Getting Over an Affair: Dealing With Affair Withdrawal

getting over an affairGetting over an affair is not only difficult for the person who was betrayed, but also for the person who had the affair.  When you have had an affair and it ends, you might get a feeling of “withdrawal.”

As we have mentioned many times on this blog, being in an affair is a lot like being addicted to a drug. This means that when you end the affair you will have to go through the uncomfortable experience of withdrawal before you can get over it.

There are three major emotional symptoms of affair withdrawal: anger, anxiety, and depression. Why you might have these emotions should be fairly self-explanatory at this point.

I feel that I did indeed have a withdrawal period, though I don’t feel that it lasted that long. (Linda may have a different opinion on that.)  After all, I was tiring of the affair relationship and the hassles involved with it in the first place. 

As I try to remember back to that period, I know that I felt both a sense of relief that the affair was finally over, yet a sense of loss as well.  However, the sense of loss quickly faded for me, and I was able to turn (with Linda’s support) to repairing our damaged relationship.

Getting over an affair takes time…

Dr. Frank Gunzburg, in his book “How to Survive an Affair” says that one can expect to have intense withdrawal symptoms for about three weeks, and you may continue to feel some symptoms for up to six months, but they should gradually diminish in intensity and frequency over this time period.

During this time, you are in a vulnerable position. Like an addict, you might be tempted to use your favorite drug again. You might be tempted to contact your affair partner again to help calm the force of your withdrawal symptoms.

Doing so is a little bit like a heroin addict in recovery who says they are “just going to do a little hit to make the pain go away.” This is clearly a terrible idea. If you do this, it is likely you will be tempted to start using again, end up back in the affair, and undo all the difficult work you have done up to this point.

Do not attempt to contact your affair partner as this will destroy your relationship. Instead, reinvest in repairing your relationship.  This is liable to be difficult as well, particularly if you have just informed your partner about the affair.

If you are talking to your spouse at all, it is likely that your communication is negative and difficult. It is unlikely that you will be getting a great deal of positive feedback from him/her at this point and this is bound to make you feel emotionally disconnected. This could worsen your withdrawal symptoms.

Remember that you are going through this painful time for a reason: you want to heal your relationship. You can look at this difficult period as a necessary step to straightening out the mess you have made of your relationship. Like an addict, there may be a period of time in which you suffer.

Going through that is the first step to putting your life and relationship back on the right course. Keep in mind that when you maintain the course of recovery through this rough period of getting over an affair, the reward can be a relationship that is better than you ever dreamed. 

I can honestly say now, that outside of blogging about our experiences, Tanya does not occupy a second of my thoughts, and my marriage is getting better with each passing day.

For our review about Dr. Gunzburg’s program, you can check out this post: http://www.emotionalaffair.org/how-to-survive-an-affair-review/

LINESPACE

 

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120 Responses to Getting Over an Affair: Dealing With Affair Withdrawal

  1. HarrieB June 30, 2010 at 7:25 am #

    Thats really useful to know, Doug. Thanks for this posting. When I first found out about my H’s EA, I was too angry, hurt, bitter etc and initially didn’t care what he might be feeling – after all, it was probably nothing compared to my own feelings (in my opinion). In my rare clearer thinking moments, however, I had wondered about something like this and wondered whether my angry outbursts, bitterness, and periods of “nutfarm wife” were likely to be counterproductive and more likely to be pushing him back in her direction. I could see that the emotional crackpot he had at home must have seemed a poor “second prize” compared to the cool, calm, and collected, ego-massaging OW. I am not sure whether he has been through an obvious distinct period of withdrawal, as described here, though there have been times when he has been a bit quiet and thoughtful – then of course “nut farm wife” often responds to these by feeling insecure and needy, which must be a real “turn-off” for him! I am not defending him, or even feeling much sympathy, but I am glad to know what might be happening in his head – because he doesn’t always give me many clues – so that I can think about my own response more carefully. As ever, thanks for the information, Doug.

  2. Liz July 3, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    I was in a very emotional affair for 12 years. I know that sounds crazy but it just went on and on. I still love him and afraid I will for the rest of my life. I don’t want a divorce from my husband. I love him too but way differently. I could never ever hurt my husband by leaving him. I also don’t want to break up two marriages. My passion and heart was with my affair partner. We have been broken up two years and yes it is a little better but I think of him every single day and we can’t help but talk on the phone here and there as friends. I know it is dangerous but I just can’t lose the friendship too. What a tangled web we weave…..

    • Doug July 3, 2010 at 7:17 am #

      Hi Liz, thanks for commenting. 12 years is a long time for an emotional affair, and I’m sure that there are some very strong feelings binding you two together, but there is no way that you will ever get over it if you continue to have contact with the other man–even as friends. If you love your husband as you say you do, then you should completely break off contact with this man, or at some point your affair will resume.

    • Ella December 23, 2011 at 9:40 am #

      Wow, you’re the first person I’ve heard of who was in an affair for so long. What caused you to end it?

  3. Donna July 5, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    Liz, I am the BS and am still hurting everyday from the effects of my husbands emotional/physical affair. When I found out, it was after 9 months and me and my silly ever trusting ways believed that it was over. 3 months later to only be gutted again that it never stopped but continued. Add 4 children into this equation and 1 VERY hurt wife. I am giving my all to my husband and like HarrieB sometimes come across as a crazy nut job to my husband compared to this OW. My husband and maybe I am being niave again and a little too trusting is 5 and a bit weeks of no contact with this other woman… well I am hoping anyway! PLEASE… if you have any R.E.S.P.E.C.T for your husband you will end all contact with this OM or get out of your marriage. I hate that my husband is in love with this other woman and I feel like I am second best, I am so very grateful that he is making an effort to work at our marriage though as hard as it is for the both of us.

    I know it will be hard for you, after 12 years that is a very long time. If you really want your marriage to your husband to continue and work, please be respectful of your relationship together and nurture that one.

    I wish you all the best.

  4. Polly September 14, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    I found out at work through an aynomous phone call that my husband had been seeing someone for 2 years and that they had been having an emotional affair. It was the worst day of my life and I feel completely betrayed. We have been married for 17 years and we have a son that just started highschool. He claims they were nothing more that friends that have bcome very close and that they are probably want should have been. It was so hurtful. He claims he cut it off and does not talk to her anymore. He says that he wants to work it out. When he first told me he acted as if I should feel sorry for her because she has had a terrible marriage and went through a horrid divorce. Yeah right! Well, I am giving it a chance but I am ambivalent at this point. We will see what happens in time. This post helped. Thanks.

  5. LizS September 15, 2010 at 2:41 am #

    Polly-they always have reasons and justifications for why they do what they do! No matter what he says it will not change they fact that he has rocked the boat you will have to take some time to look at your situation and decide if this is someone you maybe able to trust with oyur future! Good Luck!

  6. Last2know September 15, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    Polly, I feel your pain. It’s been 1yr since I found out about my H’s EA and it is still very hard somedays. Make sure you read about EA’s, why they happen etc. She needs to be out of your lives completely. We are here for you. Yes it does get better.

  7. Liz November 4, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    I found out a month ago that my husband was having an EA for 5 weeks with an Old College girlfriend. Needless to say I was shocked. He told me how unhappy he was in our marriage and that he reached out to her because he was missing something in our marriage. We both were unhappy. He said he was sorry and wants a second chance, I know he ended it with her. I want our marriage to work and we are commited to making that happen. I just can’t get past that fact that he desired someone else , that he had every day contact with her. When I first found out, he was withdrawn, kind, but withdrawn, trying to please me. I think he was having a hard time getting over it. He says it only took a couple of days. I do not believ him, it bothers me that he had to get over it. He really does not want to talk about it, he gets mad, catches himslf and then tries to be kind. I never thought something like this would happen. Its so painful. Will I ever feel secure again and pretty? It takes a toll on your self esteem. We have been married for 18 years and have 3 beauitful children. I hope one day I can put this all behind me. One min. I’m fine the next I want to scream and hit him. To know my husband wanted another women kills me. I wonder if he still thinks about her, he says he does not. Its hard to believe.

    • Doug November 4, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

      Liz, We understand your pain and your situation, as it is very similar to our own. Just soak up the posts and articles on this site, and get involved with the comments and others will chime in as well.

      • Liz November 4, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

        Doug,
        Do you think he is still withdrawing? He told me his feelings are totally gone(when I 1st found out) now he says it was hard for only 2 days. When this first happened all I wanted to do was be close with him, he found excuses for 3 weeks not to come to bed with me. Last week something seemed to have lifted. I found out about his EA on Oct 2, our 18th year annver . My husband lost his job 3 days after I found out about his EA, needless to say he has been consumed with finding a job, and I feel like I am on the back burner. He gets mad at me when I bring up the EA, then he softens when he see’s how upset I am. He said horrible things to me the nite I found out. He told me he was not in love with me, but he loved me. He said he and Stephanie should have never broken up. He said we have no soul tie. He also through up her education to me 4.0. MBA. I have neither. He now says he did not mean all those things he said to me , its was because he was angry at me. I know he does not have contact with her, he deleted his secret email in front of me and took her off facebook (they is how they reconnected) at my request My husband said to me he is a selfish person and that he is truly sorry. He told me today that he always knew he had a jewel of a wife and that it was a selfish move on his part. We had a rocky marriage for a while, he was selfish and never there for me emotionaly and through hard times abused me verbally abusive (not on a daily basis) but enough for me to shut done in our marriage. sorry for rambling, its just so nice to have someone listen to me. I cannot tell my family they will want to hunt him down.

  8. Laura June 28, 2011 at 5:45 am #

    My 23 year marriage was rocky and my husband thought it best to find a new companion, while staying with me. I knew about her at the start and pleaded with him to stop. This continued for 4 months until he finally decided to stay. But this didn’t mean he wouldn’t still text the OW. I read where the wife has found hundreds of texts between the husband and OW within a month. My husband can text that much within 3 days. Of course, he is a master of deleting things. So the only proof I have is the sprint site that allows me to see the amount of texts as they accumulate. He gets angry with me and says that nothing is going on. They are only friends. And has done everything I have asked to fix the marriage. But still having contact with that woman hurts so bad. I have resolved myself that I can’t live like this. But he won’t leave. And I won’t move the 3 kids. We don’t make enough money to support 2 separate households. I feel stuck. Without any control. How can one force another to do anything? He enjoys their friendship. She obviously doesn’t have any respect for our marriage or my feelings. I feel like I’m losing my mind.

  9. Lost November 24, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    My story is very complicated. I am married for 22 years and have 3 wonderful kids from it. But I miss the spark in my marriage. My spouse is very much in love with me but we rarely have sex…but I know he loves me and only me. I came in contact with my 1st love after 25 years and we met and within 1 hr we kissed. He felt the same way I did so I thought. His marriage was on the rocks but he has 4 kids and would not want to leave them. Of cause I did not want to leave my kids as well. We texted all day long and all the feeling I had buried came rushing back. Then he tell me he has a gf but is not in love with her but as she was there during his most troubled time he appreciate the love she give him. I wanted to stop but the feeling I had for him was so strong that I said it was ok and that I will just be with him as I do not want to leave my marriage as well.

    But you know what I fall in love with him and we made love..he always tell me enjoy the moment do not fall in love…this carried on for abt 7 month…I could not help it but to fall in love with him.. he would text her even when he is with me and it made me so jealous. Many times I say this is stupidity and would tell him I want to end the relationship but will run back to him only after a few days. Then one day I ask him again if he loves his gf he just did not reply. So I asked him why did he contact me when he is in love with her it is like cheating on her? He replied..good question and said goodbye to me..told me that he do not want to cheat on his gf anymore and said we would be friends..so I did what is had to do and stop it. It has been only a few days and I feel I am going crazy..

  10. Anita November 25, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    Lost,
    You need to get into some counseling, your behavior is inappropriate for being a married woman. You made some choices that are destructive for yourself and your marriage.
    This problem your having goes deeper than a lost spark in your marriage. It has to do with you, your judgement on making right choices, is not in balance. Chasing another man while you are a married woman is never an answer to your problem.
    Affairs do not help, they are destructive.
    You need to work on yourself, and improve on your behavior.
    Leave the other man alone, you have enough of your own problems. Your husband deserves a wife who acts responsible, and behaves like a lady.

    • lost November 26, 2011 at 1:35 am #

      Yes I understand what you are telling…even I cannot understand why i do this…it is maybe he is my 1st love..well anyway things between him and I are over…I have manage not to contact him for almost a week now..I will come out this and concentrate on my family.

  11. Phil February 29, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    Keep up the good work on this blog, just got out of a 3 and a half year EMA and reading these comments really helps. Just need to figure out if I’m going to tell my wife.

    Cheers all.

  12. Chris March 5, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Glad I found this! I have been married 12 years and have 4 children. I just got out of an affair that I had for @ 7 months. It was a woman that I worked with. She no longer works here. She worked in the mail room and I am in logistics so she was always bringing me things. Every day chit chat turned into intra office instant messages, that turned into texting, then to emailing while we both were home with our spouses after hours. 5 months later we met up at a park during lunch and exchanged a kiss. A Month later we were having sex. We both confessed every strong feelings for one another and even told each other we loved each other. Month and a half later an anonymous letter showed up at my house on a Thursday addressed to my wife. I confessed when confronted. It did feel good to confess it. I took that Friday off and the following Monday morning I emailed the OW and told her we were over. A week passed and we started emailing again. Our emails were normal conversation like we always had. That went on for another 1.5 weeks. I then told her I had to stop even emailing her because I was still emotionally bound to her. I had to completely let her go to concentrate 100% on my family. That if my wife and I couldn’t make it work at least I know I gave my all and didn’t already have another woman waiting. What makes it so hard was it really didn’t end on my/our terms and having to let go cold turkey. Although there really isn’t any other way to do it. It has now been 2 weeks and 4 days and zero communication with the OW. These withdraws are so hard! I sure hope the 3 weeks is a turning point for me! I literally am almost in tears missing her sometimes. It’s especially hard during work hours as that is when the it mostly took place. I try to replace these thoughts with my family but it doesn’t help much. When I am home I am kind to my wife but I have to force myself to talk to her, console her, touch her, hold her, kiss her. It really bothers me. I try to make myself do these things hoping the intimacy will return. My wife senses something is on my mind at times and will ask what’s wrong. I shrug it off because if I told her I was thinking about the OW I feel it would in no way help our situation. My wife and I go to our first couples LMFT session tonight. I really hope for the sake of my family she is able to help us get through this difficult time that I created. That I can remember what it was about my wife that I loved about her and learn to love her again. At this point I still don’t know and it breaks my heart.

    • Lynne March 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

      Chris, if you don’t mind my asking, how did you feel about your wife before the affair started? I’m curious as to whether this was a result of having met the OW, or did the lack of these feelings for your wife exist prior to your EA/PA?

      I get that its not easy being on any side of this kind of mess–it seems that you sincerely want to understand why you went down this road–I hope you find your way.

      • Chris March 5, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

        That is a concern of mine as well… Things were good. Nothing unhealthy. I wasn’t distant or distracted as I am now and obviously was during the EA/PA. However I can say that before there were times where I did wonder and say to some of my very best friends that I didn’t know that I would still be married had we not had a family.

        When I met with the therapist for a 1 on 1 she said she felt I was seeking female companionship. That I found that in the OW when this all started. I had lost friendship with my wife because of life, work, 4 kids etc.

        I truly hope intimacy returns to my marriage. I hate feeling like I have to force it. I have kind of have given myself a 6 month window. Stay 100% focused on my family and supporting my wife because of what I have done. If I am still lost and thinking about the OW then I may want to tell my wife and our therapist at that time.

    • Bill March 5, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

      Chris,
      As a CS I now recognize that I did make the decision on how to end my affair.
      You may have had encouragement to end the affair BUT the decision was yours and yours alone. It may not seem that way but the reality is that unless somebody was holding a gun to your head YOU made the decision as to how to end the affair and when to end it!
      Fantasying about a better ending will not help you out of this web.

  13. Chris March 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    I also keep reminding myself that right now I am also an emotional wreck. Rely on my head and not me emotions.

    • Lynne March 5, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

      Chris-

      Just a thought, but you might want to consider a longer time frame before a decision, say one year. After a 12 year marriage (versus a 7 month affair), it may well take that long to come to grips with things. Plus, with kids involved, you really want to think long and hard about something like this. Not to mention, your wife is not likely to get to a much better place before that.

      As to going cold turkey, just remember that this has happened to all of us–a love that got away, that ended quickly and without resolution. What I’m saying is that by remembering that this happens in regular everyday life it may help you in not over glorifying what you had (or lost)with the OW. And had you ended up with the OW, along with the added stress of combining families, hurt spouses and greater financial pressure, it’s likely that the same feelings of distance would ultimately surface with the OW. We sometimes think the grass is greener, until we look down and its the same grass, different yard.

      As Doug said, maybe some daily meditation would help to allow you to feel the feelings, and to find a way to be at peace, so you can then fully focus on your wife. You can find your way back to each other if you truly make a complete commitment to her, and the sooner the better. If you can’t give her this pretty quickly (and with sincerity), you will likely lose her–we women do have some pretty incredible radar–it’s likely your wife has already pinpointed the origin of your distraction.

  14. Chris March 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    My wife is aware. I have told to her I am struggling and feel weird and not the same around her right now. That I hope it passes. The 6 months was more of just a time frame to see if these feelings have subsided at all. Not really a decision maker for that time.

  15. Jenni July 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    I have been having an EA for over a year now with an also married man. I was having trouble in my relationship (another story for another time) and I sought out a website for troubled marriages and made a connection with this guy on the first day. For over a year we communicated every day and it evolved into an EA rather quickly because we were both so unhappy in our lives. It never turned physical because we are separated by 16 hours and really I never would commit to make plans to meet him as we had talked about several times.

    During this time I felt so happy to connect with a man on this level and we not only talked on the phone but also IM’d, texted, and video chatted throughout the year. Then about 6 months ago things between me and my new friend began to change but I was dealing with some family issues so it took me a while to catch onto the changes until about 2 months ago.

    I kept asking him what was wrong and he wouldn’t say until I forced the issue one day in an email and he finally said that we had went as far as we could but he felt we had to end it and I respected his wishes. I backed off and did not contact him at all even though I was sad and hurting. Then last week he sent me a simple text out of the blue just basically telling me to have a good vacation (going on vacation this coming Thursday). It wasn’t a question or even required a reply. It took me about a half hour then I finally just said thanks and asked him how he was and then we texted back and forth for a while that day.

    Eventually I did ask him why he had seemed so distant to me the last few months and he said it was too hard to explain in a text and wanted to talk to me one last time. At first I said no, because I knew it was a bad idea, but then I couldn’t help but wonder what had changed for him so I agreed and he called me that night after my husband left for work.

    At first all we did was exchange pleasantries until I acknowledged the big pink elephant in the room and asked the looming question. He started off by just telling me the same thing that we had went as far as we could and how long could we survive like we were doing. I agreed with him and told him throughout the year I too had, had them same thoughts (something we had talked about several times before.)

    So anyway he then went on to tell me that he had met another woman who was more like him (he is 20 years older than me and no longer shares a room with his wife) and that they had been getting close for the last 6 months and lived in the same area but had not had sex yet, but that he was hoping it would turn into that.

    I felt devastated, but I didn’t let it show. I just sat and listened as he told me her name and went on and on about her and the excitement in his voice made me sick at my stomach. When we hung up that night we both said that we didn’t regret anything we had shared and that we would always love each other.

    Needless to say I didn’t sleep a wink that night (or even much since then) and it’s been 6 days. The next morning after we talked I was fueled with rage that was being fed from my lack of sleep. I was so wound tight as I got up and got ready for work. Once at work I wrote him a long email telling him how angry I was and how hurt. I told him he was nothing more than a man out looking to take advantage of a female like me. It was a long email and I made it clear that I now had nothing but rage for him and I was now sorry I had ever met him.

    He didn’t reply to that email and in the email I actually asked that he not and I also said it was my last form of communication with him ever.

    Then came the long weekend when my husband was working and I was at home alone to deal with my thoughts. I was so sick about it and hardly eating or sleeping. My husband noticed the changed in me but I just kept blaming it on other issues that would stress me out.

    Finally on Sunday after a gut wrenching few days of soul searching and trying to clear my head, I decided I was wrong to be so mean to him in that email. He wasn’t bound to me and there for I had no reason to be jealous of anything he did. I knew I should have just let it be and not contacted him again but I couldn’t help it. I can very much feel how he is/was like a drug for me. So last night (Sunday) I wrote him another email telling him I was sorry for the first one and was sorry for a lot of the things I had said. I told him that I understood why he had to move on (and although I know that in my head I can’t make my heart be okay with it) and I wished him well.

    So now I’ve made 3 mistakes. First I let this happen in the fist place, secondly I wrote him a very long and ugly email, and thirdly I wrote him another email to apologize for the first one. I know I should just stop but I can’t stop obsessing over every little thing, and I’m just not that kind of person normally. I realize that I wasn’t so much in love with him as I was smitten by his affection (something I greatly lacked at home) and I realize it had to end. I also realize that I’m a woman scorned and nursing a broken heart. No woman wants to feel replaced and that it exactly what happened to me, I was replaced!

    So now I have decided to try and pour myself back into my marriage and try to make it work but I can’t stop thinking of him. I want more than anything for this feeling I have to go away and to be okay again. I want more than anything for my marriage to work, and I want so much more than that to stop obsessing over this guy. I’ve researched and researched all over the internet and finally I found a place where others have had similar issues. EA and not PO (well some of them) and it feels good to find a place where someone else has been in my position and I don’t feel so alone.

    I’ve talked about this over and over with my best friend and she doesn’t understand. She keeps telling me that I never had any physical contact with him so therefore I shouldn’t be hurt. She can’t understand the emotional attachment that I formed with this guy and really I was beginning to think I was going nuts.

    Anyone with any helpful advice please offer me some sound advice. Please let me know that I’m not all of a sudden going crazy!

  16. Gizfield July 2, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    Jenni, I imagine this “simple text” is anything but. It is this guy saying ,”hey, remember me? I’m still out here, I dont want you to forget me cause I need the ego boost, my new friendship might not work out and I need a backup plan.” Not trying to be harsh, but I saw it with my husband’s girlfriend. Forwarding jokes, little “how are you?” messages, just really anything so Their namecan pop up in Your inbox. sounds like this guy is a “playa” to me.

  17. Jenni July 3, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    You know Gizfield, I often wondered about that myself. I even asked him why he was all of a sudden contacting me after we decided to end things. Do you think it also fed his ego to rub his “new friend” in my face? I just don’t see his logic in telling me about her. I would have never been the wiser and although I usually feel differently but in this case I think ingornace would have been bliss.

  18. Disappointed July 3, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    My H had an EA last Oct. It ended when I confronted him and the OW told her H probably for fear I would I guess. Middle of May I found a used condom wrapper in his suitcase after a business trip (he moved out 4 days after d-day and has own apartment but spends 3-4 nights with me each week at the house). I finally confronted him last night about the wrapper. Says he has no idea where it came from and that he would never use that cheap brand (it is from Mexico where he was traveling). Totally gaslighted me. As the conversation spun out of control I talked about the EA and how that was part of his larger crisis. He became furious and said that I should not make less of the OW or his feelings for her. That although he and she said they would probably not talk as easily if they actually were together they saw each other as soul mates. And then he said that he trusts me with his life but not his heart. “Dont make less of her?!” I am the one there for 20 years, the one who could forgive and move past this. He is in crisis and denial making less of me and us. I pray every night that my love finds a way to die. I am in hell. How can this man be so delusional… Still…

  19. Jenni July 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    Disappointed,

    I’m so sorry about the problems you are having an speaking as a wife and once former OW, I feel horrible for the wife who knew nothing about me and my husband who knew nothing about my friend. I had BIG issues from the beginning of our friendship about connecting with another woman’s husband and it always played on my guilt because as a wife I couldn’t stand the thought of my husband connecting with another woman on the same level I connected to my friend. I’m so thankful we never had any physical contact because I couldn’t live with my actions if I did. I really do hope you the best and I also hope the pain you are in now will soon pass as you figure out what your next move is. Good luck!

  20. Gizfield July 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    Jenni, you seem like a nice person, and your friend sounds like a serial cheater. They probably Troll marriage crisis sites looking for victim s. Would not surprise me. He may be looking for an ego boost, or he may be trying to make you jealous so you will “step up your game” and meet him for sex. Seems to be his primary interest. Just my thoughts, though.

  21. Gizfield July 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    Jenni, I would search for the post on Limerence here, too, because that may be whats happening with you. really interesting reading in any case. Good luck!

  22. Jenni July 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    Thanks Gizfield!

  23. Jenni July 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    How do I find this Limerence?

  24. Sarah September 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    I did something I never ever imagined myself doing, I got involved with a married man. Well in all fairness, when we first got together he wasn’t married, not even engaged. He was in a relationship with his longtime girlfriend and we got together for some physical fun (on more than one occassion). Something happened at work (we were coworkers) so we cooled off because we didn’t want to get caught and lose our jobs.

    Well during that hiatus (approx. one year), he eventually got engaged and married. He hadn’t been married for very long and he started to have issues at home. They fought everyday and one day he looked really bad (emotionally drained and tired) so I asked him if he was ok (we were still coworkers). Well he ended up venting to me and I tried to be supportive and tell him this is still part of the adjustment (I’m single and never been married) so give her the benefit of the doubt. Well the problems never got better and he found himself coming to me for advice, which began the EA. He didn’t want to leave her, as he was not one to believe in divorce and was sure things were eventually change and get better. One day we crossed the line and ended up discussing how much fun we used to have. That lead to us starting a PA. It went on for three years.

    I know I wasn’t in the right by getting involved with him, but I too had my own issues. I had just ended a very unhealthy relationship I had been in with a guy who would berate me. Plus I never really had the best relationship with my mother. She too would verbally abuse me and often make me feel worthless. Guess I enjoyed being around someone who would tell me that everyone was wrong and that I do have something to offer people. Plus we found that we had a lot in common and actually enjoyed each other’s company. We would always laugh when we were together and we felt like we could totally relax whenever we’d hook up.

    We would try and try and try to end things, but the pain from the withdrawl would always result in us getting back together. It got so bad that we actually fell hard for one another and too often spoke of the “what ifs”. As in “what if we never took that hiatus” or “what if we were together”, knowing fully well that it’d never happen. Even when he became a father and he begged me not to stop “seeing” him. And because I felt bad for him, I’d always give in. I’d always want to see him happy and I’d do whatever I could to ensure that he was.

    Well his wife recently discovered his infedility, so naturally that put an end to all of this so they can try and work things out. But after being “together” for so long, it hurts. Any advice on how to deal with this? I mean I know this is for the best, and it shouldn’t have gone on for as long as it did, but he was such a big part of my life (chatting everyday, seeing each other all of the time, having him as my rock to help me go through some health issues). I feel confused and because this was an affair, no one in my life knew about it.

    • Sidney September 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

      Sarah,
      Getting over an EA is not an easy task no matter what ‘side’ of the affair you are on. Time is really the only thing that will help you ease the pain of ending the relationship. You will need to grieve this loss because, yes, the other man was a big part of your life. This process will take time….and won’t be easy, but it’s necessary in order for the feelings to lessen. And they will lessen. It does get easier.

      The only other advice I have for you…..is to keep a journal. You said no on else in your life know about this, therefore the healing will be a private, inner process for you. Keeping a journal will allow you to express your thoughts and feelings during this time. And since no one else will be reading it, you can express any and all your feeling at any time. It will help.It will also allow you to go back and read your entries and see the progress you are making in your healing process.

      I’m sorry you are dealing with this. And like chiffchaff said, you will find little support from the majority of the readers ont his site. However, I continue to read this site daily…..only because it is a reminder of the deep hurt an EA can cause everyone involved. It shows me how damaging affairs are and keeps me from aciting on anything. If you ever feel like contacting the OM or responding to his contact, then visit this site and be reminded of that damage by reading the posts of the BSes.

      Hang in there. It does get easier.

  25. chiffchaff September 18, 2012 at 4:45 am #

    Sarah – you weren’t ever ‘together’ with this man. You were his convenient bit on the side of his marriage. It’s a pity that for whatever reason you had such low self-esteem to let yourself be there for this selfish and weak man’s needs whenever he wanted you. For how many years have you denied yourself the opportunity of a real relationship with a man who was free to be with you? This is your opportunity to start valuing yourself and you should focus on being grateful that it is over and you get to think of a real future with a real man.
    When you said that you both truly relaxed with each other when you hooked up, then that’s no surprise is it really? You had nothing esle to do but relax, you had no joint commitments, no stresses to think about, no mortgage, family, children to worry about. You were his escape from the realities of his life. It only existed because no-one knew about what you were both up to (I bet your co-workers have always known though).
    I’m afraid you’ll get little sympathy on this site and for good reason. You knew that what you and this man were doing was wrong for so long and you have, with him, hurt his wife and his children all because you both couldn’t stop yourselves being selfish.
    I hope that you can just see this as an opportunity to rebuild your life away from this selfish man.

  26. Jenni September 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Chiff,

    Don’t you think you are being a little harsh. There is always more than one side of a story and all that Sarah is doing is looking for ways to deal with her emotions. She already knows she did the wrong thing, and she knows that she is now paying the price for what she did so IMO your hurtful words are nothing but spiteful and unhelpful to her posting. She isn’t asking for absolution only a place to vent and tell her side of her story and look for a healthy way to deal with her emotions. I just don’t understand why people like you even post if all you can do is be hurtful to those reaching out to others!!!

  27. tweet September 18, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    No, chiffchaff is not being harsh, or hurtful, or spiteful – she is just being truthful.

  28. Jenni September 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    Tweet all I’m saying is don’t judge others because you sin differently. We have all done things in our lives we are not proud of but still need help processing. Sarah didn’t ask for advice on how to get him back, only help from others who have been in similar situations and can offer her some advice on how to deal with it. I too am a married woman and if my husband had an affair I would not be so easy to forgive the OW but none of us on here are the OW in her life so she too needs to vent and learn how to deal with her emotions. I really think if we can’t offer her some sound advice on her life then maybe we should not say anything at all bc she didn’t come here to get stones thrown at her!

  29. tweet September 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Jenni – there are no “stones” thrown – just the reality of the destruction and immense pain that unbriddled selfishness can cause. And I don’t think that I “sin” differently – life is a struggle, but I believe that it is ta true measure of our character what decisions we make at the defining moments in our lives. I am a woman of integrity, as many of the people on this site are. I took my marriage vows seriously, and held to that promise, as difficult as it was at times, for 31 years. Since you are in the same situation as Sarah, please feel free to offer your advice. But don’t expect us, as betrayed spouses, to have much sympathy. It is just not deserved…

  30. Sarah September 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    I’m sorry I posted here and caused the debaate. I wasn’t looking for sympathy just advice but clearly I came to the wrong place and have offended people. I made a mistake… I’m sorry

    • Greg September 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

      Sarah,
      Don’t run away. One of the hardest things you will ever have to do is stand up and face what you have done and while it will hurt a lot to open up on a site like this if you can face it and deal with the repercussions of what you did you will come out of it stronger than you went into it. I can tell that you are feeling bad about what you did and you are also hurting over losing him but you do have to face up to the fact that you made the choice to be with a man that had a longtime girlfriend in the beginning and then continued the relationship after he was married and ‘officially’ off the market. You and he were both in the wrong and there is no way around that. Being able to face up to that and accept it for what it was, a fantasy relationship, is something that you will eventually need to do for yourself to be able to move forward. If you don’t then you will most likely make some sort of repeat of your choices at a future point. The idea is that we learn from our past mistakes and this can only be done by fully admitting to them and owning them and the consequences. I’ve had to do this with my actions that led up to my wife’s and my disconnect and her eventual EA and it is not an easy thing to do. I hope you stay around and join in on some of the discussions on the site because many of the people on here would really appreciate a view from the ‘other side’ to give us some perspective of the AP. Yes this means you will most likely be subjected to some very harsh criticism an comments as many people on here are hurting a lot because of someone in your position and you will be a convenient outlet for them, but if you can make it through that you might find some healing for yourself and maybe even help someone else.

    • Doug September 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      Sarah, No need to apologize. In addition to what the others have stated, what you have to say is important and can be a learning experience for you and for others – both CS and BS alike. I think Greg’s last sentence summarizes that quite nicely.

  31. Jenni September 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    You are entitled to your own opinion, all I’m saying is that she is not the OW in your life so don’t take it out on her. She is still a human that was caught up in a love affair way before her “friend” ever got with his wife and her feelings for him were so strong that she threw what was right out the window and did what felt good in the moment. I’m not defending what she or I did but what I am saying is I get it. I know how these things can happen. I didn’t go looking for someone to have an EA with, and when it did happen I felt bad the whole time but I was dealing with things in my life that made it possible for me to do what I would normally never do, that and promises from him that his marriage was dead (had been in separate rooms for years) but that doesn’t make it right. We aren’t coming here asking for your or anyone’s forgiveness, what we want from this site is 1) a way to get over what we are going through emotionally and 2) a way to keep it from repeating. Oh and I assure you that although my integrity may have taken a beating but I too am a woman with high morals and strong integrity.

    • tweet September 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

      “Oh and I assure you that although my integrity may have taken a beating but I too am a woman with high morals and strong integrity”.

      Integrity doesn’t take a beating -it persists no matter what. If you believe this, then you are truly delusional.

  32. tweet September 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Sarah – you need to understand that most of us here are betrayed spouses- we are living each and every day with the result of what you and our cheating spouses have done. View this site as an opportunity to truly understand the fallout of that betrayal. That said, you haven’t made a mistake or offended anyone by posting here. Hopefully, reading the multitude of posts and responses will give you greater insight into what you need to do to heal yourself, and most importantly, to understand that you need to find an amazing “single” man to love you and to build a life with.

  33. Jenni September 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    Tweet…..don’t you just have all the answers!!!! If you are so perfect then why would someone with your “high integrity” look down on us as if you did nothing in your marriage to cause what happened? It seems to me that if your marriage was so perfect and your vows so intact then why would your husband go looking for another woman or human being to connect with when he should have been able to rely on you. I think the truth hurts and you need to realize that the OW in your life did not come into a happy home and ruin it!!!! There were problems there initially that you need to stand up to and own!!! As far as integrity, you need to look up the very definition because I am human enough to admit my faults and when I say that my integrity took a beating, I mean just that and I will thank you to not try and act as my school teacher and give me a lesson on the meaning of the word!!! What I mean when I say it took a beating is that my honesty and honor are usually very high by my standards and when I went through this I bent the truth and lied to my husband over and over again as where normally that is something I NEVER do…..but then again you have all the answers so I’m sure you figured that out. Must be very lonely to be so right all the time!

  34. Disappointed September 18, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    ALL marriages have problems. NONE of those problems justify the CHOICE to cheat.

  35. Jenni September 18, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    No you are right it doesn’t justify it, but it still happens doesn’t it???? Just sayen the OW isn’t all to blame and we are not on here trying to get your forgiveness or approval, all we want to do is vent…and if memory serves me correctly the original posting on this thread said something like this…..

    “Getting over an affair is not only difficult for the person who was betrayed, but also for the person who had the affair.”

    The opening thread spoke to me in ways that I can’t fully explain but my EA was like a drug for me and no matter how bad I felt for his wife or my husband I couldn’t stop so I, like Sarah, came here for advice on how to deal with my “addiction!” If you have never been in our shoes then you cannot judge that which you do not understand!

  36. tweet September 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    Jenni – you clearly have many issues that you need to resolve. I did nothing to deserve my husband’s EA and if you search this site, you will come to understand that betrayed spouses are not in any way responsible for their spouses’ infidelity . You can follow that path, but it will get you nowhere. You can rant about your your integrity, but the truth is what you say, “I bent the truth and lied to my husband over and over again as where normally that is something I NEVER do,” But you did it. Where is the truth in that?

    • Healing Mark September 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

      Tweet. I disagree with your statement that BS’s “are not in any way responsible for their spouses’ infidelity”. In fact, I recall more than just a few blog posts addressing the fact that as a part of healing a BS should accept their responsibility for allowing their relationship to be such that their spouse ultimately developed an EA or engaged in a PA and to address those issues in the relationship. This has led to many a BS lamenting/lambasting the “but the CS’s needs were not being fully met” points. I don’t know whether I am in the minority here, but I accepted my share, however slight or not, of responsibility for my W’s EA. I never accepted this as something “fair” or as somehow absolving my W for her bad actions. And, yes, if there are issues in a relationship that make a person vulnerable to developing an EA or engaging in a PA, the potential CS should be addressing those with their potential BS rather than looking outside of the marriage for support, understanding, caring, or whatever. And also yes, there are exceptions to just about every rule, so I’m sure there are relationships where no such issues existed and yet one partner cheated on the other. However, and this in no way justifies a person to cheat, if you are aware of such issues and you do not address them and your spouse later has an affair, it’s valid in my opinion to be disappointed and hurt that you spouse did this, but it is not right, again in my opinion, for the BS to think that they were in no way responsible for the affair having taken place.

      I, too, have thought a lot about whether I “deserved” my W’s EA, and came to the conclusion that the answer didn’t matter. Whether I deserved it or not, it didn’t change the fact that it happened and needed to be dealt with and potentially forgiven (I will say that it wasn’t so much about being “deserved” but about being something that could potentially have developed given my relationship with my W at the time – wasn’t paying much attention to her and had not ever really discussed what boundaries should exist in regard to opposite sex friendships – and that might not have developed as much had I reacted differently to what turned out to be correct gut instincts). I think that it is fair to say that if you emotionally abuse a spouse, or certain if you physicially abuse a spouse, any subsequent divorced may be deserved. Not exactly the same thing when evaluating an affair, but again, I imagine that there are few, if any, BS’s that did not have at least some responsibility for their relationship getting to a point where their CS was able to stray. Better for the potential CS to recognize their harmful behaviors and stop an EA or say no to a potential PA? Sure! But at least in my experience, it wasn’t until my W and I acknowledged issues in our relationship that were making us unhappy and then fixed them that my W was able to see her EA for what it was and to end it well before I ever discovered it’s existence (and had I not discovered it I would have never clicked on a link to this site!).

  37. Jenni September 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Uhhhhh…….the truth in that is admitting it!!!!! I use to feel the same way that you do when it comes to cheating and although I did NOT cheat physically on my husband I would have NEVER understood this side of things until it happened to me. And I did not say that you deserved what your husband did all I said was things were not perfect!!! It takes 2 to make a marriage work and it takes 2 for it not to work…with his actions aside you can’t sit there and tell me that you did EVERYTHING you possibly could to keep your marriage in tact! My husband doesn’t know of my EA but he knows we had/have MAJOR problems. That isn’t something I hid or even had to hide, he knew it then but wouldn’t address it…not that it’s his fault either….what I did was my fault but the problem in my marriage was our fault. You have no idea how easy it is to find what you are missing without even knowing you are looking!

    • tweet September 18, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

      Yes, Jenni – I can honestly say that I did everything I possibly could to keep our marriage intact. That’s what makes the ultimate betrayal so difficult. Just ask my three girls… It’s easy to lay blame, but difficult to accept blame.
      You need to tell your husaband about your EA. It’s unfair for him not to know. This is your fault, and you need to accept that if you ever want to move forward with your husband.It’s a long, hard road ahead, but I wish you the best of luck.

  38. chiffchaff September 19, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    I didn’t think I was being unusually harsh on Sarah and her posting on here is very brave and does give an idea of how the other woman feels.
    My comments come from a very good other blog called ‘Baggage Reclaim’ (google it) that seems to exist for those people who have been or still are the third party in affairs and encourages them to start valuing themselves. The common thread in most affairs seems to be low self-esteem of both parties involved, as well as the BS and breaking out of it needs a good dose of reality as well as addressing whatever personal issues led up to it happening for everyone involved.

  39. Blue September 19, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    RARELY DOES THE UNFAITHFUL SPOUSE TELL THEIR PARTNER IN A CARING, NON AGGRESSIVE WAY WHAT THEIR NEEDS ARE AND THE CONSEQUENCES IF THEY AREN’T MET.

    Maybe the ‘needs’ can’t be met- but the consequences are known an so be it.

    I take full responsibility in my part in our marriage breakdown, but I had no idea how troubled my marriage was. When I asked him what was wrong he said it had to do with work. I said I would support him if he quit- he said No, it’ will be fine.

    BOTTOM LINE: It was cruel punishment and a sloppy F-U! aimed at the trusting partner. The CS suckles the easy ego boost they get from the other person. It was cruel immaturity, ignorance, greed, uncaring selfishness, underhanded manipulation and betrayal at it’s finest. A hard pill to swallow for those that fit this category. (maybe you can tell my CS’s was a PA too who screwed OW-subordinate coworker, also manager of her apparently decent husband!- without using condom during their deception) Makes me feel pukey!

    Though, now that my CS was caught, our cards are finally on the table. (happened in drip feed) I’m trying to meet his needs and he mine, the best we can. Unfortunately our table is soiled with deep sadness, resentment and fear of trust but it seems a battle to wipe it clean.

    • Decimated February 8, 2013 at 11:51 am #

      Blue,
      I agree with all of this…It was definitely true in my case.

      I was the one who repeatedly initiated conversations about our relationship and marriage over the years. I was constantly reassured by her that our marriage was good, solid and that she loved me. I was simply not aware of any problems between us because she never admitted there were any. If she would have informed me of any, I would have been more than willing, in fact eager, to discuss them and work them out. It is one thing to ignore expressions of discontent from your spouse and disregard their feelings. It is something completely different to genuinely desire open communication only to be shut out, repeatedly lied to and than blindsided. If I am guilty of something it is Not being a mind reader. The truth is I cared about us. In retrospect, it seems that she was more interested in spending time and energy cheating on me than communicating with me. I honestly do not feel there were any real issues until she started seeing him certainly nothing that would justify what she did..

      In the end she never showed any remorse for the pain she caused me and the damage to our marriage and family. I was left with no choice but to divorce her.

  40. Jenni September 19, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Blue, I am so very sorry for the situation you find yourself in. I am ashamed to admit this but I know in my heart that if my “friend” was closer our relationship would have turned physical, and the reason I say that is because I felt a very strong need to be with him in that way and know that I’m not strong enough to have stopped myself. I’m not proud of that and I thank GOD it never came to that. At any rate I can’t express how very sorry I am for your situation.

    Tweet, I have often thought of telling my H several times about my EA and in fact when it first ended I was very headstrong about telling him, but I took some time to think about it and realized how selfish I was being. Mine never turned into a PA and by telling him what I had done would mean ruining his peace of mind, much the same way that mine was ruined. I know that I would have NEVER found out about my “friends” other “friend” so by telling me he not only hurt me but ruined my peace of mind and I just don’t have that in me to do to my H.

    I want so bad to be rid of this guilt I carry each and everyday but at what cost? If my EA had turned into a PA then I would have told him…and I hope I would have done so before the actual fact, but I’m not sure that I would have…just being honest. I won’t lie I fell in love with my “friend” and fell hard. In fact I love him still, but have cut all communication with him and have not talked to him in over a month. But the bad and weird thing is that if I could go back to the way things were before we ended….I think I would…and again that is so very bad to admit but I’m being honest….I miss him so much but I respect his right to find someone in his area. I know for a fact his marriage is dead and I know this because I spent almost every waking hour with him in some form of communication, even at night he was mine from 8pm until 11pm so I know his wife cared very little about what he was doing or where he was at. Over other weekend (while my hubby worked) we spent all day Saturday on the phone and most of Sunday so even then he didn’t spend with his wife. The reason I’m telling you this is because that is what I had to tell my self to make it okay at that time. I often thought of his wife and how she would feel if she knew of me and I don’t think she cared enough to know about his life…my hubby on the other hand would not take it well at all. Just my EA would be enough to ruin his life and make him have trust issues with everyone. I just can’t do that to him…not now…not ever. Even if we split and don’t make it, I will not tell him.

  41. Debbie November 26, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    Hi

    i met a man who was seperated from his wife, they had been together nearly 29 years. He was in the throws of the divorces and discussing the finances and then went to mediation. They decided to get back to gether. We got back in touch with each other and started to see each othe again, broke up because he felt guilty, got back together again. He sent me emails saying he loved me and couldnt wait for us to be a proper couple and spend the rest of his life with me. He wanted to end it properly and ensure she was financially provided for. He has one son (27). This went on for another six months. Until last week. We had been together, he had been sending me emails Last Friday, she got up early and read them all and told him she wanted a divorce. He came to see me on Saturday, said it is what he wanted. Then the shock came – on Wednesday, he said that they had a heart to heart and that he told her everything and that our affair had to end. I am the OW and I can tell you it hurts. I wonder about him every day, and even as I type tears are running down my face. I think he loved two women but at the end of the day the wife wins. I will never get involved with someone again until they are happily divorced. I gave him everything, and have been broken. I wonder if he actually feels anything….

  42. Jenni November 26, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    Debbie,

    I feel so sorry for your pain and I know that you thought things were done between your friend and his wife just for it to turn around and start back up after you had given him your heart. They have the right to try to make their relationship work and if it does good for them but in the meantime you have to suffer through all these thoughts that run through your head and I too have had to suffer with all the thoughts and memories and mine ended 6 months ago but for some reason I just can’t seem to get over it. There hasn’t been any sort of communication between us in 3 months (he contacted me last) and even though it’s over I can’t help but feel it’s really not.

  43. Carol November 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    I don’t mean to sound harsh here — but Debbie, it sounds like you *knew* he’d gone back to his wife — and then you resumed your relationship with him anyway. You must have known he was lying to his wife. And you certainly knew he was still married. As a betrayed spouse, I don’t have much sympathy for you. You knew what the score really was — the wife did not. You *knew* he was lying to her — and that he was still married, and deceiving his wife — and you kept the relationship going anyway. Again, this will sound rough, but your actions have deeply wounded someone else — his wife, who trusted him when he said he wanted to come back into the marriage. Married means married, folks! If you don’t want to get dumped by a two-timing, hard-hearted married man, don’t get involved with a two-timing, hard-hearted married man! Men of honor will get out of the marriage cleanly *first*.

  44. Carol November 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Sorry — one more note: I could muster some sympathy for OWs like Debbie who get involved with a married man while he’s separated — openly and publicly — from his wife (that is, a bona fide separation in which the wife also knows they’re separated — and not the cheater’s common situation where he says he’s ‘separated’ or the relationship is ‘over’ but the wife herself has no clue). Debbie, you believed this man when he said the marriage was over. But once he went back and the relationship continued, that’s cheating and deception — and I’m sorry but it is so, so, so painful to be at the other end of that. I just would never knowingly inflict such pain as i have experienced on another human being. Chiffchaff’s earlier comments in this thread are also right re: self-esteem — I would hope that in the future Debbie would have enough value for herself not to continue an involvement with a man who she *knows* is lying to his wife. A man who really loves you will value you and be with you openly, for all the world to see. Honesty has got to be the basis for any real relationship (yes, I read Carolyn Hax often).

  45. Cindy February 8, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    My husband had a PA for approx a year before I found out. He tried to end it several times and promised to work on our marriage. There were several slip ups where he contacted her or she him and it started up again. When it was finally over, the OW sent him a final text that he showed me. It said that she gave up everything for him, she gave him her heart and soul and her love an trust and body etc… She basically blasted him for ruining her life and how could he do this and etc… Maybe one of you OW can explain to me how she gave up everything for him, or gave him her love an trust only to be left in the cold. What did you actually give up. You went to dinners, you texted, had an occasional tryst in a hotel room, talked on the phone. What did you give up? Seriously. I was still at home cooking his meals, doing his laundry, taking care of kids and business and fulfilling my “wifely” duties at night. Still dealing with everyday financial and family pressures and still trying to hold it together. You had fun talking and emailing and having sex. You talked about fun things, and were exciting and new and there were new conversations, not the stale same old same old. Do you really believe in your heart you gave up more than me? I would really appreciate your perspective on this

    • Doug February 8, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

      This came to our email address by mistake:

      Sarah says:

      As an OW I can see where she’s coming from. As a wife and mother you obviously feel betrayed, but we are victims too, in a sense.

      Speaking from my own experience, the guy I had an affair with, would always tell me he was leaving his wife, that he needs me b/c I make him happy, and he doesn’t want to envision his life without me. I tried dating other people (I knew he was married & this PA probably wouldn’t go anywhere) but it made him jealous, to the point he broke down one day and said “seeing you date means I’m losing you and I can’t have that”. So I stopped dating & focused my efforts on him b/c I wanted to see him happy, so I waited for him to leave his wife, which he said he was going to do. Well she ended up getting pregnant when he was about to leave her (first clue that maybe things weren’t as “bad” at home as he claimed), so he didn’t want to risk harming the baby and stuck it out but kept saying he’ll leave after the baby’s born and to wait for him. I didn’t want him to leave her, especially now that a baby was involved, but he kept saying how he’d be a great father but he didn’t love his wife anymore, he loved me. I was stupid for believing him, and planning out our “life”. We would go visiting condos to get a sense of where we wanted to live. That’s how how much he made me believe he would leave her.

      Reality was, he didn’t want to disrupt his life by leaving his wife, but he didn’t want someone else to have me either. As you put, I added the “fun” element to his life. I’m the woman he met a tad too late and b/c he knew we were amazing together, he couldn’t stomach me being amazing with anyone else. So in essence he wanted to have his cake & eat it too. And he would fill my head up with all these things and make me believe he loved me and wanted this life. But I feel as though he robbed me of the time I could’ve spent with other people.

      I’m sure I’ll get some criticism b/c I had a relationship with a married man. But he was very convincing at telling me how unhappy he was and how determined he was to leave her. The tears he would cry made it very convincing… The voice messages he would leave or the texts he would send were very convincing. So that is why I say I was misled and victimized in a sense.

  46. Christine February 9, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    Dear OW, if he is lying to his wife, he is lying to you.

  47. AnnaB February 9, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    Well said, Christine! A liar doesn’t care who he lies to, so you can’t assume you’re not being lied to just because you’re the OW!!!!!! There are thousands of single men out there to choose from, so WHY pick one who’s married? I find it incredibly selfish, and personally, if a married man made a move on me it would turn my stomach because straight away he’s showing himself to be a sleazy liar. Obviously there are many different reasons men and women embark on affairs and an abusive marriage makes it understandable. But someone who does so purely from boredom or curiosity is being selfish. There are people out there who feel a strong need to be with different partners, in which case they shouldn’t have married in the first place. I have no sympathy for the OW/OM because they are making the choices. It’s the rest of us who are being lied to and pushed aside that have reason to feel betrayed! And when the lady commented that her OM was able to text her from 8pm-11pm because his wife didn’t care about what he was doing – he probably told her he was ‘working’ from home and didn’t want to be disturbed!! One lie snowballs into hundreds of lies and becomes a way of life, and being the other woman doesn’t make you exempt.

  48. Susan March 21, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    Hi. My mom passed away two years ago and I fell into somewhat of a depression. My H had started drinking heavily and that didn’t help my situation. I had my suspicions that he was cheating on me bit he said my moms death was making me crazy And I couldn’t find any solid proof. Well I got a call from his EA telling me about it. He still denied it. It had been going on for nine months. I was crushed beyond words. I tried to be ok with it all but I just wasn’t. I asked him to move out, I saw a lawyer but he would just threaten me( I am a stay at home mom) that I would be homeless and have nothing. He had been mentally abusive for some time and his tactics were always threatening And bullying when he was drinking. I have three children and basically did what I could to keep the peace so their lives weren’t turned upside down by everything. Apparently he had ended the affair and she was so hurt that she came telling me hoping I’d end the marraige. He was deeply sorry and looking back I do know that now but I’m not sure it mattered at the time. I felt like my marraige was a joke and no longer took it seriously. On the outside I tried to keep it together but I was pretty broken. It was pretty rough at home. My husnand drank a lot And we Would fight And in order to scare me he Would act crazy and break stuff, threaten me, tell me to leave but refused to let me( he’s 6ft tall and very strong and im 5ft and tiny.) take our kids. I felt very trapped and angry. I could have called the police on him but he is the soul provider for us and he does have a criminal past so I wasn’t sure what would happen to him and I didn’t want my kids dad in jail. A few months had passed and I ended up meeting someone and I guess doing the same thing. So I know both sides. The person I met was dating different women looking for something long term and we really clicked. We talked all the time and texted and eventually it became physical. Ive never felt the way he made me feel. We had such a connection and so much passion. He was seeing other girks though and was not honest about it but I let it go because i figured i was married. What did he owe me? He asked me over and over again to leave my marraige and I told him I Woukd with every intention of leaving but when it came down to it, just couldn’t. He would get angry and date other women but we always ended up back together. After the second time I was supposed to have the divorce talk w my husband when I didn’t, my EA stopped talking to me and got back together with his wife(at this point we’d been carrying on for 7 months). I was crushed. I knew i had hurt him but still it broke my heart. They had been separated and he says he’d decided to give it one last try. Then he’d text me after they were back together and I’d tell him not to contact me while he was working on his marraige. He would ask to see me And Id say no. Finally, he ended it with her again saying he had made a mistake and wanted to be with me. We started seeing each other Agsin with the plan we’d be together forever as soon as I left my husband. I asked my H to move out every day for a couple weeks but he refused. Finally I told him I’d met soneone else and wanted a divorce( because he kept saying that I Woukd t be able to make it on my own and I think out of anger I just wanted him to know there were other options). My H was crushed and went a little crazy on me so scared, i said whatever i could to keep him from going after my EA. In the meantime, my EA’s wife contacted me bc she found messages even though they were split up,she checked his email and she told me that she was pregnant and for me to please let him go bc he had td her that he wanted to be with me. She then told me horrible things about him to detour me from wanting to be w him even though she wanted him. I decided to let him go bc of the baby and stay in my marraige and give it my all since it seemed an impossibility to get out. He said he was done with her and no matter what wouldnt get back with her but of course he did. I really tried to stay away but couldn’t. We talked and he said she was going to have an abortion if he didn’t get back w her and so he did. So he said he’d stay until the baby was here and then that would give me time to leave and then we could be together. I went along with that idea But it all sounded And felt so wrong. I was riddled with guilt for her and my H and There was too much jealousy and I was miserable. After a few crazy fights, i told him i was done and not to contact me. I feel like I love him but then why didn’t I leave my marraige? Was it because I was scared, didn’t want to destroy my family, or because I love my husband too.? All of it I guess. I’m really trying in my marraige for my kids bc my H is selfish and Would destroy my kids over it. My H has stopped drinking and really is trying to better us as am I, he says we are even and it is a clean slate. I wish i had handled myself differently and made better decisions. But I’m really missing my EA. and knowing he’s having a baby with someone else is hard. I guess I feel so confused. I love him but I know what I did was awful and I’m not sure anything great could come out of how we began. Plus, he’s trying to cheat in her a me so is he a cheater or is it just the situation? I’ve never cheated before this and I can tell you I will never do it again. It’s been such an incredibly painful experience for everyone involved and now I guess I just have to learn And grow from it missing and loving and trying to forget him and work on my marraige hoping that I get over it And I didn’t give up the love of my life. I miss him terribly but just feel like we are ruined. I’ll take any advice. What a mess!!!

  49. Angela April 1, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    I started a new job at the end of June 2011, and within a month a co-worker and I had begun chatting & emailing, and met up once. It progressed thru the summer, and we met up a few times. No actual sex happened, but other things. He was in a realtionship and I am married, so there was an understanding, and no emotions there.
    His GF found one of our emails and our affair stopped instantly. Then a few weeks later we were backing chatting again. again, she foudn out, and it stopped.
    We worked together thru the fall with little contact, then in November, the emails started again, and again caught. (I know, when will we learn)
    Things stopped again. and then again in June of 2012 it started back up again, and this time my husband caught us. It was bad. I had to quit my job, he lost his gf, and ended up quitting a few months later.
    He has since moved across the country. But I still email him occaisionally. I can;t let go. I know he only wanted me for sex, but I still can’t let go. My husband begs me to stop, and I do – for a while. then contact him again.
    I think now it might be over. It;s been 6 days since I have had contact, and I’m a mess. I miss him terribly and am broken hearted.

    • Healing Mark April 1, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

      Boo hoo. You caused your broken heart, and could have easily avoided doing so. I hope (though I doubt) that you have been able to give your H a heartfelt apology and to act in ways that reflect the fact that you are genuinely sorry for what you have done. I also hope that after doing so, your H is able to find a way to genuinely forgive you for the errors of your ways. And regardless of the end result of such errors, I hope that you have learned some important lessons and do not make the same mistakes again in your life and again hurt your H or any other persons in your life.

  50. J April 2, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Angela,

    I wish so bad that in my position could offer you some sound advice, but I am really not the right person for the job. If you’ve read thru the postings then you probably already know that I am married and had an EA that left me devastated. Problem is that I too know what it is like to feel drawn to this other person like a drug…..I know it all too well and I even went to the doctor and got on antidepressants to try and be happy again after it ended. I know I’m going to take a lot of ridicule and judgement for what I’m about to say but my EA started back up around Christmas so it’s been going on again for about 3 months now and as ridiculous as this sounds as soon as he came back in my life I was happy again. I did not contact him in anyway after I posted on here that it had been 3 months. I stayed away all together and then one day got a simple email asking me a simple question and it took me 2 days to respond because I fought and fought it until I couldn’t anymore. I know I have an addictive personality and that he is a drug for me that I can’t get enough of. Yes he and I are both still married to separate people and I do feel guilty for what we have but not enough to stop. I feel him in my soul so deep and want to be with him but our situations won’t allow that for now. Like he and his wife, my husband and I are nothing more than roommates at this point. During the time that I was without my friend I poured myself into my marriage and tried so hard to connect with my husband but it just wasn’t and isn’t there anymore….now I fight with the decision of when and how I will end things for good and get divorced. I do not expect that my friend will do the same (even though he says he will) I am smart enough to know that he has to do what on his own terms just like I do. But I just wanted to share my story with you bc I know you will receive a lot of criticism here and prolly everywhere but there are those few of us that understands what you are talking about….not condoning just relating to your situation and to let you know you aren’t alone.

  51. Carol April 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    How about being honest with your H? Does he know what’s going on? Doesn’t he deserve to know? If your marriage isn’t what you want it to be, be honest about it with your H; don’t go behind his back! Good grief, people: why is honesty so difficult? Your H at some point made a commitment to you, and you made one to him. Honor that commitment by at least being straightforward with him!!!!

  52. Disappointed April 2, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    Sorry to interrupt the thread, but… Carol I sent you a private message a few days ago – just want to be sure you saw it…

  53. Strengthrequired April 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Exactly carol, why is honesty so difficult and betrayal so much more easier?

    Lesve your marriage then start up a relationship, but not ith. Married man or woman, have self respect and some dignity, as well as self control, don’t do unto another person what you don’t want done unto you.

    If you don’t want your marriage, leave. Itsmwrong to think having any sort ofmaffair is ok. You are not only hurting those close to you, but what about the other persons family, they should be thought of too, they are not non existent just because you dint see them, they hurt too.

    Why break up a family, when you it’s unlikely that the other man will leave his family for you. It’s selfish and heartless.

  54. J April 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    Yep, just as I thought I knew all of that was coming. You talk about how it’s so easy to be dishonest and so difficult to be dishonest…..well how easy is it to throw your 2 cents in and you have no idea what either of us are going through and how hard would it be to just let that posting pass you by and let me and Angie who have similar situations talk about things. Can’t speak for Angie but I’m not breaking up a family. My friend and his wife have already been talking about divorce and they have no children at home….me and my husband have led separate lives for years and we have no children. I DO think of things like that….you have NO IDEA of the things I have thought of or considered. I’m not even going to reply to any more negative comments. I know what it is I am doing and I also know what the affects can and will be. You said to do unto others…..well I would offer you the same advice.

  55. Strengthrequired April 2, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    Do you really know that your ap has spoken to his wife about divorce. Hearing from his lips is one thing, hearing it from hers is another.

    Just because there are no children involved does not make it right…..

    I am sure you would not like it done to you, just because you didn’t have children.

    Find a man that doesn’t have ties. Find a man where you do not need to have a secret love life. If your marriage isn’t any good, leave him and have a happy life without hurting people. Do it the right way.

  56. Strengthrequired April 2, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    By the way, I wouldn’t put myself in that position in the first place. I have self respect and dignity. Hurting another person, man or woman is not something I would take pride in, and certainly wouldn’t be trying to talk myself into thinking that it is ok. If it was ok, then there wouldn’t be secrets, and clearly people wouldn’t get hurt.

  57. J April 4, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Nope…never said it was the right thing to do nor did I say I was trying to make it okay for me…. I’m just saying that is what is going on and the only reason I mentioned the kids things is because someone else made that comment and I know in my heart of hearts that I could not carry on like this if either he or I had kids to worry about. The divorce thing came from him…not her…i’ve never spoken one word to him about it but it was mentioned very early on in our friendship before we became emotionally attached. Like me an my husband they stay together for money reasons….splitting my bills and leaving my husband with some that we created weighs heavily on my mind. I know what you and everyone else on here must think of me…..told you I have thought of a lot of things myself so I’m sure you can’t tell me something I haven’t already played in my mind. All I can say is we have not had a PA….and until we are divorced…both of us…I won’t let it carry that far.

  58. CP December 2, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    I was lacking sexual spark in my marraige, so I did seek out an affair!! But my affair would only be a single man. Well this single man is 28yrs old then men, a complete bad boy, I should have known even an older man would not be safe. He ended with only stating he needed to find a partner someone he could actually date. He said though I will always hold a speical place in him this had to end & that I should not contact anymore. I feel so hurt a bit angry but more hurt then anything. This man, would call me everyday, we made love once a week, & emailed through out the day!! He would kiss me with such passion & though I know it was wrong I could feel each of us developing more feelings then what we should have had & just don’t know if that is what happened on his part, he didnt want to hurt himself but I would have rather him say that to me then just end it w/no real reason. Now I can not get over it!! I have not called, only emailed him twice with of course no response from him.

    • Jenni December 3, 2013 at 11:43 am #

      Wow…I have been gone from this site for a long while and ignored all the updates in my email until today. I started posting in this website a year ago last June and things (as I’m sure you can imagine) has really changed in my life. I went 6 mo with no contact from my OM. I was still very heartbroken and cried about him all the time. In fact I just read the posting on here where the woman said as she typed the tears were falling….sounded very familiar to me and where I was at back then….anyway, out of the blue my OM contacts me (like I said it had been 6 months). At first I didn’t know what to say or how to respond. The last me and my OM had talked I was trying to quit smoking and he sent me an email with one sentence “How is your not smoking going?” and that was all he said. I was doing better than I was the months leading up to this and was prolly on the verge of getting over him and moving on but then this one simple email was all it took. I didn’t answer him right away…I waited for a few days then finally I just answered something quick like “not good” and left it at that for a few days. Little by little we started talking again. I let him know how hurt and upset I was at what had happened between us. He begged for my forgiveness and told me how much he still loved me….yada..yada…yada….so then we were right back where we had left off before things got bad but this time I was being more bold and daring. I agreed to meet him in the fall and we started making plans. He had even asked me to marry him at one point and all along I knew in my heart that he was full of BS and that none of his promises would ever materialize but this is what I had thought I had wanted for so long, this is what I had cried and cried over, this is what I had made myself sick thinking about…so I ignored what I already knew was to come. That was last November (2012) we started talking again…..well just like the time before things started to slow down and get “Un-heated” and towards the end this time I was the one putting on a lot of the brakes. I just didn’t care if this went on or now…I was ready to be done with him (but still wasn’t admitting it out loud). So finally I just let things drift apart…further and further until there was nothing left. It’s now been 3 months since we last contacted and unlike last time I really feel it’s over for good. Sure I still miss him, sure I still think of him often but this time I haven’t cried not one single time for him as where last time I was a complete and utter mess. Somehow I feel stronger from this second chance we had and somehow the strong feelings I once had for him are gone. I didn’t replace him in my life or in my heart….I think I just finally found the peace I needed to be without him. I was fine before he stepped into my life and I’ll be fine long after he’s gone!!!

      • Doug December 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

        Hi Jenni, Welcome back. So I see that you have managed to move on from your OM. I can’t remember…Are you still married? If so, just curious as to how things are now between you and your husband?

  59. Jenni December 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Hi Doug and yes I am still married and so is he. During this time that I had reconnected with my OM I was heading fast towards divorce. I was ready to pull the plug but then my mother was having issues and had to come live with me so I couldn’t leave. I couldn’t make it financially on my own so then after she moved out my sister and her 2 kids have moved in with no other place to go. My husband and I are great friends and we both realize that we are living together out of necessity and I love him dearly for allowing me and my family to stay when there is nothing between us. He truly is my best friend and I am his and although I have never told him about my EA, I scene that he somehow knows about it thru conversations we’ve had. This is something my OM couldn’t understand nor deal with. We do still sleep in the same bed but that is all that goes on is sleeping and that is all that has gone on in our bed for so long and it’s hard to even remember when it was different. But yes to answer your question I am still married (although neither of us wear our wedding rings anymore) and I’m not sure what will happen from this point forward but for now I’m just content. I’m not looking for another EA or even a PA (but then again I wasn’t looking last time either) but I would like to say that I have no plans on being with anyone at all until I leave my H. But what I do know is that I will NEVER ever again make any sort of connection with an attached or married man. That is too hard on everyone involved not to mention it’s hard to live with ones self when you realize the possible consequences of your selfish actions.

    How are you doing Doug? Any updates on your situation?

    • Doug December 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

      Hey Jenni, Thanks for sharing all of that. I agree 100% with your last sentence! I’m doing great. We’re doing great. Life is good and we’re looking forward to spending a lot of time together now that we’ll soon be empty nesters. Now if we could just win the lottery! :-)

  60. CP December 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    I needed to actually write down & share with anyone what is taking place in my life. I have not told a soul & dont plan on telling anyone. I am so glad for the internet & these blogs. I just needed an outlet to let this out. Though I never plan on leaving my family or expected this man to become my husband & knew it could never be, as he was much older & he told upfront he couldnt be father to anyones kids. I think I am more hurt with the end of this as it was so new to me & I was the one that was missing the spark in my marriage. But, I have to say it he would call me wanting for me to go over, I would still go to him. He made me feel so special & wanted, desired in every way that my husbands lacks. Even though I have told my husband what I need, its just in one ear out the other. I l love him & care for him but I just need more & still want more.

  61. Jenni December 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    CP our situations sounds oddly familiar in many ways. My husband and I went 2 years without having sex before I met my OM. Neither of us cared enough to try I guess. We had many, many talks about our relationship and it never went anywhere. He promised me things would change and he would give me what I needed from him. I would try to make changes within myself to be more what he needed but in the end the sad fact is just that we aren’t what each other needs. One desperate and lonely night I was trying to come to terms with the end of my marriage and I sought out the advice of others (much as I did on this website) trying to find some answers or maybe just to talk to someone that would listen and offer me some sound advice (pretty much knew what I needed to do but didn’t have the guts to do it) and I came across this website that was a message board for troubled marriages. For hours I read thru the posts, and made no comments and was amazed to find others with similar problems (because at times like this even tho you know you are the only one in the world with these problems you still feel like you are) so finally I posted my long and sad story about my marriage not knowing what would come of it if anything. I just posted about how we were drifting apart and all the problems we had been having. Then I logged off feeling some small relief about venting because besides my husband I hadn’t vented to anyone and just the act of getting it all out there made me sleep a little better that night. The next day I had almost forgotten all about that posting and I went about my usual routine and went to work. When I logged in my email there was a response from that website waiting for me and it turned out to be my OM. I will never forget the words he said to me in his reply “I understand what you are going thru and even though I’m 20 years older than you I would like to offer you a man’s perspective if you are interested.” I was so giddy that someone actually responded and now I had someone to get some feedback from. Neither he nor I had any intentions of our chats turning into anything other than just chats. We emailed back and forth for days and with each email they got more and more intense on the subject of our marriages and the emails started pouring in left and right from us both. We couldn’t wait to hear what the other one had to say and eagerly awaited to hear from the other. This went on for over a week until finally one day he asked if he could call me and I hesitated for a second. All the thoughts about the worst stories you hear about people making friends on the internet went running thru my head and I thru that right out the window and gave him my phone number. For over a month we were just friends and filling each other’s lonely nights with conversations of our marriage, the world, music, and just about anything you could think about. Then we both began feeling something we were too scared to put a name on. We live 16 hour apart so what could ever happen between us??? But it did…as ridiculous as that sounds it did. And he was like a drug for me. I couldn’t get enough of him nor him me. Our chats turned into video chats and he had to know what I was doing and where I was going almost every hour of the day….we were rarely without each other and because we spent so much time alone it was easy for us both to do. Not sure how many of the posts you read on here but this went on for over a year then he dropped a bomb on me and told me he had met someone else. I was devastated!!!! He was my one special person that I had all to myself and now he was gone. It tore me up in ways I never expected because I never knew what to expect from this relationship but I knew it wasn’t this. I remember one time we were talking about how guilty I was feeling about his wife and my husband and I told him somewhere at some time someone was going to get really hurt by what we were doing and if I had the choice I wish it would be me because they didn’t deserve what we were doing to them and guess what? It was me. We stopped all communication for 6 months then he contacted me again (as I stated in my last few posts) and because I was so desperate to feel that high I use to when I was with him before I forgot all about the hell he had put me thru and allowed it but even thou I didn’t want to admit it, the hurt he put on me had done something to me and nothing was as good as it was before. We stopped talking again 3 months ago and the first time we had stopped talking I just kept getting this feeling like it wasn’t over….like something was going to happen again and it did and now I feel nothing for him or nothing about things starting back up. I know this is what has to be, I know that I don’t love him as much as I loved the attention he gave me, I know that he is a great person and he too feels the frustration that I feel from the distance between us and our situations. But like me, and much like you described, he needs more….more than I can give him….more than my husband is giving me or his wife is giving him or your husband is giving you. So I really know what you mean when you say you need and want more. You want to be desired, you want to be loved, and you want to be special….so do I and someday I will have that and I hope you will too!

    • Gizfield December 4, 2013 at 11:39 am #

      Jenni, I’m just curious. Do you honest to God think this guy is a wonderful person? Ths guy cheated on his wife, first with you, then someone else. Where is the “wonderful”in that?

  62. CP December 4, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    Thank you Jenni. Yes, your words are all very true, in my case though we did see each other, we did have a very sexual adddiction to each other. I, was leaving work early once a week to be with him & at times I left twice. But, I could tell he started to want more & I could not give him that, though I did want to try to give him more time I just knew I couldnt not with my husband, & my children needing me. I am more then certain it is because of the Holidays& the weather change that he started to feel & get lonely as I am sure alot of other people do. Though even if we didnt have a sexual relationship anymore, I would still want the friendship we developed. I did care very much for him & since he was older then me, when he would tell me he didnt feel well or had a pain or was tired, I was concerned for him. I don’t feel like I was in love with him, I loved the attention & the desire, the pleasure he gave me. We spoke, txted & emailed everyday & to have it all end. It really threw me for a loop. I am feeling a lot better now but I can still feel the little ping of hurt. I hope so too, I wish it was with the man that is my husband, the father to my children. But I know it isnt & I am in no place to leave my husband or kids right now. I do feel the same one day, I can & will find the true love of my life. Thank you again, for your words & for sharing your story. I needed this very much.

  63. Jenni December 4, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    You are welcome CP, and I know you will catch a lot of grief about your situation because you are married (and I’m not saying it’s right) but I do understand. Feel free to vent to me anytime you like!

    • CP December 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

      Jenni, thak you. I am not worried about the grief I will get. I only want & care to share with people that have actually experienced what I have gone thru. If that makes me a wrong, bad person in those peoples eyes then so be it. I don’t owe them anything or they don’t owe me. So they can be harsh or cruel, mean. But I accept & face the fact that I choose to do what I did for myself alone. They can call it selfish but I was so unhappy for so long, I literally felt myself dying inside. I thought I would go crazy. I, did try to work on my marriage & my family into trying to please my husband & get more attentive/active with my kids but that only gets you so far & you only feel statisfied as a mother & very accomplished when it comes to children. But the lack or need for actual physcial, male desire, attention is something that my husband couldnt or willing to do or give. I have been married 13yrs & have felt this way about 10yrs of my marriage so believe me I tried not to do this not to seek anothers affections.

      • Jenni December 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

        Yes like you I did try for a very long time. I’ve been married 17 years of which the last 5 have been lonely and empty and if I really think about it, it’s prolly even longer than that but the last 5 have been the loneliest. I have no children so it’s just me and my husband and I believe if I had kids that things might have been different for me….maybe I wouldn’t have noticed how lonely I was but then again like you said that can only carry you so far. I’m at such a good place with my husband right now. Neither of us has the added pressure of trying to make our marriage work or trying to figure out what it is the other is missing and thru all of this I have discovered that my husband has put on a very brave front, meaning that he was stronger and held on longer than I did. I’m not sure if he has feeling for someone else at this point….I would hope he could find someone to be what he needs and I want nothing but happiness for him but at that same token we don’t talk about “Others” or my EA that I had. Regardless of what others has told me I’m acting on my feelings that it would be cruel to let him think about such things. At some point and time maybe the subject will come up and I will feel free to tell him but right now I won’t do anything to hurt him nor ruin his peace of mind. I know all too well what that feels like and I love him enough not to do that. I understand that what has happened between us (talking about my marriage not my EA) is our fault. It’s not him, it’s not me it’s just the circumstances that we find our-self in and I will never place all the blame on him nor make him feel bad as a person for our problems. Tell me CP, how are things between you and your husband besides romantically? Do you ever talk as friends? Does he understand you even have problems?

        • CP December 4, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

          Jenni, our marriage is ok, we go out , mingle with friends & he is a great provider & a great father. I do have to admit this he did have a EA about 4 years ago with a coworker of his & it was only thru email & well flirty at work from what I could tell & from what was told me. & NO I did not do this out of revenage or to hurt him or make me feel better about what he did. I let that go a long time ago, because I didnt want our marragie to end & I do love him. But it is all about his lack of sexual spark or to satisfy me. You see he’s not a lovey, dovey, touchy type of man he doesnt ever compliment me or make me feel desired or wanted. Its just him hes always been that way. I’ve told him he is great in everything else expect for that!! I don’t know what or why he cant express his feelings that way. I would think if you are in love with somone & wanted to marry them & wanted a life with them, it is automatic. Though when I found out about the EA he had I tried to get him to leave or get a divorce he would cry & say no that is not what he wanted & he loved me & he would not leave. We had fights where I tried to kick him out & he would say he is not leaving, that he would not leave me or the kid(s) only had daughter at the time. Did you ever feel like you wanted to replace your EA? Find somone new? I know you are in a way better place in your marriage & I am sorry to bring up the old, but I am just starting my journey & need someone to chat with on this, as I no one to tell or care to tell or talk about with. Sometimes it is easier & better to speak with a stranger that knows your struggle. Thanks you again you have no idea how much this has helped me a bit.

  64. Disappointed December 4, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    All of us dream of more at one time or another. The difference is we don’t all choose to cheat, lie and hurt other people because we can’t deal with feelings of emptiness. Those feelings are what make us human. Our actions based on those feelings are what shows our true character.

  65. J December 4, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    CP, you are very welcome and I know you will probably catch a lot of grief about being married (not saying I approve just saying I understand) and any time you want to vent to me feel free!

  66. Strengthrequired December 5, 2013 at 4:52 am #

    Jenni and cp, I’m sorry for how things are for you, but may I ask. If you both are so unhappy in your marriages why don’t you just leave? Life is short enough. If your husbands clearly aren’t making you happy, then before another ea happens and more people get hurt leave.
    Yes your husbands may be good providers but that isn’t a reason to stay. Stay married if you truly want your marriages to work and your truly committed and able to truly love your husbands.
    I’m sorry, but it baffles me as to why you would want to stay in a marriage that you appear to not want. If there is no chance of loving your husbands than stay in your marriages, but if there is no chance you all deserve to be happy, happy to find someone that is available and you are able to spend the rest of your lives with. If my husband was only staying with me because of our children, I would prefer he leave, if there was no chance on having his complete true love then I would prefer he find his happiness and I find my happiness with someone else. I would prefer not to remain married to someone that clearly does not love me.
    I’m sorry if anything I said offends you both, but you both seem so unhappy in your marriages, an unhappiness that caused affairs, the longing for someone else, and although you stay married, you really don’t want to stay that way, tha is why I ask,
    You both deserve to be happy, but so do your husbands, as I said life is short.
    I wish you both all the best.

    • CP December 5, 2013 at 9:16 am #

      Strengthrequird, no you are very correct why stay married that is a question I have asked myself over & over. All I can answer is that I do love my husband, I do love my family, his family, our children, our life. The only unhappniness I feel is sexual, the need to feel desired, a little more attention then what he does give. Other then that part I can say my marriage is ok, we agrue like normal over finances, what to buy, what to eat, how often he helps out around the house ect…. But I know marriage is not perfect. I was just tired of feeling so lonley getting no attention, getting no sexual satisifaction, & before anyone thinks oh she’s a nympho or and sex addict that is not the case, I have never cheated before & never in my previous relationships. I felt like I was in a rut, dying inside for the need of some mans desire, hands, lust, passion. So I did seek it out & I did get it, but with the wrong person. You see, though I am the cheater, I didnt want to be cheating w/ a married man. Might sound stupid but I didnt want to be someone else homewrecker, I only wanted to be the homewrecker in my marriage. But some single men want more, I have to understand!! He wanted more, that I could not give him, he wanted to date me & I could’nt do that, did I want too a part of me did. But I know & knew I am not ready to leave my marriage. Nor, he the single man wanted all my baggage. The process of divorce, the kids, the family. He just wanted my time with him.

      • Blue December 5, 2013 at 11:07 am #

        CP- I totally get that feeling of wanted to be desired, lusted after, romanced, feeling of excitement and thrills. I pretty much didn’t get this for the better half of 20 years of marriage although it was steady. I didn’t want to make my needs a priority or offend my husbands weak ego that he wasn’t doing a good job. I didn’t want to gripe when he burped or farted while talking or sitting with me, had to wash skid stained underwear, didn’t romance me because he said he wasn’t good at that, didn’t go out of his way to make special occasions special, didn’t meet my needs sexually, made me feel like I could be replaced and lots of other things.

        I often wondered whether an honest ‘hall pass’ would work. I was pretty sure I couldn’t handle screwing someone else or more so him screwing someone else (my ego) It freaked me out. Then my husband took his ‘hall pass’ but didn’t bother telling me, his wife, the person who he made sacred vows to, a promise to keep me SAFE, to be monogamous so I wouldn’t get Sexually Transmitted Diseases including HPV, crabs, HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital herpes, which are contagious through not only intercourse and anal sex but also oral sex. I thought this sacred vow at least protected me from these diseases- but he cheated me.

        The reason why I didn’t ask for a ‘hall pass’ even emotionally (meaning I didn’t cross our boundary) was selfish on my part, as I didn’t want my husband crossing that line. I just didn’t want to carry around in my soul that I was cheater, I think it would lessen him in my mind as much as me.

        I do wonder whether your husbands EA did have an effect on your choice to do the same. That he kind of tore down the fence of your marriage, it wasn’t repaired and you hopped over the opening.

        I’m looking at the fence and wondering what it’s like to run in the meadows on the other side like he did Is the fence strong enough now to keep not only him, but me in? If I go to the other side, will I be the herione I can be proud of? One that not only I can look up to but people I respect look up to?

        I said to my husband that cheated me ‘I know you need forgiveness, I’m trying to give it and I have to because you would forgive me if I were to get my ego rubbed and have hot and wild sexual penetration in cars and hotels with another man’s sweaty body caressing me. And I know you would trust me to continue working with him if he was my coworker.”

        I think acceptance and forgiving is a lot easier said than done. Letting go of fear, pride and ego is the hardest and largest challenge I’ve ever been through. If there’s one thing that I am working to embrace is that other people’s actions don’t define ME.

        PS My wish for myself and everyone is to find thier ‘thrills’ honestly.

        • CP December 5, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

          Blue, no his EA have no affect on my decision to have one. I was the first person to hate & downgrade on a cheater think they were the scum to even do that to a family. But then I started becaming very depressed alone, needing that touch, the feel of passion & lust. I did try with my husband I would hug him& hold him & kiss him with long passionate kisses & would be at his beck n cal whenever he wanted to HIS sexual needs, but he never did them just back to me. His excuse was always hes tired, he had a lot of work or he is just not that way. He said growning up he never heard his father tell his mother how madly inlove he was with her or ever see them kiss. So I think the apple didnt fall far from the tree. But that is no excuse I guess. If a spouse wants or needs that make more of an effort , so I thought. At this point I love my husband I am not going anywhere he is not going anywhere. If he is cheating or has again, I don’t care. I have learned that I cant control his actions with anything. But just try to move past this & settle with my issues of the wanting more out a spouse!! Wrong or right thats how I feel. I know lots of people say just divorce & move on that is easier said then done.

          • Strengthrequired December 5, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

            Cp, hearing what you say, you truly love your husband, I don’t blame you at all for wanting to stay in your marriage, wanting to try and make it work. I’m am sure so many people would have wanted me to leave my husband when his ea came out, I don’t think any would have understood why I chose to fight for my marriage. My h was in a midlife crisis and depression which led to his ea, I too was in a depression after having my youngest, yet he was the one that chose to lean on some ow. I knew the person that stepped out of our marriage was not the man I had married. He was not the person he was claiming to be, so I chose to fight to save my marriage and help my h at the same time. I know it would have destroyed my h if he lost us, he was so sickly looking while he was in the throws of his ea. his emotions were all over the place, tbh I’m surprised I was able to keep trying to save our marriage, considering the ow kept playing with his mind, and getting people to call me and spread rumours in the hopes I would leave him.
            It’s a time I never want to experience again. So you get no criticism from me, if you did, then I am only criticising myself, because I too chose my marriage, my h, good and bad.

            • CP December 5, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

              Strengthrequired,Thank you for that. I think it is great to work & fight for a marriage especially when ou have been hurt by an affair, I tried & did we do speak a lot more & have great times, our vacations our date nights are good. But it is the sexual attention that I need, or more of it. We do have some foreplay but then it is rush into bed & we just screw, it isnt making love anymore or him pleasing me I want to be pleased, by that I mean desired, felt wanted, feel like I am the only woman for him in his eyes, though deep down I know I am not because of his affair .Believe I did feel like a part of our love died the day I found out, to actually see his emails to this woman his desire & want for her, how they hugged & held each other at work, on how what he wanted to do to her in his office. I was crushed but I fought & confronted him & her & had to decided if I was going to stay in my marriage that I had to let it go, forgive but never forget type of thing. But I honestley don’t think he is having or has cheated again. But I can never or ever feel 100% certain. Its just something I have to deal with.

  67. Gizfield December 5, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    CP, no personal offense intended, or “grief” as you call it, but you really need to GROW UP. If you are having sex outside of your marriage, you need to address your concerns to your husband or leave. Banging some twenty something guy will only lead to trouble. my first marriage was very sexual while my current one is not, possibly due to my husband’s health issues. I deal with it, but I’m definitely not going out looking for sex. If that becomes my priority, I will leave.

  68. Jenni December 5, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    Strengthrequired, my reasons are similar to CP’s but not all together. I stay because I don’t have the courage to hurt my husband, well that was true for the past but I suspect that things might be different now. I actually had the nerve built up to ask for a divorce than my mother and sister moved in with us (at different times) and I can’t help them by myself and my husband is kind enough to let them stay with us. And unlike CP I didn’t seek out any kind of affair but being honest if my OM had lived closer to me I know for a fact it would have turned into a PA (which to be honest I think would have been easier to get over such as in CP’s case where she had feelings for him but didn’t find herself in love with him). I actually closely associate love with sex, for me the 2 things go hand in hand so actually I connected to my OM on an emotional level and I did fall in love with him. So really I stay now because of family obligations and also if I’m being honest because I don’t really know what to do next. I don’t have kids to consider so that isn’t a reason for me, but I do have a bond with my husband on a deep friendship level that I cherish deeply so out of respect for him, (and for myself) I will NOT be emotionally or physically involved with another man until I end things there. It was not easy having one foot in one relationship and the other in another. I struggled all the time with my feelings of guilt for what I was doing to my husband and his wife. I was ate up with guilt all the time and found lying to my husband easier and easier which scared the heck out of me because normally I’m so honest and straight forward that some people see that is a bad quality in me. Leaving is an option, and will most likely happen at some point in the future but as for right now the time is not right for me.

    • Blue December 5, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      Jenni, I do admire you and CP for your honesty. Even if some of us don’t think your actions are fair or respectful choices. I think it’s more out of fear on our parts that there’s lots of people out there that can ‘cheat’ us and there is nothing we can do so we want to talk some sense into you lol!

      Your life is your journey alone. Regardless of whether anyone gets caught, your choices and actions define who you really are. Will it matter in the end? In 50 years? Maybe not. I just like to think it’s like the ‘butterfly effect’ or ‘pay it forward in goodness’ that the world can become a better place when people treat others with respect.

  69. Gizfield December 5, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    I’m kind of wondering if CP’s husband might be cheating, especially if he did it before. He may just be making it easy for her to draw attention away from himself. He wouldn’t be the first. As for the boyfriend who “wants more”, I bet he has a girlfriend too. Single people who date married people are especially suspicious and creepy to me. Definitely some issues there… Just my thoughts.

    • CP December 5, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      Gizfield, I often wondered the same, once a chearter always a cheater?? But you stated you cheated, was it only once? Or did you do again? I never thought my husband would cheat on me or let alone even allow the thought to enter his mind but it did. Yes, I think that too maybe my single partner might have started something with someone or had a girlfriend but I wont ever know. As I am getting thru this I am starting to think he is a jerk, espeically because we did share so much in the short amount amount of time we were together. He knew exactly how I felt inside & he knew exactly how to please me. He made me feel or he did say the only way our affair would end is if I wanted it to end or we got caught. But, he started wanting more, more then what I coudl give him so I don’t know if he did have or find someone maybe. So rather then I gues for him to go deeper or continue this way, he ended. Though, like I said I was not in love with him, I did care for him & he will always hold a speical place in me, because he was my first affair I did enjoy it & I didnt want it to stop. Wrong or right. That is how I feel. No one can judge or try to guide anyone else other then themselves in this life. All we are people should do is listen, hear, or try to be understanding but not even that. But no one is perfect & yes I know not everyone cheats either.

      • Strengthrequired December 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

        Cp, I try not to believe once a cheater always a cheater. I too didn’t expect my h to have an ea, but he did. I do hope your h isn’t still having an affair.

  70. Gizfield December 5, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    Blue, I doubt Jenni or CP would agree, but anything I have posted is to help them by questioning what it is they are doing. Adultery is ALWAYS the wrong answer to your problems. You will regret it for the rest of your life. Also, the guys they were involved with sound like real jerks, although again, I doubt they would agree. They almost always are (jerks, I mean ). I just got a good laugh at myself. I just realized my “affair partner”from the early 90s probably “cheated” on me, and had a girlfriend. He always did, why would it be an exception, then?? Like I said, they are almost always jerks.

  71. Gizfield December 5, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    I’ll also say I have no “fear” of any cheater, or what they have to say because I know FROM EXPERIENCE what a losing path it really is. I have no fond memories at all from that time in my life. As time passes it gets farther and farther from my mind. If I ever do think of it, I’m like WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ALL ABOUT?? EWWWWW. So disgusting.

  72. Jenni December 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    Good or bad I do read all the comments posted and have made a personal choice not to try and defend my actions against anyone being ugly because what is done is done and only I know how I feel inside and I have thought of all the things you guys have said to me to myself and believe it or not I am my own worst enemy when I am sitting alone with a quiet moment and reflect on what could have happened or what did happen. My EA lasted almost 2 years and during all of that time no matter how bad my conscious felt, my desire to be loved and wanted out weighted any thoughts I had of stopping it. One comment I do want to make to Gizfield about the “jerks” comment and I can’t speak for CP only myself, but I know my OM wasn’t a jerk. He too is caught in a marriage similar to mine and was reaching out for human companionship. I feel we all have the desire within us to be loved, wanted, desired, and special to someone and I feel he too felt this way. He prolly wasn’t 100% honest with me on some things but one thing I do know for sure is he is lonely and just as CP described and just like I feel, with some of us it feels like your soul is slowly dying. You exist day in and day out with the same routine and have no real human connection in that area. I may be weak but I need that…I crave it, I long for it, and for a short while my OM could make me feel that from 16 hours away. When he found someone in his area I was devastated, angry, hurt, and just plain pissed off. It took me a long time of soul searching to realized that because I was so far away, and our circumstances wouldn’t allow us to meet that he was still lonely and what I was giving him wasn’t enough. I had to let him go to see if you could be happy. At this time I have no bad feelings for him at all….in fact I really have no feelings one way or another. I do love him, care about him, and wish him well but I know for sure he’s not a jerk. I’ve dated jerks in the past so of this I feel sure he is not one of them….at least not in my eyes. I would however, like to thank any and all of you for your comments and your suggestions.

  73. Gizfield December 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    Jenni, I’m not trying to offend you, but the “general population” would consider a man who is a SERIAL CHEATER a jerk. Lonely, bored, unhappy, etc. doesn’t change that fact. Time is the only way to gain true perspective on this. Maybe you will feel differently 20 years from now. Maybe not.

  74. Gizfield December 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    I think everyone on here, myself included, has been very civil to you and CP. What I, or anyone else, thinks of these two guys is TOTALLY irrelevant, right.?

  75. Strengthrequired December 5, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    Thank you jenni and cp for your honest replies.

    Cp, Is there any way you can get the sexual passion back into your marriage,, maybe he expects you to do the work in that department, I really don’t know. I’m so sorry, I do hope things work out for you. may I ask, not sure if you mentioned it, but does your husband know about the affair you had?

    Jenni, I would truly love to see you happy in all aspects of your life, i do hope everything works out for you and whatever happens your husband and yourself can still remain close friends if you ever divorce.

    I am so glad that you both found this site, I do hope coming here helps the both of you in some way, even if it is just to get it off your chest.

    • CP December 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

      Stengthreqired, no he does not know & I would never tell him or anyone for that matter. That is why I have come to this site, to share & get it off my chest. No so much for gulit just to connect with others that have gone or know that I am going through. No, not to bring it back because he never made an effort or cared too.

  76. Jenni December 5, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    To offense taken Gizfield, I know this is a very touch subject and everyone will view it differently. I too use to judge people for stuff like this and I would say stuff like “no excuses, it’s wrong” and maybe I still feel that way some but I do understand this side of things now. And Strenghrequired thank you for all your kind words. I will be happy some day, I just don’t know when that day will come and in the meantime I am content.

    • CP December 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

      Jenni, that is what got me by too being content. I know others have felt what I feel & probably worse. But you truly don’t know until you actual get with others in that situaton.

      • Jenni December 5, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

        I know exactly what you mean CP and I wish I could see your personal email on here so we could chat privately. Not that the others aren’t helpful but I’m sure we both have a lot we’d like to share that we can’t on here.

        • CP December 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

          Yes, I would like that too but how do I disclose that to you with out having to share it with everyone else?

          • Doug December 6, 2013 at 8:45 am #

            Shoot me an email and I will forward it to Jenni (or vice versa). The email/contact button is on the right sidebar of the page and looks like an envelope.

    • Jenni December 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

      *No offense

  77. Blue December 5, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    CP- I really do feel sorry for you. Your husband is not meeting your needs in a very important part of your marriage.

    Have you thought of marriage counselling? You might even get him to see a doctor to see if his testoserone is low. Just an idea.

    Although, I myself lack courage to ask for what I really want sexually, I think my husband might get all bent out of shape that he’s not the greatest lover, but he sure seemed to be when we were dating and the stars in my eyes. Could you ask your husband for a ‘hall pass’? Unless my husband was ill, I would expect him to at least try and meet my needs if I asked. Good Luck to you!

    • CP December 6, 2013 at 8:51 am #

      Blue, please done feel sorry for me. Yes, just like you when we dated it was great, but of course that is the dating phase of a relationship. Then comes marriage & then comes the children & then the home, the bills, the expenses. The health issues, the againg, and so that is life. No, he would not go to counseling, he has told me before that he did a few times as his parents were on the verge of divorce & they all went as a family & he said he just lied to the therapist & he says& felt they don’t help. I have told him, we had long talks about what I need, about what I want to feel & it is good for about a 1 or 2 but then its back to the same. HMMM, I often thought about that a hall pass?? I don’t think that would sit very well with him either. He isnt the jealous type & hes never questioned me about anything but then again I never did anything to warrant that. So I actually could have had an affair a long time ago, but just did’nt. I have my daughter or my mother hunting me down before he does. Not that anyone has had to hunt me down.

  78. Gizfield December 5, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    Cp, no I dont believeOnce a cheater, always a cheater. But there are some people who wil always be cheaters. The ones I know start young though. No, I only did it once, and after I broke it off I was with my husband about eight or ten years til his death. I never had a desire to do it again. My high school BF contacted me at a very low point in my life. You and Jenni seem to be nice women, but very troubled like I was. Some guys are predators looking for troubled women, and they know what you want to hear a lot of the time. My ex sure did and since he was a pathological liar he had no problem saying anything. Just look out for this type of guy is all I’m saying. Maybe ya’ll could contact Doug and see about getting each others email for private convos.

    • CP December 6, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      Gizfield, why do you say troubled? I enjoy being married, like I said I love my family, my kids. Its just the passion, lust, attention that is missing on my husbands part to me. Not mine. I shower him with love always & I am always willing to please him. But, I can agree with you, right now I am doing alot better & I don’t think I will seek out another affair, I can say that right now but who knows as my children get older & they don’t need as much & I know my husband will not change, he is who he is. So I can’t say what my future holds but for right now I won’t seek someone. It does get too emotional something I was not prepared for. I re-read my post, the man I was with is 28yrs older then me. He isnt some young guy. But older & single they want more too, they want the companionship & I could’nt give him that. He wanted to date me, he wanted to come meet for lunch, take me to dinner, take me to movies & have me stay over night. But I could not do any of that.

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