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ap contact

StepOn posted 4/23/2020 11:01 AM

After my AP established a strict NC he made an attempt to contact me yesterday. I do not know what he said as it is in an app we used to talk and when he cut me off it was so difficult I deleted and never looked at the app again. The 72 hours before the NC was started was very confusing, painful and left me with some new wounds to carry into the worst of it alone. I had not seen him for 3 months but we occassionally talked on the phone. He always contacted me.


The last three weeks have been the most painful, lonely, and difficult time of my life. I literally felt like my chest was going to cave in. If it wasn't for my parents and a few friends I would have gone absolutely nuts. I noticed immediately when he contacted me yesterday that it made me feel good which just upset me because I need to get over this. I was a little stronger yesterday and had a little more confidence, I'm sure due to knowing he was still thinking about me. So true that this is like a drug addiction.


I guess I'm just looking for some encouragement to not open the app back up to see what was said (I'm not going to), to keep going and not look back. Also would love to hear anyone's shared experience in their own journey.


Thanks for reading.

BraveSirRobin posted 4/23/2020 12:50 PM

Definitely do not open the app. Your AP made the right call in establishing NC. No doubt it's rough going for him with a devastated spouse, and he's missing the "no effort, no worries, no accountability" fantasy life he had with you. But there's absolutely no good outcome from you taking the bait. Either he gets his hit from ego kibbles and drops you on your ass again, or you end up right back in a situation that you already agreed was so toxic that you needed to eliminate each other from your lives. Either way, breaking NC could be (many here would argue should be) an action that makes reconciliation impossible.

There's a recently bumped thread called "Maia's Withdrawal Survival Guide" that is a very valuable resource for you.

Since you mention your parents, I'm wondering: are you also in a committed relationship, or were you single and involved with a married man? It's rare and notable that you don't mention your own partner in outlining your situation.

StepOn posted 4/23/2020 13:57 PM

Hi BraveSir,

Thank you SO MUCH for writing. I've been trying to find a supportive online forum but on other ones people don't communicate very much with WS and I am very alone in this.

I am married for 23 years. This is first betrayal incident.

My husband is very, very hurt by my behavior. Of course, he should be. What I did was horrible. I met and started a business with a co-worker for the past 2 years. The last 9 months it became a physical affair. We start out as business partners to be successful and build something to secure both of our families financially (neither of us have kids). Instead we destroyed.

It's been 10 weeks since we got caught (versus confessed) and my husband and I still haven't discussed the affair. He says he's not ready. We are both in separate counseling and we started joint counseling this week just so we can communicate. He drove out of town for 7 weeks when this first happened and didn't speak to me at all. In our few conversation attempts he asks me "why" and "how" and that eventually leads me to our marriage but I have learned that is unacceptable as a communication in this situation.

I did a desperate thing but I don't want to live a desperate life anymore. But, unlike most of the posts on here I didn't wake up from the fog and say "how could I hurt the most wonderful person in my entire life." My marriage has been a challenge from day 1 for both of us. My husband is also not sure he ever wants to touch me again because I've been with another man. So I didn't talk about him because our current counseling is helping us figure out what we want to do but we are not solidly on the path to reconciliation.

I did not open the App, I did not respond or even look into what my AP said. Thank you again so much for responding. I do not want to be with my AP either. I appreciate your grounding perspective.


EvolvingSoul posted 4/23/2020 15:47 PM

Hi there StepOn,

Welcome to SI. This place has helped me so much and I hope it can help you too.

Your statement that your AP was the one who insisted on NC makes me think that possible lines of communication are still open to him and you are trusting him not to contact you. Obviously that's not a strategy that's going to work. So, it's on you to block, block, block every possible means of communication. Phone, email, text, social media and whatever this app is.

Regarding the specific app, if you have deleted the app, how is it that you know he has tried to contact you? I'm also wondering about the business you and AP had together. Is that still a thing or is it shut down?

Beyond stopping all communication, the next step is establishing mental no-contact. That means redirecting your thoughts when you find yourself wallowing, ruminating, longing for or having intrusive thoughts and feelings about the affair and AP. Here are a few I used...I imagined a big red STOP sign. Also, slamming a big heavy door in AP's face and then walking away from the door. And, what became the most effective, shoving AP out of an open airplane door and watching him get smaller and smaller until he disappeared into the clouds below, then walking away from the door and returning to my seat. These sound weird but they are how you can rewire your brain. Each time you CHOOSE to redirect your thoughts, you change your brain wiring a tiny little bit.

Something you are going to need to do regardless of the outcome of your marriage is figure out how and why you were able to betray your BS like this. You say it was a desperate act, but wouldn't divorce would have been just as desperate? Somehow you found the destruction of your integrity and BS's trust and his physical and mental health as an acceptable price for having the feelings you wanted in the moment. The thinking that green lighted that exchange is what you are going to need to drill down on.

Difficulty in the marriage can definitely cause the temptation to cheat to arise, as can many other things that happen in our lives. We get what we don't want, or don't get what we want, and we are tempted to grasp for something to make us feel momentarily better in the face of those circumstances and the uncomfortable feelings they bring. But the thought processes that allowed you to act on that temptation, to actually follow through with the betrayal, those lie entirely within you and if you don't figure out what they are and take concrete steps to change them, this kind of thinking is going to keep following you around. It's great that you're in IC. Keep going with that and if you have a counselor that is in any way letting you blame the marriage for your decision to cheat, find a different one.

Something that helped me early on was to get educated about the true nature of infidelity and how it impacts the people involved. The book "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass gave me language and context to talk and think about the affair. The book "How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair" by Linda MacDonald is a fantastic resource for understanding what behavior on your part is likely to help reconciliation, and what is likely to hinder it. The healing library here on SI has many short writings on various aspects of infidelity. Most are from a BS perspective but early on I found them to be very helpful for understanding what my BS was likely going through.

This post infidelity landscape has some difficult terrain to travel. Even with both BS and WS wishing to reconcile, it takes a long time. Think years. 2-5 is the conventional wisdom around here, but in our case it was more like 6-7. You have to really, really want it and there is no guarantee of the outcome, in fact letting go of the outcome and getting comfortable with uncertainty is the best thing you can do.

With that in mind, it would be a good idea to get yourself some tools together for dealing with difficult feelings in a way that is wholesome instead of destructive. A mindfulness practice with daily meditation as its foundation is just such a tool and it has helped me a lot. I use an app called Headspace but there are many, many resources available in the world. Pick one and give it a try. The benefits are cumulative and it's one of those things that you can only understand by actually doing it, so don't go into it with the idea that you know what it should be like. Just do it every day for a short time (5,10,15,20 minutes) and judge for yourself at the end of 3 months whether it is bringing you benefit.

Keep reading and post when you have questions or just need support.

Welcome to the path from a fellow EvolvingSoul.

StepOn posted 4/23/2020 18:16 PM

EvolvingSoul,

All great questions. Understood it’s on me to block. I agree. He was so final when he ended it that I really thought I’d never hear from him again. Obviously, you guys know better. I left the business week of discovery and signed everything over to him. He still “owes me money” which I told him to keep. Tuesday night he forwarded a client email explaining they weren’t going to pay us due to Covid, with a reference to check the app in that email which I already deleted forever. That is how I knew he was wanting to have some kind of a discussion.

Just read an article on thought-stopping this week and have been practicing that as well. Working through the why with a good counselor, thank you for the advice related to that. My affair is definitely NOT my husband’s fault. Absolutely agree it’s an underlying driving issue at hand. Read both books as well, plus ten more. Also have been using the meditation app “Tapping Solution”. Which incorporates tapping to calm the nervous system. All great advice for sure EvolvingSoul, thank you.

Biggest thing I was looking for at this point was shared experience and this kind of communication and support. My husband and I have yet to decide if we want to continue in our marriage. We had our FIRST joint counseling this week, but we are both a very strong “maybe” versus yes or no. Also, we both lost our jobs through all of this and Covid. With the financial strain we are living in the same house. He on one floor and me on another. We are both strong to a fault. I don’t know what’s going to happen yet.

Thank you for writing me.

Jorge posted 4/23/2020 19:26 PM

A big step for you will be deleting the app altogether. You set yourself up for being drawn back in by maintaining the app in the first place.

StepOn posted 4/23/2020 23:11 PM

Hey Jorge, big step taken, i deleted the app three weeks ago. The app is gonzo and has been gonzo. He emailed my business email. Again, I repeat, the app has been deleted. :)

EvolvingSoul posted 4/23/2020 23:35 PM

So is he blocked now? From everything?

Zugzwang posted 4/24/2020 10:52 AM

"why" and "how" and that eventually leads me to our marriage but I have learned that is unacceptable as a communication in this situation.

Do you feel it is unacceptable? Or are you just going with learned but still feel it does?

Why do you want and need the AP? What did you get from him?

StepOn posted 4/24/2020 18:04 PM

Hi Everyone,

He is blocked from everything. Even my work email. I didn't think I had to do that but I did. So I did.

StepOn posted 4/24/2020 18:18 PM

Zugzwang,

I haven't really decided yet. I think that what I did was unacceptable if that's what you're asking.

My AP showed me kindness.

Zugzwang posted 4/26/2020 10:56 AM

It is unacceptable as communication. So, does that mean you think the marriage was problem and it was an unacceptable way to handle the problem. Or do you think you were the problem and it was an unacceptable way to solve you?

StepOn posted 4/26/2020 11:59 AM

Zugzwang,

I agree with all three of your statements.

I am the problem and this was an unacceptable way to resolve my issues.

My marriage is a problem and this was an unacceptable way to handle the problem.

BraveSirRobin posted 4/26/2020 13:31 PM

I think it's healthy that you can distinguish between these concepts.

R is an enormous challenge even when the marriage was once happy and strong. It's hard to imagine what it would take to accomplish R after infidelity if the marriage was unhealthy and incompatible from the first moments. Of course, we do see WS rewriting the history of the marriage to try and justify their behavior. Many WS come out of "the fog" and realize that they were throwing away something of deep value. In my experience, the consensus seems to be that the BS can leave at any time, but if they are willing to try, the WS owes them an honest attempt at saving the M.

But not always. There's never a justification for cheating, but we have seen WS in marriages that truly don't merit the effort it would take to try and save them. We have a longtime WW here who cheated, divorced, and then reunited with her BH, and now both of them now think getting back together was the worst mistake they ever made.

It's pretty rare on SI for anyone to suggest that a WS not stick around and work for a chance at R. I guess I look at it two ways. One is that whether the marriage is doomed or not, you need to work to change yourself. You're not going to be in any shape to date someone else until you learn who you are and address your flaws. If you aren't sure whether the M is worth saving, there's no urgency to call it quits. Throw yourself at it authentically, and if it fails, you'll know you did all you can.

But if you really know that this isn't going to work, that the ashes are cold and rotted and moldy, I'm in the corner that says it's ok to admit it. There's a danger of sunk costs fallacy here. You stay because you had so much invested before the A, and now there's an additional layer of legitimate, justified remorse for what you did. Then you make your way back to the previous crappy status quo, and you stay because you put so much work into reconcilation, and you don't want those years to have been wasted.

Whichever you choose (assuming he doesn't choose for you by leaving), it sounds like you're on the right path being honest with each other about your thoughts. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by pretending.

Zugzwang posted 4/26/2020 16:11 PM

Well, I for one am all about looking to ones self when it comes to marriage problems. If the marriage was a problem and dysfunctional...how much of that dysfunction is on you and if there wasn't much....how much is it on you that you chose to stay? You can't control your partner. You can't blame others for not meeting needs and wants you set. So, no matter how bad the marriage was...the only thing at the end of the day is you and what you can control. So, in reality they really aren't two separate issues. It is all just one persons dysfunction you need to work on in the beginning and the only thing you can control is yourself and owning that is important. I am of the opinion that if you work on yourself and change yourself...become a stronger confident person that loves themselves and respects themselves the marriage issues work out and those that do...probably divorce in cases where the marriage was a dysfunction because lets face it...staying in a bad marriage is a result of the dysfunction of a WS that didn't leave. Yes, this makes the whole thing crazy because many have legitimate problems in the marriage...doesn't matter because it is the dysfunctional WS that stayed and helped create the dysfunctional marriage. People need to own their choices and see that it isn't the marriage. It really always boils down to them even with marriage problems. When you look at it that way, things get clearer to tackle.

Mickie500 posted 4/26/2020 17:02 PM

WS only

[This message edited by SI Staff at 5:47 AM, April 27th (Monday)]

StepOn posted 4/26/2020 22:39 PM

BraveSirRobin & Zugzwang,

Both VERY helpful comments and am in full agreement. Am working diligently on myself in counseling. I am working through some amazing books. Basically, I'm learning how to take responsibility for all aspects of my life. How I treat people and also how I'm treated. I did such a horrifyingly desperate thing but I do not want to live a desperate life. I absolutely do not. And I never ever want to do this again to anyone. EVER.

Zugzwang posted 4/27/2020 16:16 PM

So, what have you learned about how you get treated?

StepOn posted 4/27/2020 22:09 PM

There are a few things.

I've been reading this book by David Richo called "How to Become an Adult". It's a condescending title but it turns out it's a really good title at least if you're me. The premise is that you are responsible for how people treat you. I didn't think that.

Zugzwang posted 4/29/2020 10:23 AM

Sounds like a thing I adopted when I came further out from Dday. I was always it is what it is. Just accept it. My wife had me watching Dr. Phil that she would save if it had anything to do with infidelity. He would always say, you have ownership in how people treat you. You allowed that type of treatment. You teach people how to treat you. Why do you allow it? When I started volunteering at a shelter with my wife through her church I came across the same mantra with abuse victims. The goal was to make them stop seeing themselves as powerless victims but instead in control of their own choices and responsibility. Bad picker...explained away. Abuse...who stayed and who allowed themselves to get abused...they needed to see what had the ultimate control and power...themselves. To break the cycle of being with abusive people. To empower them to demand better for themselves.

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