1 Year+ Later, I Just Can't Shake It

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2010
1 Year+ Later, I Just Can't Shake It
8
Fri, 01-04-2013 - 8:21pm

Hi everybody. Happy new year!

I used to post pretty regularly here on-and-off over the last 2-3 years. Long story short, I was in an intense (aren't they all) EA/PA with a man I worked with (me: married, him: married, kids). Lasted about 3 years. We said ILU, flirted with the idea of leaving our spouses, etc. Of course, it never happened, and I became deeply, disturbingly depressed, ended up quitting my job so I wouldn't have to see him all the time and took a job across the country.

Officially, I've been NC for over a year...yay! Not sure what that makes me...a tweener? A vet? And while I've progressed leaps and bounds from where I was when I ended it—sometimes I even think I'm over him—lately, I've really regressed emotionally, and I'm struggling to get through every single day without crumbling and emailing him.

He has emailed me many times since I've been gone, texted/called, sent a letter. I haven't responded. He says that even after a year, it still hurts him constantly every day, wants me back, etc. I know if I were to respond and ask him in what capacity he wants me back--ie, has he left his wife? (I know he hasn't) Does he want a legitimate relationship?--he wouldn't be able to give me any answers or specifics, he never could. So, deep down, I think I know that he's still probably  the same old JAM he always was. But the problem is, I feel the same way that he claims to. It's been 14 months since I've seen/talked to him. We've passed personal milestones I've observed silently from afar, yearning that I could wish him "whatever" the occasion is. I still can't bring myself to want my sweet, loving DH, because I STILL can't get xAP out of my head. He's always right in front of my eyes. I miss what we had terribly, even though it was destructive.

I guess I'm just resurfacing for a little support, and to ask: How long does it really take to really let go? Why is taking so long? Is there any chance I'm still holding on because there WAS the promise of something more, or am I forcing myself to hang on because I'm an addict and still want the fix? I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts.

Wishing everyone well,
xo Silver Doe

Avatar for ratherbeme
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Fri, 01-04-2013 - 10:11pm

I’m still here. I’m coming up on two years NC. If you read my latest post you will see that I still struggle with emotions at times.

I have ended it.

So the first question I have to ask, why haven’t you blocked him?

You would be a lot further in your journey of healing if you hadn’t read any of those emails, or texts, or listened to voicemails or whatever you have done? Why have you sabotaged yourself like this?

What hope are you hanging onto? 

Why don’t you want to end it?

We went through this when you moved out to the coast. Nothing has changed has it?

I can tell you that until YOU want it to end it , it won’t happen. Simple as that.

You have to want to do the things that are necessary to end it.

Dragging your feet hoping that he will completely change is just a fantasy.  You know what he is like now, and you aren’t happy with that, but you want him to change completely into what?  ??? I don’t get it.

What about your marriage? Have you been going to therapy?

It’s easy to say that your marriage isn’t good. What are you doing to try to improve it? Are you two getting any help at all?

You are keeping yourself in the place you are at.  We all are.  The difference is we are trying to do something to move on.

I don’t think you have any idea where you want this all to end. A goal without a plan is just a dream. You have to develop a goal, and then a plan to get there. Otherwise, that dream just becomes a nightmare.

I wouldn’t wait for him to fulfill your dreams.

No one here want's to see you miserable. Why don't you come back, spend some time with us, post and get a new outlook on life.

I hope we see more of you here.

Rather....

We only miss what could have been. I know I don't miss what it really was.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2010
Sat, 01-05-2013 - 1:55am

Rather,

Thank you for the response and it's good to hear from you. I am really liking your signature. Truer words were never spoken.

First of all, you're right. It's so good to get brutal honesty. You asked a lot of questions, and I will try to explain...

"So the first question I have to ask, why haven’t you blocked him?"

I have blocked him on and off for the last year, but every time, the curiosity gets to be too much and I remove the block. It's like I get almost there, right at the cusp of indifference, and I turn back--I guess because I still fear losing him forever. You're right when you say I'm not happy with him as he is, because he has never once given me any definitive sign of commitment or intent, and I guess my fear is that he WILL and I will miss it, and I will have missed my chance. Know what I mean?

I'm a case where I think I would have taken the leap if he had taken the first step, but he didn't. So while I knew I NEEDED to end it, I didn't WANT to end it. I still wrestle with the lingering emotions from ending a relationship I didn't want to end because I knew it was the right/healthy/best thing to for myself. It's a perpetual limbo I keep myself in. I won't let the feelings die, but I also haven't responded to xAP's fishing to let them continue.

RE: my marriage...things are actually a little better. I do feel like I've made a lot of progress; like I said, there have been times where I felt I was getting very close to being "over it," and whole days would go by where I didn't think of him at all. DH and I are getting perfectly well, things are mostly functioning and happy, but my underlying issues of sexual attraction have not been fixed, and no, we haven't sought therapy--it hasn't seemed necessary. I guess I think my non-attraction to him is still part and parcel with my still being all wrapped up in xAP. I think I just need individual therapy, but I haven't gotten there yet.

Sometimes it all just feels too messed up and overwhelming to even try to begin to fix. One thing leads to another leads to another, and all roads lead to my being unhappy. So I just give up trying to do much of anything but wallow. Reminiscing about xAP and being nostalgic about what could have been is the easiest thing for me to relate to, so I just stick to that. That's where I've been for the last few months. But hey, at least I haven't broken NC. Heh.

Avatar for ratherbeme
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Sat, 01-05-2013 - 8:22am

I am hoping you get sick and tired of being sick and tired.

No magic bullets, nothing is going to stop this but you.

The ball is in your court and you can choose to do what you wish.  

Wallow in indecisiveness, or make up your mind to move on.

I chose to move on. I couldn't stand it.

Everything, including your M suffers when you can't make up your mind.

Accepting that he isn't really the man you want just because of what you said. He won't pull the trigger on his status, he just wants you as an extra enjoyment. Woohoo, wouldn't we all like to have relationships like that. He just is using you to stroke his own ego. Nothing more. 

"The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going." -- David Starr Jordan

Start by making a decision for what you want.  If you want A partner then go for it. Quit being uncommitted.  You have to commit yourself to something. It isn't a choice between H and AP, it is a choice about you. Isn't your happiness worth something? Nothing is going to get better until YOU do it. You have to start standing up for yourself. Make yourself happy. The rest will follow.

It's a new year, kick start yourself to do something this year. What is the worst that could happen?

I pulling for a NEW you.

Rather....


We only miss what could have been. I know I don't miss what it really was.

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Sat, 01-05-2013 - 10:20am

Morning Silverdoe

I think it must make it more difficult to keep moving forward when you have an xaffair partner still fishing.  I don't generally suggest breaking NC to make contact, but in this case I'm thinking a message (texted or email...not talking) 'LEAVE ME ALONE' might be all it takes to get this guy to back off and away.  If that's what you want.

Or, you can break contact and hear him out and hopefully believe that that what he is saying is the real deal this time...but how are you going to know that?  He could still be in the fantasy himself and when push comes to shove...  

Would you be ready to start the divorce process?  Envision that conversation with your husband.  Envision your life with your xaffair partner and his children. We tend to stop beyond just being together and never fully think about our lives and how that'll all pan out for us.  Do you have children?  Are you ready to work hard (with someone on the other side of the country) to meld your families?  Who's going to come to who's part of the country to live together?  And if you contact him, and he is the same old JAM, where does that leave you? It's not just a matter of being together, everyone's world is going to be turned topsy turvy...not that everyone's world can't be righted again, but are you really ready to do that?  

Remaining in a state of limbo because we can't make a decision one or the other is an awful way to live.

My advice to you:  Make a decision and then live with it to the best of your ability...with all your focus and all your energy.  Whatever we nourish with our attention will thrive.

((hugs))

Clarity

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2010
Sun, 01-06-2013 - 11:33am

SilverDoe,

You've gotten some great input here from Rather and Clarity. I am just about 21 months NC, and if I'm being honest, I struggle from time to time. Being truly committed to NC is all what's really saved me. That, and my M is going pretty good, I must say.

In keeping with the honesty theme, I'll tell you that I think of my XAP everyday. Not in a longing or romantic way, but something inevitably will trigger thoughts of her. I still don't listen to music that I associated with our A - we used to share music with each other - and I dread seeing her. I've been very fortunate with the latter. So, it's probably fair to say that I'm not "over it", but that's not been my focus. I'm keeping my focus on being, and staying, A-free, and being a committed partner to my DW; and good, strong, and present parent to my son. I know you have struggles in your M, but it sounds like that's improving. Keep your focus on that.

Stop trying be be "over" XAP and just be. I find that when XAP comes to my mind, the best thing I can do is not let the thought linger. I acknowledge it, know that the A, and she, were a part of my life, and then I let it go. Train your mind to just let it go. You don't have to fight the thoughts, just allow them to pass. Be mindful of what's important, what's present in your life, and not allow the things, and people, that are unhealthful, dominate your thoughts.

I know it's hard; it's hard for all of us. From what I read, you are doing just fine. Give yourself a LOT of credit and positive reinforcement for being where you are.

MPV

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2011
Sun, 01-06-2013 - 2:16pm
Thanks MPV, Your perspective is just what I needed to hear, today. I've done so many things that are helping post-A, why focus on the one thing that lingers, the thoughts of xAP? Maybe if I focus instead on letting the thoughts tiptoe through and disappear around the bend, instead of being so alarmed that I still have them and he is still in my head, I will get to a more peaceful place. XO Daisy
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2010
Sun, 01-06-2013 - 9:15pm

"Maybe if I focus instead on letting the thoughts tiptoe through and disappear around the bend, instead of being so alarmed that I still have them and he is still in my head, I will get to a more peaceful place."

I think this is such a great thought, Daisy. I'm trying to follow this advice myself. It's like the sirens start sounding as soon as he pops into my head and I go into panic mode. Rather than indulging the fleeting thoughts with alarm and activity, maybe we just observe them calmly and quietly until they pass (and they always do, if you let them).

Sometimes I think I treat my memories like a surrogate xAP; I used to cling to him so tightly even when I knew it was doomed, and now I cling to the memories just as tightly 'cause that's the closest there is left to that addict rush I still crave. Just gotta let go.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2011
Mon, 01-07-2013 - 10:46am
Hi SilverDoe, it is good to see you. I tried to log on all weekend to respond to this post on my phone and couldn't. (Shakes fist at iVillage). I am in much the same place as you. it's better, but not as good as I had hoped to be by now. You are very strong though, my xAP only fished the once that I know of. And that was brutal. I am a bit pressed for time this morning but there is a thread over at After Your Affair that a bnch of us who are 1-2 years out have posted in. Started by Justkim2007 and titled "Where are you?" or something like that. It's always good to see that we are not alone, and that our As weren't al that unique. And learn from each other. I hope you stick around chica, we've missed you. Rain