How to Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself After He Leaves


Feeling sorry for yourself when a relationship ends – especially after your boyfriend or husband leaves you – is a normal response. But who wants to struggle with self-pity for months or even years after a breakup? Certainly not you! These ideas on how to stop feeling sorry for yourself will help you pick up the pieces of your heart.

I know it’s not as easy as simply getting over the one who got away, moving on, starting over. The feelings of heartbreak and abandonment after someone breaks up with you are deep. Being left by someone you love triggers past memories of rejection and loss.

We need each other. We need to love and be loved, to be in relationship with one another. When we’re rejected, we’re cut to the core. A breakup is an incredibly painful experience, and it needs to be grieved like any loss of a relationship. So, when you feel sorry for yourself after being left by a man — even if you agree that the relationship is over — go easy on yourself. Give yourself the kindness and gentleness you’d expect from a nurturing mom or loving best friend.









Take time to scroll through the reader comments on my articles. Often you’ll find consolation and comfort, such as in this article:

“I am so sorry you are going through this,” says Hannah on 7 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Through the Divorce Process. “I know how you feel and how it hurts! The same thing happened to me, and I felt sorry for myself for a long time. Please keep praying. God is with you, believe me. He will help you through. It seems at the moment that the pain will win, but you will come through this! You are not alone. You are valuable and a beautiful woman who will find love again one day. Your husband is the one who lost everything, not you. Stay strong, and reach out to people who love you.”

After a Breakup — How to Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself

I started my first diary when I was 10 years old, and I still have it today. I have no family photo albums, heirlooms, boxes of childhood stuff — nothing but a stack of dairies from my childhood.  I was in foster homes a lot growing up, and my mom often walked away from apartments without taking anything with her. As a result, I have nothing from my childhood.

Not having any tangible memories from the past isn’t a big deal to me, because I had a painful childhood. Not much I want to remember about that! It took me a long time to learn how to stop feeling sorry for myself because of the pain I suffered…but then I realized something. Getting over feelings of self-pity is all about your expectations.

Think about what you expected from your relationship

How to Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself After He LeavesThink back to when you and your boyfriend first started dating. Or to when you and your husband said your wedding vows! What did you expect from your relationship with him? Maybe you thought you’d be together forever — especially as a married couple.

Or, maybe you thought you’d be the one to break up with him because you always knew the truth about your relationship. Maybe you feel sorry for yourself because he had the strength to break up with you, and you couldn’t do it.

What was the biggest surprise about your breakup? How did it go against all your expectations? Thinking about this can help you stop feeling sorry for yourself. It gives you something to hold on to, to move towards.

Ask yourself if you were ignoring the truth

Sometimes we know something is true — a relationship isn’t working out, a boyfriend isn’t being honest, a marriage is dull and lifeless — but we refuse to admit it. We don’t want to face the truth, because the truth hurts. And when we’re forced to face the truth, we feel sorry for ourselves. We’re consumed with self-pity and even self-loathing, because we know better. We know better.

What were you ignoring about your relationship? Was the breakup a true surprise, or did you see it coming? How can this help you stop feeling sorry for yourself, now that he’s gone?

Grow forward with wisdom

Back to my experience with a bad childhood: I didn’t expect to be raised in a normal, healthy, happy two-parent home because I was too young to expect anything from life.



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But as an adult, I thought everybody else in the world had normal, healthy, happy two-parent homes. I thought everyone else had good childhoods and wonderful memories of family vacations (like you see on Facebook a million times every second). So, I felt sorry for myself because my expectations were wrong.

Now, I know better. I know my expectations of my mom and my childhood weren’t realistic. I also know my expectations of other people’s healthy, happy two-parent homes also aren’t realistic. Other people are dealing with relationship breakdowns, separations, divorces, family estrangements, betrayals — even if they look normal, happy, and healthy on the outside.

Now that my expectations are realistic, I’ve grown into a new sense of wisdom and acceptance. I’m healthy and prepared for anything life has to offer. I have a strong relationship with Jesus, and know He’s guiding my life. I learned how to stop feeling sorry for myself by letting go of my expectations for my life and accepting whatever comes next.

What were your expectations of this relationship? Were they realistic, or were you letting your hopes and dreams take over?

Take time to examine what your expectations were. This will help you stop feeling sorry for yourself, and start growing forward into a new season of life. If you feel stuck in the past, read How to Let Go of Someone You Love.

xo





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How to Let Go of Someone You Love - Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart After a Breakup. Do you feel like you'll never get over your broken heart? This ebook - available immediately - will help you heal. It's time to let go of what was, and embrace what will be.





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When You Miss Him Like Crazy - 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup! You miss him desperately right now, but you won't always feel this way. This warm, comforting ebook will give you the tools, encouragement and strength you need to move through the pain and start blossoming - today!








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581 thoughts on “How to Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself After He Leaves

  • J

    Hello ladies. How is everyone doing? Felk, did you speak with mm about your feelings? Did you discuss having additional communication if you become intimate again? How are you Lois? Sorry you’ve had to go through all this. How are you BAF? And life lessons, it does seem like your mm is acting a little dif from your past posts.
    I’ve been well. Mm is living in his own apartment. He’s been out of his house for 5 months, staying with a friend for 2 of those months, his own apartment for 3. He is in a 6 month rental property right now. He seems very serious this time about moving forward with me. I do of course still have some doubts, who wouldn’t with all his ups and downs. He hasn’t filed for divorce yet though, claims he’s doing that after the new year. I’ve made it clear that I’m not doing anything on my end until that happens. He’s still in constant contact with his W. She calls daily, if he doesn’t answer she calls again and again until he does. I’ve heard some of the conversations, and she’s just chatting like everything is normal, which seems odd to me. He still goes to their house to help her from time to time. For ex, recently to show her how to use a wet vac. It’s strange to me and I do wonder if he can ever fully be with me since he’s stlll do connected to her. He says that when she knows he’s with me, he will stop so much communication. I guess it’s hard to trust him sometimes after so much has happened. But I’m trying very hard. With all the time that has passed, I’m seeing things from the last year differently. I feel like I’m going through PTSD. I feel he betrayed me so many times by his promises to me, but then going back and describing the intimate details with her. Part of me wishes I walked away forever. But I know we really do love each other so much and truly are best friends. I’m understanding that he was conflicted and trying to make his marriage work. I do get most of his motivation. Most of our time together has now been joyful and loving. Once in awhile my doubts creep in if something triggers a bad memory. I just wonder if I’ll ever truly trust him.

    • Felk

      Hi J, good to get an update from you. My MM and I have done some talking about my feelings/communication were we to have sex again, but it’s been about a month since that conversation so I’m hoping for another one. He’s coming over to my house this week so hopefully we can talk more. Usually, time at my house is good talk time. Other than that, things have been pretty typical for us. We try to spend time together when we can. He continues to show that he is interested in us (even did some initiating of plans/emails last week, which is VERY rare for him). But, I still feel that things are more distant than I’d like them to be. So, like I said, the usual. 🙂

      It sounds like your MM is sticking to his plan to be done with his marriage. Having his own place is a good sign, of course. I can understand, though, why you wouldn’t trust entirely (or tell your H) until he files for divorce. He has betrayed you a lot and put you through a lot so I understand why you’re reluctant to trust. I know that I feel that a bit in my situation, too. I feel reluctant to express my feelings because the ups and downs are hard, but reluctance to express can also prevent good communication so I’m trying.

      I also can understand your continued skepticism about his relationship with his W. That has always been the sorest spot for you, and I know it must still be hard knowing that he is talking to her often and still going to the house to help once in a while. I really don’t know if it’s simply kindness/guilt making him do that or if he is having trouble letting go. It does seem odd that she chats with him like everything’s normal. Has he told her that he wants a divorce? Has he said those words? Maybe the words he’s saying to her are giving her hope that he’ll come back? Or maybe she just simply can’t let go and is in denial about it all, hoping that if she keeps in contact, he will come back? It’s hard to know, but it sounds like you’re taking it slowly and setting good boundaries for yourself with regard to what you need from him first before you can act on your end.

      Continued good luck to you in your situation. I know it has been very hard, but it sounds like it might almost be to a place where you can have a real relationship with him. That is not something that most of us on here can say.

  • Felk

    Ladies, maybe you saw it in my post to Lois, but I’m feeling a little frustrated today. Maybe this is just the nature of the beast, but I’m feeling feelings of missing him after the Thanksgiving break and frustration about not being able to close that gap that I feel. Okay, I’m also feeling rejected after I invited him to my house Friday and he said he was not able to come. Here’s the story… I sent my MM e-mail Sunday afternoon (as is common heading into the week) asking if he had any time available for some drinks this week. He responded the next morning saying that he was available Friday afternoon. My husband is out of town on Friday, so I responded last night letting my MM know my house was available Friday if we wanted to have a drink there. He wrote back last night saying that he needed to stay close to work/home Friday afternoon, for a delivery that might be coming to the house, and because I live a 1/2 hour away, it would be better to just get drinks near work. (He also offered next week for drinking if I didn’t like the uncertainty of him potentially having to leave for the delivery.)

    So, first, it was just the rejection of that. Now, rationally, I know that it is perfectly reasonable for him not to be able to come over. I got in my head a little, thinking he’d be available to come over because he was available for drinks, but it doesn’t mean he’s available to drive all the way to my house and back to his after. I know that adds an hour of driving that drinks nearby does not. But, I read his e-mail last night, and maybe it was just the rejection, but it kind of sounded cold to me. Not very playful, as we often do. And, as LL and I have talked about, I wish he would have been more disappointed in not being able to come over, but his e-mail response was just matter-of-fact. Like, in my e-mail I asked if he would like to come over to my house? Why can’t he respond and say, “Yes, I would like to, but I can’t.”? Is that too much to ask??? 🙂 I know I’m feeling sensitive because of all the Thanksgiving time away and no communication. I know I’m feeling that I want time together, so I know his email phrasing and, more, the rejection of him not coming over, is hitting me a bit.

    But, I’m also wondering if my MM is frustrated and acting out a bit, too? It took me a while to recognize it over the years, but I finally learned that he gets cold and distant sometimes when he is frustrated that we can’t spend more time together. Of course, I usually took it as him not wanting to be with me, but then I started realizing (and he said) that it was his way of dealing with our time apart. It was still frustrating that he reacted that way, but it helped to understand it. So, I do wonder if he’s feeling that because of those 6 days apart over Thanksgiving. I know he does not like those extended breaks, but I’ll admit that my thoughts go to “Does he not want to be with me? Does he want to end our affair again? Does he not miss me? Does he wish I’d stop asking him for time together?” Yes, I still waste my time with thoughts like that.

    One more piece of “evidence.” I sent him a short email at work today, just something funny about work, and his response seemed cold. I mean, it was funny, but it was making fun of me. Now, he does that a lot. And it’s part of our banter to playfully poke at the other, so maybe that’s all it was, but it felt a little unnecessarily direct to me. I guess also as other “evidence,” I talked to him at work briefly yesterday and he was all smiles and playful. But that was like a 5 minute interaction only.

    So, I’m just trying to figure out if he’s acting cold/frustrated or I’m being oversensitive (because I’m missing him) or both. Maybe he is frustrated and acting out a bit, being a little colder until we can find closeness? (Wouldn’t be the first time.) And I’m not reacting well to his increased coldness because we’ve already had such low communication for a week? Or maybe I’m just being oversensitive because I got my hopes up about Friday and I miss him?

    You know I’m handling it, and trying to remind myself that I shouldn’t blow this out of proportion. As I said to Lois, the most frustrating part is that I can’t just go to his office today and say something to him about it. I used to be able to do that, in the thick of the affair. If things were bothering either one of us, we’d just talk about it at work or e-mail or chat later, but with such low communication now, we just don’t have those types of conversations as often. Granted, I felt confused plenty when we were in the affair so I guess this is no different! Thanks for listening. I’m trying to be patient, but sometimes I wonder what I’m being patient for.

    • BAF

      Felk you say “Maybe he is frustrated and acting out a bit, being a little colder until we can find closeness?” This is a possibility but it is a remote one I think. I think instead it says something about his way of relating to others and in particular his fairly common “intimacy avoidance” style of communication. Many men I think do this. And maybe many of us women too.
      It sounds to me like your MM is still conflicted about this relationship and his knee jerk reaction is to act “cooler” but not voice his doubts in a way he can clearly say to you. He would do this (sub- or unconsciously) because he knows the words might hurt you and cool you off too. Since part of his conflict is that he still wants “the affair” (to some extent) AND he wants his family and marriage, then he simply responds with a non-verbal coolness. Asking him to “talk” about it might very well be an exercise in futility as our intimacy styles are deeply ingrained within us from childhood. He might “say” something and you might take it as “fact” but be careful as it might just be the answer he thinks you want to hear, not his truest deepest feelings. Don’t we all do this to some extent?

      I know you are very scientific Felk and you look for “evidence”. But humans are exceedingly complex beings and “evidence” of behavior can lead one to the complete wrong conclusion and belie the unspoken reality. If you really want emotional “evidence”, Felk, ask him what kind of dreams he is having while fast asleep lately at night. For that matter keep a journal of your own! Dreams tell us about our desires, and our conflicts all at once and in a nice short-hand style often. They are considered the ultimate true evidence n=by many psychologists. Felk, just remember where human emotions go, 2 plus 2 does NOT often equal 4. We are more complicated that that.
      Many hugs BAF
      xxx000

      • Felk

        BAF, you’re pretty much right. I think we’re saying the same thing, except I’m probably framing it in a way that makes me feel a little better about it, but I entirely know that this is his communication style and that he is an “intimacy avoidance” person. He is like this with his W, and he was/is always clear to me that this is who he is and always has been. He is not a talker (but you know he told me all the things I wanted to hear about how he opens up to me more than anyone else). He prefers to solve his problems on his own and not through talking with others.He will talk (a lot), obviously (as our relationship started with great conversations), but mostly not about his feelings. He will, of course, talk about feelings as he is capable of having relationships, but his preference is to not. (Oh, how many times did he tell me that it made him feel weak to talk about his feelings?) So, when I say that my MM might be frustrated and acting out (with coldness), I think that this is part of how he “deals with” difficult situations. He has been clear in that as well, throughout our affair. He was often colder (during periods of long separation), but got warm quickly when we were able to have time together. I wanted to find closeness in the distance, but he was not able to as well. It wasn’t his style.

        I also do know to be careful to “hear” what people say and not simply what I want to hear. Fortunately, my MM doesn’t pull punches much. Of course, he does. We all do. But, he is pretty honest about his conflict (and his love). I understand that both can exist. And I’m sure I lie to myself at times and hear what I want to hear, but I try to be pretty honest about how he’s feeling in all of this.

        I think you’re also right about the conflict he still experiences between what we’re doing and his marriage. I think you’re right that he holds back some things that might be hurtful (as we all would in a relationship) and because he doesn’t want to drive me away. He also does voice doubts and conflict to me plenty. That is part of the fear and insecurity we have in affairs because we usually know pretty well that it’s not easy for our other.

        Humans are complex, but they do also give evidence. We can look to their words and actions, and we can also simply ask (as TTSP said). Of course, as you say, though, actions often belie feelings, as my distance from my MM quite saliently belies my feelings every day. You know I think you say really good things about affairs and offer a lot of insight and good advice. However, until there’s more research on it, I’m not going to give too much weight to dreams. 🙂 But, thanks. Really. As usual, I appreciate you talking it through and just reiterating what I already know (but I needed to hear again).

        • BAF

          Felk I am smiling at your response about dreams… I know how “scientific” you are but indeed there is a LOT of scientific research on dreams and their relevance to our consciousness. Without all this research the fields of psychotherapy and psychiatry therapy would be severely hampered. Dreams educate and inform ourselves in non verbal ways.

          Example:
          “Emotions during Non-Lucid Problem-Solving Dreams as Evidence of Secondary Consciousness”

          “Emotions dreamers experience in dreams are considered simple experiential awareness and theorized as primary consciousness. The current study investigated emotions as part of a core variable of the problem-solving phenomenon. 979 dreams were analyzed by the method of grounded theory with questions applied through constant comparative analysis to individual instances of dreamers’ problem solving. The 29 dreams yielded represent the core variable with 86 different components of cognitive and psychological processes accompanied by dreamers’ emotional awareness in emotional signaling, stimulating, self-regulating, or action prompting or preventing roles. The critical emotional awareness during efforts to resolve difficult situations alerts dreamers and allows them to shift from being a passive recipient in the mode of primary consciousness with simple awareness of emotions into the active initiatory and participatory mode of secondary consciousness in which dreamers enrich their problem-solving efforts by reflective and intellectual abstract analyses. These mental efforts are considered an adaptive, self-organizing, goal-oriented process. Future isomorphically based prospective investigations of problem-solving dreams could focus on neural correlates of emotional awareness as a critical component of non-lucid dreamers’ capacities to use secondary
          consciousness.”
          Sage Journal

          • Felk

            BAF, I was hoping you’d smile at my dream comments. 🙂 I was smiling as I typed it. I know we think differently on this one. I do not deny the research on dreams that suggest that they can help with some problem solving. I know of research suggesting that dreams are an evolutionarily adaptive response to helping us (safely) practice strategies for dealing with problems in real-life. The abstract you include is consistent with that idea of studying dreams to help with problem-solving and coping mechanisms in real life. However, this doesn’t mean that what a person dreams about can inform us of their state of mind better than their actions in real life. My point is that, while dreams may serve some purpose beyond randomness at times, they aren’t a window to the unconscious the way Freud envisioned. They don’t hold our deep dark wishes, urges, secrets any more than our conscious thoughts do (that we’re well aware of). So… asking my MM about his dreams wouldn’t be any more helpful than just asking him about his conscious thoughts. 🙂

            I find dreams interesting and find it pretty cool when dreams make me feel emotions, but, beyond that, I know my conscious thoughts are a much better indicator of my feelings towards my MM than my dreams could ever be.

          • BAF

            Felk in all honesty I already knew it would be useless arguing this point as your mind is already made up. In psychology and psychiatry have moved very far beyond Freud.
            If you think “I know my conscious thoughts are a much better indicator of my feelings towards my MM than dreams could ever be” that’s fine for you and your situation. But then why would you recommend anyone else here to seek therapy when things are rough with their MM’s? Because therapy always goes beyond conscious thoughts because it is known these thoughts are not everything about what we “know” and that they affected by other factors in the brain such as addiction and earlier life experiences. This is why cognitive therapy only works for some people but fails entirely with others.
            BAF

          • Felk

            BAF, it’s not so much that my mind is made up, but it’s the “evidence” thing again. My mind really is open to change with evidence. I’d like to believe that I am a good scientist (and maybe not the type of scientist you think). Right now, we just don’t have good evidence that dreams provide better insight into a person’s thoughts and feelings (and behaviors) than just asking a person about their thoughts and feelings. I am not saying that dreams are not related to that which we do throughout the day. Of course, they are. It’s just that dreams serve a lot of purposes (and, yes, some is just random firing from areas of the brain), and, given how convoluted dreams can be, it is hard to get meaning from dreams… especially in this way… by asking my MM about his. I’m not saying that dreams can’t be useful as part of therapy. Having people talk about their dreams can be a great way to get people to talk further about important issues, but it’s not necessarily because the dream had some special meaning but rather that the dream is a launching point for talking further about conscious thoughts and feelings. (And sorry if I made it seem like you were getting Freud-y. I should know better that you know that we’ve moved well beyond Freud.)

            I recommend people get therapy because it works (for many people). Not believing that dreams can provide much insight (yet) isn’t inconsistent with thinking that therapy is useful and important. I know that people come to insight and understanding in a lot of ways, and talking about dreams is one way. You’re, of course, right that we have to delve deeper beyond that which is on the surface because we do all sorts of things that have motives that are more tucked away. I’m just saying that, for now, it’s not clear that dreams are the window to this sort of knowledge. Not that dreams can’t be helpful in thinking through things, but I still don’t think there is much science to support that dreams are a window to hidden motivations (any more than conscious exploration of motives can provide).

            But you’re right when you say that we need to do what works best for getting us to insight. I am all for whatever methods people use to get self-understanding. For me, it is all the cognitive stuff, as you know. And, hopefully, it’s talking more to my MM about his cognitions, too!

    • BAF

      Felk you say “Maybe he is frustrated and acting out a bit, being a little colder until we can find closeness?” This is a possibility but it is a remote one I think. I think instead it says something about his way of relating to others and in particular his fairly common “intimacy avoidance” style of communication. Many men I think do this. And maybe many of us women too.
      It sounds to me like your MM is still conflicted about this relationship and his knee jerk reaction is to act “cooler” but not voice his doubts in a way he can clearly say to you. He would do this (sub- or unconsciously) because he knows the words might hurt you and cool you off too. Since part of his conflict is that he still wants “the affair” (to some extent) AND he wants his family and marriage, then he simply responds with a non-verbal coolness. Asking him to “talk” about it might very well be an exercise in futility as our intimacy styles are deeply ingrained within us from childhood. He might “say” something and you might take it as “fact” but be careful as it might just be the answer he thinks you want to hear, not his truest deepest feelings. Don’t we all do this to some extent?

      I know you are very scientific Felk and you look for “evidence”. But humans are exceedingly complex beings and “evidence” of behavior can lead one to the complete wrong conclusion and belie the unspoken reality. If you really want emotional “evidence”, Felk, ask him what kind of dreams he is having while fast asleep lately at night. For that matter keep a journal of your own! Dreams tell us about our desires, and our conflicts all at once and in a nice short-hand style often. They are considered the ultimate true evidence by many psychologists. Felk, just remember where human emotions go, 2 plus 2 does NOT often equal 4. We are more complicated that that.
      Many hugs BAF
      xxx000

  • Lois

    I had been plugging away at my goal of 2 weeks of NC and almost half way with 6 days until my stupidity stepped in. I was reading an article about grief and trying to find healing, etc. This triggered me thinking and wondering how he was doing because I’m too stupid to get it through my head that he’s fine without me. Anyway, the article talked about how people who have lossed loved ones usually will distance themselves to those closest to them, etc. I started thinking and feeling badly that my selfishness of not wanting to be his friend because it hurts too much that he doesn’t want to be with me so I don’t want anymore conta,t. Yeah my conscious got the best of me and thought here is someone that I day that I love but have chosen to remove myself totally in the middle of him hurting so badly. It was my idea of no contact as he was okay with us still talking. I just couldn’t do it because wanted more. Honestly. I don’t know how we could still communicate and both have feelings for each while supposedly he is getting right with God. I thought maybe he would at least text me back after he was done with his job to let me know how he was doing since that’s why I had contacted him. I just feel so foolish for feeling sorry for him and making myself feel badly for being selfish. It’s really bothering me and feel like crying but can’t family would wonder why.. I just can’t believe I let him get to me again. Ugh..really feeling down on myself.

    • Felk

      Lois, try not to beat yourself up too much. Just this morning I saw a headline for an article that was about how we need to practice more self-compassion. How, when we fail, our self-esteem takes a hit and part of the reason is because we’re so hard on ourselves about that failure. Sure, failure is hard, but how we respond to it can make it worse. So… try to give yourself some compassion. This was something that I had to think about a lot as I was going through the worst of my situation. I beat myself up a lot for contacting my MM and for ruminating on thoughts of him when I thought I should be moving on. With the former, I tried to remind myself that it was normal to want to contact him and then I also tried to work harder on not contacting him. I was able to cut out a lot of contact by reminding myself of how painful contacting him usually ended up being for me, as it reminded me of what we couldn’t have. I also tried to be compassionate by recognizing it was normal to be feeling the way I was and how it was going to go on for a long time. That part is the hard part, but recognizing that it takes a long time to move on is part of that self-compassion where you give yourself time and freedom to heal in the way that works for you. I gave myself time to just be sad. Like, days of just sadness and rumination on the whole thing. I didn’t like that I felt that way, but I would just let myself wallow sometimes. Let myself cry (I hope you can find that space). Yes, sure, I was still frustrated months into the break-up that I still wasn’t “over” him, but I think I understood pretty well that it was going to take a while to get back to a place where I felt okay. That took me months. And I still have work to do.

      I also know this conundrum you face about whether or not you’re being a true friend right now. How we can convince ourselves that there’s a good reason to contact the person. It sounds like that’s what you’re doing by telling yourself that a true friend would be able to be there for him platonically. No way. The situation you are in is not a “normal” friendship, so it doesn’t follow normal friendship rules. You have sexual attraction (and addiction) between you, and that is not something that you can just shut off and go to friendship. You all know my situation well. We have not been able to shut off the attraction. So, you really can’t be a friend to your MM right now. Right now, you just want to be back with him. So, it sounds like you are just rationalizing why you should contact him because you desperately want contact with him (just to hear his voice or see his name pop up on your phone) and you’re still hoping *this* time the contact will lead to him wanting you back. I know this quite well. I faced this conundrum many times throughout my affair… where it would have probably been better for me to back off, give space, not contact… yet I did anyway. I convinced myself that it was being true to me and, yes, I even convinced myself a few times that I was playing games if I did not contact him or I wasn’t being a true friend if I pouted and didn’t contact him. Sure, maybe some of those times, yes, it was fine to contact him and be true to me, but MANY times I was just rationalizing that I should contact him because I wanted contact. I was finding a good enough reason to justify contacting him (when I knew it was better not to) so that I could relieve the angst of how hard it was to not be in contact. And it’s still happening to me. Even in this new version of our affair, there are many times I want to quit trying and stop contacting him (because I feel he’s making me do most of the work), but I end up convincing myself that I’m not living up to the friendship and that I’m being petty or weak or something like that. That I’m making a bigger deal out of it than I should. Or that I’m not honoring our agreement (who knows what that means) of less communication now. Or, simply, that, if I want this friendship (whatever it is), I just have to keep trying to make it work. All I know is that I still find a lot of ways to talk myself into putting up with behavior that doesn’t make me feel very good. I am trying to do better with this (and I am), but the pull of the addiction will make us act in self-destructive ways.

      So, as best you can, please continue to do NC as much as you can. You are not betraying any friendship by not “being there” for him. He is not there for you. It goes both ways (and that is what I have to remind myself of in my own situation and how it feels mostly one way). You could not be expected to be there for him without feelings. Not right now anyway. It takes a long time for those feelings to go away. Sure, maybe you could be friends with your MM in a year. But, you need time and space to let that addiction die down, and then, maybe, you can be a friend. As BAF has said, it’s unlikely. As in my situation, how will my MM and I ever be “just friends”? We are more than friends now and it continues to create problems for us. The feelings interfere with any true friendship, and so we hover somewhere between a friendship and an affair and it’s not great. Today, if you can’t tell, I’m feeling particularly frustrated with my situation, and the worst part is that I wish I could go right over to his office and talk about it… but I can’t.

      • Lois

        Honestly, I don’t know what was going through my head except maybe there was genuine concern for him. I do think subconsciously it was a way to be close to him because was missing him. I ended up contacting him today and asking why he didn’t respond and told him it hurt my feelings. We ended up texting for awhile. He said things have been hard on him and misses me a lot more than he should and just doesnt seem to go away. I thanked him because it was nice to know he is struggling too. He responded that he doesn’t like talking about it because it’s easier to suppress his pain. So I questioned if he had these feelings and was in pain then why? He says it’s wrong, intense guilt, causes him to not be a good father and added stress of having to worry abut phone and emails and along with having to lie about his whereabouts. What do say to someone after being told all of that? I told him that i didnt realize how much stress and agony it caused him to be with me. He responded it was both wonderful aND chaotic at the same time. I thanked him for being honest and didn’t want to cause him anymore stress. I’m just at a loss and it’s really hard. I know there’s no other choice but to accept that it is truly over and so is our friendship. I admire you because you are one strong woman. I do wish we could have been like you and your MM. But it is what it is…just have to get through it the best I can. Thanks for your support.

        • Felk

          Lois, given that you ended up contacting your MM a few days later to ask why he didn’t respond, yes, it seems that you contacted him before because you wanted contact and also because you still want to be back together. 🙂 That is clear in you asking him why, if he still has feelings, he ended your relationship. I hope his answers give you some closure, but I know it’s not that simple. I know it is very hard to understand how someone can end it when they have the feelings they say they do. I struggled with this a lot when my MM ended our relationship a year ago. We were SO in love. It was excruciating for both of us. I remember spending time with him about a month after he ended it and I was crying and telling him it didn’t feel right. That it just felt wrong for us to be apart given how much we still enjoyed being together and how miserable it felt apart. But, like your MM, he maintained that it was too hard for him to continue our affair. That he couldn’t balance the two relationships and it was creating too much stress for him. It was all the things your MM said, including feeling like he wasn’t being a good dad if he wasn’t trying to have a better relationship with his W. And, as you say, how do you argue against that? You can’t. If you care about him, you don’t want to talk him out of being there for his W and kids. You don’t want to talk him into a situation that is causing him so much stress. So, as best you can, try to believe your MM. Try to believe that he looks at the situation differently than you do and that, even though he has feelings for you and is struggling in the break-up, the angst and guilt of his marriage/family were more than he could handle. You could handle that part. He couldn’t. It was the same for my MM. Maybe women are wired differently. Maybe you and I are wired differently than our MM. Whatever it is, they felt more guilt for what they were doing to their spouses than we did. They felt more fear of getting caught than we did. I do think it is something about women being taught better how to juggle multiple relationships and emotions from an early age than men. But, whatever it is, there is a difference.

          My situation is not great. It’s mostly okay, and sometimes it’s even pretty good. But it’s not how I’d like it to be. It’s better than it was, and I’m glad he and I are still in some sort of something; but as you can see in my posts this week, I still have periods of anxiety and stress that I don’t want. It’s not the misery of the break-up, but it’s the stress of the affair, just like two or three years ago. I don’t like it. I’ve been feeling so much stronger lately, and I don’t want to slip back into the anxiety I felt this week. I need to be more honest with my MM about how I’m feeling as much of this is still on his terms. I will continue to try to do better. I still find myself hesitant to share my feelings with him, just as in the affair. So many times, I’d hold back negative feelings because I didn’t want to waste what little time we had together on negative things or I didn’t want to burden him with my stuff when I knew he was already feeling his stuff. But, I need to admit it’s too much for me sometimes, and I can’t keep it all in if we’re going to be in a relationship. And, I can’t be scared to scare him away with my feelings. If it leads him to think we should go completely platonic, then so be it. (I talk big, but if I keep saying it, I’ll get closer to doing it.)

      • TTSP

        Felk,
        It sounds like today was not a particularly great day and I’m sorry to hear that. Sometimes bad days can shake us to the core and then a new one arrives and everything has blown over. What behavior are you putting up with that doesn’t make you feel very good? I think wanting a two way street is very reasonable. Recently I’ve felt that with a platonic friend of mine. I’ve been the one to imitate plans for the last six months and I feel like if I didn’t make an effort we wouldn’t visit each other. There is absolutely nothing romantic with us and it bothers me. If he was a guy I liked… oh God I’d be stewing and fussing like crazy inside. I’d have something to say.

        Trust your instinct and your heart. You aren’t being petty or difficult wanting a more 50/50 arrangement. Heck even 60/40 is fine. I’ve had multiple people in my life ask me to reach out more and take the lead in arranging plans. They approached me in a warm, loving manner and I was very open to giving more. Sometimes people are just unaware and your mm may think you prefer initiating. By default he doesn’t have to be proactive because you will drive the plans. People also fall into patterns. I hope this helps.

        • Felk

          TTSP, thanks for your response. It was not a particularly great day. I always find it hard to ask him for time, but I find it particularly vulnerable to ask him to come to my house so I know that some of my sensitivity is simply from the vulnerability of the ask and then his rejection. Rejection is always hard, but asking him to come to my house is difficult (even though the last time he was there, he said he wanted to come over again). That he can’t come to my house tomorrow is completely reasonable, and I just got in my head a little hoping he’d say yes.

          Of course, it’s that and the 6 days of no communication because of Thanksgiving break. I know that whenever we have many days with low or zero communication, I start to feel anxious. It’s not only the withdrawal of missing him, but it’s also the anxiety I start to feel that he has changed his mind about us. I hated that feeling through our affair. As you all know, it’s hard to get really comfortable in an affair and the idea that it could end at any minute (because they can’t do it anymore or because a spouse finds out) is always hovering, even if it’s pretty far in the background. Even when you’re pretty comfortable in the commitment, that doubt is always hovering and then I think we can respond with extra sensitivity at times to “normal” behavior from our MM. I’m trying to be rational and tell myself that I’m overreacting, but the distance is getting to me this time.

          That said, I still do wonder if my MM is acting a little different because of those 6 days apart. During our affair, he’d often get distant/short/cold/frustrated in our time apart. It took me a long time to recognize this and I’d often be confused (and hurt) by his behavior as I tried to figure out why he was acting so strangely. Even when I did “figure out” his pattern, it still would catch me off guard at times or it would simply hurt that he was, once again, getting distant even though things seemed to be generally going well for us. So, we haven’t had much interaction at work this week (of course, he will initiate none). We had a brief exchange in his office Tuesday and it was normal and playful, but very short. I’ve sent him two short work e-mails, too, and I can’t tell if his responses are playful/normal or short/cold. To me, they seem a little “off,” but it could be me as I know I’m sensitive right now in missing him.

          As far as me initiating more than he does, yes, I know that is the pattern we’ve gotten into and he’s even said that when I’ve questioned why he doesn’t initiate more. He’ll say it’s because I’m the one who does that. I get it. I also get that he might think that if I’m not initiating, I’m not available and he might not want to bother me. I also think it’s hard for him to initiate, especially now, because he was the one who ended us and, even though we’re kind of continuing, initiating things with me would be a stronger step towards admitting the affair is not over. Even though the affair is not over, it’s not like he’s said that out loud. Like, right now, we both sit in our offices, next to each other, neither one of us going to the other, and it is sad. I am so very tempted to go over to his office, but I will not. I can’t face any more coldness right now. We will go for drinks tomorrow, though, so I should be able to tell if he’s acting strangely. If he is, I plan to ask him directly. I am past the point of ignoring problems out of fear. If he is struggling with something, I want to know.

          As for the putting up with what’s not making me feel good, it’s his low communication. He hasn’t initiated a text in over two months. That’s rare, even for his low texting in the past. It’s that he says he’s trying to sustain whatever we’re doing now, but if we’re in some sort of affair, the low communication feels a little unfair. It doesn’t even feel like friend-level given that I text more and talk way more to friends than I do him, and he’s right next door. Or it’s that I put a piece of candy (that had a picture on it that has meaning to us) in his mailbox at work about 6 weeks ago and he never acknowledged it. Once in a while, we put cute little things in each other’s mailbox at work, and we always acknowledge it. But he didn’t. I doubt it was intentional and it was just that he forgot (after he ate it), but he forgot. That didn’t feel good. It’s just a lot of these things on my mind this week after the 6 days apart that don’t feel very good. I know I’ve been here before, but I’m trying to do better this time. And this does not feel better.

        • Felk

          TTSP, slight update: So, I know I said in my last post that I was not going to go to his office today. Well, I did. 🙂 Usually, I’m pretty good about not going when I decide I’m not, but as I was getting ready to leave today, it was just feeling silly for me to avoid it because a) I had a form I needed him to sign and b) I didn’t want to avoid out of fear. Both felt like I was not being me. I did not like avoiding the work thing because I was scared to go to his office and face coldness. And, then, in general, I didn’t like that I was avoiding talking to him because I didn’t want to deal with any more rejection. I was a bit nauseated and agitated all day and my perceptions of his distance were affecting me too much. I didn’t sleep well the past two nights, and I didn’t want another night of worrying about his distance. I figured, if something’s up, then I might as well know. So, I went to his office to get that form signed, we talked and joked for a few minutes, he was normal, and I mentioned drinks tomorrow. He said he was still unsure about the delivery to his house, but offered to make drinking plans for next week if I didn’t like the uncertainty for tomorrow. He even pulled up his calendar. He said, “I see we have that work holiday party on Thursday,” and I said, “Yeah, let’s just plan to drink before the party.” And we made some jokes about it, and as I left his office, I realized… “Shoot! Did I just miss an opportunity for time with him twice next week? He was going to offer a different day other than Thursday!” 🙂 It amused me that, in my nervousness, I rushed the plans for next week. Point is… he was normal (and even nice to offer to plan next week if this week didn’t work). I feel better, and I hope we’ll have some time tomorrow, but, if not, I like that we already have plans for next week.

          This week showed me, though, that I do need to be more honest with him about how the low communication gets to me at times. The great irony is that, with the low communication, I don’t have a lot of opportunity to tell him, but I have to make the time (because this is important).

          • TTSP

            Felk,
            Six days of no communication in a romantic relationship (more than friends) would cause anyone separation anxiety, doubts, sadness and despair. I consider myself independent and there’s no way I’d be ok with that even in an affair. My impression as an outsider is that he has his guard up and/or he doesn’t require regular communication with folks in general. He may be a low communicator with everyone. I agree we’re extra sensitive in these relationships but it’s on both sides. Whenever I felt insecure/doubtful about a response (with all exes) I just spoke my mind in a non accusatory way. I’d say something like, “I know this is me being a female but I was kind of longing to hear that you wanted to visit and were disappointed you couldn’t come over. I understand that’s how my mind works but sometimes I need a little validation.” They’d usually come back and say that they were bummed and let down but figured I assumed that it was a given they felt this way and wanted to see me.

            As for the low communication can you tell him how it makes you feel without directing him to change who he is? My ex mm asked me numerous times to reach out more and invite him over. He said it bothered him that he had to do 90% of the planning and messaging. He wanted it to come from me. It doesn’t matter now but my point is why not ask if you can up the frequency of your chats? Can you ask him if he missed you over the holidays? It shows you care and have feelings and that’s ok. Being vulnerable is frightening but once you’ve opened your heart you’re already vulnerable by default. I get why you don’t want to hang around his office too much but do you guys use IM at work? Also, I understand his frustration and possible distance when you’ve spent extended time apart. It hurts to be away from someone you love and you don’t know what to do with that crappy feeling. The only thing you can think is to put up walls and protect yourself. Again, I only know what I read but he seems really guarded. Still, if you’re both actively interacting why not chat over the break? Why doesn’t he say hey how’s it going? It may remind him you’re not together so he keeps his distance.

          • Felk

            TTSP, thanks for your comments. It really does help. Especially when I know I just need to pause and take a breath. Yes, 6 days of NC in any relationship is hard, but I have grown used to it in my post break-up-whatever-we’re-doing. When we were in the full-blown affair, I’m not sure we ever went 6 days with NC. Since the break-up, though, there have been a few stretches of several days of NC, so it’s my new normal. The holiday “breaks” are the most common time for that to happen. Last winter break (which was 3.5 weeks), I think we only emailed 2-3 times. That was ROUGH… and that’s why we likely had sex two weeks after we returned to work!

            Your impression of my MM is right. He has his guard up (always… as do I) and doesn’t need much communication. He has always been that way. You ask why he doesn’t text or email, “hey, how’s it going?” but he has never, ever been that person. Never. And, honestly, I don’t do that either. It isn’t our thing.

            Your questions are good about what I can ask him, and it’s something I think about a lot. I find that this is pretty complicated in an affair and, especially, in our new whatever. He was clear last September that it was overwhelming for him and he couldn’t continue as we were. He has remained clear that the situation we were in before was too much for him to handle (understandably) and he wasn’t able to balance the affair with his marriage. So… if I want a relationship with him now, I have the respect that. I have to recognize that we can’t go back to the way it was or we’ll just rapidly get into badness (for me and him). That means less communication. And that makes it complicated for me to know what I can and can’t ask for. Of course, one could say, “Ask for whatever you want.” But, that’s not realistic. We can’t always have what we want in an affair (if we want to sustain it long-term). So, it’s a negotiation between what you want and what you can realistically have. I want a relationship with him. What we were doing before was too much. So, now it needs to be less. I know that’s the understanding to continue whatever we’re doing. I accept that. He is fair to set boundaries for what he needs. And then, I can agree or not. I want something with him, so I generally agree to less communication, but what does that mean? These are the things that we both don’t know and that we talk out here and there.

            The lower communication mostly works for me. There are pros and cons, but the pros of less anxiety and more freedom have been nice. But, I do know that I need to ask for more at times. Like this past week. The 6 days of NC got to me and I needed to be more honest about it. I should have expressed in e-mail (no, we don’t do IM at work anymore… not since the break-up), but I didn’t. I simply asked for drinking time together (and then at my house), and when he wasn’t able to come over, it just spiraled. I shouldn’t have let it spiral. I should have told him what I was feeling sooner. Eventually, I did. Last night, he emailed saying that he wouldn’t be able to go for drinks today because he’d have to be home for that delivery (and he offered drinking next week). I replied with playfulness and honesty and essentially told him that I was missing him. I didn’t use those words (because that was too vulnerable), but I made it clear. I knew I needed to express it. I knew I had let it go too long, and that, regardless of the low communication, I need to be honest with him that sometimes the communication level is too low. He would be responsive to that honesty (as your exes were). It just makes me scared to be that vulnerable.

            He has not responded to that e-mail from last night yet (and that’s normal for him to take a day or two), but he did send a funny work e-mail tonight. He hasn’t sent email joking about something at work in a while (let alone at 8pm on a Friday night), and so, after he sent that, I knew he was trying to be responsive to me expressing that I was feeling some hard stuff over the last two weeks. Like I said, he is responsive to me expressing feelings, usually in a good way. Why am I so hesitant to express? Yes, sometimes, I guess I feel punished by his responses to me expressing. But it’s also my difficulty in navigating the affair and trying to respect the space he needs; and it’s my own issues of fearing vulnerability. I generally feel like I can handle these things on my own and I don’t need much from him. But, sure, I do need a little.

            I really appreciate your words reminding me to ask for what I need. I need to do that more often. How are you doing lately with your situation?

          • TTSP

            Felk,
            The low communication is a double-edged sword. It keeps you in check but also creates distance. Absence makes the heart grow weary as we all have learned. I suspect your mm is generally down that he can’t have a real relationship with you whereas you’re down that he won’t give 100% to what is possible (an affair). I think that may explain some of his standoffish behavior and why there is dissonance in the air. I found it really challenging to be in sync when time is so limited. I’m not saying it’s impossible but it takes extra effort.

            You’re very thoughtful and wise to respect his boundaries and not attempt to change him. Still, relationships are a delicate balancing act of allowing people to be who they are without compromising who you are and your values. We teach people how to treat us. I find I can take a few paths with slightly different variations on each. I can accept the person and our relationship as it is. That’s the happy path and works if the two of you are on the same page for the most part. I can speak up when upset and ask for a compromise if the person’s actions don’t align with my principles. If they are open to adjusting we move forward. If they are intractable, then I have to decide whether I can live with that person or not. If I decide to accept those terms I can’t harbor resentment or get angry when things don’t go my way. I describe these options as if they’re so straight forward and easy to execute but they give me a solid course of action. I think you’ll decide what you’re willing to live with, what needs to be addressed and what you want to do as a whole with your relationship. You may discover that his low communication causes more pain than the joy he offers in other areas. I measure things in ratios. What is my joy to pain ratio and when the pain outweighs the joy I need to bail. If the joy outweighs the pain you have an obvious answer.

            I’m doing fairly well. I’m not sad about the ending of the affair. I am sad that I couldn’t explore a real relationship with him even if he isn’t the right person for me. He possesses some wonderful qualities and I fell in love with those traits. Still, he’s not the only man in the world I’m attracted to and I can’t ignore the bad. He’s egocentric, obstinate and aloof. That cold, standoffish, silent treatment crap would never be ok with me.

        • BAF

          TTSP
          I am responding to your words from far below:
          “I’m not sure if you or others felt particularly lonely after your mm breakups but it’s acute in me.”
          Answer: Yes it was absolutely acute in me too. Terrible loneliness.
          And, as for running back to his arms I would say that I was the “Queen”! of that behavior for such a long long time until finally I wasn’t. But he also always wanted me back. Until he didn’t and he would devalue and/or “discard” me for awhile.
          Me too: I could never separate my need for romantic love, closeness and bonding with him from the reality which was our “possible relationship” (given that he was married and not able to be actually available in any real sense).
          It is interesting to me that you say “he doesn’t appear to make a good significant other for someone like me.” Ditto in my case.
          Be happy for this! Try to let the red flags whatever they are and let them guide you. Remember this saying: “Man’s rejection/God’s protection”.
          And yes we go ahead and romanticize them anyhow. Of course we do. As for your jealousy of his wife, I was a “Queen” at that too. Then I finally figured out I would never ever want to be in her position, his “wife.”
          Because if I were in her shoes as his wife, I am pretty certain he would search out a “me” (an extra-marital source of fun with “no strings” attached). I am beginning to believe we all have our “intimacy” styles developed in childhood. According to this theory, some people automatically flee secure, on-going, reliable intimate attachments due to their early attachment issues. I believe both my exMM and ME have these issues.

          So I actually preferred “get away from him” time from him on a regular basis. I needed “down time” from him, and time alone and by myself. That is actually how I am wired regardless of how he (or any other lover or husband of mine) is feeling. But I do believe I automatically am drawn to people with a similar make-up. And them to me. This is a painful pattern and reality but I do think I can grow beyond this. Or at least work toward growing beyond this. It has taken me a long time to admit to even myself because I contradict myself all the time by saying I “wanted him” for my own exclusive partner. Actually I was very conflicted about any real attachment to him due to my own early attachment issues. And he has these issues as well. Narcissists (like I have said) are far more fragile and sensitive than I ever realized.

          As for you having a fling just to get him out of your system I am inclined to say DO IT! 🙂
          It might just help. I did that and it did not make my problem go away but it did help when I really come to think about it. New experiences DO help. They are not a magic wand but at least you will get to feel desirable and needed/wanted and who knows? Maybe it could develop into something else!

          This is the stage I am at right now. I am seeing many possibilities for new experiences, platonic and otherwise and I am keeping myself AWARE of these. Mostly when I have tried to separate from my exMM in the past I wanted to “fall asleep” and ignore any other opportunities. But the times I have felt more energetic and more empowered to create a different outcome, I have grown the most and been the happiest looking back over all the years of my “entanglement” with with my exMM. Maybe it will work for you too. I tell myself this daily: “Do not allow yourself to become a victim but rather seize the opportunity to create your new life!” 🙂
          I hope this is helpful.
          Hugs BAF
          xxxooo

          • TTSP

            Thanks BAF. You are more than helpful. You show us that it’s possible to move on and open a new happy chapter in our lives after the utter despair we face. I’m going to get back online and go on dates. Of course I’d gladly go on a date with someone I met in person. Recently, I haven’t been around any new men so dating apps open up other avenues. I find that spending time with other men allows you to open your eyes to all the possibilities. Thanks for your words of encouragement. I’d rather be lonely on my own than lonely in an unhealthy relationship.

            You sound optimistic and hopeful and that is the best thing we can ask for in life 🙂 I’m happy for you to be feeling better after everything you’ve been through this year.

            Now that time has passed I envy his wife less. Do I wish that I had the abundance of time with him in the past? Yes but it’s futile and was outside the realm of possibilities anyway. Also, I want a significant other that has romantic feelings for me over the long haul. Man’s rejection is God’s protection. Amen sister. He’d eventually get bored with me and lose interest like he did with her. I’m not special. I am the example, not the exception.

            Hugs

        • Felk

          TTSP, yeah, I hear what you’re saying about asking for what we want and respecting what the other wants as well. We know that affairs present unique challenges. I feel that double-edged sword you’re talking about with the low communication being good and bad. It keeps feelings in check, and that has been good for us over this last year, but, yes, it increases feelings of distance and that can be hard (when you’re still maintaining feelings). For my MM, he experiences similar hard things with the distance, but he also wanted the distance. He needed it to better balance his marriage and our affair. I didn’t need the distance as much. So, I think the lower communication has helped us both keep feelings in check, and, for him, that was essential to continuing whatever we’re doing. If he needs it, I want to honor that because I want this relationship to continue. Also, he has told me how the distance (now) has made him want me more. How, the more time we spend apart, the stronger he feels a pull to me. I get that, as these last two weeks of very low communication made me feel more desperate for him, but he’s always said that when he is talking about how it wouldn’t work to go full NC because he’d just want me that much more.

          I think you read me and my MM correctly in that it gets him more down that we can’t have a real relationship and I get more down that he won’t try to maximize what we CAN do within the constraints of an affair. But, I get that he is trying. We can make the mistake of holding others to expectations that work for us (but might not work for the other), so I really do try to balance my needs with his, recognizing that both needs can be fair. He was responsive to my e-mail expressing some vulnerability of missing him. He did respond later Friday night as I expected (after that cute work e-mail). His e-mail was warm, substantive, acknowledged that he noticed the extra time apart lately too, and he sent me a song (which is always our way of finding closeness… and something that he’s doing more over these last few months).

          And you are so right in the things you say about how we have to balance each other’s needs and then decide if that can work for us. Most important in that is that I have to be a little more honest about what I need. I’m doing better with that this time around, but I still am holding things in more than I should because I’m trying to be strong/independent and I’m still a little unsure about the boundaries in our new whatever-we’re-doing. So, I need to ask.

          And I know what you mean about the pain/joy ratio. It is much better now than it was last year when he was pulling away and definitely much better than the 6-9 months post break-up. I feel lower joy but MUCH lower pain. I’d like to increase the joy a little without increasing the pain, but that is always the danger.

          That’s really great that you’re not sad about ending the affair. That is a good place to be. And I understand the distinction you’re making between sad that it couldn’t work with your MM, but not sad that you ended something that couldn’t work. Your MM and mine share a lot of the same qualities of being quite wonderful while also being egocentric, cold, and aloof. (But if you asked my H about me, he might describe me the same way!) I knew I could not be happier in a relationship with my MM than my H given those traits, but I do still miss the wonderful parts and it was those wonderful parts that worked part-time for me. I always looked at our situation as an affair and never expected it to be more; my MM started that way but then started to want more. That was unsustainable. Now, I think he is coming around to the idea that it can’t be more, but I think that still presents a challenge to him and, well, I still think he might have some “maybe we’ll be together in the long term” kind of ideas. I think your MM also thought he could do this with you indefinitely. When you are single, though, it is different. I saw your reply to BAF, and I really do hope that you can soon start dating and seeing what other men have to offer. There are not only men out there with the qualities that your MM has, but there are men who are better than your MM. Be patient, be thoughtful, value yourself, and you will find these men.

    • BAF

      Lois you make a couple of statement here that are so typical of a person whose affair was ended by her/his partner for no good reason except GUILT/REMORSE/FEAR of GETTING caught etc. I put those reasons in CAPS as they are huge and good reasons for anyone exiting an affair but to the one on the other end of this decision (who do NOT want to end the affair) this logic can feel brutally cold and brutally unfair.
      So what might this jilted person do?
      Beat her/him self up mercilessly!
      I have no idea why we humans add pain on top of pain but many of us do this exact thing.
      And then of course we feel like HELL.
      And so we have to STOP. I think this is why the statement “Make the choice to let go of negative thoughts” is so powerful to me. Before I started repeating this thought to myself over and over I seemed to be at the mercy of my own self-hatred each time I tried to let go of my exMM for “good”. I experienced such a deluge of negative thoughts from myself aimed at myself each time I wanted to leave my exMM or each time he seemed to want to leave me.
      So I had to use a positive thought technique to try and counter all the negative ones.

      How do I know you are beating yourself up mercilessly?
      You say this: “I’m too stupid to get it through my head that he’s fine without me.”
      WOW You are cruel to yourself! Of course he is not fine without you!
      And: “I started thinking and feeling badly that my selfishness of not wanting to be his friend because it hurts too much that he doesn’t want to be with me so I don’t want anymore contact.”
      WOW That is NOT your selfishness. That is your self preservation and strength!
      You said: “Honestly. I don’t know how we could still communicate and both have feelings for each while supposedly he is getting right with God.”
      You are correct Lois! You can NOT still communicate while you both have feelings and he is getting “right with God.” (And P.S. getting right with God does not mean he has the automatic ability to purge himself of all his desires longings or memories.)

      So please Lois try using a positive mantra for a day and see if it might help? You do have the power to better your thinking about yourself. One day at a time. One thought at a time.
      Hugs
      BAF
      xxxooo

  • Felk

    Ladies, it has been five days of NC between me and my MM. It’s not intentional NC. It’s holiday NC, and it’s pretty common around Thanksgiving and Christmas, even when things were hot and heavy. Years ago, I remember how it would frustrate me how he might go two or three days without much communication across the holidays. It’s funny to look back on that time and think about how much more we communicated then compared to now, and how I was frustrated with NC for two days, considering we are going on day 6 today. It wasn’t like I expected communication, though. I had no intention of contacting him (until today… I will send e-mail to try to set up some time to meet up this week outside of work), and, usually if I don’t initiate contact, he doesn’t initiate contact.

    It’s sad but not too much. I expected it, so that makes it less sad. Also, I know we’ve changed the way we communicate over this last year, so the intensity that would lead to sadness from NC for a few days years ago isn’t there anymore and that means there’s little withdrawal now. Of course, I still feel that combination of missing the good of the intensity and not missing the bad of the intensity. Over this Thanksgiving holiday, I was easily able to enjoy my family across these days and not really think much about him on Thanksgiving. The thoughts creep in here and there (especially as I think about wishing he’d send me a text or email), but not like in the past. In the past, it was thoughts dominated by him and wanting to be with him and being sad that I couldn’t be and not paying attention to conversations with others because my thoughts went to him or we were texting or I was reading an e-mail from him and thinking of what to respond. It was rushing home early from holidays to get on chat to try to talk to him. This year, it was just mostly focusing on what I was doing and just some thoughts in the background about him and wishing we were communicating more.

    Last night, I also spent some time reading through old journal entries of mine, and old e-mails and chats of ours. Over the last year, I have done that very little because it was just too painful to be reminded of what we once were. Well, I’ve re-read journal entries through the year because that helped me put things in perspective and see all the ups and downs through the affair and how often I cried, etc. Helped remind me that the affair wasn’t all roses like we can make it out to be in our head. But, through this last year, I haven’t gone through past chats because I couldn’t read that loveliness and that closeness without feeling terrible after. Last night? I was able to do it. Sure, it is sad at times to remember the closeness I felt chatting online for hours, but I didn’t feel miserable after or any difficulty sleeping or any withdrawal this morning. It is another step of progress for me.

    Today, though, I will send him e-mail. This was my “plan” days ago. This is one of the ways that I handle NC across many days. I make a plan early on about when I’m going to contact him, and that plan helps fill the void for me. It is simply knowing I will contact him (and he will respond) that helps me get through the days of no communication. I am still wondering, though, how this low communication will work for me if we start having sex again? Sure, the communication could increase if we are having sex (and I hope it does), but it might not or it might not increase enough and then I will feel bad about myself and the situation. I know we will talk more about it, but I don’t know if there will be a resolution that works for both of us. Clearly, he prefers this low communication now. I think it makes him feel better about how he’s treating his wife and family, and he can still have a little bit of our affair. I can see the benefits of this low communication, but I’m not sure I will feel the same if we start having sex.

    Thanks for listening, and I hope you all had a good holiday with friends and family or just to relax on your own.

    • TTSP

      Hello,

      I hope you all had a lovely thanksgiving with friends and family. I’m immensely grateful for the loving people in my life and this site for giving us a forum to express ourselves freely. I can’t imagine how I would’ve gotten through this without everyone commenting and of course, the site owner.
      The holidays can definitely bring up a mix of good and not so good emotions. I suppose we can’t appreciate the good without the negative.

      Felk,
      I’m glad to read you treasured your time off and enjoyed the holiday in general. Withdrawals suck and you find yourself obsessively thinking about the other person. I think you’re familiar with that phenomenon. Still, it bears noting that it’s uncomfortable. Your fear around communication seems very reasonable. There’s something about intercourse that alters time and space in a relationship. It radically changes the dynamic of the relationship and your expectations from the other person. Maybe I’m too rigid but there’s kind of an unspoken code of conduct or decorum following intercourse. How would you feel if he didn’t contact you the next day or two days afterward? Personally, I found it revolting and grossly disrespectful. For others they may want something different but it sounds meaningful to you. Is it worth the risk of immense pain that could set you back? If you do go forward with sex will you address your needs and potentially not go through with it if he says he can’t deliver on the communication part?

      • Felk

        TTSP, I am familiar with the obsession linked to the withdrawal. I experienced it so much before and I don’t experience it as much now. It was really bad last Thanksgiving and Christmas when we were fresh off the break-up, but the withdrawal was bad even through the affair when things were good, because I missed him so much during the holidays. Now that the intensity of the affair has declined, the withdrawal is much less and there was no obsessively thinking about him during Thanksgiving. How was it for you? Less obsession?

        As for sex, you know I agree about how it changes the relationship. Even when we add physical touching and kissing, it changes the relationship and I want more. But sex has extra meaning and I will expect more if we have sex. I won’t need what we had in the past because I do see the value of reducing the intensity of before, but I will need more than we have now. As you say, how will I feel if there is NC for two days after sex? Like sh*t. That’s how. I will feel unappreciated and discarded and cheap, and I will worry that he’s panicking and wants to end the relationship because it’s all too much. I went through that SO much early on in the affair and during that last year when he was pulling away. It was miserable. I don’t want that worry again. And, surprisingly, I don’t have it now. I have more trust now in our relationship than I’ve had in a long time. I also feel stronger than I have in a long time (and that includes those 9 months while still in the affair and he was pulling away). I feel less fear, and I feel better able to assert myself and not worry about the consequences. While I still want the affair and will work to make it successful, I now feel better able to ask for what I need and say “yeah, we probably shouldn’t do this” if my needs can’t get met.

        So… assuming our conversations about it go reasonably well (where he is willing to try and he’s not blatantly saying I can’t count on him for any increased closeness after sex), my guess is that we’ll have sex and I’ll see how I feel after. If it’s terrible because he does not respond well, I hope I will not have sex with him again. Look at January. I did not like how that went down with the little communication after and him acting like it was no big deal. Now, sure, we were both in a different mental place 10 months ago, so I don’t think he’ll act like that again. But, if he does, I’m ready to say something to him and to not have sex again if he doesn’t understand my concerns. He’s been at my house three times in the last three months and I was explicit about not having sex. He would have had sex with me a few of those times, but I put on the brakes because of January and how I needed more conversations if we were going to have sex. I hope I can do the same if things don’t go well again, but I’ll admit it’s dangerous to cross sex lines. Having sex can make it very tempting to have sex again and put up with a lot of crap just to get sex. But, he is generally a good guy and doesn’t try to string me along. He tries to treat me well, even if his struggles often lead him to be distant. He will be honest with me about the sex stuff and how he thinks he can handle it (or not). Then it is up to me to decide if I can handle it.

        I’m going to invite him over this week. Not sure if he’ll be able to make it, but if he can come over, I’m hoping to get pretty direct about the sex talk. We had a good talk a few weeks ago, and he knows I want to continue that conversation.

        • TTSP

          Felk,
          I was good for the most part on Thursday and Friday but this weekend was rough. I’m not sure if you or others felt particularly lonely after your mm breakups but it’s acute in me. I guess that’s normal after the ending of a relationship but it’s also something that can send you running back into their arms. I won’t do that but I’m having a hard time separating my need for romantic love, closeness and bonding with him. I associate a romantic partnership with him even though he didn’t give that to me and as far as I can see he doesn’t appear to make a good significant other for someone like me. When I’ve spent extended periods of time with him I saw his ugly side too and no thank you. I’ll leave it at that. I’m losing sight of that and keep romanticizing him in my head feeling jealousy of his wife from afar. Anyhow, how long will it take to disconnect him with anything romantic? I thought about having a fling just to get him out of my system. Don’t they say you have to get under someone to get over someone lol Time has to work it’s magic….

          You have a sensible game plan regarding sex. I hope he can give you the level of communication you want bc you guys seem to have something special. I think it works better for people that are in the same place in their lives. He appears to be patient and forthcoming with you. If you talk he’ll most likely tell you whether he’s comfortable with the terms that you need to feel cozy with that kind of thing. It is very dangerous territory and I’ve learned the hard way that I cannot have sex without a commitment. A commitment can mean different things to different people. For you it could be a commitment to your relationship and trust that he won’t pull away and become distant over anything. Are you pretty happy with things aside from not knowing what will come out of your physical relationship?

          BAF,
          I’m sorry I didn’t reply to your message below. I do think these affairs are analogous to addictions. I know I felt like I was in prison with not being able to live with him or without him. Similarly to alcohol it gave me a high but also brought a lot of pain and shame and misery. He may also be struggling with that addictive nature and people do unreasonable things to get their “fix”. I appreciate and totally respect that theory. It helps to get me through this lonely withdrawal period. I don’t get a clean break due to work but I have to make my own closure and clean break. I know there is a huge light at the end of this tunnel but getting to the other side is brutal. Thanks for your continued support and wisdom you impart on everyone here 🙂 You’re quite remarkable.

          • Felk

            TTSP, I definitely felt lonely after my break-up last year, and I’m married. So, I can only imagine how much harder it is for a single person in feeling lonely. Although my H and I have lost passion in our marriage, we still have a good marriage, so I definitely tried to increase closeness there to make up for the void I was missing with my MM. I couldn’t close that void very much, though, at least not initially. It took a lot of time. So, yes, I felt lonely. Very. I missed my MM and what we had so much. I wanted to reach out to him constantly, but I knew that I couldn’t. Not only because he didn’t want that, but because I knew it would just prolong the pain for me. It was a very hard, slow healing process.

            It’s understandable that you associate romantic love with your MM. You had romantic love with him. But it’s a fantasy relationship that tricks our brain. It is SO reinforcing with the excitement of a forbidden relationship, a relationship with someone who is “someone else’s,” and a relationship where you never know the next time you’re going to be with the person. It’s understandable you miss him still. It’s understandable you are still jealous. It’s understandable that you’re remembering the good times more than the bad… I think our brain does that because we want to be happy. But you know you have to remember the bad, too. You know your MM would not make a good relationship partner, but, more, a real relationship with him isn’t an option. So, how long until you disconnect him from anything romantic? The real answer might be “never” in that you’ll always feel something for him; but to disconnect from him to the point that you’re ready for a new relationship? That’s hard to know. Obviously, I’m not disconnected from my MM, but, for me, the healing took about 9 months to really feel stronger and better. And I’m in a similar situation to you, where I had to see my MM at work. That definitely delays healing. If you’re still considering another job, I think that’s a good idea on the path to disconnecting from your MM.

            As for having a fling… there are pros and cons. It could work. Finding interest in another is one thing that can definitely get me to forget a relationship partner (whether past or current… as my MM has led me to lose interest in my H). A fling, especially with someone who you kind of like, can be particularly good. You get a little connection/closeness and that feels good with the physical stuff. This would definitely be my choice for moving on (if I weren’t married). I would be looking for a relationship, whether casual or serious. Just something to help me move on and put my other in the past. However, it could just make you miss your MM more. Or it could lead you into a bad relationship because you’re desperate to move on. Some people need to be done with a past relationship before they try a new one (even a fling). So, what has worked for you in the past?

            As for my situation, it does feel like a special thing, but that’s part of the problem. 🙂 I worry that closeness with my MM will drive him away because it will make him scared of things getting too intense. That’s what I want to talk about with him. I invited him to my house (still waiting for a reply to my e-mail), so, if he comes over, we’ll probably talk about that a bit. There’s actually so much I want to talk to him about in our situation, but finding the time is the hard part. In the coming weeks, we might have a little more time than usual so I’m hoping we can have some good conversations. Like you, I don’t want sex without commitment. What form that “commitment” takes now doesn’t have to be the same level of intensity as before, but I have to know that my MM wants to be with me for the foreseeable future. I want to feel wanted. I don’t want to feel like an afterthought. That is the hard part in affairs. He did a pretty good job before, but can he now?

            So, yes, aside from feeling a bit unsettled with the physical part, I feel pretty good about our relationship now. I miss him and miss a lot of how we were before, but I don’t miss the anxiety and withdrawal of being apart. We do not have the ups and downs of before, and that’s felt a lot healthier. I guess I’m choosing to trust our relationship now (until he gives me reason not to). He’s shown that he is trying to keep our relationship working, but I may need a little more if we have sex and I’m not sure what he thinks about that. I still do feel more uncertainty than I’d like, but I think that’s the nature of the beast. But you know I’ll keep trying, as long as it seems he is, too.

  • Lois

    Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I too would like to thank all of you for the support. It’s hard being in our situations so having this kind of support is awesome. I think, it’s wonderful how we can be honest and straight forward with each other because often we don’t see things clearly as we were on the affair fog. I can be honest without being judged…it’s a blessing. It’s been 3 days of NC and have 9 more to reach my goal…it’s been tough day as he has been on my mind. I was laying on bed this morning and it occurred to me that it’s been 5 months of turmoil. The first 3 months we were communicating but he was struggling with the loss of his brother etc so put my feelings aside so he could heal. Then 2 months ago was sopposed text issue that his daughter saw and caused problems with wife. It’s been one thing after another but the entire time I have been to give love and support while going through my own problems at work and home. I just couldn’t believe it’s been 5 months of this yet in my heart it feels so fresh. I’m hoping these 2 weeks will help me get on the path of healing because I’m really tired of hurting. I don’t want to lay awake at night thinking of him and don’t want to hurt anymore. Like BAF said, I’m not going to get rid of him totally. So I’m looking forward to the time when I don’t have this heavy hurt in my heart and emptiness. The passion with him is what I miss and is gone in my marriage. However I have no desire to be with another man. I know MM didn’t treat me well but do miss the bantering and just being in his arms. I fell in love with him and had no intention of feelings getting this deep. Now I’m left not knowing how to deal with these feelings. I’m lost as I’ve never been in this kind of situation. So thanks for sharing your stories and giving me the support and advice to help me figure things out. Hugs to all of you.

    • Felk

      Lois, good to hear from you. I know it’s hard in general for you right now, but I think the holidays are particularly hard. Even though we are often surrounded by friends and family, it can be a harsh reminder of who we are not surrounded by. You have been going through this for a while with your MM. A lot of ups and downs, and a lot of hurting and distance from your MM. I know that feeling of being tired of hurting. I would say that out loud to myself sometimes, after the break-up, alone in my house (usually crying about missing him).

      Reading that sentence you wrote about how you have been there for your MM, these last 5 months, to give love and support while you were going through your own hard times, reminded me of how I did that for my MM in those 9 months when he pulled away last year before the break-up. Yes, I think I was there for him. I think I was supportive. I think I was respectful of the distance he needed. But, I think I also was acting out of fear and trying to do everything HE needed so that he wouldn’t leave and that he’d want to stay with me. Of course, some of it is genuine as you truly care for this person, but I know that some of it was me acting out of fear and trying to be the person he needed me to be instead of expressing what I needed (and risking the relationship ending). Trying not to add to his burden while taking it all on myself. I’d imagine your last five months were a mix of that, too… acting honestly out of caring but also acting out of fear and hoping he would want to stay with you. He didn’t treat you well. I think it’s important to be honest about that, and it’s good that you can be. But it doesn’t mean you can’t miss the banter and the affection. That is what I miss most from my MM, too.

      For us MM and MW on here, it is pretty clear that we are looking for an excitement that is missing from our marriages. The new phase of a relationship is always very exciting and fun and our marriages have lost that, even if we love and care about our spouses. Our affairs give us that fun and excitement and it is intoxicating. It’s an addiction that is wonderful when it goes well and brutal when it does not, and, as we all know, in affairs, it often does not go well. You will heal. You will feel better. It will take awhile, but if you are honest with yourself, if you are patient with yourself, if you are committed to being done with your MM, it will happen.

    • LifeLessons

      Lois,

      I just read your post and wanted to say congrats on your 3 days of NC as I am sure that was challenging for you. Do not give in or give up…you can reach your goal. I think you can get this done if you continue to stay focused on yourself. Continue to write here for support, pray to your higher being and know that you are valuable and worth more than what your MM could ever give you. I do not know all of the things you and him have been through but I have read your posts the past few months and it seems he has put you through a lot and he has a lot of drama surrounding him. I know you love him and the healing process can be crucial and timely. I think setting attainable goals for yourself can be helpful…especially if you are able successfully achieve those goals, i think that will help you continue your path of being “free” of the MM. If for some reason you decide to go off your plan, you just try again and again until because you are worth it.

      Best Wishes😘😘

      • lois

        Well. I had gone 6 days of NC until earlier today and contacted MM to see how he was doing. He replied almost immediately and was kind of surprised. I just told that he was on my mind and wanted to check on him. He said was onsite at a company working on setting up a new facility. I replied, sorry, just wanted to check on you. He said should be done about 4:30. I sent something back funny and that was end of our conversation. So, here we go all over again and have to start back to day one…LOL! It is okay…baby steps and have to be proud of the 6 days…let us hope for 7 or maybe 8 the next time. LOL!

  • LifeLessons

    I like what Felk posted below…
    I would like to piggy back off of her. I too, would like to say I am THANKFUL for Laurie, for creating this private site for such sacred and meaningful conversations. I have really benefited from this forum, I am not sure how long or how many different ones we have been writing on together but its been a huge support. I am THANKFUL for all of you beautiful, courageous and sincere ladies for sharing and caring. It is so nice to be able to chat with people who will not be judgemental, people who will listen/read whatever you put here and genuinely offer some sort of advice to assist you in this tough journey. Thank you ladies, for being my support systems and friends from afar. I truly appreciate all of you…I hope everyone is able to enjoy their Holiday and focus on Family/FUN/Friends…

    ❤😘😘

  • lois

    A coworker father passed so forwarded MM the funeral arrangements because she was one of his employees. Anyway, MM and I ended up texting some last night and found out the lady who alleged the discrimination charges and finally resigned…thank goodness…has been running around the community telling people her allegations. Apparently, he had five telephone calls yesterday asking about the situaiton…supposedly but who knows. He told me there about 6 other things going on in his life and stated “life sucks…end of summary”. He said he was struggling with our situation but yesterday was about trying to run damage control from the rumors flying. It does seem he is very overwhelmed but sadly, I am not sure if he is being truthful or wants me to feel sorry for him. I have given myself a two-week no contact to follow and marking each day off of my personal calendar. After this time, I am hoping the urge to contact him will be less and less. I texted him earlier today and of course, no response…which does not surprise because tomorrow is Thanksgiving and most holidays he would go MIA. This time, it is different because I do not have the gut wrenching feeling that was there months ago. I am going to enjoy my family and deal with things one day at time. I know it is easier said than done. Since he did not reply, I sent him an email and told him it was nice texting last night but was not sure if I could handle dealing with my feelings without wanting and more. It was unfair for both of us and could not promise there would not be any contact because it is difficult. However, I am trying and making progress and can promise the contact wil become less and less as time goes by. I explained that if he needed something it was okay to contact me as I understood the holidays would be difficult. I wished him happiness, etc. I do not want to hate him or have bad feelings…just want to wake up one day all of the feelings be gone or totally numb. I am getting there but miss him greatly. I know, we would end up weakening if we continued to communicate but to say no more contact is not possible right now. Like BAF said, there will come a time when there is nothing left to be said and it will no longer bother me until then I am taking baby steps and literally one day at time. I am do remarkablly well, but have been dealing with this for months. There is an emptiness in my life but not sure it is worth going through all of this again. Right now, I do not have a desire to be with anyone else…it’s hard enough to be with my husband who I do care about just not in love with him anymore…that is a total separate issue. Everything I do is for my kids and my two youngest are sophomores in high school and oldest will be leaving next fall for university. My life is changing and trying to use this space to not only gain clarity of my wants and expectations but also to find me again. I do love MM but he is going through some tough struggles. Regardless of his feelings, the truth is that I cannot lose someone who was never really mine to begin with as he belongs to someone else..his wife. It is not easy and some days are worse than others. However, as I told MM, I am a survivor and have been through worse in my life, so I will be okay. Hope you enjoy your family time. I will keep you posted. Please keep me in your prayers as I know it is my only way to break this cycle for good. Thank you…hugs!!!!

    • Felk

      Lois, you know that I know how hard this is. Even though my MM and I are still in some sort of something, I went through that brutal withdrawal when I thought it was all ending. It is a pain that keeps bringing you back to the person to try to just get momentary relief (and in the hope that *this time* your MM will say that he wants you back). But, as I’ve said before, that hope is brutal. Do his struggles give you hope that he will want you back? Please be very careful with that hope and try to recognize that he is in no mental place to come back to you right now. (In other words, even if he came back, he would be a wreck and you’d go through all of this again soon.) I continue to think it’s pretty important for you to go full NC to let your healing begin. So, I think it’s great that you’re setting a two-week NC goal for yourself. And, maybe, after that two weeks, you’ll be able to add more because you’ll realize there is no point in contacting your MM anymore. The more NC you have, the less the urge will be. I know that first hand, and I’m sure others here can attest to that. Even though I still talk to my MM, periods of NC helped me get to the place where I am now. They are horribly painful in the beginning, but they really do get you used to a new normal of NC. My MM and I would not be friends now if we both did not give a lot of space to break (much of) the addiction. The addiction was making my MM a mess. It is making your MM a mess. He cannot be with you while he’s a mess. And, while it’s hard to admit, you don’t want to be with him while you’re a mess, too. A year ago, I couldn’t have admitted that it was best that my MM and I ended as we did. Now? Yes, that was good for us. We were on a crash course towards real badness (end of marriage badness), and, thankfully, he had the strength to put a stop to it (for now). I know it’s really, really hard to see when you’re in it, but it does sound like, deep down, you know you need to break this cycle.

    • BAF

      Dear Lois,
      Your MM sounds so much like my exMM: so much emotional and psychological drama in his life and so much going wrong all at once. And while these men seem to have an inkling that they are partially responsible for their sad and disturbing circumstances, they are also so quick to run from the people in their path who are actually trying to help them. They blame me ‘bad luck’ and ‘others’ and ‘destiny’ for their fates. And they seem to freeze over and never quite take the right actions that will help improve their situations. Instead they moan they “hate their lives”. My ex MM told me the he hated the last 6 years of his life. “Damn thats a lot of time!” is what I thought. “Damn” I thought to myself “Why on earth would I want to be anyone who has hated the last 6 years of his life?”

      My exMM is very quick to MISS the connection between his actions and his life. I am not judging here. I am simply making an observation about this type of MM. And this type of man is very hard to leave. Because he is far needier than he looks on the outside. Mine looks like a proud, alpha male. All tough on the outside, emotionally detached, and always in seeming “control”. But nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact he is really really needy. His self esteem is very low and he needs women (plural) to build him up and keep him up. His outer self is a mask he wears. I have only finally figured this out by detaching from my affair and from him entirely. Now it is easy to see!

      It must be so tempting for you to feel for your MM, to empathize with him, provide support for him, etc. Being an empath and a kind person my exMM could always have me crying tears for him quite easily and he has always known that. Always. He could always count on my loyalty. My discretion. My strength. And a whole lot more.
      I think you are a lot like this too. Kind. Loving. Helpful etc. You are they “type” this man needs.

      Yet how cruel this type of man can be too. Denying responsibility, accountability, they can push us away even as we try to offer a lending hand, an ear, solutions. Instead of thank you’s and being showered with love and affection in return for all our efforts, we feel slapped in the face and abandoned. I got ‘dismissed’ and ‘discarded’ all the time. As soon as things were going well with us, I would get ‘discarded’. In the last fight I had with my exMM over the summer, he even said I was making too many “assumptions” about our “relationship” as if to imply I was making it all up to be more of a love affair than what it was.

      I can laugh now at what a jerk he was but at the time I was devastated. This cruel reality and relationship did me a lot of emotional damage over the years. A lot. And yet I chose it. Me. I was responsible for being in it. I was entirely powerless to stop it as I felt I was so “in love”. I was responsible for staying in a relationship where I was getting hurt all the time. The I realized this: If I chose it, then I can unchoose it too. 🙂

      It took me so so so long to get here at this point. Give yourself time Lois but keep on moving on! Try to keep moving one step at a time AWAT from the MM. Just keep chipping away at this. One day at a time. It is very hard to do. Get a therapist or some outside support if you can. Do whatever it takes for yourself.

      I hope I am wrong but I doubt it as I have been at this so long: You say: “I do not want to hate him or have bad feelings…just want to wake up one day all of the feelings be gone or totally numb.” I honestly in my gut do not think you will ever feel numb. And your feelings will never be “done.” If you are aiming for that moment as your final “exit” point I think you might wait til “forever”.

      21 years in and out of an affair with the same MM has taught me this: I was never nor will I ever be “neutral” nor will I be “numb”. I will never be free of ALL my feelings for him. I will never be free of this man in my hearty entirely. But it doesn’t matter because I can walk away anyhow! I do not have to wait to feel closure. I can just walk away.
      One foot in front of the other foot.
      And now I have developed something very new:
      Love for me too! I feel love for myself and respect for my feelings in ways I never did before.
      I feel I deserve better than a man who can not admit let alone commit. I feel there are FAR better uses of my time. Hell I’d rather talk to my pet than wait for my exMM to treat me right. He never will. It’s a hard reality but I am learning I can live with the discomfort, live with the ambiguity, live with the questions, even live with the low level pain that comes and goes. I do not need all the answers anymore. He will never treat me well. He will always want me back but it will never ever be good. He will never treat me well. I can say NO to temptation. I can walk. I am free to walk.

      This is attainable for you too one day Lois.
      One day at a time, you can really exit the whole mess without the kind of closure that is normal for other (non-affair situations). You really can exit! You can be FREE! Freedom is a state of mind. And damn but I LIKE it.
      Nobody is telling me what to do, what to feel. I love my freedom. I love him being GONE. He was never very nice to me. Just me loving me. Really its enough no matter who else comes and/or goes in my life. I have ME.
      Happy Thanksgiving Lois!
      Happy Thanksgiving to all of you Ladies! May you all enjoy the day in full!
      Brave and Free
      xxxooo

  • Felk

    Ladies, as we near the day of Thanks, just wanted to say that I am thankful for all of you being here through some tough times this past year. That break-up last September was, by far, the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my life (and I hope to never experience anything like that again). Although we have to do a lot of work on our own to heal, hearing your stories, hearing your advice, and simply being able to write here, knowing you all were listening, helped me heal (and continues to help me heal) a lot. Your words have been supportive, encouraging, and challenging. But, most of all, I know your words always come from a good place of trying to help me and others think it all through.

  • LifeLessons

    Felk,
    This is in response to your post from November 15, 2018 at 8:49 pm…

    You asked..Was the talk with your MM good? Bad? Or somewhere in between (like most of these talks go)?

    Not sure if you remember why we were having a talk, considering its been a few weeks lol. If you dont remember, it was in reference to him not coming over when he said he was.

    We talked on a friday, I think it was Nov 2, I started by saying, Can I ask you a question.
    He said, yes..I said, how would you like for me to respond when you say youre coming over and you dont come ?
    He said..it depends on the reason I didnt come, if I didnt come, it was because I really couldnt come over, as a matter of fact, let me ask you a ? do I come over at least 90% of the time when I say I am coming, I said..hmmm most of the time, when you tell me youre coming, you come but every now and again, you dont. I said, you actually keep your word more times than none. He said, so I feel like the few times I dont come, it shouldnt be a “whole book” about it. I said, well I knw for you it may not seem “book” worthy but those are my feelings and im entitled to them, you do not get to tell me I cannot express how I feel when you disappoint me, I have a right to express myself.
    He said, I am not saying that, I understand you being disappointed, I want you to know that if I say I am coming and I do not come, that means, I really couldnt come over. I always want to see you, I love being with you, I know I have the BEST girlfriend in the world, i know this. I just want you to know that and I promise you, I always want to be over there but for you to be upset because I cannot squeeze through your small window of opportunity is like WOW…I said, well Saturday you couldve come over, you chose not to. He said, that is not true I was looking forward to seeing you but she had me waiting with her for 1hr 15min and that messed me up because I hadnt taken a shower or anything, so once I got home I honestly was not going to be any good for you if I had come over, I had been drinking and I was tired, I know what your expectations are when I come over and I want to be able to deliver that, plus you already know I am long winded and by the time I got myself together to get over there it wouldve been time to go get her. I said, well I know you move slow and it does take you an hour to get from your house to mine most times, I do not understand why because you got here in 3 mins one time, he said no I didnt it took me 3 mins to drive to your house but it still took me almost an hour to get myself together and I said, you knw what.. that is true. He said, you know since we are talking about what we dont like, I dont like how you dont call me back. I said, WHAT…He said, yes you always call me at your leisure or you dont call back after you see a missed call from me. I said, you are being petty right now. He said, no I am serious I just dont say anything. I said,ok I dont call you back because you have a WIFE, I try to be “respectful” If I do not call you back its because by the time, I am able to I figure you are already home and I dont want to call.

    He said, and youre probably right but to me it looks like you dont call me back. He said,its not like you call me the next morning or sometime during the day. I said, huh. He said, I know youre working during the day but you get off earlier than I do and I just want you to call me sometimes, If I cant answer I will call you back. I said, hmmm ok! I said, you know this is more challenging as time goes on and feelings start changing. Sometimes, I just feel like I want my own person. He said, listen I am tired of you saying that, if you feel that way then do it.(his tone; aggitated) I did not force you to deal with me, you always saying that and this is not something I just do all the time, its the first time I have ever been in this situation with someoe who is single (tone; guilty, insecure)
    Then he said..I just want you to be happy, I mean that.. I really want you to be happy and if you feel thats what you have to do in order to be happy, its nothing I can do.(tone; sincere) I said, well I wasnt trying to make you mad or anything, I was just telling you its not easy being single and dealing with a MM. He said, I understand and its not easy being the MM either. We talked for a little over an hour. We didnt see each other that weekend…

    …the following weekend I didnt have the kids and its like a silent rule that when I dont have them he typically comes over either that Saturday or Sunday. Well..that Friday we happened to be going to the same restaurant to pick up dinner and we met there, he waited for me to get my food and walked me to my car. I told him to call once he got in his car. He didnt call so I text him and said, hey what happened..he said, as soon as I got in the car my mom called. I text back, o ok. He called me a few mins after that and I didnt answer because I was walking in to my house. He called 2 more times and then text to say he was still out. I text back and said, ok but I am in the house now. Saturay, I text GM babe as I normally do, he replied Maaaaaaan. I said what was that about he didnt answer. He called me that evening and I asked him why did he text me Maaaaaan the night before and he said, I called you 3x and u ignored me, I said I text you back so I didnt ignore you, I told you I was in the house. He said, when I ignore you, dont get mad. I said, whatever, you ignore me when you feel like it so…He said, I do not ignore you!! I said, oh but you do and for you to act like I just ignore you is crazy. I said, one time you called me back to back and I didnt answer, this is your reaction WOW, you act like I do this to you ALL the time. I said, I do not ignore you and he said ok…Well what are you doing ?
    I said, I am getting dressed. he said, where are you going, to the spot down the street ?! I said, no I am going to a sip and paint! He said, oh the one they have at the other place down the road ?! I said, no its about 25-30 away from us. He said, O well go ahead and have a nice time. I said, ok. Sunday morning he called me around 9a and asked what I was doing, I said, I am on my way to pick up a few things from the fresh market. He said, Damn!! Why are you out of the house so early ? I said, remember I told you last Sunday, I get up early on Sundays and go to breakfast by myself, its a thing I do for me. He said, well what the hell, you get up at 5(he was annoyed) he said, I was going to come over there this morning but you aint home. He said, dont get upset about us not seeing each other when you out here, going here, there and everywhere (aggitated and anger was in his tone) I said, what are you talking about ?? He said, youre always so busy with this and busy with that or you over here, over there and every where. I said why are you so mad he said, because I wanted to come over this morning. I said you didnt tell me that. He said but you knew I was coming over before the kids got back. You know thats how it goes. I said, why didnt you say that yesterday when we talked ? He said, I didnt get a chance to because you were going out but its all good, call me when you get back from the store. I said ok!

    He called me that Sunday night and said, Babe I was so mad at you earlier. He said, babe I was MAD. I said, I know but I didnt know you were coming. I said, after we talked that last time, I just figured I would stop assuming that you were coming over every time the kids are gone and I wont be as disapppionted if you cant make it so, I had my own plans and I didnt bother to ask you and when you didnt mention anything, I just figured you couldnt so I didnt press it. He said, I know..I just knew i was getting over there to you this morning but its ok, Ive calmed down. I said good I am happy youre not mad at me anymore and we both let out a little laugh…
    This past weekend, him and I were together Saturday for a little bit. We took a short drive, talked, grabbed a bite to eat, listened to music…he looked over at me and said, you really are my girlfriend..like forreal my girlfriend. I said, huh and smiled…he drove me back to my house and we said good night. He is showing his emotions more now and not holding back his words. He said, playfully but seriously..
    I deal with her bossing me around and then you do it too. I said, no I dont! he said, Babe…please…yes you absolutely do, you tell me what to do and I do it. He said, I dont know why you dont see that because its true…i said, if you say so….

    My kids will leave this weekend and his bday is also this weekend…I couldnt figure out what to get him so I havent gotten him anything..I dont know if we will see each other so I may have time to get him something before the next time we see each other. I dont even know what you get a MM!!!

    How are you..& MM ??
    The fact that you guys dont have difficutly with self – control is a good thing. Hopefully, once you guys have sex again you will be able to maintain the relationship you have built with one another

    • Felk

      LL, thanks for telling the story. There is just so much that is familiar with conversations that I’ve had with my MM over the years. Especially the part about how I was supposed to assume that he always wanted to be with me, even if he had to cancel or change plans at the last minute. I’ve told you before how I’d been disappointed in the past with him canceling or not being available when I expected, but that I was also disappointed if he didn’t act disappointed. BUT, that’s when he would tell me that I should always assume that he wants to be with me and he simply can’t because of other obligations. I understood, but sometimes you just want to hear it. I think one of the hard things in an affair is that you don’t get the more frequent reminders of a partner’s love and commitment (that you get in a “normal” relationship) so you need those reminders. I know I feel that now with my MM. I know, every few weeks, he’s still telling me he feels the same love for me that he always has and that he still wants a relationship with me, but I also know that when some amount of time goes by, I need to hear it again. And he often says, “Why do you think it would have changed? Why do you think I wouldn’t still feel the same?” and it’s hard to explain to him how, especially now that we don’t talk as often, I need to keep hearing it.

      That sounds like a good conversation with your MM. You both are honest about difficult things. That’s really good. You stand up for what’s important to you and you explain to him your perspective and why you feel the way you do. You are not being unfair. Yes, he may have to cancel plans at times, but you also get to be frustrated and disappointed… especially with how he handled it last time. Also, it’s fair for him to be frustrated that you don’t call him back as often as he’d like. Just as you saw opportunities for him to come over that time he canceled, he sees opportunities for you to call back. He explained why he didn’t really see the same opportunity you did and you explained to him why you don’t call back much. You both have good reasons and it sounds like you both try to really hear the other and be fair. It just good to keep talking and expressing. I know my MM and I had good communication, but I still wish I had expressed more honestly at times. It is something I’m trying to do better this time around.

      Now, as for your MM being mad that you weren’t available that Sunday morning, I’m on your side on this one. 🙂 Like you, I’d been burned in the past by “expecting” my MM and I would have plans a certain day only to find out that he wasn’t available at our “usual” time. So, a few summers ago, on a Monday afternoon in June, he’d told me that he’d set aside time for me every Monday afternoon. Come the following Sunday, I’m wondering if he’s coming over the next day. Now, I know he told me the previous week, we’d see each other every Monday, but I’d had him change plans enough to know not to expect it. So, when he didn’t contact me Sunday to confirm, I was confused. I emailed him Monday morning to ask and he confirmed. When he came to my house, I was all, “Why didn’t you say anything to me yesterday about coming over today?” And he’s all, “I told you last week.” It really reminded me of your MM just assuming you have a standing arrangement, even though plans change so often. How nonchalant they are about “but you should assume,” when it’s really not that easy. Why didn’t your MM just say something the night before? It is EXACTLY as you say. You don’t want to assume and be disappointed. That is just smart, and it’s also fair to the situation because his plans DO change at times. It is simply respectful to let another adult with responsibilities know your plans ahead of time. SO many times my MM would make these assumptions, and it often felt disrespectful of my time. When I would ask my MM, “What if I wasn’t available like you assumed?” he would say something about how he’d understand, and then that felt bad because it seemed it wasn’t important enough for him to confirm to make sure I didn’t plan anything else instead. Like, if your MM wanted to see you enough Sunday morning, he should confirm with you to make sure you don’t plan anything else! They don’t get that’s what frustrates us, too. Like, it’s hard enough to make plans and if he’d have confirmed, you’d have been available Sunday morning. Good for you, though, for having other plans and not just sitting around waiting for him. I waited way too much in my affair, and that is something that has changed this time around. I do not wait now. I make my plans, and if I’m not available when MM is, we make different plans.

      It does sound like you two are very in love, and it sounds like you’re both continuing to try to communicate well and make this work. I can understand, though, why you say you want a person of your own; but I can also understand why your MM doesn’t want to hear that. I get that you want to communicate that it is hard for you, but it’s hard for the married person, too.

      As for me and my MM, it’s the same. Things seem to be going fine. Not sure when he’ll come over to my house again. Timing has to be right for both of our schedules, of course. I’m thinking it might happen in a couple of weeks. But, if he comes over, sex will be looming. We haven’t had any more conversations about sex since the one at my house two weeks ago. It seems he wants to have sex and is trying to continue this relationship with me. I’m still not sure, though, how I’ll feel if we have sex and our communication is as low as it is. For example, I checked my texts and he hasn’t initiated a text to me in over two months. He’ll respond to mine (and I only send one or two/week), but he hasn’t initiated in months. That doesn’t feel good. He never used to initiate much, but it was more than zero. Of course, I’m also dealing with the Thanksgiving silence now, too. I talked to him Monday at work, but it will likely be six days of no communication (unless I send something… which I’m not planning on until Sunday).

  • Alyx thompson

    Hello beautiful ladies! Feel free to add me on Facebook. My Facebook name is alyx Renee carpenter. I created a group of strong women like yourselves who desire to start this healing process together. There you will have instant access to support from women in carrying stages of this painful process. Together healing is possible. Can’t wait to see you guys there! Once you add me as a friend I will add you to the group called wonder women. This is an extremely private group where you can say how you feel without friends or family seeing your posts! Xoxo

    Alyx 🙂

  • Lois

    The latest of my saga. I ended up contacting MM after 6 days of NC. I sent him a long email that was truthful about my feelings and agreed with him it was time for us to quit the endless cycle. I explained that I had no bad feelings. We texted back and forth. He explained that he hasn’t been able to deal things and has been struggling. He said the only way he knows to fully heal is to seek gods help and be faithful and obedient. I do understand he’s been through hell these last few weeks. I told him that I understood and never would want to be between him and god. Hoped he would be able to find peace and cared enough to let him go. He thanked me and told me it was killing him up know I was hurting. He has true feelings but should have allowed himself to get that deep. I told him that I loved him which never have done and understood him wanting god to heal his heart because I have asked and prayed for god to heal mine. Guess it was all too much probably the I love you comment because total silence. You know, I’m not sad and not disappointed that I weakened because I was honest and truthful to myself. I did fall in love and had been afraid to say it. I need to heal and part of it is admission…so let’s move on to the next step whatever that is but I’m moving forward to closing this chapter of my life. I’m going to need your support and prayers as I know it’s going to be hard road but I have no other choice. I can’t continue to feel like this. He’s suffering so I hope it is God’s will to heal him. I know he’s used his religion in the past and maybe he is again…not my place to judge.
    I just know he has been through lots these past few months. Hopefully both of us can move on and find peace.

    • BAF

      Lois I am so glad you got some closure! Hurrah!
      Personally, after doing many NC many times over the years with my exMM, I find I know a. bit about it…I know how it feels….I know what it can do….I know what it can not do…..etc.
      I think NC can work only after one feels no more communication is helpful. No more. It is time to close the door.

      NC is almost too hard with all of our missing answers, lingering questions, holes in our heart, etc. right after an affair ends….It takes a bit of time to reach the “NC” moment.
      I find NC works best when it is something for ME. NC gives me total free space in which to live on my own.
      I do it when I have reached the end of my rope with my exMM and there is no where else I want to go.
      NC prevents me from lingering too LONG with my exMM and hanging around waiting and hoping too long for the same ole re-hashed conversations he always wanted to have.
      NC is the also remedy bar none for when one needs to put an immediate STOP to the addictive part of the affair. It is really good for this.
      Of course NC is not very helpful when one plans to STAY in the affair (whether sex is or is not involved.) And it works not well as a manipulation tool.

      So please do no beat yourself up about NC (and breaking NC) until you really feel ready to let go of the relationship.
      I am struck by him telling you: “He explained that he hasn’t been able to deal things and has been struggling. He said the only way he knows to fully heal is to seek gods help and be faithful and obedient.”
      I think the grief he is feeling: for his brother, for his job, for his wife having suspicions about his fidelity is a LOT of grief. I say this as I have been dealing with a LOT fo greed these past months. Grief is a process like no other and we really do not feel like ourselves for a long time after losing people, jobs, marriages, etc. Gried changes us immensely and fundamentally.
      So I DO get this side of his words. And of course, he is turning to his religion for solace (as many of us do) because he feels “obedience” to God is preferable to “disobedience” due to his religion. He feels “obedience” to God might restore his sanity and might restore his happiness. I can hear the guilt loud and clear. I can just imagine how he wants to make his life “right” now. But he also chose to be in more than one affair for reasons he needs to pay attention to, and he needs to understand these too. (Unfortunately his religion will have a heavy influence in his line of questions as well as his own inner voice). Religion often is used by people to answer the hardest questions about our human experience. It is no surprise that people might turn to religion for the ‘big’ answers then.

      Once we are in an affair we are all of us in “taboo-land” “bad-land” “sin-land” etc according to many if not most major world religions. And many cultures as well not only ours. So it’s not hard to understand why your MM might want to “come ‘clean’/ put you the ‘mistress’ aside/ stay obedient to God” etc. It is not hard to understand why he might see the way out of his misery as following the word of God.
      We can not fight these giant spiritual forces and maybe nor should we.
      It is what it is.
      People have a right to their beliefs and to choose their religious affiliations.
      The only important thing for YOU Lois is to try and understand why did YOU chose an affair and whether your reasons are solid enough that you might want to look for another affair partner? Or did you really and truly fall in love with a specific someone and he and only he can provide you with all you might be looking for? Why does this affair matter so much to YOU? What did you truly want out of it? What was missing in your life? etc.

      Once you implement NC you can start to answer such questions. You can journal to your heart’s content.
      Beforehand (before NC) it is almost impossible because our brains are too cluttered by the affair and the addiction it creates.
      SO what I think is this:
      Hang in there Lois! Growth is coming for you no matter what you choose! You will reap rewards from this experience even though it might be excruciating. Just wait and see! I hate to say this old saying because it’s harsh but yeah: what does not kill us makes us stronger!
      Hugs BAF
      xxxooo

      • Felk

        BAF, your words are just so, so good. I hadn’t seen your post when I replied to Lois, and I notice so many repeated themes, although you give additional explanation and advice. You also say really good things about grief and religion. Lois, I hope you can find some solace in this. BAF, you make great points about how much loss Lois’ MM has gone through lately and how that is certainly a part of all of his struggles right now. Now wonder he is trying to simplify his life. Lois, I know it hurts that you’re the one who is getting cut out, but your MM is overwhelmed and is likely feeling out of control. It is no surprise he looks to God to restore some of that control and feel some balance again in his life.

        I think you ask Lois great questions to ask herself. To that, I’d add asking questions about what she compromised about herself to be in the affair? For me, that was a big part of healing. Recognizing that I did not like some of the ways I was acting just to appease my MM and make it easier for him to be in the affair. We have to compromise in affairs, but I compromised myself too much and I didn’t like how pathetic I was at the end. Reminding myself that I let my MM treat me in ways that I should not have accepted helped me realize that my MM and I had gotten to an unhealthy place and that I didn’t want to be in the affair if it meant that I couldn’t be true to myself. Fear took control of me in that last year (because of the addiction and the pain from the withdrawal as he pulled away), and it is an ugly place to be in a relationship. Not that it was easy, but these are the types of reminders that helped me heal (along with a lot of space and time). We often repeat this “space and time” mantra which is true, but, in that, we know we have to do a lot of cognitive and emotional work, too. I found the Mend App helpful, I did a lot of reading about affairs and relationships ending, and I did a lot of talking here. But there was also a lot of self-talk (and journaling) where I had to work through what I was feeling about it all.

    • Felk

      Lois, no doubt each period of NC helps you be done. Six days of NC is a big deal in our situation. I know that during my break-up, that felt like an eternity, but I also know that it is necessary to go through it. It did seem that you had more to say to him, even in your last post here. It seems your biggest struggle has been trying to understand how he could end your relationship or why he won’t continue to try if he’s saying that it’s hurting him so much to end it. But, those two things aren’t mutually exclusive. He could be hurting by ending your relationship AND he could know that he needs to end your relationship to end other hurt that he’s experiencing (feeling guilt about his wife, family, relationship with God).

      I know you are happy that you got to write him a goodbye note. I know that you don’t like to leave things hanging. That has been clear through this. I am the same way. But, at some point, you realize that there is nothing more to say and the only reason you want to keep saying goodbye is that you actually aren’t ready to say goodbye. I hope you can stop waiting for a reply from him. I hope you can stop contacting him hoping he will say the things you want to hear. It is absolute agony waiting for someone who can’t give you the things you want. But it is that agony that keeps you going back. You contact him in hopes of making that pain go away just for a little while and it does, but then it comes roaring back when the contact doesn’t go the way we want it to (just as with him going MIA again). It is the brain addiction, and the only way to calm that down is with distance.

      And I hope you can continue to remind yourself of all the reasons he wasn’t a good partner. You have written the reasons many times here, and I hope you can find some comfort in those words. I know there is little comfort when the reality of the break-up is hitting, but it really will get better slowly over time. The first step, though, is really being rid of your MM.

  • Felk

    Lois, your MM does seem all over the place and to not really know what he wants (except that his actions are leading him away from seeing or contacting you). And that’s a mess of a place for you to be. I think he has nothing but pain and frustration to offer you right now. I do hope you can be done with him and go NC, but it is a hard decision to make. Your reasons for not contacting him are very good. He will not say the things you want to hear him say and that will hurt. And, if you are feeling a little better, contacting him will just set you back in your progress as it makes you wait and hope for a reply, once again. You do still seem to need a lot of space from this man and this situation. You do still seem to be waiting (just a little bit) for him, so I hope you can continue to try to shut that down. NC is the best way.

    Obviously, I don’t know your MM, but from everything you’ve said, he does not seem that he’d make a good H. He seems like someone who made you feel good in an affair, but that is a very different thing. And, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that he’s made you feel good in the affair for a very long time. One of those questions that we’ve all had to ask ourselves about the affair is whether it was the affair partner we really loved or it was the attention and how we felt with this person? If it’s the latter, and it seems it is, you certainly can find that elsewhere. I do not say that lightly. I don’t think it’s easy to go into another affair. I’m just saying, as BAF suggested the other day, that if there’s a void you need to fill in your marriage, you can find someone better than this MM. But, first, you must let this MM go.

    To your last question, no, my MM has not had prior affairs to my knowledge. This seemed an entirely new thing to him when we started, and I know it bothered him that I’d had an affair with a MM (while I was single) before.

  • Lois

    Hello, all! Thanks for you kind words and support as I knew this journey is NOT going to be easy but NECESSARY. I do not know what to think about MM or his feelings anymore except maybe he is just as confused as me or maybe who has been playing me this entire time…do not know. It’s been since last Friday morning that we had any communication which has been great for me. There are times when I want to but cannot bring myself to do it for a few reasons. One, I do not want to be disappointed when he does not respond like I want hi to. Two, I have my feelings hurt that he can text other people (both male and female) asking how they are doing but it is always different with me. Three, I am hurting but nothing like it was and afraid contacting him will cause those feelings to resurface again. Honestly, I am not sure I would reconsider if he would text me and say he made a mistake. I have put his number on spam not because I expect him to contact me it is to keep me from looking to see if he has. I get that his family comes first as it is the same with mine. He told me his feelings were strong from me but he cannot seem to express them because of some twisted PTSD…his words. I am not sure what PTSD he has experienced because he sure did express his feelings to my friend who had the affair with unless that is what did it for him..again who knows. I have feelings for him but have started doubting even my own feelings through all of the chaos. Do any of us really expect these affairs to last forever? It is something that I have thought about…guess it has to end some time for us. The other alternative is for us to leave our spouses and get with with them. In my case and for Felk, this is not an option because not sure for me if he would be the person I would want spend the rest of my life as my MM does some traits that would be difficult to handle on daily basis. Plus, I am not sure the trust would be there after having affair with me and knowing about the one before me. Have any of your MM had prior affairs? Just curious.

    I really do miss me chatting with him especially miss the sex; but even that was not much time spent together. We would be at work after hours and maybe 30 to 40 minutes tops…most of the time maybe 20. It was rush of excitement and some times it felt really nice for him to just hold me. So, yes, I miss those moments but not the constant worry or disappointment. I am hanging touch and looking forward to the day this no longer bothers me…hope it is sooner than later. Take care.

    • TTSP

      Lois,
      Mine said I was the first and only person he has been involved with outside of his marriage. Who knows since we only have their word.

      I agree that these affair relationships are not grounded in trust and we’d always be looking over our shoulders. Also, mine had traits I could not live with on a daily basis. He employed tactics such as stonewalling, belittling feelings, bragging and other emotionally abusive behavior to win an argument.

      I’m going no contact and even on day 2 I feel a weight lifted. Like you said you’re still hurting but nothing like when you were talking. I’ll miss the out of this world sex and chats on the phone but none of that is worth the hell the rest of the relationship puts us through.

      • BAF

        TTSP,
        I had this thought last night. I don’t know if you will find it helpful or not but here goes:
        You were asking why your exMM had been so self-serving after it was clear you had told him you needed a real relationship with someone and that an affair was no longer enough for your needs? Why would he selfishly trying to get you back? Why would he not “get it”? And continue to selfishly pursue?
        I thought about this.
        This is one possible answer I think: What if he is/was too addicted to stop? What if the thought or action of stopping causes him real withdrawals and depression and he can not cope without his “fix”? What if he has no way to cope with the withdrawals?
        I don’t mean to say you should feel sorry for him or take him back. Not at all! Nope.
        I am saying: What if he is actually as addicted to you as you and I have been to alcohol and he wants to do the right thing and he wants to quit you but he CAN’T? Again I do not say this for you to pity him.
        I am stating this as a possible reason he might do what you have described (besides plain ole selfishness?)
        (He maybe belongs in SLAA if my theory is true.).
        (Not back in your arms in any case!)
        This idea came to me as I am an addict myself. As you know we addicts hate pain.
        Yet at the end of any addiction we are out of control and we do things that are painful to others, even those we love most in the world.
        This could be true in sex/love addiction too.

        In my case, as I have stepped entirely away from my affair and my exMM I have realized some wholly new things about him that I could not see before:
        He was/IS an addict type. But of course! (Who else would I have been attracted to for all those years. lol?)
        He has a rather short emotional fuse when it comes to his feelings about love/sex.
        He can not handle emotional pain in these areas well at all.
        He is MUCH more vulnerable and insecure than I ever would have dreamed.
        Yet he is all Mr. Cool/ Mr. Detached and Mr. Unemotional/Aloof on the exterior.
        Cool as a cucumber, and seemingly in “complete control.” HA!
        Hugs BAF
        xxxooo

    • LifeLessons

      Hello Lois,

      First, I just want to say..I am happy you are really focused on moving forward without him. I think its a struggle to committ to the “letting go” of someone you feel you love and had some sort of connection with. I know you can get through it you just have to stay focused on you and making you happy. I know its easier said than done but at some point it will become a habit and priority…

      I dont knw that I thought about how long my affair will go on. Not sure, it will last forever..Although, my grandmother has had an affair with a MM (on/off) since I was a baby and I am 35. They are not having sex but they still spend time together and talk to one another. Not sure how she managed that all these years and shes not embarassed or ashamed of it.

      My MM has had 1 affair outside of him and I. I asked him about this (pre sex) and he was honest. He said it went on for 2 years until her husband found out. He said they went everywhere together, he worked a different job back then which made it possible for him and her to spend a lot of time together. I felt like there were things about me that reminded him of her or that he wanted to recreate what he had with her. He needed to talk to me daily and not necessarily through text. He wanted to hang out a lot and I was so confused because I had never been in a situation like this and I thought when someone had an affair it was just a sexual thing, and they didnt go out in plublic. I thought once we had sex that he would no longer want to go out in public, i figure he may have been dating me to get to the sex and once he got it it would stop but that wasnt the case. We dont go to expensive places or go out weekly but he still enjoys hanging out. He also told me that he loved her and they had a connection (pre sex) He said, he was hurt when it was over and wanted to at least be friends with her. We dont talk about her at all at this point but I am also not asking questions about her. He reassures me that this is not something he does ALL the time he had told that affair happened 6-7 years prior to him and I dealing with one another.

      Anyway…I am sure you will continue to miss your MM and some of the times you guys spent with each other but try to remember you are worthy of so much more than what he was willing to give you. You deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and you dont have to settle for less than that. Continue to write here for support as often as you need to

  • TTSP

    Hi to those who are still posting somewhat regularly. Today was an important day for me. I finally had to say no contact whatsoever 🙂

    While the affair did end, we were still exchanging IMs over work and he was still periodically emailing and calling outside of work hours. He continued to get his hopes up and I continued to develop resentment about him trying to persuade me to get back together. I had enough and finally confronted him about how I needed a very definitive ending as in no personal or friendly anything. I believe this will help me to properly move on and for him to cool his jets.

    I remained calm for the most part but inside I was an inferno of fury. Selfish jerk thinks I should be cool with what little he can offer me. Um, no thanks…I have more self-worth than being someone’s F toy. He’s such a cake eater and if he cared for anyone but himself he would step aside and do right by everyone especially since I’ve said time and time again that I want a real relationship in my life.

    Sorry to vent but I’m so infuriated by his self-serving behavior. Does he view me as only worthy of sex? Eh, who cares. He’s not worthy of my time and attention. God I hope I can repair how broken I am by all of this. I thought I was on the mend and I allowed him to set me back. I’ll consider today a blessing.

    • BAF

      TTSP
      Yes woman You ARE on the mend!! Affair exits have many stages. It’s not all black and white. You are in a whole new place and you just set a totally firm boundary. That is progress!
      It is a huge step to stop all communication! Also your are in an anger stage and that too is healthy and good (for awhile). You feel used by him and pissed off. But rather than acting out in some unhealthy way you set the boundary you needed too set. You confronted him and set a boundary.
      Anger does indeed help us to take radical steps. It fuels us forward. It took courage for you to confront him and state your needs like you did so pat yourself on the back!
      I know he wanted you to stay “cool” with the “little” he offered you. But try to think of it as less as a direct insult to your self esteem and more like his reaction from his own side of the equation. You upset the apple cart by breaking the affair off with him. He got used to some really good stuff with you and he doesn’t want to lose this for a whole bunch of reasons. Yes selfish reasons. Affairs are very selfish for all of us involved.
      It was a big deal for him to have a wife and you on the side (for him). So he loses a lot by losing you. And you are saying the implicitly “scary” thing to him: You want a “real relationship” in your life. Translation (for him) is “She is going to find someone else” By staying in some contact with you he felt he had some control over you. And now he doesn’t. Suck for him. But you are in control!
      And yes you CAN find a real relationship! At a certain point you will start to realize that you developed some real strengths in your affair that can carry over to a new situation. Unique strengths we acquire from going through all the ups and downs of an affair. For myself, I have become much calmer and much more detached from chaos than I used to be. I am much wiser from all the hell I went through with my affair. I feel lighter now without the heavy no-solution burden of the affair on my back all the time like tons of cement blocks weighing me down.
      And without changing anything about myself, I am finding that lately men have been finding me attractive in all kinds of various settings! And I am becoming more open to conversing with them generally. The anger stage has been passing and I am in a new curiosity stage. And I am pretty cam and mellow. I am wondering what or who else might be out there that I like? I am opening to a new day. I can tell by the way the men are responding to me that they like me. Without the emotional burden of the affair I I feel far lighter in spirit and more positive in energy and that is attractive to people in general not only men. It’s a whole new ballgame. Have hope! It will happen to you too! hugs BAF xx00

      • TTSP

        Thanks BAF for the encouraging words of strength. You seem to be healing and reaping a ton of benefits from your growth. Big kudos to you for staying strong and pushing through all the adversity. I’m sure people find us more attractive when we’re carefree, open our hearts to love, close the door on past relationships and genuinely like ourselves. Good for you!

        I thought maybe he’d respect my wishes as one decent human being to the next. I kept thinking if the shoe were on the other foot I would completely understand the other person leaving to find a proper relationship. I also wouldn’t employ manipulative strategies to lure them back in. I continuously come back to toxic situations breed toxic behaviors and this certainly did not bring out the best in me.

        Anger can be a catalyst to propel us forward. I can’t hang onto the anger for too long because we know what happens to people like us with resentments. Thank God I have spirituality and other tools from the program to help keep my side of the street clean.

        Hugs and best wishes

      • Felk

        BAF, that’s pretty great that you’re noticing men notice you and you’re liking it. You really have come so far from last year and even earlier this year. You really do seem to be done with this affair. I don’t know if that’s how you feel, but that’s how it seems to me.

    • LifeLessons

      TTSP,

      Well…good for you for knowing your worth and choosing YOU! Thats a huge deal. I am still involved wth my MM however, I remeber when I ended things for almost 3 months. It was hell, I thought about him, I dreamed of him and I so many times I just missed talking to him. I was not as strong as youre being right now so I allowed myself to get involved with him again. Although, you feel it was a set back, it actually seems more like conformation, you made the right choice in ending things. I am not sure if he viewed you as his F toy but I think men show their affection through sex or feel thats how they show you how they feel about you….however, just as you said you are NO ONE’s F toy and you have more value than that. He can “play” with someone else. I hope you continue to put yourself first and in time, it will get easier…

      • TTSP

        LL,

        Thank you, I am choosing me and it feels like an act of self-love. I didn’t realize you spent 3 months away from your mm. If you were still dreaming about him and missing him than the relationship was not broken and you still have something to learn from each other. I don’t think it means I’m stronger at all. My ex mm pushed me to the point of no return and he had some really unattractive traits that lead me to a place of finality.

        I was hoping for an amicable ending with mutual respect. I accepted and respected his decision to stay in his marriage and he respected my decision to pursue my relationship dreams. When we ended the physical part of the affair he told me that our friendship was really important to him but there was a stipulation attached that he left out of the message.

        How are you doing with the holidays approaching? Are you and your mm doing goodish?

        • LifeLessons

          TTSP,

          I understand you feeling that you did what you had to do therefore it didnt mean you were stronger. However, I find see it as strength because a decision had to be made and you chose the one that put you and your needs first. That takes courage, regardless of how much your back may have been against the wall..many of us in general take our mates back when we know theyre not right for us…
          It wouldve been nice for you guys to have ended on mutual terms and he may have thought he could actually end the physical piece of your relationship not realizing how challenging that was. It was probably easier said than done for him. Therefore, he continued to pursue you in a way that satisfied his needs. I dont know that I believe that meant he viewed you as a F girl but maybe it was just he cant resist you in that way…
          …I am doing ok, I hadnt thought too much about the Holidays in terms of MM. Last year he made sure he contacted me each holiday but, I guess we shall see how I do next week emotionally.

          We are doing “goodish”. We have not had sex in over a month but we have been on “dates” I finally made it to his job and we went out to lunch. He has been inviting me to join him for lunch near his job since he started that job in March 2017. He said he was enjoying it and he didnt want to go back to work but wanted to go where ever I was going. He was upset with me last weekend because I was not home and he wanted to come over but he got over it after a few hours. We were out last night for a little while, we just took a drive to grab a bite to eat and he brought me back home, we sat in the car and talked for a little bit and said good night.

          Chat with you soon..

    • Felk

      TTSP, yep, this is huge. As BAF said, this is such a big step in healing. And, yes, anger can fuel positive action as it seems to be doing in your case. And soon enough, the anger will be gone, too, as you really remove him from your life.

      I doubt that your MM only viewed you as worthy for sex, but I think what you said after is much more important… who cares. We can go over these things again and again and make ourselves completely miserable trying to figure out what it all meant. But, at some point, if the relationship is over, it doesn’t really matter.

      I know you are angry with him for trying to persuade you back into the relationship as you two stayed in contact, but I think you are recognizing that staying in contact wasn’t healthy for you either, even if you weren’t wanting back into the affair. You are recognizing that you “allowed him to set [you] back.” This is why NC is the best. I know it’s not the choice I made (and you know I’m content with my choice), but, as a single woman, you have opportunities for meeting someone else, someone who can treat you well and give themselves fully. NC is the best way to make that happen. For me, it is always eye-on-the-prize and taking the actions necessary to get to that goal. If your goal is a healthy relationship with another, NC with your MM is necessary. And you know we’re here for as much as you need to vent and process it all even through the NC.

      • TTSP

        Felk,
        You were right from the start and I knew it. Sometimes we don’t rip off the entire bandaid but instead pull back on the bandage in pieces until eventually it has to come off. Contact of any kind is counterproductive to healing even if you aren’t engaging in a romantic capacity. It keeps the wound fresh. I’ve never been able to maintain a friendship with exes so why would this be any different.

        I’ve read in literature and websites that the best way to attract someone in your life is to clear out past relationships and have all of those ex files sealed shut. I am going to use my goal for a healthy relationship as motivation and strength to keep a no contact policy in place.

        How are you doing as the holiday season approaches? I asked LL the same question bc that’s when we spend lots of time with family and friends. While I love my friends and family and feel so immensely grateful for them, I was also incredibly saddened last year by the thought of my ex mm spending his time with loved ones. I wanted it to be me.

        Does that bother you or are you occupied with your own home life that you aren’t fazed by your mm? You seem to compartmentalize and not harbor jealousy which shows your confidence. Last year on X-mas day I got a long message from him about all the things he was doing with his fam aka his wife and I spent the morning locked up in my room crying. I thought a part of me died inside and now I can look forward to a trip to my Dad’s without that baggage.

        • Felk

          TTSP, (okay, tried to post this once and accidentally deleted it!)… even when we “know” we should go NC, it’s still really, really hard. Sure, sometimes we have no choice if the other forces NC, but if the other is willing to leave it open, it makes us choose NC or not. Some can rip that band-aid off, but that has never been my style. It’s also that affairs don’t follow the same rules as “normal” relationships so I think that’s also true in the break-ups and why they can linger. I’m glad to hear that you’ve gone NC and you really sound done. It’s the only way to be open to a new relationship. And, you really will feel better over time and your MM will become a distant memory. Time is the hard part, though. It can feel very slow. I know I felt that through the first 6-9 months after the break-up. I kept wondering when I’d feel better, but it really was in that 6-9 months when I started feeling better.

          I like to be friends with my exes. So, I knew I wanted to try that with my MM when he ended the relationship, and I was glad he wanted to try, too. I think we both also felt it made sense since we worked together and it would have been impossible to ignore each other (although we could have gone only-professional-contact). We tried to go the no-physical route, but that has not worked. I’m not surprised. Staying in contact keeps feelings at the forefront as you said. So, we are still in this affair, but it certainly is different. I think we’re both trying to do it differently to keep it less intense to avoid some of the problems of before. We’ll see.

          You know I’m already thinking about the holidays as Thanksgiving approaches. For me, it’s particularly rough because we’re teachers and we have extended breaks around Thanksgiving (five days) and Christmas (three weeks). Each year of the affair, we (him especially) would lament the breaks and the time apart. Not to say that I didn’t think about the time with his family, but I think it particularly bothered him. I honestly think it was one of the things that led to the beginning of our end in January 2017. I think it was yet another “break” that he couldn’t handle the hard feelings. He said as much. As our feelings got more intense, that break “broke” him.

          So, how do I feel? Well, it’s not that I’m unfazed, but it also doesn’t overwhelm me. The best way to say it is that I miss him more during the holidays, but it’s not really jealousy that’s bothering me. Yes, I do think about the time he’s spending with his family and I always worried a little that *this* year the holidays would make him realize he didn’t want to cheat on his W and kids, but it never happened. Yes, sometimes he came back from the holidays a bit distant and it was clear that time with his family (and his thoughts of me with mine) stressed to him what we were doing, but he always came back to me. So, I’d say that I mostly just miss him at those times because the holidays do have a special feeling where you want to be with loved ones and my MM is not there. My thoughts go to him a lot on those days. Even more than usual!

          In previous years, though, we’d stay in touch pretty well over the breaks (emails, texts, chats, time alone together), but last year (post-break-up) we barely talked. It was excruciating. I think we only exchanged email 2-3 times across three weeks (no texts, no chats, no seeing each other) and it was easily the least communication we’d had over all the years of our affair. I remember returning to work in January in agony. I was such a mess not knowing the status of our friendship/whatever, and feeling completely miserable about the prospect of facing him and his rejection. But, it seems he felt the same and missed me as much because we had sex two weeks later! This year? I don’t know. My guess is there will be more communication than last year, but that it will be lower than previous years (since that’s what we’re doing now) and that it will be hard and sad for me. However, it will not be the misery of last year. Thankfully, those feelings are gone. I am stronger and more sure of our relationship now. But, as you know, as long as I’m in the affair, there will be tough times.

          The freedom you describe about going to your dad’s without the baggage is a big deal. That is what I’m slowly feeling over these months, even as we head back into the physical affair. Since we are communicating less now, there is just more freedom to live my life. I can be with my H, my family, friends, without thinking about texting or emailing or chatting my MM. Embarrassingly, I can’t count how often I’d end plans early, rush home, etc. just so I could be online to chat with my MM. How many times I’d get distracted when an e-mail or text would come from him and I was eager to reply. Now? That rarely happens and it feels good. I felt it during the holidays last year, too. The freedom to just enjoy my time with my family without obsessing about my MM. This year, it will be like that, too. I will miss him, but there is a freedom now that I really like.

          • TTSP

            Do you think the ending is what enabled you both to create a more “balanced” relationship with less intensity? Seems like the time apart has also reduced your feelings from the former relationship. Also, you gave each other space and respect during that period of separation. He didn’t push you and you didn’t push him. That’s the only way a friendship can be saved. I didn’t get that treatment, but as you rightfully pointed out, it’s the only way for me to move forward.

            You come across as optimistic about the holidays and the time you’ll spend with your loved ones along with the level of communication you’ll have with him. Sometimes what we think we want (more communication and time together) is actually what makes us feel worse in the long run. It leads to false expectations, higher standards and growing feelings. There can’t be consistent, steady communication and time together in an affair and you’re bound to be disappointed unless you limit your contact and be completely honest with yourself. You are liberated and can enjoy that freedom. I hope wherever your relationship goes you can savor the time together without any headaches.

            Happy Thanksgiving!

          • Felk

            TTSP, everything you say here is right on. Yes, him “ending” our relationship last year is leading to a more balanced relationship. Not only did it lead to the intensity calming down, it led to resetting expectations for communication and time together. It was excruciating (for both of us) to go through that break-up last year (or what I thought was a break-up, but he says it was just meant to lead us to find better balance… I think that’s revisionist history for him to justify why we’re still in the affair, though). But, it really does feel better now.

            Yes, I miss some of that intensity, but there is so much badness that I don’t miss. I don’t want to say it’s easy to have less communication now, but it is easy to remind myself that the lower communication is helping us sustain this in a better way this time. It is exactly what you say about how more communication and time together (that we think we want) just makes us feel worse. It is a hard truth, but it’s true because, in an affair, you can’t communicate and spend as much time together as you want and you end up with so much sadness and anxiety in the times you’re not together (and it’s true for our MM, too). And, as you communicate more and spend more time together (as in the first four years of my affair), your feelings grow, your expectations grow, and then the disappointment is even greater when you can’t be together. Near the end of the fourth year, my MM started talking more and more about the “contrast” he noticed between how he felt for me and our lack of time together (and it caused him pain that he did not deal with well). And year five was the beginning of the end… or not end if you ask him. 🙂

            Now, it feels the level of communication better matches our situation, but it can still be hard because when we do spend time together, all the feelings are pretty intense and there is still a “coming down to reality” period after. We spent two hours getting a drink after work yesterday, and it’s all the easy, playful conversation that we always have. The time flies by and I leave feeling good but wanting more. That is still hard, but it is easier since expectations/standards are different now. But, will that change with sex? And if our communication and expectations increase after sex will we just go back to all the problems of before? Or if our communication doesn’t increase after sex will I feel cheap and crappy after all that intimacy and little communication? I know I could say “then we shouldn’t have sex,” but I believe we will have sex. So, I’m trying to talk to him about that and prepare us, but he likes to be in more denial about what will happen. It is harder for him to admit it will happen as he’d rather believe it is just something spontaneous because of our feelings in the moment. I think that’s easier for him to justify. Problem is, it doesn’t help us prepare. I do expect we’ll talk more about it ahead of time, though. Even if it’s talking about it right before it happens. 🙂

            I’m not exactly optimistic about our communication over the holidays, especially winter break. We’ll see how I feel over Thanksgiving if we go five days with no communication (which I expect). I am more optimistic, though, about enjoying the time with my family. That is a change I’ve noticed since the “break” last September. I definitely am more focused on my time with family during the holidays now (even if I do still miss him at those times).

  • Lois

    Hello everyone. I contacted MM last week to let him know things at work were finally resolved and over. My ex friend basically screwed herself because she didn’t end up getting much money. Anyway, MM and I chatted. He told me that he respected me more than anyone in his life. He thanked me for being me and how special I am too him. We talked about missing each other and the difficulty and struggles in not being together. I asked why we are if he felt that way. He said it worries him that if we did it would be a cycle of end up right back in the same situation. I agreed. So, several days we texted for him to tell me that he just wasn’t able to do it. We agreedo up talk in person to basically say goodbye. I thought we needed to do it the right way. So, he sent me a text saying how badly it sucks. I didn’t reply. This past week I went to a conference and was really bummed out. I had him on my mind. I sent him a text because it upset to find out that he had texted another coworker to see how she was doing. I wanted him to know that I knew he’d…it bothered me. The next day, I sent him a text and thanked him for helping me get to a turning point of finally being done. I told him that I wished him and family well and hoped things got easier. He replied thank you and he was glad that to hear I was doing better because he wasn’t. I replied that he left me no choice and I couldn’t keep feeling this way. I told him that I’d started an email and would finish later and send it. He said he understood. I replied that I had contacted him to make sure of his feelings and pretty much got my answer from his silence. I further stated that if I have to convince someone to be with me that us an issue and not worth my self respect. This was two days ago and haven’t finished the email and not sure that I will aunt his point. I have also decided that we don’t need to gave our talk because it just doesn’t matter anymore. I don’t have bad feelings…just don’t want to have any feelings for him. I’m done. I’ve given it all that I could and it’s not what he wanted. I didn’t have a choice but to let go. Then he wants to say how badly it sucks and struggling with it. Well, if he truly felt that way, why are going through hell…and this is what I asked when he never responded. Hope this makes sense…lots have happened and trying to condense things. Thanks for listening.

    • Felk

      Lois, sounds like you might be pretty close to done with your MM if you’re saying that you don’t need to talk in person. That’s a pretty big sign that you realize it’s over and that you don’t need to hear him say the same things over again. I believe he is telling you the truth when he says that it sucks and he’s struggling, but I also believe he is telling you the truth when he says he’s not able to continue. Those two things are not incompatible. He is struggling because a relationship is ending, but the relationship was causing too much stress/guilt for him and possibly problems at home that you don’t know about. You find the relationship worth the struggles. He does not. And that doesn’t mean he didn’t care about you or enjoy your time together. He clearly did (hence his struggles). He is just rightfully worried that you’d end up back in the same (bad) place again and again. We know that affairs put us in nearly impossible situations and it’s understandable when someone can’t do it. You wanted him to be able to do it, but he couldn’t.

      I do hope this is the end for you, but I know it’s a process and sometimes we slowly “end” instead of ripping off the band-aid. You’ve been going through this process for months now, so I do hope you can now go NC. It is the only way to stop feeling as badly as you are.

    • TTSP

      Hi Lois,
      Endings suck badly and hurt like hell even if you know it’s absolutely the healthiest thing for you to do. He cared and had strong feelings for you but most likely disappeared bc it was just too much and no one wants to feel like their emotions are on a runaway train. Sometimes we don’t have answers and/or some of the answers we have don’t make sense thus no response. I agree no response burns but that might explain some of the why. You seem to be close to done and now you have some closure or the most we get in these affairs. I think he’s right that these relationships end up in in the same bad place over and over and over until someone has enough.

      You start on a major high when you’re together and in frequent contact. Conflict ensues for any number of reasons something can go wrong. One person pulls away and the other feels sh**ty as a result of the distance. Someone get jealous, someone feels low bc plans are cancelled or not initiated often enough. Eventually you separate for a period after the falling out only to find yourself completely missing the person. One of you caves and the other rejoices to resume contact and you start back on the high coming together. I went through this cycle of euphoria, despair and depression followed by longing and missing and then back to euphoria at least 15 times. Wash, rinse and repeat. Talk about the insanity of me repeating the same thing knowing I’d get the same results.

      It just takes time, self-care, space and distance to heal your heart. You’ve got support here.

    • BAF

      Lois this sounds like you are done. Good for you in taking the steps you need to get closure! This is brave and mature on your part. You have hung in there for so long and given your very best to him. You have also been remarkably kind and patient with him. It is not for nothing that he respects you more than anyone else in his life.

      He seems conflicted about ending and sure about it at the same time to me. You plan to meet for “closure” in real life but it seems he can not bring himself to that meeting. He says “it sucks” but then goes silent when you text him. He says he is glad you are “feeling better” but that he is not. This is very confusing and very conflicted sounding. No place for you to hang out in truth. He is all over the place.

      If you can let go and be done then all the better for you. He is not helping you let go so if you have the energy to do it then do it then it looks like the best option for YOU. (I say this from afar, of course). I say this as he is not helping you let him go, however neither is he communicating with you to hang on. It is selfish on his part but maybe his recent events have simply worn him down to this state. Hard to tell. But for you it seems a burden will be lifted when you can let go! In the future who knows? Maybe you find someone else to fill this role (hole). Be as strong and brace as you can be! It is not easy to exit an affair. This I know from experience. Hugs BAF. xx00

  • Felk

    Hi Ladies, Seems like we’re all settling in to a new normal and need (or want) to come to this site less. That’s usually a good thing. It’s usually bad things that bring us here. Today, mine is a mix of good (mostly good) and bad (just a little). My MM came over today, as we’d planned last week. When we planned, he seemed rather eager, but I was clear to tell him that I wanted to talk about the possibility of having sex (not that I wanted to invite him over for sex).

    He was here for two hours today, and it was good conversation. Some touching and kissing, but I stuck to my “no sex” and he did not push (as he never would… because he hates being that obvious). I wanted to talk about having sex, and what has changed for him… why he is willing to have sex now and not for the last year (with the exception of the one time in January)? I asked directly. He was evasive as usual, but he said that he still felt all of the same (in love) things as before and he was more willing now because we were putting ourselves in more intimate situations (coming to my house). Okay, then why are we putting ourselves in more intimate situations now? (He asked.) He said nice things about realizing in the time apart that he was missing something special. But, he barely says it, and it’s clouded by all the other evasive and matter-of-fact things he says about how all the problems of before still exist. And then my brain finds it hard to know what to do. We’re sitting there (me on his lap) and I want so very much to kiss him, but I also don’t want to compromise me and get into the problems of before and if he’s not willing to admit that he wants to have sex (he said, “I do, but it’s complicated”), why would I do this?

    He asked what my thoughts were, and I was very vulnerable and honest about my fears with having sex and how I worry it will be like January when he was physically and emotionally distant after. I told him that it hurt when he came over to my house the week after (in January) and wouldn’t kiss me, and how he made it seem like I made a bigger deal out of it than it was. I told him that I didn’t want to feel that again. I also told him that I wasn’t trying to control his reaction and that he can react any way he wants to us having sex, but that it’s important to me to be honest about how I feel and to trust him to be responsive.

    Today was warm and close and honest. But, he still doesn’t offer me the clarity I need. He is still hesitant and evasive and “this is complicated.” I know it’s complicated. We’ve been doing this for 6 years. He also admits that I handle some aspects of the affair better than he does. Yes, that’s true, too, but it still doesn’t offer me the reassurance I need to have sex with him. He made it clear he wants to come over again. I know that means he wants to have sex at some point. But he also leaves my house without saying anything reassuring that I need to hear. Because that’s how he is (he needs time to think about it all). And I have known that for years. In fairness, he did kiss me very nicely before he left (holding the back of my head as he knows I like) and looking back to me as he descended my front steps (as he almost always does).

    And how much did I want him to text me after he left my house tonight? A lot. But he didn’t. And I know it’s not his style, but it would have helped me feel like this wasn’t simply going to be a repeat of before (or maybe it would have just roped me in to everything as before). But, I would rather we not have sex than for me to feel the pain of before. Of that, I’m sure. So, even if this conversation today is a little uncomfortable and he doesn’t say all the lovely things I want him to say, I am glad I was honest and true to myself, and if we’re going to have sex, he needs to know how I feel.

    I often feel after these conversations that we just need more time to talk, but isn’t that always true in affairs? I know I often feel that I say things the wrong way or don’t say enough and that I could do so much better, but then I remind myself about how complicated this situation is and that I’m doing the best I can in the moment. So, I will plan to talk more, and I am (going to try) not having sex with him until I hear the things I need to hear.

    • BAF

      Felk If anyone here gets an A +++ for patience and willingness to communicate with their affair partner it is YOU. You have been nothing but balanced and willing to communicate for a long time with him. Please do not re-think your words and wonder if they were the correct ones. They were! You have done an admirable job engaging this man in conversations over time and your ‘friendship’ with him seems secure at this point.

      Moving to a direct verbal discussion about sex etc. with an affair partner is another matter however. Particularly with a married male it seems. (I do not want to seem sexist here so it may be married when too but it seems the most of not all married males act in a fairly predictable way when asked direct questions directly about the “sex” and about the “relationship” it seems to me).

      They CLOUD things. They resist the direct answers we are looking for. They seem to float away slightly or detach slightly. They appear to want to hang on/attach AND want to disappear at the same moment. They get a little vague. Is this their “guilt” or is their communications style? Who knows? Both perhaps.

      We women are very nuanced and we can articulate ourselves verbally very well often. Again I do not want to appear sexist here. I am just stating this based on my own experiences with men, being a mother or men, listening to my all my women friends deal with men, and my direct experience working and teaching men.
      I believe many of these men use other ways methods to speak. Words, not so much. Some even feel tongue-tied often.

      IMHO, our willingness as women to talk and be so open and so patient with words (and more) still does not mean a man can or will or is even capable of responding in kind when it comes to the sex in the affair which is the stickiest of all sticky subjects. Nor should he necessarily.

      I think we all have to listen very carefully when these men (or anyone else “non–verbal” ) speaks. Not only to what they say to us but what they do NOT say. We have to listen to the silences or small evasions or other types of nuances carefully. It does not make it any easier for us in the affair. The lack of clarity and direct verbal communication is maddening. And the act of sex or lovemaking is an entire communication of its own, it is a BOOK unto itself.

      It is human and natural we want to know what does it “mean” (verbally)? Where do we stand (with direct words)?
      How does it change our relationship? These are our natural, verbal responses to the complexity of the act itself.

      In an affair really it comes does to is this:
      What types of situations and with whom do we feel comfortable enough with to have such deeply moving, personal intimacies with (on a repeated basis not just ‘one time’)? When and how do we get the reassurances we need from affair partners who can not seem to directly verbally communicate with us? What are our OWN motivations for wanting/ needing/ yearning to be intimate with such a person?

      Alas. The answers are not so easy to reveal! Even to ourselves.

      Many Hugs BAF
      xoxo

      • Felk

        BAF, thanks for the reply. I don’t want to pretend that the patience I’ve shown with my MM was always easy, but it does feel that it’s gotten us to a place where our “friendship” is secure. And I have to give him credit, too. He also has worked to make sure our friendship continued, and he has shown persistence and reassurance when I needed it.

        What I find most interesting are the things you said about our MM having difficulty talking about sex. There is probably something gendered to it as we know that women are raised to talk more about relationships (with men and women). The sentence that struck me the most in what you wrote was, “I believe many of these men use other ways methods to speak. Words, not so much.” For my MM it is music. Of course, he sends less now, but he has always used music to express how he feels to me and, although I’ve appreciated him sharing music, it has often left me wondering why he can’t just say the words expressed in the songs. Thankfully, when he sends music, we often end up talking about the songs later, but that has always been his go-to method of expressing. Even as recently as a couple of weeks ago when we were out at night and we were sitting in his car at the end and a song’s line “all I ever wanted was you” played and he looked a me intentionally. I liked that moment, but I end up thinking, “Can’t you just say those words to me?”

        But, as you say, they can’t say the words that easily. They give us looks, and they try to “tell” us in other ways, and, as you say, the sex in and of itself speaks volumes. But, you know I will keep trying to get him to talk (and he does talk). I have not always found men to be bad at talking about feelings and relationships. My H is a pretty open person emotionally (but, of course, I’ve had my pulling-teeth moments with him, too). My MM has a communication style that does prefer more distance and privacy than I’m used to, but I’ve known that for years, and, as he reminded me on Thursday, that is unlikely to change. He also did thank me for giving him more space across this last year. It was nice to hear him acknowledge it directly because I have tried very hard to give him the space he asked for, in and out of the office, when he tried to end our affair last September.

        I do still have those questions you ask about where I stand and what it all means. As we have gotten into some physical intimacy again and he’s coming to my house about once/month (much less than before), obviously something is changing in our friendship-plus (it is an affair), and I want to talk about what it means. He is much more likely to just want to let “whatever happens happen.” I think that is his way of not confronting it, but we have to (and he knows it). He also takes a lot longer to figure things out than I do. Just like when this all started six years ago, it feels like he needs to slowly think about it all… and talk himself into it (which I can tell he’s doing). In a way, I think he prides himself in taking things slowly. Admirable and frustrating all at the same time! 🙂

        As to your final questions, I do want more reassurances from my MM the more intimate we get and that is what I began to communicate on Thursday. I can second-guess a little about that conversation and feeling like maybe I shouldn’t bring these things up, so thank you for reassuring me that I should say these things. I want him to know that I will have expectations the more intimate we get. He knows, but we do also have to hold people accountable for treating us well. But, when he does not text me or e-mail me after leaving my house Thursday, when he does not talk to me at work Friday (and I did not expect him to), and when he has not yet returned my e-mail from Thursday night, yes, I do think about that last question of yours about why I want to be intimate with such a person? First, all of that behavior is normal from him, but, sure, it’s a little sad. But, I think the answer to that question is that it is just an affair and my standards are lower for an affair partner than a H (remember, I didn’t wanted to leave my H for my MM), and, of course, that there is a lot of good in my MM that gives me something pretty enjoyable in addition to my marriage.

      • TTSP

        Hi BAF,
        Wow… such thorough observations and deep insights into the male mind. I loved reading your post and can take some solace that I’m not crazy when I feel like men do not communicate as succinctly and definitively as women. I can’t expect one gender to act like the other gender. There must be a reason why men and women were created differently. Perhaps the differences compliment each other and the harmony brings out the best in the other person. Strong, healthy relationships ideally bring out the best in people and support their personal growth. How are you doing these days? I’ve been opening this site every couple weeks now and may not be up to speed on what is happening.

        Happy holiday season to everyone!

        • BAF

          TTSP Thank you so much! I am complimented. Many things are happening for the good in my life at the moment but I am still grieving the many recent changes as well.

          Felk, I think you have to understand that a visit to your house from you to him has obvious sexual implications for a MAN. (Yes there I go being sexist again) Women do not see things this way but a male will. So as long as you invite him to your house and he agrees to come, he will assume sex is going to happen sooner or later. With or without reassurances and/or talking. This does not necessarily mean anything more than that. But the sex will happen regardless because in an affair thats the way it is. In friendships no. But affairs yes.

          So he may NOT answer any of your questions. He may not have to as you might sleep with him anyhow (you stated this already) and he knows or this too. But you might NOT get the reassurances you speak of. Even if you want them and need them. Even if it feels unfair. The needs for reassurances exist in your mind and in many of us women’s minds here who can understand them very well. We have all been in this boat.

          But that does not mean a man in an affair he can give them to us. I think we women often keep going round and round using language as the ultimate measure of how things are “going”. Affair men prefer not to talk about it at length.They do not get caught up (or ‘tripped up’) in verbal language in this way. At home I suspect many of them have the same issue. These types of men are more concerned with NOT getting into a discussion that can go the “wrong” way.

          We all know: Affairs are f–ed up to begin with. We all know this male and female. We know it is wrong on some fundamental level yet we persist because our desires (and addictions) are too strong. But we all KNOW the truth.

          I think as women try to rationalize this truth by getting a man to talk more to us and to of course to say he “loves” us. As if that would make our behavior okay. Only it still doesn’t. But we think it might help.

          Men try to rationalize the truth by NOT talking. I think when many men in affairs cloud the issues and run scared of verbal pinpointing of the “relationship’s status” they are terrified to say the wrong thing so they evade. Cloud. Run to the bathroom. But it does not make their behavior okay either.

          I have realized both are trying to rationalize. Both are trying to cope. Neither person feels 100 per cent sure of what he/she is doing. But both male and female desires the other despite off OR because of all the taboos.

          Felk I agree with you: “we do also have to hold people accountable for treating us well.”
          But the problem as I see it is affairs are not the proper testing ground for good treatment as the affair partners are themselves hurting other people and everyone knows that too. So its like asking your partner in crime if its okay to curse the “F” word when robbing the bank together? 🙂

          IMHO the only way to stay in an affair kind of “happy” is half-blind or half-deluded or very co-dependent as I was for many years (all three). If one person is blind- If at least one person can close their eyes and not ask the hard questions- then the affair can proceed.
          That in my case was me to a tee. It made it easy for my ex, too. who never wanted to “talk” deeply and meaningfully about our relationship.
          LOL.

          • Felk

            BAF, oh, yes, I understand that coming to my house has sexual implications. He understands that, too. That’s why I wanted him to be more direct about wanting sex. It just seems obvious to me (especially since he said he wants to keep coming over), and it seems it would help our relationship to be open about such things and talk about them ahead of time; but easier said than done in any relationship, let alone an affair. It’s sort of like the beginning of our affair when he would say similar things about wanting sex but it being complicated/not being sure/etc. And he’d say things like, “but if we keep putting ourselves in intimate situations…” Yes, then we will have sex. Just like now. 🙂

            I know what you’re saying about women wanting to hear the “I love you” to rationalize our bad behavior, but that’s not it for me. I don’t need an “I love you” to rationalize an affair. I need to feel love to have sex, but I rationalize the affair in other ways. Having the “I love you” doesn’t make me feel more “okay” for having the affair. I felt okay with the affair long before the “I love you” (or anything close to it). For me, it’s kind of an on/off switch. It’s either okay or it’s not.

            I do wonder, though, if my MM is scared to say things out loud because then it makes it more real and harder to rationalize, as you say. Unfortunately, I also think that my MM doesn’t say things out loud because he likes the control of holding onto that information. And, yes, I think he’s like that with his W, too.

            I also think it’s more complicated than saying affairs can’t be a testing ground for good treatment from another. As I’ve said before, I don’t think having an affair makes someone a bad person. It is a bad action. I don’t think having an affair defines me as a person or makes me incapable of treating people well (my MM included). But, I get your point about how it is harder to hold an affair partner accountable, especially given that they have shown that they are willing to treat relationship partners poorly at times.

            Honestly, I’m not sure how someone stays “happy” in an affair. Affairs are such a mess that it’s hard to be happy for long. I know the things that I’m trying to do to stay “happy” (especially this second time around), but I also know that there will be periods of sadness and anxiety to break up the “happy” in ways that just don’t happen in a healthy relationship.

    • TTSP

      Hi Felk,
      What were you wishing to hear from him? Did you want a higher level of confidence that he absolutely wants sex? He sounds trepidatious due to the emotional fallout that often happens immediately after the intimacy. I realize I’m only speculating but that was my personal experience. The sex rocked my world and we always had amazing dates. We would spend like 8 hours together which is rare in affairs but everything lined up such that we were able to pull it off. Afterward he would call me and we’d talk on the phone until he got home. Ok great that sounds wonderful, but, the next few days following that time together the reality would kick in and I’d feel incredibly depressed, dejected, low and worthless. Your mm may also go through something similar and it’s excruciating. He may become deeply saddened that he loves you and can’t be with you in a true, real relationship. My ex mm had an emotional crash too but not to the extent that I did thus I was the one to pull the plug.

      You are so eloquent and articulate beautifully. In hindsight we often think of more or different ways to express ourselves. I hope you hold your head high and feel confident in what you conveyed to him. Is it true that you would feel more at ease with the physical if a. he communicated more frequently and b. he told you directly that he was interested in sex without any ambiguous language? Do you want him to initiate? Personally, I like the man to lead especially in a “special” scenario such as this one.

      Is your reality check ok? From what I remember you’re pretty content in your marriage and view your husband as a loving, reliable, solid partner. Like all relationships they lose vitality over time and can become stale. That being said do you find comfort in that you chose the right partner for you? You love your mm but you also love your husband and don’t want to trade your relationship with him for the mm?

      • Felk

        TTSP, good to hear from you and thanks for responding to my message. You know it helps me think it all through to hear your questions and your opinions. What did I want from him? Yeah, I was a little frustrated that he didn’t more directly say he wanted to have sex (given that we were close to it the last time he was at my house), and it frustrated me that once again he said, “Well, then, maybe we shouldn’t be doing this” after I told him my concerns about him getting (really) distant after sex as he did in January. But, you’re right. He’s hesitant, just like I am. I want sex. He wants sex. We will have sex. But, I get that we’re both trying to ease back into this and be careful. I’m sure that, just like I’m looking for reassurance and clarity from him, he’s looking for the same from me. I know that when he offers “Maybe we shouldn’t be doing this,” he is partially right and partially looking for me to talk him into it. He is partially right in that we know there are good reasons not to have sex. And I know he’s partially looking for me to talk him into it because he has always offered hesitation hoping I would offer clarity. He has always liked how sure I’ve been about wanting our affair.

        It is not that I was looking for him to initiate when he was at my house. He will initiate when the time comes. Well, I guess we both initiate, but he always takes the lead in sex. Like you, I like the man to take the lead in this situation.

        Yes, I think my reality check is good. I get that we are back in the affair, and, if we start having sex, there are going to be some hard times again (with that painful missing that you describe with you and your MM after sex). Things are good with my H, and I get that, once we start having sex again, things will get a little more distant with my H, and he will get more distant with his W and then he might start feeling all the guilt and problems of before. I do want to talk more about that part with him, and how he expects to avoid or deal with that this time around. But, yes, I am still happy with my choice in my H. That has not changed. If anything, I am more certain I would not want to leave my H for my MM. I don’t know if the same is true for my MM.

        And part of that reality check is recognizing that how my MM answered those questions on Thursday was his style. That is how he is, and he’s not the type to text or e-mail me after. The reality check is that he is not going to change his style and I’m not going to change my style. I sent him e-mail Thursday night mainly saying I wanted to talk more, and he wrote back a really nice message that did offer some reassurance about how he wants this relationship. It took him two days to respond (and that frustrates me), but the reality is that is who he is. And now I will continue to remind myself that he wants this relationship and that we just need to continue to take it slow. Sometimes I feel (internal) pressure to want answers and action immediately, but I will keep reminding myself that this is working now because we are not rushing.

        How are you doing in your situation?

        • TTSP

          Hi Felk,
          Hope you had an enjoyable weekend. Sundays can lead to Sunday blues but it’s nice we have this site to seek help and help others. I read your question about why he doesn’t verbalize what he communicates via music and I felt like I had an almost immediate possible answer. He may be tight lipped about only wanting you because he can never have you. I could be completely off but it might be food for thought. I often won’t say something if it can’t be realized. Would you ever ask him if he is private in general or specifically because the relationship is limited and leaves him vulnerable? I suspect that is what is going on in his mind although you may choose a different emotion that elicits a candid answer.

          I loathe when people meet your concerns with stern reactions. You opened up about your reservations having sex with the intent of airing your concerns, not to talk him out of anything. I don’t know if that’s a male thing but it’s so jarring when you share something and he ignores the topic and goes straight to quitting the idea entirely. How did we go from 0 to 60 in minutes? I recall a convo I had with mine about a year ago regarding contacting each other and I said it felt inequitable that he could call any time and I couldn’t ever call. I understood why but instead of returning a thoughtful response saying he could see why that might be hard for me he said something like I’ll stop calling entirely if that’ll even things out… Yeah, nice dickhead response lol. I think it was obviously not the “right” situation or person for me.

          You seem to practice acceptance and patience which are keys to happiness since we can only control ourselves. The waiting two days would piss me off too although what can you say. Some people respond at their earliest convenience. I have a hard time feeling like I’m not a priority but I’ve abandoned those old ideas. Everyone marches to the beat of their own drum and he did send you a kind message. That’s what really matters at the end of the day. Like you said, it’s who he is and you prefer a more communicative partner which you have. I was happy to have the opportunity to get to know my ex mm through traveling bc I got to see what I really love in a man and what I could never tolerate in a partner. No one is perfect but he is way too intense, egotistical, temperamental and self-righteous for me.

          Time, space and staying busy with others is my source of healing. For me the physical intimacy is the lifeline and once that was removed I felt like I cut the cord. I’m going through odd cycles of anger, sadness and confusion but that proves to me I’m grieving a loss as an ending is a loss. Now I need to work on clearing my headspace and heart for something way better.

          • Felk

            TTSP, thanks for your words again. I think you’re right about my MM remaining tight-lipped on some of his feelings for me and us because those feelings can’t be realized. I am more of the type who would say something, even if I knew it couldn’t come true, but I understand why those things (especially telling someone that they are the one for you… which he has said indirectly and directly a number of times over the years) are hard to say to another. I can understand wanting to use another route to say it so you can hide behind the ambiguity a little while also feeling good for “saying” it. And, as BAF has said elsewhere about our MM, yes, he is also private and not a talker with his W. He has told me that he opens up to me more than anyone else, but considering he doesn’t open up to me that much, I feel bad for his W! (And his W is a talker!) Can you just imagine how much he must have been shutting down with her back when things were getting really bad for him last year and he knew he had to end our relationship? I know she said things to him about it and that’s part of what led him to try to end our relationship last September.

            Yes, what is with the 0-60 in minutes?!? 🙂 That’s exactly how I’ve felt when he’s said, “Well, maybe we shouldn’t do X” if I express some concerns. I’m just talking about my feelings. I’m not saying I don’t want to do something. I’m talking it through. HE expresses his concerns without meaning he doesn’t want to do something so it’s not like he shouldn’t understand when someone else does it. It’s just so frustrating when it feels he “jumps” to the extreme. It feels like it misconstrues what I’m trying to say entirely. But, like I said, I know there is some truth to “well, maybe we shouldn’t” and I know he’s also saying it because he wants to hear me say, “No, I want to do it!” 🙂

            With his response style, I really have mostly accepted it and feel pretty patient. There are times I am not, but him taking two days to respond to an e-mail is fairly normal. I know he is busy and I do believe he is trying to respond at his earliest convenience. I do not believe he makes me wait intentionally. That would be cruel. And, as you say, what matters most is that his responses are substantive and kind. I can tell he was trying to be cute in his last e-mail.

            Time, space, and staying busy are the things that will heal. There are no magic tricks except recognizing these things. It also sounds like you’ve recognized that your MM is not the right person for you. That’s pretty important, too. And the anger/sadness/confusion are all part of the process, as I know you know. But slowly, you’ll feel less and less of each and they will interrupt your day less and less. And then you’ll be ready to let new love into your life.

    • LifeLessons

      Hi Felk,

      I was actually a bit frustrated over the past week or so…I posted a reply to you regarding the talk MM and I had and it never showed up. I also replied to you regarding this post but it never showed up..I am unsure as to why my messages were not posted
      …Anyway, how does you and your MM have so much self control that you were able to be alone in an intimate state but not go there sexually BRAVO! I knw you and your MM communicate with each other often and seem to be pretty open about how you feel. I remember you saying before he can be pretty evasive when it comes to expressing himself. You are really good about how you feel, and what your needs are. I do not blame you for wanting that reassurance before you guys have sex. I feel sex has a tendency to cloud ones judgement so you are right in gaining clarity of things before you take that leap. You can take as much time as you need to…I do not think either of you are going anywhere anytime soon. You have managed to keep in touch with each other, spend time with one another and communicate with one another without sex and you still have a relationship with one another thats somehow functional for both of you.

      Chat with ya soon

      • Felk

        LL, I do know the frustration of writing a long message only to get it erased somehow. And it happened to you twice! Was the talk with your MM good? Bad? Or somewhere in between (like most of these talks go)?

        Honestly, I don’t think either one of us felt much difficulty with the self-control when he was at my house recently. I know that I was determined to talk about having sex first before we had sex, and he knew I wanted to talk about that so, once he knew I wasn’t going to have sex, he wasn’t going to try (because he hates letting me know he wants sex). I think it’s also because we know that neither one of us is going anywhere any time soon. I think we’re both trying pretty hard to make this work, and it seems to be working. Sex can complicate it, though, so I want to be careful there and he knows I want to talk about it more. We’re going to go get some drinks after work tomorrow so we’ll see if any of this comes up. I still feel no hurry.

  • LifeLessons

    Felk,

    I got off the phone and didnt call back until 20 mins later…I was annoyed with the comment. He was heading back to our area. It is likely that he was coming to my house, if I had stayed on the phone with him. However, I feel he shouldve still come over. If he needed to rest, I wouldve been understanding to that. I wouldve enjoyed his company either way.
    Yes…he shouldve been apologetic about it versus trying to make me feel bad for sending a “book”. That just annoyed me even more.

    I see, how it is becoming more challenging to deal with as my feelings for him evolve. This week has been a repeat of last week…
    Mon
    He called, I never mentioned what happened over the weekend. I talked about my work for 15mins he said he was going to call back and he didnt…
    Tue
    NO CALL
    Weds
    He called around 5p and I was busy but not too busy that I couldnt answer. However, I didnt answer.
    Thurs
    He called 7p ish, I answered on the last ring, because I was debating about whether or not I wanted to talk to him. When he said Hello, I said Hello, I have to call u back and I hung up. I was on my way to vote so I really couldnt talk but I also didnt want to talk to him. I called him back about 45mins later and he didnt answer. My son told me that him and his W picked them up from practice. Thats probably why he didnt answer my call.

    I know I do not want us to be in a space of not communicating but these moments puts my brain in reset mode…i know I want to talk to him but I feel like I my brain needed this moment to sort this out a little. This helps me get back to the reality of what this truly is. I get trapped into Barbazar where everything is pretty, the poop in barbazar smells good, you see rainbows, everything is sparkly. Then small things such as what happened over the weekend, helps me gain entrance back into reality…where poop stinks and things are not wrapped into a pretty bow. If I thought it really mattered to him for us to speak, I likely wouldve made sure to really talk to him the times he called but I know its not that big of a deal for him as it is for me so I decide to give us some space. If i get a chance to talk to him over the weekend, i may mention to him how it made me feel for him to say my “book” was a problem for him. That was like dismissing how I feel and thats not fair because I am entitled to the way I feel just as he is. I would like to acknowledge the fact that this is different for both of us. Me being single is a challenge and he may not be able to understand it from my perspective but I would like for him to at least try. I do my best with understanding he is married and he has obligations to his W….if I want to deal with him that is something I have to understand. If he wants to deal with me he needs to understand, where I am coming from.

    I didnt realize you and your MM were spending time together weekly. You guys seem to have good communication, so I am sure it will be ok to ask him what he is thinking about your relationship. I swear communication is key to having and sustaining a relationship, whether its a friend or a mate. I knw its not easy but its necessary. It keeps everyone on their toes.

    • Felk

      LL, okay, when you said that he hung up, I realize now it was a typo and you meant that you hung up! Either way, he should have been headed to your house. It’s not like you said that you didn’t want him to come over or the plan had changed at all. The thing is, he went home, got comfortable, and then then plan changed in his head without him telling you. So frustrating. You handled it well, though, telling your MM why that was disrespectful of your time/plans.

      As for the rest of the week and the phone calls, this does seem to be a similar pattern. So, it sounds like you expect a phone call every day? And if you don’t get one you get mad and often don’t answer the phone when he calls the next day? I understand being frustrated if you expect a call every day, but if you don’t have some explicit understanding that he is going to call every day, it probably doesn’t help to not pick up the phone the next day. That might just make you madder because now you’re not talking for two days. And then it sounds like you didn’t get to talk Thursday either so 3 days without talking is hard. It sounds like you’re probably still mad about the weekend, too, and how he reacted to your text, calling it a book. That was annoying on his part, too. I think we all have stories on here, though, about our MM not reacting well to our feelings at times. My MM was pretty good with it, but there were plenty of times that he made it about him or he seemed to get frustrated that I was expressing disappointment or frustration. I get that these are stressful situations and I really do think your MM and my MM are doing the best they can, so I can see why they feel like they can’t make us happy even though they’re trying. Nonetheless, we still have to be able to express and hold people accountable. People can take for granted and get lazy and get selfish and that’s when we need to remind them that they can’t treat us that way.

      I like what you say about reset mode. I think we need these reality checks in affairs. Unfortunately, we get them a lot. The reality checks can help keep us from getting too unrealistic about the affair, but hearing a lot of people on here, it seems like the “reality checks” are mostly just our “lows” and we’re pretty willing to ignore them for the highs (or that rainbow dreamworld you describe). I know I spend a lot of time in my affair giving myself the reality check. It helps, but it also means that I was at a point where I needed the reality check in the first place.

      My guess is that you and your MM are both trying to understand the other’s perspective. You try to understand his challenges as the married person and he tries to understand your challenges as the single person, but, of course, you both probably get lost in your own perspectives sometimes.

      Yes, my MM and I have been spending time together weekly for the last few months. We’ve also had two “dates” at my house and we had one night time date for many hours. We communicate well, but it’s just that we’re communicating so much less often now that it not only can make communication harder once we finally do but it can also feel like we’re wasting the little time we have. But… I do want to talk about us again soon. We haven’t had a talk about that for a while and it seems good to check in every once in a while. What’s good is that I don’t feel any desperate need to talk as if something needs to get resolved. I mostly understand what we’re doing and it seems to be working well enough for both of us now.

  • LifeLessons

    BAF,
    I had to reply up here…He was being a jerk, with the “writing a book, BLOWS” he has said to me before that he doesnt like when I do that…however, I dont think he understand that I do that because I know we cant talk all the time for as long as I need to. Therefore, I send him my thoughts. I articulate myself better in writing. I agree, he didnt want to take responsibility for his role. He didnt apologize and there are times where he has. I havent really talked to him about it any further. I have been avoiding his calls a little.

    • TTSP

      LL,
      I love what you said about you extending flexibility and understanding with his situation and you rightfully wanting the same in return. It’s a terrible experience when someone you love/care for corrects your communication method and disregards the entire topic in question, your feelings. Fine, he doesn’t like lengthy texts but why not first address your concerns and then politely ask to reserve the heavier discussions for in person, phone, etc. I think you raise an excellent point.

      Felk,
      I have not gone full no contact. We have chatted over work IM and some emails but very minimal contact outside of business hours. Long story short, we mutually decided to end the affair. This meant no one on one time, physical relationship or secret anything. I was on board and he lasted a couple weeks. After that time he reached out saying he missed our intimacy and wanted it again. He told me he would never say no if I wished to spend time with him. He asked if I wanted to plan a date or stick to our original plan to close the door on the affair. I told him for my emotional well-being I have to end the relationship. Needless to say he is not exactly respecting my wishes. He’s still pushing for more and trying to convince me to reconsider. Nine months ago I would’ve been delighted to have his fight but now I want this all to go away. I’m not going to play the victim card here bc I contributed to this endless cycle of a mess. It’s up to me to set the boundaries. I don’t want to have an uncomfortable convo but if he continues to apply pressure I’ll tell him that it is too painful and difficult for me to go backwards. End of story. I can cope with the grieving much better than his marriage.

      Did you have drinks with your guy and discuss anything further about the status of your relationship i.e. taking it further?

      • Felk

        TTSP, you really sound sure that you’re done this time, and, it seems if you had wanted to go back to your MM you would have (because he is making it clear that the door is open). Of course, ideally, he’d respect your wishes to end the affair, but I understand why it is hard for him to “end it” if you two are still in contact. He is hurting and missing you, even if he doesn’t want to leave his marriage or change behaviors that you needed him to change to offer you more. And, yes, you know that you need to set the final boundaries of cutting off contact for good, but I also understand doing this process slowly in the way that works best for you. I think your sentence “I can cope with grieving much better than his marriage” is strong honesty that will help you continue to move on. While you are in contact with your MM, though, I don’t think he will stop trying to convince you to come back to him (and there is the danger of you giving in). As you’ve said, he benefitted from the affair – having his cake and eating it, too – why would he want it to end? As you said to BAF, there is no “just friends” in this situation, especially if you do not let some time of NC happen. I think people can be “just friends” after a relationship ends, but that’s usually if there is a long period of NC where feelings can settle and people can move on. You and your MM haven’t had this so he will keep trying until you really cut him off for good. I hope you are able to do that soon enough, and keep your eye on the prize of a healthy relationship with someone fully available to you.

        Yes, my MM and I went for drinks, and it was a nice time. We didn’t talk about the status of our relationship, but I asked him to come over to my house next week. He quickly agreed. It was clear from the conversation that he was being flirtatious, so I knew it was safe to ask. I think I’m recognizing that the status of our relationship is that, after taking a step back and feeling he was balancing his affair/marriage better, he wants a physical affair again. We have already crossed some lines, but have not had sex since January and I know he is ready to cross that line again. I recognize inviting him to my house suggests sex, but I told him yesterday that, if he’s coming over, I want to talk about us having sex. He understood that I meant that I didn’t want to have sex again until we talk about what it all means. When he is here next week it will be hard to focus on talking when his body is close to mine, but I know this is important enough to me that I’d rather not have sex and just talk than give in to attraction and have sex and then have him leave and not communicate for days and then me feel terrible again.

        The danger is as you know. If we have sex, I will want more communication and we will want more time together. If we communicate more and spend more time together, he will pull away more from his marriage. If he pulls away too much from his marriage, his W will say things again and he will feel bad again and then he will pull away from me and I will feel bad again. These are also the things I want to say to him. I want to talk about how we go back to having sex and not getting back into the problems of before. These last few months, the affair has felt better than it has in a long time and I’m including last year before the break-up when we were still full in the affair. There is so much less anxiety and insecurity now that we communicate less and expectations are lower. I don’t feel the strong urges to talk to him all the time at work (which is good for giving us both space), and I don’t have to deal with the obsession of constantly thinking about the next time he and I will be together. It is interesting that now, with less communication, I trust our relationship more. With the addiction calming down, the desperation calmed down. I’m sure it is the same for him and that’s why we both are wanting the affair again… our brains are tricking us into thinking that everything is good again and it’s safe to get back into the physical affair. 🙂

  • Lois

    Hello everyone. It’s been crazy in my life and needed some time to soul search. The latest saga, the bat shit crazy woman who ended up forcing MM to resign has now involved a lawyer with intent to sue company for sexual discrimination and retaliation. Needless to say most everyone is on edge and a friend of mine who married someone who works with me and worked for MM is upset with me because she feels like my loyalty has been to protect MM and not the others in the department. MM didn’t responded to my email nor contact me on my birthday. I was really upset about my other friend being upset with me do decided to call and give him a piece of my mind. He didn’t answer but almost immediately called me from different number. I’m sure howe many phones he has because he called me from a different one when I was on vacation. We spoke briefly because neither of us had service. We got disconnected and he did try to call back but I was trying to get all of my stuff loaded to take into work. I sent a text and told him to call when he was available. Nothing so sent another asking if he had busy day. A couple of hours later he said yes really bad. I have not attempted to contact him since and that was 3 or 4 days ago. I’m struggling today but won’t allow myself to contact him. He had another phone to contact me but chose not to even after me asking to known what was going on. I don’t care what his wife knows or doesn’t know…I’m tired of being treated like crap. I told him on the phone before we lost service that I was being hurt and just want to move on. I have been understanding but done with all of the drama and finally have reached my breaking point with all of it. There’s more I’d like to day but not worth contacting him…I’m don’t want the temptation. I just want these feelings to go away and close this chapter of my life. I read all of your posts about how you spend time with MM and how you know his feelings because he tells you. I’ve not had any of that except the after hour time when we’d have sex. It’s been 2 1/2 years of an emotional Rollercoaster and it ends through a text that there’s trouble at home because of a text. Not even so much as a goodbye in person or through text. After going to bat for him at work and everything I’ve done for him, I am blown away by his selfishness. I was so hurt about my birthday. It’s okay because it has helped me to him for who he is. I’m doing better than before with things just have my days because regardless my feelings were genuine. I am trying to stay positive about things and recognize that I’m better off with put him and it’s nice not feeling ups and downs. I’m starting to sleep better. I don’t go to bed thinking about him or wake up thinking about him. It’s nice…it’s a slow process but I can’t stop…have to keep going until I’m healed and it no longer bothers me. I’m so looking forward to that day.

    • Felk

      Lois, I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with more MIA behavior from your MM. I know you’re not surprised, but I know you hoped for more. I know you put yourself out there getting honest in that e-mail and to have him ignore it has to be very painful, but it should show you who he is and it hopefully will help you be done with him for good. If it was important enough to him, he’d get in touch with you somehow. He’d call you from work, for example. I’m also sorry that he didn’t contact you on your birthday, but if he really is trying to go NC, you can’t expect him to contact you anymore. I know you want him to, but that is not the same thing as it being a good idea for him. If he is really struggling at home because of what happened at work and because of his daughter/W seeing those texts of yours, you can understand why he’s trying to go NC. He needs to be done with the affair. I know it’s hurts and I know you wish you’d have had some closure with him, but it seems he can’t. Yes, it is selfish, but, in an affair, we know our married other’s marriage comes first.

      I hope you’ve continued to stop yourself from contacting him and I hope you can block him on all forms of communication. Can you do that? Can you quit him and go NC? I really do believe you are better without him. He has seemed to give you so little in the last few months that it only seems to hurt you to hold on. You really will heal in time. You really will forget about him. You will feel like yourself again soon enough. I know it because I feel like myself again. Go NC. Be done with him. He has treated you so poorly lately that he doesn’t deserve any more of your effort. I know that’s easier said than done so just keep saying it until you do it.

      • Lois

        Hey, Felk. I understand that things at home for him are not good…or at least that it what he told me. Honestly, I do not know what to believe which is why I have dug my heels in to just be done! Although yesterday was tough, I did not give in and now on day 5 of NC…yeah! I am just tired of all the lies and drama. In my last email, I questioned his radio silence and commented that he already moved on…his response was “not the case…this has been really, really difficult. I am trying to be strong.” the thing is does it really matter anymore…no because even when he does respond how do I know he is being truthful. Right now, I am hurting and need to heal and even writing and talking about it bothers. I do not want to think about things because when I do my heart wants to reach out to him and I CANNOT DO IT. I have stay strong and maybe that is what he is feeling but again, I do not want to know…just want to move on. I am so looking forward to the day that it no longer bothers me. I am going to refocus on my thoughts and try to remain positive about the good things to come. If you do not hear from me, you will know that my heart just cannot deal with things and need time to not think…if that makes sense. Take care.

        • Felk

          Lois, I’m sorry that it happened this way. I’m sorry that you couldn’t get more closure, but your MM has taken a very selfish route. I’m also sorry that there are so many lies intertwined. It just makes it that much harder to feel “closure” when you don’t know what to believe. Most important, though, is that you know that you acted true to yourself. You were kind to him. You reached out. You were understanding and gave space. You were fair. You can leave this situation knowing that you treated him well, even if he didn’t do the same. Generally, that means that’s a person who isn’t worth any more of your effort. There is a horrible feeling of rejection from a person who dismisses us without even an explanation, but please understand that you are not the one lacking here, he is. The person who can dismiss us without an explanation is not a very kind person and does not make a good relationship partner. Also, do not mistake his dismissive behavior as strength. It is cowardice and weakness. He is not someone you want. Just tell yourself that over and over.

          I understand needing space from this site because thinking about him can make you want to reach out to him. We will be here if you need support, but I get why you might have to go MIA. My best advice is to erase all reminders of him. Block him on all communication avenues (and really block him where you can’t even find him in spam folders). Make the decision to just be done and not care what he is doing anymore. He didn’t show you the decency of caring to give you an explanation so he no longer deserves your care. Five days of NC is a big deal, so just keep counting those days of NC until you forget that you’re even counting.

          Distract yourself, spend time with family and friends, relax, go for walks, take baths, exercise, get a massage, paint, write, anything you enjoy. At first it will be a chore to do these things or your time trying to “relax” will be spent thinking all about him, but, slowly, you really will start relaxing and forgetting about him and moving on and feeling happy again. It really will happen if you give yourself the freedom from him.

    • BAF

      Lois I am really sorry you are going through this terrible pain. And none of it is “fair”: not the way he has been treating you, not the way he has run away from you, not the way he has taken your support of him for granted in the office. I say the latter to remind you that while over all break-ups “suck” , affair break-ups “suck” the most. There are always so many painful and unfair aspects of affair break-ups that complicate the process for us.

      For you one of them is now your place of work. Does the girlfriend who thinks your loyalty to your MM over others in the firm is mis-guided know or suspect your affair? Does anyone else at work know or suspect? I am wondering this because I am wondering if your loyalty to the MM somehow might affect your standing at work? I think in an office situation this is always a danger. Just try to remember you do not OWE your MM anything! You do not have to paint him in a nice light to absolve him of his guilt in the other situation! I think the following is true for you:
      say less not more; and keep as neutral as possible around everyone at work.

      As for him and your birthday I can only say I am not surprised but I am so sorry you had to go through this! I know how painful it is. Yes you have gone too bat for him and yes he is seeming to act in a very selfish way right now.
      I don’t see how his wife can NOT find out why he left work and about the legal case now started against the firm?
      Is this case against him personally as well? Either way I imagine she will find out if she has not already.

      That’s a kind of “D” day in affairs: “Discovery Day”. and I have read about these before. All hell breaks loose for the person “caught” at home by their spouse.
      I am not saying this as an excuse for your MM’s behavior.
      I am saying this as this might very well his new reality at home.

      Please give yourself lots of TIME for your feelings to settle. This is a whole lot to digest and process and you must be very gentle with yourself!
      Hugs
      BAF
      xoxo

      • Lois

        Hey, BAF. You are right it is not fair but life is not…as we all know too well. Honestly, I was not surprised that he did not contact me on my birthday…he did not last year either…said he did not know…whatever. It’s always an excuse. As I told Felk, I am do not know what to believe anymore; it has been nothing but heartache, drama and lies. I do feel he has taken advantage of my kindness. I do question whether he ever had feelings or was I just another game piece to him. I have tried to be supportive and understanding. I have tired to do the right thing but in the end, it has been my loyalty to be questioned by others. My other friend knows that MM and care about one another but knows nothing of the affair. The only person who knows is a friend of my who is a counselor. I have not admitted anything to anyone because do not trust people. It seems like when people get backed in a corner they often come out swinging and telling everything they know on people to deflect others from looking at them. Unfortunately, I fell in love with guy for whatever reason. Although we never told each other, I thought he had feelings for me by the way he would hold me when were together. It really does not matter anymore because I cannot do this anymore. If he was not the text message or would have been something else that made him want to pull away, he never was committed to anything but himself. He has a different job now and would not surprise me if he was not already lining up someone else. I know that he does not deserve me and he will not have another chance to hurt me again. I know only time and distance is going to heal this wound and as long as I contact him it only tears off the scab. It has been 5 days of NC and cannot give in…if he wanted me, I know he has other ways of contacting me…just like the other phone he called from last week. I have given him enough of me and it time that I take back my dignity and self respect. In the end, I will come out of this stronger and better than before. However, I need time and space to get there. It bothers me to talk about things right now and do not want to risk the chance of weakening by talking about him on this forum, so I am going to go MIA for awhile until things get better. I will be back in touch. Thanks for your support.

        • BAF

          Lois I support your decision 100 per cent. Take some time away from here talking about him here and try to get your self some much needed space totally away from him!
          When you are ready or whenever you need, the forum will still be here. Give yourself flexibility each day to heal in whatever way feels best to you. May you heal in peace and strength! I will be thinking of you very often as I, myself, heal as well.
          Many hugs BAF xxxooo

        • TTSP

          Hi Lois,
          While we only know what you post on here I don’t doubt that your mm cared for you. Very few people can have close romantic bonds without developing emotional attachments and feelings. These scenarios are riddled with drama in one form or another if not multiple forms. Sorry… stating the obvious here. It hurts like hell. Believe me, I’ve been there and only through time apart are you able to resume a more calm internal state. Also, whenever someone pulls away it’s often bc they feel really messed up and not bc they stopped caring. In fact it’s quite the opposite. Anyhow, take the time to care for your needs. Absence makes the heart grow weary and that propels you forward. You’ll get there. Time and love from you, friends and family will heal your spirit. Most importantly minimize if not eliminate your interaction with him and you’ll be well on your way.

    • LifeLessons

      Lois,

      I am sorry to hear you are going through so much right now and on top of everything, he forgot to send you a mesg on your day. I can only imagine how rough all of this is for you and you still have to maintain some levels of sanity for your family. I cannot remember if you are in therapy or not but maybe you could find a online therapist. One you can talk to over the phone or something. I dont want you to have serious breakdown due to all of the stressful things happening. Life is so short for many people and there is no need to waste energy on useless individuals. I knw thts not nice to say nor is easy but ur ex MM doesnt deserve ur energy into him. I am praying things get better for you Lois…I wonder if meditation would be helpful for you, to relieve some of the stress. I know these things are complicated and I know anything I say is cliche but I want nothing but the best for all of us. We really are good people, who made a bad choice and we deserve greatness but we have to believe that in or to seccessfully receive it. Lois please get in your prayer closet and talk to your higher power and allow urself to hear what the responce is. I dont knw if youre religious or not and my apologies if thats offensive. I just think you need some guidance that requires some assistance from up above…
      Hope things get better Lois

  • LifeLessons

    Hey everyone,
    I have been busy busy busy with work, and back to my normal mom routine so I am tired most nights and the thought of checking in here and writing to you guys come across my mind often but I am too tired to get it done. There are times when I start writing here and I have to copy and paste it to my memos in my phone because I had to take my son and MMs son to practice or I was too sleepy to finish. However, you ladies are my biggest support system with this whole “MM situation” it seems like everyone is moving forward with their lives without MMs and braving their decision to make a change, and pushing through the journey. I think that is awesome.
    I am not there, I remember having a conversation here regarding me getting out of it before I reach the point of no return and I am not sure I knew what that meant or if I was really trying to understand what that meant. I have always just tried to be as honest as I could be with my self. I have tried to remain realistic throughout the affair. I have tried to maintain my sanity by continuing to live my life the way I was living it before meeting MM. All of those things are helping but at some point you do reach the “point of no return” (I think Felk was the one whom I was speaking to about this a while back) that point where you know you love your MM and no matter what happens you will not be able to walk away unscathed. I still like to pretend, I can walk away from this and be ok but I am trying to convince myself of that, knowing its not true…
    He has been trying to make sure he listens to what I say and he has been consistent (for the most part) with spending time with me. It seems we both are becoming more vulnerable as time goes on. He makes sure he sees me during the time my kids are gone, he tries to make sure he has hours to spend with me every other weekend with some acceptions. MM made mention to me in a joke he feels im using him for sex and I said no way, he said well you know you get cranky if we dont have sex every other week(he may be partially correct). Two weeks ago, he knew my kids were going to their dads and he didnt come to my house that Saturday as he has been consistenly doing for the past month. I think my tone was different because I know he could tell I wasnt happy that is sound like I was going to see him that day. Well, we got off the phone and didnt confirm us seeing each other and I was sad but ok. Sunday he called me early, well I didnt want to talk to him (being immature and bratty) so I didnt answer. However, he eventually called me back. He asked if the kids were home and if I knew what time they were coming I said, I can find out what time. He said, o ok. He said he was in the house but was thinking about me and he wanted to have sex with me. I said, oh and nothing else (still acting bratty) He said, Babe I went to sleep early yesterday and I was up early today. I said, o ok. He said, I will call you back. I knw he cant talk to me that long when he is in the house. Well he called back and I did not answer but he called me again and I answered he said, babe what time are they coming home, I told him not until later and he said, she went to the store so I dont have much time but I will be over in a few minutes. I said, Ok! He came over and I was ready for what I knew was going to happen, we had sex, he gave me kisses on my lips and he left. He said, the joys of having your boyfriend live so close we both laughed as it was a joke. He calls me his girlfriend and I call him my boyfriend. I said, your are 5 mins away, he said 3 mins I counted, I said oh ok…Last Saturday I was up late and I sent him a naughty message around 1am (thinking he would get it once he woke up) well he text right back and said, you know I will come over there right now and I said, ok. I knew my kids were home and I knew he was at home with his W and their son so I was thinking we were pulling each others bluff. He text me saying, I will call you once I leave out and I jumped up from my bed, freshened up, check the kids room to be sure they were asleep and awaited his arrival. He is normally long winded so it took him 30 mins to get to my house and he stayed at my house for a little over an hour and I said, did you just sneak out of your house ? He said, yea. I said, that is so tricky. He said, babe I was laying across the sofa when you sent that message, debating about taking a showering and taking care of my needs while I was in the shower and I saw your message so I wanted to see you. I said, ok I guess…he said, he couldnt stay long which i knew that but ended up being at my house for over an hour. He kissed me a few times and said, I love my girlfriend and I said, I love you too. He left and my hope was he made it back in without any issues. He called me later that night after work. I cannot believe he took that risk, but I guess he couldve explained that to her if need be but I just thought wow you left the house around 1:30am and didnt didnt return until after 3am…i guess i too took a risk with my kids being home. I thought to myself we are doing too much and if im honest, I was thinking he is doing too much because that wasnt the first time I had to sneak him in because my kids are only gone for a very short amount of time every other weekend.
    We didnt talk to each other that much this week, i think we sent just a gm text Monday, tues didnt talk or text, wednesday he called but I didnt want to talk to him so I didnt answer(not sure why, but i was probably annoyed that I didnt hear from him on tuesday), thurs he called me earlier than normal but I didnt feel like talking so i didnt answer but I ended up texting to apologize for not answering his calls, i told him i was busy trying to make a costume for my daughter, which was true at that time. When he called again, I answered but he could tell i was out and he said, youre out and I said, yea he said, where and I told him, he said, ok call me when you leave, i said ok. I text him once i left but I knew it was probably too late for him to call me back. Yesterday, he called me but we only talked for 5mins his brother called and he said, he would call back but didnt call back. I dont get as upset by this as i did before and its probably because he doesnt do it as much.
    ….Anyway, I am noticing he says, I love my girlfriend more than before. Whether its during sex or within our conversation, he says it. However, he never says I love you. Therefore, I continue to tell myself he doesnt love me and he just says that because he enjoys the sex. I dont want to start thinking he really loves me because its not love. I go back and forth in my mind about it because I think back to the first time he said it and it was in reference to me being a genuinely helpful person and he said, thats why i love you. When he said it the second time, it was again over the phone and he said, I love you just like you love me but I have never told him i loved him at that point. Well now, he says it whenever he feels it fits, but he always says it in the same I love my girlfriend…
    I dont know how to get clarity on what that means to him but I am sure I would have to ask him just like that in order to get a better understanding…i think its a love you, like he love his close friends but not an I love you like we are in a “relationship love you” kind a way. The lines are getting blurry.
    He told me, his W and son talked about me for at least a good 15 mins, about how cool I was and i said, wow what did you say?! He said, I just listened. Last week, he said,”babe she said, if she won the lottery she would make sure you and the kids are taken care of and I said yea me too!” I said, wow… but in my head, I said, why the hell are they talking about me at home. I wondered was he making this up and why. I thought back and said to myself, I remember him saying, she told him to invite me to the lodge event, she told him to set me up with one of his friends because I was a nice lady…honestly, I do not think he has to lie to me about those things but it made me feel like a bad person. I had to go to one of my male friends who could care less about judging me (because he has 2 girlfriends and has no desire to be with one woman) and ask if i was a bad person. He told me, MMs wife and son obviously likes me and yes its unfortunate how things are but it doesnt make me a bad person. Him and I may be making bad choices but it doesnt define who you are but doesnt it ??? I am battling with truly understanding this. I think i get it, people make bad choices, people make choices that serves them and only them, but does it mean theyre bad people! Most people like my fun, bubbly personality and they may have only been in my presence once or twice but theyre like invite her again, shes cool i like her…so, it not unlikely for her to feel that way but its definitly weird. Their son, got in my car a few weeks ago and he said, I had an adventurous day and proceeded to tell me about a situation he experienced but he asked me not to tell his parents and He always says I am like an Auntie to him 😳😳 so he talks to me in a very comfotable way and I guess me taking them to practice 2 days a week for almost 4 months, has opened the door for us to build a repor with one another. I talked to MM and asked him if my son confided in him, and asked him not to say something would he tell me and he said NO, he said there will likely be times your son will come to me and if I tell you you will not be able to keep it a secret, he said unless its something you really really have to know I am not sharing with you. I said, wow! He said, trust that I am going to treat him the way I do my son and not going to steer him in the wrong direction…so I didnt tell him what his son told me, it wasnt something he really had to know.
    I know I have said this before but this is really one of the most conflicting things i have ever gotten myself into…
    Questions
    1. Why does he say, I love my girlfriend
    a)Is it really possible for him to love me
    b) In what way
    2. Do I need to ask him about his “love” for me ?
    (What would be the purpose of asking though…we will never be a real couple)
    3. Why do you think he tells me these things his W and son says about me ?
    4. Bad person vs Bad choice, what do you think about this, is their a difference ?

    Thank you Ladies!
    I really appreciate you all
    LL

    • Felk

      LL, I love all the detail you give and I love how honest you are about your situation. We don’t always try to make ourselves look good and make our MM look like they’re in the wrong when we’re upset. We try to be honest about where we’re coming from, and, as you say, it’s best to try to be honest with yourself because that’s the only way you can make choices that will work for you. I like your honesty about how you’re probably past “the point of no return.” You probably were back then when we first started talking about it, too, because you were nowhere close to stopping back then, even though you were recognizing that it might get messy. Yeah, you’re past the point of no return now. You’re in love. 🙂

      You know I’ll do my best with your questions, and I think it’s completely understandable that you’re asking these questions. Even when we think we might know the answer to a question, it can help to hear others’ perspectives. Also, we know that we might lie to ourselves a bit (even when we’re trying not to). So, here I go…

      1) The “I love my girlfriend” is an interesting one. My first thought is that he’s scared to say, “I love you.” I think by him saying “I love my girlfriend,” he is saying “I love you” but there is some reason he doesn’t want to say those words. Maybe it’s because it’s too real to him if he says it? Maybe he’s trying not to cross a specific line? Maybe he feels that term is supposed to be reserved for his W so he’s trying not to say those words exactly to you (even though he feels it)? Maybe he’s worried about how vulnerable it makes him and he’s scared to give you that power? My guess is that it’s the last one. My guess is that it’s him holding onto some control by not fully saying those words that he knows you want to hear and that he knows have a lot of meaning. In my situation, my MM was feeling “I love you” things for months before either one of us said it. He kept hinting at it. Saying there was something he wanted to say. Saying that he felt something and was scared to say it, etc. I figured it was “I love you,” but he wasn’t saying it. I wasn’t ready to say it yet so I wasn’t saying it either. Finally, after months of him hinting at it, I said, “I’ve fallen in love with you.” That was my protective way of not saying “I love you” directly, but trying to let him know I was falling. He immediately said, “I love you.” So, he was waiting for me to say it first (even though technically he did, ha!). I think it’s strong that you say, “I love you” to your MM. You don’t need to play games, and you don’t need to hide behind fear. My MM and I didn’t say “I love you” to each other a lot, but I did say it a little more than he did. He found it vulnerable to say, and my guess is that your MM feels the same way. It’s possible they also feel guilty about it or that those words make it all more real. I’m not exactly sure because I know that once he and I said it, I felt pretty comfortable saying it to him (except when he’d go a month without saying it and then I’d start holding it back because it felt weird to be the only one saying it). So, yes, it is not only possible that he loves you, it is likely. This has been going on for two years now, right? More? It would be hard for him to not feel love for you after all of this time and given how you describe your relationship. He makes consistent time with you a priority, and he seems to care about communicating with you and trying to be fair to you. All of that is love. Maybe it’s not the same love he has for his W (I really can’t speak to that), but it seems like love to me. In general, it sounds like things are going pretty well with your MM (but, yes, definitely be careful about him coming over to your house when your kids are home!). Honestly, that behavior of him sneaking out at 1:30am and wanting to come to your house with your kids there sounds like he’s past “the point of no return,” too.

      2) No, you don’t need to ask. I think the better question is, “Do you want to?” If you want to have a conversation with him about this, then you should. I am a firm believer in asking what you want to know (when it’s fair and important). You should always feel free in a healthy relationship to ask questions that matter. If it matters to you to hear him say “I love you,” or if it matters to you to find out why he doesn’t say “I love you,” then you should ask. What is the purpose? Well, usually it is simply that it feels good to have that reciprocated, and if you’re saying “I love you,” then I’d think that you’d want to hear it in return. We like reciprocity in relationships. We don’t want to be the one giving feelings if we don’t feel we’re getting in return. If you feel “I love my girlfriend” is close enough, then you don’t need to ask. I will just caution, though, only ask if you’re ready for any answer. Don’t ask expecting to hear him say what you want to hear. You may hear an answer that hurts like, “I can only say that to my W.” Even if you might be able to accept an answer like that, it can still hurt a lot to hear, and be ready for any honesty if you’re going to ask. If you’re only asking to get one answer, then maybe you do not want to know.

      3) I think he tells you these things his W and son say about you because he likes you and he wants to make you feel good. I think he also wants you to think positive things about his W and his son. He has always seemed to blur boundaries more than you have. He may also be trying to calm any fears that you have about his W’s suspicions and let you know that they’re not saying anything suspicious. Why do you think he tells you these things?

      4) To me, there is a difference between bad person and bad choice. Good people make bad choices all of the time. In general, I don’t label many people bad people. It seems rare to find someone who is really a bad person. Not that it doesn’t exist, but I might reserve that label for people who are true narcissists, for example. Otherwise, I think most people are just trying to get along in life, trying not to hurt most people, trying to help who they can, and, sure, making selfish choices at times. I don’t think I’m a bad person. You don’t sound like a bad person. But… I’m sure there are people who would label us bad people. For me, cheating on a spouse is a pretty big no-no and most people would think I’m pretty awful for doing this, especially to such a loving H. For you, some people would call you a “home-wrecker” and those types of words. We know we are breaking a pretty big social rule by having affairs, and so it might put us in the category of “bad people” to some people. Obviously, I don’t care what those people think, but I understand that perspective.

      Those are my thoughts. Always interesting to talk to you about these things.

      • LifeLessons

        Felk,

        Thanks so much for relpying to me…you know I do not know how to tell a story without detail lol…
        1/2. Who knows what the real reason is for why he says it the way he does. I was just thinking about it and wanted some more insight from my supporters. He made mention of it well before I did and I wasnt ok with it. I told my friend who knows about us, that I would hang up on him if he mentioned those words again lol of course I didnt do that…instead I said, I love you too. January will make 2 yrs that him and I have been dealing with each other. You are right about us both being, past the point of no return. I chuckled when u said, that I was passed the point of no return back then…because I was and was likely in denial. I do not think I really want to ask him about it, Im ok with the, “I love my girlfriend” being his way of saying I love you.

        3. I think he tells me things about his wife amd son to make me feel good. I think he likes the that they think positive about me, in some way I wnder does it make him feel good, make him feel like he made a good choice of who he chose to be his “girlfriend” on the side…

        4. I agree with your perspective here..my friend told me to write down my good choices because of my negative thinking. She told me, it may be helpful for me to do that so I can trust myself to make good choices, and for me to see that I do make more good choices than bad. I know I am not a bad person but this situation definitely make me second guess myself. I think its more his W and chatting with her when we see each other in person, knowing she and her son thinks so highly of me makes me wonder…however, the things they say about me is things most people who get to knw say. I shouldnt care what people think and hopefully one day I will get to that point.

        Thanks for your insight…its helpful, as usual lol

        • Felk

          LL, as you can see in my long replies, I like detail, too!

          I understand coming here for insight into what someone says. If I had a nickel for all the things my MM said that I find vague or confusing! Significant others saying confusing things (or things we find confusing because we get all in our head about the things they say) is really common in relationships, but it seems even more common in affairs because we just have less time with the person to sort it all out. I know it’s easier said than done, but I try to operate a lot on trust. This has been especially true more recently as the communication has decreased between my MM and I. It was already hard before and there was so much that went unsaid and led to confusion, but now I have even fewer opportunities to ask for clarification (although he would always agree to talk if I wanted to) so I just trust that he’s interested in continuing our affair until I see evidence otherwise.

          I really do think your MM is saying “I love you” with his “I love my girlfriend” phrase and he’s just trying to be self-protective or draw lines. It’s also pretty cute that he calls you his “girlfriend.”

          As for the good/bad person thing, you know I don’t think it’s as simple as being a good or bad person because you’re having an affair with a MM, but I do think this one behavior is a pretty bad behavior. It’s not stopping me from doing it, but I believe it’s wrong. And it sounds like you recognize that, too, if you’re second-guessing your behavior. My main rationalization for it is “what my H doesn’t know doesn’t hurt him,” but I’ve been pretty honest here about how the affair hurt my marriage (and my H). Ultimately, I choose to do a behavior that I know is wrong and that is hurting my marriage because it makes me feel good. It’s really selfish. I don’t think it negates all the good things I do, but there is a lot of potential to hurt people badly and we know that’s why we find it hard to tell others about what we’re doing. We know most people wouldn’t be supportive of this behavior.

          • LifeLesson

            Felk,

            Honestly, I think its cute that he calls me his girlfriend, I call him my boyfriend. I just dont like to admit that, I feel silly because its almost like acknowledging I enjoy being the woman on the side and I dont want to admit something like that. I also agree that being involved in an affair is selfish. I know I enjoy him and although he is married, its convenient for me and it works…most times! This weekend we had a bit of a disagreement
            …..No worries…i will share the details lol

            This past week we didnt have good communication.

            Sun- we talked about how crazy it was for him to sneak out the house the night before.

            Mon- we sent GM texts and that was it…no call

            Tues- no call from him, which annoyed me this much () or less

            Weds- he called, I didnt answer because I was being immature, he didnt call me the day before or the prior day so I didnt really want to talk to him but I wasnt really mad about it.

            Thurs- he called mutliple times I didnt answer but text him back 2-3 hrs later to say, Im sorry I missed ur called but once I got home I worked on my daughters costume. He ended up calling me a few hours later when he was on his way to get our boys from practice. I answered he said, are you out ? I said, yes! He said, where ? I told him where I was..he said, ok go ahead and enjoy yourself, call me when ur done. I said, ok. Of course when I was done he couldnt talk to me so I just sent him a message so he know I did reach out to him.

            Friday- he called , we talked for 3mins and his brother called so he he got off the phone but didnt call me back

            Sat-he called and told me he may take the boys for a ride and wanted to know what my plans were for my son. He asked, what time they were leaving because he knew they go with their dad every other saturday and come back sunday. I told him we were going to a costume party and I would drop them off to their dads afterwards. He said, he would call me once he got home so he could let me know if he was taking the road trip with our boys. Well about 2 hrs went by so I text him to ask if I misunderstood what he was saying to me. He text back and said he laid on the sofa and was just getting up so I didnt reply. He called me within 30 mins of that mesg and he said he aplogize for that he laid down. He said working all those hours was catching up to him. I asked him was that the only thing he planned to do. He said he needed to drop his W off later. I said, drop her off ?! He said, yea she is hanging out with some friends. I said, oh ok. He said, I know thats crazy isnt it and I said well, why does she need u to drop her off and he said, so she can drink and really enjoy herself. I said, ok I see. He said, but she wouldnt do that for me. I said, well youre her husband I think its pretty sweet to do that. He said, ok. I said, so I guess I wont see you today but maybe tomorrow. He said, I am dropping her off at 9 so I should be able to see you for a little bit. I said ok, I will leave the party around 8:30-9 & drop the kids and head home. He said, talk to you later…

            Later…
            I text him, wyd..he replies, still with her. He said her friends havent shown up yet. I said ok. He called me around 10:20 saying she made him stay with her for an hour and fifteen mins waiting for her friends to show up and I said ok. He said, but one of the ladies had a big butt so it was a nice sight to see considering I waited around for them. (Listen, I am not normally offended by comments of him looking at another womans butt or boobs, he has shown me photos him and his buddies send each other of ladies none of them would get the time of day with lol, he talks to me like a friend, he told me thats what him and his buddies do he said men look at women all the time but we dont “touch” every women we see.) I said, oh good for you, you got to see a big butt, let me call you back im about to go in the store. He hung up! I got off the phone and I was annoyed with the comment but I was confused about why I was annoyed with the comment. I was thinking how am I going to enjoy his company if I am annoyed. Well I debated about it and I called him back 20 mins later. He answered and it sound like he was laying down(his voice was low) he said he had to leave out in 1.5 hrs to pick her up. I said, o ok so…he said, I am not going to make it over there. I was quiet, as I try not to be too impulsive and react with out thinking first. So I said, oh you dont want to come over, is that what ur saying. I said dont tell me you have 1.5 hrs because that is a lot of time considering u told me last week it only takes 3 mins to get to my house, i said you dont want to come. He chuckled a little and said, babe I cannot argue with you, youre right it is a lot of time but I am laying down and I was drinking so I just need to take a nap before I have to go get her and I do not feeling like moving…He said, do u knw what time the kids coming home tomorrow, I said, NOPE he said ok, I am going to lay down. I said ok. So, I was disappointed and sent him this mesg at 12am, we got off the phone with each other around 11:05ish

            My mesg
            ….Smh, I didn’t really talk to u this week, u called me yesterday for 2mins, ur brother called, u never called back, u already knw I look forward to seeing u, “our time together” is limited. I rearrange things so that I could see u! I could’ve went out, or stayed at my friend’s house longer but I knew I was going to see u so I wanted to leave early to get home…I am sure this doesn’t matter to you but it matters to me but I guess, it’s all good!

            He did not reply! He called me Sunday night and he noticed how quiet I was. He said, so you should and I dont know why you dont know by now that I am not going to go back and forth with you in text mesg. His other clicked in he said hold on and I hung up. He called back about 5mins later and said, so youre in your feelings because I couldnt make it through your short window of opportunity and I said yes. He said, I try to when I can and I just cant every single time. Its not fair for you to expect me to be able to get over there every single time you want me to. I was still quiet so he said he would call me back…i text him again

            My mesg
            …..U don’t have to call back, just an FYI, my expectations of u are very low! However, I HATE to be ignored by anyone..I have NEVER dealt w/a situation like this, I dnt ask u to do much of nothing, I take care of myself..I knw u still sleep with ur wife, maybe someone else too but I try not to worry about tht because I can’t. I knw u can’t be available to me whenever I NEED u to be, I knw we can’t do real relationship things often because this is NOT a real relationship but I still deal w/u..Do u knw how difficult it is to like/fall in love w/someone who is married, knowing u will NEVER be with tht person and, not have a fall back person (like a wife or real girlfriend) to help ease ur mind a little ?! If its yes, then you get it..if it’s no, u don’t understand how disappointing yesterday was for me.

            His reply
            Imsayin, I get it.. but it still don’t negate the fact that I can’t do what u want/ plan ALL the time..I think I make an effort to accommodate u, but when I can’t, I get texted long books! Kinda BLOWS..

            My reply
            Ok NO worries, sorry to BLOW u…I will find someone else to vent to when I feel a way…I just thought it was best to express myself to u!

            His reply
            You can.. but u feel what I’m saying too

            My replies
            Ok
            I will…yup I got it
            …my apologies for blowing you..wasn’t my intent! Goodnight, & I hope u have a good week…

            Today he called and he we didnt talk about it. We talked about a situation at my job but I could tell he was trying to feel me out and he was being very attentive to what I was talking about.

            Clarity on my mental space during this weekend…i think I was more annoyed about him not calling me that one day than I would be willing to admit. I think i was upset with myself about not making time to talk to him those days that he actually did call me but I took it out on him, Saturday, I was feeling like you have got to be kidding me, I havent really had good communication with u all week and now today, I have to hear about how sweet of a husband ur being to ur W and, hear u speak of some lady with a big butt and on top of that ur backing out of coming over, which I assumed very early he wasnt because…honestly. when he said, she was going out drinking with friends, I figured she would actually want to sleep with her husband (alcohol intensifies my high sex drive lol so I assume most women are turned on when they drink, probably not accurate haha) so I was hurt by the thought, that that was likely the reason he didnt come over Saturday or Sunday. I was shocled that he replied at all, he normally ignores those mesgs and once we talk on the phone he may address it but he doesnt get too involved with that back and forth through text…I am not sure if I want to talk to him about verbally, because I think we should talk about it. I do not how vulnerable I am with him at this moment because I try so hard not to be. We can typically talk to each other about anything without me getting upset. I dont normally get too caught up in the things we talk about thats not about us, I just be a friend to him in those moments but this situation from the weekend really struck a nerve….

            I know this was long, I am tired of typing lol. I am not sure if I got my thoughts out completely but I am tired so hopefully you will be able to understand what I have written, I didnt proof read it either
            Please give me some feedback…and hopefully the other ladies will read this as well and give feedback.
            Chat with you soon

          • Felk

            LL, yeah, it’s weird to acknowledge an affair. I get it. I know that my MM and I used the boyfriend and girlfriend terms, too, but we didn’t say it a lot because it’s weird to say (even though it’s kind of true).

            But, now, to the situation you describe this weekend with your MM… I don’t blame you for being annoyed. I think you handled it really well, too. You were honest, fair, and held him accountable for some bad behavior. Affairs are hard, but that’s the best way to do them well. Don’t let the other person treat you poorly, but also be fair with your expectations. I would have been completely annoyed with my MM for not coming over that night. Not only did you change your plans for him (leave that party early to make sure you were home), but you were expecting to see him. He drops off his W (spends extra time with her, which is annoying, but nothing you can do about that) and then he goes home and lays down??? He doesn’t spend that time with you? You get so little time each week, and when you do get 1.5 hours, he doesn’t come over… after he said he was going to? Yeah, I’d be really frustrated. He changed the plan and didn’t even let you know. You had to call him to find out he was laying down and wasn’t coming over? Wow. I understand how disappointed you were, but, worse, that you felt he didn’t treat you with respect given that your time matters, too.

            I think you handled it well, though. You didn’t yell at him. You took some time and then sent him a direct text to tell him why you were frustrated. He didn’t respond well the next night saying he wasn’t going to go back and forth with you over text. Why not? You don’t deserve an explanation or acknowledgement of your feelings? But, fine, if he’d rather talk on the phone. And, you weren’t in your feelings because he couldn’t make it through your short window of opportunity. You were in your feelings because he led you to believe he was coming over and then he didn’t even call to cancel! Even if he can’t come over, we want to feel like it matters. Like it disappoints them. Like they care that plans got messed up. I know that mattered to me a lot with my MM. When our plans got messed up, I hated when he acted like it was no big deal. I know it was a big deal to him (he told me that plenty), but just him acting like I was making more out of it than I was or I “heard” plans that weren’t certain (when, yeah, they were) was frustrating. It turns out that my MM was as disappointed as I was when plans got messed up, but he sometimes acted tough about it (plenty of times he showed his disappointment, though). This situation is hard enough as it is. Communication is key. He can’t just make some plans with you and leave you hanging like that. It’s fair for him to say that he can’t always follow through on the plans, but he has to communicate with you. I know he tries and seems to do a pretty good job. So do you. But sometimes you’re both going to make mistakes. He messed up. And it only gets harder the more you fall in love. Your expectations increase, you want to see each other more, you’re more disappointed when you can’t, etc. I know it all too well. As best you can, just keep trying to keep expectations realistic and keep communicating.

            And, yeah, I would have been annoyed with that comment about another woman’s butt. Of course, men look at women. Women look at men. We all look. Doesn’t mean we need to hear those comments from our men (or women). And, yeah, I get that it especially rubbed you the wrong way because he was out with his W. I would have been extra sensitive then, too.

            And, sure, you probably were mad he didn’t call you earlier in the week. If you expect to talk every day and he doesn’t call, I get that it hurts. But… when you ignore him the next day, it probably doesn’t help. 🙂

            I never knew how much I should talk about these times I was annoyed with my MM. I sometimes let it go and sometimes I brought it up. I didn’t want to “waste” our time fighting, but I also knew I had to say things sometimes. In hindsight, I probably wish I’d said more, so I like that you were direct about your frustration.

          • BAF

            LL I will be brief:
            You expected him to come over and he said planned to come over (at least verbally) so of course you were annoyed!
            The weekend right before you had been kinda “thrilled” as he had snuck out to see in the middle of the night to see you AND he was talking about “”loving his girlfriend”
            So just one week later and he totally flip flopped: he more or less let you drop to the ground with a hard thump! Instead he was catering to his wife and talking to you about another woman’s “butt”.
            Then he had the nerve to accuse you of writing a “text book” and that it “blows.”
            The nerve of these MM’s.
            That was just him not taking responsibility for his actions then blaming you!
            You were not writing a book whatsoever.
            You have a perfect right to your feelings.
            If I had a dollar for every time this sort of thing happened during my affair I would be rich by now.
            This happened to me (“US”) all the time: these unforeseen, unplanned flip flops of behavior on my ex MM’s part . It made me feel horrible each and every time but I tried to be brave and suck it up and not bother him with my feelings too much. I became very shut down after years of doing this.
            In your affair you must decide what you need from him: and whether you can tolerate (withstand) these constant highs and lows, and sudden emotional withdrawals that are all part of every affair.
            It ain’t easy no matter what you decide however! It is VERY hard on our emotional and psychic selves no matter what.
            Hugs BAF
            xoxo

          • LifeLessons

            Felk,
            I agree with everything you said. I was honest and fair. I try not to address everything he does to annoy me but whenever he goes back on his word without fair warning…its hard to pretend its ok. I totally understand this is an affair and a lot of things that happen can be viewed as, “it comes with the territory” but I feel like he still need to be respectful and communicate with me. I may have loose boundaries but I try my best to stay true to myself as often as I can while dealing with MM. I knw most things are out of my hands but I still demand a certain level of respect a certain amount of time and effort and when I am not receiving what I feel is reasonable I address it. Its not all the time, I dont think I say something about everything he does but you have to continuously show people how to treat you. I know I do not ask for much, i dont have high expectations of him, i think I am reasonablw with my requests…therfore, if he cant or is not willing to try to oblige me…that is a whole issue!!

            Communication…communication…communication…is key for me. I have said it to him plenty of times.
            I know we were both talking Sarurday night as we were driving home and I knw his intent was to come over because he didnt try to ignore me, he called to tell me he was leaving her to head back where we live but I got off the phone due to the comment and took a while (20-30mins) to call back so I understand he went home and I even understand how he couldve gotten in the house & got a little comfortable but he shouldve honored his word. I know he doesnt like text mesgs. He prefers to talk but we dont always have the liberty to talk about things right away.
            He didnt call Tuesday but he called me Wednesday as I was heading out with my kids so i didnt get to talk to him. I am hoping we will tlk soon…I am not upset about it anymore but I knw that situation brought some of my insecurities to the light and made me vulnerable…I dont like that but it is what it is.

          • Felk

            LL, if I followed the story correctly, though, when you were annoyed (about the butt comment) when he was driving back to your area Saturday night, he was the one who got off the phone because he was going into a store. Sure, you didn’t call him back for 20-30 minutes, but why didn’t he call back? He was the one who hung up you said. So, sure, I understand how he could have gone home and gotten comfortable if he was waiting for you to call… but he was the one who was supposed to call! And, either way, he still should have honored his word for coming over if you only live 3 minutes away. If he is generally good to his word, though, we know that it’s okay if people don’t follow through once in a while. He probably knew he’d be of no use if he went to your place because he was so tired. Of course, he should have been apologetic about not coming over, though.

            This is the thing about falling more in love. It just all keeps getting harder as the feelings grow. Yes, some of it gets easier, too. In my situation, the more the feelings grew, the more my MM wanted to spend time with me and the more he communicated with me so it helped reassure me and I felt less anxiety/insecurity over time. However, the more my MM spent time with me, the more I wanted it and the more he wanted it and the more disappointed we got when we couldn’t and that is ultimately what led him to try to end the relationship last year. The bad feelings of not being together and the bad feelings of neglecting your spouse (because you want to be with someone else) were too much for him. Hopefully, you and your MM can continue to stay realistic about everything, but it’s easier said than done.

            I am curious what my MM’s thinking about it all now, too. He seems to still want a relationship. We’re still going for drinks after work about once/week, and we know that he’s been okay with more physical lately. Soon enough I’m going to ask him what he’s thinking about our relationship and where it’s at (and what he wants). These conversations are never easy, but, if we’re going to have sex, we need to talk about our relationship.

    • Brave and Free

      Hi LL
      You ask: “Why does he say, I love my girlfriend” ?
      A. LL, I really think he is trying to compartmentalize a bit or at least keep his love for you in a separate category as his love for his wife and family.

      You ask:
      “Is it really possible for him to love me?”
      A. Yes of course it is possible!
      And yes I do think he loves you. He has been saying it more and more.
      Now he is saying “I love my girlfriend more than before” which mean he is loving you more and more.

      You ask: “In what way””
      A. Sexual/romantic love

      You ask: “Do I need to ask him about his “love” for me ?”
      A. No, personally I do not think so. I think it is best to just let him find his words. He seems fairy communicative. This is why I say this.

      You ask:” Why do you think he tells me these things his W and son says about me”
      A. I am not sure he has any hidden motive. I think he just tells you because it is complimentary.

      You ask: “Bad person vs Bad choice, what do you think about this, is their a difference ?”
      A. I think this one requires the clear logic of Felk lol.
      My answer is the usual one: Affairs are COMPLICATED. Yours is no exception!
      Hugs BAF
      xxxooo

      • LifeLessons

        BAF,

        I appreciate your straight forward reply. I know he typically tells me the truth about things and sometimes I read much more into it than I have to. I guess thats why i need u ladies to help me think rationally. I am not going to ask him about his way of saying, “I love you” after you and Felks reply and some consideration of my own, I do not believe its necessary. I laughed when you said, this one requires the clear logic of Felk…

        • BAF

          Felk I am glad you call me succinct and LL I am glad u say my answers are straightforward. I have become clearer much clearer about what I “know”. (Since my break-up with my MM) And I can also now admit when its best for someone else “more logical” to answer (Felk). question. 🙂

          Being out of my affair means I can not entertain too many thoughts and questions anymore about my affair.. I know what “is”. I know it’s “over” too. And I am busying my ever curious mind with art as a relief from thinking so much about my exMM. When out of an affair talking can become a trigger sometimes (like Lois just said too) and one needs a break.
          Felk and LL you are still navigating though your affairs and I can totally understand your needs for lengthy discussions about the affairs. I was like that too! But now I feel like I could just vomit all the words and thoughts I used to have about my exMM all over his restaurant. 🙂
          So much wasted time and energy on my end. I get it that it was all a learning experience and as such a necessary one for me for whatever reasons. But I want to move FORWARD!! So yeah plan on my answers being “brief”. LOL. And damn I hope my next “love learning lesson” comes in an easier form!

          Congratulations to you both for the progress you are both making with your affair balancing acts….it is one hell of a hard thing to balance. But I wish you both the very best too!

          For the other ladies here: the ones LEAVING their affairs:
          I still maintain that going NC with a former affair partner (or being in the process of going NC) is really a very excruciating process even when the person is not worth our time and energy. It does not matter if the person was a Narc or something else: It is STILL very very hard.

          The real NC means a once and for all closure. No going back.
          It means saying “goodbye” and then sticking to it over weeks and months.
          For anyone here leaving an affair and having difficulty with NC: there is a very good reason you are having difficulty! Try to take things “one day at a time”. Don’t beat yourself up if you “fail” and try to contact him/her. Just pick yourself up and dust yourself off and go back to the NC.

          And if your exMM wants to be “friends” I still do maintain that they mean some kind of sexual friendship even if they deny it. “Friendships” after affairs usually mean something sexual. It might be watered down sex true but still it means sex. Affairs are almost always like this because they START in sexual overdrive (as well as friendship).
          IMHO.
          Hugs, BAF
          xoxo

          • TTSP

            Hi BAF,
            Yep, there’s a hidden motive behind “friends”. Mine just tells me that if I want to invite him over he’d be here in a second. So while we agreed to end the affair he eventually reneged on our agreement claiming the drive, attraction and need for affection is too powerful. Of course for him an affair is a huge win bc he has all of his other needs met through someone else.

            I’ve stood my ground and not spent any time with him. I have not seen him in weeks. He can cajole and use his manipulative powers but I hold the key. I know in my heart that he holds me back from achieving my goal of peace and honest love with a single man. I just can’t actively date with him in the picture. NC is probably best when we’ve ended any relationship to allow for true healing to happen. I hope my ex mm chills out, gets out of the addictive fog and sees the benefits of our ending.

          • BAF

            TTSP
            Yes I have walked through the place where you are with your MM many times. I totally agree when you say “Of course for him an affair is a huge win bc he has all of his other needs met through someone else.”
            I think you standing your ground is very brave and determined of you and brava!
            I know what you mean that you can’t actively date with him in the picture too.
            To tell you the truth it is even hard for me to think of bringing a male around my house with my exMM so close to my locale physically. But it’s fall and so now he is inside all the time (Phew).
            And lately I am feeling flirtatious towards other men and open to being in the company of other men. This is awhile new phase for me. I am feeling ready bit by bit to explore thinking about and doing new things with other men. I have been socializing more and moving forward day by day without looking back so much.
            In the meantime I found a new “trick” that has been working with feeling much less attracted to my exMM. I realize when I see him with my eyes I see him one way and that way is usually blindly positive blindly drawn to him while forgetting all the reasons I am not with him any more.

            BUT when I look at him with my “mind’s eye” (my real eyes closed) I see a much different and far less appealing picture. I can see the man with the objectionable and self-centered behaviors. I can see the man that lacks empathy and never thinks he is wrong in my mind’s eye.

            In other words, my real eyes fool me but my mind’s eye sees the truth! Then I am repelled by him, not attracted blindly to him over and over like I used to be, no matter what had gone on before between us. My mind’s eye sees the whole picture not just part of it. Try this sometime maybe you will find it helpful too.
            Hugs
            BAF xoxo

    • TTSP

      Hi LL,
      How are you doing in general with everything? How is your emotional state? I ask bc your tone sounds upbeat but not entirely certain. Sundays are my rough days. I get particularly somber about relationships and past relationships as Monday turns the corner. To answer your Q’s, I think it’s possible for men to love multiple women. I think the type of love ranges. Hey may have familial love for his wife and romantic love for you. If you want to ask him about love you must be willing to hear whatever he has to say. Word of warning… I approached that topic at one point and the response I got was brutally and painfully honest. In the long run…. for the best bc I can use it as a reminder when I feel the urge to reach out.

      I believe everyone on here is primarily good and no one intentionally hurts others. We’re all trying our best in a really difficult world. Life is hard plain and simple. Something I’ve noticed and this may fall more on the female side but it was definitely true for me. I was mostly ok with my ex mm when we had regular, consistent, affectionate communication. Most of us women seem to be in the best place with these relationships when we’re in regular contact with our mm. When they pull away, become distant or become emotionally mia that’s when things go south very quickly. When there is sex involved I expect a certain code of conduct or decorum from my partner following the intimacy. Felk mentioned something about a high level of communication with a physical relationship. I can’t make any exceptions on that rule or accept any excuses. If we’re sleeping together he better ask how I’m doing the next day, initiate contact or something following our time together. No ifs, ands or buts. When they don’t you feel like complete $hit about yourself.

      • Felk

        TTSP, I find Sundays and Mondays the hardest, too. For me, it’s usually because it’s days of no communication with my MM, and because Monday starts up another week of having to deal with this at work. I bet Mondays are particularly hard for most of us as we have to face all the stress of another week starting up, it brings all of the relationship stress to the forefront, too.

        The things you say about sex and communication are what I was trying to say to LL. I find it hard enough when there is low communication after close time together (even if not physical), but when there is physical intimacy and then there is low communication after, it hurts. It’s not only that you miss the person and you want to sustain the intimacy with more contact, but it makes you feel bad about yourself wondering why this person isn’t contacting you. It feels disrespectful. It makes you feel cheap. I know if my MM and I have sex again that he will not want to get swept up in it all and he will be scared of getting into the badness of before. So, that will make him less communicative after. BUT… I will need that closeness. I definitely have to talk to him about this before (if) we have sex. For now, I’m okay with the kissing and touching we’ve done without a lot of closeness after. He hasn’t gone MIA after any of our recent kissing/touching, but we haven’t really stepped up our communication either. If there’s sex, though, there will have to be, at least, temporarily increased communication after.

        • BAF

          TTSP )and Felk) I think you are both on to something with the needed communication (by us women, if I dare categorize us together) AFTER sex. It is the much needed communication POST sex that is so one missing in affairs. I agree this causes problems. It was a huge issue for me during my affair. And yes it made me feel like crap and awful about myself too. Watered down sex, like kissing hugging, an occasional BJ, phone sex, whatever you can imagine, was never nearly as hard as full-on naked and vulnerable sex in a bed. But looking back honestly, anything sexual with him caused me to feel somewhat vulnerable emotionally and to need his communication and reassurance. And it often did not come in time for me to feel okay about “us”,
          Thanks for that insight!
          Hugs BAF
          xoxo

          • Felk

            Yeah, sex and anything sexual matters. It makes you vulnerable and makes you release all sorts of hormones that make you want more closeness. Thing is, I think my MM felt the same way. My MM was pretty clear about how hard it was for him to leave and how hard it was to be apart. It’s what caused him so much tension, led him to withdraw from his marriage, and led to badness last September. I think our MM may deal with it differently, but I think they feel the difficulty of not having the closeness after sex, too. If anything, in my situation, my MM had a harder time dealing with being apart than I did.

        • TTSP

          I think your mm goes incommunicado for those days to protect his heart. I used to do the same thing to put a lid on my emotions and gain some semblance of control. I think you’re very aware of why he might not reach out so I’ll leave it at that. Nevertheless it’s a rush of satisfaction to be in contact with the back and forth exchanges.

          It’s one of the lowest experiences of my existence not to be dramatic. Sharing your body with someone through intercourse is as close as you can get to touching their souls especially when you both climax. Sounds like you are in tune to your needs and will convey those to him if you decide to take it to the next level. Hand holding, kissing and deep convos build a close bond but no one that sends you to the depths of despair if they go silent for a day or two afterward. I can live with that. Once we get naked… I won’t belabor the point. You are wise to keep your heart protected and not because he isn’t a really good guy but bc he may not be able to meet your communication needs.

          When I remove sex from the equation in a relationship my emotional attachment starts to unravel. I’m doing better now that Sunday and Monday are over. I’m feeling goodish about my decision although it’s tempting to cave into sexual cravings and the addiction in general. Pain has a short term memory except with an affair. I’ll never forget the extreme pain or the immense pleasure. What a paradox!

          • Felk

            TTSP, my MM and I have a lot less communication now that we changed things up last September. I can no longer say “when we ended” the affair last September because it’s clear we’re still in the affair. So, last September either he tried to end it and couldn’t or he wanted to pull back a bit and make this more manageable. I think it’s that he tried to end it and he couldn’t (because it really felt like he tried to end it), but he’s suggested that’s not what he did and he was just trying to make a more manageable situation. Whatever. I know we tell ourselves all sorts of lies to get through these affairs. My long-winded point is that now that we communicate a lot less in our low-key affair, I don’t even really label him going MIA anymore. My expectations for our communication have changed so now I no longer expect much communication over the weekend. I might get an e-mail from him or I might not hear from him at all. I do think he does that to protect himself, but the good part is that now that I expect less, I don’t feel the rejection or the anxiety of the MIA that I used to when our communication was much higher. I’m not saying it’s great. I wish we communicated more, but it’s nice not to feel the anxiety of the MIA periods.

            I agree with the stuff you say about sex, though. It’s the same for me (and probably most of us on here). My MM was pretty good about making sure we texted and chatted online on the days we’d have sex. I think he wanted that closeness, too. But, the times that he wasn’t online after he’d been at my house, that hurt. I was unpleasantly surprised more than once when I’d wait online for him to show up and he didn’t. Because he was good about communication, I’d chalk it up to circumstances that he couldn’t control, but it still was hard. So, I’m trying to be careful about sex this time around. My guess is that he’s trying to be careful, too. (And we will both fail miserably.) I still feel no hurry towards sex (even though I very much want to have sex with him). I also am pretty sure I want to have a conversation with him about it before we have sex. It’s not that I want to set requirements for him if we have sex, but, well, I respect myself and I know what I need, and, yeah, I will need to feel some specific attention from him if we start having sex again.

            I saw in another post of yours that it sounds like your MM continues to try to spend time with you? You say that you have not seen him in weeks (and that’s great), but he continues to cajole and try to manipulate? Are you still talking to him? You know I don’t judge and we all have to move on in the best way that works for us. It’s just that you seem to say he’s still in the picture. I do hope that you can eventually go NC, because, yes, you can’t be open to someone new until he’s gone. It’s sounds like you’re getting closer, though.

      • LifeLessons

        TTSP,

        Thanks for asking about how I am. Most days I am actually pretty good and I think its because we typically have regular communication with one another. However, there are times when we just cant talk everyday. I guess depending on how emotional I am that day will depend on how it affects me. For the most part I stop getting upset about the one day he didnt call me. We had a conversation about it back in August and he has made great efforts to do communicate with me regularly as well as call back when he say he is. Last week we texted Monday, no call from him Tuesday. Wednesday I was in my feelings (partially) so I didnt answer when he called because I didnt want to talk to him, Thursday, he called I didnt answer again because I didnt feel like talking to him, so about 3 hours later, I sent him a text saying, hey sorry I missed your call but once I got home I worked on my daughters costume. He didnt reply but he called me later that day and I missed the call, he called again and I answered but I was out therefore I couldnt talk to him. He asked if I was out and where I was but we got off the phone right after. Friday, he called we talked for about 3 mins and his brother called him on the other line so he had to go…so last week didnt have much communication and part of it was me being stubborn….so, I didnt take that out on him because I went back to my call log and saw how many times he had called me and how many times I rejected his calls lol so I wasnt too upset. I think no matter how good this can be or convenient there are highs and lows. Its easier to tolerate when the highs out weigh the lows but the low moments are super sh#tty. I try to stay as busy as I can…that helps me!

  • LifeLessons

    Hi Everyone!
    ****Disclaimer***
    I know it’s been a long time. I try to keep up with everyones threads but I havent been successful…please inform me of whats new…sorry I have been MIA but I missed you ladies and wanted to see whats going…there are individual mesgs for everyone on this forum.

    B.A.F I dont know that I ever expressed my sincere condolenses, I am sure that has not been not been the easiest circumstance to get past. Prayerfully, you have been able to remain the strong and brave woman I have become “chat buddies” with. So sorry, I am late with this but sincerely hoping you are doing well. I know you have remained strong in not speaking with your exMM ?! Tell me, how youve been??

    Lois,
    I know some bits and pieces about whats been going on with your MM. You seem to be trying to let him go after the situation with his daughter reading your message. I dont know if you guys would like to remain friends or if that is even something on the table but I hope you are able to move forward either way in a way that suits you and your family. I know its not easy to get over these MM’s no matter how good/bad they treat us or how good/bad we allow them to treat us…when you are trying to break a habit, it is difficult and challenging. I have been trying so hard to change things about myself that seem simple and I have made slow very slow progress so I know it is not hard to make changes, anyway…I am happy he replied as I am sure that is a form of relief. However, it doesnt make this part of the process easier (in my opinion). I often think about how i got here (in my situation w/my MM) after connecting with this when I was about 7 months in, now I am almost 2yrs in…I honestsly believe we all have a certain strength that has allowed us to deal with these situations but its so crazy to me how we dont always apply that same strength to the “break up”….

    Felk, I have connected with you every so often. You always seem to give all of great advice and I know we all appreciate you. Hows it going with your MM, has he decided to come over to your house ?

    TTSP,
    I cant remeber all of the details with you and your MM but I think you guys “broke up”. How have you been maintaining ?

    J,
    I do not know if youre here … however, your MM was back and forth with his wife ?! He has moved on from his wife for good ? How have you two been managing your relationship ?

    Nomad,
    Are you still here ? lol I cannot remember if I have come across any threads from you or not…hope all is well.

    Hope to hear from everyone soon, sorry its been so long. I was feeling like I abandoned my support group and I just wanted to check in. If i missed someone, my apologies😊

    • TTSP

      Thanks LifeLessons for the note and checking in with the regulars. I think most of us take some time away from the forum to attend to other matters and not get too obsessed with our situations. May i ask how everything is going on your end? What is the latest news for you? Apologies but I can’t recall where you landed? I thought things were tolerable with your mm although his wife was trying to befriend you.

      Yes, the break up finally stuck this time but only because he came to terms with the fact that it was best for everyone to end our affair. Once we got on the same page we were able to close this door on amicable terms. My moods vary with each day but for the most part I’m doing alright with it. I’m mourning the loss of who I wish he was and what we could’ve had if we crossed paths at different times in our lives. I’m also licking my wounds from the self-worth hit I took while giving my heart to a man that loves someone else. Ooh I get shivers just thinking about it. Right now I’m not dating anyone but will get back out there when I feel like I’ve done most of my healing.

      Great to hear from you and hope the universe is bringing you blessings and good fortune. I loved your line about having the same strength with the breakup as we do with the affair because it takes one helluva person to cope with the emotional damage.

      • LifeLessons

        TTSP,
        Oh how happy I am to hear how well you are coping with the break up. It is truly a challenging task to face never the less, go through! You guys were able to end on amicable terms…again, wow! Things dont always end that way. It sounds like you are gaining so much clarity about what he was and wasnt. You seem clear about your path, wanting to heal before you start dating again is a really good indication of growth and that too is awesome. Sometimes we are in certain situations and we move forward without taking time to heal in order for growth to happen. When we do that, we find ourselves going down the same road over and over again….KUDOS to you for going about it in a mature/wise manner. Nothing about any of this is easy, and I truly believe our inner strength is freakin outstanding, we just have to tap into it when we are really trying to push forward. I dont know one weak person who can sustain a relationship with a man who has an entire life with another woman as she is on standyby waiting to have some piece of participation in his life…WEAK doesnt fit in that! So, please continue to honor yourself and rely on your inner strength to assist you throughout this ongoing healing process.

        Thanks for your reply and the update!
        LL

    • BAF

      Hi there LL! And how are YOU and the MM doing?
      Yes you have been gone for a bit, but you seem to have good memory too! LOL
      I have been around less here too as I am working more on moving forward past my affair into creating a new life than thinking and talking about my exMM and my past with him.

      Yes getting over my father’s death is very slow. VERY slow and I am following several on-line grief programs to help myself. But I miss my father constantly and am sad a lot about losing him.
      Grieving is long long long and it’s only been 2 months since my father passed.

      In terms of my exMM:
      I am not missing him. And I never cried about losing him.
      I used to get really emotional when he would dump me but not anymore.
      I have not contacted my exMM but we have accidentally bumped into him a couple of times and he has spoken to me and I have briefly. But only briefly.

      Nothing leads me to think I need or want to go back to the affair. My exMM is in reality a classic narcissist although he comes off very warm and flirty and inviting at first. He can blow me away in that way. But then comes the reality: He can not relate to me in a romantic relationship in any normal way. I almost feel badly for him but then again not quite. He has cause a lot of damage that he will never own. That makes me feel more anger than pity for him.

      My error over the years was to mistake him for a normal guy and expect normal behavior. But classic narcissists are “special” and one needs to learn to “re-think” when it comes to them and to their behavior because what they say and believe about themselves is not actually who they are. And they lie all the time even when it is not even necessary to lie. It’s all confusing and I was duped. Sometimes it makes me very sad that I was so gullible with him and that I was so duped, but as an “empath” I was really unaware that people could operate like he does.
      I believed so many of his lies and exaggerations and to this day I do not know the “real man” (and I never will) because he is hidden underneath so many layers even from his own self. But this “complexity” in him is no longer attractive to me as I have seen as much as I need to see in order to feel so much less attracted to him and/or interested in him. While I really was attracted to the “mystery” the “aloofness” the “coldness” the “detached-ness” for a long long time, (and of course the heavy sexual vibrations) now I am not anymore. All those traits revealed to me was serious red flags in the very end.

      Now I am much smarter and I can predict him quite well. His business lease will be eventually up so I don’t have to worry about selling my house and moving elsewhere anymore. I just try to stay clear of him totally and certainly sill do have him blocked on my cell phone, social media etc. I think he has been getting the message over these last few month quite clearly. But he will definitely hoover back around no doubt after some time passes.
      But now I know finally that this hoover is not because he “loves me” but rather he thinks he “owns” me and any other woman in his “circle”.

      A classic narc can never “let go” completely. It is their ego. They just can’t. But that doesn’t mean he has undying love for me. Or any real feelings for me. This is where I was tripping up all the time. I tried and tried to understand him and to give him time. I tried to be patient and I tried to be kind. But I did not understand the power of what I was dealing with.

      Eventually he will probably start to re-idolize me and try a hoover of some kind to see if I let him in a little bit.
      If I give in we will have some good times. For a couple of weeks maybe. Then he will coldly discard me again. Like complete detach. And I will suffer terribly.

      Now I know I have power: His behavior only works if I LET IT. SO it turns out I have a lot of control over what happens, more than I thought I did. I can dodge the bullet. I can hide, I can ignore. I can not let him in, not even a little.

      Another thing that happened to me since being on this forum is that I have developed real feelings of guilt about being in an affair and real feelings of empathy towards his wife. I have had the guilt for a long time but “over-rode” it many times in my long past with my exMM. But I don’t over-ride it any more. I am much more interested these days in taking my own feelings seriously than keeping track of anyone else’s feelings. This is part of recovering from being too empathetic towards others but ignoring my own self. It’s all good in the end. I am growing and learning and I certainly can speak about what it is like to try to be in a relationship with a classic narcissist!

      LL,
      I await your share naturally! I hope you are well.
      Hugs BAF
      Brave and Free
      xx00

      • LifeLessons

        BAF,

        Wow…I am sure losing your dad, has been sad for you. You can take as much time as you need to grieve your loss. It is difficult to lose people you love and losing a parent is probably more difficult. I will add you to my prayers! I am happy to hear you are involving yourself with greif programs to help you along the way. I remember you saying a while back, you had some issues with addiction and I must say, the blow up with MM, and then your dad being ill and eventually passing is not a trying time for someone who has struggled with addiction. However, you truly tapped into your strength, relied on yourself to make some important decisions in order to stay on the right path of self love, self worth, and growth. I have told you many times, how much I admire your strength. It seems you have a good understanding of who he is and you are turned off by him which helps you to NOT fall back into his web of deception. I am proud of you for loving yourself enough to get the support you need, for listening to yourself and not going back to him (especially considering how he blew up on you), for allowing you to regain trust in yourself again, and finally for being a voice of reason on this forum. You are moving forward to greatness and thats amazing!
        I am sure he will come back around at some point but I know you do NOT want to put yourself through the BS anymore, he is not worth it. You know he is a Narc and you have studied how they operate. Therefore, you have a clear understanding on how dangerous and slippery that slope can be. I know you will continue make wise decisions and grow during this journey.

        Thanks for sharing! I appreciate it
        LL

    • Felk

      LL, good to hear from you. When someone goes MIA from this board, I figure it’s because they need to take a step away to stop thinking about their MM or things are going pretty well with their MM and nothing new to report. I hope you’re in the second category!

      Thanks for asking about my situation. Things are going about as well as I could have hoped after the devastation of last September. It seems we do not want to let go of this affair and that we are both trying to make it work (again). Taking a step back (okay, many steps back) last September was brutally painful, but it might have been necessary to calm the intensity of a situation that was unhealthy for both of us. Although there might have been another route (with less pain) to get to where we are now, I like where we are now. Even though I miss a lot of how we were before, I’m glad that I no longer feel the anxiety that I used to feel in our affair. It was hard constantly feeling that intense addiction of wanting more. It became overwhelming for both of us, and now it has calmed.

      So, yes, he did come over to my house last week. We didn’t have sex, but we came close. Things are good. He has said important things about his feelings, and I feel a comfort that I haven’t felt in a long time. He seems happy and relaxed. I feel happy and relaxed. This is much better than the tension of last year (prior to the break-up when he was pulling away) and of this past year post-break-up. So, sure, we’re back in the affair again. He seems to accept that now, although he has not used that word yet.

      I’m trying to stay smart about it. Giving us both space is my main strategy right now. Keeping the intensity lower than before. Also, trying to stay away from insecurity and trying to trust that he wants this, which allows me to give space. Trying not to get too caught up in the next time we’ll spend time together. Trusting that he wants it to happen and we will get time together soon enough. I don’t mean to make it sound easy, but I also have not found it too difficult to do this over the last few months. There has been a lot that feels much healthier about lowering the intensity of what we were doing, and it’s easy to remind myself of how I like this much better than the anxiety of before. Of course, I do fear the intensity returning. I do worry about slowly easing back into what we were before so I’m not trying to be naive about it. For now, though, I will continue to take it slow and just try to be happy that he has stayed in my life as I’d hoped (and we didn’t ruin our friendship or our marriages).

      • LifeLessons

        Felk,

        You guys really love each other as I have said before. That is why you have been able to sustain your relationship. I remember how difficult it was last year to process what was happening. I think when you stop fighting what you feel and learn to accept it, you can be clear with yourself so in his case…he had to learn and be ok with his desire for you and what you two have together. I cannot imagine that being easy to do when you know you go home to your family everyday and have to be a husband to someone who doesnt spark your interest as much as this other person. The guilt alone makes you feel like crap. However, you two have really proven to want this to work. I have to say, I am shocked you guys haven given in to sexual desires yet. I think the fact that you both seem to have open communication with one another, it helps you to maintain your “ship”.
        I am sure it feels good to know you still have each other and you have not ruined your relationship nor your marriages. That doesnt typically happen in most cases considering the way you two feel about one another. You genuinely love one another. That amazes me a little! You are married, he is married, neither of you are leaving your spouse but you neither of you want to be without each other. Its like, you two being apart of each other lives, makes the your life puzzle complete. However, If you two were not able to maintain this, it feels like you both would be missing a piece of the puzzle although you have good sigficant others. I dont know much about “soul mates” and not too sure I believe in it, but you two have a pretty significant connection…one that will likely hold up for quite some time.
        ***you do make this whole affair thing, look easy, you two are an anomaly lol

        Chat with you soon
        LL

        • Felk

          LL, thanks for saying all of this. I do feel pretty strong lately, and I feel things are good with my MM, but the support helps. I have one friend who knows about the affair, and, although she has listened to me talk about it for 6 years, it is (understandably) hard for her to be supportive. I think it typically takes someone who’s been in or is in an affair to understand and really be supportive, so I appreciate it.

          I think you are right that it took my MM some time to accept his desire wasn’t going away, but it seems that he is accepting it. When he was at my house, he told me that he loved me. It had been over a year since he’d last said those words. In the year since our break-up, he’d suggested that he still felt love, but he hadn’t said “I love you” and he said it. You can imagine how nice that felt to hear after all this time. I knew he still felt it, but I still wanted to hear it.

          As for the sex, I’m the one who has suggested against it the last two times he was at my house. He is not pushing and he is very good at acting like he’s in no hurry (but, this last time, it was clear he really wanted to have sex). Honestly, I’m hesitant. I want to have sex with him very much, but I want him to be sure he wants to be back in this with me and I want to feel that he’s back in this with me. In January, when we last had sex, it was out of desperation and missing him and it felt completely awful the following week when he wouldn’t even kiss me (because he was still so torn over what we were doing and how we were supposed to be broken up). I want to be sure he won’t do that again. It seems that things have changed a lot since January and he wants to be in the affair again, but I want to be sure.

          Also, I’m not sure I’m okay having sex with him if our communication is as low as it is. I understand why our communication is much lower than before, and, as I’ve said, there are things I like about lowering the intensity of the affair, but, at the same time, is it enough for me to have sex? Will I feel respected and appreciated if I have sex with him and our communication is so low? I’m not sure. I don’t want to feel used, even if I know that’s not his intention. Even if I know he’s doing his best to sustain our affair and not destroy his marriage, I may still feel like crap if we have sex and then don’t talk much for a few days. I know it’s hard to have such expectations in affairs, but when we were in the thick of the affair before, I never felt used and I always knew he was in love with me. I needed that to be in a sexual relationship with someone. I would need that again. So, I’m trying to take this really slow and I will probably talk to him about this. I do not want a repeat of January so I’m in no hurry for sex (and I will be in no hurry to invite him to my house again).

          But, yes, it feels that we don’t want to leave our spouses, but that we also don’t want to be without each other. The connection is strong and, as you know, that makes it easier and harder all at the same time.

  • Lois

    MM said it has been really really difficult but has had to be strong. Thus the reason for radio silence. This was my response.

    ‘m sorry it’s so difficult. Letting you go has been one of the toughest things I’ve done in long time. I didn’t have a choice and was really struggling and hurting. I wanted so badly for you to say that you still wanted to be with me. Yes I know theres a difference between want and can’t. If you truly wanted to be with me, we could have figured out something. However, I understand your family has to take precedence and would never expect it to be any other way. My boys will always come first. I truly enjoyed having you in my life and greatly miss you. With all my heart, I wish things were different because the person who I want is you.

    • Felk

      Lois, I’m glad you were able to get a response from your MM. I know you wanted one. I’m sure it must feel good to know he at least sent something. But look at the relative content of what you’re sending and what he’s sending. It is good if you’re being honest and you need to say those things, but what you wrote doesn’t make it seem like you’re ready to block him and what he wrote makes it seem like he’s trying to block you. He is trying to be “strong.”

      I know it is really hard right now and you are missing him, but after all those lies you told us about and the type of person he is… is it really true that he is the person you want? (As you said in your last line.) I guess it just doesn’t seem like the person you want is him. I get that you want a passionate relationship with someone, but after how your MM has treated you (and other people), it really doesn’t seem like he is the one you want. Just trying to help you think through.

  • Lois

    Hello everyone. It is amazes how the situation with MM still feels like being on an emotional roller-coaster; some days I am good others I am struggling. The only bright side is that eventually this ride will finally stop once I have completely moved on and healed. I really did not text him in hopes it would generate a response. It was expressing my feelings, so I can move on and hopefully without any resentment. Unfortunately, I am finding myself becoming more aggravated and disappointed as more things come to light and the space is giving me clarity on things. You all know about the supposed health conditions which he has never discussed me with apparently has with others. Of course, this has been a red flag for some time but I was in love and did not care as long as he was with me. Then there was the time when he threw another employee under the bus knowing it was the truth because I told him it did not happen that way in a meeting…but he did it anyway. Then, I have had to deal with co-workers coming to me with various things he has said to them about the reason for his resignation. He has told things to people and I cannot keep up with who has told what to who…if that makes sense. He has had private meetings with a couple of his employees and told them about the affair and how she was out to sabotage him. He felt these employees were loyal to him and would not repeat it; however, he did not fully disclose everything like he pretended to them. So, then, he contacts two other of his employees shortly after all of this happened and told them she had make false accusations and even tried pulling a former employee of his into the mess…he never told the other two that he had meeting with about any of this. He told someone else that he had a good job opportunity and could not pass it up…this person was married to his first cousin. See where I am going…he has bits and pieces to certain ones. I am assuming to gain sympathy and used partial truths that he knew would win them on his side. I have no idea…but what a freaking mess. So, as time as passed, more people are now questioning things. I finally said yesterday that I know enough to be dangerous and not repeating anything because i do not know who or what to believe. Yesterday, I find out that he told someone outside of work that the reason he resigned was because of another lady there at work…the same one he threw under the bus a few months back. I am like so freaking confused and do not understand why he would lie on someone like especially this righteous person who wants to be more active in his church…is not this bearing false witness on someone. So what is the truth…was there more to it all. Was i so blind that I lost a friend over things? She and I have been friends for over 10 years. Yes, she did not handle things well and could have done things differently. Yes, she has gone over the edge with God talking to her and believing it was God’s voice directing her to take him down. It is sad because most people at work are now against her over things and tried telling her it would happen. I know she and I could not repair the damage that has been done especially after her accusing me of things and involving my nephew at work. As I explain only a portion of things, I am feeling very betrayed by both MM and my friend. I am disappointed that I have allowed myself to care about MM and believe that he ever had feelings for me because I do not think he is capable of feeling only when it suits him. I just do not know what to believe anymore and have had a migraine for 3 days…the first two days could not even get out of bed. I am tried of thinking…tired of hurting…tired of trying. I just want to be done and close this chapter of my life. I look forward to it becoming a distant reminder to never go down this road again.

    • Felk

      Lois, it’s going to be a roller-coaster for a while. You were in love. Takes some time to let those feelings calm down. And I know how frustrating it can be when it doesn’t feel like “you” (I know that I always thought I was “stronger” than to be as affected as I was) and when you’re so angry. It feels like the anger should make the pain go away, but it’s just not that simple. I think the anger will help you, though. I think it helps to recognize the many bad ways that your MM treated you. But, of course, dwelling too much on anger just keeps the negative emotions going and the goal is to try to get positive feelings again (as BAF is really good with reminding). I think it’s good to be honest about the anger and the reasons why he was not a good person for you, but I think you can also be fair to yourself and recognize that there were things about him you really liked. Ultimately, though, the goal is to stop thinking about him in general. It’s not quick, though. I had intrusive thoughts for months, but I’m hoping it’s faster for you since your MM isn’t around.

      I know you’re aggravated that he’s not responding, even though you say you didn’t send him a message to get a response. Even if that wasn’t the purpose of the message, you were hopeful that he would respond. And hope is brutal. Also, you may be feeling that he’s not responding because he’s “getting over you.” That’s not it. He’s not responding because he’s struggling, as he has through all of this and as he has repeatedly been honest about. Yes, he gave mixed messages, but he also struggled a lot with the affair and you know that he withdraws when he struggles. Try not to be too angry if he really has gone NC. Try not to think it means he didn’t care about you. You know how we all talk here about how NC is necessary to move on and he might be trying that approach. I know it hurts to watch him disappear, but it really will be better for your healing if he is gone for good. But, first, you have to accept that he is gone for good. No more contacting him and no more waiting and wondering if he will contact you. When you block him (and really block him), you’ll really help yourself heal. I know it will take time, though. Do it when you’re ready.

      As for all the lies, maybe your MM really is a clinical narcissist. That’s a lot of lies. It does sound like he tries very hard to manage others’ impressions of him. Of course, I can understand lying about the affair and why he got fired (because it’s personal and embarrassing), but there are just so many different lies that it seems he tailors the lie to the audience. That’s much more problematic. Also, the story you’ve told about the coworker that he threw under the bus even though he knew it was based on lies. That’s pretty awful. That’s narcissist stuff. When people deflect blame at the expense of hurting others, yeah, that’s so cold stuff that most people don’t do. These things are hard to see when we’re in the thick of it and we can tell ourselves all sorts of lies to justify this behavior. But, now, you can see more clearly. Hopefully, that helps you realize that you do not want a relationship with this man and that you can be glad it’s over and you’re done with the pain he inflicts. As many of us have mentioned before about our own situations, maybe it was that you were more in love with the feelings and the excitement of this new relationship than with this man himself. Do you miss him or do you miss the feelings that you associate with the happy times with him? I know it doesn’t make the pain go away instantaneously (nothing does), but I think it can help you heal more quickly to realize it is not him that you want.

      • lois

        Felk, it amazes me how much you understand my situation and are most of the time right on about things. I think there was a part of me that wanted to see if he would contact me,so I would know it was time to finally let go. I feel like progress has been made because never have I blocked his email but did yesterday. The email account allows you to block a sender but it goes to spam account. I also spammed his number on my phone. I CANNOT do this anymore…it has to stop! It have may have been TTSP who basically stated she has cried her last tear. I get it and understand because I am there with her. There is only some much a person can take and do in this situation. I have given it everything. I am sure he is struggling and you are absolutely correct he cannot handle it and goes MIA. He does not deal well with stress and emotions…very similar to your MM which is awesome because you give me insight to my ex-MM feelings that he would never discuss. I honestly do not know if he is a narcissist but do find it odd all of the tailored lies. A part of me has been missing my friend and feel badly for how things have ended between us. I have wondered if ex-MM lied about things to drive a wedge between because he did not want to her to any allies at work. Apparently, he had already told two of his other supervisors that my friend was out to get him and he had concerns before this all went down in July. I am assuming he did this after me warning him and he knew my friend was going to be upset about the department changes which affected these other supervisors because he took away their supervisor rights as well. I say that the one supervisor on paper no longer had supervisor rights but he told her it was only because he had to take away the other two supervisor rights because they could not get along with your employees. See how it manipulated things. He told me all rights were taken away across the board. However, the one supervisor told me as well as her employee that it was strictly on paper . It is very difficult to think he ever really cared about me with all of the lies and manipulation. It is okay because my feelings were genuine and it’s been a hard lesson to learn. I do worry about what his wife knows and what my friend my know because I do not want to lose the respect of my boys because they are my world. I am aggravated at myself for ever getting involved but really had no intention in falling in love…just wanted the romance or at least that’s what I think…not sure what I was looking for or expected.I have missed us talking and laughing…have missed the feeling of passion. He intrigued me and made me want more, so it was partially the chase and thrill seeker in me. I have so many unanswered questions and now so much uncertainty of what is the truth that the only solution is to put all behind me and never look back again. Yes, it is easier said than done. I am fortunate for these last few months because it allowed me to slowly build up resistance and my wall to ending things. Again, Felk…thank you for your insight and helping me really think about things through the situations with your MM. BAF, thank you for reminding me to not let my negative emotions overpower the positive. I am on the right path but have there is a light at the end of this tunnel and can see it. Thank you.

        • Felk

          Lois, I understand sending that text to “test” him. We do this all the time in relationships, and when people “fail” our tests, it can be an indication that the person cannot give us what we want. If you were partially sending that text to see if he’d respond so that it would give you one more reason to block him (if he didn’t respond), then good. You got more information about him and how he can’t even do the simple thing of sending you an e-mail to explain what happened with his W. You asked. You have good reason to want that information. You did not push/beg/pester. And he went MIA. Again. Although I give him some leeway to struggle and deal with this break-up in his own way, it is hard to make an excuse for him not responding to your request last week to give you more information about what happened, just for your own peace of mind. Even if he didn’t want to call, he can’t send an e-mail? But he can’t. That’s what you learned. Again. So, good for you for blocking his e-mail (and spamming his #). Really. If you can stick to this, you will soon feel strong for making the choice to cut HIM out of YOUR life instead of the other way around. Do not even give him the opportunity to mess with you anymore. Do not give him the opportunity to waltz back in when he feels it works for him. You have waited for him for too long. You have given him his chance. He missed it. And remind yourself that his distance did not give him value. We trick ourselves thinking that challenge means he’s worth more, but that distance just meant he was broken and incapable of a mutual relationship. The chase is so very exciting, until you realize that the person can’t be “caught.” At that point, you just disrespect yourself for continuing to try with that person. And you know I speak from experience so I’m not trying to say this is just you. I do wish I would have stopped chasing in those last few months of our affair. I can’t get a do-over, but I can make sure not to do that with my MM moving forward (and I have not).

          It’s hard to keep track of all the manipulative and dishonest things it seems he did at work, but it sounds like you have a number of stories that just don’t add up. And that’s in addition to the lies he told you about his health. I know you don’t feel it yet, but at some point I hope you can look back and be happy that this relationship ended. You will not get answers to the questions you have. You can’t trust him. He has shown that again and again. It’s not just that he won’t respond, but it’s that, when he does, he rarely seems open and forthcoming (with full honesty). You just can’t have a relationship (of any kind) with that kind of person. Or at least not a healthy relationship. Do not wait for this man’s reply. He has nothing to offer.

        • TTSP

          Hi Lois,
          I completely relate to having enough of them and the entire situation. As I try to recover from this mess I created I realize that toxic relationships breed toxic behavior. It’s hard to say whether these men would disappear under normal circumstances or if the anxiety of an affair causes them to shut down. With my ex everything was on his terms. When he was in the mood he’d be affectionate, loving and attentive but if he was not, he’d act distant and aloof. Sometimes they’d vary from one day to the next. I tried standing up for myself by calling him out on his inconsistent behavior but he’d respond saying I was being unreasonable and demanding and that everyone deserves to have off days. I think he’s moody in general and seeing that is good insight because that shows our incompatibility. He also gets bored with everything and those are traits you don’t want in a S.O. Everyone has mood fluctuations, however, I am sensitive and can’t handle mixed signals. I could’ve just kept my feelings to myself. It’s healthy to speak up, ask to discuss serious matters and observe how they respond. If they lie, shut down and disappear, turn it around on you or any other manipulative tactic than you can see their true character. It hurts to be treated poorly especially when they have another side that is wonderful, charming, interesting and so endearing. They really captivate your heart with their wonderful side. Something I read that I keep in mind as I mourn the loss of what I wanted him to be… The talking, laughing, intimacy feels so great because there’s such a huge disparity from their crappy side. You start to question whether they ever really cared about you and if they did why would they act the way they did. Time is our friend and I will not be repeating this type of relationship. I’m feeling better about the ending and I’m glad to hear you are moving on also.

          Felk, thank you for your response below. I agree that the chase of trying to win the heart of the mysterious, complicated, unpredictable man becomes exhausting and unconducive for a healthy relationship. It appears like you and your mm have struck the right balance for both parties and as long as it works for you guys than that’s all that matters. I will say you’ve always sounded strong but being back on this site you seem even stronger and more confident about your relationship than before.

          • Felk

            TTSP, it seems you have good insight on your MM and that you’ve detailed the characteristics that didn’t work for you. You are so right about how it’s is healthy to speak up, and that the way the other person reacts when a person expresses genuine feelings in a reasonable way says a lot about that person. A person who disappears, gets angry, shifts blame, lies, etc. isn’t a good partner. My MM generally responds well when I want to talk and when I express feelings about the difficulties in our situation, but there were certainly times when he responded with defensiveness or making it about his difficulties. Thankfully, he didn’t do that much and he mostly is good when I need to talk. It is an important characteristic in any relationship, and, within reason, we are allowed to expect that even in an affair. It sounds like you are getting clarity on what you want in a relationship partner when you start dating again. I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling better about the relationship ending. How are things going at work?

            Things are going about as well as I could have hoped with my MM given the painful times through the last year as we tried to figure out what we want and what can work. It seems we’re inching closer back together (and things went well at my house this week), so I want to be careful that we don’t just end up in the same bad place as before. Of course, the challenge is that the closer we get, the more time we want together and that can lead to the big problems. Hopefully, we learned enough from the past to mostly avoid those problems. I am not naive enough to think that there won’t still be problems, though. Most important, though, is that I feel strong and that I’m asking for what I want and need. I don’t want to lose that as we get back into this affair.

          • TTSP

            Hey Felk,
            Things at work haven’t been disrupted with our ending. Still, I’ve been thinking about a move for some time and will certainly look around this next calendar year. I’d prefer a clean break with no interaction but at least I can work from home and sit anywhere in the office. It’s nice not hearing about his personal details and feeling like someone stabbed me in the gut. I was never particularly jealous of the relationship he had with his wife because he found her physically repulsive. I could never stay married to someone that found me unattractive so no thanks on that one. I was envious of everything else they shared and now I’m removed from that news which is awesome.

            Do you consider your relationship an affair? I guess we each have our own definition and it may just be a secret relationship with someone of the opposite sex. I’m not sure exactly. Anyhow, when you talk about problems from the past do you mean the amount of time you spent together and growing expectations? Are you physically intimate now? Are you flirty friends that have some physical like kissing and hand holding? That might be a happy medium. You of course don’t have to answer my questions. Do you worry about him freaking out again? Even when things are goodish in an affair you never know if the other person is going to run. You guys seem to have open communication and dialogue about what is reasonable and what can’t be met.

          • Felk

            TTSP, it’s good to hear that work hasn’t been disrupted. It’s good you have the benefit of staying away from the office or sitting wherever you want at the office, if you need to be away from him. I know it must still be very hard to be around him. A clean break is ideal, and if you’re able to find a new job, I think that would be great and help a lot in this process. I know you’re just a few months fresh off of this ending, and I know how hard it can still be after that time. It sounds like you’ve made a lot of progress, though.

            Yes, I now consider my relationship an affair. I probably wouldn’t have considered it that 6 months ago, but it’s been clear over the last few months that my MM still wants a physical and emotional relationship (and I have not stopped wanting that). I genuinely gave my MM space as we tried to sort this all out. The space was good for both of us. We let some of the intensity calm down, and that helped calm some of the expectations, too. We are more than flirty friends. We haven’t had sex since January, but I think we will soon enough (because we’ve come close). Before we cross sex lines, I want to be sure he wants this again. He’s been more expressive emotionally lately (things he used to say), and that is helping me feel closer (if we’re going to have sex). I don’t think I have high expectations for an affair. I felt pretty reasonable before, and I feel even more reasonable now that we’ve let the intensity calm down. Although I do miss some of the intensity of before, there is a lot to that intensity that I don’t miss. It is, of course, still hard to manage my feelings sometimes. In an affair, there is always this feeling of wanting “more” and it keeps things exciting but also makes things hard. For now, though, I still feel pretty strong, and I feel some trust that he and I want the same things.

            As for him freaking out, um, yeah. 🙂 I definitely worry that he will still freak out. I know he always has that potential. He did it sporadically before, and I don’t see why it would be any different now. I’m still hoping he and I have learned a little and will avoid some of the mistakes of the past, but that is easier said than done. We do have pretty good communication, though, and I’ve felt much less confused lately. We’ll have more time together this week so I’m hoping we’ll talk about it all more.

    • BAF

      Hi Lois,
      I think you are exactly where you need to be in this process!
      You say: “I really did not text him in hopes it would generate a response. It was expressing my feelings, so I can move on and hopefully without any resentment. Unfortunately, I am finding myself becoming more aggravated and disappointed as more things come to light and the space is giving me clarity on things.” but I think it is unrealistic not to feel anger and resentment for awhile in most any break-up situation. Try not to stuff your feelings or demand too much “goodness” out of yourself in this stage while you are still sorting out who in fact your MM really was/is.
      And who you were/are in the affair. Yes love blinds us to people’s real attributes and the affair prolongs our blindness for several good reasons. One of these is because affairs are addictive and we are blinded by our raw desires being satisfied to the exclusion of all the more mundane “real life actual stuff”. You might become angry at yourself too, not only him. It’s all quite normal. Do not worry about the feelings. Just be careful how your respond to the feelings. This is what I have learned.

      As for all those lies btwn you and your exMM, I can understand how disconcerting it all must be. Truth be told I found out some sort of similar things about my exMM during one of my many “try to break up with him” stages we had. For example I found out he was flirting with his best friend’s girlfriend and was sexually suggestive towards her (according to what he told me his best friend said to him). But he denies this.
      It caused such a great rift between him and his best friend that his friend would never speak to him again. (I believe other things involving them competing over women may have happened too).

      There are many other lies I caught him in. Small lies and big lies. One of the biggest lies was a few weeks ago when I accidentally bumped in to him on the sidewalk. Because I am on a knee scooter with my broken foot I was making my way carefully across the street. There he was and he waited to talk to me naturally. Who he said “hey how are you?” in that semi fake concern he has for me, I told him my father had passed away. I watched his face as he processed this news. When I looked at him, I knew he had already known this, but he wanted to show me he was “shocked”. And that he “cared”. But really I could see the Narc he is clear as a bell.
      It did not work as I saw right through him. (Being an empath I know for sure lol)

      I knew by the expression on his face that he tried to pretend to me that he was shocked and saddened for me. But he was not really. A true narc like he is wanted me to talk about MISSING HIM!! not my father passing away or my obvious sadness about this. This was truly horrible moment for me: to watch him trying to “cover” himself over such a big event as my father passing. And to be so selfish as to even need attention at that moment. UGH.

      That day, I really saw what terrible “character” this man has. He was never the “good man” I convinced myself he was. I had become blind by the addiction and self-selecting the truth for myself. I think many of us do this. But we can not go on beating ourselves up forever about it. That is why I am trying to stay as positive minded as possible. But along the way we might start beating ourselves up mercilessly if we do not know what we are dealing with. Stay positive thinking Lois! Once we break up we get a chance to see these men for their true characteristics not the ones we invented.

      One more thing: IF your exMM is a classic narcissist (as Felk suggested he might be and you too have suggested) there are many ways you have to re-wire your own thinking entirely in order to understand him. A break-up with a Narc is NOT the same at all. First of all, if he is a Narc then him not contacting you at the moment would be less about his guilt or his torn feelings and much more about where he is getting his “supply” right now and with whom. Narcs operate very selfishly on “supply”…to them it is the most life affirming thing. Who can they get this from and how? This is what concerns them most. They are wounded early in life and this is their defense and they are barely even aware off it, if at all. Narcs NEED. But they don’t know the give and take of ordinary giving and receiving. It is useless even blaming them as they can not and will not change. (They do not think anything is wrong with them. Things are only wrong with “others”!)

      When a person in an affair gets “real” with a narc: for example an affair partner might want some explanations, some long conversations, some sorting things out, some goals or future planning, a Narc will bolt. Working on a real relationship is not something they are interested in or capable of.

      But they do not bolt or go MIA because they are confused or guilt ridden. They bolts because it is frankly “too much work” and they wants “supply” and only “supply” and not the complications of a real relationship!

      Narcs cheat for this reason all the time. Because they get tired of one person making demands for intimacy (not sexual) but emotional intimacy. So they bolt and find someone else for awhile. (They “discard”). But then they always come back if they are true narcs (they “hoover” then try with all their might to get their partner back using whatever emotional and psychological manipulation they can to get you back.

      If you do think your exMM is a Narc PLEASE read more about how to break up with such a person and what to expect. He might go MIA just to punish their you (another possibility) and then reel you back in when he thinks you have suffered enough. Be careful. It is NOT an ordinary break-up and he is NOT feeling guilt or conflicted if he is a true Narc. Instead, he is scheming how to get more “supply” and from whom and when and how etc.! And to do this they will lie lie lie. It took me so so long to learn this!

      Hugs BAF
      xoxo

  • J

    Hi ladies. I’ve been trying to catch up on everyone, but I’ve been very busy with work. First, I want to express I’m sorry to Lara about the loss of your father. An update: mm has been living with a friend for 2 months now, and is moving into his own apartment on Wednesday. He wants to move forward with me. We’ve talked about timelines and he knows that he needs to prove himself to me first, after so many fluctuations. We’ve talked about me leaving H in a few months after he is living on his own. I’ve read some of the recent posts about guilt. And I must admit that for some reason I’m feeling tremendous guilt lately towards H. I feel like our marriage was good before mm, and I let mm come between us and I fell in love. I really don’t want to hurt my husband, I love him and respect him so much. I feel like I’m stuck. I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I’m in love with mm. The idea of mm going home to his W or being with someone new deeply hurts. I don’t know why my guilt has multiplied now. Maybe because things seem like they are finally progressing. But mm still hasn’t gone to see a lawyer or filed for divorce, which means this could be a trial period and then he could decide to go home? He’s still helping W quite a bit and she still calls daily or even a few times a day. Should I feel secure? Or not until he actually files for divorce?

    • BAF

      J thank you for the condolences for my father. It is a lot to handle I must say coupled with a break up. As for you it sounds like Very positive progress with your MM. I am not surprised you feel guilt towards you husband and of course you will need to speak with him and that is going to be terribly hard. Do you think he has any sense of the truth already? But remember there is a big difference between guilt and shame and its important to think about this before you attempt any talks with your H. Has your MM told his W yet? Please keep us posted.
      Hugs BAF

    • Felk

      J, it sounds like your MM is taking the steps he needs to take to end his marriage. Of course, I understand your hesitation and skepticism given all of his back-and-forth before. Whether or not you should feel secure really depends on the signs he’s showing you now. We aren’t there and can’t evaluate whether or not it seems he really is leaving his W this time. He may be helping his W still out of guilt with no intentions to go back, or he might be helping her still because he just can’t let go. Ideally, he would make a clearer break with his W. That is what you need to see from him, but it’s a process and maybe he needs time? Just like you’re saying that you’re now starting to feel guilt about leaving your H, I’d imagine your MM is still feeling guilt towards his W, too.

      I think it makes sense that you’re feeling more guilt now about leaving your H because it’s seeming much more real. In the past, you couldn’t trust that your MM was going to leave his W so you didn’t even mentally get close to leaving your H. Now that your MM is taking real steps to leave his W, you have to face the actual decision of divorcing your H, too. I know that, in my situation, I mostly didn’t feel guilt or anything bad about my affair until I really started to consider leaving my H. As the affair continued and my MM hinted more at considering leaving his W, I started to consider the same. That is when I didn’t feel good things. I felt scared at the prospect of leaving my H and marriage and the life we’ve made. And I felt that it would be a horrible thing to do to my H… to take away our marriage, our extended family, our joint friends. And it would have come out of nowhere to him. He would have been devastated. That was very hard to consider. I never really got close to leaving my H, but it would have been a very hard thing to do had my MM and I continued down that path. As you know, I always thought my H was a better H than my MM could be, but it was getting to the point where it was feeling unfair to my H to continue distancing myself from him and I started wondering if I should leave him just to give him a chance at happiness with someone else (because I was no longer “present” in my marriage). In your case, it seems like you think your MM is better for you than your H. The way you’ve talked all along, you didn’t seem that happy with your H, even if you loved him and thought he was a fine H. Is that accurate? Do you think you’d be happier with your MM or are you now having doubts?

      It seems like a good idea to give yourself more time with this decision, especially because you want to be sure that your MM is not going back to his W.

  • Lois

    Hello everyone. I’ve been really busy with work and helping kids prepare for tests…so thought I’d let you know that I’m doing okay. I have not texted or no contacted MM since our last communication. He hasn’t bothered to call which didn’t expect him too anyway. I removed his number from spam but fling okay with it…I don’t feel aniexty everytI’m I get a message hoping it’s him just to be disappointed. I’ve only checked my email account twice today…well three times to see if there were any updates posts from all of you. I do appreciate all of your input and support in getting out of this situstion. I feel better today. It’s like being numb about things because I know with all my heart I gave and gave in this situation with very little reciprocated. He is the one who lost out because I wanted to be with him and treated well. I have been more than patient and understanding. I’m a very caring and loving person and deserve to be treated with love and respect. Regardless if he
    Is a narcissist, he has some issues and there are some red flags. I am just putting one foot in front of the other and feel stronger every day. I am on the right road and so far enjoying the peace and not having emotional Rollercoaster. It’s kind of cool actually to not be worried or frustrated as to why he has gone Mia or not responded to a text or wondering if he has decided to things. FREEDOM IS FEELING PRETTY DARN GOOD.. I woke up this morning thinking about what I needed to get done at work. The past several months has been not sleeping. Waking up and thinking about the situation with mm and hoping it would agree to meet me and possibly the day he will want to be with me sexually. It’s kind of sad that I let him get to me like that…I’m stronger than that. So thank you for helping get to this point and look forward to reaching the end. Have a great weekend.

    • Felk

      Lois, busy is so good. Busy helped me a lot through the last year. Also, good job not contacting your MM and leaving it to him to contact you. I know the freedom you describe when you are no longer checking your phone or e-mail, hoping for a message from him. When you are no longer, every day, thinking about the next time you will see this person and mentally planning the way you might ask, when you might ask, and hoping your MM will agree to meet. For me, it took months to get to that freedom. If you are already starting to feel it, that’s great. It means you had already done some healing over the last few months, and that makes sense given how often your MM was MIA and how you already had to get used to little contact from him. It was such a breakthrough for me to get to the point of stopping trying to plan ahead. I used to do that SO much in our affair. Always thinking of the next time we could be together, and especially the next time we could have a “date” together. It was exhausting. Months ago, I finally recognized that I was still doing that, even in the break-up, and I recognized how much it was preventing my healing. And, oh, the freedom of not wondering if he’s going to end things. I know you went through it these last few months, every day wondering. It is miserable. To be free from that, even through the sadness, is a pretty great thing.

      I hope you can keep reminding yourself, through any sadness, that you did give your all and that you were patient and understanding. That you tried to make this relationship work, and it was him, not you, that failed. You deserved more, and it takes a lot of strength for you to stand up for that, as you did, through these last few months. You did not let him push you aside (too much). You kept asking to be treated like an equal partner in a relationship, even through the fear of the affair potentially ending. Not letting fear compromise your self-respect is huge and a lot harder than we wish it would be at the end of a relationship.

      • Lois

        Hey Felk. I do think the psst several months has helped in dealing with the breakup because I’ve been grieving him since July. In the back of mind. I knew this would probably happen because he doesn’t deal with stress well. I’ve been down this road before with him. I just was clinging on to hope that our feelings were strong enough to sustain our relationship. I weakened today and texted him after six days of NC. I just told him that I was thinking of him and wondering how he was doing. I tried to recall the message but Gmail doesn’t have that function. I really do miss him and have wondered how he is doing…it’s just my personality. I have to say the distance in NC has increased so maybe I am slowly weaning myself away. I seriously doubt he will respond because his ego is most likely bruised that I haven’t been pondering after him. It’s weird because I do understand why he can’t be with me right now…there the risks are too high and I don’t want this to blow up on my face to where my family finds out. Since I don’t know what else is going on, I am thinking it’s probably been a good thing. It just doesn’t keep it from hurting. I know it’s stupid but I do miss him. Thanks for understanding and really appreciate your insight on my mm because you seem to understand after dealing with smilariities of your MM.

        • Felk

          Lois, you know I understand texting him after six days. When my MM and I first ended, I couldn’t go more than about a week or so of NC without contacting him… whether it was through text, stopping by his office, or sending him an e-mail and asking to spend time together. You’re so fresh off the break-up that I understand still wanting that connection. You want to hear ANYTHING from him at this point. Even if it’s a trite, “I’m okay.” My guess is that he’ll respond because you sent such a short message and aren’t asking much, but I guess it’s possible he won’t respond if he is really trying to do NC and thinks that’s best. As we find, though, it’s hard for both sides to go NC in the beginning.

          It’s good you’re thinking about the “I don’t want this to blow up in my face” stuff. When my married man tried to end it a year ago, I took a lot of comfort from recognizing that my MM needed to end it for his own sake and I needed to end it for my sake, too. Neither of us was healthy. And I definitely didn’t want to lose my marriage so I was grateful that we ended before there was a disastrous ending of one of our spouses finding out. Now, sure, I get we’re still taking risks, but it’s obviously a lot less. Keep reminding yourself of how it’s a good thing that no one in your family found out.

          But… you will keep hurting for a while. And the hurt will drag on longer if you are still waiting to hear from him. As you know, we keep longing for these men who are so closed. We talk ourselves into believing that we will “get” these closed men, the men that no one else can get to open up. We talk ourselves into believing that this distant/cold man is just a manly man and we are drawn to the challenge, but the truth is that it’s a man who is broken and can’t give to another in the way that most of us want. This is why I never wanted to leave my H for my MM. My best advice will continue to be to block him and go NC for real. I know it’s much easier said than done, but that you went 6 days shows that you might be getting closer to doing it for good soon.

          • Lois

            Hey Felk. Its strange but not sure what I expected when I texted him. I did it because it’s who I am and truly care about him and people in general. Sonce he hasn’t responded, it helps me reassure me that letting go is for the best because I deserve better than he has given me. I have been more than supportive and understanding. Regardless of his situation at home, I would never treat him like he has me especially after I specifically asked what he told his wife. This was a week ago or will be tomorrow. It was his choice to end things but it was my choice to go NC. We have not spoken in person about any of this it’s all been through text even his decision to break it off. He said we needed to talk some time and told him that my anxiety was through the roof and wanted to know what happened . He may be upset because I haven’t been on contact but I have to get feelings under control. If not. I will weaken and that’s not good for either of us. I don’t know what to think but I’m done trying to figure it out. I thought about sending him anot email telling him that I don’t understand but done. I am not sure that’s a good idea so probably will just let it go. I can say that his silence only reinforces that it’s time to be done with the drama. You’re right there is something broken it’s not normal to play these games and not share your feelings. We’ve been together for 2 1/2 years and this is how it ends. I have asked for very little but given lots…he will miss being in my life because I was good to him.

          • BAF

            Felk (and Lois)
            AMEN to those cold/distant man comments!
            So true. Those “puzzling/closed off men”……
            ughhhhhhh
            hugs BAF

          • Felk

            Lois, if you sent that text because it was true to you and you said something you needed to say, I think that’s good. If you sent that text because you were hoping for a response, then that might set you up for disappointment. We also know that, when a relationship ends, the rules change. At this point, it would be understandable if he didn’t respond (if he were trying to go NC). I know that you would respond if the situation were reversed, but we know that he may think NC is the best for him right now. In your situation, it would seem kind for him to at least give you some information about what his W knows, because you have told him how it is causing you anxiety, but it’s possible he is being monitored very closely right now and he doesn’t feel the freedom to contact you. Or, he is just being his usual self and withdrawing into himself when things get tough. Do you know him to usually follow through on what he says? If so, he may still contact you to explain the situation but he may be taking his usual time to do so. As best you can, try to forget and ignore. And try not to wait.

            As for the asking very little, I know what you mean. My MM would tell me that I asked very little, and I felt that I asked for little, but I know that, at times, my MM felt that I was asking for things he couldn’t give. I’d imagine your MM felt that, too. He always felt more pressure on his end, and, even if you felt like you asked little, it could have felt like more to him. As a side note, I also had thoughts during my affair, when my MM would say that I didn’t ask for much, that maybe he saw me as easier than I wanted to be. That, maybe, I should have asked for more or at least stood up for myself more. I know it’s a tricky balance in an affair because you can’t have the same expectations as a “normal” relationship, but sometimes it made me feel like I was a little too “easy.” No regrets, though. I acted how I wanted to act to try to be fair and kind, and if it allowed him to take advantage of me, I did the relationship my way (well, up until those last two months when I got too scared to ask for what I needed). I really don’t think my MM took advantage of me, though. And I don’t think I just tell myself that to feel better. He was kind and he tried hard for us. We just had different situations and what worked for me, mostly stopped working for him. I know you may not feel that from your MM, and, while I know that is still hurts, maybe it makes it a little easier to stop caring.

    • BAF

      Lois You are amazing! You are strong and brave :). You might decide to change your name here too one day LOL
      Yes Freedom feels pretty darn good!
      It is great you have kids that need help with tests : perfect place for your concentration for today. Keep thinking of positive things you can do and try to drop the negative! Think what ELSE can I be doing besides worrying about MM?
      I have found there are several life coaches on line who help people after major break ups. Some of them have many many videos that are free; Last night I found this woman named Stephanie Lynn, She has a blog with so many great and free videos! Go to her website then find the blog. I like it because it is upbeat and informative.
      As for your words:
      “Regardless of he is a narcissist, he has some issues and there are some red flags.”
      I say: You deserve loving treatment even in a break-up situation.
      Also Narcs and Narc leaning people are very difficult to be intimate with.
      “I am on the right road and so far enjoying the peace and not having emotional Rollercoaster. It’s kind of cool actually to not be worried or frustrated as to why he has gone Mia or not responded to a text or wondering if he has decided to things. FREEDOM IS FEELING PRETTY DARN GOOD.”
      YES! Freedom feels cool! We came into earth alone and we leave life alone so we have to put romantic love relationships and all other relationships with others in their proper perspective within the wholeness that is LIFE. We are whole and ENOUGH within ourselves!
      Have a great weekend.
      warmly Brave and Free
      BAF

    • Brave and Free

      Hi Lois,
      You sound so good this weekend! I am very happy for you. Bravo!
      I posted before but I am not sure if the post I made got lost or not.
      You are keeping yourself active with something positive (helping your kids with the tests) and this will help you to feel good. Your new “job” is to find new things that make you actually feel joyful and good. This is something you can control.
      Your MM’s behavior is NOT something you can control.
      Being vulnerable to a person who has red flags is always a draining experience whether it is a love relationship or not. Yes you do have tremendous capacity to love and yes you gave your all. You did your best. And now you can free yourself with no guilty conscience because that is your personal right! You are correct that he is the one who lost out.

      I agree FREEDOM feels pretty darn good! I have also found many resources her on the internet that can help you and many videos for free on-line as well.
      I really have found that life is much wider and broader than romantic relationships (which make up one small slice)
      You are a whole and remarkable woman whether you are in a relationship with this man or not.
      Breaking up with someone you love is really to me a whole lot like grieving. Both involve coming to terms with painful emotions of letting go of someone. But I am learning from grieving my father’s passing that we can and must go on living and in positive ways despite these sad feelings! We can get used to (slowly) moving away from a person into new areas and passions of our lives. New freedom and new exploration possibilities!
      Many hugs BAF xoxo

      • Lois

        Felk and BAF. Thanks for your support. I found myself struggling last night and almost contacted MM…bit DIDN’T. this was a big step for me. I just couldn’t let myself do it. It’s been 4 days of NC and left the ball in his court with my last email telling him that I would like to talk on the phone about things to get some answers about what he told his wife. He definitely didn’t treat me fairly bit he did distract me from my husband. I know my husband loveswas but we have some issues with our marriage. A couple of years again H found religion and like today he is forcing it down my throat. We have been fighting all week because he toldwas that I ruined our kids and no hope for our oldest who has 1 semester to get his degree from community college and plans to transfer to university. He told one of my other kids he was dumb, etc. All of this makes it even harder to get over MM who gave me some happiness when times were so rough at home. I’m just trying to get my kids through school and will reevaluate my marriage. I’m so tired of being treating me like crap. I’m tired of it. There is do much more to my life than most of you know but there was a reason MM happened. I just didn’t chose a very good. I think partially because I knew he was safeeling and NEVER would expect me to leavey family because he had no intention. I wanted love and romance and happiness without any strings so I could feel alive again without being ridiculed or expectations. I so miss the times with MM and feelings we shared and smile on our faces that often neither of us shared at home or at least in my part that is true. I dont know what is the truth with MM. Ugh…I’m tired of hurting and want to find happiness. Please keep me in your prayers. I’m struggling and have asked God to please take Mm from my heart and help me to. Find the right path he wants me to take.

        • Felk

          Lois, it’s a big step not to contact your MM when you are feeling it. I know what a difference it made for me when I’d remind myself not to text my MM because it would only likely be temporary relief (sending the text) and then it would be anxiety all over again as I waited for a response and then, maybe, even worse pain when his response was cold or just not as warm as I wanted. I started noticing that I was feeling relief more than happiness by his responses, and that’s when I knew I had to stop texting him in hopes of feeling that connection that I was losing. Reminding myself of that helped a lot through the worst of my break-up last September. (I am finally at a place where I can text my MM comfortably… and I don’t do it often.)

          I think it was strong to leave this to your MM to contact you when he was ready. I know it can feel weak, as if you’re giving him all the power, but it’s not. It’s strong in that it accepts that you have done all you can and you have to stop trying. He has to put in the effort now, and, if he doesn’t contact you, you have all the answers you need.

          I knew you had said before that things weren’t great in your marriage. It did seem that you were mostly trying to make a family for your kids. I understand the appeal of an affair when you are not getting those things at home. For me, I had those things at home, but my affair started anyway and then I created a situation at home where I don’t feel passion or attraction for my H anymore. So, although it didn’t start that way for me, now, I have a marriage that is not as exciting as my affair was. Even though my MM and I are still friends, we talk so much less than we used to and it is still sad. It’s much less sad, though, than it used to be. And my healing is slower because my MM is still in my life. You will heal and probably relatively quickly. To stop hurting, you have to let go of your MM. Even waiting for him to contact you about a phone call is going to keep you waiting and hoping. At some point, if your MM has not contacted you yet, hopefully you can block his # and his e-mails so that you really can get him out of your thoughts.

          I also understand you saying you might revisit your marriage after your kids are out of the home. It is a hard, but strong, thing to say. I’m sure it is not easy having conflict at home as you’re trying to heal about your MM. I know that I had some family stuff happen last year that added to my stress at the beginning of the break-up, and it was very hard to have both going on at the same time. That is definitely when I felt the most physically unwell, and that is when I really started to commit to getting myself healthy (exercise, walks, friends, etc.). So, as always, take time to take care of yourself.

    • BAF

      I wanted to make a little update of my life here:

      I have one son who moved away with his girlfriend who I do miss terribly but he is so happy where is at and he is near my extended family so I can not be selfish about needing him as he is my son and he got a job he really dreamed of in a place he also dreamed of! He took my beloved grand doggie with him but now we are enjoying FaceTime even with the doggie lol. Also he got a lot more time with my father this summer due to his new location.
      I got to concentrate fully on my father’s illness and passing fully PRESENT as I had quite the affair before this. I am SO GRATEFUL I got to be fully present.

      Luckily I do have another son (older than the other one) who is in the arts and rents an apartment in my building so I am missing one out of two! I try to stay positivie about the relationship that my artist son and I are now having without his bro around. I know they miss each other too however.
      They are both full adults 28 and 31 so I must encourage them to find themselves too.

      In the meantime, to start to organize my whole new life sans MM I have hired a new assistant and and she is 21 years old and truly I am starting to feel like I adore having some female energy around me! She is only 21 and starting her life and I am mentoring her more or less and that has put out clear boundary with my ex MM as now, my assistant and I are always together and we are staying very busy. She is here in the house a lot and I have been in in three exhibitions in the last three weeks so I am really happy! he is getting this message as I am “occupied” with someone else.

      As for my ex MM next door and his restaurant they have LOST the lease on their business! Sad but true.
      But finally I can see the true end of my drama with my MM, which is when a new store replaces them. It will not be right away but it coming!
      PHEW times 1000.
      I am not fond of losing yet another Mom and Pop business in our neighborhood to another chain store. But in this case it will allow me to finally breathe!
      PHEWWWWWWW.
      Now I do not have to move away unless I want to which has made me realize I never wanted to leave my home really. Not yet anyhow. I love my neighborhood in fact!

      So overall the key for me to moving on beyond the loss of my father, beyond the loss of my exMM, and even beyond my injuries and surgery has been POSITIVE forward minded thinking. Embracing the “new” as it comes my way and and not living trying to control anyone else anymore. And not living in the past anymore. As an artist it might be easier for me to do this as I actually adore new things and changes when it really comes down to it.
      I get bored easily actually.

      I also am in therapy and 12 step meetings so I have a network in my real life of helpful and supportive people.
      This is VERY important. Blogging is not enough to leave an affair (IMHO) as the addiction is fierce and so easily re-ignited.In truth,
      Personally, I can not be here too much on this blog as it is triggering however.
      If I am talking positive and future presented, It is not too too bad,
      But talking about “him” and his whereabouts, behaviors etc, and/or thinking about him is DEFINITETLY triggering so I just try to keep it moving froward.
      AND I STAY AWAY FROM HIM AND FROM THE AFFAIR ENTIRELY.
      Hugs BAF
      xxx000

      • Felk

        BAF, all of this sounds really positive. I didn’t know that you had another son that lived in your building, and, while it’s hard to have your other son gone, I’m sure it’s great still having one around. And you hired an assistant! That’s pretty exciting stuff. Sounds like things are going well for you professionally. And, sure, it’s hard to lose a mom-and-pop business in your neighborhood, but it is really good that you’ll have even greater freedom from your MM when he is no longer next door. I know that has always added difficulty to your affair over the many years. I’m really glad that you will get that break from him. I’m also glad to hear that it solidifies staying in your home, which I know you wanted to do. I know you had contemplated leaving due to your son moving away and your MM, but, even when you talked about that months ago, I know it was going to be hard to leave your home. I’m glad you get to stay.

        And, of course, it’s great that you’re in therapy and 12-step. You are making positive choices to move forward. I know we all take different approaches to our healing given our specific circumstances, but one of the things that I also did over the last year was to keep making intentional choices to help me heal (e.g., exercising, making more time with friends, refocusing on H). It is a slow process, but the intentional choices really do help.

        • BAF

          Felk thank you for your response. Yes I have another son. And of course lately the thought of adopting has crossed my crazy brain. Or getting a dog. But #1 I am really not up for tasing another child and #2 I am allergic to dogs. LOL. But the loss of the affair means a lot more free headspace and time on my hands. But I feel the emptiness at times too. And sorrow. My new plan is the get into better shape(physically, mentally, psychologically) then maybe try dating in a bit. There is a cute new science teacher at one of my schools. I need someone who is quirky but NOT an artist. Been there done that. This guy is quirky for sure.
          I will let my mind go with that idea of him once in awhile. But honestly I am not ready. Grieving takes time. And I am far from done. But I will get there!
          As for BOTH of my sons they are such blessings in my life! I am very lucky to have them. Their number one “trouble” at this stage in their lives? Love, lol. I never feel too confident giving them love advice. duhhhh
          I know they wonder sometimes why I have been “alone” so long?
          But I can not reveal the truth to them about my affair to this man they are very familiar with.
          Neither my affair break-up to my closet neighborhood friends.
          There is only one person who sort of “knows”…she is a former student of mine stuck in an affair with another former student of mine. I tried advising her last year to RUN! from him at the beginning of the relationship. She was not having it. I finally used myself as an example of the futility of affairs. But she was already too far gone in love. She is sooooo “in love” with him. It is her first really “boyfriend.” She is only 22. He is 30 years older than her. And he has been with someone else for 20 years. He is in love with the original woman but there is no more sex. He is in total lust with the younger woman and the sex is off the charts etc. etc. But he says he could never live with her.
          I hear the drama from BOTH of them and try not to take sides. Not easy! But they are both very stubborn. It’s a mess. Sigh. Don’t I know!
          The drama between them (on BOTH sides) is enough to make my head spin. And remind me
          why I do not want an affair back. An affair is such a lonely path! Little did we know.
          Hugs BAF

          • TTSP

            Hi BAF and Felk,
            I’ve been offline now for about a month to force my head to stop obsessing about my situation. I wanted to check back in and see how you all are doing. Everyone here has been immensely helpful in the recovery process, especially you two. I read a few of the posts and you both sound strong and positive. Lara, are you healing from your father’s passing? How long have you been out of contact with your ex? Sounds like you’re close with your sons and wow… you have a personal assistant. That’s impressive! Fantastic news that the lease on his business is ending. Talk about your higher power looking out for you. Felk, how are things going on your end? Are you comfortable with the relationship you’ve established at this time?

            I haven’t been dating anyone. I took my online profile down to step away from the dating scene. I’m planning to create a new account on a more serious site after I get a new phone and better, updated photos. After what I’ve gone through I’d rather settle down with a single, kind, interesting man that I like and have attraction vs. a toxic situation with off the charts chemistry and fireworks. I want stability, dependability, etc. You’re right Felk about these men being fundamentally broken. They’re elusive and hard to get close to unless of course they’re feeling it and on. I want someone that is consistently interested and available. I do not miss the unpredictability of one day I’m all about you and the next day you barely exist. Of course when I called him out he denied and blamed it on a busy work day like it’s all in my head. Sorry, I digressed.

            The student will get fed up with the major limitations of an affair and find another boyfriend. When you’re 22 your options are pretty limitless and you’re willing to put up with less. Also, she’ll learn quickly how self-destructive these relationships are on your spirit. No surprise it’s the same story told time and time again… I’m in a sexless marriage but we have history, kids, love. Once she fully accepts that he’ll never leave his wife for her she’ll want to move on. That’s when I truly wanted out even if I went back and forth for a period of time afterward. I believe people are only allotted a certain number of tears and I capped out with my ex.

          • Felk

            TTSP, good to hear from you and, of course, I understand taking a break from this site. There were times that I thought I might need to do that, but I found that writing about my MM and reading all of your stories was helping me more. I get taking a step away, though, because this site can be triggering of thoughts you are trying to get away from. So, how do you feel? How is your healing going? Have you had any interactions with your MM? I know you two work together, and I know you felt he wasn’t handling it that well initially. How is that going?

            As for the dating stuff, makes a lot of sense to still wait a bit until you’re ready. I understand taking a break to make sure you’re ready to date again before you put up a profile. I also understand using a more serious site to find stability. There really are men who are consistently available and supportive. My H is that type of man. I know why we’re drawn to the elusive characteristics in our MM. The challenge of “getting” that kind of guy and other masculine traits that go along with that elusiveness are such a draw, but we don’t realize that those traits that seem sexy initially are just bad for communication and healthy relationships. It does sound like you’re in a much better mental place, though, and I hope that continues.

            For me? Yeah, I am feeling much more comfortable with my relationship with my MM. Feeling much stronger and healthier in general. Almost entirely back to my “normal.” I still do have moments of sadness, missing what we used to have, but we still have a friendship and more. We don’t talk as much as we used to, but we still exchange cute e-mails here and there and go for drinks at times. He’ll be coming to my house this week as well. I know there is risk of losing a lot of progress we made if we’re not careful, but I hope we’re both on the same page (and it seems we are). It seems we are accepting that we still want some intimacy and closeness, but that we are trying to stay away from the intensity and badness of before. So far, it’s been working for the past few months pretty well. I do still have some flashes of jealousy (about coworkers who show him attention), but he continues to give plenty of signs that he’s in love so I try to override that jealousy as best I can. Bottom line is that I feel so much better and so much stronger. But, not just “stronger.” I feel strong.

  • Lois

    Today has been kind of tough and have had everything on my mind. I laid in my pool and thought about the situation and cried a little but nothing like Friday…whew I let the flood gates out. You would think after the past several months of mm grieving his brother and the job situation that I would have a better grip on things. I do think its helped ease the blow bit its still hard. I read everyones post about how your mm spends time with you. You have dinners…it’s a relationship but I never had that with my mm. I really don’t know what you would call it. I definitely think it was one sided and a fantasy away from my life at home. I have thought about all of the health issues that he has told other people but never me. Guess I will never know but have thought about stuff like that to keep me from contacting him. I understand that he had to fix the problems at home given his wife’s suspicions but like Felk said it would have only been something else down the road. In 2 1/2 years mm and I have only been together after hours at work. I know it’s silly to think about all of this but I have to remind myself this was never nothingore than convenience for him. I have known this but didn’t want to admit it. When he lost his job on July, I knew then it wouldn’t last but once again was in my fairytale world that he cared about and hoped it was enough to sustain our relationship but deep down I’ve known which is why I’ve struggled and held on for so long. I’m trying but it’s hard becausey feelings were geniune. Just needed to vent so thanks for listening. I’m so looking forward to not feeling like this anymore.

    • Felk

      Lois, it will probably be tough for a while. In the beginning, it’s the worst. You just so strongly miss the person and you’re mourning the loss of a relationship you enjoyed. It’s hard not to think of the happy times and miss them, and hard not to wonder why it couldn’t work. But, you know it’s good to remind yourself of all the reasons it didn’t work. It seems you’re already doing that, but you’ll have to do it a lot. Until you don’t have to do it as much anymore. Slowly, you’ll think about it less. Especially if you do not contact him.

      Like you, I had “warning” in my affair that it was ending, but I still was devastated when it ended. Sure, maybe those warning signs help a little, but mostly it seems we were holding onto hope and then it just goes away suddenly. That’s the withdrawal our brain feels. And you desperately want any contact with the person just to make those bad feelings go away, but it will only prolong the pain. In hindsight, I can see that in my healing as well. I did try to give my MM and I a lot of space right after we ended, but there were times that he and I desperately wanted connection so we’d hang out or, worse, when we had sex in January. And those times didn’t help me heal. They just delayed my healing by reminding me of what we didn’t have and teasing the addiction again. Flooding my brain with good stuff only to be immediately crushed by the reality that we were over. And I know that happened to him, too. So, I strongly encourage NC. For my MM and I, we worked together and didn’t have that luxury, but we also made it worse by spending extended time together early on. We needed a lot of time and space to heal and get to where we are now. I would suspect your healing will go much faster than mine since you can have NC. Of course, though, your healing will not be fast. Give yourself time to grieve and be angry and sad and all the emotions. I know your feelings for him were genuine and I’d suspect his feelings for you were genuine, too. Maybe there is some consolation in that, but just keep trying to encourage yourself to move on any way that works.

      • Lois

        Hey, Felk. Since MM and I no longer work together, I think it will be much easier and striving for success this time!!! I was really surprise a few weeks ago having him needing space to gain clarity that he texted me…honestly did not think he would and was okay it and started letting go then. Of course the progress that I had made went out right out the door, it was a nice gesture and something out of the ordinary for him to take initiative, so I was suckered right back in. I think it is different this time or least part of me feels that way because he came too close to being caught by his wife and his daughter got drug in the middle of it. The other part has mixed emotions as to whether he will attempt to contact me and how I will react. I do not think he will but he has surprised me before. I put his number on spam and it asked if I wanted the messages deleted…guess I am not totally done because could not do it…just in case he would contact me. I know, pretty darn pathetic…but I am trying and have found myself less and less even checking to see if he had contacted. This is really hard for me because when I give my heart…I give it 110%. I have re-read my prior posts and compiled all of them in word document to help me remember the cycle with him. In doing so, I have some consistency in my posts about his guilt with his kids, church and one point how I was causing a wedge between him and his wife and how he has felt trapped because I would not let go. There definitely is a pattern of about 6 to 8 weeks then his guilt builds and he has to end it. I have been told before it is not that he does not WANT me it is that he CANT be with me. And how there is a difference in the two. There has been doubt over his health condition…if there is one? I have commented about his narcissistic behavior. The longest we have gone NC was 7 days…but the longest we have have ended things was about a month and half. Like I said, I am hopeful this time will be different. I am hanging tough and being very stubborn right now! There is a part of me that would really like to know the truth about his feelings as well as other things…but have to wonder even if I would ask…would it be the truth. I have questioned so many things that even his feelings for me are questionable. Thank you for listening and appreciate your support. It is day 3 of NC…the last time was an email on Friday…so I am getting there one step at a time. Whew…unfortunately, it feels like weeks have gone by.

        • Brave and Free

          Lois,
          A while back I posted this slogan I found “Make the choice to let go of negative thoughts.”
          while my break up with my MM has been very very tough this slogan has helped me a lot.
          I can give you an example here using your own words (and pretending you and I are implementing MY slogan and refusing to let your mind “go negative”): (See my CAPS). I hope this might help you as I do know the pain you are in very well.
          You said:
          “Like I said, I am hopeful this time will be different.” YES IT WILL BE.
          “I am hanging tough and being very stubborn right now!” YOU ARE A STRONG AND BRAVE WOMAN AND CAPABLE WOMAN!
          “There is a part of me that would really like to know the truth about his feelings as well as other things…but have to wonder even if I would ask…would it be the truth.”
          THIS DOES NOT MATTER RIGHT NOW.
          YOU WILL FIND OUT WHEN YOU ARE READY, DON’T WORRY.
          JUST PUT ON FOOT IN FRONT OF ANOTHER AND EXPECT EACH DAY TO BRING YOU SOME GIFTS DESPITE THE BREAK-UP!
          LIST THOSE GIFTS ON A PIECE OF PAPER IN A SMALL NOTEBOOK AND TREASURE THAT NOTEBOOK!
          I have questioned so many things that even his feelings for me are questionable.
          YES HE LOVED YOU. YES YOU LOVED HIM.
          LOVE IS NOT ALL. LIFE IS ALL.
          LOVE IS ONLY A PART / SLICE OF LIFE. IT IS NOT THE WHOLE PIE.
          YES HE WILL BE HURTING TOO AND MISSING YOU TOO.
          BUT OF COURSE. DONT WORRY HE DID NOT LOVE YOU.
          YES YOU HAVE MANY FEELINGS TOO AND THEY ARE ALL PERFECT ANYWAY YOU FEEL THEM.
          IT IS NOT WHAT YOU FEEL THAT MATTERS IN THIS MOMENT IT IS YOUR RESPONSE TO WHAT YOU FEEL THAT MATTERS!
          IT IS THIS: CAN YOU STILL TRY AND TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR LIFE AND YOURSELF NO MATTER WHAT YOU FEEL? THIS IS WHAT TO STRIVE FOR.
          IN THE END IT IS YOU THAT MUST TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOU!
          many hugs Brave and Free
          xx00
          PS In case you are wondering does the pain ever go away completely and forever?
          In my case no it has not. But I never expected it too.
          But it does get better and easier with time.
          But I am consciously taking action to train my mind to let go of all of my negative thoughts. And from there I proceed with my day.
          Including: “this pain will never go away”. Who knows? Maybe the pain will go away some day? It does not matter to me anymore because I have found. I can live with pain. I would like to feel happiness and joy all the time but frankly this is unrealistic for any human being including me. So I simply don’t make that my goal anymore. Having lost my exMM of 21-odd years then my father this year and also my son moving away, and then having surgery and then accidentally injuring myself (!) I feel I can speak about this with some experience! My summer totally was pretty difficult, yes. But living with pain is part of the human condition I feel now. It is okay. I did not drink and I did not pick up a new addiction either. And I am not in touch with my exMM in any way. Nor do I wish to be. I figure thats pretty good for me for Summer 2018!

          • lois

            Hey, BAF. No apology necessary…I actually needed this especially after today. You would think the last few months of him grieving the loss of his brother and having to resign from his job that I would have been smart enough to see the picture on the wall of what lied ahead for us. I understand the situation with his wife and family, so I get that he has to concentrate on fixing things…just feel like it gave him an excuse to end things. He could have agreed to let things lay low for awhile; if he really wanted to be with me. Like Felk and I were discussing, if it was not this it would be something else later on…guilt, church, etc. It has been this way for 2 1/2 years. I just understand for the life of me why I cannot let go on this guy who has basically given me very little in the time we have been together. During our time, I have questioned his health issues were not told he did not want to discuss it but then he tells me how much he admires and respects me and has a level of trust with me that he normally does not have with people. What is wrong with me…why do I want someone who does not want to be with me…why do I have hang on and have hope that he start to miss me and contact me. Why in the hell did I cave today and contact him. I am so upset with myself for caring and having feelings for this man who seems to easily step out of my life like nothing ever existed.

          • BAF

            Lois again you ask some questions and again Ill try to frame answers within the context of this phrase: Make the choice to let go of negative thoughts.
            This statement is not a cure-all of course.
            But it helps me to realize I DO have some control of things. At least I can help my own mind think! (Given the amount of pain and longing you are describing this is no small feat. And I know your pain and longing very very well.
            This little phrase will help you to deal with all the withdrawal from the addiction of the affair as well as with all your swinging emotions.

            So here goes:
            You ask:
            “What is wrong with me?” Absolutely nothing is wrong with you.
            “Why do I want someone who does not want to be with me…”.
            You want to be with him because you deeply care about him. Simple. This is because you are a loving person and you want to share your love. This is not a negative thing. It means you have the capacity for loving and caring about someone.

            “Why do I have hang on and have hope that he start to miss me and contact me.”
            See my answer above.
            “Why in the hell did I cave today and contact him.”
            See my answer above.
            “I am so upset with myself for caring and having feelings for this man who seems to easily step out of my life like nothing ever existed.”
            It is simply not true you might never have existed to him. These are your feelings of doubt and self-flaggelation. Rather think this: Of course he misses you because you are a good and loving person. So of course he misses you.

            Having said all this you must try to also think this way:
            Of course this relationship is not working out well because of course, this is an affair and we are both married. This relationship can not have a real “future”. This is normal. This relationship is an affair. we are both married to other people.
            etc.

            I hope this helps Lois!
            Aim for self soothing thoughts and positive thoughts and reaffirming thoughts.
            There will be plenty of time later on for more answers and revelations. This part of self care is to get you through the first days and weeks.
            And if you “emotionally relapse” and go back to him remember that relapses are part of addictions. Some people “relapse” many times before finally getting ready to pull away for good. (Like me for example) 🙂
            Hugs BAF

          • BAF

            Lois again you ask some questions and again Ill try to frame answers within the context of this phrase: Make the choice to let go of negative thoughts.
            This statement is not a cure-all of course.
            But it helps me to realize I DO have some control of things. At least I can help my own mind think! (Given the amount of pain and longing you are describing this is no small feat. And I know your pain and longing very very well.
            This little phrase will help you to deal with all the withdrawal from the addiction of the affair as well as with all your swinging emotions.

            So here goes:
            You ask:
            “What is wrong with me?” Absolutely nothing is wrong with you.
            “Why do I want someone who does not want to be with me…”.
            You want to be with him because you deeply care about him. Simple. This is because you are a loving person and you want to share your love. This is not a negative thing. It means you have the capacity for loving and caring about someone.

            “Why do I have hang on and have hope that he start to miss me and contact me.”
            See my answer above.
            “Why in the hell did I cave today and contact him.”
            See my answer above.
            “I am so upset with myself for caring and having feelings for this man who seems to easily step out of my life like nothing ever existed.”
            It is simply not true you might never have existed to him. These are your feelings of doubt and self-flaggelation. Rather think this: Of course he misses you because you are a good and loving person. So of course he misses you.

            Having said all this you must try to also think this way:
            Of course this relationship is not working out well because of course, this is an affair and we are both married. This relationship can not have a real “future”. This is normal. This relationship is an affair. we are both married to other people.
            etc.

            I hope this helps Lois!
            Aim for self soothing thoughts and positive thoughts and reaffirming thoughts.
            There will be plenty of time later on for more answers and revelations. This part of self care is to get you through the first days and weeks.
            And if you “emotionally relapse” and go back to him remember that relapses are part of addictions. Some people “relapse” many times before finally getting ready to pull away for good. (Like me for example) 🙂
            Hugs BAF

          • Lois

            Thank you so much…needed to hear these positive things! I am truly grateful for the perspectives everyone has given because it is often hard to see the trees through the forest.

            He actually responded to my text last night which surprised me. He said things were tolerable at home but the quality of life was tough. I asked what he meant. He said very little communication and having to run damage control with his kids. He said there were other things going on than the situation with me that I was not aware of. I apologized for putting contacting him but regardless of our situation, I still cared about him. I asked him what he told his wife and if she knew about us, if the work situation has caused problems, etc. He said he would talk about it but by phone. I said okay and that was the end of communication. I had trouble sleeping last night because I could not get him off my mind. I would very much like to know what his wife knows and does not know because we live in a small rural community where everyone seems to know everyone. I do not want to be caught off guard and feel that I deserve to know what she knows or doesn’t know. However, I am not going to contact him again…he has my number. Also, I feel that he has used the text message situation as an excuse, so I am slowing starting to see the trees…LOL! Thanks again for everything and will keep you posted. I am taking baby steps and will see if he follows through about calling me.

          • Felk

            Lois, I’m glad that you got to hear from your MM. I know how much that helps you. I really like your plan not to contact your MM again and leaving it in his hands to call you. I hope you can stick to that. And I hope you can take steps to move on in the meantime and you are not spending your time waiting for him to call.

            My guess is that his W doesn’t know anything about your affair with your MM. It’s possible she may suspect, but my guess is that she’s still more upset about what happened over the summer that got him fired. I know you want more information from him about what his W knows, but please do not use that as an excuse to just get any communication with him and time with him. Please do not wait for him to call. You still sound like you need a lot of distance and time away from him, as it sounds like you’re still consumed with thoughts of him.

          • BAF

            Hi Lois I am glad he responded to your text as it seems to make you feel better.
            Now please do try and find some OTHER things that make you feel better too! Whatever it is let yourself have it or do it. Just nothing to do with him. Realize you can still have happy moments when you are doing something you like WITHOUT him!
            There is also no need to apologize to him!

            Any narc type person is really a wreck after being let go from an employment position.
            Especially if it were a prestigious position where he felt powerful. And if he was looked up to.
            Narcs have a very hard time managing “falls from grace” like this because in their minds they are so great…so awesome….”Why doesn’t everyone else see this too?” they wonder. They then feel victimized and “wronged” by others.

            I am not sure if your mm is a Narc or not but even if he has any Narc tendencies, you best read up on Narcs! If a Narc ALSO gets challenged at home as well by their spouse, well thats a double fall from grace for them. Their egos simply can not manage this. They have to collect themselves and tidy everything up so they can return to their former “Esteemed” position. They need people to see and say how great they are. Remember, being married and having a family is all part of one’s “status” especially if it is a small community. Marriage and families are very important for Narcs but they almost always cheat as well. This is just their internal make-up.

            If he is a Narc or has strong Narc tendencies remember this: He will NEVER EVER put your needs ahead of his. He simply can not. Neither his wife’s needs for that matter. His core needs, after all is said and done, are the most “accolades and applause” possible in as many forms as he can get them! He has to feel special and better than others. And Narcs CAN NOT change. If I know anything after all my years with my exMM it is this: I now know Narcs and can spot them quickly too. And Narcs and I are drawn together magnetically because of my nature and my pull toward them too. So I can not blame them anymore. I can only take real responsibility for my own happiness.

            As for whether he will call you back or not focus on what you CAN control not what you can not.
            He may call back. He may not. He may call back simply because he needs to think you still “want” him even if he can do nothing about it in terms of making a date or plans. This is not in your control.

            What you CAN control is your well being and your thoughts! Many hugs, BAF

          • Felk

            BAF, you know I generally agree about narc tendencies and how they lead people to be selfish, but, assuming Lois’ MM doesn’t have a personality disorder, it is just “tendencies” and he is going to hurt and feel “normally” as well. Yes, being fired from your job can hurt a narc more than a non-narc, but being fired from a job hurts anyone. You don’t have to be a narc to be hurting from being fired or from worrying about the problems you’re causing in your marriage. Even if he is the cause of those problems, he can still be legitimately feeling guilty for hurting his W and family. It may be somewhat that he is no longer idolized in their eyes, but it can also be that he feels guilty for cheating on his W (which he has said for 2.5 years). I think many people who have affairs, even though acting selfishly in the affair, feel torn about what they are doing to their spouse. And maybe, as we’ve seen from MW on here (me, Lois, Nomad, J), MM are more likely to feel this guilt than MW?

            Although Lois’ MM may have been acting selfishly in his affair, aren’t we all acting selfishly when we’re having an affair? Even if you’re single, you are still putting your own needs above that of your married other’s spouse and family. I guess I just think that all of us on here are acting pretty selfishly by having an affair, whether we’re married or not.

          • Brave and Free

            Felk I am not sure I understand your line of questioning. Yes there is plenty of selfishness on all sides in any affair but Lois’s MM let her dangle in the wind for quite awhile while she tried understanding where he was at and what he was going though.

            Lois, I feel you remained so patient while he backed off from the communication. And seemingly with out real empathy for you and what you were feeling despite him praising you (prior) and telling you he knew how loyal you had been to him at work amongst people who were basically accusing him.

            Yes I am sure he felt guilty about his marriage, his brother passing, his daughter, the texts, and maybe even his own illness (the one you are not even sure of). But he acted in a way that was bound to hurt you and leave you self-doubting and feeling insecure. I do not feel you did this to him giving him such doubts about himself whatsoever. All your words to him were extremely kind and loving. As I see it he left you in a more vulnerable and needy position, one in which you would be MORE vulnerable to his future phone calls or text messages. (And these will surely come one of these days). I think this is the trademark of a Narc oriented married person. Otherwise a person breaking up with you would try to say as many compliments and loving things to you as possible to make the break-up go easier for you.

            Yes normal people feel badly about getting fired but this was really a case involving sexual accusations by his former extra marital lover at the “firm”. That is a very loaded reason both for you and for MM’s wife and even his daughter. Your MM lost status in several ways not merely work related. He did not take this well.

            Yes I think all of us in affairs are surely selfish. But then something happens and one or both people start feeling guilty. However I do not feel we all treat each other equally. There are great imbalances in some cases. I personally do not place everyone here on this blog in the same category (Lois, Felk, J, Nomad) as I feel each story is very unique. As for my former affair, I was definitely the more conflicted one, not my exMM. I felt the guilt and the pain of cheating way more than he did. So much for the MM’s being the ones to feel more guilt and conflict.

            I was the one with all the conflicted feelings and the guilt, which is why I kept trying to get out of the relationship over and over. Because I could not handle the guilt. (Then I found out I was dealing with a true Narc in this process). And then I understood why I was failing at my efforts. But the Narc reason is NOT why I started trying to leave in the first place. I kept leaving because of the guilt. Figuring out my exMM is a Narc simply made it that much easier for me to understand what was really going on. I finally realized I was hoping he would give me things that he is actually not capable of. That is when I was able to see my relationship with him much more clearly and then I finally figured out how to truly let go.

            Letting go (and not planning on having a “friendship” afterwards) is VERY hard but doable like I keep saying. It is like grieving. Time and distance help but it hurts like hell too. Not picking up the phone to text or call is really really hard in the beginning, especially if the affair has left you feeling insecure and a “lesser” person than you used to be. If you have never tried it before and have not experienced what it feels like before, you must not beat yourself up for failing. It happens often. You have to keep trying again and again. And then one day it finally works! And you are FREE!
            Hugs BAF. xoxo

          • Felk

            BAF, I think it’s complicated given that we all have different situations. I know we see some similarities, but each of us is different and each of our circumstances is different in these affairs. I don’t want to paint too broad of a stroke and make it seem like we all react or feel the same. I know I can sometimes be clouded by my own behavior or my MM’s behavior when giving advice, but I mostly try to hear what the person is saying and take into account their situation. One of the best things on here, is that I think most of us are honest, even about our shortcomings and bad behavior. It makes it really helpful when trying to understand a situation if you’re not just trying to present yourself in a good light and your MM in a bad light. I don’t think anyone on here has really done that.

            I think I was trying to defend Lois’ MM a little because I feel that a lot of us are doing selfish things in affairs. (Like what if the distance we get from our MM is similar to the distance that us MW give to our Hs?) However, I don’t want to defend him too much. As you’ve seen me say to Lois many times, I don’t think he was treating her fairly by not responding to her e-mails and texts at times. I don’t think she was asking too much, and he could have behaved better. But, we also know that he asks for time and space and who gets to define the timeline for when that is too much? Sometimes I think we have expectations in our head for when the other is supposed to do something, but I don’t think we’re always fair in those expectations. Like I said, though, I mostly think Lois was being fair and wasn’t asking too much.

            I know you felt more guilt in your affair than your MM, and that’s why I singled out the MW on here, wondering if the MW here felt less guilt. It always seemed like that.

            I know how hard it’s been for you to stop this affair, especially given your other challenges this year (with your health, with your dad’s passing, with your son moving away). It’s been pretty impressive how you shut him down. It sounds like you still have to see him, though, but it sounds like you have maintained your commitment to being done. I do hope you’re feeling better about it all, and I hope you’re still thinking of moving away and getting closer to your son.

          • BAF

            Hi Felk
            This will be brief as it is late and I am tired.
            I was surprised when you said: “I think I was trying to defend Lois’ MM a little because I feel that a lot of us are doing selfish things in affairs. (Like what if the distance we get from our MM is similar to the distance that us MW give to our Hs?)”
            To me me, I would never ever compare those two things. I think this is too unfair to you mw’s here. You can not be expected to carry that burden.
            Distancing from each person’s spouse is one thing. Distancing from each other (as affair partners) is another separate thing altogether.
            I would only think to compare: you as mw’s distancing from your mm’s TO your mm’s distancing from YOU.
            This really brings home how most of what the mm’s here talk about here is their feelings about the affair partners not the spouses. I am sure the mw’s feel guilt about their spouses too. But that does not translate into being MIA for the affair partner.

            I think most of the women here married or not make too many excuses for our mm’s behavior. I think most of us here act too kind and patient to a fault. And I think it is because we are women, after all, and not men. We are born nurturers, providers of love, etc. I also think many men take advantage of this trait, especially in affairs.
            Unfortunately very few women in affairs have the same power their married affair partners have in the SAME affair for a wide variety of reasons, many of them work and employment related, many others “cultural” related. And, if one takes into account formal religions and sexist cultures (including ours) forget it as most of us are seen as promiscuous sluts, etc. So as women in affairs the cards are NOT stacked in our favor. Thus being in an affair is often contrary to our best interests overall even if we have great sex, passion etc, these come at a great cost.
            BAF
            xoxo

          • BAF

            oops typo
            I said in my post:
            “This really brings home how most of what the mm’s here talk about here is…”
            What I meant is:
            “This really brings home how most of what the MW’’s here talk about here is”
            BAF

          • Felk

            BAF, it may be that I am projecting onto others with my own situation, but I find similarities in the way that I treat my H to the way my MM treats me. I think power has a lot to do with it, and any time a person feels they have more power in the relationship, they have more freedom to assert their own wants and needs. Just as I have more power in my marriage, my MM had more power in our relationship because he had kids and he was always less available. I know it’s not the exact same thing between how I treat my H and how my MM treats me, but my distance to my H during the affair was worse than my MM’s sporadic distance. I know there are different factors that affect how we treat our Hs and our MM, but I was able to recognize some of the bad ways I was treating my H by comparing it to how I felt with similar distance from my MM.

            As for the guilt, you know I felt very little during my affair (and continue to feel little guilt as my affair continues). My MM felt a lot more guilt and tension than I did. Again, I think it was because of his kids, and I understand that. I do not want my H to find out and I do not want to leave my H, but I do not feel guilt for what I am doing. Cognitively, I just think it’s what works for me to rationalize the relationship. If I felt guilt, I think it’d be hard to continue.

            I get what you’re saying about the women and power stuff. You know I know. We have certainly put the burden on women to do the emotional labor in most relationships. It’s not a surprise we’d see that in affairs, too. But, in these affairs, I think we make excuses for our MM also because we desperately don’t want the affair to end because of the addiction. I don’t think it’s just because we’re more nurturing (yes, that’s part of it), but it’s because we’re also selfish and very much wanting the affair to continue. People will tell all sorts of lies to themselves when they’re scared of a relationship ending. I know I talked myself into all sorts of things at the end last year. Thing is, I suspect my MM talked himself into believing all sorts of lies, too. The addiction will do that to you.

            You know I remain agreeing about the cost of affairs. There is definitely a high cost. A cost most of us are willing to pay to feed that addiction.

        • Felk

          Lois, yes, I think it’s different this time, too. I think that there was more of a definitive end this time, not only from your MM, but from you. For months, you’d been hanging on, and, although I know you did not want the affair to end, I also know that you wanted a decision one way or another. I also think it’s different because his W is suspicious and his daughter is caught in the middle. That is not only harder on him, but it is easier for you to understand why he might have needed to stop. I also understand why you weren’t able to fully block him (and delete messages) on your phone. You took one step of putting his number into spam. That was important. Sure, you can still check to see if he sent any messages, but at least you will check your phone less. There won’t be the daily hope for the notification on your phone that he sent a message. For me, it was turning off gchat. That was where we communicated many nights/week during the affair. When the affair ended, I kept gchat open, hoping he’d still show up, but, after about two weeks (where he only showed up once), I turned it off. Then, once in a while, I’d login in again to see if he’d show up, but, soon enough, I’d log out again and stay logged out for months. So, I get how it’s a process. I couldn’t shut it down all at once right away either. But, it really does help you heal to shut it all down. Now? I don’t even really think about gchat anymore.

          I also used the process of reading old entries in my journal about our relationship to remind myself of all the problems (and how I would deal with them) so I think it can be helpful for you to read through your old posts to see how it’s all just the same with your MM. How it’s all the same problems and it won’t change.

          As BAF said, your MM was in love with you. You were in love with him. I know you want to hear it from him to help ease your pain, but hearing it from him might hurt more. It would make you miss him more and make you wonder again why you couldn’t be together. You want to hear it from him because you just want ANY connection with him again. I know this quite well. You think there are things you need to hear and that it will help you move on if you can just talk it out, but, really, all you want to hear is one thing – that he wants you back. And when that doesn’t happen, it just hurts all over again. Or maybe you do simply want to hear that he was in love with you, but they never say exactly what we want to hear or they also say other things that will hurt, and, the point is, you think you want to know the truth, but it’s really only the case that you want to hear certain things. I know this very well from many conversations with my MM.

          As for your MM contacting you again, well, you know how this works. You are keeping doors open because you are hoping for it, even if you don’t expect it. Your MM may contact you again. You know I don’t say that to give you hope, but you’ve seen it happen with women on here over and over again. The MM try to end it and then they surface again. Your MM might be different in that he no longer works with you and he seems to go MIA pretty easily. But, then again, we’ve seen most MM resurface so he might again. But simply thinking that can give you hope and make you wait. Please do not wait for him. I don’t know if he will resurface, but if he does in the coming months, he will not have changed and it will all be the same. You will just be setting yourself up for pain again.

          • Lois

            I am really stupid and sent MM an email telling him he was on my mind and hoping things at home were better. What in the world is wrong with me…the man said it’s over…why can’t I accept it and let go. I’ve humiliated myself once again and was weak. Of course he didn’t reply and isn’t going to…I know this so why keep torturing myself. I feel like crying and can’t believe how pathetic I’ve become to contact him. I know his family is more important and he has to fix things with his wife. She has to know something is up especially after the work situation.

          • Felk

            Lois, try not to beat yourself up too much for contacting him. The affair has been “over” for less than a week. It is completely understandable that you would still be feeling strong emotions about a 2.5 year relationship. I am the type of person who needs “closure,” so I made sure to ask my MM for time to talk when I needed it after the break-up. Yes, it eventually got to the point where I realized that talking didn’t really help, but, in the first month or so, if I felt I needed to talk, I asked for it. Even if your MM doesn’t respond, you got to tell him things that you wanted to tell him. You are not pathetic for having human feelings a week after a relationship ended. Also, if your MM doesn’t respond, maybe that will help you get some closure, too.

            As far as the things you write to BAF about why you have such strong feelings for this man who’s given you so little, of course that’s more complicated. The main reason, I believe, is that it’s the addiction. It’s not as much that you’re deeply in love with this man as it’s that you’re feeling the withdrawal from the addiction chemicals. I’m not saying you weren’t in love, but I’m saying that it is a complicated kind of “in love” when you’re in an affair because those feelings never get sated and you always want more. Our brain doesn’t get to habituate like it does in a “normal” relationship and the addiction is created. I also think that because your MM gave so little, it helped feed the addiction. He wasn’t “easy.” He made you work. Because you put in that effort (over and over), it felt SO good when he finally did show you attention. Here is this closed, distant man who is showing you love. What a reward! And I know it because I’m in the same thing. I have asked myself MANY times (as recently as this morning) why I am still trying with this man who is selfish and cruel at times. Why am I still trying with this man who doesn’t always treat me well? But, I think that’s part of the answer. My MM is wonderful in many ways. He is generally a good person who tries to treat people well, but he also has narc tendencies that allow him to be selfish and cold and cruel. And there is probably something about that combination that is intoxicating for a person like me – someone also with narc tendencies. If he were just an a-hole, I wouldn’t give him the time of day. But, he’s smart and funny and kind and our personalities match really well. And then there’s the challenge of his distance and lack of emotion that spark my narc tendencies to believe that I can “get” him. BAF has called it out before about how both he and I want to “win” and I know there is truth to that. I am in love with him, but I also continue to want to get him to love me.

            So, I don’t know if you say you have narc tendencies, but, even if you don’t, many people like the challenge and we feel so much reward from “getting” that person who is a challenge who no one else can get. Those things your MM told you about the level of trust he had with you that he doesn’t have with most other people? My MM says those things, too. Said he didn’t trust anyone else like he does me. Didn’t open up to anyone else like he does me. Said he liked so very few people and he liked me. And on and on. Recently, I read something about that type of man. The type of man who makes you feel special by putting others down (or generally suggesting that others aren’t good enough). If you think about what this man is really saying, it’s kind of gross. It’s such an arrogant comment, but yet we are wooed by this comment (about trusting us when they trust few) when we should be turned off by it. There are so many problems with a man who can’t trust or open up to others or doesn’t like many people. Yet, we love how special it feels. I’m not saying I yet have the answer to how to get “past” it, except to be better about calling my MM out on it when he says such things. And it is definitely how I know my H is better than my MM for me. My H is open and kind and trusting and likes many other people (and many other people like him). My guess is that your H fares pretty well compared to your MM, too. But, my guess is that you’re also feeling this big loss because of the comparison between the passion you had with your MM and the boring you have with your H. And that’s no judgment on your marriage. Just seems that’s what you’ve said about it, and I think that’s another reason it can be hard to let go of the affair, even if you know it was a bad relationship. It prospect of having no more excitement in a relationship is scary. But, if excitement is what you need, you can do better than your MM.

            As you know with these break-ups, these feelings will calm down when you really give yourself distance from your MM. You need to keep reminding yourself of the reasons the affair ended (he couldn’t do it, he wasn’t treating you well, etc.). Remind yourself of how unhappy you were much of the time. Remind yourself of how he lied to you, how he shut you out, and how he generally did not treat you with the respect that a relationship partner deserves. And remind yourself that you did everything to make the relationship work, and it’s no one’s “fault” it failed. Affairs are really hard.

  • LifeLessons

    Hi Everyone,

    Work is truly kicking me in the butt. I will be away for work this week so I may be able to write in daily…it depends on how busy they try to keep me. I wanted to come here because this is the space I can go to whenever I am feeling up, down, low, high, anxious, silly,foolish etc.
    Well, tonight I was in a situation that made this affair oh so real…
    I think that something in my brain or the lack of something there, allows me to compartmentalize things and then pretend they dont exist. Its almost like my brain restarts itself daily or every few days. I am sure this sounds weird because it is lol. However, i think its a defense mechanism to block out anything that may bring me back to the trauma. For ex; people may treat me a certain way and for that moment, I will be upset with them but before you know it, I have forgiven them and they do the same things over and over again and every time its like, its the first time they have ever treated me that way. I dont know if I am articulating myself in a way you’ll understand but I do this with my friendships and relationships. Instead of dealing with people based on who theyve shown me they are.
    Anyway…
    MM and I have been on pretty good terms with one another and I have been feeling pretty comfortable with this situation. Last night, I went in a store to get dinner for my kids and I heard someone say, hey stranger and I said, hey what are you doing in here ?! She said, you know my child loves this food, I said o ok yea my son asked me to come here but I dont want this. She said she has been waiting for a while but her food came and she said, alright good night. It was of course, MM’s wife. I wasnt trying to say too many words to her. I am consciously trying to cut down on our conversations. Him and I was texting because he was in the car while she was in the store. He text me and told me he was going to be off Friday and maybe we could do lunch. I said, ok cool. So, Friday is here and i text him to say hey whats up. He called about an hour later and said, he sorry he got caught up doing a few things and he would call me when he was on his way back home. I said ok. Normally, I would be so annoyed by that but I have seen him once a week and spent time with him every other week for over a month so I was ok with it. He called me as he said he would and we talked, laughed, he apologized for not coming earlier and I said its ok. He told me all of the things he did today. We ended up getting off the phone and he called back around 7p. I told him I wanted to get something to eat, I told him I wanted food from a place him and I have gone to on several occassions but it was too far and he said, babe its not too far. I said youre probably right, its not that far and he said that place sounds good. He said let me call you back and I said ok. He didnt call back.
    I headed up to the spot, and I got in there ordered my food for carry out and within minutes who voice do I hear walking through the door…yup…hers but this time his voice accompanied her. She said, why do we keep seeing this lady in a joking voice. She laughed, I smiled. She said, do you have a tracker on us and I giggled and said nah, I just got here though. She said, we come here all the time. I said o ok, what do you normally get. She said, she gets something and he gets something else. Well, of course I know whathe gets because he gets it when we go to that place. I said well if yall are here who will pick up the kids (i was joking, Just as she made a joke in an attempt to stay normal). She said,I dont think they will need a ride because there is a group of them.i said o ok,she said well I didnt say I was the personal driver for them. He said, well if they call I will pick them up. I said, ok but I will get back before yall so if they need a ride I can get them. They went to have a seat in the restaurant and my food came minutes after that. The kids called and I went home. Their son came over my house until they got back…
    When I got back to my car, I was so annoyed. I have not seen them out together in soooooo long that I have blocked it out to a certain extinct. Of course, I know theyre together, of course I know they go out but I normally do NOT have to see it and I dont like seeing them. I feel that him and I both were blown by the fact that we were all there. She said they come there all the time, she said we gonna have to call you and we all can come and I laughed. However, a part of me wanted to curse him out. Why would he come there knowing, I was possibly going. Why didnt he tell me he was going. I remembereed theyre very routined though, on the weekends they go there and another place him and I go to. I think he is so messy, taking us to the same place. I know they eat from there but to see it just did something to my spirit. It made me want to fall back and get my thoughts together. I dont know that I want to break up with him but it was like a slap in the face or maybe water thrown in my face. It awakened me. I think, i was treating him like a boyfriend and losing site of what this is. A part of me dont want to talk to him for a few days or maybe a week. Partially because I am annoyed and the other part is so i can truly allign my feelings or readjust them. If i had to name the way I am feeling, I would hve to say anxious, foolish, and insecure. I am thinking about earlier when we were talking to each other and I said, something about how something was from the beginning and he said, oh I dont remember that stuff. I said, why does it seem men never remember he said thats why we have yall to remember. We laughed it off. Earlier it didnt bother me but now, I am feeling like, he didnt remember because I am not that important to him. I am not sure how to go about this…
    My Logistical self says; be a big girl, wear your big girl understand and brush it off. If he mentions it, pretend it meant nothing to you because you know and should understand this comes with the territory. I dont need to tell him how it made me feel because, it wont mean much to him, thats his W and he is not going to all of a sudden stop going out in public with her. So I came here to see how I should consider going about things going forward.

    I didnt proof read, please forgive me for the errors….
    Chat with you soon

    • Felk

      LL, oh, how I know this kick-in-the-pants reminder of your MM’s relationship with his W. I think you and I are similar in having low jealousy about our MM and W, but, of course, every once in a while there is a reminder and it sucks. Last year, when he and I were still in the affair and we had just spent the night together (and he told me that I was the only one for him), I saw them the next day and they were holding hands. I’d say she was holding his hand because I’m sure he was doing it out of obligation, but it was still a kick in the butt to see. I didn’t really dwell on it, but it was a reminder that they are married and that they still do normal married things. Fast forward to Thursday, you know my MM and I are doing whatever now (friendship plus a lot of hanging out together alone still). My expectations have dropped, and we e-mail/chat online/text a lot less. But, just the other day at work, I caught the home screen on his phone as he checked the time and it was a picture of him and his wife. Ouch. I know it is completely normal. You know it is completely normal for your MM and his W to go to dinner. But, it is still a stark reminder of the situation we are in.

      But, how does your MM go to that restaurant with his W when he knows that you are probably going to that place, too? And how does he at least not give you a heads up text that they’re going there??? You know what I’m thinking? I’m thinking that he wanted to see you. Not that he wanted you to see him with his W, but that he wanted to see you so badly that he was hoping you’d show up. (My MM has said this to me about hoping I’d show up places randomly (and at times he was out with his W).) Maybe that’s just me putting a positive spin on it, but I’m trying to figure out why he wouldn’t prevent this run-in that he, just a few weeks ago, was saying has to happen less. Wasn’t he saying that you and his W shouldn’t be talking? (Like you don’t already know.) I guess it’s possible he didn’t think it would be a big deal to run into each other, or he thought that the odds were low that you’d run into each other, but he still should have texted. He shouldn’t put you in that awkward position. I know both my MM and I tried to minimize the times that we saw each other with our spouses, and we definitely tried to give the other the heads up if our spouse was going to be at an event where we knew the other was going to be. So, that’s why I’m thinking your MM wanted to see you and was hoping you’d show up. It’s either selfish (that he just wanted to see you so badly he didn’t think about how you’d feel) or it’s clueless (that he doesn’t get how it would bother you). He should do better.

      I get how you’re thinking that you should just pretend it meant nothing. I did the same with my MM. I never mentioned when little things like that would bother me. He mentioned a few times seeing me with my H that bothered him, but I never said a thing about it to him when I saw them together. I’d told him that I didn’t like thinking about them together, but I mostly ignored it. It really was out of sight, out of mind for me. I knew he was in love with me so I didn’t feel a lot of jealousy about them. I know he felt a lot more jealousy about me and my H, and I think that’s part of why he ended our affair. It’s as you say, though, it goes with the territory. But… if it really made you uncomfortable and you don’t want to increase his W’s suspicion, you could say something to him about how he should have given you the heads up so you didn’t run into them. It is messy him bringing you to places that they go together. My MM and I tried to avoid those common places. But, if you’d rather not say anything, you just suck it up and recognize that sometimes you will see them together and it will hurt a little.

      And… shouldn’t I just be saying that MM and I are still in the affair? I have no idea how to describe us, but if we are still hanging out alone once/week, he’s still flirting with me, he’s kissing me a few weeks ago, and he’s probably coming over to my house in a couple of weeks (we’ve made some tentative plans), aren’t we still in an affair?

      • LifeLessons

        Oooh Felk,
        You are the best! Lol you are so good with your word. How do you understand everything and give the best advice ?!
        You and your MM really do love each other…I think it is so sweet. Maybe, I am silly but I think love is this mystery, that we (as a people) want to make sense of but we will never be able to. Therefore, you and him and what yall have is special and sweet to me. Its almost promising! I love it. You guys are getting closer and closer and I am sure you love every bit of that. Yes you two are still in the affair, youve just turned the heat down to simmer…lol
        I think you may be right about my MM wanting to see me. We were suppose to meet for lunch earlier that day but he got busy so we couldnt. I do not want to think he would do that but it is a possibility. I spoke to him an hour before I saw them. He knew it was a possibility that I would go there because him and I talked about it. I was thinking of these sweet things to do for his bday and seeing that made all my sweet gesture thoughts go out the door. I had began to develop this mindset of him being my boyfriend! I wanted to do an indoor picnic in my livingroom, give him a poem I wrote for him along with a watch as a gift…some if the things I miss about being in a relationship. I thought about buying him several “small gifts” and creating a treasure hunt around my house in order for him to find his gifts, I thought about learning a dance routine so I could give him a lap dance. I mean…I had so many creative things I wanted to do and now I feel like that has gone out the door.
        You are right Felk, he did say we need to talk less (her and I) I planned on making that a real thing. I do not want to have long drawn out conversations with her if I dont have to. I dont knw if I will say something to him about it but if I do it wont be in a way that would make us get into an argument or anything like that.
        Every now and again, I do get feelings of insecurties when it comes to dealing with him. Him and I were talking and I said something relating to the beginning of our relationship (it was relating to the time frame it took me to have sex with him) and he said babe, I dont remeber that. I said, men never remember that stuff. He said, thats why we have yall(women). However, last weekend him and I spent time together and a song came on, he said I remember when I couldnt even listen to this song (it was Anthony Hamilton, the point of it all) I said why, he said I will tell u all about it some day. However, his memory must be failing him because I already know why. It is because of the girlfriend he had prior to me, he really loved her. I remember him referencing her a lot in the beginning. He has a tattoo that is in memory of her. I was a little jealous about that (it was short lived, thanks to my self diagnosed brain disorder lol). For a while, I felt like he was trying to recreate that with me. Sometimes I still feel that way…

        Its almost 2am…
        Chat with you later

        • Felk

          Aw, LL, you say kind things. I’m just trying to do my best to help all of you, just as all of you have helped me. I know what you mean about having all those plans to do sweet things for your MM’s birthday but then holding back on those ideas because you were reminded of him and his W. It’s a vulnerable thing to show him how much you care, and it’s hard to get vulnerable like that if you’re thinking about him and his W together. It’s hard to put yourself out there like that when you know he’s married to someone else. There were many times in my affair that I held back because I was scared to make myself too vulnerable. But, as you know, my MM and I made ourselves pretty vulnerable across those five years. That said, I know what it means to walk that line of offering vulnerability for closeness and holding back due to self-protection in any relationship but especially in an affair. Ultimately, I say do what feels best to you.

          As for me and my MM, yes, I’m happy that things are better. We’ve seemed to settle into a pretty good rhythm of spending time together but not getting too intense and creating badness. I still miss him and want more, but I also like that I feel comfortable with him at work and am enjoying our flirting again. I remind myself that we needed to stop that intensity last year because it became a mess for both of us (and especially him). He’s more at ease now, and that has made for good times for us over the last few months. I know we have to continue to be careful, though. I’m hoping if he comes to my house in the coming weeks that we can talk more about how to make this continue to work. Of course, the danger is that if he comes to my house, we might be having that talk in bed!

        • Felk

          LL, just a little venting today… although things are better with my MM, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t still do all the annoying things that he used to! Saturday, he sent me something sweet and vulnerable over e-mail. It was unexpected, but it felt really good. And, you know, it is rare for him to show his feelings. I replied to his e-mail on Sunday (expressing that I liked him sharing his feelings but not saying much because I know he doesn’t like too much attention to it). Today, at work, I go to his office, just to tell him a little story, and he’s all extra-jokey making fun of me today. Now, we often poke a lot of fun, but today he was extra. It was starting to annoy me because his jokes were all about how I was bothering him while he was trying to work. And it starts to get to me when I’m sitting there. Like, I start to feel self-conscious like maybe I really am bothering him. And he’s done that plenty throughout these years, but today I realized that he was probably all defensive like that because of his vulnerability in the e-mail! Today, I walk into his office knowing how much he likes me because of that e-mail and he has to hide behind all of his jokes. Annoying. 🙂 One of these days, I’m just going to get up and walk out. While I get he needs to be defensive, sometimes he acts like an ass.

          • Felk

            Will you allow a little more venting? Okay… wallowing is more like it. So, obviously, I wasn’t feeling great after work today and that’s why I posted the stuff about my MM being weird in his office. I guess I was feeling a little happy about his Saturday e-mail and the sweet thing he said, and I guess I was hoping we could have a nice interaction this afternoon. I even alluded to his e-mail and it made him a little uncomfortable, but it didn’t seem like a big deal to me since we have been alluding to us for six damn years in our offices. But, apparently, it was a big deal. So… he sends me that e-mail Saturday with some other conversation and then with that sweet thing at the end of the e-mail. I respond Sunday, continuing the first part of the conversation, acknowledging the sweet thing he said and asking what prompted it, and then ended the e-mail asking for time to get together this week. His response tonight? Just short and dismissive. And I’m probably overreacting because I was hoping for more, but his e-mail certainly isn’t trying to be sweet. It’s just all matter-of-fact and, ugh, the frustration continues. And it makes me want to back off and not talk to him the rest of the week. And, honestly, I hate that kind of stuff. I hate having to hold back and intentionally not talk to him. It’s just so not me or how I usually am in relationships. I have no idea if the e-mail thing was just too real for him and he was getting scared by his own feelings or I’m really having a moment and I’m overreacting, but the last thing I want to do is be all pathetic and hovering this week. And yet another reminder of how difficult this all is to manage.

            I may be being unfair, but what it feels like is that he expressed some (vague) feelings Saturday night, I reacted with happiness today, and he backed off, uncomfortable with addressing the feelings he’s having. I’ve felt this before, too… that he wants the freedom to express on his own terms, without having to deal with my feelings in return. I know that’s an exaggeration because he and I talk a lot, and he has given me a lot of space to express my feelings, but tonight I’m feeling frustrated by how he’s acting. It just seems, from what I know of him, that when he gets like this it’s because he’s having difficulty with what he’s feeling. Is it because of what he said in e-mail Saturday? Is it because he’s thinking about coming to my house next week? Oh, how I wish I could ask him, but a sure way to make him freak out more is to ask him why he’s being weird. 🙂

            And then I try to remind myself of two things: 1) that I think about every little detail way more than he does and everything is fine; and 2) I need to do better. I need to stand up for myself a little better in his office today when he starts making me feel crappy.

          • BAF

            Felk as you said to Lois, I have said to you: “BAF has called it out before about how both he and I want to “win” and I know there is truth to that. I am in love with him, but I also continue to want to get him to love me.”
            So if you admit to wanting to “get him to love you” why wouldn’t he be doing the same thing to you? In fact he IS doing this exact thing in all probability. Maybe without even totally understand himself in the process. Then again maybe he understands his OWN needs crystal clear he but can not really allow you yours?

            Since you both want to “win” he might be playing some emotional/psychological games with you unconsciously or consciously. But surely he knows he loves WINNING!

            In other words maybe as a Narc he does things that make no sense to you from your eyes/point of view in trying to have a relationship with him. But maybe to him its an automatic “win” for him if he knows he got you to love him?

            He is undoubtedly flattered by your patient and dogged “pursuit” over time even if you too have gotten some of your needs back from him in getting him to admit some feelings for you.

            Anyhow it is interesting how many of us are dealing with or have dealt with varying degrees of Narcs in these affairs. The more “Narc”people are, the more they do not know how to operate on a true interpersonal basis. They simply can’t! And intimacy is very VERY frightening to a Narc. They will retreat. Mine always backed up from intimacy, using his “I am married” line as his perfect excuse.

            Yet Narcs also “sense” they are “different” and want to try and do the right “normal” thing (sort of). But they also know they can’t.
            Narcs really they have to ALWAYS be the NUMBER ONE, the “winner”.
            And in todays crazy world, given the Kev confirmation, and Donald Trump’s antics, does anyone truly think a male Narc wants to get “out-beaten” by a female Narc? Nah. Not me. NEVER.

            At least in my case my ex (male) NARC had to win! And unfortunately I often let him because I do not like conflict in general with people. So we sort of got along “fine” for a very long time. Until I woke up.

            hugs, BAF
            xoxo

          • Felk

            BAF, I don’t disagree with what you’ve said. You know the tendencies of a narc. You know I also have empathy and capacity for love, etc. I’m not clinically a narcissist and neither is my MM, but I recognize these tendencies and they fit what you say. Of course, I think that my MM also takes the same approach to our relationship and wants to “win.” He and I have had many power struggles over the years. I understand my MM pretty well, I think. We are different in ways, but there is a lot in his behavior that I recognize in my own with my H.

            So, yes, my MM’s behavior does make sense to me. I know he shies away from closeness because it’s vulnerable. I know that’s why he’s not as open. I shy away from intimacy from my H. Even though it is much worse due to my affair, even before my affair, I had to be in control in the relationship and everything had to be on my terms. My H always expressed more openness and affection than I did. So, I understand my MM’s behavior. Still, it’s frustrating at times. While I know he shies away from vulnerability (we all do), I also know that he is capable of expressing and has done many times. Thus, the frustration. I remain understanding that it’s the bed I made, and I want to continue to pursue with this man. It seems he wants the same as well. If anything, he shows more empathy for the hurt he caused his W than I show for my H, and maybe he wanted to “win” less given that he tried to end our affair last year? As I’ve said, I do think he wanted to leave his marriage more than I did, and it was too hard for him to continue while I was married to another man.

            We know that narcissists are more likely to have affairs. It is likely not only the selfishness and low empathy for the spouse, but it is also that challenge of getting another person, right? And not just any other person, in our case, someone who is married. So, there is that constant challenge of getting this other person to love you more than their spouse. And, then, maybe you’re trying to get that person to leave their spouse? I never wanted that, but I’d think that was a pretty big motivator for narcissists in affairs. In my case, I never wanted him to leave his W and family, but I certainly did want him to want that. I’m sure he wanted the same from me. Ultimately, it is all very selfish.

            All of that said, there are also genuine feelings of friendship and love between us. It is why this affair has continued even though he tried to end it a year ago. It is not merely addiction. It is not merely the challenge. It is a genuine missing of a person that you liked a lot.

          • LifeLessons

            Felk,
            My apologies for not responding sooner. Wow…its always amazing to me, how we make up stories in our head about what someone else means and why they said or did what they did…before we can talk to them to allow them to tell us why they did whatever they did. I must say I am a bit surprised by your reaction, i know you normally dont seem to get too bothered by certain things but you know I totally get it. I know you know him pretty well, therefore you know he loves you, like really love you. So, you know he wants nothing more than to have things go smoothly with you. You could be right about how short he was in his email. You know he seems to get a little nervous at times and nervous may not be the best word to describe his behavior but he gets like that. However, you couldve been wrong he couldve been busy but wanted to make sure he at least replied to the email.
            I know you dont like to hold back on speaking to him and I dont think you need too but I understand if you do. If you feel its worth saying something, make sure you do. If its something you can be ok with dont but please dont allow him to make you feel crappy. You must stand up for yourself. I know we all like for things to go smoothly with our MMs and we dont like to get into debates with them but sometimes you have to so that they know you wont put up with certain things just because its an affair. I anxious to hear how things have been between you two ??? I laughed when I read the post where you said sometimes he acts like an ass…my MM does as well and its quite annoying but its one of their character flaws. I think you two can talk through most things and even where you dont agree it wont neccessarily destroy your relationship. It seems you two have a solid foundation with one another so when he starts his assholish behavior, I say you are within your rights to walk out and he come to you.
            Again, my apoligies for the delay but I was away this week for work and I was working and trying to enjoy the few days I had without my kids so once I got back to my hotel room at night, I tried to read here but I fell the sleep lol

          • Felk

            LL, it’s funny, right? How we get in our head. I definitely got in my head about that email/office stuff, but I’ll admit that his email surprised me a bit and I was probably feeling a little more vulnerable in his office Monday. And, in hindsight, I know he was making those jokes in his office Monday because he actually was really busy (oops). But, in my head, I’m all, “You sent me that sweet email Saturday. Show me more now!” 🙂 And then I’m all, “Oh, no, he made a joke about me bothering him. Did he not mean that sweet thing?” I joke a bit, but you know how we get in our head. I think I do a pretty good job of not getting in my head too much, but I’m definitely not “above” misinterpretations and overreactions.

            I think he did get a little nervous about his vulnerability, but mostly I think I overreacted. He was missing me and he let me know, and then he got a little uncomfortable with his feelings, as usual. And then I felt hurt/annoyed. Everything was pretty normal this week otherwise. It’s next week that is on my mind, though. He and I talked about him coming over to my house next week, and we need to solidify that plan. And, even though we already picked a day, I need to get the confirmation of the details. That always makes me nervous. I wish I could feel more comfortable asking, but I still don’t. It’s all still such a complicated thing that I don’t want to push too much. I know he wants to come over, but I also know that he could panic and feel guilt at any moment and change his mind. One of the many reasons I want him to come over, though, is so that we can have more honest talks about us than we can at the office. Every once in a while, you know I like to check in with him to see how he’s feeling.

  • lois

    This is the message, I received from MM: Things have smoothed out a bit. I had to take the time to focus on “fixing” things. It has been extremely rough for the past several days. We should talk at some point soon.
    This was my response: Listen, I have been struggling with things in my life and this with you has really bothered me. I am so glad to hear things have smoothed out a bit and you have been focusing on repairing the damage. Honestly, I really would like to know what happened because my anxiety has been through the roof and cannot take much more in my life right now. I get that you no longer want to be with me but it is really hard to move on especially not knowing what I did to cause of all this. So if you could please explain to me what happened, I would really appreciate it because I am really hurting and need some closure.

  • Lois

    Hey, Felk. You’re absolutely correct it isn’t working and it’s not going to get any better. I’m struggling and don’t even know what over except his wife read a text. If I’m going to struggle and hurt it might as well have purpose and know eventually it will get easier with time. Right now, it’s like ripping the bandaid a little at a time. Not only that but I found myself reading the email that I sent and thinking maybe he misunderstood what I was saying and thinks I’m done with him. I did say that I wanted to see however I knew he busy and didn’t want to cause anymore problems. The last thing he said to me was he would make time to meet this week to tell me what happened. Am I just second quessing myself and making excuses. I know he can be a jackass but it has surprised that he hasn’t responded with something. I haven’t had any contact with him since Saturday except my email on Monday so I don’t want to give in now. The other part of me feels like my email left the door open for him to contact me not the other way around. I’m struggling and hurting….tired of it. Ugh……

    • Felk

      Lois, I’ve done all that second-guessing where you wonder if it was the way you phrased your message and THAT’S why he’s not responding, but, no. You know that’s not it. If this were a one-time thing, sure, there might be a misunderstanding. But, he repeatedly goes MIA and so it is as it always is. He knew you wanted a response. He should have responded to you sooner. It would have been kind, fair, and respectful. But, he is feeling feelings and can’t handle it and he retreated. My MM did this over and over. He still does it (I just care and expect less now). It will not change.

      As your MM said in his reply (that took 4 days?!? And that’s not even counting the MIA since Saturday), it wasn’t that he misunderstood your message. It was that he needed time to himself and his situation. This will keep happening. Obviously, his W is suspicious and upset. Understandably, he has to handle things there. My MM would go MIA when things got rough at home. I don’t know if it’s a gendered thing or my MM and your MM are particularly bad at handling emotions, but so many things you’ve said about your MM sound like my MM. (If my MM had recently lost his job, I might think they’re the same person!) Even that “we should talk at some point soon” resonated with me because my MM would use that annoying “soon” so often and, in my head, I’d be all, “Good. Soon.” And then soon would rarely be as soon as I thought.

      I can see in your reply to him that you are understanding, but it also seems like you’re still hoping he’ll say he doesn’t want to end the affair. Maybe you are really accepting the end, but it sounds like you’re still hopeful. Regardless, I understand wanting closure and an explanation from him. I’m not sure you’ll get much more than what you already know, though. That it’s just too hard on him. That he just feels too guilty and anxiety-ridden about it all. When my affair ended last September, I knew why. But, sure, I still wanted to talk all about it with my MM and we talked a lot about it. It will help you to hear his words, but, in the end, nothing he says will make you feel better. Only time and space will heal. Logically, I knew all of the reasons my MM ended our affair. I also knew it was unhealthy for me. But, I still spent many months wondering why he didn’t choose our affair over his angst. Why wasn’t our love worth his angst? But it wasn’t. And I don’t say that to disparage our love. He is still in love. Our love was strong. But his angst was too great, and I think your MM’s is, too. So, if not this week, then when? You know I’d be happy for you if your affair could continue, but it seems like you’re where I was last year with my MM slowly pulling away. Giving some indication he wanted to stay and then going MIA… over and over. Until he ended it. I think you can feel that’s where this is headed. It really hurts, and I’m glad you told him that. I hope you get the closure that you need.

      As you all can tell here, I love thinking about these things and I love talking about these things. My MM and I talked a lot at the end of our relationship (it took us four conversations across two weeks to really “end”), and then I still wanted to keep talking, but I knew we couldn’t. That part was excruciating. And I knew we just needed the distance, and, after enough talking, there was no point in re-hashing anymore. That I just needed to heal. You know I’ve complicated it all by remaining friends with him so the healing was slower than it probably would be normally. But, given that we’ve stayed close, I want to talk to him more honestly about the break-up soon (ha! soon!). I feel much more confident. I feel much more me. But it took a long time, especially because we work together and are still friends and still do some kissing once in a while. I think your healing will be much faster if you can just go NC once you get your closure. I know it is sad you no longer work with your MM, but it will help your healing.

      I know it won’t be that simple and who knows what he will say to you. If he says he wants to stay, I know you will stay. I would, too. In the least, though, I hope you can be very (very) direct about what you need. Do not let his latest threat of MIA scare you away from trying to have a better relationship with him. Try to tell yourself that you don’t want this relationship if it continues as is and that the only way to change it is to try.

      • lois

        He replied. Apparently, his daughter was on his phone looking at vacation pictures when I sent a sunset picture and she read a couple of texts between us. She told her mom so his wife questioned the picture and texts. He had deleted everything which made the situation worse because his wife interrogated him over it and was outraged that their daughter read messages from me. He said that I needed to understand it’s not that he does not WANT to be with me…it’s he CAN’T and there is a difference. I responded that I was sorry about his daughter being put in the middle of it. I told him that I would do whatever it takes to not cause him anymore problems. I am crushed…like you said, I have not felt pain like this before have known for some time it was coming to an end. I knew it could not last forever but I really fell in love with this guy. I do not let myself have feelings very easily because I am pretty guarded person but wow…I am struggling.

        • Felk

          Lois, I’m glad that you got a response from him, even if it is not what you wanted to hear. Even when it is not good news, just having information goes a long way. The waiting and wondering is so hard. I’m sorry that he’s saying he can’t do the affair. I know you felt this might be coming, but it doesn’t make it much easier. It is understandable for him to need to pull back because of his daughter and W finding out about your texts (and I know you told him that). I am sure, after what happened this summer at work, that your MM’s W is suspicious and that he will need to focus at home to repair damage. There is just nothing you can do about it. But, most importantly, IT IS NOT YOUR TEXTS that ended the relationship. IT IS NOT. I cannot stress that enough. He has been torn and anxious and guilt-ridden for months (and longer). He has been MIA and distant and struggling well before his daughter saw those texts and told his W. It is not a matter of “if she had only not seen those texts.” No. No. No. Do not put yourself through that. If it wasn’t that, it would have been something else. He was on the brink of ending it anyway. You know this. So, first and foremost, rid yourself of the “what if” misery. I know it will take some time to let go of that (because it took me months to stop asking the “what if I had only” questions after our affair ended), but I worked very hard to let go of the what if stuff.

          Hopefully you can find some solace (eventually) in his words. I believe that it is not that he does not want to be with you but that he can’t. It was the same for my MM. I took solace in him telling me that he loved me but love wasn’t enough in our situation. And I believed him when he said that his marriage was strained and that he was scared. Neither one of us was going to leave our marriage so he simply could not continue the affair. It hurt him too much to be torn between me and his family. It is too hard on your MM. He is worried about his W and kids. Our MM were not able to separate the way we were (and, if we’re honest, maybe they can’t treat their spouses as badly as we can treat ours?).

          I know the pain you are going through. It is excruciating, crushing, debilitating. I felt depressed for about a month or two after my break-up, and I have never felt depression. I am a happy, optimistic, confident person. But I was numb, couldn’t smile, every task felt overwhelming. All I wanted to do was lie on my couch and wallow in my misery. I was distracted all day at work. I dreaded the prospect of seeing him and not being able to be together anymore. I was nauseated, had back pain, had trouble sleeping. But, I worked hard to exercise, find time with friends, focus on my H, did the Mend App, wrote in my journal, and wrote here. I also gave myself time to wallow and be sad. I allowed myself to miss him, and, oh, did I miss him. But I tried not to regret, tried not to “what if only,” and tried to think logically about why our relationship didn’t work. It took many months (slowed by working together), but I’m there. I’m better. Like, really better. Physically healthy. Emotionally healthy. There are still some hard things because we work together, but he has worked hard to be my friend and I think we’re both a lot healthier and happier in this new situation. I said it before, and it took me a long time to get to this honesty, but we needed to end our affair (or at least the way we were doing it). It was unsustainable and neither of us was happy enough. Now, I think we’re happy enough. Or we’re getting there.

          Take your time. Really, really take your time. Do what you need to do for you. But, be done with your MM. Go NC. If you need to, send him a letter. Write things down. But, be done. And start your healing. Best way to heal him is get him out of the picture entirely. Try not to hope he comes back around. Try not to hope he contacts you again. Try not to leave channels open just in case. It is the best way to heal, yet, it is probably the hardest thing to do.

          • Lois

            Hey Felk. I appreciate your honesty about the pain and suffering that’s ahead as well as there are better times ahead. I felt badly at first about my text but hearing what happened has helped me to realize it wasn’t my fault. The other texts she read wasn’t anything bad. I can’t believe his daughter opened a text or her daughter phone and then read the other onrs. I don’t see my kids doing that and they would ask me about not go to their dad. My son was on my phone one day when a text came up and he was waiting to get one about a ride. He asked why so and so was texting me. It seems like his daughter didn’t like her purposely went to her about it it not that she was casually telling her about this pretty picture of a sunset on her dad’s phone. I totally understand that he has to fix the situation at home and his wife has to be suspicious of all the stuff from work. I don’t know the truth about what was even told to her and maybe the daughter who will be 14 is also suspicious…kind seems that way. I’m hurting but again Luke you said it was only a matter of time before it would have been something else. It’s been like this for 2.5 years. Out MM are alike with his they deal with things and we are very much alike being able to deal with things. I don’t want to hurt anymore and don’t want to waste anymore time wollering in self pity when I could be enjoying life aND years left with my kids at home. I sent him a good bye message and told him that I hoped now he could be more active in his church and wished him nothing but peace and happiness. I have no control over his actions bit I doy own. I’m sure you will be hearing from me because will need all if the reinforcement to not cave and contact him…I CANT…it’s time to be done and move on…it’s time to see if there is any hope left in marriage. Thank you

          • Felk

            Lois, it’s hard to know why his daughter read his texts or why she went to her mom, but my guess is that she also has picked up on tension in the house since he lost his job. My guess is that she either also suspects her father was having an affair or she recognizes that there is strain between her parents. It seems pretty clear that things are tough in his house right now and will be for some time. It doesn’t seem that he could sustain an affair any longer. I understand sending a goodbye message, and hopefully you can block him from your phone and any other communication so that you can move on. Even the potential for a reminder can be a setback. For example, although it took me about a month to remove the photos on my phone that were related to us (because, at first, I couldn’t even bring myself to look at the photos without great pain), it was very helpful to remove those photos. I didn’t delete them. I moved them to my laptop so they’d no longer catch me off guard when I was scrolling through photos on my phone. Reminders are the worst. Your brain will randomly remind you a lot in the beginning, but if you can remove triggers, that’s a good start.

            As for marriage, I know we all have different marriages. I guess yours has sort of sounded like mine, but I don’t really know. When my affair started, my H and I had been married 6 years (and we have no children, by choice). Things were good between us, and there was still a lot of intimacy and closeness. However, once the affair started, I slowly got more distant from my H as I fell in love with my MM. After about a year of the affair, the sex and physical affection in my marriage started to plummet. I no longer wanted to feel that closeness with my H. So, now (6 years after the affair started), you can imagine what intimacy is like in our marriage. We are still friends. We still get along well. I respect him a lot, and he is a very supportive and loving H. He is still very in love with me, but I cannot say the same. I love him, but it is not that passion I (still) feel for my MM. After the break-up with my MM, I worked hard to get back to some of the things my H and I used to enjoy together (like watching TV shows together, going for walks after dinner). It helped a little. I also tried to be more mindful of my distance, and I tried to give him more attention. It was hard at first, as I needed space to heal from my break-up. Now? Things are a little better, but I don’t think it will ever be what it was. My affair did too much damage. I just don’t feel the attraction to my H that I used to, and I don’t think I ever will again. But, I love him. And I know he is a MUCH better spouse than my MM could ever be. I don’t want to lose my H. I accept that it will not be a passionate love like it used to be (and I know that is normal in most marriages over time). I accept that I will struggle to want to have sex with my H, but I know I do not want to leave him. It is sad in a way, but I am choosing to stay in my marriage knowing it is unlikely I would find someone better for me than my H.

  • Lois

    Hey, Felk. I have not heard a word from MM and feeling pretty aggravated about all of it today. It has been difficult to concentrate at work. I started thinking about the time he broke up with me and how I ended up finding this website because I was hurting so badly and felt alone. It was April 2017 when I made my first post on this website and here it is a year and half later still dealing with the crap. I actually copied and pasted every post that I made and put it into a Word document…125 pages! I have to admit there has been lots of understanding on my part and very little on his. I have read through my posts. I have to say that I am stronger than the person who wrote that first post but not sure strong to enough to be done although it would be nice. The more time that goes by the angrier I get with him because he has not done me right on this. What bothers me the most is that he contacted while I was on vacation with my family to let me know what happened to him at work but he cannot have the same courtesy with something like this knowing it would be bother me. I have put up with way too much in this relationship from the MIA to the repeated breakups to the guilt trips to his questionable health issues. I am so confused, hurt and anger that I do not know what to do except be done. This is my 2nd day of NC and have no desire to contact him. I did on Monday and have left it up to him to respond. If he does not, there is not a thing I can do about it because I will not chase after him. If he does, I will ask to meet with him so I can express my concerns, wants and needs and if he cannot oblige, then I am done. I have given and given in this relationship and have asked for very little. I read my post from Nov 2017 when he told me how I was driving a wedge between him and his wife as well as other crap. I emailed this to my phone, so I have something to look at in those times of weakness. Felk, I just do not understand if cares about me why he has not responded. I know that I said for him to repair the damage but this happened last Wednesday. I knew nothing about it and even texted him last Thursday and he responded with one message that he was very sorry but really busy. It was not until Saturday that he told me about needing to meet with me to explain what happened and said no contact through texts. I do not know maybe he decided it was best to have no further contact but that is kind of crappy way to end things especially after everything that has happened and stood by him. She does not have access to his email nor is she hoovering over him to the point that he could not send me an email. So, what am I supposed to think about all of it? My counselor friend told me to just move on and be done…block him out of my life but there is a part of that feels that he owes me an explanation. Am I wrong for feeling that he should after 2 1/2 years? Someone had responded to one of my post and said suggested that I go NC and did not owe him a reason as to why so maybe that is what he is thinking. As you can tell, I am struggling today with it. UGH!!!!!!!

    • Felk

      Lois, the sad truth is that I think you need to quit him. But, the other sad truth is that I know it’s much easier said than done. He is not giving you enough and it doesn’t seem he will change. He continues to cause you pain in the same ways over and over. With more distance now that you’re not working together, it already seemed that it would be harder for you two to communicate and now you can’t text? Further, he won’t respond to e-mail in a timely fashion. How can you even consider this a relationship? I know that may sound harsh, but what has he done lately that would count as two people having a relationship?

      It’s possible that your text led to a lot of badness with his W, and it’s possible he’s feeling very scared and very guilty right now. But, he is a grown adult, and there is no reason (other than selfishness) that he shouldn’t be able to send you a short response (even to say that he needs to think and will e-mail soon). To send nothing is cruel. And you shouldn’t be with someone like that.

      My MM and I got to a point of a lot of misery for both of us last year. It was mainly caused by the tension and anxiety he felt with separating our affair from his marriage/family. Our feelings had grown really intense, we were spending a lot of time together, and we were talking online a lot. Although I was able to manage the intensity better, I was starting to wonder if I should leave my marriage and I was getting more and more distant from my H. When my MM’s W said something to him about his behavior, he pulled away from us and it caused me a lot of pain intermittently. Some days he’d be wonderful and sometimes he’d go MIA for days just like your MM. I was hurt and confused and sad and also understood why he needed to do what he was doing. When he ended our relationship, it was pain I had never felt before. I was at peak addiction and, to have that relationship taken away, was excruciating. But… we are both much healthier now. It took a year to get us to a stable friendship (that, yes, is still more than a friendship), but I no longer feel that angst and turmoil and distraction and awful that I felt so much near the end of our relationship and definitely right after the break-up. Now, it just feels calm and good. Did we need to end the affair to get to this point? I think so. We were headed down a path that was getting very bad for both of us and we had to pull back on the intensity. But, we had to pull back on the intensity in a very real way (and not simply by “saying” we would pull back). He had to try to end it. He had to send that message that what we were doing wasn’t working. Because it wasn’t. Your affair isn’t working. If you’re very honest with yourself, you will recognize that. And you will recognize that there is likely no fixing it at this point. No matter what he ends up saying to you this week or whenever he contacts you again, he will not change. This will happen again. You will feel awful and abandoned again. The best answer is one of you taking control of the situation (as my MM did last September) and ending the affair. It will be excruciating at first (although you’ve already gone through a lot of that), but soon enough you will feel healthy again.

  • Lois

    Well, my MM saga continues. It seemed like things were starting to get back to normal until this past week. He had a 5k in honor of his brother on Sunday which I figured would be hard for him, so I expected him to be somewhat distant. We had agreed to meet later in the week and was looking forward to continuing our conversation from last week and hopeful maybe we could be together. So here’s what happened. We texted on Tuesday and some Wednesday morning. We were supposed to meet on Thursday. Apparently, I texted him something that his wife seen and caused problems between them. I think it might have been a text joking with him. I had sent him one stating was sending him happy thoughts. Later in the afternoon, I sent another one jokingly asking if he felt it or something like that. I think that’s what she saw not sure he said he needed to make time this week to meet with me and explain what happened. I commented that it didn’t sound good and his reply was nope. I asked if it would be best to quit contacting him and he said yes through texts. I said okay and apologized. He replied was accidental. I replied great….and then followed up with well, I am sorry and won’t happen again. I have emailed him a couple of times and he hasn’t responded. so I once again don’t know what to think. I don’t feel like he wants to end things or he would have said no more contact. I could be wrong. I feel horrible…and want to know what happened. Am I wrong for asking him to call me so we can talk or do you think he’s being cautious with what happened?

    • Lois

      I think what MM wife read was a text that read..did you feel that…it was a happy thought. It was sent a couple of hours later after sending the one that said I was sending him happy thoughts. I know you are going to find this hard to believe but he still has not responded to my emails. I sent him an email and apologized for what had happened.

      This is basically what I sent him. I hope things are going better. I apologize for emailing so many times on Saturday but was upset as well as freaked out about things. It was the last thing expected to hear from you. After all this time of trying to protect you and your family, it sickens me to think that my careless actions is what caused you problems. Words cannot express how badly that I feel nor the sadness in my heart. I am not upset with you about not responding to my emails because the most important thing is for you to repair the damage that I have caused and put your family before everything else. I am hopeful that you and your wife can make a mends and things will continue to get better not only for you but your children as well. If there is one thing that I have learned, it is to enjoy every moment you can with your children because in a blink of an eye things change so quickly. You had mentioned making time to meet with me to explain what happened but I do not want to cause you anymore problems. I would very much like to see you; however, I understand that you are busy and definitely do not want to make things worse. I just cannot believe, it was me that did this to you and it breaks my heart because I would do anything for you and hope you know that. I am truly sorry for everything…

      It is getting toward the end of the day, I have not heard one word from him and getting a little aggravated especially after talking with a friend of mine who is license therapist. She said it seems like to her that he likes worrying me. I thought it was odd that he was wanted to still see me after all of this happened with us wife because I would not want to take the chance. I thought maybe he was just doing it out of respect for me and my feelings. I do not know…but it does hurt me that he has not made any contact. It’s not like he has not seen the email because it to his business email and he had to be on it today plus he gets notifications on his phone. The only information that i have is that something I sent was read and caused problems. I do not feel my email to him was overacting but sincere that he needed to fix the damage that i had caused. What bothers me is that he tells me this stuff and leaves me wondering and worrying about what really happened. Do I have to worry about this lady contacting my husband? He sure in the hell would not appreciate me doing him like this and just going MIA. Yes, I am frustrated and patience is not a virtue of mine. UGH

      • Felk

        Lois, two things… 1) you know that I don’t think it’s fair that he goes MIA like this and doesn’t respond at all to vulnerable messages that deserve a response (considering the circumstances where you could be legitimately worried about the blow-back from his W), and 2) if you really meant the things that you said in your e-mail yesterday, then you really should give him space to work it out with his W. Your e-mail says that his W and family should be his priority and then, to us, you say that you’re aggravated about him going MIA. I think the two can co-exist, his W and family can be his priority AND he can e-mail you; but he may not feel that way. It seems your MM is a lot like my MM in the way he needs to separate you from his W/family. He may not feel that he can give your situation the energy it requires until he has things settled with his W. While it’s not ideal, it may be a condition of the affair, and it may be something you want to talk to him about moving forward. I know that my MM wasn’t as open about this need as I would have liked him to be. I kind of had to pull it out of him in those last 9 months when he was trying to separate me from her, but he wasn’t communicating clearly with me about what he needed to do given her suspicions and his guilt.

        I’d be surprised if your MM liked worrying you given that he’d know it would lead you to want more communication with him. I guess it’s possible that he likes the concern you show or, worse, he wants you to feel guilty if he’s feeling guilty, but all of those are pretty negative interpretations of what, to me, just seems like him needing his usual space when he’s feeling guilt and anxiety about the situation.

        Honestly, I think you’re a little too apologetic in your e-mail to him. 🙂 It really was an accident and you two have texted plenty in the past and he’s never said you weren’t cautious enough, right? He’s never suggested that you text too much or your texts are too suggestive or that his W reads them? I get that you’re sorry that your text might have caused a problem, but I don’t think you need to apologize any more than you have. And I’m probably feeling some PTSD from how apologetic my e-mail was to my MM a year ago when he was upset with me about a small thing that, in hindsight, I never should have apologized for. If there is one thing I regret in how that whole break-up went down, it is that pathetic, apologetic e-mail I sent (due to fear) when he was just trying to pick a fight because he was already in a bad mood about all of his guilt and he was wanting to end the relationship anyway. 🙂

        • lois

          Felk, As always, you are my voice of reasoning…and appreciate your take on things. These past few months have been really difficult and just when things seemed to be getting back to normal…as normal as things can be in an affair…and this happened. I was serious and meant that his family needs to come first and is something that we have always agreed on that no matter what our kids must come first. However, I am aggravated that he has just left me hanging not knowing what is going on…how much does his wife know? Did she read other messages between us? All of these things are concerns and it is not right to just tell me and go MIA. I understand this is how he deals with things but it is not fair to me. I was apologetic in my email and probably little too much. At first, I did feel horrible but have come to realize he is just as much to blame. I have been very patient, supportive and understanding through all of his troubles. I will give him time to get things worked out but part of me is hoping the time will help me become less dependent on him. If he does contact me, I still plan to finish our conversation from a couple of weeks ago. I cannot continue in this without him giving me some of what I need and desire. I have given enough without asking for much, so I cannot speak up for myself and get what I need then we do need to end things. I will keep you posted. Thanks for everything.

          • Felk

            Lois, I recognize what you’re doing because I did it, too, but you’re scared to ask for what you want/need. When you sent your MM that e-mail apologizing, you sincerely meant the apology, but why not also express how you’d like more information and how it’s causing you anxiety, too? How many times in my affair did I hold back that which was causing me anxiety/frustration/sadness because I didn’t want to pile on or burden him? How many times did I hold back because I didn’t want to dwell on the negative and wanted to just have positive experiences with him? How many times did I hold back because I was scared the issues brought up would lead him to think we should quit the affair? Not expressing our concerns and anxieties is no good, though, especially if we’re giving the other so much space to do so while we do not ask them for the same in return. Your MM asks you for a lot of understanding in giving him space to deal with his anxieties, but where is he when you need someone to listen to yours? It’s possible he can’t give any more than he’s giving (and that’s the point it came to with my MM in that last year), so then you have to choose to stay and be miserable most of the time or to leave. I stayed and was pretty miserable in those last few months. And then he left anyway because it was too hard for him.

            Has he still not responded to your e-mail? No contact at all? He owes you more. Hopefully you can tell him that the next time you see him.

    • Felk

      Lois, my advice here is the same as always… you should ask him for a call if this is what you need to continue the relationship. If you feel that he is treating you unfairly or you simply need more explanation/communication, then you should ask for a call. If you are merely asking for a call to get reassurance that he doesn’t want to end the relationship, then you probably should try to be patient and give him the space to sort things out on his end. I know it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference, and we can talk ourselves into believing we need the call when it really is that we simply are afraid that they will leave. Of course, I’m not saying you should have infinite patience, but waiting a few days or so seems reasonable when your MM’s W gets suspicious. I can understand him wanting to give some attention at home and not give any appearance of impropriety. I don’t think your MM is going to end your relationship because of this. When he says it’s not good, he likely simply means as he says and it wasn’t good that she was suspicious or jealous or it reminded her of the problems that he had with the coworker who got him fired. My guess is that it’s something like that. That she is not suspicious of you specifically but that because she knows something weird happened with the other coworker, that she has heightened suspicion of ANY communication from another woman. As we’ve said before, spouses are not blind in this. They may choose to ignore or stay silent, but they likely have suspicions and your MM’s W’s are probably at the forefront because of the work stuff over the summer. So, if she is expressing this to him, he will want to be on his best behavior. He likely also cares about not hurting her and is trying to reassure her.

      So, once again, you’re left deciding how much you will put up with. I don’t think it’s fair that he goes MIA for as long as he does and doesn’t respond to e-mails (how much time have you given him to respond?). If you’re in this, you need a little communication. And it is fair to ask for that. As always, try not to put yourself in a position where you’re scared to ask for what’s fair and respectful out of fear that he will end it. And try not to talk yourself into needing less than you do just so that you can maintain the relationship. I did this near the end of my relationship last year, so I know first-hand how desperate we can get when we think the affair is ending. But what it ended up doing for me (and has done to you for months) is make you periodically miserable as you worry that this next thing is the end. It’s a terrible way to function. We can’t go from week to week wondering if it’s the end. I know it is why I didn’t fight harder at the end of my affair last September. I tried to come up with solutions, but ultimately I let us end when my MM suggested it because I wasn’t going to beg and I wasn’t going to compromise myself further than I already had. I knew I needed more from him and could not offer any more on my end.

      I try to keep that in mind in whatever my MM and I are doing now. I’m trying to act how I want, not be scared, and ask for what I need. I’m doing okay on #1, but #2 and #3 are still iffy. Obviously, #2 makes #3 difficult. What also makes #3 difficult is always trying to be mindful of boundaries in an affair. We want to be reasonable in what we ask since we know we can’t have the same expectations as in a “normal” relationship. In your situation, I think it can be reasonable to ask for a call and reasonable to give him some space. Mostly, do what you think is fair and respectful. I know you’re still feeling a lot of uncertainty given everything, but if you’re able to give him a little space, that is my advice for now. Having a spouse get suspicious has to be hard, especially for your MM who already has so much guilt about this situation.

  • Felk

    I guess it’s because this has always felt like a safe space to me, but I’m going to say the thing on my mind (that I am not saying to anyone else). I hate how much we ignore and dismiss sexual assault. I hate it. And I don’t use that word lightly. It is hard to be a woman in this world, knowing that you are thought of and treated as lesser, and, because of that, that men think they can do whatever they want to you. It’s not even about “#notallmen.” Of course there are “good” men. That misses the point. This is (all) men and this is (all) women, as our world puts us in very unequal positions, and I have seen all of these articles in my social media news feeds for weeks now, hoping that people would a) believe and b) care about Dr. Ford’s testimony against Kavanaugh. But it just doesn’t seem that it matters given partisan politics in the US. I could say things about how Republicans have, for a long time, not cared about women, but this is much more than that. It is that they are so blinded by the possibility of getting Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court and giddy about all that he can do with a lifetime appointment that they couldn’t care less about Dr. Ford beyond her ability to potentially destroy their master plan with her whinings about something that happened 35 years ago. To me, this isn’t really about Kavanaugh. It’s about the message we send to women to, once again, remind them that we will not believe their cries of sexual assault and, even if we do, we will side with the men who commit them.

    I think I would hate it just for what it is, but I know I hate it because of my own sexual assault in high school decades ago. Like Dr. Ford, I told no one about it for years. It was my boyfriend. I was a senior in high school. I knew it was bad and it was wrong, but I stayed with him for another 4 months. I didn’t call it sexual assault back then. I didn’t have those words. I went through years of minimizing it, not wanting to make a big deal of it, not wanting it to define me, not wanting people to pity me, etc. I’ve told so few people. I still struggle to call is sexual assault now. But I know it was. And I love that Dr. Ford and others came forward with their stories. I love all the #metoo stuff. It all does feel different. It feels like we’re being believed. A little more than in the past. And that’s progress.

    It’s all on my mind a lot this week. I guess it’s always kind of there, but it’s been extra there lately. The sexual assault doesn’t weigh me down. It doesn’t traumatize me still. I don’t say that to sound strong. It’s just honest. But it mattered. It affected me. It still does. I hate that women still have to go through the accusations of lying, the silence, the fear, the all of it. But, as we see this week and when Kavanaugh is confirmed, we still prioritize men’s everything. It’s changing. Slowly. I know. It is getting better. We don’t have to look too far back to notice the progress, but it’s sometimes hard to see it during weeks like this.

    So, as always, thanks for listening. You know I’m not looking for sympathy or anything like that. Just wanting to vent in a safe space.

    • Brave and Free. BAF

      Felk, I am so very sorry for what happened to you. It is unfortunately all too familiar. Your calling something what it is; (“sexual assault”) is so very difficult in a society that gaslights women’s experiences all of the time like ours. All over the world including here in our country, women are disbelieved, diminished, cast aside, gaslighted, assaulted and abused all the time.
      This week I have realized that not only are victims of narcissist abuse gaslighted all the time, so are women victims of sexual assault. Gaslighting is a very effective tool against any victim because it causes so much confusion and doubt in the mind of the victim who is already weakened from the abuse. And then she starts to doubt herself. And blame herself NOT him! And he gets away with his behavior often as a result.
      Fortunately we saw in Dr. Ford today such a strong and brave woman! It is an example for all of us to call out our abusers and to not let them sweep events or horrible behaviors under the rug. It certainly has helped me to see her bravery and courage today in light of me dealing with my own emotional abuse, especially by my Narcissist exMM.
      And we see the same types of men (narcissist men like Donald Trump and Kavanaugh himself) being also sexual abusers so often and gaslighting ALL the time. And we see their wives obediently but visibly uncomfortably trying to look “neutral” in public with them. It is all so sickening to me. Such men think they are “entitled” to the sexual assault because they are so “great”. UGH.
      But in the end it is up to US to find the courage to heal and strengthen as we also denounce this kind of abusive behavior.
      Sending you love and comfort.
      Brave and Free. xoxo

    • LifeLessons

      Felk,

      I am sorry to hear of this. I must say this whole situation has brought up many thoughts for me as well. I went to therapy for years, think I was at fault for what happened to me. I had always thought because I was 15 and didnt fight the adult man off of me, that I was at fault. He was a man whom my family knew. He touched me in ways he wasnt suppose to and once he was able to get what he wanted from me. We never saw him again. When I was 15 he was in his late 30’s it was such a vioation and traumatic experience. However, for year I didnt realize the trauma that was attached with it because I didnt allow myself to be a victim. I was a survivor and i knew I couldnt speak of it. Once I told my mom, I was in my mid-late 20’s she wanted to find him but I didnt want that. I had already been to therapy and was able to understand it was not my fault and I didnt deserve that. Unfortunately, I have been sexually assaulted more than once. I was once walking down the street and a man (random man) groped my butt. I was a teenager, walking to school and by myself. I could not believe someone would do that to someone they didnt know and walk away as if he didnt do anything at all. I am happy women are speaking out but its so sad how we are dismissed. Its such a f#@ked up system. Men have been getting away with this crap for waaaaay too long. I cannot believe someone would think Dr. Ford would get up there and make this story up for the public….I pray for us all!
      Thanks for sharing and thanks for letting me vent!

      • Felk

        LL, how many of us have stories like this? We’ve heard about so many women who are bringing up their own stories, from their teen years, that they never told. I’m glad you got therapy, and I’m glad you told your mom and she believed you. Most, I’m glad you’ve recognized it’s not your fault.

        And how many of us have stories of our butts and breasts being touched and grabbed in bars or other public spaces? The amount of sexual assault that happens to women on a daily basis is something that I think men cannot understand. The entitlement of their access to our bodies is off the charts. Like you, I also had a high school walking-down-the street moment. I was walking to the bus stop in the morning, broad daylight, and a man was coming out of a restaurant driveway that was on my path on the sidewalk, and as I walked up to his car (as it seemed he was just waiting to turn onto the street), he rolled down the window, drew my attention, and was masturbating right there in the car, and, needless to say, right when I walked up and looked in, he “finished” just as he intended. I was 17. He was probably in his 30s or 40s.

        But, of course, we keep fighting.

  • J

    Hello everyone! I need to catch up on everyone’s life, I hope you are all well!! I have been pretty good. Mm moved out of his house over a month ago and has been living with a friend. He is also actively looking for an apartment. He has been very consistent that he is not going back, saying he only went back out of guilt the last time, said he was going through motions and forcing everything, he also said that even if I left him he will not be going back. He seems much happier this time, he’s not always stressed, and he makes efforts to be with me. I have been trying very hard not to turn the focus of our relationship into discussing his W or what’s going on every min. As he told me, and I completely agree, became overwhelming the last time. We need to still enjoy being together and not constantly discuss stressful things. We have had several talks though, as I still have my doubts considering the past. And he does still go to his house to do things for her like fix the faucet, or landscaping etc. He always goes when she’s not there. She also calls him almost daily, and sometimes several times in a day. He usually doesn’t answer when I’m around and recently I told him I found that upsetting because it’s making me uneasy like he’s hiding something. He explained that he usually doesn’t answer and said he will if I want him to. She also called recently several times to beg him back and tell him her theory on why he left again. She said she thought things were going well and they were working on things, then he had his sexual problem with her, so she thinks he’s upset about that. (He has this problem with her as he’s not attracted to her, he’s never had this problem with me.) She went on to say there are things he can do about his sexual problem. I asked him if he’s going to tell her that’s not the issue, that the issue is that he isn’t attracted to her, but he feels that’s too mean. I find it unbelievable that after all that’s happened, and his being gone for over a month, that she still is begging him back and thinks he’s hind due to a sexual problem. Can she be so blind? But I still think it’s odd that he won’t tell her that he’s not attracted to her and that he doesn’t have a sexual problem. What do you think? Overall things have been very good, and he understands I’m not making any moves until I’m completely confident in him. We’ve had great times together, he’s not acting sad or saying he misses his house, he tells me he loves me all of the time, and acts very sweet. I just hope I can learn to fully trust him again. Part of me is waiting for him to say he’s going back again.

    • Felk

      J, good to hear from you, and good to hear that you are (closer to) getting what you want from your MM. Him moving out is a big step (as it was the first time), but it seems like he was even more ready this time. I know you still have a lot of hesitation and rightfully so. He put you through a lot of indecision and agony through these last few years, and especially recently when he couldn’t stick to moving out the first time. I know how hard that must have been for you to watch him go back to his W again. But, it sounds like he realizes that he’s not only less happy with his W (than you), but he is unhappy with her period (you or not). I’m not sure I believe him, but if he really wouldn’t go back to her, even if you weren’t in the picture anymore, that’s a very good sign of progress for him.

      As for the questions at the end of your message, it seems entirely normal and understandable for your MM not to tell his W that he’s no longer attracted to her. That can be very hurtful and is unnecessary for him to say. Why do you want him to say it to her? I guess you think it’s an important honesty for her to hear and it will help her move on? But not really. She is likely devastated that her H wants to leave her so why pile on and tell her he’s not attracted to her anymore? I guess if she keeps pushing it, he may feel he has to say it, but I would trust him to treat the break-up as he sees best given that he knows her and their relationship. How you may leave your H and what you may say to him could be very different, but there is no one right way to leave a marriage. And, as for her being “blind” to his sexual problem, she’s desperate and in denial. But, it’s understandable. She’s trying to hold onto any hope that she can. This is a person fighting for her marriage. She will likely continue to beg to have him back for a while, since it worked last time. I hope he will continue to draw lines, though, and that he can show you that he is truly leaving her this time.

  • Lois

    Hey everyone. Sorry things have been crazy at work and home. MM and I finally met and talked about things. Felk was right and he didn’t want to end things. He was more open about his feelings and said he needed to clear his head. He said the guilt some times gets the best of him. He told me that not being able to see me has bothered him more than losing his job. He said he doesn’t talk about his feelings for me because it makes him feel guilty for feeling that way about me. He said it’s a lesser of two evils because when he is not with me he struggles really badly. On the other hand, he sometimes deals with the guilt and there are times when the guilt overwhelms him. He thinks about me quite often. I told him that I enjoy having him in my life and he said he feels the same way about me. His work called and he had to leave so didn’t get to ask him my questions. When he left, he hugged me and held me tightly for a bit. You could tell he didn’t want to leave anymore than I wanted him to. He left and I sat there for a bit because I really do have feelings for this guy. A few minutes later he sent me a text “dammit I am sorry to have to keave”. I told him that I understood but was glad to know he still wanted to be with me. He replied yep and this sucks. I had planned on talking to him about how his distance and mIA makes me feel but didn’t get to. I still plan on talking to him about it. I struggled badly last night because my heart hurt because I miss him so much but know that I can’t allow him to treat my unfairly. If he’s willing to compromise and be more considerate of my needs, I would consider trying but not the way things have been with us. I am hoping we can get together soon to talk more about things. Just wanted to let you know. Thanks for listening and would like to hear your thoughts.

    • Felk

      Lois, I’m sure you’re relieved that your MM did not end your affair and, to the contrary, expressed how much he missed you. I’m glad you were able to get that openness from him. It’s unfortunate you didn’t have enough time together to say more, though. I know all too well how that goes. When my MM and I were together last week and he said some nice open/honest things about wanting me in his life, we only had an hour and we had to put a lot of the conversation on hold. But that is an affair. That said, I hope you get to talk to your MM about his distance and how his MIA makes you feel. It’s important that you share that with him. Remember, do not let the relief that he did not end it blind you to the poor treatment for the weeks prior. Weeks. We cannot be so desperate to keep them from ending our affairs that we’re willing to sacrifice our self-respect. Saying “no” to my MM’s invite today was another step in that direction for me. It was hard, but it was me trying not to jump at every crumb he offers and to continue to give us some space.

      I understand the things your MM said about guilt, but the truth is that he is in an affair and with that comes guilt. If he can’t deal with this, how can he have this affair? You need some acceptance from him (of the affair and his feelings for you) so that his guilt stops allowing him to treat you poorly. You won’t get his guilt to go away entirely, but hopefully you can get him to see that you want him in your life… but not at any cost.

      I will say that the year since the break-up has helped calm the addiction, and our relationship feels playful again without much of the tension or angst that was overwhelming last year for the 9 months until he ended it. I would never want to do a break-up like that again, but I look back at the positives that came from it and we’re in a better place now than we were in those last few months before the break-up. I know there is all the danger of the full-blown affair happening again, but all he and I can do is take it slow and be mindful and try not to let that badness happen again. Similarly, I hope you can learn from lessons of how you’ve felt when your MM has gone MIA and I hope you can use that to stand up for what you need.

  • Felk

    Hey ladies, just having one of those “in my head” moments so I come to you for reinforcement that I made a good decision. MM came to my office at work today (which is RARE) to ask if I was going to a certain meeting. I had not planned on going (given it seemed pointless) and told him so (and we shared some jokes about it). I asked if he was going, and he hesitated and said, “I wanted to see if you were going first” (so that was sweet), but then he ultimately decided he wanted to go (which, even if he didn’t want to go, he’s pretty stubborn and he might want to show me that he’s still going even if I’m not). Fine, right? But, then about 2 minutes after he left, I was wondering if I should have agreed to go with him… just because he so rarely asks and I want time with him and pathetic reason and pathetic reason and pathetic reason. Then, I got even more in my head like, “What if he asks another female coworker to go with him? What if I left the door open for him to go with someone else?” (And there is this other female coworker who hits on him.) So, please remind me that I can’t just be jumping every time he shows some interest (just as he definitely would not do for me had he not planned to go to a meeting), and how it is not a big deal that I miss this one hour with him. We had a really nice time having drinks after work yesterday and that’s probably partially why he stopped by today (still feeling it from yesterday), but I’ve been extra trying not to be all over him at work now that we’re trying to not be as intense as when in the affair (even though we’re still in an affair). And remind me that, even if he did stop by another coworker’s office to ask if she was going, that she was his second choice!

    I know he has other friends at work, but you know how the jealousy stuff can get in your head with these things. But I will dig deep to remind myself that he was kissing me (and looking at me in that way he does) just last week and having a great time with me yesterday (even marveling at how quickly the time flew). And I also know I have to deal with this jealousy stuff if he and I are going to have any sort of decent relationship.

    • Lois

      Hey, Felk. I get why you second guessed things especially when MM is the one who initiated it because it is rare. Although it would have been nice to spend that hour with him, you can’t be so eager when it’s really something you didn’t want to do. He was the one who couldn’t handle things and had to back away, so I think you made the right choice. As far as the other coworker, he wants you not them. Even if he would ask her, it wouldn’t be for the same reason that he wanted you to go. It’s funny because you don’t see like the jealous type. I’m not either but with MM things are totally different with him than how I am normally. I’m not an insecure person but with him…oh my it’s bad and did tell him that yesterday. I think you did well and probably made him think that before you would have jumped on going with him so hopefully he will see that you have changed and not as needy if that makes sense. I’m glad to hear you had a good time with him yesterday. How do you manage to go out in public with him and not get caught by spouses?

      • Felk

        Lois, thanks for your words. You are entirely right that it was strong of me not to just jump at his first invite (to a boring meeting) and be needy. After I posted that message this afternoon and thought through it all, I felt a lot better. And, even though it’s not really my style to play games (and I wasn’t playing games today), I think it’s good to make him want a little. Like you said, he was the one who backed off last year, so he has to come to me. As far as other coworkers, yeah, I can really get in my head. He didn’t go to that meeting with anyone else, and I really should know better. He has been showing the signs of wanting me lately. I’m not really the jealous/insecure type either, but an affair is inherently insecure so I can feel some jealousy at times with my MM (not of his W, though).

        As to your “how to you go out in public” question, it’s mostly a combination of some caution and playing the odds. Our spouses don’t work in the area (well, his W used to but not anymore) so that helps. Once in a while, we have seen coworkers while we’re out drinking but people just think it’s two friends having a drink after work (as we’ve seen with other coworkers). When we spend alone time elsewhere (like a park), we just pick places that are pretty isolated and where we don’t think we’ll run into anyone we know. And we never do. When we go on our dates at night, we’re in a big city, so the odds of seeing someone we know are low.

    • LIFELESSONS

      Felk,

      It is truly understandable…having those feelings of uncertainty. I dont think you have to worry about him seeing someone else in the manner he sees you. It doesnt seem like he would want to entagle himself in another situation such as the one you 2 have. So…Yes, please let that go. Its nice to get as much time together as you can with each other but you didnt have to go in order to get some alone time with him considering you two have been figuring it out lately. In his head, it probably wouldve been nice for you to go since he came to you but its ok if you didnt. Dont be too in your feelings about this and turn this into a thing its not. Youre right you dont have to jump every time he shows interest, youre allowed to decline just as he is and he will.
      Even if he asked another female friend to go, its fine! You two share something that him and them do not share…I know oh so well how those little jealous thoughts creep into the mind. I have those thoughts time to time and im sure the majority of us do…thats normal affair stuff lol. Dont let those thoughts consume you, which I am sure you will not. Hopefully, you are feeling better/secure about whatever choice you made.
      Chat with ya soon

    • Hope

      Hey Felk absolutely you made the right decision, 100%. Besides it was just a meeting, wasn’t a party or get together; you both wouldn’t have had quality time like you did the night before, this was strictly work.

      Yes you are his first choice. Also after 5 years if it’s that easy for him and if it really did leave the door open for another femalecoworker (I highly doubt this because this was just a work meeting) if it’s that easy for him to ‘sway’ after everything you both have been through then there would be something really wrong in this relationship. You both love each other and have fought to keep this friendship, skipping a meeting won’t get in way of your feelings/closeness.

      It is not a pathetic reason Felk not at all, I worked with ex Mm and can’t tell you the things I did just to see him. Not pathetic, you are in love and following your heart which takes a lot of strength and courage.

      Regarding your Mm coming to your office, I can see why it’s a big thing for you as it’s highly unusual but what I learnt from ex Mm is sometimes men do things for exact reason they say they do, nothing more nothing less. May be he really did just casually stop to ask you if you were attending the meeting and nothing more.

      Yes you are right, you can’t just jump off every time he shows interest. I did that for 3 years and it got me nowhere Felk, I think over time he just took me for granted and didn’t treat me as well as he could. I know you want this relationship to work but for that you need to hold back at times just like he does and you are right if he doesn’t jump off every time you show interest you shouldn’t, absolutely not. Not because we are playing games but because he needs to know too how it feels when the same happens to you. You both need to work to rebuild the closeness and not just you.

      You have all the answers Felk, all the reasons you have listed are right. Just back yourself girl you’ve got this 🙂 I say it’s no big deal and don’t give it much thought.

      FYI I think everyone on this forum will agree he will NEVER find anyone like you, you are awesome! 🙂 Smart, loving, caring, beautiful with patience of a saint! And he knows that. Don’t worry hun xxx
      Lots of hugs xx
      Hope 🙂

      • Felk

        Hope, Lois, LL, thanks to all of you for backing up my decision yesterday. I know you’re right in what you say about how it was a good decision to not jump at his invite (as you said… it’s just a work meeting), to show some independence, and to continue to take us slow. It really was being true to me, instead of chasing him once again. The more I thought about it yesterday, the stronger I felt. But it helped me to get those thoughts down immediately here when it happened so thanks for listening. And, also thanks for all the stuff about the jealousy. As I said to Lois (and as you all said), no, he didn’t ask another coworker (and I know this from things he said later), and, even if he had, that’s normal and I am still his first choice. I know this. He showed that yesterday after work, emailing twice… another rarity from him. And one of the e-mails was openly flirtatious, which he hasn’t done much across this last year. Things are really starting to feel more “normal” between us. Like things were 6 years ago when we had a playful, comfortable, flirtatious friendship… yeah, with a little kissing. I know the line of danger we are walking, but you all know very well that I am making this choice with eyes wide open and I want to work towards good things for my MM and I.

        One of the things, though, that has changed over this year is that the thoughts like this don’t consume me anymore. A year ago, I would have been overwhelmed by those feelings. I would have been flooded with indecision and confusion and jealousy and everything. Now? The moment doesn’t take too long to pass, but, sure, it helps to hear all of you reinforce. I want to keep being strong, and I hope, as you typed some of that advice to me about the thoughts to focus on, you can keep that in mind when you go through your own struggles with your MM or in your attempts to get over him. The stronger I feel, the less I worry about the little things with us, and the better that is for me (and our relationship).

  • LIFELESSONS

    Last week…
    I ran into MM’s W in the store and we talked waaay too long. When I ran into her I was on the phone with him. He heard talking and he got off the phone. I think he called her 2x’s to see why she was taking so long but it was because we were talking to each other. We were there so long that we both walked with each other to pick up our groceries. We walked out the store together and the guy in the store said, oh is this your daughter and your neice (talking about my daughter) I was so confused. She said no a girlfriend and my face said wtf but she couldnt see me!!! That was weird…Durimg our conversation in the store, I mentioned a sale for a shoe store and I said, I think I sent the info to your husband. She said, oh he told me he got it in an email. I said oh ok, thats probably how my friend found out about it and passed it along to me. I said I was sending it to everyone, especially male friends or people with male kids because their shoes are so expensive and the sale was 50% off. She said we went to the store and it was no sale. I said, it was online but I dont know if I gave that information to anyone. She laughed and said, u better let people know so they dont go to the store. Well of course, I felt the need to text him and let him know what happened and he said…Wow.
    He called me the next day and told me she didnt ask him anything about it. He said but in the future, dont mention anything to her, even if its innocent…the only thing u ever speak about is the boys. I said, well I am not talking to her anymore and he said, well u know you cant do that either and I said I can, that way I wont have anything slip. He said, all you should be saying is ok and I said who and what…he said seriously babe (up until this point, we both spoke in a snarky tone) u r a woman and u knw how women can be, it only takes a few times for u to say something to her that I didnt and she will get thoughts in her head. I said, Listen I said ok! I dont know why u keep going on and on about it. I will be more careful, I will try to avoid talking to her whenever possible…he said, u know u will have to talk to her sometimes, we are a family and he chuckled and laughed. I said, that is not really funny. He said, babe im sorry but we (speaking of him, her and myself) love the boys and we all would do whatever necessary for them. They (the boys) look at each other as bro’s and they consider us family. He said, I wasnt being a jerk with that comment. I am telling you how it is. He said, you know they love us all. I said, eel please stop that. He said, babe what did ur son tell you. (My son and I were talking about sex, he is 15 going on 16 and I talk to both of my kids constantly about sex, well i asked my son was he going to tell me when he felt like he was ready, my son said he would talk to me about it afterwards. I said what??! He said, I will talk to my dad or MM. I said why would u talk to MM. He said because he lives closer than daddy and he could get me some condoms. My son doesnt even have a gf and of course, I would love for him to wait it out as long as possible…However, I cant control when that happens for him. I am just happy sports, school, video game keeps him pretty busy lol. Anyway….this is partially why MM thinks we are a family) i said, the boys have gotten close with us all because they see each other 2x a week at the least and with me taking them to practice, we talk the entire ride, we go out to eat and when u or her pick them up its the same thing so I would say, the relationships between the kids and us as adults have changed but dont joke about us being family. I said this to him in a normal tone. He said, babe, i hear u but we are family! I said, whatever! He said, as soon as she got in the house after she saw u, she told me, I need to make sure I am talking to ur son just as I talk to my son about sex and other stuff. I decide to change the subject, I said you know I had to stay at dance practice longer with my daughter because one of the ladies had a flat tire but she changed the tire herself. He said did you help and I said a little but not really she knew how to do it herself because her dad taught her and he said, do u know how to change a tire and I said yes because a mechanic showed me, I wanted to know in case i get a flat tire and I need to change it, I dont want to be stranded somewhere. He said, my W will wait for the AAA or she will call me to come change it. I said, well u know when ur single u have to figure those things out. He said, babe you got me for those things as well, he said you know if i tell her u need me to come change ur tire, she will tell me to come help u. He said, u dont want to see it for what it is but everyone loves you. I said, hmmm ok!
    We got off the phone shortly after.
    This past weekend, we had plans to see each other, he said he would be able to see me around 7/8pm. However, he eneded up asking if i wanted to grab a bite to eat around 5. We linked up and had a bite to eat and a drink, he said, u know I got ur mesg about ur bday gift and u knw i had the gift in the trunk of my car. I told u that, he said, i knw u want it and I have seen u a few times in between but either forgot it or I wasnt ready to give it to you. He said but when we leave please remind me to give u ur gift. We were there together for a little over 2hrs. He said, I will be to ur house later than the time I originally said, ok ?! He said, it in a sarcastic way. I said, well of course silly it is already that time. He said, well u knw u will be calling me saying, Omg ur not here yet and u were suppose to be here at this time. He laughed and said, you know I am right. He said, I have to stop home, cook, shower, and I will be down to ur house. I said, ok! We left and I forgot about the gift. He yelled to me across the parking lot and told me he would give it to me later.
    He got to my house around 10p and he brought my gift. It was wrapped in Birthday paper, I said you know it doesnt matter whats in the box, I cant believe u had it wrapped. I didnt open it up right away. He stayed with me until about 2am but I was asleep so I didnt get to say bye. However, when I got up that morning I opened my gift and text him to say Thanks and I love the smell. He said, im glad u like it! We talked a little later that day.

    Anyone who knows me know I love to smell good! I asked him how does he know I will like the fragrances he picks and he said, he picks what he want me to smell to like. He said, it just so happens that u like the fragrance too lol.

    **this may be TMI (too much info)
    the last few times we have been together, we have had amazing sex, its always been extremely passionate but its been better than the norm. Recently, he has said to me, during sex “I love u just like u love me” in response to my question of, why does is feel sooooo good. He has said that to me a few times before, not during intimacy though. He will not just say I love u. I made the assumption that he doesnt really want to say it to me because he knows he shouldnt say it because he knows it gets so tricky when ur both saying I love u at the end of conversations, texting it etc. I dont knw but I want to ask him about it. Just havent figured out how

    Felk, i think this brings us to current day lol

    • Felk

      LL, thanks for catching us up. Sounds like things are going well (or as well as can be expected) with your MM. Sounds like you both continue to try to find time for each other and continue to call each other out (when maybe the other is being a little unfair). I’m thinking you both like this honest/straightforward quality in the other and that the other doesn’t let themselves get treated poorly. You both seem to speak up for yourselves. Now, as for your MM going on and on about you not talking about him to his W, yeah. This is exactly what you’ve told him before about why you don’t want to come to events where she is and about how you don’t like him talking to you with her around. I think you’re well aware of the danger, and I don’t blame you for wanting to minimize contact with her.

      As far as the “we’re a family” stuff, I totally get why you didn’t like him talking like that. It’s not fair for him to describe you all like that. I get he was trying to say that you all are close and, of course, he’s trying to say something nice, but he should also be able to understand why that can hurt you because SHE is married to him and you’re not.

      It sounds like you’ve been able to have some long nights together lately, too. I always loved those nights with my MM (and, sure, I hope that we’ll do that again). I also know the difficulty of getting the MM to say “I love you.” It sounds like he says it to you, but under limited circumstances. Is that what you want to ask him about? Understandably he doesn’t want to get in a habit of saying it to you at the end of a conversation. What do you want to ask?

      I know that, after the break-up, my MM has had trouble saying “I love you,” even though I know he still does. The latest thing he said when we were talking about still having the same feelings for each other, was something like, “Yes, the love things.” Ugh! But, I will not push him to say it (yet). I know he feels it, and I know it’s hard for him to say out loud, especially after he tried to end our affair last year. It’s been one year since he tried to end it, and we’re in a good place. It took a lot of hard work, and a lot of understanding and patience from both of us. Even though it has been hard to feel his distance, I know he did what he needed to do to heal, but he also stayed close enough to stay committed to our friendship (and then some); and I know how hard that must have been for him (because I know how hard it was for me). I’m not saying it’s all easy now, but it feels like it continues to get more comfortable. He seems to want some part of our affair still, and I’m willing to be patient to let him figure this out. Lately, when I spend time with him, it feels like us. I am sure he feels it, too. A year ago, my greatest pain when he tried to end our affair is that we wouldn’t retain any aspect of our relationship – no friendship, nothing. But, to see that we not only still have the friendship but we also still have the love (and the kissing and touching) makes me happy.

  • Felk

    TTSP, oh, how right you are about the recovery not being linear. I found that it was mostly an upward trajectory over the last year. After the first month of utter devastation, I thought it was a two-steps-forward-one-step-back kind of thing. There was progress and then really hard days. And then there were periods of days where it felt like I’d never “recover” and then slowly more days where I felt like myself again. It is nice to look back in hindsight and see how far I’ve come. That’s why I say that it seems that, even through the hard times, I was moving forward. I guess those hard times were necessary to heal.

    The hardest times for me were definitely when I’d dwell too long on the good times and I’d really miss him and feel sort of disbelief/sadness that we’d never have those times again. The other hard times were when I’d start second-guessing things I did or didn’t do near the end of the relationship that could have “saved” our relationship. I tried to remind myself that we both did all we could and had five pretty good years, but there were times when I just got a little caught up in replaying the “what ifs”. But, that’s why my advice always involves distraction. You have to find ways to get yourself out of those thinking traps… whether it’s writing down phrases to remind yourself that you did all you could or it’s planning things for you to do to take your mind off of it. That isn’t to say that you should ignore your feelings. One of the hardest parts of recovering is sitting with the hurt and really being honest about how hard it is. Knowing that it’s simply going to take time for that pain to go away.

    I know how hard it must be since you still work with him, but it sounds like you’re cutting out as much communication as possible. It also sounds like it’s been hard for him, too. Can I just ask… are you upset for professional (you need his expertise on this business trip) or personal (you wanted that time with him on this business trip) reasons that he threatened not to go? It just seems pretty understandable that he might find it really hard to be on that trip with you. Just as you’re trying to minimize contact, I’m sure he is now, too. However, I also know that I’d have been frustrated if my MM refused to sit in meetings with me at work just because he couldn’t “suck it up” and be professional. On the contrary, I’d say we both put on the “brave face” at work, almost painfully so. I know it’s been hard for me to see him “act normal” like everything is fine for him (when I’m agonizing inside). But, he’s told me repeatedly that he is simply pretending and it hard for him every day. Thankfully, over the year, it’s gotten a lot more comfortable, so, of course, I hope you and your MM can get to that place or… are you still considering finding a new job? That would be ideal.

  • LIFELESSONS

    Here is the TBC,
    …MM had continued to contact me as often as he can. He made plans to see me the first Friday of Septemeber. We were going to hang out and I thought, finally I will get my bday gift (although I have seen him since my bday) I was beginning to wonder if my gift was real lol. Well it was pouring down raining and he called to see if I wanted to go somewhere or and I finished his statement and said, I would rather grab something and eat dinner at my house. He asked what I wanted and he said he would pick it up and come over. He got to my house around 8:30ish which is early for him. I went out to his car, we sat there for a few to talk and he said I was something else…he said, so you think I come over for 20min-1hr huh (which is something I obviously said in mid-argument at some point) I said, well…he said you know you trip me out some times. I said, yes I am sure I do. Once we got in the house he got us some plates, put the food on the plates, poured of a drink and we sat together and ate dinner. He said, I cant believe I am here with you and I was about to say something and he said, babe wait let me just take this in. I said, what, he said, let take this in. Im here with you. I said, I know its so nice. We chatted at the table a little more and I said, I am going to get in the shower, and he said, ok Im going to use the bathroom. I got up from the table, left everything on the table, to go upstairs and take a shower. You all know what happened when I got out the shower lol. We fell asleep and once he woke up we chatted a little more and he left. We were together from 8ish until 2am and it was nice to spend so much time with him, we dont always get to spend that much time together. The next day I didnt hear from him until 9p and we recapped the previous night. The following day we didnt talk to one another and I was ok with it. I knew he had to attend one of his lodge events that I declined to attend. I know he really wanted me to go but I didnt have someone else to go with me so I decided not to do it. We talked the day after the event and he said, it was a good turn out. He said, his girls came and showed their support and I said o ok. He said they always come to support me and inside my head, I was wondering if he felt like I wasnt being supportive. So, I asked, I said, babe does it bother you that I have never been to any of your events ? He said, oh no not at all but I know him and I felt that he wish I would come to something so I can at least see how the events go. I left it alone though….

    Well that Friday, I sent him a message asking if he wanted grab a drink with me. He called me and said he had a few stops to make but he would stop by the lounge when he was done. I sat at the bar, talked to some guys while I waited. He ended up texting me to say he was outside. I said, youre not coming in, do you want me to come out. He said, No, yea Im not feeling good. I said, ok Im closing out my tab. Well…when I got outside I did not see his car. I called him and said, where are you, he said, Im all the way up the road and I flipped out, I said, omg what the hell…why did you leave when I told u I was coming, I told u I was cashing out, there is a parking space right next to my car. He said, I was going to meet you somewhere up the road on thats near our house, he said, babe listen I couldnt get through the parking lot, they had it blocked off, I said well there is a space right next to me and he said well you obviously got there before they started blocking off the lot. I was so upset and definitely feeling my drinks!!! He was trying to tell me how he wasnt feeling well and I hung up on him. He called back and said, what happened ?! I said, I hung up because I am upset, I waited for you and left, u didnt call me back and say babe sorry i couldnt get through, I had to call u in order to know u left. He said, babe I am telling you i dont feel good and I am going home, Im not arguing with you. He said I just pulled up to the house and I hung up again. He text me within minutes and said Babe, Im going to the emergency room, she is making me go and I will let you know. My reply was, Prayerfully, you will be ok and I am going to fall back because I know I am in my feelings and the last time I got in my feelings you told me you didnt need stress from me so I dont want to cause extra stress. He never said anything. That Saturday, we didnt talk to one another. Sunday, I text him and said. How are you…are you feeling better ? He didnt reply! Monday, I text Babe…He said, Sup I knew he was still upset by that text. I said why didnt you reply to my messages. He said, Cuz didnt think that you really cared. I said, Are u kidding ? Why would u think I dont care, ur my boyfriend.. i wouldnt have asked if i didnt care. He said, well i told u I didnt feel good and u said you were falling back. I said, babe stop it…I was looking forward to seeing u, just to come out and have u say u left. I waited for u. I knew I was tripping, and the last time I was tripping u told me u dont need that from me so….
    He didnt reply…so I said, Babe listen, I love u and care a lot about u, I don’t want anything to happen to u! I’m sure u knw this already so u chose to ignore my mesgs. It’s all good tho. I’m happy ur ok!
    He still did not reply…so I sent a mesg saying, wow…gn
    Next day…Tuesday I text him saying, Call me. Eventually he called. I said, so I guess ur done ignoring me. He said, i was going to ignore you for a few weeks. I said, OMG ur so dramatic babe a week ?! He said, yea u pissed me the fu#& off forreal, he said you dont know how pissed I was. He said and u had a nerve to hang up on me. He said, I told u I didnt feel good and u telling me ur falling back. I said, but u know thats not why I said I was falling back. I said, when we talked about the whole u not calling me daily, u told me u dont need xtra stress from me. U told me that. He said but why would u bring that up. He said, listen I dont want to talk about it anymore. He really shut it down and talked about something else. I told him I was making a banana pudding so his son could try some and he told me he would try it too.
    I was happy we were back in a good place but I wanted to apologize because I realized where I went wrong in that situation but I let it go….
    TBC….

  • LIFELESSONS

    Hola!
    I have been MIA for a while and so many different things have occured…not too negative and not all positive.

    I was feeling like my MM wasnt engaging with me as often as i needed him to. I didnt feel he was talking to me everyday as he normally would. I thought, oh maybe he has been busy, then again I thought he is more interested in his W (its not like its a crime or sin to take more interest in her), finally, i went back to the thought of him possibly engaging with another woman. With all of those different emotions boiling inside of me, and I had been making mention of the fact that I was feeling a way. Therefore, towards the end of August I sent him a message at 7am saying, I need you to take time out of your day to speak with me, I will be at a meeting from 8am-1pm so you can contact me after 1pm. He sent me a mesg saying, you call me after the meeting. Well after the meeting, I got nervous about saying what I needed to say to him. I had to walk myself through the conversation in my head before I called him. When I called him I said, well what is really going on (in an aggressive, nasty tone) in return he said, first of all you are not going to start this with me, he said, let me tell you tell you something you keep making a big deal everytime I dont call you for one day. He said I call you damn near everyday and he said, you have a nerve to get upset when I missed one day, is it written down somewhere that I have to talk to you everyday, show me where it says I have to talk to you everyday. My feelings was hurt after that, he was talking in an aggressive manner and he can come off in an aggressive way period so his tone and voice was elevated and I didnt like it. He said, well you always saying what you dont like he said you know what I dont like ?! I dont like when I call you and youre not talking and just being quiet on the phone or when I call and youre talking to the kids in the background or one of your friends, or when I call u, u dont answer and u call back at your leisure…He said, you do things I dont like but I dont come to you about it because i know I have to take it off the chin. He said, babe let me miss you damn, I mean we be talking in circles sometimes, we can skip one and talk the next, let something new happen that we can talk about. I said you knw wht youre right, we dont need to talk every single day, there is nothing stating we must talk daily. He said, now youre upset (he could tell by my tone, i wasnt aggressive or anything, it was just nonchalaunt) babe, thats not fair, you can call me, get loud, tell me what u dont like and carry on with me but the minute I say something you get all in your feelings about it. I said, its fine you are right we dont need to talk everyday, there is no need for it. He said well if you are going to be upset about, oh well because I am not trying to upset you but I want you to understand where I am coming from as well. He was at work at the time and we were on the phone for about 30-40mins. He said, babe I am going to call you back when I get off. I said ok, he said, as soon as I get off. I said ok. When we got off the phone, I cried a little and I honestly dont get all teary eyed from our conversations nor our disagreements but it hurt my feelings and I was not sure why it hurt me. He called back as he said he would and I answered, he said you mad at me and I said nope! He said something to me but I cant remember what it was and I said thats annoying and he said exactly thats how i feel when you do certain stuff babe. We talked for a short period of time and got off the phone. This happened on a Friday and that Saturday him and I didnt talk. I was not going to call him since there was no rule that said we must talk daily. Sunday he called me that morning and we talked about random things. He said he would call me later. When he called me later I told him I had thought about what he said to me the other day andit was true. I told him I thought about it and what I need him to know is, When I talk to him daily, it makes me feel like he is thinking about it, it makes me wanted, special and important. I said, I know we may not have to talk daily but even a, “Im thinking about you text” is a good way to let me know I am on your mind and vice versa. I said, the other day when we were busy getting smart with one another that is what I wanted to convey to you. I just want to always feel appreciate and thought of. It means a lot to me. He said. Babe thats not exactly the way you approached it. We agreed and moved forward from there….this has to be continued, I waited too late at night to write and now im sleepy…
    Felk, I will write tomorrow.

    • Felk

      LL, thanks for the mini-update. You know I was waiting! And your response the other day made me laugh, too. From what you write here, it continues to seem that you and your MM have some good honesty, although, sure, maybe it starts out with a little frustration and anger. But it seems you both calm down easily enough, and try to treat each other fairly. He was fair to say that he can’t call every day (and that there are, of course, things you do that frustrate him, too), and you were fair to explain to him why you want that daily reassurance (since affairs are really hard). So, he might do a little better to text when he can’t call and you might do a little better to give him the benefit of the doubt if a day goes by and he can’t contact you. It sounds like you both continue to put in the effort, though, and that’s what matters.

  • BAF Brave and Free

    Hi there everyone,
    I am just checking in.
    I have been grieving the death of my father and have had little to say lately. But I am reading here. And following all of your stories as they happen…

    For me the summer was very very challenging.
    This summer not only did I lose my dad but: My son younger son who I am very close to moved away; My long long term therapist moved awayto a new state far from here (we will have “Zoom” sessions however); I ended my 21 year affair with my exMM (as you all know); I had surgery; then I broke my foot. I think that’s all. Damn I hope so. Oh yes”. I started PAINTING like a fiend! That is the good part. :). And I am starting to deliberately re-connect with people in my “real” world to build a network of friends for myself who I think about daily (and vice versa). I am moving into a fuller life and letting the affair drift away into the past. None of my friends know about the affair or me leaving the affair however. It is always tough to not be able to share what I am really truly going though emotionally but that is the affair and the taboo of being in one. But I can not expect to have my women friends (or any friends) endorse the affair. Neither my family. With good reason!
    So my grieving process is visible in terms of my father and people know I am sad these days. And I am.But they do not know I am also sad about ending such a long term relationship.

    In my grief program, I am finding that grief pertains to many things that I was not aware of:
    Not just when someone dies but when breaks up with a lover; when one goes into recovery for an addiction; when one lose any relationship to someone moving away; when one changes a job; when one’s marriage breaks down or loses steam. When one lose a childhood….And so on and so on.

    So I am grieving many things. But I am also finding there is a way to grieve and that one can heal and grow a great deal. But our society does not recognize grief much and expects us to just “get over it” and “get on with it!” So the first thing I am letting my entire body do is to S …L …O …W. way down. way down,,,,,,It has helped that I have been partially out of work dues to my foot injury.
    I am hyper and overactive in general and lately it has been such a real challenge to SLOW down and the next FEEL my feelings. Ouch Ouch. But it is not all bad in fact. Some of it is hopeful and bright. Other stuff is murky and dark and pretty horrible. Anyhow I am learning a lot. And painting is my outlet for my feelings. Having an outlet helps a LOT for me.

    Now I know if you leave an affair you will grieve. This is certain. And there is a healthy way to grieve and an unhealthy way. Right now I am reading the “grief recovery handbook” by John and Russel Friedman who have also founded the “The Grief Recovery” . I am not too far in yet but so far so good!
    I will keep you posted. I am also getting (and sharing with others) daily grieving emails from a grief counselor. It helps to know I am not alone!

    In the meantime as I said to Hope:
    I have come to appreciate ALL of our independent journeys within the impossible situation that is every affair. We have severe ups and downs and it is tough tough tough. I am so glad to have this forum to talk to others who know what I am talking about!
    Affairs are very very tough life experiences.
    I love what TTSP said: “There are no winners, only survivors.”
    YES.
    I truly hope we all find peace and happiness one way or another!

    Many hugs and much love,
    Brave and Free BAF/ aka Lara
    xoxo

    • Hope

      Hi Lara,
      So sorry to hear about your Dad, sending you lots of hugs and prayers. You have faced so many difficult situations this year alone and all credit to you for powering through. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for you when your son moved further away.

      Reconnecting with old friends is a very good idea. I did that too, makes you realise who your real friends are.

      Of course I understand the dilemma of not being able to talk about the affair with your friends. It’s very difficult and not everyone will understand let alone be sympathetic.

      Your ex Mm was toxic Lara, I am so glad you were able to end it, the more the toxic a relationship the harder it is to end it I think. You should be so proud that you were able to do this, you go girl.

      Yes affairs are very tough. Sometimes I look back and think had I known then what I know now I would have never gotten into this mess. It was never worth it for me, I have lost too much than gained through it only to end up feeling used and not good enough. It took me a long time to convince myself that I am worth something good too.

      Thank you so much for your support and lovely response to my post the other day. Glad we could be of help to you Lara because you have helped us so much. I think there are good this in store for you this year 🙂 I have a good feeling about this year 🙂

      Take care; lots of love, hugs and prayers xoxo
      Hope

      • Brave and Free

        Hope, Thank you for your condolences for my father and for your kind thoughts in general. Yes I do believe you that I have been powering through so much difficulty this year. When my foot broke and my father died and I had knee surgery all within one week of each other it was the end of something for me. And with every end comes the beginning of something new. So it was the beginning of something for me too. I’m not sure what it will all look like yet. I’m just in a healing mode right now and taking it very very easy as a process everything.

        Yes I totally agree with you and others on this board that my ex MM was and is toxic. It has been shocking to watch him sliding downward. I tried to offer help earlier this year but in return I got back abuse. That is when I called it quits. I cannot tolerate the latent verbal and or emotional abuse from him or anyone else anymore. In the past it was perhaps concealed but the past is over now.

        And my last telephone call with him was definitely abusive on his part. That is when I blocked him. That was around 70 days ago I think the longest time I’ve made it in a while. I have not really begin to process the grief about that relationship being over yet. I have barely even cried. I know it sounds strange but I have so much anger at him that I have not felt grief over losing the relationship. But it will come and I will need to process it. In the past week he has spoken to me twice when I was hobbling by on crutches. It did not go well needless to say. You could even say that he proved to me yet again what an asshole he is more times. I don’t even feel like talking about it right now. That is because I don’t feel like talking about him right now. I don’t feel like giving him any more headspace. Or importance. I don’t feel like giving my affair anymore headspace either. Or ANY affairs. I hope everyone here understands. I simply can’t talk about affairs right now. It is far too triggering and too upsetting for me; please do not anyone take it personally. Affairs really are addictions and talking about them is very addictive for me.
        As far as my affair goes I have this summary:
        I was in it; i knew better and it crashed and burned is about all I have. 🙁
        I know that might sound harsh but the reality is the crashing of this affair was very harsh. But at least it’s over. Now I’m picking up the pieces and I’m finding that life does go on! For those of you that decide to leave an affair no matter how long or how intense or how toxic or how whatever I can honestly say this you will go On!! And even better than before. My love and hugs to all the ladies on this board and to you Hope/ I will keep you all posted. Brave and free a.k.a. Lara xxoo
        .

  • Hope

    Hi all
    Hope everyone is doing well. I just wanted to take sometime to thank you all for the support I receive from this site. Laurie thank you so much for giving us all a platform to connect and support each other. Felk, Lara I’d be absolutely lost without you two. Thank you. We have all been through our own hell but I wouldn’t have come this far without the help from this website. Last 3 years especially last year has been so difficult, I am surprised I didn’t slip into severe depression given everything that happened. I can’t afford therapy and couldn’t really talk to friends but this site has been my only saving grace along with my loved ones.

    Today I am going to do something different, today I going to talk about my husband. I have spent so many months talking, analysing, mulling over every small detail about ex MM I have to say I have been completely unfair to my H. Yes he made mistakes, mistakes that many women may consider deal breakers and people might say a leopard never changes it’s spots (ex Mm used to say that about my H) but I have seen my H change so much in past years especially past 3 years. When I withdrew completely he knew I was on the verge to call it quits and I think that’s what brought the change. Trying to repair my marriage has been very difficult, anyone in an affair would relate, at times it’s actually easier to start a new relationship but trying to rekindle the love and care has been difficult. Not only I had to work on my marriage I was also grieving the loss of the affair and love since last year. But now that it has been a year since the end of the affair the fog has started to lift. Here is a man who I have put through hell (because I was in an affair and in love with someone else) but has still stood by me. I know for a fact if I behaved that way with exMm he would not stand for it one bit. Yet I failed to see how unreasonable I was being to my H, I withdrew, became distant, could hardly be bothered in being involved with various aspects of his life (work, his family, etc.) And yet I spent nights in tears upset that ex Mm never shared most parts of his life, even silly details!

    A while ago I asked ex MM to stop texting me and that I could’nt even be his friend. It was getting too difficult, he would always end up telling me how much he missed me and then of course how much he missed the sex. Harsh truth of the relationship is that my gut has always told me he missed the sex more than the love. It’s funny how we can trick ourselves into not seeing the obvious truth! Truth that is right in front of us but we are too scared to admit it, running away/hiding it seems easier. Anyway I feel like a recovering alcoholic saying that I have gotten rid of the addiction.

    I really hope everyone on here finds happiness. You all deserve it, you are all wonderful, kind and loving people who are willing to help even strangers!

    Also I have crossed a little milestone, I am 30 weeks pregnant (I remember coming here last year when I lost a baby). I am very blessed to have a beautiful daughter who loves me so much and to have another one on the way 🙂 I don’t know what the future has in store or how things will go but I am truly grateful to have come this far, thank you God almighty 🙂 I am also blessed to have a H who loves me so much that he continued to tolerate my bad behaviour these past 3 years. If he found out I don’t think he will be able to forgive me which is why I never want to risk it again.

    Stay strong all you beautiful ladies, regardless of what/whom we choose in life let’s always make sure that we don’t compromise on our happiness/smiles, our inner peace and our self respect.

    Hugs and prayers xxx
    Hope 🙂

    • Felk

      Hope, thanks for your words today and for all of your support as well. I know it is a complicated thing to give support to others who are doing something that society deems as morally wrong and that we all know, personally, is rather difficult and can be unhealthy.

      I know that women likely leave this site when they’re ready to move on or when they need to stop talking about their MM, so we don’t often get to hear the “success” and growth that comes months and months later. It’s great to hear from you once in a while to hear how much you’ve progressed and how hard you worked to make it happen. It is great to hear that your MM is now an afterthought. That is exactly where I know a lot of women on here want to get, and you show that it’s possible. Yes, you had to force yourself to do some hard things, but these are deep emotions (an addiction) so it’s going to take hard work to get there. For me, the hardest things I had to do were cutting down contact when I desperately wanted to reach out. For example, leaving work early MANY times so that I wasn’t around him, either tempted to go talk to him (and make my pain worse) or sitting around hoping he’d come talk to me (knowing he wouldn’t). I hated leaving work early because it felt so weak, like I was avoiding my problems or that I wasn’t strong enough to deal with it. But, given how bad I felt, I knew I needed space. We know we need to remove reminders of the other, and that’s what I was doing. Over these months, it is MUCH easier now. I still leave work early once in a while if I’m feeling some hard things, but mostly I don’t feel the need for that anymore. Another hard thing I had to do early on was engage myself with others more. I forced myself to make more plans with friends and more plans with my H to distract me and give me positive social experiences. I know that helped, too, and one of my friendships got a lot closer (and better) because of it.

      One thing that I have not done very well, though, that you have done and that I think is great for anyone who can and wants to, is focusing more on your H. While my relationship with my H has improved somewhat over the last year, I still feel rather distant from him (because I am still in love with MM). I know my situation is different from some on here because I continue to choose to pursue a relationship with my MM. That choice will make it difficult to rekindle with my H, but it is a choice I’m making. For anyone, though, who is married (and wants to stay married) and really wants to be over their affair, I think your words about working hard to appreciate your marriage is key. And it really does take a lot of hard work. You will unlikely feel the passion that you felt in the beginning of your relationship (and I know that is likely disappointing for those of us who had the passion of an affair), but you chose this spouse for a reason and there is likely still a lot of love there. And I think most of us didn’t want to leave our H’s because we knew our MM were not better long-term partners for us.
      And, Hope, as you say, our H’s are someone who stayed with us through our distance and our poor treatment of them while we gave all of our attention and affection to another. In a way, I bet that it’s related to why our MM stay with their Ws despite being in love with us… H’s stay. (W’s are more likely to initiate divorce.) I know my H is better. Thus…

      I struggle with how I’m staying in my marriage but not treating my H as well as I could. I struggle with the idea that I’m risking my marriage, not only with my distance but by doing activities that could lead me to get caught in an affair (and I do not think my marriage would survive). Obviously, I am still choosing my affair. The reason is as simple as feeling as if I get enough benefit from it to think it’s worth it, but I really don’t get that much benefit from it anymore (now that we’re barely holding onto some weak version of our relationship). But, of course, it is also that I have hope that we will continue to get closer, as has happened across the last few months. He still seems to want our affair. He kissed me last week again. He is still unsure, though, and is not giving me enough reassurance yet. I don’t know how long I’ll wait (or what I’m waiting for exactly), but I know that I have to do this the way that works for me. And this works for me. Continued thanks to everyone for your support.

      • Hope

        Hi Felk you are very welcome 🙂 You have been there for me so many more times than I have for you, once again thank you 🙂 I absolutely understand the difficulty in cutting back contact when all you want to do is reach out. I don’t think for a second that you are being weak or running away from the problems by leaving work early. On the contrary I feel it takes a lot of courage to walk away when it’s so much easier to go back and feed the addiction, you should be very proud. This is such a massive shift from last year. Your situation is so much more difficult because you still work with your Mm.

        I can feel your pain when you say you struggle with not treating your H as well as you could, I just want to reach out and give you a hug! Xx I am sorry Felk I know how painful that feeling is. It is also heartbreaking to hear you say you are not getting as much benefit/may be love (?) from the affair when the risk to your marriage is the same if not more. Yes the hope of things changing is what keeps so many of us clinging to the affair.

        You are absolutely right, you have to do this the way it works for you. Yes it might feel like a long wait but if that’s what you feel you need to do, do it. Just make sure you are still happy/smiling and not compromising too much on your needs. Whatever happens Felk you don’t want to regret your choices/not giving it a try when you believe it could have still worked.

        Focusing on my H has been very difficult, very very difficult! At times O thought it couldn’t be done, I just felt so broken. It will take time Felk if that’s what you wish to do (focus on your H). Ex Mm had a great relationship with his wife and treated her very well during the affair which really surprises me because I couldn’t do it. I still don’t know how he managed to do this? My point is it can be done Felk if that’s what you think will work, ex Mm did it. Your H sounds like a really good man, I am glad he is there to take care of you in this difficult situation.

        You are a great woman Felk, I don’t think your H feels you treated him badly. Sometimes we tend to be our harshest critics. Of course you would have been a bit distant towards him but that’s what happens when we are in an affair. I hope things work out for you, main thing is just make sure you are not getting more and more sad each day because when that happens that’s when you know that the whole thing isn’t worth it. As long as you guys are still able to share laughs, enjoy each other’s company and you don’t dread seeing each other it’s ok and worth it. For me even now something might trigger ex Mm’s memory and then I might just snap at my H. It happened a couple of times and I just reminded myself it’s not my H’s fault that ex Mm treated me badly at times, it’s not his fault that ex Mm chose to spend time away from me when all I wished for is to be with him. None of what happened is my H’s fault, this was my doing, this was something that I felt I needed. I took a risk and in turn got happiness at times and pain as well. Every time I feel I might be being unfair to my H a slight bit I think of this and at least try to be as fair to him as I can. As I said to Lois walking away when I felt I wasn’t getting what I needed was the best thing I did for myself. My marriage is heaps better than what it was last year. Yes I don’t have the fantasy anymore but I have stability. The affair in a way broke my soul, my will to live but now when I look back I realise all I had to do was give it time. I would tell Hope from last year that it will get better, things are not as bad as they seem at the moment 🙂

        Take care lovely 🙂 xxx
        Hope

        • Felk

          Hope, thanks for the reinforcement on my decision to leave work early sometimes. I really never thought about it as being strong (just thought about it as necessary), but, you’re right. It took strength for me to leave work when I was feeling the pull to stay (not only to be near my MM and hope he’d come talk to me, but also because I thought it would show weakness to leave). So I had to overcome my own irrationality about it being weak and recognize it was best for me to leave. That I actually did need space and couldn’t handle it as easily as I’d hoped. It is a lot better now, and I rarely feel that need anymore, so I look to my past behaviors that worked to get me to this point.

          Your advice about remaining happy is good, too. I continue to remind myself that I can’t compromise my needs, and I have to be true to me. I have to be direct and ask for what I want/need (and if he can’t do it, I need to know that). I also have to pay attention to sadness or anxiety. I don’t feel much of that anymore, but, when I do, I have to pay attention to what’s causing it and try to fix it. Yes, there will always be some anxiety and sadness in an affair, but I don’t want the problems of before and I’m hoping past lessons will help me avoid those problems again.

          Like you, I try to stay mindful of treating my H well, even if I may not be feeling a lot of affection or closeness in that moment. I can still treat him with respect and kindness, even if I might not be able to give more than that on a particular day. Of course, my situation continues to be complicated given that my MM are still in some sort of relationship. But, things continue to feel better and better. Yes, because I’ve gotten a lot of distance from the intensity of the affair, and, yes, because my MM is still showing be affection and attention.

          I’m so glad that you are happy with your decision to walk away from your affair. That relief must feel pretty great. And the renewed focus on your marriage probably feels pretty good, too. Quite exciting to have a baby on the way. Yet another place to focus your energy and attention. Exciting and happy things for you.

    • LIFELESSONS

      Hi Hope,
      I am not sure if we messaged one another on any of the forums but I want to say thank you for your words of encouragement. I appreciate you sharing this with us. It is wonderful to hear how well things are going for you. Congratulations, baby on the way!!! Thats super exciting. You sound very strong, secure and wise…it is amazing how much can happen in a year or so. Well, I pray you continue to prosper and appreciate this your words.

      Take Care!

      • Hope

        Hi Lifelessons
        You are very welcome 🙂 I think we did speak at some point but can’t remember the details sorry.
        Thank you for your wishes. I am very glad that reading my post made you feel motivated, makes me feel good because I wouldn’t be here if these lovely ladies didn’t do that for me during all the times that I struggled.

        Thank you so much for your prayers. I hope and pray you and everyone else here finds happiness in whatever they do. Take care 🙂 xx
        Hope

    • Brave and Free BAF

      Hope thank you for these amazing words. They give me hope that the future will be brighter! It is so nice to hear from you every once in awhile.Yes you are very strong. I know what you mean about not slipping into a sever depression with the hell you went through. It is a real sign of strength that you did not slip downward. Bravo you! And I am glad to be a part of anyone’s journey and to be of help in any way I can to another woman in an affair and trying to get out. Yes, thank you Laurie for this space! And Hope: Congratulations on your recent pregnancy! How exciting to have a new life inside of you and a new person on the way. Children are really a joy in my opinion. I am so glad to hear your husband has changed! This is amazing and I hope he stays “changed” for your sake and for the sake of your children. I do think we can change as humans. But change is never easy! You have a lot of courage to work on your marriage too. Giving that relationship another fair shot is awesome. I think you can in fact get passion back with him. It will not be as exciting as “sneaking around” which is the affair. Excitement comes from “breaking the rules.”
      Don’t I know it!
      (But “betting thrills” for me always ends in disaster I must say.)
      Passion can grow if two people really grow together and are on the same page. And hear each other and LISTEN to each other etc. It is so easy to become estranged in a marriage for so many reasons.
      And it takes a lot of work to be and try to stay on the same page/. I know so have courage and I hope it works out great!

      As for you calling your behavior “bad” yes in a way it was. But you had reasons too! So I think we should just let the words “good and bad” go. These are very judgmental labels and make us feel even worse I think. I just have come to appreciate all our independent journeys within the impossible situation that is every affair. Affairs are very tough stuff experiences.
      Hope, I agree with you that I truly hope we all find peace and happiness!
      Love,
      Brave and Free aka Lara
      xxx000

  • LIFELESSONS

    Hi Ladies…

    I really just wanted to check in and say hey! It has been a while and a lot has happened since the last time I have wrote about MM and I. I hope everyone is doing well…

    Chat with you all soon!!

  • Lois

    Hello, ladies. As expected total silence from MM, I did text him later that night a d asked if his day was any better. He responded some, yes…and that’s been it. I sent him text yesterday to let him know some one at work was fired….nothing! So basically he shown me the true side to him…the one that expects me to be understanding when he decides to go Mia and not epress my feelings or ask for anything out of this relationship. I have been more than understanding, so I am done being treated like crap. I didn’t do anything wrong. He wants to say how sometimes i make him feel like, what has he done now to upset me…well if he wouldn’t lie and be selfish than I wouldn’t have anything to make him feel that way. Plus, it’s really the other way around because we will be texting and the silence the rest of the night and there have been times when he hasn’t responded. So I never know what to think or wonder if I said something wrong. I haven’t texted since yesterday afternoon ando don’t plan on it. I added his number to my spam list and usually I check it ever so often but not this time. I’m tired of having my feelings hurt. I know he has been through hell bit it’s not my fault and don’t deserve to be treated like he has been. I’be tried to be there for him as much as I could and would have regardless of our relationship. However because of our relationship I probably was more hurt by everything. What my friend did to him was wrong and what she did by lying on me was even worse. I have dealt with lots of hurt and pain too bUT doesn’t give me the right to treat people any differently. He is used to things being like there were before all if this bUT I’ve changed too. My feelings do matter and tired of having my feelings hurt. I will not be with someone who can’t handle listening to my needs and expressing my feelings. I’ve given him space because I respected that’s what he needed but then 2 days later get upset my I yell him at sometimes he does hurt my feelings. What the hell…grow up! So need less to say I’m done being treated like this.

    Felk, I am glad you and mm finally got to talk. I wish you the best and sounds like your mm truly does care about you. Hang in there and keep us posted.

    • Felk

      Lois, it’s a little unclear exactly when your MM stopped responding and how many messages you’ve sent without a response, but what stands out most to me is that, after you told him you had some availability to meet (including Friday… that he originally suggested), he never responded to make a plan to meet? So, yeah, I hope you are done. He has done this to you too much. You have been understanding and flexible in giving him space to deal with his brother’s death and his job loss. Both are difficult, but you were not asking a lot, and, with kindness and respect, he would have been more communicative.

      We all know affairs are complicated and hard. So, in fairness to him, it is understandable that his brother’s death and his job loss may have made this all too overwhelming for him. However, he could have been an adult and communicated that better with you. He did try to communicate it initially. He was clear in needing time and space to clear his head, but, after that, he did a poor job of communicating his feelings or trying to meet up with you to communicate his feelings (if he preferred in person). Even now, if he is wanting the affair to end, he should be telling you directly instead of this silence nonsense.

      I know this hurts, and, even though you know you deserve better, I am sure you still wish he could have given you better. A common theme on this site is the constant hope that our MM will “figure it out” and treat us better. But, for all of the reasons we know (they are set in their ways at this age, they are married and we are not the priority, affairs inherently make both people frustrated and disappointed with lack of time together), it’s not going to change much. Affairs make you accept lesser than you would in a “normal” relationship and it is a rough place to start a relationship. It is a constant struggle to maintain your integrity and self-respect while recognizing there are limits to what you can ask for. However, your MM has gone too far. You know that he has given so little that it beyond what you should accept in this affair. I do hope you can really decide to be done, to block his messages (and not check your spam list), and let it go (slowly over time). You will have flare-ups of anger and sadness that will make you want to contact him… not only to lash out at him (and hurt him, too) but to express your feelings and get it out and also to desperately hope he will respond and you’ll get to talk to him again. I hope you can ignore these urges to contact him. They will (at least right now) be based in the hope that he will respond, and that is not a good reason to send them. It just further compromises your self-respect and accepts his bad treatment of you. The greatest strength right now is showing him that you do not need him and will not accept this behavior. Please realize that you tried everything you could to make this work (and it didn’t work). Do not second-guess. Do not think that you could have or should have done something differently. You were kind. You were true to you. You did not contact him too much. You treated him as you wanted to be treated. It is simply that affairs suck. And, yes, he should have done better. If anyone should second-guess, it is him.

      I know this is easier said than done, but I wish you the best of luck in trying to move on.

      • Hope

        Hi Felk this is so true and thank you for always being there for us. I hope things between you and your MM are going well and getting better with time.

        Lois I am so sorry you are in this terrible situation, I know first hand how much it sucks. My only advice is just what Felk has said, don’t doubt yourself now, you know you have been treated badly too many times and know that it’s best if it ends. There are so many similarities between our situations that it’s scary! I know exactly how it feels when MM goes Mia, I was never allowed to text ex MM on weekends/public holidays and it hurt so much and I hardly said anything. But you know what it doesn’t bother me nor is it my problem anymore because I have moved on, I have forgotten how long the NC period has been (he used to text occasionally but I hardly initiated contact this year). As Felk said, I too was holding onto Hope that he will treat me better and that things will change but they never did. I agree most MM are so set in their ways, they will never change, we aren’t their priority and that’s just how it is.

        I was in your position last year when I decided enough is enough. Yes of course it was difficult to move on, of course I spent many days/evenings crying and using all my power to stop myself from going back to him but you know what that was just a phase. I am so much better now, I don’t need his attention through my day. I am married so for me I had to do some soul searching and work on my marriage. As Felk once said it’s so much harder to repair a broken relationship/marriage than starting a new one. Anyway fast forward 1 year I can honestly say walking away when I was being treated badly/not given what I deserved was the best thing I did for myself.

        There is so much advice given here on what you can do to distract yourself from the situation (exercise, new hobby, reconnecting with friends/family or even getting a new puppy etc 🙂 Just know Lois as difficult as it seems this is just a phase that you need to get through without giving up on yourself and slowly it will get better. You just need to back yourself in getting out of this vicious/unhealthy cycle. Good luck and take care, you can do this! 🙂 xx
        Hope

        • TTSP

          Thanks Hope and Felk. The recovery from an affair is not a linear process. I’ll start to feel like I’m letting go, moving on and becoming indifferent and then something will knock me on my ass. I’ll begin to remember his affectionate and loving words/actions and become infuriated, hurt, angry and sad all over again. Hope said something about her ex mm saying that he missed her and the sex. Mine does the same after we parted ways and in the past when we attempted to break up. Like you I think it’s really the sex he misses bc he’s in a sexless marriage. I think if he was attracted to his wife he’d be pretty content for the most part.

          I do find that less if not zero communication is best for the healing process. We’re supposed to travel internationally for work and he has made that hellish for me. Instead of putting on a brave face he threatened to pull out when we really need him there for his influence, direction and leadership. It’s really simple. Affairs suck and they hurt a lot. I’m glad I’m moving on but there are still lingering feelings and emotions. He has a way of pressing my buttons and sending me into a downward spiral. “The greatest strength is not showing him that you need him.” Thanks Felk. I need to place that close to my heart and when something sends me into an emotional frenzy, I need to display equanimity. Thanks Hope for your positive message and Felk for all the support you provide everyone here.

  • lois

    Well, ladies. I have a confession. Let me first explain what led up to my all of this. MM has told me several times how he respects my honesty and how I handle things genuinely without expecting stuff in return. He has told me numerous times the level of trust and respect that he has for me. He does not allow people close to him but he has with me. Blah, blah, blah! After everything that has happened at work, he recently told me about 2 weeks ago that how I have dealt with the stuff at work, with his distance, etc. that he respects and trusts more than ever and will forever be grateful. You know, how badly I was struggling last week and worried he was going to end things again! Something at work happened. The person who took over as interim for his position made a comment that he had told someone else in the department about having issues with the person who made all of the discrimination allegations (coworker/friend/person he had previous affair with). I was quite surprised to hear that you he had said anything because the person he told is another female employee who has had all of kinds of issues with this other person. He did not give details only that he did not trust her and she was out to get him. Then, I found out that MM had a private a meeting sometime in July to discuss what took place at work with a couple of his technicians who he felt he could be honest with about thing and he did them about the affair. This entire time, I have been keeping this secret and have not said anything to anyone. I was upset, hurt and confused as to why he has never told me any of this. The other female employee that he had spoken with told me about a month ago when she came to my office to ask me a question that MM had contacted her after everything went down with work. I found out he had contacted everyone in his department that he trusted. So, while I was on vacation when he contacted me and thought he was all alone handling this stuff with work, he was not alone and was getting sympathy from everyone else. When i struggling so badly last week after him needing space to clear his head, then ignoring my texts messages over the weekend and on top of learning how many others he has spoken with about things, I seemed to reach a point of numbness and refused to contact him about whether we could meet this week. Honestly, I was not in a state of mind to deal with him possibly ending things and have been struggling nearly like I was because I am upset with him. Yesterday evening, he texted me about meeting up this evening. Here comes the confession: I told him that it was not possible because I had dinner plans. He asked about Friday. I LIED and told him that I was leaving town Friday for the weekend. He has not responded to my texts and had been distance for how long and now was interested in seeing me and texting me several times. I just feel like he is a player…maybe it is me wanting to think that so I can move on and stop hurting. Things just do not seem to add up. I really have been progress and was a point that he was not constantly on mind…my heart was not aching…was not wondering if he was thinking about me. Do I really want to give up and meet him to hear what he has to say? I just want to move forward and backward. I do not want to settle for his excuses and truly I do not want to hear that it is maybe over. If he wants to end, why meet me…cannot we just leave things like they are and not communicate anymore. I did text him back this morning and tell him my plans changed and would not you know it he is too busy now but can tomorrow or Friday. What happens if he does not want to end it, do I have the courage to do it myself, is that I truly want? What the hell!!!

    • Felk

      Oh, Lois, you’re really going through it, huh? So, what I hear are a few things… I hear that you’re angry and frustrated with him for not confiding in you this summer (when you’re supposed to be someone close to him) and you’re also frustrated by his infrequent texting and lack of responsiveness to you. All of that is fair. Really fair. But the other thing I’m hearing is that you still want to be with him, and despite you recognizing that he is not treating you as you’d like to be treated, you are still hoping he will not end your affair.

      You know I don’t judge because I know this position well. This was July and August for me last year before my MM ended our relationship in September. I didn’t like that he was pulling away and communicating less. It didn’t feel fair or consistent with what our relationship had become. I expressed this to him in July, but I wasn’t as strong as I should have been. As I’ve said, I was desperate to hear he wanted to stay instead of being strong about what I need were he to stay. It seems you are desperate to hear your MM wants to stay or else you wouldn’t have sent him that text this morning about your changed plans and suddenly being available to meet.

      I get that you’re frustrated and angry, but you know that playing games (the lies) doesn’t work in the long run. I think you lied for a few reasons. You say its because you were mad about the summer and about his lack of texting recently, but, because you contacted him immediately this morning, it seems like you were also testing to see IF he wanted to see you or how hard he’d try (offering Friday, too). It also seems like you were just trying to get back at him for hurting you by “giving him a taste of his own medicine” and not being available when he wanted. Again, I get the frustration and anger, but by changing your mind immediately the next day, what message does it send him?

      So, which one is it? Is it that you do not want to settle or you do not want the affair to be over? It sounds like it has to be one or the other because if you choose the affair, he will keep treating you this way. You know this. This is who he is. You have many times pointed out lies he’s told you or things he hasn’t told you that he’s told other people. I don’t know if that makes him a player, but it means he’s not giving you the closeness that you seem to want/need. As is always the case, if someone is not giving us what we need in a relationship, we have to tell them (to try to get what we need) or we have to end the relationship… or, well, I guess we could choose to be miserable not getting what we need, but that’s not healthy (and that is how you’re feeling right now).

      My guess is that, even if he does say he wants to end it when you meet up with him, you want that closure. I don’t think you want to “end it” by simply stopping talking. If you do, then just text him and tell him that. But, my guess is that you’d like to say some things to him, even if it is ending, and you’d like to hear him say some things. So, again, be true to you. It seems you very much want to talk to him, even if it’s ending. Of course, I know you don’t want it to end. But, that’s a separate issue, it seems. Even though he has treated you poorly and will continue to, it seems like you still hope he tells you that he wants to stay.

      So, even though I say that it seems you want to talk to him and you hope it’s not over, I will also give you the advice of making a clean break and being done with him. From everything you’ve said, it’s clear that he will just continue to hurt you. This will not change. And my guess is it will only likely get worse now that you’re not at work together. Letting go is a process, though, and I understand if you’re not there yet and still going through it. I am also in the category of “not there yet and still going through it.”

      • Lois

        Felf, you’re absolutely right. I was giving him a test of his own medicine. This morning text was another test because I knew he’d have an excuse. It’s a game with him. However, I wasn’t playing about not really wanting to see him because he is my weakness…no matter what he does he has a way to draw me back in. Just like today, I have texted him several times about various things and had gone NC and was doing well and wasn’t struggling. I can’t say that now because he’s been on my mind all day. I want to hear what he has to say but I also have a few things that I’d like to say. I worry that when I see him that the courage goes away. I am tired of things but can’t help that I fell in love with him. Im aggravated and hurt. The reason I wanted to tell everyone about him talking to other people was to see if you thought it to be strange or was it just me. When you’re hurting, it’s easy to overthink situations because you want a reason to be there as anchor so it’s easy to let go and move on. You’re right. I have to meet with him.

        • Felk

          Lois, I do understand why it bothered you that he told other people about work things and he didn’t tell you, but it could be that he was trying to keep some separation from professional/personal and that can be hard to do when you’re having an affair with someone you work with. I know that my MM and I ran into a few problems with professional/personal boundaries, almost always because he wanted to draw a clearer boundary than I thought was necessary (and it made me feel hurt).

          I get that you weren’t playing about not wanting to see him in the sense that you maybe weren’t mentally ready to see him. I know that there were a few times I made myself unavailable for my MM because I needed some distance and didn’t want to always be so available to him. Mostly, though, I just made myself available if I wanted to see him because playing games usually doesn’t help in relationships. And, honestly, if you’re at the point of testing him like this, doesn’t that mean that there are problems that you two need to deal with?

          Have you set up a time to meet him? Did he agree to Friday (as he originally offered)? I met with my MM yesterday, and we were (mostly) direct and honest in our talking. It helped a lot with clarity for me. Although nothing is immediately “solved,” I feel clearer on his feelings of still wanting our relationship and trying to make it work. I asked him to be direct and he tried. So, ask for what you need. You do not need more vagueness and uncertainty from your MM. He is a grown up. He can treat you with respect and fairness if he wants to. He can tell you whether or not he wants to continue this affair. Yes, it can be hard with all the selfishness and vulnerability, but we all deserve clarity and honesty in relationships and if your MM can’t do it, then you know that this relationship is just going to continue to make you miserable. I know you are holding out hope that things can go back to the way they were, but things have changed (because of his job loss). I keep trying to remind myself of that, too.

          • Lois

            Felk, it’s more than just this time…it’s all of it. The truth about his illness…he never has told him about this brain tumor. I don’t even know if it’s true. He didn’t just tell the lady he had the affair with before me which he says she aggravated. He also told another coworker but not everyone only 3 people have been told. He has told some people that his daughter has some medical concerns from being a preemie more developmentAL issues. He told a lady who used to know him at his previous job that he was having to have treatments for a blood disorder this was before he started working with us. It’s that he told me he had another job opportunity and had to give them a decision which is why he resigned because he couldn’t pass it up along with stress of his brother dying. I found out today that he is doing a contact for this company as a consultant. I asked him last week aboot the new job. He said let’s just say I hope the other one close to home comes up soon. It’s been tough but have been able to work from home more than I thought. Okay. I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he may have thought he told me. However. I think he wants me to feel sorry for him having to take this job so far from home. I even made the comment that his new job would make it very difficult for us to see each but maybe I could drive up and have lunch with him. He said that sounded great. The person who told all of this said he was thinking about opening back up his own business like before. See why I am dumb founded…never once said anything. So I send him a text today and told him not to feel obligates to sew me that I knew he was busy with work. This was before I found our all of this other. He is having amother bad day. He made some comment and replied. He followed up with what did I do now.? I said excuse me but is that how I make you feel. He said sometimes and told him that I’m sorry to make him feel that way but he aggravates me and sometimes hurts my feelings. I havent heard another word and sure hes pouting. Yeah talk about childish. And I know he want reply and will wait for me to text. He is going to be waiting because I am not contacting him. If he wants to behave like this and I can’t express my feelings than screw it. I have my answer and need to move one. If he does which I doubt, I am not sure what I will do but it won’t be apologizing for saying what I felt. I’ve been supportive and put up with more stuff than most. So let his wife deal with it…my hats off to her because he has to the moodiest man not to mention the various stories he tells people. Hell I can’t keep it all straight. I really do feel like an idiot and truly thought when he said how much he appreciated our level of trust and he doesn’t do that with just anybody…was I naive. So I guess the feelings he supposedly has for me are just part of his stories as well. Like I said, I am confused as what’s the truth and what’s not. For now, I don’t know what I will do. I can understand why my friend was hurt by MM. It still isn’t right what she did but can understand how she felt do stupid for believing it all. She just let her hurt anger and resentment carrying things too far. I am just numb….

          • Felk

            Lois, I understand. I know you’ve found out that he’s withheld information from you throughout your affair. And I know it hurts. You have a long list of important pieces of information that he never shared with you, and I know it has you questioning why you’d be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t want to share this information with you. I think it’s a good question, but I’d suggest that you ask him this directly. Why not ask him directly why he has not told you these things? What do you have to lose? It’s not that you have to accuse him of lying, but you can say that you’ve heard a number of things over the years that you’ve been surprised to find out from other people and not him. And then you can ask if they’re true and, if so, why he didn’t tell you. If he reacts poorly, it’s further evidence that he doesn’t respect you. If it hurts you not to know these things and you feel it’s reasonable in your relationship to have this information, then you should tell him. Again, ask for what you need. And, if he can’t give it, then you get to make the decision of whether or not that’s good enough for you.

            As for his attitude of “What did I do now?” and his pouting silence to you expressing feelings, yes, you should be frustrated. You are allowed to express feelings and reasonably expect someone to be responsive. If he can’t handle it, again, why stay with him? With everything you’ve said, why compromise your self-respect any further? I really do hope you will not contact him and put it on him to reply (since you were the last one to text).

            I also appreciate your sympathy for your friend who has been through this with him. Maybe she didn’t act appropriately at work (or maybe she had good reasons for reporting him), but you can now see how she could have been frustrated and angry with him, too.

  • Lois

    Hey, Felk. I had to start a new post wouldn’t let me reply. Ironically, I texted MM and asked the same thing if we could talk. II am not sure where things are and like you need some clarity whether good or bad. I know that in all of this it’s important to stay true to ourselves and if we can’t ask for what we need then maybe it’s not worth it. I don’t ask for much and have been very understanding probably more than he would be with me but we are different people. I have been through many hurdles in my life so I have to learn to be strong. He did reply that we needed to talk any maybe sometime next week. I really would like to know because I am tired of feeling like this.

    • Lois

      Well, I don’t know if my text offended MM or what happened. I sent him a message and said we could talk on the phone if it would be easier. He replied ‘”possibly. Sunday or Monday could maybe work” I replied oh you don’t want to see…lol. and stated it was just a joke. He didn’t reply. I followed him a message that I would like to see him but if it doesn’t happen it’s okay. That he knew where my heart was a different hope he still feels the same.” I don’t think any of that was offensive. I sent 2 more texts later tonight and No response. He said he was busy today but don’t understand what’s going on. I’m so confused.

      • Lois

        This is what I sent him

        I know you are busy so won’t bother you. We will try to figure something out. I would like to see you but if it doesn’t happen it’s okay. I know it’s difficult for you and don’t want to make it harder on either of us. You know where my heart has been and hope you still feel the same”. So what did I say wrong? We both agreed that we needed to talk about thjngs. I offered to tallet over the phone if it would easier. He said possibly. He was busy today but tomorrow (Sunday) or Monday could work. I jokingly said oh you don’t want to see.lol. and said it was joke and then sent the above message. He has been non responsive since and don’t know what I could have done. Ugh…this is ridiculous. I did find out Friday was his brothers birthday that just passed away.

        • Felk

          Lois, I wrote two messages earlier today, but I only see one of them here. Not sure where the other one went! But, it basically said similar things about how you have to feel comfortable to ask for what you want and need in a relationship, even if affairs have different rules. Your texts to your MM (as I said in my message that did post earlier today) are completely in line with having a healthy relationship with someone. We can say that affairs are not healthy relationships, but that does not mean that we do not attempt to treat others well in affairs. Affairs work long-term when we are both generally treating the other with respect, honesty, and kindness. Your text to your MM seems completely consistent with all of that so do not worry that you said something “wrong.”

          First, your MM said he was busy so maybe that meant the whole weekend? Does that excuse no response for two days? Probably not. Also, he said “maybe” Sunday or Monday. You generally know that Sundays are his family day so it’s not surprising he couldn’t do it today. I can’t tell you how many times my MM said “maybe” to a suggestion of mine to spend time together only to find out that his “maybe” wasn’t as definitive as I thought it was. That is really was a “maybe” or “maybe not.” You heard the maybe as probably, but he meant it as a maybe. Try to be fair that he didn’t promise today or tomorrow. And, you just found out that Friday was his brother’s birthday? Could definitely explain why he’s struggling this weekend and not very communicative.

          Second, pay attention to how you said “this is ridiculous.” He’s not treating you with enough respect or kindness. Yes, he’s probably treating you with honesty and responding the way he wants. He is being selfish and he is taking the space he needs despite knowing it is not what you want or need right now. Sure, there may be good reasons he’s not communicating, but it’s not working for you. To me, there is no good excuse why someone can’t respond to a text across two days. Rules are different in affairs, but it’s not very respectful to ignore someone for two days in any relationship. As you know, you have the power to make this unacceptable. When you find out why your MM didn’t respond for two days, assuming it wasn’t some logistical issue (like he lost his phone), you are in control of how you respond and whether or not you make it okay. Fear, especially now that you think he may be pulling away, could lead you to excuse his behavior but then it will only make it easier for him to do it in the future. If you ask for good treatment and he says he can’t do it and you should end the relationship, then you don’t want this relationship. But if he does want to continue the relationship, do not cower thinking you should simply be grateful he is staying. Tell him what you need to continue the relationship, too.

          My guess is that you are extra sensitive right now because your MM has been more distant lately. I know it is really hard to be patient, but you have asked and now you just have to wait. He will contact you eventually, but try to remember how you feel during these times and how your MM is treating you. If it is not how you want to be treated were you to stay in this affair, you have to tell him. If I learned anything at the end of my affair (when I was most fearful), it is that I didn’t speak up enough for myself because I was desperately trying to hold onto the relationship. Not only is the relationship going to end whether or not you desperately hold on (if your MM wants to end it), but your desperation could hasten the end and/or make you feel even worse if it does end. For me it was the latter. In hindsight, I wish I would have “gone out” strong, standing up for what I want and need, instead of trying to make it okay for him so that he’d be willing to stay.

        • TTSP

          Hi Lois,
          Your message sounds honest, understanding and clear. It’s also a declarative statement asserting your position in a compassionate tone. When I read it as a text I don’t necessarily think it warranted a response from the recipient. Personally, I’d respond to that bc it has an emotional quality to it, but, everyone is different. Communication styles range and he may have thought you were merely expressing yourself and that was the end of it. There aren’t any interrogative sentences there for him to answer. No questions to some means no need to respond in their eyes.

          Please don’t take my angle as disregarding your feelings. I’d be totally bummed and let down if a SO didn’t respond to my message. You most likely feel that a reply indicates that you are important, respected and valued. As I pointed out earlier he may have not thought it necessitated a response and he most likely values and respects you. He could be clueless that you feel hurt and offended by his silence. I just tell people I was hoping to hear back from them and I understand it may have not seemed like a response was necessary but I was a little hurt. They tend to be receptive and learn about your communication patterns. If he isn’t open to hearing you out and doesn’t demonstrate compassion for your feelings then you have the answer about his character.

      • Felk

        Lois, your text did not offend your MM. Try not to worry too much about what you wrote. Your texts were normal and completely in line with your relationship. This is EXACTLY the point about being yourself and asking for what you need. If you can’t send a few texts, that not only express your feelings but also ask for time with him, then the relationship is no good. You know this.

        Yes, your text about “oh you don’t want to see me” probably put a little pressure on him. But, why aren’t you allowed to do that? First, it’s not asking a lot to ask him to reassure you that you want to see him (especially since he’s being cryptic), and, second, if he can’t handle that, then you need to know this. You need to know where his head’s at. When my MM and I talked last week, he said things about how I should know how he feels and aren’t we both just assuming the other is feeling similar things? Well, no. I let him know that, while I sort of know how he feels, he sends mixed messages and is confusing at times, so I need to know more directly sometimes. Your MM is being confusing. And, yes, it is because he is confused. So, you get to ask. But, unfortunately, he also gets to ignore.

        So, sure, it could just be that your MM is busy and that he couldn’t get to the texts or couldn’t get the space he needed at home to really reply. Or maybe his phone died or he misplaced it or some other logical reason he didn’t reply. However, given that your MM has the tendency to not reply sometimes, it is probably that he still needed space and didn’t like the pressure to talk about feelings. It’s not fair to you. He’s in this affair, too, and that’s what I plan to tell my MM this week. I give him a lot of space, but he also has to give me some feelings once in a while, if we’re going to keep doing something.

        Yes, it’s possible your MM is putting distance because he is trying to end the affair. I don’t like typing that to you, but I know you’re considering it and it is a possibility considering everything that’s been going on lately for him. My guess is that he is very torn and that’s why he’s not responding. Hopefully, you will get to talk to him soon, in person (if that’s what you want, ask for it), and you will get some clarity one way or another.

        • Lois

          Hey, Felk. Thank you so much for response. I went ahead and texted him earlier today to see if he was okay. I wasn’t sure what was going on. He did tell me he was busy Saturday. He has a side business and has always stayed extremely busy with it. He is a work alcoholic. I debated whether to text but thought well it was his brothers birthday and maybe he’s just struggling. He replied to my text and said he was okay. He said he was busy with his girls had couple of volleyball games and had a couple of more today. I don’t told that I didn’t really know what to think about was glad he was okay. He asked what my schedule was like for the week. Told him I was busy but we could get together. I asked if he wanted to meet or talk over the phone. I told him I’d liketo see him. He replied he was good with us meeting. I replied…awe you must miss me…lol. he replied maybe which is kind of like an inside joke with us. So, we are supposed to get together one evening this week. Like you, I am going to ask for what I need and if he can’t then it is what it is but I have to stay true to me. Of course, he may tell me that it’s over aND if that’s the case there’s nothing I can do about it except get through it and move on which is easier said than done. I do think we could make things work but it’s going to require effort on both our parts. Thanks again for everything. I really appreciate it!

          • Felk

            Lois, I know you really want to know, one way or another, if he wants this affair to continue. It’s one of the hardest things in affairs, the constant nagging feeling that it will all end because we don’t have the commitment as in other relationships. And then, on top of that, your MM is already the silent type and he no longer works with you. You are in a tough spot, and I’ll be curious to hear what he has to say when you meet up with him this week. I’m glad he agreed to meet in person, though. I know you wanted that.

            I’ll just try to remind you not to swoon too much if he gives you a little. I know the relief and happiness you must have felt when your MM finally responded to your text today, but why was there a day and a half without responses… to three or four texts? Obviously, we all have different tolerance levels, but it seems your MM isn’t even meeting the bare minimum decency in responding to another. And it seems you felt that given how preoccupied you were with his non-responding. Also, it doesn’t seem you’re being over-bearing in your texting, although I guess he could feel that way.

            Try not to go into this meeting worried that he’ll end the relationship and then happy (and willing to accept anything) if he doesn’t. I put myself in that situation last July when my MM, and I had a series of talks about how distant he had become and how it was starting to feel unfair. How I needed more. That was 7 months into him pulling away and I was already worried about us, so when I finally pushed and asked for more and he said he didn’t want to end the relationship, I was SO relieved. Too relieved to see the remaining warning signs and insist on talking more about the issues. Talked myself into just backing off, giving him space, and trying to go with the flow. I was so scared that, by pushing, I would push him away, but I not only ignored the difficult things I was feeling but I also ignored talking about the difficult things he was feeling. I’m not saying I could have saved the affair at that point, but I’m saying that I didn’t go out on a strong note. I got scared, and was blinded by the relief of getting “anything” from him when I needed more. The way you felt this past week shows me that you need more. So, I hope you will ask for it. In the least, I hope you will ask directly if he wants the affair to continue and how you two are going to make that work.

            And, yes, if he is ending the affair, there is not a lot you can do about it. You know all the reasons it would be understandable for him to, so it’s not like we want to talk someone into having an affair if they don’t want to. 🙂

  • Lois

    Hey, Felk. I had to start a new post…wouldn’t let me reply to last one. Wow thank you! I never thought about things like that way. He told me that he’s torn between two very strong emotions, so it may be that he does want more so much that causes him more guilt. That makes sense why he flips like a light switch. I know there has to be something or wouldn’t keep going back to each other. He struggled under normal circumstances and with everything that he has gone it’s to be expected. We texted a few times Saturday and he said would could meet up to talk Sunday or early in week. So I texted Sunday about 11 but he was probably in church. So I sent an email to let him know I would be available along with my feelings on things. Then about 8 pm sent him text and hoped he had a good day. I didn’t text at all Monday. I did today to wish him good luck on first day of new job. We chatted a bit. We both said we were struggling with things. We joked. He said he really cares for me and I told him that he better not let me get away. He replied he was just clearing his head. I told him that I understood and wasn’t trying to pile more on him. Once again I never thought how I was putting more once he said he needed space. I haven’t given him time to digest so I do need to hold back on my communication. Not out of fear or compromise my needs but just out if respect that he emotionlly can’t deal with anymore. I do feel that he needs more time to heal from everything. He lost his job, friends, brother and was faced with the possibility of losing his family if it all got leaked out. There is still more drama at work because they want him to now fight the allegations so they can fire my ex friend who started the mess and had an affair with. It’s really complicated and think it keeps him tore up. It’s like picking the scab off and doesn’t seem to be able to heal. I heard today that she made allegations to that he had said inappropriate things to me and I witnessed him being inappropriate to other people. I’m not sure what she was trying to do whether it was to discredit me…not sure. Anyway. I will give a few days and see how things are with him. It’s hard and know you understand all too well. I really appreciate your advice because it makes sense which dis make me feel better. It sounds like things have moved in a positive direction with you and your mm. If one of you would leave your job, do you think it would hurt your relationship. It really sucks not seeing him everyday. Sigh…..

      • Felk

        Lois, when we were in the affair, early on we e-mailed a lot. Cute/playful e-mails, sometimes short and sometimes longer discussing things that we’d talked about earlier in the day or just other topics we found interesting. The e-mails were rarely serious e-mails about the relationship, though. About a year into the affair, we started chatting online. This was his suggestion. It’s funny to think back to how I was hesitant to do that, worried that it might “ruin” our relationship because we’d get bored with each other chatting all the time or worried that we’d no longer exchange our cute e-mails. So, we started chatting online, for hours each night, 4-5 times/week. It was really great. Talked about work, politics, everything. We would flirt, get sexy, and talk about our relationship when chatting online, too. This went on up until the end (even though we starting chatting less, maybe 3 times/week, during those last 9 months). And, now, we chat no longer. 🙁

        Now, we still e-mail a bit. Cute/playful e-mails here and there. Some short and some longer. Less than during the affair, though.
        During the relationship we didn’t text much, and, when we did text, it was mainly for logistics or something short and funny, not to get into a long conversation. I think it was easier for us to “hide” long chat conversations (on a laptop) as opposed to sitting on our phone all night so that’s why we didn’t get into texting. Now, we still text a little, but it is mainly for meeting up logistics or just to send something cute/funny to the other person. I’d say we text about once/week (or less).

        Most of our communication now is either at work or outside of work. It’s pretty sad to no longer have the chatting. I liked talking to him at night so very much, but I get why that had to end. I know the chatting kind of frustrated him, too. Even though it was his idea initially, eventually he started talking about how it was sad that we weren’t really together and instead had to rely on e-communication. I know all of it wore on him through the affair. Where I was pretty happy using chat to “talk” when we couldn’t be together, sometimes he felt it was just a reminder of how we weren’t really together. I saw it as a supplement to our affair, but he saw it as a barely adequate replacement for real time together. While that is sweet, it also underscores his frustration with our situation. My guess is that your MM may not respond as often to (or initiate) texts as much as you’d like, and I would not be surprised to find out that texting you might make him sad sometimes and remind him of his guilt. So, maybe that helps a little to understand why he might not always respond to texts?

        I also know that my MM started to feel pretty guilty about all the time he was spending chatting and not with his W or family. Early on his kids were in bed when we’d chat, but, in that last year, I know one of the reasons he cut down the chatting was because his kids were up later now. And I know it was that pull between wanting to chat and wanting to be a “present” dad that was part of all that tension he felt. So, I don’t know if chatting is an option for you and your MM, but it may not be and may just add to his guilt if he does it too often. On the other hand, if you don’t see each other as often anymore, I can understand trying to find other ways to “talk.”

        I can never just briefly answer a question, can I? 🙂

    • Felk

      Lois, you write some good (hard) things here. It’s hard to know when your needs trump his needs. Right now, your needs clash. He wants space to “clear his head” (of the nagging guilt) and you want closeness to “clear your head” (of the nagging insecurity). Both of your needs are important but they are (mostly) incompatible. Both can’t be satisfied at the same time. If you get closeness, he feels more guilt. If he gets space, you feel more insecurity. Of course, we know it’s not always like that or we wouldn’t be in these affairs. We know that there are long stretches without guilt or insecurity. And those stretches are great… it feeds that addiction.

      You say really good things about how you may not have really given him that space, though. How, in your own fear with all of the changes in his life, you haven’t given him time to digest, especially with the new drama at work. And, it’s like you say, it’s very different to give this space out of respect instead of out of anger or fear. You are not giving him the space because you’re pouting or to make him come running to you. You’re giving him space to legitimately acknowledge that he’s had a lot going on and may need to “clear his head.” It is scary to give space in affairs, but you can’t have trust without it.

      Of course, it has to be a give and take, though. You can’t just give space without him meeting your needs at times, too. It seems he’s tried to give you some of that, even in his distance, over these weeks through his texting. But, of course, you need more. And, at some point, you will have given him “enough” space and it will be unfair for him not to give in return. The hard part is deciding when that point is. In my situation, I felt that my MM and I navigated that well during the summer. I felt like I could give him space and I could ask for time with him (and he would be responsive). He even asked to meet up with me a few times and it’s always nice when he initiates since I’ve been the one to initiate most plans during our affair. I think even as we met up this summer, even though more platonic (at least until we did the touching and kissing in August), he still needed space after meeting up with me to “clear his head.” Of course, it was easier to give space in the summer. Now that I see him five days/week, it’s harder to give that space because it hurts more to have him close yet not be able to have him. Yes, we still talk and will spend time together outside of work, but it’s not like it used to be and it’s still hard. And I simultaneously want to talk about what happened at my house two weeks ago while not wanting to push. It is still unclear what is “best” for me to do, but I try to go based on what feels right (after thinking about it a ton).

      As to your last question about one of us leaving our job… Yes, I think it would hurt our relationship if one of us left our job. I am pretty sure our relationship would end almost entirely if one of us left our job now (since we’re still in this break-up phase, I think he would use that space to make a clean break). However, if one of us had left our job in the thick of the affair, say, three years ago, I don’t know. I think it all depends on where you are in the affair and how easy it is to make that break. In the middle of our affair, assuming we both still lived relatively close, I think my MM and I would have still tried to continue to see each other, but a new work pattern for one of us might change when we could see each other and we’d be losing all that time we spent at work talking. There would be some truth to “absence making the heart grow fonder,” but, for my MM, I could see the additional strain of having less time together (which was always more frustrating to my MM than it was to me) leading my MM to eventually end the affair. Obviously, I know it’s not the answer you want to hear, and I don’t know how things will go with your MM, but affairs are hard enough as it is that it’s hard to add another challenge. Yes, it could be the case that seeing you less eases some of the burden on your MM and maybe not working together eases some of his guilt. So, there could be a plus side, but my guess is that it’s going to take even more effort from both of you to sustain this now.

      • lois

        At this point, I am really unsure what will happen with our relationship. I have given things lots of thought and think we both need to clear our heads. I have been an emotional mess with all of this crap at work and seems like every time I get closer to accepting he is not coming back then something happens and I get my hopes built back up. It has been an emotional nightmare on top of the emotional roller-coaster affairs are without any other outside problems. Normally, I would text him good morning and wish him a good day. I have not done that today and my thoughts of him are not consuming me…which is a blessing! Of course, this may change later today or tomorrow, so I am enjoying it for time being. It is going to be quite difficult in maintaining the relationship with us no longer working together and there are pros and cons to it. I do miss seeing him every day but hoping it will ease his guilt not seeing me everyday as you mentioned. Of course, he may find it is easier to break free too as you said. I do not know. Guess it depends on his feelings for me and how long I am willing to give him space. I cannot keep giving without something in return because that is not fair to me. My feelings need to be considered in all of this. I think he tries for the most part. He is just an odd person. Neither of us have ever come out and said that we love each other. We have said our feelings are more than just caring for one another and we did not realize how much we had let each other become a part of our lives. I think we are both afraid of crossing that line…if that makes sense. We have been together for over two years, so there has to be more to it than just caring. I know, it is on my part but have never admitted it to him. I have thought about what you said concerning his guilt and how it could be that his desire to be with me is strong which causes the guilt even more. I do think this is partially the case he commented how much he enjoys having me in his life. So, this has helped ease my mind. I am still struggling and do not want to lose him but not at the cost of my self-dignity. In the past, I would give him space and in a few days he would contact me to check on me. During this time, I am going to clear my head and try to move on from the hurt and turmoil at work the best that I can. So, I really appreciate your help through all of this because it has really emotional and it truly helps having another perspective on things. SO THANK YOU

        • Felk

          Lois, I do hope you’re able to keep your self-dignity through it all, no matter how long you choose to stay in this affair. I hope you are able to give yourself some space to clear your head as well. In my break-up, although it was hard to give myself space because I so desperately wanted to reach out to my MM (especially early on), I found that space was so very helpful for my healing. Forcing myself to not contact my MM for some period of time helped me lessen the addiction, lose the desperation, and adjust to a new “normal” of not talking to him every day (or for days at a time). It helped me stop the obsessing all day and night, the waiting for replies, the thinking about texts or e-mails I might send, and the feelings of rejection when the replies were slow in coming or they weren’t as lovely as I wanted them to be.

          It seems like you are in love with your MM and it seems like he’s in love with you. It seems you both care about each other, too, beyond physical desire. It took my MM and I over a year before we exchanged the “I love you,” and, when we said it, we admitted we had been feeling it for 6 months so of course I understand why you two aren’t admitting it out loud. It is a scary thing to say. Your MM also seems like my MM in the sense that he doesn’t like to admit these things out loud, as if the honesty out loud makes it even scarier. I like to admit things and talk openly about feelings, but my MM’s tendency towards quiet has led me to keep more things quiet than is my preference. (It is one of the reasons I know I would not be happier with him than my H.) And my MM is still doing this now. He is hesitant to say things out loud about his feelings because they scare him, although he did admit at my house two weeks ago that he is scared (and I know that’s a hard thing for him to do).

          And, yes, I think your MM’s guilt is related to his strong desire for you, but there is limited comfort in that given that it is causing him so much guilt. Throughout the first 4 years of my affair, even though my MM had his periods of guilt, we also slowly kept progressing forward with him giving signs of continually wanting more. It was only in that last year when things shifted, and I felt unsure as to whether or not my MM wanted to continue our relationship. It is a terrible place to be, and it seems you are in that place (again). I hope you are able to find peace soon, whether from your MM or from your own decisions about the affair. As usual, try not to make any sudden decisions and try to just give both of you space (for many days of NC, if you can).

          • Lois

            After a couple of days with NC, I checked my spam messages and MM texted: “Thank you for being so understanding with me getting my head straight. I am feeling much better and have what I believe is some clarity. I hope you have had a good day and that you will have a great weekend.” My husband were getting ready to go have dinner , so I replied about an hour later “no worries. Glad you are feeling better.” It was difficult to give him the needed space but today at work wasn’t bad. I haven’t been constantly thinking about him. I’ve thought about him but not like an addiction feeling. It seems like I was starting to clear my head because I don’t want to feel like I have to have him in my life…it’s too painful. Maybe he has devuded its not worth it..then what, will I relapse and start that painful grieving process again. Or maybe he feels the same way that I fo. I know it’s a conversation that we will have to have but I’ve made such progress in the last few days. I know fear isn’t good but it’s not totally fear it’s part of me is unsure as to what I want at this point. If that makes sense.

          • Felk

            Lois, good to hear that your MM texted and that’s really great that you were able to go a few days with NC. It’s hard to do, but you backed up what you said about respecting his space and his needs. As I’ve said before, I think it’s important to respect when others want space (within reason), but I think that’s particularly important with our MM. They seem the type who really need that space.

            It must be hard to not know what his text meant about getting clarity, but you will find out soon enough. And, while I’d be happy he texted me, I’d be frustrated that he was so cryptic! But, if I had to guess, I don’t think he’ll say he decided to stop the affair. If he does, yes, I’d imagine you’ll go through that painful grieving process, but I bet it won’t be as bad as before as it seems you’ve already prepared yourself for this possibility a little. I know it will be hard if it happens, but you’ve always said good things about not wanting to lose yourself or compromise your needs. You seem to be a strong person. Even though these affairs can make us feel weak and insecure, if you were a strong person before this affair, you will be again soon.

            On my end, I decided to ask my MM for time to talk. We talked a few days ago and are going to continue next week. Although I feel patient and feel that there are no brilliant solutions to the mess we’re in, I also haven’t liked that we haven’t really talked about all the touching and kissing last month. I know nothing has suddenly changed where we’re “back together,” but I also know that it confuses me that our closeness increased over the summer. Now that we’re back at work, it’s made it a little harder for me to know how to act so I just want to be direct and open with him about all of that. I don’t think we’ll solve anything, but I know it made me feel better to talk this week and I’m hoping that will be true next week, too. These talks can be hard as I’ll say vulnerable things and he will probably say tough things about how he doesn’t want to get back into the full-blown affair, but I find that I work best with honesty and clarity, even if it’s not what I want to hear. I know that I can go into these conversations hoping he’ll say happy things about us and then I can get derailed when he says sad things, so I am trying to go into this with eyes wide open, no expectations, and just honesty.

  • BAF aka Lara

    Hello everyone
    As I am grieving both my father’s death and the loss of my long-term on and off affair I am struck by how much the grief counseling provided by the funeral home also relates to to what is needed when one ends an affair. Loss is loss. And the grieving process is the grieving process. Here is the advice (edited) for “Day Three” for example of 365 Days of Healing
    This is for those of you who are moving on from your affairs and wish to find comfort.

    “Habits for Good Health during This Time – Day #3
    There are many things you can do to make your grieving harder. Not acknowledging the facts, not getting enough sleep, not eating well…not crying when you need to.

    But what can you do to make it easier? In this, and the next 5 messages, I’m going to be asking you to do those things that I label “self-care” activities, and journaling as you do so. You’re going to be making these activities into habits – things you do without thinking, like breathing

    What are the activities comprising “self-care”?

    1. Be Kind to Yourself
    2. Be Positive
    3. Relieve Your Anger
    4. Take Care of Your Body
    5. Record Your Thoughts as You Recover

    You’re already doing number 5 – or at least I hope you are! I’d like you to carry your journal (or a mini-journal/notebook) with you when you go out. (This was from Day #2 that it was suggested one begins a journal). So many places will trigger memories that your journal will become your best ally in the coming months.
    Activity
    Why not start by thinking and writing about self-care? What does it mean to you? Can you see your own worthiness – and the importance of nurturing your Self while you grieve?

    Suffering a loss is traumatic and often renders us “speechless”; lost in emotions. Take just five minutes today, if that’s all you can manage, and write a sentence or two about how you’re feeling, and how you’d like to feel.
    Quotation for the Day
    “I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others.” ~Jennifer Louden ed

    hugs, BAF xxxooo

  • LIFELESSONS

    Hi Beautiful Ladies,

    I have been MIA for a few weeks, feel like I have missed a lot…I am in need of some advice!

    I have a close friend who was in a relationship with a MM for a few months before she was confronted by a call from his W indicating they were married. My friend, lets say her name is “Sindy” was devastated because she had no idea he was M so she said she was done with him he lied etc. However, we know how challenging it can be when you are trying to break away from something or someone you have made a connection with. Well they went a few more months dealing with one another and she told him he needed to figure what he wanted. He ended up leaving his W in March and moving in with Sindy. His W told their kids not to talk to him because he left them for another woman. His W made threats of leaving the state with his girls. Him and his w met a few weeks ago and supposedly they worked out some things regarding him having some visits with the girls and him giving her a certain amount of money monthly….my friend Sindy said she was ok with him contributing to his family….lets fast forward to this past week

    She said Monday they were at work together (they work together) and everything was ok. He told her he would see her at home and he was going to take a nap. She got home to a note from him saying he was sorry to hurt her and that he hopes she finds it in her heart to forgive him, he hopes she finds someone who will appreciate her, the last few months was amazing and the best time he has had in a long time, he said she is threatening to take my girls away and I cant let that happen, he said, you dont have to worry about seeing me at work because I am not coming back. He said he didnt lie when he told her he loves her…he left her keys and he left anything she bought him.

    She said she was hurt by this and didnt see it coming. I told her about this site but not sure she if/when she may write. I told her I thought she should take some time to really get herself together before she moves on with the next person. Weve been friends for well over 21 yrs and she moves from guy to guy and I have said to her many times before she should try sitting in the space of being alone and figuring out why she attract the type of guys she attract with hopes of figuring out the role she plays in her relationships. She has not done that and even with this she told me she has been on an online dating site looking for friends. I knw its nice to have someone to help you forget about someone else. I realize that because I too suffer from some codependency stuff. She asked me how is she suppose to get over this and I wasnt sure how to answer that. Can you guys help ??
    Questions, comments, advice etc.

    • Felk

      LL, this is a rough situation for your friend. We all know the pull of children in a relationship and it’s hard to fault her MM for prioritizing his children, however, the way he did it is pretty brutal. It’s horrible that his W if using the kids against him, but we know that can happen in a divorce, especially if the W is angry about him leaving her for another woman. People just can’t think rationally when there is that much hurt/jealousy/anger and will do almost anything to get the H to show that he still cares. So, while we can “understand” the situation from the outside, it’s pretty devastating for your friend to have him walk out like that with no warning. Well, there probably was “some” warning as it unlikely goes from perfectly fine to terrible immediately, but her coming home to a note like that is awful. All of us here know that pain of a relationship ending when you are “in love,” and I have never felt pain worse than that.

      My best advice is to cut him out entirely. I know this is easier said than done and we say this over and over on here, but the way he treated her is pretty bad and he clearly needs space to figure his crap out. She should definitely take time to really get over this, and, of course, you give good advice about how she should think about why she was with a MM in the first place. I doubt your friend is ready to start dating yet. I know the temptation to start dating again after a relationship ends, but if you’re still angry (and have all of the feelings about the old relationship), you can’t truly move on and be with someone new. So, then, either you’re just using the other person or you’re putting yourself in a position to have another failed relationship (because you weren’t ready). Unfortunately, there is no magic solution for getting over a relationship except time, space, reflection, refocusing, and all the other “normal” advice from everyone. We all want a magic solution that will get us over the pain quickly, but it doesn’t work that way and, if your friend can accept that, maybe she will be willing to just take some time to work through the pain. A therapist is never a bad idea in situations like this, too. This sounds like a pretty brutal break-up and, if you know she has patterns of co-dependency, the therapist could come in handy there, too.

      • LIFELESSONS

        Felk and TTSP
        Thanks for replying, she says she has NO intentions on taking him back. She said she wishes he wouldve allowed her the opprotunity to get some closure. He is such a coward for the way he handled this. It may have beem challenging for him to leave the way he did but its almost as if he didnt care about her feelings. Not saying he didnt but when you handle things in the manner he handled them in, one would think he had no real true care and how this would make her feel. Communication is important…

        She is currently in therapy, him and her were going to EAP both together and seperately through their job. She said her therapist said she didnt see it coming either. Im hoping the counseling will be a good thing for her. Im just really sorry she has to go through this. Dealing with a MM has many challenges and although its not an ideal relationship to be in…we are all humans and we feel. Just as TTSP said there are NO winners, just survivors.

        Thanks again Ladies!

    • TTSP

      That had to be devastating for your friend and I’m sorry she has to go through the excruciating pain. He seems callous to post a breakup on a note and not give her the dignity, respect and compassion of speaking in person. This story truly validates how a relationship that starts out as a torrid affair is doomed to failure. His behavior is inexcusable. I’d cut my losses and close that door forever. He’ll come running back when he misses her and the reality of the marriage takes over. Our stories are a tale as old as time. There are no winners, only survivors. I wish her the best.

  • Lois

    As you know, MM is going through is guilt period. He told me yesterday and that his wife has been very supportive through all of this stuff with him. He said his kids were running around and felt badly that he was sexting me. He said our conversation did get a little heated…but he understood that I was emotional. I finally point blank asked if he was wanting to end things. He told me that he doesn’t but he also doesn’t want to feel the way he goes with the guilt. So that was his dilemma. He said it’s always been the dilemma which I have known at times it gets too much for him. I think we all go through those times. Felk, what do you? It’s your mm has gone through these periods. How did you deal with it? In the last, I have given him space and time to work through those feelings of guilt and we would be good for awhile. It’s hard to know because I don’t want to lose him. However, I don’t want to compromise my feelings either and want him to understand that he needs to think about his tough this is on me. The life and struggles of an affair….

    • Felk

      Lois, I know it’s confusing again with your MM, but it sounds like you two are at least talking about it a little and that you’re both being honest. It sounds like you’re asking some questions that you need to ask, and it sounds like he’s answering honestly. I know his answers aren’t always what you want to hear, but it’s important that he’s being honest. I know you are tired of him going through this dilemma yet again, but I would guess that this won’t be the last time. It just seems to be his personality, as it is for my MM. I don’t know why you and I (and Nomad) were able to do these affairs with near-zero guilt about our Hs, but our MM were not. This guilt not only leads to these MIA periods but it also keeps us feeling insecure. Knowing that they go through this guilt makes you worry, much too often, that they’re going to end it. And, like you, I often wondered why, after so much time, my MM was still going through the periodic “freak outs” and why it wasn’t easier for my MM to just want to be with me. I wondered how he hadn’t just decided to “be in the affair” as I had decided. Yes, eventually he did. That was maybe three years into the affair when his freak-outs were much less common. And then things just got better and better until they got really bad (because the guilt caught up with him).

      During the affair, I would deal with these periods by giving him space and understanding. Although it didn’t feel good (especially when it caught me off guard), he usually “came back” to me in a few days. I rarely had to wait long for him to come back to us. I would also deal with this by talking to him. I’d express how I felt, and I’d let him know that it didn’t feel good that he would disappear into himself at times. I didn’t want to push, but I also wanted him to treat me fairly and recognize that I was a person with feelings in the relationship, too. He had needs but I had needs, too. And, yeah, those needs clashed in this regard, but sometimes he’d have to be the one to give in and he couldn’t always selfishly get distant just because it felt better to him. As I’ve said before, my MM was pretty good with being responsive to me and showing me that he loved me, so, although these MIA periods frustrated me, I had enough from my MM to know that he wanted to be with me.

      For now, your MM is saying that he doesn’t want to end it with you. Maybe he will be able to continue to deal with his guilt and just periodically need to take time for himself. Or maybe he will go the route of my MM and the guilt will become overwhelming. I don’t say that to scare you, but just to help you be ready for what might come. My MM got tired of feeling that tension of treating his W and family poorly (and not being there for me as much as he wanted to be). It became too much for him, and, even though he didn’t want to end our relationship, he said he had to put himself first. He was tired. And I understood. I was tired, too. I was tired, for those last 9 months, wondering if he was going to end our relationship. It is a miserable place to be. For four years, it wasn’t like that. Yes, I had my insecurity, but I trusted and felt he wanted to be in the relationship. For those last 9 months, though, I really wasn’t sure and that was hard. I don’t know if it’s as you describe now, but it started to feel like I was waiting for him to end the relationship and that was rough.

      Now, as you say, you don’t want to compromise your feelings and that’s good. Of course he should know how you feel, too, but the problem is that the more you tell him that this is tough on you, the more it adds to the burden he already feels from the affair. And I don’t say that to scare you away from telling him the truth, but you know that there are limits to what we can ask for and expect from an affair partner. You can ask, but he can only give so much and it just might not be enough. If you ever feel that you are not being treated fairly, that’s when it seems time to leave. Yes, the life and struggles of an affair.

      Right now, I find myself in a situation where I know my MM loves me and misses me and still wants to be with me, but I also know that he is very worried about getting back into the affair. So, I do not want to push. But, by not pushing, it means a lot of patience. It means I have to hold back a lot and give him the space to make the decision to be with me (or not). I do not feel he is being unfair taking this slowly. He has stayed close in this break-up, and I feel that I can trust our relationship now. That trust is making it easier to give him time about our affair. I don’t know what he’ll decide, but I know that I want to feel that, if he comes back, he came back because he wanted to.

      • Felk

        Lois, I also wanted to add that I am hoping that I have learned a little about waiting since those 9 difficult months pre-break up and in this year post-break-up. Giving someone space at the expense of your needs is problematic. This is something we do out of fear (and I did that too much in that last year). Giving someone space that you think is fair is good for relationships, but giving someone space because you are too scared to ask for what you need is not healthy. Sometimes we can talk ourselves into the former when we are really doing the latter so try to continue to ask for what you need if you feel you are giving too much. Also, there is, of course, a point where you wait too long for something you want at the cost of your self-respect or simply the cost of your time and energy. We all get to define what “too long” is, but it is another reason to keep communication open (to make sure that he knows what you want and need). It seems you’re well aware of all of this and you work to express your needs (and respect his), but I do hear some fear from you again. Not saying we all haven’t gone through it, but try not to let your insecurity guide your decisions. If there is one good thing that the break-up (eventually) did for me, it is that it calmed down the addiction/desperation/insecurity. I am not saying I feel zero insecurity now, but I feel much less desperate and I think that helps me make better decisions.

        I also am trying to get better about not waiting for things that mainly exist in my head. What I mean by that is that, during the affair, I would makes all sorts of plans for us in my head and then I would wait for opportunities to make those plans. While there is certainly value in planning, sometimes I would get myself excited for plans that he did not know about and then disappointed when he wasn’t available or didn’t seem to work to make himself available. We all know you have to be really flexible with plans in an affair, but I think that we can get in our head with “waiting” to see someone or do something with someone and then get disappointed when a plan (we shouldn’t have counted on) doesn’t happen.

        Finally, I continue to try to not put myself in a position where I am explicitly waiting for him. As I’ve said here before, it can be brutal waiting for an e-mail response or a text response if you are desperate for connection. So, I have tried to minimize that type of contact and only send e-mail or texts when I do not feel desperate and when it would feel okay if he did not respond quickly or in the way I wanted. Yes, that means contacting him a lot less, but it also means a lot less waiting and anxiety. So, yes, while I continue to “wait” for him to find comfort with our relationship again, I try to minimize my day-to-day “waiting” and try to look at the bigger picture.

        • Lois

          Hey, Felk. Thank you so much for reply and advice. Although I am not usually an insecure person, I have experienced this in throughout the affair with mm and think some of it is the constant uncertainty. So, I really appreciate your advice in this area and will try to find a better balance if we decide to continue. It’s kind of up in the air. I texted him yesterday after debating whether to because it was Sunday church time with family. I normally didn’t bother him on Sunday because tried to respect thst time for his family. I didn’t hear back so sent a text to let him know I was going with a friend to the city and wouldn’t be around. I told him that I enjoyed going to the blued festival the night before with friends because needed to quit thinking about things for awhile. He mentioned maybe talking yesterday or early this week so wanted him to know that I wouldn’t be available. I texted later that evening just said hey but he never responded. do, I am struggling and couldn’t sleep thinking about things and laid in the pool post of the day thinking. I did tell him in the email that I didn’t have answer to dealing with the guilt because I have those periods too and sometimes need space to get through the guilt but he always remains in my heart. I told him that i want to be with him and felt he was worth gping through those periods of guilt. So, I guess he needs to figure how he really does feel about me and whether I’m worth having those times of guilt where he needs space to get through things. I told him we had done pretty well with being honest about thinge so as long as we agree to give space as needed then I was willing. I told him that I thought he still wasn’t ready and needed to get back to his normal self. It’s only been a little over a month since the death of his brother. And he is still struggling with how things went down at work. I put his number on spam list so I’m not constantly looking at my phone. I seem to be doin better this evening. I have come to realize that maybe he doesn’t care about me enough to go through the periods of guilt like I’m for him. If this is the case. I guess it is what it is because I have no control over it. It’s not what I want but as you know there’s nothing more we can give. If it’s not enough. It’a not enough. So we will see what happens but in the meantime I am trying to get my feelings and emotions under vontrol. I haven’t bothered him today. He knows how I feel about and what I want. If he wants me, I guess he will get back in touch with me and if bot, I guess that answers my question if I’m worth going through periods of guilt.

          • Felk

            Lois, you know I understand what you’re going through. I went through varying periods of MIA from my MM through the affair (and through the “break up”). Some periods of MIA were short (just the weekend) and some were longer (maybe 4-5 days over a winter break). Some periods of MIA were total MIA with no email, chatting, or texts, and some periods had a little contact but short/cold responses. In my situation, the MIA was almost always related to him not liking our extended time apart and not wanting to feel sadder by, as he would describe it, just some e-communication that would remind him that he’s not with me. I didn’t understand it very well since I always felt that email, chats online or texts when we were apart helped me feel closer to him, but he didn’t feel that way. He was consistent throughout the relationship, so I learned that it really was his way of “dealing with” our time apart. I think he also acted that way during our extended time apart as a way to try to separate us from his wife/family. I think he saw it as an opportunity to focus there and not be distracted by us. I understood that, too. It sounds like your MM’s MIA is related more to the latter, but whatever the reason, the MIA is tough. It makes you worried he doesn’t want the relationship. It makes you feel as if he doesn’t want that connection with you or doesn’t want it enough. I’m not sure it’s that simple, though. Sometimes, it’s that he wants it TOO much and that’s what’s causing the guilt. It was the same for my MM. So, I know it doesn’t change their MIA behavior, but maybe you take some small comfort in knowing that his strong guilt comes from strong desire for you.

            Just some questions for you, though… when you describe the texts above on Sunday, you texted him 3 times with no responses? In the morning, then later to say you were going out that night, and then later in the night to say “hey”? Is this a common pattern, that you sometimes text multiple times before a response? For me, I think it would be too hard for me to send another text if my MM didn’t respond to the first one. It would be too hard to feel he wasn’t responding to multiple texts let alone one, but I’m assuming that you’ve done this before and Sunday wasn’t unique in sending him a few without responses? Either way, it’s hard. I will say that my MM always responded to my texts. There was only one, in all of our years, he didn’t respond to (and that was a jealousy thing for him), but we rarely text so I guess it makes sense that he responds when I do actually send something.

            And then it sounds like you sent him an e-mail yesterday? Am I reading that correctly? You know I support being honest with your feelings if it’s bothering you enough. There are times we need to hold things back and give the other person space and we can’t keep asking them to give us emotional support, but in healthy relationships, we need to feel pretty comfortable asking another for that support. I think it’s fair for you to ask your MM what’s going on. My MM and I had so many “check ins” during our affair, especially in the beginning. And, now in the break-up, I still like talking every once in a while about what’s going on. After our touching and kissing in August, I think we’re due for another “what’s going on?” conversation. 🙂

            As for the part about realizing that you might not be worth going through the guilt, well, it’s a harsh possibility. I think your MM can like you a lot (probably is in love), care about you, and value time with you, but it can simultaneously be true that those feelings cause him a lot of guilt and it may be too much for him to handle. Not only are we asking a married person in an affair to handle those feelings of guilt but we are also asking them to take risks that may ruin their marriage/family. This is a lot to ask of anyone, so when you say that you may not be worth it, keep in mind that “it” is actually a pretty big thing. So, while it can sound sad that you’re not “worth” the guilt, if it’s a lot of guilt he’s dealing with, it means you’re actually worth quite a bit. But, yes, maybe not enough. When my MM ended our relationship a year ago (wow, coming up on that anniversary and I still don’t know what’s going on in our relationship), I remember him saying he wasn’t sure if our relationship was worth it anymore. And by “it,” he meant the angst and tension he constantly felt about not seeing me as much as he wanted and not being a good H and damaging his marriage. I told him I thought it was still worth it (for me), but just because it’s worth it for me, doesn’t mean it is for him. And, while that hurt and I wished he still thought it was worth it, I knew he loved me but understood why it could be too much to handle. The horrible irony (as it is in your situation, I’m sure) is that their tension grows as their feelings for you grow, too. My MM ended our relationship because things got too intense with us. It is lovely and painful at the same time.

            Now, as we still have some sort of something going on, obviously something is still “worth it” to him, but it does seem that going fully back into the affair is still not worth it to him. He found some relief from all the lying in ending our affair, but he still clearly thinks this is worth some risk as we still spend time alone together doing things that just-friends do not do.

            I think it’s a good idea that you put his number of the spam list so you’re not constantly checking. Small things like that do go a long way, I find. As you know, give him space as well as you can, but also ask for what you need. Try to keep in mind that, if you can’t ask for what you need (even in the limits of an affair), it’s not a relationship worth having. Fear can keep us from doing that, but I continue to remind myself not to act out of fear with my MM anymore. I am not always successful, but, like you, I am not an insecure person and I don’t want to get into that trap again.

  • Lois

    Last night, MM and I chatted most of the night and sextet quite a bit. We hadn’t done that in months. We planned on seeing each other this weekend. I texted him today…good morning and replied. I asked how he was doing..said not real good. I said sorry was it me? He said he was feeling guilt. I said that’s all I need to know. He said it was not my fault but his. I got upset and told him that I was sorry but just can’t and I have tried. He responded with teary eyed empji and said he can not help that he feels guilt. I know he’s been though hell but there was more drama at work yesterday and I’m mental and physically exhausted. I told him that I wanted to talk and he replied will later née some time. I asked him to not shut me out and said he wouldn’t. He hasn’t responded to any texts. I didn’t mean to hurt him but the guilt thing caught me off guard and it hurt my feelings. I know stupid right?

    • Felk

      Lois, it’s not stupid. It hurts to hear your MM pull away after he was chatting and sexting the night before. We’ve all been through it where you have this great afternoon or night or whatever with your MM and then soon after he offers guilt and distance. Maybe it’s immediately after or the next day or a week later. But we know this MIA stuff. This happened often enough with my MM (especially early in the affair) that I labeled it his “freak out.” And the hardest part is that it’s not always predictable. Yes, sometimes I predicted a “freak out” coming, but many times it caught me off guard, just like it did you today. And it sounds like it caught you on a day when you were also dealing with work stuff, so you didn’t have any extra to give your MM.

      Your MM seems like he’s being genuine and is going through hard things, too. This is the problem with affairs. They’re hard. 🙂 Can’t really blame him for feeling guilty, but, at the same time, it’s hard to keep dealing with his guilt. My MM’s “freak outs” lessened over time as he talked himself into the affair more, but he still had them here and there (and often after we crossed a new boundary). And, given the regularity, I also think that my MM needed to freak out at times. Maybe he needed a short “break” from us at times, but I thought it was more that he needed to feel guilty sometimes because it made he feel better as a person to feel guilty about what he was doing. (I could especially see this with your MM’s religious beliefs.) My MM almost always appreciated my patience through these times and he almost always was very loving and even closer upon return, but it was still hard to have him suddenly get distant after closeness. I know it’s probably even harder for you now given that you don’t see your MM as often. As always, if you think it’s worth it, you continue to deal with it; if not, well, you know what to do.

      I also know all too well the requests to our MM not to shut us out at these times. Sometimes he’d say he wouldn’t (and then he would). Sometimes he’d stay close (enough) as I requested. Sometimes after the “freak out,” I’d ask him to give me warning if he felt it happening. He said he would try but acknowledged that he probably wouldn’t know it until he was already in it and already not wanting to talk. And that’s usually how it happened. I rarely got warning. So, I’m not saying you’re “lucky” your MM told you that he needs some time, but I think there is some value in that honesty. I know we don’t want them to shut us out at these times, but is it really a reasonable request if what they need is some distance? I know it hurts, but it’s a pretty fair request in any relationship and especially in a situation like ours that is so guilt-inducing. Of course, the question is always “how much distance is fair?” and when do your needs for communication trump his needs for distance? I know that debate well.

      Most of all, I wanted to make sure you knew not to blame yourself for having human feelings in a tough situation. I guess I don’t know all that you said to him since you say, “I didn’t mean to hurt him.” So, if you said cruel things, sure, that’s not fair, but my guess is that you simply said honest things to express how this situation is hard for you, too. I felt I could handle a lot in my affair. I felt I could take on a lot of his struggle, but, of course, there were plenty of times I let him know that his distance hurt me. And there were times that me expressing my struggle piled on to his. Many times I tried not to pile on when I knew he was struggling, but the relationship can’t be one way. Our MM have to deal with our things, too. We have to be able to express with safety in a relationship.

      • Lois

        Thanks Felk. You have a way of bringing a different perspective to things which is good. I didn’t say anything cruel only that I just can’t and was sorry. I just couldn’t deal with it at the time. I think you’re right we did cross a new boundary and had discussed what really turns each other on. He was pretty sensual so I think you are right. It’s been a little over a month since he buried his brother so maybe he still needs time. I noticed thr other night his text messayed went from being playful to sad after one of his employees from work called. He became depressed so I told him last night that I noticed this change and that’s why I felt his guilt started from the work issue and not necessarily me. He said he didn’t think it was a coincidence and agreed. I understand his life changed because he allowed his desires to get him one of a mess that caused hime to lose his job.

    • Lois

      Mm and I texted last night. Of course, I had to initiate the conversation. He said he is trying to get his emotions back in check. I questioned what this meant. He said he was a mess. He is torn between guilt and wanting me and commented he was freaking stupid. I asked if he meant he was stupid for being with me and said no. Just stupid for feeling two strong emotions in two different directions. We haven’t dealt with the guilt issue like this for a long time. So I questioned if he thought some of it stemmed from the guilt of his past relationship that caused the work issue and he said likely. So once again, I guess I’m supposed to wait while he decides which direction. I don’t know. I just feel after everything we’ve been through that it shouldn’t be that hard to know if he wants me. I just don’t understand and don’t know what to think or do. He wasn’t very clear which I know he’s still trying to heal. Like I said, I’m just confused. Ugh….

  • Felk

    Ladies, as you know, I’m back at work now and last week was kind of a mixed bag of emotions for me. It was interesting how much better the summer felt being away from my MM most of the time. Although there are, of course, some challenges in being away from each other, for the most part, it felt good. We saw each other almost every week and communicated a little over e-mail, and it was working (well enough). There was a nice freedom in not thinking about him being “around” every day. Although I missed him at times and spent time wishing things were back how they were in the affair, I was mostly adjusting to the new normal and just happy that we were staying in contact and working on our “friendship.”

    Now, back at work, it feels less good already. Last week, I was nervous not only about how we would be around each other at work (he was very normal/playful) but also nervous about just simply how it feels being around him knowing that we are not what we were. First, let me very happily say that it is nowhere near the sadness of last year after the break-up. I was a distracted mess at work for about 3 months after the break-up. Slowly, it got better where there was just an unease that I felt still not knowing exactly how to interact around him (e.g., did he want to talk to me? can I go to his office to shoot the breeze like we used to? should I say goodbye at the end of the day like we used to do? is he uneasy? and, yes, does he wish I wasn’t around so he didn’t have to deal with this?). I remember when I would be so excited to come to work everyday because I knew I would see him. Maybe we wouldn’t talk a particular day because we were busy, but it felt good just to be around him. Now, it feels uneasy. It doesn’t feel like the misery post-break-up last year where I dreaded coming to work, worried I would see him; but, now, it just feels unsettled. I know it will take me some time to get “used” to being back at work with him again. I know it will also take more time to settle things better between us. As always, I want it settled immediately but I know this process is slow.

    I’m trying to remind myself of the things that I know are true, like… he’s in love with me. He was kissing me at my house last week. We are on better terms than ever since last September and things seem to keep getting better. And he has told me multiple times that, no matter how much he pretends like everything’s fine with him (and he does pretend so well at the office), he is not fine and I am always on his mind. So, I am sure he is uneasy today, too. He is much better with the day-to-day, though. He is much better with moving slowly. And, he’s also told me that he likes it better (even in the break-up) when we are back at work as opposed to on break from work because he likes knowing I’m close. For me, it is the opposite. I know as we were heading back to work, he joked about “counting down the days” to seeing me, but I know there was some truth to his joke since he’s said it before. I try to take comfort in these thoughts, but there is more discomfort than comfort today.

    So, for today, my goal is to just get through the day. I’m not going to go to his office today (like I would have through our affair). I want to give us (and me) some space. I don’t want him to think that I think everything is as it used to be (I know it is not, no matter what happened at my house last week), and I don’t want to deal with any sadness or rejection if he gives the impression that he isn’t in the mood to talk were I to go to his office. I would love to not care much about that, but I still do and, today, in particular, I’m feeling a little sensitive. I would LOVE if he were to come to my office today, but odds are low. Through our affair, I went to his office about 90% of the time. I sent him a short/funny email about work and he responded with something funny, and I think I will consider that “good enough” for today. I will leave at the end of the day with no goodbye, and I will be happy to be in the comfort of my home away from this stress. I figure it will get easier as we get into a pattern of interaction at work and as we talk more about us outside of work. But, for now, I feel this stress and I come to you. Thanks for listening.

    • Hope

      Hey Felk 🙂 nice to hear from you. Let me just say I loved your advice to Nomad the other day, on point and very true.

      I am sorry you had fixed feelings about going back to work (I can sense your anxiety through your message). How did it go? How are you feeling now? Good thing is you are nowhere near as miserable as you were last year (I remember both of us going through shit times! I was pretty much feeling like Nomad is right now). Felk please try and remember last year’s miserable times were brought on you (and your mm) by YOUR MM, it was HIS CHOICE. It got TOO DIFFICULT FOR HIM. Of course he was hurting too but he chose not to work on the relationship and he decided to end it.

      I am so glad you felt the freedom in not thinking of being around him, that’s great progress Felk, you are getting there. I remember feeling this, now I don’t care as much as to what HE IS THINKING/FEELING. As we say in Australia not my problem mate! 🙂

      Your plan sounds good, just focus on getting through the day. You are a strong, intelligent and beautiful woman, you have got this. Felk sometimes I feel you over think things and that makes it more difficult for you to continue this friendship. It breaks my heart because I have come to know you as my friend and I know your situation is more unfair to you than your mm (although you might not think so). From your messages your MM doesn’t over think, sometimes I feel he selfishly comes close to you or gives mixed signals (counting days part for example knowing full well that it will play with your heart again) when he feels like it and then backs off again when it’s TOO DIFFICULT FOR HIM.

      I remember you mentioning that you are planning to ask him what exactly he wants. I think you should do that. If he wants to keep kissing you, coming close to you then you are back in your affair. You have needs too and from what you have written in your messages your needs aren’t being met Felk, you are compromising just so you can be with him. It’s give and take, he needs to give if he wants to keep taking. This friendship is just some bs excuse so he doesn’t have to give you as much as he had to when you were in an affair. If he wants this too it’s only fair that you are not constantly kept guessing of what he wants, what are expectations, how will the relationship will play out. If he wants this then you guys are back in the affair and he needs to start giving you the security you need.

      In your affair, he had it pretty good with you, you weren’t jealous of his wife, were so understanding of his situation and didn’t expect much from him. My ex MM would have been over the moon if I was half as nice as you are! My point is your affair doesn’t sound as complicated as mine or Lara’s was or Nomad’s is because we all got jealous of the wife and demanded more, you didn’t Felk! Back yourself up girl and ask for what you need because you deserve it.

      I hope this helps a bit. I am sorry if it’s too on point or hurtful, as your friend I have your best interests at heart. I am lucky I no longer work with ex Mm but can imagine how difficult this is for you. Also Felk I think because I am almost clear of this addiction I have a different perspective now. It definitely only gets better with time. I am no longer dependant on ex Mm for any emotional support. I asked him to stop texting me (even as a friend) ages ago and he did. I no longer seem to care how he is feeling for some reason. Of course I miss him at times but I am no glad I no longer spend my days stressing about things that were completely out of my control. Reading some of the messages here sends chills down my spine, I no longer wish to be in the position I was last year. It’s not fair and so difficult. I hope we all find peace.

      Lots of love and hugs xxx

      • Felk

        Hope, good to hear from you, and so good to hear how well you’re doing. It was clear the last time you were on here that you were done with your MM, and you really do sound free from him. I understand that you still miss him, but to be free from the addiction is the true peace.

        Thanks for offering your perspective here. You were definitely not too hurtful. All I heard were honest attempts to help me sort it all out and encouragement to continue to ask for what I need. It’s complicated being back at work (you read that anxiety right!), but it’s going fine. I think he and I just need to get used to being around each other every day again. We had some normal/good/us conversation yesterday, and that helped me get out of my head a little. I know I will still get in my head at times, but I think things will be fine at work. I think we will continue to enjoy each other as we have. I don’t want to make it sound easy, but there is no misery.

        I wanted to respond to a few of things that you said, though. Maybe clarify or offer a little more information. As Lara said the other day (and I expanded on in my message to Nomad), there is a lot about these situations and the people involved that we just don’t have time to write about here. So, we have to form opinions without all of the information. I think we all do a good job trying to give support, but there are nuances to these situations that we don’t always know about. First, you say a bit about my MM taking and not giving. I don’t disagree that my MM is giving mixed signals during this break-up. I know he’s confused. I know he’s still in love, but he is worried about getting back into all of the problems of before. I think it’s an understandable position to be in. I don’t feel that he’s “having his cake and eating it, too.” I don’t feel that he’s giving a lot, but he’s also not taking a lot right now. He’s not asking much from me, and he’s been responsive every time I’ve wanted to talk it out. Honestly, he’s giving more than I could have hoped considering he tried to end the affair a year ago.

        Second, as far as me asking for what I need, I mostly did (and do). I’ve admitted that in that last year of the affair, I got scared (as he pulled away) and should have been more direct about what I needed. But, for the first four years, I asked and he mostly answered. I asked for a date night once/month. He agreed. We exchanged a lot of e-mail (which he knew I really liked). We chatted online 4-5 nights/week for hours during those first four years. I “asked” for a lot of his time at work and he almost always gave me that time. We went to all sorts of work events together (sporting events, plays, etc.) after work. He gave me a lot of time (as much as (or more than) I thought was reasonable in an affair) and so I didn’t have to ask for a lot. I thought he put in effort to make our affair work and to make me feel his love. I could give other examples of lovely things he did for me/us, but I rarely felt that he was not giving as much as he was taking. Yes, there were times he went MIA that were frustrating. Repeatedly, I asked him to not put that distance between us (like over the weekend or over a winter break), but he dealt with the difficulty of the affair differently than I did. He preferred distance when we couldn’t be together. I preferred closeness. Who’s right? I asked for more communication during those times many times. Do not think I didn’t ask. We talked a lot about it. He listened, and he was honest about how it was hard for him to be apart from me and how he preferred to handle it by just taking that time to ourselves. Can I fault him for that? Is that treating me poorly? He was loving and tender and expressive and took great risks to be in our affair (some of which I have not described here). I’m not going to paint him as this perfect man, but he treated me with honesty and kindness throughout the affair. He still does.

        Third, you said I have a tendency to over-think, and yes. I think WAY too much about this every day. I was like this throughout the whole affair. It was sky-high and crippling after the break-up, but it has calmed down over the months and now it’s just my “normal” over-thinking. 🙂 I like thinking about people and relationships (if you can’t tell by how I write on here). I like thinking things through and understanding the nuance of situations. I especially like calming down my emotions and thinking logically. But, yes, I think too much about this day-to-day. I worry too much about what every little thing means or doesn’t mean. He thinks a lot, too (just joked about it when he was at my house last week). But I also think that he takes a broader view and isn’t as worried about what he and I are doing day in and day out. I’d like to trust a little more to help me stop worrying so much about the day-to-day, and that gets me to…

        …you also say good things about how he needs to tell me what he wants and can’t keep me guessing about our current situation. I trust a lot about our friendship and he’s helped solidify that through this summer. He’s worked to show me that he wants me in his life. But, he’s also given mixed signals, and I still don’t know exactly what we are or what we are doing. I know it is hard for him to admit we’re still in the affair, but we are. And if we are still in the affair, you are right. I need more clarity, and I will probably need more communication and attention. I don’t need things back the way they were (talking online 4 nights/week). I recognize that could lead us back to all the badness where he’s overwhelmed and we’re both miserable. I don’t want that. But, yes, I do need to know what he wants (problem is, I’m not sure he knows).

        Finally, you say that I’m compromising my needs to be with him, and I’m not sure I see that. I’m open to that (and I know sometimes we delude ourselves), but I don’t know what I’m compromising? I want this affair. Slowly over the months of the break-up, we’re getting closer again. But, he owes me nothing. He’s not making promises he isn’t keeping and he isn’t leading me on. He ended our affair (or tried to). I can’t hold him to expectations for how things were because we are not in that relationship anymore. But, he tried to pull away and now he’s coming closer again. Aren’t I getting what I want? It feels that way.

        The way that I look at it is that, as married people in an affair, I am not entitled to much from him. Yes, when we’re in the affair, there are expectations I have for how I wanted to be treated (and he mostly met those expectations during our affair). In this friendship/whatever, we also can have expectations, and he’s meeting those. What am I compromising that I shouldn’t be? Of course, we have to make compromises in relationships. We have to give. I feel I’m giving, but I also feel I’m getting in return. I don’t want to be a fool or made a fool of, so if you see me making unreasonable compromises, please tell me. I like all of the honesty (and support) you all offer.

        • Hope

          Hi Felk nice to hear you are feeling better. It’s nice to hear about your love story 🙂 Your mm has undoubtedly risked a lot throughout your affair, has given a lot. He has given more than most mm we speak of on this forum. It is very sweet and remarkable. Good on him and you. I said I feel you are compromising because of the uncertainty you are in. Why are you worried how he/both of you will behave in front of each other? You both love each other and want each other, as you said like earlier shouldn’t it just be looking forward to seeing each other everyday?

          I absolutely understand the dilemma of being in an affair, the dread, the uncertainty. I felt you might be compromising on your needs because you guys broke up in September. It’s September 2018 now why do you still not know where you guys stand? Does the time frame seem long to you? Does it feel like he is taking too long to figure out if he still wants the affair?

          I am not saying by any means to go back to how things were for last 4 years, he did risk a lot back then and it’s probably dangerous to risk that much now but surely he should be able to accept that you guys are still in an affair. You know this isn’t just friendship Felk, you have been in this for 5 years, why be scared to call it what it is? It’s not like you are planning to announce it to the world.

          Also another red flag for me is how you are left ‘decoding’ his words/actions at times. May be it should be a tad bit more direct/honest instead of saying it as a joke or saying things once in a while?

          You are so understanding Felk, you really are. I don’t think I know any other woman as understanding as you are, such a great quality. My only concern is sometimes may be you could justify things that you initially felt were wrong. You have been always very sure that you wanted this affair from day 1. In the most difficult times and in happy times, why is it taking so long for him to decide? Why does he hold the power to whether or not you guys are back in the affair? Shouldn’t it be your choice together? I completely understand the difficulty he is in, it is hard but don’t forget you are married too but wanting your affair is not a hard choice for you. I also understand may be he feels rejected because you refused to leave your husband for him when he was ready to leave his wife for you. I get that he might feel rejected knowing that, I know I felt it when ex mm refused to even discuss leaving his marriage. But he chose to come close to you again, kiss you, hold you again. Of course it’s great for you to have him in your life again as you love him so much but 1 year is a long time for him to decide what he wants. Reaping some benefits Of the affair but still being skeptical Of calling it an affair is what makes it a suspicious.

          About asking for what you need, I didn’t mean during that affair I meant right now. You want this affair Felk, you want the closeness even though not the same level but feels like you still want a bit more than you are currently getting. I just don’t want you to be afraid to ask what you need in fear of him withdrawing again. I may be wrong I am not relationship expert, hell my own life is messed up! Just from what I have read I thought I would let you know how I feel.

          All that being said I am happy that you are getting what you need. That’s all that matters, as long as you are happy it’s all worth it 🙂 xxx

          • Felk

            Hope, thanks for your reply. I don’t know if my MM has given more than the other men on here, but I wanted to say some of those things about him because I think sometimes our MM’s risks and love can get missed in all of our sadness (and, yes, complaining) about our own troubles on here. I think that my MM likely felt and feels similar to me throughout all of this with the main difference being that it simply got overwhelming for him and he needed to make a decision. All understandable.

            I get what you’re saying about how long my MM is taking to “make a decision” and give me clarity about where he/we stand. I get that it can seem like I’m sitting on the sidelines just waiting for him and giving him all the power, but, in a way, I’m choosing to do that. Yes, I could force a decision if I were upset by “waiting,” but I’m not. Yes, I don’t like waiting, but, much more than that, I don’t want to force a decision. I want to give him time and space to think about something that is quite important and something that shouldn’t be rushed. If he wants to be back in the affair (or wants to finally admit that we are still in the affair), I want to give him time to get to that place mentally. Otherwise, he will just feel all of the turmoil and guilt again. If we do this slowly, he is much more likely to accept that he is here by choice (once again). I think he is already accepting that given his behavior lately, but I still think it will take him some time to fully admit he never left the affair entirely.

            I also like what you say about how he’s being a little unfair by not being more direct. Yeah, I wish he were more direct and could just say the things he’s thinking, but I think he’s feeling a mix of emotions and, while I might want him to be more direct about how in love he is with me still, do I really want him to be more direct about how he still loves his W and doesn’t want to leave her? 🙂 So, I take the approach of pushing him a little to say things but mostly letting him say things when he feels comfortable.

            But that part that you ask about why he holds the power as to whether or not we’re in the affair again, I think he does have that power and it isn’t exactly something we decide together. The reason is because he knows I want it and because he was the one to end it. While I do get the choice, too, for the most part, whether or not we go back into the affair is up to him because I am clear about still wanting it.

            And you say good things about how he may have been more hurt than I realized that I was in no hurry to leave my H. We never did talk about all of that directly enough, and I think it would have been good for us to be more direct about our feelings about leaving our spouses. I think we were both scared to fully have that conversation so we never did. We talked around it, alluded to it, made comments here and there, but never really sat down and said, “So, do we want to leave our spouses? Do you want to talk about this option?”

            But, right now, I am not afraid of losing him. So, my hesitance to ask more directly about what he wants is not because I fear losing him. It’s because I don’t need to ask more directly yet. It’s because I know this needs to go slow and he is giving me enough right now. Yes, I want more, but he does not owe me more so I feel he is treating me fairly and consistently with the fact that he wanted to break-up and he is not sure he wants to be back in the affair. And I genuinely mean it when I say that I would be happy with how we are now if it did not go further. The break-up was misery because I thought I was losing him from my life, but now I have realized that he wants at-least a friendship still and probably wants a little more. That makes me happy.

      • Hope

        Reply ↓
        Hope
        August 29, 2018 at 5:16 pm
        Hey Felk 🙂 nice to hear from you. Let me just say I loved your advice to Nomad the other day, on point and very true.

        I am sorry you had fixed feelings about going back to work (I can sense your anxiety through your message). How did it go? How are you feeling now? Good thing is you are nowhere near as miserable as you were last year (I remember both of us going through shit times! I was pretty much feeling like Nomad is right now). Felk please try and remember last year’s miserable times were brought on you (and your mm) by YOUR MM, it was HIS CHOICE. It got TOO DIFFICULT FOR HIM. Of course he was hurting too but he chose not to work on the relationship and he decided to end it.

        I am so glad you felt the freedom in not thinking of being around him, that’s great progress Felk, you are getting there. I remember feeling this, now I don’t care as much as to what HE IS THINKING/FEELING. As we say in Australia not my problem mate! 🙂

        Your plan sounds good, just focus on getting through the day. You are a strong, intelligent and beautiful woman, you have got this. Felk sometimes I feel you over think things and that makes it more difficult for you to continue this friendship. It breaks my heart because I have come to know you as my friend and I know your situation is more unfair to you than your mm (although you might not think so). From your messages your MM doesn’t over think, sometimes I feel he selfishly comes close to you or gives mixed signals (counting days part for example knowing full well that it will play with your heart again) when he feels like it and then backs off again when it’s TOO DIFFICULT FOR HIM.

        I remember you mentioning that you are planning to ask him what exactly he wants. I think you should do that. If he wants to keep kissing you, coming close to you then you are back in your affair. You have needs too and from what you have written in your messages your needs aren’t being met Felk, you are compromising just so you can be with him. It’s give and take, he needs to give if he wants to keep taking. This friendship is just some bs excuse so he doesn’t have to give you as much as he had to when you were in an affair. If he wants this too it’s only fair that you are not constantly kept guessing of what he wants, what are expectations, how will the relationship will play out. If he wants this then you guys are back in the affair and he needs to start giving you the security you need.

        In your affair, he had it pretty good with you, you weren’t jealous of his wife, were so understanding of his situation and didn’t expect much from him. My ex MM would have been over the moon if I was half as nice as you are! My point is your affair doesn’t sound as complicated as mine or Lara’s was or Nomad’s is because we all got jealous of the wife and demanded more, you didn’t Felk! Back yourself up girl and ask for what you need because you deserve it.

        I hope this helps a bit. I am sorry if it’s too on point or hurtful, as your friend I have your best interests at heart. I am lucky I no longer work with ex Mm but can imagine how difficult this is for you. Also Felk I think because I am almost clear of this addiction I have a different perspective now. It definitely only gets better with time. I am no longer dependant on ex Mm for any emotional support. I asked him to stop texting me (even as a friend) ages ago and he did. I no longer seem to care how he is feeling for some reason. Of course I miss him at times but I am no glad I no longer spend my days stressing about things that were completely out of my control. Reading some of the messages here sends chills down my spine, I no longer wish to be in the position I was last year. It’s not fair and so difficult. I hope we all find peace.

        Lots of love and hugs xxx
        Hope

        Dear ADMIN
        Could you please delete my previous post and post this one? I don’t want my name there and posted it by accident. Thank you so much

        • TTSP

          Hope,
          Thank you for your post. I still work with my ex mm which makes it hard to completely erase them from your mind. I am content in my position at work but recognize that after a decade plus it may be my time to find something new. The past affair acts as the impetus to make a move. It’s inspiring to read about someone else letting go and recovering. I’m blown away how traumatizing the relationship was for me. I was in a perpetual state of despair, confusion, anger, jealousy, distress. I’m still trying to work through the resentments I have bc anger only hurts its container.

          Something that helps me to see the big picture is that I could never trust him. I’d always be looking over my shoulder. His marriage is kind of a masquearade and I would never want a sham of a relationship with someone living two lives. Here’s a good read when I find myself feeling insecure https://www.yourtango.com/2017305192/why-men-will-never-leave-their-wives-their-mistresses bc it isn’t about me not being good enough. Affairs suck and I had to learn the brutally hard way 🙁

          • Brave and Free / BAF aka Lara

            TTSP
            I loved this article. Thank you for sharing. I think most of these articles are written with the male as cheater. But it can be the married female who is the cheater too. Or both affair partners can be cheating on their spouses. I feel that by the time a male or female married person enters into an affair they have already decided unconsciously or consciously that they are NOT leaving their marriages. They have decided on some level the best way for them to get their needs met (within their staying married) is to have an affair. The affair, these folks conclude, is the best idea for THEM. It is the lesser evil, and better than separation and divorce.

            However in order to make such a decision they also have to feel that their spouse is very devoted and trusting and will not likely catch wind of the affair. No one who thinks they will get caught is going to have an affair.

            TTSP think about this as you are a single person. No one who is really afraid of getting caught having an affair and of paying the consequences of an affair (which can be extremely serious) is going to venture into in affair. No one.
            Any married person who has decided to have an affair is almost sure they can get away with it for any number of reasons. They will not discuss this out loud. But it is a given.
            Thus this part: Anyone who enters an affair with a married person can almost never get them to change their minds and leave their marriage. All the numbered items in the article make a case for why it is so impossible. And any one who enters an affair with a married person will never be the number “one” person. In an affair we are number “two” for obvious reasons. I say this as this causes some of our egos to fry, LOL. Like mine. :). We do not get the lions share of the our affair partner’s time, money, energy, etc. We get a small small percentage. Them’s the facts.
            Thus this: To be reasonably “happy” in an affair with any married person, one must accept that their marriage will probably never end. This means more than what it seems at first. In the beginning this might seem “acceptable” to us as the cheater (of either sex or both) is “in love” with us, so we are not jealous off their home lives. Neither their wives. We might think we can handle the situation (for awhile) and promise ourselves not to fall too deeply in love as the person is unavailable.
            We might promise ourselves the affair will only be a temporary fix for us too.
            But then we too fall “in love”. we think we can not live without the person in our lives. And then the trouble starts.

            Alas, being human, we want most what we can only have sometimes.
            The euphoric highs and then all the devastating lows of the affair ALSO make us become addicted bio-chemically. Like mice on tread wheel eating for the cheese, we get to a state of mind where: we always want our affair partners. We crave them. We love” them. We eat drink sleep them, and think about them all the time. All the time. We get so hooked on them and on the affair passion and and then we can’t get out. We want the sex. we wan the smell of their bodies. We want their hugs kisses touches on our hair etc. etc. We want and then NEED their “love”!
            Except they are married and unavailable and we already knew that.
            Oops.
            When we try to get out temporarily or permanently it is so painful.
            Excruciating.
            And we know the rest. But TTSP it CAN be done. Yes it can.

            TTSP. I am saying this to you because you are single. I am trying to help you understand. I can not remember: have you ever been married?
            Of course as you probably know I once was married: 12 years total. Neither of us cheated although there were many other problems.
            I always knew I would never cheat in a marriage.
            I would leave instead. That is what I did.
            The reason I would never cheat in a marriage is simple. I knew I could NEVER handle my husband doing it to me. So I could not do it to him either.
            I looked at cheating while married as a way to invite bad things / bad karma upon myself. Thus upon my children.
            I am not saying one way of being married is better than the other. People often do things in their marriage I would never have done.
            I think sometimes I am a bit uncompromising about things to tell you the truth. Maybe too black and white sometimes.
            But anyhow neither of us ever cheated in my marriage. I am very thankful for this fact as it made my divorce which was VERY painful infinitely less painful for both of us because there was no third party involved. That in turn made parenting and visitations after the divorce a lot easier too. Since no huge jealous feelings were involved.
            Just sayin’
            Much love,
            Brave and Free BAF
            xxxooo

          • BAF

            Hi TTSP
            I am having so much trouble posting lately. I hope this does not post twice!

            TTSP, I hear you. And I know how you are feeling too. I think looking forward to a job change might be a wonderful and hopeful switch for you if you can get up the energy to do a job search, interview, etc. If not yet, then don’t be too hard on yourself. beating yourself up will never help.
            Having something new in the future is so helpful as a goal, something new to look forward to.
            I love reading this article you posted too.
            It makes so many points that are spot on.
            From Point Number One I think it explains the dilemma of trying to be in an affair perfectly. I also think a married person in an affair has pre-calculated the risks of having an affair vs. seeking a divorce and the former has won out in his/her head. This is most likely because the person sees good things in the marriage too that they do not want to lose.

            As for me,
            I am using many different techniques to stay away from my former affair partner.
            Once you know someone is no longer good for you, there really is no healthy way to go back from where I sit.
            This is where I am at anyhow.
            I cant talk about being in an affair any more. It is too triggering for me. I don’t want to to talk about affairs. I want to talk about RECOVERY from affairs. 🙂 This is where I am at:
            I am spending as much time as humanly possible in healing activities. The internet is fantastic for this stuff!
            And in growing activities.
            Its not that bad honestly! Once you have quit something like alcohol, you will see that quitting an affair and moving on and beyond the person you once loved is not as bad as we might imagine.
            This past August:
            I have lost my dear Father.
            My exMM and my 21 year on/off affair with him is history.
            I had surgery recently.
            Then I fractured a bone in an accident on the same side.
            Oh well. But I am not broken inside.
            Yup its been a long summer.
            But I am okay. I am stronger than I thought.
            I really am doing OKAY! 🙂

            One of the sites I have found is this one: “Focusing Resources” and here is a free video I know you might enjoy from that site. It is called: “The Urge to Indulge.” The speaker also is recovered from alcohol abuse. I think the word “indulgence” can mean anything including going back to an affair when it no longer works and/or food/love/sex/shooping etc. It is all in the same family I mean. The video is very slow and gentle and focuses on us developing compassion for OURSELVES as we crave things that are not good for us.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYqjRZn4jzk&t=937s
            TTSP, Stay the path and you will move forward. I know it is possible! You really will. And you too can heal!
            Much love
            Brave and Free (BAF) aka Lara
            xxxooo

          • TTSP

            HI Lara,
            Thanks so much for your thoughtful, hopeful, warm message. No doubt they enter the affair almost immediately if not very soon after fully knowing they aren’t leaving their existing relationship. Mine was honest about his intentions and that should’ve been my cue to exit. Then I thought after time he’d see how great we are together and change his mind. Could I be a bigger naif! By the time I realized he was firmly planted in the ground I was swept away in the addiction trying to break free only to get sucked back in by him and the high from the sex and any and every exchange. Before you know it year(s) have elapsed and you’ve been in a nasty, destructive cycle of your own self-inflicted hell. It hurts like hell to have strong feelings for a married person. How could anyone feel ok about giving their body, soul and heart to someone that gives 90% of their life to someone else. Talk about being short changed. I’m still trying to work the ugly emotions out of my system. Resentments lead folks like me back to drinking and then I’m really up sh**t’s creek. Now to get over the jealousy and anger that he gets the world and I’m left all alone not only coping with loneliness but now a breakup with a man that clearly loves his wife more than me. I had a rough day and I’m going to a meeting shortly. Thanks for listening. You have a lot of fortitude given what you’ve gone through this summer. I wish you all the the love, support and compassion possible. If you can get through surgery and your father’s death you’ll continue forward on the path to freedom from a shi**y affair.

          • BAF aka Lara

            Hi TTSP
            I am so glad you got to see my texts to you. I was hoping you would get the idea that yes you CAN quit an affair! (just like yes you CAN quite alcohol) if you put your entire mind to it and if you are honestly willing to do the required hard work.
            It is hellish?
            Well yes of course it is but not as hellish as staying in the affair when the affair becomes toxic for you/us. My affair became toxic for me. I could not handle all the emotions anymore. In fact this a good sign not a bad one.
            Affairs are not relationships where I want to feel “normalized.” Even if I did for many years.
            I agree with this you said:
            “No doubt they enter the affair almost immediately if not very soon after fully knowing they aren’t leaving their existing relationship. Mine was honest about his intentions and that should’ve been my cue to exit. Then I thought after time he’d see how great we are together and change his mind. Could I be a bigger naif!”

            You and me both! By the time I was fully aware of how dumb I was initially, years had passed. It was so hard for me to see the truth about how he (my exMM) was actually treating me (as opposed to how I dreamed he OUGHT to be and even WAS treating me).
            Being alone so much as the single person in my affair allowed me to live in my head a LOT. And I am an artist with a very good imagination!
            People like us in recovery from addictions to alcohol (or whatever) do not do all that well living in our heads too much LOL.
            Have you heard about the inner “committee”? Well mine was inventing a relationship I was not actually in! The one I was actually in was a lot more terrible and disrespectful to me than the one I invented. HA!
            I agree when you say this:
            “Before you know it year(s) have elapsed and you’ve been in a nasty, destructive cycle of your own self-inflicted hell.”
            Well yes but you did not create the affair all by yourself so please go a little easy on yourself! Always remember: It takes two to tango 🙂
            This is 1000 per cent true as far as I go:
            “It hurts like hell to have strong feelings for a married person. How could anyone feel ok about giving their body, soul and heart to someone that gives 90% of their life to someone else.”
            YES ONE trillion times!
            YES.
            You say you are ” still trying to work the ugly emotions out of my system.” Please give yourself time TTSP! There may be a whole lot more to your “ugly” feelings than what meets the eye. Our feelings in the present are almost always exacerbated by our experiences from the past.
            There is a REASON you feel the anger the insecurity the jealousy and all the rest.
            First of all please don’t label some of your emotions as “good” and others as “ugly”
            Feelings are just feelings and they are NOT FACTS!
            Feelings pass and feelings change. All the time.
            Thank goodness.
            The biggest challenge is NOT drinking when we feel feelings we do not like feeling.
            (And that is very often, especially in the beginning of recovery)
            And yes the ugly ones are the hardest to feel. In part, that is why we drank.

            Please try not to think about him “loving his wife more than me.”
            It is not fair to yourself. Just STOP yourself from doing that if you can.
            Like I said in my previous posts, he already KNEW he was going to cheat (maybe only sub-consciously but he knew!). Maybe he loved her enough to not leave her but still not enough that he would not have a lengthy affair.
            Is that a love that you would really want?
            Truly would you feel “loved” if your husband had an affair and you found out?
            In other words try stepping in her shoes for a brief second and then to imagine that as his wife you have just found out about the torrid and passionate romance and sex he has been having with a woman named TTSP.
            Would you feel loved? I doubt it.

            I have much to say about my feelings about my father and his passing but it has only been a couple of weeks. My father was a highly functional alcoholic that everyone (including me) adored. He had a successful career and never cheated on my mother nor raged at her neither us. Neither was he violent. It took me until well into my 40’s when I could even admit he was a functional alcoholic!
            I was so ashamed for him and I felt it was all my mother’s fault.
            He always told everyone that my mother, an impossible but highly magnetic narcissist, was to blame for his drinking, and we all believed him!
            100 per cent!
            Sigh.
            My dear father was sort of brilliant in normalizing his drinking within the family. Everyone took his side and everyone “understood.” But a lot of damage happened for many people besides me even.

            Now I am realizing there is always a down side to loving anyone with an addiction, even a beloved parent. To always trying to make excuses for them. To standing for, protecting and then enabling them. To “understanding” their drinking and not expecting more from them. It is so hard to admit to these feelings. REALLY hard. So much worse than leaving the affair in fact! I am feeling shame and anger and disbelief all at once.

            I am sure you understand.
            But at least with feeling these feelings, I really DO understand much better what on this earth made me think my affair with my former affair partner was all I deserved. What made me think being alone all the time was “okay” while he took care of his wife and family. What made me think my exMM saying the cheating was all his wife’s fault was exactly like my dad saying his drinking was all my mom’s fault.
            So many painful similarities!

            Anyhow, I somehow got the idea I was not worth with more than what I had with my exMM and that I even should have been “happy” to have what I had with him. My Dad would never have agreed with me having an affair in fact. But my low self esteem told me that maybe my affair was the best I could do as a divorced woman of two sons. I can’t blame my low self esteem only on my father of course.
            And I can take responsibility for having low self esteem.
            But I also know it did not come from nowhere.
            Hurt people hurt others. No doubt my father was a victim of a victim. Just as I was/am….just as my exMM is/was.
            YIKES.
            It all goes round and round until we decide to jump off the merry-go-round!
            This low self esteem has followed me all my life until lately. Now I am finally unpacking some of the damage this kind of thinking has cause me in my life in almost every area not just romance.

            TTSP, every loss, every pain is a growth opportunity. We must remember this as recovering alcoholics. Every time a window shuts, a new one opens. Just remember!

            I too, wish you all the the love, support and compassion possible to you.
            Many hugs,
            BAF. aka Lara

    • TTSP

      Hi Felk,
      How has the week played out for you guys and your relationship? Have you had a decent amount of interaction? Working with them adds so many complexities. It can really enhance your job when you’re on the high but also cause immense dread when you’re at a low point. Also, I hated worrying about whether I should reach out or wait for him. When will he contact me and if he doesn’t how will I not be totally disappointed? If he didn’t say certain things I’d get down and think he lost interest or was distancing himself. It was such a clusterF of confusing emotions and racing thoughts running through my head.

      If you’re friends why can’t you show up to his office for a chat? If he’s not in the mood it’s most likely work related or some other internal thing going on. I understand what you mean about feeling rejected by not getting a warm, welcoming response. I find if I’m extra sensitive it’s best to keep to myself. I say that as a general rule of thumb for me with everyone. The vibe I’m getting from you is that you’d like some clarity and definition which is totally fair. Is this going to stay status quo or are you going to advance the relationship to more romantic invovlement. I think you want some assurances that it’s not just a one time and freak out moment either. How long are you willing to wait? I recognize there is never total commitment and true promises in an affair but there can still be a level of confidence from both sides that they’re in it for the foreseeable future. I wonder if you’ll eventually approach him for answers.

      • Felk

        Hi TTSP, I know you get it having been in an affair and worked with your MM for years. And I know the struggle it must be for you now (as it was torture working with my MM last year in the months following the break up). “Dread” was what I felt going to work for most of Oct, Nov, Dec last year. It got better slowly, and, of course, over that time we had time to talk, calm some of that addiction, and get a little more trust and clarity in our (ongoing) relationship. Are you finding it getting easier yet? And I don’t mean that to suggest it should be already. It took me a good 3 months before I noticed it getting slightly better last year, and then another 3 months to say I was almost feeling okay. And then probably another 3 months to say I felt good. It makes it very hard to go through it while you work with the person.

        I love how well you understand all the things I worried (and worry) about working with my MM. Oh, how many times would I go to his office, talk for a bit, and then leave thinking he was distant or losing interest? Just because he would say something a certain way or wouldn’t laugh as much at my jokes or maybe he’d have a look on his face that I’d read a certain way when I walked into his office. It’s so absurd. Lately, I’ve been better with that and not letting myself get completely derailed by small things and it’s almost always been the case that there was nothing and we ended up having a good time when I didn’t let myself get preoccupied.

        So, how is it today? It’s fine. I’d almost say good. He and I went for drinks Wednesday after work, and it was our usual good time. It made me feel more comfortable to be “normal” at work (and just going to his office to chat if I want to). Of course, you know that it’s not so simple to say that I can just feel that comfort all of the time. I didn’t even feel that comfort in the affair, let alone now when I have less clarity on what’s going on with us. You read me well with the things you say about how I’d like more clarity about whether or not we are continuing to include touching/kissing/other or if he’s backing off on that again and we’re trying to err more towards just friendship again. My guess is that it’s the touching/kissing/other thing, but that it’s going to be slow and much less frequent than the five years of the affair. My guess is that he still wants some of that, but that he’s going to try to draw some lines so that we don’t devolve into the badness of before. And I can’t blame him. Honestly, I want to be very careful, and, while it will sometimes be challenging to not have more, I will take a lot of comfort in knowing that we have something and we are taking measures to try not to end up in the misery of last year.

        Wednesday at drinks we didn’t talk about our relationship at all. Just enjoyed our time talking about work and other topics, but we will again talk about our relationship. I will eventually ask him or we will find ourselves in a close situation and we’ll talk about what it means. Will we have answers? Probably not, but each time we talk, I feel we get closer to figuring things out. I’m someone who likes decisions and so this slow process is hard for me, but if it results in something good for us, I think it’s worth it.

  • Nomad

    Lara
    I’m feeling all that you have described.
    I’m confused if I really know the REAL him after 2yrs 3mths.

    I’m in no position to feel betrayed or ask for commitment (though I do feel those emotions) because I’m not his legal W. Yes, was it all just lies? Of course affair is a fantasy built on lies. Is he really a callous cheat? Or the victims were over reacting , over reading into his comments ? My gut says no, he must have intentionally flaunted his charm. I’m one of the victims who responded whereas others put a stop and close their doors.

    So you have similar experiences? Is this going to be my rock bottom? It is for him as he’s fed up and turn off of always being doubted by me, he felt humiliated by the way I see him like going around hitting on potential prey.

    He has blocked me for 2days. How does it feel to be blocked (he only did so 1-2 times throughout)? While I don’t feel good (rejected), it gives hope that this is the new beginning of the end. A promising one whereby he’s now also decided to end, both of us.

    I totally agree that “”Commitment” is Not possible in an affair situation. Neither is safety and security . No promises. No future. A past and present filled with delusions.” What’s wrong with me then ? Is this me finally reached some kind of a bottom? I felt horrified waking up to Felk’s last sentence and she seemed to know I haven’t reached rock bottom, yes, despite the latest episode which can be a rock bottom for finale.

    And I’ve said it again “Goodbye, we are done. I hope nothing will ever make me go back to you anymore” I’ve closed all doors. The last was in May when I whatsay”it’s over, I don’t want you anymore, break up clean” I went back 1.5mths later. So, what gives you the faith that you can still believe him? Everyone is telling me Enough! Stop it, cut it off, save yourself, where’s your pride?

    It’s understandable to keep going back for more when there is loads of love between two people, but why i keep going back to him is something strange. He gives me nothing. And when he goes mia, it’s not fear and guilt. I think it’s more like It’s because he satiated his sexual appetite and he is happy for the time being. He doesn’t owe me sweet nothings.He probably thinks i deserve it, since i keep falling into his lap, so since it doesn’t kill to whatsapp how’s your day, gm, gn and she has resigned herself to loosen the boundaries, so no harm to continued.

    Having said that, I’m talking myself into believing that this is my rock bottom and he’s also hit his and have taken action to block me. Unlike me who’s weak, I doubt he’s one who will unblock now that we are near the exit.

    Thank you for your words… Lara & Felk.

    Wondering how TTSP is doing…

    Felk, my guess is you are in a happy place and all is good. Your patience to give him space are rewarded with him coming back. ☺️ I’m envious…

    • Felk

      Nomad, I think you ask good questions of yourself in this response. But, I think you need to take the time to really think about those responses. Why do you keep going back to or waiting for this man who makes you so unhappy and repeatedly disappoints you? And I then I think it’s asking if those reasons are okay to you or if you like who you are with this man. Of course, I hope you are close to done with your MM given how unhappy he seems to make you, but every time you write sentences about what he’s thinking and wondering if he’s done, I can tell that you are not done. If you are done, why care that he blocked you? It does seem that you are hoping he will unblock you.

      However, I do think that you have the right to feel betrayed. Just because he’s married, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have expectations in our relationships with these MM. Sure, you may not be entirely surprised that a cheater is flirting with other women, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have had an agreement with him not to cheat on you. My MM and I both explicitly said that we were not seeing anyone else outside of our marriage, and the expectation was that we would not. Had he done so, I would have felt betrayed. Commitment doesn’t mean the same thing in an affair, but there is certainly some commitment in an affair (or at least in some affairs). But, of course, there is only “some commitment,” and, yes, that does lead to all sorts of insecurity and anxiety.

      As for my situation, it is not “all is good.” It is rarely that simple in our affairs. Things are better than they were and I am happier, yes. But I find myself much too occupied with it all still. We are back at work now, and it adds a level of complication that I was free from over the summer. Having him that close every day is going to be hard as we continue to try to navigate this version of the affair. I find it is much easier to give him space when he is not nearby. Tuesday, he told me he still was in love with me and he kissed me (a lot). I told him I was not (emotionally) ready for sex. Wednesday, at work, we talked and laughed and it all felt normal. Yesterday, I was a sweaty, nervous wreck around him for no good reason (and I hope he didn’t notice!) except that there is the constant tension between what is fantasy and what is reality in an affair. He and I need to talk a lot more about what we’re doing if this is going to work. I still feel tentative and hesitant to (fully) get back into this affair, and I know he does, too. But I’m not sure we will be able to stop the slow creep back towards the full affair and all the problems that come with it. I want to do this “better” than we did before and try to avoid some of those problems, but I’m not sure that’s realistic. So, no, not “all is good.” 🙂

    • TTSP

      Hi Nomad,
      Some people are flirty by nature. I’m not excusing his behavior but there is a big leap from flattering the opposite sex with words to doing something physical. There may have been no intent to take it any further than flirting. That being said, I’d still be jealous if I heard or saw my ex mm putting on the charm with another woman.

      Sometimes you get to the point of no return. Maybe that’s what you mean by rock bottom. For me the resentment, jealousy, sadness, anger etc. became all too consuming and I had enough. I mentally checked out from him and the affair around June but didn’t go full fledged DONE until a couple weeks ago. He was gone for the entire month of July traveling with his fam so I don’t count that month. My sense of time feels distorted. Affairs really do create a haze and the days turn into weeks and eventually all blend together.

      You will get to the point where you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’ve been maintaining a business only relationship and that is the best possible outcome for me. Now I’m freed from the internal sickness and despair that overtook me due to him loving his W and giving her his everything while expecting me to be his girlfriend for nothing. He wanted so much from me for nothing. I still despise him for that and you can see I’m clearly not over it at all. I’m happy to be out but I’m not home free. I’m suffering emotional repurcussions from my choices and picking up the pieces of what is left of my self-worth. I don’t think he’s a bad man but he’s bad for me. Plus, I have no interest in hearing about how his personal life. Even the innocuous details like picking out a new puppy cause me immense anguish. It hurts like hell to think about the two of them playing with their new puppy and sharing so much together. Ugh I better stop before I have a crying spell. Note to self, remember this feeling if he ever tries to weasel his way back into my life.

      I wonder if your ex mm was the solution to what is troubling you in your own life? I’m not a therapist nor do I have any medical degree to make a diagnosis so please take my statement with a grain of salt. I’m just throwing out some ideas to think about as you try to understand why you’re struggling to let him go. I’m curious if you might want to explore what it is he and the affair provided to you that is missing. Obviously there is sex but what about the emotional needs and other internal needs? You don’t have to divulge any of these personal details here but they may be helpful in getting you to closure. I wish you well Nomad. I feel your pain with ever fiber of my being 🙁 I think we all do here even if it’s going as well as an affair can possibly go.

    • BAF aka Lara BAF = BRAVE AND FREE

      Nomad yes I have felt this way too.
      I have had many DIFFERENT experiences over the years in my affair. It was never only one thing.
      Based on my personal experiences and experience, this is where your thinking is going “sideways”:
      You say:
      “Is this going to be my rock bottom? It is for him as he’s fed up and turn off of always being doubted by me, he felt humiliated by the way I see him like going around hitting on potential prey.”

      It might be your rock bottom but it will not be your bottom if you still are obsessed with him being “fed up” Who cares if he is fed up? He just treated you terribly Nomad! Why do you care how he feels? You have to only feel your OWN feelings not his.
      You need a healthy BOUNDARY between your feelings and his. Otherwise you slip into the same ole co-dependency as the rest of us here including me. The “WE” you hear about here about on this blog is not real!
      It is a co-dependent “WE” and it is not healthy.
      Two people in an an affair are co-colluding and co-hiding/lying. They are not a “WE”. They are not a “team” Unless you mean a cheating team, a team of liars. The “WE” is two enablers of the other each other’s bad behavior.
      Affairs are VERY unhealthy.
      “He has blocked me for 2days.”
      So what?
      “How does it feel to be blocked (he only did so 1-2 times throughout)? While I don’t feel good (rejected), it gives hope that this is the new beginning of the end. A promising one whereby he’s now also decided to end, both of us.”
      Why are you waiting for him to be done?
      YOU need to be done.
      It does not matter what he wants.
      “And I’ve said it again “Goodbye, we are done. I hope nothing will ever make me go back to you anymore” I’ve closed all doors. ”
      Nomad, you can not tell him I hope we will be done. You can only tell him “I AM DONE.”
      That is what it means to reach bottom.
      “I AM DONE” No more words are needed. Only actions.
      Who care about what he thinks or feels or does if you are done?
      Nomad you do not need to say goodbye.

      “The last was in May when I whatsay”it’s over, I don’t want you anymore, break up clean” I went back 1.5mths later. So, what gives you the faith that you can still believe him? ”
      I don’t understand this.
      ?
      “It’s understandable to keep going back for more when there is loads of love between two people, but why i keep going back to him is something strange.”
      IT IS CALLED ADDICTION.
      “He gives me nothing. And when he goes mia, it’s not fear and guilt. I think it’s more like It’s because he satiated his sexual appetite and he is happy for the time being. ”
      This is called SEX ADDICTION and he has proven it to you by coming on to other women at your workplace. I am sure there are others too.
      “He doesn’t owe me sweet nothings.He probably thinks i deserve it, since i keep falling into his lap, so since it doesn’t kill to whatsapp how’s your day, gm, gn and she has resigned herself to loosen the boundaries, so no harm to continued.”
      He owes you more RESPECT than he is giving you.
      DO NOT LOOSEN YOUR BOUNDARIES.
      “Having said that, I’m talking myself into believing that this is my rock bottom and he’s also hit his and have taken action to block me. Unlike me who’s weak, I doubt he’s one who will unblock now that we are near the exit.”
      PLEASE STOP CALLING YOURSELF WEAK. YOU ARE STORNG NOT WEAK!
      PLEASE STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT HE WILL DO.
      TRY TO NOT CARE!
      And try not to think about Felk or anyone else’s situation. This is just a BLOG for people trying to get out or simply discuss the misery of affairs.. Not everything here is as true as it might seem. Just remember this is the internet! People can exaggerate. People can lie. People can lie because even they themselves do not understand the truth. You need to talk to REAL people in REAL life about this. The solution is NOT here in the internet. It might begin here (YES!) and thanks to Laurie for this safe place to chat and vent etc. But this is a very long journey and the internet is only the first tiny step. Much more real life work will be needed by you to heal from this and REAL people to talk to.
      NOMAD, Focus on YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU
      hugs
      BAF

    • BAF aka Lara BAF = BRAVE AND FREE

      Nomad yes I have felt this way too.
      I have had many DIFFERENT experiences over the years in my affair. It was never only one thing.
      Based on my personal experiences and experience, this is where your thinking is going “sideways”:
      You say:
      “Is this going to be my rock bottom? It is for him as he’s fed up and turn off of always being doubted by me, he felt humiliated by the way I see him like going around hitting on potential prey.”

      It might be your rock bottom but it will not be your bottom if you still are obsessed with him being “fed up” Who cares if he is fed up? He just treated you terribly Nomad! Why do you care how he feels? You have to only feel your OWN feelings not his.
      You need a healthy BOUNDARY between your feelings and his. Otherwise you slip into the same ole co-dependency as the rest of us here including me. The “WE” you hear about here about on this blog is not real!
      It is a co-dependent “WE” and it is not healthy.
      Two people in an an affair are co-colluding and co-hiding/lying. They are not a “WE”. They are not a “team” Unless you mean a cheating team, a team of liars. The “WE” is two enablers of the other each other’s bad behavior.
      Affairs are VERY unhealthy.
      “He has blocked me for 2days.”
      So what?
      “How does it feel to be blocked (he only did so 1-2 times throughout)? While I don’t feel good (rejected), it gives hope that this is the new beginning of the end. A promising one whereby he’s now also decided to end, both of us.”
      Why are you waiting for him to be done?
      YOU need to be done.
      It does not matter what he wants.
      “And I’ve said it again “Goodbye, we are done. I hope nothing will ever make me go back to you anymore” I’ve closed all doors. ”
      Nomad, you can not tell him I hope we will be done. You can only tell him “I AM DONE.”
      That is what it means to reach bottom.
      “I AM DONE” No more words are needed. Only actions.
      Who care about what he thinks or feels or does if you are done?
      Nomad you do not need to say goodbye.

      “The last was in May when I whatsay”it’s over, I don’t want you anymore, break up clean” I went back 1.5mths later. So, what gives you the faith that you can still believe him? ”
      I don’t understand this.
      ?
      “It’s understandable to keep going back for more when there is loads of love between two people, but why i keep going back to him is something strange.”
      IT IS CALLED ADDICTION.
      “He gives me nothing. And when he goes mia, it’s not fear and guilt. I think it’s more like It’s because he satiated his sexual appetite and he is happy for the time being. ”
      This is called SEX ADDICTION and he has proven it to you by coming on to other women at your workplace. I am sure there are others too.
      “He doesn’t owe me sweet nothings.He probably thinks i deserve it, since i keep falling into his lap, so since it doesn’t kill to whatsapp how’s your day, gm, gn and she has resigned herself to loosen the boundaries, so no harm to continued.”
      He owes you more RESPECT than he is giving you.
      DO NOT LOOSEN YOUR BOUNDARIES.
      “Having said that, I’m talking myself into believing that this is my rock bottom and he’s also hit his and have taken action to block me. Unlike me who’s weak, I doubt he’s one who will unblock now that we are near the exit.”
      PLEASE STOP CALLING YOURSELF WEAK. YOU ARE STORNG NOT WEAK!
      PLEASE STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT HE WILL DO.
      TRY TO NOT CARE!
      And try not to think about Felk or anyone else’s situation. This is just a BLOG for people trying to get out or simply discuss the misery of affairs.. Not everything here is as true as it might seem. Just remember this is the internet! People can exaggerate. People can lie. People can lie because even they themselves do not understand the truth. You need to talk to REAL people in REAL life about this. The solution is NOT here in the internet. It might begin here (YES!) and thanks to Laurie for this safe place to chat and vent etc. But this is a very long journey and the internet is only the first tiny step. Much more real life work with real life people will be needed by you to heal from this and REAL people to talk to.
      But you will only do this when you have hit a bottom and you are ready to call it quits.
      Only YOU can know what your bottom is Nomad. No one else can tell you. You are strong and you will know!
      What do YOU say?
      NOMAD, Focus on YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU
      hugs
      BAF

    • BAF

      Nomad I said something that could be misinterpreted I’m sorry but my father has just passed away and I’m not in my right mind. I’m not accusing people of lying or exaggerating here consciously. I’m not accusing any of us of doing that ! I think we are all trying to be as honest as we can be here and we are all trying to support each other here. I really believe we are all doing our best here and telling our stories as well as we can. I think this is a fabulous place for that reason. But this is not the real world, this is the furniture world. This is part of the picture but not the whole picture. I’m saying I feel you need the real world right now. The virtual world is the world of the mind and it is deceptive because it is only one piece of reality. We write what we are able to write. The same in therapy in a sense in that we say what we are ready to say in therapy. Say what we want to say and it helps heal One day at a time. But in the real world we get feedback because a person a real life person can see us hear us in touch us and that’s very different from the virtual world. I think that from what you’re saying you need the real world right now do you need concrete people. I think those of us in affairs are used to a secret world and a secret reality. We live in a place that we occupy alone with our affair partner and that is an exaggerated place. That is not real world stuff. So of course we would love to be here on the Internet. Woman comes when we must shatter the glass and see who we are in the real world see our actions in the real world. Get there we need to come find in a real world friend therapist etc. please take that step if you possibly can. I’m rooting for you. Hugs and love BAF brave and free xxxooo

      • Felk

        Nomad, just want to reiterate some of the things that BAF said about how we are only telling *some* of our stories here. While I think we do all try to be honest, we’re all just getting small snippets of each other’s lives and personalities. One thing in particular that I think we know so little about is our married lives (for those of us who are married). It’s a big part of this whole picture, and I think we sometimes downplay how we’re choosing to stay with our Hs. I talk a lot about my MM and being in love with him, but I don’t say a lot about how I still can’t imagine leaving my H. That is, of course, central to the problems in an affair (for me and also for my MM). Although we didn’t talk about it a lot, I know it was hard for my MM that I had a H. We didn’t say a lot about it because we knew we had to accept the other had a spouse, but I know it was hard for both of us.

        We also spend a lot of time here talking about our pain caused by the affair and we say little about the damage we’re doing to our marriages and our Hs. We are so willing to treat this other person (that we supposedly love) so poorly while complaining about our MM? It’s not a judgment so much as an observation. When you ask questions about how your MM is able/willing to treat you in ways that you think is unfair or cruel, ask yourself how you are able to do some of the same things to your H. Again, I don’t mean that to make you feel bad but to hopefully help you understand that your MM is probably not an awful person who is trying to hurt you. He is simply doing what he needs to do for himself, just as you are with your MM (and your H). We are so willing to cast aside our Hs when it’s convenient for us, so why shouldn’t we expect that our MM are capable of this behavior (with us), too? Honestly, if there’s one way my affair helped my marriage it was by showing me that when I felt awful when my MM would go MIA for a few days, it was probably similar to how my H felt when I was so willing to go emotionally numb to him at times during my affair. My affair helped me do that a little less to my H and especially after my affair ended(ish). We talk about our boring/passionless marriages, but part of that is because we’re checked out of the marriage and invested in our affairs. I’m not saying we can entirely repair our marriages at this point, but we certainly cannot do much repair if we’re still hoping for the affair. I know it’s not the answer you want, but it does seem you’d be happier if you were completely done with your MM and you were simply in the comfort of your marriage. Not that it would have the passion of your affair, but it also would not have the misery of your affair.

        I’ve been trying to reiterate that we all have different situations and we’re all different people. What works for one person might not work for another. I think I can accept a pretty low level of communication from my MM. But others can probably accept less, where others might find this amount of communication unacceptable. I know you’ve used words like “envy” for my situation, but you don’t want my situation. My MM goes multiple days without talking to me at all. You’d be miserable! 🙂 Hopefully, you hear I’m trying to be a little funny, but another point I want to make is that, while I really do try to be rational and calm and patient with all of this, I am also struggling, too. It is not all bliss. I have now been in this for six years, and there have been highs and lows across those six years. There has never been a sustained period (for more than a few weeks) where it was just smooth-sailing and easy. And when I say things are getting easier for me, that’s only in comparison to the hell that I went through after September. So, yes, it’s “easier,” but it’s NOT easy. The next time I talk to my MM, I plan to tell him how scared I am to get into this affair again. And we also find ourselves in affairs with different types of MM. While they might share some traits, they are different and then we might have different outcomes with different men. I don’t say this to say my MM is better or worse. Just different.

        I get a lot of value from hearing everyone’s stories on here, and I like the different perspectives, different approaches for healing, and, simply, feeling that I’m not alone and people are going through similar things. It also helps me a lot to talk about my situation here. But, only I can really help me. Only I know my MM and myself well enough to know what’s going to work for me. Sometimes when I give you advice, it’s advice that would work for me, but I know that what works for me isn’t going to work for everyone on here. You have to do it the way that works for you. And if “nothing” seems to be working, that’s when you turn to someone trained to help.

        • BAF

          Felk, this is beautifully put and you are getting Wiser!!. I hear so much growth in you. Brava!
          I think there is someone else we ignore, someone else we allow ourselves to treat very poorly:
          I am sure you already know who it is: the spouse of our married lovers.

          What makes us so unable to see his/her side and listen only to the married lover who has the big GRIPES? Why did I side with my exMM and stay so blind to the fact that he was only telling HIS side of the story? Why didn’t I question him more? Ugh.
          The answer: I was in “addictive love” for sure. I put all my values aside and did what I had felt I needed to do for ME.
          He was offering me an affair and I took it without question. No questions asked! Wow. Now I see how devastated I felt over my exH returning to his home country and unable to be a husband and father anymore. It was incomprehensible to me that my marriage could not work out the way I wanted it to because my exH was mentally ill and a substance abuser. I had 2 beautiful sons: Ages 7 and 10 at the time. I was alone in a huge city and had more or less run away from home with my H due to the way I felt about my family of origin. This made me very very vulnerable, I also had suffered a major depressive episode the year before I met my exMM. So all in all I was very emotionally fragile.
          I think e should all look back and see who we were BEFORE the affair? What troubling things had happened the year before?
          There are reasons I was lacking empathy for the W of my exH. I am NOT usually like that. Or AM I?
          It haunts me sometimes.
          What is it in us that allows us to do the unthinkable and more or less poach a married person for ourselves?
          Why do we side with this person? Do we really know what makes their relationship tick? Do we really know what it feels like to be in this MM’s wife’s shoes? How does he REALLY TRULY TREAT her?
          WHY doesn’t she want sex with him anymore?
          Did he do something to her?
          Does she suspect he is cheating or checked out?
          And what make me think I could do better than her? Why do any of us feel we could do better than the spouse?
          What in us makes us think this?
          I shudder to think what it is in ME that allowed me to treat the W of my MM with such lack of empathy for her? Such lack of caring how she might be feeling? Or how the marriage might have been equally impossible for her because HE (my exMM) was perhaps so difficult to be married to? Hw was perhaps emotionally abusing her?
          And that I joined him…colluded with him against her?
          I sided with him 100 per cent for years. What made me do that?
          I shudder to think about my callousness towards her tell you the truth.
          But my father has just passed and I really AM starting to putting some very very painful puzzle pieces together.
          So I am beginning to understand myself even my callousness better.
          Many hugs,
          Brave and Free
          xxxooo
          BAF

          • Felk

            BAF, I’m not sure I feel much wiser yet, but thanks for saying it. Okay, maybe I feel a *little* wiser. 🙂 I am trying to proceed slowly and carefully through all of this. I guess it was some progress setting boundaries for no sex when my MM was recently at my house, but I don’t know how long that can last. I will, of course, keep thinking about all of these things and trying to make “this” work. “This” being some sort of affair while not devastating our lives or the lives of our spouses. And, even if it doesn’t seem like it, I am still keeping in mind the idea that it may not be possible to do more than we are doing now (and we may even have to do less).

            You are good to mention our consideration of the other’s spouse in this. Maybe, for me, I didn’t mention it (and don’t consider it much) because it feels more “equal” when both people are married? In your situation, it was one-sided where he had a spouse and you did not. Maybe that makes the guilt more salient on your end? Or maybe I didn’t think about my MM’s W much because my MM and I did not talk about our spouses much. We certainly did not complain about our spouses to each other. Although I have heard a number of women on here talk about how their MM talked about their sexless, frustrating marriages, my MM and I did not do that. We actually started the affair when things were still good in our marriages (and we both acknowledged that at the time). And then we tried to intentionally not talk much about spouses to each other not only because we didn’t want to violate the privacy of our spouse but also because we knew any information could be hurtful to the other. We knew the jealousy issues that come along with affairs and we thought it best to keep the talk of spouses to a minimum. Of course, we did sometimes. My MM made a few comparisons here and there about how things were better with me (and I did the same, although less than he did). Those things felt nice, but he rarely disparaged his W. Even when he’d say certain things were better with me, it’s not like he’d imply it was terrible with her. Sometimes he’d precede saying things were better with me by saying, “You know things are fine in my marriage, but, with you…” And, painfully, I will not forget during our break-up talks last September that he said, “There are still good things there,” and he went on to talk about how he thought he had to end our affair to have any hopes of salvaging the good things left in their marriage that he had put in jeopardy in our affair. Although, I also cannot forget how, during our break-up, he reminded me that things were better with me but how he might have to settle for good enough (in his marriage).

            Or maybe I don’t consider my MM’s W much because of the callousness I have that is related to allowing me to have an affair in the first place? Maybe the same traits that allow me to not consider my H’s feelings much in this also allow me not to consider my MM’s W? I think this is the main reason I don’t consider his W. I don’t say this with pride, but I also don’t say this with guilt. We know my narc tendencies allow me to cheat on my H with little guilt and likely allow me not to consider my MM’s W very much. And, of course, selfishly, I wanted distance to grow between them because I wanted him in love with me.

            But, all of that said, of course I considered my MM’s W at times. There were a few times that my MM would tell me about his W saying things to him about how he’d been distant lately or things like that, and my MM and I knew that she was noticing changes in him. (This was about a year before she asked him directly if he was having an affair.) During those times, I’d feel a little bad for her and I’d think about how her and my H must be feeling more neglected lately. I thought about the times that my MM would go MIA with me for a few days and I figured he must do that to his W, too, and how it must hurt that much more when it’s someone you live with. And, like I said, it made me think about how I was doing that to my H, too. If there is one clear thing that has improved in my marriage since the end(ish) of the affair last September, it’s that my attention to my H has improved. I definitely ignore him less. I think the same is true of my MM’s situation, and I think he likes that.

            And I definitely considered my MM’s kids in all of this. I never wanted him to leave his family because of the harm to his kids. Had they been older? Maybe, but given that they were relatively young, I never wanted him to do that to them. I know he considered it, though. I know he thought about it a lot. I know he got to the point where he felt he had to make a decision. And my guess is that he stayed mainly for his children (not for his W). I’ve said it many times here… it is a decision I respect and understand, even if I wanted him to try to find a way to make it work with me, too.

            I know you are reflecting on a lot lately with the passing of your father. I’m sure it is tough, but it sounds like you are also reflecting with clarity, and, as TTSP said a few days ago, it is probably helpful not to have the stress of your MM during this time. I know you are still dealing with the aftermath of that relationship, but it sounds like you have stayed away from him pretty successfully lately. It sounds like you are putting that relationship in the rearview mirror. You know I hear a lot of growth in you, too, and that has been true for months. I still appreciate so much the honest questions you ask all of us. Sometimes I shy away from asking the harder questions and then I read you ask them and am so glad you do.

          • TTSP

            Hi Lara,
            I wonder if a lot of people in the role of the “other person” regardless of their status live in a state of denial about the spouse? I know I certainly did for a period of time. Out of sight out of mind. It’s not like we ever interact with them or see them so it makes it easy to deny their existence. I may sound nuts but denial can be a very powerful force. Others may justify it as what they don’t know won’t hurt them? You raise a lot of reasonable points we must ask ourselves.

            Also, mine never put down his W thus there wasn’t a side to take. In fact he spoke highly of her character. She is a loving, giving, smart, wonderful woman with a big heart. Like a lot of other couples they neglected their relationship and lost all the romance, passion, connection and intimacy. In the last six months I felt immensely guilty about the damage the affair could inflict on her and the kids.

            Also, when I entered into it I was in a very lonely, dark place with my alcoholism and personal life. Now, I have zero interest in befriending any married man. Stay away from me 🙂 If my ex mm and I met when I was sober I may have not entertained the idea. I say that with questionable confidence because like alcohol I needed every drink to get me sober. With this addiction I needed every painful affair experience to get me clean so to speak.

        • BAF

          Dear Felk and TTSP:
          Felk, you say your narc tendencies might allow you to be callous. I too recognize I was callous in my affair. And selfish and greedy too. I can live with these traits in me better than I used to be able to. But they re my ‘shadow side” and I can not encourage this side anymore.
          I understand the reasons why I did what I did. But now I choose NOT to be this person anymore because it hurt ME more than anyone else. I did not break up with my exMM for any other reason in the end than it was hurting ME. But I DID feel the guilt of the affair and the guilt toward his W.
          My father’s death a week ago has caused me profound inner changes, yes. My father was a functional alcoholic all his life. This means he was quite successful in his life but also profoundly addicted to alcohol. This means his relationships with my family were all complicated (all 26 of us!) Not one of us denies his alcohol abuse. YYSP I was no exam;y a “fatherless” daughter nut he was emotionally quite shallow I must say. Je was distant as well, even sitting right there in front of me.

          As for my exMM:
          During my father’s illness and then passing, I have been away from my neighborhood, and my exMM for a lot of the last few weeks.
          I do NOT miss him and I do NOT want him back in terms of my conscious mind.
          But of course the addiction is still there farther back in mind in my sub and un-conscious.
          TTSP I too do not think I would have chosen this man had I been sober at the time. In fact my alcoholism which was mild when I met my exMM but Escalated like crazy as things started falling apart! I fell into full-blown alcoholism and had to seek recovery.
          Yet I STILL stayed off and on in my affair with my exMM for years.
          This is because sex with him and love with him was ALSO one of my addictions. I just did not realize it until I found this blog a year ago. For me personally, going back to my exMM now would be like picking up a drink.” I can not do that anymore, one day at a time. I need an healthier relationship with an available man and I need to be able to COMMIT to this person. (If in fact I want another serious relationship. Otherwise I need a FWB arrangement with a SINGLE person. The exMM is toxic for me and he will never leave his W.

          I have put the affair “down” just like I put down my last drink over 17 years ago. I know full well the destructive force of ANY addiction.Frankly I seek to be addiction free.

          Married women with kids are under enormous pressure to stay lovers and romantic with their husbands but also provide enormous amounts of emotional and physical nurturing to their kids. Many off these same women work as well, often full-time. They are EXHAUSTED. I know full well how hard it was to raise my kids alone and to also work for money. I did it for years. I dot recommend this lifestyle as it is soooooo tiring.
          For married women with kids, sometimes husbands are less than fully supportive. Some husbands get frustrated with the lack of attention to themselves. These same men might seek affairs. Any man cheating has issues with not getting enough attention and emotional support and comforting. It is often up to the exhausted women the wives to give love and support to everyone, meanwhile needing love and emotional support herself. She too is on “empty” and craves attention and love and support from her husband the way he sued to give it to her used to give her. She might be waiting for him to show her he can do both: love her entirely AND love and help out his kids entirely AND work and provide an income for her and for his family.
          A lot can go wrong.
          When another woman, a mistress enters the picture she adds fuel to what is already a fire. Imagine am exhausted woman with kids and a job finding out her husband has turned to anther woman in stead of working things out with her. Did he consult her before he went “solo”?
          Nope.
          Of course the genders could be reversed and the loyal committed person could be the husband and it is the wife who opts for the affair. In this case one merely can switch to description I provided above. Whether we are female mistresses or male “misters” we are a third wheel and we make to relationship into a triangle by entering into it.
          I actually do not think it takes much empathy to feel this is a wrong move. Personally I feel guilt. But another person could merely feel it as dumb. a waste of time, and totally inappropriate. Narc or no it is kind of obvious I think.
          Believe me, people can successfully divorce and cp-parent. I have seen this over and over.
          Also affairs do as much damage to the kids as a divorce does because the kids can often feel it just like the wife can feel it. Remember LifeLesson’s MM’s wife and kids? They ALL are sensing something is going on.
          Felt in your case the W is sensing it.
          This indirectly affects how she treats the kids.
          Divorce is no more damaging than an affair because if a couple divorces at least some of the tension in the household where all these people live together marriage can dissipate and now BOTH adults can have their own love lives and SHARE the responsibilities of the kids.
          Just my humble opinions and knowledge here.
          I think an affair is very very damaging to kids. I can easily think it through, and think through the relationships the kids will then have with the opposite sex. These relationships will be also unhealthy. Then BOTH parents will be affected negatively….
          And it goes on and on…..
          Affairs are family illnesses just like alcoholism is.
          Much love,
          BAF

          • Felk

            BAF, it seems we’re all acting selfishly if we’re in an affair. We’re essentially saying that we’re willing to do this bad thing to someone else (the W and their kids) because it makes us feel good. And, then, for those of us who are married, we are also willing to do this to our spouse. This person who we have pledged commitment to and who trusts us not to have an affair. Obviously, I think there’s selfishness is someone single who chooses to have an affair with someone married, but it seems much more selfish to do this to one’s spouse, too. It is great that you are saying that you cannot encourage that side of your personality anymore. However, I have a long way to go before I would feel that I didn’t embrace the selfish side of my personality.

            I understand what you say about ending it with your MM because it was hurting you too much. I know you didn’t do it because of his W and kids. I think most of the time when we end relationships we do it for ourselves. Rarely are we so selfless that we’d sacrifice ourselves for another in this way. 🙂 Yes, I know some of you feel tremendous guilt about what you might be doing to your MM’s W and family, but, ultimately, it seems what gets someone to walk away is the hurt that the MM or the affair is causing personally. For me, if I ever choose to walk away, it would be for me and it wouldn’t be guilt. I’m just not close to walking away yet. You have so many years ahead of me in this process, but I will know when I’m ready. You say really good things, though, about not missing your MM and not wanting that kind of relationship anymore. It does sound like you’re on the path to being done with him. It’s really great to watch that growth in you over these months. If you think back to the things you were saying back in September, you have to be amazed at how far you’ve come.

            I did not want my MM to leave his W (because of the kids). For me, that statement isn’t just about not wanting to break up a family. Yes, I felt it was best for the kids if my MM stayed with his W to raise their kids together, but it was also selfish in the sense that I thought it would be a mess to get into a relationship with a divorced man with kids. I was trying to think ahead about the big picture. What would leaving my H mean for me, our extended family, our friends? And how well would a new relationship with my MM go if he had an angry ex-wife and kids? And how would I handle a relationship with his kids (as I have never wanted children)? What would it be like to work with my MM and be in a 24/7 relationship with him (that seems smothering to me)? See, these are some of the many things that have gone unsaid all these months on here. Part of what you were saying to Nomad about how there is so much that we don’t say about our situations.

            I know what you’re saying about how an affair can take its toll on kids, but most parents I know prioritize their kids and I think that happens through affairs, too. I think, for a while at least, our affair didn’t have much of an impact on his kids. But, I acknowledge that as my MM got closer to me in that fourth year, I think his behavior (with his W) did start to affect them at home and would be noticed by the kids. I am sure that is mainly why my MM ended our relationship. I think he was worried about the impact on the kids. I don’t know if an ongoing affair is worse than a divorce. It’s probably much too variable on individual situations to make that comparison. I just know that a divorce seemed pretty devastating for his kids and family. So, divorce seems worse to me, but I get your point… an affair can be bad for kids, too. I always wanted my MM to prioritize his kids. I made that quite clear and he never expected otherwise. But, of course, I’d hoped my MM could maintain his family while still having an affair with me. You know I still hope it, but I’m not sure he shares my optimism.

          • BAF

            Felk and others,
            The way a mother and wife feels so often during the affair her husband is having (which she can “sense it”) is transferred one way or another to her kids. This is how the affair damages not only the marriage but the kids. When she starts feeling insecure about whether her husband loves her, for example, a woman will do one of several things none of them being healthy. She might develop an addiction to try to stuff down her feelings and make things look normal. That affects the kids because now she’s caught up in a substance and not emotionally responsive to them as much as she needs to be. She might instead become overly close with one of her kids as a sort of subsTitute for her husband. This is hugely damaging to a child who needs a parent and not a friend and or spouse relationship. This so I can attest to personally as my mother did this a great deal with me her eldest daughter. Being the confidante of a mother is very damaging to the kid. This is because children are in their own developmental processes and need to go through this without the burden of unresolved adult emotional pain thrust upon them. A Third Way a scorned woman who is the wife and mother could act is to tell her kids horrible things about their father and insinuate about how he is betraying her. She will tell the kids how awful dad is ruining their relationship with him and damaging them with this knowledge. In other ways an affair can play out in many different ways at home as a woman become suspicious. I imagine it’s the same if it is the man becoming suspicious of his wife having the affair. A Third Way scorned woman who is the wife and mother could act is to tell her kids help horrible response is and how he is betraying her. She will tell the kids how awful dad is ruining their relationship with him and damaging them with this knowledge. In other words an affair can play out in many different ways at home as a woman become suspicious. I imagine it’s the same if it is the man and husband becoming suspicious of his wife having the affair. The scorned parent is angry and betrayed and has huge amounts of unresolved emotions. These unresolved emotions usually land squarely upon the kids no matter what their ages are including even if their adult children. This is why I say an affair, especially a long-term affair in my mind at least is as damaging as a divorce. Both events signal complete marital strife to the children of these adults. Marital strife means the end of their childhood security and happiness. It also means children very often taking on responsibilities that are too large for them and that harm them because they get in the way of childhood and teenage developments. Both of the children of my ex MM are having problems with addictions. Both are trying to resolve their parents strife as well as their parents trying to simply get along Together. The only thing that keeps me from feeling complete guilt and responsibility for these unhappy children who are now adults is the fact that I am very sure that their father would have cheated anyhow regardless if I cheated with him or not. He was bound to find extramarital lovers by his personality. On the other hand I am well aware of enabling him and his behavior. In enabling him I also contributed to More misery for his family indirectly. I agree that married people having affairs have their own spouses they are hurting and that’s perhaps where the primary attention goes when it comes to guilt and responsibility for others. But in truth whether one is married or not, when one is in an affair with a married person, one is affecting that married person’s entire family and all the members of that family. It Is a hard truth to swallow for me. I see my selfishness and I see my Vulnerability in needing my ex MM no matter what. I also am very encouraged by my recent strength of mind and heart and I do feel my affair is over now and that I won’t go back at least. But just like Alcohol the affair it will always tempt me once in a while when I’m stressed or when I’m tired. That is because I have addiction in my brain and it’s an illness not a choice. Addiction is not a character defect it is truly an illness. So I am learning to forgive myself. And as I forgive myself I’m learning how to forgive my father and I’m learning how to forgive my ex MM. Much love the a.m addiction is not a character defect it is truly an illness. So I am learning to forgive myself. And as I forgive myself I’m learning how to forgive my father and I’m learning how to forgive my ex MM. Much love, BAF xxoo

  • Felk

    Nomad, I’m sorry you are going through this. As if it wasn’t already hard enough, adding something like this is devastating. Of course, maybe it helps you be done with him once and for all, but I know this is not the way you wanted it to happen.

    • Nomad

      Felk, it seemed you’ve run out of things to tell me , your shortest reply ever 😏I’m sorry to learn about his disgusting and disappointing behavior too. I’m confused, hurt and angry.

      He didn’t turn up at the team lunch and what’s new? He blocked me for a day already.

      • Felk

        Nomad, my response was short because I know the pain of jealousy and of finding out that someone (you’re in love with) has flirted with someone else. I had questions about whether he admitted it to you during your WhatsApp conversation when you confronted him or if he denied it, but it sounded like, after that conversation, you were sure that he was showing interest in someone else so I didn’t want to make you go through that conversation again. I also could have asked questions about whether or not he’s flirty in nature and this behavior was nothing more than flirting with someone, but I’m not sure that would change much of anything. You were already jealous of his W. You were already worried he had moved onto someone else when you two were taking time apart earlier this year. You were already worried he didn’t love you as much as he said. With this new information, it just confirms that I don’t think you can have a trusting relationship with him and you will always be too suspicious and jealous to be happy. Affairs make us miserable, jealous and insecure wrecks, and I don’t know how you can continue in this affair with this new information.

        The insecurity is the worst part of an affair. At best, you keep that nagging feeling just out of reach much of the time and it lets you continue in the affair, only creeping up here and there. But those times, when it creeps up, it’s horrible. I know both my MM and I had attacks of jealousy that hurt a lot. He had not reason to be jealous though (I was “faithful” to him outside of my H), and I don’t think I had reason to be jealous, too. But the nature of an affair makes us so insecure. But, that’s at best. At best, you only think about it once in a while. But, at worst, you’re plagued by doubt every day and every little thing makes you suspicious and nothing the other person does can convince you that they’re really into you. That is what it has sounded like for you since your MM returned. And I don’t know how you can be happy, especially knowing what you know now.

        But, somehow, it sounds like, after you said you blocked him and deleted his number, you’re still monitoring his behavior and looking for him to beg you to come back to him? Or is there more you want to say to him? I just wondered why you added that line about him not turning up at the team lunch and blocking you for the day already. If you are done with him, be done. I know that is easier said than done, but it can only happen if you make the choice. As BAF says, have you hit your bottom?

        • TTSP

          Hi Felk,
          These words of yours rang so true for me and I just couldn’t take it anymore, “Affairs make us miserable, jealous and insecure wrecks. The insecurity is the worst part of an affair. At best, you keep that nagging feeling just out of reach much of the time and it lets you continue in the affair, only creeping up here and there. But those times, when it creeps up, it’s horrible. Nothing the other person does can convince you that they’re really into you.”

          For some reason I didn’t think you experienced much jealousy and insecurity but I guess they are inherent in an affair because you never have a big picture view. I had major insecurity issues and needed constant reassurance. He got immensely frustrated with my doubts. Then he would display major neediness and insecurity when he found out about me dating.

          I think the married partner in an affair expects the other person not to be jealous because he or she doesn’t have romance, attraction or much sexuality in their marriage. Relationships encompass so much more than just sexuality and you all know that here. Friendship, love, history, kids, paying bills, cohabitation, planning your future, shopping, buying homes, traveling. I think he wanted me to be nonchalant and “cool” with the terms and conditions. Um seriously… he would’ve died inside if the shoe was on the other foot. Sorry, I digress here.

          Whatever happens with you and your mm I hope it’s in your favor and nothing goes awry. People here talk about mia behavior, distancing, guilt. It sounds like you two have fostered a very open, honest relationship. I guess you’ll keep the lines of communication open and see where it takes you both. Not that you asked my opinion but if you can enjoy it without getting too wrapped up in it than you may have a good thing.

          • Felk

            TTSP, it’s funny because when I read your words about “major insecurity issues and needed constant reassurance,” I was surprised, too. Not that I didn’t understand, but you never really spoke that way about your affair. BUT… this just goes to show what BAF was saying in her post to Nomad about how we’re all only able to tell part of our stories here. There is just so much and this space doesn’t allow us the room to tell it all.

            Yes, I felt insecurity. Sometimes it was stronger than others, but it was always there. That’s that nagging feeling I was talking about. I was able to push it aside most of the time, but there were times when it would creep up pretty painfully. It wasn’t really jealousy of his W. I knew my MM was in love with me, and enjoyed his time with me more than his W. I also accepted that they’d have to do things together as is expected in marriage. So, I never really spent much time thinking about them enjoying time together. Sure, once in a while I did, but not much. For me, the insecurity mainly came from the fear that my MM would end our relationship. It’s as BAF said a few days ago about the lack of commitment in an affair. I felt some commitment with my MM, especially as the affair went on for years, but the threat of a spouse and kids is big. From the beginning, my MM struggled more with the affair. He’d say it wasn’t as much guilt as it was feeling he wasn’t treating his W and his kids well. (I think that sounds a bit like guilt, but who knows.) For the most part, the affair went along pretty well, but there would be days where my MM would feel particularly bad about it all and he’d pull away and I’d get pretty anxious. Eventually, things got pretty good (in year four) where I felt our relationship was pretty solid. And then it all got bad for him. The closer we got, the further he got from his W until she asked if he was having an affair. Also, the closer we got, the harder it was for him to picture me with my H. My MM was struggling with jealousy and insecurity. It is as you say. Even when you know that your MM or MW isn’t in love with their W or H anymore, you know they share a lot together and there is a lot more than just sex to be jealous about. So, all of this made it overwhelming for my MM, he started to pull away more and more in year five, and then my insecurity increased. Those last 9 months (before he ended it last September) were not great. We had some really good times, but we also had some pretty rough times as he felt worse and worse about the whole situation.

            Now? Who knows. I don’t feel the insecurity that I felt last year, but I certainly don’t feel secure in our relationship. It seems that he and I want something to continue, but “what” we want to continue, I’m still not sure. That uncertainty isn’t comfortable, but I’m not sure I can get any more certainty right now. The situation is complicated. There are not easy answers. And, yes, I think we’ll keep talking about it to see if we can make something work. It’s “sort of” working right now in the sense that it felt good to kiss him last week. It feels nice not to have the daily angst about it all. But, I’m still feeling less secure and less sure than I want, and I’m still pretty scared about getting back into the badness of last year again. I very much do not want that (and he feels the same), so I hope we can talk a lot about how to avoid it. I know it may mean not having sex, and you know I’m okay with that. But, I also know that, once you cross those physical lines as we have this past month, it’s hard not to keep crossing lines. So, I am trying to get to a place where we can enjoy this without getting too wrapped up in the bad. I’d say I felt that way for four years in our affair, so we’ll see what we can do this time.

            How about you? Have you still been able to keep it just professional and ignore his voicemails? Is he still calling? From what you’ve written here, it does sound like you’re sticking to your plan to be done. How are you feeling about it all?

          • TTSP

            Felk,
            From what you described you appear to have a similar POV to my ex mm. He was committed to the affair and told me he’d never say no to me. He had a tinge of guilt but felt like he needed an outside relationship for his own happiness. I think he felt like as long as he kept the family together, stayed married and gave his kids a stable, normal home he was following through on his commitment. He had insecurities about me ending the relationship and/or meeting someone else and replacing him.

            I on the other hand rarely if ever felt comfortable with the relationship. I won’t reiterate what I’ve said hundreds of times on here but I may have shared a similar perspective to your mm. I felt badly about everything too frequently. Obviously I don’t have kids so it wasn’t guilt for my own offspring but I did feel badly for his innocent family. Plus, I had major fears of her finding out and shit really hitting the fan. She had to suspect something. Since we got together he started going to the gym two hours a day, got 8 new tattoos, replaced his wardrobe with custom made clothing, rearranged his work schedule, changed his passwords and started turning off all his devices when not in use. She’s a smart lady in a middle management posi