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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 21st November 2017, 3:31 AM   #16
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Thank you all so much for the replies, it is such a relief to "talk".

Jenkins - yes, it is a drug. I feel I'll never be the same. Whatever I choose to do, especially if that is to stay with my partner, this will haunt me forever. I'm glad to hear you and your wife are making it work and investing in your relationship. I'll need to read through your story after this.

Birdies - thank you for the unique perspective. Were you discovered or did you decide to come clean to your partners after deciding to be with AP? I understand the limerance wouldn't last. It's even changed in the 2 years, it's now much sweeter and gentler. It's still the most intimate sex I've ever had. I think we are just a good fit. But you're right. She has chosen to stay with her partner for her own reasons and that's why I'm starting to see the futility of my situation. I thought I could turn this into something but now the feelings are too strong. I was so foolish.

Vivir - thank you, my user name is kind of about my affair. That immense joy you feel in a pointless act.. that doesn't last.. that rots away in time. I also like yours.. to live. I would like to live a real life.
Thank you for the gentle words and support. Yes I am realising my choice now isn't so much "should the affair end".. it's more about what to do with the broken pieces of my life around me.

BourneWicked - so glad you are able to mostly ignore the exAP. Yes I relate to the smell thing. It's bizarre, I can lie there and smell APs neck for hours. There's something very primal about these strong physical bonds. It's frightening sometimes. I don't feel the "smell" attraction with my partner. I can't smell a thing. It breaks my heart, it makes me think it's not right. But yes, my partner is also very attractive and is good in bed. It is me that's got the problem, I know this.
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Old 21st November 2017, 11:30 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by kick_theleaves View Post
Birdies - thank you for the unique perspective. Were you discovered or did you decide to come clean to your partners after deciding to be with AP? I understand the limerance wouldn't last. It's even changed in the 2 years, it's now much sweeter and gentler. It's still the most intimate sex I've ever had. I think we are just a good fit. But you're right. She has chosen to stay with her partner for her own reasons and that's why I'm starting to see the futility of my situation. I thought I could turn this into something but now the feelings are too strong. I was so foolish.
We were discovered, in just about the most Jerry Springer esque way that you can imagine. It was ugly and traumatic for everyone. Just a word of warning, most people do get discovered one way or another, and it's much much worse for the betrayed parties to have it come to light versus being told by their partner.

In my situation, I NEVER anticipated leaving my husband. I never planned to tell him, either. We had been together for most of lives and my whole existence was kind of built around him, and I couldn't fathom not being with him. It wasn't until everything blew up that I really had to consider what I wanted and whether we would be able to not only recover from the affair, but solve the underlying problems that had put me in an emotional place where I could cheat on my husband so badly. My AP was already on his way to divorce, so the choice was mine to make. My husband and i both decided together to throw in the towel.... no kids made that decision easier for sure. Recovery and reconciliation is a really hard path to take IMO.

I can just SO relate to your pain and guilt and confusion. I'm really sorry. I do think that ripping off the bandaid now is better than letting it go on longer and deeper, only to have the same conclusion in the end. Good luck to you.

Last edited by Birdies; 21st November 2017 at 11:33 AM..
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Old 21st November 2017, 1:47 PM   #18
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Hi BourneWicked!!!



I don't know about you but I can tell you from my own experience that affair sex was the mind blowing....sometimes we did 7 days a week and even 3 to 4 times a day.

But the excitement and affair fog is far from reality, you are in a fantasy world and real world consequences don't exist at the time.

I am having so much hard time to let this go and this affair changed me completely, I am not the same man anymore.

I like to read Ronnie and Poppy because their words are authentic and do the magic for me.
Thanks London, my words are very real. I always write from the heart because it makes the reality of how much I let this affair and my AP control my life.

Until you own your own $hit, you'll never see it for what it really is.

And the sex? Yes, the sex was amazing. But I have had other great lovers before. It wasn't the actual sex that made it amazing, it was the intensity of the sex. that intensity is powerful. It would take a regular good orgasm and give it the power of ten.

He used to tell me we were heroin to eachother. I used to love that he was addicted to me too.

Now all I want to do is a life of sobriety

Last edited by Ronnie33; 21st November 2017 at 1:50 PM..
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Old 21st November 2017, 2:09 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by kick_theleaves View Post
BourneWicked - so glad you are able to mostly ignore the exAP. Yes I relate to the smell thing. It's bizarre, I can lie there and smell APs neck for hours. There's something very primal about these strong physical bonds. It's frightening sometimes. I don't feel the "smell" attraction with my partner. I can't smell a thing. It breaks my heart, it makes me think it's not right. But yes, my partner is also very attractive and is good in bed. It is me that's got the problem, I know this.
I was going to post about this yesterday. MM smelled amazing to me while we were involved. In the past few months of NC I've passed him a few times in the hallway and smelled nothing at all.

On the flip side, I read some interesting posts at Chump Lady about this, and many of the BSs wrote in to say that while their husband was having an affair he smelled awful to them!

Interesting stuff...
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Old 22nd November 2017, 3:05 PM   #20
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Birdies - That sounds so traumatic. I'm glad you've found a way forward now. Reconciliations seem very difficult to me too. This is why sometimes I feel like a clean break from both AP and my partner might be simpler. No more lies, no D-day, no one's self esteem shattered. I'm not sure I'm brave enough though or if it's what I want. So much thinking to do.

jah526 - that is so strange! You should start a thread, would be interesting to read if other people had related experiences. My sense of smell is pretty terrible otherwise so I was so surprised to have it so strongly affected by this.
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Old 23rd November 2017, 8:33 AM   #21
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kick_theleaves,

It may not be easier for you to make a clean break, considering how close you all are to one another. Your AP knows your partner, correct? It may be that breaking it off with both will lead to a discovery anyway. People (read: women) tend to lash out and/or talk A LOT following a break up. You never know how either party will respond - yourself included.

In my earlier post, I recommended independent counseling as opposed to writing out your thoughts, because your partner might find your written words. I generally think writing out your *real* thoughts for clarity will help in such a situation, and LS helps with that, too, but you'll have to prepare yourself for a major fallout if you write it on paper. It hasn't really been discussed here whether or not you should confess to your partner. If you plan to continue your relationship with her, you might want to read up on discussions (usually in the infidelity section of this board) for and against confessing. Check the thread started by Totalheadcase; a poster created a link to one such discussion there. These discussions are quite eye-opening.
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Old 26th November 2017, 12:17 PM   #22
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I was in a very similar situation as you, and all I can say is that you are going to utterly blow up your life and completely shatter your partner. You think it hurts now to not have your AP all to yourself? I know - I felt the same way. Trust me, that pain pales in comparison to seeing your partner destroyed in a million pieces because of your selfishness.

You've dug yourself down into a deep deep hole, by having the affair continue long enough to fall in love with your AP. Again, I know the exact feeling. You've gotten in deep enough that there is NO way out without a lot of serious pain and consequences. The choice is up to you, whether those consequences are mostly on you (end the affair and suffer through that process), or whether it's on everyone involved (continue the affair until it blows up - because it WILL, I guarantee - and the fallout destroys not just your life, but your partner, your AP, her partner, etc).

I agree 100% with the previous posters who say you just can't compare the physicality of your affair versus a real relationship. Limerance is a chemical reaction that is completely unable to be reproduced in a regular relationship. I was in an affair and now am in a solid, real relationship with the same man. So my situation is a great "before and after" scientific experiment on limerance, and yes, I'm here to tell you that those fireworks don't last. It's a chemical byproduct of the circumstances of the affair, and comparing it to the sexuality of your real relationship is comparing apples to oranges.

That said, some pairs of people naturally have much more sexual chemistry than other pairs of people. My current relationship, although not fireworks and limerance anymore, still has the best sexual chemistry of any that I have experienced, and I see now how things were lacking previously. If the sexual chemistry is just not there in your relationship, that is a legitimate reason to end it and try to find someone better suited to you. But just realize that nothing can ever compare to the insane highs of an affair.

I suggest you read around on some websites about surviving infidelity to highlight a) how easily your house of cards can come tumbling down (we all think it's under control, up until the moment it all implodes!!) and b) the utter damage done to the people who are betrayed by the spouses or partners. You have a lot on the line right now and you are in a position to choose to avoid most of the damage, or bring it all on.

PS - your AP has told you from the beginning that she is not leaving her husband for you. If that hurts now, it's only going to hurt more and more the longer you stay in the affair. I would use that knowledge to make a wise decision.
Thanks Birdies for this, I agree with much of it. However, there is one point which absolutely assumes the sort of limmerance/high one can get from an affair is not possible in a regular relationship. Now, in my personal experience it absolutely is and the reason I want to stress this is because it would be a shame to feel you 'have' to settle for less than that simply because you believe that 'that sort of euphoria cannot be felt in a regular, honest relationship' whereas that is simply not true. I'm the living proof of that
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Old 29th November 2017, 9:29 AM   #23
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You already know the answer. You’re just afraid. I don’t get why people try to push themselves into relationships where they are not completely happy. That spark is the most important thing. I’m older and lived. I tried to have a marriage without that spark, and it just sucked. We would’ve been great friends, but we should’ve never been lovers, much less married.

This OW may not be who you end up with, but she might just be your lesson to see what you really need in life to be happy and fulfilled. Too many people just go through the motions of living, and they come to the end with deep regrets. Be free until you find the one. I didn’t believe in the one crap until I found mine, in my 40’s.

[]

Sometimes, you go through go through hell, but if it’s right, you’ll know it and it’ll be worth it. Also, when it’s right, it’s mutual. Hang in there! I know how bad it hurts! Much love!

Last edited by LoveShack.org Moderator; 29th November 2017 at 3:56 PM.. Reason: Topical content
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Old 29th November 2017, 12:25 PM   #24
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The spark thing, it's hard for me to judge another person's meaning of the term but there is a difference between being totally unattracted to someone and just not feeling the urge to rip their clothes off on an hourly basis. The first is not fixable but the second is normal and workable. Feeling the ho-hums about sex is normal in a long term marriage. That rush of desire and crazy emotions it typically only found in new or dysfunctional relationships or settings. It is exciting and fun for a while but it's really not a way to live your life.

That does not mean sex cannot be exciting and fun with your partner, it is what you make of it and the product of the work you put into the relationship with your partner and yourself. Are you spending time with your partner, having fun, talking, laughing or are you in separate rooms watching TV. Are you sitting on the couch, 50 lbs overweight eating a bag of chips or are you at the gym and eating green smoothies so your body is feeling good about itself?

I don't normally give specific advice here as people's situations are usually complicated with spouses, kids and money but you are all single with no kids - plus you are 31? I would end the relationship with your girlfriend. Whether or not there is a spark which can be rebuilt, it is such hard work to rebuild after infidelity and without marriage or kids to hold you, what is really the point? I guess if you feel you made a huge mistake, maybe you can tell her the truth and try. It takes a couple of years to fix a relationship, it will all come out and blow up and you will of course have to never speak to this other woman again. How do you feel about that? Or would you rather just move on from both of them and start fresh?

Last edited by MidnightBlue1980; 29th November 2017 at 12:28 PM..
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Old 1st January 2018, 2:53 PM   #25
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Thank you all for the replies. I've not been on here for a few weeks as to be honest I've been in a very low place and disappointed with my own lack of progress. It's also quite difficult to get a long enough period alone in the house to safely go on the computer.

Midnightblue1980, I appreciate the advice. I have to think about your questions more. At this moment I can't face making any of those choices but I know I have to. I keep thinking the clean break (without confessing to the affair) would at least preserve my partner's self esteem. But I'm afraid. It would be a huge loss for me, we might not have kids but we have formed many bonds that will be so painful to untangle. Also it would mean that I would be miserable, single, life in ruins and watching AP carry on her relationship. I don't know how I would get through that. I'm scared of all of it. I know I'm a coward, I guess that's the reason I had the affair in the first place. Scared to face up to my inner truths.

The holidays have been really rough, for many reasons.

The situation with AP during the holidays was much worse this year than last. Even though last year my head was spinning as it was all still fairly new and my emotions were all over the place, we were still partly in the fun flirty stage and I was still hoping that maybe things would work out. I guess as we have got closer emotionally and got more honest with each other, the illusion has started to break. We swapped gifts and have been in touch but it's just awful having someone so close in your life in one way, but not being able to share any meaningful days with them. We spent NYE together last year as a group of friends which was in itself a bit of a disaster but knowing that I couldn't see her at all this year was quite sobering and made me realise how flimsy and cruel all this really is.

I had to spend NYE away from my partner and with my family due to some family issues. I tried to be present in the moment but my family is very messed up just now and it was a strange atmosphere. I spent the entire evening picturing AP and her partner having a lovely evening and sharing a new year's kiss and telling each other how much they love each other. I made myself feel sick, but it's the truth and I need to keep thinking it.

I hope I can find the strength to make changes 2018 so that I'm not right back here next Jan 1st, feeling even worse.
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Old 1st January 2018, 4:54 PM   #26
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I completely understand where you're at. I'm in a similar not-great place of limbo. And my situation is the same - we were much closer last year than this. I got messages about him missing me, and wishing we were closer. But it doesn't mean anything.

Yes, that's exactly it... it's hard to see this person as close to you, or part of a real relationship, when they can't be there for the most important moments of your days. In some ways, this pain may be healthy, bursting that affair bubble to show you reality.

"Flimsy and cruel" are perfect words to describe it. There have been times when I've thought, if I got in a car accident, or something happened to one of my family members, AP wouldn't even know it until I didn't show up at work and he asked around to hear what happened to me.

In a normal friendship, you can call the person, talk to them, and see how they're doing when you're thinking of them or worried. This, with its' layers of secrecy and excitement, does not leave room for the attention or care allowed in a normal friendship. Even though it seems so intimate, you're actually able to be much closer to individuals who are truly just friends.

Sorry about your family troubles. Like you, I hope I continue making the better decisions I've been working on in 2018, and that this is nothing but a bittersweet memory by this time next year.
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Old 7th January 2018, 4:36 PM   #27
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kick_theleaves, I have been meaning to respond to your most recent post. I read despair in your words, and just wanted to offer you a hug:

(((kick_theleaves)))

Quote:
Originally Posted by kick_theleaves View Post
Also it would mean that I would be miserable, single, life in ruins and watching AP carry on her relationship. I don't know how I would get through that. I'm scared of all of it.

... Scared to face up to my inner truths.

... I guess as we have got closer emotionally and got more honest with each other, the illusion has started to break. We swapped gifts and have been in touch but it's just awful having someone so close in your life in one way, but not being able to share any meaningful days with them. We spent NYE together last year as a group of friends which was in itself a bit of a disaster but knowing that I couldn't see her at all this year was quite sobering and made me realise how flimsy and cruel all this really is.

I spent the entire evening picturing AP and her partner having a lovely evening and sharing a new year's kiss and telling each other how much they love each other. I made myself feel sick, but it's the truth and I need to keep thinking it.

I hope I can find the strength to make changes 2018 so that I'm not right back here next Jan 1st, feeling even worse.
These things you mentioned above stood out to me.

You are miserable. You are already watching your AP carry on with her SO, as is normal. You are afraid of these things, but you are already experiencing them. Affairs are one of those painful events that very often forces us to face our inner demons. It seems to me that these inner truths and inner demons are showing themselves to you despite you struggling to keep them at bay. Moreover, I understand that the painful experiences would be quite different and very intense if you were to break up with your SO, but really, you would just be trading one pain for another...
...facing these things that are lurking behind the shadows, just beneath the surface, will change you. It might change you for the better, who knows? But you are currently miserable. What are you going to do about it?

I think it is OK to be afraid. I think it is OK not to know which path is the "right" one. This is when you have to be still and consider all avenues.

Because eventually, you will need to take some action before one is forced upon you. Maybe your inaction will cause further detriment to your mental health, which may end up making you physically sick. Maybe prolonging the inevitable means someone will find out and you won't be able to better control the frame. Maybe things will just stay the same... Who knows? But you will have to do something about it eventually, whether that is internal or external or both.

I, too, hope you will find the mental strength to do what you need to do in 2018 so that we don't have this same conversation this time next year. But if we do, that is OK, too, because we have to do things in our own time sometimes.

Until you can make the changes necessary, I wish you strength and I wish you peace.
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