I really need some help !!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
I really need some help !!
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 4:08pm
This is very difficult for me to even begin to describe but it is the first step towards recovering from what I've become.

I have a friend that recently revealed that he routinely has affairs on his wife. Hearing the glorifying tales of his adventures, and being somewhat "comfortable" in my relationship of 10 years with my spouse decided to go on an adventure myself.

Placing no blame on my friend. I only blame myself for stepping over the line. I am a police officer and it is very easy for officers to stray with the job that we have. Always being the "ray of light" for the damsel in distress and always seeing the "opportunity" to take advantage of their domestic unhappiness. I came to be attracted to one particular woman and her unfortunate domestic experience inside an abusive even unfaithful marriage. I was able to soothe and comfort her and something inside me was raging for renewal - the sense of passion, secrecy, newness - call it whatever you want; I picked up my cell phone one evening about 3 weeks later. Drugged up my field notes and found her name and phone number. I dialed the number 4 times but never hit send.... Knowing what I was thinking was WRONG! But my urges overcame my logic. I pressed send.... She answered. I introduced myself and she remembered me vividly. Even calling me by name.

She explained that her husband had left and their two daughters (teenagers) were living at home with her. We had small talk the first time. I told her that I was fond of her and if there was anything I could ever do to call me. One call leads to another to another to a dinner date to a secret lunch to an opportunity for a romantic interlude. I found the first experience both erotic, yet frightening. Having 2 small children of my own and a wife and felt the guilt that comes with such infidelity.

Several days had gone by and I could not get her out of my mind. I "needed" to get another fix. She was like a drug to me. She knew that I was married yet we both needed something and with reckless abandon had unbelievable sex.

This story was 3 years ago and I continue to have affairs with her, all with equal passion that never seems to go away. I have seen a myriad of emotions in my own relationship with my wife – and I have seen my lover go through emotions of knowing that we can never be a couple.

I have been able to keep this alternate life a complete secret while I know my wife must have suspicions but has never even indicated she knows. Yes, we have had our marital problems (it seems most that our problems were when I was deeply involved with my lover) but as I try to get out of this relationship and seek help, I found myself slowly withdrawing from my lover but just one “fix” draws me back to her. We both know this is wrong and it can go absolutely nowhere. I love my children so much and grew up in a single parent family and understand the importance of having both parents in my children's life.

I can't leave - I still love my wife but I have a serious problem weaning from my relationship. I have a high profile lifestyle (in the press and media now) that makes the ability for me to hide this relationship in a small community difficult and I know that we will be discovered. I need help. How do I tell my lover (that is equally if not more in love with me) that this has to end, and how do I curb my inhibitions and sexual urges to be with her? This has brought intensive disorder to my life and I cannot even begin to say how this could be my ultimate undoing. I don't know how my friend even keeps these relationships so "simple". Perhaps they aren’t and he is not telling me. Or should I have looked for that "One Time" affair and let it be at that –

I found someone that in another life would have been very happy with. The other problem - she is 15 years older than me.. I'm 34 and she is 49. She is so vivacious, sexy and alluring - all of the things that my wife I guess used to be to me before she had children. I want this life with my wife again but I don’t know what to do.

I just want my life back. Having an affair was the worst thing I have ever done in my life, I’m so ashamed and I just don’t know what to do.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 8:00am
Hi John:

I'm really not sure what advice to give you, but I do know what you are going through. It is very hard to end an A with someone you are not only physically attached to but emotionally as well. You mentioned that "you need your fix" with your OW and I have come to realize that having an A is like an addiction. I am still addicted to my OM even though we have had no contact (except for slipping and sending him an e-mail) but it is getting easier. I think you just have to try and do what is right for everyone involved. It's tough because I know that someone is going to be heartbroken, either your W or your OW but if you are going to end it with OW please do so so she can find a way to happiness....

Please take care of yourself and if you just want to get things off your chest this is a great place to do it!!!


Karry - - who is learning to embrace life on her own raising her miracle, Carley Paige

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 8:40am

Thank you for your supportive comments. I met with her last night. We spoke again about ending the A. She and I agree that it is wrong and she has basically said it was up to me but she would be heart broken. It pains me to see her feel this way but you are absolutely correct. She needs to have a clear and unobstructed path to happiness with someone else.

Keeping this a secret for 3 years has been difficult - I have wanted to get this off my chest for a long time but never knew whom I could trust to tell. Having an "Anonymous" e-therapy session and typing your problem to total strangers that feel and experience the same thing you do has an overwhelmingly sobering impact on your A and can help you find your way back.

I always admitted that if I had put as much energy into my M as I did my A then I would not have these problems. My A has lasted longer than most marriages do - I wonder if it is uncommon for A's to last this long or if it is very unusual. Most last as I read the threads around a year or so. It's very hard, I never thought that I could love two women this much.

You know, I'm a non-smoker and until I tried to end my A, I was always critical of those that tried to quit - "just put it down and walk away" I used to say, now I understand why it's so hard to quit an addiction. :) I don't brow beat anyone about their dependencies anymore - I think I can relate in a strange sort of way.

Thanks Karry -


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 9:35am
Hey John,

I know what you mean about looking at people with habits, etc. I have a friend who has been with a man I introduced her to for two years now. It is clear to everyone but her that he is using her but she keeps persuing him. Until I had an A and fell so hard for my OM I thought she was crazy. But when my affair started I saw so much of what I was doing were the same things she was doing that I thought were so pathetic. I am sure that the way my OM sees me now is totally different than the woman he met 7 months ago. I became so possessive (he was single, I was jealous) and over-bearing. It is so not who I am. But I think the lieing and sneaking around made me suspect him of the same things I was doing. So I'm a little sad that my OM never got to have the best of me. But I sincerely hope (today anyways, I may feel different tomorrow..lol) that he finds someone that will love him totally and without any of the "baggage" that came with our "relationship". My heart is still broken but I have learned alot from this experience and am glad I met OM and that he was atleast in my life for a while (that again may change tomorrow...lol....).

Take care and if you want to talk, I'm here.


Karry - - who is learning to embrace life on her own raising her miracle, Carley Paige

Avatar for stre2001
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 9:49am
It is interesting and true... we do become more tolerant of other's once we experience the same or similar situation.

As to your statement of your A lasting 3 years and therefore lasting longer then most marriages. If this happens to be a fact in your circle of friends, you must be hanging out with a lot of unhappy couples...lol My A lasted 5 years (married 22 years...MM was married 15 years) and there are MANY others here whose A's lasted much longer than just one year.

Living a fulfilling and happy life is the goal for all of us... I just wish that to accomplish it, we all had the GUTS to deal with our problems without involving a third party because people should not be disposable! When affairs end, there is always someone that has to be disposed...it hurts!


Avatar for guardedticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 11:12am
The answer is simple although very complex. I would highly recommend you get some couples counseling with your W and perhaps some individual counseling as well. I truly believe that part of the problem with marriages today is that most people don't go into it for the right reasons and end up wanting out OR they don't know how to keep priorities in line. Let me explain. If both parties getting married go in with the attitude that the MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP takes priority above and beyond EVERYTHING ELSE, then in my opinion, marriages would not only survive but also thrive. Most people get so caught up with having the house with the white picket fence, the great job, the babies, the school events, the family vacations etc., that the marriage relationship takes a back seat to most of it. The saddest part of that statement is that if the marriage relationship didn't exist, what would all the rest be worth? If the marriage relationship is put first, then it is constantly nourished which is so important in keeping it together especially when you add all the daily responsibilities into the mix. How does one do that? Well, you deal with problems and issues which come up. They do NOT get swept under the rug. You take time for just the two of you to be together at least once a week...keep dating! You learn what the opposite sex/spouse needs and wants and you do your absolute best to fulfill those needs - physical, emotional and spiritual - not material. And when you clash, you do WHATEVER it takes to make it right whether you can do it on your own as a couple, need to seek counseling from a third party OR ultimately leave the marriage. And when there are children in the mix, it is also about setting a good example for them. If a couple is living together and staying together for the sake of their children, yet they don't sleep in the same bed together, do you think the kids believe you are in a good, loving marriage? The example set forth for the kids is so important to them living a healthy life and having a good healthy marriage too. They learn what they live and live what they learn. I do believe that people get it into their head that children can't grow up to be productive and good people when they are brought up in a one parent household when in fact I do NOT believe that to be the case. Children who have responsible parents in a one parent household grow up to be very communicative and learn how to relate better because the parent and child talk openly with each other. That is not the case in marriage because often times the child fears one parent going and telling the other. I know. I lived it with my daughter. Parents who stay married and make it obvious that the marriage is less than loving often times end up with children who are depressed because they simply don't understand. I've seen adult children who needed serious therapy because they were raised in a less than loving environment. What parent wants that for their child?

Your solution is this...you end your A which means you say goodbye. You have no contact and realize that is the most respectful and unselfish way to do it. You keep the lines of communication alive and you keep hope alive. You keep the lines of communication alive and you keep hurt alive. So as to stop hurting the person who has fallen in love and has no choice but to lose it, you need to let her go and move on with her life. She won't as long as you are a part of it.

Then rebuild your marriage relationship!

Good luck.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 11:57am
Hi John, Welcome to this Board. First let me say that I'm

sorry for all the pain you're going through. I do however,

feel for your OW because I myself was the OW in an affair

that lasted 7.5 years.

You do need to end your affair. Please let your OW go and

find someone that can be there with her 24/7. I know she

probably doesn't want that and neither do you, but right

now you are at a very vulnerable point in your life and

neither one of you are able to think clearly due to the

emotions that go along with having an affair and then

ending it. I understand how hard this is for you and I know

first hand the pain that she is going through right now by

not having you. But if you won't be there for her like she

needs you too (24/7) then let her go so she can eventually find

someone that will.

By keeping contact with her, you're just postponing the inevitable

and the hurt will be worse and longer in the REAL END. Trust me

I know saying good-bye is hard, my XMM and I said good-bye

50 million times. But, before you tell her good-bye, make sure

she knows how you feel about her. Tell her everything you need

to say one last time and then go home, leave her alone, and rebuild

your life with your Wife.

Good Luck to You!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 12:08pm
Man to man here, John.......

Nowhere in your post do you mention any details of serious marital problems for yourself. More like an itch that needed to be scratched that you proceeded to scratch.

I lived the same secret life of affairs for 17 years. Notice I used Past Tense.

As a person growing up in a single parent home, you set a standard for yourself in your marriage to have a 2 parent household for your children. I suggest you re-apply that standard.

If your OW really loves you, then she'll understand how torn you are inside at this time. 3 years of history with her is a lot, however, it's really the same time frame as having a girlfriend from sophomore year to senior year in high school.

So now it's graduation time and you need to move on to "college" or "get a job".....

Have you and your wife been to counseling? Do you see the issues that made it ok for you to taste the affair cake the first time still existing in your marriage 3 years later? Are you willing to talk to and with your wife? Does she blame you for all the faults of the marriage? She's married to a cop, which is stressful enough. Every day wondering if you're going to get hurt on the job.

You deserve a full life with one partner. You OW deserves her own full life too. as does your wife. Perhaps OW's motives for continuing the relationship aren't as above board as you think. She's 49, you're 34. You remind her of her youth. I'm 48 and have her age perspective. If you think I'm kidding, imagine yourself with a 19 year old OW and you'll appreciate the age span.

Be a dad. A full time dad. Your kids are young only once. Remember this the next time you're making an excuse for an hour or two with OW. It will come back and haunt you later in life. Really haunt you.

Whatever your issues with your wife, settle them. Once and for all. Change now and live the life you think you could have had with OW. You can have it with your wife if you're BOTH willing to realign your priorities.

Please do me the favor of staying in contact with me via email. I'd like to hear from you.

You have the chance at your age to avoid having to completely start over in life wth a new spouse and kids.

I hope you make it.



P.S. My suggestion is DO NOT TELL WIFE. Put the affair in the past and leave it there. Learn from it and move on........

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 3:56pm
I simply can't believe how accurate everyone can be on his or her perspective of my life. Especially you cl-nre! I used to be the type that never thought someone could know me better than myself which is why I was always "resistant" to counseling. How could someone psychoanalyze what I was thinking?

Funny how blind you become to your own ignorance. Everyone has great advice and the common denominator is to "End The 'A' Right Away!" (No pun intended).

Cl-nre - It's definitely time for me to "get a job..." I have not told my wife and my OW is very considerate of her feelings and has NEVER - even when we had rough times in the A when we would argue, never threatened to "Blow the Whistle".

Yes, I love my children with everything I have. I see all the hatred, abuse, murder and neglect that the children of my community go through. I've seen domestic situations where children are killed by estranged parents. I come home and shelf the problem, scoop my kids up from the bed and just cry. The thought of being without them and having a constant input in their life is a scary thought which is why a D is impossible for me to bear. You are right - two hours away is two hours I could have spent reading them a story or playing chutes and ladders. If there were ever a "patch" that you could wear to curb your desires, then realizing what life without the youth of your children would be it.

Up until I came to my senses and recognized that I needed help to end this A - I came to think of my W and how I had engineered my own environment never for once looking at what issues I could have fixed with my W to make things better for us before I got involved. By then, it was too late (so I thought).

I am happy to say that over the past 3 months, I have made efforts (in good conscious) to make excuses to "stay home" but that pulls the sheet from the other side so to speak. It's hard to please both which it is very important to terminate this relationship ASAP.

When I entered into this A, my lifestyle changed - altering my lifestyle that my W has come to adjust to. Abruptly ending the A would cause a "ripple" in my actions (i.e. home more - not having activities i.e. lies to have to attend to) would surely raise the flag. I'll end the A for sure but what to do about the U-turn is the question.

Most of my "excuses" were work related. Perhaps cutting-back on the "work" and spending more quality time at home with her and the kids may invite a renewed interest in our own relationship and afford us the opportunity to get re-acquainted with each other as we did before. I think I'll suggest the Date Night thing after a few weeks of being home more.

As far as my OW - well, that's another story. We have both agreed we can end this anytime, which means she is receptive to it. Maybe we should revisit this conversation and stick to it this time. We should take steps to prevent "incidental" contact like changing cell numbers. We never communicated with my house phone, email or pager. It should be simple to end the communication line but not the emotional one but that is one that we have agreed upon for a while. Maybe now it's time.

I'll keep the forum posted on my progress. Saying is one thing - doing is another but I'm not a procrastinator.

Thanks everyone for your input. It HAS HELPED me to understand.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 11:31pm
Hi Joe....having read your post I will toss a little more veggies in the soup for you:)

I also come from a family that has many in your line of work and the visibility combined with the Sir Lancelot*rescue* thing can come into play a LOT..Especially when things are going sour at home.

I am the resident tell it straight gal..but I won't beat you up over this...but everyone else here knows Awiagina is going to stress a few things and some will groannnnnnnnn

and thats cool..LOL

I was in a 7 year intensely emotional affair...some physical involvement...marriage now is fine..doing very well and its a new relationship not a spruced up settle for what ya can deal..SO here goes.

You want to heal? Move ON? Get a new life going with respect and integrity and honor so your kids can be proud and you can too? Realize a basic thing okay?

Adultery is wrong.Period. The *A* word here often is affair..I call it what it is..adultery.And its a nasty word I know..but a wake up word.Not a beat up word..a wake up word. Its not inconvenient..its not messy, its not dysfunctional..its not an alternative lifestyle that doesnt work when it gets to be too much. Its wrong, its nasty and eats you like a termite on wooden log if you have conscience. And you seem to have a conscience:)

I know it hurts..once you have been in one emotionally..talking getting out is easy..not so...but you know what? Im a woman..but I will tell you this man to man..ROFL!


Buck it up and do it.

Now..not later.

No contact.

And take a cold hard look at something....your wife trusts you..YOU and this OW have ALL the knowledge about the emotional stuff AND physical stuff you shared..SHE has NO knowledge.You CANNOT chase two rabbits at the same time and catch either one.

In accounting practices...people always say..you have to diversify the portfolio..make sure all your eggs arent in ONE basket. In relationships it doesnt work.

You CANNOT diffuse emotional energy all over town..you have so much energy in life..so much ability to invest..and you MUST invest 100% in your wife...not 75% to the wife..and 25% to the OW...This is no time for half hearted measures.You simply MUST not withdraw, look for excitement from someone unavailable...start checking out older, younger or whatever chicks that look sexy and cute and all that..unless you are AVAILABLE.

You arent.


If you are as visible as you say right now..you better be DARN sure your wife WONT find out or you may well find YOU being tossed out and she gets the kids, your house, your car, your paycheck and all you get is the excitement of the funny, sexy 49 year old woman who turns ya on:)for now.

If you are straight UP with your wife....doing a FULL court press...maybe even telling her you miss the closeness..dont WANT the emotional distance..and BTW..would she wear that teddy YOU buy her...go to counseling..you guys get away..YOU start doing some ante upping on the needs YOU have and be specific...there may be a MIRACULOUS change when YOU mean business to have a GREAT marriage..and expect HER to as well.

See Joe....there has to be some rock bottom sense that the whole thing was wrong from JUMP street guy...if not..THIS gal will be traded for the NEXt gal and she will only have a different skin.

Thats all.

Your wife might really resent you having told other women all about her and your lousy marriage and all that..its called gossip. Hey..we all did it..me included. I am just saying here from a different perspective..men of integrity dont rag on their wife with women they sleep with.No matter WHAT..dont ever do that again.It is disrespectful okay?

You have a problem that needs worked out in getting advice IRL ( not here)..get another man to talk to you about it..then you talk to HER about it..then you guys work it out...whatever...DONT be calling, emailing, weaning off, yakking on or gossiping TO another chick about your wife as LONG as she is your wife:))

NRE here is a guy..talk to him...dont get into a whole bunch of email yak sessions with women on your wife..its nasty business....Thats just my HUMBLE opinion however.

You dont have to settle for crumbs..really ya dont..just dont GO with every feeling you get either.

As i said..SURE it hurts right now...the affair has been done..its over and the healing is starting..but dont scab pick..dig up the corpse..start rehashing ad nauseum in your mind.....and work as DILIGENTLY with your wife..till you see what you have..as you did with the OW.

No contact works.

You dont have to stay with your wife JUST for the kids sake...you CAn have a great marriage for YOU guys sake:)

The best thing you CAn do for your kids is love their mother.

The worst thing you can do is violate this old saying we Native Americans have.

You cannot wake up a man who is only pretending to be asleep.

You got a wake up call..heed it:)

Peace to you

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2003
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 8:57pm
Hi John.

Read your post... and ema is never easy. Ending one can be even harder. Sounds like you need to spend some alone time to decide what you want to do from this point on. The past can not be changed, but what you do from this day forward is up to you.

I know what you mean about the "addiction" thing. Been there myself. I was unfortunate enough to fall in love with someone who didn't love me back. We are in "no contact" mode right now, which is killing me. But I'm moving on. Slowly.

Hang in there.