Surviving the Affair by Fred McAllen
I found this book on Google Books and I'd like to read it / buy it. The problem is, I can't find it anywhere. It looks like a self-published book that used to be available on Amazon or something, but it's no longer there.
I'd appreciate an info about where to get that book, if anyone here is familiar with it
6 comments posted: Thursday, April 14th, 2022
New info 5 years after DDay completely broke me
Hello everyone, first time posting here, and I’d appreciate any advice, insight, and support from anyone who is willing to read this.
F(38), M(37), together for 16 years, married for 3. DDay1 was 5 years ago. My husband (then boyfriend) had an inappropriate friendship with a coworker (F32) that lasted ~2 years (2015-early 2017, until DDay1). He claimed there were no romantic feelings. I’ve recently found out there were feelings and now I’m devastated and don’t know how to proceed.
SHORT STORY, DDAY1 & RECONCILIATION
All the stuff typical for an emotional infidelity happened: frequent contact (tons of messages and spending time together during and outside of work hours), conversations about personal stuff, he helped her with not work-related stuff, he was giving her compliments and validation, there was some mild flirting, he comforted her when she was sad /distressed and bought her some small gifts to make her feel better and so on. I was not aware of any of that, I didn’t even know she exists. He hid everything from me and lied.
During that time and some time prior to that we were not in a good place in our relationship. I believed our problems are mostly due to the external factors that negatively affected our life. On the other hand, he held a lot of resentment towards me and was in a negative sentiment override but did not communicate that to me. In his mind, he was blaming me for all the bad stuff that’s happening to him, saw me / what I do and our relationship in a negative light. He was comparing me to her and our relationship to theirs (since he was in a negative sentiment override, in his mind she easily won in those comparisons). I only found out about all of that in the years after DDay1.
DDay1 was 5 years ago. I found out by seeing a photo of them on a night out in a group setting (that night he lied to me that he has to work late). He came clean in general, but at first he minimized their relationship a lot. He accepted my terms (#1 was to cut contact with her and communicate with her only if it is unavoidable for work-related stuff) and we’ve decided to try to fix things. These past 5 years we’ve spent hundreds of hours talking, we read and discussed many books, articles, posts on infidelity forums and so on. We’ve been through a lot – crying, fighting, hysterical bonding, trickle-truths, mental tortures… We moved to another country several months after DDay1, things in our relationship improved. We even got married and that day was probably the happiest day in my life.
What kept me going was that he claimed he had absolutely no romantic feelings for her, he claimed he did not want to be with her and that he only did all of the stuff because he considered her a good and close friend. He did say he cared about her, but only in the way that someone would care about a good friend. He claimed he was hiding that friendship from me because he thought I would not approve it and he thought he's not doing anything wrong. However, after DDay1 he admitted that the relationship was inappropriate, that he crossed boundaries and that his behavior was a huge betrayal, if nothing else then because of all the lies to me and the way that he treated me during that time.
Nevertheless, one thing kept bugging me. One time (mid 2016) when he was out with his work colleagues (she was also there), they were drinking and he sent her a message that, from an outside perspective, looked like he wanted to hook up with her. He lied to me about that for years, that is, gave explanations that made no sense to me. And then two months ago he told me that around that time he thought she is sending him mixed signals and with that message he wanted to see whether he has a shot with her. She didn’t reply (it was early morning, and she had already left the place). He said he doesn’t know what would happen if she had replied, but he believes he wouldn’t do anything as that would be crossing of his boundary (physical cheating) and it would become "too real" (whatever that means). He claimed he only wanted to see whether he still "got it" as around that time he was depressed, lacked self-confidence, felt unattractive and so on. He claimed he only wanted to see whether some other woman besides me finds him attractive and she was the only one that was giving him attention.
He also revealed some other stuff (like buying her gifts to make her feel better, spending time with her doing a certain activity that was not just occasional outside-of-work coffee / drink, doing some personal favors for her…)
Those revelations were a complete shock to me, like DDay1 all over again. That casted a new light on everything he has done, and I’ve started to seriously question his motives with her and explanations he gave me so far. Don’t get me wrong, the doubt was always there but I really wanted to believe him when he said he had no romantic feelings for her and all these years I tried hard to convince myself that those doubts are only my fears. But things just didn’t add up. So, I kept pushing for the real truth and understanding.
And then around 2 weeks ago he said that yes, it looks like he had a crush on her. Specifically, he said that during that time (early 2016) he was thinking a lot about her and about the time they spend together and one day a thought that he is crushing on her popped into his head. He claims he dismissed that thought. However, he didn’t do anything to stop those feelings and the crush continued for months after that. He told me he was thinking of her and he wanted to spend more time with her, but that except for that one message, there was nothing that would clearly indicate to her that he has more than friendly feelings toward her.
He said the only time when he "opened up" to her was in late 2016 when he told her he is unhappy in our relationship, that he feels stuck, and that the relationship is not progressing. He claims he only wanted someone to tell him he’s stupid for thinking like that, that we are good together and that we can work it out. He claims she was the only friend he had that he felt like he could talk to about that, that’s why he went to her and not to someone else. He said that she didn’t show interest in what he is saying and that she only told him that he should talk to me about that. He told me this is when his crush was gone as he was disappointed that she couldn’t spare 5 minutes to talk about his problems while he was listening to her whine about her relationships and other personal problems for a year. Nevertheless, again, he did nothing to stop all of that and all the inappropriate behaviors continued until DDay1 in early 2017 (messages, spending time together, mild flirting, compliments, hiding all from me, lying to me to go out with her…)
So, here I am, 5 years after DDay1 and I am completely devastated and don’t know how to proceed. He said he didn’t tell me earlier because he was trying to protect me from further pain. He made it clear with himself that something like that will never happen again and that he would never go back to that way of thinking (negative sentiment override) and that he is completely committed to me. He wanted to save our relationship and he thought I could not handle the truth.
And he was right, I don’t feel I can handle this. I have always been a very emotional, romantic person, I idealized love. All I ever wanted from life was to find someone who would truly love me and for whom I would be the only one. Now when I know he had more-than-friendly feelings toward her, I just feel utterly sad and disappointed.
I have no evidence of a physical cheating. I believe him when he says that nothing physical happened, however, I cannot help thinking nothing happened only because she was not interested in him (she wasn’t, in fact, after DDay1, when he told her they need to break contact, she told him she had no intentions). He claims he would never physically cheat on me, as that would be crossing of his boundary + he claims he didn’t even find her attractive. He claims he never fantasized about her.
He still claims that, despite his crush, he never wanted to be with her. He admits that he was conflicted about whether he wants to break up with me (not because of her, but because he was unhappy in our relationship), but he insists that, even if we had broken up, he would not pursue her. He claims that, despite everything, he was aware of her flaws and didn’t think they were compatible.
I just don’t know what to believe anymore. I feel like our marriage is a lie and that I was a second choice. I feel that he decided to fix our relationship only because she did not want him. He says that’s not true and that I am the love of his life. He said he was actually relieved when I found out on DDay1 because he wanted to shut that down anyway, he just didn’t know how, and he was too weak to do it. He thought things would naturally die off when she leaves the company (she had plans to do that). He said that he did feel guilty prior to DDay1 and that lying to me was not easy for him.
I don’t just feel betrayed, I feel robbed of all the years when he was in a negative sentiment override that I did not know about (including the infidelity years) and of these 5 years of reconciliation. I feel he treated me very unfairly for the past 10 years. I feel that all the time and attention he gave to her were stolen from me. I feel he misled me and took away my chance to find happiness in life. These past 5 years of reconciliation, my life was a mess, and it very much negatively influenced my professional life as I couldn’t focus on work. 2-3 years ago, we decided we want to have children. But we agreed that we first need to completely fix what was broken. And now, even if we manage to truly reconcile, I feel it will take a long time to do that and by that time it will probably be too late for kids, considering my age. So, I feel he took away from me my chance to find happiness, to have a successful career and to have children.
If he had told me all back then, in the months after DDay1, I believe that by now I would be able to process all of this and heal, as I would approach the whole reconciliation differently. And now it is just too late for some of the things I would have done differently. I also would not spend months contemplating about his explanations which made no sense.
For all of that and more, I now feel that I am the one full of resentment and contempt. This is very hard for me because I am one of those suckers capable of unconditional love. So, despite everything, I still love him and I just want us to be happy. But I feel that’s impossible now. He assures me he is the man that I want. He says he cannot recognize the man who did all the shit, and that he is ashamed and disgusted of that man and mad at himself for turning into that man. He claims that man was a result of his depression and avoidance of communication with me way earlier. He claims this whole experience changed him and all he wants now is to make me happy. But I am stuck with the feeling that it is just too late.
In addition, I don’t feel I can mentally handle another 5(?) years of struggles while attempting to repair the damage caused by things I’ve just found out about (DDay 2 & 3). I am terrified that maybe he is still lying and that there are more things he doesn’t want to admit.
I don’t even know (neither does he) how to repair all of this, where to start. After DDay1 five years ago, we at least had some plan / general idea of what we need to do (for example, cut contact with her, rebuild trust / no more lying, more communication, more affection, dates…) and even though we made mistakes during our reconciliation and there were setbacks (I think that’s completely normal), there was progress. But now I feel all of that was annihilated and we’re back at step 1. Except we have no idea what the next step should be.
He is very apologetic and willing to do all the right things (basically give me everything I want and need) and I’m wondering is that enough? I feel he is promising to do something that he is supposed to be doing in a relationship / marriage by default!
I could go on, there’s a cacophony of feelings in me, but this post is already disrespectfully long. If anyone will read this – thank you very much for your time. If there are any questions, feel free to ask. We both want to fix this, but just don’t know how. I hope someone can help me navigate through any of this or that at least I can get some much-needed support.
21 comments posted: Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022