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Joined: Jan 2000
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NoMas Offline OP
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I am really struggling.<P>I hear the advice so much here...<P>"Just say no"<P>"Turn and run and don't look back"<P>"Cut off all contact with OP NOW"<P>"click the mouse and change your address"<P>etc...etc...<P>I have never been a drug addict or an alcoholic. But I sure understand their desperate plight much better now. The power of this addiction.<P>I am married and involved with another woman via the internet. We are both struggling to end this thing...she is married as well. This is very easy to see...discuss...and "decide" to do. <P>Doing it is another matter. I feel powerless.<P>You can call me a wimp...and everything else. But I have never dealt with anything this difficult in all my life. Sure...I have good days...or moments...but this "pull" is so strong..the feelings so intense....<P>I feel so hoplessly discouraged and defeated.<P>And yes....I have tried to allow God to be in the picture.<P>I just wanted to suggest to those who may have had an "easier" time "just doing it"...to realize that many out here are struggling to try...and everytime the do...and then "Fail"...the pull is that much stronger when you 'snap' back...and you become more fearful of trying again.<P>I was unable to edit/add my profile, so I will do it here for those who care to read. I'll delete it once they get their "bug" in the system fixed.<P>I am a married man, 19 years, pretty good marriage, and three beautiful daughters. Believe it or not, I have been involved with christian ministry for about 10 years. I also teach in a public school. Last year, I found myself "drawn" to a woman here at school. First time I can say I was seriously tempted in this area. There was never any inappropriate discussion or action, but my heart and mind was getting "sucked" into a serious attatchment here...and I am pretty certain the feelings were mutual. For obvious reasons, I was scared. <BR>With my wife very, very busy with her schooling, we have "Grown apart" and there were just some needs going unmet in my life. Feeling rather lonley and isolated...I enjoyed the company of this teacher, but began to fear the tragic consequences that would result if I didn't put the brakes on this thing. It was a fierce battle that I finally shared with my wife, but she seemed more "put out" by my struggles than willing to help me out.<P>I stumbled across this web sight...and to make a long story short..."Met" someone on these boards nearly a year ago...who was coming out of their own dilema. We kind or "related" to each other...and started cooresponding off and on. I was trying to give her some spiritual support...and she was a sympathetic ear to me. To make a long story....interesting....we became quiet attatched to each other. It really "heated" up in late September of last year...and I drove 500 miles to meet her in the state she lived in. We had two brief meetings...some sexual contact, but no intercourse. To put it mildly, we "fell in love" with each other.<BR>We never thought it would have come to that. But it did. We knew we had to end it there...and get our lives straightened up. I came home and a week later, confessed to my wife. She was, needless to say...devestated...crushed...heartbroken. We have not really been able to discuss this issue much...just too much on her plate right now with school...just a couple of months left till she is done.<P>Here's my problem. About two weeks after the "disclosure"....me and the OW began communicating again. You know the story...withdrawl...longings...the whole nine yards. We have tried on numerous occasions to "make the break" from each other...we know all the truth...logic...reason...consequences...counseling...advice...etc. You name it...we've heard it. ANd everytime...we "snap back" closer to each other than ever before. I've prayed, fasted...got on anti-depressants, counseled...prayed for deliverance...and yet, still...unable to "break free." Once again, we are trying to "do the right thing." She, the OW, is on a two week trip with her husband outside of the country. We both are hoping this time will be the "break" we need. <P>But I am dying inside...I've read and heard all the stuff on "Fantasy" and "soulmates" and everything else that goes with this. All that aside...I am in love with this woman..and she is with me. I feel so hopeless, not wanting to hurt or destroy anyone's lives...but all the logic and reasoning in the world does not seem to make a "dent" in this emotional struggle I am drowning in. I have never wished or desired for anything stronger than what my heart cries out for now...than to spend the rest of my life with this woman. She has been married for 9 years, no kids. We have not tried to justify our situation...nor blame anyone else. Yet...we both are struggling in the war of our lives...we know what the "right" thing is...we just have trouble doing it...or even "wanting" to do it.<P>This may sound even more pathetic...but if given a chance to "wave a magic wand" and be granted one wish...just so you know the place I am in...I would wish to start my life over afresh with this OW with God's blessings...rather than "wish for my own marriage to be restored. Am I just utterly hopeless?!?<P><p>[This message has been edited by NoMas (edited March 10, 2000).]

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NoMas,<P>I don't know what to tell you, as I have no experience being a betrayer.<P>I have learned how addictive this situation <BR>can be however.<BR>The problem is, after the first two or three posts is when you should have cut it off. Before the addiction became so strong, you knew it was happening.<P>Live and Learn.<P>Take care

Joined: Dec 1999
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First step I believe is the decision. Alot of people think action first then everything follows. It's not that way.<P>1. You DO want to end it?<BR>2. Make a conscious decision to end it. Not to try. I like the Yoda term, There is no try, only Do. (And yes, the decision is the easy part by looks, but you have to make it, you cant fence sit)<BR>3. Get your wife involved. Say "I have an addiction here, help me get past this" - if she is willing.<BR>4. Brainstorm, think of all possible ways that you two could contact each other, and then think of ways to avoid it. It's a matter of time before the addiction is through it's cycle.<BR>5. I think by doing it this way , rather than just trying you empower yourself a bit more. Activate!!!!<P>It's along the same type of thing where you can either smile or not. It's a decision, small ones to start but you should consciously make them. Once you start making them, at some point they become a part of you and you don't think, you just do them reflexivly. <P>I just wish my wife would just try. You are one step past that and should be proud. Just Do!<P>J<BR>

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How about this idea?<P>Write the OW a "No Contact" letter.<P>Place a picture of your wife and kids (if you have any) where your computer is. Everytime you get that urge to write the OW, look at that picture and think of what you will lose.<P>If the urge is still too great, then call your wife over to sit with you at the computer. Maybe that will prevent you from writing OW.<P>Or, simply just turn computer off.<P>I hope that these suggestions help.

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No Mas,<P>Okay, my name is an alias too. I'm in the EXACT same situation you are in. God only knows I may be your OW.<P>Very few here understand, because very few here are betrayers. That's number one. Number two is that we have some very black and white thinkers here. You've hit on that. They are hoping and praying for the marriage that has been broken to be repaired. Are we?<P>One thing I would caution everyone here about is this idea that the love felt for the other person is not 'real' somehow - that it is a fantasy. That the wayward spouse will somehow have an AHA moment and come to their senses and fall back in love with you, or at least realize the folly of their ways. You know, sometimes it doesn't happen like that. Sometimes, against all your best efforts, the wayward spouse DID fall in love with the other person, and is OUT OF LOVE WITH YOU. Yeah, it hurts. I understand that. I promise you. I do understand it. I think my H is involved with someone else. I know I am. Quite a mess.<P>But I guess my point, No Mas, is that this place is for BUILDING MARRIAGES and you and I clearly DO NOT belong here if we can't let go of the other person. Worse yet, that the other person is here, among these boards. Not good.<P>I have no advice, except maybe that we work on ourselves first, and maybe doing that will help us to find out if it is true love or not with the other person. <BR>

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NoMas Offline OP
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Energizer...<BR>Don't think you are my OW :-) But I am glad you can relate. I did go back and added my profile to my first post...they have a bug in the system and I'm unable to post "My Story"<P>***sigh***

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NoMas and Energizer,<P>It is not that the FEELINGS of love are not real, but that they are not <B>based on</B> reality. They are based on:<BR> <BR>A) an idealized view of the OP since the relationship operates "above" the normal obligations/responsibilities of life. <P>B) the intoxicating thrill of a new intimate relationship.<P>C) the "path of least resistance" factor - it is always easier to throw out or ignore the old relationship with all its problems and focus and give all your emotional energy to the new relationship.<P>With each email/ICQ/conversation etc. a person digs themselves deeper into the pit of infidelity. At some point the effort to climb out doesn't seem worth it, or even possible anymore. Of course it isn't <B>easy</B> to give up the OP at this point! Welcome to your self-induced addiction. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] The "Run like the wind!" recommendation is based on just this point. The sooner you stop the easier it will be.<P>Beware of self-fulfilling propehesies. If you continually tell yourself that you don't love your spouse, what do you expect will happen? If you continually tell yourself you can't live without OP then what do you expect will happen?<P>As a betrayed spouse I confess it is a little bit difficult to have sympathy for betrayers addicted to their OP. We aren't here to bash you, but we won't coddle or indulge you either. We try to "speak the truth, in love". If you are addicted then you probably need professional help. But the fact that giving up the OP is a gut-wrenching, heart-breaking experience doesn't change the fact that it is the right thing to do.<P>Last thing I'll say, and I do so guardedly, is that at some point betrayers sitting on the fence between their S and the OP need to make a decision and live with it. It adds cruel insult to injury to remain uncommitted. Long-term indecision is just one more example of trying to take the path of least resistance.<BR><p>[This message has been edited by 2sad4words (edited March 10, 2000).]

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NoMas and energizer,<P>I hope that you don't get discouraged here. Just you being here shows me that you want to do something about the mistake. There are a lot of others here who were and are betrayers that post on this board. I am a betrayer who has not told H of my affair yet. <P>I had an internet affair that turned into a physical and emotional affair that lasted for a year and a half. There was a lot of love in the relationship. Still is... that is the hard part.... BUT.. it is getting easier as time goes by and things improve with H and myself. But it takes a lot of work!<P>Needless to say...I am still going through withdrawls. It is an EXTREMELY difficult thing to do, ending an affair. But I have been doing great since sticking with this forum and reading others trials and suggestions.<P>I had to decide that I wanted my marriage and family more than anything else in this world. That gives me my strength.... and it has really made a difference in my marriage lately. Things are improving wonderfully, and my marriage is getting stronger. We are finally finding each other again...<P>I guess what I am trying to say is that you have to take one step at a time. You have to know that it is the right thing to do and be willing to committ to changing things, difficult as it is. But remember, it takes time and support from people like the ones here who are able to understand. When you feel like you are going to slip, post, post, post! They will help you....<P>They know how hard it is to get to where they are now, whether they are the betrayed or the betrayers... they all have had a difficult road to travel. Hang in there.. and keep posting and reading.... It has helped me tremendously...... <P>Take care and good luck....<p>[This message has been edited by Lacee (edited March 10, 2000).]

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I wonder if anyone has ever though of starting a group of Adulterers Anonymous or some such? Because if affairs are a form of addiction (and they do seem to be), this kind of group seems to be the only effective way of dealing with addication. I think that it helps a lot to talk with other people in similar addictive situations. Just trying to force yourself to behave won't do it. That's why simple advice probably isn't what you're looking for, so I won't give you any.<P>This kind of group effort could be done online. I guess maybe what I'm suggesting is that the betrayers (or would-be betrayers) on this forum could ask Dr. H to set up a discussion forum for themselves. Or even form a chat room. (I know other groups from here have done this.) At least it's an idea. Regards and blessings,<P>--Wex<P>BTW, if you do do this, please at least give me some credit for suggesting it. Thanks.

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Hi NoMas,<P> Read and reread the thread on what infidelity does to the kids, maybe that would help? LU

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Energizer,<P>I don't know if we are "black and white" thinkers. I think most people are pretty fair and helpful here.<P>But you are right, most of us are the betrayed. Why? Beacuse we are the ones that have been devsasted by the affair. If you notice, this board is not called "betrayed", it's called "infidelity".<P>Now, why do you suppose there are not that many betrayers here? Maybe because they don't feel all that bad about what they have done. They justify it with phrases such as "marriages which were broken a long time ago".<P>Now, if the marriage was broken a long time ago, why do they not have the strength to leave until they find someone else? Why not come clean, get a divorce and then try to find someone else? Hmmmmmm. Maybe because that is hard to do. You would have to take responsibility for yourself and your actions, you might be lonely. <P>Much easier to hurt someone else and be selfish. As a matter of fact, while you are still married you can have several affairs until you find one that will stick. Might as well, you always have your back-up. <P>Sorry, don't mean to be nasty. Just can't feel sorry for people who should kknoiw better.<BR>

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NoMas,<P>You say you have been involved in Christian ministry......<P>I have one word for you:<P> O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E<P>God calls it sin and He also advices you to run from it!!!!!

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NoMas Offline OP
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Hey Joe...<P>I'll be honest....I can't imagine the pain you or any other "betrayed" must feel. I have actually "counsled" with others in years past who have been devestated by this and always thought seeing that would have been enough to keep me from doing the same to my own wife. Apparently not.<P>But please keep in mind....we "betrayers" are not here trying to justify or excuse our actions. Like Harley says...there are no "excuses" for infidelity, but there are reasons. And often times, the other spouse played a part in those "reasons". I cannot blame my spouse for my actions. But I can see where if things had been different, this would not have happened. Hindsight, eh?<P>I also know...having been in this place now, that if the "tables ever turned" I would have a much more tolerant understanding as to how it happened. Would I be hurt?...sure!<BR>But it is much easier to "pick up stones" and throw them at a sinner, than it is to "look beyond the fault and see the need".<P>If we didn't care about the place we were in...I doubt any of us here. I can assure you of that.

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God also says that you have not been tempted with anything that is uncommen to man and that he will provide a way to get out from under it.<P>I might gently remind you that maybe you are not strong enough to overcome this on your own. It may be the chicken & the egg thing. Which came first, your attractions and subsequent affair or losing your right relationship with God? Did your weakened faith leave the door open to the affair or did the affair weaken your faith?<P>Either way, Someone may be trying to tell you you need your faith to overcome this, not your own will power alone.<P><P>------------------<BR>Faith, Hope, Love Remain,<BR>but the greatest of these is Love.<BR>1 Corinthians 13:13

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No Mas,<BR>I can relate to what you're feeling --- exactly!!!<P>Been married for ten years. Convinced I met my "soulmate" four years ago. Had the most incredible experience of my life during one of my husbands two month trips. Fell deeply, deeply "in-love" with the OM. Lived through H#LL after confronting husband. At the time I hoped my husband would "give me permission" to go live "happily ever-after" with the OM. My hubby refused to let me go - THANKS BE TO GOD!<P>It took two years of thinking, dreaming, yearning for the OM on a daily basis. Everything reminded me of him. Gosh, I loved him so...but I got over it. <P>I realize now what God meant by staying with the man he brought me together with. Even though the affair ripped us to shreds the first two years, we have been healing those wounds for the past two years. <P>My husband and I were able to find the Love we both need. Our communication is amazing. We are not afraid to talk about anything. It's like we've been through and survived the most difficult thing a couple can go through. It's like our love has reached a heightened awareness that could never have been possible with the OM.<P>NO CONTACT --AT ALL --- EVER!!!!!<P>You have to cut it off - completely! No tempting meaningless notes during the holidays-nothing!! And you will survive & succeed at love with your spouse.<P><p>[This message has been edited by glisten_girl (edited March 10, 2000).]

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Taj,<P>This is a good point. Has anyone noticed how many Christians are betrayers here? Yes, we are all only human, I know we "all fall short of the Glory of God". But hypocrisy is not my point. <P>What strikes me as so ironic is how the <B>gritty reality</B> of sin (the true soul-wrenching, addictive type we see here) seems to so theoretical to many Christians. But when they fall into it themselves, as NoMas, my W and OM have done, they are baffled by its actual power over them - even with their belief system.<P><B>Infidelity is nothing to toy with!</B> It is a seductive trap. It rips apart families, damages kids, breaks hearts. And it is extremely hard to escape from. Witness the pain described by NoMas - the pain of his struggle <B>drips</B> from his post. How sad.<P>So, NoMas, this too is why we say "Just say NO". Because of the devastating yet nearly inescapable consequences. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to make it any easier.

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NoMas<P>I understand why you would have such a negative reaction to the "just say no" crowd, as you call us. When I have been caught up in a sin, my natural reaction is also to try to justify it. <P>But let me ask you a question, if one of your beautiful daughters was about to drink a glass of water with a teaspoon of arsenic mixed in it, wouldn't you stop her? Of course you would, because you know that this is poison, even if she does not. But if she had just been running, and was very very thirsty, would you still stop her? Of course you would, because you know that even though she has a legitimate unmet need, thirst, that the way she was trying to meet it could very well be the cause of her destruction. <P>You have unmet needs, probably lots of them, and you have every right to have them met. But Satan has convinced you that this glass of water is perfectly fine, even better than the water your wife would offer you. Of course he has blinded you to the fact that the water you are drinking is laced with arsenic. Not a lot, one or two drinks won't kill you, but keep it up and you will be dead before you could ever realize it. <P>If you will indulge me, here is one more rhetorical question. If one of your daughters was drinking the same poison that you have been drinking, would you stop her? What if one of your daughters is right at this very minute engaging in sex with three boys? How does that make you feel? The feeling you are having right now is exactly what God is feeling while you are engaging in adultery. <P>By the way, the slight hostility you are showing does indicate that God is getting through to you. I have just prayed for God to put a hedge around you for your protection. Also, I still think that Satan's tactic of keeping you isolated can only be overcome by you finding several Christian men who can keep you accountable in this. <P>May the Lord Bless You and Keep You.<BR>John

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NoMas,<P>By the way, you are correct. The part of you that is dying inside is the fleshly nature that seeks the pleasures of this world. I have felt the exact same thing when I say no to myself and yes to God.<P>May the Lord Bless You and Keep You.<BR>John

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You know what? This whole thread speaks to the truly terrifying reality of infidelity. I've been on both sides, as I've so often said, and it SUCKS. <P>NoMas, you mentioned that you would be more understanding now if your spouse cheated... I <B>agree</B> with you. My H slept with someone only last month...and it isn't the act of it that hurts as much as the fact that he didn't tell me about it until after he moved back in. I felt far more betrayed by his ommission than what made him find comfort from another woman in the first place. <P>NoMas, I feel for you. I've been there. It isn't easy, and in fact, sometimes seems impossible to end the affair. I have no advice really... just understanding to offer.<P>~Sheryl <BR>

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NoMas Offline OP
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I will be leaving shortly...on our way out of town for a family trip to relatives for about 5 days...and will be unable to "tap" into this thread or board for that matter.<P>Isit2late....<BR>I am not trying to "justify my sin". I am wallowing in the slime of it trying to "Get a grip" and find my way out. Meanwhile...I look up on the "bank" and see and hear folks looking down saying..."live and let learn" and "you shouldn't have done that" and all the other stuff we like to give when we are "standing on firm ground". I believe the scriptures say Beware when you are standing firm, lest ye fall. And "ye which are spiritual, when you see someone overtaken in a fault, consider yourself lest you be overtaken."<P>Believe me...it is quiet clear how horrible this place is...when you are wallowing in it..and watching from a distance.<P><BR>No doubt....the illustration of glasses of water and my daughters....all make sense. No argument here.....<P>I'm not even here looking for sympathy or pity. Let others who read these posts, let is serve as a warning. Sad thing is...I read and re-read many of these same things...months ago...and still fell in.<P>Have a great week all...would like to read more when I get back.<P>Blessings....from the pit.<P>

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