ll be back to your healthy, normal, happy self as you were before the incident 🙂 I think people we care for are only allotted so many tears before you just check out entirely. They can still inflict damage but it is ephemeral. You’ll stand tall again very soon. I find that if I give myself a strict period of time to mourn and just zone out to tv or whatever recharges you, I can pick myself up by the boot straps.

      Often after a long period of silence you think you have it beat and are at the indifferent stage. I think a lot of people would’ve responded in kind. You think it’s harmless and you’re putting out good karma until they don’t respond how you would expect. They either ghost, return a cold, short response or give you the illusion that they are just as happy as can be. Either way it conjures up massive amounts of pain. No matter what they say you’ll be left hanging and flooded with sadness. This happened to me a few summers ago with an ex. When we reconnected over email after 8 months of no contact I cried the entire weekend and felt completely fragile.

      I detest him for you if that means anything. He could’ve wished you well and offered more compassion. I’ve read that a lot of men who stray have narcissistic tendencies. I think mine does bc he always turns it back to him and his needs. When I’ve expressed my wants, needs, value and worth he’s able to artfully craft an argument that makes me look like the bad guy. It feels very manipulative. These relationships are truly crazy making mind F scenarios.

      You are reinstating no contact again. This is just a minor setback and you’ll feel fantastic again soon.

      • lara

        Thistooshall pass Thank you! It gives me massive hop when you say: “I think people we care for are only allotted so many tears before you just check out entirely. They can still inflict damage but it is ephemeral.” I am feeling today you might be right. I surely gave this man and this relationship enough over the years. Enough is enough!
        As for my NC count it was going to be 90 days on April 9. I know you know how significant 90 days is in recovering from an addiction. Then again love/sex addiction are different than alcohol or cigarettes. I am not sure how I feel about my count right now. It seems silly to lose all those days and start counting all over. But I did have a massive despair day after re-engaging with him this week. Like you said yes it conjures up “massive pain” to be ghosted all over again. He always does this on holidays and it was Easter. Holy Crap. I better get ready for Mother’s Day.
        I guess I thought I was more indifferent towards him and could handle the “light” communication. But there was never any real closure with him like in a normal relationship break up so really there is not such thing as “light” communication with him. Now I know for sure. It’s like ending a movie right in the middle of a tornado. Hugs Lara xx000

      • Nomad

        Hi this too shall pass

        I broke the no contact policy because I initiated the connection with him. I must rebound ASAP before flying off this wkend. I’m experiencing tremendous anxiety now that I’m home. Though we kissed goodbye, no sex, but the start of wash rinse cycle is killing me. This time no turning back. I’ve asked TT (my colleague who knew his identity) to slap me if I ever cave in or build up my hope and all. Yes, I thought after 1 mth of absolute nc and with him not reaching out, I’ve beat the healing and I was ready to work work with him professionally. I was able to demonstrate the indifference. It was harmless to meet 1-to-1 without other team members. I am so wrong.

        Today is the worst nightmare.

  • lois

    Well, ladies. Finally had the talk with MM. He is struggling with lots of things and now the guilt of us has come into play…imagine that! He told me it’s tough being a hypocrite and leaving two lives. He explained that his daughter is involved in church and attended a conference where she took a vow (purity ring) to remain celibate. He said it’s hard to have conversations with her knowing what he is doing with me. I do understand because it is hard to tell your kids one thing while you are doing another. The guilt is there for me as well, so I do get it. I also know and explained it is hard when feelings are involved. We did have an open conversation about all of this but not about his medical issues. I did not question about his brain tumor. I felt, if he wanted me to know, he would let me know. I do not know where things are between us only that we both need some space to clear our heads. I told him that we were both dealing with lots of stress and neither of us were in a good place. I am really kind of numb right now and do not what to think. I am both relieved and saddened. My heart needs a break and so does this emotional roller-coaster. Before I left his office, I told him that I knew where his heart was and he knew where mine was…he agreed. We are both torn, so guess we will see what happens. Honestly, if the space helps heal my heart and can suppress my feelings, I seriously doubt that I will get back on the emotional roller-coaster and will try my best to remain friends. I do not know…

    • Lois

      After a bit, I found myself sitting in my office expressing my feelings in a letter to MM with no intent of ever sending it and streams of tear rolling my face. I really do understand that out situation caused an overwhelming sense of guilt. He claims his distance hadn’t been us until his daughter spoke with him about the purity ring. He said she attended a church function on the 10th. However, the dates don’t really align because we were together on the 12th. Anyway, I am feeling better now. I sent him a text and asked if we were just giving each other space and we’d see what happens. He replied that for the time being he needs some space. I told him that I honestly didn’t know what I wanted or needed but hoped to figure things out. I told him no matter what happens he’d always have a special place in my heart and had no regrets. I’m surprisingly well but only time will tell and tomorrow is a different day. My heart is sad but also feel relief because there was a gut feeling that something wasn’t right. I do have feelings for him but my heart does need a break. Thanks for listening and appreciate your support!

    • Thistooshallpass

      Hi Lois,
      I’m pleased for you that you two had a heart to heart. Aren’t these relationships so paradoxical? They’re so hard to stay in and so hard to get out of for both sides. It sounds like he is really grappling with a decision too. Insert colleagues into the formula and you have a 360 degree cycle on your hands. Space seems like a smart move to gain clarity and reflect on everything. Plus, it gives you time to live life without him in the picture and adjust accordingly. I’m probably telling you what you already know.

      I’m really sorry about the brain tumor. Is it benign? You’re handling everything really graciously. I’d probably persist with Q’s about his health and act all entitled like I deserve to know.

      I’m curious if you set a date or left it open-ended. I hope it’s a productive, enlightening period for you. Please let us know how you’re doing during your period of time apart if you need support.

      • lois

        Hey, Thistooshallpass. We definitely need some space. I am struggling with anger right now because the more things I have find out the more distrust comes between us. I know for certain he lied because the conference his daughter supposedly attended was on March 10th…I find this hard to believe because they are pictures on Facebook where she and others attended a school dance that day. Group pictures were taken in the early afternoon, so unless she only attended the morning session it is a lie. I have friends who have girls, so I know they usually go and get her fixed at beauty shop, etc. So, it is highly unlikely she attended this conference but there I could be wrong. Maybe it is what I need to help build my wall and move on. There is one thing for certain I am mentally exhausted and presently hurt because I should have followed my gut a long time ago. Why, did I let myself fall in love with this guy? Honestly, I would like to know what is truly wrong with him. However, I am very stubborn and just not asking him again. We sort of just left things open. If I get my feelings under control, I am hopeful to just be done…so sick of it.

    • Felk

      Hi Lois, I know how hard this is. I can’t say I’m surprised your MM was feeling guilt again. I get that he said that it wasn’t initially why he wanted to talk but that he started feeling guilt again recently, but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that he’s withdrawing again because of the guilt and it’s going to keep happening. And it’s going to keep hurting. My MM and I worked for a long time because we were both committed to the affair. We were clear that we wanted to be in it and that we wanted to continue putting in effort to find time for each other. It was only in that last year, when the guilt and bad feelings about ruining his marriage started to overwhelm my MM, that he started going MIA for days and it started to get confusing and painful. At that point, I held on and it was very hard. I held onto something that he was trying to end, and it sounds like that’s what your MM prefers. He wants to end it but he can’t bring himself to yet. And, as you know, it’s a terrible spot to be in. The affair only works if you’re both committed to making it work. If there are doubts and guilt, then you’ll continue to have these periods of pain and frustration. I know the feelings of love overwhelm and they lead us to put up with all sorts of bad feelings, but hopefully you can be honest with yourself about how the bad feelings will not stop. It is going to be very hard to let go. You will tell yourself all sorts of things about how you can make it work, especially if you give each other more space. I really don’t even know how to give the advice to let go outside of just making the decision and committing to the decision that you’re better off if you don’t continue to put yourself through the roller-coaster. I wasn’t strong enough to get off the roller-coaster last year. My MM was. I wanted to hold onto the fantasy of what could be and all the good times, and I didn’t understand well enough back then how hard it was for him to feel that tension between what we were doing and how he was hurting his marriage and kids. Maybe it’s because I don’t have kids?
      You know I don’t say any of this to make you sad. I’m hoping it helps you make the strong choice to stop. It just sounds like your MM wants to end this and can’t find a way. It seems like he keeps trying to end it and keeps pulling away, and, having gone through this, I know the hell of continually hoping he will decide he wants to continue the relationship only to watch him slowly pull further and further away. And I know the hell of working with your MM after he has decided to end it. It is still a struggle nearly every day. It’s slowly getting better, but we certainly put ourselves in a tough position getting in an affair with someone we work with.

      In your second post, I noticed that you said you texted your MM and asked him if you were just giving each other space and seeing what happens. You’re still waiting for him, but I hope you can choose to stop. Just know that it’s is a really long process getting out, but if you do choose that, you will greatly need to reduce contact. That, I know, first hand. I still need more distance than I’m admitting. Or, rather, I’m admitting it, but I’m not taking it. I still miss our relationship, and, thus, I still spend time alone with him (nothing physical) and it still reminds me of all that we were and it’s sad. And I’d imagine it’s the same for him, but neither of us can fully let go. And we prolong the sadness, I think. Just last week, once again, we told each other how we’re still in love. And though it feels nice at the time, in the subsequent days, I mostly just feel sad not being able to express how in love I am. I just hold it back all of the time and I constantly feel it there. I’m trying to get to a place where I can be comfortable with the love being there (and not acting on it), but I’m not there yet. Long process, let me tell you. Get ready. 🙂

      • Thistooshallpass

        Hello,

        Mine is also at work and I’ve been trying to extricate myself for the last year. Sad, I know. My point is Felk is most likely right. He obviously still has love for you but everything that goes along with it just becomes too unbearable. For me, I didn’t want to go through the dramatics of a breakup so I stopped initiating messages. I’d wait awhile to respond when he contacted me and eventually he caught on. He called me out and that got me infuriated bc he expected me to invest when he gives everything to his real life (as he should). I still have very strong feelings but the guilt, idea of getting caught and the excruciating hurt of his love for another is just not worth the relationship. Lois, if he is pulling away there’s nothing you can do. Believe me, he is struggling and in a lot of pain too. These are not one-sided experiences. Anyhow, I’m with Felk on becoming resolute to release him if you feel sick and tired of the rollercoaster. Even if he returns, the chances of him pulling away again especially after sex is quite high. There’s nothing worse than distance, aloof, cold shoulder MIA behavior after you’ve been intimate. Brutal hell… If you change your actions, you change your thoughts. I certainly echo the sentiment on getting involved with someone at work. If I could just block him from my life entirely I’d feel so liberated but no can do unless I get a new job. The only relief I’ve found is no interaction at all.

  • Kub

    Hey everybody…
    Here I am again, with confused feelings but still certain thoughts.
    Yesterday MM and I saw each other and I am ashamed saying that but we kissed 🙁 After it I cried because I could not handle the stress. I forced myself too much and I just cracked and cried a lot… He says lets be together at least until I move to another country. But what if something goes wrong and I don’t move? And honestly I can not handle this relationship again, I just can’t.
    The stress of his being married is too much. Questions come to my mind but I know the answers. So I won’t try to answer these questions by asking him. I know I made my way, I made some progress and I just don’t want to waste it that easily.
    The more I get better, the more I want to get out of this. I kissed him because I missed him. I feel guilty but toward to myself. So I have to make this up to myself. I won’t let this affect to my thoughts especially.
    Because I know the result won’t change.
    Lara! I am still using Mend, thanks one more time for that advise. I wait to hear its todays record everyday and it gives me lots to think about.
    So I am flirting with someone new. Maybe this is a mistake but he is not married etc. And this is not like going too fast to call us lovers. It is like baby steps, talking about daily life etc. I needed this because I need my mind to be at somewhere else also. Otherwise I can not do the not focus on him thing. I think about him all the time. But with this new guy… He is calm, he has this voice really calming and we met through some application. So most of the time I listen his voice records. And it is quite nice 🙂
    I need your advises… I know I made a mistake but honestly I did not hope something out of it. And what do you think about this new guy? It does not have to be a relationship, a friendship would be even nice, as I think. What do you say??

    • lara

      Kub if you kissed him do not beat yourself up. I think you did it because you missed him as you said. I think most of us have had good or great physical relationships and physical boding with our partners. Its the REST of the time that makes for all the problems. It is how they behave AFTER that counts (MIA and/or low communication seems fairly standard). I imagine by now you are in the “after the kiss” stage which is far more fraught with the emptiness you know already from the past. Unless he is stalking you again and then you would be feeling suffocated or anxious ? I imagine.
      ANYHOW
      To move on from the affair, the best way to ‘distract yourself” would be to plan for and think about your new life coming in a foreign country! You could be looking at maps and planning your travels and/or learning the new language you will have to use there or other things. This trip is a big deal! It is a great opportunity to plan your future months to happen in the way you want. But you will also have to process this relationship ending, the loss and greed and eventually the healing!

      The new guy has a nice voice and that is of course soothing. And I get why you might turn to flirting with someone else to take your mind off the MM. But in all fairness to yourself AND to this new man, you really do have to grieve the past relationship and heal as well. That is a PROCESS. Nothing can or will replace that process. If you don’t do it now, you will still have to deal with it in 5 years…or 10 years….etc. these things do not just go away on their own I am sorry to say. Not if you were truly in “love” with him. Hugs Lara xxxooo

  • LIFELESSONS

    Day #33 wasnt so strong…😩

    My child gave me some information that wasnt clear and it was some information about MM’s kid and he told me that MM’s kid said he was out of town on a business trip. I debated about whether or not I wanted to get some clarity regarding the situation. I actually thought about this for an hour. I typed the message basically saying, hey do you know anything about blah blah blah. Immediately after I sent it, I began to think…wtf, did you truly need clarity, why didnt you just go with what your own kid said (both of our kids are horrible at making sure we know things but often times at least one of them tells a parent pretty good info and that parent follows up) therefore you wouldnt need to contact MM. I said to myself…self you know you have messed up and now you have to start all over again. I was sitting here thinking omg, what if he doesnt reply and then I said, well why are you worried about whether or not he replies. Its info for him about his kid. He replied about and hour later saying, Hey! Im in Cali…I didnt know about blah blah blah but I will ask. I replied about an hour later and said, Cali…cool! Ok thanks, just wanted to see if you knew more about this. He didnt say anything further…
    Now…I am thinking, ok maybe this means if we see each other it wont be so akward and we can at least speak. Im sure i have stated in a previous post that our kids are friends, have a class together and play the same sports. MM and I reply on each other during winter season to make sure the kids get home after practice, his W helps out when she can as well. I was thinking how it would look to our kids to see us not saying a word to each other or avoiding each other when they know we talk at the games. He has told his wife that him and I were cool so she knows we talk occassionally, she has asked him to contact me to see if i was able to help them with their kid. I dont want her to be suspicius if theyre together and him and I are noticably avoiding one another. Why do I care…right ?! Thats what I asked myself and I had to be realistic with myself. I care because i love him. I hate admiting that but I do love him and I dont want to see him and be in a space of I hate you, resent you, and I am never speaking to you again. I dont want to raise questions for his W to wonder how we were so cool and then to see us not even making eye contact. At this moment I am not thinking about him in a way that makes me want to go back to him. I am thinking about how cordial, I would like things to be when we each other in public…because we will see each other in public. I am wondering what he was thinking when he saw that message from me, I am curious about what he felt if he felt anything. I knw none of that matters but those are things that i was thinking in my head. I am disappointed with myself but not beating myself up. If I be honest with myself, I was happy to have an excuse to contact him and it wasnt a matter of life or death, his W is not away with him so maybe she was aware. I knew i wouldnt be able to contact him and say something about us instead i took full advantage of this opportunity. This is so crazy! I still have so much work to do on myself. I realize i am not perfect but i felt so strong yesterday when i checked in here. I am still very proud of myself for being able to go 32 days of NC…

  • Lois

    Hello. I still don’t have much to report with MM. Since he still is not feeling well, I have not really pushed the issue of us talking I did send a couple of flirtatious chats bit didn’t really get much of a response. I told him that since he was sick I would let him off the hook. He replied probably good idea. I replied I didn’t want his illness. We were walking to our cars and told him that I knew he was not feeling well but I have missed him. He didn’t really say anything maybe I see or something like that. This is what drives me nuts. In the past, he’s done me this way before which ends up with him ending things. I want to end this emotional roller-coaster so badly but there’s such a strong addiction to stay keep on going. Ive never had an addiction problem but have sympathy and empathy for people who struggle with addictive behaviors. Its freaking horrible and has so much control over you that’s sad. I quit smoking cigarettes about 21 years go and it was hard to stop. However, I had a reason to do it because I wanted to get pregnant, so I know it’s possible to beat this addiction. It’s just getting to the point where I have the reason to do it. Dang how much more will I endure? Honestly, he’s not done anything wrong. He was honest that he needed some space and then became sick. He’s reassured and told me it wasn’t because of us. Then, yesterday told me that what he wanted to talk about he thought wasn’t anything bad. So why can’t I accept that everything is okay? I just have a weird feeling…maybe it’s because he’s done this in the past so I don’t trust what he tells me. As you can tel5, my emotions are everywhere. I’m confused, worried, and aggravated for being worried and letting him have so much control. If I just had strength to end things, I would not keep finding myself in this situation. I truly admire all of you who have had the strength to be done. I will keep you posted.

    • lara

      Hi Lois,
      I do not know why it is so hard to leave these situations or why we get so addicted. My exMM was thankfully my only person I was ever in this love addition mess with. I am grateful he was the only one. I have been through proper break-ups with other long term partners and even a divorce but no other relationship caused me this love addiction.

      I think cigarettes altho very hard to quit were easier for you because you wanted to get pregnant and not hurt your unborn child. There were clear benefits and motivations for your behavior and you also had something to look forward to: the future child. Quitting an affair with a man you “love” has no great reward, not on the surface anyhow. Just the misery and loneliness of not being with him anymore. You have to plunge in pain to get out and who wants to do that?

      There seems to be no immediate reward waiting. And there is often no relationship closure because this is a relationship that never become a full-time relationship and so there are always the questions. Like: “Should I have left? Should I have stayed a little longer? Would he have eventually left his wife? Was he perhaps thinking of leaving his marriage and I did not give him a chance?” These questions haunt us. So many of us go back into the affair to see if anything might be different “this time”.

      If not a complete bottom I think one needs at least need a very clear point when you have truly had it and now you are ready to quit. Unless the MM has pulled away and left you dangling. Then it is hard because your “bottom” is the fact that he wants out. But often they don’t really mean it 100 per cent that they want totally out because they are addicted too!

      And if we go back do things change? Maybe change yes but rarely does the relationship do what we really crave it to do: Deepen. Strengthen. Nourish us when we need it. Truly provide enrichment and sustenance for our lives. etc. If these is change it is more towards finding a mutually “tolerable” compromise Smile. And this arrangement leaves many of us insecure, fearful of losing the affair partner, etc. and we have damn good reason for our insecurity!

      Which gets one needing a bottom all over again. It is a truly vicious cycle.
      Love Lara xx00

      • Thistooshallpass

        Hi Lara,
        You have great perspective and seem to be reaping the benefits of getting out 🙂 Things may change but it’s so negligible you’re still back to the primary issues. You can’t spend open time together on nights, weekends or holidays. Everything is done in secret and that leaves you feeling isolated. They spend an afternoon with you and run home to someone else. How demoralizing is that! Feelings are not facts but in these cases the absolute truth is they sleep in bed with someone every night and it isn’t us. They save and spend money for a life and future with someone and it isn’t us. They go on vacations, buy houses and cars, go out to dinners, rescue pets, raise children, go shopping and visit family on holidays with someone else. I don’t care how mediocre and sexless their marriage is, all of those facts will chip away at your heart and cut your soul like a knife. For me that is a bottom I’ll never revisit. Thanks for your thoughtful, heartfelt posts. Hugs to all…

        • lara

          This Too Shall Pass
          You are very welcome.
          Yes it does get better with time! I will post my progress again at my 90 day mark on how it is going at this point. But I am happy!
          You really NAIL it on what an affair is and what one feels like. You NAIL IT! What always got me the most was him sleeping in bed next to her. All those years I got his crumbs of time he went home and spent the entire night with her! I can not even believe I could tolerate this but I did, blaming myself not him! I love when you write this:
          “I don’t care how mediocre and sexless their marriage is, all of those facts will chip away at your heart and cut your soul like a knife. For me that is a bottom I’ll never revisit.”
          That is a wise bottom This Too Shall Pass. Once you can see an affair for what it really is I think the bottom is close or you are there at the actual bottom. Because the REALITY of the affair is so far from the imagined relationship we crave with the married person, the bottom feels like hell. It is a fall from dreamy heights into a cesspool of waste of time.
          The farther out I am I just cant believe I was able to tolerate the pain I had and STILL have hope for “us” STILL believe in our “love”. I am so glad I moving out of that affair fog now. It is actually a chemical change in the brain! Hugs Lara xx00

          • Thistooshallpass

            Congrats big time on the 90 days! Does it get better in terms of that nausea you feel at the thought of them living their lives with the W? Even though I feel myself moving on I have a bit of stockholm syndrome or something. I’m just generally sad that I clicked with someone who happens to be unavailable. Maybe the real him wouldn’t be a good fit anyway since all we see is without real world conflicts.

            I suppose one day at a time… Every day we’re not in contact is one day closer to a healthier self and a potential soulmate. How can we open our heart to a good partner when someone else is taking up space? The reality of the affair is the antitheses of what I want in a relationship yet I got so caught up. During the earlier phases I thought there was hope for just us. Eventually the truth sunk in that he would never leave. By that point I thought I could just enjoy the wonderful company and sex. Seriously, am I that out of touch with myself to think for a second that anyone could be ok with such scraps. Giving your body and heart to a person that gives their love and everything to someone else is f’ing awful. Thanks for your boost of confidence and reassurance of light on the other side. I think getting out of this toxic wasteland is similar to getting out of an abusive relationship.

  • LIFELESSONS

    Hey everyone,
    It has been been such a rocky road. I have actually gone 32 days with NC as of today. I was thinking about him and thought, I better check in with you all. I want to know how he is doing, I want to whats new with him, I want to be his friend. Ha! But i know i dont want to rekindle anything with him. A few of my friends and I have decided to focus on starting a non profit organization and I am sure that will help to get my mind off of him a little. My kids and I are going to start going bowling 2x a month. We are going to have game night weekly as we use to do. I am putting things in place to help me build myself back up. I battle with the thought of me missing him or missing the idea of having a male inconsitently occupying my free time. I am realizing how weak my boundaries are all across the board and I know i want to end that. One of my girlfriends was going through a MM situation so we would talk daily but her MM recently moved in with her (still cant believe it because it is rare that the MM leaves his W to be with the other woman) and now we dont chat daily. Those talks were helping me in some way. However, I know I will be ok as time goes on my heart, body and soul will heal. I am so grateful to have found this site. I will continue to check in
    Best Wishes xoxoxoxo

    • Nomad

      Wow!!!32 days of NC and I’m soooooo proud of you. I’ve actually stopped counting but roughly 20days since I broke up with him. Taking one day at a time… hopefully to gain more rational moments, though some parts of me still yearning and hoping and missing him… strangely for me, I started to feel this way when he has shown that he’s done. As what Kub has consoles me, he’s showing me respect too… that soothed the tension in my heart a little and I can take deeper breath (vs. gasping to breathe when such thoughts suddenly attacked me)

      Keep it up LL! Continue to inspire me and walk the journey with me… I need to hear more positive and success stories of healing and moving on… hugsssss

    • Nomad

      Hi LL,
      You and I have kids. Yes! We have kids who are the love of our life, we raise them and should give them or our H the highest priority after ourselves. But, why are we wasting life for mm, waiting, hoping and ruminating? why aren’t we feeling guilty (for infidelity and neglecting ourselves and kids)? Didn’t I say my family is the most important then why can’t i use them as anchor to quit addiction and redeem myself? I’ve been thinking about these… why did we choose to empower mm?

    • lara

      Life Lessons you passed 30 days…AWESOME!!!!! Way to go!!!! The first 30 is the hardest for sure. Now you passed that and you have new plans for your life: the bowling, the non profit, these are truly wonderful! As for needing male companionship when you are ready you will start to date! Me too 🙂
      I am not there yet but I know I will get there because I can feel that men are attracted to me sometimes and me to them. Even if I am not flirting it happens. And so we will both find someone! Bravo to you !! Believe me your new activities are going to give you a new deeper satisfaction than the affair gave you. I do not know how to explain it but I would bet you will experience this too.

      And you can keep building and building on these relationships and activities because these people are actually in your real life (!!) as opposed to being in the secret one life had with the exMM. I am finding that I am having a whole new experience of what true enjoyment means to me and who I would like to share that with. It is a whole new ball game doing things with people who truly want to be in my real life and to spend time with me. Wow. This is as opposed to my exMM who always ALWAYS had to rush home after a stolen hour or two so that “he would not get caught”…or so “she would not get suspicious” ….that was so awful feeling for so long. And then I would try to rely emotionally on texts that would not come aargh or sit for the phone calls that might come at any random moment……
      In my affair life I really think I totally forgot how “normal” pleasurable activities feel! And also how pleasure is not as harried and as fraught with hardships as it was in my affair. Damn I feel like I was Hercules to last in my affair like I did! It was a very self-denying position on my part.
      xoxo Lara

  • Nomad

    I hope this is a last post of my story… he’s gone and it is all hopeless.

    I had a good cry while driving myself home in the rain… the heartache was acute… I was feeling so weak and vulnerable that I almost called his no. Ego saved me. He sat next to me in the 1.5hrs meeting. We discussed about work with few others and a few times when I looked into his eyes, I found nothing hopeful. Zero Hope that he would reach out again. He was casual and comfortable as if we had no history. I was hurting and crushing inside. I could smell his hair and body. I wanted him. I forgot that 19days ago I told him never reach out if I ever block him one last time, I forgot I told him I hated his asshole behavior. I am so curious if he has found my replacement (to get over me ASAP). I am so curious how did he move on. I’ve so much to ask him.

    Lara, I know you’ll feel happy for me. I know I’ve been ruminating like a broken recorder and to all of you here, Felk, I am grateful for your patience and support. Words just ain’t enough to express my gratitude to those who have encouraged me and “talked” to me during my lowest and relapse. My post here may not be dramatic, mostly self ranting and flogging a dead horse and bored some of you but I’m really feeling shattered within, just when I thought I did heal little by little. I don’t know how can I live normally. I want him very badly and he’s a phone call away. He’s having the last laught…

    • lara

      Nomad I hope you have found your “quit the affair point”. I really do. And yes I am happy for you! But you say a few things that make me pause….

      “My post here may not be dramatic, mostly self ranting and flogging a dead horse and bored some of you” Nomad…HUH? LOL We are all beating dead horses here LOL

      “I don’t know how can I live normally. I want him very badly and he’s a phone call away. He’s having the last laugh…”. Maybe I am naive, I doubt he is having the last “laugh”…Are you serious here? He and you have both affected and have been addicted to this. You might look different on the outside (you are expressing pain and he for looking detached and neutral) but inside I would bet (!) on you both having had the withdrawal pains.
      Hugs Lara xx00

  • J

    Hello everyone,
    I haven’t written in a bit because I’ve been so confused. I told mm let’s just forget every single expectation and just make each other happy. I told him I no longer even want him to get divorced and I don’t plan to either. He jumped on board with this. As you remember he had recently returned from his trip that he claimed was so transformational, learned he couldn’t live without me and said he’d prove himself to me. Then went on to tell his wife and she went quite crazy, drinking, throwing guilt about their grown children, and intimately he backed down and even was “forced to have prove you love me still” sex hours after he was with me. I feel part of me and my love died when this occurred. I believe u trusted him for the last time. But at the same time I do still love him, but I hate myself for not having enough self respect to walk away. Erasing all expectations has gone relatively well actually. We have been intimate, we haven’t talked to each other about sex with spouses, although he has attempted asking me a few times but then said no don’t tell me. So yes, it’s gone well, but I believe this has been my attempt to wean myself off of him and my addiction to him. I know I must do this. This man will never get divorced. I fully know now that he loves me, wants me, would chose me if it was a clear choice between us, I make him happy, but he simply doesn’t have the guts to do it. He is incapable of change. This no expectations route is allowing me to see him but also create distance on my terms since as I’ve told you I can’t handle no contact. There’s one more thing, please don’t judge me. I know I can’t continue just loving him and I can’t just create distance when I love him so much, and I am still in agony in my heart and mind thinking of him with his wife even though I don’t tell him this. So I created a plan. I’m kind of disgusted with myself but I’m doing what I need to do to stop loving and being addicted to him. I know me, I need to replace him. I started a new flirtation with someone else. I plan to just take it far enough to get me over mm, then stop. I know it sounds sick and crazy. But i can’t refocus on my H for now. I just can’t, I’ve tried so many times, and that’s a whole other issue I need to address. But first I need to get my mind over mm. It seems to be helping me already. I am disgusting myself, it’s just I’ll do anything at this point to stop loving him, stop this addiction. Thoughts?

    • Faith in the Future

      Hi J,
      I understand what you are saying – you want to try and wean yourself off your mm slowly with as little pain as possible. That’s totally understandable. Will it be that easy though? You have strong feelings for your mm and I think that will be difficult to replace with a flirtation with someone else.. unless you end up developing feelings for the new person and then it’s the same situation again but just with someone else. I do understand where you are coming from. I started dating someone else whilst I was seeing my mm a few years ago. He was a really nice guy and I was single so I though ‘why not, it might help me get over mm’. The trouble is my mm pursued me like never before. He was determined to get me back, said he was going to leave his wife etc etc. Of course it never happened. I understand you may not tell your mm about your flirtation but unless you feel as strongly about your flirtation as you do about your mm you will always still be tied to him. And it can feel worse to know despite seeing someone else that you can’t let him go still. I know as I have been there.
      By all means try whatever you think might work for you – no one knows you better than yourself. And anything that takes a bit of focus away from the mm is worth a try. But I would say that I don’t think there is any easy way out of these relationships. It is hard and it hurts. I’ve tried everything I can think of and the only thing I haven’t done is nc permanently. I’ve done it for 60 days before but ended up going back. If am at the stage where I’m thinking it is the only possible way out if ever I can achieve it. Maybe it’s just one day at a time…

    • Felk

      J, good to hear from you. I understand the bind you’re in. You’re still madly in love and so you can’t quit him cold turkey, but I get why some of your love died when he reassured you it was over with his W and he was going home to tell her and then she just roped him back in. You knew then that he would never leave her. He was going to come up with any excuse. And, sure, your new arrangement might work out for the two of you for a little while, but it sounds like you know that it can only last so long before you get back into the same painful patterns (likely starting with him asking more about your sex life). But that part about you looking for another flirtation to replace MM, I understand. I’m not sure it’s healthy and I’m not sure it will work, but I understand. I know when my MM ended our relationship, I had similar thoughts about how I needed to find another person to flirt with to “get over” my MM. Our Hs cannot fill this role. Sure, I am grateful that I have a loving H who is still here for me, but to “get over” my MM, I knew I needed passion/excitement to shift those feelings away from him. Unfortunately, I also knew I was in no mental place to be flirting with anyone else. I was still way too in love with my MM, and that’s why I don’t know if it can work for you either. But, I hope you’re able to take these steps to slowly get out of your affair, if that is what you want.

      • J

        Hi Felk,
        Things have mainly been good. Although he recently this week started speaking about guilt again and working on his marriage. He feels particularly guilty because of the religious aspects of Easter. And you’re right that things can only continue for so long. As far as the flirtation, I found someone who is really funny and I appreciate in ways. I feel extreme guilt I’m so many aspects. Unbelievably I feel lots of guilt like I’m cheating on mm. But it’s helped in ways already. When I’ve sensed mm was pulling away on occasion (as he does after sex) I contacted the other guy. I did feel better. It’s unfortunate that we can’t find this from our Hs, but’s it’s not possible, I’ve tried. Problem is that this other guy wants things to keep progressing, and i don’t know how far I want to take it.

        • Felk

          J, how are you doing it? How are you dealing with the hurt from your MM and now the guilt over flirting with a new guy? I hear you saying that it’s helping you, but if it’s also making you feel guilt, it seems like it’s hurting you, too. You know I understand doing whatever is necessary to move on, but given all that you’ve said about your love for your MM, I find it hard to believe that you won’t just feel worse about this flirtation with this other guy, especially if you take it further than a flirtation.

        • lara

          J I am glad things have been mainly good. Your new way of coping is one I tried as well. Did it work to break my love addiction? Nope but it was kind of fun for awhile I guess. But all the other men I have met and dated since I met my exMM have always accused me of having secret feelings for my exMM. Of not being really over him yet even if we were no longer together. And they were all right. But I lied like crazy trying to convince them and myself otherwise. But it was a distraction from the addiction. And it kept the affair going (indirectly) for many years. (Becasue it took off some of the pressure).

          And naturally my exMM was mortified when and if I told him of these activities (which I throughly enjoyed for awhile!) until it drove him further into the arms of his W. But eventually NOTHING worked for long. My exMM and I always landed back at “Square One” of love addiction. Now I see there was never any real “Square Two” in my case.
          :). We were always stuck back at the kind of emotioanal/physical/psychic chemistry we had from day one.
          Hugs, Lara xx00

    • LIFELESSONS

      J…
      I am not here to place judgement on you. I think at some point, I thought that would work but it didnt for me. It creates a new beast, you just tramsfer feelings and you will always feel stuck. I know it may seem like the best move but your MM is who he is, no one will replace him. You have to find your inner strength and work from that place. At some point you have to come face to face with your own stuff in order to move forward. I get you dont want to do that…however, i pray you figure out how to push forward without adding a 3rd party to your situation! I want you to think about the pro’s and con’s of you being flirtatious with another man, how will this help, how will this hurt you, do you have enough self control for it to stay in just a florty manner, if so you can gain enough self control to push through in order to move forward from your MM..I just want you to be clear about what youre trying to do here. Praying for you and all of us!

      • lara

        Lifelessons I agree with you 100 per cent!
        This is what I realized too:
        I know it may seem like the best move but your MM is who he is, no one will replace him.”
        I find that so so true. No one could ever replace my exMM.
        Hugs Lara xoxo

    • lois

      Hey, J. Please do not think for a second that any of us would or could judge one another given our situations. Although there are similarities and patterns, we all deal with our emotions differently, so what works me may not with you and vice versa. I have to admit that i totally understand using someone else to ease the pain because I have done it myself with no intent of letting things any further than flirting. I understand wanting to do whatever it takes to ease the pain…we are human. I also understand your idea to no end things with the no expectations; but it is lots easier said than done. MM and I have tried numerous ways to help ease his guilt. Matter of fact, the latest is that we have agreed to give each other space when needed. This sounds easy enough but it does not seem to be working very well for me. He has been in a funk for over 2 weeks; shortly after we had an amazing sex, so needless to say I felt the funk was because of the guilt. I asked and he said it had not nothing to do with it. If you read my posts, it has been torture for me because he has been in these funks before and then would end things, so naturally I am guarded. I am so tired of the worry and uncertainty. Yet, like you, I am willing to settle for whatever time he will allow us. At least, your MM does to initiate and reach out to you where mine is hit and miss. In the back of mind, I tell myself that I am slowly weaning myself away from him but am I really??? I honestly do not know. Today, I am more at peace with things but have not spoken with him at all. I will not beg someone to be with me. I have learned that it is easier for me to deal with his MIA, if I do not contact him because then it opens the door for my heart to be broken…or I read more into things because I am dwelling on the fact that he is not reassuring me like I want him that he still wants me. It is hell of a viscous cycle. None of us have the answers; we just give advice and hope it helps someone get through a tough spot. We have made a big step in toward finding what works for us or would not be on this forum. It may take listening to some of your advice, some of Lara’s, some of Felk’s and put it all together to give someone like me the strength and courage to what needs to be done whether it is staying on the emotional roller-coaster; getting off of it; or occasionally taking it for a ride. I do not know…because I am just as confused as you. Thanks for sharing. Sending lots of hugs!

      • Nomad

        Hi Lois,
        It is hard even when you are willing to settle for lesser and lesser. I know… I could have ease my pain by dialing his no. Ego stopped me, what if he doesn’t pick up, what if I add to the confusion, what if he rejects me and tells me to help myself? That would be humiliating. He’s probably feeling the same hence he acted as if we’ve no history when we met at work. Now then I’m convinced how hard it is to see him at work.

        Lois, give your heart a rest…

      • Felk

        Lois, this has been going on for two weeks? Oh, goodness. And after sex? Even worse. It’s no way to be treated.

        • lois

          Hey, Felk. MM and I were together on March 12th. By the end of the week, he was acting weird so that’s why I questioned point blank asked him that Friday (March 16th) if his funk was because of me or us. He reassured me that it had not nothing do with either and need some space to deal with some things. His funk continued for several days. So, when you he commented that we needed to talk, I automatically jumped to conclusions. Now, he is not feeling well so that’s the excuse. I am just freaking done with it…I am tired of the emotional drain. I asked again this past week if it the reason he thought we needed to talk was bad and he said no he did not think so. What in the hell does that mean? Why not talk to me? Of course, I have avoided him for the past couple of days. Meaning that i have not initiated any conversations, have not asked how is feeling, etc. He spoke to me in the hall yesterday asked how I was doing and said guess okay. I truly do not know what I want…not sure it’s worth it but cannot seem to pull the trigger and be done with it. My heart says one thing while my mind says another…dang it…it so aggravating! There is big part of me that wants to take control of the situation and be the one who ends things on my terms not his like it has in the past. I just do not know if I am ready…when do you know? Does all hope need be gone for it to be a successful end to my misery? Do I need to strategize and make goals for myself? I have not had made any attempt to contact him since Tuesday; and seem to be doing okay as along as I do not have any communication with him. If I communicate with him, I find it hard because I expect him to communicate back and give me reassurance that we are okay. As it is now, I am numb and do not have an expectations and the anger seems to grow more and more every day that goes by that he does not communicate with me. It’s like what keeps me from reaching out to him and dwelling on the situation because he knows how to contact me. It was he that wanted space and choose not to communicate with me. I do not deserve to be left hanging for over 2 weeks; he would not like it. He was the one who suggested that we talk; yet, I have asked multiple times and still has not happened. What does he expect me to do or how to feel? He needs to realize that I am willing to give him space when needed but several weeks come on that is expecting too much from a person and to leave me hanging for that long…he cannot possible care about me like he says.

          • Felk

            Lois, I get it. Essentially, you will have to make a choice for short-term pain. It’s a VERY hard choice for anyone to make. It takes a lot of strength to knowingly put yourself in pain. I couldn’t do it in my affair, but my MM did it. He made the hard choice for us, and it was the right choice. He made the choice for himself and his family, and he chose a lot of pain (by ending us) to get off the roller coaster that was hurting him and his family (and me, too, of course). My point is that it’s possible. And, well, I think it’s easier if you’re the one making the choice as opposed to the one on the receiving end. Even though it caused my MM pain to end our relationship (and he says he’s still hurting being apart), I definitely think it’s better to be the one in control of the decision than the one who isn’t (i.e., me). Your MM has been in control of the relationship for most of the relationship so it seems like you’re on the path to just keep waiting for him and hoping he doesn’t end your relationship.

            You ask “when do you know?” You know now. You ask if you have to wait until all hope is gone, but I don’t think you do. It’s easier to wait until all hope is gone, but when will that be? We continue to lie to ourselves about the hope so it seems like that hope can linger well after we know the relationship should end. I think my MM waited until most hope was gone, but I doubt it was at zero. But, I guess my question for you would be… why do you still have hope? Meaning, what evidence does your MM give you that gives you hope? Doesn’t most of the evidence point to the affair continuing as is with a few good times and a lot of bad times and a lot of wondering if he’s going to end it?

            It’s good that you’re not reaching out to him and you’re letting him come to you now, but that’s no good, too. First, it’s not what you want in a relationship. Second, it’s making you angrier and sadder as the time goes on. It’s still you waiting for him. As Lara said in another post, we agree to give our MM space and it often means something different to them than it means to us. And we let them know we need more and they do not give more. Or they briefly give more (and it makes us very happy) and tricks us into staying longer and thinking they’re being responsive.

            I know all too well what we are willing to put up with in these situations, but it seems that the evidence is already there that your MM is too conflicted to make you happy. There will be pockets of great happiness (feeding the addiction), but knowing all the pain you will feel during the other times, it’s hard to believe those times are worth it (if you’re honest with yourself). But, of course, it is very, very hard to choose to give up those pockets of great happiness. I couldn’t do it. But I can easily say that I’m happy that I haven’t had one of those lows in a while now.

          • Lois

            Hey, Felk. I sincerely appreciate your input. MM and I did speak briefly yesterday because I was angry and didn’t like it. I had asked if we could talk. He said okay. I asked how he was feeling and said not well he had blacked ouy earlier and was a little freaked out. So, I decided which he knows me too well to not have a serious conversation. I think he uses my compassion against me. Anyway, we talked but it was me who did the talking never once did he elaborate except his mind just wasn’t there to be with me. I again asked if we were okay. He said yes if course why wouldn’t it be. I gave him a chance to tell me but he didn’t. I asked, are is going on with your health. He said it’s not good but he’s dealing with it and would not say anything more about it. Now a few days earlier, I asked if he what he wanted to talk about was bad he said no not really. SO which one is it? Can you see why im confused, aggravated and angry? I don’t know maybe he feels the way that I do and just doesn’t have the courage to do it either. So, I composed an email and for the next couple of days plan to read and modify it. By the end of holiday weekend, I will decide to either send it and be done or let things play out and not send it. Right now I’m torn but tired of it…if that makes any sense.

          • Felk

            Lois, I think it’s a great idea to write a letter. Even if you don’t end up sending it. Write your feelings down. Write your wants/needs/expectations down. I know you are considering being done, but I don’t think you’re there yet. I hope you are, though. I hope you take that leap. But, by the way you approach him yesterday and you still can’t be direct with him about what is bothering you, and you still let his needs come before yours, you are still scared that he might end the relationship. And, most, you’re still looking for reassurance from him that you two are okay. That doesn’t sound ready to be done. You know it’s all understandable to me. You know I was there over and over. Looking for that reassurance through his distance. Through his “my mind is not there to be with you.”
            Like you, I’m confused by your MM saying it’s nothing bad that he wanted to talk about if it’s his health. But, maybe he meant “nothing bad about the relationship” or maybe he meant “it will be good to talk about my health”? Who knows? Point is, this is someone you want to be close to. You want a healthy relationship with, and if you can’t even ask him about his brain tumor, what is your relationship? How good can it be?
            And, yes, it’s possible that your MM is considering ending the relationship, too, and can’t bring himself to do it. I think that’s how a lot of us are in affairs. I spent a lot of time thinking about how hard it was and wondering if I was better off without it, but then the addiction pulls us back in. Unfortunately, what is most honest is that this relationship can’t get much better than it is. If you can accept that, then, sure, continue. But it doesn’t sound like you’re very happy with how it is and you’re hoping it will get better. It won’t. That’s an important honesty if you’re going to continue. It can only get “better” if you’re willing to accept less from him. And maybe that is enough? It seems like you’ve spent the last two weeks pretty hurt and frustrated. But please be honest with yourself about how this relationship will continue to be that – with highs and lows – and it will not change no matter how much you hope it will. Try to be honest with yourself about the fantasy v. the reality. I think we can get so swept up in the fantasy that we ignore the reality of what we are in. My MM was particularly good about pointing out the reality, and that’s what led him to end our affair. I was more swept up in the fantasy (and I also wasn’t as unhappy with the reality as he was). In January, you got a little more honest and you asserted yourself a little more, but only a little. It seems you backed off of that again when he came back and things got happy and you got scared again that it would end. You agreed to give space that didn’t end up working well for you. I think you can continue to “settle” for less to talk yourself into the affair, but be sure that is what you want to put up with. And try to be honest about the danger with continuing to settle. The more you settle, the more you lose who you are, and the more it hurts when it eventually ends because not only is the relationship now over but you also feel bad about not standing up for yourself more. Maybe there is a middle ground where you can stay in the relationship for a while and be direct about what you need? I hope you find that, but, for now, that doesn’t seem to be happening.

          • Nomad

            Hi Felk,
            You said in your reply to Lois that it is better to be the one in control of the decision than the one who isn’t. I am confused. Was i the one in control or mm? I thought I was, at least i appeared to be as i had always been the one to wash-rinse-repeat to end, though my reaction to end is always triggered by his bad behavior (flip flop and mia like many other mm), his guilt and fear. I don’t feel any better really now that he is serious about closing the door, locking it and throwing away the key. I walked and waited and felt strange that he didn’t run after me this time. Then I stood there, suddenly overwhelmed by the sadness, pain, confusion, wondering is this it? can’t be, for nearly 2 years, he has never gone mia permanently so is this it? As much as the facts and evidences are right there since the bbq, telling me it is hopeless and what’s left for me to do is to let go, I am still thinking of him everyday. I blocked him the day after we went to the room and the day before he flew off. I remembered i felt relieved and so proud of myself for doing the right thing and was confident that I could sustain. His trip was another rock bottom after the episode in Jan where he told me no need to unblock him.

            I think it is very very very hard to work together. Felk, I do not think i could ever befriend him. It is just too painful. So near yet so far away. Like you, I would have sex with him if opportunity arises. I thought I might suggest one next week but I have strong phobia about repeating the cycle. I couldn’t explain why I am no longer feeling strongly about NC and able to quit him permanently. I was looking at my new lingerie which I bought few months ago, wanted to surprise him on his birthday. Things just deteriorated and fell apart since Nov and I have no chance to show him… I think I never would… it hurts and I am drowning in my own medicine. Come May, we could have celebrated our 2nd anniversary (we talked about taking leave to celebrate his birthday, followed by mine and then our 2nd anniversay) but I think we never would… as the date draws nearer, I feel sad, anxious and tempted. It is hard not to imagine how is he now? missing me? feeling the same void and heartache as me? or thanking god that he did the right thing when he is playing and bonding with his family.

            Deep breathe/….

          • Felk

            Nomad, you are in control of the decision if you choose to end the relationship. It doesn’t sound like you’re choosing that yet. If you choose to be done. If nothing he can do can get you back. Then you are in control. Right now, it seems like he has the power and control to get you back if he wanted. From everything you described, it seemed that he was in control of when your relationship ended. I know you initiated NC, but it was in response to him treating you badly, once again, after sex. He is in control. Also, since you went back to him so many times after trying NC, that also gave him a lot of control (knowing you would come back). If you want to take control, and I think that’s a very good idea, you have to decide to be done with him. You have to decide that there is nothing he can do to get you back. You have to decide that you don’t want that relationship anymore. Then you are in control of your feelings and your situation.

            I know the sadness of recognizing that plans you had will not happen. For my MM and I, we had also talked about taking a short trip out of town together. It was a rare thing that we were able to do twice during our affair, and we had loosely planned a trip that would have happened in November. But he ended us in September and, when those dates passed in November, it was sad. It was hard not to think about what could have been. I also bought him a gift months before our relationship ended that I had planned to give to him at some point, and when our relationship ended, I hadn’t yet given him the gift and I still have it. And it’s sad to me that I may never give it to him because it’s something that I know he would like. But, this is how relationships go. We make plans for the future, and, if the relationship ends, those plans can’t happen. And that’s okay. You do have to let these things go. I would get rid of that lingerie. Get rid of all reminders of all plans that you had with your MM.

            You are no longer feeling strongly about quitting him permanently because we have ups and downs in the break up. Because it’s a process. Because there are steps forward and steps back. I still feel it. Some days I feel so strong and accepting of our new situation, and other days I am flooded with memories and I miss him and us. Mostly, though, I push it all away now. It is easier to push away. It is easier to move to different thoughts. It is easier to accept it’s over. I no longer feel like I’m waiting for him. Working with him still presents challenges and it makes my progress slower than I would like, but it is definitely progress. Give yourself time. A lot of time. One of the hardest things is recognizing that you don’t suddenly wake up and feel better. We all wait for that, but that’s not how it happens and then we get frustrated that we’re suddenly feeling so bad when the day before we were feeling good. But it’s a process. There are good and bad days until there are no more bad days. I have very few bad days now. You will get there.

          • Nomad

            Hi Felk,
            It’s so heart wrenching to read your reply. Tears fell. No way to ease the pain in my heart at this instant. It’s hard to watch it withered and now died.

          • Sophie

            Felk, your message to Nomad was so intense, so powerful. So many details of Nomad’s story resonate with my own and I felt that in your message, there was so much for me to imbibe and absorb. Felk, you and Lara are the backbone of this group, truly. Your inputs to all of us are invaluable and your suggestions are so inspiring, so thought provoking. I’m so sorry I haven’t been responding but things got very hectic overall. I’m in a calm zone, 26th April is the dinner when I will meet my ex MM. thankfully with so much time to heal and NC, and my work taking off, i’m Not so worried about it. Unless it’s the calm before the storm! Phew. But for now i’ll Say, i’m Not feeling it. Okay, another minor but significant development to share – I was in a relationship with another man before my ex MM. and that man reached out to me for coffee just two days before his birthday. We were wonderful together but not in the right circumstances and so couldn’t be together. Anyway, he’s someone who has always messaged and watched out for me and when I met him for coffee the other day, I realised that I was in no mood to start fantasising unnecessarily (I stopped myself from daydreaming and thinking too much about it); also I was happy to feel respected and somewhere it did do me good to further distance me away from my ex. J, this made me think of what you said; of getting some other distraction and then coping with the sadness of ex MM. but frankly, though it feels nice, I wouldn’t do it. I was happy to have a friendly coffee and even openyl share the ups and downs of my marriage but honestly, beyond that (even if a part of me felt sad not to have this man in my life), I felt better not to give in to any hope, any day dreaming. Felk, I think you had once pointed out to how we make a big deal about things in our head. A kiss is a kiss, but I think we build it up to another magnitude altogether. This man (the one before my ex MM) is a married man now (he wasn’t when I met him but he was in another very serious relationship that eventually didn’t work out) and I am very, very conscious and aware (all thanks to this group) that I will slip into the same pattern which I don’t want to. That said, I will confess that I did hold his hand, put my head on his shoulder while we were in his car driving and cried and said, “damn, sad we couldn’t be together.” I felt hurt looking at his wife’s photo in his wallet but I guess that is life; you can’t have everything in life. You make the choice – and sometimes when the past comes, you feel how life is passing us by. Nomad, just reiterating that my situation with my husband is still the same but I think I am more forthcoming and more open in conversations. And in that sense a breakthrough did happen – he said to me last night that he would like to start sleeping in the same room with me. We are talking about traveling together – I told my husband that all I want is to do what normal couples do and that we don’t even do the basic things together. I don’t know the future, but I know, I won’t fall from one deadly abyss into another (from my ex MM to my other ex boyfriend who is now married). That much I am sure. Hope everyone here feels better – Lara, I read every word of what you write. Sending you all my love and hugs. And thanks guys, we have no idea what a source of positive energy we all are for one another. 😊

  • Lois

    Hello, Felk and Lara. I don’t really have much to update. MM was at work today but has been sick with bronchitis. He didn’t look well and left early today. We did chat a bit before he left. I questioned through a chat whether he still wanted to talk. He said probably should at some point. So, I was headed to a meeting and went to his office. I asked him if what we wanted to talk about waa bad. He said no, I didn’t think it is. I told him that I hoped he got to feeling better and we’d catch up on things later. Of course, I caught myself wanting to read more into things but remembered what you said, so I left things alone and accepted that it’s nothing bad. So for now that’s all I know but will keep you posted.

    • Felk

      Lois, it still sounds like you’re waiting on him to decide about your relationship. It sounds like you’re still worried that this conversation could be the conversation where he ends it with you. I don’t think that’s what he’s going to say, but I can tell that’s still weighing on you and those feelings aren’t going to go away. You know this. You know that any reassurance you get from him is temporary and you’ll be in the same misery the next time he goes MIA or doesn’t offer the closeness that you want. But, like Lara says, until you hit that bottom, the addiction keeps you there. I know it all too well. How many times did I wonder how much longer I would put up with feeling bad?

      Well, I shouldn’t be so pessimistic. Not all addicts have to hit bottom to quit. You’re on this site because you know things aren’t great, and you’re likely looking for ways to quit. I don’t know that I really hit “bottom” to quit. I mean, I hit “bottom” for sure (like September and October of last year were HARD), but I just mean that it wasn’t what led me to quit. It’s that over these last few months, even in my MM’s mixed messages, he’s been slowly pulling away still so I’m trying to read those signals and not follow the same pattern I did last year. This time, I don’t want to wait for him to clarify his mixed messages. I don’t want mixed messages anymore. I am quitting before another bottom. I’m heeding the bad feelings through this muddled break-up we’ve been doing. I’m recognizing that I don’t want to feel this way anymore, and I’m letting him go.

      • lois

        Hey, Felk. You are absolutely correct in saying that it’s weighing on me…way too much! I am better today and plan to keep a low profile at work. I have decided it is time to quit dwelling on it because I am only making myself and everyone around me miserable. I have to come realize that if I cannot trust his word anymore than I have been maybe it is for the best we go our separate ways. He told me in the beginning it was not anything to do with me or us. He told me the other day it was not anything bad. In between those two times, you may recall when he initially suggested we talk, I jumped to conclusion and made the comment that I knew he wanted to end things…that’s when he became mad because it was not what he meant. Today, I have kind of suppressed those feelings of doubt and uncertainty and do not plan to go out of my way to chat with him…just keeping it kind of professional. He knows how to contact me. I have asked twice about us talking so do not have intend to ask again. When he is ready, then maybe we can talk or maybe or not. The only thing for certain is that I am tired of feeling this way. It’s not fair to me or my family to be so miserable especially over something that I can control. It’s a situation that I have chosen to put myself in.

        • Thistooshallpass

          Hi Lois,
          I want you to answer this question in your head within five seconds of reading it. What do you want to do? Whatever conclusion you came to immediately is your answer. If you want to end it than position yourself in such a way that will allow you to start healing. I’m not saying it’s easy at all. You can create a plan of action and it sounds like you’re already doing that. For me no contact outside of work alleviates the anxiety, panic and stress about him. I still withdrawal but it’s manageable. If you decided you want to continue seeing him than perhaps you could send him a gentle nudge email asking if he wants to continue your relationship. I understand he’s sick but you can be your own advocate. You have every right to inquire especially since he initiated the talk topic. I don’t want to admonish you in any way bc what the hell do I know. Good luck! I hope everything goes well and this burden is lifted.

          • Lois

            Well, I did what you asked. The answer was I don’t really know. Even after thinking about it for a few minutes, I derived at the same answer. I honestly don’t know. I think it’s time that I went MIA for awhile to try to get things figured out. I am really confused and aggravated because I am confused. Thanks for your response.

        • Felk

          Hi Lois, you know I was in this position time and time again with my MM. So many times something would be hovering over us where I wanted to talk and yet I had to wait for him. So many times would I wonder if his mood was something bad about us. So many times I’d wonder if his low communication was something bad about us. And, you say that you’re not going to dwell on it, but how long will that last? If he goes another three days with low communication, will you be able to let it go? And, if he does that, is it fair? You’ve gone to him multiple times asking about talking. He knows you want to talk. Yet he does not talk. We can use the bronchitis excuse, but you know it would be an excuse because this is a repeated pattern of his. Again, I don’t think he wants to talk about ending your relationship, but it doesn’t matter what the topic is. What matters is that he knows you want to talk and he’s been low communication. You’ve reached out multiple times (as we would in a “normal” relationship), and he has given you very little. It’s not fair. Like you say, he knows how to contact you and he isn’t. I was in that position so many times with my MM, and that they don’t contact us matters. We have to pay attention to that. I didn’t pay attention to it enough in those last 9 months. In the break-up, I am. Now, even with some of the mixed messages, I am attending to all of the times he does not contact me when he could. I am attending to all of the distance he is putting between us. And, I know I’m in a different position because my MM has ended our relationship, but, my point is that there were still a lot of mixed signals from him in this break-up and I paid attention to the hopeful signals for a while (you know, like when he had sex with me). No longer. And, as I pulled away, he has not chased. And it certainly makes things clearer and easier.

          You know that the problem is that even if he isn’t wanting to end the relationship now, the doubt and uncertainty will eat away at you. How long until the next time that you feel worried about him ending the relationship? You are in a pattern where you do not trust your relationship with him anymore. How can that relationship continue? I know you know. And I also know what you said in the other message about the addiction and how hard it would be to quit. I know you are still hopeful things can work. I know it because I’ve been there. I know you are telling yourself to be reasonable and give him space. Oh, my goodness, how many times did I tell myself that? At some point, it’s just all unreasonable for everyone in an affair. And my MM had the strength to say that out loud and end us. I hope you have that same strength soon.

          • Nomad

            Hi Lois,
            I’ve been through all that too. But I realized I’ve talked too much and it’s draining him and causing him to withdraw and avoid, pushing him away and back to his W where there’s no talking to deal with and where there’s peace of mind…then we stopped talking because he’s afraid to keep talking and assuring.

            Hi Felk,
            I love what you described here because I’ve experienced all that recently “he knows how to contact you and he isn’t…they don’t contact us matters. We have to pay attention to that… I am attending to all of the times he does not contact me when he could. I am attending to all of the distance he is putting between us…I paid attention to the hopeful signals for a while (you know, like when he had sex with me)… And, as I pulled away, he has not chased. And it certainly makes things clearer and easier.”

            Initially I thought it’s good to be clearer and easier but I found myself paying more attention to the hopeful signals (he agreed to meet for sex on 8th) and what’s why I’m in pain now that he has not chased. I’m trying not to drift my thoughts to him but my heart couldn’t lie, the physical tension and nauseating feeling are involuntary. I know I could or might ease by calling him on the spur of the moment. But! now I couldn’t guess his response and I do not want to go there.

            Felk, would you be able to explain and describe more about what do you mean by “I am attending to all of the times he does not contact me when he could. I am attending to all of the distance he is putting between us”, what are you doing or thinking by saying you are attending?

          • Felk

            Hi Nomad, by saying that I’m attending to all the times he does not contact me and all the distance he’s putting between us, I mean I’m paying attention to the fact that he is not trying to pursue or continue our relationship beyond a friendship now. My MM and I work together, as you know, and he could easily talk to me much more than he does. He could stop by my office, he could e-mail more, he could text more (or at all… he very rarely texts), but he doesn’t. He was always low communication even in our relationship, but now it is even more obvious that he is putting intentional distance between us to try to stick to his plan to move on. So, instead of paying attention to the signals that give me hope (the song he sent to me on text a few weeks ago), I pay attention to all the other MANY signs that I should not have hope. You can cling to the sex you had with your MM on March 8, but the much stronger signals are all other non-hopeful signals in the following weeks. I could cling to the sex MM and I had in January, but it makes much more sense to pay attention to all the other signs that the sex was the exception and the distance and non-contact are actually what he wants. That’s what I mean by paying attention to the other signals. We can cling to the few hopeful signals, but if the other signals of distance are more common, that’s really what we should be paying attention to. So, what I mean is pay attention to ALL of the signals. If there is one hopeful signal and 100 non-hopeful signals, well, you know the message that is being sent.

          • lara

            Felk I am writing again to say I agree with what you are saying to Lose 100 per cent! Mr. “Low Communication” was the name I used for my exMM precisely! I even joked about it sometimes.
            But it hurt me and hurt me and I spoke out often about it but he never changed. Ever. That was really a horrible thing. And yes, you called it: UNFAIR! In a normal relationship no one gets away with this type of thing for long. Why does this go on all the times in affairs?

      • lara

        Felk you are doing admirably! You have had what I think it one would call a “high bottom” (September/October) after your exMM was pulling away from you last year.
        Quitting an addiction from a “high bottom” is VERY wise and mature. But still very very difficult.
        Also in your case he was pulling away s-l-o-w-l-y which is one way to prolong the pain in fact.

        Maybe you are not here writing quite as much about your excruciating pain because your withdrawal from the affair as been more careful and deliberate. And your thought processes have remained measured and more logical compared to some of us (like me). But there is no doubt the pain is still there. And you have to see him every day at work and thus face the pain head on. Like you said you can only go partial “No Contact” and you must define this as you go. Again this is very difficult.
        The true test for you might be if he tries to pursue you again AFTER you have made up your mind. And after you begin truly healing and strengthening. If he pursued would you be ready? But you are a person who seems to really KNOW this in your mind and who wants to prevent it and protect yourself form this. I guess time will tell for you what happens….
        Love Lara xoxo

        • Felk

          Lara, I like your phrase “high bottom.” September/October felt like “bottom bottom,” but maybe since, it’s been “high bottom” where I’ve been able to approach from rationality and understanding. There are still hard times, of course. I still miss him. I still worry about our relationship. But, for the most part, we are making this transition to a friendship and I give equal credit to my MM. Despite a few mixed messages (which is understandable in this mess), he is mainly staying consistent in his message that he wants the affair over. Also, he is remaining present and responsive to our friendship. He is not initiating a lot (which helps in not giving me false hope), but he is friendly and open and playful when I approach. He and I had another good talk recently about how we currently feel and what we want for our relationship, and there was a lot of mutual understanding in that conversation. We are both finding it easier over time, we are both still finding it hard, we are both still in love and thinking about the other a lot, and we both want to get to a point where it hurts less and we can just enjoy our friendship. So, we continue to work towards that. For us, that means making sure communication and time spent alone together remain low, but we both still want that time alone together going to lunch or going for a drink once in a while.

          But, your question… what would I do if he pursued again? It depends on what he wanted, but, I am still open to a relationship with him. Let me explain. When I say I’m done, I am. I not pursuing and I am not hoping. I am not waiting and I am not planning. Those are really important for someone like me giving up. But I have always been the type of person who can be open to something without actively going for it or being completely content with it not happening. I don’t expect our relationship will happen again. At least not any time soon or at least not the way it happened before. But, if the opportunity arose to spend an afternoon having sex with him again, I’d probably do it. I am the type who always tries to be friends with an ex (and I recently read that was related to narc tendencies). I generally don’t feel spiteful or angry after relationships, and figure that if I loved you once that you’d make a good friend. And, as is likely related to the reasons I am able to have an affair, I can shut out emotions pretty well. So, once we’re done with the “relationship” part, I can pretty easily move onto a friendship. Now, my MM has been the exception, as you all know. But, I know the reason is because he ended it while we were still very in love (i.e., addicted), and none of my other relationships ended in the addiction phase. And, with my MM, the addiction, because it was an affair, grew over five years and that’s a strong, strong addiction. But, it feels less like an addiction now. I do not get the same highs from time with him or the same lows when away. Especially that latter part. I do not feel the same desperation or pull. I’m still not saying it’s all entirely better, but it feels good to say that it has gotten so much better and I think he and I might just be able to pull off this friendship thing.

  • lois

    Hello. I am hoping to get a chance to talk with MM today. I had a miserable weekend with all of weighing on me. We need to have a serious talk. If he comes to work today and we talk, I will give you update on my situation. Thanks! Hope you have a wonderful day!

  • Lois

    Well, I went ahead and decided to contact MM. I used a work related situation to kind of brake the ice. He did respond. I then asked how he was doing? He responded I’m better today. You? I responded okay. I texted him a couple of times but he went MIA which drives me nuts. I was feeling pretty good and wasn’t dwelling on him needing space. I was actually okay with it until I messages him. I have since thought about him quite a bit…wondering why I do this to myself. I composed an email to him to at least get my feelings out in the open. I don’t have any intention of sending it. I say that but part of me is so tired of the emotional rollcoaster. I am just not sure it’s all worth it. I don’t want to live the rest of my life in turmoil. The way I look at it is I have two options.
    1. Continue living in this self destructive relationship and know things will never change…can never be. Stay on this emotional roller-coaster and enjoy the time he allows us to have with the constant worry of the uncertainty of our relationship. OR
    2. Break free from all of it and refocus my energy on my marriage and hopefully regain what we once had together. At least with this option the emotional rollcoaster my kids won’t get hurt and take the chance of losing their respect.

    Sounds like option 2 is the win win for everyone except how do I when my heart is with MM. I guess the first step is to make sure 100% option 2 is what I want. Do I gradually wean myself by putting more and more distance between us? Do I go cold turkey? I realize this is an addiction, so I thought maybe slowly weaning myself would be less painful. I’m so confused. Yet, I know in my heart that all common sense goes out the door when things are good. What happens when this week if he’s better and doesn’t need space and wants to be with me. I’m I strong enough to say no. I know option 2 is what I need to do for my sanity as well as for my family. Then on the other hand, should we at least have a talk and find out what’s going on with him? As you can tell, I’m really confused. I know option 2 is the win win for everyone…just don’t know if I’m ready. I think I am but there’s still hope for MM and I so I am so very torn. I’m mentally exhausted.

    • Felk

      Hi Lois, I know the feeling of a miserable weekend as you dwell on everything going on with your MM. And it’s no good. Why do we put up with miserable? You know I’m not judging. I put up with so much miserable. And my MM probably thought he put up with misery, too. Obviously, we’re in love and it’s a powerful force, but you’re here on this site because you know you don’t want to put up with it. You’re trying to quit. You took a bold step a few months ago in being more direct with your MM. And, now it sounds like you’re ready to do that again. I applaud your efforts to take control and do this on your terms. And, I really hope that you can find strength in knowing that if your push for conversation ends the relationship that it was doomed anyway. We should never be upset with ourselves for demanding we be treated well. And I’m not saying your MM is awful to you, but you may simply not be getting what you need, and if you can’t get that, you will continue to be miserable.

      Your options #1 and #2 sound like exactly what my MM was probably contemplating for those 9 months he was pulling away from our relationship. He felt he was in a no-win situation, that either option wasn’t ideal. He was torn, just as you say. He was mentally exhausted, just as you say. He was finding it harder and harder to stay in our relationship with nothing changing (i.e., not leaving our marriages). Option #1 was what he and I had chosen for years, but it got to the point where the emotional rollercoaster was too miserable for him. So, he talked himself into option #2. He realized that he and I would forever have a challenged relationship that would have many highs but many lows (as we couldn’t really be together), and he chose option #2 for his own sanity (and for the quality of life of his W and kids). Exactly as you say, he hoped that by choosing option #2 he could get rid of the pain he was feeling about us, and he could possibly get back what he had in his marriage (or close to it). And, although he never said, I think he also wanted to make sure he didn’t hurt his kids. My MM took 9 months to make this decision. He slowly pulled away from our relationship and moved closer to his marriage and kids. You know I don’t blame him. I just wish it hadn’t been drawn out so long, or, more, I wish I would have asserted myself more during that period and not just slowly let him pull away from me. We had so many good times, even in those 9 months, that it’s hard to regret too much, and I don’t know if it would have been better had we gone cold turkey. I know cold turkey, as we attempted in September when he ended it, didn’t work entirely. We both found our way back to each other, and it was too hard to make that abrupt change. But, if you stick to it, over time, you will get over your MM. So, we had 9 months of him pulling away and now 6 months of us breaking up. Maybe with cold turkey, you just have the 6 months of break up and it’s over faster?

      I love your phrase about how all commons sense goes out the door when things are good. We can talk ourselves into so much when we are happy with our MM. In the last few months, I’ve been trying to pay attention to the times I feel bad and how I don’t want to feel that anymore. At those times, it is clear to me that I need to be done with this relationship entirely. I used to get so swayed by the happy times, and I was very willing to ignore the sad and frustrating times. I don’t want to do that anymore. And I can say with confidence that I have made a lot of progress getting over my MM.

      My best advice is to talk to him directly. It seems you two do that well enough. My MM and I still have conversations about us. They are getting less frequent, but it still helps me to talk about serious things at times and I appreciate that he is still willing. I still need to talk about my feelings and I want to hear his feelings, and I guess it helps me to feel less alone in all of this. It doesn’t sound like you’re ready to just end it, so why not talk to him?

    • Thistooshallpass

      Hi Lois,

      Would you consider implementing a do not initiate contact policy with the MM? There’s something so empowering about silence. It’s also a way of starting the detachment process and gaining a sense of self-control. I’ve found it effective in reducing the quantity of time spent ruminating about the situation. I’m still missing, longing for contact and craving the “addiction” but I wake up feeling stronger having stood by my convictions. Also, helping others here provides relief 🙂

      There’s no right or wrong answer. If you need to express yourself you can always send the letter.

    • lara

      Lois
      I really understand your words and feelings very well. You tried to give him space, Yet to was him that brought up he wanted you two to talk. So he leaves you with a kind of bombshell then goes MIA. aarrghhh…..You try and try to give him the space he needs and maintain your calm and the peace between you. But then when you finally talk and not only is there no resolution whatsoever. But now he merely says he is “okay” and no longer seems to want to talk. AArrgghhh
      You feel mentally exhausted (again) and also angry at him (but you can not express this to him clearly for fear of causing him to back even further way so you repress your anger). This is crazy making and how many times have I gone through this! (See my “Bottom below”. It was yet another MIA thing!)

      But in my increasing clarity I am beginning to see something here: In our wish to keep the peace and give space whenever the MM backs away or goes MIA we also send the message that this is “okay” for them to do this. I hope I can explain myself here as this is hard to explain. Once we have signaled to the affair partners that we accept (however grudginly) their backing and taking space a very bad habit sets into the relationship like cement. And that bad habit is: “the beginning of poor communication skills.” In other words rather than us getting closer to these affair partners emotionally, which is what many many women need (by nature) in a growing love relationship, we let the partner know they can “slide” on communication. Do they let us then slide as well? Nope, not usually. Even worse, we pick up the phone on the first ring, answer all the texts, answer the emails, become available on a moment’s notice etc all because we are so communication starved! And they know this about us. Wash rinse repeat. We repress a lot of anger in this process.

      So “things” (issues) get brushed under the rug. At first it is just a little bit. But it escalates and in becomes a a situation where these partners (who are not known to love long conversations about feelings LOL) now get less practice than they need to be with us in increasing intimacy. In addition, the fact that they have other lives makes our time with them so precious and so do we really want to be constantly having these “serious” talks when we only have an hour to enjoy each other’s company? So this becomes yet another vicious cycle. Bad communication becomes worse communication and those of who who NEED to connect emotionally via words and “working things out” now feel such despair that our partners don’t even seem to care to make us happy in that area. I mist admit I set myself up by lowering my standards again and again and taking whatever “crumbs” he had to give me because I was so addicted to him.

      Lois please read below what I wrote to Kub because it applies to all of us: We all need to find our BOTTOM. We need to find the place that is truly intolerable for us in these affairs. From there, recovery can begin. I hope there’s an easier way. But that is the only way I know (so far) besides the obvious advice:
      Stay OUT of affairs altogether! Buyer Beware! hugs Lara xxx000

      • lara

        Lois I want to add just one more thought to my post on the bad communication vicious cycle. Have you ever (or has anyone else ever) wondered whether this type man we are having difficulty establishing more intimacy through words and conversations is exactly the type to cheat in a marriage because he lacks these skills? My perspective is as a single person. When I first met my MM and he told me his marriage was not making him happy and it was his wife’s lack of interest in him and love for him I totally believed him. But as the years went on I started wondering something: What if the fact that he backs away and goes MIA in our relationship mirrors/is the SAME as how he acts in his marriage? What if he can not tolerate close conversations about uncomfortable issue at home with his W either and THAT is the real reason he went MIA on her and opted instead to have an affair? That chilled me so much because I then realized the truth is not necessarily what he sees or what he says. He is only half the equation. A relationship is always a he says/she says kind situation and somewhere in the middle is the “real” truth. Perhaps. ??

      • Nomad

        Hi Lara! I love what you just wrote here! It’s so enlightening! The bad habits, the vicious cycle and how repression is built up, how we end up getting crumbs as a resulting of giving them space and peace.

        I’m done with mine too!

      • Felk

        Lara, so much of what you said to Lois is both of your messages to her resonated with me and I’d imagine it’ll resonate with a lot of others on here. First, what you wrote about how we reinforce our MM going MIA by showing we will not only put up with it but, typically, eagerly respond when they do finally get in touch. I’ve said it here before that I always found it a difficult balance between what I could and could not expect in an affair. I believed, and still do, that affairs have different rules and you can’t always get the communication and closeness that you should expect in a “normal” relationship. However, the difficulty for me was where to draw the line. What was a reasonable expectation? I still don’t know the answer to that, but I know that I reinforced some bad behaviors by my MM. I know that I made it easier for him to go MIA than I should have. I know that some of it was reasonable on his part, but I also know that I sometimes acted out of fear instead of understanding. In other words, sometimes my non-confrontation was due to understanding his need for separation in a difficult situation, but sometimes my non-confrontation about him going MIA was due to being afraid that he would get upset or that it would burden him too much. And, yes, some of my non-confrontation was also about the limited amount of time we got together and not wanting to “waste” that time complaining or having a tough conversation. He and I talked about that through our relationship – how we let things go at times because we didn’t feel it was worth it to “waste” our precious time on such things. But this is the nature of an affair. You are in a very difficult situation. Not spending time to talk about these issues hurts the relationship and spending too much of the little time you have talking about these issues hurts the relationship. Put it on the list of reasons why long-term affairs usually fail. Ultimately, whether or not he goes MIA for “understandable” reasons doesn’t matter. What matters is how it affects you and whether or not it’s good enough for you to continue the relationship. I thought his distance made the affair harder, but maybe it only made it harder for me? Whose needs are more important? In the end of our relationship, I knew that my MM’s MIA periods were getting to a point where they were intolerable for me, even though I understood why he was doing it. It’s one of the many reasons I didn’t argue against the break-up when he initiated it. I knew he was right that we were in an unhealthy situation.

        Second, Lara, your follow-up message about whether or not our MM are like this in their marriages and whether or not it is one of the reasons they had an affair, I am near sure both are true. I am sure that they are similar with their Ws. My MM admitted it (of course, telling me nice things about how he was more open with me than his W). I don’t even mean that parenthetical to suggest he was lying to me. I do believe that he was more open with me than his W, but he likely found safety in expressing with me exactly because he knew we’d never have the kind of relationship he had with his W. And I also think this trait is what makes it easier for them to have an affair. I think the emotional distance they create in their relationships allows them to cheat. I know that’s true for me, too. But, you’re probably also right that the emotional distance they create in their relationship they blame on their W and then justify their cheating.

  • natalie

    hi folks..not been on in a while..av tried and ive tried and ive tried..but to no avail..not seen him since the end of January.. tried the no contact & i was doing so well..it seems the longer in not in contact..the more he misses me..im constantly fighting my demons..its soo hard when u love someone soo much..his partners mum is dying and he’s saying he cant leave jst now..i get it..its a difficult situation but I don’t know wot to do anymore..im still in limbo..absolutely sick of this, ..je msg me yesterday to say he’s thinking about me all the time..any suggestions anyone..as I’m at a loss

    • Kub

      Hello natalie
      I have had some similar phase,too. Honestly, yeah him living his wife at these time can be considered as cruel. But you know what, every time he will be producing new excuses for himself. Dear, I am afraid that you should block him, block the ways that he can reach out to you. Of course he misses you, he thinks of you. He may not leave his wife for some reasons but it is acceptable that he has feelings for you.
      But is this the thing that you should focus on? His feelings, his situation. Or yourself? Or should you focus on yourself? What are you going through? How much you torture yourself? Do you think this is what you deserve?
      I think end of the January is a marvelous time. Believe me you are my idol. I can’t imagine myself two months from now. So I suggest you not to waste that all much effort.
      Just maybe try to block him… I know you can’t ignore his msg because you want to know that how he feels about you. But I think ignorance is bless at this phase of the break up.

    • Felk

      Hi Natalie, But you haven’t seen him since January? You’re doing so well. As others have said, though, your MM will likely continue to come up with excuses as to why he can’t leave his W because it is simply too hard for him to leave his marriage. And, as Kub said, block him to be done with him. If you really don’t want to be in limbo anymore, you have to take the steps to not be in limbo anymore. You haven’t seen him in two months. That’s already helpful in moving on.

      Limbo is terrible. I felt in limbo in the months after our break up, and it’s been mostly hard. Immediately after our break-up, I thought we were done and it was the worst pain I’ve ever felt, but, then, it was clear that he was missing me and we started moving towards each other again, spending more time together, saying “love” things, etc. But he also was trying to stick to the break-up and our communication was still low, and it hurt. We’d spend a great afternoon together talking and laughing, and then I wouldn’t talk to him for days. It was confusing and sad. I’d try to hold onto the happy times, but it became clear that, once again, he was just trying to find a way to slowly distance himself from me. He would say sweet things in e-mail one day, and then tell me how he needed distance to move on. He would text me to let me know he was thinking about me all of the time (just like your MM), and then he wouldn’t text me for a week. I know your MM is contacting you more than that, and I know that’s just making it harder for you, but you’re in limbo, too. You have no control in limbo. You are weak in limbo. Someone else is dictating for you. So, finally, over the last month, I’ve gotten the strength to accept the relationship is over… thus, no more limbo. I no longer wait to see if we can be together. I no longer wait to see if he’ll send that next sweet e-mail or text. I accept that we are done, and it feels better. I know you’re scared to let go, but what are you waiting for?

  • Kub

    Hello to all…
    Two days ago I postet something but it didn’t appear. Its okay.
    Friends, I am still having so much hard times to break it. Especially since he is still sending me e-mails that says he is regret that he was loyal to me, instead his wife was loyal to him all these years but I never was loyal to him so he says you showed many times how my wife is greater than you. Oh.. Its okay. I know his style. He is trying to hurt me. Because he knows that I am leaving him. I have no intention to be with him again. Part of me says… Go to him, look him in the eye and tell how much you loved him. Like trying to convince him ‘us’. But you know… I think I want to accept that he is not good for me.
    I am imagining that he left his wife to be with me, and I see that his understanding of marriage is sicken me. After all these… Yes we loved each other. We did everything we could. I know he did, too. I just dont want to be angry at him and I am not also. So, we both tried and it didn’t work. Maybe this had to be. This had to be in my life, and we had to see, live this. But if it meant to be forever then it would be. But it did not. So I guess there must be some reasons under that, I just can not see it so far. I want to believe in this and Let It Go.
    Just let it go… I did best I can. He did too. But it didn’t work. And thats it.
    I think accepting this… Made me relief. And also made me to understand that there were nothing else to do. We were at the bottom, some way or another this was going to end.
    So chicas… I guess we should stop blaming ourselves or they. We all know we were in this relationship knowing, accepting everything. Some part of ours want to be mad, mad at him/her because he/she didn’t make it to the end, didn’t choose us. But maybe at this very point we should leave it. If what we expected didn’t happen, maybe there are some reasons.
    Like this wasn’t meant to be.
    Maybe some of you will think that I am making myself to believe smt idiotic. But I need to believe smt like this otherwise I hurt especially myself the most. I hurt myself because I get angry, frustrated, dissapointed…
    Anyway.
    Lara, Felk, I can’t thank you enough. Thanks for sticking with me. Holding on with me. Talking to me. I started to using Mend. It is really helping me out.
    Also thanks to everyone who is trying to be stronger in own life. Who is a part of this.
    I am sure. I believe. I truly believe that one day, I will write to you, here, that I am in love. With someone, who is appropriate for me.
    I will keep posting, as my friends suggested me. And we all see how by time it will get better.
    Thanks!

    • Felk

      Hi Kub, You say some really good things in your post. It’s so good to hear that you recognize that your ex is just trying to hurt you by telling you his wife is greater than you. How cruel. I’m sure he’s just lashing out because he is hurt and he knows you are done with him, but it’s still cruel and hopefully a reminder to you of why you are better off without him. It sounds like you know that, though. It sounds like you know that, even though you are hurting, you need to be done with him. And everything you write about how you two did your best. It’s such an important recognition. We can get into the “what if” mindset and thinking about things we could have done differently, but we have to recognize that we made the choices that we did because they were the best for us at the time. It is a hard situation, and we did our best with it. I know that for me and my MM. We had a good five years, and we really did our best to keep our relationship going in that time. It just wasn’t enough because the pressure of an affair builds over time. As you say, “some way or another this was going to end.”

      Good to hear the Mend app is helping you. I used it for about five months, and then, about a month ago, I found I didn’t need it anymore. It felt very good to feel strong enough to do it on my own, but that app helped me think through a lot of tough times. Take some time for yourself to get over your MM, and, yes, I think that you’ll come here at some point and tell us that you found new love.

      • Kub

        Hello Felk,
        Yeah the mend is really good, it made me realize that accepting that both he and I did the best we could really set me free, free from guilt and regret. Letting it go never meant this much to me 🙂 Yes, pressure of an affair… This is the one that we both couldn’t handle. But it is okay. Okay anymore.
        I have really deep feelings for him. And whatever he does or becomes, I love him the way he is. Just my feelings no more require a relationship with him. I take my love, my feelings and also my weakness to him and keep it all to myself. I am trying to focus on different things, make plans with friends even with some distant ones. Talk to some close friends, writing here… Getting all out of my chest. Not to sum up and fight with the urge go talk to him.
        I want to end this in peace. Not by hating him. Because I know that I can not hate him. Not when I love him so much. But time by time, I will try to make sure that, this love for him will not prevent me to give another chance to someone.
        I quite feel alone and confused sometimes. But I know, this is all a phase. And it will go by. I really can’t think 2 months from now. It feels incredible time period. Like it is blank after him 🙂 Once I am over him, it is all blank.
        But I will fill that blank with my life decisions. I am changing my country in September, hopefully. I will try to best I can so everything goes okay and I can move. This is a big decision. Some of because of him but most of it because I have wanted this whole my life.
        What do you think that waits for me in Germany, 6 months from now? 🙂

        • Felk

          Hi Kub, I love the thing you said about how your feelings no longer require a relationship with him. That is fantastic. You can enjoy the love you had with someone and know that you do not need to be in a relationship with that person. I told myself that a lot after our break-up. The more distance you get from your MM, the more you will be open to a relationship with someone new. Take your time to heal. Recognize that it doesn’t happen over night, and you will heal. I can hear it in what you’re saying. And, of course, it’s great that you’re moving to another country in September. Nothing better in getting a fresh start than moving away from your MM.

          • Kub

            Hello Felk
            I am living the hell right now. Everything I say I mean it. I am going through really hard times but trying!
            What happens in return? He doesn’t leave bothering me. Yesterday he crashed into the office, I was all alone. And despite I tell him to go he didn’t. He didn’t leave me alone and he mentioned details about his wife, his life etc. He is torturing me! He says that I got of this too easy, he says he wants to punish me give the disturbance of his existence!
            I truly don’t know what to do. I offered him to have a dinner and talk about it because it seems that he refuses to understand accept somethings but he refused my offer, too! He doesn’t wanna talk to me, he won’t quit acting like an asshole, as he says.
            I do not know what to do! Please tell me something to handle this situation. Please

          • Felk

            Kub, I don’t know what you do. As you’ve posted here before, your MM seems dangerous. Have you considered a restraining order? I know that may seem extreme to you, but when someone won’t take “no” for an answer and won’t leave you alone after a relationship, that crosses the line into stalking. Obviously, I think you should continue to be clear with him that you want no more contact, and I’d try not to be alone in the office anymore, but I know you can’t control that. When you end a relationship and someone does not leave you alone (after you’ve repeatedly asked), it’s harassment. Your MM seems scary.

        • Nomad

          Hi Kub, your positivity has almost rub off on me, just that for the past few hours, I was thrown back to the lowest point of the past few months… because I could tell by looking at him, he is not going to return like he always would in the past. I should be happy but I’m just sadder. My heart feels tonnes and tensed. I wish I’ve your courage and honesty to accept the reality of losing mm. I wish I know how to fill in the blank of my life. I couldn’t understand why and how did I forget his bad behavior and lies so easily and started hoping! this is bad and it’s solely my fault. I sincerely hope that you meant what you said ( I realized i haven’t been honest with myself and my progress) and push on! You can do it!!!

          • Kub

            Hey Nomad
            You know. I wish I was you. I wish. Because you have a clean, certain end point. You can’t imagine what it feels like to see him acting like an ass. This really puts me down. We agree on break up but he treats really mean to me.
            I wish I had what you had. Because that means he respects you. Believe or not, yes he respects you. He acts like an adult, not a child. He agrees on what you talked and decided and goes with it.
            Why do you want to see some hope in his eyes? Do you think that this is what you need? Maybe you think, but trust me this is not the thing you actually need.
            Sometimes clean break ups help us the most, because when two sides doesn’t broke the rule both of the sides get some space to think and heal.
            Imagine you want to heal, you want to break up even though you love him very much. But he comes to cross with you whenever he wants. Believe me there is not a worse thing for a break up with a married man. What, he is going to a vacation in 3 months with his wife! This was supposed to be the worst, right? But not.
            I am trying to accept everything the way it is, trust me the more you time you get the more you accept, too. Accept that you both enjoyed the relationship sometimes and it is just over.
            But after this acceptance you will still need some space. And you are lucky, he gives you the space.
            Do not see this as a disappointment, or reflections of his feelings. Just no matter what he feels, he doesn’t share it with you, like you do. This is how it should be, in a break up.
            If I got better in couple of days, you will be better, too. Trust me. I was the worst.

          • Nomad

            Hi Kub,
            Thank you for your kind words on his behalf that he’s respecting me by not returning. I felt consoled. I drowned myself with work but I still wish he would call my desk. I’ve not been honest about accepting it’s over. Maybe I’ll hit a rock bottom fatefully (e.g. caught him with someone new or exposed his lies about his sexless marriage) or time and distance will do magic to my psyche.

            I’m missing him but I won’t do anything.

        • Faith in the Future

          Hi Lib,
          I like what you said about ‘my feelings no more require a relationship ‘. It’s true and something I have thought about before myself. I have always spent a lot more time thinking about my mm than I ever have with him. We haven’t worked together for nearly two years and during that time I have seen him sporadically on and off when he has come to see me. Last time I saw him was Christmas, before that july and March. So I saw him about 3 times in total last year compared to the hours and hours I’ve spent thinking about him and our situation. I don’t need to see him for my feelings or thoughts to continue. But what I have found is that during periods of nc I have started to think about him less. Then I saw him at Christmas and bam he’s in my thoughts 24/7. Like you I don’t need to have a relationship with him for my feelings to continue. But the only way they will change is for me to keep away from him. It’s hard. I wish you all the luck in the world in Germany. I’m sure a new country will keep your mind on far more exciting things and the distance will help these feelings fade.
          Hugs x

          • Kub

            Hey Faith in the Future,
            Yeah I completely agree with you. I believe that even if I go I won’t forget about him. Because I know that I loved him really deeply and strongly. I just… loved him. Not seeing him is what I need. But knowing that he can look at the window where he can see me, or seeing his car parked in the garage kills me. If I don’t see him I know that I can get better, I will have that distance. But 1-I don’t have that space, 2-even if I have he doesn’t let me forget about him.
            I am impatiently waiting for the September to go. Go and surrounded with things that keep me busy. Thanks for the support, I can’t explain how much I need to hear about your experiences and advises. Because I can’t do it alone.

    • lara

      Kub, You are welcome. When we are in the throes of kicking any addiction it always helps us to help others who follow along behind us trying to kick as well. Number one: It keeps it “green” for us as we recover. Number two: It gives us something to do with all of our emotional energy now that it is not aiming for the married affair partner! Number three: It helps us know how we are NOT alone and how similar our stories and emotions really are. So number four: We feel less shame and then we can recover faster ourselves! So while I help you, I help myself too. :).
      I learn a lot from helping others who are going through this same process. I know you see the twisted logic of your exMM here when you write: “Especially since he is still sending me e-mails that says he is regret that he was loyal to me, instead his wife was loyal to him all these years but I never was loyal to him so he says you showed many times how my wife is greater than you.” Talk about twisting logic! This is a married person talking to a single one about loyalty? LOL. It is not only twisted logic but pure projection on his part. Perhaps he is feeling guilty about his own disloyalty but he aims the blame at you! He is quite a piece of work comparing you to his wife when it comes to loyalty? Like HUH???? On the other hand it DOES give you a clue about how much he is beginning to confuse you and she. Somehow he is tangling the two of you up in his mind. This is not unusual because he is of course married. But it also shows you he is capable of lumping you two together because he is confused in his own mind. But he is finding a way to blame the discomfort of his confusion on you and it is not very nice. Sigh. “All is fair in love and war” or so they say. Whatever. Do not pay any mind!
      In addition, yes he is angry because he is losing you and wants to lash out no doubt. But making you the “disloyal” one really makes him immature in his emotions. I am not surprised as the stalker type of person like he is, is usually immature and insecure in his/her emotions. Again do not pay any mind! Try to ignore and go on with your day. Let him vent. You do NOT have to read these emails. You can delete them before you even read them if you wish! You can do so much better than this guy Kub for sure! Hugs Lara xxx000

      • Kub

        Hey lara,
        Yeah I agree, his reactions because of my decisive approach to him. You are definitely right, I should not have read that e-mails. But you know how vulnerable I am right now and desperate to see his reactions to something. Anyway, from now on I will do like that.
        What is ironically funny is he send me a flower last week, to my office. But not under his name. Later he confessed that it was from him. He said he wanted me to feel good through this break up, come to this twist 🙂 this is even more twisted 🙂 I told him that I am a grown and strong woman and I can think of myself, dont need him to think for me. I know this is a trap, a dangerous phase. I am still so weak to him, but I don’t want to do the wrong and go back to him. I keep reading my past posts and try to imagine how was it to be with him. Trying to remind myself that, he won’t leave his wife. He just wont. He doesn’t want to break up, so he does little games to me. He knows that I am weak too. What he doesn’t know… That I am weak but I have dignity. Yeah, until now I didn’t do the pride card. But always I believed our love. I waited him to leave his wife. Well. If he is not, than I am not that desperate to to be his extra time event.
        Do you know what is the most disturbing thing, he had decided to tell his wife whenever we speak. Yeah! He tells his wife that we have spoken, etc. I mean, wtf? Is this an open marriage? Actually no. But he is trying to convince both me and his wife to accept the other one 🙂 and see both of us at the same time 🙂
        I am 100% sure that if I go back to him he will want me back in his life. Without the divorce, though.
        So lara, please remind me that, noone is worth to waste you life this much.
        Please.

        • lara

          Kub
          I know you are still torn and your are being honest regarding the email. It would be hard to ignore an email from someone you care about. You are being honest and this is good. Perhaps the only way you will be able to start ignoring the emails is if he sends so many that you start getting sick of them OR if you block him on email. Is that possible? Can you block someone from sending emails to you? I suppose there is some way you can get the emails at least to go to spam? But then of course you have to agree with yourself to not check SPAM. 🙂
          Kub this is the hardest addiction to break and it is no joke. It can do major damage to our lives. It is the number one hardest addiction according to that link I posted. Why not read up on this addiction and what makes it so hard to break and how might one actually do it? How do others do it? One day you will become an expert yourself and be here helping others…Imagine that for yourself if you can!

          I keep saying this because I have seen myself grapple with this addiction over the years and I know how hard it is been for me. I kicked alcohol 17 years ago and I thought that it would be the hardest thing I ever had to do and it was hard and I needed a LOT of support from others. But love addiction is different. I truly hope none of you has to go back in and out of the affair as many times as I did. I hope I set the record for idiocy. There must be a better way! An easier way! Personally I think affair addiction is far more slippery than alcoholism because we call it “love” and “love” we associate with the best of human nature not the worst. Which scenario sounds worse to you: being drunk in a bar and slurring and stumbling your way out of there at 2 AM and hung over the next day for work?? OR secretly texting with your “secret married lover” all day long (work or not) and all evening long (family or not) and while driving (cars or not) while ALSO agreeing with this person who you “love” with all your heart (but who is unfortunately already legally bound to someone else) to meet ASAP in the hotel 20 min away so no one will see you two entering at the same time?

          The alcohol scenario seems more “Pathetic” perhaps and the “love affair scenario” “appears” to be less dangerous to one’s health and to one’s life. Because it is “love” and we “must act” on it. But is it any less dangerous? Really, it could ruin any of our lives if our secretive “love” behavior were to go “public”. Think about that! Think about everyone you know finding out the full truth of your entire affair with ALL the details!
          Personally, that thought is terrifying to me.

          We are all sitting on kegs of dynamite that could blow a hole through lives: our work life, our love life, our family life, our married yet here we are STUCK not wanting to LEAVE the affair situation! No one here is saying it is even slightly easy “putting down” this “love affair” the same way we talk about “putting down the drink”. What makes us so illogical? so insane? Only the word “addiction” makes sense as the answer. Dynamite is how I see it now. And my personal answer is NO CONTACT (as much as one can implement given that some people here work with their affair partners). But don’t forget I am over 70 days NC here and getting clearer and clearer…

          So my point of view is this: Kub find your bottom quick! Each of us needs to reach a bottom of our own. ASAP! For me it was Jan 10 when my exMM ent MIA (yet again) but this time in the midst of a crisis I was having with my 30 year old son. I had NEVER had an issue with him prior and me exMM knew this. I had never ever complained to my exMM about either of my sons. So he understood the importance. But he went MIA.
          AAArrrgghhhh!!!! But I did get my bottom WOO HOO. 🙂

          KUB what will be your bottom? This is what you have to determine. You need a bottom because at the bottom you are finally ready to try anything to get out of the misery.
          But you must have a Bottom. It must feel horrible. And then you must REMEMBER the moment. Write about it. Email it to yourself. Put it on your fridge and bathroom mirror. Make the memory easy to access.
          And you must try to get to your bottom faster rather than slower because the longer you are without a bottom to keep you away from your exMM the more despair and disappointment you will encounter with this man. Of this I am sure!
          Which thing will he do that will make you really embrace Closing the Door on this?
          I am not going to comment on his actions in this post (the unmarked flower and the wife confessions re: your calling him. I could go on and on with those but you know what?
          It matters more which thing helps you find your very own bottom with it!
          I do not even think 1 per cent that he is the right partner for you (!) in case that helps.
          My hugs to you and to all of the people reading here,
          Lara xxx000

          • Felk

            Lara, the things you say about addiction here are spot on. One of the key features of substance abuse is doing risky behaviors to feed the addiction. How we are willing to threaten our marriages, our relationships with our children, our mental and physical health, and, sometimes, our jobs just to continue this affair. That’s addiction. Yes, we are in love, but we are addicted. It’s not healthy love as we find in “normal” relationships. It is not the secure, trusting, and stable love that is productive for our lives. Yes, it feels really good (hello, addiction), but we all know too well the terrible lows that go with the withdrawal. When they go MIA, withdrawal symptoms that are so bad that it makes us desperate to get them to stay and willing to do anything to stay in the relationship. And then when the relationship really does end? Sheer misery. For me, a pain I have never experienced before.

          • Thistooshallpass

            Excellent post Lara. I love what you said about finding your bottom. The key to relying on your bottom is the reminder bc pain has a short term memory and oh how quickly we forget the agony. I have to apply the same when it comes to my sobriety. Sometimes we forget how bad things were in our life as we create distance.

            I feel like with this “relationship” I still returned after hitting so many low points that I took a different tack. I turned my focus around on my life goals. Every time I was out shopping I’d pay attention to how many women I could spot with a wedding ring. That reminded me of something I want that could never be achieved with him. I also learned more about my girlfriends’ newer real relationships and what they were up to. They all included activities that could never happen with a married spouse like sleepovers, weekend getaways, weekend plans and nights out. I had completely lost sight of all the integral components to a healthy romantic relationship. I literally felt like someone back handed me across the face and said wake the F up.

            I can’t even fathom the repercussions of being exposed. I’m not so worried about myself but the innocent lives and even him. I shudder to think of the pain, humiliation and damage.

  • LIFELESSONS

    Hey everyone, I wrote a long message yesterday from my computer but I havent seen it post…makes me 😔 because it was so heart felt and long.
    Anyway, I read Felks, Nomad and Lara’s replies. It prompted me to reflect. While doing so, I realized again my inability to set boundaries when it comes to relationships. I start thinking about the skills i gained in therapy over the years. I have to make sure I am taking care of myself. If i dont place value in myself no one else will. Im taking all of your advice. I am thinking of taking up a hobby. I dont want to get caught up in a situation like this again…thoughts of MM wont go away over night and I am sure I will see him again but i have to remain strong!

    • Felk

      Lifelessons, this is exactly it. The thoughts won’t go away overnight. That was a hard lesson for me to learn. I beat myself up a lot in the beginning after the break-up, wondering why I couldn’t get over him and wondering why I was still feeling so miserable even though weeks had gone by. But, at some point, maybe two months in, I realized that it was going to take a long damn time to get over him. At six months, I can now say I’m feeling pretty strong, but it took a hell of a lot of effort (and help from you all).

  • lois

    Well, I guess my aggravation with MM was noticeable at work this past week because several co-workers noticed my really bad attitude. A couple of them expressed concern because I was totally out of my character. I guess my snarky attitude was noticeable in my texts with MM, so he questioned my attitude. So, I told him that I have been really aggravated and my feelings were hurt. I did not indulge any specifics but he questioned if it was him. I should have been more honest but did question his funky mood and if it had something to do with his brother. His response, not something I want to get into it. My response, it’s okay…not really any of my business. He apologized for being snarky not his intention. He said we needed to talk. Then, I said it’s okay, I kind of know what is about. He said do not think you do. Then I said, hmmm ending things again. He was upset with this comment and said well maybe it needs to be now. I explained and apologized for jumping to conclusions but from the past and the MIA and funky mood…thought the worse. We chatted back and forth and by the end of the evening, he said everything was still good with us. I asked yesterday if we still needed to talk but he said we would today. So, I do not know what to expect but if he does end, it will be the last for me because I refuse to do this again. I cannot do it anymore. I though about it today driving to work. It’s going to hurt like hell but you know what I had a life before him and will have one after him. If he does not want me to be with me, I have to deal with and move on. I have to focus on me and not allowing this situation to change who I am. It’s not going to be easy and have myself prepared as well as you can for the what’s to come this afternoon when we talk. I will keep you posted. Thanks for listening and the continued support/advice. It is helpful to have your perspectives on things.

    • lara

      Hi Lois, I may be very wrong here but when you describe the situation and he feels you “need to talk” I did NOT jump to the conclusion it was a break-up talk at all. I figured it might be something to do with either his own health or his brother’s health, Why do you think you he is wanting to break up with you? I can understand it has happened before and it has hurt badly and you carry that wound. But you have been describing other serious things he is going through that have nothing to do with your affair as well. I am figuring there are several reasons this talk could be about something other than breaking up with you. I am waiting to hear from you and very curious about this “talk” Hugs Lara xo

    • lois

      Update on my last post. I sent him a chat yesterday before noon and asked if he still wanted to talk. He never did respond and I did not bother asking again. In the past, I would have either asked again or gone to his office asked if he received my chat but honestly did not feel like dealing with it yesterday. I did not text or contact him last night. I think part of me is avoiding the conversation because of the uncertainty. Is he planning to end things and just saying that is not it? Is he going to finally tell me about his supposed brain tumor? I have given the situation considerable thought and yesterday afternoon kind of came to peace with things. If he needs space, I will give it to him and in the process maybe I can wean myself even more from this addiction. The way I am feeling right now; it’s not worth the heartache and stress to keep going through this vicious cycle. Unfortunately, I know all too well how feelings seem to flip-flop and next week, tomorrow or even this afternoon something can trigger that addiction and I am right back to square one. I just found out from coworker that MM is out this morning maybe the rest of the day because he needs to get into to see his doctor. His health saga continues…LOL! Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Thanks for listening!

      • Felk

        Hi Lois, Like Lara, I didn’t read your MM’s message about “needing to talk” to be about him ending it with you, but the fact that you jumped to that conclusion matters. The fact that you’re that worried about it on a weekly or even daily basis is the misery that is no good. Sure, you jumped to conclusions a bit, but it’s not entirely irrational given that your MM goes MIA, has a lot of guilt about your situation, and has suggested ending it before. You jumped to conclusions because you’re jumpy. You’re in the mindset that he could end it at any time and that’s no place to be. You have little power in that position and fear guides much of what you do. You also end up reading into so many things that are neutral and end up obsessing over things that you shouldn’t be. Just look at how much you were stressing that he hadn’t returned your chat from the other day. Think about how much energy you put into thinking about just that little action and how you felt until you found out that he was at the doctor. You know I’m not judging you. I’m just saying that I can look back on my relationship and those last 9 months when I was constantly worried my MM was going to end it. I spent so much time feeling anxious and insecure and wondering. And, sure, at times, he really was trying to put distance between us as he figured things out for himself. Keep in mind that you feel insecure for a reason. But, at other times, my MM wasn’t being distant and I just misread… because I was jumpy. It’s just a terrible way to be in a relationship. Constantly waiting for the other person to decide whether or not they want to continue your relationship. I told my MM multiple times that I didn’t want to be in a relationship if he was just trying to work up the courage to end our relationship. He reassured me he wasn’t doing that (and I believe he didn’t know he was doing it). But, I wouldn’t have told him multiple times had I not known something didn’t feel right in those last 9 months. Yet, I stayed.

        One thing that stood out to me in your last message was this part: “We chatted back and forth and by the end of the evening, he said everything was still good with us.” I can’t tell you how many times I felt relieved at the end of a conversation with my MM that he verified that we were “good.” How many times did I wait for him to let me know that we were still going to continue this relationship? How many times did his reassurance that we were “good” lead me to look past all the misery I had felt for the past day or two or however long? Ugh. Why was it so hard for me to know that we were “good”? What wasn’t my MM giving me to reassure me and why are we willing to take these scraps of affection? For four years, he made it clear to me that he wanted to be with me and, in that last year, it became less clear and I shouldn’t have accepted it. I knew he was capable of better (because I had it for four years) and I accepted scraps in the end. Is it so important that we feel desired by this man? We need it that much? Why? I gave my MM too much power, in those last 9 months, to keep me in a holding pattern until he figured things out for himself. And I don’t mean he was being cruel. He wasn’t. Your MM isn’t either. But my MM withdrew from our relationship, even though he knew it hurt me, and I let him do it because I was so afraid the relationship was going to end. Instead of standing up for what I needed in the relationship, even if it would have pushed him away, I waited. Waited for him to decide my fate.

        I do that no longer. (Or I’m really trying not to.) I was still doing it throughout the break-up for months. I was still hanging on every sign of attention and affection. Not waiting to get back together but just waiting to know he still wanted me (even if we couldn’t get back together). That’s the power I gave him to make me feel valued. No longer. I do not wait for him. I want our friendship, but I no longer need him to say that he wants to be with me. (And my fear is, as Lara has warned over and over, when he knows I’m done, he will come back to me.)

        • Lois

          Wow, Felk! Thank you very much for your response. You are so right and hadn’t thought about the power he still has over me. In looking at things from your perspective. Although, I have been thinking of my needs more and expressing those, I’m still living in fear and as you said jumpy about when or if he decides to end it. My heart was broken the last time and you’re right I am not irritational to feel the way I do because given his past history and guilt he feels it’s always going to be a worry. What I need yo figure out is….it really worth it? Do I want to continue in thus kind of relationship? Is he worth the anxiety and stress? Honestly, I cannot answer those questions because I don’t kniw tight now. I am mentally drained with family issues not with my husband and kids but situations within my extended family. I am just kind of numb and don’t have the energy or mindset to put forth the effort. To be honest, he may very well feel the same way which is why he needs soace. As you know, things are complicated but do feel that I’m reading more into his distance just because of the strain I’m going through. If that makes sense. Again thanks for your input as well as Lara. I will keep you posted. ,

          • Felk

            Hi Lois, That’s the other thing with affairs. They rarely make our lives easier. They only add to all the complications that are going on in our “other” life. So, if we happen to have particularly hard things going on in our other life, the affair is an extra stressor and, sadly, is rarely somewhere we can go for support. I’m not saying my MM was never supportive, but given the logistics of an affair, we didn’t always have time to go into things going on in our other lives (or we intentionally tried to stay away from those things because they might make the other feel bad for not being more involved). And then there’s not only this distance between you and MM, but you have this stress going on that you can’t share with this person you love and it’s sad. For me, it wasn’t family stresses during our affair, but I had a few big family issues arise during our break-up and, wow, was that hard.

            The other thing I noticed in your response is that you still think it’s worth it. You don’t sound like you’re at the point of being done. I know it because I’ve been through it. I can read it in what you say. Maybe you’re closer, but it still seems like your MM has the power and, as Lara said in her reply to me, is in control of when and if it ends. I think it takes a lot of hard work on your end to reclaim that power, and I think the only way it happens is if you truly end your affair. I’m not sure you can shift your mentality and stay in the affair. I know I tried a few times in my affair, but I could never get equal power with my MM. His angst/guilt and his children always gave him more reason to leave than me. As long as I was in the affair, I was feeling the feelings that made me vulnerable to acting in desperation to get him to stay.

            The problem is that you’re in love (and maybe addicted at this point), and that’s really, really hard to give up. I hope you can. From those 9 months I spent wondering if my MM was going to end it, I know that it’s no (happy) place for a person to be. I continued to tell myself it was worth it, but that was because I was addicted and I thought it would be too painful to quit. I’d tell myself that the pain was worth the highs. I’d tell myself that I could handle the lows. And I could handle them, but it was pretty miserable when things were low (as you know each time you go through it). I became a much less happy person during those 9 months, and I was in a situation that wasn’t good for me. He was addicted, too, but he started making moves to quit… and it took him 9 months. So, maybe you start taking baby steps to quit? The only way that happens, though, is if you really want to quit. If that is the end goal. If you take baby steps to pull away in hopes that it will improve the relationship, that’s not the same thing.

        • lara

          Felk you speak so eloquently here. You really nail so many aspects of this experience, what is becoming through these discussions a sort of collective experience for us with these situations. We are all get older (lol) and wiser (yes!) as we collectively realize the similar patterns in these experiences. We are forming a sort of collective wisdom . Not that all of our affairs are all the same. No, of course we are all different and our different personalities and choices in partner play a huge role in relationships.
          But these damn common relationship dynamics we have! If we were all researchers I dare say we would all begin to say: “There seems to be a pattern forming here” Smile.
          And so I wonder “WHY?”
          I try to answer the question in my little analogy below.
          (Keep reading).
          But first:
          Lois I get your jumpiness. Of course I do! I have been in your shoes and Felk describes the way it works very well.

          My Little Story/Analogy:
          In a “normal” relationship you would not be thinking every time your partner wanted to talk that “He is going to end it. ” or, “It’s going to hurt like hell” , etc. But in our affairs we think this way. We become jumpy, anxious, irritated and a little bit desperate. I think this is (might be?) because we know deep down we are not heading for a normal relationship even after the spectacular start of the affair. Something is wrong and we sense it. Even though we are falling in love due to the spectacular start of an exhilarating love affair. we now know or sense on some level that our relationship “train” has now switched tracks. Fear enters our bloodstreams. But we are too captivated to care at first.
          We are entering “The Twilight Zone” 🙂

          Now, this “train” (secret love affair) is on some unknown track heading to an unknown destination like a runaway train. And we neither know where it is heading, nor how fast it will travel, nor what will happen at the finish. We sense in our bones DANGER! red flag! we know some kind of crash is possible and we start to subtly brace for it. We sense our “train ride” (our love affair) has gone rogue and we get anxious. And so do our affair partners. They feel this too in many cases.

          I think (feel free to correct me or add notes) perhaps that whoever has the ability to hit the “emergency brakes” on this runaway train first is the one with all the power at first. This person has the power to slow the train down or change the course of the train or even stop the train completely. The other person (the second one) is left hanging onto the train for dear (emotional life). The second person the one who is hanging on for dear life feels anxiety and panic and fear (even if he/she manages to keep a brave face.) The first person in control stays in that position while the second one suffers at the hands of the first one.
          End of Part One.
          Part Two:
          The second person gets sick and tired of this defensive and reflexive position. He/she strengthens his/her resolve and stops clinging onto this runaway train and he/she manages to get off! The one who was clinging declares:, “Thats it, I have had enough. Thanks you very much. Good bye.” They say this loudly and the first person hears it.
          End of Part Two.
          Part Three
          Now the train has only one person on it, the first person. At this point the first person loses all interest in having complete control of the train. Why race a train down a track without a passenger? Why speed the train down some foreign tracks if there is no one else there to see? Person on one feels abandoned and disappointed and deflated and even a little bit bored.
          So now the person one STOPS the train and backs it up to look for the second person! “Where did that desperate clinging person go???” her/she wonders. “Why would they need to leave me?” he/she thinks. The first person looks for and finds the second person who is now newly reformed. No longer clinging or reflexive the second person looks and sounds stronger! This ordeal of a runaway train ride has caused the formerly weak person to now exhibit strength!
          End of Part Three
          Part Four
          Now the formerly weak second person jumps onto the now moving train and sits near the command post seizing control. This person has the power to slow the train down or change the course of the train or even stop the train completely. The train is off and running and nobody knows where it will go or how fast or what will happen when it lands. The other person (the original first one) is left hanging onto the train for dear (emotional life). This person, the one who is hanging on for dear life, feels anxiety and panic and fear (even if he/she manages to keep a brave face.) The formerly second person in control stays in that position while the formerly second one suffers at the hands of the first one………..
          End of Part Four
          Part Five
          The formerly first person gets sick and tired of this defensive and reflexive position………… ………………………………………………………………..
          Please feel free to add or comment on this. Anyhow this is why I say these affairs are like rubber bands. When one pulls the other is pulled. Until it snaps back. And then the people change places….So yes Felk your MM could YES decide to try to pursue again once he sense your new resolve. Why not? What’s to lose? And Nomad yours as well….Same thing…..Mine will likely make a move in a few months or so give or take….Or maybe he will simply secretly spy on me while I walk to the store…….It doesn’t matter as I am not interested…I really am not…..I been on that train one damn time too many! Hugs Lara

          For some reason these affairs become very entrenched systems of predictable behavior. Why is that? hmmmm Does my analogy answer that? I don’t even know myself! Hugs Lara

          • Felk

            Lara, like you said, we start to recognize patterns on here. Hearing a lot of you say the same things has helped me see my situation more clearly. Has helped me look at my own behavior through another’s. Has helped me see the problems in what I was doing as you all talked about the misery of your situations. Like you say, we are jumpy because it’s an affair. It has built-in insecurity because the other person is married. How can we have security when the other person not only has someone else but has a spouse to whom they are bound by law (and maybe religion)? And who we know they care about and love (even if that love has diminished over time). And both people have insecurity. We saw it through J’s postings about her MM constantly asking about her sex life. I think my MM, even though he didn’t ask about that, had the same insecurity and that’s why he went MIA sometimes. I think whereas J’s MM dealt with it by trying to get repeated reassurance from her that she wasn’t having sex with her H, my MM went MIA to try not to think about what I was doing with my H when we were not together. I think this is something that I didn’t fully appreciate during my affair… how jealous my MM was of my H. I thought I was making it clear how much I wanted to be with him, but you can’t overcome the power of the built-in insecurity of knowing your MW is with her H and you create all sorts of scenarios about the fun they’re having (and, worse, the sex they’re having). So, they deal with the insecurity by going MIA so they don’t have to think about it, and we deal with the insecurity by trying to get more and more communication and reassurance from them, and no one’s happy. 🙂

            And, yes, the person who controls the “emergency brakes” is the one with the power. That is the person who is more likely to just end it all. I can see how your analogy fits a lot of people on here, but there was never a Part II for me… until maybe now, I guess. But our relationship is already over, and I am just now ready to be done. And, as you say, will there be a Part III? Will my MM start making gestures to get me back? Who knows? But, I hope that if he does, I am well past Part IV and I don’t get on the train again. Only thing I might change in your analogy is that, in Part IV, if the formerly weak(er) second person gets back on that train, I don’t think that person has the power you describe. I think if the first person comes back and the second person jumps on the train again, the first person knows they still have all the power. I think the second person has more power than the first time around because they’ve shown a willingness to be done, but the fact that they’re going back to a bad situation shows that they still don’t have the power they need.

          • Nomad

            Felk… it never occurred to me that mm would MIA to deal with jealousy. He didn’t show his jealousy. He wasn’t curious to know. He had been “understanding” because I’ve obligations towards my legal H. I knew this when I asked was he ever jealous? He would say yes but I wasn’t sure if he’s saying it because I wanted to hear it, I felt good to know he was jealous. Once after NC late last year, he asked if I’ve slept with H. That took me by surprise that he had that thought. I always thought that he mia because he couldn’t deal with the infidelity guilt. He had to mia to make up to W and cover up his secret life.

            Yes, if I were the person one, I think person two has more power in this journey. He might be waiting for me to surrender or he is feeling relieved to be able to jump ship, finally!

            I’m feeling vulnerable now because there’s a meeting with him and his team tomorrow. Similar to the anxiety I had experienced prior to the bbq, I am experiencing the same shit all over again. I can’t avoid tmr because it’s an official meeting. I’m very worried about the aftermath effect after seeing him, what if he again acted professional without any trace of missing me, fighting hard reaching out?

          • Felk

            Hi Nomad, I think our MM go MIA for a lot of reasons. I think jealousy of what you’re doing with your H is just one of them, but if you’re jealous of him and his W, it makes sense that he’s jealous of you and your H. I think, like you say, the main reason they go MIA, though, is because of trying to separate the affair from their marriage and spending time with their W. Whether it’s guilt or genuine attempts to protect their marriage, I think the MIA helps them separate from us. My MM also said that he’d go MIA because it hurt too much to think about me and try to contact me (if we couldn’t be together for a while… say, across the weekend). My guess is that they also go MIA at times so that they don’t get too deep into the affair and too used to contacting us all of the time. So, I think there are a lot of reasons they go MIA.

            I know the anxiety you’re feeling about tomorrow’s meeting. It’s hard to see our MM after we’ve ended the relationship. I had many moments of seeing my MM at work, in the months after we broke up, where it was awkward and where he was strictly professional. But, what else can you expect? I know you want him to show some trace of missing, but don’t expect it. Even if he does miss you, he knows he can’t show it (because your relationship is over and because you’re at work). It is likely awkward for him, too, and he’s just trying to get through that meeting as best he can. I also know what you mean about the aftermath. I would spend a long time thinking about the encounters after they happened. That is one thing that has changed quite a bit for me over these months. I don’t ruminate about our encounters nearly as much anymore. I try to let them happen and then move on. I try not to think about what every little thing he said might mean, and I try not to second-guess the things I said. It’s still not perfect at work, but it’s a lot better. So, as best you can, try not to expect much from the meeting. He will likely just be professional and that’s how you should be, too. And try not to ruminate on every little thing afterwards. That is what keeps us “in” the relationship, even though it’s over. When you stop caring about what he’s thinking and doing, that’s freedom.

            Also, in your other message you asked me if it was still one step forward and two steps back. Definitely not. It’s almost all steps forward at this point. Over the last month, I’ve felt a lot stronger, and I mostly feel progress. There are some “steps” back when I dwell too much on conversations with him. But I have been able to feel pretty comfortable with the changes in our relationship now. I have almost fully accepted that I do not want the back and forth and the uncertainty anymore, so I’ve been working to erase that on my end and he’s been pretty consistent in not contacting me much. We talk at work a little. We sometimes go for a drink after work. But, outside of that, our relationship is moving on from what we were. I still miss him. My thoughts still go to him a lot. But it is so different from before. There isn’t the pain and void and emptiness anymore. I feel more like myself. My relationship with my H is improving (although it never was that bad). I’m not 100% yet, but it feels close. Just give yourself time and distance from him.

          • Thistooshallpass

            Your metaphorical story is so on point. Person one starts to retreat and the second person starts grabbing tighter to hang onto person one as they can feel him or her slipping away. Person one may stick to their convictions until person two surrenders. Now person one has control over nothing since the second person is gone. They develop fear and try to resume control by attracting the attention of the second person. The second one comes back as they see the first one developing interest again. Now the first person is in the backseat and the second person is in the drivers seat bc they know the first person still wants their attention. Wash, rinse, repeat but invert the roles. It’s a vicious cycle until one person walks away forever regardless of how the other responds. In your fantastic analogy person one has to stay on the train, continue going through that pain (when the second person jumps ship) and finally reach the other side. “You have to go through it to get through it”.

          • Nomad

            I was the person one. Mm has finally surrendered as he’s drained by my blocking, demands and expectations, and he has difficulty not to behave like an asshole who would turn cold and distant after luring me back. Now I’ve control over nothing since he has jumped ship and gone for good. I developed fear but ego stopped me from reaching out. He doesn’t know how and doesn’t want to come back. I am not sure if he can see through me that part or me is still hoping. I’m not sure what’s his anchor now that hes (finally) able to remove me. I supposed doesn’t matter how he fueled himself to remove me, fact is, he is in the midst of removing me, or already removed. The vicious cycle has come to an end now that he has walked away forever. It’ll be suicidal if I lower my pride, succumb to my vulnerability, reach out to him and just to be rejected. Wow, I just cannot imagine that.

            No chance that I’m the person 2? Even though he always mia (retreat) and return with crumbs when he sensed that I appeared to be stronger and determined in moving on?

          • Nomad

            Hi Lara, I think my story ended in part3 “the second person who is now newly reformed. No longer clinging or reflexive the second person looks and sounds stronger”… he showed them all at the bbq and at my desk last week. He didn’t dial my no since 8 Mar.

            Seeing him in few hours time… I woke up at 4am feeling intense tension in my heart and I was taking deep breath “frantically” trying to relax myself.

            Felk, what is it like for you in the office every day? How do you feel when it’s mon and fri? When you reach your desk? When his name was mentioned? When he’s staying working? Or he’s still giving you hope and you are letting be? Do you feel growing sense of guilt (towards H) just that thought of caving in, letting him know you still want him if only he chooses you? giving you a “normal” relationship but milder version.

            It’s still hard, harder now that he’s newly reformed and reset (after his family holiday?) It helps to read the stories here, to feel heard, understood and supported. Thank you to ALL that I’m meeting here everyday. Hugs…

          • Felk

            Nomad, how I feel now seeing my MM at work and how I felt months ago are very different. Four months ago, it was still very hard to see him at work. I was distracted and preoccupied with where he was and what he was doing and whether I’d run into him and whether I should go talk to him. And, most of the time, I knew I wouldn’t talk to him and he wouldn’t come talk to me, and then I was preoccupied with the sadness of how much our relationship had changed in such a short time. It was very hard to be so physically close and yet so emotionally distant when we were at work. And, yes, like you suggest, back then I was triggered by e-mail from him or his name being mentioned by a co-worker or being in a meeting with him. It was all hard. But, now? It’s very different. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I am not nearly as preoccupied about it all. I mostly just let the day happen, and if we run into each other fine, if not, fine. Sometimes I plan to stop by his office to chat, and that can still give me some anxiety, but it usually goes well and we usually have a normal conversation (that is friendly and our usual playfulness). I dwell a lot less on every little thing he says or does. And, no, my MM isn’t really giving me hope. He hasn’t given me much hope through these six months since our break-up. Yes, he’s given mixed signals a bit, but he has been fairly consistent (even when saying it’s complicated) in putting distance between us so that he can stick to the break-up. Just as we know NC is the best approach to getting over this addiction, I’m sure my MM knows that NC is the best idea. And I don’t think I’ve given the message that I am waiting for my MM to choose me. I think he knows that I know we’re done. So, no, I don’t feel any guilt with my H. Just still trying to get things back on track with my H, and I think it’s working pretty well.

            Nomad, your MM is not newly reformed and reset after his family holiday. Or, if he is, he is only reformed in the sense of deciding to be faithful to his W and focus on his family. He is not suddenly in love with his W again. He is not looking elsewhere for someone else to replace his W. He, like you, is just trying to move on. He’s not trying to be mean and he hasn’t suddenly forgotten you or your relationship. He knows NC is best, and that’s what he’s doing. Try to remember all of the reasons your relationship wasn’t working. You know that he wasn’t giving you enough. You know your relationship was no good for you. And you know your relationship was no good for him. You’ve said it many times here. Try not to just dwell on the happy times (and I know how easy it is to get lost in the happy times), and try to remember that if your relationship could have worked, it would have.

          • Nomad

            Hi Felk,
            First of all, thank you for being my inspiration and role model in giving hope that I’ll heal and I’ll join you in your current state sooner or later, I’ll get there. You gave me hope and helped me to anticipate my days, weeks and months ahead. I’m currently experiencing all that distracted and preoccupied phase so it’s the hardest. I do not know why I’ve lost all my anchor to quit the addiction (him).

            I feel hopeful when you said you mostly just let the day happened, gradually and unknowingly, you have adapted to reality.

            Since I got to know you, you have just said the most powerful statement and it was in your reply to Lois’ post. You said “I’m recognizing that I don’t want to feel this way anymore, and I’m letting him go.” first time ever, I read it loud and clear, coming from you, that you are letting him go. It’s powerful, hopeful and encouraging! Please please please keep it up. I’m counting on you Felk. Hugs and lots of love!

          • Felk

            Nomad, just take your time. Remember, that it will take a long time for you to feel better. That you will continue to feel very low and it will be very hard for a while, especially because you work together. I know that this is excruciating, but this is also normal on the path to healing… as long as you take steps to maintain NC and to move on. I think you beat yourself up a lot for still feeling sad and still wanting your MM. All of that is normal as you heal, but what’s important is to keep trying to move forward. Make slow steps to keep cutting your MM out of your life, and slow steps to re-focus on your children and your H. For me, you know that what helped was to continue to remind myself that my relationship with my MM ended for good reasons. To remind myself that we did our best and it’s no one’s fault that it ended – it’s an affair and an affair is going to be an impossible situation. To remind myself of how miserable I was so often and how it’s no way to live. Yes, I still miss him and I will miss him for a while. And he misses me too (just as your MM misses you). As Lara said in another post, your MM is not having any “last laugh.” This is hard for him, too. But he is being a professional and so will you. Keep making your attempts to distract yourself, remove him, focus elsewhere, and you will get there. But please stop being mad at yourself for still loving him. Of course you do. It takes time to get over these things.

      • Lois

        Just an update. MM didn’t come into work yesterday so we still have not spoken. I have not contacted him and think it’s best to let him have his space. If he wants to talk or let me know what’s going on, he has my number. What do you think? should I text him to check on him or leave him alone and respect he is going through a tough time and needs space? I am so hard headed and my pride tends to dictate my actions. So I’m open to advice…thanks everyone!

        • Felk

          Hi Lois, I read your question about whether or not you should contact your MM, and it feels so familiar. Oh, how I wish I could get back all the time I spent debating whether or not I should contact my MM. First, my best advice for you is to not contact him. You contacted him a few days ago (before he wasn’t at work on Friday), right? You sent him that chat and he didn’t respond, right? Why would you contact him again? And even if you’re thinking he didn’t see the chat, he knows where to find you and could have contacted you across these days. I have seen a lot of similarities in the way your MM goes MIA with the way my MM would. They respond on their own time. They go MIA for days and it’s inconsistent with their behavior days before or with how they say they feel about us. And it’s inconsistent with how we’ve asked them to treat us. But, like you, I’d consider sending another message after a few days to get that communication again. Why? Because I missed him, and because I needed that reassurance that he still wanted to be with me. But what does it say that they aren’t contacting us? Why don’t we pay attention to the distance they are putting between us? Why don’t we pay attention to the fact that they don’t find it necessary to contact us for days? It’s a sad honesty, but it’s something I should have paid more attention to in my affair and especially in the last 9 months as his distance grew. So, I say don’t contact him and let him come to you, but I know that is easier said than done (as I was rarely able to do that).

          Second, I know I told you not to contact him (and I don’t think you should), but my other advice is to do whatever you want and don’t obsess over it. Don’t sit there and think all about the implications of contacting him or not. You regain your power when you do what you want. If you want to contact him and it’s how you’d normally treat someone, then do it. Be ready to reap the consequences of him feeling smothered or him not responding because he’s not ready or him responding coldly because he’s wasn’t in the mood to talk. And then be ready to know that you acted as a caring friend would and that, if his response is negative, it’s informative about your relationship and how you want to be treated. Or, if he does respond well, hopefully you can take that to reinforce continuing to act how you want and how you think is right without obsessing about how it will affect the relationship. Consider that your MM is acting how he wants (and not contacting you). He is not worrying that you will leave him, or, if he is worried, he is not worried enough and he is choosing not to contact you. Again, if there is one thing I wish I could do over in my affair, it’s saying more in the last two months when things were really getting tough. I wish I wouldn’t have acted out of fear as much as I did. Sure, I could see the writing on the wall, but I wish I would have been more true to myself and spoke up more regardless of the consequences. I wish I would have recognized that if I acted in a kind and fair way to him and stood up for what I needed and that led him to end our relationship sooner, then that’s what needed to happen.

          Point is… you know the right thing to do. Maybe you know it’s “right” to not contact him because it’s his turn to come to you. You’ve done enough and you can’t keep chasing. But maybe you’re asking us because you want us to tell you that it’s okay to contact him because you miss him. Or maybe you know it’s “right” to contact him because that’s how you’d treat a person you care about. And maybe you’re asking us because you need us to remind you not to be afraid to do what you believe is right. Either way, you know what is “right” in this situation. Do that. As best you can, do not act out of fear. As I said in my other message, start taking those baby steps to get back the power and control over your situation.

  • Faith in the Future

    Hi everyone,
    Im feeling pretty low at the moment..you know that feeling that you have taken one step forward and ten back? Yup, I’m there! 🙁
    I have had limited contact with my mm for a while now. I’ve not actually seen him since Christmas. He has wanted to see me but I have refused as I know what will happen – we will end up having sex and I’ll feel like I’m back to square one again. Despite us not seeing each other we have been in touch by text and the occasional phone call. I have explained to him that if he wants to continue with us he needs to sort the situation with his wife. I know that I am putting pressure on him but he has been claiming he is/wants to do this for 3 years now and yet here we are no further along. I know deep down it’s not going to happen but every time he throws me a bone and promises me that’s what he wants and he will sort his situation I grab on to it with both hands. It’s pathetic really. I feel pathetic. I feel used by him. I feel trapped in my own head with all these thoughts going round and round. Im so tired of it all.
    We spoke via text today and ended up having the same conversation we always seem to have these days – me saying it can’t go on like this etc etc. I am at the point where I am boring myself! I ended up saying I am blocking him as I need some peace of mind as when we have this conversation he ends up pursuing me relentlessly – sending loads of messages to the point where I end up replying and then guess what.. we are back to the same point again. It’s like we are stuck in a cat and mouse game – me wanting him to be with me and then saying things can’t continue as they are and then him pursuing me but not actually changing anything. I am so tired of it.
    Looking back on the last few weeks when we have had less contact I can see although I have felt down, my mind has been clearer. Since he started pursuing me more again over the last two weeks my head has been all.over the place, I haven’t slept well, he’s been constantly on my mind.
    This is so hard because rationally I can see this is no good for me and what he does to my mental state of mind but the irrational half of my brain just can’t let go.
    I have blocked him on WhatsApp but I know that really I just need to block his number from my phone completely so he can’t ring or text me (as that is just what he does when I block him on WhatsApp) but I just can’t bring myself to do it. The thought of never hearing from him again is too hard. Yet I know this is the only way I will ever be free from him as he will just pursue me endlessly. Any words / advice would be greatly received. Thanks x

    • Felk

      Hi Faith in the Future, You know we all know the pain you’re in, where you feel like you can’t quit him entirely but you also feel like you can’t continue like this either. Where you know that the only way you’ll be free is if you block him entirely, but you can’t bring yourself to do it yet. You’re close, though. I can hear it. Like you, I couldn’t imagine blocking my MM entirely (and I work with him so that’s not even really an option), but I’m slowly engaging him less and less. I’m not letting myself dwell on conversations we had at work or texts we exchange. I’m trying to continue to remind myself that we’re done, and if we’re really going to be done, these things can’t matter to me anymore. And it’s working. So, you know what you need to do. Take the steps necessary to make it happen, even if it’s a gradual plan to get there.

      • Faith in the Future

        Hi Felk,
        I know the only way to get out of this situation for good is to block him entirely. There is no way he will let me go otherwise – he may leave it a week or so but before long he will text or phone me again. I think subconsciously that’s why I’ve never blocked him entirely before – because I’m not ready to totally let go. But I’m thinking about it and seriously considering it more at the moment – I’m hoping that is progress in itself. I think I want it and fear it in equal measure. I want to be free of these thoughts in my head. I want to be over it. But I feel so scared of losing him. I can’t imagine not ever talking to him again. We no longer work together (we both changed jobs a couple of years ago) and we live about a 2 hours drive away from each other so blocking him really would be a clean break. I know it would give me peace of mind because at the moment I know he could still phone or text me and there is part of me that is always looking and waiting for that. I catch myself looking at my phone and I know it’s to see if he has called or texted. If I blocked him I would no longer be wondering or waiting. I would have my peace of mind. But once he realises I’ve blocked him that will be it. No turning back. And I know I will have weak moments in the future when all i want is to talk to him and I will have killed it for good. Im scared of that. He has occupied my thoughts for 5 years. I want and need it to stop. But there is no easy way for that to happen. I do feel like the gradual approach had helped me over recent months but eventually I will have to pull the plaster off because he won’t ever do it.

        • Thistooshallpass

          Hey Faith in the Future,
          I totally get where you are coming from. Mine won’t end it either and the only way to shake him for good is to enforce an ending. It’s one of the hardest challenges I’ve ever encountered. Relationships get down into the core of your being. Mine happens to be my boss so blocking is not an option. Anyhow, in your case have you considered trying the blocking method for just one week? You can see how you feel and if you really need to unblock him you have total freedom to do so. Like Felk, I don’t permit myself to hang onto his words and ruminate over every message we exchange. I meet up with other people, stay busy, workout, call friends and force myself to keep my life enriched. It helps tremendously and during my connections with others I find I’m not thinking about him. Now three hours have passed and he hasn’t come up in my head once. I love returning home and recognizing that he hasn’t been on the forefront of my mind for hours at a time. If you’re not comfy with a full blown block would you think about asking for some space? The potential problem is he might come running back guns a blazing after that period has elapsed. Like you, they withdrawal from the addictive quality of the relationship. I don’t know…. it’s so convoluted and nebulous that all of us ask ourselves why the F can’t we walk away without looking back? Best wishes.

          • Faith in the Future

            Thistooshallpass, thanks for your reply x
            Yes, I definitely feel better when I am busy. Im an active person and like to always be doing something as much as possible. I work full time, have 3 kids to look after and enjoy seeing friends and fitting in the odd hobby. But there is always some point in the day when I can’t escape my thoughts- in the car on the way to work, when I get in bed at night…and all those feelings come flooding over me. But I guess I’ve just got to expect that and deal with it. I’ve had nc with him before for a while and I did see an improvement slowly so I know it will help. The trouble is I need to not go back again..but then I think ‘what if this time it’s different?’ , ‘what if this time he’s going to follow through on his promises?’… But of course that’s never happened.
            My yoga teacher said something that really struck a chord with me today. He was talking about making time in your day for meditation but what he said was ‘if you don’t change direction now, you will end up where you are heading ‘. Wow. For me that means if I don’t change ME and MY ACTIONS I will end up following the same path I have before. Which just leads to hurt, jealousy, frustration and loneliness. I need to give this some serious thought. If I really can’t go nc and block him by every single method, I need to at least tell him I need space for a while. I know I will miss him and I will be lonely without him but I need to remember I miss him and I’m lonely with him too. What a shitty situation! Hugs to all xxx

        • Felk

          Faith in the future, it is certainly progress that you are even considering blocking him and totally letting go. I mean that. That you are even considering it is a step in the right direction. That’s how it’s been for me. Baby steps throughout and then, sometimes, some bigger steps. You will go back and forth still. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t block him yet or change your mind about blocking him. But, slowly, you will move forward. I can hear it in what you’re writing.

          It is scary, but, as you say, there is a great freedom in not wondering and waiting if he will call or text. It was the same for me. It is sad in the beginning. But, eventually, you just stop waiting. I still do wait a little, but very little and it’s freeing. My MM also occupied my thoughts for five years so it takes a while to remove him from your thoughts. And, working with my MM, I know I won’t remove him entirely, but I can already feel that my thoughts are not as dominated by him as they used to be.

      • Nomad

        I’m doing the same as Felk but I have blocked him since 8Mar after we left the room, after I told of him I’ve had enough Ang stopped his flip flop. It seemed working. I survived a bbq of 2hrs and a professional teleconversation of 5mins. We’ve taken care of things on the surface. I’m resisting to ruminate abt if he misses me, if he feels and lives happier without me, how could he, has he rekindled sparks with his wife, did he regret abt us, why me or actually it could be anyone who could be taken advantage of etc. but the fact that I’m still typing such futile thoughts here means that he’s still taking up some space in my mind and heart. I’m not 100% done yet. I’m always not 100% done when he stops reaching out. I’m always 100% done when he turns cold and distant after the room. He just couldn’t fall in love with me properly though I’ve compromised A LOT towards the end the way I wanted him to be, simple things like “love you bb” instead of “have a nice day”.

        Deep breath…

    • Kub

      Hello Faith in the Future

      Reading your commend… You have taken me only couple of weeks ago. Me, feeling like choking him acting like he loves me very very much but he has some things that he can not fight… Ah, how could I explain it to you, or make you understand this I honestly don’t know. Everyone of us I am sure felt unique, different for our own relationship at every step. We thought ours is different. We love each other so much and one day he will be with me, right? I can see the love in his eyes. He doesn’t let me go, isn’t this out of love? Everything is for love…
      I wish I can come to you and show you the pain I am suffering. Suffering because of he is the real weak one. He is the one who couldn’t stand for us. You know, accepting someone who get divorce from his wife is not easy to. Not an easy process. But they are married, they are the main thing in the picture, right? You know I am not a winy person but even when I am writing this post I am crying. Flashbacks from our past never stops but I can’t decide if I am crying that I lost him or that he didn’t choose me. Or did I spend myself on this.
      I have read a writing 3 years ago and during this time I always fight with it in my mind but I throw a towel now. They are right; if a married person does not get a divorce in first two months of an affair, well he never will. You see. This is completely true. Completely.
      So my dear. I wish you patience during these ups and downs. You may keep seeing him, try another shot or even confronting with his wife (done it twice and I have witnessed that he was bagging his wife that Kub is the one who called me whatever she says is a lie :)) trust me you will be at this point that we all are. This is a phase. When you are done with your relationship but I mean really really done; telling to yourself you are done doesn’t mean it when you are really done you will feel it and even can’t put it into words; you will be very welcomed here.
      Give yourself a chance. And block him at everywhere. Truly throw every possessions of his into the garbage. My biggest advice is you are the one who can really stop him. See, there is nothing for him changing. As long as you let him play with you, he will do. You are the game changer here. So I suggest you to see the relationship btw you in this way and keep saying yourself that he is noooot good for you 🙂 Period.
      If you don’t do it in a sharp way it will never happen. He will always find a way back to you.

      Please take care of yourself, you worth it.

      • Faith in the Future

        Hi kub,
        I know you feel my pain and I really hope thongs get better for you.
        I too think my mm is a bit obsessive. He just won’t let me move on despite him still being with his wife after 5 years. He says it’s because he loves me but part of it I feel is a little controlling. Partly it is my own doing because I’ve said it’s over and I need to move on before but his persistence has eventually brought me back so I guess he knows it works. I feel angry with myself for that and I know our relationship will never be anything more than it is now while ever I stay with him.
        He once said to me one of the reasons he feared leaving his wife was because he would be seen as a ‘failure’ and he has ‘never failed at anything’. Is this a narcissistic quality I wonder? There are obviously other reasons too – kids (which I understand is hard) and money (of which he has a fair bit and claims his wife wants it all). But then I think to myself – I left my husband who was abusive to me, I had nowhere to live, 3 children under the age of 3, and no money. Oh, and no one waiting for me either. How the hell did I manage it and yet he cant? He has the luxury of money and knowing he will have a roof over his head. At the end of the day if you want it enough you do it. If you don’t, then you can think of all the excuses in the world.

        • Thistooshallpass

          I swear we’re seeing the same MM jk 🙂 Mine used all the same reasons and will not let me go even though he knows I want to put this behind me. We’ve discussed it a hundred times and he readily admits he can’t provide a full-time relationship and what I deserve. I think they hang on for dear life bc there’s love/care and we fill in the gaps in their home life. There are deficiencies they don’t want to face head on and/or they can’t live with. We provide those needs. I too have said I’m done only to return when he fights to get me back. I haven’t stuck to my word and he knows how to get into my head and heart. Anyhow, I loved what you said about feeling lonely and missing them when you are together. That is such a great reminder of the reality. Also, your quote about changing directions. The ending is the same for all of us. I also notice that during times of separation when I start to build emotional distance I feel like I’m taking steps closer to someone that would be fully available. It’s hard to open your heart to an available man when the married man is taking up space. Gosh, these situations are shitty….

      • Thistooshallpass

        Hi Kub,
        I have definitely cried over my mm not choosing me. I too thought in the beginning we’d end up together eventually. They never leave and statistics show that men choose comfort/safe/security over happiness. You could have the most incredible connection and be the most amaze person, but in the end, they’d rather not go through the absolute hell of a divorce. If the marriage isn’t bad they’re not going to untangle their entire world especially if kids are in the picture. I remind myself every time I go down the dark path of trying to reconcile why he didn’t pick me. It’s futile and I might do the same if everything was at stake. Why I didn’t bail after my mm clearly articulated his intention to stay in his marriage is beyond my comprehension.

    • lara

      Faith in the Future, I can hear your pain and frustration from your words. Playing the cat and mouse game with a MM is no fun at all. I have been there done that too many times too. It seems you really love him and you want him to join you for a future together. But you need him to first start to detach from his relationship with his W is that correct? Have you told him exactly what you expect? He may need to hear it clearly stated so there is no chance for miscommunication.

      I am so glad the limited contact you have enforced has given you some clarity. He does not seem to have changed much however (not yet anyhow). I hear you saying he is still pursuing like crazy whenever you have this serious conversation. But then again he takes no action with his W. Probably he is very scared of taking such action. Are there children involved as well? Does she work or is she at home with them? These are all mitigating factors which can complicate things. You do not need to enforce NC (No Contact) forever. Forever is a very long time. But you can enforce it for a period of time (say a month) during which time you explain to him you need to think things over BY YOURSELF with NC and you need him to do the same thing. I am not promising he will change. But the NC often shocks the system of both people and the relationship too. It can do a world of good in a “stuck” situation like this. what do you think? Hugs Lara xx00

      • Faith in the Future

        Hi Lara,
        Yes, I absolutely do need him to detach from his wife if our relationship is to continue. I feel guilty saying it but it’s the truth. It hurts way too much to be in the shadows. It’s like I don’t exist in his ‘real life’. He has said it’s what he wants too but we’ve been having this conversation for nearly three years now. I have explained to him how I feel but despite me saying I can’t go on like this I have always ended up going back to him and we fall into the same pattern again. Im so angry with myself. Plus he will have learnt by now that if he leaves me alone for a while I will end up coming back. God I sound so pathetic!
        I do understand it is hard for him. He has three kids, 2 of which are college age but the third is much younger. His wife hasn’t worked since they first had kids and so is totally financially dependent on him. He earns good money so she has a very good lifestyle. He says when they have argued in the past she says she wants all the money and he is scared he will end up with nothing. Obviously I have no way of knowing if this is true but this is what he has told me. I can also understand from her point of view that she would be scared as she has been financially dependent on him for so many years. The irony is I would take him with nothing. I have a good job myself and have no interest in his money. I just want him. But I do understand when couples break up money plays a big part.
        There is also an added complication that his mom is very sick with a terminal condition at present. He looks after her almost 24/7 currently and has been for over a year now. He stays over at her house every night. He doesnt get much sleep because he is looking after her at night and this is one reason why we haven’t seen each other much over recent months which I totally understand and have tried to be as supportive as I can. The other reason however is because of the ongoing situation with his marriage. I don’t know whether him looking after his mom has prevented him sorting it out or whether, if his mom was fine, he would just be living in the Marital home like nothing wad wrong. I know he was still living at home before his mom got sick and we were in this situation back then too…
        I don’t want to seem unreasonable – I know it is hard and I know he is going through a tough time with his mom. But how long am I supposed to wait? I feel like I am wasting my life. I can’t move on because I can’t get over him whilst ever he is pursuing me. Yet he won’t take any action to sort it out. It is the most frustrating and heart breaking situation I have ever been in. It makes me angry because it feels everything is about him and his needs..but what about mine?
        I do think nc will help me. It’s going to hurt like hell but I just need some peace of mind away from this situation. The thing that scares me is that I know deep down this isn’t going to end how I want it to… xxx

        • lara

          Faith in the Future I feel a great deal of familiarity with your situation. Our affairs are alike in many ways. The first paragraph you wrote above is all my experience too. I needed mine to leave his W too if we were to continue. I could not bear continuing otherwise. I also began to feel really awful about helping him to lie to his wife (indirectly). I knew that whatever she was perceiving of him in their marriage was a total lie and I started not feeling good about being in that lie with him with no clear vision in sighte of a better future for any/all of us. While in the beginning I was not as bothered by this (by her presence) (I was more concerned with him and I) then I eventually got to a point where I clearly saw the love triangle for what is was: A very stable and unchanging triangle with no one budging.
          It did not feel “fair” after awhile and it caused us to either fight or for me to pull out of the affair entirely and try to go on without him. I went NC for 5 years! Imagine that. But eventually I went back alas. But it’s okay. I have FINALLY after a long time decided I forgive me. I must forgive ME. That is Step Uno in leaving an affair I think.
          Faith in the Future, What I earned the hard way is this:
          My going back; my standing firm with my love; changed ZERO in our overall situation. He told me she had never loved him but she was the mother of his children. He told me she was dependent on him financially and he could not leave her. I stuck around long enough to watch the kids become adults but then what happened? He and his W want to still live with their adult children and so they now provide them with everything including meals and laundry rent free. Can you believe this?

          You can wait and wait and wait. Things will NEVER change in certain situations. Never. So I broke up with him. At first I did not go NC at all. We stayed in touch for awhile and tried to be friends as best as we knew how. It was VERY awkward especially not touching each other, not being affectionate, not jumping into bed and being playful etc. And I think he was very hurt but also angry inside. But he never stated this. He is a “narc” (narcissist) and I surely wounded his over-sized ego. I did not want to hurt him in fact. I had neutralized much of my anger towards him and I was not aiming to hurt him. But he interpreted trying to be friends with him as a major rejection from the woman who had stood by him for so many years (off and on). I had always told I did love him. And I did.
          In the end he did something really not nice to me. I think it was his hidden anger towards me. But it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
          I spoke here before on this page about my son and me being in a crisis with him over Christmas. My exMM came over offering to support me emotionally and “be there” for me. But then he went MIA on me! Major OUCH. I was left alone to deal with my family problems.
          It felt soooo horrible to me. The MIA thing in conjunction with the state of mind he knew I was in over my beloved son. Someone here on this bard said he was jealous of my love for my son and that might be true. A true narcissist, which he is, can not conceive of the needs of people outside him/herself. I knew I had to cut contact because I knew I could not let him treat me this way when it came to my son. I would lose face in front of him and I would lose love for myself inside myself.
          I had put up with his W and his family for so many years. I finally realized my family and my needs counted too! So I texted him and explained I was going NC (I had done this in the past with him and he knew the drill) and I explained why. I could not bear to wait by my phone anymore waiting for his crumbs of support. It was too hurtful to me and I told him this. That was Jan 10, 2018. And here I am. NC.
          Faith in the Future, You can start to break up in stages if you need to and you can have honest conversations about it with him if you wish. You just have to start putting what YOU need first because you have to take care of YOU first.
          The MM in my life would never quite comprehend “conversations” however. Me being NC is something he definitely understands much better. It is a clear action. Many of my my actions were unclear to him because I would say that he needed to detach himself from his marriage but I would stay around anyhow him (in case he needed me) HA! This is not how marriages find closure. The two people in a marriage must slowly but surely begin disentangling on their own and find closure.
          Honestly I would not find my exMM serious unless he actually packed up all of his clothes and belongings and left his house and found a NEW place to live! Talk is cheap as they say.
          As for me now, I am getting happier and happier with each passing day. YES its a BIATCH and YES its addiction and love all wrapped up into one very messy enchilada.
          But moving on this time feels right for me inside and out. I don’t want an affair with him anymore. I was tired. I still am tired. I am tired of thinking of it and it takes a great deal of energy and work to recover from it! Exhausted might be the better term. I was hurting all the time. My mind was like a merry go round of negative thoughts. Honestly I am so happy to be FREE of this kind of love “slavery”. I really think enslavement/entrappement is the way I felt with my exMM at the end. And at heart I am a real freedom loving bird, a free spirit type. So now I am going to let myself fly! for once. 🙂 Hugs Lara

  • I thought I was different

    Good afternoon. I found this forum a little over a year ago and can’t tell you how much this has helped me. I have posted a few times but mainly just take in others comments and this has made me a believer that I can go on after MM. I am struggling this week. With MM for 3 years and just within the last month it has been very rocky- very emotional- very roller costy….. I know its the end. And you know what? I am ok with that. I do get satisfaction knowing he may not be happy moving on but that was his choice. It was his birthday yesterday and I debated on whether to tell him happy birthday- i did break down around lunch time and wished him a happy birthday to get the response “thank you”. This is what 3 years of loving him has gotten me? A thank you? But today, i struggle with telling his wife the truth. She knew of us 3 years ago for the last year of our relationship, he has denied any involvement with me. I feel she should know? I am not sure why but I do. Is it to hurt him? To hurt her? I have clothes and things of his at my house- how do I return these things? I am struggling with these things and hoping like you guys always do, come through with some great advise.

    • Felk

      I thought I was different, sorry you only got a “thank you” from him when you said happy birthday, but I find that the MM often aren’t trying to be mean in their responses. Sometimes they think a “thank you” is a kind response, and other times, especially if things have been rocky lately, they are trying to maintain some distance as they go through hard things, too. But, much more than that, is your question about whether or not you should tell his wife about your affair. I think my advice would always be “no.” I understand the desire to hurt him like he’s hurt you, but I think there are a few really good reasons not to tell his wife. In no particular order, 1) you got into the affair knowing he was married, and I think it’s an implicit agreement when you enter an affair that you will keep it a secret, especially from the other’s spouse. I know that may sound obvious, but I mean that no only holds true during the affair, but I think it holds true after the affair. I think affairs require a lot of trust in the other person to take care in making sure the two of your aren’t exposed and in trusting the other person not to tell your spouse if the relationship goes badly. Not that there really are “rules” in affairs, but I think we try to treat each other as kindly as possible given a very hard situation. 2) Relating to treating others kindly, of course I don’t know anything about his W or your situation, but it mainly seems cruel to tell his W. Why would she deserve that pain? We may tell ourselves that we are telling the W because she deserves to know, but if we are only doing that after the MM has left us, then we are not telling her out of morality but rather out of spite and revenge. There may be some truth to the argument that the W deserves to know, but, by that same argument, the W “deserved” to know during your whole affair. Also, we may tell ourselves that we’d want to know were we in the W’s position, but I’m not sure that’s true. First, we really may not want to know were it to happen to us (that’s a hypothetical question) and, second, she may not want to know. What we do know is that, even if she would want to know, learning this from you will cause her pain. And I don’t know if they have children, but, if they do, learning this will cause their whole family pain. That seems particularly unfair (to children). Generally, in an affair, it seems we agree to stay out of the business of our other’s marriage. That means during the affair and after. I would leave it for him to deal with now. 3) Let go. The best way to get past these affairs is to not hold onto feelings about your MM. I know you’re angry and hurt and many other words, but the longer you hold onto that anger, the longer he has power over you and the longer you’ll feel miserable. By considering telling his W, you involve yourself further when you should be separating further.

      I am a MW, and it would be devastating if my MM told my H about our affair. It would devastate my H (who is unsuspecting), and it would devastate our marriage (which we are repairing since the affair ended). I don’t know if my H would want to know, but I know that it would cause him a lot of misery and pain that he is not experiencing now.

    • Thistooshallpass

      Welcome to this forum of wonderful souls sharing virtually and offering consolation. If you’re asking for advice on telling the wife, my opinion is do not contact his spouse. What purpose would it serve and what are your motives? I think it would cause immense pain and destruction. Once you expose him you can never rescind and you probably don’t want to hurt the innocent. Also, what if she or anyone else in his life came after you for retribution? What if he did something out of spite? Sometimes saying nothing is more powerful than saying anything at all. Walk away in peace and take the high road. Let him live with whatever guilt, shame he has. You’ll feel so good about yourself in the long haul. You could leave his belongings in a bag on your doorstep and ask him to pick them up when you’re not home. I wish you well and please keep posting your progress. It’s encouraging to hear success stories of people moving on. I’m still not there yet but working on it.

    • lara

      Hi there: I thought I was different
      You say: “She knew of us 3 years ago for the last year of our relationship, he has denied any involvement with me. I feel she should know?”
      The obvious Q. for you is why do you feel she should know and who if anyone should tell her? Are you thinking of her well being over your own?
      This is a question many of us ponder.
      LifeLessons contacted the W, if my memory is correct, and perhaps she will weigh in here.
      I never wanted to do that as I knew I would be seen as the “bad guy.” The OW (the “other” woman) is often (almost always) cast as the “bad one” by a MM who has to explain to his hysterical wife what happened. He will say the affair is all your fault and that you pursued him and that you were relentless and would not take “no” for an answer etc. He might even cast you as crazy. I have seen this happen so MANY times. It usually brings no relief whatsoever from the anger and the hurt feelings of the “other woman”. And it could provoke the man to take revenge back on you in some hurtful way, especially in a work situation. So you need to decide such a thing with GREAT CAUTION.
      Will you get the results you wish or will you merely drive them closer together? I have seen marriages actually improve after such a crisis. THINK THINK THINK….before you act.

      In my case I did not want WW3 on my block with people I live near and who would find out and take sides. I could see the whole mess in my mind. And I did NOT want my exMM to tell my sons ever! So I decided long ago I would never reveal the affair. He knew this. I told him and we agreed on this fact. And he would never reveal either. We both have too much at stake and we could agree on that. So in leaving my affair, which is what I did, I have decided the best “revenge” is living well! I hope this is helpful. I can not change him or his wife or his marriage but I CAN CHANGE ME.
      xoxo Lara

      • LIFELESSONS

        I dont know if I undersrand the purpose of contacting the wife…lara I didnt contact my MM’s wife. I couldnt bring myself to do that. I use to feel bad dropping their kid off after practice and she would wave and say thank you. I just dont think anything good will come from confronting the wife. I never wanted my MM to leave his W for me and honestly, I dont think i wouldve wanted him if he did…
        So, I thought I was diffent
        I am interested in your expectations ?
        What do you hope to gain ?
        Are you feeling hurt and want to destroy his home life ?

  • lois

    Hello, everyone. I was having an emotional evening and was frustrated with myself for going back into the situation with MM. I guess my post from last night did not save; do not see it on here. As you know, things seemed to be going well and he actually had been more attentive to my needs until last week. We had an amazing time together probably one of my fondest last Monday; however, MM has been in a weird state of mind ever since. I have learned from the advice from Felk and others to stand up for my feelings; so I finally confronted him on Friday. I point blank asked, if everything between us was okay and if his funk mood was because of me. He said; everything was good between us and his mood was not because of me and he would be honest if it was. He added that he was dealing with some things and needed to checkout for awhile. So, I sent him a text Saturday letting him know that I was thinking of him and that was it. I was out of the office on Monday but sent him a text last night to see how he was doing…he said fair, I guess. He asked how I was doing…blahblahblah. I told him that I was not sure because had not heard from him; he said he was still wading through things. So, I get to work today and find out that he had a conversation with a coworker and told her that he is having issues again with his head (referring to his brain tumor) along with high blood pressure; gluten allergy, etc. I really have my feelings hurt because he still yet to this day has never told me anything about his tumor. I know this time last year, he told me that his health was a concern and he would not be able to hide his illness from people much longer. Later, I found his brother was diagnosed with cancer. It is has been a year and there are not any noticeable changes to his appearance except he has gained weight. I know for me to end things, I have to hit rock bottom and be 100% done with the emotional drain but what will it take for me to get there. For those of you who have gone some time with NC and are feeling lonely and want to contact MM, please do not give in to your hearts’ desires, the truth is things do not change and you have to start over from day one. It is not worth being hurt again…it continues to be the same cycle. No matter how much you want things to be better; it may for awhile but eventually it reverts back to the same old crap. I know and very frustrated with myself for letting my guard down. Although I have kept it in the back of mind, it does not make it any easier except right now I am really hurt and mad. It does not help that we work together; maybe I need to see about moving to a different part of section of the building so I do not have to see him as often. He is currently down the hall from me. So my saga begins…and feeling like a fool for believing things could be different. I know, we told each other that we would give space as needed but my gut tells me it’s more than just needing space. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why he won’t tell me about his health but he does someone else.

    • Felk

      Hi Lois, sorry to hear you’re going through it again. Even when we know it’s going to happen again, it still hurts. Sure, maybe it hurts less, but hurt is still hurt. Some of the things you’ve said about your MM over the months has resonated with me as they seem similar to traits in my MM. He’d hold back information that I thought was important and I’d hear through others and wonder why he didn’t tell me. In the examples I’m thinking of, it was pride for some of the examples (i.e., he was embarrassed to show me anything that might make him look bad) and privacy for other examples (i.e., he wanted to keep some things separate as best as possible). I don’t know why your MM hasn’t told you about his brain tumor. Obviously, that’s a really big thing, and you wonder why he can tell someone he cares about less about something so important, but it’s probably exactly that. It may be that, given your relationship, telling you something so big would add meaning to your relationship that he is scared to add. It may add a level of closeness that he only wants to share with his W. Or it may be that, given your relationship, he doesn’t want to add a sad/negative thing and wants to keep his interactions with you happy and fun. Or it may be that, given your relationship, the brain tumor makes him feel weak and scared and he doesn’t want to show that you to… someone whose opinion matters to him. Those are the top reasons that come to mind to me, but who knows? Have you considered asking him directly? Why not? If you’re going to have an honest relationship with him, this is part of that. If you are worried he will feel that you have overstepped, then you two aren’t as close as you want to be, right? You know I tell you this given the hesitations I had in my affair to “impose” on my MM. While there is definitely value to respecting boundaries, there is harm to allowing a person to shut you out of important information. You have to decide where this falls. Is it something you need to know for the good of your relationship? Or is it something you want to know because of how it makes you feel that he is not telling you? If it is the latter, it might just be about your pride and it might not be necessary for you to know.

      You also say the thing about your MM saying that his mood lately wasn’t about the two of you. First, good for you for asking directly.
      Why obsess about it for days when a simple conversation can address? And I know it’s not that easy… since we don’t want to look pathetic always asking our MM if they’re mad at us, but if his behavior is a lot different from normal, it’s reasonable to ask. There were times this happened with me and my MM. He’d get in a funk for a few days, after everything seemed great with us, and I’d be confused. Sometimes I’d ignore it (and he’d be “normal” in a few days). Sometimes it’d bother me and I’d ask, and he’d say something like your MM… saying it wasn’t us and it was other things separate from us. That was usually his way of saying it was something with his W or with his kids/W/family and it didn’t involve me. And, sure, that was sad and hard to be in the dark, but it was something I accepted as part of an affair. I couldn’t expect to have all of the information I wanted or that I’d expect in a “normal” relationship. There were different boundaries and some information was reasonably off-limits to me. But, as I said above, you have to decide where that line is for you and what is acceptable for your well-being. Can you accept that he’s not telling you about his brain tumor? Can you accept that he’ll go quiet and not come to you for days? I know we want our MM to come to us for these sorts of things, and we want to be able to have the type of relationship with them where they don’t withdraw for days, but I don’t think we get that luxury in an affair. So, I’m not saying you should put up with bad treatment. Ask what is important for you to know. Stand up for the treatment you want. But, also think about what is fair and reasonable in an affair and maybe accept that your MM will not tell you as much as you’ve come to expect in other relationships.

      I don’t know what you’re supposed to do. In my affair, I decided to accept some distance and privacy from him. But I’m not going to say it was easy. It frustrated me repeatedly. Mostly, we had a happy affair, but there were periods of my frustration/insecurity/anxiety/sadness because of his privacy and withdrawing from us. I talked to him about it many times, and, though he opened up more and more as our affair continued, there still were periods of distance that were very hard on me. I’ve said here before, our last nine months involved a lot of withdrawal from him as he tried to work on his marriage. And, of course, we didn’t really talk about it much because his marriage was private, but it was very hard on me to deal with that distance in the midst of being so in love. This is the difficulty of an affair. Our brain wants a “normal” relationship, but we cannot have it. That causes pain.

      • Nomad

        Hi Felk, “Our brain wants a “normal” relationship, but we cannot have it. That causes pain.” but why is it that mm could give us a “normal” relationship at the beginning or up to 1st year, and then they suddenly couldn’t and stopped?

        • Felk

          Hi Nomad, I think the way to look at it is that your MM was not giving you a normal relationship in the first year. He was married. You’re married. You couldn’t give each other “normal.” But, why did the first year feel better? It’s all new and exciting, and those feelings are over-riding the guilt and the anxiety. And, in any relationship, we put more effort in at the beginning than we do later on. As the affair gets more serious, it gets harder for both people exactly because you can’t move into a “normal” relationship. As the affair gets more serious, there are more expectations and that leads to more pressure. Pressure that often can’t be resolved because you’re married to other people. You have been very clear that your MM felt a lot of pressure from you. I’m not saying you asked anything unfairly of him, but he felt pressure and that made the affair too much for him to handle. It also could have been pressure that he put on himself (my MM used to say that about our relationship… that he put a lot of pressure on himself to manage his marriage and to be good to me), but, at some point, it all became too much for your MM.

          I know it hurts to know that he didn’t want the affair to continue as much as you did, but that is the reality. My MM didn’t think the enjoyment of our affair was worth the pain the affair was causing him. It hurt a lot to hear my MM didn’t think our relationship was worth continuing, but your MM felt similarly. At some point, it wasn’t worth it for him. It’s sad and it hurts to know that our other didn’t want our relationship as much as we did, but this is what happens in relationships. In your rational moments, you know this. You know it’s normal for relationships to fail and it’s okay. And considering the enormous pressure on affairs, it’s really hard to sustain them for very long.

    • lara

      Hi Lois,
      I can not add much to what Felk just said. She covered almost everything I can think of! (Thank you Felk). One thing that stands out to me is the distance after the the Monday that went so well for you. Ouch. How I know that pain. Things can go so well in affairs and then something happens to change the mood suddenly. I think Felk is so right that we can not expect affairs to be like normal relationships because they are not normal relationships. But the heart gets wounded because of the sudden withdrawal from the other party and then comes the feelings of insecurity and doubt and self\-criticizing which so many of us do when we are left trying to deal with a silence from the other side. we all seem to say the same thing: What did I do wrong? Why do we do that to ourselves?

      You asked if it everything was okay with the two of you point blank. Bravo for being direct and for asking for what you needed! I feel I asked my exMM several times something similar and he would always say “yes we are fine” and I would try and believe him and to give him space. But I realize now that I never was quite sure if he was telling me the whole truth. Did he tell me “no” so I would not panic? Or because it was really something else?

      The last conversation I had with him he revealed to me some very serious problems he was having at home with his son’s behavior. It had been going on for two years and he had told no one. And not me. I scanned back in time to the times I had felt he had withdrawn and left me with questions in my mind about his sudden withdrawals. It hurt to realize he had left me out of this discussion but his reasons could be any that Felk mentioned. He then said that the only reason he revealed these things to me about his son to me was that I brought up MY problems I was having with my own son.

      I realized he had a left a lot of his real life out of our affair as he needed the affair to be NOT about these things. Fair enough. But my definition of being in a loving relationship with him included sincere sharing of things like this. Now I can see we had very separate expectations for the affair. I wanted to share my life moments with him more perhaps as I have no other partner.

      And normally I would accept these differences in definition. But in the case of his son, this is a child I knew since he was little and who was at my house many many times playing in the backyard. And more. And who he talked to me about a lot in the past. So I felt I was “owed” more information. Anyhow he said now he and his wife were lying to everyone (all their friends) and saying that their son was “at work” when in fact it seems like he is in jail. (On this point I am still not 100 per cent sure as my exMM was not specific on purpose. Suffice it to say he is “away” for a year.)

      My exMM was ashamed of this truth and did not want to tell anyone. His W evidently feels the saw way. For me, this way of handling this is quite foreign. But no matter I get it. He is a narc so this would not be something he would ever want to share as he feels he would be judged. Fine.
      So he then agreed during that conversation that he would call me two days later to “talk more”. And that he was glad we got closer via my tears and our mutual frustrations about our family members and personal lives. He said he would help me out with my son if I needed. I told him I was very grateful for this offer. I told him thank you for being there for me when I needed it. I said, “Talk to you in 2 days.”

      Then he went MIA (again). Very typical of his behavior but getting worse all the time.
      So after 7 days I wrote him a simple and final text saying I needed to say good bye and to block him. This is not the first time this has happened. Or the fifth. Or the hundredth. His going MIA. His withdrawals. Me giving him space. Me asking whether it was “us?” etc. But this time, I told him I could no longer wait any longer for his calls or his even his offers of help for my son anymore because it was breaking my heart too much. And I knew it may or may not come and probably not. I was already in a fragile state during this period of time (because of my own son) and he was very aware of this. Yet he still went MIA. This stunned me!
      And so then I said “goodbye”
      .
      That was the beginning of NC for me (this time). God/dess willing I am on the path at long last….It is around 70 days now…..At the moment I am in the process of realizing I need to let the anger go let it go…..the anger only binds me to him…so I have been thinking about forgiveness….forgiving him for being the flawed human that he is because I too am a flawed human being. And then mowing ONWARD>>>>>>and not looking back so much this time….! I have begun thinking “it just doesn’t matter that much to me anymore”….”I have other wonderful people in my life who ARE THERE for me” etc.

      Lois I hope this helps you too. Many hugs Lara xx00

  • Kub

    Hello everyone…
    I am here because I deeply need your understanding and support.
    Please someone tell me that it is gonna be okay. I will get better by time. Because I am feeling horrible lately. I am in pain, suffering from his lose, his choosing his wife against me. Even with some logical reasons I can not accept this choice. I can not handle this truth.
    This was obvious maybe from the very beginning. But at the end… I am in pain. These feelings are overwhelming.
    Please tell me this will pass, too. I have broken up with someones before but for this time if feel like I am so vulnerable. So broken from the inside.
    I am tired. I want to, need to feel powerful again. I am not sure if I am a weak person indeed, or this is only a phase. It feels like I am such a weak person who can not survive without this man, or can not resist to his egomaniac decisions.
    I am in pain since he is going to a vacation with his wife.
    Please tell me something that will give me some hope!

    • Felk

      Kub, it’s going to be okay. I really understand your plea to hear someone tell you that because that’s why I came here six months ago. I came to this website a few weeks after my MM ended our relationship, and I was desperate to hear people say that it gets better and you get over it and it’ll be okay. And, I’m here to tell you, six months later, that I can say that with confidence. It does get better (slowly), and, at six months, I feel so much stronger and clearer than I did just two months ago. The first two months after the break-up were the hardest. It was overwhelming. There were days where I couldn’t do much of anything except wallow in the pain. I had so many thoughts that you’re describing about feeling the loss and feeling so rejected by him. But, I did a lot of journaling, I talked to a friend, I talked to you all on here, and I used the Mend app on my iPhone, and all of that has helped me slowly accept the break-up (the relationship really wasn’t working for either one of us anymore, and it really was something he needed to do for his own sanity) and helped me slowly stop having the tortured thoughts about why he rejected me and if he was still thinking about me and what could I have done differently to prevent the break-up. Those thoughts are normal, but they’re irrational. I spent a lot of time trying to think rationally about it all, and that really helps. It’s slow, but it’s what got me through it. 1) He rejected me because he needed to for his own health and for his family. He has kids, and he felt he wasn’t being the best father he could be. And he also felt bad hurting his W. I don’t blame him on any of that. He loved me. He still does. But he had to make the hard choice to be a good dad and father, and that’s understandable and respectable. Our break-up wasn’t a rejection of me as much as it was a choice to honor his commitment to his family. A choice to what was best for his own well-being and the well-being of his family. 2) Is he still thinking about me? Yes. Just as I am still thinking about him. He won’t forget about our love, just as I won’t. But it doesn’t matter. He’s made his choice (and it’s a good choice), and that’s what matters. 3) What could I have done differently? Nothing. I did everything. We were in this relationship for five years. We both tried very hard to do something very difficult. We did our best. We treated each other well. And it didn’t work because, duh, we’re married to other people. I started to lose myself at the end of the relationship as I realized he was pulling away. So, if there’s anything I should have done differently, it’s that I should have stood up for myself more and I should have been more direct with him about the difficulties he was having. But I was so scared to ask because I was scared it would push him away. And maybe it would have, who knows? But what I do know is that I didn’t act consistently with who I am and that made me a bit dependent on his love and made it even harder when he ended us. I didn’t go into that break-up with strength, and I have no doubt that made the pain of the break-up harder.

      I never considered myself a weak person and this break-up made me feel so weak. It made me feel out of control, as you describe. And, over the last few months, I’ve started to feel control and power again. I still have hard days, but there are many fewer and the hard times don’t last as long. Also, I still get pangs of missing him, but those feelings aren’t as sad anymore. I feel much more like myself. Sigh of relief.

      My best advice is NC. Stay away from him. Remove all reminders of him. Block him on your phone. Don’t follow him on social media. I work with my MM so my road to healing has been slow, but it’s still happening despite seeing him five days/week. He and I both know our healing would be faster if we didn’t have to see each other, but we do. If you don’t have to see him, don’t. I know that as clearly as I know anything in this break-up.

      • Kub

        Felk what kind of sh***y situation is this? I cant feel good about anything. Literally. Anything. Not only I feel bad about this history all other parts of my life is a mass. I feel useless. I feel distant. I feel empty, without a purpose. I see everyone around me has someone in their lives. Some of them are married, some of them are together for a long time. But they are happy. Happy with their life. Happy with the way they are. I only have my family and because of my craziness I hurt them, because I can not get my anger out of anyone else. Even with some close or trustable friends I feel distant. Distant from everyone.
        I want to enjoy the sun. The life. The moment. But instead I find myself stocked with thoughts of my past memories. I am trying to reading, watching something or going out with friends but useless. It is all useless.
        Will this go away? You know I break lots of people because of my relationship. I lost my friends. Will I be able to make these up?
        Especially there is someone, I really liked once. Maybe if I did not had this relationship I would be with him. But he was in wrong place in the wrong time. So my ex found out about him, three of us had argued. I said mean things to him. He said mean things for me, to my ex. Do you think I can make it up? Or I want to make it up since I feel so weak. So lonely. I am trying to convince myself that I am not alone. But I can not do it. I just cant. I feel like the loneliest person on the earth.

        • Felk

          Kub, this is the addiction and withdrawal from that addiction. We get so reinforced by the highs that our MM provides that we feel empty without those highs. It’s not only all the good times we share with this person, but it’s also the anticipation and excitement are prolonged because we can never fully satisfy the desire to be with that person and it’s the self-esteem boost we get from knowing they want to be with us even though they’re married. Those are intoxicating feelings. And even though you may have been in love (I’ll let you be the judge of that), you also ended up addicted because that’s what affairs do over time.

          I felt the things you were feeling for about 8 weeks after the break-up. I felt empty. I felt unmotivated to do anything else. My two friends who know about the affair were telling me to focus my energy on my H, but I had no energy. I was overwhelmed by sadness and insecurity. Sadness that he couldn’t be in my life the way I wanted him to be and insecurity that he didn’t want me anymore. And most people feel that after a break-up, but it’s exaggerated in an affair because our highs are so high. My thoughts were filled with my MM during my affair (whether we were together in that moment or not). So, given that I thought about him all of the time, when we broke up, all of those thoughts were still there. They still filled my day, except now the reality was that they had no outlet, nowhere to go. I just had all these thoughts and feelings about him and I could no longer express them to him and have the reinforcement of him reciprocating. It was the void of having all these thoughts and feelings and nowhere for them to go.

          It will go away, but you have to put effort into that. Lara suggests seeing counselor and I would recommend that, too. Love addiction is no joke. If you cannot see a counselor, you have to do a lot of work on your own to distract yourself and find meaning and joy in your life again. You have to do a lot of work to recognize your MM was a problem (and it seems you understand that) and that you are better off without him. As Lara says, this man is dangerous. I do not say that lightly. He’s exhibited stalking, possessive, controlling, and abusive behavior. It sounds like he continues to do this. Of course, we can be in love with and addicted to abusive people (and I’d probably argue that people in abusive relationships may be particularly vulnerable to love addiction), but it sounds like you know he is no good for you and I’d suggest you focus on that as you try to heal. Recognize all of the ways that you deserved better treatment and all of the ways he behaved that were not fair and were controlling and abusive. As abusers do, he has made you feel worthless without him and he has disguised his abusive behavior as love and caring (e.g., he loves me so much he can’t let me go). I think this adds to why you’d benefit from professional help. We can only do so much on this site.

          As far as this other guy who you might be interested in, please take time to heal yourself first. I know you’re lonely, but jumping into a new relationship when you’re feeling so miserable is not a good start for a new relationship. But, yes, I do think if you heal yourself first that you’ll be in a good position to approach others for a relationship (and maybe even this person you really liked before).

    • lara

      Oh my dear Kub,
      The time before last time that you wrote you were in fear of this man. Do you remember your words? You said he was almost stalking you. I urged you to report him to the police if you felt unsafe. I know his obsession with you must feel very very good on some level. I get that part. But on another level, it sounds very dangerous IMHO. I have been there done that. Been with men whose bizarre behavior borders on dangerous at times. You DO NOT want this for yourself. You really do not. This type of man is obsessive, has huge relationship issues and will suffocate you.

      You are quite young. And single still? Am I correct? You have time to find a better partner. Really! But the first thing is to recognize that you are drawn to what can burn you. Many of us on this board have this trait. But when a man’s behavior borders on stalking I see a big giant RED flag. You must know this too. And he can never help you feel stronger or help you regain your inner strength because this type of man will keep you down to help himself feel more powerful than you because he feels weak inside himself.

      This is not the type of man who would be like an “equitable” relationship between a man and a woman. Try to let him go on his vacation with his wife and devote that time to your own HEALING! If possible try to think that it is better her than you. Try to read and re-read all your post here and copy paste them into a little journal so you can see the patterns. And stay here and and read a LOT and POST a LOT…..talk! Get it off your chest!! Is there a counselor or someone you can speak to nearby? Maybe even on-line? I know someone works for this company and they have on-line therapists I believe and they are very affordable. https://www.mavenclinic.com
      I really know you can do this Kub. Please try! Hugs Lara xoxo

      • Kub

        Lara
        I sincerely thank you, for this support. I honestly don’t know what will I do without this sharing. Now I understand the importance of empathy. Because who did not have this experience is really mean and judgemental. Even their comments hurt. Maybe I should hear the truth that I underestimate but I can’t make the sounds mute when these people talk. Cause I say, you didn’t live something like this, how would you know?
        But your words really mean a lot to me. Because I know that you have been through this. Experienced similar things.
        When I am overwhelmed with feelings I come here and write. Without the fear of being judged. This is really comforting.
        Today, actually just half an hour ago we come across twice. We work in same work place. I ignored him, but I was natural. Did not spend too much effort by trying to avoid from him. Just I did not look at him. I did not go to the meeting where he expected me to go. I have throw everything but e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g that we have a memory. Today is the 6th day that no contact occurred. He hacked my accounts, I changed my passwords. He was following me from my phone, I closed the findmyiphone app. etc etc. I can not explain how much I am trying.
        I love him. I miss him. But with all my heart and body. I despise him. He is the wrongest person that I should be with. I am wasting myself for him. I get it. I am okay with the logic 🙂
        What remains is my feelings… And I know it will take lots of time. But your suggestions were really usefull, I will go back and read and keep all my posts at somewhere. Day by day I hope I will see everything clearer.
        But thanks people. I can’t tell how much I love being with you.

        • lara

          Dearest Kub I am glad I was helpful. I worried I might have been a little harsh in reminding you of your exMM’s nature! But I do stand by my words. He sounds like RED FLAG material.
          YES by all means make a journal and copy paste all your writings here from farthest away in time to latest. I am doing this for myself to see my progress. Also I suggest you copy past the responses from people who are dealing with “sitings” of the ex. Like mine or anyone else’s. You will see you are not alone in your reactions!! I had a HUGE reaction last week to seeing my exMM accidentally through my window. Even after 6o days. But it PASSED. In time just know the feelings might not go away completely but they will pass quicker. With you saying your exMM hacked into your phone and was following you from your phone he does indeed sound a man you do NOT want in your life.

          But I understand you love him too! I have spent years in love with a “red flag” man. And married to another one before I found myself in an affair with a MM. My friends told me again and again I was deserving of better but I was too compulsive in my love for him all these years. Only last summer did I finally learn he is a “narcissist” not by mere personality traits but by actual diagnosis. This narcissism means he can NOT relate to anyone normally, not me not his W not his kids. And it means he will always be attracted to me for my “empathy” as narcs and empaths go together like PB and J. LOL. MY empathic behavior which can be a plus in some situations (like here) can be a MINUS elsewhere. (like in a relationship with someone like my exMM. And now my therapist says my H (who came before my affair) was ALSO a narc! Yikes. I have been in love with more than one problematic person. And more than two. HA!

          Then the pieces clicked for me. The behaviors made more sense to me. But STILL I got hurt this past January by him agin. Because my love did not just get up and walk away! And he never wanted me to leave either. What I am trying to say is the feelings of love are odd in that they persist even after we are faced with the facts of knowing the person is NOT good for us. It really is a lot like alcohol addiction.

          So cut yourself MAJOR SLACK and be very very gentle with yourself. Be kind to YOU. Realize YOU can love YOU better than he can. He has issues. As I am in therapy I do suggest counseling too. I learned my mother is also a full blown Narc too (duh). As the oldest daughter of this narc who named me after her own mother, and wanted me to be her mother, I had never understood the impact of that on me entirely until recently. Do not be afraid to see a counselor and ask for help. Whatever drives you towards this man is in all likelihood a part of your past already and we are usually trying through the lover to HEAL our past. We can heal yes!, but not in a relationship with a chronically unavailable person (like a married person). We need to find other ways to heal that are healthier for us. Check this out: http://bigthink.com/philip-perry/imago-theory-explains-why-we-choose-a-partner-that-fits-with-our-past.

          We are here: Write your heart out and complain all you like. No one here is without pain. Now I like to see it as the pain that gets to grow. Ahem. You will be OKAY I promise you. Just keep coming back and stay on the healing path!
          Hugs Lara xx00

  • Lois

    Hello everyone. I am feeling kind of down this evening and aggravated with myself for beliving things could or would be any different. For those of you who have gone NC for awhile and are finding yourself feeling weak and missing your MM, please don’t give in to this weakness. It maybe good for awhile but it’s only a matter of time before it goes right back to the same old rinse cycle repeat. Honestly, I thought things were different and mm finally started initiating things and things were good for about a month. Last Monday, we were together and was amazing probably one of the best. Then, he acted strange on tuesday and he said was tired and didn’t sleep well. I asked if because of us…he said he didn’t think so. He took off the rest of the week and wasn’t very responsive to texts. I saw him Friday and asked what was going on. He said he was in a funk. I asked point blank if it was me and he said no. I asked if we were okay and he said we were good and if it we weren’t he’d be honest. He told he needed to checkout for awhile so I really didnt bother him all weekend…just a little text letting him kniw I was thinking of him. I didn’t work today but sent him a text asking how he was. Said fair I guess. I told him that I hadn’t heard from him…he said still wading through things. I have been through this with him before and maybe I’m just paranoid that he is going to end things. I have tried not to let myself get too drawn back into the situation but feel that I may have except I have stood up for my feelings. I wished him luck and told him I’d leave him alone and been crickets ever since. Wny can’t I be done and move on…why torture myself. Ugh.😕 I’m so aggravated at myself. I know we agreed to give each othere space when needed. Should I take him at his word that he’s going through some things and it’s not because of us. What do you think?

  • Kev the married guy

    Don’t know where to start (have to read the last post)……………………………….Had to come to terms that my lover didn’t want me because of the guilt and this is after me leaving a beautiful family and a wife who didn’t deserve any of this. So with the help of the counselor I draw up a text and send it to my lover and right after I send the text she calls saying she wants to meat up at the hotel…….Verrrry passionate night and we met back up Saturday and stayed together till Sunday afternoon. Had a chance to talk and her conclusion was that she couldn’t be with me because of how it started and even if I got a divorce we still couldn’t be together because we are not meant for this.

    She still calls, she still love me but according to her we could never be……I know this sounds crazy and I thinks it’s going to be tough for her to completely leave me but I’m moving on and if we happen to cross each other in the future so be it……

    When I made it home Sunday my wife had all my clothes packed in the garage and all the family pictures of me was off of the wall………she is tired of the back and forth and I don’t blame her….

    Anybody in this relationship same storyline just different characters………with the love that we had I thought my story would have ended up different…………

    • Nomad

      I am totally lost. I couldn’t understand what’s going on in your lover’s head. Guilt? that’s the ah ha moment after NC and after you’ve left your family? I really thought it was going to be a happy ending!

    • Felk

      Kev, this all still seems very roller coaster-y to me. How are you able to just be done with your lover just like that? You’re moving on? Your W has packed up your things and seems to want you out of the house and you are able to just move on from your lover? And your lover comes back to you for a night of passion and then that’s it? This is all so very surprising to me. I’m not sure your roller coaster is over. Try to take some time with the feelings because it is a lot easier said than done to say you’re moving on after all that you’ve been through recently. It’d be understandable not to be able to “move on” for quite some time.

    • lara

      Hi Kev,
      I am sorry you are going through such a roller coaster! Honestly I am a bit lost too. I too am having a hard time understanding what is going on in your lover’s head. She says it is “not to be” yet she has agreed to being together mind, body and soul twice in the last week? Okay I understand the guilt. But her actions are in total contradiction to her guilt. Am I being too harsh? Is this her “goodbye”? Has she agreed to really pull back? Somehow I do not see this happening yet. Where are you living now and where do you want to be living? What do you want at this point? warmly Lara xo

    • Thistooshallpass

      I’m really sorry it’s not working out. I’ve heard people say that man’s rejection is God’s protection When you’re in the thick of things none of those inspiring quotes help. I think these affairs are often doomed to failure for a myriad of reasons. You start out on not so honest ground. I’m not admonishing bc I’m right there with you. No judgement here. Second, even if the married individual(s) decide to divorce for the other person they still need time to heal, self-reflect and recover from the past relationship. Then you get into the whole trust issue. Can either of you fully trust the other without some whisper in the back of your head about how you two came together? I don’t know how much time you spent with your lover but most of us here get very limited time thus we never see the person from a 360 degree view. Who knows if any of us would succeed if given the chance with the other person. Keep us posted on updates and please take special care of yourself.

      • Kev the married guy

        Ladies thanks for your encouragement……..Nomad I’m confused, I just knew she was coming this way. I understand what she is saying but still confused… She always struggled with the guilt of it and after speaking to the counselor that sealed it…She did say if she didn’t speak with the counselor she would have pushed forward but after speaking to the counselor she knows for sure that we are not meant for this..

        Felk I’m not done with her in my heart, I really want to spend the rest of my life with her but I have to accept her decision and try to slowly move on and yes I was devastated by all of this and I don’t blame my wife for not wanting to deal with me……I think the roller coaster is done……she said she don’t want to be in this type of sin..

        Lara……..the first night was because it was that time of the month where she was very fertile and couldn’t control how her her body was feeling cold showers wasn’t working crossing the legs didn’t help so she called me (never did this while in relationship) I took advantage of it so that I can talk to her and I did, the 2nd night was more of a good by night…..we made love went to the movies, went uptown and talked a lot…… Much as she loved spending time with me she was sticking to her guns, I don’t know how…She stated that she felt good about not being with a married man, it giver her an opportunity to grow and get close to God.

        Im staying with a friend who is in similar situation but happy to say my wife want me to come home, such an incredible woman but if I knew my girl was staying I would want to be with her.

        Thistoshallpass…….I have to agree, I think deep inside my wife is the right one but I belive it would have worked with my lover with a lot of hard work

        • K

          A letter from Lover

          Kev,
          There’s no one sweeter more understanding and more of a man than you in my eyes. I love you with all my heart because I know you are the and see the passion you have inside. I’m so glad I met you and got a chance to be your girlfriend. Although it was wrong and dishonest of how our relationship grew, I became close to you and wanted to be yours. however I was often scared, anxious and guilty of our secret relationship, so it mad overtime not want to ruin your character and mine…..

          This is what she wrote me while we was at the hotel and I finished the rest in a long conversation…..

          Tonight is wed 21st.
          My wife invited me home, kind of surprised after throwing me out Sunday and discussing how she didn’t want me to move in and out and how that will impact the kids in a Negative way….

          I have mix feeling being here, glad to be home but want to be with lover…my heart is not here however it’s good to see kids and to eat a home cook meal…..

          I think if I got the divorce and gave my lover the space for a while I think she would come with me……but I don’t know if I can go that long…….at the same time my wife has been incredible and I want to give her a chance……I feel like I’m on a rollercoaster……..

        • Kev

          A letter from Lover

          Kev,
          There’s no one sweeter more understanding and more of a man than you in my eyes. I love you with all my heart because I know you are the and see the passion you have inside. I’m so glad I met you and got a chance to be your girlfriend. Although it was wrong and dishonest of how our relationship grew, I became close to you and wanted to be yours. however I was often scared, anxious and guilty of our secret relationship, so it mad overtime not want to ruin your character and mine…..

          This is what she wrote me while we was at the hotel and I finished the rest in a long conversation…..

          Tonight is wed 21st.
          My wife invited me home, kind of surprised after throwing me out Sunday and discussing how she didn’t want me to move in and out and how that will impact the kids in a Negative way….

          I have mix feeling being here, glad to be home but want to be with lover…my heart is not here however it’s good to see kids and to eat a home cook meal…..

          I think if I got the divorce and gave my lover the space for a while I think she would come with me……but I don’t know if I can go that long…….at the same time my wife has been incredible and I want to give her a chance……I feel like I’m on a rollercoaster……..

        • Nomad

          Hi Kev,
          You are rare… if only you know how to compartmentalise… I’m not sure if I am currently being shelved or removed by mm.. I know things are strained now and we no longer know how to return to each other. If only he feels, thinks and acts like you… what would I do?

          I’m actually just wanted to fall in love with him. Do what lovers do to keep us alive. I didn’t think of divorce because my H is in many ways better. He will never divorce because he claims that he’ll never do anything to break up the family because he loves his kids. He must give them a family perfect environment in their growing up years. But then he thinks he couldn’t cope with my demands and expectations. They are choking him as his guilt and fear grow, his addiction, novelty, curiosity, thrills etc. started to die down after been there done that. He could switch off (compartmentalize) after office hrs, weekends, holidays. He could switch on when he’s horny (sorry to put it so crudely) And then he’ll find his ways back at his convenience. This is bad. After countless wash-rinse-cycle, he is drained and loses interest. He stopped reaching out. So Kev, how do you know you could spend the rest of your life with B? How would you envision a new future with your wife?

  • Sophie

    Nomad, no idea how a stupid smiley emoticon showed up in my response to you especially when I was talking about something so serious. Please ignore it.

  • LIFELESSONS

    Calling on my word warriors…Lara, Felk, Nomad and anyone else that can help me get out of this funk I am.

    Why did I have to see any glimps of him today ???! Omg…I miss my MM, i am feeling weak and vulnerable right now. Day #21 of NC…I drove past him today and I have been thinking about him every since. I was thinking about calling him and blocking my number out so i could hear his voice. I havent felt this desperate to talk to him in 20 days and on day 21 it has hit me that i cannot call him and talk to him about my day and how I got to sight see while my friend enjoyed a pilot lesson. I cant call him and tell him this weirdly funny joke my grandmother said to me and I cant tell him how much I miss him. I am sure, I will not contact him but I am missing him right now. I thought by day 21 this would be “easy breezy shaking it off sweetly” I wasnt expecting to feel like I am feeling right now. I just want to go to sleep. I am feeling so alone right now (i really am, my kids are gone) and I do NOT like it. I think I officially HATE being single, I currently dont have any male to lean on during my time of distress. It would be nice if i had just one male friend. I am sure there is a reason i am single but I am about to drive myself crazy….

    Please help me. Its 10:46pm so maybe I should just have some drinks and crash for the night…

    • Felk

      Lifelessons, I think what you’re experiencing is completely normal and understandable. I know that doesn’t make it easier, but try not to beat yourself up for still caring and having a reaction to seeing your MM. You were in love, and those feelings don’t go away after three weeks of NC. I know you know. But, your NC is helping you. We can all see that in your posts on here. You are getting stronger. Yes, you will have setbacks and moments of reminders of him, but they are moments and they can be pushed aside if you make conscious choices to push them aside. As you say, you want to tell him about that joke your grandmother told you. I know those urges. The other day, I started to compose a text to my ex-MM about something funny that had happened related to something we had joked about a few days before at work, but I deleted it and told myself that I have to stop texting him. The only way to make these thoughts happen less is to push them away when they happen or, in the least, as you and I did, don’t act on the thoughts. You can have the thoughts and sit with the feelings, but do not act on them. It’s the action that pulls us into the much more prolonged pain. When I thought to text my ex-MM, it was a short moment of sadness in recognizing that I should not text him. Had I texted him, it would be a much more prolonged problem… waiting for him to return the text, anxiety if it was taking him longer than “normal” to return the text, even if he returned the text in a “normal” time then it’s the anxiety of “what do I respond?”, the obsession over how to phrase my response and is it cute enough and funny enough or how will he interpret it… and on and on. So, recognize that you’ll have these thoughts and feelings, but do not act on them by unblocking him or calling him to hear his voice or texting something short. There is no “easy breezy” as we’ve all learned. I wanted that, too. I expected it, unfortunately. I thought that a month or two of sadness and I’d be good to go. No. It’s been six months of hard… but, wow, has it gotten better. I do now wake up some mornings and he’s not the first thing on my mind. My moments of sadness are shorter. My setbacks are less frequent and not as bad. I dare say that I know I will get over him. I no longer have the fear that I never will.

      I still have the moments of missing my MM as you describe. And, even though I’m married, I have times of feeling alone, too, because my MM took up such a part of my life for five years. There is still a void… that I’m filling. Just keep doing things you enjoy, spending time with people you enjoy, taking on new hobbies to distract yourself, thinking about what you want, thinking about why that affair was no good for you, and you will fill that void. Sit with your feelings when you need to, though. While we don’t want to obsess and dwell, at times we need to be honest about how we feel and we can’t ignore. So, be honest about your feelings and keeping using them to motivate you to take action to move on (as you are doing with NC).

      • Nomad

        Lifelessons, I am a living example of countless cycles of NC and “survived” through what you are going through now. My longest ever was NC 26days.

        Let me tell you the facts based on my own experience – what you’re experiencing is completely normal and I couldn’t break that record since then. I regretted throwing my effort away, I felt cheated to be lured back by words (not actions) just so that he could satisfy his deprivation for sex and mia the very moment we part. Not even a text to ask if I reached home safe. If he’s generous, it would be a text a day saying good morning or have a nice day.

        I hate myself for (throwing away) losing control over the situation and for being stupid to allow him to treat me so badly, for zeroing all my progress of forcing myself to live a normal life, stop wasting time, pick up new hobbies (knitting, yoga, Zumba), you name it I did it all. You will always think of him but the missing will fade because you cannot ignore the fact that he has stop giving you anything, no attention, no affection, no daily updates, comfortable of being blocked, unless you are clear that all you want from him is sex, then this is your basis of engagement with him. I tried that but felt used, filthy and cheap after that, on top of dealing with his asshole mia flipflop behavior, cold and distant and convinced that he’ll never return. I do not want that sort of cheap thrills. He righteously justified that he couldn’t help it, getting harder struggling with his fear and guilt, harder because the peak of the affair is over, he’s now back to reality after been there and done that with me. He’s clear when, why and how he needs me, other times, he needs to remove me from his life. I knew his pattern after giving him soooo many chances.

        So please press on! Never tempt yourself to think that he’s going to change or meet your expectations. It’s all in your ruminating mind. You own your thoughts. Only you can create that shift. Life goes on for him and he’s appreciate inner peace and enjoying family bliss.

        DO NOT REACH OUT. thank him for leaving you alone. Sit with your feelings and do not act on them (as Felk has detailed the rationale behind this step so that you gain another day of NC). Instead, reach out to us here! We are here to pull you back from the abyss. You have decided to end, haven’t you? What caused you to sway? Nothing he did! It’s all in your mind after a trigger. Try to avoid all triggers. If you can’t, then bite the bullet, go through it, like how I just did with the bbq. It still hurts but it’s clearer than yesterday that it’s over, time to pull the plug, bury it. Life has to go on for us. I hate it whenever I find myself wasting it. We all know it’s just so not worth it.

        Felk said a few important points which i have gone through the acceptance and execution:

        – “you will have setbacks and moments of reminders of him, but they are moments and they can be pushed aside if you make CONSCIOUS choices to push them aside.”

        – because I’ve blocked mm, I don’t have to go through what Felk did “started to compose a text to my ex-MM …but I deleted it and told myself that I have to stop texting him. The only way to make these thoughts happen less is to push them away when they happen or, in the least, as you and I did, don’t act on the thoughts. You can have the thoughts and sit with the feelings, but do not act on them.” Stop flogging a dead horse.

        -“ it was a short moment of sadness in recognizing that I should not text him.” I could be burying myself with work and suddenly I’ll recall good times in the room, missing his voice and smell and hugs and kisses and tricking myself into believing that if I’m willing, he’ll be back, he’ll behave, talk and WhatsApp me like a great lover he used to be. But no! He will not. Mm told me I should not ask him if he still loves me or misses me. I gotta wait for his moods and moments to come and he’ll not feel obliged to say it. But I waited forever until one fine day after 26days of nc, he downloaded loving thoughts to me, just that once, then he’ll act like I have never exist and the wash & rinse cycle repeated.

        -“recognize that you’ll have these thoughts and feelings, but do not act on them by unblocking him or calling him to hear his voice or texting something short.”

        Felk, if you are reading this, yes I started to have some mornings whereby he’s not the first thing on my mind. My moments of sadness are shorter. My setbacks are less frequent and not as bad.”

        However, I don’t dare say that I know I will get over him. I still have the fear that he doesn’t feel for me anymore.

        I have been sitting with my feelings, trying very hard not to ruminate, obsess and dwell. For each day that I can avoid him and any trigger, I’ll do it. It helps when I think that I’ve no choice.

        So LL, I hope my message did not reach you too late. Don’t follow my footstep. Hold on to your control!

        • lara

          Wow Nomad you are sounding so strong here and you have come such a long way! BRAVA. You deserve it! You have worked very hard to progress to this level. And I do hope he leaves you alone now and that you can continue to heal. 🙂
          Hugs x0 Lara

          • Nomad

            Hey Lara, it’s easy to sound strong but you are the strongest among us who has been moving on each day better than yesterday! living your life without wasting on mm who isn’t worth it! Please continue to be my role model!

            Other than the bbq last Sat, zero contact. He didn’t show sign of reaching out at the bbq, in fact I went up to chat with him but couldn’t hold the conversation for even few minutes because he was evasive? avoiding me? Anyway I’ve blocked him since 8Mar. If you remember, the last time i saw him on 8Mar, I told him i was leaving because I HATE his asshole behavior, feeling cheated to be lured back and just so that he could waste me again, mia as if I never exist. I also told him to NEVER reach out if I ever block him again.

            I think after his overseas trip, he really managed to reset himself. He did well at the bbq. His body language was telling me to keep off. Fine. however painful, the worst is to deal with his asshole behavior, not giving me anything but using me at his convenience. He’s the master of compartmentalization. He’s shelving me aside until nature calls or he’s burying me underground for good? I don’t know.

            I was on course for 2 days and returning to office in few hrs time. I again started to experience anxiety, wondering if there’s missed call at my desk. I’m pretty good with my gut feel lately and I guessed no. When I reach my desk later and if there’s no missed call, I’ll take deep breath, sit with the sad and tense feeling in my chest, only few minutes allowed, then focus on work, tell myself it’s expected not to hear from him at all, so try to pull through the day and cry in the shower if there is stil tears. Lara, what’s your bet this time? 😃missed call or no?

          • Nomad

            Hi Lara, I’m not sure if you were saying no missed call from him or he rang my desk while I was out of office and left a missed call. I’ll always feel the anxiety and physical tension in my heart when I’m returning to office during NC. What if he didn’t call? I do feel ego boosted if I got a missed calls.

            So back to this morning, no missed call at my desk while I was away for 2 days course. Deep breath…I know I can do it… I’ll be fine… I’ve done this before many times…

            A voice screamed at me “so no missed calls. Yeah, so what ? Nomad, you have done this many times before. And you managed fine. Don’t use up your brain cells thinking about it. Things are strained between you. He doesn’t know how to approach you anymore. Your last encounter at the bbq wasn’t comfortable, was it? So what would he want to talk about? And maybe he lost the desire for conversation. Don’t read too much into no missed calls”

            Near end of the day, he rang my desk. I picked it up and fortunately I picked it up because it was to clarify urgent work matters.

            He started by saying Hi, need to talk and it’s work related. I felt silly and embarrassed. The issues were complicated and I got quite heated up with the confusion so I sounded aggressive. I remembered telling him to clarify with the vendor and advise accordingly in an email. I hang up. I closed my eyes and sat rooted my seat. I couldn’t move. I felt so wrong of me being so unprofessional for not drawing a line between personal and work. I blocked him and avoided him which caused issues at work – late payment which I had to now explain to mgt. To think that i actually didn’t want to pick up at first like many times in the past. That would have been disastrous to cause delay for another day.

            I was near tears… heart ached… felt that familiar physical tension… I had to quickly snap out because my boss was looking for me and loading me with more work.

            I’m now on my way home .. tears started to well up as I’m typing this… my heart feels so broken, raw and painful.. i actually wanted to hold him and be in his arms… but thinking of the never forever, that very thought is so soul crushing.,.

          • Felk

            Nomad, the hard truth is that you have to stop waiting for his missed calls. Yeah, it feels good to know he misses you, but it just keeps you hoping and keeps you hanging onto a relationship that is over. I’m not there 100% yet, but I am already experiencing how freeing it is not to hope/expect my MM to e-mail me or text me or stop by my office at work. Sure, in the beginning, I had a lot of thoughts about whether or not he’d try to contact me, but now my expectations are much lower. They aren’t zero, but I’m getting close. And you know I know how that’s harder when you two work together. I know the pain of your MM contacting you at work and the excitement of that, only to find out that he only wanted to talk to you for professional reasons. And I also know the complications of how trying to avoid your ex can impact work decisions. Working with your ex, gives you reminders and hopes and just the constant anxiety of wondering what the next interaction will be like.

            And I know the tears on the drive home, just wanting to be back in his arms again. For weeks after the break-up, I found it excruciating that I couldn’t just go to his office and sit down and talk and laugh like we used to. We both tried to stay away from each other quite a bit in the beginning and the interactions were so awkward and loaded with feelings that even when we did talk, it wasn’t like before. But, months later, it is better. We still don’t talk nearly as much as we used to and there are still awkward exchanges as we settle into this new normal. But we do talk sometimes and we laugh and it almost feels normal. And, sure, it still feels sad. Just today, we had some nice short conversations and, at the end, when I returned to my office, I thought about how it still is hard to have to leave his office knowing that I can’t have any more than that.

            But, your relationship is over. That is the most important thing for you to accept. I know the soul-crushing you describe related to thinking that you’ll never be in his arms again. The best advice I can give is to continue to remind yourself about the reasons it didn’t work. Don’t idealize your relationship and ignore the problems just because there were (really) good times. Also, you don’t need him. You don’t. You don’t. Tell yourself this over and over. Right now, you’re stuck thinking about what a big part of your life he was and how happy he made you, but you will find other things that will make you happy. You will. He was just one person who made you happy temporarily. No one matters that much in our life where we can’t be happy without them. Don’t make your value dependent on his attention.

            I spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not my MM still loved me or cared about me or missed me, etc. First, the answer is yes to all of those. Second, the answer is that the relationship is over and it doesn’t matter. And the more I hang onto those ideas, the more I want to be with him. So, I mostly think about how it’s just nice to know that we had a good thing and we cared about each other, and then I think about how he has chosen to go back to his family (for good reasons) and that it doesn’t take away from what we had. And, yes, under different circumstances, we would be together, but we do not have those circumstances and we have to accept that.

          • lara

            Nomad when I said “no missed call” I meant that my gut told me (form what YOU described about things lately) that you would NOT have a missed call from him. (He would NOT have called you). So I guess I was right. But I added the words: Not Yet Anyhow for a reason. I think you know the reason. It is because a cooling off period in an affair does not mean the back and forth is necessarily all over. He might go “fishing” for you one fo these days.
            In fact I think it is probable. But not necessarily certain. You said you wanted me to be happy for you if he just disappeared completely from your life, correct? Then so far I am happy for you! Are your feelings still the same about this? The shifting feelings are part of the affair addiction withdrawal. xo Lara

          • Felk

            Nomad, can I just add here to Lara’s response? She gives great advice and tough love, and I always enjoy reading what she writes to all of us. Like, Lara, I wouldn’t be surprised if your MM does call you again (and not just for professional reasons). However, I didn’t want to respond to your message when you asked her that question because I worry this answer gives you hope. I worry that when you ask if he misses you or loves you or is resetting with his W or if you will see a missed call that you are still hoping for a future for you two. I know that I went through this after my break-up. There is a friend who knows about my affair, and as I talked to her through the break-up, I wanted to hear her say that he’d come back to me. And she would talk about his indecision and how there will be back and forth (as we all know too well), and that made me feel good. That gave me hope. And hope is no good in my situation. I no longer hope. Well, that’s not 100% true. Sure, I hope a little, but I really don’t. One of my breakthroughs recently has been to stop thinking about future “anything” with him. Stop thinking about asking him to go for happy hour next week. Stop thinking about the work conference we could attend together in the summer. Stop thinking about that new restaurant you want to try out and you could ask him to go to with you. Stop thinking about texting him after work about that thing you wanted to tell him. Stop looking at your phone to see if he texted. I have to stop thinking about future things for us. There is no us in that way anymore, and continuing to think about future fun things kept me hoping.

            So, yes, your MM misses you. Yes, he may call you again. But, as you know too painfully, none of that means he wants your affair back. And, more, none of that means anything would change if he were to want your affair back. It would be all the pain you know. He will not change. He will treat you the same way he has treated you every time. So, keep blocking him. Keep contact to a minimal. But most of all, stop hoping. Hope is brutal in these situations.

          • Nomad

            Felk, it helps to know he misses me and his feelings wouldn’t be abruptly cut off since the room on 8Mar and since we could appear professional over the phone and at my desk. I stopped searching for that lingering look in his eyes because I’m afraid there isn’t anymore. I avoided looking at him and I will. There’s a meeting tomorrow with him and I hope I’ll cruise along bearing in mind that it is over. I supposed he’s trying hard and I’ll not second guess his intentions (for whose good and sanity). As for me, I’m weak and vulnerable but I’m still firm about not reaching out and unblocking him.

            I’ve wasted the weekend ruminating but milder than before. Did his wife become sexy and alluring all of a sudden? Does she now call him baby, love and darling? Has he found another victim? I want him to suffer. I hope he lies in bed and aches for me. How can I do it? Did his ego took a beating when I dumped him again so he had to act all indifferent and stoic? In an affair, so what if mm lies to us? So what is he’s still sleeping with his wife? Its not that I believed him when he adamantly declared that I’m his only one since we started. He was very deprived and that’s why he risked it with me, no? I know he’s a liar because I am too. I would find excuses for him to tell myself he wouldn’t lie about his situation with wife. I was convinced he was and he could be honest with me about his marriage. Still, Jealousy and insecurity were hard for me.

            Just this moment, he is still on my mind, so I would want him to think of me as much. I see no hope with mm. We have come this far and he no longer knows how to return to me or he knows but decided not to. Hope is diminishing. I’ll have less to write here too…

            Felk, how about you? Is it still 1 step forward and 2 steps back?

          • Nomad

            Big hugs Lara! Thank you for being happy for me. He doesn’t know how to return to me anymore. I chose to think that he’s now trying to purge me/us from his life for rational reasons. He doesn’t want us to dwell and stuck in the vicious cycle anymore.

            I’m still feeling hurt and whenever I reach my desk, I’ll glance if there’s missed call. I think with his status quo and give me till end March, I’ll be more ready to accept that he’s a lesson learnt, this too shall pass… I think I’m purging him gradually… I’m almost done with detaching…there are more moments of “please don’t reach out” than “just one more time”.

            I know I’ve nothing new to say here. But I feel understood knowing you are here reading my updates with that few who have been following my story. Almost a year, I couldn’t quit because he’d return. But I’m seeing light at the end of the tunnel now (Yes, I’m still feeling sad as a-matter-of-factly). Thanks to time and distance.

          • lara

            Nomad these words of Felk’s to you really hit me as SO TRUE for so many of us here! “Keep contact to a minimal. But most of all, stop hoping. Hope is brutal in these situations.” Felk you are right. Hope is brutal in these situations. I never thought of it that way. And Nomad you said you are not over him 100 per cent if he is not calling you but you ARE over him 100 per cent if he is cold and goes Mia after the room.
            So guess which scenario you need to focus your mind on???
            🙂
            Also I recommend you leave yourself a lovely gift near your phone: a bouquet of roses or a small work of art that you adore or a lovely scented candle….. Do this so that the phone is easier for you to look at and be near! You will have left some love for yourself right near the phone with causes you so much heartache. 🙂
            Hugs Lara

        • Thistooshallpass

          Hi Nomad,
          I feel like such a fool bc I only lasted 14 days without seeing him. 7 days of silence. As you described I started to feel empowered, less focused on him and energized. While I could feel the absence, the distance and space felt like the best decision. I’m convinced that they have a sixth sense and can sniff out emotional distance. Right as I started to feel my heart closing he reached out. The message seemed fairly innocuous but as soon as I responded it lead to further deeper discussions which you can guess looped me back to square 1. I’m not an idiot but he really knows my soft spots. How do we end up in these vicious cycles of together, over (due to the insanity it stirs up), longing, one or both sides chasing and back to together again?? As soon as he catches he pulls away in a stealthy way where it’s subtle enough to use other things as excuses when I call him out. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing when you know you’ll get the same undesirable results. That is me and I’ve been yo-yoing with him for 15 months.

          I read the article about love being the number one addiction. I’m glad to have reassurance that relationships are really hard to quit permanently. The crazy thing, if I can only name one, is that I want out yet the idea of him not running after me is painful. I quit smoking in 2015 and in the last year stopped drinking. Both of those substances were on the list and I conquered those although it’s a lifelong road. Anyhow, I’ve tried different flavors of us and the only thing that works is firm adherence to no physical relationship. How long have you gone without a personal connection now? Are you able to concentrate at work? What lead to the breach of NC?

          Does he say and do things that make you absolutely mad inside? I can’t believe how much my mm provokes such rage and frustration in me. Why am I letting someone’s behaviors dictate my mood.

          Stay strong everyone! Thanks for giving me a forum to listen and be heard.

          • lara

            This TooShall Pass
            You have put down cigarettes and alcohol. BRAVA! I put alcohol down 17 years ago but food is still an issue. And Love affairs like the ones on this board? Yes VERY VERY HARD. We have to take it one day at a time. My affair started before I got sober and lasted a long long time ever after (off and on and off). Longer than my marriage even. Up until two years ago it was physical and emotional. But I quit the sex entirely back then and ever since have stayed away from the sex. (That was quitting the affair part one for me). However the emotional part of the relationship has still been lingering and still very hard to quit too. He works next door to my house so we have a long history. I am still (after all this ears very attracted to him!) and probably he is to me. We had not only instant chemistry as total strangers but we were extremely compatible in many ways too. But he is also a narcissist (a real clear case I have learned) and is in fact, very “unavailable,” whether he is married or single (in the way narcs do not feel empathy and other emotions the way normal people do).

            Anyhow long story short I tried and tried with him. But in the end I had to accept his limitations and his desire to always stay married even though he claims his W never loved him. He must stay married as he is all into “appearances” and so is she. He is all about how he things look to the outside world. As for me I could care less. So in one important way our values are very different. The ways you are different from your affair partner can help you in your break up efforts. Every aspect of him that makes him LESS than perfect for you can help you! Write down the plusses and minuses of the situation and of him. Make the minuses column longer no matter what! 🙂

            With each year of recovery we learn more an more about ourselves and our addictions. And we learn more about others. Most addictions are easily exchangeable so people in recovery from one addiction can quite easily move to another because there are multiple ways to find that “dopamine” fix our brains really crave, Addiction is a brain illness and I would bet one day they will have a simple pill that will straighten out our faulty wiring in what seems to be the frontal lobe (the place where impulsive decisions are made I think). HA! But in the meantime we need to approach the addiction much like any other. NC is the best way if at all possible. No contact makes the process easier not harder. NC is like putting down the drink or putting down the cigarette. No contact means: No new hurts. Faster recovery. But it is not easy to put a thing of days together. Try again and again and do not beat yourself up if it takes several tries. Who is counting anyhow?

            Many hugs to you and just keep coming back! You WILL recover if you put your mind to it one day at a time and keep on sharing your journey! Hugs Lara xoxo

    • lara

      Lifelessons Did you read my post:
      at
      March 16, 2018 at 7:47 pm?? You must read ASAP and know you are not alone. The please read: March 16, 2018 at 7:06 pm. I am thinking quite a bit about this addictive aspect of affairs today. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Sitings can be very very HARD. For those who have to see the married person daily at work it must be torture. For today this is what I have for you:
      I am trying to find some things I absolutely adore!! All day long I am practicing finding fun! This might sound crazy but to an addict who has just lost a serious source of pleasure this is crucial I think. I wrote: “Now, I am seeking a source of pleasure that is not going to crash and burn for me like that. Something that will not explode into self-destruction. I have never knitted in my life but honestly I think for me it will have to be something with my hands like that. I have too much energy to sit still and not move. But I can not be that athletic due to a health condition I suffer from. When I make art I am happy however there is more implied pressure there as. Now I have an exhibition coming up next year….so it feels a little bit more “serious.”
      What do you LOVE to do? try doing it for an hour today and see if it help takes your mind off the MM. even for an hour. That is where I am at. In an hour I am going to take food to my son and his gf and their adorable dog. I love that dog more than life! LOL. And I simply have to see him today. He always makes me smile! (He is a rescue dog from Puerto Rico) I always have FUN with that dog….and of course my son and his gf but they are not “adoring pets” now are they? hahaha
      Hugs Lara xxx000

    • lara

      PS BTW Lifelessons, I am definitely not minimizing your pain which comes across very clearly BTW but I am trying to get you to shift your thoughts for a bit. Your ruminating mind is your worst enemy right now. see if you can shift gears! The MM is not the solution. But something within your control might be! This is how I am coping. Hugs L.

    • Felk

      Hi Lara, liked your links about love addiction. Most of what was written in both articles sounded a lot like what I’ve written about love addiction here (ha, so no wonder I liked them!). About how the feelings start very similarly to “normal” love when forming a relationship with another, but that they change into something problematic because they can never be satisfied. In the first “limerence” blog, “If the love object returns your feelings and you reach that peak moment of acceptance, reciprocity, and passion, then the end is near. There is nothing more to strive for,” That’s pretty much what I’ve been saying over these weeks about how this addiction occurs… because, in an affair, we usually never reach that “peak moment” of acceptance/reciprocity/passion, because we can’t. Because they’re married or we’re married and we continue to strive for the peak moment where it is only the two of us… which is unlikely to happen. There is always “more” to strive for in an affair, and that creates and is the addiction. That desire to seek more.

      I also liked that third suggestion for how addiction can end: “This endpoint occurs when a new love object enters the picture.” I talked about this on here months ago when I talked about how, as a MW, it was going to be harder for me to get over this break-up because I couldn’t just fall in love with someone new. And, I know there are single people on here so it’s not that simple, but, for me, after past break-ups, I’d usually move on quickly to a new relationship. This time, I knew I’d have to deal with the break up in all its pain because I wasn’t going to suddenly fall in love with my H again and I was unlikely to fall in love with someone else (i.e., have another affair). In my past, it’s not that I went from one love addiction to another love addiction (as the blog suggests some people may do), but I certainly “used” new relationships to help me get over old relationships. With my H, I’d say we created a secure and healthy loving relationship. Granted, I had an affair (which argues that I am a bit addicted to that “high” of falling in love), but my love with my H does feel rather healthy (despite my affair). I’ve written on here before about how I know I have a good thing with my H, and how I always knew my MM was not better.

      I also liked that list of characteristics of addictive love (although I’m sure there are more that we could add). This one stood out to me: “Emotional swings from bliss to despondency, depending on the most recent interaction with the Love Object.” Through the affair, I’d think about how ridiculous it was that I’d drive home from work some days crying. It didn’t happen a lot, but it happened more than it should have for a person in love. I’d think about how absurd it was that I could still be made to feel so bad in a relationship that made me so happy. But, it’s exactly as that sentence says. I had these swings based on interactions because I couldn’t feel complete security or trust in this relationship (as I do in my marriage).

      The second article was really good, too, and I love all the science presented. Before my break up, I was loosely familiar with this science, but reading about it during my break-up and learning about how the brain experiences an addiction-like reaction when falling in love has been fascinating.

      So, reading all of this, it still does leave me wondering about how I can “get over” my addiction. Since we know that NC is not an option in my case (solution #1 in the first article), I can’t achieve that “peak moment” (solution #2), and I can’t “transition” to another love object (solution #3), what are my options? 🙂 But, of course I realized that I can partially do all of these. #1) I know I need more distance from my MM. I know we can talk at work and be “friends,” but we have to stop the intimate moments outside of work and certainly the times we still spend together at night (not sex… but we’ve gone on a few “dates” since our break-up). Those more intimate moments are more likely to trigger that “high” response and we need to minimize those. #2) I’m hoping conversations with him can get me to more acceptance and feelings of reciprocity. Reciprocity that he is still in love (which I know) and that he may always be; and acceptance that our relationship is over and that it is for the best that we move on. I recognize the former sounds dangerous for experiencing more “highs,” but it helps me move on to know that he loves me. It gives me less to strive for. Which is the point of #2. #3) I can focus on my H. It will not be the same falling in love that I could get in a new relationship, but I feel warmth and closeness and joy with my H and I need to focus on making more of those experiences to help me transition out of the addiction. Thanks for these links, Lara.

  • Nomad

    The bbq ended… the affair ended… we chatted like colleagues… yes it hurts but it’s a breakthrough

    In fact I went up to him and initiated a conversation. I asked him how’s his trip.

  • lara

    Sophie while I did make a lengthy comment just know in response to you (below) I wanted to start a new thread here at the top. I am so amazed by your clarity and strength of purpose.. I wanted to thank you. And you have a profound feeling for the correspondence between your very difficult childhood experiences and the level of emotion your exMM brought you to. It seems from what you say your affair was fairly short (?) in the overall scheme of things and you learned a great deal from it.
    It really is beautiful when your refer to the “gifts” we gain thorough our difficulties. My close friend who is a healer and who had an amazingly wonderful childhood but then a very very difficult adult life has always told me the same thing. He has always said everything in life is a gift to us and every gift is a lesson and it always works out that the gifts we receive are exactly the ones we need. I do actually (after much inner work) have enough faith and trust in the process of life to know that this is in my life as well. And that ultimately I will see my exMM as the gift he was to me. By the way when you you mentioned the date Jan. 9, 2108 as the last time your exMM contacted you (I think) I wanted to tell you that is my birthday. And it was a whole new decade for me this year in 2018! Imagine that ‘coincidence’. Many hugs Lara xoxo

      • Nomad

        Hi Sophie, I was reading this thread coincidentally!!! Stop self attacking and that was evident in my recent posts here… I’ll be more conscious on that

      • lara

        Sophie, this a very profound read. And a great site. Thank you so much for showing this to me! I am struck by the title: “The Wounds of Rejection Heal With Self-Love and Self-Awareness” and how apt these words are for my former affair and for my life in general. It also makes me pay more attention to my natal astrology chart which spells out quite clearly that I was came into this life with a formidable wound involving both Love and Healing. However, the way for me to heal is THROUGH recognizing the wound and though LOVE itself.
        I must read about this more now. Ironic isn’t it? More likely it is just perfect as it is. My good friend a male and a very wise man says our greatest “problems” are the always our greatest gifts. The exMM was a perfect gift for me to heal. Now to really embrace that thought! Many hugs to you Sophie and I hope your day is going well! xoxo Lara

  • J

    Where to begin. Its a man i have known for and knew he was attracted to me as I was him form the first time we met. I intentionally kept a distance from him and didn’t try to get to know him because I didn’t trust myself (both married with kids 11 years old). There is a couple that is friends with myself and husband and he and his wife. Throughout the years these friends of ours would tell me how this mm would ask about me ect..he referred to me as hie “FLR” favorite little red head, I was always flattered and asked about him as well. From the time our boys were 11 -16 we would see each other at sporting events and friends parties occasionally…we always kept a safe distance. Fast forward to May of 2016 we had not seen each other for years and briefly met in passion at the mutual friends sons graduation party…the sparks were still there. My husband had experienced a life changing event that left him with a brain injury and although can function pretty normally is not the same man and there is no emotional connection in our marriage now. I reached out to him and from there a relationship grew quickly. At first it was all just fun and sexting and flirtatious and then progressed into love. We are so extremely compabatable and together are so happy. We have tried to break up three times within the 10 months we have been together but can’t seem to stay away. The break-ups are initiated by him due to feeling guilty and then finalized by myself…but we always come back together. The most recent break up was during a time when we were talking about being a couple and being together, had been in public together at a casino/hotel, bought tickets to attend an event together and talking about moving forward together. i was so confident in our relationship and so happy.Unexpectedly his mother in law got very ill and he changed…he quickly began to retreat. As the week went on his MIL grew worse and she died. during the week he had explained that he was feeling extremely guilty about us and had to put the breaks on to slow down and think. He didn’t just slow down he stopped….but I gave him his space. eventually he began to text and slowly things have sped back up to close to normal though it is evident he tries to still keep some emotional distance. He agrees to this observation and said that it was all moving to fast for him.
    I have finally gotten to the point where I want to become stronger than this hold, I have realized I don’t want to be the little girl I use to be chasing after attention….I am better than that and deserve better. I haven’t yet said good bye as I am struggling to take the final steps when I start to draw back he seems to come on stronger and I hold onto “if I just stay on maybe it will be”..PLEASE HELP

      • J#2

        Hana sorry J#1 didn’t mean to steal your thunder !!! I decided last night to finally end it with my mm. Last night in our usually texting … him reaching out to me pulling up memories of times spent and then setting … he became hot and then cold … I drew the line . The last week or so I have been building up the strength because I have realized I am allowing him to treat me this way . I said my fair peace and shared with him a heart felt goodbye .. he never said goodbye ( which he in the past has said “ I’m not ready to say goodbye ) … I haven’t heard from him in almost 24 hours which is also a record for both if us. . I will miss what we had whenit was full on but I will not miss the last month of cutting open the wound every other week . I love him so much and will miss him and haven’t stopped thinking of him. Almost have Day one down👍🏻Doing this for myself because I deserve as much as I give ♥️ Trying hard to put me first …. so hard when my gut tells me we belong together

        • Felk

          J#2, best of luck to you. Of course, I think you’re making the right decision given what I know about these situations. For me, it was five years of an affair (and now six months of a sort of break-up and sort of not… which is still very hard) and many of the ups and downs that you describe. Many highs where things are great, and many lows when he’s cold or distant suddenly (usually because of his guilt or protectiveness of trying not to get too attached). In all, it was a really enjoyable five years and I miss it still, but there are rarely “good” endings for affairs, so it’s good that you’re recognizing the patterns early and getting out. He won’t change. This is one thing we know. The patterns will stay the same because it’s hard. He’s likely not mean or cruel. He’s just trying to be in a hard situation, but he will pull away and come back and pull away and it’s painful. As you say, put yourself first and don’t put up with behavior that makes you feel lesser.

          As for the “gut tells me we belong together,” maybe read some of our past posts here about addiction. 🙂 These affairs are addicting. They make us feel such highs that we can trick ourselves into thinking the relationship is better than it is. My MM and I fell in love, no doubt, but I think we also became addicted to each other because it’s constant highs and anticipation/excitement that never gets resolved. You never get to fully satisfy your need because that person always goes home to someone else. So it keeps your brain wanting. And I think we can trick ourselves into thinking “we belong together” (my MM definitely believed that… and I think he sort of still does, which makes our break-up even sadder) because we don’t have to experience the daily hassles of a relationship. We get all the highs and all the quick, fun moments. We get short blocks of time of, usually, just laughing and talking and touching and enjoying. It’s a fantasy, and, of course, it makes us think this person is the one for us. But we don’t truly get to test that relationship. So, as best you can J#2, try to look at your relationship for what it really was and not the fantasy it seems. I don’t doubt you had genuine feelings for each other, but I think we can be tricked by the highs of an addiction (with the withdrawal making us believe we can’t live without this person) and we can be tricked by the constant reinforcement of many short, great moments together.

          • lara

            Oh Felk you are really eloquent about the addictive elements of affairs above. Thank you for making things so clear. Especially with your words here: “I think we can trick ourselves into thinking “we belong together” (edit) because we don’t have to experience the daily hassles of a relationship. We get all the highs and all the quick, fun moments. We get short blocks of time of, usually, just laughing and talking and touching and enjoying. It’s a fantasy, and, of course, it makes us think this person is the one for us. But we don’t truly get to test that relationship.”
            It is so very true that we never get to really test the relationship. YES.
            And that our brains keep “wanting more” as a result of this aspect of an affair:
            “because it’s constant highs and anticipation/excitement that never gets resolved.” YES.

            I think maybe those of us most prone to addictions (myself included) might hang in the longest with an affair but maybe I am wrong. Certainly I am finding that I must replace the addiction I had with my exMM with something else healthier. It’s a lot like when I stopped drinking. I am thinking the best place to put that crazy energy is various types of: “self-care” but alas it feels less exciting than thinking about the drama of my exMM. But I am getting better and better one day at a time.

            I do think the replacement for the addiction (in my case at least) to the exMM must be fun and enjoyable to me because my brain is wanting pleasure not despair. My brain chemistry has been off my whole life so it is not secret to myself that I need more dopamine and the like.
            Some kind of high not a low. I hope I am making sense here. Drinking for me was a pleasure to me until it was NOT. My affair is the same way. So those were short term and ultimately destructive choices for getting a ‘high.” Now, I am seeking a source of pleasure that is not going to crash and burn for me like that. Something that will not explode into self-destruction. I have never knitted in my life but honestly I think for me it will have to be something with my hands like that. I have too much energy to sit still and not move. But I can not be that athletic due to a health condition I suffer from. When I make art I am happy however there is more implied pressure there as. Now I have an exhibition coming up next year….so it feels a little bit more “serious.” But I am going to work on that.

            I know last summer gardening was a huge help to me ! and am just waiting for spring to come so I can go outdoors and start planting again… 🙂
            Many Hugs Lara xxx000

          • Felk

            Lara, I’m pretty fascinated by this idea of love addiction and drawing similarities to other types of addiction. It seems to make sense that certain people would be more prone to love addiction (as any other addiction). I have not had any other addictions in my life (nor have my parents). My grandfather was addicted to alcohol so maybe this is in me a bit, but I’d say that, while some people might be predisposed to develop addiction, anyone, under the right circumstances, can develop addiction, and an affair seems to present those circumstances. I think my MM is addicted, too, and he is finding it hard to fall out of love given that our brains keep waiting for more reinforcement. And, as far as I know, my MM had no addictions in his life or family. So, I think our five year affair just changed our brain chemistry to waiting for more and more (and never fully getting it). Over time, we found more and more time for each other and we got closer and closer, and our time apart became more painful as the withdrawal symptoms kicked in. As the time apart became more painful, we both withdrew more from our marriages and found more time for each other until it became too much of a problem for his marriage. And then he decided cold turkey was the answer, but I learned first-hand how hard that is. And he did, too. And that’s why we found our way back to spending time together here and there, and the holding hands, and the kissing, and eventually the sex. It soothed the pain. But, now, he and I both know that we have to stop. We can’t just keep having these moments here and there. It is continuing the addiction. It’s releasing that dopamine again, only to lead to the crashes of withdrawal again as we don’t keep feeding the dopamine. The only answer, as with any addiction, is to stop entirely. No more reinforcement for the brain. The brain has to heal. Has to reset. Has to get its chemistry right again. Good luck to us having to see each other 5 days a week! 🙂

            As a side note, I wonder if it’s easier for men to be in love and end a relationship? My MM, just two days ago, told me he was still in love with me. I hear him say that and I think, “Then why aren’t we still having an affair?” For me, it is as simple as in love = try for a relationship. But, for him, there are stronger forces (maybe because he has kids) that tell him being in love isn’t enough. I understand it, but I just wonder if it’s gendered.

          • lara

            Felk, you bring up many great points including:
            “The only answer, as with any addiction, is to stop entirely. No more reinforcement for the brain. The brain has to heal. Has to reset. Has to get its chemistry right again. Good luck to us having to see each other 5 days a week! 🙂”

            Yes that really is an issue for those of you who must see the married person at the workplace. And for me who lives next door to the married person’s place of work. I wonder if my affair would have dragged on and off and back on for so long had it not been for our physical proximity. The triggers are always there when you have this proximity to each other. And the wounds and the blisses….
            And you ask.
            “As a side note, I wonder if it’s easier for men to be in love and end a relationship? (edit)…But, for him, there are stronger forces (maybe because he has kids) that tell him being in love isn’t enough. I understand it, but I just wonder if it’s gendered.”

            IMHO, it is NOT gendered. It is based on the psychological make-ups of the people involved and their individual lives, values, beliefs, and circumstances, and the way they choose to behave.
            I think either gender could be in love and end a relationship for all kinds of reasons. And being married is one very good one reason as any affair stretches the limits of one’s original vows and induces all kinds of guilt shame fear of getting caught…etc.
            But there are others as well.
            Religious reasons, for example, or difference of religion reasons, or cultural reasons or socio-economic or purely economic reasons…and so on. The list is probably endless why some people might feel one way but choose not to behave according to their feelings. A simple explanation they might choose to act a different way is because they know that “feelings are not facts”. They accept that the way we feel ebbs and flows wildly from day to day. So many people do not choose to act based on their feelings alone. They actually find their feelings unreliable and make decisions based on other factors. (This is one of books I am reading right now that was recommended here on this site by Laurie). Or see this
            https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/crazy-life/201508/feelings-are-not-facts
            For someone who has had several addictions, like myself, this is all “news ” to me. Smile. But to many of my friends who I know for many years, they would say this: “This is plain obvious!”
            They would say that they always consider MANY factors in ADDITION to their feelings when making any major decisions. Felk, I hope this helps you on your journey! It sure helps me to write it! xoxo Lara

          • Felk

            Lara, makes sense what you say about my question (do men find it easier to step away when in love) not being gendered. Like you say, personality probably matters a lot, and I bet children (and age of children) matter a lot, too. I’d imagine a person is more likely to step away from an affair when children are younger. But, like you say, there are probably all sorts of factors that can lead a person to choose to end a relationship despite having strong feelings for another. For me, doesn’t work that way. If I’m in love, I want to be in that relationship and I work to try to make it happen. I have very rarely been in love and not been in that relationship. And that’s why this break-up has been so hard. Strong in-love feelings with no relationship = lots o’ pain. But, the feelings are fading and rationality is taking over, and it’s all getting better. 🙂

            It’s not just that feelings are not facts, though. Sure, feelings steer us wrong plenty and can often lead us to act impulsively, but feelings are “facts” in the sense that they are honest reflections of our current state and they matter in making decisions. We know that people often make better decisions when considering their feelings, so it’s not so simple to say that we need to recognize our feelings are misguiding us. For example, my feelings of love for my ex-MM make me want to try to still be with him. That’s not good. But my feelings of love for my ex-MM (and knowing that an affair will no longer work) make me want to stop having those feelings and motivate me to take action to reduce those feelings. So, having the bad feelings motivates me to put an end to all of this.

          • lara

            Hi Felk, I did not mean feelings “misguide us”. Or that feelings should not be taken into account. Yes feelings are “honest reflections of our current state and they matter in making decisions.” I do not think we need to “recognize our feelings are misguiding us.” Not at all. That is not what I meant. I meant feelings are only part of the story and the rest of the story must also be considered ALONG WITH the feelings. When one is an addict (say an alcoholic for example, as I went thru this so I know this recovery well) one wants what one wants when one wants it because one FEELS that way. One really really feels this way! This is how an addict feels a lot of the time. And it is quite a shock to realize the rest of the world does not operate this way. In this scenario described above, the alcoholic (who desperately wants to kick the addiction) does not consider the rest of the ramifications of drinking: the hangover, the missed work days, the arguments with loved ones, the driving while intoxicated,. All these go out the window because the brain is so highly charged with the feeling of the WANTING. This feeling supersedes all else (they say it is a problem in the “frontal lobe” of the brain some place)
            One only FEELS the need for the drink. And the drink NOW. It is very hard to break this cycle.

            Eventually in order to not only recover from alcoholism and but to stay recovered, one must learn to rethink. One must learn to slow down and take much more into account than the desire to drink. Thats why we say “feelings are not facts”. Feeling you MUST have a drink does not mean you actually really need one. You will not die without this drink even though you might think you will or FEEL you will.

            Feeling you must have your affair partner (because you feel you are so much in love) is very very much the same kind of thing. The call of the ‘frontal lobe’ of the brain is powerful and strong. But in actuality, the feeling is not the fact. There are other mitigating factors to take into consideration like: the affair partner is married to someone else, or the affair cause grave guilt for one or parties, or someone always gets badly burned.

            So. if one want to end the pain of an affair by exiting an affair one must learn to see the feelings for the other person as simply part of the addiction. Normal demanding feelings for the other are part of what is to be expected. Of course one wants the other! Love is the number one hardest addiction to break according to that list I posted. And food (eating disorders) is number two. And I am battling both. These are called Process Addictions because you can not give up food forever nor can you give up love forever. However an addiction to either can be very very problematic.So breaking these addictions might indeed be worse than quitting drinking because at least you can put alcohol down for a lifetime (one day at at time). This is not true for food or love with of which we need to survive.

            So, Felk, maybe think of it this way: If your own child came to you and said: Mom I feel I am so in love with a married man/woman! (I am in love with my married music teacher! Or, I am in love with my married college professor who also has 3 kids!)
            What would you say? Would you say “run with your feelings my child?” Or would you say: WHOA. Feelings are not facts i.e., feelings are only part of the equation that should lead to your decision as to you how you decide to ACT in this situation?

            Or to put it another way, sometimes I feel this way about my exMM: “I will always love him no matter what.” Okay. Those are my feelings. Am I going to act on these feelings and go BACK to the affair for this reason? Or have I finally learned the hard way that love (my feelings) is not enough all by itself? How I feel is only one part of my decision on how I wish to act in this situation right now. And today, I choose NC and I choose to NOT think about him as much as I can. Warmly Lara xx00

          • Felk

            Lara, yeah, I pretty much agree with what you said. I didn’t mean to make it sound like we should always heed our feelings or they’re always facts. Not at all. I downplayed that part in my message, but feelings misguide people all of the time. Feelings can overwhelm the frontal lobe’s ability to think rationally. Thinking rationally is harder, and feelings “feel” like facts because they exist in us. We think simply “I’m feeling it. It must be right.” Completely agree that feelings are just one part of the puzzle, too. My point was just that feelings inform and can be an important part of decision making (and I know you’re not saying otherwise). I think a lot of us on here are probably guilty of ignoring bad feelings that we had throughout our affairs. In my situation, they were feelings that should have led me to challenge him more because they were showing me that he wasn’t treating me the way I wanted or I wasn’t getting what I needed, but I often ignored those feelings (especially at the end of our relationship) because I was too scared for the relationship to end. Lately, I’ve been trying to remind myself about how I continue to feel the bad ups and downs, and that, if I want those to end, I have to make conscious choices to let go. I try not to get too swayed by the ups and I try not to get pulled back in. I’m trying to heed the feelings when things are hard, and remember that I don’t want to continue the pain.

          • lara

            Felk I think what you said here is brilliant: “I think a lot of us on here are probably guilty of ignoring bad feelings that we had throughout our affairs.” I agree totally but why do we do this?
            On the one hand we are very aware of some feelings. On the other hand we push others away.. xo Lara

          • Felk

            Hi Lara, I’d say there are three main reasons we ignore the bad feelings in our affairs. 1) I think we expect them to some extent. I think we know that there are going to be hardships in an affair that there aren’t in a “normal” relationship, so I think we’re willing to put up with more difficulties in an affair. And while that might be fair, I think it’s hard to know which hardships we should accept and which we shouldn’t. What expectations are reasonable and which aren’t? So, I know I spent a lot of time wondering if my frustration was fair. If he was private about his life, was that fair for him to keep things from me because he was trying to separate the two or was he unfairly withholding and not treating me with enough respect? Mostly I sided with him being fair, but I know, at times, he wasn’t and I didn’t speak up enough. Also, I’ve talked a lot on here about how I didn’t really feel jealousy about his marriage, but I know a lot of people reasonably feel that. So, we feel the jealousy, but we know we have to accept it, right? Again, at least to some extent. And then I think we can get used to the bad feelings and start to think it’s “normal” and then we don’t notice how bad things have gotten. 2) I think it’s easy to ignore the bad because the good is very good. We’ve talked about the highs and they are high. So, I think we’re more willing to put up with the lows to get those highs, and I think we trick ourselves into thinking the lows aren’t that bad because the highs are so good. I know that I was willing to put up with some difficulties because the highs felt so good. 3) I think we ignore the bad feelings sometimes because we don’t want to believe them. They aren’t telling us what we want to know, and we want to know that he loves us (and only us) and that the affair can continue. The bad feelings tell us there’s a problem and we should act to remedy, but we are too scared to. So, we ignore, so we don’t have to deal with them.

            In hindsight, I wish I would have heeded my feelings more in the last 9 months. For most of our relationship, I was pretty honest when something bothered me (and he was, too), but in the last 9 months, as he pulled away, I got scared and then I got quiet. I knew I felt bad. I knew it wasn’t good. It wasn’t like I was silent, of course, but I didn’t say the things I should have said. I wasn’t honest enough with him about how I was feeling and in asking him about how he was feeling. I was too scared to hear how he was feeling, but it would have been better to talk about it. When I finally said something direct after months of confusion and feeling bad about the roller coaster that had started in January of our final year (last year), it was bad. It led to a lot of hard conversations that ultimately led to him saying what I wanted to hear – that he didn’t want to end our relationship. And then he ended it two months later. My point is not that me asking him led to him ending it. It’s that in those two months, I knew there was more to talk about and I clammed up. I was so scared after our previous series of conversations that I ignored a lot of warning signs. And I’m not saying that I could have prevented our break-up, but I could have gone into it with a lot more strength and clarity than I did. So, now that I’m in a much better mental place post-break-up, I am now being more direct. I am much less scared of him ending our friendship (and, yes, I’m almost at the point where I don’t care if he does… not meaning I want him to, but meaning that I know I can’t give anything that much importance), and I am much more honest about what I need. And, as usual, he is responding fine. Our “friendship” continues along, it’s still not where I want it to be but everything feels much better.

          • Nomad

            Hi Felk,
            It always soothing and healing to read what you have written. I felt understood and I’m not alone. I’m taking a lot of deep breath today because it’s a Fri but many of such Fri had passed whereby I don’t feel dreadful about him mia on wkends. I feel normal.

            Just as I’m breathing, I heard his familiar voice calling out my name behind me. He appeared at my desk to get a doc signed by me. I didn’t look into his eyes but noticed he put on a new shirt. On surface, I did well. Professional. After he left without any lingering, I sank back into my chair and i couldn’t label the feelings i am experiencing. More like, it’s really over. A bbq, a phone call and a doc signature.

      • lara

        Hi J (Number 1?) Yes there is another J here and I was very confused when you first posted LOL Welcome to this board! I think you will find it helpful to stay while and read the stories and get confirmation that you are, indeed, in a very rough situation. No one wants to be in an affair. And getting out is no laughing matter, How motivated are you to leave? Are you ready do you think? Have you discussed this with your MM? What are his feelings on your relationship? Is he, like many of the married affair partners here, committed to stay married even if the marriage has problems? Do you think you are both in love with each other? Do either of the spouses suspect? Would he ever leave his marriage? These are many questions, I know. Many things to think about. Does religion play any role in your loves or in your thoughts about affairs? Is this your first affair? His? You will have plenty of time to think and plan as you get to know the dynamics of having an affair. I look forward to getting to know you and your story. Just remember this: when and IF you start exiting an affair: It is always ONE DAY AT A TIME! Hugs, Lara xo

  • Kev the married guy

    Thanks for all your support……….working through this is tough

    The last couple of days I have tried reaching out to her so that I can get clarity of her decision, it really took me by surprise and her response was short and came across as insensitive and she refuse to see me in person. Her reasoning was she didn’t want to open up to me so that she can protect her emotions and continue to heal..

    I went to counselor and she told me I have to let her go and begin to heal for myself, so part of letting her go was blocking her on the phone and all contact. my counselor help me put together a text……..

    Brook, just got out of therapy and had a tough session. But after reflecting and looking at my own spiritual state of being it is in the best interest of us both that I let you go. Therefore I am going to block you on both lines to fully Purge you from my system. This is going to be hard for me and I’m struggling with writing this now. However I asked my therapist to walk me through this because I can no longer be double-minded. I thought the direction was you and I but in looking through the text that you sent I can clearly see that this is no longer the case. I pray that you will recover just as I Look to do the same. Keep God first and if you see me don’t be afraid to wave or smile every now and then. And I promise that’s all it will be. In return promise me that you won’t break your promise to God and yourself by moving on. Kj

    Minutes after the text I got 3 phone calls from her…she wanted to meet up at the hotel…we stayed all night and the reunion was amazing. I wish I could tell you what’s next from here

    • Felk

      Kev, Wow. I’m not going to say “I knew it!” because I didn’t really know she’d return to you that quickly, but I’m not surprised at all. In my last message to you, I know I said that I hope she stays away from you for your sake (because I had inklings she’d come back around), but I certainly want what makes you happy and I know she does. I didn’t want her to stay away from you if you two should be together. I only wanted her to stay away if she was unsure of what she wanted and she only prolonged your suffering. As I said in my last message, I was very surprised she chose to let you go during her 30 days of NC. I understood her feelings of guilt, but the way you described your love and how it seemed she was making a healthy choice (for the two of you to move forward together) by suggesting those 30 days apart, it seemed she wanted a life with you. Obviously, we don’t know everyone’s full story on here, but it seemed from what you had told us that she really wanted to be with you and she wanted to do it right (by giving you the space to make that decision). So, now, that she is back days later and desperately wanting to be with you, it makes more sense. Given all that you had said, I didn’t understand how she could just give you up like that, especially after you had made the decision to leave your family. However, this is quite a mess and I know you know. I wish you happiness and I hope you can find it, but going home to your family immediately after your lover rejected you is going to do a number on your wife and kids if you leave again. Please, whatever decision you make, take time to think about it and be sure.

    • lara

      Kev
      WOW
      Just WOW
      SO Felk seems to have seen this one coming when she responded you you last time. This one is out of the ballpark for me because God is so involved. How can she go back to the counselor now? And can you? I have a feeling you can more easily than she can. And where is your wife in all of this? Home? I thought you moved back home already? If yes then how did you manage a whole life with B? Is your W now going crazy? No one could blame her for doing so at this point. Sorry for all the questions. I am just trying to process B’s ginormous flip flops right now, I don’t blame her of course. Nor do I blame you. I just think that your B is very very persuasive. A day ago your relationship was Satan’s playground. And you both were wrong minded according to your religion and the counselors. Now you are back together for an “amazing” night night. How will you reconcile all of this? I will stay tuned. Hugs Lara

      • lara

        Kev I meant to say in my last post:
        If yes then how did you manage a whole night with B?
        Personally I have a little trouble with the extreme swings in B’s behavior. I DO understand the swings and the emotions behind the behaviors, but I also think they spell more trouble for you in the future. I don’t understand why her first thought after you wrote your note of farewell to her was to meet you at a hotel after a day or so earlier she would not even her car window a sliver?
        Why did she not suggest a restaurant first? It would have been a little more neutral place no? Just wondering… She has extremes that I fear will continue. I think her counselor will now seek her out specifically get her to change her mind again maybe and attempt some kind of “exorcism”. Or maybe B will go back to the counselor on her own. Then again I do not believe she will leave you either. I am concerned you might be caught dead center. Am I wrong? I hope so. Will she be even be give advice to move out of state I wonder? So she can avoid all “temptation”? And what will she decide? I think it is going to be rocky you for awhile. I really hope I am wrong. I do not know how you will manage to also deal with your wife and family at the same time. My courage to you! Hugs Laras xxxooo

        • Nomad

          She was seizing that moment and went all the way out. Also because Kev sounded like a farewell forever. I had that panicky attack when mm said to me in Jan over lunch and for the very first time that he decided to end.

          I thought Kev and B would be happily ever after. That reunion was a breakthrough (after he left home and 30days of NC) and they are actually free to be together.

  • Nomad

    What happens when a mm goes on a vacation with his W?

    Does it mean that it’s going to reveal something major in terms of his family life?

    Is it going to give him any major revelations?

    Is it going to strengthen his bond with his wife?
    Is it going to suddenly give him clarity about what he wants in life and choose his wife?

    Are men really simple creatures that he will eat, sleep, go out and see the sights, all the things a person on vacation does? Only mw would be twisting ourselves into knots about us being left behind, forsaken? fear that he would be back and decided to break off cleanly and permanently.

    (If he’s back and able to cut me off thereafter, please be happy for me 🙂, I’m a step closer to resolve)

    Still thinking about what’s going to happen to me when we meet on Friday over project discussion and Sat over a bbq dinner gathering. I would be sad if he treated me with indifference. I would also be sad if he gave me crumbs, lesser than less. Contradicting I know…

    Lara, I’m not going to ask you is he going to return this time. I’m thinking of if I could, I would walk away, remove him from my life.

    • lara

      Nomad I think Felk said this already”. This is definitely NOT a good spot for your mind to be at. It can only torment you. Your questions are the same ones so many of us here have asked. But do we really know ever the truth about what happens on these vacations? Nope. Highly doubtful. I will try answering them with the same answers I would the myself when he was away given that I knew I was never going to get the whole truth and I knew it. SEE MY CAPS AND YUP ITS a BIT SNARKY. 🙂

      What happens when a mm goes on a vacation with his W?
      HE GOES TO TAKE A MUCH NEEDED VACATION FROM WORK AND OTHER STRESS. AND TO SPEND TIME WITH HIS FAMILY. WITH OR WITHOUT THE KIDS.

      Does it mean that it’s going to reveal something major in terms of his family life? NAH PROBABLY NOT

      Is it going to give him any major revelations? NAH PROBABLY NOT

      Is it going to strengthen his bond with his wife? NAH PROBABLY NOT. BUT THEY MIGHT HAVE A VERY NICE TIME TOGETHER.

      Is it going to suddenly give him clarity about what he wants in life and choose his wife? NAH PROBABLY NOT. IF HE WAS GOING TO GET CLARITY IT PROBABLY WOULD NOT COME WHEN HE WAS RELAXING ON HIS WELL EARNED AND MUCH NEEDED VACATION! HE IS TAKING IT EASY. RELAXING ON VACATION. CLARITY MEANS “WORK.” BUT HE IS RELAXING REMEMBER?

      Are men really simple creatures that he will eat, sleep, go out and see the sights, all the things a person on vacation does? PROBABLY NOT. HE WANTS SEX AND ROMANCE TOO. DOESN’T EVERYONE?

      Only mw would be twisting ourselves into knots about us being left behind, forsaken? fear that he would be back and decided to break off cleanly and permanently. NAH PROBABLY NOT

      (If he’s back and able to cut me off thereafter, please be happy for me 🙂, I’m a step closer to resolve)
      HE PROBABLY WILL NOT.

      Still thinking about what’s going to happen to me when we meet on Friday over project discussion and Sat over a bbq dinner gathering. I would be sad if he treated me with indifference. I would also be sad if he gave me crumbs, lesser than less. Contradicting I know…
      YOU SHOULD PROBABLY THINK ABOUT HIM LESS IF POSSIBLE.

      Lara, I’m not going to ask you is he going to return this time. I’m thinking of if I could, I would walk away, remove him from my life.
      HE WILL ALWAYS PROBABLY RETURN IF HE SENSES YOU WILL BE EVEN HALF-WAY EVEN ONE QUARTER WAY RECEPTIVE. BUT THE REST OF THE DYNAMICS WITH HIM WILL PROBABLY NOT CHANGE MUCH.

      • Nomad

        Thanks Lara… appreciate your attempts. I like this “(If he’s back and able to cut me off thereafter, please be happy for me 🙂, I’m a step closer to resolve)”… he’s back for 4 days but hasn’t reached out. Only time will tell if he’s doing a permanent cut. If yes, please cheer for me too 🙃

  • LIFELESSONS

    Hello ALL,
    DAY# 16 of NC woohoo🎉🎊🍸🍾

    I am feeling good about this…It is still a challenge but i am so proud of myself. I feel good for staying true to myself and putting me first. My MM and i didnt have a lot of conversations about love and feelings and maybe to some degree this has helped me be more clear about moving forward. I think about him but not as much. I do wish i couldve spoken to him to clear things up but I cannot be focused on that. Whenever, I think about it, i refocus my thoughts…I am literally taking this thing one day at a time.

    Kev, I am so proud of the way you handled things with your lover. Im sure you wasnt expecting her to react the way she was reacting and I am shocked myself. Maybe what she said is right Idk but I honestly think everything happens for a reason and yall are meant to be it will be. However, you were placed in each other lives for a reason, the reason I dont know. Prayerfully you will be ok with things and moving forward with your life if thats what you have to do. I read your posts from the old forum and I could tell you really cared for and loved her and she felt the same. So i thought for sure you would be together. Best wishes to you and your future!

    Lara, just wanted to say I admire you 61 days….i cannot wait until I can get to that point, I know it will be here before you know it. You are so strong and determined and thanks for sharing that. I often times wish we could all meet up and chat over tea or coffee or even dinner but I know we are all in different places. I feel like you all are my friends, you know things that some of friends of 25+yrs dont know. There are details and feelings I share here that I dont share with anyone.
    This is therapeutic for me. Thanks for listening, reading, and replying.
    LifeLessons😉

  • Kev the married guy

    Closure
    Yesterday was a significant day it was the 30th day of no contact……..even though it was the 30th day I was going to wait another 20 days before I spoke with her……….I wanted more time to work on some things. While I was at work I seen her from afar standing outside her job (our jobs are next to each other) and when I saw her everything inside of me wanted to talk to her……..So I called her to tell her its been 30 days and I wanted to see if we could meet up but at the time she said she couldn’t talk at the time, so I text her asking if we can meet up for 5 minutes I have something to sayand its going to be short and strait to the point…..I was going to thank her for initiating the 30 days of nc but still need more time and was going to set up a day in April for us to talk………..she replied she cant meet up and didn’t give an excuse or reply to any of my texts…..so I got my sister to text her and her reply was she cant because her counselor told her not to contact me………….I was furious hurt and I was determined to talk to her that night………… All I can think is all the time that we spent together, things that we said to each other and the agreement that we made. I just went through hell and was preparing a future for us so that we can spend the rest of our lives together and she said her counselor told her not to contact me and I was not having that, she was going to have to look me in my eye and tell me, not that I had to have it my way I knew that I couldn’t spend 20 or more days waiting….if she was moving on I deserved to know right then and there not when she was strong enough to talk to me or when her counselor told her she can……I had to much invested in this relationship, and my heart was all in………..I went to her job after work (we get off around the same time) and told her I wanted to talk and waited till she got off of work and when she did I followed her until she was willing to stop and talk. Yes it sounds weird and demanding but I know if I didn’t speak to her I would be up all night in torture, I needed to hear from her mouth…I deserved that and for my sanity I was going to get it. If it was time to close this chapter in my life so be it but I want an answer so that I can get closure ……so I followed her until she stopped………….

    Once we finally stopped I got out of the car while she was on the phone she cracked the window just enough so that we can talk, she wouldn’t let me in her car and was careful not to express feelings that she has for me because her counselor told her not to talk to me and she was scared that she would set her self back from the progress she was making.
    On a good note I can tell she was happy to see me in spite of me insisting to see her against her wishes. She smiled a lot, laughed, looked at each other in the eyes, a lot of tears, some crying, and a 3minute conversation turned into a 3.5 hour conversation. (just to be clear we laughed about me following her in the car and she apologize for making look like an weirdo she knew she wasn’t in danger she was just trying to obey the counselor)

    • Kev the married guy

      The conversation
      Before we got started I wanted to know if she was still wearing my Pandora bracelet with my initials charm, ring, necklace, ear rings that I got her . She still had on the bracelet and ring but didn’t have on the necklace or earrings. She said her counselor told her to take off the necklace with the connected hearts because she was always pulling on it and told her that was her way of holding on to my heart

      One of the 1st thing I wanted to understand what was the 30days was for her
      ….I thought we had the same objective, for me to step away from both women and get clarity of what this is and to make sure this is what I really wanted but for some reason I felt like her objective was different mid-way of the 30 day NC. Not to mention We spent over a month talking about this prior to the NC. Never the less she said going into the 30 day nc she thought we would be life partners but after she spoke to her counselor (older woman who is a Christian with strong Christian values) she discovered our path was for us not to be together. My Lover said she had a dream of me speaking at a church and while I was speaking I stop to minister to her. The next day when she met up with the counselor and the counselor said something about me being a good guy and God has plans for my life without her mentioning anything about the dream or me, this was confirmation for my lover that this was not our path and the devil must have had something to do with this. She felt like two good people who are strong Christians with a good reputation shouldn’t have fell and what we where doing was not right..

      With the love that we have for each other I wanted to know how she was able to do the 30 day no contac suuccessfullyt she stated that it was tough, she said she had panic attacks she was always crying, loss 10lb from no eating and every time she went to unblock me she would throw the phone…….when she thought about me she would pray …………she said she couldn’t do this on her own will she had to rely on God……
      I had the chance to express how I felt the hurt, anger, sadness and the love, I cried like a baby (for the record im not an emotional guy) and she cried and had a lot of tears through out the conversation….at times she would just stare into my eyes without saying anything and would tell me she couldn’t say what she was thinking……..she made sure we didn’t touch hug or kiss because that would only set her back and much as I wanted to hug her I had to respect her…………………will miss and love her always…Im back at home

      • lara

        Dear Kevin
        Ouch. OUCH.
        I am so very very sorry to hear this and I can only imagine how painful it must be for you right now. I really have no words.
        You know we are here and you know we care about you so please stay and process your feelings over the coming days weeks months…The feelings of love grief anger sorrow all very torn ones will require you to take extra good care of yourself now. Not to mention the feelings you will encounter going back to your wife and her processing this news. And your kids. So please pull up a chair and stay awhile! Sending many hugs Lara xx000

    • Felk

      Wow, Kev, I read both of the entries you posted earlier today, and I’m pretty surprised. I can’t even imagine how hard that was for you to hear that your lover did not think it was right for her to be in a relationship with you. I know you went through a lot to leave your family, and to try to start a life with another woman. I am genuinely shocked that she changed her mind about your path together. I am not a religious person, but it does seem that her faith played a strong role in determining what she thought was right for the both of you. That is a powerful force to fight.

      It is going to take a lot of time to heal from something like this, not only for you but for your family, too. I’m surprised you’re already back at home (were you really ready to leave if you returned so quickly?), but you need to do what you think is best. For your sake, I also hope that your lover can stick to her decision and not come back into your life some time in the future. It is hard enough to end these affairs, but it is so much harder when we keep them going with the back and forth when the other person cannot decide what he/she wants. For your sake (and your lover’s sake), I also hope that you can keep your distance from her. She will come to you if she wants. And the only way you’ll move on is if you stay away from her.

    • Sophie

      My god, you have written such a beautiful post. Love each and every word. And yes, you are so inspiring. PS: about the dinner with friends that might include my ex MM, I am sincerely and genuinely hoping from the bottom of my heart that all the other friends meet separately in someone else’s home. Really, really praying that I am spared this unnecessary tension even though I have immense clarity that I have moved on (no way I am looking back). I have a month before that dinner and hopefully by then my friend would have made a concrete plan sans my ex MM and his wife. Thanks Lara 🙂

      • lara

        Thank you so much for the compliments. I am praying you are spared this unnecessary tension too! Would it be at all possible to state to your friend that you are having an “issue” with your exMM? And that therefore you prefer not to be in his company for little while? Or would you be too afraid your friend would know/suspect the real reason? I am just brainstorming here. I do not see how this will not be incredible uncomfortable for you if he and his W and your H are all there. But you know yourself best! Hugs Lara xx00

        • lara

          There is another possibility Sophie and this one more dangerous and heartbreaking….You could go to this event with your clear boundaries etc for not wanting him anymore, not caring about him anymore, going only to spend time with your out of town friend. He is suddenly charming as all get out and makes every effort to get your attention to see a new side of him that you have not seen before. And by being rejected by you, he now starts to subtly pursue you as this makes getting you a challenge for him now.
          You suddenly feel your neutrality start to drift away and in its place are real live warm feelings for him again….And you long to see if he feels it too….etc etc. eye contact, etc.
          Look at Kev and his situation and the giant flip flop his lover just did after seeing him!. Now I realize such giant flip flops are pretty common place in affairs after all! So you must also Beware Sophie! He might be very determined to get your attention and out to show you a new and improved part of himself….hugs Lara

          • Sophie

            Hi Lara, thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately, no way that I can even “subtly” suggest that I have “issues with him” to my friend. A) it puts him solely in a bad light and something that my friend would want to probe further. I don’t say this by way of “feeling” for him but why should any third party (no matter how close my friend and I are) get a whiff of what happened in the past and what was a mistake on the part of two people (him and me). That said, I am of course sincerely hoping that there’s a miracle and I don’t have to see him and that the entire dinner happens elsewhere altogether because components of the situation are definitely uncomfortable. I continue to pray hard I am spared the situation to meet him while also not losing the one chance to meet my friend, her husband and kids whom I am very, very close to. About KEV and me – no comparison here. There’s been genuine love between Kev and his partner whereas in my case it was only physical for him and very emotional for me. Now, The reason why i’m confident that any of his hypothetical wooing won’t make a difference to me is because I am clear that I am committed to my husband, my marriage. I continue to maintain that my marriage is a huge struggle even today but I am equally very, very clear that I don’t want my ex MM back in my life simply as an excuse that I am struggling in my marriage. The struggle in my marriage is mine and my husband to handle and I am so sure Of not falling back on him (least of all) to fix my emotional issues – I will not allow him to come back even if he wants to – because I no longer want him. Whether he professes his love, or not, is secondary, whether he even apologises or not won’t matter (for his peace of mind, he should but if he doesn’t, it doesn’t matter). The “how could he treat me like this?” is a question I have moved away from because I have learnt to be free from him, learnt to be confident of myself. That said, I know it will be an uncomfortable situation for me – very uncomfortable- but i’m clear in my intent. My focus is meeting my friend who is like a family member to me. There’s no question of ossilating because I have felt “used” / “abused” not once but twice. I am clear also because I am committed to my marriage because all said and done, my husband is a good man and I realise it. I continue to think it over again and again simply because I don’t want my husband to be introduced to someone I was clandestinely in a relationship with – it would be unfair on my husband. But I can’t think too much about it for the wrong reasons because I am not trying to “imagine”
            Anything in my head (because it would mean thinking of him in my mind). Let’s see what happens. I have a month or more – 26th April. I am sure the universe will support my genuine efforts and the fact that I am on the right path. Amen. 😊 PS: your suggestions, observations make me assess everything with a lot of clarity. And I am so glad you have said and given me situations to decipher on my own.

          • Felk

            Sophie, You do sound strong and resolute that you do not want your ex-MM back. That’s good. However, it sounds like you also know how uncomfortable that dinner with him in April could be. I thought Lara brought up a lot of good points about how feelings can come back, especially if he is acting particularly interested in you that night. But, again, you sound strong and you have over a month to get stronger. That is a big deal. I think it’s important that you continue to not think of him or try to imagine scenarios, because, as you said, it just puts your mind back on him and that doesn’t help with moving on.

            Last thing I’ll say is that it stood out to me that you were praying hard that you would not see your ex-MM that night. Even though you sound strong, it also sounds like you’re still worried about that interaction. You all know I am not a religious person so, of course, filter my comments through that, but I do think you have to make these choices for yourself and you can’t fall back on prayer to fix your situation. Even though I am not religious, I understand how a relationship with a higher power can help you through situations like this, but I also do believe that you have to help yourself with conscious choices. If you are hoping “the universe” will fix this, to me that still sounds like you might not be ready to see him and you might have to be that “universe” that fixes this. Again, though, you have 6 weeks to think about it so I do hope you find clarity and healing in that time.

          • Sophie

            Hope I didn’t sound too rude in my previous message Lara. My sincere apologies If I did. PS: another point to further clarify was that like Kev and many other complicated stories on the forum, the bottom line was there was always an emotional connect and love between the two people who were in an affair. This was unlike my scenario where the man never showed any emotional quotient – things were over for him in barely few hours. Since I haven’t been in touch with him for a little over two months, and I have been working overtime to heal myself, I have come to very conclusive conclusions. Yes, i still get upset about the episode but it’s more in the context of “I wish I hadn’t invited it in the first place”. It’s mourning the death of an affair but people can mourn while moving on permanently forever. He gave me a wound that I have healed over time; to revisit that wound would be problematic, maybe give me some pain too, but this time I am protecting myself through a shield. I still sometimes think of how nice it would be if he would apologise to me and say, “look, I loved you, I just didn’t know how to say it, but I do” but I understand that even this deep seated desire of mine is for him to get closure from the hurt he has given someone – even if not manipulatively but inadvertently. It has helped me to get to a calmer place after praying for him, giving him the benefit of doubt that he may have had his struggles and forgiving him and I think he should look deep within and do the same simply because moving on from a mistake is a beautiful, empowering moment. I hope this doesn’t sound like i’m Being very defensive about me definitely going to his place (like I said it’s still a month away and i’m Still mulling over it) but I just am so sure that my commitment is no longer him, it’s myself, my marriage, my husband, my loved ones who truly care for me. While I hope I meet my friend with my other friends outside somewhere without meeting him. I’m going to try my best to meet her separately of course. Please continue to write about your deepest concerns and debate my words because that would allow me to think deeper and with more clarity. Thank you 🙂

          • Nomad

            Fell into this dangerous trap many times, usually after NC, when my negativity faded and forgot my sufferings; when absence made him miss the high from the addiction and then lustfully return to start the cycle (noticed I didn’t say realize his love for me). Most vivid episode was after 26 days of nc and my 2 overseas trips in dec. each time i was left feeling cheated to be lured back, regretted to throw my efforts away, remorseful for my foolishness thinking things would change to my way.

            So yes, it is dangerous. Very. For myself, I thought I was ready, no harm saying hello or act cool, no harm locking glances with him with many people around, no harm picking up his call etc. despite thinking I was ready, i must be done, I had my enough is enough rock bottom, I must have stabilized etc. but no, I had been wrong about these “harmless” contact. I had been telling him indirectly I’m accepting his asshole behavior to come and go at his convenience, to disappear immediately after the room, to be understanding and accommodating his fear and guilt cycle (what about mine?). Over the last few months we could go NC for longer stretch like we never exist and then my efforts would screw up after one harmless contact, even for few seconds.

            My point is, never underestimate that few seconds especially after NC. The longer the stretch the more dangerous it is. Also, I realized I still couldn’t trust myself with the declarative “I am ready” therefore it’s ok to resume even a professional contact.

            I’m not sure what’s next but I do feel like avoiding him. I’ve no confidence about nc and another breakthrough. yes it hurts a little when there’s no missed call at my desk, I felt so since I knew he’s back at work. But, I’m ok to let it be, no crying in toilet or staring at the phone waiting and suppressing the urge to reach out. I choose think the trip has helped him reset and he’s trying not to reach out and he’s holding on to the blissful and peaceful feeling while he was bonding with his family overseas.

          • lara

            Sophie I did not think you were rude at all. No need to apologize. I figured my suggestion to tell a third party might not work but then again I tried asking you it was a possibility. As for me comparing you to Kev and B no I did not mean to make a direct comparison. I meant to say your exMM might flip over given the change in YOUR behavior. Sometimes an ex will see that as a challenge to try and get you back. (It affects his ego if you reject him so then he acts) Seeing you happy and committed to your H might trigger something.

            Look since it is more than a month away and you have said this: “I am sure the universe will support my genuine efforts and the fact that I am on the right path. Amen.” I want to say I support whatever your decision is of course. and AMEN.

            I repeat for ME (not you) this would be an impossible situation (if I was trying to heal like you have been). For me, seeing the exMM with his wife (which I do see often) is my definition of torture. I see them looking happy, holding hands, etc. And yet he always used to say to me “all that glitters is not gold”. It has screwed me up so much inside: the words he said vs. the way they (he and his W) look on the outside, vs the secret way we had to meet, vs the fact he said she never loved him vs. the way I feel on the inside (which is trying to understand why I could love so much a man that was actually quite harmful for me on many levels) vs. my low self esteem (if she does not love him why does he stay with her?) vs. even more feelings too numerous to name here.

            All of this equals inner complexity and therefore stress to me and I like to process this kind of mess ALONE. If I had to add to this company, the dynamics and emotions of my ex H who I had issues with of course, who seemed to pale next to my exMM, then it is simply too much complexity for me to eat a dinner with all these people without getting very nauseous. But you must decide for YOU what is best! And you DO have some time. hugs Lara xx00

          • Sophie

            Lara, your guidance is invaluable. I just love how you create all the possible scenarios for us, make so much effort of explaining things to us, down to the last detail. It is really inspiring to read your thoughts and life’s story and how beautifully you’re guiding all of us through your experiences and struggles. You have a rare gift, my friend. God bless you. I just wanted you to know you are truly special. Big hug to you.

          • Sophie

            Hi Felk, thanks so much for your observations. Yes, I do consider myself very lucky that I have six weeks to decide on the course of action. That said, the discomfort (or is it “nervousness”?) is of course there not because i will slip back but because it will just be a reverse gear into the environment of the past. Like I said, I am still figuring out what I will eventually do. Just clarifying here that I am Not too religious myself – more spiritual as I would call myself, or a person who meditates to get my mind to focus and my spiritual self to grow. I agree though that it would be confusing to anyone and I suppose I would have come across as someone just plainly religiously “dependent” 🙂 about the “universe coming together”, I do witness that when I channelise my energies correctly, when I do what I feel is right from the bottom of my heart, things just seem to get easier for me, and work out in my favour. These could be just coincidences but it all comes together. I just draw on my inner strength – whether through my Buddhism, whether through some of the Hindu chants tHat I have learnt as a child. I have noticed that ever since I made up my mind about being committed to my marriage, I have just been at peace, a certain calmness has swept over me and nothing seems blurred. I could see my ex MM straight through his manipulation – I could see my own self understanding the bigger picture in a more permanent way. I also know I cannot be just friends with benefits with my ex MM; like I said, I have wished him well but frankly what HE thinks of me or how HE views me (which was the centre of my universe) doesn’t matter to me. I think what made life simpler for me was that he just didn’t bother and later, I stopped bothering. Someone on the forum wrote about her affair “dying a natural death” due to the MMs cold attitude and I really related to it. My affair has been long buried, I have memories, which I don’t revisit (the sad ones are aplenty so I don’t remember them; the good ones were never real (as his actions showed me later) so I don’t waste my time thinking about them). Will the feelings come rushing back for me when I see him? NO. Because i no longer want to exercise that choice. Will he turn on his charm quotient for the fun of the chase? NO. Simply because he will be arrogant if I don’t give him any important. And, just hypothetically, even if he did, will I reciprocate? NO. I have already made the decision to be committed to my husband and to my marriage. Since I have a poor quality of marriage, would I still stumble and get tempted? NO. Because a poor quality marriage can’t be bettered by an affair on the side. If I ever leave this marriage (Hypothetically speaking), I will leave It for myself and not because someone else might be waiting to hold my hand. That said, I am very happy to be holding my husband’s hand and moving forward 🙂 That much I have learnt. Most importantly – my heart, my pride. My heart is my pride and no one will be allowed to hurt it. Y’know, I used to earlier imagine scenarios that my ex MM and I are talking and I am telling him everything in a reasonable manner and ending the affair with a flourish. I no longer think of those imaginary scenes in my head – it just doesn’t matter. What he feels about me – loves me, doesn’t love me, is guilty, not guilty, has remorse, doesn’t have remorse, it just doesn’t bother me. All i’ll Reiterate (as i did in one of my messages yesterday) is that I so wish he could seek forgiveness from me for his own sake. He would see how amazing it is to have a huge learning from this whole experience. Maybe he already has learnt that it was painful for him and since he has zero communication skills, maybe that’s why he didn’t even message or call me ever after January 9, 2018. But frankly, that’s his struggle to face. It has nothing to do with me. Felk, I totally agree with you that the dependency on the “universe” is futile. Please know that I am 100percrnt in agreement with you. These seem like such cliched sentences of any and every self help book. I do however strongly believe in “invoking” faith and inner strength that we have in ourselves that often goes untapped – it’s the strength that allows us to fight diseases, navigate through heartbreaks, create breakthroughs in professional and personal lives… and that invoking could be through prayer, chant, whatever allows you to meditate and really get you in touch with yourself. and that’s when something starts shifting -livery, very mystically. perhaps, the shift was already happening but our meditation strengthened us to see it with more clarity?! I don’t know, but something comes together, the forces combine to make you stronger and the same situation that was haunting us starts giving us strength. (The blatant manner of ex MM ignoring us, which was the cause of our worry and sleepless nights becomes our power source of just moving forward to looking at other things). The most empowering tool I have received through my prayer / meditation / chanting / (now even soul journal writing) over the last two months when I was hurt from the deepest place of my heart and soul) is the fact that while he decided to end things, I made sure to “seal” the decision permanently. Maybe I Have unshakeable confidence in myself because I decided to genuinely, sincerely commit myself to people and situations that mattered to me. My dilemma for attending the dinner is different – it’s not because he will have an effect on me. He did have it once, I trusted him only to be failed by him. I also no longer feel bad about myself because of what he did to me. I was genuine, he wasn’t so there’s no way I should be made the guilty party. Moral science lectures can tell us that affairs are bad and straying is a sin, but I know in my heart that when I was with him, I loved him sincerely. That he used me struck me only later, and very slowly I stumbled, fell and rose again. And that’s when I decided I had had enough. I have been a survivor of physical abuse as a child and even then i navigated with a lot of difficulty but my healing was one of peace. First I felt cheap, small, violated, guilty, like everything was my fault. It was only later that I was counselled that it was not my fault. With my ex MM after decades those feelings came back – eventually, despite all the love I had for him, I felt violated. I have come to realise that it wasn’t my fault. I loved him, (maybe a part of me will always love him because even today I am not bitter about him, I hate what he did to me but I don’t hate him persay). But I have stood up and taken a decision for myself for the first time in a relationship that was only one-sided emotional (from my side). And that decision has been empowering, permanent – one taken by a very headstrong, proud (not arrogant) girl. And that decision happened because I was getting deeper and deeper in touch with myself through spiritual healing, through the power of prayer. I think we have to make every ounce of effort (and we all do in this forum) with gigantic proportions of sincerity. Once you get sincerity in efforts, it is unshakable. And the sincerity has to come from something profound, and to know that you need to dig deeper into your soul. And to dig deeper, you need your meditation, and through your meditation who knows what shifts that “universe” is making. I hope it didn’t sound like a discourse – I just kept writing what came from the heart. Hugs to you and thank you for your invaluable observations.

          • Felk

            Hi Sophie, interestingly, I think we just use different words for the same things. I don’t dig deep into my “soul” and I don’t do this through meditation and prayer; but I dig deep into my thoughts and I do this through a lot of self-reflection and journaling. But, as you say, it has to come from honesty and from attempts to truly understand our feelings and motivations. It is about digging deep. I am getting close to making up my mind on being done with my MM, but I’m not 100% there yet. It doesn’t help that he hasn’t made up his mind on being 100% done with me yet, but he is getting close, too. In honesty, we are both just trying to deal with being in love and knowing our relationship can’t continue as it was and it’s a slow process (especially because we work together).

            I love how sure you sound about being done. I want to be at that point. I feel closer, and I am taking more active steps to pull away. And I know he is, too. Right now, I am trying to set up a time and place for us to talk quite openly about how we just need to be done with it all. He and I have been hanging in limbo for several months now, with moments of great intimacy interspersed through a lot of distance and attempts to end. The moments of intimacy feel good, but they are keeping me (and him) hanging onto something that we need to let go of. Something that was really lovely for five years, but something that will only continue to cause us pain if we don’t fully put it in the past. And I know this is easier said than done because we work together and seeing each other is a constant reminder of our feelings and what was, but I hope a conversation can help us say some hard things out loud about how “hanging on” isn’t helping either one of us. It will be sad. It feels sad now just thinking about that conversation, but I think it’s important (for me) on my path to closure. Unfortunately, just having this conversation will make me feel close to him. But I need to be more direct in trying to end whatever we are holding onto, because this limbo and holding on is no good for me. And, admittedly, he is better at this than I. He’s the one who initiated the break-up six months ago, so, of course, he’s closer to ready to be done than I, but he is also holding on. Here’s to hoping that we can have an honest conversation about being done that helps us both get more closure and transition to a true friendship that no longer hangs in limbo.

          • lara

            Sophie thank you thank for your beautiful words to me. You’re very kind to say such things. I cherish these words of course. Also however, I hope I am up to the task to keep inspiring you!
            Honestly, I really think this is very hard. And I do have my crazy moments. Today was one.

            I will give you an example. Today I was waiting for someone to arrive at my house so I was looking out my window and there he was (my exMM) walking down to his car on the sidewalk in front of my house. I saw him through my windowpane. How did I feel? Am I neutral yet? How many days of NC am I? 65 or so? How did I feel?
            Answer:
            Aaarghhhh Pain aarghhhhh…..I felt like reaching through the window to touch his face, like trying to get his attention by knocking on the window, like wanting to whisper into his ear, like wanting to kiss his face, his ear….and so on.
            I just stood there frozen. I watched my entire being respond to him through window glass. Are my feelings “gone”? HA! They will never be gone I think. It is too many years we were together. I watched his slouch, I imagined he was unhappy, I wanted to run up to him and say, “It’s okay. “We” are okay. I accept this situation as it is. I accept you. I accept me. I accept our feelings towards each other. Let’s just hug each other. blah blah blah. This is the same man who has walked down my street hand in hadn’t with his wife!
            What the hell is wrong with me? What is this? I don’t even understand my own self.

            That is why I could never EVER eat dinner with this man his wife and my exH. No way. This is just me. No closure with him. Too many feelings and longings….and personal questions…
            This is my never ending love for a narcissist who can never ever meet my needs and is not even good for me or my self esteem! So obviously I, personally, have too many internal issues, too many scrambled internal mechanisms, too much “faulty radar”, too much “love??” too many feelings which, when in combination with seeing this man, make me very agitated for lack of a better word.

            I wanted to cry in my house looking out the window but the tears will not come anymore. Or hardly they will. There is anger I still have and bad memories I still have with him that keep me safe. His behavior in December to me. I force myself to remeber.
            Then naturally there is low self esteem and despair I still have and that is what keeps me UNSAFE. Anger will energize me in the right direction (in the opposite direction)…(away from him.) Despair will do the opposite. Despair will tell me I am miserable anyhow and life is too short so why not go back?

            Oh our human emotions are so tricky Sophie aren’t they?
            So what did I do with all those feelings? Absolutely ZERO. I just felt them and then they went away on their own pretty quickly and then my guest arrived and then we started working on my taxes, a pretty boring task but it actually felt good to start them.
            So the withdrawal effect from my exMM went away fast. I think for me this is what “recovery” will look like. Any contact, sitings, etc of my exMM and I will re-live some things and fall apart in my head or my heart or both but this PASSES, faster and faster with more NC days. And honestly I must accept that there will be set backs because of course he works next door to me and I can not avoid random sitings like the one I describe. He said last fall he will retire in 5 more years.
            Oh let me count the days….
            But the more days I have NC the faster I can recover from these set backs…Make sense?
            Many hugs Lara xoxo

          • Nomad

            Hi Lara, I like this “Absolutely ZERO. I just felt them and then they went away on their own pretty quickly” i noticed i started to feel this way some time during the 26days of Nc.

            I’m getting there…

          • Nomad

            Hi Lara, did you miss my update after I went for the bbq? I was hoping to hear from you… i supposed not much to say because it is now all clear…

        • Nomad

          I’m thinking of avoiding so I spoke to the host that I might not turn up for the bbq this wkend.

          Total NC 8 days and he flew back few days already. He did not reach out so as always, a good start.

          • Sophie

            Nomad, i’m Really turning to you on this because you have a similar situation going on here. Truth be told – despite gearing up for dinner, I am, in my head, figuring out excuses about how to avoid it. The excuse has to be HUGE so my friend doesnt feel bad at all and understands. All the best to you.

          • Nomad

            Hi Sophie,
            I’ll update you in 12hrs time. It’s a difficult gamble for me as well. I suffered another 8 days of NC and this time he went overseas and back without reaching out at all! I’m cautious abt ruining my efforts. I can’t explain why he didn’t reach out for 8 days (yes I’ve blocked him), he didn’t show up or leave misses calks. He’s simply busy or he has reset and decided to cut off totally. I really cannot predict what’s going to happen. Whatever it is, I’ll be surely affected because the wound is still fresh from going to the room a wk ago and then turning cold the moment i was out of sight.

            Now… your dilemma is due to the person or the house? If he’s not there, would u go? Are you ready for the litmus test? What exactly are you afraid of? Or simply bad memories u fear.

            I know I’m not quite ready because as the bbq draws nearer, I started to feel the physical tension in my heart again. I’m in a fixed too! The more I wanted to be careful the more dangerous and riskier it is. Too many times I was stupid, naive and careless thinking that I’m ready, just a chat no big deal, just a glance won’t kill. I’m afraid to find out he has moved on, we have finally come to an end. Yes I’m very honest here.

            Reading your recent post, you seemed determined to execute your decision. It’s clear thst you want to get rid of him and purge him out of your system. You have found focus in life ahead. I wanted to ask you how did you go back to your H? What were the things you did to take care of your marriage after the affair. I was inspired by you and you gave me hope that I could return my heart and soul back yo my H. I haven’t been successful because subconsciously I avoided intimacy. I felt calm when we held hands but not more. Any further, memories and addiction for mm would be triggered and I’ll compare. Fact is I don’t feel alive with H but the only time I felt alive was the beginning of the affair – 1st 6 mths. I feel gratitude and security towards H. With that how do I improve the situation with H? You seemed to have breakthrough with your H. I need that but how?

            I know it’s easy to give opinion when I myself am feeling the limbo. Think through the questions, admit your weakness, if the consequences is unbearable either you don’t go or be prepared to live with it for a while. I’ve been punishing myself with the latter because I somehow chose to meet, talk, look, linger and wasted 3 mths this yr. your sanity is definitely more important than meeting a friend. In my case, I don’t know why I’m ridiculous enough to swap the priority. I don’t act or think with self love? I know I sounded confusing, should avoid yet thinking no harm going and why should I? Should be objective abt the bbq yet fearful and tensed abt the unknown after 8 days of absolute nc.

            What I’m doing now is one day at a time.

          • Nomad

            I told one of my closer colleague TT that I don’t think I’ll go. She’s one who knew I was fighting addiction and suffered from an affair. Out of desperation, I confided in her a year ago and she was giving me support by going out with me and talked to me until she gave up on me. She saw the worst of me. She knew all the NCs and how asshole mm was. Overtime, she started to piece all the jigsaw together and was quietly guessing, observing and analyzing with the clues here and there. for the past few months, I stopped updating her. Anyway, when I told her I’m not going, she revealed something that shocked me! She said she knew who am I avoiding. She said he’s the last person whom she’d guessed, she was shocked and found this discovery unbelievable. Deep inside I started to fear that this is going to be exposed. She was sharp and accurate in drawing evidence from observation e.g. she saw us avoiding eye contact at the gate when many pple bumped into him. She saw him acted with mood swing and had similar behavior as me. She asked if she’s right and that this man whom she worked with and admire his competence and capabilities is actually the asshole she had been chastising! She wouldn’t have imagined it’s him, a hardworking colleague who is well known as a doting father and 100% family man is actually the greedy selfish asshole she called and felt like slapping. Though I didn’t admit but she has gut feel that she’s right abt the identity of mm and she already looking at him in different light recently. Now, she wanted me to go and she would make sure she stivk with me. She will go there and after that ensure I’ll leave for coffee with her, giving no Chance to cave in for stolen moments after the bbq.

            I thought this is one way, that is, have someone to be with th you if you are really going for reasons thst you have justified or you are prepared to deal with the aftermath. It’s soul crushing and damaging to be stupidly falling into the trap with eyes wide opened.

          • Nomad

            Hi Lara,
            I know right… it cuts both ways… if he acts cool and as if I didn’t exist on earth OR he tries to stay professional (at ex boss bbq), I’ll be affected.

            Since I know i am and will be affected, I should avoid. I’ve less than 24hrs to rationalize.

          • Felk

            Nomad, you know I think it’s a strong choice to avoid that BBQ. When you’re still healing, it causes huge setbacks to see your MM. I think it will just cause you brief happiness to see him (because you miss him) and then a lot of misery when you recognize that you still can no longer be together (or, worse, if he treats you coldly at the BBQ). As I’ve said before, when my ex-MM is lovely and warm to me it’s hard and when he is cold and distant it is hard. It’s all hard as we’re healing and trying to move on, so my best suggestion is cutting down interaction. I have slowly tried to take these steps at work. I stop by his office less and less (during our relationship it was 4-5 times/week, after our break up, it was once/week, and now I’m trying to get it down to less than once/week). I’m sending him less e-mail, too. We still spend time together outside of work about once/week, but, naturally, as we talk less and less, that time outside of work is feeling more distant and less enjoyable for me. So… sorry to tangent about me, but I’m trying to reiterate that it’s best to make choices to reduce contact if you’re going to heal and move on.

          • Nomad

            Hi Felk,
            I’m not sure what state am I in at the moment. Healing? Still hoping and waiting? While on the surface I’ve made progress like you, we’ve drifted very far, no longer obsessively addicted, accepted that it was a fantasy with no room for expectations, slowly easing away but we know… it still hurts… still so when we are no longer getting affection or attention from mm, he came to his senses and made his choice. You were so succinct that we were tricked into the high of the addiction, believing what’s actually not.

            Now…I’m asking myself … What does he have to do to make me start getting disillusioned with him? What action of his will force me to reconsider engaging with him, knowing it is always meaningless and empty. Felk, you have been following my story, how many times I thought I’ve hit the rock bottom, each time back to throw some crumbs and just to mia again. Have I grown stronger? I guess today is a weak moment where I feel I’m nether here nor there. Something is fundamentally wrong with me. It’s near tail end already but I’m still ranting here.

            If I go to the bbq later, u think about it, it’s not a bad thing to be ignored, treated non existence, jealous to see him in lively chats with other female colleagues etc. just come what may, once and for all, it would be peeling of the band aid I’ve been changing every other day, let the wound hurt, exposed and let the blood flow, let this be the rock bottom to be totally disillusioned. I’m fed up of avoiding. What I fear is few weeks down the road, I’ll miss the addiction again. I’ll trivialize my suffering again… I fear that even when he has left, stopped reaching out, I’m still licking my own wound…

            I had imagined I’d go I’d act normal so that TT (earlier in my post to Sophie, I mentioned she’s the colleague who is suspicious about the identity of mm) couldn’t catch any clue or find any answer to the mystery of who is mm. Then after 2hrs, I’ll leave with TT, send her home, leaving no chance to steal any moments with mm. I’ll be sad anyway, whether he ignores or looks torn…

          • Nomad

            Update: executed as planned. Left with TT And had coffee with her to internalize what I had imagined before the bbq vs. what actually had happened. It wasn’t that bad as I had imagined… it’s an opportunity for me to check in to reality. I don’t feel strong desire to want to kiss or hug him or sneak away and go to the room. (Can’t be too happy yet because I just read that Lara still “yearn” for mm after 65 days… sigh)

            I stole glances at him and I chatted with him, feeling sad that we have grown from lovers to strangers. He showed no sign of coming back. He didn’t steal glances at me but engrossed in eating and chatting with others. I was sad but relieved the moment I left the bbq with TT. He also didn’t seize the opportunity to ask me to unblock him, he’s just drained and sick of the chasing game so he’s letting me be. It helped that I knew TT was eyeing on me, trying to observe and sniff the identity of mm. I was cautious and conscious.

            Also, I finally admitted to TT who mm was. TT was somehow mentally prepared and guessed among the usual suspects. The rest of the male colleagues brought family, wife and kids, except mm.

          • Felk

            Nomad, I’ll also add that we had a work event yesterday afternoon and I didn’t know that my MM was going to be there. When I saw him, it was uncomfortable for me and I wished he wasn’t there. Then, there was a party at a coworker’s house after (that we were both invited to), and he didn’t go. I was briefly sad, and then very relieved. I know I enjoyed that party more because he wasn’t there. Had he been there, I’d just been distracted the whole time thinking about who he was talking to, why he wasn’t talking to me, should I go talk to him, what do I say if he talks to me, etc. Distance is the answer. I hope you’re able to stay away from that BBQ.

          • Nomad

            Hi Felk,
            I went and passed the test. He avoided me. I initiated chat with him, he was somewhat uneasy, perhaps conscious or really pledged to have me removed during his vacation.

            I had all these thoughts for week “who he was talking to, why he wasn’t talking to me, should I go talk to him, what do I say if he talks to me, will we end up weak and reset nc, how long is it going to heal from another relapse, why he could treat me as if I’m non existence etcetc”

            I went and felt disillusioned, hurt a little but I felt relieved too, as if I’ve crossed another hurdle. Deep down I’ve no more defense. The rest is up to me how I can work harder to move on, start living the way before him. Yes he’s a liar and cruel. I’m no better. To move on, I do need his cruelty to remind myself i should stop flogging a dead horse.

            I supposed he will not reach out, no reasons to unblock, and based on the experience of 2-3hrs at the bbq, we can be cordial for that short window, I did it. I’m not as devastated as I had imagined… maybe I’ll know more when I wake tmr.

          • Felk

            Nomad, I’m glad that you were able to get through the BBQ without devastation and maybe reinforcing the message that you both need to move on. It is also good to know, when we work with someone, that we can be cordial with them (without devastation), but I think you know that it will not be easy. You know you will continue have moments of thinking about “what if” and wondering what he’s thinking and finding it hard to be around him. You will feel hurt about how he treated you. And that’s all understandable. But I hope that you can stick to believing that your affair needs to be over and that is what’s best for both of you. I’m not sure I hear in what you’re saying that you’re convinced of that yet (and that’s understandable), but I hope you can get to a place soon where you believe that. Only then, can you really move on. And, you know I don’t say that to be judgmental, because I’m not 100% there yet either. I’m very close, though. And it’s feeling so much better. Please keep up the NC and continue to recognize why he is no good for you.

          • Sophie

            Hi Nomad, first things first. Hope you’re okay post the bbq evening. Sending a big hug your way. You’ve asked some very pertinent questions and I am so grateful to you for that. I’ll answer in a nutshell to the best of my ability.
            Ironically, I haven’t seen a breakthrough with my husband. We are struggling a lot in our marriage – a lot. So much is going wrong in terms of communication; we don’t know what to talk at times, we feel even uncomfortable stretching conversations beyond a point. But there are times when we can sit and chat with ease and I feel that each time we do that, it is a breakthrough. Due to past issues, we don’t even sleep in the same room (a lot of it has been my doing😬; I had pushed away by husband over the last few years and after my feelings for ex MM it got even tougher). It would be the easiest thing for me to expect a change inscenario from my husband – suddenly life should’ve hunky dory because I have thrown ex Mm out of my system. Right? Wrong. Just because I have made a realisation about my ex MM doesn’t mean that everything else will automatically ease out for me. It doesn’t happen that way – my “breakthrough” happened when I realised that. My “breakthrough happened when my husband agreed to throw a big birthday dinner for me and my friends when his mother was battling Stage IV cancer (we lost her on feb 27th); I realised in that moment that he continued to care for me and did what was in his capacity to make me happy. He and I have to take baby steps – my brief affair (yes, It was thankfully a short term affair in terms of the number of months or meetings and that’s why unlike many others on the forum I could cope better); of course my damage was a very major one because I was in love with my MM whereas he was only happy to have a physical affair along with his marijuana addiction (he smokes once a week and he called me when there were joints, and an empty home). Anyway, coming back to my breakthrough, for me it was when my husband showed his keenness to make me happy, to make my wish his command in the most trying circumstances. I also realised that no matter how bad the situation was / is with my husband, I have to deal with it without any distraction or support from an outside factor. I do t have to cling to my ex MM (least of all) if I am not having a good quality of married life. It is up to me, whether I want a good marriage or not. And more importantly, I need my peace of mind something that my ex MM never gave me. Whether my life is good or bad, Nomad, i’m clear that I don’t need my Ex MM for anything – he cannot support me, respect me, value me or love me. He has been someone who has only undervalued me, disrespected me, disgraced me. And I am not willing to be hurt any longer by him. Will I go through all the knots in my stomach, the tension in the pit of my stomAch when I reach his home and he opens the door – of course I will. But that’s the nervous energy that any student, no matter how well prepared she is before an important exam, feels. I will, too. But having said that, I’ve made up my mind that the quicker I face him and a scenario like this, the better it is for me in the long run. Yes, I made a huge mistake by having an affair with him. I regret it not because I loved him- I regret because of the way he mistreated me. That was his fault and he should work out ways of how he will face me. I don’t know if any of this made sense – but since you want to know about getting closer to the husband after the death of an affair. No, maybe there will be never any normalcy in the marriage compared to that of your friends’ respective marriages and relationships; maybe you will be given a raw deal in terms of someone not loving you the way you had desired… maybe nothing will work out right. But guess what – even when nothing is working right for me, it won’t be as worse as how my Ex MM made me feel. Even when nothing is working right for me, I won’t need my ex MM. even when something is working right for me, I won’t need my ex mm. I pray for his healing, for his struggle to help him gain insight, experience and wisdom, but that’s all. There’s nothing more I feel for him. And I won’t, ever. It’s a promise I have made to myself that I will focus on what I have; all these stupid distractions and feelings for ex MM, they are futile, not relevant for me because I have learnt and had my experience that has helped me grow as an individual

  • J

    Hello,
    I read all of your responses to my last post. You’re all right. I’m drowning and I don’t know what else to do. Yes I’m totally changing everything I’ve been saying and it seems impossible and it probably is. No, I don’t have a magic wand, if I did I’d magically make my love for him disappear. I don’t know how to manage my feelings. It’s hurts when I’m away from him and when I’m with him. Last night he had a work function, wanted me to meet him afterwards but I couldn’t. He started getting jealous and questioning me about my H. I ignored it. He got extremely cranky and didn’t talk to me all night. He can do that to me. I can’t do that to him. I don’t have it in me to just ignore him. His wife did suspect something when he spoke to her. He convinced her otherwise with his “had to do it sex.” I’m taking it one day at a time. Hope my love fades. But that doesn’t seem likely. Lara, you’re so right about what you pointed out. I’m showing him he can do whatever he wants and I can’t live without him. Pathetic

    • lara

      J I do apologize to you if my response last night was a bit snarky. No you do not have magic wand of course. And neither do I! I want to tell you this today: J, I really care about you and I am actually worried about you! I know all of us here are ‘virtual” friends but we can not underestimate our impact on each other. Even if we never meet in person. So I just want to say that I am particularly worried about you because the quality of the love you describe for this man seems greater than the love you have for any other thing in this world including your own well being in a general sense.

      (To me at least) it seems like you never seem to quite hold onto your anger at the MM. It seems like you fall back on forgiving him and making excuses for him a lot (too much). And part of your behavior (which is often not in your own personal best interest) is because you say you “love” him so much. This kind of love that places your own self interest second to anything else can be very dangerous (for any of us) for a whole number of reasons. This kind of “love” is a red flag.

      I am not a therapist and I might be wrong and I hope I am wrong. But this kind of love, to me, seems very much like addiction. Having been addicted to (and trying to recover from ) several things in my life I feel I can say this. The quality of your love for him seems addictive to me. Yes. I see are in love with the MM, yes, but I also think you might also be in love with the high of that love if that makes any sense.

      I see myself in you too. Early on in my affair I would bet I was just like you. My love for my exMM was ahead of all else. For awhile. Then as things began to go sour between us and I realized he was not going to leave his W even if he loved me, I crashed into alcohol. I think the quality of my love for the exMm and my love for an escape in alcohol came from a very similar place in my brain. (Now we know so much more about the brain and love addiction). Perhaps I am just trying to make you see you do not want to take my trajectory. (At least I don’t think you do). I am trying to warn you that my trajectory was nothing I would recommend to anyone here. I hurt people in the process I did not intend to hurt. My work and life suffered. A lot for awhile! Etc.

      J, I am going to repeat myself here: I urge you to see a therapist (why not pay cash to one if you must?) and unload some of your feelings and experiences with a qualified person who understands Addiction. Loving someone totally is a very noble thing. Becoming addicted to that love is very dangerous. And it is so often a very fine line! Just like drinking to “take the edge off is one thing”, and becoming addicted to taking the edge off is another thing.

      Notice I did not say: becoming addicted to the alcohol? This is because I finally realize via this blog and this trying to leave my own long term affair that I was not addicted so much to my exMM or alcohol or sugar (I had an eating disorder too). I was addicted to TAKING the EDGE off! Loving someone and having passionate sex with someone (my exMM) were a true “HIGH”. Exhilaration!! I never wanted to let go of that.

      Addiction is about brain chemistry and treatment is absolutely needed to restore balance back to the brain. From the time you said you exercise twice a day with your MM I realized brain chemicals are involved with not only you but HIM. Exercise produces endorphins as we know. So does great sex! And feelings of love CHANGE brain chemistry (Read above where Laurie the site author quotes some books.). I am not saying your love is not real J. But I am saying it seems like it has probably crossed over into addiction. But as in all addiction, it does not matter what I think! It matters what YOU think. No one can tell another person they are an addict. Recovery does not work that way.

      I think loving someone too much is every bit as addictive as alcohol or food or gambling, etc., and once the brain is “lit” by something like yours is right now (in “love”) it is VERY hard (maybe/probably even impossible) to get back to more health brain functioning without in-person support from a therapist and then support groups like perhaps 12 step groups etc.

      You might not agree and like I said I could be wrong. But I do not think so unfortunately. I am trying to point out to you that your entire life as you know it including your marriage and relationship to your H depend on the steps you choose to take now (or not take). The choice of course is always yours. Please know I have No Judgements of you or anyone else here! I am simply telling you what I have lived and experienced and I am hoping this is helpful. I am wishing you the best and wishing us all the best here! For real!! Love Lara xx00

      • lara

        J one more point, while I do not know your MM like I “know” you I would venture to say, from what you describe that he too, is struggling with addiction issues in this relationship. I am talking about the ‘high’ this relationship gives him too. In fact as you can see by what you wrote he becomes totally unable to cope with any lack of (demanded) interaction with you. You said:, “Last night he had a work function, wanted me to meet him afterwards but I couldn’t. He started getting jealous and questioning me about my H. I ignored it. He got extremely cranky and didn’t talk to me all night.” I find this quite like a person who can not tolerate not having a cigarette or drink. In addition he just told you he can not bear to leave his W. On the other hand he seems to be able to grant you NO space for you to take a night off from the relationship! Honestly to me this sounds very compulsive on his part, J. And like he really is not able to fathom or appreciate your emotioanal needs (due his own compulsivity). Another red flag,
        IMHO.
        This relationship sounds extremely difficult to exit for this reason. But not impossible. And I would not call this behavior “loving”. Again, everything I write is just my humble opinion. xxoo Lara

        • J

          Lara,
          Absolutely no need to apologize, you weren’t snarky at all. I so appreciate your words, they often resonate with me. And much of what you said hits home. I have questioned very often if I’m addicted to mm. I’ve looked it up and yes I feel I do exhibit signs of it. I have clearly put him and his needs before my own, and that’s where I’ve emotionally struggled often. Whatever he’s feeling is what we need to deal with, never what I’m feeling. That may be my fault, I don’t know. He does ask me how I feel often, but somehow my feelings turn into something about him. For ex, if I’m upset about something, he will blame himself and say I should leave you alone. Well what have I learned from that — I better not tell him or he will say he’s saving me from him. And I do always soften to him and forgive and try to forget. But I will say that’s one of my traits with most people not just mm. I generally am very forgiving and try to move forward. I’ve never considered myself as someone with an addictive personality. I’m very disciplined with exercise. But mm does have an addictive personality very very much. He struggled with drugs and alcohol many years ago. I do think he’s perhaps addicted to me. And maybe I’m am too. Although I do believe we love each other too. I was worried the last time i tried nc with him. It seemed I was very addicted to him because I physically felt ill like I had to speak to him or see him. Nothing else mattered. I felt rather insane to be quite honest. I’ve never been addicted to anything else. I don’t even drink alcohol at all. Interesting that you mention the eating disorder though, I did struggle with that years ago and recently the stress I’ve been under had made it resurface at times (not as extreme though). But I recovered from that through self research and i recovered for at least 12 years from that. I learned that my problem was not based on addiction though, it was based on control. I had no control of my life growing up with an overbearing and somewhat abusive father. I was trying to gain control. Which I think is why it’s resurfaced somewhat, because I feel I’ve lost control again and mm is so in control if my feelings and life ( even though I’m letting this happen I realize). Believe I’ve analyzed myself so many times. Thanks so much for your words and caring personality. This site has been amazing. Women from all over talking to each other and caring about each other. What a beautiful world. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Lara, you’re such a wonderful person. Be well.

          • Felk

            J, your words hit home for me in how often my MM would turn discussions of my feelings into something about him and he usually would get sad about our situation. So, like you said, I learned that I should just keep my feelings to myself because they put too much of a burden on him. In hindsight, I was probably a little unfair in how I read my MM’s response. Yes, he did often make discussions of my feelings about him, but I probably was also a little too over-sensitive to his negative reaction, worrying he would end our relationship, when he may just have needed to express a negative reaction. I should have been more honest about my feelings (not only because that’s important), but because it would have been good to trust him to respond well.
            And also, like you, I have a tendency to forgive (people I trust) pretty quickly. I don’t like to hold onto grudges or hard feelings. I like to take others’ perspectives and recognize that most people are just trying to do their best given the circumstances.

            The addiction thing is fascinating, isn’t it? I don’t think it has to be love OR addiction. I think love and addiction start out the same way. (I think brain research verifies this.) I fell in love with my MM, but I also think the nature of an affair (the excitement, seeing each other once in a while, never having needs entirely met, never having a chance to habituate or get used to a person) makes it more like an addiction. So, I think I fell in love with my MM through the “normal” processes of many long, deep conversations, a growing friendship, and physical attraction; but then I think the addiction kicked in when those “normal” processes couldn’t continue like a “normal” relationship where the excitement gradually goes away as you get used to a person (because you get to spend a lot of time with them). I think we all fall in love in relationships (affairs or not) in the same way, but affairs continue to deliver the really high highs (due to the anticipation and excitement of not getting to see someone often) that start to fade in “normal” relationships. So, I think most people who end any relationship (affair or “normal”) can feel that withdrawal if their relationship ends during the peak of “in love,” but, in an affair, this peak of “in love” never fades. And the highs are so high and sustained for so long that it has to take a long time to retrain the brain to not expect those highs anymore. I might have to think through this some more, but I think we are genuinely in love and addicted. I don’t think it has to be one or the other. Thus, NC is the best option for people really trying to get out of an affair. Every time you see or talk to that other person, your brain gets that “hit” and then it will start to expect more. Then it just prolongs your healing process. I know this all too well working with my MM.

          • lara

            J I am so glad you are not offended by my posts to you. I am trying to reach people but not with the kinds of words that might have you running back into your MM’s arms (scary or hurtful words) but rather words that might help you take a big deep breath and pause in your situation. And then THINK. And then begin to DO something to help yourself.

            First of all, I think it is very good news that you admit you might be addicted to your exMM and you are looking it up on the internet. That is a huge step and you need to be congratulated for this! BRAVA! Of course the next huge step is finding someone or someone/s to talk to in real life and with professional qualifications that might start you on a “recovery journey” whatever that journey might be. You may or may not wish to detach from your MM physically or mentally for a time. But I suspect that if you are addicted then you will NOT want to detach right away as that will equal a “separation” in your mind and might make you even more anxious/upset. But you really need to find the right kind of qualified person to talk to. Maybe you will only go once to this person and get leads for something else. This person should know about love/sex/addictions as well as food and alcohol/drug addictions.
            And you might want to bring up your past or present eating disorder issues (or not). But I can tell you (from personal experience) they all have to do with brain chemistry and not having enough of certain neurotransmitters.
            Perhaps a therapist might recommend medication for you as some medications are very helpful but again this will be up to you. Compulsive/addictive behavior is really really hard to kick! Never underestimate how hard. Just know that. The brain has these locked thoughts that go round and round on a loop. It is very difficult to break the cycle and KEEP it that way.

            Some people only do well 12 step groups (they only ask a tiny donation). Some people do not get relief from the 12 Step approach (which is also a spiritual one). But being in a 12 step program does not mean you would not also work with a therapist or take medications if prescribed. Many people in recovery do “both/and”. It depends on the addiction/s/. Eating disorders are notoriously difficult to treat as we have to eat to live. (Yes I have had a full blown eating disorder AND full blown alcoholism and am in recovery from both. Am I addicted to my exMM? Yes I was for awhile but not so much lately in the past few years.)

            Still today even after 61 days NC I can have huge reactions just thinking about him. This is what I am training my mind NOT to think about him. I think this will be an on-going struggle just like alcohol and food are for me. I don’t think it is going to all of a sudden stop being an issue for me. (Sigh)

            Or maybe you will begin working with this person (the therapist). But J, the key is you try and BEGIN something. With or without detaching from your MM, and with or without telling him. I am not sure. These are the kinds of things you will have to decide. If your MM is also addicted to you, and I agree with you that he probably is, especially given what you said about his past with drugs and alcohol, then you might reveal to him you are seeking help for this aspect of your relationship with him or you might not. You also could of course see a professional together but I highly do NOT recommend that. I think you need to keep yourself and your healing journey separate from his at least for now.

            When you say: “Whatever he’s feeling is what we need to deal with, never what I’m feeling. That may be my fault, I don’t know. ” The first sentence is a very valid issue. But in the second sentence you already blame yourself. THIS is part of your problem J. You blame YOU. I think many of us do this. The other part of the problem is that HE flips a switch when you talk about your needs. And he turns the light back on HIM. Why? Well any number of reasons including he is uncomfortable that you are uncomfortable. Or he is uncomfortable with a woman having a voice and emotional needs and does this seem thing with his wife too.

            This type of relationship (yours and his) can be very enmeshed, almost co-dependent. Even more with two other spouses involved. Behaviors can spill over from one relationship (the marriage) over to the other relationship (the affair) in very trick ways. And you can BOTH project all kinds of stuff onto each other based on the marriages you are still both in. The longer two affair partners are together the more they start to act like they do when each one does already in their own marriage and then it starts getting all scrambled up like scrambled eggs.

            The trick when you BOTH have addiction issues (and in this case to each other perhaps, or to the “high” of the love and sex feelings, that YOU must take care of YOU first. This is a given, like taking oxygen in the airplane first. You are of no use to anyone else otherwise. Please try and take some steps J. You can do it!! I just know it! Hugs, Lara xoxo

      • Sophie

        So true, Lara. About us being friends in the virtual world and impacting one another to such a vital degree that we are all committed towards creating a better, happier, more clearer future for ourselves. More later, but thank you from the bottom of my heart for my “sorting out”. I don’t know what I would have done without the invaluable advice, heartfelt stories and emotional, no-holds-barred episodes that were shared on this forum. This forum is truly god sent for me. I am doing well, no contact with MM, no more urge to check his social media platforms’ status, photos, etc. my marriage is still as difficult but I am so glad that I see the problems and issues for the way they are – and happy that my communication with my husband is getting better, clearer, more in sync with my true feelings. I may be battling emotional issues, the difference is I fight the battles on my own, I don’t look for support or attention outside of my marriage. I am
        so happy to deal with my highs and lows on my own. Thank you, everyone. J, all the best to you. I agree with Lara 1000% ; no judgments here on you, but genuine concern. Sometimes we need to hear the truth in its raw sense and i’m So glad Lara did just that. Keep working towards your bright future sans your MM. i’ll Add my two bit here – I sometimes wonder if words like “love”, “true love”, “soulmate’s”, etc are just overrated “words”. Why don’t we talk about “love AND respect”. Why can’t MMs give that? Or is it only my experience and everyone here has found love and respect in equal measure because isn’t respect important to feel your self worth and to grow your self esteem? When my MM was wooing me, the message that got me to be “in love” with him was that he said, “have always loved and respected you”. Two dates down the line, I understood, he did not mean those words. I still maintain that him being “insensitive” comes from a place of his own underlying insecurities and -quite possibly – some aspect of dysfunctional relationships he’s seen in childhood; things that he is in denial of. Whatever be the case, fact is that I moved away from him because I did not feel “respected”. And terrible though the quality of my marriage is even as we speak, I still strongly believe that I have found “respect” through my husband in that he listens to me, he is hearing me out, and that we still have a friendly, cordial relationship. Now, i’ll Point out, this is not about a comparison between the two men – MM or Husband. No, not at all. But I think I realise that while I was always “in search of love”, I let go of the important fact, that I needed to go “in search of respect”. I may have found “love” in my MM (one-sided, from my side), and I genuinely respected him, I felt it was far more crucial for me to find respect for myself. And that respect I found for myself a) FROM myself b) FROM others who mattered to me. Cliched as it sounds, I HAD to respect myself. I have to. I cannot and will not allow any person on the planet to treat me shabbily. PS: Lara, I want you to know (and wonder if there is advice for me) that a common friend of ours is coming from abroad and staying with my ex MM and his wife and there may be a situation that we all friends meet at his place for drinks and dinner. (This was revealed to me by my friend and not MM since I am no longer in touch with him). My friend from abroad only has a few hours at night to meet us on just that one day (we meet next month). I am still hoping that it is dinner outside and not in his home (and that he isn’t there, because for me and some of my other friends, he is in the extended friend circle) – at first I thought I will not go there, his home is where we had met and where I eventually felt disrespected and sick. But now I am thinking, why not?! How can I not meet my friend (I don’t know when later in 2018 i’ll See her) and how can I – for the shabby treatment he meted out to me – give up meeting my other friends because of him!? So now I am thinking that I should hold my head high, be courteous and courageous and continue to be with my loved ones. That he is there would be incidental. What do you suggest?

        • Felk

          Sophie mentions respect, and I’d been thinking about this idea of respect (in affairs) a bit lately. I hear us talk about this word a lot in our posts here. So, I’ve been thinking about my situation and whether or not I feel that my MM treated me with respect. Generally, I think he did. Sure, there were a few times that I didn’t think he did and I usually told him, and he usually apologized or explained. There were also a few times he felt disrespect from me, and he told me and I apologized or explained. I think the difficulty in affairs is that what often can look like disrespect is merely a person trying to live their other life, fulfill the expectations in their other life, or keep some separation/distance for their own sanity. I know all of our situations are different, and maybe some of you were treated poorly by your MM, but I think that affairs are really tough and I think we can often feel disrespected when our expectations aren’t met, but are our expectations fair? That is something that I’ve spent a lot of time with in my own affair, and I think I was able to keep expectations pretty reasonable. Sure, sometimes I expected more than I should have, and, yes, sometimes I expected fairly and he didn’t deliver, but, for the most part, in affairs, I think we have to be pretty flexible with expectations and that’s hard. We are often disappointed in the time they give us or the communication they offer or the information they offer or the closeness they offer, but what can we expect in an affair? What is reasonable? We know the other can’t give as much time as in a “real” relationship because they have another relationship. We know the other can’t always be available to communicate when we want for the same reason. We know they may keep information from us to protect their spouse’s privacy or to try to separate the two relationships. We know they may also keep love/warmth/affection/closeness from us at times to protect themselves from getting too close and setting themselves up for hurt. When you’re in an affair, the rules change. I think part of the reason my affair worked for five years is because we kept our expectations pretty reasonable.

          Now, my MM is even less communicative, gives me much less time, gives me much less information, and gives me much less warmth, but I think he still treats me with respect. I was feeling a little sad the last few days because I missed him and I was getting a little frustrated thinking he wasn’t holding up his end of the deal in our friendship, but I’m not being fair. He is being a friend. It’s just that I was hoping for more. It’s just that I still want more communication and time than he’s giving me. Of course, we all get to define what works for us in any given relationship, but I just think that we can sometimes hold affairs to expectations that they can’t meet and then we blame the other person for treating us poorly when, really, why should we have expected better? Again, I’m not saying some of you weren’t treated poorly. We definitely need to speak up when we think someone is treating us poorly and we should certainly hold others accountable for bad behavior, but I also think that our expectations can get the best of us in affairs (it’s human nature to want more). In general, I think both people in the affair are trying to do their best (to maintain their marriages and the affair) and it is just a very difficult situation.

          • Sophie

            Felk, your response to J and to me (regarding your thoughts on “respect”) allow me to view things in a new perspective. I love how sensitively people on this forum handle the complexities and nuances of affairs – you did just that and gave me so many thoughts to understand. Thank you. I agree with you on disrespect being a far more complicated issue than, well, just disrespect. I know my ex MM was guarding himself and I don’t blame him for doing so. He had to safeguard himself against getting any additional emotional baggage from an affair that was only physical for him! There’s no denying him that – but unfortunately, in that process he hurt me from the core of my being. And I struggled with that because I found myself feeling only cheap, used, objectified, physically abused. And while I could have given him benefit of doubt, it was the second time round when he called me and I bared my soul to him, telling him exactly what and how I felt, that I felt cheated and disrespected. I assured me that hurting me was not his intention and if I could meet him. And stupidly I did (my fault). And he convinced me that he was never out there to hurt me and that when he said he loved me and respected me, he meant it. My horror began the very next day (In a matter of few hours) when he stopped messaging me or communicating with me completely. As if the previous night’s meeting was my fault. And that’s when it hit me – this man, clearly battling communication issues, among several others, had once again abused me. It has been almost two months since he last messaged and to be honest, I am supremely grateful to him for that because his disrespect for me allowed me to figure out respect for myself. PS: Lara, I think you’re right. This dinner plan with my friend that might incidentally happen at his place, is a very bad idea. Felk, thanks once again for all the clarity about issues concerning respect and disrespect. I agree with so much that you say. Thank you.

          • Nomad

            Hi Sophie,
            “My horror began the very next day (In a matter of few hours) when he stopped messaging me or communicating with me completely. As if the previous night’s meeting was my fault.”

            This has been happening to me 3 times this year after the room and I’m horrified by my own stupidity. I supposed this feeling of disappointment, disrespect and cheated (lured back just to mia the very next moment), are eroding whatever good feelings and memories I am holding on. Blessing in disguise. Path to healing. I told him I felt cheated and hated his behavior. He said it wasn’t intentional. He’s getting effective in compartmentalizing me. He wished we could be friends. If he’s truly guilty then stop this game. If he truly cares, then stop disregarding my pain, my suffering, my hard work to survive NC and to stop thinking and to look for healthy distractions including so many sessions of therapy. All these come with a hefty cost in terms of time and money. What else I’ve not done. End goal is indifference. I know many has told me try not to think, it is no longer working. Ok, I’ll try harder. I know the theory and will continue to avoid him for my sanity.

            Like you, I’ve upcoming gathering and I’m thinking of not going but why should I? I’m closer to the host, our ex boss, and he was suddenly remembered and invited. What worked is to avoid him, away from office and with him blocked. What Felk said is true … don’t go if I’m still affected by the sight of him.

            Sometimes I missed those positive days, specially over the26!days of nc whereby I post abt my progress in baby steps, how did I do it then? And why and how I was defeated? now knitting and yoga have stopped. Work is busy, days are mundane but a little more peaceful and breathable. Best is I could sleep by 11pm, few times.

            The support I’m getting here has been amazing although I know i can leave some of you tired and helpless because it is very clear what is left for me to do for my story. Having said that, there will be times when I’m in knots like when he appears or disappears or when he went overseas or when i felt weak, I’ll write in and hopefully I can connect with the amazing group here! I am so blessed to have chanced upon this site a year ago.

          • Sophie

            Nomad, your response vis- a-vis my message to felk and Lara… there were numerous times your story resonated with mine. I’m not surprised mine resonated with you, too. I completely agree with you on knowing in theory to not think but finding it tough to do practically. That said, I am now trying consciously not to “invent” situations in my head. Even for the dinner (which, by the way, is eventually happening at ex MM’s place unless a miracle happens), I started “imagining” myself ignoring him as he opened the door, avoiding him… but you know, I realised that by “imagining” I was feeding into a situation and begging the universe to create it a month from now when it is actually scheduled. He has to stop mattering to me; it is as simple as that. Interestingly, I have been reading about soul journaling (would be great if any of you can offer more information on that). It’s healing through writing but a deeper, more profound process that journaling. It is to tap into your inner voice to gain clarity. I am genuinely turning to the universe in ways to guide me feel better and to love myself to the fullest. I am also consciously breaking patterns. For example, if I am not used to sitting next to my husband while doing a certain chore, I changed it today. I just went and sat next to him. Small shifts, but shifts and efforts that the universe and the soul are watching. Like you, I get so much strength from everyone here on this forum. Lara, felk, you, J, kev, among several others, i am so glad we are all connected to actually heal one another. We are a family and every night (since i’m In india) I look forward to reading all the messages of wisdom and clarity. I have a month to think about the dinner and like you, my friend and I are extremely close. We rarely meet and she is staying especially for one extra day in the city for just a few hours so she can meet us. Since she and her husband are staying at my ex mm and his wife’s place, I guess she feels (quite understandably) that it doesn’t look good that she lands from the airport, freshens up and basically takes off to meet us. And that’s why my ex mm and his wife need to be part of the plan. She can’t extend her trip a these are not exuces that i’m Making so I can meet my MM. No, no. I am very clear on that front. I am thinking a) she’s my friend who is genuinely making the effort to meet us; b) whatever happened was not my doing alone – why should I be the guilty party? C) why should I sacrifice meeting my genuine people for someone who – even if unintentionally – harmed me emotionally? These are the sort of questions on my mind. I just genuinely don’t want to miss the chance of meeting my friend. Lara, Felk, I know i’m Ossilating in my statements but i’m Writing what I feel in the moment. I completely get that I may not be prepared for it and that your concern comes from there but i’m Thinking if there is a situation that I can’t meet my friend separately (I can’t because she lands with the family from the airport on 26th April night, goes to his home, and meets us for a few hours before catching the morning flight out) then I genuinely can’t lose this chance of seeing her. It has nothing to do with him. I will of course keep assessing my feelings and emotions about the evening and yes, of course it is uncomfortable simply because of the sordid history he and I have ended up creating in that very house but I still haven’t made up my mind fully if I will give up meeting my friend. It’s a tough spot – not because I will retreat, I won’t, but just because it’ll be revisiting his home, the physical structure of where I had committed myself to him. I do wonder about the awkwardness I might feel seeing his wife and kids (even though, like I said, we get along well). I’ll be honest – I no longer want to cry for him. I’m so done with that. And that’s why I think, perhaps, this is my final litmus test?! Thanks so much once again all of you. I wish there was a way to meet you all and give you all the warmest hug. Alas, for now, virtual hugs coming your way 😊

          • Felk

            Sophie, you sound pretty clear that you are attending this dinner for your friend and not to see your MM. And you seem clear on being done with him. As I was reading what you wrote, I was thinking that this dinner at his house could also be a good test of whether or not you’re done. If you are able to see him (especially in his home) and not care too much, it will cause great progress in your healing. You will realize that he does not have the same power over you. I know you already feel that, but seeing him in person is harder and if you’re able to handle that situation well, that will be really great for moving on. And if you go to that dinner (which is still a month away and gives you a lot of time to make more progress in getting over him) and you find that you are still hurt by seeing him, it is something you know you can get through. You have shown that you are ready to be done with him.

            Also, that part you wrote about making attempts to do little things to get closeness with your husband are exactly what I have tried to do over these months since my break up. It is very slow healing the distance I put in between us (even though he still shows all kinds of love), but I am doing little things to help build that closeness with him again and it’s helping. I find myself wanting to spend time with him and wanting his arms around me… and anyone in the thick of an affair knows that’s a big deal. For years, I wanted distance from my husband because I was in love with another man and I was consumed by thoughts of him. Now, as I slowly free myself from those thoughts, I find myself making space for my husband again. I don’t think we’ll get back what we had before the affair started almost six years ago, but it is definitely helpful finding closeness with my husband again.

        • lara

          Sophie since you ask for advice re: “there may be a situation that we all friends meet at his place for drinks and dinner,” I will give it. Do you mean at this dinner/drinks event your husband would be there as well as your exMM’s wife, your exMM, and then the friend from abroad? Personally I think that situation seems loaded with uncomfortability for you on too many levels to count on one hand. Yikes. If it were me, I could never handle it. Then again I am very sensitive and pick up on every vibration in the room by nature. To me a sit down dinner would be absolute torture dealing with that collection of people all at the same table and all at the same time. But that is me. And I do not drink so I can not “lubricate” such a situation. But even with alcohol I could not deal with the exMM, his wife and my H all at one sitting. Alcohol would only make it worse! So for me the decision would be “No way”. My advice to you is this: Think long and hard on this and whether you have the capability to enjoy yourself in this situation. And whether you might have too many overwhelming feelings all at once in such a setting? If so Do NOT do it. You can not place your friend ahead of your own emotional needs. You can always make up some excuse and try to see your friend alone for a few mins at another point during the day. I hope others will weigh in here too. For me, there is utterly no way I could go. Sending hugs, Laraxo

        • Felk

          Sophie, I think Lara does a pretty good job with advice about whether or not you should go to this dinner with your friend from overseas. For me, the decision would mainly be based on how I was feeling about seeing my MM. If I didn’t care, if it really didn’t matter to me anymore, if it really wasn’t going to bother me much (and it was the only opportunity to see my friend), I would do it. But, it doesn’t sound like you’re in that place yet. It sounds like you’ve made a lot of progress and we all know how just seeing the other can set us back. As someone who works with her MM, it’s rather difficult knowing he is near five days/week. Every time I see him, I still react (internally). Every time we have a neutral or awkward interaction, it is on my mind for hours. Every time we have a good interaction, it is on my mind for hours. My point being, since I’m still not over him and I still care a lot, it’s really hard seeing him while trying to move on. So, why do that to yourself? Like Lara said, try to see your friend for a short time elsewhere or catch up over the phone. I know that’s not ideal, but seeing your MM could be a huge setback in your progress.

          Also, be honest with yourself about why you want to go to this event. Are you telling yourself it’s for your friend when you really want to see your MM? Or are you inflating the importance of seeing your friend to convince yourself it’s okay to see your MM? One thing I read about getting over break-ups is that we shouldn’t make excuses to contact our exes. We will talk ourselves into wishing them a happy birthday “just to be nice” because we just want that continued contact with them. So, I say, only go to this drinks/dinner if you are sure you don’t care about him anymore and, related, that you’re not going partially because you want to see him. If there is any hope/desire to see him, it’ll cause a setback in your progress. I know that happens to me almost every day I see my MM (two steps forward and one step back).

          • Sophie

            Lara, Felk, thanks so much once again for your invaluable advice. Felk, surprisingly i’m Very clear that my meeting with my friend has nothing to do with seeing my ex MM. i’m Very very clear on that. I have genuinely moved on and one thing I know for sure is that I will go, if at all, only to see my friend. The tricky part is NOT that I will start feeling for him all over again and start missing him – no. I have prayed for him and his well being and moved on forever where I don’t remain concerned as to what he is doing (no longer on Whatsapp or FB or Insta so it has definitely helped me). The tricky part is simply because I wouldn’t want to go back to his home where we had met. I am extremely fond of his wife and kids (whom I have met occasionally and got along very well, much before (even after) my ex MM and I got together). In fact, when I met his wife and children the last time round, it made me even more convinced and sure about myself that there was no way I was going to enter what clearly was “a stable marriage”. There’s no other time I can meet my friend this year unfortunately andthat’s the only reason I want to meet her and my other friends. Continuing with the tricky part (and a huge [perhaps the only] reason) is if my husband and I are invited together and it’s not an only-girl evening. I wouldn’t subject my husband to come face to face with my ex MM simply because I feel strongly about it. I won’t allow myself to remain “cool” and “chilled” about a situation like that because my husband doesn’t deserve it (he doesn’t know anything but still I wouldn’t play it THAT cool to go with my husband to my ex MM’s place.) i continue to hope that we friends meet outside somewhere (my ex MM and his wife for the record are in the extended friend circle so there is a possibility that we might meet outside eventually). Let’s see 🙂

      • Kub

        Hello to all,

        I am reading your posts and I wanted to share my latest situation because it maybe become a motivation for you, too.
        I dont count the days. But I think it become more than a week. Before, it was awkward when we did not talk or share the details. Now, communication with him makes me feel overwhelmed. It is something what he says or maybe just his words, saying bye; disturbs me. Deep disappointments means quicker to get used to situation, believe me. I know cause when I went back to see him I found out that he has planned a vacation with his wife immediately 🙂 Believe me friends. Nothing hurts as expectations.
        Anyway. I felt this is it. This is the bottom, by the way this feeling I have had many many times. Everytime I said this is it I should throw a penny. But this time 🙂 I knew, I felt that he set me free.
        Free of him.
        At this very point I can say that I did ever hell of a thing to make this work. Every thing. But here I am.
        So friends, I saw the sun shining, the voices of people, the nice taste of coffee. And I saw that there is life. Here by me, I just cant, dont see it. I could not see it but my MM. Everthing was him. And now I am feeling like waking up from a horror dream. This two years, all this pain, suffer also good things. I just breathe them out. And every breathe, I am feeling more alive. More me. More strong. I am realizing that when you consume everything maybe in your life or maybe in your relationship (which is not must be with a married person) you awaken, awaken for your deepest survival. Because surviving for life is a humans most natural thing. So after every bad things, we survive, we are born like this.
        Great news is that I am moving to another country 🙂 In September, I am going away for my master program. There are couple of months but during this time all the paper work will keep me busy I am sure.
        I am changing my life, building a new one even. I know if he stayed in my life I would be afraid of this going away. I would probably give up. But no. Its my life and it is more important than his not breaking up with his wife.
        So… to sum up. Please dont give up on yourself. You will survive, believe me. Love… Can be maintained without the lover. I continue to love him in my heart only I dont share it with him because he really dont deserve it. Believe me this is more… Peaceful.

    • Felk

      J, I really do feel for the situation you are in, as you know I’ve gone through hard things with my MM. I think you have a long, hard road ahead of you, and knowing that doesn’t make it much easier, but I do think there’s value in honesty about how hard this is going to be. I don’t know what the answer is for your situation. You and your MM are in love and, as Lara says, probably addicted to each other as well. You have been getting such highs and such reinforcement from the time you spend together that it’s hard not to form an addiction to that good feeling. And coming down from that addition (the withdrawal) is brutal. Maybe you and your MM will find a way to have a relationship where it is not complete torture and misery for the both of you, if you stay married to others. I’m not sure how you do that (given how jealous you have both shown yourselves to be of the other’s spouse), but my best advice is to find someone to talk to (whether it’s a close friend or a therapist or clergy) and to talk to your MM openly and honestly about what you both want and how you are going to make this work. I don’t know how you will do this otherwise. It seems that a lot of your communication with your MM is very volatile with a lot of emotion. And that’s understandable given the complicated situation you’re in, but that emotion doesn’t help for working things out long term. I also don’t know what’s going to happen in your situation now that your MM tried to tell his W that their marriage wasn’t working. Now that she’s suspicious, it seems he will get more pressure from her to prove his love to her. Not only could that take more time away from you, but it could also be miserable for you as you think about how they’re spending time together.

      It’s a terrible place to be if you’re hurting when you’re together and not together. That’s how it got for my MM. It got to the point where he felt bad away from me and felt bad with me. He felt utterly torn and felt there was no way out except to make a change. He had to end his marriage or he had to end our relationship. (And, of course, he chose his marriage.) J, you and your MM might be in the same situation. I don’t want that for you, but can you say you’re happy right now? When is the last time you were happy? When my MM ended our relationship in September, I probably hadn’t been happy for 9 months. It’s no way to live. It’s not healthy. My MM said that to me when he ended our relationship, and he was right. It took a lot of courage and honesty for him to say that out loud – that what we were doing felt unhealthy. I didn’t feel healthy, but I never would have admitted it to him. I felt anxious and insecure. I wasn’t sleeping as well as I used to. I had heartburn so often. I cried way more often than I wanted. And the worst was probably that I couldn’t enjoy my life the way I used to. I loved the times with my MM, but those were not the bulk of my life. I spent so much of my time when I wasn’t with him thinking about how I wished I could be with him. It led me to get less enjoyment from not only my marriage but time with my friends and family, too. I felt something was missing or I was sad he wasn’t there or I was distracted by thoughts of our last time together or our next time together… but it all meant I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing as much as I used to. And while I was willing to put up with that and continue the affair, it was no good. It is one of the hardest honesties that I’m still trying to recognize. Our relationship got to a point where we could no longer enjoy it the way we used to. I know that’s what my MM was feeling, and I don’t blame him for ending it. I don’t blame him for wanting to be present with his W and kids. I don’t blame him for not wanting to feel the misery of being apart from the person you’re in love with. I don’t blame him for not wanting to feel numb around his W or resentful of having to pick up his kids. I don’t blame him for simply wanting some room to breathe.

      So, I don’t know what’s best for you in the long run, but, in the least, it sounds like you need a break.

  • thistooshallpass

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evil-deeds/200806/essential-secrets-psychotherapy-repetitive-relationship-patterns

    I don’t know if anyone is familiar with repetition compulsion but it certainly helps explain my behavioral patterns. Thank you Lara for your insightful post below on how we find ourselves drawn to these relationships. We have to go back to our childhood and the relationships we had with our parents. My Dad left my mom when I was a baby and I unconsciously am drawn to unavailable people because my Dad was not around at all when I was a child. At least having awareness will heighten my ability to detect such insidious behaviors in myself.

    The messed up thing about this phenomenon is that my ex mm wife’s Dad cheated on her Mom numerous times and she is now with someone that did the same.

    • lara

      This Too Shall Pass Your re welcome for the link. Yes I think there are patterns in our lives and Patterson int eh lives of others that cause us to often self sabotage. But little by little we CAN and DO recover! Your Dad leaving your Mom had to have had an enormous impact on your life. There is a lot available on line and in books about having relationships with “unavailable” men (women) and even how we repeat these experiences without even realizing it. This info sure relates to affairs as a. married person is by definition unavailable! Thank you for pointing that out! Hugs Lara xo

  • Nomad

    Dear All..,

    I know I said this too many times but yes we met and broke up.

    I sincerely apologized to him for being so intense and unrealistic about my expectations out of him and in an affair.

    He said he understood and capitulated to break up.

    He now knows that I hate his asshole behavior and how hard it has been to even ignore his desultory contact. I hadn’t been relaxed as he had imagined. I couldn’t accept his treatment (after the honeymoon phase in first year) and I am incapable of having my cake and eat it. Because expectations were unmet, bad blood built up over time. We will find ways to quit the addiction. He will not reach out now that he knows it’s hard for me despite time and distance.

    He now knows I wanted affection, attention and falling in love which are beyond his capacity given the life challenges he’s struggling with and our immoral situation.

    We chose our family. I’m not going to take my H’s trust and love for granted. Just this morning, I asked my H how long would he love me. He replied as long as he lives…

    Unfortunately we’ve work meeting and gathering with ex-boss coming up but I think I can deal and I’ll not deliberately avoid.

    This morning when I woke, I felt nauseated. I felt sense of loss and a tinge of regret but I know I must end it. It’s already 9months late. I hesitated but still blocked him.

    So please tell me I’ll make it this time. I’m removing him for the sake of my sanity, family and my work. I have to.

    Whatever I do now, I am mindful of the end state which is to remove him from my life. My decision hasn’t changed. The progress slow and difficult. My weakness is him and giving in to my selfishness, greed and deprivation.

    I think I’m ready, more than before.

    I need hugs, big consoling hugs.

    • Felk

      Nomad, I know this will sound trite, but you will make it this time if you want to make it this time. You have to be repeatedly committed to it, because you will want to give in and contact him (especially because you work together). It will not be easy. It’s a big step that you blocked him. That’s an important first step. But, it’s going to be hard. You are angry and you have sounded stronger lately, but we all know that the hurt doesn’t go away overnight. We know that it’s not just a switch we can turn off and be done with them. Yes, you can make the decision to not be in a relationship with him anymore, but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel all the pain of missing him and what you had. So, accept that it will be hard. Know that it’s going to take a lot of effort to distract yourself and refocus on your marriage, and then, eventually, you will be done with him.

    • lara

      Nomad, Again I totally agree with what Felk said (thank you again Felk!). You will make it when you are ready. This process is not as simple as putting one substance down (eg cigarettes). Strong emotions are very involved here and the way for many of us seems to be two steps forward one step backwards. My therapist told me last week that all growth is “zig-zaggie” like this. Personally I would like growth to be a clean upwards line! But it does not work this way. So we do the best we can. But you are going to make it! You must believe this. You will get there! Hugs Lara xxxooo

      • Felk

        And I reiterate what Lara said. I’ve felt that two steps forward and one step back for the last few months. I’ll feel progress for days, and then I’ll have a bad day or two. But then I’ll feel strong and happy and more like me again, and then a bad day or two. But the stretches of good keep getting longer and better. And the stretches of bad get shorter and less bad. I don’t get as low as I used to get, and I move on much more quickly from the hard times. During the lows, it can be frustrating to still feel that, but I try to recognize why I’m feeling as I am and I try to remind myself that things are getting better. And you know I make it sound easier than it is. The lows still suck. And I know, especially in my case because I can’t do NC, there will be some setbacks because I will still see him and talk to him and be tempted by him. But if you are clear (to yourself) that you want to be done with your MM, Nomad, you will soon be done with him. But you have to really be at the point where you no longer care to hear anything he has to say to you about his feelings for you. You have to really be ready to ignore any attempts he might make to reconcile. You have to really be ready to recommit to your marriage and be done with the affair. Keep blocking him. Don’t talk to him (unless you absolutely have to for work). Don’t give him any more chances. He’s had all the chances.

        • Nomad

          Hi Felk,
          I am not 100% ready but more ready than yesterday, last week, last month and since last Jun.

          I was trying to read your post to J during that time her mm was going overseas with W. I learnt that my mm was on overseas leave. All those fear and jealousy started to infest and ruminate when I tried to let it be, don’t fight against my heart and head. I remembered you said the trip is necessary and he has to do what he has to do.

          Updates and some questions to ask you all for views :

          I thought he was busy like hell but he would go just to keep his W happy. I know I shouldn’t feel jealous because I away twice in Dec. I deliberately didn’t celebrate his birthday, not even a birthday wish. I did worse. I should be more aware of my situation (ending) and my standing now.

          Over the wkend I tried to pretend I didn’t know about his family vacation, afterall so many weekends of NC, his whereabouts shouldn’t make any difference. But there is when he is overseas. I wished I didn’t know. He is away from work and me, wholeheartedly enjoying and immersing in stress free, guilt free, just simple joy and bliss. I had imagined he wished his time with his family overseas can be forever. So I fear that he has gained clarity about us and he’ll be back with me removed. The power of an overseas trip with his W and kids, a carefree time for them to rekindle. Yes I shouldn’t fear but glad that this trip could somewhat result in a resolution. He needs to be away to detox and quit the bad habits. I thought it’s important that he left for this trip because I’ve done that (including my 2wks course) and being away helped to shift me a little? Break the cycle a little? Longer nc became achievable? Putting myself first became a priority? He should get a chance to be away – from work and affair. Should do him good.

          Yes I’ve him blocked but I’m engaging in meaningless futile overthinking just because I now know he’s overseas with W. He might miss me but try not to. Would he return with clarity,zest and determination to remove me permanently?

          There was a moment i wasn’t cool. I punched my pillow to vent because I was angry and jealous and worried. I forgot my position. Other than that, I just got by without big high or low. To me, it’s still progress. I could still sleep, work, in control (except the occasional rumination), no tears, barely noticed any tension in my heart. That’s the problem when I packed myself too much and when there’s a moment of idle, thoughts of him would suddenly creep in.

          Another question. We will be attending a same work meeting on Fri. That will be a week since we last met and broke up. Hope I can gracefully handle seeing him. Then on Sat, there will be a bbq organized by our ex-boss. He’ll be there. I don’t deny I had hoped we could disappear together just like how we used to in the beginning. But that thought vanished after I learnt about his overseas trip. I know this trip will somehow change him…what would the changes be? I really don’t know this man.

          Two upcoming meetings… how shall I act? As much as I can, I’m still working towards ending the affair. It’s just too hard. Unmet expectations, unreasonable expectations, insecurity and jealousy, guilty conscience and all.

          • Felk

            Nomad, you know that my best advice is to try to stop thinking about your MM on a trip with his family. If you are really going to be done with him, you can’t care if he is having a good time or not. You can’t care if he will come back from that trip determined to remove you from his life or interested in rekindling with you. The only way you can be done is if it doesn’t matter one way or another. Try to keep in mind that no matter what he is doing on his trip or what he feels when he comes back, it doesn’t change that your affair didn’t work. It doesn’t change that you wanted him to treat you better, you asked for it, and he couldn’t (or wouldn’t). That’s what matters.

            As for the upcoming meetings, try not to talk to him or interact with him in any way beyond a cordial “hello” (if you have to). At work, you may have to interact with him a little more but keep it entirely professional and don’t linger to extend conversation with him. If you’re going to be done, you have to reduce contact with him as much as possible. Contact with these MM causes setbacks. But don’t ignore him or be cold to him because you want to get a reaction out of him. Try to minimize contact with him because that’s what’s best for you in your healing. It can’t be about him. If you’re still wanting a reaction out of him or wanting him to want to talk to you, you’re not moving on. You are working towards ending this affair. Keep doing the things you need to do to end it.

          • Nomad

            Hi Felk,
            Thank you… yes, I don’t want him or the affair because it isn’t working, I am unhappy, expectations unrealistic for an affair and hence unmet and unable to compromise too. It’s a matter of time that I’ll wake up one day when he’s not my first thought.

        • Nomad

          Hi Felk,
          “But you have to really be at the point where you no longer care to hear anything he has to say to you about his feelings for you. You have to really be ready to ignore any attempts he might make to reconcile.”

          I’m getting there. Each time I caved in, I’m slapped with disappointment and regrets. Tired (numb) of hearing when he acted otherwise. Most of all I do hate his bad behavior like his mia flipflop the moment I responded. So that point is not too far away because the affair is just not working out, it is not giving us sense of happiness. He should realize this now that he’s overseas.

  • J

    Hello everyone,
    I’ve been doing ok. I took time to really think, thought about all of your words, and I have come to realize that mm will never get divorced. I do believe that he truly loves me and wants me, but he simply doesn’t have the guts to do it. It’s a lot, I believe he’s afraid to lose half of his money (he’s a successful hardworker, W has never had a job), he’s afraid to disappoint his kids (even though they are grown and out of the house), he doesn’t want to hurt her since he’s been with her for 30+ years. He’s afraid and incapable. He likes routines, he’s very scared of change. End of story. It doesn’t matter what he wants, he can not do it and I don’t believe he ever will be able to do it. So where does this leave me. Well I got to thinking that I don’t want to hurt my H either. I erased all expectations of mm and completely stopped obsessing about mm and w having sex. I told him I no longer care about that. I told him we are no longer discussing sex with our spouses at all. I guess if I don’t care, he can’t hurt me. I told him maybe we can try being together, with no other expectations, I told him I don’t want a divorce anymore and I don’t want him to get one. Maybe we can just enjoy each other like this. At first he said that he will never be satisfied in his marriage this way because I’m so much more than W to him. But then he changed his mind. I don’t know how long this can last or if I’m only protecting myself while keeping him around. Ladies, I have also realized that I can not do NC. It literally hurts me so bad that I feel physically ill. I can’t function with NC. I do not want to love this man anymore, but I do. I can’t stop it. So I thought maybe no expectations, still see him, win win? I don’t know. Maybe I can wean off him like this. Any other suggestions? I just know I can’t NC with him. It doesn’t work for me. He’s too big of a person on my life. Too much time together that’s truly amazing. I know this man has hurt me, I know he’s dysfunctional in ways, I know he’s manipulated me at times. But I still love him. I’m don’t know if I’m makinn excuses for him, but I am considering his past and childhood. What if he’s just a guy in love who is too scared and doesn’t know what to do? He’s in turmoil too. I can’t keep looking to him for what’s next, because he has no idea what to do, he’s so confused. What else can I do? I figured try this because I’ve tried everything else. No expectations, no divorces, no painful talks, just love each other. During this time hopefully I’ll gain total clarity. Thanks so much for listening.

    • thistooshallpass

      Hi J, what about weaning yourself off of him and reducing your interactions little by little? You could try that approach and see where that leads you. Also, taking some time apart can bring you clarity. Have you two discussed a temporary break to reset? I haven’t seen my mm in almost two weeks and while we work together, we have not had any personal interactions during that time. We’ve had no contact outside of work either. The separation has helped me to take a step back and look at the big picture. You are also forced to live one day at a time. I thought he might try to contact me and he hasn’t reached out. I’m feeling a big emotional weight lifted off of me. Personally when I’m in a can’t live with you and can’t live without you relationship, I find that removing myself is the right answer for me. I cannot move on with someone in I have one foot in and one foot out. Rip the bandaid off and the pain will be more severe in the immediate but shorter in duration. If you can love him while accepting the terms and conditions than you’ve found the right path for you. I wish you the best outcome that gives you happiness 🙂 These situations are beyond precarious…

    • LIFELESSONS

      J

      I think its good you have tried to take some time for yourself to think. I understand you feel that you cannot do NC because it is just too painful for you. You feel you can wean yourself off of him ?? If you are not willing to take some real time apart from him, I am not sure how you will get this done…I have realized in all of the relationships i have been in that time apart for me was when i recieved the most clarity. My mind would be scrambled for a while but as the days grew longer, things became more clear. I too had girlfriends to talk to you during my on/off again relationships which kept me from contacting my ex bf. I had an on/off again relationship with him for almost 10yrs. I finally decided to choose me and I decided that he didnt want me the same way I wanted him, if he did he wouldve married me and not played around with me for so long. I kept telling myself he did not love me and he did not want me, I had to remind myself constantly of all the things he had done to mistreat me. It felt like torture to think my selfworth was nonexistent in order for me to tolerate him, I placed NO VALUE in myself by allowing him to do what he wanted with me. I was fed up and decided enough was enough. I have done the same with my thought process regarding my MM. If I continue to walk around devaluing myself how do I think someone else would place value on me. I had turned things around on MM numerous amounts of time because I didnt always answer when he called, I didnt always call back nor did I text him often. There were times where I decided I run the show and you will not get to talk to me only when its conveint for you. I am also pretty damn STUBBORN so there is only so much i can truly tolerate especially if I am not receiving the attention I desire. Another thing I did was write to myself, i have spoken about the love letter I wrote to myself and when I am down I read it and it lifts me up. I didnt realize how fantastic I really was until I truly sat down and wrote all of the positive things i accomplished, all of the things I have overcome and the strength and the courage to continue to be a wonderful person whom dont hold grudges nor do i harbor resentment towards any of the men that have done me wrong. I am truly grateful for every unfortunate event I have ever gone through because it has made me the person i am today. Some of my friends have said they dont understand how someone (34yrs young)whom has been through hell and back, manages to keep it together so well. They always tell me how strong I am and I didnt believe it until I wrote my story and read it to myself. J you are stronger than you give yourself credit you can do whatever you set your mind to when you are ready.
      I realize you have a H so maybe you cant write and leave that around for him to find but take a moment and go to the library write it out and read it. Do that as often as you can. I was lucky enough to have at the very least 2 friends whom didnt judge me but helped me to keep things in perspective when it came to me and MM.
      Summary
      1. Dont always be available for him
      2. Take a small break from him, start with one day a week and increase the days as you go along week by week
      3. Try writing things down, the things you values the most about yourself and reread it to gain clarity for yourself
      4. Continue to utilize this site as we are all learning from each other….

      Be blessed J
      Sending many hugs and kisses and much love
      Lifelessons

    • Felk

      Hi J, I don’t know how you go from wanting to leave your marriage and wanting your MM to leave his marriage and then a few days later not wanting those things. I get that you are trying to accept that your MM is not able to leave his marriage, but I’m not sure how you erase all expectations and thoughts of his married life overnight. If you’re really able to do that, it’s great, but I think you’re entering a very difficult situation (and one that many of us have been or are still in). I appreciate your honesty that you can’t do NC right now. I get that you are too in love to cut off all contact. But can you be happy with your MM if he is still going home to his W? You seemed miserable before when this was happening. You seemed wrecked by the thoughts of him with her. What has changed that you can now accept that? Again, I hope you can, but it usually doesn’t happen as easily as we hope it will. You know I hope the “just love each other” plan works, but I think that’s what all of us on here hoped for and it’s usually not that simple. The “just love each other” usually turns into expectations or we get jealous or we hurt too much when we’re away from the person we’re in love with or a spouse becomes suspicious and pressures for more attention. If the terms of your situation now are what you want, then it could work. But I think that’s the hardest part in an affair. Keeping the terms agreeable to both people when strong feelings are involved (and you can’t have more). Is your MM agreeable to these terms? Is he suddenly okay with you having sex with your H? Does his W know he’s having an affair? When he told her their marriage wasn’t working for him, did she suspect? Will she want to go to counseling? I can only imagine the stress on his end after having told his W he wanted to leave. And if there is stress in their relationship, there will be stress in yours. I learned that quite clearly in my affair.
      I’m not sure what else you’re supposed to do, though. I think thistooshallpass’ suggestion for slowly pulling away or giving yourself a short break is a good idea, but I’m not sure if it will work if you’re not ready for a break or don’t want to pull away. I know that, in my situation (now that we’re broken up and attempting some sort of something), I’ve found breaks from my MM good for me, but I’ve also found that they’re not real breaks because I know we’ll see each other soon enough. My breaks are clouded by thinking about our next interaction, but they probably do lead to a little clarity and healing for me. And, as others have said, I’ll suggest a therapist. It would probably help you to talk to someone (trained) about these things. I know you’ve said it would be hard to hide from your husband, but maybe there is a reason you could give him for wanting to see a therapist? I know that’s easier said than done, but it might be worth it.

      I know what can also happen at times like these is that we can get desperate. I know that when I felt my MM pulling away last year, I let him treat me more poorly than I should have. He was still a good person and generally treating me well, but, at times, I should have said more but I got too scared that he’d leave. I think there is risk for that in your situation, as you learn your MM will not leave his wife. So, as best you can, try to stay true to yourself and try to make sure your needs are met in this relationship. As usual, in all of these situations, I’m a big proponent of honest conversations. It can be scary, but I know that talking honestly about what we were feeling and what we wanted helped my MM and I through our relationship, and it’s helping us (more slowly) now.

      • Nomad

        Hi Felk,
        Spot on again when you said “The “just love each other” usually turns into expectations or we get jealous “… that is one of my issues. mm was reminiscing that I was so understanding (of our situation plus us being legally unavailable) and had no expectations when we first started. Yet, things between us evolved, strained and drained and he couldn’t cope with my demands. He acknowledged that I couldn’t help with my “demands” (affection, attention, to be constantly connected or updated or assured) due to our difficult and complex situation. He needed to pull away because his survival at stake and he has to maintain the family picture perfect. He is always clearer and more rational than me other than the high at the begin when he was intensely blinded by love and lust.

        I think what’s left is the addiction and craving for sex (but would get sick of it if frequent or when fear and guilt are holding him back), and jealousy. Jealousy makes me hold on, go back to his arms, and continue the competition against his W. Each time I feel lesser of myself and defeated. He made it clearer that he is never mine to begin with because he’s married and legally committed, yet occasionally he would desire me. I made it clear I couldn’t accept this asshole behavior of his, I felt used only at his convenience. I felt insecure and he knows I’ve always fearful of being dumped by him and he wouldn’t return so I always went ahead acted on NC. I didn’t realize it was so hard to quit him until it’s now coming to a year… a year of flip flops and going somewhere recently. He would’ve wanted us if he know how but he warned that sooner or later the sparks between us would fade and we might ended up like married couple, mundane and obligatory. Already the curiosity and novelty wore off. Nc became more viable. I told him I felt wasted and I hate the waiting. I needed to remove him in order to start afresh. He agreed and he would try harder to stay away.

        Lastly, he casually updated that he would be flying off for a family vacation and took 3 days leave. I bet all of you here could imagine what’s going in my head and how my heart is feeling…

      • lara

        J,
        Felk has just put into words exactly what I would have written to you in response to your latest post especially in the first paragraph that ends with, “I learned that quite clearly in my affair.” I would repeat all of that you J (Thank you Felk). You talk about hoping to go to a place of “no expectations” after the recent intensity of your love and experiences with your MM? This is not possible J. Impossible. Human nature does not work this way. You can’t force human nature.

        When you said the words, “What if he’s just a guy in love who is too scared and doesn’t know what to do?”
        J, I can only say: He is a grown man older than you and in his 50’s. He is a full adult. He has made his choices. Right now he sees that even if he stays with his W, even if he does NOT leave his W, you intend to keep on loving him anyhow because now he knows that not only do you indeed love him, but you can not live without him. Do you see the problem I see here? Or is your denial getting the best of you? (It happens to the best of us)

        You wish for: “No expectations, no divorces, no painful talks, just love each other.” Just like that? Are you capable of switching off your emotions so easily? Do you have a magic wand there rest of us do not have? I do not think so. Does he? No I do not think so either. So now you are left with the very difficult (Herculean) task of trying to forge ahead in what is a devastating and precarious emotional situation hoping you can smooth the way for both of you with this change of heart/new plan. All by yourself. Really??? xxxLara

  • Emotional scorned

    Hello everyone! I am new to this site! One of my best friends introduced me to this because we both was in the same situation with dealing with a married man! Even though our situation was different it still was the same because the men are married! I never thought it was possible to be in love with someone else’s husband because I would have never entertained a married man. First off he lied to me about being married and I found out after we slept together also the wife called me and that’s when shit hit the fan! We talk everyday all day on the phone! And I forgot to mention we work together! Well he stayed with me all weekend probably because it was my birthday but he claim he will probably be back with all his stuff because he has never did that before! I’m waiting holding my breath because I don’t believe he’s gonna leave for good!

    • LIFELESSONS

      Hey Emotional Scorned…
      Welcome to the forum! This is one of the toughest situationships to be apart of but this forum has been helpful and supportive. There is NO judgement here! Are you hopeful that he will leave ? How long have yall been seeing each other ?

      • Emotional scorned

        We been knowing each other for two years but we starting dating in August but sleeping together in December!

    • lara

      Emotional scorned, You found out he lied about his marriage to you. What does that tell you about his character and his trustability? And then his W called you and the “shit hit the fan”. what see that tell you about their marriage?
      Perhaps he has now left his W and moved in with you? Somehow I doubt it but I do hope so for your sake. More likely you have met a married person who wants to hang on to both of you women indefinitely. But I I hope I am wrong.
      Working with him and talking to him every day will only sink you deeper emotionally in this affair. If you stay awhile and read the stories here, you will realize you will want your affair to be as short as possible. Because you are worth it! Hugs Lara xo

      • Emotional scorned

        Hey Laura! He hasn’t moved in as of yet but he asks alot of questions about our living arrangements if and when he decides to move in if it’s not too late as I am no longer waiting for him to decide what he wants to do with his situation!

  • LIFELESSONS

    Hello Everyone,

    First let me say J, I am so happy to know you are ok. I think everyone here was wrorried about you. Lara, you have given really good insight on dealing with MM and even the aftermath of it. I appreciate your advice and I appreciate all of you for sharing your stories to help us become stronger…

    As for me ladies, it has been 9 days of NC and I am missing him and trying to understand what I miss…I know I miss talking to him because we use to talk daily and then it went to every other day. I miss knowing I had a crumb of a person vs knowing I have no one to really get that adult attention from. I realize having a crumb or crumbs doesnt make you feel good but it defintely satified when i needed it to. Im too stubborn to contact him so I am sure I will not break…
    I can only pray that each day that passes by is better than the day before. I do not wish to ever get involved with this type of situation again…
    I will check in later, I have to get ready for my work day its 7am where I am and I woke up with MM on my mind😩😩

    • thistooshallpass

      Hi Lifelessons, I haven’t posted in a few weeks but I’m on 7 days since I saw my mm. We work together but have the option to WFH so at least we can avoid in person interactions. I think people that are lonely are especially susceptible to these situations. I’m not just referring to the person that is single either. People in relationships can feel loneliness in their relationship. I’m the single one in my scenario. I miss the emails, IMs and communication with mine too but it had such a high price. Wouldn’t you like to keep your heart completely open to an available man? This is a humbling experience in your words and I have a newfound appreciation for single men. Do you feel a weight off your shoulders by removing the anxiety of wondering what they’re doing together, when you’ll hear from him and what will happen next? After walking away I realize that he did care but was also using me to fix the problems at home. It’s the easy way out. Besides, by investing energy in him we are not investing in our future. His cup runneth over and ours becomes bone dry. I’m reading the book, Calling in the One by Katherine Woodward Thomas and it is so uplifting, enlightening and good for the soul. There are exercises to help you improve your relationship with yourself and thus with others. I know self-help can feel trite but personally I wouldn’t have ended up in an affair if I didn’t need some support. I’m only speaking for myself and not diagnosing anyone else. This soul sucking experience has really forced me to reflect. I wish everyone here all the love, good fortune and blessings.

      • LIFELESSONS

        Thistooshallpass,

        Oh how i know about reflecting. I do that quite often. I wrote a love letter to myself and when I begin to feel down, i read it. I am single and I have a almost 15 yr old and a almost 12 yr old so they keep me busy with sports events but not as busy as I was when they were younger so i have time to sit and think. I had to dig deep to figure out why i would allow myself to get entagled in such a trying relationship. I knew i was lonely and I even knew I had become desperate to have a man so much so that I decided it was cool to fool around with someone elses. I had even convinced myself that it was bad but not that bad considering, I had been in 2 long term and 2 short term relationships and every time I was cheated on and I didnt have the confidence to leave those situations. I stayed and allowed those men to run all over top of me. I told myself that my karma was already served due to my past so its not so bad if its the 1st time I try something like this. I mean just pure crazy thoughts. We started with just talking to each other and I didnt know he was married until 3 months later when we finally exchanged numbers. I thought I could be cordial with him but I was wrong. This has truly been a lifelesson. When did you decide to move on ? How long were you guys together ?
        It is definitely a weight lifted off of me. I feel good to have had the courage to leave him alone. As I said Im stubborn and he is too so i know we are truly over. I am trying to focus on myself and truly appreciating and loving me. If i dont love me…who will ??? I think taking time for yourself is extremely important and I think when you dont take that time and reflect you get sucked in to things without thinking. I know it will take some time before I get emotionally involved with someone because I dont want to jump from one situation to the next. I will continue to read and write to get support.
        Best wishes!
        Lifelessons😘

        • thistooshallpass

          Thank you for your response. I don’t think any of us pursued an unavailable person. We were two people that were attracted and unfortunately acted. I hadn’t sparked with someone in a long time and the intensity knocked me off my feet. Mine separated from his wife but returned home within a couple weeks. I should’ve bailed then but he said all the right things every woman dies to hear plus the sex was the best of my life. I knew in the early stages that this situation was bad news bears and I tried to exit a ridiculous amount of times (over the span of 15 months) only to find myself back into his arms. We would stop talking, he’d reach out with the I miss you messages and I’d feed into the trap. We’d get back together and have major emotional bonding time. We’d seem to have a breakthrough and foolishly I thought maybe he’d choose me bc of the intoxicating words he’d throw my way. That would fade quickly and he’d withdraw or something and hence leave us back to square one. It’s such a dead end nasty, toxic relationship. I started to build major resentment and hatred toward him where I would snap and lash out. I had enough and hearing about his life with someone else made me want to punch him. I’m not an angry person and I refuse to harbor resentments. I want the hell out of this. He finally capitulated and agreed that it was best for me to end everything. Now I don’t have to worry about him contacting me to rekindle. No temptations even though it’s up to me to stand strong. Still, the opposite of love is indifference. I may need some time to get past this hatred phase. Now I’m extricated from his life and don’t have to hear about their vacations, new cars, dogs, kids and anything else. While it may seem like they love you more if they fight for you, it’s the biggest disservice to your healing if they don’t plan to leave for you. Sounds like you have your feet firmly planted in the ground 🙂

          • Sophie

            Hugs and healing to you. I could relate to every sentence you wrote. I had the same experience with my ex MM. I still struggle, very happy that I no longer look for him on social media (that was a major breakthrough for me) and have detached myself and moved on. I still think of him but happy to observe that he is now a fading memory. I no longer question myself on “why it happened to me? Why did he hurt me?” I still bear issues in my marriage but so glad that I don’t look for “so-called” support outside of the marriage to tackle the issues. I’ll never allow myself to be disrespected again.

          • Nomad

            Hi Sophie,
            For me, I recently fear of the fading memories… I do feel strongly about not wasting more breath to talk for closure (tried too many times), not knowing how to continue with this person be it as a lover, stranger or colleague. He’s still lingering… I’m repeating to myself “let it be” do not react to anything.

          • Felk

            Thistooshallpass, I was thinking about what you said about none of us intentionally pursuing an unavailable person, but I’m not sure that’s entirely true. So, yes, it happened as you said… we were two people who became attracted to each other slowly over time, with the relationship starting with no intention of pursuing anything. But, of course, as a heterosexual man and woman get closer, the attraction usually goes beyond friendship and gets sexual. It’s evolutionary. In thinking about my affair, especially after the break-up, I’ve thought about why I wanted to have an affair even though my marriage was good (and his marriage was good when it started, too). Now, this may be just me or it may be more true for MW, but I think there was something about him being unavailable that made him “safer.” I think initially it felt “safe” to be friends with him because, of course, nothing could happen… we were both married. And then as the affair started, I think there was something about knowing I wasn’t going to leave my husband for this man because he was married and had kids. I think that helped reduce guilt and tension for me in my own marriage (that I loved my H more than my MM and I didn’t want to leave my H). I think I figured this would just be “on the side,” but, of course, that was naive and the longer our affair went on the more it infiltrated our marriages and the more we wanted to be together.

            Unfortunately, there is probably also something to the truth of pursuing a married person (whether or not you are single) because that person is unavailable and it makes us feel special when this person starts giving us attention (even though they have a spouse). There is likely something even more exciting about the challenge and the feeling that he (or she) is choosing us over their spouse (in a way). Sure, for many people it’s a deterrent that someone else is taken, but for some people, maybe it triggers our competitive nature and leads us to pursue more? I’m not even saying we’re conscious of this at the time. I definitely wasn’t thinking about this six years ago when this all started, but, reflecting on why I’d choose a relationship with a MM, I know some of this is true. I know it’s also true that he and I get along really well (and, yes, the sex was fantastic), but I think there are other elements that lead us to pursue married people (especially when we are married, too). I don’t think it’s as simple as the brain wanting what it wants. I think the brain knows full and well that the other person is in a relationship and that is factored in. Whether we think it’s “safer” to be friends with this person thinking nothing can really come of it (and then falling into the trap) or whether we start to get intoxicated by the competition with the spouse and wanting to be chosen, I think there is something to the fact that we pursue people who are taken. Of course, I am not saying this is always the case. But, I don’t simply think it is coincidence that I fell in love with a MM.

            And, as I say above, unfortunately, I was a little naive about it all when it started. We both were. We thought we could maintain our good marriages. We thought we could continue to prioritize our spouses and separate our affair. We thought we could have our cake and eat it too. It’s greedy, but, more, it’s foolish. I’m not saying that no one can do it successfully, but it seems that the longer it goes, the more it becomes a problem. The more it hurts you because you want to be together, and the more it hurts your marriage (because you want to be with another person). And the more you can’t be together, the more you want it. That’s human nature. I type this out because it helps me understand why he ended our relationship. I wasn’t struggling with it all as much as he was. I still maintained the belief that we could continue both, but that he couldn’t is understandable. Just listen to all of us on here. Just listen to all of us talk about how hard it is – whether it’s the difficulty of jealousy, the difficulty of our MM going MIA for some time (as he gives attention to his family or deals with his guilt), the difficulty of feeling numb in our own marriages, the longing to spend more time with our MM, etc. It just seems, as Lara has said, that it will eventually come to a point where you leave your marriage (as Kev is) or you leave your affair (as many on here have or are trying to do). The rarity of polyamory aside, our brains (and our culture) are not made for us to be in love with two people at the same time. I slowly work to recognize these truths as I make progress every day in accepting my changing relationship with my MM.

          • Nomad

            Wow Felk, you always manage to share deep insights and help me to articulate my experiences and thoughts. Thank you! Yes, I was a little naive about it all when it started. I wanted to experience all the good of falling in love with someone. I thought I was capable of enjoying the best of both worlds. But it has dragged for coming to a year soon. I felt good when I was away for the 2 weeks course and with him blocked and with him not reaching out. I thought that was it and I felt peace … he drains me too…

          • Felk

            Hi Nomad, Your strength has also inspired me. I know it is still hard for you, but you seem much more committed to ignoring him and seem to be seeing his patterns more clearly and not wanting to be treated that way anymore. I also like your honesty about whether or not you are really ready to be done with him. How you still want to see his morning messages. How you want to see how long he will try to stay in contact with you. Soon, hopefully you will be able to let that go and block him entirely. You know that seeing his morning messages is going to keep reminding you of him and it will keep triggering that hope for more. And I really understand what you wrote in that other message about how you fear the fading memories. One of the hardest things about letting go is losing how that love fills you. My love for my MM and thoughts of our good times take up a part in my brain, and it’s sad to think about letting go of those good feelings. It’s sad to lose that. I know that part of me “holding on” is simply holding onto the feeling of being in love with him. Of course, the bigger part is missing him and missing that time we spent together, but I also enjoyed that excitement and happiness with him so much that it’s hard to let go of the memories that cause those feelings. And I know I can still hold onto the memories, but I do have to let go of how good they make me feel or else I won’t get over him. The hard truth is that healing is going to take time. I can’t just decide to no longer be in love with him. It will take time for that to fade, and that’s a sad journey.

            For now, yes, we attempt a friendship, which just makes the healing take longer. Since I don’t feel much jealousy for his W and because I trust that he and I will get to a place of good friendship, I don’t want to go professional NC. The hardest part is still wanting more and feeling that he wants more, too. And it’s the latter part that makes it hard for me to stop hoping. He does continue to give mixed signals about what he wants, and that makes it hard to move on. The thing is, I want those mixed signals if it means he’s still considering us. This is my honesty. I don’t feel pathetic “waiting” (okay, sometimes I do). I am trying to be more honest with him, and I feel we’re having good (although slow) conversations about us. I also feel that this is a very hard thing we’re doing, and I want to be patient to try to get us to the best mutual outcome (whatever that is). As long as I feel he’s treating me well, I can continue to be patient. But, sure, as time goes on, I feel it all fading. And that is sad.

            Most important, though, is that I continue to feel better. I sleep well most nights now. I don’t have the nausea I had for months after the break-up. I don’t have this giant pit in my stomach every day. I don’t have the overwhelmed feeling where every small task was monumental. Yeah, I’m still sadder and more distracted than I’d like to be. Yeah, some days I have less energy. But it is all getting better. I feel much more like me. It’s helped to be honest with him, have good conversations, feel that he wants our friendship, and, sure, feel that he’s still in love with me. The last thing has helped me with moving on, ironically, because there is comfort in knowing he didn’t stop loving me but rather he had to end our relationship because, as we know with most affairs, it just became too difficult to lead two separate lives.

          • Nomad

            Just want to share that it’s over for me and mm. We just met and I told him I hate his mia flipflop behavior. He understood and capitulated to set me free. The End.

          • LIFELESSONS

            Thistooshallpass…I did not pursue him and I noticed him a year prior to us really conversing with one another. I thought he was a very atteactive man. However, the following he showed me lots of attention and was always so anxious to be in my presence during our boys sports event. It felt good to be noticed by an atrractive man…considering, I was working with kids all day and come home to my own kids and then attend their activities and be around more kids. I was thinking yesssss finally a guy thats interested….but he was unavailable. On our first date out i asked him if he was married and he said yes, my heart dropped and he gave a sob story about them not really being in the best space with each other. I told him I wasnt dealing with someone elses husband but I continued to talk to him daily. So FELK you may have a point, i didnt feel like I pursued him but i didnt stop talking to him once i realized he was an unavailable man…i wanted us to be friends but I think some where inside of my head I knew we couldnt just be friends because I knew he liked me. I thought I had more self control! On another note

            10 days of NC is feeling pretty good but i have mixed feelings about him not contacting me. I know i dont need him contacting me and distracting me from my progress but I think subconscious or very consciously it validates he had feelings for me this whole time and he wasnt just using me. Now, I am aware that i do not need anything from him but its an Ego thing. I will say this situation makes me realize how much bullcrap I settle for and I do NOT wish to settle again because I dont have too. SOPHIE, how long have you been out of your relationship with MM ??
            You ladies are so helpful and I appreciate every last one of you.
            Lifelessons 😘

          • Nomad

            ThisTooShallPass,

            Yes!!! “We were two people that were attracted and unfortunately acted” and suffered. What you wrote was exactly describing my situation, the vicious cycle, to feel cheated to be easily lured back just for him to turn cold and distant immediately after we surrendered. Yet, he could say yo me I drained him. I too have tried to exit a ridiculous number of times since last Jun, after he let his guilt and fear and morals got in our way, I exit to set him free, until recently I did it for my sanity. My breakthrough was the 26days of ncbut I’ve succumbed. But, there was a shift in me, I could ignore his text and calls without blocking him, since 12 days ago, he gave me the same shit after the great sex. I felt cheated and effort wasted. He sent meaningless WhatsApp “hope you’ve a good day/ how’s your day/ good morning” every other day except weekend, just to ping if he’s blocked. I don’t hate him as a person but I definitely hate his behavior and how he treated me. I resent his W. I’m tempted to block him again and if I do it this time, it shall be irreversible. Am I ready? It’s stil very hard though I am better compared to last week, last month. I’m able to anticipate what’s coming up next. While I could mentally prepared but seeing him is still hard. I’m punishing him with zero response just as he’s killing me with his mia flip flops.

            What else did I not do? I’m letting it be… I am still ruminating… I am still hoping but there were pockets of rational moments which I quickly internalized the situation and engaged myself in positive self talk. We know the theory but execution hasn’t been successful. As I’m typing here, his WhatsApp flashed across my screen “hope you have a good morning”, strangely I didn’t boil but I took a deep breath. I felt apangs of hopelessness. I could’ve replied stop it! Fuck off! but I didn’t. It’s tough for me but somehow I wanted to see how long can his nonsense last. Or somehow I couldn’t bear or not ready to cut him off when he could be “sincerely” walking on eggshells to come back to me? I don’t know.

            Maybe I’ll end up like Felk, try to keep the friendship? Unlikely but I don’t know.

          • lara

            TTSP, Your words below have made me and many of us think and respond. Did we know we were pursuing married people? If so, why didn’t we stop?
            You say:
            “I don’t think any of us pursued an unavailable person. We were two people that were attracted and unfortunately acted.”
            I really like what Sophie says below as I feels many of our adult actions can be explained by patterns that formed in early childhood that we might not even be aware of. She says:
            “I strongly feel it emerges from your childhood days and you have to, in order to heal, tap into the subconscious and go back to your childhood days, truly understand yourself better and forgive yourself for when you were a child.” I agree.
            In therapy I have learned I was triangulated by my mom and dad almost from birth and for complex reasons. The reasons don’t even matter anymore. What matters is how I developed in this situation and how it has played out in my adult life.

            As a result of my childhood, it is absolutely true that I feel “normal” in triangles. Affairs are triangles of course. But triangles are not good for me at all. They are not good for many/most people. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fixing-families/201106/the-relationship-triangle

            In my love affair with my ex MM I felt on some unconscious level (I was not even aware of) that my exMM was behaving just like my dad did with his wife (my Mom). With me smack in the middle in both cases. Long story. So me being the recipient of my exMM’s anger and pain about his W felt totally “normal” to me. So did being my exMM’s “confidante”. I ALSO FELT VERY SPECIAL being in that role and I felt like my Dad “chose” me over his wife (my Mom) at times. Same with my exMM. It was all very inappropriate of course. And it made me secretly competitive with my mother (who was a narc). And with the W of my exMM. Again, long story.

            So when I met my exMM I knew he was married but it was not the red flag it should have been. My exMM had his own emotional dynamics that led him to me and to having an affair. But for me, I thought I could really help my exMM by being in his life. It did not occur to me in the beginning that his problems with his W were none of my concern or struggle. That was a huge boundary cross. And not a healthy one. But, it just felt very familiar and I saw my role as being the supportive and understand one, the person in the situation that could listen to all his woes and not have a need to articulate my needs and wants in the situation. Or complain It was all very “familiar” (family-like) and felt quite safe for a while..

            SO I believe the “unavailable person” is just a kind of “Love Meme” for us and we are off to the races when we meet this person for whatever complex emotional reasons we have in ourselves already. And them to us for reasons too but not the same ones.

            It is not acknowledged by either party in the affair as unhealthy or toxic though. In fact it is often indentified as “soulmate”! That is because it comes in such an appealing/attractive and also “familiar” package. “If you’re willing to do the work to explore your behavior, motivations, and needs, you could find yourself in the near future in a relationship with a man who’s actually worth it. Imagine that!”
            https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/insight-is-2020/201206/why-women-love-lust-after-unavailable-men-traumatic-love

            So like Sophie says in the end these non available partners are gifts really. Because we are led back into ourselves to discover some aspect of ourselves. I believe “NC” is so hard for us because it awakens the pain of unresolved feelings from long ago in our lives in ADDITION to ones for the unavailable partner today. Knowing this, I do not play around with the idea of “friendship”post-affair any longer with my ex. We already tried this many times. Feelings always seem to get hurt in these attempts. It is obvious these attempts stir up long dormant issues about abandonment and rejection and devastation from earlier parts of our lives. How could I be “friends” with this former “Love Meme” of mine and be able to tolerate his need to still be with his wife over me? Even if he does not think she loves him or has ever loved him? And how could he be “friends” with me his “Love Meme” knowing that I must reject him forever? And not encourage him, but discourage him?

            Of course it all depends on one’s definition of “friends”. For me, a true “friend” would not have this kind of emotionally loaded baggage. He/she would have to be more “neutral” for me to feel truly safe to be myself. And a true friendship with my exMM would lead me right back to an emotional triangulation situation. Um, no thanks. Been there done that. Ouch. Lara xo

        • lara

          LL I am smiling so hard about wanting to think “your karma was already served” I hope you don’t mind. It’s just that our human nature amuses me often and how we all try to justify things. I once used my single mom status (and its hardships) to justify my both my affair and then later my drinking but Alas….. life does not work that way ….I had to find out the hard way it does not work :). Hugs Lara xp

          • LIFELESSONS

            Lara
            I just chuckled as I read your comment. I have made up so many things to make myself feel better about what i was involved in. Its so silly but you know no matter what it is not ok to be involved with a married man. Im still laughing at my karma being served years prior to me even meeting my MM..

      • lara

        This Too Shall Pass, I am really am so glad you brought my attention to the book Calling in the One by Katherine Woodward Thomas. You are right that it is so “uplifting, enlightening and good for the soul”! I am listening to the author speak about her book on Youtube and appreciating it very much! Hugs Lara xo

    • lara

      Lifelessons,
      9 days is a huge accomplishment as the beginning is the worst. Brava! Try to Make it ten! Then eleven…etc. But just remember it is One Day At a Time! Get yourself into a routine that feels good to you. Plan your days hourly if that helps. You can check off the days you get some things done. And the days you get nothing done because you feel so bad or so sad cut yourself some slack! It is a slow process. But each day is a victory and you will learn amazing things about yourself and abut others each day. And in the end you can become a stronger and wiser woman for a man who will truly be available to you! And who will be kind and loving right back you to you! Hugs Lara xo

      • LIFELESSONS

        Lara…Day#10 woooohooooo lol! Feeling good about my accomplishment. Today was an ok day. I know there will be days of sadness but I am trying not to focus so much on him and I but just myself. I am going to start going to the gym 3 days a week and I am thinking about being a mentor for a kid. I know i have to keep myself busy but also take care of myself at the same time…

        Thank you Lara for support, this has been a bumy road but im ready for the smooth spots lol
        xoxoxoxoxo right back at ya😉

        • lara

          LifeLessons Way to Go!
          Honestly the beginning. the first 30 days is the absolute worst. After 30 it does get better. Nomad asked me and I wasn’t not sure. Looking bad I realize the first 30 are the very hardest!
          I am nearing 60 days and I have accomplished amazing things in this short time without all the clutter of the exMM and our dysfunctional relationship occupying my head, I know he and I do not hate each other after all this. I would bet he is still very fond of me in fact. Maybe he even loves me. But you know what? How he feels is not my concern any longer. Feelings are not facts. Facts are this: He still lies with his W. end of story. Let her deal with his moods!
          I do not feel any need to relate to each other face to face right now. Maybe I never will again, who knows? But never is a long time. Too big to fathom. I just try to break it down to: I don’t need to see him right now. Or today. And probably not tomorrow. One day at a time. First things first!

          My new accomplishments are in my adult life: my relationships with my sons, co-workers, friends, and with myself! I am starting to think I am really cool. LOL. I am starting to think I have lived through many difficult things and have come out stronger and better! I am starting to see myself having survived many nightmares in life but coming out on TOP! And not bitter and resentful but happy for my experiences and optimistic about my future! This is all new stuff. Lifelessons, amazing stuff happens when you just LET GO! Many hugs to you, Lara xoxo

  • Kev

    Ok this is my 1st night out of the house…..went better than what I expected. My son showed me alot of love and respect was very surprised, wife helped packed items, and girls gave me a kiss ……I feel all type of emotions now….I just left a new beautiful house, i left my kids, and the woman that i spent all if my adult life with…………i m scared, nervous, excited and all thy above….my lover has no clue that I moved out of the house because we haven’t spoke in 18 days and im glad that she dont know i needed to do this on my own…….but im curious on how she is going to react when i tell her………to be honest trying not to think about her as much…really want to take this time to find myself………..i confess I do miss her but I need to focus on me and hope she will be there for me when we come together if not so be it……….

    • LIFELESSONS

      Wow Kev! Way to go…
      I followed your story from the old post. Taking time for yourself is one of the best things you can do. It helps to clear your mind and it helps to create some inner peace. You are a smart guy to approach it from this standpoint! Not involving her, smart. I hope everything works out for you.
      Lifelessons….

    • Nomad

      Hi Kev,
      You’ve gain my respect. I respect you for your courage and the determination to seek clarity. You are doing it for yourself and without letting your lover know about it.

      Hugs!

    • lara

      Kev this sounds sane and strong. Good for you! I also think it is really excellent you will have a little time to yourself. Your family showed great love and kindness in releasing you the way they did. Wow. Keep us posted! hugs Lara

    • Felk

      Kev, I’ll second what everyone else is saying and kudos to you for doing this (without your lover). Kudos to both of you really. Kudos to your lover for having the strength and foresight to know that if you two are going to do this right, you need to do it separately. And kudos to you for trusting her and your relationship. I’m glad that your family reacted well to you moving out, but you know there will likely be hard times ahead. As you say, you’re scared and nervous about leaving something you’ve known for a long time. But, it sounds like you’re doing it for the right reasons – that you can’t give your wife the marriage that she deserves and your heart belongs to someone else. That you will be better for your children if you are happy and that meant leaving your marriage. But, to me, it’s what you say at the very end. You have to focus on you and you can hope your lover is there for you, but “if not so be it.” Exactly. You can’t do it for her. You have to do it for you. Your lover will be there for you, though. My guess is that she’s as desperate to talk to you as you are to talk to her. My guess is that she misses you as much as you miss her. It’s going to be a beautiful reunion with her because you both will know that you really chose each other.

    • Lois

      Hello, everyone. It has been awhile since I last posted. I have occasionally checked the forum to see how everyone is progressing. I was really sad to hear things did not go well for J…it’s hard sometimes when you love someone because often we do not see things clearly and all common sense seems to leave our brains. I have to say kudos on the NC to those of you who work with your MM because that is so hard to do…I have tried many times and it is difficult. I still have not cut off ties with MM in my life. Oddly things have been somewhat better in the sense that I have been more honest about my feelings and it seems to be me who goes MIA on the weekends. Yes, I think about him but I try to respect his family time as well as my own. Him and I had a discussion today. I told him that there are times when I need to step back a bit because I cannot allow my feelings to cross the line to the point that I expect more from him because neither of us are in positions to cross that line. We both agreed that we enjoy being with each other but our kids will always come first before anything else. It’s strange because when I feel myself slipping over that edge…I just have to step back and give it a day or two to suppress those feelings. I will be honest there have been days when it is difficult; but I have decided for right now that I am okay with how things as they are. Felk helped me realize the importance of being true to myself and also to not play games with NC…you have to get to the point that you are done before doing NC otherwise it is only torturing yourself. For me, it was MM who always ended things, so I did not have a choice and had to do what was necessary to get through the hurt and pain. So, NC during these times worked best for me…and just when I was almost to that point of being done…he would somehow suck me back in. I have to be honest and say that I wanted to be sucked back in otherwise I would have gone back. Once again, I was not ready to be done and still not ready; thus, we are still muddling through things. In my heart, I want things to go on indefinitely but my brain knows it’s only a matter of time. As crazy as it sounds, I am just enjoying things while they last but know when it happens that I am going to be mess. So, I do find myself little by little building up a wall but not to the point that I cannot enjoy the times we are together. I just do not dwell on things like I used to…there are times but nothing like it used to be. Some of you may think I am crazy but right now it seems to be working. I know, it is only a matter of time but nothing ventured nothing gained. I do not want to downplay things because it is going to crush me when it happens…but I am hoping that by not allowing myself to fully back that it will not as brutal. Just know, I am thinking of all of you and sure have appreciated the support.

      • Felk

        Hi Lois, Good to hear from you. And good to hear that you’ve gotten to a place of some calm and consistency. I think those are some of the hardest things in an affair. My MM and I had it for a while (as things were getting really good with us several years into the affair), but mostly it was the ups and downs. I always tried to stay grounded and rational in the affair. Tried to keep expectations reasonable. But, of course, we’re human and we want and we get jealous and our emotions take over sometimes. I hope you two can keep talking honestly (my MM did that throughout our affair and we’re trying to continue that as we go through this new territory). And I hope you can keep asking for what you want and being true to yourself. Keep trying not to act out of fear. I think that’s what gets us in the most danger of getting crushed. I think it’s when we start to lose ourselves that we give them the power to crush us. I know it’s easier said than done, but I’m not sure you have to be resigned to the affair crushing you at some point. Of course, I think it’s good to have eyes open and know that things will get harder as the affair continues, but I guess I’m thinking you must have hope you won’t get crushed or else you wouldn’t continue this, right? While you may think the affair will end at some point, don’t we continue because of hope that it won’t? Like, I think there will be more pain ahead with my MM as we figure out this friendship we’re doing, but I also have hope of a lot of happiness with him (and I don’t mean having things back as they were) or else I wouldn’t continue this. I don’t think it’s naive to hope. I just don’t know how you continue the affair if you expect to get crushed (as you said a few times). Maybe it’s that we understand we might get crushed (and accept that), but hope that we can avoid that?

      • LIFELESSONS

        Lois,

        Welcome back! NC is hard as hell…I cannot believe I am on Day 11. I honestly think part of being successful with NC is really having the mindset that you are DONE, being fed up with the crap he does or says. Also, for me MM is just as stubborn as I am therefore he will not reach out to me…so i am not enticed to