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Why Must I Ruin My Life?

Pages: 1 · 2

Beckett posted 3/1/2020 21:36 PM


I became close friends with a female colleague and I quickly imagined her to be my best friend.
My wife came to realize that my “best friend” was becoming increasingly part of my daily life and routine and became uncomfortable with her, and I met this with tremendous resentment, and began to hide the relationship.
My wife found out, and accused me of having an emotional affair, which I didn’t know was a thing, and the accusation was incredibly destructive to me, my “friendship,” and my marriage.
This consumed me and stressed me out, as I had just imagined we were friends; the fiction allowed me to feel good about myself, and enabled my resentment towards my wife.
I told my colleague, presuming she would reject me. But - it turns out she felt the same way!
We began a romantic, sexual affair but it turns out having an affair - especially one that is emotionally rooted and is emotionally powerful, is difficult, over the couple of months that we worked at it, it was tremendous work, time consuming, emotionally fraught, rarely rewarding in the way we would imagine, but we both believe strongly in the sincerity of our love.
However, she broke it off - it was, and I understand this - really emotionally challenging to navigate, and unlikely to be successful in the long term.
I am largely responsible for that exhaustion, because I was “all in,” I put a lot of pressure on her to pursue our love even when it wasn’t working. She has broken off contact, and I am left gutted. I know she loves me, but I know as well that the relationship is not healthy. I am a mess. I am struggling to het from one day to another. Although the affair was brief, our relationship was emotionally intense, perhaps the most sincere relationship I have had. I am a mess! Thanks for listening!

[This message edited by Beckett at 10:52 AM, March 3rd (Tuesday)]

forgettableDad posted 3/1/2020 21:53 PM

Your wife was diagnosed with cancer and you felt so devestated that you fucked someone else.

You're right about one thing. You are a mess.

How about some more information regarding your marriage and what you want from yourself?

Beckett posted 3/1/2020 22:58 PM

How about some more information regarding your marriage and what you want from yourself?

There is a big difference between “fuck[ing] someone else” and giving yourself permission to experience and pursue love. I am sure that I will face judgement and admonishment for my choice; I’m actually quite at peace with it. What I am struggling with is how to come to terms with my grief, how to navigate this loss, how to move forward when I share space with my colleague, how to make sure I attend to my own emotional and mental health. I am trying to ensure that I can make the best choices moving forward to heal and be healthy. I posted here looking for support and advice from those who have experience navigating similar experiences, so if people want to judge me, they can keep it to themselves.

[This message edited by Beckett at 10:54 AM, March 3rd (Tuesday)]

Nolife posted 3/2/2020 00:22 AM

WS Only

[This message edited by SI Staff at 5:30 AM, March 2nd (Monday)]

forgettableDad posted 3/2/2020 01:57 AM

Yes. I was also "in love" and had suicidal thoughts. And all that. Your "love" is so generic it's hilarious.

I'm not judging you. I'm telling you you're full of shit just like the rest of us. And the sooner you recognize that ugly reality the sooner you can actually move towards healing. Or not, your choice. Do you think people are going to sugar-coat what you did so you can feel better?

If you loved your affair partner and fell out of love with your wife. Why are you still married? Why did you lie to your wife?

Go see a good therapist and get over yourself. You're not a snowflake. You lied to your wife and cheated on her after she was diagnosed with cancer. That's a sign of a weak man. Not "love" or any other bullshit you're telling yourself right now. And trust me, I'm a master at bullshitting myself.

What steps are you taking to fix yourself?

[This message edited by forgettableDad at 1:59 AM, March 2nd (Monday)]

forgettableDad posted 3/2/2020 02:04 AM

Here, solid advice.

Quit your job.
Block your affair partner on everything you can.
Get IC and work it till you have nothing left.
If your AP is married, inform her husband.
Help your wife however she needs.
Give your wife space, help her find an IC, offer separation for now. Etc.

Grieve what you need but realize you fucked up royally and unless your wife is amazingly graceful, she should probably divorce you.

ff4152 posted 3/2/2020 04:41 AM

Beckett

One thing that’s missing in your narrative is any meaningful mention of your wife. Other than having breast cancer, where is she in the grand scheme of things in this story? Does she know? Are you divorcing or planning to?

I get where these feelings for your AP are coming from. The majority of us WS have felt them at one time or another. But what are you really missing? A person who is just as broken as you are. A woman who not only cheated on her husband and family, but also entered a marriage where the wife was battling a life threatening disease.

It took me some time to see that my AP wasn’t my soulmate. I sincerely hope you get to the same place about your AP.

Zugzwang posted 3/2/2020 06:46 AM

There is a big difference between “fuck[ing] someone else” and giving yourself permission to experience and pursue love.

That "giving yourself permission" just equates to entitlement to hurt people just so you can have

the fiction allowed me to feel good about myself, and enabled my resentment towards my wife.
It is all about feeling good about yourself while abandoning your sick wife because you never learned how to cope with feeling bad. The AP is just a drug. An escape. Someone else willing to sit with you in your shit instead of holding you accountable to get healthy. You didn't have permission to fuck someone else. You did have permission to make some meaningful healthy choices to learn how to cope with your depression and to finally be enough for yourself without hurting others and stepping all over them in the name of "feeling good".


Psalm51 posted 3/2/2020 07:40 AM

Beckett

Is your wife still around? Still surviving? Passed? If still around, is she aware of your betrayal?

Your AP. Is her BS aware of the A? What was her reason for essentially dumping you?

Yoir 'love' for your AP...I know you don't see it now..but it's simply dopamine at work in you. An addiction, if you will.

Before even commenting on your marraige as we dont know much about it..your question about how to deal with seeing AP at work is simple. DON'T. In fact, you shouldn't be working there and the best thing for everyone is if youd cease to exist as an employee. Quit.


Edited due to typos

[This message edited by Psalm51 at 7:42 AM, March 2nd (Monday)]

Beckett posted 3/2/2020 14:40 PM

We both have gone for individual therapy. It is noted that I have not commented much on my wife; this is true, because my concern is for me: as our forum title suggests, I want to survive. I want to carve out the best path forward for me, as a happy healthy person. I’m not posting because I am looking for insight into how to save my marriage or because I need a community to tell me I am awful; do you think I am unaware that I will be perceived that way? I’m posting because I presume shared experience, I have my own story and challenges and feelings which are legitimate and worthy of compassion, and I know I need support in order to be the best possible me. I have invested a significant part of myself in something that has now disintegrated, and I need to get myself back together so I can care for myself and my family. There is no place as a WS to seek out support and compassion. So I have come here. You can tell me the shit that huffpost articles tell me about rebuilding trust and quitting my job and getting a therapist or you can offer me insight from your own experiences that acknowledges the legitimate emotional challenges I am struggling with.

[This message edited by Beckett at 10:57 AM, March 3rd (Tuesday)]

forgettableDad posted 3/2/2020 16:06 PM

I see where you've misread what I wrote. Let me iterate first on the steps then explain what you got wrong here.

First:
Quit your job.
Block your AP on every available channel.
If she hasn't told her husband, tell him yourself.
Tell your wife if you haven't already.
Go find another therapist; A good one and toss yourself into IC to figure out the personality weaknesses that you have (and judging by your posts, there's more than a few).
Give your wife space; help her find a good IC.
Open up every device you have and make sure you are 110% visible to her.
Learn to be a safe partner.
If you have kids; start making up for the time you stole from them as well.

Now. The second part.
You misunderstand the advice given to you here. No one is trying to help you to "save your marriage". Your marriage is over. You torched it.

You lied, cheated and abused your wife. The sooner you realize this the sooner you can actually take responsiblity (which you're currently avoiding like the corona virus) and start healing.

All the advice here is to help you get on your way to try and fix yourself.

You invested precious time in your affair partner and now that's gone. None of it was real to begin with. Two broken people playing at being in-love in order to avoid facing the reality of their own shit. Again, you're not a snowflake. We've all been there. Same feelings, same excuses. All the way down to feeling like we've known each other for years even through it was four months at best.

The support you need is a reality check. That's my experience. That's why I came here and why I read every goddamn post by people who were betrayed by assholes like me and you. I want to know how they feel, I want to undertsand my wife better so I can be a better person.

Compassion isn't kissing your ass telling you it's going to be ok. Compassion is understanding exactly where you come from. Accepting that that's who you are right now and telling you that you can be better. But you gotta put the effort yourself and it's going take you a looooooong time before you learn.

So:
Why haven't you quit your job already?
Does your wife know?
Does your AP's husband know?
Have you gotten checked for STDs?
Have you blocked your AP yet?
Are you looking for a therapist specializing in infidelity?
What are you doing to stop being a liar, cheat and abuser?

And the list goes on. Grieving over the fantasy is part of it but it's a small part of it given the actual nothingness that you really had with her.

crazyblindsided posted 3/2/2020 17:41 PM

I'm a madhatter so both a WS and a BS.

This forum is to help people get out of infidelity not stay in it. You will have to grieve your AP like any other break-up, but hopefully you do this with a therapist and not in front of your wife as that would not be fair to her.

because my concern is for me

This is most WS's concern, for themselves. The person you should be concerned about is your wife. Does she know about the A that it went physical and you fell in love? That would be a start to let her know.

You have a long road ahead of you as infidelity takes years to heal from and this will be more trauma for your wife on top of whatever other trauma she has experienced.

You had your time and your happiness in your escape. Now that is over and you will have to figure out what is broken in YOU that allowed you to step out on your wife rather than seek counseling or a divorce. I can tell you LOVE is not the answer. If you call an A love then it isn't healthy. Not the kind of love that destroys people.

May I suggest 2 really good books...

"Not Just Friends"

"How to Heal Your Spouse After Your Affair"

Beckett posted 3/2/2020 18:01 PM

Quit your job.

Self-imposed poverty seems like a poor life choice for my family.

If she hasn't told her husband, tell him yourself.

Why would anyone do this? This is terrible advice. This is imposing on someone else your problematic moral vision. Settle down! Easy fella!

Go find another therapist; A good one

Why presume mine is bad?

and toss yourself into IC to figure out the personality weaknesses that you have (and judging by your posts, there's more than a few).

Yes! I am flawed. We all are. So I seek help, and I forgive myself.

You misunderstand the advice given to you here. No one is trying to help you to "save your marriage". Your marriage is over. You torched it.

Nope. I have work to do as a partner, for sure. I love my family, I love my wife. Trauma exposes weaknesses. We are struggling with that.

You lied, cheated and abused your wife. The sooner you realize this the sooner you can actually take responsiblity (which you're currently avoiding like the corona virus) and start healing.

I know my choices. I am responsible for them. I am even ok with them. I know why I made the choices I did. People are complex, flawed. I’m not proud of creating risk for my family. I am proud, however, that I took a risk to pursue my own happiness. My choice wasn’t about my wife. It was about me. It was about my AP. Liar? Cheat? Definitely. I need to figure out how to work through my grief so that my focus can be my partner. Wanna help with that?


All the advice here is to help you get on your way to try and fix yourself.

I didn’t ask for advice. I know what the advice is. I asked for compassion and support and shared experience.

You invested precious time in your affair partner and now that's gone. None of it was real to begin with. Two broken people playing at being in-love in order to avoid facing the reality of their own shit. Again, you're not a snowflake. We've all been there. Same feelings, same excuses. All the way down to feeling like we've known each other for years even through it was four months at best.

The support you need is a reality check. That's my experience. That's why I came here and why I read every goddamn post by people who were betrayed by assholes like me and you. I want to know how they feel, I want to undertsand my wife better so I can be a better person.

Compassion isn't kissing your ass telling you it's going to be ok. Compassion is understanding exactly where you come from. Accepting that that's who you are right now and telling you that you can be better. But you gotta put the effort yourself and it's going take you a looooooong time before you learn..

And the list goes on. Grieving over the fantasy is part of it but it's a small part of it given the actual nothingness that you really had with her.
!

[This message edited by Beckett at 11:00 AM, March 3rd (Tuesday)]

crazyblindsided posted 3/2/2020 18:40 PM

Also check out the thread I just bumped named "Maia's Withdrawal Survival Guide (repost for newbies)" it may be helpful to you at this stage.

Beckett posted 3/2/2020 18:52 PM

Crazyblindsided: thanks for the withdrawal survivor’s guide. It is helpful - some ideas and strategies to reflect on. I’m sure I’ll be reading it a few times!

Psalm51 posted 3/2/2020 20:44 PM

#1 Quitting your job, yeah...that sucks, but I did..and financially it was rough, but I had to...cause you know what sucks more??...being cheated on by your spouse and knowing he/she is choosing to work alongside their AP every day. Yeah..THAT sucks...ask my BS. And you know what??..your A can not be 100% over on your own willpower...remove her from your life or risk more DDays. Mark my words...my biggest regret was not quitting sooner. I didnt even love my AP but yeah...the A kept going.

BTW, I found another job. BS and I are steadily reconciling. His relief began when I quit.

#2 Telling the OBS. The only reason why Waywards dont want to do this is selfishness that stems from fear. But if you dont...someone else will, likely your BS (and IMO cowards allow that to happen) He deserves to know just like your wife does.

Lastly...your grief. I get it...and perhaps you really did fall in love with your AP, but that's all on you. You allowed yourself to be in a position that created feelings. Most are fantasy..but even if yours are real, you gotta focus on your wife and her grief which is by far more intense and multiplied than you will ever know. You don't have loss...you have repercussion. She has loss over something she cherished...you just found someone else to cherish. She has been betrayed by her love..you sought love elsewhere. Talk about grief!!

Its not that us Wayward dont have compassion for your situation..in one way or another we have been where you are. This IS compassion.

forgettableDad posted 3/3/2020 01:21 AM

I am proud, however, that I took a risk to pursue my own happiness
Selfish. You are selfish.

I asked for compassion and support and shared experience
We all share the same experience. We're unique snowflakes and found true love. It's bullshit.

Looking to see how people have dealt with, and worked through, their grief
We woke up and realized that we're "grieving" over a fantasy that we've built because we're broken. Go fix yourself.

Why presume mine is bad?
The results speak for themselves.

Anyway.
Quit your job.
Block your AP.
Tell your wife.
Tell your AP's husband his wife's fucked someone else (he deserves to know his partner isn't who he thinks she is).
Work on fixing yourself.

The grief you're feeling isn't real grief. It's a child's tantrum over losing his favorite toy. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can move forward. We've all been there.

forgettableDad posted 3/3/2020 01:25 AM

As far as your children go; every minute you spent in your lover's bed and every dollar you spent on her is money and time you should've spent with them. Face reality mate, affairs are destructive and it's your family that you've screwed up the most.

It's not about self-pity. It's about taking responsiblity.

Zugzwang posted 3/3/2020 06:31 AM

Are you looking for real answers to hard things or are you looking for people to commiserate with? Posters are give you solid advice to move on with a life of integrity, honor, and yes- you can find it joy. You sound more like you want to continue down the road of a quick fix for depression and it is very telling of your character that you lack any empathy or guilt for the fact that to do so, you are willing to walk on other people to feel good. You are exactly where every single one of these WS have been. We all had some sort of feeling like shit after withdrawal. Many have been suicidal. If that is an issue, then you know to get more help and call a hotline. We are not a suicide watch. We can tell you the steps to get out of infidelity and to feel proud of who you may become. You don't want to hear it because you are mourning something you never had a right to without any regret or remorse for what you put your wife through while coming across thick with resentment and self pity. How to stop being wayward. Start looking at the destruction around you and start looking at other people you have impacted. Stop being so self absorbed. Your wife is the one dying from something she can't control. Not you. You can control this. You can choose to get healthy and do some real work making yourself someone you like. You are just miserable. We get that. We were all like you. Grasp what you can control. Grasp what you can be thankful for. At least you can choose to stop this and change.

MrCleanSlate posted 3/3/2020 07:31 AM

Beckett,

You're grieving what though?
The loss of the marriage you once had before cancer? The loss of an affair partner, one that you were 'all in' for?

Your AP broke things off. Maybe she wasn't all in, or maybe she used you to fulfill her needs? Maybe her spouse found out and your AP made a choice and it wasn't you?

Life gets in the way. We've all had our share of difficulties, etc. I have a special needs child in his early 20's that I regularly bathe and shave. I lost my brother and father to cancer, etc. Your story is not any more special or unique than anyone else's.

I wonder whether you feel trapped in your M because of the cancer and kids and put a lot of yourself into the AP as an escape?

Sure grieve. But what are you grieving?

And as you can tell I am not a therapist, I'm just another cheater who is trying hard to work on myself and my M.

[This message edited by MrCleanSlate at 7:52 AM, March 3rd (Tuesday)]

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