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Why Must I Ruin My Life?

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Beckett posted 3/3/2020 08:23 AM

. It took years for me to admit to myself that what I thought was an incredible friendship was an EA . It took me a long time to accept that what I felt wasnít friendship, but rather, romantic love. I did not reach this conclusion without a considerable amount of self-loathing and shame. It took an immense toll on me to accept and admit my feelings to myself, and to my AP. And the affair was not a delight; it was fucking hard. There were no dates. No beautiful nights out. No romantic, intimate time. No great shared experiences to mourn. And it was hard because the love was sincere, and was plagued by the challenge of accepting how we feel for each other in the face of making a choice that could only be destructive. This is why she left; not because she didnít love me, but because she did. The relationship could not offer what her feelings required. And I was not as smart as her; I let myself go, I let myself believe in the delusion, I let myself imagine a future that could not be supported by reality. So, I know I am not special. I know that my situation is common. But it being common does not mean it isnít love, and it doesnít mean the feelings of loss and grief arenít legitimate. Perhaps if we are able to accept our feelings as legitimate, we could have a more informed and supportive community, rather than simply shouting at each other that we are assholes and broke failed people. There are many parts to me. I am not just my affair. And there are many parts to my wife, and my AP, and they are not just victims and perpetrators. Complexity and feelings arenít excuses, they are the reality.

[This message edited by Beckett at 11:03 AM, March 3rd (Tuesday)]

MrCleanSlate posted 3/3/2020 13:52 PM

I gather your AP was kind of a 'knight in shining armour' for you. She came in and gave you support and soothed you, and was a friend to you when you felt you needed someone.

Yet all that fell apart as it was a house of cards as you so correctly understand it now.

So going back to the core of it all. What exactly are you grieving? Are you regretting some past choices, or missed opportunities?

You did not answer a question from someone else as to how your wife was doing. So how is she?


monito1985 posted 3/3/2020 15:09 PM

I think I can relate to the feelings you are experiencing.
I'm not the most popular member here in case you've read my post and I'm sure my answer to you will angry others, but this is the way I feel about it at this point.
I fell in love with my colleague as well (my employee actually), and we had a long affair that ended only because my wife found out. If she didn't, it would still be going strong. Once she found out, I decided to stop the A and rebuild my marriage, which was not good for the past several years.
I love my wife, we have two children and a whole life that we built together during our 20 years of marriage,and I don't want to give that up or hurt my kids by divorcing. But I also know that I was far from happy in our marriage for quite a long period of time. I know it's not an excuse to cheat, my wife felt the same and she never cheated, but the reality is I wasn't happy until my AP came along. The feelings I felt for the AP (and I know she did too) is something I haven't felt in years, and I don't believe I will ever be able to feel this way for my wife again, whether we'll stay married or not.
So yes, for me the grief over the AP and what is now lost is real. People here say it's an addiction, it's not real love and we think that we have something special when in fact so many others go through the same thing. Well, there are many things in life that are common- so many people fall in love and get married, so many people have children etc... None of it is "special as a snowflake"... So what makes all those common experiences "real", while the ones that we're going through are not?
Yes, you can fall in love even if you're married. Not saying it's the right thing to do, but denying the fact that it can happen is just lying to yourself... I am sure it makes a lot of BS feel much better telling themselves that their WS was not really in love with the AP, he was just delusional, he was an addict and couldn't think straight. I completely understand why it is much easier to deal with such betrayal by thinking this, versus acknowledging that maybe their spouse actually did fall for someone else.
Still, in my opinion it is very real, and it is a grief and not just addiction withdrawal. Underestimating this and trying to minimize the experience won't make it go away.

forgettableDad posted 3/3/2020 15:09 PM

Your delusion isn't that you had a future with her. Your delusion is that it's love.

Does your wife know you've fucked another woman?

forgettableDad posted 3/3/2020 15:19 PM

Affairs are based on lies, destroy relationships, break families and are abusive to the person you vowed to actually love and protect.

If you think that's love.. wow

MrCleanSlate posted 3/3/2020 15:26 PM

For sure you can fall in love with someone else.

Not always sure whether it is true love or just love of convenience to fill a hole. Some people even get married for the wrong reasons.

I think where is falls apart is when we are not honest with either ourselves or our spouses about where we are at.

You can't tell your BW that you love another woman. Does that then mean that you don't love your BW? Do you stay out of responsibility or for convenience, etc.

I think the difference is that exit affairs are a whole other ball of wax. It is basically you saying you are too weak to leave first, but dammit you want to have all the perks. That is not fair to your unsuspecting BW now is it.

So you mistake the gallery's angst - it is really about pointing out what a shitty spouse you are being.

BraveSirRobin posted 3/4/2020 07:38 AM

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. Iím not proud of creating risk for my family. I am proud, however, that I took a risk to pursue my own happiness. My choice wasnít 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?
Honestly? No. If you aren't interested in making this about your wife, family and marriage -- and are here on a "poor me" mission to justify and celebrate your toxic choices -- then you are wasting my time.

hikingout posted 3/4/2020 08:46 AM

Hi,

I too had a similar experience, it was about 3 years ago. What I learned in the process...

One, the grass is greener where you water it. You would be amazed as to where your marriage can be if you put the effort into it you put into cheating. We often tell ourselves things about our spouses during affairs to justify our choices.

Two, read about limerence. There is a great article from Dr. Frank Pittman called "Romantic Infidelity". It explains the common psychological aspects of an affair, why the emotions become so intense. You simply can't have a healthy love or soul mate relationship with someone who doesn't care about your well being.

Three - the pain I was feeling after the A was compounded by so many things. The reality of it was I was trying to prop myself up with the Ap. I hadn't felt happy for a long time, that was my fault. When you get that barren and numb, you are ripe for acting out. Some people self medicate with alcohol, some with gambling, some people with other people. When you rely on one other person for your feelings, that's an addiction. All the dopamine hits you experience come from one source.

I felt numb to my life too when the affair was over, I couldn't connect my feelings to anything else. It is a painful time. It's just not painful for the reasons you feel like it is. It's painful because you have brainwashed yourselves with all sorts of stories to justify something you knew was wrong. The sooner you can accept that you two were projecting a lot on each other, the sooner you can get better.

I do know the pain is intense, but I also know that looking back the affair was definitely the biggest set of bad decisions I have ever made, and I have paid for that for years, and will continue to do so for years to come. It was not love at all. Love is when we care more about the other person's happiness...when we have an affair we just want the other person to make us happy. Making ourselves happy is our responsibility. Figure out how you can do that.

By the way, I thought the same things you are saying at one point in time, I just needed my fix...I wish I had focused on really fixing myself much earlier because I put myself through a lot of unneeded torment, and I put my H through a lot of unneeded torment.

You can not work with the person that you get your dopamine hits from, that addiction can never be resolved if the source if it is around you at all. You really need to remove yourself from that situation. I am sorry, you are getting this advice because it's truth.

Your AP has shown you she is not in it with you for the long haul. Believe her. Figure out starting today how to move on with some sort of dignity and honor. I would recommend confessing. You will see how much of the fantasy world is dried up when you can see more of the damage you caused while you have been so focused on yourself.

I am not judging you, I have been you. I am telling you what I know as you have asked.

Zugzwang posted 3/5/2020 07:00 AM

we are able to accept our feelings as legitimate, we could have a more informed and supportive community,

Or you could learn from those that have been there done that, telling you it isn't because we are so far out from the affair bullshit feelings and know after working on ourselves that it really wasn't your idea of some romantic unrequited love.


There are many parts to me.
You are right, yet you seem to only want to focus on your affair and that fantasy being love and how much you miss her. Everyone has told you to focus on yourself and what you can't provide yourself in order to have a different perspective that has held true for everyone here that has owned it and gotten it.

While you focus on monito1985 post. Just remember how long ago DDay was. How new the member is. However, your post answers the question fine. You are looking to commiserate. You are looking for support and not answers or way out. You are looking for someone to take the place of your AP. When you should be turning toward yourself and your wife.

This love you speak of..it is object love. Like loving your favorite ice cream. You base love on what the other thing or person can give you. That might be love to you. I call it selfish, unhealthy, object love. That isn't real love. That just loves something for its value to you.

Zugzwang posted 3/5/2020 16:11 PM

So what makes all those common experiences "real", while the ones that we're going through are not?

Because when you get to the root of the "why" you cheated and stop blaming the marriage ...you see that it really is about yourself. The AP is just a mirror of yourself. Willing to sit in shit with you. Toxic just like you. Spouting shit to get shit in return. They don't hold you accountable to be a better person. They encourage you to be the worse version of yourself. Because we have been there and done that. All you and Beckett see is the marriage. You both choose to use it as a scapegoat. Instead of focusing on learning to see you. Love yourself. Be enough for yourself. You both love the APs as objects. What they can give you. You love looking into their eyes and seeing that false self you put forth to the world. When your BS see who you really are and you don't like that. The APs see you shitting rainbows and glitter just so you can say they shit rainbows and glitter. It is about focusing on the real thing and taking the focus off of the mirage.

Zugzwang posted 3/5/2020 16:20 PM

But I also know that I was far from happy in our marriage for quite a long period of time. I know it's not an excuse to cheat, my wife felt the same and she never cheated, but the reality is I wasn't happy until my AP came along. The feelings I felt for the AP (and I know she did too) is something I haven't felt in years, and I don't believe I will ever be able to feel this way for my wife again, whether we'll stay married or not
. Interesting. So, the real truth comes out about your post.

I am sure it makes a lot of BS feel much better telling themselves that their WS was not really in love with the AP, he was just delusional, he was an addict and couldn't think straight. I completely understand why it is much easier to deal with such betrayal by thinking this, versus acknowledging that maybe their spouse actually did fall for someone else.

Funny thing it is the WS that are telling you the opposite. Not the BS.

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