Marriage Builders®
Posted By: Sparkle22 help me - 06/10/02 07:20 PM
I am trying to save my marriage after being in an affair for a year. I try to push the man away that I am having an affair with but don't have the courage to break it off completely. I love him. I need support. Is this a place to find it?
Posted By: TheKeeper26 Re: help me - 06/10/02 07:58 PM
That is an oxymoron...YOu cant repair your marraige by holding onto your lover. One or the other. You have to devote your whole self to your spouse...not only want you have left.
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/10/02 08:01 PM
It is so hard to just end it completely and I feel so alone. I have no one to talk to about it because my husband knows of the affair and thinks I ended it completely in Dec. I haven't seen the man in 6 weeks but talk to him on the phone and e-mail him. Now I've told him to quit e-mailing and this morning he called me. I just am having a really hard time making a complete break. I need support.
Posted By: TheKeeper26 Re: help me - 06/10/02 08:06 PM
You are sending mixed emotions to the lover. If you cant make a commitment one way or the other, how could you expect him to. If you really, truly want to save your marraige....from the bottom of your heart....it willhave to start with honesty. If you keep this man in your backpocket, you are mentally going to think that you always have him to fall back on. In a marraige, your spouse should be your best friend, confidante, lover, healer, helper....
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/10/02 08:11 PM
I know you are right and I am trying and wanting to make the break. I am almost there...just looking for support that life will be o.k. without him in it.
Posted By: TheKeeper26 Re: help me - 06/10/02 08:16 PM
Life will be awesome without him in it. To think that you wont have to live this dual life any longer. Remember the love that you had in the beginning and rekindle the spark that was once there. All or none. Your being irresponsible by handling the way you are. The trust is going to be damaged to the point that it might not be repairable if you continue. Its real easy to say your trying as your flirting with the OM at the same time. Why should he take you serious if you dont take you serious?
Posted By: mac the wife Re: help me - 06/10/02 08:24 PM
Please know that being the betrayed spouse is proably the most painful thing to ever experience! If you want to work it out with your H, then do NOT communicate with OM!!! If you want out, then GET out! Leaving your H in limbo is not fair to him! Being "second choice" is no better! What does your heart tell you?
Posted By: oswald Re: help me - 06/10/02 08:32 PM
Yes Sparkle this is the place.
First let me give you a warning, everyone here is in some stage of the throws of infidelity. You may encounter some who will lash out at you because you are a WS “Wayward Spouse” If this happens please do not be frightened off and understand that they are in pain disregard any negative attack and learn and grow from the positive encouragement you will receive.

There are different boards on the forum, this is just Found out and usually visited by those who just found out there spouse was had and A “affair”. This by no means says you can’t post here post anywhere you’re comfortable. Your journey may help shed some light to those on the other side of the fence.

Having said All that let me welcome you and encourage you to read as much information here as you can. I strongly suggest purchasing the book “Surviving an Affair”. It is filled with information you will need to finally break that tie. It will help answer some of the question about why you really had this A and how to get your M back.

It will explain what I am going to encourage you to do today, stop all contact with this man. No more calls e-mails, visits, and no contact of any kind. I know it sounds hard, it is. But like an alcoholic you can never have another drink or you’re hooked again. Each time you break it off you go through hell. Contact of any kind puts you back to square one and you live the same hell over the next time you try to break it off. Believe me the longer you go with no contact, the easier it will get, I’ve seen it many times.

After reading the book I would also encourage you tell your H “Husband” he has a right to know. I can’t promise you the M won’t end right then but chances are it will not. The majority of M’s today face this crisis and continue. His knowing will help hold you accountable.

Sparkle I’m not going to lie, this is hard probably the hardest thing you will ever face. But you can come out it a better person with a good M. 18 months ago my W told me about her A, it’s been a rough road but we made it and we’re both happier today than we have been in years.

You can do this, start with NO-CONTACT

oz

I just read your other post. You have to find a new Job. No-Contact It's the only way.

[ June 10, 2002: Message edited by: oswald ]

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/10/02 08:40 PM
Thanks for the insight. I KNOW I have to make the break and I guess I was looking for support in doing so. Is there a place on this site where I can go to find others who have gone through it and "survived"?
Posted By: *Cali* Re: help me - 06/10/02 08:51 PM
Hi Sparkle.


General Questions and In Recovery both have WSs and BSs alike.

As Oswald said, be prepared for those who are in pain and may lash out... generally people here are very welcoming... especially if you are here to work on your marriage.

Recovery is a process, not something that happens overnight... but many here will tell you that it can happen...

Cali

Posted By: oswald Re: help me - 06/10/02 08:51 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Sparkle22:
Is there a place on this site where I can go to find others who have gone through it and "survived"?

I'm surviving but I guess from the other side of the picture. I just hotlinked this thread to the Recovery Board, there are some recovering WS's who may help. Also you may want to post in General Questions II but again fair warning it can get rough over there at times, don't take any negativity personally.

You can do this,

oz

Posted By: Rob's Wife Re: help me - 06/10/02 08:52 PM
Sparkle,

Hi, I survived it and lived to tell the story! What would you like to know? If you want to ask questions here or through e-mail just let me know.

RW

P.S. This really is a wonderful place to be.

Posted By: oswald Re: help me - 06/10/02 08:52 PM
opps duplicate post

[ June 10, 2002: Message edited by: oswald ]

Posted By: Alberta Re: help me - 06/10/02 08:52 PM
Sparkle -
I am a betrayed spouse and my H and I went through almost two years of "recovery" until he could finally feel and commit his love for me. Okay, so, the ONLY thing you can do is cut off contact with this man COMPLETELY. It will be very painful but don't think the odd casual email or phonecall will be harmless. My H and OW communicated "casually" and it was very harmful. All that time he always kept something from me.

Another excellent book to read is "After the Affair" by Janis A. Spring. Get it - NOW.

AND - now you must come clean with your H...it will be so hard and he will be so hurt and probably angry. You will be faced with many many challenges but if you are in any way remotely serious about saving your marriage - I think you know what you must do.

Take care.

Posted By: mom of five Re: help me - 06/10/02 08:58 PM
just a small note,

If you are serious about leaving this man, then when you have the urge to pick up the phone and call him.. pick up the phone and call your husband instead. when you have the urge to do something nice for him.. do it for your husband instead.
If we spouses learned to put as much attention into each other as we do other people there would be no affairs.
In time it will lesson and one day you will wake up and KNOW your going to be just fine.

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/10/02 08:59 PM
I understand the no contact rule. I have tried it about 5 times. How can I make it stick? It is hard when he meets so many of my emotional needs.
Posted By: RIF Re: help me - 06/10/02 08:59 PM
Hi Sparkle,

Welcome to MB! I think that you'll find lots of support here from both sides of the fence (WS-Wayward Spouses and BS-Betryed Spouses)

There are lots of 'examples' of couples that have traveled the difficult road of infidelity and have a stronger marriage... and there are lots of examples of marriages that have ended in divorce.

As a BS, I made the decision to stay in my marriage and work on it. Your husband deserves to make the same decision. If you truly want to work on your marriage, then your FIRST step is to quit your job with the OM and end ALL contact (phone, e-mail, pagers, ect.).

You are only throwing gas on the fire as long as you continue contact.

quote:
I am having an affair with but don't have the courage to break it off completely. I love him.
Do you have the courage to go through a divorce? You are the only one that can do this. Do you have the courage to face your husband and watch him walk away from your marriage because he can't take any more humiliation and pain? Please don't take these comments as a 'slam'... I don't know you and you don't know me, but I do know the pain that your husband is feeling right now. I wouldn't wish that pain on my worst enemy.

You must decide if you want your marriage, or if you want this OM. Your husband deserves you completely. If you decide that the OM is the one that you want, then you should file for divorce and stop stringing your husband along. The longer that you 'eat cake', the longer your recovery will be (if your husband decides to stay in the marriage).

I was lucky. My wife ended all contact over 12 years ago... and we're still dealing with the pain and hurt.

I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide....

RIF90

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/10/02 09:01 PM
I love this advice. I think it will help. Any more great ideas out there? I sit here at work and the day gets so long because I want to reach out to him (OM) and at work I have the privacy I lack at home.
Posted By: RIF Re: help me - 06/10/02 09:03 PM
Sparkle,

I'd also recommend getting the book Torn Asunder by Dave Carder.... And reading all of the articles here on MB.

Again, best of luck.

RIF90

Posted By: oswald Re: help me - 06/10/02 09:06 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Sparkle22:
It is hard when he meets so many of my emotional needs.

Now we're getting some where, I wish I didn't have to leave the computer. Have you expressed what your EN are to your H? He has no chance to meet them if he doesn't know what they are and likewise you have no way to know how to meet his if he doesn't tell you. Further he has no chance to meet them while your still involved with the OM "Other Man"

As time goes on and your H replaces what OM has offered it will be so much more than you can imagine because it will be real.

oz

you can do this, take the first step..

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/10/02 09:08 PM
This seems to be the help I have been searching for. I am ready to commit to my marriage again.One thing that makes it very hard is that I was pregnant and young when I married and I never really had that "in love, you were made for me" feeling when I got married. He was always a great friend but the romantic feelings weren't that strong. All the advice I get says to recapture those early feelings of being "in love" and I just don't have it. I do love my husband in many ways and respect him and think he is a fine companion and great father. Is that enough? It is hard to give up the OM who is my "other half" and the "love of my life" when I never had those feelings for my husband.
Posted By: oswald Re: help me - 06/10/02 09:20 PM
Sparkle,
Many people say their real mate is not their sole mate in the beginning, personally I think they forget what it was like in the beginning of their relationship.

Regardless, it can be all that and more with your H. Chances are he never truly understood how to make you happy. Honestly think about it, it is hard for us to know how to make ourselves happy without some serious thought how can we expect someone else too. I had no clue what my W’s real needs were, once I learned it wasn’t hard to put into practice and now I enjoy it. It all started with being completely open and honest with each other. Today she is my best friend and greatest lover by far.

Did you order any of the recommended books yet? Get on that, any one of them will help. Someone mentioned “Torn Asunder” It is my favorite but it is a bit harsher on the WS.

If you feel the need to for contact come here and talk about it. You can laugh, cry, vent and heal with us.

I have to go, I'll check in Tomorrow

oz

[ June 10, 2002: Message edited by: oswald ]

Posted By: Persevering Re: help me - 06/10/02 09:38 PM
Hi, Sparkle. You've gotten great advice so far, along with some great book recommendations.

I, like many others here, am one of those who "thought" my H had ended all contact and that we were in recovery, only to find out many months later that he was still in contact with OW (who by this time had moved away) and that there was yet another OW. Because of the emotional trauma and timing of the 2nd revelation (tax season--I'm a CPA), I decided not to make any rash decisions right away and gave H a 3rd chance. So, yes, it is possible that your H will be willing to keep trying, but only with your full support and participation in the recovery efforts.

My H, being the softhearted man that he is, tried many times--unsuccessfully--to break up with both of the OWs in person. One thing always led to another... My opinion is that Harley's recommended "No Contact" letter is the best method to put an end to the relationship.

Also, I would like to point out that what you have had with OW has been based on lies and fantasy, not truth and real love (my opinion). Most affairs, when faced with reality--bills, kids, in-laws, day-to-day routine--rarely last more than a few months. I firmly believe that your H would be willing to at least try to meet those needs of yours if he only knew what they were. The initial shock of your continued contact with OM may paralyze him for awhile. But there is hope.

We are now at the 2 year/1 year 4 month mark in recovery (depending on which dday you start counting from). Things are much better. But they can only truly start getting better when you are 100% committed to your H and your marriage.

I pray that you have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I honestly don't know how I would have made it without Him. During those many, many times when I didn't think I could go any longer, He pulled me through. Although I still think about it--daily even--I believe that I have finally been fully healed from the incredible pain of the whole situation.

I didn't mean to ramble on so. I will be praying for you and your H. You can do this!

Posted By: Clouds Re: help me - 06/10/02 11:58 PM
Hi Sparkle-
I'm a WS, and the same age as you are. This is a good place to get support, but as you have been warned you have to be a little tough to hear all of the advice and criticism you might receive.

No contact is really hard. I know. There are many WS here at MB who lived through it and made it. You do need support, have you tried counseling?

This is really important and one of the hardest things you have ever done. As others have said, the A is an addiction, and very hard to break, esp. if the OM is still testing you by trying to contact you.

You can do it. You may have trouble, and may have faltered, but you can do it.

It took me a long time to get through withdrawal. My EA lasted 1.5 years. I missed OM terribly for a while, and it slowly got better. If you still think about OM don’t beat yourself up. That is normal. But when you do, try to re-focus, think about your H, something positive you can do for him or your children.

I found that the process of withdrawal was a lot like grief. It takes time. Even if the relationship was wrong, wasn’t “real,” your feelings were real. And the grief/loss many WS feel for the OP is hard. You may feel these feelings are wrong, but if you found someone you cared for enough to get involved with, most of us can’t walk away and feel nothing. That would be absurd to expect. So it does take time to heal. That’s normal. So be patient. But be strong.

Posted By: T00MuchCoffeeMan Re: help me - 06/11/02 04:28 AM
Hi Sparkle:

Since you stated that you do not have the courage to end contact with OM, I humbly suggest that you involve your H by telling him how hard the withdrawl from OM is on you and that you need his help when you are feeling week and tempted to contact OM. This reaching out to him can do wonders in your sincerity to end your A with OM and he may gladly help you do this. Think about it.

Posted By: oswald Re: help me - 06/12/02 03:12 PM
Sparkle,
Are you still out there?

We're rooting for you

oz

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/12/02 03:19 PM
Yes, I am still here and I am so glad that you noticed I was gone because I really needed some support right now. I sent a no more contact e-mail to OM today and he called and I said no more and hung up. I got a great e-mail from my daughter right after it. I am feeling today like I can make it. Someone asked if I am a Christian and I am --- if I wasn't I probably would have left my H a year ago. I am going to try and refocus my thoughts and behavior towards making my husband happy and also, I think it is important that I we go over the emotional needs that I need met. Any more ideas or thoughts?
Posted By: Reddog Re: help me - 06/12/02 03:51 PM
Sparkle, I strongly suspect (have proof)my W is having an affair, but denies it. So I am on the other side. It takes alot of courage to do what you are doing. But when you make that decision (rebuilding your marriage) you have to follow through. I know that if your husband loves you the way I love my wife and son, it is possible. I am only at the beginning myself and new to this board but I have been conforted and educated by the posts I've read here. As a BS I just want to start over with honesty and commitment. take care.
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/12/02 03:54 PM
I went to a wedding on Sat. and the pastor was talking about that being the wedding day but then it was onto the marriage and that marriage is work. I think I just thought (like many I suspect) that I couldn't help falling in love with someone else. I know now that there are steps I could have taken to prevent it and that marriage is WORK.
Posted By: oswald Re: help me - 06/12/02 06:38 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Sparkle22:
I know now that there are steps I could have taken to prevent it and that marriage is WORK.

Any really great achievement takes work.

I’m glad you’re still moving in the right direction. The no Contact letter is GREAT and you should be Proud that you hung up the phone and followed through, I’m proud of you.

I want to encourage you to keep reading, buy the book(s) and learn why it happened and how to heal your M. Your H will benefit immensely from reading also. If you work together the M you can create is one you never thought possible. Educating yourself is essential

You will be experiencing the withdraw symptoms, try to prepare for that. Is there an activity you like? Run, jog, exercise, shop anything that you can promise yourself you will do when the urge to contact OM becomes to strong? Find something to take you mind off that phone call, e-mail or visit. Remember you have started, any contact puts you back to the beginning and you get hurt all over again.

Sparkle, take pride in yourself each minute, day, week and yes eventually month you go with no contact. Having pride will help you continue.

I would also suggest talking to someone, a pastor, counselor, anyone who can help you hold yourself accountable. The Harleys do phone counseling and in my view it’s worth the $90.00 even if you only do it a few times. My W and I used them in the beginning before finding someone local. This site is great but a real voice is so reassuring, especially the voice of someone who knows how to help and knows the deal.

You can do this Sparkle, Hang in there,

oz

[ June 12, 2002: Message edited by: oswald ]

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/12/02 06:44 PM
Thanks for the encouragement. I have felt so alone and knew I was going to need help so this site has been good. I think finding someone locally to talk to would be good for me but I haven't because I wasn't ready to give up the OM and get serious about my marriage. I feel sad today but I also feel like a weight has been lifted. I don't want to go through the pain again.
Posted By: Just Learning Re: help me - 06/12/02 06:57 PM
Sparkle,

I don't know how long you have been married, but from the data at the end of your post it appears some time approaching 20 years, perhaps longer.

You say you were never in love with your H. But I know one thing for sure he is and has been in love with you or the knowledge of the affair would have driven him away. If you read here for awhile you will begin to see the pain the BS goes through and is in. You cannot really fathom it but reading here will give you a good idea.

What is my point? My point is to ask you a question. If you met a man, that worked hard and did the right things. If you met a man that took care of his family. If you met a man, that could love someone through a lot of pain. If you met a man, that felt YOU were worth a lot of pain. If you met a man that is/was a good father.

Do you think you might of met a man you could fall in love with? I suspect that you could.

My suggestion to you is to step back and have a real hard honest look at your H. He is a far better man than you seem to realize. He would probably meet your needs if you had really told him what they were, not just hinted at them.

Sparkle at your age ( you are too young for me ), it is time you realized that falling in love can be fun, it can be stress free, and it can reward you for the rest of your life, IF you fall in love with the right man. You can fall in love with your H and if you do, it won't be like your relationship with OM. It will be something everyone will celebrate and truely enjoy watching, that means your children, your friends, your family.

Dear lady, it is time you got to work. If you read Harley's books and the others recommended you will come to one conclusion: you can fall in love with your H. What has prevented it as much as anything has been you and how you view him. You never have really given him credit because you felt you HAD to marry him, but neither of you HAD to get married and you don't HAVE to be married now. It is a choice both of you make.

So start meeting your H's needs, talk to your H about your A, and your difficulties.

But understand this, it is possible and if you do it, it will be better than anything you have experienced to date. You just need to change your perspective. See you H for who he really is, not who you have made him out to be during your affair and even your marriage. He is simply a human being, and very likely he is like the rest of us he is trying to do his best with limited information. Help him.

God Bless,

JL

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/12/02 07:05 PM
JL thanks for your message. It has given me so much to think about and I am learning so much from people on this site. I know I have expected so much from my husband and as you said, he is only human. It is hard not to compare him to the OM but I am trying. It is so hard because I know the world of the A isn't reality but that is what makes it so tempting --- it is an escape to another world where reality doesn't exist.
Posted By: Just Learning Re: help me - 06/12/02 09:29 PM
Sparkle,

I realize that you are still in the fog, and still engaged in the affair, but I am going to take a gamble and really talk seriously with you. I understand that most of what I am going to say really won't mean a thing right now, but I hope that someday it does.

You say you try really hard to not compare your H to your OM. It makes sense, but here is a little test for you. Right now you think the OM is far superior to your H, he is your "soulmate", the ONE. Virtually, every person whether they are the WS or the BS have said or heard that comment.

But, realize something, OM's W was very likely the ONE when they married. They have children together, they apparently have been married for awhile as you have. So you are not THE ONE to him, you are simply an exciting choice for RIGHT NOW. You see you already know that vows don't mean much to him. His family doesn't really mean much to him ( I don't care what he says look at his actions). You know he cannot be trusted.

BUT, you don't see that now. Sparkle, I am sure your H has his failings, as I said before he is a human, but one of his failings is NOT that he views his marriage vows as negotiable to the one that meets his needs best, your OM does. You see you are not meeting your H's needs, and I KNOW that you haven't since the affair started. Your OM is not meeting his W's needs either.

So when you start to consider comparing your H to your OM, remember something. Your H can learn, your H wants you, but most of all your H has stood by you through all that you have done. I am sure he has wavered as to whether he should divorce you. But, he has stood.

Sparkle you are still young, but you will learn that people that are realiable and steadfast are the ones you want around you. Sometimes they aren't as exciting, but you know why they often aren't?? They are afraid of losing or hurting their spouse. They try to protect and that is a boring job. Yet, within them often is far more, they just take their responsibilities seriously.
That is why often honesty really really helps a relationship. Because you just might learn that your H has always wanted more from you with regard to sharing, sex, fun, conversation but as our kids often tell us we are boring. Why? because raising kids, working, paying the mortgage is boring and must be done first. It often takes extraordinary events to make us open up; illness, losing a loved one, nearly losing a child or family member or actually losing one, and YES even an affair.

It is much easier to talk and confide in a friend because you don't worry about hurting them. This does lead as it might have in your case to deeper feelings. Why couldn't you talk with your H about your needs, your wants, your fears, what was bring your down? You didn't want to hurt him you didn't want to look bad to him. You cared for him deeply.

The great irony is if you were to leave your H, marry the OM not only will two families by destroyed, but you then will be in the same situation with OM that you are with H. You love him and you don't want to hurt him so you don't confide in him. That is why it is called the fog.
Not because the feelings aren't real. It is because the interaction is not realistic, and often changes rapidly if the marriage dies before the affair does.

The dynamics of this stuff are complex, but the one thing you KNOW that perhaps you weren't sure of is that your H loved you and probably still loves you. He has been tested like you never have and with luck never will be. You might have thought he married you because he had to, and maybe he felt that way, but now he has been given an option.

Even by Biblical standards he is free to divorce you and leave, but he hasn't.

So when you think about comparing the OM to your H, ask yourself would the OM have gone through what your H has for you. No, he cannot even deal with his own W.

Talk with your H, give him a chance, and as the pain subsides you just might find you were married to the love of your life all along. You really might Sparkle.

God Bless,

JL

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/12/02 09:42 PM
Thanks for helping me open my eyes to my husband. It is giving me so much to think about. I did tell my H I wanted a divorce last summer because of OM but I decided to think about it before doing anything quickly. I thought my H was so weak because he didn't get angry or kick me out but I am beginning to understand that it took more strength to stay with me and try to save our marriage. OM tried to contact me again this afternoon with an e-mail and I told him to end contact so I am finding strength. I think he has gotten the message.I believe the people that have written me are helping me on this journey so thanks to all of you that are supporting me.
I printed off the Emotional Needs questions and plan on working on them with my husband soon.
I noticed that there isn't really anything on that list dealing with an emotion that is important to me, independence. My husband's life seems to revolve around me and I think it would make life much more interesting if he had his own interests and friends --- he is self employed, doesn't have a hobby like golf, or bowling or any male friends he does things with...I feel suffocated because I think he wants me to be everything to him. I have told him this before but I don't think he understands how important it is to me who is "independent" of me in some ways.
Am I crazy?
Posted By: Just Learning Re: help me - 06/13/02 03:52 AM
Sparkle,

You think your H is weak because he didn't get angry and didn't throw you out? Please read the GQII section, please read the recovery section and if you really want to read some stories that will rip your heart out read the Pregnancy section of this site.

Sparkle, it is much easier to run, than to stand. It is much easier to be angry, than to try and build. I know you don't realize it yet, but you have no idea the pain he has been in, none what so ever.

When you separate from the OM, you will go through withdrawal. AT first you will want to call him all of the time, you will be in pain, you mind will be consumed with thoughts of the OM, you will look at your H and wonder what the heck is he doing here, and why did I make this choice. All of this is a drop in the buck to learning that the woman you loved for 23 years, doesn't love you and has lied and cheated on your for a year or more.

However, if you do go through withdrawal, you will begin to see your H in a new light, and the guilt will come (that is if you have a conscience, some don't). You will hurt more, and your H will struggle to deal with your withdrawal from him again, because of your guilt. Maybe in about 6-8 months you might feel like even meeting a few of his needs. So after more than a year of the A, and 6-8 months of withdrawal and your guilt, he might get a glimpse of the woman he married.

Does this picture look attractive to you? You will wonder why he has endured, you will wonder what he sees in you? You will wonder why he seems sooooo clingy, you already are?

It is simple: he loves you, and he is sooo hurt he doesn't trust that you do really want to be with him. If you think you feel soffocated now, wait until later. But it will pass, you need to begin to see where he has been and the deep deep depths of his despair.

It will come Sparkle, but with all of this comes healing, and openness, and a rebuilding. Have patience with him as you withdraw and I suspect he will with you.

Sparkle, I have been reading here for over 3 years and I have been posting here almost 3 years. The patterns are remarkably the same. Harley obviously noticed this in his practice, hence the success of his method and the books he writes.

If you want it to work, and your H survives his pain, you two can build a better marriage, but it takes knowledge (most don't have this when they marry), it takes patience, it takes time, and it takes forgiveness. You see he will need to forgive you, but actually as important you will need to forgive him. Sounds strange doesn't it??

But, you see you will be angry as you withdraw. Angry that HE didn't do more, that HE allowed you to do this, angry that he isn't more perfect, angry that he isn't your OM. But, you see a lot of this will be blame shifting, but in addition he wasn't the perfect H or you very likely wouldn't have had the affair. Forgive him for that.

One last thing and I will get off of my soap box. If you read this site for long you are going to notice two things. For the most part it is a place of hope, but it is populated by people of great strength. I think you will find as you end your affair that you have this strength.

Hang in there and talk to your H about this. Read Surviving an Affair, and then send a no contact letter after your H approves it.

God Bless,

JL

Posted By: professorg Re: help me - 06/13/02 03:06 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Sparkle22:
I understand the no contact rule. I have tried it about 5 times. How can I make it stick? It is hard when he meets so many of my emotional needs.

I am going to write this quickly, so please forgive the appearance of my possibly being blunt. I write it with the love of Jesus behind what I write.

I don't know if you are a Christian, but the key to being faithful to your H is to let God fill those needs through your H. God is the supplier of all that is GOOD in your life as well as everyone else.

I am the BS. I go to God to meet the needs that my W still refuses to meet. God is the only one who will be with you no matter what. He HAS to be the one you go to when things are not well. Let Jesus live His life through you and your fears will be removed.

Posted By: Wise Wendy Re: help me - 06/14/02 05:39 AM
It is hard not to compare him to the OM but I am trying. It is so hard because I know the world of the A isn't reality but that is what makes it so tempting --- it is an escape to another world where reality doesn't exist.

Sparkle, I can relate so much to what you are talking about here - I am a former WS now in recovery and believe me the fantasy does not pan out with reality. Stay and work things out with your husband. There are a lot less complications with that scenario believe me.

If you want me to go into details, I will but just felt moved to respond.

My prayers are with you two.

Posted By: Alberta Re: help me - 06/13/02 06:46 PM
sparkle - I'm so proud of you. This is so difficult, but you are hanging in!

You should consider MC with your H, in addition to reading, reading, reading. It seems like you have a big issue with your H and you and he haven't found a way to resolve it. You can - but take it all in steps.

Right now, deal with the consequences of your A and how to help your H and how to help yourself. Continue to be strong about No Contact with OM. Turn to your H anytime you feel the need to speak with OM. You will go through withdrawal. Believe me, my H was totally in love with OW but now he's totally in love with me again - but it took TIME.
(All the "oldtimers" will be nodding their heads at this one.)

Also, take time just to "be" with your H. Plan a date - dinner and a movie or play, a long walk, something where you can just "hang" for a bit. I'm not saying stop talking about the issues at hand, but take some time out from all of that. It's fun to rediscover your mate and to rediscover the reasons you were attracted to him in the first place.

Take Care.

Posted By: oswald Re: help me - 06/13/02 07:17 PM
Sparkle,
I’m glad JL joined this discussion with you, he has much insight to offer and was blessed with the ability to express things in the written word. I can’t add much to what he has offered but I can surely support what he has told you about your H strength. Funny thing about that if your H is like me he also feels week to have stayed. In the beginning I felt like an idiot for staying. It didn’t take long to realize that was not the case.

Walking away would have been so much easier for me. I would have been justified in walking, I would have had the golden opportunity to dump all the blame on my W and never had to face my role in creating an environment that allowed this terrible thing to happen. But I did not walk and I’m proud of that. I admitted my part in it, I committed to change and I faced some of the most heart wrenching emotions I’ve ever encountered. Does that make me a hero, no I’m no different then the others around here. But it does make me a good H, it makes me a person who stood behind the vows I offered, through good times and bad, in sickness and in health. It makes me a person today that my W never knew existed. It gave me the opportunity to learn and grow and build a M that will survive all.

At one time my W also felt it was weak for me to stay. Today she tells a different story, today she can’t believe someone loved and loves her so much that they would endure this. In her own words she is sorry it ever happened but admits that without this she would have never really known how much I truly love her. We both thank god for giving me the strength to stay. If you continue to learn and grow together someday you will feel this also, when you do your relationship becomes so different that you’ll not even recognize the people you were and you won’t recognize what attracted you the OM.

As for independence or, lack there of in your H. For now understand you’ll have to go easy on that. Possibly you could make that a goal for later in recovery and beyond. In my experience the A itself strongly influence views on independence. On your side your desire for it may unconsciously stem from the fact that more independence on his part would have made carrying on the A easier for you. Less to hide, less to cover up if he was pre occupied. Having to act in covert type ways to carry on your A also helped to enhance your feelings of being smothered.

From his side JL is right, right now he is broken, he needs reassurance. First hand I can tell you it is the most unsettling thing to learn your mate freely gave themselve to another. I have never been able to put into words the range of emotions from hurt, anger, hopelessness, shame and disbelief a BS goes through, I don’t think words could accurately describe it. On the opposite spectrum it’s like holding your child for the first time, words don’t do it justice. It is something you will come to understand but never fully grasp. Likewise a BS can understand, but never fully grasp the pain held by the WS.

Your H will be clingy, he will need to hear you love him or at least are working too, he will need to hear you apologize not once, but millions of times. Understand his world crashed around him, things that were once familiar and reassuring are gone, he is lost and he needs to hold on to his best friend, even though you’re the one that caused the crash, that best friend is YOU. Each time there is continued contact you chip away at that friendship. Remember that when withdraw gets tough, if you can’t do for yourself do it for someone who needs you to be strong, do it for someone who looks to you as the best friend the world has to offer, do it for your H.

Sparkle, a lot has been said here about the pain your H is in, somewhere inside I know that is hurting you and making you feel guilty and you will someday face your own pain caused by this all. No sugar coating it, you are guilty, and ultimately you alone made the decision to stray. But remember this even the worlds best people make mistakes. You’re not God you make mistakes. Always remember that while yes you made the decision alone you did not build the environment to enable it alone. It was a mistake made by both you and your H because you were not educated on how to avoid it. Just saying something shouldn’t happen does nothing to stop it, education does. From all this I have learned people mistakes do not define them, how they correct the mistake does. From here, your off to a great start.

P.S. I’m sorry for rambling so much.

oz

[ June 13, 2002: Message edited by: oswald ]

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/14/02 01:23 PM
Thanks again for all of the advice and encouragement. I have to admit I am tempted all the time to call or e-mail OM and I just need all the strength and help to get through this. I never realized how much the feelings were like an addiction. It is so hard to give up that feeling of being "in love". There are just silly issues that arise in my mind also about giving up OM...such as I lost weight while having the affair and now I'm afraid if I'll gain weight and just go back to where I was before. I wonder if I am addicted to the excitement of the affair and where will I find that excitement again? These are the kinds of thoughts that scare me.
I am beginning to see my husband in a new light and that is helping. We have been doing fun things together again which really helps me realize what we do have in common besides our children.
I have been taking all of the blame for the A and now I am beginning to feel resentful to my H for not admitting some of his behavior may have contributed to it.
LP
Posted By: oswald Re: help me - 06/14/02 06:30 PM
I never realized how much the feelings were like an addiction.

This is a very common and very accurate description. It is very much an addiction and like addicts of all types you will be tempted, your mind will tell you just once couldn’t possibly hurt. But ask a recovering Alcoholic or even someone who has quit smoking what comes of that one harmless time. Three years ago I quit smoking to nearly a year. Then I had one after all one couldn’t hurt. Today I’m at 2 packs a day

My W also talked of her A like an addiction, and like you, she tried to end it on her own many times. Sometimes she could go weeks, other time’s only days. Finally she realized she couldn’t break the cycle alone and she came to me and told me about it.

now I'm afraid if I'll gain weight and just go back to where I was before

You lost the weight because you wanted to look better. Sure the OM may have been what you think motivated it but ultimately you wanted it.

Sparkle, SET your goals higher than that, you are not going back where you were in any way. You are going someplace you never thought possible. Focus on building (rebuilding) a M that is filled with honesty, protection, trust, true happiness and yes even the excitement of that “in love” feeling. Focus on being the person you want to be, see it and work towards it.

I have been taking all of the blame for the A and now I am beginning to feel resentful to my H for not admitting some of his behavior may have contributed to it.

Valid point on some levels, but never forget you both contributed to the behavior that created an environment for this to happen. In your H’s defense he had nothing to do with the decision to be unfaithful and was never given any say in that. Be cautious of blaming your H, or taking the blame. This environment is a product your combined efforts (or lack there of) I’m sure neither of you planned for it. Unfortunately it happens, life and M do not come with a handbook.

Try to shift the need to blame anyone to an agreement to work together with your H to get through this. I know you feel withdraw is something you have to do for yourself and to some degree that is true but beyond withdraw it will take the both of you to recover. Is your H reading any of the information? Did you order any of the books?

Hang in there,
oz

Posted By: oswald Re: help me - 06/14/02 06:48 PM
Sparkle
I’m sorry I did not recommend this to you earlier. One of my good MB friends who doesn’t visit us much any longer was also the WS. She is one of my favorite success stories, her M is healed, her life has moved beyond MB, she is happy and having kids with her H. Good for her, unfortunate for those who never got to converse with her.

You may want to do a search on her posts, her member number is 6219 or check out one of her last postings the SKM Chronicles

You may find great inspiration in her words.

oz

[ June 14, 2002: Message edited by: oswald ]

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/14/02 07:07 PM
I did a search and found the site with the person (number) you mentioned. There was a lot of good "stuff" on that site. I am having a setback day -- I met OM. He called and wanted to meet and I agreed to say goodbye, again. I think he now understand that it is for good and I believe it was final this time but I am not kidding myself. If he called and wanted to meet again in 5 minutes I don't know what I would do. Why is this so addictive? Is there a physiological reason or is it psychological? I am having a heck of a time figuring out where all these site things figured out because I write at work and can't be on this site all day long! I was amazed when I read the things on the site about that you recommended how similar the situations are. The soulmate thing that is such a strong feeling...what is up with that? I thought I was the only one who found my true soulmate! Now I'm beginning to see through the fog...please help lead me on. I will be turning to this site to give me strength so any more recommendations are great.
Posted By: oswald Re: help me - 06/14/02 08:11 PM
I am having a setback day -- I met OM

sparkle,
I’m glad you told us that, rather than just disappearing. See what I meant about back to square one? Two days ago you were feeling a bit stronger than right now and after just seeing him you can’t guarantee what will happen in 5 minutes.

I’m not condoning contact but I understand it’s easy to stumble in the beginning, just get up and get back on the path.


Psychological, definitely. It goes with the whole sole mate thing. Your mind has been talking you into why this is so right to justify the fact that you knew it was wrong. The OM only shows you the good side to keep you. It’s all part of the Fog/Fantasy. You don’t actually think the OM is going to talk too and treat you the way he treats his W do you? Hell no, he knows he has to be your knight in shinning armor. He knows you don’t need to deal with his baggage so he only shows the best parts. I’m not picking on the OM here, you did the same thing. I guarantee he has never seen you with the flu with your hair all shaggy, no make up, old PJ’s fur slippers and looking like death, so in his fantasy you wake up in the morning wonderful every day. It’s part of the deal, it’s not real.

I’m going out of town till next Wed. So I’m hoping someone else kick in here for me. Otherwise I want to see you here when I get back. It will give you more time to read up and learn the site.

Keep at it
oz

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/14/02 08:15 PM
Is there someplace on this site that explains the fog/fantasy? I think I am in it and would like to understand it.
Posted By: professorg Re: help me - 06/14/02 08:43 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Sparkle22:
Is there someplace on this site that explains the fog/fantasy? I think I am in it and would like to understand it.

This should help. It covers a host of topics. Allowing Jesus to live His life through you is the only true way to overcome those temptations. He will always give you an out to be the spiritual example for those around you.

I read my Bible and read articles such as these along with what I have learned from this website to keep me from doing to my W what she has done to me. She experienced this with OM#11 by my count.

[ June 14, 2002: Message edited by: professorg ]

Posted By: oswald Re: help me - 06/14/02 08:51 PM
Sparkle,
No offense to the prof but if your not into the Christian way. There is a post in the most notable threads section on describing the fog that can be found here

You may also want to read over some of the most notable threads

Also if you missed it there is a wealth of information in the General Welcome

Read, Read, Read. This place if full of first hand experience and support but please consider buying the book “Surviving An Affair” It makes the concepts around here so much easier to understand.

Also, poke you nose into some current threads offer feedback where you can, becoming involved does wonders for the soul.

oz

[ June 14, 2002: Message edited by: oswald ]

Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/17/02 12:28 AM
Hi Sparkle,
I'm a former WS, I'm 46, 2 sons, 14 &16, and have been married 21 years. I had a 2 year emotional affair (no touching) that finally ended 2 months ago. I fell completely in love with the OM and was very close to leaving my H for him. But, I didn't. I just wanted to let you know that breaking off contact with the OM will be the hardest personal challenge that you will ever take on...I don't know much about your situation. Whether or not the OM is available or married, etc. Do you still work with him? I had to change jobs in order to end my EA...I don't know how people are able to continue to work with the other person...I couldn't. No contact is the only way I have been able to work on my marriage. At times, like tonight, it's really hard (my H is away for 6 nights, and before that I was away on business, and before that he was away for a couple of days....etc.,,,so I'm lonely, miss my H and miss the OM. I'll be strong, I won't contact him, but I really, really miss him.

Tell me how you are doing.

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 01:09 PM
AShirley-
Yes, it is so hard and I just feel really tired at times and this weekend was a hard one. No, I'm not working with the OM anymore. I ran into him Friday night at a social thing and I talked to him and I miss him so much. I am working on the marriage and trying to do fun things and spend more time with my husband but I just miss the OM so much. I am going to determined to make no contact work this week but sometimes I feel so weak and think "what would a little e-mail hurt?"
Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/17/02 01:36 PM
Hi Sparkle,
I know it must have been really, really hard running into him this weekend. Before this weekend, when was the last time you had seen him? I can't tell from you emails, is he available or is he also married? Will he help you do this (ie. have no contact?) or will he make you do this on your own?
AS
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 01:44 PM
He is married (terrible marriage), 50 years old, 2 grown children. This is my first serious attempt at no contact. I have made half-hearted attempts for about 6 months. So last week I told him no more and he e-mailed and wanted to see me Friday over noon (he was in the town where I work) so I agreed. I told him that was it and then we discovered we would be at the same event Friday night so I knew I would run into him there. We talked that if we weren't going to get married then it should be no contact and although he would continue contact he understands the need for me to have no contact. Not only has it been a EA it has been a wonderful PA and so this is going to take all the strength I have to end it. I have been on an emotional roller coaster for so long and it is so painful not to be with the OM that often I just want to run to OM. I can see that it I am in this fog that people in this site refer to and that no contact is probably the only way out but it won't be easy...
Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/17/02 02:10 PM
Hi Sparkle,
Thank you for filling me in on some of the details. It is going to be especially hard for you bc your OM is not committed to breaking it off...so you are going to have to be really strong. But I think you also need to ask him to help you through this by not responding to your emails or returning your calls.

I told my OM that I was afraid that I'd reach out to him and send him emails, but told him to ignore them. Finally, we are both sticking to our words..but it is really hard for me.

If you want to email me off-line, feel free to do so at Ashirley1@hotmail.com. I know that MB looks down on offline communications between people of the opposite sex, but since we're both female, hopefully people won't give us a hard time. I just find that as a WS, some of the BS on this site can't deal with hearing how incredibly hard it is for us to break off contact. They want us to just get over it. However, easier said than done. The ache of loss continues for a very long time...I still care very deeply for my OM--I continue to love and respect him.

My H and I are doing very well. We love each other, enjoy each others company, respect each other, etc...but I still miss the OM. If you need support or need to wallow...feel free to do so. Hang in there!
AS

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 02:13 PM
Thanks for the support. It is hard to verbalize how hard this is. I think the description of an addition is very real.
Posted By: mom of five Re: help me - 06/17/02 02:21 PM
sparkle,
If you think he has such a terrible marriage, why is he still there ? It occured to me if MY xom's marriage was so aweful like he said.. what is he still doing there. No excuses, he must like it. Maybe that will help you out of the fog a little, I know it did me.
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 02:24 PM
He wants to get a divorce and marry me but I told him no and asked him to please stay with his wife for awhile while I try to rebuild my marriage. I think he will get a divorce soon and I am worried that I won't be strong enough to not run to him when he isn't married.
Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/17/02 02:30 PM
Sparkle,
I do think of my feeling for the OM as an addiction. I read a book about that explained the 5 phases one goes through in an addictive episode: (paraphrased and edited to fit my situation)

1) fleeting thoughts—a thought or image of the addictive behavior (in my case the OM) pops into our mind. Perhaps we saw a car like his, heard a song, went by where we visited, etc. It can be triggered by psychological withdrawal, like loneliness, emptiness, anger. It is here that we have the most control over redirecting our thoughts.

2) mental attention (inviting the fantasy in) In this stage the person gives willing attention to the fleeting idea, playing with the fantasy, savoring the feelings of the addiction….Toying with the addictive idea and creating an image triggers a chemical response in the body, a pleasant feeling. The hypnotic trance deepens, allowing the addicted part of the system to take hold…It often just takes one permission giving thought to activate the addiction. Just this time, I have a reason to call him, etc.

The high is underway as the person slides into the euphoria of an addictive state. A person many keep this image and the chemical high going for days or weeks, imagining a romantic encounter, sex, etc. For some people, the addiction IS to float off in a fantasy world of euphoric recall of past encounters with the substance or the behavior of choice. At this point you are playing with fire. Making a connection with another human being (like a friend) is often the antidote to addiction bc the bond to the addictive behavior is replaced by the long-for-bond of a caring, understanding human being.

3) planning/obsession . In this phase a person makes plan for the addictive acting out. They call the person and arrange to get together, they buy the food, plan where to get the drugs, etc. It is more difficult to intervene at this stage bc the addictive side has gathered momentum.

4) acting it out. There may be an orgasmic quality to the release.

5) the hang over—involving shame, guilt, remorse or physical withdrawal.

The first two phases are where I still find myself. But I continue to make progress. Yesterday, I wanted so much call the OM up and talk with him about my son having tried pot. (Since he had had similar problems with his son.) I wanted to commiserate and ask for advice as to what to do, how to handle it…most of all, I just wanted an excuse to connect with him. But I knew, that it was my addiction that was toying with me…making me think that it would be okay to call…just this once, etc.. But I saw through it and wouldn’t let myself, trick myself….Even though I my husband was out of town and my best friend wasn’t available for support, I hung in there and didn’t call, email, etc. I am so proud of myself. I know that I’ll get there over time.

Reminding myself that part of the struggle is the addiction has helped me a great deal.

Good luck.
AS

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 02:34 PM
Yes, I can see the addiction qualities in myself. Thanks for sending the information. I have tried the personal contact to help and it really works.
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 02:36 PM
Ashirley,
Do you tell your husband about your thoughts and wanting to contact the OM or do you have a friend you talk to about it? I think I need to open up to one of my friends but haven't.
Posted By: mom of five Re: help me - 06/17/02 02:41 PM
You have been married along time, and alot to lose..
I found it helpful to do more things for my husband and calling him whn I thought of calling OM. It IS HARD,some days I think we both have trouble with it, even after two years..
You just have to make a committment to your self and marriage and stick with it.
probably one of the hardest things you will ever do.
I wish you lots of luck. I do know hw hard it is.

[ June 17, 2002: Message edited by: mom of five ]

Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/17/02 03:09 PM
Sparkle,
My H knows about the OM and knows that I fell in love with him. But no, I don't tell him how hard it is for me and how much I still think about the OM, and how often I think about wanting to contact the OM. I don't see any value to rebuilding our marriage.

I have one friend that I have shared this with who has helped me stay on track and focused on my H and my marriage. She has been wonderful. Sometimes, I find that I need to verbalize how hard it to walk away from the OM to a smypathetic listener and just by being able to verbalize (and wallow) helps me get over the desire to contact the OM.

So feel free to write me..especially if you have the urge to write or call the OM...feel free to verbalize your thoughts to me...you must not write the OM...you have to move on.

One of my greatest struggles was between heart and mind. I knew intellectually that my marriage and family was where I wanted to be...but my heart kept on tempting me...it's such a painful struggle.

Be strong. Do you enjoy your husbands company? Does he enjoy your company? Does he make you laugh? If you feel like it, tell me more about your H and some of his strengths.

Ashirley1@hotmail.com

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 03:15 PM
I have thought and said so many times that it is a battle between the heart and mind. I just want so much to have my heart want my H instead of the OM. Has that happened to you yet Ashirley? I am just afraid that it will never happen and I don't want to go through my life having my heart want someone else. My mind knows that my husband is good and fortunately we do enjoy the same things and have fun and laugh together. We have been trying to do more together and that helps. One of the things that is hard for me is that my OM is a very prominent person and leads an exciting life that is very different from the quiet life my husband and I lead. I can't lie that his lifestyle and "fame" are enticing to me. I seem to spend a lot of time comparing my H to OM and I don't think that is good.
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 03:33 PM
I have a job where I work MWF and since OM wouldn't contact me at home after I quit working with him (he was my boss and we traveled together) when I started this new job all of our contact has been while I'm at work. Well, now I've gotten so that the hardest part of the day is not e-mailing him while I'm at work. That's why this site is filling in that void for me. When I am home on T-TH I feel "safe" in my home environment and try to do things with my husband. I am trying not to equate my work days with OM but it is hard. I am in the same line of work that I was when I worked with him so often I've used the excuse that I just need to ask him some professional advice and then it leads to more contact etc.
AShirley I think it is great you have kept up no contact while your husband is out of town. I KNOW how hard that must be.
Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/17/02 03:55 PM
Sparkle,
I’ll be honest with you…I still struggle between heart and mind and I too, wonder if I’ll ever get to the point where heart and mind are in sync (with my H.) I hope so. I hope that it just takes time. Remember, you have to compare the whole package you H and your family with his whole package…not just the two men. Because life involves so much more that just our spouses. It’s much more complicated.

You are in a tougher position than I am in, because your OM wants to divorce his wife and marry you. That would be really, really hard for me. If my OM came on really strong, I’d have a hard time being strong. But I told myself that I would never be with him (have a physical affair) unless I left my H first and I just don't think I could ever do that to him or my children. I love my husband..but I admit, there is something lacking that I can't quite get my finger on, but I'm working at it. I also tried to remind myself that the whole thing was about me and my Marriage; not about me and the OM. I had/have to find out what I was getting from the OM that I wasn’t getting from my H and try to get that (or a good substitute) from my H.

My OM and I worked at the same college and our offices were located in the same building. I had to change jobs to have any hope of quitting contact. After I left my job, we were in touch by email and by phone, but we wouldn’t see each other. So, it has been really hard breaking the email contact… It took a year and a number of false stops, before we were able to stick to our no contact…it’s been 2 months. I still wish I’d see his email in my inbox, but I know I won’t and I know it’s for the best…it just SUCKS and I wish I’d stop thinking about him.

Thanks for your encouragement. I really was tempted to write him this weekend.

AS

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 04:08 PM
Sometimes I think how much easier this no contact thing would be if e-mail hadn't been invented. It is so easy to just click that send button and feel like it is so harmless. I've had myself talked into thinking that e-mail and phone conversations were o.k. because I wasn't really "seeing" the OM. But they usually led to us getting together (follows the addiction pattern). I am trying to "fall in love" with my husband but I hate that I have to try when with the OM it comes so easily. I got married young and was pregnant and even at the time thought of my H as more of a good friend and good person than the "love of my life". He's a wonderful father, the kindest person, on and on...almost too perfect. Everyone thinks we have the perfect family. I was so tempted again this weekend to just leave but when I think of the overall pkg. and the hurt to my children, H, and extended family I just don't want to be the cause of all that pain so if I'm going to stay I'm determined to work on the Marriage. But the fantasy world of the OM (which I trying to convince myself the OM and I live in) is so hard to resist. He and I have shared everything. O.K. but back to reality...my husband I and have a good physical relationship so that is good, and my husband has all the qualities I admire, I just want to feel that "I can't live without you" feeling. Is that stupid? I have always thought (this is morbid) if anything happened to my husband that I would be sad but I would go on...not like the feeling I would have now trying to give up the OM, I am devastated. Ashirley do you understand?
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 04:43 PM
I am going nuts not e-mailing OM today. It is so hard on Monday especially since I like to tell him about my weekend etc. and since I saw him Friday.
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 04:48 PM
Ashirley-
You never mentioned if your OM is married and has a family. I assume he must be married.
I think my A might have gotten started partly because I have 4 children, the oldest 3 girls, and the last girl was in her senior year of high school and I was beginning to feel that "empty nest". My son is in high school still and I worry about how it is going to be even worse once he leaves home. I want to have a strong marriage before he leaves home because I know that time could be tough. Does empty-nest syndrome relate at all to women having affairs?
Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/18/02 05:08 AM
Sparkle,
I know what you mean about how easy email is. I’ve written so many to my OM that I shouldn’t have…like you said, it’s just too easy.

Sparkle, as much as you won’t believe this, the chances that you would end up marrying the OM are actually pretty slim. You’ll be trading one set of problems and/or unmet needs for another set. Let’s face it, no one is perfect, know matter how perfect they seem. At least with you H you know everything…nothing’s in the closet. He loves you the way you are despite your short comes…You really don’t know everything about the OM, though you might think you do. He might have some skeletons that aren’t that pretty…that could really hurt. Has he ever had an affair during his marriage (other than with you?) One thing I know is that my H would never do what I did. He’s faithful and committed. That is really, really important to my security and self esteem. I’m a bit insecure, I don’t think that I could be as patient and understanding, and unpossessed as my H has been. Despite the fact that I couldn’t be trusted, he has always treated me with respect and trust.

I know that the OM has had at least one other affair, plus an EA with me…what would keep him from having another one. Generally speaking, I think that women are bad news. My OM works at a woman’s college. No matter how determined he might be to not be involved with another woman, what would keep some other woman from making the moves…he’s really good looking, incredibly smart, kind, funny, warm, etc…

So when you think about not being able to live without the OM, think about sitting in a little apartment having broken your husbands heart. Wanting to see you H, wanting him to make you laugh, wanting to make love with you….wanting to be with him.

And I do think about what if something did happen to my H…and do feel like I could go on…I do understand.
AS

Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/18/02 05:25 AM
Sparkle,
My OM was in a committed relationship. He had been married for 30 years; had an affair that ended, he left his wife, she went back to her H. Shortly after he left his wife, he got involved with a woman who was separtated (had been married 2 previous times) she was involved in a nasty separation and they couldn't be seen together. One of the problems is that he didn't tell me about his girl friend for 8 mths..long after I had fallen in love with him. Even then, he never talked about her, what the did, etc.so I didn't think it was serious, I just thought he didn't want to ruin my marriage. I didn't believe that he was really in love with his girl friend...he gave me mixed signals, that I misintrepreted. I still want to believe that he was in love with me...why would he have continued being in touch for so long when he knew we shouldn't be...etc.

But, I do accept that whatever the case. It's for the best that we don't see each other. It breaks my heart, bc he had wanted a friend and I fell in love with him. If I had known that he really wasnt' available, I don't think I would have let myself fall totally in love with him...and if I hadn't fallen in love with him, we'd still be friends...I still have a hard time dealing with that. In my mind I only wanted a friend, but in my heart I had fallen in love.

It's so hard.

Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/18/02 05:27 AM
One more thing, I do think this has a lot to do with the empty nest and all of a sudden not being needed as much as we were. I needed attention and wasn't getting enough, and this OM came into my life and was so attentive, responsive, receptive, etc....I needed it so badly and I ate it up.

My H is working really hard to give me the attention that I need...but I seem to need so much these days. I do think that empty nest and mid-life crisis are definately major factors.

Posted By: Just Learning Re: help me - 06/18/02 05:48 AM
Sparkle

Ashirley, is giving you good advice. I copied a statement you made that I wanted to talk about and Ashirley has already commented on it. I don't think I can add anything but I will give it a try.

You said

quote:
He and I have shared everything. O.K. but back to reality...my husband I and have a good physical relationship so that is good, and my husband has all the qualities I admire, I just want to feel that "I can't live without you" feeling. Is that stupid?

Actually, you do have that feeling for your H, but you don't seem to realize it. Otherwise you would have divorced, taken the children, married the OM and lived happily everafter. The problem you are having in my opinion is that love can manifest itself in many ways.

The "I can't live without you." actually isn't one of them. That is the HS crush sentiment that goes on until someone better comes along. The kind that sustains one deep in their soul is the one where YOU and YOUR spouse KNOW they can live without one another, that there are choices out there, BUT you two have chosen to love and stay by one another.

You made a comment about your OM being a better man in the sense that he is a public figure, probably makes more money, and on the surface seems soooo polished. Yet, his W isn't enough for him is she? I have mentioned this to you before, but I want to take it further.

I don't care who you are and what you do, there is someone better than you at just about anything. You can most definitely "trade up". There are better men that your H; better looking, wealthier, better connected, belong to the "right" club, and most assuredly smarter. The only thing these men cannot claim is that they are the father of your children.

So the issue is: "Why not trade up?" In fact why shouldn't your OM trade up as well. Clearly you are superior to his W. So why hasn't he divorced and taken you or someother better, better looking woman? The answer is he probably already has and that is why he doesn't need to divorce.

In your case this is your first attempt at trading up. But, I will warn you, if you trade that implies that you are dealing with a man that also trades. So that leaves the issue of will you always be the best: the best looking, the best hostess, the best connected, the most useful, the best in bed? You had better be or he will trade up again.

Sparkle, it seems to me you are reaching an age when you should begin to appreciate you H, not dump him. I know when I was your age it began to really happen to me. You see love is not having the best, it is making the best of what you have. And what you have is a man that doesn't want to trade you for a newer, better model. Why? He truely loves you. He sees the faults, he feels the neglect, he hears the insults (implied or spoken). He knows more about you than you think, but he isn't trading up. That Sparkle is what love is about, it is a verb. It is an action.

You can choose to love your H or you can chose to focus on your OM. I know the OM is in your mind and part of that is actually chemical. It takes months of no contact for it to go away. If you choose to love your H, to do things with him, you will find that you actually start to really feel in love with him.

You said you are dreading the empty nest syndrom (sp). Yet, most I know that go through that period find that they come to enjoy it. They and their spouses have more time to talk, to eat when and what they want, to enjoy a movie, music, vacations, etc. Life comes full circle to when they were young.

Now I realize you never had time when you were young, so you don't know what I am talking about. You became pregnant and started right in on being a mother. I am from the opposite spectrum.

First, I am a male. Second, I didn't get married until I was 31, and third my youngest will graduate from HS when I am 60 (only a few years from now). I laughing tell my W that she will never have the empty nest syndrom because I will retire when the kids leave. She looks at me like: "Yeah, not on your life."

But, I will tell you that as you get older, life is better if you have your health. Sparkle, I know many famous, powerful people, and frankly while it looks great from the outside you have only seen a glimpse of the cost that fame and power have. In your affair, you have only seen the best, you haven't seen the worst. His W has.

I will leave you with one last thing to think about: There is no free lunch. None. But you can trade up, but once you put yourself in the trading business, you can get traded as well. So think carefully.

I realize you want to stay with your H, but I also realize you have yet to see him for who and what he is. When you do, I think you estimation of him will go up considerably. He may not have the trappings of power and wealth, but he appears to have the strength of a guy who can hang in there when it is tough.

Just also remember that while you married young and YOU felt that you weren't in love with him, he was stuck with a pregnant woman who didn't love him as she should. He was then responsible very early in his life for the children as well. He has been under pressure for most of his life as well and he has hung in there despite having a W who didn't feel in love with him. How sad for him, yet he is there.

This leads to my last point, he has probably hung on through all of this because while you see gloom, doom, misery, and despair with your children aging, he sees a chance to live again, to love again, and to enjoy life with his W.

You would do well to adopt this view as well.

Hang in there, the addiction will fade, and I foresee for you the possibility of a far better marriage than you have ever had. You have the makings of it with your H loving you as he apparently does. You will get to enjoy your 50,60, and 70's being a grandparent, and doing things you enjoy. I spent my 50's going to school events and hope that the 60's and 70's are what I want. So you will get your time on one end or the other. Frankly, I think you will enjoy it more on the older end, than you would have on the younger end.

It is really all a matter of attitude, and then a lot of hard work. You have yours cut out for you, but I suspect the goal may be better than you think right now.

God Bless,

JL

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 06:26 PM
JL-
Thanks for the long response. I just want to get through this withdrawal from OM and get on with the life you describe. I thought I would look forward to our time alone and then the A happened and now I'm dreading that empty nest. I am beginning to see, as my husband and I try to do more alone together, that this could be a fun time in our lives but then at other times I dread it and am scared. As you said, we've never had that alone time in our marriage, so it is so new for us.
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 06:30 PM
JL-
You mentioned that feeling as being chemical --can you describe what it actually is because that might help me realize it isn't just my feeling
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 06:40 PM
Ashirley-I think the hardest thing is to lose the friendship of the OM. He and I started out as working together, became great friends and then one day I kissed him and we were in love and couldn't stand to be apart etc. I have never been one to need a lot of friends so I tend to isolate myself and I read a lot. The OM reads a lot also and so we shared thoughts and ideas all the time. A very strong EA for both of us. He is a writer and he hired me with little experience to work for him and nurtured that talent in me so he made me feel smart and worthwhile. It is a strong bond to break. I just miss my friend so much but I tried many times to "just be friends" and it doesn't work for us.
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 06:47 PM
quote:
The "I can't live without you." actually isn't one of them. That is the HS crush sentiment that goes on until someone better comes along. The kind that sustains one deep in their soul is the one where YOU and YOUR spouse KNOW they can live without one another, that there are choices out there, BUT you two have chosen to love and stay by one another.

This is great. You have a lot of wisdome to share. thanks.

Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/17/02 07:18 PM
Sparkle,
In my opinion, when we feel love feelings, it triggers a chemical in our brain that stimulates the part of our brain that gives the sensation of euphoria. We get addicted to that euphoric feeling and want more and more of it. So we continue to do things to stimulate that part of the brain.

The very hardest thing for me is to accept that I have lost a really special friend. We really clicked and enjoyed each other’s company. We’ve got sons that are close in age (17) and had lot’s to share in that arena. We worked of a couple of projects together and he took an interest in my post graduate work. (I was working on a masters degree and he read and commented on my thesis…forever endearing me to him…) Neither one of us had a lot of friends, so we were really important to each other….we filled a void we both had. It just kills me that I couldn’t keep it as a friendship…why did I have to fall in love? I actually try not to think about that bc what’s done is done and I have to accept that and move on. As much as I’d like to, we can’t be friends…My feelings are just too strong. I feel like I let him down, he needed a friend not a lover. But, I can’t help it. I love him and like him. …

This doesn’t sound like I’m moving on, but I am…But I still have fond feelings of the OM and I probably always will. But I love, respect, and enjoy my H and I am determined to get over the OM…it’s just taking longer than I’d like it to take.

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 07:23 PM
Yes, it is so hard to lose that friendship. I am mad at myself a lot for the same reason...taking the relationship beyond friendship when I should have guarded my heart and not let myself fall in love with him. The bad part for me is that I found a career I loved when this man hired me and he supported and nurtured me into becoming creative in my new career. Now I feel like I'm flung out into the world without my friend for support and had to give up the job I loved because we couldn't remain "just friends." If only I would have known how important it is to guard your heart I would have tried to prevent it but I did the opposite and nurtured it.
Posted By: Just Learning Re: help me - 06/17/02 09:40 PM
Sparkle,

Ashirley, answered your question. It really is a brain chemical thing. Sort of like drugs or caffiene. When you do something enjoyable, your brains produce chemicals that make you feel good. The more these are produced the more you want to do these things.

You have heard of the runners high? It is a similar thing, people become addicted to exercise. People become addicted to other people for many reasons, but supporting that is the physical response. Some call it a habit, but while many don't like to admit it, we can be trained just as other animals can.

Also there is a reason that Harley strongly suggests the no contact rule. It is because this addiction can and often does remain although unacted upon. The love you felt for OM will diminish, the power will fade, but it can be rekindled. So not contact. But, no contact also gets you out of the "habit" of OM meeting your need for the feel good high. It takes months and like any habit must be watched. But, if you substitute doing things with your H for what you did with OM, this seems to pass.

So it is a chemical response to the pleasant stimulation your OM gave you. You were being trained to like/love him. You must now break the training to rebuild your marriage.

Sparkle, I also think that if you talk with H about what you miss, the friendship, perhaps the intellectual stimulation of your career the two of you can use the Policy of Joint Agreement (POJA) to develop a plan that will meet your needs and keep the marriage together as well. That puts him in the role, that you let OM get into. Your H can and will help you if you let him,but he needs to be fully informed of where you are and where you want to go.

You know Sparkle one of the greatest things in life is helping people. What most people don't realize is that the real gift is not necessarily in the helping, but in letting someone help you. Have you ever had to give advice to your children? Yes, sure you have. How did it make you feel when they rejected it? How did you feel when they never even asked? How do you feel when they followed it? Now which was the bigger gift?

Consider your H, what would be the biggest gift? I think you letting him help you would be. Yes, his helping you would be a gift as was your OM's gift, but you gave the OM a bigger one and it was one your H should have received. You let OM help you. Time for you to give your H something, your willingness to let him help you.

I know this sounds odd, but receiving is often more difficult than giving, but the bigger gift.

Something else to think about.

God Bless,

JL

Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/17/02 09:41 PM
Sparkle,
I know what you mean. I get a bit cross when I think about my OM. Because I didn't know the girl friend existed for 8 months. If early on, IF he had told me x and I did this, or that; etc., I would have acted differently and would have protected my heart. Instead, I felt sorry for him bc he was recently divorced after 30 years, so I befriended him...little did I know that he was involved in a committed relationship. Nearly a year after we started seeing each other (we ate lunch together and emailed etc.) I told him that I had fallen in love with him, but since I was married and wanted to stay that way, I hoped we could be friends. Even after I changed jobs and we continued to be in touch, he never talked about his girlfriend. When I asked him how he felt about me, he told me that he cared about me a lot, was attracted to me, enjoyed my company, but didn't want to interfere with my marriage. And, that he was involved in a committed relationship. Unfortuately, I didn't hear that part. In fact, I told him that if he had been more forth coming about his relationship, we'd be sitting having coffee...not trying to figure out how to disconnect.

But it's over and done with. And yes, there's a part of my brain and heart that hopes that someday we can be friends again.

(I know we never will be friends, but I like to think that in an ideal world, we can be friends with the people we love and connect with. I think, well maybe when I'm 80 years old, we can be friends again...)

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 09:45 PM
JL-- this is strange...are you sure you don't know me? I can't believe how what you say speaks directly to me. I have never fully let my husband in and "be there for me." I know I have this barrier up because I want to be strong and the one "in charge" of the relationship and not vulnerable to him. I let myself be vulnerable to OM and therefore developed this closeness to him that I am having so much trouble giving up. If I can just let my husband be the one to help I can see what you are saying could be true.
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/17/02 09:52 PM
Ashirley,
I'm holding out hopes for being friends when we're 80 years old also and I've also thought things like "when both of our spouses are dead we will get married even if we are 90". I can't believe the strange things that I think and that make me think that there is hope for a life with the OM someday. My OM situation is more difficult because he would marry me and knowing this makes it even harder to stay with my H. Today I tried calling my H when I started to think of OM and it was o.k. but I felt bad afterwards because it just wasn't the excitement I feel when I hear OM's voice in the middle of the afternoon. I hate the comparing I do but I can't seem to help it.
Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/17/02 10:12 PM
Sparkle,
I'm proud of you for not calling or emailing? the other man today. Take each day as it comes, moment by moment.

If the OM was not available, would you leave your H? or would you leave your H only if the OM were available? You need to think about that. Because you really can't count on the OM being there for you. There are so many different factors involved. How long has the OM been married? Has he been married before?

Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/19/02 06:41 PM
Sparkle,
How are you doing?
AS
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/19/02 07:20 PM
ashirley,
I'm having a busy day at work so haven't written but am happy to say I am doing pretty well. I am trying to stay busy and that really helps. I bought one of the Harley's books 2 nights ago and have been reading it. I am just taking it one hour at a time it seems since an hour or even 15 minutes rarely goes by that I don't want to contact OM or something comes up that I was to share with OM (who I considered my best friend). I am trying to focus on the positive traits that I enjoy in my husband and have been calling him with I feel the urge to contact OM. Sometimes I feel so good about myself and then other times I start the beginnings of the addictive feelings from the list you sent me. I'm also trying the tactic of contact a friend if I get in that mode. Anyway, I'm having a pretty good day. It is the one year anniversary of a 3 day business trip that OM and I took yesterday so that has been on my mind and I'd love to contact him to talk about that and share memories but what good would it do? How are you doing?
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/19/02 07:23 PM
I have thought a lot about what you or someone said about "would you leave your husband if the OM wasn't in the picture." I don't think I would and that has given me a lot to think about. Also I think it was JL wrote alot on Mon. about "trading up" and how there is always someone better etc. It has given me a lot to ponder.
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/19/02 07:27 PM
OM has been married once for 27 years and has 2 grown children. He really is a wonderful person and stuck by a woman with a lot of anger and problems and I know it sounds familiar but neither of us were looking for an A. We worked and traveled together a lot of hours and developed into a very close friendship where we shared so much, and spent so many hours alone together every day. The only thing that would have kept us from falling in love was if I would have seen it coming (and I probably did) I should has quit traveling with him and could have lessened our hours together at work but instead we went the opposite route. If onlys won't do any good though will they?
Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/19/02 10:46 PM
Hi Sparkle,
Nice to hear from you..sounds like your doing pretty well. I've had a hard week but I have hung in there and persevered...no contact or attempts at contact. I keep on running into triggers...a couple of which have seemed like extremely legitimate reasons to contact the OM. But I keep reminding myself that it's the addiction. I'm now getting a feeling of pride and accomplishment when I ride those feelings out...remember they will pass, and they do. I'm sure that the OM thinks that I'll break down and contact him sooner or later and I'm not going to let him say, "I knew she couldn't follow through." I am bound and determined to "win" this one.

One of the thing I would ask myself when I thought about leaving my H, was, how could I really do that..what would I say? All of my talk of love for him, care for him over all these years just lies? I realized that I would never be able to drive away and stay away. I could never do that to him or the kids. What would I say, I just love the OM more than I love you (and you're the one who's put up with me for all these years...no I'm not perfect.) I could never do it. I wish I could be friends with the OM, but I can't.

Hang in there Sparkle.
AS

Posted By: oswald Re: help me - 06/20/02 07:04 PM
Sparkle,
I’m glad to see your still hanging in there, and I can see you’re getting some good support. I really have nothing to add at this point, being on the other side I just have no experience with withdraw. But I will do anything I can to encourage you to keep plugging away.

I read something today and felt compelled to share it with you. I know you have strong feelings about OM and may disagree with some of it, but please read it with an open mind, it is reality.

Click Here To Read

oz

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/21/02 01:34 PM
It has been a pretty good week. My husband and I have been getting a lot closer and I'm starting to really enjoy his company again. I got an e-mail from OM on Wed. and I just sent another brief reply with another No Contact request. I haven't heard again. I do miss him a lot but I can't believe how much better I feel about myself for having the strength to get by without him. I had lost my peace of mind and one of my goals was to regain it.
Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/24/02 02:16 PM
Hi Sparkle,
I hope you and your H had a nice weekend. Monday's are always hard for me. I just want to reconnect with the OM to start the week...I won't, but I hate even having to think about it. I look forward to the day where he's a fleeting memory and I get to the point where I won't allow myself to actually focus on the memories.

I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you. Be strong, and feel free to write.
AS

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/24/02 02:25 PM
Ashirley,
I am having the exact same problems. Yes, Mondays are the hardest. I guess it is because the OM and I fell in love at work and I always spent time talking and e-mailing at work etc. and I just correlate my time at work with contacting him. I want to e-mail him right away on Mon. morning and tell him about my weekend and see what he has going on this week etc. I try to keep really busy and this morning I e-mailed a couple friends to take my mind off contacting him. Thankfully there wasn't one from the OM when I got here today.
We had a wedding this weekend and the sermon really spoke to me. I'm trying to do a lot of reading also on marriage and love etc. It has helped and I am starting to feel a lot closer to my H and we did have a nice weekend. I just can't give him the connectedness he wants yet but I pray someday I will actually "feel" it. My husband has to many good qualities and it really does help to focus on them. I know what you mean about just wanting the A and the OM to be a part of your daily thoughts. I wonder if and when that would happen. Songs reallly trigger thoughts of the OM so I'm having to be very selective in what I listen to.
You will make it through today and so will I and Tues. will be better etc. Did you do anything fun with your H and family this weekend? We enjoyed the wedding danced and danced a lot and had all of our children home so it really was a nice weekend.
Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/24/02 07:19 PM
Hi Sparkle,
Ditto. My OM and I worked together as well, and even though I left that job a year and 2 months ago, I still think of him first thing in the morning. I'm glad there wasn't an email from him waiting for you...If you're at all like me, you are probably relieved and sad at the same time. Relieved, bc you know it's really for the best; but sad bc you miss him.

We did have a nice weekend as well. We went an listened to music outside at the art museum...they have great outdoor concerts and movies all summer long. The music was great and we danced. My H and I fell in love dancing, so it was really fun. We don't do it enough, so it was a treat. Then all of us (our two sons, 14 and 16) went back on Sat. night to sit out under the moon and see Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid. My H and I hadn't seen that in years and the boys had never seen it. It was alot of fun.

I'm finding that more and more often I'll find myself laughing and smiling and "being there" with my kids and H and realize that I really am actually happier now, with the OM out of the picture. I was miserable so much of the time while involved with him bc I always wanted more, but knew I'd never get enough.

It took a full year of false starts to finally end our contact...it's been about 9 weeks since we last had any contact. I'm a bit worried about running into him somewhere, I'm really not ready for that...but I also want to lead my life. So, I'm not going any places where there's a decent chance I'd see him...but I will go places where there's a remote chance. I hope you have a good rest of the day!
AS

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/24/02 09:17 PM
Well, I called the OM this afternoon. I had a major trigger this afternoon that made me want to talk to him. After we talked for a few minutes I realized that he was starting to lose his pull on me. I began to just want off the phone and that had never happened. I have thought a lot about what an artificial world he and i were in during the A and as Ashirley said, how miserable I really felt much of the time during the A. Spending time with my husband again doing fun things has been great for me. I made an excuse to get off the phone with OM even though I had been the one to call him. I just don't feel the "need" to hear his voice like I thought I did I guess and that feels good. I knew today would be hard.
Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/24/02 10:19 PM
Hi Sparkle,
I'm glad you wanted to get off the phone and are feeling like the pull is leaving you. That's very positive. Do you talk about it with the OM? How is he dealing with this? Have you asked him not to contact you? and did you warn him that you might have a hard time following through? It's none of my business, I'm just curious.

I know that we are supposed to be more concerned about US, OUR H's, and OUR happiness and life, but I am concerned about the OM's happiness and life. I had tried to tell myself that it was really unfair, selfish, etc., of me to call or contact the OM unless I was really ready to leave my H and be available for the OM...otherwise it just wasn't very nice. What right did I have, leading this man on, if I really had no intention of leaving my H? Even though we both got pleasure out of the relationship I just didn't feel right about it.
Any thoughts?
AS

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/25/02 01:15 PM
Ashirley,
I am starting to see that it isn't fair to OM either if we have any contact. He is in a really bad marriage and today I was thinking about how the situation differs for him and myself. My H and I probably had a very good marriage when the A happened and now I am working to rebuild that. Before I thought that I must have had a really bad marriage or the A wouldn't have happened but now I think it was more of a situational thing and that I could have guarded my heart and prevented it. Does that make sense to anyone else out there??
It is hard because I feel like I'm abandoning the OM and yesterday he sounded so sad and depressed but I HAVE to get over thinking that it is my responsibility to help him. I am a very caring and nurturing person so part of the reason we fell in love I think is because I did that for him and no one else did.
On the happy side...my H and I are just really enjoying each other again and I am looking for ways to make US happy again. That is a great feeling.
REading and studying about love, marriage, feelings etc. has taught me so much...along with experience.
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/25/02 01:24 PM
Ashirley,
Thanks for the insight of the unfairness to the OM. I have been thinking about what you wrote and it really isn't fair is it? I know now that leaving my H isn't what I have to make it clearer to OM that there is No future for us. It is hard because that means telling the OM that he should go ahead with his life and if that means divorcing his wife and finding love with someone else I have to deal with it. I have been afraid that if he got a divorce I wouldn't know what I would do. Would I leave my H then? At one time I thought I would but Now I don't think so and his divorcing his wife is a real possibility. I would have a hard time dealing with it right now so the No contact is really important so I can rebuild my marriage and be strong if that situation arises.
It is strange how now that I am beginning to lose the addiction I can see faults in the OM. I definitely have had blinders on when it came to any faults in him and the more I distance myself I begin to see if in a clearer light and that our life together wouldn't have been as PERFECT as I thought. We never had a disagreement, said a harsh word or had anything go wrong between us and that was so appealing, I'm starting to realize that why would we have those things, we weren't dealing with the realities of everyday life but in a fantasy world where there were no shared bills, children, in-laws, chores to be done or anything except romantic talks, walks, meals etc.
Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/27/02 02:41 PM
Hi Sparkle,
I’m glad that things are going better for you. These things are so hard and when fantasy and reality mix, it can be so confusing.

Does your H know a lot about your affair with the OM? How did/has he dealt with it? How did he treat you? How did he find out about it?

You can’t worry about you OM’s happiness. He has to figure out what to do on his own….you can only hope and pray that he is able to figure it out and find happiness, bc you care about him and in doing so, you want him to be happy, even if it can’t be with you.

One of the things I have found so hard is that no matter how hard I tried to “get real” about what it would really be like leaving my H and boys, going through property distribution, selling property; diving retirement funds; arranging family time around holidays, celebrating special occasions, dealing with and ex-wife, and step children, etc., I still found my heart tugging for the OM. It’s so disconcerting. I just don’t understand. So I have decided that I not only was in love with the OM, but I was also in love with my perfect fantasy and life in an idyllic setting with NO stress and confrontation. Like you, the OM and I got a long great and never shared harsh words or disagreement, we had a perfect fantasy relationship.

Some days are better than others, and I am making progress. Proof is in the fact that I haven’t contacted him. So that’s good.

Good luck and be strong!
AS

Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/28/02 01:16 PM
My husband found out about the A one year ago.Tomorrow is my birthday. For my birthday last year I spent the day with the OM and we decided we were going to be together and get divorced etc. and get married. The next day my H and I had an outing planned for my birthday. We were in a public place and I couldn't touch him or look at him and he was so confused and asked what was wrong and finally I blurted out " I want a divorce and I am in love with OM" I was firm in my position at the time. He didn't know what to do or say except that he was in shock. We returned home (thankfully the kids were gone). I wanted to leave that night. The next day he gave me a long letter he's written and I told him I was going to be with the OM. When the OM came to meet me he told me we'd better rethink the situation and he was disturbed because his priest had given a sermon on families and marriage that day. Anyway, my husband has stood by me and although he didn't know of the Harley's (I don't think) he read a couple other books and I'd say he plan A'd perfectly. I continued to work with the OM and see him all the time until Sept. when OM's wife got suspicious and forced me to leave the job. I continued a lot of contact with OM until Dec. and then my H found us together. I have made half-hearted efforts to enforce No contact since then but now I finally think I can and really, truly want to make it work. I just couldn't stand the roller coaster of emotions I was on any more.
Ashirley, did you lose weight during the A? I hear that often happens. I'm not heavy but looked really great during the A because I lost about 15 lbs. Now I'm gaining it back and I hate that. That was another aspect of the mythical perfection of the A.
This morning my husband was holding me and I could look him in the eyes and tell him I loved him! That felt so good. We have a fun day planned tomorrow for my birthday.
I am pretty sure the OM will send me something today for my birthday.
Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/28/02 03:27 PM
Hi Sparkle,
First of all, Happy Birthday! I'm glad your remembering how much you love your Husband.

Wow. Like you said, what a roller coaster it’s been. Hat’s off to your H. Like yours, because of good judgement and common sense, mine H planned A’d perfectly for the two years I was involved with the OM. He never quit loving me or pushed me into hating him and wanting to leave him bc he was being so mean to me etc….

The weight thing is an issue for me as well. (I’m so glad I’m not alone!!!) I too am not overweight, but I lost 15 pounds through the ordeal…and I loved the way I looked and felt about my body. I have gained some of the weight back, and it’s a constant battle, and I HATE it. Having an A is a great way to maintain or lose weight! Unfortunately, the consequences of that diet plan are too selfish, stupid, short-sighted, deadly and unproductive to make it a realistic plan. So, I just do the best I can. I exercise, try not to eat too much, and try not to focus on that aspect. What have you tried?

I hope you have a nice birthday with your H. I hope the OM doesn’t call you or reach out. If he really is a person of character, ethics, and strength, he won’t do that. You know that it’s for the best for him to quit contact. It’s really not nice or thoughtful of him to continue reaching out. In the very short run, it might make you feel good or special, but it’s not the best thing for YOU. I don’t want to sound harsh or mean, but his continuing to contact you, return your calls or emails is such a weak and selfish thing for him to do. You’ve already been through this with him, you have decided to make your marriage work; as hard as it is for him to do, if he cares about you and your happiness, he needs to let go and move on.

In case he doesn't reach out to you bc of your birthday, I want to remind you that it's for the best.

After having met and gotten to know my OM, I now know that I could be happy with more than one man. In fact, I feel certain that I could have been happy with the OM in the long run. But I also know that I will be happy with my H as well. Plus, my decision to be happy with my H isn’t just about me. It’s about me, my H, my children, my parents, my sisters, their husbands, their children, my husband’s parents, his siblings, his siblings spouses, his nieces and nephews, his friends, my friends, our friends, not to mention all of the same on my OM’s side. A divorce permanently and negatively impacts the lives of so many people. Unfortunately, divorce not something we do in a vacuum. We made a commitment to our husbands, our families and friends to make our marriage’s work and to bring our children up in happy, loving, intact families. For me, staying with my H and making my marriage work has nothing to do with religion, it has to do with character and commitment. We have to do everything we can to bring our children (even as adults) up in secure, loving, intact families.

I will admit, there can be exceptions though. Sometimes we do end up with people we are not compatible with, who are weak and selfish, or mean and unloving, or unethical and immoral …It would be different if that was your case. If you didn’t love your H, or if he was a jerk, made you feel miserable, treated you poorly, etc. No one should have to live with a total creep, no matter how many lives you’ll disrupt by divorcing. But it sounds like your H is a good person who loves and adores you and wants to make you happy. No, he’s not perfect, but neither are we. We will never, ever find a perfect situation…there will always be some issues or problems. But we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones, to make the very best of our situations…we have so much to work with.

Sorry for the rambling…(you know I’m talking to you as well as to myself!)
Take care Sparkle, I’m just trying to help.

AS
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/28/02 04:06 PM
I've had a morning of meetings at work and went just went to my mailbox. Of course there was a card from OM. And it was a wonderful verse and since he is a writer by profession, he had written something caring. It sounds cruel, but I will read it again and then throw it in the trash.
The weight issue is really a problem for me and it is SO immature and stupid. I agree with you that the reason for the weight loss wasn't anything good but I too felt so great about how I look. I guess it is good I don't have that feeling that made me lose my appetite like last summer but when I put on some pants that were too big last summer and they fit fine now (even a little tight) I was really depressed this morning. I think I'm using cooking and eating as somewhat of a crutch now or something to do to forget the OM. Anyway, I work out a lot and can't believe what a stress reliever that has been. My husband has been joining me and that is fun. But it is curious to me that you have struggled with the same issue.
And I too have come to the conclusion that there isn't just one person that I could be happy with but maybe several in the world! That paragraph you wrote about the family relationships that would be destroyed was one of the main reasons I stayed with my H. I couldn't imagine telling my parents, his parents all the nieces and nephews (they love my H) etc. Not to mention the devastation to our children. All of the things I KNOW still don't make the love for OM less. I am still seeing the only thing that works in No contact and spending time with and working to "fall in love" with my H again. Are you seeing love as a choice now instead of falling? I will certainly be "on guard" for the rest of my life. I don't ever want to go through this gut wrenching experience again. I just want to get over the OM and be happy where I am.
Ashirley- are you surprised by the similarities in our situations/feeling? I am. But maybe we are just falling into some common pattern? What do you think?
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/28/02 04:13 PM
Ashirley,
I tore up the card from OM, it is in the trash. I haven't reached for the candy in my drawer. I think I might be o.k.! I hate this weight issue also and the feeling of always looking good. People say I am good looking and I must admit I like attention from men so I think I might be gaining weight to put up a barrier. Another of my "theories." I heard a joke and I can't remember it but it was something about women losing weight and that those were the ones having A's. I thought it was funny at the time, but now I believe it is true. It is not from must my experience but from watching other women also. Men probably do the same thing.
Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/29/02 05:38 AM
Sparkle,
I know exactly how you feel about the weight and how (we) had lost because of loss of appetite, etc. I too hate it and wish I had a better appetite surpressant than unrequited (sp) love!

I also feel exactly like you do regarding all of those reasons why we won't leave our H's, all of the reasons to make it work, etc., don't change our feelings for the OM at all. To be totally honest, I still feel as strongly about the OM as I did on day one. The main thing that's changed is my will power and being able to overcome the desire to reach out...I spent so much time feeling horrible like I didn't know how I could go on, etc., but I have and I do and each day gets better and each day I feel luckier and luckier that my H has hung in there with me. Love is a very strange thing.

I feel like we are both going to be fine. We'll be happy with our H's; but we will always have a secret fantasy world in our minds where we run into our OM's arms and everything is perfect. A fantasy is okay (not ideal) but okay. The problem is when we mix reality and fantasy together...

I'm going away until Monday night and probably won't be able to get on the computer...so hang in there! I'm pulling for you (and me!)

I like you Sparkle, you're a wonderful person and you've really helped me more than you will ever know.

Take care,
AS
Posted By: ashirley Re: help me - 06/29/02 05:40 AM
P.S. I'm really impressed with you tearing up the card. Very good progress...now just try not to respond to him!

Show him how strong, determined, and wonderful you are!
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/29/02 05:47 AM
Yes, love is strange. I am really wanting to call the OM today and reminisce. That is another reason I thought it was finally time to end it with OM, it seemed that all we were doing was commisserating about what we were giving up in life and talking about what might have been. What kind of a relationship is that any way? We could't do anything fun together anymore since we had no legitimate reason to see one another (like when we worked together).
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 06/28/02 06:09 PM
Ashirley,
OM just called for my birthday. His situation is so different from mine. His wife is angry, yells, drinks too much, has tried to kill herself twice etc. Definitely no a plan A person and makes me appreciate what my H has done. Anyway, he called and we talked and I was pretty cold to him but asked about his situation with his W. I am having a hard time not trying to be his friend and listen to his problems but I know I can't. I don't think he'll call again but I knew today would be hard since it was a year ago when we thought we had decided to be together etc. I think I handled it o.k. and I am starting to think I'd rather be with my H than him and that is so important to me.
Posted By: neverthought Re: help me - 07/27/02 02:11 AM
Wow - Sparkles and Ashirley - you could both be me! (Except that I'm not a far along as you are - I haven't told my husband.) But I am working on no contact and just found your thread. It was extremely helpful and leaves me wondering what happened after June 28! I've posted a lot on the General Questions section, but will check back here to see how things are going with you two. Your honesty makes me feel so much better and your experiences and successes give me hope!
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 07/29/02 03:36 PM
It is a challenge every day to get through the day not contacting the OM. It is still the most difficult thing I have faced. I met OM last Friday after 6 weeks apart. It was wonderful as always but afterwards I felt guilty and I really saw that that the joy of the few hours together wasn't worth the way I felt about myself afterwards. The things I've learned most through MB is that this is an addiction. I do love my H but I am addicted to the feelings of the A. Do you work with the OM? It is amazing to me that it seems that most A's start at work where you spend so much time together and see each other at your best. I haven't heard from AShirley for so long and am wondering how she is doing. I have a long road ahead -- my husband knows about the A but he thinks contact ended months ago and I don't have the heart to tell him otherwise. The good thing is I can feel the addiction lessening but still I must say it hasn't gone away and as I said, last week I fell back into my old pattern but I'm going to get through today. My weekends are find but workdays are so tough as I am out here on my own in an environment where I have constant reminders of OM.
Posted By: neverthought Re: help me - 07/30/02 05:53 AM
Yes, I work with OM, but I'm a teacher and haven't seen him since school let out. (Except once last week and even though I thought I was doing well in withdrawal, interacting with him and getting one little kiss set me back more than I ever could have imagined!) I'm excited for school to start again, and dreading it all at the same time. It is easier now to look back on my actions of this past year and think, "That is NOT ME! How could I have let this happen?" I build my resolve to discontinue this whole crazy A, but am worried what will happen when I have to see him everyday. Arghh! I hate this!
Posted By: Sparkle22 Re: help me - 07/29/02 06:01 PM
neverthought- I have been a teacher too and can imagine your fear at school starting again. Are you a Christian? I am, and my faith has helped me a lot, and it also adds to the guilt I feel because I Know the A is wrong, but my heart is still attached to the OM. It really does help to focus on doing fun things with your H and your children. I am actually looking forward to being with my H again, something I thought would never be possible a year ago. Can you tell me more about your situation. I suppose you've read much of mine on this thread but if I can answer any questions let me know. This site has been great for answers, help and support but as you may have noticed most of the discussion forum is for the BS's and not the WW. I am glad you found this thread because I as still looking forl help as my first post indicated. Support is a great help in overcoming the A.
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