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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 18th November 2017, 11:40 AM   #1
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heartbroken and lost

Hello, I'm new here. I don't even know where to start, but I feel so lost and have no one to talk to.
I'm in a long term relationship and have been having an affair for 20 months with a friend who's also in a LTR. I initiated it with a drunken kiss (not planned), and the rest follows a familiar story.. mind-blowing highs, devastating lows, contact every day, meeting about once a week etc. As soon as it happened, I knew my life as I knew it was over... I was just shaken to the core. I couldn't sleep, I was deliriously happy and horrified at the same time. I couldn't/wouldn't stop.
About 6 months in, I knew I'd fallen in love. The longer it's gone on, the deeper in I've fallen.
I feel so stupid, deep down I knew all along my AP wouldn't leave her partner but I held on to little things she'd say or do that made me think she might. She's never future faked with me, and I think she's always been fairly honest. She's always been very torn. She's fallen in love with me too but she also still loves her partner and she can't face starting over. She thinks our relationship wouldn't survive the light of day and she would lose all her friends and shared family (there are no children involved) as they're so intertwined.

I've sort of known this is how things would turn out for a while but I think I've been in denial. It just hurts so much. I'm starting to see the reality of the situation but my mind wants to block it out because I can't handle it.

My partner is a wonderful person who doesn't deserve what I've done to her. I can't fault her at all. None of this is her doing. There is just something missing within me/ within our relationship. I don't know which. I was feeling a lack of sexual attraction in the relationship before this happened, but I never thought I'd get in an affair. I just sparked with this person and it was like something I've never experienced before. I don't know if I should end it with my partner or if there is a chance to work things out. We are great friends and life partners, but I'm not sure the spark is there. I'm trying not to compare it with AP but it's difficult. She doesn't know about the affair and neither does AP's partner. The worst part is we are all friends and exist in very close quarters.

I know what I have with AP is divorced from reality. But the feelings are real (on my side anyway, can't know what someone else really feels) and as we are 'friends' and very involved in each other's lives we do lots of normal things together. We've supported each other through bad health, family problems, etc. She is tender and loving and we have a very real connection. However, I guess it is still not enough for her to want to leave. It's completely broken me, with how amazing and intimate it is but at the same time how wrong and impossible.

A part of me is angry with her. Sometimes I feel used. I also feel I deserve it as I started this whole mess. Sometimes I just want to wish her well and to be happy even if it's without me, as I can see she is also hurting and split. Most of the time I miss her. And she misses me. It's just a sad, lonely pathetic story of two weak people leaving a trail of destruction.

Please don't think I see myself as the victim here. This is all of my own doing. But I'm also human and want to express my feelings of despair. I have no one to talk to, as is usually the case in these things. There are many other things happening in my life just now too, illness, job changes.. I feel adrift. My AP is a huge part of my world and now I'm feeling like I'm going to have to lose that. It's ripping me apart, even though I know all the logical arguments.

Thanks if you read this far, I have never shared with anyone and just need to get it out.
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Old 18th November 2017, 7:04 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by kick_theleaves View Post
Hello, I'm new here. I don't even know where to start, but I feel so lost and have no one to talk to.
I'm in a long term relationship and have been having an affair for 20 months with a friend who's also in a LTR. I initiated it with a drunken kiss (not planned), and the rest follows a familiar story.. mind-blowing highs, devastating lows, contact every day, meeting about once a week etc. As soon as it happened, I knew my life as I knew it was over... I was just shaken to the core. I couldn't sleep, I was deliriously happy and horrified at the same time. I couldn't/wouldn't stop.
About 6 months in, I knew I'd fallen in love. The longer it's gone on, the deeper in I've fallen.
I feel so stupid, deep down I knew all along my AP wouldn't leave her partner but I held on to little things she'd say or do that made me think she might. She's never future faked with me, and I think she's always been fairly honest. She's always been very torn. She's fallen in love with me too but she also still loves her partner and she can't face starting over. She thinks our relationship wouldn't survive the light of day and she would lose all her friends and shared family (there are no children involved) as they're so intertwined.

I've sort of known this is how things would turn out for a while but I think I've been in denial. It just hurts so much. I'm starting to see the reality of the situation but my mind wants to block it out because I can't handle it.

My partner is a wonderful person who doesn't deserve what I've done to her. I can't fault her at all. None of this is her doing. There is just something missing within me/ within our relationship. I don't know which. I was feeling a lack of sexual attraction in the relationship before this happened, but I never thought I'd get in an affair. I just sparked with this person and it was like something I've never experienced before. I don't know if I should end it with my partner or if there is a chance to work things out. We are great friends and life partners, but I'm not sure the spark is there. I'm trying not to compare it with AP but it's difficult. She doesn't know about the affair and neither does AP's partner. The worst part is we are all friends and exist in very close quarters.

I know what I have with AP is divorced from reality. But the feelings are real (on my side anyway, can't know what someone else really feels) and as we are 'friends' and very involved in each other's lives we do lots of normal things together. We've supported each other through bad health, family problems, etc. She is tender and loving and we have a very real connection. However, I guess it is still not enough for her to want to leave. It's completely broken me, with how amazing and intimate it is but at the same time how wrong and impossible.

A part of me is angry with her. Sometimes I feel used. I also feel I deserve it as I started this whole mess. Sometimes I just want to wish her well and to be happy even if it's without me, as I can see she is also hurting and split. Most of the time I miss her. And she misses me. It's just a sad, lonely pathetic story of two weak people leaving a trail of destruction.

Please don't think I see myself as the victim here. This is all of my own doing. But I'm also human and want to express my feelings of despair. I have no one to talk to, as is usually the case in these things. There are many other things happening in my life just now too, illness, job changes.. I feel adrift. My AP is a huge part of my world and now I'm feeling like I'm going to have to lose that. It's ripping me apart, even though I know all the logical arguments.

Thanks if you read this far, I have never shared with anyone and just need to get it out.
Hello,

I am tearing up reading your story because it mirrors mine so well. I'm in an almost one year affair with an old acquaintance from college. We are both married (he got married 4 months ago while i've been married 9 years). When we reconnected in a group setting before this all started, the chemistry was there. Even my husband asked how i knew him because he seems to be "my type".

It started out fairly typically. Innocent facebook messages that turned flirty that resulted in us meeting alone and becoming physical. We ended up falling in love intensely. Maybe it's infatuation but 11 months into it and we still feel strongly. At first we agreed to no commitment, just take it day by day. But then we realized we have been promising a lot to each other. I had been careful with the emotional aspect because i might be wrong but it is usually the female that gets attached first. In this case he did. It took me a while to tell him i love him too.

One difference with your story and mine is he lives 4 hours away and during the first 4 months his fiancee was in another country. We met up once a month but We only had one chance to be together after they got married 4 months ago(despicable, i know) but has been limited contact since then.

I miss him so much and miss the times when we would message almost daily and talk on phone or video call. Both of us agreed we would never leave our marriages and we wished and committed to keeping each other for as long as circumstances allow. But lately it has been so hard. I miss him all the time and sometimes i fear he's now busy with her living with him that he doesn't think of me that much. I'm also torn because i feel so guilty lying every single day to my husband. Sometimes I can't believe that we made it this far and even more unbelievable that i have been living a double life this long.

There are some great advices here. There are also harsh ones which i take as "tough love". I wish i can make a decision because my conscience is tearing me apart but i am so scared of losing him. I definitely don't want everything to blow up in my face and lose them both. Good luck to you and i hope we both find the clarity we are looking for.

Last edited by Marriedow; 18th November 2017 at 7:15 PM..
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Old 18th November 2017, 7:49 PM   #3
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First off... love your user name!

Secondly... I think you are in a unique place to make some decisions. Sounds like you're doing a fair amount of soul searching.

Prior to this long distance affair, I "messed up" one other time when I was very first dating my boyfriend. I didn't sleep with him, but he was a friend of my SO's where we got too close. It was only overly flirtatious and inappropriate for a very short time. He said we should be together, and I waffled and backed out of it. But probably a year after anything inappropriate had stopped that I was afraid from comments he made that he would tell my boyfriend, so I told my boyfriend first.

They are no longer friends. They text here and there, but they used to hang out nearly every weekend.

Mixed feelings on that... This guy now has a fiance who is perfect for him. Sometimes I wonder if I should have just swallowed that secret. I even asked my boyfriend once if he was glad I told him or not, and he kind of shrugged and said, "well if I didn't know I wouldn't know, right."

Yours sounds like it went sexual, so that's a little different. For me, I loved talking to this friend, think he's very good looking and funny, but that bit of chemistry wasn't there.

The reason I'm saying you're in a unique situation is 1) no children 2) you're not married. What I wish I had done with my "mess up" was analyze if there was something there that I wanted that I wasn't getting at home. There was. This person was that sweet, funny, romantic, likes to talk through his feelings kind of guy. Turns out, that was something I've denied wanting in every relationship I've been in. I've always thought romance was for the weak; clearly relationships are about a good sex life, a good career, and being able to take care of each other financially.

It turns out I am weak. I want romance and cuddling and kisses on my neck. I wish I could rewind and recognize that the vulnerability meant something.

So take a moment to really lay it out for yourself. Is there something this girl does that you don't get in your primary relationship? Could you get it in your primary relationship? Are you truly in love - or do you just love the excitement and someone different, and sneaking around under the sheets?

Don't stick it out just because you're with a nice person, or you're not sure if the other girl will make herself available or not. Think about your ability and willingness to be in a committed relationship longterm, and if you're with the right person right now.

You're doing some great introspection. I hear you on the feeling broken... I think there's a bit of innocence that's forever lost when someone enters into an affair. But with loss of innocence comes knowledge, and if you use what you learn it can make you better and happier in the future...
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Old 19th November 2017, 8:50 AM   #4
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Marriedow - I'm sorry you're stuck in this too. Have you discussed if you're still on the same page about keeping the affair going since he got married? It sounds like you're not getting what you need from this arrangement since then and you're in a lot of pain. I can't believe I've been doing this dance for almost 2 years either, it's very hard on the soul. I asked my AP a few months ago what her ideal resolution to this would be, if she could just click her fingers. She said it would be to have a polyamorous relationship out in the open with both myself and her partner. She said she'd tried to broach the subject of polyamory a couple of times with her partner but hadn't got very far. I can't imagine that's a real life option for us, but I wish it could be. I'd like to be with AP in an honest open way. But that seems impossible as things stand now so I have to look at what is possible and how to move forward.

BourneWicked - I read through your story, sounds like you've been through a lot of self analysis too. Have you ended it completely with your co-worker now? AP and I are in very close quarters too, in each other's lives day to day. It would be very difficult to cut all ties.
Yes my relationship with the AP is sexual, very much so. I do think I'm in love. Hard to put into words, but when I'm with her I feel like it is exactly where I should be. My heart feels full. She is smart, weird and inspires me. She's fragile and flawed and drives me nuts sometimes but I recognise those issues and I still want to be with her. She also makes me open up like I never have before and it seems we understand each other in a lot of ways. She's a very reserved person and doesn't let a lot of people close. I have many close friends but there's always a part of me that I've kept back, that I've exposed with her. It feels raw. The reason I'm so attracted to her sexually is that she challenges me intellectually. She keeps me on my toes and we spark. And also all the little sweet things she does or says that make me smile. Would this all fade a bit if we were really together? Maybe, but I would like to find out rather than spend my life wondering 'what if'. I hate 'what ifs'. I don't know.. if this isn't love then I don't know what is. I'd do anything for her. And unfortunately I'm starting to think that this 'anything' might have to be letting her go.

What I'm missing at home is that sexual spark. I never had the 'limerance' with my partner when we met. It was a 'cool, this girl is great, fun and good-looking. I'm not obsessed with her but it's going great so lets see where it goes." 6 years later.. this is where it's gone. We live together and we have a lovely, easy-going life. We hardly argue, we enjoy doing things together and we support each other's goals in life. She's an exceptionally kind, generous and special person. I don't know how I could have disrespected her like this, it's disgusting. I am ashamed of myself. I don't know if I'm just not mature enough to realise this is how adult relationships are meant to be and I'm still chasing some fantasy (although feelings for AP don't feel like a fantasy, maybe I'm wrong.. who knows). I'm not that young, I'm 31, by the way. But then again maybe I am trying to force something to work which just isn't quite right. She's very laid back, I am very dominant in the relationship and perhaps I don't feel challenged, hence the lack of spark. I think she really is in love with me. I love her (perhaps as a best friend/partner?)and the thought of her not being in my life is devastating but I'm really struggling with the sexual aspect of our relationship. I know she wants more sex than I give. I find it difficult. I think of AP. I then feel sick. I don't know if I can go my whole life like this, knowing how connected sex can really be. You're right, I'm lucky that I'm not tied down on paper or through kids (although we share a home and friends and in a lot of ways it feels like a marriage). It's a time of my life where I feel I need to make some real decisions which will affect me for a long time.
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Old 19th November 2017, 10:16 AM   #5
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Marriedow - I'm sorry you're stuck in this too. Have you discussed if you're still on the same page about keeping the affair going since he got married? It sounds like you're not getting what you need from this arrangement since then and you're in a lot of pain. I can't believe I've been doing this dance for almost 2 years either, it's very hard on the soul. I asked my AP a few months ago what her ideal resolution to this would be, if she could just click her fingers. She said it would be to have a polyamorous relationship out in the open with both myself and her partner. She said she'd tried to broach the subject of polyamory a couple of times with her partner but hadn't got very far. I can't imagine that's a real life option for us, but I wish it could be. I'd like to be with AP in an honest open way. But that seems impossible as things stand now so I have to look at what is possible and how to move forward.

BourneWicked - I read through your story, sounds like you've been through a lot of self analysis too. Have you ended it completely with your co-worker now? AP and I are in very close quarters too, in each other's lives day to day. It would be very difficult to cut all ties.
Yes my relationship with the AP is sexual, very much so. I do think I'm in love. Hard to put into words, but when I'm with her I feel like it is exactly where I should be. My heart feels full. She is smart, weird and inspires me. She's fragile and flawed and drives me nuts sometimes but I recognise those issues and I still want to be with her. She also makes me open up like I never have before and it seems we understand each other in a lot of ways. She's a very reserved person and doesn't let a lot of people close. I have many close friends but there's always a part of me that I've kept back, that I've exposed with her. It feels raw. The reason I'm so attracted to her sexually is that she challenges me intellectually. She keeps me on my toes and we spark. And also all the little sweet things she does or says that make me smile. Would this all fade a bit if we were really together? Maybe, but I would like to find out rather than spend my life wondering 'what if'. I hate 'what ifs'. I don't know.. if this isn't love then I don't know what is. I'd do anything for her. And unfortunately I'm starting to think that this 'anything' might have to be letting her go.

What I'm missing at home is that sexual spark. I never had the 'limerance' with my partner when we met. It was a 'cool, this girl is great, fun and good-looking. I'm not obsessed with her but it's going great so lets see where it goes." 6 years later.. this is where it's gone. We live together and we have a lovely, easy-going life. We hardly argue, we enjoy doing things together and we support each other's goals in life. She's an exceptionally kind, generous and special person. I don't know how I could have disrespected her like this, it's disgusting. I am ashamed of myself. I don't know if I'm just not mature enough to realise this is how adult relationships are meant to be and I'm still chasing some fantasy (although feelings for AP don't feel like a fantasy, maybe I'm wrong.. who knows). I'm not that young, I'm 31, by the way. But then again maybe I am trying to force something to work which just isn't quite right. She's very laid back, I am very dominant in the relationship and perhaps I don't feel challenged, hence the lack of spark. I think she really is in love with me. I love her (perhaps as a best friend/partner?)and the thought of her not being in my life is devastating but I'm really struggling with the sexual aspect of our relationship. I know she wants more sex than I give. I find it difficult. I think of AP. I then feel sick. I don't know if I can go my whole life like this, knowing how connected sex can really be. You're right, I'm lucky that I'm not tied down on paper or through kids (although we share a home and friends and in a lot of ways it feels like a marriage). It's a time of my life where I feel I need to make some real decisions which will affect me for a long time.
I was in a four year affair. My story is long and it's all on here if you want to read back. To sum it up quick, we were coworkers, great friends, I was unhappily married and he was newly single and dating when our affair started. I'm now divorced and he's married.

I bolded the above points that jumped out at me and I can relate to from my 4 years. The what ifs? F$ck them. That's exactly what kept me in this affair, and on this hamster wheel from hell for nothing. They will keep you stuck in limbo forever, wondering what could have been. You know what could have been? Another 2 years of the same heartbreak and wasted time on a relationship that will never real. Are your feelings real? Yes. Are hers? I'm sure they are. Does that mean anything outside of the affair? Not unless you two plan to leave your partners and do something, and from what you said she isn't leaving. So suck your feelings up and move on. That "what if" needs to be turned into "not going to happen" I know it hurts, it hurts so bad. My AP got married and begged to see me three days later. Is that not insane? He loves her, married her, but had to be with me the first second he could. You can love two people, but in reality and social acceptance, you can only be with one. He chose her, but he can't let me go. I suspect it's the same with you two. Add on the fact that you two lives are so entertained, she knows it's a disaster waiting to happen if anyone finds out and she will be hated and your relationship won't be accepted. That's a lot to risk, especially for a relationship you don't know will last in the open.

The comment you made about not feeling the same connnection or sexual spark you feel with your partner. You never will. You are in limerance with AP, relationship sex can never live up to it. It's passionate, intense, hot. Its fueled by desire and an insatiable longing. You cant sustain that in a real relationship. Yes, the first two year are usually like that but once the relationship is secure and comfortable the sex is still good, but its different then the "I can't keep my hands off of you" you had in the beginning, sex. That's normal. I was with my AP for for years. The sex just got better, the desire was insatiable for eachother. That's not normal, that's the limerance. Realize that even in a regular relationship with your AP, the sex over time would change.

I'm single now, dating and trying to move on. He contacted me last week and wanted to see me. I told him know and he got upset and we are back to NC.
I have no doubt that he loves me, and I do love him, but im tired of wasting my love on a fantasy that will never come true.

I knew it was really time to move on when even being with him hurt. Affair are like addictions. They are the crack of relationships, and like addictions they will take everything from you, including yourself.

When you realize that the affair barely gets you high anymore, and you feel so miserable and wonder who the hell you have become and how the did you let all this time pass, you will then start to want to get clean.

NC hurts, it hurts so bad that it literally feels like someone is ripping part of your soul out. The withdrawal is painful, hard and ugly. That's why so many of us go back, over and over again.

Me, I don't want to go back. Im so done with chasing a fantasy.

Good luck and keep posting hear if you need it. There are a few other guys on here who have been through the same thing. Try to find their threads to help you.
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Old 19th November 2017, 11:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by kick_theleaves View Post
Marriedow - I'm sorry you're stuck in this too. Have you discussed if you're still on the same page about keeping the affair going since he got married? It sounds like you're not getting what you need from this arrangement since then and you're in a lot of pain. I can't believe I've been doing this dance for almost 2 years either, it's very hard on the soul. I asked my AP a few months ago what her ideal resolution to this would be, if she could just click her fingers. She said it would be to have a polyamorous relationship out in the open with both myself and her partner. She said she'd tried to broach the subject of polyamory a couple of times with her partner but hadn't got very far. I can't imagine that's a real life option for us, but I wish it could be. I'd like to be with AP in an honest open way. But that seems impossible as things stand now so I have to look at what is possible and how to move forward.

BourneWicked - I read through your story, sounds like you've been through a lot of self analysis too. Have you ended it completely with your co-worker now? AP and I are in very close quarters too, in each other's lives day to day. It would be very difficult to cut all ties.
Yes my relationship with the AP is sexual, very much so. I do think I'm in love. Hard to put into words, but when I'm with her I feel like it is exactly where I should be. My heart feels full. She is smart, weird and inspires me. She's fragile and flawed and drives me nuts sometimes but I recognise those issues and I still want to be with her. She also makes me open up like I never have before and it seems we understand each other in a lot of ways. She's a very reserved person and doesn't let a lot of people close. I have many close friends but there's always a part of me that I've kept back, that I've exposed with her. It feels raw. The reason I'm so attracted to her sexually is that she challenges me intellectually. She keeps me on my toes and we spark. And also all the little sweet things she does or says that make me smile. Would this all fade a bit if we were really together? Maybe, but I would like to find out rather than spend my life wondering 'what if'. I hate 'what ifs'. I don't know.. if this isn't love then I don't know what is. I'd do anything for her. And unfortunately I'm starting to think that this 'anything' might have to be letting her go.

What I'm missing at home is that sexual spark. I never had the 'limerance' with my partner when we met. It was a 'cool, this girl is great, fun and good-looking. I'm not obsessed with her but it's going great so lets see where it goes." 6 years later.. this is where it's gone. We live together and we have a lovely, easy-going life. We hardly argue, we enjoy doing things together and we support each other's goals in life. She's an exceptionally kind, generous and special person. I don't know how I could have disrespected her like this, it's disgusting. I am ashamed of myself. I don't know if I'm just not mature enough to realise this is how adult relationships are meant to be and I'm still chasing some fantasy (although feelings for AP don't feel like a fantasy, maybe I'm wrong.. who knows). I'm not that young, I'm 31, by the way. But then again maybe I am trying to force something to work which just isn't quite right. She's very laid back, I am very dominant in the relationship and perhaps I don't feel challenged, hence the lack of spark. I think she really is in love with me. I love her (perhaps as a best friend/partner?)and the thought of her not being in my life is devastating but I'm really struggling with the sexual aspect of our relationship. I know she wants more sex than I give. I find it difficult. I think of AP. I then feel sick. I don't know if I can go my whole life like this, knowing how connected sex can really be. You're right, I'm lucky that I'm not tied down on paper or through kids (although we share a home and friends and in a lot of ways it feels like a marriage). It's a time of my life where I feel I need to make some real decisions which will affect me for a long time.
He wants to keep our relationship for as long as we can. I know it's sick that he stood there saying his vows to her knowing he had broken them and will continue to break them. A small part of me is happy that he still wants me despite being in love with her. We both acknowledge we love two people at the same time, if at all that's really possible. I had asked him what would make him stop and he said if the guilt is too much or if I don't want to do this anymore. He is pretty sure his feelings will not change. I'm scared to hold on to that because who really knows how we will feel in the future?

I love my husband too. And just like you there was not really an intense spark when we met. We got along great, we went through his mom's death and my parents separation early on which bonded us together. I hate to admit but there is no sexual spark anymore. I'm not even sure if there ever really was. Or maybe i am just comparing it to the explosive spark from the A that it totally pales in comparison. God that is so not fair. It would kill a man's ego knowing his wife is with some other guy and comparing it.

We are all in our early 30s too. Old enough to know better. But maybe not mature enough to resist temptation and the addiction.
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Old 19th November 2017, 5:36 PM   #7
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Marriedow - yes exactly the same, not sure there ever was a spark. That is my problem, if I had ever felt it I'm sure we could get it back. It's more like the affair has shown me something I've never come close to before. I know it's over inflated and fuelled by secrecy.. But in a real open relationship you should feel like that from time to time, right?? Can I ask why you decided to staying with your husband? I've still to work out what to do..

Ronnie33 - thank you for sharing , I had a read through some of your story. I'm sorry for all the pain you've gone through but glad to hear you've got some clarity. I think what you said about the affair not even getting you high anymore is what's been happening to my AP of late. I feel like the affair is just making her miserable, hence trying to let go. But it's so so hard. I have to keep thinking that she has chosen her partner as her priority. Not me. In the end that's all that matters. I just have to keep repeating that until it sticks. I also think I am / have been in denial because I can't even grieve openly at home. Pretending everything is ok to my partner is agonising, so I just push it all back and hope it'll be ok. Nothing is ok, my whole life is a farce.
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Old 19th November 2017, 10:35 PM   #8
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Marriedow - yes exactly the same, not sure there ever was a spark. That is my problem, if I had ever felt it I'm sure we could get it back. It's more like the affair has shown me something I've never come close to before. I know it's over inflated and fuelled by secrecy.. But in a real open relationship you should feel like that from time to time, right?? Can I ask why you decided to staying with your husband? I've still to work out what to do..

Ronnie33 - thank you for sharing , I had a read through some of your story. I'm sorry for all the pain you've gone through but glad to hear you've got some clarity. I think what you said about the affair not even getting you high anymore is what's been happening to my AP of late. I feel like the affair is just making her miserable, hence trying to let go. But it's so so hard. I have to keep thinking that she has chosen her partner as her priority. Not me. In the end that's all that matters. I just have to keep repeating that until it sticks. I also think I am / have been in denial because I can't even grieve openly at home. Pretending everything is ok to my partner is agonising, so I just push it all back and hope it'll be ok. Nothing is ok, my whole life is a farce.
It was never an option for us to leave our respective partners. I think even if there had been a spark it would fade over time. It could still be there but not as intense. And what's left would be the mature kind of love. The one where you are there for each other no matter what, accepting one another despite the flaws, the companionship and shared goals and past experiences. I do love my husband and i know he loves me. We have built so much together and I don't want to throw it away because i was stupid enough to dig this hole.

My mind is logical and it's hard for me to grasp why i fell into this. So much emotions are felt here. It's funny because my husband and i used to joke that i could be the man in the relationship because he is more emotional while i am more rational. Maybe my OM opened my emotions. Isn't that sad? Those strong emotions should be towards my husband. But then again these are affair emotions which are relatively more intense than any regular relationship.

Is it hard to see her in your daily intertwined life in front of everyone and not be able to express how you really feel?
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Old 20th November 2017, 4:08 AM   #9
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I understand not wanting to throw away a life together. Companionship is a good word for how I feel my relationship is. I know that is a precious thing to have in itself. However, I sometimes read forum threads about people in long term relationships who claim to still really fancy their partners years and years on. I want that, as well.

Yes, it is very difficult now. At the start it was kind of exciting, having a secret. Now it's just painful to see her with her partner and she feels the same. Yet we still seek out the contact in a group situation as sometimes it's the only way we can see each other. Our schedules used to be better and we had more time to be alone but this has now changed and it's more difficult to meet. We've had a lot of close calls and we have been extremely lucky not to have been caught. It's also very painful not being able to tell my friends and family about the true nature of the relationship. And to look her partner in the eye and pretend I'm some sort of friend when I'm anything but. It's all painful.
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Old 20th November 2017, 6:04 AM   #10
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I sometimes read forum threads about people in long term relationships who claim to still really fancy their partners years and years on. I want that, as well.
Amazing thread. I relate to so much of what has been written here. I will be back to contribute a lot more, but don't have much time now so will just comment on the above.

I'm very sceptical when I read that people are still madly in love and can't keep their hands of each other years, decades even into a relationship. It just doesn't tally with what I see around me all day - my own marriage, that of my parents, my friends, my siblings. Each of us have good marriages, but all of us have got to that 'realistic' stage. We realise that there isn't any 'magic' (unless we create it ourselves), that no relationship is perfect, that our partners can annoy us and vice versa and that the fuzzy feelings do fade.

Now, whilst, of course I can't say for definite what the sex lives of my friends/siblings/etc are like, the things they say and their body language tells me that their sex life is probably very much like mine - great, loving, sweet...... But a million miles from what it probably once was. I think this is normal and there is nothing wrong with it.

I don't think that people who claim still to be madly in love and having sex just like it was in the beginning 30 years later are lying. I don't think that at all. I think they've just forgotten what it's like to be madly, obsessively in love. Their love has evolved gradually into the more mature kind of love and it becomes the new norm. There is nothing wrong with this. It's natural and can be quite wonderful. I see it in my parents, my uncles, aunties, etc.

The trouble with having an intense affair, is that you get a taste of that new love again. We unlock feelings and possibilities that are cruel to know and experience (for all parties). Once you've experienced that intensity, that addiction, that obsession, it is so hard for a normal relationship to stand up to and compete with that, and it is so unfair of us to ask it to. It's like comparing water to Champagne. The Champagne is so much more exciting, but ultimately it's the water that we need in order to live and thrive. The mistake we made was ever having the affair in the first place - it takes is to a place that we should never know, a place that it is hard to come back from and it changes us forever.

Ronnie is so right to compare affairs to drug addiction. I do this too, all the time and it is a very good analogy. A heroin addict will never be the same again, even after kicking the habit. As people who have been in intense affairs, we will never be the same either. But in really seeing our affairs for what they are - very real intense feelings, but in a context of fantasy, obsession and addiction, we can perhaps better accept their impossibility, destructiveness and selfishness, and with this knowledge, we can re-invest in add appreciate our 'normal' relationships.

This is what my wife and I try to do every day and we are getting there. I had an intense affair like you, I experienced highs that I didn't know existed and lows that broke me in two - sound familiar? It nearly destroyed me and many others. Never ever again.

Good luck!

Last edited by jenkins95; 20th November 2017 at 6:09 AM..
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Old 20th November 2017, 11:38 AM   #11
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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.

Last edited by Birdies; 20th November 2017 at 11:40 AM..
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Old 20th November 2017, 7:03 PM   #12
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OP, your username immediately brought to my mind the image of a young child kicking leaves on a bright but cool autumn afternoon...

(((kick_theleaves)))
Hugs to you during this difficult time.

I would say that you have learned and are going to continue to learn some very painful lessons before this is all over. For instance, when we are in relationships, we must be mindful and vigilant in our protection of them, ourselves, and our partners from threats. Those threats can come from within us or from external sources. When we are single, we must know that we are likely to hurt ourselves by becoming involved with anyone who is romantically linked to another. Also, starting a passionate anything that cannot go further is soul destroying.

I feel for you, I really do. And there is hope for you yet, my friend. You realize that you are hurting. You realize that you are in denial. You realize that a slew of people who do not deserve to be hurt will be *really* hurt upon discovery. You know something must be done.

You will have to come to terms with this state of affairs, and make some decisions. It hurts, but there is *freedom* to be found on the other side of facing fear, pain, and denial. You have a right to your pain, to feel it and also comfort yourself.

No matter what your AP is going to do, you must decide what you need and want to do - for you and for your partner. Your decision must be made independently of your AP. She has a partner herself, and has likely come to realize that she wants to remain with him (our actions speak so much more loudly than our words). You may feel that you are settling with your own partner. Being embroiled in an affair is highly likely to skew how you think of your primary partner and relationship. You'll have to decide if you want to gamble on starting over with someone new (who likely will not be your AP) or trying your best to create more magic in your current relationship.

I feel that advising people to go to counseling is cliche around these boards sometimes. However, in your case, I honestly feel that it would be good for you as a means of sorting out your thoughts since you don't have anyone to talk to about this.

Wishing you clarity and peace as you sort your way through this.
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Old 20th November 2017, 9:03 PM   #13
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I would say I 95% ended it with my coworker. He still reaches out, I still talk to him, but there isn't enough contact on a daily basis to drag me back into it. And when it starts looking that way, I push him away. It's very difficult when it's someone close and not a stranger. You wish it was someone that a delete of an email address and phone number change would mean they were gone forever.

As much as this is a mess you have going on, I like to hear that she challenges you intellectually. I never dated a guy that I felt was as smart as me, I never dated someone I could have conversations with until this... whatever it was. I feel like my current relationship is similar to yours too in that I slid into it - 'well there's no one else I'm interested in' - and slid, and slid. I wonder if I'd been more patient where I would be right now instead, and with who. But as Ronnie said, those 'what if's' don't really matter, and will keep you stuck.

Perhaps I have a unique perspective as well. Everyone says affair sex is the best sex... for me, it wasn't. Probably I just didn't have the opportunity to have enough of it (ha!) due to long distance, and get to know what really worked for both of us. But my SO is quite enjoyable in bed, if I get past the fact that I'm trying to force myself to be attracted to him. (He's not unattractive. I'm the problem. It's something in me that's changed).

To go off on a tangent, the smell of the guy I can't have... when he was visiting, I found I was irritated by the perfume of his laundry detergent because it covered up the amazing smell that was him. I've never had something like that, where I could think about just the scent of him and feel goosebumps.

Oh well, that memory's fading now.

So anyway you can find all different things in different people. You really have to weigh what's most important. Says I, armchair psychologist from inside my glass house
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Old 20th November 2017, 11:59 PM   #14
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Hi BourneWicked!!!

Quote:
Everyone says affair sex is the best sex... for me, it wasn't.
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.
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Old 21st November 2017, 12:36 AM   #15
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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. Yes my words are authentic. I have been through 9 ish years of an A. I suspect it is an experience never to be forgotten.

It is a fog but for sure there was never another feeling like being with xMM.
We would spend days in bed and never tired of one another. You can be sure if he walked through my door today, I would feel the same.

I won't allow him anywhere near me for that very reason.

Poppy.
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