Ending a Relationship: NC or eMail?

Avatar for ananemus
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2013
Ending a Relationship: NC or eMail?
37
Thu, 12-05-2013 - 4:27pm

QUESTION

What is the best way to end a relationship, that is no longer an affair?

BACKGROUND

I, the unhappily married male, met the happily married woman online in an Internet dating site in July 2011. She said the reason she had created the profile was to find mate(s) for her friends. But, all other demographic details were hers and not her friends’.  She sent fake photos of hers initially, fake location of where she lived, fake skype login name. We got to chat, I would say she pursued me more than I pursued her intially.  With time, she told me that she is an expat, living in Europe and with very little digging, that was true. She is a busy professional and travels all over the world on business trips, and spends about 60 days in a year in hotels. Her hubby owns a business and has to travel too. During the summer months she came to visit her family in USA, and we got real close to each other, though we never met. She did finally plan a business visit to US in winter of 2011 when we met and had a wonderful time together for three days.

She went back to Europe, and it was glorious time emailing and texting back and forth.  We stopped chatting since she was too busy. I used to send her gifts and she used to send me postcards from her travels. Within a couple of months, her communication started dwindling. The dwindling communication was attributed to her being VERY busy. I kept quiet, not sure about what was happening at her end, and, I started to get more and more anxious. As far as I was concerned, I was committed to the relationship. Once she briefly mentioned that guilt waxes and wanes.  Sometime in July 2012 (when she is hardly busy at work), her family was away on a holiday, and even though she was home alone, she really did not want to chat or communicate much. Within a few weeks of that, I could not take it and told her that we need a curfew of about a year and she was totally okay with it.

Five months later, I was missing her terribly and broke the curfew. I sent her a gift. She replied back after a month, stating that the reason she was communicating less was that she was feeling very, very guilty and becoming increasingly paranoid about her husband finding out. She also said that she was enjoying the hiatus since communicating with me was adding to her stress. According to her, she would love to communicate with me, if it was less intense, with no expectations of daily communications, and no gifts and that intense relationships are not good for marriages.  It was obvious that she was coming back very reluctantly.

We continued our communication, albeit slowly. She would email me about twice every week, and I would reply back promptly at first. I stopped the texting after we came back from the curfew. Her lack of communication was once again depressing to me. With time, the frequency started decreasing. She did not get in touch with me on days she landed in hotels, rather after 3 days, very often, just before checking out. I did send her a BDay gift, which she did not acknowledge immediately (but, that could be that I was on a vacation for three weeks and was not checking that email).  After coming back from the curfew, when we are on vacations, we don’t correspond with each other.

Since I was getting more and more anxious, I wanted to make this totally symmetrical. If she replied back in 10 days, I would reply back in 10 days, etc. This went on for about three months. Nearing my BDay, she had not replied to my email for 25 days. 

PRESENT

On my BDay, she did not send me a card. I kept on logging and logging, but nothing came. After about a week, I get a gift from her at work. A simple “Happy BDay!” I thanked her and asked her why no simple message wishing me for my BDay and why no emails for such a long time.  Her reply (with redactions are given below):

“Hi xxx,

Hmm, I thought I had sent you an email answering your last email and wishing you a happy Bday but I don't see it.  Sorry about that. All my computers are having issues - … including, husbands, and the girls’ from time to time so of course can't be sending you emails from those.  So I thought I did send a happy bday message from my work account (which I quickly deleted) so not sure what happened!

Very sorry and hope you had a nice bday!  The colleague is sharing this computer and the office laptop with me and I'm paranoid I will forget to log off properly with all that's going on.

 …”

The thing about this is that she has never emailed me a single thing from her work account, ever. Usually, BDays are cards and not a message. This email sort of opened my eyes cause she is surely telling lies. I don’t know why she did not reply to my email, don’t know why she did not send me a BDay wish. All I know is that she lied. This was a huge blow to me and I started examining every other statement of hers, and I see plenty of lies (and many of them may not be lies), including being very busy. Once the trust has gone, nothing is left of an online relationship.

QUESTIONS

To me, that is the end as far as the relationship (I am not using the word affair since it is not really an affair anymore) is concerned for me – I don’t want to be in a relationship where I feel that I am being lied to. I clearly am still emotionally entangled with her. If she cared for me deeply. this would never have happened. I have never ever lied to her and have always treated her with deep caring and warm thoughts. To me, she was always precious and special, to be spoiled.

So, the questions are:

1)    Does feeling guilty result in total breakdown of communication, including not wanting to write to me when she is alone in a hotel by herself at nights?

2)    Should I end it with No Contact, or should I send her an email ending it after New Years (with no New Years greeting)? I have no doubt that I want to end it and it is the end as far as I am concerned. I have not checked my email in half-a-month and have no desire to do so.  I am clearly leaning towards the NC end. 

 3)    She will be coming to US in Dec. I totally wanted to send her a gift that she would find very useful. Should I do that or not? All said and done, there were many beautiful moments and I don’t want to dwelve only on the negatives. She made my life wonderful, even with all the pain that I had to endure. This would be the last opportunity to appreciate what she has done for me and I thnk I would feel guilty if I was to end with NC, so in a way, this compensates for a potential guilt feeling.

My marriage has improved significantly, thanks, in a small part to her. She made me see the good side of my wife and made me wanting to have more sex with wife. It hurts, but, the hurt is no longer unbearable.

The past is done, the future has yet to come. Live in the present moment honestly with few chances of regret.

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Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Thu, 12-05-2013 - 5:34pm

Hi

My initial thought, and I could be wrong, is that she was just out for a little fun...no more than a little flirty ego boosting, and you became wayyy more invested and so she pulled back.  And the woman has lying tendencies...she showed you that right out of the starting gate...and so who really knows why she never contacted you when she had the chance.

I don't know why you are considering going NC 'after the New Year'. I think it is always common courtesy to not just drop off the face of the earth and make for a formal, short, simply 'This is not good, or right, for me...good luck to you." ending.  No long, drawn-out explanation, no words of caring, no 'if-only words'.  Then block all avenues of communication and move on.  And then do some introspection as to why you are unhappy, what is missing, or the void you were looking to fill that had you on-line looking for whatever you were looking for. Not being judgemental...just sayin'.  If you don't get to the the bottom of your why's you'll could very well find yourself in a worse situation, more deeply invested, really cross the line (you were lucky this time in that SHE did not want to take things further) and potentially set yourself to lose everything.

I would not send her a thing...except your goodbye message.

Good luck.

Clarity

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Thu, 12-05-2013 - 5:50pm

 Hi

     Your friend may also be feeling what you are that it was a very good interlude and a very good time to end it.  You have become emotionally over involved.  Lock this wonderful experience away and NEVER EVER relay it to anyone.  At least for the next 100 years. 

     Would your wife understand probably not.    Her Husband  ???.  But in your life you need to understand that most likely it would be destructive if it ever came out.   Do note say good bye cease all comminications from your end also be sure to delete histories emails etc.  Humans are a curious species. 

dragowoman

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 12-05-2013 - 9:45pm

I think that feeling guilty could make her want to communicate with you less.  I note that you said that she was "happily married" however people who are happily married generally do not put info on dating sites and start communicating with other people and go so far as to meet them.  I don't know why she initially did it--as you said the info was false so maybe she was just out for some fun, didn't think it would lead anywhere and then you got really involved.  She could have gotten tired of it and then it wasn't fun for her any more.  And she said that communicating with you was stressful--whether it was the fear of being found out, feeling that you cared about her too much or whatever.  So I think she went back into communicating half heartedly.  I can't say that I approve of affairs, but I'd say that the only reason to have one is if it adds fun & excitement into your life (and I'm including emotional affairs here too)--when it starts being stressful, playing games, etc. then why bother to have one?  And I think your decision to stop this whole thing is the right one.

I do not think you should send her a gift.  I don't see the point.  I do think that since this has been going on for a while, instead of just disappearing, it would be better to send an email as the other person said, that it's probably better for both of you that you stop communicating and wishing her well.  Instead of waiting, why not just do it now?  It's enough time before Christmas not to ruin the holiday (if it would even do that, which I doubt) and if she's coming to the US, then maybe she would expect to hear more from you.

Avatar for ananemus
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2013
Thu, 12-05-2013 - 11:21pm

Thanks to the three of you for taking the time.

We had a wonderful full blown emotional affair for 8 full months - not a day went by without each one contacting the other. There was an incident that she told me about: her hubby was traveling abroad and I too happened to be in that country after he returned back. She asked me to check a phone number that her hubby had sent on skype after he had ended with xxx. She thought that it was a phone of a hooker and that he does things during his travel. I called up the phone and no one picked it up. I felt miserable for her, and she told me "But, we have feelings for each other" and that she was not totally upset about her hubby's behavior. Feelings were there for her up to a certain point of time. It is likely that she rationalized it later, once the initial spark had gone away, into feelings of guilt. I simply don't know. 

Before ending the first time, she told me "You do so much and I do nothing," but there was no apology for her not doing much.

After the curfew, she did warm up when I sent her a valentine's card, mother's day card, birthday card. But, I was so exhausted being the one doing everything that I resorted to symmetry and stopped sending photos, links, cards, etc. 

All in all, I agree that she wanted fun, developed feelings for me, and enjoyed the attention from me. I too wanted fun, wanted feelings, and enjoyed her attention, which I was not getting as much as I was giving. The asymmetry was the death knell.

The consensus seems to be to end it with an email with no gifts. I really need to mull over this. I still have about another 2-3 weeks without raising too many flags. She will be relieved for sure and so will I, with the end. The sadness I have is that I invested so much energy with someone who was lying to me outright. I simply won't ever know what the truth was, though, it appears that she got scared of my emotions. Being busy, not having privacy, etc. are totally baloney reasons. I am not sure if guilt is baloney too.

The past is done, the future has yet to come. Live in the present moment honestly with few chances of regret.

Avatar for ananemus
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2013
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 10:40am

Other bits of important information:

After coming back from the curfew, there were moments when she was warm and soft towards me. One particular instance was when my wife and I were planning a holiday in Italy. She (my friend) replied back saying that she would love to have us stay over at her place in Paris, as long as we can figure out a reason how we met. In the past she told her hubby that we had met in the city where she was going for her grad school. So, clearly, there were days when she is warm and then she resorts to cooling off.

One more weird instance was when her brother's family from USA was visiting her in Paris. Just before she went to the airport to pick them up, she sent a really warm cozy email. She did not write to me for about seven days since she was busy with them. Then, she flew off to Stockholm for work. I was totally expecting her to write to me when she arrived there at the hotel, but, she wrote to me only when she got back to Paris - saying that she was too busy in Stockholm. That simply did not fly with me. I don't know what happens: warm one moment, cold the other moment.

Therefore the questions about guilt. Guilt clearly waxes and wanes. Could it have been guilt that was making her flip on and off?

Comments appreciated based on these new bits of information.

The past is done, the future has yet to come. Live in the present moment honestly with few chances of regret.

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 7:41pm

Like you, <I simply won't ever know what the truth was...> neither can we.  What difference does it make?  How would that changes things?

I think often times we try to make sense of it all...try to find something...anything...to justify why we would waste so much time on a relationship that had red flags flappin' in the breeze and hitting us upside the head, was destined to go nowhere, why would we engage in something that could have potentially ruined our real lives and the lives of our loved ones...something...anything...so we don't feel so foolish.  Dang, there had to be something there.

I think your questions and focus should be more towards 'what the heck was I thinking...and why"

And, btw, as long as you continue in this relationship, you are still in your affair. Not sure why you think otherwise unless it is truly ended.

Clarity

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 12-07-2013 - 1:17pm

I'm just reminded of the movie UP in the Air with George Clooney--if you haven't seen it you should.  You have to realize that this was mostly a fantasy relationship that was a distraction from your real life.  I have online "friends" that I have never met in real life and since some of them are across the US maybe I'll never meet them.  There's one woman where we email practically every day & tell each other important things about feelings, etc. so in a way we are friends which would seem wierd to outsiders--this isn't a romance, it's a friendship.  But if I talked to my online friend all the time yet didn't have real life friends to do things with, that would be a big lack in my real life--it would be kind of pathetic.  YOu said you are unhappily married so this was a nice distraction from your real life.  My suggestion is not to spend a lot of time wondering what went wrong with this woman.  And of course she is a liar--she's married and doing something behind her DH's back that he doesn't know about--if she lies to her DH, who is supposed to be the most important person in her life, why wouldn't she lie to you when you are practically a stranger?  Does that really surprise you?  So if you're unhappily married, it seems to me that you have 3 choices--you can get a divorce, you can work on your marriage to see if there is anything that the 2 of you can do to regain happiness, or you can stay in the status quo and continue to be unhappy--I think the 3rd choice is probably the worst.

Avatar for ananemus
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2013
Sat, 12-07-2013 - 1:51pm

Thanks, Clarity and Musiclover for your second response.

I will be sending the end email in 10 days. Until then, it is NC. I can't tell you all how relieved I feel with this decision. I have still not decided to send a real short one like

"Hi xxx

This relationship is not working out for me.

Wish you the best.

xyx"

Or, something a sentence longer, thanking her for the great time we had together. But, this is not working out for me and wish her the best. Any suggestions?

As far as my marriage is concerned, it has improved quite a lot. I have been putting lots of energy on that since the past 5 months and it is paying dividends. 

As far as she telling lies to me because she cheats on her hubby, I don't quite buy that. It is possible to be honest with an affair partner, yet cheat. I have done that and I know I would not have it another way. However, due to the affair, I had to tell two lies to my wife, which I had never done in over 23 years of our marriage. The biggest lie of all time was my cheating, but, thankfully, my wife does not know about it. I have to be grateful for that and as xxx pointed out, bury that and move on. I just hope that it does not resurface again due to some other issue, since it will cause pain to her (though I know, not too much, since our marriage was dead for all practical purposes when I went through the intense part of the affair 2.5 years ago).

Ending my fantasy life in a few days time.

I will see "UP In the Air" 

The past is done, the future has yet to come. Live in the present moment honestly with few chances of regret.

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Sat, 12-07-2013 - 6:38pm

Yeh, that's the problem with affairs.  Even once they have ended, if one didn't experience a discovery day or spill their beans, waiting for the other shoe to drop, is just an awful way to live.  I've seen discovery days come weeks, months, even years later.

A marriage can, of course, survive a discovery day; but from what I've heard from betrayed spouses is that they considered rebuilding only because the affair had been ended vs. being discovered while still in the affair.  

Clarity

P.S. keep it short :)

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Sat, 12-07-2013 - 8:00pm

  Do Not EMAIL!!!   No contact at all.   it is clear to me you are veru new at this.  Never ever communicate at this juncture.  You need to let go.

   There are so many bad things that could happen that any contact is a no go.

dragowoman

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