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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 12th June 2017, 7:10 PM   #46
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I dunno, she sounds a lot more like a typical married affair partner just looking for ego boosts and extra validation, than a married affair partner who is also desperately in love with their OW.

I had a married affair partner who was in love with me and I was also a married affair partner in love with him. I felt it then, and I know it now because we've been together for about a year and a half now post-affair and divorces, and it still feels the same as it always did. Here's how an affair like that compares to your situation, using your list. I'm not trying to be harsh, but I want to note the discrepancies. (Note that I do not see any of my actions as justifiable just because it was "true love" - an affair is still wrong no matter what. But it's even sadder and more pointless in this kind of instance, when it doesn't appear that she loves you or prioritizes you, and certainly will never run away with you.)

* She does not consider me a priority, but merely someone she'll see if it's convenient and doesn't interfere with any of her other obligations; We flaked out on many commitments to spend time together - literally any chance possible and probably to our detriment in terms of being gone from work, etc.

* She does not envision me as a partner she could ever be proud to be with publicly, even if she were single (her image is important to her, and the same sex nature of our relationship is intimidating, as she was raised in a deeply conservative Catholic environment and carries a lot of that "what will people think?" guilt with her even though she doesn't personally feel being gay is in any way wrong; The same-sex shame is somewhat specific to your situation, and you're right that it further diminishes any chance of you two ending up together. In my case, I always thought, and told him, that he'd be the perfect partner - and I heard the same from him. It's pretty much true now in practice. We are happily in love, our lives fit together very well, and our families and many friends have been very welcoming, even though obviously they don't condone how things began.

* She has no problem inviting me to family functions where I'll spend the entire time watching her play happy couple with her husband - I used to think this was because she wanted to be around me as much as possible, and while that might be part of it I think the fact that she imagines I would actually enjoy such occasions to be willful blindness - she asked me to keep July 4 clear so I could come to her family celebration, and I can't imagine worse torture though I genuinely like every member of her family though have not been particularly fond of her H, even before the affair started; We were only forced to be around each other's spouses a couple times, and it was torture for both of us - both from knowing the discomfort and jealousy and pain it would bring the AP, and also the extreme guilt of subjecting our spouses to such a cruel situation right under their noses without them knowing. For her to think that you would WANT to watch her play happy wife is just really tone-deaf and callous at best, or cruel at worst.
And to not be concerned about protecting her husband from being around her illicit lover is very disturbing.


* Today, we had the first chance to see each other in a week and she only wanted to meet for lunch somewhere public. I'd have much preferred 2 hours in private but am sick and tired of having to *ask* for that sort of thing; We took every possible opportunity possible to be alone together, not to be physically intimate per se, but to be able to act as much of a real couple as possible in the ways you can't do in public with the fear of seeing people you know.

* She never tells me she misses me or loves me, except as a casual goodbye in front of other people - never during intimacy; So she doesn't miss you or love you, AND she can't even be bothered to lie to you about it. We told each other those things every day or many times a day, and meant it 100%.

* She is noncommittal whenever I ask her to plan weekend trips away, saying it would "look funny" though it absolutely wouldn't. We've been friends for years and who the hell would question a girls' weekend away? Unlike most affair partners, you two have an actual excuse to go away on a lovers' retreat, and she still doesn't want to? That is not a good sign. We had very, very, very few chances to spend a night or a couple days together, and we would look forward to them like it was the arrival of paradise on earth.

* She constantly brings up H to me and talks about their plans to buy a boat, redo their kitchen, put in new floors, go on vacation, look for another home - stuff a person even vaguely considering leaving their marriage would not be doing or talking about all the time. Again, tone-deaf and callous at best, or cruel at worst. DEFINITELY not something that anyone wanting to leave their marriage would do. She's told you in words and in actions that she won't leave. I hope you begin to listen.

***HUGS*** I'm really sorry this is happening to you. This relationship is hurting you. The sooner you cut it off and focus on YOU, the sooner you will start to heal. You can do it!

As for therapy, do you live anywhere near a college? I would assume you live in a big town or city, if therapy is $150-200 (mine was $100 in a smaller college town). The psychology / therapy programs often off free or extremely discounted sessions with graduate students - can you look into that? I really think you need someone to talk to and someone to help you come up with a strategy to move on in your life! xox

Last edited by Birdies; 12th June 2017 at 7:16 PM..
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Old 12th June 2017, 11:57 PM   #47
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Thanks, Birdies. I guess for me the difficult thing is that in the beginning, we were very much like what you describe. She went out of her way to see me - she would even stop by my apartment before work just to give me a kiss, spending only three minutes with me because we really wanted to see each other that badly. She would make a ton of two-minute calls if they were the only two minutes she could find. That intense attention lasted for about two months, and it's been push-and-pull since then. Many times she's admitted she wants it to be like it was in the beginning, but she feels ravaged by guilt and knows she should be letting me go, not holding on tight. Meanwhile I would give anything to have it be like it was in the beginning, when she wasn't afraid to show me how much she cares.

I am so confused right now. Half of me thinks she's really cold and callous, as you say, and the other half sincerely believes that's an act she puts on to protect the truly loving partner she wants to be but is too afraid to be. And... right now I'm wrestling with whether the reasons she won't be who I need her to be even matters.

Thanks for the suggestion about university mental health services. Someone else mentioned that to me and I will look into it, though the nearest university is about an hour away.

I am truly glad your A has turned into a successful relationship. I have been trying to find reasons to believe mine will, too, but I am clearly kidding myself. People like me don't get happy endings.
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Old 13th June 2017, 4:34 AM   #48
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People like me don't get happy endings.
Of all the right reasons..you found a wrong one.
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Old 13th June 2017, 6:03 AM   #49
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Of all the right reasons..you found a wrong one.
I agree with freengreen. (((BreakingWave))) Please don't think like that. You will get your happy ending. It may not be with her, but the right person is out there for you.

As a former cheater, I totally get her behaviour, cruel though it is. At first for the cheater, the A is pure fun and excitement and you feel a million dollars. But if you've got a conscience, any kind of conscience, guilt and realisation catch up with you and you are forced to confront the reality of what you are doing and all its implications. She may very well love you, possibly even more than how she did in those early, care-free days, but her conscience has caught up with, her feelings frighten her, and she is finding it very difficult to reconcile all this with the reality of her situation - that she is married with children. Her minbd has become a breeding ground for worry, paranoia, conflict and confusion - been there myself - it's not nice.

She has developed a connection with you and she doesn't want to lose you, but she is also terrified of losing and destroying all of them. Conflicted. That is a word that describes most married waywards - very conflicted. Sometimes it becomes so overwhelming that you just want to escape it rather than properly deal with it, and push-pull behaviour is common when that happens. Perhaps the lesbian angle in your particular case makes her even more conflicted. Most waywards worry about how they will be perceived if they run off with an affair partner of the opposite sex. I imagine this is only amplified when they consider running off with an affair partner of the same sex. Imagine all the gossip that would generate in their community.

Sadly, often (usually) there are no winners and rarely are there happy endings in affairs. I'm so pleased for Birdies that she got her happy ending and I wish her and her new H all the very best of luck in the world. But even Birdies will tell you that she is not a "winner" in the normal sense. She often posts of the devastation that her A caused and how she still lives with the guilt and aftermath, and will probably have to deal with this for a long time to come. Birdies is such a valuable member of these forums - she had a "successful" affair, but she doesn't wrap her posts in unicorns and rainbows - she tells it how it is, and it's usually messy whatever the outcome.

I wish you all the very best BW. Crossing my fingers that you will get your happy ending one day with the right woman - you really deserve it.

Stay with us, keep posting.

Last edited by jenkins95; 13th June 2017 at 6:06 AM..
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Old 13th June 2017, 11:51 AM   #50
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Freen - I understand that there are a million *good* reasons to end an affair and right now I'm focusing on the negative. It is currently impossible for me to do anything else . I'm spiraling fast into a very dark place. I don't want to kill myself but I *do* want to hurt. I want to punish myself for being so stupid, for allowing this to happen. I believe I deserve to suffer for what I have done to her, to myself, to people who will never even know it happened.

I have allowed myself to feel like such a worthless sack of **** because of her sudden changes in behavior and this push-and-pull. I have always struggled with emotional intimacy and self-esteem, having spent my entire life with other people trying to make me feel "less than" and unworthy of a happy life. Nothing in my life has ever made me feel smaller, less important, or more unworthy of love than this A.
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Old 13th June 2017, 11:57 AM   #51
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Jenkins,

Thank you for your words. I am very grateful that you are here to share the story from the other perspective. I have a feeling that you and my MW are very similar, at least in the way you describe your own emotional journey. I know you have often said that you loved your AP deeply. I believe my MW loves me, too.

That's honestly part of what is most frightening to me - that you did love her, care about her, but ultimately chose to go NC with her so you could repair your marriage. It frightens me to think this is what will happen with me and my MW - that she'll leave and watch from afar as I break down completely and she'll just not give any indication that she gives a **** in the name of it being "what's best for both of us."

Because I really think this is gonna kill me. I do not think I will make it through. I don't even believe I want to make it through anymore.

BW
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Old 13th June 2017, 2:07 PM   #52
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Jenkins,

Thank you for your words. I am very grateful that you are here to share the story from the other perspective. I have a feeling that you and my MW are very similar, at least in the way you describe your own emotional journey. I know you have often said that you loved your AP deeply. I believe my MW loves me, too.

That's honestly part of what is most frightening to me - that you did love her, care about her, but ultimately chose to go NC with her so you could repair your marriage. It frightens me to think this is what will happen with me and my MW - that she'll leave and watch from afar as I break down completely and she'll just not give any indication that she gives a **** in the name of it being "what's best for both of us."

Because I really think this is gonna kill me. I do not think I will make it through. I don't even believe I want to make it through anymore.

BW
Work on your personal relationship with God. Please, please seek professional help. You don't have to spiral into darkness.
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Old 13th June 2017, 2:50 PM   #53
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Thanks, BTD. I took Birdies' suggestion and looked into programs at the local colleges/universities - I live near Atlanta and there are several universities within an hour, so I was hopeful. Unfortunately none of them serve outside communities, and seeing a professional is simply not within my budget. It looks like IC is out. I saw a therapist many years ago when my income was higher than it is now to deal with anxiety and depression, and it was helpful. I know it would be helpful now, but sadly it isn't a possibility.

I do know, cognitively, what I could be doing to help myself. I'm doing some of those things. I'm working out, eating well, and meditating/praying daily. I don't feel better yet, but I accept these things take time.

I'm stressed out about a number of things in my life. The truth is I wasn't in great emotional shape before this happened, but then it did and I had this brief period of believing my life was really headed somewhere, and it's all crashing down around me now. But I was in a place where I was not constantly thinking I'd be better off dead. It's a low bar but it's something better than where I am now.
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Old 13th June 2017, 4:05 PM   #54
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The truth is I wasn't in great emotional shape before this happened...
Not an uncommon story, had you been emotionally strong, you would never have got yourself involved with a MW and accepted the secondary role in her life.
You would have demanded more for yourself and walked away early doors.
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Old 13th June 2017, 5:35 PM   #55
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You may also want to look into mental health clinics that have a sliding fee scale. I wish you all the best.
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Old 13th June 2017, 6:31 PM   #56
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You may also want to look into mental health clinics that have a sliding fee scale. I wish you all the best.
Great idea. My ex-husband was having some deep depressive incidents while he was back in school, and he was able to see a therapist and be prescribed medicine for something like five dollars a month since he didn't have an income.

OP, I am really sorry you're going through this. The sooner you can break away from this affair that overall is adding a lot of anxiety and feelings of worthlessness into your life, the sooner you can start to heal yourself. Maybe think of this affair as a new hobby you picked up that you realize you didn't like it all. Can you focus on a different hobby? Book club, yoga, knitting, birdwatching, geocaching, volunteering at an animal shelter or women's shelter, etc. Something to distract you and give you some purpose.

I know how hard it must be to reconcile the way this affair first felt, with what you are now experiencing. But the sooner you can realize that this is the new reality, hopefully the sooner you can put yourself and your own emotional health first and cut off this toxic relationship.

Jenkins is right thay there really are no winners in an affair.

Last edited by Birdies; 13th June 2017 at 6:34 PM..
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Old 14th June 2017, 5:30 AM   #57
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Breaking Wave... First, hugs to you. I found your thread last night, got the worst temperature change migraine I have ever had (it went from 95+ the last few days to 65 in hours), ended up unable to open my eyes, and doped myself up to sleep it off. Woke up 4 am my time, read the rest of your thread, and felt maybe I could help. I'm telling you about the migraine (seriously, they suck if you've never had one) to let you know that even internet strangers care, so no fair harming yourself in any way!!!

I am worried about you. I know you've been trying to find counseling and I think that is the best thing for you, provided the counselor is a good one. Income being an issue, try your local county mental health website. Ours has a list of "guidance centers" that operate on a sliding scale fee system. Also, try looking for specialized minority counseling programs. Since you're gay I'm wondering if there are counseling options available to you that are funded by gay rights organizations and public donations or counselors who work free through such organizations to help folks cope with the challenges of being a minority. Might be worth checking into.

I am a former WW. I had multiple affairs in my first marriage. The actions, words, and phrasings your MW use are damn near exactly the ones I used when I was trying to keep my AP's from letting things get emotionally messy. She is literally telling you and showing you that you are a friend and an occasional sex partner, but nothing more. She even loves you as a person, but she is not in love with you and she isn't going to leave her husband, family, and life for you. She compartmentalizes. You are time out of time. A guilty pleasure. A shameful secret.

You better believe you'd be ruthlessly ejected from her life if you ever became a threat to her family or reputation.

You deserve better.

I am one of those people who believes you can't go back to just friends after breaking the physical intimacy barrier. I think your best bet is to cut contact, heal, and stay away from married women in any kind of romantic capacity.

Easier said than done, I know.

The trick is to keep busy. Be socially active. Do volunteer work. Clean. Everything. Start making new friends and acquaintances by any means necessary. Tell them you're looking for a mate. Explain you need to take your time and any prospective dates would need to be friends before it could possibly develop further. Pretty much everybody knows a lesbian or two. Someone, somewhere, is or knows the perfect woman for you.
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Old 14th June 2017, 7:37 PM   #58
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BreakingWave,

First, I haven't technically had an A. I had a boyfriend for awhile and my H knew about it and was fine with it. At first, I talked to BF all the time, then less often, and eventually began avoiding him. My interest in him faded, it was easier to not deal with him, and when I was home, I felt I should be spending time with H. (I regret avoiding him and wish I had just broken it off with him sooner but I was being selfish and cowardly. I am not exactly comfortable admitting this here but I want to give you some perspective.)

I am sorry to say that your MW's feelings are not as strong as they once were (which you are aware of, as you realize that she used to make time for you.) Some of the lust/infatuation has faded and whether that be because of time passing or her guilt, it doesn't change that it has. She may love you, but she does not love you enough. Even the way she speaks to you - she doesn't refer to you as her girlfriend or even her lover, just her "secret friend". Do you want to be just a "secret friend" to someone? Because that is what you will be. She cannot accept the part of herself that loves you. She will continue having her tolerable if not stimulating home life and get her excitement and emotional fulfillment with you on the side. She is not being a good friend or lover to you. You speak of protecting her, but she does nothing to protect you (even the way her lifestyle with her H ends up being thrown in your face. I am not saying she does it intentionally, but it certainly isn't at the forefront of her mind to gentle with you or sensitive towards you.) She tells you not to worry about her, which is fine, you shouldn't, but since she does not want you to worry about her, she is released from feeling as though she has to worry about you as well. Everything you have mentioned shows that all of the concern in the relationship is for her. Relationships with marrieds do have a rare kind of loneliness and isolation, but that is especially palpable here.

It is interesting that you say you do not feel connected to the LGBTQ community and you have chosen to be with someone with whom your relationship must be closeted. I do think you would benefit from talk therapy. You say you are close to your parents, could you maybe ask for their help? I know it isn't ideal but you seem to suffer from low self-esteem. I am happy to hear you are meditating and exercising. Keep it up. And keep posting here and/or find someone to message. You definitely need to be able to talk about these things or you will be more isolated and susceptible to MW's whims.

You speak of feeling out of place in the world and that you always have, I feel like that, too. In that case, you have to build your own world. Right now you are living in hers. Your reason to live has to be you. You are worth living for. Especially right now, focus on you. Find new things to enjoy, and get closer to those other wonderful friends you have. Each day when you wake up, know you are doing it for you and you are more than enough. Feeling behind in life is not rare; I think we all do. But we get where we are going eventually.

You said you never loved before now. That doesn't mean you will never love again. It means that something has been opened inside you and you have found the ability to love. It absolutely means you can love someone else. That you have a loving, romantic, and selfless nature shines through in your posts. You deserve someone who is the same way with you. You don't even have to look for someone else, they will find you. You need time to heal anyway, on your own. If you enjoy getting to know someone over time and then dating, that is fine, but you can't do that while you are giving that time to someone who doesn't even appreciate it, nor while you are in such an unhealthy situation and state of mind.

I understand that it is especially hard to let go of someone who seems to be all the things you have always desired, but realize that by not giving you the love and attention you deserve, she is effectively not what you desire. Sometimes what we want is not what we need.

If she is pulling you back in with her words or presence, you need to go NC. Even better, move away, but I understand that option may not be financially viable. If you cannot make yourself go NC, I fear you will be trapped in this spiral until something finally breaks (things come out in the open or she breaks it off with you.) The best thing to do would probably be to make her choose. If (and probably when) she doesn't choose you, you will be forced to move forward. You are waiting for her to get a push to know she wants to be with you, but you are the one who needs a push to know that she will never be with you like you need.

I am so sorry. My words are probably harsh but they come from a place of caring for the very real pain emanating from your posts. I see you getting sadder as time goes on and it is worrisome. Everyone here knows you deserve more and wants better for you. We are on your side. You must be as well.
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Old 15th June 2017, 11:36 AM   #59
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Thanks, everyone.

I have a pretty decent income - I won't qualify for reduced fees. My issue is student loans and credit card debt incurred while out of work several years ago. I chose not to declare bankruptcy and to slowly, surely pay back everything I owe (student loans aren't dischargeable anyway, and that's where a chunk of income goes every month.) So for me it isn't lack of income so much as too many expenses that is presenting the financial barrier.

I am going to prioritize myself and my goals and concentrate on trying to hate MW until I can just be indifferent. I am clearly easy for her to toss aside. She only pretended to care. Nothing she ever told me was real. She is a liar and a manipulator and I am a fool. That is the only way any of this makes sense in my head.

I do not buy she ever cared or loved and then one day she just wasn't into me anymore. She never did. I was an ego scratch. I am worthless to her. I could throw myself off a building and she would probably feel an immense sense of relief because then her secrets would be safe. I could die in a fire and I bet she would not shed a tear. Nobody could do this unless they simply do not have a heart.

She doesn't give a damn about me and never did. That is the ONLY belief I can allow myself to have if I want to make it through this.
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Old 15th June 2017, 11:46 AM   #60
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I should add that last night she asked me to come over to say goodbye before she leaves for two weeks. I was really happy that she wanted to see me, and was still feeling weak. I went over but the house was full, and H came home a couple of hours earlier than expected.

When I got back, she texted to see if I'd made it home safely (it was storming) and I said yes and sent her a kiss emoji saying "here's the [kiss] I couldn't give you in person." She said, "Lol." I said "What, didn't want one?" and she said, "Huh?" I said "a kiss." She said, "Oh! Didn't know what you meant. Going crazy, can't find my eyelash serum."

... so basically she's simply ignoring me trying to be sweet or flirtatious. What bigger sign could there be that she thinks that I am worthless, that my feelings mean NOTHING to her. Whereas last week we were all hot and heavy. And why even invite me over "to say goodbye" which to me sends a very clear message that we are more than friends, only to treat me like an irritant later on?

I am trying so, so hard to hate this woman.
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