Cookies are required for login or registration. Please read and agree to our cookie policy to continue.

Newest Member: Lissa

Wayward Side :
Mourning loss of affair partner


 SMG1986 (original poster member #57950) posted at 5:10 AM on Wednesday, January 11th, 2023

My husband had multiple affairs the first 7 years of our marriage- all exposed in 2017. Since then we worked hard on reconciling- IC, MC, church etc etc. He also has history of substance abuse issues and about a year a go I discovered he was closet drinking. About this same time an ex of mine reached out on social media starting a year-long emotional/non-contact but very sexual, long distance affair.

Husbands closet drinking put me over the edge and all the dishonesty from the past resurfaced and quite frankly I just didn’t care anymore. I did ask him to move out and we remain separated- and much of this long distance EA has been during our time of separation.

Recently my AP decided on no-contact and I am an absolute wreck. I think a lot of it has to do with my feelings of rejection in my marriage, and now with this man… and I am just so damn sad and lonely.

I am exhausted with counseling- although I’m sure I need to revisit. Just wondering if anyone has any advice re mourning the loss of their AP.

[This message edited by SMG1986 at 5:11 AM, Wednesday, January 11th]

Me: BW, 36, Him: WH, 34 Us: Together 12 years, DS: 16, DS: 11, DS: 9, DD: 6

D-days:4/2016 & 2/14/2017 with TT until 5/2017

MH: 11/2021- present

posts: 119   ·   registered: Mar. 22nd, 2017
id 8772862

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:49 PM on Wednesday, January 11th, 2023

Yikes! I misread this. Unlocking. Thread is kosher.

I apologize SMG.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 7:45 PM, Wednesday, January 11th]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 28411   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8772937

DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 8:33 PM on Thursday, January 12th, 2023


Sorry to hear that you are struggling and hurting. I see that you are not a new member, however, I'd still suggest reading "Mia's Withdrawal Guide" which is pinned to the top of this forum, which is the best place to start regarding that specific issue.

I'm not a mad-hatter, and that always puts a unique spin on recovery, however I'll share what I can.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that you felt rejected in the marriage by your spouse, and now feel rejected again by your AP. That's a lot of processing to deal with. But here is the thing. You put your love and devotion in with men who weren't capable of loving you back. In fact, in the case of the AP, you pretty much went in with the full knowledge that this wasn't going to make things BETTER, right?

At the end of the day, the way to get "over" the AP involves coming to two realizations. First, you have to realize who they really are. Anyone that is willing to go into an illicit affair with a married woman is, pretty much by definition, not a person with integrity, not an honest person, and no matter what they say, they certainly do not "love you" or care about you in any way. Why? Because if you really love and care about someone, you don't encourage them to lie, you don't help them tear their family apart, you don't sneak around, and you don't participate in anything that would hurt them. Those are things you do when you DON'T care about someone. That's a hard truth in life.

The second realization is who YOU are. Does lying make you feel good about yourself? Does sneaking around to see the AP make you feel special and beautiful? Do you hope one day your kids will know love with a cheating affair partner just like you do? Do you think about the day you get to tell people how you met and how wonderful it will be to tell them how you cheated on your spouse with this "wonderful" guy? I doubt it.

Look, your husband drinks to excess. That's not because he loves the taste of booze. It's because he has a hole in his heart and soul that he just can't fill, and he can't fill it because he doesn't love himself enough to think better of himself, to be a better person. He's not capable of loving you because he isn't capable of loving himself.

Sadly, when he cheated on your, he inflicted trauma on you, and now you have a hole in your heart as well. And you are trying to fill it in much the same way he does. You see how that worked out for him so far. How is it working out for you?

You get over the AP when you learn to love and respect yourself. When you realize you are worth more, and deserve more in life to than hitch your wagon to a cheater.

Here's a hint. You ARE worth more. You just feel it at the moment. And that's understandable. You were betrayed and hurt, and sometimes we just need to "sit in it" for a while, to feel the feelings and feel the hurt, it's part of the grieving process. Give yourself some grace for that. But at some point, we get off our asses and wake up, and realize that we can either go down the same rabbit hole (full of rabbit shit) that our betrayers went through, or we stand up, dust ourselves off and realize that we don't need anyone to complete us. That we're worthy of love all on our own. And we decide to be good people, not because it's the right thing to do, but because it's who we want to be.

Affairs cannot survive honesty. So get honest with yourself, and learn to love yourself again. Lots of good folks here that can help with that.

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1354   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8773112

 SMG1986 (original poster member #57950) posted at 9:58 PM on Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

This was extremely helpful. I think it’s been so hard because my AP was a boyfriend right before meeting my husband and we were young and I think part of it may be nostalgia or … like a security blanket to fall back on? Something comforting in the thought of "coming back to each other after 15 years"…. I had already separated from my husband so it didn’t feel as bad. I don’t know. It’s all so confusing and hard.

Me: BW, 36, Him: WH, 34 Us: Together 12 years, DS: 16, DS: 11, DS: 9, DD: 6

D-days:4/2016 & 2/14/2017 with TT until 5/2017

MH: 11/2021- present

posts: 119   ·   registered: Mar. 22nd, 2017
id 8773816

BraveSirRobin ( Moderator #69242) posted at 5:26 PM on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023

I think you're already on the right track here.

One of the things we tell BS is that the affair is not about the BS, nor is it about the AP. It's about the WS. This doesn't mean that your husband's cheating, lying and substance abuse had nothing to do with the death of your feelings for him. It sounds like you had some very legitimate grievances in your marriage, any one of which would justify a divorce. They just didn't justify a slide into betrayal and dishonesty, any more than whatever grievances (legitimate or otherwise) he may have had made it ok to lie and cheat on you. So why did you choose an affair?

You've hit several nails on the head: insecurity, nostalgia, a need for validation, the dopamine rush of being wanted and pursued. It's likely that this man was no better for you than he was when you originally dated. What he offered was a mirror that allowed you to see yourself as desirable after a body blow to your self-esteem. There were probably some things that legitimately attracted you to him, but that wasn't the main draw. He reminded you of being 22, and that's the person you desperately want to be, reset to before you chose your WH and started down this miserable path.

This being the case, your situation needs reframing. If you work on getting over your AP, he stays front and center in your thoughts. Instead, work on getting over your need for a mirror -- any mirror. Work on being ok with yourself in the absence of admiration and validation from anyone. Work on the fear of being alone. It sounds like you never have been. When you think about being alone, what feelings come up, and do you associate them with anything in your past?

It's a long journey, but you're headed the right way just by being in this forum. Welcome.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 5:28 PM, Sunday, January 22nd]


posts: 3282   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8774287

 SMG1986 (original poster member #57950) posted at 6:36 AM on Thursday, February 16th, 2023


I never responded but I re-read your response often. Daddydom’s, too. You both are right in that I need to find my own self-worth and not need the "mirror". It is incredibly difficult for me. I am still struggling to let go of AP but working on myself instead like you said. My husband and I are moving towards divorce. I just feel so empty.

Me: BW, 36, Him: WH, 34 Us: Together 12 years, DS: 16, DS: 11, DS: 9, DD: 6

D-days:4/2016 & 2/14/2017 with TT until 5/2017

MH: 11/2021- present

posts: 119   ·   registered: Mar. 22nd, 2017
id 8777899

EvolvingSoul ( member #29972) posted at 3:45 PM on Thursday, February 16th, 2023

Hi there SMG1986,

I know how hard it is when you lose your supply of "feel good". Even after reframing the idea of AP, who he really was, and the true nature of our relationship, I still pined for the feelings. It's straight up withdrawal and it takes time but it gets better. Stay NC and keep working on yourself. If you aren't already, start developing some tools for dealing with difficult feelings (bored, sad, mad, lonely, frustrated, disappointed, etc.) in ways that are wholesome. A mindfulness practice with daily meditation as its cornerstone has helped me so much, and it can probably help you too. There are a lot of good resources out there for learning this very valuable life skill.

Hang in there. Keep working on you. Post when you need support or have questions.

Best to you from a fellow EvolvingSoul.

Me: WS (61)
Him: Shards (56)
D-day: June 6, 2010
Last voluntary AP contact: June 23, 2010
NC Letter sent: 3/9/11

We’re going to make it.

posts: 2558   ·   registered: Oct. 29th, 2010   ·   location: The far shore.
id 8777953

DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 3:40 PM on Friday, February 17th, 2023

I just feel so empty.

Hurts like hell, doesn't it? I'm sorry this is all so difficult and soul-tearing. Infidelity is like an endless bag of salt ready to be poured into your open wounds, daily. I wish I had some advice to make things better today, but these things take time.

When things got really bad for me, I started to make it a habit to do at least one thing a day (if not several things) that made me feel good about myself. Small things. Insignificant things. Achievable things. But still, things I could point to myself and say, "That was really decent of you". Look, if you don't want to keep living in a world where you need reassurance and love from other people just to survive, then you have to learn to give it to yourself. And this is how you start. You do things that make you feel good about yourself, and you keep doing them, and over time, it stops being purposeful and "fake feeling", and starts to instead become not only genuine and instinctual, but simply "who you are".

For example, that jerk that's riding up your ass and wants to pass you? Let him. Calmly pull into the other lane and give a friendly wave to let them pass, and then don't stress over it. You just did something nice for someone else, and more than that, you didn't allow them to control your response, your mood or your day.

Call an old friend just to say hello.
Let that person with only a few items go ahead of you in line.
Tell someone something you like about them (e.g. I love your hair color, you are a classy dresser, you come up with such clever ideas, you are always so calm and patient)
Exercise, do a spa day, meditate... do something for your own personal well being
Offer to help a friend or coworker get something done
Bake some cookies and call a friend to share them
Donate to a worthy and meaningful charity
Write a blog about your struggles and share your recovery

After a while, you begin to realize that you can hold yourself responsible for your wrongdoings and yet still forge ahead, do better, BE better. Doing bad things made us, and everyone around us, miserable and hurt. Doing good things has a similar effect... we start to make ourselves and the people we come in contact with feel good, positive, assured.

There are different colors in the world when you see it through eyes that aren't needy and hurting. You begin to experience old things in new ways. Choices become clearer, stress levels go down. It can be hard to explain, but there is a physical weight to all that emptiness and negative thinking. When you shed the things you don't like and begin to make choices about who to be, everything just feels... lighter.

The things we did and the damage it caused sucks, and there will never come a time when it doesn't suck. We're stuck with that fact. But the book didn't end the day we cheated. It just started a new chapter, an ugly, horrible chapter. To move forward, we end that chapter, and we start a new one. The story can go anywhere you want it to from here, but it's up to you to decide the rest of the book.

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1354   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8778255
Cookies on®® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

v.1.001.20230221 2002-2023® All Rights Reserved. • Privacy Policy