He fished, now I'm conflicted.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2003
He fished, now I'm conflicted.
Mon, 04-16-2012 - 7:38pm

Not sure if I belong here or on the After an Affair board - I feel a bit in limbo.

To summarize... had a mostly emotional A with a MM, I am a MW. The A lasted on and off for a little over a year. I know we all think this, but I really do think we have genuine affection for each other, but yeah - not right, not healthy, not OK. We do have a genuine friendship, though, so this has been the hardest part to let go. It's been a month since I broke it off, we had a week of platonic/business-related contact, now it's been 3 weeks of NC. Every day has gotten easier, but it's been heartbreaking and I still miss him. The past week, it's really started to lift. I am feeling stronger, happier, and more connected to my DH than ever - lots of bonding and sex and fun, like old times, only even better in some ways.

xAP has been vacationing with his family for the past 2 weeks which made NC pretty easy. But he is back in town as of today. Just got an email from him, titled "Back". He said he hopes I am well and wanted to say hi, and that he noticed I unfriended him on facebook, deleted him on my IMs, etc. and assumes I don't want further contact, but that maybe he's misreading and would love to hear from me, and hopes I will at least let him know how I am doing. Said we've both done a good job not being in contact but "still think that this sucks." Hopes it's ok to at least say hi.

So, how do I feel? Kind of satisfied that he wants to know and seems to miss me. But mostly I am ANNOYED. I'm annoyed because he jumped at the chance to contact me as soon as he returned to real life without me (non-vacation)... welcome to what has been my hell. One that's become easier, finally. Now it's his turn to walk past all our broken memories. And the kicker - he knows I'm just here working a couple days and then I will be going on a vacation with DH for the rest of the month. It's selfish of him to pop back in before I am ready for a romantic getaway with my real love. Sure, I hate not knowing how he is, too, or being able to just say hi and say how our days are going - but not being able to do that was becoming the norm and I was no longer feeling so empty because of it.

I'm annoyed that *just* as I am really starting to let go and be happy without him, he fished. And I don't want to get caught... but part of me still cares so much for him and probably always will. So how do I stay strong? What should I do? Like I said, we had a friendship and a business relationship above all else so NO contact ever again seems cruel and also professionally unwise... but maybe that's off limits, too?


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2011
Mon, 04-16-2012 - 9:54pm
Sweetie, I was friends with xAP for 10 years before our 2 year (mostly) PA. I ended it in May of last year. Tried to "stay friends" for 5 weeks and then I couldn't take the pain any more. I sent an NC text in late June.

He fished in October. A business related email that I, at the time, felt it would be churlish not to respond to. So I did. Cool, short and professionally. This prompted another email from him. And so on and so on.

I tried, again, to be friends for a few months but it just does not work. It is, IMHO, very painful. You.can't be yourself any more, like you were before the A.because you are too.guarded and you don't want to cross.the line. So it.becomes very "how's the weather"-ish.

And for me, that was more.painful than never talking to him again.

I am now 3.5 months NC again.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2010
Mon, 04-16-2012 - 11:24pm
Good evening, RedLight.

Just so we're clear on this, we are supposed to stop at red lights, right?. As regards your M, your life, and yes, your work, this guy and your "friendship" is a BIG, BRIGHT, RED light. It's not kind of yellow or blinking; it's steady RED. Now, if you want to run the red light and risk a ticket, I suppose that's up to you. The AAS folks should give you one too, cause you are only a month out at best.

Listen, many people need to have LC with their XAP and the rules are posted for you too follow. If you are thinking about him as a friend, I say you still have quite a bit of work to do regarding your feelings for him. What's a "mostly mostly emotional A"? That's still an A, yes? If it seems cruel to limit your contact with him, what is it to your husband that you maintain contact with a M for whom you've had inappropriate feelings, if not more?

Listen to your words. Be annoyed that he's chasing you down after coming back from his vacation. You're right, he is being SELFISH! When your done being annoyed that he fished, ask yourself why you are ready to take the bait. Why would you allow him to come between you and your DH anymore? If things truly feel better with your DH, why would you risk that?

Come on, RLG, you know what you need to do. If you really must maintain business contact with him, read the rules of LC and stick to them. If not, then you should block his email and most certainly not respond.

Make it clear to him that you know the rules of the road.

I hope we don't see you in traffic court.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2009
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 7:28am

Wow Redlghtgo!!!

I actualy got a little worried about the sanity of your xAP after reading your post.

Honestly??? really???

Every recovery is a kind of rebirth
Avatar for worthmore
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-20-2012
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 7:33am
When my friends go on vacation, they email me if they miss me or if something spectacular has happened that they want to share. If I don't hear from them while they are gone, their first email is about what they did and saw on their vacation. There's no subtext, no neediness. I'm sure you've had emails like that before and I'm sure that's why you can sense the difference in this one.

Your xap is not your friend any longer. It's not that he's not a (potentially) good person. It's that he's just not good for you. Look how he's made you feel after your weeks of climbing out of the a-hole and getting to a better place.

I'm a firm believer in not accidentally rewarding behaviour. So we always have to examine our motives and think through to the consequences of any action. How do you stay strong? What happens if you don't. If you respond to his email,as Rain said, you'll be hearing from him more. It might start innocently enough but, like any addict, the thrill of the innocent will wear off quickly. Then you'll be sharing details about your day, about your life. And that's the slippery slope because soon those details won't be enough either. Affairs are like fat cells. Even after you lose the weight, they'll still scream to be fed.

So, if you have an assistant at work and don't want to block him from contacting your company, set up a rule to respond to him automatically: Thank you for your email. Please contact my assistant Bob for your business-related matter. If you don't have an assistant, set up a rule anyway to say thanks and you will get back to him as soon as possible about his business-related query. If it's not business, you won't get back to him and if he's using business as an excuse to maintain contact then this will soon stop being fun for him. However, if upon examining your own motives you discover you're using the possibility of a business contact as an excuse to keep him in your life, you need to block his email and other avenues of contact and protect yourself and your m.

It's not cruel to teach a dog that sit always means sit. It won't be cruel to teach your xap that he is an x, not a current and, because of your past, not a friend.

By the way, I think you're doing really well with this.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2003
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 1:28pm

Thank you - this is what I need to hear to confirm even replying out of courtesy is unnecessary and will just flip back on my anxiety switch. Going to at least follow the 48 hour rule and wait until tomorrow night IF I decide to just say, "Hi - I'm doing well. Looking forward to my vacation, which officially started today! Best, (me)"

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2003
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 1:30pm
Wow, you raised some very good points. I always have had a tendency to push boundaries... stems from my parents never really making me adhere to any I guess. I replied to another member above. I am not even tempted to reply right now, but if I still feel like a short, dismissive reply would make me feel content tomorrow, I will say: "Hi - I'm doing well. Looking forward to my vacation, which officially started today! Best, (me)"... but I am thinking it is probably best to just not respond and let this pass.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2003
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 1:31pm
You're right. He is manipulative - not in an outwardly cruel way, but he always has been good at charming his way into getting what he wants out of people. A bit wacko indeed. Not playing his game anymore.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2003
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 1:34pm
Thanks for the advice, perspective, and words of encouragement. The only reason I want to stay on good terms is because I do miss the friendship and he was my former supervisor, aka an important professional reference. But I have others, true. I am going to wait until tomorrow night or later to maybe reply with a short, impersonal email just letting him know I'm doing well and excited to be on vacation (hint hint - leave me alone).
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2011
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 2:37pm
Honestly, if you reply at all it leaves the door open for future contact. You can't be friends and you won't be friends. I'd like to spare you the pain of figuring that out but sometimes we have to find out for ourselves (I did).
Good luck.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2005
Tue, 04-17-2012 - 2:43pm


Believe us when we tell you that the friend'ship' has sailed.