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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 19th February 2018, 12:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by CloudyHead View Post
I agree with others that the affair left a scar in me.
A scar is such a good description. To extend the metaphor, I think the scar serves as a reminder of how much I injured myself and hardens me to certain situations, e.g. making friends with the nice married guy down the hall.
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Old 20th February 2018, 2:46 AM   #17
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right Now itís guilt mostly...

I know consequences are what I am dealing with right now. I know theyíre deserving. I have to allow myself to walk through this pain. This pain that only I can take responsibility for. This pain that seems never ending.

I feel a sense of loss. Guilt. Sadness. Anger. Jealousy. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.

For those of you that were married and went through the NC. How did you deal with your feelings? How did you keep your head up? Itís suffering in silence. I know I have to do it. How though? Any advice?
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Old 20th February 2018, 9:25 AM   #18
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I know consequences are what I am dealing with right now. I know theyíre deserving. I have to allow myself to walk through this pain. This pain that only I can take responsibility for. This pain that seems never ending.

I feel a sense of loss. Guilt. Sadness. Anger. Jealousy. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.

For those of you that were married and went through the NC. How did you deal with your feelings? How did you keep your head up? Itís suffering in silence. I know I have to do it. How though? Any advice?
I went through all the same emotions. That first NC is a blur now, I donít think my mind wants to remember how much of a bad state I was in!

First and foremost - keep as busy as possible. I remember a couple of weeks into NC I moved house. The day I shifted I went for long periods of time without thinking of him or my situation. That proved to me that distraction is the key. I cleaned the house, cleaned out the cupboards, sorted through old clothes. Whatever it took, one foot in front of the other.

I read books and also tried to work on being in the moment with my husband and kids and turning my focus and priority back on them.

Slowly but surely you start getting on with your life without xAP in it.

Itís a tough process but it is the price we pay. Just think of today as the first step towards feeling better and getting back to your true self. It will only get worse if you continue to stay in limbo. Stick to a plan and action it. Keep reminding yourself that you donít want to continue feeling the way you are feeling right now.
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Old 20th February 2018, 2:07 PM   #19
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One thing that helped me was approaching NC as like working on addiction. I recognized that when I wanted to contact or look at social media or whatever, it was because I wanted a fix. So I started to look for healthy alternatives to get that fix. Like dark chocolate (which may not have been the healthiest choice, but it got the job done). Or I went for a walk. I guess reframing the pain as part of addiction recovery helped me.

Like I said, once I had my d-day I didn't have the "luxury" to heal myself. Before d-day I didn't do a good job of NC; I have no doubt that I would've reached back out at some point. Be accountable to yourself...the alternative, being accountable after a d-day, is even more painful.
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Old 20th February 2018, 4:04 PM   #20
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Part of what has helped me to deal with the pain was telling my H. I read a Vogue article about a MW who fell for another man and when the other man ultimately rejected the affair she was devastated. She ended up telling her H because her H was her best friend. I knew telling my H was risky, that he could decide to leave me. But emotionally I was a wreck. Even more so bc I did not take control and initiate NC, MM discarded me. How would I be able to hide that depression and how would my H not want to know what was wrong? Oddly enough I also felt more of a sense that my H should know the truth and be allowed to decide for himself whether he still wanted to be with me after it was over. The guilt over his not knowing added to the depression and even suicidality I felt. Telling him has helped me tremendously in the long run. He stepped up to try to help me out of this depression, he tries to understand and show me how he values me and our marriage. I feel that our marriage has gotten stronger as a result. Now, despite the pain, loss and self-esteem isssues I am still dealing with (including through IC which I would also recommend), I also feel that how could I even entertain going back into this thing with MM? I would be risking so much more than I was before. I would be betraying a man who has helped me and when push came to shove has shown me how much he values what we have together. MM showed me nothing but pain, and ultimately coldness and distance. There is no guarantee that telling would make your marriage stronger, but i couldnít live with it the other way. Mine was an EA that never got truly physical which maybe made it easier for my H to want to stay, but loving another man is loving another man, whether it technically gets physical or not.
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Old 20th February 2018, 4:28 PM   #21
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Actually this is a typical WW opinion...

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Originally Posted by whatcomesnext View Post
Mine was an EA that never got truly physical which maybe made it easier for my H to want to stay, but loving another man is loving another man, whether it technically gets physical or not.
I am not really sure why no one has told you this before, but yes it would have been much harder for your husband if you had slept with him.

I am not saying that it was easy, but after it gets physical a huge percentage of Husbands will not take their wife back.

On the other had, for woman, it is the "Love" that is a problem. The sex not so much, it is just the opposite from men.

Of course it was the right thing for you to tell him be the odds were on your side because you did not sleep with him.

I am just FYI'ing all the other WW that think the same way you do.

Men are never ok about sex in an affair, they can usually deal with the emotional component much easier...
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Old 20th February 2018, 5:06 PM   #22
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Yes, that makes a lot of sense BluesPower. As you say, for me, as a woman, the love I felt seemed like the worst part regardless of sex. And itís not as if I didnít desire to physically be with MM. The wanting to be with him while also not wanting to express any needs or push it for fear of losing the emotional connection I thought I had with MM (which really was emotional dependency through and through) was eating away at me and driving me insane. I was way more afraid of losing the emotional connection than anything else. Ultimately it will come as a blessing that it never got physical, though it is hard to view any of this stuff as a ďblessingĒ given how in such a short time frame you can go from being a together, confident person to an emotionally dependent/addicted wreck with a shattered sense of value and self. It will take me a long time to get over this experience and I donít think I will ever be the same person. But if it makes my marriage stronger then perhaps some good can be identified as having come out of a truly awful, dark period.
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Old 20th February 2018, 5:13 PM   #23
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But that also begs the question...

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Originally Posted by whatcomesnext View Post
Yes, that makes a lot of sense BluesPower. As you say, for me, as a woman, the love I felt seemed like the worst part regardless of sex. And itís not as if I didnít desire to physically be with MM. The wanting to be with him while also not wanting to express any needs or push it for fear of losing the emotional connection I thought I had with MM (which really was emotional dependency through and through) was eating away at me and driving me insane. I was way more afraid of losing the emotional connection than anything else. Ultimately it will come as a blessing that it never got physical, though it is hard to view any of this stuff as a ďblessingĒ given how in such a short time frame you can go from being a together, confident person to an emotionally dependent/addicted wreck with a shattered sense of value and self. It will take me a long time to get over this experience and I donít think I will ever be the same person. But if it makes my marriage stronger then perhaps some good can be identified as having come out of a truly awful, dark period.
But that also begs the question... "how is your husband doing with everything".

If it was not physical that is good, but he also knows that you wanted it to be. So, how is he doing with all of this?

I assume that you know that it is best not to rug sweep this stuff and of course it is up to you to help him heal from the betrayal that you are responsible for.

Just because he is not falling apart does not mean that he is not hurting as well...
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Old 20th February 2018, 5:45 PM   #24
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Itís tough to figure out exactly what my H is feeling. He hasnít expressed that he is in pain. When Iíve asked him how he feels he seems to not know what to make of it all. My sense is that he is not happy that I had these feelings, but he believes that we still love each other/in our marriage and wants to get me back to feeling psychologically/emotionally healthy and move forward. I think heíd be happy to forget about it. I donít think forgetting about it is possible, or even advisable, so we probably have some work to do in that area. The part that is hard for me to discern at this point is whether the work that needs to be done relates to problems in our marriage or to problems that only relate to me personally (childhood wounds, abandonment, self-esteem issues that have come to the forefront through this experience) - or perhaps both. Iíve really only been able to start truly thinking of this aspect recently. Itís been 8 months since it ended, and it took me 7 months to even begin to feel slightly like myself or to think with any clarity. Some days are better than others, but Iím at enough of an emotional distance now that I am able to start considering these other aspects. From that perspective, I would say to other WW out there who think the pain will never end - it will get better. It can be slow going. I honestly didnít believe it ever would get better. I seriously considered killing myself because both my former self (before MM) and my A self (with MM) were gone and I didnít even know how to be or who to be in life anymore. I thought about it every day for months and months. I thought it would be better for everyone - my H, my family, MM, and me - if I disappeared. Anybody who is in that place, please get help and keep pushing through.
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Old 20th February 2018, 5:48 PM   #25
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the pain goes away

It's been nearly 2 years since I ended the A. There was no D-day, and I didn't have anyone new in my life (at that time. I have since found someone wonderful.) I saw the affair as a huge barrier between myself and the life I wanted. And it started to infuriate me that he thought I was worth just these crumbs. He would say I deserved more, but his actions didn't change. So I ended it, and never looked back.

The pain is now definitely gone, partly because I wanted it to be gone. I stopped maundering over him. Started seeing him for who he really is. Started reading more and more about what the BS goes through, and I had to make a change.

Now, I am completely over it. I regret it, even though there was no discovery. It's just not who I want to be. I don't want to be some OW. I deserve more than that. And once I started to believe that, it became real.

Last edited by Grapesofwrath; 20th February 2018 at 5:54 PM..
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Old 20th February 2018, 9:11 PM   #26
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And it started to infuriate me that he thought I was worth just these crumbs. He would say I deserved more, but his actions didn't change. So I ended it, and never looked back.
It feels like they all say that, so earnestly: I don't want to cause you pain. You deserve more.

At times it felt like he wanted MY sympathy for the pain HE was causing: "I'm so sorry, xMM, that it hurts you to hurt me. Here, let me give you a hug and make it feel okay to be a complete and utter jack*ass."

Eh, screw him.
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Old 20th February 2018, 9:57 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by FoundMyStrength View Post
It feels like they all say that, so earnestly: I don't want to cause you pain. You deserve more.

At times it felt like he wanted MY sympathy for the pain HE was causing: "I'm so sorry, xMM, that it hurts you to hurt me. Here, let me give you a hug and make it feel okay to be a complete and utter jack*ass."

Eh, screw him.
LOL!!! Totally golden! Well said! I also got, "I don't want to disappoint you." Wow, really?! You sure you don't want to disappoint me by feeding me your occasional crumbs as your dirty little secret side item with whom you put almost no effort into maintaining a connection, meanwhile avoiding answering my questions about what my presence actually means to you and whether you will follow through on a single thing you ever said you would do? Hmmm.

Last edited by HadMeOverABarrel; 20th February 2018 at 10:02 PM..
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Old 20th February 2018, 10:23 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by FoundMyStrength View Post
It feels like they all say that, so earnestly: I don't want to cause you pain. You deserve more.

At times it felt like he wanted MY sympathy for the pain HE was causing: "I'm so sorry, xMM, that it hurts you to hurt me. Here, let me give you a hug and make it feel okay to be a complete and utter jack*ass."

Eh, screw him.
YES!! He would break down and sob over the "pain he was causing" me and because of how bad he felt about what he was doing. But he kept right on doing it....
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Old 20th February 2018, 11:12 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by grass-hopper View Post
I know consequences are what I am dealing with right now. I know theyíre deserving. I have to allow myself to walk through this pain. This pain that only I can take responsibility for. This pain that seems never ending.

I feel a sense of loss. Guilt. Sadness. Anger. Jealousy. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.

For those of you that were married and went through the NC. How did you deal with your feelings? How did you keep your head up? Itís suffering in silence. I know I have to do it. How though? Any advice?
I told my husband. I had ended it before that time, but he didn't know the extent of our involvement. I realized after I told him the whole truth, that I was walking around deceiving him, as well as myself, about what I had done. I have never been at a lower point than that night/the next morning. But I felt like I had to start with complete honestly to rebuild us, if he wanted to. I couldn't do that if I was hiding myself. I also couldn't change who *I* was if I was denying what was true. I couldn't be false anymore, not to anyone.

He was very kind to me in helping me work on myself and work through my emotions; but there was no way I could or would cry over my AP around him. I poured all of my feelings into my journal.

The two things that saved me where journaling and reading. I wrote my feelings down. Every night, every day. I also read everything I could and educated myself on limerance, love, marriage, affairs. I read books upon books. I listened to podcasts. I read every thread on Loveshack. Some of the regular posters here in 2016 helped me immensely.

I let the emotions come and go. I knew I had to feel them. But I didn't wallow in them. I learned a lot about myself. About love. I asked myself why I did what I did and found healthy ways to get the emotional connection I need. I developed boundaries. (No man wants to be "just friends." Unless he is gay. That's my boundary now)

It takes time. At first, it may only be a few minutes where you don't think of him. Then a couple months later, maybe the whole day goes by and you realize you only thought of him once. Finally you can listen to those songs you had to remove from your playlist, because he no longer has a hold over you anymore. Then you look back and you realize how much time and energy and emotion was spent. How broken you were.
But now you are proud of the work you've done to become the person you are. Stronger, wiser, kinder, more compassionate. Less naive. Less trusting. But so much better than before.
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Old 21st February 2018, 1:13 AM   #30
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I also read books upon books and tried writing in a journal on particularly bad days (including unsent letters). Sometimes I’ve wondered if reading so much about this actually serves to feed the addiction. It is more time focusing on and thinking about the A, my feelings, and him. But I guess reading is better than reaching out to MM or doing anything else that you may later come to regret. It’s also important to try to focus on literature that helps you understand what happened so you can empower and fix yourself. I’ve tried to do that, but there are periods when I find myself reading about “him” - meaning, trying to understand him and what happened with him, why he did what he did, is he a narcissist, etc. Whenever my reading is in that mode I generally feel worse. Because there really are no good answers. Make it mostly about you and your marriage if relevant, not about him.

Last edited by whatcomesnext; 21st February 2018 at 1:17 AM..
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