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Metallicrainbow posted 1/28/2020 07:49 AM

I'm a MH. We've been married for 15 years known each other since high school. 3 kids. He's a great father, hard worker, the whole nine yards. He is also a porn addict, possibly sex addict. From early on open was an issue. I have caught things along the way but never had ironclad proof until the last couple years actually caught him having online accounts sending nudes and texting other women. There was one time he had a two-week emotional affair with a lady from our son's Boy Scout troop. No physical that I know of. we worked through it. but that nagging thought always pop in my head here and there and I would always find something else online.

I then had a few physical encounters with a coworker which I told him about we also worked through that.

Two years later, I again caught online stuff. Confront, deny, rinse and repeat. We did not have ability to have IC.

Twov years ago around all that, I found myself lonely, bored, typical ww thinking and somehow ended up innocently talking to a man on Facebook that lives near by. That quickly developed into more and has continued on ever since. Two year affair. During this midst of it, I found out hubby was also messing around. He had placed ads on Craigslist and had met up with a female for what he said was a hand job (i seen the pic on his phone). I dug more and found a ton of other emails stating he was gonna meet more people from there etc. When i confronted him, he swore it was the only one meeting that the rest he never acted in he just liked the attention. Up until catching him, I felt like I wanted to find him doing something so I had a reason and excuse to leave. I thought that was what I wanted.I have always loved my husband that but always confused if I loved him or security or the fact that I've known him over half my life we have a family etc. My AP knows I'm married however I have mostly lied to him as well telling him I was unhappy and wanted to leave.

I let the stuff i caught wh doing go and have moved on. This happened right before Christmas. Everyday I struggled with what to do who to be with etc. AP is a decent guy other than the whole knowing I'm married part.

AP now has dumped me. WH does not know about AP. AP said he can't be with me if it with wh and I agree. I need to get out of this mess. But I suppose I'm still in fog as it's only been day two since AP left. My head is telling me I want AP. I know this isn't right and I feel I'll regret it if I leave WH. I also know I need to tell WH as well which I will. I know how all that works. What I don't know is how to get my head out of my ass and let AP and not have thoughts of trying to be with him! I know I need to work on myself and my marriage if that's what we both choose. My mind is such a fog right now I feel is alerting it and I don't know what I really want, or what's made up fantasy. How do I get out of this fog? I try replacing thoughts and keeping busy. Nothing works. I feel I'll be making a bad decision no matter what I choose. I know I'm the piece of shit here..but it still hurts. Nothing compared to what's coming I know. I know we could work on marriage. But I have a hard time figuring out what real happiness is, how do you know? I'm not making much sense right now I'm aware. I need hard 2x4s. My initial thought was to meet with AP today and try and fix it with him, which means leaving WH. I know this meeting is nothing but bad but my mind keeps niggling at me to do so. Someone talk me down!

[This message edited by Metallicrainbow at 7:33 AM, January 29th (Wednesday)]

hikingout posted 1/28/2020 08:34 AM

This is not what you are asking for exactly, but here are my two cents:

Your existing marriage has had such an absence of respect, and neither you or your husband have taken any healthy responsibility towards your own happiness. Instead, you escape through affairs and numb your feelings with sex and feelings about other people.

You have lost touch with what love is. I am going to say you are in a state where you wouldn't know healthy and good if it bit you on the ass. That's not meant to be mean, it's just your sense of everything is very skewed through a toxic marriage, and your own toxicity that was part of what created your toxic marriage.

I don't think you are in a position to be with anyone really right now. You need to get into IC and figure out how to be there for yourself. How to create self worth and self love, and how to examine your own thoughts and motivations.

Of course it feels like you want your AP right now. That is part of your fantasy land and escape to the point that becomes an addiction. Something you rely on for all your good feelings. The best thing to do is let him go and go through the withdrawal of the addiction. If you go to IC, they will help you hold the question of what things will make you happy, how to light up your own life and rely on yourself. There is an old saying that we shouldn't rely on outside things to make us happy because anything outside of us can be taken away at any time.

Once you are to the other side of healthy, my guess is the marriage you have now will not be acceptable to you either. Learn to stand on your own two feet.

You need to practice self care and get that down to an art during this time because you are going to need some sort of fountain to draw your energy from. Right now you have given all your energy away to other people. Get down to basics - regular exercise (force yourself - exercise was and is the one thing that I can always rely on for an endorphin boost), getting enough sleep, taking vitamins, eating well. Try and focus on making your self talk come from a place of being your best friend. I would ask myself all the time, what would your BF tell you here? When I was unkind to myself, I would say "would you say that to your BF". Create a relationship with yourself that is of love and respect and you will have love and respect to give to others.

I know that's not what you want to hear. As far as the pining for AP - that's going to be intense for a while. Not because of him as a person but for the way you felt in the affair. Having No Contact will be paramount - any contact will set you back to day one, it's like a drug user getting "just one hit". Make a commitment to yourself that you are not going to live this way any more. You are going to make something of yourself that will allow you to be in a healthy relationship in the future. Otherwise you are going to keep repeating these same mistakes until the pain of that is so great that it makes you go in the direction that I am talking about, or you will just endure endless cycles of it until you die.

It's hard work, but it's worthwhile.

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:35 AM, January 28th (Tuesday)]

Metallicrainbow posted 1/28/2020 16:08 PM

The common sense in me knows what you are saying is correct. The wayward in my is thinking that I truly love AP and how I could leave to be with him. But I don't want to hurt WH. I'm not sure what's up and what's down at the moment. I'm sure it may be fog and fantasy. But what if it isn't? I know the logical thing is to leave wh work on myself, get healthy and then find AP. But that isn't likely gonna happen.

I read and read on here and got up the courage to cancel meeting with AP today. One step at a time. But this pain is so overwhelming I can't take it. I can't eat..I can't exercise due to asthma. My head is spinning and I just want it to stop. One moment I talk myself into better thinking. The next I drift back to fantasy land

EvolvingSoul posted 1/28/2020 18:24 PM

Hi there Metallicrainbow,

I think hikingout is right that you have a very skewed and toxic view of love and relationships. The real choice you are facing is not "BS or AP", it's mental health or not-mental-health. The AP can never be a mentally healthy choice for you.

I was in a really similar situation. I had an online emotional/cyber affair for about four years that went physical when AP moved to my area and that continued for three and a half years until my BS finally forced me to choose between him or my "friend". (He was in both of our lives, frequently at our house and I at his, under the guise of "just friends"). At the time I really thought I loved both of them, and if anything I thought AP and I were more compatible. The week after D-day I spent hiding out at my parents' house, making lists of pros and cons of possible outcomes. I came very close to leaving my BS and moving in with AP. It was my sister who convinced me that I should at least give it six months of NC with AP to see if the marriage could be salvaged. It was at about 5.5 months after having gotten into therapy that I had an epiphany, one of those message from the universe moments, that AP wasn't going to be an option, ever. My only chance for true healing and happiness was going to be with BS or on my own. I went home and wrote the "It's over forever" letter to AP that night.

How do I get out of this fog? I try replacing thoughts and keeping busy. Nothing works. I feel I'll be making a bad decision no matter what I choose. I know I'm the piece of shit here..but it still hurts.
Yes it does hurt. The best thing you can do for yourself is start getting some tools for dealing with challenging feelings in ways that are wholesome instead of self-destructive. Repressing them leads to more suffering. Acting out leads to more suffering. Learn to sit with them, acknowledge them, and let them go. Again and again. A mindfulness practice with daily meditation as its foundation helped me so much. There are a lot of resources out there that will explain how.

Proceed with conviction and valor.

Best to you from a fellow EvolvingSoul.

Metallicrainbow posted 1/28/2020 21:05 PM

Thank you evolvingsoul.

I'm trying. This forum has been my only saving grace today. I read other stories and take bits of pieces of each that I relate to. It helps. My mind set charges when I'm on here. Like a temporary fog lifting. I start to feel better. I have no one to talk to. No one. Not one "real friend" so I have here.

But then when I stop reading and return to daily activity...my mind goes back into lala land. It starts playing mind movies, I start going over scenarios again. Creating things in my head how I want them to go. Temptation sets in. So I get back in and try to redirect.

Earlier I read another topic on here dealing with the same emotions I feel, the I love ap and can't get over him. I related instantly. The things pointed out to them, were exactly where I am and what I've done so I could relate easily. I've taken in what they suggested to that poster to do. A few gave me an ah ha moment.

But again I get off and boom. I saved and texted AP after dinner. He is firm about not continuing unless I left. And part of me knows I'm not gonna leave nor would that be the right thing or what I really wanted..but I needed my ego stroked and needed to know that I could have him back if I wanted, if I left. And I could. AP saying we could be together if I left, called my urge I guess. It stroked my ego enough that I felt that "high".

My self esteem has always been low I think. I'm shy. I've never been a crowd handle l favorite or could make friends easily. I've had best friends in the past but we've drifted. I work from home as a dog groomer so all day long it's me alone with the dogs until kids get home. I have a part time evening job, that played a part in allowing me to cheat. I would say I'm working and really be with AP. I liked having AP to talk to everyday. We text all day everyday from morning until I fell asleep. He was my constant companion. We shared the same hobby (horseback riding) and a lot of the same views and thoughts etc. My life now feels so empty. And it shouldn't.

H and I were friends in high school. He was always in love with me, but he never did it for me at that level. We were bff. Right after school I married the bad boy..mistake! He cheated with a prostitute within six months on marriage and then blamed me. He was very verbally abusive. I reached out and found H and we reconnected. Within two months I fell pregnant. So we got married when baby was 10 months old. Things were ok. Normal struggles. He sucked at communication which frustrates me. He has a high sex drive, mine was low and that frustrated him. Porn set in such also set doubt in and other things along the way which led to agree we are now. I've always asked myself if I love H for real or for the wrong reasons. I know I sought him out for security. I knew he wanted me and would take care of me. Which he did. He's a great dad and provider. Hard worker. Don't drink or drugs etc..just used to be heavy into porn.
I used this excuse that I didn't think I was really happy and that he did what he did, to justify cheating.

I know I love my H. I'm just not sure in which way. Obviously not a healthy way. But I want to! I want to so bad. I just can't seem to get things sorted in my head. I have ADD. Rights are hard for me to really focus on and sort through. I'm not medicated..maybe I need to be. With that said, would adrift l anxiety meds help pull the fog from me? I'm terrified to try them but if it would help, I will.

[This message edited by Metallicrainbow at 9:10 PM, January 28th (Tuesday)]

EvolvingSoul posted 1/28/2020 23:10 PM

Well one thing I can tell you that was true for me is that being in the affair distorted my perception of both AP and BS. Eventually I learned that it was coming from trying to get relief from the cognitive dissonance that resulted from cheating and wanting to believe I was still a good person. Cognitive dissonance is the psychological discomfort/tension you feel when you are trying to hold two or more incompatible beliefs as all being true. What can happen is that you will actually alter some of your beliefs so that you can alleviate that discomfort.

In my case, I had different filters through which I perceived AP and BS. All the good stuff about AP was magnified and I ignored or minimized anything that seemed negative about him as a person or how he treated me. My filter for BS was just the opposite. I magnified anything negative about him and how I felt about him. I convinced myself that I had "never run toward the marriage" (I remember writing those exact words in my journal). Anything positive about him was likewise minimized. This kind of distorted thinking is a real thing and it helps us justify the affair and relieve the cognitive dissonance. For me it helped me convince myself that neither AP nor BS could fill my needs, I needed AP to be the fun one, and BS to be the mature one, and BS was just being a dick who never wanted me to have any fun when he would complain about me spending time/energy/money on my "friendship" with AP.

You are going to need to do a complete brain rewire, and it is going to take some time. AP in your life, or even the possibility of him in your life in the future, is not going to help you with that. It is enormously painful I know but honestly future you will be so much better off if present you puts a stake in the heart of this relationship. White Fang him if you have to but end it with AP. Choose mental health. Like hikingout said, and you just verified in your last response, this isn't about the guy himself. It's about the feelings you are getting. He's giving you the feelings you want, BS is giving you feelings you don't want. Don't you see that in both cases you are really relating to them as sources of feelings rather than as actual people? You've been lying to both of them to continue to get the feelings you want and stave off any feelings you don't want.

Does your BS know about this affair?

Metallicrainbow posted 1/29/2020 07:47 AM

I'm not sure what feelings I would be hiding from. I had a great childhood, a healthy happy family etc. I'll have to dig in that one.

H is very doting, and very into me. So I don't get why im not satisfied with him since he basically feeds all that I need, in that sense. I honestly don't have any complaints on him other than his high sex drive I couldn't seem to keep up with. I can definitely see where I've been nothing but auto pilot with him for quite a while. Like mentally checked out but going through the motions. I've missed out on so much family time because I was too consumed with AP and making him happy. I'm sure if I would've put the same time and effort into my Marriage I wouldn't be here today. My H deserves better. AP deserves better.

I think a lot of my problem is boredom. I'm going to call the Dr today and set an appt to be seen for anxiety depression, possibly ADD meds.

I need to get through today with ZERO contact. The only thing I'm armed with is this site. It keeps me grounded. The second I stop reading, I struggle. Triggers all around. Mind movies. It's torture. But I deserve this pain. And to answer your question evolvingsoul, no I have not told him yet, but I will.

Metallicrainbow posted 1/29/2020 07:55 AM

How do you start the road to loving yourself?

MrCleanSlate posted 1/29/2020 15:28 PM

Metallicrainbow,

In some respects your AP terminating the relationship is the right thing. Where it goes sideways is it's kind of an asshole thing for him to try to break up a marriage by his ultimatum. Then again he is only being selfish and does not want to share you.

So many of us waywards put a lot of effort in our A's. Yes, I too enjoyed all the texts and calls with my AP during the day. We communicated a lot. Then my BW would come home and I would ignore her and then demonize her for not communicating with me. Meanwhile I was the one that was putting up the walls and walking around the house with a frown that said 'keep away'.

After the A I put that effort and more into fixing my relationship and M with my BW. R worked for us because we both worked for it.

Right now for you it is like the first few days back home from Summer Camp and your head is still on the cute boys you saw and all the cool things you did and new BFF's you made. In a few weeks all that fades and you see it for what it was - an escape.

I have no one to talk to. No one. Not one "real friend" so I have here.

You could try talking to your BH.....

hikingout posted 1/29/2020 15:54 PM

How do you start the road to loving yourself?

I think for me I started being aware of my thoughts. Our thoughts guide everything and that's a scary prospect because they are often based out of emotion which isn't a reliable source.

I read the book "The power of Now" and learned to be a conscientious observer of my thoughts. I spent time meditating to see what would come up and learned not to judge whatever that was as "good" or "bad".

Eventually, I started asking myself "Would you talk that way your friend" Or "What would you tell your best friend". Because often we are very much on that person's side and have their best interests at heart, yet we do not have our own.

From there, you learn to have better boundaries. What you will accept, what you will not accept, boundaries on your time and energy, and some are even on yourself. The more you do this and adhere to them the more you are telling yourself "you got this", the more secure you feel because you can look after yourself.

It sounds simple. It's not. It's the hardest thing to do, especially if you have been never good at it. For me, I have had it in the past at times, and then lost it again.

A person who loves themselves will have integrity and will adhere to their own moral code. They will take time for themselves to replenish and practice good self care.

So, if I had to pick a step that I started early on, and I recommend to all new WS - start with just looking after yourself. Make yourself exercise, even if it's just having a goal of going for a certain amount of walks a week. Movement helps us with energy and endorphins. Try and correct your sleep patterns. Pay attention to your food, and try and nourish your body properly. Take vitamins. This was the first step of me telling myself "I am going to respect you and give you what you need". That was absolutely my first step and one it took months for me to finally get a handle on. I eventually started running, and I still do so to keep my mental toughness high. Sounds simplistic, but until you cover the basics you won't be able to have enough energy for the next step.

Metallicrainbow posted 1/29/2020 17:20 PM

A lot of that makes sense, but is very much hard to actually grasp while being too thick in the fog. I've managed to keep NC today, despite AP saying he'd like to not lose all contact. I can only look one day at a time.

I feel sick. I can not eat. Crazy thoughts consume me and have all day. My mental health is not stable obviously. I've turned to smoking (secretly) I did not call the Dr as I had planned to. Hopefully tomorrow. If I did not have three beautiful children counting on me..I'm not sure where I'd be right now.

So many triggers everywhere that I can't escape.ive had to turn off the radio and tv. I caught myself having a dangerous thought earlier. I wanted to dig and see if I could catch H back at it again because then I wouldn't need to decide. Then it would make me feel better. I envisioned leaving and going to AP. But I talked myself down. I know that isn't reality because just this past November, exactly that happened. I caught H cheating. I didn't leave when I had every chance too. If I wanted it so bad..why didn't I? I was scared. I hate Change. I'm scared to be on my own. Financially. I didn't want to do that to the kids. And I didn't want to be without H. Maybe he's my security blanket, maybe I really love him. I can't tell.I know what would happen. So I stopped. I read here. I got some very valid points. I know what's being suggested is so right...But it's beyond hard to do so. I know I'm selfish, I self hate, I'm a horrible wife and mother for all this. I want it all to stop. I want to be better. I want my family to be better. I want to see some light at the end of this. But I can't. And all I can think of is what if I stay and live the rest of my life just "ok". What if I leave and regret forever..

Metallicrainbow posted 1/31/2020 09:47 AM

I've reached a new low in my obsessive, wayward thinking last night. It's beyond consuming me. None of the tricks are working. I went to the Dr and got on Zoloft. I haven't eaten but a handful in almost a week. I'm sure I'm dehydrated. This morning I nearly blacked out.

I can't seem to pull myself out of this. It will be a few wks before I can speak to my IC.

I try replacing thoughts but they only quickly up back to fantasy land. I try distractions..don't work. I try talking and interacting with my family but that turned disastrous last night because I'm so on edge. I know I have no right to feel this way. I shouldn't be the one hurting. But it's hard not to when youre still so thick on the fog. I have no energy to exercise, eat etc. I stayed in bed most the day yesterday.

What else can I do? I feel I'm quickly slipping in this withdrawal.

hikingout posted 1/31/2020 10:05 AM

I remember having that struggle of wanting it all to stop and not knowing how to make it stop.

Zoloft might help you get stable to make the steps. I look back and wonder if that wouldn't have been a helpful shortcut for me. I would really try and focus on eating and sleeping to start with. Keep NC. Get the eating and sleeping down and then worry about exercise, it would be ill advised for you to exercise without having eaten all week. Take some vitamins too. You need to get yourself together, and that's going to start with the basics.

It might also help at this point to confess to your husband. Not because he is responsible to gate keep for you, but because that will put some much needed reality in your situation. There is no way he doesn't know something really bad is happening, he just might not know yet what.

I read a lot of Dr. Frank Pittman's stuff on Romantic Infidelity. It helped me to see that I was having a predictable, common reaction to having an affair.

Did someone bump for you Maia's thread for a guide to get through withdrawal? I will check after I post and if not I will go ahead and bump that up so you can read it.

It does get better, I promise it does. It takes some time, so you do need to get a grip on some of the coping - but I think probably getting the meds will help you a little bit to make the next steps. I remember being paralyzed and being where you are, the only thing I can offer is that if you do the right things here (NC) and keep making the steps forward there is a lot of rich opportunity for growth and you have every reason to be more hopeful for your future. Make one commitment at a time and master it. You can do this.

[This message edited by hikingout at 10:07 AM, January 31st (Friday)]

Metallicrainbow posted 1/31/2020 11:18 AM

I don't have the strength to confess at this moment. That might just do me in. I need to get myself together before that comes. My thoughts are going very dark at times.

I have read the guide to survival. Im trying to implement those things, they just aren't getting though yet.

H knows I'm upset etc but he thinks it over my upcoming job change. I don't handle change well. I'm trying to replace thoughts of AP with happy past thoughts of H..but they quickly go back or I have a hard time even remembering any! Fog is real with this one!

I'm trying to soul search and really dig for the reasons but so far I have nothing other than I'm selfish, boredom, I love to be wanted, I like the attention, the high from it, and I like control and I feel I'm very codependent. I don't think of handle being alone. I have everything a woman could possibly want...yet here I am seeking more.
It's funny how done times when I was with AP I would miss my H and want to end it all and only cared how H felt and guilt took over me. But then when it actually happens, it all flips and I crave nothing but my AP. Thoughts of how I could make it work with him and how much I really want him. If I was so happy before, would I have done this? Maybe I would be happier with him. But that isn't possibly because of the situation. I couldn't make it work. And I know the second H would be gone I would reverse my thinking and want H and so deeply regret it. The number one factor, I don't want to do that to my kids. AP said he would no longer partake anyways until I had divorce papers on my hand. Good for him...at least he's better than me. I don't truly deserve either man if we're being honest.

How do you overcome being codependent? I have always been in a relationship from high school till present. I've never truly been single. This is a huge flaw of mine.

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