another newbie who could use a little support

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2013
another newbie who could use a little support
Mon, 01-14-2013 - 10:18am

My story is a little different, but similar to all of yours.  I was involved in an emotional affair.  We met on a cruise last year(9/2011).  I was with my mom, aunt and cousin and he was traveling with his parents,son and brother and sister in law. We met at lunch in France.  He sat across from me and I didn't pay much attention to him except for small talk.  My cousin was single and they originally chatted and I did my thing. About 2 evenings later we were all in the ballroom listening to a Beetles group.  He danced with my cousin and talked with our group.  He asked me to dance and I said OK. I didn't think much of it. I was WRONG! We chatted about my family I made a comment about having a 4 year old and turning 50, just chat, then while we danced, he said, "come here" and pulled me close to him. What happened next I never expected. Wow!  It was if sparks went off. After that, I could feel something between us.  I still kept my distance when we ran into him.  Ironically, my mom thought he was nice and would invite him to get a bite to eat thinking he would be a nice guy for my cousin.  Slowly he began showing more attention towards me.  I never went anywhere alone with him. Gradually, he became my dance partner each evening. We shared special conversation there and he would hold me closely. He sent flowers to my cabin. Which tipped my mother off. I always mentioned my husband and my family and tried to stay emotionally distant. The day before I left the ship, he told me in the hallway, that he loved me.  I was floored and didn't know what to say! I could not deny the attraction between us, but love? I'm still not so sure and he jumped the gun. That night he went to the show with my mom and me. He twice tickled my arm when love was mentioned in a song. That evening, we said our goodbyes.  I was always afraid of someone seeing me with him, so I stayed "proper" around him.  He tried to kiss me, but I turned my cheek an covered my lips.  I kept thinking that I must protect my marriage. Thankfully, I left the next day(if I was there much longer, things would have progressed) and was hoping that would be the end of it. It was, until he returned home in about a week and a half. I got a bulk email that he sent talking about his trip.  I stupidly responded.  Then the online communication started.  We talked everyday, many times a day. Eventually, we moved to IM along with emails.  I became more dependent on him and as time went on, I was hooked - big time. The sneaking for late night talks, spending all day online waiting to hear from him., occassionally calling him. My body was here, but my mind was with him.

Well, in July, he asked me what I thought about trying online dating. My cousin who was on the cruise had used online dating for some time with limited success.  She did eventually meet her husband.  I told him that he would have to weed through people, but it wouldn't hurt. So started dating around September.  He shared some of his experienceds with me.  He would get excited when he met someone nice, then after a date or 2 it didn't work out. I on the other hand, tried to be supportive, but was crushed each time. He talked about how he would compare everyone to me and talk about the cruise(no wonder he didn't make it past the second date). In November, he went on another date.  They had dinner on a Friday. He said they had a nice time and would get together on Sunday.  Sunday night he IMed me talking about how she was nice but not his "type". I think physically he was looking for a certain type and she wasn't it, although she seemed to fit in other ways.  I told him to give it a little time and see what happens. Well, he listened.  In less than 2 weeks he was spending the night at her place.  I don't fault him, but I wasn't prepared. I thought it would fall apart like the others.  Then they went away before Christmas for a few days.  I would hear from everyday, but I could sense things changing.  I was relieved and hurt.  Then, I didn't hear from him for 11 days.  No Merry Christmas, nothing. On Dec. 26, I sent him an email telling him that I was hurt that he would just ignore me. That he talked big about respecting women and treated me like I never existed. I told him that if he wasn't man enough to end it then I would. Just prior to his trip with her, he had been pressing for me to send him intimate pictures of me.  I stupidly did thinking I would somehow keep him emotionally attached to me. A day or 2 later, I got a note back telling me that he would act like I never sent that letter, forgive me and move on. I felt bad and sent a note back explaining that I was hurt that after over a year of sharing my life with him, that he would just stop talking to me. So, there I was back again. Now, the emails are less often.  The last one was 5 days ago. I responded to his note, then I haven't heard from him.  I won't initiate contact, but until now have responded if he emailed me.

I have decided after reading all of your posts, that I should muster up my strength and not respond. I don't like the way I have become these past few months, especially.  I have felt insecure and clingy.  Silly to be like this about a man I won't ever see again, I never kissed or made love to. I did have all of the feelings like all of you during our time together.  He always called me beautiful, gorgeous, stunning! Wow! It made me feel great, alive, like a teenager. I actually felt a longing to be with him, like he was pulling me. That was the rush and I kept hanging onto it.

I never thought in a million years that this would happen to me.  I would rate my marriage as being very good.  I am happy, but I guess something is/was missing for this to happen. My husband loves me.  He is a workaholic and uses that to get his way about other things sometimes and has always not wanted to help me much with raising the kids because he wanted to use his time off to relax and do what he enjoyed, etc. I just dealt with life and did the best I could. I think in doing that for so long, I lost ME along the way.

It is interesting how your life can be good, but someone is able to find one tiny, little crack and work their way in. Now, I miss him and am trying to remember that this is what I had prayed for.  I wanted him to find happiness and I prayed that when the time came, that I would be able to let him go.  That has been the hardest part. I want to let go and I want my life back. I never liked being dishonest to my husband or feeling like I was hiding something around everyone else.  My dirty little secret.

Sorry to bore you all.  I needed to share all this with someone. It's not anything that I can tell anyone else.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2011
Mon, 01-14-2013 - 11:58am

Hello Tam--

Don't think you're boring anyone--we understand. I do, anyway--especially about the part where you felt your life was good and you didn't realize there WERE any cracks anyone could get into. I always wondered what was so hard about "being good" in a marriage--my H and I get along great, are close friends, sex was always good, it was so EASY! But I felt it had almost been *too* easy. Nearly 30 years of marriage and I hadn't given it a thought! Maybe that's why all the drama of being attracted to someone (because when I first met my H I was in my early 20s, and now, in my 50s, I wondered if I had ever been attracted to him in the bowl-me-over-thump-in-the-stomach xAP was suddenly giving me) was so powerful.

You are lucky, Tam, that your xAP is far away from you and you can disengage without the pain of seeing him regularly or knowing he is in the same town, workplace, or nearby. It will be easier for you to disengage. And then you will have the hard work of figuring out exactly why you were such an easy nut to crack.

Doesn't it feel awful when someone you thought was head-over-heels into you moves to someone else so easily? You mention he had a sister-in-law on the cruise. Was he married, or not? Ah, Tam, you are so lucky that your "dirty little secret" never progressed to something worse. Me, I have memories of hiding naked behind a couch when UPS knocked on the door when I was at my (married) xAP's house. It's funny when it's in a sit com. Not at all when it's for real. I could tell you any number of near-misses and horrible embarrassments at what I was willing to do to keep my A going... for seven years.

After I ended, I had some serious talks with my H about his work and my work. We made some changes in our lives and have been spending a lot more time together. You may not be at a point in your careers when you can do that (our kids are grown), but maybe you can get away for a weekend and spend some quiet time looking at the next ten years of your lives, and talking about what you would like them to be.

We all have our weaknesses, and sometimes other people find them without half looking, or even knowing that's what they're doing. I would call my xAP manipulative, but god knows I tried to manipulate people in my life to a ridiculous extent to try to keep the fantasy going. I've got me back now, and you will too.

Keep posting, OK? You are on the right track, and your heart will tell you so eventually. Try to stay in the moment and remember your real life. Look around you and see what is good about what you have. And realize how hard integrity and honesty are to get back, once you've thrown them away. Take it from me. I appreciate them so much more now that I know what it is to lose them.


Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Mon, 01-14-2013 - 12:21pm

Welcome to EAS, Tamcoll're story didn't bore us, but it is familiar to us.  Different players, different circumstances...a variation on the affair theme.

I hope you feel better getting it all out.  Sometimes, when we see it all down in black and white, we can begin to see things a little more clearly.

You, like all of us, did not have boundaries firmly in place...and it lead us down the road to perdition.

But, you are here...looking for support and that's a great start.  My next step would be to block the email...or just lose that account.  This will insure that should he email you you won't respond.  And in the meantime, you can gain build up your strength and resolve by hanging out with us, reading all you can in our Healing that by the time he might email you, you'll be not even tempted to respond.

No contact is the one absolute guarantee we have to put this behind you once and for all.  You'll experience withdrawals as you detox from this toxic relationship..and so you'll want to come here BEFORE reaching out so we can support you in your effort to stay the course.



withClarity, Community Leader...EAS

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."  -Eleanor Roosevelt

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Mon, 01-14-2013 - 2:50pm


I can relate.  My own A began in a similar way - when I wasn't looking (although I am married to someone with some fairly significant insecurity and anger issues, so when my A happened, I welcomed it).

I am now on month 4 of my recovery and my best advice to you is to give it some time, take extremely good care of yourself, and stay as busy as you can.

Consider some counseling too - with a very good therapist.  (I am seeing one and she is *GREAT*.)

Good luck.



iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2013
Mon, 01-14-2013 - 3:48pm

Thank you Bird.  No, he was not married.  He had been divorced for 11 years when I met him with a few relationships in between. Yes, it hurts that he could move on so easily.  I had tried to cut back on messaging him when he started dating her.  I even tried unsuccessfully before, but we kept up with the daily correspondence. I explained to him how difficult is was for me and he said it was for him too, that he looked for my email every morning and still got a flip in his stomach when he saw one or I IMed him.  That seemed to fade quicker than I expected for him. I guess what I was looking for was some nice letter about how he loved me and always had and always will, but it could never be. It hurt me, especially knowing that I am the one who encouraged him to give her a chance. I felt unappreciated and forgotten.

I tried so hard to make sure my husband was happy and my kids were happy that I forgot to make sure that I was happy too. When he came along, he made me feel like I don't ever remember having felt before.  His compliments made me feel beautiful. My husband compliments me, sometimes, but it would be something like," you look hot for a 50 year old woman". Huh? How unappealing."Why can't you just say I am a beautiful woman?"

As for work, I have been a stay at home mom for the past 19 years. I had been thinking about going back to work when my youngest was 10, then I found out I was pregnant! So, I have been taking care of the world's most awesome kid for the past 6 years. That is probably part of the problem.  I sometimes feel unappreciated around here and have too much access to the computer and time to be on it which enabled me to spend my days...and late nights talking to him.

I am hoping he contacts me so that I can NOT respond and leave him hanging like he now leaves me. That's immature, I know. I do feel better without hearing from him. I just wish I could keep him OUT of my head!  I think about him everyday! I wish it would stop.

I always said that I am I wished we had kissed that night, but am glad we never did.  Now I am very glad.  It would have only made things worse.



iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2010
Mon, 01-14-2013 - 5:46pm

Hey Tam...

MPV here; one of the male residents of EAS.  There are a few us here.  Vets we are, or, in my case, maybe an older rookie.

I am so glad that you came here and got up the courage to post. Having an avenue to communicate about these circumstances and the pain we feel is an important part of getting through it. There's a lot in your story that I can relate to, but one thing in particular - your feeling of being "insecure and clingy". I tell you, toward the end of my A, that's EXACTLY how I felt. It was horribly emasculating (for me), and not at all who I am or how I want to act. As with every A, mine had its ups and downs, and there were times when my XAP was clingy. As some point the tables turned and I was the one hanging on; it was one of the reasons that I knew I wanted out.  A's have a way of causing us to act in opposition to the person we want to be. I mean, aside of the obvious stuff of lying, deceiving our spouses, breaking vows, and "loving" someone else's spouse.  I doubt any of us set out to do those things.

So, your post really hit home with me. It's hard to end this involvement, but trust that stopping all contact is a salve for the soul. You will certainly miss some of the things that you thought he provided you, but trust me, it wasn't all that it seemed. Your post makes me think you already see that, but we can talk more about that at another time.

Hang tough and commit to yourself that you want out of it and that YOU are deciding to have it be over.



iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2013
Mon, 01-14-2013 - 8:57pm

Thank you all for being so welcoming and understanding.  MPV, I so agree about the tables turning.  I became the one who seemed more intersted in keeping things going, but I do feel that he has been afraid to totally cut me off. I haven't heard from him in 5 days so maybe he decided not to contact me. I hate that I was feeling pathetic.  I want to leave with my dignity and I want him to have fond memories of me, not to think that I am some nut(which is what I was beginning to think about myself). Do most of you think I should ignore any messages I get if he sends one or should I send a message telling him that I will not be communicating with him any longer? Do I owe anything to him or should I let things go from this point on? I'm thinking to just ignore him, especially since he can go 5 days without talking to me. He did that last week, then sent me a message that started off with "Hi Beautiful!" It's so confusing, but I am getting tired of it all.

You guys are great! It is so nice to talk to someone who can relate to what I am going through.


Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Mon, 01-14-2013 - 10:05pm

Is there a way you can close down that account?  If he emails you and it bounces back, that will send a very unconfusing, loud and clear message that you are no longer in the game.  

The impression you will leave (to help erase that crazy-going-nuts woman) by just silently closing the door is that you are a woman who has decided she is too good for this...that she cares more for her own wellbeing and so doesn't give a ratsass about what JAM (just another man) thinks...she is done...lata gata...see you in the funny papers.


Community Leader...EAS

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2011
Tue, 01-15-2013 - 9:57am
Tamcoll - You are on the right track - but be forewarned that it is harder than you think. So muster that strength, and then make sure you nurture the supports to keep it in place. It took me multiple tries (like most people) to make things stick - you haven't bored us at all - in fact quite the opposite. This board is great for realizing that what got us here was not unique - we're all the same with different details. Best of luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2011
Tue, 01-15-2013 - 10:46am
Hey, Tam, if you don't mind I'll make a suggestion re you and your H. First of all, I went to a therapist for maybe four months after I ended, and that helped a lot in terms of my figuring out some things about my seemingly perfect marriage. Find a time when you and your H are alone and things are comfortable between you, and tell him how a back-handed compliment is sometimes worse than no compliment at all. Be straight with him about what you need and how you're feeling. But also, do something for you. I work from my home office and I have done that for 20 years, so I know a little about time on my hands and a keyboard in front of me--that's honestly what got me into the A. You need to find yourself something that is just for you. Take a class, do yoga, find a part-time job (yeah, I know, harder than it sounds). Reconnect with the part of you that is not a mom. And tell your H that you need something like that or you are going to drown in motherhood. For most of us, we used the A to boost our self-esteem and found that it did exactly the opposite. See if you can't find a way to boost yours in a healthier way. I hope I'm not preaching too much, but it sounds like your H has come to think of you as Mommy instead of [whatever your name is]. But you need to think first about what YOU want. (In other words, don't blame your A on him or on your marriage--blame it on losing sight of who YOU are.) And men like solutions--they mostly don't get the idea of simple commiseration--so think before you talk to him of what concrete things you would like to do to make you feel like you again. OK, like I said, I hope I'm not being a pain. Keep your head up. --Bird
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2013
Tue, 01-15-2013 - 1:57pm

Thank you Bird.  I didn't mean to imply that my husband was giving me a backhanded compliment. He wasn't. He meant that I look really good, but should have left it at that.  I did mentioned to him that it would be nice to be complimented without being so specific. LIke why can't I just be beautiful? Most people would not guess that I am 50. Does that make me less beautiful then them because I am 50? Do you understand what I am trying to say? But I did talk to him about how to make me feel more special.

I would love to take a class.  I used to bowl, but our leage disbanded. I used to do volunteer work in the kids' schools, until the little guy came around. I have tried to do some volunteering at the school but I am on a strict time limit. I am hoping to get back to something next year when he is in school all day. I did mention to my husband one time that I needed more stimulation. I may look into something.  I was thinking about tennis lessons or cake decorating, maybe a language.  Heck anything will do!

I did mention to my AP one time that I needed to find myself again.  I spend my time making sure everything runs smoothly and making sure everyone is happy that I forgot about me.

Thanks again.