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The Trigger and the Fallout

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 29th September 2017, 12:09 PM   #16
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wmacbride and Sunshinechica, thank you for your responses You're both right; I have been using my experiences to learn and grow, to morph into a more aware and better boundaried person. Unfortunately, there has been so much unavailability in my former relationships that I don't fully trust my judgment in the present and fear making more disastrous mistakes in the future. I appreciate the sentiment, and agree, that all of our experiences have helped to create who we are today. The past cannot be changed, so a future potential SO will either accept me or deny me, and both of us will have to learn to be OK with that choice.

What Did I Do and Anika99, you both make good points, respectively about determining whether or not disclosure would be beneficial to the new relationship and about it being a personal choice...

And Southwardbound, I agree with you that it should definitely be disclosed at some point, preferably before, during a long-term relationship... and, of course MidnightBlue, your words continue to inspire and motivate me.

With that said, I absolutely would not disclose on a first date. The first guy I dated after the A, I specifically did not tell him on the first date. I was adamant with myself that "I am single!" and it wasn't his business at all. However, I did tell him about it three months in - after I sensed that things were becoming more serious. He was upset that I had not told him sooner, and he stopped dating me for a month. We resumed dating, but later when he point blank asked me, I was honest that the MM was still in my life as a "friend" (at the time, I had not yet learned that we could not be friends). It was at this point that he stopped seeing me altogether. I can't blame him; not only was the MM still in my life, I wasn't over him at all. I had been working things out in my head, but THE END had not yet come.

Also, Anika99 and Southwardbound, I agree with you both about my friend. I do wonder how his wife will take it when she finds out. I am almost positive that he would disclose if she were to ask him directly if he had ever been involved in an affair. Maybe it hasn't occurred to her to ask, or she doesn't want to know... Right now, he is not borrowing trouble, but other people see what he has not said as a lie by omission - which would require other lies to keep it hidden. I agree that it can very likely create a serious problem for them down the road.

Bittersweetie, thank you for your response, I agree that it is very difficult to rewire oneself. In facing the truth of my affair and the truth of living without boundaries for so long and also accepting being treated as Less Than for many, many years, I feel that my change is inevitable at this point. Mostly, I have realized that there are problems with my way(s) of thinking and my behavior; the negative doesn't make me feel good and detracts from my well-being.

*I literally have to do something* or I will keep on hurting myself. Life is too short to live it in pain and misery.

I realize I have actually changed somewhat already. I have opted out of the affair and have consciously continued to remain opted out. There was at least one other guy attempting to yo-yo his way back into my life with breadcrumbs, and I have effectively cut that string. I will need to come to terms with my past actions and find a way to forgive myself and accept myself despite what I have done. Then, maybe one day, I will recognize that others may or may not accept me - as is their prerogative. No matter what, I hope to get to a point where I will not define or characterize myself in a dehumanizing manner, such as calling myself "tarnished". Perhaps the acceptance I long for is my own.

Last edited by Vivir; 29th September 2017 at 12:30 PM..
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Old 29th September 2017, 12:34 PM   #17
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jah 526, thank you so much for your words. I would like to express to you my condolences on the loss of your mother. In my experience, and I am betting you feel the same, losing her was the most significant loss of my life. The effects have lasted this long, and I expect I will always feel it. Over time, I have learned that this, and those similar, are not ones we actually "get over". For those of us who survive, we simply learn to live with them and we incorporate such losses into our lives. I agree with you that she is with me; I carry her in my heart, she exists in my memory, and I feel that I honor her when I am on my best behavior. Thank you again, jah526, for your words. I truly appreciate them.

When I reread that last paragraph, I felt I had been a tad dramatic; however, it was how I felt. Tears were coming before I even opened my eyes. Whenever I wonder if I love someone, I remember the love I felt for my mom. Whenever I am trying to show myself love, I try to treat me like I treated her. I was happy when I did something that made her happy; in fact, I specifically tried to make her happy with little and big acts and/or words. And her sadness made me sad.

I still care deeply for the ex married man, maybe I care for the person I created in my mind, who I assumed him to be. My tears were mostly because I gave him up, this creation of him, when I still wanted his presence in my life. I am having a hard time reconciling that he used me to the extent he probably did, that he didn't care for me the same, that he never actually wanted me in the way I wanted him. During these times where he has been gone from my life, and now that he is gone-gone, I realize that because I have endured the loss of my parents, I will eventually be OK with the loss of him. Of course, it is different, but still. As much as it hurts me, I know that one day I will see my way out of the muck, jah 526, I absolutely wish and hope that you find your way out and to a better place, too.

I am rooting for us both!
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