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Recovery--"work" in progress


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 26th January 2018, 12:36 PM   #16
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Well done, sunrise_sunset! I am impressed by your ability to take action and do, what you feel you have to do - for you. Perhaps it might also have something to do with the fact that you are the one to end things. You have the advantage of being prepared for this.

I work with the EXMM several times a week at the workplace. He ended things, so he had the advantage of being prepared for the next step, I think.
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Old 27th January 2018, 7:25 PM   #17
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Getting Ahead of It...

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Well done, sunrise_sunset! I am impressed by your ability to take action and do, what you feel you have to do - for you. Perhaps it might also have something to do with the fact that you are the one to end things. You have the advantage of being prepared for this.

I work with the EXMM several times a week at the workplace. He ended things, so he had the advantage of being prepared for the next step, I think.
Truth, Taxed. I feel like it was the only thing left I had under my control (ending it). We'd had this looong, drawn out back-and-forth before the holiday period with me in tears saying, "WTF is this" and him saying, "Just relax and don't think so much..." I wanted answers, and he made zero promises -- I knew it was all coming to a close, because it became so clear that our heads were in two different places with this whole ridiculous craziness.

So, it's been OKAY. This past week was actually OKAY. LC, as I continue to maintain, is all I can do in the workplace, but it's very LC now. And it's not terrible. I'm staying busy and feeling better. And you're right -- it all started with trying to get ahead of it (thank you, DKT3 for that suggestion in a different thread) and really understanding that it has no place in my life. We'll see what next week brings. Poppy, I hope to see week-by-week as progress (vs. day-by-day). I long for complete NC, but it is impossible to achieve complete it, as our jobs are peripherally intertwined -- I did hear (not from him, though -- hooray!) that he's been working on a two-year plan to move out of the division as the company grows. Of course, I said to myself: two f*&king years. No, thank you. Working on getting out long before that.
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Old 30th January 2018, 1:36 PM   #18
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Hi there sunrise_sunset, just wanted to offer you well wishes as you move along on your journey to no contact with this xMM. There may be ups and downs, you may feel great one day and terrible the next, but don't give up hope that you will one day make it to true happiness again. Don't give up on you and what it is that you really want - which is to be completely free and clear of being involved in an affair.

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Bolded about being the best MM ever... be wary of those thoughts. I've thought similar but is that really true? Is he always available to you and showering you with gifts on your birthday and holidays? Taking you on nice weekends away? Again the reminder: he is getting from you no strings attached sex. Of course he's wonderful when he graces you with his presence - because what guy won't be for NSA sex?
It took me forever to realize these ^ simple notions... It is best to keep these reminders handy, just in case you start to forget as time goes on. As the OW, we may have been special, but it is also very likely we weren't... or we just weren't that special... people tend to be nice and wonderful, and exhibit other pleasantries, when they are getting things for free (and/or with no strings attached).


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When I'm feeling bad, a thought that used to make me hideously jealous that now just makes me shrug (okay maybe a little jealous still ) is that... he can do this with someone else. Someone else can accept the crumbs. When I really do feel like falling back, I remind myself that he says it was different, he says we were special, but feels like he's done this before.
Interestingly enough, this line of thinking made me feel the exact opposite. I felt like "good riddance" when I thought of him doing the MM/OW thing with someone else My exact thought was, "a sOW would be in for a world of hurt" and "I sure hope she knows what she's getting herself into..." I would also think about him, "You were able to 'get away with it' one time, now you want to try your luck AGAIN?!!!"

However, I was, and still am to a degree, jealous of his wife. So, there's that.

I also secretly thought that he had done the affair thing before, though he claimed he hadn't. It just seemed to me that it is was easy for him. Or perhaps he had been witness to the affairs of others?

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You dumped him. You "pulled the plug" according to your first post. Dude just took a massive hit to his ego and you were the cause. He was in a happy place and you put him in a sad place. You think he feels good about you right now?

He's not "honoring your wishes". He's hurt and pissed off and trying to get over it. At work, thoughts of "you know what, F that B" are going through his head. Given enough time, he won't have those thoughts anymore because he won't be thinking about you at all.

All of that sounds incredibly harsh, I know, but if you want to know what going through that is like from a man's perspective, there you go.
I found the above statements from WorldInMyEyes incredibly insightful. Despite the guilt I feel for my part in helping to make a mess of xMM's and my own lives, my overreaching final thoughts are that I ended things to stem the damage and give both of us a starting place to do better in our lives. My hope is that one day we'll both realize that ending it was the best outcome we could've had.

Last edited by Vivir; 30th January 2018 at 1:39 PM..
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Old 30th January 2018, 7:41 PM   #19
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Vivir, I'm envious too of MMs wife. I imagine his sweetness, kindness and cleverness at home, and am jealous that she gets that day in and day out. In reality, he's probably gone from home a lot, flirting with his female coworkers, trying to shirk out of changing poopy diapers (there's a romantic image) and doing generally whatever he wants when he can get away with it. So I try to remind myself that I don't know the reality of what his wife has to deal with. I try to imagine it's not great. But then I remember that their marriages aren't usually as bad as they make them out to be, and I'm just sad. Oh well.

Sunrise_Sunset - we are in the same place I feel. The LC has been so much better for me. I've cut off all contact at home and made myself unavailable outside of work hours. It's helped me return to some sort of normalcy. Same with the boundary making. Before, when he was doing some pseudo relationship and contacting me whenever he wanted - well, it's completely crazy making. Before, I felt like he was putting me in a box. Now, I feel like I don't have a box... if anything, I put him in a box that only exists in my work life.

(So that sounds healthy. Now I'm just compartmentalizing too? But really... it has been helpful for me to realize exactly how little any of his life has to do with me.)

And yeah, it's okay.
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Old 30th January 2018, 10:52 PM   #20
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It really is okay. This time feels different in so many respects, and I am so glad to hear from you and Vivir. I'm grateful for the check-ins, because each day continues to get better, and I want to come here and share that. I have done the exact same, Bourne. I feel good that there has been absolute NC outside the office. This is huge, because I used to stare at that phone constantly after hours, hoping/waiting/expecting a text or a call. I'm closing in on a month now, and I've let go of all those hopes. I don't expect to hear a thing now.

At work, there have been a few attempts on his part to engage me in a conversation, and I just keep right on moving along. I'm not rude, I'm not fake happy, I'm just moving. THAT feels good. My focus even at the workplace is getting clearer -- I can't even begin to explain how many minutes, hours of my time have been consumed with thoughts of him. And in these last couple of months, it was me just grasping at anything. I have this image in my head of him running away, while I was chasing him around, going, "But wait! Wait! What about meeeeeee?" -- no more.

That's not to say my mind hasn't wandered. I have always been envious of his gorgeous wife, too. I'm with you there. And she's of course funny and sweet, on top of everything else. He always told me that this was his first A. No way. I cannot believe that any longer. I now choose to believe that he is an expert in his words, his actions -- I ain't his first rodeo. And I won't be his last. But I'm here to say that even in my recent low moments of wonder and sadness over everything we shared -- it is far better than the low moments I was having in WHILE I was in the A. The self-doubt. The anger. The angst. The lack of control, sleep, and the exorbitant amount of tears and frustration. It is no way to live. Keep on talking! I need to hear it!
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Old 31st January 2018, 12:09 AM   #21
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But I'm here to say that even in my recent low moments of wonder and sadness over everything we shared -- it is far better than the low moments I was having in WHILE I was in the A. The self-doubt. The anger. The angst. The lack of control, sleep, and the exorbitant amount of tears and frustration. It is no way to live. Keep on talking! I need to hear it!
What words did you use to end things with him?

Curious since I have my own thing going on right now with a MW and the whole "sit around for days waiting for the next contact when it's convenient for her" is starting to wear really, really thin. The few moments of pleasure we share are not worth the subsequent days of anxiety. Women have been chasing after me my whole life and now I find myself checking my stupid phone every few seconds in the hopes that I'll get a text/call/email from someone who places me way down the totem pole of her priorities? LOL, **** that.

Your story is inspiring to me as you seem to be a few steps ahead of where I'd like to be someday soon.
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Old 31st January 2018, 6:10 PM   #22
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Oh man, World. I feel like there are so many others here who are more eloquent with The Big Exit. But I'll tell you a few things: While most As are similar, the choices in getting past them vary. I get it that NC is key -- but you gotta be ready. Tell me more about your A -- client, right? So there's a work element in this. How often do you see each other, and is this an EA or PA -- or both? The office situation is really the challenge here, as it is for many others, including myself (especially recently -- seeing more threads on these freaking office scenarios). It's virtually impossible if you see the person on a consistent basis.

From what I can tell, she seems to have thrown you off your game, since you're the one who's used to being pursued. Must be nice, dammit!

I, too, was the lowest of low on his totem pole of priorities. Every so often, I'd get bumped to the TOP! It felt amazing up there! Until it didn't, and I was back to the bottom. Existing at that bottom sucks your soul right out of you. Those are the lows I'm talking about. I was done by late last year. I'd tried to be done a few times over 2016 but still held out little bits of hope that he'd come back. It got worse every time, our communication became total crap, too -- until there was seriously nothing left to even fight for.

So, here's what I said to end it (paraphrasing here, as I deleted everything I've written): "This is over. It should have ended long ago, but I kept trying to be okay with this whole situation. I'm not -- I'm in way over my head here, and I can't breathe anymore. I have to end this."

That was seriously about it. He never responded. Two years wrapped up in a text message. Nothing back.

So -- ask yourself: Are you ready to pull the plug too? What do you WANT out of this? That's probably a good place to start. Keep us posted!
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Old 31st January 2018, 6:15 PM   #23
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Oh and today hasn't been stellar: I heard him in the hall talking about the new car his wife just got. I was floored -- it doesn't get any fancier. I thought to myself, "I'm just a plain boring SUV and she's a fancy Range Rover." I am still trying to let go of that way of thinking.

A's get your head all turned around. I'm NOT fxxking plain and boring! But this mess has made me feel that way for so long. Working to turn around those moments. I can be a freaking Maserati if I want to!
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Old 31st January 2018, 9:24 PM   #24
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Although MM and I don't work together, we know the same group of people socially and will run into each other from time to time without a doubt. We certainly hear about each other through mutual acquaintances, most who are unaware of the A.

I didn't have or feel the need for an exit speech. We had so many conversations over the almost 3 years we were together that covered everything, there was nothing left to be said. By his failure to change the situation he showed me he was willing to lose me. So he did. I just got to my breaking point and stopped responding to xMM. He stopped trying 3 weeks ago, he knows the score, he knows unless his situation changes I'm out.

For the first time I realized it just hurts more to keep holding on than to let go. The pain of NC can be brutal at times, but I know holding on is so much more damaging to me in the long run. I want to heal and be available for a healthy relationship in the near future.
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Old 1st February 2018, 12:51 AM   #25
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Oh man, World. I feel like there are so many others here who are more eloquent with The Big Exit. But I'll tell you a few things: While most As are similar, the choices in getting past them vary. I get it that NC is key -- but you gotta be ready. Tell me more about your A -- client, right? So there's a work element in this. How often do you see each other, and is this an EA or PA -- or both? The office situation is really the challenge here, as it is for many others, including myself (especially recently -- seeing more threads on these freaking office scenarios). It's virtually impossible if you see the person on a consistent basis.

From what I can tell, she seems to have thrown you off your game, since you're the one who's used to being pursued. Must be nice, dammit!

I, too, was the lowest of low on his totem pole of priorities. Every so often, I'd get bumped to the TOP! It felt amazing up there! Until it didn't, and I was back to the bottom. Existing at that bottom sucks your soul right out of you. Those are the lows I'm talking about. I was done by late last year. I'd tried to be done a few times over 2016 but still held out little bits of hope that he'd come back. It got worse every time, our communication became total crap, too -- until there was seriously nothing left to even fight for.

So, here's what I said to end it (paraphrasing here, as I deleted everything I've written): "This is over. It should have ended long ago, but I kept trying to be okay with this whole situation. I'm not -- I'm in way over my head here, and I can't breathe anymore. I have to end this."

That was seriously about it. He never responded. Two years wrapped up in a text message. Nothing back.

So -- ask yourself: Are you ready to pull the plug too? What do you WANT out of this? That's probably a good place to start. Keep us posted!
Sun/sun, I don't want to hijack your thread so I'll keep it brief (mini-hijack alert). I only have to see my MW a few times a year and it's nothing more than an EA. The wild gaps in communication (one second, then suddenly one week+ to respond to a text, really?) are becoming too much. Women have always approached me in bars/clubs/anywhere without me having to do anything but just stand there (no, it's not always nice since most of the attention is unwanted). Anyway, I don't feel like I have to put up with my MW's crap anymore.

What do I want? I want my thing with her to end. What do I REALLY want? Her.

*End mini-hijack*

Back to you, it must be awful having to see that guy every day. I haven't experienced something like that since I broke up with a girl back in college when we still had a class together. Every time I saw her walk inside the classroom I felt almost physically ill. You have to deal with that every day, no wonder you want a new job! Best of luck in your search. : )
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Old 2nd February 2018, 9:41 AM   #26
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Vivir, I'm envious too of MMs wife. I imagine his sweetness, kindness and cleverness at home, and am jealous that she gets that day in and day out.
Not a MM, but I was once both a BW and a WW.

My exH could be sweet and charming...in small doses. He talked a good game, too, and gave the impression of being a great guy. Truth was, he lied about lying, was hugely irresponsible, was a filthy slob, didn't help with the house or the kids at all, was occasionally physically abusive, and so on. No, really, I could go on. Point is, the "great guy" a few of his OW believed him to be didn't exist.

For my end, I had OM who thought I hung the moon. Yet, at home with exH, I was a totally different person. I was a bitter shrew stuck in a "for the kids" marriage to someone I loathed and only acted like Mrs. Sunshine when people were around.

There was a LOT of keeping up appearances.



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Oh and today hasn't been stellar: I heard him in the hall talking about the new car his wife just got. I was floored -- it doesn't get any fancier. I thought to myself, "I'm just a plain boring SUV and she's a fancy Range Rover." I am still trying to let go of that way of thinking.
And all she has to do to keep that awesome vehicle is remain married to a liar and cheater who has zero actual love and respect for her.
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I will not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. I will face my fear. I will let it pass through me. Where the fear has gone, there shall be nothing. Only I will remain." - Litany Against Fear
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Old 2nd February 2018, 6:10 PM   #27
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LOL MJ. I put xMM up so high on a pedestal, he was like some kind of God after a while -- what was that line from Footloose? "You can lift a congregation up so high, they have to look down to see heaven." My xMM could do no wrong by me, for such a long time. I thought EVERYTHING he did was amazing. It's crazy. The obsession and the fog can actually turn people into non-human beings! I'm away from that fog for nearly a month now, and my days are so much calmer....well, my nights are anyway. Full NC for close to a month, and limited LC still at the office. No more contact this week at work, outside of those couple of attempts to engage -- to which I literally quickened my step and kept it professional as I zipped away!

I realized as I drove home tonight that I made it through the WEEK. It's the first week I haven't tried to just get to the next day. There's this little lingering piece of my mind that says, "Slow down honey, you are still so new to all of this, it hasn't been THAT long..." -- but when the fear or doubt or sadness starts to creep in, I'm coming here. I'm reading. I'm listening. And I have to continue to hold myself accountable here! It is all helping...
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Old 2nd February 2018, 6:32 PM   #28
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Vivir, I'm envious too of MMs wife. I imagine his sweetness, kindness and cleverness at home, and am jealous that she gets that day in and day out. In reality, he's probably gone from home a lot, flirting with his female coworkers, trying to shirk out of changing poopy diapers (there's a romantic image) and doing generally whatever he wants when he can get away with it. So I try to remind myself that I don't know the reality of what his wife has to deal with. I try to imagine it's not great. But then I remember that their marriages aren't usually as bad as they make them out to be, and I'm just sad. Oh well.

Sunrise_Sunset - we are in the same place I feel. The LC has been so much better for me. I've cut off all contact at home and made myself unavailable outside of work hours. It's helped me return to some sort of normalcy. Same with the boundary making. Before, when he was doing some pseudo relationship and contacting me whenever he wanted - well, it's completely crazy making. Before, I felt like he was putting me in a box. Now, I feel like I don't have a box... if anything, I put him in a box that only exists in my work life.

(So that sounds healthy. Now I'm just compartmentalizing too? But really... it has been helpful for me to realize exactly how little any of his life has to do with me.)

And yeah, it's okay.
Why would you envy his wife?
The grubs is using her love and trust to betray her.... Is that what you want for yourself?
I think you should aim higher for yourself.

Poppy.
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Old 2nd February 2018, 10:22 PM   #29
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Bit of a Setback...

Oh man. I had a big ole' setback tonight...just after posting earlier, too! Was out with kids and MM spotted me driving. He called my cell (which is used for both work and personal) -- and I picked UP. I remember staring at the number and just clicking it on. I don't even remember thinking twice about that, either. Anyway, it was this weird, brief chat -- kind of like "What are YOU doing around here?" "Me? What are YOU doing here?" -- neither of us lives in the immediate area, and after a couple of awkward laughs about it being such a coincidence and we were saying goodbye, I blurted out, "Call me later" -- as I would have always done in the past. I immediately regretted it, and he didn't even acknowledge it -- just blew it off to the side and quickly said good night -- I did the same and just about hung up on him. It's almost as if both of us realized we weren't supposed to be having this conversation. Oh but it threw me off my game, and it was so hard to return to my kids and concentrate on THEM. But I did. And I'm ok. And all these awful feelings will pass, right?

Sigh. Back to OOO NC (out of office no contact?) tomorrow. I feel lousy, in the words of ScoutJr.
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Old 3rd February 2018, 12:53 AM   #30
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Oh man. I had a big ole' setback tonight...just after posting earlier, too! Was out with kids and MM spotted me driving. He called my cell (which is used for both work and personal) -- and I picked UP. I remember staring at the number and just clicking it on. I don't even remember thinking twice about that, either. Anyway, it was this weird, brief chat -- kind of like "What are YOU doing around here?" "Me? What are YOU doing here?" -- neither of us lives in the immediate area, and after a couple of awkward laughs about it being such a coincidence and we were saying goodbye, I blurted out, "Call me later" -- as I would have always done in the past. I immediately regretted it, and he didn't even acknowledge it -- just blew it off to the side and quickly said good night -- I did the same and just about hung up on him. It's almost as if both of us realized we weren't supposed to be having this conversation. Oh but it threw me off my game, and it was so hard to return to my kids and concentrate on THEM. But I did. And I'm ok. And all these awful feelings will pass, right?

Sigh. Back to OOO NC (out of office no contact?) tomorrow. I feel lousy, in the words of ScoutJr.
Sunrise - these setbacks are common in the early days. Iím sure people will write that you shouldnít have answered the phone in the first place but the truth is your hearts pounds, you freeze and are paralysed by indecision in that very moment.

More importantly, itís what you choose to do NOW moving forwards that counts the most. You either dwell on it, start feeling nostalgic and start missing him or you go **** happens, the situation is not going to change and straight back into NC.

There is great danger in the couple of laughs you shared (awkward as they were!), because itís very easy to slip back in to what used to feel normal and to view the interaction as more then it really was.
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