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Jill,<P>As I've said before, you are a rare jewel. <P>I will be very suprised if others feel the same way. Let's see....<P>------------------<BR>But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.<BR>Galatians 5:22-23

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2sad4words...<P>Well...the question at the beginging had to do with going it alone. So...when the down cycles come strong...I just pass if off as being depressed about just other things in general...Just can't bear the thought of my wife knowing grieving like that for someone else...yet...seems like she needs to know the depth of need and pain in my life.<P>A tough place and choice to make, no doubt.<p>[This message has been edited by NoMas (edited May 09, 2000).]

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Jill...you are lucky that that you still had a marriage to work on. It is good that you were able to redirect your love to someone who loved you. I wish what I have been going through had some end insight. My H hurt me before the affair and afterward. The OM hurt me. I feel used, rejected, and incredibly stupid for trusting either of the two. Imagine going through withdrawl and divorce at the same time. Some days the pain of one balances the pain of the other. Anyway, I know there is supposedly an analogy with withdrawl and addiction. I quess. But it feels like a break-up to me, addiction or not. It hurts as much, if not worse as it did when I was 16 and breaking up with a boyfriend. It's probably worse now because married people shouldn't be breaking up with anyone. I have a double whammy on this one. Truly, I am glad you and your H are working on things. Prayers for all of us out there still struggling with this unfortunate condition.<P>

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Sobeit, I'm ready to go anytime! <P>2sad4words, I don't think of it as pining away... because I don't want the OM back... it is not an all the time thing with me... but now and then it gets the best of me... (it mostly makes me sick with guilt and if only's) I think it was the feeling the filled the void that is missed the most which is why I am trying to get that back into my marriage. It took a lot of hard work for me to get this far... and I am not going back there! <P>I think that we each just need to know that there is someone else out there that understands what we are going through... And they are here... and it helps to have the outlet..<P>I think that is why most of us are here... to get it off our chests and release it in a positive manner instead of turning on our spouse or to an OP and destroying what we have been trying to accomplish... it's part of getting over the affair and the chaos it has created in our lives...<P>Yes.. I know the spouse suffers miserably... and they deserve tons of credit... It is extremely painful for everyone involved... <P>Even though my H doesn't know about the affair, he has been effected by the changes in me... and I will spend the rest of my life making it up to him... by making our marriage better and stronger and showing him my love... even when he is having a bad day and takes it out on me... <P>

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RE: Pining away.<P>Part of the incredible pain for me during this phase has been knowing that I've hurt not only my wife, but the OW as well. The feelings I have for her are not romantic, but the sympanty one human feels for another ("I'm sorry I've hurt you and your family"). When I said this in the "Recovery" post I was roundly criticized (someone even suggested that I should "hate" her), and that was troubling to me. <P>My wife understands these feelings. She knows that while I may have no romantic feelings for the OW, I do have other feelings (remorse, sympathy, empathy) and memories that will always be with me. Our goal, and our plan, is to create new memories for ourselves and to let the others gradually fade. <P>Thanks for sharing your thoughts.<P>Lee

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Dear Tosad: I am only speaking for myself here, but I did not get to this point in my life by myself. For years I have tried to work with my spouse. For years I have done everything from going to counseling to planning, paying for and forcing my spouse to go on a honeymoon 19 years after we were married. I tried to communicate with him with every medium I could think of including talking calmly, crying, screaming, throwing things and then finally just accepting his behavior and going my own way. He says that he learned to love me deeply right before we had our breakdown a few years ago. Marriage is alot of work, but effort should be put forth by both parties and that is not always the case. I will admit that I gave up, but after working at it for over 20 years I couldn't take anymore. I had a series of OM(s) in my life and no I am not proud of it, but I am human and needed the affection my spouse was not giving. My spouse was giving all his friendship to other women instead of me. I heard about how sexy other women looked that he had seen out on the road. How some chick had big boobs and a thin waist. I had voiced my anger at his insensitivity and of course it goes on. When we make love, he says he can't talk to me because then he can't concentrate. I felt like I was being used. He doesn't say too much anymore about the other chicks and he still doesn't give alot of compliments(maybe one a year if I am lucky) Yet, I am the one trying to make this marriage work. I am the one who still loves him after all the weight comments, his women friends that I have now just accepted, all his remarks regarding my compentency and so on. When we went through our breakdown, he told me how much he loved me and wanted me to stay with him. I hurt so much because I did love him, but why did he wait until after I became unstable to tell me this? By that time I was in love with the OM as well. I said alot of hurtful things to my spouse because I was so angry and hurt at the same time. I wanted to be loved, held, appreciated, needed beyond the sex part, a friend. He thought he was doing his duty by working and buying his family all the things they needed. I guess we missed the connection somewhere of how to work with each other. My latest OM filled that void even if only for awhile and no I don't regret it. I regretted the others, but not this one. I know it was not right and I wish I could have done things differently, but it didn't happen that way. All I can do now is try and move on with my life and figure out ways to save my marriage even though my spouse is not always a willing participant. There are folks out there that will say "you should have done this or that", however, it's beyond that point now. I am grieving over my loss of a true good friend. A person who encouraged me to hold my head up, to fight my eating disorder, to trust myself. He accepted me as I am and loved me as I am. I had a hard time letting him go knowing that our relationship wasn't right at this time. I am working with my spouse trying to encourage communication no matter what form and praying to God that our marriage will heal and I will heal from the OM and concentrate my efforts on my spouse. Not everyone was out to hurt their spouse or SO intentionally. Things happen for reasons that alot of times we cannot understand or maybe in some cases refuse to understand. I will not condemn either party because both experience the pain. I offer my prayers to both betrayed and betrayer in hopes that they will be able to get their lives back together or be able to move on and be happy again.

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I am also going through withdrawal alone. My H doesn't know about my affair and I have chosen not to tell for reasons that are best for my situation right now.<P>I agree with Lacee, it's not that I am pining away for OM. And I definately do not want him back especially because he hurt me in a really humiliating way. I feel so stupid for not only letting him do that to me but it's the constant regret of what I did.<P>I will admit that he did fill some void that I wasn't getting from my H. I wish so bad that I would have turned to him instead of the arms of another man.<P>At first is was like I was a school girl in lust and I just missed that feeling of butterflies and excitement. He made me feel like a woman again who was wanted and desired,something my H hadn't given me in years.<P>I think my withdrawal is that I think of how much OM affected my life and sometimes I tend to think about those pleasent memories and I think that is what I miss.But then I just start thinking about what a jerk he really was and why the heck would I want someone like that. For me the fog is slowly lifting and I know oneday it will all be clear to me.<P>By the way the picture analogy was excellent-I can't remember who posted it on this topic, but it was a great way to look at the recovery from affairs.<P>Reina

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Is it me (it prob is - I am male) or is this whole pining thing just as selfish as the affairs? I hear alot of crying about how the OM or OW hurt you by leaving and/or how you miss him or her so much. It just doesn't sit right with me. Shouldn't you be crying for the one that you betrayed? I am sure that you feel hurt and it helps if you call it an 'addiction' but come on. I am not trying to stir the pot so don't just wail on me please but I am having a difficult time with understanding that yall are going 'day by day just trying to survive without OM or OW' What is your spouse doing the entire time he or she can see your selfish pain? Again, please help me understand don't just flame me.

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Newbie....let me help you understand.<P>For one reason or other...we were just kind of "floating" along in life...some serious needs going unmet. Then...not that we were really looking for it....we "stumbled" across someone who for one reason or other...lit such a spark inside of us that produced a "feeling" that we had not had in some time. We are not just talking about "goosebumps" here...but a highly powerful and addictive euphoria that really has no comparison.<P>You defy common sense and logic and even moral convictions because of a vacum that is created and you just yield to this "place". <P>The longer you stay there...the greater and more intense the feeling becomes. You don't think about what you may be doing to other innocent people. Oh, you might....but the pull is quiet strong.<P>I am not making excuses or looking for sympathy, just tyring to answer your question. Once you become involved and depenedent on this euphoric sensation...you are convinced you will never find anything better anyplace else...or ever again...including your own marriage. <P>Someone shared with me that when the force of emotion and the power of logic meet head on, emotion will win everytime, unless there is a plan to follow. The key thing I am discovering, is the "desire" or "want to" to leave what is "impossible" to find anywhere else...and take the high road back to doing the right thing. There has to be some motivation to spark this want to. <P>I am intrigued with the number of post I read where once "out of that place" of addiction, how many seem to "turn" on the OM/OW and blast them. I wonder if they become a target of their own guilt and shame.<P>The person I have been involved with...is a remarkable woman...one I could marry in a heart beat...who does share a common weakness that I seem to have. So I guess that is why I overlook it. Sure...an outsider would ask: "Why do you love someone who would betray her own husband?" Well...I am in the same boat. As I mentioned earlier in another post, I believe,...I will never see this woman as "scum" or a "jerk" as some chose to refer to them. Our "sin" maybe scum, but even God loves the sinner, while hating the sin. I ended up "falling in love with a sinner" who fell into the same sin as I.<P>Obviously, there is some strong forces/vibes/ working here...that would cause good, but weak people to do the unimaginalble. It is that same force that keeps the "bonded" until a clean break can be made.<P>Some ask, "What about the spouse" who is left behind? Good question. But it seems obvious for multiple reason, that person wasn't "lighting" fires like this other person started doing...often unintentionally.<P>I think Harley's book: "His Needs/Her Needs" really addresses some key truths. If only husbands and wives were making regular deposits in their spouses love bank, these things would not have happened.<P>I'll leave you with this thought....I never would have guessed I could have ended up in this place. I did not have the attitude that I would "never be here". I just didn't think it would happen to me. It did. I was weak...and fell...and remain weak...and seem even more powerless to "Get out".<P>And...bring on the "guns" readers...I'll open myself for the bullets...but his can happen to ANYONE!(confession time) I've been married for 19 years. Never had a problem with this. I have seen the devestation of this stuff on countless families...as I have been a pastor for 11 years. I am not proud of this place. But I am human...I have sinned...and I will accept the consequences of my actions. <P>But I will always look at a fallen sinner in new eyes. I use to wonder "how can people make such poor choices?"<P>Now I know.

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thenewbie...it isn't that hard to understand. For whatever reason two people connect and fall in love or lust or whatever. I think women have a harder time because of the emotional/romance stuff. I'm not 100% on this, but for me it had an impact. Being married doesn't mean you stop being human and don't hurt. It's a break-up and it hurts for whatever reason; add in the guilt and pain and remorse and you have withdrawl.<BR>

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<P>Maybe there really is no explanation why<BR><p>[This message has been edited by TMD (edited May 09, 2000).]

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x<BR><p>[This message has been edited by TMD (edited May 09, 2000).]

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thenewbie<P>to answer your question<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><BR>Shouldn't you be crying for the one that you betrayed? <BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Yes, in time. Some folks here are. But for now, I can't see his pain until I am no longer blinded by my own.

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Truthseeker: I can so relate to what you have said. It is so hard to move on period when you are dying inside. Sometimes I feel like I've been hit by a stun gun. There are days I just don't know what the heck happened or what I'm doing or how I got here. I don't ever remember feeling about my H the way I felt about the OM. Please, don't blast me on this, it is hard enough. I wish so bad I did, but I didn't. I think that revelation made me look at what I was missing and long for something that I knew was never possible, at least not in my own marriage.

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Newbie:<P>My wife, a recovering alcoholic, and I talked about this quite a bit. She kept telling me, "...but my addiction (to alcohol) was a physical addiction." I asked her, "Don't you remember the butterflies in your stomach when we first dated and I called. Don't you remember the incredible feeling of joy when we saw each other after a long abscence. That feeling of being swept off your feet? All of those are physical sensations caused by endorphins in your brain." I used to tell my affair partner "I get high off you." It was that strong a feeling. You see them and its like getting a fix for an addict. That person fills a void in your life that you know you should be working on with your spouse, but for whatever reason, you don't. All rationality is out the window (my affair partner used to ask me all the time, "What head are you thinking with? You know God gave men two heads, but only enough blood supply to operate one at a time?"). <P>That's the nearest I can explain it. <P>Lee

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plnr & lonelysoul.<P>I have learned sooo much here and thru recovery books on this subject. My W had a very strong EA, w/ some kissing,hugs,and very intimate talk. PA was about 2-3 weeks my est.<BR>I caught it in time! <BR>anyway....<BR>To much advice on the contray'from friends,<BR>pastor etc...we have had some continual contact w/ the OM. See...our sons are on same sports team. We just started a new season and they are again on same team. <BR>matter fact in about 2 hrs we have a parents mtg and the OM will be there. OM & I have talked frequently, he has not pursued at all since discovery date 9/8/99. Had apologized and stated will do whatever. His W does not know. <BR>Question, and comments, <BR> Am I nuts ? I've heard here of folks moving away to avoid the OM/OW . We have had some bumps, I have totally filled my W's love tank , and she states she does not have feelings for OM. But...sometimes after contact she is all what I describe as " giddy" for awhile...<BR>super happy, and lovey dovey w/ me. She used to do that in early stages of recovery when she knew she had done something wrong...talked to OM etc... <BR>Thoughts on CONTACT v. No CONTACT ?? <P><P>------------------<BR>jnvc

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JNVC...You are much stronger than I would be. I can't speak for your wife, but I don't imagine seeing the OM is good. If she was having a love affair with him, seeing him must be incomfortable. Living in the same town and having children on the sports team has got to be tense for all concerned. My H's old girlfriend's kids and our children were on the same team for a few years and that was even a little awkward. Fortunatly for me, the OM lives about 300 miles and I am not forced to deal with that. I don't think I could right now; I'm still wrestling with the talons of withdrawl. Where are you in terms of recovery? Is your wife always giddy and happy or just after she has seen the OM? I don't think you have to do something as drastic as move, but I certainly would avoid the OM as much as possible. If she is not completely over him, every time she sees him, she's thinking about him and what happened. I'm not saying not to trust your wife; I bet she is sincere with you;however, being around him has got to be like having someone wave a box of chocolates under your nose when you are on a diet.<P>LS<P>

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JNVC:<P>RE: Contact vs. No Contact<P>You might want to check out my thread "Spoke with Affair Partner" in the "Recovery" board. We haven't had any contact since then, but I had to, for my own sense of closure, contact her and talk to her about why I was ending our relationship. How very un-Harley! I got roasted quite a bit for it.<P>The entire point of the discussion, if I can distill it down, is that there are as many ways to recover from an affair as there are reasons for them starting. As much as many here would like to believe it, there is no "handbook" for how do this. I take little bits and pieces of information whereever I find them (here, our counsellor, conversations with my wife)and apply them to my situation. If they help, great. If they don't, I don't continue with them. <P>Affairs, and all matters of the heart for that matter, are deeply, intensely personal episodes. Individuals act and react differently - there is no "right" or "wrong" answer to lots of these questions. The best we can hope for is that someone here (or in our own circle of family and friends) can give an encouraging word, a timely question ("Have your really thought about that? Do you think that's such a good idea? Why?"), or an shoulder to cry on when needed. <P>My suggestion: The next time you are coming home from a ballgame and your wife seems extra giddy or in a extra good moood, simply ask her why. "Honey, you seem in a really good mood, can you tell me why so I can share it with you?" No judgemental statements, no pressure, no mention of the OM. You should also be prepared for her answer. What are you going to feel if she says, "I feel giddy after I see X." One of the things I've come to realize through this affair is that you can't be afraid to ask the question, and you can't be afraid of knowing the answer. Knowledge, in and of itself, is neither good nor bad. What we choose to do with the knowledge we gain is the important part of the equation.<P>A bit of a ramble, but that's OK. <P>Lee

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Lee...I think bringing the affair to closure was the right thing to do. To me it shows that you are kind, that you are a grown up, and a decent human being. I am positive that this helped the OW through the healing process as well.<P>I wish so much that the man I was involved with had done it. This man gave every indication that I was the love of his life and would be there to support me through thick and thin. Words are cheap. When my H found out about the EA, he would call several times a day to make sure I was okay, to lend his support, to ask about the kids...I know, what on earth was I thinking? When my H called the OM's wife...he vanished. He left me an email saying he was sorry and couldn't communicate with me anymore. That was three months ago. Closure? I don't think so. I realize you deserve what you get when you play dangerous games, but I know I would have respected his wishes to work on his marriage if that is what he had intended to do. Why not treat me with the same respect I did him and end it...not run away. I realize now that he wasn't at all what I thought. I may have bee the OW, but I am still a human being who deserved at least a goodbye. So, maybe for personal reasons, I think what you did spoke volumes about what a fine person you are. You made a mistake, yet you rectified that and made it as painless as possible to all concerned. You handled the situationn like a gentleman and not a jerk.<P>[

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Lonelysoul:<P>Thank you for your kind words. In all honesty, I could only bring myself to call the OW and end it the way I did after first sending her two e-mails (the first a very short, terse "Its over" type, then a longer, more detailed one). I realize that what I was doing was working my way up to doing it the "honorable" way. The thing that held me back and made be miserable until I did it the way I knew I should? Harley's recommendation about sending a letter and being as cold and impersonal as possible. Sorry, but that isn't how I operate and I couldn't live with myself. The OW also called me and left a voice mail message, "I respect your decision to end our relationship, but doing it by email is small and petty. If you ever felt any true feelings for me you'd at least have the common decency to speak with me ane tell me." Pretty strong stuff, and I deserved every bit of it. <P>My point in all of this (and yes, there is a point in all of this) is that these matters are individual. Our stories all have certain themes to them, all of them have common elements; however, we're all different and we all have to approach our lives differently. What worked for me may not work for the next person, and I can't endorse any single approach. Do what you know is right for you, and you can't go wrong. It may be painful, people may get hurt, but you'll have been true to yourself.<P>Lee

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