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The Other Man / Woman The other side of the story: Support and discussion for those who find themselves involved with a committed partner.

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Old 19th May 2017, 12:48 PM   #16
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Thank you! That is very encouraging - I sincerely still hope that is how the story ends for me and my MW. I just have to accept it could take years before I know whether we really stand a chance.

I didn't know about that forum. I'll check it out. In truth, I don't really consider myself to be especially connected with the LGBTQ "community" and rarely seek out gay-specific groups or forums anymore.
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Old 19th May 2017, 12:58 PM   #17
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I'm sorry you find yourself in this situation Even though it's self-inflicted, it still sucks so much, and you have the guilt and self-blame on top of everything else.

The thing is, they almost never leave their spouses and families, in a regular heterosexual affair. The bisexual thing takes that chance from maybe 1% to about 0.1%. Your AP is not giving you *any* indication that you two will ever be together. Believe her.

So, knowing that this will never turn into truly fulfilling relationship, you can either keep it going until one of you is too broken to continue or until you have an explosive DDay and blow up both your lives to smithereens - or you can put yourself first and rip the bandaid.

Even true love isn't worth this much pain.

To answer your question, I was in my A (we were both married) for a little over a year. We both knew we needed to end it because I didn't want to leave my husband and ruin his and my life (AP was working on a divorce, not for me but just because his M was toxic and awful). But we couldn't quite bring ourselves to end it just yet. Then we had a DDay, and it was even more shltty than I could have guessed. Trust me, neither of you want that. She will wreak absolute havoc on her husband and innocent kids - like, literally destroy their lives - and you'll be vilified as the home-wrecking whore who ruined a family. Please believe me when I say that the very best thing is for you to suck it up and endure the pain of breaking things off. (And no, you can't go back to being friends.)

PS - I'm not sure what you found encouraging about Seren's story, in terms of you and your MW? Her friend's MW couldn't leave the marriage and they never ended up together. Sounds like her friend DID find happiness after ending the affair though.

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Old 19th May 2017, 1:58 PM   #18
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It was encouraging that the friend eventually found love. I want to believe that could happen for me, but the truth is I don't. I have absolutely no desire to keep looking or trying.

In all honesty, I don't feel I have anything at all to look forward to in life. I know that would surprise almost anyone who knows me. I have a successful professsional life (but student loans and bad decisions in a crappy relationship from my past have me burdened by debt) and really wonderful friends. I have great, supportive parents. But my life doesn't seem to have much purpose, and I cannot honestly say I'm looking forward to anything. The things I used to really enjoy - like running and staying fit - have fallen by the wayside. I just don't get much out of anything anymore, and it's hard to parlay "I have a race next month" into a reason to live.


I look around me at my friends who have their own families - spouses, children. They take vacations and save for retirement and are constantly looking toward a future, a future full of love and people. I am still renting an apartment, have zero savings, and am alone most of the time because my friends are all coupled up.


I dare to think sometimes that MW and I will have a future. But no, the practical side of me knows she has a future with a man she is no longer in love with but who came along first so he wins.


I don't want to kill myself. But I don't want to live anymore either. I'm not living. I'm existing. For what purpose, to what end? To keep paying rent and barely getting by, to live the same pointless day over and over.


I have moments of hope and resolve but they're always replaced by this steady sense of futility. I've thought about therapy but can't begin to afford it, so I'm doing the best I can reading notes here to remind myself I'm not alone and just trying to make it through day by day.
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Old 19th May 2017, 9:16 PM   #19
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Saw MW today - it was kind of a surprise. She texted to see what I was doing after work and said she could come by. Nothing explosive - I live on her way home, and it's easy for her to stop for a few minutes. We just had a glass of wine and caught up on her weeks. She explained that she'd been really busy, though I'm well aware that was never a reason to be out of touch when we were getting started. We kissed, but nothing else, and she said she'd call tomorrow if she could do anything. I have plans for most of the day tomorrow (no more waiting to see if she happens to be free) but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hoping to see her.
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Old 19th May 2017, 11:51 PM   #20
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It was encouraging that the friend eventually found love. I want to believe that could happen for me, but the truth is I don't. I have absolutely no desire to keep looking or trying.

In all honesty, I don't feel I have anything at all to look forward to in life. I know that would surprise almost anyone who knows me. I have a successful professsional life (but student loans and bad decisions in a crappy relationship from my past have me burdened by debt) and really wonderful friends. I have great, supportive parents. But my life doesn't seem to have much purpose, and I cannot honestly say I'm looking forward to anything. The things I used to really enjoy - like running and staying fit - have fallen by the wayside. I just don't get much out of anything anymore, and it's hard to parlay "I have a race next month" into a reason to live.


I look around me at my friends who have their own families - spouses, children. They take vacations and save for retirement and are constantly looking toward a future, a future full of love and people. I am still renting an apartment, have zero savings, and am alone most of the time because my friends are all coupled up.


I dare to think sometimes that MW and I will have a future. But no, the practical side of me knows she has a future with a man she is no longer in love with but who came along first so he wins.


I don't want to kill myself. But I don't want to live anymore either. I'm not living. I'm existing. For what purpose, to what end? To keep paying rent and barely getting by, to live the same pointless day over and over.


I have moments of hope and resolve but they're always replaced by this steady sense of futility. I've thought about therapy but can't begin to afford it, so I'm doing the best I can reading notes here to remind myself I'm not alone and just trying to make it through day by day.
Breaking Wave, you may or may not need therapy (who doesn't here) but you first of all need gay friends. My husband's friend and our children's godfather is gay. For many years he was a part of the social group but over time he said it was depressing, he did not fit in, etc. Then he dated someone who was in denial about being gay and eventually signed up for one of those religious programs where they deprogram you and make you straight. It was very unhealthy for our friend. Today he is living with a boyfriend, with a circle of men and women gay and lesbian friends, we do not see him much but that is to be expected. He is in his world. And he is happy.

You need to find your place. This woman is not it. If you were involved with a married guy, I'd say the same thing, they NEVER LEAVE. It's all a huge time suck and nothing but heartache. I tell you today that if you cut the cord, 6 months from now, you will be a new person. Nov 19th. End it. Block her, do whatever. That is her issue, her hangup. Not yours. Listen if she really wants you, she will find you. But they never do. But the good part is that you won't care anymore. If you look at my posts, I was so distraught over a guy, I wanted to end it all. Trust me on this. Rip the band-aid off. You deserve better.
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Old 20th May 2017, 9:41 PM   #21
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MidnightBlue1980,

Thank you for reading my story and taking the time to write your thoughtful post. I can tell it comes out of genuine kindness and concern, and appreciate it.

Over the years, particularly during college, I had a big circle of wonderful gay and lesbian friends. As with most college friends, we all sort of went our separate ways and I don't see any of them anymore. As I went to work, I stayed very busy and met fewer and fewer "new friends." The friends I am particularly close to now include one gay man and mostly a bunch of straight women. That's just how it's shaken out - those are the people I feel the most comfortable with and have the most in common with.

I have made an effort to make more gay and lesbian friends. The truth is, I feel less in "my world" and more like I'm walking around in someone else's world when I go to gay/lesbian meetups or try online dating and make a point of meeting other gay people. There's something about it that feels artificial, like an audition for friends or dating rather than just meeting someone you click with because of shared interests and similar personalities. Considering that lesbians are only about 3 percent of the population, and I'm so rarely attracted to women who actually identify as lesbian, it feels very much like being in that "world" means surrounding myself with people I don't necessarily have a lot in common with besides belonging to the same minority, as opposed to continuing to hang out with people I've become friends with naturally because we share work or interests, etc. I'm sure there are plenty of lesbians and gay men I would click with if I got to know them, but I haven't found an avenue for that that really works.

I don't know that "my place" exists, honestly. I think that's the scary part for me. I feel like I'm in my own zone on the periphery of everyone else's world, and that I have been for my entire life. I definitely had this feeling as early as adolescence, which was the first time I seriously contemplated suicide. I should be clear that I am *not* suicidal now. But like most lesbians and gay men, I have psychological scars that have left me prone to periods of prolonged depression and anxiety, and I'm very much going through one of those periods now.

I've chatted with MW today. She just texted a few times to tell me about her day, nothing deep. I miss our deep conversations and hate this part of the push and pull pattern more than anything... but I haven't discovered a way of dealing with it other than being patient and waiting it out until she comes in close again.
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Old 23rd May 2017, 11:34 PM   #22
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Saw MW today. We met up for drinks and had a pleasant conversation with a little flirting and a sweet kiss afterward, but that was it. She actually spent most of the conversation telling me about the cruise she's taking with her BH this summer. I think in her mind, that's just keeping me up to date on her life. I've admitted to her that it does make me feel weird/unhappy thinking about her going away on a romantic, luxurious vacation with him. She reminded me that she never made me promises, that I should also "keep my options open and stop waiting for something that probably won't happen."

I pointed out that it was so strange to hear her say that when we were making love two weeks ago. She said she knows, that she was worried that our physical intimacy "muddied the waters again" and we are "really amazing friends with our own secret that makes it really special" but that there are and always will be "limitations to our relationship."


Well. She gets credit for not future-faking, I guess.


I gave her an Out the other day. We were texting and she said that she is feeling tremendous guilt - about how she's treating her husband as well as how she's treating me. She's being dishonest with him as well as not giving me nearly what she knows I deserve. I told her "if you can honestly tell me you don't love me and won't ever want to be with me, I'll go away and make this very simple for you."


She hasn't said it. I don't think she can - not honestly, anyway. Am I a complete fool for hoping that in time she'll stop trying to make herself believe we're simply friends with benefits? I suppose I already know the answer to that one.
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Old 24th May 2017, 12:34 AM   #23
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I think part of the reason she won't take your out is that she does love you and does want you in her life *in addition to* her husband.

My xMM did not expect to fall in love with some woman he met at a summer job assignment, but he did, and it was very hard for him to let me go when he went back home. I had to make that decision for him. For us both. He would gladly have kept me emailing him on our secret email as he lived day in, day out with his wife. My little electronic prison.

Here's how I viewed it. I wasn't willing to be the icing on the cake of his marriage. I wanted his love, but I wanted it the way a person gives their love to a spouse. And his wife deserved the same. She deserved to be his one and only, not the boring day to day that can only be tolerated because he has the excitement of affair emails.

He had to pick, and I made him. Only he knows if he made the right choice. My advice is to make her choose. Walk away and force her to make a decision. She doesn't get to be selfish and have you both. Life doesn't work that way. Love shouldn't work that way.
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Old 26th May 2017, 10:47 PM   #24
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FoundMyStrength,

You are exactly right - you essentially foretold everything she said to me today. She loves me, but she's aware the chances she will leave are very low. She said, "I can't even tell you to give me time to figure it out, that I'm leaving but don't know how. None of that is true. I want to, sometimes, but then I'm scared to death because I'm straight. I'm not a lesbian. I don't think I'd ever feel comfortable as part of a same sex couple." She really laid it all out there.

I asked if that meant she wants out. She said no, but she didn't understand why I'm not running for the hills. She admitted she's been very selfish, but she loves two people and is torn and confused. The one love comes with two decades of history, a big family, memories, the financial stability they've built together, etc. Then there's me. The one woman in the world she's ever felt this way about but can't imagine acknowledging publicly, who doesn't have a lot to offer in terms of security. A lifetime of single-incoming it has left me in a paycheck-to-paycheck situation. I'm not completely brokeass, but I don't live in their world.

I do believe that given time, she will grow more comfortable with the idea of being with me. I don't know how much time that is, and I recognize that she was actually being kind by telling me not to waste time waiting for her in case that never comes through, as it probably won't. I know I want a woman who loves me enough to do what she needs to do to really be with me in the way I deserve, who will acknowledge me and put me first.

But I also know I've never loved like this and don't feel optimistic that I ever will again. I feel like she's the best and only shot I have.

Maybe that means eventually I have to walk away to give her a chance to see what we really mean to each other - or to give me a chance to see what we really don't. I just don't think I'm that strong yet. I don't know if I ever will be, to be honest.
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Old 27th May 2017, 12:03 AM   #25
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FoundMyStrength,

You are exactly right - you essentially foretold everything she said to me today. She loves me, but she's aware the chances she will leave are very low. She said, "I can't even tell you to give me time to figure it out, that I'm leaving but don't know how. None of that is true. I want to, sometimes, but then I'm scared to death because I'm straight. I'm not a lesbian. I don't think I'd ever feel comfortable as part of a same sex couple." She really laid it all out there.

I asked if that meant she wants out. She said no, but she didn't understand why I'm not running for the hills. She admitted she's been very selfish, but she loves two people and is torn and confused. The one love comes with two decades of history, a big family, memories, the financial stability they've built together, etc. Then there's me. The one woman in the world she's ever felt this way about but can't imagine acknowledging publicly, who doesn't have a lot to offer in terms of security. A lifetime of single-incoming it has left me in a paycheck-to-paycheck situation. I'm not completely brokeass, but I don't live in their world.

I do believe that given time, she will grow more comfortable with the idea of being with me. I don't know how much time that is, and I recognize that she was actually being kind by telling me not to waste time waiting for her in case that never comes through, as it probably won't. I know I want a woman who loves me enough to do what she needs to do to really be with me in the way I deserve, who will acknowledge me and put me first.

But I also know I've never loved like this and don't feel optimistic that I ever will again. I feel like she's the best and only shot I have.

Maybe that means eventually I have to walk away to give her a chance to see what we really mean to each other - or to give me a chance to see what we really don't. I just don't think I'm that strong yet. I don't know if I ever will be, to be honest.
That is simply not true. I don't know anything about you but I can guarantee you 100% that there is someone better out there besides someone's lying, cheating spouse who is not sure if she is straight or gay.

First of all, what does that mean - she is not a lesbian? Okay, then what, she is just having fun with you? Experimentation? It's called using someone. Many of us have been there - using someone else for sex. For affection. For kicks. I guess that is her fallback - "oh but I am not a lesbian." Honey, if you eat a steak, you are not a vegetarian no matter how you spin it.

I am guessing you are not too familiar with men (no offense to men reading this!) but as a woman, I am guessing you shower her with love, adoration, affection and all the other stuff women crave, since obviously you are a woman too. Men do that a bit, in the beginning or once in a while, but woman soak it up. So stop. Why are you giving her all this attention and love and getting nothing in return but heartache?

If you keep doing what you are doing all you will get is a forever affair with nothing but stolen moments and a pain sandwich.

I did read you above post about the gay/lesbian friends. I guess it depends on where you live. I live near a major city and there are a lot a gay/lesbian people. But I don't know. Have you really tried? Did you go online, to meetup and such? I do understand about being forced and not fitting in with people. The friends and clients I have who are gay and lesbians, they have told me that others have issues and hangups they need to work through and so they are just different...odd...so I know what you mean. But there are lots of ordinary gay and lesbian people out there, nice, fun, normal people. If you are truly alone where you live, maybe you need to move, a total life change.

But first you need to cut off this woman.
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Old 27th May 2017, 10:06 AM   #26
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Midnight,

Thank you! I love the line about the vegetarian eating the steak - I have a feeling I'm going to point that out to MW next time it comes up. I don't know that there's a label that fits her, honestly. What do you call someone who spends the first 50 years of her life completely, 100 percent heterosexual and then happens to fall in love with a female but doesn't experience any physical or romantic attraction to any other women? I don't think labels are the be-all or the end-all, but they do make things convenient sometimes, and I think she's still closer to straight than to gay or even bisexual.

I live near Atlanta, and used to live near Los Angeles. So I definitely don't live in a small community without a big population of gay people.

I've joined a few online Meetup groups geared toward LGBT folks, but the events I've been to have consisted mainly of couples trying to make other couple friends, pride committee type things, LGBT parenting, etc. I've been to a couple for singles, but they were awkward as all hell and I didn't meet anyone I was interested in going on a first date with. Speaking of first dates, I've tried several online apps - Match, OKCupid, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Plenty of Fish. It's a running joke with some of my friends - I've been on more first and second dates than anyone they know. However, I have yet to meet anyone with whom I feel a true, genuine connection that way. Perhaps I'm just old fashioned and I like to know a person for a while before I consider whether I'd like to date them. The one exception is the younger woman I met while MW and I were broken up in March. We went out a few times and I really liked her, and could see that if we took it slow and I gave myself a chance to heal, it might lead somewhere. However, she started pressuring me for a serious commitment - the way young people, and let's face it, a disproportionate number of lesbians sometimes do! - less than a month into it and I told her I wasn't the one for her. I also knew, of course, that I was in love with MW, who reopened our door a few weeks later anyway.

I'm not interested in dating anyone a lot younger than myself, and let's face it - lesbians are nesters. Most "age-appropriate for me" lesbians have, at this point, already coupled up. I'm not giving up all hope, but I have adjusted my expectations to reality.

Right now I just don't know the right way to respond to MW. I don't know if steady patience and friendship are what she needs to realize that it's safe for her to do what at least a big part of her wants to, or if me walking away from her is the way for her to realize she doesn't want to live without me. I'm scared she'll realize that yes, she can easily live without me, and I guess that's what is holding me back. I'm not ready to accept that yet.
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Old 27th May 2017, 1:21 PM   #27
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They don't leave even when they tell you they're going to leave. And she has explicitly told you that she doesn't think she'll ever leave. Open your eyes! You have to give up this hope of her leaving! Neither of your two "options" in the last paragraph are realistic at all. I know it's a painful situation, but you owe it to yourself to be honest with yourself.

Your options are to continue being OW indefinitely with all the push and pull and emotional pain that it entails, or (much more likely) until your lives blow up, and she chooses her husband and children and throws you under the bus without looking back, and you're left alone and with the home wrecker wh*re label. OR - choose the more immediately painful path that will get you out of this cycle. I'm sorry but there is NOT an option C where you run off together into the sunset. It either sucks now on your own terms, or it sucks much much worse later on someone else's terms.
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Old 27th May 2017, 8:51 PM   #28
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I think part of the reason she won't take your out is that she does love you and does want you in her life *in addition to* her husband.

My xMM did not expect to fall in love with some woman he met at a summer job assignment, but he did, and it was very hard for him to let me go when he went back home. I had to make that decision for him. For us both. He would gladly have kept me emailing him on our secret email as he lived day in, day out with his wife. My little electronic prison.

Here's how I viewed it. I wasn't willing to be the icing on the cake of his marriage. I wanted his love, but I wanted it the way a person gives their love to a spouse. And his wife deserved the same. She deserved to be his one and only, not the boring day to day that can only be tolerated because he has the excitement of affair emails.

He had to pick, and I made him. Only he knows if he made the right choice. My advice is to make her choose. Walk away and force her to make a decision. She doesn't get to be selfish and have you both. Life doesn't work that way. Love shouldn't work that way.
I'm clapping like a happy seal about this post. Yes! And the "little electric prison"...wow, yes that's an awesome way to describe it and I totally relate.

BreakingWaves, I've read your whole thread. My heart breaks for you. I agree with FoundMyStrength about walking away and forcing that choice. It may not work out the way you are hoping, she may not (probably won't --sorry!) choose you (the reasons are abundantly obvious from countless threads on LS), but you will regain bits of yourself back. I can totally relate to something you said about your life being disoriented like you've lost interest in things that used to bring you joy. I still feel that almost 8 months out but it is getting significantly less as time passes.

It will be tough to walk, but I don't like the way she's treating you now. Like trying to stuff the cat back in the bag and pretend you'll go back to just friends like nothing ever happened. That must make you feel supremely invalidated and maybe marginalized. I think that is insensitive of her. It's irresponsible and easy for her because she plans to go back to her cozy life while you stand there holding the bag. It's selfish of her to do this. Sending you hugs and a hope for peace.
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Old 27th May 2017, 10:18 PM   #29
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Words can't express how grateful I am to everyone who's read my thread and taken the time to offer words of solidarity, wisdom, and truth. These last few weeks have been more bearable than the months that preceded them precisely because I knew this community was here, that we understand each other because our situations have so many common threads despite their differences. I have read so many of your posts on other threads as well, and know your stories, and just wish I could reach through the screen and give you big hugs.
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Old 27th May 2017, 10:22 PM   #30
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That must make you feel supremely invalidated and maybe marginalized. I think that is insensitive of her. It's irresponsible and easy for her because she plans to go back to her cozy life while you stand there holding the bag. It's selfish of her to do this.
You're right - and I know that if I finally find the strength to leave, I will have to tell her that being "just friends" isn't an option for me. Not right now, probably not ever, for a lot of valid reasons I'm sure everyone reading this already understands.

Today, we were able to spend a lot of time together. We had another big conversation, and she talked about what her family would do if/when (she uses both words) they find out. She didn't seem nearly as sure about not leaving as she did yesterday. I think what she said yesterday was honest, and she's confused as all hell. I do agree that self-preservation is key; I can't let her existential crisis ruin my life. But God, I love that woman.
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