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Wayward Side :
My unbearable grief over loss as the Other Woman

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 yellowrose (original poster new member #79702) posted at 4:20 AM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

It has taken me some time to even understand that what my friend and I shared was an emotional affair. We were close friends for years, and we played music together. This meant we had a lot of one-on-one time and we connected in a special way over the music we shared. Several years into our friendship, I started feeling vibes from my friend and I thought that by acknowledging them, they'd dissipate. They did not. They grew. And for the next 2 months we talked about what to do with the feelings we had for each other, given he was married with 2 kids and was in a monogamous relationship. We didn't really act on the feelings aside from long hugs and casual touch. We knew it wasn't appropriate but he thought there might be room to open up his relationship. I hoped that was the case.
It was agonizing for me in those 2 months, because I felt wrong for hiding this from his wife, but I also didn't feel like I should be the one to tell his wife that we had feelings for each other. I thought it was his choice to tell her. I know now, I should have had better boundaries and this all could have been avoided. But it took him some time. And finally one night we were out with mutual friends were both pretty drunk and kissed each other. It took immense willpower to leave it there but we did. And after about a week when he hadn't told his wife, I was adamant he tell he or we'd have to stop interacting. He agreed. We both knew it could happen again if we were in a similar situation. We didn't want to have an affair.
Although I'm not monogamist, I strongly believe in ethical non-monogamy and this was not it. When he told her, she was livid. Their 20 year partnership almost collapsed. I feel horrible for what this has done to their family. They stopped communicating with me, and I understand why, but this was incredibly painful for me. More than I could have imagined. I had all these emotions that involved them but was blocked from communicating them. It felt dehumanizing. It's now been almost 2 months since she found out, and I'm still a wreck. She's sent me seething emails anytime I try to reach out, and I understand that she feels super threatened by all of this. I know he's doing what he needs to do to protect his family. And I know that most advice is to cut off all contact with the OP, but the OP is also a human with feelings! So what do I do with all my grief? I never wanted to lose this friendship. It was so important to me. I've been single for more or less 10 years and my friendships mean the world to me. It was only a couple of months of feelings that got stirred up and we were actively trying to deal with them...but now it's clear that we can't be friends at all for the foreseeable future and I'm totally heartbroken.
It just seems like such a harsh result of having feelings of admiration and appreciation for another person. On the other hand, I have been cheated on myself in the past in a monogamous relationship where he had a one-off sexual experience, and though the sex part wasn't hugely painful for me, the breach of trust was. And I understand that must be what she's going through.
I have so much compassion for them, but I'm also just so destroyed by this.

[This message edited by yellowrose at 4:25 AM, Wednesday, December 22nd]

posts: 3   ·   registered: Dec. 22nd, 2021   ·   location: Canada
id 8705399
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 4:29 AM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

I'm sorry you are in some emotional pain here. Imagine being his wife. You fucked around and found out.

No contact forever is the right answer for him if he is really recommitting to his wife. Leave him and his poor wife alone.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1648   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8705400
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Sofarsogood ( member #71991) posted at 4:49 AM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

Be honest with yourself. You both displayed lack of boundaries. You knew he was married, right? My suggestion would be to find a relationship with somebody that is not supposed to be committed to another. That would be the unselfish thing to do.

posts: 298   ·   registered: Nov. 2nd, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8705403
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 5:11 AM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

And I know that most advice is to cut off all contact with the OP, but the OP is also a human with feelings!


Your feelings don't change the advice. It's still the best thing for all of you.

Here's the deal... You didn't have the appropriate boundaries with your friend, the kind of boundaries which would have stopped you from looking at him as a romantic interest, and because of that, the friendship is forfeit. The human thing to do.. is to accept it and do better next time. This isn't a case of "shit happens". It's not. You don't go from friends for years to emotional affair without giving yourself authorization to view him as more than a friend. So this really is on you. Him too. But the important thing to recognize is that you wouldn't be suffering AT ALL if you hadn't allowed that change.

My advice is to take a few minutes to feel bad for fucking up an otherwise good thing, dust yourself off, install some boundaries, and move on with your life. You've hurt someone now and you can't go back without making it worse. Honor her wishes and move on. Pride yourself on the absolute conviction of your No Contact. It's a shorter route to recovery for you too, and you'll feel like a decent person instead of someone who would fuck up a child's home dynamic. Keep yourself busy. Play some music with some other people.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

{edited for typos.. again}

posts: 4886   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8705406
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Timeforhelp ( member #74605) posted at 8:26 AM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

If you didn’t want to lose a friendship you wouldn’t have taken that next step in telling one another you had inappropriate feelings for one another and hence entering an emotional affair. You also wouldn’t have allowed yourself or your ‘friend’ to enter into a physical affair, YES physical. Kissing between two adults is a sexual act.

You need to stop thinking about how hurt YOU are and think about the innocent person who has been affected by your actions, the wife. She had no control over this situation and for you to be upset and hurt by her justifiable insistence that you back the hell off and stay out of both her and her husbands life is ridiculous.

If it were me and you continued to attempt contact it would be more than a Curt email you would receive, I would have outed you to the whole community and would get a restraining order if you persisted.

There is also a child involved in this, do you think your feelings out weigh the destruction of a family unit? The OM is obviously also at fault, but as they say it takes two to tango. If you hadn’t allowed yourself to participate you wouldn’t be hurting now.

This is a problem of your own making.

Get IC to figure out why you feel entitled to encroach on another person’s marriage, why you don’t feel good enough to have a healthy relationship of your own. Even if that is with yourself.

posts: 71   ·   registered: Jun. 16th, 2020
id 8705418
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 9:51 AM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

You were cheated in previously do you knew what that felt like.

You did not have enough strength to stop this flirting and affair.

He’s not your friend - by virtue of cheating - nor is his wife. And they will never be your friends again.

Maybe some professional counseling could serve you well at this point. You can deal with your loss but hopefully figure out the necessary tools you need to never be in this situation again.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11155   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8705419
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SI Staff ( Moderator #10) posted at 11:55 AM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

  Moving to Wayward Side

posts: 10006   ·   registered: May. 30th, 2002
id 8705429
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 1:43 PM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

but the OP is also a human with feelings!

So is his wife,and so are his children, all of which you have completely minimized and dehumanized.

What do you do with your feelings? Get some therapy. You knew he was married,and you allowed yourself to cross boundaries. Figure out why you would do that,and work on yourself.

Stop blaming his wife for the bo contact. He wants to repair the damage he has caused his family. You are an embarrassing painful reminder. They can't begin to heal,when you keep attempting contact. He is a big boy. He has chosen his wife. Respect that.

posts: 3874   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8705441
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 1:59 PM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

And I know that most advice is to cut off all contact with the OP, but the OP is also a human with feelings! So what do I do with all my grief? I never wanted to lose this friendship. It was so important to me. I've been single for more or less 10 years and my friendships mean the world to me. It was only a couple of months of feelings that got stirred up and we were actively trying to deal with them...but now it's clear that we can't be friends at all for the foreseeable future and I'm totally heartbroken.

Gently, you take your grief elsewhere, to friends who will comfort you. You can take it here. But as you do, accept the hard truth that permanently ending contact is the swiftest route to healing for everyone involved, including you.

You both tried your way of dealing with your feelings, and it just brought you further along the path to pain and heartbreak. It is too risky to try it again. You would be right back in the soup if you did. It would give you false hope that maybe a romantic future is still possible. It would devastate his wife. He'll either grow cold towards you, or be tortured by constant indecision, or betray her even more thoroughly than he already has. There is no upside.

I tried the "we'll control our impulses and just stay friends" route for eight months after my affair ended. It gave my husband PTSD, because he never knew if I'd break my word. It kept the OM in a state of constant pining. No one started to heal until I agreed that NC would be permanent.

I know it hurts, but there's literally no other option. Please leave them alone before she takes legal action to force you to do so. You don't want to deal with a restraining order along with everything else.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2379   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8705443
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sundance ( member #72129) posted at 2:30 PM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

There is no logical choice but to let go. It will be okay eventually. Hugs, Sundance

"Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you'll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you'll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room."

― Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things

[This message edited by sundance at 9:28 PM, Wednesday, December 22nd]

Rusty: You scared?
Linus: You suicidal?
Rusty: Only in the morning.

posts: 85   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2019   ·   location: USA
id 8705448
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Humbled123 ( member #62947) posted at 2:35 PM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

No stop sign
Another we only kissed story. Adults don’t just kiss
I don’t believe your version

posts: 216   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018
id 8705449
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annb ( member #22386) posted at 3:14 PM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

Please stop trying to reach out to the OP or his wife.

His family is in crisis mode right now and you are the last person they want to hear from. They need the dignity to heal...alone.

Understand you can never be friends with this guy, ever. Both of you crossed boundaries, your former friendship is dead and can never be revived.

Find a good counselor for yourself to work through your feelings.

posts: 11381   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
id 8705454
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HardKnocks ( member #70957) posted at 4:52 PM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

Please leave the family alone.

Find a competent therapist who can support you as you work through your grief, and who can hopefully help you learn better boundary and decision making skills.

BW 30-year marriage.
DDay2 2/20 5 month EA/PA
Recovering

posts: 359   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2019
id 8705467
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Ariopolis ( member #75786) posted at 5:11 PM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

I have a quick few questions, yellowrose. Do you feel as if you are soul mates? Or you were meant to be together because of the music you shared? That there is no one else who felt like such a perfect fit?

posts: 167   ·   registered: Nov. 2nd, 2020
id 8705469
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src9043 ( member #75367) posted at 12:17 AM on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

BH here. I simply have not one drop of empathy for your hurt. You created it and now you have to deal with it. You crossed boundaries knowingly. You have experienced infidelity but that didn't stop you from cultivating a relationship with the OM. For god sake, stay the hell away from the OM and his family forever. That is the only way you can start to redeem your poor behavior and character. Get into therapy with someone who won't rubber-stamp your bad decisions. There are therapists out there who will do that for a payday.

My other bit of advice is that since you do not believe in monogamy, limit future relationships with like-minded individuals. Keep everything honest and above board.

posts: 500   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8705555
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BoundaryBuilder ( member #78439) posted at 12:37 AM on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

And for the next 2 months we talked about what to do with the feelings we had for each other, given he was married with 2 kids and was in a monogamous relationship.

We knew it wasn't appropriate but he thought there might be room to open up his relationship. I hoped that was the case.

Although I'm not monogamist, I strongly believe in ethical non-monogamy and this was not it.

You've received some good feedback. Yes, please leave the family alone to heal. Take care of yourself by firming up your boundaries, getting counseling, etc.

After reading your post, it took a while for the "open up his relationship" agenda to sink in. I can only imagine if my monogamous partner of 20 years came to me with the news that he was attracted to a friend and wanted to "open" our marriage so he could take a long standing EA physical. I would also have been livid, hurt and devastated, and would insist on no contact with the friend.

It just seems like such a harsh result of having feelings of admiration and appreciation for another person.

The two of you wanted to take it beyond the acknowledged EA. Take it physical. As far as his wife knew, you may have already done so. No surprise to me that she is livid - and if he wants to salvage his relationship with her he has to jettison you.
Gently, perhaps the wish to "open" their marriage was an unrealistic fantasy fueled by your "special" (EA!) connection? There's a lesson to be learned here. Folks in marriages that aren't ALREADY declared poly should be off limits. Yes, there may be long term monogamous partners agreeable to opening a marriage, but this hopefully would happen when BOTH partners are on the same page from the start, and not the result of pressure from one partner already in a long term EA. Sounds like you and he "talked about" opening his marriage? Was this your idea? Putting myself in the wife's shoes, it's possible she blames you for the idea to "open" the marriage. And if I were the wife in this situation, I would feel betrayed just by the fact my husband was discussing our marriage with someone with whom he was inappropriately enmeshed.And, this may feel like a double betrayal to her if you and she have interacted for a long time.

Edited per WalkingOnEggshelz kind reminder to be respectful.

[This message edited by BoundaryBuilder at 7:21 AM, Tuesday, December 28th]

Married 31 years w/one adult daughter
ME:BW 63
HIM:WH 65
13 month texting EA with high school X who fished him on Facebook 43 years later
PA=15 days spread over final 3 months
DDay=April 21, 2018
Reconciled

posts: 67   ·   registered: Mar. 4th, 2021
id 8705558
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Administrator #29447) posted at 1:09 AM on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

This is just a reminder that yellowrose came here for advice.

Please provide your advice with respect.

Me: WS late 40’s
Him: BH (HoldingTogether)
D Day: 7/24/2010
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

posts: 14742   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Texas
id 8705561
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 yellowrose (original poster new member #79702) posted at 2:24 AM on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

I'm not really sure how to reply directly to comments, so I might be doing this wrong, but ohwell.
Thank you to the admin who asked to keep it respectful.

I am in a lot of pain. And I know that my actions also caused a lot of pain. One doesn't negate the other.
I feel a lot of regret for what happened, and trust me I have thought a lot about how hurt his wife is. And I have felt horrible for how the stress of this is affecting their children. It's torn me apart. But I also know it's not something I can change at this point so I won't take on the shame of it. I need to move forward.


I hear the advice to stop communicating loud and clear. I have. I can recognize that it's the best way forward, even though it's super painful. Though initially I fucked up and did reach out to offer her an apology which she was not ready to hear from me, I have only been replying to the communication that they have sent me. So I'm not worried about restraining orders or anything like that. We sing in a choir together and have many mutual friends. So my communication with them has been about communicating with our mutual friends (who are all asking me where he is) and about the expectations around him returning to sing in the choir, which he intends to do. I thought it would be easier for us to have some communication before we are in a large group of people who know us well and will pick up on the very strained dynamic we now will have. But instead we will just pretend we don't know each other?? It will be painful for the people around us. I was trying to figure out how to make that easier. But they are not sure when he'll return, as NC is what they need right now. And I get it.

I have been speaking to a counsellor and the professional help, is somewhat helpful. Also good advice.

Ariopolis asked if I think he's my soulmate. I don't really believe in the concept of one soulmate. I think we have the capacity to fall in love with a lot of people. I can say he's someone that I've connected to on the degree of very few people in my life. So yes, he does kind of seem like a perfect fit--- EXCEPT part of who he is is a husband and a father. So that's where he's not a perfect fit. And that's where I know I went wrong and needed to outweigh that against all the other feelings I had for him.

No, it wasn't my idea to ask him to open his marriage. I try not to assume anything about people's relationship orientation. I don't assume people are monogamous nor polyamorous. I didn't know much about their relationship. So when he initially gave me vibes I started to wonder if it was open. Otherwise I couldn't understand the vibes. He had told me they'd talked about having an open relationship in the past, and that made me hopeful. But I've definitely learned now that it needs to be very very clear that they are currently in an open/polyamorous situation before anything else can continue even if it's just talking about the feelings. Because I honestly did not comprehend how much pain this would cause (although it did get physical and I understand that's another deeper layer of hurt). Part of the reason I've posted is because I want to understand this perspective better. It's helpful for me to understand the magnitude of pain that emotional connections to others can cause within monogamy. But yes, I completely agree, this is NOT the way you would ever ask your partner to open your marriage if that wasn't already part of your relationship.

Boundary Builder "And if I were the wife in this situation, I would feel betrayed just by the fact my husband was discussing our marriage with someone with whom he was inappropriately enmeshed. " this is a good point.

posts: 3   ·   registered: Dec. 22nd, 2021   ·   location: Canada
id 8705578
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straightup ( new member #78778) posted at 5:07 AM on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

Former University chorister here.

My brother is still a chorister. My Dad was an opera buff.

I live in a city but not a big one by international standards. About a million people.

I appreciate there are amateur and more elite groups. I’m nothing special, an ok bass-baritone, not soloist material. Just some years doing the choir thing, and instrument lessons at school. No Italian, German proficiency.

Simply by being able to read music (rustily), follow a conductor and keep more or less in tune, if I wanted to get back into choirs and had the time, I can think of a few groups who would welcome me. That ignores Church choirs.

If you two were finding a unique connection through music, you two must be better musos than me.

Your AP has no business going back to your choir group. Tell him to rack off and find another choir for the sake of his family. It’s one of the prices he should be prepared to pay. Tiptoeing around each other and accommodating each other would be stupid and cruel.

He may lose some friendships. Big deal!

[This message edited by straightup at 5:47 AM, Thursday, December 23rd]

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
Mother Teresa

posts: 40   ·   registered: May. 11th, 2021   ·   location: Australia
id 8705592
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 7:46 AM on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

Yeah my xwh told his ap that he was going to convince me to open our marriage. And the ap messaged me to explain how "sorry" she was too. That did not go over well with me at ALL. His wife is a mess right now and you are literally the LAST person she wants or needs to hear from now or ever again. You have no concept of the damage you and her husband have done to her. Damage that will take years to deal with and will leave deep and permanent scars. Your apologies mean zilch to her, and frankly I believe you're doing that only to assuage your own guilt while causing her more hurt that she doesn't deserve.

Your pain is there because of the poor choices you made. Learn from it and choose better next time. And accept that nc is the only way out of the mess you've made, for everyone's sake, including yours.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

posts: 3294   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8705601
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