Feel like I am drowning

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2014
Feel like I am drowning
13
Fri, 07-11-2014 - 6:39pm

I'm new and have spent the last several days reading posts and spending time in the Healing Library but now I feel like I need to post my story and reach out for support.  I can't do this alone. 

My A ending about a week ago...suddenly and without explanation.  It lasted several years.  We were both married when it started but he already knew the end of his marriage was fast approaching.  In the beginning we lived several states apart.  However, once he was divorce, work brought him to my area and the A turned physical.  Fast forward to last year...circumstance forced him to move away.  We continued to talk almost every day and even see each other a couple of times.  But 2 months ago he met someone else. 

I knew it, he wouldn't confirm or deny it.  Our daily talks continued despite the new relationship...until July 4th.  All of sudden he's moving..the next day (owns property in 2 different states) and promises to call in a couple of days.  He couldn't call me from the road. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why.  He also told me not to worry that he was always with me and would never push me away. I know he arrived safely.  Other than that,  I haven't heard from him. 

I've done a lot of soul searching this week. I have soo many why questions but I know the answers don't really matter.  I'm trying really hard to accept what has happened, knowing that I can't change it.  That has acted like a life preserver for me...most of the time.   But there are times like now where I feel like I am drowning in emotion, drowning in the "whys", I can feel the weight on my chest suffocating me.  One little memory  pops up and the life preserver falls off. 

It's been 4 days since I've tried to contact AP. Last contact with him was a text  asking how he was doing but he never replied.  I hope I have the strength to continue.  I just want the memories to stop invading my head and visions of what he's doing right now to leave me alone.  I just can't believe I meant so much to him one day and then I was so easily tossed aside.  

I am still married. As far as I know, he doesn't know about the A.  The A distracted me from my marriage for years. I know I need to focus on my marriage and figure out what drove me to do this in the first place.  I need to figure out "me".

Thank you for listening.  I've never told anyone about my A until now.

 

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sat, 07-12-2014 - 12:13pm

I'm sorry this happened to you, and I'm sure that as time goes by, IF you let it, the "pain" and unhappiness will fade away.  This is no different than a death.  In most cases it comes as a shock, and you're inconsolable......but if you're going to survive, you learn to move on.  You HAVE to move on......there is no other choice.  The choice comes in when you choose to put the past out of your mind, and concentrate on the right here and now.  There are some people who lose a loved one, this way, or by death, and they will "mourn" and beat themselves up forever......but that proves nothing.  It proves that you have given your power away to someone who isn't worried about you or your unhappiness.  They are living their life exactly the way they want to live it.....and it's up to you to accept that, and to move on with your life.  You said you more or less ignored your marriage during this affair, and you think your husband doesn't know.  Good!  And don't think you'll feel better if you "confess" because you won't feel better, and he'll be hurting just like you are.  Now is the time to concentrate on your marriage.  Not only is that a good thing, but it will get your mind off what was, and you'll be concentrating on what will be.  Hopefully, you can  bring back the spark in your marriage.  There must have been one before all this.  People tend to stop putting effort into their marriage.....that's how affairs start.  It doesn't end when you say "I do"!  Marriage is a lifetime commitment, just as raising children is.  And you have to keep putting work into it to keep it alive and happy.  Not saying that it's all on you......your husband probably got complacent, too.  Most men do.....and they need to be reminded about things.  If there is something bad about your marriage that you haven't mentioned, then think about ending it.  If getting out of your marriage will make you happy, then do that.  At that point, you will be free to look for someone more to your liking, and you'll be able to live that every day, rather than once in a while, when it suits someone else.  I'm sorry this happened to you, but there's an old saying......if they cheat with you, they'll cheat on you.  My ex-husband cheated on me for years.  I finally got the gumption to divorce him, and he remarried within a month....to his current "friend"..........guess what, he cheated on her too, and she divorced him.  It wasn't me, it wasn't her.......it was him.......he was a cheater, he had no respect for marriage! 

Bottom line, it's too new, and you'll be unhappy for a little while.......but if you busy your mind with good thoughts, if you refuse to accept that you will die without him.......it will fade away, and some day, you'll even be able to think of the good things you had with him, and smile.  "Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is mystery.  Today is a gift, that's why it's called "the present"!  Better days are coming, just be strong and be patient.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2014
Mon, 07-14-2014 - 10:10am

Thank you for your encouraging and honest words.  I really appreciate it.

I spent the weekend with my family (we have kids) and for the first time I was actually present for them.  I wasn’t distracted by texts or emails from AP.  I must admit it was freeing not needing to come up with excuses and hiding out just so I could answer his text, email or make a quick phone call. It helped to keep me busy and not focus on what happened in my double life.  At least until nighttime when AP appeared in my random bizarre dreams or thoughts of him invaded my head as I was trying to fall asleep.  I wish he would just leave all together…physically, mentally and emotionally.

Tonight will be a challenge.  My H works alternating nights and weekends.  He will be working tonight.  It’s these nights that AP and I would spend time together (most recently via the phone).  I already feel that drowning feeling begin to bubble up.  I’m trying to focus on acceptance of what happened and find the positives in my life.  It’s so hard to do when all I want to do is call him up and say “why did you do this to me!?”.. jerk.  I’ll probably be back on here tonight…sigh.

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Mon, 07-14-2014 - 2:51pm

Welcome to EAS, Kitai

I'm sorry he just disappeared without an explanation. You'll never know what happened to make him do that. His betrayed spouse could have become suspicious, he could have had a discovery day, he could have just decided he wanted out of the affair and disappearing was all he had.

I hope you hold tight to the free feeling of not being tied down to your phone; but most importantly, being a mom who is back to giving her children, her husband, her marriage undivided attention rather than stealing time from all of them.

What are you doing now to keep yourself on track? I mean, what if he does show up again? Will you fall back into your affair? Because there's a chance he might; and unless, you are at the point where you simply won't go back, it'll be only a matter of time. If you really are through and not just waiting around for him to get through, it's a good idea to close down all avenues of communication.

Yes, tonight will be a challenge, but you have many challenges ahead of you. How are you preparing to face them? You said you were reading in the Healing Library. I hope that has helped give you a different perspective about your affair and how it is doing you and your loved ones more harm than good and there will be no happy ending. Someone is going to get hurt. Who's it going to be? Your choice.

Clarity 

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2011
Mon, 07-14-2014 - 3:14pm

I'm not sure after reading your story if YOU are intending to let go and move on, or if that will only happen if he doesn't come back.  I'm hoping you are using this opportunity to close some doors, to take some deep breaths and really evaluate where you are.  This is (unfortunately) not the worst of it, but it does feel awful.  We habituate our behaviors when in the A to accomodate our need for secrecy, need to get that ego fix and we fill ourselves with all kinds of justifications and lies to excuse their bad behavior as well as our own.  The worst moments will come when 1.  you don't have other preoccupations, 2.  romanticize any part of the relationship, and 3.  when he comes back to try and reclaim the relationship.  Your own recognition that tonight will be tough is awesome in that you KNOW the temptations will be there - my best advice is to figure out something to fill that time, scrapbook pictures of your family, take on a project you've been putting off, figure out ways to reconnect with old friends, and family.  Plan some future daytrips or vacations you can do with your family.  I know it sounds crazy, but planning for the downtime gives you very little to no opportunity to rent headspace to the A.  

You say "I wish he would just leave.....physically, mentally, emotionally"  -  Here's the best part..... YOU CAN MAKE THAT HAPPEN.  YOU have the right and power to dictate the phone calls you answer, the texts you respond to, etc. etc.  Block all avenues of contact, support yourself, and even arm yourself against contact so that he DOES leave.  I used to sing to myself (silly I know) You've got the power.......(see C&C Music Factory)......

I know the emotional upset you are in, and it is a lack of one of the four basic A's (Attention, Applause, Appreciation, and Acknowledgement) that drives our egos to seek for the missing one elsewhere.  Don't beat yourself up to awfully bad, just consider yourself lucky to have a chance to close doors before a D-day or other ugliness ensues.  If you've been reading the healing library then you know some of the horror stories that people go through having their whole lives exposed, losing everything.  Post here, post often, journal  put your feelings into the universe anonymously if you need to - but close this door.

All the best,

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2014
Tue, 07-15-2014 - 1:17am

Thank you to both  for your addiitonal insight and comments that are making me think and take an even harder look at this situation.   You asked questions that  I don't have answers for but have realized I need to.   

As for really being done and letting go, I want to believe that I am.  I didn't like the person I was...especially in the last several weeks..and I don't want to be that person ever again.  Once I knew he was seeing someone on a daily basis..even staying with her every night but he wouldn't admit it, I developed an insane sense of dependency on him.   It was sick. and obsessive.  I kept most of that hidden from him but he did get a little taste and assured me that what that was normal and that's the way it should be.  Seriously...he just fed into it and fueled it.  I'm so embarassed that I let myself go there.  I  know he's not good for me even if I wasn't married

 What I'm about to  say is going to sound totally crazy considering the emotional state I am in now.   I got exactly what I wished for.. it just didn't happen the way I wished for it.  This whole A started as an EA.  We met online and I had absolutely no intention of it going beyond online chats but it did.  And when he moved to my area it was great at first but then I found myself making excuses to NOT see him.  He needed more of my time than I could give, I was feeling guilty (apparently not enough)  about what I was doing and feeling guilty that I couldn't give him what he wanted.  I secretly wished that he would move away to relieve some of that pressure.  I got wish number 1.  Unfortunately, the day he was leaving, I stopped by his apartment before work and there was another woman there. He avoided me most of the day and left the area.  Not exactly the way I wished for that to happen.

Once out of the area, it didn't take long for wish number 2 to appear.  That he would find someone (but of course still want me because that's how crazy this is).  He was still demanding more of my time and I was still feeling guility.  Well I got wish number 2 but I definitely didn't expect it to happen like this.  I thought we would have a mature conversation about it and still remain in each other's lives.  How messed up is that?  

So yes, I do think I am ready to let go...of most of it.  I don't want to be in an intimate relationship with him.  I NEVER want to open myself up to him again, he hurt me (or I allowed him to hurt me), he lied to me over and over again, I could never trust him and I'd always be suspcious.  That is not how I want to live.  When I say "most of it", the part of struggling to let go of is "why, why, why".  The rational part of my brain says the why's don't matter and I may never know and why do I even care.  But my heart is screaming something different.     It's all crazy and makes no rational sense at all.

 I am very thankful that this happened before D-day. I haved read other's d-day stories.  I also know that d-day could still happen..even years from now. My marriage isn't horrible and is worth working on and trying to mend. 

I did make it through another day of NC and a challenging night.  I'll be alone again tomorrow night and will find a way to keep myself busy.

Thanks again

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2011
Tue, 07-15-2014 - 2:13pm

I'm glad you got through things last night - Years ago when I first came to this board after deciding to end my A  AND my 20-year M at the same time, I was like you - needing to know why.  Let me tell you - NOTHING will ever be enough in your ears.  NOTHING will make sense of it or make it easier.  One of the gals on this board told me to get some 3x5 cards and play out the scenarios - on one side write what I was looking for, on the other - play out the scenario.....  He comes back and declares his love for you - what then?  He never talks to you - what then?  It's like the flip of a quarter to make a decision - the minute that quarter is flipped, you know in your heart what answer you want.  Courage is accepting that and moving forward.

I wrote a post called you are not unique, the dangers in denial (down in the healing library) when things came full circle and what people were telling me finally sunk in.  You can have all of us tell you it isn't real love since real love isn't secretive, doesn't lead to embarassment, hurt, or regret.  But at the end of the day - there is no magical answer to end you asking why.  Years ago at the end of my A and M, I watched that movie letters to Juliet and she gives a speech at the end where she says "'What' and ‘if’ two words as nonthreatening as words come. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: ‘What if?'..." 

You say in your own post, you didn't want to see him after he moved to your area, (as much as he wanted to see you anyway), and then that you wished he would find someone - which came true, much to your emotional dismay.  Here's what I think.  In every EA we connect on an emotional/egotistical level that we need filled.  Are we still beautiful, funny, smart, exciting, sexy, capable...... most A's come from this place.  It's as if we need to prove it to ourselves because we do not get that reaffirmation at home/work/kids and we certainly don't provide it for ourselves.  When we cross the line into a PA, and some of that is shown more than we expected (because we mean it to be just a little reminder not the overwhelming rollercoaster of confusion/love/lust/fantasy), and we can't control the parameters, things become manic.

The relationship itself gives us new "highs" and our brain (being smart), converts that into feel goods.  It becomes the new rate at which we need to be supported.  So even if the PA is more than we anticipated, we keep looking for those feel goods, those reaffirmations that we are strong, smart, sexy, capable, interesting.....the list goes on.  And when we can't or don't provide those for ourself, well, we seek them at the last known place of address - the A.

Which is why there are no answers that will fulfill the why's.  I had some grand illusion of maintaining a platonic relationship initially with my xAP and realized that since I had gone from a beautiful vanilla cone to adding in all the lumps and bumps and sprinkles, I could strain out the lumps and bumps, but I could never get rid of the residue that led to the A, and finally when I got smart, I stopped trying.   And slowly but surely gained acceptance to the fact that there were no answers that could fix my hurt.  There were no answers that would placate my wondering why - the fact was, it was over because I really wanted to get off the rollercoaster, and learn how to feed my own ego so I wasn't forever looking to others for a little fill up.  It takes time.  It hurts like hell - and having contact is no different than peeling off those scabs over and over and over.  

My therapist told me that I needed to lose myself in serving others - which seemed like crazy talk.  I was a mess.  I was heartbroken, but not at the same time.   I couldn't focus.  I cried a lot.  and then one day I tried it.  When those feelings crept in I decided to make bread for a friend - for no reason.  it gave me a focus, and got me back in contact with my friend.  It's ok to be sad and grieve, after all this is a death of a relationship - even if it is fantasy.  So grieve, then get up, get dressed and move forward with different intent.   That's all we can do :)


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Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Tue, 07-15-2014 - 2:23pm

Affairs are crazing making...and so really, let me assure you, all the back and forth is quite normal.

If you are really committed to your ending, then closing all the avenues of communication is the most important first step. Otherwise, you leave the door open for him to walk through. And if you are really unsure how you will receive him, then closing the door with a padlock, will protect you.

Already you see what NC along with distance out and time away has afforded you...the opportunity to gain some clarity and a different perspective.

There's so much more than just 'putting down the drink'. It takes a lot of introspection to figure out why we turned to an affair to help solve...what?  It's ironic how affairs are all about us in a selfish way, turn out to be all about us and our dysfunction, and then has to be all about us...protecting ourselves...our loved ones...in a healthy way. 

Clarity

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2014
Tue, 07-15-2014 - 11:55pm

Thanks again to both of you.  I’m sure you get tired of saying the same thing over and over again to every newbie that steps foot on this board.  I appreciate you taking the time to do so.

Laura – I actually saved your You are not unique… post the other day (along with about a dozen or more other items) from the healing library. It was really good.  I also like the index card suggestion..if for nothing else seeing the scenarios in writing vs in my head works for me.  I process and express things better in writing. 

Every day I’m seeing the benefit of NC.  It’s really hard and I have my drowning moments but (as you mentioned Clarity) it’s giving me some distance.  It’s giving me time to try to understand all of this or absorb it or gain some insight.  I’ve been doing a lot of “research” on affairs and …wow….how blind I was while in the midst of the A.  Having the gift now of stepping out of it and looking back, I realize how addicting and dysfunctional it is and I’m seeing what it’s not ..despite what I thought it was.  This new perspective is also disheartening…how could I have wasted so much time and energy on something like this. 6 years and for what an addictive, dysfunctional relationship that threaten to hurt people closest to me.  The rose colored glasses have definitely come off.   

The “why” questions haunt and hurt me the most.  So…I’m really trying to focus on a different “why”, why have the A in the first place.  I read something in one of the other threads (not in the Healing Library) that really opened my eyes.  I thought “omg…that’s me”.     I think my A had a lot more to do with him wanting me than me wanting him.  The pattern is right there in front of me.  When he was so focused on me and wanting so much of my time, I wished he would move away, wished he would find someone else….but I never realized (until now) that those wishes included a clause…he still needed to want me. But clearly he doesn’t now and that is part that is killing me….not that he’s with someone else but that he no longer needs or wants me.  If I look back over my life, this is a pattern for me.   

Part of me thinks if we were able to have that platonic relationship, then I would still feel like he wanted me, wanted to be a part of each other’s lives.  To use your words Laura, that’s a “grand illusion” that is based on satisfying an unhealthy need.  

Today marks 1 week of NC….7 days longer than where I was this time last week when I thought I wouldn’t survive the day.  I am working on cutting off as many communication avenues as possible. I’ll admit it is taking me some time but I am making steps in that direction.

My H is home the next 2 nights which brings me a sense of relief…yet another change in the right direction.  I’ll be focused and present for him, for us.  The weekend will be my next major challenge.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my long winded posts.  I find writing very therapeutic. I have waaay too much crap floating around in my head and writing gives the crap a home.

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 12:58am

Great to see you, Lolly

Thanks for coming by and lending your support and encouragement.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

((hugs))

Clairbear

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 1:07am

Yup, this is the place to unload and talk things out. NC absolutely guarantees getting out and being free...just like total sobriety to the alcoholiic.

I like how you mentioned about you realizing you really just wanted him to want you.  Turns out to be the case for most.

Keep posting in for support, reading through the Healing Library and check out Baggagereclaim if you haven't done so already.

Stay the course, and you'll be okay.

((hugs))

Clarity 

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

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