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A year of personal growth with a twist


Infidelity In an affair or suspect your significant other? Share your experiences and concerns here.

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Old 2nd October 2017, 6:22 PM   #1
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A year of personal growth with a twist

My partner left me last year.
we were together for nearly a decade, friends for years.

the two years before that were full of illness, (life threatening for him- but he recovered). Soon after that my dad was sick for a year and then died unexpectedly in my arms on the floor of my house. I did CPR by myself until the ambulance came.

It was a totally horrific experience. I felt his ribs crack under my fingers for months. I was numb and shaken. I can't remember much about the next couple of months (3-4)but I remember pulling myself together and noticing that my partner was a stranger. It was time to rejoin the world. I booked a holiday to help us reconnect. It was a disastrous failure. He was icily polite and with episodes of barely suppressed fury. I didn't know why. He exploded once after a clumsily expressed remark and said I have accused him of having an affair. I was horrified.

the next year was me trying ever more desperately to say sorry I abandoned him after my dads death, sorry I work too hard. It was always a sore point and it was true. I cut back on work, life, everything. Dressed immaculately always. Clothes, hair makeup. Was told I was increasingly unattractive, undesirable. When I touched him he flinched.

I tried to talk, superficially, badly, ineffectively it would help for a little while then we were drowning again. I would feel more daunted over time as we failed to connect and my overtures were rebuffed.

Finally I had had enough. I sat him down and we talked, this time I didn't let things slide, I was gently persistent, calm and kind. I had been reading self help books by this time and I listened and LISTENED. and suddenly I knew... He was deeply depressed. He was almost irrational with pain. We talked about revamping our lives. quiting work and taking long service leave for 6 months

Just spending time with us. It was an intense two weeks of talking for hours everyday and i felt a future. Then at the end of the two weeks... he walked out.

So I let him go. He spoke politely, rationally and deeply hurtfully. He left and the PTSD and grief from my dads death and his walking out and his opinion of me before he left crushed me.

I sent him an email detailing my love and admiration and asked for space to heal and recover. That I respected his opinion and would accept it although i did not like it. That I would move on and build a life without him because i couldn't stay and be friends. That if he wanted to talk about working on us then to call and we could talk but otherwise leave me alone. that I respected and loved him and he was the best man I knew.

and that was it. I worked REALLY hard. i decided to live with respect for myself and him. I tried never to speak of him to our mutual friends. I never trash talked. I couldn't even if I had wanted to. If I said his name I would trigger and feel like I wanted to vomit.

And Ive done that, Its been a year. I like myself, Ive been re-establishing friends and making new ones. working out my flaws and accepting myself. I blocked his number but it felt wrong.

I was worried about him. I was terrified he would become suicidal but i couldn't chase him. I had done that for a year living with him so I left him alone but didn't block.

and over the year he would send text messages, most of which I would ignore. simple texts about what is on TV. an article in the paper etc. or I would send an emoji only in reply because if it was a prelude to a conversation i am open. but not chasing.

the text messages got more complex and my response got more involved but always an hour or two later after I had time to think. Always shorter. playful but non committal, not asking and not judging. Sometimes I wanted to get really angry and say WHAT ARE YOU PLAYING AT??? But i would always think, what if it was the last one ever and he was suicidal? I couldn't do that to a human. One of my distant colleagues committed suicide unexpectedly. it helped me focus.

So now a week ago after a text conversation which had regularly become every 2 weeks or so. ( NEVER initiated by me, always made sure I finished the conversation first with a cheery goodbye, five or six texts then i would gently disengage) He texted he wanted to see me.

I texted only if it was important because I was recovering from panic attacks and triggers from the PTSD. That this wasn't his fault but I was telling him this to understand the meeting would be hard for me, and I was worried how I would react, but if he wanted to say something important then Ok.

I was in a much better place and reading, self reflection and meditation had really helped me. I am more humble, more brave and more compassionate. I give more respect and love to people and especially to myself.

So first we did a low key activity we both enjoyed previously outdoors, then we went back to my place. and he slowly and tearfully told me that in the months after dad died, he had been involved in an on -off affair from just before the holiday to 3 months after we split.

I had no idea.
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Old 2nd October 2017, 7:45 PM   #2
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Thank you for sharing your story. It is heartbreaking and I'm so sorry.
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Old 2nd October 2017, 8:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mickan View Post
My partner left me last year.
we were together for nearly a decade, friends for years.

the two years before that were full of illness, (life threatening for him- but he recovered). Soon after that my dad was sick for a year and then died unexpectedly in my arms on the floor of my house. I did CPR by myself until the ambulance came.

It was a totally horrific experience. I felt his ribs crack under my fingers for months. I was numb and shaken. I can't remember much about the next couple of months (3-4)but I remember pulling myself together and noticing that my partner was a stranger. It was time to rejoin the world. I booked a holiday to help us reconnect. It was a disastrous failure. He was icily polite and with episodes of barely suppressed fury. I didn't know why. He exploded once after a clumsily expressed remark and said I have accused him of having an affair. I was horrified.

the next year was me trying ever more desperately to say sorry I abandoned him after my dads death, sorry I work too hard. It was always a sore point and it was true. I cut back on work, life, everything. Dressed immaculately always. Clothes, hair makeup. Was told I was increasingly unattractive, undesirable. When I touched him he flinched.

I tried to talk, superficially, badly, ineffectively it would help for a little while then we were drowning again. I would feel more daunted over time as we failed to connect and my overtures were rebuffed.

Finally I had had enough. I sat him down and we talked, this time I didn't let things slide, I was gently persistent, calm and kind. I had been reading self help books by this time and I listened and LISTENED. and suddenly I knew... He was deeply depressed. He was almost irrational with pain. We talked about revamping our lives. quiting work and taking long service leave for 6 months

Just spending time with us. It was an intense two weeks of talking for hours everyday and i felt a future. Then at the end of the two weeks... he walked out.

So I let him go. He spoke politely, rationally and deeply hurtfully. He left and the PTSD and grief from my dads death and his walking out and his opinion of me before he left crushed me.

I sent him an email detailing my love and admiration and asked for space to heal and recover. That I respected his opinion and would accept it although i did not like it. That I would move on and build a life without him because i couldn't stay and be friends. That if he wanted to talk about working on us then to call and we could talk but otherwise leave me alone. that I respected and loved him and he was the best man I knew.

and that was it. I worked REALLY hard. i decided to live with respect for myself and him. I tried never to speak of him to our mutual friends. I never trash talked. I couldn't even if I had wanted to. If I said his name I would trigger and feel like I wanted to vomit.

And Ive done that, Its been a year. I like myself, Ive been re-establishing friends and making new ones. working out my flaws and accepting myself. I blocked his number but it felt wrong.

I was worried about him. I was terrified he would become suicidal but i couldn't chase him. I had done that for a year living with him so I left him alone but didn't block.

and over the year he would send text messages, most of which I would ignore. simple texts about what is on TV. an article in the paper etc. or I would send an emoji only in reply because if it was a prelude to a conversation i am open. but not chasing.

the text messages got more complex and my response got more involved but always an hour or two later after I had time to think. Always shorter. playful but non committal, not asking and not judging. Sometimes I wanted to get really angry and say WHAT ARE YOU PLAYING AT??? But i would always think, what if it was the last one ever and he was suicidal? I couldn't do that to a human. One of my distant colleagues committed suicide unexpectedly. it helped me focus.

So now a week ago after a text conversation which had regularly become every 2 weeks or so. ( NEVER initiated by me, always made sure I finished the conversation first with a cheery goodbye, five or six texts then i would gently disengage) He texted he wanted to see me.

I texted only if it was important because I was recovering from panic attacks and triggers from the PTSD. That this wasn't his fault but I was telling him this to understand the meeting would be hard for me, and I was worried how I would react, but if he wanted to say something important then Ok.

I was in a much better place and reading, self reflection and meditation had really helped me. I am more humble, more brave and more compassionate. I give more respect and love to people and especially to myself.

So first we did a low key activity we both enjoyed previously outdoors, then we went back to my place. and he slowly and tearfully told me that in the months after dad died, he had been involved in an on -off affair from just before the holiday to 3 months after we split.

I had no idea.
So sorry for your losses. What an awful year for you and I admire you so much for your willingness to look at what you needed to change in yourself. That is a difficult and painful process. You seem to have the ability to be honest with yourself and you are so rational and reflective.

I was betrayed, so I don't say this lightly. Whether or not you and he find your way back together, I think the fact that he told you of his own accord says something about his character. He is flawed, for sure - we all are, right? I could never see my XH having the strength to come to me and tell me that. So, whatever he is and whatever he has done, at least he did that on his own. I'm not advocating going back together or staying apart, but from someone who probably STILL hasn't and never will get the truth, I would have appreciated that difficult conversation.

Best of luck to you. I feel that you have a lot of wonderful aspects to your personality and someone will see that (my guess is that he has realized this). Again, sorry for your loss.
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Old 2nd October 2017, 8:41 PM   #4
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I am sorry this has happened, it is good your husband has confessed and it does explain the distance you were feeling from him at that time.
It is typical wayward behaviour.
What was his point in revealing this to you now. Is he interested in a recovery of the marriage or just feeling guilty for keeping such a awful secret.
How are you feeling about all of this?
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Old 2nd October 2017, 9:58 PM   #5
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It's good that you have moved on.

I hope if ever you will consider to fall in love again, it will be a better man.
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Old 2nd October 2017, 11:51 PM   #6
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Thank you all.

I wanted to start this conversation not for sympathy. (although its nice!) but to explore in my head what is going on.
I would like to show others the journey thru my head and what helped me and what didn't. I don't have a handle on life yet (who does?) but I have been helped by many things and I am always interested in others journey.

I really hope to share mine and help others as they have helped me. there have been many posters who I have gleaned insight from.

My head is in a whirl. This has blindsided me, however now it has been 3 days since discovery day, tiny things are starting to click. Somethings have made me feel comforted and some have made me feel sick. My father had been dead for 2 years and for 18 months of them he was in an affair.

I will pick up the story and answer your questions tomorrow.

Last edited by mickan; 2nd October 2017 at 11:56 PM..
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Old 3rd October 2017, 9:08 AM   #7
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He told me of his affair.
He had tears and was shaking. I have never really seen him cry before.

He kept saying he wouldn't blame me if I left. He offered to write a whole timeline of the affair. to answer any questions i had at any time. The he was tired of being a bad person and he had to tell the truth. He was tired of being a coward. That when I tried to to touch him he would flinch because he felt unworthy.

I mourn the man who was upright. Who didn’t lie and cheat.
The story is bizarre.
he talked about a woman in the midst of a divorce who asked him out for coffee. They were in love. it was meant to be. it fired quickly. Burned hot. they broke up several times. restarted. More coffee. “they could still be friends” but they weren’t. Quickly. they lasted three months after we broke up. 18 months in all.

He flew interstate to visit a friend who was involved in a toxic and broken relationship once for advice. He called his AP predatory. It sounds like he wanted out and was stuck. Serves him right. He sounded terrified.

She was hounding him. requests for coffee. She “made him date her three times” after we split. Fought with him, dumped him and called him boring. She still texts him for coffee. He is non committal. fobs her off. He hasn't seen her for 8 months. Is this even true? how do You tell if a liar tells the truth?
You don't.

He offered to write out a time line, ask anything and he would answer it, anytime. he was eager in his offer, word were tumbling over each other. He was shaking and crying. He said he had done an evil thing. ?ya think?

Evil was a surprise to me. He isn’t religious. he is an atheist. but he called it evil several times.

I don’t know what the point of me asking any questions is about the affair. its pointless. questions about him being in love… well… that wasn’t love. a schoolkid could see that.
Love does not make you ashamed. it is not something you try and hide. It is something you rejoice in and shout to the world or just feel quietly and be deeply thankful for.

questions about her.. well, who cares? she is a woman without moral fibre. she is not important to my life. I was going to ask who she was so I didn’t run into her or have any professional dealings with her. but really? i will treat all people with dignity and courtesy and respect. so her ID doesn’t matter.

Im not sure she is predatory. I think she is the classic example of a person who lets go of ethics and boundaries. Who is ruled by feelings and not principles. that is not human. that is animalistic. atavistic. stupid. i have no respect for that behaviour but I am sure she is hurting. I am sure she is baffled and impaired. I am sure if she is mid divorce she wants love and validation and broke every social construct to try and grasp it.

so where does this leave us? Us. there is no “us”.

there is not much change from before really.
He left me. He has still gone.
I had not seen or spoken to him for a year before this.
he doesn’t want to be with me. He still doesn’t.
He has not said he has feelings for me. He didn’t when he left.

He was filled with pain and anguish as he walked out. I certainly didn’t see any change in his state of mind this weekend. If anything, he has regressed. I think he is more depressed than when I last saw him.
It frightens me

One thing that has just occurred to me. …. , she is chasing him for contact. thats is lethal. you don’t chase. if men want to they will act. plainly and clearly.
If he doesnt volunteer action then it isn’t worth it.

I told him I loved him and I was worried about him but I expect nothing from the future. I don’t know what will happen. is this unconditional love? I don’t know. but I hate to see him in pain.


I told him to go to counselling. with or without me. and while we were sorting this out he is to say an unequivocal no to further contact.
he looked scared and said he is trying not to poke the tiger. I told him Im not suggesting he be rude. but I do not want any ambiguity in his text replies. I want polite but definite no. if we no longer see each other again then he can fck her tomorrow. I was losing my temper at that point. I had to stop and breathe and apologise. he looked like I had shot him.

I was wondering what to do but I know the answer now. keep away. If he wants you. he will find you again. I am worried about him. Is he hurting? Is he OK? and then I think, no, these are the consequences of his actions. he cannot evade them and he deserves every minute.

does this make sense to anyone? It makes no sense to me.

Last edited by mickan; 3rd October 2017 at 9:18 AM..
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Old 3rd October 2017, 10:07 AM   #8
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All of your thoughts are normal...

All of your thoughts are normal...

But let's look at you for a second. Before I got to the last sentence of your post I knew he was having an affair. It was really obvious from the outside looking in. Of course not to you being so close to the situation. It happens like that a lot of the time.

For you though, you need to understand that your relationship with him is codependent. I am thinking it always was.

If you don't understand that yet, google it and do some reading and you will see right away what has been going on.

While it is "Nice" that he confessed to you, you need to look at how he lays some of the stuff out. She chased him, he was kind of powerless to resist, bla, bla, bla.... Complete horse SH** in every way.

He was board, he saw an opportunity and he wanted some strange. That is what happened. He went a further step and left you for her. He got in over his head because he is a chump.

So there is that....

But for you, I wanted to warn you. I am a man that was married to a woman like this. sick, depressed, yada, yada. I wasted 26 years of my life loving her and taking care of her, and sister, IT IS NOT WORTH IT.

I know that you love him and I get that, the infidelity is one thing, but the codependency and the taking care of him and worrying about him, it is really not what you want in a relationship.

Since my Ex is gone, I have been with some of the most wonderful women that I have ever known. My newest GF is really wonderful. She nags me just enough so that I will take care of myself, but not so much that it is a problem. She lets me spoil her, but not too much, and she is insanely in love with me.

Think about being with someone that can actually help you through life when you need it. You can both actually take care of one another instead of you always taking care of him.

It is just like a new world that I think you need to consider before you even remotely think of getting back with this man, if that is even in the cards anyway...
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Old 3rd October 2017, 10:20 AM   #9
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If I may ask...do you think his revelation helped you from a mental/PTSD standpoint? Or was his revelation just more hurtful?
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Old 3rd October 2017, 1:33 PM   #10
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does this make sense to anyone? It makes no sense to me.

What makes sense is for you to continue to make yourself the very top priority and continue to build yourself up
...You cannot put your emotional health and life in the hands of a person that proved that he will betray the most sacred thing in marriage; trust, love, and loyalty.

You do not have to resent him but be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove!
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Old 3rd October 2017, 2:44 PM   #11
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blues power
thank you so much and Im glad you are happy now. I do not think we were always co-dependant but how do I know? Im confused about everything including my ability to assess myself.

I know that if I try to even "meet half way" It will be damaging. this is all him. The way he presented it. "too powerless to resist" . I have no respect for that. I have not seen, spoken or initiated contact with him for a year. There is no reason to change that.

Strangely, although I hurt, I am not the train wreck i was a year ago when he left. I have worked hard to be proud of myself. My PTSD is not there (although I was afraid it would come back) and i feel sometimes a curious sense of relief. Things make sense now. I am MUCH stronger. I am confused and disorientated but still functional. I can't process it yet but I feel a fleeting sense of victory and relief thru the pain.

I will tell you how I worked on myself later. How did other people?

Seeing him after a year. I love him yes, but my main feeling is pity. I am very fit now. I am travelling overseas on an amazing trip in 3 months. I look great (I really do!). He was fat, old, broken. aged beyond a year. infidelity does not agree with him but he chose this not me.

I cannot rescue him from this. I worry about him but I cannot care for him. i get the feeling that if I tried i would harm him. I felt this way when he left. that I could NOT chase him for both our sakes. This was when I realised (belatedly) it was Depression. I didn't know he was a cheat and a liar. We had known each other 20 years. He was not that man. Once.

When chickens hatch, they struggle out of the shell or they die. but if you chip away the shell for them, they die. The struggle must be theirs. It sounds crazy but this is what I feel. Does this make sense?


Can you tell me blues power what you learnt about yourself from co-dependancy land? Im not sure if i live there but Im reading and thinking, applying this new information...and if this is me, then I am leaving as fast as i can!

Last edited by mickan; 3rd October 2017 at 2:48 PM..
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Old 3rd October 2017, 3:31 PM   #12
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It's good that you have moved on.

I hope if ever you will consider to fall in love again, it will be a better man.
This this this this.

Sometimes there is too much water under a bridge.

I am so sorry for all you have been through.
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Old 4th October 2017, 10:12 PM   #13
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he slowly and tearfully told me that in the months after dad died, he had been involved in an on -off affair from just before the holiday to 3 months after we split.
He started cheating on you soon after you father died, when you need him the most. Worse yet, he kicked you while you were down, by blaming you without telling you about the affair. No matter your feelings for him, he is not someone that you want to grow old with. I do not know if due to health my wife or I will need the other to do most of the heavy lifting when we grow old, but I do know that if she is the one that needs it I will be there for her, and if I am the one that needs it she will be there for me. You know that this not true of him for you, only of you for him.
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Old 12th October 2017, 5:12 AM   #14
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Hi Mickan, I had a few questions if you would be so kind as to answer them. Please feel free to answer only those that you feel comfortable with and ignore the others. Firstly, were you married to your partner or were you two in a common law relationship? I ask because every where that you have referred to him it is as partner or you have used a pronoun for him. Secondly, before his sickness which was near fatal, how was your your relationship? Was it in a good place and were you both congenial with each other or was it already a bit rocky? During his illness were you there for him holistically or did your work schedule keep you away from him for significant periods? More importantly, did he feel that you were there for him during that time or did he hold that against you at the time? You had mentioned that you apologized to him after your father's death for not paying him adequate attention. Why was that necessary? Was he sulking because he felt that you had ignored him or was it a fact that you had zoned out on him? A last question; How good were your communication levels and skills (both ways) with him throughout your relationship?

I am sorry if these questions are awkward or too intrusive so do feel free to answer any or all of them as per your comfort level. Thanks in advance. The reason I wanted to know was because a lot of underlying factors get covered over when something like your situation is discussed and the whys and wherefores of something as traumatic as this happening sometimes do not get revealed. However, I have to say that his affair was completely on him and he alone was responsible for it. If he was not happy in the relationship then he should have divorced/separated before involving himself in another relationship. For what it's worth I think you have handled the whole business in a mature and responsible manner and kudos to you for it. Warm wishes.
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Old 19th October 2017, 3:45 AM   #15
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well its been a few weeks.

He has texted eagerly and i have been friendly, non committal and kind. He has thanked me many times for my kindness.

truth be told it isn't hard. I read many books on relationships, love, blogs, forums, and the one thing i didn't want to do is disappear in a cloud of bitterness,
Life is too short.

surprisingly to me the best help I got were buddhism books.
How to love Thich Nhat Hanh.
its a hard book to read. Its so simple and pure it makes me ashamed. But i have learnt to practice loving kindness towards myself and teach myself to recognise what I am feeling and be gentle with myself over the last year. This allows me to be gentle in my outlook towards other people and in a strange way I can see more suffering in the world because I too have suffered. This makes me grateful and more compassionate.

David Richo and his blending of science, psychology and eastern and western religion have been a source of pondering. meditation has been helpful. The headspace app has taught me to accept the present and not try to over control.

Just a guy:
those are perceptive questions.
we were not married. Our relationship was satisfying but superficial. Yhere was never the time. There was always something else to do. This of course was a lie we told ourselves together and separately over the years. I can see that now.

I have a high paying absorbing job and sometimes I put it first. My skills at confrontation and self reflection were not high. they are better now but it will be a life long process.

I am more confident on what I want and what I will accept. Sometimes i am angry and numb from this new knowledge but really... my life is good and I have worked hard to make it so over the year.

I have gracefully turned down dinner invitations from him. I see no joy in this. we were friends for so long. but false friends as it turns out. unable to progress to any meaningful joining of our lives.
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