How to Break Your Addiction to a Toxic Relationship   Recently updated !

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. 


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961 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
    to continue your conversations.


  • 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,

  • 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 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


      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.
        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 🙂

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


  • 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,

    • 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 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,

    • 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,

    • 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

      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.

    • 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………


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

    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.

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