How to Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself After He Leaves


While writing about feeling sorry for yourself because of a loved one’s death, I realized self-pity after a breakup is different. So, here are a few ideas on how to stop feeling sorry for yourself after your husband leaves your marriage or your boyfriend breaks up with you.

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

Think 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?

Arm yourself 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.

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.



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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’m armed with wisdom and acceptance. I’m healthy and prepared for anything life has to offer. I have a strong personal relationship with Jesus, and know that He’s guiding my life. I learned how to stop feeling sorry for myself by letting go of my expectations for my life, and giving my heart to God.

What were your expectations of this relationship? Were they realistic, or were you letting your hopes and dreams take over? Taking time to think about this can help you learn how to stop feeling sorry for yourself, and start healing the emotional pain of being left by a man.

xo



SheBlossoms Laurie Pawlik Kienlen




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

  • BAF

    Interesting Read
    https://www.quora.com/Can-a-husband-be-in-love-with-his-wife-while-having-an-affair
    Straight From His Mouth: Can Unfaithful Men Genuinely Love Their Wife And Family?
    September 9, 2013 | By WisdomIsMisery (a male writer)
    Q: Is it possible to love your spouse and family, but still constantly need an outside sexual outlet?
    A question as old as time, do unfaithful men really love their spouses and family? As usual, it depends, but in most cases, I would say yes. Some would argue that if a man truly loves his wife, then it would be impossible for him to cheat. For a number of reasons, I disagree.

    I think we can all agree that cheating, if caught, causes pain to the person you love. However, no one can honestly sit here today and claim they have never hurt someone they loved or that loved them. We hurt people we love all the time—through lying, cheating, or merely failing to live up to their expectations of us. To say you have never hurt someone you love, purposefully or accidently, is disingenuous. The difference between cheating and many other categories that might cause pain for our loved ones is that cheating is one of the few well within our control.

    Let me state this plainly, in 99.8% of cases, cheating is a conscious choice.
    So, how can a man knowingly commit an act he knows will hurt the woman he claims to love?
    That’s easy: he is selfish or lacks respect for the relationship.

    Many have argued on this very site and abroad whether monogamy is natural. I don’t know why this is such a frequent debate. Whether monogamy is natural or not is completely irrelevant. When you agree to be in a committed relationship, you are agreeing to be committed, in a relationship. It is not rocket science. There is nothing to be confused about or debate.

    When agreeing to be in a committed relationship, you are saying that regardless of your views on monogamy or commitment, you agree to be faithful to this person. That is, quite literally by definition, what commitment means.
    I know many men waiting to “settle down” because they are waiting until that fateful day when they are no longer attracted to more than one woman. When these type of men ask me for advice, I tell them that they will be waiting exactly one day past forever if that is the miracle they need to witness before they settle down with one woman.

    To be clear, some men have no problem being faithful to women. Further, not all men will be unfaithful. However, I advise men who are likely to be unfaithful – and they usually know who they are if they are honest with themselves – not to settle down until they can resist their lesser impulses and poor-decision making.

    For most men, the opportunity to be unfaithful is not a question of if, it is a question of when?

    Regardless of age or maturity, if you are a man who cannot resist sleeping with a woman every time the opportunity presents itself, regardless of your relationship status, then you have no business being in a relationship. This, however, is easier said than done.

    Contrary to popular belief, men are not much different than women when it comes to commitment. Sure, statistically speaking, men take longer to settle down, but most men will commit to one woman within their lifetime, usually by marriage. Like women, most men do not want to die alone or never find true, meaningful love. Any man who says otherwise is either lying, jaded, or has likely never experienced or witnessed a truly happy relationship

    (Editor’s Note: This is separate from men’s views on marriage and divorce. For the context of today’s post, I am addressing men’s desire to eventually be with one woman, committed or legally married.)

    While we can all agree that cheating is wrong, this is independent of the fact that a man can still love the woman he is cheating on.

    In fact, it is highly un-likely that he loves the other woman (or man, no judgment) he is cheating with. Unlike many women, many men view their sexual connections as separate from their emotional ones (again, a separate discussion/issue from today’s post).

    Instead, these types of men are failing to respect their relationship and their family, likely because they are too immature, too selfish or in very, very, very rare cases, addicted to cheating.

    Given all that I’ve covered here today, I do believe that a man can love his wife and family but still be unfaithful. To me, loving someone and respecting the constraints of a committed relationship are related, but they are not dependent. Am I excusing cheating? No, please do not make that assumption, because that will only show me you lack reading comprehension. Let me state this plainly and forthright: cheating is wrong. Everyone knows that.

    But, do I believe a man can inflict heartache – in this instance, through cheating – while still loving his spouse and family?

    Yes. Nevertheless, should you stay with an unfaithful man just because he still loves you? Well, that is a question you have to answer for yourself.

    Do you believe a man can truly love his wife and family while being unfaithful? Can the promise of love without the promise of commitment ever be enough to sustain a meaningful relationship?

    WisdomIsMisery aka WIM uses his background as an internal auditor to provide objective, yet opinionated, qualitative and quantitative analysis on life, love, and everything in between. WIM is not a model, a model citizen, or a role model. See more of WIM on his weekly write-ups for SBM, on Twitter @WisdomIsMisery, and Instagram: WisdomIsMisery.

  • BAF

    TTSP
    Thank you for your response! I have moved my reply up here to the top for obvious reasons.
    First of all I love the article you posted. Thank you! The article makes so many good points and especially reminds us that a “process addiction” like we have in these affairs will heal slowly with effort and discipline. They won’t go away all “at once”. But they also will persist if we take no actions.
    The words:
    “Repetitive Relationship Patterns” tell me right away we are dealing with addiction. Can you see this too? Because it is the repetitive nature of the our actions that get us in trouble. Yet trying to STOP or CHANGE these behaviors Is a really big deal. The brain does not want to be taken off the loop.
    I am so glad you will check into CBT. let me know how that goes!

    I personally believe when we are ready to leave an affair, we must set an intention to HEAL and put our energy in that direction. We can humbly take a “First Step” (like in AA). Asking for help and putting one’s energy in the direction of healing is a must. It says we are “willing”.

    The article says: ” The person’s partners share consistent similarities, such as physical and/or emotional abuse, unavailability, substance abuse, instability, narcissism, etc. And each relationship eventually ends badly because of these repetitive dynamics. After a while, such destructive patterns–objectively obvious to others–start to become apparent even to the patient. And the therapeutic question becomes: Why would anyone persist in pursuing relationships that are doomed to failure? What’s going on here?”
    YES
    “One part of the puzzle has to do with fear of intimacy and of the opposite sex.”
    Several people on this blog have mentioned this reason including me. But know I am getting better at handling intimacy due to therapy. I think this is why I am so ready to be done with my affair.
    “A repetition compulsion is a neurotic defense mechanism. Here’s how it works: The repetition compulsion is an attempt to rewrite history.”
    YES
    TTSP Can you see: This is an addictive process?
    “The history we try to rewrite is typically the troubled relationship with our parents, particularly the opposite sex parent.” YUP (or BOTH parents as in my case)
    “… the reality is, the problem lies not with the child, but with the parent, who, because of his or her own psychological or situational limitations, is unable or unwilling to provide the love, structure and acceptance all children require to thrive–and deserve.”
    “Most adults have an uncanny attraction, a kind of unconscious “radar,” for members of the opposite sex (or, in some cases, same sex) who, in ways often initially imperceptible, resemble–psychologically if not physically–the parent with whom we had difficulties.”
    “Who would consciously choose—and often remain–with a partner who is rejecting, unavailable, or emotionally/physically abusive? That would be pure masochism. But it is not mere masochism in this case. It is a powerful repetition compulsion at play.”
    TTSP:
    Love and Sex Addictions are very powerful addictions (as opposed to a substance addiction)>. Remember to be gentle with yourself!
    “So how can we resolve the pesky repetition compulsion? With great difficulty. Because to do so requires relinquishing the defense mechanism itself.”
    YES.
    “Healing,” as I explain in my book, “entails the mature acceptance of the traumatic facts of one’s emotional mortification, the causes and consequences, as well as a resolute willingness to swallow the following bitter pill: We cannot change the past nor undo the wound. . . We can, nonetheless, allow ourselves to feel our rage and grief over this irretrievable loss. . . . We may even–with some good fortune, time and grace–find within ourselves the capacity to forgive those whom we feel inflicted our agonizing injuries.” (p. 286) With this courageous, conscious acceptance, the repetition compulsion, like the past, loses its power over us in the present.”
    How eloquent this is!
    TTSP, you say:
    “I want to escape this self-defeating behavior.” This is perhaps your first step towards healing!
    “IDK about you but I feel particular resentful toward mine and we both know what resentments due to people struggling with addiction.”
    Ahem, but of course you do. LOL. This is very normal.
    I understand your jealousy of his lifestyle and good luck. From where you stand it looks like he has it “made”.
    “His life has been blessed with weddings, honeymoons, nice homes, respect and grandeur from relatives and peers, grandiose vacations traveling the world, several high end luxury cars in the garage, rolex watches, the nicest things money can buy.”
    Lucky guy! And how hard for you to be on the ‘outside” of all that looking in and yet to be his intimate lover as well. You get to share his body and mind but not his stuff and his real life.
    Can you see how unfair that might feel to ANY woman? How ANY person male or female might feel?
    I really think for most “normally-wired people” jealousy is a REAL human emotion we must deal with. Recovering alcoholics can not make jealousy or lust or greed or any other of a host of “negative” emotions just vanish! It is so important we FEEL them and admit to feeling them. But we do not have to ACT on them. Acting on them is usually not a good idea. But ‘having” them? This is part of being human! Like I just said above:
    we extra marital lovers (wither sex) are on the ‘outside” of our lover’s lives; we are outside looking in and yet we are their intimate lovers as well. W get to share their body and their mind FOR A FEW BRIEF SLICES OF TIME, but NOT their real lives Nor any of their “real stuff”. Their cars, their houses, their vacations, their weekends, their kids, etc. etc.
    Many many people might not like this. Think about it.
    “The material stuff is less enviable but never having to experience extreme loneliness or depression thinking you’re alone bc there is something terribly wrong with you.”
    Do you mean he has never had loneliness or depression?
    This part I rather doubt being the wise old woman I have become, lol.
    But to your eyes it might appear that way.
    Last summer I could not get over my exMM’s new (leased) Lexus and the way his W would walk over to that car like she was the cat’s meow. Grrrrrr. They both looked so “happy” to me. And when they walked hand in hand going down my street I felt like I had daggers attacking my heart. It was AWFUL.
    But this summer I do not give a crap because I now see his narcissism (and probably hers) for what it is. I want no part of it.
    TTSP, Don’t try to stuff your feelings even the less pleasant ones. Better to journal every morning: just write down everything that pops into your head and let it go. I have never even read half go the stuff I have journaled like this. But I DID have so much anger and resentment for a long time.
    But it has faded away.
    “His happiness is my misery”
    Oh I so understand that!
    You are not a crappy person because you feel those feelings for him. You are a NORMAL woman in an affair and the situation is making you feel these things because the situation is very “unfair.”
    Did you really think your would enjoy “sharing” someone’s spouse? And not get upset? Of course you are upset! But you can learn to let it go with time. Here is what you must find however: the hidden PERKS for you that got you into the situation. What is the pay off for you? There has to be a nice pay off for you or you would not be with a MM.
    SO what is the payoff?
    Is it a big enough incentive for you to remain in the affair? We may not have intended to fall in love with married people but this does not really matter. What matters is what we decide to do Ince in the situation, once in “love”. Do we stay or do we go?
    This is the huge price we pay for the affair:
    “I have to remember the depression, feeling inferior, not good enough, lonely, shameful, frustrated, jealous and every ugly emotion you can fathom. If we didn’t work in the same organization I’d go nuclear and cut him out like he didn’t exist. I would never ever talk to him again. Since I’ll have to face him until he leaves or I leave I need to act like a professional, poised and respectful employee. No emotions or personal connection whatsoever.”
    Well you are not a robot!
    You WILL have emotions. But you can make some decisions about what to do when you feel ready.
    You are not “rambling”!
    Yes we must meditate and we must pray and also remember we are not super humans and we are not robots. Make sure you have a very loving HP that you rely on. A “punishing” one is not a good one for this situation.
    You are making huge growth TTSP!
    Do not despair and do not give up finding a solution that you can live with. And remember: This Too Shall Pass. 🙂
    Many hugs
    BAF
    xx00

  • Lois

    Update. MM and I met this afternoon. I was so excited to get to see him. I assured him that I had no expectations only wanted to see him and talk about things. He was waiting on me when I arrived. He got out of his truck and I went over to meet him. I wanted so badly to rin over and give him a big hug. Instead I asked if it was okay for me to give him a hug. He said why sure. We talked for about an hour. He somewhat told his wife what happened but things have been pretty good with her. We talked about work, etc. We both kind of bested around the bush about us. I explained that I understood he is still grieving and worrying about us has been the least of his concerns. However, I didnt want to wait around if he thought it wasn’t going anywhere with us. I told him that given the situation that feelings could have changed, the situation changed, etc but I didn’t expect him to feel obligated to be with me. He said right now his emotions are too full and needed time to get his mental state back to normal. He said he’s getting there and this week feels like he has turned a corner with feeling more peace. He said if hus feelings change he will be honest bit for right now he wants to get through all of this. We walked to our cars and hugged him goodbye. I asked if we could meet again. He said certainly. I jokingly said well maybe next time you be back to your old self. He laughed and said hopefully. He said he missed me. I kisses him on the cheek and told him thanks for meeting me. Guess we will see what happens.

  • lois

    MM and I are supposed to meet later today, so will keep you posted. Thanks for all of your support and advice. It has been difficult and being able to share my thoughts and emotions have been and will continue to be greatly appreciated.

  • lois

    I figured it would be easier to start a new thread to answer some of your questions. MM told his wife that another employee had filed discrimination allegations. He said she actually took things better than he expected. Since he resigned, I believe he has led her to believe that he was not being supported by management as the reason for his decision to leave…not sure because we not have spoken in person since all of this happened. I have only seen him once at his funeral home. From what I have been told, MM took his wife to a conference when he first started and the perception of her was not very well taken because she supposedly very rude to everyone. I do not know…some people act awkward in group settings…so who knows.

    I actually did not have any intention on contacting MM today but made a spur of a moment decision to send him a text to say hi. He responded. He told me that he was dong pretty good and felt a bit of peace…the most he had felt in weeks. I replied that it was awesome news. I made a joke it was probably because he though he had gotten rid of me. he replied…it was probably from being away from all of the drama and chaos. He followed up with that it was a general statement and not direction toward me. We chatted a bit and kind of joked around. He told me that I knew he missed me. From that point, he has not responded to my other messages. it is hard to be in this position but like all of you have said…the uncertainty is always there with affairs. I am not sure that I want to give it up and may not have a choice if that is what he chooses. I am in limbo right now but it can go several ways: 1. we can continue the affair; 2. he may end the affair; or 3. time and distance may help me to end the affair. I honestly do not know…I would very much like to see him in person and earlier this week he said we could later in the week…not sure that will happen. I truly miss him but do not have that agonizing gut wrenching feeling in my stomach that has been there for the past several days. It does help talking with all of you because you are voices of reasoning…sometimes we do not think about things, so it is nice to other’s views and opinions. We shall see what happens. Thanks again.

    • Felk

      Lois, no matter how much your MM downplays the situation about his resignation to his W, I’m sure he’s worried about her suspicions and he’s hoping that will all blow over. Even if it seems that she is taking it well, put yourself in the situation. If my H told me this story, I’d have ALL kinds of questions. My point is just that I’m sure it’s adding to your MM’s struggle and he’s waiting for things to calm down. From what you say from his text today, it sounds like things have calmed a bit for him, but I’m sure they’re still rather rough.

      It sounds like it was good to have a little conversation with him today, but it sounds like you’re still unsure about where you two stand. My guess is that he will still want to continue the affair, but that he still just needs some space and needs to come to you (on his own time). As you said to BAF, you don’t know how long you’re willing to wait. As long as you’re willing to wait, though, it’s best to not push him. I would even let it go as far as seeing him this week. I know you REALLY want to see him this week, but he knows this. He knows you miss him. He knows you’re struggling. He knows he mentioned the possibility of seeing you this week. Now, it is up to him to make that plan. I would give him that space, and if he doesn’t offer that this week, be patient and ask again at another time.

      My MM is back. Not entirely but mostly. I gave him A LOT of space. A very difficult amount of space. It hurt a lot. But, all along, I knew the space was what we needed if we were going to maintain any sort of relationship. I knew it wouldn’t work to push it given how much turmoil he felt last year. He needed a break. He needed to get control of his marriage and feel that was back on track. (Just as Nomad’s MM needed before he came back to her.) I’m sure our MM are different in a lot of ways, but they do seem similar in their need for privacy and space. They like to deal with things on their own. The need to feel control in their marriage/family before they can be available to us. It is hard, but what more can we expect from an affair? We know they have to prioritize their family. We’d expect no less. But, your MM keeps coming back to you. My MM has come back to me. I don’t know if your MM will come back again. But I do know that he needs space and that is the best way to allow him to come back. I also know that you can’t keep waiting. It is miserable waiting. But, it sounds like you are not ready to end the relationship so… you wait.

      • lois

        Hey, Felk. You are right about many things that I have not even considered. He did tell me when all of this happened that we could have to cool things for awhile…forgot about him telling me that. I honestly cannot imagine the hell is has been going through and trying to keep it all together. In the past, we have tried to end things but always seemed to get back together. However, I think some of that was because we worked together. Before his brother passed, he told me that he still wanted me in his life but he had to be there for his brother and get through the resignation of his position. The passing of his brother really hit him hard and totally understand. We have talked and he told me that he was going to have to get through things and heal. I told him that I hoped that did not mean healing and not wanting me…he replied I do not think that will happen. Of course, this was a few weeks ago and things have changed…he may not have been in a good place at that time to really know what he wanted. We are supposed to meet later today. I am worried how the conversation will go; but as you said as well as others, I have no control over the situation. I truly do understand he needs time and space to heal. It’s just hard and sometimes is overwhelming being on the outside. I will let you know how things go. Thanks again

    • BAF

      Dear Lois,
      Thank you for your answers! Some things are clearer for me. Others still not.
      For example:
      You mention he told his W the issue was “discrimination charges”. What sort do you mean? Sexual? racial?
      Hmmm. And his wife never asked any more?
      I find that rather odd.
      Many times (I have found) when employees in a place (who spend many hours together) generally agree that a wife is “offish” with her husband in some kind of public event, it is because the wife is already suspicious (!) something is going on at work. I have seen more than once this in fact. The wife suspects the employees (many of whom might be attractive females) of knowing things she does NOT know and can not ask, But an affair IS going on and she can sense it through her female radar.
      See what I mean? Then the W acts all weird around her H or offish in general at. an emplyoyee function. This is often because she might not trust him already at work.
      But she has no concrete “proof” yet.
      Many betrayed spouses of both genders know something is “up” but they can’t point to any “proof”.
      (Until they go a betrayed person’s forum and/or blog where they all share tips on catching the cheating spouse! YES!! This exists all over the internet!

      So I wonder: Did the W ever suspect her H of having the first affair with your once “friend”? I have a feeling she did. Or maybe you said this already?

      It does not mean she confronted him however. Women who suspect they might be cheated on might not want to accuse their H’s without good cause. The betrayed spouse does not want the cheater to fall even more deeply into the arms of an attractive employee. See what I mean? Try to always see everything from the W’s side too and never ever believe all a married person ever says about their spouse!~ Never!
      In affairs we ALL lie.
      I am not saying this to say you should leave your affair.
      I am saying this to say to you that the golden rule of all affairs is this:|
      In affairs we ALL lie.We all lie. All of us lie when in affairs. We HAVE to! Their is no affair without the lies.

      Second point is this:
      I am still not understanding something:
      You say:
      “I thought my coworker was my friend but since all of this have realized she is a very miserable person who has allowed anger, hate, hurt take her down a very dark path. I was totally wrong about this person and she has really hurt me.”
      Since those are strong feelings I am still trying to understand what this woman do to YOU personally that makes you feel this way? Did I miss something?
      What did she do to YOU? Or are you angry at her because she took actions that forced the MM leave your workplace? And you could not stope her? And she would not listen to you?
      I am wondering why you think she would listen to you if she did not know you were having an affair with the MM too?
      In other words, maybe in her mind she felt wronged by a married man and rose to “tell the truth” like another incident from “Me Too Movement”?. She may have felt very empowered by putting his inappropriate behavior and even expected your support as a fellow female?
      I am just guessing here.
      Speculating.
      Now that I am no longer in an affair I have time to so this.
      🙂
      We think our affairs are in a vacuum but of course they never are.
      Affairs are so multilayered and complex but one of the many great ironies is that we women might turn on each other. For example:
      An otherwise “independent” “feminist” type like like myself somehow found a way to believe a man’s stories about his married life and complaints about his W. And not question it too too much. Ahem.
      That was truly “cognitive dissonance” but damn if I wanted to see that.
      I kept myself blind as a bat and in denial.
      The fog and the brain chemicals do this to us.

      Anyhow I look forward to your answers.
      Again I seriously doubt you need to wonder if your affair is over at the moment.
      I think the REST of the mish mash of issues all around you both is a real handful however.
      Stay strong Lois!
      I know it is easy for me to say having left my exMM but trust me when I say he is NOT ALL THAT!
      You might choose to stay in or you might choose to leave.
      No matter what the affair partner is NOT ALL THAT!
      Only the fog in our affair brains repeatedly tells us otherwise. And of course our brain on these drugs.
      Many hugs to you
      BAF
      xxx000

      • lois

        Hey, BAF. My coworker betrayed me in several ways. First, she has kept me an emotional hostage for a very long time. She allowed what happened in the affair with MM to get the best of her. She may legitimately feel he did her wrong. I do understand her desire to want everyone to know he is not the person he portrays because I felt this way about her. The difference is that I am not letting all of this change who I am. She has a tendency to interrupt and exaggerate things. She and I had words because I told her what she did was wrong. She refused to leave my office and it became very heated. She in return told people that I turned this situation around to be about me and even went to HR that I threatened to hit her which is was a total lie. For years, I have been the person that could talk to and calm her down when she would get upset. She is very sensitive person and always has drama going on in her life with someone. She accused him of holding her back from doing her job because they had an affair. Basically it was retaliation except truthfully it was the other way around, and she has been the one. She alleged he leaked confidential information which she did all of the time. I think he tell his department about a couple of things but felt he could trust his employees to keep an eye out on things.

        I am not sure about MM wife and what he actually told her because I have not seen him to know much only the little we have communicated about things. She may have suspicions. I would question my husband but maybe she purposely turns a blind eye and is very much aware of the situation. I have no clue. As far as how we tend to be denial, I do agree with you because there are things that do not necessarily add up and make me question things such as his illness, etc. I like being the relationship with him. I do not expect him to ever leave his wife and family. So, I do not question things anymore because it really does not matter to me. I know that sounds pathetic but I have no intent making him my life partner, so let it bother me.

        • BAF

          Lois,
          Thank you for the clarity regarding what your co-worker did to you personally. I am amazed she did not sense (by your words to her that what she was doing was the wrong thing) that you are also involved with the MM.
          Why would she claim the whole thing became “all about you” if she did not suspect your affair?
          Also are you saying she kept HIM back from doing his job not the the way around?
          Obviously this is a very sticky situation.
          Knowledge would give her huge ammunition of course.
          I would be very careful of her (My free advice which you probably don’t need)
          I am sorry to hear she also reported you to HR. Did HR take any helpful actions on your behalf? Or on her behalf?
          Anyhow the damage is done and now your MM is no longer in your firm where you could be near to him.
          I still don’t understand how this was a “discrimination” issue.
          You mean the leaking fo the personal info?
          How long were the two of them involved? Do you know if there are any other women in your workplace that had an affair with him too?
          It sounds like overall you don’t care much one way or another about he is previous affair/s.
          You say you are happy to be in the relationship.
          And you are waiting to talk with him.
          I am sure it is hard for you to handle your feelings towards her since she seems like she was the the force behind this consequence.
          When affairs are workplace ones and when people in them leave the work location of course that changes everything. Now the access for the two affair partner is less easy.
          So of course you would feel unsure about the relationship.
          Hugs,
          BAF
          xxxooo

  • LIFELESSONS

    Hello…

    He called me Monday when he got off work, we didnt talk long at all. He said he had to call me back. I said ok! He called Monday night after his lodge meeting and I pushed the ignore button. I sent him a message about 30mins later when I thought he was home and said, sorry my phone froze up when I tried to answer. That wasnt true but I didnt want him to get upset because I didnt answer and I didnt feel like talking to him (I was moody, it was best for both of us). He called me today (Tuesday) around 3 when I was about to get off work but he said, sorry babe I have to go in this meeting I will call you back.

    He called back around 9p, I asked him why he didnt come over Saturday. He said, Babe come onnnnnnn. I said what, he said you know it didnt work out and sometimes it happens like that. I said well what happened, he said you didnt get home until almost 11p and I said, no I didnt, I got home around 10:20ish if that. He said, babe it was almost 11p and I said, But it wasnt…I just want to know why you didnt come over, you didnt call me until almost 10p and I got home by 10:30 so how did you plan to come over. He said, babe come onnnnn, I was coming but you were not home. I said, but I was home before you got home we actually got home almost around the same time. He said, I called you at 7 and I said, no 6:30 he said, babe stop that, ok I called 6:30 & you told me you were headed somewhere. I said, but you told me that you were going to get cleaned up and do a few things around the house and call me back, and you called back 3.5 hrs later, which I knew it would be later thats why I stayed at my moms house until you called. He said, yea but if you were home I couldve come right around there at 9 something when I called you. I said, so you were coming over for an hour ? He said, Babe are you serious and I said, well…If i was home when you called you wouldve gotten to my house at 9:45 but you went back home about 10:20 no later than 10:30 sooooo, you wouldve had less than an hour at my house, was that your plan ?*** we both dramatized the time a little because it takes me 25mins to get home from my moms house*** He said, babe listen our timing just didnt work out this time, the timing was off for both of us babe. I said, you know what I think is happening…there is a lot of miscommunication on both our parts. I explained to him how I couldve communicated with him better and how he couldve communicated with me better…I said, I asked you about your time frame for a reason and if you had given me a frame of reference I couldve been back home in time, going forward I think it makes more sense for us to be direct with each other and provide details, I am not sure how that will work because its not a strenght of either of us, especially when it comes to dealing with each other but, I think we should try. He said, I agree. I said, my cycle showed up today, and I seen it since May. He said, oh your cycle is scary. I said, it could be but I know my cycle is irregular and it has been like that for a while, I have to take bcontrol pills in order to regulate it…besides, I havent been involved in any risky behavior (he has had a vasectomy and we use protection ALL the time) that would cause me to worry. He said, true! I mumbeled under my breath…”I guess I will have to wait 60 days and 60 night” he said, I heard you and I have to wait just as long as you do so I understand the struggle…I said, I cant tell but if you say so…I guess! He said, babe honestly the timing has to be right. He said, I dont want her calling me while Im with you, it will mess up my entire vibe. He said, if you think about it, when I come to spend time with you I never look at the phone until I am leaving, the last time my phone was off until I left you, remember ?! I said, yea. He said, I had the work phone that day but I told you the only numbers I have in that phone is hers and yours and I knew she wasnt calling because my plan was together and it was no need for her to call. I said, well again, more reason why we MUST do a better job at communicating…I told him, I have learned more about myself in this short time that him and I have been together vs the long term relationship I had with my ex. I told him, I use to think I was right most of the time in that relationship (i believed I was right because he was a cheater and I felt like I treated him much better than he treated me, for ex; if we argued about him going out with his friends, i felt like it wasnt my fault that I didnt trust what he said, because he was a liar and a cheater) I rarely took responsibility for the role I played
    I use to tell my ex, he was a horrible communicator and I felt I was always the one to communicate with him. I told MM I realize, I am not right all the time and I do not communicate in a direct way, my communication skills are a little sucky…he said, youre the smartest woman I know and I said are you being facetious and he said no I am serious, he said did you hear what you said and I said of course I did…I am NOT always right and just because I love to talk/talk a lot, doesnt mean I am a good communicator. He said, I have never met a woman, who admitted that. I said, I want to grow and in order for me to do that, I believe I have to be reflective and honest….

    ****BTW…The first thing he asked, when we got on the phone was, is everything ok with your phone, I almost forgot I told him my phone froze up (there really is something wrong with my phone but not when he called me) so when he asked, I paused for a second and then replied. I am not a good liar, its not my strength lol. He said, he would give me his phone, he just got a new one but its nothing wrong with the old one. I said, you dont have to do that, he said you have to have a working phone. I said, its up to you, if you want to give it to me….
    When we got off the phone, he said I will call you tomorrow. I said, ok! He said, did you hear what I said, I said yes. He said, I am doing better, I didnt say I am going to call you right back because its already 10p and I am going in the house so I will not be able to call you until tomorrow. I said, look at you…thanks for your honesty. He was very proud of that!

    I still do not plan to call him or text him. I will not ignore his calls or text but I dont want to initiate contact for a few days because I feel like I need to fall back just a little and take some of my power back. I have been reaching out to him and seeking attention and he hasnt been the most available lately, so I just need to relax a little and not be so anxious and I feel this will help me…it may even be a little immature on my part but I will feel better knowing, I have some self control and am able to set a “tiny boundary” for myself…considering I struggle with boundaries….

    Am I making sense at all ?
    Is this silly ?
    Honestly, what do you think ????

    • Felk

      LL, sounds like a good conversation with your MM. Yes, you make sense and, no, you’re not silly. I like that you held him accountable for the lack of clear communication. I know he doesn’t want to be held down to specific times, as I’m sure that’s difficult when you have a W and kids at home; but, at the same time, you deserve respect for your time and planning is difficult in an affair. It’s also great that you take responsibility for your own communication issues. You know that you’re also making assumptions and not clear in communication because you don’t want to be vulnerable. While understandable, it can lead to more miscommunication and frustration. It sounds like your MM responded well, and it sounds like he appreciates how thoughtful you are about the situation. That bodes well.

      What stood out to me in your message, too, was the part about your MM getting honest about how the timing has to be right. He said that a few times initially (without offering more details), but, as you pushed, he finally explained that the timing has to be right for the excuse he’s set up with his W. I think it’s something that we probably don’t think about enough in affairs, but, of course, just as you have set up your end to make sure no one catches you, he has to set up his side of it to make sure his W doesn’t get suspicious. I didn’t always know the lies my MM told to reduce his W’s suspicion. I just assumed he was taking care of it on his end (as I was on mine). For your MM, one thing he’s trying to make sure of is that his W doesn’t call when he’s with you. I’m sure that’s true for many reasons, but he was honest about how he doesn’t want it to take him out of the moment with you. My MM was the same way. He would try to create the situation where his W wouldn’t contact him when we were together, but sometimes she did. Sometimes it was no big deal, but sometimes it was a call he had to take or a text he had to return and it was a distraction for him. But this is part of the trust that’s necessary in affairs. You have to trust that your other is making choices to sustain the affair, and, when things don’t go the way you’re hoping, you have to trust that there’s a good reason for it. I believed that during my affair. My MM did, too. Only on rare occasions did we ask the other for more detail because we were feeling blown off or dismissed. I think it’s fair to ask (as you did), but, for the most part, we have to trust. Not only do you probably not want to hear about the reasons (that he had to spend time with W), but he doesn’t want to tell you about the reasons. He wants to keep it separate, just as you do. So, I’m definitely not saying you shouldn’t ask sometimes (asking shows him that you will not allow yourself to be taken for granted), but mainly you have to trust if you want to have a good relationship and you don’t want to be miserable all of the time.

      I don’t see anything wrong with taking a few days for yourself. It seems healthy if you need a break or you simply need to feel control. Setting boundaries in any relationship is pretty important. Like you said, you’re not going to ignore his calls or texts, but you’re just going to give yourself a little room this week. Seems smart.

      • LIFELESSONS

        Felk,

        He didnt call me yesterday and for the first time in a while, I was ok with it until. This morning when I thought about it, my mind tried to go to a place that I didnt want it to go to lol. I was thinking, hmmm has he found someone else to talk to on Wednesdays after his lodge meeting…but then I told myself to stop it, I knew he had a long work day Tuesday and he told me he had to be to work early on Weds and I knew it was his lodge meeting day. Which meant he had a long day 2 days in a row. I had an all day training yesterday and went to Happy Hour after. Once I got home, I talked to my son for a while (my daughter is out of town with my mom) and went off to his room to play his game. A friend from work called and I talked with her until it was time for bed. Its not as if I had a lot of time to talk to him. However, I got up this morning with those thoughts of why I didnt talk to him…

        I was able to talk myself out of the negative thoughts. I sometimes have a negative way of thinking in general and not just pertaining to him. I think its has to do with my insecurities and lack of confidence. I am aware of it, so sometimes I am able to see it as just that and revamp my way of thinking. It doesnt always happen that way but I try lol.
        I am on my way to another ALL day training and my thoughts are clear at this point…

        • Felk

          LL, I’m glad you were able to go without texting/calling your MM, even though it was hard that he went all day without calling. I think it was the right choice if you’re trying to take a step back. Even if it’s hard, it’s good to see how you feel with that distance. And even if it doesn’t feel very good not to talk to him, it’s good for keeping expectations in check. Of course, don’t play games. Don’t intentionally not call or not text to test him. But, if you’re needing a break or want some self-control, no harm in not calling/texting for a few days. Also, you said you’d respond if he called or texted you. You’re not ignoring him. You’re just taking a small step back for perspective or your own well-being. I would do that periodically throughout my affair. Sometimes I would focus on how he wasn’t contacting me and I’d be pretty disappointed. Other times, it seems he’d notice (without saying anything) and he’d give me even more attention than usual. Point is, its unpredictable how he’ll respond so do it for you and try not to worry about what he is/isn’t doing.

          Isn’t it funny how your mind can go to jealousy immediately when he doesn’t call you for one day? There were so many times I had to talk myself down from jealousy when I didn’t hear from my MM when I had hoped to. But, I tried to stay rational and remind myself that he was in love with me (and he really was/is). One day without a call from your MM does not mean that he’s found someone else to talk to. Even if he has other female friends (as he said he has), the effort he puts into your affair shows that his focus is on you.

          From your other post, I see your comments of self-pity and why he wasn’t giving you more attention. I had more of those than I can count. Yet another great part of affairs… wishing for more that you can’t have and wondering why he wasn’t doing more to contact you/see you. But… as you did, I eventually reminded myself of all the things he did for me. All the times he put in effort to see me and take risks. I reminded myself of how an affair prevents the level of attention we wish we could have, and tried to remember the evidence of all the attention he did give me. And, honestly, there is an element of recognizing that affairs sustain this level of “missing” that normal relationships do not. In other words, part of what we like so much about affairs is that we are so excited and eager to see this other person. We enjoy being with that person so much exactly because we can’t be with them all of the time; but the flip side is that there’s sadness and anxiety because we can’t be with them all of the time. 🙂

          I don’t think your negative thoughts are unusual in this situation. I think affairs have built-in insecurity and trust issues, and so I think it’s pretty normal for us to get anxious and jealous in these situations. Put it on the long list of hard things in an affair! What’s good is how you don’t get overwhelmed by the jealousy and you try to focus on the other things you have to do. Of course, I don’t know you entirely and it’s possible that you have some insecurity/confidence issues in general and this makes it worse, but, as a confident person, I can tell you that I felt insecurity throughout my affair. It is probably the nicest thing to be free from since our break-up. Of course, immediately after the break-up the insecurity was sky high, but then it calmed down and now it’s nearly gone. It’s a nice feeling.

          Because I feel so much better, I’m trying to be careful in this new version of whatever my MM and I are doing. It’s seemed we were getting closer and more comfortable over the last few months, and, after that date night two weeks ago, it seems he wants a little more. I want that, too. We talked a bit yesterday and we’re going to talk more again soon, but my read after yesterday is that he knows the same problems exist as before but he seems less troubled by them and more interested in getting close (again). I hope we can talk honestly about how we can do this “better” and how we can avoid some of the pitfalls that got us to the badness of last September. I know there are no magic solutions. It’s an affair. There are tough things. But there are ways to do this better.

          I also think we’ll have sex soon enough. I want this, but I also don’t want what happened in January when we had sex and then he panicked. I know he’s free to react how he needs to, but I also know that I can do A LOT better than I did in January. That sex came from desperation because we were still in the thick of the pain from the break-up. Now, I don’t feel desperate. I feel that I can take my time and talk about what works for us. I can be patient (I have been patient). I know he wants to be with me. But, in all of that rational thinking, I know that when he and I get into a room and he touches me, it will be hard to slow down. He knows it, too. He said as much yesterday. As I say all along, though, think about what you want and do what’s necessary to get to that. Right now, I want a continued, sustained relationship. If delaying (or not having) sex is necessary, I think I can do that.

          • LIFELESSONS

            Felk,

            I definitely think you and MM will become intimate again. Its just a matter of time.Hopefully, both of you will be able to manage it better than before because you have had time to see what went right and what didnt go so right. I just think sex complicate things. It takes over the logical compartment in the brain lol but seriously sex does have a tendency to complicate things…you two really love each other and want to sustain a relationship and I think no matter what you both will keep trying at it…sex or no sex!

            I had a training today, it was led by one of the most arrogant men I have ever seen in my life. He led tje training yesterday and today. After the training, i needed a whole bottle of wine!

            However, I digressed so i went home and rest for a few minute before I dropped my son and MM’s son off to practice. I hadnt talk to him today but I was thinking about him and thinking about what you said about not knowing what stories he has to come up with in order to set things up with his W. I was thinking about how our communication has been over the past few weeks, I was thinking about how many times I address him put a lot of focus on what he wasnt doing and I just got into a space of wanting to see him. I was missing him!! So, I decided to go to the field to see if he had a softball game (I couldnt remember if today was the championship game or last week). His games are on Thursdays and I go as often as I can. Well, I got there and I didnt see his car at first but when I drove around, I saw it. I parked next to him and I started thinking, what if someone else is here to see him play and I laughed at myself because I knew that wasnt true. I am the only one who comes to his games. Once I walked over to the field, I could see him and he saw me. I watched until the end and they WON, i was excited for their victory because they sucked almost all season. I went back to my car to wait for him. He came over and he said Babe, we won the championship can you believe that and I said, are you serious, I thought you were losing all season he said we were but the past 2 weeks we came back and we won the championship. He was so excited by it. I dont even know a lot about softball but I watch him play and listen to him talk about it. He said I didnt know you were coming, I said, neither did I my car felt it was necessary to come to this field so it brought me here and we laughed. I said, this was the 1st thursday all summer that i havent had her so I could come by myself plus I wanted to tell you something. I said but first… you didnt call me yesterday, he said I had lodge meeting, I said i know. I said, Babe thats not what I wanted to tell you but I am so impulsive at times so I couldnt help myself , I just had to say it. He said, i told you we have new lodge men and we typically hang out after the meetings to welcome the new guys, he said it was too late to call you, I got home around 2am. He said, you dont have to act like that when I dont call you babe. I said, I know i know. Im trying not to believe it or not. I said, well here is what I wanted to tell you…
            ” I know the past few weeks, i have been talking about feelings (he put his head down as if to say oh boy here we go again) I said, Babe please lift your head up and look at me, its not something like that. He looked up…I said,” ok, well I know I have been focusing on some of the negatives and telling about what youre not doing but I wanted to tell you face to face how much I appreciate what you are doing ” I said, I know its not always easy, trying to juggle your work life, mason stuff, W, your kids and youre own “U time”, I knw its not easy comming up with whatever stories you have to tell your W in order to spend time with and I am sure this can be challenging or frustrating and I just wanted you to know that I do appreciate ALL of your efforts over this past year and a half. He said, aw man I appreciate that so much, you just dont know how much I appreciate that. He said it with a little smirk and I said, Babe are being serious or is this sarcasm and he said, No I am not being sarcastic, I am appreciative of that and we looked at each other and laughed. I said, Babe when will I get my bday gift and he said, I dont have it on me. I said, am I ever going to get it. He said, babe listen I wanted to present it to you in a certain way. He said, its nothing big or anything but I didnt want to just say, here you go and hand it to you. I want to do something nice, at least take you out to dinner and present it to you there. I said, oh thats sweet, do you want me to stop asking you about it. He said, it doesnt bother me, i just didnt want to hand it to you. I said, ok I understand! I am just curious about what it is….

            He asked me about the lodge gathering theyre having next month. I told him I dont think I am going. I said, the only way I could go is if a friend of mine would go with me because I dont want to feel like I have to talk to or sit with your W the entire time. He said, I understand but its a lot of people there. I said, yea but I dont really wan to be there without my own friends…dont want your W to think her and I are friends. He said, she keeps telling me to make sure I get you a ticket. I said, I just think its too weird….
            We talked about a few other things and hugged/kissed and called it a night.

  • Lois

    Whew yesterday was one of most difficult days and cried most of the afternoon. For the past few months, I tried to be my coworkers voice of reasoning in her seeking revenge. She said GOD spike to her and enough was enough, so she he told her to obedient and MM would be taken down for all of the lies and hurt he has caused her. So I’ve been an emotional hostage for months. I was put in a bad situation. I felt horrible for betraying my friend but felt MM needed to know her hatred and hurt was coming to a head. It’s too complicated to get into details but my friend betrayed and lied to me as well. She allowed her feelings of hate to consume her. God didn’t tell her to take revenge so my faith has also been tested in all of this. There has been lots of things that have since come out that has caused me great pain as well as the stress of trying to keep from her doing what she did. Please kniw, I thought it was all working until but she waited until I was on vacation. I contacted MM yesterday. Told him I was having very bad day and struggling because I miss him so much. He asked why…said maybe insecurity…not sure. He says he misses me and apologize for my struggles. He said maybe the end of week we could get together. I haven’t contacted him since. Normally I text him to wish him a good day. I’m just not there…I’m mentally exhausted from all of it, so I do empathize what he’s going through. Why put his number on my sPam list…not sure why because I check every once in awhile. Maybe it helps me by think I have some control. I am not sure whether I wil be contacting him or wait to hear from him. I’m really confused tired of hurting. I truly can’t imagine what he’s going through. I’m just trying to process everything and have taken advice to not let his problems have too much control over mine. It’s easier said than done. I thought he needed me to help him through everything but have since realized he doesn’t necessarily need me. I have to focus on my well being because I have been really hurt and have allowed my emotions to consume me. I dont hated, hurt and resentment to cloud my judgement and take me down a dark path like my friend. None of this feelings are directed toward MM…some hurt but it’s because of my friend and couple of others who I trusted. Like I said it’s complicated. All I can do us hope tomorrow will be better and move forward because like many of you said. I don’t have control over this situation. I can’t force him to be with me and will not beg him to see me. I just have to work through this tough time and see what happens. Thanks everyone!

    • Felk

      Lois, does your coworker know about your affair with your MM? I can’t remember if she knew about yours, too. I hope not. It sounds like she’s in a bad place, but we definitely know that people can get vengeful after a break-up. And we know the addiction of the affair and how that break-up can be particularly bad. I know your loyalties were torn between your friend and your MM. I don’t know the right thing to do in that situation. These affairs put us in sticky situations, especially if we work with our MM.

      So, your MM is gone from your workplace, right? When is the last time you saw him? I understand you’re missing him, and it’s good you were honest with him if you were feeling it that strongly and you needed him. It sounds like he responded well. It also sounds like it continues to be a really hard situation where you don’t feel much control over the situation. It’s a terrible feeling. And I know what you mean about putting him on your Spam list but still checking it. That does give you some control. It lets you see messages when you’re ready and not have them pop up and surprise you. Little things like that can offer some relief, although, as you know, not very much.

      I think one of the hardest things for your situation now is not knowing. Thing is, your MM doesn’t know either. When my MM and I broke up, we talked a fair amount about the situation and how we were feeling but he said a lot of “I don’t know.” That was hard. But it was probably better, for me, than him saying definitively, “We can’t be friends and we can’t have any more contact outside of work.” You think you want an answer one way or another, but, right now, you really just want an answer one way… that he wants to be with you. So, pushing a conversation or pushing for an answer might lead you to an answer you don’t want (although getting an answer in the negative now will help you heal faster). If you really do just want an answer one way or another, then have that conversation. Ask directly. But if you want the affair to continue, give him space and time. It will hurt A LOT. The addiction is making you go through withdrawal and you’re scared that he might be done. That is painful stuff. But, like you, I never wanted to force my MM to be with me and I never begged him to see me. There were times I told him I needed to talk, and he always responded well. Hopefully your MM will do the same.

      • Lois

        Felk. Thank you so much for your response. I learned a long timeto never give someone ammunition that could hurt you, so my friend coworker didn’t know about the affair. I told her we flirted but he didn’t want me. I have told one person who is a friend of mine..she’s a dr clinical couseling. She has helped me a great deal and know she would never betray me. The last time mm and I were together was July 1st befire my vacation. He contacted while I was on vacation to tell me what my friend had done. So it was quite difficult to not let it bother me on vacation. We were going to get to meet up since he resigned his position but his brother took turn the worse. The last time I saw him was at his brothers visitation July 22. Then he went on vacation with his family. I texted a couple of times and no response so figured he needed space and left him alone. A couple days later he texted me. Said he missed me and still wanted me in his life but had to get through everything. He came home and flirted some but then I think the numbness wore off and he saif his brother had left him and siblings a letter. This really sent him spiraling downhill. He is really struggling with things. Like you said, I have two optins and have forced an answer before which didn’t go my way. When he feels pressured, he runs the other way. I haven’t texted him at all today and not sure if I will. I feel badly because I don’t want him to think I’m mad at him because he has enough on his plate. I am just not in a good place and right now I’m not hurting like I waa yesterday. I don’t want to text and not get a response or get my hopes up and be let down again. I’m just cant do it right now. Is that wrong of me?

        • Felk

          Lois, I know you’re in a tough spot of having to sit on the sidelines while he works out his stuff, but that’s one of the problems with affairs… it’s his stuff. It’s not your stuff together. I know you wish he’d work it out with you, but he doesn’t seem that type of person. He seems to withdraw into himself when he is struggling. I know how it’s scary for you right now, wondering if your affair can continue given his job and life changes, but we know that affairs are insecure relationships that don’t have the promise of commitment and longevity (that marriages typically have). The insecurity is brutal. But, if you know he runs away when pressured (as my MM does), you know that you shouldn’t pressure.

          During the affair and after, I often got in my head about talking myself into contacting my MM so that he didn’t think I was mad at him or so that he knew that I was available for support or because I didn’t want to seem like I was playing games. Sure, contacting them comes from a genuine place of caring, but, in these circumstances, I think it also comes from insecurity and needing contact/reassurance from our MM. So, as you decide whether or not to text him, think about why you are texting him and think about its impact on you. First, if you are hurting and not in a good place, it seems best not to text. That was a lesson I learned in the break-up (and it definitely helped). He takes the space he needs, shouldn’t you? If you are genuinely not texting because it’s not good for you right now, then that is a good reason not to text. (However, if you are not texting because you’re hoping to make him miss you, that’s less good.) We spend so much time worrying about what our MM will think about us. We spend so much time trying to manage their impression of us. It is something that I have thought about a lot in this break-up, especially related to texting and e-mail. You say you are worried your MM will think you’re mad at him if you don’t text him every day, but shouldn’t you have the freedom to go a few days without contacting him without him thinking that? We trick ourselves into all sorts of fear and worry that arises from the insecurity, but try to take a step back and think about what is fair and reasonable for you in this situation. My guess is that your MM would understand if you needed some time to think, too. Second, why do you want to text him? Is it just to get that connection with him that you’re missing? Or is it genuine caring for another person with no agenda and no expectations for a response? It’s probably both, but because there are expectations wrapped up into that text, I think it sets you up for pain/hurt if he doesn’t respond the way you want AND you might be putting pressure on him when he clearly needs space. During my break-up, I had fear that if I wasn’t in contact with my MM, he would forget about me. I would imagine that’s part of why you want to contact him, too. Especially now that you will not see each other at work. He hasn’t forgotten about you. He misses you. But, he has said he needs space to work through all that’s going on. While it can be kind to reach out to a friend in need, it is also kind to leave a friend alone when they have asked for space. If your MM wants the affair, he will continue it. It’s that simple.

          I also think that BAF asks a lot of good questions about the situation and other factors that could be affecting your MM’s behavior right now. In particular, I also wondered what he told his W about why he had to resign. It’s possible she’s become suspicious or he’s trying to make sure she doesn’t. Unfortunately, there’s just a lot going on in the situation right now, and it’s hard to know how all of it is affecting him. The point is, though, that these are life changes that can reasonably affect someone a lot so you probably have to give him that space to deal with these things (if you want your affair to work). He knows that he can come to you. You do not have to text him to remind him of that. He will come to you if he wants to. It is that simple (and that hard).

    • BAF

      Lois there are are so many issues all mashed together right now for you.
      I would recommend sorting thought them one by one.
      First of all you know my feelings about affairs. I do NOT recommend staying in them anymore neither for me nor for others.
      But this might not be the right moment for you to be thinking about staying in vs leaving the affair as there are so other things going on for you regarding the MM.
      Why not leave that question aside for the moment and sort thru some of the rest of the stuff first?
      You might consider some or all of these questions:
      Does your co-woker suspect you and the MM of having an affair?
      Is she an actual close friend of yours or more a colleague/co-worker?
      Does she gossip with others in your firm?
      What makes you think you could have changed the outcome, the thing she decided she had to do?
      Are you feeling guilty you could not change the outcome?
      Are you feeling your MM disapproves of your association with said colleague?
      Are you feeling your MM is angry at you for not protecting him?
      Does the MM’s wife know why he was let go?
      If NO then why does she think he left his job?
      Does she suspect?
      Could her behavior at the funeral be can indication she is fed up with there marriage to him because of an affair and losing his job?
      Can your MM easily find another good job?
      What was your MM’s relationship with his brother?
      What if anything did your MM’s bro know about his affairs?
      etc etc
      I am sure you can add more questions.
      By asking so many questions I am trying to help you see the complexity of your situation NOT overwhelm you!
      As for your friend invoking the word of “God” we have seen how often God and religion get tied into affairs. It does not mean the people who invoke the Bible and the word of God know anymore than we do spiritually hoover. Or are loved any more or less by God. We can each of us have our own relationship with God/dess (HP)
      Hang it there and sort thru the questions gently and do not BLAME yourself!
      I look forward to hearing from you.
      warmly BAF
      xoxo

      • lois

        Hey, BAF. You are exactly right there are many facets to this complex situation. Please read my new thread about what MM told his wife of the work situation. I do feel baldy that my coworker did not listen to me about the consequences of her actions and all of this happened to MM. However, I have come to realize that I do not have any control over other people’s actions. I tried and did the best I could in the situation. MM is not upset with and told me before his brother passed that he highly respected and appreciated how I handled being torn in the situation because he knew I was put in a bad position. I thought my coworker was my friend but since all of this have realized she is a very miserable person who has allowed anger, hate, hurt take her down a very dark path. I was totally wrong about this person and she has really hurt me. Supposedly, he has already found a new job and starts the first of September. MM is very private person, so I am not sure if he was close to his brother. My coworker told me he told her during their affair that they were not close, so I do know. I figured it does not really matter because the loss of a sibling either is horrible even more so if there were issues between them. His brother was a assistant preacher at his church, so I doubt he knew of the affairs. As far as the coworker using GOD, you are correct that sometimes seems to be the excuse that people use. It is a complicated situation. Realistically, I know our affair cannot last forever but i truly do enjoy having him in my life. I never intended to fall in love with him but I did. I do not know if I can or will survive the space that he needs to get through all of this but guess. He made the comment earlier that he is doing pretty good and plans to put his emotional state of mind as his first priority. He said that he was not directing this statement toward me…not sure what he meant by that. We do enjoy each’s other company but will that be enough for him to want to stay in my life…will it be enough for me to wait for him to decide if wants to be in my life. I honestly do not know right now. So, thank you for making me think!

  • LIFELESSONS

    Lois,

    So much has happened! I am sorry to hear about your MM and all the things he has going on. Life happens to all of us! I know, it cant be easy being on the outside of all of this. Our brains get really busy during times like this…you are probably not feeling too good about this. You have to try to focus on you as well. Dont get to lost in what he has going on. I am not saying dont be there for him and be of some support. I am just concerned you will neglect yourself during this time…
    Do you have self care things you do ?
    Spa days
    Retail therapy
    Reading
    Exercise etc….
    If you do turn to that and of course continue to write us so we can support. I havent had a chance to read everyones replies to you as i really was just trying to familiarize myself with whats going on with you since I havent seen your name pop up in a while.

    I hope you guys can continue to have communication with each other. However, he was hit with so much all at once, seems like. Therefore, it may take him a while to get back to the way yall were but be as patient as you can be and remember to be kind to yourself.

    Talk with you soon!

    • Lois

      THanks LL. I appreciate the advice and kind words. Baby steps fir both of us right now. It’s really hard but what can you do. It’s not like either of us asked for any igmf this especially him. Just have to get through it and see what happens. Thanks again.

  • LIFELESSONS

    Hi Ladies!

    I hate when I dont check in daily, I get lost in the messages. Lois, I saw your name as I was scrolling to see if I had any replies to any of my messages, I will have to go back and read your posts to catch myself up…havent heard from you in a while! Hoping youre ok but you are here so something must be up…

    Anyway, I had my neice this weekend, well, friday until Saturday…she is 7 months l, what a bundle of joy. Its so nice to babysit a good baby and then be able to give them back to their parent when youre ready.

    I was suppose to see MM this weekend but it didnt happen and I realized something this time. I will explain as I tell the story. Earlier in the week, I sent him a text that said, Do you have plans on Saturday because I would like to spend some time with you and I miss you. He said, I dont have anything planned, that i can remeber. I said ok. Well Friday, I called him and he said he would call me back, that was around 4p at about 7p I sent a text saying hey do you have plans tonight. He said I will be in the house. I said ok. I can be honest with you ladies, I wasnt able to hang out with him friday night but I was anxious because he hadnt called me back yet and I was fishing for a response. I knew I was picking my neice up. So anyway, he called me around 8:45p I couldnt answer because my neice was screaming in the car. She is a good baby but she HATES the carseat, that is the most I ever heard her cry! I called him about 5mins later and hung up because my phone was dying. I text him within 10mins saying, he I called but my phone died, call me back but if youre home already call me tomorrow.

    Saturday he called 4:30, I didnt answer (caring for my neice), I called back about 5mins later he didnt answer, he called back within 10mins I didnt know because my ringer wasnt on. I called him back within 2 mins he answered and he heard the baby in the background and said, oh I see, you have the baby. I said yea he said that makes sense. He said, i was trying to call you before I start cutting the grass…but I am cutting the grass so I have to call you back. I said, ok! I sent him a message right after that said, what is your time frame looking like ? I was wondering about his time frame so I could determine whether or not, i was going to be able to stop to a friends house for a farewell party(her child is going off to college) and also drop my kids and my neice off to my moms. My mom was at my house at the time I text him and I was hoping he replied early enough for me to determine what I needed to do. Well at about 6:20p I decided I was going to the farewell party and stay for a few and then drop all the kids off and head back home to meet up with him. He called me about 6:38 and said, hey what are you talking about whats my time frame, cutting the grass (his tone was a bit assholish) I dont entertain that too much. His tone is aggressive when he is annoyed and I dont always take it personal (it depends on my mood, on how I interpret his tone) so, this was one of the times it annoyed me for 2.5 seconds, literally that short of a time span…I said, let me call you right back and hung up as I was still talking to him. I collected my thoughts because i know it couldve gotten tricky pretty quickly and I had the kids in the car. I put my earbuds in and called back within 2 minutes and said, what were you saying to me (in the same tone he addressed me in) he calmly said, I was asking you what time frame were you talking about and I said, I am suppose to see you today (still nasty tone) he calmly said, I thought you had the baby so the plan changed and I calmly said, no the plan didnt change. He said, ok well let me get cleaned up. I said ok, I am omw across town to drop something off and then drop the kids off and head back home. He said ok, thats fine, I have to get cleaned up and do a few things around the house. I said ok. Now….Ladies, I know him and he is the most long winded man I have ever met so, I knew I had plenty of time to play with. I went on with my day and he called me 9:41pm and I left my moms house 9:45p and called him back. He said, where are you, I said, heading that way. He said, o ok. We talked for a few about nothing and around 10p he said, let me call you right back. He called back around 10:15p and said, where are you so i said coming down the road. I got to the light and I saw his car turning onto the road. He didnt see me but when my light changed, I noticed he kept going straight ahead towards his house which is further up from mine. So, once I parked in front my door, I said did you eat, he said, I am about to in a little bit. I said, did you just ride by and he said yes. I said ok! He said, i will call you later on and I said ok. Now, of course at this point…he is not coming! I wasnt upset about it. It was what it was…I got out of the car and was held hostage by a huge frog, it was on my walk way. I stood still for a few minutes, I went to the car and grabbed random things to throw so I could scare it away but not harm it. It was stubborn, because it wouldnt move, I called my kids who were at least 20miles away with my mom and they were laughing at me for being afraid of a frog, I called my neighbor, she came out with a broom and she held the broom beside it so i could by and get in my house without it jumping on me. All of this took about 10-15mins. The amount of DRAMA i create is ridiculous at times. Well anyway, around 12:30am I text MM and said, hey I was really looking forward to seeing you 😔😞 its ALL GOOD talk to you later. He replied the next morning saying, Sooooo you didnt home until almost 11p. I said, thats accurate babe but it took you almost 4 hours to get cleaned up (which I knew it would take you forever) so, i chilled at my moms for a while. You typically dont come to my house any earlier than 10-11 so I figured, it would be around that time before you could come. I said, you had picked up some food and went back to your house, did you plan to see me before you picked the food up, get the food and head back home ? He didnt answer. This was about 8-9am Sunday. I text around 6pm and said did you get the message. He didnt reply. Havent heard from him yet. Sundays are a hit and miss with him. I dont always talk to him on Sundays so, I wasnt too upset by this….

    Well, I took some time to think about what happened. I am really seeing the breakdown in the communication from me. I knew, i wanted to spend time with him. I knew for me that meant go out of town (not far but out of our town) grab a bite to eat and go back to my place. However, I didnt specify what that meant for me and in the past i have said, I want to spend time with him and it meant him coming to my house around 10 staying until 1-2am. Next thing, he didnt ask me about my plans changing due to my neice, he made an assumption, therefore he had decided he didnt need to make arrangements to come over. When he called me at almost 10p neither of us communicated whether or not we were still on the night….very poor communication on both of our parts.

    Well, I am feeling like I need a break. I feel like the last month has been emotionally draining for me, I am not sure whether or not I am sharing this with him or not. I can feel myself becoming overly concerned about how often we talk/dont talk. I can feel myself becoming more and more emotionally involved and I need to back up for a few days and collect my thoughts. I know, I was vulnerable with him and I let him in emotionally and I cant take that back but I know that I need to pull back a little for the sake of my sanity. I was so anxious yesterday, wanting and waiting for a reply just not to receieve one. Today, I am less anxious and I was tempted to call or text but I havent and I will not. I feel like we have gone through these moments before and I wasnt as anxious or overwhelmed but now that I am emotionally involved, I feel a way about this…i know he is going out of town this weekend with his entire family, theyre taking a drive to visit some other family members but I am thinking, I will lay low this week and I wont talk to him over the weekend and that should give me some time for me to clear my head and get my thoughts together.

    I know its alot…
    Thanks for allowing me to vent

    • Felk

      LL, this is a really good breakdown of what you went through. Your analysis in the end seems spot-on about where the communication went wrong (from both of you). This seems pretty normal in relationships. How many times have we had miscues and miscommunications when talking to a significant other? Problem is… in an affair, you don’t get to resolve the miscommunications as quickly, there is all this built-in anxiety/insecurity, AND the miscues often lead to precious time together that is lost. In a “normal” relationship, we can easily see that person soon enough. In an affair, losing one opportunity for alone time might mean we have to wait a week or more for that opportunity again. So, on top of the frustration of the miscommunication you also don’t get to see each other and it all builds. I know it well. This is why affairs take a lot of patience and a lot of trust on both ends. You and your MM seem to do pretty well with this, but, of course, it is hard.

      It also takes really good communication, so the fact that you recognize the breakdown in communication shows that you could do better next time. But… it’s sometimes hard to communicate honestly because it can make you vulnerable. You probably weren’t as direct with your MM because you didn’t want to be more vulnerable. It seems you intentionally try to keep yourself busy so you’re not available (but that can make it harder to communicate). You also could have asked for more exact times or given him more exact times in your schedule, but we’re sometimes scared to do that because we don’t want to seem needy or controlling. I know I had this problem with my MM. I’m more of a planner and I don’t have kids. It was easier for me to schedule things. For him, it was harder and he would push back when I’d try to nail down specifics at times. So, I had to be more flexible than I was used to and it led to plenty of disappointment on my end. Sometimes it was fair, but sometimes it felt like he was being withholding to protect himself from vulnerability and that was more frustrating. It felt that we didn’t have that luxury in an affair. That we had to be clear about our schedules to help plan. But, I know it’s not that simple. We are human and we are vulnerable, and we are indirect and vague in saying what we want to protect our feelings. And your MM seems to do the same. He made assumptions about you not being available on Saturday because of your niece because that protected him. He didn’t want to show vulnerability and ask, “So, because you have your niece, does that mean we’re not getting together?” Then you’d know he cares. Oh no! 🙂 So, he took the safe route and assumed your plans were canceled. However, I don’t really understand why he didn’t end up staying when he was at your place around 10pm that night. He was driving past your place, called you, and he didn’t wait for you when you said you were coming down the road? You even saw his car, and you don’t call him back and tell him you’re almost home? I don’t really get that if you had plans to see each other. It seems you were both right there, and wouldn’t it have been easy for him to turn around and come to your place (as planned)? Maybe he was frustrated, too?

      And then there’s the other part… how you’re noticing yourself getting more invested. Caring more about when you talk/don’t talk. Getting anxious about wanting and waiting for a reply. I know that well, too. You feel like you want to pull back a little. Of course. I remember doing this in the first two years of my affair. I could feel myself getting pulled in. Caring more and more. And I didn’t like how it felt. It was scary caring that much, and I wanted to back off to give us both space. I also knew that I had to keep my expectations in check, since it was an affair. But, it didn’t work. I would back off a little, it would feel good to do that, and then he and I would spend good time together and get closer and I’d get more invested. Eventually, it got to the point where I couldn’t back off even if I wanted to. Where I was too invested. I don’t know if you’re past the point of no return. It sounds like it. So, it probably doesn’t do any good to give the advice to end the affair while you still can in a less painful way. And, even if you aren’t past the point of no return, you may feel like you can still control it all. I know that if someone told me to end the affair, in the first year of my affair when the addiction hadn’t fully taken hold, I wouldn’t have… specifically because I still felt control. It is a great irony. While you still feel control, you don’t think you need to end it. So, you continue, and then you lose that ability to have that control and it becomes VERY hard to end it without great pain.

      I like the idea of laying low this week, but, in my experience, that makes them come for you. When you back off, they start to miss you and they contact you and then you feel good and it pulls you back in. When you’re in the thick of it, it’s hard to clear your head and really think about the situation. But, if you are able to commit to not texting or calling him this week (for the purpose of clearing your head… and NOT because you’re testing to see if he’ll contact you), you might be able to think about what you want. I hope you can do that. I know it’s hard when you’re in the middle of it because, if you’re already addicted (which it sounds like you are with the anxiety and the waiting and the overwhelmed), it’s hard to think of anything else except wanting more time with this person.

      And then finally, as a SW, is this what you want for your life? As a MW, I think it’s different to try to fit an affair into your life. There are different challenges, of course, but I never had the feeling, with my affair, that I was wasting time in the affair that I could be spending finding a “real” relationship. I already had my real relationship in my marriage. If you aren’t getting enough from the affair, it has to be hard to convince yourself to stay when you could find better elsewhere from someone who WILL respond to your texts and phone calls. I know you’ve been thinking about this a lot, and it’s all not easy, but where do you see this affair going? What is the best outcome? And is that realistic? Maybe you do think it’s enough, though. Maybe it works for your life as a SMom. I could see that, but be sure that you’re ready to accept less than what you will want and need in a relationship.

      • LIFELESSONS

        Felk,
        Everything you said makes sense, I do feel I still have some control which leads me to believe I dont have to end things. I know it will not be this way forever. I havent had a chance to get an answer from him about what made him change his mind about coming but…me knowing him, he likely was upset that I wasnt home waiting for him. When he called, he expected me to say I was already home and he couldve just come around to the house in that moment. He is not as patient as I am when it comes to that type if stuff. I also think he may have been frustrsted with how the day went in general, between the missed calls and him making assumptions about neice. You know he doesnt like when I dont answer my phone and then call him back at my LEISURE. He has told me that before. I love him but he can be a jerk. I wasnt upset that he didnt come, I was disappointed and wanted to know what was his real plan. I was wondering if he was actually planning to come to my home at all but once I thought about it, I said he likely was planning to come but, when he noticed I wasnt home, he switched up…

        Felk, I wish it was easy to get my own man or even someone to date in order to just hang out with different people. I believe I would give someone else the time of day if they just showed up. I dont know where the men are where I live but it seems as if theyre married (looking for a lady on the side), homosexual (so theyre not interested in me), older (50’s/60’s I dont dislike older people but I would like to hang out with guys younger than 50), or just not interested. I honestly think I couldve met someone at his lodge events if I didnt deal with him. He has told me there are so many people who come out to the events and he knows some who are single and he said some of the events are so big he dont always know the people there. I think those events his lodge have, has a pool of men and women but I cant go. His W would like for me to the upcoming one in Sept but I am not going. I have a few friends who are single and we are all wondering when the guy will come along. I have tried to stop focusing on it so much, I have spoke of it so much that MM’s W mentioned it to him. My married friends try to think of people they could hook me up. I feel like I get out and do things to put myself in places to meet people but…havent met anyone yet. I was single for almost a year before MM and I hooked up and I have tried my best to remain social and keep my social life active. Having children and being a SM does place some restrictions/limitations on my “fun/social life”.

        Anyway, I think MM fits my life right now and thats why it has worked out the way it has. I talked to a few guys from dating sites and I dont like the dating sites but I figured I would give it a try. Well it was interesting, I met a guy who was blind, I dont discriminate although, I had no interest in him as a potential partner but more of a cool dude who gave me good conversation and I was intrigued by his story. I found out one of my friends who I have known for over 20yrs use to date and had gotten pregnant by him years ago (she didnt have the baby) but I said, its just my luck to meet a guy online, who is blind and he has slept with one of my friends. There are always these unusual circumstances that surrounds me. Im not online searching anymore. The same friend set me up with a guy from her job and he turned out to be a major jerk, I had stopped talking to MM as much because I took interest in that guy.

        I think the “accepting less than” part is whats posing as a problem for me. I cannot say how long I can tolerate that, although its a typical thing that happens in an affair. This affair has helped see things about myself, I can see some of my strengths along with areas of improvement. I know I am growing/maturing in many ways and in others I am still the same. I am a BRAT in general and I have a hard time when things dont go my way. I get extremely anxious and I get in my feelings. I get over it fairly quick but in the moment, its not ok! I think I am more aware and conscious of my indirect way of communication as well as my lack of confidence when it comes to communication my emotions/feelings. I truly hope, I can work on that because communication is so important in relationships and direct communication is important to life. I didnt realize how loose my boundaries were until recently…
        As far as:
        where do you see this affair going?
        Its not going anywhere, he is not leaving and I dont want him to leave. It feels like we are on a downhill slope right now…
        What is the best outcome?
        Hmmm…the best outcome, would probably be for me to walk away unscathed but that is not realistic. Its too late for me not to be affected by this ending. I wish we could remain cordial with one another, I enjoyed him as a friend but not sure he would see it that way
        And is that realistic?
        No…

        • Felk

          LL, you know that I understand why this situation can work for you. If you think it’s good enough, I understand wanting to continue to make it work. I thought my affair was worth the risks, and I still think that. I know that there is a lot of compromise we have to make in an affair. I know it can be really hard to be patient and to trust in a situation that has inherent deceit. But I also know that my MM and I had a pretty good relationship for five years, and I think we’re going to have some more good years. You know I’m not sugar-coating. There is so much that’s hard about an affair, and a long-term affair isn’t for most people. I think it’s helps to not expect him to leave his family. You don’t. I think it helps not to have much jealousy of his W. It seems like you have very little. I think it also helps to have a busy life of your own. You have that. You also seem to be pretty reflective about the whole situation and you try to keep your expectations in check. It also seems that your MM is realistic in the affair, too.

          I see you saying that you still feel like you have some control. I hope it stays that way. I had an affair with a MM about twenty years ago (I was a SW), and I felt in control the whole time. I never fell too hard, even though I very thoroughly enjoyed my time with him. It probably worked because there was a known expiration date on the relationship related to him moving to another city (six months after our affair started). That made it easy enough to detach when he left. If you can stay detached in some way, that would be good. If you can keep expectations low, that would be good. But you say you feel yourself getting more anxious and that your feelings are growing. It’s a slippery slope. There was a point of no return for both me and my MM. I don’t know when it exactly happened (1.5 years into the affair?), but there was a point when it became clear that it would be very hard to end our affair. And it still is. 🙂

          • LIFELESSONS

            Felk,

            I am not sure how long I will be able to hold on to my control…I will continue to try! I think my lifestyle allows this situation to persist. If I didnt have kids and an active social life, this would be even more challenging. Honestly, I have moments where I feel I dont have control and moments where I feel I do. A week or so ago, I was in my room feeling sad and overwhelmed by my own emotions. I wanted him to talk to me, I felt like he wasnt showing me any attention, he didnt call me and ask me if i wanted to go to the concert and he didnt figure oout a way to come over my house afterwards. I felt neglected! I was like a sad puppy. He called me on his way home and I just wasnt satisfied. I was emotional and frustrated. Well…this past weekend I was disappointed but I wasnt phased by it as much. I actually didnt want to be in that space so I figured, maybe that means I just need a break. A moment to focus on me and not worrying about him and why he didnt call or is he going to call etc. and guess what my mind is still thinking about him but I am being intentional about thinking of me every time I think of him. He didnt call me today and normally I would reach out with a message that would remind him of how he didnt call me…but I dont want to do that. Felk, who knows how long, I will be able to regulate my own behavior like this…

  • Lois

    Ugh today has been a struggle. I ended up texted MM last night to see how he was doing. He did reply and said he was doing pretty good. He had a good day at church with his family and worked on his kids rooms. My heart sank because I took his response as he didn’t want to be bothered. Guess it bothered me that he mentioned church and his family. I know his well being is most important but my gut is telling me he’s moving on and us being together is going to be no longer. I dont know it’s a mess and I’m really hurting and struggling. Maybe I just need to be done once in for all but my heart is saying no and my head is saying what in the hell are you doing…

    • Felk

      Hi Lois, Didn’t see your message from last night until this morning. I see you chose to text him. My answer to your message from last night, when you asked if you should text him, would have been “do what makes you feel best” or “do what gets you closest to what you want.” I know that’s a vague answer, but I think that’s how we best feel at ease with difficult decisions. You have to think about what’s right for you and what behaviors get you to what you want. Of course, there are times we have to hold back doing that which we think is best for us due to honest/important respect for another’s feelings, but that is part of relationship maintenance, too. In my complicated situation with my MM, I am trying to factor both of those things in… act how I best see fit (for myself) within the context of the relationship I want with him. So, if I’m holding back due to fear, I try not to do that. But, if I am holding back because it seems like he needs (reasonable) space and that is what allows us to maintain our relationship, I try to do that.

      You’re in a tough spot. Your MM has gone through big life changes in losing his brother and his job. I can imagine it’s really scary wondering what that means for your relationship with him. Unfortunately, it’s as Lara (BAF) said the other day… there’s not much you can do about this. You can’t change or control what has happened. All you can do is be there for him if he wants to come back (assuming that’s what you want). It’s a really rough feeling, just waiting for the other person to decide they still want to be with you, but there are not many other options. Sure, you could end it once and for all, but it doesn’t seem you want that yet. So, your other option is to be direct and demand more contact or ask direct questions about the status of your relationship. If that is what you need, of course, you should do that, but with your MM, it seems like he’d react poorly to that pressure. And maybe understandably so given the circumstances.

      I know it’s also hard for you because your MM is giving you some mixed signals. He says he needs space and then he agrees to see you. He says he misses you and then he tries to curb your expectations for what might happen had you seen each other last week. It’s rough, but, as I was telling J a few days ago, when our other gives us mixed signals it’s because they’re feeling mixed things. He is, once again, torn. He is likely feeling guilty enjoying anything with you, given his brother’s death. He may also be feeling like clinging to family now. He is also probably feeling bad about what happened with the other woman at work and losing his job, and worrying about what that means continuing with you. I don’t say this to make you more worried. Just to try to put in perspective why he’s been distant and why he may be clinging to family (and religion) lately.

      I know why your heart sank at his response last night. It was distant, and it mentioned his family (and him enjoying his time with them). My guess is that he just needs to hear that out loud for himself right now. The thing is… you sent that text last night, hoping that he’d say something to offer you closeness, but you know that wasn’t fair. And I’m not chastising you. Heck no. How many times during my break-up did I send my MM a text or an e-mail hoping for closeness only to get an ambivalent response that made me feel worse? The thing is, we can’t expect them to respond exactly the way we need. We have to give them the space to respond the way they need. The thing I learned to do better through the break-up is to not send a message to my MM if I was hoping for a particular response or if I was feeling particularly needy/desperate. I tried to wait for when I could more genuinely send a message and when I knew that a slow or “cold” response wouldn’t hurt (as much). It’s taken me a long time to learn that one, and what that mostly means, for now, is very rarely texting him. 🙂

      You’re in a tough position, but I know it well. Your MM is the type who often seems to have made you feel like he’s pulling away or moving on so I don’t know if this is just a phase for him or if he really is thinking he should end the affair. I know that I worried my MM might end our relationship many times throughout our affair, even though he was nowhere close to ending it. Yes, I felt that again last year (when he was pulling away in an attempt to try to leave the relationship), but my point is that my MM always struggled more than I did with the guilt and complications of two relationships. I think your MM is similar. If you are not ready to end the relationship, all you can do is give him space to figure it out. If he wants to come back, he will. (I gave my MM space in the break-up, a lot of painful space, and he has stayed close and might even be coming back.) At some point, it may feel that you are (pathetically) waiting too long for him and you may need to just end it, but it doesn’t seem you’re at that point yet. My best guess from what you’re describing is that your MM is torn about what to do. He has had some big life changes that make him question, once again, this affair; but he also misses you a lot and I’m not sure he’s ready to let go. One of the hardest parts of affairs is the waiting. I’m sorry you’re having to go through it again.

    • TTSP

      Hi Lois,
      That’s the absolute worst when you send a text hoping for some comforting words of validation and you get a lukewarm, nonchalant response. I love this advice from Felk, “The thing I learned to do better through the break-up is to not send a message to my MM if I was hoping for a particular response or if I was feeling particularly needy/desperate. I tried to wait for when I could more genuinely send a message and when I knew that a slow or “cold” response wouldn’t hurt (as much). It’s taken me a long time to learn that one, and what that mostly means, for now, is very rarely texting him.” I too am grappling with the disparity between my head and heart. I know personally I have to be done to achieve my long term goals but getting through that initial hell mourning period is rough. I told mine that I need absolutely zero contact and honestly I have way too much resentment to be friends. Even if I was married there is no fathomable way I could not be jealous and insecure of the MM’s wife and Q why am I not good enough.

    • BAF

      Lois I get it why your heart sank. Church and family? I am sure this is not what you were hoping to hear from him. I am sure “I really miss you” would have felt better.
      Yes his well being is important. But so is yours too.
      Affairs are so damn gut wrenching. But always remember: You are not alone.
      Try to engage yourselves with other people or activities for a bit.
      And to take care of you in others ways.
      You are important too.
      Hugs BAF xoxo

      • Felk

        Lois, I will reiterate what BAF and LL have said about distracting yourself in this time. In these months since the break-up, one of the best things that has helped is keeping myself occupied with other things. I was not always able to fully enjoy these things (especially early on in the break-up), but I think they always helped. Now, I am still intentionally creating more plans with other people to help distract myself and give myself positive experiences to help me continue to heal. Over the last few months, when I’m with others, I now find myself able to completely engage myself with others and not think about my MM. Yes, he comes to mind at times, but there are also long stretches of time where I don’t think of him at all. I found this especially true when I was on vacation last week with my extended family.

        I know it can feel forced, especially at the beginning of the pain/worry/anxiety/insecurity, but I think even forcing those experiences helps us (at least a little).

  • Lois

    Hello, everyone. I am struggling today because I want text him to let him know that I am thinking of him but not sure if I should. Wednesday he was distant and told me he needed space for right now. I said okay and understood. Thursday morning he texted me and apologized for being so out of whack and admitted he missed me and agreed we should meet which never happened because he got busy. Then later that night he texted again to see if I was okay. I was it as talkative in texting because he told me the night before he needed space. On Friday I texted him and that’s when he said he wanted to see me but wanted to know my expectations because he’s not ready for activities. Saturday morning texted him good morning and he never replied so I just texted again told him I hoped you had a better day. I have not texted since because I didn’t know if he wanted space. It’s so hard to judge because he is do out of it right now with his emotions and I truly do understand…just doesn’t make it any easier on me. Should I wait to see if he texts me, should I send I text that I’m just thinking of him and leave it at that. Thanks for your advice.

  • Nomad

    Lara

    How are you coping with NC? Have you been successful because out of sight out of mind?

    I’m really reading and internalizing (in awe) the articles and blogs that you’ve shared. They confront and left me in sadness and denial despite they are the reality I hate to admit and accept – affair is a fantasy built upon lies and majority did not end happily ever after. I also read that faithfulness in a marriage is a priority NOT an option.

    Will I ever heal and move on and live a happier life than mm? I want to. How? Been asking myself today, what have I got to lose? Nothing! He’s giving me nothing for months. Have I done anything wrong or could’ve been better? I wanted to quit because of how he made me feel. I’m also asking what makes me happy? After the affair, what kind of life and person do I want to be so that I’m contented and resigned and will steer clear of other men. Physically I’m started to feel aged and unattractive overnight.

    Inject positivity here Lara!

    • BAF

      Nomad
      I went pretty crazy on a long post last night, LOL.
      I dont see it here yet. Let me wait a few hours. It is all about my wanting to talk about staying OUT of affairs now. Its a new phase for me. Yes of Course we will feel better! we will! Do you really think I would suffer for nothing? LOL
      You are not unattractive and you are not old! But you ARE the married mother of three teenagers is that correct? THREE Teenagers? Damn that must be a tough job at times. Think about it! Think about the WHY you had an affair and what was missing from your husband that you needed? Go here and READ READ READ. :). Suzi is very loving and she is on Youtube too. Inform yourself, Nomad. How will you replace the high of the affair? What is missing in your life? What are you not paying attention to inside yourself? What is it you really NEED?
      I am beginning to make a list for myself.
      Love BAF aka Lara xxxooo
      https://www.goasksuzie.com/how-to-forgive-yourself-after-the-affair

    • BAF

      Nomad
      I’ve made thirty days ONE MONTH NC.!! No contact of any kind not even a visual siting. (Except for the day I told him I was “blocking him” and left silently). He has kept hidden in the restaurant. I was out of town for awhile. Then I had surgery. My father has been ill. Then he the exMM has been away probably on vacation.

      I have no tears anymore. I got so disgusted after our last encounter. It made me feel horrible. Demeaned. Pushed down to the ground. I think it has already happened several times in our relationship in the past, but I have so much thick and deep denial over my prior narcissistic abuse that i didn’t even realize it. I accepted his ill treatment of me.
      In the past, I probably “laughed it off” and then made love to him anyhow! Or I ignored him probably and then tried to “get him in a better mood”. Make him laugh. etc.
      As if that was MY JOB Nomad! See how co-dependent that is? How co-dependent I can be?
      That is all over for me now.
      Now I am in recovery from my affair addiction.
      And from co-dependency.
      I have found do much support and help here on the internet and with my therapist.
      (The Narc-Empath dynamic) http://unisoultheory.com/index.php/2016/11/27/empath-loves-narcissist/
      Here is a quote form the link above:
      “17 Things That Happen When An Empath Loves A Narcissist”
      “There Has Never Been A More Toxic Union, Than The Relationship Between An Empath And A Narcissist.
      Empaths often are misunderstood as being weak, or victims of their kindness. That’s not the case at all. Empaths are strong, resilient individuals who are highly sensitive to the feelings and emotions of others. However, when narcissists enter the picture, “victims” are exactly what empaths become, if they don’t know how to protect themselves and create boundaries.”
      This was me to a TEE.
      What I felt with him in the last conversation was the END for me. I will not let him make me feel so terrible again. EVER. Enough already. I give up. White flag. Surrender. I can’t love him the way he thinks I ought to. I failed. And I don’t give a f–k!
      Why should I?
      All I was trying to do was to “love” him. And what did I get? His narcissist ass telling me I should not make assumptions about our relationship! And why did he have to say and do that? Because my growth was threatening him and his lack of growth. Everything around him in the past couple of years had been crashing down around him but he was never listening to my suggestions. I tried and tried and tried to offer assistance. Rather than listen to the help offered he had to do everything HIS WAY. He had to be Mr. Number ONE.
      In fact the whole entire affair all 21 years I was there to “assist”.
      I am was co-dependent. I have entered a whole new recovery stage now.
      I have to recover from co-dependence and I have to recover from affair addiction. NO NEW RELATIONSHIPS for me right now. I am not healthy enough yet.

      But it’s okay. I will heal! I just know it. 🙂 . I trust I will heal. I have seen healing before. It is remarkable. It is amazing! Now let me get back to a book I just bought:
      https://www.amazon.com/Road-Back-Recovering-Co-dependency-Addiction/dp/0578102684

      I have been reading and re-reading TV explorer’s blog. https://tvexplorer.wordpress.com
      I used to read and post there some years back. It was where I talked to SO SO MANY many people about their affairs. I learned a great deal. I watched what happened to people. I watched people try to stay in affairs and I watched people crash and burn during “Discovery Days”. (like TV Explorer did)
      It was NOT pretty. It’s all there for anyone to read if you are so inclined.
      I stayed out of my affair a LONG time while friendly with the people on that blog. Reason took me over. And willpower too. For a LONG time. But then TV was done writing and so were others I met there. People concluded their business one way or another. For me I was not done quite then. I was still NOT accepting the affair as an Addiction capital “A”. As strong as alcohol maybe worse. https://www.glamour.com/story/realities-of-sex-and-love-addiction.

      The last post TV explorer write haunted me. I wanted to NOT believe. Of course that was September 2013.
      I did not really get this “affair as a true addiction” til September 2017. First I had to understand how empaths and narcissists attract each other like magnets. . It has been a long complex path for me to dare to see the truth. I am embarking on a healing journey now. May we all find one!
      Affairs are not solutions. They are band-aids.
      The addiction of affairs is intense: biochemical, emotional, physical, and PSYCHOLOGICAL!
      Do not underestimate this addiction.
      It has been much harder for me to see the truth (break through my denial) about my affair addiction than it was for me to even see the damage alcohol was doing to me!
      Imagine! Alcohol abuse was easier to spot.
      Affair addiction in way because we tell ourselves we are in “LOVE.”

      TV Explorer said on his blog:
      “I used to think my final blog post (yes, this is the last one I plan to write) would contain some great truth, the Secret to the Universe, if you will, derived from the vast knowledge and wisdom I’ve attained. It would be a road map for anyone who’s had an affair. It would answer their most burning questions. Why did I cheat? Why did the affair have to end so abruptly? Did it mean anything?”
      (edit)
      “Well, I’m here to tell you, 5 years into this process, I know the answer to all of these questions. Consider this my gift to you, though you may not like the answers.”
      https://tvexplorer.wordpress.com/

      I hope you will read his words and the comments from so many others on his blog.!
      And I hope you will go here:
      https://howloveblossoms.com/how-to-stop-feeling-sorry-for-yourself-after-he-leaves/

      Sending love and courage to you Nomad! Try to figure out what were YOU doing in your affair? We all have different histories and dynamics. But what in YOU needed a “band-aid”? What made you turn to an “affair”?
      What was hurting you BEFORE the affair?
      You do not even have to answer here (in semi=public) . You can speak elsewhere. Privately with yourself and another human perhaps. You can just journal away in the mornings. Write and write: three pages per day anything that pops into your mind. Pencil or pen on paper is best.
      🙂
      You will find there are reasons and feelings that go with your story and these can help you heal.

      Hugs Hugs Hugs
      Lara Baf and BAF
      All 3 of us
      LOL . xxxooo

      • TTSP

        Thanks Lara for this valuable information. All of these resources are very insightful. This toxic affair chipped away at my soul and spirit yet the rush of physical intimacy together sent me to the highest heights. Now, the crash and burn when reality sets in that he has a life with someone else. I’m just a side piece. How could anyone not feel like complete shit about themselves. I think I turned to an affair because deep down I feel unloveable and unworthy and thus the universe mirrored my thoughts. Our lives are a reflection of our beliefs and that’s why we have to be so cautious with our thoughts. I do believe in the law of attraction. Right now I wish I could just wake up and feel completely indifferent. Do you believe your feelings are evaporating? NC is the only way to heal. I can’t believe how many times I’ve cycled through this merry-go-round of being on and off. No joke we’ve probably broken up and made up at least 20 times in 1 year 10 months. I’ve prayed on this and my higher power told me through that inner voice that I will not get a healthy long-term relationship until I completely ditch the mm. That may sound crazy but others on here have advised something similar. Do you have a plan of action prepared if your mm comes around? How do you not give in to the addiction? This too is cunning, baffling and powerful. I have a solution for alcohol but now need a solution for this addiction. Thank you all for your posts.

        • BAF

          TTSP
          Cunning Baffling and Powerful INDEED
          You ask good questions. And make great comments too. Many recovering alcoholics, specially in the first 5 years of sobriety fall into secondary addictions. Maybe you know this. Just because we put one addiction down does not mean we have dealt with all the crap in us that have helped fuel the addiction in the first place. So no one is immune aargh from picking up a secondary addiction (or five). 🙂
          To me this affair stuff is an ass kicker of an emotional / psychological addiction from where I sit. I hope you are not as entrenched as I am but this empath/narc thing for me goes way way way back….and Co-dependency.
          Co-dependency is behind a lot of addiction I think.
          Trying to be someone “else” for the “others”.
          I am back tor reading Melody Beattie and others as I speak. 🙂
          I am now realizing I have more “work to do” ahem. Lucky me. Lucky you. 🙂
          I do think you are right, for most of us an affair is toxic and “will chip away at our souls and spirits yet the rush of physical intimacy together sent us all to the highest heights!” You put that so well and how true it is. Affairs like all addictions are ‘Faustian pacts’ for sure.
          And yes this is so spot on:
          “Now, the crash and burn when reality sets in that he has a life with someone else. I’m just a side piece. How could anyone not feel like complete crap about themselves.”
          YES YES YES I feel you. It is so soul crushing to realize that the person with whom we have shared this truly high experience is someone with a life with someone else. I think for some single women it is beyond comprehension. Simply “Unacceptable”. “We never “signed up for this crap!” etc.

          The affair can turn some of us into seeming “bi-polars”, so manically happy one moment and then so crushingly defeated and depressed the next. And then we have to HIDE all these emotional swings from co-workers and from family etc. Exhausting. And get zero support. (Because we should have “known better”). And expect a “kick in the ass” from our friends who already “told us so” since our behavior is taboo to begin with. Think about it. First you soar in an affair then you crash. Our adrenals and hormones get all f–ed up too. How can we function like this? Ahhh not so well….
          You say:
          “I think I turned to an affair because deep down I feel unloveable and unworthy and thus the universe mirrored my thoughts.”
          Yes, I am sure we all have our reasons and certainly they lie in our low self-esteem (NOT high self esteem). Even the Narcs have low self esteem after all.
          But we also may have to dig deeper into ourselves and get a therapist or into a 12 step program to really be able to kick this. I am convinced of this now.
          This is NO walk in the park.
          Kicking this is more complicated than it appears and blogging will help as we can support each other, but I no longer think it is enough.
          I think we have more to do. aargh
          Like you ask:
          “How will we be actually able to stay away from your affairs??”
          That is the million dollar question, right?
          Believe me I know. All your break-ups and reunions with your MM mirror mine. Sigh. I feel you. In the short term we will need to remember the slogans
          “First Things First” and “One Day at a Time” rule.
          But this will not heal us alone nor will this keep us away from the fire.
          I now think we will need to take some stronger actions for ourselves.
          A real plan of action to get out.
          I think first we must absolutely tell someone in our real life I think. Someone QUALIFIED must know about this because the secret is what will keep us hooked in. (Merely telling a friend is not enough IMHO)
          A therapist would work. Going another 12 step program for this sort of addiction perhaps would work. This sort of thing is what I mean.
          You say:
          “Right now I wish I could just wake up and feel completely indifferent. Do you believe your feelings are evaporating?”
          No, not evaporating. Changing. I don’t think they will ever evaporate. I WISH they would evaporate! There is not ONE Narc in my life I feel indifferent towards (not my mother, not my ex H, certainly not my ex MM with all the sex involved!)
          Have your feelings towards alcohol evaporated? Mine are mostly gone but never totally evaporated.
          I would say mine have changed a lot a HUGE HUGE AMOUNT but the “cozy” look of a bar room window can still remind me of my desire to be deluded” by alcohol, if that makes any sense? The cravings hit not too long ago in a moment of stress, after such a very long time with no such cravings. This tells me they will never evaporate totally (even with 17 years sobriety). Recovery is “new” deal each and every day. But remember it is always “progress not perfection”.
          These affairs remind us to stay humble.
          Addictions are in part ways we put our brains on a “loop”. We play and play the same thought over again and again in our brains so we do not have to deal with some of our most painful feelings. That is part of what an addiction is all about. There is also the genetic factor and environmental factor. So if you grew up wit the people mirroring this “addiction quirk” to you then voila you know how to do this very very well.

          So if you or I think we are going to feel really really good (!) after we go see (and have sex with) so and so and they are going to make us feel alive again and they are going to make us feel needed and wanted and younger and so sexy etc
          and if we don’t even have to break our sobriety to get this “natural” high…..
          what addict would NOT be tempted? LOL
          As for your statement:
          NC is the only way to heal.
          Yes I agree. The contact has to talk. The innuendos the sideways glances the flips of our hair the make up to attract from a farther distance LOL ALL have to STOP. The small talk texts the flirty texts all the affair behaviors have to totally STOP for healing to begin.
          But that is only the beginning. Beyond that we must spend time to get to know how we ended up here. What got us here?
          Many will run away. I wish I could run but alas I can not.
          You say:
          “I’ve prayed on this and my higher power told me through that inner voice that I will not get a healthy long-term relationship until I completely ditch the mm. That may sound crazy but others on here have advised something similar.”
          My HP has been trying to get me to listen about that for MONTHS. LOL
          “Do you have a plan of action prepared if your mm comes around?”
          The current plan is to avoid seeing him at all costs.
          He is blocked on cell phone FB etc. I will not respond if he tries any other way digitally.
          If he arrives at my door in person, I am going to call another neighbor.
          Who will then come over and make him go away. I have planned this now with her. She knows what to do.
          Always remember NC is for US.
          No new contact = No new hurts!
          “How do you not give in to the addiction?”
          All of the above!
          TTSP:
          If there was an easier softer way believe me I would be the first to try and find it!
          Just take it odat.
          Hugs
          xxx000
          Friend of B (!)
          BAF
          Lara
          xxxooo

          • TTSP

            Thanks Lara. You are quite informed and wise 🙂 I believe the goal is indifference, neutrality or something along those lines. I definitely want to seek out a good therapist for cognitive behavioral therapy. I’m quite aware of the why but I want to learn how to prevent future occurrences of unhealthy relationships. I’m exhausted from my repetition compulsion i.e. in my case falling for unavailable men. I grew up in a single parent home with an absentee Dad although now we’re very close. Here is a great article on repetitive relationship patterns and the origin of them https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evil-deeds/200806/essential-secrets-psychotherapy-repetitive-relationship-patterns. I want to escape this self-defeating behavior.

            IDK about you but I feel particular resentful toward mine and we both know what resentments due to people struggling with addiction. I can’t let my anger overtake me and I refuse to self-loathe over this sitch. Just for the cathartic release I have to unload what is weighing particularly heavy on me tonight…. I hate the fact that he has so many good fortunes and never had to be alone in his life. He went from one marriage to the next and never without romantic love and a woman taking care of him. His life has been blessed with weddings, honeymoons, nice homes, respect and grandeur from relatives and peers, grandiose vacations traveling the world, several high end luxury cars in the garage, rolex watches, the nicest things money can buy. The material stuff is less enviable but never having to experience extreme loneliness or depression thinking you’re alone bc there is something terribly wrong with you. Ugh I hope this is so temporary and just my brain processing the hurt from this disaster. I’ve never felt more jealousy in my life and genuinely like to celebrate in others’ successes. Him, not so much… His happiness is my misery and I feel like a crappy person for that. He’s a good person and deserves love and blessings just like the rest of us.

            On the flip side there is a silver lining. Being around him lowers my mood and that result can bring me the motivation I need if he tries to return. I have to remember the depression, feeling inferior, not good enough, lonely, shameful, frustrated, jealous and every ugly emotion you can fathom. If we didn’t work in the same organization I’d go nuclear and cut him out like he didn’t exist. I would never ever talk to him again. Since I’ll have to face him until he leaves or I leave I need to act like a professional, poised and respectful employee. No emotions or personal connection whatsoever.

            Sorry for the rambling. Time to meditate and pray on all of this. I do want my posts and responses to help others as you have all been a gift to me.

            Hugs

          • Felk

            TTSP, everything you write is understandable. That you resent and are angry and jealous makes sense. But, remember, you ended the affair. That was strong. You are choosing to extricate yourself from this situation, and trying to find something better for yourself. I know, for me, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted to “get over” the affair before my MM. I didn’t want him to get over me first. I felt envy when it seemed he was doing well and he was handling our break-up better. But using that Mend App, I learned about how I can’t worry about what he’s doing or his timeline. It wasn’t a competition. We each needed to heal on our own in our own way. By tying my healing to him, I was still giving him power over me and I wasn’t concentrating on me. So, maybe that can help you a little in letting go of the resentment and anger. I know it’s not that simple, but the focus needs to be on you.

            Therapy sounds like a good idea. The withdrawal from an affair is brutal, and having someone objective (and trained) that you can talk to, seems really useful.

        • Nomad

          TTSP,

          I’m replying to your comments to Lara. I felt compelled to hi-5 you when you wrote “his happiness is my misery”. Like you, I’m experiencing resentment because he’s living a normal and seemingly happier family life, eager and excited to celebrate kid’s and wife’s birthday in sep, clearing leave almost every other day and then the long overseas trip in dec. I resent because I’m still stuck and paying off my sins.

          I thought I read that you just spent a day with him and then what happened? Why are you resenting him again? What did he do or what triggered you to flip flop?

          About me,nothing much.
          Blocked since 8th and I’ve nothing new to update. No twist. No reaching out. Zero contact. But he showed up this morning to get documents signed. No eye contact though he did ask how are you doing. I replied fine thank you as I was signing the doc. The last time I saw him was 30jul over lunch. I supposed July was the last ditch.

          Shall I think that he’s giving up finally because he cares and wants me to stop suffering, to do that, he must stop his selfishness and greed. Will that help me to move on? The rejection and abandonment feeling I’ve experienced in mar/Apr (he looked into my eyes and said it’s over) seemed to have returned today when I saw him. I felt vulnerable again. Seeing him in office is really working against me and the healing progress for past week suddenly became bullshit!? But I pressed on. This too shall pass. I need to give myself a chance to live normally and relive the mundaneness as a wife and mother of 3. That’s a blessing right? He didn’t reach out, that’s a blessing too right?

          He’s not going to fall in love with his wife right? Because I couldn’t do that with my H. I mean I love my H for he’s a great guy.

          I’m sorry for ranting too. Why am I not tired?! He’s long gone and giving me nothing. Each time I’m done with him, almost, I’ll hit by another setback when I see or hear about him. So today is that kind of day whereby I was almost done and suddenly BAM! that familiar vulnerable shade and tension in my heart is back .

          Past 1-2 wks, I’m back to the isolation mode so that I’ll not accidentally hear abt him or any gatherings. I steer clear of our common colleagues. I deactivated my social media. I got zero WhatsApp. I just lived. Work, home, sleep, eat, yoga, read links that lara sent. i haven’t planned my own trip. I just get by. I felt lonely. Nothing seems to interest me. But I supposed these are better than insomnia, stalking his last seen, anxiety, jealousy, insecurity blah blah blah.

          T left me because she gave up on me, failed to understand why I’m suffering for someone worthless like a pile of shit (her words), so she isn’t there to update me abt ex-mm. It helped.

          Thank you all for your ears… though mine hasn’t been eventful like LL, Felk, J, Lois…

          Yes, I dare to say now he won’t be back. We’ve run out of steam. Passion died. I’m saying this not because I wanted to hear Felk or Lara say that he will be back. It’s been a year, enough already, it has come to a point whereby we all know, it has sizzled and ceased, he’s tired and he’s calling it quits, eventually things must come to an end. This is it.

          • Felk

            Nomad, it seems you’re feeling the immediately depression of realizing a relationship is over. The lack of interest that you feel is exactly what I felt for about a month after my MM ended our relationship last September. It was just going through the motions with the daily responsibilities and trying to make it through every day. But, even in that horribleness, I kept thinking about how I wanted to feel better so I made choices to try. Just like you’re doing. You’re doing yoga. You’re reading online about affairs. All of that matters. When you’re ready, take walks, plan social activities with friends (maybe just a lunch or a coffee), read a book, watch a movie. All of these are small things, but the active choice to do something other than dwell on the loss is a big step towards healing.

            Give T time, too. Just as it is hard on us to hear from friends who seem to be in terrible relationships, you know it is hard on your friend to hear about a relationship that seems bad for you. At some point, any person reaches their limit of how much they can hear about another making choices to hurt themselves. Give yourself some time to heal, and then reach out to T again. In my situation, I have one friend who I’ve told a lot about my affair. She has been there for me, but it is also clear when she’s had enough and she has nothing left to say. So she says nothing and the conversation ends and we don’t talk about my MM for a while. She needs a break. She feels she can’t keep telling me the same thing over and over, and I think it’s also hard on her to be supportive of an affair. She wants to support me, but she doesn’t want to support a situation that she thinks is problematic.

            It would be understandable for your MM to give up if you have blocked him and haven’t really made attempts since the 30th. I’m not blaming you. I know you had VERY good reasons for blocking him. I’m just saying that, at some point, he’s going to stop trying if it seems you are not responsive. That is normal. It would be hard (hurtful) for him to keep trying and continually get rejected (by your silence). I’m not saying you should have done any differently. You did the right thing for you. I’m just saying that, yes, he may have given up. He may have realized that you need to be done, and maybe some part of it is that he is trying to be kind and leave you alone (because he wants you to stop suffering). And, no, he’s not going to fall in love with his W. I am sure of that.

          • Nomad

            Felk,
            Your words has always been comfortingly apt. ☺️ Thank you and I needed your support and understanding of what I’m going through and how I’ve been living without X.

            You said “It would be hard (hurtful) for him to keep trying and continually get rejected (by your silence).” Why would he be hurting? How is it hard for him? It’s VERY hard for me and I’m hurting everyday though not soul crushing but I’m not ok. Since I saw (glance) him yesterday, I lived many soulless moments whenever I was alone. Is he experiencing the same? I doubt. He knew why I’ve blocked him, he could always anticipated my move, he just knew… when, why, how, what now? It was exactly what he did and how he treated me got me into reacting with anxiety and returning him with silence. He asked for my silence, don’t you think? He wasted me. I am the one who is being rejected after he sobered and stopped giving me attention and affection. I think he lied in May this year that the attraction was still there. Definitely not passionate or addictive enough. Feelings faded and to think that won’t happen in affair? We were in denial when we knew we’ve run out of steam, we last tried halfheartedly in July. He didn’t bother to assure me knowing what was killing me.There’s almost nothing he doesn’t know about me, my triggers and my response, and what I wanted from him. He didn’t keep trying; he stopped making sufficient effort, so little that I was getting near nothing. He has been testing my boundary and my limit.

            I do have short burst of sensible and rational moments whereby I’m convinced I’m doing the right thing for myself. I’m to be blamed for not believing him.

            Felk, I’m envious of you… your mm has finally returned, after nearly a year. It is a LONG wait but you did it! I still remembered just in early July, you said you were envious of me because X reached out.

            Nothing in Aug🙂And that’s my achievement ✌🏻

          • Felk

            Nomad, I’m glad you can find some comfort in my words. I know that this site has helped me a lot through my break-up, especially in the beginning.

            I don’t really know your MM so I guess I don’t know for sure how much he’s hurting, but it would be hard to believe that he wasn’t hurting given how you have described your affair. It seems you two fell in love. I know you wanted more from him, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t fall in love. When he came back in July, I think he genuinely missed you. Yes, he wanted the affair on his terms, but don’t we all? We each get to decide what works for us. That he needed less communication and contact than you did doesn’t mean he didn’t have feelings for you. That’s why I think he’d be hurting from your rejection. He came to you to try to start the affair again. When someone puts themselves out there and asks another for a relationship, it has to hurt to be rejected. You may be hurting more and you may feel more rejected, but I’m saying that he feels hurt and rejected, too. It’s hard for him because he has to see you at work, too. He has to be reminded of the good times the two of you had together and can’t have anymore, too. He has to be reminded of how he hurt you, and, no matter how selfish you think he is, he cared about you and likely doesn’t want you to hurt. And he has to go home to a boring marriage with little passion (which he likely made worse by having an affair). Those are just some of the reasons this is hard on him.

            Every time you talk about how much your MM disappointed you, it seems like you made the right choice to block him and move on. It makes no sense to stay in a relationship that continually hurts you. Soon, you will not be seeing him at work, right? It will be a lot easier then. Keep taking it one day at a time.

          • TTSP

            Hi Nomad,
            What do you mean by in love vs. love with their spouse? Do you see the difference as one is romantic and the other is familial and comfortable? Love comes in so many forms I never quite know the difference between in love and love.

            I did spend a day with him but I majorly regretted it. All of my depression including guilt, sadness, shame, feeling inferior, not good enough and sharing him with someone else just overtook me. I couldn’t sleep at all Sun night and Mon told him goodbye. He gives the world to someone else and I’m supposed to be ok with his nothing scraps. I want to feel carefree about him but all I can feel is rage and hurt. I have that horrible pit in the base of my stomach which may mean I’m actually going through the getting over him process.

            Are you going to give your mm a time limit to reach out and be done? What’s your next step? I’m sure your friend will come around again.

            Anyhow, I understand what you mean about hearing nothing and wanting them to fight to keep you. Conversely, he could be sparing you the hurt of these affairs. Life can feel mundane but boredom is better than this rollercoaster of highs and lows. All the headaches and heartaches that go along with waiting, wondering, anticipating, feeling totally disappointed just aren’t worth the few hours they can give you in a week. Setbacks are normal. The out of sight out of mind adage holds true. It can also work in reverse especially if you’re still physically attracted to them. Like you said ennui is better than insomnia, anxiety, and all of the other terrible emotions that come along with this.

  • Felk

    Lois, with all the upheaval in his life right now, that’s really hard. It’s just as you say… really hard being the person on the outside because you don’t get to offer the support you want to, but, even more, it adds to your insecurities about how these life changes can affect the MM psychologically. It sounds like you’re trying to be understanding, though. He likely needs a lot of space and time. Typically, though, you will find that the MM come back if you give them that space and time. Your MM also has seemed like the person who likes to deal with emotional struggles alone. And that’s hard that you weren’t able to see him today. But, again, what can you do? You can be available to him and just wait. As long as it’s not making you miserable, there’s not much harm in giving him space given all the hard stuff he’s going through.

    My MM and I are pretty good. It’s been a long, hard path, but we’ve gotten to some pattern of communication and seeing each other that doesn’t create too much guilt for him and satisfies my needs for communication/contact. You know we were attempting this “friendship” through the break-up. There were A LOT of hard times as emotions settled, but slowly we’ve gotten to a place where it’s back to playful and fun and flirtatious. You know I’m in education, too, so it’s summer break, but we’ve been seeing each other almost every week (and we even went on a date at night last week). We have admitted still having all the feelings for each other, but he is still trying not to cross (too many) physical lines. For now, it is mostly an emotional affair, although, on our date, there was a lot of closeness and touching (nothing sexual). We’ll see where it goes. I can say, though, that I am in a good place now. No more angst or insecurity or sleep struggles or nausea or any of the terrible that was happening months ago. It just feels more “normal” with us now. I know there will still be hard times. It’s an affair, after all. But hopefully, we can learn something from last time and try to do this better.

  • J

    Hi everyone, mm has told his W again and moved out again. I actually told him not to do this and to wait a bit to think. He said he doesn’t want to live like this anymore, that he only went back because of guilt, and he could never stop thinking of me. Said all he has with her is friendship, and memories, and that passion with not come back with her, and he tried very hard to get it back. He says he knows I can’t trust him, and that he’s not going to try to convince or say anything, that he knows he needs to just show with actions.

    • BAF

      J
      This is the moment when you need to be very calm and very balanced. You need to focus on YOU and what you need too. He is very flip-floppy so let’s see what happened next.
      I am crossing my fingers for you as I know this is what you want, but please go back and re-read all my cautionary statements!
      BAF
      xxxooo

  • lois

    Well, everyone. It has been awhile since I last posted and hope life is going well for those of you who know my story, Felk, LifeLesson, etc. Things with MM and have been pretty good until about a month ago when his entire world was turned upside down. The co-worker who he had an affair about 6 years ago decided to accuse him of sexual retaliation at work basically because she cannot seem to get along with people. There were several issues in their department with personnel, so he flat lined everyone. She has allowed the hurt and anger of their affair eat away at her to the point she let it take control of her. She said GOD led her to take down him down and referred to him as the devil. She did all of this in the middle of his brother being put on hospice. He ended up resigning his position to avoid people finding out as well as felt administration was not supporting him in the accusations. It is a total mess. Well, his brother passed and MM has been an emotional basket case. At first, he wanted to communicate and was okay with us. Then, he flip flopped and became reclusive. I have tried to be supportive but at times it is hard. He told me his grieving lots of things and one of them being me. I let my worries and fears of losing him overpower what was important which is his well being. The other evening he told he needs space to get through things, so I was trying until he texted the next day. He apologized for being so whacked out lately and admitted he missed me. He mentioned wanting to see me but then kind of back out. Of course, I am confused and going through things in my own life. For the past 20 years, I have dedicated my life to my kids and they are rarely home. I have been grieving too with them not being at home, losing a friend at work who I trusted and has gone off the deep end getting the man who I have fallen to resign, and not seeing MM…what a complicated mess I have myself in. Anyway, MM wants to see me today but was concerned that I expected to be intimate and he is not ready. I am really trying but it is hard to keep my focus on him right now and be understanding that he just is not there…but I still have the uncertainty of our relationship and feel selfish…UGH!

    • Felk

      Lois, good to hear from you. It seemed things had started getting better with your MM. It seemed that you had tried to take a more relaxed approach to the whole thing, and it seemed that the two of you were working it out. Of course, sounds like there have been some major life disturbances recently, though. When I was with my MM (and I am still sort of with him), I know I used to worry about major life things getting in the way of us. When we are not the primary significant other, I think we worry about getting pushed to the side if something big comes up in their life. I know your MM already didn’t deal well with emotional stress, and it sounds like that’s happening again. That is very hard that your MM had to resign his position, but, of course, we’re here for you… so I know how hard it must be for YOU to be without him at work anymore. I also can hear how hard it is for you, wondering how MM will pull through this. As usual, there’s not much you can do but be supportive and hope he comes back to you, as always. My advice is to give him space, as I’d imagine you have, but to only do so as much as it works for you.

      • Lois

        Hey. Felk. Thanks for your response. Things were going well for the most part. He even admitted that he had stronger feelings than he thought he did and was putting forth more effort to show me. I truly can empathize with his struggles. It’s hard to be the person on the outside because there’s not much you can do. He has a wife who I hope is being there for him. Although several colleagues have mentioned they were surprised his wife wasn’t more attentive at the visitation and funreal like she was put out for having to be there. I just noticed she remained seated with their children and there was no communication between them. It was weird but everyone is different. It wasn’t until others said something too. Anyway, I am trying to be supportive and keep in my mind his well being is most important right now. We didn’t end up meeting so I was disappointed. Howevrr, I found out he was arguing with pharmacy about prescription costs. I didnot ask it since he’s no longer employed he may not have insurance. It’s a mess so really appreciate everyone support. How are things with you and your MM?

    • BAF

      Lois,
      I am sorry to hear so much sh*t has hot the fan all at once.
      I am sure both you and your MM are going through very strong emotions right now. He is grieving his brother and his job and you say he is also grieving you. What does he mean by this?
      As for you, it is not selfish to need him or to need to know the relationship is secure. I would say that is pretty human. And him need ing space is also very human.
      Did you ever find out what his medical diagnosis is? (Your MM).
      Has he been moved to another department in your firm or has he outright resigned the entire firm?
      I wish you the best during these trying days,
      Hugs BAF
      xo

      • Lois

        Hey, BAF. Since you knew about his medical, I am assuming you must have changed your name fir our other posts. Lol. Honestly, I gave up trying to figure it all out. He told my friend exaggerated about the tumor. He has high blood pressure and that’s all he said. He’s been preoccupied with his brothers health for past several months so just didn’t bother bringing it up. However, a lady that works at our company knew him from her previous job where he was a consultant for her company. She told me that he had a blood disorder several years ago and was having to go to chicago for treatments. She said he’s always been in poor health. I’m not sure why he never felt comfortable talking to me. Our emotions ate extremely high right now. It’s really hard not to take his distance personal especially with our past situations. I just cant let it control my life. I’ve come to realize that we can’t make someone want to be with us and sometimes it’s not that they dont want to be with us it’s the circumstances that won’t allow it. I dont think any of us set out to fall on love with MM but it happened. It’s nice to know that I am not alone in my complicated mess…we shall what happens. Thanks for your response.

        • BAF

          Lois Yes
          I am BAF
          Brave and Free
          aka Butterflies Are Free
          aka
          Lara
          🙂
          It sounds healthy you gave up wondering anymore. (His condition). Of course his brother’s passing may very well raise his blood pressure. Is he on meds I wonder? I work with a man with very high blood pressure and he has gotten it under control but it has taken him some time. And anything emotional sets him off. I gave up asking him about it after awhile as I knew the days he should have been home and not at work and I was worried he might pass out. It became another co-depenedednt action on my part although I was trying to be helpful. He did not want to listen. So Is topped saying anything. As he is a teacher he said he preferred if his students found him so they could call 911! (He lives alone). But I detached anyhow.
          Lucky for you (LOL) I know nothing about blood disorders.
          Do NOT take any MM distance personally right now. You might ask him what he needs when you get a chance to talk to him.
          Anything goes after a sibling death, especially if it was at a relatively young age.
          I am sure your MM is a mess and needs to be alone. Just be ready to be there when he is ready to reach out. (If you intend to stay in your affair).
          As for me I have chosen to quite mine.
          Hugs BAF
          xoxo

  • BAF

    Today is 3 weeks of no contact.
    I feel GOOD!
    Well obviously not all the time but do you know what?
    Enough of the time!
    My addictive self has quieted too. If I get a new lover I need him to be a full-time ‘real’ one. No unavailable men need apply. lol. Even if I get bored to death LOL
    I seriously do not want a lover that is just another drug, just another “fix” for my inability to handle my strongest innermost emotions. Saw my therapist today and told her the same thing.
    Hugs and Love
    BAF
    aka Lara xxxooo

    • LIFELESSONS

      BAF,
      Congratulations!!! I am so very proud of you…I DO NOT WISH TO EVER involve myself with another UNAVAILABLE man again. Its too complex and a challenging situation to walk away from.

      • BAF

        AMEN to that! LL!
        Its funny because a couple of men have notice me or flirted me with a little lately. Even I do not like them all that much I keep repeating to myself: “If they are single, better one of THEM than the exMM!”
        Not only was I with a Narc but he was married!
        With the exMM I lost twice not once!
        At least I was married to my mentally ill husband and had legal rights!
        Ha!
        xoxo
        BAF

        • TTSP

          BAF,
          Incredible, pragmatic must read article for everyone on here. I never felt in love with my mm. I knew we were a product of two lonely souls that found similarities, chemistry and connection between each other. Like the article said all of the right circumstances came together and thus we ensued an affair. While the sexies and deep talks have been titillating I also experienced major shame, grief, sadness, insecurities and despair when we spent time together because I was so aware of the reality. I can’t push that aside. I always knew he would leave and go home to spend his “real life” with someone else and that is devastating. Maybe the married person experiences the highs more because they are in a rut and we’re filling the void in a mundane long-term relationship.

          • BAF

            TTSP glad u liked it. There is even more here:
            https://affairadvice.wordpress.com/about/
            The man has guts.
            There is another male here writing about his once affair:
            “TV explorer”
            His last post is really brutal. Altho his style was always blunt in general. He totally fell head over heels for a MW. And it ruined his marriage eventually.
            Many women in their own affairs followed his blog for months. Including me 🙂
            https://tvexplorer.wordpress.com
            “Listen to me carefully: No matter what you think, no matter what your endorphin-laced brain is telling you, affairs are a lie. They hook people in and they destroy lives in the process.”
            I loved hearing the perspectives of these two married males. I am sure there are others as well.
            xo
            BAF

    • Felk

      BAF, three weeks of NC is great. I know exactly what you mean by “I feel good” but “not all the time.” Yes. But, for me, that meant I was on the right path. The more often I felt good, even if I had some times of sadness, the closer I got to feeling good every day. Now, for weeks, I’ve felt good every day. It is a slow process, but you do slowly start feeling better and then good. And then you start feeling good every day. You feel your “old” self again. And then maybe you’re ready for a new man! I do hope you can find a full-time real relationship. You seem that you have a lot to give to another person.

      • BAF

        Thank you Felk. And thank you for your hope and compliments regarding a new man! Men have been paying attention to me in small ways lately . :). I know there is hope indeed! But first I must heal more from the Narcs (big “N”) and their relationship abuse which is legendary and ginormous in its scope!
        I must do “90 days NC” at minimum before I date anyone for sure (I know this internally). For me, its one day at a time (like AA and all other 12 step-groups). I DO still “miss” the man I thought the exMM was and on bad days I DO think I can FIX IT and get back together with him.
        Duh.
        I accept this.
        But my attractions to any new men at the moment are likely to lead me back to some form of a Narc as the chemistry will feel so damn “familiar” and good”. Yeah I am crazy I know. LMAO.
        Also this:
        There will never be a time I will totally feel neutral about my exMM. Never. Ever. Not possible. Not even normal for me either.
        I have what my therapist calls “relationship trauma”. It is “small “t” trauma which is every bit as bad as “Big “T” Trauma”!
        No wonder I like “part-time” relationships (on some level I mean). But NOT lately. This is growth for me. (according to her and I agree.)
        “Scapegoated” children of the Mother Narc all have “relationship trauma” and all would benefit from therapy.
        Only the “Golden child” of the Mother Narc seems to thrive (and her/his children) but in reality they are trapped in a way that the “scapegoated part of the family is free from: ENTRAPMENT). So damn I am indeed a rebellious and a strong scape goat child!
        WooHoo!
        And I love it! Thanks Ladies for telling me I am strong. No wonder I had such a hard time believing it! Now, I am beginning to feel it and damn it feels great!

        This is why I continue to go to therapy and do EMDR and probably the reason I can break way from exMM AND detach from my parents all in swoop these weeks. It does not mean I do not love these people because I DO! I even love and miss my Mom and the exMM/Narc. But they are toxic and I have to beware their psychological dynamics. It is very complicated to be in relationships with such people. VERY.

        (As an aside I have already told you, FELK) to pay very close attention and beware these dynamics in yourself, and in your MM as well. You have clearly and repeatedly identified BOTH of yourselves as small “N” “narcs”. Small narcs are just milder versions of Big Narcs but the same dynamics exist in general. Only in degrees. Either one of you can go all “narc” on the other one in a million variations I am afraid. And BOTH of you need to “win”.
        Big Narcs MUST push people lower than them or else the feel deep SHAME and self hatred. They must be the “best” by internal nature. They can not internally tolerate anything else. It might be completely unconscious. They might not mean to read havoc in the lives of their “loved-ones”. But it is in their wiring! They are light on empathy and heavy on selfishness by design. Rather than gravitating towards a fellow narc to have an affair with, I would think another type of person might be kinder to you in the long run. But hey that is just me. Same goes for him!

        Big N Narcs do huge damage in inter-personal relationships with others: All relationships: work etc. That is why I think my exMM was let go from the job he cherished so much and where he thought he was such a star and team player! Now I see his colleagues at work probably witnessed his non team-playing and called him “arrogant” and “un-operative” when he thought he was RIGHT above everyone else. Even his boss? Maybe. Who knows. He told me for a fact that he was considered the “STAR” at work: the best they had!

        Alas, personally, as an “equally unwell “super nova” empath I have always loved idolized versions of all the Narcs in my life marveling how they are so “strong” “successful” “magnetic”. etc. I am such a good little Narc/narc “mirror” LOL (empath too). When the Narcs in my life have made me feel good emotionally it is such a HIGH! feeling. Bliss! It make me feels like I am finally loved on a equal basis after all. It is such a high I am easily addicted to it with my already addicted brain. I LOVE IT.

        No wonder I have liked being in an affair and “part-time” as well in my relationship. And I have lived far away from my parents but not cut off entirely. I always tried to see the “best” in my Narcs. And then back away from him/her in order to collect my psyche together. aargh
        Thankfully, I was my ExMM’s “secondary source” of “fuel”. But he was my “primary” source of “love/passion/romance/happiness”! I needed to feel these things so badly so desperately I almost hypnotized myself I think. And I had DENIAL. But I could not let myself see he was a classic NARC. He also could “scapegoat his W to be with me.” However I know if we had ever gotten caught he would “scapegoat” me to her! I would be the mistress/harlot/whore lol It never actually bothered me! Silly me. When I started learning this about NARCISSISM summer I pushed away the awareness as it was too painful. Now with the new “affair addiction” piece I am putting everything together finally!

        Self-care and standing ups for ourselves are the way we advocate for ourselves in ANY and ALL relationships. My siblings are all confirming my Mom is a true Narc now that we are rallying around my ill father (the functional alcoholic). Even at 95 his coach “high ball” makes his day! This is how he coped with my Mom’s Narcissism and this how I coped with my issues as well (addiction/s).

        Felk, Good luck to you in finding an equilibrium you can live with and NOT attracting the unease of your MM’s wife. She is highly tuned in no doubt to him and to his behaviors. He will undoubtedly want to act loving towards her and keep his affair a secret. So will your H. And so will you. Of course identifying as narcs you might be able to “get way” with a sort of “less of an affair”. But beware as others might not be as “deluded” as you might be, especially his W and your H!
        We (myself included!) delude ourselves a-plenty. (Witness my exMM and his lay-off). Felk never think the two of you can fly too close to the sun! None of us can. Look what happened to “Pegasus”.
        I do respect we are all capable of making our individual choices here. You already know this and like you say you are both identifying as narcs (small “n”) which means you are neither one of you wired like I am. But just remember the sad truth about Narcs, narcs, and empaths: we are ALL on an extreme on the continuation of “normal” emotions/behaviors. We are all deluded about ourselves and our “special/unique abilities” And of course as anuran beings we have superb imaginations! IMHO, It is actually not a thing any of us need to feel proud of.
        I have no judgements anymore.
        We are humans and flawed. I know.
        It is even “slightly” comical like “dark humor” that my art students love so much and no wonder!
        But alas, it is real not comedy.
        Hugs, BAF
        xxx000

        • Felk

          BAF, you know I don’t read your words as judgment but merely advice based on your experience. I know that your advice comes from a good place, and I know that you offer realistic caution. It is a complicated and risky situation. That was true before, and it’s true now. We are in danger of finding ourselves back where we were before, and we’re in danger of risking the friendship all over again. Of course, we’re willing to take this risk, as you see. I think that there are some differences between my situation and yours, but I also know that there are things to be cautious of in my situation.

          For now, as you know, things are going well. We are 11 months past this break-up, and we are attempting something. It took hard work to get here, but it seems that we both want this friendship plus. Neither one of us wants to let go. That is obvious. And, it seems, that he might be getting to a place where he might want more again. I have not seen him since our date night (since I’m out of town this week), but we have plans to see each other next week and we will talk all about the touching and closeness and see what that means for us. He has stayed “close” since our date night with his e-mails and texts, and it confirms that I’m reading him correctly here. I remain sure that I want, above all, our friendship. If he wants no more than that, I am good. But, if he wants more, I am good with that, too, and I am willing to take the risks that it brings. I was willing to do that during the five years of our affair, and nothing has changed for me… so I am still willing to take those risks.

          I try to be pretty honest with myself, and try not to delude myself too much. I think I know how difficult this all is. I also think I can handle it. I honestly don’t know if what we’re getting ourselves into will be much different than a few years ago, but maybe we will be able to apply a little that we’ve learned throughout. It’s worth a try.

      • BAF

        Oops I meant to say:
        When I started learning this about NARCISSISM LAST summer I pushed away the awareness as it was too painful. Now with the new “affair addiction” piece (starting last FALL on this blog) I am putting everything together finally!
        PHEW.

  • LIFELESSONS

    Hello ALL,

    Friday or Saturday I wrote down below, the meesages I sent to MM regarding how I felt. I was anxious and I thought he may or may not want to be bothered with me anymore once he read the entire book I sent him.
    We just got off the phone with one another and I had to tell you all inmediately because if I do not I will forget.

    I said babe, do you have my bday gift and he said yes I have it. I said, oh. He said, I am going to give it to you. I said were you annoyed about the book I sent. He said no thats not the word I would use to describe it and I said, well what word would you use. He said, I would say some of it has some validity and some of its like, well let me just say, I cant and wouldnt tell you how you can and cant feel. He said, I feel a way about certain things but I just deal with it.

    I said so tell me what was valid. He said, you mention my time and energy was low or something like that…my time has been low and I have been a bit busy he said, sometimes I have things to do and it occupies my time but that happens with both of us. He said, as far as the paying a bill or buying gifts, I want to give you an example and I am not trying to make you feel bad or offend you, he said did you hear me babe not trying to upset you, but I’m using this as an example…his phone broke up a little but from what I heard he said, something about hearing him say he like certain things and buying it for him as well saying babe, I am at such a such place come meet me here or taking initiative to ask him out. He said you never say babe let’s do this or let’s do that, I am always the one to initiate us hanging out..he said, babe you know the times that I am available, you know Saturday’s for breakfast or in the evenings or Sundays because those are the times I have asked you. He said, again I am not saying this to be offensive but its just an example. He said so when you say buying gifts and things, he said I feel like how can you say that when it’s not something you do either. He said, let me see what else you said because it was a lot. He said , babe you know your son stays up late so I can’t just come over on any night, he said it’s not like the kids are gone from Friday until Sunday, They’re gone for about 16hrs every other weekend, you always say babe if you wasn’t who you are you could come over whenever but because you are his friends dad you can’t. He said, he has to accept the parameter of the situation. I told him that he isn’t consistent when he says he is going to call back, and he said babe you are right and I try to but sometimes I just really can’t call back and I call you as soon as I can but I will work on it. He said, well I’m home and I have to use the bathroom (he told me that at least 4 times when we first got on the phone) and I am going to call you later, he said did you hear me and I said yea, he said, I am going to make sure I call you back later. I said ok ok.

    When he calls back. I just want to tell him that it’s so important for us to communicate with each other although neither one of us enjoy it. He always tell me that he feel a way about certain things but he doesn’t speak on it. He tells me that a lot, and at this point I am feeling that we BOTH actually do care for one another a lot. I feel like if we don’t communicate we will make assumptions and no one wants to play the guessing game about the way someone else feels. I think he has said something to me before about me not initiating things. When he mentioned that to me today I told him I wait for him because he is the one with the wife so his time is limited and he said back that both of our time is limited but it doesnt mean I cant ask him and maybe he can plan to do what it is that I want to do. I am realizing how much I struggle with rejection, I dont like to ask him to hang out because he may say no lol and I know the no would likely be because he really cant do it but I hate to hear NO. Such a BRAT just as he said during a different conversation we had. Its a bit immature of me. Also, I am afraid to treat him more and more like a boyfriend but ultimately that is what is happening with this relationship. I think from the begining he indicated he wanted a girlfriend and I didnt fully understand what that meant. I think the young lady he dealt with before mustve been able to treat him like that but they both were married and I do think its easier to do that because you know you have your person to fall back on. If i am too webbed in, when its over I dont have a husband to fall back on. Maybe, it doesnt even matter because I have already invested so much of my time and energy into him.

    What have I gotten myself into…😔😒😫😟

    • BAF

      LL
      I scrolled down to copy paste what you said below.
      You said:
      “I am not sure he can provide what I need and I honestly think that is part of the reason I am having a hard time disclosing that information to him.” YES I CAN UNDERSTAND THAT
      “I expressed to him very early on (pre-sex) that I am not a “buy me, pay my bills” type of woman. I am very capable of taking care of myself and my children. I have been on my own since I was 18 and have had struggles and set backs but I have managed.” YES ME TOO.
      “I havent had the most positive experience with men from a very early age and yet I am not bitter and still willing to love and grow with a man.” THIS IS GREAT NEWS!
      “What I told MM is I actually need time and attention.” OF COURSE U DO!
      Not sure if thats good, bad or what but I continue to learn that about myself” IT IS TOTALLY NORMAL! DO YOU FEEL YOU NEED OVER AND ABOVE THE NOMRAL AMOUNT?
      “It shows in all of my relationships with men and/or women. Its a running joke among my girlfriends and sometimes they say…I am not your man.” HAHA
      However, I will say if he was paying bills or buying me things it would keep me content for a little while (the in between time) but not forever. I GET THAT TOO. I HAVE FELT THAT WAY WHILE IN MY AFFAIR TOO.
      “He said to me the other day that his W was bi#ching and I said I am sure I am that way too and he said nah, I dont get that from you. He said, you are more of a “I dont get my way, I dont like it and show it, kind of a” and I said, DID HE MEAN YOU ARE DIRECT OR “PUSHY?”
      Brat he said that is exactly what you act like.
      I said I have been told that by many people. I have tantrums when I dont get my way and he said, yes you try! ”
      IT IS HEALTHY THAT HE CAN EXPRESS HIS FEELINGS TO YOU.
      So, I am going to make an attempt to be a mature adult and express my feelings/concerns.
      GOOD FOR YOU!!
      hugs BAF xx00

    • BAF

      LL
      It is HARD having these conversations when you can not fall back on another relationship! I know from experience. You and he are NOT on equal footing at all. And your needs and situations are different. My exMM needed more time alone and I needed more time together for example. he was already married with pressures on him to process. My needs were being handled by ME alone so seeing him was a way I could feel supported in my life overall.
      But then I could become a “2nd wife” unless I acted all strong and needless.
      Not good for me though. My strength was NOT good in that situation.
      This is why I will never ever have another affair.
      Also of course you are afraid of rejection! He is your primary relationship! You are his secondary relationship! He is not taking the relationship risks you are .
      It ain’t fair but them’s the facts ma’am LOL and we chose this!
      Money dynamics have changed in relationships I know this. Back in the day men paid when they dated women etc.
      Having said that I am a little annoyed that he thinks a single Mom ought to invite him out?
      This does not sit right with me. But maybe you are okay with it? Somehow I doubt it. Being a single Mom is tough financially and women are often paid less than men for the same jobs. So I feel annoyed he would put that out there in response to you have emotional needs for closeness and more time from him. Is he saying he can’t afford to always ask you out? His wife does not work is that correct? But they are two people and you have two kids they have one? Money is just so tricky in affairs.!
      My exMM did not spend too much money on me but he always paid the hotels LOL He brought me small gifts at Christmas and I gave him small gifts too. I let him borrow my tools and he often worked with me on the house. He brought food from the restaurant. I DO miss the small perks! I am human after all. But all my major bills and expenses were mine to pay always. This means I had precious little left over for our “dates” whatever you want to call them. (To me it’s not a date by definition)
      I hope you can find a calm way to work thru this conversation together. State whatever you need to state!
      Affairs make us dumb because yes they are drugs. VERY powerful drugs. Like heroin some say. For me this is how I am leaving my affair: telling myself it really is just another one of my addictions and not healthy for me anymore and really DOES lead me back to drink signals and other addictive longings. That is me.
      You are you and must decide.
      Read this
      ” Like with most addictions, giving up on the immediate satisfaction is very difficult and painful to accept. An affair can boost self-esteem, rejuvenate and give us the sense of fulfillment that we look for in a relationship. Similar to an adrenaline rush, the affair can give us energy and a false sense of happiness. The problem is that all these feeling are related to a make believe reality that does not exist. Most people that are having an affair still have to go home to a spouse or significant other and create a façade to hide what is going on.”
      https://affairadvice.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/breaking-the-addiction-to-the-affair/
      Hugs BAF. xxxooo

      • LIFELESSONS

        BAF,

        I didnt think he was saying I have to pay when I invite him (maybe i was being naive) he knows I am not paying. There has been a time or 2 where I have spoken to him so that he could come where I was but if we got anything he paid. He always paid which I feel he should. I dont mind gifts for celebration of certain things. I sent him so much in text, he was trying to refer back to all the things I said…whenever, i feel like we havent talked as much or seen each other, he says to me that he feels like I never take the initiative to say we can do something or I wait for him to contact me when I know its ok for me to call him. So when I heard him say that, I knew I wasnt paying…even if I invite him. He pushes his way to come where I am. For ex, when I went mentioned the Cigar Bar he immediately said, all his friends go there and once I went and he called while I was there, he said oh I was suppose to come up there and I didnt believe that for one bit. So he said, well what do you want me to do, because I dont want to impose on you. It was passive/aggressive BS! He wanted me to invite him but I didnt. This is not the first time, that has happened. My job had a spot as a vendor at a community church. I told him about it but didnt invite him. He invited himself. He knew I was there because I told him but didnt know he was coming by because I didnt ask him to. I didnt tell him I was a little annoyed by that. I tried to get him to leave quickly. I told him I hadnt eaten and would like to get a bite to eat once I leave. He suggested a place we went (he paid) and that was that. I was happy my supervisor (who is a very close friend of mine and has been for almost 11yrs) didnt notice him….because my big mouth showed her and a few of my coworkers a picture of him waaaaaay back in Jan 2017 and once him and I went out and he said he was married, I told them because in my head I definitely wasnt dealing with a married man. So, I am sure we will talk more about it for me to get clarity. He called back last night, we didnt talk long because he was in the house. This morning, when I talked to him, I didnt want to talk to him about it. I wasnt in the mood to talk about it.

        I think from the beginning he has been trying to create this relationship he had with the last person. I felt this way very early on. He told me a few things about her and he said he loved her. He told me they did everything together. He was at a different job and could travel a bit more without it being suspicious. The thing is she was married too…so, it was different, at least in my head. She would likely invite him where she was because that was her opportunity to see him. I dont invite him to every place I go because I am single and cant have him joining me wherever I go lol…I cant meet men with him tied to my hip. I would like to spend more time with him but not necessarily out (maybe sometimes). BTW…his W does work! According to him, he pays the majority of the bills. He told me this presex. He said, its why he gets so frustrated that she says NO so much when it comes to sex. He said she gets to keep more of her money because she pays small bill and buys the food for the house. He said he feel that she is his W and he fulfill his duties as a husband so she should be able to fulfill hers. I use to just listen back then…I didnt believe until he said it over and over and over again.
        Anyway, I truly feel that he would like to have a girlfriend (again this me being naive and maybe even gullable) one that is faithful to him and treat him as if he is a king. This has me thinking about many conversations him and I had early on in our relationship and he has said things like whats the point of having a gf is she is never available and back then I wasnt as available, one day over breakfast he said he is too old to have multiple women, he just need one woman that he can be with and she do all the things he need and vice versa…..I think I dont take the girlfriend role real serious but to some extent he feels I should. I told him I went to a new place in the city that him and I are both from. His response was, thats my spot right there. I go there and BAF, I have never heard him mention this place (not to say that he hasnt been there or that he doesnt like it) but he said it to me as if he goes regularly (again, just as the cigar bar) he said, if i had walked in and saw you in there I wouldve bugged out and been shocked that you were there. I told him it was nice, he asked if it was a lot of people and he said you were probably just happy to see some men. I said, well I was looking for men. I was just hanging out with a friend.
        Him and I both need to be very very clear about our wants and needs with this whole MESS! Mess is exactly what affairs are…

        To Be Continued….

        • BAF

          LL
          My apologies if I misunderstood the words if your MM re: paying for dates.
          I realized later that for all I know, you make more money than he does and can afford this. I was thinking about the more typical scenario of a SM (single mom) who gets little or no support from her exH and even has to constantly fight for a dime. In my case I let my exH get off without alimony! DUMB DUMB I know.

          But he had NO income and no foreseeable income and was on SSI/Disability and I got a couple hundred a month of that. I was NOT about to chase him down in a sexist foreign country for child support payments. My MIL did help me out somewhat with my sons however! (It’s another story for another day). She too was Narc (big “N”) and very prominent in her career) (Long story)

          “BAF, For ex, when I went mentioned the Cigar Bar he immediately said, all his friends go there and once I went and he called while I was there, he said oh I was suppose to come up there and I didnt believe that for one bit. So he said, well what do you want me to do, because I dont want to impose on you. It was passive/aggressive BS! He wanted me to invite him but I didnt.”
          YES I REMEMBER. ALL THE CALLS BACK AND FORTH BTWN YOU AND HIM (MISSED CALLS) WERE RIGHT AFTER THIS NO?
          “He knew I was there because I told him but didnt know he was coming by because I didnt ask him to. I didnt tell him I was a little annoyed by that. I tried to get him to leave quickly.”
          HAVING AN AFFAIR PARTNER VISIT U WHILE AT A WORK EVENT IS too DICEY LL!. I DONT BLAME U.
          ANOTHER TIME MAYBE U CAN EXPLAIN THESE REASONS OF YOURS TO HIM BEFOREHAND? NOT SURE HOWEVER AS HE SEEMS TO LIKE PLAYING GAM,ES WITH YOUR HEART.
          “I told them because in my head I definitely wasnt dealing with a married man.”
          YES EXCELLENT THINKING ON YOUR PART!
          “I think from the beginning he has been trying to create this relationship he had with the last person. I felt this way very early on.”
          YES I AGREE.
          He told me a few things about her and he said he loved her. He told me they did everything together. He was at a different job and could travel a bit more without it being suspicious. The thing is she was married too…so, it was different, at least in my head.
          YES IT IS. HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR AFFAIR PARTNER? IF IS HE YOUR SECONDARY RELATIONSHIP YOU MIGHT BE OKAY BUT IF HE IS YOUR PRIMARY ONE YOU ARE NOT? IF HE IS YOUR PRIMARY ONE YOU ARE MUCH MORE VULNERABLE EMOTIONALLY THAN HE IS. THIS IS WHY DURING DIFFERENT TIME PERIODS IN MY AFFAIR WITH MY EXMM I TRIED TO HAVE MY PRIMARY RELATIONSHIP BE “SOMEONE ELSE”. IT DID NOT WORK OUT STELLAR-LY BUT I WOULD RECOMMEND AT LEAST TRYING IT ONCE IF YOU CANT IMAGINE LEAVING YOUR MM.
          “I dont invite him to every place I go because I am single and cant have him joining me wherever I go lol…I cant meet men with him tied to my hip. I would like to spend more time with him but not necessarily out (maybe sometimes).”
          YES ABSOLUTELY. AS A SINGLE WOMAN YOU MUST JUGGLE WITH YOUR OTHER “REAL LIFE” (YOUR FRIENDS COLLEAGUES KIDS ETC CAN NOT KNOW ABOUT YOUR AFFAIR BUT U MUST FOR YOUR OWN SAKE KEEP SOCIALIZING AND NETWORKING WITH THEM AS IF YOU WERE SINGLE. I GET IT TOTALLY. YOU NEED THESE PEEPS AS THEY TOO ARE YOUR IMPORTANT SUPPORT SYSTEM. EMOTIONALLY AND FINANCIALLY. REMEMBER YOUR BIRTHDAY GIFTS FROM THEM?? According to him, he pays the majority of the bills. He told me this presex. He said, its why he gets so frustrated that she says NO so much when it comes to sex.
          SOUNDS LIKE MY EXMM WORD FOR WORD.
          I SWEAR THEY ALL READ THE SAME BOOK, LOL.
          He said she gets to keep more of her money because she pays small bill and buys the food for the house.
          SAME HERE.
          BUT THE WIVES GET ALL THE REAL 9(ACTUAL) FINANCIAL PERKS TOO! THE HOUSE THE MORTGAGE PAID THE SECURITY OF TWO INCOMES, COLLEGE SAVINGS FOR THE KIDS, VACATIONS BOTH WITH AND WITHOUT THE KIDS! A SINGLE MOM MUST MANAGE TO PROVIDE ALL THIS ON HER OWN! IT SOUNDS EVEN LIKE FOR DRIVING YOUR MM AND HIS W MIGHT BE USING YOUR KINDNESS AT TIMES? DOES SHE DRIVE TOO I HOPE? I EVEN GAVE MY EXMM MATH TUTORING BOOKS SO HIS W COULD TUTOR HIM!. (NOT THAT SHE EVER BOTHERED HOWEVER). SHE WAS BUSY GEETING HAIR CUTS AND COLIRINGS AND GOING TO THE GYM TO A LOOK A MILLION BUSCKS FOR HIM. aaarg
          IT’s ANNOYING AT BEST!
          EXCRUCIATING AT WORST!
          I ALWAYS WORKED TWICE AS HARD AS MY EXMM THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE AFFAIR AS I WAS A SINGLE MOM ON ONE SALARY.
          BUT FUNNY THINS IT IS ME IN THE BETTER PLACE NOW AND OVERALL!! BOTH FINANCIALLY AND IN MY RELATIONSHIPS WITH MY ADULT SONS AND IN MY CAREER!

          Anyway, I truly feel that he would like to have a girlfriend (again this me being naive and maybe even gullable) one that is faithful to him and treat him as if he is a king.
          DITTO MY EX-MM
          !!
          This has me thinking about many conversations him and I had early on in our relationship and he has said things like whats the point of having a gf is she is never available and back then I wasnt as available, one day over breakfast he said he is too old to have multiple women, he just need one woman that he can be with and she do all the things he need and vice versa…..
          HE IS FEELING LIKE THE VICTIM AND PLAYING PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE WITH YOU.
          HA! MINE DID THIS TOO. “POOR ME”
          I think I dont take the girlfriend role real serious but to some extent he feels I should. I told him I went to a new place in the city that him and I are both from. His response was, thats my spot right there. I go there and BAF, I have never heard him mention this place (not to say that he hasnt been there or that he doesnt like it) but he said it to me as if he goes regularly (again, just as the cigar bar) he said, if i had walked in and saw you in there I wouldve bugged out and been shocked that you were there.
          HE IS JEALOUS OF YOUR SINGLE LIFE, LL
          PLAIN AS DAY. THAT IS WHY HE MIGHT PRETEND WITH YOU LIKE HE IS REVIVING HIS MARRIAGE TO HIS W OR TO MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE THERE MIGHT BE ANOTHER WOMAN TO MAKE YOU FEEL JELOUS RIGHT BACK. THIS WAY YOU BECOME MORE INSECURE IN THE RELATIONSHIP AND MIGHT TREAT HIM EVEN BETTER!
          HE IS JEALOUS AND MANIPULATIVE AND PLAYING GAMES WITH YOUR HEART TO MAKE YOU FEEL JEALOUS RIGHT BACK.
          THIS IS SO YOU HE HETS IN YOUR HEAD THAT YOU “OUGHT TO BE MONOGAMOUS AND NEED ONLY HIM” SINCE HE LOVES YOU SO MUCH AND HE IS SO GOOD FOR YOU AND TO YOU!
          HE IS PROBABLY NOT THE HAPPILY MARRIED FOREVER MARRYING KIND AND NEITHER IS MY EXMM
          I told him it was nice, he asked if it was a lot of people and he said you were probably just happy to see some men. I said, well I was looking for men. I was just hanging out with a friend.
          Him and I both need to be very very clear about our wants and needs with this whole MESS! Mess is exactly what affairs are…
          YES MESS BUT WE ARE IN THEM FOR VERY GOOD REASONS NOT BY SHEER CHANCE OR ‘IT JUST HAPPENED”. ONCE YOU UNDERSTAND WHY YOU ARE IN THIS RELATIONSHIP BETTER YOU WILL BE ABLE TO ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF, LL! I DO RECOMMEND GOING BACK TO YOUR THERAPIST AND TALKING WITH HIM/HER SOME MORE. PLUS YOU SEEMED TO HAVE LIKE IT! AS YOU CAN SEE BU MY STROY IT CAN AND WILL HAPPEN !!
          many hugs and love
          BAF

          • LIFELESSONS

            BAF,

            No need for an apology. I actually do NOT make a lot of money nor do I receive a lot help from kids dad. He contributes a few hundred a month, nothing more, nothing less. MM and his W earn much more than I do and they have 2 grown children (not in their home) and one kid in the home that they have to provide for. He knows I am not paying for much of anything lol. I think I paid for lunch 2x during the time weve been seeing each other. I actually am the “typical SM”.

            Its not easy, him being my primary relationship. I am definitely more vulnerable and as hard as I try to stay grounded in reality, every now and again…Its gets rocky and I lose my balance. I know its a must for me to keep my social life. Im not well when I hide in the house. I learned this years years ago when my kids dad and I broke up. I was depressed and didnt know I was depressed. I love my friends/colleagues and they love me too. They enjoy me for who I am. My attention seeking behavior can be a bit much at times, my dramatic and bossy ways get on their nerves but they love being around me. Some of them just like to see me smile because I am typically very bubbly and some of them are not so they know without a shadow of doubt, I am going to come in with my smile and talk them to death lol. So…yea, he cannot come in and steal that.

            -As far as the driving, we all have to do it. I drop them off the 2 days and they pick them up.

            – You may be right about him being jealous of my single life. I know he doesnt like it, its threatening for him. If I meet someone, I go away and he doesnt have that buffer anymore. He lose the benefits he has with me so…yea of course he is jealous…

            – I agree with me returning to therapy. I definitely enjoy it…I just need to figure out how to add to my schedule. Therapy is very Therapeutic😊😊

          • BAF

            LL
            I see like me you are the typical SM. A MM can look very attractive to any woman like us because we don’t think we even have the time to date, what with the kids, the multiple jobs, the housecleaning, meal preps, tutoring, soccer camps, sleep overs and all the rest.
            Do you get any help from family? I did not have anyone close by me. I was physically on my own to raise my sons and I did so with great pleasure! But it took a toll on me physically, emotionally, etc.. Single mothers have it hard usually, not easy. Money is tight as exH’s often don’t come through OFTEN. We women often become the end all and be all for our kids and we try to do our best and often laugh off the weight of the responsibilities. I am sure it is similar for single Dads when their wives vanish leaving them with all the responsibilities.
            My exMM became like my “part-time husband” (in my deluded mind LOL) and I had my sex supply and some attention from him. But I never took any money whatsoever from him. Neither did he offer. It was all too “convenient” for me being he was right next door etc. I was able to work go back to school and still have a sort “half-husband” on the side. LOL
            But when my kids grew, I saw my faulty planning. I saw my imagination had run wild with him. He was still married and I was still his “secondary” relationship. But now I was wanting MORE out of my primary relationship (which was him). It really depressed me actually and me feel very stuck in the situation as I loved him. (I thought I did anyhow). I felt I had hung in for the duration of our the relationship through thick and thin and now we were here at the end of the tunnel and I was looking at ZERO future with him! His W (who was barely working throughout the marriage and mainly a stay at home Mom) was now planning vacations and retirement with him. I would need to go on working and plan my future retirement on my OWN (on one salary). It is not like he and I had saved together or could now plan together. It was a dead end. It had always been a dead end.
            But he was used to the same ole same ole by then. He felt I had always known he was married so why was I changing the rules of the affair? He was kind of right in a way. But I was growing and changing and needed more.
            Beware the routines we fall into in an affair. They can leave us very depressed and feeling abandoned at the end. Affairs take so much work from us to manage emotionally but just remember that does not mean we ever get a legitimate relationship for all our hard work. Now I think my work and energy were not so well placed after all. But hindsight is always 20-20 no?
            Hugs BAF
            xoxo

          • BAF

            LL
            I see like me you are the typical SM. A MM can look very attractive to any woman like us because we don’t think we even have the time to date, what with the kids, the multiple jobs, the housecleaning, meal preps, tutoring, soccer camps, sleep overs and all the rest.
            Do you get any help from family? I did not have anyone close by me. I was physically on my own to raise my sons and I did so with great pleasure! But it took a toll on me physically, emotionally, etc.. Single mothers have it hard usually, not easy. Money is tight as exH’s often don’t come through OFTEN. We women often become the end all and be all for our kids and we try to do our best and often laugh off the weight of the responsibilities. I am sure it is similar for single Dads when their wives vanish leaving them with all the responsibilities.
            My exMM became like my “part-time husband” (in my deluded mind LOL) and I had my sex supply and some attention from him. But I never took any money whatsoever from him. Neither did he offer. It was all too “convenient” for me being he was right next door etc. I was able to work go back to school and still have a sort “half-husband” on the side. LOL
            But when my kids grew, I saw my faulty planning. I saw my imagination had run wild with him. He was still married and I was still his “secondary” relationship. But now I was wanting MORE out of my primary relationship (which was him). It really depressed me actually and me feel very stuck in the situation as I loved him. (I thought I did anyhow). I felt I had hung in for the duration of our the relationship through thick and thin and now we were here at the end of the tunnel and I was looking at ZERO future with him! His W (who was barely working throughout the marriage and mainly a stay at home Mom) was now planning vacations and retirement with him. I would need to go on working and plan my future retirement on my OWN (on one salary). It is not like he and I had saved together or could now plan together. It was a dead end. It had always been a dead end.
            But he was used to the same ole same ole by then. He felt I had always known he was married so why was I changing the rules of the affair? He was kind of right in a way. But I was growing and changing and needed more.
            Beware the routines we fall into in an affair. They can leave us very depressed and feeling abandoned at the end. Affairs take so much work from us to manage emotionally but just remember that does not mean we ever get a legitimate relationship for all our hard work. Now I think my work and energy were not so well placed after all. But hindsight is always 20-20 no?
            As for him being “jealous” of your single life I would say this is no brainer. for so many of us the “grass is always greener” elsewhere, no?.
            Hugs BAF
            xoxo

          • TTSP

            BAF,
            You described the futility of affairs for SW perfectly right here, “But now I was wanting MORE out of my primary relationship (which was him). It really depressed me actually and me feel very stuck in the situation as I loved him. (I thought I did anyhow). I felt I had hung in for the duration of our the relationship through thick and thin and now we were here at the end of the tunnel and I was looking at ZERO future with him! His W (who was barely working throughout the marriage and mainly a stay at home Mom) was now planning vacations and retirement with him. I would need to go on working and plan my future retirement on my OWN (on one salary). It is not like he and I had saved together or could now plan together. It was a dead end.”

            I never thought of it in terms of primary or secondary relationship but you are absolutely correct. I thought I’d luck out and some other prince charming would rescue me and we’d fall madly in love. My other path was the mm would see how wonderful I was and take up a life with me. Ha, I couldn’t truly open up to someone else and the second path is just a big f’ing joke. That never ever happens and I always knew that but fantasy is analogous to denial

    • Felk

      LL, it sounds like your MM tried to answer your messages honestly. It sounds like he could have been a little more straightforward in responding to some things you said (like about how he “feels a way about certain things”), but it sounds like he spent some time talking to you about how he interpreted and felt about what you were saying. I can understand how he might feel it’s a two-way street if you’re asking him to buy you things, he wants you to buy him things, too? He wants you to initiate with him, too? He doesn’t want to always be the one. I understand that, and I understand your reasons for not initiating more. I know you’re scared of the rejection, and you want to know that he wants to spend time with you. I get it. In my affair, I initiated 75% of the time. I didn’t like that imbalance, but I am the type of person who likes to plan. If I want something, I ask for it. Of course, there were MANY times that I didn’t ask when I wanted something. In an affair, we have to learn to accept that we can’t always have what we want, but I asked often. I liked so very much when my MM would ask me, though, so I understand why you let him initiate so often. I understand how you’re scared to treat him like a boyfriend, and maybe you’re scared to ask because you don’t want to have those expectations. On the other hand, if you never ask, do you ever get him when it’s convenient for you or when you’re wanting?

      As far as him (and you) being busy, though. That’s another really hard part of affairs. I remember you telling us a few weeks ago about all that trouble the two of you had even getting some time on the phone because one person would call and the other would be busy and couldn’t talk or he’d call you and your phone wasn’t near or you couldn’t answer… and that went back and forth for days. That’s how it works when both people have children and other lives. It’s really hard finding that time for each other. Although I always knew my MM was in love with me, I don’t think I ever fully appreciated how hard he tried to find time for me, given that he had so many other responsibilities outside of me. And, I really did appreciate the time he found for me and I didn’t try to pressure him much, but there were plenty of times I felt sorry for myself when he wasn’t available. Maybe one good thing about our break-up is that it’s helped me get used to less time with him. If some sort of friendship/affair is going to work for us, he probably needs more space to feel like he’s fulfilling his responsibilities at home.

      As far as having someone else to fall back on, I don’t know how much that matters. Hearing what we all go through in these affairs, it sounds pretty similar when the affair ends. It’s pretty miserable all around. I’ve heard single women on here say they think it must be easier for MW when the affair ends, but, as a MW, I think it must be easier as a single person because you get to find new love. As a MW, I am much less likely to. Point is, I think we all have it rough for different reasons.

      So… did he call back like he said? Did you get to talk more?

      • LIFELESSONS

        Felk,

        You are right, I felt that he tried to answer my messages. His tone was very calm and he can be a jerk sometimes. When we talked a while back he made that statement of, “there are things I dont like either but I dont say nothing” I said to him like what ?! He said, that you dont always answer the phone when I call and you get back to me at your leisure. He said, he doesnt like that, I only have this short window of opportunity for him to come over. He is not really direct in his communication and I told him that. He feels that he communicates with me. I think he feels because he tries to make sure he talk to me regularly, and he lets me know (most time)when he has to cancel our plans (although sometimes its at the very last minute) I told him neither one of us are really good at this effective/direct communication thing. I have made some assumptions about some of the things he doesnt like because he has made mention of certain things indirectly….

        Of course, I understood him wanting us to be reciprocal with the gift buying as well as the initiation of us spending time together. I didnt look at it from him point of view until the other day. I will put forth the effort to initiate dates. He puts forth the effort to keep his word, its just not always consistent. So he has made sure every time he says he will call back, he calls back. On Tuesday night, we talked as he rode home from work, he got home and said he would call back and I said there is no way he will call back but he did and he said I am calling you back because I said I would and I do not want to hear you say, you didnt call me and I dont like it because you said you would. He said it in a jokey, silly way but put on his girl voice to imitate me. We laughed and I told him his efforts will not go unoticed.

        You asked if I ever get him when its conveint for me and the answer is yes and no. Yes because he knows my schedule with my kids so he typically know he may be able to come over or he may know I am free for breakfast because theyre gone. However, If i took the initiative to ask him, we may be able to go out for breakfast on the weekends i have my kids and the following weekend when theyre gone he could come over to my house and I would feel that we got a chance to spend some time together. When we go to breakfast we stay for a good while so we can talk. I know I have some maturing to do, not just for the relationship with him but if i ever want to have my own successful relationship, I am going to have to learn to speak up more and be direct.
        Another thing I do, with my indirect way of communicating…
        We talked today and I asked him what he was doing, he said, Driving. I got a little snippy and said, why do you always say that, instead of saying Im coming from here or going there. He said, i answered the question you asked and it darned on me that one of my close friends said I do that often. He was annoyed a little and so was I but not in an argumentive way. I said to him, you are right, I have a tendency not to ask the question I want the answer to, I should have asked where are you coming from. He said, yesss we both laughed at his dramatic yeessss.

        He said he was on his way in the house and I said ok. He didnt say he was going to call back, I was ok with that…he knew he wasnt so he didnt say it. Not sure if I answered your questions but its 12:56am and i am sleepy. Chat with you soon

    • TTSP

      Hi LL,
      Mine has also lamented about me never initiating plans. He’s the married one so the limitations fall on him. He said I’ll never say no and if I can’t do something I’ll propose another day. Anyhow, like you I don’t want to treat him like a bf. He doesn’t do anything that a bf would do so I can’t give myself like a gf. Plus, there is the issue of protecting your heart and not getting too emotionally invested.

      I tried to remove myself permanently and got sucked back in and spent a day with him. I should be embarrassed to post on here after all of the breaking up messages I wrote. I can’t even explain how I got lured in but I recently had a nice date with a single man so I’m definitely putting myself out there. I hope Felk, BAF, Nomad aren’t disappointed even if I’m virtual. IDK what my deal is but I got really horny and my addiction took over. This is so hard to break free from and I think everyone on here completely gets it.

      • Nomad

        TTSP, how did it happened??? I can understand the sudden surge of horniness, you couldn’t see it coming, because it happened to me so many times. I’m sure you tried your best to avoid the trigger and so how did you get sucked back in?

        What happened after that? Did he mia? Or things are still rosey that you decided to enjoy the moments until he turns cold or does something that makes you want to end it again? are you getting another perfume? What’s your plan?

        I’m not disappointed because I understand 🙂

        • TTSP

          Hi Nomad,
          I only have myself to blame for not sticking to my position. We were IMing and the conversation veered in the direction of us and the next day we were hanging out. I’m not playing the victim by acting totally innocent. It takes two equal parties to tango and he knows how to dance around me. IDK why I decided to spend time with him. Yes, I do get very horny and it my drive is strong. It does come out of nowhere. I take ownership for it.

          He was not one to go missing in action or turn cold but I’d never consider anything rosey. In the beginning he used to get standoffish the day after we got together but I called him out on it and he changed his behavior. He doesn’t do anything specific to push me over the edge. It’s everything about an affair. They’re deceitful, confusing, dishonest and they activate the biggest insecurities and fears on both sides. They have potential to cause total disaster. It’s all the circumstances surrounding the “relationship” that make me want to exit. He wants to keep going but he also recognizes all of the above difficulties. I don’t know what my plan of action is from here? I’m updating my resume and thinking of an exit strategy from work. The fucked up thing is that I really like him as a person and while he has lost his way with me, I don’t think I’ll walk away ever thinking terrible things about him. These situations though are unhealthy and I fully admit that. How are you holding up?

      • LIFELESSONS

        Hi TTSP,

        You know WE ARE NOT THE JUDGY GROUP lol. None of us have a lot of room to judge…Just encouragement and support as needed. Its easy to get sucked back in when you are addicted…

        Its such a high, it feels so good, your adrenaline is pumping when you reconnect with your MM. My MM is a cool dude, and he is very down to earth. He makes me laugh and I love that. He puts forth efforts that none of my ex were able to do. I feel I am very easy to please due to my loose boundaries (not proud of that but stating facts) I require a certain amount of attention and I have always been this way. The attention he showed me in the very beginning got me hooked on him. It felt so good for a man to pay attention to me, for a man to want to talk to me daily and throughout the day. It felt good for someone to want to spend time with me. I worked with kids and came home to my kids so I spent most of my day providing attention to everyone else. I am very reflective so I have come up with a list of reasons why I continue to subject myself to someone elses husband….
        1. Inability to set boundaries
        2. Love attention
        3. Co-dependency
        4. Lack of self-worth/value
        5. Insecurities
        6. Fear of being in relationship(due to past failed relationships)
        7. Comfortability
        8. My need to take care of people/help people
        9. I Love Sex and feel its a need not a want
        10. Genuinely love him
        I can go on and i could also make a list of reason I should not be subjecting myself to someone elses husband. Its self fulfilling in ways and damaging in others. We all have what it takes to walk away but most of us dont truly want to. Addictions can be broken and it takes time and effort but I think you (all of us) have to decide you want to break the addiction and believe it to achieve it. I dont think any of our situations are happenstance, everything happens for a reason and there are LIFE LESSONS in all of our experiences. There is something for us to get out this, for someone of us it almost needed to happen in order for growth to occur…

        Dont feel too bad about going back, it happens! We are here for you!

        • BAF

          LL I love your list! That is real progress.
          When you read over the traits can you see that a single man someplace would also be drawn to you? Or do you see those traits as only negative? Just curious.
          Hugs BAF
          xoxo

          • LIFELESSONS

            BAF,

            Unfortunately, I do not see many positves on that list ??! Maybe 8 and 9 but thats about it! So, yes I view them as pretty negative…can you tell me what you see ?

          • Felk

            LL, I like your list, too. Some of those resonate with me as well, and I find that the reasons Nomad added are pretty close to my reasons for having an affair. Having narc tendencies, it’s loving attention, boredom, challenge, and ego that likely led me to the affair. Of course, I found a person who I get along with well and I’m very attracted to, but, since everyone meets people like that, there has to be something else that makes a married person cheat. It’s loving the attention and it’s all the things that Nomad said. I’d only alter the one she said about mid-life crisis to say that I frame it as only having so much time in one’s life and wanting to make the most of it. I understand that many people would argue that they want to live their life honestly, with loyalty, etc. But, for me, that is less important (at least in my marriage) than wanting to feel that attraction and “in love” that I feel with my MM. It is “fine” with my H, but it is exciting and fun with my MM. I want the best of both worlds. I want the comfort and support of my H, but I want the excitement of my MM. Since Nomad is a MW, too, I would guess that some of the reasons that MW have affairs with MM are different than for SW.

          • BAF

            LL
            Your list is this:
            I put stars* next to qualities I can see someone else appreciating:
            1. Inability to set boundaries
            2. Love attention
            *This can be a plus for some relationships when a man loves to shower a woman with attention!
            3. Co-dependency
            4. Lack of self-worth/value
            5. Insecurities
            *If you can admit your insecurities to another person they are usually relieved not put-off. Many men feel more relaxed with a woman who can be “human” in tis way.
            6. Fear of being in relationship(due to past failed relationships)
            *Most people feel this way I would say. Most people have baggage too. Again admitting it is not a bad thing. It is just your feelings. A man might feel relieved again that you are honest about this.
            7. Comfortability
            8. My need to take care of people/help people
            *This is a great benefit for anyone you decide to love!
            9. I Love Sex and feel its a need not a want
            *This is a benefit for anyone you decide to love!
            10. Genuinely love him
            *This is a great benefit for anyone you decide to love!

            PS I would say “co-dependency” and “the inability to set boundaries” would be the areas you need to work on. (I feel the same way about myself in these areas by the way)
            Hugs BAF
            xoxo

          • BAF

            TTSP
            I totally “get you” here in your words to LL:
            ” Anyhow, like you I don’t want to treat him like a bf. He doesn’t do anything that a bf would do so I can’t give myself like a gf.” This is part of the problem of affairs naturally.
            AMEN to that.
            Hugs BAF

        • Nomad

          LL

          Excellent list you’ve gotten here and may I chip in my bit? 😬

          1. Inability to set boundaries – I could set but failed to execute or maintain the boundaries, that is, whenever I see him, I’ll cave in
          2. Love attention – yes!!! I love his sweetness too however that lasted 1st 6 months before he said he couldn’t sustain the bar so high and neglected his work, family and himself. He started to withdraw and I started the NC to help him. Starting this year, the NC were more for my own sake, self preservation or protection we call it.
          3. Co-dependency – yes I’m guilty of that
          4. Lack of self-worth/value – not really… I’m blessed at home and I’ve a stable job (I’m anti social by nature at work)
          5. Insecurities – ALWAYS with mm and tonnes of jealousy and anxiety – hate it – he did nothing much to pacify or assure me
          6. Fear of being in relationship(due to past failed relationships) – not applicable to me
          7. Comfortability – I’m the most comfortable with mm in the room
          8. My need to take care of people/help people – I think I’m a Narc after reading so much from Lara & Felk…
          9. I Love Sex and feel its a need not a want – I love it with mm, the best!
          10. Genuinely love him – I love falling in love with him but I doubt is genuine love with compassion, comfortability, trust, respect, security and stability. I feel the latter towards my H.

          I’ve added my own
          11. Mundaneness and boredom in marriage
          12. Mid life crisis and keep thinking time is running out and mm (addiction) made me felt high and alive
          13. My ego

        • TTSP

          Thanks LL,
          I can totally relate to practically everything. I think an affair can happen to people that have plenty of self-esteem if all of the right conditions are in place. Take a married person that is lonely in his/her marriage and a single person that is looking for love. Bring the two together along with chemistry, emotional intimacy, rapport and you have a recipe for an affair. After everything I’ve read on here and other sites I think it can happen to just about anyone even if you have the strongest of convictions. Life is hard and when you find a special connection it’s hard to ignore it. Like you said, life experiences speak volumes.

      • BAF

        TTSP No judgement from me either! It has happened to me so many times. I think it is excellent you went out with a single man. And yay you are putting yourself out there. Sometimes dating single men drove me right back in to the arms of the MM (I compared them and landed back with the MM) and other times it was healthy for me as I had a primary relationship of my own. The “highs” with the MM never left however. Breaking a love/sex addiction is a process (because it is a “process” addiction!) and no one can do so until they are ready and highly motivated.
        Hugs BAF
        xxx000

        • TTSP

          Thanks BAF, I have walking depression and that does not steer me in the right direction either. I’m not making excuses but I’m also revealing that aspect of myself bc I’m not exactly stable mable. A bad date can definitely send you into the arms of the MM but I think as a result of feeling such tight restrictions with him I’m so much more turned on by availability. No regrets but no repeats either. Happy Friday and have a lovely, relaxing, peaceful weekend.

      • Felk

        TTSP, yeah, no reason to feel embarrassed. You’re in love. You’re trying to get out of a relationship. It’s really hard. My guess is that it’s wasn’t that you were horny, either. I’m thinking this is not about sex. Yes, the sex is great, but it’s the other stuff, the love stuff, that pulls at us. Sure, I wanted to have sex with my MM through the break-up, but, much more than that, I just wanted him.
        Just time with him and closeness with him and him looking at me the way he used to. We all know how hard this is. These feelings are really, really hard to get past, but, with some effort, it will happen for you. The feelings do die down after some time, and then you can really be open to a relationship with someone else. And when you start to fall in love with someone else, your MM will become a pleasant (but distant) memory.

        It’s good that you had a nice date with another guy, but until you are free from your MM, it will be hard to really feel attraction to another. Without distance from your MM, your brain doesn’t have the freedom to feel for another what you feel for your MM. Take your time.

      • BAF

        TTSP
        I totally “get you” here in your words to LL:
        ” Anyhow, like you I don’t want to treat him like a bf. He doesn’t do anything that a bf would do so I can’t give myself like a gf.” This is part of the problem of affairs naturally.
        AMEN to that.
        Hugs BAF

  • J

    Hello. Oh boy. Mm and I decided to go for a coffee on Friday, as friends. This came after Thursday night we exchanged some rude fighting words to each other through messaging, even rudely commenting on each other’s spouses. Well Friday, he apologized and we decided to meet as friends, we ended up at the park because it was a beautiful day. We got very close while just talking, one thing led to another and we ended up having sex. I know you are all shaking your heads and I am too. But we were laughing and enjoying each other’s company like we used to. I tried so hard to resist him, but I couldn’t and he said he couldn’t either. Said he’s been trying to deny his feelings but he couldn’t any longer. And it was great as it usually is. Afterwards we kissed many times before parting ways, he didn’t want to leave. We messaged all night and met Saturday again and kissed and hugged for a long time. He also wanted to meet Sunday but I couldn’t. Well now he’s telling me that he needs me and loves me and has to be with me and wants to leave her again. He said that he just got overwhelmed with all of the changes after he moved out and he was confused because the focus of our relationship became about them, and took away our joy. He says he realizes now that we are normally so joyful together when we aren’t talking about the problems/stress. He also said that he knows he seems crazy and wouldn’t blame me for running away and being done once and for all. He also apologized for the torture he’s put me through. He said that he took next week off of work, planned a few weeks ago in an attempt to work on his marriage. He said he can’t cancel it, he said he’s planning on letting her know after that week. He also said he needs to go to the gym with her only until next week and asked for my patience. Said he’s certain it’s me that he loves and wants. I said nothing really and just heard him out. Is he completely insane? Is he lying? Thoughts???

    • TTSP

      Hi J,
      Will you wait until he moves out and has his own place before fully investing? Talk is just that. I’m all about backing up words with actions. You know the ol’ saying, “Dog bites you once, shame on them. Dog bites you twice, shame on you.” Also, it’s easy to talk a big game when the love chemicals are flooding the brain after unbridled passion. We all know that affair sex is the best sex in the world. I hope you don’t put your life on hold waiting for him to leave. It isn’t over until it’s over. I really hope you guys will be the exception and not the example here.

      Hugs

    • Felk

      J, how many times have you been through this with him? How many times has he told you that you are the one he loves? I don’t think he’s lying. The problem is that I also haven’t yet seen him leave his W. As TTSP says, all that matters is action now. You have been through this over and over with him. You can continue to give him “patience,” but what is he asking? How long will you have to wait? How long are you willing to wait? As usual, I’d be really hesitant to believe that he was going to leave his W. He just moved back home after squaring himself with God. What will be different this time? Will he not feel guilt this time? Will his W not cry and beg and get him to come back again? Will he not feel he’s going against his religion?

      Why would your MM have to let his W know after next week? Why not tomorrow? Why does he need to go to the gym with her next week? If he wants to leave, he can leave at any time. None of his delays make sense. But you know this. He continues to delay. He continues to come up with reasons to not leave his marriage. I don’t say this to make you feel sad. I say it so that you are ready, once again, for his doubt and his negativity and his guilt and his W putting pressure on him to return (and your MM giving in to it). Of course, THIS time could be different, but until you SEE action to show you that, why believe him?

    • Nomad

      Hi J, what’s 1-2 weeks more to wait after all these 1-2 years of roller coaster with your mm. I know you wanted to believe me but please pardon me for being frank here. He will not leave his wife. Even if he did, will the both of you live happily ever after? Having said that, miracle may happen so come September, it could be a new chapter of his life leaving his wife for you. Till then, I suppose you can wait patiently and hope for the best 🙂

    • BAF

      Hi J, The least surprising part for me is the fact that the two of you had sex. This part I totally understand. You don’t have to “think” when you have sex so I can understand the sex quite easily.
      What I understand less is his words and your hope. But I have been there so many times over my 21 years, of course I “get it” too. I just wish you could be “smarter” than I was so many times so you can suffer less! But I know I am not in control of your life or your outcome.

      So I highlighted his words and my CAPS are my response,
      “Well now he’s telling me that he needs me and loves me and has to be with me and wants to leave her again.”
      PAR FOR THE COURSE OF AN AFFAIR
      ” He said that he just got overwhelmed with all of the changes after he moved out and he was confused because the focus of our relationship became about them, and took away our joy.”
      I AM NOT SURPRISED AND THIS IS A SOMEWHAT FAIR ASSESSMENT on his part.. BUT YOU ARE NOT HIS DRUG, J!
      YOU ARE A FULLY GROWN WOMAN WITH NEEDS AND WANTS AND HOPES AND WISHES ALL YOUR OWN.. YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO ASSERT THESE AND he CAN NOT EXPECT YOU TO ALWAYS BE “FUN” and “UP”. NEITHER CAN UOU BE PLEASANT AND FORGIVING ALL THE TIME, AS MISTRESSES AREN’T WE ALL EXPECTED TO BE FUN AND CHEERFUL UNLIKE THE “WIVES” WHO ARE THE “HEAVIES” IN THE KIND OF SEXUALLY BORING MARRIAGES OUR AFFAIR PARTNERS DESCRIBE TO US?
      MY NEW MOTTO IS THIS: “F–K THAT!” IF MY EX-MM WANTS MORE FUN AND PHYSICALITY THEN LET HIM GO SURFING!. 🙂
      “He says he realizes now that we are normally so joyful together when we aren’t talking about the problems/stress.”
      BUT OF COURSE, J!
      HE DOES NOT HAVE TO SPLIT THE MORTGAGE WITH YOU, PAY THE BILLS WITH YOU, FIX THE HOUSE WITH YOU, PARENT WITH YOU, BECOME UPSET OVER THE PROBLEMS OF THE ADULT KIDS, ETC ETC.
      OF COURSE AN AFFAIR FEELS BETTER!
      BUT LIKE I SAID YOU ARE NOT HIS DRUG!
      AND VICE-VERSA.
      HOWEVER HE IS HOOKED AND SO ARE YOU. WE ARE ALL HOOKED, J.
      SEE HIM FROM THAT FRAMEWORK, J; SEE HIM AS AN ADDICT. AND SO ARE YOU. WE ALL ARE IN THIS STATE OF ADDICTION HERE. HIS BRAIN IS OUT OF CONTROL BECAUSE THE HIGH OF THE AFFAIR AFFECTS HIS NEUROTRANSMITTERS AND HE CAN FLY!! SEX BTWN YOU DOES THAT FOR BOTH OF YOU. WE HAVE ALL EXPERIENCED THE EXACT SAME STATE OF ‘BLISS” IN OUR AFFAIRS UNTIL WE CRASHED DOWN.
      ROMANCE/SEX/PASSION IS A DRUG!
      “He also said that he knows he seems crazy and wouldn’t blame me for running away and being done once and for all. He also apologized for the torture he’s put me through.”
      TO THIS I CAN ONLY SAY:
      ‘WHATEVER. BIG DEAL. WHATEVER. TALK IS CHEAP ETC. LOL.’
      YOU ASK:
      Is he completely insane?
      WE HAVE ALREADY ESTABLISHED IN EARLIER POST THAT HE HAS A LIKELY EMOTIONAL DISORDER. HE IS ALSO AN ADDICT. ARE ADDICTS INSANE? HELL YES, WE ARE. ALL OF US IN THE AFFAIRM BOTH SIDES.
      WHEN WE NEED OUR DRUG WE BECOME SELFISH AND IRRESPONSIBLE AND EVEN GREEDY.
      WE TAKE STUPID RSIKS AND HIDE OUR BEHAVIORS.
      OUR ADDICTION HURTS OTHER PEOPLE IN OUR LIVES, SOME OF WHOM WE EVEN LOVE!
      (HERE I DO NOT MEAN THE AFFAIR PARTNER). I MEAN THE HUSBANDS, THE WIVES, THE KIDS, OUR FRIENDS ETC. WE DONT SET OUT TO HURT OTHERS DELIBERATELY. BUT ALAS THEY ARE SWEPT UP IN OUR ADDICTIONS ANYHOW. WE HAVE TO LIE TO THEM AND BETRAY THEM TO GET OUR FIX. WE SEEK OUR DRUG FIRST AND OTHERS LAST. BUT WE DONT ‘MEAN TO”
      WE GO AGAINST AGAINST OUR HIGHER INSTINCTS AND OUR CONSCIOUSNESS.
      WE ARE “WORKS IN PROGRESS AT BEST”. :). ALAS WE ARE HUMAN AND FLAWED. BUT WE CAN GROW AND LEARN TO STOP THE ADDICTION TOO!
      Is he lying?
      I THINK IN AFFAIRS THERE ARE ALWAYS LIES. LIES ABOUT ALL KINDS OF THINGS.
      IN MARRIAGES THERE ARE LIES. IN HUMAN INTERACTIONS THERE ARE LIES.
      BUT IN AFFAIRS THERE ARE REALLY HARMFUL LIES PROTECTIONG OUR DRUG.
      SO IS HE LYING? I THINK HE IS TRYING TO PERSUADE HIMSELF THAT HE IS A GOOD GUY AND NOT A LOVE/SEX ADDICT MARRIED TO AN ALCOHOLIC WOMAN HE FEELS SOMEHOW RESPONSIBLE FOR. HIS LIE TO HIMSELF IS HE CAN HAVE BOTH OF YOU; HAVE HIS CAKE AND EAT IT TOO.
      Thoughts???
      ALL ABOVE!
      I hope this helps.
      warmly BAF
      AKA Lara
      xxxooo

  • Butterflies Are Free and Brave and Free

    Ladies thank you for all your help and support. TTSP YES I got to a meeting. Thank you. The drink signals faded and I coped by eating two bowls of my favorite ice cream (sugar). My sponsor laughed and said ice cream was okay but just for one night. :). I would have smoked some cigarettes like I tried doing last summer when I was emotionally upset but truth be told I have asthma and it was and is a very bad idea. LOL.

    I am back home in my own life where I will have knee surgery on my meniscus this week.
    My father will hang on for awhile but no one knows how long. He is suffering from dementia and congestive heart failure (late stage). It is a lot to process the death of a parent at any age. But there were some real silver linings in the experience in that several of my my siblings and I are on a whole new relationship level. And my father and I are on a whole new level. And my siblings and I are discussing the fact that my mother is a Narc. And that my father protected her.

    However, I set some firm boundaries with her. She was NOT happy to be challenged! It reminded me so much of my exMM. But at least now I understand the behavior for what it is. One Narc in my life is enough! Why would I ever want to add another one? I would NOT. So much for reuniting with my exMM.

    I thought of my him off and on while up there with my father. I saw billboards with his name on them and restaurants that serve the same food. I missed the familiarity a tiny bit but not too much. I could taste that food in my mouth that he cooks. Like I said the addict in me wanted a balm for my pain in my brain. My addiction/s is merely a coping mechanism for emotions I never learned how to process. My addiction ANY ADDICTION! masks the unprocessed emotions whatever they are. These could be from childhood…they could be from later in life. But the “stuffing” of uncomfortable emotions is the root cause of reaching out for the booze the sex with an unavailable man, the gambling etc. And humans are very inventive with addictions. My mother suffers from a “cleaning and keeping busy in the house with endless tasks” addiction for example. The love / sex addiction to my exMM for me was a real powerful addiction for me. He represented the healing love I never got as a child (in my deluded mind) lol. He was the strong stable male who could protect me. (ahem). He was sexy so sexy. And secure in himself. (Ahem). My addiction turned him into another person! I was in love with a dream of who he could be and since it was an affair and I did not see him all the time I was able to keep my dream of him in place. My girlfriends said to me : “HIM? Are you kidding?” They never saw the magic I saw. Now I know they were right all along. But it took me so many years to see the truth. I saw it at the same moment I finally recognized the Narc mother I have and saw her clearly too. Epiphanies are like that I think. Shattering! But then a whole new day begins after all the glass breaks. Has anyone seen the tarot card: “The Tower” in the Rider Waite deck? The Tower has been what my life has been like the past few weeks. But after the Tower comes a new and hopeful card! I am going to reach that stage too. I just know it. LL I am not sure about staying away from this blog to not get triggered. Now I am changing my mind and thinking that writing helps me “process my process” here. I am not sure I want to make anymore big changes at the moment. You and all the other people here on this board are a true support system for me. Being in an affair with an unavailable man or woman but very love in him (or her) is so painful. People not in the situation do not understand what we go through to try to find resolution. It is unique and this board is unique too and I treasure all of your words and support!
    Any how thanks to the 12 step meeting the fire alarm in my body is off for now. PHEW!! It is hard for an addict to face emotions but it can be done! With support, spirituality, therapy, 12 step groups, meditation yoga etc etc. it all can be done! Certainly I am amazed at myself and my strength right now. I am amazed at my ability to process so much emotional sh*t and still be hear to tell my story. There is great hope in this! Hugs and Love, xxx000 BAF aka Lara

    • J

      Lara,
      So glad you’re doing ok. You are such a strong and inspiring woman. You’ve helped me and others on here so much. Your questions and observations are always so thoughtful and insightful. I’m sorry about your dad, but it’s great that you can find the positives in your situation. Keep being who you are.

  • LIFELESSONS

    Hello Felk and Ladies,

    I have spoken to MM since sending him the book of messages. Last night, or early this morning around 1am I sent him a message asking him if he had read the book. I knew he may have been up because of the concert. He called me immediately, and we talked as we normally would. I asked him how was the concert and he said it was great. He said he was tired from standing up all day. He said he would try to send me some videos because I said, I like some of the artists. He said, he had so much running around to do before he went to the concert. He asked what was I doing up. I told him, I was watching a show. He said, babe I just caught up on that show Friday night. We talked about that a little and then I said, soooooo, did you get the book ? He said, yes with a little chuckle and I said, well did you read it. He said, yea I read it. I said all of it. He said yup. I said well are we going to talk about it ? He said, yea but not right now. I said, are you home he said, yes I been sitting here in the driveway for a little bit now. I said o ok. I asked him about the concert scheduled for today, and the artist line up. He told me and said well babe, I am going to go in the house but i will call you tomorrow. I said, ok! He did call today but we didnt talk too long his son was about to get in the car with him and he would call me back as soon as he could…

    I knew when he called late last night/early this morning that we wouldnt talk about it and I knew we wouldnt talk about it today. I figured since he had given me a heads up about his plans for the weekend…talking about “US” wouldnt happen. I am hoping a day during the week, we can find time to qeither sit and talk or talk over the phone. I am interested in what he has to say.

    I am just so happy, I decided to let him know how I was feeling. It shows my growth. I struggle with that in relationship with available guys. I honestly dont see me involving myself another MM but I cannot go on in this and be disregarded. Felk, I had really thought about what I wanted to say to him and the vibe I wanted to give off…I wanted it to be reasonable, and not threatening or come off in a negative way. I truly believe we teach people how to treat us and if I want something to happen differently, I have to be open about it. I cant expect him to read my mind!
    Not sure, he has a new girlfriend. I am thinking he may be on better terms with his W, they seem to be doing more things together now. He told me last week that he asked her to go to the concert, she said she might go Sunday, he said, she never want to do what he want to do but she always want him to do what she wants. He said, He already asked his older son to go with him incase she decided she didnt want to go. It looks like she decided not to go. I think I can fall back a little if he tells me he is trying to be a better husband. Will I be disappointed…yes, of course but I can respect a man being honest. I would explain to him that this (me) is not a revolving door so he couldnt swing in and out but I am willing to be cordial with him. I feel we are forced to be cordial with one another because of our unsual circumstance. I have tried to mentally prepare myself for his response to my book but I wont know until we talk. I dont think he enjoy talking about feelings either.
    I will be sure to keep you all posted on the outcome.

    Talk to you soon!

    • Felk

      LL, you sound strong here. You sound so calm, too. I know you must be eager to talk to your MM, but, like you say, you hope to have time this week and you were not going to push him to talk this weekend since you knew how busy he was. Even if you are understanding of his plans, though, it must be hard to know you put that all out there and have to wait to talk. But, that’s an affair. There were many times my MM and I had to put serious conversations on hold until we could find time to talk about it. That was probably one of the hardest things about the affair to me. I like to talk things out when they are bothering me. My MM also liked to talk about relationship issues, but he was much more patient with waiting to talk. I, of course, was able to wait and I didn’t bother him about it, but psychologically, it was hard for me to wait to talk when we had issues we wanted to discuss.

      However, now that I’ve gone through it so often and now that we talk so much less, it is easier. We had that nice date Thursday night, and I know we both want to talk about how much we touched each other and how (emotionally) close we were all night. We don’t have any plans to talk yet, but I’m in no hurry. I’m out of town this week, and I feel comfort knowing that we will talk about all of this when I get back. He has already initiated e-mail and let me know that he is thinking about what happened Thursday night. It is rare for him to initiate e-mail and ever rarer for him to initiate talk of feelings, but he did both and that helps me be patient in waiting for this conversation.

      Having the attitude that you understand if is trying to be a better husband is a great attitude. It’s hard to fault our MM for trying to work on their marriages. Even though it’s disappointing and it hurts, we know that’s the situation we’re in. And, of course, most important is your MM being honest and not trying to string you along. And, yes, you can go through all of his possible responses in your head, but try not to dwell too much on how he might respond to all your texts. Just try to wait until you talk. No one really enjoys talking about feelings, but to have a good relationship, we have to do it!

      • TTSP

        Felk,
        If he wants to renew the physical part, will you open that door again? I know your immediate response might be duh, have you not been reading my posts. I’m curious though if you’re concerned about his penitence following any physical relationship? I believe you mentioned that he would pull away as a result of guilt or something. Do you trust that he’ll keep the lines of communication open? My ex mm used to become aloof the day after we were together until he decided he wanted a “special friend” indefinitely.

        You seem to be at peace with a friendship and contented for the most part. If he doesn’t want to resume any physical aspects will you truly be ok with that decision on the inside? God, I wish mine had intimated that he was trying to work on his marriage. At least I’d have a good, solid reason for him staying in a marriage versus surrendering to what is and using me as a bandaid. Ugh, this getting over him process stinks. You go through so many different cycles of emotions and reconciliation over everything. You think you have a grasp on it all and then out of nowhere… you’re overwhelmed with sadness that you were indirectly not the chosen one.

        Have a nice, smooth trip! Going on a vaca helps to get you out of your head.

        • BAF

          TTSP I know how badly you want to eb the “chosen” one. Oh how I hated being the “other woman” for so long. I wanted to be the chosen one too! Now looking back I realize I dodged a bullet, Maybe you are dodging one too? Can you think of the reasons you would rather NOT be chosen? Can you think of any of his traits that have you thinking being “chosen” by him is not as great as it might seem? These thoughts might help you. The truth is you really would not want a cheater who is also a liar by default. That is one big thing so think about it!
          Maybe by “not being the chosen one” you still mange to WIN? To come out the WINNER?
          🙂
          Hugs BAF
          aka Lara

          • TTSP

            BAF,
            Yes, if we met when we were both single I’d want a serious relationship with him. Even if he were to choose me he’d have all of the pain of a divorce with children in the mix. He may want an alone period to recover and self-reflect. Additionally, my mom’s friend dated a married guy for 10 years and when he divorced he left her too. Yeah, that’s right. Even if they were to end their marriage that does not guarantee they would choose the other woman. I do not like the other woman role at all. It activates of all of my inner demons for lack of a better description. With respect to why he might make a difficult partner… He has depression like me and thus suffers with mood swings. When he is upset with you he gives you the silent treatment for however long he wants which is a form of emotional abuse. I understand people need a cooling down period but there is a time and a place. He didn’t talk to me for an entire day when we went on vaca together and it royally sucked. As a cheater he has the ego narcissistic tendencies but I think I have some narcissistic qualities too. Thanks for forcing me to think about these traits. It helps to put things in perspective. I believe in my heart that we’re dodging bullets and one day they would’ve traded us in for someone different.

            Hugs and God Bless

        • Felk

          TTSP, yes, I’m open to the physical relationship again. That door never closed for me. I, like your MM, would be okay with an indefinite affair. I know it’s hard, but it’s always felt worth it to me. Am I concerned about him pulling away again if we resume a physical relationship? Sure. Right now, we’re still taking it rather slowly. Still trying to figure out what we’re doing and what works for us. If some physical can work, I’d like that. But, it’s possible he’ll say that he can’t get back into the physical relationship. I just hope that we talk about it all and are honest with each other about what we’re feeling. I think that’s the best way to avoid too much pulling away. He and I have been pretty good with honesty and openness throughout the affair, but I think we can do a little better. Of course, if we’re going to keep doing some sort of affair, I’d like to correct for mistakes in the past or try to do it better “this time around.” And, yes, I do trust him to keep lines of communication open. Over the last 11 months, he’s shown that he wants to keep talking it all out and wants to keep communication going. Yes, there are periods where he takes more distance (than I would like), but that has always been his style throughout the affair.

          And, yes, if he doesn’t want to resume the physical part of our relationship, I’m okay with that (although last week, it seemed he wanted to at least resume some of it… maybe the more “innocent” aspects… touching/holding hands? I am not in denial about how that leads to other physical. I’m just saying that he may be trying to draw a line in his head right now.). And, yes, I truly am okay if we don’t go any further physically. I have said that since our break-up last September. I want him in my life. I want his friendship. Yes, I want more, but, more than that, I want the friendship. So, if the only way to have his friendship is to give up the hope for more, then I am good with that. An affair is a complicated situation where you have to be willing to accept less than you would get in a “normal” relationship. I think this is easier (but not easy) when both people are married. I really do understand why you need to end your affair with your MM. You are young. You want more. Your affair cannot give that to you. Your MM is content with it as is because he is already married. And it’s not exactly that you’re not the chosen one. You know that marriage and family are a complicated thing. I don’t have to tell you it all, though. You know.

          The getting over process is pretty bad. There were so many times I thought I had that grasp, and then I was overwhelmed again. But, the overwhelming eventually stopped. There came a point (six months later?) where I no longer felt periods of “overwhelmed” anymore. I still felt sad and had hard times, but it did all slowly get better over those six months and then a lot better after that. Just take your time. Keep your eye on the prize. If you want to start a new relationship with someone else, keep doing what you need to do to make that happen. Are you still NC (other than professional) with your MM? Is he sticking to that?

          • TTSP

            Felk,
            I did not stay NC with him and in fact we spent a day together this past week. WTH was I thinking? I can’t say why I gave in to my addiction at all except that it started with an innocent IM that turned into more personal, intimate talk. We’ve had a very emotional bond too sharing our depression issues, life traumas, struggles, you name it and I’m so used to him as a big support system to me.

            I’m disappointed in myself for not sticking to my word especially after broadcasting it here. How can I have any credibility if I can’t follow through on what I say I’m going to do. I had a nice date with a single guy this week and another planned for the weekend. Still, I trust you raise a good point that it’s very difficult to keep my heart entirely open to a new connection if the MM is in my life in any form. I want to keep my eye on the future and stay focused. I wish I was young but everything and everyone teaches us something. I can’t say for certain what I’m going to do going forward. I’m at a loss although I know what the right thing is to do for everyone. I’ve heard it and said it a million times. No more breakup discussions. Getting a new job is probably what has to happen unless he leaves the company…

            How was your vacation? Do you talk to your MM while you’re away or keep that separate? You guys seem to have the right arrangement for both of you. Maybe removing the physical removes the icky complications. Sex has a huge emotional price. I’ve read articles about the severity of emotional affairs vs physical affairs. Some say emotional affairs are drastically more damaging but an ongoing relationship where two people are giving each other orgasms is incredibly bonding. For me it seems a lot more manageable/doable to remove that from the equation.

          • Felk

            TTSP, yes, I saw in another post that you two have been in contact. I get it. I have never been the type to just rip off the bandaid and be done. I have always been a slow exiter from relationships. When I’m done, I’m done, but it takes me a while. And, with my MM, you know that I don’t want to be done. We are in different situations, though. You are not married and you want a “normal” relationship with someone who is available to you. I don’t want that. Or at least not enough to leave my H. I am good with my MM staying married (and I want to stay married to my H). I think it’s honest for you to say that you’re not sure what you’re going to do moving forward. It’d be great if you could just cut off contact and be done, but it’s not always that easy. Some people can do it. Most people can’t. But, you slowly take steps in that direction and then eventually you are done. It does seem that getting a new job would be really helpful, if you can do it, though.

            I’m still on vacation, but my MM and I have been e-mailing while I’ve been away. He also texted me this past week, which is very rare for him. He’s been pretty playful over e-mail, so I think that bodes well for us. In the past (during our break-up), when we’d get close, he’d go MIA and he’d feel angst and torn, but he doesn’t seem to be feeling that after our date last week. That’s a good sign for our friendship (or whatever we’re calling it). He’s also asked to see me next week, so that feels good, too.

            As for the physical v. emotional, in any long-term relationship, I think it’s hard to have the physical without the emotional. Yes, short-term physical can be done without much emotional attachment, but I don’t know many people who can continue to have sex with someone for years without an emotional attachment. So, to me, it seems that physical is worse… because it comes with the emotional, too. Emotional is difficult, too, no doubt, but if you can separate it from sex, I don’t trigger those addiction chemicals as much. When you’re having sex (or doing sexual activity), you’re triggering additional hormones (or maybe to a stronger degree) beyond that which is triggered when you’re just talking and flirting. Touching my MM last week felt pretty good as far as managing my expectations and desires. But we know how easily the emotional closeness can lead to the physical. I think I can keep my expectations in check pretty well if we cross more lines, but I think he has a harder time doing that. Although he’s never said it directly, I think that, when he and I are having sex, he finds it hard to get an erection with his W. So, even though I don’t want to have sex with my H very much, I “can.” I think my MM may physically have trouble having sex with his W when we’re having sex regularly. My guess is that he’s worried about that if we were to start up the physical again. We’ll see what he says next week, though. I’d imagine the possibility of crossing more physical lines will come up when we see each other since it’ll be the first time we’ve seen each other since our date night. I am trying to keep my expectations in check for that conversation, too. He seems rather playful and in love again, but I know he’s also very cautious. I don’t want to go into that conversation expecting him to tell me he wants the physical relationship again. I really don’t think I have that expectation right now, but I’m trying to remind myself to be realistic and go slow. If he says that, that’s great; but if he doesn’t, that’s fine, too. Things are good now, and I like how I feel.

  • Brave and Free

    Hello everyone
    I am writing from a new state (away from my home) where I am spending a lot of time with my father who is at the end of his life. It is hugely stressful. VERY emotional and intense. He is irreplaceable to me and I have been spending my time with him making peace with my feelings towards him. It is very intense like I said and my mother my original Narc is falling apart at the same time. And very needy.

    So what does this have to do with my affair? Well a lot. Glad you asked.
    I also just went thru the break up with my exMM. The Narc. 21 off and on years with him are over. I no longer have that love/sex addiction to fall back upon as my father dies. As my Narc mother continues to talk about HER pain over the rest of our pain/s.
    In this new location, I have not been thinking much about my exMM but when I do think about him I desperately wish he was there for me emotionally right now. But I know that is an illusion. He can not be there for this ginormous event in my life because:
    1). He is married
    2). He is a Narc.
    In fact this whole break up process started two years ago when HIS father died and I could not be there for him either. He was abroad in his country of origin with his W and kids. I could not be there for him. Now the reverse is true for me.
    How sad. True love should not be this way should it? aargh
    It is still hard for me to not dream about my exNarc once in awhile. But I do think overall the reality of his Narcissism is very strong at the moment and my dreams get erased and replaced with my new reality pretty quickly.
    So: no feel good sex/love drugs for me. No brain highs via my “sexy and hot exMM”. No ability to think he really loves me and cares about this phase of my life. No ability to make love to him or f–k him for fun or flirt and banter with him back and forth. No losing myself in our former “US”.

    So I have been praying and trying to stay very very close to my HP and to Jesus specifically.
    Does this help? Yes absolutely. I am able to let go of the illusion of Narc love much much easier by imagining that Jesus loves me without reservation or hesitation. And that He loves me just the way I am, not some “improved version” of myself. And I have my two sons who definitely love and care about me in this moment. And many close friends I have carefully selected who “get” me the best who are helping me. And I have siblings (some nuttier than others lol) to help me in this process as they are going through my father passing slowly as well.
    So what happens to the “addiction feelings” in me: the need to have something so bad you can taste it so you can feel better? The need I sometimes feel to reach beyond my house to the hands of the exMM who will make me feel better at least temporarily?
    I will tell you where this addiction in me goes: It simply shifts to another drug. I have zero control over this process. It is purely automatic. My brain does not say “hey that’s okay I am fine without that neurotransmitter bust that glorious high you have providing me.”
    “Its okay,” BAF, “let that MM go!”
    Hell NO! My brain especially with the crisis with my father is in emergency mode right now. It is telling me: I need a drug! NOW! My brain is desperate.
    So my brain finds the next drug automatically. So in my case, after 17 years of sobriety I find myself craving alcohol now that I have no MM. I am craving alcohol stronger and hardernthan I have in years and years of sobriety and because of the stress of this situation, my father slowly dying. It amazes me to have these craving with all I know about my “bottom”.
    But my brain automatically wants the easy way out.
    That is how addiction is. Addiction (including love/sex addiction) is relentless!
    I tell you this to BEWARE.

    Meanwhile, my father at 95 still is craving his lifetime drug of choice: scotch.
    Addiction is partly genetic and partly environmental. And partly learned. I personally feel that once the brain learns it, once the brain figures out the escape valve route, and learns how to do it, the brain stays that way forever.
    I hope I am wrong. But look at the dismal rates of opium addiction and you can see.

    Why am I telling you this?
    Because we have spoken about the addictive nature of affairs and their impact on the brain. The brain gets HOOKED and needs the neurotransmitter boost it gets used to. So withdrawing from affairs ENTIRELY is very hard stuff worthy of a special kind of “rehab”.
    The “slow morphine drip” kind of break-up (or staying together ) (I mean some contact or low contact with the affair partner feels much much better than withdrawal.)
    But there are huge mental emotional risks with “slow drip” break-up.
    The slow drip method prevents recovery and endangers oneself MORE to alternative drugs (pick one, any one).
    I know this absolutely because craving alcohol is a HUGE red flag for me and tells me “slow drip withdrawal” with the exMM at this moment would make things far harder for me emotionally, physically, and mentally to heal from losing EITHER man in my life.
    Because the issue is I have an addictive brain and I must learn to cope with it without feeding it and making it worse. I must learn recovery from addiction methods and techniques.
    As an aside I intend I intend to reach out to my recovery network ASAP for support too. I am sure not the only one like me. Others have walked this path before me. There are addicts like me all over the damn place!
    hugs and love
    Brave and Free
    Keepin’ it real as usual :). Mainly for MYSELF first!
    xxxooo

    • LIFELESSONS

      BAF,

      First I am sorry to hear this about your dad. No matter how old or sickly a parent becomes, it still very difficult to watch them in a declining state. Prayers for you and your family as you go through this trying time…

      What you wrote was very interesting and informative for me. I feel, I am pretty sharp for a 35 yr old lol but even I didnt realize how severe an addiction is. I have family members who are addicted to drugs and or alcohol, Some of which have mental health issues and they are self medicating. The county I live in has a huge epidemic of drug overdose and deaths. There is a board with the total for the year and I swear every time I ride by the total changes. I think its over 200 overdoses and 46 deaths. I have taken anatomy and physiology classes to prepare for the nursing program, (that I never applied for) and I learned so much about the brain and how it functions. I know its powerful but didnt really put affair and addictions together in its entirety. Reading what you wrote makes sense, and its why we have some a hard time letting certain things go. Your mind controls everything in your body except your heart. You can be brain dead but still have a heart beat….anyway, I appreciate your insight as always. It always feels like, when it rains, it pours. I am sure dealing with this along with getting over your ex Narc is definitley provoking you to delve into old habits but you know how I feel about you…you posses a lot of strength, courage and wisdom. You may be tired of hearing me tell you that but in everything you write, there is strength. Please be sure to seek out your support group ASAP because you will need it. I realize even the strongest of people have breaking points but you know how to be proactive and you have certain things in place already which is really good. I know you had said at some point you will have to slow down on visiting this forum and if that will help keep your mind off of the ExNarc then so be it. Unfortunately, I think we will all still be here when decide to check in with us from time to time lol.

      I think my MM and I have reached a rough patch and not sure what will come out of it. I care so much about what happens with us but I am still not willing to completely lose myself in him. I have to seek what i want and need in any relationship and I have always had a hard time communicating my needs but I told myself I cannot be afraid to tell him or any other man what I need because I love me and my needs are important to me. I wrote below about the messages I sent it. I think I wrote it to felk and ladies. I am disappointed in the way I communicated with him. My intentions were to talk to him yesterday but he talked to me briefly (10mins) and within that time he made reference to how busy he was going to be ALL weekend so when he said he was going to call me back I said ok, but something said he is not calling back. He was on his way home and sometimes he call back and sometimes he dont….so I text him almost immediately after we got off the phone and said, i knw you dont always call back but can you call back before you get in the house. He never replied….I waited almost an hour and I knew he wasnt calling back so I text again and by the time I actually text him how I felt it was almost 10pm. When I talked to him earlier that day, it was about 7p. I didnt want to text him too late but I knew he claimed he was busy all weekend and I was anxious to tell him how I felt. I know myself, I wouldve found every reason not to tell him…so the messages were long and who knows how they presented to him and at it this point I cant be too worried. Its done and I cant take them back!!

      Praying for you and your family!
      Chat with you soon…
      Stay Brave and Free!!!

    • TTSP

      Hi BAF,
      First, I wish you and your family the absolute best during this hard time. Being there for your Dad and everyone else is such a gift to them. God bless and please try to focus on now, not yesterday or tomorrow, but now.

      So…can you get to a meeting? If you have a sponsor can you call her or anyone in the program? Remember that there is no rough situation that alcohol won’t make infintely worse. When I periodically have an unexpected craving I find that eating a good, nourishing meal helps relieve that craving. They are often brought on by low blood sugar. I’m sure you’ve heard the acronym HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired). You may have one or all. I always find that a meeting and/or talking with others keeps me grounded. You probably know all of this already so apologies if you feel like I’m insulting your intelligence. Last point…. while I know sugar is not good for us, if you have a delicious sweet treat for yourself that’ll kill any desire for booze. Alcohol is a sugar. I’ll take some sugar over the remorse, shame and miserable experience of a hangover.

      I missed your last part on reaching out to your recovery network. Great plan! Stay strong and remember that this is temporary. You have friends and family that will lovingly give you the support you need.

      • BAF

        TTSP Thank you for your suggestions. Funny I just posted about eating ice cream for a sugar kick one night. Yes it works temporarily but can easily turn into an eating disorder so today I am abstaining from sugar for today, Thew those chocolate covered almonds right out the window that my sister gave me LOL
        Hugs BAF xoxo

      • BAF

        Hi Nomad. Thank you! I just posted about my ice cream 🙂
        STAY STRONG.
        I feel much better today and no longer have the alcohol cravings today.
        Hugs BAF aka LARA
        xxx000

    • Felk

      BAF, I’m glad you are getting time with your dad. I know you have a lot going on right now, and I understand that craving for alcohol that you’re feeling. As you’ve written about many times, when we lose one addiction, we are at risk of moving to another. Like others have said, I do hope that you’re able to talk to people in your recovery network.

      • BAF

        Thank you Felk!
        Done.
        I talked to people in my recovery networks and settled on ice cream treat for a night.
        It worked and I feel better today. But there will be more hard days ahead as well.
        Hugs,
        BAF. xxxooo

    • Nomad

      TTSP

      “God, I wish mine had intimated that he was trying to work on his marriage. At least I’d have a good, solid reason for him staying in a marriage versus surrendering to what is and using me as a bandaid.” Dittoed. Mine would always say they’ve no intimacy, no sex, just companionship, giving the kids a family perfect picture, no heart to heart talk, no sparks etc. his exact words.

      I know Felk just wants her mm to remain in her life, even at his terms, as friend when he is guilty and needs to work on his marriage; as a “special” friend when he feels safe and starts to miss the physical touching and we all know sex is a biological need for any men. He should get it from W but doesn’t mind if there’s an option for a fantasized version. I think Felk is able to live with that. She’s amazingly understanding and would be perfect for my mm. I know I cannot be like her. I’m always thinking of ending because I hate the vicious cycle and staying at his terms and convenience. As a mw ,who has no intention to leave H, I have lesser to lose by waiting and accommodating. If mm returns, it’s a bonus, if he leaves due to guilt and fear, I should understand and be patient, meanwhile I’ve a family to fall back on, life goes on. If! If and only if it’s so simple like arithmetic. I feel anger, sadness, jealousy and anxiety whenever he turns cold. Why did I stoop so low to become his bandaids, filling his void, foolishly waiting for him to say love me without me asking? Lately, one thing is getting clearer, I don’t love him, I’m also falling out of love with him by merely observing what he’s capable of giving me for the past 1week including weekends – his purposeless whatsapp just to see if he’s being blocked. So, I’m living and clinging on to memories and I’ll never get that version of him back anymore. It’s a matter of time I’ll wean him off. Whenever I think about him saying he’s not sure if he’ll still come back to me after his trip, I could walk out immediately knowing heartache is right ahead. So, why am I still not blocking, severe all ties? I’m still waiting, waiting for nature to take its own course, waiting to prove that I’m right about him.

      • TTSP

        So are you going to see what he does when he returns? What if he returns and still doesn’t give you the time and attention you desire? I see what you mean about hanging on because you’re already settled down into a relationship. Definitely a fair point although is this worth the cost to your emotional health? Sometimes toxic relationships are the most alluring because the difference between the highs and lows is so great, you become hooked on the release from the high. I’m not saying yours is toxic necessarily but if it’s causing you more suffering than joy, it’s pause for thought. Let’s replace the word toxic with bad fit. Do you get that horrible knot in your belly, tightness in your chest and lump in your throat when thinking about him? Do you feel major anxiety like you are powerless and helpless in the situation? Whenever I experience those sensations in a relationship I know it’s a bad fit even if I have strong feelings for the man. When I remove myself I’m overcome with a sense of liberation and melancholy.

        Take good care of yourself and keep us posted on your progress.

        • Nomad

          He mia today. Zero WhatsApp. I was told he was in my office premises since 2.30pm. I left at 7pm, nothing from him. I know he’s been online until 10.15pm. So, 9 days are all it takes for him to stop. He started the mindfuck game again, it takes less than one minute to text if he wants to, but he didn’t and trigger my rumination and cyber stalking and it’s a huge red flag waving at me that I am losing myself again.

          By tomorrow morning when I wake, I’ll decide to cut him off and stayed cut off if I didn’t hear from him at all.

  • Nomad

    Woke up feeling it’s hard, still hard to nc though i did well for 4 weekdays. I’ll pull through another week. He can continue with his mixed signals and desultory whatsapp or appear at my desk but the feeling of I’ve had enough is stronger.

    As I’m typing this, his WhatsApp “gm” came in. “Now no reply at all”.

    • Nomad

      Sun morning, his WhatsApp “good morning, missing bb”, “what’s for breakfast?” and nothing else for the whole day.

      For some strange reasons, i kept stalking his last seen the whole day, something which I’ve not been doing for a long time since I’ve hidden my own last seen status. I saw him online many times and for a long time today especially from 7-11pm. Then I would imagine he’s flirting with someone new. Otherwise he could go offline for 8hrs on wkends. I am so curious who is he chatting with!

      I went for a 5km night walk around the neighborhood. I was thinking about when is he going to stop reaching out. How will I react if he stop his desultory WhatsApp. I’m ok past 6days of nc was it because i know he’s still trying to reach out? He has been throwing more crumbs each day since I went mia after lunch on last Mon. Even a gm text on wkend! Yes I know it’s pathetic but it was something he wouldn’t do he knew I was chasing after him.

      A week has crawled. I must pull through next wk when he’ll be happily on leave which stretches over a long weekend. Once he’s on leave, I’ll be shelved aside. He would not care if I’m dying inside. He has all the time, money and mood now to pamper his wife. (Heard his projects completed and more free these days, no more OT, also just taken months of bonus and paid for air tickets, W was very pleased) sorry for ranting again. I hate such thoughts on wkends when I’m trying to hold back and resist responding to him. It’s a setback to my moving on journey.

      I went for 2 movies with my kids and cooked for them over the wkends, kept myself busy enough yet, his desultory whatsapp triggered some anxiety and curiosity in me. I have been practicing breathing to calm my mind and heart, and to remind myself of my chosen path, the acceptance it’s over, I’ll never be happy with him again, and that I must get out of the cycle ASAP. Just thinking about what he’s doing with his family on wkends , who has he been online with is mind draining and frustrating. Yes i asked for it. I don’t know what and why I’m still bothered.

      Good night ladies!

      • Felk

        Nomad, it’s impressive that you’ve gone 6 days with NC, but… why does your MM keep sending you messages if you’re not responding? Well, I guess I have two questions: 1) Why is he still sending you messages if you’re not responding? and 2) If he has decided to keep responding in hopes that you respond, why isn’t he sending more than his short messages? Why isn’t he asking what’s wrong or if you want him to stop sending messages or …? I don’t know. It just seems odd that he keeps sending you these short messages with no response from you. Is this a pattern of yours? Does he think that if he keeps sending messages, you’ll eventually come to him? Or is he trying to show you that he is putting in effort? Is he trying to show you that he’s different from before? His behavior is strange to me. I certainly would give up sending someone messages if they hadn’t responded for days OR I would try to talk to them about why they stopped responding to my messages.

        • Nomad

          Felk,

          I could answer few of your questions but I’d to ask T for the others.

          Yes, he knows my pattern and is waiting it out by keeping basic contact. He won’t waste time writing long flowery messages when even his basic ones are unanswered. Each person has their pride. He doesn’t want to get involved in the same talk i have had a million times over. He knows what will ensue if he does attempt to ask me what is wrong. He’s merely trying his luck as long as it doesn’t consume too much of his time and mental health. So many times, he’ll mia again the moment I respond. He is waiting for me to cave in, and meanwhile, he is biding his time. Later on I will not be able to say he wasn’t in touch and he can defend himself saying he was sending messages everyday and I was the one not responding. Best if he gets me to the room then he can shelve me aside and be back after 1-2mths. His making minimal effort and waiting for my caving in. T said she can’t say what he is trying to show. It’s hard to say love you to someone when things are so far from normal . Saying miss me (likely the sex) is easy, effortless and it worked on me many times. His behavior isn’t strange. It’s pretty standard for a mm. I can’t say he feels thrilled to be ignored or he enjoys being ignored. Yet we don’t understand why is he still whatsapp? Perhaps he’ll stop soon? I am pessimistic as in I don’t believe he loves me. He’s continuing the game because why would he drop me when I’m a fool who’s always willing to get sucked back in so effortlessly, where to find such a convenient deal? Probably he was rejected by another then quickly secure some connection with me? a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush??

          I’m ok not seeing him. I can’t predict how will I feel or act if I were to see him. Just don’t feel the same way after the lunch last Mon. A good test would be he stop the WhatsApp.

          Do you think I’m near the end of the tunnel already? I’ve nothing left to cling on, by right I could easily move on. I have become too much trouble to him.

          • TTSP

            Nomad,
            You sound like you’ve reached a turning point. Even though you’re in purgatory at the moment try to remind yourself that responding will only send you reverting back to the shitty affair cycle. What are you losing by severing all ties with him? Remember your post with the numbers and time you actually spend with him? Think about it in quantitative terms when you feel sad about him. When things were at their best how much time did you spend talking through whatsapp and how much quality time did you spend together one on one? Remember that to build intimacy you need live interaction. For me I’d get about 8 hours a week of one on one time and if you do the math that’s only 5% of our existence together. I didn’t subtract sleep and work. I just took the total number of hours together divided by total number of hours per week. Throw in a couple more hours for email exchanges outside of work. How much are you really losing in your life? The numbers force me to put it in perspective. Does that help you?

            Tomorrow night will officially be one week since we called it quits. While it’s tempting to send an innocent IM or whatever I’m asking myself whether any action I’m considering is bringing me closer to recovery or not? Will my action take me forward or backward? Am I just withdrawing and needing a fix? I really want to move on and after all the pain and suffering will resist the urges by staying on track. No contact as much as possible…

          • Felk

            Nomad, if you don’t believe your MM loves you, why not just block him and be done? Yes, I do think you’re near the exit already. I do think you want to be done with him, but something leaves you holding on and I’m not sure what. You seem miserable since he came back to you. You do not trust him or believe the things he says to you about wanting you. You are horribly hurt by his desire to maintain his marriage and family, and you are crushed that he chose to go on a vacation with his W in December during his birthday. You are (pretty understandably) mad that he only will give you a few hours alone each month. You have asked him directly for more, and it does not seem that he can give you more. Why do you say you’ve become too much trouble to him? It seems he is too much trouble for you. It seems he is the one who is not doing enough. But, why not just block him and end it once and for all?

          • Nomad

            Felk, TTSP

            WHY not get it over once and for all, and when I am getting 2hrs/mth, 24hrs/yr which is 1day a year? Because for the past week, he still signaled he wants us? He effortlessly said he missed me? That gave me hope no doubt. Or my ego? I just need to
            Kill this hope. Your words helped me a lot! helped me to confront the reality and dig deep into myself.

            T said that she’s very disappointed with me. I’m flogging a dead horse and losing my self respect and pride. She’s severing ties with me. She asked how could I forget I’ve a perfect family myself and a doting husband. What is it that I’m lacking and what am I milking out of mm right now? She couldn’t understand and fought with me for 2hrs last night over WhatsApp.

          • Felk

            Nomad, it does seem like blocking him would be best for you. It doesn’t seem you’re happy with him back in your life.

          • Nomad

            Felk

            I just did it again.

            I’ve blocked him. In return, I’m hoping to get inner peace and liberation. I can’t go on. The waiting game is driving me crazy.

            I’ve struggled (waited) for 2 days. He has gone missing again but he has been online very frequently. Also, he came to my office but I didn’t know. He didn’t show up when he has no need of me to sign documents. His teammates also told me he has been joining them for lunch and didn’t seem as stressed or busy of late. It’s quite a dire situation and I’m sure all of you could see it clearly from the outside. He didn’t mean it when he answered he wanted us. He hasn’t put in any effort. The stake is high hence the bar he’s giving me has every reason to be high.

            Of course you may say I’ve a part to play. I ignored him so that might have stopped him from coming forward. In short, if I’m not getting what I set out to risk for an affair, I am leaving. You are right, I’m unhappy since we made one last try in Jul. it didn’t work out well so I’m trying to leave. He did nothing to wow me.

            Tomorrow is a holiday followed by long weekend and it’s good start for nc. By then it’ll be day 8 when we start work next week. He’s also weaning me off and he’s doing well. I’m the foolish one.

          • Felk

            Nomad, I see you blocked him today. I hope you are able to be at peace with that decision and move on. I know it is not easy, but you have already gone through this a few times so you have a head start. If you really want him out of your mind, though, you know that you have to really be done. NC and start focusing on the other things in your life.

          • Nomad

            Felk, BAF, TTSP

            I’ve no choice but to cut him off since he’s not willing to try with me properly. Each time I go back to him, I destroy myself more than i did before. What will i lose by removing him? Nothing. What am I getting by “ having him”? Can losing him be any worse than having him? I want to fall in love with him, I am willing to risk but am back to losing myself, ruminating, wasting time while life goes on for him. He seems to be hurting lesser and wanting me lesser but too kind to hurt me so he’s letting time to run it’s course to a natural death, it is happening.

            Felk, it is not going to be easy. I’m actually not ready but I have to save myself somehow. Knowing that he’s going to redeploy, knowing that I’m no longer the reason why he steps into the office, he shows up at my desk simply for work purposes. Not knowing when he’ll call or WhatsApp (one way only) or he’ll ask to meet, I’m just waiting and hurting. This is bad. I’m back to square one. I’m also neglecting my H and family. Again, while I try, I hope he won’t come back. I’ll feel sad, I’ll grieve that he could more on so easily, but he has already moved on.

            T has blocked me. I’ve fallen out with all (another 2 close friends) over mm. 1 stopped contact after I was still not leaving after 6 mths. She gave up on me. She was once the other woman but she was able to end it clean and permanently. 1 just avoided me as I’d be talking incessantly abt mm, not my family which we used to.

            I hope I’m strong and I mean it though this time I know I’m less ready, I am doing this because I’ve no choice. Unlike other times, I was fueled by anger and jealousy (bbq, overseas-trip, leave, sick of his guilt & fear cycle etc). This time I feel abandoned, helplessly and hopelessly.

            Thank you all for your support, understanding, patience and words! It helped a great deal to be able to describe the situation and clarify my doubts here. I was able to reflect how unrealistic and u reasonable I have been, i then concluded that I couldn’t handle an affair. I should do something for myself, I should admit and accept that this affair is no longer gratifying.

      • BAF

        Nomad you are doing amazingly well! Keeping some connection via getting messages you do not respond to might be your way to withdraw from the affair. Whatever works! If at all possible try to control your thoughts about him and his W and their weekend. Put your focus (if possible) on YOU and your family and YOUR weekend!.
        Hugs BAF xoxo

    • BAF

      Hi Nomad STAY STRONG! You are doing great.
      He still wants you and thus he is testing you with his WhatsApp etc.
      If you need a break just block the App. You can even tell him you are going to block for awhile and that you need some peace or some space.
      You deserve to have both if you need them! You are worth it.
      Hugs BAF
      xoxo

  • Felk

    Ladies, the update after our date night is that things are good. It went about as well as I could have hoped. As Nomad predicted (and maybe others of you did), he was touchy and flirty and it was really nice. We had many hours together of talking and laughing, but, of course, what stood out most to me was how much he wanted to touch and hold me. He told me about how excited he’d been leading up to this week, knowing all the time that we’d get together. It was nice hearing him be honest about that. I know he feels that way, but he is rather quiet and I like when he says those things out loud. Of course, though, he mentioned how this was complicated between us, and we joked about how we still have no plan moving forward. Nothing has changed about our situation with regard to being married to others and, in particular, with regard to him being worried about maintaining his marriage if we go too much further.

    We did not kiss last night. Well, not on the lips. He kissed my forehead and cheek and shoulder many times, but we all know the lips are more intimate and he was being careful not to go there. I even pointed it out to him, how he kissed so many other parts, and he just acknowledged that it was a different line to cross to kiss on the lips. I know. Maybe he can keep drawing this line, but I find it hard to believe that he will. But, as you all know (and as I told him last night), I understand. I put no pressure on him to kiss me (on the lips). Sure, I’m flirty and I joke about it, but I don’t push for it or make a move for it. I do not ask for it. If anything, I move away from it because I don’t think he’s ready. At the end of the night, we just hugged (for a long time), and I felt him get aroused. That was surprising and not. I’m just so happy that I was able to keep expectations low and not push him, and I left last night with no disappointment.

    I know the danger is getting too excited and hopeful about this. I am going to try to keep my expectations consistent with how we are now… more than friends but not crossing the big lines. I like our flirty and playful relationship over the last few months, and it feels much more comfortable and predictable now. But, as happened many years ago when this all started, how long can you sustain the flirtation before you want to cross those lines? Especially since I’m willing and he knows it? You know I will continue to think about all of this a lot, and he and I will talk a lot about what we’re doing. The hardest part is that there are no easy solutions. But you know that he and I take thoughtful approaches to this and we’re pretty arrogant in thinking we can make this work. 🙂

    • LIFELESSONS

      Felk,

      Wow!!! That seems so tricky…you seem very happy with the outcome of your time with MM. I think its definitely dangerous but you two are maintaining as best as you can. You guys were not indoors were you ? I cannot remember but I think its like playing with fire lol the passion you share for one another seems very magnetic and in time you will be back in a physical affair…I hope not, and I dont know if that will happen but from the outside looking in it seems very possible.
      Its nice that you can be cordial with one another and enjoy that time together.

      • Felk

        LL, I am happy. I’ve felt a shift over the last few months, and it’s been nice to not really feel that sadness anymore. There, are many reasons for this. For one, the addiction has calmed down. All the time apart has allowed some of those brain chemicals to go back to “normal,” and I don’t feel the withdrawal or terrible missing anymore. My expectations have recalibrated. Also, as we have gone through this break-up, my MM has shown that he wants to maintain some sort of relationship, even if it wasn’t what it was before. The hardest part of the break-up was imagining him not in my life anymore, and I’m happy that didn’t happen. For months, it was still really hard to be around him and be broken up. I missed him, and I also worried that the friendship wouldn’t work and he’d say we couldn’t be friends. But he’s shown that he wants to make this work. I feel we’ve both worked hard to get where we are now. I’ve regained a lot of trust in our relationship over the last few months. But, sure, it’s also helping that he’s still in love. I like knowing that I’m not alone with still feeling in love with him. And, after last night (and our talk two weeks ago), I like thinking that maybe he still wants a little bit more (than friendship) with me.

        Yes, it’s tricky. Really tricky. An affair is tricky throughout. We all know this. I don’t disagree with your assessment or BAF’s a few weeks ago that he and I will likely find ourselves in a physical affair again. It seems inevitable. That’s fine with me. We all know I want that. The trick is trying to do it better this time than we did it last time. But, for five years, we did it pretty well so I have some confidence that we can do this well again. For now, the trick is not getting my hopes up too much. Just trying to be happy with where we’re at now. And I’m genuinely happy with where we are now (and I don’t need more). But, it is hard not wanting more because of that magnetism you describe. It’s just fireworks when he touches me, and those were some good (all public acceptable) touches last night. 🙂

        I’m not sure about your “indoors” question, but, yes, we were indoors at a music venue.

  • J

    I’m very confused as usual. I ended up meeting mm on the bench. He sat so close to me that our legs and arms were pressed against each other, and it was very warm weather. I asked him if he’s 100% certain and he said he doesn’t know what the future will bring, that he loves me, and loves spending time with me. But that he’s also so unsure about our 21 year age difference and that he’s very afraid he’s end up alone. He stared in my eyes so deeply, told me he loves looking at me because I’m so beautiful. He kept moving my hair if the wind blew it in my face, he touched my leg. He kept swallowing. Finally we hugged a very long hug. He rubbed my back and hips and I felt his heart beating fast and his breathing was heavy. I then moved myself on top of his lap for a better hug. I felt him get slightly aroused. No kissing. Afterwards he texted me several times, mentioned a few times how much he enjoyed being there with me, talking, laughing, hugging, staring at my beauty. I don’t know why I foolishly asked him if he reacted (erection). He said no, and that he was quite pleased with himself because he was trying so hard to resist it and maintain control and not let his mind go there, even though he loves me. He said if we kissed he would’ve lost control. I said I felt it, he said well not much at all. Which I don’t really get these mixed signals, why repeatedly text me how good it felt to hug me, but then say he was fighting the urge and was happy about that? He also said I hugged you as a dear friend. I said it was obvious you’re in love with me by the way you rubbed my body during the hug, and the way you were breathing, that’s not a friendly hug. He just responded uh huh. This turned into a foolish discussion. I (stupidly) said it’s not like she (W) excites you. He said it’s getting better. Told me about the 2 times they were intimate and how once was ok but the second time he had his erection problem, and he told me that was the not before, after he and I had a very flirty conversation and he was aroused. He blamed that conversation for his issue with her. So as I see it, he’s getting aroused by me during texting and then going up to be with her. Disgusting. I spitefully detailed some intimacy moments with my H. I know how immature and foolish this was. I then continued on my spiteful roll and said it doesn’t bother me at all when I imagine him with his W because she’s very manly, unsexy, and fuddy duddy. I also told him that I always suspected she’s a lesbian. These are true statements in my opinion, but I never said them before because I thought it would be too rude. He responded that it doesn’t bother him to think of me with my H because he’s old. I rudely said well if you want to do her forever good luck. We ended up not saying goodnight. This morning he’s texted several times already saying he didn’t sleep well and he apologized for how we left off last night. I know I was rude and immature, but I’m fed up with him. His mixed signals are sickening. I mean, he wanted to meet me on this secluded bench, hugs me passionately, texts how we are the perfect fit as usual and how much he loved it. But then he says I’m very pleased that I wasn’t completely erect. Then why even meet me and hug me???? Just leave me alone. If you really want to work on your marriage, then stop this flirting. It’s like he’s trying to keep me interested enough so that I can’t move on, all while he works in his marriage. Also, for so long she was so unattractive to him and he moved out because he felt nothing, now it’s suddenly getting better after he’s been back for 2 weeks? Nothing about him makes sense. He’s a walking contradiction every minute. He also asked me to workout with him tonight before they go out with another couple. Thanks so much for listening to me vent.

    • Felk

      J, I know you’re confused by the mixed signals, but I will reiterate… mixed signals mean what they intend. He has mixed feelings. You are confused because he is confused. He is in love with you AND trying to work on his marriage. He means it when he says you’re beautiful and enjoys the time with you AND he means it when he says that he’s pleased with himself for restraining self-control around you. He is trying to extract himself from your relationship and focus on his marriage. He has said this over and over. But, yes, he will send mixed messages because he is still in love with you and feels that pull.

      But, this is probably the most important sentence you typed: “It’s like he’s trying to keep me interested enough so that I can’t move on, all while he works in his marriage.” Yes, this is what he is doing. He wants it all. He is not doing it to be mean or cruel. But he is doing it because we are selfish creatures who want everything to go our way. So, he is trying to work on his marriage AND keep you where he wants you because that’s easier for him psychologically. He will keep doing this on his terms if you let him. But, worst of all, is he will keep slowly pulling away and hurting you in this process.

    • TTSP

      HI J,
      I’m sorry for all the frustration surrounding your relationship. I think we can all attest to having mixed feelings and contradictory emotions. My mm told me several times about being afraid to be alone. I don’t think your mm is lying to you about that fear. He loves you but doesn’t want to throw away the love, time, energy and resources he invested in his W. Here’s a great article about why men do not leave marriages. This has been my saving grace and provides so much comfort in understanding their motives. My faves are number 7 (sunk cost fallacy), 8 (loss of quality of life by leaving) and 10 (best of all worlds). I hope this helps explain his point of view and you may connect with some of these from your perspective as well.

      https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/family-relationships/why-men-wont-ever-leave-their-wives-for-their-mistresses/ss-AAqrBWm#image=2

  • LIFELESSONS

    Good Morning Ladies!

    I have been thinking about how I feel about my MM for over a month now. I have been debating about how to talk to him about my feelings and accepting whatever his response may be. I have made attempts to talk to him and I have been successful in ways but unsuccessful in being completely open with him and expressing all of my feelings and maybe its best that it happens in doses. I have written down how i feel here and in the notes app on my phone. I realize what I need in order to be in an content place with him. I am not sure he can provide what I need and I honestly think that is part of the reason I am having a hard time disclosing that information to him.

    I expressed to him very early on (pre-sex) that I am not a “buy me, pay my bills” type of woman. I am very capable of taking care of myself and my children. I have been on my own since I was 18 and have had struggles and set backs but I have managed. I havent had the most positive experience with men from a very early age and yet I am not bitter and still willing to love and grow with a man. What I told MM is I actually need time and attention. Not sure if thats good, bad or what but I continue to learn that about myself. It shows in all of my relationships with men and/or women. Its a running joke among my girlfriends and sometimes they say…I am not your man. However, I will say if he was paying bills or buying me things it would keep me content for a little while (the in between time) but not forever. He said to me the other day that his W was bi#ching and I said I am sure I am that way too and he said nah, I dont get that from you. He said, you are more of a “I dont get my way, I dont like it and show it, kind of a” and I said, Brat he said that is exactly what you act like. I said I have been told that by many people. I have tantrums when I dont get my way and he said, yes you try! So, I am going to make an attempt to be a mature adult and express my feelings/concerns.

    I think our relationship is changing. I think he is falling in love with his W and while it doesnt feel real good for me. I am not upset about that. I can tell the difference between how we were a year ago to now. They are doing more things together and he reference her a lot more now. I cant compete with that and wont put forth efforts to try. On Tuesday, I took their son with us to grab something quick to eat. Well yesterday they took my son to get something to eat and it didnt sit well with me. Well because it further solidify my thoughts of them being more cozy and comfy. So, I am going to attempt to tell him, what I see and what I feel but I have written it down in my phone so when I talk to him on the phone I can look at it. I have decided to start by saying, i wanted to check in with you since its been 1.5 years and I feel check ins are neccessary and I plan to go from there. We shall see! I will check back in to let you ladies know how it goes.

    • Felk

      LL, I’m a big proponent of feeling free to express honestly in relationships. Of course, we can’t just say whatever we want to anyone. We have to be sensitive to the other when we are disclosing or expressing, but, if there are important issues that you need to discuss or express that you believe are a part of healthy relationships, then I think it’s pretty important to feel free to express. When we are scared to share our feelings with another, we can’t have a healthy relationship. If we are scared that they will react poorly, either we do not trust because of our own issues (and that’s not good) or they have taught us that they do not respond well (and that’s not good). While we don’t want to go professing love on a first date, at an appropriate time in a relationship (and you and your MM have been together long enough), you shouldn’t worry about feelings scaring someone away. If honest/appropriate/healthy feelings scare someone away, that person is not a good relationship partner or you did not have the relationship that you thought you did. I’m sure you know all of that, but that’s my pep talk for being honest with your MM if something is bothering you or if you simply would like to be more open about your feelings.

      I thought my MM and I were pretty good with expressing feelings throughout our relationship, but, of course, there were times when we both held back out of fear. I think that probably happens early on in most relationships, but in an affair, it’s particularly hard because you don’t have the same security that you would in a “normal” relationship. So, there were times when my MM and I would have been better served by being more open and honest. I’ve also reminded myself that I want more openness and honesty moving forward with him. If we are entering into some new version of our relationship, I want to do this better.

      Are you wanting to express concerns to your MM because you’re worried the relationship is changing in a bad way? I’d be very surprised if he was re-falling in love with his W. I just don’t know long-term couples who do that. That’s not really how our brains work. Of course, it’s possible, but if he’s still expressing desire for you, I wouldn’t think he’s giving it to his W. If they are doing more things together and he’s putting forth more effort there, it could be out of guilt or to prevent suspicion. That would make more sense to me than him falling in love with his W again. It’s also possible that you’re noticing more because you’re falling more in love. The more we fall, the more we want. Within reason, we have to accept that the married person is going to do things with their spouse, but if you feel that you’re getting treated worse lately, you should say something.

      • LIFELESSONS

        Felk and Ladies,

        I was unable to express my feelings verbally but I was
        able to communicate to him through messages. He did call me today and we talked for a few minutes but he said he had to call his buddy whom he is going out with tomorrow. I said ok, well he didnt call back and I knew he was on his way home so I text and said, hey can you call back before you get in ?! He didnt reply, I am very understanding when it comes to him not getting back to me right away especially considering I knew he was on his way home…However, when I feel its an urgency I get anxious and I need to vent right then and there. Well, I text again

        I said…
        Babe, its really starting to feel like you can’t do “this” anymore ?! I’m not being dramatic either, the day we were in the car I was trying to let you know but we didnt have much time to talk

        I waited a while for a reply but I got nothing so about 45mins later…

        I said…
        Babe, I am about to send you a whole book because you’re not available and I don’t want to forget what I have to say…sorry in advance🤭

        He replied about 5 mins later
        He said…
        OMG’D!…

        I proceeded with my book
        Message#1
        A few disclaimers: I like to talk but I think I have some poor communication skills so I’m going to TRY my best to be direct w/u. I HATE talking about feelings(especially when/if they aren’t reciprocal), it blows me but it’s necessary.

        Message#2
        It feels like we just cool buddies at this point and maybe that’s ok. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell u that I do have feelings of affection for u, and love how u have TRIED to accommodate my needs/wants. Unfortunately, it’s not consistent so it doesn’t last long, its seeming as if u don’t have the time or energy it takes to have a girlfriend on the side. I know I expressed in the beginning that I am not a “buy me gifts” type of person, but more of the time/attention type and clearly being less of a priority to u I cannot get that ALL the time. I have heard of some women who are in affairs speak of the material things they receieve and I think because I’m not getting gifts and there is no financial gain (maybe it doesnt matter but just saying what I am feeling) to compensate for the lack of time and attention I receive, it feels like I’m getting nothing right now and hell, maybe that’s how affairs work but I have to feel that I benefit from this one way or another….

        Message#3
        Babe, I could make assumptions like u “comfy”w/ur wife, u got a new gf, or u ain’t as interested(sh@t..all of those things could be true)and if any of it is true, u may want to figure out how to handle it better or scale back or something😏 lol j/k
        However, it doesn’t really matter, my concern is primarily the way I’m treated. Back in Feb, I felt a way, I made assumptions(I didn’t give u a chance to fix it if u wanted to)got angry and shut this whole sh@t down! At this point, not sure if it’s a need to shut it down?! Plus,we(you, me and her)have a whole system going w/the boys. I don’t need this to be any more awkward than it already is. However, I do feel I need to directly state my needs to u so u can determine if u are able to accommodate them(as u stated urs from the beginning)I need consistency, communication, time/attention, and/or financial gifts 🤭 such as but not limited to a pedicure, brows threaded, a bill paid or something.**my bday gift🤔 ? And Babe, just an FYI, my love language is not gifts, its quality time, but I cannot be in this and not get nothing.

        Message#4
        If u care, let me give u an ex of how it was before and if u don’t care, well…u will likely read it anyway…
        if u were going somewhere at night(like tomorrow)and the expectation was, you were coming in late, u would come by on ur way home knowing my kids were not going to be home, when u get out of ur “meetings”u called on ur ride home, u called daily & consistently, I rarely had to wait 60 days to get my “needs” met regularly, u actually put forth the effort. Lately, this has not been the case. Again, maybe I don’t understand your affiliation w/ affairs, side chics, mistresses roles 😏 but I can’t feel like, it’s no benefit in it for me.
        Wooo😓 that was a lot, would’ve been better to verbally communicate but…
        Enjoy your FUN festive weekend😘

        Well of course no reply, I am not surprised by that at all considering it took me from 9p-11pm to get those messages together. I got side track and was doing other things. Once I sent the last message, I felt relieved…when I hold things in, it feels like my spirit is bound and I am more of a free spirit person. My spirit has to feel free. Right now, it feels free. A weight lifted off my shoulders. I think there were some things that couldve been articulated better if it was done verbally such as the financial piece of the mesg, didnt want to sound greedy, materialistic, or like I was trying to bribe him. I shared this with you all because I was feeling proud of myself for expressing how I felt. I truly hate expressing my feelings to the person in which I need to because of my fear of rejection. I dont know where we will go from here but I am not feeling confident he will want to continue anything with me. However, thats his choice and at this point, i am not losing out on anything. I am not ready to let go but I wont beg him to deal with me, my ego/pride wont allow it. I will grab me a bottle of wine, a few shots of tequila, do some hard crying and figure out how to move on. I have been hurt before, too many times so its not like I dont know how to get through it but of course I dont want to go through it lol. I am not planning to reach out to him for a few days…

        When he will reply is TBD

        Feel Free to comment, give advice/constructive critism

        Thanks ladies for being such a huge support, you all are appreciated.

        • Felk

          LL, I thought that your messages to your MM were really good. They were honest, fair, and kind. You didn’t blame him. Showed a lot of understanding for the situation. But, most importantly, made your needs clear and let him know that you felt he’d changed a bit lately. I know it’s really scary to be honest about our feelings, but if we can’t be honest about what we need in a relationship (especially when we are asking for something reasonable), then we cannot have a good relationship. You were in the right frame of mind, not wanting to beg but also being ready for his response, whatever it is. It is when we hold back due to fear that we set ourselves up to be taken for granted. You know that affairs are tough and that the other person can’t always do what you want, but you’re telling your MM that he’s not doing enough.

          This shows a lot of strength. Asking for what we want and expecting another to respond fairly and reasonably shows a lot of self-respect and self-love. You put yourself first. Yes, maybe your MM will feel it is asking too much, but that is also his right to decide. We each have to put ourselves out there and let the other decide if they can meet our needs. Has your MM responded yet? I hope so. It is not very kind to leave someone hanging too long when they get honest and vulnerable. Not that he has to respond immediately, because you dropped a lot on him, but if he makes you wait too long, that, in itself, tells you a lot about him. I think he will respond well, but, if it is too much for him, you mourn and then you move on to someone who can treat you better.

  • J

    Hello. I’m very down today and missing mm. He’s been texting me non stop. Asking me lots of questions about who I’ve been working out with, all supposedly because he wants me to think about this behavior. Not because he’s jealous. Yet he sends flirty messages. Yes, I initiated some. But he also initiated some. For ex, he said that he thinks my eyes are sexy, especially when they are looking up at him (when he’s above me in bed). But then today he said that he hasn’t thought about being physically with me unless I bring it up. That sounds like a lie to me. I called him a liar and he said it’s true. But then what was that comment about my eyes looking up at him?! I dropped it. He also asked me to meet him today on a “secluded” bench in this park where we’ve discussed it being a good spot to be together in the privacy. So why would he want me to meet him there?!?!? He also said he can double up on his workouts and workout with his W and me. Just 2 weeks ago he said he couldn’t do that anymore. I’m very confused and feel he’s sending me extremely mixed messages. He said he feels he made the right choice working on his marriage because they’ve spent the majority of their lives together and that counts for something. So then why does he keep chatting with me if hes so pleased with his choice?! I asked if he thinks about me and he said all of the time. I mentioned he’s confused and he said not anymore. I truly don’t understand what he wants. Mixed messages! Do I meet him today on the bench? I know the answer. He’s truly toxic and I can’t even think straight. But I want to see him. I also want to see what he will do on this bench. I just wish someone had a magic wand and could make my feelings disappear.

    • Felk

      Oh, J, how many times I wished for my feelings to magically go away. And I don’t even mean just the bad feelings. When I was really down for the months following our break-up, I wanted it all to go away. I was willing to stop being in love with him, if I could stop feeling bad. But, of course, we know that’s not how it works, and it takes a long time for the pain to go away. You’re addicted, and you keep feeding the addiction by texting him and seeing him. You will keep making yourself go through this terrible pain because he has chosen his W and he feels good about that decision. Yes, he is missing you. Yes, he is jealous. Yes, he wants to touch you and probably will on that bench today. Yes, he wants to still have sex with you. He’s lying when he says he hasn’t thought about it. He thinks about it all the time. You and everything about you will be on his mind constantly for a while. That is what happens when you go through withdrawal.

      But, what comes from this? Yes, he’s sending mixed messages, but when people send mixed messages it’s because they feel mixed. Yes, he wants to see you AND yes, he’s trying to move on and focus on his marriage. DO NOT make the mistake of only paying attention to his jealousy and how he misses you. DO NOT think that if you see him that you will make him want you all over again and then he’ll change his mind. J, I know you have to go through it on your own and do it the way that works for you, but your MM will not leave his W. If he has shown you anything, he has shown you that. So, now what?

      J, what do you want? Really. The only way this roller coaster of badness ends, and, we said this to you last year, is for one of you to eventually go NC and be done. I just hope it is you who makes that choice and not your MM because it’s going to hurt a lot less if you’re the one who does it. I am sorry to say, though, that it seems like your MM is the one who is pulling away and getting closer to ending your relationship for good. Yes, he is hanging on, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t committed to his marriage and making that work. If your MM feels that contact with you is hurting his progress in fixing his marriage, then he will quit you and not his marriage. He has told you this. Believe him.

  • Nomad

    “the idea of seeing him blissfully at peace in his life makes me die inside.” Thanks TTSP, very apt.

    My heart needed a break after hearing about his family of 4, contented with companionship, he’s unsure if he’s returning to me after the dec trip blah blah, I think my heart died for 3 days. I ignored his purposeless WhatsApp for 3 days, I didn’t flare up seeing “…” WhatsApp late last night. This morning, no more gm unril he rang me at 11am. I didn’t pick up because I’ve nothing to say to him. I didn’t want to lie that I’m fine.

    Later in the afternoon he whatsapp “Wru bb” wow, bb?! in the past, that 2 alphabet would make me drop everything including my self respect and run back to his arms. In the evening he whatsapp “feels like eating ice cream with you” and nothing else.

    I’m going to bed now, having a long day tomorrow..

    • Felk

      Nomad, you’ve been NC with your MM for 3 days (since you talked to him at the cafe)? Just ignored all his WhatsApp messages? And he keeps sending you messages? Interesting. I know you need more. I know his short messages aren’t enough. I know you want time with him in person, and it doesn’t seem like he understands that’s what you need to continue this affair. But, as you said in another post, will you be sad once he stops sending those WhatsApp messages? I guess that’s why you don’t block him, but if you’re not responding, why aren’t you blocking him? Sure, it feels good that he’s still writing, but won’t it feel bad when he stops? Or are you waiting for him to say more? Waiting for him to do more?

      You still seem very sad and miserable through this. Like you don’t want to be with him and you don’t want to be without him. That sounds very hard. I still think that choosing to be done with him once and for all will make you the happiest. Eventually.

    • TTSP

      Nomad,
      I totally understand wanting to ignore him bc you’re feeling a lot of hurt. I promise you he is also struggling. No one in these relationships walks away scot-free. I’ve resigned to the fact that no matter what they do and say you’ll never feel fulfilled. Even if he gave you extra everything you desire you’d just want more. They don’t have enough availability to provide a rewarding relationship.

      Considering you met for lunch he probably doesn’t know how much trouble he is causing you. Is sending him a message asking for time and space a viable option for you? There are different schools of thought on blocking and I’m not going to tell you what to do. Everyone has to decide what is best for themselves. Would you consider telling him first that you’d prefer not communicating because you need time to heal and move on? Once he knows your position you can block in case he tries to reach out. I’m only putting this idea out there to help you achieve some closure.

      To answer your Q I ordered Christian Louboutin Tornado Blonde perfume 🙂

      • Nomad

        TTSP,

        He rang 3-4 times today but i ignored. He whatsapp me “have a nice day” “nc to talk?” (Not convenient) “mu bb” “leaving office “ “is everything ok bb?” I was busy with an event and that helpedto distract. Event was successful and I felt great sense of satisfaction when bosses expressed their appreciation and positive feedback from colleagues. This is how life should’ be, spending time on something worthwhile.

        Nc 4 days. I didn’t block because sometimes I was waiting for him to do more and sometimes I was waiting for him to send more desultory messages to kill my hope and remind myself of reality. My desire for him
        seemed to have faded after the Mon’s lunch. Not sure was it due to how conveniently he’s treating me or was it because he’s minimally sending desultory text in attempt to “connect” and have the best of both worlds. With some weak signals, I haven’t triggered the panic? I’m not sure the real Reasons how I could suddenly ignore him for 4days. Weekends tomorrow and next week I knew he took leave after a public holiday so that he could enjoy a longer weekend and having to work only 2 days. The pro is that the space and distance this week has somehow calmed down my anxiety, addiction or desire so I should be better coping with his absence next week. He’s always absent when he’s not working because he’d be bonding with his beloved picture perfect family of 4 (sarcasm I know). This could be how things could go by dec when he’s away for 2wks. Any cons? In long run, no.

        H is overseas but I’m well behaved at home. I hope this morally right psyche is sustainable. Out of sight out of mind. Soon he’ll be tired and give up because he’s getting echo. I’m returning him to his W, wish him well enjoy his companionship happily ever after. It’s his loss.

        • TTSP

          Nomad,
          Congrats on a successful outcome at work. That has to feel rewarding and build your self-confidence. I would not have been able to ignore him for 4 days. You have more tenacity than me by standing your ground. I am going to stick to my decision to ending the affair. That is a non-negotiable for my emotional health and ability to get involved in a healthy relationship. You definitely sound better with time, space and distance. Maybe this reaffirms your decision to stay NC. If his fam of 4 was so picture perfect I don’t think he would’ve gotten involved with you outside of his relationship at home. I may be oversimplifying here but I really don’t think I’m off. I hope you continue feeling better. You going incommunicado has motivated me to continue looking forward and moving on.

  • Nomad

    Felk, I’m not saying things you want to hear but my guess is that he’ll touch you because he’s ready and he wants it. You’ve given him 4mths of space and the summer break allowed him to focus on settling his family. He’s feeling safe and guilt free now. Having guessed that, I hope I was wrong because your mm seems to be more “righteous”, sentimental, strong-willed, patient, less selfish and greedy, one with more self control compared to my mm. He deserves your respect. That what makes you love him for years. I hope he doesn’t lead you on and sincerely work on the “friendship “ with you.

    Yes I could vicariously feel your excitement, feeling alive and something to look forward to. 😍

    • Felk

      Nomad, yes, you can feel my excitement. Honestly, it’s nice to look forward to time with my MM again. For many months, even when we’d have plans for drinks after work or even a night “date” (as we did a few times over the last 10 months) I’d feel ambivalent or even bad going into that time with him. Sometimes, I’d just feel anxiety and worry about how awkward the encounter might be. Other times I’d feel ambivalent and feel a mix of excitement and anxiety. Lately, though, I mainly feel happiness and excitement spending time with him again. Yes, there is still a little anxiety, of course, but it is mostly positive emotions these last two months.

      I really don’t know if we will cross any physical lines this week. I can see it going either way. I can see it happening for the reasons you say (that he’s had a lot of space, that we’ve had good interactions lately, that he feels safer now, that he misses me), but I can also see it not happening for the reasons you say (that he is strong-willed, patient, has good self-control). And, yes, I do believe he gives me respect and deserves my respect. It is one reason I remind myself not to push him/us too much. It is just easier said than done. It will be a romantic night, and he will feel it, too.

      But, ladies, I honestly will try to be sincere to the friendship and not push for anything more when we are out. And it helps me to type that out to all of you. I will try to just enjoy what we have and try to keep in mind that it may be the best of both worlds… that I get to have him in my life still (and enjoy alone time with him) without ruining our marriages and going through the daily anxiety that an affair can cause.

  • LIFELESSONS

    BAF,

    Hey I tried to catch up on the posts. I know it is not easy having those thoughts of your exMM. I think you should think about starting a jar or even the positive sticky notes. I dont want you to have to ever relive how he reacted to you when you tried to have a civil conversation with me. However, I do not want you to forget how it made you feel as that will strengthen you and help you to see that he is not stable and he is hardly worth your thoughts. I know it is not easy to do for you have 21 year history with this unstable person. It is normal for him to be in your thoughts regardless of how he handle things but this is your time to continue choosing you. I know you will be fine. I just think time heals all wombs and you may think of him until the day you leave this earth but I pray you think of you more! I realize I am trying to heal all the broken pieces of me and I know that is part of the reason I got involved with my MM. It may take me a lifetime but I have to continue to put forth the effort to make the necessary changes. You have to do your damnest to keep your cup full. I am trying to do that for myself constantly and it is challenging because life happens….you have to P.U.S.H no matter what.

    My Birthday was awesome BAF! My coworkers really came through for me. They know I want to go to Paris and they decorated my office in a Paris themes they dressed as you would dress in Paris and they even spoke a little french, they had all of my favorite treats. It was just so nice. On Friday, a few of my coworkers took me to the beach for the weekend, they got a shirt made for me that said Birthday Girl and their shirts said Birthday Squad. it was so cool. They know I like a lot of attention so the shirt was perfect. I had told them I wanted a surprise destination trip for my bday and I didn’t know they would take me serious but it was the best birthday ever. I have never been on a girls trip but they made it special. We got back Sunday afternoon and my son gave me a card with a gift certificate to the nail salon. My daughter made me a card and she made me some soap. She loves to make things, she is a science kid. Monday, I went to the Spa for the first time and got a full body massage. it was like the cherry on top of an amazing bday. I have not seen my MM he was disappointed he was unable to see me before I left. He told me he ordered me something and it was suppose to come yesterday but he said it wasn’t there. I am pretty sure he got me tennis shoes because he has been asking about my shoe size and I said I need to get me some good shoes for my Zumba class. Who knows when I will get them.

    I am having more thoughts about having my own man and creating more of a cordial relationship with him. Right now it is just in my thoughts, I haven’t made a plan nor have I thought about telling him this. Although he knows I want my own person because I dont hide that from him. I was just thinking about going on dates and trips with my own person. MM and I date each other but I dont want to go on local dates with him anymore, I am more fearful now about being caught. I just feel if the kids have had thoughts about us then his W may begin to wonder too. I didn’t worry too much about us being seen before because I knew we didn’t know many people from the area and I was aware of his W knowing him and I talk occasionally. However, I dont want to chance it for the sake of our kids. My son told me he would think something is wrong with me if I was seeing MM, he said he is 50 (he is 47) and you’re 34. I was shocked, he didn’t say because its my friends dad, he didn’t say because he is married he said because he is too old for me. He said why would you want to talk to someone that old lol. I talk to my kids a lot. I told him I could understand at his age thinking that is way too old and honestly it is and he right to a certain extent but I told him, when he becomes an adult an experience life a little more he will have a better view on how someone could date someone older than them. I assured him, I didn’t want to be with his friends dad. I have rarely dated guys my age and it is a running joke among my friends and my mom jokes about it as well. I have always loved me a older man, even in high school. My boyfriend back then was 4 yrs older than me…he was out of high school. I have tried dating people my age and I dont connect with them. Even my core group of friends I hang out with are late late 30’s – mid/late 40’s I was raised by older people so I am just the most comfortable with older people. I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. I think most of the ladies here are trying to remove themselves from their MM and it has me thinking too.

    Chat with you soon

    • Brave and Free Lara

      LifeLessons your birthday sounds like it was fanatic! I cant believe your friends did what they did with the “Paris” theme for you….that is just so nice and so thoughtful! I DO hope you will find a cheap plane one fo these days and just GO for it! Go to Paris for a few days!! It would make you so happy. I can tell. If you do it Air BnB you might find some very affordable place to stay.

      And thank you for the concerns you express for me! Thank you :).
      21 years with an unstable man I thought was so much more stable and normal than me. What a head trip. But you are right we are on journey and learning on this planet! These are our “LifeLessons” after all. And our experiences are teaching us things all the time if we pay attention. Otherwise we just keep repeating the same mistake I think. Until we have finally learned. This situation sure took me long enough! Of all the men in my life I was most convinced that this man the exMM was the most “right one” for me, my “best lover/partner”. Ahem! Ahem!
      We can see how deluded I can become LOL

      You are young and learning so many things early on. This is GREAT!
      Tomorrow I am leaving for a week long trip to another state to visit my elderly parents and my son and his girlfriend. This will get me out of here for a week. My father is better now but he still will continue sliding down as he has dementia.
      Then when I get back, next week I have to have some minor surgery and will busy with that. (my knee). It is really hard to do “self care” for me but I am doing it! My therapist says I have made huge progress and she is very proud. Keeping up with my health, visiting my family, planning surgery, planning some fun, these are all things as a single woman I was trying to do while in my affair with the MM. But the affair with the MM used to take over my thoughts and I would often not get things done that would need doing FOR ME. (The addiction does that) The affair made me very distracted from my own life. Now I see it is partly because I was in an affair which is essentially an impossible relationship by definition and that he was unavailable so often. And another part I know now is because he is a Narc and I was his “forever-mirror” so of course I felt lonely. When we met early on he always used to tell me that he and I were “forever lovers”. I took that for “true love”. Little did I know that Narcs never break up with anyone! Sure they might dispose for awhile (and blame YOU for their horrible behavior) but they will always be back! In their minds you are theirs forever. You belong to them!
      YUCK.
      I guess thats why I always had it in my head that these MM’s always come back! (Telling Nomad this etc)
      So are the MM’s and MW’s we are all speaking about here on this board all Narcs? Probably not but a high percentage I would think. The red flags is those without remorse towards their spouses, those with perfectly logical reasons for their cheating are probably Narcs. The less empathy towards the spouse the higher the level of Narc I think. Their are all levels of Narcs. They are bright and charming and highly magnetic by the way, (Until they are not). You will notice them as they like to be noticed and work at making that happen.
      I am envious of them sometimes truth be told. I felt enough guilt towards my exMM’s wife that it made me the perfect partner for him. I carried that emotional load and was always reminding him (unconsciously) that he could go on feeling no guilt at all because I would feel enough for both of us!

      Cheaters with more guilt and remorse over cheating are definitely LESS Narc oriented. And, Narcs always cheat because they need more than just one person for their “supply” (“fuel”) so by definition many of us here on this board would be of course meeting them in our affairs.

      Anyhow yesterday my exMM and I spoke a couple of very brief sentences. When I came home yesterday I found him staring intently at me from his restaurant window. Trying to say hello? He was smiling. Looking nice and friendly. Tryin to look safe? I have no idea. But I do know he was trying to see to gauge my reaction to him. I decided to take the bull by the horn. As I passed by him, I said to him very calmly with zero expression on my face: “I blocked you again.” He replied “I know you blocked me” also calmly. And followed it with, “Suit yourself”. I replied with “I know you know I blocked you and I know you know why” and then I kept going. Walking away. Putting distance between him and me. I walked very calmly, expressionless.

      When I got home I was a little shaken inside. But not that bad really. Compared with the past I would say not bad at all! Probably these affair break-ups take time and practice. It’s not the same as an ordinary break-up and we are not used to it so many of us try more than once. I almost felt tears. But none came. No tears could come. I have broken up with him so many times I have no more tears. I sat down and tried to process my feelings. This was a real closure for me. It sucks to be ended but there is nothing else I can do or be is what I realize. Yes he is still sort of attractive to me but in an unhealthy way NOT a healthy way. No I have no desire to hug or touch or sleep with him. This is all new.
      So that’s it. I broke up two weeks ago yesterday and here I am still. I survived. 🙂

      About a half an hour later I was back doing my life again, talking to people, making my plans etc. I forgot about him because I made myself think about me! The face to face with him helped make it real to me in my brain that I have decided to call it quits. I have had enough. But it was a very very brief face to face…a couple on minutes at max. More time would have been harmful for me.

      And I do not feel sorry for him for the first time ever. I don’t feel sorry for him this time. I saw his vicious side so now I know he brings on his own misery but blames everyone else.
      And my thinking is this: I do not feel sorry because He has a wife after all! Let him talk to her. Let him beg with her for sex. Or argue with her. Let him bother her. And let her have him. She may or may not want him. I don’t care anymore. I am not being the third wheel buffering teach of them from each other anymore. Talk about feeling used! He had two of us for so long paying him attention, loving him in different ways. He had a wife and mistress by his side. And he was all the happier for this arrangement.
      But in the end he blames the two women for his misery! Ha!
      LL You say your son told you he would think something is wrong with you if I you seeing the MM, he said he is 50 (he is 47) and you’re 34. I find that so interesting. He classifies it as a no-no due to age.
      This is a safe and logical way for him to reason what you would NOT be having an affair.
      I do believe he is testing your reactions. He wants to hear what you say. And it look like both young me are observing you and the MM carefully. Beware! I know you know this already.
      Obviously the idea of his friend (your MM’s son) about his dad cheating with you has entered into his head somehow.
      I know you know this too:
      It is time for you to make sure you and your MM act totally neutral towards each other to let some time pass so these young men can get onto other topics in their heads I think.
      When my exMM arrived at Christmas time this year with some alcohol my son (the 30 year old) was shocked by the gift. He kept repeating: “He bought you alcohol, Mom? Why did he bring you alcohol? ” I told him maybe he forgot I was in recovery. But as I think about it it IS pretty insane he brought me alcohol! No one close to me would ever bring me alcohol! as a gift! Everyone knows I am sober many years. So my son was rightfully shocked yet I minimized it to him.
      But I really don’t think my exMM ever really “got it”about my alcoholism.
      Even though I clearly became insane on alcohol in the first few years of our relationship he does not believe I really had a problem and that I had to stop totally. And attend recovery meetings etc. He was so focused on Him getting his needs met from me. But he did not know me very well. And since I have fears of intimacy this was FINE by me. It was my little invisible “pay off” for being in an affair….not having to deal with my own intimacy issues! (We all have our separate reasons).
      No judgement of myself anymore however.
      Anyhow these are the kind of friends a recovering alcoholic does NOT need in fact. My son might have caught that. Because a relapse would be so so so much easier with them!
      Hugs Brave and Free aka Lara xxx000

    • TTSP

      Hi LL,
      I’m also in my thirties and he is in his late forties. You said you want your own person and that’s what ultimately pushed me over the edge to remove myself. Your birthday sounds incredible and it’s wonderful to hear how many people around you care and want to celebrate your special day with you. Are you ok seeing your mm because you aren’t looking for a serious, committed relationship yet?

      I’m not trying to convince you to make any move but even when I was o.k. with what we had, there was something particularly soul sucking knowing he goes home to someone else and spends the majority of his time, energy, money, love and everything with another. I hope you can go on dates and meet new guys that pique your interest. I thought I could date others and see my mm for “fun” until I got serious with someone else but the affair drained me. I felt badly for hooking up with the mm and later going on a date. Plus, how could I truly give myself to an avail man when I’m lying naked with the unavail man. Best wishes and stay strong.

      • LIFELESSONS

        TTSP,

        I really had a fantastic time for my birthday….
        You asked, Are you ok seeing your mm because you aren’t looking for a serious, committed relationship yet? I think that, that may have something to do with it. I debate with myself back and forth about what I want right now. A part of me does want a serious relationship with an avail man. I miss the dates, the at home movie nights, the sleeping in days. I like to have in house fun so, I want to be able to do scavenger hunts, trivia and in house picnics (I enjoy quality time) I enjoy outdoor things too but I can be creative when it comes to relationship stuff. The other part of me feels like I dont want a serious relationship because I still fear being hurt or cheated on since that has been the story of my life with men. I am afraid because I know i have loose boundaries and that is what gets me so caught up in these men who are no good for me emotionally. I am sure, I could benefit from some great therapy. I havent been in a while but there are so many strstegies/tools I gained from going. I think because I am so indecisive about things I stay here with MM. I have some codependency as well. I have experienced being without a man for periods of time but i do not enjoy it. Although, I take myself on dates, I hang out with friends, I do things with my kids, I take care of everything on my own and have been for years now. I just enjoy time spent with a handsome, good smelling, affectionate and respectful guy. I dont know how well I would be able to balance dating a guy and seeing MM but I think I could try it out. I am sure its complex but I need to date and I may be immature in this area of my thinking but I feel like if I could have sex with MM, and not the guy I am dating, I would have a better chance of actually getting to know the new guy. Due to my loose boundaries and love for sex, I have ended up sleeping with the guy too soon and then ended up in relationship with a man who didnt want to be in relationship with me so he cheated. I guess I have a wharped since of thinking….
        Why does Life have to be so HARD lol

    • Nomad

      LL, life has been good for you!!! I’m very happy that you were soaking in happiness and pampered yourself with spa and massages, that’s my favorite pastimes too! Life should’ve been as such! 😁

      • LIFELESSONS

        Nomad,

        Thanks, It felt so good to be with good people and just have a worry free time. The spa was soooooo nice. I must go again. I am asking for spa gift cards in the future.

  • J

    Hello everyone. This situations are so hard. And sometimes I feel like I’m destined to just keep repeating the same mistakes over and over. Mm has continued to text, he’s been on our communication app non stop, and we also exchanged some flirtatious texting. I tried to stop it, and then he asked me to run again last night. I told him no I’m busy. It was clear he wanted more info. He asked me continuously where I was. But then he tried to play it cool like it was fine whatever I was doing, but if he were really fine would he have asked over and over. He also told me 2 weeks ago that he can’t message at night anymore. Well that lasted that week I did NC, now he’s messaging at night again. I don’t know why,( well I do know why-because I miss him) I asked him if we can have a quick hug next time we see each other. He said he doesn’t trust himself, but then said yes, ok. He then told me that just talking about hugging me made his body react and he was erect. He also said he loves me dearly and always will. This morning he already started messaging immediately. He was questioning me again about where I was yesterday. I mentioned to him that I started talking to a new person from the gym, he was clearly jealous. I don’t know what’s happening, it’s like I’m walking right back into my affair, but on his terms after he went back to his wife. It’s depressing. But excites me to talk to him, flirt, think of touching, being in his life. I like that he wants me, that’s clear. I want to know what’s going on with his W in the intimacy area, but I’m fighting the urge to ask. I don’t know why my mind goes there so much. But I think asking him is just bad on so many levels. So I’ll keep fighting that. But then it’s like I’m not even me and I act in some manner that’s opposite of what I want and it’s like I’m watching myself and yelling stop, but I can’t. Ridiculous. Felk, you asked about my H, we’ve kinda patched things up and he never had any solid proof of anything. I’ve spent much more time with him, including intimacy, and he’s much happier with me. But all the time I’m spending with him doesn’t change what’s in my head and heart. And the intimacy is like going through the motions. So all the walks, dinners, talks, etc I’m doing with my H isn’t bringing passion back. So I wonder, is this how it feels for mm? Because I know he’s been trying with spending lots of time with her. Also TTSP, I love what you said about giving someone space gives them room to grow closer. And your analogy about the bird, holding it carefully rather than so tightly that it’ll die. I’ve always believed in letting something go and seeing if it comes back to you. In my experience with mm, he always comes back when I let him go. It’s always been absence makes the heart grow fonder.

    • Felk

      J, as we’ve all been saying, your affair is not over. Not even close. He’s still contacting you all the time, and now he’s telling you that you’re turning him on? You also know he’s jealous about who else you’re running with and spending time with. You know this works to bring him back. And he will come back. I know that is what you want, but it does seem that you will continue this roller coaster for a while. I think it’s a good idea not to ask about his intimacy with his W. That can only hurt. He is not sexually attracted to her. He wants you. But, yes, he may have sex with his W to try to help their marriage or to try to make her happy. If that hurts you, do not ask about it.

      The way you talk about your H, is how I feel about my H. Nothing has really changed much over these 10 months of the break-up. I am still in love with my MM, and I still feel that distance with my H. The break-up has led to me being able to give more attention and time to my H, but that doesn’t change much that’s going on in my head. Yes, I am less distracted. Yes, I feel less smothered by my marriage. Yes, I’m happy that I can enjoy my time more when I’m out with my H and not be distracted by texts or e-mails from my MM. But, I am still in love with my MM and I cannot be attracted to my H in the same way. My guess is that your MM feels the same for his W and my MM feels the same for his W. The difference, it seems, between us and our MM is that their guilt about how they are treating their Ws leads them to think they have to choose us or them. For us, the guilt is not forcing a choice. I’m guessing this is a gender difference either in how H’s feel they have to provide for W’s or how men are worse at multitasking and we are able to separate our feelings for our H’s and our MM better. But doesn’t really matter what the explanation is, the point is that they feel more guilty than we do and they pull away from us, leaving us with the pain. In a way, I am glad my MM ended our affair last September. The 9 months before that were an anxiety roller-coaster for me as my MM’s guilt overwhelmed him and he slowly pulled away. I’m glad to not be going through that anymore, even if I still want more with him now. I’m glad to not be dealing with his turmoil. I don’t want to be with someone who is conflicted about being with me. This is what you’re dealing with J. For weeks, you talked about how hard it was to deal with your MM talking about the guilt and doubt. Who wants that?

      I have always practiced the bird analogy with my MM. From the start of our affair, I have always wanted to give him the space to decide to be in this relationship. Not only do I not want to be with someone who is conflicted, but an affair is something that causes a lot of conflict by its very nature. So, I think people have to be 100% on board to be happy. In this break-up, I’m also trying to give my MM a lot of space. Not only is this what he wants, but I cannot force him to be with me. He has to choose. It is sometimes painful. It can feel like I’m “waiting” for him. But, that’s not it. I am not waiting for him to decide. My actions do not change based on his decision. I want this friendship whether or not we do more. If we stay as is, I’m happy (enough). If we do more, I’m happier. J, I hope you can get to a place where you can be happy with your situation regardless of what your MM is doing.

      My main caution to you, though, is that it does seem like your MM is slowly pulling away. Slowing trying to make choices to improve his marriage and pull away from the affair. He may get sucked back in here and there, but it seems he will continue to take steps to try to see you less and communicate with you less. I went through this last year and it’s pretty bad. No one wants to be on the receiving end of a relationship partner working up the courage to leave. Multiple times, I asked my MM not to do that to me. He assured me he wasn’t. And, I know he meant it… because he didn’t know that’s what he was doing (until probably the last two months). My MM really believed that the was trying to decide how he could make his marriage and our affair work. But, to make his marriage work, he had to pull away from me. And as he realized that, he knew the only thing to do was to end our affair. Sometimes it sounds like your MM is going through the same thing. Maybe your MM will never fully be done with the affair (as he is not done now), but I’m not sure that leads to any less misery for you.

      • Brave and Free Lara

        J I completely agree with Felk’s points here (with the exception of the husband part.). But especially the entire last paragraph. That last paragraph really captures why many of us have expressed concern for your well being. Felk’s sentence that really captures what I am saying is this: “I went through this last year and it’s pretty bad.” OMG Yes.
        When the MM starts to pull away like yours is now doing, like mine did many times even though he is a Narc and felt no guilt about the affair. like Felk’s did, the effect is emotionally devastating to the recipient. You must prepare yourself J. It SUCKS , it more than SUCKS, when an MM begins pulling away and when you are the recipient. It can cause serious effects like a major depression and an alcoholism escalation. This is so only in part because it is a “break-up”. More than this it is because based of the INTENSE reactions our love/sex addicted brains brains have to the sudden withdrawal of the sheer euphoria of the love/sex drug by the MM. Love addiction has been called as powerful as opium and I believe it. It is a complete HIGH. So withdrawing from it is equally BRUTAL.
        I know you are partly coping by flirting with other men and making the MM jealous. I did the same exact thing. But this will not work for a whole number of reasons but mostly because you are already addicted to the MM.
        A new man is not going to break the addiction for you. Believe me I tried.
        Please J consider how you can take care of yourself emotionally. Whether you are are on slow drip or whether the MM withdraws completely for awhile it will go on being very painful. How dare they do this to us? Think about it.
        This is why I do NOT advocate trying to be friends with an affair partner after the affair is over. It is like asking an alcoholic to sit at a bar and not want to drink. Even though the alcoholic can smell the booze see people getting drunk and almost taste the booze in the air!. That is simply an impossible task to ask. And emotionally too dangerous. IMHO.
        SWIM??
        Many Hugs BAF aka Lara
        xxxooo

        • Felk

          BAF, your analogy about the alcoholic sitting in a bar is a good analogy to a friendship with an ex (especially in this situation where the feelings haven’t died and the addiction, even if weaker, is still there). The temptation to take that drink lingers. You feel the attraction immediately. But… don’t many people with alcoholism still go to bars and socialize with friends who are drinking? I only speak from experience of a few alcoholics in recovery that I know, but they go to parties/bars/restaurants where others are drinking alcohol. I am sure there is temptation and it is hard, but they choose this because they want to spend time with their friends and they enjoy other aspects of the experience. Isn’t that what attempting a friendship with my MM is? Now, you know I admit we are not yet “friends.” I also do not deny the temptation. But, aren’t we choosing to keep spending time together because there are aspects of the experience that we enjoy? Just as the alcoholic avoids drinking when out with friends, aren’t my MM and I avoiding crossing physical lines? Again, I’m not saying we’ll never cross those physical lines. I’m just saying that the analogy is comparable. That, if an alcoholic wants to spend time with friends who drink in settings where there is alcohol, the alcoholic may choose to endure the temptation for the other benefits of the situation. Aren’t my MM and I enduring the temptation for the other benefits we get from spending time together?

          Yes, we know that there are alcoholics who avoid being near alcohol at all because it is too tempting (and painful). But we certainly know that there are alcoholics who are around others who drink from time to time yet they maintain their recovery. And, yes, of course, we know alcoholics who are around alcohol and eventually give in to temptation and have to repeat the cycle of recovery all over again. Finally, we know alcoholics who get sober then drink some alcohol again here and there and do not develop dependency again. My guess is that the middle two patterns are the most common. I know your concern is that my MM and I will go the third route, but you know that I will work hard to go the second or fourth route.

          • Brave and Free

            Felk a sober person can of course maintain sobriety anywhere. But it is never ever recommended one hang out in bars if one is in recovery. If there is an occasion that forces one to be around a lot of alcohol for a special event: a wedding or work function, of course one could go for awhile. But I doubt they will be there hours later. It is too hard and unnecessarily risky. People recovering from alcohol addiction would not likely feel comfortable around alcohol for a whole slew of reasons. Quitting alcohol is very very HARD! and involves a huge commitment and time to make sobriety work, People who need to recover from alcohol addiction have serious and often life-threatening issues with alcohol addiction. So the last place they will want to be is in a bar unless they feel they have to. And even then maybe no…

            I have known many many people in successful recovery over the years and I must say none off them hang out in bars unless they have to be there for some specific reason. I have also know people who have been sober and relapsed by getting too “slippery” with the people who they hang out with and the activities at hand (like heavy drinking or drugging) . They drift away from their recovery network or circle.
            Some newly sober people might insist on hanging out in places that are very dangerous for them to prove they can handle it. I have watched three young people die from alcohol relapses. Horrible. Beyong horrible.
            As for hanging out with friends who “drink” most newly sober people must develop an entirely new social network to find people who do NOT drink. Long term sobriety depends altering ones lifestyle entirely to be around non alcohol related situations as MUCH AS POSSIBLE. No one can control every social situation or ask no one to drink around them. But to this day my sons and my closest friends do not drink around me out of respect.
            Hugs Brave and Free xxxooo

          • Felk

            BAF, yeah, that makes sense. A sober person may choose to go to a bar or be around people drinking, but they minimize it and it is difficult when they are doing it. And, the more the person puts themselves in that situation, the more likely they are to relapse. I feel all of this with my MM and our “friendship.” I feel we have tried to reduce our time together and when we are together, I can feel that temptation. Also, the more we do it, the harder it will get to resist that temptation. Your analogy is good.

    • TTSP

      Hi J,
      What do you mean by not having any passion with your H? Is it just a function of time and the evolution of love? I thought with all relationships you move past the lust phase into something more deep and meaningful. Please excuse me for the questions. I am not married.

      I’m sorry you’re going through the affair cycles. I’ve been through them too where they come on strong professing their love only to pull away and leave you in total despair. I always thought if both sides were married it would be more simple. I’m learning that is not the case. The general theme I’m getting from everyone is that they love their spouses but don’t have romantic feelings, thrill and excitement that a new relationship has. How do others sustain that wow factor long term?

  • Nomad

    TTSP,
    I feel comforted by you sharing your similar meltdowns experience.

    I wish I could come to terms that I am a sidedish if I were to continue. Therefore, I have to leave asap, start living my own life.

    I would not consider friendship with or without the physical. I do think we have deep convos, provide emotional support and share details about your personal lives, history and what is going on but as we dwindled, he just have no time to waste on me, he has better things to do with others, just anyone but me. Of course, I trigger fear and guilt and I must understand and deal with this mia cycle of his.

    He is unwilling to give a little more of himself to us. I have cited many examples – 20 days of annual leave, since this year not even lunch, he could mia for 1.5mths so he could do it again from now till he’s back from his trip, strikes when he has biological needs, no fanciful dinner or gift or flowers which I don’t need him to fulfill those material stuffs.

    I am always considering walking.

    I heed your advice to take deep breathe and tonight after I reached home I switched off my phone. It hurt if he didn’t reach out, it hurt if he reached out with desultory messages, so I just wanted a break from him tonight.

    Hugs… and am so grateful to you, Felk, Lara for hearing me out without terms and conditions.

  • Felk

    TTSP, I understand you wanting a friendship with your MM, but let’s hold off the praise for my situation until I get to test it a little more! It’s still hard. Even hours after I sent that update after seeing him today, I feel a mix of missing him/wanting more and being happy that things are so much better with us now than 10 months ago (or even three months ago). Are you saying that you are ready to be in a platonic situation where you just grab coffee/lunch/dinner with your MM but you’re afraid to ask because you don’t think he’d go for it (and because of the work situation)? Or are you saying that you’re still not ready to let go of the physical closeness and you hope that, some day, you can have a situation where you just grab coffee/lunch/dinner with your MM? Because those are two very different things.

    It’s interesting to read you talking about wanting to be done, but not being able to really close that door because of how hard he tries to talk you into staying. I hear some similarities with Nomad’s situation where it seems she knows this affair is no good for her, but she finds it hard to end it when he’s messaging her and stopping by her office. I really do get it. As someone who opted for a “friendship” over NC, I know the difficulty of potentially losing your MM.

    It does sound like you’re close to done, though. We know ending a relationship takes time. When you are in love, you do not just drop someone suddenly. My MM’s break-up process took 9 months before he said the words, and now it’s been 10 months of still breaking up where we are trying to manage being in love and not crossing lines. It also sounds like you will just need to eventually tell your MM it’s over, and then cut off (non-professional) contact for a while. I know you want to keep him in your life, but it doesn’t sound like that’s worked in the past when you’ve tried to end it. As you say, you will have to be “direct and succinct.” Soon, my guess is that you will get to the point where you want to open yourself up for a real relationship elsewhere more than you are worried about the consequences of ending it with your MM. Right now, the consequences still seem too great, but you do seem close to realizing that you might have to let go of your MM to find another relationship. At some point, you just have to do it for you and you can’t worry about your MM. And I don’t mean to oversimplify, but that is what it sounds like it will come down to (given that it does not seem a friendship is workable to him). He has chosen his marriage. You have to choose you.

    I know one of the suggestions for being friends with an ex (besides “don’t do it”) is going NC for a while. Taking like 6 months to just emotionally settle, for both of you, and then revisiting to see if a friendship can work. With the two of you working together, I know it’s a lot harder. I know BAF has been posting some articles about this, though. I’m not sure if this is something you want to consider, but given how hard your MM tries to get you back when you want to end it, it does seem that you’re going to have to be a little strict about NC with him at first. But I don’t mean to minimize how hard this all is. We can say the words, but doing the words is much harder. I know this all too well.

    • TTSP

      So… I start the addiction detox tonight. I talked to my now ex MM and we had a civilized, compassionate convo about ending the affair. Let me backtrack here a little bit. I’m going to start with the beginning of the day. This is going to sound really messed up but he came over and spent the day at my place. We had a nice time together but that’s no surprise. None of us would be involved in this mess if we weren’t reaping some benefits. Anyhow, we were walking back to get his car and I felt really miserable inside. While being in his presence it became painstakingly obvious that I’m totally holding myself back from the real love I deserve. Felk, you said something about making myself completely available to another person and that it isn’t possible if I’m still in and out of this affair. While I know it’s obvious, for some reason I kept allowing myself to get sucked back in. Every article I’ve read on this topic shares this view. I’ve been praying for the universe to show me the next right move and this is where I arrived…

      Anyhow, he called me on the way home and I brought up the “friends only” subject. To my surprise he was very amenable and warm to the idea. We were both kind and gentle with each other and the admission of difficulties that follow a breakup. Right now I feel so odd. I can’t explain the deluge of emotions that are running through me except that I’m wavering between total relief and utter grief. These waves of contradictory emotions are coming in cycles every five or so minutes. I’m thrilled to have this weight off my shoulders and open up the possibilities of meeting someone available to give me 100% of themselves. I truly believe this is the best decision for everyone. There’s no way to keep my heart open if I still have one foot in the door with the MM. I don’t have to feel any sadness about how much fun he is having without me or get jealous of all the people that can spend time with him freely.

      On the flip side I’d be a total liar if I didn’t admit that I wish it was me by his side sharing a life together. I’m really trying to pull myself out of the contemplative state questioning why he would choose to stay with someone he has no attraction, passion or similar interests with. I have to default to history, marriage, kids, family expectations, home, assets and security supersede anything he could have with me.

      Where I am now, I cannot flip the switch over to friends. I played it cool on the phone and so did he but I may need a mourning period to let the dust settle. How long does it take before you start to feel like everything is ok? When we’ve feebly tried to end things before it was in haste and as a result of a blowout fight. We’ve been on great terms for a couple months. Even when he was traveling the world he contacted me almost daily. Now it’s going to be an adjustment period and I can’t wonder, worry or question who is more despondent over this. He chose his marriage and I choose myself. Felk, how long did you take to feel goodish? Thanks everyone for listening and providing advice. I really hope I can offer the same caring support you all have extended to me.

      • Felk

        TTSP, good on you. You have done a hard, hard thing, but it sounds like it went about as well as it could have. Having a nice day together (and, no, that doesn’t sound messed up to me… my MM and I “ended” on a day that we spent like 10 hours together), and then having a calm conversation about ending is about the best you can ask for. These are emotional things and to hear that you and your MM did this conversation with care shows a lot of love and maturity from both of you. It seems like your MM saw this coming, given his easy agreement to trying a friendship, but, of course, now it remains to be seen what will happen from here. But let’s get to that later.

        First, relief and grief are to be expected. My guess is that’s what my MM felt since he was the one who wanted to end. I felt no relief and just utter grief when we ended. You ask how long it took for me to feel okay. I wondered this, too, when I started coming to this forum back in October. Of course, everyone’s timetable is different. But, working with your MM, you and I are in a similar spot of having more frequent reminders. I’d say that it was six months before I started feeling better, and then another three months before I started feeling good and like myself again. The first six months were a roller coaster of badness for me. As BAF described in a message to J, it was excruciating pain experiencing the withdrawal. I am a happy person, and I was depressed. I have never been depressed before, not even close. But, for much of October, I was flat and overwhelmed. The smallest tasks seemed impossible. I wasn’t eating or sleeping well. At work, I was distracted and anxious constantly. I longed to see him but desperately did not want to see him. I felt the void constantly. It all just felt wrong, and I couldn’t comprehend how this man was no longer my boyfriend. I couldn’t comprehend how we were, weeks ago, in each other’s arms and now nothing. And, yes, we were attempting a friendship so we’d go for drinks after work occasionally and it felt so good to laugh with him again and then I’d crash. It’d be days of sadness and anxiety all over again. I say none of this to scare you as I know you know what to expect, but just to hopefully help you feel “normal” if you’re going through it. It takes a LONG time to heal, and that is something I learned on this forum and doing the Mend App. I wanted to feel better after a few weeks. I was shocked I was still so miserable months later. I was frustrated with myself. I was worried that I was “doomed” to be sad forever. But, I kept telling myself that it’s a process and I worked hard to feel better. Distracted myself with more socializing with friends. Kept exercising (very important to keep your health up and get that endorphins boost). Focused on my H. And talked a lot about it on here. I found it so very helpful to express to you all, and to hear your stories and words of encouragement.

        Second, your MM will go through the same thing. No matter how casual or calm he sounded on the phone, he is not casual or calm. He will experience utter grief. I’ve told you all the things my MM has said through this, and he has gone through mostly what I have. We both talked about how hard it was at work to “ignore” each other throughout the day. How much it hurt not to stop in the other’s office as we used to (because we were trying to give space/distance for healing). He’s talked about how much he missed and still misses me. He’s talked about how hard all the little reminders are. But, like my MM, TTSP, you chose this hoping for something better. He wanted to save his marriage for his kids. You want a real relationship where you can be the priority and can share in someone’s life fully. This is a VERY good reason to end an affair, and, if you put in the effort, you will find someone who is better for you than your MM. I didn’t want to end the affair. You did. I do think that helps in healing when you can focus on a greater good.

        My best advice is giving yourself time. It will take a while to heal. It sounds like you’ve been slowly withdrawing for several months so maybe you’re already on your way to recovery, but it is different when you finally end it for real. The reality hits of how you can’t have access to this other person in the way you used to. If you’re really recognizing it’s over, your brain is flooded with the pain of withdrawal. And it is so tempting to reach out to that person to soothe that pain. Obviously, my MM and I did this periodically (even having sex in January), but it definitely slows the healing. We felt we didn’t have much of a choice given that we worked together, but, of course, we always have a choice. My MM and I chose to stay “friends” because we didn’t want to give up some of our affair.

        For you, TTSP, I recommend minimizing contact with your MM and not going the friendship route because it will keep you both holding on. This is where my MM and I are. But, we are married to other people and it’s not like we’re trying to “free” ourselves for new love. You are. To be available for new love, you can’t be tied to your MM. Keeping him in your life will continue to rekindle the feelings. This is how it was (and still is) for me. The feelings calm down eventually, but they are still there. And it still affects my marriage. Not that I’d suddenly be in love with my H if my feelings for my MM were gone, but there is less I have to give to my H because I’m in love with another man. So, I would recommend a “mourning period” for the dust to settle. I would give yourself a lot of NC time (even if you eventually have contact again). It is very, very hard. I can’t stress that enough. NC initially is the most brutal, but it’s the only way to really get someone out of your life. Slowly, though, your thoughts will go to him less and less. Initially, he will occupy your thoughts all day, but then it will be less and less. One morning, you will wake up and he won’t be the first thing on your mind. It will take months, but you will get there with effort. Really, one day at a time at this point.

        • TTSP

          Thanks Felk. It did go as smoothly as possible. I’m resting on the fact that we took the high road and did what’s best because we genuinely care about each other. You make a fair point that life goals help motivate me to stay the course. I wish I had the security, comfort, stability of a spouse by my side but that’s an even stronger argument to exit the affair. Harness the power of aspirations to propel me forward. I also pray and meditate daily. I ask the universe to show me the next right move and to no surprise my gut has been telling me that I won’t meet a soulmate until I let go of the MM. Onward and upward (cross fingers). This may sound silly but I bought a new perfume to symbolize a new chapter in my life. Something about scents reminds me of memories. I can make new memories with someone different.

          It sounds like you did all the right things to segue into a different type of relationship. Depression is dreadful and everything you described is depression to the letter. You become numb, indifferent, lethargic and disinterested in everything. Getting up becomes difficult and you feel completely hopeless. If the object of your affection is at work there is no respite. On one hand you want to interact and on the other you want nothing to do with the person. I was hoping to feel better in a few weeks but like you said I’ll take it one day at a time. I’m offline today but he has sent me several messages to my personal email. I have no idea what is going on in his mind but for me minimal contact is a must. I may have to assert myself and ask him to give me space if he continues to reach out over the next week. Also, I’ve already been preparing my resume and plan to look for a new position at the beginning of the year. Yes, I’ve been emotionally detaching since the beginning of the summer. Even before I withdrew he had been asking me to initiate more, reach out and give more attention to him than I was willing to do. Regardless, we’re too dependent upon each other. I’m going to miss that best friend component but I’ll lean on the other people in my life. I feel a long, challenging and prosperous road ahead.

          Do you still feel in love with him even after your no/low contact period? I have love for mine but that has diminished

          • Felk

            TTSP, it doesn’t sound silly at all that you bought a new perfume. Scents are closely tied to our memories (emotional memories in particular) so it makes sense to tie new memories to new scents. Reducing your triggers and reminders is a big part of moving on. For me, one thing I did was change the blanket in the spare bedroom where my MM and I spent many afternoons (and a few nights). It was a small thing, but seeing that old blanket as I’d walk up the stairs in my house kept reminding me of us. Now, sure, I still think of us walking up those stairs sometimes, but not nearly as much as before. There are still plenty of reminders of my MM and our relationship in my house, but getting used to those was also part of habituating to the new normal. An exposure-type therapy where you have to re-learn the meaning of these objects… re-learn that these things no longer are associated with that person. That’s slow, too, but I definitely am not triggered nearly as much by my house as I used to be. It takes a lot of proactive steps to move on. I did not find that I could just passively wait to feel better.

            I was thinking more about your situation today and thinking about how it doesn’t seem a friendship would work for you (and your goals). If you want to find new love, sadly, I do think you have to emotionally detach from your MM. I don’t know how you’d find new love if you were still in love with him. Talking to him or seeing him will keep bringing back those feelings. That’s my experience for the last 10 months (and my MM’s). So, to answer your last question, yes, I still feel in love with my MM. The addiction has diminished in the sense that I don’t feel the desperation for him anymore. I don’t feel the lows of the withdrawal either thankfully. But, I still feel sort of a low buzz all the time. I just feel that he’s “there” with me constantly. And I don’t mean that in any metaphysical way. I mean that in a purely biological way that I still feel a strong attraction and attachment to him.

            For me, I do not mind continuing to feel in love, and, well, I kind of want to still feel in love. I’m not looking for a new love. But, for you, if you stay in love with your MM, you cannot fall in love with someone else. Your MM is leaving you messages on your personal e-mail because he’s going through everything we all go through during a break-up, and especially a break-up that occurs when you’re still in love. Withdrawal. He’s feeling that desperation and need for contact with you. I’m sure he misses you a lot already and he’s trying to hold on. I do think you’ll have to eventually ask him to give you space, and I cannot tell you how impressed I am that you are planning to look for a new position at the beginning of the year. If you are really serious about putting your MM in the past, changing jobs will be very helpful. I know not everyone can change jobs when working with an ex, but, if you can, it will go a long way in helping you heal. There is a long, challenging road ahead when you’ve been in love for a long time, but if a new love is your goal, you follow the “rules” for how to get there. Keeping my MM in my life is my goal, and I’m trying to follow the “rules” for that, too.

            Even though you know the challenge ahead, I hear a lot of clarity in what you’re saying. I also hear that it seems you’re already on the path. You’re already talking about your love diminishing. And, you were the one who initiated the break-up (and have tried a few times). It shows that you want it. Yes, you may still want your MM, but you also want to move on. Healing will be harder for your MM because he didn’t want the break-up. He will likely continue to contact you, and I would expect some of those heart-string strategies from him to get you back. He will not make it easy for you. Not because he’s cruel but simply because he’s in love and he will want things back the way they were – comfortable for him with his W and with his girlfriend. But, you know that situation can’t work for you the way it works for him long-term.

          • Nomad

            I’ve gone through what Felk has described as the first 6 mths of hell before I forced myself to pick up new hobbies and initiate outings to distract myself, to live better than him, anything but to rot and wither. I didn’t want to live or didn’t know how to. Soul crushing. I am still taking the security, comfort, stability of a spouse for granted.

            It took me 1yr 2mths to reach where I am now, yet to detach or achieve indifference but I could work and sleep and differentiate between him in fantasy vs reality, and he’s no longer the first thing who popped up in my head the moment I woke. Past few days yes because I woke up to his desultory whatsapp like gm. No more bb or sweetie. Not even curious why he has been ignored for 3 days. Like a broken recorder repeatedly asking how’s your day. I’m pretending he has left for his trip on 31 Jul so counting 14 days. I’m feeling hurt but that’s the reality. Like you I’m focusing on my recovery, eat, sleep, work, no tension felt in my heart, not ruminating, just staying on track to live normally despite boredom and void. I’ll not wonder what he’s feeling or thinking because truth will sting. So yes, focus on getting through the day and pat myself on the shoulder each night before I switch off my bedside lamp.

            This morning, it’s pathetic. Not even desultory. I woke up to his WhatsApp sent last night at 11.37pm “…” yes it’s dot dot dot. Not gn or are you ok that sort. He’s starting to withdraw and tired of my “stunts”. I was overwhelmed by sadness because I am falling out of love with this man. What will I do if he stops sending even “…”? Will I panic and chase after him like I did on last Monday? Was I so cool now because I’m still receiving a “…” now ? It’s ridiculously pathetic. I’ll let it be. Blocking helps? my plan now is to see how pathetic the Rock bottom can get.

    • Brave and Free Lara

      Nomad and Felk,
      Please read my analogy about sitting at the bar as an alcoholic and expecting oneself not to want to drink :). The dark truth it is very very risky and emotionally dangerous.

      This is what I believe it is to be our toying with various types of lower temperature “friendships” post-affair with the married person who decided to withdraw from us for whatever reason: it will not work.

      Our Bains suffer incredibly after these break-ups. We crave to get an equilibrium back. We want just a little “taste” of our affair partner NOT complete withdrawal. Are the MM’s “great people” and deserving our friendship? Well yes sure some of these people might make great friends but the truth is we cannot actually have a true friendship with them because they are married and we STILL have to sneak around to see them! And we have already been f–ing their brains out. And our brains and bodies and our sense REMEBER this very well. And everyone is already addicted.
      If we wanted to be friends with them truly we would respect their married status.
      (A true friend would never encourage another true friend to have an affair)
      That is why our real life friends look at our behavior and cringe.

      Even in friendship the meet-ups have to be concealed else we “seem to be more than friends” at the places we work live etc. And the “secret” meet-ups arouse our addicted brains! They give us a rush! This is for SURE. I do know we have our needs and we have our reasons. No judgement on this.
      Felk there might be several gender issues going on at once. I am not sure on this.
      I am just reminding everyone reading here of the inherent futility in this matter.
      We here are all brain addicted and this addiction just needs a “little sip” for a relapse.

      The hiding and sneaking are still taboo even to be “friends” and once a re-trusting wife gets the idea the H is “slipping away” (again), she will put some chains around him for sure. She will put her foot down. This happened with me many times. The W of my exMM got VERY controlling with my exMM because she suspected him of cheating and he obliged her! This shocked me so much and pissed me off but alas it happened. Because in his thinking “he never intended to upset the entire family”. “He was trying to do the “moral” thing by cheating,” remember that article I posted yesterday? Does a woman use the same logic too? Perhaps yes. As I am single it is hard for to comment. But I can see the logic would work for me too. “Isn’t cheating better than divorce?” I would reason.
      At any rate the logic is flawed but we are too “in love” (aka love/sex addicted) to give up hope to give up everything and not at least be “friends”. But it is a trap. And all the marriage relationships involved suffer for sure. But we as individuals suffer too.
      No judgement.
      I have lived this mess off and for 21 years. That is where my strength of opinion in this matter comes from ladies!
      I am just writing this as “fair warning”.
      I am so glad we have this space to chat!
      Love and hugs BAF aka Lara xxxooo

      • TTSP

        Hi Lara,
        Thanks for sharing your experience and words of wisdom. Up until yesterday I was convinced that I wanted a “friendship” but it’s just my brain not wanting to give up the addiction. I’m quite certain if we spent time together he’d touch my back, flirt or do something and we’d end up back at my place in bed. The cycle repeats itself and he is getting the world and a girlfriend to boot. I know in my heart that we cannot be friends when the feelings are still very alive. Even when I move on would I really want to risk all the progression I made only to fall back into the morass? I took a last minute day just to process everything. He sent me a note asking if everything was o.k. I’m sure he knows it’s a result of our ending but whatever. I can’t fix, manage and control him. I can’t even begin to wonder what is going on in his head. Right now I just need to focus on my recovery. How much no contact time did you have before you started to feel relief? Right now I’m a bit paralyzed. One part of me wants him to let me go once and for all and the other part wants him to be devastated and beg me back. I recognize that it’s dead end, barren and best to move on and never look back. IDK Lara, a couple weeks ago he was coming on so strongly with lots of contact, attention and messages professing his feelings. Yesterday when we had the talk he responded like he couldn’t care less. Sorry for rambling. I have to accept that no matter how he responded I’d never feel a sense of closure. We don’t get the luxury of closure here because the relationship is never fully realized to run it’s course. Letting go, moving on and looking forward are the only way out. Indifference is the goal. Still, I feel like such a fool. How could I accept so little. This really wears down your self-worth and while I thought I had good self-esteem, does a person with high self-esteem ever accept being on the sidelines? Maybe I’m underestimating the complexities here. Are you feeling confident in your ability to stay strong and kick this guy out of your life for good?

        • Brave and Free

          TTSP I am amazed by all your progress in such a short time. Really this is awesome. You have been reaching upwards and forwards in order to make the life you dream for yourself. I know how scary it is, I really do. You are acting very BRAVE! We have no secure partner to fall back upon. On the other hadn’t we do not have to hide our grief and other strong feelings from a partner at home we live with.

          And the feelings (emotions) ahead will be very very strong. Expect to feel like a wreck for a few days. The first week of NC is the worst. It is ONE day at a time. Day three will be harder than Day 1 because at the very beginning we are simply in shock. Then by Day three 3, 4 we start to get the idea that this is the “new normal” and we feel like total crap. You must make a very light schedule for yourself in terms of work and appointments the first week and if you have a good friend you trust have her over and tell her what you are going through. Only do this if she is the type to give you a BIG HUG and not judge,

          The second week overall will be easier than the first week. It is the first week that is the real ass kicker. Plan to pamper the hell out of yourself! Get massages and go to the gym and take a steam bath etc. Baby yourself! Eat comfort foods etc. And ask for privacy from your MM if he persists in contacting you. If worse comes to worse you may have to block him if you want this time to truly heal. You NEED privacy to do this. It’s not that you hate him. It’s that you are taking a total time out and need privacy. You need time to be with YOU alone.
          So the first major milestone will be 30 days (it will feel remarkable) then followed by 60 days (you will feel more and more secure in your own self) then finally 90 days! At 90 days there is sea shift in you because the brain fog of your affair is starting to settle down. The addiction has quieted down. No more brain fog. Now you can begin to “see”.
          It is the same with alcohol. Exact same thing. You will need to develop a new routine , new activities, new ways to structure your life to stay out of the affair. You will need all the spiritual help and guidance you can muster. All the prayers, meditations, tarot card readings whatever it takes. Spend time alone in churches and cathedrals. All this takes time and you must do it in private. At 90 days you will be surprised at your own mental clarity! You will understand the dynamics of the affair much much better and you will see it for what it truly was. This would be the point you might be ready to start dating. But not before. If you date too early you will likely fall back into the affair because it is the “known” and it is the “comfortable”. Hold off on dating til you mind clears and your brain clears. And date when you feel STRONG not weak.
          At the 90 day point can you be “friends”? It really all depends on what HE has been doing to recover from the affair. Has he worked as hard as you at cutting the ties that bind you? Has his affair addiction also subsided? Does he want to move forward in a new format? etc. Even off you both decide to do this it will be very very hard. The chemistry never seems to die down totally. The longing never does either. So beware planning for a neutral friendship. It might be too much “hope” and keep your addiction on a low flame. (In fact that is likely)
          Know this : I have gone through this process before and several times. It gets easier and easier each time believe me! Like I have been saying I am shedding no tears for my exMM this time. I have really had it. At one point I went NC for FIVE YEARS!! Imagine. I got an MFA and met all these new people and traveled to another state to go to school. It was great!
          SO just know you can do it too. Yes you can. Others before you have made it too. Your self esteem will RISE because you are taking time for YOU.
          If you “slip” you will just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep on keeping on! Its always better to try and fail and try again then never to try ever. You must work hard to have the life of your dreams! 🙂
          TTSP You ask: does a person with high self esteem ever accept being on the sidelines? I would say of they are married yes they might accept this but for us single people it is less likely. Affairs really beat up single people and a high self esteem single person would see the red flag wicker. But you can develop high self esteem! There are even courses here on the internet to do this. Affairs mostly suck single people dry. And they definitely make our self esteem FALL lower.
          You also ask: Are you feeling confident in your ability to stay strong and kick this guy out of your life for good? I feel very strong this time yes. I know how abused I felt during the gaslighting episode and I saw how terrible conflicts would be with him if he was my partner. I did not expect to get such belligerence on his part. It was huge turn off and huge wake up call for me. Suddenly I did not see the happily ever after scenario I had always imagined. I saw having arguments with him and never being able to communicate with him. It scared the crap out of me. That is all I can say. Its only been two weeks. I have been truly addicted to him for a long long time. But yes this time I feel strong.
          I too have to move forward one day at a time too….And who am I going to sleep with now? Yes I ask myself this too. But this time NC is not agonizing. It feels like I earned it and it is actually my reward! Love and Hugs, BAF. xxxooo

          • TTSP

            Hi BAF,
            Great idea about the massage. I’ve been thinking about that for weeks now. I workout daily, take walks and have lined up plans with friends for the weekend. In all sincerity I can’t have true no contact for 90 days because he’s my boss at the moment. We are on calls together almost daily but we’ve never had an issue in a business setting. On the personal side I’ll need to adjust to no contact outside of work or inside of work regarding personal matters. It’ll hurt not communicating and leaning on each other but I’m up for the challenge. Also, I never wanted to hear about his evening or weekend plans because I always wished it was me by his side. It’s not and it never will be thus I’m exiting. Any grieving as a result of a loss (although for us these ending is more of a win) does not occur in a linear fashion. I’m certain I’ll have good days, ok days and some really bad days.

            This certainly aroused the my deepest insecurities and fears but it also allowed me to work through some childhood wounds. I hope I’ve dealt with my relationship patterns and don’t repeat the same mistakes of getting involved with unavailable men.

            As for you his gaslighting is inexcusable and a bit sociopathic or antisocial personality disorder as they’re referred to now. If he employs manipulative tactics to fuel his arguments that is not someone you want to hold closely. Often people that get involved in affairs have higher levels of narcissism. I’m not saying he’s a clinical narcissist but he may fall on the higher end of the spectrum. If he thinks he’s always right, won’t compromise at all or admit fault and can’t show you any compassion for your feelings, than he’s definitely a BAD partner. Sometimes these individuals also possess the most charming, attractive traits and when you get a taste of them you become hooked. I think it’s quite common and these folks can get to anyone no matter how healthy you are individually.

          • Felk

            TTSP, it sounds like you really understand this process. And while it doesn’t make everything easy, I found that the more prepared and honest I was about how long it was going to take and how there would be setbacks, the better able I was to handle the setbacks and keep moving forward. You also are doing so much that is proactive in helping your healing process. And I think the strongest part was you saying, “I’m up for the challenge.” You know it’s going to be hard, but you also know that you can do it. I felt the same way. And I still feel the same way. I knew my healing would be really hard, but I knew I was capable of it. Sure, in the beginning, I felt helpless, but as I saw small progress, I knew more would keep coming… and it did. Now, even though my situation still has challenges ahead, I am reassured that I can handle these challenges. I have felt good for weeks now. Like, normal me good. You keep your eye on the goal and you keep making choices to reach that goal. For me, you know it was a friendship (or more) with my MM. I have worked hard to get here (including coming here for help), and it has felt for a few months that he and I really might be able to do this. For you, I think your goal is to find new love. So, make choices to get you to that goal.

            I hope you are able to go NC outside of professional matters. It is hard, but I know you are looking for new love and it is the best (and fastest) way. How has your MM been handling it so far? Has he been trying to contact you? I know that part of what helped my healing was my MM being relatively consistent in wanting to stick to the break-up. Even though he gave some mixed signals, he generally continued to say that he did not want to go back to the affair. So, I say that hoping your MM can give you space and hoping that you can give your MM space to heal, too, if you really are ready to be done.

          • TTSP

            Thanks Felk. I sometimes talk a big game but my grieving comes in waves. Some days I feel myself and others I don’t even want to get out of bed. Typically after a breakup (although this is a lot different from a normal breakup) I tend to experience the immediate, excruciating pain of ripping off a bandaid. I go through a quick yet very difficult mourning period over the death of the relationship. I feel like shit for a couple months and then I’m back on my feet ready to face the world. This is such a different animal. I’m really sad that I can’t have a real relationship with him and that’s all there is to it. I know it could never happen anyway but the heart doesn’t operate on logic. I’m trying to get over the pain of wanting to be his girlfriend and having to let him go. Even typing this stings like hell. It just sucks having feelings for someone that you can’t truly be with 100%. I knew this going in but it felt so good to act on the attraction. It’s my impetuous, compulsive nature when I find anything or anyone that feels incredibly good.

            Anyhow, the mm is more inclined to have postmortem discussions about all of this. It’s just too painful and raw for me to rehash the what, how and why. He thinks it’s much easier for me and that I’ll get the world and my happy ending or whatever. Still, he knows I’m firm in my decision and will not return. I’d also like to believe that he cares enough that he’s willing to set me free. I’m letting him go because of the love I have for myself and for him. Also, he’s less guilty about the affair than I am and is much more willing to take the risk. I’m not willing to continue being complicit in putting his whole life at stake. He grossly underestimates the possibility of his W and kids finding out.

            You seem to be on the road to sustaining a long-term friendship with your mm. I hope you can stay grounded and leverage the strength you’ve gained coming out of a very intimate relationship. It’s a slippery slope as you know but if you’re both forthcoming with each other than you’ve gained a very dear connection in your life.

      • Felk

        BAFL, I don’t disagree with what you’re saying in general. I do worry about my situation, and I don’t want to cause myself further misery. But you know that I think I can make this work (or that my MM and I are the type of people who can make this work). I know that may sound foolish, and, maybe it is foolish of me, but the way I feel now compared to even three months ago suggests to me that something is changing. Yes, I’m still in love. Yes, I still want more. But it doesn’t feel desperate anymore. There is no profound sadness. There is no void. I don’t “crash” after we spend time together. I feel physically healthy, etc. Now, sure, you might say, “Then why are you tempting yourself back into a bad situation?” See the part about still being in love.

        I know that my MM and I aren’t friends. That is clear. We are more than friends still. We still lie to our spouses. We still do things that friends would not do together. And we still feel all the feelings. We will be out tomorrow night and we will feel a lot of attraction to the other person. But, I believe (maybe foolishly) that we can try to enjoy this. Ideally, we will enjoy this attraction and time together and be careful not to get into the mess that we were in before. More realistically, we will invite some mess back in. But, maybe we control the mess better having gone through it before? Okay, maybe that’s even foolish. So, even more realistically, maybe as we continue the “friendship,” we create another mess. I think it’s worth it. At least for now. For now, what we’re doing feels worth it to me. It doesn’t feel as good as the affair, but it feels better than the misery of thinking we were broken up for good. There are still hard things, but it feels now that we get to enjoy the things we used to enjoy together (talking, laughing, flirting) and, yes, I still like thinking that we’ll enjoy crossing those physical lines again.

        I know your warnings are meant well, and I’m so glad we have this space to chat, too. I find the advice from all of you very helpful, and I know it has helped me heal. I also do worry about the things you say. I think about this a lot. I worry that I’m setting myself up for disappointment and sadness. But I know I want this friendship (or whatever it is) with my MM. I know that even if I have to deal with some disappointment if he doesn’t want to cross lines that the time with him is worth it. At least for now. Maybe there will come a point where it feels too hard again. I know that is what you are warning against. We shall see how tomorrow night goes.

  • LIFELESSONS

    Hey Ladies,
    Lifelesson is here! I had an amazing birthday weekend. I dont even remember the very first forum I started writing on or when but it seems like we have been on so many threads together and I feel we all have grown in many different ways….just wanted to check in here

    Chat with all soon!

    • Felk

      Hi LL, good to see you over here. Glad to hear you had a good birthday. Sounds like your friends really pampered you. I like what you have to say about how we have grown. I know that it feels good to look back, months ago, and see how far I have come. Sometimes I can still get frustrated with feeling sad or insecure, but looking back really helps me see how this is a slow process and it really does get better with time and effort.

  • Nomad

    Nc failed at Day3. He came to my office and needed me to sign documents. He asked if I’ve received his sms to meet on sat because he wanted to make a point. I initiated lunch. I’ve questions for him too.

    We simply talked. No intimacy because the topics were about his daily life. I asked him for a glimpse of his daily life, what he did over the weekends. I told him mine too (forest walk and cafe on Sun). He asked alone with H or kids. He said talking abt such topics dampen his libido which he built up prior to seeing me. Yes, platonic updates we exchanged. He asked was I happier to hear abt his life at home? No sex, no intimacy or heart to heart conversation with W, kids are his happiness and motivation and all these are a norm to him, until I came along. He described how blessed he felt when his daughters displayed family photos in their room, family of four and he’s very certain that he’ll protect this family of four no matter what. I got it… he said I would do the same, my family comes first, be there for them, make memories, cook for them, keep the family intact etc. (at this juncture I wanted to ask him when why don’t you pull the plug? Why risks? but I bit my tongue), he glowed as he talked about how cute his girls are, how fast they grew, places they went, things they did as a family of four. (He mentioned four a lot)

    He was surprised that I initiated after the outburst last fri. Emotional roller coaster he called it. He didn’t expect I would be ok so soon. He’s prepared to lose me. So, the highlights of the lunch – He wanted to make it point for me to think about “I’ve dealt with your trips more than you have to deal with mine, for longer duration and it was only the 2 of u, whereas I’ve only been to 5 days bkk trip in nov 2016, 2days all trip last dec and 3 days trip in mar this year, and all with kids and all for their sake, to create memories with them. So why can’t u handle? Family trip is what everyone does, isn’t it?” I replied this is his 1st long trip 10 days he’s happily spending his time away from work, from me, from the mundane and his W would surely be in loving mood. I said “so tell me how did he dealt with mine and I’ll learn.” He said he told himself not to think, distract with work, have fun with kids, and it wasn’t that difficult. I asked him “will u come back to me after u return?” He said “I don’t know” I told him I thought he would reply yes without hesitation (expectation again). He started to look stressed and said to me stop asking him things he couldn’t answer or don’t know. He’s taking things by the day and didn’t think far. He didn’t think of planning any leave with me. I asked why not. He said it just didn’t occur to him, and probably guilt and fear, not safe blah blah (So he’s really asking for 2hrs per month, 1 day out of 365). I said he could deal with my trip because he knew I’d come back to him. But now that he’s going, he told me he doesn’t know if he’ll come back to me. Though it hurts but I got my answer what I needed to settle for if I couldn’t quit him.

    I’m confused about what I’m feeling, how I should be feeling, what’s the next step.

    I seemed to be under his mercy in that only he can call the shot to end.

    We didn’t touch. We didn’t feel any desire. I thank him for the nice chat. He didn’t initiate the next meeting.

  • Brave and Free aka Lara

    Here is an article I found on the internet tonight that I found very interesting.
    It confirms what I have known for a long time as well intuitively. I am not posting it for myself or anyone else to feel “guilty”. I am just aware that MANY of us here are with MM’s who use this same logic with us. It is not even a “Narc-only” thing.

    “Ask Polly: Give Me One Reason Why I Shouldn’t Cheat On My Wife”
    It is a man writing to “Polly” who then answers him.
    I will post bits of it here but the full article is available here: https://www.theawl.com/2013/07/ask-polly-give-me-one-reason-why-i-shouldnt-cheat-on-my-wife/
    “Polly,
    “I’m a new reader and dig your crazy no-bulls**t advice. But I’m writing not so much for advice, but to throw down the gauntlet. The subject is me cheating on my wife. I’m sick of feeling guilty about wanting to, and rationally I’m having a hard time figuring out why I shouldn’t because I think it may actually help our marriage and improve the chances of us providing a happy home for our children.
    Here are the supporting facts:
    1. My wife is no longer interested in sex. She is too busy and tired from stressing over the kids and delivering our little royals to their next playdate to generate biological feelings for me. Before the children were born we had a “zestful” sexual relationship but no longer.
    2. It is said men in general have a much higher sex drive. I am a man and find this to be a considerably large understatement, along the lines of saying Transformers might be a crappy movie.
    3. I find my wife sexy; I also find other women sexy. Some of these women will have sex with me and we will enjoy it.”
    (edit)
    “5. I will feel physically better if I have sex with other women because I will be released from the buzzing, thrumming miasma of lust that plagues me every moment during a sexless week. Believe me, most men are familiar with these feelings.
    6. My wife is an outstanding mother, and otherwise a good wife and best friend.”
    (edit)
    “10. Affairs with other women will not change my love for her.”
    (edit)
    “My challenge to you is to make a compelling case why, on balance, I should not pursue outside affairs in the interests of my family’s longevity and happiness, provided the facts above. I don’t think you can.”
    (edit)
    Polly’s response:
    “Dear CGM,
    Cheating is called cheating for a reason. The issue on the table is honesty, not sex. If the lack of sex in your relationship poses a serious threat to your marriage, you should sit down with your wife and tell her that. You should ask to see a couples’ therapist together. You should say that you need her to commit to some concrete plan for changing things between you, whether that means letting someone watch the kids one afternoon and one evening per week so you can have time together, or deciding on a minimum fooling-around schedule, or reading a book about sex therapy and then talking about it, or some combination of those things. Tell her that you need to know that things are going to change, because your frustration and powerlessness in this area is affecting your outlook on your life and your marriage.”
    (edit)
    “Here’s what you shouldn’t do: Assume that your wife would be fine with you discretely running around town, fing other women, or that she’d prefer that scenario to discussing this openly. Because I can personally fing guarantee you, your wife would rather talk about it. She is not remotely ok with you fing around. You’ve been watching too much “Mad Men.” Making a rousing argument for fing other women on the sneak is a pretty elaborate way to justify something that’s unjustifiable. It’s a brave-looking way of being a total chickens**t.”
    (edit)
    “Fing other people when your wife thinks that you two are monogamous is dishonest, hurtful and beyond insulting. It’s the kind of thing that many people never, ever get over. It’s the kind of thing that will lead to you, alone, in a one-bedroom apartment, while your sexy, wonderful wife remarries someone handsome and loyal and honest who makes his desires known instead of hiding behind logic and lists.”
    (edit)
    “Having an open marriage and cheating are two entirely fing different things. The former is a choice. The latter is a crime that’s willfully committed against the other person. When you cheat on someone, you betray their trust, you rip apart their love for you, you embarrass them, you depress them (in this case, at a time when she has little people who depend on her and she can’t really afford to be depressed beyond belief), and you permanently alter their ability to respect you. Do you know how bad that feels, loving and believing in someone more than anyone else, and then having your love injured irreparably?”
    (edit)
    see link for the rest
    Love and Hugs,
    BAF aka Lara
    xxxooo

    • Nomad

      Lara
      Thanks for sharing… i stared hard at this para: When you cheat on someone, you betray their trust, you rip apart their love for you, you embarrass the f*** out of them, you depress them and you permanently alter their ability to respect you. Do you know how bad that feels, loving and believing in someone more than anyone else, and then having your love injured irreparably?

      This sent shivers down my spine…

      • Brave and Free Lara

        Nomad
        You are welcome. My point was not to make anyone feel guilty. But of course we all really are guilty of being in relationships that can harm others.
        As one steps away from an affair one sees this more clearly. No judgement however. I know I had my reasons. And this is because me exMM quoted the man in the article almost verbatim!
        And I “chose” to believe him.
        In fact I DO have issues with having participated along with my exMM in cheating on his W.
        Call it codependency. Call it empathy. Call it my being highly sensitive. I am all of these things.
        I just knew in my gut that we were doing something that would devastate any spouse in a marriage regardless of its state. Because the cheating person has chosen to leave the conflicts alone (at home) and solve them by finding someone else to f–k. And a single woman like me is just enabling the MM to do it in fact.
        Again no judgements. We all have our reasons I know. We didn’t choose to be here perhaps. But then again I did not say “Absolutely not!” either.
        In this article the strong and long response after the male speaks (did you read the whole thing?) shows me the “correct” way to deal with the marital issues. And the way I could have called bulls-t on my exMM. But this is all new territory to me.
        I am late to this party LMAO.

        I went through many phases with thinking about the W of my exMM because my affair was so long. At first I felt jealous constantly especially that she “got” him even though he and I were “in love”. I felt “she” was keeping him from “me”. I felt it was so unfair. It made me so sad and fueled my belief he and I should actually be together.
        But as time went on I wondered how the affair was affecting her. And her family? He would always say “she has no idea” and “what am I supposed to do leave her?” exactly like the guy above. I would sympathize with his situation. And the vacations? aarghhh
        Then at one point I challenged him to go home and insist on marital or sexual therapy or both. I told him do your HOMEWORK. Do not choose the easy way out of coming to me for what you say she does not offer you. (Our affair was getting stalled out often on this) He refused. No surprise. He is not the “therapy” type of guy he said. Now I know this: What Narc is a therapy type of guy? LOL
        In the second decade of my affair I really DID get much more concerned about her. I knew this long term lie (the affair) HAD to playing out at home somehow. I was not sure “how” but I knew it was doing this intuitively. I did not like her having “him” but I began to see she had legal rights! She had invested her life in him. She and he had all their finances tied up together.

        When I would bring these concerns up he would say “NO you don’t understand”. “She has no idea.” “And besides, this affair is actually “good” for my marriage.” “You are helping me so much just being “you”. (Exactly the same words and reasons as the man quoted in the article above)! I chose to “believe” my exMM but truth be told I always knew in my gut how he did not understand how intuitive women really are and how we “sense” things.

        SO initiated all of the “break up times” in the past five years as I developed into a person who did not want to be in a harmful relationship to a wife indefinitely. I did not want to have karma bite my a-s when I am 95 and leaving the planet for good.
        I finally needed an answer. Was he going to leave her and be with me or not? Or were we going to keep on lying behind her back forever? I was not going co-sign this latter thing. Unless I KNEW our relationship was going to end with us being together. His answer?
        The kind of logic the man in the article uses). arrghhh
        I was so sick of this.
        That is why I got a little hope this past April when he said he was “leaving her” and asked if he could “rent” an apartment in my “basement.” I have no such apartment in my basement but he was feeling me out. My response I mean. But now I think he did that to judge my interest in HIM, not HIS interest in being with ME.
        And now after having that horrible argument where he was gaslighting me and I really could see clearly I was dealing with a Narc, who melts down under stress, all the puzzle pieces finally are starting to fit. For MY situation at least. In fact I wasted a LOT of time thinking about him and I. SO MUCH! The relationship was never going from “love” “passion” “romance” to a durable secure relationship. Never. But in my mind it always was!
        Many hugs Brave and Free Lara
        xxxooo

        • Felk

          BAFL, sounds like you continue to understand your MM and your affair better and better as time goes on. The one thing that stood out to me this time in your post was when you talk about your MM telling you in April that he was leaving his W: “But now I think he did that to judge my interest in HIM, not HIS interest in being with ME.” I think you do understand him well. This is what narcs do. Or maybe we all have done this in relationships, but I think narcs, in particular, tend to test partners to make sure their partners love them. Worse, narcs “consume” their partners. Reduce them to who they want them to be so that there is no question that the partner is completely dependent on them. Narcs are so scared others do not truly love them that they have to coerce and manipulate for “love.”

          Many times throughout my affair, I wondered if my MM wanted to hear me say I wanted to leave my H not because he wanted me to but just because he wanted to hear it? I never told him I wanted to leave my H, but many times it felt like he wanted to hear me say it. And I know I wanted to hear him say it about his W, even if I didn’t really want him to leave her. Like I said, I guess this is normal to some extent… that we want to hear our partners say things that express how much they are interested in us. But, if we are not willing to give the same in return, then it’s a true narc. Continued luck to you in moving on from your MM.

          • Brave and Free Lara

            Thank you Felk
            Yes I am beginning to understand my relationship better and better with my exMM. So much of it was a kind of “smoke and mirrors”thing. And I fell for the show hook line and sinkers. I loved it!
            But I could never really test the “reality of the relationship” because it was an affair and our times together were so “precious”. And how convenient for me too, no? You all know I love fantasy and illusion as much as anyone else. 🙂
            All the more reason someone like me should not be in an affair. Alas.
            I am a work in progress.
            A lot of what my ‘narc” did was “test me” I realize looking back. That beautiful “peace dove video” was meant so see if I would respond. And I did. The same with the story about him leaving his W. And I responded. It is called “hovering” when a Narc does this. And they almost always hoover at some point.
            And did he ask about staying in my house after leaving his W?
            Yup. And how did I respond? I said “sure!” Silly me.
            And then he asked how much would I charge him? Idiot me! I said one dollar! (But told him he could work on my house and earn rent that way).
            A serious man would have jumped at that chance.
            But he is not that.
            He needs “fuel” is all and I had plenty of it to give to him with my supportive and trusting nature.
            (But I was a totaL IDIOT in making such an offer)
            Did he leave? Nope. Instead, He gaslit me a few weeks later (2 weeks ago) saying I was making “wrong assumptions” about the nature of our relationship. Huh???
            But there’s a secret silver lining for me:
            Phew. No reality! No daily INTIMACY! Thank Goddess.
            I dodged that intimacy bullet again.
            🙂
            The truth is (and I read somewhere) that if a person was going to leave their spouse they would have done so already before getting into an affair. The affair would never or very rarely be the excuse for leaving the marriage. I think this makes sense.
            I do feel like I am a very later learner in life but I am learning yes.
            And my family of origins/background did not exactly set me up well for love affairs lol. So I forgive me.
            Whatever.
            In a way the Narc is also c0-dependent because he/she needs the “proper” reaction from the other person in order to feel good. My MM was angry I had any criticisms of him at all. It was amazing how he tried to gas light the whole conversation with me two weeks ago in order to save face to himself. My criticism became his unhappiness. But that is a kind of co-dependendcty isn’t it? His good feeling depended on my reactions to him. He delighted that I found him so attractive for example. And intelligent. And good with his hands.
            But when I told him I thought he was becoming a bit “thin” he was outraged! Mr BodyBuilder too thin? No that comment had to be because I was such an “insulting woman” not that it might just be a casual observation of mine. The very next day after I said that to him he claimed I had lost so much weight! This part makes me really laugh as I am not a pound thinner than I was last year or the year before that. And no one would ever call me “thin”. But suddenly he wanted me to explain to him how I had lost so much weight? I could not believe my ears!
            I realized his “Narc-ness” has accelerated since I met him 21 years ago a LOT. Either that or I am getting more and more sober and I am in long=term therapy and now I can see him and our relationship so much better as I heal.
            But love and sex addition? It looks to me like this is just one more way for my serotonin deprived brain to get the “feel-goods”. aarrghhh

            So while I am interested in dating again yes I have to be careful as by “natural” attractions always lead me to very unstable men. I have done it over and over again. Especially in my former marriage! But now I am stopping to judge my process and myself. We all have our lessons to learn like LifeLessons has said.
            And so do I!
            Many hugs BAF aka Lara
            xxx000

  • J

    Hi. Thanks so much everyone for your input. You all ask such good questions. If I’m being honest with you all, I don’t know my real motivation in being friends with mm. Yes, I like him in my life because I love and miss him. But I think part of me feels like this will just be like one of our other breaks when he had to work on things and then we couldn’t resist each other and we got back together. Do i really want to continue this sickening and hurtful cycle? There’s a part of me that wishes he never moved out of his house, it pushed things too far and created too much stress. We couldn’t just continued along as always if that didn’t happen? And I ask myself, who would I rather be, his W who he is with out of guilt, friendship, and family obligation, or me who he is attracted to passionately and romantically? Well, that’s obvious for me, why would I want to have him only from guilt?!?! I wouldn’t. I don’t know if they can ever get passion back, I don’t think so. I know they are friends. He is doing lots with her, romantic dinners and walks, but I truly believe once the passion is gone it’s gone and it’s not coming back.
    After our coffee and light time yesterday, he texted at night saying it was such a pleasure seeing me. He also texted quite a bit today. We talked yesterday about maybe seeing each other once a week as friends. Well today I told him I was walking my puppy at the park and he asked if he could meet me there with his dog. I said ok. It was nice but kind of hard because I was very distracted thinking of touching and kissing him. As baf and felk said, our relationship is very passionate and sexually charged. Although we talk also and have very deep conversations. But I realized something else today, I changed around him the last few months from the stress, I haven’t been myself. I’d like to be me again. He did ask me what I did last night, I see he’s very interested still (jealous?). Something else I thought of, being around each other and not touching or kissing, well it’d creating a sexual tension for me, like the very early days of our relationship. I wonder if this is how he’s feeling too. It’s almost making him more enticing again, like the forbidden fruit we can’t touch. So would I rather be me or the W right now, me definitely. She’s just there in the house, taking him back no matter what, I know him, that will bore him. When we left the dog park he also asked me to run tonight. I declined him, and he said some other time. What happened to maybe once a week or keeping our distance?! Thoughts??

    • Felk

      J, you know I understand your honesty, because it can be really hard to pinpoint one’s motivation in this situation. I know BAF asked me about my motivations a little while back, trying to clarify if they were to get back together or they were really for friendship. My answer is “yes.” 🙂 Yes, I want more with him. But, if that is not possible, I also genuinely want a friendship with him. This is complicated stuff.

      In your situation, I do think that if you and your MM try a friendship right now, you will just end up having sex again soon. You both are still feeling such strong emotions. I mean, he can’t even stay away from you for one day? You’re out walking your dog and he comes to meet you? Yeah. He’s asking you to go for a run tonight? You know this is not how a friendship works. And, the hard things that you felt today only get harder if you truly are ending the affair. If your MM really does stick to trying a friendship and refuses to touch/kiss/sex, imagine how much that will hurt and how hard it will be to be around him. How will you feel if he really does try to keep his distance? I know exactly what you mean by the distraction of thinking about touching and kissing him when you’re around him. I went through that for months with my MM after we broke up. I was overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings about it all. I know he felt similarly. My MM’s typical reaction was to run away and put distance between us. It was very painful. I knew it was what he needed (and, honestly, what I needed), but it still hurt so much. You all saw me go through it at the end of last year. I just don’t see how it would be much different in your situation. What I see being a little different, though, is you two having sex more often and repeating the cycle of on and off more often than my MM and I. And I hope you know I mean that as no judgment. None. That just seems more your pattern than our pattern. For us, it is more the deep talks and longing looks and hours together and then confusion about what we want to do moving forward. We are not the “give into our passion” type people (except for that one time in January).

      And, oh, do I know what you mean about changing because of all the stress. I have said this here many, many times, but one of my few regrets in my affair is that I was not more myself in that last year (especially the last two months) when our relationship was ending, when I could feel him pulling away. The fear of him leaving me made me put up with treatment that I should not have accepted. Not that he was horrible. He wasn’t. But, it was clear he was pulling away and I should have been more direct about how it was hurting me. I did say things, of course, but I wasn’t as strong as I usually am. So, I really do know what you mean about changing and not liking how you changed. But I’m (mostly) back to me. It has felt really good over the last few months to feel like me again. And I’m trying to make sure that I don’t lose myself (for him) again. I have been more assertive in what I need over these last two months, and he has responded well. But, it’s taken a lot for both of us to get here. He is probably responding well because I have given him a lot of space. And because I’ve given him a lot of space, he can respond better to my needs now. We are both trying. But, J, I cannot stress how hard this has been and how it continues to be hard. My answer about wanting both (more and just friendship) are not easily compatible. To have just a friendship, you mostly have to give up the hope of more or you are opening yourself up to constant disappointment and making yourself vulnerable to being taken advantage of. There is also the danger of putting pressure on the other with your desires, pressure that drives them away. So, while I do still want more, I know I have to focus on the friendship (or whatever we are doing that isn’t crossing physical lines) and try not to push for more. Try to enjoy what we have and, if more happens, try to be smart about that, too.

      My guess is that the more you and your MM try a friendship, the more you will end up back in each other’s arms. As you said, it seems there’s something about the forbidden fruit that makes it even more desirable. He cannot keep his distance. You cannot keep your distance. How are you having a friendship? 🙂 But, of course, the problem is that he has gone back to his W and it seems you will repeat the cycles of passion and jealousy and guilt. Of course, there’s this tiny other issue… you’re married, too. You’ve said your H has found out a bit about your affair. How is your H handling all of this?

  • Nomad

    Day2: Weekends no big deal, it’s not as if he’ll reach out.

    Anyway, I’ve been reminding myself the bad things about him and being with him. I jotted the points down to remind myself.

    I’m thinking of simulating what it would be like when he’s away for 2wks in dec, starting tmr (mon). I’ll experience 14 days of 100% nc and anxiety. After he’s back, he would reset, avoid me, or behave like strangers. (Felk, we discussed our fear when mm is enjoying with his family overseas, away from work and us). I’ll see his out of office email that he’s overseas from a mon for 14 days. He told me last fri that he has paid thousands for air tickets. The trip is on. His W must be feeling thrilled, touched, pampered and love, maybe showering him with romantic love. Actually with or without the trip, I’ll still be treated as a side dish – good to have and having too much would grow sick of – I just can’t deal with mm going on an overseas holidays although it’s part and parcel. But he brought up a very valid point asking me why do I have to end just because of a trip which I went with H without kids, more times than he did with his W & kids – he said he dealt with my overseas trip, and for longer duration and mine was without kids and I couldn’t imagine how wild his imagination would run. To that, I wanted to say, he’s better in compartmentalising than me. He could still function at work, sleep at night, play with kids, live normally and peacefully. I can’t. Possessiveness over mm is something I couldn’t overcome. Mm started to know. It didn’t help when he said to me, he’s with W because of comfort, safety and companionship. He doesn’t desire her in a romantic way like he’s addicted to me. But I just don’t know why. Why can’t I simplify and relax about the affair. Why do I experience the cycle of going back but then wanting to end in less than a week. We celebrated his birthday in dec in 1st yr, we had plans to do it last yr but I backed out and was overseas to avoid him, part of the nc and moving on. This yr, he’ll be celebrating overseas with his W. He didn’t think of celebrating with me when he booked the air tickets, of course, family comes first. So! Are you guys thinking that I’m
    amusing and unreasonable?

    I’m never possessive with H. We could go days without talking or updating each other, it’s like family love and close friendship. If only I’ve not had a taste of mm and got myself addicted. Even as I’m typing this in a cafe, he’s sitting opposite me doing his stuff. We could sit for 1-2hrs without talking but we are comfortable.

    Sorry I’ve digressed, back to my plan to simulate total nc for the next 14 days, as if he has departed and would not think of me or reach out. I’ll want to turn inwards to be mindful about my feelings and how I’m coping. What’s new this time? I’ve accepted I’m a side dish; mm is bad for my wellbeing and my marriage; i must prepare and get ready myself within 4 mths time.

    • Felk

      Nomad, I’ve read the recent posts of yours, and I’m a little confused. So, it sounds like you’re trying to go NC for 14 days now to practice for NC in December when he’s on vacation with his W? Are you on vacation now or will you still see your MM at work this week? Does your MM know you are just going NC for 14 days and you will talk to him again in two weeks? Or does he think you’ve ended your relationship? Again, I’m confused. Have you ended your relationship? I thought you told him this couldn’t work for you so you needed to block him and not talk to him? But then “I must prepare and get ready myself within 4 mnths time,” sounds like you plan to end the relationship in December when he goes on holiday? If MM is bad for you and your marriage, why are you staying for 4 more months?

      I know you are confused about what to do. I know you are feeling the pull of the addiction once again. The emotional system in your brain is reaching out for your MM; but the rational system in your brain remembers all the reasons why your affair cannot work. I understand. Your MM goes through this, too. My MM goes through this. This is why they reach out and then go MIA after. It’s the addiction. I understand your confusion, but I don’t understand the decision you’ve made. If you’ve decided to go NC to end your relationship with your MM, I understand. If you’re only practicing, I’m not sure how helpful that is going to be for you. If you know you’re just going to go back to him in 14 days, then aren’t you going to spend these 14 days thinking about him and wanting to be with him? This also isn’t a fair test of how it will feel when he’s in Japan with his W. Those 14 days will be HIM leaving you. Now, it is you leaving him and having the control over the NC. That is a much stronger position and easier to handle. So, just trying to get your thinking here as it’s kind of confusing what you’re doing with NC right now. I thought you were ending it for good (since he was moving jobs), but it sounds like you’re only practicing from December.

      As you asked Lara, you know it’s okay for you to come here and ruminate as much as you need. Although I understand why people need to take breaks from here because it can be a trigger, it can also be a very safe place for being as honest as possible and getting honest feedback from others who have been in similar situations. There were a few times, maybe in April and May, as my healing was progressing but I was still sad pretty often, that I felt I needed to talk less about my MM on here (but I could still give you all help!). But, now, I feel much stronger and it’s not very triggering to talk about my MM.

      As for your question about his overseas holiday and if you’re making too big of a deal out of it… I’d answer yes and no. The “yes” part is that I wouldn’t be as bothered by this as it seems you are. My MM and his W went to Europe for 10 days during our affair, and it’s not great having little contact with him for that long, but I knew he’d come back to me. Yes, I had some thoughts about them enjoying themselves on vacation, but that’s not really what happens. Sure, they enjoy themselves, as most people would on holiday, but your MM has told you that he’s just with her for comfort, not for romance. He “loves” her as a friend. My MM told me the same about his W.
      Think about how you feel about your H. It’s the same. So, just as you go on holiday with your H and you enjoy it somewhat and you also miss your MM, that’s how your MM will feel. He has gone on holiday with her before and he continues to tell you that he wants you, so, yes, this would not bother me as much as it seems to bother you. But… the “no” part of my answer is IT BOTHERS YOU. You are not overreacting if this is your honest reaction to him going overseas on holiday with his W for two weeks during his birthday. If you know it will crush you, then you know yourself, you know what you need, and you know something like that is simply too hard for you to deal with. So, no, I don’t think you’re making too big of a deal out of it. I think you’re treating it honestly, as it feels to you.

      • Nomad

        Felk,
        I’m sorry my thoughts and words were incoherent.

        Day3, I woke up missing him. Tough. Bad sign.

        I’m not on vacation now and I might still see MM at work this week, not sure. He doesn’t know I am just going NC for god-knows-how-many-days. I am practicing for 14days and hoping by day14, I have gotten used to not having him, talking to him. Sort of a checkpoint to see if how I’m feeling. He does know my cycle and what I do not want to heal so I’ve ended on fri night. But knowing that he was still in love with me last fri, it makes it harder to leave and tempted to return to him before his loving feelings “expires”. He should be angry with me and would shelve me aside for now.

        Felk, you pointed out a valid point about the practice now is not a fair test “This also isn’t a fair test of how it will feel when he’s in Japan with his W. Those 14 days will be HIM leaving you. Now, it is you leaving him and having the control over the NC. That is a much stronger position and easier to handle.“ you are right that it might not help when Dec comes. I’m just desperately scrambling for ways to anticipate, cushion the pain and lessen the rumination when time comes.

        Yes, I’m always fearful of him leaving me when I’m still in love with him. That him in my fantasy.

    • TTSP

      Hi Nomad,
      My mm went on a month long trip with his W and kids this July. I see where you’re coming from but keep in mind that your mm’s spouse is not a romantic companion. She is family, history and friendship only. While he will have fun traveling, it’s not going to be some hollywood romantic comedy. I think I told you that when mine traveled last summer I was a wreck. This past summer it didn’t bring me down at all. I’d love to have the means to take such a luxurious vaca but good for him for working so hard to save that wealth. I’m not envious of the type of companionship he has with his spouse. I’d rather be me than her. I can’t speak for your mm although you said he is with her because of comfort, safety and companionship. Can you find some solace in that? I think it’s hard when you wish that you were the one traveling with him.

      Something to think about… Maybe if we had the opportunity to travel with them for a long period we’d discover that they’re not so ideal as we envision in our minds. We probably only see the best side of them. Maybe the universe has something better in mind for us than these mm. Affairs are a lot of fantasizing bc the time is so limited. What we think, perceive and believe are often not the reality. Let’s take them off the pedestal and see them as the flawed human beings they are just like anyone else. Try and stay strong! Lots of hugs.

      • Nomad

        TTSP

        While it may not be a hollywood romantic comedy or rediscovery of each others’ body in bed, what put out the desire and hope in me was his honesty that he doesn’t know if he will return to me after the trip. He’s definitely excited and happy planning for it and seeing me would just dampen his heightened spirit. I know he will not deal with me, minimise contact for now and that is anticipated.

        He’s fine with a sexless marriage, he is comfortable with companionship and protecting his family of 4 at all cost then, I shall grant him his wish. Put it positively, love him, set him free right? haha!

        • TTSP

          Nomad,
          I’ve been posting a lot tonight bc we ended things today and I’m so fragile at the moment. This is not a half hearted cry for him to come begging and pleading for me back. In fact, he seemed perfectly fine and made it a point to tell me that he is happy with his life when we had the discussion. It was very polite, considerate and civilized. It couldn’t have gone any better but you always walk away from endings feeling shitty. There you have it… like yours, mine is in a sexless marriage and he is comfortable with companionship and family unit. I do wish him all of the best and while I thought I wanted friendship, the idea of seeing him blissfully at peace in his life makes me die inside. I want nothing to do with him and hopefully all of this will wash away and I’ll be posting on here with glee from no contact for x number of months.

          • Nomad

            TTSP
            I read that you have started your addiction detox. Me too. 2 days already and silently, without blocking and try to endure attacks of sudden and acutely difficult moments by telling myself THIS TOO SHALL PASS. I feel you TTSP, I know how vulnerable you must be feeling now. We are here for you, just keep writing and let us give you the moral support that you are not alone and we are here for the same reasons despite different stories and phases. None of us here are having a great time with mm. We are trying to let go, heal and move on. Your conversation with mm was somewhat similar to mine over lunch on Mon, painting me a picture perfect of the 4 of them, the joy and love his kids give him. I walked away feeling shitty and hopeless, and told myself to better prepare for Dec whereby he is not sure if he still wants us after the trip. Probably not. Likely not. Companionship and family unit are good enough for him, they are all he would ask for in his life. So, I have to start working on surviving 4 months of NC.

            I hope you can somehow sleep well tonight and feel refresh when you wake, not thinking that your breakup was surreal in your dream. It did happen and it will hurt for days. It is ok. During that BBQ weekend, I was living like a zombie over the weekend, not doing anything, I just couldn’t. I feel so much bitterness and “sadness about how much fun he is having without me or get jealous of all the people that can spend time with him freely.” It is so clear that it just cannot be me. He could easily fix that but he just not doing it because he doesn’t want to risk, commit more mistakes, hes’s feeling guilty, he’s feeling loyal to his wife, just whatever reason, it didn’t cross his mind that I am waiting for the next date, for the next message for the next crumbs.

            Nevertheless, take care of yourself and protect your heart. HUGS!

  • Brave and Free

    Nomad and everyone here:
    More great stuff on NC (LC/Low Contact) at work!
    From Baggage Reclaim site
    Low/No Contact at work. Breaking up can be a struggle but to then have to work with them too? Jaysus! I know all about that after having to sit across from my ex, as well as sharing clients and his best friend being my best friend’s boyfriend at the time. I share my 7 Tips for No Contact at Work–you can also download the tip sheet.
    https://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/27download
    There’s a whole chapter devoted to tricky situations and Low Contact in The No Contact Rule book:
    https://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/my-books/the-no-contact-rule/
    Hugs BAF xoxo

    • TTSP

      Thanks Lara. I will totally check this out. I’m so grateful to have this forum and you ladies where we can mutually exchange ideas, suggestions and lend a virtual shoulder to lean on.

  • Felk

    Ladies, I ended up going to that coworker’s BBQ today. I debated a bit throughout the week as to whether or not it would be a good idea. Since it seemed his W wasn’t coming, I figured I’d be comfortable enough, and I also know that I’m the type of person who regrets inaction more than action. I was pretty nervous this morning, and I didn’t like that. Showed me I still care way too much, but it felt like a mix of excitement and anxiety and not just anxiety/misery. But, it went about as well as I could have expected. My MM gave me a lot of attention. He spent most of his time talking to me (or with me in a group of others). It felt light and fun, like our usual at work friends’ parties. He even brought a very specific beer that he knows I like. I am sure that he brought it for me, especially since he specifically offered to get me one at one point (and there were plenty of other drinks to choose from).

    But it was hard to leave. After several hours there, he decided to get going (and it was a good time for me to leave, too, as the party was dying down). I was hoping we could walk out together, but he ended up talking to some people for a few more minutes and I had to go to the bathroom so we just parted ways. As I walked to my car, I thought about how we weren’t meeting up together after. In the past, a summer party like this, we’d spend the next few hours together, alone in his car, just kissing and touching and talking and laughing. It felt hard to drive away from him without that. I wondered if he was thinking the same thing, and I would guess he was. Especially since he texted me a few hours later, and he didn’t need to. Just one of those texts, to make a little joke about the BBQ, that isn’t necessary but shows he’s thinking about me.

    As I told J, it wasn’t as hard to leave as it was just 3 months ago, but I do still wish I was in his arms tonight. I feel so much progress in our relationship. That today’s BBQ went so well is important, too. I was nervous about it because we haven’t had a social outing with work people in a while, but it was a relief that everything felt so normal. And it was nice how much attention he gave me. He wasn’t flirtatious but just his usual joking and relaxed self with me. And while I want more, I know with certainty, I can draw these lines if he wants to and if that’s what’s necessary to have a “friendship” like we did today. I wanted to be alone with him in his car at the end of the night, but I don’t *need* that. What I need is us, as we were today.

    Next week, is the real test, though. We have plans to spend time together on two different days, for extended periods of time, with one of those being many hours at night. Doing that twice in one week is not our usual since we broke up, but it’s just how some planning worked out. I know the first outing will be fine. It’s the date at night I’m worried about. I want to keep my expectations low. I want to remember we are trying to just be friends and draw lines. I want no pressure on him or me. And I so very much do not want to be sad at the end of the night. I know I can have a good time with him as I did today, but I also know that makes it harder to leave him at the end of the night. But, honestly, I feel okay tonight. Sure, there was a little lamenting as I left that party, but I hope this bodes well for next week.

    • Nomad

      Felk,
      Quick question. Who initiated the plans to meet twice within a week and as a friend? Why twice and including the one at night which you are worried about? Are you worried about ended up having sex or no sex? what is the purpose of such meeting? If it’s once and over a drink, that’s still dangerous enough so I couldn’t imagine not having sex in that 2 dates. It’s apparent that you do have expectations of certain outcome (my guess is sex). What’s the plan may I asked ? Meet and then do what? Sounds like you both are planning as lovers, I’m just worried…. the danger is you are hoping and wanting, you are ready to give yourself to him. Either way, sex or not, you will be affected. I know regardless of what we say here, you will go for both opportunities within a week, just as I’ve predicted you would go to the bbq.

      • Felk

        Nomad, there is no question I will be meeting up with my MM twice this coming week. We’ve already made these plans. For your first question about who initiated, the evening plan was pretty mutual, but I’ll say that, technically, I initiated that one. The daytime plan was mostly his initiation. It was something he talked about doing a few weeks ago, and the time that worked out for both of us was this week. As for the “worried” part. No, I’m not worried we’ll have sex. First, I want to have sex with him, and, second, there’s no opportunity for sex this week with the things that we’re doing (the evening plan is us “out on the town”). So, sex is definitely not my expectation for an outcome this week. Do I think he and I might have sex again in the future? Sure. I don’t know how high the chances are, though. Keep in mind that he and I met up for drinks plenty of times this summer without having sex. I’m not naive suggesting that we’re just friends. I know these things we are doing are not typical of heterosexual male/female friendships, and especially two people with a romantic history, but we have not crossed physical lines in 3 months. In other words, he and I have been NPC for three months! 🙂

        My worry is about wanting too much after having a good time with him. He and I usually have a very good time together, and then it becomes hard to keep expectations (for nothing more) in check. Of course, a lot of the intensity of the addiction has died down. I don’t feel that void/sadness that I used to feel everyday. I don’t think about what we could have done differently to save the affair anymore. I don’t desperately wonder if he still wants me in his life or if he’s moved on. I know he still wants me in his life and has not moved on. But, it is that last part that makes it hard sometimes. Knowing that we still have feelings for each other can be difficult when we’re spending time together. When things are particularly fun, it can be a lot harder to “rein in” my feelings. If we have the good time that I expect we’ll have on our “date,” my worry is that it will hurt a bit after when I know we cannot have more. BUT… I am choosing this very intentionally because I would much rather have his friendship than nothing at all. He and I had a good friendship before our affair started and during the affair. I miss the physical touch, but I would miss his friendship much more. I can separate the two. I just don’t know if he can, and, as BAF has warned, it may eventually get physical again and then we are in danger. I want to get physical again, but I don’t know if he does. He may not be able to stop himself, though, if we spend a lot of time together, and then I worry he will feel guilty and go MIA again. Just as we continue to talk about what we’re doing through this break-up, I would hope that if we cross physical lines or get close, that we will talk about it wide eyes much more wide open than we did back in January when we had sex. That felt much more desperate missing of each other whereas now, as feelings have calmed a bit, I’d hope we’d be able to talk it out a little bit better. But… I don’t see any risk of sex this week. A kiss? I guess that’s possible, but I am not expecting it.

        • TTSP

          Felk,
          Will you tell us how your nights transpire and how you’re doing afterward? You may be the success story. I recognize all of our stories have their own nuances but there are still a lot of similarities. I hope you can have fun, cherish the company and walk away feeling satisfied with your time together.

          • Felk

            TTSP, thanks for asking and thanks for the support. Our time together today was not at night. We played some golf and had some lunch. It is easy time with him. We get along very well. It was light and fun, and we laughed a lot. I felt a little more (internal) tension at lunch. I clearly found it much easier to have the distraction of golf as we enjoyed our time together. I think it puts less pressure on the two of us. At lunch, it still was enjoyable conversation, but I know I felt some unease because of the attraction. It’s been like this for a while, though. Although it’s A LOT easier now, every time I’m with him I still feel a very clear desire when we’re together. I still feel like I have to hide my real feelings and just keep things casual. I’d assume he feels similarly given things he’s said to me recently, but today he just acts so casual at lunch that I am almost jealous of how easy it seems to him. Again, I know it is not easy for him, but he plays it off like it is and I think that makes my tension rise. I can see him trying at lunch, though. I can see him being playful. I can see him coming up with topics for us to talk about. I can see him in no hurry to leave when we’re done eating. I try to remind myself of those things and not dwell on the fact that he acts so casually (given how not casual I still feel inside). I did have fun and cherish our time, but I did not walk away feeling entirely satisfied. 🙂

            Now, I don’t want to exaggerate and suggest it was bad for me. We had a good time together today. It feels a lot like us, but it is still notable to me that the physical stuff is missing. I know that, for him, to cross that line is very dangerous. He draws a much thicker line than I do. He worries if we cross any physical lines that we will end up back in the full-blown affair. I’m not sure that’s true. Nevertheless, we maintain trying not to cross physical lines and I can feel that tension. I would still like to ease that tension. Whether that means crossing physical lines eventually or accepting that we will not be crossing physical lines, it remains to be seen.

            Of course, I’m glad that things were good today and that makes Thursday easier. But Thursday, when we’re out for many hours at night, it is a much “closer” situation. I will likely feel that tension more strongly, and I guess he will, too. Sometimes he “goes” with those feelings and he will be more flirtatious and I like that. But sometimes those feelings make him uncomfortable and he withdraws. Obviously, I’m very much hoping it’s not the latter, but I know this is the situation we are in and I know I have to be ready for either from him. I know I put a lot of pressure on myself for things to be “perfect,” too. I still very much want to be rid of the sadness and tension that I still feel sometimes. I know I can worry too much about little things when we’re out sometimes. The times I feel the best is when I’m most “me” and I feel in control. I am going to try to put as little pressure on me (and him) Thursday. Any words of wisdom or advice are much appreciated. 🙂

          • Nomad

            Felk
            I am glad that you have enjoyed the golf today which fed a little fantasy in your life 🙂 and you have another meeting to look forward to! I am envious hehehehe! Hope you will have a wonderful time with him after so long! I know how hard it must have been to hold back your emotions so as not to create any tension to spoil the date (I am so good at spoiling the mood and throw us back to reality very quickly, my bad). I don’t recall i ever walk away satisfied. He would be in a hurry to flee for home or look guilt-stricken by being very quiet or exhausted. As I read about your day date, I felt sad for myself because I kept ruminating how mean he was for the fact he did NOT think of making plans with me when he was clearing/applying for his 20days of leave. NOt even 1 day when I asked him why not. He shrugged his shoulders and replied didn’t cross his mind. Ouch….not even 1 day…what sort of affair is this? pursue you when he’s horny?

            So what will you be doing on Thu night?

          • Felk

            Nomad, I think we’re each doing what feels “right” in the situation by holding back emotions or expressing them. I held them back yesterday because it didn’t feel like the right time, and, if we are really trying a friendship, I can’t always be expressing stronger emotions (even if I know we both have them). It’s not fair to him and it’s not good for me. It is one of the difficult parts of what we are doing. But, I know I need to express how I’m feeling sometimes if we’re going to have a good relationship, and it usually seems like he wants to, too. He needs that less than I do, but he is always willing to talk about “us” when I bring it up. And maybe it is because I do not do it that often. I like to believe if something is really bothering me now (as at the end of April when I tearily expressed how confusing it all was still) that I will express it. I think the hardest thing, though, is that there are no easy solutions and, while we can talk about our feelings, it’s unclear what is the best thing to do. So, we often just talk about the same things without any great solutions (beyond continuing to do what we’re doing), and that can get frustrating to do too often. Our last “feelings” talk was two weeks ago and it was a good talk. It ended with us saying we need to talk about it all more, but I don’t know when we’ll do that. Right now, I don’t feel a strong need, but, at some point, I will feel like I want to talk about it all again.

            It’s funny you write about being envious of my time with my MM. Honestly, I was envious of your MM coming back to you and saying he wanted the affair again. I want my MM to do that with me, but I do not think he will. If anything, we will slowly find ourselves back in the affair, but he will not come to me expressing how he wants the affair again like your MM did with you. But, that we are envious of each other, neither of us is satisfied with our current situation. 🙂

            For our night “date,” we’ll be doing something that we’ve done throughout the affair and continued to do after the break-up. Listening to live music together is our thing, and we’ll be going out to dinner and to listen to some music. It is a very close thing for us, and, as you can imagine, it is not something that most married male/female just-friends do. It feels more than friendship when we do it, and, like I said, sometimes during the break-up he “goes” with this and is touchy and flirtatious, but the last time we did this in April, he was more distant and seemed more reluctant to cross those lines. Since then, he has been closer and more playful and more flirtatious. We have not crossed physical lines since before that last date in April so I really don’t know what to expect Thursday night. I’m trying very hard not to expect any touching, but I know I will want it. I know I will find it hard to keep it off of my mind because we talked about it two weeks ago (how we might want to touch still). I also know the more fun we have, the more I will want him to touch me and the more disappointed and confused I will be if he doesn’t. But, again, I want this. I very much want this time with him and will “settle” for him not touching me if we can continue to enjoy these nights together.

  • Brave are Free

    As things have calmed down with my father THANKFULLY! and with a work crisis my younger son is going through, I have found my way slowly back to sometimes missing my ExMM. Not hugely. But sometimes.
    But I know it is not him I am missing. It is the illusion of him I had in my mind. Of who he was in my life and what we could be together. I want to cling to the illusion that he was not a Narc. The illusion that he could “love me” and we could be a real couple, etc.
    But still I have not cried. Just a couple of tears one night reading something LL said to ME not the MM..
    I might have no more tears for this man.
    In some ways I have “cut him dead” as Nomad says. At least for the time being. I really do not want have contact with him at all. So NC is not really hard for me. Monday will be 2 weeks. The truth is I never found NC all that hard in the second decade of my affair. Did I say SECOND decade? Unfortunately yes. In the first decade I found NC was TERRIBLY brutally HARD! Horrible etc.
    But ya know it gets easier!
    What is hard for me at this stage is all the nagging “WHY’s”
    All the nagging questions with no answers is hard.
    But at least this time I am not thinking I could have done “better” and worked “harder” to make this relationship work. As he is my neighbor I will have to deal with seeing him “around” on occasion but I can steps to make this as painless as possible. I know how in fact because I have done this before.
    The biggest problem for me (long-term) is not getting sucked back in a few months down the road. I surely have a history of getting sucked back in. But with this realization that he is truly a Narc, I will have some help staying away I think.
    I have gotten used to being able to revive my own life where I last left off without him and just pick up there where I left off. SO I am doing just that. I have been working on my building all week. As I said I own and manage a home where I have tenants so there is always something to do.
    I have been forcing myself to think about the “help” I used to get with this from my exMM. We sort of had an unspoken agreement that he would help me with something and then we would have some kind of sex. Not always. But often. 75 per cent of the time. And I would initiate the sex as well as him so I am not blaming him about that at all. Sometimes it would feel like it was BOTH of our houses. (To me anyhow). But it was not. We have had sex all over this building so there are many memories too. The sex part was always pretty great.
    But I am forcing myself to remember how he would often criticize the work I was doing on my house (if I had not “consulted” with him which I often I did not bother to do because secretly I knew he had the “know it all” type of guy. I say secretly because deep down I knew this and LET him take the lead.
    Because I really don’t need the lead. And as a Narc he did and I intuited this and let him have it because I did not care.
    I would rather share the decision making anyhow because making decisions can be hard for me. And he loved taking the lead *what Narc would not?) So I just let him. He would tell me where I went “wrong”. In my head I would say “whatever” but in fact without him I must actually DECIDE many things and NOT ask him.
    After all, it’s my house so who gets to decide anyhow? ME. Whose money is it? MINE.
    So then why am I always seeking the opinions of others on decisions I take? Because I don’t like making these decisions myself and anyhow I prefer to “share” the decision making process with others. I am such a damn team player LOL.
    But here’s the catch I am realizing this week: It is not their house and neither am I married to them or partnered with them. So my lack of boundaries with the exMM is more obvious to me lately.
    My exMM used to come over all the time to borrow a hammer get some nails help me with something…and also work on HIS place. Working together on projects for me has many reminders of him. And those little critical comments he made about work I was doing if I was deciding on my own. And these memories makes me feel “lesser than” even when he is not around. My own head repeats it to me.
    So I have to work on this. J, I am co-dependent too. So much less than many years ago but still I am. And co-dependents and empaths make for stellar partners for Narcs ladies!
    But I want OUT of the whole paradigm truth be told.
    I am bored to death by these dynamics at this point if nothing else. Yes ladies. I get bored. I like growth and change! I would perish without it. I am pretty sure my exMM found my growth shocking to his system. He is not used to non-compliance from me. Nor does he love “change”.
    For him, especially as a Narc, “forever the same” makes him happy. That way he remains in control of his surroundings. And his “narc enablers.” Like I was for a very long time!
    Many hugs
    Brave and Free
    xxxooo

    • Felk

      BAF, it seems like now is the time to really break free from your MM. You have done almost two weeks of NC again, you are clear on him being a narc and being no good for you, and you seem rather calm and accepting of the situation. I hear that you’re missing him, too. Understandable. You had a 20+ year relationship and it has to be hard, no matter how much of a jerk the other person is, to not have them in your life in some way anymore. But… it seems like that’s the only way you really move on. To really cut him out of any presence in your life (outside of seeing him from afar sometimes). I know you have hesitations for a new relationship and I know you have dated others in the past during your affair, but it seems different this time. Your affair seems like it’s close to over. And, while that’s sad, it’s also the opportunity for new relationships. You describe yourself as a person of growth and change, and now is your opportunity. You are still young (yes!), and there are relationships out there for you. Do not let your MM hold you back any longer. There is nothing left there for you besides frustration and disappointment. Save some warm memories of how the two of you had some good times, but recognize them as memories from the past and not part of your future. I really do believe you have wonderful things to give to another relationship, if you will let yourself truly be free from your MM. I know it is hard while you can still see him nearly every day or simply knowing he is near, but you spoke of moving to another part of the country soon enough and I wonder if you’re still thinking of taking that opportunity?

  • J

    Hi everyone. Here’s an update on my situation, and it involves breaking NC too. I didn’t speak to mm all week even though he continued to send me messages everyday. Then last night I saw him again coincidentally, I was missing him a lot, and I just picked up my phone and texted him how strange it was to run into him again! I put my phone away and regretted it immediately. I was feeling so sad and thinking about all of the great times we’ve shared. And how great things are between us minus this one giant issue. I went to sleep and woke up at 615am with this intense feeling that he was trying to reach me. Sure enough he texted me moments before. (Btw I am psychic sometimes about other things too.) It started an all day text session in which I asked him if we could talk. He immediately said can I buy you lunch and I said no thanks. We ended up meeting for coffee. Felk, I thought a lot about your situation and how you keep continuing this “friendship” with mm. I wondered if something like that could work for me. While we had coffee I kept it light and just regular, curious to see if we could just enjoy each other’s company. To my surprise it was quite nice, with no heavy conversation and no talking of his message from the lord. It confirmed for me that he still wants me and loves me just by his behavior. He also indicated he was jealous still of my communicating with other men. He asked me why I’m often on the app we talk on even though I wasn’t talking to him and asked if it’s because I’m talking to someone else. I avoided answering and he asked again and sounded kind of urgent. We drove back and I said that I’m still processing my thoughts on this situation, that I’d like more time to decide what I even want from him at this point. I said I’m trying to decide if I want to even be friends and asked him what he thought. He expressed that he feels so close to me and loves being with me and talking and wants to stay friends. But also expressed that he’s not 100% it could work because he felt today that he wanted to touch me at points. He also wondered if even mentally it will sabotage his efforts at home because he’s thinking of me. I told him that he wouldn’t have to worry about physically crossing lines because I don’t want to anymore. He said he’s not sure if seeing me will make it impossible to forget me. Also he referenced something about our last time together physically. He made an excuse to touch my knees. I said I needed more time to think about what I want. He said I’m not going anywhere and said he will be ok with whatever I decide. In my own mind I’m processing if I want to be friends. On one hand it makes me feel better because I don’t miss him so much. On the other hand I wonder if I can be friends with him because I don’t respect how he’s handled this situation and his emotional swings. I also wonder if being his friend puts a bandaid on his marriage, aren’t i helping him at home because he’s still getting something from me that is missing with her? I know it works for you Felk. But aren’t we kind of just waiting for them to come back? I also noticed something else odd. Normally the idea of him with her intimately makes me insane. But it doesn’t right now at all. Maybe because I can tell it’s me he really wants??? I’m not sure. Thoughts??

    • Felk

      J, while there are plenty of similarities in what we’re going through, we are all in different situations and have different personalities. I think your affair with your MM runs a lot higher in emotion than my affair with my MM. I say that not as a judgment, but just to say that I’m not sure how a friendship could work with you and your MM. I admit that my “friendship” with my MM is a work in progress, and it’s still hard. I still want to have sex with him (and he wants to with me). It takes a lot of will power to resist that temptation (and my MM has it more than I do), and it takes A LOT of trust to maintain a friendship with a man who was your lover. As you know, insecurities run high after a relationship ends, and it is hard to have a friendship with insecurity and anxiety. Like you, I wanted to try a friendship because I couldn’t imagine my MM not in my life in some close way. But, it has taken a lot of work (and pain) for he and I to get to where we are now, and it’s still hard. It is a lot better than it was, but knowing how your MM has handled this situation so far, I don’t see how he could handle a just-friendship. I think he is recognizing that, too. I think he knows he will be too tempted to touch you, and I think he also recognizes (accurately) that it will affect his efforts at home. He’s right, and when it starts affecting his efforts at home, he will pull away from you again. And it will hurt all over again. I have been through this. Many times through the break-up, my MM and I got close (shared some touches, some loving words, some emotional talks), and almost every time (in the first few months after the break-up) it was excruciating after. It was excruciating to know we still felt those things and couldn’t be together anymore. It was rejecting all over again, wondering why he didn’t want the affair with me anymore. Why wasn’t I worth it? And it was excruciating to feel him get distant as he increased his efforts to stick to our break-up and rebound from the closeness we experienced.

      There is a lot in the transition to a friendship that is a lie to yourself because you just want to hold onto ANYTHING, but really you’re hoping that the person will come back to you. You’re hoping they will realize they can’t be without you. This cannot work. Cannot. That type of thinking just kept leading me back to misery over and over. But, slowly (and with the help of words from all of you), I started accepting the break-up and recognizing the distance would help me heal. I stopped thinking about “what if” and “what could be,” and just started thinking about what is. But, I don’t have it exactly right yet. I still hope. I still want more. We still spend time together doing things that “just friends” wouldn’t do. I saw my MM at a work BBQ today, and we were light and fun with each other. We talked a lot, and it felt good/normal. I drove home thinking about how hard it was to drive away from him. I drove home thinking about how, a year ago, we would have left that BBQ and met up secretly elsewhere and held each other and kissed and looked in each other’s eyes and said lovely things. It was hard not to have that tonight. BUT… it was nowhere near as hard as it was 6 months ago. But it is still hard, and I think it’s going to be hard for a long time.

      I hope you really will take time for yourself to think about whether or not you can handle a friendship. You know that I had very little jealousy of my MM and his W, and I think that’s part of accepting a friendship. I wasn’t jealous because I knew it was me that he wanted, and I still feel that enough, but can you sustain that feeling for yourself over time? If he stops expressing his love? If he stops touching you? Also, jealousy aside, the hardest part of the friendship is that the definition of the relationship has to change. You don’t get the access and communication you once had. You don’t feel as special as you once felt. You have so many reminders of this person and you don’t get to be with them in that same way. You want to text them something little that made you think of them, but you know you can’t do it as often as you want. You spend time with them and you long to touch them and have them touch you, and you part ways and you don’t know the next time you’ll talk or see each other. You get a text from them and wonder why it’s not more loving or flirtatious. And you wonder if they’ve stopped loving you. Or stopped missing you. And then you remind yourself, once again, that friends don’t share texts that are flirtatious. The time between texts get longer and longer and you get sadder and sadder. The reality hits that this person is really serious about ending the relationship. OR they don’t talk to you for a week and then they text with how much they miss you and want to see you and it feels so good, and then you get together, only to crash again when they’re gone and they’re swamped with guilt for relapsing. You will feel so good when your MM has sex with you again (and he will… if you let him), but how will you feel when he, once again, says he has to focus on his marriage and he’s feeling guilt? It’s a mess.

      I know you want to believe a friendship will work, but I am telling you as someone trying it that I’m not in a friendship (we are more than that) and it is still hard. You have to be ready to set aside A LOT of emotion, and, objectively, it seems that you and your MM have a lot of difficulty setting aside your emotions. 🙂 Working hard to maintain a friendship means actually letting go of the relationship, and that is a very painful reality. Being his friend means you’re okay with helping his marriage and you support him working things out with his W. Being his friend means a lot of hard things that you should think about for a long time. Is a friendship enough for either of you? Probably not. I hope you both can be honest with yourselves about what can work.

      • TTSP

        Hi Felk and J,
        Those are really insightful thoughts and experiences on friendship with an ex lover. I’m aiming for friendship with mine but he has said absolutely no in the past because of all of the reasons you stated about wanting the physical, sadness watching the other person moving on, questioning whether the other person still has feelings and attraction. Will I miss the incredible mind blowing sexy time? Undoubtedly yes but I’m not one that can engage in that without wanting so much more. I don’t think many women can have sex sans the emotions. Also, I’m at a stage in my life where I want to build a real, meaningful romantic long-term relationship. I sound like a broken record as I’ve stated this numerous times before so I’ll stop.

        J, to answer some of your Q’s… Are you a bandaid to his marriage? If you continue the affair and give yourself physically and emotionally than yes you’re most likely filling in the gaps in his marriage. I don’t know anything about why he is having an outside relationship. Everyone has their own reasons from something missing to just mere opportunity. As for friendship don’t all married people have friends? I don’t think a friendship would fulfill whatever he’s potentially longing for in his marriage. When you know they are much more attracted to you it’s a no brainer. Of course you’re not going to be jealous. I don’t envy my mm’s wife bc he has no romantic feelings or attraction whatsoever. I’ve seen pics and she totally let herself go over the last 5 to 10 years. On the flip side, that desirability factor can work against you because you know it’s you they want yet they’re still going home and living a life with the W. I learned that postulating why he stays is just a dark road to hell I don’t want to go down. It doesn’t matter why. He just is and that’s the end of the story as far as I’m concerned.

        Felk sounds like she’s close to mastering the art of friendship with maybe still a few bumps in the road. It doesn’t sound like it was an easy path to get there but perhaps a rewarding net result. I’m curious J what you decide and how your relationship materializes. I haven’t had the “friendship” discussion with mine but I know it’s looming and I’ll have to face it head on. God I wish he would just pull the trigger and end the affair so I could be free and clear. I want to transition to friends without any resentment from him.

        • Felk

          TTSP, I don’t think men or women can have sex (repeatedly with the same person) without some emotion (unless you’re married and doing it out of obligation). I think this is exactly why your MM would have a hard time having a friendship with you. He’d feel the emotions and he’d want sex. It can be an uncomfortable tension to feel that you want more with someone and know you can’t have it. I felt that uncomfortable tension with my MM for months, and I know he felt that too (and that’s why we knew we needed distance). However, in my relationship with my MM, I think we might be getting to a point where that uncomfortable tension is becoming more pleasant than unpleasant. I won’t say I’m entirely there yet, but I feel that more and more. Where I’m more excited than nervous to see him now. Where I spend less time in between seeing each other worrying about what he’s thinking and doing. Where I’m more excited about our time together instead of worried it may be awkward or I may feel hurt after. Again, there is still some awkwardness, of course, and there is still some sadness after (like after the BBQ yesterday when I’d have liked to have been with him), but it just mostly felt good yesterday. Just a nice few hours with him, having the fun we used to have. Then exchanging some jokes on text and that’s it. Maybe left a little wanting at the end… but, like I said, maybe in a more pleasant way now than months ago (where that wanting felt pathetic and sad). I don’t want to say it’s perfect. It’s not. And I certainly don’t want to put that pressure on myself. But, things are better.

          TTSP, when you say you know the friendship discussion is “looming,” are you planning to ask your MM to be just friends? To cut out all the physical and just be friends? I know you want to move on to a long-term relationship with someone who can give you more. Understandable. But do you think you can do that if you keep your MM in your life? For me, although things have gotten a little better with my H since the break-up, as long as my MM is close, it will interfere with my marriage. So, I just wonder if you can really move on if you’re friends with your MM? Also, it sounds like you’re worried your MM will not want a friendship if you are going to start dating others. I can’t blame him there. Being in love with my MM, I would find it VERY hard to remain friends with him (at least right now) if he were telling me that he wanted to date other women. As you say, it’s easy enough to deal with him and his W, because he’s not in love with her. But to watch someone you’re in love with actually romantically pursue someone else? Nope. So, I can see why your MM wouldn’t want to do that. Is that what you’re scared he’s going to say?

          • TTSP

            Felk,
            I desire the type of relationship you have now with your mm. I want to remove the physical component and all the phone calls and emails at nights and weekends. He can’t depend on me for his emotional needs and vice versa. I’d love to grab lunch, coffees or a din here and there but everything else has to go. Yes, I’m still attracted and crave the physical like a drug but I’m ok living with an attraction toward someone. He has reconciled with us and is perfectly content having a romantic thing outside of his marriage. I’m no longer interested in that type of relationship. I still have love for him and adore his company. He is amazing but like you mentioned I’m worried I’m closing off my heart to others. I want to live my life to the fullest and I’m so stifled (by my own doing) in this thing.

            I’ve tried to end it before but it sets a whirlwind of drama in motion. He is so emotional and erratic that I’m fearful he’s going to try to employ strategies to get me sucked back in. He pulls out all the stops and knows how to tug at my heart strings. I recognize I can easily say the words no but when someone you really care about inundates you with voicemails, emails beseeching you to rethink, it’s so hard for me to say no. Also, he’s my boss and I don’t want any dissension between us during the work day. I don’t plan to keep him in my life as in have private convos or provide emotional support. I want a nice, peaceful, cordial relationship where we can be pleasant, grab a coffee, exchange some updates about our lives but not cross the lines. He brings up dating regularly and tells me that it crushes his heart and he hates the idea of me developing those feelings for someone else. I don’t say much and then he gets upset for not comforting him and showing more empathy. It just seems so apparent to me that this is unhealthy for both of us. If I even allude to friendship he’ll say that it’s f**ked up how I can just flip the switch and turn off my feelings. I don’t want to have the “talk”. I wish it would just naturally transition or he would end things. I’m so fearful and scared of the consequences. He’s going to tell me hell no he doesn’t want friends and maybe it’s for the best. I don’t want to hurt him or cause him anger. I’ve tried to hint at it or throw clues about not wanting to put his life at such risk but that goes nowhere. It’s going to have to be direct and succinct. Thanks for listening. I’ve allowed this to go on and on and on.

          • TTSP

            Hey Felk,
            Something to clarify. It’s not easy dealing with his marital status and his W. I’ve changed my attitude in the last month and a half and now try my hardest to view him like I would another close friend. It’s not easy but seeing another man this summer changed my tune.

            I wish my mm all the love, success, happiness and joy in the world but it still stings that it can’t be me by his side. I also recognize his flaws and accept that we’ll never be together. He gets bored quickly and easily. He is incredibly emotional and gives the silent treatment when you set him off. I discovered that on a vaca we took last year. Lastly, I’d forever worry that he’d trade me in for someone new and shinier lol. He has traits that I absolutely adore too. Like you said, your mm has qualities you really appreciate but your H is a better partner. I definitely know that another man would make a better partner for me.

        • Nomad

          TTSP, succinctly said “I wish he would just pull the trigger and end the affair”

          I’m the one who can never be friends with him, not when I’m still in love with him but he wants to end. At the moment, he still wants us but I screwed up on fri after my rational cycle returned

          • Nomad

            TTSP, your honesty, courage and strength are admirable! You are getting stronger every day, you are cool
            about leaving him it seems. Is it because you love or need him less than he does towards you? I know you are sick of the cycle and the fact that there’s no future and you deserve to meet one who’s available whereas I’m a mw, I couldn’t and I wouldn’t want to find another. If I were to remove the physical part, there’s nothing. else he’d need me for? Over lunch today, I was glad that I didn’t desire for his kiss and would want to try out abstinence from physical contact. Without it, what would we become. I wish I could say I no longer want this type of unhealthy relationship and live my life to the fullest, appreciate my H but words are cheap. I said one and acted another.

            I know he’s online a lot tonight but no gn from him after today’s boring-turned-off lunch. I’ll take a step back for now and heed your advice to only engage him if he reaches out. It would be a long wait but my heart needs a break from the mess.

          • TTSP

            Nomad,
            You didn’t screw up anything. I’ve totally had meltdowns with my guy. He has had them too. It’s par for the course here. I’ve learned to gracefully exit the convo or not respond when he says something that triggers the need to return an inflammatory response. It’s not worth expending that negative energy onto him because it makes me feel worse afterward. I feel strong for exercising discipline in my communications. Over the summer I had an epiphany and by the grace of God learned to see it for exactly what it is… nothing more and nothing less. I’m not saying I tolerate bad behavior or accept less than what I’m worth. I’ve come to terms with the fact that if I’m going to have any type of relationship with him it’s going to be limited. I have to live my life like he is not factored into the equation because he has his own life to lead. They can never give us what we all ultimately want and that is to be showered with attention and affection. In essence if we could have our way they’d treat us like a girlfriend (whether we’re single, dating, married, separated, divorced). I still think regardless of your status you either accept the terms and conditions of the relationship or you don’t. I’ve vacillated many times undecided what to do. Would you consider friendship if you cut out the physical? Do you guys have deep convos, provide emotional support and share details about your personal lives, history and what is going on?

            I’m not sure where you and your mm landed? Have you told him that you want more time together? Is he willing to give a little more of himself to your relationship? If he’s not and that makes you miserable than you may want to consider walking. You managed no contact before. You can do it again if this is stirring up too much turmoil inside of you. If he is no longer in your office either you have a nice out.

            Take a few deep breaths, don’t check whatsapp or whatever you use to communicate. When you step back and give someone space you give them room to grow closer. Sometimes when I get that knot in my stomach and panic ensues over a man, I think of the bird analogy. If you squeeze the bird it’ll die but if you hold it with care he’ll stay in your hands. Don’t hang on so tightly. Just release and give it a very light, delicate grip. Keep us posted and let us know what happens, if you want to of course. Hugs

      • Nomad

        Felk,

        You are so good with words. You’ve described what somewhat a transition which I’ve experienced. You called it “transition to a friendship” whereas I coined it “acceptance to settle for less”. I’ve been finding excuses for him because my heart wanted to hold onto ANYTHING, hoping that he will realize he wanted us and come back to me. He did but with terms & conditions.

        If this is to continue, I have to accept crumbs, deal with my own heartache and sleepless night, live with anxiety… my guilt towards H is manageable, I do feel bad to take H for granted, for betrayal but I wanted to fall in love mm more. I’ve been discussing about jealousy here and with the help of words from all of you, it helped me to see things in a different perspective, reminders of my position as the other woman and a mw, gradually I’ve come to terms that i seemed to be ridiculously overreacting to jealousy and drained him with my possessiveness, I need to suck it up and trivialize any trigger, else there’s no way to continue. I know I’ve been unrealistic and unreasonable in my expectations, how I wanted him to be. I’ve to loosen the boundaries and lower my expectations. I keep fearing of abandonment so I was paranoid and insecure. But nature of an affair is such, isn’t it?

        Bottom line is, what do i want and what can I accept. I’ve to learn to compartmentalize and live a better life for my own sake, focus on myself and mm becomes a good to have. TTSP advised not to put mm on the pedestal, this is so important! I’ll continue to attain detachment and indifference but I’m in such a mess now. All because mm still wants us, at his terms and conditions, convenience and comfort.

        They definitely can live without us.

        I cannot handle a friendship and I don’t want. He may want a friendship… with benefits and that would be ideal for him, his best of both worlds.

        I’m honest about the jealousy of my MM and his W, despite knowing it was me that he wanted to fall in love with. He did assure me but I cannot sustain that feeling over time, If he stops expressing his love, connecting daily, lesser access and communication, more space and distance to miss each other enough to initiate the next meeting.

        I’m saddened when I can’t have him as often as i want. You said “You spend time with them and you long to touch them and have them touch you, and you part ways and you don’t know the next time you’ll talk or see each other. You get a text from them and wonder why it’s not more loving or flirtatious. And you wonder if they’ve stopped loving you. Or stopped missing you… The reality hits that this person is really serious about ending the relationship. OR they don’t talk to you for a week and then they text with how much they miss you and want to see you and it feels so good, and then you get together, only to crash again when they’re gone and they’re swamped with guilt for relapsing. You will feel so good when your MM has sex with you again (and he will… if you let him), but how will you feel when he, once again, says he has to focus on his marriage and he’s feeling guilt? It’s a mess.” Very apt. I’m shocked that you could describe the emotional turmoil in such great details and accuracy.

        Indeed, I’ve been tormented by a big mess since May 2017. This always triggers my cycle to want to end things.

        The way I see it is the issues lies with me. I can’t play the game well yet I couldn’t or didn’t quit.

        I’m going crazy if i still do not know what to give up..

        • Felk

          Nomad, you are entirely right that the “transition to a friendship” can be the decision to “settle for less.” It is why so many people go NC after a break-up. Generally, we don’t want to settle for less, and we don’t want to always be pining for more with a friend. You do not have a friendship with your MM, though. You two are still in the affair. But, if you want more with your MM, do not settle. If you do not feel you are being treated well or that this new version of your affair is on his terms, keep expressing what you need. You still don’t seem ready to quit your MM, so why not be true to you and go after what you want? Honestly, it seems like you are. It seems like you’re being honest with him about your frustrations with not being more available to you and that he seems content in his marriage. The former he can fix (if he wants), but the latter will not change. I am glad that you got to talk to him today about things you wanted to talk about. You asked some direct and hard questions. It sounds like he was honest with you, and, although I know it hurt to hear him say he couldn’t predict if he’d come back to you after his Dec vacation, he was honest. Honesty is a form of respect. He did not lie and tell you what you wanted to hear just to get you to stay. And, he wasn’t honest to hurt you.

          Now, what do you do with that honesty? It is good your MM is honest with you, but can you live with the honesty that he can’t make the promises you seek? I don’t blame him. In all relationships, it’s hard to make promises long-term. 50% of marriages end in divorce. In affairs, it’s even harder to make promises since we have stronger obligations to others than our affair partner. For your MM, that means mainly his two daughters, but it also means his W. I know it bothers you that he talks about the “four” of them, but they are a family. Can I ask the very obvious question… why is it so hard for you to accept that he wants to keep his marriage together for the sake of his daughters? I understand jealousy of another woman, but he has told you over and over that there isn’t anything sexual there anymore. He keeps their marriage together for his kids, and that just means he’s prioritizing his children, which is good. I’d imagine you prioritize your children as well. He has to accept that you have a H and a family. Why is it so hard for you to accept his? And, I don’t mean those questions to sound harsh or judgmental. I mean to really ask you what bothers you about this so much?

          As I’ve said before, though, if it bothers you as much as it seems to, I don’t know how you can be happy with him. He is telling you directly that his family is his priority but that he also wants to be with you. That is exactly what an affair is. That was my situation with my MM. I knew that he’d always put his W and kids first, but I knew that it was me he wanted romantically/sexually. Maybe it’s that your MM doesn’t make it clear enough to you? Whatever it is, you don’t feel the security and love that you want to feel. How can you be happy with him? Why are you staying? Is it that you hope he will change? Is it that you hope you will change? You’ve been through this long enough to know that neither one of you is going to change very much. He wants an affair with you, but he doesn’t want to leave his family. Is that good enough for you?

          You’ve also been pretty honest with us (and your MM) about wanting more time with him, and wanting him to go on leave with you (do you mean take a trip with you?). But isn’t it fair that your MM is worried about those risky behaviors? How many people in affairs really can go on trips with each other? I know it happens here and there, but it also seems fair for your MM to be too scared to do that. To me, that is not settling for crumbs. There is always a balance in affairs of wanting to spend a lot of time together but not wanting to risk getting caught. Is it that you don’t think he takes enough risks? Do you think it means he doesn’t love you enough? Obviously, you have been able to hide this from your H so it seems you are careful. My MM was a little more worried about risks than I was, but his W was at home and my H was away at work. Also he has two kids and I don’t. My MM had more to lose if we were to get caught. I know that you may be hurt that your MM doesn’t take more risks for your relationship, but really think about that. Getting caught is the worst thing that could happen for either one of you. You saw BAF’s post about how much affairs can hurt a spouse if the spouse finds out. When my MM would change or cancel plans because he thought something was too risky, he’d remind me that he made choices to sustain our relationship. In other words, sometimes your MM can’t make time with you BECAUSE he wants to continue the affair. Sometimes, he HAS to choose his W to keep up the charade at home. To keep her from suspicion. To keep his peace of mind that helps him continue the affair. To me, all of that was worth a few canceled plans. But, I think the difference is that I believed my MM really was making choices because he was very in love with me and wanted to continue the affair. It seems you don’t believe that?

          I’m really not trying to talk you into this, though. Just trying to help you think through since you seem to be quite unsure as to what to do. I understand. I know how hard you are finding it to quit him now that he’s come back, but you don’t seem happy. Even though my “transition to a friendship” is complicated and hard, I am happy that my MM is still in my life and I want this friendship (or whatever it is that we’re doing). I do still get a little sad that we can’t be more, but you sound like you’re in turmoil and misery. So, I ask again, why are you staying if you’re so angry, hurt, and unhappy?

          • Nomad

            Felk,

            WOW! your questions really got me thinking for a day before I reply here and now.

            Yes, I will not settle. He has to try harder to get me to bed. Not just “good morning” at 7.30am this morning, “how’s your morning so far” at 11am and “how’s your afternoon so far” at 4pm and a “?” at 7.30pm. The number of desultory text that I have received could be counted using 1 hand and I ignored them all. During lunch at a nearby cafe, I went to grab a cup of coffee and I saw him with 3 other guys having lunch. Well done! he was in my office today yet he didn’t not let me know via text, neither did he show up at my desk. I assumed he didn’t want me to know he’s physically near me, he didn’t want to spend time on me in case I stressed him again, he didn’t miss me enough yet BUT unfortunately I bumped into him and got to know how capable he is in compartmentalising me.

            For some strange reason, I woke up this morning feeling calm and rational. I was pictuiing his happy family of four and suddenly I wanted very much to exit and gave up whatever that doesn’t belong to me or return whatever I stole. I also thought about not taking my H for granted anymore because he doesn’t deserve to be cheated on. The anger I felt towards mm returned. I am angry that he is treating me like dirt, even when he’s not busy, it wil never be my turn. The unimportant BBQ, the drinking sessions, overseas holiday 2 f***king hrs a month (literally) or 1 day out of 365 is all he wanted to use me for, all have returned to drown me. I see him in a bad light for the whole of today especially when I saw him at the cafe having lunch and not letting me know. Was he so afraid that I would waste his time? I supposed so, that’s why he avoided. I can understand and I will. Thanks for hearing me rant about today. I managed to work. I was wondering I could so cool to ignore him, was it because I know he is still throwing me crumbs? if he mia till next Mon, probablly that will hit my panic button and started to chase after him shamlessly? I hope not.
            Let me answer your questions:
            – “If you do not feel you are being treated well or that this new version of your affair is on his terms, keep expressing what you need. You still don’t seem ready to quit your MM, so why not be true to you and go after what you want?” –
            I do not feel that I am being treated well and I did express. However, he said I am draining him and nothing seems to satisfy me. He has raised his bar way too high at the beginning and he could only apologise for being unable to meet my expectations. In short, he just coulldn’t give me attention and affection and treat me with priority. I cannot get over the 20days leave issue. Can’t even do that much for me. Pathetic. Now that he is actually contented with his marriage and happy with his family then I become an obstable. Just pull the plug and I will let it bleed profusely for sometime and I know I will heal eventually (out of sight out of mind) if he is not back to peel off the scap.

            – “The former he can fix (if he wants), but the latter will not change.” He is refusing to fix or change, period. I am fine to hear the harsh truth and i told him that. Yes, he did not lie and tell me what I wanted to hear just to get me to stay. It is then up to me, take it or leave it. So I become accountable for my own emotions, mental and physical health. I can live with his honesty but he has to suck up the s**t that I throw at him resulting from how I was being treated.

            -“why is it so hard for you to accept that he wants to keep his marriage together for the sake of his daughters?” well, my kids are much older and they no longer need me. I have all the time in the world so I have been wasting my life ruminating which I hate. I suffered more than he did, why? I empower him? I victimise myself? why should I be suffering more while life goes on for him? while he was happily enjoying bbq, family dinner, planning trips, I am suffering, I am writing so much here. It is not just jealousy towards his stupid wife, if only she f***s or keeps a closer eye on him then I don’t have to be strung along for 2 years. When I am angry, I blame the both of them. I can accept that he is doing whatever he needs to do for the sake of his children What I couldn’t accept is that why am I suffering more than he does? how could he get away and get the easy way out? It is an irony to say that I am insecure because my H gives me 101% of security yet I am pining for one who doesn’t give a damn to my needs and wellbeing. Try telling anyone and anyone (except all of you here) would say i deserved it, i asked for it. I said before that this affair has turned me into a monster which I have never got introduced to this dark side of me. I lost myself and I just fell deeper and deeper into the abyss of toxicity. What is it that I don’t have? What is so great about mm? is it him or anyone who offers me an affair? I am never interested in affair, none of us here are.

            – I am not happy with him. ALso, he is not able to or unwilling to do things to make me happy. He is greedy and selfish, so am I isn’t it? Yes, I too knew that it was me he wanted romantically/sexually. Whatever it may be, I still don’t feel the security and love that I want to feel. So why am I staying? bored? ego? He wants an affair with me, but he doesn’t want to leave his family, me too!

            – Yes, I don’t think he takes enough risks for, hence it is always at his convenience. Yes, then I will think that it means he doesn’t love me enough. He knew these too. He explained his mia cycle well and getting better as time passes.

            -“he HAS to choose his W to keep up the charade at home. To keep her from suspicion. To keep his peace of mind that helps him continue the affair. ” Hey, mm explained this to me before!!! similar lines in fact! Settle his family well, feel safe, then he will start to miss me and lunch his pursue.

            – Yes, end of the day, I do not believe he loves me. He lust after me is more convincing because that is what he cannot get from his stupid wife whom he lamented, treated him like dirt, repulsive and don’t know why has lost interest in him. Well, if after paying for thousands for the trip and still couldn’t get some free f***, that is really no value for money. Poor him.

            I am sure of what to do at this instant. I do not want him in my life. But again, I can’t say when my angery and bitterness subsided. Unlike you, I do not want his friendship. It hurts me to know his updates, how well he’s doing at work and how blissful he is feeling at home.

            I am not staying because I am angry, bitter, scornful, hurt and very unhappy.

            (Pardon me for my language in this post.)

        • Felk

          Nomad, over and over I hear you say that you are not treated well by your MM, that you are hurt that he will not give you more time, that this affair is again on his terms, that you can’t stand that he is content at home, that you can’t get over the fact that he didn’t use any of his 20 days of leave on you, and that you don’t believe he loves you. At this point, it seems you need to end this affair. I know it is a VERY hard decision to make since you still feel the addiction to him, but it seems the relationship is only hurting you. Do you get anything positive out of it? Yes, why are you staying? Is it that your marriage is boring and you want the passion? I understand that, but it seems that the passion doesn’t make you feel very good anymore. It seems like you’re almost willing to have the drama and pain with your MM rather than let that go and be left with only the boredom of your marriage. I say that because I feel something similar. Although I don’t feel miserable in my situation with my MM, one of the reasons I continue to put effort into this friendship despite some complicated/hard feelings, is because my H can’t give me the passion anymore. It’s not his fault. Time and my affair killed the passion. I love my H. We get along well. I think he is a better long-term partner than my MM. But there is no passion or attraction. With my MM, I still enjoy the flirtation even if we are no longer doing more. And even the possibility of doing more at some point is exciting. Going on a date with him this week is exciting. I don’t feel that with my H anymore. But, if you don’t have that happiness and excitement with your MM, why stay?

          I think there is value in ending things with your MM and focusing on your H. You will unlikely get the passion to return, but you can have a satisfying love with your H where you feel cherished and supported. It is not as “exciting,” but it is stable and does not give us anxiety. Even if it’s a little sadder and more boring, isn’t that better than the stress you’re feeling with your MM?

          • Nomad

            Felk, I’m sincerely sorry about ranting over and over the complaints about mm. Please bear with me. Yes I need to take a break from this affair. I’ve ignored him or mia for a day so if I press on, he’ll retreat to recuperate from the drain. It’s not a hard decision but execution. I have evolved into a masochist which fits your description of “you’re almost willing to have the drama and pain with your MM rather than let that go and be left with only the boredom of your marriage”.

            I love my H. He’s still saying he loves me forever. There’s no passion and attraction and novelty but lots of taking him for granted. Just boredom and mundane life, 20 years and still counting.

            You asked “Do you get anything positive out of it?” No, not even orgasm in that 2hrs.

            You asked “ why are you staying? Is it that your marriage is boring and you want the passion?” Yes, I wanted to fall in love. I enjoyed living in fantasy. Unfortunately, I’ve morphed into a masochist over the 2yrs 3mths.

            I hear you and i agree with you that there’s value in ending things with MM and focusing on your H. This is how things should be…. growing old together for companionship. 💑

            This morning, I woke up to his WhatsApp sent last night at 9.30pm “how’s your evening?”

            How was I feeling when I woke? I am still feeling I’m not staying. I hope when he finally withdraws, I won’t experience panic and regrets.

          • Nomad

            Felk,
            Yesterday he asked me about “How’s your morning/afternoon/evening” I ignored. I don’t know what to reply. “Fine Thank you?” then I would be lying because I wasn’t.

            This morning, he whatsapp “gm” I ignored too. Then, at about 6.30pm he whatsapp “Left office? how was your day? free for lunch tomorrow?” I ignored too and he stopped for the day. Not sure if he will start to mia and if he could do it for 1.5mths without me blocking him, then he could have become stronger and cut me dead starting from tomorrow. The key is: what I want to do, how am I feeling, what calms my heart and soul, what are the triggers to avoid etc. etc.

          • Felk

            Nomad, I’m sorry if it sounded like I was complaining about your “over and over.” I wasn’t. Far from it. I know that I have said the same things over and over here. I think this is what helps us heal sometimes. What I meant in my comment was that I was hearing the same things from you consistently such that it seemed like you should follow your own words. But, I am good “listening” to you talk this out however you need to.

            It’s funny that I typed that the other day about being willing to have “the drama and pain” because, on Monday, my MM brought up the issue of people doing things (intentionally) that cause them pain. We were joking about golfing and why people golf even though it causes them so much frustration, but now I wonder if he was also saying something about he and I continuing to choose to spend time together even though it might cause us some pain. It could have been coincidental, but, knowing him, he also could have been talking about us. Point is… we are doing this. It’s not that we’re masochists. I mean, yes, we do sometimes prefer any emotion, even negative emotions, to nothing at all (I do feel positive things for my H so that’s not my situation); but what I think we’re doing is putting up with the pain to get the reward that goes along with it. When we exercise, it is hard; but we put up with that difficulty for the reward. So, I don’t think we do this FOR the pain, but we do it despite the pain because we are hoping there is a greater reward involved. You want that passion. You want that “in love” feeling. Again, the addict who keeps drinking (and accepting the hangovers) to get the reward from the “high” of the intoxication. The addict doesn’t drink for the pain of the hangover, but accepts the hangover to get that high. I mean, doesn’t this describe all of our affairs to a T?

            With my MM, I’m still enjoying that “in love” feeling. Yes, it causes me some pain sometimes. Sometimes I wish I cared less and that I was less in love, but, now, I mostly like how I feel around him. It is not still back to the “fun” of six years ago when all of this was starting and we weren’t crossing physical lines yet. Maybe it can never get back to that, but maybe we can find some new version of something that is fun enough for us with not too much pain?

            So the question for you is… are you getting any reward? You say no. Then, it seems you should end. I still do get reward. I get a lot of reward when I’m with my MM and when we exchange e-mail throughout the week. I also get reward from hoping that more will happen someday again. I do also get pain and sadness still, and I’m trying to slowly move away from those and more towards just being happy that he and I have a nice relationship (even if it’s not what it used to be).

    • Brave and Free

      J you are in “Felk” territory are and so Ill say little. For me pure “neutral” friendship with my exMM never ever worked. Our relationship was heavily tinged with sexuality and physicality (and less on words) therefore we always ended up getting sexual again if we attempted friendship. You being in the gym so much with your MM I suspect it is also like that for you. Physicality I mean. But of course I can not say from here. Only you can say.
      Neither my exMM nor I liked the “grey” areas of our relationship much. For us it was all about being decidedly black and white.
      The only topic we ever seriously discussed was “Do you will want me?”
      🙂
      and the only possible answers were
      1) “I want you” (We get back together)
      2). “I want you but I don’t want you”. (conflicted) (We break up and stay away from each other.)
      It was always black and white, like I said and all 21 years like that.
      Long serious discussions with him about being “just friends”? Never.
      I don’t know if this helps.
      Hugs BAF
      xxxooo

      • Felk

        J, BAF says very succinctly what I was saying in my message… I think your affair with your MM is too heavily tinged with passion for a successful friendship… at least right now. Of course, most of our affairs have a lot of passion (because that’s what creates the addiction), but it doesn’t seem like there is much “grey” area in your affair. It seems like you two are either ON or OFF. He’s either pulling away and feeling guilty or you’re pulling away when mad or the two of you are fighting or the two of your are having hot sex and texting about how much you miss each other and love each other. Now, I know your relationship is more than that, but when emotions run this hot and there’s a lot of fighting and intensity (in positive and negative directions), it would seem impossible to have a friendship.

        I still would advise a month of NC, and then maybe meet up with your MM to see how you’re both feeling about everything. Are passions still running high after a month of NC? Are you feeling that a friendship is more possible after passions die down? My MM and I didn’t have the ability to go NC given that we work closely together. You and your MM can do NC. And, given all the turmoil of the last month or so with him moving out and moving back in, it seems you two could be well served by a break and time away to think. Your MM said he will be there for you when you are ready to return so why not take some real NC time. It would be good practice for a friendship, if anything. If you are miserable during that NC and are desperate for your MM (or him for you), then how could a friendship work? These are complicated questions that aren’t figured out over coffee with your MM one afternoon. My MM and I had countless conversations about our relationship during the break-up to figure out what could work, but, really, the only way you know if it can work is by going through it. One big difference between my MM and yours is that my MM does not run back to me with texts about how much he misses me and wants me (and I do not do that to him either). That is a big part of making a friendship work. If my MM were doing that with texts and wanting to see me, we’d end up having sex again and then you’re in the mess of the guilt and the wanting and the missing all over again.

        Do you really want a friendship with your MM or do you want the affair with him? Or do you really want him to leave his W and you to leave your H and to be together, once and for all, with your MM? What do you want?

  • Butterflies are Free

    Found this tonight Nomad
    Advice Wednesday: What do I do now that I’ve fallen off the No Contact wagon?
    from Baggage Reclaim Website
    “I empathise with anyone who has to go through No Contact because even when you know it’s the right and necessary course of action for your self-preservation, worrying about what they or others think and the likes of alcohol or a vulnerable moment brought on by another stress, can have you falling off the wagon and feeling as if what you’ve accomplished so far is a “waste”.”
    It can be particularly difficult to keep your distance when you work with the person or they’re connected to your social circle because you become confused about what ‘polite’ entails, especially because you can’t just switch off and escape them. I worked on the same bank of desks as my ex plus we were in the same social circle and sometimes fear of making things awkward for others caused me to make things incredibly painful for me. It just wasn’t worth it plus our social group really didn’t care that much.”
    “In today’s Advice Wednesday, Sage is studying at the same small university as her ex and after successfully extricating herself from the relationship and maintaining No Contact, she’s fallen off the wagon at the birthday of a mutual friend and then proceeded to tell her ex all about himself and how she just wants to pretend as if it didn’t happen.”
    “I always say that you can make a fall off the No Contact wagon as big or as small as you want it to be. Basically, don’t let it derail you and don’t write off your efforts up until that point. They’re not a waste–they’re something that you can build upon as long as you reflect and take responsibility for how you want to feel going forward, rather than seeing the problem primarily as being about the other party. That’s not to say that your ex might not be all of the things that you think but telling them about themselves without setting a boundary for you means that you would give away your power to evolve out of the situation.”
    “No contact is a process. If you falter, turn into growth not a derailment.”
    “The event in itself helps you understand what made you vulnerable to engaging with your ex and that self-knowledge can be turned into a powerful piece of insight that means that you won’t be vulnerable in the same way in future. You will be able to take command of you.”
    “Have you struggled with No Contact or felt at a loss due to falling off the wagon? How did you evolve out of the situation? What would you do in this situation?”
    (Baggage Reclaim)

    • Nomad

      Lara, thanks so much for sharing and caring. I feel encouraged and hopeful abt going nc for next 14days, pretending he’s overseas already! Insane but so long I’ve “motivation” to go through 14 days of nc.

      I’ll make the fall from the nc wagon small. I’ll to internalize the learning points – what were the trigger, can they be avoided, what helped to survive the nc, has anything change. Deep down i know nc has done me more good than bad. Least I can see that my disappointment and heartache stemmed from the fact that i was expecting him to conform to my expectations or how I wanted him to be. If not for the fantasy in my head, do I really love this man, the real him? Last but not least, out of sight out of mind seems to work well for me, simply cut him dead, avoid hearing his updates as much as possible. I was miserable at home stalking for updates abt him while he was enjoying himself at the bbq. Unfair but I asked for it.

      I’ll check in again. Please tell me it’s ok if I’m back to ruminate abt how could he move on faster than me, whether he misses when he stopped reaching out. Please tell me it’s a good sign that he stopped reaching out, only then I’ll be able to heal. Think long term! he should be mad that he’s being blocked and he’ll leave it.

  • Nomad

    Felk, Lara, TTSP, LL, J,
    I’ve checked in here, See ya!

    I’m also taking this opportunity to start a new cycle of NC. I’ve 4months to prepare myself. Come Dec, I hope I’m in a better state and I’ll enjoy 2wks trip.

    • Butterflies are Free

      Nomad I am here too and BRAVA Nomad!!
      Stay strong Nomad!
      Maybe you want to go and look at this?
      Baggage Reclaim Website:
      “Advice Wednesday: What do I do now that I’ve fallen off the No Contact wagon?”
      Today is one and a half weeks of my “all new NC” for me.
      🙂
      Hugs BAF aka Lara xxx000

      • TTSP

        Hi Nomad and BAF,
        Great posting about breaking no contact. Everyone has been there. I’ve been the sender and receiver of a communication after a period of no contact with exes. Both men and women cave because we’re human and have hearts. I’ve always found that when I do initiate, it bites me in the ass and I’m quickly reminded why this person is no longer in my life. They never respond how I want and the scab covering my wound is ripped right off. Write down how you feel now that you’ve been in contact. Be truly honest about the pain, suffering, agony or whatever it is that is coursing through your body. Keep that journal close to you the next time you want to reach out or respond to a message from him. I’d like to think it’s “easier” to remove yourself from a relationship when the other person is a shithead but I don’t think anything we’re going through is ever easy no matter what the circumstances are. I will say that I do suspect it’s less challenging to get out if the person doesn’t live or work near you. I know I would’ve extricated myself a long time ago if my mm wasn’t in my face due to work. I used to believe that the only way an affair would work is between two married people but it’s still so fraught with problems. When there are feelings or love you’re naturally going to long for more time, attention, affection. While my mm gave me everything he possible could for an unavailable man, there’s no future and I want a real, full blown relationship with someone that can give me 100% of themselves. Also, guilt for the fam and causing them immense pain breaks my heart. Finally, I can’t take on the responsibility of filling the void in someone else’s marriage. Yet here I am still not fully disengaged from this situation. Lord have mercy. Congrats BAF for staying the course with your no contact. Nomad, are you starting NC now or in Dec? It sounds like you have a vaca planned and giving yourself something to look forward to is always beneficial 🙂

        • Felk

          Hey ladies, good information BAF and good advice TTSP. I had said this to Nomad on the other page… that she did not waste 1.5 months of NC. You build on it. You learn from it. Just knowing that you were able to do it before for 1.5 months and that you felt better, shows that you can do it again… and you learn from last time about what works and doesn’t work. I’ve never gone NC with my MM, but I have had to learn some lessons about what triggers me. For example, reading through our long e-mail exchanges when our affair was starting years ago. Early in the break-up, I’d miss him so I’d go read some old e-mails, thinking that was better than contacting him. I’d get “lost” in those e-mails and they would feel so good. I’d feel so close to him. Only to come crashing down the next day with the reality of our situation again. Or sending him texts. Early in the break-up when I did this, I was trying to keep our communication “normal,” so I thought a text here and there was a good idea. I also was desperate for closeness with him so I’d text. But then I’d spend all the minutes before he responded worrying about his response and, especially if his response took longer than usual, I’d get all anxious. I eventually realized that, even though the texting usually went fine, it was causing me a lot of anxiety so I texted him even less than I already was. So, even if I didn’t go full NC, I’d end up “relapsing” at times. But I tried not to beat myself up for it, and I tried to learn from it. Nomad, I hope you can do the same. I hope you can look at these few weeks with your MM as an opportunity to say some of the things you needed to say, to honestly ask him for what you needed, and to learn that he really cannot give you what you need to make you happy. So, breaking NC isn’t a waste unless you learn nothing from it. Given how quickly you plan to go NC again, it really does seem you learned. You did not get fully sucked back into the affair. That is huge.

          • Nomad

            Felk,

            Yes this 3 wks have given me the opportunity to say my piece and fulfilled my curiosity, to articulate my cycle of keep wanting to end after he mia or slacks yet I’ll surrender whenever he reaches out, to ascertain that I can only be a side dish so take it or leave it, to convince myself that he’s bad for me and my marriage.

            I was pouring my sorrows to T who forbids me to contact mm. Even though she hates mm for keep returning and lead me on, she said this: The overseas holiday is not as big a deal as you are making it out to be. It’s just a stupid holiday, he will go and come back.

            Do you guys agree that I’m making it too big a deal? If I didn’t, I would’ve run back to mm’s arms!

        • Nomad

          TTSP,
          Day 2 of nc and I’m shooting for 14days, pretending his overseas already. I’ll try to live normally and decently, sleep by 11pm.

          I feel you TTSP, in particular when you talked about the struggle and feelings after you’ve initiated. I’d add remorse. I regret reaching out because nothing has changed. Reality slapped harder across my face. It becomes clearer and clearer that I’m a side dish if I get back with mm. He still wants us but I can only be a side dish.

          Come dec, I’ll hope to forget the day he has left because he’s no longer on my mind. All the more i should force nc and adapt to life without him ASAP.