microphoneIt’s that time again to talk about whatever you want to talk about!

This is Open Mic #15 and we hope that there are some things that are going on that you can either ask questions about or share your experiences with everyone.

The holidays are over and we’re into another year.  Man time flies!  It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were thinking the world was going to end when the ball dropped on the year 2000.

Since it is a new year and all, perhaps you might want to share any resolutions you’ve made with respect to your marriage and/or your affair recovery (or any resolutions for that matter). 

How are things going to be different – and better – for you this year?

Additionally, feel free to discuss…

  • What’s on your mind?
  • Have any successes to share? Big or small.
  • Got a question? Ask it.
  • Do you have any problems or situations that you’d like the community to offer their opinions on?
  • Any good books you’d like to discuss?
  • What are you and/or your spouse doing to further the healing and recovery in your relationship?
  • What’s working or not working?
  • Has your therapist given you any good advice or exercises that the rest of the readers might benefit from?
  • What has your spouse done lately that really pisses you off?
  • What has your spouse done lately to make you really happy?
  • Who’s gonna be in the college football four team playoff? Do you care?
  • Who is going to win the big game…Bucks or Ducks?
See also  To Tell or Not Tell - You Decide

Please don’t be shy. If there is anything whatsoever on your mind, please leave a comment below.

Thanks!

Linda & Doug

 

    145 replies to "Open ‘Mic’ Discussion #15"

    • Doug

      I just read this article and thought it might spark some discussion…

      “LAWYERS braced themselves for the first day back at work after New Year’s, also known as divorce day, when enquiries reach a peak every year.

      A surge of married couples planned to split up after the Christmas break after being forced to spend the festive period in each other’s pockets.

      As well as those considering divorce many actively look into having an affair.

      The website Illicit Encounters, the ‘discreet and confidential extra marital affairs dating service’, has revealed that today will be the most adulterous day of the year.

      Spokesperson for IllicitEncounters.com Mike Taylor said: “Christmas and New Year are times when couples spend an intense period of time with each other and their families. This can be quite claustrophobic and sometimes leads to a ‘cabin fever’ situation where both parties feel irritated with each other and underlying problems are exasperated.

      “The 5th of January is typically one of the first days back to work and back to freedom and spouses take this opportunity to explore all the things they couldn’t under the watchful eye of their partner.”

      Based on previous years, IllicitEncounters.com is expected to see a sharp rise in the number of members joining the site…

      Full article: http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/Divorce-lawyers-extra-marital-affairs-website/story-25807541-detail/story.html

    • Shifting Impressions

      Doug
      I find that really interesting…..I find myself in a difficult space since New Years Eve. It’s sort of the feeling that I made it, I made it through the holidays, I made it through my first year after d-day……and now what?? I’m proud of myself that I made it through, but it is accompanied by a feeling of hopelessness.

      The thought “I don’t really feel married anymore” keeps coming. I keep wondering if I will ever make sense of my husbands EA. I have told him in every way I know how, that I need to understand in order to move on.

      Maybe the reason people call their lawyers is that they can’t face another year of it all. The New year is a time of reflection and new beginnings and that brings up lots painful emotions. I am a bit caught of guard by how emotional I am feeling. All my emotions feel almost in overdrive now that the holidays are over. Anyone else have this happening?

    • Gizfield

      When I went to the therapist years ago, he diagnosed me as Adult ADD. One thing I found interesting was that feellng “lost” after a holiday or busy spell is a common symptom. I used to feel depressed, etc but now I expect feellng lost and make plans to do “busy” stuff to occupy myself.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Giz
        I started doing the same…..lots of painting, sorting, throwing out stuff etc. going on around here. I agree it does help somewhat.

    • Broken2

      Shifting I think the period after holidays is hard for everyone. I felt a terrible let down when my kids went home and all the weeks of preperation ended. I cried when they left and felt very depressed, so I don’t think you are alone in that feeling. Top it all off with an affair and it makes for a hard time for a BS. Try and stay busy and tend to your own tends. I hate to tell you but one year post dday isn’t a lot of time and you have a lot more recovery ahead of you. I don’t know your story but it is absolutely essential your husband tell you everything he can so that you can understand and put the pieces of your life back together. Often holidays are a painful reminder of an affair but it does get better with time. It has been 4 years for me, with a major slip-up thrown in for good measure and it is ok now. Much of how I feel is just plain tired of devoting so much time and space to his behavior. I have moved on to my own needs and my own ambitions and if he wants to come along for my ride thats fine if not life goes on. I don’t think about the OW anymore, she isn’t worth my time. Hang in there.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Broken
        Thanks for sharing…..you are so right. I know that a year isn’t all that long, although it feels like forever. I am so tired of feeling sad. Again thanks, I agree with you and it helps to hear it.

    • Rachel

      I clean closets, rearrange furniture and look at potential flowers to plant in the spring.
      I feel like I need sun and warmth to feel better.
      It freezing today in Connecticut only to get colder tomorrow. Ugh!

    • Gizfield

      The other day Trying Hard was talking about Cheater/Other Woman blogs, forums, etc so I decided I would check them out. Wow. If you want to see the type of people you are dealing with, this is a good place to start. One lady had “judged by all, loved by two” as her tagline. She wasn’t sure which guy the baby daddy was, mooning over the OM while pregnant. But she didn’t want to be “judged”. Her supporters were encouraging her , telling her how “brave, inspirational, WONDERFUL,etc” she was.

      Then I found one for Married Cheaters and it was even more disgusting. Men were actually posting pictures of their penises. And the women weren’t much better. It was so gross.

      When my husband was cheating I found some pornography sites on his computer. Eeew. One site called Other People’s Wives. Scummy looking photos of women in lingerie, topless, in provocative poses. Seriously??? Who does this? It’s supposed to be an enviable lifestyle? Something you should want? They can keep it…..

      • OHC

        Not all of the OW/OM and WS are like that. I think there are more like me or some of my friends who used to blog–we use the space for therapy either during or right after the affair, then when we are better we stop. Honestly, I ran out of material and it was starting to be counter-productive to spend that much time thinking of my ex-AP every day and being attacked by some of the BS. The ones you are talking about have serial affairs and so the material never stops coming, I guess. I didn’t feel connected to them when I was writing every day.

        I do come back now and then to the blogs in general, sometimes because there was someone whose story I wanted to follow. And sometimes I do it when I am having reminders of my ex-AP or feel myself sliding back. (I’m having lots of reminders right now, for a variety of reasons.)

        Just saying that what you are reading, which I find equally disgusting, doesn’t represent all cheaters. I doubt it even represents the majority, maybe just the majority who write long time blogs. There is a selection bias.

        • CBb

          I have been reading your posts and hope you can understand the position of the betrayed spouse. When our Husbands are giving time to someone else, whether it is purely emotional or more than an EA, we suffer in ways you, as the OW or AP, cannot imagine.

          I ask you to put yourself in our place and imagine yourself in our shoes. You would not want to be in our situation for one second. Trust me.

          As for your innocent contact with this guy now, please understand that he is testing the waters to see if there is an opportunity to start something again. How do I know? This is exactly the place I was in w/ my CH and his OW. One of them ended it (I get conflicting stories on who did the first time), but when she was dumped by a guy a few weeks later, she calls my H and he goes running back. All innocent, a shoulder to cry on, until it almost ended our 25 year marriage.

          So, please do not be naive. You are playing a deadly game, to the detriment of his wife and children. There should be no “boundaries” except a do not call edict. Your justifications are excuses.

          Mark my words he spoke with you once. You were receptive. He will think there is opportunity. He will call again, and then the contact will become more frequent. He does not want to let go. It is up to you.

          Oh and BTW, if I were his wife, you and he would be causing a divorce, to the detirment of my children who will suffer thanks to selfishness, deceit, lies and egos.

          Be true to your word, move on and have no further contact except if you see him in a purely professional setting.

          Put yourself on the other side and imagine how you would feel if you were his wife, being lied to, cheated on and humiliated. And don’t believe everything this guy tells you either. He is less than honorable in my book.

      • Blue

        I know Giz, there’s some real scary creepy people out there! I find myself reading affair blogs too because I want to know the mind of the cheater, although all separate stories, especially after that M and OHC fiasco last week. Were they the same person? IDK!

        The ow in ‘loved by two’ actually befriended the BS to get closer to the BS husband. She said she knew it wasn’t ‘nice’ (ya think?!) and when the sh*t hit the fan she said she not only misses her co-cheat but his wife also! Misses their friendship. WTH!! What kind of friend does she think she is?! She’s just a mean hearted horrible excuse for a person. What kind of person does this? It honestly freaks me out at the mindset of some cheaters. Wouldn’t that ‘shock’ the lust out of affair with most people? Not with this manipulator. If she were writing about being so remorseful and sickened by herself, I would actually feel some pity but all she talked about was the wild sex and connection she had with her co-cheater.

        The ow in my story sent me an apology letter about 2 years after DD, I think she was scared it would come back to bite her career and family in the ass. She told me to vent, so I did but I basically forgave her. Not 2 months later, she secretly messaged my h at work (apparently about work) although he said the issue was really none of her business and he came home and told me.

        Everyone, just be careful with these OP, some of these people really don’t get it and they can turn into stalkers of not only our spouses but their affair partners’ family. Even if they have a family of their own, they may still want the BS’s also. They can be manipulators, liars, predators, and just plain old cold hearted creeps.

        Good Luck to all the good people on here, may you keep calm and heal your heart on.

        • OHC

          I’m not M, but it isn’t worth getting into messes started by Nephila

          I realize it’s easy to demonize the OW/OM and in some cases it is really true….but your husbands were the OP as well. What makes it true that the spouses of everyone on the blogs are the truly repentant ones who will never cheat again, while the “others” who you don’t truly know are the crazy ones, the stalkers, just out for sex, etc.

          Again, I’m not saying it doesn’t happen where you get a really unstable OW or OM, I just think that it is much easier to make the cheater who is not YOUR cheater out to be the devil, the one to blame, someone truly crazy because you don’t know them. There is always another side of a story and for better or worse you will never really know the other side. It could be very close to what your husband told you happened….or it could be very different.

          As a point of reference, when I mentioned that my former AP continues to reach out to me, that thread deteriorated into people accusing me of imagining the whole affair–being so sad and lonely that I had convinced myself of a relationship that didn’t exist. The answer couldn’t possibly be what I described, that as the unmarried OW, I pushed us to end our EA before his wife found out, I don’t stalk his wife or try to convince him to leave her, and 15 months after it ended he continues to reach out to me. The reason it couldn’t be true? I had to be crazy or evil or much worse than my married AP in some way.

          Except in extreme cases, the OP is just a person like your husband. Someone who made a big mistake, made a mess of their lives, and is trying to find their way, whether they are married or single, woman or man.

        • TryingHard

          Blue
          That’s exactly what sociopaths do and you are right they are scary and creepy. I would not trust any kind of communication from the OW that interferred in my life. I know she’s a liar. I have the benefit of a lot of testimony from her family, friends, and co-workers. Oh yeah I’ve wanted to exact revenge and I guess we did legally but getting her totally out of our lives. Pretty sure she hates both my H and me and I’m fine with that. But during the affair when she had another boyfriend and he questioned her about my H and their relationship she denied it and said she loved me and my H and that we were like siblings to her!!! WTF kind of talk is that? She barely knew me, but that’s what she does, she/they insinuate themselves into your life even to the point of befriending the wife and in my case my sons. It’s sick and creepy. They totally think they have the right to do it and they need to keep the affair going for sometimes financial reasons they need the info.

          So weird, creepy, tacky, sick….you name it and better him than me! I hope I’m never so desperate in my life to stoop that low and have to grovel for someone else’s crumbs!

          • Lynsey

            Yes, some of those AP’s certainly are creepy sociopaths. When I confronted my husband’s AP, she had the gall to say that she heard that I was a very good cook and would like to be invited for dinner sometime. WTF??!? Like THAT was ever going to happen! Ends up she was doing whatever to hang on in order to keep the gifts, cash, bill paying, etc going from my very- stupid-at-the-time husband.

            • TryingHard

              Oh Lynsey that is hilarious!! Well I would llllloooove to cook a meal for the OW 🙂 know what I mean?. I’d cook a very special meal for her to enjoy, hehehehe.

              I know, sociopath is the only word to describe it!

            • Gizfield

              Maybe a yummy chocolate pie, like in The Help, lol.

            • TryingHard

              OOO I loved that movie! Yeah, that’s what I’d make, a yummy chocolate pie 🙂

              Really, the OW asking the wife if she could come to dinner? That is some serious Dain Bramage!

            • gizfield

              Read the book, Trying Hard. It is excellent. I only saw about 30 minutes of the movie cause I was at someone’s house and had to leave. Also, I just saw a thing about a new show you might likepremiering February 8 , Better Call Saul. It’s a prequel to breaking Bad. I bet it will be Crazeeee.

            • Tryinghard

              I didn’t read the book, just saw the movie and loved it. Cannot wait for Better Call Saul. We were big binge watchers of Breaking Bad. Went into withdrawal when it ended.

              Hey Giz you may be too young to remember a restaurant called Trader Vic’s but they had a dish called the Pop Poo Platter!! I know, LOL, right? I mean what kind of a name is that for food? But I think that would be a great dish to serve up to the OW!!!

      • TryingHard

        LOL Giz!! Aren’t those blogs a hoot? It’s like they are love struck teenagers. “I know he loves me, he told me I was his soul mate, why can’t he see it, why doesn’t he leave that nasty bitch wife?” BWAHAHAHA! They really are pathetic souls.

        I didn’t see any websites with penises, THANK GOD, I’ve already lost too much faith in humanity. But the OW blogs are inspiring. They are all the same too.

        • OHC

          That’s funny, I haven’t seen any that read like that. They are either serial cheaters talking about their sexual experiences, like Blue describes or women dealing with the end of a one time affair, but of those, they usually write god, I’m so stupid, this is my fault. I’ve never seen them write that the WS is stupid for staying with the “bitch”

          My favorite, LoveUnintentional, chronicled her EA and how she got out of it and said goodbye to him forever. It was all about how she learned to value herself and not fall for his crap anymore and eventually move to a healthy relationship. Most of the BS criticism of that type of blog is that they don’t believe a once OW should ever value herself or criticize the WS or do anything but beat herself up

    • Broken2

      Betrayed spouses clearly have the cleanest closets in the world! Giz….that is disgusting…they are the bottom feeders of the world.

      • TryingHard

        LOL Broken2 you’re right and you should SEE my closet, but my basement, well it’s freaking awesome now!!

    • Broken2

      I will just throw it out there…..Doug you asked about the game. I am from Michigan my dad a Michigan grad and me a Michigan State grad so early no matter how well OSU does it is just against all that is me to hope they win the National Championship. My second fav team in the world is Alabama however they were clearly outplayed by a certain OSU team. Boo. Ducks it is….

      • Doug

        I hear you Broken. I guess I’m a bit different as I’m a die-hard Buckeye fan but I’m also a Big 10 fan. I hate Michigan and am starting to hate Michigan State but during bowl season I root for them both to win. I loved it when MSU came back and beat Baylor in the Cotton Bowl and if Michigan was in a bowl against say, an SEC school, I’d root for them as well.

        Regardless, the game between the Bucks and Ducks should be a good one. I see 100 points being scored between the two of them.

        • Broken2

          Very thankful Michigan got rid of Hoke….I would like to see someday the incredible rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State come back like in he days of Bo and Woody. You understand what I am saying you just aren’t suppose to root for Ohio if your from Michigan. Me too regarding the Cotton Bowl….what an exciting game that was. Honestly the Ohio/Alabama game was too. My son went to the game and he said it was such a great atmosphere. He has much respect for Urban Meyers as a coach so he was rooting for the Bucks…I will forgive him…he bought me a Roll Tide shirt!!!!

          • Doug

            Oh I don’t doubt that Harbaugh will bring Michigan back to life. Looking forward to it actually. You’re going to see the Big 10 improve from top to bottom here very soon. Trust me, outside of bowls season (or if it helps OSU) I never root for Michigan or MSU.

    • antiskank

      Shifting,

      I feel the same way, good that I made it through the holidays but wondering – now what…

      It is past 2.5 years since DDay for me and I thought that things were much better a few months ago but then found out he was lying about so much and didn’t really love me during that time despite all of his declarations. He was still obsessing about his AP. That set me back and made me feel the pain anew.

      After much discussion, I have decided to stay and give us a chance, but have many reservations. Am I giving the impression that what he has done is okay by staying and giving him so many chances? Should I be giving him some defined “rules” to abide by? I may be losing respect for myself… Some days I feel very strong and positive, thinking that I can get through this and be happier, but other days I feel quite hopeless and sad. He has been very helpful, considerate, and “loving” for the past couple of months and swears that he loves me and wants to be together forever and loves only me. Still not much discussion about his actions or our lives though!

      After all of the lies, how do you ever get to the point of believing that he really could love you? Does it ever happen? Can you ever trust them? Am I just being manipulated again? Will there ever be a time when I’m not second guessing everything that he says or that I feel? What about all of the bad things he said about me, about our life together? Will I ever feel loved, secure, safe or happy?

      • Broken2

        Antiskank…after 4+ years since dday and one huge additional mistake just 6 months ago this is what I have discovered. I too struggled with will I ever feel loved again and secure enough to trust. I have one of those husbands that tries really hard but I too wonder if he lied once why not again? He is by nature rather sneaky and a damn good lier. We tried counseling, she basically said she would help me and he should find someone else. However I have found that time is a healer and so is controlling your own life. You have to make the decision if you can live with what you question or if you would be happier alone. I decided to work on myself which has given me a tremendous amount of control over my own life and satisfaction in myself. I can’t make him change, I can’t will him to change, he has to do that. You can’t either. We can only control ourselves. The days of up and down and sad and happy are still there for you but I promise they will become less if you concentrate on you and not him. Tell him what you want…what you need and demand he give it to you. We have “state of the union” meetings every week or so where we have a designated “safe” time to say whatever we want. Most of the time I see him slipping back in old ways and he thanks me for opening his eyes. We have weekly date night that we make sure happens. We get up early to have coffee every morning together…alone. We talk every night in bed. Make those things happen, redefine your relationship. Remember that no one is perfect.

    • tryingtomoveon

      I’d like to throw out a question that has bothered me for some time. My H and I are 3.5 years after D-Day. We’ve had counseling since a month after discovery, and I have to say he has worked harder at repairing the damage to our marriage than he has anything in his life. His effort is what has sustained us during the bad times, the triggers, the memories of days he was so in the fog he acted like I didn’t exist.

      That said, I was so devastated after D-Day that I did not immediately contact his AP or her husband. I subsequently sent her two long, pointed emails (that was how they conducted their EA primarily) in which I told her just what I thought of her behavior (she places ads on Craigs List in various states for men to write to her to “share part of her day”, of course including the info that she’s married) and how it had affected our marriage. I asked my husband to write what he thought of her, and he wrote a clear and even more pointed response in which he said anything that wore a skirt would have sufficed when he was lonely. He also suggested she stop advertising for lonely married men to correspond with her. I sent his response as an email to her to make sure she knows how he feels.

      Upon meeting my lovestruck husband after 5 months of writing about their lives and crumbling marriages she told him she’d already had a PA and would not sleep with him “right now.” (The guy, whom shemet at the gym and thought was her “soulmate” dropped her after two months.) He accepted that (and says now he is SO glad that he never did become intimate with her), but wanted to continue their written relationship, which, of course, became increasingly loving and occasionally, desperate. After a second meeting (at a lonely fishing place, not very smart if you ask me, since he could have been some deranged guy who would have taken advantage of her) he decided it wasn’t worth it to pursue the physical side (apparently she has trouble even talking to someone in person or on the phone, can’t even look them in the eye—surprise!!), but wanted to have someone to write to since we could barely talk about the weather at that point (I wonder why). That went on for another 9 months until I became suspicious of his constant need to be on his computer and finally checked his email (no password needed! Had I not been so disgusted and ready to bail on our marriage I probably would have found them out much sooner.).

      My question: I have felt all along that her husband has the right to know what she is up to. He became suspicious of her need to be on the computer at least twice during their EA, and suggested that they separate on both occasions. The first time he told her she had to be honest or he wanted out; the second, he “feared I was seeing someone (he’s so scarred by what he knows about my relationship with Brian) and pointed a finger at the phantom pen pals I have.” My husband became a “writer and …a very dear person to me. His reaction surprised me –he was completely ok with it.” She consistently referred to my husband as her “friend”—when I wrote to her I suggested she purchase “Not Just Friends” by Shirley Glass to see what happens between “friends” of opposite sexes when they talk about intimate details of their lives. I told her I would not be surprised if she’d interfered if not ruined other marriages along the way.

      I should also add that after I discovered their EA, I began reviewing Craigs List postings in the areas I know she haunts. Sure enough, about a year and a half ago I saw one that both my H and I are sure is her. It was a response to an ad posted by a man who lives not far from her, is also into fishing (her other passion), and sounded in physical description similar to my husband (except he mentioned blue eyes and lots of hair!!!): “RE: Share the adventures of life – 51 (Spokane) – First let me say that I am not single and I am not looking to hook up. I enjoy checking out just who is available because I like to know if there is such a thing as second chances. By that I mean, if I were to find myself single again, would I find a man that would meet my needs as well as me meeting his needs, or would I find that all of the good ones were taken? After reading your post I’ve got to say that you’ve given me some hope for the future. I hope you find the girl of your dreams… you sound like the kind of man I’ve always dreamed of. Best of life to you!”

      Needless to say, I don’t think this sounds like a woman who has learned anything from two affairs, and is still out there prowling for other women’s husbands while acting shy and lonely . Really—who posts on a public forum that they are looking for a second chance??? I see occasional pictures of her with her husband on Facebook, posted by a fishing group to which she belongs. In the last one she was tightly holding his hand while looking at the camera like a deer in the headlights. I wonder if it was for my husband’s benefit?

      So—would anyone be kind enough to help me decide whether it is time to let him know what kind of woman he’s married to??? She works in fishing clinics with women recuperating from breast cancer, and he teaches an online course at the college from which he retired, with her as the teaching assistant. Perfect opportunities to find new pen pals is how I see it. I truly feel that he has the right, and frankly the responsibility, to know what she is up to and understand the consequences of accepting her trolling behavior as ok.

      Thanks to all of you and best wishes for healing in the new year.

      • Rachel

        Trytomoveon,
        Great question. I wonder if I should let me ex’s soul mate, husband know what went on or should I just leave it be.
        Either I go to her bra store and make a purchase with my charge card, and give her snake eyes and ditch the goods at the door.
        It felt great telling the ex on Friday to stop emailing me as it is harassment.
        He still goes on and on and finally on Friday I had had it. I feel great. Knowing he won’t send me another email.

      • TryingHard

        Tryingtomoveon

        I say stay away from this freak. Surly her husband knows somethings up. At the most send an anon “hey your wife is trolling Craigslist, heads up buddy” type of warning. But nothing more.

        This woman sounds crazy. What kind of adult does this? I don’t get it. How do you get your jollies writing emails to strangers?

        You H used poor judgement in conversing with her. Sounds like it was just very easy for him. Like his own little personal Penthouse letters (if you remember what those were 🙂 ) I think you time is better spent working on yourself and what you want and need from a relationship with your current husband. I also hope you H is getting help for his fantasy addiction. That’s really all it was, a fantasy. It’s weird at best.

        Good Luck to you

    • Gizfield

      Trying to move on, Wow the narcissism runs deep with that chick. In response to your question, if it were me, yes I would expose her. Plus, hey if you aren’t doing anything WRONG, why is it a secret?

    • Gizfield

      Also, most “good ones” dont troll the internet looking for someone to “share their day.” They are expecting to get laid, pure and simple. Don’t these people have any FRIENDS, even facebook ones to share their day ?

      • OHC

        I’d say the “good ones” aren’t out looking for anything, sex or otherwise. The most common APs tend to be work colleagues, especially for EAs, it seems. Most people (not all, but most) aren’t going to work expecting to get laid

      • tryingtomoveon

        Giz–Thanks so much for your prompt response. It really reflects just how I feel.
        I totally agree that women who are not looking for more than friendship and who write things like I just revealed, have their own agenda. I believe that exposing her will go a long way towards making me feel that I don’t have to participate in keeping her dirty little secrets.

        I should also add that after my H told her he loved her, the “friendship” quickly moved on to questions like:

        How would things be different if we were both single?

        What would your wife think if she knew about me?

        Regarding passion in marriage: “I’ve never experienced the ecstasy of passionate love and don’t want to die without experience it. For me, I don’t have any expectations becasue…well, ignorance sometimes is a blessing. You know what it’s like and…how can another woman every meet your expectations. I wonder…”

        And in response to my H fantasizing about how wonderful it would be to be married to her: “I delve into fantasy land often….To answer your question–would would be welcomed into my home as if it was yours–my bed included. I may not see myself as ever being another’s wife, but that doesn’t mean I’d never commit to another man and share a home with him. I ‘d have no reservations about giving all of myself to you–I trust you, love you.
        With that I look at my empty bed and crawl into it with a heart full of dreams. I hope yours are sweet.”

        Gee, some friendship, huh?

        And then the “when can we meet” offers began in earnest. Towards the end, in the months before I discovered them, she asked in almost every email when they could meet, even providing a list of dates her husband would be out of town.

        Regarding friends: other than one female friend that told her she should leave her H if she’s so unhappy, the only people she mentioned were men at the gym. She wrote that she really has no one with whom she can share her deep emotional needs–other than the men she finds on the internet like my H.

        Like many predators, she does not seem to have any real friends or even family relationships to sustain her. She found fault with her stepson while of course mourning that she did not have her own children. Being sad about not being a mother was a continuing theme (My H often wrote about our children and grandchildren), yet she complained about women who talk about their grandkids and was glad not to see her own nieces and nephews when she went to a family funeral. Even my H. picked up on that stuff..

        And as for Facebook–her secret life seems to be far more fulfilling. The only reference I can find is on her fishing group’s page.

    • Gizfield

      Lol, you’re welcome, Trying.

      I personally think writing stuff like that, then deceiving your spouse, is wrong. If you want to do that stuff, get a divorce and BE single. I’m doubtful her husband wants a wife like that. She’s just using her husband. She can’t even say shes staying for the children. She just LIKES being deceitful and cheating. I feel very bad for her husband, I really do.

    • TryingHard

      I was glad the holidays were over. We had a nice holiday and I love decorating my home for the holidays however I am happy when it’s all taken down and back to normal.

      My grandson was not with us for Christmas as his mother took him to her mother’s home in another state and I really missed him. Also all the sadness of my son’s divorce just hit me hard by the fact that my son wasn’t with his son for the first time for Christmas. I don’t know how he didn’t cry himself to sleep every night. We had our new grand daughter, born in September 2014, here, yes same son who just got divorced (that’s a whole other story) and she is precious.

      Also got some news during the holidays about something the OW said to an employee about me and my H that is quite slanderous. I haven’t discussed it with my H yet because I didn’t want to ruin Christmas so now that the holidays are over I know I need to discuss it with him but I am dreading it 🙁 I guess what I am most dreading is his response. Because really there is not good response from him pertaining to this most tremendous slanderous statement she made to at least one employee that I now of. I don’t know, I could be opening up a whole new can of worms, but I am considering going to a lawyer about it. She doesn’t have a pot to piss in but she does have a house. No way she has money to defend herself and her family won’t help her either. Don’t know what to do, but I am torn up inside about it.

      So after taking down all the Christmas I cleaned my basement. Trashed a lot, consigned and donated. I do my closet all the time and now I am cleaning out the spare bedroom closets. Getting rid of everything that is unnecessary and just taking up space in my life. I keep re-evaluating my living situation and certainly thinking of moving is overwhelming when one has too much stuff to move. I’ll be damned if I stay because I just don’t feel like moving grandmothers china that I inherited!! I’m really starting to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. Getting rid of the stuff both physically and emotionally!

    • Tiredofitall

      Broken2 – Can you elaborate on the “major” setback? I am just 2 years post Dday & we had a MAJOR S setback in November. I would love to hear more. You are right about putting yourself first. I thought I had been doing that but I wasn’t. It is a major paradigm shift for some of us.

      • Broken2

        Tired…sure no problem….I always had in the back of my mind that I was waiting for hubby to screw up and he did. He started acting all cocky like he use to and saying he didn’t like the feeling of having to tell me where he was going and all of that crap. Red Flag!!! So after not doing it for a long time I looked at his email and I saw a correspondence from a woman and him where he said I can meet you anywhere and we can talk…heres my office number (private number) and she sent him lovely pics of her naked. He said I like your pics…..you get the idea. Well turns out he decided to look at the men seeking woman section of Craigslist. Said it was out of “curiosity”…he said he knew it was wrong. However he did it. So as I read this crap I couldn’t believe that all the years of hard work for this? I called him and met him where he was at….he came out all cocky that I was bothering him….until I showed him the paper…then came the why was I looking at his email….it was actually comical to watch him squirm. I told him that I wasn’t sure I could get over this and that I would decide if I will stay with him. This slip-up is hard. I have become quiet and withdrawn. He is mortified. According to the counselor that saw us and referred him elsewhere this behavior is common. She suggested he was a sex addict but I have my doubts about that. Honestly I am at the point where I can’t control his behavior…he has to want to change and want our marriage…otherwise someone else can have him. I love him but will not tolerate his behavior any longer. The balls in his court now. I guess my capacity for forgiveness is greater then most. He has gone back to church (he hasn’t been in 15 years) and is truly trying. He knows when I graduate this year financially I don’t need him so shape up or ship out.

        • CBb

          Tired. What a shame that your H does not see you for the person you truly are.

          I am feeling the same with my CH. He has not slipped up but I guess I sort of expect it. I am only 1 yr past but have healed and moved forward. However I trust him less and less. Even if I suspected something I feel like it’s his issue and mess to clean up.

          I am good and he either makes it w/ me or I am outta here with my 2 teenage sons. Whom I will raise to do better than behave like that!

          Good luck to you. Cleaning my house just in case.

    • Forcryin'outloud

      I’m foolishly taking the bait from a fisher above but here goes it. :-/

      The “good ones” aren’t out looking for sex. Bullshit!
      That’s one ugly little pill I had to swallow as my H began refusing sex with me (in hindsight for me) that coincided with verbal long distant contact with his AP. He may have not initially set out with that thought but it quickly went there without having physically laid eyes on his AP (ex-HSGF) in decades.
      One of the most difficult parts of recovery is realizing my H is a cheater, a lair and has a big character flaw.
      I’m far from perfect but even when our marriage was at it’s worse and before I had opportunities to cheat but I choose not to be that person. I don’t want to be defined even if only by my own self as that person. I believe in commitment, loyalty and honesty. And I would rather spend my time doing something positive for all involved.

      • OHC

        I don’t disagree with what you said, but as this site is mostly about emotional affairs, the whole piece about looking for sex doesn’t really apply. I get that an EA can have an impact on the sex life of a married couple, but my point was I wasn’t looking for anything at all, I just got assigned to work with someone, we hit it off, and it went on from there for almost 4 years–without any physical relationship or even talk of sex. And I know others who were in EAs who had the same type of situation–years of being very close and intimate emotionally, but never coming near the topic of sex.

        Again, I acknowledge that there are women and men who go out looking for affairs and some of them are looking for sex, but there are a lot of people who would never dream they would be a party to an affair, then things happen a certain way and before you know it you are doing things you never would have predicted or condoned. I suspect what my ex-AP was looking for was companionship–he was very lonely when I met him. (I’m sure his wife was lonely too, please know I’m not blaming her for anything when I say that). And if I’m honest, I was looking for companionship too–I am single and was dating here and there when I met him, but I was with him all day every day and at some point we became best friends and each other’s central emotional relationship

        I’m not excusing my affair AT ALL, just saying I know I’m not alone in my experience that a) I wasn’t looking for an affair and b)it wasn’t about sex

    • Broken2

      OHC …I would venture to say that many EA are also PA and I bet many suspect it to be true so it all fits. I am 99.9% sure that my CS has had a PA…he is just a great lier.

    • Forcryin'outloud

      My H stands by his notion that it wasn’t even the EA he has described just a betrayal because “he says” he didn’t have sex with the AP. It’s all symantics to make the cheater feel better about their rotten decisions and the fact their scheme went bust.
      Also cheaters make excuses to justify the salacious behavior. Once a cheater stops make excuses they can heal their broken bits and trust me they have many. Along with working on either obtaining a healthy relationship without lies or working on the state of their current relationship commitment.
      I’ve told my H many times over the past 4 years since d-day that if this isn’t the life he wants he needs to stand up and express it if he ever feels that way or have the guts to say we/i need to work on x,y,z.
      I understand people grow apart, stagnat, fall out of love etc. just have the balls to do the right thing and exit the relationship with grace and integrity. Cheating is the easy, lazy and selfish way to hook up with someone whether emotionally or sexually. Relationships of all kinds take effort and work. It’s not all sunshine shooting out each other’s butt day after day. There’s a lot of farts!

    • Patsy50

      I have a heavy heart tonight, a 51 year old woman, whom I have known only briefly, died and her viewing was tonight. She was a friend of my daughter and son-in-law. In fact, she is the one responsible for getting them together and finally married. Lisa and her husband were high school sweethearts and married at age 19. They never had children just each other. They did everything together. They were married 20 years. Then one day he told her he didn’t love her anymore. He had already gotten an apartment and had an affair before he told her this news. She was devasted, Did not see this coming. They separated but just got divorced just two weeks ago. She could not afford to keep the house they owned so he paid the mortgage and allowed her to stay in the house for 5 years. She was a beautiful girl, beautiful shape and went down to 80 – 90 pounds, started drinking, and did not take care of herself. She died of congestive heart failure and other organ failures. In a matter of days she was taken off life support and she died. I can only echo, as so many others have said, you MUST take care of yourself after finding out of your spouses affair whether EA or PA as both are just as devasting.

      Forcryin’outloud
      I just had this same conversation with my husband in the car. If at anytime either one of us has lost our love for one another it’s time to end this relationship period.

      OHC
      My husband had an EA with a coworker half his age. It was a father-daughter relationship for a while, then they became intimate emotionally and he was sexually attracted to her and her nude pictures didn’t help with that situation. I truly believe if he didn’t stop the EA at that point it most difinitely would have turned into a PA.

      • OHC

        I don’t disagree with what you all are saying. I have always had the feeling that my AP and I were close to becoming physical when we ended things. Things were escalating over the last year we were together and we were at a breaking point. It had gotten out of control, after many years of being steady state. But there were no nude pictures, no innuendo and he, his wife and I are all in our early 40s. No major age difference

        I would never disagree with the concept that the married party needs to deal with their primary relationship and should do it in a mature way. It broke my heart to end things with my AP, but I thought he and his wife deserved a real chance at making things work. And if they could make things work, my presence in his life was completely unimportant. I was irrelevant, a footnote to his marriage. But I also felt that I needed to not be present if their marriage was going to fail. It needed to not be about me.

        Things just don’t always go the way you planned, though, even now. I expected them to be either happy or separated by this point. They are still together and apparently in a much better place after a year in marriage counseling and him taking a new job where he doesn’t travel. She never found out about me. But he and I both went through major depressions when we separated. He tried to maintain contact, I cut it off for most of the past 15 months. I am no longer in love and I don’t think he is either. But we are back in touch, he actually called me tonight. It’s not as clean as I thought it would be.

        I’m sure someone will say he just wants ego stroking or to have his cake and eat it too. Maybe it’s true, although I think I’m about as honest with him as his wife is, I don’t mince words. But I think it’s messier than all that. Life is sometimes really fucking messy, excuse my language.

        The truth? I think he loves his wife and family. I think he cares about me, maybe still loves me. I think they never had a great marriage and while it’s stable now, it’s probably not terribly inspiring to either one of them (and before anyone goes off on me, this doesn’t come from years of pillow talk, it’s common knowledge among all their friends and colleagues.) I think he and I have a very strong emotional connection but I have no idea if we could make a normal relationship work. I think he gets more out of a sustained relationship with me than I do

        The only reason I share all of this is to say the OW is not this one-dimensional, one size fits all, bunny boiler out looking for sex. We don’t think the AP walks on water and our relationships are not all butterflies and rainbows. We don’t all try to convince them to leave their wives. Sometimes the WS is the one who makes it difficult to end things, although I still would never blame him for anything. I made my own bad decisions, they aren’t his fault.

        Affairs are wrong. But the people involved in them, whether male or female or single or married, cannot all be painted with one brush. Their intentions and actions differ

    • Tiredofitall

      Broken2- I am exactly where you are. I have worked so hard for the past two years since D day to rebuild our marriage and my H did too…or so I thought. He said all the right things, held me & loved me through all the triggers and bad moments. I, too, always felt I had to be ready for the other shoe to drop and in November it did. The original ea was with a woman not from this area he had met at a conference. They corresponded daily for 5 months until after catching him twice & I informed her husband. That put a stop to that one. Right about that same time I discovered he was having a “too friendly” email exchange with a co-worker. He promised me that it would stop–even emailed her saying it was over & that he had been dishonest with me. And showed me the email. I called her, we met so I could hear her side & ask if it was physical. (Remember, he had just been caught in a full blown ea with someone he thought he “loved”) So I wanted to hear from this one. She told me she just enjoyed having a friend at work, it wasn’t physical & it would stop. That was January 2012. In November 2014, her husband came up to us in the parking lot of a grocery store telling/warning my H to stay away. Apparently this “friendship” never ever had stopped. Two years…of such hard work. So many lies and broken promises. Such a deceiver. But all I can say is this time I am stronger. I am not a weak and crying mess. I am hurt but I realize my H is sick. We have so many reasons to be happy. And he chooses to be an unfaithful ass. This time it’s all on him to fix it. IF it can be fixed. I’m not sure. We set our kids down at Thanksgiving and I made him tell them what he has done. He has had a couple meetings with a therapist and our pastor and seems to be getting to the root of where this poor behavior comes from. He has a long way to go to convince me. I don’t know if he ever will. Right now I have committed to staying through August when our youngest leaves for college. My H will have to hit some pretty big benchmarks if we are to last after that. I am not wasting anymore of my life (22 years married) giving my whole heart to someone who has no respect for me. I deserve to be honored and cherished.

    • forcryin'outloud

      OHC. I think you are still in the excuse making stage of your issues. There are plenty of passive manipulating OW that from my perspective are just as insecure and screwed up as the bunny boilers. If you and your AP are in contact again after a year of him supposedly working on his marriage that speaks volumes about both your characters and that neither has done the work you need to do on yourselves. If he’s not getting his needs meet by his wife he needs to carry his ass out of the relationship. And you need to respect yourself enough to have him (if that’s what you want and it screams between the lines that’s the case) without sneaking and hiding your relationship in the dark. If he wants you so bad he should be respectful to your needs and not have you play second fiddle. He seems “just a bit” narcissistic.
      With that I’m not going to comment further or again because I think we can agree that we will disagree on further volleys.

      • OHC

        I respect your point of view. To be clear, he wasn’t calling because his needs aren’t being met or because he wants me so badly, he was calling to wish me congratulations on a big promotion and give me a pep talk. He’s trying hard to salvage our friendship and so far he’s been respectful and considerate of my boundaries.

        I’m dating and enjoying it, he seems content in his marriage. Neither of us is looking for an emotional relationship with each other again. We have been best friends for nearly 5 years, we just want to be able to call to be supportive when happy things happen or when bad things happen, that’s all.

        • tryingtomoveon

          I totally agree with your post, Broken2. There is no excuse for interfering in I suggest you purchase a copy of Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass, PhD, and READ IT!
          What I see in your posts are lots of excuses for why it was/is ok to have a clandestine relationship with a married man. The state of his marriage is NONE of your concern, and you have no right to try to “fix” him by providing the emotional support or caring he may not be getting from his spouse. And I might add that the reason he’s not getting it is because you have made yourself available to provide it.
          Any contact you have with him, happy or otherwise, just continues the emotional connection, which is the basis for again engaging in a deeper relationship. There is no honesty in your secret affair, now or in the past, and just because his wife doesn’t know about you doesn’t make it alright. “Salvage our friendship”–how about salvaging his marriage and being fair to his wife? Or being less selfish and letting you get on in your life. Really, is a long distance relationship punctuated with short calls/emails to keep you on the hook satisfying? Sounds to me like he’s playing you both, which is exactly what my H’s AP did until he abruptly and completely ended their affair when I discovered their voluminous correspondence. Believe me, there could have been no healing while she was filling his head with platitudes and lines about guilt being dangerous (yes, it is. It kills marriages.)
          Honesty means facing an unhappy marriage and dealing with it–get counseling to fix it and improve it or end it and move on. No contact means just that. As long as he is secretly corresponding or talking to you, it’s an affair, plain and simple. I assure you it will not take long before you are right back where you supposedly left off.

          • OHC

            They have just completed 18 months of marriage counseling. That was something he arranged for when our EA ended even though she never found out about me. And you are right, the state of their marriage doesn’t concern me–whether it’s good or bad right now has no effect on me or my life.

            I am not providing any emotional support for him. At all. And haven’t since the summer of 2013. Zero, nada. I refuse to and he knows it, I was very clear that I was done playing that role a long time ago

            What you described wouldn’t be a satisfying relationship if I was looking for more for him, but I’m not. I am dating and having a lot of fun–something I absolutely did not do when the EA was active. But for a friend, sure. Hearing from him now and then is nice.

            What you are arguing for is the end of my former relationship with him, the end of my EA. But that already happened, a long time ago, I have zero desire to go back to that awful situation.

            This is a new chapter, a chance for friendship with someone I care about. It may not work, but I’m willing to try as long as he is respectful, which so far he has been

    • Rachel

      Time for me to vent again!
      The ex sent me an email yesterday ( why do they always come on Fridays ?)
      He wants me to pay him 369.00
      He added up the kids charges on the charge card and feels that I should pay him for them.
      My youngest flight back to college was on it as well as my oldest lactose medication.
      He tells my boys to use the charge card when ever you need it. If you need to buy extra food for yourself, just use the charge.
      My youngest said, don’t answer the email.
      Mind you this man makes 6 figures!!!

      • Tryinghard

        Hi Rachel
        How frustrating those emails must be from someone you’ve divoced. One week it’s all I love you, biggest mistake blah, blah, blah next week it’s you owe me $369! Wow. Narcs will leave no stone unturned to get their needs met. This guy has got to be a sleazy car salesman!!!

        Anyway, I think your son gave you great advice, don’t answer the email. The only way to win with a Narc is not to play the game. He controlled all of you before and still wants to control you. One way or another. Don’t let him do it. I know you can’t block him because you have to communicate because of your sons but since they are practically adults and not small children surely the communication doesn’t have to be that much. Ignore his bullshit requests. Let him take you to court with it. He will be laughed out of the courtroom. I would however cover my bases and keep good records of your expenses where your sons fiances are concerned.

        LOL Rachel he is like nasty gum on the bottom of your shoe that you.just.cant.get.rid.of!!!!

        • exercisegrace

          I agree with TH. If he lets the boys use HIS charge card, HE is responsible for that. Hugs friend, he is trying to sap your joy. Don’t let him!

    • Broken2

      Rachel your hubbys antic never cease to amaze me.

    • Rachel

      Yes a car salesman indeed.
      He’s the one during the divorce said to my youngest, “you better tell your mother to sign the home equity line of credit papers or we will be bankrupt and not have a place to live”.
      He also told me to pay my sons student loan bill. My attorney said he makes plenty of money, you do not pay anything that you don’t want to.
      Good grief, now I know why he’s my ex husband!!!!

    • Broken2

      OHC I appreciate your point of view for sure and when you first started posting I thought wow you really get it . I don’t mean this as an insult or anything but I think that you are justifying your behavior and as usual the BS are now the ones at fault. I believe that my weirdo hubby bares sole responsibility for his behavior but I also believe the AP could have walked away but didn’t for many of the same excuses you give. I just can’t feel sorry for you. I wonder why woman do this to other woman on such a consistent basis. Married or single if someone has a significant other in their lives, they aren’t up for grabs. Rest assured if they are cheating on their wives their character is questionable

      • OHC

        I’m sorry if it seems I’m justifying my behavior. As I’ve said before, our relationship was wrong, I believe that. And it was because of that I walked away, something that wasn’t easy to do. But I don’t expect you to feel sorry for me–I went through a really rough time, but I would never ask a BS to feel sorry for me about that, it’s my own fault.

        I also don’t blame him–he has to be responsible for his own behavior and I have to be responsible for mine. I agree that he has some serious issues, including the fact that he chose to lie to his wife in marriage counseling.

        Maybe we shouldn’t be in touch again, but it’s been a long time and the circumstances couldn’t be more different. I don’t view him as “up for grabs,” I never did and never thought he would leave his wife for me. But I don’t hate him, I still care about him. And from time to time I like to hear how he’s doing, I think he feels the same. This is a view of things I know that BS don’t get, but it’s just the way it is between us

        • exercisegrace

          OHC,

          You and I have had many discussions on other forums. If you care about YOURSELF, you will walk away from this man and not communicate with him. He truly could not have made himself more clear. His wife and family are where it is at for him. He IS using you, for whatever reason. If he REALLY cared about you? He would leave you alone. He contacts you for purely selfish reasons. You respond to him for purely selfish reasons. It will only continue to keep your hope alive and create great heartache down the road if you continue to stay in touch with him.

          His wife and children do not deserve this. You do not deserve this. He is a selfish cake-eater, who is using everyone in his life.

          • OHC

            I know, EG, and I always respect your view. I do. I appreciate your thoughts.

            I actually did not think a friendship was possible between us, but something shifted and it’s ok. We aren’t in contact very often, really, once every 2-3 months. But if you can imagine, it’s a relief to not be on bad terms with him. For both of us, trying to explain that away to mutual friends and colleagues, trying to avoid each other at professional conferences, hiding from him when I had a meeting at his company. I mean, I actually hid in a coffee shop for an hour after he walked in so we wouldn’t have contact. I felt like a frigging idiot. Now, I’d be able to say hello, give a wave, and walk out.

            Maybe it is selfish to want my life to be easier. But after all this time, I do. I want it to be easier. I do not in any way want to restart our emotional relationship and I don’t get the impression he does either. But I will have professional contact with him for decades to come and I want to be at peace with him. It finally feels like we are

    • Tiredofitall

      OHC-
      You cannot be his friend. It is no longer possible. It is stupid to think you can. Get over the “friendship”. You are being disrespectful to yourself and more importantly his family if you continue. I had to sit in a gym today to support my child (who knows how this woman & his father lied to us all) reffing a basketball game for the daughter of the AP. –awkward. I asked her to stay away from my husband and respect my marriage and family 2 years ago. She and any woman asked to step back from a married man and doesn’t do it is nothing but a low life home-wrecking bitch.

      • OHC

        Tired, I respect what you have to say. I have actually never been asked to back away by anyone–my ex-AP or his wife. Any efforts of no contact have been driven by me and me alone, his wife never found out about our EA. He has spent quite a long time trying to convince me he could change, be respectful of my boundaries, and maintain a cordial if distant friendship. After a year and a half I’m willing to give that a chance and he’s been true to his word.

        At this point, my number one concern is my ability to move forward. I don’t mean disrespect for his wife, but I have never met her and it’s incredibly hard to take big action on behalf of a ghost, especially at this point, when I haven’t even seen him in a year! But I can respond to my own barometer. I know I am being very careful with boundaries. If he isn’t and it’s impeding my ability to date and live my life, then I will cut him off again.

    • Tiredofitall

      OHC- You seem to have a good head on your shoulders. But I guess I have been lied to so much that I question everything (even my own ability to judge people’s character/intentions), that being said I just think if you play with fire, you’re bound to get burned.

      • OHC

        Thanks. I’m keeping what you have said and what EG has said in mind. I’m listening, really. The reason I still come to these blogs is a reminder to stay cautious.

        I don’t know your story, but I hope you and your husband are doing better. I’m sorry that you still have reminders of his AP, that must be incredibly difficult.

    • Broken2

      I don’t think a BS is a ghost. She is very real…living her life as she knows it which when her hubby is cheating is a lie. Everything she believes is true isn’t reality. OHC after finding out about my husband (he had an affair with a coworker as well) I wrote on my calendar every text message and every phone call and there times just to see what was going on in my life when the affair was going on. Times that were precious like birthdays and holidays were shared by this person who I didn’t invite into my life. Times that I was with my husband alone perhaps a weekend away or the many weekends we spent at my sons college football games were also shared by her. So the wife isn’t the ghost…you are. This is her life you are invading and everyone deserves to live in truth. Knowing how he is or whats going on in his life isn’t your business and it never was. You don’t have to have any contact with him in the workplace. Walk away and find someone who is single.

    • OHC

      Sorry, Broken, I don’t think I was clear in what I was trying to say.

      I meant that it’s very hard to take definitive action on behalf of someone I’ve never met and know nothing about. It’s not that I don’t know she and the children are real. It’s not that I don’t understand the impact of the affair on their marriage, even if she never found out about me. That’s the whole reason I walked away when I did, over a year ago. But even he feels like a ghost at this point, I only saw him once in 2014 and we were no contact (at my request) for about 9 months of the year

      For me, at this point, there is more motivation to take definitive action based on protecting myself. I can’t act based on how it affects her anymore, that worked when the affair was active. But it’s long over and now I need to be my own barometer on how it affects me.

      We have been back in touch for about 3 months, at his request and I’m ok with it for now because I can tell it’s fine. We aren’t emailing or seeing each other and have only talked twice, for about ten minutes each. A handful of texts. It reminds me of interactions with other friends from work, except that maybe it’s less frequent than with others. There has been no “explosion” of interaction, which is what was predicted by many.

      I understand your point, but quite honestly I know what it’s like to be in an EA and that is not what is going on now. I am not stealing time from his family, any more than any casual friend does. If anything changes I will stop it immediately

      I don’t expect you or any other BS to approve, btw. I completely get why you would say this is awful and I respect your opinion. That doesn’t mean I agree though. Or that I didn’t give it a lot of thought

    • Patsy50

      OHC
      I understand you are coworkers and you said you rarely see him at work, then why do you care if colleagues look at you funny when you try to avoid him. It so infrequent, so you say.

      Look, I understand professional contact at work, my husband and I both agreed he would not quit his job but continue to work at the same company as his EA partner. They are respectful to each other when at company meetings, but he and I agreed to that, he had his boundaries in place that we created together not he and his EA
      partner.
      You can have your boundaries but he also has to have his boundaries in place also. And they should be created by his wife and himself. If he has requested contact with you and his wife does not know or agree then he is cheating on his wife and so are you. Maybe it would be better for you to ask him to talk it over with his wife and see how she and her husband would like to move forward with this situation.

      There is no one shoe that fits all affairs. Again my husband worked for same company with his EA partner for 4 yrs. Professional contact, yes outside contact no.

      You are right, you don’t need any BS approval but you do need his wife’s approval for him to request contact with you. Otherwise he is cheating and so are you!

    • gizfield

      Two thoughts, ohc, you say you don’t discuss his wife or marriage, but you know about his marriage counseling. That IS discussing the wife/marriage. It is a package deal.

      Second thought, if he is in marriage counseling and not being truthful about his affair, it’s a waste of resources because the cheating IS the issue.

      • OHC

        I knew when they started counseling because his marriage was blowing up in a pretty public way and I was still with him every day at the time. He was kicked out of the house and we all knew. I know that they have recently stopped because a mutual friend mentioned it in passing.

        On the marriage counseling piece, I agree. I think it was crazy for them to hit rock bottom, start counseling, and for him to not tell her about me. We did talk about that once, he told me since she had already contacted a divorce lawyer and kicked him out of the house, without knowing about me, that our relationship would be the last straw. All I can say is that that was his decision to make, I didn’t respect him for it, but I also didn’t feel it was my place to tell her about it. It was my place to end things, and that’s what I did.

        I know it sounds like I have an answer for everything, I’m not trying to argue with all of you. You are making good points, often ones I agree with. I can’t remember how we got into my story, but all I can say is that right now, for better or for worse, things are peaceful for me and I’m grateful for that. I don’t know if their lives are peaceful or not or what was uncovered in their counseling, if they are the best they ever have been or just ok. And I kind of don’t care–I’m not a factor in whatever is going on with them anymore and I don’t intend to play any different a role than any of his other friends play in his life.

        I’m sorry if this has hijacked the post, I didn’t intend it to. I will take everything you all have said to heart. I’m just not sure it will change my decision

    • gizfield

      So what was the blow up about?

      • OHC

        Their marital blowup? I don’t know all the details and I’m not sure any of his circle of friends really did, but it was a collection of things.

        For the entire 14 years of their marriage (up until 1 year ago) he was on the road 4-5 days a week and was a total workaholic. She had 3 kids in that time and basically was a single mother. Now, he was pulling 7 figures, she had a nanny, they lived well, but he was basically completely absent. Everyone at my company was like that, there was a very high divorce rate, but some people were much better about protecting their home life. He hinted he had an alcohol problem at one time as well, but that seemed under control by the time I met him

        I only knew him the last 3 years of that time and by the time I met him, they would speak at most 5-10 minutes, maybe three times a week. He would just do what he wanted and tell her afterwards. If she was doing things to piss him off in this time, I don’t know what they were. I know what I observed, which was he was totally disconnected from his family and they seemed to be living separate lives (not an excuse, just saying what I picked up on as someone around him a lot.)

        I knew very few details of the breaking point, but it had something to do with him canceling a vacation for work. She said that was the last straw, she didn’t love him anymore and wanted him out. A few months later he had a massive professional setback and she called him saying I still don’t love you, now you aren’t even successful at this job, get out. All of this ended up being very public–they both told their friends about it and because of how closely we worked together, there was just no way for it to be a secret. Around that time I ended the EA and he finally convinced her to go to counseling. I also quit my job and moved far away

        Did I play a role? He claims no, but I know I must have. The EA went on for over 3 years and was extremely intense the last year. We were together 14, 15, sometimes 20 hours a day, traveling together, staying in hotels. At the same time, there were many issues at baseline and the stress of him losing that career and income (he’s now at a fraction of that) was really big. So lots going on. And who knows what else was in the mix. But she never suspected an affair, I think she thought the mistress was his job.

        They are still together, though, and survived what most people who leave our old company do not–the first year of them actually living together. They had never done it before and did it at a time of extreme stress for their marriage. That’s all I know

        • Rachel

          OHC,
          How can you call it an EA when your were staying in hotels?

          • OHC

            We weren’t sharing a room, Rachel, we were traveling for work 🙂

    • gizfield

      So he left his job too, at the same time you did? Did his wife work as well? And he had three young children, did he contact them any during the week?

    • OHC

      We both left at the same time, but are still in the same small industry. Hard to explain, but once you worked at the company we did, those people are your colleagues for life, so we are both frequently in the same circle of people, and will be for the foreseeable future. But obviously not together everyday the way we once were.

      His wife had never worked, but started working this past year as a Crossfit instructor. So it’s a little odd, now that he is home, she is gone early in the morning, at night, and on weekends. I think she travels to competitions on weekends as well. Although I suppose it’s good she has something that’s hers, not dependent on him, especially since their kids are older now.

      No, he never used to contact the kids during the week. He struggled with being a father and wasn’t super connected to them. Which always bothered me. He spends a ton of time with them now, though, when she is working Hopefully that’s improved things

    • gizfield

      Yes, it sucks when men, and women too, for that matter don’t show as much interest in their children as they should. My husband acted like that when he was a Cheater as well. I think it’s the one thing that pisses me off the most. Our daughter did NOTHING to ever deserve that. Despicable.

      The wife must be pretty fit. Fairly young, probably attractive. Working those long hours, next thing you know she might become a Cheater herself. Especially since the husband no longer makes the Big Bucks.

      • OHC

        I know, I don’t understand the kid thing. You just think that attachment is natural and will be there, but I guess for some people it isn’t. He was aware that it was odd that he didn’t feel connected to them, and hadn’t since their birth. But he never tried to make it better. I don’t know, maybe he didn’t know how

        She is incredibly fit (at least from her FB pics!) And attractive, although not as young as you’d think, she’s early 40s. Big change to work for the first time in your life and do those hours, surrounded by people who are all really into their bodies. I do think it’s nice that she has something that’s hers, but kind of a bizarre turn of events.

    • Patsy50

      Wow OHC. Thanks for sharing your story. It makes it a little clearer. And I can see how it became an EA. seems like you were very close with him but I am not too sure you won’t get that close again as you say you won’t by being just another one of his friends. Did you fall in love with him at any point in your relationship?

      • OHC

        Yes, we were in love. Well, I should speak for myself–I was definitely in love for most of those 3 years. We didn’t confess our feelings to each other until the last several months of working together, although at that time we both admitted we knew how the other felt and had from the beginning. Once he admitted how he felt for me and how he was struggling with it (I was too) it was obvious that we had to end things or else it would escalate. We discussed it for a few months, but finally broke it off when we both left the company.

        I should say that after a long time, I am no longer in love with him and I do not think he is in love with me. But we still care about each other. I am friends with many ex-boyfriends, so I do believe you can be friendly with someone you once loved. But in this case it will work only because there are significant barriers in place that weren’t there previously. We could never work together again

        • Patsy50

          As time goes by you can detach yourself from your EAP but if your love was very strong and you had a strong connection to each other but not so much with your other boyfriends there is a chance if you befriend him again those feelings will surface very quickly even if your boundaries are in place, they will start to break down and then you will find yourself back at square one again with him and not be able to move on. God only knows what his intentions are or if he is truthful. If he is still married and not happy, he will peruse you to make himself feel better and that’s a no win situation for all involved.

          I am sure his wife would not approve of someone who fell in love with her husband be “just friends”

          • OHC

            Thanks, Patsy. You may be right, I acknowledge that. I’m going to see how it goes and I have told some of my good friends, who will help keep me honest. My hope is that in a year we are still just fine, both living our lives, on friendly terms, but that’s it. It took me a really long time to get to this place and be ok, so I will run like mad if it feels like I am slipping

            Thanks again, appreciate your thoughts

    • Gizfield

      If I’m not mistaken, disinterest in your own children is usually a sign of a personality disorder. Likely sociopathy. If you had kids, which I’m assuming you dont, he would probably show excessive, superficial interest in THEM.
      you say he is extremely handsome, his wife is fit and attractive, he never mentions sex or getting physical. . And they are together all weekend. Thats probably when he gets all the sex he needs to last him through the week. If you don’t stay together, how do you know he isn’t talking, texting, emailing her anyway ? Hell, we were sleeping with our husbands, and didn’t know. They don’t just lie to their wives, you know. Of course this guy wants to be your friend, it’s called Impression Management. Happy Friends don’t expose other Happy Friends. I’m not trying to hurt your feelings, just giving you something to think about.

    • Gizfield

      I’m going to credit Chump Lady for the Impression Management portion of my comment. She is very helpful in understanding the Thought Processes of cheaters.

    • OHC

      I think he has Asperger’s, actually. Or a variation on it, I’ve thought that for a while

      How did I know they weren’t communicating more? Well, I was with him usually from about 7 am until late at night, including being present for his phone calls home. You pick up on these things, like when she was clearly angry because he hadn’t called in 3 days (I could hear what she was saying when she was yelling.) Or when she would hang up on him because his call was too late at night. I can also tell you about the phone and email relationships of about 5 other men I worked with, all of whom are just friends.

      As I said before, he never discussed his marriage with me, except a little at the end. But we all observed their behavior and some of our mutual friends knew a lot more about what was going on directly from his wife or from him. He has in fact never said her name to me or to any of our former colleagues. He simply did not mention her or the kids, ever. The only thing he ever said was “I have to call my wife” and then get on the phone. So is it possible they were communicating more? Sure, of course it’s possible. But if they were, he didn’t lie to me because he never discussed it with me. Their marriage was a constant source of office gossip (it still is!) and I often heard the same thing from other people, how strange they thought it all was.

      I don’t think he lied to his wife either, btw, he created two separate worlds–she didn’t exist in his work world and I didn’t exist in his home world. He never mentioned my name to her, either, despite there being legitimate reasons to do so. And his wife inadvertently made it a little worse–she had strict rules that when he was home and when they did talk, he wasn’t allowed to talk about work. (I know this from his assistant, not from him.) So that made it easier for him, he didn’t have to lie, he just withheld his week from her and his weekends from me. It was like a double life.

      I’m not saying this is normal behavior. Everyone who knows him well knows he is odd, especially when it comes to emotion. He even knows he is odd, that’s why I think he has Asperger’s. It’s also why his emotional attachment to me was unusual and why it was so noticeable to so many people. He is an exceptionally smart, patient, kind person, I’ve never heard him raise his voice. But he has trouble with interpersonal relationships and forming longterm bonds. Does that make sense? I don’t think he is a narcissist, I think he processes emotion and relationships differently than most people. Not an excuse, if anything I’m sure you are wondering why I would fall in love with someone like that. I’m actually very protective of him because of it.

      I’m not sure I get your point about the Impression Management. Sorry if I’m being dense. Do you mean he’s worried I will expose him in some ways if I’m unhappy? Doubt he’s worried about that now, I was very angry with him several times over the past 15 months and never told her, unlikely I will do it now! But maybe I didn’t understand what you were saying

      And you aren’t hurting my feelings, really. You are being incredibly nice. I don’t talk about this very often with people, it’s nice to have the space for a little while. I hope I can help you at some point as well

      • OHC

        Sorry, one last thought. If I had to put money on why he is reaching out again it’s specifically because he doesn’t connect well or make friends easily. He is very likable, but he rarely forms real friendships. I think that even if things are better with his wife, he’s a little bit lonely–he lost his career, his community at our old job and his best friend (me) as well. And his wife is now working when he is free. I get why he is doing it and I don’t think it’s because he wants to start up a romantic relationship again

        • exercisegrace

          If this is true, it is all the MORE reason you should not have contact with him. He needs to find his footing in the real world. He needs to build healthy friendships with people who can be friends of his marriage.

          I applaud his wife for working. It is a healthy step towards healing that she has found something that will benefit her both physically and mentally. It will in turn, benefit the marriage. If they have been in marriage counseling, then I am sure this was all discussed, given the stamp of approval by their therapist, and they make “couple time” and “family time” a priority as well.

    • Gizfield

      Thats good, OHC, because I think we can all learn from each other. Regarding impression management, it’s just what you do to control what others think of you. for example, my husband LOVES to be seen as a Goo d Guy. Yet he dated someone while married. Although he “didn’t do anything wrong” he doesn’t want anyone to know about his dating married life, cause then he could no longer be SEEN as a Good Guy. Hope that helps.

      • OHC

        Ah, yes, I am familiar with that. Although at one point, he admitted being ashamed that he had feelings for me. Was your husband in an EA? I feel that those types are even more concerned with Impression Management, as if just not crossing the physical line means they are still a good guy

    • Gizfield

      Yes ma’am, that is exactly what my husband did.

      • OHC

        It’s funny, while a few of my married girlfriends know of my relationship and always thought it was strange that it never got physical, I only ever told one married man about it, one of my best friends from college. He grew up very Catholic, then got a divorce and is now happily remarried.

        To him, it made perfect sense, the need to keep that one boundary in place to preserve that sense of being a good guy, still a good Catholic. His first marriage had no infidelity involved, and he said that even though they were miserable, he never would have cheated. But when I told him my story, he said that if they hadn’t divorced he could see something like that happening. He didn’t even hesitate to say it seemed normal

        Which makes me think, is it a male trait, to want to preserve that impression?

        • exercisegrace

          My two cents? It’s a human trait. We KNOW right from wrong, we just want to do what FEELS good. Then we justify our poor choices by placing qualifiers on them. My husband would be the first to tell you he didn’t see it as cheating until it became physical. Until you have been on the wrong end of an EA, most people see it the same way. They call it “flirting”, they call it being “good friends”, they excuse it because they “work closely together” or because they “spend a lot of time together”.

          But here is the bottom line. If you read about affairs, you will see that experts say an affair isn’t truly over, and you cannot completely heal from it until there is NO CONTACT. And no contact, means NONE. People will use all kinds of excuses to not quit their job, but they are excuses. You yourself use the excuse of mutual friends and colleagues. But that’s an excuse too. If the two of you really haven’t seen or talked to each other in a long time? Nobody cares. And if they do? They will respect your decision to end it and go no contact. They don’t need to be given a “why”. Everyone in an affair thinks their co-workers are clueless. They aren’t. They don’t miss a thing.

          Further, talking about his wife, his marriage, her career, their kids, and all the choices they have made as a couple, and as a family? These are further excuses and justifications. You don’t know and you can never know what has driven their choices. Nobody knows what goes on behind the closed doors of the marital bedroom. Even the closest of friends don’t know the full truth. It is educated speculation at best.

          As for his wife? She could be the best or worst wife on the planet. But clearly he loves her and wants their marriage to work. That should be all you need to know. She deserves to be respected, and allowed to live her life. She deserves for her marriage to have the best possible chance. By allowing yourself to have ANY contact with HER husband, you are disrespecting her. You are hurting her children and putting their family and future at risk. You have said repeatedly that she doesn’t know about you. But she certainly has lived out the damage you have caused and will continue to cause with any future contact you have with him. Your future choices will either be decent and honorable, or they will be selfish. You can use your small industry and your colleagues as a weak excuse to justify self-serving decisions, or you can woman-up and make some changes. They may be a little uncomfortable at first, but people in general are egocentric and believe me, they will go on with their lives and your little drama with your AP will fade away. It is a healthy choice to make for your own future as well. Because as long as you are living out the story with him, wondering about him, expecting contact from him, formulating replies and scenarios in your head? You are cheating yourself most of all.

          • OHC

            I always respect your point of view, EG. Thanks for sharing your opinion with me. It’s been a journey the past 18 months and one I continue on, obviously, even if I have made a lot of progress.

            I need to figure this out on my own, but for now I’m ok with where he and I are. If it ends up being a ten minute call every 3 months, I am comfortable with that and don’t feel I am intruding on their marriage. I also don’t feel it will intrude on my ability to live my life. But we will see, maybe I’m wrong and he will want more contact or it will bother me when he calls or I will just lose interest in talking to him

            I understand you don’t agree, but it’s how I feel

            • Shifting Impressions

              OHC
              I have been following this interaction and thought I might just add my thoughts.

              It seems to me that You and your affair partner don’t really understand the depth of pain an affair causes to the betrayed spouse….whether the affair is emotional or physical and EVEN if the BS doesn’t know there is terrible damage. When a person involves themselves in an affair, the affair starves the marriage. I believe even if the affair is over and the BS doesn’t know….the damage is there.

              I don’t know the stats but I am a believer that lies and deception usually come to light….it might take years but it doesn’t matter how long ago it was and even if it is over, the devastation is monumental as most of us betrayed spouses can attest to.

              Now in your case you and your former AP want to stay in contact…..just how well will that go over when his wife finds out?? Anything they have done to repair their marriage will be seriously jeopardized.

              The two of you have caused more damage than you can know….why the possibility of creating more??

              I do speak with some experience……my H had an emotional affair many years ago, and I just found out recently. Looking back I remember the pain it caused without even knowing what was happening at the time. All I know is that he was emotionally absent….it was a very dark time for me.

              It would be far worse if he was still in contact with this person.

              Is it really worth staying in contact????

              My husband had another EA fifteen years later and I found out as it was going on. He has ended all contact….but I can tell you before I found out I went through that same dark period of him being emotionally gone. Never think that what one “doesn’t know” can’t harm them.

    • TryingHard

      EG, Giz, Patsy50, Broken2

      You are wasting your breath and time on this one. She’s right, she’s special, he’s special (well special needs it sounds like), their relationship was special, different even and of course no sex!! She doesn’t want any advice, and especially from a BS, after all wives are non-people, ghosts!! She knows everything, she’s all that…… She only here to teach us a lesson from her point of view. And who really cares. Her AP sounds like a certifiable douche bag! They deserve each other. Too bad he’s too chicken to tell his wife what’s really going on after 18 months in MC!!!! so she could get rid of him finally. He sounds as pathetic as his AP, so I can see why these two were so drawn to each other!

      • Rachel

        Trying hard thank you!!!!!!!
        I thought I was the only one with the same feelings as you!!
        Yeah, and the no sex or contact, sure tell us another one OHC.
        We’ve all been thru the lies OHC.

        • OHC

          If you don’t believe emotional affairs are possible, why are you on this site?

        • TryingHard

          LOL Rachel. I know!! I’m reading this and thinking right and “EA” that lasts, what did she say 3 years?, they traveled together, stayed all night in hotels, professed their undying love and “emotional attachment”, and never any sex??? WTF, kind of man is this a monk?? Seriously, ANYONE, buying this load of bull crap I’ve got a really good deal on a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

          There are so many holes in this story it’s hilarious. One thing I will say is she certainly has validated my low opinion of OW’s. She did none of them a service with her stories. Now I really think they are low life narcissistic, sociopaths with absolutely no capacity of empathy when they can’t even own up that they made a horrible choice and continue on with that horrible choice. They must be some kind of mistress handbook out there because she is classic OW. She even calls the wife a ghost. She’s so patronizing it’s sickening. Why on earth someone who’s only been connected to someone through work and had fantasies about wants to remain in contact with them looooong after the “EA” is over and is supposedly happily dating, wants to stay in contact with this schmuck is beyond me. For friendship?? Heck is she that desperate for friends? I can see being cordial for work reasons but no more. Who knows, maybe she’s a glutton for punishment! Some people are into that you know. FOO issues like Daddy didn’t come to her dance recital or whatever……

          This guy from her story sounds like a real SCHMUCK!!! Any jerk that goes to MC for 18 months and is STILL dishonest about his affair is a lying, chickenshit SCHMUCK!

          The main thing I will never understand about OWs is how much they disrespect themselves by having an affair with and unavailable person. Why would anyone want someone else’s crumbs? Why would someone want a relationship that’s all about complaining about how miserable their life is with their spouses? Sounds like a drag to me. Oh well I guess I will never know and am getting really close to not caring!!! Some folks just insist on creating their own hell!

      • forcryin'outloud

        That was my crudely written points the other day.

        The story here seems so contrived, well written and thoroughly thought out. I feel no genuine emotion coming from this OW and a little unnerved at the “matter of fact” delivery of each response or post. It’s a little spooky! And a great deal creepy!

    • Patsy50

      OHC

      One last question. Why are you on this forum? What brought you here?

      • OHC

        Well, I had an EA. This was the first site that came up on google two years ago when I was still in it and very confused and I came back often during the time I was ending it and recovering. There were resources I found useful and some I found less useful. But there aren’t a ton of blogs on emotional affairs

        Why, do you think the OW shouldn’t be allowed? I know some feel that way

    • Patsy50

      No, not at all. I think, maybe, we can all come away with some info that benefits our own individual situation on this site. I am the BS and I just can’t comprehend my husband being friends with his EAP while still being married to me. I hope you find peace in your life

      • OHC

        Thanks, you too

    • Gizfield

      Trying Hard, I doubt I change anyone’s mind about anything. Especially ohc. that really is a shame because the day I finally broke free from my douchebag hs boyfriend/ co cheater was quite possibly one of the finest days of my life. His behavior was naturally like all the other cheaters, including myself. I can think of absolutely no reason I would ever want to spea k to him.

      • TryingHard

        Giz
        Someone or something must have gotten to you because I don’t even consider you having been and OW. I’ve said it before, anyone can change but you have to want to. She doesn’t want to change. She wants to stay mired in this MM life, stalk his wife’s FB page, participate in office gossip about them and just in essence do anything to stay relevant in his life. Than’s what some OW’s do. They. Have. To. Stay. Relevant otherwise they are irrelevant and that’s a fate worse than death.

        Maybe for you Giz, it was that fact the the BF WAS a douche bag, and really aren’t they all? Sometimes folks look at themselves in a real mirror, not the fun house mirror where everything is distorted, and say “I’m going to do better for myself and society and I’m going to treat people how I’d like to be treated” and then they go out and do it!!! WAYYYY different story in my opinion. If this friendship is so good and so pure and so innocent and soooo good for his marriage, why doesn’t she make her precious, wonderful self know to the wife as well??? Hey, I know my husband’s friends now and he knows mine!!! What’s to hide?? I hope she does come to a great epiphany just like you did Giz and starts living her life with integrity and butts the hell out of this guy’s life and marriage. If not for the MM, but for herself.

    • Gizfield

      Thank you, Trying! I think that is the best compliment I have ever gotten on here. I hate the fact that I ever was a cheater. I had always been critical (as I should have ben) of cheaters and was really proud I had been faithful to my first husband. It’s been so long ago that it seems like it was someone elses life. Not mine.

      You are right about the co cheater being a douche. It took me years to see it and I never knew why. I genuinely believe he was a psychopath. At the age of 17. He just treated me so bad, while claiming to love me. Psychopaths are excellent manipulators and say whatever is necessary to get what they want. I don’t hate him, never think of him and when I do it turns my stomach.

      I was just one fucked up mess during that affair. Not outwardly. I was thin, young, cute, good job, nice car, pretty house. But inwardly, where it counts. A pitiful, pathetic, drunken, miserable sloppy mess. There is NOTHING about being an adulterer to admire or envy. I am just so thankful that is the past. Some people stay stuck in that crap for decades. They can have it, I don’t want it.

    • OHC

      I find it a little bizarre that people think I have made my story up, but whatever makes you feel better

      Thanks to those who have engaged with my thoughtfully on this forum. I wish you all well and will sign off now

      • Theresa

        OHC
        First I’ll say thank you. You’ve taken some good shots and you stay and continue to give some enlightening insight from the other side.
        From my side a few things come to mind, and a few questions. Some questions I’ve asked myself, others I’ll ask of you.
        ( I’m getting sick of having these conversations in my head.)
        The continuing friendship thing is crap. We pick up and drop off friends throught our lives. Childhood, grammar school, adolescent, high school, young adulthood college/work. Next stage, adult, partners and their friends, children and their parents.
        Our circles are fluid, ever changing. So why are some friendships more important than others? Does this friendship threaten any other part of my life, or, the lives of others?
        What am I willing to risk? Who might be hurt?
        What right can come of an illicit relationship? Is an affair right on any level?
        I don’t think, no matter how it started, an affair can go back to being a friendship.
        And no matter how good someone is at compartmentalizing there are consequences, changes, losses.
        I told my husband every touch, kiss, kindness, word, long look, indulgence, email, telephone call, gelato, special place, thought, pleasure, care, worry, smile…. Belonged to me, was taken from me.
        So look at this person. Who is he? What is he? How does he live his life? Right now!
        What labels fit? Dishonest, selfish, disrespectful, dishonorable, careless, lacking
        empathy, consideration, regard, kindness?
        A spouse did not choose this person, she’s stuck in the express lane.
        An affair partner can get off anytime she wants.

        • OHC

          Theresa, thanks for your note but with the tone of the current conversation I am just going to stay out of it. I learned a long time ago that when these blogs get nasty it’s best to just disengage

          • Strengthrequired

            OHC, I would like to give you something to think about.
            Imagine you are the wife, who doesn’t know her husband is being unfaithful. Imagine wondering why your husband has started being secretive, or working more longer hours, and is more distant than usual. Imagine asking hm, if all is ok, and why does he have to work all the time. Imagine his reply, being, he is just tired, and he has to work because he is very busy, and he can’t get out of it. Imagine him also telling you that, he is working to support the family, and that you should understand. So you continue supporting him and his long hours, hoping that it will settle down soon, and you can finally get to spend time with each other. Little do you know that he is actually having an affair, either ea or pa. You have no idea, and trust your husband and couldn’t imagine that he would do that to you.
            Now imagine finding out, either before the affair ends, or after the affair has ended. Imagine how you feel, when you find out that all the time you have supported him, because you didn’t want to stress him out because of how hard he has been working, that he was actually devoting his time to someone else, that he has been using someone else as his confidante, emotionally giving her what he should be giving you and your children.
            Imagine your heart breaking so badly that you can barely breathe. Imagine yourself thinking you are worthless, for him to betray you, that it must be your fault. Imagine trying to stay strong for your children, who are also suffering.
            Imagine wondering when the pain will end and the nightmare to be finally over. Imagine crying everyday and night, as you find what you can from within side your broken heart and soul to fight for your marriage and for your family. Imagine your husband telling you that you are the one he wants, yet he keeps lying to you about stopping his affair. Imagine his angry outbursts as you find out he hasn’t.
            Imagine how you feel when his affair has finally ended, yet he wants to keep in contact with the ow, the ow that has almost destroyed your marriage. Even if you don’t know that he has had an affair, and your trying to work on your marriage, as with your ap wife, and wasting all this time fighting for your marriage not knowing the real cause of why it is taking so long to make things better in your marriage. Then imagine how you feel when you finally find out, and then it all makes sense.
            Just imagine how you would feel, if after everything you find out your husband is still contacting his ap, and each time he does a piece of you relives all the heartache, over and over again. Imagine the trust you have in your husband, in the people around you become non existent. All because of the heartache and pain you have endured. Imagine just wanting it all to end, how you just want peace, yet you keep hanging on living in hope, because you love your husband, and your family, and as a wife and mother you continue to fight for your family.
            if you ever wonder what true pain is, true brokenness, it is that of being a bs. The pain is unbearable. Do you really want to continue being a part of the cause of someone else’s pain, even if they don’t know? Would you truly want some ow to do that to you, to your children, to your family?
            all the best…

            • Strengthrequired

              I should also add, imagine not liking a woman more than anyone else, and placing that anger out more towards this woman, by how you feel, not by being violent, but placing the anger at how bad this woman is for turning your world upside down, and your husband only getting some of that anger, because you love him so much, that if you want to work on your marriage and repair any damage done, that you couldn’t possibly place so much anger on him, because if you did, there would be no way of reconciling. The ow takes the brunt, even though we know it takes two to tango.
              Now imagine ever letting this ow near your husband again, by any means of contact, especially if your husband wants you and your marriage. Imagine if you did let him, and it happens all over again, imagine how foolish you would feel.
              Now tell me if you would be happy to have the ow stay in contact with your husband? Especially if you feel you will always be looking over your shoulder. Ever heard of the expression, give them an inch and they will take a mile? Think about it.

            • OHC

              Thank you for sharing this and being so honest. Just wanted you to know I read this and appreciate it

            • Strengthrequired

              ohc, I hope that you find the strength and courage within yourself to stop complete contact with this mm, if not for you for the wife and their children. Don’t let yourself be apart of the cause of their pain and suffering. Let him go completely for their sake.
              I know you have stopped your ea, but please think about the impact you have had on this family, and let this man go. If he ends up with some new ow, then the cycle will continue for the wife and children, filled with continued lies and deceit, but at least you aren’t helping him any longer.

            • Blue

              Hi Strength, you were gone for a couple days after you said you’re H was being cranky at the holidays. I was worried about you. Glad to see you are ok.

              I agree with you that any kind major form deception/omission (emotionally involved or being sexual with someone else) that a cheater denies their spouse is selfish, cruel and cowardly- not one thing less! It HURTS the marriage whether the BS knows about the deception or not *full stop* IT’S CANCER to a marriage! and it takes a really screwed up person not to get this and this screws up the people they are deceiving whether they admit to it or not. It’s the embodiment of ignorance and denial and they think their AP poo smells like roses- it doesn’t!

            • Strengthrequired

              Hi blue, thankyou. It turns out his head was running a mile with what work he has to do when he gets back to work, customers were calling him, even while on holidays. If you can believe it, we even saw one of his customers where we were holidaying, who btw even asked about when he could come and finish his work. Honestly you can’t take my h anywhere, as we still run into someone he knows.
              You know what I think though blue, I get frustrated easily now, I look at every action, every reaction, and it is truly tiresome.
              I get upset easily, and at times I get overwhelmed, and wonder why I don’t just walk away, because I see that it is probably easier to heal, easier to forget and move on than feeling you need to be on the look out jic. I don’t want to live like that, but I also don’t want to live without my h, so I just hope that one day, I will finally feel free of the reminders. I guess it will take longer than I had hoped, but at least we are both here trying, and wanting to be with each other.
              we have had so many relatives that have gone through divorce or seperation recently, and I don’t know if I should feel lucky, or guilty that we have remained together. Just a week ago, my h sister and her husband separated, and honestly it has brought a lot of memories back to when we were struggling with our own marriage, where my h looked at me with hate in his eyes, I just don’t think I will ever forget that look for as long as I live.

            • Blue

              Oh Strength, I feel the same way sometimes, well too much to be healthy. I fake it a lot, or rather I pretend he didn’t do what he did, not just the infidelity but the way he treated me during and after DD, yelling at me that I HAD to trust him that he didn’t have sex with ‘it’ and turns out he did without a condom, rolling his eyes when I wanted to talk about it. He says he sees the light now. But now I’m constantly on the look out for something amiss. I’m not proud that my marriage is like this, that I’m a fake now and secretly a mess, looking for deception? Well sometimes I’m ok. Sometimes, when someones cheating in a movie he’ll squeeze my hand and say I’m sorry for what I’ve done. (I did not long ago, ask him to remind now and then me that he was sorry because I don’t think it would have come naturally for him) btw- I really liked the movie ‘Love is all you need’ with Pierce Brosnan. The ending is a little too sweet, but hey, I have to keep faith that I can have a happy ending too and I will make it happy because of how I react to what’s thrown at me (pep talking myself:)

              I am proud of myself, and you should be too, that we ARE trying to save our family even if healing is slower than we could ever have imagined. I’m just taking it day by day. I see beautiful things in the world now, where in the darkest days, everything looked bleak all of the time.

              The key to happiness is not letting someone else’s actions define your happiness, only you have that choice to find happiness in this world. They can own their own mean choices.

              Goodnight and I wish you all SWEET dreams….

    • Blue

      First of all, I don’t get on here a lot- usually just reading the posts but I want to say that I admire so many of you, some for your sassy spunk and courage- you know who you are, some for your sweetness, like Strength, some for your profound insight. I gather strength and insight from all these traits and I feel grateful for that.

      Theresa, I agree with the statement of ‘How does this friendship harm others?’ and that means any friendship.

      When my husband was in his little bubble he felt invincible and his greedy bulging ego was insatiable. He wasn’t as great of a guy as he thought personally or professionally and this delusion was coming to a head. He started taking bigger risks and looking for more ego strokes (than the OW) on FB and cruising Ashley Madison. (I wish the OW knew this too, maybe she’d take herself off that phoney pedestal) It’s all about ego stroking, greed and being a coward.

      If I hadn’t found out about the affair-and the extent of his flirting online, our marriage could have never survived this long because when I asked what was wrong- ‘everything was fine.’ After I found out about this ego-affair I watched and spied for a month, because this new seamy personality of his was scaring me and I just knew he would lie- and omg did he ever when actual DD happened! For the first year after DD he lied to me and the marriage Councillor to such an extent I really thought I was losing it. I was trying so hard to believe what he was saying but something was twisting in my gut. I felt like I was holding onto a thread dangling from a cliff edge- but somehow, I hung on for my children, though my soul was being sucked dry.

      The day he sat me down and told me more truth- it was like a dense weight was lifting from my body. The truth coming from his lips was setting me free. I looked at him with more admiration. If he hadn’t divulged this information or he hadn’t been caught in the first place he could never have gotten to the place of truth he is now.

      It was and is a painful journey and the fact that I generally lie to him that I trust him fully because he gets mad and sulky if I don’t, really doesn’t make our marriage ideal but I’m going to still try. If one day it just feels to much to get over or I feel I’ve been delusional myself about what kind of person he really is- I hope I have the courage to handle things in a kind and respectful way- not cheap, delusional, cold-hearted and sleazy way.

      Good Luck for an authentic life for everyone!

    • theresa

      Doug, how about a new thread about the word JUSTIFICATION.

      • Doug

        As in how CS justify their actions?

      • exercisegrace

        Theresa, I agree! Justification would be a great topic. It is the one word that sums up cheaters and their affair partners.

        I would actually have more respect for someone if they just OWNED it. As in, I am a selfish, self-centered schmuck. I want what I want, and I am willing to trample anyone and anything to get it. I don’t care about the betrayed spouse in the situation and I care even less about the kids. At least then we could all say, well you are a turd but at least you admit to it. So go on with yourself! Stop casting about for excuses and justifications that help you sleep better at night, because you aren’t fooling anyone BUT yourself.

        • theresa

          You know one question that torments me is how the “innocents” in an affair, and I include the BS, have not been given any thought at all by the CS.

          • Rachel

            Because they are selfish and only thinking of themselves .

    • TheFirstWife

      Justification is a good one. As in the woman who was posting about still having some contact with her married AP but having “boundaries”.

      Or our CH walking around in a mid life crisis saying “I am not in love with you” and “I deserve to be happy”. Then when you kick their sorry butts out all of a sudden the wife is the best thing since sliced bread.

      Honestly they have no problem telling their “soulmate” all their problems, but at home with their wife, we barely get a 3 minute conversation.

      And the AP OHC write every justification under the sun, which she truly believed. No wonder women don’t trust women. After this blog why would we? Too many justifications.

      Maybe instead of watching Dr Phil and all those shows that play into this crap, perhaps learning values and morals and living by an ethical code of conduct would be helpful.

      I am on raising my children that this is unacceptable behavior under any circumstances.

    • TryingHard

      I don’t know Girls and Boys if I can read any more “justifications” without volunteering myself up to NASA to be sent to live on the space station!!!

      Seriously, I can’t possibly lose any more faith in my fellow man than I already have and not become a total, freaking hermit!!! All of my dear present company excluded of course!!!

      • theresa

        TH
        Add this to the list of things that I deeply resent after the affair.
        There has been a loss of innocence, joy, security, fun, inner peace, positivity,
        I had been a relatively upbeat person, enjoyed people, and truly believed most people were good. I was fairly self confident, good powers of concentration. I was generous with my time for others, always there to lend a hand. I was relaxed and not hard to be around.
        I am now an hyper vigilant nut.
        Unable to concentrate for more than the time it takes to sneeze.
        My view of mankind is not so positive anymore.
        It’s very hard to be with people, I lost my ability to pretend I’m alright, (no one knows, or some do and I am unaware). It’s just too hard.
        I keep disappointing myself and others.
        TH, do you have any room on your rocket?

    • TheFirstWife

      OHC. I am not bashing you. I believe you had a non-sexual EA.

      But look at it from our side of the fence. Would you want to be in our position?

      Would you like to feel like you are No longer wanted in your own relationship?

      Would you like to suffer from stress and anxiety watching your life and marriage unraveling in front of you and you have no idea what is going on? And then when you finally get some light shed on your worst nightmare, your once loving husband blames you, the living wife for being the cause of the affair. And justifies his OW to you and why this relationship is sooooo much better, and how she is sooooo wonderful.

      Gee sign me up for that experience again. I want to go through living hell again. Imagine living like that for 18 months, near financial disaster, not knowing if you will survive the devastation, the financial ruin, your kids needing therapy and no way to pay for it. Gee this sounds like a vacation to me!

      So we are not bashing you. We are trying to open your eyes as to the devastating affect your 4 year friendship had on your AP’s family whether you knew it or not. If this guy is giving you attention and emotional support and worked the hours you described, what was left for his wife and family? NOTHING.

      When I spoke with my CH’s OW , I told her I hoped no one ever did this to her because she would never survive it.

      I am lucky because I am strong and got through this mess with therapy, God and support from a few close friends and family. However it was a nightmare I will never go thru again.

      If you thought about it for evens moment as if you were the wife, you would have no contact with this guy. Out of respect for his wife and family and yourself.

    • hopeful1

      I want to say a few words , as I am also still healing from my 22 year relationship with my fiance and his emotional affair he had with an ex girlfriend from 25 years ago. It went on for a couple of years, I have talked to her a couple of times. I heard she thought I was the crazy one . So I set her straight I told her what hell she and my fiance put me through. She also informed me that it was my fiance that was the aggresser. I believe it . It has been a year now and no contact. We are doing very well at this time and are going to get married this year. I still take a day at a time and believe that we can make it. It was a emotional affair. But there are times I have wondered if they have had any contact.Even tthough I did find out they actually had been in touch more like 6 years. I want to let ohc to please move on , no contact is important to you as well most emotional affairs will eventually fizzle out and you are wasting time by not living your life . Find a man who wants to be with you only!

    • Jim

      I think my wife has taken her affair totally underground….it started just over a year ago and the first 5 or so months she said we were separated, we should be able to see other people etc…. We had a huge fight and I told her i was seeking a divorce….after that she changed quite a bit bit still continued to see him….now she will kiss me goodbye if I instigate it, she’s not near as hateful, treats me okay, calls me during the day….but I feel it’s measured and calculated to some degree…. Says divorce is not an option, (adamant about disrupting our 13 year olds life), says she doesn’t feel the same about him as me….says he is a friend, that’s all he is ( we’ve all heard this) over Christmas I looked at her Internet history, seems she him a bought a few nice gifts for the holidays (we don’t exchange ourselves) and then I found the crusher….she searched 4 web sites for “love quotes”…. I can’t take it… She is totally deceiving me. Im afraid to bring up the love search..she will only scream snooping and it will break any progress we are making…. When does this shit end?? I keep,reading affairs last from 6 mo to 2 years… I’m not seeing any signs she is leaving the fog…. Yet things are sooo much better than when the affair started….she is seeing a psych doctor… Maybe they are telling her to keep the peace??? I pray the dr is telling what a mistake the affair is??

      • theresa

        What are you doing for yourself, and what’s the effect on your kids?

    • Tryinghard

      Jim
      So sorry to hear that things are not yet good for you. I just want to say in my experience very highly unlikely pschy is telling her the affair is wrong. That’s not really what they are there for. They want them to figure out what’s right and wrong. Well at least american psyches. Are you in the US because there may be cultural differences in different countries

    • TheFirstWife

      Jim in my experience she is playing both sides of the fence. IF her counselor is telling her to lie you/she are wasting your $.

      I was in your boat 18 months ago. Except my CH continued his affair but pretended we were wonderful and perfect. Until I found out he resumed the affair after a 2 month break.

      He told me twice in one week we were over and twice in a week begged me to take him back. When I found out he was still seeing the other woman I told him to leave. Faced with nowhere to go and not seeing his children daily boy did he wake up. Things are completely different now.

      Did you ever hear the saying you want what you can’t have? This describes affairs. When I told my CH we were through with the lying and games he finally realized what he had done and how bad it was.

      My suggestion when you are ready is to stand up for yourself and your child. Call her out on her behavior or else you are not making progress in your life. Find peace and happiness for yourself without her. Then you can be the husband she will choose to be with. It can turn around. You can do it.

      While I was in limbo and devastated I was looking to him to realize what we had. When I finally stood up to him and told him I deserve better than this and I am through, he saw me in a whole new light. All of a sudden he wanted to go for counseling. Before that when I asked he scoffed and refused.

      I went on my own and learned I don’t need him to be happy. I need to make myself happy. So now I feel I am good, with or without him. Therapy is a lifesaver. Find one just for you. It can change your outlook.

      No one deserves to be cheated on and if your wife is not honest now, you should not be afraid to confront her. There is no marriage if it is all a lie. These are just my thoughts but you deserve better, despite the past.

      You can turn this around. But on your terms. Be a better role model for your kids.

    • gizfield

      This isn’t adultery related, but just general human behavior related. I was stunned by something that happened with a family member a few weeks ago, and think it is a good example of the random, senseless crazy shit people will do to you. Like cheaters, you have to realize it really Is THEM, not you.

      I have a half sister who lives in Florida. Her son, who is late 30s,lives there too. He is married and has 3 kids. Two of them are her kids, and they have a son together, who is close to my daughter’s age.

      They were up here about 5 years ago, stayed with my cousin, and we all hung out and had a good time. My cousin didn’t say much about it but later on I got the impression they wouldn’t be welcome to stay again.

      A couple years later I get a text from her saying they want to come to my city and stay with me. Five people for several days. I was not even living in my house at that time due to it was being repaired for flood damage. I told her I didn’t even know if we would be back in the house at the time of their trip. She got fairly aggressive with me, contacting me a lot, being demanding. That trip fell through.

      A year or so later, she started planning another trip so I told them they would be welcome to stay. It was about six months away, and in the meantime, she got Lyme disease from a tick, but it took them a long time to diagnose it. It got to be a couple of days before their arrival and I hadn’t heard from them. I needed to take off work, prepare the house, buy food, etc. So I called her. She’s like “oh, we decided not to come.” Ok, it would have been nice to let me know that.

    • gizfield

      Ok, back in the fall, she contacts me again, saying they want to visit around New Year’s Eve. I said o.k., and didn’t hear from her till the weekend before NYE. They want to stop by the house NYE, change clothes, go downtown to party, then come back to sleep, “visit a bit” then head out.

    • gizfield

      Interrupted, drat. Will have to finish later.

    • gizfield

      Anyway, NYE arrived. I had to work till 5 p.m. and since they were supposed to arrive around 4 p.m. I had to make sure my husband was there to let them in. He had to play music that night and was watching our daughter, plus doing stuff for his mother. I get a call from my nephew at noon, “We are here”. So my husband rushes home from Home Depot. He later texts me that they stayed about 10 minutes, barely spoke to him or my daughter and left.

      Let me also mention that my child got invited to stay over at her best friend’s house but I said no due to the company. If she had stayed there I could have went to see my husband play but I didn’t due to the company. I went to the store, bought breakfast items, snacks, drinks,etc. for the company. Finding blanket, pillows, etc. for the company. About 9 p.m. I decided to rest, so I sat down to look at the t.v. and check Facebook. What do I see? A post from my niece (by marriage) two hours earlier of her kids jumping on the bed in a motel. About that time, I get a text “We decided to stay in town. Thanks for the offer.”

      I don’t remember any offer, lol. I remember someone requesting to stay at my house, thank you very much. I decided I would be polite so I replied that I hope they have a good NYE, and would we be seeing them the next day. Since it was a Facebook message, I know this chick did not even read the message till 11a.m. the next day. And do you know this heffer NEVER did respond, at all.

    • gizfield

      continued… My daughter had a great NYE watching the Rocking New Year’s Eve, and I was not mad that the company didn’t show up because I was actually very tired. The next day, though, I was really bummed out. I had looked forward to seeing my nephew and his family, but I have been treated like a piece of crap. It really put a damper on my day. I didn’t really mention it to anyone except my sister in California. She thought it was crappy as well. It has created bad feelings where it should have been none. I never want anything to do with any of them ever again. I just have to remind myself this is about THEIR crappy behaviour and values, not mine.

      The worst thing is that my nephew and his wife put on one of the biggest pretenses of religion I have ever seen. Their facebook pages are just post after post of Bible scriptures, all the things God is “leading them to do”, how well they act and treat people. She changes jobs very frequently, and I saw they just changed churches right after the beginning of the year. I believe people are seeing how they really are and they move along to new victims.

      All I can say is I guess I have been Chumped. What on earth do these people get out of this kind of behavior? All she had to do was spend one minute on a text or message saying “we decided not to visit you. See you another time.” Oh well, i guess she couldn’t be bothered with all that, lol.

    • Tryinghard

      Giz
      What rudeness!!! Ok so you need to learn a new word. Sometimes it’s hard to say but actually ver simple NO! HELL NO works good too. Sheesh write those freaks off the invite list

      • Rachel

        Rude, rude, rude!!!!

    • gizfield

      Thanks, Trying. Trust me, they are off the list. I do hate my daughter won’t get to know her cousin but it is what it is. I bet she cheats on my nephew one day, too. That’s just the right User mindset that fuels cheaters.

    • Gizfield

      Ughhhh, I am about to tell my damn husband “no”. I don’t know about anyone else but I dont plan to pander to this guy for the rest of my life. I was back in the bedroom trying to do some paperwork. He was in the living room at the other end of the house and had the television on some concert like Phil Collins so loud it was like I was in the same room. I needed to go to the dining room to use the big table, which is beside the living room. I said “will you please turn that down?” He did, then said “you didn’t have to yell, you could just ask.” Then I got the Cheater face. You know the one I mean. That hateful, ugly face that they give you when they feel empowered by their cheating and their slimy affair partners.

      I just walked out, but in a minute I went back and said The reason I said it so loud is because that is the only way you would hear me. He apologized a few minutes later, but this guy better get it that Cheater face needs to go on down the road because I dont plan to tolerate it very often.

      • theresa

        Giz
        I had a similar incident yesterday. And did not just close up. I let him have it.
        I FELT GREAT!

        I’m going back to one of Bob Huzienga’s exercises, how to stop putting up with bad behavior, stop taking the crap.
        I’m going to do a refresher course. It’s like inservice education

        • Strengthrequired

          Giz, I’m sorry your nephew and his wife can’t be more considerate of you. Don’t let them take advantage of your good nature anymore. Whenever they want to come and stay wit. You, just simply say no.. Reminding them of what they did.

          As for your husband, they certainly know how to push our buttons, seems we are less into accepting the crap they throw at us, u like before, we just brushed it off of our shoulders, now we know better… Hugs.

          Theresa, that Sounds interesting, would love to hear how it goes, and maybe some ideas.

    • TryingHard

      Theresa
      LOL heck yes I have room on my rocket, jump aboard!

      I could write every.word.you’ve.written. Seriously.

      Are you reading anything? Are you talking to a Therapist or trusted clergy? If not you need to. You cannot handle this. It would be like making Thanksgiving dinner without a menu or recipe. You need help with this shit. There is NO 6th sense to count on. You need educated help. And also sometimes a little bit of drug therapy (legal of course :)) never hurt anyone for the short haul.

      Some of your losses, well it’s sad they are gone but some of them, GOOD RIDDENS!! I don’t know about you but I’m glad my “innocence” is gone. I was too old for it anyway. Seriously, after 18, every woman should lose their innocence! Who needs to be upbeat all the time? Sometimes we just need to be pissed and folks need to know it. It makes them quit doing the shit they’re doing that piss us off. Trusting, well it’s just stupid to trust. Really, stupid. And who cares what other people think? You’re disappointing them? What about them disappointing you??? They can get over their own shit by themselves. Not your problem.

      Look T, I know you have it in you to turn all this crap around. It’s just lots of really hard work but one day you’ll wake up and say “damn I’m ok”. So stop worrying about what’s gone and work on what’s good. Don’t worry about trusting others, work on trusting YOU. Don’t worry about disappointing others, don’t disappoint you. Make Theresa happy. Give yourself a break, you deserve it 🙂

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