I guess I may need help again.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-19-2011
I guess I may need help again.
26
Tue, 01-22-2013 - 12:12pm

Hi all

I have not posted in quite a while other than a few drop-ins. It has been so hard to find the time but I am making time now because I realize I may relapse soon. And I miss everyone. And want to know how everyone is doing, too.

I do think this is an "After" post, not an "Ending" post so I am posting it here...because I am not back in anything, but struggling!

I have not made attempted contact since August 15, 2012. Lately, I have become dangerously close to making contact. It is like my mind suddenly decides it would make total sense and be okay to try and reach him. I find myself picturing myself drafting the email I would write, or the phone message I would leave at his work.  Yesterday I even had a very clear and convincing mental picture of me driving to his work before he arrives, waiting in the parking lot and then approaching him when he gets out of his car! For a second or two I thought I could and should do that. I can NOT do that. That is totally crazy! I don’t want to be a crazy person. He already thought I was a nut job during the A.

I have not had any PA with anyone since Sept 2011 (I had two rebounds when we ended May 2011). In Sept 2011 is when I became pregnant with my son (by my H! I actually didn’t sleep with any APs technically). Baby was born May 2012. Throughout that time since Sept 2011 I had maintained just a friendship with a MM, strictly friendship but considered EA by many on the boards. I cut him out April 2012 but we are emailing again. And I also have responded to texts from an old flame that contacts me occasionally – but , I haven’t physically seen him since May 2011.

That was a time in my life, spring/summer 2011, that I was out of control, had no regard for myself or others, was totally A-addicted, no sense of reason or consequence or respect for marriage, my own or others’. AP #1 was not married but had a GF as did rebound #1. Rebound #2 was married. The ‘old flame’ was engaged when we reconnected and has since gotten married (unless that plan changed since we last discussed). The married friend has since become divorced and at times I feel jealous.

Anyway all of that crazy with all those men (ugh) is pretty much behind me but then it all comes back, in my mind, to AP#1. I still keep him on my mind, daydream of running into him, hearing from him etc.  I daydream of contacting him like I said above. I feel like I am so desperate for an escape from what is going on in my reality and he is/was the ultimate. I shudder and feel icky when I imagine starting any other kind of A with anyone… except for him, something in my head just always seems to ‘allow’ him – like it is always okay with him. Why can’t I get past i for GOOD?

I am seeking a new therapist as we speak. I have bounced from one to the other, neither and H and I as a couple, nor myself individually, can seem to be helped long-term. Thanks for listening… I know I rambled. Just trying to talk myself down from a ledge here…

Miss

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Community Leader
Registered: 05-23-2003
Tue, 01-22-2013 - 12:42pm

Miss my love -

STEP BACK FROM THE LEDGE RIGHT NOW!

So things are not good at home, and you are looking for an escape.  But you know far too much now, and you know that this is not the escape you are looking for.

Call a counselor.  Take all of this step by step, sweet pea.  You're looking at a list - now pick up the phone and just start making some calls, and see how soon someone can see you, and go from there.

Post, journal, email, PM someone from the boards - do whatever you need to do to get through this crisis - EXCEPT reach out to xAPs.  They can't help - and you'll only hurt yourself.  And that's the very last thing you need right now.

You can do this, Miss.  It's just a moment - a very bad one, to be sure - but it WILL pass.  You don't need to take (bad) actions.  I know the feelings are messy, and painful, and uncomfortable - but they will pass, I promise.

Breathe, sweetie.  You can get through this.  We're all here to help.

Love,

Kim

    

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-19-2011
Tue, 01-22-2013 - 1:12pm
I made an appt with yet another new counselor. It is next Friday. I hate starting over. I don't seem to get helped but I have to keep trying. I am not going to do anything bad. I don't ever want to have that feeling again that always comes after a contact attempt. In these brief daydreams, he reaches out to me first, or responds. I know in real life that will not happen and I am able to talk myself out of trying. I have been scarily close though and it is worrying me. I am okay though!!
Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Tue, 01-22-2013 - 8:19pm

So is the thrill of cheating you're addicted to or the actual person?

Sounds to me like you're never happy with being in a stable relationship, i.e. with your husband, and not even a new baby can keep you from straying.

My advice? Grow up. You'll be 40, 50, and so on before you know it. Don't trash the wonderful life and love that's looking you in the face for the thrill of cheating. You'll be older and more disappointed quicker than you think.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-21-2007
Tue, 01-22-2013 - 11:51pm

What is it you're looking for from these affair partners?  If you're looking to get love, validation, compliments, feel goods, etc., you'd be better off looking deep within yourself to get them.  As you already see, no matter how many men and how many lives gets destroyed, you won't fill that void within yourself from outside influence.  Jumping from one affair to another and living in fantasy world is not healthy and I believe that once we decide to bring children into this world, we lose the right to be idiots.  Children needs stable foundation and parents that are present in their lives. Save your H from the pain of having an unfaithful W.  If you're not happy and ready to live an honest life with your family, be truthful about it and maybe a D is in order.

Therapy won't get you nowhere unless you're being brutally honest.  So, that may be a waste of time and money unless you're ready to bare your soul and decide to live your life with dignity and in an honorable way.

I say, enough to the lying and cheating.  That activity only gets you lower down the gutter.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2007
Wed, 01-23-2013 - 9:29am
Goddess_glo, your post is dead on. As always you are so right!!! misselaneous, you might want to go totally NC with all of your XAPs and learn how to develop strict boundaries with the opposite sex and find a way to love and value yourself not having to seek it from men. There isn't anything special about the "magnetic" bond that draws you and your XAP together. It's about not having respect for your M or yourself and crossing those lines. You CAN train your mind to think about positive things that add value to your life and not be so obsessed with another person. Wanting to wait in the parking lot is stalking behavior and it screams that you need help on a much deeper level than your XAP can ever provide you. As goddess wrote therapy won't do you any good unless you are ready to be truthful with you, your DH and your therapist to take off the mask and show just how terrible you have been acting in secret. Find out what makes you so desperate for so many men's attention and find a way to love yourself enough that you don't compromise your values and your self worth for crumbs from a man who is M to someone else. The very fact that you have to call him at work and find a way to contact him because you are not important enough in his life to have an open relationship with you should drive you to search for something and someone better in life. It's not that you DH isn't making you happy. You are not happy with yourself and only you can change that.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-19-2011
Wed, 01-23-2013 - 3:40pm

I have been to quite a bit of counseling over the years. Things were not good with the H before this A began in Jan 2011. I was in counseling with and without H before, during and after the A(s). I have always been 100% honest with my therapists. I have changed a few times for a few reasons, but whomever I was working with knew what was going on at that particular time. H does not know about the rebound As but it was never necessary for him to know. He knows of the first one. I worked this issue of disclosure out with the therapist I was seeing most recently. She didn’t think there was any benefit to him knowing more than he did.

Wisdom says “Don't trash the wonderful life and love that's looking you in the face for the thrill of cheating.” Unfortunately, it is not a wonderful life and hasn’t been for years. I am miserable with my H. He is a good person and loves me and the kids. And I have so much love for him too. In love? I don’t know. We have struggled with certain issues for years now. I am unhappy. I have asked him time and again to please sit down and talk to me and he basically stares off into space and has nothing to say. We have been to several counseling sessions together – all my arranging. I have read a few books that I tried to get him to read and he will not. Certain things about our relationship cause me to feel like I am a single parent, living with a roommate. I could go into a lot more detail on the topic of our problems. I am lonely and missing some very basic elements of a partnership. Also there is no thrill in cheating for me and the thought of doing it again really makes me feel sick. And I have a ton of regret for the As that followed the initial A. They were a terrible ‘coping’ mechanism after I crashed hard when that A ended. It was a very dark time in my life and I am way out of it. But I do still endure lingering thoughts and daydreams about this one person, for some reason…which is what I mentioned in this post. The thoughts nag at me and sometimes scare me because I do NOT want to go down that path again. It is over – it is long over and permanently over. Posting and hearing from everyone has certainly helped ‘talk me down from the ledge’ and I thank you all.

I have considered what it would be like to divorce and I am basically handling the kids alone now anyway, and alone all the time at home, so how different would it be… I could do it. I don’t think he would want to, but he is hardly acting like a H right now. I have an appt to see someone new, next week, to dive back into all of these issues I am struggling with. I want the relationship to work for the sake of our kids. Our younger child has special needs and that would certainly be harder to deal with if we separated. But, we would do what we had to do I suppose.

Myra said “It's not that you DH isn't making you happy. You are not happy with yourself and only you can change that.” I agree that many problems lie within myself and I am trying over and over to make changes, seek help etc but there truly are legitimate issues with H that are not making me happy. Without going into detail there are ongoing issues, some of which come down to common courtesy for a spouse that he just isn’t giving me.

I have an appt to see a new counselor next Friday, and I am arranging a date night with H this weekend. It is all I seem to be able to do to try and break through this barrier we have going. The last time we went on a date, he was mopy, barely talked to me or even acted happy to be there. The lack of enthusiasm is rubbing off on me and I find that it causes me to completely lose interest in him as a date. A lot of distance has been created between us and it has grown and grown over the years. Can we fix things? Maybe. Am I still vulnerable to ‘bad’ things? Yes. Am I trying? Yes, by being here, and also by all the things I mentioned above, I am making the best effort I can. My life right now revolves around my kids, I wouldn’t even have time to be with someone else. But when the thoughts creep back and haunt me, I get worried, and therefore I post. And it has helped!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2008
Wed, 01-23-2013 - 4:22pm

Hi Miss,

It has been a while. You have come a long way. Smile

I wonder if the fact that xAP was your T is adding an extra layer of healing for you. I remember some of the T’s you went to wanted to report him (understandably so). I imagine that could have made you withdraw and feel you couldn’t be completely honest because of fear of hurting someone individually and professionally. The one T who was most understanding about it, seemed to make some inappropriate comments swooning over his appearance. I would imagine all of this would send mix signals and perhaps interfere on some levels with your ability to trust your T.

I also wonder if it could be adding an extra layer of healing to the fantasy part. The A/As for many of us was/were an escape. A place we could go to and be whatever it was that we wanted to be. Add to that your xAP was where you would go for professional emotional support. A place where it was supposed to be safe for you to be emotionally off balance. He saw you were out of sorts and still was able to care for you in that state (although it was unprofessionally how he choose to show his care). I'm not saying he is a bad person. He did however, cross a line that should not have been crossed.  The toll this all has had on you is proof as to why it was so dangerous for him to cross that line.Your acting crazy (for lack of a better word) created a response from him. It is understandble you would try the same action to get the same response. However, I believe you understand it won't give you the same response now. I think it may be that realization that helps to stop you. It's just you have to go back in time to that place to get that feeling and that was that is the action that got you the reaction so you will probably always default back to it when in fantasy mode about him. Hope that is making sense and more important I hope I'm on point here.

I have seen you take the brunt of the responsibility for all of this too.  I’m wondering if in your search for your next T if when you meet,  you could tell them about this without revealing who the T you had the EA with was. Maybe that way you can openly talk about this and the way it is all affecting you without the fear of getting him in legal trouble.  It seems to me if you can remove that fear, then you might have a chance of working through all of this. Not saying this is the only thing to work through but it’s been the elephant in the room IMHO.

Also there is nothing wrong with fantasizing as long as you understand it is just that and it goes no further. Many great writers have great imaginations. It can be a gift. If you possess it, then find a healthy outlet for it.

Also it may help at the time you go into fantasy mode to stop at some point and write down if you were trying to escape from something in your day to day life. The point is not to make you stop fantasising just to realize if it is a way to avoid dealing with something.

Hope some of that helped.

Hugs

E1

 

Whether you think you can or you think you can't you are probably right. A parrot can repeat what it has learned but the mark of true intelligence is applying what is learned.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-19-2011
Wed, 01-23-2013 - 5:22pm
You remember my story well, E1! The T that I went to during the A, when I was trying to get out of it, never knew who he actually was, unless she figured it out on her own. But I didn’t tell her his name, and I was honest each week I went in to see her about what was happening. I don’t really think I held back and I made it clear to her that I did not feel like a victim and did not want to report him. She seemed to feel strongly that I was a victim and could pursue action, if I felt like it. I stopped seeing her, it just wasn’t working. Once the A ended, I began seeing this next T, the one who eventually figured out who he was, several sessions into our therapy and yes she did indeed make a few comments about my xAP that were probably not appropriate. I wouldn’t call it swooning, but she did make a few remarks about what a ‘delight’ he was. Once she knew who he was I guess I felt like she couldn’t be objective anymore. Either that or she understood better about the A. She initially also seemd to think I was victimized and no longer seemed to feel that way, like she softened to it a bit, once she knew it was him. But by then, the A was over and we were trying to get past that and focus on my real life relationship issues anyway and not talking about him too much. Overall it has been an awkward situation. Like you said therapy should be that safe place and ever since this thing with xAP happened, I have never quite felt the same walking into a therapist or psychiatrist’s office although I so desperately need those services. I think it will forever be connected to what happened, and remind me of him. It really is a shame. Yes he most certainly crossed boundaries. I was the pursuer but hey I didn’t hold a gun to his head. And there was ‘justification’ was that I was no longer his patient by the time A began and I suppose it was not ‘against the rules’ anymore (nevermind the fact that I was married, and the whole thing was just so ethically wrong even if I pursued). I am seeing a brand new T next week. I am not sure if the A will even come up. I am going in with the intent to discuss my current marriage issues… although, the A having happened might be an essential detail to reveal. Do you think? I assume that would have to come up…but maybe it will not be essential to say that the xAP was a former provider in the field. Just the fact that I was involved with someone at one time.
Community Leader
Registered: 05-23-2003
Wed, 01-23-2013 - 6:24pm

So Miss - you are doing all of the right things here.  Reaching out for support, talking it out, giving voice to your thoughts - all of those things are really good, healthy things to do.  :) 

I was thinking about you on my way home tonight.  And I so wish that I had some magic advice or solution to give to you, some magic words that would make everything different for you, better for you.  I know that you've struggled for a long time, and I know that the affair was part of that, but at some point, we have to look beyond that.  And it sounds like...that time has come for you, or is coming soon at least.

See, I believe that after an affair, it can be really easy to make that be the "thing", to make it be the default, the scapegoat, the thing to point to in every situation as being "the wrong" when you're trying to set things right again.  And yes - obviously - it is a thing.  But...I just don't really believe that it is always THE thing, in every situation, for every person, for every relationship.  I mean, don't get me wrong - I am not saying that there is justification or anything, that it is ever a good thing, or that well of course, 1 + 2 always equals affair, so duh.  :)

It's just...while an affair will never HELP a marriage, I'm not sure that it's truly reasonable to make it be everything that is wrong in a marriage, either.  Especially if it's in the past.  At some point...it has to become history, and have no real impact on your present.

I found myself thinking of you, Miss, and your situation.  And I found myself thinking of square pegs, and round holes.  Everyone knows that a square peg will never fit in a round hole - that's obvious to everybody, right?  No matter how good your intentions are, no matter how badly you want it to be so - it won't fit, it will never fit.

But then, I found myself thinking about the opposite problem.  A round peg, and a square hole.  Because a round peg WILL fit into a square hole, right?  It's just...it won't be a perfect fit.  There will be gaps, and spaces left.  It fits...but not snugly enough, and there is wiggle room there.

So, if you have a square peg to fit into a round hole...what are the options?  Really all you can do is change the shape of the peg, right?  Shave off the edges, the corners, so that it will fit.  And if you have a round peg for a square hole, then you have to put on a sweater, to keep warm from the drafts coming through the gaps, I guess.

Compromise, conditions, changes - every relationship has them, I figure.  And sometimes when you add them all up, the addition comes out in your favor, and sometimes, it doesn't.  And only you can know what your math looks like, and whether or not the bottom line is something that you can live with or not.

So, maybe that could be one of the things to talk about with your therapist.  Not so much whether you can change the numbers that you have - but whether or not you can be okay with those numbers.  If this is who your husband is - if this is who he wants to be, who he is happy being - can you live with that, and be okay with it?  Can you be happy?

There are so many stages of acceptance in this "after" process.  You've hit some of them already, and worked through them and come out the other side.  This is another stage.  And hopefully, you'll have a great therapist, who can help you get through this one, just like you have the others.

Hugs, sweetie.

Kim

(With a more rambly post than ever and possibly with vaguely inappropriate overtones with all of the peg/hole talk in there, SHEESH.  SORRY.)

    

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-19-2011
Wed, 01-23-2013 - 11:19pm
I am mobile so I can't type as much as I'd like. But - I had to respond and thank you. I love the peg analogy. Yes, I have to decide if I can live with what I've got, adjust to it, rather than change it. Because year after year, things don't really change.. The affair is behind me and the bigger picture is this marriage. I do go back to it and have thoughts and urges but I guess it's just some sort of scapegoat or coping mechanism for the marriage. When H and I fight or something bugs me I withdraw into the memory of the guy, daydream of meeting again, wonder what could be or could have been (which in reality is nothing but the point is, it's fantasy as a coping tool). I think the A itself is really more behind me than I think . I just had a scare the other day when my thoughts were telling me so convincingly to think about making contact. Eek!! I see this pattern of me going to a new therapist at each stage I hit. I guess that's okay, it's just exhausting. They seem to hit a wall with me and not know how to further help me, mainly because I can never seem to answer the question about what I really want. I don't even know!

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