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When Your Husband Still Works With His Ex Affair Partner

Your husband is still working with the woman he had an affair with – which means he sees his “ex affair partner” every day. Of course you feel jealous and insecure!

You know your husband loves you, but what if he’s still emotionally attached or physically attracted to the other woman? What if they fall in love, or sleep together, or rediscover their old feelings for each other? What if your husband has a meeting with his ex affair partner that turns into more than an innocent day at work?

It’s normal to feel jealous when your husband still works with his ex affair partner. “Sometimes, old, unfinished relationships come back to haunt and take precedence over the current one,” writes therapist Randi Gunther, author of Relationship Saboteurs: Overcoming the Ten Behaviors that Undermine Love. “A couple who could once speak openly and authentically to each other suddenly cannot speak their truth or listen openly anymore because of a threat neither anticipated. Negative issues that were once only a small fraction of the relationship slowly overwhelm what positive experiences once counteracted them. Betrayals happen. Promises don’t pan out. And dreams change.”

It’s normal and even healthy to feel jealousy when your husband sees his ex affair partner every day because they work together. But, it’s crucial to deal with your jealous feelings in healthy ways or your jealousy will sabotage your marriage.

The first thing you need to do is face the root of your jealous feelings. For example, I wasn’t just jealous when my husband met his ex-girlfriend for lunch; I felt insecure and scared he still wanted to be with her. I was worried he wasn’t over her, that he and she would fall into their old relationship or even feel sexual attraction again. I felt threatened. These feelings are especially normal and understandable when your husband still works with the woman he had an affair with.

How to Cope When Your Husband Still Works With His Ex Affair Partner

Here’s what a reader said about dealing with the jealous feelings she experiences when her husband sees his ex affair partner at work every day:

“My husband assures me he loves me and only wants to be with me,” says a reader in response to Why Your Husband Cheated: A Marriage Style That “Allows” Affairs. “His relationship with the other woman is over and they will never be romantic again. But why doesn’t he quit that job and work somewhere else? He says it’d be too hard to find a new job and that he rarely sees his ex affair partner. What if she still wants to be with him? It is starting to really make me crazy!”

My jealousy of my husband’s ex-girlfriend isn’t the same thing, but I know what it’s like to let your imagination run wild. I really was scared my husband might leave me for his ex. I also refused to admit I felt jealous and insecure; I blamed everything on my husband seeing his ex. If you feel something similar, my tips on how to deal with jealousy may help you cope.

1. Understand why your husband is still working with the other woman

How to Cope When Your Husband Still Works His Ex Affair Partner
When Your Husband Still Works With the Other Woman

The truth is that your husband may genuinely worry about finding a job at a different place. Plus, there’s the complication of explaining to a new company or organization why he’s looking for work (your husband won’t want to say his wife doesn’t want him to work with his ex affair partner anymore!). Your husband may honestly feel that since the affair is over and he is no longer attracted to the other woman, there is no reason to quit his job.

Listen to your husband’s reasons for continuing to work with the other woman. Put yourself in his shoes, and trust your own intuition. I don’t know if your husband has good or valid reasons for working with his ex affair partner, but I understand why you feel insecure and jealous! If you want to save your marriage, you need to come to terms with your husband’s decision to keep working with the other woman.

2. Pay attention to your intuition when your husband talks about his ex affair partner

There’s a big difference between your husband going to occasional work meetings with the other woman versus talking to her on the phone every day. A wife once told me that her husband’s ex affair partner accompanied him on business trips three or four times a year. They wouldn’t stay in the same hotel room, but they spent a great deal of time alone together. This is not okay — but this wife refused to listen to her intuition. Her husband almost ended up cheating with the other woman again, but he stopped before anything happened.

She and her husband agreed that he should quit his job because he worked too closely with this ex affair partner. She ignored her intuition and pretended everything was find. It ended up okay because her husband really did want to save their marriage, but she said she’d never ignore her instincts again.

If your intuition is whispering (or screaming!) at you about your husband working with his ex affair partner, read Is Your Marriage Over? 6 Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore. Maybe you’re not “just” being jealous. Maybe you know something he hasn’t admitted yet.

3. Don’t let anyone call you crazy

Some wives feel crazy often because their husbands tell them they’re overreacting. “You’re jealous because I work with the woman I had an affair with three years ago?” a husband might ask. “It’s over. Nothing is going on. I love you, and you know it. You’re my wife and you have nothing to be jealous of. Don’t be unreasonable.”

If you’re confused about how you should feel about your husband working with his ex affair partner, talk about your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust. Talk to someone who knows you, who can help you sort through your jealous or insecure feelings. If your jealousy is out of control and you really do feel like you’re going crazy because your husband still works with the woman he had an affair with, consider talking to a marriage therapist who specializes in cheating husbands. He or she can give you an objective perspective on both your feelings and your marriage.

4. Tell your husband that you’re jealous because of his work situation

Talking to your husband about the fact that he still works with his ex affair partner might reassure you. Tell him the truth: his job makes you jealous, uncomfortable, or anxious. Be as honest as you can. If you tell your husband how you feel — no matter how painful it is or vulnerable you feel — then you’re being your true self with him.

However, don’t assume or expect your husband to quit his job because you’re uncomfortable that he works with the woman he had an affair with. You may already know this: your husband may be unwilling or unable to change his work situation because of your feelings.

Most loving husbands will change their behavior to make their wives happy — especially after something as painful as an affair. However, it’s not always possible to make changes, especially if a new job really is difficult to find. This means you need to decide if this is a “make or break” situation. Will this be the thing that ends your marriage? Before you answer that, read Is the Affair Really Over? 5 Signs He’ll Cheat on You Again.

5. Get emotionally and spiritually healthy

The best way to deal with jealousy and insecurity when your husband works with the woman he had an affair with is to rebuild your self-worth and value. Look outside your marriage for a sense of identity and purpose in your life. Are you spiritually grounded in God, emotionally healthy, socially happy? Can you recognize and stop unhealthy thought patterns? Is your jealousy caused by your own low self-esteem, or is your husband’s job a true cause for concern? Getting emotionally and spiritually healthy will help you answer those questions.

Don’t let your insecurity or unhappiness ruin a marriage that can be saved. Find ways to permanently resolve the pain of knowing your husband is working with his ex affair partner every day. This will take time and effort; rebuilding your marriage after your husband cheated isn’t easy. But it can be done — and you and your husband can enjoy a healthier, happier, stronger marriage if you and he can work through this together.

Your comments – big and little – are welcome below. How are you dealing with the pain of knowing your husband still works with the woman he had an affair with? You may find it helpful to share your story; writing is a great way to work through painful emotions and untangle confusing thoughts.

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81 thoughts on “When Your Husband Still Works With His Ex Affair Partner”

  1. Happy New Year, ladies! I hope you all had good holidays and ended the year well. Tomorrow will be two weeks since I’ve seen my MM. I’ve felt so much stronger and more confident this year, compared to some previous years at this time. We haven’t communicated much (as I knew we wouldn’t). A few emails here and there, a few texts (and a short exchange on Christmas), and some songs swapped to let the other know how we feel. I’ve felt confident in his love, and I’ve felt better about trusting his love than I have in a long time (maybe 2.5 years?). It’s so interesting to reflect on this year and where we are now. It’s been a much more secure and patient time apart for me, and I know I had to go through a lot of the lows of the last three years to realize things about us and about me (in this relationship). I wasn’t being true enough to me, and I was letting insecurity and fear control me more than healthy. Lately, I’m much more direct and clear in asking for what I need/want. I’m also trusting more of what he says and does which is helping me feel more secure and calm. Of course, he’s still working on earning that trust after the cheating he revealed in August. But something has shifted with my trust. There is an anxiety that I’ve let go of, or at least it feels that way, and I don’t dwell and ruminate about the little things like I used to. I’m trusting his love, and, so far, he’s reinforcing that trust.

    It’s not all been easy, of course. Much of these two weeks has been enjoyable time with friends and family, but plenty of time is spent thinking about my MM and wishing I was with him and wondering if he’s thinking about me. Some time is also spent wishing he’d text me out of the blue or respond to an email more quickly, but generally I don’t have the angst and desperation that I’ve felt in the past. Yesterday, I asked him for some time this week (as he hinted a few weeks ago he might have some at the end of our winter break), and we’re going to see each other Friday. It’ll be nice to have a little time with him after all this time apart. He’s been warm through his email during these two weeks, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t always hoping for a little more. Also, today, when he told me about his availability Friday, he also told me he wasn’t available for a night I was hoping we could plan in two weeks. That was disappointing. He offered a back-up date (with a little less time available) and I selfishly felt like it wasn’t enough. I felt the rejection of the date night I wanted, and it felt a little like I had to settle for the date night he was offering. I know my date night required more time and effort so I get why it might not be possible, but I was still disappointed. Much of that disappointment often stems from not knowing his reasoning for changing the plan. This is the part of him that frustrates me the most… how he gives so little information/detail. This is where he wants my trust to just assume he has all of the best of intentions but you know it’s not that easy. Especially with everything we’ve gone through over the last 2+ years, I know I still feel a little wary and cautious of it all.

    But… I want to be happy and, for me, that means trusting and not feeling insecure. If there is something unclear to me, I will ask on Friday. Otherwise, I will trust that he is trying to give me as much time as he can within the constraints of his other family responsibilities.

    I hope you all were able to enjoy as you wanted through these holidays– whether that means time with your MM or time trying to be done with your MM.

  2. Hi there everyone and Happy Holidays to All!
    I continue to think about you all and I want to wish you all the Happiest Ηoliday Season!

    I posted a blog I created further below awhile ago. FYI: I decided to go another path. So if anyone tried or tries goes there you will not find it as I changed my mind. 🙂 I decided I needed to go to another place with more human interactions and more recovery stories so I migrated over to the Melanie Tonia Evans NARP program where there is an excellent recovery program and a forum with people sharing and supporting recovery. I did not want to be alone in my recovery journey as for me. So I am now happily working on my “Healing Modules” and using that forum.

    My mind still drifts back to the ex Narc due to the addiction. I have learned this is entirely normal however it is not the healthy place for my brain to go. I miss the intensity and the drama and the pain sometimes. To someone like me general happiness can feel boring sometimes lol. I got addicted to not only the narcissist and to the affair but to the uncertainty and to the drama and the pain. It was not a conscious choice I have found. My brain just did this. But I am changing and I am getting there!

    If anyone wants to heal any inner traumas that might have led you to a painful and/or unhealthy relationship that you want to leave becasue you know it is unhealthy for you, you can find relief there. I also think this program will work for leaving ANY type of toxic realtionship, not just leaving a narcissist.
    Hugs, BAF

    1. BAF, good to hear from you and happy holidays to you, too. I like the honesty in the things you write about the addiction not just to the highs but to the intensity and drama and pain, too. The drama can feel like passion and chemistry. Especially if one didn’t have healthy models for love and relationships growing up. It’s similar to what I was saying to TTSP the other day about how we can be tricked by the intensity to think the relationship is better than it actually is. We can think that intensity is necessary for a loving relationship, when, ironically, it might be a sign of problems in a relationship (especially if that intensity has the highs and lows it usually brings). I’m not saying intensity is always bad or that highs and lows can’t happen in healthy relationships, but there is an intensity we feel in affairs that isn’t typical in non-affair relationships and I think that’s the unhealthy kind of intensity that can cloud us into thinking it is a special passion that we will never be able to reproduce elsewhere. Thing is, we shouldn’t be trying to find that problematic intensity elsewhere. Can take a long time to learn that (affairs or not). I have a cousin who continues to chase the “spark” and finds heartbreak after heartbreak (three divorces so far and many failed relationships). I see her chasing this chemistry and thinking it’s necessary for a happy relationship, when it seems to trick her into bad relationships that are unlikely to be successful. No judgment on my cousin, as I am obviously finding a different (problematic) way to get that challenge and intensity that I feel I can’t with my H.

      Continued kudos to you for actively trying to stop a very unhealthy pattern. Continued best of luck to you on your journey. Hope your art is going well. Hope your family is well. Have a great holiday.

      1. Felk,
        My best wishes for the holidays to you as well. The problem with the addictive need for intensity in an affair is the brain physically changes due to the addiction. Affairs change the brain. Those changes remain even after an affair ends and the affair partner is no longer there.

  3. Felk,
    Fantastic insights on what keeps us attached to a cold/distant man because I’ve gone through these extreme highs and lows with others outside of an affair. Affairs offer a breeding ground for bad behaviors but like you said they aren’t all bad. I can thank my mm for motivating me in making some major changes in my life and showing me qualities I love and detest in a companion.

    The major highs and lows are not the healthy type of love I/we want long term. The highs feel much higher because the lows are so low. These types of men want to feel control over others because they have such little control over themselves. You sound like you really see it for what it is. The closer we are to reality the happier we are with practicing acceptance. The difference is you can see the forest from the trees. I can when I take a step back and remove myself but not when I’m in the thick of it. How were your dates? Are they planned for this week?

    Also, the mm logged in today and started hitting me up again with flattery and all the other stops he pulls out when he wants attention. I see right through it and while his compliments are probably true in his mind, he’s just cajoling me into getting together. I said after everything we’ve gone through I’m not going to repeat the same behaviors and expect anything to be different. I said no, it’ll never work out. He said he’s hurt and angry but I think he’s upset he’s losing the bandaid/crutch. I ended the chat because he was inconsolable and it’s like trying to reason with a two year old.

    1. TTSP, it’s the same for cold/distant women, just ask my H. 🙂 I don’t think I’m as cold/distant as my MM is in his marriage because I think it’s more of a personality trait for him where he is much more withholding and non-disclosing, but I am much colder/distant/private to my H than he is to me (and that was even before my MM although it’s more so now that I’m in an affair). But I’d think my H feels more highs and lows than I do in our marriage. It’s not the highs and lows of an affair, but I know my H feels passion where I don’t feel that for him anymore. But that passion is fueled by the challenge it presents that I am more distant. We have a good friendship and there is love, but I obviously don’t treat him as well as I should.

      My MM and I had a good week last week. We had multiple opportunities for time together because of some year-end work parties, and he was lovely throughout. I can see him trying hard to be more open and expressive. We’ll see how long it lasts. 🙂 We were supposed to have two days at my house this week, but he had to cancel yesterday with a sick teen at home. He did invite me out for lunch, though. That surprised me. I appreciated him giving us a little time, even though I would have understood if he felt he had to cancel entirely yesterday. He’s supposed to come over tomorrow. Here’s hoping that doesn’t get canceled. I figure it will be a nice time tomorrow, and then it will be the usual difficulties of 2.5 weeks apart over our winter break and the weirdness of a holiday where I’m happy with family yet missing him. I’d imagine everyone on here is familiar with that.

      Is your MM contacting you through work IM? I know you were considering blocking him through other forms of communication, but I know you probably can’t block him through work. Just a few days ago, wasn’t he saying that he didn’t want to make you feel darkness and he’s back only a few days later begging again? I know it’s hard to cut it off entirely, but I’d suggest you not even engage when he gets to the flattery point. You can’t move on if you keep having these emotional conversations with him, even if you are not agreeing to get together with him. I am sure he is hurt and missing you and everything the addiction makes someone go through. We all know this feeling well. But you can’t worry about his pain. He’s an adult. He made his bed. And all of that. He clearly continues to act selfishly despite you asking him to leave you alone (you have asked that, right?), but he’ll keep trying as long as you let him. You know I’m not trying to pile on. Just trying to give the honest advice. It sounds like you’ve become much better at seeing the forest for the trees, but that you’re still hesitant to finally close the door on this relationship. Only you can answer why.

  4. TTSP, you read it right. What I’m trying to do is make it clear what behaviors make me uncomfortable (and where I see red flags), but I’m trying to give him some autonomy, not only because I know I’d want it but because I know he would not respond well to thinking his freedom had been restrained. I need him to choose not to drink alone with women, and I think he’s choosing that. He’s continued to show me that he wants me (and just me), but of course I wonder if he’ll do this all again at some point in the future.

    It’s funny you say that thing about wishing I’d never found out about this indiscretion. My MM asked last week if I wished I’d never found out (because in the past I’d told him that I didn’t think I’d want to know about a partner’s short-term affair), but I wasn’t sure. I think I’m glad I know. It hasn’t been fun to go through this, but I hadn’t been saying the things I needed to say to my MM about how I wanted to be treated. When I found out, back in March, he was drinking alone with that coworker on occasion, it made me feel pretty lousy. I asked him a lot about it, expressed my concerns, but, even though he was clear it was platonic and he wanted nothing more, it felt like he was dismissive about my concerns. I continued to feel uneasy about their relationship, but when the cheating was revealed in August, it gave me the opportunity to really express the unease I was feeling about that coworker. I saw red flag behaviors. Not that I was worried he’d fall in love with her, but I saw behaviors that could lead to a drunken night of sex. Maybe it would have never happened, but I didn’t like what I saw and I wasn’t expressing it directly enough (out of fear of him feeling controlled and not entirely knowing what our status was since we were just getting back together in March). Now, he is much better able to see the problems I see or he’s at least more willing to respond than he might have been had I never found out about the sex with that other woman. Maybe I would have gotten to the point of saying something anyway, but I think it would have been months of jealousy and insecurity about the coworker. I like getting all of that out in the open now. I think what I also like is that I might be able to see warning signs with him better now. Where I trusted before, I might be a little more skeptical now and quicker to say something to him about concerning behavior. Would I like not having flashes of images of him having sex with another woman? Of course. But I really don’t think about that relationship a lot anymore. He seems so done with it, and that’s helped me move forward, too.

    Oops, sorry about the jealousy comment misunderstanding. 🙂 I wondered if you meant you understood the coworker jealousy but then I re-read it and it sounded like you were talking about my relationship! I know how reading about others’ situations on here can make us feel better or worse sometimes. Your MM sounds similar to mine in ways, especially the cold/private stuff, and I figure you understand the jealousy of another woman giving your MM attention. I think these types of men thrive off of that attention (and seek it out more than the average person). I think I thrive off of that attention, too, and I’m sure it’s why it led me to cheat in so many relationships. I feel myself slowing down in my old(er) age, though. 🙂

    No, I don’t really find taking a trip to be a reprieve from my life. In some ways, sure, but I mainly feel weird about “leaving” my MM. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m going on a trip without him and I kind of want to be with him, but I think it’s simply that I don’t like going farther away from him. When he goes on trips, I don’t really feel that way. I almost feel a reprieve when he’s gone! 🙂 Of course, when he goes on a trip with just his W, I can feel a little jealousy. Usually, they travel with the kids so I don’t feel much. Your trip to AZ sounds nice to get away, get some sun, and get some peace during the holidays. I hope you are able to relax and move your MM from your mind.

    I get what you’re saying about why you went out for your birthday with your MM. I get the combination of wanting the attention and wanting him to treat you as you feel you deserve, and also just hoping you can have an enjoyable time with someone you care about. Wanting that friendship and hoping he can stick to it. But it just doesn’t seem he’s capable of sticking to the friendship. It seems he wants more and will always want more. Does he tell you that he’ll try to do a friendship and then he can’t stick to his end of the bargain? Or is he honest with you that he wants more and you’re just hopeful he will change his mind and just be a friend? The way you talk about his manipulations and cajoling, it sounds like he’s telling you one thing and then doing another when he finally gets you alone. That sucks. But, as you say, you know this about him now. He’s shown you this long enough, and if you keep going back, you are a willing participant. The addiction is hard to break. However, I’m not sure it’s his responsibility to step aside. I think you both have equal responsibility to quit. I know it would help you if he would step aside, but you can step aside as easily as he can. Maybe you feel it’s easier for him because he has a W? I don’t think that’s the case. I think it’s equally difficult for both of you because you were both addicted to the relationship. I’m trying to think if I could step aside if someone asked me to. I probably could, but it would be hard with the reminder of seeing them at work; and I certainly couldn’t continue a friendship with someone if they were asking me to step aside. I’m sorry you are still going through this with your MM. I do hope you’re able to find space and room to heal with some distance over the holidays, although I know the holidays can be challenging in our situations.

    1. Are you going to take a trip with your MM? If you can pull it off you’ll learn so much more about each other. I’m in a field where I can work anywhere and business travel is common so we had the chance to swing it both domestically and internationally. You’ll discover traits that bring you closer together and others that are really off-putting. Seeing those characteristics in the flesh has been a good reminder when I feel down. I’ll just tell you that the aloof, cold, tortured soul vibe isn’t so fun when you’re paired up and they’re basically with you physically but totally absent inside. Who knows if that’s how they are at home but I suspect these men isolate and create distance in their own relationships which leads them to seek comfort outside. Where I was going is you’ll have more fun with your H who will be present, attentive and engaging.

      All of this is self-induced. I’ve had ample chances to close the door forever as I move into the next chapter. He has been the one to come back and reconnect. It’s up to me to say no, no, no. He has given mixed messages about respecting my wishes and trying friendship. Other times he “tries” and says he can’t do it. The attraction is too strong and he’ll always crave sexies. Being around me will cause too much frustration blah blah.

      I’m not going to get the closure I want. I’ll have to make it happen on my own. Even if he did say all the right things it still wouldn’t be enough and I’d long for something more. I can never have enough and these relationships bear a similar resemblance to other addictions. I have to remember that the definition of insanity is doing something over and over when you know you’ll get the same undesirable results. This toxic cycle must be broken….

      1. TTSP, my MM and I have traveled twice in our years, but, of course, that’s really hard to do. I don’t know if we’ll get a chance to do that again, but I’d like to. A few years ago, we spent two nights out of town together, and it was really fun. But I don’t think it was a good way to get to know his quirks. I think we were on our best behavior on our trips or we were just so happy to have that time together that we were both in a really good mood the whole time. About a year later, my MM told me after that two-night trip is when he started seriously considering leaving his family. That trip didn’t change much for me, on the other hand. I don’t think I’ve ever considered leaving as much as my MM has. Maybe he’s more unhappy in his marriage or maybe he’s more swept up in the fantasy. Or maybe the guilt of cheating eats at him more. For me, I know the cold/distant/selfish traits of my MM that are off-putting from all of our years together, even if not from our trips. I completely know what you mean about someone who can shut down and be a shell of a person right in front of you. My MM has that. (But I do that sometimes to my H.) I think another really unattractive trait of his is how unsupportive/selfish he can be. It’s not like he takes credit for others’ work or that he brags about himself, but he doesn’t like to be supportive of others’ accomplishments. It’s not only how he’s been critical of good things I do at work, but how he seems like that for most people we work with. Like, he never wants to give accolades to anyone. My H is so supportive, and I can’t imagine being with a partner who wasn’t. Reminding myself of these things has kept me from getting ahead of myself with my MM and hoping for a life with him. I know I’ve felt those things at times because all our addicted brain wants is more, but I know I would be less happy with him than my H. It sounds like you know the same with your MM. If even the part time is a struggle with this personality, just imagine what he’d be like full-time. That’s what I tell myself with my MM. He’s not a terrible person. There are many great things about him and some that I like better than my H. He’s just not the partner for me.

        And, even if some of us think that our MM IS the person for us, they can’t be. They are married. My MM thinks that I’m the “one” for him. He has said this many times (and I have never said that to him), but I think he gets lost in the fantasy of our affair and doesn’t consider the reality enough. Would we really be that much better than his marriage? I doubt it.

        So, is the reason you find it hard to break the cycle simply because it hurts too much to think about a life without him? It sounds like you’ve done so much to end the affair, I just wonder what stops you from getting over those last humps? It already seems like you did the hard part by stopping the physical intimacy and the frequency of the time together, but there’s still something keeping you holding on. What do you think it is? You said a thing about “the closure I want,” and is there something you’re still hoping for from him? Or is there fear that you will not feel for another as you did for him?

        1. Hi Felk,
          I am totally with you on not wanting a full-time relationship with a cold/distant/standoffish man. The lack of support or recognition is an ugly trait too and one that would indirectly hurt you if you were primary partners. Humans need validation especially from loved ones regardless of how confident and self-assured they are. I also don’t trust mine not to cheat if we were full-time.

          I’ve read that people who end their marriage and go for their affair partners often end up repeating the same patterns. Their original problems happen again because they never worked on addressing their part in the previous marriage. I’m not saying you have issues in yours but if your mm said you’re “the one” he must be unhappy at home. I’m not sure why he’d even broach that topic if you have zero intention of leaving your spouses. It doesn’t matter as long as you aren’t stressed by it.

          I do have fear of not having those strong romantic feelings again. I also find it difficult imagining him not in my life. It doesn’t feel impossible. I’ll deal because I’ve survived the ending of long term serious relationships. I am also trying to get past the affair fog and fully grounded in reality. Only time apart can return me to sanity. The good news is he is out of work for three weeks and I’m off for two weeks in December. Also, my sabbatical is approved by my leaders and now goes to HR. I’m not sure if it goes up the chain but the break will give me a month off in the new year.

          To no surprise the mm approached me via work IM and I did not give in to a plea for a get together. He asked about going for coffee, cigar and “hanging out” and I told him that anything and everything causes me excruciating emotional pain. He pitched his usual song and dance but finally said he didn’t want to make me feel darkness. We wished each other a wonderful holiday break and happy new year. I feel proud of myself for not agreeing to a get together. Now I can go into my holiday with a renewed outlook and clean slate.

          1. TTSP, I think what can be so hard about being in a relationship with the unsupportive and cold person is that we are so desperate for their love that it feeds an unhealthy addiction to how good we feel when we finally do get their attention/affection. I know a lot of us on here are drawn to this type of man who makes us work for his attention. While it’s fun working a bit in any relationship, this type of person makes us work more than a person should. This person is selfish and insecure, scared to give love and support freely to another for fear that it will make them weaker and fear of getting rejected. So, even though more objectively we can say a relationship with this person isn’t good, so many of us find ourselves with partners like this and struggle to leave these relationships.

            I can’t predict the future, but I do expect you will have these strong romantic feelings again for another if you really break free from your MM and you let yourself move on. It’s not just that I think odds are that you’ll feel this for someone again, but we underestimate our coping skills and we think bad feelings are going to last longer than they do. And I think the harder thing to recognize is that the strong feelings you have for your MM aren’t from a healthy relationship. That dopamine rush can trick us into thinking it’s a requirement for a good relationship with another. That’s the addiction, but we can become too tied to that feeling and mistakenly define good relationships that way. So, maybe it’s the case that you won’t have those same strong feelings again with another but maybe that’s a good thing? This is why I chose my H. I dated cold/distant guys before my H. I liked that challenge. But those similar strong feelings from an affair come from a lot of badness (insecurity, uncertainty, unpredictability, distance, etc.), and the relief and reward when those feelings go away when our MM is around again. You know I don’t only mean feelings in affairs are bad. I think there’s a lot of good, but I think we can trick ourselves into thinking it’s reality when it’s not. Healthier love has fewer ups and downs. So, yeah, less “up” but much less “down,” too. And I just didn’t want all the downs that I knew a relationship with the cold guy would bring.

            It sounds like you’re going to have some good time away from your MM soon. Try to use that time to decide to be done with him or to make a plan on how you’re going to be done with him. I do hope you get that sabbatical, too. Your MM seems back to his old habits of trying to talk you into giving more than you want to, and it’s really good that you turned him down. I know it probably hurts somewhat to do that, but it’s the only way you’ll free yourself for something better. You can’t move forward if you keep going back.

            As for my MM, yes, I think he’s unhappy in his marriage. He’s always seemed more ready to leave his marriage than I have been. It doesn’t stress me when he calls me “the one.” It felt good until I found out he had sex with that other woman. Then I didn’t feel so much like “the one.” And I told him that. But we’ve made a lot of progress in our relationship over the last 4 months since his reveal, and it feels good again when he says I’m the one for him, even if a little less than before.

  5. Felk,

    You are so right about paying attention to how you’re feeling. So often we don’t do that. We focus so much on their feelings that we neglect our own. I try my best to be fair when I express myself. I wanted my MM to know that its not easy being vulnerable in an affair. There are so many things to feel insecure or unsure about in an affair.
    Him and I have spoken since Sunday. Monday, I sent him this “Agreement”
    The “ournames” Agreement

    (made with love and humor)

    I want us to have a positive, reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationship. The following defines my expectations.

    I will:
    Be honest always
    Be more aware of your feelings
    Communicate my feelings
    Not punish you for “Ourship”
    Initiate communication with
    Ask clarifying questions
    Not make assumptions
    Treat you the way I want him to treat me
    Enjoy every moment spent with you

    You will:
    Be honest always
    Be aware and considerate of my feeling
    Use code N3T (need time to think)instead of ignoring me
    Not punish me for “Ourship”
    Communicate with me regularly (as prior discussed)
    Be respectful and understanding to my feelings, concerns and questions
    Let me know when you’re DONE with “Ourship”
    Treat me the way you want to be treated
    Enjoy every moment spent with me
    Signed:                                Date:

    Signed:                                  Date:

    He didn’t reply right away but he text me back and said, I like it! He called me right after he sent the text but he wanted me to know that he wasn’t ignoring me but he was really busy at work. I said, well thank you..I appreciate that!
    When he talked later that day, I asked him again how he felt about the “Agreement” he said, I liked it..I thought it was funny. I said, do you agree with the things I wrote. He said, yes I do agree with all of it. I said, can I ask you something ? He said, yes you can. I said, why is it hard for you to tell me how you feel? He said, it’s not that it’s hard but men don’t talk about their feelings like women do. We show you how we feel. I said but why you can’t just me how you feel, if you have an issue with something. I said for ex, what happened couldve been avoided if I had know you were feeling some type of way. I said, so maybe you could’ve said something like Babe, I really want to you see what time are coming back home or you couldve said can I meet you somewhere because I want to spend time with you for my birthday…something like that ?! He said, Babe, just because I didn’t use those words doesn’t mean I didn’t show u that I wanted to see you. I called you a few times and I was texting you back and forth and I know you know me well enough to know I do not like texting like that. I prefer to talk to you but I had already called you a few times. I said, yea but I want us to do a better job at communicating with each other. He said I understand what you’re saying and I show you how I feel babe. I said, you act nonchalant and you told me you were not going to press me out. He said I feel like I was pressing you that day and you were ignoring me.
    (I didn’t say this to him but his EGO was hurt on his bday, he felt like he was contacting me and I was hitting the ignore button on him, which likely made him feel insecure and that’s not a good feeling for anyone and a lot of men don’t know how to react when you bruise their ego or when they feel their ego has been bruised.)
    He said, I will do my best but I’m not a woman and I don’t do all that expressing feelings. I said, I don’t mean you have to sit and release all of these emotions but I think you can get to a place of being vulnerable with me. He said, you will start wondering who’s the woman in the relationship and I said no I won’t. It would actually bring some comfort to me. He said ok….
    Tuesday I told him, I needed him to pick up the boys but he told me he wasn’t going to be a to so she would do it. I said but will your son be there and he said no he won’t but she will still do it. He said, put it like this between her and I one of us will pick him up after practice. I said ok.
    Today, she texted me saying, she would pick up son. I text her back saying thank you but he told me he would walk because he didn’t want to inconvenience you. She said, it not and inconvenience at all, I can get him. She text me again saying she would pick him up. I called her because I was driving and couldn’t text. I told her my son said he should be ok walking home. She said, it’s no problem at all because I wouldn’t want my son to walk, its cold, raining and it’s about to get dark and I don’t want him walking either. I called my son to tell him what she said. He told me he was ok…so, I told him to call her himself. When my son called me back to tell me he made it home he said oh I have to call Ms.** she asked me to let her know I made it home safely since I walked I said o ok.

    I spoke to my MM before I spoke to his W and I said I cannot believe she is going to get my child from practice and your child didn’t go so she doesn’t have to do it. He said,I told you I was going to make sure he was picked up, I do not play about our kids. I chuckled and said, “OUR” kids…he said, yes I mean it. He said, they’re our kids. All of them even_____(my daughter).I thought WOW this is ALL so crazy.

    I spoke with him again tonight while was on his way home. I was telling him as crazy as it is. I really do appreciate how we work together to get them. I said, prior to this I was so stressed trying to figure out how to be in 2 places at the same time and it was hard for me as a single parent, there were times where I had to alternate who’s activity I would attend. He said, I understand…it works for us.
    I think that, the way he made sure she could get my son from practice although their son wasn’t there..is his way of “showing me how he feels”. I could tell that he felt proud of himself for that. I know it weird me out that they talk about me in their home but as messed up as it is, it has been beneficial for me being a single mom and all of my family are more than 30-40miles away. They both get off extremely late and don’t have family nearby either.

    He is suppose to come over Saturday but he told me it will late because of whatever he has going on…we shall see!

    What’s going well with you and your MM ?

    1. LL, it sounds like you were able to talk to your MM about the things that were on your mind these last few weeks. We don’t always get to say everything we want to say, but it sounds like you got to say the main things that were bothering you about how he communicated poorly on his birthday and then definitely the week after. It seems like he understood your perspective but also feels he can give his perspective. I love your “agreement” with him, and it’s great that he took it with the humor and warmth that you intended. My guess is that he was looking for some closeness after all that birthday stuff, too. He won’t admit it, but, as you say, he was feeling rejected by you that day and he didn’t like those feelings. Of course, it’d be great if he could just tell you, but I think he knows himself when he says he’s not going to change. That it’s just not who he is. But it seems he tries.

      I think that some men show in gestures more than words. My H is good with words, but my MM prefers gestures. I bet there is something about this “type” of man who prefers gestures to words, and it’s not really good, but that’s who they are. Words make them too vulnerable is my guess. My MM is pretty good with words (as is yours), but I know what your MM means when he says talking isn’t his thing. My MM says the same. So, I do think you’re right that your MM is showing you how he feels by making sure your son is taken care of. That has to be tricky for you, though, when he involves his W! It was a nice gesture, but the problem with this type of man, I find, is they also don’t show gestures as much as we want. 🙂 I sometimes feel like we’re starved for their attention and then we think any gesture is the nicest thing. I can fall into this and be completely in love with some small thing my MM does or says because it seems so big compared to the little he does and says, but I need to remember that it’s because of the little he says and does that I give so much weight to the lovely things. I hope he’s able to come over Saturday, though. You two need some time together after all that Thanksgiving week nonsense on his part. And coming over is one of the best gestures. 🙂

      On my end, things are good. Some really good conversations and time together lately. He came over for a few hours today, and it was just talking and closeness. There were some things that I’ve been wanting to say for a while about trust and jealousy and the coworker who likes him. Just some things it’s taken me a few months to sort through since his cheating reveal in August. Things I wanted to say about what I need with regard to his behavior moving forward. Things I was a little scared to say because I didn’t want it to feel like I was smothering or taking away his independence. But there were a few things I needed to make clear about what was acceptable to me and not. And it was important for me to feel we were on the same page about some behaviors changing (like not getting a drink alone with the coworker). Happy to say, I think we’re on the same page. It wasn’t about me making a list of things he could and couldn’t do, but it was about me saying that I want him to know that things can’t just be like before. That it’s not about saying he can’t be friends with a woman, but it is about wanting him to see the same “red flags” I do and to avoid them. That I don’t want to sit idly by while he does all the same things and heads down a dangerous path with another woman again. He said he didn’t want that, too. Said all the good things about how he’s still disgusted with what happened two years ago. Wished no one ever found out about it because it’s so embarrassing. Thinks he’s learned from it. When I told him that 8 months ago he was still drinking alone with that coworker and that showed me he hadn’t entirely learned from it, he said that he’s recognizing that he was arrogant in thinking he knew when to draw the line. He said he’s realized it has to be drawn earlier than he used to believe. He said he thinks he’s showing that now, and that he has no plans to drink with the coworker again, not only because he doesn’t want to risk us, but that he thinks it does encourage her and he doesn’t want that. He wants a platonic friendship with her, and I was clear today that he can have his friendships, but drinking alone, as they were doing, is crossing a line that can head down a dangerous path (especially for cheaters). We were on the same page, and it was important for me to hear that today. But I think I was a little softer at times than I wanted to be. I would have liked to be a little more direct about how he can’t have his cake and eat it, too, but maybe I said enough for today. I have a tendency to wish I said more after he leaves, but it was warm and playful today and we said a lot. I’m going to try to trust that we’re thinking the same way about “red flag” behavior moving forward. I told him that I want to just trust, and if he says that he is no longer going to do those behaviors then I’m going to trust. I told him that I don’t want to think about these things every day. I don’t want to worry about what he is and isn’t doing. If you want to do those things with other women, do them, but you can’t be with me. He said he wants to be here, and he thought he was making that clear to me. He said he knew he had the choice (as I gave to him when he told me about the cheating) to leave then if that’s what he wanted, but he said he didn’t want that. I will choose to believe him, with some hesitation and two eyes open, of course. He is a cheater. And it’s hard to believe cheaters won’t cheat again. But I am in love, and I guess it’s just still too fun with him for me to quit. We should also have some good time together next week, already planned a few things. It’ll be nice to have some time together without these big conversations for a while (hopefully).

      1. Hi Felk,
        Thanks for your response. You’re right that I shouldn’t have been socializing at all with him. I foolishly accepted a present and invitation to go out to a nice restaurant on my bday. He was giving, generous and thoughtful but nothing comes for free. All roads lead back to us getting into a fight because he wants both worlds and I want something different. There is no meeting of the minds and inevitably we fall out. I’m not going to put anything he has said or done under a microscope. He told me he really likes me a lot, cares for me and thinks about me constantly. I’m taking those for face value. I have known this entire time there is zero possibility of us being together. I’d rather be in my position than anyone else in the triangle. I just have to walk away graciously. It’s maddening that I can quit smoking, drinking and other very addictive behaviours yet I’ve vacillated with him for years. I’m happy I got a swift kick in the butt with the picture on his phone and the commentary about his marital contentment. I put those reminders in my phone. Will he come back around? If history tends to repeat itself then yes. I’ve got what I think is a rock solid action plan. If he emails my personal address or calls I won’t respond. I’ll send a message to his work email telling him to keep communications within a business context. Finally I’ll put a block on his email and phone number so that I don’t even have to worry about seeing anything during the holidays or again. I’m feeling pretty good inside.

        I’m wondering when I read your post if the coworker you’re referring to is the same one that seduced him a couple years ago or someone different? If I were you I’d also want some type of agreement about what is acceptable and what is not regarding spending time with people of the opposite sex. One on one with the opposite sex is such a grey area. With cheaters though you have to set firm lines otherwise rules can be bent. They are higher risk individuals lol Also, it takes away potential time that you two have together. Even reading your post gets me jealous. You cope well with those type of feelings. I on the other hand do not. Seems like everything is going pretty smoothly and you’re both satisfied in the relationship. I’m a firm believer that it’s between two people to decide what works and what doesn’t work for them as a couple.

        You said you have plans over the next week which gives you a special something to look forward to. What is your holiday plan? Do you both take time off and do your own thing or is it possible to get together? Maybe it’s less bad spending time apart because you have spouses to lean on for companionship.

        1. TTSP, since we’re all pretty honest here about the good and bad, I’ll ask why you went to dinner with your MM on your bday? You know I ask with no judgment. Just trying to talk through what your goal with that was. Was it just missing him and wanting to spend a nice time together? Was it that he was offering you some of the attention (nice dinner and a present) that you liked in the affair? Was it hoping you could spend that time together as friends without it being more? Or maybe all three and more? 🙂

          It is an addiction, I know that. As someone who hasn’t been addicted to anything else, I can’t compare, but from what you and BAF say, this addiction seems stronger than alcohol. I definitely went through “withdrawal” two years ago when he ended us. It’s was psychological and physical withdrawal, and I remember not only being worried about it (the depression was the worst part) but also fascinated by it because it was truly an addictive reaction. So, it’s the fear of those feelings that keep us going back, right? And you’ve felt some of those feelings as you try to leave your MM. But I think you have to go through the withdrawal to be done. I like your plan for blocking his emails and phone number so you don’t even have to see it. I think that’s one of the best ways to go NC. It can be hard if you still see the reminders. And going on that sabbatical at work and finding a new job. I think getting away from him entirely is the key. Any reminders and it’s hard. I know, during our break two years ago, I always felt MUCH better away from my MM than near him at work.

          The person my MM had sex with two years ago wasn’t the coworker. It was someone else (not a coworker… and a woman I had met a few times but I didn’t really know her), but I think she is officially no longer in the picture. We talked about that on Thursday, and he seems relieved to be done with her. And I think you’re right about having to draw that line about not spending time alone with the other sex when you’re a cheater. I think that is the best route. I think I was clear to my MM about not wanting him to drink alone with the coworker anymore, but I stopped short of saying he could never have a drink alone with a woman in the future. Maybe that is the right move, but it is not something I was comfortable saying. I put myself in his position, and I wouldn’t want that. That would be too smothering and controlling if a partner asked that of me. So, yes, I know him never spending time alone with someone of the other sex is the best way to prevent cheating, but I don’t know if it’s realistic. I wasn’t comfortable asking that, and he and I explicitly talked about that. I told him that’s not what I was asking, but I did say that spending time alone drinking with the coworker was a red flag to me and I wanted him to choose to avoid the red flags. I don’t know if I explicitly said the words “you can’t do that anymore”, but I know that was the implication as he said he was not going to do that as he didn’t want to risk us and realized it reinforced her asking more. I think personally I find it hard to set clear “rules” as people in relationships need flexibility and I don’t think any of us wants rules to follow from a partner, but I know he’s violated trust and maybe there need to be clearer lines. For now, I think I set some lines and I hope it works for us. Like you say, each couple has to find what works for them. He seems to not want to cheat again. He does seem really disgusted and embarrassed by what he did. I get it. I get being led into it and then feeling so stupid for doing it. I did that early in my relationship with my H in 2005. We weren’t married yet, but I was hanging out with a guy and getting swept up in the fun of the flirting, and then I was disgusted when I made out with him one night. Actually vomited in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep thinking about how stupid I was being jeopardizing my relationship with my H. But I also get that disgust can wear off as you meet new people and talk yourself into new situations. I know all too well (I’m a cheater). If I want to stay, all I can do is be clear about my lines, pay attention to what he is saying and doing, and then choose to trust if he is doing and saying the right things.

          I get your jealousy in reading about my situation, and I obviously don’t want to make anyone feel bad on here. We all deal with these relationships differently, and I do think it’s easier for me to put up with many things in an affair because I’m married (and have someone to “fall back” on). I think it’s different for a SW. I think it can be harder without that other person. BUT… I also think you have a freedom that us married people don’t. Yes, I know we could leave our marriages (and maybe that’s the “right” thing to do), but that is a whole complicated mess, and I’ve always felt some envy of SW in this situation who can move on to someone else if their affair ends. When my MM ended our relationship two years ago, I felt a bit trapped. I didn’t want to leave my marriage, but I also wasn’t excited about my marriage. That was partially the sadness of the break-up speaking, but I had thoughts about how it would be easier for me if I were single. 🙂

          Our semester is ending at school so we have a very relaxed schedule this week and next so we will have much more time for him coming over. As for the holiday, it’s the same as every year, it’s hard. It will be about 2.5 weeks of not seeing each other and it’s especially hard around the holidays when you feel the sorts of things about wanting loved ones close. We will exchange some email, maybe a few texts here and there, but that’s about it. Sometimes we’re able to see each in that time, but the timing of Christmas and New Year’s this year makes that less likely. I think you’re right that it’s probably less bad for us than someone single because we have spouses (and he has kids) and there is a lot to enjoy in the holidays with family. My H and I are going out of town with friends for three days leading up to NY’s, too, so that will be distracting. But, honestly, I don’t love going out of town nearly as much anymore because it takes me farther away from my MM. It is something that my MM doesn’t understand when I’ve told him (because he thinks we’re apart anyway at that time), but I just don’t like being farther away. It just doesn’t feel good to me. Are you able to enjoy the holidays with friends and family? Anything fun planned?

          1. Felk,
            I totally see what you’re saying about not establishing hard and fast rules. From what you stated you made it clear that you’d prefer he avoid alone time with this individual. To me that seems like a mature, high level of communication. Also, expressing what makes you uncomfortable and concerned re: red flags seems like fair game. You did just that without trying to control him. You also come across as someone that values autonomy and a healthy level of interdependency in a relationship. I honestly wish for you that his indiscretion during your breakup had never been revealed.

            I’m sorry about the jealousy remark. What you said didn’t make me feel badly. I can relate to the jealousy caused by women giving the mm attention and that’s why I was lamenting how your story provoked those feelings. I do admire your resilience all around. It’s hard for me to say whether it’s easier or not breaking it off as the single person. I had a nice date today and spending time with another man does get me out of my head about the past relationship. Still, the stability and comfort of a permanent companion is enviable. If the benefit of ending a marriage outweighed the cost, people would terminate the relationship. Do I feel like I get a cleaner break? Possibly. I’m also soothed by the fact that I have no visibility into his world. His life is a black hole to me unless I make up stories in my head.

            You don’t find that taking a trip gives you a reprieve from life including the relationships in your working environment? Are you able to leave your worries aside including any problems? I can understand the connection between increased separation with greater distance. I’ve felt that when significant others go out of town or vice versa. I hope for you it’s a pleasurable holiday get away that you can enjoy without the disruption of missing him. You have some fun plans beforehand to get excited about prior to starting the break. I go out to Arizona to spend time with my parents and I find it so peaceful and serene. I’m fortunate to have a wonderful place to go to for the holidays surrounded by loving fam.

            For my bday I wanted a comfortable, familiar, guaranteed fun experience and I knew he would offer that to me. Did I have a special day? Yes. Does engaging with him in any form or fashion come back to haunt me? Yes. What invariably happens is he sees it as an opening to try and get his “fix”. He lays on the flattery ad nauseam. I begin to feel pressured, disrespected and manipulated because he is fully aware I do not want to be a mistress. I often take a passive attitude because a part of me gets off on the attention. Effectively I fuel the fire and enable him to continue by not taking a resolute stance. It always escalates into him cajoling me into giving more than I want to. In all honesty he has won me over in the past which of course makes me the idiot. Even when I do stay strong he’ll continue to employ his tactics. In the end we arrive at a huge argument. I blow up about him using me to fill what’s lacking at home and asking for a dutiful, loyal girlfriend in exchange for his scraps. A real friend would step aside so that the person he/she cares about can find a committed, loving relationship. I accept my part for allowing this to happen. We teach people how to treat us. I also wanted him to demonstrate his care by acknowledging that I deserve so much more and by offering to back off since he’s hurting everyone. Anyone that gets involved in an affair has some degree of selfishness including me. In my heart I believe if the shoe were on the other foot I’d set the single person free. If both sides are married they’re on a level playing field.

  6. Hi LL and all the ladies, hope your Thanksgiving was good (if you’re in the US or celebrate such). I certainly have been thankful for you ladies over these two years.

    LL, sorry to hear that you’ve been going through it with your MM. You know I like how you give all the details. It helps for trying to give the most objective advice. You don’t sugarcoat anything you said or did. Seems you always try to present it how it happened. So, my take is, yeah, your MM is upset about his birthday. It seems he had planned to spend time with you that day. It seemed he thought you’d both taken the day off and would have that time together, and it seems he was frustrated that you were unavailable. But, more, it seems he was frustrated that you were unavailable because you thought HE was going to be unavailable. I think he’s frustrated because he thinks you’re punishing him for being honest with you about how he was going to spend that time with his W that night. I think he’s also frustrated because he thinks you’re over-reacting to some miscommunication. That is my take on his response.

    I don’t know if your MM remembered that he told you his son’s appointment was Monday, but it seemed like an honest miscommunication from the way you told the story. It sounds like he said Monday but he meant Tuesday. I get that YOU thought Monday once he said it (and were disappointed) and then you heard Tuesday from his son and thought your MM was lying to you about Monday. So, I get that you were getting in your head about the reasons your MM might have lied to you, but I think it was just an honest mix-up on his part. I think he wanted Monday with you, and he was pretty surprised/disappointed when you weren’t available. I also don’t blame you for not making yourself immediately available on his birthday once he was texting you. He did not communicate well. I would have liked more planning than texts the morning of, confirming that I was off that day, but that seems consistent with how he communicates. I’m sure, a few weeks ago, when he said he’d take off the 25th when you told him you’d taken it off, he thought the date was set. But I’d need more confirmation than that. I’ve “thought” my MM and I had plans more times than I can count only to find out that those plans were more tentative than I realized! You are always so understanding about how loose your MM is with plans, but it sounds like he was serious this time about his birthday (but how were you supposed to know?).

    On his birthday, it seems you knew he was available (once he texted you) and that he wanted to see you, and then you made yourself unavailable. I get being annoyed that the plans changed and you not wanting to be available. It sounds like you were also hurting because he had told you about watching football out with his W that night. From his perspective, he was probably just trying to be honest with you about how his W was going to be around that night; but I would guess that he was not happy about it. Just something that he has to accept as part of marriage. But after he said the thing about taking his son to the doctor on Monday, you thought that his birthday was just going to be with his family. Son during the day, W at night. I get why you were upset and it was hard for you to recover and suddenly want to see him on his birthday. But I do think it was just a miscommunication. I don’t think he realized he told you Monday for his son’s doctor’s appointment. It sounded to me like he really wanted to see you Monday. But if you didn’t want to see him, you can’t make yourself happy to see him.

    Now, I’m also not sure what you do with his low contact for days. He’s pouting it seems. It doesn’t sound like you’ve had much of a chance to talk about the miscommunication Monday, though. That’s really hard that you sent him that vulnerable text on Thanksgiving and he didn’t reply. That’s sh*t. That’s definitely him pouting. I hope he’s not intentionally trying to hurt you and that he’s just not in the mood to respond, but I think it’s still cruel not to respond to a heartfelt message. My MM and I had it out several years ago about a heartfelt text I sent (when I was at a wedding) that he didn’t respond to (because he was sad I was at the wedding with my H). Even if a person isn’t feeling up to a comparable response, I think sincere texts deserve a response. If someone can’t bring themselves to do that, it’s pretty selfish/mean. I don’t want this to blow up more with your MM, so I hope he gets himself together and responds soon. I do think you should give it some time before you reach out again, though. Ball is in his court now. However, at some point, his silence does speak volumes.

    I think it’s fair that your MM was frustrated that you made yourself unavailable on his birthday. I can see why that frustrated him given that he took the day off and was hoping to spend it with you. I guarantee he was disappointed that he didn’t get to spend the day with you as he’d planned. I’m not saying you have to fall at his feet for taking the day off. I’m just saying that’s how I’m guessing he felt, given his reaction. But I don’t think it’s fair that he got THIS mad and that he’s pretty much ignoring your texts this week. That’s petty childish crap. Miscommunication happened. You didn’t think he was available given that he misspoke about his son’s appointment and it all got bigger than it needed to. I think you also got in your head about his W and them spending time together on his bday.

    I hope your MM will contact you soon to talk about all of this. I know this has to be hard for you, though. Does it all have you wondering how much longer you can put up with this situation?

    1. Felk….

      You’re always on point with your repsonses. He actually text me yesterday saying….
      How I felt when u didn’t call me back and made ur stand on Monday..SUCKS doesn’t it?? In response to my last message which was a Bitmoji that said, Well Played.

      I replied with these messages a few hours later….

      Clearly, my feelings/emotions are a big joke! I knw I am easy going, tolerant and laid back but it takes so much for me to be vulnerable with u and when I do this is how you respond ?!

      I didn’t take a stand, I contacted you Monday until 10pm. Of course I felt some type of way, i took off to be w/u during the day for ur bday and u said, u had plans for that day/night so what was I suppose to do ?

      I could’ve waited to reply to u but, I don’t want to play games like that. The majority of “this” is on your time anyway. I can get calls anytime of the day. I can go on a date any day/time. Your P- is always invited to party in my V- any day that I’m not on my cycle (in a room, car,park, boat, train…Ive shown u how down I am for u).

      U decide how to calculate your NUTS between her and I, when u will call or text me, hang-out/date me and I take it on the chin…You call all the shots pimpin, & I follow ur lead. Obviously, I’m not doing “this” right. Can u tell me what u want/need from me??

      He called me that evening, when I answered he said, what’s up, you’re out ? I said, yes. He said, ok call me or text me when you’re on your way back home. I said ok.
      I text him on my way home and he didn’t reply so I figured he couldn’t (I knew he was home so I didn’t expect him to reply but honored what he asked me to do)

      Well….today we finally spoke to one another and it was not pretty initially.
      He was BIG mad!! He said, that he reached out to me repeatedly and I never once called him back. I replied by text but didn’t pick up the phone to talk to him. He was adamant about him telling me the appointment was on Tuesday but he said even if he did say it was Monday, once he told me he was free he thought I would try to hang out with him at that point. He said, he told me he was about to go grab something to eat and I didn’t say well ok where are you going or would you like us to meet. We couldve met somewhere in the middle or something. He said, he felt like he was really pressing me and I ignored him and he didn’t like that. He said every time he called me I hit the ignore button. I told him that is not what happened. My phone was on DO NOT DISTURB and the calls automatically go to voicemail so I never saw the phone ringing nor did I hear it. I told him it was rude and mean of him to ignore me when I am vulnerable with him. He said he didn’t have anything to say to me because he was mad. He said, we don’t live together so I cannot fuss with you and move on and the only way for me to let you know you made me mad is to ignore you. I said but you know it takes sooooo much for me to be vulnerable with you because of the situation and that doesn’t help me. It actually validates the narrative I have about this not meaning anything to you. He said, that is what you said but not what I said where and where do you get that from? I said,the last time we spoke about going so long without seeing each other you said you wasn’t going to be pressing me about a seeing each other. He said, that is not what I said. He said, I told you that when you tell me you have school stuff or academic stuff going on I am NOT going to press you about us seeing each other, that stuff is primary and I’m secondary. I don’t care how you feel about that but I will not press you when you have things like that to do because I want you to get that stuff done and be successful with it.
      He said, I didn’t mean in the way you took it. I said, well I thought you said you were not pressed so my perception of us not seeing each other for your bday wasn’t that important. He said, no I can’t believe you did that. I said what ?! He said you made your stand and I wanted to be sure to make a stand as well. I said yours was sooooooo mean though and hurtful. You didn’t care about what I said and how vulnerable i was.He said, I apologize if that’s the way you perceived it but I didn’t say anything at all so I don’t know why you would say I didn’t care. I really didn’t have a comment to make because that’s how upset I was. I said well I can understand you being upset about your bday because I would’ve been upset if it was my bday. I told him, it’s hard to wrap my head around he feels when he is so nonchalant as if “this” doesn’t matter, I’m not a mind reader. He said, he wasn’t either and I shouldn’t expect him to read my mind either. He said, he thinks we have been dealing with each other long enough for me to know what buttons not to push and I should know that just as he knows what buttons not to push. I said well I am much more open about it. I don’t make you guess. I told you I HATE being ignored, it makes me furious. I told him not to do that again because I don’t like it and I don’t like how it feels. He told me not to push his buttons on purpose as I know he has feelings too, he just doesn’t express them in the way I do. We talked for about 40 mins and he had to go so we will probably talk later. During the time we were on the phone we were both able to share laughter within something I said or something he said.

      I just didn’t think it was that serious to him. You’re right, I did feel some type of way about him having other plans and telling me about his plans with his W. He talks to me as if we’re really friends and sometimes I love that and other times I don’t want to hear certain things. I think he too can dish certain things but can’t take it. Felk, my birthday 2020 can come and go and he may not be able to do anything with me but I guess it has to be ok because of the situationship. Holidays will come and go and we will not share in any of that but he was upset that I didn’t come through for him on his bday…UNBELIEVABLE but obviously a thing for him. I know it’s not simple and it was more about him looking forward to spending time with me as we do not get that time that often.

      You asked me if this made me think about how much longer I could deal with this…
      Yes it does, because this is already complicated and I when he does things like this its frustrated and I can be impulsive and gives me no way to release that on him. That burns me up, I cannot see him later when he gets home to tell him how I feel, I can’t call him and talk to you him whenever I want so that annoys me and make me frustrated with the whole situation. I feel better now that we have talked but I don’t want to be ignored again, especially when I Express my feelings…that will make me SHUT ALL THE WAY DOWN. I am going to make him aware of that.
      Why can’t he just express himself in a normal way🙄 I will let you know how the cont’d conversation goes.
      Thank you for your insight as you were right on target with me feeling a way about him telling me his plan with his W.

      1. Oh my goodness, the reply button is back! LL, I really like your response to your MM’s text. I really like how you said it all so directly about being vulnerable and not appreciating his non-response. And I like how you explained to him, once again, about why you were not available on his birthday and how you didn’t play games but responded to his texts that day. I can hear how tired you are in that string of texts, and good. He needed to hear all of that. You were an adult trying to reach out to him last week, and he was the one who was pouting for a week! You are absolutely right to say that he needs to “just express himself in a normal way.” You didn’t deserve a week of NC just because of some miscommunication AND because he can’t be more direct about wanting to spend time with you. I like how he says that he told you (his birthday) that he was about to go grab something to eat… and then he wanted YOU to ask to meet. Why doesn’t he ask you?!? I see that he says that he feels like he’s pressing you if he does that, but too bad. Oh, he doesn’t want to feel needy and vulnerable pressing you (aka showing you that he wants to see you)?!? Welcome to the club of relationships. While I think he does a lot to show you that he cares about you and wants this relationship with you, he does seem to put it more on you to be direct about wanting to see him and asking for time. As you told him, this relationship mostly seems on his time so why can’t he ask to see you? That’s great if he wants to give you time to focus on school, but he still needs to ask to see you sometimes and to show you that he wants that. My MM is the same way. Doesn’t like to show that he wants time with me (and has also used the “I don’t want to press you” excuse).

        And that’s exactly why you were feeling like he didn’t care to see you and it wasn’t important… because he said he wasn’t going to be pressing you. I believe he didn’t mean it the way you took it. I know it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care or that he doesn’t think time with you is important. He doesn’t press you because he 1) doesn’t want you pressing him, and 2) doesn’t want to seem needy. I guarantee it makes him feel weak to need you, but he has shown for years that he does. 🙂 He is in love with you. I am sure of that. Love/addiction whatever. You don’t do this for 3.5 years, calling you as much as he does, talking to you about these issues as much as he does, without being in love.

        Good for you telling him that you hate feeling ignored. I’m glad you didn’t let that go, and I hope you get to talk more about that soon. Ignoring someone, when you know they want/deserve a response, is cruel and controlling. It is a way to make someone feel meaningless and that’s sh*t in a relationship. If your MM really had nothing to say to your text because he was too upset, then he needs to grow the f up and say that he’s too upset to respond right now but he will when he is able. You don’t have to respond immediately the way another wants you to, but you can give someone the courtesy of a (kind/fair) response if they have taken the time to express genuine feelings.

        I think your MM was unfair for how he treated you last week, but I also think that you can get in your head and blow up things that he didn’t mean. It’s so easy to do that in an affair when you can’t ask someone questions and clarify things right away. We also have built-in insecurity in an affair that makes it easy for us to jump to conclusions (as your MM probably felt on his bday). BUT… follow your feelings. If something doesn’t feel right, question it. Yeah, plenty doesn’t feel right in an affair because, well, the situation ain’t right. But I’m learning to pay more attention to how I feel and not just chalk it up to a hard situation. I did that too much early on, and it led to my MM not always treating me well. He has treated me better for about the last 8 months or so (and especially these last 3.5 months since cheating reveal), and a lot of that is being more direct and honest with him. I know you are good at being honest when you need to be. I think you two talk well, and that’s shown in the fact that you could laugh and talk these things through the other day. I hope the next conversation goes as well.

      2. Hi Lifelessons,
        Did you have any further conversations about his bday? Are you feeling better? I’m immensely impressed by how you’re able to lay out your feelings so thoroughly. You said something about his lack of response validates the narrative about this meaning little to him. Being ignored is emotional blackmail and while I think we’ve all been guilty of cold shouldering, it’s a poor way of communicating. He even admitted to being mad.

        I also see your perspective on them rarely having reason to be mad at the other person. They have a spouse to spend nights, weekends and holidays with if plans fall through. Also, everything is on their terms. You can accept calls and plan dates at any time and he is very limited. I totally understand why it’s hard to conceptualize him having any reason to be upset with you. As the non married person in the situation you make a lot more sacrifices yet their expectations of you are that of a girlfriend. I think they compartmentalize their life and see your relationship as discrete from their marriage. We’re all wired to see our lives as a whole and not pieces of different pies which inherently makes you feel diminished. They want 100% of you yet can only give 20% of themselves. You drove home those points very succinctly and it would be nice for him to acknowledge that you make a lot of sacrifices to sustain a close connection. I was also never able to grasp how they could have a spouse and still really have feelings for someone else. When I read that from you I felt more normal.

        Now that I’ve brought up everything I agree with and relate to, I do think everything snowballed due to a series of misunderstandings and miscommunications. He does appear to care about your time and your feelings by hearing you out and demonstrating some willingness to admit his part. You’ll know at the core when enough is enough. If you’re anything like the rest of us you may go through a few breakups and makeups. I hope for you another available guy eventually sweeps you off your feet and you have an easy transition.

        For me there was a series of infractions that pushed me over the edge. You’ve named a few but I also had the joy of seeing numerous photos on his phone of just them and recently had the pleasure of him telling me that he is happy and still in love. I did ask him about the being in love part but talking to me like we were just ever only friends is ignorant. He contradicts himself as a week earlier he talked about being so lonely and depressed about not having emotional and physical intimacy. A week later he is happy and in love? Yeah, ok. He hears about me going on a date and has a meltdown. Talk about double standards. I’m happy he told me because now I have no room for doubt. If I’m that disposable and worthless then why would I ever put any energy into him. He can get his emotional needs met at home and friendship of any kind is off the table.

        I’m very thankful for all the ladies on here throughout the years. I wish you all a beautiful holiday season filled with cheer, love and loved ones.

        1. TTSP, good to hear from you. Sounds like you’re still in contact with your MM, and it’s still hurting you. I don’t know what your MM said, but I don’t think your MM means that he’s suddenly happy and in love with his W. He is likely lonely in his marriage. It was probably not only a cause of but a consequence of his affair. If he’s telling you he’s happy now, it can mean that he is just content with his marriage. I feel that way. I am content (even happy) in my marriage. I don’t want to leave it. I don’t feel lonely in my marriage, but there is no passion. That is my fault. My H wants passion and tries for intimacy. I’m the one who doesn’t want it. I wanted it at the beginning of my affair, but as my affair continued, the desire for my H declined fast. I do think it’s a little different as the MW compared to the MM, as my understanding is that MW lose more interest in sex with their H’s than MM lose interest in sex with their W’s. (And that is consistent with my MM saying he still has interest in sex with his W, even if it is less now.) MW don’t lose interest in sex. We just lose interest in sex with the same person faster than our H’s. My sex desire still feels high, but it’s all for my MM and not my H. So, my guess is that your MM’s W’s sex interest in him declined, and he started to feel lonely. He also seems like someone who has the personality to stray. Someone who is a little cold and distant and can separate without too much guilt. Like me.

          It sounds like you still spend a lot of time thinking about your MM’s motives and interests. I understand it, but I think it’s what’s keeping you attached to him. You seem to still be trying to figure out how he felt about you. Is that true? Maybe I’m way off, but it just sounds like it in the things you say. My guess is that his feelings for you were genuine. I can’t really know since I didn’t know him, but my feelings for my MM are genuine. They’re not the same as my feelings for my H. It is a deeper love, a more stable love, a more trusting love with my H. But I do feel in love with my MM. It would be hard not to have love for a man that I’ve spent 7.5 years caring about and getting close to. It also seems my MM’s feelings for me are genuine. I know we spend time on here debating what is real and not, but I can only go based off of what I feel relative to how I know I’ve felt with and for other people. I do hope you can get to a point where you are content with how you felt in the relationship and you can stop worrying about how he felt or feels now. It is not that you are disposable or worthless. It is simply that he is a MM who cannot give you what a SM could. But I don’t think me telling you is enough. Somehow you need to believe this for yourself.

          I think you’re also right about how it’s different for a SW in an affair with a MM. You are right about how us married people have a “back up.” We have a significant other to spend time with on the holidays and weekends and so on. I am sure I feel less lonely and insecure in general in my affair because I have a H. So, it’s probably the same for the MM. That makes it hard for the single person in an affair. I do think you’re always getting a lot less. I bet MM with SW have some envy of the “freedom” it seems you have, but your point about how the affair revolves around his schedule is valid.

          I saw you wrote to BAF that you’re taking a sabbatical from work and that will give you time to apply for a job elsewhere. Great news. I also saw that you’re back online and trying to date. I see what you’re saying about not feeling that spark with these new guys, but that takes time. We could also get into a whole thing about the “spark” and how maybe we give it too much attention and it can lead us the wrong way early in dating. 🙂 But I know the spark you mean. Give yourself time, especially to get away from your MM. It’s going to be hard to feel a spark for anyone else while you’re still giving him energy. You probably know these things, but I know it also helps to read them again as that’s what all of you ladies have done for me over and over.

  7. Hey Ladies,

    I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. The Holidays can be tough and a trigger for some of us. I am finally done with my first semester and waiting for final grades. There has been a few things to take place since I’ve last written in.
    I like to tell the full story as Felk knows so brave yourself for the full story here:

    MM and I went 60 days without “intimacy” some of it was because of me but some of it was due to his prostate issues. We were intimate Sept1st and didn’t become intimate again until Nov 9th. I mentioned it to him at end of October so the first weekend in Nov he asked me to drive down to where he was working so we could spend some time together. I did that, it was about an hour drive, once I got there we went to eat and talk and just hung out with one another until it was time to drive back home. It was a cool date!
    During that week I told him I was taking off on his bday which was the 25th of this month. He said, ok I will take off too. I said, cool it’s a date.

    Speed up to the week before his bday. Nov 20th was a Weds. I needed him to pick up our kids from practice because I had to take my daughter to dance practice. He said no problem. He did it and then he called later that evening but I missed the call. I text him and said, he sorry I was in the library so I didn’t notice you called, is everything ok ?! He text back saying, yes I was walking the dog and called but I have to take my son to urgent care. I text back, Oh NO what happened is he ok ? He didn’t reply back. The next day I picked the boys up because it’s my normal routine to pick them up after practice and his kid has crutches, he gets in the car and tells me how he and my son were practicing together and he hurt his knee. He said it was hurt prior to that, when he work out at home it hurts but yesterday when he got home it wouldn’t stop so his dad took him to see about it. I said, aw man I’m sorry to hear this I hope it’s not too bad of an injury.

    Talked to his dad a few hours later (Thursday Nov 21st) and he said, did he tell you about his knee and I said yes! He said, its messed up isn’t is it. I said, yes it is and my son had an injury last year during this time of their season. He said, yup I remember. He said, so what are you doing this weekend ? I said, well you know I have to take my daughter to get a sleep study test on Saturday night so the kids are not leaving this weekend, well my daughter isn’t. I said, you know the boys have to go to an event on Saturday morning so my son is staying home tomorrow night. I said, if my son was going with their dad my daughter would too but come back on Saturday. Unfortunately, they’re both going to be here Friday night. He said, so I’m not going to get no butt for my bday ?! I said, well we have Monday (His actual bday). He said, I have to take my son to the doctors. I said, aw man that’s disappointing I was looking forward to it. We ended up getting off the phone shortly after that. It wasn’t a long conversation, I think he was checking to see if he would see me on the next day. The next day Friday Nov 22nd. He called me as I was omw to HH (Happy Hour). He asked what I was doing. I said, omw to HH. He said, o ok you go to _________ ? I said, yup you know it. He said, o ok I am about to grab something for us to eat. I said, o ok. He said, you know I want to get wasted for my bday and there will be Monday night football so I am really going to have a great time. I said, oh ok. He said, I’m not sure I will be able to drive afterwards. I said, oh my you have to be safe, where are you going ? He said, wherever I go she will be there. I said, o ok. (That stung a little but its not like I didn’t know they would be together on his bday) He said, yea it’s no way for me to advocate for something different that night, it would be too suspicious. He said, she could change her mind though because her period is coming this week so she may decide she don’t want to do it but we normally watch football together so I don’t know. I said, o ok right. We ended up getting off the phone shortly after that. I continued with my Friday night out with friends.

    ***Prior to me speaking to him, his son was on the phone with my son and told me he was going to the doctors on Tuesday so I didn’t have to pick him up from practice. I said oh ok, no problem and I hope it goes well! Well, I wasn’t going to mention to his dad that his son told me his appointment was on Tuesday because I figured it was no point. My thought was MM either got the days mixed up or he didn’t want to be with that Monday during the day because he has other plans.****

    ****After hearing him say he was going to be with his W that night and mentioning her menstrual, I created my own theory, (which I do sometimes, whether its right or wrong) that he may have wanted to save the intimacy for her that night since he wanted to have drinks and feel nice that evening so he covered his basis with me so I know we were not going to be together that day. It made me feel some type of way but not mad or angry or anything…ok moving forward……****

    Saturday, Nov 23rd didn’t hear from him but it was ok. I had to do the appointment with my daughter that night.

    Sunday, Nov 24th he called to check in. He said, what’s going on? I said, nothing much I’m tired from not being able to sleep because I wasn’t in my own bed last night. He said, oh yea I’ve done one of those tests myself and it’s difficult not being in your own bed. He said, well I didn’t want anything, just wanted to see what you were doing, I’ve been watching Football all day and ALL the kids came over yesterday and the grandbaby was over for a little bit today as well. I said, o that was nice. He said, yes well let me call you back in a little bit. I said, ok. He didn’t call back though but that was fine. I didn’t think he would. I was shocked he called on a Sunday. During Football season I don’t always hear from him on Sundays.

    Monday, Nov 25th (His Bday) at 12:00am I sent him a message that read…..
    Happy Birthday Bud! May your day be filled with love, peace and tranquility. Hope you have a super amazing day/night. Cheers to you🍾🥂

    His response 1:08am….
    Thanks Babe!

    I got up that morning the same time I would if I had to work, to make sure the kids were ready and I take my daughter to school every morning and during winter months I take my son as well although they’re both suppose to walk because we live that close to the school. Anyway, I went to grab breakfast and do some last minute things for my class. I blocked MM that morning when I sat down to eat my breakfast. I did it more so for me than him. I didn’t want to speak to him because I didn’t want my negativity to ruin his bday. I was feeling sour that we planned to spend time together and then it couldn’t happen and I wasn’t sure if he was lying about his child’s appointment or if one of them just had the days wrong. Well I checked my phone around 10:15 and noticed I had 2 missed calls from him at 9:52 & 9:54 so I went to check my blocked messages and he text me at 9:54 saying, R u off today ?

    At 11:01am I replied….
    Yea, I took off (😊remember…u ain’t that old yet lol) because I thought we were going to do breakfast or something for your b-day but you told me you had stuff to do today with your child and was going to be with your wife later in the day so I knew that meant u were unavailable.

    His response at 11:02am was…
    No, I said, it is on Tuesday..and I said she will be going with me to watch the game..we are good for the am

    He text again at 11:03 saying
    I am about to go get sumthin now…

    ***I knew he would probably want to see me at this point so I left my house so I wouldn’t lie at this point. I honestly wanted to see him but I felt like I couldn’t determine if he lied to me making the story I created in my head real or if he really don’t recall telling me the appointment was that day. I just felt like you don’t get to screw with time like that so I went to the mall.

    His next text came in at 11:09
    Where are u ?

    ***I knew that was coming***
    11:10am I said,
    On the highway.

    He text right back,
    I called u earlier…twice

    I text about 11:30am saying…
    I didn’t know you called. I went to get breakfast and make corrections to my paper after I dropped my daughter off to school,I turned my notifications off so I wouldn’t be distracted but I knw u told me you had stuff to do. When you told me that I even said, “I took off…I was looking forward to being with you but thats how it goes” when we spoke on Friday you said you were going to be with your wife later that day. I figured you were being sure to close all gaps so I would know we wouldn’t see each other…
    I would’ve made a big deal but it doesn’t serve me to do that so I just figured I would do something for myself today!

    He text right back 11:37am…
    I have NO IDEA of what ur talking about..I think u just misunderstood what I was tryna convey to u..I was just telling u that I had to go watch the game with her.
    I called u 2x this am, as soon as I woke up.

    I text 12:00pm…
    Thursday when we talked u told me you had to take him on Monday. Friday u told me what u were doing Monday night. There was obviously some miscommunication but its all good…I’m sure you will enjoy your day one way or another😉

    He text 12:19…
    A thumbs up and a thumbs down

    **I wasn’t sure what that meant and I don’t that anyone has ever sent me a thumbs up with a thumb down right beside it so I didn’t reply back.

    However, that evening around 6pm I noticed the cops sitting off the road we drive on in order to get home so I sent him a message telling him to be careful because they’re trying to catch people for speeding and I knew he planned on having a good time so I thought he should know that to be aware of it. He didn’t reply
    I texted him about the game around 10pm no reply.
    Tuesday 11/26 I was going to text him around 9:30 but I didn’t and I accidentally called him and text him right away saying, my fault I didn’t mean to call you. He didn’t reply at all.

    Weds 11/27 I sent him a bitmoji peeking from around the corner and another one asking, r u there?
    He sent me a bitmoji with a serious face that said, no comment.

    I text back and said, O…r u good ?

    His response was…
    Yep…u ?

    I said, well that’s good to know..Me thumbs up/thumbs down
    **I figured out that meant so-so**

    I text again saying,
    How was your birthday ?

    He didn’t reply right away but he called like 30-40minutes later but I couldn’t answer. I called him back about 2-3 hrs later and he didn’t answer.
    Around 7p I sent him a GIF with a thinking face…he didn’t reply

    Thurs (Thanksgiving)
    I text him around noon because I normally would hear from him early on the Holidays because the day is spent with family so once the day get started it much more difficult for him to reach out to me.
    I sent him a warning GIF along with a book GIF and I text
    A book, Is on the way but it is not negative, so you can read it when you have the opportunity to…
    *He doesn’t like when I send paragraphs but if that’s the only way to get my thoughts to him that’s what I will send and I tried to send the GIFs to bring humor to it and not to cause frustration*

    So I text him this…
    There are many feelings/emotions that come into fruition for me during the Holidays surrounding “whatever it is we do” sometimes this (sidechick-ish,mistress-ish,otherwoman-ish)
    s@#t is hard for me. It’s year#3 Thanksgiving, a lot has changed and some things have stayed the same but I can say that despite the emotional rollercoaster this is…I am grateful for you. The, laughter, excitement and fun you bring to my life, the comfort of knowing you are a part of my life “for now”, the affection, passion and out of this world chemistry that ignites something pretty f-ing amazing every time and just your general ability to be charismatic when you want to. We don’t share the same feelings for each other & I know that so, it’s not always easy to express myself but I try to do a fair job of expressing both negative and positive feelings I have. I genuinely hope you enjoy your day with those who mean the most to you. Happy Thanksgiving!
    I sent a grateful bitmoji and he didn’t say a word.

    Friday around 2pm I was driving home and he rode by me. Not sure if he saw me but I saw him. I text him at 4pm with a meme that said, something like even drug users have cuddle buddies and I can’t get a text back. No reply…

    Around 10pm I sent this…
    Hey I was very vulnerable in the message I sent to u yesterday and your ability to ignore me…SPEAKS VOLUMES!! I can hear you though! If you were offended, my apologies but I get your drift!
    I send another bitmoji that said, well played with a handclap.

    I am not reaching out again, I am not saying anything else. I’m not sure what the problem is but I think he was upset about his bday…don’t know that I truly understand how he can be upset. He told me the wrong info. He has a W who he spent his bday with and who he spends everyday with so I’m not sure why it would matter that much that we didn’t get to see each other. I felt like I should be the one upset that i took off and he told me he had other plans for the day. I think no matter what my brain cannot conceptualize him ever having a real reason to be upset with me. I know that may not make sense and he always tells me I don’t think my 💩 stink. I think I can see why he says that. I have trauma brain and I know it. I can’t think he cares about me and believe it when he has a W. Its like I get it but I don’t. So, if I don’t come through for him I feel like it doesn’t matter anyway because he has a W. When him and I talked about the 60 days of us not really seeing each other and having low contact he said to me, If I ask you a few times about us seeing each other on your free weekends and you say you got stuff going on or you don’t figure out how to make it happen, I’m not going to keep pressing you about it. That’s what he said but what I heard was. I’m not pressed about us seeing each other so if it happens it happens and if it doesn’t it doesn’t. So back to this whole situation, I don’t know that I can begin to truly understand if he is genuinely disappointed about me not spending time with him on his bday and it has just gotten out of hand with all my mojis and memes and GIFs. I think him ignoring me further solidifies my narrative of…he can’t care that much if he would do this.

    Hopefully you were able to follow all of this…as it’s almost like a book lol.
    Tell me what you think ?

  8. If anyone is interested I am experimenting with a new blog for those who have already QUIT the affair. This blog will be for those who have already gone NC and have taken definitive actions to quit the affair and/or toxic realtionship. This will be a place they can share, vent, chat, etc. and start a new life!
    It is called Quitting is the First Step https://quittingisthefirststep.blogspot.com

  9. TTSP
    I hear what you say in being reluctant to check out the webiste I mentioned as you do not want to feel “helpless.” Oddly I never felt helpless after going there. Only empowered. I felt helpless in my affair however. And helpless in my feelings for my former MM.
    It is true addictions make us “powerless”.
    But, in recovery from any addiction I always feel much much more empowered. This has been even more true for me in recovering from an addictive affair. An affair is a “process” addictions., often more diffcult to classify than a subtsance addiction. We DO need love all of us. And we seek it naturally. But it depends where we look for it and with whom. Yes, I do beieive you can absolutely move beyond “predisposition toward dysfunctional relationships and other wounds from their youth” Yes you can IMHO. I would not even bother trying to recover if I did not feel this was possible. But it takes work.

    Thank you for all your compliments. You are right that it takes the qualities you mentioned to open yourself (oneself) up to new discoveries about oneself. But in my life the old way was not working so I do not mind the change that comes with the new discoveries. Rather I welcome it (most of the time, LOL) When I get anxious about the new changes I feel the pull in my body aiming me towards my old relationship with my exMM. I think this is very natural as I miss leaning on my exMM at these moments. But really he was never there for such moments. It is an illusion in me that still wishes he was there or that he could be there. I have to remind myself of this constantly. Being married he could not ever be really “there”. What I need most right now is support for my artmaking and for my growing art career. He is absolutely the wrong person when it comes to these things. He does not even begin to value art the way I do.

    On that note, what new job is on your horizon? This too is an enrmous change and it would not surprise me if you were wishing your MM could support you in this procees. It is not logical but it is totally natural.
    I hope it is an awesome opportunity for you! You do not need him to help you make that change believe me. Even if every morsel of your fiber thinks you do. It is all an illusion of this affair addiction.
    Many hugs

    1. Hi BAF,
      How are you doing during the holidays? How is everyone doing? I had a very lovely Thanksgiving and for that I’m grateful. I also saw your blog which I plan to join in my NC chapter. Let’s call it a new book. I feel like being accountable to others will also keep me on the beam.

      A couple points you mentioned that feel hard for me is not depending on this person for emotional support and not leaning on him when changes are emerging. Funny how the brain tricks me into believing I’m not strong enough to do it on my own. It’s just the illusion of an affair turned bogus friendship. I also got back online over the last few weeks and have been on some dates. The guys have been respectful, interesting and engaging. Sometimes I get discouraged for not feeling the romance spark but heck… that is what lead me astray to begin with 🙂 I see this page has been quiet so I take that as no news is good news and everyone is carrying on well with their life. Something to prevent a backslide when I feel the pull is a face to face convo that transpired over the last week where he said he was happy at home. When I followed that up with is he still in love with his spouse he wouldn’t answer which I guess means yes. God handed me a “Please never talk to this man again and go no contact forever” sign on a silver platter. I’m also applying for a sabbatical which means I’ll have guaranteed employment while I search for something else and study for certifications and have nothing to do with him.

  10. TTSP, sorry to hear you’re going through a rough patch. I think rough patches are part of the healing and moving on. If you’re not experiencing the rough patches, I don’t think you’re getting through the addiction. It’s unfortunate, but I think you have to feel the withdrawal to get over the pulls of the addiction. I know I had to feel the depths of pain that I did back in 2017-18 to calm the addiction I had to my MM. I am in love with him, but it’s an addictive love because of all the highs/lows of an affair and all the time apart that prevents habituation. So, try not to get to down about the rough patches, and try to write and distract yourself and exercise and eat well, etc. to just help yourself as best you can while you’re down. It does get better. BAF is evidence of that. Try to stay focused on the goals and outcomes you want. Think about ways to get there. And, most, try to focus on you and healing you. Try not to think about how your MM is feeling or what he’s doing or how he looks at you or thinks about you. We can get so wrapped up in our value through another’s eyes, but you’re so much stronger if you know who you are and what you want (without another).

    I think many people are attracted to narcs because they are confident (at least on the outside) and charming. So, whether you have narc tendencies yourself or low self-esteem, I think narcs attract us all. However, I do think people with low self-esteem are more susceptible to the pull of the narc and find it harder to get away from the narc because a narc is very good at using and manipulating others and a person with low self-esteem will be more susceptible to that. And, it’s as you say, if your self-worth had been higher, you don’t think you’d have had an affair. So, see above about working on yourself. 🙂 I think getting a new job is a great part of that.

    Things are going well with my MM. We talked last week about his distant/cold reaction at the end of our date last week. It was a good talk, and this week he’s shown a lot of attention. I think he was just getting in his head again about the pull of our relationship and how it can cause tension for him and his marriage/family. I think, in trying to strike that balance, he pulled away from me strongly at the end of our date (knowing he was headed home). It wasn’t kind, but we talked about why he did it. He has been unusually expressive this week and I think he’s trying to make up for some of what he did last week. We have another date tonight, and I’m liking that we’re in a good emotional place for this today. Hopefully, though, it doesn’t send him reeling again. That can happen when we have a really good time. I don’t like that he can’t anticipate and manage those feelings better, but I know that’s who he is. I certainly want to keep going on dates with him, so I’m willing to tolerate some of his angst. It’s not an easy situation.

    I’m also feeling a lot better about the cheating. He keeps working to show me he is into me and that he doesn’t want to do that again. I am going to trust, but I am not going to be foolish. I am going to trust because I think, if I stay, I have to choose to trust. But it is not blind trust, and I, for a while (maybe always), I will be on the look-out for warning signs.

  11. LL, thanks for your words. Yes, you read it right that I cried in the car Monday night. I usually don’t cry in front of him. But once in a while I do, and I’ve tried to encourage myself to do that so that he can see the pain I’m in. I have a tendency to be calm and logical, and it’s important that he sees I’m hurt. I think it’s also good to be comfortable crying in front of another. Easier said than done most of the time, though. 🙂

    We were able to talk more on Thursday, and it was a good conversation. He was distant immediately in the car Monday night because he made assumptions that I was going to want to talk about serious things and it was late and he didn’t want that. I told him that I had no intention of that. That I knew we didn’t have a lot of time, and I just wanted a little time to kiss and hold hands at the end of a nice evening. The conversation went to how he’s trying to strike that balance with us and his marriage/family again. How now that he’s fully back in this affair again, he’s trying to stay careful about drawing limits for us, and not lingering too long in the car at the end of a long night is one of the ways he’s trying to draw those lines. I told him that I understand that, but I like that time at the end of the night to cap a nice night and it doesn’t make me feel great if he hurries away. He said it’s on his mind every day, the fight between wanting more time with me and trying to set limits so that things don’t get like they did 2 years ago. I get it.

    I know how bad it was for him two years ago, and then how bad it was for me. I don’t want that. And, in hindsight, there were many “warning signs” that things were getting really hard for him. He would tell me every once in a while about the tension he was feeling. I just thought it was the “normal” tension of our situation, and I didn’t realize it was causing a terrible pull for him. He was feeling worn out. He didn’t use those words Thursday when we were talking, but he was saying similar things about trying to avoid that. So, I need to listen if I want to keep this affair. I don’t want the affair to just be on his terms, but I also have to pay attention when he tells me about how he’s feeling. I can have a tendency to think that when he does that it’s him wanting control and him being selfish, but I think it’s just him telling me something that’s hard and I’m not used to that in a relationship. I’m used to my H doing everything I want and rarely pushing back. When my MM does, I can feel hurt or that he’s being controlling. Sometimes he probably is (as is his personality), but sometimes he’s just expressing and pushing back and wanting his needs met, too. That’s been a long insight over the last year or so in getting back together.

    As I said to you all over the summer, things are better for us now than before. We don’t spend as much time together or talk as much, which can be sad (especially when I start to compare to the past), but I’m SO much less anxious. I don’t worry so much about the day-to-day. I don’t try to plan in my head every minute that he and I can spend together. It all feels so much more calm. Sure, it can be a little harder with the lower communication, but, in total, it’s better now. And he just wants to keep maintaining that balance. Of course, the cheating stuff has challenged all this a bit. It’s not only hurt my trust which makes the lower communication harder, but it’s led him to give more effort and spend more time with me… and that’s creating a little of that tension for him again. So, where do I draw the line? I get it’s creating tension for him and I don’t want that, but I still need extra attention and reassurance. Actually, not much. But I have my moments. I told him this. He said some things about thinking that we had been moving past it (while still understanding that it wasn’t totally in the past). I told him that it’s going to take time to really move past it, but, yes, that things are a lot better now. I also asked for an update on the woman, and he said that she emailed a few weeks ago and he cut her off. I’m not sure if I mentioned that she’d still contact him over the last two years every few months asking to get together for coffee or a drink, and he’d agree because he was a little worried about her getting mad and telling his W if he stopped. But when he told me about it in August, I told him contact with her has to stop. He said he wanted to be done with her, and he should have put a stop to it long ago. So, he just waited for her to email, and she did a few weeks ago. We also talked about the woman at work who I don’t want him to drink alone with anymore. He said he has turned down her requests. He says he will never spend time alone with her again if that’s what I want, but I can tell that he sees no threat there, and he thinks it’d be okay to grab a drink with her once in a while. I’m not sure what to do with that one? I know I can’t ban him from ever having a drink with a female friend, but this relationship does bother me. I think I know she’s no threat sexually, but maybe it’s just that they’re friends and I’m jealous of that, too? Or maybe it’s simply that I know she’s interested and I know he’s a cheater and I don’t like that combination? He gets it’s extra threatening right now because of all the cheating stuff, and he says he has no intention of spending time with her anytime soon. Reiterated it’s not worth the risk to us. We will talk more about it all this week when we have another date night planned. Two dates in a month is a rarity, and my guess is that’s causing him stress, too.

  12. I’ve been going through a rough patch over the last few weeks. I’m approaching a big milestone birthday, winter is here and I’m in the vicious cycle of inertia. It’s all on me to take action even it’s in the form of baby steps. Today when I read the comments I felt an immediate improvement in my mood. Thank you to everyone that shares, provides advice and demonstrates a genuine interest in helping people find the right path. I try to offer that to others going through something similar.

    Life lessons,
    I agree with what you said about staying busy. I’m inclined to freeze when I’m distraught which only keeps me in a negative state. When I go out, do something and focus my attention on someone else I tend to forget what is bothering me. It’s a healthy distraction. You’re right that talking to other guys reminds you that you’re worthy. I’ve done that in the past and felt better about myself. Right now the getting started part has me stultified. I’m listless yet I can’t muster up the mental energy to change my circumstances. I seem to be able to stick to no contact. I have been unable stay the course when he breaks no contact and implores me to talk. To your question about the drive to connect with an unavailable man, I think it goes back to my childhood. I’m a fatherless daughter with a primary caregiver (mother) that struggled with severe depression. My Mom gave me a great childhood and I’ve got a very close relationship to my Dad today. Still, I was inadvertently neglected due to my Mom’s struggles and Dad’s absence. Also, I don’t find myself romantically interested in lots of men. When I do I tend to glom on out of fear that it won’t happen again. It’s something I need to reflect on more and seek therapy to break this pattern. If you don’t mind me asking what do you think drew you to get involved with your guy? Do you find that you’re generally more happy in the relationship than sad? There’s clearly a reward because no one would get involved or stay involved if there wasn’t.

    I’m definitely attracted to the mysterious a.k.a. aloof man. Perhaps there is something about earning love that appeals to me in a pathological way. I also have some narcissistic tendencies and by definition gravitate toward difficult relationships. Now that I’ve been up and down in a very trying scenario with an intense man I’m also turned off by those distant/selfish/cold/manipulative traits. I fall somewhere in the middle of the happiness spectrum. I’m not unhappy but I’m also not naturally optimistic. My ex mm struggles with dysthymia like me and we bonded over our internal battles with functional depression. Regardless, if I felt whole and my sense of self-worth was higher I wouldn’t have entertained an affair. I can’t speak for the other single women but the question why I accepted less than 100% deserves great consideration. A new job is still on the horizon for me 🙂

    How is everything going with your guy? Did you ever confront him about your date? Seems like a beautiful, fun, long time together minus the closing. I’m sorry that his distance hurt you. Do you think he was preoccupied and what you witnessed was internal turmoil? Sometimes that comes through as not being present. Do you suspect he was subconsciously trying to get the upper hand? In my past I’ve used that cool, carefree vibe to try and control people, places and things. It’s very faulty, unhealthy thinking. I refrain from manipulation now but it’s not like I haven’t reduced myself to such behaviors.

    You are very informed and I love your openness. It’s so real and I feel like every post from you provides a wealth of knowledge about relationships and our part in those relationships. Knowledge is power and I want to check out the link you shared. I’m also reluctant in all honesty because I don’t want to feel helpless. I know the powerlessness of addiction and had I not sought help in a program of recovery I never would’ve survived my other illness. What scares me is the thought that I might be broken when it comes to relationships. Can someone move past their predisposition toward dysfunctional relationships and other wounds from their youth? You’ve gone to great lengths to grow and learn about where you came from and why you landed where you did. It takes courage, bravery and sheer tenacity to open up yourself to such discoveries.

  13. Hi TTSP, I just wanted to respond to something LL said to you about attraction to unavailable men. It seems that our MM are unavailable in two ways. First, they are married, so, by definition, they can never be fully available to us. Second, they also seem to have personalities that lean cold/distant/selfish (not only to us but in their marriages). As I’ve said, I think these types of people (me included) are more likely to have affairs. The same thing that allows me to detach from my marriage likely allows me to loosely have a relationship with another. But I bring you the married person’s perspective. The person who has some narcissist tendencies. As the single person in these relationships, I think it’s really important to ask why you went for someone who you knew was unavailable from the start. My guess is that the reasons we are attracted to someone who is cold/distant/selfish in a “normal” relationship is similar to why a single person is attracted to a married man. There is something about the earning of that person’s love and attention that makes one feel very good. There is something about one’s own self-worth that makes that person think they must earn another’s love (maybe that they don’t just simply deserve it) and that the earning of that love makes them feel special (as if they wouldn’t be unless they earned it). These are big things that you don’t just sort out overnight. I know you’ve been working on it for a while, but I’ll continue to encourage you to seek therapy to help figure these things out so you can be done with your MM once and for all. When LL asked the key to leaving unavailable men, I think it takes recognizing that you are worth more and that his attention, just because it’s hard to come by, says nothing about your worth; and because it is so hard to come by, says that he is not worthy of you.

    I dated these men when I was younger. I dated a narcissist back in college for two years. Ugh. Such a loser. To this day. Then I dated a cold/distant (maybe had Asperger’s) guy in graduate school. He was not a narcissist, but I was drawn to the challenge of his distance, once again. After several years of that, I realized I could not get the love I wanted from that person. Then, I dated another distant/emotionally stunted man. Also, not a narcissist. A man who wanted to love but just couldn’t (the way I wanted). We dated a year (and are still good friends today… he’s married to another friend). My point is, I get the draw to the challenging man. There is something about that challenge that is so rewarding if we can “overcome” it. Women are also socialized to be more open than men (so my guess is women are more drawn to this than vice versa), but we know plenty of men in relationships with demanding/cold women and these men are undoubtedly drawn to that challenge, too. But after those guys, I knew I wanted something different. And that’s when I went back to my H (who I dated in high school). I knew I wanted the kind, loving, giving, supportive man. The happy man. Which, btw, do you ever notice that with these cold/distant men? They just don’t seem as easy to express happiness? Like they have to continue to show they’re tough and hard. My MM is a happy man (i.e., not depressed or anxious), but he is nowhere near as easy to express joy as my H. I am a happy person, and I have never liked someone who tries to dampen the joy of others. Someone who sees that joy as something to exploit or destroy by acting disinterested or, worse, mocking that joy. Okay, I’m tangenting here, but that’s my MM (sometimes), too. 🙂

    So maybe a lot of this is things we’ve talked about before, but I was thinking it all again after reading LL’s comments to you. Maybe you’ll find some insight in there, but BAF also gives great insight in her journey to not only moving on from her MM but also focusing on herself and learning about her marriage and her relationship with her MM.

  14. Hi there,
    In the spirit of moving out of my affair and staying away from my MM I have come across this invaluable video. I have watched it several times.
    It explains the addiction to me in my body so well at the cellular level and why I can get triggered to miss and crave my exMM at times. I think this video also applies to people trying to leave affairs as well. Affairs are hot and cold / push me – pull you relationships and are highly addictive becasue they create emotional intensities that cause peptide addictions.

    Any affair replicates much of the same dynamic of being in a relationship with a narcissist which is all about the high of love bombing then the low of the discard. The huge pull towards connection then the crash of being abandoned and discarded.
    Being addicted to a narcissist is just a ilttle more extreme in the intensity of the emotions and the addiction IMHO .

    To me the video also explains so well why going NC No Contacted or LC Limited Contacted is so nearly impossible and why logic and common sense are no match for the cravings of our cells! Here is a quote from the video that is chilling to me regarding the strength of the affair addiction as I know it so well.
    “All cellular addictions work like this: your cells progressively need more and more of the peptide to fulfil them. This means you will think more about the terrible events that create these awful feelings and you will have all sorts of reasons and excuses to hook into and up with the abuser again. This is all to do with obtaining more of the ‘drug’, the peptides, that this person provides. They are the ‘drug dealer’ for your cells.”
    “Now here’s one of the crazy and awful things about peptide addiction, if you break free from the abuser and don’t think about them for a while, your addicted cells have a plan to get their fix again. A small amount of the peptide has been stored in your cells, and is secreted into your bloodstream, reaches your brain and triggers you into thinking about that trauma again.” (AARGHHH!!)
    Bingo! The brain fires off the electrical signal, the hypothalamus manufactures the peptide again, and the cells are back in business!”
    “So now do you understand why the bad feelings and thoughts feel so powerful and hard to escape and why you might be constantly tempted into breaking no contact?” (see the link)

    To me this was a giant piece of my recovery! And we are not the only addicted ones. Our MM’s and MW’s are addicted as well. Basically we are co-addicted in the affair. If you are trying to go NC or go Limited Contact I am hoping this might help you. I am not saying you will want to sign up with Melanie’s program. You might or not. But I AM saying to be successful with NC or LC I think everyone needs a real life or on-line support program of some kind and/or solid plan for dealing with breaking this kind of addiction. Otherwise it’s like trying to quit drinking all by yourself when you can admit you have become addicted to alcohol).
    (Very few people manage to do so even with all the best intentions)
    Many hugs to you!
    BAF xxoo

    BTW way yes I am totally NC with my exMM No phone text social media FB etc. If I see him on the street he usually waves to me then i calmly wave back looking very neutral and disiniterested and keep on walking. I acknoweldge him but I keep it brief then keep going. I dont hate him and I know he does not hate me. I just know the affair with him is completely toxic for me. As for him he was not as emotioanally affected deeply as he is a Narc, But there is no doubt he misses all the attention I used to give him. I know he is likely finding it elsewhere as that is what Narcs do. He NEEDS attention and strokes. But I NEED NOT to be that person in his life anymore. I NEEDED so much more to have his CONSISTENT love and respect and appreciation way back when…..But I never got it. And it is too late now. I have totally lost interest in trying.

    I know the way I was treated was never actually personal as this is who he is.
    But it is painful as hell at times! The rejection of my my true self and feelings. Awful at times. Even now sometimes.
    But it is getting so much much easier and as I work on my inner self.
    Now I see him as one of several Narcs that have been in my life. He was not the only one or the “best” one. HA!
    I drew these people into my life based on what was inside ME. (Except my mother) But I was not conscious of my actions or the reasons until I was! And then I could not do it anymore. If I heal inner ME then I will draw different types towards me I have no doubt.
    One thing that keeps me going is this:
    I no longer need to be a cheerleader for him (or any lover) to feel good about myself.
    But I do NEED to take good care of ME to feel good about myself.

  15. Hope,

    BAF gave some really good advice to you and hopefully as time go on you will be able to use it. Life brings so ups and downs and trials and tribulations that we have to figure out how to get over. There is no real manual out here that “fixes” anything…

    I think reflection is the key to a lot things. It helps you to gain insight of the why we do…it forces to you think and forces you to see the things you don’t want to see in order for you to make the changes necessary and sometimes we still make the choice not to do something different. However, when you write your “Herstory” it will give you a picture and you can choose how to should look in the end. There will be things that poke out like a sore thumb, there will be things you never realized were so impactful. I’ve made many changes in my life based on my story and I’ve grown in many ways. This situation with the affair, stunts my growth in many ways. I know that it’s one step at a time one issue at a time. However, I know at some point..I will choose me because I have to and I truly believe I will get to a place where I’ve learned all I can from dealing with an unavailable man and I will have to walk away. I hope I have support when that time comes. You can

  16. TTSP,

    I see you’re trying to do NC with your MM. It is definitely a challenging task to complete for a long period of time. I’ve had several times where my MM and I haven’t had contact because we were upset with one another but I knew that I would speak to him again at some point. When you’re trying it out as a longterm solution, its much harder. I don’t remember how busy you are or aren’t but being busy is helpful for me and having other people to talk to. In the past when I’ve tried to get over others, I would get on a dating site and talk to people from there. It was not my ideal way to meet anyone but it kept me busy. Reading messages that men wrote about how pretty I am made me feel good a little. I couldn’t keep that up because I was fearful to date anyone from a site but it helped pass time. I think no matter what you do its going to be hard as hell to break the cycle of addiction with these MM. You have to continue to pour into yourself daily in a way that makes you feel good. You have to do a little more reflecting to figure out what drive you to connect with him and why is that more important than your sanity to live a life without him in it. I don’t know if there is a magic key that unlocks all feelings and desires to be with an unavailable man who. If someone finds that key…please be sure to pass it along. It just takes time, dedication and commitment to get it done. Trial and error etc.
    Best wishes

  17. BAF,

    It was really nice to scroll down and see your name appear. I see your ex H is still whomever he was when he became your Ex. However, I am happy to hear you’re doing well overall. It’s truly a blessing to know some of your story and see how much growth has taken place. It gives Hope, Encouragement and sense of peace to know that someday when I decide to truly invest in me and truly love and desire myself that I will be ok.

    Thanks for being Brave and Free!

  18. Felk,

    I can feel your disappointed and upset about how he was with you. I can’t believe you cried…not saying this in a negative way or anything. You remind me a lot myself and how we deal with the affair and I do my best not to cry in front of him. I don’t know if I read what you wrote wrong or not but I think you said you cried. Anyway, something was likely on his mind that he wasn’t able to express and I can totally understand how that would hurt your feelings a little. I still feel that he has done a good job at trying to show you how he feels about you but I think we have to remember that no matter how much we want or kind of expect people to do certain things to right their wrongs, it’s hard to make change. Just as you said you were focused on how he felt versus how you were feeling and that’s something you really want to improve upon as far as your communication with him. I know you’re aware of difficult it is to change and maintain that change within a matter of m ok months and sometimes when we are coming from an emotional place, it really ups the ante. Please don’t hear this as me down playing your feelings or anything like that because that’s not what I’m trying to do instead I want you to be able to have your feelings and address them but also come from a logical place (as I know you do) I do not know what your email with entail but I’m hopeful you guys can forgive out how to talk in person. It seems like something that deserves a face to face conversation. As you said, he couldve been bothered by a previous conversation you and him had or who knows something couldve happened at home to frustrate him and he couldn’t talk about it at that time. Whatever it was, it wasn’t fair for him to treat you that way. Once you tell him how you feel, he may open up a little more. Remember you knew that some of the attentiveness he was showing would dwindle down as time went on and it would go back to normal at some point so this may be some of that transitioning back to the “norm”. Also, if he is returning to some of his normal behaviors…it doesn’t mean he’s betraying you again. I’m sure that is still in your mind, whether it’s conscious or subconscious. It’s still there and it affects the way you process his behavior towards you. What happened in the past is in the past and unfortunately, it’s difficult to move forward. I know you will be able to handle this in a way that’s appropriate and fitting for you. I want you to be able to always speak your piece, because it’s important in general. It’s a way to show some respect for yourself and to show yourself love while dealing with, what can be a “soul snatching rolling coaster ride” that snatches away bits and pieces of you. You may not be able to do it every time but continue to practice that…you two have good communication so it will be fine.

  19. Ladies, last night was rough. My MM and I had a date night (went to dinner and a concert). Really nice time. Our usual ease and enjoyment talking throughout the evening. I did feel he was slightly distant at times, but I didn’t make much of it. At the concert, he didn’t seem to be as into touching me as he sometimes is and that was another sign of distance. When he dropped me off at my car at the end of the night, I thought we’d sit in his car for a while and just share some closeness, holding hands, kissing for a half hour or so (as is our usual). Immediately he was uncomfortable, though. Sometimes he gets like this. This isn’t the first time he’s joked about not spending too much time in the car right when he parks to drop me off. I was a bit confused by his distance and I got a little quiet. Then he awkwardly asked if anything was on my mind and that didn’t help because it’s sort of a “what are we doing sitting here in the car?” Unfortunately, my answer inadvertently led us to talking about something awkward from last week. That led to some “us” talk and his usual vagueness and discomfort, and I was totally confused. I didn’t know how we went from such a nice 7 hours together to that. But, like I said, he started like that immediately when we parked so it wasn’t like it was just the conversation. He was already showing some distance (that I thought I saw earlier in the evening, too). I tried to ask him about it. I tried to get closeness. And the more I tried, the worse I felt about how I was trying to get him to offer me closeness, when he’s the one who cheated on me! Here we were, once again, with me holding in my feelings and trying to focus on his. That is our pattern, but it feels particularly unfair right now when he’s supposed to be the one reassuring me and seeking closeness from me.

    But something is off with him right now. I think it’s that we had our time shortened last week unexpectedly and I think it’s that I expressed sadness about it. I think it’s also the tough conversations we had the week before about cheating, etc. I think we were both feeling those conversations, wanting time to talk last week, and then it didn’t happen. He doesn’t react well when he has to change our plans last-minute. So, that’s my best guess for why he was suddenly distant at the end of the night. It sucked, though. I didn’t know how to handle it, and so I tried to get him to talk, it didn’t work that well, and I ended up feeling worse. I even started crying at the end of the night when he made a joke about me leaving his car. He was just joking, but it was poorly timed and it just made me feel all that heaviness. All the emotions I’d been holding in through that 45 minutes of trying to get him to open up and show me some closeness. It was late, though, and he had to go, and he’s definitely no good when he’s tired and feels like he needs to go home. He is NOT the person who will suck it up and say, “Okay, clearly you’re upset. Let’s talk.” It’s not that he doesn’t care. We made plans to talk more later this week. But in that moment, he just wants to go home. And it’s the opposite of what I want. But I suck it up and leave his car and then just feel like sh*t after. I’m going to send him email tonight because I don’t want this to go until Thursday (when we’re talking) without saying anything. We’re at work today and it frustrates me even more that he doesn’t come talk to me. He knows I’m upset, but he does nothing. No text last night. No acknowledgement today. But this is what he has always been like. This is no different. It’s just that it’s extra frustrating when it feels he’s supposed to still be working hard to help us heal, and for some reason he’s all cold at the end of the night. Wtf.

    I hope he sends email first tonight before I do. I will give him some time to send. But if he doesn’t send any, I’m sending mine. I’m going to focus on my feelings in the email, and I’m going to be direct about how confusing and unfair it felt in his car last night. As I’ve said through this, I have to be honest about how I’m feeling or this can’t work. I still hold back more than I like, but we’ve gotten into bad habits that I need to work better to break. I’m hoping this email will help bridge us a bit to Thursday, and help to get the conversation started given how quickly time will fly by when we’re talking.

  20. TTSP, thanks for your words about my situation. I do think my H prefers a bit of the back seat and likes a woman who takes control. I’m sure he’d also like if I’d cede control a bit and be more supportive, too, but we’ve gotten into this long-term pattern and I don’t think he’ll be speaking up any time soon. As for my MM, I think you’re right about the woman he cheated with. Yes, we had ended before he had sex with her, but it’s just easier to call it cheating and it feels like that since he’d been flirting with her and having drinks alone while we were together, even if they hadn’t had sex yet. He also looks at it as cheating. I, too, think that he was just seeking comfort in the arms of someone who was pursuing him, because he was hurting about our relationship. I think he was looking for attention and a distraction while he was feeling his marriage was a mess and we were ending (while still very in love). I do not think she was more than a convenient person to make him feel good temporarily. But you know it still hurts. I appreciate your reassurance, though, that he won’t stray while we’re actively involved. I hope not, but we’re still working out all sorts of things. This week, it feels hard again.

    I’m glad to hear you’ve been NC for a week. It sounds like your MM is honoring it, too. Are you still planning to look for a new job next year? I’m glad you’re also able to see the type of person your MM is and how you would not be happy in relationship with him. If you really want that stable, even-keeled ride, you have to be done with your MM once and for all. He is nothing but highs and lows… still. I know that withdrawal leaves a giant hole, but our brain heals. Our brain gets whole again if we give it a chance. I hope you had a good time out with your college friend for dinner, too. I know that temptation to sit alone and wallow a bit, but that social interaction can be really good when you’re feeling low. Forcing myself out with friends was one of the best things I did while in the depths of my withdrawal after the break. Exercise, low alcohol (which I didn’t want to drink anyway because I was so nauseated all the time), reconnecting with my H, writing here, writing in my journal, meditating, and talking to friends were all things I intentionally did to try to heal. It was slow going, but it happened.

  21. Felk,
    Once again, great insights and words of wisdom. By nature humans value something and someone they work harder to attain. I say that not as an absolute but a general rule of thumb. Addiction does revolve around highs and lows. The lows are so low that the highs feel even higher comparatively speaking. Now that I’ve been through the rollercoaster, I want the stable, even keeled ride.

    You recognize your role and responsibility in all your relationships which is healthy. Your H sounds like a good soul as are you. If he takes issue with how you are in the marriage it is up to him to communicate that to you. Maybe he likes you taking more of a logical, leading role?

    Like you, I realized that I’d be sad and lonely too often if I were in a normal relationship with my MM. Knowing that makes it less depressing when they behave unfavorably. You’re able to ascribe that insensitivity, aloofness and coldness to a personality trait. When I first discovered that stonewalling it created quite a commotion inside of me. Toward the end I was able to shrug my shoulders thinking to myself how glad I was I didn’t have to deal with this person regularly.

    Not to pick a scab but I wonder if that woman who chased after your MM was a rebound to him. Weren’t you two on a break? I’m not excusing him. I’m only saying he may have sought comfort in the arms of someone who was soliciting him vs. seeking her out because she is someone he likes. There is more than just a distinction here. There is a big difference. She was most likely a major convenience and not a person of interest. Still, regardless of the reason, the idea of him with another is very unpleasant. Like affairs aren’t already filled with doubts, insecurity and fears. We especially need extra reassurance. I’ll just say that from all the posts on here I get the impression that if you two are actively involved he won’t stray.

    I’m on a week of no contact. I marked the calendar for two weeks and a month. I also got off some anti-anxiety medication that I’ve been taking for about three years around the same time I asked for no communication. I attribute some of the physical and emotional discomfort to the ending of an emotional tie and the withdrawals of a medication. I’m meeting up with a college friend for dinner. As much as I want to just lie around I always find solace in doing something.

  22. Hope, I do hope you can keep moving on from your MM and cutting him from your life. As BAF talked about, it’s really hard to leave any marriage, let alone a marriage with an abusive partner, and I think it can be extra tempting to look elsewhere for quick love/closeness/support/attention. So, it can be really tempting right now, as you’re still dealing with the end of your marriage, to look to your MM for comfort and support. He’s familiar and he’s willing to give you all sorts of attention that makes you feel good in ways you need it. But you have to give yourself space to heal from your marriage ending without any interference from your affair (which you knew was no longer working for you). I hope you can keep reminding yourself that you do not want that affair and it will just bring you more pain in the long run (even if you feel relief with his attention in the short-term). As I told TTSP, it’s not that your MM is a bad person. It’s just that continuing to have him in your life is going to hold you back from healing and potentially finding a better relationship in the future.

  23. TTSP, I don’t think you’re alone in liking men who challenge with their cold/distance/privacy. I think we all (men and women) are attracted to people who aren’t “easy.” But, yeah, some of us might be more attracted to that man who makes us work hard. We see value in a person who isn’t easy and then it makes us feel more valuable (and like we earned something) when that person actually likes us back. I think it’s good to do a long hard look as to why you might go for that type of man. In moderation, it makes sense to want a little challenge; but we can choose partners who are too cold and too distant. We can be too attracted to that challenge, and I find that those types of partners generally make their others sad. It can’t be a fully healthy and happy relationship if you are constantly working to get your partner to open up and offer closeness. Typically, the people who are distant this are insecure, scared to be vulnerable, and, thus, want a lot of control. I think these types of people are easier to get addicted to because of the highs and lows. We work so hard to get their affection and, when we get it, it feels SO good because it’s so rare. That fuels the addiction. I also think it’s probably likely that people who are cold like that are more likely to have affairs. Maybe it’s because they can’t get that closeness with their spouse and look elsewhere (or because they don’t have that closeness with their spouse they feel okay looking elsewhere), but I suspect it’s also about just enjoying that control. Getting that high from someone trying so hard to get your attention. [I need look no further than my MM’s cheating two years ago and how intoxicated he was by this woman’s attention, and how quickly he dumped her (the coldness) once he got that attention fully realized with sex.] I say all of this not only because my MM is like this, but I am, too. I’m not as cold/distant as my MM, but I have these tendencies. I’ve always said to you all that I am the distant one in my marriage. My H is warm and supportive. My H does not have narcissistic tendencies, and he is open and giving and not scared to share power/control in a relationship. I am much more hesitant to share power. It makes me feel weak. In my marriage, it means I’m in control (to my H’s detriment). In my affair, it means clashes with my MM as we fight for power. And, yes, as I type these things I question my affair all over again. 🙂

    So, like most of us on here, I’m attracted to the challenge my MM presents, but I have known all along that this is not a man who could make me happy in a “normal” relationships. The expectations I have in an affair are lower and, thus, his closed/cold at times is acceptable. In a marriage, I think I’d be sad too often with him. I think he’d make me feel bad about myself too often. He already makes me feel sadder than I’d like in an affair! Cheating stuff aside, we’re still dealing with all the typical challenges of an affair. Just this past week, we had our time cut short at my house because of a change of plans with his kids, and I expressed some sadness about that and he didn’t seem to be very responsive. I KNOW it bothers him to cut that time short. It may even bother him more than me, but I don’t like how he won’t SHOW it. How he’ll act like it’s just something we have to deal with. I know it is, but I don’t like how he acts like that. And sometimes he even gets more distant at those times, so I know it bothers him. And then cheating stuff not aside, I think it hit me harder this week because I thought we were going to have time to finish some conversations about trust/cheating/etc. that we started last week and we didn’t get to. So, I’m still dealing with plenty of the insecurity of his cheating on top of him not giving me some extra reassurance I needed this week when our plans were changed.

    I hope you can do a week of NC with your MM. It’s good to start small and then see if you can continue it. I do think, though, that there does just come at time when you have to say “no more” like BAF (and Nomad) if you truly want to be free from your MM. It doesn’t mean he is a bad person or anything like that. It just means that the relationship is unhealthy and until you really separate from the pull of that addiction, you cannot be entirely happy (or have a healthy relationship with someone else). You have much more value than what your MM was willing to give you with the scraps an affair allows. The kindest thing you can do for yourself is to put yourself in a position to be open to a healthy and happy relationship in the future. You can only do that when you are truly done with your MM. I know easier said than done, but I’ll keep saying it, if it helps!

  24. Hi BAF, Felk and TTSP, thank you so much for your support and advice, I was struggling so much again/still am but your advice helps me stay focused on why this is happening. BAF I am so happy to see your reply! I was thinking about you and was wondering if you knew that Laurie opened this page now for us. I apologise for the late reply guys, my little girl had her first birthday party today. It was very tiring doing everything myself but we had a great time with friends, my older daughter enjoyed it a lot. BAF congratulations on your son’s wedding, yay! You are officially a mother in law now😊Xxx. I completely understand your decision to stay away from this page from time to time. I am surprised to hear about your ex husband’s behaviour at the wedding, how embarrassing and yes what a narcissist to make it all about him. Don’t worry BAF soon your new extended family will recognise his true character and no one will pay attention to his antics. I am not surprised to hear they praised your efforts of raising your sons alone and the way you did, it is hard work and hats off to you for doing such an amazing job, I hope I am able to do the same for my kids. I will copy your advice and read it over and over again, all the advice from the three of you, I’ll keep revisiting your words as they help a lot.
    Felk thank you for your support, I was doing in tough these past few days, I found it all extremely overwhelming, I didn’t know if I had it in me to move on and to be honest I am still not sure if I do. But I will keep soldering on.
    TTSP I am so sorry you are going through similar experience, it is so hard. It is so hard to move on and try and be present in the moment when you feel ex Mm does things that hold you back. I am going to cut contact, I need to start enjoying my day again without waiting to hear from him. Friendship seems innocent from distance but I understand now that we can’t be friends because it’s too hard. Goodluck to all of you. Hugs xoxo

  25. Hi BAF. I was pleasantly surprised to see your post 🙂 First, big congrats on your son’s marriage. There’s nothing like a love story with a happy, healthy beginning. Thank you for opening up about your history. You’ve done a lot of self-improvement work. I respect your action oriented approach. Have you gone a year now no contact?
    You’re really adept at communicating your needs. I’m definitely going to take away some lessons from you. Also, I read earlier that you’d be open to dating others if someone that piqued your interest arrived. Wouldn’t that rattle your mm’s cage 😉 You have so many activities in motion that’ll yield success for you. I hope you derive comfort in writing here. We all help each other grow.
    Your write so masterfully. Something you said about being attracted to men that challenge us and have cold, private ways stayed with me. Your comment engendered some serious consideration about the men I gravitate toward. I’d prefer to get involved with a warm, open, relaxed individual. If I find myself with someone that exhibits those traits I need to move on.
    I’m going on a week of incommunicado. I’m counting on trending upward with peaks and valleys. Right now I’m low but it’s a temporary state. I’ll listen to what you said about no excuses to reach out. So far he has respected my wishes of no contact and that is the most caring, respectful gesture he has bestowed upon me.

  26. BAF, Good to hear from you, and good to hear you’ve had some happy times with your son’s wedding. Sorry you had to deal with your ex-H’s nonsense all over again. As usual, I think you offer great perspective and advice to Hope. None of this is easy, but it’s helpful to hear from others who’ve gone through it. Hope things continue to go well for you (and, of course, we understand why you might not want to be on here too often).

  27. TTSP, Good to hear from you again. Seems like you’re still going through it with your exMM, trying to be done once and for all. I think you were waiting until the end of the year to get a new job. Is that still the plan? As I know all too well, working with your MM is very hard and especially hard when it’s an exMM. To say I found it challenging during our break is an understatement. I’m not sure there are any secrets to successfully going NC besides all the ones you know, but sometimes it helps to hear them again… remove all reminders of him. Block his number in your phone. Remove pictures. Delete texts. Journal, write here, talk to friends about your thoughts and feelings not only to help you get things out but also to help you have outlets so you don’t need to go to him. If possible, talk to a therapist… that’s the best outlet given that you can get some expert advice in return! Resist temptation to contact him (outside of what’s required for work) and resist all excuses to contact him to be kind (e.g., his birthday, just checking in because you heard he had something tough happen at work). Remind yourself over and over of the reasons why the affair was bad for you, and why you want a healthier relationship. Write those down and go back to them when needed.
    And, as BAF has said elsewhere, try to understand why you were in the affair in the first place. Why was a MM appealing?

    I know you wish he’d stop contacting you, but as I told Hope, you have to make this choice on your own. Sure, it might help if he went full NC, but you will feel stronger and you’ll heal more quickly if you make the decision and stick to it.

  28. Hi Hope. I read what you wrote below and I am so sorry you are in pain. As you know I have been trying to stay away from this blog as it triggers me to keep thinking about affairs. I can not keep talking about or thinking about affairs as it hurts my efforts to move forward, and can trigger me to start obsessing about what went wrong in my affair all over again (as if there was ever a “solution”). The addictive mind is a very tricky thing
    But I do not want you to think I was not thinking about you and about other people here.
    My Son did get married recently and I was thinking of you during the wedding weekend. This is because my ex-husband came to the wedding too. And I know you and I have very difficult (ex) husbands and have had young kids when we left these men.
    First I must say the wedding way a really beautiful and joyous event and I feel like I did all I could for my son and my new daughter in law! I felt proud of myself. I also did all I could to form realtionships with the “inlaws” as they are now a new aspect of my life. They liked me a lot (imagine that!) and gave me so many kudos for being the parent that I was to my sons without help from my ex H. It way a little nerve wracking getting ready for the wedding for so many weeks and not knowing that to expect. But honestly It really was in most ways a glorious event!

    However my ex husband and his behavior were over the top and hard to be around (for everyone not just me). He is bipolar and was probably going into hypomania where he gets all agitated and full of endless energy and very very quick to anger.. He is also a narcessit altho I do not know if actually has NPD. But everything is all about “him” and others be damned. He gets really annoyed when others do not behave the way towards him that he imagines they should be, but he offers nothing in the way of generosity or emotional support towards them, so that does he expect? NO ONE asked me why we were dicorced. People were mostly shocked he was in fact my ex husband and not understanding what I ever saw in him. At the wedding I was sure thinking about the same thing! And there was all his non stop drinking and pot smoking….you get the picture…
    It got me to thinking about utterly difficult the end of my marriage was for me. My ex-husband never gave me a chance to breathe in my married life and I could never even make art without him feeling jealous. He wasnted all the houselhold attention and for everyone to revolve around his every need and wish. It was like having another child but worse becasue he could become so emotionally extreme at times and scare me with his emotions. I got very ill as a result. And I had two young sons.

    When I suggested he go back to his home country as he was so depressed he actually finally agreed to do so after putting it in his mind that I was to blame with the marriage being what it was. (!) (I let him think that as long he was ready to leave the house I did not care.) I devastared that he would gaslight the marriage like he did and say things about me that were untrue to others etc. But honeslty I was too exhasuted to give a shit.
    Anyhow the long and short of it is this: Six months after my ex H left the country I met and “fell madly in love” with my affair partner the MM. I say this becasue as I look back at how many problems I was dealing with, I never gave myself time to really grieve or heal from my marriage. I look back and wonder how I could not give myself more love and compassion in that period? But I had no inside love for myself and no compassion for myself. I was not allowing myself to feel the trauma of what had happened.
    A couple of years after my affair began I was drinking alcohol like a fish (another story for another time).

    Now in my new level of maturity I can see I was in no shape to be in any new relaltionshipafter my separation from my H, but especially one with a married man beccause affairs are so addictive! The affair addiction took away all of my pain from my former marriage for awhile and convinced me I was still attractive, desirable, sext, exciting etc, (I had gotten very worn down in my marriage)

    I jumped from the frying pan into the fire. I know a simlar thing happened to you. Having two small kids and a violent husband you jumped into an affair with a married man too, I have no doubt the addiction caught you too helping you to foget your pain for a few moments of your loss of your marriage. For me losing my marriage ws devastating. Being all alone to raise my kids was scary as hell.

    Hope, I urge you to to get to know yourself and your recnt history very well. Take a deep dive into your own life! But do not judge yourself or criticize yourself. Try to just deatch and see how much you need love inside. You can do this with a live therapist as well. Many many women have been truamatized in their relationships with men, (often after being parented in styles that are simlar) and many of us don’t realize all the scars this leaves. (Of course a man can be equally traumatized by a woman as well)

    Hope try to write here or in a journal all about your life before the affair and as your marriage ending.
    What were you really feeling like? What emotions were you REALLY feeling? What comfort did you lean on to avoind the searing pain of living with a man with anger management problems? (Your ex husband)
    I see now that I needed much more compassion for myself and understanding for what I had been through with my husband. I had no idea how traumatized I was inside. The affair made me feel like everything was “all right” again and that I did not have all that inner damage. But it was there anyhow.
    Instead I was all about “surviving” as a single Mom for my kids (not me so much). I convinced myself my affair was just part of “surviving” a hard marriage. I becasme very cyncial about marriage as well, figuring the whole world was unhappy in their marriages anyhow so why not have an affair? (So many people started telling me they too were unhappliy married etc etc)

    Hope if you write your “herstory” somewhere and try to see your own recent life with compassion from yourself and with kindess and love from yourself, I truly believe you will crave your MM less and less. If you start noursihing your ownself, you will need him less and less to affirm you. Work will help distract you yes but if you want my honest advice here it is: work on your INSIDES…your relationship with YOU.. It is so hard to do but then it gets easier and easier. I mentioned the woman Melanie Tonia Evans to you and I would say she is the best out there so far I have found for myself. She focuses on healing the inner traumas in oursleves so we are not so prone to being drawin to being in relationships which actually hurt us not help us. Much of her stuff is free (at least for awhile) and she gets to the bottom of things I think by having us foucs WITHIN. She also has many people who have thrived after traumatic realtionships with men (or women) in her follwoing. She calls them thrivers. I am working a few times a week with her exercises and I am also in therapy.
    Hope, I hope this might help give you some hope that you do not need to stay stuck at the bottom of a pit of despair. You can heal a little bit every day and become a stronger and better person to yourself. And the you (and I) can find healthy realtionships to healthier people and lead better lives all around! xxoo And lastly you will teach your kids to do the same!
    much love, BAF

  29. LL, I’m going to respond to both of your messages here. First, thanks for the continued advice and support for my situation. I know my MM is trying hard to show me that I can trust him and that he wants this relationship with me. And I guess I know it will just take time for me to feel that I can trust him. It’s just hard still feeling that doubt. I think you might also be right about him wanting me to get mad so that he could see how much I love him. He is certainly insecure, I know that. I have a few other theories, too, about why he wanted me to get mad, but I am who I am and I’m calm. Also, I’m a cheater, and it would feel a little hypocritical to get mad. And, yes, we did talk on Friday and reiterated the two reasons why he feels he won’t do that again. He said 1) the circumstances were so extreme (with how aggressively she pursued him) that he doesn’t think he’ll be in that situation again; and 2) he doesn’t want it to happen again. He really didn’t like how that all happened with her and he felt disgusted with himself about it (also for putting our relationship at risk), and he doesn’t want to be in a situation like that again. For the first reason, I told him that wasn’t very comforting given that it makes it sound like he might cheat again if a woman makes a good enough offer. He said he didn’t mean it that way, and that’s why he said #2, that, no matter the offer, he didn’t want it. I guess his reasons are good enough. I believe it or I don’t. He’s going to come over on Thursday, and we’ll talk more. You’re right about keeping communication open. I think I just have to give myself more time to heal. I can rush myself wanting it all to be “normal” quickly, and I need to go slow. He’s being great about it, and he keeps saying he knows we have to talk a lot more about it before I might trust him again.

    So, you know I understand when you say that you don’t want to be a fool. I read your other message, and your MM really didn’t handle that conversation well. He was annoyed from the start, and that’s never good. I think he makes some fair points that you might expect more availability from him than he expects from you. Or that you give him a harder time about not calling back or not being available than he gives you when you’re not available. You do give a lot of examples of him calling while you’re out doing other things and either you can’t answer or you can’t talk. But I think his tone and his aggressiveness in responses to you, while you’re just trying to explain how you feel, is frustrating. It’s clear he likes his privacy and he wants to do his own thing. My MM is the same way. The things you were saying in this most recent message about how he doesn’t want to give you details about what he’s doing these days and nights he says he’s busy. My MM is the same way about not wanting to give details and it’s annoying. I know it’s their style. But privacy doesn’t foster trust or good communication in a relationship, and I’m going to reiterate that to my MM. My MM and I have different disclosure styles (and your MM is always pointing out to you that the two of you communicate differently), but as you told your MM, when there’s low communication, it allows for all sorts of miscommunication and misconceptions. I feel EXACTLY the same in my affair. Affairs are hard enough as it is, but you get low communication and that strains the trust and security. I’m going to tell my MM that it’s even harder now that our trust is damaged. I’ll be very curious to hear what he says because he’s been really protective of his privacy, but I want him to see how privacy does not help trust.

    I get your MM’s frustration that you don’t call him or text him as much as you expect him to do that for you, so I think it’s great that you offered to try to do that more. I think it’s understandable that you get nervous texting or calling him when you think he might be home, but if he’s told you it’s okay, then I think you have to trust him. I know it’s hard because it opens you up to rejection and it’s more vulnerable to be the one texting/asking, but you’re wanting more communication and he’s suggesting something that might work… I think that’s fair. I know it makes you feel good when he calls and when he suggests he wants time with you, but if you want more time with him, you might have to initiate more communication. And it sounds like he’s trying to offer that to you, too, saying he’ll try to give you three times/week for at least 20 minutes. I’d just caution you not to hold him to that too strictly. People make suggestions that they hope they can keep, but it might be unrealistic and it may not mean that he doesn’t want to be with you. Try to be patient with change. You may start texting and calling him more, but there will be plenty of times he’ll be unavailable and that can hurt, so try not to increase expectations too much.

    I know he was saying things in a frustrated way and it’s not great, but I do still hear that he wishes he could find more time with you but it just wasn’t working out lately. The stuff with his friend and the stuff with his prostate and testosterone. That’s hard stuff to be honest about. I know you want him to tell you, but I get why he’s embarrassed about the prostate. I think the hardest part of the conversation is that you just didn’t feel heard. He was combative from the beginning, and then it makes a hard conversation harder. You’re already feeling vulnerable bringing up your feelings and then he doesn’t say the things you wish he would say to make you feel better. But that’s the thing with bringing up these conversations. We can wish they’d go a certain way, but that doesn’t mean they will. Don’t let that stop you from the conversations. Either way the conversation goes, it’s informative about your partner and the relationship. I know you’re feeling you shouldn’t have brought these things up, but you always should if they’re important to you. How can you have a good relationship with someone if you can’t communicate what’s bothering you? I think it’s also normal to feel vulnerable after these conversations. Even when I say things to my MM that I know I need to say, I can feel pretty vulnerable after and have regrets about things I said or didn’t say. I think that comes with the territory of an affair. In a “normal” relationship, I’m not scared to bring up these things because I have more security in the relationship. I think it might also be the types of men we’ve chosen to have affairs with. They can be cold and private (unlike my H), and that can make it even scarier to bring up hard things. These types of men also don’t just do everything we say and they challenge us, and that’s part of why we like them. So, I don’t think these conversations with your MM will ever go exactly as you want. 🙂 But it sounds like he heard you and he wanted to try and that he misses you and wants to find time to see you. I hope you two are able to find some time together soon.

  30. Hope, I know you’re feeling some hard stuff right now, but I think it might be a good sign… a sign that you’re on the path to being done with him and that’s why you’re really feeling the hole. I think you just have to go through the sobbing and the pain to really be done. It sucks, but you’ve already made progress with this. It’s not that you’re starting from the beginning. You went NC once before and you can do it again. I know it feels impossible because he’s reignited a lot of the feelings again, but if you are sure that you want to be done with him, then NC is the choice. It will hurt SO much, but soon enough that hurt will be gone, especially if you focus on you, your family, and your job (and maybe even your new male friend). Keep remembering that it is the addiction sucking you back in and that you just need time for the addiction to calm down. Withdrawal is painful so it won’t be easy, but the brain does reset eventually.

    TTSP gives good advice that talks about the cycles and patterns if you stay friends with your exMM. I know you’ve told your MM you don’t want the affair and he keeps getting intimate, but you’ve seen this pattern over and over so clearly he can’t stop. It is up to you to stop. Like most things in life, no one else can choose for us. Best of continued luck to you in being done with your MM.

  31. I’ve been off this page for a bit although I keep dropping in from time to time. I do miss all the regulars. I’m trying to catch up but I only read through comments from a week ago. I wish you all lots of good fortune, love and blessings. I’ll try to keep my comments brief since I’m so not up to speed.

    Hope, your relationship sounds very similar to mine. Here is a quote that I copied and pasted from your post on Oct. 23, “The worst part is I was doing so well without him and then he comes back wanting me in his life as ‘friend’ but can’t help talking about sex and wishing we were having sex. I know he loves me but I don’t know how many more times I could’ve said to him that I don’t want to be in an affair.” That could’ve been me writing. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve attempted the “friends” facade only for him to go in a sexual direction when I’ve vehemently expressed my disinterest in an affair. I can’t explain why they don’t respect our wishes and continue to push the boundaries. Like you I also get emotional and don’t like that clenched anxiety desperate feeling that arises when you wait around and wonder when they’ll respond. What’s worse is when you get a casual, disengaged, friendlyish but noticeably distant message that also has a very different tone from the last flirty messages. If you dare to mention it they surely have a reason or act like it’s in your head a.k.a. gaslighting although I don’t think it’s malevolent gaslighting. I suspect they have a flurry of emotions and can’t cope so they disappear and shut down.

    Long story short, I’ve gone through similar cycles except I haven’t gone no contact for any respectable period of time. You disconnect for x amount of days or weeks, reconnect by some means and get the huge wave of happiness. You have wonderful convos and think to yourself… ok I can handle this with him. We really connect, have so much in common, etc. Why shouldn’t we talk and every other justification in the world. All it takes is one misstep in the broken scenario and you’re miserable. It could be a miscommunication or a misunderstanding or missed expectation. All of the sudden you feel like this crazy, hypersensitive, insecure woman. It’s a highly volatile situation that’s ready to erupt at any time. Case in point…. one time over the summer we were having what seemingly was a friendly chat. He said something about being willing to pick up with his family and move out of country at any time. Family is his “euphemism” with me for wife. I can’t describe what came over me but I spewed threatening, scary words. No excuses for my behavior but it was glaringly obvious how unhealthy this person was for me. I apologized because I was wrong for my response but why subject myself to someone that sets those wheels in motion.

    I know unequivocally that I must end permanently yet somehow I keep getting on that emotional merry-go-round. I’m starting another cycle of no contact. Please share any secret weapons you have to stay strong and not give in to entreaties for reconciliation. The best gift he could give me is no contact. Hang in there. Time and the desire to move on heals all.

  32. Felk
    …Unfortunately, there are many moments I wonder if I’m being a fool. I’m feeling that way now. I honestly don’t know if being a fool is the word for what we do with the MM’s. I think if you’re able to move forward with him than feeling foolish is not something to focus on. He made a huge mistake and he seems genuinely sorry for what he did. The thing about the affair is…its an affair so it’s a clear indication that he is a cheater and probably a liar as well. So of course that could make you feel foolish for staying with him. However, you are cheating as well and likely lying about things when it comes to your husband and no it doesn’t mean that you would go out here and cheat again and again but it’s possible. I know he betrayed you and it didn’t and still doesn’t feel good but I think you’re doing a good job with all of it…and as long as you both keep the communication open. You should be ok! He is insecure and we know that, so he wanted you to be angry because it would’ve appeared to him that you really really love him. Although, he knows how you feel about him. He was joking/not joking! He probably expected you to fly off the handle a little instead you handled it in a mature way. He wanted the attention, even if it was negative. I think yall have a great way of communicating to each other and that’s why yall have managed to get this far. Have you had the conversation with him so he can tell you the exact reasons he feels he won’t do it again ?

    I’m still not feeling good about the conversation I had with my MM. I’m feeling like I don’t want to tell him how i feel again or even show him that i am upset about anything he does. I feel like shutting down a little. He sends mixed messages. He said, he doesn’t press me when I say I am not home or I can’t make time, he said I know that’s not who he is So…I knw that he is like that but I didn’t like hearing it because I was vulnerable at that time and that’s not what I needed at the time. I told him that he has no idea how I felt because he’s never been in my shoes and basically he said I can’t tell him how he’s felt. I’m just feeling confused right now. Can’t believe I’m being so sensitive right now…I know how he is and I know he can be very nonchalant and appear to be an asshole at times…my interpretation of the conversation is…I was getting on his nerves and overreacting about all of this and he didn’t really care about me. He brought up the party he went to on Friday. He said, I’m not trying to hear what you’re saying about us seeing each other…you knew where I was going to be on Friday, I told you to come and gave you directions and everything. I said, you halfway asked me to come. You said, you can come if you want as if it wasn’t that big of a deal so. I said you didn’t say babe, I would like for you come I want to see you. I said, see this is what happens when there is low to no communication as well as no time spent. It results in misconceptions, miscommunications and it creates a space for negative thoughts to seep in. Today when we talked he said he wasn’t coming home until after 8p I said what’s going on today ? He said, I am going to be in the city for a while, he said I have a lot running around to do. I said oh ok, whats going on what do you have to do ? He said, I got things to do and I said, ooooh excuse me. He said, what do you mean and I said, well you said it as if I was asking too much. He said, are you taking the boys to the gym and I said in a little while yes. He said, I’m about to run in here and I will call you back when I leave. I said ok. He called me back on his way home and as we were talking he said he had a long day again tomorrow. I said you have to work late or…he said, I have to do some more running around. I said, o ok. I left it alone but it seems like he don’t want me to know what’s going on. Idk!

  33. Felk,

    So, I talk to MM again. He didn’t call me back after Wednesday where we only talked for 3mins. Friday night around 11pm, I sent him a message saying, hey I don’t think I’m on your radar right now but I would like to finish the conversation about this. Im tired!! Let me know when you will have a chance to talk to me. He didn’t reply so the next day around 11am I resent the same message and said, he I don’t know if you got the message last night, I was really tired and thought you would’ve called but I know sometimes the messages don’t come through right away.

    He called me Saturday around 6p and I was at a friends housewarming. I didn’t get a chance to call him back because I stayed over my friends house. I text him the next morning around 8am ish to let him know why I didn’t call him back and to tell him I was on my way home so he could call me once he got a chance. He called me around 12noon and I said hey do you have time to talk and he immediately got annoyed and said what do we need to talk about we talked the other day and I said well we didn’t finish talking. He said we were finished. I said, I feel like I haven’t been on your radar and we haven’t seen in other. I said, I don’t think you understand how I feel because you’ve never been in my shoes. You don’t know how I feel and you won’t know unless you become single and decide to engage in a situation like this. He said you can’t tell me how I feel. We show it differently. He said we don’t show how we feel in the same way. He said you think I don’t want to see you, you don’t think I haven’t wanted to come over there. He said, you know I’m going to be pressing you, I’ve never done that if you say you can’t then you can’t. He said the last time I tried you said the kids are home, I said they were home that Friday night but they Saturday and he said but you didn’t tell me that. He said, you decided not to come home last night but I called you. He said I can’t do anything about that. His tone was aggressive, my tone was very subtle. I didn’t get loud with him as he was with me. I said I don’t even understand what the aggressive tone is about. I’m having a conversation with you about some of my discomforts. He said, I know what the problem is…you don’t think your s#^t stink. You think it smells like flowers. He said, it’s ok for you to choose to stay at your friends house and it’s ok for you not to call me. He said, why does all the pressure have to be on me ?! He said you don’t pick up the phone to call me and you don’t send me something saying he the kids are gone for the night can you come over but it’s always my fault if we don’t talk. I said I understand what you’re saying but you know why I am not comfortable calling you or texting you when I think youre home. I get nervous. He said but I’ve told you time and time again ok if you don’t want to call text me and if I can call you…I will or I will at least text you back. He said you can text me and said babe, you said you were call me back, what happened. You keep putting it all on me. I said, well the weekends prior to the last two you said you were going through prostate issues and I get that but I don’t know why you couldn’t have communicated that to me. He said, listen I don’t know how to explain this to you but if you’ve ever had woman issues you would understand. He said, when I went to the doctors my testosterone was at 14 and I think its suppose to be at a 35 or higher. He said don’t quote me on the numbers but it’s something like that and he said so I was out of whack. I did not have any energy or anything. I was exhausted, I really was. I didn’t want to do anything at all. He said that’s not something I enjoy talking about. He said this is what happens when you dealing with a older man. I said I understand that and I hear you and know that was frustrating for you to deal with it’s just that we don’t see each other daily, you don’t come home to me to share those details of your day therefore, I’m over here blind to what’s going on and it just appears to me that you don’t have time for me. I said, this is what happened for me…
    Last month I didn’t hear from you for about a week or so and once we talked you said you had to reset. You said you had a lot on your mind and you were spending time with your family. Which made me feel some type of way but I walked myself through it by reminding myself that you have a W and a family and your allowed to spend time with them. Those things don’t make me feel good though. He said I cam understand that. He said I know we didn’t talk much during that time because I was really torn up about my friend. I said I sent you lovey messages and you were not responding to them and that didn’t feel good either. I said when you didn’t reply, I thought wow…I guess it was silly of me to think when he says I love you he actually means it because its said during intercourse and people say anything at that time. I said whether that’s true or not when things like are not reciprocated it makes me feel vulnerable and I don’t like to feel vulnerable. He said well I can understand that, its human nature to feel like that. I said so at this point with the lack of communication, not seeing each other and thinking about how it’s been over the past months, its created some insecure feelings. He said but you put so much pressure on me to be the one to initiate the communication and that shouldn’t work that way. He said, really…how do you think it makes me feel when I don’t see you ? You don’t think I feel a way about too ? He said, I want to see you too but I can’t get mad when you tell me you busy, I have to deal with it..I said well it comes off as you don’t care..just as you said to me you’re not going to press me about it. He said I’m not because that’s not who I am but it doesn’t mean i don’t want to see you. He said he would call me back and I said oooooo ok.
    He called back and I said, soo what’s the resolution ? He said, oh my goodness..I said, what..He said, you’re making this harder than what it has to be and I said how ? He said because you are. He said we talked you said what you had to say and I said what I had to say we understood where each other was coming from and thats it. I said, no that’s not it. He said it is. He said, so you want us to say in conclusion this is what we discussed, or in summary you said this and I said that. He said you have a misconception on how relationships work. He said it don’t matter what relationship it is, that’s not how men communicate. He said only woman communicate the same way you do. I listened to him poke fun at what I was saying because at this point he wasn’t aggressive so his tone was normal. He said I mean seriously, you want me to say ok now let’s wrap this up. I said I understand you communicate differently from me and that’s fine but what I’m saying to you is this….
    When you’re in a relationship or a friendship or any ship with 2 or more people and you have an issue that you discuss. After each person express their point of view there should be some type of resolve such as, ok going forward this is what I’m willing to do different and here’s what you’re willing to do different. I said, maybe if more people did that and couples incorporated that into their relationships maybe people could do better in relationship. He said, well I won’t call you when I ride pass your house with just 5 minutes to spare. I said are you being a jerk again ? He said, I’m being facetious….I said, well I just think it makes both people accountable. He said well I will try to talk to you at least 3 days a week for a minimum of 20mins. I said and I will contact you more frequently even if it’s just a text message (although, I’m still afraid to message him). I heard him say..hey hun, can you give her a treat…so I figured he was done walking the dog. I said well you know what, I will try not to take it so personally when you don’t call back because at this point, I don’t think its something you’re able to stop. I said you will do good with calling back but it not consistent so I will do my best not to make a huge deal out of it. He said, ok..I’m in the house now so I have to call you back. I said ok.

    I knew he wasn’t calling back last night…I text him today and said gm and used his name which I never really do I always say babe so he said hi and put my name there. I asked how his day was going and he said slow and how about yours..I said pretty good. I have a half day today to take my daughter to the dentist. He said it’s slow here so I may be able to leave early. I said, U know…u frustrate me at times but I really really really really miss you when we go so long without seeing each other or if we don’t talk for 45mins a day 😏 a lot of the time ur the highlight of my day or week…he said, I hear you!…I be missin you too. I said, I wish I could snap my fingers or click my heels together and you could appear..just to give me a hug, but I know it doesn’t work like that. He hasn’t replied but I’m going to call him today…instead of waiting for him to call me

  34. Hi Felk, Thank you so much for your reply, input and support. You are right, me and him really can’t be friends. Soon enough emotions are running high and we are pretty much back in the break up stage. I feel a bit deflated, I really was doing well, even with NC I was doing well, trying to move on. Now all of sudden NC seems impossible again. I try not to think too much about it. BAF was right, friendship isn’t possible in most cases and certainly isn’t in my case. I miss BAF, I hope she is doing well, her son must’ve gotten married by now?
    I will start full time work in a week so I am hoping I will have distractions. I am just tired, feeling exhausted that I am back in the break up stage, sobbing at night again. I know it’s just a phase and it will get easier but this hole that you mentioned, I feel like that hole has suddenly gotten bigger and I don’t know how to exist with it again.
    Hope Xxx

  35. LL, so glad you got to say some of the things you wanted to say to your MM. As usual, it sounds like he’s reasonable and he understands your point of view. It sounds like he listens but that he also challenges you by giving his point of view, too. I mean, he doesn’t just simply give in to everything you say. 🙂 And I bet it’s one of the reasons you like him. It sounds like you two have more to talk about, but I like how honest you were with him about some of your insecurities in not having time together and in not talking a lot… and your different perceptions about talking a lot. I would 100% be thinking the same thing you were. Calling me every day for 5 minutes is not a lot. I know he frames it as “I call you every day,” but you can’t have a real conversation in that time so, of course, you want 45 minutes. I would, too. At least once in a while. It’s great that he checks in almost every day, but it’s just checking in. And so many times he tells you he’s going to call you back and then he doesn’t. You are SO understanding of that.

    I’m glad you got a reason from him about why he hasn’t come over lately. I’m sure he was embarrassed to talk about his prostate pain, but it sounds like he’s telling you the truth. It also sounds like he thinks about you a lot when you’re not around, but I know that you want to hear that more often. I know you don’t want to just hear about it when you finally tell him about your insecurities. You just want him to tell you once in a while. Like, when you send a “lovey” message, you want something in return. But I think he’s reassuring you that things are not suddenly good with his W. I know that’s where your head can go when he’s MIA, but in the 7 years of my affair, things have never been suddenly good again with my H or for my MM and his W. Like me and my MM, I’d imagine your MM has experienced a slow decline in the closeness in his marriage as he’s told you. That doesn’t really change at this point in marriage.

    You’ve known for a few weeks that you’ve wanted to talk to him about how you’ve been feeling so I’m glad you didn’t hold it in once again. You saw that it was about to turn into emotional terrorism and you didn’t want to do that. From everything you say, I think you’re pretty fair in your communication. I know you get pissy at times, but he does things to make you pissy, too! Mostly it seems like you are understanding with navigating the complexities of an affair. It sounds like he does want to see you, but I also hear that “invite” as a non-invite to the party. I don’t blame you for not wanting to go. I don’t like those kinds of invites. He seems open to wanting to talk more so I hope you get to do it soon. I don’t like when conversations like this get put on hold for too long.

    My MM and I went for a long lunch today. We talked for a bit about work and other things, but then the topic of his cheating came up and he wanted to talk about some things he’d been thinking lately about how he can convince me to trust him. He said he wondered how I could believe that he wouldn’t cheat again. I told him I think about that a lot still, and as recently as this morning. Told him I’m still not sure how to believe it. We talked about how we are both cheaters, and how do you trust a cheater? He knows he violated my trust, but I understand his point. After we talked about this for a bit, I told him that it wasn’t making me feel very secure. I was joking about it, but I was then sincere that I was feeling a little worse since he brought it up. He said all the good things about why he doesn’t think he’ll cheat again. I asked him directly, “Do I have to worry about you doing this again?” He said no. Sure, that’s what I want to hear, but he also said things about how he can’t promise it will never happen again. I also can’t promise I wouldn’t cheat, so I know what he means. I don’t need him to promise. But the whole conversation about how it’s hard to trust a cheater just started getting to me. I came home and felt pretty down about it all. Am I being a fool to stay with him?

    Another thing he said isn’t sitting well with me. At one point, he said that the way I reacted two months ago to his cheating reveal wasn’t good. He was being playful when he said it, but he said I should have gotten angrier. I joked back about how I’d already told him that multiple times, that I was too easy on him. But it’s just not my style to get mad and yell. Sure, I’ve done it a few times to boyfriends, but not much. I told him that I’d thought about being angrier and maybe ignoring him or something like that, but that it wasn’t me. And I had to be true to me. I didn’t want to deal with faking my emotions or playing some role I thought I should play on top of everything I was dealing with. He said he was just kidding about me being angrier and he said he likes how we’ve been able to talk so reasonably about it all; but him joking that my reaction wasn’t good is making me feel like a sucker. Like I’m just going to make it too easy for him to do it all again because I didn’t get angrier with him and because we seem to be repairing the damage. We’re going to talk about it more tomorrow. I want to tell him these things. I told him today that it all still bothers me and I worry about these things. I told him how it still hurts me. But I think I say it all too calmly sometimes. 🙂

    At the end of all that today when I was telling him that I wasn’t really feeling good about it all now that he brought up these trust issues again, he said that tomorrow he will tell me the reasons that he thinks he won’t do it again. I know he’s told me them already, but I told him I want to hear them again. I keep wanting this reassurance. I want reassurance of his fidelity and his love, and I want evidence that he’s changing his behavior to not do the things that lead to sex with other women!

    I’m just so happy all of us found each other on this new page again. It’s continually helpful to me to have some people to talk to about this, who really understand the issues.

  36. Hope, unfortunately, it sounds like you and your exMM shouldn’t be friends. I know you know. But it sounds like you are just continuing to hurt yourself by being friends with him. You want his friendship because you’re finding it hard to cut him out of your life entirely. It’s that hole I was talking about. It’s hard to imagine your life with that giant hole where he used to be. But by keeping him in your life, all the feelings keep coming back. He starts feeling the feelings and says emotional things. Those things make you feel good… until they don’t. Until you realize the relationship is over and you can’t have those things. That’s what it was like with my MM during our break. We’d spend time together and it would feel good temporarily and then feel terrible after as I realized there no longer was an us.

    And you start hoping. He texts you at night and you start talking and then you want more. I don’t think you were wrong to ask him why he disappeared that night because it would frustrate me too if someone was suddenly gone in the middle of a conversation and didn’t return. We know those things can happen when texting, but it’s pretty reasonable to ask a person where they went. But for him to be angry at you about it is pretty unfair. I’m sure he’s feeling hard things, too, and I’m sure he wants more with you, but that doesn’t give him an excuse to treat you badly. For him to just now say no spontaneous messages? Sounds hasty, but maybe it’s also his way of trying to cut ties, too? I don’t know your typical texting communication so I don’t know if he owes you an apology for going to sleep that night, but even without the apology it seems he was mean about it. But this is going to keep happening if you stay friends. Both of you are feeling emotions and it’s probably too hard to be “just” friends. BAF was right when she said my MM and I weren’t just friends during our break. I knew that back then. I admitted it. I was trying to be just friends, but emotions ran too high. We were too addicted. Too in love. Everything got too intense to just go to friendship like that. Same for you and your exMM. It seems like cutting off all contact is the best plan. I know you have told him that you want nothing to do with him, so is your plan to go full NC? I do hope that you can start to take more steps to cut him out of your life. I think it’s the only way you will really move on and be happy.

  37. Hope and Felk

    Hope…nice to hear from you! Your friend sounds like a keeper. I understand taking things slow considering both of you recently removed yourselves from previous situations. I’m sure its challenging and difficult to get over the exMM. I would say continue to take your time. Focus on loving you and your babies. When we love ourselves we attracted others whom will love us as well.


    Your MM is definitely still showing you how much he wants to continue in the affair. I understand what you’re talking about when you say he should’ve told you the time he was coming and not thinking you would assume a time. The situation is tricky as is so details like time…are a major factor in the plan.
    I text my MM on Monday morning…saying Hello Friend, he replied at 10pm saying this message just came through and I said oh ok, it’s all good! The next day he called me when he was on his way home from work, I was a little annoyed with him in general because we’ve had low communication, haven’t seen each other, and I felt like the times I’ve sent him “lovey” type messages he wasn’t responsive in the way I felt was necessary. He sense my attitude almost as soon as we got on the phone but I fixed the attitude quickly because I’m trying to be less of an “emotional terrorist” and more of a communicator. We talked for about 20mins about nothing lol. He said he would call me back and I thought,”oh boy, here we go, he’s going to call back tomorrow”. I thought about sending him a “book” although I know he hates when I send him those long messages to convey how I feel. I decided against the long message and as I decided against it he called. I told him that I could feel myself being on the verge of emotional terrorism and in an attempt to be mature and grow I needed to tell him how I was feeling.

    I said, do you plan to see me again because, we haven’t been talking and we haven’t seen each other in a while. I said, I know you feel like we talk often and I know you think that I knew what things were from the beginning but I don’t agree. I said, I feel like when I “singed on” to this, I was getting involved with someone who’s marriage was I turmoil and it seems that your behavior towards me changes when your marriage “appears” to be ok. I said, I know I can’t prove whether it’s ok or not but when we have low to no communication plus we don’t see each other it creates insecure feelings/emotions for me. I said, I don’t like talking about my feelings but I’m getting too old to hold in how I feel or hide behind text messages. If you or someone don’t like what I’m saying…OH WELL but its necessary for me to say how I feel and not be afraid of what the other person’s response will be. I told him that I know we get busy but I’m not ok with the low communication and not seeing each other…

    He said, well I know you’ve been busy with your school work. I said well that was one time and it was the very last time the kids were gone. I said you haven’t been to my house since the end of August or first day of September so please don’t blame it on my school work. I know I have been preoccupied with school but that was one time. He said, I have a good reason for not coming over, I’ve been having issues with my prostate again and I was in pain. He said, I’m ok now..my doctor gave me some medication to help with the pain. He said, babe it sucks getting old. Its terrible, he said to be in pain down there is no joke. He said I had to take care of that. I said I understand you had issues with your prostate but you can communicate with me. He said we have talked, he said the past few days we haven’t but before that we’ve talked everyday. I said our perception of communication is different. I said you may call me when you drive pass my house which leaves about 5 mins to talk with each other or you will call me and within 3 mins you have to get off the phone and you don’t call back that same day so that is not talking to me in my book. He said your definition of talking is 45 or more and we both chuckled…because I love to talk and he knows that about me. I said that’s not the point. I don’t like how it feels when we are not in consistent communication with each other and not seeing each other on top of that makes it worse for me. I said I feel insecure when this happens…he said, I don’t know why you feel that way. Do you know I go in the shower to get off and I think about you, that is how I take care of myself in the house…thinking about you/or us. He said I’ve always told you if I don’t come over you know I really couldn’t because I don’t want to miss a weekend with the kids gone because I know that’s the only time we have. He said I always want to get around there to you. I said well it’s hard to tell sometimes.

    He said he was going to a friends party and said you can come if you want. I don’t like the way he invited me…it may be silly but it didn’t sound like he wanted me to come, it sound like he just felt that he needed to invite me to something since we haven’t seen each other or spent any time together plus he knows I don’t go to parties with him. I think at some point he really wanted me to go to parties with him but I don’t know how comfortable I would be…

    Anyway, he called me today but I was unavailable at the time and when I called him back we talked for 5mins and he said he had to call back but he didn’t. I’m not mad about it but I think we need to talk a little more in person. He told me he prefer I talk to him instead of sending texts anyway. He said he don’t know if it’s the generational difference or what but he prefers to talk and I prefer to text. I said well its not that I prefer to text. I haven’t always been ok with expressing my feelings and it’s easier for me to write how I feel versus say it aloud. I said, but I am growing and I want to be ok with speaking my mind in a respectful manner. He said and if someone doesn’t like it they can take it or leave it and I said yup. He said babe, I understand what you’re saying and its nothing wrong with speaking up about how you feel.

    I guess him and I will talk soon and finish the conversation…

    Chat with you soon!

  38. Hi Felk,
    Thank you for your support. It has been challenging especially because we keep coming back trying to be friends and we keep clashing. We both had a tough day yesterday and in the end I had to tell him that I want nothing to do with him. I told him several times that I can’t be in an affair anymore, our chats start casually, then he will say all the things I long to hear.. it feels great in the moment but then it feels awful, the reality hits. I have tried to be his friend but almost all conversations turn to sexts. When we started our affair I wasn’t allowed to contact him on weekends/public holidays, it’s something he wanted and I jsuta agreed to it. Anyway last weekend I told I don’t want to message on weekends because I know he will send a message and there and I will spend my entire weekend just waiting to hear from him. Couple of days ago he messaged me at night, we exchanged couple of messages about how difficult this year has been and then he disappeared, I kept waiting to hear from him till late night. Next day I asked him I said anything to upset him is that why he just left the conversation and he got really angry. Made me feel like an idiot for even bringing that up, he said ‘I am not attached to his phone except for your messages which I cherish (well, most)’, he said he was v tired and went to bed. No apology and the whole incident turned out like why did I have to bring it up? He also said so now no spontaneous messages. Got it. No messages on weekends. Got it. He sounded very angry, the thing is I wasn’t to allowed to message for a long time during the beginning but now when we are not together and I really need a break from the waiting he has a problem doing what he asked me to do. Lot of incidents have happened these past few months but this one seemed very toxic, I told him I can’t be his friend because it’s too painful. I told him I didn’t want anything to do with us, with him and wished him best of luck. I never got a simple sorry for making me wait late night and now I am left feeling like it was my fault that I even brought it up. Am I in the wrong here or am I being gaslighted?? I am not sure. I honestly didn’t expect him to snap like that. Anyway I am trying to not let it get to me but it’s hatd. The worst part is I was doing so well without him and then he comes back wanting me in his life as ‘friend’ but can’t help talking about sex and wishing we were having sex. I know he loves me but I don’t know how many more times I could’ve said to him that I don’t want to be in an affair. Thank you for listening Xxxx

  39. Hope, your friend sounds promising, but I understand taking it slow. I can hear your difficulty in moving on from your exMM even though I know you want to. I’m sure there are all sorts of emotions related to why it’s hard to move on. I know that, for me, when my MM ended our relationship in 2017, I had many thoughts about trying to move on. Sure, I still wanted the relationship and wanted him to come back to me, but, at some point, I thought it wasn’t going to happen and I’d think about moving on and it was SO hard to just mentally get myself there. I know it was the addiction. There was a fear of having this giant hole where he was. I already had a pretty big hole from the break-up (and it felt terrible), but I was scared to make it even bigger by really committing to being done with him. I share that to maybe help you sort out some of your feelings. I know for me it was partially that I was scared to have that giant hole, knowing I was unlikely to leave my marriage (so it would be hard to fill that hole). Since you left your marriage, I do think you’ll eventually have space for new love, whether it’s this new friend or not; but there is something HOPEful to me in the choices you’ve made to get yourself to the point of truly moving on from your exMM.

  40. Hi Felk and LL, thank you for the kind words and encouragement, much appreciated. LL the friend is a guy I like and care about, I still exMM very much which is why I am not jumping into another relationship. But yes I like him, he is attractive, reliable, trustworthy, I have known him for a long time now and right now we are both alone and recovering from previous relationships. It’s just hard to move on, I don’t know what is holding me back, maybe the guilt of moving on.
    I am glad both of you are doing well. LL glad you are loving school. Felk glad you are getting to spend time with Mm, him cooking a meal for you was very sweet. You do still need to tell him when things bother you though (him going mia or communicating less).
    Talk to you guys soon, take care Xxxx

  41. LL, glad school’s been distracting you. And I know school’s not just a distraction. I know it’s something you want to do and you’re enjoying learning about the childhood trauma stuff. So, it’s a bonus it’s a distraction. I have my nieces spending the weekend, and it’s the same. Love spending time with them, but it’s a nice distraction from my MM. It’s also one of the things that’s improved since our break up two years ago. Our relationship was so intense pre-break that I had trouble enjoying family/friends things because I was wanting to text or email or gchat, wanting to cut short family time to get back to my MM essentially and making me enjoy my time with other people less. That has changed SO much in the last two years. Not that I don’t ever feel those things, but it’s much more separate where my family/friends time is focused on them.

    Funny your MM has been a little incommunicado this week. My MM was, too. My MM came over Tuesday and we made plans for him to come over Friday (no school that day). We didn’t set a time. I was sure he’d email me W or TH to set a time, and nope. I was sure he’d email or text Friday morning to set a time. Nope. I texted him eventually, and when he came over, he was all, “I thought it was just assumed I was coming over between X and X because you knew I was making you lunch.” Huh? How would I assume certain times when we never talked about a time? We joked about it, but he knows it annoys me. He said he understood my point, but like how does he think that’s okay to just assume a time to come over? We never do that. We set times always, like most people do. Doesn’t mean you have to come exactly at that time but gives me an idea of when to be ready so I can do my other stuff. I’m not just sitting here waiting for you to show up. I have things to do, too. He has always been like this, though. Always more loose with plans. But also kind of disrespectful to me, I think.

    About your MM… I know you’re probably a little frustrated that he didn’t find a way to see you on your kid-free weekend. It sounds like you’re pretty understanding of his time and his plans, but I know I’d expect my MM to try to free up some time when he knew I was kids-free. But, as we know in affairs, you have to keep expectations low. It can be really hard, though, and it can be hard to know where to draw the line between reasonable (low) expectations and the person simply not treating you well. I think your MM tries to contact you when he can. I think he tries to respect you by keeping in touch, even if just a little. But it’s always hard when there’s a week of particularly low communication. I don’t handle that well. I’ve gotten a lot better, but I still can get in my head during low communication weeks. Even this week with my MM not emailing me.
    Thankfully, I’ve been better about recognizing it’s my pattern when he goes a few days without much communication. And he always comes back. He’s especially come back during these last two months showing he really wants our relationship. I’m noticing we’re starting to make that transition to more “normal” us now after the cheating stuff… which is good and bad. I know I’m going to miss all of his extra attention, but I also know that I don’t want to dwell on the cheating if things are going well. We had a good talk Tuesday about the trust things and his reflection on his behavior. He said good things about not wanting to risk us and recognizing that he might have to make some sacrifices in not drinking with women (even if he thinks it’s platonic) for the good of our relationship. I told him that I didn’t want it to become a forbidden fruit thing where he denies himself too much and then he goes wild or he resents me, but, yeah, there’s a line where maybe it’s too risky or just too jealousy-inducing for your partner and it’s best to sacrifice. There’s still more I want to talk about, but I know we will. I hope you also get some time with your MM to talk. I know it can be hard to initiate those talks because we often feel we don’t want to push too much, but it’s good to ask for what you need and if that strains the relationship then maybe there’s a problem with the relationship (and not you). I know it’s also hard to find the right time because you want to have a good amount of time to focus on the things that need to be said.

  42. Felk,

    My school work has kept me busy and I haven’t been hyper focused on my MM. We’ve had low communication compared to how often we normally talk. We spoke briefly today, he told me he would call me back but I didn’t think he would. He called back to let me know he remembered to call but he said football was on so he would call me tomorrow. I told him I was surprised he called back, I didn’t expect him to. He said, why..I said sometimes you call back and sometimes you don’t. He said o ok, I am about to watch the game. I said alright….

    I haven’t had a chance to talk to him about how I was feeling. I’m hopeful I will get the opportunity to soon. This past weekend was my kid free weekend and we didn’t spend any time together. He called me Friday night and I mentioned to him that the kids were staying home that night. He called me on Saturday around 8p, I didnt answer but I text him right away to let him know I was doing school work and would text him when I was done. I ended texting him the next morning telling him I finished late and didn’t want to bother him that late. He called me immediately to let me know he got my message and he was at a family members house and would call on his way home but I haven’t found the moment to mention my feelings…

    School is tough but I’m maintaining as best as I can. I am really enjoying getting to know more about the effects of childhood trauma. I would be interested in research on the resielincy factors with trauma inforced care and other methodologies related to this topic

    Your MM really loves you and I don’t know if he would mess up again or really put himself in that situation. I would hope that he wouldn’t. However, we know it’s hard to trust them. I think its going to continue to take time for you both to heal from what happened. He seems like he’s very understanding. He doesn’t want to put your relationship in jeopardy. I am happy to hear he is reflecting! Reflections can help us to change certain behaviors… behaviors we didn’t realize we have. It takes time to change behavior and break patterns but we figure out how to do it. I really admire the communication you all are having with one another right now. It’s great!

    Talk to you soon

  43. Hope,

    Congratulations on your new home! That is great news…your little one is in childcare, I’m sure that was tough for you. I work for a program with kids 3 and under and the parents are almost always saying how bitter sweet it is to leave them there when they’re crying but the kids stop crying writhin minutes of the parents leaving. I’ve worked there for 12 years and I see it all the time.

    7 months since you’ve seen your MM…wow, that’s a long time but continue to stay strong. You have a male friend, are you interested in him at all ? I know you’re taking your time as you should but I’m curious to know if he’s someone you like or just someone to get your mind off of MM for a while…

    I’m so busy with my life that I cannot wrap my thoughts around my MM and what’s happening between us. We have spoken to one another but I haven’t had the opportunity to tell him how I was feeling. I’m sure we will get a chance to speak.

    Talk to you soon!

  44. Hope, sounds like you’re slowly moving on with your life. Great to hear that you’ll be going back to work full time. I’m sure it’s rough to drop your youngest off at childcare and I’m sure there’s all sorts of guilt and sadness being away from your kids, but working moms are a great role model for their children. By getting out of your marriage and now working full time, you’re continuing to make great choices for yourself and your kids, even if it hurts to let them go for a bit during the day.

    I think it’s great you decided not to meet with your MM, especially if you felt any danger of getting pulled back into the emotions again. And it seems you felt that danger and that’s why you didn’t go. If you could meet with him with no emotion, sure, but for now (and maybe forever) you will still feel things where he’s concerned and it’s best to not have those feelings triggered if you’re trying to move on. I’m sure he was frustrated and any of us would be if someone changed plans last minute, but you have to do what’s best for you and you can’t worry about his disappointment. Of course you don’t want to lead him on, but he is making choices to continue hoping, too. If it’s too hard for him, he can stop trying to get together with you, too. He is more frustrated that he can’t be with you than he’s frustrated that you canceled plans. I think it’s also important to stay away from your MM because it sounds like you might be trying to start a new relationship. Great to take that slow, but also good to be cutting ties with your MM before you move on with someone else. I know it’s really hard to cut your MM out of your life entirely, but NC might be the best solution if you’re trying to have a good relationship with someone else.

  45. Hi Felk and LL,
    Nice to hear from you both. I am doing well thank you (I have my good and bad days), I have bought a small house 🙂 I am very excited that my kids will soon have a backyard to play in. I am going back to work full time next month and I am looking forward to it. My little started childcare last week and it was tough seeing her cry and hang on to me 🙁 it still is, massive Mum guilt creeps in but I am sure she needs time to adjust to it. It’s been 7 months since I have seen Mm. We speak every now and then, we were close to meeting recently (I still get sucked in sometimes hearing all the right things) but at the end moment I called it off and he was very annoyed. I am trying my best to stay away from him. I have a male friend who has helped me fair bit in past and I can feel something happening there but I am taking my time as I am still healing from the affair.
    Felk glad to know things are so much better for you and Mm, your relationship really stood the test of time.
    LL Felk has given you some great advice, I hope Mm fills your heart with happiness.
    I have missed you guys, glad to know everyone is doing well.
    Hope Xxx

  46. LL, I understand the approach of not worrying yourself in the moment and just waiting and seeing how things go. It’s also good that you’re busy with work and school and your kids. Those can be good distractions to prevent you from dwelling on things with your MM. And I don’t know a lot about the ACE measure, but 9/10 does seem a high score so I can see why you’re fascinated by it right now. APA style is such nonsense – italicize this but not that, indent this but not that, capitalize these letters but not these. 🙂 Hope you’re enjoying learning about ACEs, though.

    My MM and I had a little time together Friday. We got to just hold hands and talk and laugh a little before we headed to our separate corners for the weekend. He was lovely and I didn’t want to bring up anything big because we didn’t have a lot of time, but I still want to talk to him about some of the things he said on Tuesday before sex. The things he was saying about having some humility about realizing maybe he’s not as in control is these situations (drinking alone) with other women and how he’s realizing those situations aren’t worth risking us. I’m just not sure I believe he can do that. Is he really going to never go for a drink with this female coworker again? I hope so, but I also don’t want her to become some forbidden fruit or I don’t want him to deny himself fun to the point where he’s desperate for it. I like the things he said about realizing that these situations also weren’t fair to these women who are probably more interested in him than he admits to himself (to convince himself it’s no big deal to have a drink). That’s always on my mind when a male coworker asks for a drink. I can do it once in a while, but I try not to repeat it often if I get a vibe they’re interested. Just not cool to lead them on, even if it’s fun for me to get the male attention. And that’s what I think my MM is saying, but can he really back that up? I think he likes women’s attention a lot. I always knew that, but it didn’t become clear to me how much he did until I started noticing the stuff with the female coworker this year and when he revealed everything about the woman two years ago and a few other stories he told me about women he’d have a drink with (as I was asking him all the questions after he revealed the cheating). Has all of that stopped? Is he saying all of that will stop? I don’t know if all of it even needs to stop, but I like how he’s seeming aware of how situations with hetero men and women can get flirty fast if you’re putting yourself alone with them repeatedly. That’s the planned conversation stuff for this week. He knows I want to talk about it more. 🙂

    I get why you were uncomfortable that your MM told his W that he loaned you the laptop. I’d be uncomfortable if my MM were talking a lot to his W about me and I know he’d feel the same if I were talking about him to my H. Of course, because we work together, he comes up in conversation with my H, but the more your MM brings you up (and the more nice things he does for you), the more his W will get suspicious. It sounds like your MM’s W likes you, but I bet she’s also a little suspicious. She’s no fool. I honestly have no idea the level of my H’s suspicion. Given how little we have sex, I’ve always figured he must be a little suspicious (not necessarily of my MM but simply of me cheating), but he doesn’t act like it at all. He’s probably in a bit of denial for the sake of maintaining his happiness in our marriage. Might be the same with your MM’s W.

    Hope you got all your schoolwork done!

  47. Hope, great to hear from you again. How are you doing? Last I remember, you were doing pretty well cutting your MM out of your life, and you were getting back to more hours on your job (and seemed to feel you were slowly moving on and getting some control again). Hope you’re still on that path.

  48. Felk,

    Thank you for your encouraging words. I feel much better. I haven’t spoken to him just yet but I’ve chosen not to worry myself about that right at this moment. I have so much school work to complete that I cannot focus on my discontent with him. I am still planning to speak to him about things especially considering we are going to be entering year three. I want us to be on the same accord and even if we can’t, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to talk about what this all means at this point. I really really really need your help with APA I have to turn in 5 annotated bibliographies asap. The topic I chose is ACE’s because I am obsessed with that topic, probably because my ACE’s score is 9/10 ridiculously high. Anyway, I’ve been struggling to put the sources in APA style. I think I can handle the summary piece it’s just being sure the authors are in alphabetical order. The struggle is real right now.

    I noticed you said you and MM had sex! I knew it was coming and I think its normal for you to feel a bit vulnerable after. It’s not like it completely took away what happened. Therefore, it’s normal to have those feelings. He is continuing to move in a way that brings comfort to your relationship and thats all you should focus on (in my opinion). We know things don’t stay the same forever, whether it’s a friendship or relationship but it’s nice to deal with things as they come and not think about the things that can happen or may happen so stay positive but realistic of course and continue that open dialogue with him about how you’re feeling. I haven’t figured out how I’m going to start the conversation with my MM. He told me he told her about him allowing me to use the laptop from his job. I asked him why…he said because he took it in the house and she noticed it was no longer in the house so she asked about it and he told her he gave it to me to use for school. I don’t like for him to speak about me to her at all but I know they have conversations about me. He has told me his son talks about me and always refer to me as his other mother. He says it to her as well. I know that to be true because his son tells me the same thing and he loves to come over my house. My son friends enjoy talking to me and hanging out at my house even when there is nothing going on. There is a level of comfort I give to everyone I meet. My daughter friends as well, they’re always telling her make sure you tell your mom how wonderful of a mom she is. It’s nice to hear things like that.

    Chat with you soon! Have to go back to school work!!

  49. Hope,
    Hi how are you ? How are things going…
    Thanks for checking in here. It’s so nice to hear from you. Thanks for your care and concern about what I wrote. I’m not feeling so down about it now. I haven’t had a talk with him yet but I will when the time presents itself.

    Hope you’re doing good!

  50. Hi guys I am glad to find this page again. Felk so good to know you and Mm are doing well, it has made you guys stronger, very happy for you. Lifelessons sorry you are feeling that way, I can very well relate to that sting/pain of knowing about MM’s outings with his wife, it hurts and I am sorry you are going through that. I will write more soon.

    Hope Xxx

  51. TTSP, good to hear from you. Thankfully the comment box moved to the top again (it was stuck at the very bottom for a while). Yeah, things are about as good as I could have expected with my MM considering everything that happened. He’s worked hard to show me he wants this relationship, and he continues to work hard to get me to stay. I feel a lot better about it all, and I think I can trust him again and be happy in our relationship. I’m taking it slowly, though. I also have been wondering if we needed something like this to get my head out of my a** a bit with him. Don’t mistake me… I’m not trying to put a positive spin on his cheating. Just that the summer was good for us and had been getting better slowly but there were still issues I wasn’t bringing up (like my discomfort with his drinking alone with that coworker), and now I’m bringing it all up. I have so much more comfort in saying the things I want to say and I’ve felt so much less fear over these months. I’ve had a lot of “If he can’t handle what I’m saying,” then I don’t want to be with him. I feel a calm now that I haven’t felt in a very long time with him. So, I’m not saying I needed him to cheat to get me to this point, but maybe I just needed something to shake me out of the pattern we were in where I let him get away with a lot more privacy and non-communication than I should have. And where I was still letting fear (of him leaving, of being a burden, of bringing up the same ol’ things) control my behavior a little too much with him.

    Wow, so you and your MM have gone NC. I know you had tried several times to pull back from him and go platonic, but I also know you said that it wasn’t working that well. That he kept trying to pull you back into the relationship. I also think I’m remembering that you two had a pretty big blow up a few months back, with you both saying some hurtful things. I’m sorry it had to come to NC. I know that must be hard. How are you feeling about it all? How long have you been NC? Of course, feel free to lean on us all you need.

    Good to hear you’re still planning to look for another job. That’s pretty essential if you’re really going to do NC and going to try to meet someone new. I like what you wrote to LL about whether or not she was looking for someone new. I’m sure there are some people who really can be content in a relationship like the one you describe with your friend. I really do think some people are fine not taking the step towards marriage, but I also think you’re right that we can lie to ourselves about being content or we can try to talk ourselves into being content when we’re really not. I’m sure some of us try to tell ourselves we’re content in the affair when I think it would be really hard to ever be content in an affair. We probably mean we’re happy with some aspects of it and maybe we don’t expect much more with this person, but It’s been a long time since I’ve been “content” in my affair. I know I wished for “content” for a long time and it never happened. It just all got more intense and harder over time.

    I like what you wrote in the end about helping others. Feels the same for me. I think I like talking about relationships simply because relationships are fascinating, but talking through other people’s relationships helps me understand my own better, too.

  52. LL, My MM is certainly putting in effort to try and fix this. I’m hesitant to go so far as to say he learned from it, but he’s saying the right things and acting like he has. This week, he was saying all sorts of things about recognizing that putting himself in these situations (having a drink alone with a coworker) isn’t worth the risk of our relationship, even if he thinks the situations are platonic and he can handle it (without anything going further). He said that he was probably too arrogant before in thinking that it’s no big deal going for a drink with someone, but now he recognizes how it can lead that person on and how it can risk us. Bottom line is that he’s saying that he probably shouldn’t be doing those things and that a drink out with another woman isn’t worth risking our relationship. We’ll see if he actually changes his behavior, though. I know it’s good he’s saying it and it’s a step in the right direction, but I’m going to need way more time and evidence before I believe he really believes the things he says. And if I’m honest, I’m not sure I could ever believe he won’t feel the temptation and act on it again. I guess I just think the odds are low enough to want to continue this with him. But to believe 100% he won’t do it again? We’ll see.

    Also, we had sex this week. I felt ready for it. Felt that I had taken my time to talk to him about the things I wanted across these months. He’s continued to show effort and reassurance about wanting me to stay and wanting our relationship. I felt the physical intimacy was part of moving forward, even if I don’t 100% feel the trust. Everything was good in our time together, but I was surprised at how vulnerable I felt after sex. I think it was the sex after the two months of none and then the vulnerability of all the trust things hitting me. Like, it’s a leap of faith or there’s a bit of a disconnect between the trust I want to feel during sex and the trust I currently feel. I know it will take time to get those things in line.

    As for your MM, I know you would have remembered if your MM told you that he and his W were going out of town. We do not forget those things. If your MM told you something, it was something so vague that it didn’t register with you and he thought he could get away with “letting you know” that way. Most likely, he thought he told you, but he didn’t. I know it doesn’t feel good when they go out of town with their W. I’ve always thought we were similar in not having a lot of jealousy about our MM’s W, but the going out of town stuff is a little harder. It just seems more intimate… even though I can tell you that I feel no different on vacation with my H than at home. My guess is it’s the same for your MM. My MM has never seemed closer to his W after vacation, and, if anything, he misses me more.

    I completely agree about the “you knew” card. The “you knew” card doesn’t negate all the current feelings. Just because “you knew” he was married, doesn’t mean he still doesn’t have to treat you well. Of course you know that sometimes he’ll have to go on vacation with his W. That doesn’t mean that you won’t feel weird about it. It’s normal for him to go on vacation, and it’s normal for you to feel things. So, if “you knew” he was married, then “he knew” you were a person with normal feelings who needs reassurance sometimes in a relationship! I also don’t know if what you’re noticing with him is that things are better with his W now. It’s possible, but I doubt it’s any sort of long-term change. That doesn’t really happen this far along in marriage. As usual, if it’s bothering you that much, you should say something. Your MM seems pretty good about conversations and understanding you need to talk it out sometimes. It seems he respects this about you. At least that’s how I’ve seen it.

    Meditation definitely can help lower stress. I did some meditation in the months after our break-up in 2017. And if you ever need help with APA style, just let me know! I teach it all of the time. 🙂

  53. Hey….

    My message was posted 2x. I checked for it before I sent it again but I didn’t see it

    It’s so nice to hear from you. Thank you for your encouraging words. I’m doing so much but its going to pay off. All of my classes are online but if I met someone YES…I would go out with them. I haven’t been opposed to dating someone else. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to. The majority of my time is spent parenting or advising other people. When I have time to go out with friends (which I make time for) we go to the same place because its inexpensive and we just want to chat with each other. I wish I could date several men because I would lol. I just like to hang out and I love male company in general. They’re really interesting to me, the way they think and how they perceive life and relationships is really interesting. So again, yes I would go out with other guys.

    How have you been ? What have you been up to besides working ?

  54. Felk,

    I’m sure your MM knows he doesn’t want to give you any ideas about the friendly coworker. I think he may have actually learned something from all of this. Its hard to repair relationships nevertheless an affair there are so many reasons not to trust in these situations. When you mess up the trust you have to put time, effort and energy into it to fix it and that can be very complicated. He has managed to pull it off and I don’t think many others are able to do that.

    I’m excited about all the new things happening in my life but it’s a lot of work. The writing class is really kicking me in the butt, I haven’t written a paper in years or done anything APA styled. However, I will manage! All of my courses are online but many of the students seem to live within the same state as me so…who knows what type of connections can take place. You’re right we both love talking about relationships and people…

    Yesterday his W picked up his son from my house and their son called me to ask for cables or something…they were stuck at the store and he said she started walking home and I know that’s a long walk so i asked if she needed a ride
    She told me she was almost home so it was ok. Well he called me about and hour later and said, do you want to hear something funny. I said what, he said she is pissed with me. I said oh yeah. He said, she called me 19 times and I didn’t answer because I was clothes, getting things together for the week. He said I didnt have the phone on me so I had no idea she called. I said oh yea, well I can’t talk too much I have the kids here with me. We got off the phone.

    This morning I asked him to call me. He did, I said I wanted to let you know I knew what happened because your son called. He said she was crying because he didnt answer the phone and she had to walk. I said well that was her choice to walk but I understand being frustrated by the situation in general. He said there are so many times she’s home and don’t have her phone on her. I said well I’m sure it’s nothing to be upset about for a long period of time. I asked him where he was and he said he was getting his car serviced. I said ok, are you off ? He said, yes she is too. We are going out of town for the day to see a show. I said, o ok. He said I told you about it. I said no you didnt. He said yes I did. I said no you didnt tell me. He said yes I did. I said well it’s ok but why do you always get so loud and argumentative when I tell you you didnt tell me something. He said because you cant never say, oo ok you did tell me that and you’re always trying to say I didn’t tell you something. I said well I don’t think that’s true but I would’ve remembered you telling me you were going to a show. He said I told you she didnt want to leave our son home but I told her he’s 16 and he would be fine for a day, you don’t remember me telling you that ? I said no I don’t recall that but it’s all good and there is no need to get so upset about it. His tone was very aggressive and my tone was very subtle. I didn’t want to argue although my feelings were hurt about them going somewhere and I haven’t had time with him.

    I got off the phone with him, feeling very foolish as I sometimes do and normally get over it pretty quickly. I know he’s allowed to take trips with his W. He’s allowed to do any and everything with his W but again my negativity system is on high alert and I miss him. I know some of what I feel is made up but I think there may be some validity in what’s been going on. I think things are good and when things are good, I get the super crappy end of the stick…i always get the short end of the stick but it’s super icky when they’re good with each other. I decided that I would talk to him about how I’m feeling. I am going to let him know I don’t want it to be an argument but I want him to hear me out. I think he likes to pull the “you knew” card but you know what I knew, I knew from the beginning that things were bad, I knew all of the yucky things and didn’t realize there would be times where everything “seemed” perfect. I’ve never been married and although I have been in relationships where there were ups/downs but this is my first rodeo with a situation like this and when you’ve been in an affair with the same partner you may get used to them and their ways but it doesn’t mean you aren’t bothered by certain things, it doesn’t mean you don’t need reassurance sometimes especially when things seem as if they’re going well at home. I think expectations change over time because feelings change and that is something that warrants a conversation. I don’t know how the conversation will go but I don’t like holding in what I’m feeling when I feel its relevant and warranted.

    Also…I’ve been doing meditations in the morning before I leave for work. I’m hopeful I will consistent with it. It can be a tool to help relieve stree, focus, and nourish positive thoughts.

  55. Hello,
    I finally found the comments section. I checked this page several times over the last few weeks and couldn’t locate any comments box visible. I thought I was out of luck so I’m pleased I checked again. Life Lessons, great news on all of the activities you have in motion. Your decisions are auspicious and you’re bound to be successful as a mom, friend, family member and significant other.

    I know you have kids, school, career and volunteering to manage which is huge. I’m curious if you met an interesting available guy would you go on a date and give him a chance? I found dating made me feel less tethered to one unavailable man and gave me hope of finding connections with other men that could give me more. You also gain some power whether perceived or real. Something to consider…. 🙂

    If you don’t want anything more then my statement is irrelevant. Sometimes I find that people including me fall into a state of cognitive dissonance by telling themselves they’re content with something when their heart may feel differently. One of my friends has been dating a guy for close to 2 years and she alleges she’s ok with not getting married or taking the next step. My gut tells me she isn’t but who am I to purport that anyone has conflicting beliefs with reality. I’m merely putting it out there because it has prevented me from taking actions that would actually benefit me in the long run.

    Felk, from what I’ve read things are going as well for you and your relationship. You appear to be comfortable and at peace with both worlds. I’m sure it helps to write here. It certainly has saved me emotionally. I couldn’t have maintained my sanity without this website. For me on the mm front we’ve decided to go no contact. I’ll write here and lean on folks when I miss talking to him. I haven’t quit my job yet but I have the resources ready to go when the timing is right. My parents convinced me to try to hold on until December to save more but either way I’ve got the means to go at any time. I’m happy and melancholy to start a new chapter without him in my life in any capacity.

    I’m eager to hear how you both continue forward and to provide responses where requested. Helping others helps me.

  56. Felk,

    I’m sure your MM knows he doesn’t want to give you any ideas about the friendly coworker. I think he may have actually learned something from all of this. Its hard to repair relationships nevertheless an affair there are so many reasons not to trust in these situations. When you mess up the trust you have to put time, effort and energy into it to fix it and that can be very complicated. He has managed to pull it off and I don’t think many others are able to do that.

    I’m excited about all the new things happening in my life but it’s a lot of work. The writing class is really kicking me in the butt, I haven’t written a paper in years or done anything APA styled. However, I will manage! All of my courses are online but many of the students seem to live within the same state as me so…who knows what type of connections can take place. You’re right we both love talking about relationships and people…

    Yesterday his W picked up his son from my house and their son called me to ask for cables or something…they were stuck at the store and he said she started walking home and I know that’s a long walk so i asked if she needed a ride
    She told me she was almost home so it was ok. Well he called me about and hour later and said, do you want to hear something funny. I said what, he said she is pissed with me. I said oh yeah. He said, she called me 19 times and I didn’t answer because I was clothes, getting things together for the week. He said I didnt have the phone on me so I had no idea she called. I said oh yea, well I can’t talk too much I have the kids here with me. We got off the phone.

    This morning I asked him to call me. He did, I said I wanted to let you know I knew what happened because your son called. He said she was crying because he didnt answer the phone and she had to walk. I said well that was her choice to walk but I understand being frustrated by the situation in general. He said there are so many times she’s home and don’t have her phone on her. I said well I’m sure it’s nothing to be upset about for a long period of time. I asked him where he was and he said he was getting his car serviced. I said ok, are you off ? He said, yes she is too. We are going out of town for the day to see a show. I said, o ok. He said I told you about it. I said no you didnt. He said yes I did. I said no you didnt tell me. He said yes I did. I said well it’s ok but why do you always get so loud and argumentative when I tell you you didnt tell me something. He said because you cant never say, oo ok you did tell me that and you’re always trying to say I didn’t tell you something. I said well I don’t think that’s true but I would’ve remembered you telling me you were going to a show. He said I told you she didnt want to leave our son home but I told her he’s 16 and he would be fine for a day, you don’t remember me telling you that ? I said no I don’t recall that but it’s all good and there is no need to get so upset about it. His tone was very aggressive and my tone was very subtle. I didn’t want to argue although my feelings were hurt about them going somewhere and I haven’t had time with him.

    I got off the phone with him, feeling very foolish as I sometimes do and normally get over it pretty quickly. I know he’s allowed to take trips with his W. He’s allowed to do any and everything with his W but again my negativity system is on high alert and I miss him. I know some of what I feel is made up but I think there may be some validity in what’s been going on. I think things are good and when things are good, I get the super crappy end of the stick…i always get the short end of the stick but it’s super icky when they’re good with each other. I decided that I would talk to him about how I’m feeling. I am going to let him know I don’t want it to be an argument but I want him to hear me out. I think he likes to pull the “you knew” card but you know what I knew, I knew from the beginning that things were bad, I knew all of the yucky things and didn’t realize there would be times where everything “seemed” perfect. I’ve never been married and although I have been in relationships where there were ups/downs but this is my first rodeo with a situation like this and when you’ve been in an affair with the same partner you may get used to them and their ways but it doesn’t mean you aren’t bothered by certain things, it doesn’t mean you don’t need reassurance sometimes especially when things seem as if they’re going well at home. I think expectations change over time because feelings change and that is something that warrants a conversation. I don’t know how the conversation will go but I don’t like holding in what I’m feeling when I feel its relevant and warranted.

    Also…I’ve been doing meditations in the morning before I leave for work. I’m hopeful I will consistent with it. It can be a tool to help relieve stree, focus, and nourish positive thoughts.

    Chat soon!

  57. LL, yeah, things feel like they’re getting closer to “normal” with my MM. He’s still being good with reassurance and showing affection. He’s not over-the-top with it, but he’s just doing more and it’s what I need. Last week, he said “I love you” again and it felt really good given how little he says it. I know not to get too used to it, but he’s working hard to show me he wants me to stay. We also had our first “test” of me seeing him out with the coworker who seems interested in him. She had texted him weeks ago asking him for a drink. He suggested getting a group together (I liked that he didn’t go out with her alone). We all went out last week, and he didn’t seem into her at all. He paid so much attention to me. And this coworker got a new boyfriend over the summer so she might not be that into my guy anymore either. Either way, he showed me he was into me and that was important.

    First, for your three new things with the bachelor’s in psych, second job, and volunteering to be a mentor, wow. This is all so great, especially the part about you finishing your degree and planning to get your MSW. My degrees are in Psych so big surprise you and I like to talk about relationships and people so much! I have so many students who go back to school after other jobs, having kids, etc., and I have a lot of respect for you figuring out what you want and going for it. Also sounds like all of this will help you in that mentoring program at your kid’s school. I also can’t help but think with all these new opportunities in your life that it might mean new opportunities to meet someone new (who can be more than an affair partner). But I’m getting ahead of myself! 🙂

    Second, your MM. I appreciate when you give all the details in your stories. It helps me be more objective and give an outside perspective on what you’re dealing with. We can definitely get in our heads when we’re in the middle of it. And most of us go to the “negative” interpretation as a default. It’s great that you’re trying to do better with this. I’ve always noticed you trying to look at the whole situation and give your MM the benefit of the doubt. Of course, sometimes we can be naive and too generous, but generally, since negative is our default, I think it’s good to pause and think about other explanations that are not as negative. Often, we find out it’s not what we thought it was.

    With you looking for your MM to help you a bit with the laptop, I understand both of your perspectives. I get why you might want your boyfriend to help you financially at times, but I also understand how he doesn’t have a lot of $ available and how he expects reciprocation. We’ve talked about this before on here, but I do think it’s fair for both people in the relationship to contribute $ equally. I think you both have a lot of expenses given that you have kids so I understand why it’s hard for both of you to do. It sounds like he’d help you with $ if he could. And when he couldn’t give you $, he wanted to get you that laptop of his quickly and I think that was thoughtful and kind. I also get why you were a little annoyed with his use of “we.” I read his message the way you did. I thought he meant him and his W, too (but he meant the two of you).
    Honest misunderstanding. It’s also pretty great that you recognized you were testing him with asking him for $, knowing he probably wouldn’t be able to give you that $. That’s big of you to apologize, and I see he appreciates that.

    I also get why his comments from a few weeks ago about resetting with his family are lingering. And when those thoughts linger you can look to other “signs” that maybe he’s less interested in you. And that’s probably why you tested him asking for the $. One of the hardest things with an affair is how we have to try to figure out another’s thoughts/feelings/intentions even though we have so little contact and communication with them. Affairs rely on a lot of trust to be successful. My guess is that you’re still stinging a little from his comments a few weeks ago and you’re reading some negative into some neutral things lately. But… I also always think you should pay attention to your feelings and if something really feels off, you should say something. Because even if nothing’s “off” with your MM, what’s “off” is that you’re not feeling right about the relationship and you two need to talk about it.

    For me, over the summer it was that my MM didn’t schedule any time at night for us. Not one night date over the summer. In past summers, we’d have at least one, if not two or three. But this past summer, nothing. I couldn’t figure out why, especially after I asked him to plan one (even though he said he wasn’t sure he could make it work and I told him there was no pressure). I really meant that there was no pressure, and I never brought it up again. In May, told him I’d leave it to him to plan and if he couldn’t, fine. But when he didn’t, it surprised me (in a bad way). But every other sign was showing he was still interested in me and us (and more than he had been in two years) so I’ve been trying to figure out what the deal was with him and nights (and trying not to take it personally). In September, we had two night dates. Last week, I told him I had some nights to myself coming up (with my H out of town), and he said that nights were harder for him now (with his W’s new job) and how he doesn’t like to schedule nights as much anymore because, if he is not around, that leaves the work (picking up kids) to his W and he doesn’t like to do that too often. That was such a fair explanation. I know he’s cheating on his W, but he still is trying to be a good partner and good father. I think your MM does the same, and it kind of explains why we like these men for this many years. They try to be decent partners (even, though, yes, they are cheating). So, my point is, what can feel bad and feel personal often isn’t. I just have to work extra hard not to take things personally in my affair!

  58. Hi Felk,

    I’m sure it feels nice to spend so much time with your MM and being able to really enjoy those moments together without sex. It sounds like things are getting back to “normal”. Of course there will always be the typical affair issues that will arise every now and again.

    I wanted to share a few things with you…

    1. I am going back to school to get a bachelor’s degree in Pyschology. All of my classes will be online. I started on Monday Sept 30th. I am taking two classes one is required by the school and the other is advanced research writing 🙄😣 I have an associates degree so, next semester I will start taking classes for my major.This is exciting and stressful at the same time. I would like to obtain a MSW and become a licensed clinical therapist. The amount of time that could take scares me…so, I will take this one step at a time. I don’t want to self sabotage and when I get too anxious about things that happens…

    2. I am also starting a second job, it’s part-time as an assistant for a Management Company. Assisting with sending emails, making calls and helping with Quick Books. I will be working from home for about 10-20 hours per month. I wanted to learn how to run a management company because I am interested in started one and I need the extra money😊 so it’s a win win.

    3. I volunteered to be a mentor and become a parent representative for the business program at my child’s school that he’s apart. There are no parents participating on the board, they meet once a month for an hour so I can manage that. There are three male teachers running the business program so they asked for mentors for the young ladies in the program to talk to them about how to dress professional and things of that sort, that they as men don’t feel the most comfortable speaking on. There were not many parents there and no one else decided to help so…I figured I could help out as often as I can.

    ****I am going to be super busy****

    4. I have come to realize, I have negative thinking and that creates issues that are not there or true.
    So…as I stated, I am taking online classes but the week before school started or maybe 2 weeks prior to my computer broke! I figured I would try to get me a chromebook since they were really cheap and I needed something ASAP. So, I spoke to my MM because he knows more about that stuff than I do. I told him I was going to stop by the electronic store and I need a laptop that can move quickly, have multiple tabs open and I need Quick Books for my second job. He told me to ask about the processor, the memory and storage. He said tell them to show you the best, middle, and the lowest that can do what you need. I went in and they helped me understand why I couldn’t get a chromebook and it’s not compatible with Quick Books so that wasn’t going to work. The one I needed, cost more than I could afford so I didnt get anything. Fast forward, the week of school is here and I sent him a message on Monday
    I said….
    Hey good morning..hope you had a really good weekend and a great start to the week…although it was kind of dreary this morning.

    He said…
    Idk, babe..had to be here at 645a, to press the power button for customer..sooo, u know I’m not feeling that!

    I said…
    Wow, yea that was early! Hopefully you can leave early.

    He said….
    Yea, I am outta here at lunch time!..I was really tryna c u this weekend

    I said….
    …you were ?! It was all good though! Do you have something to contribute to my laptop though…that would be awesome?

    He said…
    I didn’t get that already??

    I said….
    Nope…I didn’t have it so I couldn’t get it. They showed me what would work for me.
    So…🤔is it a Y or a N

    He said…
    When r u getting it?

    I said…
    I NEED it A.S.A.P my class starts today and my computer is broken! I’m not getting it until I have the money not sure when that will be. The Chromebook is cheaper but it won’t work for what I need. If you cannot contribute…let me know, I won’t ask u again.

    He said….
    I have a laptop you can use until u get urs. Why can’t u use a chromebook?

    I said…..
    So it’s a no…got it! I genuinely appreciate your offer to use yall laptop but either way I have to buy one and if I had the means to get it myself I wouldn’t have asked you.”
    I need to use Quick Books and it’s not compatible nor is there a different version to use…

    He said…….
    I can’t right now…I will call u in a minute

    I said…….
    O ok, I understand. Just figured I would ask! I’m use to doing things on my own so I will figure it out. Thanks again for offering yall laptop!

    He said…….
    Who is y’all??

    He called me shortly after he sent that message and his tone was aggressive. He said who is yall. I said, you wrote it in the message you put We* he said what I was telling you is I have a laptop you can use until WE figure out how to get you one of your own. That’s what I said. I said, oh I didnt know. I will take that one. He said you know I cant just buy you a laptop, I said I asked for a contribution not for you to purchase it. He said what is it like $600-800 I said yes something like that. He said, I cannot come up with that right away. I said ok, I honestly didnt expect you to give me all of it. I just wanted to know if you would help me. We got off the phone, he didn’t call me back that day. However, Tuesday I sent him a message asking how he was feeling. He text back not good, he had a lot going on. I said, ok do you want to talk about it ? If so, I will listen. He said no, i will be ok. I said ok. Later that day around 4p I text and asked if he remembered to bring the laptop home. He didn’t reply. I went to pick up his son to take him and my son to practice and I noticed his car was home. I waited until I dropped the boys off and around 7p I text him asking him to call me. He called right away, I said did you get my message, he said yes I said do you have it. I heard him say in a rushed voiced, let me call right back..I said ok

    I figured she was home or walked in or something. I went out to meet one of my good friends. He called while I was out and I told him I was out. He said, he left out early to get our boys so that he could come by to bring me the laptop. He said, well I will give it to you tomorrow. We hung up. He gave it to me the next day. He called me early Thursday morning to make sure it was working the way I needed it to. I asked him to call me around lunch time. When we spoke, I told him I wanted to apologize for the text messages. He said what…I said Tuesday I was being sarcastic and he said oh yea I know but i don’t take it person when you act like that so I didn’t pay you any attention. He said, I know you feel like I should do this…or I’m suppose to do this because of that…I said, well I wanted to apologize because it was unneccessary for me to act like that and I want to grow and be better at adulting. I said before I text you, (which i hate asking you or anyone for anything but I did it) my thoughts were he isn’t going to come through for me because I have asked him before and he hasn’t done it so he’s not going to do it now. Therefore, it didnt matter what you said, it would fit my narrative because that’s the energy I put out there. I said, I tested you and forced you to fail and I apologize for that. He said, you know this is why I rock with you the way that I do. He said but babe, let me tell you..I cannot give you large sums of money like that, I make decent money but I also have decent bills. There are a lot of things I would like to do but I can’t because I don’t have it. He said, I don’t want you to think you can’t ask me but I want you to understand that it’s reciprocal. I said, what. He said, for example (and this is just and example, do not be offended or get in your feelings) you know the female I was dealing with before, well she would ask me for things just as you did and I could go to her as well. So if she said hey can I get $300 If i had it, I could give it to her and if I didnt I couldn’t but I could also ask her. I said well she was married and both of yall had 2 incomes in your household. He said that doesn’t matter, its reciprocal. I said well I’m a single parent who has to take care of everything by myself so my circumstance is difference. He said but you knew the situation from the beginning because I didn’t lie. I said you’re right and I honestly didnt think this long, it wasn’t my intentions to be with you for this long. Therefore, my expectations and feelings have changed over time. He said neither did I, i didnt know we would deal with each other for years and things have changed for me as well.

    He said but let me ask you, if I come to you and say babe, can you give me $50 until Friday what will you say ? I said, l would give it to you if I had it and if I didn’t I wouldn’t. I can’t give you what I don’t have. He said..my point exactly! I said, I genuinely love and care about you so if I could help you out or support you in some way I would. He said, well if you love me why did you go leave the other night when I told you I was bringing you the laptop. I said, what ?! I didn’t hear you tell me that when we got off the phone. He said I did. I said, I really didn’t hear you say that to me because I wouldn’t have left. He said, well I told you I was going to bring it to you. I said if I’m honest with myself and you, if you asked me for money I would give it to you but in my head, I would say, I can’t believe he asked me for money. I know that may sound bad but I’m being honest. I said, I really try not to ask you or anyone for anything. He said well that wasn’t the point I was trying to make to you and thats not what I want you to take away from this conversation. He said what I want you to take away from this is….what’s good for the geese is good for the gander. That’s it. I said ok, and we ended up getting off the phone. I text him that night to tell him thanks again and the focus music he told me to listen to was working. He called me Friday early in the morning to tell me he knew it would help me stay focus because it helps him when he’s at work.

    I like to give the entire story to help with perspective. He hasn’t been to my house the last 2x my kids weren’t home. They’re only gone every other weekend. I’m sure as much as I try to be understanding about the situation, it still lingers in my mind in a negative way. Also, a few weeks ago he mentioned resetting and spending time with family, another thing I tried to view in a positive light but it holds negative weight or maybe it feeds my narrative of negativity so I can see the positives but hold on to the negative perspective. Anyway, I don’t think I had direct questions but I’m curious about what you think of all of this…

    Hope all is well…chat soon!

  59. LL, it does feel a little like my MM and I are falling in love all over again (actually, it felt like that over the summer when he was coming over to my house regularly again for the first time since Sept 2017). It especially feels like my MM is in love. It felt like that this summer. I know all of that is mixed up now with his guilt and trying to show me that he wants (only) me. I feel a mix now, too. I’m a little cautious to get too happy still. We had three nice days together this week (two initiated by him), but I’m still staying away from sex. I can tell it will happen soon, though. Things definitely are getting better slowly. But even with things getting better, we’ll still have all the problems of an affair. 🙂

    You know I understand how you feed yourself a narrative to keep yourself safe. It’s just smart in an affair. I think my MM would have been better off doing that the first few years of our affair instead of getting as swept up as he did. It led to a lot of tension for him, his marriage, and us. Now, he seems to do better being realistic about it all. So, I understand why you might try to tell yourself that he doesn’t love you (but he does).

    That’s rough not talking to your MM all last week, but pretty understandable if his friend just died. I know how hard it is to hear your MM say that he’s resetting and needed time with family. But I’m sure your MM means just that. I don’t think it means anything about your relationship.

    I’m glad you were able to be positive about it, though, and not think of the negative interpretation too much. I usually try to do the same. Try to think of the most realistic interpretation and go with that (and usually it’s the one that gives the person the benefit of the doubt). It can take a lot to send the supportive text message when you’re not feeling supported, but that’s sometimes necessary (and it’s mature). It also sounds like he really appreciated your support. 🙂 I hope he’s been more communicative this week.

    I think we all say “I love you” more in intimate times just because the feelings match the actions. I don’t think it’s heat of the moment only. I think it’s just easier at those times. My MM says “I love you” more during intimate times, whether it’s sex or just kissing. I mainly say it to my MM in intimate moments, too. I prefer it that way. I’m not really just a random “I love you” person during the day. My H is. Maybe just some individual differences here. Humans are interesting indeed.

  60. Felk,

    One day at a time is probably the best way for most of us in these types of situations. It really seems like you guys are falling in love all over again. I’m sure you will get physical with each other soon but it’s nice that you’re taking your time.

    As far as the love thing goes with my MM, I think he definitely has love for me. I often times think it’s easier to feed my own narrative of how he doesn’t love me and her because it keeps me safe…I know we have talked about this more times than none lol I just go back and forth in my head about how “loving me and her” works. When we are on good terms, he’s calling me everyday, it makes me feel like he is interested and when we see each other, most of the time I get the feeling he does love me. However, when certain things take place, I think to myself, ” you are foolish to think he really can love both you and her”. I know it’s crazy but my mind wanders like that…

    Last week I didn’t talk to him at all. I was not sure if he was feeling bad because he couldn’t make it to my house Saturday and figured I would be upset (normally that is my reaction). As the days went on I started to feel some type of way about not hearing from him but I didn’t want to be upset about it because I knew we didn’t have a reason to be in a bad place with each other. So, I talked myself off the ledge. I ended up texting him thursday saying, hey I’m sure you’re good and possibly busy so I’m just saying Hello! He didn’t reply to me. Friday, I sent him a bitmoji with a sad face looking down at the phone. He called right away. He said hey I got your message this morning around 6am so I didn’t want to call you that early because I figured you were asleep. I said oh ok, I was actually awake. I said, what happened all the other days of the week. He said, remember I told you last week that my good friend passed away ? I said yes. He said, “well his funeral service was yesterday and I’ve been torn up about it all week, I’ve had to reset my mind, it messed me up because it was something that could’ve happened to any of us. I’ve been just spending a lot of time with my family, I just can’t believe he is gone.” I said oh wow…I’m sorry and it was silent for a few then he said, well let me call you when I get off work. I said ok. I was not sure about how I felt about him saying he needed to reset and be with family. I wasn’t sure what that meant and my mind goes to the negative thoughts first. Therefore, I heard him say, I want us to fall back a little and deal with each other less, I need to be with my W. I know that is not what he said but my mind interpreted it that way. He called around 7p and I couldn’t answer because one of my kids was in the car with me.
    Saturday, he called me and I was with both of my kids so I couldn’t answer but when I called back he didn’t answer so I sent him a message…it said,
    Hey, I was returning your call! I know losing your friend has been hard on you and prayerfully you will find some peace and be ok. If there is anything I can do, let me know. Take as much time as you need, to reset and heal…everyone mourns/grieve differently. I genuinely care and want you to be good!

    I decided to go with my positive interpretation of what I thought he meant when I spoke to him the day prior. I didn’t want us to be in a bad space and I didn’t want to be a b@#$& to him knowing he lost a friend. He didn’t reply to the message but he called me last night. He said he was at work most of the day and he was on his way home. He asked if I wanted to take a ride with him and I said yes..we took a ride and parked and he showed me the obituary of his friend and there was a picture of him at the friends wedding from years ago and he reminisces about their friendship. We were “intimate” in the car and during that time he said things like, you always know what say and say the right thing, you always know what to do and you always make me feel good or make me feel better and that’s why I love you. He has said he loved me without us being “intimate” but I knew what he was saying has something to do with the text I sent him earlier that day. I think people say anything during intimate moments so it’s always a bit challenging for me to understand if it’s real feelings or is it just BS. He talks like that during times of intimacy and he almost always says he loves me. I have a tendency to say I love you before he leaves my house and he will say it back. I just wonder if he means the things he says while we are in the moment. I guess if I had to look at his actions more times than none, I would say yes but it is complex. I think in the beginning of the summer we had a talk about his feelings for me and he said he quite a few things but I remember him saying, he is vulnerable with me, more emotional or sensitive, he tells me about his feelings and he’s honest with me. We talked about an hr that day and I was at work. I’m sure I wrote about it here. Anyway, I guess I know he cares and loves me but I do my best to block that out to keep me safe.

  61. LL, I like your advice of taking it day by day. I am still trying to do that. It’s working well so far. I don’t feel that I’m rushing myself to heal, and I definitely don’t feel that my MM is rushing me. So, I will try to enjoy my MM’s attention without worrying too much about that attention lessening as things get back to “normal.” We did have a good time Monday night (just a lot of good conversation while out), and then he came to my house yesterday and it was more good conversation and laughing. Our conversations are no longer dominated by the cheating, and my thoughts don’t even go there much through the conversation. A month ago, it was all I could think about when I was with him; but now I mostly don’t think about it when I’m with him. I don’t want to dismiss it, though, and still try to focus on my hurt feelings when they arise. Still no sex (intentionally) but nice kissing again yesterday. I don’t know when sex will happen but just trying to take it slow since it will be hard not to think of him having sex with someone else the first time we have sex again.

    So, wait, when you say there’s no way your MM has “in love” feelings for you and then goes home to his W, are you saying you don’t think your MM loves you? I think he does. I know we’ve talked about that word on here a lot about whether or not someone can really love someone else in an affair, but I think they can. Especially when it goes on this long. I’m not saying it’s always a healthy love or the same love I have with my H, but I love my MM. My MM loves me. Your MM has said those words to you before, and I think he loves you (even if he doesn’t say it a lot). I understand telling yourself he doesn’t have real feeling to protect yourself, though. It’s scary to go too far in thinking he loves you, because the reality that he is with another woman can hurt.

    It’s good that he makes time for you most weekends, but I know how schedules can change and then the pattern changes (like you’re saying with football season). I hope you’ve talked to him by now, and it’s good that he tries to let you know if he’s not available. Like I’ve said, I think your MM treats you well (as well as can be expected in an affair).

  62. Felk,

    I am still here and will let you know when its time for me to move on from here but I actually need this forum a lot. Although I don’t comment half as much as I use to, I have comfort in knowing I have support here.
    I’m happy to hear you and your MM are getting back to normal. I think the attention is nice and easy to get use to it but I also think it’s ok to deal with it day by day and keep a open mind about the fact that it may not last forever but what does. Enjoy it as much as you can!
    Building trust with someone who has lied to you is challenging but if you say you believe he has moved on from that other woman and nothing is happening with the one from the job than that’s all that matters. I think your MM truly cares for and loves you and is genuinely trying to make it right. Two times a week spending time…I’m jealous lol
    I’m hoping everything goes well when I go in for my pap, it’s not until Jan because that’s the earliest appt my doctor had. I think he told me I could go in every two years if I wasn’t having unprotected sex but I feel more comfortable with yearly exams considering I’m sexually active. Yaaaaay for you…no cancerous cells, I’m sure that was scary. All of this was definitely a wake up call. Good for you suggesting he goes to get himself checked out, that’s important.

    As far as the juggling of both relationships. I appreciate your explanation of this from a married person’s perspective. I think you hit it dead on. I think I’ve said it here before, I feel like there’s no way he has these “in love” feelings for me and yet goes home to his W but I know on the flip side of that there are things he does and says that let me know he does have real feelings for me…I think I like to play games with my mind lol. Its like if I tell myself he doesn’t have real feelings for me i won’t be as disappointed when things don’t go my way. I know him and his W still have sex but I don’t think it’s often. He’s never tried to convince that he’s not sleeping with her but over the years he has alluded to the fact that she says no to sex much much more than she says yes.
    You’re right about finding time to spend with one another no matter what. There are times we have gotten a room because we had to go weeks without spending alone time together. I think I just try to prepare my mind for the worse to lessen the blow….

    On another note, I haven’t talked to him on the phone since Friday night. When he doesn’t come over on Saturday he does his best to come over on Sunday but I think Football season makes that more complicated as he is a football fan and watches Sunday Football. He didn’t call me me Sunday nor did he call me today. I was wondering if he thinks I’m upset that he didn’t come over during the weekend because I normally get upset and act bratty about it but this time I decided not to get too upset especially since he made sure to let me know. Hopefully, I will here from him tomorrow…

    Hope you enjoyed your date with MM! Chat with you soon

  63. Hi LL, Good to find you over here. It was weird thinking I wouldn’t ever talk to you ladies again.
    🙂 My last post about my MM was about two weeks ago and things continue to get better. Slowly. We have kept talking about it all, but the conversation is shifting to less about his cheating two years ago and more about the usual things we talk about. He is still rather attentive, reassuring, and apologetic. We’ve been back at work now for three weeks and not only have we had time for each other but he continues to suggest and agree to more time than usual. We’ve been spending alone time together twice/week either getting a drink, in his car, at an outdoor spot we like, or at my house. We did kiss for the first time (since the reveal) last week. But kissing is as far as it’s gone (including hand-holding that we’ve been doing throughout). I felt ready for that kiss, but I still don’t want to rush things. I think things are slowly getting back to normal, but I do still feel weird about it all. It’s all lost some of its luster. I still feel in love with him, but I don’t have the same excitement I used to. I assume it will come back but maybe not. I will not force myself to feel something I don’t. I’m trying to continue to say the things I want to say, and it’s been nice not to hold back. I don’t want to say I needed him to cheat to get honest, but, wow, do I feel much more comfortable being honest now. I definitely feel a strength I haven’t had in a long time with him. I know it was a bit of a wake-up call for me. All of his attention is really nice, too. He put a lovely note under my door at work last week for my birthday, and he wrote this great email to me two weeks ago with a list of reasons why he wants me to stay (in our relationship). The list ended with “You’re the one for me” and that hit me hard. I know it’s a complicated thing to hear a person say after that person cheated, but I know how he means that sentence. I also know he’s completely done with this other woman and it all meant little to him. (I understand because I’ve done it.) And with the coworker who I was jealous of? He wants nothing to do with her right now. It’s kind of great. He’s been clear that he’s focusing on me.

    I do worry about liking this attention too much and then going back to the less we were doing before the cheating reveal. He brought it up on Friday. I was saying things about liking his attention these last few weeks and he asked if I wanted it to continue. I joked like “duh” and we talked about it, with him seeming to want it to continue too. I was surprised. We generally left it at just seeing what happens. Continue as we want to continue. I remain wary and won’t be surprised if we slip back into less as all of this becomes too much for him again. But I will also try to speak up more if it doesn’t seem he’s giving enough.

    He also asked me on a date for tomorrow night. It’s been a very long time since he’s asked for some time at night.

    With the health stuff (thanks for asking), I think everything is good. All other STI tests were clear, and I had the biopsy after they found the HPV/abnormal cells on my pap and that showed no precancerous cells. So, it’s just the typical let the infection clear and come back in a year. I hope you get the same good news, but good on you for checking it out. My MM is also going to get the STI screen soon. He asked if I wanted him to a few weeks ago, and I didn’t push but suggested yes and he set up a physical with his primary. I figure if I’m clear he is, but, well, better safe than sorry at this point, right? 🙂

    With my H, things are fine. About the same, I’d say. This cheating stuff hasn’t caused me nearly as much stress as the misery of the break-up two years ago. How do married people juggle two relationships? Honestly, I don’t find it that hard. Yes, it’s hurt my marriage a bit, but my H and I are doing okay. We have a nice relationship (with very little sex). Yes, sometimes it’s hard (especially at stressful times with my MM or times I’m feeling really in love and don’t want to be around my H), but mostly I separate the two. It has been easier since my MM and I pulled back a lot two years ago. We don’t have near the intensity of time together now (three years ago we were chatting 4-5 nights/week online for 2-3 hours/night). That’s great that your MM makes time to call you every day, even if for a few minutes. Things like that have shown me over the years how much he values his relationship with you. He has always seemed to try to treat you well. I know sometimes it can seem he doesn’t, but I think he is just trying to juggle it all. I don’t have kids. He does. My MM does. To juggle kids and another relationship seems extra hard to me. But part of the reason it’s possible is because the marriage is just on autopilot to some extent. I know that doesn’t sound great, but it’s true for a lot of long-term marriages. When you’ve been married a while, you have the same routines. You also don’t feel the same interest in your partner so it’s just easy to step out on your porch and call your girlfriend (because she’s the one you want to be talking to). 🙂

    I still think you made the right call with not going to that event where your MM and his W were. I don’t think you should worry too much about his W asking why you weren’t there. Just make up something that you had to do that conflicted with the event. “I really wanted to go, but I had X.” I think the worry that you and your MM would give away your feelings for each other is real. I’m sure there are looks you two give, smiles, etc. Even subtle, others might notice. A few people at work have commented on my MM and I. We look at each other, smile at each other, spend time with each other (even at work) in ways that most people don’t. Others have noticed (even if they don’t think we’re having an affair). Your MM’s W might notice, especially if she has even the tiniest suspicion. Or maybe that night would start her suspicion. And, as you said, you’d probably end up talking to her a lot since she’s one of the few people you know there. Then that makes you feel awkward in all sorts of ways. Best to avoid.

    As far as this year being the last for you and your MM, I’m not so sure. You two have something pretty good, and my guess is that if you want it to continue, it will. It may be harder with the children away (or, in your case, at home) but when people want to find the time and space, they do. My MM’s schedule has changed a lot across the last 7 years with kids getting older, yet he’s still mostly found a way (and maybe even more now with his kids older). I get wanting to talk about it with your MM ahead of time, but if you want it, I’m thinking you two will find a way. And he might even want to more because he has so much time alone at home with his W!

  64. Felk,

    I hope things are going well for you. I know you decided to stick it out with your MM. I’m guessing you have to rebuild the trust within your relationship. I’m sure that can be a little challenging but possible. Have you been able to spend time with him now that you all have gone back to work ? Are you guys still talking about what happened or have you put it behind you ? Also have you gone back to the doctors and what happened with that ? After you posted about what happened I contacted my doctor to schedule an appointment. I was told that I haven’t had a pap in 2 years and I didn’t know it had been that long because I went in last year but it was just to clear up a yeast infection and I got blood work done but I need to get an exam. Hopefully it will all go well. How have you been maintaining things with your H ? I have asked my MM how is he able to juggle having 2 women in his life and trying to manage both relationships. I understand his and I relationship is not as significant with the one he has with his W but I noticed with him, he doesn’t want me to be upset with him so he tries to do what I ask him to do. He tries not to disappoint me and I typically can tell when he is not going to be able to come over because it will be hard for us to communicate with each other that day because he is with her but he puts forth the effort to communicate with me on a regular basis, even if he has to sit on their porch and talk to me for a few minutes he makes sure he talks to me daily. He told me it’s crazy how long we’ve been dealing with one another. He told me she asked him why I didn’t come to the event. He told her I never called him back. Him and I talked about why I didn’t feel comfortable. We thought if I went to the event it would be obvious that we had a connection because we feel its noticeable. He said it could be as simple as I walk by him and the way he watches me when I walk away or how we smile at each other when nothing is funny and as much as you think you can hide these things, a connection is not always easy to hide. He said he don’t know why he would put that amount of pressure on himself. He said he would just stay away from me while we are at the event. I said but I would have to talk to her or even sit near her because I don’t know anyone there and she would talk to me because she knows me. Our kids are best friends, we work together to provide transportation for them to and from their sports events so how could we be in a space together (even if there are hundreds of people) and not communicate with each other..that would seem weird for all three of us. I told him I didn’t think it was a smart decision. However, he told her I was coming because initially I said I would but when I didn’t show up she wanted to know why. I told him I hate that she knows we communicate with each other. It makes me feel like I’m betraying her as if she’s a friend of mine but she’s not. I guess it’s because she trusts me enough to communicate with him with the thought that I am not interested in him…I’m hoping i don’t run into her because I don’t want her to ask me about why i didn’t come to the event…this is the second year she’s told him to invite me and I don’t show up. I know it’s best for me not to be at any event with them on purpose. I’ve been thinking that next year will probably be our last year together. Our boys will graduate high school and I think it will be more challenging to find consistent time for each other. My kids go with their other parent every other weekend but once my son graduates, I don’t see him being out of the house at a consistent time every other weekend. He is considering going to college close to home. I think my MM will also have to spend more time with her because she will need that since their last child in the house will be in college or military which ever one he decides. I haven’t talked to him about it because I wasn’t sure what it sound like to say…hey we got one more together and then we can call it quits. I will likely mention it to him. I try to be honest and up front with him about my thoughts, fear and discomforts.

  65. As usual, Laurie, great advice. As with most of these issues, it’s rarely as simple as do X. These are complicated situations that require considering a lot of factors, as you note when you explain how your partner might not be able to leave the job where he/she works with an ex-affair partner. But your advice about paying attention to how you feel is great. Not that we always can tell if a partner is being honest or sincere, but if something feels “off” it’s important to recognize it and talk to your partner about it. Especially if that person has recently cheated. Not only is it understandable that a person might be overly sensitive but a person who’s been cheated on has good reason to be sensitive and look for warning signs. The former (being oversensitive and being jealous when you no longer need to be) is tricky because you’ve been hurt, but I like your advice about talking to someone you can trust or eventually talking to a therapist if you feel your jealousy is out of control. Jealousy is brutal. And when your partner has given you a reason to feel threatened, that can take a long time to get past.

    It’s also really good advice to pay attention to something not feeling right. Yes, our emotions can steer us wrong, but if something doesn’t feel right… it isn’t right. Whether that means your partner is still doing problematic behaviors and you need to talk about it or it means your jealousy is consuming you (and she/he’s not doing anything to cause that), something is not right and it needs to be addressed. Ultimately, it may be that you simply cannot forgive your partner for cheating and it may be best to leave the relationship.

    I also really like your advice to talk to the person about it if we’re still jealous. Too often we can hold those feelings inside because we feel vulnerable to admit we feel threatened. But it’s entirely normal to feel threatened when a partner cheats, no matter how much they reassure it is over. It’s also normal for these feelings to linger for a while, even when you might think you *should* be over it. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be “okay” sooner than we’re ready. We also are often scared to bring it up with a partner who cheats. While we may have a lot of anger at the partner for cheating, we also can have a lot of fear that our partner isn’t attracted to us anymore or wants to leave. We may fear we will drive the person away with neediness if we express jealousy. So, that’s why I like your advice because it addresses real vulnerabilities we have in these situations and tries to remind us that the only way to heal is to be honest and open about feelings. The problems will keep surfacing if you don’t address them. It’s also as you say about being true to yourself. I know that I always feel better in relationships when I can be true to myself, expressing concerns, than when I’m holding back due to fear. Fear is powerful, but if we let it control us, then we cannot have the honest healthy relationship we desire.