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Encouragement


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 9th February 2018, 3:56 PM   #1
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Encouragement

I just wanted to post something that I was thinking about today hoping it can encourage others. For any newcomers, I was an OW in a LTA with a MM, and my journey has been chronicled here from the first time I firmly decided to go NC. This forum was an incredible source of support that helped me get through the toughest times, and I learned so very much from others here both through their responses to my posts and their own stories. Also, I will be referring to the MM/MW using masculine pronouns because it is my frame of reference from my own story, but certainly those are interchangeable with feminine pronouns as applicable for others. I recognize that OM have similar experiences as OW. (The parallels between what OW and OM has been enlightening to me--and I especially appreciate those men who have had the courage to be emotionally vulnerable on this forum--thank you for improving my opinion of the male population and the lessons you have taught me!)

On to my thoughts from today:
During and just after the A one of the biggest questions everyone seems to face is, "Does/did the MM love/care about me? Was I just being used?" This is certainly one of the biggest questions I struggled with. It kept me in limbo internally between "He's a selfish ass who used me--I hate him." and "He was a misguided soul who was doing his best under the circumstances--I love him!"

People, release yourself from this terror and agony! I know it is crazy difficult! It is much easier said than done. I finally came around by realizing that the answer to that question does not matter AT ALL!!! What does matter is the fact that he was not willing to behave in a way that honored me, loved me, valued me He was not willing to do the things that made me feel special and valued/loved/honored. He was thinking about himself 98% of the time. The worst part of this is I let him do it and I made excuses for it. I lowered my standards for him--because I never had been an OW I would think he's not doing xyz because he's limited in his situation (married!). Then, I would think, he's still married because (fill in the blank with excuse du jour), and my personal favorite excuse I'd make for him was that he's scared. Wow! I ended up demanding so little of him, that he gave less and less as time went on. I hate to think of what he must have been thinking in his pea brain about me and my kindness/generosity. I'm sure at least a part of him was thinking, "Damn, this FREE candy tastes pretty good and it is so convenient for me."

OW/OM: hear me now! NO, JUST NO! NO MORE, NOT ANOTHER DAY! LOVE YOURSELF MORE THAN YOU LOVE YOUR BELOVED! Take care of yourself, do all kind things you wanted to do for your beloved for YOURSELF. Be especially kind to yourself while you are picking up the pieces of your broken heart and mind. It will feel amazing once you get the hang of it. Know what I love more than xMM now? Veggies! Crazy but true.

And yeah, I still have some anger, but it's healthy anger--it's the kind of anger that keeps me out of trouble with xMM. Until that jackass can meet me on my level, reaches out to me with a meaningful heartfelt apology for treating me so poorly, demonstrate he has done the work on himself to no longer be the selfish, rude little pig he was to me, has become a much better person, and obviously have no further contact with his BS, he will not get so much as a "I hope you are doing well" from me! And I have very low expectations that he would accomplish just one of those things let alone all that I require. So life goes on without him! And even if that miracle happened, I'm still not sure I'd want him because he is getting old and is not as financially secure as he should be given his career and age especially after divorce which means he could become a major burden to me in multiple ways, and added to this I know all the UGLY he is capable of!

The moment I was finally able to free my energy from 'will he/won't he this, that, and the other,' I began to feel amazing and energetic. My zest for life came back. Now I don't care what he's doing or not doing or what he will or won't do BECAUSE HE'S NOT DOING ANYTHING NOW TO ENHANCE MY LIFE AND NOW IS ALL THAT MATTERS! Live your lives, my friends. Enjoy every second, and never allow someone to rob you of your joy, especially someone who shows up to extract more than they are willing to give.

Last edited by HadMeOverABarrel; 9th February 2018 at 4:01 PM..
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Old 9th February 2018, 7:02 PM   #2
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Thank you for this!! Just what I needed to hear
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Old 9th February 2018, 7:23 PM   #3
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Question Wow.

Just... wow. Do you have any sense of your own position in hurting that spouse?

You stated "and obviously have no further contact with his BS"
right after you outlined all the reasons he's not been a good partner to her OR you.

I'm sorry if this is too harsh and I really like a lot of what you shared here. It's just that one part that is hanging me up.
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Old 9th February 2018, 8:24 PM   #4
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It's funny how clarity comes when you wake up isn't it.

You pretty much hit this on the head but most will not listen but I'm glad for you.

Now you get to have a life
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Old 9th February 2018, 11:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chrionaa99 View Post
Just... wow. Do you have any sense of your own position in hurting that spouse?

You stated "and obviously have no further contact with his BS"
right after you outlined all the reasons he's not been a good partner to her OR you.

I'm sorry if this is too harsh and I really like a lot of what you shared here. It's just that one part that is hanging me up.
Hi Chrionaa,
I get it, but what I am saying is I have both privately and now publicly made the declaration that I will not play second fiddle to his BS or anyone other than God when it comes to my romantic partner of choice. Realize that this post is only about me, my enlightened view of my personal experiences, and not at all about his BS.

I don't know, nor will likely ever know, what his spouse experienced or didn't experience. From what I observed from her Facebook, she seemed pretty unaffected especially when he and I were closest. I attribute that to 1) he was probably excellent at duping her (he sure had me going hook, line, and sinker at one period, and even told me stories of manipulating his own father at times for money), and 2) he marginalized and compartmentalized me so much, esp with his "email only" policy that he probably forgot I existed whenever he was playing his hubby role.

In any case, I can only go by what I know for certain...and that is he is a master at conflict avoidance and manipulation. He often stonewalled, avoided answering questions, did what he liked without much concern for my preferences or feelings, and so on. That means he very likely treats her the same way, and now that I've been on the miserable receiving end of that treatment, I'm pretty sure he has done all kinds of things to undermine and frustrate her over the course of their marriage. The A was just another facet of his usual MO in how he handles his marriage. That doesn't excuse it, but I believe that woman has put up with boat loads of crap from him from long before he pursued me. He told me he had 2 or 3 A's before me.

The most important point though is we each have to be accountable for ourselves and our actions, but that doesn't mean we are responsible for other people's actions or emotions. I won't spend my energy on conjecture about why she tolerates his behavior (although I think she is pretty cozy with the lifestyle he provides her while she needn't do much in return). The fact is she has clearly decided that she is ok with his behavior by the fact that she is where she is. Don't assume she's such a naive woman---she's not! She has decided the benefits she's deriving outweigh the hassles. The day that changes is the day she will leave him!

Also, I will not get into a self-destructive cycle of beating myself up over a belief that I wounded her, etc. The absolute fact is I have no idea if my "friendship" (as he called it) had any impact on her whatsoever. For anyone who wants to project their shame onto me, I suggest they do some deep inner work on themselves to understand what in my post triggered that in them. I can not nor will not be responsible for other people's emotions or outcomes for their own choices. I can only be responsible for myself, do the best I can under the circumstances, and become a better version of myself from learning from my and others' mistakes.

I can say that I was respectful of not interfering with his job, his adult kids, other family members, or directly asserting myself to his BS. While not ideal to have any involvement with a MM, at least I didn't do anything directly to cause anyone grief.

Give the BS credit and don't (falsely) assume she is a weak, wounded, stupid little bird who is a helpless victim. She is not. She is actually quite strong, cunning, has a very bitter tongue, judgmental, and wears the pants (all this discerned from my own first hand knowledge of her). She controls every aspect of xMM's life including where he works (for years he's been wanting to quit and go back out on his own but she won't support him so he stays in a job he loathes--he is making his own trade off here.) She is where she is because she chooses to be there. She has consciously made the decision that what she has is better than another option.

To drive the point home, during one of my therapy sessions, I related a story that was disturbing me to my counselor about family member X. Someone had assisted X on legally qualifying for disability payments and then moved X into their home, collected rent, and made themselves legal guardian of X's monthly benefit payments. Can you see how this person manipulated X for their own financial gain? It is a nicer version of a pimp whoring out a prostitute. I was upset to see X caught up in this. My counselor responded,"It's a trade off. X has given up control for the convenience of being taken care of, not having to take responsibility for himself. X is choosing that arrangement because X is getting what he wants from it." I still didn't like that X was being exploited, but at least I understood better. Then again, is he being exploited?...because he's going along with it after all. I see it as exploitation because there's no chance I'd trade my liberty that way, but X and I have totally different paradigms. BS is like X in my story. She's made a trade off in her mind...luxury (and whatever else) for his philandering and other difficult traits.

The short answer is...so long as xMM chooses his M, or his BS chooses to remain with him, I'm no longer going to poison myself by being involved with him. IF they ever D, I would need certainty that he is totally done, healed, grown from the end of his M before I would take him seriously (plus all my other criteria). I have learned and grown from this experience. As a result, I am making better choices.

Last edited by HadMeOverABarrel; 10th February 2018 at 12:33 AM.. Reason: typos
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Old 10th February 2018, 1:46 AM   #6
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Hmm, I think the fact that you have left the door open is telling. A part of you is clearly still pinning for this guy and hoping he will come back. I'm not sure that is all that encouraging for those struggling to get out if it, because you aren't REALLY out, more like in remission. Also, saying that you don't believe your part in an affair impacted his wife, and attacking her is also telling.

All and all, this thread has a fake it til you make it feel to it.

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Old 10th February 2018, 2:52 AM   #7
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Hmm, I think the fact that you have left the door open is telling. A part of you is clearly still pinning for this guy and hoping he will come back. I'm not sure that is all that encouraging for those struggling to get out if it, because you aren't REALLY out, more like in remission. Also, saying that you don't believe your part in an affair impacted his wife, and attacking her is also telling.

All and all, this thread has a fake it til you make it feel to it.
Hi, I respectfully disagree. I know what I feel, and I've been completely genuine in stating such (or else you wouldn't be challenging me by twisting my own words--if I wasn't genuine would I have stated the terms in which I would accept him, terms in which I 99% expect will never come to fruition?)

Also you glossed over where I followed up by saying I have very low expectations of him accomplishing just one of my requirements let alone all of them, which all of them is the standard. If that sounds like pining to you, I think you are confused. How is saying I won't accept the $hit sandwich anymore leaving the door open? You must have a ton of blind faith in this xMM making a miraculous turn around--much more faith than I do. More importantly, you are missing the entire point of the post, which is a discussion about the shift within me to never again accept less. It's just silly to say I'm pining--nowhere am I whimsical or sad or blah blah.

What I said was I have no idea how or IF I impacted BS, not that I don't believe I did. You can call my comments about her attacking, but that is a misread. My intent, which you totally blew past (yet again), is that she's not dainty or weak, etc. I also said she is strong and not dumb, and those are compliments, not so? I find it amusing that you say I attacked her for pointing out some of her darker (and true) traits, but you omitted my attacking xMM, which was even more like an attack since I called him names and criticized his behavior throughout...I guess omitting that was more in line with your fallacious belief that I'm pining for him. Now if it bothers you that I've pointed out her traits, then ask yourself why. Ask yourself why you are so quick to assume something not stated, too, and is contraindicated throughout. This is a great example of someone reading and interpreting what they want to see and then projecting their own beliefs onto it.

Regarding her traits, I know her to an extent, whereas you nor anyone else on LS know her not at all. Why is making a true statement about someone's personality traits an attack? I guess you also missed the context of why I said what I said about those traits which pertained to her having a strong, take charge personality rather than a weak, victim-like one. Calling this an attack is exaggerated.

Oh, and hoo boy, calling my thread a fake is hilarious! I am one of the most genuine, no nonsense people anyone could hope to meet. I don't BS. I don't play games. I tell people exactly what's up regardless of my relation to them or how powerful they are. I don't tolerate nonsense (excepting xMM in the past)...But you don't know me I realize beyond my LS posts.

Don't twist my words. Do be sure you have a solid comprehension of what I've stated before commenting. Read, re-read, and re-read again if necessary.

I know what I know. I feel what I feel. No-one will undermine or devalue that. You are not going to re-write my OP or taint it by twisting it around and trying to change its context. Carry on...
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Old 10th February 2018, 3:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by HadMeOverABarrel View Post
Hi, I respectfully disagree. <Snip>
Low expectations is still expectations.

Bottom line is indifference, you are not there. Indifference would mean NO expectations, it would mean not caring about the marriage dynamic of these people. You are still very much emotionally tangled up with him and Thier life.

My concern is other may see in this what I see and feel more hopeless about Thier situation.

No doubt you are making progress, but clearly not there.

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Old 10th February 2018, 3:04 AM   #9
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It's funny how clarity comes when you wake up isn't it.

You pretty much hit this on the head but most will not listen but I'm glad for you.

Now you get to have a life
Marc, I just wanted to come back and thank you for getting that I got it (finally! thank God!). I've read a lot of what you've written around here, and I perceive you to be a no-nonsense, call-it-as-you-see-it kind of guy. I appreciate it.
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Old 10th February 2018, 3:18 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by DKT3 View Post
Low expectations is still expectations.

Bottom line is indifference, you are not there. Indifference would mean NO expectations, it would mean not caring about the marriage dynamic of these people. You are still very much emotionally tangled up with him and Thier life.

My concern is other may see in this what I see and feel more hopeless about Thier situation.

No doubt you are making progress, but clearly not there.
Dude, you are still missing the point. I feel like I'm on Venus and you're on planet X. I feel indifference about him (like I stated in OP I finally don't give a crap anymore about what he's doing or not and it feels AH-MAZ-ING!!! Feels better than I've felt since I first met him. I'm not indifferent about how much of my life was flushed down the toilet by being involved with him...probably never will be since it's a loss I will never recoup.

I commented on the dynamic in response to another LS poster who asked about the impact on his wife...to answer her question, not because I'm caught up in their life--I clearly said MULTIPLE TIMES IN MULTIPLE WAYS that so long as he doesn't deliver on all points, I will not poison myself with this situation. Oh. and you missed that I love veggies more than him...because I put all my focus back on me and what is healthy for me...and it ain't pining over a MM! Are you even reading what I'm writing? You need to re-read my OP.

I hope others caught up in this nightmare of a situation as OM/OW will see there really is light at the end of the tunnel WITHOUT the WW. And if someone feels hopeless about WW's, they should, because until a MM/MW is no longer M (if ever), it is a hopeless situation...which is why I said stop waiting and start living!

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Old 10th February 2018, 3:25 AM   #11
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I don't want you to misunderstand my point. I read alot of your stuff here but until now didn't comment. I think your doing great, I think you are making real progress. My issue (issue for lack of a better word) is you are still too concerned about them. I'm not going to argue about indifference, just saying your words are not indifferent.

You're saying and doing alot of good stuff, except for the "low expectation" thing.

Question, why would you still consider a relationship with this guy?
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Old 10th February 2018, 3:57 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by DKT3 View Post
I don't want you to misunderstand my point. I read alot of your stuff here but until now didn't comment. I think your doing great, I think you are making real progress. My issue (issue for lack of a better word) is you are still too concerned about them. I'm not going to argue about indifference, just saying your words are not indifferent.

You're saying and doing alot of good stuff, except for the "low expectation" thing.

Question, why would you still consider a relationship with this guy?
It's not so much that I'm considering a relationship with him as it is that I won't speak in absolutes about the future...on anything at all. I learned at a young age we don't know what will happen or what we will do even though we say we will never do something. Never say never as the saying goes. I believe the probability is very slim about this situation, but 20 years from now or whatever, I can't know what life will bring at that time so I won't pretend to know exact outcomes by speaking in absolutes. The most important thing that I'm focused on is taking the best possible care of myself and doing things that enhance/enrich my life and health while eliminating anything contrary to that end. Pining for a MM is clearly contrary.

Or to put it another way...this isn't about him (anymore--what a relief). This is about me.

I'll add a short anecdote that was memorable in my turning point. I went to a resort for vacation a few weeks ago. While there I had a 2 hours massage, and it was incredibly painful from all the tension I had stored up in my body. I had tension in places I never felt it in before like in my elbows and forearms. As I laid there wincing in pain during what should have been relaxing and soothing, I thought to myself "This is what being involved with xMM has done to me. I have internalized all this stress over him, and now I have tons of toxicity built up in my body. Not only has this affected my emotional/mental well-being, and cost me in so many other ways, it is making me physically sick. And undoing this is torturous pain as well. No more! It isn't worth destroying my whole self for a crumb of a crumb of a crumb!" From then, I decided anything toxic from foods to people to situations are out and only things/people that bring me health and happiness are in!! My health is first from now on and I've been making monumental changes to support that. No more cola, no more xMM, no more anything that doesn't contribute to the best version of myself!

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Old 10th February 2018, 2:24 PM   #13
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It sounds like you're moving past wondering why he did what he did, which is a wise move on your part.

In the end, his motives don't matter. you could have wasted more mental energy and time trying to figure him out, but to what end? What good would that have done for you?
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Old 10th February 2018, 11:31 PM   #14
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I don't want you to misunderstand my point. I read alot of your stuff here but until now didn't comment. I think your doing great, I think you are making real progress. My issue (issue for lack of a better word) is you are still too concerned about them. I'm not going to argue about indifference, just saying your words are not indifferent.

You're saying and doing alot of good stuff, except for the "low expectation" thing.

Question, why would you still consider a relationship with this guy?
Have to say, I wondered about this too. He’s admitted to several prior affairs. He’s not going to change. This is his MO - serial cheater. I guess if you can live with that, then ok. I know I couldn’t.
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Old 10th February 2018, 11:59 PM   #15
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It sounds like you're moving past wondering why he did what he did, which is a wise move on your part.

In the end, his motives don't matter. you could have wasted more mental energy and time trying to figure him out, but to what end? What good would that have done for you?

Nada, no good at all. Being stuck in that loop is a life sucking curse. I can't get over the elation I feel at being free from it! After being in that horrible mental torture for so long I feel almost a constant high now. And just to be clear, it is a totally natural high. I don't take any substances or pills, smoke anything, drink anything besides water and tea...it's just the greatest feeling to be free again.
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