How to Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself After He Leaves


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

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

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

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

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

After a Breakup — How to Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself

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

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

Think about what you expected from your relationship

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

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

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

Ask yourself if you were ignoring the truth

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

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

Grow forward with wisdom

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



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

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

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

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

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

xo


Fix Your Marriage


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

  • lois

    Update: MM and I still have not been able to make connections. I have been upset to find out that female co-worker who used to work with him has been texting him and he is planning to meet with all of us for drinks. I am tired of trying for the both of us. Here is what I am thinking about sending him but will probably wait a few days to let my emotions calm down. I have not spoken with him since Monday. What do think? I do not want to come across as being jealous or needy. Someone at work told me things which has bothered me. I have marked out names for obvious reasons. The situation is talking about the friend who betrayed me and had affair with him that caused him to lose job.

    After reflecting upon things, I should have discussed the things **** said with you instead of trying to deal with it on my own. Obviously, I have not done so well as it has remained somewhat in the back of mind. Like you, I have learned to internalize things which isn’t always a good thing. It’s difficult for me to admit when my feelings have been hurt as to me it shows weakness and vulnerability. I’ve always considered myself to be a strong person. Lately, it seems like I’m slipping backward because I allowed myself to get too involved and trusted the wrong people. Although I am friends with many people, there are only a few who have managed to break down my barrier. The situation with **** has weighed heavily on my heart and have been really hurt. She was my friend. I had grown fond of her children especially ****. In the back of mind, I knew she had issues but don’t we all. I respected **** and believed he would never betray his word. It was difficult to do what I felt was right and was emotionally torn. I tried to stop all of it and felt like I had failed everyone. Then, the situation with **** happened and once again found myself being hurt. During all of this, I was struggling with my own issues at home, worrying about you and the possibility of our situation being found out and/or ending. It’s been overwhelming at best . However, I would have not done things any differently and don’t regret doing the right thing. My mom taught us to look beyond a person’s faults as we all them but try to find the good. Unfortunately, what happened with the **** situation caused me to doubt the good in people and **** seemed to reinforce my mistrust. However, I can’t let what happened change me and neither should you. There’s no doubt you were wronged but nothing can change what happened. Unfortunately, **** will probably continue to be a bitter person while blaming everyone else for her unhappiness. In the end, we have been hurt and you have suffered more than one person should have to endure. With all of my heart, I hope we can put all of this in the past and that you take this opportunity with your new job to get back that part of you that was taken. I am hopeful things will get better for the both of us. Although I have enjoyed having you in my life, I had not given it much thought until a few weeks ago when you commented that you understood if things were too much for me because of my anxiety issues. Then last week you misunderstood my bitmoji and thought I had given up on us. We have not been in a good place for awhile and have needed to talk about things. I admit last week you did put forth an effort to make that happen and it meant a great deal to me. However, it was after a weekend of ignored texts and unanswered questions along with issues at home. I just mentally was not in a good place. Although I kicked myself in the butt, I think it was for the best that we did not meet because I have been able see things with less emotion and have realized how much of me has been given in this relationship or whatever you want to call it. I feel for the most part I have been very understanding about our situation and have not expected you to put me before your family. However, I cannot and will not take a backseat to other people especially when I have asked for weeks to have time to just talk about things. We have not been together since the first of December. Yet, you can manage time and commit to going out with of all us. I am not a jealous person but please put yourself in my shoes. I get that you are going through troublesome times and have truly tried to be understanding and supportive. I am dealing with my own issues as well as health concerns, so I understand life happens and sometimes we do not handle our feelings well. I just do not have in me anymore to put forth the effort for the both us. If I thought things would change, I may feel differently but do not see it happening. I am tired of having my feelings hurt and tired of being hurt. I am tired of thinking about things and not sleeping because it is weighing on my mind. I am tired of wondering and guessing about your feelings as you say I am important yet, your actions speak differently. I just do not know anymore and feel you no longer need me in your life. Thus, it is with a heavy heart that it is best we do not continue our relationship, so we can both move on and hopefully find peace as well as happiness.

  • Nomad

    Dear All who still remember me…(Felk, Lara, TTSP, Hope, Lois, LifeLesson…)

    I am back after a 6 months hiatus and while I couldn’t catch up with all of you, I did read the recent ones from Felk, Lara, TTSP and Lois. I came here around the same time as Felk, Lara and TTSP? sometime in Jun 2017.

    My last post here was near end Aug 2018 after the ugliest fight with mm but that wasn’t the darkness period, rather, it was an awakening period for me. The darkest period was when I first came here, couldn’t function at home and at work, I totally lost myself watching mm withdrawing himself and crushing my life. We nc for 90 days until the 90th day, a day before I left for my year end holiday, he rang my desk, which I thought his number wouldn’t flash across my caller id on my desk phone anyone. He somehow found out that I was leaving the country the next day for 3 weeks. He himself was also going away for 10days to Japan, a gesture that I had imagine him pampering his W by spending a bomb to fulfill her wish of going further and a more expensive trip and also to celebrate his birthday. During the 90 days of zero contact, I thought this was the end. With each passing day, I was convinced this was the end.
    (Recap: I heard from others that he was physically close, flirted and preyed on my ex-supervisor during a company drinking function, second time I “caught” him “cheated” on me and of course he denied, denied commenting on her profile picture and how much he liked her in her outfit, her pose, and staring at her alluringly and at the same time I received a whatsapp from him saying he wished I was there, he was drinking and feeling alone. Those who were there said that he was behaving abnormally high and flirtatious. Upon hearing this, I confronted him and we had the most furious and ugliest argument over whatsapp. He felt insulted and that I was possessive and he was sick of me not believing him. I blocked him until late Oct as I have this tendency to forget the bad and the sufferings after some cooling period and I found out that i was actually being blocked too. There was no need to block him because he didn’t reach out for 90 days)

    Why did I say it was awakening during the 90 days. Out of sight may not be totally out of mind, I still think of him every day, but what i had experienced was what TTSP had experienced, gradually we accepted that the affair is bad for us, we must let go and move on, enough is enough. We made effort to stop wasting our time and emotions. I worked hard to distract myself and decided to work VERY hard to pay back the time and opportunities that I have lost at work since Jun 2017 (when he started to withdraw after the honeymoon period, lost interest and reality of life sank in). My work performance suffered. I couldn’t eat, sleep and function. I couldn’t go out. I was intoxicated and addicted. I couldn’t find the reason to live another day. I just want him back at the expense of my self respect, self love and dignity. I let him come and go as he wished. He pushed his boundary and each time I accepted it. Communications dwindled, no more addressing me baby and it was unnatural for him to say he loved me even though I asked. He was totally cold and distant, not even crumbs. I have no answers to many questions and was in denial that it wasn’t love although his actions were clear. He chose not to be open but evasive. I spent most of 2018 blocking him – weeks in Jan, Feb, Mar, mid may to whole of June, end Aug to mid Dec. Communication came to a total breakdown and I realised I do not miss him but I missed who I thought he was. The real him was cruel and selfish to me. I do not feel his love but lust. Fast forward, thanks to him for “dumping” me for 90 days, I bounced back. I have achieved much more at work and gained recognition from bosses and was given more opportunities to grow and shine. I did it and am very proud of what I have achieved at work. Having said that, I still think of him every day. Just that I grew to accept the reality over time and I must not waste time and emotions on a worthless mm. It was never easy to quit an addiction. I do not know where did i gather the strength to push on. I just lived. I just worked non-stop, weekends and sleeping 2-3 hrs turning myself into workaholic. I found new goal to achieve (more bonus? good performance rating? promotion? learn new things?) and accepted that he is gone and my life as busy but boring. In short, I survived because I have realised, accepted and decided. I started living and just be. I quit all social media and stopped coming here. I was very much alone and adapting to being alone. H and I were normal, as family as close friend, I have accepted that we no longer have passion or romance in our marriage but I want to appreciate the security and the compassion and living with H till death do us apart. I can count on him to grow old and fat together. He would kiss my forehead when I was sleeping. He would say he loves me very much when we cuddle. My mistake was I keep focusing on things that I do not have and taking my blessings for granted. For 90 days, I lived a normal and mundane life but was real, down to earth and peaceful.

    Just when I thought life is what it is, he rang me the day before I departed. We met and I was holding back my emotions and words, I hid well. Obviously he missed me. He wished me safe trip. After my return we met before Xmas. He didn’t wish me on Xmas and New Year. I was angry and hurt. I made a new year resolution on the eve to stop the affair and so I blocked him everywhere. He rang my desk and I didn’t pick up. He MIA for 1 week in Jan and then he started to call my desk, from once every few days to few times a day. He was persistent and I thought he turned mad desperately trying to hunt me down. He has handed over all his projects so he has no reasons to come to my office anymore. I felt safe. In the past, I would cave in the moment I saw him appearing at my desk. He ever said hurtful things like no need to unblock him, he liked the peace and he got used to me blocking him. In apr 2018 day before my study trip, we met for coffee and he looked into my eyes telling me it’s over. He did not explicitly address why he was withdrawing but I know he couldn’t cope with my jealousy, anxiety, insecurity, felt guilty for ruining my life (?), unable to meet my high expectations (I have settled for much much much less by then, like Felk’s story, we could whatsapp for hours every day, we couldn’t get enough of each other, meeting lunch every other day, stealing kisses every corner, and then it started to go downhill till desultory text like “have a nice day” once every few days and totally missing on weekends).

    Fast forward, I failed my new year resolution. After my trip, we met twice in the room and I was so insulted and felt used when he refused to come even though we were near climax and he was already bursting at the brim (he didn’t want to enter me, he didn’t want to come, reasons? he felt guilty and he would mia if he come inside me. I couldn’t understand his logic. For the first time, I stormed off the room leaving him dressing up and checking out. I said to him, I am sick of dealing with his guilt and being tricked to respond by merely few missed calls which does not mean love but NOTHING. I told him it is unacceptable to come and go as his wish. I am not a convenient store and I am not easy. Don’t take advantage of him and don’t come back just because he is free and he is bored. I am not an object. I stormed off but cry no tears. (Throughout I was still blocking him from new year eve till mid Jan) Apparently, he ignored my words, he confidently knew that I would be there with open arms to take him back. He would mia when he couldn’t handle, he would withdraw and be back when he missed me enough and when he started to enter his fantasyland. He has proven time and again that when he wanted to pursue me, he could do it effortlessly (yes calling me few times a day for few weeks were effortless because he could just dial my no and try his luck isn’t it? TRYING HIS LUCK)

    So, where am I now? After I have stormed off on 15 Jan, i totally ignored him, his attempts to call my desk few times a day and I turned off the ringer, pull off the cord. I worried he might find reasons to turn up at my office but he didn’t. Then he started to email me asking me to unblock him and hear him out. I ignored. I blocked him on office IM also. But starting from 4 Feb, he left me a voicemail asking me to hear him out. Email and voicemails are tactics that he didn’t used for a long long time (last used Dec 2017). Starting from 5 to 12 Feb he started sending emails to my personal email. He wrote few poems and his emails would come after 11pm. There was one that came in at 5.30am Sun telling me he has been checking if I have unblocked him. Let me share 3 poems – his very first on 4 Feb and his last on 12 Feb (last because i caved after receiving the last poem). First received after he left a voicemail “As I sat alone, you’ve been on my mind, reaching out to you, reaching within, Yes, it is still you” “please unblock me, let me speak to you”; second reads “Need to hug the woman so close, need to kiss the woman so dear, for the seasons come and go, the feelings stay so near”; his last reads “A word, that brings back the memories of past and present we created. A thought, that remembers the love that has grown deeply for you, and you grew to have for me. Locked eyes, that tells the tale of two islands, bridging with heart and soul. Locked lips, the unspoken feelings that brewed from the warmth of the softness. I was crazy for you, you were crazy for me. Heart pounding day and night, subsiding only when we meet in the middle and in the heart-filling nights. I still am, today, crazy for you.” I lost. I was swayed. But I resisted to respond. On 13 Feb, he emailed me at work asking me if I read all his emails sent to my personal account and if we could meet on 14 Feb. I called him and we spoke for an hour. I told him I am better off without him and I do not want us anymore. He asked what must he do so that we can compromise and he still cannot let me go. I wasn’t happy to hear this honestly. I felt that I am being sucked back to the black hole. He said we should meet to talk. Perhaps I was under the dizzy spell of VD, we met and we had sex (6 months later). He thought he has done his job of getting me back. I thought that was the most romantic parting gift. I didn’t block him since then. Every day, he would make effort to whatsapp me once “hope you have a great day at work”. Today I snapped. I replied “don’t bother to whatsapp me if you cannot be loving, natural and different from a colleague, I am really better off without your crumbs. If this is at best, your best effort, and what I have to accept then I rather choose not to. I am sorry that you cannot meet my minimum expectation even though you must be trying so hard. You are cold and distant and I do not feel you outside the room. I no longer want this miserable pathetic attachment to you. It works for you but not me. NOthing has changed. Time and distance taught us different thing. I became more sober whereas you re-entered the fantasyland, imagine all the good things about us until you meet up with me, your fantasy bubble will burst when I started to drain you with questions, why did you, how could you etc.” He replied “not at best. love you, miss you not because it was VD. Sorry I had to rush some work, let me address, pl give me some time” NOw, his standard reply has always been “let me address, let me digest, let me internalise, pls give me some time to address” but he almost never get back and conveniently left it unaddressed. Then for the rest of the day, he went away.

    Just when I was typing here (near midnight), his text popped in asking me how’s my day. Again, he said pl give him next few days to address, thoughts are formulating. I replied “i no longer need any explanation or address if you agree to part for real. Just stop and you may go. I have given you at least a year” he replied “Negative” (implying I am being negative). I replied “Goodbye”

    How I wish he could love as I enjoyed falling in love with him. He can be naughty and fun if he wants to. Busy is a lame excuse. My fault that I caved in time and again. But I am also mindful to keep going, keep detaching so that I can restore my sanity, peace of mind, self respect bit by bit. I am convinced that i could achieve and gain much more without this addiction. YOu really need time and distance for a change. I was left with no choice but thanks to him by giving me no choice and so much pain, I decided to turn the pain into power and become better. Today, the worst is over but he is not exactly making it any easier for me. The difference, I no longer care about how he feels and am no longer trap in the fear that he would leave if I am vulnerable and truthful. I refuse to compromise and accept what is against my heart. Of course, i will be sad and grieve if he is back after a few days telling me he has decided to leave for good, because he cares about me and my wellbeing, so he agrees to leave for good, then he would wish me well, take care and other cliche parting words. Perhaps when that happens, I will be here and please cheer for me that he has set me free…

    • Felk

      Nomad, of course we remember you! I’m glad you were able to take a break from this site, and it’s good to get an update from you. But I’m sorry to hear that you’re still going through it with your MM. It sounds like you were able to get a lot of distance from him last year and to put a lot of energy into work. It sounds like that was all very good for you professionally. It’s also so impressive that you went 90 days with NC. That is a long time. You also sound very strong, even though I know you are hurt and angry. It sounds like you were clear to him that he needed to try harder, and it sounds like he was trying with the phone calls and the poems in the email. It sounds like he was really making it difficult for you to be done with him. I understand. When your MM tries that hard and says the right things, I know it is hard to ignore. I can hear that you are still angry that he is not meeting your needs. It sounds like you have told him what you need and he is not doing it? I’m sorry.

      I know he will keep trying for a while. I know he will still keep trying to get you back and he will not make it easy, but I hope you can stay strong if you do not want to be back together with him. I also hope he will just let you be free if that is what you want. It is GREAT that you are no longer trapped in the fear of him leaving. I am sure the 90 days of NC helped with that. As you said, “you need time and distance for change.” It is absolutely true. It was a lot of painful time and distance last year that helped calm down my addiction. My addiction is not over and my MM and I are still doing something, but it feels easier now and the time and distance helped a lot. Your strong words make me want to be stronger with my MM. Thank you for your strength.

  • BAF

    TTSP
    I am am answering your 2/16 post up here. Thank you for your condolences. It has not been an easy year for sure. Time and love soften the wounds. But the pain of missing someone who is departed really does not not go away. If the people that love us are there for us during the mourning process, we get through with their support and help and love. And by knowing how much they miss the departed as well. It is more of a group mourning process than leaving an affair partner.

    Leaving am affair partner is dreadfully lonely unless we have real life friends who will support and love us. It is a solitary event with no consolation from the people around us. A secret relationship lives in secret but also dies in secret. The people in our real lives have no knowledge of our pain and sadness or if they know about the relationship, they may have little compassion for us because of the taboo of affairs.

    Yes a narcissist leaves wreckage in his/her path. And yes as an empath I loved believing I could love my exMM back to happiness and part of the wreckage is the loss of that fantasy. Part of what I am dealing with is my own perfectionism and wishing I could have done something differently and better. My mind gets caught sometimes which is why I have to practice my mantras and my slogans. Perfectionism is my enemy in the healing process. Admitting failure and defeat is my friend.

    As for him bringing booze to me, it is a very good example of our former dynamic. I explained many times about recovery to him. But it did not always “register” with him. Sometimes yes and sometimes no. He “half-listened” many times. I just chalked it up to his having a “short” attention span. But this was a wrong assumption. Now I can see he is so self absorbed most of the time that the facts about me didn’t really exist in his head. My role in this was to imagine I could say it better, do it better, so our relationship could improve. I was supremely hopeful about “us”. I was going to “fix” us. Until I wasn’t. Sigh.

    Instead of seeing the red flag that he was not “getting” me, I thought I was not communicating well. As I have said, this kind of dynamic is very old and deep for me. My mother is a narc too. I am “trained” to blame myself deep in my brain. It is my fall-back position. It is a very hard thing to get out of and to repair but I do find I am making progress. Therapy helps of course.

    I do not know what “level” on the scale either one (my exMM and my mother) is as a narcissist. I know my sore point in these relationships is constantly feeling badly for the person and trying to love them into wellness. And always forgiving them. Being patient and kind to a fault. Obviously my own life becomes unmanageable in this process as I too often forget about myself and my needs. And I become an expert at pushing my own needs down to let the other person go “first”.

    Thank you for understanding why I can not stomach the word “love” right now. Love in my life has been quite painful in some of my most intimate relationships. Yet the thought in my head persists that it is me who “failed” not the other person. This does damage to me in addition to the damage that comes with the former. It is a double whammy and self-destructive. But again, I am working on it.

    Getting the narcissist to stay away is kind of simple. I guess I have had a lifetime of practice when I think about it. Number 1 is to stay “neutral” around them and try not to feed their egos (give them any sort of fuel). Acting like I really don’t care is pretty devastating to a narc who is used to me being all soft and caring all the time. Usually when I become neutral; I get a very angry reaction and the narcissist will recede in anger. Narcs prefer any kind of emotional reaction including anger to “neutrality”. But sometimes that does not work. Then I get cruel (option number 2) on purpose if I have to. I might have to say something demeaning. Insulting. I don’t like being this way but I have trained myself to do it in the past half year. I have to be tough and even willing to be cruel. Being kind and loving will never work with the narcissists in my life because this is what they thrive on. (And being loving and so kind is what I thrive on too).

    By the way TGSP, feel free to give me a pep talk! LOL. I can always use it.

    In your case thank God/dess you can work from home! Not seeing him for weeks must be VERY helpful if your goal is putting distance between you so you can properly heal. No contact outside of work sounds extremely sensible. The former communication you were having with him sounds extensive and I have no doubt you are in pain. Scaling back form that kind of contact is so painful. And the trust and friendship built in those moments is no longer there by conscious choice for self preservation. How hard is that?

    But good for you. You are making your own life opportunities more possible by defining what you can and can not tolerate in terms of your contact with him. As far as emotional voids you mention: I do think in affairs we are all very often filling exactly those: emotional voids. With people we are comfortable with for whatever our reasons. This was true of my exMM and me too. So so very true.

    We have our work cut out for us finding the people places and events we want to see and experience outside of the affair, and after an affair ends. The emotional voids persist and we must find another healthier way. I know my FWB will not last forever. But getting back into some kind of social and sexual contact has really helped me not lose myself in sadness. I need to keep one foot in front of the other despite my feelings because I know my nature (which is addictive) and I can become consumed with my feelings and pretty depressed. I am also making a bucket list of things I have always wanted to do right here in my own city and one by one I am doing them! This is helpful too.

    One thing you say I do not understand:
    “I would like to get to a place where I could revel in his “u” and “we” successes.”
    Huh?
    And on the matter of him not able to face you dating. Omg the irony of some of these MM’s! They can cheat on their partners yet can not face some of us with “other” men. I have to smile. How ironic no?
    I can only give you this advice: IGNORE him on that point!
    My exMM is/was the same but you know what? He made his choices. I made mine. Simple. Your MM made his choices. You are a SW and now you must make yours too. It is not only your right but your responsibility. I think affairs for SW’s can sometimes derail us from our life purposes because the affairs consume us so much emotionally and mentally. Make the choice to lead your life the best way you know how! Do not short-change yourself or cut out opportunities for yourself. Life has much that is joyful and pleasurable in it. Live those parts! ( My turn to give YOU a pep talk) lol

    Lastly will a “friendship” post affair lead back to sex? Simple answer: YES.
    Hugs,
    BAF
    xxx000

    • Hope

      Hey BAF and TTSP so sorry to jump into your conversation but just wanted to thank you both for your advice🙏BAF you are incredible, you have been through so much and have still come out strong. Not only have you come out strong you help women like me so much, thank you so much for the other day as well. Your pep talk has gotten me some really tough days.

      My finances are slowing improving, thank God🙏. I didn’t get a chance to write here but I did ask ex mm why he never offered to help a while ago, his answer was that after I gave birth he was holding on to 1000$ cash and wanted to give that to me (we met once after I gave birth in a public place) but couldn’t because he thought I would find it weird. He said when I told him about my struggles he got angry with himself as to why he didn’t give me that, ‘that money is yours it’s not a loan, you can keep it, it’s not much but it might help you a bit in some way’. I am never going to take it, I never wanted his money. I don’t know I still feel it hard to believe. My gut feeling tells me when I straight up asked him, he got scared of losing me and the chance to have sex and this was an attempt to convince me, I may be wrong but I find it hard to believe him. Anyway we did speak in between but I have decided recently I don’t think I even want the friendship.. it brings more pain than anything good. I still end up waiting to hear from him, he still goes mia it just doesn’t feel healthy. Right now when some days I feel so low I just want to leave everything and go away having this volatile friendship makes it worse. I decided that and the next day I got a call confirming my first therapy session (been waiting 2 weeks for this) I thought this was some kind of a sign from God? I don’t know but it just felt that way. Your words made me think BAF am I living the best life I could being in this up and down equation with ex mm? Answer is no. Do I want to spend the next 30 or so years of my life just waiting for few moments here and there? No. You are absolutely right, friendship with ex mm will lead to sex one day and I don’t want to go there again.

      BAF silly question I am wondering do I tell the therapist about the affair as well? I am worried I am going there for postnatal depression, how many women have that because of an affair? I don’t know if I am even allowed to discuss that, I have never had therapy before and this feels like this session is to help deal with motherhood (not an affair?).

      It’s great to see you going so strong BAF, I’ll pray for you. May you always be free from your narcissistic ex Mm’s clutches🙏

      What you said about narcs and about what your ex mm did sounds awful. But I love how you bounce back and don’t let yourself go into self pity mode, I wish I am able to do that someday. I was also feeling guilty because I tried to end the affair many times without warning, does that mean I basically came and went out of his life as I wished, starting to think I really do have some narc tendencies. Somehow he always gave crumbs, we never did anything else in the affair other than sex and he always wanted to sext, I did those things hoping one day he would change, bring flowers on my birthday or take me out for dinner but it never happened leaving me frustrated and prompting me to end things. How I wish I had never gotten into this mess in the first place, the lows are definitely not worth the highs for me.

      My little one’s reflux has gotten better, thank you God🙏I am slowly starting to get through each day alone with my two kids in a better way. Now I just need to use therapy and get stronger. Somehow I feel therapy is the only way to get mm out of my life. Thank you so much for listening.

      Take care. Love,

      Hope xxx

      • Felk

        Hope, it’s good to hear that you’re making some progress with finances and that your baby’s reflux is improving. It’s also great news that you have an appointment with your therapist soon. My own two cents is that I think honesty with your therapist is the best strategy. Obviously go at your pace and reveal as you’re comfortable, but a therapist should be a nonjudgmental space for talking through whatever you think might have contributed to your postnatal depression. I think it’s completely reasonable to think your affair is related so it not only seems fair to bring it up but important.

        It’s also good that you got to ask your MM about the money thing, as it seemed that issue was bothering you. I think, in affairs, we have a tendency to not bring up issues that are bothering us because we either think we shouldn’t bring it up (because it’s an affair and we don’t get to have the same expectations) or we don’t want to waste the precious little time we have together talking about serious things. At least I know that’s what’s kept me from holding back a lot in my affair and I’m now thinking that, if my MM and I are to have any chance at a reasonable relationship, we’re going to have to be more open and honest about our feelings. I know this will be a challenge to him as he is less expressive, but I don’t think all the silent struggle is serving us well. Or maybe it’s simply not serving me well? Either way, I am going to continue to push for openness and honesty and I’m going to lead by example. If it doesn’t help, then at least I will feel better that I did not silently let problems fester or silently accept treatment that I thought was unfair.

        And it sounds like, by bringing up this money issue with your MM not only did you get to hear him say something nice that you kind of wanted to hear (that he had been thinking about your financial situation), but you also got to see that you don’t really trust or believe him. I think that’s part of why we need to have direct conversations like this. I think that we can build up an ideal in our head about the other and it can come crashing down if we don’t “check in” along the way and have honest conversations about what we’re feeling or if something’s bothering us. As you know, I have the tendency to give the benefit of the doubt, and I think that goes a long way. I think that’s important as part of trust in a relationship, but as BAF has pointed out to me recently, I might go too far with that and I might push away some nagging concerns that I need to address with myself and my MM.

        If you really are feeling that your MM only wanted you for sex, I think you’re right that the friendship probably can’t work. Not that a friendship could work if he wanted more than sex, but a “friendship” between the two of you sounds like him waiting until you’ll have sex with him and you hoping that the two of you can have a more meaningful relationship. Obviously, I don’t know the two of you besides what you tell us here, but it doesn’t sound like you are getting what you want/need from him and it is mainly causing you pain to be reminded of that with your continued relationship with him. I hope I am not overstepping too much by saying that now may be a very good time to eliminate both toxic relationships from your life (your H and your MM), focus on yourself and your job and your children and your healing, and then, maybe, at some point in the future, finding a man who can be for you what your MM and H could not. I know it’s easier said than done, but it does seem you’re thinking it. I continue to wish you the best, and think your slow progress is a good sign for what’s ahead. Just keep taking it slow and be kind to yourself.

  • TTSP

    Felk,
    I’m responding at the top as a lot of us are doing to avoid scrolling. I’m not sure why your mm gets mad when you email him. It seems like a misguided emotional response to an event. He’s probably translating his sadness into anger because that feels less vulnerable and more manageable. Also, the email is a reminder that you’re away with someone else. Still, communication is key and he could easily say that he would prefer not to think about your primary relationship. I also took issue when my mm would travel and he couldn’t comprehend why it was any different from being local. To me it was something I coveted not only with him but in general. I wanted to take big, lavish trips with someone I loved and he was doing that very thing but with someone else. It was like a quadruple hit triggering a host of ugly emotions I could not process comfortably. I could not cope without having major anxiety. The difference is I would divulge all of this to my mm whereas your mm appears to struggle with opening up and being transparent about what is going on inside. You have to fill in the blanks. I wonder if he experiences something similar to what I described? If he does, ok, but why when he can travel with his wife? I would ask him if he prefers space when you’re away. If he does than he has to abide by that rule during his travels. If he wants to go incommunicado that’s going to become a drag for you because you want to stay connected.

    To your Q about the solution and how to sustain your relationship…. are you comfortable taking a pulse check on your relationship with him? Are you willing to ask him if he’s content with where things are at and how they are going? Maybe he does want a divorce to pursue a relationship with you. He may not disclose that desire when he knows you have a firm stance to stay married to your H. Ideally he should clarify his perspective so you two can decide if you’re on the same page or not. If he wants a divorce to be with you than you are at a stalemate. He either accepts your position or he doesn’t because you don’t plan to upend your life. My ex mm and I used to check in regularly and talk about our present state and future plans. He laid out his intentions and I expressed my needs and desires. As far as affair partners I had a solid companion. He wanted to spend as much time together as possible and communicate nights, weekends and holidays. That’s his personality and a must have in a romantic partner for me. If we were both married could we have salvaged and continued a relationship indefinitely? Possibly, although he is jealous and couldn’t even cope with me dating.

    I would ask your mm how he’s doing with everything and inquire about what you both could change or continue to do more of to keep your relationship alive, thriving and fulfilling. I know it means more serious talks but I’d rather stay in front of all of this than revert back to the past. If you guys want something different you probably want to identify the disparity now. What do you think? Felk, listen to your gut here. Your intuition will always guide you.

    • Felk

      TTSP, Thanks so much for your reply. What you say about how hard it was on you to watch your MM take trips with his W (while you wished it was you) is similar to what I think my MM feels. A few times throughout our affair, my MM said that out loud, but other times he would just withdraw in himself or find something to get mad at me about when I’d go out of town. But there were also times that he was eager to communicate with me when I was away. It was a little unpredictable. It is frustrating that he can’t just be open with me about how hard it is when I go out of town. He also didn’t want to communicate much when he was out of town, too. So, he wasn’t a hypocrite about it. Twice, near the end of our relationship, I didn’t even tell him I was going out of town because I didn’t want to deal with his angst. It should have been a sign to me that we had serious problems if I couldn’t be honest with him about going out of town, but I was so desperate at the end, I wasn’t ready to heed those signs. I mean, I *knew* it was bad, but I was too scared to have a conversation with him about it.

      I really appreciate your advice about what might work to sustain the affair. I definitely feel comfortable with a “check in” with my MM. I particularly like your advice because it matches what I already did last night. Last night, I sent him an e-mail saying that I want to talk about our relationship. I said that on Thursday at the end of our date, said we need to get honest about what we are doing (and he did ask if this was working for me). So, I followed up with an e-mail last night saying that I want to talk. He has not responded yet to that e-mail (usually takes him about a day… which is always funny/awkward considering we walk by each other’s offices a bunch of times today), but I suspect he will be open to talking. Thursday night, he pointed out that we do well with talking and, over this last year, he has seemed to like when I suggested we “check in” about what we’re doing (because it does seem more confusing now). Throughout our affair, we’d also have these check-ins here and there. Although he did frustrate me a little recently when he suggested it was redundant to keep trying to talk about some of our issues. I pushed past that and didn’t let him derail us, but of course that comment stuck with me. I know he is a little scared to have too many serious talks because they are intimate and that leads to closeness and struggle for him, but how can we be in an affair and not have these talks once in a while? He knows I need this (and he does, too). I also want to *try* to do this better than before. If there are problems from before that we are trying to avoid, then let’s talk about how we can do this better. For now, we’re kind of making it up as we go along and it’s working okay, but I think we can do better.

      I also liked reading your advice this morning because I was feeling a little nervous about sending that e-mail to him last night. I had second thoughts about how maybe I was pushing too much or it’d make our situation worse if we brought some of these things up. But I’m trying not to be controlled by fear anymore (the whole do-it-better thing). So, I went with my gut/brain, and knew that I wanted to talk openly and honestly. I have been saying to him for several months that we just need to get all of this out in the open about what’s working, what’s not working, and what we want in this relationship. We’ve done it a little here and there, but we haven’t given the time to this conversation (mainly because we don’t talk as much anymore and because it’s been confusing to know what exactly is going). I think we also have to get honest about the scary marriage stuff, and I have thought that for a while, too. I brought that up to him in early January, saying that we never did talk about that directly before and I think we should.

      As for your situation, I can hear how you needed to end it with your MM. As a SW, I can understand how you couldn’t stay with a man who could not offer you more. I can hear the agony of him living his life with his W, while you wanted to be with him. It’s good that your MM was honest with you from the beginning, but I know it was still hard to fall in love with a man who would not leave his marriage for you. I honestly don’t know if my MM wants to leave his W eventually, but I have long suspected he does and that he felt I did not want to leave my H. Thing is, when things were really good a few years ago (before he started pulling away in 2017), I was considering leaving my H. I didn’t really tell my MM, though. I didn’t hint at it until well into 2017, just two months before he ended our relationship. Maybe it was too late. Maybe my MM knew it was still unlikely. Maybe my MM knew he couldn’t leave his W/children. I don’t know. Because we’ve never talked about it. I’d like to. I hope he wants to, too.

      I don’t know if we need to have this marriage conversation now, but it feels like we need the “check in” about what we’re doing, what’s working, and what’s not working. About how we make this work if that’s what we want, at least for the immediate future. Ah, so much easier said than done. 🙂

      • TTSP

        A lot of what we deal with in these relationships is paradoxical. You are constantly bombarded with contradictory emotions and experiences. On one hand you want this person you care so much about to have a great life and on the flip side you hate the idea that they’re enjoying their life where it doesn’t include you. I know you aren’t particularly envious of his wife at all but in an all fairness you probably wish you could spend more time with him. That was the case for me. I envied the quality time but not the relationship.

        Almost every way you turn you’re faced with some conflict in your head. You want to hear from them when they’re away but you also don’t to get a message because it reminds you of their absence. For me I couldn’t wrap my head around any of it. Those ambivalent emotions lead to some hypocritical behaviors as you’ve attested to with the merry christmas text and then some push back on the email you sent.

        May I ask if you told him whether it was working for you or not. That’s great he is receptive to check ins. I’m not shocked he slipped in the comment about redundant chats. See my comment about hypocritical behavior in these things. He’s probably guilty of rehashing issues that bother him although he may be more of a retreater and shut down when something is disturbing him. Either way some topics require extra validation even if they can’t be fixed. All you have is verbal affirmation sometimes. Maybe you can talk about whether you’re both just feeling pretty good about everything in general. I think I’ll do that in my next relationship just to show that I care about his happiness. It doesn’t necessarily have to be heavy between you and mm.

        I could see how the marriage talk would be very scary. That is a life altering subject. What if one side says yes I’m leaving for you and the other side says no I’m staying. I heard something like only 5% of relationships that spawn out of affairs work out. It’s irrelevant as you’ve stated numerous times that your H is a good soul and great partner for you. Hypothetically if you both were to leave and get together would you ever really trust your mm? I thought about that with mine and I’d always be looking over my shoulder. It’s such a high risk proposition with a very low success rate.

        I allowed it to happen so the onus and burden lies with me. I’ve contemplated every permutation here and even if he divorced he would leave a wreckage in his path. His kids would hate me and he’d take at least two years to settle all his emotions and finances. I think it would be disastrous but I’d be a liar if I didn’t say that it hurt like hell to fall for someone who chose not to go for me. Objectively I respect why and would do the same but emotions don’t operate on logic. I hate when I think I’m over someone and have a good grip on it and then slide backwards like it just happened. Moving on does not happen in a straight line. I’ll use that as a reminder when I think about being friendly or hanging out.

        • Felk

          TTSP, my MM has pointed out the paradoxical nature of affairs so it is another thing the two of you think about similarly. I am not sure I feel it the same way. Although I recognize a lot of difficult things about the affair, they are not my focus and I mainly feel the affair is good or I wouldn’t be in it. It’s hard to explain because I know there is plenty of bad that comes with the good, but it is just that the bad is in the background… or that’s where it used to be until my MM starting pulling away in 2017. Then the bad became much more central.

          The hypocritical behaviors frustrate me because they create a double standard for our behavior where he can do something and I can’t or sometimes I can do something but sometimes not. I tried to point this out to him on Thursday, and I will point it out to him when we talk more. It’s one of the hardest things about the affair with him, but it’s been even harder in this post-break-up whatever we’re doing. He even joked at one point on Thursday about how he could tell me exactly how I should have written that e-mail while I was away. He was joking because he knew he was being picky about something that is difficult, but it was not the first time I have told him that he’s unfairly suggested there is one exact right way to do something. I won’t exaggerate and make it sound like he does this often, but he does it enough such that it’s frustrating and it’s especially hard when our relationship is already strained by less communication.

          It’s funny you ask if I answered his question about whether or not this was working for me. I sort of did and didn’t. I told him that it was working better now than a year ago, but that’s all I really said. I think we said things about wanting to talk more about that, but I can’t remember why the conversation changed at that point. I know that I sometimes cut off my full answer because I don’t feel we have time to get into it. I think we’re going to try to dedicate several hours to talking about all of this soon. I also like what you say about how, even if you can’t solve something immediately, it might still be important to talk about it again and again. A “check in” like you and your MM did. I think my MM can feel some futility in rehashing (although you’re right that he does it plenty), but maybe we can frame it differently in that we’re trying to make sure the other person is okay with it all. I’m not sure how he’ll feel about this, though. Lately, he seems sad again (about us), and I’m not sure where it came from. Just a month ago, he seemed pretty happy about us again. I’m not sure if it was me going out of town or if it was simply that as he got happier about us, that made him sad again realizing we couldn’t have the relationship he wants?

          I’m not sure of the data on how many affairs turn into successful relationships between the cheating people, but I’d imagine it’s a pretty low number. There are many reasons I didn’t think it would be a good idea to leave our marriages. Not only is it that I think my H is a better partner, but, even when I was really feeling I was being unfair to my H and it might be best if I leave him, I thought about the mess of ending two marriages, especially since my MM has two kids. It is a very difficult way to begin a new relationship with all that baggage and mess. Talk about a strain on a new relationship. And it’s also the thing you said about trust. How could either one of us fully trust the other knowing that we started this as an affair? How could you ever feel secure in that marriage? I don’t know if I’m ready for that conversation with him yet, but I think we should have it eventually.

          For now, I’d like to start out with the what’s working? what’s not working? Can we make this work? Do we want this to work? That is a big enough conversation. I’m also going to try very hard to be open to the answer “maybe we can’t make this work.” In 2017, leading up to the break-up, those conversations were so scary that I broke. I couldn’t think straight in those conversations because I was so desperate to just hold onto the affair but I was also feeling that he was done and I quit. I didn’t want to beg. I just gave up (after many months of trying). Months later, of course, he asked me why I didn’t find a way to stop him from ending our relationship. He was being playful, but it hurt to hear because I’d wondered so many times what I could have done differently. I just don’t want it to be that way this time. I want to not be (too) scared, and I want to be honest about what we can do to make it work, and if it doesn’t work, maybe we have to accept that there’s nothing we can do.

          Although he is good about talking to me, it does often feel that he’s holding back and he’s scared to be really honest. That can make it hard for me to be honest if I feel he’s holding back. It makes me not want to be vulnerable, but being scared didn’t work in 2017 and led me to feel pretty miserable for many months as he pulled away. We tried to “check in” many times with each other, but I don’t think either of us was saying all the things we needed to say about what we wanted and what could work. There was so much fear. I don’t know if it will be different this time around, but I figure it’s worth a try and it seems he does, too.

  • Lois

    Hello everyone. Sorry I have not been on here to give you an update. MM and I still have not made connections to talk. He cancelled last week. We have not texted much as I have been trying to get my emotions under control and figure out what I want. In my heart, I know my feelings have grown and love him but I’m so tired of not knowing his feelings. Yes I know he cares as we’ve been together for almost 3 years. However, he has also ended things how many times during this period and has broken my heart. I know he’s been through lots but I have more been supportive and understanding. He texted me friday after cancelling the dat before. I was with my H having dinner and was still aggaravated with MM. So for a change i didn’t respond to his medsage until Saturday afternoon. We texted back and forth. Then, he went MIA for the remainder of the day which was okay knew he was spending time with his kids. Anyway, he texted Monday wanting to know if I was busy. I saw his message but waited about an hour before replying. Honestly, I just wasn’t in the mood and seemed to be a good place with things. I had been struggling and missing him really badly. I had been feeling depressed about the situation and the uncertainty of things had been weighing on me. I didn’t want to meet him and have all of those feelings to come back. I was torn because of me wantes to see but the other part just wants the hurting to stop. I asked if we could another night and we planned for Wednesday. I figured this would give me a few days to see if my feelings would change about meeting him. Wednesday came around and texted him that afternoon if he still could meet. I had decided to go ahead if he was still available and if he wasn’t no big deal…at least convinced myself it would not be a big deal as I have learned to not get my hopes up with him. He replied that time would be tight but he was available. I told him didn’t want him to feel obligated. He said or wasn’t that but all four kids had homework. I told him that it was okay and he needed to take care of them. I really didn’t care and understood. He asked about meeting tonight and replied not sure would get back with him. Well today is vday and figured he would not be available so didn’t get back with until late this afternoon. He said he was having dinner with girls and asked what I was doing. I told him probably same and enjoy his evening. I’m still torn as I do want to see him and talk about things. I just don’t want to take any steps backwards. I’m still in a good place with things and have realized maybe things do need to be done. Then, there are moments when I miss him and can’t imagine him not in my life. It’s a complicated situation. I am just guarding my heart as I don’t want to feel depressed and miserable anymore. Guess I’ll see how the next few days go and take one day at a time. Thanks for all of the support and will keep you posted.

    • Felk

      Lois, I can see that you want to meet up with your MM, but that you’re also trying to make sure that you’re in a decent mental/emotional place when you do. I definitely know this feeling well. When my MM and I were in the thick of the break-up and trying to figure everything out last year, there were plenty of times that I delayed emailing him to ask to hang out because I just wasn’t emotionally in a good place, even though I wanted to see him. That I had to be strong enough before I could spend time with him, even though I desperately wanted to. It was as you said… trying to get emotions under control because the desperation is terrible. You’ll have a better and more honest conversation with your MM if you’re not feeling desperate and emotionally out of control. Of course, whenever you meet with your MM, it will be emotionally hard. So, keep taking your time and do not rush. He is not rushing. As you can see, he is prioritizing his family and then seeing if he can meet with you. There is nothing wrong with that, but it highlights how you should also not prioritize him but yourself and your family.

      I think you will need to see him soon enough, though, to decide what to do moving forward. Right now, you are still holding on and hoping. You haven’t let go, but all of the distance is helping you calm down the addiction (I hope). I think you have to meet with him to talk to find out if he’s willing to put the effort in that you need or if you really need to let go. Of course, my guess is that he’ll say something that isn’t clear and you’ll still be confused, but you can at least try to get some clarity. 🙂

  • Hope

    Felk I am replying up hear so conversation doesn’t get lost. I have to go for school pick up so I am so sorry if my answer seems short. Xxx
    First of all I am really sorry for what happened, I can feel it in your words how upset you are. We all knew your Mm was punishing you, we all guessed it and I think by now we can predict ‘the patterns’. You knew that’s what he was doing. I am saying this again sorry but boy I used to the same to my ex Mm most times I got jealous, only difference being I would apologise constantly after doing so. I used to feel so guilty after on. At the beginning mm said it few times he couldn’t take the stress and thought it was best to end things if it was going to so stressful (this was roughly few months into the relationship). But once we were both in love he didn’t, not once even after numerous difficult conversations. My point is you both have been together for 6 years if still bringing up something that has upset you so much calls for him ending it then it isn’t right. I don’t think he will ever end the relationship (even if he threatens and yes I feel what he did last year was a more of a threat than break up. I think he had full intentions of getting back but wanted you to know ‘his value’ if that makes sense). My smal advice absolutely ask him, please do Felk or else he will keep treating you badly. If you don’t say anything this will happen again, your mm is a jealous person.

    Felk you are one of the most reasonable person I know. I know you will ask calmly, try and understand his side.. I know that much about you by now. So yes please ask him, if he can’t take it too bad, you both have needs and feelings. He needs to consider your situation just as much as you consider his. For now just take a deep breath, chin up and keep going with your day/night. This is just one of those shitty situations that come with affairs and as everything this phase will pass too.

    Sending you hugs xxx
    Hope

    • Felk

      Hope, your perspective is really helpful because it seems you understand my MM because you did these things to “punish” your MM at times. I get it. I understand the jealousy and how upsetting it can be, and how we can punish the other to not only take out our frustration on them but also as a test of our love. In being critical of me on Monday, it was clear that my MM was also wanting to hear how much I missed him (based on the questions he was asking). Through asking me critical questions, he not only gets to punish me for making him feel bad but he also hopes to get reassurance of my love (which I gave… because that is kind… and I didn’t immediately realize what he was doing).

      Although my MM doesn’t apologize constantly after, as you say you did, my MM does rebound with a lot more closeness and attention after. He will sometimes directly apologize and sometimes not. Not only did he send that e-mail Monday night, pretty much recognizing that he was a jerk (without saying that exactly), but he also responded to a separate e-mail of mine on Tuesday with a lot of going-out-of-his-way to be cute. I know when he’s trying, and he’s trying now. Of course, this “rebound” behavior can trick me into not really holding him accountable because I can say to myself, “Okay, look how much he loves me. I don’t need to say anything.” Or this “rebound” behavior can lead me to think the fight isn’t worth it because he’s apologizing and I don’t want to waste (the little time we have) fighting. But I know that doesn’t hold him accountable, and I need to. I appreciate your advice, and I will (kindly) call him out for this behavior and tell him that it is simply mean and unfair. I think he knows it, but he will be defensive. As LiveHappy warned, he will try to turn it against me or try to make me fearful in some way. I expect that (but recognizing it in the moment and remaining strong is the hard part). But it is his insecurity, and, as you say, he is going nowhere. I do think the conversation will go okay because he’s already recognized he messed up, and we both usually can talk pretty calmly and with understanding. But sometimes he can get defensive when he feels he’s already “apologized” (which he has not) and I am still upset. As best I can, I will try to push through his defensiveness and try to get to some mutual understanding about how that time apart is difficult for both of us.

      It is interesting how you’ve said a few times that you think his break-up attempt in 2017 was him trying to get me to see his value. Some things he has said since do make me wonder. I guess I can see it both ways. I do think some of him wanted to really end it. As many of us have contemplated in our affairs, things get really difficult and you do genuinely contemplate ending it. But I do also know that he has alluded a lot more than I have to leaving our marriages and maybe he was frustrated by his perception that I wasn’t going to leave mine and he was trying to get me to realize I could lose him if I don’t leave? I don’t know. All I know is that didn’t work. 🙂 I want to leave my H even less now than I did two years ago.

      • BAF

        Hi Felk,
        It really strikes me when you say you: “Through asking me critical questions, he not only gets to punish me for making him feel bad but he also hopes to get reassurance of my love (which I gave… because that is kind… and I didn’t immediately realize what he was doing).” You MM him an assurance of love that so many of us give the MM’s in our lives. As women we so often want to be loving and kind and supportive. And to iron out any conflicts. It’s cultural as well as it is in our genes. And because you are in the field education I imagine you have an extra tolerance for all kinds of human behaviors, and an extra ability to respond to others in tough situations with patience and love. (I know I do too, after working so many years with so many students of all ages from the littlest ones to adults. It’s an occupational skill set I think.)

        However I urge you to see your kind reactions as possibly enabling his bad behavior and emboldening him to continue. There is nothing you can do to change who he is and what he is made of emotionally. (None of us has that power). However your MM does (in light of your recent events) seem to have a bit of a nasty streak when it comes to his emotional responses and I would urge you not to let that slide.

        It is not okay for him to punish you because he can not deal with his own emotions (in this case his jealousy). Especially because he and you are both married. And because he broke up with you to supposedly “better handle” his marriage and kids. Moreover, If he put you through all that hell of the break-up and if any part of his breaking up was actually motivated by some of his jealousy, that is a giant red flag. I urge you to beware as he is immature emotionally and could really have a very unpleasant effect upon your even and balanced temperament. Beware my logical woman! Try not to overthink this. IMHO you are better off simply feeling the impact of his behavior to your own psyche. To understand what it is that is happening to you viscerally I mean. And then to make a reasonable plan.
        Just my two cents.
        Hugs BAF
        xoxo

        • Felk

          BAF, I do see my kind reactions, if I don’t also call out his bad behavior, as enabling him. It caught me off guard a bit when I was with him Monday, so I didn’t immediately say something. Of course, he didn’t just yell at me. It’s a passive/aggressive attack where he asks questions and then they get more critical and then it’s clear what he’s doing. But it takes me a minute to recognize it because, of course, there’s warmth and rational words from him, too. I did call him out in e-mail Monday night, though. I was direct about how I felt his behavior was unfair. I know we will talk about it further tonight when we are out.

          I also am not making excuses for him when I say that he is generally kind and tries to treat people well. Yes, he likes control. (So do I.) Yes, he can be selfish. (So can I.) And, yes, he can get mean when he is jealous. (I do not do that.) I know we can tend to focus on our MM’s bad behavior without recognizing we might do some of the same things or without taking into account the complexity of the situation, but, of course, it is not an excuse. He did not treat me well on Monday, and I have let him know and I will talk to him about it tonight. You are entirely right that it enables his behavior to let it go. Even though he cannot make big changes in who he is, he can make small changes to treat a person better or just apologize sincerely. He doesn’t act this way often, but it is unfair nonetheless.

          And you are right that I just need to feel the impact and be honest about it to him. I will try that tonight. I suspect it will go reasonably well, as he knows he messed up. But, because people don’t change entirely, I suspect he will be a bit defensive and possibly try to turn it on me or make it all about his struggles. We’ll see. You know I’ll try to be strong. I feel strong and ready for this conversation.

        • TTSP

          Hi Felk,

          Did you and MM have a fight? I couldn’t find any posting about an altercation but from the comments above it appears there was some conflict. You don’t have to get into if you don’t want to but I was surprised that something went down. I guess I’m not totally surprised since these situations are filled with complications. Did you two breakup and how are you doing?

          BAF,
          How long have you been apart from your MM? Do you feel mostly over it like that uneasy, knot in your stomach is gone?

          I tried a friendly thing but I can’t hear the “we” and “us” talk. Being friends is a form of self-inflicted torture. I told him I want no contact so let’s see how things go from here. I have a feeling that when I do feel better I’ll realize that the only reason I wanted a friendship is because I was afraid to truly let go 100%. A friendship is like weening and to really heal I have to cut all ties.

          • Felk

            TTSP, my MM and I didn’t exactly have a fight, but I was upset with him on Monday for what I felt were unfair critical comments/questions about something I did. And I think he was critical because he doesn’t handle me being out of town well. Long story short, he and I spent some alone time together (in his car) Monday afternoon to just spend some time together, be close, and listen to some music (or so I thought). But he was being a little distant and he brought up an e-mail I sent while out of town last weekend. Last Friday, I sent a short e-mail to him just letting him know that I was thinking about him while away (I sent him a song we like and said some words about not liking being away from him). On Monday, he questioned my phrasing of not liking being away from him. I was surprised by this questioning, but I answer honestly, figuring I’m getting tired of playing our elusive game of how we like to talk around vulnerable things. So, I told him that it was simply because I was missing him and I feel that more strongly when I go out of town. Like, there’s some psychological thing where I miss him more the farther away I am. He questioned that a bit and was his cold/matter-of-fact self saying he didn’t feel the same way so he didn’t understand. He said me being out of town for the weekend is just like me being at home with my H over the weekend and what’s the difference? He said he misses me equally. I just said a little more about thinking it was just a farther away thing, but also said I miss him the other times, too. And then he questioned whether or not I thought that was normal. That pissed me off. I didn’t get mad in the car right then because it caught me off guard. I just answered it like, “Yeah, I think it’s normal for people in a relationship to miss each other when someone goes out of town and sometimes express it. Do I think it’s normal in an affair? I don’t know what’s normal in an affair.” And then I felt pretty judged. Not only does it seem pretty normal in general, but affairs are hard and it felt pretty unfair for him to say all that he was saying when I’m just trying to do my best in a hard situation, just like him. Yes, I like more contact and attempts at closeness. He knows this. Seems pretty “normal” for me to say what I did in the e-mail.

            So, I didn’t get mad at him in the car, but I drove home pretty upset with the plan to e-mail him that night. He beat me to it. He sent a playful e-mail saying nice things to me with a pretty apologetic tone. He knew he messed up. He knew he was harsh. He SO rarely sends those kinds of emails so it says something that he recognized it. I responded telling him that I didn’t like what he did and that it felt unfairly critical. He didn’t respond to that e-mail, but we had a date last night and he had already alluded to talking about this further on Thursday.

            We had 8 hours together yesterday. As usual, it was a really nice time of talking, dinner, show. We always do that part well. He was affectionate and touching me and hugging me. Put his arm around me as we walked to his car at the end of the night. But… the plan was to talk about Monday issues when we got back to his car at the end of the night. We talked for an hour and a half. I really appreciate him staying out late to talk longer with me because he knew I wanted to, but I can’t say the talk was very satisfying. It was mostly him being a little distant and lamenting our situation, as opposed to offering closeness or apologies for how he treated me Monday. He just continued to say he didn’t understand the way I felt when I was out of town and he thought it didn’t make sense to say it given how it contrasts with our situation – where we would not normally be together over the weekend if I weren’t out of town. I pointed out things he’s said that seem to “contrast” with our situation, but he still says them and they’re still lovely. I told him that it felt like he had the space and freedom to express when he was feeling things but I didn’t always. I told him he was punishing at times of my expressions, where I don’t give that same punishment (because I’m trying to give him credit for saying things and understanding the context of the relationship). He still thought there was a difference between what I said and other things we might say, but bottom line is that he was missing me while I was away and he did not like being reminded of me being away so he got critical of me for making him feel feelings. Sure, he didn’t say that. 🙂 But I know that’s what it was.

            We also had to cancel our plans (at my house) next week (due a scheduling conflict with his kids), and so he was lamenty about that, too. He was in a bit of a woe-is-me mood last night and that’s hard. He’s distant at those times, not wanting to touch much (although he was touching me plenty when we were out), and just seeming sad and like our situation is hopeless. Now, you know I understand it’s a tough situation, but I eventually said to him, “If you aren’t happy in what we’re doing, why are we doing it?” It was more of a rhetorical question, but I don’t want to deal with this sadness. Sure, sometimes I understand, but, once again because he’s all sad, he can offer me little for how he made me feel bad Monday. He gets into his, “The reality of our situation…” stuff and it’s frustrating. Yes, I know the reality of our situation. If we’re going to choose to be back in this affair (I said, “And we need to talk about how we keep pretending we’re not back in this even though we are back in this.” He agreed.), he needs to come up with a way to accept it, put effort into it, and try to make the best of it.

            We said we would talk more about these issues, but last night didn’t feel great. It’s hard to end a fun night with heavy things, but I knew I didn’t want to ignore it. And I know if we don’t address the hard things head on, they will fester. Let’s be honest about the problems and our feelings and see if we can make this work.

            Thanks for listening to that. It was more than you asked, but just getting some of my thoughts down in writing after last night. I’m sure I’ll write more later about the whole conversation. 🙂

          • BAF

            Hi TTSP,
            I have been apart from my MM since last summer. I don’t remember the date of the “big argument” we had. The one when I finally comprehended the extent of his narcissism. And the hopelessness of it. But I believe it was late July. Basically I was an empath in love with a narcissist for many many years. I am still an empath. That has not changed. And he is still a narcissist too.
            But I have managed to put a giant wedge between us.
            In one way our ‘natural’ dynamic of attraction …that chemistry between us is always going to be the same. However I do not want to be in that relationship any more. At all. I admit defeat now. I admit having to let go of having to “win” or be “right” anymore.
            This was a key first part for me: admitting utter defeat and failure at achieving what I thought I could achieve with him.
            Oh well.
            (Of course its a giant “ouch”). But I have a actually lost three close people in my family this year (to death) and so I think I am truly different with pain at the moment. I think I am less afraid of it to be honest..
            The exMM and I have had some limited contact since July but I have truly changed and because of this the entire relationship dynamic between has truly changed. Therapy has helped me with this inner change. In any relationship between two people, when one changes drastically the other one is forced to do so as well.
            You ask if I feel mostly “over it”?
            Not exactly. I still feel some bitterness, some hopelessness and some anger. Some despair. Some grief. Some depression. etc. etc.
            I also sometimes feel that “natural” and ‘fatal’ attraction towards each other sometimes. We were together a long long time. I can’t erase everything. But what I do not feel for him anymore is “love” in the romantic sense. For me this is huge. I can feel love for him as human being in general. I can wish him well. (almost, lol)
            But I do not feel romantic love towards him anymore.
            Our former empath/narcissist attraction dynamic is deeply embedded in both of us. But that doesn’t mean the relationship needs anymore time. It does not.
            I am working on managing my emotions and trying to also push myself forward. One step at a time.
            What I feel (on the positive side) is some closure that he will never change and there is nothing left for me to do. There is no more compelling reason to stick around. When I stick around him, I get hurt. It is as predictable as the sun rising. I tried and tried to love him and I got hurt. Every time.
            What is also gone is my “hope”. My “interest” in him is also gone as I have had enough. I have seen enough. It feels like “game over” if that makes any sense. Now we have some kind of uneasy truce.

            In the meantime, I have been having an FWB arrangement with a friend of mine for a while now, a couple of months. This I recommend for you too! :). It is a breath of fresh air. It is working well for me. It is a mellow easy thing with no pressure. I am totally burnt out on “love” for the time being. I feel no need to “fall in love” with anyone new and neither any need for anyone to fall “in love” with me.

            I am feeling that in affairs many of us do many ill-advised things in the name of “love” and for me personally I can not stomach that word “love” at the moment and “love” is not what I feel towards anyone at the moment. What I am working on is that ever elusive “self love” for me I need much more of self-love and less of the kind that comes from others.

            As for you, I can see and read you have done much heroic work in managing to change the nature of your relationship even as you have had so many strong emotions. It is so difficult when the person is nearby as in yours is and was also my case. Oh how I know. You are trying to wean off the intensity of the “love” affair, maintain some kind of workable friendship and also get your work done! And meanwhile you have to see him at work, perhaps daily.

            The emotions in doing something like this are so very intense. Do not underestimate how hard this is! You are doing a very very hard thing. Excruciating at times. But you will survive! You say being friends is a form of “self-inflicted torture” yet you also said you enjoy having him s a mentor. I totally get it. You will find the way that works for you. If you fall down just remember to get up, dust yourself off, and keep moving!
            Inside yourself, you know the answer.
            Perhaps you can stay away from him 100 per cent. Perhaps not. The office is a hard place …so HARD. I urge you to go with what you want. Try it! See how it feels. Do not be afraid of pain because hell, lets face it we get used to pain in these affairs anyhow don’t we? Pain becomes our middle name as we navigate these relationships because as you said, no one’s needs get entirely met in an affair. Perhaps you can come up with a new numbered list for the rules of friendship after the affair? It would be interesting for us here to discuss this. How is it done? What are the boundaries? etc etc.
            One rule would seem like a no brainer to me:
            “He is NOT allowed to use “we” and “us” talk.
            🙂
            Yes maybe you were afraid to let go because you were afraid of losing him entirely. But maybe there were other reasons as well?
            Perhaps you could make a list of the pro’s and cons of a post affair friendship?
            There is no doubt that for any of use this type of friendship is very difficult however. Normally in these situations, the “friendship” is really never neutral and almost always leads back to sex. Or some form of physicality. It might even be impossible for this to not occur. I have no idea. Just my own experiences and those I read here. Thoughts?
            Many hugs,
            BAF
            xoxo

          • TTSP

            Felk,
            Your mm sounds similar to me in his attitude about everything. I used to get pissy and irritated when mine would call and email on his vacations. The truth is I was envious that I wasn’t the one traveling with him and someone else got the majority of his time. Also, a part of me felt like I was subpar since he didn’t choose to go out of town with me. I did however appreciate the effort to show his care, thoughtfulness and attention. I’m sure your mm feels jealous of your husband for the time he gets with you but you’ve already figured that out. Also, he may ask why you even bother when you wouldn’t have been together anyway. I used to do the same on weekends and holidays. I thought why even go there if it can’t happen anyway and he would say he liked talking to me and staying closely connected. Your mm might have the same futility mindset in his head.

            I do see why you felt unfairly attacked. He could’ve just said he missed you and wished he had traveled with you. Call it vulnerable but love is vulnerable. When people hide what is really going on it comes out in passive aggressive behaviors and/or words. Also, he is married so what does he expect? He chooses to travel with his wife just as you still want to travel with your husband.

            You had a really nice date with dinner and a movie and that is something to revel in together. Felk, I really think he gets down bc he wants a lot more with you and you both can’t have more. He has a very difficult time accepting what is available whereas you try to savor and relish the what you do have. I also played the realist of the two parties quick to point out the pitfalls, shortcomings and deficiencies. He loves you a lot and I hope he can come to terms with the terms and conditions of your relationship.

          • Felk

            TTSP, it really does sound like you understand the mindset of my MM and that you did similar things at times. I appreciate your insight. I have “known” my MM thinks this way when I’m gone, but it is hard for me to understand at a deeper level because it’s different from my feelings. So, while I can rationally “know” it bothers him a lot when I’m away, I don’t understand why it doesn’t feel good when I contact him while I’m away. And, yes, it does feel a little good. He said he likes it and not. He said he feels ambivalence. For me, it is just nice to hear from him when he’s away or like when he texted me on Christmas. In a way, sure, it makes me think about how I wish I was with him (and that’s sad), but I mostly focus on how it’s sweet that he let me know he was thinking about me because that’s the best we can do in an affair.

            Of course, what I don’t like is that he sends me a text on Christmas but gets mad when I send an e-mail when I’m out of town. How is it different? It’s not. It’s him wanting control of the situation and his feelings. I get it, but it’s not fair. I tried to point that out to him on Thursday, but I’m not sure I felt a lot of understanding from him (although we’re going to talk more). I do know he’s being passive/aggressive to hide his vulnerability about how much he wishes we were together. I just wish he could say that. I know that I try to be vulnerable to get him to express (and he will a little), but it takes a long time for him to tell me those kinds of things about not wanting to share me. It took almost a year of our break-up before he told me that was a main reason for the break up. He’d mostly said the break-up was about him not being able to separate the two relationships and feeling bad about not treating everyone well. He was also worried about damaging his marriage/family. I understood all of that. Finally, a few months ago, he said that it was also that it was becoming too hard to share me with my H. I always kind of knew he felt that way, but it took him a LONG time to say it out loud.

            Everything you say is things that I know he feels. I know he was envious when I traveled with my H, even though I’d tell my MM that I’d rather be with him. Either he didn’t entirely believe me or he simply was sad it wasn’t him. Just like your MM, I would tell my MM that I just liked staying connected when away because I missed him. My MM doesn’t understand that approach (although he has liked some contact while I’m away… but it’s hit or miss).

            Yes, I also think he gets down because he wants more and we can’t have more, but what’s the solution? I feel I’m a realist, too, so I don’t think it’s that he’s playing the realist and I’m not. To me, it feels like optimist realist v. pessimist realist. I recognize the reality of the situation and try to make the best of it (although he says he does, too). But, as you point out, it seems he spends more time on the shortcomings and deficiencies than I do. If you understand his perspective, how do we make this work? Short of us leaving our marriages (although that’s what I think he ultimately wants), what would have worked better with your MM? I know you’re in a different position because you are single and my M is married, but I would value any advice you have (understanding that my goal is to stay in the affair). Is there something that your MM could have said or done that would have shown understanding of your feelings (short of leaving his marriage) that would have helped you sustain the affair?

          • TTSP

            BAF,
            Thanks for your forthcoming response. You write very eloquently and are able to express your feelings so clearly. I’m very sorry for the people that passed in your life. Tragedy seems to come in waves. I hope you have loving friends and family around you to lean on while you’re grieving. Time and love heals all wounds. I inserted the love part but it’s oh so true 🙂

            As for your ex mm it sounds like you’re also recovering from the wreckage that a narcissist leaves in his or her path. I’ve dealt with people who are higher on the narcissistic scale but not full blown narcissists. From what I’ve picked up these people use others for their own gain and take no accountability for their part. They do not apologize, admit fault or accept any criticism. Anyhow, you’re painfully familiar with these traits and the charismatic side that these individuals employ to win people over. They can really mess with your head especially when you’re placed on a pedestal for some period and then body slammed to the floor by their gas lighting and stonewalling. Also, what kind of person brings over a bottle of booze to someone who is recovering… That alone speaks volumes about him. I’m glad you’re not his spouse and that you’re out. How could she not become a complete head case surrounded by that dysfunctional behavior. He must have some redeeming traits but those get marred by his self-involvement.

            How did you get him to mutually agree to stay away? Sorry I went on way too long about the narcissism. Also, you’re doing incredibly well for the length of time you were together. You are one tough woman with a lot of fortitude and tenacity. I’m sure you’re soured on love due to all of the heartache you’ve gone through in the last year. Anyone would be burned out. Focusing on your own self-care sounds very sensible and nurturing. Your hope will return and with the FWB arrangement you’re already opening up your space for someone else. I don’t mean to give you a pep talk. You’re having fun, moving on and taking great care of yourself.

            Luckily, I can WFH most of the time and don’t have to see him for weeks. My rule is no contact outside of work. He would email and call on nights and weekends in secret. I don’t want any part of that because it keeps us connected in an affair kind of way and I’m filling an emotional void in his life and my life too. I can’t lean on him like that if I’m truly going to exit. I would like to get to a place where I could revel in his “u” and “we” successes. He also said he can’t face anything about me dating and seeing someone. So, I’m not sure if a friendship will ever really work unless we keep it superficial and stick to the pleasantries. As you rightfully pointed out it leads to a greater risk of having sex again. It’s not like when we part ways we lose the chemistry, attraction, lust factor, etc.

  • BAF

    Felk I am answering all the way up here as I am simply too lazy to keep scrolling down all the time LOL. This is going to be quick: It’s your comment on how the MM’s here seem NOT to be able not to multi-task like we, the MW and SW. You write below” “I am not entirely sure what it is that overwhelms them while it does not overwhelm us in the same way.”
    I honestly think, having two grown sons that I interact with a lot, that the male brain is wired or works differently. My sons were raised by me, a female, and in a very progressive and nurturing and female-oriented environment. Now they are 28 and 31 and you would hardly know this fact. I say this because our brains are not the same at all I must say. And the one thing that drives them a bit nuts about me is my constant multi-tasking. I swear I can think sideways, up and down, and every which way. They can only think straight.
    It bugs them because their brains absolutely don’t work like mine does. It bugs me because I find them too “plodding” sometimes. But actually together we make a better team than any one brain type alone. My sons are all about: “one thing at time done very well” over my “ten things at a time (all different) done fairy well” LOL. Their way seems to mimic so many males I know who are the same way. When I try to focus hard on one thing at a time (the ‘male’ way) I find it quite relaxing I must say. Far less stressful. But as soon as I am alone and/or with other women, I go back to the multi-tasking consistently and constantly. Whether this is my nature or my nurture or is evolutionary or a bit of all, I always find our brains are different (my male sons and I). So I think in a way it’s almost amusing that men find themselves so often in affairs (relationships which require a lot of multi-tasking) yet they are also pretty terrible at multi-tasking. Oh the irony of it all. Hugs BAF. xx00

    • Felk

      BAF, yeah, there is definitely something different with men and multi-tasking (research backs that up), and that’s probably one reason why the MM can’t handle these situations as well. Why they are more easily overwhelmed and go MIA to “separate” the two. I don’t know if it’s nature or nurture either, but either one will lead to brain differences.

      It was pretty funny to read you say that you will do “ten things at a time (a different) done fairly well.” Me, too. I’m all about doing a lot fairly well and not worrying too much about doing any one thing “perfectly.” My H is the same (as the other men we’re talking about). Much better at doing one thing at a time and SO often forgets things when he’s asked to multi-task.

      And, yeah, it is pretty funny/ironic that these men are choosing these affairs even though they’re so terrible at multi-tasking. 🙂 I don’t think they realize what they’re getting into! I think the allure/the addiction is such a strong draw that they don’t realize how strongly they’re going to feel. Then the “need for separation” between the two relationships begins in earnest. Early on, it’s probably relatively easy to separate as you still feel more strongly for your spouse, but as the affair continues and feelings grow for your affair partner and you want more time with that person, the challenges mount. Then your spouse starts noticing and putting pressure on (whether directly saying something or indirectly just wanting more time/attention), and then the multi-tasking gets even harder. This is true for both people in the affair, but it seems women handle these competing and challenging emotions better than men. Fascinating. I don’t think there’s any research on women being able to emotionally handle affairs better than men (and likely because of prevailing stereotypes that men have/want affairs more than women), but that would be pretty interesting research.

  • BAF

    Hi Hope
    I am responding to you up here so our conversation does not get buried.
    I want to tell you first of all that I am so happy ! to hear you have seen the maternal nurse. Now you have a diagnosis and some help coming your way. This is huge. I was also diagnosed me with postpartum depression after my second son was born. In truth my marriage to my crazy exH probably was a contributing factor but there were other factors as well, some form childhood and some genetic. That is when I found my therapist as well, in that period. I hope you will share you safety concerns about yours and your children’s safety with your counselor. This is an important step in documenting what is going on. And it is important for You to hear yourself speaking out loud so that you yourself can hear the words and comprehend your own distress (if this makes sense). Often times we hide our distress even from ourselves and it only makes everything worse.

    You are being very wise about the MM too. I can understand him being older…perhaps a father figure of some kind? I know my exMM was my (perceived) “rock” in my life a way that is hard to explain. Even while going though all our drama over the years I felt he was someone who I could lean on for support, familiarity and even comfort. Sometimes he was not actually that helpful. But I was not very logical about this because emotionally, I felt I needed to cling to whatever stability I felt he provided me. One of the hardest things I had to face about him last year is that I had to realize he was never as strong and together as I thought he was in my mind. I had “invented” some of that strength. And that I was MORE strong than I ever gave myself credit for. I had “invented” some of my own weakness too. I think you too are strong Hope, probably much more than you give yourself credit for. In getting treatment for your post part that you will be able to get stronger a little at a time and with counseling you will begin to see some options for yourself! Please keep us posted!
    Hugs BAF
    xoxo

    • Livehappy

      Hi all. I am new to this particular post but have been reading older blogs for months about affairs. Like many of you I find comfort in the similarities we all have experienced but also find myself getting incredibly angry for allowing myself to be so incredibly stupid and gullible to his lies. I am having a terrible time right now with many horrible thoughts going through my mind. I feel at my absolute weakest and am looking quiet desperate. I have been involved for 3 years now. It has gone from complete euphoria with a gradual decline and now complete absence by him. He told me by text 2weeks ago he loved me, for me to relax, that I am a part of this, and he knows what he is doing…eluding to us being together. And has ignored me ever since! I asked to see him to discuss things and he said that he has been busy and help knows I’m busy as is the rest of the world! The world??? I’m competing with the world now??? He has a full week next week and will be on business the following week. That was 2days ago and I have been ignored ever since yet again.
      I know I need to end this and oh lord have I tried. I feel so bad about myself and he has made me believe that there is no other man good for me but him! He has made me feel worthless because he doesn’t seem to even want me let alone have an ounce of care. If this is love I really do not like it. My new motto is live happy because that is what I need to do. I just need to figure out how.

      • Kub

        Hello ! and welcome among us !

        I have read your post and I wanted to reply as soon as possible because we have all been there and I got really huge support from here and I want to give that back to you.

        First of all you may be familiar with 5 stages of grief. If you are not please search for it. To me, the better the more I know what I am going through. It was like a light to the end of the tunnel for me knowing that there exist people who can recover from them. So maybe this would be helpful for you too.
        Second of all please try to quit blaming yourself. Trust me there is no good can come out of it. Please try remind yourself that you did best of you in every cases. Sometimes you tried to quit, sometimes you loved to the deepest your heart. But whatever you have done in the past there is no chance to change it now. What you can do is change your possible future. So ı think the hardest but the best is to forgive yourself at first. And by time it will lead you to forgive him, too. I know this may sound crazy and impossible but believe me thanks to all the love we had, we can get a closure. You will get your whenever you are ready. Just know that you will have and the timing will be set by you. But sincerely… Do not blame yourself contentiously. It may even lead you to make worse decisions.
        And the last but not the least. This is a golden rule (to me !) men like to chase. Just cut the contact. I know you said that you ignored him but if you can continue that you will see how thing will turn around. Maybe not in one day, in one week but eventually he will want to remind himself to you. He will want to feel your love, feel the thrill of your relationship so he will definitely come to you. Ah. If not, than you will be the luckiest person because the sooner you stop the connection the more time you will have to heal. I know it is so painful not to hear from him but looking at the past and thinking all the mistakes I have made… I wish at least at one of them I would not reach out him, or he would not reach out me. The biggest weakness of myself was never being able to say no and standing behind my darkest experiences. But if he would not reach out to me, I would suffer definitely but would also get it over eventually. Because it is a phase…
        So if you keep telling yourself this mantra, that this will all be gone and this is just a phase, it may be helpful. It has been last Thursday I have heard my MM and god knows whenever an e-mail comes up I jump. But it does not hurt as it used to. I know that he can handle with this absence and discommunication, too. So with fewer pain… I can go through the days.
        to sum up.. What helped me the most was getting socialized. It is hard. You will definitely be want to alone but if you can understand what kind of a situation you are than I think you should let yourself be in crowd. Sure, you will feel alone though but trust me it is better to be with people and try to fit in to talks than being alone at home and think of him. Listen some foreign music that you can not understand so just enjoy the rhythm. Watch sit com ! Laugh a lot. A recommendation : unbreakable kimmy schmidt. That woman thought me a lot.

        one last think (I promise). You are special. You are not worthless, definitely not. Do not let him to put the price of you. Believe that you deserve better. Maybe not in one time you will be able to disconnect with him. But if a part of you says it is done ! It will be done… We are all here for you. Come here and instead of texting him, pour your feelings to here.

        See you !

      • Felk

        Livehappy, welcome to the board. I’ve been on this board for about 1.5 years, after already having been in my affair for about 5 years. I am a MW having an affair with a MM. And, like you, I first came to this board when things had gotten a lot worse with my MM. I came to the board after my MM said he wanted to end our affair (given overwhelming angst/tension and not falling out of love or finding someone else), and I was looking for support from people who had been through it or were going through it.

        Of course, it’s hard to know about your situation with the information you’ve provided (are you married also? how often do you usually communicate? Is two days of no communication common? when he hints at being together in the future does he suggest he’ll leave his W?), but it sounds like you’re noticing changes in your MM. You suggest a gradual decline and now his absence. That is what happened in my affair, too. There was an increase in the feelings/love/addiction over about 4 years and then the next year was the gradual decline as my MM became overwhelmed with maintaining two relationships. After about 9 months of a gradual decline (with my MM still saying many encouraging things about how he wanted the affair, like your MM reassuring that he loves you), my MM ended the affair… or tried to (we’re back in the affair again).

        Again, it’s hard to know if this is typical behavior from your MM or something is changing as you’re saying, since I don’t know much your situation. But, even if you’re exaggerating (in your head) how bad it is, you are probably accurately noticing something changing. You are paying attention to your feelings. And your feelings are saying that you feel dismissed and ignored and disrespected by his lack of contact and his dismissive response to your concerns (telling you to relax! Ugh). It sounds like you need a conversation with him to express some of what you’re feeling, but it also sounds like you’ve found it hard to get time with him lately. This is the mess of affairs. I don’t know how many times I felt this over the last 6.5 years… something important to talk about and can’t find any time to talk. 🙁 Best of luck to you, of course, and I’ll help as much as I can, even if it’s just “listening” to you talk it out.

        But, if your MM makes you feel bad about yourself, then it’s also important to pay attention to that. The euphoria of an affair can trick us into putting up with the bad treatment, but I’m sure you are recognizing that there are plenty other men who will treat you better. Of course, it’s MUCH easier said than done to just leave the affair, but other women on here have done it successfully. It takes hard work, but it can be done if you want it. And I’m thinking that, because you are here now and posting, that you’re getting close to (trying to) being done with the affair even though you know how hard that is.

        • LiveHappy

          Thank you for responding as this board makes me feel validated and a bit more calm when I am in distress…which is all too often!
          I will give you some background on my situation. I had recently moved to a new city with my family about 6 years ago. I have been divorced for about 10 years. We lived apart for a couple years after the divorce but I could not bare the thought of my kids being raised by another woman nor another man, I just could not handle that idea. So after a couple years my ex and I moved in together to raise the kids. I never loved my ex (not even on my wedding day! but I felt obligated to go through with it). We lived together in separate rooms and co existed for about 9 years. I WAS MISERABLE but for my kids I had to do it and I would honestly do it again for them if I had to. I acquired a new job through a new friend I had met after the move at my kids sporting event. And that is where I met my MM. I knew and saw him as I saw everyone else there…a coworker, nothing special. I never looked at him any differently didn’t think of him outside of work, nothing. Just a guy I knew. We talked a lot about different things but again, I did not see him as anything but a coworker I talked to him like I do everyone. He and all my colleagues thought my ex and I were married and I let everyone think that because it was just too confusing and hard to explain our situation. Well, I finally had enough of the misery with my ex and could not take his controlling, mean soul, crap of a person he was/is any longer. I left! So, I confided in my MM for no other reason than I was telling people and I told him too. On the spot he looked at me and asked “would you like to go have a drink with me one day”? I was so shocked and speechless! I just kept asking “what”? “Me”? “What”?. But said yes still not really thinking much about it. The way he carries himself is he is a super nice, well dressed, family man and you would never imagine he would step out on his family, at least that is what I believed. We then started talking/texting then meeting in random shopping parking lots to just talk for a bit. He told me that he had been watching me for years and knew everything about me and what kind of person I was. He said he knew the first instant he saw me that he knew we would be together…he still remembered 3 years later what outfit I had on, my sunglasses, my hair, just everything. I didn’t even remember seeing him! We were slow to have sex but we were so very close otherwise. Anyway, he has promised me that he will leave his wife (I never asked him to). He bought me a promise ring. He said he would not mind if I got pregnant (I got on birth control within a couple weeks). He has promised to marry me, he has given me dates of him moving out and they have all come and gone. He has two kids but they are grown and in college. I never really had a typical affair with him like a lot of you ladies. I did not get trips, nor bills paid, nor nice restaurants (twice in 3 years) nothing really…mostly parking lot conversations and sometimes he would come to my apartment for a couple of hours. He now hardly texts, calls, we go months with not seeing each other. I am once again miserable. I do not know what I am hanging onto with him. I think I just feel bad because he is kind of acting like I did not exist and it makes me feel like I am not good enough. He even promised me that he would make sure my daughter went to college and that he considered her his daughter (he has never met her). I feel he took this all way too far to not come through with anything he said. I have asked him to end it he refuses and says he loves me. I do not believe him though. We may get together to talk this week (have not seen him since beginning of Dec.) to see where we go from here. I told him that if it is decided to end it then he needs to. He said no. I need him to end it for some reason, it is important to me. He started it…he can end it!

          • Felk

            LiveHappy, thanks for giving more information about your situation. From what you describe, yes, I think you’re reading your MM’s signs correctly that he is pulling away. I know that hurts to hear, but you have already thought this for several months now. I think we all recognize when our MM are pulling away, and it is miserable so we desperately hold on to the affair and try to interpret every positive sign that we can. My MM pulled away for 9 months in 2017 before he “ended it.” I knew during those 9 months that he was pulling away. We even talked about it directly, and, although he would acknowledge that he had to try to separate me better from his marriage because our affair was hurting his marriage/family, he also would reassure about how he wanted our relationship and how he could not imagine ending us. He said so many lovely things in that year that it kept me holding onto hope, even though I knew he was pulling away (with fewer texts, less chatting online, and less time alone together). It sounds like you can feel the same from your MM. He hasn’t seen you in person in over two months? That’s a lot.

            My MM and I never made promises to leave our spouses, so I can see how it’s particularly hurtful to you that your MM has promised these things. There are other women on here (especially J) who have gone through many rounds of promises from their MM. So many of us have felt the “I don’t know what I am hanging onto with him.” Lois has been going through that for months. I went through that in 2017. We hang on because of the addiction. We love that reward of how they make us feel so special and we are desperate to feel it again. And then it’s also as you say… the rejection of them ignoring you and acting like you don’t exist makes you desperately want a sign from them that they want you so you can make the pain of that rejection go away.

            I do hope that you are able to get together to talk, but try not to go into that conversation expecting he will say all happy things that will make you feel better. We often want to have these talks (especially when we are feeling desperate) to just get ANY reassurance that they still want to be with us, but it’s not that simple. He will say loving things that make you feel special, and he will say things that scare you and make you wonder if he really wants to be with you. Is it possible that he is struggling with the guilt of the affair and that’s why he’s pulling away? Maybe he feels like he’s neglecting his family, as many MM on here begin to feel. It can feel terrible to know that’s how he feels, but it’s understandable. Hopefully, he can be honest with you and hopefully you are ready to hear any honesty he may give you (even if it is the honesty of wanting to end the affair). Of course, it will probably be something in the middle where he says he can’t give you the same time as before but he still loves you. That puts you in the difficult position that I was in two years ago as my MM pulled away and I had to choose whether or not to settle for less. I was so in love that I chose to accept less and it was miserable. You seem miserable as well. It is a terrible existence feeling dismissed, so I do hope you’re able to get some answers you want. And, most importantly, I hope you’re able to end it if you do not get the reassurance and treatment you need. Yes, I hope YOU can end it. I know you want him to end it because it’s too hard for you, but he may want you to end it because it’s too hard for him. It is not his responsibility to end the relationship any more than it’s yours. If you feel you are not being treated as you want, then it is your responsibility to respect yourself and ask for more. And if he cannot or does not give more, then it is your responsibility to end the relationship. And you know it’s not fair to say he started the affair. 🙂 It takes two. Hope that helps a little, but I know that talking to him is what you need most right now.

          • BAF

            Hi Live Happy
            Clearly, You have been through the affair “ringer” in your affair as so many of us here. I am glad you joined this board. You will find you have much in common with so many people here and I hope talking things over will bring you some comfort. Affairs are so isolating and this increases our suffering when the affairs begin to go south.
            I have been on this board for awhile (May or June 2017 I think!) I was in and out of an affair with a man who works next door to my house for 21 years. I was having a very very hard time getting out of the affair and staying out until finally last August when he behaved so badly towards me in an argument. I was finally ready to see the damage he was inflicting and to move out of his range of fire so to speak. He has other very good qualities of course and some of them very attractive. And those are the things that attracted me to him. But I finally realized the narcissist part in him needs a kind help that I can not give.

            Anyhow, getting back to your situation, the first thing I notice in your words is this: “He told me that he had been watching me for years and knew everything about me and what kind of person I was. He said he knew the first instant he saw me that he knew we would be together…he still remembered 3 years later what outfit I had on, my sunglasses, my hair, just everything.” I wondered if you think your MM might possible be a narcissist too? These words you write sound sound so much like “love bombing” to me. And the all the promises he made to you, none of them fulfilled now. And the latest distance from him sounds like a sort of “discard” stage where he takes distance inexplicably leaving you feeling unworthy and miserable.
            I could be wrong of course.
            I hope I AM wrong!
            I am merely suggesting It might be worth it for you to do some internet research on narcissist and their behavior in relationships. They are quite predictable after you get more info on them.

            In my case it took me all 21 years to fully comprehend that my exMM was actually a narcissist. I could not see it because I was beating myself up so much all the time I missed it! Yes, my exMM has ‘some’ empathy for others, but not much. He is very self-centered and I realized he can not even help it. It is a personality disorder in him probably caused by childhood trauma. Just like being raised by a narcissist mother traumatized me and led me to him. I was used to being discarded in fact and used to feeling low self esteem in a “love” relationship. I just did not know this!

            So many of his behaviors were classic ‘narc’ including the last argument where he blamed me for calling our affair a ‘love relationship’. He claimed that day BOTH of these words were supposed to be forbidden or something. LOL. I can laugh pretty hard now but damn it was not funny at the time.

            He accused me of making up our affair in a way. It was supreme gaslighting. But he did this not because he was “right” or this was “true”. No, he did this because he was so pissed I called him out on his behavior and how dare I do that? So he did this in reaction to some feelings he had in reacting to me. I ‘injured’ emotionally him and he lashed out in spades.

            Luckily I am in therapy many years. And I have so much help with this. Anyhow the thing YOU need to know is this:
            Is your MM a narc do you think? There is a spectrum from lesser narc to full blown sociopathic narc. Also: Whether or not your MM is a narc or not is actually not YOUR problem. That part is HIS problem. YOUR problem if he is a narc is the damage done to your self esteem and psyche in the midst of such a person. This part would require a great deal of deliberate healing on your part even if you do decide to stay with him. A narc causes emotional damage on all their love partner is all you would need to know.
            I hope this is not too alarming to you. And that it will help you rather than scare you. But in affairs we only see the affair partner part-time and thus we are apt to see only one side of a person until it’s too late. So I hope you will at least think about this calmly.
            Many hugs and welcome!
            BAF
            xxx000

      • TTSP

        Hi LiveHappy,
        First, I love your alias and yes it is up to us to live happy. Do you still work with this guy? I met mine at work when i moved to a new group and he was/is my boss. Mine was very forthcoming about his intentions but I was a fool to think oh maybe he’d see something great in me blah blah. It took me about a year and a half of being together for it to sink in that he’d never give up what he had for me. Even though I would do the same if I were him, it still leads to feelings of rejection, not being good enough and all the ugliness everyone goes through in these positions. I spent about 7 months in a dark phase grieving. Now we’re friends but by definition it’s still an emotional affair. I’m the one who wanted out bc I’m single and want to invest my energy in a single man. He has never made it easy to leave and I’m convinced it is the addictive nature. When people are hooked they will say or do anything to get their fix. Either way I haven’t found a true exit except for finding a new job which I’ve been talking about for a few months and have not taken action.

        I’m sorry that he made false promises to you. I can’t understand why anyone would even elude to such grand gestures. Regardless of his motives or intentions, he didn’t follow through. I think you’re more upset that he is pulling the disappearing act. When anyone you are really into pulls away it’s quite disturbing. I totally get the worthless, not wanted thing but thoughts are not facts. It’s hard to believe this when you’re emotions are firing rapidly but he does care and want you. He’s just married and can’t give the way he would if he were single. All the ugly emotions are creeping up on him and he doesn’t know how to cope. Some people flee because it’s just too painful to face. My now “friend” told me that even as the married person the whole experience is a mind F. Both sides deal with the emotional rollercoaster.

        I wish I could say it’s easy to break free but it’s all really confounding. If you can try to emotionally detach and expect less you’ll start to feel more independent from him. Also, if you haven’t seen him in months have your feelings subsided a little? If I’m apart for someone that naturally reduces the feelings. I hope you get a chance to talk although sometimes there just aren’t enough words to soothe your soul. He’ll say a few things that reassure you and other things that contradict what just made you feel so good. These relationships have repeating cycles of euphoria, despair, distance and reuniting. I would advise anyone to never ever dabble.

  • Felk

    TTSP, thanks for the kind words (and you know you deserve some, too, especially for the strength you’re showing in ending your affair… how is that going, by the way? How do you feel about it all?). You are right in saying that I understand and accept the limitations but also struggle with not entirely getting what I need (welcome to an affair!). It’s all the things you say with the limitations of an affair and how that challenges us daily. Those things have been present from the beginning, though. The thing that is a little different now, after we’ve “gotten back together,” is that I find myself a little more uneasy about his friendships with other women. I still have very little jealousy of his W, but, during the break-up, I worried that he’d replace me and so some of that still lingers, even though his words (and most of his actions) support that he is still in love and wants to be with me. It’s hard not to like when he told me a month ago that he has known for a long time that I am the one for him, but it’s the disconnect between words and actions that is hard sometimes. He says those words but can’t always back that up with action because he’s married to another person. I get it, but it can be hard remembering those words when we haven’t talked or had alone time in a while.

    What I’d most like to improve in my relationship is the security. I’d like to have more reassurance that he wants this. I’m sure I’m still a bit extra anxious after he ended it, worried he might do it again (but there is also a part of me that worries less about him ending it because it’s less scary having been through it once). I think increased communication would help with that. Increased communication not only shows me his interest but, of course, it allows for words to be said that can offer reassurance. It’s as you say, how do you give a relationship life if you’re not talking regularly? Although we talk “regularly” by some definition, the lower communication just makes it all feel more distant and less good to me. It’s not only that I miss him and our time together, but it’s just that I feel less connected to him now in general and that’s sad. I feel I know him well and we have a strong connection, but without more consistent communication it feels like there’s a gap between us a lot of the time. Granted, this is probably what I’ve wanted the entire 6.5 years (more security and more communication) so I’m not sure this is changing any time soon.

    As BAF says in her reply to you, I don’t think he’s worried he’ll smother me, but I think you’re right that he’s worried that he’ll appear needy and he’s worried about being vulnerable. You are also right that he is aloof, elusive, and not always emotional available and he is like that with everyone in his life. He has said the things that a lot of our MM say, “I am more emotionally open with you than anyone in my life.” And while that feels good, he’s still not that emotionally open with me. 🙂 And, yes, it’s one of the main reasons I have not wanted to leave my H for him. Having an emotionally unavailable H and an H who’s scared to be vulnerable sounds pretty miserable to me. That is a man who constantly makes you feel not good about yourself. But, as an affair partner, a lot of what is unattractive in a long-term partner is pretty attractive (the mystery, the dominance, the challenge).

    So, yes, if we communicated more, I’d probably be happier. When we communicate more now, I am happier. This past week has been a particularly rough week of low communication, some based on circumstance and, I think, some based on him intentionally putting some distance because he knew I was going out of town. What is my plan? Not much. Kind of just monitor things as they are. We have some alone time coming up across the next two weeks, and if he seems consistent with as he’s been lately (pretty in love), then I likely won’t say much. I may mention a few things, but if, in our time together, he is showing that he is happy with us and wants us, then I want to respect the balance he is trying to strike with the lower communication. However, if he’s more aloof than usual, then I’ll want to ask him directly about it. He’s had a tendency to punish (with distance and criticism) when he gets jealous, and I don’t want to ignore that if that’s what it feels like this coming week. In general, it’s as BAF says, I am willing to accept the structure as it is because I don’t want to go back to the “bad” of before (that led him to end us).

    • TTSP

      What is the “bad” of before? You didn’t do anything wrong before Felk. I suppose we all take away lessons and try to apply those going forward but you sound like a rockstar partner. From what I read in your words I pick up on cautious and fearful about overly expressing your needs to the point of pushing him away. While I don’t disagree that your light touch has merit, it may also cause you to feel off-kilter bc you’re a little “lonely” with him. I completely get that he’s married and can’t be available to act all the time but so are you and you’re making the effort to talk to him and see him as much as possible. He’s making the effort also but it appears like you’re trying to convince yourself that it should be enough. It’s just not and that’s ok. All of my female friends both married and single like daily or close to daily contact whether that is phone calls, texts, IMs or all of the above. Regular communication is subjective and something that each person and couple settle on together. I’ve been with guys that text and call too frequently, others that leave me wondering if they even like me and some that are just the right frequency and duration.

      My two cents are that he definitely wants and loves you but he has doubts about whether he wants a secret relationship. When you’re together everything seems great. In an affair it’s not the time together but the time apart that leaves us dubious of everything the person tells over and over again with words. If the current structure is acceptable and the benefits outweigh the shortcomings, you are in like flynn. Ask yourself if the status quo is joyful enough to get you over the torment of not getting quite what you need. I do wish for you a chance to comfortably speak your mind without fear holding you back.

      In my situation we’re still emotionally connected and I can’t honestly say that is a complete out. Do I like having him as moral support at work? Yes, I like having him as a friend. If we stopped talking altogether would I miss him a lot. Yes, I’d miss him like hell. Do I think I’ll be ok and he’ll be ok when our lives do go in completely separate directions? Yes, I care for him, have love for him and wish him a happy, prosperous life. It took me 7 excruciating months to accept our fate, learn to live with feelings and genuinely be ok with his life. Will he be ok with me getting seriously involved in a new relationship? No, but if I can respect his marriage than he has to come to terms with me dating.

      • Felk

        TTSP, by the “bad” of before, I didn’t mean that I did anything wrong. I don’t really think my MM did anything wrong either. The “bad” of before is how our feelings and situation got too intense. We were spending a lot of time together and chatting online like 4-5 nights/week. It was an unsustainable level of closeness/communication that was making him feel bad too often – bad about how he was neglecting his W and family, bad about missing me when apart, and bad about not being there for me as much as he wanted to be (although I felt he was doing enough). We had gotten to a point where we wanted so much and it became a problem for both of us. I kept wanting more and more. He kept wanting more and more. And something had to give (given that we were married to others). So, that is the “bad” of before. We are trying to avoid that intensity now. And, yes, I do have to be okay with it. I can voice my desire for more communication if I feel it’s unfair, but I understood that the intensity was too much for him before so, if I want to still be in the affair, I get that the conditions have changed. And, sure, he has more control, but I get to decide whether or not I want to accept it. And I know I’d much rather have what we have now than not. The “current structure” is acceptable to me, and I think it is to him, too.

        And, in fairness, I sound like a “rockstar” partner because it’s an affair and it’s part-time and it’s easier to be on your best behavior. I am not a “rockstar” partner to my H. 🙂

        It sounds like your situation is still tough, but it sounds like you’ve gotten past the really bad of those 7 months of accepting the end of the affair. For me, it was about the same… about 6 months of excruciatingly bad and then maybe 3 more months of difficult, and then finally feeling strength and “normal” again. It sounds like maybe you’ve found a balance that works where you can keep him in your life without the pain of the affair and what you weren’t getting from it. Have you started looking to date others or are you still not really there yet?

  • J

    Hello ladies. Mm still lives in his rental, so we can be together. I still have not told my H anything because I’m waiting for mm to file for divorce in light of all of his flip flops in the past. He was supposed to be going to a lawyer the first of the year. Well, it’s February now and nothing. H was away for a bit, and mm and I spent much uninterrupted time just doing regular things together like cooking and going to sleep together, waking up to each other, etc. It was super nice. We had a wonderful time together and many little issues disappeared. Although I will admit to you all that surprisingly I missed my H quite a bit. It could’ve just been missing the routines, I’m not sure. Well the W keeps constantly calling mm and asking if they can talk, can they try counseling, can they go for coffee. She continues to try guilting him saying he has abandoned the family, including his grown daughter and son. She will not stop. Why this wait still of him not cutting the chords? Yes, mm lives separately from her her. But everything else is still tied up to her. Including finance, medical, all of his possessions are still in the house. Now his dog is sick and in the hospital and W keeps calling crying about that too. And he’s depresssed about that. Recently he’s forgotten some important medical appointments of mine. I was very hurt, as he claimed I’m the most important person to him, but he can’t seem to remember an appointment even. He apologized repeatedly and asked for me to forgive him. I told him that I don’t feel he’s giving me his all, how could he since he’s still so tied up in W. He said maybe he’s subconsciously trying to separate me, he’s not sure. Suggested he may still feel guilt. Said he wants peace of mind and mentioned his fears of his kids hating him. Is it me, or he’s going back again??? Sounds like the same things he said before going back the last time. I was starting to believe him this time as it’s been 7 months that he’s living alone. I asked are you going back? He said no. I’m not convinced. Thoughts?

    • Felk

      Hi J, good to hear from you but it doesn’t sound like much has changed in your situation. Some of that is good (your MM is still living on his own) and some of that is not so good (his life is still pretty intertwined with his W). I can hear your frustration that he hasn’t filed for divorce yet. What is his delay? He says that he’s not going back to his W, but is it that he still feels guilty and bad and is delaying for that reason? As you say, your MM is feeling depressed about his situation and I can also see that making it hard for him to find the motivation to just do it. I know you want him to, but it is a big decision and I guess he still needs time. I don’t know how long you’re willing to wait, though. And I really have no idea if your MM is going back to his W. Him moving out was a pretty big step, but the longer he takes to file for divorce, the more I would wonder (as you are). Is he waiting for you to move out? To also show signs you’re leaving your H? I know you’ve told him that you’re not doing it until he does, but maybe he is scared that YOU are going to back out?

      It is interesting that you missed your H when he was gone (especially since you spent a lot of time with your MM). What kind of “missing” was it? Were you having second thoughts about leaving your marriage? I know that in addition to not thinking my MM is better than my H, it would be very hard for me to imagine a life without my H. I love him, and we get along very well. Even if there is more distance between us now since my affair, we still have a good life together and I don’t think I’d give that up for my MM. So, are you having second thoughts about leaving him (like your life might not be better with MM) or do you think it’s just some sadness about him no longer being in your life if you divorce?

  • Felk

    Hi Ladies, just some general thoughts on this Sunday. I think the thing I have found the hardest, whether in my affair before when it was more intense or now, is dealing with the disconnect between how much I want contact with my MM and how much I have. Whether it was the intense affair before when we were chatting online many nights/week, when we were coming to my house 2-3 times/month, when we were finding time to sneak away from work (whether for lunch or drinks or time in his car) every week, when we were going on monthly dates at night, when we were emailing and texting more often, or whether it’s the less intense version now where we email and text less, where we find time together after work 2-3 times/month, where we come to my house *maybe* once/month, and when we go on nightly dates a lot less, we always want more because we have this messed up situation where there is so much time away from this person we feel so strongly for. (And this isn’t even getting into how part of that strong pull exactly comes from how little time we have together as opposed to coming from genuine connection.)

    So, even with my expectations much lower now than before, I still want more and I still spend too much time focusing on what he is not doing (for me/with me) instead of remembering what he is doing to sustain our affair and show me that he’s in love. For example, last week, I sent an e-mail asking for some time together on Friday (given that it was an anniversary of sorts for us). Asked for some time after work, something that is often easy for him to do for an hour or two. His e-mail response was cute and flirty, but he scheduled a work meeting for that time (something that he seemed to suggest he could have easily scheduled for Monday as well) and wasn’t available Friday. So, I was sad. I wanted him to want that time with me Friday as much as I did. I wanted him to care about spending that anniversary day expressing a little closeness with me. I wanted him to want it enough that he rearranged his work schedule for that. So, I spent some time in that self-pity and frustration with him (and wondering if he was purposely trying to avoid Friday BECAUSE it was an anniversary and he didn’t want to deal with those emotions) instead of remembering that work should come first and I can’t blame him for not rearranging his schedule (and that he’s allowed to deal with the emotions of our affair differently than I do… if it is the case that he was intentionally avoiding that day). And I didn’t spend enough time focusing on the fact that his email was flirty and also suggested another day for us to get together this coming week. Here I am upset that he’s not available at the exact time I ask, and I’m not hearing that he’s trying to find another time that works?!?

    My MM has often told me that he is likely thinking about me as much as I am him. I believe him. He has said it enough for me to know that he feels similarly and has many thoughts of me and us when we are apart. The difference is, and always has been, that I want to reach out when I feel this way. I want emotional closeness. He wants to retreat and try as best he can to deal with his feelings without attempting to reach out when we cannot have that time (in-person) together. He wants to wait until we can have more time together to express the closeness because he feels a lot of ambivalence when we text/email when we are apart. It makes him miss me more, whereas for me it makes me feel better about being away from him. And with a family, I know he has more obligations than I do, and I know it can make him feel as bad that he’s not available (whereas I can get in my head and think he doesn’t care to make himself available).

    I know you all understand very well but just feeling like typing some of it out on a lazy Sunday where I sit and wish he’d contact me, knowing he likely won’t. And then I remind myself that last Sunday, out of nowhere, he did text me, just to let me know he was thinking about me. He does it so rarely, but he does it. As I wrote to Hope earlier today, we can get in our heads with expectations about how the other is supposed to act and miss other signs of caring. I know that I am most at peace with my affair when I recognize these signs of caring AND when I take a look at my own behavior and how he could sometimes misinterpret it as being less caring than I intend. If I am really fair to him, I notice that he is being himself as he always has been and nothing is different. I mean that in a good way and bad way. He is still showing all the signs of interest and communicating with me consistently, and he is still being himself and being more distant than I would like. Maybe that’s the hardest thing about affairs? We keep waiting for things to change and they can’t, given all the barriers that we know we sign up for in an affair.

    • Hope

      Hi Felk, I know the disconnect you feel I went through the same thing with my ex mm and it was one of our biggest problems. He never wanted contact on weekends or holidays and I did, I would send a text, a joke and wait hours and hours checking my phone every few minutes only to hear from him. It was excruciating. I understand what you say about lowering your expectations yet holding out hope and boy does it hurt when they disappoint us.

      As you say there is fair chance that he scheduled that meeting on purpose to avoid dealing with those emotions but wouldn’t you both have to deal with those emotions anyway regardless of whether you both spend the day together or not? Sometimes I feel that your mm pushes you away on purpose, I did that with ex mm… not because I wanted to hurt him, he didn’t want to leave his W but I was ready to leave and when he refused I never really overcame that refusal. Even though we were back together and were going stronger than before I still at times wanted to ‘prove’ to him that he’d be miserable without me in his life and he should’ve considered it when I asked.

      May be wait till you both are together and try and gauge his reaction. I am sure he missed you on your anniversary and thought of you. I know the sadness of desperately waiting for a text on a Sunday, I have been there so many times. Yes one of the worst part of affairs is holding out hope that things will change when in reality they never will. Your mm loves you and cares about you Felk. Yes it is hard not having the same level of closeness, someday when you are together may be tell him how it makes you feel, tell him how vulnerable and sad it makes you feel. He loves you Felk, I am sure he will understand and at least try to send those signals that he cares for you more often. Sending you lots of love and hugs xxxx
      Hope.

      • Felk

        Hope, thanks for your response. I always appreciate hearing others’ perspectives, especially when their situations were similar. It seems your MM was similar with his desire for NC on weekends and holidays. Although it’s understandable that they might need to draw these lines, it’s hard. It’s hard to just put your feelings on hold for that time. Well, we’re not really putting our feelings on hold, but can’t express those feelings and that’s hard to do. It’s also not just the expressing that’s on hold, but it’s simply the connection with the other person. When you’re in love, it’s hard to not feed that addiction.

        I do think that my MM pushes me away on purpose at times. I think there are times that he knows it will be particularly hard for him, and he wants distance so he is colder to me to create that distance. Times when he doesn’t want to be reminded that we will be apart for a few days so he shuts down a little. Unfortunately, I think we’re in one of those times now. I’m not entirely sure, but I’m going away to a conference at the end of the week, and it has made my MM very jealous in the past (he is worried about an ex – like 20 years ago ex – I will see at the conference). You all know he has nothing to worry about as I only have eyes for my MM, but my MM has still been quite jealous of this ex. So, now that he knows I’m going to be away, I’m worried that he is shutting down a bit and getting cold. Not much I can do, though. I will hope he is not punishing when I return, but, if he is, I will then hope that I call him out on it.

        But are you suggesting that you think my MM pushes me away at times to make me want to leave my H or to make me want him more? It sounds like you did that a bit with your MM. Are you thinking that’s why he does it? I’ve never really thought that, but it definitely works! I sometimes wish I could push him away to show him what it feels like when he does it to me, but I just don’t really have that in me. As it is, I think me just being married is enough to make him feel pretty awful sometimes.

        It’s as you say. I will wait until we are together and gauge his reaction. I will be especially curious because I will have been away at that conference, and he is often slow to warm up after periods of time apart. And maybe I will say something to him about how it continues to be difficult for me, too. He knows how much the distance bothers me. That is nothing new. He knows I want signals of closeness, and, yes, I know he will try if I say something. I think what’s hard is because we communicate so much less often now, I’m not sure what to reasonably ask for? I’m not sure when it crosses the line. I do not want to push too much and get close to break-up territory again, and I like that we are back together in some way now. But, as expected, this also isn’t easy.

        • Hope

          Hi Felk so sorry about the late reply. I had my maternal health nurse appt and got diagnosed with postnatal depression but I am going to take help to get better😊

          Answer to your question, of course I can’t say for sure why.. no one can except your mm but yes I do think your mm pushes you away so you want him more. There are so many similarities between what your mm does and what I did in my affair. I am not proud of what I did and I certainly wasn’t planning on playing games or hurting my ex mm but yes I often pushed him away without explanation, especially after we had sex partly because I was always hurt to go away from him and partly because I wanted him to want me more. My thinking was he was the one that didn’t want to leave his marriage, I was ready to leave for him but he wasn’t and it felt awful. No matter how much he did, how understanding he was, how affectionate he was, how loving he was during and after sex it still wasn’t enough because for him what we had wasn’t enough to leave everything to be with me. I may be wrong but I feel your mm might feel similar? I know after my mm refused to leave his marriage I broke it off in one last attempt to make him realise my/our worth. It was painful but I wanted him to chose us. Looking back your mm broke up and then came back. Every time I read about your situation your mm reminds me of what I did. Hope things are better between you both soon. Take Care. Xxxxx

          • Felk

            Hope, I’m glad to hear that you go the diagnosis from your maternal health nurse and I’m glad to hear that you’ve contacted some close friends. Putting a name to the problem can help you get some of the help you need. And with everything you’re going through, you still found time to respond to me. I appreciate it, and I know that, in helping others, we often help ourselves.

            Your insight into your choices helps me about my MM, and maybe he does take some distance because I am the one who seems to want to leave my marriage less. Maybe he is hurt by that and wants to punish me (even if he doesn’t think that’s what he’s doing) or maybe it’s just that it’s hard to leave and be apart as he’s said (and as you said happened to you, too). Or maybe it’s some combination of both as it seems there’s rarely a simple answer.

            I do sometimes wonder if my MM ended us because he got the sense that I wasn’t going to leave my marriage? He never said that, but maybe he just thought it was an impossible situation where we were both unlikely to leave our marriages and it was just too hard to balance both? That’s what it seemed like, but I know that he recently said to me that one of the big difficulties for him was that he didn’t want to share me… so maybe there is something to him wanting me to leave me marriage that he never voiced? He and I have hinted at talking directly about that sometime so maybe we’ll do that sooner rather than later. Not that I want to leave my marriage, but maybe it’s something that we need to talk about? I often feel that there is more we should be talking about than we are, but I know he looks at that a little differently. He likes to talk but he also finds that talking can make us feel closer and can hurt more after. I get it.

        • Felk

          Update: my MM was punishing upon my return from my conference. As I said, I noticed he was already seeming like that on Wednesday before I left, picking on me a lot (under the guise of joking). I sent him a short e-mail while gone (just something sweet to let him know I was thinking about him), and his reply the next day was nice and seemed normal enough. But, we had plans to spend some time together after work yesterday, and not only did he cut that time shorter than our usual time together on a Monday afternoon (with no explanation beyond “I didn’t think we needed as much time today.” Huh? And believe me, I told him that explanation made no sense), but we spent much of that time with him being a bit physically distant and with him being critical of me for a few things (including not responding with more than a smile to his “good morning” in the hallway yesterday). It’s not that he was entirely cold, but he wasn’t entirely warm either. It caught me off guard a little because of his nice e-mail on Saturday, but, of course, driving away from that encounter, I recognized that he was punishing me (or taking out his angst on me) as I anticipated. I got pretty frustrated driving away, and decided I was going to send a pretty direct e-mail when I got home.

          As I composed my e-mail last night, I got an e-mail from him. Now you know how rare it is for him to initiate non-work email. He hasn’t in over two months. His email had a playful and apologetic tone (without an apology). It acknowledged he was colder than usual and joked about his “behavioral observations” (i.e., his “criticism”). He also tried to say a few nice things to me about how much he liked me (and how he hopes I can see that, even through his comments), but it wasn’t enough. I know how rare it is for him to send an e-mail like that after we spend time together, so I know he knew I left that afternoon feeling pretty crappy (even though I said nothing of the sort as we parted yesterday). I like that he recognized that his behavior wasn’t great, but it felt a little manipulative like he was trying to get back in my good graces through flattery as opposed to apologizing for poor treatment. Or maybe not manipulative but at least trying to smooth everything over with some jokes instead of a sincere message about how he asked me to get vulnerable and open yesterday and then he seemed to criticize my response.

          I know this is all based in his own struggles with missing me when I’m away and not liking the feelings he has about missing me (and probably being jealous of that my ex at the conference), but it’s a piss poor way of dealing with it. Mostly, I want to do better, and I’ve said that I’m going to be more direct and have less fear. I had a little hesitation in sending that e-mail because we have plans Thursday night (because I didn’t want to “ruin” Thursday by showing him I was upset), but I realized that fear is part of the addiction. I think we break that addiction when we aren’t fearful of losing something. I’m not saying I’m there entirely, but I’m trying. So, I responded to his e-mail with a little joking, but mainly with direct statements about how I felt (not good) after yesterday and how I felt he was unfairly critical about my behavior in a really damn tough situation. I also acknowledged the part about him being physically more distant, too, and said I wanted to talk more about it. I know we will talk about all of this Thursday, and I felt really strong making this decision yesterday to say something to him. I don’t know how it will go Thursday, but I know that I’d rather say something and have the relationship end than say nothing and feel weak because I let him treat me poorly without saying anything. And, no, I’m not worried the relationship will end because of this conversation, but that’s the kind of fear that is always lingering in the back of my mind and generally holds me back from more honesty with him. Of course, I also genuinely believe we should talk about these sorts of things (jealousy, distance, communication) to try to help our relationship if we want this to continue in some reasonably happy way.

          • LiveHappy

            Oh how I can relate! First, I want to say how sorry I am that you were made to feel that way. I struggle so much with how my MM can sleep with his wife, go to Church, spend everyday with her, etc. but I can not even look around when I am with him. He once yelled and berated me for waving at a young guy in the car next to us because he waved at us. I have never in my life been treated like that. So, you were punished for going out of town. I just do not understand their behavior. I feel that us going out whether it be for work or with friends that it brings out the MM’s insecurities and they realize they really can’t control us, that we really are not theirs. They want us safely tucked away in our home with the curtains drawn. All the while they are out eating or spending some quality family time, etc. while ignoring us! I am so proud of you that you sent the email and you are going to discuss this Thursday! Stay strong and do not allow him to try and turn this on you. This is such a difficult and painful relationship we are in.
            I have faith in you and we are all here for you after you meet him on Thursday!
            Best of luck! : )

          • Felk

            LiveHappy, you certainly seem to understand what I’m going through this week. My MM has shown signs of ugly jealousy throughout our affair (but he has mostly hidden it well). A few times I’ve called him out on it (when it got particularly ugly), but because he hides it well, I only usually see it when he’s really struggling with it (especially when I go out of town… whether it’s for a conference alone or with my H). It is exactly as you say. It brings out their insecurities that they don’t know how to deal with, but they also don’t want to voice openly because it would make them vulnerable to admit that they were jealous. And my MM REALLY does not like the feeling of losing control, and that’s what these situations make him feel. But instead of dealing with it like a mature adult, they take it out on us.

            I love what you wrote about “do not allow him to try and turn this on you.” You REALLY do know this situation. This is EXACTLY what my MM does when he’s punishing. He tries to find things to criticize me for, making me the one in the wrong, when it’s really he who can’t handle it. And, I know SO well him trying to turn it on me when I get upset. So, he will at first be contrite and say he wants to hear what I have to say when I’m upset and then he will make it all about him. Oh, do I know this well. I am ready for it, and, hopefully, I will be able to not stand for it Thursday when we talk about it. I’m pretty good at holding my own, but so is he! When I really know he’s in the wrong (which I do), that’s when I’m best at not backing down and letting him make me feel bad. He will try. He may even go to the tactics of making me feel our relationship is threatened because this is all too hard on him. I feel ready to let him make those threats. I will let him express himself. I will be understanding. I know this is a hard situation we are in. But I will not let him hold me hostage to his struggles at the expense of mine. And I will not let him blame me for his own difficulties in dealing with a hard situation. Hopefully, we can find some closeness in dealing with this together. He is pretty good at that, but we’ll see.

    • BAF

      Felk I can always hear in your words how much you are trying above all to stay balanced in your affair. Each time you feel certain emotions like sadness for example or longings for him, you are very very quick to to see the other side, HIS side. And in calming yourself down. I do not know if you push any of yourself down when you do this. The process seems automatic for you. This is not a criticism. I am just noticing here.
      I also notice you use the words “we” a lot. For example:
      “we always want more because we have this messed up situation where there is so much time away from this person we feel so strongly for.”
      Truth be told I have always found this a bit odd. But perhaps you really do know him so well that you can use use the “we” pronoun so often?
      I have found in affairs too many questions about the “other” for there to be a true “we” but that could just be me.
      Anyhow, he sounds like a man that is prone to taking distance (like so many of the MM’s here) so it surprises me you use the “we” pronoun with such seeming confidence. Again this is not a criticism. I just notice language a lot, and the way people write here and use words.
      Also you say this: “He wants to wait until we can have more time together to express the closeness because he feels a lot of ambivalence when we text/email when we are apart. It makes him miss me more, whereas for me it makes me feel better about being away from him.” This statement makes me think a lot about Lifelesson’s MM. Didn’t he say something sort of similar? I know someone commented on that too. Maybe it was Hope? I can not remember.
      The behavior seems quite illogical in a love affair but given that these are extra marital affairs, it always seem the rules change and “anything goes” in a way.
      And many of the MM’s share these behaviors it seems. Do they feel more guilt? Perhaps.
      In terms of your MM’s availability:
      Yes your MM has a family. How many children does he have? They are sort of young I think? Each of those children requires his time attention and love. Time. He has to take care of his W and do whatever he has to do to convince her he is not having an affair (again). And a wife who has been on guard in the past about affair is always going to be on guard in the future. It’s a definite “thing”. Anyhow more Time he needs to spend.

      All of this time is Time he can not be with you. This is a painful and sad fact no matter how you look at it and no matter how understanding and logical you can be. You are super understanding and very patient. There is really not much else to say. He is very lucky to have such person. And long as you are “in love” you are ready to work on keeping the affair working and on on doing a lot of compromising.
      And this leaves you: VULNERABLE. Yup we are all there in affairs. Vulnerable as hell. As you have been married and more secure for many years, you may have forgotten how vulnerable “love” can leave us and this might be a real kind of a shock to your system. We are not only vulnerable; the entire affair is unstable as a relationship too.
      And like you say:
      “Maybe that’s the hardest thing about affairs? We keep waiting for things to change and they can’t, given all the barriers that we know we sign up for in an affair.” YES YES YES. So Sad but So True.
      Hugs BAF
      xxxooo

      • Felk

        BAF, it’s clear you understand people and these situations well. You really can hear how I am trying to stay balanced. And, yes, it’s a default for me. Sometimes I wonder if I do that to the detriment of my feelings (and heeding what they are telling me), but most of the time I think I’m just being fair and that helps me in a tough situation like an affair. It just seems that we can so quickly get dominated by insecurity and anxiety and sadness in affairs, and taking the other’s perspective helps me a lot. As we’ve talked about recently, we can so easily “fill in the blanks” of time apart with irrational and scary thoughts about what the other is doing, and that’s why staying balanced helps me to recognize when I’m probably catastrophizing and worrying about things I need not be.

        But, when you ask if I “push” any of myself down when I do that, I think sometimes, yes. I think sometimes I explain away some bad feelings that I should attend to, feelings that probably mean I need to speak up and ask for something I need from him. This week there’s a work event that he knows I’d want to attend (and that I’ve attended with him before… not as a couple. It’s not an event like that.). But, did he ask me to go with him or if I was going? No. He sent out an e-mail to a bunch of us saying that people were meeting for happy hour before the event and inviting us all. I was sad to get that e-mail, feeling pretty not special getting the group invite, and feeling especially sad that this was the first I heard he was attending that event (and that he didn’t ask me about it ahead of time). Should I tell him that? Maybe if we were talking more often, I would, but we don’t talk as much as we used to and so it seems odd to me to bring it up if we have no “plans” to talk. I’m also feeling some jealousy about a female coworker (who I know likes him) who will be at that happy hour. I’ll be out of town for this event, and I’m trying to handle my feelings of jealousy. I know he is not interested in her and he’s in love with me, but his distance allows those scary thoughts to creep in. And sometimes I wonder if I should tell him how his distance can lead to these thoughts for me and how I’d appreciate him checking in a little more often? But talking about jealousy is a scary thing. He’s expressed some jealousy (very poorly) throughout our affair, but I’ve mostly kept mine quiet. I guess I’ve mostly felt secure (enough) with him and recognized the jealousy was just a reaction to a tough situation. But, I’ve felt more jealousy since the break-up and maybe I need to tell him that it’s harder now?

        BUT… in fairness to him (time for me to offer some balance…), I think he was scared to ask me about that event because I attended it last February with my H. This was in the middle of our break-up and things were still very confusing with my MM, and so I said nothing to him about the event last year. I didn’t even know if he was going (or if he was going with his W). He went alone. So, this year, I think he was scared to mention it because maybe I was attending with my H again? I think his group invite was his passive way of inviting me and trying to find out if my H was going without asking me. Affairs. Everyone is scared to be vulnerable. I wish there was an easy way to get rid of that, but I don’t think there is.

        You know I don’t mind you pointing out that I use the word “we.” Sometimes I notice doing that and sometimes not. I think I try to be precise in my words, though, and I do intend “we.” I think I’m trying to give a sense of his feelings (that he’s told me), and I don’t think I’m trying to make us sound more similar than we are. I try to use “we” when I know it’s a “we.” And, yes, I guess I do feel that I know him pretty well. I probably have some complicated thoughts on whether or not we really are a “we,” but I have noticed that he likes using “we.”

        And, yes, I think the statement about not preferring to text when apart and waiting until in-person is similar to LL’s MM. He has said some things about not wanting the long conversations over text and preferring to have those on the phone or in person. Everything you say about reasons my MM may not have time available to me are things I understand, but sometimes have to remind myself of. His kids are 12 and 15. And, yes, if his W was suspicious once, she will be watching for those signs again. I am sure he is trying to avoid her bringing anything up again.

        Thanks for all your words. Helps me this week when I’m feeling some sad and jealous things. I will try to focus on our time together next week, though. We have two “dates” planned, including one at night. I need to remind myself of those things to conquer the jealous thoughts (and it’s mostly working). It’s funny how I feel that threat, even given that I know my MM is not into this other coworker. Jealousy is the worst. 🙂

        • BAF

          Hi Felk, I hope that you enjoy your out of town travel this weekend that you mentioned. Sometimes getting away from everything can actually help give us a breather and gain some perspective. In your first paragraph I realized this statement you said, “It just seems that we can so quickly get dominated by insecurity and anxiety and sadness in affairs, and taking the other’s perspective helps me a lot” made me ponder for awhile. I know what you say is true that we can get dominated by insecurity in an affair. But what makes it even worse I think is that the other person, too, (our affair partner) is often dominated by negative emotions too. Thus we try to to see things from their perspective that might be rather warped. Does this make sense? So I urge you to beware over-interpreting his thoughts/feelings/actions actions. And try to see feel your OWN thoughts/feelings/actions first before jumping to understand his position. Try saying “I” before “we” just to acknowledge yourself and your independent identity out loud to yourself.

          For example, It sounds like you feel your MM was maybe feeling some jealousy this week (in your post to Hope). You are using this ‘fact’ to help yourself understand some his actions (and thus keep your anxiety down.) Yet you too are reporting you are feeling some jealousy. Jealousy is the green monster as you said. I agree. It’s a dreadful emotion and in an affair BOTH partners feel it at times causing them to do say and do some hurtful things at times. So in a sense you are unable to feel that relief that ought to come (in a normal relationship) by seeing things from the other’s perspective. If you are both feeling the ‘ugly green monster’ in the same week, then the use of a calm and logical perspective goes out the window.

          And it does not sound like you have enough time with him to discuss all the dynamics. You asked a couple of times in your post if you should “bring up” some of the nuances of the current “affair’ relationship structure that are bothering you. Yet he seems unable to provide the time structure for that conversation. It is a really hard call knowing what to tell you (or many others in an affair when it comes down to it). This is because you have said before you really don’t want to go back to the “Bad” of not having him at all, and thus you are willing to compromise with him in the affair structure as he creates it.

          Will he back up further from you (create more distance) if you were to pose these questions? This is always the danger. (And for all of us not just you). Since the break-up he has held the reins more than you have, because he did the breaking up and because you voluntarily waited patiently. That increases his power (and control) and decreases yours. I do think he likes control from what I am reading here. And unfortunately so do you. But you have relinquished some of yours making this a bit more precarious emotionally for you than him. And maybe more annoyed at times at him as well.

          One thing that stands out to me in your recent posts is that you are not quite as calm and measured as you were BEFORE the sex happened and before the affair “re-happened.” In fact I do not think you really had that chance to re-discuss the sex and its meaning in your ‘new’ relationship, did you (?). I seem to remember you wanting to talk more about having sex but maybe I missed a post and you DID in fact discuss it thoroughly? Am I understanding correctly that it happened in December? Or more recent? Anyhow it is always true that re-having sex with an MM increases the addiction. At first it’s just a wee tiny bit…..then little by little, we can find ourselves returning to all the overpowering emotions and desires. It’s like trying to drink a little bit of wine after one is sober many years. The brain knows the addiction route so well that we can fall into full blown addiction after a few of these sips.
          By the way I DO think that often when these MM do not want to text us (the weekend, holidays, etc) that they are busy with their families and wives and do not want to try to multi-task. They are not as good as us at multi-tasking and they do not want to get caught in the affair either. Many MM’s are not very good at acting out “two roles” at once. So they just disappear from us for awhile and take care of business at home. They go into “at home” role and pretend (outwardly) at least that they are faithful solid husbands and fathers. And unfortunately we are never privy to their home lives no matter what they tell us and no matter what we think. At home, they play another role entirely where they try to erase the fact that they are cheating from their minds. It’s a “pretend” game of course and their feelings inside about us might belie their actions. But on the outside they act the husband/father role and want it to look “consistent” to their families as they do want anyone getting suspicious fo the truth. But, If push comes to shove and they get caught cheating, they will almost always deny our existence. (To protect their marriages and family structures). I have seen it again and again. Sad but true.

          For those of us in long-term affair situations we can only try to keep VERY busy and engaged with our own lives when the MM takes this distance with us in order to do the “other part” of his lives at home. But it is easier said than done! We women are emotional and hormonal creatures after all. Especially “in love.”
          Hugs BAF
          xxx000

          • Felk

            BAF, I was able to enjoy some time out of town with friends, but I’d be lying if I said my MM wasn’t on my mind. It would have been nice to get away without thinking about him, but, yeah, right. 🙂

            I like your comment about the other person being dominated by negative emotions, too. You’re right. Even when things are good in the affair, each person has some mix of sad/doubt/insecurity/guilt/fear just lingering in the background. So, yes, trying to take my MM’s perspective certainly could be difficult because his thinking may also be irrational and not really follow expectations. I try to address my feelings first, but part of my feelings come from trying to know what he is feeling. For example, if we know our partner is content, it affects how we feel. If we know our partner is angry… and so on. So, if I think my MM is feeling jealousy, it actually can help me understand his actions and it does help calm me a bit. But, yes, jealousy is ugly and it can be hard to be logical. And I get what you’re saying about dealing with my feelings as a priority. I know you’re right, and I’m trying to do better with heeding my feelings and the signs they’re giving me. I know that this past week they’re telling me to bring up a few things that are bothering me about his lack of communication at times.

            But easier said than done. You seem to understand the difficulty I face in wanting to talk about some of these things while trying to find that time to talk as he’s cut down our level of communication (and I want to respect that). I have access to him at work nearly every day, but these are not the conversations that I want to have at work so usually we have to schedule extra time and that’s harder. Harder to schedule and simply harder for me to ask for. And there is no doubt he has more control, but he always has. Because he has children and had less time available, he always had more control. And, yes, he likes this control. Works hard to feel under control. Just as I do. I know we are both vulnerable in this situation, but I do feel more vulnerable given the less control.

            I’m not sure I’m less calm than before sex. I think I feel more trust and comfort, and I think that’s been growing for the last 6 months. It’s not a steady direct increase. There are steps back for sure, but generally I’m still feeling better over time. To answer your questions, yes, we have talked about us and the sex twice since it happened in December. Right after it happened, we went on winter break so we didn’t have face-to-face time for a while, but we did get to talk a few times in January about the sex and how we’re viewing our relationship now. Those conversations were good, and I thought he was clear that he wanted to continue what we were doing (having the affair but a scaled-back version). I don’t feel that my expectations have changed that much since sex, but I think there is just the general danger of slowly creeping back to what we were as this continues (and the sex continues).

            The things you say about the MM disappearing and not being as good at multi-tasking and taking on multiple roles is something we’ve talked about before, have seen from many MM talked about here, and it fascinates me. This is what led my MM to try to end our affair in 2017, and is what continues to lead him to want more distance. I am not entirely sure what it is that overwhelms them while it does not overwhelm us in the same way. I think one of the differences is that Ws put more pressure on Hs, and so I thought my MM was getting more pressure from his W to be present/engaged than I was getting from my H. I also think there is a provider role identity that they have that maybe women don’t have in the same way? Not that you do not feel like a provider, BAF, but I just wonder if the different social expectations on men to “provide” for a family make them feel more guilty about splitting their time? For my MM, I also know there was just a personal identity thing that was challenged by him not being the great father/husband that he always thought himself to be in his head. In the beginning, it was a challenge for him getting in the affair because of it. Once he was in, he justified it pretty well to himself because he was still able to separate, but, of course, that all got harder as the addiction grew and then he just started feeling lousy all of the time to everyone (me included). And then I also know that my MM was more jealous of my time with my H than I was of him with his W. So, that jealousy of “sharing” me added more to the negative than it did for me.

            Unfortunately, now, I think the honesty for both of us is that it’s always a little sad. It didn’t feel like that, say, four years ago. But, now, 6.5 years into it something hangs heavier. It is partially because of the break-up, but this heaviness was growing before the break-up, too. And, yes, it is likely the nagging notion that you realize you cannot be with this person who you are in love with and you just can’t shake that feeling no matter how many good times you have.

        • TTSP

          Hi Felk and BAF,

          You are both very wise and every time I read your comments I’m blown away by your insights. Felk, you are very sensible and self-aware which can often cause an internal battle. Do you let the logic prevail forcing you to draw favorable conclusions of him or lead with emotions… I believe what you’re saying is that you understand the limitations and accept them but still aren’t totally getting what you need in your relationship. I hear the same themes from everyone. 1. Even when both parties are in love they can’t demonstrate that love through actions which leads to major doubts. There isn’t enough time or freedom to express your love and that is suffocating to a relationship. 2. Both sides have unease about the other person leaving the relationship due to the myriad of stressors involved. 3. The relationship is so open-ended that there aren’t any rules of engagement or codes of conduct that can be enforced. 4. It’s impossible to define expectations and very easy to feel let down when one or both sides don’t seize an opportunity especially given time is so limited. 5. No one is ever getting all their needs met. 6. Jealousy is abound because your love is spending the majority of his or her time with their partner. Let’s face it… that sucks. Even if you aren’t envious of their spouse or their relationship, you can’t avoid feeling resentful that another person occupies their time and personal space.

          Felk, can you identify what you’d like to see improve in your relationship? What I’ve picked up is that you’d like to have more frequent and consistent communications which is absolutely reasonable and completely rational. How else can you give a relationship life when your time together is so limited and you aren’t talking on a regular basis? How else do people in these scenarios show their love if they don’t email, IM, text or talk on the phone pretty regularly? This might be a must have for you in which case you can talk to him about communicating more frequently. While it would be ideal for him to just take the initiative, he might worry that he is coming across as needy and fear that he’d be smothering you. If this is who he is with everyone than I’m sure you’re relieved that he is not your primary partner. He sounds aloof, elusive and not entirely emotionally available? Is that a fair statement? My guess is if he contacted you more frequently and engaged in intimate, personal conversations on a regular basis (a few times a week at night or during the day and once on each weekend) you’d be cruising along pretty satisfied with him. That’s not to say you wouldn’t have a little pain of wanting more of everything as we all did in our affairs.

          What do you plan to do to address the communication issue?

          • BAF

            TTSP, you are right up there with our wisdom (Mine and Felk’s). LOL. Your first paragraph is really very perceptive and rocks! I love all those numbered items. You really hit the nail on the head again and again. I particularly love Number 3. As I have removed myself from my affair and my blazing emotions have calmed down I have gotten much more logical and practical. And I see Number 3. “3. The relationship is so open-ended that there aren’t any rules of engagement or codes of conduct that can be enforced.” was actually a huge problem for me. Yes it an affair is so open-ended, too much so for me, I have found! Normal rules of engagement and codes of conduct do not apply, and to me, at least, all hell can break loose because “anything goes” regarding behaviors in an affair.

            As for your comments on Felk’s MM the only thing I disagree with that you wrote is this: “While it would be ideal for him to just take the initiative, he might worry that he is coming across as needy and fear that he’d be smothering you. ” You might be right. Any of us might be “right.” But given the patterns of Felk’s MM I see it differently. I think his lower communication this time around in the affair is a way for him to maintain “control.” I feel he does not want the affair to ‘escalate” as he knows it can. I do not feel he is worried about smothering Felk. IMHO, He is more worried Felk will ‘smother’ him (and he will get “caught” by his W is my guess. ). It is a selfish behavior on his part but ‘necessary” (in HIS mind). In affairs I feel we are not really operating as a unit or as a “couple” so much, In reality each affair partner has another “real” life too.

            To me Felk’s MM seems very determined not to want to get “caught” by his wife who was very suspicious last year. We do not know what conversations the two of them had, or the tone of those conversations. But I can imagine how it went. As a result of whatever was said, he broke up with Felk because he thought he couldn’t manage the affair and his marriage simultaneously.
            Many people do this in affairs.

            I think my wisdom on this subject really comes from having spent so much time (too much time) in my affair mess. To me, when a spouse gets suspicious as her MM’s wife did, he has to keep reassuring her MANY TIMES for a long time afterwards. He lives with her and sees her every single day so he has to convince himself he is doing nothing wrong in order to pull this off and make her feel better. I think this is the nature of the behavior of anyone in an affair whose spouse become suspicious.

            A spouse who is suspicious feels very insecure and vulnerable and his/her radar is VERY strong. For a long long time. Imagine being married and suddenly losing some of your trust in your spouse. How would that feel? What would you do? etc. etc. Suspicious spouses keep a very close eye on their partners. (If they still love their spouse and still want their marriages to work). They are highly alert to changes in their spouses’ behaviors. Again this is normal. And of course they too feel the ugly green monster: jealousy!

            So I imagine he (like so many other MM’s and/or MW’s) is trying to keep “control” of the affair situation with Felk by limiting contact and conversation time etc. to keep a rather artificial “lid” on the affair. Not that it works necessarily.

            Just my two cents. I said it to someone else another time: I now believe most people who are in affairs have decided that an affair is the best thing that can work for them to solve ‘some’ of their problems at home. But they have also decided they do NOT want to give up their home lives or marriages for many reasons.
            So an affair ‘works’ until it doesn’t work anymore. When someone’s spouse gets suspicious, there is a powerful outside force that pressures the affair to a great extent I think. It seems just obvious and quite normal to me now (in my much affair-recovered state.). PHEW!
            Many hugs
            BAF xoxo

  • Hope

    Hi all, Hope everyone is doing ok. I have always turned to this forum during difficult times and I need some advice please. Recently I asked my H to leave, long story but he went back to his old ways and I had to protect my kids. I have maintained my friendship with ex mm (even though I know I shouldn’t but I miss our friendship and him) he knew everything that was happening and would check on me via emails everyday, very keen to know everything. Being on maternity leave alone with two kids and having bills to pay is tough. Recently I found out I got paid leave incorrectly and need to payback a substantial amount of money. I have savings but I am worried how I’ll get by.

    I told exMM this, I’ll never take money from him I have few friends and family to help but ex Mm didn’t even offer to help. Hand on my heart if this was him I would’ve helped him with every penny in my account because I love him. Instead mm said my H being the father should pay more than his share to help me, agreed but my H barely has enough to pay his bills after paying his share. So ex mm suggested going back to work, can’t do that because my little baby has bad reflux, she is very hard to settle and I can’t leave her with strangers right now. Anyway I told mm this and he completely ignored this email. Instead he was sexting me straight after that email (he often does that even when I don’t respond). Him not even offering to help felt like a kick in the gut (he is rich). The next day I kept waiting he still didn’t reply to that email instead towards the end of the day he went on a rant complaining about his daughter in law and how it makes him so unhappy. This was 5 days ago and I am struggling to get past it. May be it’s my hormones making me so sensitive, what do you all think?

    – Am I right in being upset about it? Even if this was my friend I would’ve still offered to help. He says he loves me so much, I am the most important person in his life, how can he still see me struggling so much, knowing I am so worried and not offer to help?

    – Shoud I ask him? It’s really bothering me. He has always been stingy, in 4 years that we were together he gave me gift once on my birthday, I was always giving him gifts on birthdays, Xmas, Father’s Day. I am not after money but it’s the thought that counts right. I let that all go but this is tough to swallow.

    Do you ladies feel the same? Thinking from his side yes it might be difficult to offer help while hiding it from his W, I don’t know if they have joint accounts or not but surely if he cared so much he would at least try to help? Or apologise for not being able to help instead of completely ignoring that email? My gut says he is a smart man and only ever wanted sex (it’s clear he is still holding hope it happens again). It feels like him always saying that he will always be there for me has no substance to it, he will be there alright by only via texts and emails.

    Thank you for listening ladies. Big hugs Xxx
    Hope

    • Felk

      Hope, I’m sorry that you’re going through some tough times. I am sure it must have been really hard to ask your H to leave, but, if he was a threat to your kids, it sounds like you made a good (but hard) choice. Of course, now you are alone with two young kids and trying to make ends meet (while you can’t yet go back to work). It is good if you have a few friends and family who can help, but I can hear that it is still quite a struggle for you.

      As for your MM, I feel a few things. First, I get that you simply wanted him to offer. You didn’t want his money, but you wanted him to offer some help. I can see how it seems especially cruel of him not offering since it sounds like he has money. However, not only is him not offering money consistent with how he has not often given you gifts, but I don’t think he has to offer this money. I know you simply want the offer and not the money, but if he were to offer, he would want to back up that offer… and maybe he can’t. Like you said, maybe he has joint accounts with his W and maybe she keeps close track of his spending (for reasons you don’t know)? Or maybe he has always told himself that, even if he is going to enjoy an affair, he is not going to take finances away from his W and family for the affair? Maybe that is simply a line he drew. I know you see him as a friend now, but maybe he still feels it’s wrong to give his family’s money to a woman he had an affair with? We can call that hypocritical to believe it’s wrong to do X while he’s willing to do Y, but we all know people have these lines they won’t cross and it doesn’t always make sense. Or maybe, as you suggest, he simply thinks it’s your H’s obligation to help financially? Although you describe your MM as a friend, you have a complicated history with him as your lover, too, and he may feel he’s in that role and may very clearly feel he’s not your H and, thus, it’s not his “place” to offer money. And, I know that if he can’t offer money, you’d like him to at least explain why and say, “I wish I could but…” to show he is thinking about your situation. However, if he has drawn this line, it may not cross his mind to offer that explanation. Money is a weird thing for people. My H and I help family with money often, but to offer money to a friend crosses a line that is different for me. I have never done it. So, maybe your MM is like this? Maybe it is just a belief of his that really is no reflection on his feelings for you.

      Now, my other thoughts on this are about how it seems your MM sometimes ignores when you talk about your struggles. Of course, it seems pretty insensitive to respond with sexting after you are talking about your baby’s reflux and how you can’t go back to work yet. My guess is that you know that he is sometimes insensitive and selfish like this? But, you also say that he checks in every day about your situation through e-mail, so it does seem that he’s showing some caring. It may simply be that he’s not showing it in the way you want. Of course, it’s for you to decide whether or not he’s being a good friend, and you get to define what that means to you. But, it’s also important to be fair to our friends and recognize that they might be showing caring, even if it doesn’t meet exactly what we want. While I believe your MM wants sex and is holding out hope it will happen again with you, it sounds like he’s showing a fair amount of effort and, in my experience, that’s not just about sex. And, no matter the stereotypes, for men and women, sex is usually not “just sex.” Especially after 4 years together, sex to your MM means more than just sex and it means closeness with you that it seems he values also. But, again, you have to be the one to make this call. If it feels cheap to you and that your MM only wants sex, then maybe it is as you think.

      If you want to ask your MM about it, that can be a tough conversation asking someone why they wouldn’t offer you money. Again, money is a weird thing for people. And even though you’ll try to make clear to him that you are NOT asking for money and simply asking why he doesn’t offer, as you know, it may make him feel obligated to offer you money and I don’t think you want that. Also, you’re pretty upset now, and that’s usually not a good time to ask. Maybe some months from now when things are better, you could ask him a hypothetical question like that just for discussion.

      • Hope

        Hi Felk, thank you so much for your support and kind words. You and Lara have always always been there for me, thank you. Everything you say makes so much sense, it might be difficult to accept but you are right, he doesn’t have to offer. And yes you are right may be he drew a line about not taking finances away from his W and just enjoying the affair. It feels selfish but it may be what feels right to him or his way of dealing with guilt. You and Lara have given me hope, I’ll try not to dwell on this and try to get through this on my own.

        What you say about sex makes sense too, yes I too feel he values that closeness and me but we haven’t had sex in more than a year and no way am I going there. It will make me more vulnerable, having him as a friend is complicated enough.

        You are also right about asking him, it will lead to a difficult conversation and he most certainly won’t say the things that I was hoping to hear making me feel worse. For now I’ll just maintain my distance with him as I have other important things to focus on. Thank you so much for your support Felk. Big hugs xxxxx
        Hope.

        • Felk

          Hope, all the strength and best wishes to you. I know you’re struggling now, but hearing your words to BAF, it does seem like you’re making a plan to try to work this all out over the coming months. It won’t be easy, but it sounds like you are making the decision that is best for you and your kids. What more can a parent do, right? Try to break problems down slowly. Try not to take everything on at once. And, of course, as BAF says, try to find a few close friends who you can trust and talk to about it all. Or just keep talking to us here. 🙂

          As for the sex with your MM, I didn’t know if it was something you were considering. I didn’t know how you defined this friendship, but I completely understand why you would draw a line of no sex. Sex DEFINITELY complicates things more. It will make you much more vulnerable and much more wanting.

          Also with your MM, I’m sure it’s not just the financial things, but it’s that you’d like this friend, this person you have shared so much with, to be there for you emotionally when you need… but he can’t. I know that I have felt frustrated that I couldn’t just contact my MM to talk whenever I wanted. Not like I could any other friend. With him, it’s different. There are different boundaries because he’s married. So, yes, maintain some distance from him if that helps you and focus on all the other things.

    • BAF

      Hope it sounds like you have a lot on your hands. You have asked your H to leave; you have a young baby with reflux and another small child to care for; you have financial worries; and you have a MM who is “tone deaf” to your request for help. This is a lot for any woman to handle and I urge you to first of all take care of YOU. Get as much sleep and proper nutrition as possible. I assume the baby with reflux is keeping you awake many nights. And now if your H is not there to help you although I am not sure how much help he was with the children anyhow. What do you mean “He has gone back to his old ways?” Is he cheating? Drinking or violent around your kids? Are their services near you where you might get some counseling for women with young children (perhaps free) in situations similar to yours? Number one is YOU !! as you are the mother of two young children and they need you. Who might be there to help you out? (I am thinking in terms of a female or two if possible).
      As for your financial situation: If you got paid leave incorrectly that is not your fault. When is the due date for the money owed back? Can you make a payment plan?
      In addition have you and your husband drawn up a formal separation agreement that spells out how all the bills will be managed? I assume not yet. This might be too soon but this document will give you legal protection. (Can you tell I have been thought this?) Once you have a separation agreement the way your bills are to be handled is clearer. (If both parties hold to the agreement). Perhaps you should get a free consult with an empathic lawyer? It helps to get clarity this way.

      Now for your ex MM who still seems to be in your life quite a bit. I do understand you are vulnerable and you need his support right now. This is a hard time in your life and you feel he should be there for you. Understandable totally. But I want to caution you: He is unlikely to be that person you want him to be for many reasons
      As you are reading here about all of our affairs no doubt you can see “affairs” simply are NOT “normal” relationships. Those of us who stay in them are “in love” and not ready to let go. But these affair partners often disappoint us. They might not offer financial help to us for a wide variety of reasons. Remember affairs are not normal relationships with the usual rules.

      To me, it is better if you can come up with a plan independent of your exMM for many reasons. I know how hard it is to be a strong single mother of two young kids believe me. Been there done that. But formulating your own plan will protect you and your family in the long run. And he is not part mom your family. I know much you want to rely upon him emotionally and I know much you wish he would offer his help, especially if he is rich. I know how hurt it must make you feel that he has ignored your request yet he continues to sext you. In and out of an affair for 21 years I went through all of what you’re going through. So many times! That is why I am saying: really I would not wait around for him to hep you.
      I can not tell you how many times in the past with my exMM I was in your situation wishing he would at least OFFER! to help me financially. At least offer! And he too was often stingy with presents. I felt taken advantage of often. And I felt he was selfish bastard often.

      But then finally I just decided to get stronger with my life plan no matter what he did or did not offer me. I went for my second graduate degree and paid for it myself and ignored him a full five years. I realized I could support myself and I had always done okay supporting my two sons with no (or very little) help from my exH. I feel we women do all kinds of things for our kids. I learned to get very tough and you can too.
      SO: In answers to your questions:
      “Am I right to be upset about this?”
      Of course! There is no right or wrong earn it comes to our feelings Hope but I totally understand the way you feel. But affairs are not normal relationships is all I can say.
      Affair partners often disappear when the rubber meets the road in my experience.
      “Should I ask him?”
      What is it you want to ask him specifically? If he saw your request? If he would consider gifting you or loaning you some money? Think about what you really want and feel free to ask. Just please be ready for any answer, including one you might not want to hear.
      “Do you ladies feel the same?”
      Well I think you can tell from my words above that YES I have felt the same. YES it made me bitter and angry over the years. I felt it was one of the great inequities of being in an affair! But then it was ME who chose to stay with him. He held no gun to my head. Finally, I just let it go and decided to take things into my own hands. That was so healthy for me. You can do this too, I actually got two Masters Degrees during my affair. LOL Both increased my income and job security substantially.
      And now I must tell you the very strange outcome in my affair case which I never saw coming:
      1) My exMM is in terrible financial shape now after all those years of him being the “rich one” and me being the “poor single mother struggling one” and having to work so hard while his wife stayed home with no stress. But a couple of years ago, he was laid off and has never recovered his income level. Add to that since she never worked now they have money problems. Now I am the one in the BETTER financial shape than he is. Weird huh?

      2) Also: After all these years, my exMM has a very very troubled son. Yes his W stayed home with both her kids and I thought she had so much more time than me to be a great mother. But I found out their son has had huge problems for the past 5 years. He has been in all kinds of legal trouble and recently even incarcerated. In contrast, both of my sons are doing pretty well in their lives!. They work, one is engaged, and they can take care of themselves and are independent of me. This is never how I saw things turning out. I thought being a single mother made me the obvious “loser”. But no I was never a loser. I just thought in my head I was!

      So HOPE what I am saying to you is this:
      You never know how all this will turn out for you in your life. But I do know this: You do not need your exMM’s help, financial or otherwise. If he offers it, good for you but remember: You are strong enough on your own and you can make your life work out with or without your H and your exMM. Do not ever let yourself think otherwise!
      I hope this helps you Hope.
      Many hugs BAF
      xoxo

      • Hope

        Hi BAF, first of all thank you so much for your support and care, I haven’t told any of my friends about my struggles except ex mm so it means so much to me that you care. Re my H he smacked my 6 year old daughter (a little hard because she was trying to wake him up from an afternoon nap) a few times in anger, it left marks on her skin and that was it for me. I asked him to leave, he was violent in past to me but it had stopped 3 years ago and him smacking our daughter while giving her a similar look just didn’t sit right with me. I have access to my maternal health nurse, I am seeing her on Thursday and I will try and talk to her (hoping my H doesn’t show up to take me there). To be honest I am struggling some days are harder than others. Re my Paid leave, our company doesn’t offer paid maternity leave, my manager didn’t take me off the pay roster so I got paid for couple of months even after going on maternity leave. I brought this to the company’s attention and they asked me to payback this amount before June 30, if I fail to do so I’ll have to pay additional 2000$ on top of the original amount. In Australia the government gives paid parental leave, this paperwork was messed up by my employer so I am waiting for this payment, it will help us get by. My H refuses to formally separate so right now we just have an agreement regarding his share of payments. I know eventually I’ll need a formal separation from him but right now just don’t have the energy or money for another showdown with him. Thank you Lara for your advice it means a lot to me and has helped me so much more than you know xxx

        You are so right about my feelings re ex MM, I needed to hear this!! Thank you for giving me hope Lara, yes I can do this too or at least try to for my kids. Now that I have thought about it I don’t think I need to ask him, what difference will it make? This is how he has always been. As Felk says may be he drew lines to never take finances away from his W for an affair partner. Also Lara I am so proud of you, so incredibly proud of you, I’ll be happy if I become half as good a Mum as you. Thank you for your kind words and support, they helped me through a very tough time. Lots of love and hugs Xxxx
        Hope

        • BAF (aka Lara)

          Hope I so am happy my words can be of some help. You are in a tough situation for sure. Please find some friends you can be honest with. Believe me they will understand you are only human. We all are!

          Regarding your H’s behavior that’s a huge red flag as I am sure you know. Given his past behavior with you I have no doubt you did the right thing asking/telling him to leave. This is wise and good common sense.

          I am glad you are not currently sleeping with your exMM. This could pose problems for you on several fronts. You do not need the burden of second love attachment until you get clean away from your first (I mean your H). Am I making sense? Just put one foot in front of the other Hope and ASK FOR HELP!! I would urge you to find a very empathic (and maybe female) lawyer who is familiar with separation and divorce and find out some facts for yourself. Including whether you want to formally report your H’s behavior towards your child. If you have pictures save them. Documentation is everything. I learned how to keep a journal and to document questionable behavior on the part of my H. Maybe you want a separation that leads to a divorce. Maybe you want a temporary separation that gives your H a specific time frame to get professional help for his anger management issues. In any case you have a lot to think about and you are already tired from being a new Mom so give yourself a break. Go easy on yourself.

          In my case, my ex H was a real handful at times. Imagine a cocaine infused raging bipolar and you get the picture. Visits from him while my kids were young would always be extremely difficult for me. My affair began 6 months after I got separated from H and looking back I can see I felt (dreamed) my exMM was a sort of protective figure for me and for my young sons. My exMM was much bigger physically than my ex H, and of course with him working so close to my house I knew I could call him to help me if my H were to act up and try to harm me or my kids or my house etc.

          My affair was also sort of a mental and emotional distraction for me in the beginning and a way for me to cope with all that stress. Falling “in love” with my exMM seemed to make everything bearable. My life was hard as a single mother but seemed easier with “love”. This went on for a long time.

          You are wise to not have sex with the exMM now. This would make things very messy for you emotionally and maybe put you over the top. Also this is the very last moment in time you want to get caught in an affair by an H with anger issues! You do NOT want your H having any ammunition against you especially if it comes to a custody battle. So girl, be cool, be logical be strong. Act on your on behalf and on the behalf of your kids. Know that there are many single women have come before you and yes you CAN do it! The affair partner might be able to help in other ways at some point in the future but keep things really cool for now and just focus on you, your little ones, and what to do about your marriage! Much love, BAF aka Lara. xxxooo

          • Hope

            Hi BAF as usual your words have encouraged me and given me strength. You are such a strong woman with a very big heart and we are so lucky to have you and Felk on this forum. I took your advice on board, I had a maternal health nurse appt yesterday, she gave me a mental health test and I gave honest answers to the questions, didn’t hide anything. I got diagnosed with severe postnatal depression and as I can’t afford counseling I am on a government plan for cheaper counseling. Thank you for encouraging me. I do realise I need to get better to be able to care for my daughters. I told two of my friends today and they both reached out to me. I will ask for help as I need, thank you so much for encouraging me.

            You are absolutely right, complexity of the affair is the last thing I need right now. I haven’t had sex with mm for more than a year and am not planning to. I have learned to be smart from past experiences, have never met him at home, always in a public place.

            Regarding my H I am still scared to ask for divorce. He is a hard nut to crack. Once I am better and back on my feet may be I will. I am so sorry to hear about your ex H, yes he sounds like a handful! I am glad he is not in your life anymore.

            I can absolutely understand you seeing your mm as a protective figure I did that too. My ex Mm too although much older than me (33years older I think) is a much bigger and stronger man than my H. I can completely understand falling in love making things bearable but we know it comes with a huge price.

            You take care BAF I hope you have a fabulous weekend. Big hugs and lots of love to you xxxx
            Hope😊❤️

    • Lois

      Hey, Felk. I was reading your post and once again could relate to what you were saying. I have been battling the jealousy with female coworker who told me yesterday that she and MM were texting the night before and MM is planning to go to an event with all of us. MM new position at company (have not heard anymore about it) will be a supervisor over the female worker’s ex husband. The female coworker worked for MM when him and I worked together. She is a flirtatious person. She had told me about her going to contact him last week and she did but was not prepared for her to tell me they had texted again the night before. Considering is state of mind and me asking for weeks to meet with him, I really had my feelings hurt. It bothers me when I find out things through other people than MM. I really admire your approach to dealing with stuff like this…I am hoping to find a balance myself with it.

      Over the weekend, things with MM and I did not go well. We had been texting on Friday and then he MIA. I was worried that something had happened especially after the week of crap with ex-co-worker, so I was really worried. I texted him Friday and asked if everything was okay…not a heard until I sent another text and email expressing my concern. He said there was a major meltdown he had to deal with Friday. Then I saw on FB that it was sports appreciation night and guess what there was a family photo. The week had already been stressful and my anxiety was through the roof. I sent him a funny joke on Sunday to break the ice. I asked if we could possibly talk this week and he agree and stated we still needed to talk. So, I asked him if still wanted me in his life…guess this upset him because he replied why do you constantly ask me this? I was crushed…and tear rolled down my cheek because it hurt me. I would have to ask if his actions were not different than his words. I waited a few minutes and he replied that if the situation with us was too stressful he would not think any less of me for being done. I was so upset and did not what to think. He texted again that he understood the past few weeks had been horrible and apologized for it affecting me like it had with my anxiety issues. I told him that it had been stressful and needed to know how he felt. I was not done but it had been horrible week. I should have not contacted him and continued to give our situation some space but we really do need to talk about things. We have texted some the last couple of days. I told him that sometimes when we are both struggling it’s difficult. I told him that it meant a lot to me that you told me last week how I was the single most important person in his life because he does not communicate his feelings so when he does I know he means it. He replied he indeed did mean it and misses me. He agreed to meet with me on Thursday. Then the situation with female coworker happened yesterday and found myself pulling away from MM and being upset with him about it. I do not know maybe the affair is getting to be too much for me. I know, I am tired of hurting and being hurt. I am hoping we can get together tomorrow but also hoping that I can say what I am feeling instead of holding back out of fear it will upset him. I have to stand up for me and my feelings. However, the jealousy thing with coworker is not something that I feel needs to be discussed…that is my own insecurity as the our situation has not been unstable. Affairs are hard and lots of work!

      • Felk

        Lois, I know the frustration/sadness of finding out things about your MM through other people. That has been my experience for 6.5 years and it hasn’t changed. It has always hurt me, and made me feel like he I wasn’t important enough for him to tell me that thing. But, in my calm moments, I know that it is his issue and it is not that I am not important enough. It is that he is too scared to give up that control. (And, it’s SO much worse when the other person he’s texting with is flirtatious! That’s the same with my MM. The coworker who texts him tries to flirt with him. My MM is a bit flirtatious so I’m sure he loves the attention. I know he’s not into her, but it’s still hard to stomach because I don’t have the commitment from my MM that I’d need to feel zero jealousy.)

        But, in addition to those texts you have to deal with between your MM and that other woman, you have to deal with your MM’s texts over the weekend. Oh, do I understand. I know why you asked him if he still wants you in his life. I get you wanting that reassurance. For me and my MM, the question I have asked him repeatedly is “What do you want?” Like you, I want to hear that he wants the relationship with me. I think for you and I, it is that simple. I could say to my MM, “I want a relationship with you” and for me that means, “I will be in a relationship with you.” But, for my MM, I don’t think it’s like that. Just like your MM. Yes, he can say he wants you in his life, but that is not enough. My MM would say, “Yes, of course, I want a relationship with you but maybe we can’t have that.” I’m guessing your MM feels similarly. So, to them, “What do you want?” isn’t the question that matters. I think it’s more like, “What can we have?” or “What can work?” Took me a while to figure that out (and it’s still hard to shake the “what do you want?” question).

        I also get why “If the situation is too stressful for you…” hurt you. What you hear is that he’s giving up or that he wants you to give up. And then all you feel is fear that he wants it all to end. A few times during our break-up (when we were still in some in-between-who-knows-what), I expressed difficulty to my MM and he’d say something like, “If this is so difficult, then maybe we shouldn’t be doing it.” That really frustrated me. The first time he said it, I just got quiet and scared. The second time he said it, I challenged him on it. I told him that comment stifled the conversation. That it didn’t allow me to feel the freedom to express things that were difficult for me without the threat of him taking everything away. He seemed to understand and he backed off, but after that conversation I emailed him and said, “Remind me to say a little more about that conversation we were having today.” And what I planned to add the next time was, “If you can’t handle the difficulties I bring up then maybe we shouldn’t be doing this.” I was so tired of that threat. I haven’t said that to him yet, because I think he knew I was done with that threat. He may bring it up again, but I’m going to try very hard to say, “You know what? You’re right. Maybe we shouldn’t be doing this.” It is the fear that controls us. We are so scared of them taking away this affair that we are willing to give up too much and I’m trying very hard lately not to do that. I hope you can act without (too much) fear, too.

        I do hope you get to talk to your MM Thursday because it seems you want and need to. I don’t know if that talk will resolve much because it still seems like he’s in a mental place where he doesn’t know what he wants or, more accurately, what he can have. He will likely say some lovely things and some hard things. I hope you can express the things you feel and need without too much fear. I know that I always feel best when I’m able to do that, but I also know that I have not always done that with my MM. I am doing it more now than before, though. But that took a lot of space to get to this point, so I think that you and your MM still need a bit of space to let that fear and anxiety calm down for both of you. Baby steps, though. Although I know there is a lot to say, maybe you can also accept that you might not be able to say everything you want on Thursday. These are big things and it takes time. I often went into these conversations looking for resolution, but I have realized that’s not how it works. Neither one of you will say the one thing that solves it all or makes either one of you entirely comfortable. It just doesn’t work that way. But, if you can speak without too much fear, you will make progress – either progress towards a better relationship with him or without him (but progress nonetheless).

        And, yes, no need to bring up the jealousy about the coworker. That is tangential. Much bigger issues to address.

    • TTSP

      Hi Hope,
      I’m so sorry for the difficult times you’re facing. Life can be beautiful and incredibly hard which I guess forces us to really treasure the good times. People are really weird about money. I’ve heard of family members becoming estranged due to money. It can bring out an ugly side in everyone. I can’t speak to his financial obligations without totally speculating but I will say you can never depend upon anyone financially as an adult except your spouse. That’s just the way it goes. My ex mm didn’t do sh!t for me in terms of gifts and he would spoil his kids rotten. I used to think wow you can’t even shell out $30 for flowers on my birthday. I’m not going to lie, I was let down but the reality is he had no commitment or obligation toward me.

      I can see why you’d feel ignored and abandoned when he didn’t respond to your cry for help and instead sent you some message with sexual overtones. I wouldn’t say anything about the money. Remember that ever individual has their own definition of friendship and what they’re willing to give. Not everyone does and responds the way we do. It’s a tough lesson but our serenity is indirectly related to our expectations. I know you don’t want to hear this and I also struggle a lot with not reaching out during lonely, scary times…. he may not be the right person to depend upon when you’re struggling. I’d start with close friends and family members. I hope this helps and please reach out to this forum anytime.

  • Lois

    Today, I’m struggling and want to reach out to MM as it’s hard to give him space. I know it has to be because we all know he’s got to figure out things. He has been through quite a bit and looking back on the situation realize he doesn’t deal with life stressors. He recently told me he is suffering from some twisted PTSD and has been experiencing anxiety attacks. I’m hesitant to know the truth as I think back on the illnesses he has told others but never told me. I have been reflecting on the past three years we’ve been together and his guilt has remained consistent, so I do believe he has troubles with it. I can understand him going to church and feeling like a hypocrite. I don’t think neither of us expecting things to go this far or feelings to develop but they did and here we stuck trying to figure it out. However, I do think MM has issues other than being with me as he constantly has things going causing the situation with us to intensify his guilt. Or maybe he uses it as excuses. I do not know but trying to use this time to figure out what I’m willing to accept in order to remain in this complicated situation. Is it worth it? As Felk said, I already know the answer to my question about his priorities which I get his family and career should always come first. I do think his time is eliminated as having 4 children who are in sports, dance, cheerleading and the one of his triplets who has been diagnosed with torrents and learning disability. He also has to feel responsible for losing his job because of having an affair….I know it would bother me especially since his wife doesn’t work. I do think he has feelings for me it would be hard not to after being together for 3 years. I am really aggravated that we haven’t had time to talk but maybe he has been busy…maybe he’s not mentally ready to have that conversation…maybe he never will be. I’m really trying to give him space and today has been 2 days of NC. I’m really missing him but don’t want to contact as he knows I’ve asked for us to talk. He needs to decide if he’s willing to put forth the effort like he says he does and his actions reflect it. Right now. He says one thing but acts differently. He has to figure out if he wants this or not as I can’t keep carrying the both of us. It’s just so hard and it worries me that he may decide it’s not worth the effort. If that happens, I have to once in for all be done which is lots easier said than done but I’m building resilience which will help no matter how this plays out. I have to be willing to accept things as they are complicated, he doesn’t share his feelings and hides behind walls when life gives him trouble. I have to figure out what I’m willing to put up with but also need him to decide the same. Thanks for listening. It has kept me from wanting to text him for now on anyway. Lol.

    • Felk

      Lois, I know this struggle so very well. The strong pull to contact this person who you miss so much, but it’s the addiction. I am entirely certain of that. I know you have strong feelings for him, but my point is that the pull is not some indication that you should contact him. The pull is merely your brain addicted to that reward (and desperately wanting to make the pain go away), and you just need to let that calm down with some NC. It is really, really painful. It is withdrawal. I have no doubt that the physical and emotional withdrawal I felt for months after my MM wanted to end our affair in 2017 was comparable to drug withdrawal. I was emotionally and physically unwell for months. But my brain chemistry needed to calm down. I needed to reset after all of those dopamine highs.

      I know you are scared that he may decide it’s not worth the effort, but what other choice do you have? The depths of my misery for many months was that exact fear/sadness that I had lost this wonderful thing with my MM. I felt a void, a hole, for a long time. But, that’s what we need to go through. You can’t get over the addiction without going through the withdrawal. And it is a scary, horrible thing.

      As you talk it all through (which I encourage you to keep doing… that helped me a lot), you know the answers to your questions. You know that he needs space. You know that he knows how you feel (it helped me to hear BAF say that over and over). You know that he would set up a time to see you if he wanted to. You have listed all the reasons that his life is complicated and all the stresses on him (he was looking for a job… and his W doesn’t work outside of the home… and he has 4 kids… and one kid has health issues… and he has health issues). He has REALLY good reasons to need space and need to focus on his family and himself for now. The best advice I can give you is to give him that space, and let him come back to you if that is what he wants. And if he chooses that, you will be stronger than before. If you continue to try to keep him in the affair now, it will just put more pressure on him at a time when he can’t handle it. Isn’t that the most loving/caring thing that you can do? Give him space to handle it, and then he might be able to have the affair. The scary part, of course, is that he might not be able to… but you don’t know that for sure. What you know for sure is that, right now, he is not able to have the affair. I know you say you have to decide what you can put up with, but I don’t think it’s a matter of what you’re willing to put up with. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I’m not sure you are in that position. He’s dictating everything by giving near nothing. I think it’s past the point of you getting to decide what you’re willing to put up with, and it’s simply whether or not he wants to be in the affair. Now, sure, if you don’t want to give him that power to decide, you can just be done, but it does seem that you want to wait to see if he wants to be in the affair. It doesn’t seem that it’s a matter of what he’s able to give. It seems a matter of IF he’s able to give anything. And, for that, he needs space.

      It was a hard thing for me to understand in 2017 when my MM couldn’t do it any more. Things were fine (enough) for me in 2017 and I could still handle it, but I’ve been honest since and, if you’re honest, you probably need a break. I needed a break. I feel so much healthier now. I sort of knew it at the time but not really. I wanted to do anything to prevent our relationship from ending, but when he put the brakes on (and kudos to him), it was the best thing for us.

      Of course, I can say all of those things, but if the pull is too strong, you will contact him. You may need more signs from him that he cannot be with you the way you want before you really are able to give up trying. You may still be too hopeful to really let go. I get it. I think it will be less painful for you if you “choose” to let go before he makes you feel you have no other choice. But, I wasn’t able to “let go” until my MM said we needed to stop. I saw the writing on the wall yet I still held on until he crushed me. So, it’s not that I don’t understand how hard it is to let go, but, of course, from experience I say that it will be better for you if you choose to let go before he completely crushes you. BAF chose to let go, after many years, and I know she’s stronger for it… instead of waiting for him to dictate again. But, I guess you may need to “really” know that it’s time to give up before you do.

      • BAF

        Lois I am so sorry you are feeling this pain. But I have little to add to what Felk has just written. I think she is right on almost every point. And I do agree you have few options at the moment. To me, either you give him space and wait to see what develops, or you stop waiting any longer and begin to let go. The latter does not seem to be where you are at yet. At all. So really you can only give him space and back off. I too know how utterly painful that is. But what choice do you have if you still want the affair? You might think you will lose him forever by giving him space. But that is your brain addicted mind trying to trick you into contacting him. Your mind will play many such tricks on you like this. Your mind may even seem to torture you for awhile painting one dismal outcome after the next as if it is all true since you “thought” of it. But seriously our minds go a little crazy for awhile when trying to withdraw with affairs. Our denial and our lies to ourselves and even all the negative thought in the world all seem to ball up into one huge Gordian knot in our brains. Its actually quite normal so please try to do something other than think to much at this stage. Try to distract yourself and to not let your brain get the better of you. In most all cases we read about here on this blog. the affair partners always re-appear at some point. They re-surface. Either to say they love us or to say they miss us. Or to say they still feel ambivalent. Or to say we were so unreasonable. Whatever it is, they usually re-appear. That doesn’t mean it all works out happily ever after. But it means they simply do not vanish into thin air. Hardly. Ever. Yours will not vanish either. You two have been at this too long for that outcome.
        Hugs BAF. xxx000

        • Felk

          BAF, really like this: “…painting one dismal outcome after the next as if it is all true since you ‘thought’ of it.” JUST last night, I was thinking something similar to this as I let my mind wander to the possibility of my MM cheating on me with someone else. No real threat or anything. Just let my mind wander, and after I did that, I thought, “Wow, we can conjure up so many ridiculous scenarios in our minds that can really make us panic for no reason.” There is an irony to how our brains are our biggest asset and biggest threat during these times of anxiety and sadness. But, as you have said many times on here, you have to make conscious efforts to think positive and rational thoughts. You have to remind yourself of what you know is true instead of getting trapped in catastrophizing and thinking the worst, worrying about what might be, or thinking about what you should have done differently. It’s hard given all the pain, but making the conscious effort to move your brain away from the negative is a big part of the healing.

          And, Lois, I agree with what BAF says about your MM reappearing. He is unlikely to disappear completely. Yes, he may not “come back” in the way you want, but I don’t think you have to worry about losing him “forever.” And I say it that way because that’s one of the super negative places our mind can go. I know that was the case for me (even still working with my MM, I pictured him never talking to me again outside of work obligation), so hearing BAF remind me that my MM would not abandon me completely was helpful, too.

          • TTSP

            Surprisingly in all the crazy experiences I’ve read and gone through I have yet to hear of anyone ghosting. Maybe that has to do with the addictive nature that makes a resurgence more probable. When I was involved I contemplated whether I’d pull the ghost if we didn’t work together. I read that it’s fair game in an affair but the only time I’d take that approach is if I was involved with someone abusive. Anyhow, to reiterate BAF and Felk, he’ll come around. Remember that when you give someone space (respecting their wishes and not as punishment) you give them room to grow closer.

          • Lois

            Thanks everyone! This pas week has made me realize how complicated and crazy MM life has been and seems to be as the excoworker who caused him to resign from his job is at again. She found out he had accepted another job and had someone contact their HR. The company is scared of liability with him because of the doubt placed on his character. I’m just appalled at the evilness of this person who was once my dearest friend. MM and I have been in contact as he seems to need a friend right now and honestly that’s okay. I think we bother need save from the affair and his well being is what’s important. We have talked about things and he even asked if we could meet. I told him that it wasn’t a good for us right now because we need to tslk about things and right now he needs to focus on figuring things out. I was do proud of myself. He told me that I was the single most important person in his life and have been for awhile. Not sure what that means. Then last night he texted how he appreciates me. He is waiting to hear back from company about job. He found out through someone who works there about the allegations taken to theit HR who called and told him they needed amother security background check before his start date. So it’s kind of a waiting game as he already signed the contract so he thinks they maybe looking for loophole to get out of it. Regardless of what happens with our affair, I know you are right and he won’t totally vanish from my life. We have been quite a bit and want nothing but happiness for him as well as myself. We shall see what happens but right now we both need to a break from the affair. Thanks ladies!

          • BAF

            Felk,
            Yes what dismal pictures our mind can paint when we are in affairs. Essentially we are at risk in these relationships and deep down in our psyches we know it. We know an affair is a dangerous and forbidden thing….enticing but potentially devastating. Devastating emotionally, psychologically and otherwise. It is all part of the attraction of the affair: living life on the edge. So sometimes, obviously, when there is a quiet moment, our minds conjure up dark images. Maybe we are out of touch for the MM for a few days or maybe it is a holiday. We spend some time alone and our minds start chattering at high volume. Dark thoughts. Our thoughts are maybe incorrect but our minds are trying to get our attention. “Red flag!” our minds are telling us. These messages are really coming from a deeper part of ourselves: our inner psyches.
            We think maybe the MM will cheat for example.
            This does not mean he or she will cheat or not. Not literally. But it does tell us we are off balance emotionally in the affair and that we are vulnerable.
            Is love supposed to feel like this? We each have our won definitions of what love is and how it should feel. We each follow our hearts…

            Anyhow I knew this type of mind chattering with bad images and fear for many years in my affair. It was all part of the affair.
            I was constantly thinking about him cheating for years until finally I did not care anymore. But this took me years. I went and out of thoughts like that until finally a couple of years ago, I saw my exMM holding hands on my street with his W. Then all hell broke loose in my mind and heart. It was not a logical thing. It was just me being at total overload with being in an affair. I just could not bear him being married anymore. It felt like someone was stabbing me straight in the heart. It was at this point I finally wanted him to make up his mind (me or her?).

            You sound like you are happily married and feeling quite secure with your MM. This is the best scenario of course. You do not want him to leave his W and you do not want to leave your H. Simple. This gives you quite a bit of power of course and so you are working at “making it work” with your MM. You are using logic and reason to help you navigate the terms. However there are moments when your mind goes crazy. Your mind goes wherever it wants. Deep down your psyche feels some fears and worries that express themselves in your mind with thoughts that are very difficult to push out of your head. This happens to all of us.
            Oh I have been through this again and again and again.
            Our minds are warning us really. The problem is: in affairs things never calm down really. I got used to this state of unease…or I sort of got used to it. My psyche was never convinced totally but I just ignored it. An affair is always uneasy even when its great. It is always scary and risk-taking even at its best. This is how I justified my actions to myself. So our minds try to warn us with chattering insecure thoughts but do we listen? Well I sure never listened until years and years had passed. I did get very good at ignoring my thought however. LOL. But now in retrospect I can see my (love) affair clearer and clearer. All that it was and all that it was not. I say love affair because indeed I was deeply “in love”. But affair love is unlike any other love.
            Hugs BAF
            xoxo

          • Felk

            Lois, that’s some extreme behavior from your coworker who led to your MM’s resignation. She had someone contact their HR department about him? Wow. Are you sure you know the whole story about what happened with your MM and this coworker because that’s some pretty extreme behavior to call another HR department about someone? But, yes, that’s just more stress for him. I’m sure he just wants that all behind him, and it’s not. And I’m sure he still worries it will reach his W and family.

            I know you are happy/relieved that your MM is contacting you, even if it is simply for support. Of course, the hard part is that you are there for him, once again, when he is rarely there for you when you need it. I know you are choosing this, but it will take an emotional toll on you.

            I’m also a bit confused about why you did not choose to meet up with him. Have you made a decision to not see him for some period of time? Is it because he was implying sex? Last week you wanted him to ask you to meet up and now you don’t? You say that you need to talk about things with him, so were you thinking that meeting up meant something other than talking? Or was your MM suggesting meeting up to talk about his stresses and his life, and you did not want to take that on while the two of you have “us” things to talk about? If that is the case, good for you. But just trying to get some clarification as to why you didn’t take him up on his offer to meet.

            And, of course, I know you like to hear when your MM says you are the single most important person in his life, but please try to be very careful with those words and make sure that his actions back that up. I know it is a really lovely thing to hear (really, really lovely), but if you were the single most important person in his life, wouldn’t he be treating you a lot differently?

            Are you really ready to take a break?

          • Felk

            BAF, you understand it well. And, yes, the reason our mind conjures up these scenarios is because we have that deep-down insecurity about the relationship. Now, in any “normal” relationship your mind can wander and you can get irrational at times, but in affairs, it happens much too often. We come up with these scenarios not because our MM are cheating on us but just because there’s a void where that information should be. Because we know so little about where they are and what they’re doing and our brain fills in those blanks. And it often fills it in with “normal” rational explanations but, of course, there is also room for scary explanations, too. The point is that there is that room because we are not central in their lives and we do not have that information. It’s also that we don’t have the security that they will always come back to us, so it’s easy to come up with scenarios that they are choosing to leave.

            It is indeed a warning sign from your brain that something is not right. But, how can it feel right? It is a part-time relationship. You get a piece of a person. And that’s not what we’re used to. That’s not what we expect. My mind conjures up few irrational scenarios about my H. But, yet, as you point out, we accept this ever-present feeling that something is not right because the highs are so good. And, my goodness, does it make us vulnerable. I think that is the hardest part for me. I don’t feel vulnerable constantly, but I feel it much too often for my liking (yet I keep choosing to continue).

            I am happily (enough) married and feeling relatively secure with my MM, but as we’re saying, it’s never as secure as I’d like it. I don’t want to leave my H and I don’t want him to leave his W, but I don’t feel much power still. I think that’s the nature of the situation, too. And, yes, I feel calm and trusting and accepting, but that unease deep-down is ever present. It hasn’t gone away in 6.5 years. Sometimes it’s weaker than others, but it’s always there. And, it is exactly as you say… you get used to it. It feels normal. The “funny” part is that I knew I was feeling better in my affair this past year when the “unease” was just the normal unease as opposed to the misery of the months right after our break up. Like, I can actually make a distinction between bad anxiety (the 6 months after the break up) and “normal” affair anxiety that I have felt at some level throughout all of this.

            Like you, I mostly ignore the unease unless it gets bad (like it did over Thanksgiving for example). It is interesting to consider the relief I would feel if this affair were just gone entirely, but, of course, I’m nowhere close to that. The sadness of not being in love with him is not (yet) worth that relief to me.

          • lois

            Hey, Felk. I have to agree that the ex-coworker has gone to extreme with her revenge for MM. She had gone so far after him resigning that she stole some things from his office and led administration to believe he did it. After she left, the items were discovered in her office and on her computer hard drive. Since we were friends, I know most of the story as to what happened between. So, I do believe her involvement plus another friend who works at the company confirmed that it did happen. Luckily, it seems the company is going to go ahead and hire MM despite her actions. Wow…she is an evil person! There were a couple of reasons for not wanting to meet with MM. First, I think him and I need to have a serious discussion about things and not meet because he is going through an emotional time and wants to talk. I want time to talk about “us” and right now he is not in a good mental state. Secondly, he had implied more than just talking and again, we need to talk about things before that happens. I want time to talk about us not to talk about the newest drama in his life or have to sex…we need to talk but he also needs to figure things out. You are right his actions speak differently than his words which is something that I want to talk about. I do appreciate him expressing his feelings because he does not do that very often. I do believe him but also believe his comment about being emotionally damned. I would very much like to see him but under the right circumstances not because he needs emotional support or sexual companionship. I have asked for weeks for us to talk about things and for right now I am okay with holding my own and standing up for my feelings. I do not want him to think that he can do me the way he has for weeks and I drop everything because he now whats to talk or possibly have sex. Hope this makes sense.

          • BAF

            TTSP Is ghosting the same as going FULL no contact? I am wondering about this. I would think the only one to ghost in an affair would be the one leaving who wants to cut off all contact for good. This is always the final advice given to people trying to leave affairs FOR GOOD but how many of us do it forever I wonder? I did full no contact for FIVE years. No words did we speak. I think even though I did go back into the affair I got VERY strong over those five years on my own. I did not realize this until recently. The longer I go in “no contact” mode the stronger I always get. I think this because when I am forced to find happiness and pleasure in other ways (when there is no affair), my brain registers and remembers those ways internally on some deep level I might not even be conscious of. Now whenever I am in distress over “losing him” I can remember those other ways and I can still be happy. No, not the high of my affair, no. Just ordinary pleasure and happiness, a milder less intoxicating version. At first it’s an acquired taste. Then it starts being the new normal!
            Hugs BAF xxx000

          • BAF

            Lois Again I think Felk has made all the points I would want to say about your situation. I, too, really wonder what went down btwn your ex-coworker and your MM. To me the behavior speaks of being extremely hurt, angry (enraged?), disappointed, jealous, vengeful and more about whatever happened between them. Did he ever make promises to her I wonder of a job nature? I think you might have mentioned this. No doubt, she sees him as having caused her significant misery in her life for her to lash out like this. I dont know if he can legally protect himself from her in some way in the future but if she is might be guilty of libel? I have no idea.

            Anyhow, I can’t help but think about you, too. IMHO you need to watch out that he does not hurt you too deeply as well. I may be wrong in my assumptions but given her actions these are my reactions. I have always thought her reaction to him was perhaps a red flag for YOU. Of course it is never only one person that causes the problem but two. But look how much damage her actions towards him have done to his own career. And yet he brought it on himself by getting involved with her. That was HIS choice. No matter how unreasonable she might be, how unfair she might be, she is now making his life hell on purpose for in her mind she was truly wronged by him. This is food for thought.

            Yes the MM needs your friendship right now. It is not wonder as he surrounded by people he can not trust and unsure of his next move. But as Felk said, this could drain you. Beware! These are not your problems. They are his to deal with. If he is now awaiting another security check I would imagine he is pre-occupied all over again.
            When he asked to meet you was it for sex do you mean? This would seem like a huge jump for him, so I ask. At any rate I think saying “No” was wise on your part.
            You say “I want nothing but happiness for him as well as myself.” I am always struck by how generous this on your part. How loving and kind this is. That says everything about YOU.
            Just remember, treating him so well is no guarantee whatsoever you will get him to do the same for you. This was one huge mistake I made in my affair again and again.
            Hugs BAF

          • Felk

            Lois, you sound much stronger and more sure in this post than you have for the last few weeks. And I hope you take that as I intend it, not to suggest that you sounded weak before, but you just sound stronger. There is a resolute in your words that sounds really good (for you).

            I think it is exactly as you say… you two have things you need to work about about your relationship before you can be there for his emotional issues (with his job and life and whatever else) and certainly before you have sex again. We all know the sex is great, but I cannot stress how happy I am that I had several conversations about “us” with my MM at the end of last year before we had sex. He was at my house four times (in addition to many happy hours after work) across a few months before we had sex. Yes, we fooled around a bit (of course), but it was important to me to talk through a lot of the lingering issues (and mostly, “Um, how are you okay with this affair again? What is different now from a year ago when you wanted to stop?”). As you say, you have repeatedly told him that you need to talk, and now you want to see him respect that need and not simply want to talk because HE has things he now needs to talk about or because he’s missing you and wants sex. I can hear it in your words that you know it’s important to get this from him before you can move forward in this relationship. It was hard for me to not have sex with my MM, but I knew that I would rather not have sex at all than have sex with him again and feel like crap after (like I did last January when we had sex and he was all confused and distant after). And, as you know, when you demand respect for yourself, you are much more likely to get it. (And, of course, if you demand respect for yourself and you don’t get it, then you do not want a relationship with that person.)

            It is exactly as you say in your last sentence. He doesn’t get to treat you this way and then think he can just pop back in for sex or because he needs to talk about his latest life crisis. My MM is good about respecting my need to talk so I do think there are differences with our MM, but I do feel sometimes that my MM is less there for me than I am for him. Like he wants emotional exchanges between us mainly on his terms. I won’t go too far with that because he does agree to plenty of talks when I want to express, but there are times it feels like he is trying to keep the emotional stuff on his terms and his timeline, and that can be frustrating. But I think your MM does this even more than my MM does. And I hear that you’re trying to stand up against this and be clear about your needs and how he needs to respect that, too. How it can’t be all about his feelings and his drama. How, as an adult in a relationship, he has to be there for you, even when it’s inconvenient, sometimes.

            And, I’ll just say, obviously, I don’t know what happened with that coworker and your MM beyond what you’ve told us. I also don’t know either of those people. But, I generally find that relationships aren’t one way and bad behavior isn’t one way. It does seem that your coworker is being vindictive and is out make your MM suffer. If she really did steal things from his office and try to suggest that he did, that’s pathological. But, you know I am left to wonder if he wronged her in some way that you don’t really know about? I guess just from all the things you’ve told us about how he’s thrown coworkers under the bus and he’s lied, too, I’d have some caution about your MM as well.

      • Lois

        Hey, all. There is more history with MM and coworker that hasn’t been shared because it’s a long drawn out mess. MM and excoworker had about 3 month affair and he was supposed to leave his wife but couldn’t do it because of the kids. She told me this which I understood having 4 young kids at home and wife who is from another state. The wife would have left with kids and gone back to her family, so I understood. She never could. She also wanted another baby and her H at the time didn’t want another child. She found out he was messing around with her friend and MM was having issues at home too. He has a daughter and set of triplets all under age 8 at this time. MM supposedly told her that he was okay if she got pregnant. Honestly I’m not sure if this was true because he said having another child was out of the question. I do know excoworker has a tendency to hear exaggerate and hear what she wants. She really does have those issues. Her and her husband went through the divorce because the H found out about MM. However, the two of them reconciled the day of divorce and decided to use them being divorced to file bankruptcy on credit card debt from her previous marriage. She was married when she met her current husband. So there is lots to the story and who knows the truth…who knows of their affair ended after she got back with her husband. I do know her hatred grew but I truly believe that is how she dealt with letting him go…she convinced herself that he was evil so she turned to hate. About a month ago, she apparently interviewed for job at company where MM got job but she didn’t get it. She knew someone who worked there that got her the interview. Well, I didn’t realize a lady who works with me husband works there and told company she wouldn’t be good fit as his wife worked with her and she caused lots of drama. Knowing this makes sense, she thought once again he took something from her that should have been hers…the job. However, he had nothing to do with it. It was her inability to get along with people. I had no clue until all of this happened over the summer how people disliked her. I get along with everyone and known for speaking my mind but never had a clue. So that’s the background on the situation.

        As far as being stronger, I feel that way but have my moments. We texted Friday and talked about meeting up. Then he went MIA again. I worried that something had happened and texted twice then emailed. He finally got back with me and said there was a bad meltdown at his house. Then I saw on Facebook there was a school event where his daughter was recognized and they were there as family. So I have my doubts. I’m trying to stay strong and keeping all of things he has said in the back of my mind about being emotionally damned or me being the single most important person…which is it. I would like to be with him sexually but know it would be the same crap. It already has with his mia. I texted him yesterday and told him things happen and it was my own fault for worrying and caring and how being like that is a curse at times. I am upset bevause if he knew there was a a school event why insinuate a chance of us getting together. Then lying and saying there was a meltdown. He has told me before he had school events. I don’t know…just another piece of the puzzle. As I said, I’m trying to sort things out. I do want to talk but need some time because right now I’m upset and don’t want to react on emotions. I have asked for weeks for us to talk and his life seems to have too much drama which is another consideration. It does get to be too much and especially when it’s not reciprocated. Thanks for listening and will kept you posted.

  • Kub

    Hello there!

    How is everyone doing?
    I know it has been a long time I was here but I have never stopped thinking of you! I hope you are all fine.
    I want to say… It was definitely not an easy year for me, 2018. Still trying to leave behind the marks and the scars of feelings and memories….
    unfortunately I am not able to say everything is on the order but I can say that I grew up 🙂
    It is so true that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Going through all that pain and dark times made me stronger even without I could realize. Anyway.
    I don’t want to speak too much about the past or my old relationship but more I want to hear from you!

    Kub

    • Felk

      Hi Kub, wow, long time. Good to hear from you. Good to hear that you feel stronger, but I understand not entirely being whole yet and not wanting to talk too much about that past relationship still. Not talking about it is a way to move on. You know I know how painful these break-ups can be. It’s misery. If I’m remembering correctly, I think you were considering moving to another country? Did that happen or is that still in the plans? (Or maybe I’m confusing you with someone else on here!)

      As for me, it took me about 9 months after the Sept 2017 “break-up” for me to really feel myself again. There are still rough patches (and I still find myself getting stuck in “if only I had…” type thinking), but for the most part things are a lot better. My MM and I stayed “friends” through all the badness of the break-up. That was pain and struggle for both of us, but we wanted to stay friends. Staying friends meant more than just a professional work relationships but A LOT less than before. We cut out so much communication (no chatting online, much less texting, less email) and we spent less time together, but we’d still go for a drink here and there and we would even hang out at night once in a while. That led to moments of closeness and touching as you’d expect, but he maintained that he did not want to go back to the way it was, that it was too overwhelming for him. Slowly, though, of course we got closer and closer again until, over the last few months, we’re back in the affair (by some definition). We had sex in December and I know it will happen again soon enough. We have shared with each other that we are still in love and still want a relationship together, but he still does not want the intensity of before as he said that level of closeness was too inconsistent with the reality of our lives and it felt bad too often. So, for now, this is working for us. We’ve found a balance. We text a little. We email a little. We see each other at work, of course, and it’s all back to normal pretty much at work (except that I stop by his office a lot less than I used to). I’m trying to give him the space he asked for because I want this to work, and he continues to show that he wants it to work, too. It’s still hard. I don’t want to act like it’s all good. There are things that are better now than before (my expectations are lower so I’m disappointed and feel rejected less often and I’m less anxious about it all in general), but I miss him. I miss all the time we had before. He and I both said it felt “better” before (spending all that time together), but we also know that led to the great badness that wasn’t working for him. So, we try this, and we’re in a pretty good place (for now).

      • Kub

        Hello Felk

        Yes, long time but I have never forgotten you 🙂
        You remember very correctly, but I could not move out because of my education. However hopefully this year I will get it through!

        Honestly all this time you were the one I was curious the most. Because I also said this to you earlier, too, how can you manage? Are you sure the definitions hold for you both at the same time? You made dozens of explanations 🙂 But still… And also today, I feel like I saw somethings in your words… And if you do not mind, I really do not want to cross the lines but I hope you know that we want the best for each other… I would like to ask you that, do you realize that your relationship is costumed according to him…?
        I see that it is his words every time who wants to keep things less than before, yes you share the love, the feelings but he puts the boundaries between you. You suffer on this side of relationship, think like this, if he really could keep the distance between you, I think you would be gone so much before. But he comes to you, there is communication more or less and also physical closeness and you say it will happen again….
        But he says he want to keep the distance. What bothers me the most is that the lines are drowned between you by him. I may be mistaken, maybe it is you who draws the lines and tells him to stay in a distance. Or I may be the one who gets thing wrong. But is there any other possibility?
        Cause if there is, than it means that this man is not… How can I put the words more delicately, this man is not the person you might think.
        I always adored you. The way you seize things, your patience, understanding and all of the others. That is why I always get skeptical for this man in your life. I would be happy to hear that this distance exist because you want. Not because he wanted and you go along with it. Because you say you miss him, you seem you are in pain. Than he should stay away from you so you can heal yourself but as long as this continues you will be in pain. It will not get better.

        So… I hope you can be the one who decides for yourself, not him. Or I hope I am getting wrong all of these. Because if not than that may even mean that he is using you. That is a case I really wish would be untrue.

        • Felk

          Kub, you say a lot of things that are right. I don’t think you are reading my words wrong. I think you understand that I miss him and that I wish we had more, but having more wasn’t working. Yes, he prefers more distance than I do, but I want to make the affair work. I would MUCH rather have him in my life in the way he is now than nothing at all. I am a MW. I have a H and a good life. I understand that my MM is trying to balance his marriage and his kids with our affair. I understand that since I don’t have kids (and I don’t have as much guilt about the affair) that it was easier for me. He needed more space to balance his marriage with our affair. It doesn’t hurt me to know that. Really. I am not jealous of his W. I know my MM loves me and would rather be with me than her. I know he stays with her because of the kids. I also know that, since he’s come back to our affair, it is clear he wants this relationship with me.

          So, I understand why you worry that I’m giving up more than I should or that he is drawing lines that I don’t want. Yes, I want more closeness, BUT he gets to draw lines and I get to decide whether or not those lines work for me. We’re in an affair. It’s not clean. It’s not easy. When we spent more time together, it made him feel worse about his marriage/family and about missing me. He couldn’t continue the affair that way. So, how can I ask him for more closeness if gives him so much tension and anxiety? I don’t want him to feel that way. He talks to me honestly and openly (especially when I ask), and he tries to be fair to me. If I thought he was treating me badly, I would tell him.

          Now, I feel less anxious and insecure. I feel more calm and trusting of our relationship since he came back to me. I see the effort that he is putting in to maintain our relationship. Even though we don’t talk as much as before, he does enough to show me that he is still very in love. We probably got too selfish and too caught up in the addiction of the affair and it got out of control. It wasn’t good for either one of us. Affairs are a mess as we all know, so he and I are trying to do this better now.

          I am not in pain. I am strong again. Do I miss him? Yes. But that is inevitable in an affair. I like what he and I have, and, even if we cannot spend more time together, that is okay with me. As long as he keeps making it clear that he is in love with me and is putting effort into our relationship, I am good with what we’re doing.

          I definitely do not mind your words and your concern. Everyone on here has helped me so much, and I always like thinking things through.

    • BAF (aka Lara)

      Hi Kub,
      So nice to hear from you! I am really glad you came back and checked in. It sounds like you have experienced all the ups and downs of a topsy turvy “growth” year. That is good news! I totally understand you when you say you are “Still trying to leave behind the marks and the scars of feelings and memories….”
      Leaving these things behind when we are ready feels like the right thing in fact! Yes pain will not kill you and yes pain can make you stronger.
      I say this with complete confidence as my year has been full of losses.
      I have had three very close family members pass away in a 9 month period, my son move away, my therapist move away, knee surgery, a broken foot and more this year.
      Just one crazy thing after the next.
      And I left my exMM after an abusive conversation we had in July before my Dad died. This was the day I finally saw his narcissism plain as day.
      Now I have a new “friend with benefits” relationship and I am trying to put my life back together a little at a time. There is much to celebrate. For one thing my son who moved away is now engaged and I have gotten to spend time away from my block and my state in another state far away from my troubles and in a new world. I am also enjoying this new casual relationship for what it is: friendship with benefits. No strings. No pressure. No deep intense love feelings. Just having a nice time together and being reasonably attracted to each other :). And then going home and having lots of personal space and grieving space which I need badly at this point. With all the losses I have had I can still see that life goes on and we do keep encountering new opportunities to live and to enjoy life! Hugs BAF/Brave and Free (aka Lara)
      xoxo

      • Kub

        Hello Lara

        I am so happy to see your post ! I can’t tell how sorry I am for all the pains you had to cover. Especially when it is family… I think sometimes life shows us that there are many other things than the ones that we focus the most. Of course not to compare with yours but just trying to do some empathy, when I had different problems I had to concentrate on the other ones and I d spend less time to think of my MM. Sure, for you situation you even needed more support but if you could survive in those times than what is the limit? I think it is way more up now.
        It is one thing to suffer that you can not be in a real relationship with the man you love,but the other and the worst thing is hating him. Seeing that a person that matters you the most, can be an ass, especially an ass to you! That is the worst. The disappointment. Realizing that you were the one who had always more mercy, tenderness, kindness…
        But I am really happy to hear that you have a relationship with really normal expectations, or maybe no expectation at all!
        I believe that the best thing in a relationship can being casual. Just casual. Spending some time, enjoying the company, engaging activities…
        So I think it seriously what does not kill you makes you stronger. And it seems that in your case it make you hell of a rock !

        • BAF (aka Lara)

          Thank you for the response Kub! Yes losing three very close family members and a 21 year affair in a matter of 9 months has been excruciating. Most often I don’t feel I can mourn it all at once. So one day I am morning one thing then the next day something else. This period has been a real kick in the butt for me in many ways.

          But I DO see hope actually. And I ‘feel’ it, even better. This is something that is rather shocking to me. I honestly did not know I had it in me. This “strength” as you call it. I am not sure where this thing comes from. But feeling some joy in the midst of all this loss I know I want to go on living and growing. That makes me feel a great deal of quiet confidence I must say.
          One thing is for sure:
          without the affair clouding my time and energy it has been MUCH easier to be present to my sons, siblings and family members in the process of grieving our mutual losses. And I am being much more engaged with both of my sons in a way that feels good to me. It is hard to explain but I know you will feel me on this. In my affair my “presence” and “availability” were down for a reason that was hidden. My moods were up and down but no one ever knew “why”. Now out of the affair it is a huge relief to be able to be more consistent with those I love. I feel so much less guilt and so much more honesty in my self. And I realize others DO love me. They loved me when I was moody. And they love me more balanced now. They simply loved me. And I always loved them too.

          When I was in my affair my primary question for years was: “Does he “Love” me?” “Doe he?????” And if yes, then “Why can’t he say it to me?” “What is wrong with me that he does not say I love you?”
          Really this question haunted me day and night as if the answer mattered. In fact the answer did not matter. Not nearly as much as I thought. Talk is cheap. And I never even considered that maybe nothing was ever wrong with ME.
          It is actions and behaviors that really count in “love”. My exMM let me down in all kinds of ways so much so that I got used to being let down. Not only in my affair but in other places. My career. My life in general.
          The actions of my exMM were so often arrogant and self-centered but I thought it was my job to overlook and forgive as much as possible. But I took those qualities way too far and started too lose my ability to define myself and to protect myself. This is why I say him saying the words “I love you” or not really did not matter. What really counted is how I changed….how I morphed into a woman with less and less strength and more and more dependency on a dysfunctional “love” relationship.
          The question always should have been: “How is this relationship affecting ME? Am I better person for my it? How? Am I stronger in myself or weaker in myself? How and why?
          Is this man good for me and my life? Why?” etc etc

          You are so right about this part: “Seeing that a person that matters you the most, can be an ass, especially an ass to you! That is the worst. The disappointment. ” OMG I can not even explain how that feels. Very bad is all I can say. Yes disappointment huge. But even worse was my constant constant trying to be merciful, forgiving. loving, turning the other cheek ad nauseam to keep our relationship going. I was the mistress so I thought I had to do everything “better” than “her” (the wife). I thought I could not afford to show my true feelings, my angers, annoyances, my bad days….so many things….
          I thought I had to be so perfect. I never stopped to ask myself what toll this perfectionism was taking on my own psyche. I ignored myself. Simple really. Just deny myself to myself and make his needs more important since he was the married one. After all I was single right? He had more priorities right? This is how I was thinking. I thought I was being “fair” but really I was almost always more fair to him than to me.

          I really think we women are urged in a million and one ways by our society and culture at our most cellular level to act this way when we are ” in love”. At least that is what my dear Father taught me again and again and again. And my two other close relatives that passed. They said “keeping a good man” requires “skill”. I was taught to not say too much in love. To not rock the boat. To not express myself too freely. To be loving kind forgiving merciful and on and on and on. But to bite my tongue and think first not react. All words I took too seriously and I do feel many women do too.

          And yes: now I have a new “relationship” if you want to call it that
          with really normal expectations, or maybe no expectation at all. It is not addicting because the high is not as high as the affair was. But the great thing is the low is not as low either. I really do not want to be “in love” at this point in my life if the truth be told.
          I just want simple pleasures and kindness.
          To be present with people in my life without (!) having to also be some kind of super woman all forgiving romantic sex Goddess to a man hidden from view. Even thinking about that role exhausts me now.

          Am I one hell of a rock? LOL. Maybe in your eyes. Mine don’t really see it that way. Mine see I had to wave the white flag and surrender. But then in that process I became emotionally FREE!
          And like I have always said here, oh how I LOVE my Freedom. I love being free to be ME! Not some perfect mistress I dreamed up. But free to be me myself all my flaws and all. It does take bravery yes. Thats why I say Brave and Free (BAF). I would say I am not sure if I am a “rock” in strength but I DO know I am brave. I do take huge risks sometimes. And they do pay off sometimes! In fact at times I can be rather fearless. 🙂

          Stay in touch Kub! We are here for you if you need help! In the meantime get to know and love the real YOU. we are all special and unique with hundreds of wonderful qualities. Get to know yours!

          Hugs BAF (aka Lara). xxxooo

          • Kub

            Do you know what hit me the most between the words you say… The responsibilities, the expectations from women in this society. I do not care it this is called as feminism and considered as old-fashion but I can not agree more with you.
            It doesn’t necessary to be with a MM; in marriages, in most of the relationships there are some unwritten codes for women. You must keep the man (!). It doesn’t matter how great person you are, if you do not sleep with him, if you can’t satisfy him enough than he looks for more in others.
            I hate this sick idea. Yes. there is a fact that some relationships are just rebound kinda type. But this direct definitions for women sickens me a lot.
            What is wrong with being you? Showing your weaknesses? Showing your anger? Is it too hard for men to love a woman in a way that she is? Why do we have to behave so we can make them happy and stick with us?
            You are so right, I have felt the same thing for a very long time. I had to be better than his wife. So he can see he is with the wrong person. I had to be better than her so I can feel valuable. Irgh. I am mad at me at that times but unfortunately you need to go thorough this phase at first and later you can realize such a fool you are. I am mad at me because I compared myself with a woman so irrelevantly, I put meaningless expectations to myself! I had to cook better, I had to be cleaner, I had to love more and I had to be better at sex ! So he can chose me eventually…
            Oh my god. It was so exhausting. I just wanted to be me and be loved as being me. I think every women need that and that is the most honest and pure version of love.

            Anyway… I am so happy for your current mood. If I were you I would try to be myself as much as possible. That tangled relationships will not make us happy in long term.

            You have the hope for all of us 🙂 Hold on to it !

          • BAF

            Yes Kub:
            I like this “I just wanted to be me and be loved as being me. I think every women need that and that is the most honest and pure version of love.” I am realizing that nowhere in my upbringing or society did I ever get that message. But this what I wanted too. Very badly.
            All the right words are said in our culture that sound very feminist and pro-women but in truth in love relationships, in marriages, in affairs, and especially btwn the sheets it just never felt true to me at all.
            The “He” was always first! And I love your words: “if you do not sleep with him, if you can’t satisfy him enough than he looks for more in others.” This is sad but true. This gets us women unto a subtle war with each other over how to be “the best of the best” and get and keep the man. To me, no matter how an affair starts, eventually a long-term mistress like I was is a pawn in this game of a war.
            As mistress I was the one he could use as proof that he “found better.” I was that proof to my exMM, But I did not ever get the full benefit off his time and his life. I lived on tiny bits of his stolen time. So as mistress I feel like I worked and worked so hard to be the “best” loving, sexy, sexual, patient. kind, etc etc. but in fact I got back very little in the large scheme of things.

            I was hearing how she was a “bitch” at home and how they barely had had sex for years. How they were strangers in the bedroom and he had stayed only for the kinds. And who knows some of it might have been true. Some might have been exaggerated. The man I knew (my ex MM) I could definitely see causing some of his own problems at home. He is not a clear or direct communicator. He does not always handle stress well. He goes into solitude to nurse his wounds. He has some deeply hidden sexist philosophies. And of course he is arrogant. SO maybe he contributed to his own unhappiness is how I see it now.
            So maybe some of the wives of the MM’s here get disgusted with their H’s or wish they were more helpful at home etc. So maybe they sit down and try to talk with their H’s and what do some of these men do in this situation? If this strife goes on for awhile in the home, they might look to have an affair.
            In the beginning of my affair I felt like I got the better end of the deal with my exMM. I figure she good do his laundry and I could do the romance and sex. I’ll admit it was not very nice of me. But over the years I just realized that our culture really favors men’s needs over our own and we women know it in our bones.
            I think it was TTSP who said she was tired of a situation where he MM got 100 per cent from two women while she got ten percent from one man. YES.
            That is why I so much want to be Free to Be Me! Oh, Let me find a man who values Me for Me.
            Hugs BAF
            xxx000

    • TTSP

      Hi Kub,
      I haven’t been visiting this page as often as I used to but I still check in from time to time. I’m doing well this year. I’d say I spent the last six months in 2018 grieving him, the circumstances and coming to terms with the fact that it’ll never be what I truly want and desire. I had a slip up this year but rebounded and didn’t let it weigh me down. We both agreed that it’s absolutely best not to engage in a romantic anything. I think me going out on dates messed with his head too much and we finally got on the same wavelength. It’s just too painful (I speak for me and my ex mm) to have feelings for someone you can’t date honestly and openly. Still, the addiction creeps up and I hunger for the amazing intimacy we had. Either way I know in my heart that I’d prefer a real relationship with some chemistry than over the top chemistry with an attached man. It took me from July 2018 through Dec 2018 when we were on and off to emotionally detach and I’m still only 85% there. I’m happier and healthier now. Do you want to tell us a little more about your situation? If not, understood and glad that you posted and took away some learnings from it all.

      One of my close girlfriends was involved with an attached man at work for a few years when she lived in the same city as me. She came back to visit and we were both commiserating and joking about the unbearable stress of it all. I have no regrets bc I discovered a lot about myself but I’d never go there again.

      • Kub

        Hello TTSP

        I see the time is the best, not fast but it makes you heal eventually. I have no example of my relationship around me, it has advantages and disadvantages. It means that where noone around me that can really understand what I have been through but also that means there is less people who can consider these kind of relationships normal or acceptable lets say.
        What can I say… I think my wounds healed relatively. I do not feel hate of anger. I do not blame him or myself. I feel love, I am not sure if this is good or bad. But more independent love, what I feel.
        I also shared this with him. This does not mean that I do not suffer because of this relationship but it means now I can live my life more with me. I am more in the center and even if I my far faaarrr… away… I think I can keep going on. I am sure he can do that, by the way.
        It is like we hurt each other really deeply. We bleeded. And now we are tired but more calm. We are less aggressive for fights but for the love also. I am not sure if us or our love is getting matured, we left hurting each other at least.
        Actually I realized that he has feelings, too. He has things that he can not change. Do not get me wrong, I do not have piety for him or I am not creating excuses for him. But I know some part of him would want to be with me, however he can’t. So I saw his misery and forgave him. But without letting go of my life, or prioritizing him more than myself… So I stopped causing him pain, on purpose.
        I defined my expectations in life. And positioned him in a place that we can stay in a distance that we can not hurt each other bad, and also he did that, too.

        I talked too much 🙂 But all I can say is for now I am trying really hard to create better options for my life, for my job. I am trying to do some savings, also I spend the summer season by traveling a lot. So I am more in peace inside 🙂

        Thanks again, it is so nice to see your posts I so missed you all !

  • LifeLessons

    Felk,
    All of what you said makes sense. I do understand him but it does not make it easier. The day he did not reply to me, he actually called that night on his way home. He said he had a lodge meeting and he was busy so he couldn’t call me until later that day..

    Here’s the latest:
    Saturday, he knew my kids were leaving and he told me he had a funeral to attend. I was unsure if he would come over or not. However, he had called me what seemed like all day Saturday to let me know where he was and what he was doing. He called when he was on his way to the funeral, when we got off the phone he said he would call on his way back from the funeral. He called me around 11:30 pm he was on his way home from the funeral( him and some of his friends decided to hang out for a little bit). While him and I were talking he said, babe what did you want to talk to me about( i told him I had a question for him but we hadnt had a chance to talk earlier in the week). I said oh ok, well, it wasnt about us necessarily but I was curious about some things pertaining to me so I need you to hear me out as a friend more than a lover I said, there is this guy I use to deal with years ago, him and I went to high school together and he was a really close friend of mine. About 8yrs after high school we reconnected (him and his wife were seperated at the time) we dated for about 9 months to a year but during this time his wife moved from their house which was about 1hr away from where he moved after the separation, she moved closer to him because of their son.
    …..i didnt give him these details about my ex:
    (his wife hated me because he told her when they were dating he adored me when we were in high school, he told her he loved me. Him and her got together right after high school, they got married almost immediately after HS because he went to the Marines. Well later in the marriage, She cheated on him and he moved out, they separated from each other. During this time he got in contact with me..So when she found out the person he reconnected with was me she was livid. She told him he could’ve gotten with anyone in the world but why me. When we were in school, he was a good friend and I was blind to the fact that he liked me. He used to bring an umbrella to school on rainy days because he knew I never had one, he would wait for me in the morning and after school. I just thought he was the best friend a girl could have. ….Anyway, during the time of us dating while he was separated, I met his son and his mom and she said he was in love with me when we were in school. He met my kids, and my mom and things actually fell in place naturally. Well his w hated the existence of me so she threatened him that he would not get to see his son if he continued with me, she told him she would make his life a living hell. This drama went on for a few months. Well before you knew it, he came home one day and said him and her talked and decided they would try to make their marriage work. I was hurt but I took it like a champ. He cried and cried (literally) about how sorry he was for hurting me. He told me he would always be there if I needed him. I was about 27 at that time. We stayed in contact for a few months but eventually I decided to end contact.

    …Back to what info I gave MM. I told MM I reached out to him (my old friend) regarding the Gov Shutdown, I know he works for the Gov and has a high security clearance so I was wondering if he was affected, and if he had any info that would help me help the families I work with (theyre low income families who are worried about their benefits) he assured me that he was ok and still getting paid and he told me to tell the families I work with to be wise about their spending. He then went on to say, “I should have never broke it off with u.. you were so good to me.” Another ex of mine has said the same thing and another ex said something very similar. So, i was taken back a little and he asked if he could call I said I was busy at the time but eventually we spoke to one another. I asked him what was the issue with me when we were together he said it was more him than me, he said I was fair to him and his son, he said i compromised and was always understanding. So I thought to myself…this is the same stuff my other ex said if im so good than why am I single and why did every last one of them choose someone else.. so I asked my MM what did he think about every dude saying how sweet, good I was to them but none of them stayed around, I said tell me your male opinion. He said sometimes men don’t know what they have until its gone. He said some men like to keep an open communication with a women because they want to be able to get back with you and sometimes they come back because they want to be able to sleep with you. However, I realized later that I didn’t ask him the question I wanted the answer to (I do that sometimes with my indirect communication having self lol) I really wanted to ask him, over the 2 years that we have dealt with one another, what are some of the things he see in me whether both good and bad. Like some of the things that may be a complete turn off. I just wanted some feedback. I know i have good qualities but I knw there are things I could work on and I’m currently working on setting some boundaries and direct communication. It’s a working process…but it challenges me when i hear from exes and they basically say I was great but they didn’t choose to be with me. Granted, they were likely not the ones for me but they 2/4 has said the exact same thing of how I treated them great, compromised, took good care of them and treated their kids like my own, they both wanted me to know they felt horrible for hurting me, they wish they had worked it out with me etc. 1/4 wanted to be sure to apologize to me for hurting me and wanted me to know I didnt deserve the way he treated me. He wanted to be sure I forgave him. The other dude was my kids dad and he is just a jerk so even if he felt bad about anything he wouldn’t tell me about it. Well I wanted to hear from MM because I know he is brutally honest so i knew he would tell me about my flaws and all. Well I didn’t ask the question but it opened the door for him to vent as well..

    Therefore, he told me she was upset with him because he didnt come straight home after the funeral. I said well you were out late 3 days this week and yall kind of have a routine. He said yea but she’s upset because she wanted food from the place we go to and she didnt want to drive and get it. I said well thats apart of the routine he said its nothing to get mad about. He said its not like Im going home to a surprise or anything. He said, I was hanging out with buddies and he said let me tell you, my one home girl said she was enjoying her drinks and she couldn’t wait to get home to her husband because he knew what he needed to do once she got home (sexually). He said, I have to sit around and hear stuff like that, it pisses him off that she can never get with him not even 35% of the time. He said, and she is upset that I didn’t come straight home. He said its terrible. I asked why did he think she acts like that, he said he dont know. I said did you cheat on her and she found out, he said, no they have never dealt with that before. He said, she always say he criticize her so she dont want to do it. He said, dont get me wrong, its not just about the sex but she is not intimate with me at all and she is definitely not touching me (private part unless he asks) he said its been years since she touched it without him asking. Clearly he was feeling a way about it too. His tone was a clear indication of how frustrated he was and we have always had that type of communication from the beginning..where he could tell me what was going on. Partially, because I asked a lot of questions because I wasnt familiar with this situation (an affair). So, I knew from very early on that he still slept with his W, it just didnt happen often. I didn’t believe it at first, I just thought hes telling me that so I think he doesn’t sleep with her that often but every so often he expresses his frustration with it. I knew he loved his W and wished she would just be more affectionate towards him…

    I need to listen to what people tell me and pay attention to actions as well. I remember him telling me early on he wasnt just looking for someone to have sex with but he needs that intimacy piece. He told me he was looking for one person to do everything with. He has told me that he doesnt have time to entertain a lot of women, he doesnt have the money, the energy or effort. I didnt want to trust a man that is cheating on his w so it didnt matter how often he reminded me of these things. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I still thought..this is something he does and he probably has someone else in line in case this doesn’t work out…He was looking for a girlfriend all this time and now that I truly realize that…I feel several different ways….
    1. WTF..have I gotten myself into 😫
    2. I am definutely in too DEEP😟
    3. Do we really love each other (that always go in/out my mind)🤨
    4. How long are we going to keep doing this each, before someone decides it’s too much to handle (emotionally)🙄
    5. Does he really view me as his girlfriend and what is going to happen when I meet someone else🤔
    6. How will this end, can we be cordial for the sake of our kids relationship and their relationship with us (we are so entangled with each other’s lives because of the boys)😶
    7.😌 I know I’m not ready to walk away….

    …..Anyway back to this weekend I had a feeling he was coming to my house. He was calling me all day and kept asking if my kids were gone. After he vented to me about her, he told me he was on his way to my house. Once he got there he told me he was on the clock though so i would know he wasn’t staying long but he was with me for about 2hrs. He kept telling me he loved me so much during sex. He says it more often now during sex. I noticed it a few weeks ago. When we were done, he rested on my body and his phone rang, he jumped up, it startled him and myself, It was her I asked if he needed to answer that and he said yes so he did. She wanted to know where he was and he told her he was on his way home he stopped at the store. While he was in the bathroom, I sent him a text that said I love you sooooo much and then I text and said please delete your messages. Once he came out of the bathroom he said babe, I love you more. I said, hmmmm I am not sure about that and we both laughed. I asked him if he deleted his messages he said he did. I have to tell him to delete them because he doesn’t always remember to do that. When we walked to the door I hugged him and told him I love him and he said I love you too babe and gave me a kiss on the lips. He texted me a about an hour later and said babe, I left my glasses so the next day he asked if I could bring them up the road to him and I did.
    Well Sunday/Monday I had been in deep thought about him and what he was saying to me about his W. I wanted to know what was keeping him there. I remember the first date we had and he said it was more like a business deal, he invested over $250,000 in it and he was not willing to take a loss and come out with nothing. I didnt even believe that, I thought it was all BS so he could get closer to me. Now, I’m not sure….I use to think people cheated for sex but the older I get the more I realize that that is not why some people cheat. Everyone has different reasons but I wanted to know from him what keeps him there, I’m not asking because I want him to be with me but just curious about it so Monday morning we talked and I asked him he said babe I dont have time to talk about that, I am pulling up to work, the big boss is here and I need to have my mind ready to go, he said I am literally pulling into a parking space. too early to talk about that, he said he was just pulling up to his job and he needed to have his head clear in order to go in ready to deal with the boss. I didnt like that, I said well that was rude he said I have to go in here and deal with this person and that person and I can’t talk about that right now. I said well call me when you can, I guess I get it. He said thank you for being understanding but we were both being sarcastic at that point. I was being a Brat and I know it. I text him later and said hey I thought it was rude and I was annoyed by it but I do understand. It’s just sometimes our conversations are incomplete so I try to complete them at anytime I can. He is very sensitive so he didnt reply. I am not upset by it either because I know him and he will get over it..so I’m not even concerned about that. I’m sure he will call me tomorrow!

    However, over the weekend I spent a lot of time talking to this ex of mine and found out him and his w are separated again and they’re getting a divorce. He told me they have told their children and everything their kids are 14 and 9. He told me he has always loved me and he learned from the last time that he would completely shut one door before he opened another. He said, he wants me in his life even if it’s just as a friend..he will take me at whatever capacity he can have me. He said he doesnt want to lose me again. He said he knows he will need a year or 2 to get himself together emotionally. He told me he missed me sooooo much over the years and that it took him at least 2 years to forgive himself for hurting me. He told me if I need help with anything to let him know. He has told me that prior to now and I know if I need him he would help me out. He said he is a man with needs but he knows he has a hard time just sleeping around with anyone. He said thats not his style. I know that, he was never a cheater or one that could deal with multiple women at the same time. I told him I understood that and that we need to find him a friend with benefits and we laughed. He kept telling me how good it felt to talk to me. I was able to ask him about some of the flaws he saw from dealing with me during the time we dated. He said he honestly didnt think i did anything wrong, he said I was always fair, I compromised and treated his son like my own. He said the only thing he could say is maybe I am too nice. He said I dont think I took advantage of your niceness and I dont think you shouldn’t be nice but not everyone deserves for you to be so nice to them. I thought to myself, wow I thought I was sweet and I felt that maybe guys take my kindness for a weakness. I thought more about it and I think for me its those damn boundaries or lack thereof. I’m very passive and sometimes passive aggressive and these are things I know about myself but wanted to hear from these men who claim, I’m the best person in the world but they didnt choose to be with me. I was able to set practice my new “2k19 boundary setting skills” I was clear with him about our friendship. I told him I’m not interested in crossing the line with him, we were friends first (from HS) therefore being his friend is easy. I told him sleeping with me is not an option nor is it up for discussion. We agreed that there hasn’t been any love lost but we both know it’s best for us to remain platonic. He kept saying he was just happy to have me be a friend to him, he said he would love to be with me but he respects me and he has grown and learned from the last time so we need to be friends and if it turns into more that’s great but friends is good too.

    Hope it makes sense…I was telling multiple stories.
    Thanks for letting me vent

    • Felk

      LL, there’s a few things going on here. First, it seems like you’re trying to figure out why some past relationships didn’t work, why those exes seemed to say you were great yet ended your relationships anyway, and you’re looking for that ex you called and your current MM to tell you why a man might say you’re a great girlfriend yet leave you? You must know that’s a really hard question for them to answer, but I understand you trying to figure out why you’re seeing that pattern. It’s funny that your ex said what he did about you being too nice, because, not even knowing you well, that would have been my guess. 🙂 Thing is… sure, you could be too nice and too giving and you could make it too easy on men, but I don’t really get that impression from every story you tell us about your MM. Sure, maybe you’ve changed over time and you’ve gotten better at standing up for yourself and going after what you want, but it seems like you do a pretty good job with that now. Do you think that you are too nice and too giving? I know you say that you need to be better about drawing boundaries. It also might not be that you’re too nice or too giving but rather that you choose men who are not ready to give equally in a relationship? So, it seems like you’re too nice when really they’re just not nice enough? You seem too giving because they’re too selfish? Then the question is what makes us choose that type of man (and the answer is usually because we don’t feel we deserve better). Again, I don’t really know, but just helping you think through some of your questions.

      Second, I know you say you were clear to your ex about boundaries, but are you bringing him back in your life for a reason? You called him. I know you are completely in love with your MM and you likely don’t have eyes for anyone else, but is there a part of you that’s looking for a relationship that’s more than an affair? Or were you just feeling a little lonely? Or were you looking to make your MM jealous by showing him you have another guy in your life (just like he has a W)? Just asking. Because we know that friendships with exes, especially exes who still have strong feelings for us, probably don’t stay as friends for very long. 🙂

      Third, I’ll believe you if you say that you asked only out of curiosity, but you didn’t ask your MM about why he stays with his W because you want to be with him? Do you want him to leave her for you? I’m not sure you’ve talked about that much on here, but you two are now exchanging “I love you” a lot and you both seem to be trying pretty hard to make this relationship work. Your MM talks about his investment in his marriage, and even though he mentions the finances, I’m sure he means time and he means the kids, too. Leaving a marriage is hard. Especially if things aren’t terrible. When things are going okay, it’s really hard to walk away from all that you’ve invested. I know. Yeah, your MM and his W aren’t having sex, but maybe things are okay outside of that? My H and I have very little sex (and the only reason I keep having sex with him once in a while is because I don’t want him to ask why we’re not having sex), but our relationship is pretty good otherwise. We talk and laugh a lot. We don’t fight much really. We have good friends and enjoy time out together often. But, like your MM, my H and I are not really that intimate. Even outside of sex, I don’t touch my H much. I just don’t feel attracted to him in that way anymore (because of my MM). Of course, I’m having an affair, so I don’t know why your MM’s W isn’t having sex with him. They’ve been together a long time, though, and passion fades over time. Maybe it fades more for women than men? I definitely hear a lot more MW losing interest in sex with their Hs than MM with their Ws. And it’s not that my interest in sex is fading. I’m plenty interested in sex with my MM, but my interest in sex with my H is zero. Maybe your MM’s W is cheating on him! Or maybe, just like a lot of married people over time, she’s just lost that passion. She loves her H but just isn’t too into the sex anymore. I think that’s a lot of MW.

      It will be interesting to hear what your MM says about why he stays in his marriage, but I would imagine there are a lot of reasons – mostly related to investment and obligation but some related to love, too. And he probably stays out of fear, too. It is scary to leave that comfort that you’ve known for so long. I know why I stay in my marriage, and I know why my MM stays in his marriage (and why he tried to end our relationship back in 2017 to save his marriage… although now he talks about that break-up as him not really trying to end our relationship but just trying to find a balance that could work… I think that’s some revisionist history). But, some of the things my MM says makes me wonder if he is just waiting until his kids are leaving for college and then he might leave his marriage. We have never talked about that (but we have recently said we want to talk about that). It is not wishful thinking. I would MUCH rather have an affair than for us to leave our marriages for each other, but if my MM is wanting us to leave our marriages I want to know. As a MW, though, I think my situation is a little different. Although you’ve never made it sound like you were pining for your MM to leave his marriage, as a SW, it seems like you might want that. Or maybe you’re happy with how things are and it works (well enough).

      It’s funny you wrote about your MM not wanting to talk about his marriage right before he was about to talk to his boss. My MM would say that once in a while with me, too. And sometimes he wouldn’t even be that direct about it. He’d just start getting kind of cold and distant, and then later I would find out he was pulling away from me because he was about to meet up with his W or kids or he was about to go to a work meeting and needed a clear head. I always thought it was pretty rude, too, until he explained it to me. Then, I understood. I don’t need that space to clear my head, but I can understand if he does. Sounds like you told your MM the same.

      And, omg do I know about incomplete conversations and how frustrating that can be and how you try to find any time you can to finish important conversations. My MM and I went through that over and over and over. He was always much better with waiting than I was, and I know I pushed a lot to finish conversations. Now, with how little we talk, it all just feels like one incomplete conversation. 🙂

      As usual, though, it sounds like you’re just thinking things through and you’re just trying to make this work as best you can.

      • LifeLessons

        Felk,

        I was honestly trying to get feedback from them because I thought they would be the best people to get the feedback from. I do not know that I am too nice. I think I am patient and tolerable of others, I think I give most people benefit of the doubt. I think I have fallen for potential versus who a person truly is…with that being said, I actually think that I have been choosing UNAVAILABLE men well before my relationship with MM and that may very well be why they would articulate how sweet and good I was to them but they were unavailable so at that time they couldn’t receive who I am as a person so they took advantage of it. I know I speak up for myself when someone is not treating me the way I want to be treated. I do a lot more now, because I refuse to be with someone who cannot make some type of adjustments or at least try to….

        You said…
        I know you are completely in love with your MM and you likely don’t have eyes for anyone else, but is there a part of you that’s looking for a relationship that’s more than an affair?
        …I am sure I want more than an affair at some point and I know I deserve more than that. However, I contacted the Ex because I thought he could help me and once he told me what was happening with his marriage, I thought WOW..I didnt expect to hear that and of course I forgave him years ago for how things ended with us…he was the only guy I had been with that I thought sincerely felt bad about things ending and I think part of that was because we were friends for a few years prior to us experimenting with a relationship. So when he shared that, I felt empathy for him and genuinely wanted to be of some support if I could, I know how hard it is to get over someone cheating on you (especially considering his W did it before and that was the reason they separated from each other), someone walking away from you, and the disappointment of it not working out the way you intended…Or were you just feeling a little lonely? Hmmm No I wasn’t feeling lonely…Or were you looking to make your MM jealous by showing him you have another guy in your life (just like he has a W)? I told MM for a few reasons
        1. I wanted his feedback because he is brutally honest and I really thought he would have something to say that would’ve been helpful to me and obviously I value what he has to say to a certain extinct.
        2. He gives me info like that so I was just doing the same thing, he makes sure he lets me know when he has hung out with the “girls” or if hes hanging out with them and I let him know about my friends. I think it does make him a bit jealous but thats not my intent (well not this time) I may do something like that, I’m not above it but right now…no, just wanted to share it with him.
        3. I don’t want to keep stuff from him…I do love him and I am not hiding anything so I figured…why not!

        You said…but you didn’t ask your MM about why he stays with his W because you want to be with him? Do you want him to leave her for you?
        …..I asked because I am always interested in relationships and why people do the things they do..I often wonder do we really pay attention to the decisions we make and the things we choose to be ok with due to us not wanting change and or needing to stay in a safe in comfortable space. I honestly wondered if he thought I was asking because I wanted him to leave and I would like to reassure that that is not the reason I asked. I dont wish to be with him outside of our affair…not sure I would be able to trust him😒

        It’s so nice to hear your side of the story being married…MMs marriage could be similar. He may feel like things are ok outside of sex. He could feel that he want to grow old with her as they grow old together sex wont even mean much, it could be what he told me from the beginning that is was more of an investment but I was just curious and wanted him to tell me…I know a few people going through things in their marriage and they’re choosing to stay so I figured I would ask someone I know to give me some insight on why they’re staying. As far as their sexual life, I would love to hear her side of the story as to why she doesnt want to sleep with her husband…I have wondered so many things like, does she like women lol, is she cheating too, did she catch him cheating and he doesnt want me to know, I mean my mind has gone everywhere with this and him and I have talked about it before. I asked him if she was uncomfortable with herself (like embarrassed of her body or sexual skill level) he said he didnt know what her issue is…

        You said…Although you’ve never made it sound like you were pining for your MM to leave his marriage, as a SW, it seems like you might want that. Or maybe you’re happy with how things are and it works (well enough).
        ….I use to think I wanted to be with him but I never wanted him to leave her. I honestly dont think him and I would work outside of the affair, not sure I would trust him or trust how things would go with us if he left his wife for me..

        I am always trying to make this works as best as I can…

        The ex and I have been texting every day…we both set boundaries with one another so that we dont fall into the same situation from the last time. I gave him a few things to think about and try to sort through and he is really having a tough time. He said he is going to go to therapy but I know I dont wish to cross the boundaries with him..especially considering he just got out of a situation. I will likely communicate with MM as needed as far as my friendship goes with the Ex. I’m not sure what that entails because I do think that he will be a little jealous but he shouldn’t be and I dont want him to be. I just want him to listen to me as a friend just as I listen to him…it always seem like men can dish it but can’t take it. I guess, I dont want any surprises and because we live in the same area, I don’t want to run into him if I’m out with someone, so I make sure he knows about my friends. I have a friend (buddy) I have made MM aware of him and one day I was saying to MM something about this Friend and he said, what who is this person and what are you referencing him to, he said, wait let me focus on what your saying so I continued the story and he said well do I know of him. I said, yes babe you do…I told you about him before, and I have talked about you to him hes my friend remember…he said, o ok but it seemed as if he was a little jealous. So…Felk, I dont know if its right or wrong to talk to him about my friends or even potential partners. I think I should keep him aware of what’s going on and I am not good at telling lies or hiding things. I dont do well with omittion.

        • Felk

          LL, I believe that you weren’t really trying to make your MM jealous. That, sure, maybe it’s a bonus if it makes him jealous, but that the purpose of telling him about your conversation with your ex is to be upfront and to talk to your MM as the friend you want him to be (someone you can talk about these things with). I know I like being able to talk to my H about other men (not my MM, of course). I think we want some freedom to talk to a relationship partner about other men, and we want to know they can have those conversations like a mature adult. (My MM is not good at these conversations.) I think you also want your MM to know that you have other people in your life (just as he lets you know when he’s hanging out with “the girls”), and I think that’s important for your MM to know so that he doesn’t just think you’re sitting around waiting for him to call.

          I also know what you mean about not wanting a real relationship with your MM and not wanting him to leave his W because you know you couldn’t trust him. Even though there is a lot you like about him, if you know he’s cheated on his W before and he’s cheating with you now, you know he’s a cheater and he’d probably cheat on you. It’s similar for me. I don’t think my MM is the “one” for me. I think my H is a better H than my MM would be. I like a lot about my MM, and we get along really well, but as a husband? Nope. And my MM should know I’m a cheater, too. 🙂

          But… how do you find a real relationship for yourself (which is what you say you want) while you’re so in love with your MM? I’m just not sure that’s possible. I guess, at this point, you just want the affair to run its course? Just keep doing what you’re doing with your MM and, while it’s good, stay in it? You know I understand, but my perspective is different because I’m married and I’m not looking for anyone else. It IS interesting that you’re texting your ex everyday now, though… 🙂

          Hard to know why your MM’s W isn’t interested in sex anymore, but could be a lot of things. Could be that’s she’s cheating or interested in someone else. Or could just be that passion died over time in their marriage as it does in most long-term marriages. Or could be that she felt him pulling away and lost interest and got tired of trying and he doesn’t realize that his cheating drove a wedge. Could be hormonal, too. I just think it’s pretty normal in long-term marriages for sex to plummet (even when there’s no cheating). She’s probably still interested in sex just not with her H!

    • BAF

      LL I have read your last paragraph above few times and I am struck by how this relationship might suddenly be a new possibility in your life (even platonic as you say) and might and might represent a real opportunity for you and even your kids. Your Ex is clearly saying he is interested in you and in spending time with you. That might be something very nice for you! A single man with kids is apt to want to do some fun things together once in awhile (maybe with the kids) and you will NOT be “on the clock” as you say. You might also have quite a nice time not having to sneak around. I know as I did this during my very long on again off again affair and I was always happy I branched out and did it. There was so much my MM could never offer me in the way of time, activities, shared interests etc. Inside I was really craving these normal, emotional moments and often not even entirely aware of it! Hanging out with other men and single men (with or without our kids) made me feel much more “normal” even if I still could not bear to leave my MM. You might find the same is true for you.

      It does seem you re getting in deeper with your MM. Are you prepared? Are any of us I wonder? As times goes on in affairs feelings often deepen and then what? The question for the affair partner becomes: “Now what?” Have you any idea what you would truly want in your current affair if you could have anything in the world? As a SW remember you do deserve a relationship with your own person! You might think you are not worthy but in fact you are!

      As for why men did not pick you I wonder if it was always because there was another woman they were involved with and because there were kids were involved too? It is hard to leave a marriage and its daily routines and comforts no doubt. On the other hand perhaps you were not only too “nice” but also not demanding enough “answers” before you get your emotions involved 100 per cent? I am just trying to guess here. I know we are all learning clarity and better communication skills as we speak.
      It is really hard to say why a person chooses one relationship over another and I dont think there is one answer only. Life is complicated and evaluating each relationship individually is what I recommend personally. And tons of self-love!
      I hope this helps.
      Hugs BAF

  • lois

    Hey, Felk. The post thread wouldn’t me reply…so responding here. Unfortunately, MM and I didn’t meet up after his meeting. I texted to see how the job interview went and about 4 hours later received a response but didn’t reply…partly because I was aggravated it was 4 hours later. This is part of the problem and patient is not a virtue of mine. Also know it’s something that I have learn to deal with if we are going to continue. I replied the next day and made a sarcastic comment about sure your phone died. He sent a lengthy text explaining so figured he was honest. We chatted some on Saturday and we expressed more feelings as he once again told me it was more difficult now for him to balance things. I expressed the same and told him felt like us not working together has caused some of it because for me I miss him so much that’s there’s a constant reminder that we not together whereas working together allowed us time together in between times of us being intimate. When we finally do see each other we are on time constraints so it’s hard to enjoy time together. Then it’s hard to make time to see each other which puts more stress on the situation. I’m not sure we can balance things out but told him he was worth the effort to try. He didn’t comment so I said well guess that tells me. He responded of course I do and thought you knew that. I said sometimes and left things at that. We chatted a little last night and told him that if he had time this week maybe we could try to get together. He replied sounds good. I have left the ball in his court and not asking him again. I haven’t contacted him today and not sure it’s even necessary as he knows we need to talk and I don’t have anything else to say in text. He needs to figure some things out as I do because when is enough actually enough…what I’m I willing to compromise to be with him. I do love him and enjoy having him in my life but is it all worth it…not if he’s not willing to put forth effort and his actions tell me he’s not. I don’t want to play games but think it’s important for me to continue to give us both space. It’s hard not having contact but part of me needs to build up a wall of resilience to keep it from hurting and help lower my expectations…if that makes sense. I’m struggling and it’s hard to know what’s best but I have asked for time with him and if he can’t give it to me than I have my answer…he doesn’t want to put forth an effort which means it’s time to let go and move on. It’s easier said than done but can’t keep living like this either.

    • Felk

      Lois, I know the frustration of waiting hours for a reply. And it’s not that there aren’t good reasons for it to take him that long to reply, but it’s just a reminder of how you’re often waiting for him. But, as you say, it is one of the things that you may have to decide whether or not you are willing to accept if you continue this affair.

      If you are honest with yourself, I don’t know if not working together caused this because it seemed that he was feeling a lot of this tension and struggle when you were working together, too. I know that not working together makes it harder to see each other and adds all of those problems you mentioned, but the struggle could be even greater for him if you work together as it could add more temptation and more guilt. Thing is, there are problems if you work together and problems if you don’t! 🙂

      I know you wanted to hear him say it was worth the effort to try and you were frustrated when he didn’t respond. And I know he thinks it goes without saying and replies that he thought you knew he felt that way (after you respond with frustration). I have had that conversation with my MM many times where I ask questions and he says that he thought I already knew. I’m not sure if it’s that I need to hear words more often than my MM needs or if it’s that I say the reassuring words more often such that my MM is clearer on how I feel. I believe your MM wants to try to find something that works, but as I said before I’m not sure he knows what that means right now. He needs to settle a lot in his life, and that will take him time. Time that will frustrate and sadden you. Time that will be painful for you. But that’s what he needs.

      Leaving the ball in his court to set up a time to meet to talk is a good idea because it gives him some of that space we’re talking about, but I know it will be hard for you this week if he’s not texting to set up a time. Either way, hopefully it will give you some information on his willingness and interest in meeting up to talk. Just as he needs to figure out things, so do you. You need to see what you’re willing to put up with, and maybe a first test of that is just letting him respond when he’s ready. If he goes a week without contacting you at all (and you don’t contact him), is that something you can handle? I know it can feel like playing games if we’re intentionally not contacting someone, but you can’t keep doing all the emotional maintenance for the relationship. And you need to see what he is willing to do to maintain the affair. Our MM may feel overwhelmed and guilty and struggling to balance (because it is all too much), but the emotions that get unbearable for you and I are feeling pathetic and rejected (because it is all too little… from him). I know it all too well. The problem is… no one is happy if you can’t find that balance.

      As I’ve said before, though, I don’t know if he’s ready to give a definitive answer right now. I know you want a definitive answer right now, but he seems to continually give messages that he’s not ready. At some point, though, you just have to move on and you can’t keep waiting for him to be ready. You can’t keep going through the pain of his indecision. Hopefully he’ll be able to give you some clarity soon, or hopefully you’ll be able to take a step back to calm down your expectations.

      • lois

        Hey, Felk. I have pulled back the reigns on our communication as I am trying to figure out things as well and hoping to calm down my expectations in the process. MM texted to see how I was feeling which meant a lot to me because as you know he does not initiate conversations very often. We texted back and forth a few times. I commented that his actions were beginning to make me believe he really does miss and want to try to figure things out how to balance things. He replied…that it implies you thought I was lying. I said no….not what I meant and that he is not one to expression his feelings so when he does I doubt him but his actions sometimes says differently. I told him that i knew he must have been missing me because of initiating the text. and he replied of course, I told him it was his fault as I have asked to see him. He said replied…oh that one hurt. I did not reply anymore after that one. He later texted to let me know he had been offered a job and told him congrats! We flirted a bit and have not texted since. Then yesterday, I found out that he texted someone who I work with the same day he texted me…not sure what it was about it. Another coworker mentioned he must have been missing all of us because he had texted the day before which was same day he did me. It made his text to me seem not as special…if that makes sense. I thought he was missing me and was showing he really did care about me and wants to figure things out. I have been second guessing his text to me and maybe I read more into because I wanted to feel it something special when it really was not. I did the same thing at Christmas and thought he texted because of his feelings for me when he actually texted everyone in his old department…I felt like an idiot! I do not know maybe does not feel the same about me that I do him and that is why I has never admitted it except he has deep feelings for me. Exactly what does that mean…he could have deep feelings for others who were in his department and that is why he stays in contact with them. As you can see, I am struggling with all of it and trying to sort it out in my head…maybe I have been delusional about his feelings and that is why he does not want to see me. Maybe he is struggling with letting go of me because I boost his ego and he likes the occasional sex we have which is why he strings me along. Maybe he is manipulative and has used me. I truly do not know. Sadly, I am not sure even if we would talk that I would not still be confused. I do not doubt that he cares about me but obviously he cares about others who he used to work with too. The question is does he feel the same about me that I do him…has he fallen in love me or am I just another ex co-worker who he cares about and does not want to be with in a relationship; yet does not know to end it without ending our friendship or hurting me.

        • Felk

          Lois, it does seem like you’re initiating and responding less and giving your MM some space to initiate (which it seems he is a little), but I can hear your frustration with how he didn’t ask to see you this week. Of course, it’s possible that he couldn’t find the time, but I know it feels like he, once again, didn’t find it important enough to find that time. His initiation of texts to you over the last few weeks does seem to show that he wants to try to make something work, but I think he’s still figuring it all out (like he might have been more focused on getting a new job this week).

          As far as him texting other former coworkers, am I guessing that it was a female coworker that he texted? I know that my MM texting a female coworker bothers me, but if he texted a male coworker, it wouldn’t bother me. I know that jealousy and hurt of thinking you’re not special, but my guess is that it’s just simply normal for your MM to text other people he had friendships with at work. I know that it CRUSHED me to find out that my MM texted (about work stuff) with a female coworker during our break-up (especially when he was near-zero texting me). I was all wrapped up in jealousy about him replacing me, but eventually I got over that irrationality and know that he isn’t interested in her at all. Of course, what helped me is that my MM is expressive and continues to tell me how he feels about me. I also recognized that I text other male coworkers and it means nothing beyond professional friendship stuff. Coworkers talk and text. It’s normal. So, even though I know the sting you’re feeling finding out that he texted others, my guess is that it’s just normal coworker stuff. My guess is that he does think of you differently, but I guess I don’t entirely know. Your MM is definitely elusive and has not been very expressive so I can see why you’re struggling to figure it all out.

          As for your lingering questions in the end about how he really feels, I don’t know. He seems to care about you and like his time with you, but I also know that he hasn’t said a lot more than that. I don’t think he’s being manipulative or just using you for sex, but I also know that it would help for you to hear more directly how he feels. I’m sure he struggles to say some of the words out loud because that would just make it all too real, but you two have been doing this for two years, right? Seems it’s time to say some words. Again, that’s one of those things that you have to decide if you can put up with. Do you want a relationship with someone who can’t tell you how he feels about you? My guess is that he has fallen in love with you, but I’m not sure he can admit that to himself let alone you. I know you want to talk to him to hear him say these things, but, as I’ve said before, we often go into these meetings hoping that *this time* our MM will say the exact thing we want only to have that not happen and feel rejected or confused all over again. If you want honesty, you have to really be ready to hear honesty, and, I’ve found that in affairs, honesty is usually some jumbled mix of things that make us feel good and things that don’t.

          • lois

            Hey, Felk. I really, really appreciate your insight on things as often I do not see things like you do! I texted MM last night to check on him and replied that is was another difficult day but he would be okay and appreciated me checking on him. I replied, glad you are okay and did not know what to think and was concerned. He replied sorry needed to detach from society a bit. I did not reply. I am tired of fighting for the both of us. He has to figure things out! As far as the female coworker he contacted, I was not upset or jealous in that way because I know it was not anything like that. It just made me feel like he was reaching out to everybody and him reaching out to me was not anything special…it was wishful thinking of my part. I am so frustrated and do feel like “us talking” is not a priority to him but I have asked for weeks. I am tired of asking, I am tired of being disappointed, I am tired of caring the load for both of us…he has to want this for it to work. I know, he is going through lots. It seems like he is always going through something…too much drama it seems. Unfortunately, I am expected to understand and be patient while he figures things out…but for how long. I am tired and worn out of trying to figure him out and guess what his feelings are for me. I understand, he probably does not even know himself but have been dealing with this for almost 3 years in May. When things are good with us, I could not feel happier but when things are like they are with him now, I find myself more agitated and have less patience for people including my H and family. I am really torn as to what to do because my heart says do not give up on him as I do love him but the rest of me says move on…get through the pain as the other side is so much easier and less complicated. UGH!!!!

          • Felk

            Lois, you’re certainly welcome for any insight. I know that I have gotten so much help from all of you over the months, and just talking it out helps me, too. Just having others, who understand affairs, to listen is helpful, even if there is nothing you can do. Your MM’s texts are cryptic, but, once again, seem to show that he is really struggling with a lot in his life. Even though he doesn’t say specifically what it is, he is clearly having a hard time. It just doesn’t seem like he’s in any mental place to have a relationship with your right now. I know that’s hard to hear, but he hasn’t shown many signs that he can have a relationship. Maybe he will be able to eventually, but you have asked him so many times to see him and it hasn’t happened. I think you have your answer about his priorities. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about you, but it does mean that, right now, he needs to take care of himself first. Until he’s in a better mental place, he’s no good to you in a relationship and I think you know that. I think you are seeing that.

            It is exactly what you said about “he has to want this for it to work.” I know you want him to want it, but that’s not the same thing as him wanting it. I know I felt that very strongly when my MM said he wanted to end our relationship in 2017. It was excruciating, but I also didn’t want to talk him into a relationship that it didn’t seem he wanted enough. I knew he loved me. But it wasn’t enough (at the time). He had to work things out for himself.

            Also, you say that you’re expected to be understanding and patient, but I’m not sure your MM has asked you to do that. That is something you are choosing to do because you want the affair to work. It’s important to be honest about that. If he were asking you to wait for him, that’s different. He has not given you much lately, and I can understand why you’re tired. I’m not sure how much longer you can keep waiting. Only you know that, but you’ll know when you’re done trying.

  • LifeLessons

    Felk,(I am replying to you here)

    When I asked about the time it took to get to an arrangement, I meant in general. You pretty much answered that question.

    You said, I think he’s acting the same as he always does so this might be the best “balance” you’re going to get. Are you good with that?

    Me…I am ok with this. What you say about as the affair continues we want more and more communication, its true. I think this is why we have had these disagreements because I have been wanting to hear from him more and he has remained the same.

    You said…
    You say you know that lowering your expectations will help you, but how do you do that when you’re in the thick of the affair?

    Me… I think it will help but I am not sure in reality if I would be able to do that. I definitely try not to expect too much of anything but as time goes on your feelings/emotions change causing the affair to go through changes.
    For ex; yesterday I actually called him and we talked for a few minutes, he said he would call me back. I was not sure if he would call back or not..he did call back but then he told me he had to call back. Well he was walking his dog and I knew he was likely going in the house and probably wouldn’t call back. He didn’t! This morning around 9am he text me and said, Hey babe, GM!..sorry I didn’t get a chance to call u back last nite. How is ur day going?? I replied, GM babe thanks for thinking of me its going pretty good. About an hour later I text and said how is your day going but he did not say anything. Lately, I have gotten upset about this type of thing but today I just feel like he may be trying but he is not going to be different when it comes to this communication stuff. I appreciate him trying to do something different but I know it will always be a temporary fix. I actually need us NOT to talk so much because that makes me yearn for it all the time and takes me further away from reality and although it feels good to talk to him often, spend time with him when I do not have my kids…its not so bad for those things not to happen so often. I think I need to stay as close to reality as I can.

    You said…
    You say those things about being used to being on the side where the man is trying so hard and now you feel like you’re the one trying hard. I know what you mean. I wonder if it’s one of the reason we like affairs or we like these men? Do affairs challenge us more than most of our relationships because of all the difficulties built in? Or are we looking for that man who pushes back and isn’t as easy as the other men?

    Me…This makes sense to me, I have told my MM that I love the fact that he is such a “man” it turns me on. He always says what does that mean and I feel it means what you’re saying above but I could not figure out how to describe that to him. It is very different from what I have dealt with.

    You said…
    You ask if you’re putting too much effort into this man, but only you can answer that. From everything you say about your affair, it seems pretty balanced. Yes, you may be more available than your MM (because he’s married), but you have never seemed pathetically available. Maybe it just “seems” imbalanced because he’s not all over you like past men?

    Me… I think, I feel that I put more effort in because I am single and that is the long and short of it! I am single so naturally all of energy and time goes in to him and when I say all, I am being dramatic because I have other things to do besides him but I mean relationship wise. He is not all over me like others guys in my past and he always acknowledge when he is all over me because he knows its not something he does all the time. I made a comment to him about me paying more attention to our relationship than what he does and he told me that was not true. He basically said we both are into the relationship evenly, he said we just show it differently.

    You said..
    You and your MM trust each other. But, there’s a nagging something that doesn’t allow you to trust him as much as you want.

    Me…..you are right again! Lol I think he trusts me more than I trust him. I am trying to trust him but it is hard. I believe he cares about me but sometimes I am unsure about it. I think his communication style makes me second guess thing. Its like, if you cared why wouldn’t you do everything you can to reply to me or talk to me regularly. I know that being in an affair is complex and every affair is not exactly the same. Therefore, you may have some people who can give a lot of time and attention to their affair partners and you have some where they just cannot. He honestly feels that he tries to make sure he does what he can to make this work. I do believe that but I think if I can understand that him loving or caring about me has nothing to do with his communication style, I would be able to see that we are in a “balanced” relationship…well…as balanced as it can be with me being single and him being married.

    You said…
    🙂 I’m not sure it’s immature exactly if you need space. If you’re doing it to be petty to get back at him and try to make him feel the pain of you not being available? Yeah. But, if you’re doing it because you’re mad and you know you need to calm down, then that seems smart and fair. It sounds like it’s a little of both. 🙂

    Me…..it was definitely both, a part of me did not want to give off attitude with him because I knew I would be an impulsive smart ass so I needed some time to regulate my emotions, I knew in my heart he was not just ignoring me but it doesn’t mean that I will not stop wanting to hear from him when I reach out to him. If I am completely honest with myself, blocking him was more about me not having the urge to answer if he called so i could let him see how it feels for me not to be responsive right away…so, ummm yes there was some pettiness in my behavior haha!

    • Felk

      LL, it seems like you understand your MM well, but that doesn’t always make it easier in the times when you feel that he’s not communicating the way you’d like him to. I understand my MM’s communication style. I get that he doesn’t like (or need) to talk as much as I do. I get that he’s less expressive (even though we spent 1.5 hours together yesterday and he was saying plenty of nice things). It mostly works. He’s consistent in his communication and he generally tries to be responsive when I ask (and it seems your MM is the same way). But, that doesn’t stop us from thinking certain behaviors are outside of the boundaries of what’s acceptable for “their style.” Like, yesterday, when your MM never answered your text asking about his day. My MM and I don’t get in long text exchanges, but he almost always replies to my texts (with at least something short). I texted him just something cute/sweet this morning and he didn’t reply. I don’t get it. (And, yes, I saw him in his office at work today.) But, like your MM, I think my MM read that text, thought it was nice, and then didn’t feel pressed to reply. The end. And, yes, your MM will do some temporary fixes, but he will be who he is. The hard part is trusting that he cares about you even when his behaviors don’t seem to be showing it (like when he doesn’t reply to a text!).

      Also, I agree with the things you said about effort and being single. I know how that probably makes you feel like you’re putting in more effort because all of your focus is on him. I don’t have kids and my MM does, so I often felt that I was putting in more effort because I could (because I didn’t have kids to draw my attention). But… I think your MM is right. I bet you both give similar amounts of attention to your relationship, but it just doesn’t feel like it to you because you can’t see how much he’s thinking about you and wishing he was with you when he’s with his W or family. I do think my MM is as in love with me as I am with him (or even more), but, like your MM says, we show it differently. Just yesterday, my MM was talking about how actions speak louder than words but I reminded him that I need the words, too. 🙂

      We soldier on.

  • Lois

    Hello everyone. It has been awhile as things in my life have been crazy and having some medical issues on my own. I think, the last post explained that MM and I had hooked back up which resulted in us having sex…which did not surprise any of you giving that both he and I were struggling with things. We were taking things slow and things seemed to be going well. I made arrangements for people at work to get together to celebrate his 40th birthday. He seemed to really enjoy it. He was distant on/off but I was not contacting him like before. I had my guard up and did not want to get hurt again, so I just really have not allowed myself to get fully back engaged into the affair…if that makes sense. MM was faced with being told he was a disgrace to his family after a cousin’s wife was told he had sexually harassed someone thus the reason for his resignation. He said his family still does not know what actually happened so guess he stays stressed out waiting for someone to spill the beans about his affair, etc. Then, things seemed to start going right back to the old ways…less flirtatious; excuses for not meeting; mia and this time I just asked him what his problem is with me. I have not done anything wrong to be treated unfairly and did not like it. He admitted that he is struggling with everything in life not just me. He feels there has to be more to life than they way he is living and feeling…kind of sounds like a pity train! He wants to be with me but does not want to feel the shame, guilt, anxiety. What do you say this? The problem that when he gets overwhelmed, the situation with us intensifies with him. He said he is emotionally damned either way he goes with us…he enjoys having me in life and brings happiness but also brings the other emotions. I asked if we could meet talk about things and he agreed. I laid awake last night and debating whether I even want to meet him. Is it worth it? I cannot change how he feels or take away the guilt and shame. I did tell him that I felt those emotions are not because of us but for the mistake he made before us by having the affair which cost him his career. He agreed somewhat but the fact remains that it is wrong us to be together…no sh*t! But neither of us are willing to hurt our kids. How do you balance it? Felk, how is your MM doing it? Do you talk less than before? Just curious. Do I even want a relationship with someone who I cannot communicate as often as I would like out of worry that it is too much for him? What causes him shame and guilt? Is it because he thinks of me when he is at home? I do not know but it would help to know these things…which is why part of me wants to meet him? I understand the guilt because at times it does bother me but not like it does for him. Felk, I read your latest posts and wonder if my MM is not feeling like your MM but instead of sharing those feelings my MM runs from it. I am confused and really could some advice. I really do appreciate you ladies!! Normally, I contact him to have a good day etc but not today. I am just kind of blah…..

    • Felk

      Hi Lois, good to hear from you (although I wish it were with happier news). It seems like your situation is about the same as when we last heard from you… a lot of back and forth from your MM. It seems that he simply cannot decide to be in the affair or not. My MM was the same way during 2017 (before he ended our affair), and it was so strange to me. I think this indecision and constant struggle is hard for us to understand because we were clear that we wanted the affair. Yes, we might feel some struggle/guilt, but generally there was no waffling. Our MM waffle, though. I’m not sure why exactly, but I think they find the situation has to be more all-or-nothing than we do. I think we’re more comfortable with maintaining both relationships than they are. I don’t know if it’s the guilt of not treating their W well, the pressures they feel from two relationships (i.e., the guilt of not being there for you AND her), the misery of being in a marriage that they don’t want, or some combination of all of the above, but your MM and mine seem to be more challenged by this than we are. (And, maybe, kudos to them, right? Shouldn’t we struggle more?) Much like your MM, my MM struggles with the difficult emotions that come with the happy emotions. Maybe it’s that they don’t handle the difficult emotions as well as we do? Or maybe it’s simply that we don’t feel those difficult emotions as much as they do? In my situation, it’s both. My MM acknowledges that he couldn’t handle being apart as well as I could. I didn’t like it, but I accepted it as part of the affair. As the affair went on, it got to a point where it was unbearable for him. He didn’t understand why we’d keep getting closer only to have to be apart so much. Also, I don’t think I felt as much guilt or pull towards my spouse as he did. And it sounds like you don’t feel as much guilt or shame either since you seem confused as to why he feels those emotions. I’d think your MM feels shame because he’s breaking his marriage vows (and his covenant with god), being dishonest with his W, and doing something that society generally frowns upon. I’d think he feels guilt because he feels he’s living a lie. That he’s being unfaithful to his W and, in turn, hurting her (while she may treat him well). Of course he thinks about you when he’s at home, and, of course, that’s part of the guilt. The affair is making him less able to engage in his marriage and family, and that makes him feel like he’s not fulfilling his obligations as a husband and father. He has told you this. I know you don’t feel it the same way, but that doesn’t make it any less real for him. (And you can’t discount the guilt, shame, and fear he feels about his previous affair biting him in the ass and potentially being discovered by his W.)

      I know my MM also got more pressure from his W than I did from my H. I’m guessing it is similar for your MM from everything you describe. But, I’m not sure what you do with that? It just seems like it’s something that your MM has to sort out on his own. He has to decide what he wants. Not that you have to just sit around and wait for him, but, well… that seems like what you want to do. It seems like you want to be with him enough that you’re willing to wait through the pain of all the MIA over and over to see if he’ll decide he wants the affair. Is that true? I don’t want to make that sound bad entirely. If you’re making your choices with eyes open, good on you. I was willing to wait for my MM. I knew through the break up that I wanted him in my life whether it was the affair or a friendship, and I was willing to deal with the excruciating pain to get to a place that worked for both of us. I’m glad we have more than a friendship, but I knew I was willing to work on it no matter where we ended up.

      But, you ask whether or not you want a relationship with someone you can’t communicate with as often as you want out of worry that it is too much for him. It’s a good question. Through 2017 (before the break-up), I didn’t think I wanted that relationship. It was clear he was pulling away, and I hated feeling that I couldn’t communicate with him as I wanted to (because it was too much for him). When we ended, I didn’t fight it. It hurt like nothing I’ve ever known, but I didn’t want to talk him into a relationship with me. If he was struggling that much, I didn’t want to force it. And, I didn’t want to keep compromising my needs to make him feel better. He needed to work things out for himself. Now? We talk A LOT less, but it feels okay. It’s a new normal. Communicating as little as we do now would not have worked for me 2 years ago in the thick of the addition. But, after 6-9 months of calming down all of those feelings and expectations (through a ton of pain), now it works. So… unfortunately, I still think that you and your MM have a lot to go through. It’s good that you were direct recently in asking him why he was acting the way he was. Instead of suffering in silence, just ask. It can be hard to do, but we waste a lot of time in these affairs suffering in silence. If your MM isn’t as willing to talk or confront these feelings, though, there’s not a lot you can do; but at least you can know that you stayed true to yourself and stood up for what you wanted. It’s good he wants to talk soon (and I know you want to talk to him), but he will not say anything different than he’s already said. So often we go into these talks hoping that THIS time will be the time we figure it out or he reveals something that makes it all make sense or (sadly) that we’ll say the thing that makes him decide there and then that he cannot be without us… but none of that will happen. It will be him saying all the things he’s said before about the struggle and you trying to figure out why it’s such a struggle for him since it’s not for you, and there will be sweet and warm things and there will be painful things. I have had these conversations so many times across the last 6 years. 🙂 But, if it helps you to talk to him, then talk to him.

      I was also surprised (although I’m not entirely sure why) to read that your MM just turned 40. I don’t know if it was other things you said or I was mixing him up with other MM on here, but I thought he was over 50. I’m not sure if that changes my thinking about his behavior, but maybe.

      • lois

        Thanks Felk, I really appreciate your insight on things. I think the MM in our lives have similarities so it’s helpful to hear what and how your MM has shared because mine does not. That’s the problem I don’t know how he feels or thinks. He says he misses me and wants to see me but then struggles with meeting me. I stay do confused. So maybe you’re right…maybe it’s that he wants something that he can’t have so it bothers him. I didn’t contact him at all yesterday not to even check on him. We both attended a friends dad memorial. It was good to see him and sat next to him. We walked out together. I asked how he was doing and he said the service really bothered him. I know it’s only been 5 months since he lost his brother. I hoped we could talk about he wasn’t in the right mind set. I texted him to see if he needed to talk. Hebdats he couldn’t and explained he found out that his deceased brother wife is seeing someone so he is struggle with that too. I’m struggling with life too as my boys are never home. My oldest is getting ready to move away for college and my twins are 16 and never home. I’m lonely but married makes sense right…not! I’ve been a mom for 21 years and grieving my boys. So I understand his mental struggle. I’ve thought about checking on him but not sure can handle the rejection as he needs to figure out things for himself. So I’m not sure what I will do…I want him in my life but it has to be his choice. If he doesn’t then I need to figure out how to let him go or decide if I’m willing to keep him in my life as a friend. I really appreciate you…thank you. Yes he is 40 and I’m 48.

        • Felk

          Lois, it sounds like your MM is going through so much right now. His job (loss/switch), his fear about his W and family finding out about his affair, his brother’s death, his own health issues, and his affair with you (which threatens his relationship with god). I know you’re going through things, too, but the difference is that the affair (when going well) is something that HELPS you with your other life struggles. For him, the affair causes conflict, even when it’s going well. As he has said for a while, it is adding to stress and, now with all of these life struggles, the affair is overwhelming. He needs to figure things out for himself. He needs to figure out what he wants and what he can handle. He cannot be happy right now, and you can’t be happy with him if he’s not happy. I know it’s really hard to give him the space to figure out what he wants, but the affair can only work if he’s sorted through his other struggles. And, of course, the scariest part is that he might not choose the affair, but he is struggling so much right now and he’s just not the type who wants to talk about it with someone else. I know you want to work this out with him (now), but that’s not how he works. I know you said you want to find a balance that works, but I don’t think he’s there mentally. I think he needs space/time for himself to even be ready to have that conversation about finding balance. He may say he wants it right now, but he’s not showing that he’s ready. You recently told him that you don’t need to talk and that you need to focus on yourself. Did you mean that? Or do you need to talk?

          I know the feeling of no longer wanting the rejection and that’s finally what led me to really give my MM space. It hurt too much to keep trying or keep hoping and getting little in return. After we ended our affair, it seemed my MM was still in love but he was trying to repair damage at home and had to stick to our break up. Your MM seems similar in that he says he misses you and wants to see you but struggles to meet you. To us, it is confusing because if we want something, we do it. I don’t think it works the same way for our MM. Just because they want us, doesn’t mean they think they should spend that time with us… because they are worried about what that will lead to (distraction at home, guilt, fear of being caught, desire for more that you can’t have). You and I don’t worry about those things as much. I don’t know why, but we don’t. They do. But your MM has to feel comfortable with the decision to be in the affair, and he can’t feel comfortable with that until he works some of his life stuff out (on his own… and I know that’s scary).

          From what you write to me and BAF, it seems like you still want to talk to him about your feelings, but I hope you can keep your expectations low about what he can offer right now with regard to his feelings and your relationship. It just seems like he needs time (without much communication/contact) to decide what he wants to do. My guess is that he knows where you stand. He just doesn’t know where he stands.

          • lois

            Hey, Felk. So much of what you say is true; thanks! I have reached a point that talking with him is not a priority right now as both of us some need time/space to figure things out. I have reached a point that my communication with him is minimal. He texted yesterday about using me a reference for a job and then again last night asking for a phone number of someone who works with me. I replied both times but kept things simple. I did not bring up about us talking or wanting to see him…only that I missed him and to hang in there. I read your post about giving him space was easier because you did not want to feel the rejection…that is exactly where I am with things. I just cannot do it and he needs to really think and figure things out as it is not fair to keep putting myself through all of it…over and over again. In giving hm space, he may very well chose to not continue but then, again, I may reach that point myself. I miss him and want to be with him; but not like we have been…cannot do it anymore. Usually by now, I have texted him good morning, how are you doing, have a wonderful day, etc and I am not doing it to punish him…it’s just I do not have it in me to keep putting myself out there to be continuous hurt and rejected. He knows my feelings nothing more needs to be said and he is not going to share, so why put myself through it. I am sad and miss him. However, it feels different this time maybe I am in shock. I do not have the gut wrenching feeling of agony and sorrow maybe because in the back of mind we have not ended things but more on a break…I do not know what to think except I could not do any of this without the support from you ladies. So, thank you!

          • Felk

            Lois, if you are able to continue giving both of you space, I think you’ll feel better about it all soon enough. I don’t mean “soon.” I just mean soon enough. It takes a while. It was initially hard for me to hold back from sending that text or sending that e-mail, but I kept reminding myself that I didn’t want to deal with the anguish of waiting for a reply, interpreting his reply, anguishing over my reply (and how/if he’d reply to that). Soon enough, it felt strong to make the choice to not text or e-mail. Not like I never sent him a text or an e-mail, but I just cut it down considerably (as he’d been doing). I tried to stop sending texts for the sake of maintaining contact or hoping for a reply but rather only sending if I really had something I wanted to share (like a joke from work or something funny to us). And I noticed that it felt better to not be going through that misery of waiting and wondering (and feeling rejected if his reply was too slow or seemed too short or less sweet than I wanted). Those choices and other choices we made gave us space to figure things out (and we sort of have). Now? I send him a text less than once/week (and he initiates a text less than that). It works (for both of us).

            I’m glad you don’t feel the gut-wrenching pain right now, and I hope it doesn’t go there. My guess is that it’s partially that you don’t really think things have ended with your MM and that it is getting easier to separate from him because you’ve gone through it so many times. I’d guess you’re getting stronger and better able to handle it all. Even choosing to not continue to put yourself through his rejection right now, shows how you’re acting out of strength and not fear. I know how much everyone’s support here helped me, so you’ll have all my support.

          • lois

            Hey, Felk. MM has texted a couple of times; couple of times for trivial things…think it was his way of reaching out. I was honest with him the other night and point blank asked what was going on his life that has him so troubled. He replied multiple things; one of which was daughter was recently diagnosed with torrents and learning disability, the issue with his brother’s wife seeing his brother’s good friend, etc. We both opened up about things. I went on to bed and woke up the next morning to him replying later that night. I did not respond like normal and was at a good spot that felt I needed to stop communicating as I had expressed my concerns, feelings, etc. He did too and usually I would respond but did not have it in me to get disappointed again. So, yesterday he texted to see if I was okay because he was worried about me. I explained that I was struggling with things because tired of feeling hurt and disappointed. He asked if I regretted standing up for him and replied absolutely not but do regret at times letting myself get too close to him especially when you pulls away and times when I do not know what to do with my feelings for him and cannot see him because either he does not want to or circumstances we cannot control. He said he understood those feelings all to well. I told him I did not regret having him in life and did not want to lose him. He said he feels the same but does not know how to balance it. I told him it would take effort on both our parts but we could do it. He said he was open to trying. He told me it was his girls’ birthday and would be having dinner and cake. I did not bother him so he could enjoy his family time. I texted him today wishing him luck on job interview and asked how about his evening? He said he was great time with kids and parents. Things like this do not bother me because it is part of him being a dad…family man. I asked if we could meet up and did not reply, so sent him a text stating it was okay that he needed to worry about his meeting today and getting through the day without any anxiety issues. Apparently, he has anxiety that causes panic attacks and says they come on without warning. So, I am not sure if we will meet up later today. I am not sure how we can balance things but maybe less communication from me is the key. It seems like he initiates more when I do not contact him. I do not know like we have talked about before it seems you and I handle things differently than our MM. I want to have a serious discussion with him. In order for this to even a remote chance of working, we (he and I) need to be honest about our feelings and what causes stress for the other person. Does he feel guilty because he finds him desiring to be with me but circumstances at home prevents it? So, he feels resent me toward his family. Does it bother him that I contact him too much? Does it bother him that my life allows me to have more freedom to go have drinks with coworkers? What causes his issues…and maybe we can figure a compromise or solution that would allow him to balance out those feelings. As always, thanks for listening and would love to hear some advice on balancing things.

          • Felk

            Lois, I think one of the hardest things in your situation is that your MM is not very open about his feelings, and so you have to guess a lot about why things are so hard for him (especially because you handle things differently). It’s seems you’re trying to ask him more directly and be more direct about your struggles (and I think that’s good), but a lot of your “conversations” are happening on text and that can’t be very useful for getting much information. Did you end up meeting with him yesterday? Conversations in person are my preference for these big things, but these conversations can also be harder because they get your hopes up more and then the crash is even bigger when your MM doesn’t say all the things you want to hear.

            I know EXACTLY what you mean by “In order for this to even a remote chance of working, we (he and I) need to be honest about our feelings and what causes stress for the other person.” But, from what I went through last year, I can tell you that is MUCH easier said than done. If it was just that simple, you would have done it already, right? I thought that exact thing SO many times thinking a really honest conversation was what we needed, but 1) the truth is that we mainly want an “honest” conversation that leads us to maintaining the affair, 2) when we have these conversations we rarely get that clarity and we get a mix of good and bad from our MM who voice their struggles with the affair that end up making us feel rejected or hopeless or more confused, and 3) we never seem to be able to say all the things we want to say in these conversations due to fear or due to time constraints or due to just not being sure of what to say. I don’t think your MM has the answers to your questions. I don’t think it’s so simple as asking him if it bothers him if you contact him too much, for example. I think he would answer that in a way that was “yes and no” not only because it’s the truth but also because he may not realize how much your communication impacts his anxiety in the situation. He may not know until he really gets a break from it (to realize that works better for him or that he misses it).

            I think part of the problem (looking back on my last year) is that this can’t be fixed/solved in one conversation. Your MM needs time, on his own, to figure out what he wants and what can work for him. He also needs to sort out some stuff in his life (like his job). That is something that needs to happen separate from you and that’s the hard part. I know you don’t want to get too far away from him for fear it will mean the end of your relationship, but that’s what needed to happen in my affair. We needed distance for my MM to figure out what worked for him and what he wanted. And it sucked. Sure, it worked out and we’re good now, but that was a lot of months of pain and worry for me. I also don’t want to give you false hope. You know each of our situations is a little different so what works for me and my MM might not work for other people.

            So, my advice isn’t anything specific that can get to a clear solution rather than just giving your MM some space to figure out what he wants and if he wants to put in the effort to continue to make your affair work. The time apart for my MM and I led my MM to relieving some of his tension by improving the balance between our affair and his marriage/family, but it also led him to realize he didn’t want to give up the affair. He wanted to find a way to a balance that works. It sounds like your MM will get there, but he needs the space to get there. I believe him when he says he wants you in his life. Your MM doesn’t say much so I would believe the words he says. Of course, though, that also means believing the hard things he says about struggling and not sure how to make it work. I don’t think he’s ready right now to come up with a “solution,” but I do know how very much you want one right now. My best advice to you is keep giving yourself space. Slow down the communication, slow down the expectations. Soon enough you will find that it feels better not to expect so much and not to feel that anxiety of waiting and not to feel that rejection of not getting a response (or one that feels good). And if you can adjust your expectations, that could be good moving forward with your MM.

    • BAF

      Hi Lois, I think any meeting with him that he has agreed to with you is worth doing. Why not? If he is willing to meet with you to talk things over then he is clearly interested in communication with you. You just need to decide what your goals are for the meeting. I would aim for one or two things but not more. Keep it simple. Be direct about those things and clear. And, also allow some time during the meeting to just be light and enjoy being with each other if you can. Time to breathe. Try to keep track of how you really feel about him during this time. Try to ask yourself how you truly feel when you are near him. The answers might surprise you. Also keeping track of your own feelings will give him space to feel his own feelings. That is my take on meeting up with him. I hope this helps. Hugs BAF

      • lois

        Thanks BAF. I am struggling with lots of things right now myself. I really appreciate your advice and have given things some thought. He and I really need to be honest about our feelings and what causes us to feel the guilt, anxiety, etc. Only then can we figure out a balance we can live with and if not then we need to figure out things from there. Felk has given me things to think about as well. I will keep you posted. Thanks for everything!

    • lois

      Update…I texted MM and told him that understood his struggles but that I needed to worry about me right now. I told him that it wasn’t necessary for us to talk but I did enjoy having in him in my life but was not certain about all of the added anxiety it puts on me. He replied he understood and enjoys me in his life and doesn’t want that to change…he has to figure out solution to get himself back on track. I told him at some point we could talk and maybe figure a better way to balance things that we both could deal with but right now I’m going to worry about me.

      • Felk

        Hi Lois, I understand the paradox of wanting to and not wanting to talk to your MM. Early in my break-up, when things were the most painful, I very much wanted to talk to my MM about the whole situation but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’d tell him I wanted to talk more about us, he’d agree, and then I wouldn’t bring “us” up. We’d go out to have a drink and we’d just talk about work and other things, but avoid the topic of us. I just felt that it was pointless or that I didn’t know where to start or that if I started it would hurt too much after. So, I really understand you telling your MM that you need to focus on you right now. I think that’s what I was doing. I think I was trying to get to a mental place where it wouldn’t hurt so much to talk about us, and where I could talk with less fear/insecurity and I could be more honest. Eventually I got to that place (but it took many months).

        I think it is really good for both of you to get some space from the whole situation and to help your feelings calm down. I think your MM is a bit lost, and the problem is that it’s not just his marriage and his affair with you. It’s his job and, it sounds like, his life in general. It sounds like he’s just not in a mental place to be a good relationship partner to you (and probably not to his W either). I think that’s where my MM was when he ended our affair. He’d gotten to a point where he felt he couldn’t be good to anyone. He wasn’t happy. And because he wasn’t happy, it was making me unhappy (and anxious and insecure). Space helps clarify. It helps you make decisions away from the emotional domination of the addiction. I’m not saying emotions aren’t important in these decisions, but the emotions of the addiction cloud much of our rational thinking. Let that addiction calm down a bit. It will be painful to be apart from him, but until he figures his sh*t out, it will be continued anxiety for you.

  • LifeLessons

    Hi Everyone,

    Sorry for taking so long to reply. I was exhausted this week. I think I was off for too many days and wasnt ready to go back to work this past week. Thank you for your advice, I always appreciate everyones commentary. I agree with most of what you ladies are saying. I am not too sensitive so none of what you said hurt my feelings. It was actually helpful and made think. I have thought about your comments and it made me take a closer look at the relationship I have with MM. I did some research, looking at the call logs, old messages between him and I (I do NOT delete anyone’s messages or calls) to actually see how much he has changed. In doing this, I realized a few things…
    1. He was definitely more consistent within the first 5 months. He called me all the time and we dated much more back then.
    2. Once he started his new job, he became less consistent with keeping plans and he would contact me to let me know he had to cancel but even then it was not always right away.
    3. He still contacts me much more than I contact him and he addresses that often, in the past 3 weeks I have not called him one time on my own. I called only if I missed the call from him. I do this quite often because I feel he should call me as I dont want her to wonder why I am calling him.
    4. He has always acknowledge his wrong in not being able to follow through on our plans, it has typically been within a few hours, never right away so that is not something that has gotten worse, its always been that way.
    5. Most of his behavior…the inconsistency, inconsiderate, jerkish, asshole, controlling and selfish is apart of who he is across the board with everyone and when I think about it from the very beginning, I realize people tell you who they are and show you very early on but for whatever reason you only see what you want.
    Those are just a few things I noticed as I did my fact checking research!
    Anyway, I think I was not real clear when i posted what I wanted to say to him. It was not a letter that I would send to him, it was really just me trying to organize my thoughts before I spoke to him. When I have to really talk to him I dont send it through messages. I convey my discontent through messages but when i really need him to hear me and feel I have really important things to discuss we talk directly to one another. It doesnt always happen in person either (which sometimes is out of either of our control, because I do not like to wait and can be a bit impulsive when I need to get something off my chest). So, no worries none of that would be sent out to him.
    I see that some of you are feeling like he has gotten worse, and I agree to a certain degree. I honestly feel like he has always been consistently inconsistent! He was more inconsistent over the past 2 week span than what he has ever been but for the most part he is not the most consistent overall. For ex, he does make sure he calls me regularly because that is something I talked to him about. It is something I need from him. However, he may miss a day and sometimes he misses 2 days and I get upset but never once do I call him during the 2 day absence. He doesn’t normally go more than 2 days without speaking to me unless they’re on vacation or I ignored his calls because that happens too when I get in a sour mood. Over the past few months (maybe even 6 months) he has seen me more times than he hasn’t. He has made sure the weekends when the kids are gone he sees me because we talked about it and he hates that my window of opportunity is so small but he has to figure out how to make it work but outside of that there have been times where we were not able to see each other and he would let me know in advance what’s happening that weekend. Thats why I felt things had gotten better. I finally made it to his job for us to have lunch. Even the weekend he disappointed me, he still came to see me on that Saturday just for a few minutes but then it went to sh*t once he said he was coming back the next morning and didnt and then said he was coming again that night and didnt..However, he has always apologized for not coming when he said he was. The lack of consistency with the phone calls was something we talked about back in August. Him and I had a conversation a few months ago about communication and it’s an ongoing thing we seem to talk about because I think he’s just not that great at communicating. When we talked a few months back I told him when he says he will call back, I actually expect him to call back and he asked me why dont I pick up the phone and call him ? He said, I know you may not understand but things do come up and I cant always call right back but if you would call me I will see it and try to call u back. During this time while we were talking he said to me that he knows I have a small window of opportunity and he has to work around that as best as he can and sometimes it will work out and sometimes it wont. He told me he makes sure he contacts me as soon as he can. He said if she is on his heels he may not be able to contact me and he has said every now and again, he leaves the phone in the car so he can have a reason to run to the car real quick to text or call but he said he has to be really careful not to make her suspicious. He has also told me it’s not always easy to create the storyline for him to be out with me for hours at a time and he knows that’s what I want from him and he loves to be with me so he tries. He told me sometimes when he gets in and dont call back it’s because he is extremely tired and may lay across the sofa watching something and fall asleep. He told me, in casual conversations that he realizes he is getting old and cannot tolerate his new job (it’s not so new right now) he said its putting a strain on him and he’s always tired or his feet is sore daily because of all the walking. He said a few other things to me that explains why he handles things the way he do and that it’s not because he doesn’t care or because he didnt put forth some effort but when the time comes and he doesn’t follow through immediately and then contacts me hours later to let me know I dont think about the conversation we had waaaaay back. All I know and see, is him not being considerate of me and my time.
    I think I have been very patient and understanding with him because well…duh…I love him and I am this person in general and this is probably part of the reason I have had unsuccessful relationships due to my inability to set boundaries, being passive passive and sometimes you have to be passive aggressive but at some point you have to be firm about what works for you and what doesn’t. I also think me dealing with a cheater(s) I can see how it ain’t so easy to sneak away and text or call. I was the needy, clingy girlfriend and once I realized there was cheating or suspected it. I turned it up…which means you were not leaving my sight not even to use the bathroom. I was right beside you sitting on the sink talking to you. I was making sure you put the phone on the charger in the bedroom while we were in the livingroom and you were not going to just pop up and say I need to run to the store real quick because I was going with you. I dont knw if she is that type or what their routine is at home but I have dealt with a cheater in each relationship and it was not always easy to see the other women or talk to them once your home. I still dont like it for someone not to get back to me. No matter what, it doesn’t feel good!

    I think overall, its up to me to determine what I can and am willing to tolerate from him and create some deal breakers. Not sure how you do that when you sign up for such a complex situations but I am sure it starts with placing some value in your self and setting small boundaries.
    So that I will work on. I will chat with yall in a few…have to inform of the conversation him and I had.

    • Felk

      LL, I get what you’re saying. It seems like he’s mostly being consistent in his behavior, but some of that behavior is consistently frustrating. 🙂 It was the same with my MM in our affair (and will likely continue that way as we continue the affair). And, yes, the frequency/speed of communication is probably the thing that frustrated me most before (but has gotten better now). For the most part, I think it is a combination of 1) the difficulty of the situation and 2) different styles of communication between you and your MM (as it is for me and my MM). First, can’t ignore the difficulty of the situation. And you and your MM seem to get that. He tells you some of the reasons he can’t just call or text back or why plans may have to change suddenly. Without knowing the exact reason, it can frustrate us, but it sounds like you have a pretty good idea of how hard it can be to contact another person if your significant other is shadowing you. Especially if his W has any suspicion or is just a jealous person in general, she may monitor his behavior more than you know (and more than he wants to say). It’s also difficult because you don’t want to call him, and I don’t blame you. I think you’re being smart about not risking his W seeing you pop up on the phone. It’s smarter to just have him call when he’s able… problem is, that gives him a lot of control about when and how often. But I think it’s a cost of the situation. However, that doesn’t mean you have to put up with bad behavior.

      And that’s where #2 comes in. Yes, you two may have different expectations for frequency of phone calls and texts or how soon someone should call to cancel/apologize; but you get to express your expectations to him and if he is not meeting them, you get to decide if the relationship will work for you. From what you describe (I love your research!), it sounds like he does a pretty good job trying to prioritize contacting you and seeing you, but it sounds like he may sometimes forget or fall asleep or not be able to and it may piss you off and then you two might not talk for a few days (because you’re not calling or texting because you’re mad and then he’s mad you’re not calling or texting). My MM and I had mismatched communication styles, too. I wanted more frequent communication and wanted more information than he was willing to give sometimes, and once in a while we’d have the conversation AGAIN about how I wasn’t feeling respected or valued. Generally my MM was good (as it sounds yours is), but, yeah, it’s fair to express your frustration if you feel someone hasn’t treated you well. I think you (and your MM) do a good job of being reasonable about the complications of an affair, but it sounds like the communication patterns frustrate both of you at times.

      One of the benefits of the reduced communication with me and my MM now is that I’m disappointed less. 🙂 Although I wish we talked more, generally, this is working. My expectations for communication are lower and so I don’t get frustrated with his communication level (and, honestly, the consistency of the communication, even through all the hard stuff last year, has led to a lot of trust), and since my expectations are lower and I don’t get frustrated, he feels less pressure and he’s able to balance our relationship with his marriage and home responsibilities better. It’s weird to say, but we might be doing this better now than we did before. Low communication is hard when you’re in love, but it also keeps those expectations and the addiction in check somewhat. And, I get to see him at work, so I do have “access” even if it’s not alone time. So, even for the 30 seconds I got to see him in the hallway today, that was nice.

      • LifeLessons

        Hey Felk,

        I’m happy you understood what I was saying and I thought you would get a kick out of my ” fact checking research”. I did it because I have a tendency to only see and hear what I want and it sometimes keeps me from seeing the reality of situations. We definitely have different communication styles and it creates frustration between us. I think we both try to be understanding and we try not to let things blow out of proportion. Although, I do not like when we dont have “regular” communication…it does lower my expectations which allows me to stay grounded. I notice that over the Holidays. I didn’t like it but I wasnt waiting for him to call me every day because I knew he wasnt able to but talking to him daily makes me comfortable and it makes me feel like he thinks of me daily and it feels a little more like a relationship versus an affair.

        I did talk to him last week..I believe it was Thursday. He called me and we had normal conversation for about 5 mins and I said can I talk to you ? He said, sure! I said so I know you told me before you don’t have to call me daily but you do make sure you call me almost every day. I can agree that you do call me often and I think I get used to it so when you tell me you will call me back and when you dont call back that day and then you may not call back for 2 days or maybe even…he said no, that’s not true because I never go 3 days without talking to you unless it’s a specific reason I cannot talk to you or something or if you are not answering me when I call you. I said you know what you’re right about that However, when you say you’re going to call me back I get frustrated when you dont call back. He said, I can understand that and I dont do it purposefully. I cannot tell you what happens everytime because I cannot think back to everytime I have done that but on average if I talk to you omw home from work and I say I’m going to call back sometimes I actually can call back and other times she may come out and walk the dog with me so I can’t call you. Sometimes we sit down for dinner and I may play the game with my son or something or just get distracted and forget to call back the same night and then the next day, I may not get to call you on my ride home because sometimes when I get off of work I just want to listen to XMradio on my ride home and there are times my dad, brother or a buddy of mine call and I get caught up with them and before you know it, I’m home and I wasnt able to talk to you and may not have gotten an opportunity while I was home to talk to you but you know I love talking to you. I told you that before. He said, you do all that texting, I’m not a texter..Im old school, I prefer talking on the phone not texting. However, I knw I may miss a day of calling you every now and again or maybe even 2 days but it’s not because I feel different about you in those 2 days. I feel I communicate with you a lot. I felt like what he said was accurate for him. I started thinking about my daily tasks and how sometimes things come up so I miss calls from friends and may not return until days later. I know our time is to a minimum so I try to answer when he calls but I’m not always available either.
        He said it seems like his best is not good enough and I said dont start using manipulation now. I said, your W wasn’t home and you didnt pick up the phone that was not trying your best. I feel it was very inconsiderate, and disrespectful. He said wow! I didn’t know you felt disrespected, I apologize for making you feel that way because I wasnt trying to. He said you are the best girlfriend ever and you act like I dont want to get over there every chance I get but, I do. He said it’s not done on purpose is what I can tell you. He said I know I tell you that all the time and it’s true. I said well it doesn’t feel good. He said I understand how you feel and I promise I try to make sure we’re good with each other. He said you told me a few weeks ago, I was doing a good job at managing everything so I didnt think I was doing anything wrong. I told him I did feel that way but he slacked up after I said that. I reassured him that its not a matter of me not thinking he has a lot on his plate and on average he does figure out a way to juggle it all and I know that can be challenging but I just need us to figure out a way to communicate with one another that fits for both of us. He said ok but I know I may not be able to call daily and I will make sure I try to communicate with you at least by the same day we have the plan made. He said and if you notice I didnt call you, text me or call me. I said well I think I need time to think of what best works for me and we can revisit it. He said ok.
        I said one more thing…the books I write!
        I said I write them to you because I have a desire to get things off my chest immediately. I know we cannot do a full conversation across texting but my thought is, If I text you at some point you will see it and may be able to reply to my discontent through text instead of ignoring it. He said, I reply to you initially but when you decide that you want to debate back and forth, I stop texting. I dont want to argue with you. I prefer talking to you. I didnt say you couldn’t express how you feel, you have a right to do that but I feel like we do better when we talk to each other. I said, yea but it felt like you had an issue with me sending the long messages and he said no I dont but I will not be sending you long messages back, I will wait until we talk. I said, ok.

        Not sure if we were able to really come up with a resolution…
        He called me everyday thereafter, the only day he didnt call me was yesterday.

        • Felk

          LL, it sounds like you had a good talk with your MM. Once again, it sounds like you both got to say things that were important to each of you and to help explain where you’re coming from. It also sounds like you both listened to the other and were understanding of the other’s perspective. Of course, I think this is one of the reasons you two continue to have a pretty good relationship, because you are able to have these conversations once in a while and because you both are understanding of the other.

          I know exactly what you mean about wanting “regular” communication. It is something that was (and still is) really important to me in the affair. It is not only that you miss this other person (and need to feed that addiction), but it’s the insecurity of an affair that makes you need regular contact to make sure that they’re still totally in love with you. Like you said, it lets you know they’re thinking about you and makes you feel more valued/respected (like in a “real” relationship). I also hate “waiting” for someone to call/text/send e-mail. I’ve done that so much with my MM, and, even though I wait less now (because I expect less), I still find myself waiting at times. Waiting for him to respond to a text or waiting for him to respond to an e-mail. Right now I’m waiting for an e-mail, and, unfortunately, I expect to get one today or tomorrow and, if I don’t, it will be sad/frustrating. My MM’s been pretty good about consistent communication lately so I’m trusting (that he will send the e-mail that I expect because we’re trying to make some plans to have some alone time next week). But the “waiting” sometimes is something we do to ourselves. Yes, sometimes we are “waiting” unfairly because they aren’t returning a text/call/email in a timely fashion, but sometimes we’re “waiting” because we’re expecting more than we should (in an affair).

          I think most of what your MM says is reasonable (although the forgetting to call me back because you’re playing video games or you “get distracted” would frustrate me). I believe when he says he loves talking to you and he tries to find time to call/text when he can. Unfortunately, it may not be as often as you like or at the times when you need it. But you’re also fair in recognizing that you get busy, too, and you miss calls, too, and you don’t call back some friends right away, too. It’s good to look at your own behavior and make sure you don’t hold him to different standards. And it’s good you two talked about your long texts. I think it’s fair for him to say that he doesn’t want to get into a long text exchange, though. I understand why he wants to talk on the phone or in person. So much can get distorted over text. It’s not a great way to have a deep conversation, but it’s good that you told him you might need to send the long texts once in a while. Keep doing that if that’s what you need (and it sounds like he understands you might need that… but that he will prefer to respond to the long texts on a phone call or in person). You have different communication styles in that way, but that’s okay.

          As you say at the end, no, you probably won’t come to a resolution beyond trying to understand each other’s communication style. You will have to try to understand that there will be times he doesn’t call when you want and he will have to understand that is going to make you mad sometimes. He’ll have to understand that sometimes you will send long texts, and you’ll have to understand that he will not say a lot in response over text. My MM and I went through this same thing of trying to find some balance of communication that worked for both of us, and, just as you and your MM, you inch a little closer to each other’s style; but mostly, the “solution” is just understanding that your communication styles are different and each person is trying to be respectful of the other as best they can. If you believe that, then things are okay. If you don’t think someone is being respectful, then there’s a problem.

          The problem in affairs is that you can never have what you want entirely. It is that problem that lingers always. I think some people get to arrangements in affairs that work pretty well for both people, but it seems that both people will always have some frustrations because an affair, by definition, involves sharing someone.

          • LifeLessons

            Felk,

            Everything you say is so true. I hope we can come to an arrangement that works for both of us. How long did it take you and your MM to get to this point ? I cannot remember how long you guys have been together but I know its been a long time. I know lowering my expectations will definitely help me feel less anxious. I think i am still learning how this “affair” thing goes and that I will not get everything I want from this, it seems more like you get what you can or what they can give. I am so use to being on the other side where the man is trying so hard to give/do whatever to appease me because they messed up so this is different and its taking some time to figure out…

            I think trusting him would help me to be more understanding to the affair. I think it would make me feel less insecure…there will still be insecurities because its an affair and it comes with it.

            For ex; He has been calling me regularly, Friday he called I couldnt answer due to me attending our boys sports event. We text a few times but he wasnt there because he didnt realize his son had to play as well. Well Saturday he called me to see if I was going to the boys tournament and I said yes. He told me he was as well, so we saw each other there he walked in and gave a hug to the girl on the team (she hugs us both and remember us from her playing rec sports) he hugged my daughter and came over to half way hug me. We talked during the event as we normally do when we are both there. He whispered to me how bad he wanted me and joked about us going into a closet in the school. The tournament ended earlier than we thought so I asked him if he could pick the boys up from the school when they returned so I could run and do a few things..he said yes. We left the tournament at the same time, he called about 30mins later to let me know he was on his way to pick them up and he was going to take them to get a bite to eat. I said ok np! Well I text him about 15 mins after that and said, if it wasnt cold out we could find a place for the two us to chill
            ( he had already been flirting with me throughout the day so I was flirting back) he never said anything so later that night I sent him an emoji with the idk shoulders…Well Sunday he did not say anything either. Well its Monday and guess what he called me at 9am (he was likely on his way to work) I did not see the call right away because I blocked him so when I went to my call log, I unblocked him and I could then see he called me. I was thinking today and I honestly believe he was not able to respond to me for whatever reason. We had some bad weather Saturday evening into Sunday and I truly think he was at home with his family and that’s what he was doing so he was unable to talk to me however Monday morning as soon as he got the opportunity he called me because he was able to. The logical part of my brain understands that and is not upset about it but the emotional bratty side of me wishes it didnt have to be like that lol. I dont know if any of this makes sense to you but it makes sense in my head haha! The immature part of me want to be unavailable for a day or so just because…I know its silly and pointless because he wasnt just ignoring me for no reason he was likely just being a husband. I wasnt even real bothered by it, I think I want to have my way at times and I know that it doesnt go like that
            and I typically get over it quickly but I am trying to pay more attention to myself…
            Anyway, this is what i have come up with for myself to help him and I communicate without the drama.
            Stop Light Rules
            Red: I am upset and need some time to cool down and will call or mesg when I am ready to speak
            Yellow: I am feeling so/so and may or may not feel up to talking in our normal way
            Green: I am available, and feeling great!

            Him and I had talked about something like this before because I told him women should create some form of code for when they are in b#@$h mode versus normal mode because there are times when women and men want the other person to be a mind reader and know how theyre feeling and why they are feeling whatever it is they are feeling and it often times create this tension because no one really communicated with the other person but if you have some sort of code, it may be helpful. So I told him when I get married I am going to let my husband know when I am having an A day versus a B day and if I am having an F day he will know to go to the man cave and we can talk about it later. Well we both thought it was a cool way to keep down on unnecessary conflict. I never thought about using this for him because he is not boyfriend or husband but today I didnt want to talk to him because I needed to clear my own head and I just didnt feel like talking to him…some of this may have to do with me being on day 1 of my cycle (I am noticing that I am much more emotional during this time) I feel silly when I ignore him for a few days and he doesnt even have a clue that I am ignoring him or why I am doing that. We will end up going a whole week of him calling me and me being unresponsive and then he will be upset because he thinks I am not returning his calls etc. #Drama and I know I have drama with me sometimes.
            I do not get my cycle that often (I am sure thats not normal for a 35 year old but its never been normal but I am trying to pay more attention to myself in general and truly learn myself so i can continue to grow.

            Am I being weird ? Does any of this makes sense ? Am I putting too much effort into a man whom belongs to the community (ok, just kidding…a man I share) ? What are your thoughts…

          • Felk

            LL, when you ask for how long it took for me and my MM to get to an arrangement that worked, do you mean during the affair pre-break-up or the new affair post-break? In total, we’ve been doing some version of this for about 6.5 years. So, about 5 or so years of the affair and a year or so after he tried to end it in Sept 2017. I’d say we were in an arrangement that worked pretty well through much of the affair. Yeah, I had some frustrations with his communication, but I mostly accepted it as us having different styles. Our communication pretty much increased across the first 4.5 years of the affair and then took a turn for the worse in 2017 when he started to get overwhelmed. That’s when it started becoming harder for me, as I felt him pull away. I don’t think your MM is doing that (as your check through the record showed). I think he’s acting the same as he always does so this might be the best “balance” you’re going to get. Are you good with that?

            The problem is that as the affair continues, you want more and more communication. I know the expectations grew for me and my MM over those first few years to the point where he couldn’t meet the expectations anymore (because of how much it was damaging his marriage and making him feel terrible that we weren’t together). So, the expectations are probably growing for you, too. If you’re not noticing any change in his communication, are you finding yourself wanting more? It might even be hard to notice. Or if you’re not thinking you’re wanting more, it might just be that your styles are different where it will just always cause you both some frustration (that’s how it was with my MM). I couldn’t lower my expectations, though, when things changed a lot in 2017. You say you know that lowering your expectations will help you, but how do you do that when you’re in the thick of the affair? You try, but then you just feel worse and worse. That’s what happened pre-break up. Now? Expectations have been lowered because they had to be. So, now the lower communication feels okay, but it’s still less than I’d like, which is consistent with our differences all along.

            You say those things about being used to being on the side where the man is trying so hard and now you feel like you’re the one trying hard. I know what you mean. I wonder if it’s one of the reason we like affairs or we like these men? Do affairs challenge us more than most of our relationships because of all the difficulties built in? Or are we looking for that man who pushes back and isn’t as easy as the other men? My H is very giving/loving and head over heels for me. It’s great (and it’s boring now). So, is that why I’m so attracted to my MM who isn’t so available (not only because he’s married but because he’s a lower communication guy)? You ask if you’re putting too much effort into this man, but only you can answer that. From everything you say about your affair, it seems pretty balanced. Yes, you may be more available than your MM (because he’s married), but you have never seemed pathetically available. Maybe it just “seems” imbalanced because he’s not all over you like past men?

            The trust part is so hard. I think it took me about 4 years to really trust (which, not surprisingly, coincided with things getting so good between us that his W asked him if he was having an affair). Of course, we have some amount of trust or it wouldn’t work this long. You and your MM trust each other. But, there’s a nagging something that doesn’t allow you to trust him as much as you want. He’s in another relationship and has shown himself to be willing to be a cheater. That’s hard to trust. If you want to stay in this affair, though, trust helps a lot. If you can mentally get to a place where you accept his communication issues and you can trust him to continue to want to be with you, it can really help with the insecurity and frustration.

            Again, I get why you’re frustrated about his weekend behavior. It would piss me off, too, if my MM’s all flirty with me and then can’t even respond to a text (where I flirt back) across two days??? How do you not find time across two days to just text something simple back? Thing is… that’s his communication style and you know it. He’s explained that, sometimes, he just can’t text back. We may not understand how that’s possible across two days, but it makes sense to him. And that’s where the trust comes in. He called you as soon as he could Monday morning, and then you’re blocking his calls because you’re mad at him. That’s your communication style and he knows it. 🙂 I’m not sure it’s immature exactly if you need space. If you’re doing it to be petty to get back at him and try to make him feel the pain of you not being available? Yeah. But, if you’re doing it because you’re mad and you know you need to calm down, then that seems smart and fair. It sounds like it’s a little of both. 🙂

            As for your communication codes, I say do whatever works, but I’ll also say (jokingly) that your codes will take away the fun of expecting them to know what we’re thinking and then the fun of being able to get pissy when they can’t read our minds!

  • LifeLessons

    Hi Everyone,

    Sorry for taking so long to reply. I was exhausted this week. I think I was off for too many days and wasnt ready to go back to work this past week. Thank you for your advice, I always appreciate everyones commentary. I agree with most of what you ladies are saying. I am not too sensitive so none of what you said hurt my feelings. It was actually helpful and made think. I have thought about your comments and it made me take a closer look at the relationship I have with MM. I did some research, looking at the call logs, old messages between him and I (I do NOT delete anyone’s messages or calls) to actually see how much he has changed. In doing this, I realized a few things…
    1. He was definitely more consistent within the first 5 months. He called me all the time and we dated much more back then.
    2. Once he started his new job, he became less consistent with keeping plans and he would contact me to let me know he had to cancel but even then it was not always right away.
    3. He still contacts me much more than I contact him and he addresses that often, in the past 3 weeks I have not called him one time on my own. I called only if I missed the call from him. I do this quite often because I feel he should call me as I dont want her to wonder why I am calling him.
    4. He has always acknowledge his wrong in not being able to follow through on our plans, it has typically been within a few hours, never right away so that is not something that has gotten worse, its always been that way.
    5. Most of his behavior…the inconsistency, inconsiderate, jerkish, asshole, controlling and selfish is apart of who he is across the board with everyone and when I think about it from the very beginning, I realize people tell you who they are and show you very early on but for whatever reason you only see what you want.
    Those are just a few things I noticed as I did my fact checking research!
    Anyway, I think I was not real clear when i posted what I wanted to say to him. It was not a letter that I would send to him, it was really just me trying to organize my thoughts before I spoke to him. When I have to really talk to him I dont send it through messages. I convey my discontent through messages but when i really need him to hear me and feel I have really important things to discuss we talk directly to one another. It doesnt always happen in person either (which sometimes is out of either of our control, because I do not like to wait and can be a bit impulsive when I need to get something off my chest). So, no worries none of that would be sent out to him.
    I see that some of you are feeling like he has gotten worse, and I agree to a certain degree. I honestly feel like he has always been consistently inconsistent! He was more inconsistent over the past 2 week span than what he has ever been but for the most part he is not the most consistent overall. For ex, he does make sure he calls me regularly because that is something I talked to him about. It is something I need from him. However, he may miss a day and sometimes he misses 2 days and I get upset but never once do I call him during the 2 day absence. He doesn’t normally go more than 2 days without speaking to me unless they’re on vacation or I ignored his calls because that happens too when I get in a sour mood. Over the past few months (maybe even 6 months) he has seen me more times than he hasn’t. He has made sure the weekends when the kids are gone he sees me because we talked about it and he hates that my window of opportunity is so small but he has to figure out how to make it work but outside of that there have been times where we were not able to see each other and he would let me know in advance what’s happening that weekend. Thats why I felt things had gotten better. I finally made it to his job for us to have lunch. Even the weekend he disappointed me, he still came to see me on that Saturday just for a few minutes but then it went to shit once he said he was coming back the next morning and didnt and then said he was coming again that night and didnt..However, he has always apologized for not coming when he said he was. The lack of consistency with the phone calls was something we talked about back in August. Him and I had a conversation a few months ago about communication and it’s an ongoing thing we seem to talk about because I think he’s just not that great at communicating. When we talked a few months back I told him when he says he will call back, I actually expect him to call back and he asked me why dont I pick up the phone and call him ? He said, I know you may not understand but things do come up and I cant always call right back but if you would call me I will see it and try to call u back. During this time while we were talking he said to me that he knows I have a small window of opportunity and he has to work around that as best as he can and sometimes it will work out and sometimes it wont. He told me he makes sure he contacts me as soon as he can. He said if she is on his heels he may not be able to contact me and he has said every now and again, he leaves the phone in the car so he can have a reason to run to the car real quick to text or call but he said he has to be really careful not to make her suspicious. He has also told me it’s not always easy to create the storyline for him to be out with me for hours at a time and he knows that’s what I want from him and he loves to be with me so he tries. He told me sometimes when he gets in and dont call back it’s because he is extremely tired and may lay across the sofa watching something and fall asleep. He told me, in casual conversations that he realizes he is getting old and cannot tolerate his new job (it’s not so new right now) he said its putting a strain on him and he’s always tired or his feet is sore daily because of all the walking. He said a few other things to me that explains why he handles things the way he do and that it’s not because he doesn’t care or because he didnt put forth some effort but when the time comes and he doesn’t follow through immediately and then contacts me hours later to let me know I dont think about the conversation we had waaaaay back. All I know and see, is him not being considerate of me and my time.
    I think I have been very patient and understanding with him because well…duh…I love him and I am this person in general and this is probably part of the reason I have had unsuccessful relationships due to my inability to set boundaries, being passive passive and sometimes you have to be passive aggressive but at some point you have to be firm about what works for you and what doesn’t. I also think me dealing with a cheater(s) I can see how it ain’t so easy to sneak away and text or call. I was the needy, clingy girlfriend and once I realized there was cheating or suspected it. I turned it up…which means you were not leaving my sight not even to use the bathroom. I was right beside you sitting on the sink talking to you. I was making sure you put the phone on the charger in the bedroom while we were in the livingroom and you were not going to just pop up and say I need to run to the store real quick because I was going with you. I dont knw if she is that type or what their routine is at home but I have dealt with a cheater in each relationship and it was not always easy to see the other women or talk to them once your home. I still dont like it for someone not to get back to me. No matter what, it doesn’t feel good!

    I think overall, its up to me to determine what I can and am willing to tolerate from him and create some deal breakers. Not sure how you do that when you sign up for such a complex situations but I am sure it starts with placing some value in your self and setting small boundaries.
    So that I will work on. I will chat with yall in a few…have to inform of the conversation him and I had.

    I apologize if I didnt answer questions you had. I tried to explain everything for everyone on this message. Again, I appreciate you all!

  • Sophie

    My darling friends, Lara, Felk, Kub, Nomad, Lifelessons, Laurie (our rock), and everyone else… This is Sophie from India. Namaste and a very warm hello. Hope you’re all well? Wishing you all the most spectacular year ahead. May 2019 be the breakthrough year for all of us. I’m so sorry for not being in touch for the longest time (promise to definitely rectify that) but here’s a very sincere, heartfelt thank you to all of you for being there in my absolute low phase when my Ex MM’s presence was making me feel so low, so miserable. I always miss him when I hear a melody or a song or sometimes just when everything around me is silent, but I’m fine on the whole. As some of you know, once I got to know his wife and kids well (his wife has no idea about me in the context of being the woman who fell in love with her husband), it gradually allowed me to heal and get better. I wished his wife a happy new year but I have deliberately kept zero communication with him. Glad he isn’t in touch and glad I’m not. The good part: I no longer find it tough to not be in touch. There is zero urge to communicate with him. My marriage continues being a disaster (with a husband obsessed with his dog after the demise of his mother last year). We have two homes (my mum in law’s), where he stays the whole day with the dog while I live in the other house. I don’t have the best marriage and I never will and I have accepted that. I am struggling with depression but I continue to work and pray that I do succeed professionally with my music. I will be recording two songs in the first half of 2019 and hopefully allow myself to create a profile that will help other noted musicians to take note of my talent. I sincerely hope all of you are well.
    All of you are the most significant women in my life, and even though we have never met, i sincerely hope we do cross paths and have a drink or two in 2019 by some stroke of luck. If all goes well, I do plan to visit the US in July to meet my cousin and her baby in Miami so I do hope to meet some of you. Sending you all the winter sunshine from India’s capital city, all my love and best wishes. Mmwwwaaaah to you, my rockstars, Sophie.

    • BAF

      Sophie It is great to hear from you! I think you sound really wonderful. I was posting as Lara last year but my new name is BAF: “Brave and Free.” And those things I am today!
      I am so glad to hear you are totally out of and free from the situation that caused you so much heartache last year! Often times, seeing and/or meeting the affair partner’s wife and kids DOES improve our perspective and clarity. And in your case it seems to have helped you set the necessary boundary to push him away from your heart and keep him away! Not an easy thing to do so BRAVO! To you!
      A hundred times BRAVO.
      You can live easier without the MM dragging you down, and you can also consider how committed you might be to staying in what sounds like a very difficult place with your husband.
      Is the relationship with him ever going to improve?
      Are you able to leave him if you so desire? Does your culture and financial situation allow you such freedom? I know it is not always possible to leave a person and that at times a woman is dependent on her husband for money making leaving a longer term project. (than an immediate one).
      But I ask these things knowing how much happiness freedom might bring you. Maybe it is time to be free and single for a while? 🙂
      Or perhaps I am totally wrong and if so please forgive me!
      Having said that I salute your Music efforts! Bravo! Who knew you had a talent? I do not remember you talking about it here.
      So much great music and art has come from pain. Just listen to all the sad love songs as you know. Remember as an artist you can transcend some of your pain and re-create some of your affair feelings into a musical or artistic form. And you can journal all you want too. :). I know this all too well.

      As I have been writing in these posts since August, my father passed away, and I have learned so many things this year critical to my journey out of my affair.
      In the end, it all came down to one basic thing:
      My love for ME. Not him, but for ME. I have been learning how to love me.

      It was so demeaning and self-esteem killing and utterly depressing for me to be in my affair. Not at the beginning. The beginning was great for many years and I stayed more or less “in love”. Then I started growing and changing little by little.
      And I wanted “more”. And I started realizing I was not getting enough LOVE for me. Not from myself, and not from him.

      I felt more worthy of a true and honest relationship with him. I told him so. He seemed to listen (sort of). We seemed to be on the same page briefly just last April. With him saying he was going to leave his marriage. I was wary. But thought it might work?? But alas. I saw his true colors after all. His lying and his exaggerations and his deflections. He stung me so badly in August denying our relationship and making me feel like the smallest inchworm on the feet below him. Things got crystal clear for me after he did that. His ability to do that. That is when I knew something was very wrong. A giant red flags. The women here helped me see it including you! And PHEW I was finally ready to listen.
      And my father’s voice “all around me” helped me a great deal too. Always telling me to “stay away” from “him”. Again and again and still now. I feel my father’s protection all around me now, as weird as that might sound. And in dreams I have seen and heard the truth. So I am confident.

      Of course it is a much longer story than this but suffice it to say:
      I broke up with a narcissist. DID IT! It is not very easy to do.
      I am OUT of that rat cage I was stuck in.
      I am Brave and Free (BAF) and I have moved on.
      Freedom is not so bad. Solitude is not so bad.
      Saying “NO” to him and really honestly MEANING IT feels fantastic!

      Hugs BAF
      aka Lara
      xxxoooo

      • Sophie

        Lara / BAF, my deepest condolences to you and your family. It must be a rough time and I cannot even imagine what you must be going through. Sending you a lot of healing and many hugs, my friend. Your father is always there for you and yes, I agree his voice will be guiding you always. May you keep finding strength to cope with this irreparable loss. It’s heartbreaking to hear this news but I am sincerely praying you find strength and all the positivity around you. Thanks so much for asking about my situation. Well, despite the fact that I’m a working woman, I am somwhere financially dependent on my husband. I wish i could be “single and free”; those are beautiful, liberating terms but unlikely that I will execute them. Not yet. I love what you say about finding love from within. I have to love myself and I have to continue on this solitary path. I don’t have children, I am stuck in a bad marriage where the man, sensitive as he is, is too consumed with his own things. I have beautiful friends, my niece and nephew, my music and touchwood my health on my side and I have to, have to, make my life work. I have to make music the focal point of my life because success there will provide me with fuel to last me a lifetime.
        Thank you so much and it’s so great to be back. Sending all my love to you and to everyone on this group. You all are my rockstars,
        Hugs and kisses, Sophie.

        • BAF

          Sophie, I can not thank you enough for your thoughtful condolences. Losing my father has made the world permanently different for me in ways I did not expect. I feel you really comprehend the gravity of the loss and the life change that comes with it. And of course it is intimately related to my relationships to all men, especially to lovers and exH, and of course to my exMM who even physically resembles my father and comes from the same part of the world (naturally). 🙂

          Sophie, finding love from within is an inside job and one can do it while married or not. The choices we make in the external world (to stay coupled, to find freedom, to have an affair, etc.) simply reflect our inner beliefs and perceptions, whether they are warped by our pasts or not. Once these inside beliefs and perceptions evolve, the time comes when we might create change on the outside conditions and structures too. Life is a process of letting go what we no longer need. Music and art are some of the finest vehicles for the changes and can transport us in ways nothing else can. Hugs and kisses BAF. xxxooo

    • Lifelessons

      Sophie,

      Happy to hear from you. I dont have much time right now…trying to get myself out the door. Sorry for the rush reply
      Wish things were better for you with your husband. However, good for you for not communicating with your ex MM. Thats such a hard but strong thing to do. I knw we are all much stronger than we think we are. I wish you luck with your music career. Also, it would be lovely to actually put faces to everyone that has been so supportive. Talk with you soon

    • Felk

      Hi Sophie, good to hear from you. It’s been a long time. Of course, great to hear that you are so far removed from your MM now. To get to a point of not having any urge to communicate is wonderful freedom. We know those lows of the affair, especially when it is ending, and I’m glad you are free from that pain now. It’s unfortunate about your marriage, but, if I’m remembering, there were problems before the affair, right? I had some of the same thoughts as BAF about whether or not you could leave your marriage, and I think she says it really well, understanding that we all know sometimes it is not so easy to just leave. If you have to stay, though, it sounds like you’re finding some peace and happiness through your music. While our marriages are a big part of our lives, it is true that we can find joy is so many things outside of our marriage.

      As for me, you were there at the beginning of the end of the affair (when I first came on this site) in Sept 2017. I was looking for a place to discuss my feelings about a situation that I couldn’t talk about with many people. When he said he wanted to end the affair, it was excruciating. Lowest low I’ve ever felt. We were very in love, but that was the problem. The situation had become overwhelming for him such that he couldn’t balance his responsibilities at home with our relationship. He felt he was failing everyone (me included… although I didn’t feel that way), and he (just recently) told me that he couldn’t stand sharing me with my H. He has also made clear that the most difficult part for him was our growing closeness and how we were apart so often. In addition to being apart from someone you love, I think he felt like an imposter at home and he didn’t like how that was affecting him and his family.

      So he made a choice (of course his family) to end our relationship, but that was hard, too. Because we work together, it was excruciating seeing each other every day and not talking. We both tried to put distance between us while saying we wanted to remain friends, especially because we worked together. In the beginning, it was just pain. The sudden withdrawal from the addiction because I was talking to and seeing him so much less and just the pain of knowing I didn’t have him in my life the way I wanted. We would go for a drink every so often and those times were great, but then it would just hurt all over again missing him. We even relapsed and had sex last January after weeks apart on our winter break, and it was so obvious we missed each other but he still didn’t want a relationship and it was painful all over again. But we kept talking through it all. Kept saying we wanted the friendship. He kept consistent with maintaining distance while also offering time for us here and there. We’d even go out at night alone sometimes, and sometimes he’d hold me and sometimes he’d be distant and it was all very difficult, but, as I said on here, I still wanted him in my life and I wanted to work for something good for us. Seems he wanted that, too.

      Eventually, this past summer, we started getting closer again. Maybe it was the extra time apart in the summer (summer break for teachers) that led him back to me, but something changed and he started showing signs of wanting a little more. We only saw each other once every week or two, but we were seeing each other consistently (just going for a drink and talking). We went out at night in August and there was much touching and kissing and then it seemed things were changing. Soon after that he came to my house for the first time in 7 months. There was some kissing (I explicitly said no sex), and a lot of talking and enjoying. Through the next few months it just seemed like it was easier for us. He seemed more consistently to express interest in our relationship (even though still hesitant to get back to the intensity of before), and I started trusting that since he was expressing more. We still talked a lot less than before, but we kept going for drinks once/week and he came to my house about once/month and finally in December we had sex. This was not desperate sex like last January. And I told him again (as I did in the preceding months) that I did not want to have sex if he was just going to get distant again. That it was too painful for me, and if that is how he still felt, I didn’t want it. He did not get distant after sex. He has been communicative, even if still less than before. But he says the things I need to hear (about love and us), and I don’t mean that in a manipulative way. He backs it up with action.

      Last night I saw him again, and as we head back to work next week, we are still talking about finding a balance that works. We seem to both think things have been working pretty well over the last few months where, as he said, he can give time to me and to his family. I know that’s important to him. He does continue to caution about how the same problems remain as before (i.e., we’re still married to other people), and we are worried about our affair getting into the problem-zone again. I was trying to be more direct and honest last night, and I told him that, too, saying that I thought we talked around a lot when we were in our affair before. I can still do better with being direct and trying not to be scared to say things out loud, but I did pretty well last night. And maybe it was my openness last night, but he said something that he has never said before. He told me that he has known for a long time that I am the one for him. Of course, that was a pretty nice thing to hear, but that statement is confusing to me given that it doesn’t seem consistent with the distance he is still trying to maintain somewhat.

      He wants to talk more and I want to talk more about our relationship, and I know we will soon enough. For now, I think we will try to keep the pace we are keeping, which is less intense than a few years ago. But, how long can we sustain that pace as things get better? He was again last night telling me how it feels good to miss me over these last two weeks of our winter break but that it also feels bad to miss me (and that gets us closer to the badness of before).

      Oh, and our marriages are pretty much as before… nothing much has changed. He feels better about being present (and I’m sure about her asking fewer questions about why he’s being distant), and my H and I have increased a little closeness over the last year; but I am still very in love with my MM, as he is with me, so there is a distance that remains in our marriages that I don’t think we’ll ever repair.

      I know this is long. 🙂 But still helps me to talk it out!

  • Lifelessons

    Felk…
    (anyone else who would like to offer advice)

    This is what I would like to convey to MM and this stems from a previous conversation him and I had…

    So, not sure if you noticed but I’m very reflective so thats why its days later and I still have something to say..
    I thought about the conversation, the texts and the delivery of my message..and I am pretty sure I could’ve done a better job at expressing myself than what I did but what was happening for me is…I was in my feelings and unable to speak to u in a logistical way instead I spoke from my emotions…

    However, what I was feeling is… I’m not being appreciated or valued and I feel I’m deserving. I think some of it does stem from it being the holiday season and how it can make you feel (especially with me being single) but in general during this time people spend more time with family and significant others, whether they want to or not it’s just traditional for a lot of people. So, its not that I don’t understand that you can’t be as available for me due to the circumstances. However, when you don’t talk to me regularly, or more so when you leave me hanging (as you did Sunday morning and Sunday night in my opinion) it highlights how this can be! It forces me to remember what this is and what it isn’t and sometimes that hurts. I have to look into my own insecurities and make sense of it. Me, being the person who wants to grow and do better, my mind automatically go into that mode and reflections begins but anyway, in my mind I was thinking about how much value I have, what I bring to the table in any situation and feeling like I definitely don’t deserve to be anyones side dish because I’m worthy of being a full course. I was thinking about how I have always been #1 in any relationship despite the infidelity and that was a challenge but this #2 shit ain’t easy at times and it ain’t easy to take everything in stride and keep it moving like it doesn’t bother me…So, I was definitely in my feelings…I feel like I hold you at such a high regard but it didnt seem like that was being reciprocated..(I mean, I let my daughter stay another night at her dads house, after she begged and pleaded with me to come home and part of that was so I could see you, knowing she wasnt comfortable but I wanted to be sure I made time for you and then you never showed up) So that didnt feel good..anyway..part of my issue is really something I need to work on within myself because I can only change me, not you. With tht being said, I know I really don’t have to tolerate certain things you do, I knw I can ignore you, place you on the back burner and not be available to you as well, whether or not I have a boyfriend, husband, or special friend…you don’t have to be a priority to me but I make you a priority and again thats my own stuff that I have to figure out how to balance. I know that you didnt hold a gun to my head to make me deal with you, I know you don’t force me to continue a relationship with you so please don’t hear this as blame or guilt on you. I do know that things have changed from the beginning, because during that time you seemed as if you didnt like your wife, she was a bitch, and things were sour well I think that made it easier on my conscious, now it seems you guys actually like each other and are a “Happily” married couple, this is just what I see from the outside looking in and not just my observation over the Holiday season but in general over the past year and I could be wrong but it appears that way to me…Therefore, there doesn’t seem to be a space for me if things are good, not saying I want things to be bad for yall. Just speaking my truth…at this point, I cannot just turn off the love and feelings I have developed for you so I deal with all of it the best way I can and unfortunately, when certain things come up such as you not communicating with me about your change in plans, it bring those negative thoughts to the forefront…

    Just so you know, I am not a good arguer, I prefer to talk things out. I am not trying to beef with you unnecessarily, I am not trying to add additional stress to your life, I am not trying to point the finger…I just wanted you to be considerate of my feelings as I am of yours but I know you are who you are and u will continue to be who you are, I can’t control you… so I will do my best to deal with you accordingly because thats all I can do or not deal with you at all and that’s not on the table for me at this time…as far as me sending you messages and you ignoring them, I know you could care less about how it makes me feel or you could care less about making adjustments but I have a need to get things off my chest and because the times I talk to you and length of time is limited and can vary I find it convenient to send it through text. That’s the only way to be sure I get my complete thought out. Because you’ve already told me several times, you DON’T have to talk to me daily, you also told me you can call me just to check in so we may not spend an hour on the phone it could be a quick what’s up, you good….ok! and I get that therefore, I send you a message to get my thoughts out because again talking to you can vary but you may be able to text… just wanted you to have some understanding as to why I have text “books” in the past…or why I communicate certain things through text…

    I debated with myself about how much of what I’m feeling did I want to share with you but u have become a friend to me outside of our situationship so I felt I could trust you with how I feel…

    This is what I wrote down thus far and have not said it to him and now I am feeling like, its almost been a week do I want to bring it up. A part of me feels like yes, it does not matter how much time has gone by, if I need to tell him how I feel then that is what I should do, the other part of me is saying, does it matter to him, will he care, what difference does it make for you to share your thoughts, this is not even a real relationship that you have to get these thoughts across to him.
    Help me sort my thoughts please😊

    • Felk

      LL, you know I know the debate of whether or not to bring up something that’s a week old. So many times in my affair, I let things go because we didn’t have the time to talk about it when it happened and then a week went by and it seemed like I was dwelling on the past if I brought it up. Or it seemed like I was potentially ruining “good” time together by bringing up something bad. I think it’s something that people in an affair have to deal with more than people in a real relationship because we just don’t have the same amount of time together. That said, if something is important to you to say, I am a BIG supporter of saying it. If it’s on your mind this much, it’s probably best to say it, especially if you don’t think that he treated you well. We all know that we have to put up with things in an affair that we wouldn’t have to put up with in a real relationship, but we also want to be treated well within whatever “rules” there are for an affair. And if you feel like you’re not being treated well, then it’s important to say something or else the behavior can get worse AND you feel worse (for not standing up for yourself).

      From what I’m reading, it sounds like your MM bailed on some plans the two of you made (and he didn’t call/text to cancel)? So, first, were these plans clearly set/understood or were you just hoping the plans would happen? If it was definite plans, and he didn’t show up, that’s a problem. Second, when he didn’t show up, did he explain or apologize? In affairs, we know that sometimes plans fall through at the last minute and it sucks, but we expect the person to treat us with respect even when those plans fall through – call/text as soon as you can and definitely apologize. I’m just asking to get a sense of what happened, but, ultimately, it sounds like something he’s done before and that you’ve expressed to him in the past how you don’t like to be treated that way. I think it’s good to say something to him again. I think he sees these plans as looser than you do or he wants you to be more flexible about plans falling through. Either way, it’s important to show him how you’re looking at this situation.

      As for the other things you write about being in a relationship with a MM and having to share him with his W, those are tough honesties, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sharing those feelings with him. Of course, these are things he can’t change and it may make him feel bad that you’re upset, but that’s okay. I know that I have shied away from expressing hurt to my MM at times because I didn’t want to burden him with my feelings, but I know that, a lot of the time, it just ended up worse for me and I should have expressed. Not only would he probably have responded well, but I would have felt better about being true to myself. One thing I am trying in our affair this time around is to not do my MM’s emotional labor. For example, I want to try not to worry about how expressing something important (to me) might bother him. I want to let him react as he needs to react, and I will do the same.

      One thing I will say, though, is that your MM does care. What you say will matter to him. He loves you. He cares. But, that doesn’t mean that he can change his behavior very much. He is trying to maintain his marriage, make sure his W doesn’t get suspicious, and be good to his kids. All of that is going to take priority just as, at times, you will prioritize other things in your life, too. As a side note, I doubt your MM is suddenly in a happy marriage. He may just not complain about his W in the same way he used to, but I guarantee that if he’s in love with you, his marriage isn’t great.

      I think your letter is honest, fair, and understanding. (The one part that might be unfair is the part where you say “I know you could care less about how it makes me feel or you could care less about making adjustments.” I think your MM does care.) The good thing about taking time to think, as you have done, is that it helps you act when you’re calm instead of when you’re angry. Maybe just writing it out is enough and you’ll decide not to send that to him, or maybe you’ll realize that you aren’t being true to yourself unless you tell him how you feel.

    • BAF

      Hi LL!
      I am short on time at the moment and need to think about your words a little bit before responding. But I DO have one “free” piece of advice immediately: Do NOT send this in an email. Have this discussion in real life, face to face with him. I think communicating with most men and even most people when the content is as nuanced as it is here is much better done in person. Especially with men (sorry if I sound sexist). I am basing this on my previous experiences. So first of all I suggest this: Get all your thoughts in order on paper first. Take your time. Write it all down. But then go and have the conversation in real life. Face to face. You can bring “notes’ if you re afraid of forgetting certain things. I think you need to watch and hear his reactions as you speak to him in person in order to get a sense of whether you are being heard and whether he truly is trying to understand your feelings or not. Many hugs, BAF and Happy 2019!! xoxo

    • J

      Hi lifelessons,
      I’ve been reading your posts for awhile and I must say that it seems as your mm is treating you worse. I read your above post and the one below detailing everything that’s been going on lately. I do understand that your mm has a W, kids, job, and you to balance, but that’s his choice and his behavior has been very thoughtless and he’s NOT valuing you or your time. I’m sorry if I’m hurting your feelings. I do agree with Felk that he loves you, but right now he thinks it’s all about him. All of the not calling back when he says, the oversleeping, the not showing up when he says, unacceptable. Yes, things can happen as Felk points out. But with your mm it’s repeatedly and he hardly seems apologetic, and he doesn’t contact you ASAP to let you know about the changes. Anyone can sneak off into the bathroom for a min to send a quick text indicating a change of plans. Not doing so is just rude and careless. And then he makes you feel badly for explaining your feelings saying you wrote a book or that he’s not going to text you back if he doesn’t like what you said. Also very rude. It seems like your mm has changed little by little and is getting worse, sometimes when you’re so close it’s hard to see the changes, which is why I’m confirming that yes he’s taking you for granted. However, we do set the perimeters of how we will be treated, so maybe you’re ok with some of his behaviors, which I would not be. His saying he wants to not talk to you sometimes so he can miss you, but is that ok with you? You’re also a person in the “relationship.” I do not think your mm will react well to your long message. Yes I agree that if you’re not happy it should be conveyed. But based on his past behaviors, I don’t see him changing. And he will prob start saying what you do that he doesn’t like, his other common response, which is also not respectfully listening to you, rather it’s becoming a competition of who is more right/wrong. I agree with BAF that you’d prob be more successful having this conversation in person. If you’re comfortable and ready, and you really feel it, I would tell him that you no longer want to be treated this way, and act accordingly. I’m sorry but his behavior has only gotten worse, it will prob get even worse. You’re single, date other men and say goodbye to this situation. Oh one other thought, I know Felk has never had jealousy of the W and also understands her mm trying to maintain his marriage, well that was never me. I don’t know how you feel on this. I agree your mm’s marriage isn’t great or he wouldn’t be in another affair (unless it’s purely sexual and he’s selfish). However I do believe it’s entirely possible that you’ve actually helped his marriage. He’s getting extra from you, going home happier, you’re fulfilling where his W is lacking, guilt is prob making him act nicer to her. My mm has told me in the past that I made his marriage more tolerable, and he was taking his good feelings from me and bringing them home, even laughing more with his W. Just my 2 cents. Hope I helped a little. Best wishes.

    • TTSP

      Happy New Year all! Lifelessons, I concur with others about talking in person if that is available to you. I respect the need and right to express your feelings in an expeditious manner. No one likes mulling over something for days. That being said, there’s nothing worse than putting your heart on the line only to be met with a man on the defense. They are apathetic and cold if they feel attacked. Maybe I’m speaking from my own experience in the affair and in a traditional relationship but tone, delivery and timing are crucial.

      Generally speaking are you content with the relationship? Life is short and the older I get the more I realize that it’s up to me to pave the way to happiness. If something doesn’t suit me I need to focus on my role and what I can change. Still, I can see how a light casual relationship might satisfy people really well if they aren’t looking for something permanent.

      Have you had a chance to talk to him? I ask because you posted your message on Jan 1. If I understand correctly he didn’t follow through on plans and neglected to give you notice? That’s not cool if you guys had definitive plans. As a courtesy a text, call or message to let the person know you can’t make it is standard etiquette. I don’t have to tell you that. The holidays in the past were rough for me. I was jealous that the W got the attention, time, gifts and everything else minus sex. I was more resentful that he got 100% of two women and I got 10% of one man. Needless to say I couldn’t go back due to the emotional toll it took on me. It conjured up my deepest, darkest, most horrifying fears and insecurities. He still tells me he’s open and wants to be lovers but I can live with being horny over feeling like a nothing, unlovable shell of a person. We’ve emailed here and there but I suspect he’s only reaching out in hopes that I’ll change my mind. I’m probably deranged and still emotionally attached to think we can be acquaintances.

    • BAF

      HI again LL,
      I do think both Felk and J make many excellent points that I agree with. I stand by my first comment to have this as a real life discussion. And carefully WATCH his responses to your words. You cant do that when you send an email.

      I believe you have a lot on your mind and you need a face to face long conversation. While some things you mention are concrete and very hard for you (like you asking your daughter to stay over an exit night at her father’s house and then the MM blowing you off) other things you say are more generalized ex. (“I’m not being appreciated or valued and I feel I’m deserving.”) and I think have been building up inside of you over time. Please try to re-read your letter and highlight for yourself in a yellow marker the most important points for yourself.

      What stands out to me is how many things you have to say and how you have a perfect right to all of your feeling whether or not you believe this and whether or not your MM agrees.
      These comments stand out to me:

      “However, when you don’t talk to me regularly, or more so when you leave me hanging (as you did Sunday morning and Sunday night in my opinion) it highlights how this can be! It forces me to remember what this is and what it isn’t and sometimes that hurts.” How much is “sometimes” do you think? Be honest.

      “I was thinking about how much value I have, what I bring to the table in any situation and feeling like I definitely don’t deserve to be anyones side dish because I’m worthy of being a full course.” Here you sound confident and strong BRAVA!

      “I feel like I hold you at such a high regard but it didnt seem like that was being reciprocated”. This is a big issue in affairs. for all of us here. what does he need to do to make you feel better?

      “So that didnt feel good..anyway..part of my issue is really something I need to work on within myself because I can only change me, not you.” Yes but you are very quick to take sole responsibility here and perhaps “over-try” to be fair to him I think.

      “I do know that things have changed from the beginning, because during that time you seemed as if you didnt like your wife, she was a bitch, and things were sour well I think that made it easier on my conscious, now it seems you guys actually like each other and are a “Happily” married couple, this is just what I see from the outside looking in and not just my observation over the Holiday season but in general over the past year and I could be wrong but it appears that way to me…”
      This was a giant issue for me personally in my affair as it happened to me too. Affairs often make the marriages better for the MM and thus cease to give us a reason to be in them (IF our original reason for being in the affair was because of his unhappiness at home).

      “Just speaking my truth…at this point, I cannot just turn off the love and feelings I have developed for you so I deal with all of it the best way I can and unfortunately, when certain things come up such as you not communicating with me about your change in plans, it bring those negative thoughts to the forefront…”. Please remember that while you can not stop your love feelings you CAN and MUST take actions to protect yourself always. Setting boundaries even small ones can help a lot. Or making new rules for the affair YOURself. Dont wait for him to set the rules. Make some yourself! This will make you an actor rather than a reactor in the relationship and give you more control.

      “I know you could care less about how it makes me feel or you could care less about making adjustments”. If this is true the this is a red flag for sure. Are you saying this because you are angry or because you feel it is true?

      I hope this helps LL!
      Hugs,
      BAF

      • TTSP

        BAF,
        What you said about affairs making their marriage more fulfilling really rung true for me and felt like a kick in the face too often. “Affairs often make the marriages better for the MM and thus cease to give us a reason to be in them (IF our original reason for being in the affair was because of his unhappiness at home).” I felt used and completely undervalued. We’re not here to be the solution to someone else’s relationship even if they weren’t consciously involved for that reason. Effectively the mistress is filling the void and everyone deserves better. Did you have a nice holiday with your children? I know they are adults but they’re still your children. I loved getting away without worrying about him like I did last year. I could actually enjoy what and who was in front of me YAY

        • BAF

          TTSP
          Yes I totally agree with you about being mistresses with them making their marriages better. This for me is a true slap in the face (times one hundred) emotionally. It has dawned on me that this is a form of self-abuse by allowing myself to be in a relationship with someone I allow to continually allow to make me feel this way. It was an addiction to pain in its own way as well as a hybrid of love/sex addiction. So I too had to QUIT it.
          I loved what you said about this: “I was more resentful that he got 100% of two women and I got 10% of one man. Needless to say I couldn’t go back due to the emotional toll it took on me. It conjured up my deepest, darkest, most horrifying fears and insecurities.” Ditto for me! Your words say it all!

          As for this you say: “He still tells me he’s open and wants to be lovers but I can live with being horny over feeling like a nothing, unlovable shell of a person.” This is so damn true! Yes tolerating being horny over acting on those urges is a triumph and wins us time to find something healthier to f-ck. LOL
          “We’ve emailed here and there but I suspect he’s only reaching out in hopes that I’ll change my mind. I’m probably deranged and still emotionally attached to think we can be acquaintances.” I think we are all a bit deranged here for various reasons truth be told.
          But I also see we CAN!! improve on treating ourselves better and refusing to stay in painful, demeaning relationships just to get some of our needs met.
          Thanks for asking about my sons!
          My younger son (the one that moved away in summer) got ENGAGED! over New Year’s! It is a very thrilling feeling and I feel so happy for them! They have been together though thick and thin for 5 years. They also know each other both good and bad, and very well. So I see their love is based on commitment and self respect as well as respect for the other.
          This is a far cry from the “love” in an affair I am afraid especially if you are a single woman and involved with a married man.

          I am still in the FWB thing/phase and I am content……we are just friends but have had sex twice :). It is a far cry from the intensity of my former affair thank goodness! It feels pretty warm and safe and friendly but not pressured romantically. My ex MM lurks at times around the corner like a vampire but he appeals to me less and less the days as a person. All that false bravado and false self esteem is so off-putting after awhile. And too predictable and boring in fact! I can predict his every move due to his narcissism and I do not find this sexy at all when I really admit my feelings to myself.
          Stay well and strong TTSP! There is more to life than our exMM’s!
          Hugs BAF
          xxxooo

          • BAF

            TTSP I wanted to add something as I see my words could have more than one meaning….When I say my affair made my exMM’s marriage “better” I don’t necessarily mean I changed the relationship between them directly. I know a stale marriage does not and can not automatically come alive when a person (married or single) engages in an affair.

            However a hard situation for the married person DOES become more tolerable. A stuck situation DOES becomes more tolerable. A depressed lonely situation DOES becomes happier. Etc. Staying in a marriage one had doubts about DOES seem a little easier.

            An affair can not but help affecting a marriage (or two) depending on how many people are married. But I know you already know this.
            Hugs BAF
            xx00

          • Felk

            BAF and TTSP, I do get how an affair could “help” a stagnant marriage and make it more tolerable. How it could help someone in a marriage where they felt lonely (and trapped). That wasn’t the experience for me and my MM, though. The affair made our initially-good marriages worse. Over time, the affair actually made us feel more trapped and lonely in our marriages. We started getting more and more distant from our spouses over time, to the point where his W said something to him about it (a few times). Sex plummeted in our marriages during the affair. I felt smothered by my H, and my MM and I were constantly thinking about how we’d rather be elsewhere. For me, I handled it by simply getting more distant from my H, ignoring how poorly I was treating him, and pretty much just thinking about the next time I’d see my MM. For my MM, as you all know, started feeling bad about that increased distance at home and how the frustration of us not being together was affecting his marriage and, likely, his kids, so that’s why he tried to end our relationship in sept 2017 (wow, does that sound long ago). But, it was ending the affair that has helped our marriages get a little better (emphasis on “a little”). The affair itself made our marriages worse and made us more unhappy in our marriages.

            I wonder if the difference is that our marriages were good when we started the affair? We weren’t in stagnant marriages and feeling trapped when we started. Or maybe it’s simply that the experience is different for different people and different marriages. So, I say all of this not denying that affairs can possibly help some people feel better in their marriage. It just wasn’t my experience.

    • Hope

      Oh L I just wanted to reach out and give you a hug. Xxxx I am so sorry hun, affairs can absolutely suck from time to time. Just know that we know how you feel, we have felt how you feel and we will always be here when you need.😘❤️

      I am a bit short on time (newborn baby with reflux) but I agree with BAF about saying in person, people can be so hard to read and understand and texts make it harder. If you can please do try and tell this to him in person. I agree with Felk the part about him caring less about how you feel doesn’t sound right, he does care (even if you feel he doesn’t it’s correct to assume so without being sure of it). I agree with Felk I think he does love you, I also don’t think it’s all of a sudden a happy marriage for him, most people don’t get into affairs for minor reasons and once in it isn’t easy to fix a marriage; ask me I have been actively trying to do this for a year. A year without exMM and my marriage is so far away from perfect. I think once you are distant from a spouse it’s so hard to comeback. So please don’t think it’s a perfect marriage, it’s not (I don’t wish ill on the couple just stating the facts from my experience).

      Coming back to the text, he does love you and as Felk said holiday periods are so difficult, the thing that rings alarm bells for me is him saying ‘he DOESN’T have to talk to you everyday’ that’s him being a dick. In any relationship even in affairs two people decide what’s neeeded from it and NOT one. I’d call him out on that too. Take care girl, you are awesome, loveable, kind, caring and compassionate. You’ve got this!❤️❤️❤️❤️

      Felk and BAF happy New Year!! I am so sorry I couldn’t reply to your posts, I am going crazy without sleep and not getting anytime for myself. I read both your posts and and am so glad things are going well with both of you. I wish you heaps of happiness in this coming year. Take Care ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️💋💋💋💋😘😘

      Love,
      Hope.

  • LifeLessons

    Hi Everyone,

    I could not go into the New Year without reaching out to you beautiful ladies. I have not been on here since November so I am sure I have a lot of catching up to do. MM has been as “available” as he could be, considering its Holiday season and his wife is not working at this time so she is home and on his back most days. We just had a disagreement a few days ago about his availability and we have not resolved it..well, he feels we have but I am not done with it. I wrote down what i need to say to him so I can be sure to get my full thought across. On Christmas I text him and said Merry Christmas to him and his family and although he doesnt communicate with me the way I think he could, i love him flaws and all. Well he replied, to me and said, Merry Christmas and I love you too. I was shocked because he does not communicate his love for me straight forward, it is always I love my girlfriend or you love me just as I love you. Although, I said it to him through message, he reciprocated it and that is a first because I have said it in message maybe once or twice prior to this and he has never said it back. Anyway, just wanted to share that!

    I really hope all of you ladies had a great holiday season and Hope the New Year bring you love, joy, peace and prosperity. I do not make New Years resolutions but I always pray for growth, and a peace of mind so that will continue to be a part of my prayers. My kids and I will spend the New Year at our home making memories together…we have not spent New Years in our not so new, “New” home. We have live here for about 16months, and last year they were with their dad and I went out.

    Felk,
    I hope things are still ok with you and MM. I knw the last time I read a post from you, you were feeling a little anxious about your 6 day “vacay” from MM and Im sure this was another break. I know you manage yourself very well and your ability to be patient is amazing to me. You stay grounded in reality and it helps me to do the same (as much as I can) we are human so sometimes our emotions and feelings get the best of us.

    BAF,
    I hope you are feeling proud of yourself, with all of the things you endured this past year (losing your dad and getting rid of MM for good) you managed to stay brave and strong. If you are not, I am! It has been a true testament to what you can do when you really put forth the energy to achieve. You are still here as a positive influence and I appreciate that about you. Continue to stay brave and strong. We need you, and all of your positivity.

    J,
    I feel like its been a while since I have read anything from you, i think your MM finally decided to leave his wife and stop all the “flip flopping” and I do not know if you and him decided to make things official or not ?? However, I know you are married as well so how have things been with you and your H considering your MM left his home ?

    Lois,
    Not sure I saw your name within these last few posts but I know you were having a hard time over the past few months with him not being at the job anymore, his daughter finding messages between you two, you guys breaking things off with one another, you were struggling a bit with NC for long periods of time but you managed to go a few days without sending anything. Well…how are things now ?

    TTSP,
    Hey if I got this right..you are single just like me?? I know you were determined not to go back with your MM and you felt as though he wanted to keep you around because he viewed you as his sex toy…have you had any communication with him ? Have you been dating ?? What have you been up to lol

    Hope,
    Hi..I am not sure we chatted with one another enough for you to remember my story or for me to remember yours but I knw the last time you checked in with us you left a really positive message and said you were focused on your husband and you were expecting a baby. That was a few months back so hopefully you are on here to share greatness with us. Sorry, I havent read through any posts, I just browsed the names to see who I have missed. Again, I hope all is well with you and best wishes for you and your family.

    I pray I did not miss anyone, I really wish nothing but the best for us all. We are all beautiful, strong, loving and caring women who deserve nothing but greatness. Love you all😘😘

    • Felk

      Hi LL, good to hear from you. Sounds like things are good with your MM, but that you’re still working on some availability and communication issues… isn’t that always the case with an affair! But, I’m glad you got the “I love you” for Christmas. I know you know he loves you, but it’s nice to see it in writing, too.

      Things are good with my MM, thanks for asking. Thanksgiving was a little rough, but this holiday has been good. He’s been much more communicative than usual, even sending a text on Christmas to wish me a merry christmas. He’s been responsive and flirty on email, so that’s been nice in these two weeks apart. (And, if you didn’t see it in a previous post, yes, we had sex before the winter break.) It seems we are officially in this affair again, but we’re going slow and, for now, being careful. You know I’m being patient, and it’s been easier than expected. I’m trusting, and his communication is helping me trust. I’m glad my words have been helpful to you. Your honesty and openness have helped me, and I can see all your patience and understanding with your MM, too.

      I hope you have a good time bringing in the new year with your kids.

      • LifeLessons

        Felk…
        I replied to this prior to me posting what I wanted to convey to MM which is posted up above 1/1/19 9:30ish am…not sure why it did not post.

        Anyway, here is my second attempt to remember what I said lol. I did not realize you and MM had sex. I mean…I knew it would happen eventually but you had some questions or wanted to gain some clarity on a few things first. How are you feeling about it ? I am sure there are no regrets but emotionally how are you ? I know thanksgiving was rough but I am happy he is communicating more but you also understand his form of communication making a little less complex.

        Well as far as MM and I go..yes we are still good for the most part. His bday was after thanksgiving and he came over to my house on his bday around 9:30am we were at my house until 10:30am and we went for a drive for him to shop for something to wear (90minute drive both ways) we ate lunch together and got back around 4p. It was so nice to be in his company for that long period of time on his actually bday. Well about 2 weeks after that he told me his W was going to be off because she is switching jobs. He said, they were going on a day trip shopping for Christmas gifts the weekend of the Dec 8th. He did not call me once they got back, he called me that Monday while i was at work so I didnt talk to him, we didnt talk on the phone until that thursday or friday. I didnt like it but I also didnt address it because I was trying to be understanding. Well the following week we didnt talk that much and when we talked he said he would call back but didnt call back. On the 18th he called me at 8:30a and he wanted to come over but I had to get my hair done that day so he didnt come over. Later that day when we talked he said the next time he should talk to me first to see if I have plans because we were both off and he planned to be with me all day that day. Unfortunately we missed each other that day. Well the weekend of the 22nd the kids were gone and I thought we may see each other l, although we hadnt been talking regularly. He called me that Saturday and asked if he could stop by so he could at least see me and touch me and he could get his bday gift (because it arrived after his bday so he had to get it late) and I said yea, although I hated that we hadnt been talking daily as we did before their day trip. He came by for a few minutes and said he would come over that Sunday but he was coming early around 8:30am I said ok..Sunday came and at 9:30 i text him saying, hey do you have to work today ? He text right back and said, I overslept like shit, I am JUST waking up. I said does this mean youre not coming ? He didnt reply so I text about an hour later and said I guess that is a NO. Still nothing from him! He called me around 5p saying he just finished up his event. He said, when are the kids coming back, i said in a few (I honestly didnt know I just said that to him) so I ended up texting my kids dad asking him when were the kids coming back he said he was keeping them until the next day I said ok cool. Text MM to let him know, he said ok I will be there. He called me around 7 or 8 and said, im taking this food home and should be there in a little while. Well he never called back and never showed up so of course im upset…in the meantime my daughter was texting me begging to come home because she didnt want to be at their dads house. Im telling her NO for 2 reasons 1) I wanted to see MM 2) I only get a few hours away from them every other weekend so I wanted to enjoy my additional day.
        Monday he calls early around 9am and said she took his car the night before to go see her sister whom was admitted in the hospital. He said she had the car again and he was thinking he could ride his bike to my house. I said oh..idk what time the kids are coming home but let me ask and i will text u back. I text the kids dad he said they would be back noonish. I text MM and said they will be back after 11 but dont worry about coming down. I was in a mood so i didnt really want to see him..
        Well Tuesday Christmas day..I text him saying hope you and your family have a good christmas, although you carry me at times I love you flaws and all. He replied with the Merry Christmas I love you too. Well he called me around 6p I missed the call because i was asleep. Well i called him 9p ish..he said, she is about to be on my heels so I will have to call you back. Wednesday I sent him a message saying the neglect is real..he said what are you talking about, I called you yesterday. I said well I havent been talking to you regularly and it seems like I am not on your radar at this time so I guess I need to keep your same energy. He never replied. Thursday nothing, Friday I said, are you at least going to come and get your gift in case you dont remember me my name is_________
        He called and said I do remember you and I dont understand why you think you send me those messages and I am going to reply to you. I said well youve been carrying me lately. He said no I havent I said you have been so inconsiderate and I dont deserve that. I said, you couldve called me or text me to tell me you couldnt make it. You did me wrong 2 days in a row. He said I did call you I said yes hours later and then a day later. He said, well at least i called…thats all that matters. I said no its not! I said i will not be able to hear anything you have to say about that unless its an apology because I definitely do not deserve that. I have told you time and time again..my TIME is VALUABLE just as yours and I would like you to treat it that way. He said you act like you dont do anything. I said its not about me its about you being inconsiderate. I said, I know you may not realize certain things because you are juggling me, her, work, home etc. but I have the kids and you (as far as relationships go) so I may notice things more than do. He said, thats not true. I said i may take more notice on how regularly we talk or dont talk. He said, if you think I dont know when we dont talk youre crazy. He said, you dont always call me back, when I call you. He said he knows it only happens about 25% of the time but it still happens. I said that is not true…he said, if you tell me that is not true one more time I swear I am going to hang this phone up on you. I said if I do not call back its out of respect. He said oh I forgot youre the only one keeping track of what we do. I said well I was just saying I may be more in tune with you or us than what you are…I may be more into us. He said, what…we are in tune with each other the same, it just shown differently. I said whatever. He said its the Holidays, thats why you acting like and I already told you she was out of work. He also said he dont have to talk to me daily, he would like to miss me. He said he dont want to talk to me routinely, he does that with her and thats not what he wants to do with me..he dont want to have this routine talk with everyday. He said he would call back but of course he didn’t. (The order of the previous conversation may not be in order but thats the gist of what happened) He called me Saturday and I still had things to say to him about the conversation from the day before( i did some reflecting on what he said, what I said and what I was feeling and wrote it down so I could convey it to him and that is what i posted 1/1/19 9am ish) but once we were on the phone I didnt want to say it. We video talked for a few minutes, he told me he would pick up my son to take him to a party that his son and my son was invited too. I told him I could take him myself..he said, i got it you deserve a break too..I will pick him up and she will bring him home so you wont have to leave out. I said ok. I text him Sunday saying sorry to text early but i figure the earlier I text the easier it may be for you to get to me at some point during the day, I just wanted to share my thoughts with you regarding our talk from Friday. He called me around 2 or 3p and I answered but I was babysitting my niece (11months old) so I couldnt talk to him. He said you want to call me back I said yes and I called back but he didnt answer. He called me Monday after 7p once he got off work and I told him I wanted to talk to him about Friday but honestly didnt feel like it..he said I can dig it. We talked about neither of us having new year plans. He said he was heading in the house and would talk to me later. Tuesday called, i missed it and called back about 10am he called me back within 40mins and said he was cooking when I called but he made sure he left out so he could call me. I said o ok. He said all the kids came over today, I said oh. He said I slept the new year in and I said oh ok, I was up really late. He said did you go out and I said Nope, I was home but because I took a nap I couldnt sleep. He said o ok. He said well I gotta go back in the house but I should be able to call you back in a little while..well….you already know, he didnt call back. I know we dont have to talk everyday all day but I dont like for someone to be inconsiderate…you have to read the message above to help me determine if I should talk to him or if I should let it go…

        • Felk

          LL, as for me and my MM (and sex), no regrets. You knew that. 🙂 I felt good going into it. Much better than last January when we had that desperation sex. This was not desperation sex. But, it also helps that he’s reacting well and being sweet/playful in our communication. So, emotionally, things are good. I’ll get to see him this weekend, too, so two more days and the distance is done (and handled well). Then we’ll be back at work next week, and it’ll be nice (and complicated) seeing him regularly again.

          As for you and your MM, thanks for the full story. It sounds like much of the same thing that continues to frustrate you – that he doesn’t call you back when he says he’s going to or that he doesn’t show up when he says he’s going to. Both aren’t good. As J says, anyone can find 5 minutes to text someone something quick to say that plans are off. (The two of you could even have an agreement that a quick text like “sorry, can’t right now” isn’t meant dismissively but is meant to quickly say that something else came up and you can’t call/text/show up as planned.) So, I know it’s not that plans change (because you seem pretty flexible), but it’s that he acts like it’s no big deal that he doesn’t call back or doesn’t text you when his plans change about being able to come over. Like, the Sunday before Christmas, when he was supposed to come over after he took food home, and then he didn’t come over and then didn’t call until the next day?!? That’s unacceptable. His W took the car to see her sister in the hospital. Fine. How does that stop him from texting or calling to tell you what’s going on? That’s the part that would make me mad. Why isn’t he texting or calling that night? I know he says “at least I called,” but how can he think that it’s okay to call a day later when he’s expected to show up the night before? Especially when it seems he was at home and could have texted. So, yeah, I get why you’re mad and I’m glad you said something to him about it. He is not showing respect for your time. As you said, your daughter is calling asking to come home. Not that you have to let her come home or you don’t have the right to a night by yourself, but had you known he wasn’t coming over, you might have told her she could come home. Yes, you can make that decision on your own without knowing your MM’s plans, but you’re trying to find time to see him in a complicated situation and communication from him helps balance everything going on. I ran into this same problem with my MM sometimes.

          Yes, the holidays can make it all harder. They can make him busier or make him feel guiltier about spending time with family. They can make you sadder about him being with his family or that you don’t have a boyfriend/husband. But, it just seems that the two of you have a different idea about respectful communication. He thinks he’s doing it and you don’t think so. (I agree with you, but I’m just giving his perspective that he thinks he’s trying.) I know it hurts to hear your MM say that he doesn’t need to communicate as often as you do (my MM has told me that), but you still want respectful communication, even if it isn’t every day. Of course, you’d prefer your MM to want to talk to you every day, but I respect his honesty in saying that he doesn’t want that (and probably because he doesn’t want the relationship to go stale like with his W). It’s a hard honesty, but you know you’re having an affair and you will not be his top priority. So, you have to decide if it’s good enough for you and if it’s treatment you’re willing to live with. Yes, you can ask for more, but I don’t know if he’s going to give it… and then you have to decide if you want to stay.

          As for his marriage, I really don’t know. As J says, it’s possible that your affair has made him happier in his marriage because it makes him less bored with life (because he has you). But, generally, affairs hurt marriages (and it sounds like your MM was already unhappy in his when the affair started). So, maybe he’s trying more in his marriage because he feels guilty, but, even after my MM did that, it didn’t change anything about how he felt about his W. For me, my affair definitely hurt my marriage.

          I hear you’re saying that things are mostly good but that he’s still not communicating as much as or in the way you’d like him to. Thing is, I don’t know if he can change at this point. I’m not saying it’s not worth trying to talk to him (I think it is… and in person is always best… but we don’t always have that luxury in an affair), but I think that you know that an affair can’t be as good as a “real” relationship. That is the shit of an affair. And I think it’s often that pressure to try to get an affair as close to a normal/real relationship as possible that is the undoing of the affair (or the marriage). I don’t just mean pressure from you on him. I mean pressure of him on him and you on you. The addiction. The in love. That feeling that makes you just keep wanting more. That’s what MM and I are trying to do better this time around. We’ll see.

        • BAF

          LL I just saw this after I posted to you above. To me, this post and its details make me agree with something J said above: “It seems like your mm has changed little by little and is getting worse”. I know he said “I love you” to you on Christmas and I am sure he does love you, but the word love is not a feeling word but an action word. A verb not a noun.

          Love as a feeling is only a first level of the word. It is a first step, but is mostly about sexual and romantic attraction. It does not include consistent action over time DESPITE what one feels. Love as an action is the fuller sense of the word, meaning that one “loves” the beloved by taking loving actions consistently, regardless of how one feels. In other words, maybe I am exhausted, or annoyed, but I still take the action to “love” my significant other because I am committed to loving him over time. I, in turn, want and expect the same from him. Do you see the difference? Does this make sense?
          I read about this tears ago in “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck and it stuck with me ever since.
          Some men get very lazy after they say “I love you”. They think those words alone are enough to maintain a love relationship. After they say the magic “I love you” words, they cease trying so hard to be loving.

          It is odd but quite common. A man can think like this: Now that I said “I love you” to her and she said it to me, I can go back to being my own usual (lazy) self and not get so involved trying to prove it to her all the time anymore. She knows it and I know it so why do I have to keep putting is so much effort and proving it to her?

          When a man does this the woman gets totally turned off because he has seemingly stopped trying to please her. She sees him making little effort and he appears low energy towards her and more weak than strong. It’s a classic mistake men can make. This type of man takes a woman for granted at the “I love you” stage.

          I hope this is somehow helpful! I know your situation is very hard for you because your feelings AND actions are BOTH involved.
          Hugs BAF
          xoxo

  • J

    Hello ladies,
    Hope everyone had a relaxing and nice holiday. I doubt the holiday with my family and my H. Mm spent the holiday with his extended family, but did not see his W. He saw his kids on Christmas Eve for a short but nice visit. His W has been hogging their adult children (in their mid 20’s). He’s been overall depressed saying it’s not a merry Christmas. He’s sad, understandably about not seeing his kids as much. Although he did also go out to dinner and a movie with them 2 days before Christmas. He’s also saying he’s lonely in his apartment and he constantly complains about everything about his apartment. His W had a cosmetic surgery last week, related to improving her appearance, she’s completely cancer free. He went to visit her and calls her to ask if she’s okay. He still babies her. For a month before Christmas he went on and on about the gifts he was getting his kids. Researching them, looking around, etc, the day before Christmas he asked me what I want. Seemed rather thoughtless to me. Mm and I have talked numerous times about my comfort level for leaving my H. Ive made it completely clear that I’m not doing anything until he actually files for divorce, which I think is totally understandable after all of his constant flip flops. I’m sure everyone on here remembers all of the hurt I went through with his constant emotional swings and disgusting details of working on intimacy with his wife. The way he would go through phases of having to work on his marriage and then telling me he doesn’t love me. Well I’ve worked very hard to regain trust for him again. At times I still have my doubts based on his everyday communication with his W and his going over there to help her so often. Well recently he has started getting frustrated with me saying that he doesn’t believe I’m ever leaving H, and trying to make me do it now. I’ve reminded him that I’m waiting for him to file for divorce and why. He says he just doesn’t understand that anymore and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t leave now. He said he resents me for having a normal holiday when he couldn’t. He’s also started getting critical of me, as he did in past mood swings. I told him that I don’t believe I deserve to be treated this way, as he’s not trying to talk to me rather he’s acting mad. I told him that I don’t find his behavior respectful and I’m sick of his criticism. I suggested we take some time apart if he wants to. He rudely said yes fine because I’m probably really just looking for an excuse to end things with him. He acted snotty and I haven’t heard from him since. He always runs away from conflict and disappears. Yes I suggested taking some time, but I didn’t mean it in a snotty way like he did. I’m realizing I really don’t trust him still because he’s not reassuring. I actually (embarrassingly) drove by his house with W to see if he went home. I actually think he’s capable of that since I’m not doing exactly what he wants. Also he has these severe mood swings and this could be one of them. I’m wondering if I did leave H, and mm and I had a conflict would I constantly live in this fear that he’s going home to W or he will run away. Thoughts?? Is mm being unfair?? As always, I appreciate your help.

    • Felk

      J, I had a nice holiday with family and I hope you enjoyed yours, too. I think what you write about your doubts and fears is entirely justifiable given what your MM has put you through in the past. You are not being unfair. I think you are being smart by waiting until he files for divorce to say anything to your H. Yes, your MM has moved out and gotten an apartment and that’s an important first step, but it seems he’s still tied to his W and it’s making you (understandably) insecure. It is possible that it’s simply his guilt and his way of letting go, but he really does need to let go of his ties to his W (outside of his children) if he is going to have a real relationship with you. He may feel that moving out was enough of a demonstration to you and now it is your turn to “show” him that you’re ready to leave your marriage. From his perspective, I understand that he is scared and insecure, too. He is lonely and wanting a relationship with you, and he is likely scared that he will file for divorce and then you will choose to stay with your H. I believe you want to be with your MM, but I can understand why he is scared, too. Understandably, you are both in a tough situation that requires a lot of communication and trust. And it doesn’t sound like you have that trust entirely. It’s hard to start a relationship without that.

      Your MM’s criticism isn’t helping, and his pouting and refusal to talk to you after you suggested some time apart are childish. I guess I would suggest approaching him again and sitting down for a serious/honest/calm conversation if possible. Maybe you two need to talk about all of your fears and concerns honestly, and then talk about a timeline for moving forward? Is there a way that you can reassure him that you want a life with him? You probably have already done this, but it sounds like there’s a lot of emotions involved still and you both may need to just sit down and listen to each other for a while. Your questions at the end about whether or not you could ever trust him are important, but if you are going to move on and hope for a real relationship with him, you will have to let those fears and doubts go. It is not an easy thing. Therapy may help. But I don’t know how you can be in a happy/healthy relationship if you are constantly worried someone will leave. He may have the same fears about you, so I think it’s important that the two of you sit down and be honest about all of this. At this point, you can’t be worried that the honesty will scare him away… because, if it does, your relationship had no future anyway. I think your MM wants to be with you, and I think you want to be with your MM, but you have tons of baggage from other relationships understandably. Your relationship started under conditions that cause a lot of jealousy and insecurity and now you have to work through that (alone and together) if there’s any hope for a healthy and trusting relationship between the two of you.

      • J

        Hi felk, thanks so much for your reply. I really appreciate it. I did speak with mm today, I had to initiate and initially he did not respond. Then I tried another 2 times, reassuring him that I am not trying to bail on him and that I am serious about us. He finally responded that he wants time alone. I had to persist that he talk to me and not shut me out. He was rather short initially but told me how the holiday was hard for him and he kept imagining me with my H and said he hardly saw his kids. I tried explaining that this is a temporary situation and I described what I foresee next year. He just said “ I guess.” I asked him if he’s been thinking about going home to his W and he didn’t answer directly. I asked again for a direct answer and he said he’s not going home. He then said he will be going out with his daughter tonight who has depressive problems. I said ok, but told him that he is trying very hard to help his children and his W, and is just tossing my feelings aside. I feel I pretty much pleaded with him to stop shutting me out. I told him that I need him too. He then told me when he was planning on going to the gym and I asked again if he wanted to be alone and he said no. Part of me feels I pushed myself on him. I also feel he was starting done his old path of possibly flipping. I also feel it was emotional abuse by not directly answering me about going home when I first asked. Do you agree? At the gym he acted normal, no deep conversation at all, he was in a hurry to meet his daughter. Then he gave me a hug goodbye. I’m having difficulty forgetting the last few days of being ignored and his attitude. Should I just toss it up to Christmas blues?? Or was this more?
        Felk, I was also wondering what happened when your mm came over? How did it go?? Did you take things to the next level?

        • BAF

          J the first year after a separation is like the first year after someone dies. Each holiday is painful and a difficult reminder that family life will never again be the same. For the first Christmas/New Year separated, he (your MM) is going to be going through this process. You said his wife seemed to be “hogging” the kids but in fact they are not kids and there is no need for any formal or shared custody. Instead the kids are adults and everyone is free to spend time with whomever they want.
          Your MM will now have to win his adult kids over by offering to spend time with them doing new things they can learn to enjoy. In other words, he will have to work, now to re-make his relationships with them happen in new settings and under new conditions. He will have to create new memories for them where in the past his wife may have done much of this work getting the family activities ready for the holidays. He may resent this new workload and be offloading his distress and anxiety onto you by being “moody” but don’t let him! This is his responsibility to figure out. And a new relationship with a woman (when he finally introduces you to them) will be one more layer of the work he will need to do to start living his “new” life. Don’t let him blame you because you too will have to leave a husband and all the traditions you have had with your H to be with your MM. The holidays can be very stressful for new/shared and / or combined families but eventually everyone can get used to things if the adults can all be mature and can communicate well. Of course that’s a big “if”. Therapy would help yes. Its tough on everyone as so many memories are made at holidays and no one wants to give up the way they have been doing things “for years”. But changing means some relationships can actually improve and adult kids can slowly get used to a new life with their parents not living together if one parent does not try to sabotage the other. It is hard emotional work for everyone but worth it in the end, if you and your MM can end up with a partner you truly love, and can tolerate all the adjustments of the people around you I would think. The trick is getting there!
          My two cents.
          BAF
          xoxo

        • Felk

          J, it’s good that you were able to tell him that you see this as a temporary situation and you foresee the two of you together this time next year. I am sure those are helpful words to him, even if he only gave you an “I guess” in response. As you’ve said, he hides when things get tough so that is what he is doing now. It’s good to let him know that you don’t want him to shut you out, but it also could be good for him to have some alone time to think. There’s a delicate balance between respecting someone’s space (which is fair) and not letting them shut you out (which is unfair). Also, your MM seems to react to you giving him space in an immature way, taking it as you not wanting to be around him or you shutting him out, so I think it’s even more difficult in your situation to simply give him space. But, if he’s asking for it, you might want to give a little. That doesn’t mean going weeks without talking, but maybe it means going a few days without talking or only texting a little and not expecting much back from that person?

          As for him not answering directly about going home, I don’t think that was emotional abuse. Of course, if there is a pattern of him withholding information from you, especially if it’s because he knows it hurts you to withhold it, yes, that’s emotional abuse. But, I don’t think that not answering a hard question is emotional abuse. Sometimes people don’t have an answer so they stay quiet, or sometimes they DON’T want to hurt the person with the answer so they stay quiet. He did eventually answer your question and say that he was not going home, so I would believe him unless he gives you signs to suggest otherwise.

          As for the Christmas gift, I get why you were disappointed with his gift and I know it’s not the cost. It really is a case of “it’s the thought that counts” and it seemed like he didn’t put much thought into yours, especially relative to his kids’ gifts and compared to the gifts he’s gotten you in the past. But… I would chalk this one up to him being particularly anxious about spending Christmas apart from his family this year and wanting to pay attention to his gifts for his kids (and, as BAF said, your MM has to work harder to maintain his relationship with his adult children now). If you’ve known him to be a good gift-giver in the past, I would think this year was an exception and an understandable exception given his situation. So, I’d give him a pass this year for the gift.

          I think his behavior lately is Christmas blues and the magnitude of the situation. But he has to go through this. He has made a big choice, and he is going to feel difficult emotions because of it. Of course, though, it doesn’t give him the right to treat you poorly. Try to give him space to be sad and worried, but also try to call him on it when he is being unfair to you. I hope you two can keep good communication open through this, because you both are going through a difficult time and will need each other’s support if you’re going to create a new healthy relationship.

          As for my situation, it’s good. My MM and I have gotten to a good place it seems. So, yes, we had sex when he came over last week. He’s also been communicative since. Because we’re teachers and it’s our winter break, we have two weeks without seeing each other after sex. And the holidays can be particularly tough (as Thanksgiving was), but he texted me on Christmas to wish me a merry christmas and that was pretty unexpected (but greatly wanted). He’s also been sweet and flirtatious over e-mail, so, at least for now, he is staying “close” during this time apart, and that matters a lot to me. I’ve also felt more confidence and trust in us. I know he responds to time apart differently than I do (he likes to go MIA), but I also trust that he’ll be there for us once we see each other again. But, he’s being communicative and it’s nice. Of course, the danger is, once again, of getting back into sex and getting too close and causing problems at home for him, but we’re trying to take it slow and see if we can find that balance of being together without creating all that tension for him at home. For now, it’s working for both of us.

      • J

        One more thing…not to sound like a complete brat, but all the adult children’s gifts he kept talking about. Well he spent around $1000 dollars on them. He gave me a sweater that was on sale for $25 dollars that he picked up the day before Christmas. In past years he gave me very thoughtful and generous gifts. Believe me, I don’t care about the money. But this seems so thoughtless to me.

  • BAF

    Best wishes for the holidays!
    Hello everyone here,
    I just want to wish you all a bright and peaceful holiday this year!
    Thank you all for being here for me when I need it as this forum has been supportive and understanding of my situation/s for a long time since I virtually “met” you all.

    I want to say this to the women here especially:
    It is very easy to get stuck in an affair in mind games and psychological traps in this patriarchal culture of ours. Beware!! An affair can cause us as women to doubt ourselves, shame ourselves, allow ourselves to feel used and hurt, fall into the traps of self-blame, self-hate quite easily. We can feel “less than” in an affair very easily as we are not the primary partner of the man we are madly in love with. Someone else has his time, shares his bed, has his kids, etc. etc.
    Gulp.
    As women this sets us up as “competitors” with other women, even though we might not feel jealous of the “wife” or “girlfriend” we are secretly vying for the same thing: “His love and attention” whenever he can spare some for the “us” (not the “us that is him and her but the us that us “him and us”). This is very hard on one’s self esteem as a woman. We are feeling creatures by nature and by design! We are also caring creatures…witness the compassion on the board. As women we do not need to change anything about ourselves as we are naturally wonderful.

    We are also sexual creatures just as men are and we reason to ourselves: “Why can’t we also enjoy our bodies and passion like men do?” Yet affairs are traps for so many of us here. We fall into destructive and negative thinking and acting patterns: ways of self loathing that are already acceptable in very VERY subtle ways in our culture and in the minds of the very men we fall in love with. Our feeling and giving and sexual natures can become weapons against us in affairs where we occupy a “number two” seat no matter how much the MM might “love us.”

    Anyhow for me I have decided to chop the affair “relationship model” off my my chopping block and try to find something less complicated and more fun. And less “intense”. F–k intensity. I have had a LOT! of emotional intensity all my life and I am just very turned off from intensity right now. It burns too bright for my system.
    Give me the warm glow of sanity please.

    It is not easy to leave a married man I have had such an incredibly long off again/on again history with 21 years GULP. But I really think some of the dynamic of me having to be so patient and kind and understanding and so got at the number two position really started to get OLD. Enough already. He has not made it easy for me to leave either. Generally speaking he wants all the comforts and safety of the affair right back as they were. I can have my misery back any time I wish.

    I also lost my dear elderly father in this same year. A man who always believed a woman NEEDS a man above all else. And he had many daughters, my sisters.
    (I still love you Father!). He and I had endless talks (arguments) about feminism and the role of women. How he hated that word. And those “women!”
    Yet there I was the strong and unconventional daughter. 🙂
    His generation and our culture taught him what he knew and he never asked too many questions as the system automatically favored him as a male anyhow, even if he could never (conveniently) admit that fact.

    I just donated a work of activist art in his name to a very progressive art institution where he probably would never dream his name was going to be on any artwork there. LOL. LOL. But I am sure he was ultimately proud of me for being the feminist that I am after all. As long as I still look for my Prince Charming wink wink.

    As you know I tried a FWB night of light fun recently. I realized I still am a very sexual woman and I am game for sex (without drugs or alcohol or the need for it!)
    A FWB relationship type was always my “back-up type”. Even my marriage was really a really intense friendship with a fellow artist first. I assert myself and am much more my kooky casual self in such situations.

    I feel like I just took a 21 year very in the wrong direction with a “love” relationship and I know that’s a lot of time lost to placing my energy there. My father has been “visiting” me regularly (via his spirit) to tell me what an idiot I am with the exMM. I already KNOW! this LOL
    I agree but I also am not beating myself up about it.
    I chose it. I am trying to accept the word within myself: FAILURE.
    Complete failure as a concept. I did NOT get the guy after all that effort and work and all that patience!
    I chose the affair. But isn’t it okay to fail as woman? Isn’t it okay to fail as a human?
    So I failed. I failed big and intense and hard.
    But I can un-choose it too.
    Very few people know so I guess there’s a plus side to secret failure?
    But this this “FAILURE” was INSIDE of me where I took too much of that emotion INSIDE. This reeked havoc in me in too many ways to mention here.
    But it doesn’t mean I still have to continue down that worn out road with a car that just keeps breaking down every couple of miles.
    It’s like the moment you realize a certain job or a house or a city or a lifestyle simply does not fit you any more and you need to start something new and different.
    Done. Time for something new.
    That’s me right now.
    Like I said to TTSP below:
    “I am just so over the crushing weight and seeming endless gravitas of my intense and utterly failed affair right now. I think I am going to be purely light and very superficial for awhile. Some rest and relaxation is in order here at my house for sure.”
    And: I do not have to trigger a full blown brain chemical addiction to do so and I am sure of this!.
    Phew
    Love BAF
    xx00

    • Felk

      BAF, this all sounds so great. I can hear such clarity and understanding in your words. And that part about failure was particularly great, I think. I think it’s not only human to fail, but it’s important to fail. Failure shows us what we don’t want. Failure can motivate us to do better. We gain humility from admitting failure. We probably also appreciate successes more because we fail, at times. I hear your acceptance and your compassion in your admission of failure, too. You take ownership of your choices, but you also do not beat yourself up for being human and trying to have a relationship that gave you some happiness.

      And you know I liked everything you said about feminism. It is a word I very proudly use to describe myself (and I’d probably argue that feminists were more likely to have affairs!).

      Best wishes for the holidays for you, too.

    • TTSP

      Hi BAF,

      I’m sure your father is immensely proud of you and that you’re gaining as much closure as possible after his passing. That generation did believe a woman needed a man and in that era women and men depended upon each other for survival. My grandma is 94 and she also places so much emphasis on partnership but I think it’s all from a place of goodness. She is also the first to say that marriage is by no means a bed of roses and she would’ve left my grandpa many times but they truly lived by their vows.

      People and experiences teach us so much about ourselves and the world. I don’t consider an affair a failure because there’s typically only one outcome for everyone and that is pain. Whether you’re the adulterer, mistress or person being cheated on, you’re all going through hurt in some form. Success is not a possibility but BAF, isn’t extricating yourself, developing yourself, personal growth and maturity all successes that came as a result of ending the affair. Maybe you entered into it because you weren’t ready for a serious relationship and without realizing the addictive nature got trapped for years. Also, proximity is a huge factor in your ability to break the addiction. I’m convinced that if you have easy access and forced interaction it’s noticeably more difficult to break free. Typically, affairs are filled with intense passion both physically and emotionally and it feels hella good when you’re in the moment. Let’s not deny the major rush when we’re with them. The aftermath…. well you articulated it perfectly and we all are keenly aware of that perpetual hell.

      The drama is exhausting so glad to hear you’re having fun with a casual FWB. We have sexual needs too and if you both aren’t in a place for something committed than it can add some much needed thrill into your life. I’m looking forward to more time and distance from my affair. A few lessons that might help others feel better. 1. You are whole, complete and lovable no matter what happens. 2. Just because someone doesn’t upend their entire world for you doesn’t mean they don’t really care for you and love you. Time, emotions, finances, legal ties, family roots and history hold a lot more weight than an unknown romantic endeavor (the other person). 3. Chances are your current spouse or future spouse is a much better match for you than your affair partner.

      Sending you all good vibes with lots of abundance and prosperity for the new year!

  • Hope

    Hi all you gorgeous ladies how are you all?😊 Felk, BAF, TTSP and J hi!😊
    I hope you all are doing well, Felk I just read your previous post, how are you feeling now? I am sorry you were feeling so low the time you wrote that post, I could sense the sadness (been there done that 🙁 ) there and just wanted to reach out and give you a hug! To be honest Felk I was bit surprised to read it, I have never seen you like this. Just goes to show affairs can break even the most strongest and secure person. I hope that phase passed and you are feeling better. Holidays are always tough for us, how sad is that? 🙁 As long as we take steps and move forward we will get there one day 🙂

    BAF you go girl! Nice to see you so strong. Your words are so inspirational as always. I am glad you now act nonchalant when it comes to exMM (love how you refer to him as exMM and not MM, that’s right sucker you are an ex now!!😄) You are in such a tough situation of not being able to completely get away from him but look how great you are doing! So proud of you BAF.

    TTSP such wise words from you too. I hope you are doing well.

    I gave birth to a baby girl few weeks ago, you ladies are aunties now!!😄 Even though I have to get away from here because many times I indulge in self loathing, I still feel close to you girls, you know me more than many of my friends here. I am adjusting to life as a Mum of two. ExMM still contacts me from time to time which makes moving forward difficult at times but I can’t cut him off entirely as I still love him. Things have gotten better with my H, we have come closer physically and emotionally, of course it’s nowhere near what it used to be before my affair but it’s getting better. I am now in more control of my emotions, just last year this time was such a sad time for me as exMM would disappear, no communication and I really missed him but wasn’t allowed to text him. This year I feel free. I have learnt to focus more on what I have, I try and find joy in little things, try and help others.

    Hope this holiday period is not too tough for you lovely ladies, just remind yourself it’s just a phase and it will pass. Take care of yourselves.

    Love,
    Hope.

    • Felk

      Hi Hope, good to hear from you and congratulations on your little girl. I am sure you are very busy with her, and it’s good to hear, especially with a new child, that you and your H have come a bit closer over time. I know what you mean that it’s nowhere near what it was before the affair, but, like you, I have regained some closeness with my H since last year. And, you know I also understand why you still talk to your MM. For some, it is best to cut the person out entirely, but for others, it is just too hard and you are happier with the person in your life (even if just a little) than not.

      For me, seems you read my post after the Thanksgiving holiday. I was definitely missing my MM, but I wasn’t feeling broken. 🙂 Broken was last fall, for like a month or two after he tried to end it. That was horrible misery. The Thanksgiving stuff was just some “normal” missing him and dealing with the difficulties of being apart and not communicating as much as before. I can “get in my head” at those times, wondering why he’s not contacting me, but I actually stayed pretty rational about his “style” of communication and how he still loves me. I know he missed me a lot, too. When we were finally able to spend some time together, he was pretty clearly showing how much he missed me. He initiated plans a few times and even initiated email! He also came to my house last week and is coming over again this week. He has been responsive and expressive lately. I think those two weeks were hard on both of us, and he is definitely showing he’d rather have time with me than not. I think we’re also both anticipating the difficulty of the next two weeks over the winter break. However, we have already made some plans to communicate during that time. It will be hard to be apart from him during the holidays (they’re tough in affairs), but I like how close he’s been these last few weeks and how it seems we’ll email a bit over the two weeks of winter break.

      I know he will get distant in that time (as is his style), but I will try again to remind myself of how in love he is and how distance is his coping mechanism (even if it’s not my preference). Of course, I remain a bit confused about what we’re doing now. It seems like we’re back in the affair. And he almost seems to be admitting it, although I still would rather talk more directly about it all. I probably will not try to have that conversation when he comes over this week because I don’t want to have a “heavy” conversation and then not see him for two weeks. There is no rush in that conversation, and he is very good about not feeling rushed, too. But since sex is likely this week (we did not last week, but, of course, came close again), you know I want to have some conversations about “us.” For now (and for a several months really) it’s been working to trust his love and desire for our relationship. He has remained consistent in that, even if less communicative (which he needs to maintain his marriage, and, honestly, is good for me, too).

      Thanks for checking in.

      • Hope

        Hi Felk sorry I didn’t mean to say broken (poor choice of words sorry) I meant that even you being so secure and understanding were so upset about it. Glad to know you had a good time with MM last week and are seeing him again soon. Yes I understand how difficult holiday periods are but the good thing as you say is your MM is vocal about how much he misses you too, it’s not just one sided.

        Thank you for your well wishes, they mean a lot to me 😊
        You know your MM more than anyone else Felk, do what’s best for you. I understand your need to avoid heavy conversation before the 2week break, I would have done the same. I am so glad your MM has remained consistent and I can understand how much that means to you so I am happy for you guys!

        Love,
        Hope.

        • Felk

          Hope, no worries at all about saying “broken.” I know you were hearing sadness and frustration in my words, and it was a departure from a lot of my posts lately. It’s great to be so far past the “broken” of last year, but it’s true that there are still hard times in any affair. I know I feel calm/rational/patient a lot of the time, but I can also feel impatient and irrational, too. I can let emotions get the best of me, and that can be hard for someone like me who likes control. The strong emotions might be one of the hardest parts of an affair. That’s the addiction, though. The high passion and the low lows of missing someone when you’re in love and can’t have them as often as you want. This past year has been great for calming that addiction, and my MM and I are trying to be careful not to get back to those problems. It’s a delicate balance, though. We’ll see if we can continue to be satisfied with the less intense affair that we’re involved in now. For now, it seems we can.

          Thanks for your words and your support.

          • Hope

            Thank you Felk 🙂 Absolutely it’s great to get past the broken phase. Last year was hell for both of us, I remember how shattered everything felt. So glad that’s behind us. I did sense some sadness in your holiday post but nowhere near what we felt last year. You sound so much stronger now and I am glad you are feeling better. As you know it’s not uncommon to feel sad around holiday time in affairs.

            You are absolutely right about highs and lows of affair. Can I just say Felk I think many times it’s not you being irrational or impatient or getting into your own head as you describe it, many times I feel you are right to be upset about a few things and I feel it is your MM’s fault at times. I am glad you are both working towards finding a balance and trying to be satisfied with less, that’s a clever approach I think. All the best for this week 🙂 take care lovely 🙂
            Love,
            Hope xoxo

          • Felk

            Hope, you can certainly say if you think my MM is unfair at times. Sometimes I do get “in my head,” but, you’re right, that sometimes I’m right to be upset. I probably don’t give myself as much space for that as I should. I like being the rational person, and I can probably talk myself out of some fair anger at times. I know he is unfairly distant sometimes, and I know it’s one of the reasons why I never really wanted to leave my H for him. But, I mostly think it’s that it’s two people who are trying to navigate a tricky situation and we don’t always do it as well as we’d like. As I look over the last several months, I can see he is consistently trying to find time for us, express his feelings, and also keep some distance (to help balance things at home). For six years, I have wanted more communication from him, so it’s not that I should expect differently in this new version of our affair. And, he genuinely seems happier and more carefree now. The tension and angst he had last year leading up to the break-up was not good for either one of us. It all got too intense. Our time together now just feels lighter. I can tell he’s happier than a year ago. And if it means he’s happier at home, that’s good, too. You know I have rarely felt jealousy of my MM’s W, and I still don’t. Just last week, he reminded me that nothing has changed in his marriage (meaning it is just a loving friendship) and that it is me that he wants to be with. But, now, he feels like he is being a better father and H, and that is helping us enjoy our affair more again, too. Of course, there is danger of our intensity again, but, for now, it seems the balance is working. He comes over tomorrow, and I’m hoping we can have a nice time together as we head into Christmas and two weeks apart (which I know will present some challenges for both of us).

            I guess I don’t even know if you celebrate Christmas this time of year, given we don’t know where everyone is or everyone’s background, but if you are celebrating something this time of year, I do hope you and your family (including your new addition) have a nice holiday.

    • BAF

      Hope, so nice to hear from you! I just love being an auntie….woohoo! How are you and the little one doing? I know how exhausting it can be post birth and when the baby is up a lot at night! And now you have two little ones? It is such a wonderful gift for you, but also so much work being a mother of two! I know you must be busy a LOT. I can remember those days myself 🙂
      Is the self loathing you speak about because you had an affair and feel guilty? I was trying to understand where that sentence of yours came from. Many of us DO feel guilt in our affairs. It is one of the really negative parts of an affair I think and it takes its toll on us, both men and women, especially as the affair goes on in time.
      But Hope, we must try to have self compassion and self love for ourselves, not self loathing. I know you do not want your new born baby to feel self loathing. It is the same with us! We must try to be gentle with ourselves.
      We are complex beings and life, too, is complex. I, too, suffer from self loathing and when it comes to my affair, and I too need my own advice.

      I am glad my words are inspiring, however! I hit a very low point last summer with my exMM but finally I have had enough of his treatment. Yes I am in a tough situation of not being able to completely get away from him but I have learned (in therapy) to finally be able to deflate our affair energy big time whenever I run into him. My old affair had a yuge amount of energy attached to it.

      I have also learned how to set new boundaries with him. And with others in my life too! It is not easy for me to say “No” to people I care about but it is a skill I have needed for a long time so the end of my affair was the beginning of new behaviors in my “new” life too. There is always a silver lining somewhere! Remember, Hope, that you too have choices with your exMM. You can direct your energies in ways that will make him understand what you are wanting without saying much of anything at all. Mine has gotten the hint. He is also far more fragile and sensitive than I ever realized.

      Speaking of energies I took the plunge very recently and slept with someone wholly new! I needed to get over this hump and it was really quite fun to tell you the truth. I too feel much more free right now. I am not inclined to become emotionally committed to anyone until I have had some more time to heal but this is a great start for me! Happy Holidays to everyone!
      Love,
      BAF
      xxx000

      • Felk

        Wow, BAF, you had sex with someone else! Way to bury the lead! 🙂 So glad to hear you had fun and that it helped you to feel free. You really do sound like your healing continues on an upward trajectory. It sounds like you’re enjoying and being cautious at the same time. It’s just smart when we’re healing. So happy for you.

      • Hope

        Hi BAF I am doing well thank you, little one is doing well too, she is up at night due to reflux but getting better 😊 how are you lovely? Has your son settled at his new place? And your other son who was struggling after his relationship ended is he better now?
        About motherhood yes it’s such a wonderful gift but you are right it’s absolutely exhausting!

        My self loathing is partly because of guilt and my inability to feel close to my H in a way I felt towards ex MM and also because I am still sad that ex MM never even considered choosing our relationship/me, makes me feel like I wasn’t good enough although I know that’s not true I still feel it when I see others here struggling with the same feeling of not being chosen. Then I enter into self pity which is dangerous for healing too I think. Motherhood can be lonely, being in a lonely marriage doesn’t help so I have to be careful not to dwell on my affair and try and move forward. Lonely marriage is mainly due to my fault, I still pull away from H and still have trouble feeling close to him but it’s getting better, much better than what it is was last year.

        Yes it’s tough road to try and break free but I absolutely hated the person I became in my affair. Constantly trying to please him, apologise when I didn’t need to, almost always be the one to initiate, put up with seeing him with his wife, hear him talk about her, listening to his ‘we’ ‘our’ would hurt so much knowing his us/our/we involved his wife and not me.. and what for? Why did I go through all this? I am not sure why but just know that it wasn’t worth the suffering for me. It’s been more than a year without having sex with him and I am happy to stay away from the drama. To be honest I don’t give two shits about problems at his home anymore, I only listened to all that crap because I loved him so much and was foolish enough to think if I was understanding enough may be one day he will choose our relationship/me. Guess what he never even mentioned it, not once in 4 years! So when I see wonderful women struggling here it reminds me of that pain which leads to self loathing at times. I can be my worst enemy at times.

        Whooo hoooooo can we just celebrate you having sex with someone else, how awesome!!!! You go girl!!❤️❤️😘 I am so glad it was fun, so happy! It’s such huge step, well done BAF so proud of you but you know that 🙂

        I am so glad therapy is giving you tools to deal with exMM, you are so strong! Glad he is getting the message, he 100% deserves it. I am moving forward too, I don’t rely on exMM to make me feel better, don’t initiate contact, we interact occasionally strictly as friends. BAF when you say ‘direct your energies to make him understand without saying anything’ can I ask you what do you mean? English isn’t my first language I struggle to understand at times sorry. Thank you for your help BAF, you have helped me so much. I could never afford therapy, you guys are all I have and you all played an important role in my healing and still do so thank you 😊
        Love,
        Hope xoxo❤️❤️

        • TTSP

          Hi Hope,
          Big hugs to you on your baby girl. I’m sure she will give you the love, joy and attention that you need to fill you up. You made a few comments that went right for my heart. I could completely relate to your story and it reminded me of my soul crushing experience. Mine never considered me/us as a possibility. I also listened to his problems at home and the “we”, “us” come out of his mouth like it was nothing and they were one entity. God did that cut like a knife through the chest. I never felt good enough and not being the chosen one made me think I was unloveable. I can’t believe how long I kept going back. Congratulations on being out of that relationship for so long. Reading your story and BAF gives me encouragement for moving onward and upward. Honestly, I’d rather be in a steady, honest, good relationship than a majorly passionate fireworks relationship filled with a hell of a lot of pain. The highs were not worth the lows and I’m talking I want to die lows.

          On a more positive note happy holidays to everyone 🙂 I wish you all a prosperous new year filled with lots of love and abundance.

          Hugs
          TTSP

          • BAF

            TTSP,
            You nailed it:
            “I could completely relate to your story and it reminded me of my soul crushing experience. Mine never considered me/us as a possibility. I also listened to his problems at home and the “we”, “us” come out of his mouth like it was nothing and they were one entity. God did that cut like a knife through the chest. I never felt good enough and not being the chosen one made me think I was unloveable.” Please see my response to Hope.
            I can so relate to this too:
            “The highs were not worth the lows and I’m talking I want to die lows.”
            YES
            The “not good enough to be the chosen one” and then the “I am unloveable” double whammy are just soul crushing.
            Love was never meant to feel this bad. I realized when I had my little night of sex with a “friend” even sex was never meant to feel as bad as it can in an affair.
            My night was casual and simple and I did not feel like I wanted to die the day after because “he went back to his life and to her.”
            My friend said: I had a great time! And I agreed. And we left it at that.
            (LOL)
            I swear my best “relationship” type at the moment might just be “FWB”. I don’t feel as trapped. I have room to breathe and grow. But I also can create an attachment based on fun, friendship and whatever else suits me.
            I have done FWB in the past and found I liked it too. And one can even have more than one partner in this type of arrangement if one wants. Of course one has to be careful, yes. Of one’s health, safety, emotions, etc.
            But overall what I am saying is this:
            I am just so over the crushing weight and seeming endless gravitas of my intense and utterly failed affair right now.
            I think I am going to be purely light and very superficial for awhile.
            Some rest and relaxation is in order here at my house for sure.
            Love BAF
            xx00

        • BAF

          Hello Hope,
          Thanks for asking about my son….Yes he has settled in his new place but today was just laid off! There is never a dull moment with one’s children (even one’s adult children) so I would say to you this: get ready, Mama, for all the unpredictable when it comes to being a Mom….It will make you stronger….eventually! lol Yes being a new mother can be lonely….I am hoping you might have access to other new mothers to talk to and to be able to vent with? I remember how isolated I felt when my kids were first born and how my husband (now exH) seemed like he was living on another planet. The relationship with a new born child is an intense one and all the more so if you are up all night and breast feeding as well. And while men can and do make amazing fathers, the relationship a new mother has with with the baby that just emerged from her own body is very unique. But it can also be intense and stressful!

          As for your self loathing it sounds like there is a lot involved…there is you, your current H, your exMM…..etc. Even if you can not afford therapy there is a great deal of advice (much of it goo) on the internet for free so please do surf around and see if you can find some helpful things. It can be a great past time while an infant is napping 🙂

          As for the myth: he did not choose you, it is a MYTH we women seem to accept and believe as well as we take on a huge blame for the relationship “failing”. But it seems to me this is just another way for us to beat ourselves up. Society beats us up as women even BEFORE we become “illicit affair partners” but once we are in an affair it might make us believe all the labels about women even more. (Because of our self loathing). Affairs can be real self-esteem killers, especially if we had low self esteem to begin with.

          Your exMM was married plain and simple. Married means unavailable. I do think most married people who become involved in affairs know they are not leaving their marriages (even if they want to). They have decided having an affair is the “second best remedy”. This goes for married men and married women. So the affair is sort of set in stone as a “relationship type” goes. An affair is not the same as the relationship that leads us to marry someone, for example. (I think, in all but a few rare cases where someone does actually does decide to leave a marriage!) But the initial reason for having an affair for most people is to prevent the necessity of such a drastic action and remedy as “divorce.”

          Of course I speak as a single person. I too say this as a woman who wanted a MM to “choose” (to choose me over her). But he (my exMM) never really said he was looking to leave his marriage. He only said that if he felt he HAD to say that so I would not leave. (Once in awhile) Otherwise it would be much more accurate to say he said was looking for an affair all along. He never said he was looking for a new marriage. But I failed to fully believe him! I could not believe him when I was so in love with him because the reality was too crushing for me. And he knew this too. So of course he lied at times to me. But I could sort of “feel” it (the truth) which made it harder to believe him. Or to believe myself! It was a mess. Lies and innuendo ruled. So think about all this and see if it helps you sort this out for yourself. Affairs are “pretend” relationships because one of the unspoken rules is “this relationship isn’t going anywhere traditional”. But so many of us fail to understand this because it is crushing to the spirit. And because the affair feels so “real”.

          “I only listened to all that crap because I loved him so much and was foolish enough to think if I was understanding enough may be one day he will choose our relationship/me.”
          Yup me too. But our thinking was faulty. We felt that being “loving” meant being understanding almost to a fault. We listened when we ought to have been setting clear boundaries! Let them solve their own problems at home! We never even needed to be involved with all that.
          Live and learn!

          Hope when I say:
          “‘direct your energies to make him understand without saying anything” I mean I am setting very clear boundaries now…..I have learned to be much more self protective…almost fierce! ( inside ). I am all about protecting myself when I am near him now. I make my face look neutral if I see him. No more warm welcoming smile…no more gushing around him…no more paying close attention to him…I make my face go neutral (I had to practice in the mirror) and I have all words of self protection inside of me m(in my head). It is a powerful body language that I am talking about. I was faking it a little in the beginning LOL….But if you practice in the mirror and then try it out with friends and then with other people in your real life, you will learn how you can project your energy in such a way that your exMM will not dare mess with you. Even my narcissist exMM has backed off. And really he likes to believe that he can charm any woman!
          Hope, I would bet bet there’s a youtube video for this too.
          There are many great youtube video for dealing with narcissists.
          I learned a lot from watching them!
          Hugs BAF
          xxx000

  • Lois

    Hello everyone. It’s been awhile since I have posted but things in my life have been crazy. I haven’t reviewed posts to get caught up with all of you so hope you are well. I struggled with things and made up my mind it was best that MM had ended things. It seemed that I had finally reached the top and was on verge of headed back down this mountain of struggle when MM and I ended up running in to each other. We talked and it was awkward. We ended up talking the next day and made plans to meet up. This waa last week and ended up having sex. It was great being with him again but just don’t know about things. I know that sounds weird but just can’t let my guard down. I have not contacted him much and definitely not going to chase after him. I don’t know what to think. I do love him but can’t keep putting myself through the hurt. I know, we need to have a serious conversation and plan on it this week. I think about him all if the time but don’t contact him like I did which seems to have lessoned the stress for him. Anyway. I just wanted to let you know what was going on with me. Hope you doing well. I will keep you posted.

    • Felk

      Lois, good to hear from you. It’s not surprising that you and your MM had sex given how much the two of you were struggling with ending. I am not sure what the answer is for your situation. You are in love with him and he with you, but he’s consistently seemed overwhelmed by the situation and then acts in ways that hurt you. Not contacting him as much is a good solution, if it works for you. I know that’s what my MM needed. It all became too much, understandably, and we had to pull back. But, as you are going through, it is a painful process when you’re at peak in-love.

      And it doesn’t sound weird at all to not let your guard down. You’ve been hurt by him so many times, I would expect you to have your guard up, but your guard is also down in the sense that you’re letting him back in. As long as you two are still talking, especially now, there is still a lot of room for pain. I just hope that you can have honest conversations with him that will help you both get through this whatever happens.

    • BAF

      Lois,
      It is so common to go back and have sex with a MM after a period of time. And yes even after deciding you were done with the affair. Please don’t beat yourself up. You can always file it away as “Holiday Sex” and leave it at that if you need to. I have done this before in my affair at times, in order to try and get beyond me over-reacting too strongly to the “meaning” of the sex. Sex just happens sometimes without it meaning one needs to go back and rehash a relationship IMHO.
      I do know how torn you might feel now as reigniting sex re-ignites the all the addictive feelings and all the heat and passion etc. It also takes the pain of breaking up away (for a little while). Really your decision is quite normal.

      The trouble is, now you are between a “rock and hard place” in your affair and that is a very painful and sticky place to be. I know this place so very very well.
      Sort of trying to exit while sort of hoping the affair still can continue.
      Especially during the holidays which are high drama for all of us, it is very easy to make emotional decisions with an ex that one may later regret. Or not.
      Maybe you need to be in this place for awhile so you can eventually re-make a decision one way or another which way to go.
      The trick is trying to stay as “balanced” and calm as possible. But it is so hard in an affair to be those things! Best of luck!
      Hugs BAF
      xxx000

  • J

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

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

    • BAF

      Hi J,
      It is so nice to hear from you! I am really happy to hear your MM is out of his house and seems to be staying out! This is such a giant step for him and for you, especially in the kind of marriage he was in where she was drinking and acting crazy as you wrote about. She has been manipulative and difficult with him for along time, no doubt. But for him it’s a huge step to have physically separated himself from her to another living space. I am wondering perhaps if he has sought some counseling to help himself to process separating himself from her and then proceeding to file for a divorce? I know those steps are very big too and he is probably terrified but he does have you behind him solidly which is no small thing.

      From your point of view, I am not surprised you still don’t know how to trust him 100 per cent. Her calls to him every day must really be difficult for you at times. I am not surprised he goes back to help her….and she is no doubt pulling on his guilt strings. Does she have any idea about you in his life? I am hoping she does but it sounds like maybe not yet. I guess it might complicate the divorce proceedings and splitting up of assets if she did know, and he could be afraid of that? They say “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” for good reasons. And what about your husband? Has he any idea yet? I am truly hoping for the best outcome for you J with your MM.

      As for me it’s about 6 months since my big wake up call in my affair when my exMM flew into a kind of typical narcissistic anger at me and made me feel so badly emotionally. And since I finally truly recognized him as a narcissist. I guess I should thank that night because it really was the turning point for me when I saw the relationship was too damaging for me. I know it took me 21 years in an off and on love affair to make this progress, LOL but I guess it takes what it takes. Seeing the narcissist in him was very difficult and very crushing because it is something so familiar to me from childhood. And not a positive memory. I was blinded by the narcissism because it was so familiar. And the hallmarks of any person in constant contact with a narcissist is self-doubt. So I was not really trusting my ability to see and know red flags.

      I have been learning a lot about myself since that time and also about him. In fact I am stronger than I thought I was. (!) And he is weaker than I thought he was. I had the relationship power all misconstrued in my head and it has taken me months to unravel our respective rolls. And of course I am in therapy.

      I have also talked to him on a couple of occasions but only briefly. I have learned how to interact with him on a “neutral” basis when I see him and I have learned to deflate the affair (de-ignite the air in fact!) whenever we interact. (He works next door to my house). I just make a very little deal of him even if I am talking to him. I act nonchalant like “no big deal”. Then I can glide right by him.

      I feel so much better out of my affair and so much more true to myself! I hated turning myself inside out like a pretzel always trying so hard to make our affair work and now all that pressure is totally gone! Now with my energies on my own life instead of “ours” or “his” I have created work and career successes this fall that have really surprised me! And made me proud of ME. And these successes are occurring instead of sleepless weeks and endless depressive, self-hating thoughts. I no longer feel I can’t live without him, as clearly I can, and quite well actually! In fact if I have learned anything at all on this long journey it is this: I am not defined by any love relationship I have. I am complete being unto myself.

      Hugs BAF
      xxx000

      • TTSP

        BAF,
        Love, love, love your inspirational, uplifting message. I can tell you’ve crossed the point of no return. Don’t you think as the unattached person your possibilities are limitless? When you extricate yourself you open your eyes to new interests, new relationships both platonic and romantic and healthier thoughts. I too had self-loathing, depressed feelings of worthlessness from the affair. I believe going into it I struggled with feeling lovable and I attracted a situation that reflected what I thought about myself.

        I may have mentioned this in another post but repetition compulsion is a common human phenomenon. We tend to repeat familiar relationships, situations, experiences from our childhood. If we had an abusive parent we tend to get into abusive relationships. I had an absent Dad and thus I tend to fall for unavailable men like my Dad. Therapy is the only way to shift that behavior and it sounds like you’re working on yourself. It’s a drag that our childhood follows us into adulthood. I had a good childhood for the most part but I think about unfortunate people who are now afflicted for life with childhood traumas. These physcological conditions seem to be counterintuitive to our species survival and prosperity. I digress.

        Congrats on the monumental steps forward. Escaping an affair is really difficult business. They’re like cobwebs to insects. Very easy to get into and next to impossible to get out of. Happy holidays to you and everyone here.

        • BAF

          Thank you so much TTSP. How well you write and how well you articulate yourself now! You too have made great progress. I can feel it as I read your words. Yes I agree with you totally: “As the unattached person our possibilities are limitless!” It is really quite joyful especially after all the depressing thoughts of self-doubt, self-hatred and downer thoughts during my own and your affairs.
          I too struggles with feeling lovable and in the time period going into my affair I was going through a separation and eventual divorce from my husband and so of course I was self-doubting myself constantly.
          I attracted a situation that mirrored my thoughts and seemed to provide the answers: Another person would become the “boss”. Just like my childhood.

          I have had other relationships that have been far more nurturing and that have helped me to grow despite myself. My long-term affair was not that. My therapist has told me about repetition compulsion and told me we are most drawn to what is familiar. That was me certainly with my exMM.

          Since I do have “relational trauma” from childhood, as she has told me this, and I been working very hard on that via EMDR, I have made some great progress. Phew!

          The relationships I feel most ‘familiar’ with are not good for me emotionally and that is a very hard pattern to break. In fact, I think my exMM is equally caught up in that compulsion and it keeps him stuck too. We are (many of us) it seems, stuck with these childhood patterns until we find the way up and out of them.

          Then we can become truly free! Honestly while I am attracted to other men and they more and more to me, I am also happy right now with the freedom of being just with me and getting to know just myself without the addition of another person. Certainly as an artist, it has helped me greatly to see myself and my work more clearly. So YES, It is quite liberating to know being single has many great aspects too! It is so nice to hear from you, TTSP.
          Many hugs to you,
          BAF
          xx00

  • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • BAF

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

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

      • Felk

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

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

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

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

        • BAF

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

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

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

          • Felk

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

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

          • BAF

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

          • Felk

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

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

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

    • BAF

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

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

  • Lois

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

      • Lois

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

        • Felk

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

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

      • TTSP

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

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

        • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

        • Felk

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

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

          • TTSP

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

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

          • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • TTSP

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

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

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

        • BAF

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

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

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

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

          • TTSP

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

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

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

            Hugs

        • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

    • BAF

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

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

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

  • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

    • TTSP

      Hello,

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

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

      • Felk

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

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

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

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

        • TTSP

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

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

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

          • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

  • Lois

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

    • LifeLessons

      Lois,

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

      Best Wishes😘😘

      • lois

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

  • LifeLessons

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

    ❤😘😘

  • lois

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

    • Felk

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

    • BAF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Felk

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

  • LifeLessons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

  • Alyx thompson

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

    Alyx 🙂

  • Lois

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

    • BAF

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

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

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

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

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

      • Felk

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

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

  • Felk

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

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

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

  • Lois

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

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

    • TTSP

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

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

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

      • BAF

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

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

    • LifeLessons

      Hello Lois,

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

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

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

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

  • TTSP

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

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

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

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

    • BAF

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

      • TTSP

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

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

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

        Hugs and best wishes

      • Felk

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

    • LifeLessons

      TTSP,

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

      • TTSP

        LL,

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

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

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

        • LifeLessons

          TTSP,

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

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

          Chat with you soon..

    • Felk

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

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

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

      • TTSP

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

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

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

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

        • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • TTSP

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

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

            Happy Thanksgiving!

          • Felk

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

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

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

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

  • Lois

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

    • Felk

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

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

    • TTSP

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

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

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

    • BAF

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

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

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

  • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • BAF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Many Hugs BAF
      xoxo

      • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

      • TTSP

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

        Happy holiday season to everyone!

        • BAF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

    • TTSP

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

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

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

      • Felk

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

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

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

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

        How are you doing in your situation?

        • TTSP

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

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

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

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

          • Felk

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

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

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

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

    • LifeLessons

      Hi Felk,

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

      Chat with ya soon

      • Felk

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

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

  • LifeLessons

    Felk,

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

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

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

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

  • LifeLessons

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

    • TTSP

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

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

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

      • Felk

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

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

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

  • Lois

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

    • Felk

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

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

      • Lois

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

        • Felk

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

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

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

    • BAF

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

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

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

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

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

      • Lois

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

        • BAF

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

        • TTSP

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

    • LifeLessons

      Lois,

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

  • LifeLessons

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

    Thank you Ladies!
    I really appreciate you all
    LL

    • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • LifeLessons

        Felk,

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

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

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

        Thanks for your insight…its helpful, as usual lol

        • Felk

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

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

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

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

          • LifeLesson

            Felk,

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

            This past week we didnt have good communication.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • Felk

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

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

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