It’s been a busy last few days with our son’s college graduation, Christmas preparations, parties, and our annual grandmother-mother-daughter Christmas cookie bake-a-thon.  So, with little time to spare, we decided to re-run an older post today.

This particular post titled, My Struggles After the Emotional Affair, was first published back in October of 2010 and in it I describe my three toughest struggles after Doug’s affair.

Please take a few moments to describe your current struggles and respond to one another in the comment section below.  This is very important.  Thanks so much!

struggles after the emotional affairMy Struggles After the Emotional Affair

In a recent discussion, we asked you what your biggest struggles were after the emotional affair. I certainly wanted to add my two cents, but I tend to get a little long winded and decided to post it instead. So…

What has been my biggest struggle after Doug’s emotional affair?

Firstly, it is trying to put all the memories, the words, and actions that I know are true behind me and not dwell on them every day. Secondly, erasing all the illusions and fantasies I have about the affair, about Tanya, the pictures that I have in my mind, and the scenarios of what I thought their relationship was like.

And the hardest struggle of all is finding myself again.

All of these struggles have been eating me alive for the last two years. It has been a battle that has stripped me of much happiness and love. Finally, I decided I had to make a decision to either let it go or live the rest of my life afraid of love and life.

I had been thinking a lot about the fantasy of the emotional affair and how I have contributed to that fantasy, and have actually kept it alive with my constant questions and insecurities. I have thought about why I continue to do this and what I can do to break the habit, and to permanently “back off.”

This week, I’m reading a book recommended by one of the readers of this site called “Loving What Is: Four questions that can change your life,” by Byron Katie. In the book, the author recommends that you question the things in your life that are causing you so much pain.

She tells you to first ask yourself if it is true, and continues with a series of questions until you realize that a lot of things we fear are only in our minds.

I started doing this exercise and realized that a lot of the things I am hanging onto are no longer true. I don’t need to be afraid of them any longer, and honestly many of them were never true to begin with. They were illusions that Doug and I had created in our minds.

I also realized there is no room in our lives for Tanya and I have really put a stop to talking and thinking about her. It is just Doug and I together, doing our best to love each other and enjoy each other and our life together.

The last three weeks Doug had been spending some time out of town for work and consequently I have had some time to myself to really think about things and rediscover who I am. I found however, that when he was gone I felt like my old self again. I was more relaxed and I felt free. I was really concerned why I was feeling this way, so I thought about what was happening. I worried that perhaps I wanted to be alone and that I didn’t really love him, etc.

I came to the conclusion that I loved him very much and missed him terribly, but what I didn’t love and was missing was ME. I wanted to be “myself” again. I lost that person two years ago.

So I have been working to bring myself back, to love myself again, and to look at my behaviors that I have developed over the last two years and analyze why I am doing them. Am I acting this way because I want acceptance and love, or am I being true to myself? I really don’t know how I came to the place where I am now, but I know that I am almost back to my old self.

Sunday morning Doug kissed me when he was getting out of bed, and I rolled over to look at him, when I looked in his eyes I saw the man I had fell in love with 30 years ago. I looked at him without pain or disgust. His emotional affair never entered my mind. And when he looked at me I felt like the most beautiful woman in the world. It was a feeling that I had long forgotten.

We didn’t really say anything after that, but a couple of hours later Doug said that when he looked at me this morning he had never seen me look so beautiful. I knew exactly what he was talking about, as it was definitely a magical moment.

LINESPACE

    5 replies to "Struggles After the Emotional Affair"

    • tryinghard

      Linda
      This is a beautiful post. I am so happy you decided to re-run it. I need to find that book. Have you read Daring Greatly yet? It’s about vulnerability. Doesn’t talk about infidelity (which is refreshing) but about allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.

      Thanks Linda. I always get so much from your posts 🙂

    • Healingperson

      Linda,

      I needed to hear exactly what you said here! I missed this post since I am newer to the site.

      I have been struggling with these same thoughts and it has been tormenting me. My Husband wants to be with me, I can feel it. I however can’t stop the thoughts going through my head. What they talked about exactly, etc… I want her out! I don’t want her to control me any longer!

      I wish I could communicate as open as you and Doug about your feelings and state of mind. My situation is a bit different, when I talk about it I loose ground because he is so ashamed of it.

      My dream is to go 1 week, free of those thoughts in my head!

    • Healingperson

      Linda,

      I never confronted the OW. I have written a letter and changed it over time but really feel the need to give it to her. What do you think?

      • Linda

        That’s a good question Healingperson. I never confronted as I thought it gave the OW too much power. However, I don’t know that I would call a letter to her a confrontation necessarily. In my opinion, if it’s something that makes you feel better, than by all means do it. You should consider the consequences, if any, first though as well as what your motivation for doing it really is. Everyone is different, so is it healthy for you and does it make sense? Also think about your expectations for sending the letter. If you’re expecting remorse or guilt from the OW you may be disappointed. Another possibility is to write the letter and get all your thoughts, feelings and anger out on paper and stow it away someplace or even throw it away. At least you’re releasing all that pent-up negative energy in some form.

        • Healingperson

          Thanks Linda,
          We have never exchanged a single word. She is however surrounded by people who have known me for a long time. She is a teacher. She asked for a transfer after she realized my H was not responding to her any longer. But she is newer to the community and I have been here for a long time. She is now working at the Elementary school that my children attended. My intention is to simply introduce myself to her. This is what I am saying:

          Dear ——–
          It has taken me quite some time to get to the point of expressing to you, in words, what has gone through my mind since you and my husband had an affair. Maybe an emotional affair, maybe a physical, it does not matter. However you both rationalized it, it, was an affair!
          I guess you are probably wondering why I am responding now. Well, Ellensburg has been my home for a long time. Thus, you are surrounded by people that I know very well, and unfortunately for you Mt. Stuart is the hub for a few of them. To that end, our paths will continue to cross as long as you live here, so I believe it is important for you to understand the repercussion of your actions. The MMS family was out of balance with you there. Not sure where you came from, but here, we have each other’s back. It is sad to me that now Mt. Stuart too will be out of balance with your presence!
          Even though he made a huge mistake that now he realizes, I forgave him because I know the kind of man he is. While he has taken the entire burden on his shoulders about allowing your thing to go as far as it did, I know what desperate women are capable of. In your case and based on what I have heard about you, your messy life has driven you to desperation. You felt his distress and vulnerability at the time as he was grieving many losses, like a predator would, you acted. It saddens me deeply though as a parent, that you also involved your daughter by exposing her to the relationship; the morning rides, hiking, overnight at your house, coffee times, texts, phone calls, test driving, etc…with a married man, it was an immoral behavior –A very bad role modeling indeed.
          I laughed when I heard that you were upset about being put in the position of the “Other Woman”. Well, you were! I gave him the opportunity for you not to be the “other”, he did not want that. Suddenly, you were not as appealing to him. Suddenly, the adrenalin rush began to dissipate and with the illusion gone, he saw you in a different light.
          I have heard that in situations such as this, that the cheated wife often feels jealous and threatened. I have not. As a matter of fact, I am grateful that you have helped us to realize the kind of bond our marriage has and how deep our love goes. I had hoped that he could tell you that himself, but he did not want to see you again. My faith tells me to pray for you to realize a “need” that you have and to find a way to fulfil it without lies and deceit.
          Now that I have formally introduced myself, it is in both our interest to let this rest and for you and your daughter NOT to contact him ever again!

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