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Preparing to leave my MM in the next few days...

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 1st October 2018, 4:31 PM   #1
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Preparing to leave my MM in the next few days...

I have never been able to tell anyone this story. I can't believe that after submitting this post, someone may read it and may be able to give me advice. It has been so isolating, not being able to ask for someone's input in so long.

I am in love with a man 32 years my senior, who has been married to the same woman for 16 years. They have no children together, although his adult children did stay with them for many years in their early 20s, and she considers them her children as well. They, as a couple and individually, are very involved in the community, and have bonded with a family of people (adults, and unrelated biologically) who did not have a stable upbringing and may not have an accountable family now. We all consider each other family. When I met him, the connection I shared with my MM was strong and sincere. Never in my wildest dreams did I consider it to be romantic, or sexual. I just remember seeing him as he was. I saw a good man with a big heart, and sad, tired eyes.

Time went on and I became actively involved in the community beside him, and became a sort of right hand. I was incredibly loyal to him and his wife, but I understood him in a way that I did not understand her. And the more time we spent together, the deeper that connection became, and the feelings of affection and fondness I felt for him began to blur into perhaps something else. But I didn't allow myself to consider it. I was in a relationship and he was married. We eventually spent so much time together, that he became, for lack of a more suitable phrase, my best friend. I felt truly myself with him, and filled with wonderment at the beauty and sadness of life. I could tell that his marriage was very complicated. I considered his wife to be a strong, self-possessed woman, and had nothing but respect and affection for her. But for some reason, they both appeared cold and distant to one another, and each in some degree of pain. They worked best when they were focused on community organizing. One night I was watching a movie with him at his house, she wasn't home. We wound up cuddling and talking in a way that was much more intimate than it had been before. The next night he kissed me, like a peck, and I didn't know quite know what to do. What followed was a year of us getting closer and closer emotionally, while I did my best to draw boundaries about what our relationship was. My father cheated on my mother while I was growing up, and the thought of doing that to another woman had my stomach in knots. But there were always moments here and there where he would steal a kiss. At the end of the year, I was still in my relationship and he in his marriage, and my anxiety was at an all time high trying to understand what was happening. Then one day spending the afternoon taking a drive with him, I knew. I wanted to be with him, he made me feel like myself, he made me feel loved. I broke up with my boyfriend and I told him I could wait for him, but not forever.

It's now been 10 months since that day. I am more in love than ever, and as sappy and well worn as the line is, I feel a soul mate connection with him that I don't believe I will ever find again. This is not my first love story, I have had wrenching heartbreak in the past and because of the lessons I've learned, I believe this is a relationship that could last. And he seems committed to divorcing his wife. And she has even brought up the idea a few times. He has prepared by getting a storage unit and storing in it all of his belongings that he doesn't want to lose access to if things in his marriage go south fast. There is a certain level of abuse on his wife's part, and I don't say that to criticize her in any way. But I say it to explain why he feels things could go south quickly, because they already have many times. We both go to work in the early morning and get off at 5pm, so we spend the whole drive there and back talking on the phone. Sometimes he drives to my apt before sunrise to surprise me and snuggle in bed before work. We talk about everything, and we do it in a way that is constructive. He is incredibly loving, affectionate, and adoring with me. We both have diagnosed PTSD, his from military service and mine from a complex childhood, and we frequently support each other through anxiety and other symptoms. And he appears to be committed to separating from his wife, and open to talking about concerns that I have related to that. But...there is something. Something holding him back from taking significant action, at least right now. From having that divorce discussion with her. And I have reached a point where I am isolated from friends, lonely, and almost constantly sacrificing my well being for this relationship. And being around the two of puts me into a depressive state that is very dangerous to my health. And I don't want to sacrifice my health any longer. I've decided I can't make him the center of my life, if he is unable to make me the center of his. I believe how much he says he loves me. I have seen it in actions. And I believe that he plans to leave his wife. But the question is when. And I just cannot take any more of this, it is time to start taking care of myself. I am getting ready to tell him that I am breaking it off in the next few days. I am dreading it. I don't want to leave my baby. But it needs to be done.

To all that have taken time out of their day to read this post, thank you. If you have any advice for me, I would really appreciate it. Thank you.
healingliteratura is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st October 2018, 6:02 PM   #2
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You have to leave him. If he truly loves you and makes you the center of his life, he will take the appropriate steps to be with you. The longer you wait, the longer your heartache and being in the limbo that several of us are. It's going to be a tough and long road and I am not once to give you advice. But as one who is struggling, I wish you the best and hope you have the strength and power to break this. Live through the days of misery that are going to ensue and you will come out better on the other side of the tunnel.
brokenandhopeless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st October 2018, 6:17 PM   #3
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I think that if you've spent any time reading the posts in this forum you've probably seen that more often than not married folks don't leave their spouses. A 32 year age gap is pretty significant. That may be on this man's mind. What are you going to do when he starts deteriorating and you're still active and able-bodied? I mean, if I were him I'd be weighing pros vs cons and wondering if leaving a "sure thing" to go after a significantly younger woman will end well 10, 15...20 years from now. When he's 70 you'll be 38 o_O.

He's about to blindside her (from the sounds of your post); she's been in his life 16 years. They have a lot of history together. No telling how his family and friends will react. In short, he's got a lot to lose for an unknown future with a younger lady and I'm betting he's thinking about that. And I'm betting his wife isn't so awful to be with either.

Have you asked him what's holding him back? Have you thought about the aftermath - how will you tell your family and friends about this relationship? His children/family/friends may detest you; it could get really ugly. It's likely not as simple as him picking up and leaving, off to live happily ever after. Lots to think about here, if it really becomes an option.
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Old 1st October 2018, 7:02 PM   #4
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Adding to the advice youíve gotten...

The mistress almost always takes the brunt of the public backlash if the affair comes out..even moreso because youíve been around his wife.

If he is involved in the community, itís likely that heíll focus on saving his reputation and his marriage even if that means throwing you to the wolves. Unfortunately the unfairness of it due to the part that he played wonít matter or make it any easier.

So in the long run its better to leave it before it hits the fan and create more heartache for you.
SouthernIslander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd October 2018, 1:26 AM   #5
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Honestly reading everything you've written works highlight a couple of red flags.

The huge age difference, outside celebrity circles when do you see these in real life. Make no mistake, the gloss will wear off very quickly on a day to day basis.

You mention they interact with a degree of pain, this to me indicates some kind of previous trauma in their marriage. Now it has been noted by my friends and family that's I am more than slightly cynical so take this as you will. My immediate thought was this was not his first affair and his wife was trying to work through discovery of earlier ones. I'm sorry but to me, this would also explain the storage box, ie if the divorce happens it's because if pushed by the wife not by your MM. Now all this is conjecture and speculation of course.

Can you please stop saying you were loyal to his wife and felt nothing but respect and affection for her. You inserted yourself into their self made family, were welcomed by them, seemed to have developed almost hero worship feelings for MM (which were obviously encouraged by him) while demonizing BS.

Again only my opinion but you deserve so much more (and so does his wife)

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