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I had an affair, and I'm struggling

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RescueGA posted 1/23/2020 12:29 PM

I am new to this forum, and a friend encouraged me to post on here to possibly help with my situation....so here it goes

First and foremost, I am a BIG piece of Shit for doing what I've done. I can take the bashing I'm probably about to receive. Yes I know I was married, I made a vow to everyone at my wedding and to my wife and to God, which I value, or did value.

I had some marital problems after being married for 15 years, 3 children, and I addressed them to my wife, and continued living with the issues instead of asking her to go to counseling to help her and I. Never had an affair, could have, never blinked an eye at it or entertained the idea EVER. I knew my character, my heart, my love for my wife would never allow for me to do this.

Well, about a year after I started having concerns about our maritial problems, I just accepted them and said this is the way married life is and somewhat suppressed the issues I felt we were having.

A female who was close with my wife and I, very close actually, really great friends to be exact, who was married with children also, started texting me randomly and took the texting a little bit farther each time we texted privately. At first, I thought it was kind of blind to it, but then soon realized she was pursuing me in a sexual way. At first I blew it off, and then a month or so went by that I started to fall into the game and responded back very inappropriately for a married man to speak to a married woman. Well, this texting turned into talking which ultimately turned into an affair.

Let me give a little history on my affair partner. Married about 10 years, 2 children, had an affair twice ( I know this is a huge red flag for me to consider, and why I allowed this to happen I don't know)

History on myself, married 15 years, 3 children, never had an affair or even thought I would.

Our families were great friends of about 7 years, we did a lot together, our children were the same ages and did several sports programs and school programs together which brought us really close overall. Essentially, our families were best friends.

So back to the story, she started texting me when I was away from the house, I initially played it off but then shortly after started responding back and taking it to deeper levels. We decided that we would just meet by ourselves without our families being there which was a mistake on my part. Not much happened other than some kissing and confirming we were both interested.

Well, then we agreed to meet again which started the physical affair. About 3 months went by until we actually got caught by her husband. She got caught with some messages we exchanged in her phone. Her husband immediately called me in the middle of the night and confronted me in front of her and my wife.

Here is the tricky part, I already said above that our families were close, prior to the affair, it was common to be around her alone or to watch their kids, or viceversa, and the thought never crossed my mind to have the affair. I work for myself, so finding time alone with her was very easy and didn't send any red flags to my wife or her husband. The affair did start out as lust, I admit, but I will say that before the affair, I cared for her and I guess I didn't realize how much I did until after our affair started.

About 2 months into the affair, I realized that I loved her, and she loved me. No doubt, I'm not living in a fantasy world, I'm not in lala land. When the affair came out, and her husband confronted me in front of her and my wife, I immediately confessed of the affair, and then told both her husband and my wife that I had fallen in love with her. Shocking, because I wasn't man enough to stop the affair, I wasn't man enough to tell my wife we should divorce or seek counseling, I was a coward in every way, but yet I still confessed that I loved her.

Well, my wife and I had a bad weekend obviously, she told me she didn't believe I loved her, and that she would forgive me and I was confused as to what I had done and really started questioning every aspect, from my marriage, was it really in trouble prior to the affair, to did I really love my affair partner, was everything worth losing for her. I went to marital counseling with my wife, and the end result was I wanted to choose my affair partner over everything, so I met with an attorney and my wife and I planned for a divorce.

This process of divorce has lasted 6 months, and my affair partner got divorced within 2-3 months. My wife had my affair partner in the papers....the papers stated she was not allowed to be with my kids ever unless we were married, which, was not going to happen at this time. My wife and I went back and forth and finally she agreed to take my affair partner out of the papers.

Myself and my affair partner were relieved. Well,I wasn't going to move in with my affair partner until the divorce was final, and I told her I was going to sleep in the upstairs spare bedroom at my house with my family until the divorce was final.My affair partner understood to a certain extent, but it bothered her. Things got pretty bad between us to where she called my wife trying to say ugly things to my wife, which I didn't appreciate. We had already hurt my wife and her husband and I didn't want to make it worse. The 6 months it took to get the divorce finally on agreeable terms took a tole on mine and my affair partners relationship.

Throughout the whole time, my wife stood by my side, saying we could work it out, no matter what, and selfishly I went against her on it....and denied it....until my affair partner started reaching out to her and being ugly to her. Keep in mine, my wife was aware that my affair partner and I were going to be together. When she started being ugly and texting my wife and calling her, I kind of lost respect for her and we got into a huge altercation to where I ultimately ended everything. There is more to the story but that is just getting to the point directly.

I have been seeing a therapist for the past 10 weeks, and he has helped me tremendously in making my own decisions. Well, when I told him what happened, he asked what I wanted to do and I told him I wanted to make it work with my wife. I told my affair partner it was offer and blocked her.

I'm struggling with a lot, which is my fault, which is a result from me being a piece of shit and a coward, but I'm struggling with the fact that I love the woman, no matter how wrong it is. I miss her tremendously, and I'm trying to make right of the mess I created, and I'm taking full responsibility. I am grateful for my wife and I'm working on everything, doing everything the right way, begging for her mercy, but at the same time, I miss the other woman.

Once again, I know I'm a piece of shit coward, I just need some help getting this out of my mind about how bad I love, miss and everything about her.

Thank you for your time.

Pippin posted 1/23/2020 12:43 PM

I've bumped Maia's Survival Guide for you. It's for people struggling with feelings for their AP.

Many people who thought they were in love have come to understand that they loved the way they felt in the affair, not the other person. And eventually come to understand that the way they felt in the affair was a form of addictive self-soothing to cover different problems they did not want to face. It sounds like that's the case for you.

The feelings are difficult. Although they seem very real, they are not rooted in reality. They are rooted in your thoughts and beliefs. When your understanding of reality changes, your thoughts change, and your feelings eventually catch up. You had a taste of that when your AP started being cruel to your wife in a way you could take in (she was being cruel all along but you didn't see it that way). Keep working with your IC on understanding reality, guard your thoughts carefully, and the feelings will change. It might take a while.

RescueGA posted 1/24/2020 05:28 AM

Pippin,

Thank you for leading me into that direction. Iím 36 years old and have always been strong mentally....but this has kicked my tail.....After reading the other persons heart in that post and trying to do the things she did will hopefully help me....

cptprkchp posted 1/24/2020 07:43 AM

What an amazing BS you have!!

You might want to research ďLimerence.Ē This is a trap many WSís fall in to. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Please stay and keep posting. Keep an open mind - youíre going to go through a lot of stages. Try to stay on the offense and leave the defense at the door. We are only trying to help you.

Maia posted 1/24/2020 08:00 AM

Keep going to therapy. Use my guide and do what you can. I didn't do all of that all at once, it was gradual. it's a process. But you will get through it. The pain does fade. And you will change. <3

MrCleanSlate posted 1/24/2020 08:04 AM

RescueGA,

Your AP did you a great favour by exposing how crappy of a person she really is before you finalized your D and moved in with her.

Being in IC is a good place to be for you right now. You should probably suggest the same for your BW.

One thing to keep in mind - the M you had is gone. All you can do is try to create a new M with your BW. It is going to be a lot of hard work.

It is OK to miss/grieve the AP, you have to get those feeling sorted out ASAP though. Get your head straight as to how bad she really was for you. It sounds like she initially pursued you and you ended up going along, then when it all blew up she wanted you to also leave your W to support her, and when that took too long the AP started in on your BW. She sounds like a real prize. So what is there to miss?

Maia posted 1/24/2020 08:09 AM

you're not a piece of S#$!@#! coward.

It takes courage to confront your mistakes, admit they were wrong, and do what it takes to make changes. If you kept going, that would make you a piece of $%@ coward.

one foot in front of the other. One day at a time of making good choices. The light at the end of the tunnel comes when we pull our head out of our ARSE.

As for Withdrawal pain, don't give it any quarter. I know how much it hurts. and it is very real. It is not logical. There is no reasoning with it. Your heart is broken and you can't explain things to your heart and expect it to understand. It takes time and deep work to heal. Just when the thoughts arise, speak to them. Make a choice and keep on making the choice. It's an addiction model I used, and it works. But don't even bother reasoning. Instead, work on truth and lies. Every day uncover one lie you have believed. and one truth you need to embrace.

it will change more than you know.

Also work on thankfulness and selflessness. Practice being grateful. Doing for others. It will keep you from wallowing.

[This message edited by Maia at 8:27 AM, January 24th (Friday)]

hikingout posted 1/24/2020 09:31 AM

Hi,

I have been in your shoes to the extent of having an affair that lasted two months and feeling like I was in love with the AP enough that it was hard to get past. My h would not have stuck by me for the other stuff or likely even let me stay in the house. Either your wife is very insightful of what was actually happening or she just hasn't gotten pissed off enough yet.

Anyway, I wrote something for another poster that I think fits here, so I am reposting this with some edits to try and share what I learned in the process of re-committing to my marriage and getting past the withdrawal and the pining:

As far as the marriage:

I feel you are still kind of blaming the marriage for the affair, and it's going to take a shift of perspective in seeing we are responsible for our own happiness.

I resented my husband for situations and expectations that I caused. Over time, I told myself stories because noone wants to be the bad guy in the story. The affair amplifies that because of cognitive dissonance. We tell ourselves stories to justify and make ourselves feel better about our decisions that we know are wrong.
When I fixed the lens in which I was looking at the situation I saw my husband very clearly for the first time in a long time. I hadn't appreciated him, and was ready to throw away a man a lot of women would give their left arm to have.

The story you are telling yourself about her not working on the relationship doesn't include enough of your responsibility in that. You have laid the blame at her feet while feeling entitled that you deserve more or something better. We create narratives in which we don't always acknowledge all parts of it and with empathy.

As for the pining:
NO CONTACT WITH AP OF ANY SORT. Read about Romantic infidelity by Dr. Frank Pittman. You need to see what is happening to you is just a very typical reaction to having a limerant affair. That was helpful for me to dispel the star crossed lovers, soulmates, etc because the intensity of the feelings is nothing but addiction. And, the addiction really isn't to the AP - it's to the story you are telling yourself. The feelings from that make you high. Until you stop doing that, you will remain addicted.

Withdrawal is a bitch. It helped me to get a lot of cardio (replaces the endorphins), practice self care - get enough sleep, take vitamins, eat well, etc. You literally have programmed yourself to get all the dopamine hits from this fantasy you have.
You did the same as me - you escaped your reality. You blamed others for your reality. We are responsible for our own happiness, and we can not hold other people responsible for it. You are filling a void with something unhealthy, it will take a lot of time to answer the questions of what WILL effectively fill that void for you. How can you be excited and happy with your own life? It's certainly not through trying to take someone else's wife, and someone's mother from the family. I also had an affair with someone who had done it many times before - let me tell you they already knew a lot of what you were walking into and they know how to play that manipulation game better than you do. And, let's face it that tendency isn't going to go away magically because they love you more. They don't even know what love is.

When you think about her you need to learn to change the channel. You need to tell yourself a different story. The true one. That anyone who helps you destroy yourself and your spouse is a POS. You will also have to acknowledge the way you were being is the same and start looking at why you had become that person. The ways you mismanaged your life.

So, what I did was, I got in IC. II read "How to help your spouse heal from infidelity" I committed to the process and I buckled down one step in front of the other. Everything I did was consistent with my goal to try and restore my marriage. I had doubts, and at times I lost hope. But commitment requires persistence. That means I was committed to putting the AP in the rear view. Our feelings are changeable and not something we should put our total trust in.

These steps you will be taking will help you remove the barriers you have that you will either take into your renewed marriage with your current W, or in future relationships. We hold the keys to our own reality and our own future.

Love is effort. And, honestly when you are a healthier person you will see that the biggest deepest feelings you can have is really doing things and being there for your person. The effort we make is where the butterflies really are. You felt that with the AP because you put in the effort and you liked how that made you feel. You liked you could be someone else than who you were before. But, this was not authentic, and both of you were manipulating each other and lying to each other. It took me months and months to see I manipulated AP - I really truly believed I love him with great conviction. I soon realized that love is wanting to make another person happy, and I really just wanted him to make me happy. I wanted the feelings he could give me, and it really didn't matter what kind of crappy person that was attached to that.

It's very difficult to get out of this circular obsessive thinking, but if you step forward and take control of the situation you will find you will be miserable for much less time. The way you are living now is not what you want. She has already proven to you she isn't who you thought she was. ALSO - I think that your maybe not seeing that you may have lost touch with the idea that you really do love your wife, when she was being attacked you wanted to protect her. This may not fit with the story you'd been telling yourself, but deep down that's what gave you just as much pause, if not more. You are still caught up with these stories you have told yourself and believing them because you have attached a heavy amount of feelings to them.

JBWD posted 1/24/2020 11:17 AM

...but I will say that before the affair, I cared for her and I guess I didn't realize how much I did until after our affair started.

This is a very telling piece of the equation, and how I personally learned that the ďloveĒ I expressed for the AP actually turned out to actually be a selfish distortion. The reason you ďdidnít realize how much beforeĒ- IT ACTUALLY WASNíT THERE. Your mind has fabricated this long-standing affection as a way to help you understand and rationalize doing such hurtful things.

IC and meditation were ways that I was able to start the process of more effectively recognizing those emotions that feel strongest but at the same time vaguest- That combo is a cue that clues me in to stop and ask why. Do the same, and stop being mastered by emotion- It can be very deceptive.

Additional evidence that what you are experiencing isnít in fact love for two separate people- If this was love, why would you treat AP so shitty? That leads down a very slippery slope because the logical extension becomes ďDid you EVER love your BS?Ē And I think that is worth a lot of examination for anyone here. I firmly believe that my process consists of ďrelearningĒ to love. I personally believe my love was there, but I donít know thatís universal on here.

RescueGA posted 1/24/2020 21:03 PM

I need to hear everything that everyone is writing. So one thing Iím confused on is some of the terms, I understand AP and putting together some of the other ones, where can I find what they all mean?

So this past Monday, i finally blocked her phone number so she couldnít call me or text me. Last night around 1 am, 4 days without communication, she texted me from her daughters Phone in the middle of the night. Unfortunately I responded the next morning for some stupid reason, so it was a trigger and Iím trying to work on this. Iíve already changed the music Iíve listened to and trying to get back into running......the night time such as right now is the worst part of the day....I keep myself steadily occupied and then when itís dark and I canít sleep I canít get it all out of my head....one day at a time I can do this


Thank you all because I donít know what I would do without the encouragement and the steps you all have done to get better

I

Lost1122 posted 1/25/2020 06:21 AM

Listen, marriage is tough but affairs donít just happen. It was a conscious choice to step outside of marriage and I see that you are still blaming the AP and your BS for your actions. Iíve been there and understand that itís a process to finally take a hard look at yourself and your whys. Keep going with your IC, itís been a life saver for me.

The best thing you can do right now is put the same energy and time spent pining about the AP into your relationship with your BS. By changing your mindset that love is a commitment, not a feeling, it can help you focus on your BS and how you can have empathy for her feelings. You can also be hopeful that your marriage can be more than you ever imagined if you do the work. If you do, you will never take her for granted again. I know itís hard to come off the drug of an affair, because thatís exactly what it feels like. But once you get past the withdrawals of what you thought you loved about the OW, you will probably come to realize that it was never real.

It seems like youíre still keeping your options open too by not truly letting go. You need to make the decision if you are going to commit to your BS and be all in. If you are, read the book ďHow to help your spouse heal from your affairĒ and discuss it with your IC and your BS. You will hopefully start to ďget itĒ and not take as long as I did to realize the only person who truly lost something in this is your wife. You could save your BS years of emotional abuse and what it truly means to put her needs first.

[This message edited by Lost1122 at 6:27 AM, January 26th (Sunday)]

cptprkchp posted 1/25/2020 07:47 AM

Remember that NC (no contact) means no new hurts.

It seems as though your AP isnít as done with the relationship as you are. I would suggest sitting down with your BS and writing a no contact letter. Let AP know that the relationship is 100% done and that you and your BS will be working towards reconciliation. Tell her you will not be contacting her (and stick to it) and tell her she is not welcome to contact you or your family and any attempts will be ignored - if she continues to harass you or your family then contact the authorities. AP has already shown that she is fine with being cruel to your BS and that should not be tolerated AT ALL.

This situation needs a hero - you got into this mess so you clean it up and show your BS you are remorseful and willing to do whatever it takes for her to feel safe again.

RescueGA posted 1/25/2020 21:54 PM

I donít know if her texting me the other night was a trigger but I have fallen into an extremely deep depression and I canít understand why. Iím 36 years old, and I am a supervisor in the fire service where I have 10 subordinates who depend on me daily to make the right decisions and people in their worst moments depend on me to help their worst nightmares. I do my job excellent without skipping a beat and without letting this affect me there or in situations, however I feel like Ino one is saving me from this hopelessness that Iím feeling.

When I begin to miss my AP, I tell me self I didnít love her and I donít miss her, but that I kid the addiction and the ďdrug ď. I feel despair that I miss our time, our laughter, our ďloveĒ, our touch, the intimacy, her smell, her kiss, her everything.

Today my children has sports games we attended which eased my mind and helped but my wife could tell I was extremely bothered and asked me what was wrong. I broke down and sobbed like a baby, which I donít do and never have done. The whole time I told her I donít know why I feel hopeless and lost and embarrassed, and she cried and said we would get past this. Iím blown alway at how good she is to me because of the roles were reversed I would be gone. She is willing to forgive me and right now I know she is suffering, but I can only think about how selfish I am right now for feeling depressed and ďmissing ď the AP. I donít know if this normal but itís really bad at night, specifically when Iím awake l, in the late night, when I feel like before I had my AP there for me. I hope that this is a stage in the grieving process and that Iím somewhat normal.

Also, what does BS, IC, BW and all the other short terms mean because I canít figure them all out.

Thanks again

Lost1122 posted 1/26/2020 06:39 AM

There is a glossary of abbreviations in the healing library for reference (https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/library.asp). I havenít been posting as much as I should so I also have to refer to this quite a bit when I forget one or use it the wrong way.

As for what you are feeling, it is normal to go through a deep depression after you break it off but probably not for the reasons your mind is telling you. I would encourage you to make an IC appointment and work through it. What you will probably come to find out that itís like a death of who you thought you were or how you felt at the time you were with her. As you mentioned, in reality she wasnít the person you thought she was and it was more of this unrealistic version of her that youíve built up in your mind. It will pass, I can promise you that. It just takes time and focus on your BS.

Also, I know how hard it is to balance work with all of these emotions but I found the more of focused on the task at hand, the more I could leave my personal emotions on a shelf for the moment.

Hope that helps and please keep involving your BS with these feelings. It will only help her and rebuild the trust.

cptprkchp posted 1/26/2020 07:05 AM

AP is affair partner
BW betrayed wife
BS betrayed spouse
WS wayward spouse
WH wayward husband
IC individual counseling
MC marriage counseling
OBS other betrayed spouse
OW/OM other woman/man
OP other person or original poster depending on context

Those are the basics

cptprkchp posted 1/26/2020 07:05 AM

Double post *sorry

[This message edited by cptprkchp at 7:06 AM, January 26th (Sunday)]

RescueGA posted 1/26/2020 10:07 AM

So Like I said I am struggling still, I messed up and called her his morning, she sounds pissed but I asked if we could meet in a public place to talk and she said ďname, Iím not afraid of youĒ

I know that I shouldnít but I want to and I seriously am going crazy. I know we had the affair but Iím really unclear after reading the post because after not seeing her or talking to her for over a week I really do still feel like I love her, and I canít figure out why I am caving if it is a false love???

IHatePickingName posted 1/26/2020 12:58 PM

If you want to save your marriage, you need to confess this to your wife, cancel the meeting, and block your AP.

Breaking NC (no contact) is a big problem, but it is magnified by covering it up and lying. Eventually your BS will give up and then it will be too late. It often isnt the affair that kills marriages, but the actions of the WS after dday. And you have already done a lot wrong there. So you really need complete transparency now. And you need to have no contact with the AP.

My AP (highly limerant online emotional revenge affair after dday) contacted me one night after my husband was asleep, after months of NC. That one contact was enough to put me back into all the feelings. I confessed the next morning and asked him to please check my messages so i had accountability. Then i reached out to Pippin here and told her, and then showed my husband the last "evidence" on my phone from our EA (emotional affair), deleted it with his permission, and blocked AP everywhere.

I wasnt strong enough to do it alone. I needed him to keep me accountable still. Going through it all with my husband, including all the fishing AP did that night, really cast it in a new light for me. As a BS, I know how important NC is, and yet i still couldnt do it until i asked my husband to require it. He hadnt before because my AP had offered support and he felt guilty cutting that off for me, even though i *knew* it was more dangerous than supportive.

[This message edited by IHatePickingName at 1:00 PM, January 26th (Sunday)]

JBWD posted 1/26/2020 14:38 PM

Two times already broken NC- STOP! STOP! STOP!

These actions post A are what generally kill R. Block her. If you see a call/text/e-mail from an unknown source, chuck it as much as you can- Thatís not to say when you feel like it, thatís to say only if itís known that an unknown entity has some direct bearing on your survival.

If you had loved AP, you wouldnít have lied and done the things you did- This is evidence that the strong feelings youíre experiencing are all about you. DONíT meet her.

INVEST ANY SPARE MOMENT YOU HAVE IN UNDERSTANDING AND LISTENING TO YOUR WIFE.

I am telling you that of all the folks Iíve seen on here in the past 9 months, your trajectory is the closest to mine that I have experienced- And thatís NOT a good thing.

That remarkable understanding, empathy, and grace that you expressed admiration for in your BW? Any time you read a text, answer a phone call, or entertain the notion of meeting AP in public, you shit on that gift. And thereís not an infinite well of those qualities.

Wishing you strength and courage moving forward, you need to disclose these decisions to your wife if you havenít already. That courage is the courage to stop STATING that ďIím a piece of shit cowardĒ and start living NOT as a piece of shit coward. Words are the ďeasy outĒ and they need to take a backseat.

Iím trying not to be harsh here but this requires a HUGE course correction QUICKLY.

Edited for spelling

[This message edited by JBWD at 2:39 PM, January 26th (Sunday)]

Zugzwang posted 1/26/2020 17:51 PM

The reason you ďdidnít realize how much beforeĒ- IT ACTUALLY WASNíT THERE. Your mind has fabricated this long-standing affection as a way to help you understand and rationalize doing such hurtful things.

Yep. Bingo. You loved her after you got things from her. Who doesn't love and value their dopamine kick. Your wife wasn't doing it for you. (Which BTW she shouldn't have been), so you latched on to the woman that was pursuing you. I mean you must be so so special since you are her third AP. Think about it.
Was it really her or what she gave you that you were willing to choose being an adulterer to get. Your ego boost. Your good time feeling drugs. Things you expected from your wife that you should have been giving yourself.

You had an affair because you wanted to have one. Get that and own it. The thought crossed your mind to have an affair as soon as you responded back to her flirting. Own it. So, if you chose to respond when she started- you wanted it. You were capable of it. Your character allowed it. Even to the point of divorcing your wife and jumping with the AP.

You may not want your marriage. I can understand that. You don't want to be with this AP. She has gone for the throat of the mother of your children. Bluntly. You would stay in contact with someone like that? Someone that had no care in the world for the destruction she causes. To her own children and yours. Also so wrong that you made your wife take her out of the legal shit. This woman should not be around your children. She cheated on her husband three times. Get a clue. When you get old and boring. Which you will. She will cheat on you. You will never feel safe with her. You will always wonder about every minute not spent with you. You feel fine now because she is chasing another drug. When you are caught you will become mundane and she will move on. Think about her character. She went after her best friend's husband. Just bullshit man. Divorce your wife and let her find someone that wants her the way you want the AP. She will. Can you handle that? Someone else being with your wife. Being a father to your kids. Her handing out her love, compassion, and mercy to another man that loves her.

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