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Moving on and breaking the cycle


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 28th January 2018, 1:03 PM   #1
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Moving on and breaking the cycle

A lot has happened and i want to share my experiences and hopefully get some support and opinions.

I was with xMM for 2 years. Madly in love with him. It follows a very familiar story which we all know a little bit too well. He told me he was leaving. He convinced me to wait. He told me they were unhappy, that heíd always know it was a mistake to marry his BW. That he was finding it difficult to leave his BW because of x,y,z. Every few months there was a different reason. All classics, ranging from worrying about what people would think, his kids, mutual plans they had...the list goes on.

Still, I stuck by, because I naively thought that I knew him - we were colleagues - I obviously knew him through his actions by this point but I fell for the words instead because I wanted to feel loved, special, I wanted it to be different. Similar to a lot of other OW maybe? Late last year, he left. And, youíve guessed it, he went back. Yet he still professed that he was going to leave again. Writing this down is like a bucket of ice cold water to the skin - I canít believe that I fell for all of this. I canít believe he had the audacity to make such claims. His words were always kind, loving, patient, understanding. He made me feel that he was honest and upfront about why he could leave right now. So I believed them over his actions.

I can honestly say that the last 2 years have been the worst of my life. And Iíve had some difficult experiences in my life. This affair has been hell on earth emotionally and spiritually. I read somewhere once that affairs rip you apart, so all your issues are on show - I couldnít agree more. During the last 2 years I had 2 episodes of depression. I could not share the trigger of this with anyone so I isolated myself. I spent months in bed, barely functioning for work or socially. It tore me apart. Exposed deep seated fears from my childhood. Rejection, not being good enough, not being worthy or loved. I now know that I was drawn to this situation because unconsciously, these were my beliefs about myself.

I am almost 30. But I saw MM as my last chance for love. For marriage and children. Both things that I want in the future. And at my age, being the last one on the shelf that I new exacerbated those fears. This belief is probably what kept me clinging onto him for so long. I now see that these beliefs are like a siren, warning me that my self esteem needs some serious work.

Things ended around 3 weeks ago now. This must be the 3rd/4th, maybe 5th time things have ended. And as with many affairs, the affair always resumed, with renewed promises. Fresh declarations of love etc. I have been full NC since then. I have blocked him on all platforms. I donít care to see the pictures or know that he could message but is choosing not to. I can see him for what he is and the fog has lifted. I see my own actions for what they were and I am feeling a lot of shame and guilt around my role in destroying a family unit (BW doesnít know though). In engaging in something that could be so destructive to another woman.

I am determined and committed to working on myself. I have been in therapy for over 2 years. Throughout this experience with MM I have not made headway into the reasons behind my actions until recently. This time is different to every last time I had gone NC with MM. This time, I can say confidently that I KNOW if he came back Iíd say no. That I donít want a man like him in my life. I am committed 100% to moving on and I know this in every part of me. I do still see him in work. I do occasionally have to interact with him in work, but this will be rare. However, I still hear and see him throughout the day. I am keeping my head down, determined not to act out of a need of validation or send smoke signals (ie. maybe being overly happy/sad - this could potentially goad him into contacting. I am staying neutral and quite quiet). Every situation is different, at the moment, I do not want to leave my position and although it may be hard, Iím determined to move on without him and not leave work. Every day of NC, I feel happier, more free and 100% more positive about my future than when I was kidding myself into believing his lies. But, I do still feel sad at times. Mourning the person I thought he could be for me. I also feel anger toward him, but mainly towards myself for a. Compromising my morals and hurting his innocent BW b. Falling for it all, for so so long.

Does anyone have any wise words on how to come to terms with this?
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Old 28th January 2018, 1:59 PM   #2
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I understand the family comment, that was my main driver also.

From personal experience I can tell you that working with the person makes NC and moving on near impossible.

Anger is good!! But it will be followed up with ďmissing themĒ. Youíll be relapsing a lot, hard. Keep posting here thou.
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Old 28th January 2018, 2:09 PM   #3
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Good for you, getting clear on all the reasons you need to end the A once and for all and finding the determination to do it. That's a very important first step!

I say first step, because unfortunately it's just the beginning. You are going to have moments where you feel strong and determined, and then other moments when you doubt yourself and think "maybe I just need to give him a little more time", etc. It's that rollercoaster of emotions that everyone talks about on here. You will cycle through a wide array of feelings for a while, sometimes in rapid succession. Be prepared for that and don't lose hope. Understand it's going to take some time.

Stay strong, keep him blocked and keep your focus on finding YOUR guy, the one who is available and will make you his priority. You won't find him until you let go of MM. When you have weak moments and miss MM are so tempted to get back in touch, remember all the reasons you decided it had to end. Remember the depression, misery, insecurity, confusion and hurt. And keep reading the stories here!
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Old 28th January 2018, 2:10 PM   #4
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Hmmmm....wise words?

I don't know if this is wise or not, but when I made up my mind to end my nearly 6 years A. I used the anger to keep the NC going. Regardless who the anger was directed towards, it was helpful with feelings of indifference towards him.

It was the best thing for me in order to move on with my life and it worked. I just didn't want to care one way or the other anymore and I especially wanted off the push, pull ride.

I was out of the A for one year and then I gave a guy a chance, someone I'd actually known for 30 years. We are a very happy couple now, and he does know that I was once involved with a MM.
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Old 28th January 2018, 4:52 PM   #5
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Thank you for your replies everyone.

Origin, I understand what youíre saying about it being near impossible. I am determined. I really feel something has clicked and made me realise that only I have the power to stop this. And I know itís not what I want. None of us ever wanted this really...so in the past that mentality has held me back, caused me to cave early on in NC as I havenít believed I would be able to achieve it and move on. This time I have to believe it and I do. Anything is possible and although working together will make thing 100 times harder - I can do it if I want it enough. I will keep coming onto here when I have a wobble. Iíve lurked for two years or so now!

Finding my way - thank you for your supportive words. It certainly will be a rollercoaster. Iím learning to be less reactive to my emotions, which means that even when I do feel sad or angry I donít suddenly break NC to try to resolve those feelings. I instead tell myself to sit in the emotion. Reassure myself that it will pass. This has worked up until now, but Iím sure there will be harder times to come.

Skywriter - I needed to hear that. I really did. Thank you. You give me the hope I need that I will find my own man and be loved fully in the future. Of course, this spurs my NC on even more 😊.
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Old 28th January 2018, 5:19 PM   #6
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TownCalledMalice,

I'm wishing you strength and determination to continue in your NC journey.I would take my cell phone and go on long walks when I felt weak. I'd call a friend or relative, and give myself time to get over the feeling.

It helped a lot. I kept myself occupied at home, took nice soaks in the tub, and tried to get myself well rested.

First and foremost I deleted contact info and I've never been interested in social media so I didn't have that trigger.
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Old 29th January 2018, 12:57 PM   #7
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Dear, I don't know if this helps...

Dear, I don't know if this helps... or not, but yours is the standard affair, and your MM is the standard MM, future faker, and cake eater.

I think your realize this now.

And look, good grief, you are 30 not 50. Get out of this, and start dating and you should have plenty of time to fall in love, get married and have kids.
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Old 29th January 2018, 1:37 PM   #8
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I'm not sure I have any advice for you, as I'm in a very similar situation. The only difference is that BW knows in my situation, and that he left (and went back) twice. We are also co-workers and we're involved the same length of time as you. We've also been NC for around five weeks. Honestly reading your post I could have written it myself. Down to your descriptions of MM and thenrealisations it's given you about your childhood.

So, I just wanted to let you know you're not alone. It sounds like you're in an ok place at the moment. Have a read through my threads if you have time. The realisation that my situation was like pretty much every other A really made a difference in helping me see that things were going to stay the same unless I start doing things differently.
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Old 30th January 2018, 2:20 PM   #9
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The realisation that my situation was like pretty much every other A really made a difference in helping me see that things were going to stay the same unless I start doing things differently.
I, too, really did NOT want things to stay the same. It had been two years (very heavy and then push-pull) and that had been long enough.

It made a difference to me to realize that everything I was responsible for in my household, he was responsible for in his. One would think this was obvious, right? Well... when I really thought about it, it made me more resentful over time. I mean, he was basically getting no strings attached sex, comfort, conversation, and using up all of the time I could've been focused on a single man. He even got small amounts of money. Then, he went home to pay the bills for someone else to live comfortably, he cared for her and was there when she needed him.

If I had become pregnant, been involved in a car accident, or lost my job... he might've disappeared entirely. Or he might've had a few words of encouragement to offer, but he would NOT have been able to offer what a man getting what he was getting from me should have been able and willing to offer. And he shouldn't have been expected to. I mean, he was actually married to a woman who wasn't me.

Under those circumstances, I realized that I needed to put an end to the affair. Since seeing him and hearing from him was breaking my heart over and over again, I realized he needed to be gone from my life altogether.

TownCalledMalice, Like BluesPower said, you are 30 and have quite a few years ahead of you to live the life you want to live. So glad you've already put one foot in front of the other and started heading in that direction!
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Old 30th January 2018, 4:12 PM   #10
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I was on the rollercoaster with a MM at work for almost 6 years until it ended in Autumn 2016. He ended it.

We still work together and it has been hellish, mostly because he wanted to remain "friends" and I fell off the wagon a couple of times last year. Now I feel different. Yes, I still miss him, but not the real him. I miss the man he was in the affair bubble. And those times are never coming back. That was an important realisation for me and the fact that he treated me like crap, of course


I am slowly recovering, but I bet it would have happened a lot faster, with fewer set backs emotionally, if I did not work with him.
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Old 30th January 2018, 4:58 PM   #11
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Oh, honey. 30 is young. Plenty of time ahead of you.
Come to think of it, most of my friends married in their very late 30's. I currently have 4 women among my family and friends who are over 40 and pregnant.
Last chance at love? No way.
I think now you know that if you're worried about settling down and starting a family, a married man is the worst way to achieve your goals.
Stay focused o healing and moving on.
Focus on making yourself happy and nurture your self esteem and self worth.
I believe that positive attracts positive and the better your life is and the more content you are, better chances of meeting someone who will be 100% yours and will give you what you deserve.
Stay NC and think about your future and all the things you want for yourself.
Good luck.
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Old 30th January 2018, 6:28 PM   #12
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I am so appreciative to be reading all of your support. To everyone that has replied - I know my situation is the exact same as every one you read of here, but know that your replies and support means everything right now. Thank you.

Rebel - I have read your backstory. It is frighteningly similar to mine. Iím waiting for the day that xMM has another child or goes on vacation and I have to hear of it. Hopefully I will be in a new place of work by then. Have you had much interest with jobs?

Skywriter - I have found that self care is key also. Each time I want to reach out I must remind myself that it is me that comes first. Not XMM. This is how Iíve been managing the urges over the past few days. And a lot of baths! What is it about time in the bath?

Blues - itís been a long road to realising that mine is the same, but Iím there I think. Even in my weakest moments I remind myself of all the similarities. I beat myself up mentally for having fallen into the trap that so many of us have. But itís a very valuable lesson and I truly do think Iím going to learn from this. I know it sounds ridiculous to think this was my last chance, I think it is was a symptom of being in such a toxic dynamic that made me feel this way. Iím slowly realising again that I deserve love, care and availability and I hope that when Iím ready to date, I now have the tools to spot men like xMM.

Vivir - Iíve also followed your story. Most probably from the start! Iíve been a long time lurker. What you have said about xMM never being available in times of need really struck a chord. I realised this first hand a few months back. It was soul destroying. Absolutely crushing to see with my own eyes what he wrote to me when I needed him. It made me sick to the stomach. But that is the reality of these situations. I think it could possibly be one of the most painful realisations for me in the affair - knowing that I was second best for the man I loved. Not only that, but knowing I had placed myself there subconsciously because second best is what has always felt familiar to me.

Taxed- Iíve been where you have also, staying Ďfriendsí with MM as we worked together. It just does not work. It never will. A. Because it was never a friendship, it was an affair. B. Because the guard slips, the boundaries become too blurry. It is painful for me to reject the Ďfriendshipí that xMM wants right now, as I know I am behaving coldly and it may hurt him. When I feel this way I have to remember - Iím choosing me. Iím doing the morally right thing now, even if I didnít in the past. And, this is best for BOTH of us - not just myself.

Imsosad- your kind words brought a tear to my eye. It meant a lot to hear this and I must have truly needed that reassurance today. I am focussed. And I agree, positive attracts good things. Thank you 😊
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Old 30th January 2018, 7:31 PM   #13
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Keep fighting for your soul, that's what matters.

People make mistakes, we have all been there. When it starts to take your soul, self-preservation needs to kick in. Stay strong, and stay away. xoxo
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Old 30th January 2018, 7:48 PM   #14
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Vivir - Iíve also followed your story. Most probably from the start! Iíve been a long time lurker. What you have said about xMM never being available in times of need really struck a chord. I realised this first hand a few months back. It was soul destroying. Absolutely crushing to see with my own eyes what he wrote to me when I needed him. It made me sick to the stomach. But that is the reality of these situations. I think it could possibly be one of the most painful realisations for me in the affair - knowing that I was second best for the man I loved. Not only that, but knowing I had placed myself there subconsciously because second best is what has always felt familiar to me.
This. My god, this. I was always second to my sister for the small amount of time in my life I had with my father. When MM forgot my birthday, it was this familiar sort of "ah-ha!" that my dad had done that too. I remember being little and thinking - of course he will show up, it's my birthday. Of course MM will remember that it's my birthday. How did I so perfectly pick someone who would disappoint me in all the right painful familiar ways? Why would I even think I wanted that? Because that's what memories of love feel like to me.

What's here for learning (for both of us ) - are you able to accept a relationship where someone puts you first? Makes you the center of their world? or will you throw that away because it looks to comfortable, or scares you? How can you make being first in your life the new norm?
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Old 30th January 2018, 7:50 PM   #15
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... how to come to terms with this?
Like any grief, you work through it, it comes and goes in waves, and eventually over time, you heal. Try not to ruminate endlessly looking for answers - there will always be unanswered questions in the universe. I think you're doing the right thing shifting your focus to yourself, your well being, your own joy and self-esteem. Getting the support of others (family friends) is a good idea too. Just remember you are young, he is certainly not your last chance for love and he is certainly very far from your best chance.
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