The Point of Return

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
The Point of Return
Tue, 01-01-2013 - 11:26pm

I'm watching "Unfaithful" and not that I've seen many affairs movies, but this one has to be one of the best to show how bad a turn one can take.

One part that really gets to me is when, after her husband finds out and has murdered her affair partner, even though it was ended, she's thinking back...on the time when she first ran into her affair partner...kinda literally because the wind blew her into land right on him, as they both got knocked to the ground...knocking all the books out of his arm and scattering them all about.  She skins her knee, and he invites her up to put a bandaid on it.  Her point of no return...she accepts.  And now...later...after all is said and done...she's thinking back, envisioning her point of it could have it should have gone...saying 'no', hailing a taxi home, mouthing the words 'thank you' through the backseat window as the taxi pulls away.  

I'm sure if you all think hard on it, you can pinpoint the exact moment when you 'chose' to see it all though...when you could have turned back before getting in any deeper...your point of return...and saved yourself the massive headache that brought you here.

My point of return was only one week...when I questioned him about this women who he initially lied about, but when questioned again said she was still in the picture.  That could have been my moment of return...I coulda/shoulda said 'call me when you are available".  Coulda/shoulda/woulda saved myself another five years of crazy.  Hey that sounds familiar...did I just say that recently?

Anywho, if you'd like to share, that'd be great.  Maybe it'll help someone else recognize that they are about to approach their point of no return...and make the better choice.


Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2011
Thu, 01-03-2013 - 1:34pm
I was in his town on business, had dinner together. As we so often had before. We knew there was a mutual attraction, there had been since I had met him 10 years earlier. But we were both married when we met, and by the time the PONR came, we both had children. I work with a lot of good looking men, it is not ever an issue. I eat meals with them, go on business trips with them, some of them flirt with me. No matter. For some reason, it was an issue with him. We had a lot in common beyond business. Blah blah blah. He asked me if he could kiss me goodnight. I was absolutely and utterly *shocked* and said "no, that is not a good idea". For the next hour, we talked and it was all I could think about. I think I was worried he would not longer be my friend if I "rejected" him. And so, I crossed the line. Even that might have not been the PONR if it were not for modern technology. We had "just" kissed and hugged that night. For hours. No clothes cames off. Not good, but I could have maybe turned it back from there. I left the city the next day. I did not know how to text. I had never texted in my life. I learned pretty quick when he kept texting me telling me he missed me, blah blah blah. A validation junkie, clearly. I was hooked.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2010
Wed, 01-02-2013 - 8:40pm

Let me see if I recall...OH YEAH...

We were both going to be at work meeting that would require a few nights stay in a hotel. RED FLAG, anyone? We were communicating quite a bit before the meeting, to legitimately prepare, when she told me that she had a crush on me (over AIM). At some point during that chat, soon after she probably said something like "I don't want to hurt my husband or mess up my family", she ask me if I was going to let her kiss me. You all know what comes next. Needless to say, I should have taken the blue pill.

So, what brought me here? I've committed myself to reduce the clutter in my life...physically and emotionally. Well, here I was minding my own business tonight, going through some boxes and doing a bit of cleaning up. Well, what do I find in one of the boxes amongst a pile of this and that? A picture of XAP. UGH, I HATE that. I can't even say it felt good to pass it through the shredder, since I did that coldly and without emotion; a good thing to be sure. It kills me because I was sure I dumped ALL of that crap. Please, everyone, don't save ANYTHING from your A. It'll only mess you up.

Love, peace, and strength to all here. Trust that 2013 is going to be A-free and the pathway to a happier life.

Happy New Year!


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-09-2012
Wed, 01-02-2013 - 3:38pm
I too love that movie and I remember when I first saw it thinking that will be me one day! Yes I always knew I was going to have an A, I didn't know when or with who and it wasn't for another 9 years until I fell in love for real. My point of no return? Mmm we were in love long before anything physical ever happened it was over 18 months before we kissed, then another 4 months before it happened again, although we spent many hours together every day at work, but the real PONR came after we had been to a funeral together, we extended our time away from work and went out for lunch by the ocean, nothing happened but we were both desperate for it too, i told him later that all i had wanted to do all day was touch him, then 2 days later, a Saturday I received a text from xap telling me I owe him a lunch date and I can touch whatever I like. This was our first meeting outside of work related functions. I could have said no and as much pain as I have been through lately I still would not change my decision.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2003
Wed, 01-02-2013 - 1:29pm
WTF is wrong with these boards? I'd post more often if it wasn't nearly impossible. Anyway, my point of return could have been the night he got increasingly flirty, and I was several drinks in and loving all the attention, affection, etc. I even left him that night after nothing more than verbal proclamations of feelings and hand holding, saying this could never work and we can't do anything about our feelings. If only I'd stuck to that - distanced myself. Never been alone again, etc. But I proceeded and everything dominoed from there. Glad to be out, only carrying my own (slowly healing) scars and that no one else got directly hurt, although I know there has been pain caused to those around me... they just don't really understand why I "abandoned" them during my selfish sabbatical. PS - HATE these new boards.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2011
Wed, 01-02-2013 - 1:07pm

Hmmm, this is hard for me to pinpoint. Was it at the beginning of the penpal/5 yr EA? That was not planned, had just met the guy at a school reunion (didn't know him back in the day) and we kept in vague touch along with a group of friends for a few years, then more constant communication after another function. Was it years later when we hung out in his city while I had a layover, as we often did as friends, driving around, until one day we sat and talked and admitted feeling attracted to one another? I did say no then, that it wasn't going anywhere, but when back by myself at the airport I felt so sick and sad, as though I had been punched in the gut. Was it a month later during the calculated visit to "talk it over in person" which somehow didn't focus much on talking...all were points at which I could have stopped, but it would have been like holding up a flyswatter at a tsunami. I think that for me the point of return was even further back, when I might have realized weaknesses in myself or in my M and addressed them, even though hard. Once caught in the stream of a quick feel good moment, E or P, i was not able to turn back.

Thought-provoking, Clarity!


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2011
Wed, 01-02-2013 - 12:04pm

Wow. I know mine too. I concocted a reason to take a CD over to xAP's house. I called before I went to make sure the coast was clear. And I knew what I was doing when I was driving over there. I remember what music I had on the car radio. I remember thinking to myself that this was the point of no return (though I'm sure I didn't think in those exact terms) and that I knew exactly what I was doing, and that I didn't care. He came to the door and had such a light in his eyes. I never before realized that that cliche could be true. I thought that was a wonderful thing. Now I think that lust can shine out just as love can. My eyes were probably the same. Whatever.

Could I ever make that mistake again? Nope. I've been vaccinated. It was the most painful vaccination I have ever received, that's for sure. Took seven years for it to "take."

I saw him Saturday night, looking like the same sad sack I wanted to crack open then. No mas. I spent a really lovely holiday with family and friends. Very, very different from last year. Oh, 2012 was a very painful year, and I never thought I'd get through this.

Please, you newbies, believe me when I say it does get better. I know all of us vets say that, and I didn't believe it when I heard it either, but I have come out the other side, and you will too. And I am coming to like myself again, despite all my faults and mistakes. I have been given another chance. I cherish that chance, and my life. My life, which is mine to conduct. Nobody else's.


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2012
Wed, 01-02-2013 - 11:36am

I had to think about this others have stated..there were so many points of return...but I kept working my way back to the one before..and the one before..and I think I pinpointed the first big Oops in a series of both intentional and unintentional oopses.

We had been working a 4 day retreat at this was the end of day 2 and everything seemed to be going wrong. xAP asked me at the end of the day to follow him to work (he was a bouncer at a local bar)..just to decompress and give myself a break. I followed him. The rest is history.

The thing is...he had been asking me for years to follow him. I always laughed it off and said.."uh..thanks but no thanks." I could have said "thanks but no thanks. See you tomorrow" and gone back to my hotel for the evening with my roommate and I could have groaned and giggled about the trials of that 4 day retreat..and that would have been that. Instead..I handed over all responsiblity for my life in a simple.."okay..sure..why not." 

And now..the friendship I once had with xAP  is long gone...and I have hurt so. many. people. why not? good grief...yup..that was my point of return.

  The difference between who you are and who you imagine yourself to be, is what you do.

Avatar for Sogladitsanewday
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-22-2012
Wed, 01-02-2013 - 10:24am

Crikey!! I have actually managed to log in, I can hardly believe it!!

Hi everyone, and Happy New Year!

I had so many points of return, all of which I chose to ignore until I really had had enough of the whole miserable affair rollercoaster. My first one came on our first "date" where xAP coldly and calmly described how much he loves his wife, how he could never leave her, how he just wanted a bit of fun with someone who had as much to lose as him so less risk of getting caught out, how he couldn't just pick up some bit of stuff on a night out with is mates, too risky, it was all so calculated, and I chose to ignore all that, because I guess deep down I just wanted a bit of fun too. Very sad and all pretty seedy and disgusting really, it's still so painful thinking back to how disgraceful and lowly I was back then.

Thanks for reminding me about that movie Clarity, is it the one with Diane Lane and Richard Gere, and the snowstorm? I haven't seen it since before I had my A but I really should watch it again. I remember it so vividly.

I am one of those people though who did manage to slip back into happily married life again after my A, which I would never have believed possible. For me, and I guess Diane Lane's character too, the reality is that I had a loving, loveable, precious husband all along, I had just forgotten about him, I was ignoring him and he was ignoring me, and instead of trying to work on our marriage problems I went elsewhere looking for love, and in the process I nearly destroyed myself. But, thanks to these boards, or rather these boards as they were back then, I managed to sort myself out, get myself re-engaged in real life, developed into a better wife and mother, a more decent human being all round really.

Much love, Soglad x o x

Avatar for ratherbeme
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Wed, 01-02-2013 - 7:53am

I've seen the movie. Several times. It makes me uncomfortable.

I too, remember the phone call, the conversation that I could have said no. I saw on the caller id who it was, and my ego notched up 10 points. The innocent conversation soon got to the hot spot.  "Would your wife be upset if she knew I was calling you?".

I knew. I told her the truth, but I knew right then I was headed down the wrong street, but the ego thing was too strong. Still it took a while, but finally the chase got stronger, the ego building got better, and B-I-N-G-O, I was hooked. She chased until I caught her.  Slow methodical moves. We both knew what we were doing.

It was the same with breaking No Contact.  Everytime I hear of someone breaking No Contact I think the same thing. I knew it was coming. I planned it. I worked it. I worked her. Ok, sometimes she reversed it, but it was always planned. I've been a salesman all my life, and I know when to 'close'. It's all an art. It's mechanical. It was two people selling each other. And as usual, someone wins, and someone loses.

I recognize it when people come here saying that they can't.  CAN'T? Can't just quit. Have to have closure. CLOSURE! A million reasons, none of them true.

They know.  Right at that point they know. "Won't you come with me and let me put a band-aid on it?"

Already planning.  If you have read here, you have heard me say it.  Be prepared.  

We prepare to have an affair, and we continue to plan on having one.  Why can't we plan on getting out of one? 

Is it selfish, self ego stroking?

We aren't done yet. That's why. We are hanging on.

We don't like rejection.  We like the Ego stroke.

The thing I didn't like about the movie and found most uncomfortable?  She falls right back into love, into marriage and a life, like it was all nothing. Emotionally I couldn't buy that part. 

Monday morning two cents. 

Mondays Advice: Prepare, get over yourself, and move on.

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2009
Wed, 01-02-2013 - 6:58am

Hi Clarity

Great film by the way :-)

Gosh my point of return - I guess mine was about 3 months into the start of my A. I was at home, it was the weekend, and My xAP was travelling overseas on business. Instead of spending the weekend doing family stuff, I logged onto my computer, and started doing some work for xAP (we worked together). I had make a mistake on a task, and as he too was online told him I was sorry for making the mistake. He then carried on about how I should take my job more seriously, and then logged off in a huff.

I then feeling really miserable, bombarded him with SMS's asking why he was so angry, and I spend time fixing the mistake, and trying to smooth things over (the mistake was far from huge, but for some reason we both over dramatised it) He finally answered me with "shouldn't you be spending your weekend with your family?" Owch... but he was right.... At that moment, I should have let it go - I should have walked away, I could have walked away..... Instead. I wrote him an e-mail, saying how sorry I was, and if it was over, then I would accept it. He didn't answer for a day, but when he did, it was saying he still wanted to be with me. You know what - I cryed with happiness..... Pathetic me.... I can't believe I was that person....

Think I could have saved myself 3 years more pain.....

Thanks for making me think Clarity :-)

Love WGO

Every recovery is a kind of rebirth