on verge of a broken heart / cliff......can this even work?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-03-2004
on verge of a broken heart / cliff......can this even work?
21
Thu, 12-13-2012 - 1:32am

hi fellow ivillagers,

i'm nervous and excited....this is crazy...i had an affair in 2004 to 2006 with a co-worker and ended up with a broken heart and a lost job (unrelated but it always seems to be a consequence somewhere).  although she would have left her husband and 2 kids for me, i couldn't leave my 3 kids and wife.  the guilt! eventually ow hubby found out and she eventually gave me the axe because i could never commit to her 100%. 

here i am, 2012 6 years later and on the verge of another affair with someone 15 years younger with me. a co-worker that i've been talking to via text and at work for the last 3 months.  things got off conversationally via a phone app game, then text and now here I am! we met tonight, first time off work, for about 15 minutes around the block to talk before she had to leave. We gave each other a hug before and after we departed. I have not doubt where this is going.  i've had this happen before. she's got 2 young kids and i've still got my 3 kids (12 and under).  we've text every night back and forth, she's sent me pics via text of her kids at home and different events.  We really wanted to see each other tonight so we did for a few minutes. No kissing, but hugging her i could smell her fragrance and started to feel intoxicated. talking to her as the moonlight shown down on her face, i could just feel the magnet and a kiss is just a matter of another meeting or two. 

i feel torn! torn because deep down i know this can only go so far. torn because i don't want to get hurt again nor risk losing my job again (unrelated to the relationship but now i'm a manager role and she's a direct report for a different team).  part of me wants to stop, but the other part tells me we can keep it at a minimum.  i don't think so and by the time i think i need stop it will be too late (as in sexual relationship and all the emotional bondage that goes on).  maybe she won't be emotionally tied but something tells me no. She's not been the aggressor, it has been me. texting her how nice she looks and such, she said its hard to receive compliments.  she likes them but i think she's not used to it.

long story short, i feel like i'm on a cliff. i think i can look over the cliff without falling. i also know its probably too late once you look over you are too far in.  the plunge into a romantic relationship is a week or 2 away. i'm overwhelmed and feel lost.  As if i don't know how i got here and feel like this is going to end up in disaster..but can't say no....the allure and false sense of "i can stop at anytime" keeps me going.

if its possible to move forward and remember to see this potential relationship for what it is (and what its not) then i may be ok but how does one keep emotions from becoming invested in a relationship like this?

Thank you :(

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-17-2014

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-10-2009

Let me be blunt: Stop this NOW!

Whatever you think you have going with this woman at work is not worth the hell you have ahead of you if you continue following your ego and ignore your higher brain. If you do not stop NOW, you will be in a world of hurt you cannot fathom. It will eclipse the worst pain you have ever experienced by far.

Unless I missed something you do not mention your wife except to say you do not plan on leaving her. If I am correct it is because you do not want your children to live in a broken home. Let me ask if you love your wife then. Is she of any concern to you at all? If she found out, could you stand the pain your betrayal would inflict on her? Believe me when I say you will never know anything as awful as seeing that sort of pain in someone you love and knowing you caused it. I would give a limb to not know that feeling.

If you do not think you love her, can you imagine her having sex with another man? If that does not bother you then it is time for you to think about ending your marriage. No matter how you feel about your wife it is her right to stop living your lie. Cut her loose so she can find some one who will treat her right. Think of some one else for a change.

Imagine also what it will be like when you are caught. You will have broken a lot of hearts: your wifes, your cheating partners husbands, and the hearts of your kids and hers. There will be belongings to argue over, boxes to pack, a house to sell, separate apartments to acquire and move in to, not to mention attorney fees and divorce court and the negative judgement of your friends, family and colleagues. You will see your kids on weekends and maybe a week over holidays. There will be another man in their home eventually who will take your role as the man in their daily lives. When they are old enough, your children will understand that their home and lives were dismantled because your ego was so fragile that you could not keep it in your pants, even for their sake. They will not find that a good enough reason for the hell they went through and you will never be able to take it back or explain it away or make it up to them. Your secret little games with the troubled woman at work will become their permanent scars.

There is also the matter of the other womans husband wanting to kill you and knowing where you work every day. That is not fun, take it from me. Consider that possibility because it is very real.

Lets not forget about this woman you are flirting with. What if she thinks you are serious about her? Clearly you are not but can you imagine what would happen if she told her husband about you and called your wife? It sounds like you are preying on a vulnerable woman who finds her self in a bad marriage with kids to think about, so what happens if she takes your fantasy play seriously and decides to up the ante to force the issue of your 'being together'? You cannot play without eventually having to pay, that is just not how real life works.

I know what you are feeling and how hard it is to stop yet I also know how this will end. I did the same stupid stuff you are doing and regret it completely. I could not man-up and end it because my ego was being fed, I hated confrontation, I did not want the woman I cheated with to be mad at me, I hoped she would get the hint or bored and go away on her own, etc. I never made a DECISION and stuck with it though because I was weak and pathetic, the opposite of what I pretended to be with her. I was addicted to the way the affair made me feel, all the flirting and pretending and being some one I was not. The game got me high even though I was at my lowest point in life. Once the jig was up and my affair was exposed I realized how foolish the whole thing had been, how much I had risked and for how little.

It was not worth it.

I hope you will get therapy. A professional can help you get your head on straight. Especially since you had an affair before and did not learn from it, it sounds like something in you needs other women to fill in the empty places. Find out why you need the conquest, why the admiration of other women is so important that you would risk so much. Find those weak places in your psyche and heal them so that you will not need these destructive adrenaline rushes. As with any other cheater you are being extremely selfish here and thinking only of your self, and you need to figure out why that is so you can stop risking everything over it and heading toward your own destruction, and the destruction of so many other peoples lives.

This is not meant to degrade you but to wake you up. I wish someone had this talk with me before I screwed everything up by having an affair so maybe this will snap you out of it.

There is happiness, peace and self acceptance to be had without the secrets and lies if you figure out what drives you to such distractions. If you do not do stop this affair in its tracks RIGHT NOW and get help, you will regret it. I promise. Life could be better if you took a different risk and looked within your self for answers instead of seeking it in an in affair.

Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-03-2004
Hi Remdamma and ivillage friends. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Today is day 3 and I got day 2 out of the way with semi nc. its been more less extensive than previously 2 weeks and and i can't help but wonder if its starting to subside. We exchanged a couple of photos in the am and didn't talk until late last night via txt briefly 20 mins. both tired and knowing that today would be busy with families. i spoke to her via txt today and we had brief convo, shared novelty statements and i had to get ready to leave. im going to be gone tonight at fam home so i may try to do a nc tonight. it will be so hard, especially after ow did say she "missd her cupcke" which came from a pic i sent her a few weeks ago. fortunately, she's not the emotional high / low type. she's very even keel and i can say that she even struggles to express herself emotionally / verbally. im more the one of us that is romantically expressive and she admits she's not that good at it. knowing her demeanor, she might not even be too sad. not sure. i'll find out tonight. i'm invested in this personal emotionally and have tried to tell myself i'm attracted to her but not head over heels. this keeps me safe in my mind yet we all know emotionally rose colored glasses can do more diluting of what we see and how we feel. sigh.....its heavy but i'm going to try tonight. i won't see her until day 6. tomorrow she works half day and her kidz at home this week so she may be busy. that may also help to do some settling.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010

BH, you had the perfect opening and passed it up, instead choosing to make out instead of break off the relationship. When you found out that she will report directly to you you seemed to understand that continuing this personal relationship will be unprofessional and completely inappropriate. That's the conversation to have with her. That it is inappropriate given the difference in your positions in the workplace, and to continue puts both of your jobs/careers in jeopardy. Blame it on the employer if you feel that somehow softens the blow, but use this excuse to your advantage as your way out now.

However, I suspect that you won't do that...you're having too much fun with the emotional highs from the affair and seem to have too little self discipline to do what you know you ought to do. My first suggestion would be to work a lot harder on controlling your impulses, to behave the way you should rather than the way you want to. If you truly cannot discipline yourself then my advice to you is to get counseling to try to understand why you are doing this. Intellectually you understand that the consequences could be disastrous--for you, your AP, and both families--but emotionally you do not not exercise self control. Until you know why you make these choices it will be very difficult to change your behavior.

Good luck with NC over the next days.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-03-2004
Hi Flyingagain, Thank you! Your thoughts are right on I fear! I agree, i don't think she's just looking for sx but not looking for someone to bail her out of her M either. Very valid point and I agree whole heartedly. I have become more fearful because i just found out she will now report to me as a direct report. I can't have that and its not a good place to have this kind of relationship. I do have genuine concern for her. I care for her very much. She does me I can tell. However, she's M and so am I. She has not intention of leaving her H and i'm glad for that as I have no intention of leaving my W. So we have to people who have found someone to somewhat fill a void for a time. Again, let me be clear no s3x has happened. I had a plan today....she asked me out to lunch so i obliged. I wanted to ask her questions about her M, her H, how they met, her kids and where's she been and where she sees her Fam going in the future. Questions I would NEVER ask but they would be intended to give her an opportunity to think about why her and I got her and by some chance, she actually may want to put us on hold or pull back. I was hoping to have that convo today that did not happen. we had a brief lunch, made out quite a bit and by her body language, s3x is around the corner. it could happen, just need to find a place and time. I can't do that because i feel, and probably incorrectly, that having s3x with her will cross the line from EA to A. I saw her tonight for the last night for the next 6 days. As much as its going to pain me so, i hope this time away gives her some time to think about what we are doing. If she decides to stop, i'll be broken hearted but i will understand. if I try to be the initiator, it could not only hurt her but send a message i never cared. that's so not true!!! i do care about her very much. i just can't have a relationship with a direct report, let alone someone at work! Yes i fished in the company pond...no can do. too late now. can't throw the fish back in stone cold.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-28-2006

BrokenHeart, please forgive the intrusion, but since this is a debate (not support) board, I think I'm on the right side of the law here.

I would just love to see your pending AP's point of view - wouldn't it be wonderful to see her posting on MAS?  Can't most of the regulars here just imagine what she woud say?

BH - let me throw caution to the wind and let you know what she would probably NOT say:  that she is looking just for sex.  Highly, highly unlikely.  You see, she is almost definitely very caught up in this already - and I'll also bet she has the same fears you have.  But I also doubt she sees you as someone to 'save her' from her marriage. 

I think you've decided it is time to end this - I urge you to go easy on this poor woman who you've shown so little concern for, but do be firm.  Wishy-washiness will be her biggest enemy - you won't be doing her any favors if you don't act and stick to what you said.

You have made a lot of mistakes - just one being fishing in the company pond. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-03-2004
Well I have to admit, something is sobering up in me. :( I have to work with this young lady and although she doesn't report to me directly, she does indirectly. if this goes to the next level (s*x) or more emotionally involved (it's already getting deep) then disaster is on the horizon when this has to end. I don't know about her H i even wonder if he's at home! Last night we were texting and she made a comment about her being home in bed, nice and cozy. The convo started to go in a direction that led me to believe all I had to do was ask if I could come over. I don't know if that would be yes or no, but the door is open. Something inside me changed. I wish I would not have done this. I realize in part why I've done this..as you said partly because its new and you can talk to someone and make them feel equally as appreciated. That does not excuse my behavior. NC plan is next 2 weeks. I'm only working 1 day next week and 1 day the following. I can extend the NC slowly so by the I'm ready to come back, I would have subtly sent the message. It's hard turning away but I have to. I assumed kissing and text flirting were non commitments but now I see I'm already invested and breaking it off is going to be painful. I've never intended it to go this far. It was just a "wait and see" and then here I am. Thank goodness nothing intimate has happened or I believe the emotions on both sides would escalate. IF she only wants s*x, its still risky.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010

Brokenheart, re: your question about forgiving and the M...it didn't last. Actually we were engaged at the time, thank god I hadn't married him yet. The way I found out was he gave me a STD so he couldn't lie about that. He promised he wouldn't do it again and I forgave him, stayed together but called off the wedding until further notice. Within 6 months I found out he was cheating again, that time a friend tipped me off. No more chances, it was over. My ability to trust in a relationship was severely impaired for years. I am now married to a good honest man.

IMO you shouldn't be getting involved with anybody besides your wife, period. If you cannot remain faithful to her then you should end the marriage before moving on to another partner. So I would say you shouldn't proceed with this new affair even if your AP says she only wants sex. And if your heart is heavy then its trying to tell you something, please take the time to listen.

It sounds like you are already in deep emotionally if NC is so hard and you couldn't make it through the day. What will you do if AP suddenly decides that its over? You will still have to see her at work and pretend that everything is fine. (Many people have a personal rule to never get involved with somebody at work for just that reason.) Given that you are prone to becoming emotionally attached, how would you feel if all she wanted was sex?---basically using you as a plaything while she is bored with her H.

I understand being attracted to someone who is not your spouse/partner and the thrill of a new relationship and the fun of flirting etc. And I also remember the pain of being betrayed by someone I trusted and I chose to never inflict that pain on anybody that I professed to love. Its a matter of putting my partner's feelings first. So I really cannot advise you on how to conduct an affair.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-03-2004
HI Remdamma, Thank you for your feedback. From the POV of a betrayed partner, how did you overcome forgiving your H and is the M better or worse? I had not looked at the mess I'm in form your side and I see it looks even more immature than I had perceived myself. 16 yr diff, poor leadership judgement and putting my family at risk for a short term A is starting to feel heavy on my heart. I'm not even sure where AP is on all this in terms of what she expects or wants from me other than involved in an A. I believe she is having M problems but i we don't talk about that. I won't ask. I just heard from another staff member. Her H is 11 yr older than her so I'm thinking she's looking for a dad figure. she's has a good relationship with her dad, this I do know. If I had to be honest, and i'm going to be here as its safe, good or bad, I tried to do NC today. it only worked up until 6pm and it hurt like heck. she did txt me and i did respond. for chrstms week and the week after, i will be gone 6 out of 7 days each week for 2 weeks. This will force me to use NC and as much as my heart is so heavy, I think its for the better. I can do NC and slowly wean off or at least try. After reading your feedback, Im seriously rethinking this. I just don't know how to start. I'm not good at cold turkey either. I'm horrible at it. btw no my W never did find out about my A 8 years ago. it was hard enough to deal with the let down. Lastly, if AP is only after s*x, should i go through this? If she's looking for someone to bail her out of her M, there's no way I can do that.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010

I've read through your posts and keep thinking "this guy is thinking only of himself". Its all about your excitement and thrill at the risks and whether you will get emotionally involved or not. There was nothing about whether your AP will get hurt or feel like she needs to quit her job when the fling ends, or whether her M will break up over it. Nothing about how your W and kids will be affected by your betrayal, or how the family income will be affected if you lose your job. (even though AP is not your direct subordinate the fact that you are a manager and 15 years older sounds like you should have better judgement in workplace relations). BTW did your W know about your previous affair?

You say you have no desire for your kids to have a broken home, but with your actions it seems like there's a good chance that's going to happen eventually...for how long will your W put up with your affairs? Because what you are doing is already an affair, its a betrayal of the marriage agreement.

Like somebody else mentioned, your W deserves the opportunity to decide what she wants for her future and that of her kids. IMO its time for you to make some hard choices that do not include indulging your fantasies and game playing. Either decide that you want to be married and be faithful in your marriage; or release your wife before you cheat on her. The part about potentially wrecking other peoples' marriages, I cannot condone that either but I guess that karma will catch up with you eventually. As you might have guessed, I speak from the POV of a betrayed partner.

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