Help me be strong

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-2014
Help me be strong
10
Tue, 05-27-2014 - 4:34pm

I have been married for almost 10 years with a child.  Approximately 3 months ago life was really stressful at home between my husband and I as well as other life stressors.  I am not using this as an excuse just stating a fact.  At that time I met a man in a coffee shop.  It started by innocent chatting about kids etc. and he asked me for my number so we could grab a coffee together again.  We started off as innocent friends.  I told my husband about him and after a few coffees and chats on the phone my husband was uncomfortable with this friendship and asked me to stop.  I ended it and he completely understood and agreed a few days later I missed him and called him back and we started talking again.  We kept it to mostly talking on the phone (usually durring my drive home from work) and emailing eachother and once and a while ate at night we would skype.  We were both attracted to eachother physically and emotionally.  He was estranged from his wife and had a child and wanted to repair that relationship with her but was kind of stuck. I told him several times that I loved my husband did not want to leave my relationship until I had tried to work things out and he understood.  We met once more just to talk  in person we were drawn to eachother but did not act on things physically.  Then we continued talking, e mailing eachother daily flirting with the idea of meeting.  We set a date to meet and he cancelled worried he was going to ruin my life, cause me more trouble etc.  We tried to break it off and withing a couple of days we were back to talking and e mailing daily again.  Last week we met in person for an afternoon.  We walked, talked chatted and kissed.  We went for a drive and talked about where this was going (which we could both see was going nowhere).  The next day he e mailed me to say he realized he needed to focus on repairing his relationship and would need to break contact for a while.  he was kind and caring about it but also stated that he had crossed lines with me that he never thought he would cross and is concerned about his self respect and self worth if he continues with this relationship.  I told him I understand (and I do). I also realize I have crossed lines and shocked myself with my actions.  I told him i would not contact him again unless he contacted me.  I have a feeling if I did contact him he would fall right back into our communication again and I don't want to tempt him. 
what I want is to stay strong and end this thing for good this time before we go further down this road that only leads to more pain and suffering for both of us.  The problem is that I have grown so attached to him.  He became such an emotional support and such a part of my daily activity it's been really hard letting it go.  Even though my head KNOWS this is the right thing to do my heart aches for his attention, affection, the fun we had talking together.  I know those are things I am obviously missing in my own marriage and I need to work on that.  I have been looking at this site for quite a while and it has been helpful in emotionally preparing me to make this move.  I have realized for a while it needed to end and that it was all really an illusion and not a real relationship (thanks to the library).  I just didn't have the strength to let it go quite yet.  So the fact that he ended it first is actually a relief. 

I also feel incredibly guilty at times about what I have done.  I am trying to be kind to myself and be understanding of the fact that I made a mistake.  I know everyone says this but I never intended to have an affair. 

I feel very sad and lonely and guilty all at once.  I am tempted to e mail him throughout the day.  What I have been doing is emailing myself what I want to e mail to him and why I can't as a way of coping with it.  I really want to call him especially right now when we would normally talk on the phone.  I won't call him but I have been so sad and low durring my commute home because it had become such a routine. 

I am also worried that if he calls or e mails me I won't be strong enough to resist.  I have been contemplating various scenarios to resist this such as not answering the call at all, answering and reminding him that what we had done was for the best for both of us, telling him I will call him back when I can talk and then waiting for a time I am feeling stronger to say we can't keep going with this.

At the same time I am working on repairing the issues in my marriage that caused this.  I still love my husband and don't want to continue to do things that would hurt him. 

Any support, suggestions, advice would be greatly appreciated.  How long will it take for this pain to start to heal?  We have had no contact for 4 days and it's the longest we have gone with no contact.

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Tue, 05-27-2014 - 5:05pm

Hi FT..welcome to EAS :)

I'm glad you've been reading here, so you know some of the very basics. The first step to the basics is blocking all avenues of communications so he cannot reach you and so you cannot reach out to him during weak moments.

Another basic is how we tend to confuse feelings of a 'crush' with true love. Like any relationship where there's a connection in the beginning, the chemicals are having a swirl fest...and unless that relationship can pass through that phase (which affairs generally do not), we get stuck there.  And we feel like we just can't live without them...even though we lived without them all our lives and will go on to live without them once they are detoxed out of our system, which takes time and distance out...and most importantly, staying NC. 

It's an addiction, and you have to approach it as such. NC, block and walk and do the work to figure out how and why you got to this point in your life.  NC and not doing the work is like an alcoholic going sober and not doing the work and so he is just whiteknuckling it and chances are good he will fail in the face of a drink.

So, use this NC to the best of your advantage. Some heavy duty introspection is called for, and sitting with a therapy will be key to your recovery...and this support group, of course.  But most of our issues are deep-seated and beyond our scope here...and a professional can help root them out to be addressed. But we understand what you are going through, can support you, and keep you on track.

Post here as often as you need to talk things out.  More importantly is post here BEFORE you pick up that phone so we can talk you down.

Realize he did you a big favor. You dodged a bullet this time...you did not get caught...next time you might not be so lucky.

Keep reading in our Healing Library...and check out the baggagerclaim site too...for the strength and fortitude you need to stay the course.. You need to get yourself to that point...the point of no return...even if he does call.  No one can do that for you. We can only provide the tools to help you get there.

Clarity

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-2014
Wed, 05-28-2014 - 9:16am

Thank you Clarity for your thoughtful response.  I appreciate your insight and support.  You're right it's an addiction.  It's interesting you use that term because he and I would often use that term about our relationship.  You pointed out some helpful things about the chemicals and the "Crush".  It's a really good way for me to look at it.  A more realistic way to look at it.  I am tempted every day to call him but I have still not picked up the phone.  I am taking your advice to block all avenues of contact.  The more time goes by without contact the better I am starting to feel.  The first few days were so painful all I wanted to do was cry and sleep.  It's still painful but the pain is lessening every day.  I have very unhelpful thoughts at times.  I feel rejected because he ended it first.  I feel needy and desparate to hear from him again to have his attention and affection telling myself just one last time.  But I try to tell myself that's the addiction talking.  It was one powerful drug!   

Now I have to face up to what I have done and deal with my behaviour. I had a few therapy sessions when I first started the affair to ask for help to end it.  The therapist was very helpful and when I ended the affair the first time I ended my therapy along with it.  I probably should have stayed in therapy to work on things. I am going to look into that to get to the root of the problem within me.

Thank you for the support.  There is nowhere else I can go for (informal) support but this site.  I am ashamed of my behaviour and the thought of telling anyone (right now anyway) makes me feel physically sick.  

Wanting to pick up the phone and call him comes in waves.  I'm trying to ride out the waves but it can be so hard sometimes. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-2014
Wed, 05-28-2014 - 11:45am

Thanks for the quick reply Clarity.  And the warning about picking up the phone and the problems that could and would ultimately happen.  I will not pick up the phone I will leave my phone at my desk and go for a walk!

Still riding the waves......

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Wed, 05-28-2014 - 3:21pm

Yes, you have to ride out those waves...hang 10! :)   You know you CAN get through them. You can always time them, and then plan to do something within that timeframe to occupy and distract you 'til it passes. Organize a room, read, call a friend and ask how she's doing to get out of your own head and away from your situation, call a family member, play with your child, hug your pet, call your husband.  Do you have a close friend who knows about this and can be the replacement person when you want to reach out? Come here and post and read read read.

I hear you about the rejection factor.  I think the feelings of rejection and disappointment with ourselves can be difficult especially when we knew it had to end, and they just beat us to the punch in doing the right thing...dang!  Try to look at it as he rejected the affair not you.

I'm glad you feel you want to get back into therapy to help you figure this all out.

It helps to realize too that, even though you fell off the beam, you are doing right now.  When we strive to get to the bottom of what makes us tick, to do better and be better, that can help up ease the guilt and shame.

So, please do not pick up that phone. I can't tell you the times people have pushed the envelope with one more call, one more text, one more breaking of NC, one more time out...only to bring on a Discovery Day. It's awful...and people never realize just how awful 'til it happens...the ripple effect it has.  

Stay the course. Keep posting in. I'm in and out throughout the day.  YOU CAN DO IT!

((hugs))

Clarity

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Wed, 05-28-2014 - 3:25pm

Good idea leaving the phone behind and taking a nice walk.  Your feelings will change minute by minute and will not be denied (I feel like Glen Close when I say that...lol). You have to embrace them to get through them.  Just know it's all apart of the detox and grieving process.  Trust the process and know that as long as you stay the course, it'll all even out and become smoother waters. Give it time and have patience with yourself.

Clarity

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-2014
Thu, 05-29-2014 - 11:50am

Thank you so much for all of the support!  It is making a huge difference.  Last night on my commute home I was tempted to pick up the phone just wanted to check in and see if things are ok with him.  At least that was the excuse I was giving myself.  I probably wanted all those good feelings that come from the emotional high I got from the relationship. I am also pretty sure I wanted to see if he missed me LOL.  Instead I tried to think about what the outcomes would be if I called him before I actually made the call.  I figured one of three things would happen.

1.  He would answer the phone tell me he missed me and we would start things up again against our better judgement and then all this emotional pain I have experienced would be for nothing and I would risk being caught and I would eventually have to go through this pain again.

2. He would answer and tell me he needed to stick to the No Contact and I would feel rejected and stupid and like a jerk for calling him in the first place.

3.  He wouldn't answer my call and then I would obsess about why he didn't answer.  He might or might not call back and then I would have to deal with the consequences of both of those things which weren't too appealing either.

After thinking long and hard about those three possible consequences none of them seemed appealing to me.  That doesn't mean I still wasn't tempted to be impulsive and just call anyway.  The affair junkie in me is still pretty strong ;)  But I white knuckled it home with the radio blaring ;)

In the mean time I have been trying to work on some things that I was avoiding with this affair to begin with.  The hard work of working on the issues in my marriage has begun and this time I don't have an escape when things get tough.  I feel like I'm more committed to the process and to working things out.  I have a number of other family and work related stressors that I am now starting to address slowly but it's moving forward.  The more distance I have the more perspecitive I am gaining. And these are my feelings when I am feeling good.

I still have many bad moments and I am trying to feel them and process them without denying them avoiding them or beating myself up about them.  I have a lot of feelings and thoughts about my behaviour I have to face and that's not easy.

I keep thinking of your words reminding me to trust the process.  As much as at times I HATE the no contact rule I know it is the only way to get out of this and past it.  The one positive I can say about the No Contact rule is that I feel much more in control of my behaviour/addiction.  When I was in the affair I felt completely out of control.  Because we had set times to talk (after work on the commute home) even if I had been at work early I would wait to leave at the time we would talk so I could talk and he wasn't always free so I found myself waiting around for him a lot and I didn't like that feeling at all.  The times he didn't call or couldn't meet me and I was there just waiting and missing him and feeling lonely.  If he would call me at an unexpected time (often over lunch time) I would step away from what I was doing (having lunch with a friend, work activities, shopping for myself) so I could talk to him and I didn't always like myself for doing that.  I also felt like I couldn't control my behaviour.  I was "drawn" to him and even though I didn't want to hurt my family I felt like I couldn't help myself.  Now I feel like I am back in control and when I think about that it feels good! 

So I am still riding the waves and they are choppy at times but starting to smooth out.  I am still afraid that because he was the one to ask for a break (he didn't compltely end it but said he needed a break "for a while" to focus on improving things in his own life) that he will call at some point. I have debated sending him a short e mail (so I don't talk to him and feel tempted) to tell him I'm done but I don't want to initiate contact again at this point.  I also don't want to seem petty.  It doesn't really matter who ended it all that matters is it's over.  Any advice around this?
Also, I am feeling better every day but how long will it take to get over it?  Maybe there is no clear answer to that.

I can't say enough about how helpful EAS has been.  When I was struggling with my affair I was googling ending an affair and support and although there are my judgemental articles out there and also some websites encouraging affairs there was very little support.  I was afraid to seek help.  Thank you for being so kind and so helpful.  When I was at my worst and lowest in my affair I wasn't posting on here because I hadn't ended it and wasn't sure I wanted to end it yet but I was reading.  I was absorbing and gaining strength to deal with the inevitable.  So a great big THANK YOU! 

 

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Thu, 05-29-2014 - 2:07pm

 A resounding NO on shor' email.  my  "T" key is on 'he frilz...and so I will use an apos'rophy in i's place.  You do no' wan' 'o break NC. Le' him 'hink you have moved on as well. If you block, he will no' be able 'o ge' 'hrough and so will ge' 'he message.

Congra'ula'ions on 'hinking i' all 'he way 'hrough...which has no' been our s'rong sui'.  You came 'o 'he logical conclusion "no good would come of i'"...no good a' all.  We have to be cons'an'ly viligan' of our junky mind and unders'and how addic'ions work...how 'hey wan' 'o reasser' 'hemselves and weaken us.

I'm glad you are replugging yourself back in'o your marriage. Wha'ever our perceived problems, 'hey will never jus' go away and of'en 'imes become compounded due 'o our neglec'.  

Thank you for your kind words.  Glad 'o be of help.

Clari'y

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2006
Thu, 05-29-2014 - 7:04pm

Delete his e-mail address and ALL his e-mails from your computer.Delete his contact info on the computer and delete his ph#.It will get easier once you do this.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2014
Fri, 05-30-2014 - 4:35pm

Hello there - you and I are in the exact same spot.  My wanting to contact comes in waves - I cry and sleep - I called out of work today - just couldn't do it today.  My therapist use the analogy of cocaine with my AP.  I just want to see him one more time - he is such a narcissist and is unable to love or have a normal relationship.  It's so hard to walk away.  I've tried twice before and ended up going back - in the past, he didn't even want to talk about what happened, we just started back into the A.  Good grief - why do we do this?!! Ha   Would love to hear back from u and provide support to each other...  

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-05-2014
Thu, 06-05-2014 - 6:11pm

I am in the same position. I find myself thinking up "reasons" to contact but it's just that it is so hard to finally let go. I really appreciated the process you went through when the urge to call your ap struck. Listing the possible outcomes, realizing most of them weren't to your benefit and then resisting that urge took courage. The emotional drain from this sucks, but reading these posts lets me know I'm not crazy or alone and that I will feel better and move on only if I to stick to not having contact.