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Question for those who got out of the affair


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 17th February 2018, 5:51 PM   #1
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Question for those who got out of the affair

For those of you who have successfully ended the affair, my question is “does the pain ever go away?”
I am an avid reader in LS because I am struggling with my own indiscretions. Some of you may recognize my username.
I have come to recognize user names and their stories and it seems that although some have overcome their affair. Whether going NC on their own or being ghosted or the affair being discovered by a spouse, there are still some feelings left lingering. Sometimes years later. Does it ever get better?
I guess i just want to know how to navigate through the end and know that the feelings of loss do become less intense.
For those that had these affairs at work and still have to work with their AP, how did you get through that? How did you walk in to work and act indifferent?
How did you deal with the AP moving on to someone else and feeling the pang of jealousy? How did you pick yourself up and dust your pants off?

When I first started in this affair, I saw the despair a mile away. But I still walked towards it. Posters on LS warned me it would only get worse as the affair evolved. It did get worse. And at times instead of being a strong woman and walking, I feel the need for the crumbs I get. Someone said when the pain of the relationship is worse than what you’re actually getting from the relationship, you’ll be able to walk away. I’ve yet to be able to even though this affair causes me more distress than happiness.
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Old 17th February 2018, 6:05 PM   #2
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Hi grasshopper -- For me, today is a year to the day since I last reached out to him to see if he still wanted to try friendship. He didn't, lol. Good on him. It's my last one-year mark and glad to be past it.

I still think of him, though. Sometimes with anger, sometimes with regret, sometimes with fondness and a wish that we hadn't f*cked things up and could be friends. Some people here say that's a sign of being a sucker, but I think a lot of these affairs happen because there *is* a real connection.

But mostly, he's out of my mind now, much like other ex boyfriends and partners. It's not constant, it's not insistent, and it's not filled with pain anymore.

I'm lucky though, I was only in a short-lived 5 month thing. I feel for those who were in it for years.
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Old 17th February 2018, 6:58 PM   #3
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Hi Grass Hopper,

It does get easier I promise! But it takes a long time. Can you find another job? Easier said then done I know but for your own sanity it is a lot harder to move on if you still have to see them everyday.

It really is the only way. I have still not reached complete indifference and it’s been two years now since xMM left work! But we remained in contact for a long time after that.

If you remain close to the source the pain will continue.

In terms of now I still think of him but not with the same pain attached. A lot of the past feels surreal. I can also go through days where he hardly ever crosses my mind. When you don’t know what they are up to then you have nothing to think about!

Unfortunately I have had to see my xMM lately during a work industry event. Of course that triggered the thoughts again. It just goes to show that NC works and I don’t know you would achieve that by working with him.

Last edited by Grey Cloud; 17th February 2018 at 7:05 PM..
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Old 18th February 2018, 12:35 AM   #4
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You sound just like me grasshopper. I no words of wisdom to offer, just my support.
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Old 18th February 2018, 3:12 AM   #5
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Hello Grasshopper,

I attempted to leave the affair 4 times in a period of about ten years.

It wasn't work related and we had not one mutual acquaintance.

I was in over my head emotionally and I was a nervous wreck trying to deal with him living with his wife.

Why did I persist and keep going back??? I was in a very black spot for a long time.

I read an article on the right sort of no contact and the wrong sort. The right sort is absolute. That is what I did last time I left the A.

There have been times when the hole in my heart has caused me visceral pain. There have been awfully lonely, angry, you name it times. They are just days and the next day, something joyful comes along.

It's a hard long road to indifference. If I ever see him again, I would probably feel a long absent happiness. Not sure about that. That could change in time also.

It's just plodding along. You will find other things that give you happiness.

Keep your mind active with many activities and one day you will realise, perhaps sadly, that you didn't think of him at all. That's where I am now.

Take care and keep going.

Poppy.
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Old 18th February 2018, 9:25 AM   #6
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I re-arranged my life to get away... I had an emotional affair with a married man, I am married also. I felt a connection to him that I had never felt before and as much as I hate to say it.......I didn't feel that kind of connection with my husband when we started dating. It was just different with XMM...

I have been away from him for about 2 1/2 years now and have had zero contact... How ever after about 6 month of us parting ways, I did receive a phone call from the area code from where he lives...I thought maybe it was him, but nothing ever came of it cause I didn't reply or respond to the call.
I struggle still sometimes, but it is my own fault cause I have my nose where it doesn't belong.....on his wife's social media page...I have seen pictures of them being together all cuddled up for the picture.

I look at his face and think, this is the guy that told me he didn't love her anymore and or sometimes he would say, he loved her but wasn't in love with her. I never wanted to think he would feed me a line of crap cause I wanted to believe in him. But after being on this site and reading and having good advice given to me, I was just another female he knew for awhile.

One day I will just stop thinking of him or stop being curious about his life. One thing for sure tho..... I would be willing to bet that he isn't thinking of me anymore...

My husband and I are going on a vacation in a week. We need the time away from work, etc. Just to be alone...just the two of us.
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Old 18th February 2018, 1:14 PM   #7
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Yes, the pain does go away. I do think, however, it would've taken a lot longer for me if I had not had a d-day. The d-day forced my focus away from xAP and on me and my H.

That being said, I do still feel pain about what I did to my H. I've come to accept that I will always feel this pain, just like he will always feel the pain of my betrayal. Personally I use this pain to make sure I always live honestly and make the best choices for myself, my marriage, my family. I try to turn that pain into a positive.

I agree with PP, it takes time. I do think, however, it's important how you use that time...working on you, looking forward, new hobbies, etc, and not on thinking more about what could have been, or looking at social media, or wondering why xAP did what he did. Use your healing time constructively.
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Old 18th February 2018, 2:08 PM   #8
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There have been so many threads lately...

There have been so many threads lately... and it has started me wondering about all of this.

As a MM, OM, and one time general player, I am about as confused about all of this as anyone else.

I am not sure why I did it, I am not sure how I hurt so many woman and I am not sure how I allowed myself to get hurt as well.

What I know now for everyone involved is that these types of relationships are just no good. Hell, a regular relationship or marriage is hard enough much less an affair.

I can say that going no contact for everyone is always the best way to go.

I can say that I was always looking for love, at a time when I am not sure I really understood what love was. And frankly I just never understood why some of these women fell so deeply in love with me. I would not have fallen for me if I was a girl. I am not even sure that I liked me at the time.

The only thing that any of this did that was positive is that after all the damage that I caused, I started to become more self aware and more considerate of other people, esp women. It helped me start to live a more authentic life. And I helped me get out of the most horrible marriage imaginable.

The only thing that we can do is start to make the right decisions for our lives.

Sorry for the ramble...
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Old 18th February 2018, 2:37 PM   #9
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1. Accept it was valid and real

2. Decide what my own personal boundaries were

3. Execute

4. Accept the results
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Old 18th February 2018, 3:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesPower View Post
There have been so many threads lately... and it has started me wondering about all of this.

As a MM, OM, and one time general player, I am about as confused about all of this as anyone else.

I am not sure why I did it, I am not sure how I hurt so many woman and I am not sure how I allowed myself to get hurt as well.

What I know now for everyone involved is that these types of relationships are just no good. Hell, a regular relationship or marriage is hard enough much less an affair.

I can say that going no contact for everyone is always the best way to go.

I can say that I was always looking for love, at a time when I am not sure I really understood what love was. And frankly I just never understood why some of these women fell so deeply in love with me. I would not have fallen for me if I was a girl. I am not even sure that I liked me at the time.

The only thing that any of this did that was positive is that after all the damage that I caused, I started to become more self aware and more considerate of other people, esp women. It helped me start to live a more authentic life. And I helped me get out of the most horrible marriage imaginable.

The only thing that we can do is start to make the right decisions for our lives.

Sorry for the ramble...
I appreciate the insight. I actually don't know your story, were you involved in multiple affairs? Do you ever think about them?

In terms of positives for myself, I hAve also become more self aware and realize I can't get my self esteem from anyone else. I've also tried to become more understanding of people.
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Old 18th February 2018, 9:31 PM   #11
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Slowly

It takes a long time, but yes, the pain goes away. BUT. The only way out is THROUGH the pain. You CANNOT circumvent it. It will hurt. It will hurt a lot.

I ended things 13 months ago, after a two year affair. We were both married. We reconnected after 25 years apart. (We dated in highschool.)

It was the most painful emotional experience I've ever gone through. During and after. I think it took me a full year to finally feel "free."

Overall, it is now finally, a part of my past. A past that although dark in many ways, a time that gave birth to a new me. I learned why I did what I did and I have worked extremely hard to be a person I can look in the mirrror and respect again. One that my husband can respect again, as well. When I feel any feelings, of missing or longing of my AP, I don't get carried away by them; I look deeper and see what I am really wanting/needing. I know it's coming from something I need to do to take care of myself. The solution starts with ME, not anyone else.

My affair is a scar that I will always have, but I am no longer that person. The sooner you end it, the better you will be. There's no easy way around it. It will never get easier or better to end it. You just have to do it.
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Old 18th February 2018, 10:27 PM   #12
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I think what helped me to get out of it was to see it as an addiction. I've been reading about how people get addicted through intermittent reinforcement. There have been experiments with rats where in one group the rats got a pellet every time they pressed a lever, and in another they got pellets at random times. After an amount of time the pellets stopped altogether. In the first group, the rats kept pressing the lever for a while, but then eventually gave up. But the other group had become addicted through intermittent reinforcement. This group NEVER gave up pressing that lever, always hoping for a pellet.

I believe the process is similar with affairs. It's those crumbs of affection that get us addicted. I've battled addictions before - to smoking and to food. I never got addicted to alcohol but I see affairs as being similar to alcohol addiction. How do alcoholics deal with their addiction? They stay away from alcohol.

I've been out for around 8 months now and away from social media for a couple of weeks. My addiction to SM prolonged the misery for sure. I am as NC as I can be now since we work in the same building. I have no reason to interact with him for work so I don't. For a while at times I'd go to leave work and find that he'd parked next to me. I've started parking on the other side of the lot.

Do I still have times when I miss him? Yes. I also still have moments when I want a cigarette (have not had one in about 15 years now). Recognize it for what it is, an addictive craving, and let the moment pass.

It does get better, but only if you are willing to go through that withdrawal to get to the other side. I saw him the other day chatting up some girl - he knew I was there I think so either he was trying to make me jealous or he just can't help himself. Either way, he's still the same guy he was, and anyone that gets with him is as big of a fool as I was.

I'm glad I walked away from him instead of him throwing me out for someone else. He is his wife's problem now and I don't envy her one bit.
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Old 19th February 2018, 1:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesPower View Post
The only thing that any of this did that was positive is that after all the damage that I caused, I started to become more self aware and more considerate of other people, esp women. It helped me start to live a more authentic life. And I helped me get out of the most horrible marriage imaginable.
The only thing that we can do is start to make the right decisions for our lives.
..
Becoming self aware can be brutal. But it’s a process that I know I need to go through. I am holding onto the hope that in this painful experience, I am walking away with a hard learned lesson. Thank you for your insights.

Thank you everyone for sharing your piece of your story.it truly is helpful to know that there is a tomorrow. Even though it can feel like getting through the minutes are an eternity.

I’m learning in IC to recognize the negative self talk and stop it. It takes a ton of practice. But I’d rather practice that than replay the affair in my head.

Recognizing that i was just another notch on the belt has been difficult. Considering that I don’t live my life to intentionally hurt people, it’s hard to come to terms that people out there do have alterior motives. But I also recognize that I have unintentionally hurt others (including myself) and that too is difficult to swallow.

I live by this quote lately
“The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself” -Paulo coelho

Last edited by grass-hopper; 19th February 2018 at 1:32 AM.. Reason: Spelling
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Old 19th February 2018, 2:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by grass-hopper View Post
Becoming self aware can be brutal. But it’s a process that I know I need to go through. I am holding onto the hope that in this painful experience, I am walking away with a hard learned lesson. Thank you for your insights.

Thank you everyone for sharing your piece of your story.it truly is helpful to know that there is a tomorrow. Even though it can feel like getting through the minutes are an eternity.

I’m learning in IC to recognize the negative self talk and stop it. It takes a ton of practice. But I’d rather practice that than replay the affair in my head.

Recognizing that i was just another notch on the belt has been difficult. Considering that I don’t live my life to intentionally hurt people, it’s hard to come to terms that people out there do have alterior motives. But I also recognize that I have unintentionally hurt others (including myself) and that too is difficult to swallow.

I live by this quote lately
“The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself” -Paulo coelho
The worst part was coming to terms with the fact that everything he did was purposeful, to keep his "outlet" up and running.

Poppy.
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Old 19th February 2018, 11:15 AM   #15
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I think the ending of an affair begins when you place yourself as a priority in your life and not him. Once you start focusing on yourself, you slowly wake up to the fact that the affair is a dead end relationship. I look back now and am completely amazed at the amount of time (both actual and emotional time) that I put into the affair.

I was in a fog for about a year after the relationship ended. I was very hard on myself. I would have never ever thought I would have had an affair so I questioned what led me to make that choice. Eventually, I learned to forgive myself.

I agree with others that the affair left a scar in me. I do think about xMM. The frequency changes. Someone mentioned his name a couple of weeks ago so he's been on my mind often lately.

The healing process is an ongoing process for me.
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