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Update; MM left and went back twice...

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 7th February 2018, 6:59 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by whatcomesnext View Post
Thanks. Iím with you all the way. The narcissist stuff is so on point, yet I still find it hard to believe itís true about him. Childhood issues come in because instead of disliking him for discarding me and deciding heís not worthy of me, I start believing his assessment of me as having no value (or not enough value to keep me in his life), essentially giving him the power to determine my worth. ďIf he only comes back, then Iíll feel worth something again.Ē Even as I write it I know how wrong and screwed up it is, but the feelings are hard to keep at bay. At heart Iím hurt by the loss of someone who was significant to me, but also feel like I hurt other people for something that I believed in when it wasnít even true. I justified it in some way as being about love conquering all and this kind of love being more powerful than anything else. So to have him walk away like that also makes it difficult to find meaning and purpose in the decision I made to invest in a relationship that was bound to result in pain to others. I hope we all get through this and heal in time.
This is like talking to myself. I'm sure you know already but one of the things that I've read is that when you suffer abandonment as a child you basically become unavailable. You end up in situations where you will be abandoned, because that is what you believe love to be. But at the same time you want to fix the old pain by getting the person who abandons you to love you enough NOT to walk away. It's messed up right? I know healthy people define their worth based on their own beliefs about themselves. I just don't know how that would work or feel.

And yes, I feel the same way. Justifying it all because it was love and that made it worth the hurt I was causing. In hindsight thought if I'd really stopped and thought about it back then I would have known how selfish I was being. It's hard though when you have someone telling you how much they love you, how their marriage is over (she knows it too, we haven't been happy in years..), how they want to be with you and it's the right thing. You believe that, because why would they lie? My moral compass was so messed up the last few years. I don't want to be that person anymore. It's not me.
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Old 7th February 2018, 7:07 PM   #47
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Also just on the narcissist stuff. I find it hard to believe about my MM too. But honestly, it's the only thing that makes sense of his behaviour. Also once, towards the end, I made him do a narcissism test and his score was incredibly high. I know it's not the most reliable thing, but when I start feeling as if he's just poor old MM who was just so in love and confused etc etc I try and remember that. But if he hadn't taken that test I would swear blind he wasn't, even though his behaviour fits the pattern. I suppose love really does make us blind.

I guess the point is, I wouldn't have believed it of my MM without the test to back it up. So who knows about yours. Maybe he isn't a full blown narcissist. But everyone has narcissistic tendencies without being a narcissist...maybe your MM has just acted in that way sometimes (cutting you off etc) and so maybe you can try to use that as a way of understanding what happened to get the closure you need.
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Old 7th February 2018, 10:10 PM   #48
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You'll thank me for saying that later.

Last edited by Imajerk17; 8th February 2018 at 12:34 AM..
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Old 14th February 2018, 6:48 PM   #49
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Annoyingly had a bit of a clear out at work and found a valentines from ex MM from last year, in which he wrote 'I love you so much'. What're the chances of that happening today of all days. Surprisingly it hasn't bothered me too much. But just a bit frustrating coming up to 8 weeks of NC.

Had my first counselling session yesterday, which was an hour of her asking me about everything in my session is to plan a way forward in terms of the type of therapy etc.
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Old 27th February 2018, 6:15 PM   #50
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Still NC. I have no idea how long it's been now, over two months. Some days are easier than others. Sometimes I miss him, but not him...who he pretended to be.

I had been seeing somebody but realised it was a rebound thing, I'm not in a place where I can date yet, so I ended it in order to not make things worse in the long run. I miss some of the early 'dates' with MM in a way.

I'm struggling with how I can be a good person having done what I did. I can't reconcile my choices and my behaviour with who I want to be. Does anyone else feel the same?
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Old 27th February 2018, 9:44 PM   #51
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We're all works in progress! The important thing is to learn and grow from our experiences and not repeat the mistakes. If you weren't a good person you wouldn't feel the guilt and regret you're dealing with right now.

Nietzsche was right -what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Sometimes it just takes us a while to get to the point where we don't feel like it's going to kill us.
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Old 13th March 2018, 5:39 PM   #52
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Update- 3 months NC

So MM and I haven't spoken or seen each other since before Christmas. And I feel good. Please excuse the long post that's about to happen, I need to get my thoughts and feelings down I guess.

I feel like the distance this has given me has allowed me to see him for what he really is; a weak, narcicisstic man who jumped on the affairs as a way to try and fix the problems in his life. I think he saw it as an opportunity for a 'do over'. I doubt very much that it was based on any true love for me. I honestly think I could have been almost anyone.

In terms of the affair itself I can also see how toxic it was. It was an unequal relationship with me always tying to maintain the status quo by doing what he needed and what he wanted with total disregard for myself. I was so stressed out by this and it manifested in other ways (delayed periods, comfort eating, constant anxiety etc). It was unhealthy. In my part it was yet another attempt to try and get a man to pick me. To be special.

Whilst this is the first (and last) affair I've had I can now see I have this pattern of dating unavailable men. Therapy is helping me understand why this is (surprise, surprise...daddy issues). This is in no way said to try and detract responsibility from my decision to be involved in the affair. I chose that, and in doing so chose to cause hurt and pain to others. But it explains why I was able to be involved in an unhealthy situation for so long. Why it felt so 'right' and why I delusionally thought it would be a path to happiness.

It wouldn't have been. Already MM had started using the whole 'I've left my child for you' thing as a way of getting me to do things I didn't want to do. We also had fundamental differences in lifestyle and values. We got swept up in lust and fantasy and unfortunately, had the relationship lasted, I think both of us likely would have been unhappy.

So for now I'm good. I don't want to speak to him. I don't really want to see him and am still actively job hunting. I'm also working with my therapist to make sure I have strategies in place for when he is back at work. I've spoken with my manager about things we can do to minimise contact. I've had the odd dream about him, which is unsettling, and I do think of him (but nowhere near as frequently as I used to). And when I do it's with distance..almost like 'as if that all happened.' I'm no longer looking for answers from him about why. I no longer want to try and fight for what we had. I'm focussed on me, why I did what I did and how I can stop myself doing something so awful again. I accept he has his reasons for his actions and that I will never know what they were.

I know it's only been around 3 months of NC, and I don't want to get cocky (I'm aware seeing him may disrupt how things are going), but I'm quietly confident. So overall, it does get better. NC helps. Life is so much better out of the A. Whilst I miss him from time to time I know, really, I miss the companionship and not MM. He is not that special. I need to focus on my life, the changes I need to make and how I can move forward. He needs to do that for himself and neither of us need to be in each other's lives.

Hope everyone else is doing ok.
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Old 14th March 2018, 1:34 AM   #53
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You're in a really good place now and worked hard to be strong and dig down deep to face your issues. Keep going and continue to push forward! Be proud of all that you've accomplished during NC.
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Old 14th March 2018, 1:54 PM   #54
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I am glad that you are working on yourself. Stay strong.
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Old 14th March 2018, 8:12 PM   #55
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Thank you both. Today has been a good day. I now have a new job and had a very enlightening therapy session. We practiced how I would react if I came face to face with MM and also looked at my thought process in relation to him, and how realistic that was. So, for example, if he ignored me I would think he hates me. This would then trigger my feelings of rejection and abandonment...causing me to react and try to get him to validate me.

Instead we looked at other reasons for why he would ignore me (he's ashamed, he's trying to do the right thing etc etc), that didn't amount to 'he hates me'. I suppose it helps as it means I don't fall into that vulnerable, needy place.
It was helpful and reminded me of a book I've read by Katie Byron called, I need your love-is that true? It's worth a read for anyone who needs ways of challenging their patterns and thought processes.

I should be leaving work before he is back in, which means I might never see him again. I mainly feel ok about it, but it's also causing me some anxiety. I didn't think the last time we saw one another would be the last time, and now it seems like it might. It all just feels so final. But logically I know it's for the best.
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Old 14th March 2018, 8:49 PM   #56
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Congratulations on doing so well! Having deep-rooted thinking patterns challenged is so difficult, but it sounds like you are going in with the right attitude and want to change. As someone who has to see MM regularly (though not predictably), I’d say be glad if you never see him again. It will make it easier. I like the way your therapist frames the potential for him to ignore you. I’ve struggled with negative feelings in connection with being ignored too. My therapist has tried to frame it in a way that could allow me to feel empowered. Like you, I always think about it in terms of him throwing me away and devaluing me, and then want validation, but she said something I’d never thought about before. That his actions in actively ignoring me demonstrate that I actually do have power because I affect him. If I didn’t affect him he wouldn’t need to ignore me in the way that he does. He cannot act normally around me, perhaps because of the reasons your therapist expressed to you - feelings of shame, guilt, etc.

Last edited by whatcomesnext; 14th March 2018 at 9:11 PM..
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