h reading all posts pls remove
How I know just how that is! Been there way too many times to count, or even estimate. This may happen to you a lot, so get prepared for a bumpy ride. I felt furious with myself, and ashamed, every time I relapsed (broke NC). I hated my weakness for slipping, I hated what the slip did to my life each time, the guilt I felt for betraying my husband, who had been forgiving and deserved better. Eventually, I came to expect that I would slip again, but that didn't mean I couldn't get back on the wagon to try again. I find that a much healthier way to look at things. A big reason is I found when I wallowed in the guilt and shame, it made me more susceptible to caving in again. I felt so crappy, I would think, why not talk to him again? I can't feel any worse. Of course I did feel worse anyway. It was a true vicious circle. So let me save you some time: let yourself off the hook and forget the self-blame. Accept that you are human and that you're badly hooked, which is a tough habit to break. It happens to all of us who have walked the dark path. If it happens again--and probably it will--remind yourself of this, and resolve to go N/C again...and not to kick yourself.
One other thing: I understand how bad you feel for hurting him, and for maybe getting his hopes up. Just remember, you are responsible for no one else's emotional response to anything other than your own. I hope you don't let those feelings manipulate any choices you make. If he feels bad or hurt or gets his hopes up when you didn't mean to give him hope, that's his problem, 100%. He has to deal with them. He's an adult, not your little kid; you don't have to take care of him. You need to take care of yourself, and repairing your marriage. That's enough work for one person! Hang in there!
That's what you must keep reminding yourself, Conflicted. You didn't go into this with the intent to hurt anyone. It was a mistake you made that you now regret, probably made when your defenses were down, like mine were. I'm sure you're telling the truth when you say you found yourself in a situation in which you never envisioned yourself being. That's how it was for me, too. Had anyone asked me a year before it started if I would do anything like this, I would have given an emphatic "No!" without a second's hesitation. I was as surprised as anyone to find myself in the situation I ended up in. Intent is an important piece of it, too.
I know you are mad at and disappointed in yourself; I felt that way too. But to put things in perspective, look to the rest of the world and the incredibly stupid, dishonest, incompetent, cowardly and selfish things people do that destroy the lives of a great many others... people who are innocent and undeserving of horrible things that happen to them. I'm thinking this moment of the captain and some of the crew of that South Korean ferry boat that capsized. The captain abandoning ship before anyone else got out, the idiots who kept telling passengers to remain where they were (yeah, great advice), and the other idiots who failed to send a distress signal to the Coast Guard when it was apparent the ship was in serious trouble. Now I'm hearing the management of the co. that owns the ferry line may have been cutting corners to save money, things that compromised the safety of the boat...perhaps causing the capsize. Now just think what the mistakes, bad judgment and outright immorality of some of these people has cost society. It's immeasurable. I don't know how those people will live with themselves, or how they will go out in public again. Imagine how awful that would be if that was the screw-up you made instead of messing around on your husband. You have hurt only a couple of people, no one worse than yourself, and nothing that can't be repaired. When you compare the two screw-ups, your "sins" don't score even a measurable point on the Richter scale of misdeed. Think of it like that and you have to agree it's time to quit punishing yourself.
First, your welcome. I'm glad that perspective helped, Conflicted. I know it helped me. I was put in that direction by a professional I went to see at the time. The worst part of the pain I was feeling was the guilt and self-recrimination. The therapist said if I put what I had done on a scale of what the most honorable and well-respected people did--like say Nelson Mandella--at 1 and what the post horrible, evil person did--like Hitler or Jeffrey Dahmer, etc.--I would probably come in at about 15 at the highest. That really helped. So when I was getting all the news on the South Korean ferry boat disaster, I started thinking about that cowardly captain and the sleazy executive management who compromised safety to maximize profits, I thought, how could I live with myself if I was one of them? Think how much blood I would have on my hands, and all the lives I would've destroyed. When I think of it like that, I see how insignificant my terrible crimes are. We are just ordinary people, you and I. We have ordinary sins. Our misdeeds are forgivable, as long as we are genuinely remorseful and want to do better. So let's forgive ourselves and put all that saved energy into some productive things, like cleaning up the mess we made, being kind to those we hurt (including ourselves) and finding ways to make the world a better place, even if it's only our little corner of it.
Second, I believe you that you honestly never meant to do the things you now regret. It was the same for me. I believed, naively, I had complete control over the situation and would never let things get out of hand. That was my stupidity. I way overestimated my personal strength and self-discipline, and way underestimated what deep doo-doo I was in. So I know you're telling the truth, conflicted. It seems to be the nature of the "disease".
Last, I'm sure you WILL get over it in time. The pain will lessen as time passes and you get farther away from what happened. It won't go away overnight, though. Sadly, you'll have to tough it out a while, and it's not easy. It will demand a lot of strength and determination. You will be tested. By just from what you've shared here I can tell you have the mettle for it. It's smart to find outlets for the pain, and support to get through it. Finding a forum like this is a good example. Any sort of contact you might have with the xAP is going to set off a big emotional reaction. It's like re-opening a wound that has only just begun to heal. Not pleasant. I'm sorry you have to live in the same town as the guy. Opportunities to run into him, like today, are a big disadvantage. The guy I got involved with lived in another country, which spared me that misery. But you know what? After he ended things and my heart was broken, it seemed like I heard the name of his country mentioned all the time, and each time I did, it was like a dagger in my heart. Eventually I got desensitized to it, so it's not so bad now. Even yesterday, though, I put on a show I like and wanted to see, but can you guess? The episode was about the family taking a vacation to this country. Probably I could've watched it but I decided to find something else and changed the channel quickly. And today...I was out for a while and when I got home, I checked the caller ID to see if I missed any calls, and I saw that he had called...just a few minutes before I got back. I felt glad I missed the call but it still stirred emotions. But it's manageable now. I don't go to pieces anymore. You'll get there too, Conflicted.
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life is good!
<<QUOTE>>How I know just how that is! Been there way too many times to count, or even estimate. This may happen to you a lot, so get prepared for a bumpy ride. I felt furious with myself, and ashamed, every time I relapsed (broke NC). I hated my weakness for slipping, I hated what the slip did to my life each time, the guilt I felt for betraying my husband, who had been forgiving and deserved better. Eventually, I came to expect that I would slip again, but that didn't mean I couldn't get back on the wagon to try again. I find that a much healthier way to look at things. A big reason is I found when I wallowed in the guilt and shame, it made me more susceptible to caving in again. I felt so crappy, I would think, why not talk to him again? I can't feel any worse. Of course I did feel worse anyway. It was a true vicious circle. So let me save you some time: let yourself off the hook and forget the self-blame. Accept that you are human and that you're badly hooked, which is a tough habit to break. It happens to all of us who have walked the dark path. If it happens again--and probably it will--remind yourself of this, and resolve to go N/C again...and not to kick yourself.<<QUOTE>>
I believe this is the kind of thinking that allows ppl to continue to have bad behavior. It is the thought process of a cheater BTDT myself. When we don't live authentic lives and are betraying someone whom we have vowed to love, honor and respect we make excuses and justify it. Being a woman with integrity and honor feels much better than living a lie and holding someone hostage in a M where they have no say in who they share you with.
STOP the bad behavior, get into T and determine why you don't value yourself, your marriage or your family and stop making excuses.