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.







Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books

growing forward book laurie pawlik she blossoms
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.








letting go book laurie pawlik she blossoms

How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is filled with comforting and healthy breakup advice. The Blossom Tips will help you loosen unhealthy attachments to the past, seal your heart with peace, and move forward with joy.









miss him book laurie pawlik she blossoms
When You Miss Him Like Crazy: 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup will help you refocus your life, re-create yourself, and start living fully again! Your spirit will rise and you'll blossom into who you were created to be.







xo


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

  • Lois

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

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

    • Felk

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

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

  • Lois

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

      • lois

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

        • Felk

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

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

        • TTSP

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

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

          • Felk

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

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

    • BAF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Hugs BAF
      xoxo

  • J

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

    • BAF

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

  • Lois

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

    • Felk

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

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

      • Lois

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

        • Felk

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

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

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

          • Lois

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

          • BAF

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

          • Felk

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

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

    • BAF

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

    • Brave and Free

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

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

      • Lois

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

        • Felk

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

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

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

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

    • BAF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Felk

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

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

        • BAF

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

          • TTSP

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

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

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

          • Felk

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

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

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

  • Lois

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

    • Felk

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

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

      • Lois

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

        • Brave and Free

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

          • lois

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

          • BAF

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

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

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

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

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

          • BAF

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

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

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

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

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

          • Lois

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

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

          • Felk

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

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

          • BAF

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • Felk

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

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

          • Brave and Free

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • Felk

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

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

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

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

          • BAF

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

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

          • BAF

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

          • Felk

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

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

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

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

        • Felk

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

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

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

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

          • Lois

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

          • Felk

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

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

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

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

  • LifeLessons

    Hi Everyone,

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

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

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

      • LifeLessons

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

        Its almost 2am…
        Chat with you later

        • Felk

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

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

        • Felk

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

          • Felk

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

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

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

          • BAF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            hugs, BAF
            xoxo

          • Felk

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

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

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

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

          • LifeLessons

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

          • Felk

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

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

  • lois

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

  • Lois

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

      • lois

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

        • Felk

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

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

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

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

          • Lois

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

          • Felk

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

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

  • Lois

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

  • Lois

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

    • Lois

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

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

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

      • Felk

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

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

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

        • lois

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

          • Felk

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

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

  • Felk

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

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

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

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

    • Brave and Free. BAF

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

    • LifeLessons

      Felk,

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

      • Felk

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

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

        But, of course, we keep fighting.

  • J

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

    • Felk

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

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

  • Lois

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

  • Felk

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

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

    • Lois

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

      • Felk

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

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

    • LIFELESSONS

      Felk,

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

    • Hope

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Felk

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

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

  • LIFELESSONS

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

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

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

    Felk, i think this brings us to current day lol

    • Felk

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

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

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

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

  • Felk

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

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

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

  • LIFELESSONS

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

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

  • LIFELESSONS

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

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

    • Felk

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

  • BAF Brave and Free

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Hope

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Brave and Free

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

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

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

  • Hope

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Hugs and prayers xxx
    Hope 🙂

    • Felk

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

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

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

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

      • Hope

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

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

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

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

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

        Take care lovely 🙂 xxx
        Hope

        • Felk

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

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

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

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

    • LIFELESSONS

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

      Take Care!

      • Hope

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

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

    • Brave and Free BAF

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

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

  • LIFELESSONS

    Hi Ladies…

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

    Chat with you all soon!!

  • Lois

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

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

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

      • Hope

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

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

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

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

        • TTSP

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

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

  • lois

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Lois

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

        • Felk

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

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

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

          • Lois

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

          • Felk

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

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

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

  • Lois

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

    • Lois

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

      • Lois

        This is what I sent him

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

        • Felk

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

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

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

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

        • TTSP

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

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

      • Felk

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

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

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

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

        • Lois

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

          • Felk

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

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

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

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

  • Lois

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

      • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

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

      • lois

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

        • Felk

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

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

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

          • Lois

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

          • Felk

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

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

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

  • BAF aka Lara

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

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

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

    What are the activities comprising “self-care”?

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

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

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

    hugs, BAF xxxooo

  • LIFELESSONS

    Hi Beautiful Ladies,

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

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

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

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

    • Felk

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

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

      • LIFELESSONS

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

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

        Thanks again Ladies!

    • TTSP

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

  • Lois

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

      • Felk

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

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

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

        • Lois

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

          • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Lois

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

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

      • Lois

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

    • Lois

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

  • Felk

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

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

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

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

    • Hope

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Lots of love and hugs xxx

      • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • Hope

          Hi Felk nice to hear you are feeling better. It’s nice to hear about your love story 🙂 Your mm has undoubtedly risked a lot throughout your affair, has given a lot. He has given more than most mm we speak of on this forum. It is very sweet and remarkable. Good on him and you. I said I feel you are compromising because of the uncertainty you are in. Why are you worried how he/both of you will behave in front of each other? You both love each other and want each other, as you said like earlier shouldn’t it just be looking forward to seeing each other everyday?

          I absolutely understand the dilemma of being in an affair, the dread, the uncertainty. I felt you might be compromising on your needs because you guys broke up in September. It’s September 2018 now why do you still not know where you guys stand? Does the time frame seem long to you? Does it feel like he is taking too long to figure out if he still wants the affair?

          I am not saying by any means to go back to how things were for last 4 years, he did risk a lot back then and it’s probably dangerous to risk that much now but surely he should be able to accept that you guys are still in an affair. You know this isn’t just friendship Felk, you have been in this for 5 years, why be scared to call it what it is? It’s not like you are planning to announce it to the world.

          Also another red flag for me is how you are left ‘decoding’ his words/actions at times. May be it should be a tad bit more direct/honest instead of saying it as a joke or saying things once in a while?

          You are so understanding Felk, you really are. I don’t think I know any other woman as understanding as you are, such a great quality. My only concern is sometimes may be you could justify things that you initially felt were wrong. You have been always very sure that you wanted this affair from day 1. In the most difficult times and in happy times, why is it taking so long for him to decide? Why does he hold the power to whether or not you guys are back in the affair? Shouldn’t it be your choice together? I completely understand the difficulty he is in, it is hard but don’t forget you are married too but wanting your affair is not a hard choice for you. I also understand may be he feels rejected because you refused to leave your husband for him when he was ready to leave his wife for you. I get that he might feel rejected knowing that, I know I felt it when ex mm refused to even discuss leaving his marriage. But he chose to come close to you again, kiss you, hold you again. Of course it’s great for you to have him in your life again as you love him so much but 1 year is a long time for him to decide what he wants. Reaping some benefits Of the affair but still being skeptical Of calling it an affair is what makes it a suspicious.

          About asking for what you need, I didn’t mean during that affair I meant right now. You want this affair Felk, you want the closeness even though not the same level but feels like you still want a bit more than you are currently getting. I just don’t want you to be afraid to ask what you need in fear of him withdrawing again. I may be wrong I am not relationship expert, hell my own life is messed up! Just from what I have read I thought I would let you know how I feel.

          All that being said I am happy that you are getting what you need. That’s all that matters, as long as you are happy it’s all worth it 🙂 xxx

          • Felk

            Hope, thanks for your reply. I don’t know if my MM has given more than the other men on here, but I wanted to say some of those things about him because I think sometimes our MM’s risks and love can get missed in all of our sadness (and, yes, complaining) about our own troubles on here. I think that my MM likely felt and feels similar to me throughout all of this with the main difference being that it simply got overwhelming for him and he needed to make a decision. All understandable.

            I get what you’re saying about how long my MM is taking to “make a decision” and give me clarity about where he/we stand. I get that it can seem like I’m sitting on the sidelines just waiting for him and giving him all the power, but, in a way, I’m choosing to do that. Yes, I could force a decision if I were upset by “waiting,” but I’m not. Yes, I don’t like waiting, but, much more than that, I don’t want to force a decision. I want to give him time and space to think about something that is quite important and something that shouldn’t be rushed. If he wants to be back in the affair (or wants to finally admit that we are still in the affair), I want to give him time to get to that place mentally. Otherwise, he will just feel all of the turmoil and guilt again. If we do this slowly, he is much more likely to accept that he is here by choice (once again). I think he is already accepting that given his behavior lately, but I still think it will take him some time to fully admit he never left the affair entirely.

            I also like what you say about how he’s being a little unfair by not being more direct. Yeah, I wish he were more direct and could just say the things he’s thinking, but I think he’s feeling a mix of emotions and, while I might want him to be more direct about how in love he is with me still, do I really want him to be more direct about how he still loves his W and doesn’t want to leave her? 🙂 So, I take the approach of pushing him a little to say things but mostly letting him say things when he feels comfortable.

            But that part that you ask about why he holds the power as to whether or not we’re in the affair again, I think he does have that power and it isn’t exactly something we decide together. The reason is because he knows I want it and because he was the one to end it. While I do get the choice, too, for the most part, whether or not we go back into the affair is up to him because I am clear about still wanting it.

            And you say good things about how he may have been more hurt than I realized that I was in no hurry to leave my H. We never did talk about all of that directly enough, and I think it would have been good for us to be more direct about our feelings about leaving our spouses. I think we were both scared to fully have that conversation so we never did. We talked around it, alluded to it, made comments here and there, but never really sat down and said, “So, do we want to leave our spouses? Do you want to talk about this option?”

            But, right now, I am not afraid of losing him. So, my hesitance to ask more directly about what he wants is not because I fear losing him. It’s because I don’t need to ask more directly yet. It’s because I know this needs to go slow and he is giving me enough right now. Yes, I want more, but he does not owe me more so I feel he is treating me fairly and consistently with the fact that he wanted to break-up and he is not sure he wants to be back in the affair. And I genuinely mean it when I say that I would be happy with how we are now if it did not go further. The break-up was misery because I thought I was losing him from my life, but now I have realized that he wants at-least a friendship still and probably wants a little more. That makes me happy.

      • Hope

        Reply ↓
        Hope
        August 29, 2018 at 5:16 pm
        Hey Felk 🙂 nice to hear from you. Let me just say I loved your advice to Nomad the other day, on point and very true.

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Lots of love and hugs xxx
        Hope

        Dear ADMIN
        Could you please delete my previous post and post this one? I don’t want my name there and posted it by accident. Thank you so much

        • TTSP

          Hope,
          Thank you for your post. I still work with my ex mm which makes it hard to completely erase them from your mind. I am content in my position at work but recognize that after a decade plus it may be my time to find something new. The past affair acts as the impetus to make a move. It’s inspiring to read about someone else letting go and recovering. I’m blown away how traumatizing the relationship was for me. I was in a perpetual state of despair, confusion, anger, jealousy, distress. I’m still trying to work through the resentments I have bc anger only hurts its container.

          Something that helps me to see the big picture is that I could never trust him. I’d always be looking over my shoulder. His marriage is kind of a masquearade and I would never want a sham of a relationship with someone living two lives. Here’s a good read when I find myself feeling insecure https://www.yourtango.com/2017305192/why-men-will-never-leave-their-wives-their-mistresses bc it isn’t about me not being good enough. Affairs suck and I had to learn the brutally hard way 🙁

          • Brave and Free / BAF aka Lara

            TTSP
            I loved this article. Thank you for sharing. I think most of these articles are written with the male as cheater. But it can be the married female who is the cheater too. Or both affair partners can be cheating on their spouses. I feel that by the time a male or female married person enters into an affair they have already decided unconsciously or consciously that they are NOT leaving their marriages. They have decided on some level the best way for them to get their needs met (within their staying married) is to have an affair. The affair, these folks conclude, is the best idea for THEM. It is the lesser evil, and better than separation and divorce.

            However in order to make such a decision they also have to feel that their spouse is very devoted and trusting and will not likely catch wind of the affair. No one who thinks they will get caught is going to have an affair.

            TTSP think about this as you are a single person. No one who is really afraid of getting caught having an affair and of paying the consequences of an affair (which can be extremely serious) is going to venture into in affair. No one.
            Any married person who has decided to have an affair is almost sure they can get away with it for any number of reasons. They will not discuss this out loud. But it is a given.
            Thus this part: Anyone who enters an affair with a married person can almost never get them to change their minds and leave their marriage. All the numbered items in the article make a case for why it is so impossible. And any one who enters an affair with a married person will never be the number “one” person. In an affair we are number “two” for obvious reasons. I say this as this causes some of our egos to fry, LOL. Like mine. :). We do not get the lions share of the our affair partner’s time, money, energy, etc. We get a small small percentage. Them’s the facts.
            Thus this: To be reasonably “happy” in an affair with any married person, one must accept that their marriage will probably never end. This means more than what it seems at first. In the beginning this might seem “acceptable” to us as the cheater (of either sex or both) is “in love” with us, so we are not jealous off their home lives. Neither their wives. We might think we can handle the situation (for awhile) and promise ourselves not to fall too deeply in love as the person is unavailable.
            We might promise ourselves the affair will only be a temporary fix for us too.
            But then we too fall “in love”. we think we can not live without the person in our lives. And then the trouble starts.

            Alas, being human, we want most what we can only have sometimes.
            The euphoric highs and then all the devastating lows of the affair ALSO make us become addicted bio-chemically. Like mice on tread wheel eating for the cheese, we get to a state of mind where: we always want our affair partners. We crave them. We love” them. We eat drink sleep them, and think about them all the time. All the time. We get so hooked on them and on the affair passion and and then we can’t get out. We want the sex. we wan the smell of their bodies. We want their hugs kisses touches on our hair etc. etc. We want and then NEED their “love”!
            Except they are married and unavailable and we already knew that.
            Oops.
            When we try to get out temporarily or permanently it is so painful.
            Excruciating.
            And we know the rest. But TTSP it CAN be done. Yes it can.

            TTSP. I am saying this to you because you are single. I am trying to help you understand. I can not remember: have you ever been married?
            Of course as you probably know I once was married: 12 years total. Neither of us cheated although there were many other problems.
            I always knew I would never cheat in a marriage.
            I would leave instead. That is what I did.
            The reason I would never cheat in a marriage is simple. I knew I could NEVER handle my husband doing it to me. So I could not do it to him either.
            I looked at cheating while married as a way to invite bad things / bad karma upon myself. Thus upon my children.
            I am not saying one way of being married is better than the other. People often do things in their marriage I would never have done.
            I think sometimes I am a bit uncompromising about things to tell you the truth. Maybe too black and white sometimes.
            But anyhow neither of us ever cheated in my marriage. I am very thankful for this fact as it made my divorce which was VERY painful infinitely less painful for both of us because there was no third party involved. That in turn made parenting and visitations after the divorce a lot easier too. Since no huge jealous feelings were involved.
            Just sayin’
            Much love,
            Brave and Free BAF
            xxxooo

          • BAF

            Hi TTSP
            I am having so much trouble posting lately. I hope this does not post twice!

            TTSP, I hear you. And I know how you are feeling too. I think looking forward to a job change might be a wonderful and hopeful switch for you if you can get up the energy to do a job search, interview, etc. If not yet, then don’t be too hard on yourself. beating yourself up will never help.
            Having something new in the future is so helpful as a goal, something new to look forward to.
            I love reading this article you posted too.
            It makes so many points that are spot on.
            From Point Number One I think it explains the dilemma of trying to be in an affair perfectly. I also think a married person in an affair has pre-calculated the risks of having an affair vs. seeking a divorce and the former has won out in his/her head. This is most likely because the person sees good things in the marriage too that they do not want to lose.

            As for me,
            I am using many different techniques to stay away from my former affair partner.
            Once you know someone is no longer good for you, there really is no healthy way to go back from where I sit.
            This is where I am at anyhow.
            I cant talk about being in an affair any more. It is too triggering for me. I don’t want to to talk about affairs. I want to talk about RECOVERY from affairs. 🙂 This is where I am at:
            I am spending as much time as humanly possible in healing activities. The internet is fantastic for this stuff!
            And in growing activities.
            Its not that bad honestly! Once you have quit something like alcohol, you will see that quitting an affair and moving on and beyond the person you once loved is not as bad as we might imagine.
            This past August:
            I have lost my dear Father.
            My exMM and my 21 year on/off affair with him is history.
            I had surgery recently.
            Then I fractured a bone in an accident on the same side.
            Oh well. But I am not broken inside.
            Yup its been a long summer.
            But I am okay. I am stronger than I thought.
            I really am doing OKAY! 🙂

            One of the sites I have found is this one: “Focusing Resources” and here is a free video I know you might enjoy from that site. It is called: “The Urge to Indulge.” The speaker also is recovered from alcohol abuse. I think the word “indulgence” can mean anything including going back to an affair when it no longer works and/or food/love/sex/shooping etc. It is all in the same family I mean. The video is very slow and gentle and focuses on us developing compassion for OURSELVES as we crave things that are not good for us.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYqjRZn4jzk&t=937s
            TTSP, Stay the path and you will move forward. I know it is possible! You really will. And you too can heal!
            Much love
            Brave and Free (BAF) aka Lara
            xxxooo

          • TTSP

            HI Lara,
            Thanks so much for your thoughtful, hopeful, warm message. No doubt they enter the affair almost immediately if not very soon after fully knowing they aren’t leaving their existing relationship. Mine was honest about his intentions and that should’ve been my cue to exit. Then I thought after time he’d see how great we are together and change his mind. Could I be a bigger naif! By the time I realized he was firmly planted in the ground I was swept away in the addiction trying to break free only to get sucked back in by him and the high from the sex and any and every exchange. Before you know it year(s) have elapsed and you’ve been in a nasty, destructive cycle of your own self-inflicted hell. It hurts like hell to have strong feelings for a married person. How could anyone feel ok about giving their body, soul and heart to someone that gives 90% of their life to someone else. Talk about being short changed. I’m still trying to work the ugly emotions out of my system. Resentments lead folks like me back to drinking and then I’m really up sh**t’s creek. Now to get over the jealousy and anger that he gets the world and I’m left all alone not only coping with loneliness but now a breakup with a man that clearly loves his wife more than me. I had a rough day and I’m going to a meeting shortly. Thanks for listening. You have a lot of fortitude given what you’ve gone through this summer. I wish you all the the love, support and compassion possible. If you can get through surgery and your father’s death you’ll continue forward on the path to freedom from a shi**y affair.

          • BAF aka Lara

            Hi TTSP
            I am so glad you got to see my texts to you. I was hoping you would get the idea that yes you CAN quit an affair! (just like yes you CAN quite alcohol) if you put your entire mind to it and if you are honestly willing to do the required hard work.
            It is hellish?
            Well yes of course it is but not as hellish as staying in the affair when the affair becomes toxic for you/us. My affair became toxic for me. I could not handle all the emotions anymore. In fact this a good sign not a bad one.
            Affairs are not relationships where I want to feel “normalized.” Even if I did for many years.
            I agree with this you said:
            “No doubt they enter the affair almost immediately if not very soon after fully knowing they aren’t leaving their existing relationship. Mine was honest about his intentions and that should’ve been my cue to exit. Then I thought after time he’d see how great we are together and change his mind. Could I be a bigger naif!”

            You and me both! By the time I was fully aware of how dumb I was initially, years had passed. It was so hard for me to see the truth about how he (my exMM) was actually treating me (as opposed to how I dreamed he OUGHT to be and even WAS treating me).
            Being alone so much as the single person in my affair allowed me to live in my head a LOT. And I am an artist with a very good imagination!
            People like us in recovery from addictions to alcohol (or whatever) do not do all that well living in our heads too much LOL.
            Have you heard about the inner “committee”? Well mine was inventing a relationship I was not actually in! The one I was actually in was a lot more terrible and disrespectful to me than the one I invented. HA!
            I agree when you say this:
            “Before you know it year(s) have elapsed and you’ve been in a nasty, destructive cycle of your own self-inflicted hell.”
            Well yes but you did not create the affair all by yourself so please go a little easy on yourself! Always remember: It takes two to tango 🙂
            This is 1000 per cent true as far as I go:
            “It hurts like hell to have strong feelings for a married person. How could anyone feel ok about giving their body, soul and heart to someone that gives 90% of their life to someone else.”
            YES ONE trillion times!
            YES.
            You say you are ” still trying to work the ugly emotions out of my system.” Please give yourself time TTSP! There may be a whole lot more to your “ugly” feelings than what meets the eye. Our feelings in the present are almost always exacerbated by our experiences from the past.
            There is a REASON you feel the anger the insecurity the jealousy and all the rest.
            First of all please don’t label some of your emotions as “good” and others as “ugly”
            Feelings are just feelings and they are NOT FACTS!
            Feelings pass and feelings change. All the time.
            Thank goodness.
            The biggest challenge is NOT drinking when we feel feelings we do not like feeling.
            (And that is very often, especially in the beginning of recovery)
            And yes the ugly ones are the hardest to feel. In part, that is why we drank.

            Please try not to think about him “loving his wife more than me.”
            It is not fair to yourself. Just STOP yourself from doing that if you can.
            Like I said in my previous posts, he already KNEW he was going to cheat (maybe only sub-consciously but he knew!). Maybe he loved her enough to not leave her but still not enough that he would not have a lengthy affair.
            Is that a love that you would really want?
            Truly would you feel “loved” if your husband had an affair and you found out?
            In other words try stepping in her shoes for a brief second and then to imagine that as his wife you have just found out about the torrid and passionate romance and sex he has been having with a woman named TTSP.
            Would you feel loved? I doubt it.

            I have much to say about my feelings about my father and his passing but it has only been a couple of weeks. My father was a highly functional alcoholic that everyone (including me) adored. He had a successful career and never cheated on my mother nor raged at her neither us. Neither was he violent. It took me until well into my 40’s when I could even admit he was a functional alcoholic!
            I was so ashamed for him and I felt it was all my mother’s fault.
            He always told everyone that my mother, an impossible but highly magnetic narcissist, was to blame for his drinking, and we all believed him!
            100 per cent!
            Sigh.
            My dear father was sort of brilliant in normalizing his drinking within the family. Everyone took his side and everyone “understood.” But a lot of damage happened for many people besides me even.

            Now I am realizing there is always a down side to loving anyone with an addiction, even a beloved parent. To always trying to make excuses for them. To standing for, protecting and then enabling them. To “understanding” their drinking and not expecting more from them. It is so hard to admit to these feelings. REALLY hard. So much worse than leaving the affair in fact! I am feeling shame and anger and disbelief all at once.

            I am sure you understand.
            But at least with feeling these feelings, I really DO understand much better what on this earth made me think my affair with my former affair partner was all I deserved. What made me think being alone all the time was “okay” while he took care of his wife and family. What made me think my exMM saying the cheating was all his wife’s fault was exactly like my dad saying his drinking was all my mom’s fault.
            So many painful similarities!

            Anyhow, I somehow got the idea I was not worth with more than what I had with my exMM and that I even should have been “happy” to have what I had with him. My Dad would never have agreed with me having an affair in fact. But my low self esteem told me that maybe my affair was the best I could do as a divorced woman of two sons. I can’t blame my low self esteem only on my father of course.
            And I can take responsibility for having low self esteem.
            But I also know it did not come from nowhere.
            Hurt people hurt others. No doubt my father was a victim of a victim. Just as I was/am….just as my exMM is/was.
            YIKES.
            It all goes round and round until we decide to jump off the merry-go-round!
            This low self esteem has followed me all my life until lately. Now I am finally unpacking some of the damage this kind of thinking has cause me in my life in almost every area not just romance.

            TTSP, every loss, every pain is a growth opportunity. We must remember this as recovering alcoholics. Every time a window shuts, a new one opens. Just remember!

            I too, wish you all the the love, support and compassion possible to you.
            Many hugs,
            BAF. aka Lara

    • TTSP

      Hi Felk,
      How has the week played out for you guys and your relationship? Have you had a decent amount of interaction? Working with them adds so many complexities. It can really enhance your job when you’re on the high but also cause immense dread when you’re at a low point. Also, I hated worrying about whether I should reach out or wait for him. When will he contact me and if he doesn’t how will I not be totally disappointed? If he didn’t say certain things I’d get down and think he lost interest or was distancing himself. It was such a clusterF of confusing emotions and racing thoughts running through my head.

      If you’re friends why can’t you show up to his office for a chat? If he’s not in the mood it’s most likely work related or some other internal thing going on. I understand what you mean about feeling rejected by not getting a warm, welcoming response. I find if I’m extra sensitive it’s best to keep to myself. I say that as a general rule of thumb for me with everyone. The vibe I’m getting from you is that you’d like some clarity and definition which is totally fair. Is this going to stay status quo or are you going to advance the relationship to more romantic invovlement. I think you want some assurances that it’s not just a one time and freak out moment either. How long are you willing to wait? I recognize there is never total commitment and true promises in an affair but there can still be a level of confidence from both sides that they’re in it for the foreseeable future. I wonder if you’ll eventually approach him for answers.

      • Felk

        Hi TTSP, I know you get it having been in an affair and worked with your MM for years. And I know the struggle it must be for you now (as it was torture working with my MM last year in the months following the break up). “Dread” was what I felt going to work for most of Oct, Nov, Dec last year. It got better slowly, and, of course, over that time we had time to talk, calm some of that addiction, and get a little more trust and clarity in our (ongoing) relationship. Are you finding it getting easier yet? And I don’t mean that to suggest it should be already. It took me a good 3 months before I noticed it getting slightly better last year, and then another 3 months to say I was almost feeling okay. And then probably another 3 months to say I felt good. It makes it very hard to go through it while you work with the person.

        I love how well you understand all the things I worried (and worry) about working with my MM. Oh, how many times would I go to his office, talk for a bit, and then leave thinking he was distant or losing interest? Just because he would say something a certain way or wouldn’t laugh as much at my jokes or maybe he’d have a look on his face that I’d read a certain way when I walked into his office. It’s so absurd. Lately, I’ve been better with that and not letting myself get completely derailed by small things and it’s almost always been the case that there was nothing and we ended up having a good time when I didn’t let myself get preoccupied.

        So, how is it today? It’s fine. I’d almost say good. He and I went for drinks Wednesday after work, and it was our usual good time. It made me feel more comfortable to be “normal” at work (and just going to his office to chat if I want to). Of course, you know that it’s not so simple to say that I can just feel that comfort all of the time. I didn’t even feel that comfort in the affair, let alone now when I have less clarity on what’s going on with us. You read me well with the things you say about how I’d like more clarity about whether or not we are continuing to include touching/kissing/other or if he’s backing off on that again and we’re trying to err more towards just friendship again. My guess is that it’s the touching/kissing/other thing, but that it’s going to be slow and much less frequent than the five years of the affair. My guess is that he still wants some of that, but that he’s going to try to draw some lines so that we don’t devolve into the badness of before. And I can’t blame him. Honestly, I want to be very careful, and, while it will sometimes be challenging to not have more, I will take a lot of comfort in knowing that we have something and we are taking measures to try not to end up in the misery of last year.

        Wednesday at drinks we didn’t talk about our relationship at all. Just enjoyed our time talking about work and other topics, but we will again talk about our relationship. I will eventually ask him or we will find ourselves in a close situation and we’ll talk about what it means. Will we have answers? Probably not, but each time we talk, I feel we get closer to figuring things out. I’m someone who likes decisions and so this slow process is hard for me, but if it results in something good for us, I think it’s worth it.

  • Nomad

    Lara
    I’m feeling all that you have described.
    I’m confused if I really know the REAL him after 2yrs 3mths.

    I’m in no position to feel betrayed or ask for commitment (though I do feel those emotions) because I’m not his legal W. Yes, was it all just lies? Of course affair is a fantasy built on lies. Is he really a callous cheat? Or the victims were over reacting , over reading into his comments ? My gut says no, he must have intentionally flaunted his charm. I’m one of the victims who responded whereas others put a stop and close their doors.

    So you have similar experiences? Is this going to be my rock bottom? It is for him as he’s fed up and turn off of always being doubted by me, he felt humiliated by the way I see him like going around hitting on potential prey.

    He has blocked me for 2days. How does it feel to be blocked (he only did so 1-2 times throughout)? While I don’t feel good (rejected), it gives hope that this is the new beginning of the end. A promising one whereby he’s now also decided to end, both of us.

    I totally agree that “”Commitment” is Not possible in an affair situation. Neither is safety and security . No promises. No future. A past and present filled with delusions.” What’s wrong with me then ? Is this me finally reached some kind of a bottom? I felt horrified waking up to Felk’s last sentence and she seemed to know I haven’t reached rock bottom, yes, despite the latest episode which can be a rock bottom for finale.

    And I’ve said it again “Goodbye, we are done. I hope nothing will ever make me go back to you anymore” I’ve closed all doors. The last was in May when I whatsay”it’s over, I don’t want you anymore, break up clean” I went back 1.5mths later. So, what gives you the faith that you can still believe him? Everyone is telling me Enough! Stop it, cut it off, save yourself, where’s your pride?

    It’s understandable to keep going back for more when there is loads of love between two people, but why i keep going back to him is something strange. He gives me nothing. And when he goes mia, it’s not fear and guilt. I think it’s more like It’s because he satiated his sexual appetite and he is happy for the time being. He doesn’t owe me sweet nothings.He probably thinks i deserve it, since i keep falling into his lap, so since it doesn’t kill to whatsapp how’s your day, gm, gn and she has resigned herself to loosen the boundaries, so no harm to continued.

    Having said that, I’m talking myself into believing that this is my rock bottom and he’s also hit his and have taken action to block me. Unlike me who’s weak, I doubt he’s one who will unblock now that we are near the exit.

    Thank you for your words… Lara & Felk.

    Wondering how TTSP is doing…

    Felk, my guess is you are in a happy place and all is good. Your patience to give him space are rewarded with him coming back. ☺️ I’m envious…

    • Felk

      Nomad, I think you ask good questions of yourself in this response. But, I think you need to take the time to really think about those responses. Why do you keep going back to or waiting for this man who makes you so unhappy and repeatedly disappoints you? And I then I think it’s asking if those reasons are okay to you or if you like who you are with this man. Of course, I hope you are close to done with your MM given how unhappy he seems to make you, but every time you write sentences about what he’s thinking and wondering if he’s done, I can tell that you are not done. If you are done, why care that he blocked you? It does seem that you are hoping he will unblock you.

      However, I do think that you have the right to feel betrayed. Just because he’s married, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have expectations in our relationships with these MM. Sure, you may not be entirely surprised that a cheater is flirting with other women, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have had an agreement with him not to cheat on you. My MM and I both explicitly said that we were not seeing anyone else outside of our marriage, and the expectation was that we would not. Had he done so, I would have felt betrayed. Commitment doesn’t mean the same thing in an affair, but there is certainly some commitment in an affair (or at least in some affairs). But, of course, there is only “some commitment,” and, yes, that does lead to all sorts of insecurity and anxiety.

      As for my situation, it is not “all is good.” It is rarely that simple in our affairs. Things are better than they were and I am happier, yes. But I find myself much too occupied with it all still. We are back at work now, and it adds a level of complication that I was free from over the summer. Having him that close every day is going to be hard as we continue to try to navigate this version of the affair. I find it is much easier to give him space when he is not nearby. Tuesday, he told me he still was in love with me and he kissed me (a lot). I told him I was not (emotionally) ready for sex. Wednesday, at work, we talked and laughed and it all felt normal. Yesterday, I was a sweaty, nervous wreck around him for no good reason (and I hope he didn’t notice!) except that there is the constant tension between what is fantasy and what is reality in an affair. He and I need to talk a lot more about what we’re doing if this is going to work. I still feel tentative and hesitant to (fully) get back into this affair, and I know he does, too. But I’m not sure we will be able to stop the slow creep back towards the full affair and all the problems that come with it. I want to do this “better” than we did before and try to avoid some of those problems, but I’m not sure that’s realistic. So, no, not “all is good.” 🙂

    • TTSP

      Hi Nomad,
      Some people are flirty by nature. I’m not excusing his behavior but there is a big leap from flattering the opposite sex with words to doing something physical. There may have been no intent to take it any further than flirting. That being said, I’d still be jealous if I heard or saw my ex mm putting on the charm with another woman.

      Sometimes you get to the point of no return. Maybe that’s what you mean by rock bottom. For me the resentment, jealousy, sadness, anger etc. became all too consuming and I had enough. I mentally checked out from him and the affair around June but didn’t go full fledged DONE until a couple weeks ago. He was gone for the entire month of July traveling with his fam so I don’t count that month. My sense of time feels distorted. Affairs really do create a haze and the days turn into weeks and eventually all blend together.

      You will get to the point where you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’ve been maintaining a business only relationship and that is the best possible outcome for me. Now I’m freed from the internal sickness and despair that overtook me due to him loving his W and giving her his everything while expecting me to be his girlfriend for nothing. He wanted so much from me for nothing. I still despise him for that and you can see I’m clearly not over it at all. I’m happy to be out but I’m not home free. I’m suffering emotional repurcussions from my choices and picking up the pieces of what is left of my self-worth. I don’t think he’s a bad man but he’s bad for me. Plus, I have no interest in hearing about how his personal life. Even the innocuous details like picking out a new puppy cause me immense anguish. It hurts like hell to think about the two of them playing with their new puppy and sharing so much together. Ugh I better stop before I have a crying spell. Note to self, remember this feeling if he ever tries to weasel his way back into my life.

      I wonder if your ex mm was the solution to what is troubling you in your own life? I’m not a therapist nor do I have any medical degree to make a diagnosis so please take my statement with a grain of salt. I’m just throwing out some ideas to think about as you try to understand why you’re struggling to let him go. I’m curious if you might want to explore what it is he and the affair provided to you that is missing. Obviously there is sex but what about the emotional needs and other internal needs? You don’t have to divulge any of these personal details here but they may be helpful in getting you to closure. I wish you well Nomad. I feel your pain with ever fiber of my being 🙁 I think we all do here even if it’s going as well as an affair can possibly go.

    • BAF aka Lara BAF = BRAVE AND FREE

      Nomad yes I have felt this way too.
      I have had many DIFFERENT experiences over the years in my affair. It was never only one thing.
      Based on my personal experiences and experience, this is where your thinking is going “sideways”:
      You say:
      “Is this going to be my rock bottom? It is for him as he’s fed up and turn off of always being doubted by me, he felt humiliated by the way I see him like going around hitting on potential prey.”

      It might be your rock bottom but it will not be your bottom if you still are obsessed with him being “fed up” Who cares if he is fed up? He just treated you terribly Nomad! Why do you care how he feels? You have to only feel your OWN feelings not his.
      You need a healthy BOUNDARY between your feelings and his. Otherwise you slip into the same ole co-dependency as the rest of us here including me. The “WE” you hear about here about on this blog is not real!
      It is a co-dependent “WE” and it is not healthy.
      Two people in an an affair are co-colluding and co-hiding/lying. They are not a “WE”. They are not a “team” Unless you mean a cheating team, a team of liars. The “WE” is two enablers of the other each other’s bad behavior.
      Affairs are VERY unhealthy.
      “He has blocked me for 2days.”
      So what?
      “How does it feel to be blocked (he only did so 1-2 times throughout)? While I don’t feel good (rejected), it gives hope that this is the new beginning of the end. A promising one whereby he’s now also decided to end, both of us.”
      Why are you waiting for him to be done?
      YOU need to be done.
      It does not matter what he wants.
      “And I’ve said it again “Goodbye, we are done. I hope nothing will ever make me go back to you anymore” I’ve closed all doors. ”
      Nomad, you can not tell him I hope we will be done. You can only tell him “I AM DONE.”
      That is what it means to reach bottom.
      “I AM DONE” No more words are needed. Only actions.
      Who care about what he thinks or feels or does if you are done?
      Nomad you do not need to say goodbye.

      “The last was in May when I whatsay”it’s over, I don’t want you anymore, break up clean” I went back 1.5mths later. So, what gives you the faith that you can still believe him? ”
      I don’t understand this.
      ?
      “It’s understandable to keep going back for more when there is loads of love between two people, but why i keep going back to him is something strange.”
      IT IS CALLED ADDICTION.
      “He gives me nothing. And when he goes mia, it’s not fear and guilt. I think it’s more like It’s because he satiated his sexual appetite and he is happy for the time being. ”
      This is called SEX ADDICTION and he has proven it to you by coming on to other women at your workplace. I am sure there are others too.
      “He doesn’t owe me sweet nothings.He probably thinks i deserve it, since i keep falling into his lap, so since it doesn’t kill to whatsapp how’s your day, gm, gn and she has resigned herself to loosen the boundaries, so no harm to continued.”
      He owes you more RESPECT than he is giving you.
      DO NOT LOOSEN YOUR BOUNDARIES.
      “Having said that, I’m talking myself into believing that this is my rock bottom and he’s also hit his and have taken action to block me. Unlike me who’s weak, I doubt he’s one who will unblock now that we are near the exit.”
      PLEASE STOP CALLING YOURSELF WEAK. YOU ARE STORNG NOT WEAK!
      PLEASE STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT HE WILL DO.
      TRY TO NOT CARE!
      And try not to think about Felk or anyone else’s situation. This is just a BLOG for people trying to get out or simply discuss the misery of affairs.. Not everything here is as true as it might seem. Just remember this is the internet! People can exaggerate. People can lie. People can lie because even they themselves do not understand the truth. You need to talk to REAL people in REAL life about this. The solution is NOT here in the internet. It might begin here (YES!) and thanks to Laurie for this safe place to chat and vent etc. But this is a very long journey and the internet is only the first tiny step. Much more real life work will be needed by you to heal from this and REAL people to talk to.
      NOMAD, Focus on YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU
      hugs
      BAF

    • BAF aka Lara BAF = BRAVE AND FREE

      Nomad yes I have felt this way too.
      I have had many DIFFERENT experiences over the years in my affair. It was never only one thing.
      Based on my personal experiences and experience, this is where your thinking is going “sideways”:
      You say:
      “Is this going to be my rock bottom? It is for him as he’s fed up and turn off of always being doubted by me, he felt humiliated by the way I see him like going around hitting on potential prey.”

      It might be your rock bottom but it will not be your bottom if you still are obsessed with him being “fed up” Who cares if he is fed up? He just treated you terribly Nomad! Why do you care how he feels? You have to only feel your OWN feelings not his.
      You need a healthy BOUNDARY between your feelings and his. Otherwise you slip into the same ole co-dependency as the rest of us here including me. The “WE” you hear about here about on this blog is not real!
      It is a co-dependent “WE” and it is not healthy.
      Two people in an an affair are co-colluding and co-hiding/lying. They are not a “WE”. They are not a “team” Unless you mean a cheating team, a team of liars. The “WE” is two enablers of the other each other’s bad behavior.
      Affairs are VERY unhealthy.
      “He has blocked me for 2days.”
      So what?
      “How does it feel to be blocked (he only did so 1-2 times throughout)? While I don’t feel good (rejected), it gives hope that this is the new beginning of the end. A promising one whereby he’s now also decided to end, both of us.”
      Why are you waiting for him to be done?
      YOU need to be done.
      It does not matter what he wants.
      “And I’ve said it again “Goodbye, we are done. I hope nothing will ever make me go back to you anymore” I’ve closed all doors. ”
      Nomad, you can not tell him I hope we will be done. You can only tell him “I AM DONE.”
      That is what it means to reach bottom.
      “I AM DONE” No more words are needed. Only actions.
      Who care about what he thinks or feels or does if you are done?
      Nomad you do not need to say goodbye.

      “The last was in May when I whatsay”it’s over, I don’t want you anymore, break up clean” I went back 1.5mths later. So, what gives you the faith that you can still believe him? ”
      I don’t understand this.
      ?
      “It’s understandable to keep going back for more when there is loads of love between two people, but why i keep going back to him is something strange.”
      IT IS CALLED ADDICTION.
      “He gives me nothing. And when he goes mia, it’s not fear and guilt. I think it’s more like It’s because he satiated his sexual appetite and he is happy for the time being. ”
      This is called SEX ADDICTION and he has proven it to you by coming on to other women at your workplace. I am sure there are others too.
      “He doesn’t owe me sweet nothings.He probably thinks i deserve it, since i keep falling into his lap, so since it doesn’t kill to whatsapp how’s your day, gm, gn and she has resigned herself to loosen the boundaries, so no harm to continued.”
      He owes you more RESPECT than he is giving you.
      DO NOT LOOSEN YOUR BOUNDARIES.
      “Having said that, I’m talking myself into believing that this is my rock bottom and he’s also hit his and have taken action to block me. Unlike me who’s weak, I doubt he’s one who will unblock now that we are near the exit.”
      PLEASE STOP CALLING YOURSELF WEAK. YOU ARE STORNG NOT WEAK!
      PLEASE STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT HE WILL DO.
      TRY TO NOT CARE!
      And try not to think about Felk or anyone else’s situation. This is just a BLOG for people trying to get out or simply discuss the misery of affairs.. Not everything here is as true as it might seem. Just remember this is the internet! People can exaggerate. People can lie. People can lie because even they themselves do not understand the truth. You need to talk to REAL people in REAL life about this. The solution is NOT here in the internet. It might begin here (YES!) and thanks to Laurie for this safe place to chat and vent etc. But this is a very long journey and the internet is only the first tiny step. Much more real life work with real life people will be needed by you to heal from this and REAL people to talk to.
      But you will only do this when you have hit a bottom and you are ready to call it quits.
      Only YOU can know what your bottom is Nomad. No one else can tell you. You are strong and you will know!
      What do YOU say?
      NOMAD, Focus on YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU
      hugs
      BAF

    • BAF

      Nomad I said something that could be misinterpreted I’m sorry but my father has just passed away and I’m not in my right mind. I’m not accusing people of lying or exaggerating here consciously. I’m not accusing any of us of doing that ! I think we are all trying to be as honest as we can be here and we are all trying to support each other here. I really believe we are all doing our best here and telling our stories as well as we can. I think this is a fabulous place for that reason. But this is not the real world, this is the furniture world. This is part of the picture but not the whole picture. I’m saying I feel you need the real world right now. The virtual world is the world of the mind and it is deceptive because it is only one piece of reality. We write what we are able to write. The same in therapy in a sense in that we say what we are ready to say in therapy. Say what we want to say and it helps heal One day at a time. But in the real world we get feedback because a person a real life person can see us hear us in touch us and that’s very different from the virtual world. I think that from what you’re saying you need the real world right now do you need concrete people. I think those of us in affairs are used to a secret world and a secret reality. We live in a place that we occupy alone with our affair partner and that is an exaggerated place. That is not real world stuff. So of course we would love to be here on the Internet. Woman comes when we must shatter the glass and see who we are in the real world see our actions in the real world. Get there we need to come find in a real world friend therapist etc. please take that step if you possibly can. I’m rooting for you. Hugs and love BAF brave and free xxxooo

      • Felk

        Nomad, just want to reiterate some of the things that BAF said about how we are only telling *some* of our stories here. While I think we do all try to be honest, we’re all just getting small snippets of each other’s lives and personalities. One thing in particular that I think we know so little about is our married lives (for those of us who are married). It’s a big part of this whole picture, and I think we sometimes downplay how we’re choosing to stay with our Hs. I talk a lot about my MM and being in love with him, but I don’t say a lot about how I still can’t imagine leaving my H. That is, of course, central to the problems in an affair (for me and also for my MM). Although we didn’t talk about it a lot, I know it was hard for my MM that I had a H. We didn’t say a lot about it because we knew we had to accept the other had a spouse, but I know it was hard for both of us.

        We also spend a lot of time here talking about our pain caused by the affair and we say little about the damage we’re doing to our marriages and our Hs. We are so willing to treat this other person (that we supposedly love) so poorly while complaining about our MM? It’s not a judgment so much as an observation. When you ask questions about how your MM is able/willing to treat you in ways that you think is unfair or cruel, ask yourself how you are able to do some of the same things to your H. Again, I don’t mean that to make you feel bad but to hopefully help you understand that your MM is probably not an awful person who is trying to hurt you. He is simply doing what he needs to do for himself, just as you are with your MM (and your H). We are so willing to cast aside our Hs when it’s convenient for us, so why shouldn’t we expect that our MM are capable of this behavior (with us), too? Honestly, if there’s one way my affair helped my marriage it was by showing me that when I felt awful when my MM would go MIA for a few days, it was probably similar to how my H felt when I was so willing to go emotionally numb to him at times during my affair. My affair helped me do that a little less to my H and especially after my affair ended(ish). We talk about our boring/passionless marriages, but part of that is because we’re checked out of the marriage and invested in our affairs. I’m not saying we can entirely repair our marriages at this point, but we certainly cannot do much repair if we’re still hoping for the affair. I know it’s not the answer you want, but it does seem you’d be happier if you were completely done with your MM and you were simply in the comfort of your marriage. Not that it would have the passion of your affair, but it also would not have the misery of your affair.

        I’ve been trying to reiterate that we all have different situations and we’re all different people. What works for one person might not work for another. I think I can accept a pretty low level of communication from my MM. But others can probably accept less, where others might find this amount of communication unacceptable. I know you’ve used words like “envy” for my situation, but you don’t want my situation. My MM goes multiple days without talking to me at all. You’d be miserable! 🙂 Hopefully, you hear I’m trying to be a little funny, but another point I want to make is that, while I really do try to be rational and calm and patient with all of this, I am also struggling, too. It is not all bliss. I have now been in this for six years, and there have been highs and lows across those six years. There has never been a sustained period (for more than a few weeks) where it was just smooth-sailing and easy. And when I say things are getting easier for me, that’s only in comparison to the hell that I went through after September. So, yes, it’s “easier,” but it’s NOT easy. The next time I talk to my MM, I plan to tell him how scared I am to get into this affair again. And we also find ourselves in affairs with different types of MM. While they might share some traits, they are different and then we might have different outcomes with different men. I don’t say this to say my MM is better or worse. Just different.

        I get a lot of value from hearing everyone’s stories on here, and I like the different perspectives, different approaches for healing, and, simply, feeling that I’m not alone and people are going through similar things. It also helps me a lot to talk about my situation here. But, only I can really help me. Only I know my MM and myself well enough to know what’s going to work for me. Sometimes when I give you advice, it’s advice that would work for me, but I know that what works for me isn’t going to work for everyone on here. You have to do it the way that works for you. And if “nothing” seems to be working, that’s when you turn to someone trained to help.

        • BAF

          Felk, this is beautifully put and you are getting Wiser!!. I hear so much growth in you. Brava!
          I think there is someone else we ignore, someone else we allow ourselves to treat very poorly:
          I am sure you already know who it is: the spouse of our married lovers.

          What makes us so unable to see his/her side and listen only to the married lover who has the big GRIPES? Why did I side with my exMM and stay so blind to the fact that he was only telling HIS side of the story? Why didn’t I question him more? Ugh.
          The answer: I was in “addictive love” for sure. I put all my values aside and did what I had felt I needed to do for ME.
          He was offering me an affair and I took it without question. No questions asked! Wow. Now I see how devastated I felt over my exH returning to his home country and unable to be a husband and father anymore. It was incomprehensible to me that my marriage could not work out the way I wanted it to because my exH was mentally ill and a substance abuser. I had 2 beautiful sons: Ages 7 and 10 at the time. I was alone in a huge city and had more or less run away from home with my H due to the way I felt about my family of origin. This made me very very vulnerable, I also had suffered a major depressive episode the year before I met my exMM. So all in all I was very emotionally fragile.
          I think e should all look back and see who we were BEFORE the affair? What troubling things had happened the year before?
          There are reasons I was lacking empathy for the W of my exH. I am NOT usually like that. Or AM I?
          It haunts me sometimes.
          What is it in us that allows us to do the unthinkable and more or less poach a married person for ourselves?
          Why do we side with this person? Do we really know what makes their relationship tick? Do we really know what it feels like to be in this MM’s wife’s shoes? How does he REALLY TRULY TREAT her?
          WHY doesn’t she want sex with him anymore?
          Did he do something to her?
          Does she suspect he is cheating or checked out?
          And what make me think I could do better than her? Why do any of us feel we could do better than the spouse?
          What in us makes us think this?
          I shudder to think what it is in ME that allowed me to treat the W of my MM with such lack of empathy for her? Such lack of caring how she might be feeling? Or how the marriage might have been equally impossible for her because HE (my exMM) was perhaps so difficult to be married to? Hw was perhaps emotionally abusing her?
          And that I joined him…colluded with him against her?
          I sided with him 100 per cent for years. What made me do that?
          I shudder to think about my callousness towards her tell you the truth.
          But my father has just passed and I really AM starting to putting some very very painful puzzle pieces together.
          So I am beginning to understand myself even my callousness better.
          Many hugs,
          Brave and Free
          xxxooo
          BAF

          • Felk

            BAF, I’m not sure I feel much wiser yet, but thanks for saying it. Okay, maybe I feel a *little* wiser. 🙂 I am trying to proceed slowly and carefully through all of this. I guess it was some progress setting boundaries for no sex when my MM was recently at my house, but I don’t know how long that can last. I will, of course, keep thinking about all of these things and trying to make “this” work. “This” being some sort of affair while not devastating our lives or the lives of our spouses. And, even if it doesn’t seem like it, I am still keeping in mind the idea that it may not be possible to do more than we are doing now (and we may even have to do less).

            You are good to mention our consideration of the other’s spouse in this. Maybe, for me, I didn’t mention it (and don’t consider it much) because it feels more “equal” when both people are married? In your situation, it was one-sided where he had a spouse and you did not. Maybe that makes the guilt more salient on your end? Or maybe I didn’t think about my MM’s W much because my MM and I did not talk about our spouses much. We certainly did not complain about our spouses to each other. Although I have heard a number of women on here talk about how their MM talked about their sexless, frustrating marriages, my MM and I did not do that. We actually started the affair when things were still good in our marriages (and we both acknowledged that at the time). And then we tried to intentionally not talk much about spouses to each other not only because we didn’t want to violate the privacy of our spouse but also because we knew any information could be hurtful to the other. We knew the jealousy issues that come along with affairs and we thought it best to keep the talk of spouses to a minimum. Of course, we did sometimes. My MM made a few comparisons here and there about how things were better with me (and I did the same, although less than he did). Those things felt nice, but he rarely disparaged his W. Even when he’d say certain things were better with me, it’s not like he’d imply it was terrible with her. Sometimes he’d precede saying things were better with me by saying, “You know things are fine in my marriage, but, with you…” And, painfully, I will not forget during our break-up talks last September that he said, “There are still good things there,” and he went on to talk about how he thought he had to end our affair to have any hopes of salvaging the good things left in their marriage that he had put in jeopardy in our affair. Although, I also cannot forget how, during our break-up, he reminded me that things were better with me but how he might have to settle for good enough (in his marriage).

            Or maybe I don’t consider my MM’s W much because of the callousness I have that is related to allowing me to have an affair in the first place? Maybe the same traits that allow me to not consider my H’s feelings much in this also allow me not to consider my MM’s W? I think this is the main reason I don’t consider his W. I don’t say this with pride, but I also don’t say this with guilt. We know my narc tendencies allow me to cheat on my H with little guilt and likely allow me not to consider my MM’s W very much. And, of course, selfishly, I wanted distance to grow between them because I wanted him in love with me.

            But, all of that said, of course I considered my MM’s W at times. There were a few times that my MM would tell me about his W saying things to him about how he’d been distant lately or things like that, and my MM and I knew that she was noticing changes in him. (This was about a year before she asked him directly if he was having an affair.) During those times, I’d feel a little bad for her and I’d think about how her and my H must be feeling more neglected lately. I thought about the times that my MM would go MIA with me for a few days and I figured he must do that to his W, too, and how it must hurt that much more when it’s someone you live with. And, like I said, it made me think about how I was doing that to my H, too. If there is one clear thing that has improved in my marriage since the end(ish) of the affair last September, it’s that my attention to my H has improved. I definitely ignore him less. I think the same is true of my MM’s situation, and I think he likes that.

            And I definitely considered my MM’s kids in all of this. I never wanted him to leave his family because of the harm to his kids. Had they been older? Maybe, but given that they were relatively young, I never wanted him to do that to them. I know he considered it, though. I know he thought about it a lot. I know he got to the point where he felt he had to make a decision. And my guess is that he stayed mainly for his children (not for his W). I’ve said it many times here… it is a decision I respect and understand, even if I wanted him to try to find a way to make it work with me, too.

            I know you are reflecting on a lot lately with the passing of your father. I’m sure it is tough, but it sounds like you are also reflecting with clarity, and, as TTSP said a few days ago, it is probably helpful not to have the stress of your MM during this time. I know you are still dealing with the aftermath of that relationship, but it sounds like you have stayed away from him pretty successfully lately. It sounds like you are putting that relationship in the rearview mirror. You know I hear a lot of growth in you, too, and that has been true for months. I still appreciate so much the honest questions you ask all of us. Sometimes I shy away from asking the harder questions and then I read you ask them and am so glad you do.

          • TTSP

            Hi Lara,
            I wonder if a lot of people in the role of the “other person” regardless of their status live in a state of denial about the spouse? I know I certainly did for a period of time. Out of sight out of mind. It’s not like we ever interact with them or see them so it makes it easy to deny their existence. I may sound nuts but denial can be a very powerful force. Others may justify it as what they don’t know won’t hurt them? You raise a lot of reasonable points we must ask ourselves.

            Also, mine never put down his W thus there wasn’t a side to take. In fact he spoke highly of her character. She is a loving, giving, smart, wonderful woman with a big heart. Like a lot of other couples they neglected their relationship and lost all the romance, passion, connection and intimacy. In the last six months I felt immensely guilty about the damage the affair could inflict on her and the kids.

            Also, when I entered into it I was in a very lonely, dark place with my alcoholism and personal life. Now, I have zero interest in befriending any married man. Stay away from me 🙂 If my ex mm and I met when I was sober I may have not entertained the idea. I say that with questionable confidence because like alcohol I needed every drink to get me sober. With this addiction I needed every painful affair experience to get me clean so to speak.

        • BAF

          Dear Felk and TTSP:
          Felk, you say your narc tendencies might allow you to be callous. I too recognize I was callous in my affair. And selfish and greedy too. I can live with these traits in me better than I used to be able to. But they re my ‘shadow side” and I can not encourage this side anymore.
          I understand the reasons why I did what I did. But now I choose NOT to be this person anymore because it hurt ME more than anyone else. I did not break up with my exMM for any other reason in the end than it was hurting ME. But I DID feel the guilt of the affair and the guilt toward his W.
          My father’s death a week ago has caused me profound inner changes, yes. My father was a functional alcoholic all his life. This means he was quite successful in his life but also profoundly addicted to alcohol. This means his relationships with my family were all complicated (all 26 of us!) Not one of us denies his alcohol abuse. YYSP I was no exam;y a “fatherless” daughter nut he was emotionally quite shallow I must say. Je was distant as well, even sitting right there in front of me.

          As for my exMM:
          During my father’s illness and then passing, I have been away from my neighborhood, and my exMM for a lot of the last few weeks.
          I do NOT miss him and I do NOT want him back in terms of my conscious mind.
          But of course the addiction is still there farther back in mind in my sub and un-conscious.
          TTSP I too do not think I would have chosen this man had I been sober at the time. In fact my alcoholism which was mild when I met my exMM but Escalated like crazy as things started falling apart! I fell into full-blown alcoholism and had to seek recovery.
          Yet I STILL stayed off and on in my affair with my exMM for years.
          This is because sex with him and love with him was ALSO one of my addictions. I just did not realize it until I found this blog a year ago. For me personally, going back to my exMM now would be like picking up a drink.” I can not do that anymore, one day at a time. I need an healthier relationship with an available man and I need to be able to COMMIT to this person. (If in fact I want another serious relationship. Otherwise I need a FWB arrangement with a SINGLE person. The exMM is toxic for me and he will never leave his W.

          I have put the affair “down” just like I put down my last drink over 17 years ago. I know full well the destructive force of ANY addiction.Frankly I seek to be addiction free.

          Married women with kids are under enormous pressure to stay lovers and romantic with their husbands but also provide enormous amounts of emotional and physical nurturing to their kids. Many off these same women work as well, often full-time. They are EXHAUSTED. I know full well how hard it was to raise my kids alone and to also work for money. I did it for years. I dot recommend this lifestyle as it is soooooo tiring.
          For married women with kids, sometimes husbands are less than fully supportive. Some husbands get frustrated with the lack of attention to themselves. These same men might seek affairs. Any man cheating has issues with not getting enough attention and emotional support and comforting. It is often up to the exhausted women the wives to give love and support to everyone, meanwhile needing love and emotional support herself. She too is on “empty” and craves attention and love and support from her husband the way he sued to give it to her used to give her. She might be waiting for him to show her he can do both: love her entirely AND love and help out his kids entirely AND work and provide an income for her and for his family.
          A lot can go wrong.
          When another woman, a mistress enters the picture she adds fuel to what is already a fire. Imagine am exhausted woman with kids and a job finding out her husband has turned to anther woman in stead of working things out with her. Did he consult her before he went “solo”?
          Nope.
          Of course the genders could be reversed and the loyal committed person could be the husband and it is the wife who opts for the affair. In this case one merely can switch to description I provided above. Whether we are female mistresses or male “misters” we are a third wheel and we make to relationship into a triangle by entering into it.
          I actually do not think it takes much empathy to feel this is a wrong move. Personally I feel guilt. But another person could merely feel it as dumb. a waste of time, and totally inappropriate. Narc or no it is kind of obvious I think.
          Believe me, people can successfully divorce and cp-parent. I have seen this over and over.
          Also affairs do as much damage to the kids as a divorce does because the kids can often feel it just like the wife can feel it. Remember LifeLesson’s MM’s wife and kids? They ALL are sensing something is going on.
          Felt in your case the W is sensing it.
          This indirectly affects how she treats the kids.
          Divorce is no more damaging than an affair because if a couple divorces at least some of the tension in the household where all these people live together marriage can dissipate and now BOTH adults can have their own love lives and SHARE the responsibilities of the kids.
          Just my humble opinions and knowledge here.
          I think an affair is very very damaging to kids. I can easily think it through, and think through the relationships the kids will then have with the opposite sex. These relationships will be also unhealthy. Then BOTH parents will be affected negatively….
          And it goes on and on…..
          Affairs are family illnesses just like alcoholism is.
          Much love,
          BAF

          • Felk

            BAF, it seems we’re all acting selfishly if we’re in an affair. We’re essentially saying that we’re willing to do this bad thing to someone else (the W and their kids) because it makes us feel good. And, then, for those of us who are married, we are also willing to do this to our spouse. This person who we have pledged commitment to and who trusts us not to have an affair. Obviously, I think there’s selfishness is someone single who chooses to have an affair with someone married, but it seems much more selfish to do this to one’s spouse, too. It is great that you are saying that you cannot encourage that side of your personality anymore. However, I have a long way to go before I would feel that I didn’t embrace the selfish side of my personality.

            I understand what you say about ending it with your MM because it was hurting you too much. I know you didn’t do it because of his W and kids. I think most of the time when we end relationships we do it for ourselves. Rarely are we so selfless that we’d sacrifice ourselves for another in this way. 🙂 Yes, I know some of you feel tremendous guilt about what you might be doing to your MM’s W and family, but, ultimately, it seems what gets someone to walk away is the hurt that the MM or the affair is causing personally. For me, if I ever choose to walk away, it would be for me and it wouldn’t be guilt. I’m just not close to walking away yet. You have so many years ahead of me in this process, but I will know when I’m ready. You say really good things, though, about not missing your MM and not wanting that kind of relationship anymore. It does sound like you’re on the path to being done with him. It’s really great to watch that growth in you over these months. If you think back to the things you were saying back in September, you have to be amazed at how far you’ve come.

            I did not want my MM to leave his W (because of the kids). For me, that statement isn’t just about not wanting to break up a family. Yes, I felt it was best for the kids if my MM stayed with his W to raise their kids together, but it was also selfish in the sense that I thought it would be a mess to get into a relationship with a divorced man with kids. I was trying to think ahead about the big picture. What would leaving my H mean for me, our extended family, our friends? And how well would a new relationship with my MM go if he had an angry ex-wife and kids? And how would I handle a relationship with his kids (as I have never wanted children)? What would it be like to work with my MM and be in a 24/7 relationship with him (that seems smothering to me)? See, these are some of the many things that have gone unsaid all these months on here. Part of what you were saying to Nomad about how there is so much that we don’t say about our situations.

            I know what you’re saying about how an affair can take its toll on kids, but most parents I know prioritize their kids and I think that happens through affairs, too. I think, for a while at least, our affair didn’t have much of an impact on his kids. But, I acknowledge that as my MM got closer to me in that fourth year, I think his behavior (with his W) did start to affect them at home and would be noticed by the kids. I am sure that is mainly why my MM ended our relationship. I think he was worried about the impact on the kids. I don’t know if an ongoing affair is worse than a divorce. It’s probably much too variable on individual situations to make that comparison. I just know that a divorce seemed pretty devastating for his kids and family. So, divorce seems worse to me, but I get your point… an affair can be bad for kids, too. I always wanted my MM to prioritize his kids. I made that quite clear and he never expected otherwise. But, of course, I’d hoped my MM could maintain his family while still having an affair with me. You know I still hope it, but I’m not sure he shares my optimism.

          • BAF

            Felk and others,
            The way a mother and wife feels so often during the affair her husband is having (which she can “sense it”) is transferred one way or another to her kids. This is how the affair damages not only the marriage but the kids. When she starts feeling insecure about whether her husband loves her, for example, a woman will do one of several things none of them being healthy. She might develop an addiction to try to stuff down her feelings and make things look normal. That affects the kids because now she’s caught up in a substance and not emotionally responsive to them as much as she needs to be. She might instead become overly close with one of her kids as a sort of subsTitute for her husband. This is hugely damaging to a child who needs a parent and not a friend and or spouse relationship. This so I can attest to personally as my mother did this a great deal with me her eldest daughter. Being the confidante of a mother is very damaging to the kid. This is because children are in their own developmental processes and need to go through this without the burden of unresolved adult emotional pain thrust upon them. A Third Way a scorned woman who is the wife and mother could act is to tell her kids horrible things about their father and insinuate about how he is betraying her. She will tell the kids how awful dad is ruining their relationship with him and damaging them with this knowledge. In other ways an affair can play out in many different ways at home as a woman become suspicious. I imagine it’s the same if it is the man becoming suspicious of his wife having the affair. A Third Way scorned woman who is the wife and mother could act is to tell her kids help horrible response is and how he is betraying her. She will tell the kids how awful dad is ruining their relationship with him and damaging them with this knowledge. In other words an affair can play out in many different ways at home as a woman become suspicious. I imagine it’s the same if it is the man and husband becoming suspicious of his wife having the affair. The scorned parent is angry and betrayed and has huge amounts of unresolved emotions. These unresolved emotions usually land squarely upon the kids no matter what their ages are including even if their adult children. This is why I say an affair, especially a long-term affair in my mind at least is as damaging as a divorce. Both events signal complete marital strife to the children of these adults. Marital strife means the end of their childhood security and happiness. It also means children very often taking on responsibilities that are too large for them and that harm them because they get in the way of childhood and teenage developments. Both of the children of my ex MM are having problems with addictions. Both are trying to resolve their parents strife as well as their parents trying to simply get along Together. The only thing that keeps me from feeling complete guilt and responsibility for these unhappy children who are now adults is the fact that I am very sure that their father would have cheated anyhow regardless if I cheated with him or not. He was bound to find extramarital lovers by his personality. On the other hand I am well aware of enabling him and his behavior. In enabling him I also contributed to More misery for his family indirectly. I agree that married people having affairs have their own spouses they are hurting and that’s perhaps where the primary attention goes when it comes to guilt and responsibility for others. But in truth whether one is married or not, when one is in an affair with a married person, one is affecting that married person’s entire family and all the members of that family. It Is a hard truth to swallow for me. I see my selfishness and I see my Vulnerability in needing my ex MM no matter what. I also am very encouraged by my recent strength of mind and heart and I do feel my affair is over now and that I won’t go back at least. But just like Alcohol the affair it will always tempt me once in a while when I’m stressed or when I’m tired. That is because I have addiction in my brain and it’s an illness not a choice. Addiction is not a character defect it is truly an illness. So I am learning to forgive myself. And as I forgive myself I’m learning how to forgive my father and I’m learning how to forgive my ex MM. Much love the a.m addiction is not a character defect it is truly an illness. So I am learning to forgive myself. And as I forgive myself I’m learning how to forgive my father and I’m learning how to forgive my ex MM. Much love, BAF xxoo

  • Felk

    Nomad, I’m sorry you are going through this. As if it wasn’t already hard enough, adding something like this is devastating. Of course, maybe it helps you be done with him once and for all, but I know this is not the way you wanted it to happen.

    • Nomad

      Felk, it seemed you’ve run out of things to tell me , your shortest reply ever 😏I’m sorry to learn about his disgusting and disappointing behavior too. I’m confused, hurt and angry.

      He didn’t turn up at the team lunch and what’s new? He blocked me for a day already.

      • Felk

        Nomad, my response was short because I know the pain of jealousy and of finding out that someone (you’re in love with) has flirted with someone else. I had questions about whether he admitted it to you during your WhatsApp conversation when you confronted him or if he denied it, but it sounded like, after that conversation, you were sure that he was showing interest in someone else so I didn’t want to make you go through that conversation again. I also could have asked questions about whether or not he’s flirty in nature and this behavior was nothing more than flirting with someone, but I’m not sure that would change much of anything. You were already jealous of his W. You were already worried he had moved onto someone else when you two were taking time apart earlier this year. You were already worried he didn’t love you as much as he said. With this new information, it just confirms that I don’t think you can have a trusting relationship with him and you will always be too suspicious and jealous to be happy. Affairs make us miserable, jealous and insecure wrecks, and I don’t know how you can continue in this affair with this new information.

        The insecurity is the worst part of an affair. At best, you keep that nagging feeling just out of reach much of the time and it lets you continue in the affair, only creeping up here and there. But those times, when it creeps up, it’s horrible. I know both my MM and I had attacks of jealousy that hurt a lot. He had not reason to be jealous though (I was “faithful” to him outside of my H), and I don’t think I had reason to be jealous, too. But the nature of an affair makes us so insecure. But, that’s at best. At best, you only think about it once in a while. But, at worst, you’re plagued by doubt every day and every little thing makes you suspicious and nothing the other person does can convince you that they’re really into you. That is what it has sounded like for you since your MM returned. And I don’t know how you can be happy, especially knowing what you know now.

        But, somehow, it sounds like, after you said you blocked him and deleted his number, you’re still monitoring his behavior and looking for him to beg you to come back to him? Or is there more you want to say to him? I just wondered why you added that line about him not turning up at the team lunch and blocking you for the day already. If you are done with him, be done. I know that is easier said than done, but it can only happen if you make the choice. As BAF says, have you hit your bottom?

        • TTSP

          Hi Felk,
          These words of yours rang so true for me and I just couldn’t take it anymore, “Affairs make us miserable, jealous and insecure wrecks. The insecurity is the worst part of an affair. At best, you keep that nagging feeling just out of reach much of the time and it lets you continue in the affair, only creeping up here and there. But those times, when it creeps up, it’s horrible. Nothing the other person does can convince you that they’re really into you.”

          For some reason I didn’t think you experienced much jealousy and insecurity but I guess they are inherent in an affair because you never have a big picture view. I had major insecurity issues and needed constant reassurance. He got immensely frustrated with my doubts. Then he would display major neediness and insecurity when he found out about me dating.

          I think the married partner in an affair expects the other person not to be jealous because he or she doesn’t have romance, attraction or much sexuality in their marriage. Relationships encompass so much more than just sexuality and you all know that here. Friendship, love, history, kids, paying bills, cohabitation, planning your future, shopping, buying homes, traveling. I think he wanted me to be nonchalant and “cool” with the terms and conditions. Um seriously… he would’ve died inside if the shoe was on the other foot. Sorry, I digress here.

          Whatever happens with you and your mm I hope it’s in your favor and nothing goes awry. People here talk about mia behavior, distancing, guilt. It sounds like you two have fostered a very open, honest relationship. I guess you’ll keep the lines of communication open and see where it takes you both. Not that you asked my opinion but if you can enjoy it without getting too wrapped up in it than you may have a good thing.

          • Felk

            TTSP, it’s funny because when I read your words about “major insecurity issues and needed constant reassurance,” I was surprised, too. Not that I didn’t understand, but you never really spoke that way about your affair. BUT… this just goes to show what BAF was saying in her post to Nomad about how we’re all only able to tell part of our stories here. There is just so much and this space doesn’t allow us the room to tell it all.

            Yes, I felt insecurity. Sometimes it was stronger than others, but it was always there. That’s that nagging feeling I was talking about. I was able to push it aside most of the time, but there were times when it would creep up pretty painfully. It wasn’t really jealousy of his W. I knew my MM was in love with me, and enjoyed his time with me more than his W. I also accepted that they’d have to do things together as is expected in marriage. So, I never really spent much time thinking about them enjoying time together. Sure, once in a while I did, but not much. For me, the insecurity mainly came from the fear that my MM would end our relationship. It’s as BAF said a few days ago about the lack of commitment in an affair. I felt some commitment with my MM, especially as the affair went on for years, but the threat of a spouse and kids is big. From the beginning, my MM struggled more with the affair. He’d say it wasn’t as much guilt as it was feeling he wasn’t treating his W and his kids well. (I think that sounds a bit like guilt, but who knows.) For the most part, the affair went along pretty well, but there would be days where my MM would feel particularly bad about it all and he’d pull away and I’d get pretty anxious. Eventually, things got pretty good (in year four) where I felt our relationship was pretty solid. And then it all got bad for him. The closer we got, the further he got from his W until she asked if he was having an affair. Also, the closer we got, the harder it was for him to picture me with my H. My MM was struggling with jealousy and insecurity. It is as you say. Even when you know that your MM or MW isn’t in love with their W or H anymore, you know they share a lot together and there is a lot more than just sex to be jealous about. So, all of this made it overwhelming for my MM, he started to pull away more and more in year five, and then my insecurity increased. Those last 9 months (before he ended it last September) were not great. We had some really good times, but we also had some pretty rough times as he felt worse and worse about the whole situation.

            Now? Who knows. I don’t feel the insecurity that I felt last year, but I certainly don’t feel secure in our relationship. It seems that he and I want something to continue, but “what” we want to continue, I’m still not sure. That uncertainty isn’t comfortable, but I’m not sure I can get any more certainty right now. The situation is complicated. There are not easy answers. And, yes, I think we’ll keep talking about it to see if we can make something work. It’s “sort of” working right now in the sense that it felt good to kiss him last week. It feels nice not to have the daily angst about it all. But, I’m still feeling less secure and less sure than I want, and I’m still pretty scared about getting back into the badness of last year again. I very much do not want that (and he feels the same), so I hope we can talk a lot about how to avoid it. I know it may mean not having sex, and you know I’m okay with that. But, I also know that, once you cross those physical lines as we have this past month, it’s hard not to keep crossing lines. So, I am trying to get to a place where we can enjoy this without getting too wrapped up in the bad. I’d say I felt that way for four years in our affair, so we’ll see what we can do this time.

            How about you? Have you still been able to keep it just professional and ignore his voicemails? Is he still calling? From what you’ve written here, it does sound like you’re sticking to your plan to be done. How are you feeling about it all?

          • TTSP

            Felk,
            From what you described you appear to have a similar POV to my ex mm. He was committed to the affair and told me he’d never say no to me. He had a tinge of guilt but felt like he needed an outside relationship for his own happiness. I think he felt like as long as he kept the family together, stayed married and gave his kids a stable, normal home he was following through on his commitment. He had insecurities about me ending the relationship and/or meeting someone else and replacing him.

            I on the other hand rarely if ever felt comfortable with the relationship. I won’t reiterate what I’ve said hundreds of times on here but I may have shared a similar perspective to your mm. I felt badly about everything too frequently. Obviously I don’t have kids so it wasn’t guilt for my own offspring but I did feel badly for his innocent family. Plus, I had major fears of her finding out and shit really hitting the fan. She had to suspect something. Since we got together he started going to the gym two hours a day, got 8 new tattoos, replaced his wardrobe with custom made clothing, rearranged his work schedule, changed his passwords and started turning off all his devices when not in use. She’s a smart lady in a middle management position. Without concrete evidence it’s moot now and I can walk away without ruining his life or harming his three immediate family members. I feel really good about not upending their world.

            I am sticking to my plan and have sustained a professional relationship. He has not attempted to contact me. I suspect he is pissed at me bc the last time we spoke over work IM I told him I wasn’t interested in hearing his personal stories and humble bragging. That sent him running in the other direction which was my exact intention. I don’t want to be a bitch but I can’t move on without total abstinence from him. The sooner we both move on the better we’ll feel interacting at work.

            If your mm wants to take it to the next level do you think you’d take the chance? I couldn’t decipher whether you wanted to keep sex out of the picture or open up that possibility? How are you doing now that you’re both back to school?

          • Felk

            TTSP, yes, I remember you saying previously that your MM would be happy staying in the affair indefinitely. That’s how I felt, too. I also have some moments of guilt and worry about my marriage, but it’s not enough to keep me from the affair. I, too, feel like as long as things are “fine” in my marriage, then I can continue the affair (for my happiness). As I’ve also said here before, my H seems pretty happy in our marriage (despite my distancing over the affair years). I don’t think my MM felt the same guilt and discomfort you’re describing, but he did feel more than I did. His personality is rather similar to mine with the narc tendencies so he didn’t have a lot of guilt. He did have some, though (or at least some disappointment in himself for not meeting his obligations as a husband and father). But, like your MM feeling fine as long as his marriage was stable, I think my MM is still hovering because things are better in his marriage and he’s feeling more open to us again.

            As for your MM’s W, yes, it’s hard to believe she wouldn’t have suspected something, much like my MM’s W. With all those (big) changes that you describe, I’d think she noticed. Whether she confronted him and he denied successfully, she suspected but didn’t want to confront, or she was too checked out to care, who knows? I think my husband falls in the middle category where he would have noticed changes but he’s not the type to confront me about such things (unless there was hard evidence and there was not). I think my H also chalked it up to normal relationship changes over time and maybe your MM’s W did, too? I have a tendency to think that women notice these things better or are more likely to confront. I always thought that my MM’s W would be more likely to confront him than my H to confront me. Not that I know our behavior was any different but just that women tend to do more emotional maintenance in relationships and will, therefore, be more likely to notice and say something. It does seem, though, that you can walk away knowing that you did not contribute to the failure of their marriage/family.

            You know that I completely understand and support you telling your MM that you didn’t want to hear his stories. I think that was a smart move by you. Continuing to hear those stories keeps him close and would keep reminding you of your relationship and would make it hard to move on. I know that all too well. And I know you didn’t do it to hurt him so it’s not you being a “bitch.” It’s you looking out for yourself and being consistent with what you told him you wanted. I am sure it is hard for him, but I’m glad he’s respecting you (or maybe he’s pouting) and not continuing the contact.

            As for my situation, if my MM said he wanted to take our relationship to the next level, I would return in a heartbeat. If he said it THAT clearly and directly, I would know that he was sure. But, that’s the problem. He will not say that directly. He will be vague. He will be unsure. He will (at best) suggest things like, “Let’s see what happens” or, more likely, he will say (as he has said through this break-up), “I don’t know what I want.” I understand his uncertainty so it’s not like I’m mad about it. But, I will need more certainty if we’re moving forward in some way. Now, sure, I could ask him directly (and I may), but I know that doesn’t work well with him. He doesn’t like to feel pressured, and, even more, I think he doesn’t want to say anything with certainty because he’s scared. I also think he wants to continue to delude himself that we are not back (or still) in the affair. When we started our affair, it took him months to use the word “affair.” And then he refused to use the word “relationship” (until he finally did). He is a smart guy so it’s always surprised me that he lies to himself a little, but I guess we all lie to ourselves in ways at times.

            I am open to the possibility of sex, but I’m looking for more certainty and conversations before we go down that path again. I want to have sex, but only if we’re both understanding that we’re in this affair again. I don’t want it like January. I don’t feel desperate, and I don’t want one-time sex just because we miss each other. As you’ve said, sex changes things. I am in love, but I will feel stronger things if we have sex and I don’t want that if he’s not on board, too. I’m not exactly sure what “on board” means yet and this is what we need to talk about, but I guess sex crosses that line for me that we’re really back in the affair and if it doesn’t mean the same to him, I don’t think I want it. And thanks for asking me that question because talking that out right there felt pretty good to me.

            Last week back at work was a mix of good and not so good (for me). He was pretty good the whole time. He was playful, attentive, and mostly normal, if not a little nervous and trying a little extra with me. I felt pretty nervous about it all, though. We had some fun exchanges, but we also had one encounter where I was just all sweaty and nervous. I don’t know if he noticed, but I didn’t like how it felt and I’m going to give myself a little more space this week and ease in a little better (without trying to find time with him, as I did last week). As usual, I’d just like it all figured out and settled and I’m sure we are far from that. 🙂 At least, it is not like the start of the school year last September and that train wreck of misery. I still feel good. I’ve healed a lot over these months and all of that is still true. And, of course, I hope I can use that strength to help me with whatever we’re doing now.

  • Nomad

    Dear all

    I’m shocked, disgusted and broken-hearted. T told me what she found out about mm in one of the drinking session that they went last year. She said mm sat very close to another female colleague and flirted. He commented on her photos, pose and clothes that he liked on her. It was inappropriate and the colleague was uncomfortable that she went home and told her H about the encounter.

    I confronted him via WhatsApp. After 1hr+, my parting words were “Goodbye, we are done. I hope nothing will ever make me go back to you anymore” I’ve blocked and deleted his no.
    Throughout hr didn’t care about me or us. He worries about his reputation and how he should avoid them. I said let’s end and he said we should cool down. He’s turnoff each time i doubted him. I’m still very shocked.

    • BAF

      Nomad I’m so sorry to read your recent post. I know you are in shock. I know it must feel horrible. You must feel very betrayed and used. You might be questioning whether he cared at all for you and whether your affair ever meant anything. Or was it all just lies? Now he seems like a callous cheat to you no doubt. Yet not too long ago he was telling you he loved you. You seemed kind of sincere at times.It’s a real mind bender to be fooled, I know. My ex MM did this to me more than once. And in response I did it right back to him. It changed nothing however. The affair kept going. I realized that there is nothing in an affair that says “commitment”. “Commitment” is Not possible in an affair situation. Neither is safety and security . No promises. No future. A past and present filled with delusions. We get our high from affairs, yes we do, but dear Nomad, we pay an eNormous price for this type of high. We pay a huge physical and emotional and psychological price. One day, like in any addiction to anything, we finally reach some kind of a bottom. And we finally want to stop. and We look for sane ways to recover. But Until that moment comes, until we reach our bottom in our affair, we just keep repeating the same damn mistakes over And over and over again….
      perhaps this incident will be your “bottom”! If so you are very fortunate. Many hugs BAF

  • lois

    Hey, ladies. Just wanted to give you a brief update. After MM and met last week, I texted him later that night and told him that I had thought about our discussion and was relieved. He replied, I have thought about it too but not about that… I did not clue in what he meant and replied what have you been thinking about. He meant he had been thinking about me sexually. It felt so good to be wanted again. We chatted a little and said good night. The next day, I texted to check on him and he replied not too bad today. I asked if he got his feelings under control and replied yes. I said bummer. He said not really, depends on how you look at it. I replied, I must be looking at differently. He replied some time later. “My thought is that you want me stable so I can finish healing and getting back to normal David. I think everyone wins in that scenario.” At first, I was quite taken by his not really comment because once again, I felt let down because I want to be with him. There were some new developments at work and others have gone to board about how things were handled. So, I called to let him and told him that I agreed with his thought. The last text was Friday night. I have not texted him since…no contact. I really cannot explain why except every time I do contact him it seems my heart gets crushed and it hurts worse. Guess, I am being a baby and tired of hurting. I have thought about contacting him several times today but cannot seem to bring myself to do it. I keep telling myself he needs time to heal and if he wants me, he will contact me. if not, the time apart is hopefully healing my heart too. I am confused and aggravated with myself. He told me it was okay to contact him that he did not bother him but I do not know if it is for the best because my heart just seems to keep getting broken. If you have ever had to give your MM space, I am sure you understand. At times, I am numb and other times it hurts. Thanks for listening.

    • Felk

      Lois, I know things are still complicated with your MM, but if I can offer some comfort, I think you misinterpreted his texts. When you asked if he got his feelings under control and he said yes, you were talking about his sexual thoughts, right? But when he replied “yes,” he was talking about his feelings in general about his brother/job loss/everything. So, you say “bummer,” and he says, “not really” and then explains that “everyone wins” if he gets his feelings back to normal. YOU were talking about his sexual thoughts, but he misinterpreted your question and thought you were generally asking about his feelings.

      I think it’s not only a good sign that he’s getting his feelings under control (about his brother/his job/etc) but that he’s also flirting with you and telling you about his sexual thoughts. He still wants you. He would not have offered that the other day otherwise. Give him time. He wants to be with you. He would not be sending you that text unless he wanted you. I am sure.

      We can misinterpret SO much over text. So many times I’ve had to re-read texts and e-mails to make sure I wasn’t just interpreting them in the sad/depressed/anxious way that I had a tendency to during our break-up and, usually, in the re-read, I realized that I was misinterpreting and he was being normal/playful. So many times, when I start to misinterpret, I remind myself of all the things he’s doing (like coming over to my house tomorrow) that show me how in love he still is. But this is why affairs are so hard. Usually, it’s pretty clear to us after this amount of time with someone how they feel, but affairs make it muddy and complicated where we’re never entirely sure. Ah, the fun continues. The “fun” that we keep choosing.

  • Nomad

    Last Fri morning, blocked for 9th day, he showed up at my desk to sign documents. I don’t know why I took a little longer than usual to sign and the silence was awkward. As he was about to leave, I blurted out 2 sentences: how have you been and why didn’t you ask me to unblock you. He looked surprised that I’d spoken, unlike the past few times I wouldn’t look at him, signed and walked away. He replied smilingly that he’s fine and he supposed things have cooled down and he’s fine to be blocked.

    Fast forward, we went to the room after work. It was my fault. I initiated to meet after work. He merely wanted lunch but I wanted after work. Nothing would’ve happened if I hadn’t initiate personal pick up lines. I am not here to defend myself. I just wanna confessed that I started this episode. My fault on the spur of the moment.

    So we went for ice cream after work and then a long walk in a park. I felt like I was flogging a dead horse as we walked and talked. He sighed a lot. He looked drained to talk about us (that not-again look) our issues over and over again. He asked if we should kiss. He then said that when he saw me this morning, he was magnetized but he didn’t want to stir shit or peel of the healing scab. He presumed I blocked him because I’m pissed off for many reasons – his asshole behavior, my self defense mechanism to deal with my issues, give myself space, or wanted to end the affair again etc. He said he just let me me while he could focus on his work and family, and “enjoy” some inner peace blah blah but put it bluntly, he just doesn’t want to be marred by an affair anymore. He said actually it wasn’t too bad (not too tough anymore, getting easier) to retreat and give each other space.

    Yes, he seemed happier and clearer that he couldn’t sustain the affair. He’s ok to live with his W as a lifetime companion. He also talked about he’s handing over projects and need not come to my office anymore. I said I knew that recently he has been coming to my office but not for me anymore, purely for work and indifference to my presence. He also lunched with others but didn’t think of seizing the chance to lunch with me. We both know the passioncooled down and the novelty faded, we couldn’t return to the honeymoon phase, ending is the only way out and the easier way out. He said he thought I’ve given up hoping and waiting so he has been acting professionally and only contact when work requires it. As I listened, my heart was regretting, sinking and hurting, everything is futile now.

    We then kissed and hugged. I tempted and seduced him with my words and touches, indulging myself in my fantasy for the last time. He seemed to know the danger of us meeting so I think he wouldn’t meet me anymore. He didn’t want to lead me on. So he said seize the moment and he was turned on. He was hesitant about going to the room. I said I wanted but he said it’s getting late, he’s worried abt stirring shit (peace) now that I just unblocked him and we did well so far by chatting and he knew he’d mia after that. Yes, many excuses that got me pissed off. We fought (thrashing out) and I gave him a piece of my mind, all that I’ve been bottling up, his leave, his asshole behavior and how he wasted me each time I returned, how little he gave me. I shook away his hands and said let’s go home.

    He pulled me to the reception and we ended up in the room. Yes, he’s pacifying me. He knows all my issues, my thinking, my feelings. He could anticipate it all! He knows every thought that run through my mind, he could explain my actions and the triggers. So, it has been deliberate that he is giving me little, his way to let me know my position, my boundaries, take it or leave it. Anything more, he couldn’t sustain and fulfill. In the room, he seemed to be in a hurry and it felt forced. He asked if I’d a good time. Somehow I could sense his angst that he’s doing it to appease me. Am I supposed to feel thankful? He whatsapp me gn.

    Next morning I was feeling vulnerable and WhatsApp him that I appreciate that he let me be (blocked and then tempted him, crazy). I also said “last night was different and it’s seems for me, we are still addicted and wanted to each other despite the struggle and how things have evolved”. I was trying to say last night it was unusually fast, if not for the fact that I was pissed off, he was good to part without going to the room. I wanted it and so he obliged. It seemed that way. So I know he felt forced and he’d be angry though he didn’t show.

    He did not respond to my vulnerability and my WhatsApp. He mia for 2 days after the room on fri night. He never ignore my WhatsApp, moreover, it’s very rare that I’d express myself, I’ve not done so via WhatsApp for many months. He could at least say noted? Or send an emoji? I’m burning.

    Again, I’ve been ruminating for 2 days. I’m lost.

    I’m feeling desperate, screwed up andhopeless. Please tell me what should I do now, I’ll do it. Please don’t give up on me though this time it’s my fault.💔💔💔

    • Felk

      Nomad, I know his MIA behavior is really hurting you now. You ask what you should do and my advice is the same as it has been for a few weeks now. I think you need to be done with him once and for all. I say this not because I think affairs can’t work. I do think they can. But, I think if someone is as unhappy as you sound every time you post here, you need to end that affair. It is the affair (or what it can’t give you) that is making you miserable. And it doesn’t seem that can change. You are not willing to believe that your MM cares about you or wants to be with you. That makes you miserable. So, you stay, hoping that he will change and get you to believe that he cares about you? But he won’t. I say that not because he doesn’t care about you. I think he does. But, he is not able to show you the way you need. That is clear. You have asked over and over again. He has been honest with you about how he can’t. He has been honest about how his focus is on his family. He says that not to hurt you but to be honest that he is not going to leave them and that he cannot do as much for you as you want. And you will continue to resent him and feel rejected. You can’t have a happy relationship with him. He is exhausted again. You are exhausted again. He goes MIA because he wants that inner peace. He doesn’t want the turmoil. I am not blaming you. Affairs are hard. But, it’s gotten too hard for both of you again.

      You say his crumbs aren’t enough as you desperately hope for his crumbs. It is a miserable existence. I’m not saying that so you’ll beat yourself up. I say it to hope that you’ll really take a look at the impossible situation that you are in. You cannot believe or trust his feelings for you. NOTHING he can do will convince you because he is not willing to do the things that you need to convince you. Do you recognize that? And, again, it is not that he doesn’t care. He does. It’s just that he draws a different line than you do. He focuses on his family in a different way than you do. He is attracted to you. He wants time with you. But he wants those things on different terms than you do. Those terms don’t work for you. But those terms won’t change. He is willing to accept the affair ending (before he is willing to give more). You know all of this, yet you hold on hoping that he will change? He won’t. He’s made that clear.

      You were in a better mental place two months ago when you thought that the two of you were over. Be done with him. Get therapy.
      That is my best advice.

      • Nomad

        Felk
        I re-read this post of yours and I hear you. I’ll focus on living a day at a time. I’ve given myself the closure. Let’s see.

        How are you doing?

    • TTSP

      Thanks Nomad for asking. I’m trying to stay busy, reach out to others, help friends wherever possible, focus on work by giving it my all and finalizing my resume and linked profile. I can WFH and sit on a different floor when in the office. We still have calls together but working for him has been a positive experience for the most part. For me I’m trying to keep my eye on the future. My ex mm is smart, handsome, a great lover and fantastic conversationalist but he must not be the one for me. I don’t necessarily believe in just one but a right match. If he was we would’ve met when we were both single. He’s also moody, emotional and needs a big ego rightsizing.

      It’s hard and I have a lot of pain but this forum helps immensely. Setting little goals for myself and not procrastinating helps my mood quite a bit. How are you holding up? It has been since July that you met up at the coffee shop? I know he takes a holiday in December but I thought he was also traveling around this time? Have you noticed that time, distance and space heals the wound?

  • BAF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Felk

      BAF, this is good stuff. You know I agree that a married person can love their spouse and still cheat on them. We certainly are capable of hurting and betraying the people we love. I also am the type of person who doesn’t think that lifelong monogamy is “natural,” but, as this man says, it’s still a betrayal of commitment if I’ve agreed to marry and be faithful to one person. For me, it is as the MM says. I am selfish and greedy. And other words, too.

      Only thing I’d add to this is that I think the way he writes about MM is mostly true for MW, too. I think just as MM have attractions to others outside of marriage MW do, too. I just think that society represses and punishes those desires more in women than in men. Regardless, 25-30% of married people cheat (with men’s #s slightly higher but with women closing that gap over time).

      • TTSP

        Thanks for copying this article into the comments. Felk, Lois and Nomad, do you agree with the quote below? Does that mean that none of you ladies truly loves the other person? Maybe they’re referring to men only. My ex mm said he has never been able to separate sexual relations from emotional connections. I have no doubt that both parties in the affair have feelings for each other and an emotional attachment especially if it has been an ongoing thing. If it was a one-off or a few weak moments than yes.

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

        • Felk

          TTSP, I won’t speak for the others because I think this varies from affair to affair. As you saw in my response the other day, I believe “in love” and love are different, but I also believe that I am in love with and love my MM. Like your MM, I don’t think most people separate sexual and emotional connections (and, as I said the other day, “in love” not only has a lust component but it also has an emotional component). I don’t think men view this much differently than women. Research doesn’t make this (very stereotypical) distinction that the author of that article is making about men “separating” sex from emotion. Just as some men can separate some sex from emotion some women can separate some sex from emotion, too. And just as most women feel emotional things when they have sex, most men feel emotional things when they have sex. That’s how the brain works.

          But, it’s not just about sex. When you’re with someone for years, you usually grow an emotional connection through other types of closeness: talking, laughing, sharing feelings and stories, sharing difficulties/problems, sharing interests, etc. I have those things with my MM. No, we can’t share as much as a married couple typically can, but we’ve shared a lot. We’ve spent a lot of time together over the years, and we spent years talking almost every night online for hours. That’s not simply lust. Again, I think different people have different experiences in affairs. I am sure some people don’t love their other in an affair. I wondered for a while whether or not I felt love for my MM or if it was just that lust/passion, but, after some time, as we grew closer, it seemed like love. It may not be as close as the love with my H, but it seems to have a lot of the same features.

          So, if you’re wondering if your MM loved you, if he said he did, then I’d believe him. My MM said he loved me and says he still feels the same way. I believe him. Not simply because I want to but because evidence over the years seems to show he does. We also can love multiple people at the same time. We do this with family and friends. I’m not saying love for a romantic partner is the same, but we are open to that bonding/closeness love with multiple people. So, I can love my H and love my MM. What seems more complicated to me is feeling “in love” with two people at the same time. I don’t think I’ve experienced that really. As I fell in love with my MM six years ago, I fell out of love with my H. That lust/passion was gone for my H and was (and is) there for my MM.

          While I do think we’ve identified some gender differences (with MM feeling more guilty or overwhelmed than MW in long-term affairs), for the most part, I think most M and W in affairs are feeling similar things if that affair has been going on for a long time. So, my guess is that your MM is feeling a lot of what you’re feeling.

          • Nomad

            Felk

            I can’t deny as at last Fri, there was lust and passion after we broke the walls and started to feel and confide with honesty. He knew all my issues and could predict my lines if he does this or that.

            I think this “still in love” feelings are giving me hope, telling me it’s not time to leave yet, why leave when he’s still telling me he’s still magnetized.

            So I was impatient and ruminating last night and I whatsapp him if he intended to reply. Why went radio silence after I’ve expressed myself and making effort to be nice. He replied “I’m scared” I asked if he’s scared of my vulnerability and totally no contact after office hrs? He replied “conscience thingy” so it’s guilt and fear, always. I wasn’t upset but I appreciate his honesty and as a man, he’s admitting his fear to me, that honesty, courage and his ego, I really appreciate because it wasn’t easy to admit the weakness to a lover. He could’ve outrightly cooked up a lame excuse or ignore me. He didn’t. I asked how I can help. To end? To leave? To block? So that he feels safe and I could move on? He replied he doesn’t know. He’s pessimistic? I let it be. Later that night he whatsapp he’s sleeping early and good night. This morning he whatsapp good morning. After lunch he whatsapp me what I had for dinner on fri night, how’s my Sunday. I replied and asked him what he had for lunch. That’s all for today.

            I really don’t know…

  • BAF

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

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

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

    • TTSP

      Lara,
      I’m glad that article provided some insights for you and hopefully others. I think I have a classic case of a fatherless daughter syndrome which is characterized with the quote, “From dysfunctional behaviors, unhealthy relationships to chronic depression, the fatherless daughter syndrome can take several forms over the years and even be forgotten for some time, without actually disappearing. Rather, it gives rise to a vicious cycle of self-destruction mechanisms, self-doubt, and unhealthy or abusive relationships in their lives. Because we feel unloved and unworthy, we search for love and validation in all the wrong places, which make us vulnerable and exposed to both physical and emotional abuse.” My Dad and I formed a strong bond in college and have maintained a loving, caring relationship throughout my adulthood. Still, I need to find a good therapist to talk through my issues with low self-worth, fear of abandonment and being unloveable. Maybe the blessing here is that this relationship helped me to see my unhealthy patterns and seek treatment to repair the damage and ultimately attract healthy available men. Also, fatherless daughters are more likely to struggle with substance abuse than women who grew up with both parents. Wow, this whole experience has really shed some light on why I’ve made such poor choices.

      I just need to treat myself with loving care like I do others. It’s staggering to think about the internal monologue we have with ourselves. I say the most hateful, unforgiving words to myself that I would never dare say to another soul. We as humans need to cut that out.

      To answer a few of your questions he does suffer with depression which is something we bonded over bc we could relate to the pain and struggle of trying to function. I envy the fact that he has always had a partner to share his life with as that helps ease the burden of life in general. Being alone is terrifying especially when you don’t know what your future holds. He still gets quite lonely and I’ve heard it’s worse to be lonely in a relationship than lonely by yourself. When I do find a soulmate I will put everything I have into the relationship and not take them for granted. From what I gather my ex mm and his W stopped nurturing the relationship and became all about the kids. “The greatest psychological influence on a child is the unlived lives of the parents”. Anyhow, easy for me to say I would not have let the relationship slip since I don’t have kids.

      He is lucky but he’s also trapped with a woman he’s physically repulsed by. I understand the sex life diminishes but to be totally turned off by your spouse… no thanks, I don’t consider that a fortunate situation. So you ask what were the perks and why did I stay? In total honesty I loved the attention and thought maybe he’d have an epiphany and realize I’m the right “one” for him even though all stats show that this NEVER happens. I was delusional and unrealistic. The flattery, rush and chemical release I felt when with him along with the fantastic sex kept me coming back. Eventually the darkness of the affair took over and I continuously tried to escape that toxic situation. I’d eventually return with his charming tactics. I’m not a fool but we all know the grief, relief, withdrawal, self-loathing followed by short-term bliss of reuniting cycle we’ve all been through. Right now I want nothing more than to close this chapter, I mean book and use it as a big, painful lesson. I hope I worked this whole unavailable thing out of my system. Thanks for listening and advising.

      How are you doing with the MM absent from your world?

      • Nomad

        TTSP

        Your ability to vicariously express the evolving situation, the struggles, and the similarity to mine, continues to astound me.

        You wrote “my issues with low self-worth, fear of abandonment and being unloveable”, “I say the most hateful, unforgiving words to myself that I would never dare say to another soul” and “
        I loved the attention and thought maybe he’d have an epiphany and realize I’m the right “one” for him even though all stats show that this NEVER happens. I was delusional and unrealistic. The flattery, rush and chemical release I felt when with him along with the fantastic sex kept me coming back. Eventually the darkness of the affair took over and I continuously tried to escape that toxic situation. I’d eventually return with his charming tactics. I’m not a fool but we all know the grief, relief, withdrawal, self-loathing followed by short-term bliss of reuniting cycle we’ve all been through.”

        This is astoundingly true. I’m feeling all that.

        As I was doing yoga this morning, I asked myself about my issues, decision and what why him.

        My issues:
        – because it’s an affair, I couldn’t believe him, I’m insecure and possessive. I couldn’t handle the jealousy and anxiety. I fear of rejection and abandonment so I’m always the one leaving yet returning to suffer and settling for lesser. I have realistic and unreasonable expectations. He knows all my issues but he can’t help me as time passes. He even point out that my blocking is my self defense mechanism.

        – my stable marriage and 3 beautiful and smart kids couldn’t heal me from low self esteem. My doting H still couldn’t heal me from low self worth, feeling unloved. Who am I? What I was getting from mm wasn’t the cure. Moreover, he left the fantasy since this year.

        My situation:
        – Near end maybe give it another 1-2 cycle and we’ll be convinced to end for good. Now there’s still sexual attraction but it will come to a point whereby it’s not worth the time, effort and risk. We’ll be bored by the same room, the same act just like he’s bored with his W. He said to me when there’s no sparks in a marriage, you cannot leave because of children and commitment. However, when the affair is too much to handle, has lost its lustre, cannot sustain the novelty, passion and excitement, its natural that the relationship will shift and drift. He recognizes that I’m temporary in his life. He’s contented to have met me late in life, experienced all that sex hormones, dopamine and oxytocin and back to reality. He told me not to think of it as I’ve lost in the competition to his W or him in letting go and moving on. He was “kind” not to say harsh words to definitely reject me, to end, he had enough, he has better things to focus on as a family man. He’s apologetic that his issues of guilt, fear, greed and selfishness have caused me so much heartache and pain. He missed me occasionally, not daily, but not enough to continue the affair. He’s physically and mentally exhausted. He didn’t like to be made to say love me or anything that I want to hear. He’s tired of assuring me. So all these have developed my perceptions that he’s sick and tired of the affair and he couldn’t be bothered and wanted out.

        – He doesn’t want to deal with my emotions, the drama and drains. He just wants me to fill void at his terms. He admits he’s addicted, greedy and selfish. There is no question of making a choice. We will cut the throat and kill the affair if our family is at risk. For now, he left it ambiguous but his actions spoke volume… he is just waiting for me to pull the plug permanently.

        – He said if we were both single now, happily got married and given 5-10years, we would be stuck in the same situation as where we are now with our spouse. He doesn’t know why his W is repulsive but he has accepted and adapted and he could live this way forever. He said 5 years in an affair is too long (hinting that we should be done after 1 good year and 1yr3months of ending it?)

        Why him?
        – I love falling in love with him. I love feeling being desired. I love the sex. I love his smell. I love his hugs and kisses. Everything about him in the fantasy is addictive. But, he has actually stopped giving me all these fuels, no mood, no time, no need, whatever… he’s more conscious of the guilt and fear and try to curb the temptation at best effort.

        – Just yesterday I whatsapp him after mustering all the courage: appreciate that you let me be, we are still addicted and wanted each other despite the struggle and how things have evolved.

        He didn’t respond.

        I’ll update what happened on Fri, after blocking him for 9 days.

        • Felk

          Nomad, wait, what? You unblocked and contacted your MM again? You know I understand the power of this addiction and the pain caused when the affair ends, but given everything you continue to say about how disappointed and sad and hopeless you are about the affair, why are you continuing it? I see you say those things about loving falling in love with him, but it doesn’t seem that you’ve felt that in a while. Or do you still feel that? You say that he has stopped giving you these things, so why are you trying to contact him again? I see you saying that you may give it another 1-2 cycles, but why? What are you hoping for? I am not asking these questions as judgment, but to try to understand your reasoning/thinking. You sound so angry and sad about your situation so it surprises me that you want to continue.

          Has your MM responded to that Whatsapp yet?

          Please don’t beat yourself up for it too much, though. The power of the addiction is real. The thing is, maybe it’s too hard to fight on your own? I think we’ve mentioned this before, but have you considered therapy? You mention low self-worth, even with a loving H and three great kids. I think it would help you to have someone to talk to about the affair and about the underlying issues that maybe led you to the affair (the low self-worth and feeling unloved).

          • Nomad

            Felk
            First of all, I’m grateful for your patience and advice. I know you are not judging and not blaming because you understand. We all do here. 🙂

            I tried therapy from Nov to Apr. I didn’t find it helpful. Therapist knew about all my blessings (H, kids, house, car, well travelled, stable and meaningful job, parents etc. she made me list them) and then repeated at each visit that affair is a fantasy. We were fully aware of the void, the boredom, the selfishness, the greed, the deliberate choice to cheat despite the love at home. She told me I must stop before it is too late. I was fighting against an impossible situation and losing battle. She suggested I put a loving photo of H and I at my work desk (I did), go for walk (I did), do charity work or help others (I did), go out with friends (I did) but I’m still here ranting after 6mths of therapy and they were not cheap. She tried to dig out answers like what do I want, why do I bear to hurt my loved ones? Did I imagine the consequences if H found out? What about my pride, integrity, self respect and do I value them? Why not? She guaranteed that all affair end. I was open to her as she didn’t judge. But I feel that she’s telling me all the theories which I already knew. Short of checking in to a rehab.

            Felk, I needed you to tell me the facts, again and again:

            – think you need to be done with him once and for all.

            – I am unhappy every time i post here, you need to end that affair. (Damn right! It’s the ONLY source of my unhappiness in my life. The void and boredom in my legal life do not come close as misery or unhappiness)

            – You are not willing to believe that your MM cares about you or wants to be with you. (Yes I can’t believe there’s genuine love and emotions. I’m filling his void too, and too much or too easy of something will turn one off)

            – You stay, hoping that he will change and get you to believe that he cares about you? But he won’t. (yes, you nailed it, I stayed because I’m hoping things will improve and I told him that last fri, I was hoping he could be sweet and loving again. I’m also hoping to adjust and adapt like how you have been waiting and giving space to your mm because you have not wavered on your decision to keep him in your life. I was trying to accept and adapt his terms because I know in my bones that I’m an unrealistic And unreasonable player in this affair game. In all honesty, we are still attracted to each other. After some space, we would reminisce the good times and bury the drama and drain. Perhaps he’s not honest about him decided to move on and in progress of moving on. While moving on, he’s keeping his options open like a by-the-way, is she really done? As time passes, his conscience overrule and he could return to life before us and he actually quite like that after emerging from the darkness of affair)

            – But, he is not able to show you the way you need. (Why can’t he now but he could go all out in the first year? I’m asking the obvious)

            – Affairs are hard. But, it’s gotten too hard for both of you again. (He knows I’m waiting for him to pull the plug but he can’t bear to do it he said)

            – hope that you’ll really take a look at the impossible situation that you are in. You cannot believe or trust his feelings for you. NOTHING he can do will convince you because he is not willing to do the things that you need to convince you. Do you recognize that? (Felk, I believe you wholeheartedly when you are the one who said it’s an impossible situation. I needed that assessment, from anyone here. I know my issues are the main cause to this impossible situation. He tried hard but is tired to assure me.)

            So, what must I do if I still want him in my life? Other than internalizing your story how you’ve come this far? I know you will still advise me to be done with him…

            I whatsapp him last night if he has intentions to reply to my vulnerability. It took me lots of courage to express myself. He replied he noted my message.

          • Felk

            Nomad, it’s good to hear you tried therapy, but I wish it could have been more helpful for you. It sounds like you were in therapy before you were ready to be done with your MM. I don’t think you are yet ready to be done with your MM so therapy still might not be that helpful.

            I’m not sure what is the answer for you. You do not seem happy with your MM or the amount of attention/affection that he is giving you now that he is back. It doesn’t seem enough for you, and, worse, you don’t seem to trust his feelings for you. I don’t know how you can be in a happy relationship if you can’t trust his feelings. I can tell you that I believe he cares about you and wants a relationship with you, but YOU have to believe it. If you don’t believe it, it can’t work. He is not going to change and do more than he’s doing. I know you want him to, but he has been honest about what he can give. You have seen the texts. If they aren’t enough, he won’t change. You have seen how often he asks to see you. That won’t change either. Also, he is not going to leave his W, and his family is his priority. He will want to go on vacations with them. That is what families do. If that hurts you too much, you should not stay with him. That won’t change. He is honest about that. He does not try to hurt you with that information, but it hurts you nonetheless. I don’t see how you will stop feeling rejected by your MM.

            I like your honesty about how you were trying to adjust/adapt because you think you were being unreasonable, but you have tried many times and maybe this situation just can’t work for you? Maybe you simply need more from a relationship. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. We all have different standards. You are trying to force yourself to accept something that is unacceptable to you. I don’t see how that can work. Once again, though, I would stress that your “issues” aren’t the cause of this impossible situation. The cause of this impossible situation is that you are both married to other people. That creates all sorts of problems that is not due to your issues or your MM’s issues. As for you wanting more from him, that is just you having standards for how someone should treat you. You shouldn’t accept less than you feel is right for you. I know you wish you could accept how little he communicates and wants to see you and just be happy, but it doesn’t seem to be working. It seems you feel close to him Friday but then immediately you are feeling awful when he doesn’t contact you. That can’t work. And, IF you are being irrational and unreasonable, I don’t see how that would change either. You can’t just suddenly make yourself think about him and the situation differently.

            I honestly don’t know how you keep him in your life and stay happy. You have tried many times and many ways, and it doesn’t seem to be working. I can tell you not to be jealous of his W and his family, but it doesn’t work that way. You are a different person than I am. You’re not just going to erase your jealousy. I can tell you to lower your standards and expect less from him, but how? How do you just simply change your expectations like that? That’s not how people work. I can tell you to recognize that he can give no more than he’s giving and that, if you want him in your life, you have to accept that, but why do you have to accept crumbs (if that’s what it feels like to you)? I don’t want to talk you into accepting him treating you in a way that makes you feel like crap.

            As to your other post, it’s seems that neither one of your wants to “pull the plug” on the relationship, but what efforts are you two making to make it work? It is good that you are honest on Friday (and that you shared some honesty on whatsapp yesterday), but it doesn’t seem like you have many conversations like that. It also seems that he is quick to feel guilty or scared and you are quick to feel rejected when you two get honest. I also think that he is being honest when he says that he doesn’t know the solution but he is scared about what will happen if you two continue. And I know it’s hard to hear his pessimism, but things have not gone well for you two this year so you can understand why he might be pessimistic.

            I think you will be happier (eventually) if you are done with him once and for all, but I don’t think you’re there yet mentally. I don’t think you’re ready to give up yet. You were close in May, but then he came back in July and started the cycle all over again. So, my recommendation is no more games. No more blocking him just to see if he’ll keep trying. No more waiting to see how much he’ll contact you. Have some direct honest conversation with him about what it would take to make this work. He tells you what he needs. You tell him what you need. You talk about those needs and if they’re fair and reasonable. You try to believe and trust what he says to you. And you see if you can make that work. As usual, good luck.

        • TTSP

          Nomad,
          I’m sorry to hear you can relate to the low self-worth and feeling unloveable. I always thought it was something outside of me that caused those dark feelings (circumstantial) but reading your post leads me to believe it’s internal. Would you consider therapy? I’m asking friends for referrals. Anything to improve our state of mind is a win.

          He obviously cared for you and loved you to have a five year relationship. No one is rejected in an affair bc there was never a fighting chance to be his one and only. The same goes for him. He was never going to be your one and only bc you wouldn’t throw away your marriage commitment, love, kids, life, finances, etc. for him. You didn’t reject him and he didn’t reject you. There is no competition ever bc the relationship had an expiration date from the beginning. It’s just a matter of time before one or both parties becomes emotionally drained and exhausted to the point of resignation. That’s where I am. I want out of the prison and into the arms of a healthy relationship. Easier said than done…

          I totally get your anxiety. I can tell by your words and tone that we’re similar in our emotions and how we process their actions. I read about your encounter with him. How are you doing at the end of the weekend going into the new week? How is your emotional state? Maybe I shouldn’t say anything but I feel compelled. Unless he forgot to respond, ignoring your IM is just shitty. One of my friends was also having a special relationship with a man at work and he would periodically go MIA or ignore her whatsapp. I understand people intend to reply and forget but that’s just bad behavior.

          As to what you should do, can you give yourself a couple weeks to initiate zero contact and regroup? We’ve all wanted to end it only to find ourselves back in their arms. No one gives up on you. These are powerful, addicting forces at work. Set a goal to not reach out until x date and follow it. I always find that I regain a sense of empowerment and confidence when I step back and don’t initiate contact. Think about your response when he contacts you. Finally, are you blocking him to avoid seeing his messages or are you doing it to cause a particular reaction from him? If it’s the latter than you might want to rethink that approach. If you don’t get the response you want you’ll just feel worse. I think blocking would drive me nuts because I’d constantly be wondering if they were trying to reach me.

          • Nomad

            TTSP

            We started in May 2016 so it’s not 5years but 1 good year followed by 13mths of flipflop. Like you, he has reached the point of resignation and hasn’t been able to recuperate from the mental drainage.

            Please please please feel free to say anything, let your thoughts flow to me.

            He didn’t ignore or forget to reply. He said he was scared and haunted by the conscience fear and guilt. I could’ve guessed but in the past he wouldn’t go radio silence. At least a reply “noted” or an emoji.

            You asked my intention to block him. At the beginning starting May 2017, I started to block because I wanted him to miss me, realize his loss and pursue me. He did. Then reality overtook the fantasy and he really started to withdraw and didn’t bother that much anymore. I was pissed off with his desultory WhatsApp so I blocked him. I blocked because I have lost him,his affection and attention and there were days he mia without one text of few alphabet. I blocked because I couldn’t deal with not deserving one WhatsApp a day. I don’t want to deal with the reality that he did not whatsapp me at all! He has gradually detached! I blocked because I don’t want to find out there’s no WhatsApp from him! So I chose the easier and egoistic approach to block him so that I won’t know he did NOT WhatsApp. It actually hurts more to leave him unblocked yet he sends nothing. He somehow was thankful that I’ve prepared him well to wean me off. I wish I have WhatsApp to avoid but I’m
            Avoiding the opposite.

      • Felk

        TTSP, you really sound done. I guess I don’t know if you are, but you sound sure. When you say you “want nothing more than to close this chapter,” it sounds like you have decided once and for all. Do you feel that way? And, related, is your MM staying away? When you told him that you needed to be done, is he honoring that?

        And, I, like your MM is totally turned of sexually by my H. It’s partially normal over time in marriage, but the extent to which I feel repulsed is mostly caused by the affair and being in love with another man. My guess is that it’s similar for your MM, but I don’t know if he felt repulsed before your affair started. When my affair started, I was not repulsed by sex with my H. It was maybe two years into the affair that it started to become really difficult to want to have sex with him and that desire has not returned. It’s unfortunate indeed. But, I accept it as a consequence of the affair. Never have denied the damage affairs do to a marriage.

        • TTSP

          Felk,
          I do feel strongly about wanting out of the affair and ending it forever. I answer using those words bc I still have a lot of attraction, care and adoration for him but I can live with that and not act. He does for a day or two and then he’ll IM, call or email saying he misses me and thinks about me/us constantly. He’s definitely addicted to the intimacy. I am too but as a male he is more hooked on the physical. He promises to be strong for me but I haven’t seen him demonstrate that yet. I’ve given in to our desires in the past but it’s me that has to draw the line in the sand.

          He was turned off starting about 8-10 years ago when she started putting on a significant amount of weight and not caring for her appearance. They would have sex every few months and he’d have to watch porn beforehand to get hard. She considers porn cheating even though every man masturbates to porn. According to him they haven’t had sex in years. This may sound cruel of me but he showed me some pics and she was in the background. He’s not lying about their sexless marriage after what I saw. He also said that when you aren’t physically close the emotional bond and other connections start to deteriorate too. Does a sexless marriage mean no snuggling, hand holding or cuddling either? How do people keep the sparks alive?

          • Felk

            TTSP, so your MM is still contacting you? And you’re texting back and answering his calls? You know I don’t judge, but, as someone who wanted the relationship to continue, I was in a different position. If you want the relationship to end, I don’t know how you can move on if you’re still talking to him. He is addicted, yes. I’m sure the pain is great for him. We know that pain. I also don’t think he’s more hooked on the physical than you are. My guess is that he simply misses you greatly, and, as the one who didn’t choose to end it, he feels the pain a little more. He feels more helpless and rejected. I tell you that from my perspective as the one who didn’t choose to end it last year. Yes, my MM felt a lot of pain and it was really hard for him (as it is you), but I think he felt some relief given he was the one who wanted to end it, and I felt no relief. I had no positive feelings about our end. Am I guessing correctly that you feel, at least a little, positive? Relief? Strength knowing you ended it? Hope for a future without your MM? Hopefully some of those feelings will help you draw that line. But, if you’re still in contact with him, how will you stop yourself from giving in again? And, I say this not to guilt you but hopefully to help, if you really want to be done, it is a kindness to him to go NC. Staying in contact will just prolong the hurt for him.

            Yes, I think when physical intimacy goes away in marriage, some of the emotional closeness does, too. Not all of it, though. They’re separate processes. You can love someone without that sexual attraction. In my situation, it wasn’t just the physical intimacy declining but I was falling in love with another man at the same time so, of course, that hurt the emotional closeness with my H, too. I can’t speak for others (maybe Lois and Nomad will chime in), but, in my marriage, yes, a decline in the sexual intimacy means a decline in any physical intimacy. There is no spark anymore. My husband and I will hold hands and touch legs/arms at times, but there is little cuddling or snuggling (because I don’t want it). My H still wants those things. Just tonight, he tried to hold my hand as we were watching TV. I did for a little while. Sometimes it feels nice to put a hand on his knee when we’re out at dinner or something like that, but, for the most part, I don’t want much physical intimacy with my H. I am in love with another man. It doesn’t feel right or good to be physical with my H.

            How do people keep the spark alive in a marriage? They don’t. Or at least not the way it was in the beginning of a relationship (or all of an affair). Research is pretty clear about passion’s decline over time in marriage. Yes, people maintain love and maintain feeling the emotional closeness of saying they’re “in love,” but the sexual attraction usually fades over time. And this is what’s so attractive about an affair. The passion stays so high for so long. The mark of a healthy/good marriage isn’t that the passion is still there later on, but it’s really just if you’re happy, treating each other well, supporting, trusting, have closeness, etc. We put much too much emphasis on sustaining passion, and it makes a lot of people unhappy in marriage. One of the top causes of divorce in this country is the marriage not being as passionate or romantic as the people expected. The passion fades and people think there’s something wrong with their marriage. Not necessarily. It’s just a consequence of spending that much time with another person. I expected the passion to fade in my marriage (and it was already fading a little when my affair started). I talk to other married friends (who I don’t think are having affairs) and they don’t have a lot of sex anymore. Part of a healthy marriage is accepting that things are going to change in that department. It’s when you have a lot of love of the bonding/attachment type that you’re more likely to stay together when that passion fades.

            So, I say all of that not only to explain why your MM can stay with his W even though he doesn’t want to have sex with her, but also to suggest you not compare the passion in your affair (which is, of course, higher) to a “normal” relationship. An affair is an unfair standard because it has none of the hassles of a real relationship and no opportunity to habituate. This is another reason I think it’s so important to break the addiction to your MM if you’re going to start dating again. You need to be free from comparing any new other to your MM. Your relationship with your MM sounded good, but a lot of that excitement/fun/good came from only having short amounts of time with each other here and there. I know that is true in my affair, too, but I am not looking for another H.

          • Nomad

            TTSP

            Mine told me they haven’t had sex since second daughter was born 7yrs ago. His W has been repulsive. They’ve no sparks. Even when we were going through the nc, he hasn’t touched her, he isn’t attracted and no desire. Once he attempted to hold her hand but she brushed off. He felt awkward to dine with her alone without the kids. I find that he still hope to rekindle if she’s wee bit receptive. He didn’t say he was turn off but he said many times, no sparks, no intimacy. So according to him they haven’t had sex in years. I just asked him last fri too.

            “They would have sex every few months and he’d have to watch porn beforehand to get hard. “ if he’s turned off, why would they still have sex? She needed it?? And he obligated, or he thinks the legal one is his only choice to fulfil his biological needs so doesn’t matter if she’s ugly or fat? I really can’t understand how man can have sex with their wife despite no sparks, no physical appeal, no emotional bond (just parents to kids). My mm said he DIY but he has no urge to bed her, I’m not sure if he’s lying.

            I no longer initiate or desire H (similar to Felk). I can do without sex with H.

          • TTSP

            Felk,
            I’m not taking his calls and have left them to vm. He has IMed me through Skype at work. That can’t be avoided but completely agree that I have the power to follow through on zero communication outside of work. I am liberated and relieved to be out. I am so thrilled to have a real relationship with nights, holidays, weekends as someone’s one and only. I wouldn’t compare my affair relationship with the real deal. Besides I hate the highs and lows. I’d take a steady, consistent, stable, healthy relationship with a man that doesn’t have half the chemistry over the affair. I can’t believe I was willing to accept so little but time slips through your fingers and I was delusional for a long period. I was in denial of the reality and once acceptance set in I was able to see the solution. I’ve implemented the solution but now is the test whether I can sustain that solution. Thank you for the insights into long-term unions. What you said matches what my Dad told me about his marriage to my step-mom. He didn’t have an affair or get into his attraction/sex life but he said after 7 years the lust diminishes quite a bit. You build your connection, emotional bond on other aspects of the marriage.

            Nomad,
            I’m confounded by all of it too but that’s what makes me want out even more. I don’t want to feel low inside and wonder why or what if…. The highs aren’t high enough or frequent enough to offset the lows. In cases where you’re miserable with them and miserable without them you gotta extricate yourself. The misery without them will fade in time but the misery with them will never go away unless they change their behavior or something drastically changes in the relationship.

          • Felk

            TTSP, Wow, you really do sound done. It’s great that you’re avoiding his calls, although it must be hard to still hear those voicemails. (Granted, maybe it’s helping you hear that he still wants you? I don’t know. I’d think it would make it harder to move on, but maybe it gives you a little of him to ease you off of the break-up?) I’m sure it helps to have that feeling of relief and liberation. Even though you’re feeling hard/tough/sad things, it seems feeling some positive will help you push through. It helps you keep your eye on that goal of a healthier relationship. It will take time and be slow, probably slower than you want, but it sounds like you really want something better than the affair.

            As for long-term relationships and whether or not passion sustains, I wanted to add a few things. First, I think that my H probably feels more passion than I do. I think this is partially a consequence of me falling in love with someone else and him not. I think he still feels “in love” with me (he says that), but I don’t feel that for him. I have respect, trust, love and those things for him but not the passion/lust. So, even though one person in the relationship may not feel it, I think it’s possible for the other to feel it (although I’d guess partners often mirror each other since one’s passion would be related to the other’s). I think my H might feel “in love” still not only because he’s not in love with someone else, but because he gets less consistent reinforcement from me. That keeps people wanting (just as it does in an affair). From him, I get consistent reward and so I habituate. It’s funny, but what my H would describe as “in love” (because he feels he wants to keep trying) is partially a consequence of me not being a consistent partner in giving him support, affection, and attention. It’s one thing to want to try for your partner because you want to earn their respect/support/etc. early in an relationship, but 15 years into the relationship, he shouldn’t have to try so hard anymore! But, of course he has to because I’m unavailable much of the time emotionally. So, my point isn’t really a happy one, but just to say that I think when some people say they are still “in love” after many years, it may not be as happy or positive as it sounds on the outside. However, maybe all that matters is that my H feels in love? If it makes him happy to still want me as much as he did 15 years ago, then maybe that’s what matters most? (In honesty, my guess is that’s only partially true. My guess is that there is something enjoyable to him about still feeling in love, but that there’s also something sad in that he likely doesn’t feel it’s as reciprocated as he’d want.)

            Second, I think that people are different in how much lust/passion matters to them. My guess is that those of us who are in affairs prioritize lust/passion more than people who don’t have affairs. Or maybe we feel higher highs or something like that. It just seems, in talking to other people, that there is something different with how people prioritize passion. That’s not the only difference, of course, but especially for married people in affairs, my guess is that we are seeking that reigniting of lust/passion that is fading or has faded in our marriage. For other people, even when lust/passion fades (as your dad describes), maybe they don’t prioritize is as much and, thus, do not seek it elsewhere or do not get lured by it elsewhere if it presents itself. I’m not sure I sought it, but I definitely was ready to act on it when I felt it for my MM. I think other people would not be as lured by it from another and, thus, would not cheat. So, just adding a little more about the complexities of love. While there are so many human similarities with regard to love, there clearly are differences amongst us.

      • BAF

        ttsp. These are really such profound awarenesses that you write about. I commend your bravery! It sounds like you were digging deep and it takes so much courage to do this. I salute you! I can’t respond at length right now to your words because I am grieving for my recently passed away father. He made a very ripe old age and had a very good life with much love in it for him and from him. He was also, as I think I have mentioned here, a highly functional and lifelong alcoholic. His choices affected many many people because I come from a very large family. I have so many feelings right now to sort Through. Losing him, the first and primary male figure in my life for so long is incredibly painful and I have complex emotions. But I’m taking good care of myself and going to meetings and not drinking. It’s pretty huge for me to lose a 21 year relationship and my father in the same month or two but I can only say this about my ex MM: I am really so glad I’m not in an affair with him right now. Because I need to place my complete energy in one place which is losing my father and the impact it’s having on myself, my my sons my siblings etc. I’m focused when I’m not distracted by an affair because Am able to be feeling the feelings I’m supposed to feel at this moment. And if I was blocking these feelings being in the affair (which is what affairs do) I would carry a lot of unresolved unprocessed emotional baggage around with me For a long long time. Maybe I would never resolve this complex feelings I don’t know. But an affair would certainly blot a lot these feelings out. There’s no doubt in my mind that my ex MM would know not be in an a position to emotionally support me now in my grief if we were together. I would be heartbroken trying to reach out to him for love and support during this period of my life. I would be banging my head against a wall during this really difficult time and feeling a double absence in my life plus more despair. I have been in an affair long enough now that the father of my ex MM has passed away. The father of his wife has passed away. And now my own father has passed away. And I do not feel any one of us got the love and support we needed and deserved from our partner. Enough alreAdy. That’s the tragedy of affairs. That’s why I don’t want to be in an affair anymore. Life is painful enough already just by being “life on life‘s terms”. So choosing a relationship option That guarantees pain seems plain insane to me right now. Many hugs BAF xxoo

        • TTSP

          Hi BAF,
          My condolences to you and your family. Losing a parent regardless whether they lived to a ripe old age is just hard. Maybe being out of the affair will spare you even further agony if he’s absent from a support perspective. You don’t need any “noise” or extra drama right now. Keep it simple. I’ve learned about being of service through the program. You and your family can be of service to each other to get out of your head. It works. All the love, support and care you’ll give and receive will improve your state of mind even under really difficult circumstances. I wish you all the best during this period. Your friends and family are very lucky to have you in their lives.

          • BAF

            To TTsp, thank you for your condolences. It feels excruciating to lose my father but of course it is one day at a time just like everything else. With each day are passing grief I find that my ex MM and my father are inextricably linked in my psyche. No wonder my affair with my ex MM lasted so long. He felt like “home” to me. It is ironic that in order to see this clearly I must be far away from my ex MM. The addiction to him clouds my judgment. I would not be surprised to learn that I have addictive feelings toward my father to0. I was always wishing for him to see me clear and to accept
            me for who I was and to respect my life choices even if they were different than his. Alcoholic families are all about everyone needing to think and act in the same way. It’s a group think heavily codependent dynamic. The more you explore your own childhood and relationship with your father no matter what it was, the more clarity you will gain in who your MM is to you and who you need to be a life partner. This is a process and it will take time. TTSP just take things one day at a time.I think long-term healthy and vibrant sexuality with a partner even a husband is completely based upon the two individuals And their capacity for growth, and intimacy both independently and together. The fear of intimacy the fear of closeness drives many couples apart. But really there is no rule that vibrant sexual relationship has to fade with time just because of habituation. Personally I find that to be an easy stereotype and marriage myth but not deep enough or full enough of an idea to be the whole truth. I wish you the best in the coming days. Many hugs. Baf xxoo

  • Lois

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

    • BAF

      Lois it is good to hear you are well.
      I think you are using the “Felk strategy” method and it will probably work out for you.
      Giving him space. Stating your needs. etc. Letting him come back slowly without you pressuring him. Letting him you know you still want him. etc.
      I can not endorse you or me or anyone else staying in an affair anymore but if it is what you want you have probably employed the right strategy.
      I think in many affair cases this strategy would work, even in mine.
      But that is not where I am putting my energy anymore.
      Hugs BAF
      xoxo
      xoxo

      • Nomad

        Lara

        How do u know for sure that u r done with him this time? after 21 years? how do u tell no more relapse? These vicious cycles had been too familiar so didn’t u think that this time would be another one of the many in the past 21 years?

    • Felk

      Lois, I’m glad you got to spend time with your MM today, and I hope you felt some reassurance after that meeting. I know it will continue to be hard for you, though, until he is back to his old self. When he says that his “emotions are too full” and that he needs time to get back to normal, he means it. I do think he’ll come back to you in time, but it’s best to just continue not to push. It’s a good sign that he said you two could meet again, but I know it will be hard to know when to ask for that. I guess you just do as best you can and ask when you feel you need to see him again? That’s how I did it in our break-up period. Gave as much space as I could, and asked to see him when it felt I could go no longer without some time with my MM. I think he did the same. Although I asked more initially, this summer, my MM has initiated as much as I have.

    • LIFELESSONS

      Lois,

      Its so nice that you got to spend a little time with your MM. I am sure that was a form of relief for you. Giving someone space and time can be a good thing…He obviously is not trying to let you go. I know you are not ready to let him go either….

  • lois

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

  • lois

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

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

      • lois

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

    • BAF

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

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

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

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

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

      • lois

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

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

        • BAF

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

          • lois

            Hey, BAF. She is claiming that MM would not allow her to be a supervisor by allowing the techs to go around her and go to him. The truth is that the techs chose to do this because one in particular could not get along with her. There were several situations where my friend and the tech had disagreement, so they refused to work for her. MM should have been honest about their complaints and refusal to work for her but he was trying to protect her feelings because she is very emotional and sensitive. She takes everything to heart and over dramatizes things. She is like in her personal life especially with her husband. MM could not even buy lunch for techs on the days she was absent because she would get upset that he purposely bought lunch while she was out of the office. It was crazy! She went to HR with documentation showing that MM would have meetings with techs and not include her in them…although they would have the discussions in the tech dept but she choice not to leave her office to join in the meeting but would then document she was being isolated. Just stuff like that. So, I am not sure exactly what he told his wife. I asked and he said he alluded to the past relationship and things at home were not good for a few days but I do not know. He was kind of vague except he said his wife was concerned that she would show up at their house, if she was that nutty. Honestly, she kept him from being able to do his job because it was a constant worry that she would rat him out. It was kind of like blackmail and she even got 3 weeks of vacation off the books but told her husband he gave everyone else raises but not her. She did report me to HR but luckily someone stopped my office when this occured. This person told HR that he only heard me ask her nicely to leave my office which was not the case, but he has worked with me for too long and dislikes my coworker. She is not very well liked at work. In 19 years, I have not had any issues with anyone and she has had problems with every single person in department which is about 10 people and even helped get one fired and another retired to keep from dealing with her crap. It really was not discrimination. If MM would have been at his right mind, he could have very easily fought the allegations but with his brother being put on hospice he just wasn’t thinking clearly which is why several people have asked for him to rescind his resignation. They were involved for about 2 months. I am not aware of any other affairs at work. My friend suspected several people she was overly jealous. I was very good at keeping my emotions out of it because I could not let her find out about me and MM. I did not trust her. At first, the affair with my friend did bother me but the more I learned about the things the less it bothered me. I will probably never know the truth because they have totally different versions except it was him who said he would not leave his wife and kids, so that is when she went back to the husband. I think, there is a part of me that resents her for him leaving and making our relationship so difficult, but it is more about how and why she did it. I have learned through all of this it was her hatred, resentment, hurt that fueled her mission to turn others’ opinions about him to reflect her own opinion. She could not stand working with him and having people like him and think he was a good person because in her eyes and her own words, he is evil, the devil, he lies, manipulates, uses others for his advantage, uses fake illnesses to get sympathy which there were times that I questioned it too. I have since learned he had a blood disorder and was being treated for it. He never did tell me about his health…maybe he could not lie to me like he did others. I have no idea. I enjoy the bantering and the sex…beyond that I do not have any intention of leaving my husband and having a future with this MM, so I stop questioning things. Guess, that makes me sound pretty horrible…..

  • LIFELESSONS

    Hello…

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

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

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

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

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

      • LIFELESSONS

        Felk,

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

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

        • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • LIFELESSONS

            Felk,

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

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

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

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

          • Felk

            LL, I guess I think my MM and I will have sex again, too. I’m going to try to take it slow (although we haven’t had sex since January so we are already taking it slow!). Sex does complicate things. Undeniable. It is harder to leave him after sex than after talking. And I probably feel a stronger desire for more time with him after sex than after talking. I’m sure that’s one of the things he and I will talk about when we see each other next week. I know we’re at the “sex talk” point.

            It sounds like you had a nice encounter with your MM after his softball game. Obviously, he was in a good mood because they won, but seems like he was pretty happy to see you, too. I’m sure he appreciated you saying the things that you did to him, but keep in mind that you get to have needs/wants, too. You get to hold him accountable. I think sometimes we go out of our way to be accommodating to our MM in these situations or wanting to make sure that we’re not pressuring them like their wives do. Of course you don’t want to be negative all of the time, but if things are bothering you, you have to say it. But, it’s also good to show appreciation. I know you meant it, and I know he liked that you said it.

            I’d imagine you liked the things he said about your birthday present, too. My MM is the same way. He is in no hurry to give gifts if he wants to present them in a certain way. He will wait to do it in the special way that he intends. It’s sweet.

            As for the lodge gathering, do you want to meet other men? If you do, then, sure, go with a friend. If not, why go? He’ll be there with his W. Doesn’t sound like a great place for you.

  • Lois

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

      • Lois

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

        • Felk

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

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

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

    • BAF

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

      • lois

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

  • LIFELESSONS

    Lois,

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

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

    Talk with you soon!

    • Lois

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

  • LIFELESSONS

    Hi Ladies!

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I know its alot…
    Thanks for allowing me to vent

    • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

      • LIFELESSONS

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

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

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

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

        • Felk

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

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

          • LIFELESSONS

            Felk,

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

  • Lois

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

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

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

    • TTSP

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

    • BAF

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

      • Felk

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

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

  • Lois

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

  • Nomad

    Lara

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

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

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

    Inject positivity here Lara!

    • BAF

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

    • BAF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • TTSP

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

        • BAF

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

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

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

          • TTSP

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

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

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

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

            Hugs

          • Felk

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

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

        • Nomad

          TTSP,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • Felk

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

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

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

          • Nomad

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

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

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

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

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

          • Felk

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

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

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

          • TTSP

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

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

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

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

          • Felk

            TTSP, I see your question about love v. in love, and, of course, this is complicated. Science struggles with this. We, personally, struggle with this. But, I think we “know” the difference. It’s just hard to articulate. Science distinguishes this (for now) between that lust we feel at the beginning of a relationship (or throughout an affair, as we know), the emotional attraction (that “high” of being with another), and the more stable/comforting feeling that we have for long-term partners or friends or family. The former two seem like “in love” to me. The sexual attraction is more fleeting in most long-term relationships, but the emotional attraction is longer lasting. That emotional attraction counts as “love” as far as science defines; it’s part of the “love” that we mean when we talk about the love we feel for very close others. And, of course, they can all overlap. At the beginning of my marriage, I felt all three. But, now, I just mostly feel the stable/comfort love. Maybe I feel a little “in love” for my H still, but I mostly feel that strong attraction/passion for my MM.

            Do I also have the other two for my MM? This is complicated. My guess is that I do, at least with the emotional attraction. It’s not the way I love my H, but it doesn’t have to be the way I love my H. I have different love for friends and family, too, that aren’t the same as my H. But, it would be hard to think I didn’t love my MM given that we’ve been friends for 10 years and in an affair for six. Our affair wasn’t just sexual. Like many of you, there was a lot of talking/laughing/sharing. You know we went on dates and trips, too. This allowed us to build more than just the sex. And, I think how close we’ve stayed through this break-up, shows a commitment to and caring about each other that has love qualities.

            I am not saying we all feel the same love for our affair partners. I know the fantasy element. I also know that the passion sustains in an affair because you don’t have the same opportunity to habituate to a partner. But, in all that sex and closeness, we do form an attachment to this person (especially if this goes on for years). Of course, in affairs and in plenty of other relationships, we can trick ourselves into thinking it’s love when it’s not. I’m not naive about this. What I’m saying, though, is that I think blanket statements that suggest that we don’t or can’t love an affair partner are likely inaccurate. It seems like it would depend on the type of relationship the two people had. Do married people have a greater chance of forming that stable love? Of course. But, that doesn’t mean that type of love can’t form between affair partners. I’d imagine there are affairs that create a deep love between two people. That doesn’t discount the problems of affairs, but plenty of relationships have all sorts of problems yet love can still form.

            And, of course, I know an easy argument is that I’m just telling myself this to justify or feel better about my affair. Maybe I’m doing that, but you all know I try to be objective and not always paint myself or the situation with a rosy picture. On the flip side, I think we might be motivated to tell ourselves it wasn’t love so it’s easier to get over. Point is, decide for yourself. Look at your situation and your feelings. Compare it to how you felt in other relationships. If you think you loved your MM, you might have.

          • Felk

            TTSP, I also wanted to add that none of the above ignores the addiction part of the “in love.” That emotional attraction part of falling in love with a romantic partner is the dopamine part. (The lust is the sex hormones and the bonding/attachment is the oxytocin.) The dopamine part is the addiction part. It’s the reward center. BAF has talked a lot about it. One of the best scientific explanations that I’ve seen of falling in love is that all three are activated. There’s sexual attraction (hormones), there’s emotional attraction growing (dopamine), and there’s a bond growing (oxytocin). The first two habituate more than the third. As we get used to someone, we have less of a physical/sexual response to them and less of a reward/high response. Those systems just don’t keep responding in the same way after repeated exposure. But, in an affair, that dopamine/reward part never gets to calm down. It never habituates because you don’t get to see each other often. So an addiction pattern forms instead of a “normal” calming of that reaction as happens in most (healthy) non-affair relationships. When you are getting regular reinforcement from another, that reward reaction calms. We don’t get that regular reinforcement in an affair so we keep triggering it, strengthening the addiction.

            So, I wanted to add that I’m not ignoring the addiction part of being in love, but the love bond is often forming with that, too. It’s not like my MM and I are not releasing oxytocin when we’re with each other. Of course we are. Especially if we spend prolonged periods of time together with closeness and touching. Similarly, when I fell in love with my H, the dopamine system is going nuts while I’m releasing oxytocin and strengthening that bond, too. The dopamine stuff calms down, though, in a marriage or long-term relationship with consistent/habitual contact. So, I wanted to add the addiction part, but also say that it’s consistent with feeling genuine love for someone, too, if you have the opportunities to bond/attach (and many of us have over prolonged time with our MM).

  • Felk

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

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

  • J

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

    • BAF

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

  • lois

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

    • Felk

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

      • Lois

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

    • BAF

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

      • Lois

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

        • BAF

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

  • BAF

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

    • LIFELESSONS

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

      • BAF

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

        • TTSP

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

          • BAF

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

    • Felk

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

      • BAF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • Felk

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

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

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

      • BAF

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

  • LIFELESSONS

    Hello ALL,

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

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

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

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

    What have I gotten myself into…😔😒😫😟

    • BAF

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

    • BAF

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

      • LIFELESSONS

        BAF,

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

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

        To Be Continued….

        • BAF

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

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

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

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

          • LIFELESSONS

            BAF,

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

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

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

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

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

          • BAF

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

          • BAF

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

          • TTSP

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

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

    • Felk

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

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

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

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

      • LIFELESSONS

        Felk,

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

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

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

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

    • TTSP

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

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

      • Nomad

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

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

        I’m not disappointed because I understand 🙂

        • TTSP

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

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

      • LIFELESSONS

        Hi TTSP,

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

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

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

        • BAF

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

          • LIFELESSONS

            BAF,

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

          • Felk

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

          • BAF

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

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

          • BAF

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

        • Nomad

          LL

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

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

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

        • TTSP

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

      • BAF

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

        • TTSP

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

      • Felk

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

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

      • BAF

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

  • J

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

    • TTSP

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

      Hugs

    • Felk

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

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

    • Nomad

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

    • BAF

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

      So I highlighted his words and my CAPS are my response,
      “Well now he’s telling me that he needs me and loves me and has to be with me and wants to leave her again.”
      PAR FOR THE COURSE OF AN AFFAIR
      ” He said that he just got overwhelmed with all of the changes after he moved out and he was confused because the focus of our relationship became about them, and took away our joy.”
      I AM NOT SURPRISED AND THIS IS A SOMEWHAT FAIR ASSESSMENT on his part.. BUT YOU ARE NOT HIS DRUG, J!
      YOU ARE A FULLY GROWN WOMAN WITH NEEDS AND WANTS AND HOPES AND WISHES ALL YOUR OWN.. YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO ASSERT THESE AND he CAN NOT EXPECT YOU TO ALWAYS BE “FUN” and “UP”. NEITHER CAN UOU BE PLEASANT AND FORGIVING ALL THE TIME, AS MISTRESSES AREN’T WE ALL EXPECTED TO BE FUN AND CHEERFUL UNLIKE THE “WIVES” WHO ARE THE “HEAVIES” IN THE KIND OF SEXUALLY BORING MARRIAGES OUR AFFAIR PARTNERS DESCRIBE TO US?
      MY NEW MOTTO IS THIS: “F–K THAT!” IF MY EX-MM WANTS MORE FUN AND PHYSICALITY THEN LET HIM GO SURFING!. 🙂
      “He says he realizes now that we are normally so joyful together when we aren’t talking about the problems/stress.”
      BUT OF COURSE, J!
      HE DOES NOT HAVE TO SPLIT THE MORTGAGE WITH YOU, PAY THE BILLS WITH YOU, FIX THE HOUSE WITH YOU, PARENT