In Purgatory _ Need a guide out

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2013
In Purgatory _ Need a guide out
Mon, 01-21-2013 - 8:18am

Hi!  I just found this site last night and feel like it may be the lifeboat I need to get through what I know I must do.  I am 41 and have been involved in an affair with a younger man who is married with 2 small children.  I was married when we met (also with two children 13 and 11).  We met online on a website for affairs (ugh!).  I had been married for 20 years and knew that things were in trouble. Not long after AP and I started seeing each other, my H and I separated.  It has been almost 8 months.  I know intellectually that this relationship is a dead end.  I have put energy into this man which should have rightfully gone to my children and to my job.  When I read the words 'A fog' on  here, I knew I was in the right place because I have been in a fog.  I have had my head so far up this guy's butt I don't know what is reality anymore.  I do feel addicted.  I want to break it off but I am afraid of being alone.  I  know that I have to do this but I am a sick to my stomach at the thougth of not having contact with him. In the beginning, he seemed so interested in me and now I feel like I am just here to make him feel better.  I just have never been with anyone like him before.  I know everyone feels that way.  I know this is nothing unique.  Still it hurts.

How do I get to being done?  I know I need to be there.  I keep telling myself that my children deserve more of me than he does.  I tell myself that my job is more important than this man.  I tell myself that I deserve better than crumbs.  It is like I am living in some kind of fantasy world where I think we are an epic romance that will last forever.  How blind!  What do I do now?  What do I read?  I am sorry if it makes no sense...I just wanted to reach out for help because I need to be done with this affair but I am not quite there...any tips, links or words of wisdom are appreciated!!  I am reading all i can on this board and it helps a lot!



iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2011
Mon, 01-21-2013 - 9:25am
You're in the right place :) keep reading and posting as often as you can, go to baggagereclaim. Com and read, read, read. You must WANT to be done to move forward, send a I'm done, please do not contact me anymore email or text, then delete him out of your life, delete every possible avenue where he can contact you, and don't look back! It's a very hard thing to do, it will hurt, but you can do it if you really want to. You have to be done accepting his crumbs, you have to know that you deserve better than that, you have to believe that this is a dead end relationship and you've had enough! Hugs to you, I know how hard this is, believe me when I tell you that it does get easier, just give it time, give yourself lots of self love, and you will begin to pick up the pieces and move forward!

Sometimes love just isn't enough.... NC since 7-30-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2013
Mon, 01-21-2013 - 10:43am

Thank you.  I have talked to two good friends this morning and am trying to put into place a support network so that when I end it, I have some things to fall back on. Posting on this site is like another step in that direction. I am taking a drive with my daughter today out of town and hope to do some soul searching on the road.  I want to want to be done.  I KNOW that I can do this.  I just want to move on.  But truthfully there is that little voice inside that also wants him. 

So a good-bye letter is okay?  I have wondered because I don't want to just disappear.  I don't owe him anything but I would feel better if I at least said something. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2013
Mon, 01-21-2013 - 10:53am

Welcome! I am new here too.  What we all go through sounds the same. The group here has been very helpful because they have all been through it and survived. It is very hard letting go. I haven't sent a message in almost 2 weeks. I received one last week, but have chosen not to respond.  I feel better when I don't hear from him. I need to heal and that won't happen if I keep putting myself out there to be hurt each week. Please try to keep your mind focused on the things that are important to you. It will get better. You need to give yourself time and it helps to keep yourself busy.  It is also great you have someone to confide in. Many of us have grieved the end of the relationship alone until we found this site.


Avatar for ratherbeme
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Mon, 01-21-2013 - 11:31am

The fear of being alone is well understood by us all. It isn't true, and has no basis for truth, but until we have that safety net in front of us, it is hard to take the leap. Sometimes the feeling of just being tired of being tired finally catches up to us and we commit to doing what is right thing for us. It takes a leap of faith to do it. The faith is in youself.

I can tell you there is life after you cut off the A. It takes a while to realize that there is more to life than scarificing your own well being for someone else's ego stroking.  And really, that is all it is. REALLY!!! Sure it feels like love, but if thats what you want it to feel like, I would hate to think that love really is about all the unhappiness that A's bring. It's all fantasy and you can write that any way you want, but in reality it is what it is.

Good-bye letters probably don't help much, either. Usually they are dressed up ultimatiums that don't work out. Last ditch efforts to hang on to the affair. Pathetic pleas to hang on. You know, "I am done because I can't have you, and I love you so much more than anyone else could, so why don't you just come and make me happy. I will love you forever".............or until the next person shows up and really loves me and I love them. Now that CAN happen.

The first step is getting real with yourself. Honesty is good.  It's also the opening of your own heart to all those that you have forsaken during your A. Show me an A, and I'll show you a family, and a bunch of friends and/or workmates that have been slighted by you and have been hurt in some way from your trying to live a fantasy. It's a chance to make amends.

Honestly looking at what you had.  It wasn't much or you wouldn't be thinking about ending it. If it was so great, why haven't you both moved heaven and earth to be together?  Doesn't that question answer itself? One or both of you don't want it to happen.  All the excuses in the world don't matter. If you both did, then it would. Get it?

The very best thing you can do is end it.  Put the monkey on his back Either you are worth it, or you are just someone to spend extra time with, and to have sex with.  Believe me, there a millions of men out there who would do that for you. I don't think that is all you are looking for.  Is it?

Ending it gives you the chance to find someone to really love, to share your life and body with, and to really find happiness and joy. No one thinks it's an easy journey, but it is worth the trip. Sure, lots of speed bumps, and curves, but in the end there are an awful lot of people out there who are finding happiness.

Block and Walk.  Cut off his ability to make you feel guilty for wanting to be happy.  Blocking is the only guaranteed way of ending it.  It works.  100% of the time. It's hard.  It takes attitude. It takes commitment. It takes planning. Being prepared. A lot of misery breaking all those bad habits.

In the end your life depends on all those things. It's a choice of what you are going to do. 

You can choose your future. A future of happiness and joy.

Come here, we will give confidence  and all the keys to freedom.  It is up to you to take the first step.

I'll be waiting,


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

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2011
Mon, 01-21-2013 - 12:00pm

Hi, M. Did you read that Purgatory post I put up on the Healing Library? It's not the cheeriest thing I've ever read but I remember finding it, a few months after ending, and nodding my head so vigorously because the description of what I was going through was so apt. I could say that in a way I was lucky with my ending because in some ways I was propelled out of my A by the actions of my xAP, but there are also great benefits to being the ender, not the endee. You can make it work for you either way.

Going NC does help with the addiction part of it. You will be taking yourself out of the push-pull second-guess what-if-I-had-said-that what-did-he-mean-by-that crap that As are all about. In the beginning you may not be able to see the value in living an honest life, one in which you aren't colluding with breaking up a marriage and a family, but eventually you start to see that integrity is valuable because it is costly to get back. And I found many times that when I powered through a moment or a day in which I was tempted to break NC, I was always glad afterwards that I hadn't. Eventually I started to see that it was allowing me to get enough space between me and my actions that I could see things more clearly.

Of course it isn't easy. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. But, but, but. It was amazing how much my life opened up when I stopped trying to cram myself into that untenable position and that deep hole I had sunk into. I could say it was because the universe approved, or I could just say that I put myself back into the driver's seat and started tending my own life again. Only you will be able to decide.

I found that it helped A LOT to keep a journal. You don't have to hide it from anyone like I did (I assume), which is nice for you. I wrote in it almost every day for quite a few months, and I still write in it sometimes, but it is especially handy to be able to look back at my beginning days and see how far I've come, and that I really did survive. Sometimes I wrote the letters to xAP that I couldn't send. Those are interesting to read, too. But I'll never have to worry about how he would have replied.

RBM is right: Block and walk is the best way. And Sunrise is right, too: Silence is eloquent. Silence is dignified. Silence is HEARD. I know this is true.

Keep writing, and know that there are a lot of us out here that have been through this. And we know there are very few places we can go where we can talk honestly about what happened to us and get help to get to the other side.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 01-21-2013 - 1:09pm

It's interesting when I read that someone is afraid of being alone.  Believe me, there are worse things, like being in a bad marriage.  I can see why you'd be afraid to be alone after being married 20 yrs--it's a long time and it's a huge change and you have to totally make over your life.  I have been divorced twice--the 1st time after 13 yrs. of marriage w/ 2 small kids, then I got married again a few years later & that lasted 5 yrs, so then when I got divorced, I was 50, most of my friends were married, I found I lost a couple of friends, and I didn't know what to do with myself.  I don't consider myself "alone" cause I do have kids.  My relationship w/ my kids has gotten better as they get older and I can enjoy their company as adults.  I forced myself to try new things and go out & meet new people.  Now it's been 4 yrs and I don't have a BF still but at least I have friends and go out & have fun on weekends.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2013
Tue, 01-22-2013 - 8:49am

Thank you for the responses!  So much in  resonates with me.  I am tired.  I am tired of putting so much more energy into something for which I get so little return.  I am tired of that feeling across the top of my chest like I can't breath.  I am tired of feeling like I am 'needy.'  I thought he was the best guy I had ever been with, and in a lot of ways he is.  He is a top-of-the-food chain type and I was blown away that he would pay me that kind of attention...a good description is he is the jock and I am the quiet bookworm.  My ego ate it up. 

I have been working on the short email I want to send before enacting NC.  I know I am not quite ready to send it but I am closer today than yesterday, I think.  Maybe I should just send it now and be done!  But when i think of that I feel like I can't breathe!

The strength lies within me...what is it going to take? 

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Tue, 01-22-2013 - 2:58pm

Hi Mrosebug :)

What it takes is different for everyone.  Some have the ability to just walk away when they have had enough mistreatment.  Others cling-on for dear life and have to wait for a decision by someone else or a consequence to force their let go.  I've seen people have to experience a Discovery Day to stop...and even then, it's not enough.

Frankly, I think it depends upon how much we love ourselves and how much we think we are worth that will ultimately determine just how much crap we will tolerate.

Time to let go and move on.  What are you waiting for?  He's JAM (that's just a man), and you've got yourself all wrapped up in him as if he is some kind of G-d and the only one or thing that can make you happy.  I'd swear if any of the xaffair partners saw how much we agonized over every little thing, they would have taken to the hills. Men are not attracted to needy cling-ons.  And it is a red flag to us when we've become that way.

Listen, it's going to hurt, we understand that, but it won't kill you.  We all here are testament to having survived and gone on to live a better life.

Pull the plug and start to heal.



Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2007
Wed, 01-23-2013 - 9:41am
I just need to ask you how is is the top of the food chain when he is cheating on his W? He may have good looks and a good body but his moral compass is broken. He lacks integrity. I am willing to bet you that he preys on women like yourself that think he is so much better than them and who are so happy that he paid them attention. You have to realize that physical beauty fades but good character lasts forever. After all, I hope you know that having a man who is honest, trustworthy puts you first above all others is much better than having a man with physical beauty and no substance unless you are 20 years old.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2013
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 5:57am

Myrasfriend - I can't really throw stones at his character considering I was doing the same thing.  My moral compass was also broken so I understand the whys and the internal struggle.  I just came to a breaking point.  I know that physical beauty fades.  I guess I was just hungry for what he was offering which was more than just physical but not enough to satisfy and not right.

I told him Tuesday that I could not see him anymore.  I feel like crap for doing it by email but I knew face to face was a bad idea and I wasn't sure i could do it by phone either.  It was hard enough to hit send.  I feel awful in one respect because I feel like I have cut off my own oxygen.  I want so badly for this to have been real.  I want this to be some huge romantic 'scene'.  Yes, part of me wants him to chase me come find me and tell me we will be together forever because he can't live without me!  Ladies, I know this is a dream!  I know that won't happen.  And why on earth does it mean there is something worthless about me??  I am worth fighting for but this is not the man who will do it.  That doesn't reflect on me, intellectually I know this, but some little voice tells me differently.  Talk about needing to do some work on myself.  I do. I need to learn to really love and value myself.  This is a first step.  

The hardest thing today is the sadness of loss.  I lay in bed thinking about not kissing him again, of not holding his hand, of not hearing from him.  I feel like I am losing a good friend and the deepest confidante I have ever had.  But I can't dwell on that.  I have to accept that he is the husband to another woman and as  long as that is the case, I will suffer if I continue to see him.  I don't deserve to torture myself with the knowledge that the man I 'love' is every night going home to someone else.  No matter how 'unhappy' he claims to be...that is not my problem. I want to be first in the heart of the man I give my love to. I think I give a lot in love -probably too much - but I want to learn to give it rightly and to someone who will reciprocate fully.