Dreadfully hard

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2012
Dreadfully hard
Mon, 01-14-2013 - 5:03am


I've posted before on & off & regularly read the boards. Usual affair story - me & XAP work colleagues, both married, kids etc. Worked together very closely in 2011 & 2012, travelled overseas. Had an affair for about a year. Dday March 2012, A officially ended May 2012 when he said (depsite previous assurances otherwise) that he couldnt leave his family blah blah. Since then it has been a turmoil. I have had problems reconnecting with H, despite MC & doing everything we could. I moved out temporarily, been to the doctor, been on anti-depressants. Ive really made a huge effort with my own social life too. All to no avail...still crying half the time and feeling terrible. And why? Because of XAP because I let him creep back into my life.

We still work in the same department although our major project where we needed to travel together has ended. However he has been able to settle back into his life, even though there were multiple D-Days, his W, although in no way happy about this has by the looks of things decided not to leave. Here's how it would go with XAP... I would feel lonely and sad and he would say lets be friends & I would think 'yes, I don't have many friends why push away someone who cares about you, makes you laugh blah blah' & so for a little while we would be 'friends' go for lunch at work, he'd always go out of his way to come to the office to chat, texts to say hi etc, and for a while I'd think 'isn't this nice - aren't we so mature and grown up that we can be friends'. But of course I wanted to be more than friends, so when he'd tell me stuff about what he'd been doing it would be a knife in the heart - more hurt. Then he'd start saying or sending messages saying 'you looked gorgeous today' 'I miss you so much' 'wish I was with you' etc etc. Then when he heard that I'd moved out for a while it was like 'oh I could come round' and so on. So I'd start thinking 'maybe he doesn want a relationship with me'. So I'd ask 'what is it you want from me' & he'd reply '(my name) you know I'm staying at home with (wife's name) I've told you this, I don't want anything from you' & I'd feel embarrassed & stupid 'Oh yes of course XAP how stupid of me' but then I'd think 'Hang on what about the fact that you want to text me all the time, say you want to be with me blah blah. Did I make that up?' So I'd say 'just don't contact me anymore' & then I'd give in when I saw him at work or whatever & it would start all over again. So so ridiculous, I cannot believe I do this. I have a very important job, I've always thought of myself as an independent woman who doesn't take rubbish from men, I travel overseas representing my country in the industry I work in and yet here I am behaving like a totally ridiculous idiot! And this man...he's not even anything special!

I sent on Friday yet another please don't contact me text & his reply was amongst other things 'Sorry I make you unhappy, I wish I didn't' I think that means he wishes this 'thing' could carry on, because it doesn't upset him in the slightest, he just gets a little ego boost, cheap thrill to know there's me out there making him feel good & interested in everything he has to say/does etc, whilst for me it upsets my life and holds me back from moving on.

Fortunately XAP is going to be off work very soon for a month or 2 so I won't have to see him. I am going to try so very hard to stick to this NC.  I am afraid though that when I start to feel better is when I start thinking 'maybe we can be friends after all'. It's hard. But I just have a vision of myself being like this forever, I dread him talking about his life (my main fear is that as he is not married to his partner of 23 years & that he'll come into work and announce they're getting married) I want to get to a point in my life where I'm not bothered, in the same way I'm not bothered about old boyfriends and what they're doing.

At the same time as all of this it looks like my H & I are separating. We are planning to sell our house etc, so I have a lot of things to contend with right now.

Anyway, thanks for reading x


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2012
Mon, 01-14-2013 - 6:30am
Hi Messed up, Sorry you are having such a difficult time. It's hard to end, really hard, and all the more difficult when you work with your xAP. BUT it can and does end, when you really want it to..... I understand that you are feeling really negative about yourself and your life at the moment. It's stressful, to say the least when a marriage breaks up. You say you had trouble reconnecting with your husband again, but how could you connect with him when you havn't disconnected from your AP. Your head tells you that he (AP) doesn't want you for anything other than ego strokes, but your heart is still holding on to him. Until you let go of him you will struggle with connecting with your H. Your marriage may well be over, only you can know that. Until your A is over you will still hurt, over and over. You can't be friends with your AP, he will just take and take and throw you under the bus when wifey has enough, he isn't leaving her..... I see so much despair in your post sweetie, maybe it would be helpful for you to have some ind' therapy. Spend time figuring out who you are, what you want. Learn how YOU can make you happy. Take time for you. You don't have to feel the way you are feeling now, take back that independant woman you once were. She is still there, you have just lost sight of her. Commit to being completely NC (as much as the work place allows), Commit to ending....Block whatever avenues you can, you can do this. read here and post often, we will support you. (((Hugs))) Sunny Soon Xxx
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Mon, 01-14-2013 - 5:27pm

Hi MU,

Have you sought counseling with a good, qualified therapist?  If not, I strongly urge you to do so as soon as possible.  And if you are in counseling, but aren't getting the help you need (not every therapist is right for us/for our needs), please vigorously seek out one.  Ask people you trust and who might be in a position to know who some good ones are.

We need to get you to a better place - happy & confident again.  You *CAN* get there but you must be your own best advocate in getting there.  Crying, ruminating, not taking care of yourself (physically, spiritually & mentally) will only make things worse.

You are not alone and have come to the right place to express your innermost thoughts and feelings in confidence.

Promise yourself that you will put an action plan in place to help yourself this second, this moment, right here.

We'll be looking for your to check in with us daily, hourly!



iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2011
Tue, 01-15-2013 - 9:37am

I always love when they pour on some guilt things like "sorry I make you unhappy". KUDOS TO YOU for choosing to get out of the rut!!!! I've seen you a time or two before on this board and you are right - it is all a dreadful mess. You know what the best thing is tho? You're at the bottom, you can shoot back for the top now. I chuckled too at your comment " I am going to try so very hard to stick to this NC" - in the back of my mind I could hear yoda say - do or do not, there is no try. And that dear MU, is the truth.

Let's address a few things and play out some scenarios: "We still work in the same department although our major project where we needed to travel together has ended" - that is how it goes, they seem to settle back into their creature comfort ways. You internalized things different from him, and you give over your own power when you look to him to either bless you with his presence or loot to him for approval of worth when he clearly does not value your worth at all. you giving in to start the cycle of "lets be friends" is pretty common when you haven't decided on boundaries for yourself. it is very hard to maintain LC at work when you haven't decided how much you are willing to deal with. I'd say that this is something that is really important in his absence to establish. There really is no "nice" way to cut strings. DO NOT have contact with him unless mandated by your job, for job only things - no pleasantries, no group get togethers..... It's kind of like being a little bit pregnant, either you are or your not - which are you?

As for your H and you separating at the same time of this ending - I can speak from experience because I chose to end my 20 year M at the same time as ending my A. You will take emotional hits in a VERY deep dark place that you have no idea about. You will be raw, and lonely, and and feel broken. What I can tell you (since I'm 2 1/2 years from this point) is that time is the only healer. You need to look at yourself, figure out (and be brutally honest) what it is you want in your life, who you want to be and make a plan to adopt in habits and supports that will help YOU keep your boundaries.

My xAP was a first love - one that more than anything I wanted to remain friends with, but it is impossible. and before I go - you say "my main fear is that as he is not married to his partner of 23 years & that he'll come into work and announce they're getting married" - so what if he does? Your afraid because what - then it will mean your A was nothing and he really is never coming back to save you? Honey, the A WAS nothing and he didn't pick you to form a real relationship with - and you didn't pick him either.

Keep reading, keep writing, reach out every single time you want to write him - it works.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2009
Wed, 01-16-2013 - 7:57am

Hi Messedup

I really don't like your "name", I don't like writing, and I don't like reading it! I do hope you will be changing that soon. Messedup is the past - you were messed up when you started your A, there is nothing messedup about ending a A - its will be one of the best decisions you will ever make!

I know what it feels like having to work with an xAP. I think the reason my A lasted the 3 years it did was because we worked together. He would suck be back every single time I tried to find the excape button/back door/reverse gear - which was many many many times....every time I thought "enough is enough" I found I could not resist his slimey charms...

It will take you super human strength and focus to end your A while working with him. I had no idea how to end my A, but I felt I was litterally loosing my mind. I had been "coping" with anti-'d for ½ a year, in the hope they would help me accept I was in an A.... instead they gave me some clarity. I decided to write an Ending note appealing to his better side - the one with morals. I told him truthfully how I wanted to end, but I couldn't resist him. I asked him to let me go, I ask him to never contact me again. I needed him to let me move on with my life. I knew I would not fish... I knew if he left me alone long enough I would be able to recharge my strength again..... for 1 year ago, after I sent my xAP & work colleague this letter, I never heard another word from him. He let go...

Being let go of, even though it was best for me, was a very painful time in my life. I cried when noone was around. I didn't just cry, I balled my eyes out. I didn't know I could cry so much, I didn't know how much tears burned, I didn't know it was possible to be so addicted to a person.

I never knew how he felt about ending the A. I will never know... sometimes, I feel my heart going on a pointless journey, a journey to find out if it loved for no reason... its like its searching for something it losts... but these moments are breif... but it sometimes feel empty in my heart....

I left my job because of xAP. Some would say it was mistake to leave a job "just" because of a man. I found a lot of happiness and freedom in leaving my job. The whole experience still "sits" in my body, and for better or for worse, it helps me from falling off the A "wagon". I never want another A again. I never want to ruin my career chances because I was sleeping with a colleague. I never wanted to disengage from my H again, and I will never allow myself to neglect my children again because of some JAM.

Your in a difficult situation, buts its luckily not impossible - and you can free yourself from this if you want. I was so determinded to get myself out of the mess I made - and I am a firm believer of if you want something enough you can get it.... the choice is yours... what are you going to do??

Best of luck... my heart goes out to you..



Every recovery is a kind of rebirth
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2011
Wed, 01-16-2013 - 10:01am
"being let go of, even though it was the best thing for me, was a very painful time in my life" that's where I am right now, stuck in that pain, and it's awful! Some days are better than others, 26 days today and hopefully time will do it's thing, just wish it was sooner than later!

Sometimes love just isn't enough.... NC since 7-30-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2009
Wed, 01-16-2013 - 10:57am


Its really tough, I was devistated that he let go so effortlessly, 1 part was hoping to god he wouldn't let go, and the other part was hoping to god he would... it was a very confusing time.

But Time is what I had, and what you have.  The more time that went by after he let go, the better things got... the first 3 months are the toughtest, with the very worst being the first month - right where your at :-( 

Go easy on yourself, and don't rush it. Despite it all, I have no regrets about the ending...it had to be done, and he was never going to let me go without me spelling it out...he liked me dangling there.... I hated every second of feeling like his toy.

Hang in there BK - keep writing it really does help... it eases my heart and mind every time I come here...


Every recovery is a kind of rebirth
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-29-2013
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 12:53pm

Hi, it's me - Messedup2012, yes I changed my name (what a nuisance!) I'm not sure that replying to old threads moves them up to the top of the board anymore (another nuisance) so I will post this here and a new thread just incase. Thank you to all who replied, you are all right in all your comments and I know it.

So what has happened since..like I said XAP is away from work until the end of February, I decided to stop contacting him & not reply to his texts etc, but then of course as I hadn't explained why, so I had more texts 'is everything ok' 'do you have a problem with your phone' and eventually he rang me at work, so I see that it's not necessarily the right way to go, a little explaining first helps.

So I talked to him & said I can't have contact with him and that I cannot be friends because it hurts me to hear about his family etc and it holds me back from getting over it etc. Anyway I won't bore you with all the usual blah blah, I'm sorry, I'm unhappy too etc but I have asked him not to contact me. He's not an evil man and I genuinely believe that he doesn't want me to be upset & therefore will respect it.

I know that when he comes back to work everyone in the office will be talking to him about his time off and how he's been etc and I don't want to hear that so I have booked leave so that I'm not there when he comes back so everyone can get the 'welcome back' out of the way. I have also asked him to try not to come into my office unless he has to and if he does can he stick to non personal chat, infact I have even asked him please don't chat about personal matters within earshot of me. As I say, I think he will respect this, hopefully this will give me time to get myself in a better position as I can't bar him from coming into the office permanently.

As for my H and I, our house goes up for sale next week, but I still don't know if it's the right thing, but have spent so many months waiting for time to pass and to feel better and I haven't. Perhaps it's because XAP has never truely been out of the picture.

Thank you for all your support and I hope to be back on here telling you how many days I've been NC at some point!


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2012
Thu, 01-31-2013 - 3:27pm

One good thing is you aren't stringing your H along while pininng to be with your AP  anymore .  Also I don't understand how people destroy their M in hopes of being with AP , but  when  it becomes clear  that AP is in this  just for fun , the default choice is  to  try to figure out if H is  still an option yet . If AP were ready for long-term   you wouldn't wait for a sec  in dumping your H  . Is their any end  to  this huge   sense of entitlement  shown by people in affairs  ?

Avatar for ratherbeme
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Thu, 01-31-2013 - 5:16pm

Love Guru,

I think you are failing to see there is a lot of middle ground for us that have been in the A fog.

Fog is what it really is.  For all my life I have prided myself on my integrity, both in personal and business. No one would believe that I would ever have participated in what I did.

Moving off the black and white position, and into the gray area is what is even hard for us to understand. I wasn't interested in being in an A, or staying in one. Emotionally I was ready to leave someone who I thought that I loved.

Where does reality and emotion come together?  The gray area.

I fully understand the difficulty that we all have felt on the board.  

Now that I have been NC for so long, it is more logic, than it is emotion. I also know that I am not ready to test myself emotionally as many people do.

I think time will heal that entitlement line of thinking. It will heal us.

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