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

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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 11:20 AM on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

Hi YR,

I am glad you're getting help in IC right now, that's the first step in healing yourself.

You have a lot of good advice and perspective on NC from the BS community and good direction on examining your boundaries.

Without offending the BS community here, I would like to acknowledge that your grief over the loss of your AP is real. I am saying this from the perspective of someone who stuffed her grief over the loss of my father to cancer at 21. I tried the whole suck it up thing and needed to, as my mom went off the deep end (gambling and hysterics, it was weird having to parent my parent).

Anyway, since I chose to stuff my grief, it added to a depression that I have had on and off for years. I ended up idolizing my dad (who really didn't deserve that) and resenting my mom. I would hate to see you do something similar in your life. If you don't allow yourself to acknowledge the loss, it will continue to gnaw at you and you run the risk of remaining stuck.

Definitely NC. He wants to keep his family, you keep your choir. DO NOT mix again socially. His BW deserves that in the very least. Your healing will only be set back too each time you run into each other.

Affairs are like highly addictive drugs- you can't get out of the addiction without a doctor helping you (IC) and you also can't keep running into your old dealer and expect yourself not to crave another hit.

posts: 295   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8705607
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 1:51 PM on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

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 think this is something to work on. You know you helped a man destroy his wife,and children, but since you can't change it,you refuse to feel ashamed, and you are just going to go on about your life.

While,yes, moving forward is necessary, you should feel shame. You should feel remorse.

As far as the people in the choir..they will not be pained by the lack of interaction between the two of you. Not if you tell them the truth. That the two of you had an affair,and now you can not speak because he realized he made horrible choices, and is repairing his marriage.

He really shouldn't return at all. I hope his wife tells him one of her requirements
for attempting reconciliation is that he finds a new choir. He should have nothing to do with you at all.

[This message edited by HellFire at 1:53 PM, Thursday, December 23rd]

posts: 3874   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8705615
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 2:00 PM on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

I have been where you are, so I understand your emotions. But be open to the idea that our perceptions can (and often do) change over time. Let them. Let the learning come.

But I also know it's not something I can change at this point so I won't take on the shame of it.

No, you cannot change what has happened, but why avoid the shame? Shame, when deserved (not the toxic, undeserved kind that we feel for non-harmful actions) produces change. I think that you should find your humility and your shame in this. You allowed a married man to get close to you, which you should feel a boundary around. You allowed him to connect with you, make future promises to you, and fill a need in your life--a need for companionship and validation. You should feel ashamed that you let someone taken, someone who made a commitment that he was breaking, fill that role in your life when you knew that he couldn't. Not without hurting people. And so you chose to ignore that? Of course. And so you should feel ashamed that you allowed people to be hurt, allowed yourself to feel special at someone else's expense. Do you feel no shame for that? Well, that is very unfortunate as it shows a true lack of empathy for others.

We can't go back in time. I couldn't go back in time either. But we can think about why we settled, why we let others use us to meet their own needs, why we let innocent people get hurt in the process as if they don't matter, and what needs we were meeting in our own empty soul by embracing all of this toxic nonsense and drama. This is where a good professional is indispensable, so I hope that continues for you.

Shame cannot only be good but absolutely necessary if we are to become the best, happiest, most mature versions of ourselves. I think that you wronged this man's family, and this man wronged his family and you. You should be hurt, angry, humiliated, and definitely ashamed. All of that will help you look inward and figure out why this guy's pretty words and romantic crumbs took such a prominent role in your life. He's a two-timing liar who betrayed his family to get some extra ego strokes and left you like road kill in his wake. This was not a beautiful connection; it was two broken people fucking up. Been there, done that, still have the t-shirt in a drawer somewhere. Learn from it. It will help you have the life you really want and totally deserve. I sincerely hope he does the same.

Best wishes.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 2:02 PM, Thursday, December 23rd]

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5349   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8705616
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 3:44 PM on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

I am a BS. And while this post is triggery for me, I do feel I should reply. I promise to follow the guidelines.

You see, a post like yours is my worst nightmare. But an interesting yet sobering insight. I'm getting to see the heartache of the AP. And it is disconcerting.

I am still dealing with a years gone LTAP who just won't let go, that has ended in a Cease & Desist letter just this year. It's gotten ugly. And I have a suspicion that it not IF it gets uglier but WHEN. Don't let that happen to you.

I also suggest you explore with the IC why you allowed yourself to get that connected to a married man, who is clearly off limits. Music lovers are a dime a dozen. He's not the only person you'll meet that shares a common interest.

I will say that someone looking to have an affiar will take a keen and almost mirroring interest in yours. All part of the lure. Get better at spotting that. Some people are very good at the game.

I'm going to break a few things down for you.

No contact is the only way. None. You don't get him as a friend, acquaintance or choir companion. I'm not going to debate [even gently] who leaves the choir - but one or both of you should. You can have no contact. At all. Ever. In any fashion.

I am going to stress an IC. A good one. That will force you to examine why you allowed yourself to have poor boundaries. And one that will have you examine why you feel no shame. Because, gently, you should. It is through that shame you truly learn why you did what you did and feel as you do. Others said it far better than I.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home)
Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS in 2018
Cease & Desist sent spring 2021
"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3365   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8705626
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gmc94 ( Guide #62810) posted at 4:23 PM on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

It's helpful for me to understand the magnitude of pain that emotional connections to others can cause within monogamy

May not be too relevant, but this comment kind of struck me, as it seemed to me to be differentiating pain between mono & poly relationships, and perhaps missing something about the nature of relational betrayal trauma. IME folks sometimes paint poly & mono with broad strokes (eg that poly is the wild west/anarchy of relationships and that mono is complete stifling of emotion/ expression/ individuality).

My hunch is that the BW isn't experiencing the magnitude of pain simply bc her spouse had a connection with/ good friend that happened to be a woman. My hunch is that the magnitude of pain exists bc her husband broke their boundaries and shattered her trust - that he spent some period of time lying to and deceiving her (which includes downplaying the relationship/his feelings WRT you) AND that his desire to redefine their relationship is in direct contrast to the relationship boundaries they agreed to, which threatens the whole relationship (and let's be real - relationship threats/loss are always painful, whether mono or not - IOW, if my boundaries mean I can no longer be in a healthy relationship with my BFF, my sibling, my parent, or my kid bc they've become a meth addict is STILL very very very painful, even tho none of those are sexual/mono relationships).

Infidelity can - and routinely DOES - occur w/in poly relationships too. To me, it's not "about" having connection to those outside the relationship - humans do that ALL the time. The pain comes from the breaking of a relationship's BOUNDARIES (which is really basic trust 101) - whether mono or poly. It just depends on the parameters/boundaries set w/in the relationship. Example: the poly boundary is you can sleep with whomever you like, but ONLY one time.... then one person begins to have regular sex with a 3d party, and conceals that from the poly partner. That is, IMO cheating/infidelity, breaking of a boundary, and destruction of trust, causing a "magnitude" of pain from that connection, despite not being mono.

Healing from infidelity (even as the 3d party) kind of requires opening up our thinking patterns and learning (or maybe RE-learning) to see thru a different lens (or lenses). I see your comment as a step toward opening up / learning to reframe some thinking, yet perhaps in a short loop to the extent it may (and I may be misreading here) be limiting the framing/lens to monogamy. And I really wanted to touch on this bc IME the minutiae of our thoughts can give us clues about things to work on more deeply - whether or not it's related to infidelity. Again, could be completely misreading. While you aren't a WS, you may find some benefit from reading Daddy Dom's post on "the process of discovering our true whys" (I'm a BS, but I find that post helps when I need to challenge any of my own thinking and that is absolutely NOT limited to thinking WRT infidelity). Let me know if you can't find that post and I can bump it.

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3618   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8705628
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annb ( member #22386) posted at 10:26 PM on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

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.

^^^This. As a BS, I would not want my wayward anywhere near his affair partner. I don't care what the circumstances are.

He needs to find another outlet for his music.

I'm glad you are seeking therapy.

posts: 11381   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
id 8705663
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 yellowrose (original poster new member #79702) posted at 10:30 PM on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

In response to some comments, I do feel guilty. I do feel remorse. It might just be semantics, but I refer to shame through learnings from Brenee Brown and the way I define it is that it's a feeling that you're deeply flawed. And this is what I reject. And I don't believe it's useful to anyone.

I know I made mistakes. And I genuinely feel bad for them. I've reflected a lot on what I could have done differently, and this is helpful to an extent. And eventually the ruminating on the past ceases to be helpful.

There were no promises made we were really just trying to figure out what to do with the feelings but I can see now that we shouldn't have been talking to each other about it. That ultimately made it worse. There are some thoughtful comments on digging into why I let myself feel connected to a married man. And why I let myself not have the appropriate boundaries. This will be good to dig into.

I think your bang on it with your comments gmc94. And I appreciate the push on reflecting on my lens. All the stuff that you said about his wife, I have the same hunch, that it is true. And I totally agree that there can be emotional betrayal in poly relationships as well. Of course.

What I was trying to articulate was developing deep emotional bonds with friends is something that's important and quite normal in my life, (and in a poly situation these connections can be explored physically if all partners are o.k. with it). This is true for many monogamous folks too. But I'm seeing that it's it not true for all monogamous folks and knowing that just by having any kind of deep emotional conversations with people who are not their partners can be hurtful, it makes me better understand how much pain this has caused his wife. I really didn't know the agreements or expectations they had in their marriage, so it was surprising to me how much this was a breech of trust. But that's where I am learning. And developing more and more empathy along the way.

posts: 3   ·   registered: Dec. 22nd, 2021   ·   location: Canada
id 8705664
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straightup ( new member #78778) posted at 11:57 PM on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

If I caught one of my business partners or staff in my business being just a bit dishonest they would go down 50% in my estimation, they would get a stern talking to, and I would probably never recommend them to others again. If the dishonesty was something like fiddling the books, they would be marched out the door. And in that environment I have some organizational structure and legal redress to protect me.

I’m a conventional mono relationship I am literally at my wife’s mercy, and vice versa. I could lose most of what we have been trying to create for 20 years, and be saddled with debt and damaged kids for the next 10 to 20 years.

Damn straight his wife is upset!

I find it pretty remarkable that people feel that they can be cavalier about marital fidelity, intrude, be dishonest, or view other relationships on the same level as marriage and parenthood.

I had more friends when a young man, and the kind of friendships when you stay up all night talking. In my experience, part of the marriage and kids gig is clearing some of that away to make way for your primary relationships. I can’t have that kind of relationship with another woman who is not in my family any more. I admire and enjoy the company of many women, but everything stays in the open, in the light of day, and I honor their partners.

Even with male friends, a few of which date back to the 3rd grade, I need to support those lifelong friends in their families, not steal their time and focus. I am a source of strength to one old friend whose wife has stage 4 breast cancer. He is a source of strength to me because I see how a good man can turn that blow, into a focus on the time they have, and supporting his kids’ limited time with their mother. I am choked up with pride for this man I knew as a boy.

Maybe there will be a bit of a dynamic change once we are older. More one on one time with male friends.

I appreciate that you stopped this affair, and are not without your principles, but I think you ignore how high the stakes are when marriage and dishonestly become bedfellows. His kids will be muttering about their deadbeat Dad on his 69th birthday because of this.

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 8705671
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GiveTimeTime ( member #45868) posted at 12:31 AM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

BS here. I am following the rules of this site and not breaking out the super heavy 2x4’s BUT…

Think of the one thing in your life that means more than anything. Whatever that thing is. Whatever it is that you feel defines you, grounds you, gives you comfort, gives you a reason to wake up and smile every day. Something you’ve maybe spent most of your life nurturing and holding dear. Think of that thing.

Now, imagine some random person saw it and decided that you didn’t deserve it. They decided they deserved it more, and put plans into action to take it from you.

I’m going to guess that’s how she feels. You’ve done enough damage, leave her alone. I’m going to guess she hates you with as much passion as she deserves to hate you with, and you deserve it. Leave her alone.

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

Are you fooling yourself pretty well by saying that? Because you’re not fooling anyone else. I have feelings of admiration and appreciation for my (female) boss, I never kiss her. I have no desire to kiss her. If her marriage fell apart, I would feel genuinely horrible for her and I would do anything I could to help relieve her pain. Quit minimizing what you felt and what you wanted. Your feigned innocence and surprise insults me and should insult anyone you play that bull$hit with.

You wanted to steal everything from this woman, but it didn’t work. If “all” you wanted to steal from this woman was, let’s say her car, and you got busted, you’d be in jail.

Get some psychiatric help to help you understand basic right from wrong and leave this woman, and that lying, cheating man alone.

[This message edited by GiveTimeTime at 1:04 AM, Friday, December 24th]

Me: 50 Him: 59Married 14 years, together 19.D-day: 3/6/14Me; loving, devoted, faithful wifeHim: lying, cheating, wh0re fu€king john6/4/15 - Divorced. Done. I wasn't kidding, asshole.

posts: 459   ·   registered: Dec. 6th, 2014   ·   location: Las Vegas
id 8705674
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landclark ( member #70659) posted at 2:31 AM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

What I was trying to articulate was developing deep emotional bonds with friends is something that's important and quite normal in my life, (and in a poly situation these connections can be explored physically if all partners are o.k. with it). This is true for many monogamous folks too. But I'm seeing that it's it not true for all monogamous folks and knowing that just by having any kind of deep emotional conversations with people who are not their partners can be hurtful, it makes me better understand how much pain this has caused his wife. I really didn't know the agreements or expectations they had in their marriage, so it was surprising to me how much this was a breech of trust. But that's where I am learning. And developing more and more empathy along the way.

You kissed her husband and wanted to take it further. This isn’t about him having a friend of the opposite sex. The blame for this going wrong is not on monogamy. The blame is definitely not on his wife for not being more accepting of it all.

You honestly seem to lack basic emotional and social intelligence. I don’t say that to swing a 2x4 but to say that really needs to be examined with a good therapist. Most adults would know that the relationship was inappropriate without it imploding the way it did. Most cheaters simply choose to ignore that it’s wrong, but they still know it’s wrong. The way you talk, you’d have us believe that you truly had no idea you were doing anything inappropriate.

Me: BW Him: WH (GuiltAndShame) Dday 05/19/19 TT through August
One child together, 3 stepchildrenTogether 13.5 years, married 12.5

First EA 4 months into marriage. Last ended 05/19/19. *ETA, contd an ea after dday for 2 yrs.

posts: 1948   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8705687
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3yrsout ( member #50552) posted at 3:06 AM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

I’m going to disagree with everyone here.

You should contact him, tell him you love him and want him to leave his wife so your love can be on the up and up, and see what happens.

Consider it educational.

After all, if my WH was in love, I’d welcome this honest discourse and would leave so they could be together, and I could be free.

[This message edited by 3yrsout at 3:07 AM, Friday, December 24th]

posts: 573   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2015
id 8705694
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 3:48 AM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

But I'm seeing that it's it not true for all monogamous folks and knowing that just by having any kind of deep emotional conversations with people who are not their partners can be hurtful, it makes me better understand how much pain this has caused his wife. I really didn't know the agreements or expectations they had in their marriage, so it was surprising to me how much this was a breech of trust.

It's not that monogamous people can't have close connections with people other than their spouses. It's that there's a hard boundary between friendship and romance/sex. If a mono person sees things heading that way, they're supposed to rein it the hell in. She trusted him to do that, and he used that faith to make it easier to cheat on her with you. I don't know if he completely blindsided her or if she had her suspicions and he gaslighted her about them. I suspect the latter, because if you picked up on his vibes, how much more likely is it that his wife of 20 years picked up on them, too? And asked about it and was dismissed, the same way he evaded you when you said he ought to come clean?

It's not fair to characterize her as someone who can't handle her husband having close friendships. You wouldn't have been his friend for years if she was that controlling. What she can't handle is lies and kisses and being asked to accept half a marriage when she was promised a whole one. Her husband either failed to understand fundamental things about her values and priorities, or he knew and just didn't care. That is a major mind fuck.

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

posts: 2379   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8705699
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LostInHisFog ( member #78503) posted at 3:55 AM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

I’m unsure what reading material you have chewed through if any but reading books like "not just friends" and "cheating in a nutshell" as well as watching a YouTube vid by affair recovery called "an interview with an expert part 1"(this is a two part video so there is vid 1&2) will educate you in the damage done and why the betrayed wife is actually acting like she has.

why do I suggest this? Because your comment "she is threatened" is an incredibly cruel hateful assumption on your part and is toxic thinking.

You’re assumptions about "some" monogamous people unable to have profound emotional connections is also wrong, we can stay up late with friends and have deep emotional conversations, we even able to stay the weekend with them alone if they need that support. We love these friends and will mourn the loss of the friendship or friends if/when they pass, we also wouldn’t have the desire to give them head. This is not a poly vs mono issue, it’s a strong boundaries vs piss poor boundaries issue, those with piss poor boundaries could never have deep emotional relationships without wanting it to get physical, absolutely nothing to do with "some" monogamous people. Reading your assumptions on monogamy is rather insulting and I feel you have justified some actions on the WH and BS as "because of monogamy" when it’s more to do with broken trust and piss poor boundaries.

Have you read about limerence? Exploring that might help you move on, understanding the road the WH was walking.

Grief is a process, there’s is no timeline, there are some good apps to help you manage it but you have to ride it out. Don’t take drugs of any kind or alcohol as they can’t extend the pain and amplify the loss. Self care, increase water intake, munch on some Brazil nuts and if meals are too much effort then add some meal replacement shakes into your diet until that detachment passes. Exercise is a must as your body will flood with feel good endorphins which are needed.

Kill the hope you will have anything to do with this man, you both fucked up, acknowledge it was a shitty thing and move forward without him. Be honest with mutual friends, you were an empowered grown woman who was ok destroying a marriage you’re that same grownup who can be honest as to why the WH is no longer around by owning your part, don’t continue the toxic pattern and minimise or shift blame, own your choices.

[This message edited by LostInHisFog at 4:05 AM, Friday, December 24th]

I edit because I'm fluent in typo & autocorrect hates me.

posts: 265   ·   registered: Mar. 14th, 2021
id 8705703
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ISurvivedSoFar ( Guide #56915) posted at 3:21 PM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

Yellowrose I laud you for sticking around and having the ability to handle the myriad of comments coming your way. I think what is important is to understand the depth of the pain that was caused. I cannot help but feel that it is being missed. What happened was the betrayed wife's agency was stolen by you and by her husband. I have no idea how to explain how this feels but please know it is not a small thing that is something she will just get over. It changes a person. I died the day I found out about my husband's affair - I made sounds that I have no idea could come out of me and they seemed very involuntary. I am not the same person I was prior to finding out. I ask that you take a moment to really understand the depths of what I am saying. This is not to make you feel guilty, but, it points to something else you mention.

...from Brenee Brown and the way I define it is that it's a feeling that you're deeply flawed. And this is what I reject. And I don't believe it's useful to anyone.

Gently, what do you consider the ability to build a deep relationship with someone who you know is lying to someone to whom he vowed fidelity, and continue that relationship willingly when the other person is being actively deceived? Ignoring the gravity of the issue is also not very useful to anyone because it means the opportunity for it to happen again exists.

I urge you to read the comments here especially in some of the other forums on this site to absorb the gravity of doing this to someone. Their relationship will never be the same - ever. If they reconcile they may find a new way to partner but it won't be like it was before your involvement with him. If they don't, well their family is never going to be whole.

I think your feelings of longing and sorrow are valid and should not be dismissed. Might it be reasonable to understand that the people who you hurt don't get that same treatment from you.? Everyone deserves to be heard and to have their feelings validated. Blocking our culpability in causing that pain is not a recipe for personal growth. I see that you are growing in your understanding even through the responses here and that's a great thing. Continue to learn and to read and to understand. As GMC said, it is about breaking established boundaries unfairly and without caring enough about your own integrity and other's feelings to prevent it. Why do you not think enough of yourself to not allow that to happen? That's your first road to travel.

ETA: If you don't want the responses from betrayed spouses, you can put up the stop sign.

[This message edited by ISurvivedSoFar at 4:03 PM, Friday, December 24th]

DDay Nov '16
Me: BS, a.k.a. MommaDom, Him: WS
2 DD's: one adult, one teen,1 DS: adult
Surviving means we promise ourselves we will get to the point where we can receive love and give love again.

posts: 2724   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
id 8705841
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 5:25 PM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

You've definitely received some great advice. Some harsh advice too, but it will probably to your benefit to absorb it all.

You stated:

But I'm seeing that it's it not true for all monogamous folks and knowing that just by having any kind of deep emotional conversations with people who are not their partners can be hurtful, it makes me better understand how much pain this has caused his wife. I really didn't know the agreements or expectations they had in their marriage, so it was surprising to me how much this was a breech of trust.

And BSR responded:

It's not that monogamous people can't have close connections with people other than their spouses. It's that there's a hard boundary between friendship and romance/sex. If a mono person sees things heading that way, they're supposed to rein it the hell in. She trusted him to do that, and he used that faith to make it easier to cheat on her with you. I don't know if he completely blindsided her or if she had her suspicions and he gaslighted her about them. I suspect the latter, because if you picked up on his vibes, how much more likely is it that his wife of 20 years picked up on them, too? And asked about it and was dismissed, the same way he evaded you when you said he ought to come clean?

The overlying point here, and I believe ChamomileTea mentioned it in her post, is that boundaries changed over a period of time between the two of you. If your initial friendship was very important to you, then you are supposed to protect it--there should have been rock-solid boundaries that wouldn't let the dynamic change. It was HIS job to protect his wife and family unit, and the same responsibilities apply. Maybe the two of you believed that your boundaries were so strong, that you could talk about things that were reserved for only his marriage. All that showed was that the boundaries were untested...and failed in a catastrophic way that damaged all parties involved. I am basing that on the theory that the two of you did have a good, common friendship for years, without initial deceptions.

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married 28yrs.(together over 30yrs.)

All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day(s): Enough
Accepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14

posts: 3898   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8705890
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Linus ( member #79614) posted at 8:13 PM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

How do you feel about the effect of this on his children? How does one avoid thinking of that, while in an affair? It smacks of a lack of empathy and a conscience. I guess I will never understand this.

My kids were deeply affected to their detriment. You hurt a lot of people. I hope they overcome it.

posts: 145   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8705911
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Linus ( member #79614) posted at 9:01 PM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

Perhaps it is just an expression, " unbearable grief ", but it could not be unbearable. I imagine( no, I am actually certain having endured it) that the man's s wife's s grief eclipses your dramatically.

It mystifies me, makes me wonder about your empathy, that you would try to contact her, or think being in choir together would not traumatize her. Best for you to disappear from their lives.

If you are like most people, this will not haunt you for too long. Just the way it is for most. Hopefully, though, you will refrain in the future. You did enough damage.

posts: 145   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8705917
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BoundaryBuilder ( member #78439) posted at 11:04 PM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

Poly done respectfully for all involved requires BOUNDARIES and COMMUNICATION. And buy-in 100% from everyone, from the get go. Which requires TRUTH with all partners --- and RULES of engagement. How often, when, where. How to handle child and elder care so one person isn't left with all the responsibility, STD testing/protection, birth control. Constant check-ins about feelings, comfort, resentments etc. etc. Constant re-negotiations. Frankly, sounds exhausting. I can barely muster the energy to engage with my H some days let alone an auxiliary partner or two. But this is the WORK folks serious about maintaining a safe and respectful poly lifestyle are willing to do. Must do. Now, if your definition of poly means it's okay to have sex and emotional entanglements with people outside the primary relationship as long as it's cool with the other primary partner, and that's it ---there's no WORK with ALL partners to agree on RULES ---- to me that's another thing altogether.

Spend enough time on infidelity boards and its evident some people bent on an affair will promote fantasy to the AP that they can "open the marriage" or straight up lie "yeah my wife/husband is okay with an open marriage so it's cool." It's a trope! Please be aware. I don't know you or how you live your life, what ethics you ascribe to. If you are seriously committed to truly ethical polyamory that respects all participants the affair with your friend would not have happened. You both knew he was a married man with a family - in a MONOGAMOUS marriage.He doesn't seem able to do boundaries or communication (or truth) very well. His wife believed she was in a monogamous marriage - she did not have 100% buy-in to open their marriage BEFORE you came into the picture as the OW already deep in a long term EA/PA with her H. So, a SAFE poly relationship between you and he (safe for you and safe for his wife/KIDS!) was not realistic - it was a selfish fantasy. And your boundaries are also porous (at least in this situation) as you've noted. Fantasy and poor boundaries......... doesn't bode well if your goal is to lead a poly life with as little relationship drama as possible.

To help process your grief maybe it will help to examine what "poly" really means to you.Put some new boundaries and rules in place around what that looks like. To protect yourself and others. So something like this doesn't happen again. Lots of people bandy the term poly about. What they call poly and what you call poly may be VERY different constructs. You probably know this - sorry if I sound preachy. It's commendable you're examining why the affair happened - an affair that placed you in the position of OW and caused harm to everyone concerned. Maybe examining whether or not you are a good fit for a poly lifestyle is also warranted? Can you be a safe partner - are you willing to WORK hard at it to assure everyone feels safe and respected? Will you allow fantasy and poor boundaries to destroy others and cause yourself grief again? Something to seriously think about.

My best wishes to you.

Edited for clarity :-)

[This message edited by BoundaryBuilder at 7:03 PM, 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 8705931
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MickeyBill2016 ( member #56459) posted at 5:40 AM on Saturday, December 25th, 2021

No stop sign so I just have a couple comments.

RE the choir. If the other members were aware of your relationship/affair with your AP then they would not be surprised that your AP has not returned to the thing that facilitated the affair. As most groups tend to have gossip there's a good chance that they are pretty much aware.

OTOH Other than the gossipy part I doubt if they really care. They may think lesser of both of you for the affair but it's not number one on their radar...

No he should not return unless you leave the group. Neither can be trusted.

9 years married.
13 years divorced.

posts: 1191   ·   registered: Dec. 17th, 2016   ·   location: West of the 405 North of the Mexican border
id 8705956
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ISurvivedSoFar ( Guide #56915) posted at 2:08 PM on Sunday, December 26th, 2021

Yellowrose - reaching out to see if you are okay. You received some difficult comments here including mine and I want you to know that I'm thinking of you and wondering how you are doing.

If you are so inclined respond when you are able. Folks here really do want to help.

DDay Nov '16
Me: BS, a.k.a. MommaDom, Him: WS
2 DD's: one adult, one teen,1 DS: adult
Surviving means we promise ourselves we will get to the point where we can receive love and give love again.

posts: 2724   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
id 8706020
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