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Newest Member: Julesanne

Wayward Side :
trouble letting go

stop

 soulstuck (original poster new member #82357) posted at 9:40 PM on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

I'm new to SI. I had an EA from August 2021-Jan 2022 and reconnected with my EA partner April 2022-Sept 2022.

Both times, I broke it off.

I confessed to my husband in February of 2022. I reconnected against his wishes but with his knowledge in April 2022.

It's been about six weeks since I permanently broke things off with my EA partner. I realize now that he was using me, though it was very real for me.

We confessed our feelings for each other in October 2021. He claimed to have a soul connection with me (I felt it/feel it, too) and he said he would risk his relationship, my relationship, his business--- everything for me. The next morning, I realized what I was doing and told him that I needed to ask my husband for an open marriage. When I wrote him that letter saying I couldn't lie to my husband, he said we could never have a relationship and we could just be friends.

It felt like whiplash.

Of course, he was right. I knew what we were doing was wrong. Suddenly, I had nothing to confess to my husband. We were just going to be friends. And I tried to return to just being friends.

Oh, did I mention that he was my kids' martial arts instructor? I had known and admired this man for 10 years. I started taking classes from him, too, last summer (2021). At the same time, he and I became writing partners. He also became a listening ear because I was going through a midlife crisis, which had been triggered by my writing a novel. That project woke up a lot of painful baggage from childhood.

So, not only did he seem to be the one soul in the universe who understood me, we were sharing our work and an artistic connection and I was wrestling with him twice weekly. He started giving me private lessons before classes as well. For me, it was like sex without penetration (we were never physical, though I would have if he had wanted to be).

My every thought became consumed with him. I tried really hard to go back to being just friends, but I stopped eating and sleeping and my professional writing suffered.

At first, he didn't want me to saying flirtatious things to him, but then later when I would try to correct myself, he told me to just be myself. I struggled with remaining friends and still being authentic with him. I couldn't do it. He wanted authenticity from me, but he never really reciprocated. In class, he wrestled exclusively with me. Finally, in January, I asked him if he still felt the same way I did, and he ignored my messages. When I pushed him to answer, he asked me how he was supposed to know how I felt (he's an avowed solipsist). We fought, and I told him I couldn't be his student or write with him any more. He didn't stop me from leaving. My teens continued as his students. They were working toward their black belts.

I found a different BJJ studio. I confessed to my husband. We talked about open marriage, etc. We fought. I didn't intentionally set out to have an affair, and I don't blame my husband, but my affair exposed things we both need to work on. After one big fight, I refriended my affair partner on Facebook. I told myself that I needed to be able to communicate with my kids' teacher, which was true, but also self-serving. I was uncomfortable with my 14 year old daughter being the one to be private messaging him. All the messages were benign, but it's a boundary I would never allow to be crossed if I hadn't been no-contact with him at the time.

All this time, I missed my EA like I missed air to breathe.

Our communication started off slowly again at first after I refriended him. I had convinced myself that he had just gotten carried away with his emotions and said things he didn't mean, and that when he had realized his mistake, he had tried to do the right thing. That he was principled and had integrity. While I had been no contact with him (Jan-April 2022), he had retired from teaching jiujitsu and concentrated on tai chi (he's 61, I'm 46). I was sad when I learned this, because I thought, if I wasn't pouring my heart out to him and I wasn't writing partners with him, I could handle being just his student again. I grieved a little to learn that I couldn't return to his class.

In July, I had convinced myself that I could be just writing partners with him, and I asked him, and he agreed readily. We had about a month of enjoyable conversations, sharing writing prompt answers and chatting as "just friends". But then things got weird for me. I stopped eating and sleeping. I started having more visions and dreams and signs. I had been having these since March 2021, but now they increased alarmingly. All of these, in hindsight, I should have interpreted as warnings. I just ignored them. I had two dreams manifest in real life. I don't have a history of these sorts of things, so at first, I ignored them all, but I couldn't ignore when things started coming true after I had dreamed them.

He started sending mixed signals again. He told me he wanted me to be unfiltered. I wrote him a long lovesick letter demonstrating exactly what unfiltered looked like, partly to scare him away, partly to pull him to me. He wrote back that nothing was easier for him, he also struggled.

Long story short, he was okay with fantasy as long as we weren't physical. I don't think he recognizes emotional affairs as cheating (he has a girlfriend half his age). I never felt like it was fantasy. I wanted transparency and honesty. I didn't want to replace his girlfriend or him replace my husband. I still loved my husband. I wanted an open relationship.

He told me he would end our friendship if I asked for an open marriage from my husband. He apologized for telling me to be unfiltered. He told me that he had hoped I would learn that feelings fade. He asked if we were still friends, and I said yes. The next morning, after having not slept for three days straight prior, I got up very angry. I wrote him a letter asking him to please tell me the truth. Did he love me? Or was I just a toy?

He deleted the letter without reading all of it and we had a fight over text. I bent over backwards apologizing because he said I called him a piece of shit (which I didn't). I just wanted the truth. I begged for time to get my emotions under control. That I would come back after a month. He didn't say no, but I knew he was extremely angry.

After a couple weeks of no contact, I wrote him a letter saying that I couldn't be friends. It wasn't healthy for me. My feelings would never fade, and they would definitely only become more uncontrollable if we continued to interact. The urge inside me to unite with him would just keep doubling down. It hurt (still hurts) that he didn't seem to have the same problem.

In that letter, I also asked him to please message just me and not the kids.

He replied with just a heart emoji.

He messaged my daughter privately two days later. I happened to ask her, "Has XXXX messaged you?" and he had. It was innocuous: a picture of a forgotten sweater, but he ignored my boundary with my daughter.

I messaged him with a reminder to please message me and not the kids. He responded, "And why is that?" I said, "Because I asked you to." I said, "If you you didn't read my letter, ok, I'm asking you now. If you did read my letter and you ignore me, I'm going to push back. Please don't turn this into a loyalty test for me." All he replied was: let's get your kids their black belts.

That afternoon, he announced to my kids that their test would be during the next class. This was shocking to them. My daughter, for sure, was not ready and would not pass his test.

This felt like a slap in the face. I had been besotted with him regarding myself, but I was not blind when it came to my kids. He had also been paying a lot of attention to my daughter (lots of praise--- more than he ever gave my son, a gift of a hat, offers of rides home). Each thing by itself seemed innocent. My daughter looked up to him as an uncle.

But I had to face the fact that he had been inappropriate with me (of course, I was 100% complicit) where he knew better (and I didn't really understand the risks)--- he's been a martial arts teacher for 15 years and we had even discussed (prior to the EA taking off) that he was aware of the way students could come to feel about him and he always cut those interactions off immediately (I think this information from him early on lowered my defenses), and his attention toward my daughter had made me uncomfortable, but I had tamped down those feelings. Now, I had reset a reasonable boundary (not to private message my daughter without my knowledge or permission), and rather than complying, he had become so angry as to take it out on my kids and compromise the integrity of his black belt. What was he going to do when she didn't pass his test? Pass her anyway? Was he planning to kick them out after the test? I don't know.

I told my husband I was ready to pull them out. It made my love for my EA freeze over. While I was frozen, I knew I needed to cut all ties with him, but it was a delicate situation with my kids. They had worked hard for this for 10 years. We couldn't just take it away from them.

We let them decide. We told them that XXXX had ignored a boundary I had set, and that they could choose to test or not, but we would be pulling them out of his class immediately afterward. We wanted them to understand why so that it was not a surprise to them. And we wanted to give them the choice of whether they wanted to be belted under a man like that. My daughter had also noticed all the attention compared to what he gave my son. They recognized that it could all be innocent, but that when he crossed my boundary, that was a big red flag that couldn't be ignored. My son looked at my daughter and said, "If you're not comfortable, I'm not comfortable." She said she was no longer comfortable.

My husband took the equipment the kids had borrowed and the gifted hat over to the martial arts studio and left them on his doorstep, we blocked him on all of our media, email, phones, and then my husband emailed him saying that I had told him about all of our interactions, and that he had crossed a line with our daughter, and that our kids had chosen to no longer train with him or test for his black belt.

I was elated after that. I felt free.

My husband and I also started counseling, and we are doing a lot better and are reconnecting. I know we will be stronger on the other side of this.

I prayed for God to give me a reason to severe ties permanently and the strength to do so, and He did.

At the same time, true love for me is a permanent emotion. While I see his actions in black and white regarding my kids, I am the type of woman who would allow a man to put her in the hospital and she would stay loyal to him. I just am. I say that with no pride or drama, just a simple fact I realize about myself now. My husband understands this about me too. I am thankful my husband is a good man.

We are both open to the concept of polyamory as long as there is honesty. Through this experience, we have realized that it is not right for us as a couple, and we have recommitted to each other, but that doesn't erase the intense love I have for my EA.

I'm an INFJ on the Meyers Briggs. If you know what that is, you know that my personality type is slow to love and trust, but then it's permanent. He left me no choice (thankfully) but to slam the door on him. And though it hurt me to insult him the way I did, I know there is no way I can go crawling back to him now. If I came into contact with him and he said the right things to me, I'd be right back where I was before. Utterly consumed by him.

So, now, I'm about six weeks out from having slammed the door on him, and the high of being free has worn off. He's invading my thoughts. Haunting me. I miss him terribly. I try to tell myself that I fell in love with a man that doesn't exist, but that's not entirely true. I fell in love with a fascinating, complicated human being who is probably a narcissist, and I'm codependent. I was lonely. I was naive. I had no boundaries. I made bad choices, and I opened my heart and pulled him in to sit beside my husband.

I don't know how to get him out of my heart. Thankfully, I can't contact him. I know he hates me now. That thought keeps me safe from myself. I also don't trust him. I think he genuinely felt himself to be like my kids' uncle, and my daughter was a more dedicate student than my son. I think he was angered that I put the boundary up because of what it implied: that he was a pedophile. But when he couldn't act in a trustworthy manner by simply respecting my boundary, when he responded with so much anger, he broke my trust.

For me, I can still love a person and not trust them. I actually don't trust anyone. I actually put a lot of trust in him, which was weird for me. But he wanted blind faith from me in the end, and I don't do that when it comes to my kids.

So, to sum up. My husband and I are on the mend and strengthening our marriage. I'm not backsliding per se, but I'm crying a lot in the shower, not sleeping well, eating too much crap (which I guess is better than not eating--- my true stress response), and I am writing this long ass letter instead of editing my novel because he is on my mind constantly. All this despite throwing myself into work, exercise, dance, and sex with my husband. If I am not using my body to do something active, my mind is on my EA.

Please do not tell me that these feelings will fade. It was NOT a crush. Love does not fade for me. Only the temperature fluctuates. My love for him is permanent, and it doesn't matter if his love for me was real or not (I have tried and failed at that mind game---I think he loved me, but "not enough". Certainly not to the degree that I love(d) him.). I say this from experience regarding a different long-term estranged loved one. I've been trying to un-love him for over a year.

Part of what is so hard is that I felt consumed by my husband when I fell in love with him, but with my EA partner, it was even more intense. To know now that I can respond to someone like that... that I could have a soul connection with another artist and share the same hobbies and interests and love languages...my heart breaks.

I am looking for anyone who has a similar response to love, who has been down this path before me, to give me some hope. I do not want to be raked over the coals by any BPs on this forum. I want to hear only from wayward spouses.

What can I do to help myself? Or is it just a matter of time? How long before I'm thinking of him just once a day and not constantly? When will I stop rehashing conversations in my head, replaying them differently so that he "understands" and there are different outcomes? I'm exhausted. Truly.

[This message restored by Webmaster at 12:00 PM, Wednesday, November 16th]

[This message edited by soulstuck at 4:22 AM, Sunday, November 13th]

posts: 5   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2022
id 8764358
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 12:19 AM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

Hello, soulstuck.

I wonder if you have ever looked at any support forums that address limerance?

WW/BW

posts: 2952   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8765176
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