affair with a first loveOne of the affair scenarios we see quite frequently is when a person has an affair with a “first love.”  Typically, it’s their high school or college sweetheart from many years ago.

I’m assuming that they reconnect most of the time through sites like Facebook or other similar community sites, but I suppose it can happen in other ways just as easily.

It may start with a curious reaching out by one of the persons to touch base and “catch up” on things.  They reminisce about the past and the good times they had.  It soon morphs into discussions about how unhappy they are in their marriages and in their current lives and that they both wish that they never would have broken up those many years ago. 

Before you know it they are involved in either an emotional or physical affair.

It’s true that there’s a certain power to young love and especially one’s “first love,” that it makes a permanent impression on us – especially if it was a wonderful experience. Unfortunately, many people preserve a fantasy image of that special first love and elevate it to some magical place in their hearts and minds.

Little do they realize that these feelings that result from this turning back of the clock are only associated to a memory of a person as they were 20 or 30 years ago – not as that person really is today. We all change dramatically over time and in many respects we’re not the same people we were when we were in high school.

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To illustrate (sort of)…I graduated from high school in 1979 and about 3 years ago began an annual tradition where me and a bunch of buddies get together for a day of golf, a major league baseball game, and then we hit the bars for several hours until about 4 or 5 in the morning.  We were all best of friends in high school and used to hang out on a daily basis back in the day, but now we all live in different cities. 

We have a relationship where we can pretty much just pick things up where we left off as if we just saw each other yesterday.  It’s a great relationship that I think is unique in many respects.  That being said (and notwithstanding the excessive alcohol consumption and lack of sleep),  one day together once a year is about all I can take of these guys.  I love them like brothers, but I’m different now.  They’re different.  We all have our own lives and I seriously doubt we would hang out much even if we all lived in the same city.

I know that this has nothing to do with affairs, but I think you get the idea of what I’m trying to say.

An affair with a first love…fantasy or reality?

In the “first love” affair, these people come back together later in life and they try to pick up where they left off in their feelings for each other. However, they don’t realize that it’s the timing and the situation that have recreated this new flush of love.  Much like the crazy fun times my buddies and I have when we get together each year.

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If people reconnect (and stay reconnected for many years), the relationship cannot sustain the excitement and specialness that is inherent when it is new and fresh. That love they had as teenage sweethearts is not the same as the love that develops through building a life together and working through the challenges that life tends to dish out.  

That teenage love was just the first stage of romantic love which either changes over time or it fades away and dies.

So while it may be tempting to desire the fantasy of young love, it’s important to understand that the reality of being married, raising kids, and facing all of life’s challenges together is the basis for real, lasting love.

Therefore, comparing the immature, fairy-tale representation based on teenage love with real-life married love over a period of years is not reasonable. The specialness of the “first love” was in the experience itself, not necessarily the person with whom it was shared – who is now a completely different person.

I’m not saying that one should forget their first love, but it is important to put it in its proper perspective.  It was just a stepping-stone to growing up and ultimately experiencing real love based on making a life together.

To some degree, it’s common for many people to never quite get over their feelings for their first love. That’s OK – it was a very special experience. The problem comes when they allow the memory of the past (and the fantasy of a possible future) to interfere on the present in such a way as to jeopardize the lives they have now.

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From experience I know that a good marriage is a great blessing that is not to be taken lightly or put at risk because of such fantasies.

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    60 replies to "The Affair With a First Love"

    • tryinghard

      And this is exactly why I got into his Facebook account and deleted many of his “girl” friends from his FB account. Before the affair it would never have occurred to me, now different story. Matter of fact I am now inspired to delete all the old High School girl friends from his account. Act like a teenager, get treated like one!

      • common sense

        No one will leave a happy marriage, where they are truly in love with their spouse, for anyone. Think about it. People aren’t looking for something else when they are satisfied at home. It’s not important that this was a highschool girlfriend, it’s not important that you have spent many years together, what is important is how you feel about each other.

        I say this as a person looking in from the other side of this whole crazy thing. I ,too, got in touch with an old flame, and the feelings were still there. Many people do believe that people can be soul mates, and who’s to say that’s not true. There is no person on earth who can tell you for sure if that theory is true or not.

        I have spent my life with a husband who has been emotionally abusive. Guess what? He thinks it’s been a happy marriage. To him I guess it has been. He’s always got everything he has wanted, and if he didn’t he behaved like a small child having a temper tantrum. Maybe at some point these spouse just decided they had had enough and wanted out. Don’t use the high school girlfriend as an excuse.

        • Alex

          Honey, Marriage is an illogical illusion created to make people monogamous. The riggers of marriage and reality force individuals to see their “one true love” for what they really are. If you stayed with an emotionally abuse spouse then you have been duped. Marriage sucks and monogamy is boring

        • Wendy

          What a small way of looking at a complex problem. Emotional affairs are built on fantasy. Happiness, true happiness come from within, not another person. People look outside and themselves for quick fixes or an escape. That could With alcohol, drugs, affairs, etc. The fantasy that the high school sweetheart is your soulmate is just that, a fantasy.

      • Ada

        trying hard:

        That is also the exact same thing I did, with the permission of my husband because I discovered his 3-month chat affair with his first GF in HS after their HS reunion last year.

        I have the full transcript of their exchanges and cyber sex and I threatened the girl to send it to her relatives and HS batchmates. I did the same to my husband. The bitch deactivated her FB account.

        The bitch who came from a broken-dysfunctional family with 2 children out of wedlock attempted suicide.

        My husband was so remorseful and promised never ever to do it again. Now, he is at my beck and call.

        • gk

          Husband sounds more like a servant now than a partner.

          • Love is love

            I agree. I’ve never understood people who use threats and force to keep a relationship together.

    • tryinghard

      BTW, I am my H high school sweetheart! I have found that talking about our early young love brings us closer together. We reminisce about how we were so excited to see and be with each other at that time. I think it makes us remember our deep love and feelings for each other before all details of life came about.

      I’m just not going to risk him striking up a relationship with someone he wished he would have asked out in HS. Or risk someone who liked him in HS striking up that kind of suggestive conversation with him.

    • rachel

      This article is 100% soon to be ex husband. He hooked up with his ex girlfriend. He describes her as a love like no other. She said she should never have given him up, and he agreed. Who could ever comptete with that?

      • Heartbroken

        Sounds familiar. My H did the same after 20 years of marriage, but he isn’t an ex yet. Back and forth, 3 times, after which each time, he tells me he can’t live without me. Two years, as of next week since I found out the first time.

        I am practical. I told him to go and try life with her. Just know I will not allow our kids to meet her during that time. My girls (13 and 10) are still traumatized over this.

      • Rita

        Mine just did that after 35 years if marriage. She contacted him and sent him pictures of them she kept feom when they were young, copies of 30 pics, even writing on air mail paper like when he was overseas in school, flashing back to the past, always focusing on their lust driven highly sexual past, even talking of his male organ with an affectionate pet name. She dumped him 40 years ago, not wanting to wait, and saw him several years later and looked the other way. Now 40 years later she stalks him (she is married) and lies, telling him she is abused by an alcoholic husband. (She is the alcoholic)
        My husband became her submissive. He said he could never say no to her back then or now. This woman is in need of some retirment funds since she has none and sees a successful doctor who she now wants. I saw his love letters to her before and after their physical affair…no remorse, just planning the next outing. He even gave her a cherished item our son made for Us…because she asked for it!
        Now that I caught him, he wants me back…when he wrote her that she was the only love for him, past, present and future, the best person in the world, the smartest, most intelligent (redundant) most caring (she really did not care…just complained about her life) and best lovemaker…he said she was good at blow jobs…but she said he was her first…at 20 years of age! She always lied, but he was blind. He said she had him for life plus one.
        He lied about going to a conference…he went and she met him on the plane there and back and stayed every single day. They texted constantly, with penile emojis, etc.
        She found him just after he completed radiation for prostate cancer…and is on female hoemines to suppress testosterone, making him very emotional and shrinking all male parts to child size…and not working like before. She promised therapy of his body part…and she did, and she told him he would never be happy with me…that he settled!
        We were happy, but she was his first true love and controlled him…and he did anything for her. Now he wants me back…and I shudder. I found the pictures and some email…and he seemed to day he onky married memtomhave children. I am heartbroken. I am married to a beta male and I am a natural nurturer and submissive. He was never a slave to me, just demanding, but with her, he wants to “spoil” her…never spoiled me or used the loving terms and pet names he did with her. Now he may even have STDs. I found out she cheated many times, and a few years ago with an ex con who tried to kill his own wife..and was incarcerated for five years. Why now? I thought my husband loved me. I even saved his life, insisting he be checked for his prostate when he denied a problem and we caught the aggressive tumor just in time. I am heartbroken. Trust is gone. Lies came so easily. Now he is remorseful…but he told her their days together were heaven on earth, that she was never going to be out of his life, that the red seas parted when his eyes met hers…that he would always think of her first, etc. they were to meet again in two weeks, but I saw that message…to break in another king bed and thrill each other to ecstasy..even though he cannot do so himself…with the after effects of cancer and no testosterone.

    • Carol

      Well, Rachel, if your H were a sensible man you would have won that ‘competition,’ because he would see that you are the one who actually stuck by him for a quarter of a century. Good grief, these Css — they really live in la-la land. When I think about my high school boyfriends, I just cringe — we are sooooo different now; it would never have worked out in reality. Which is exactly where most CSs do not live: Realityville.

    • Rachel

      Carol,
      You made me laugh!! High school boyfriend ewww. My h was 20 when he was with this thing. He started up with her when he turned 50.
      Well she hasn’t left her husband like she said she would. Too much at stake. They own a lingerie store (figures) together.
      My h is now dating another married women. Perhaps he feels he is rescuing them since this is number two g. F.that is married. And his third girl friend so far.
      People that I know have told them that they have seen him out at bars with her. It is embarrassing, he can’t even wait until the divorvce is final before he hooks up with another??
      Pre trial is may 22. Three days after my son graduates from college.

    • Monalesia

      What the hell is it with the number 50? Is that when a males brain falls to his crotch?!

      • Rachel

        Hahahahaha!

    • forcryin'outloud

      This was my H’s AP. Some of his excuses for their EA were: I was interested in her life now, I was curious about what happened to her, and her family was an important part of my life (they were in his life for a 1.5 years 25 years ago – he had not had any contact with “her family” during his entire adulthood…not real important from my perspective).

      The craziest thing about this is my first love shows up about every couple of years to say hello to my Mom. He started this the year after he dumped me (28 yrs ago). He has left contact info severals times and the kicker is he’s been married for about 15 yrs. Why in God’s green earth would I want to contact a married man who dumped me. I have no hard feelings, we were very young. I’ve moved on. If I bumped into him in the grocery store I would be polite and converse but seriously I’m not even remotely the person that fell in love with him and I’m confident he isn’t either. My H also used the fact that this old BF continued attempting to contact me as an excuse for his EA. Seriously?!?!?!

    • forcryin'outloud

      One time I sarcastically asked my H if he thought his hair was going to grow back, pounds would drop off while bad 80s music was playing when he reconnected with her.

    • Rachel

      It seems that these assholes all took a class on how to have an affair.
      Are there any good men left??

      • Carol

        Yes. The two you have raised. 🙂 I’m working on raising two more. I know that’s not quite what you meant, but: I think we should be proud of our work so far.

        • Emma

          I know this maybe isn’t the place for me as I am the one having the affair but I’d genuinely like some advice. I’ve been married 3 years, I’m 23. My husband is an alcoholic and that lead to some pretty serious issues. I have since moved out and am living with my parents but have been seeing my high school sweetheart. We’ve been friends for years but it’s become more. I guess my question is, should I be honest with my husband about the relationship I’m having with my ex or does that only hurt him more? I don’t think I want to be married anymore, even if my ex wasn’t in the picture, but I do care about him as a person and don’t want to hurt him more than necessary. Even if we worked it out, idk how I could go on in the marriage lying about that.
          I feel kind of bad asking this on here as most of you seem to be in long marriages and it’s totally different but I thought maybe you’d have an answer for me. Please no hate. I’ve gotten enough from my family.

          • Anne

            I think you should be honest with both guys. It is no fun spending 20 +years with someone with alcohol dependency issues. If you would like children, you may want to run now while you can. Only you know what is in your heart. I can only tell you from experience. You are very young and forever is a long time to be unhappy!

          • Kathy

            Hi Emma.
            My heart goes out to you as you might be in a no-win situation.
            I married at 21 and it took 10 years of what I thought was a good time to notice there was something amiss. He was successful starter-upper in the then new computer language coding field. The something was he was a secret alcoholic (more like I was a secret stupid).
            I was too immature to know what to do and expected him to be my rock.
            I cajoled, threatened, moved out, moved back for the next 12 years.
            We divorced. For some reason I thought he might come around and love me enough to magically get over the alcoholism.
            He died in 1994 at the age of 44, not even a year after we were divorced. I still don’t know what I would/could have done differently but I rolled the dice and lost…
            Good luck to you.

      • Decimated

        There are some good men left but we have sustained a lot of damage along the way.

      • Holdingon

        Yeah there are, but our wives cheat on us.

    • Rachel

      Carol,

      You’re the best! Thank you!
      And yes, we should be proud of our fine young men.

    • Hurt wife

      My HB also had an EA with his HS GF. It seems crazy to me that he would cast aside what we have shared over 26 years together for someone he dated for a few years when he was a teenager. They broke up because she cheated on him yet still he easily forgot all of this and too easily became caught up in this relationship with her. Even 2 years after DD I wonder if we will be able to work through my doubts about him and the future of our relationship so that we can have a better marriage. He seems to get it, he does all the right things and is trying to support me. I still can’t help but wonder if ill ever be over it. I feel like the damage is done. I agree with Rachel, how could I ever compete with some bullshit fantasy.

      • Decimated

        I understand how you feel.

        My ex did Not do all the right things and never appeared to “get it”. I got very little, if any support from her. She actually did all the wrong things…at every turn.

        I think perhaps I could have got over the cheating itself but what she did after I found out, the continued lying, blame-shifting and lack of remorse was just insurmountable…too much damage.

        I knew I could respect or trust her again. I also realized I could never compete with the fantasy mostly because she didn’t see it as a fantasy…to her it was real.

    • Decimated

      Facebook + old crush = Cheating and Divorce.

      That’s what happened to me. The childish fantasy and re-connection lead to sneaking around behind the spouses backs to see each other. It is just like teenagers sneaking around their parents backs. The spouses become the authority figures in their immature minds except the damage they do to their spouses, children and families is real.

      It is all so sadly pathetic.

      • tryinghard

        D
        How did you get so smart????

      • forcryin'outloud

        D – you’re spot on about the BS being the authority figures. It’s like the CSs turn into bumbling teenagers with raging hormones and stunted frontal lobe development.

    • hurtbythem

      My H contacted his first love on Classmates and continued his long term affair for 4 1/2 years. They were soul-mates and believed they belonged together. Just as you said the reminiscing of that care-free life was their “real world”! My H was caught 4 times and still kept going back and couldn’t give her up, even though he never wanted to leave the M. The fog has lifted but after all this time I would like a fantasy life!

      • tryinghard

        HBT
        LOL. I want one too. Not only did this affair happen to me but other devastating life experiences all at the same time. If anyone should have been having an affair, IT WAS ME.

      • Monique

        My ExH also left me for his HS GF…after a 2 year long distance EA, he left to pursue her…We were married 24 years…they knew each other for 4 months at the age of 17…total nonsense…they are now living together. Our divorce is final now…took 4 years since the date he left us. I waited as long as I could hoping that he’d wake up from his stupor but no, he’s in love…blah, blah, blah..
        Unrecognizable person…I have no idea who he’s become.
        I’ve survived the worst of it.
        You’re all right…you can’t compete with a fantasy. There’s not much you can do until it comes undone on its own. And I’m certain the fog has lifted now and they’re both trying to make it a “real ” thing. Geez, they certainly couldn’t admit being wrong after all of the morass they caused. The OW left her H too, after 26 years of marriage.
        Utterly ridiculous. I’ve lost all respect.
        Neither have a moral compass.

    • Rachel

      Why do they return to the ex’s? Is it a safe person? Cause its not about the looks unless he’s attracted to women who resemble a pig.

      • forcryin'outloud

        R – Hahahaha…my H’s AP is piggish too!
        I’m with you. What is it about these long ago relationships that draw them in? My H expressed how sad and sorry he was that his OW had turned out so lousy. He still feels extremely sorry that she has made such a mess of her life. I think he’s just as pissed at himself because his fantasy turned out to be a real downer. Like out therapist told him…”the reality didnt live up to the fantasy.” Oh that really pissed him off…he talked about that for days after that session, it can still get him twisted in knots if I bring it up.

    • Really Trying

      My H did this. Went and searched for his collge girlfriend on Facebook. Found her, and there were just some things he had to say to her about how things ended between them. Ha! This transitioned into him calling her on her way to work every morning and on her lunch break every day. If she didn’t live in Colorado, I’d have been gone. He’s ended it, as far as I know, and he’s saying and doing all the right things so far, so, we’ll see. Her Facebook profile picture is the one she had her teenage daughter take for him. I still want vomit most of the time when I think about it. They both knew EXACTLY what they were doing.

    • Monique

      Yes but you are lucky since it sounds like you still have your marriage and a chance at recovery. Don’t waste the opportunity to give it your best shot. Being divorced over something like this is no victory. It’s foolish behavior where everyone loses . It’s taking me years to start feeling right again and that’s just with myself. I would have preferred to save my marriage than find myself here after 24 years of being married . Such utter nonsense.

    • Really Trying

      Oh, and did I forget to mention she had a miscarriage when they were together? Oh, and every woman he ever slept with, he connected with on Facebook and made sure to keep in touch. I try to be a trusting, understanding wife, but after the college tramp, his Facebook account is no more, and I am still thinking about just sending copies of my phone bills to her husband. That should make life interesting.

    • Monique

      I understand the rage and the outrage; trust me I do but I’ve discovered that my behavior can’t and don’t be determined by their behavior It takes enormous self discipline to deny the impulse to retaliate and it would surely be justified but I believe in my heart that it’s best for me to maintain my dignity and conduct myself in a civilized manner despite their abominable behavior. I divorced my H because he refused to stop and come home. It has a stronghold on him. The best and only thing I can do is surrender it all to God. I had depleted myself – I was emotionally and financially bankrupt and am rebuilding my life. The truth is that God isn’t finished with us yet.

    • AnnaB

      I’m a bit confused about the ‘affair fog.’ Is it the excitement that most of us feel when we start dating someone, or is it more intense because those involved are married, and that it’s ‘naughty?’ Because I’m sure most of aren’t as obsessed when it’s just a new relationship. My H admits that he really got a buzz from it, so I wonder if he would have been able to end it as quickly as he did if I’d found out sooner (they’d been together 18 months, which apparently is usually when it has run its course). In a way I’m glad I didn’t find out any earlier because it may have been messier, whereas in our case he was so distraught because he thought he was going to lose his family, he severed all ties immediately. Apparently she’d started getting jealous and possessive, which soured things. HURRAH!!!

    • AnnaB

      Doug, thanks for that. I guess it’s one of those things you can’t understand until you’ve experienced it. I just cannot imagine putting another adult (man) before my family. When I found out about my H I was shocked because the OW is so mumsie, slightly older than him and overweight, which is different to his usual type. That’s easier to take than someone younger and beautiful I suppose. He also said that looks weren’t part of it, and that she could have been fat, thin, tall, short or any nationality; it was all irrelevant. I just don’t get it. I understand that our relationship was in a rut, but surely attraction must come into it. They were like best friends at work for a couple of years first. I guess that’s often how it starts, but still…

    • JLH19

      Sounds to me like they all say and behave exactly the same way. It’s astonishing, really, especially when I consider how he tried to convince me that this was a “special circumstance”. When I said it sounds like the most common thing in the world, he was angry. It’s been 2 years, but I wish I could show him this now. Of course now, I think he knows that contacting the old high school girlfriend through social networking, reliving your youth, arranging to meet at the mall you hung out together at as kids….it’s the most common thing in the world. I think more than anything he’s embarrassed and ashamed now. I read their correspondence. He genuinely believed that this circumstance was so special that I “would understand”. Wow. He’s a smart man, an engineer, but was reduced to an idiot teenager by this drug addict, alcoholic serial adulterer who apparently is a siren compared to his wife and 2 children who he professes to love. Insanity. It’s temporary insanity.

    • Roger

      I just lost the best woman in the world over trying to reach my first love, I’m an idiot. Take my advisem shower your wife with all the love you can muster and forget about the past. I’m also a cheater and a liar. God forgive me.

      • JLH19

        Have you lost? My husband thought he lost me. I threw my wedding rings in the canal. I drove him half-way across town with every intention of dropping him off at her (and her fiance’s!) house, until her fiance called and asked me not to. He was curled up in a ball sobbing. I’ve never seen him like that. I didn’t forgive him overnight, and I still don’t fully trust him, but we did stick it out. I won’t tell you it’s been easy, but certainly worth it. If you “just” lost her, maybe there is still hope. Keep reading the advice on here and working on yourself. Hopefully, she’ll see that you are sincere and you can work things out.

    • Strengthrequired

      Jlh19, good advice.
      Roger, if you truly love your wife you need to prove it to her. She needs to know that she is the most important person in the world to you.
      I know it is hard to hear, but you broke your wife’s heart, she counted on you to protect her, your family, as well as your marriage. you now need to focus on regaining trust.
      Speaking as a bs, I have put up with alot of lies and hurt since finding out about my h ea. It is a hard road to travel, you really do feel broken inside, yet we count on our cs to be our saviour and help us through it. We can’t do it alone.
      There will be lot of questions your wife will ask, you need to be prepared to answer them without anger.
      You need to show her honesty, integrity, and all the love you have for her and your family. She needs to come first now.
      Be open, remind her of your dating days, remind her of your wedding days, the first time your family grew. Share all the memories that show your life together. Show her you haven’t forgotten, show her you are truly sorry.
      You can make you marriage stronger, your love stronger than before.
      Just do not give up on your wife. Remember you invested time with the ow, that was taken from your wife your family, you need to show your wife that she is worth your time and energy at saving your marriage.
      I wish you all the best, and keep on this blog and get the support to help you through this.
      Also hearing your story from a cs perspective helps us the bs understand our cs in someways.

    • stacey

      my first love contacted me after 30 years apart , Before he left for college he stated he wanted to sleep with others he went to college and told me hed be sleeping with others and that I should do the same I found out after he left he was sleeping with my best friend he came back 7 months later and wanted to get back together I had fallen out of love with him and I was still upset with the way he treated me so I said no he contacted me told me he had been married over 20 years and he didn’t want me to visit him across country and that he did not want trouble from me in any way with regards to his ife I just figured he was doing to his wife want he did to me all those years ago didn’t like the way he was treating his wife so I deleted and blocked him after that first night on facebook ive been happily married for 23 years and saw no way this person who was never a friend to me would fit into my life he said he just wanted to say he was sorry for how he reated me that’s only akes one conversation so I let him say that nothing else

    • stacey

      is anyone from shrink talk on this site

    • Unknown

      I’m on the other end of this. My first love contacted me after 33 years. We were 14 at the time. He walked me home everyday… He got in fights to protect me… We covered each others ass to protect each other. He was kind he made me laugh when I was in pain. He was my best friend He was my first love… My first kiss… my first sexual experience… we only did it once but was a very innocent good experience. I adored him. I moved away shortly after… My parents didn’t like him. I never forgot him but life moves on. He contacted me and I was excited I couldn’t help it. We’re both married… My spouse cheated on me twice his cheated as well. We started talking and it’s like we’re kids again. We got interrupted I think that’s the reason we feel so strong about it now. All marriages aren’t happy sometimes we stay in misery. But the pull of our past is extremely strong. We were each others first everything that’s extremely hard to forget. We talk like best friends and yes I’m going to see him soon.. the urge is too strong not too. I honestly don’t know what will come of it but I know I’m going to see him. Sometimes people stay in miserable marriages trying to make it work trying to bring back what was destroyed… People get over hurts and failed relationships… but do they get over someone they never forgot? Obviously not… Are we bad for meeting up? Some or most will say yes… But I never forgot can’t forget… Love is funny u can’t control who u love and want and bad marriages makes this even worse. So condemn me… hate on me… Wear my shoes maybe you’d understand…. Forgive me for my own weakness but I won’t go the rest of my life not knowing a second time …just hearing him changed everything already it’s not always tramps that ruin your marriage… Sometimes it’s just a boy with a beautiful smile that showed you what love was. And sometimes you’re with a jerk that you’ve gave too many chances but doesn’t truly love you …and maybe just maybe you’ll find happiness again… Or maybe you wont but true love does happen… Once in a lifetime… And if your spouse is unhappy and looks back for that old flame then they are not your once in a lifetime anyway… So let them go so u can find yours….

    • Kathy

      After 39 years of marriage my H “finally” found his HS love that he says he always has loved more than me. I am sure it was just an EA and he hasn’t had contact with her now for 6 weeks. There has been no remorse expressed to me and he refuses to talk about it at all. I’m expected to live on like nothing ever happened. This is hard. It’s going to take a lot of prayer and blind trust in a cheater to go on this way. Hopefully he will reach a point where the 2 of us can work through this and be happy together.

      • Kathy

        Linda, Doug? Does no one have words for me?

      • Shifting Impressions

        Kathy
        I am so sorry you are going through this. I can relate, as I was also married for 39 years when I discovered my husband’s EA (which had been going on for a year and a half)

        I am sure you are completely devastated? Kathy, you seem unaware of your own personal power. Expecting you to live as if nothing happened and a refusal to talk about it is completely unacceptable.

        I believe in prayer but blind trust is not the way to go in my opinion. I know in my situation had my husband refused to talk and show any remorse I would have shown him the door. Not facing the situation was simply not an option.

        Do you have anyone you can talk to? A very close friend and perhaps a counselor.

    • JRF

      Spouse reconnected with HSFL in Dec 2017. The AP initiated the friend request on FB to my spouse. EA started in Dec 2017. D day on March 25. I was devastated. I thought were very solid as a couple. I thought spouse loved me very much.

      Spouse said she has to see her (I’m in a same sex marriage). Married for 5 years, but together for total of 24 years. She said she can’t get her off her mind. She feels she is going to regret if she does not see her. “i want to find out what this is I’m feeling, if this is real or what,” she said.

      PA happened in May-June 2018. AP lives in another country. Spouse went to see her. Spouse back in mid June 2018. I’ve seen some pics of them on FB. It hurt me terribly. I am still in a lot of pain dealing with this. When spouse came back, I told her to move out right away. She is now living in an apt. AP is trying to get a visa, if approved they are going to live together. We talked about divorce. I’ve consulted with a lawyer, but process has not been started.

      Spouse had been back in the house several times to get her stuff. Still calls me “honey” or “sweetie” sometimes. Still hugs and kiss me in the cheek. She wants us to be friends. But she had told me that she and AP are very compatible. She seems very obsessed with her.

      I’m trying so hard to move on, but it has been a roller coaster of emotions. I thought I would feel better once she had moved out because it was hurting me when I could hear them talking on the phone. But when she left, it sunk in that she is really gone.

      I have been praying a lot for strength, and forgiveness.

    • BoundaryBuilder

      JRF, I hope you are doing better now. Why should YOU pray for forgiveness? You weren’t the one who lied, cheated and abandoned a marriage to chase a fantasy! Cause that’s what is was for your spouse, a fantasy that could not survive the cold light of reality. It was a temporary ego boost that felt good at the time. At least that’s how it played out for my husband of 30 years. He bit when his high school girlfriend from 45 years ago fished him on Facebook. I think this is why it hurt so much – he risked 30 years of marriage and destroyed my world to chase THAT? To live out a pathetic cliche, to hook up with a characterless Cockroach HS GF via Facebook after not giving her a single thought for decades? And, yes indeedy, their high school relationship ended when she cheated on him and dumped his ass for another guy. Interesting that he so easily discounted this initial direct experience regarding her poor character when he so willingly slid into the EA with her.

      Their “relationship” started with a texting only EA that went on for months. The EA was bad enough, but what was particularly brutal was the accompanying devalue of me as he kept busy judging me with his finger on the scales, both rejecting me and provoking me to manufacture justification to escalate the EA to a PA. Which they did. He shacked up at her home a few times after adding a few days onto the end of business trips and falsifying his calendar.

      What was worse, the EA or the PA? While his willingness to risk our physical well being (potential exposure to STDs) by having sex with someone he barely knew was shocking, I have to say it was the LYING that destroyed our marriage. The year of “trickle truth” that followed D-day gave me a classic case of PTSD. Doing better now. Please note “trickle truth” is just a polite euphemism for LIES. As each layer of lies was peeled back one by one, the PTSD was further cemented. He could see the lies were making me sick, yet didn’t have the courage to come clean with the truth. The truth being that the half-assed attempt at a PA did NOT live up to the fantasy of the EA. No way to sustain the endorphin rush when the sobering reality of who she really is was revealed after a few mornings waking up in bed next to her. Not quite the same thing as exchanging sexually charged texts- her texts were a blank screen onto which he could project whatever he wanted to! Didn’t help that her texting was carefully crafted with a well honed routine she employed on many a texting chump partner. He admitted this later. Which also hurt. Again, you threw our marriage away for THAT? Was having your ego stroked so important?

      EA, PA whatever. Being chumped for a high school fantasy that will NEVER survive reality hurts!

    • E

      Okay so I have been married to my husband for a little over 1 year, although we have been together 8. In that time, I’ve had two abortions, death of a sibling, and one stay at a psych ward. I love my husband dearly, but we’re also realists. Humans were not (and are not) monogamous creatures. And the concept of marriage was built on business not pleasure. My husband and I are very happy together but we have strayed. Not because we don’t want each other but because being with others can have a way of reminding us what we have is better. And it gives us a chance for closure with other people. And it invites excitement. My hubby and I have talked pretty seriously about joining a club or two for adult couples so we can further explore our own sexuality because honestly the more we get to know ourselves, we get to know (and love) each other more as well. And when my high school sweetheart reached out recently (he never knew I ended it because I was pregnant and I didn’t plan on keeping it), I finally told him. Now we’re talking again and it’s good to know how different we are now vs then too. Although I am reconnecting with my ex, I have no intention of leaving my husband. And my husband knows about the reconnecting and is okay with it because we ALWAYS come back to each other.

    • M

      I was deeply in love with my high school boyfriend (he is now dead, having passed away in 2016).
      But I can say that even if he were still alive, I wouldn’t want to talk to him or see him. Not only did he turn out to be abusive…the relationship simply wasn’t meant to be. I also matured and grew up and realized that he was NOT what I wanted in a man.

      While we may have shared some good times, it was not a healthy relationship overall. He hurt me in ways I can’t describe. So if he were still alive, there is no way that I would ever want to reconnect. Our relationship finally ended when we were both in our early 20’s after the abuse broke me down. I was relieved when he died years later, as bad as that sounds.
      He (and his family and friends) couldn’t hurt me anymore. That part of my life was over.

      Maybe I don’t understand how people can stay infatuated with an ex years later, if you’ve matured and moved on with your life.
      I felt that way for a period of time but I came to my senses. I love my husband and I’m not focused on other men…past or present.
      He, on the other hand, seems to still have some feelings for his high school girlfriend of 32 years ago.
      It’s very odd to me. While I realize that they might have shared certain experiences as teenagers, he is now in his fifties.
      She broke up with him in 1988 in a rather unkind way. And not to be mean myself, but I don’t see what attracted him to her in the first place (besides her letting him finger her in the back seat of his car…sorry if that’s inappropriate, but it’s true).
      She wasn’t pretty back then, and she isn’t now either. I find myself making comparisons now with this woman.

      I can’t understand how a man could have a wife 14 years his junior (me) who is faithful, loving, attractive, has a high sex drive, etc…and yet he seems to look to other women or have thoughts of a frumpy ex-girlfriend who is way older than me.
      I am literally what would come to mind if a man wanted to cheat on his wife (hot younger woman stereotype).
      Yet I’m not a person who would ever sleep with anyone’s husband, and it would hurt if he were unfaithful to me.
      And as I told him the other day, he would be insane to cheat on me, especially with a person who dumped him in 1988 and looks the way she does.
      I know that sounds horrible but it’s true.

      Most men would not choose a dumpy overweight ex-girlfriend (whom they haven’t seen in 32 years!) over a wife that treats them well, f*cks like a porn star, and has a body that won’t quit.
      I’m a lot prettier than she is and I’m younger. So it makes no sense for him to still have thoughts of her when what he has now is way better than what he had back then. I hope that doesn’t sound mean, but it’s the truth.
      Now I wonder if he has ever talked to her on social media…

    • M

      Also, his mom confirmed that this girl hurt him years ago, and she hinted that he never really got over it.
      Apparently “Tabitha” (not her real name) broke up with him the day of their high school graduation, or shortly before that.
      It seems to have done some emotional/mental damage, although he won’t admit it. What trips me out is that this girl went off to college and met somebody else and married that guy…so for my husband to have any feelings about her now, is just crazy to me.
      She is still married to that guy she met in college and she has two children. My husband is probably a distant memory to her.

      My husband said I’m “insecure” because I asked him if he still had feelings for her. I told him no, I’m not insecure.
      But I do believe that there are issues he has not dealt with. He has an avoidant personality at times, he changed his mind about having children, and I suspect that he has had affairs with other women (I don’t know if they were emotional or physical).

      I think the root of his issues are being raised by conservative Christian parents who frown upon anything outside of their world view, and I also think that he was hurt by a girl he considered his “first love”…so it stunted him emotionally in some ways.
      He is a wonderful guy in many other ways, though. Smart, handsome, can be very kind and sweet and affectionate.
      But now I feel like there are things that might eventually lead to us splitting up. We married when I was 24 and he was 37.
      I’ve wanted children for years, but he changed his mind at some point and has been wasting my time.
      I have always wanted a family…his main priority seems to be constantly traveling, he expects me to put his family above my needs, and now I’m just tired. I can’t do it anymore.
      And to tell the truth, his family drains me now. I find it hard to be around them sometimes.
      The racist comments they often make, the constant political talk, how narrow-minded they are…ugh.

      I feel bad for saying that, but as a minority I am tired of people being prejudiced and saying terrible things around me.
      I’ve had to deal with that all my life. They can be nice, but they often feel the need to make hateful remarks in my presence and I just feel so disrespected, even if the comments aren’t aimed at me personally.
      Back to the ex-girlfriend from 32 years ago…again, I have to wonder what it is about her. She isn’t pretty, nor does she seem to have an interesting personality. They never had sex in the traditional sense, from what he told me.
      They did other things but they always stopped short of actually going “all the way”. I’ve seen photos of her when she was a teenager, and recent pictures/videos of her now.
      I can’t see anything appealing about her. She is a chunky, plain woman with mousy dishwater blond hair and a dull personality and her whole life revolves around church. She’s even married to a pastor! I don’t see what is so attractive about that.

      Now I compare myself and wonder, because let’s see…I am 37 (she is 51). I have a petite hourglass shape, while she is probably a size 18.
      I’m of a Caribbean background, while she is the “all-American” type. I have a beautiful face, while hers is just OK.
      So it makes me wonder why my husband would still (on some level) feel anything for her. He has a wife that most men want! I hope that doesn’t sound bad, but it’s the truth. I’m kind, loving, attentive, sexual with him, and while I don’t claim to be a model…I am very pretty in my own way.
      But maybe it’s a symptom of the fact that he might love me, but his ex from long ago (and other women) seem to have some type of hold on him.
      I find it more sad than anything.

    • Nicole

      *Warning* Don’t go to high school reunions either. Mine has been having an emotional affair with his high school crush since our high school reunion over 10 yrs. ago. They apparently never dated because she was dating his friend. So a missed opportunity became a new chance when FaceBook brought them together. But they quickly jump off FB to straight texting for the next decade. I even looked back at pictures from his high school reunion and they are both talking together in almost all of them (in a group). I trusted him. I’m devasted. How I found out is even worse. He bought me a new car and she texted him that same week that she got a temporary nursing job in our area and he loaned my old car to her. *without running it by me at all) Saying to me “I hope you don’t mind, but I loaned your old car to my friend Christina, you know, you met her at my high school reunion. Also, it was the same week my mother passed away and he spent over 45 minutes texting her to make sure he could help her get settled. Oh, they are “just friends” and she means nothing to him. It’s been a year now, he gave me all his passwords (I didn’t ask for them) and the truth is still trickling in. He’s also been playing online games with a woman that he works with even after he sent her a text to stop only after she texted him at 9 pm thanking him for his generous help with getting her into the stock market. He told me he would ask her to stop texting him if it bothered me that much, but he didn’t. I called him out saying he was “not a man of his word” Which he prides himself of. So he texted her to “Please stop texting him and to keep the texts work-related. I’m sorry I hope you understand” Screenshot it and sending it to me to confirm. Then kept “playing” Words with Friends an online game with her. . Somehow that’s not personal to him? Does he think I’m stupid? All those games have private messages available between players. I don’t know how I’m going to get through this. We’re empty nesters now. Our sons are grown. He says he’s 100% committed to me, to which I said then 0% of your care and attention should go towards any other woman besides me. He also doesn’t believe Emotional Affairs are cheating. ((Hugs)) to all going through this. Please know that you’re not alone.

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