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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 8th March 2018, 4:23 PM   #91
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Thanks Rumblefish and Bourne! So glad I could inspire you! I find myself repeating this mantra at least two times most days. It's a great idea for me to add "I like who I am" and I am going to try that!

I do understand what you mean, Rumblefish... while I don't think either of us will ever forget the other, we will become fleeting memories for each other as Life forces us to focus on other things and other people as Time goes by... that is a sad thought for me, and I am guilty of trying to hold onto the good memories I have of him, kind of like I did when trying to hold onto the memories I have of my deceased parents. It is poignant...and inevitable that it is going to happen. This is the effect of getting over it though; this is what we want to happen... but when it first starts, it is scary and defeating for some of us. And, at the time, the person meant so much, it all just seems so futile and pointless. And I ask "What was the point?!"

So, that's when I say my little prayer I mentioned in the previous post... I hope he is well... and at peace... happy even... but I am letting go, I am moving on...... AND.... I like myself!

Ironically, Bourne, when I tried to think of xMM into the future - even when we were in the affair, I couldn't help imagining him alongside his wife, growing with her and progressing their family - and having a great time doing it... while I remained alone. I wish you peace during this hard week. Hopefully, this ride is one of those short ones and you'll be back on solid and even ground before too long.

Whatcomesnext, it took me a looooooonnnngggg time to realize that I was giving out so very much and not only was I not getting anything substantive back, I felt that I was getting less than nothing back... that caused me to feel utterly depleted. At one point, the feeling was so terrible that I couldn't even hide it from manifesting in my face and body language. I never want to feel that way again.

Bittersweetie, thank you for sharing that. Even the Dalai Lama isn't a perfect and all-knowing being! His words are some that I know all too well. They are the ones I speak to those grieving a death. I tell them that they will never get over the death, they will simply learn to live with it, to integrate it into their lives.

Last edited by Vivir; 8th March 2018 at 4:28 PM..
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Old 8th March 2018, 5:35 PM   #92
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Vivir, I know the feeling you describe. I gave so much of myself in exchange for breadcrumbs and treated those breadcrumbs like they were worth their weight in gold. I was in agony at almost every turn because I knew in my heart that things werenít right, that the way I felt - so dependent and irrational and overwhelmed and lovesick - wasnít healthy or right. But I felt like I would die without him, that I needed those crumbs of attention to feel even baseline ok. It really is like a sickness. And even though I have no desire to contact him anymore, I donít yet feel recovered from the disease. In many ways I miss that feeling of wanting to give to someone without boundaries, the intensity of it all. And it still makes me sad that he discarded me from his life. Itís not even about wanting to be with him anymore, itís more like you said - ďwhat was the point?Ē What was the point if I didnít really matter to him? I struggle to find anything positive to take away from the experience because of that. I often still wish he would do or say something to make me feel like he cared and I mattered. Again, not out of desire to be with him but out of a desire to lessen the feelings of loss of self and meaninglessness. I hope time will heal that. Iím working on it all in counseling. Trying to get back my self-confidence, to accept and embrace that we have to validate ourselves, stop blaming myself and internalizing the abandonment, realizing that sometimes we just make mistakes and that some people are not what they seem.
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Old 8th March 2018, 6:55 PM   #93
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Backwards

Where do start? I have been an absolute mess dealing with the sadness and loss and hopelessness by this affair. I lay in bed feeling abandoned and worthless. And I put on a face when I walk into work and I act indifferent. But still kind. Because that is me. I donít know how to be unkind. Hello. How are you? And I go about my work. Sometimes escaping to the bathroom to breathe!

And he is funny and friendly. And I feel like if we can go on like this in this suspended friendly state, I can live with it. I can be professional friendly and deal inside with my grief. But I realize he is a narcissist. (Now after the fact).He didnít weasel his way in. I accept that I let him in. Because his words were words that my shattered heart wanted to hear. He misses me. He loves me. He thinks of me always. He likes who I am. He thinks if we were in a different predicament that we would be really great together. It frightens him how he feels about me. And I sat and listened and laughed it off and told him I didnt believe him. (But inside I wanted to hear all this) And he gazed into my eyes and held my hand. And i melted. I suddenly forgot that my heart was broken. I ate up all of it. Breadcrumbs.

He asked me to meet him in another quiet room. And I recall standing outside of the room before walking in, knowing that this was my make or break moment. I knew I should have NEVER walked into that room. But I did and he asked me what should he do. I told him he needed to keep doing what he is doing and just let me go. And he told me how hard it has been for him. And I finally gave in and told him how hard it is for me.

And I fell into his trap. Heís so good at what he does. His words. His gazes. And Iím so ridiculously stupid. Why did he do this? What did he get out of it? And why is it so hard for me to resist it? I canít imagine manipulating someoneís emotions for my own benefit. So I realize he is a narcissist. And Iím completely taken aback at how people like him walk around this earth with no remorse, no empathy. Should I feel sorry for him? Should I feel sorry for myself?

So working with him is going to be difficult for me. Because Iím obviously very weak. And he knows this. Tonight I know him. Heíll be quiet. He said to me last night how he knows heís difficult. And he talked long and in depth about his horrible childhood and how he knows who he is is a reflection of those experiences. He said his dad taught him that women were nothing and he said he closes off because heís frightened of the pain of being let down and heartbroken. So I know that either after spilling his heart on the floor to me that heíll retract back into his shell. Or maybe they were all words to reel me back in to feed his ego. And I bit that line. Nonetheless I know he will be quiet and somber today. I think I know some parts of him pretty well. That will be good for me. Itíll help me stay away.

Iím afraid to know what replies from this post will be. Because youíre all so insightful with such great advice. And your words have helped me move along and be hopeful and I feel like every small progress I made has now been thrown out. I wish Iíd never met this man. He is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I donít I know myself around him.
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Old 8th March 2018, 7:15 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by grass-hopper View Post
{snip}
I’m afraid to know what replies from this post will be. Because you’re all so insightful with such great advice. And your words have helped me move along and be hopeful and I feel like every small progress I made has now been thrown out. I wish I’d never met this man. He is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I don’t I know myself around him.
All I see here in this post is your focus on your pain. You make yourself sound like the victim, when in fact you are the one who is inflicting the pain on innocent others. The one I feel horrible for, is your poor H. And I also feel bad for your children too.

Thing is, your entire family is living a lie right now, you're the only one who knows it though. THAT should be what should really be upsetting you.

Time for you to start to put things right. Maybe you should just be straight up w your family? I mean what you are doing now--trying to self-medicate via the forum---is clearly not working. They also deserve to know what is going on.

Last edited by LoveShack.org Moderator; 8th March 2018 at 10:13 PM.. Reason: snipped ~T
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Old 8th March 2018, 7:57 PM   #95
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A dose of tough love.

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Originally Posted by grass-hopper View Post
And he gazed into my eyes and held my hand. And i melted. I suddenly forgot that my heart was broken. I ate up all of it. Breadcrumbs.

He asked me to meet him in another quiet room. And I recall standing outside of the room before walking in, knowing that this was my make or break moment. I knew I should have NEVER walked into that room. But I did and he asked me what should he do. I told him he needed to keep doing what he is doing and just let me go. And he told me how hard it has been for him. And I finally gave in and told him how hard it is for me.

And I fell into his trap. Heís so good at what he does. His words. His gazes. And Iím so ridiculously stupid. Why did he do this? What did he get out of it? And why is it so hard for me to resist it? I canít imagine manipulating someoneís emotions for my own benefit. So I realize he is a narcissist. And Iím completely taken aback at how people like him walk around this earth with no remorse, no empathy. Should I feel sorry for him? Should I feel sorry for myself?

So working with him is going to be difficult for me. Because Iím obviously very weak. And he knows this. Tonight I know him. Heíll be quiet. He said to me last night how he knows heís difficult. And he talked long and in depth about his horrible childhood and how he knows who he is is a reflection of those experiences. He said his dad taught him that women were nothing and he said he closes off because heís frightened of the pain of being let down and heartbroken. So I know that either after spilling his heart on the floor to me that heíll retract back into his shell. Or maybe they were all words to reel me back in to feed his ego. And I bit that line. Nonetheless I know he will be quiet and somber today. I think I know some parts of him pretty well. That will be good for me. Itíll help me stay away.
You didn't "Fall into his trap" I mean; you are a grown woman. Come on now. You are making choices akin to a love-struck romance novel reading teenager. Stop. Just stop. What you feel isn't love.

You aren't "in love" with him. I will venture to guess that you are more in love with the feeling of being in love than the object of your desire.

Let me say that again so it sinks in.

You are more in love with the feeling of being in love than the object of your desire.

Afterall, you can't respect him after what you say you know about him.

You continue to make choices to feel this way because you like it. You use the excuse that you are "weak" so you can keep making the same choices. Getting the ego boost from him. You aren't "weak" and he doesn't hold some special magical power over you. His gazes? Come. On. Excuses.

How about acting with some integrity and making choices that are different? Start owning your actions at least.

It's one thing to say I'm having an affair because I'm choosing to do so and it's another to say I'm having an affair because I'm too weak to stop it. The later is just adding insult to injury.

It't not always easy to do the right thing. But it's the first step in regaining your self-respect and integrity back. This "I'm too weak" excuse is pathetic.
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Old 8th March 2018, 8:06 PM   #96
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This is true. I accept your words.

I know I havenít said much or anything about my M. We are in the process of separating. I didnít tell H about the A. That is not why we are separating. Either my unhappy marriage pushed me to get into an A or my A pushed me into realizing how unhappy we are in this marriage. Nonetheless that is a whole other issue Iím dealing with.

I AM being a huge victim in all of this. In the affair. In my failed marriage. In many aspects of my life. I see that.
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Old 9th March 2018, 10:37 AM   #97
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Okay so I found your thread regarding your husband being an alcoholic and apparently unwilling to get help/recoginze how his drinking is affecting your lives.

You are obviously dealing with a lot of difficult issues; and I think this sheds more light on perhaps the choices you have made regarding this other man.

In a way, both you and your husband have the same issue; looking to fill an empty space inside with something external. His is alcohol; yours is the attention/affection of another man.

You are dealing with your marriage issues, your husband's drinking and you've added another man/affair to the already heavy mix. Not to mention dealing with your own life path and your future and your children's lives. Why drag the dead weight of this OM with you as you move forward? He can offer you nothing but hurt in the long run.

If you are in the process of separating, choose yourself first, and your children next. Work on sorting all of that out without adding more suffering to your life. Think of the OM as poison. Everytime you see him, see him as poison. He will slowly kill you; emotionally, spiritually.

You need You right now. More than ever. You just need to put yourself first in a healthy manner. You deserve it. You deserve healthy love. You are worth it.
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Old 9th March 2018, 8:05 PM   #98
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I mean what you are doing now--trying to self-medicate via the forum---is clearly not working.
I agree with this. I am looking for sympathy in a situation that I clearly put myself in. I am not taking ownership for my own self Inflicted pain. I am blaming MM. Iím quite sure in my own head I have vilified my H. But I have to understand that I walked into this and I keep walking into it. And I donít understand why. Someone told me they possibly do it because they feel itís all they have to hold onto. Maybe this is all I think I have left.

I started IC 4 months ago. I wish it was a quick fix. But itís a process and I feel I have suffered many set backs. All out of my own making.

Imajerk, I believe your quote is ďyouíll thank me for saying that laterĒ. I do thank you for your unforgiving words. Itís not easy to hear. Itís easier to read those replies understand where Iím coming from and how I feel. Because I feel alone in this. But true harsh reality is also needed.

I donít know how to get there. But I will keep trying. Because I do want out of this. And I clearly thought I was out when he stopped and told me it was ending. And it was painful as hell. And itís even more painful to be played and fed lies that sound really great like heís stringing me along.

Eight. MM has been poison to me. He has emotionally and spiritually killed me. He is dead weight. I realize that. And I keep allowing him in. I do need to work on me. I just wish I knew how to get there quicker. It was you who sent me a link To the elephant journal. She wrote that it was necessary to lean into the pain. I keep trying to avoid it. But as others have said on here I need to walk through it.

I worked again with MM. and every word he gave me the night prior he took away last night. He was cruel and cold in his actions. Completely different from the man the previous night whoíd said so many things that were loving and caring. And Iím glad he was that way. It helped me to realize I can work with him being that way and I will get through it. And it helped me to see who he is. But I already know it.
My next hurdle is how I will handle him next time he decides he needs an ego boost from me.
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Old 9th March 2018, 10:16 PM   #99
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im not in the afair now but i have a son to him. his wife making things hard. she should just leave if she cant handle it.told her i dont want be with a cheater
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Old 10th March 2018, 12:20 AM   #100
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GH, I can identify with what you said about being kind. Itís a really difficult thing to turn your back on someone. But you should ask yourself if youíre truly being kind by continuing to engage with him. Are you being kind to his wife? To yourself? Maybe you think youíre being kind to him, but you are just helping him to run from his own issues.

Youíre in a burning building. Just get yourself out and keep resisting the impulse to run back in. Eventually that impulse will subside. It did for me.
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Old 10th March 2018, 12:23 PM   #101
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GH, great you are starting to understand that you have to look inward. It's so painful.

Here's something that may help you on your journey out of this A. Your kids. If I could add up the seconds, minutes, hours, days that my mind was on HIM and the time I spent with him and not being present in my own life, watching my kids grow up, that 'absence' - of my own choosing - is absolutely heart shattering. Way more than the pain of ending an A. GH, this is time we will NEVER get back. All those moments with our kids missed and gone forever. And for what?

Like JAH said, save you and your kids from that burning building.
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Old 10th March 2018, 3:02 PM   #102
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Yes

Dear Grass Hopper

Yes, the pain goes away. You are going to feel very foolish too. The Married partner, sometimes comes back to see "how you are doing" but don't fall into that. They already have someone else. I got over my MM by reading your posts late at night over and over, by keeping on Loveshack and seeing if there was any hope to stay with my MM.

Two weeks ago, (we didn't even make it to one year affair) I ended it. Two weeks before that he asked me "what I wanted to talk about" and I gave him an ultimatum.
It really helped that the next song played for us, while we were ehm, "talking" was "Set me free why don't you babe" By Diana Ross! Both of us failed to smile at that, we just listened to the end of the song and he jumped up at 1 am to answer his phone and say "I have to go, a friends' wife needs my help, its an emergency"!!!???

I really loved him, and loved breaking up with him. I didn't expect him to want to stay with me anymore. I'm sure he is hurting too, but I had to escape so that I could "move on" (his words). Now, I have read some of the other posts to you, and I agree that its not so bad to be without my married boyfriend. I look at him as any other ex, except that I was ghosted by him and taken advantage of by him, which is not someone who loved me would do. So the pain of losing him is no different, but I know I will heal from going with him, and I know that he will not really come back. Its just the kind of closure you need. I wish you success in love.
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Old 11th March 2018, 10:03 PM   #103
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Grass-hopper I appreciate that it's tough to get out. I understand that. There is distance in my situation, which has been my saving grace. I hope the inconsistency in his actions are helping you get to a point where you value yourself enough not to put up with it anymore.

There's a cycle to this roller coaster when you work with them. I feel almost completely healed over the weekend, and every Monday the bandaid gets ripped off. But like I said... it's becoming less and less. Seems the wound is slowly scabbing over. I wish I could remember the feeling of nonchalance i manage to acquire over the weekend when we're back in the work environment together.

There is one more major hurdle I face where I will have to deal with him in person in a couple months. If I can get through that with my integrity intact, I feel I will be that much closer to a place where he's in the forgotten realm of other exes, no more than a memory.

Anyway, I appreciate the posts on here. The reminders why this is not, nor likely ever will be, a valid relationship help me to move on. I think the worst thing I can possibly do is romanticize this because that allows it to go on indefinitely. It's not a romance; it's some married guy who wants action on the side. Well, it might have been more than that, but whatever it is certainly isn't enough to do anything more than make me miserable.

I'm doing pretty well right now. Try to dodge the rollercoaster tomorrow. The job hunt continues.

A quote from a random documentary on: "The amazing thing about humans is that we can compartmentalize, and compartmentalize, in a way that hides from ourselves the bad things that we are doing."
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Old 12th March 2018, 3:10 PM   #104
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I agree with this. I am looking for sympathy in a situation that I clearly put myself in. I am not taking ownership for my own self Inflicted pain. I am blaming MM. I’m quite sure in my own head I have vilified my H. But I have to understand that I walked into this and I keep walking into it. And I don’t understand why. Someone told me they possibly do it because they feel it’s all they have to hold onto. Maybe this is all I think I have left.
You know, a few months ago, I fell and physically injured myself. The fall was accidental, but I exacerbated my injury by continuing to walk, work, jog, etc. on my foot PLUS I just about refused to go to the doctor UNTIL I had no choice but to do so... There were consequences for these actions, and I spent about six weeks on short term disability, unable to work or do my regular exercises. I was miserable, because I have been conditioned to believe that my identity is nothing without being a productive member of society. But there was nothing I could do but use my time as wisely as I could.

It was my own fault that I fell. It was my own fault that my injury became worse. Still, I didn't have people kicking me while I was down, and if they had I might've cursed them out regardless of the circumstances. I'm just being honest.

So, falling is not akin to an affair, and when affairs happen, quite a few people get hurt. But these dynamics are similar. It's my fault, so I, too, was not a so-called victim. Still, the pain was there (I had a fracture!), and I couldn't do anything but do what the doctor told me to do in order to heal so I could get back to doing what I wanted and needed to do (work and exercise) in order to live my life the way I want to live it.

Your pain is real and because you feel it, it is valid. Whether or not that makes you a victim is moot. It doesn't mean that other people's pain doesn't matter. You still have to look out for you, because you are your top priority. You are trying to ease your suffering. Yeah, okay, you caused that suffering. And?

We all make mistakes of some sort and get ourselves in hot water, and some of us do so repeatedly. We deal with things in our own way and in our own time. It's taking you time to heal. You are the only one who can pull yourself out of this. You have sought out help. When you're ready, it will happen. When you're doing better, perhaps you can focus on the pain of others. Maybe you disagree. And that's OK too.

Grasshopper, I hope that you have shared with your counselor how you're hoping that IC will be a quick fix. I have stopped going a couple of times because it seemed to me that the therapist's goals didn't correlate with mine. I hope that you're discussing your fears in IC like you do here, so that this professional can offer you additional suggestions or modify your therapy.

You will have to put in the hard work though. There is NO WAY around this. If you hide your head in the sand, the problem will still be there when you come up for air. For me, the issues that let me think an affair was OK were still there after I terminated the affair (and I had become even more afraid of them while in the affair). The things you are afraid to face, start playing those scenarios out in your head in an effort to determine how you should deal with them in real life before they happen. It might help.

Last edited by Vivir; 12th March 2018 at 3:14 PM..
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Old 15th March 2018, 7:02 PM   #105
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I keep coming back and reading everyoneís replies. And for a fleeting moment I feel ok. I feel determined that I will get through this. It helps to read how you all articulate your pain, your emotions and your stories. It helps me to try and understand my own emotions. I helps to know that you were once where I am now but youíve overcome.

But it comes back. It comes back hard. As guilt. Today I feel guilty. Today I feel to blame. Today I feel responsible for my M. Today I feel like a horrible person. Today I feel deserving of all the pain I am bearing. And I think itís important that I realize my faults in all of this and itís important I take responsibility for how I feel. I just wish it wasnít so overwhelming. I have been feeling this way for a while. It seems like maybe I fall back into the BS I get from MM for a relief from that despair. I need to recognize that each time I allow myself to fall back in, Iím only digging myself in deeper. Because it always ends up the same. He gives me a little and then takes a whole lot back and Iím back at square one.

Iíve read many stories on LS and posts where others have felt in despair and they have felt almost suicidal and I never understood being there. Please donít take me wrong, I donít feel suicidal but I feel a horrible sense of depression and anxiety and despair in this. And everyone gives great advice, sometimes i just donít feel as strong as most of you. But Iíll keep walking forward. Itís all I can do.
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