Seeking support and guidance

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2014
Seeking support and guidance
17
Mon, 02-03-2014 - 1:55pm

Hi:

First I want to thank you all.  I have been not been able to find anyone to confide in or help me get through this difficult time.  I found this forum and have been reading for the past few weeks.  I have been able to identify so deeply to many of you and today I have finally found the courage to open up and share myself. 

I am married for 16 years with 3 boys.  Somehow along the way tI developed this deep void, being unable to connect with my husband emotinally and sexually despite desperately trying to. We work hard to raise our boys together and I feel like we have become roomates and co-parents. I kept trying to ignore my own needs and desires for the sake of the kids and for peace in the marriage.  I felt so unloved, with no romance and I was craving my husband's attention - For him to see me and desire me as a woman and lover  rather than just the mother of his children.  I started to lower my expectations and will myself to be happy with what I had. Meanwhile I began fantasizing about love and romance in my head.   A couple of years ago a family friend (married man) began private messaging me on facebook.  At first it was very harmless.  I didn't hide anything from my hubby. We joked and I found myself looking forward to unwinding from the day with this guy.  I could talk for hours and instantly felt relaxed and heard.  overtime we began texting and emailing and he asked to call me.  We have so much in common.  He shared my desire for more passion and we began playing these fantasy games.  Things began to get flirty and heated and before you knew it I was hiding our conversations and sneaking around.  He showered me with affection and made me feel beautiful.  Our relationship became an emotional affair.  He really "got me" and I found I could share anything and everything with him.  We both tried calling it off several times due to guilt. but somehow kept finding each other again and giving in.  Over the years we began to start sexting and having phone sex.  Then we began to skype and have "sex" that way. We both kept rationalizing that we never actually "touched" each other so it was still not an affair.  The truth is it was the best sex I ever had.  I would soak in the bathtub and he would talk me through screaming orgasms.  His voice is so incredibly sexy and he just knew everything about me, how to make me escape into a fantasy world with just the two of us.  I never felt so alive and so passionate. I fell madly deeply in love with him.  I became too emotionally involved and it began eating away at me.  I cannot lead a double life anymore, my energy was sapped and I couldn't focus on my kids and hubby and work.  My husband did not deserve this.  I need to focus my energy on mending our marriage.  It was too much...meanwhile this guy seemed to be able to balance married life and me just fine.  I began to want more.  To be really intimate. To have his attention and not lose him to his family.  He would leave me after sex (our version of sex)...I mean i would have this need to emotionally cuddle,  to process and he would just be busy and not call for like a week afterwards.  He did the classic guy pull away after getting too close.  I always allowed him back after his breaks because I craved his attention.  Finally, after finding your group and gaining the strength  I told him straight out that I want out. I am now focusing hard to be back in the moment in my real life. I want to change..to work on my marriage and be there fully for my boys.  I need help.  I have found a therapist and will begin going weekly.   I cannot share this with anyone of my friends because I know I will be judged.  I have not contacted my xAP for over a week and the urges are becoming un controllable,...my stomach is clenching and I am doubled over in pain.  I want him so badly but I want my life more and I can't see to be strong enough to stick with what my head knows to be the "right thing". My heart hurts.  Please help me. I ache all over. 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2013
Mon, 02-03-2014 - 4:43pm

Hi findingyourwaybackhome, you've come to the right place. You have not been able to give your best to your hubby, boys, and your work thanks to being emotionally involved in the affair, while your xAP has moved on and is able to separate the fantasy from reality. You have been given crumbs in your world of fantasy and you are unable to take that anymore. You are now undergoing the withdrawal symptoms of ending an emotional affair. I was very much like you, but thanks to this board, I was able to move on very quickly. It is great that you have taken a therapy appointment.

I am sure that others will also offer you similar advice, and will also give you pointers on how to spice up the romance in your marriage.

The most important thing for you would be to maintain the No Contact, regardless of any rationale your mind might conjure up to break it. Delete your xAP from Facebook, block his email, do whatever it is to ensure that he is unable to contact you. It is imperative that you read through the "After Healing Library" in the EAS Ending Your Affair Support. The first thread - Welcome Package - A TLC first aid kit for Newbie ENDERS is what you should go through carefully.

Keep on logging to this site and anytime you feel weak, holler away by posting a reply. Good Luck and you have made the right decision. Your boys are going to be thrilled with your decision, even though they won't know what has changed you. Your hubby too will be glad with your change. You are going to be a very happy person very soon since you have made the right decision!! So cheers to your future happiness, even though the clouds look ominous right now.  Once the fog lifts off, you will realize that affairs are a losing proposition to all concerned, most of all, to the people you love including yourself.

Spicing up the romance in your married life is critical. More on that later.

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Mon, 02-03-2014 - 5:12pm

Welcome to EAS, FMWB :)

I'm glad you found us and that, by reading here, you gained strength and resolve to end your affair.  Ending affairs are similar to beating an addiction and so what you are experiencing is pretty normal.  You might want to work on some breathing techniques..3 slow deep breaths...exhale slowly...3 times...when you are feeling out of control. It'll help get yourself back centered psychologically and mentally. Whether the relationship was appropriate or not, it's still a lose...and so you just have to grieve it out.

I'm glad you've set yourself up for counseling to help guide and support you. 

The urge to break NC can be intense...you just have to ride it out.  I helps to time the urge and then plan to do something else to fill that timeframe.  Reading through our Healing Library or checking out the Baggage Reclaim site are good/healing ways to fill that time. Even though I feel the less people know the better, if you have a friend you can confide in, one you can call any ole' time...that's a great source of support...and there's nothing like real physical hugs.

You probably already understand how your xaffair partner really only tapped into your feelgood center..so it's not so much him that you miss, but more how he made you feel.  Over time, and with the help of your therapist, you'll learn how to tap into the center yourself...with healthier activities.  Right now, just do your best to grieve your loss and carry on.

Feel good about yourself that you are back on track. Sure, things are a little wobbly, but with time and distance, it'll all begin to smooth out.

It's quiet on this once-hopping Board, but I'm around.  I check in throughout the day, so please feel free to keep posting in to talk things out and get support.

((hugs))

Clarity

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2014
Mon, 02-03-2014 - 5:38pm

Thank you both for your words of support.  They are very comforting.  I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to have people who can back me up without judgement and help guide me in the right directions.  I will definitely tcontinue to tune into this board often.  It helps to know I am not alone. 

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Tue, 02-04-2014 - 6:36pm

Wondering how you are doing today, FMWBH.  Please post in and let us know are you are doing.

Clarity

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2014
Tue, 02-04-2014 - 11:16pm

Thanks for checking in.  I feel like I am different from moment to moment.  1 day at a time is too much at this point.  There are good moments when I am watching my son play sports or another one son perform in a play.  The strong moments are fleeting and I cannot seem to hold onto being strong for a long stretch.  At night and after the kids go to school I feel withdrawl symptoms.  I couldn't make myself go to work today....It took so much energy to get the kids out of the house.  Then I went back to bed and cried and fantasized and daydreamed about being together again with my xAP.  I kept the NC but It is too hard to keep myself from fantasizing and replaying amazing memories about our connection in my head.  The hardest part is that he was my coping strategy...he was my happy place and now I need to not only get over him and our relationship but I need to find new coping strategies.  I don't think I will find anything that gives the kind of "high" and pleasure and rush of endorphins.  I understand why this is likened to an addiction.  I wish I could get on with my life.   This situation is even more difficult because I can't share my feelings with my hubby or friends.  I appreciate your support so much because I know I cannot do this alone. 

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Wed, 02-05-2014 - 12:34am

This is all normal and a part of the process.  At the beginning, it's difficult to not look back, and we have to force ourselves to stay in the present.  Someone once wrote "do not keep looking in the rearview mirror...you are not going that way."

You are still fresh out, but I promise you that time and distance will begin to work their magic...and the withdrawals will ease up.  Even one day at a time can seem overwhelming, and so you take it one hour at a time...one minute at a time.

Try to use this NC as an opportunity to do some introspection.  You can make this crisis an opportunity to set a better course for yourself.  I am a firm believe that our recovery is determinant upon the effort we put into it. When we focus on the fantasy of the affair, we are just spinning our wheels and going nowhere fast. Focusing on our reality and figuring out how we got to this bad place will propel us forward and away.

There's an Affirmation Thread in the Healing Library.  You can replace those negative backward thoughts with more powerful healing thoughts that create new pathways in your brain and break up the old broken record of thoughts. Next time you find yourself reflecting backward, say "STOP" and insert Affirmation.

Please keep posting in.  When did you say you have a therapy appointment?

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2013
Wed, 02-05-2014 - 5:14pm

Hi F"Y"WBH,

What you are going through is normal. Like the waves in the ocean, the feelings will rise and ebb. With time, the waves will become more and more infrequent and the intensity less. I don't know if you had a change to read through the TLC thread in the Healing Library of EAS. Here are excerpts of the last post about mentally strong people:

1. They Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves

Mentally strong people don’t sit around feeling sorry about their circumstances or how others have treated them. Instead, they take responsibility for their role in life and understand that life isn’t always easy or fair.

2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power

They don’t allow others to control them, and they don’t give someone else power over them. They don’t say things like, “My boss makes me feel bad,” because they understand that they are in control over their own emotions and they have a choice in how they respond.

3. They Don’t Shy Away from Change

Mentally strong people don’t try to avoid change. Instead, they welcome positive change and are willing to be flexible. They understand that change is inevitable and believe in their abilities to adapt.

4. They Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control

You won’t hear a mentally strong person complaining over lost luggage or traffic jams. Instead, they focus on what they can control in their lives. They recognize that sometimes, the only thing they can control is their attitude.

5. They Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone

Mentally strong people recognize that they don’t need to please everyone all the time. They’re not afraid to say no or speak up when necessary. They strive to be kind and fair, but can handle other people being upset if they didn’t make them happy.

6. They Don’t Fear Taking Calculated Risks

They don’t take reckless or foolish risks, but don’t mind taking calculated risks. Mentally strong people spend time weighing the risks and benefits before making a big decision, and they’re fully informed of the potential downsides before they take action.

7. They Don’t Dwell on the Past

Mentally strong people don’t waste time dwelling on the past and wishing things could be different. They acknowledge their past and can say what they’ve learned from it. However, they don’t constantly relive bad experiences or fantasize about the glory days. Instead, they live for the present and plan for the future.

8. They Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over

Mentally strong people accept responsibility for their behavior and learn from their past mistakes. As a result, they don’t keep repeating those mistakes over and over. Instead, they move on and make better decisions in the future.

13. They Don’t Expect Immediate Results

Whether they are working on improving their health or getting a new business off the ground, mentally strong people don’t expect immediate results. Instead, they apply their skills and time to the best of their ability and understand that real change takes time. 

Findingyourwaybackhome, what are you doing to become mentally strong?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2014
Wed, 02-05-2014 - 9:28pm

I appreciate the support so much.  Great words of wisdom and I feel like you both really understand the situation well.  thank you for validating/normalizing my feelings and also reassuring me that the waves will become less frequent and easier to handle. I did in fact see my therapist tonight.  I feel really good about commiting to therapy and being part of this forum.  The excerpts from the article were very helpful to me.  I may have to keep referring back to the points made. I feel like at work and as a parent I am ready to be mentally strong as I advocate for needs of children.  When it comes to my personal situation I have somehow lost power and turned to mush.  I am standing strong tonight (with your help) and want to make a sincere effort to take control of myself and my actions. I am so relieved that when feeling really down and vulnerable I can turn to you for guidance There is finally an appropriate outlet for me.  I won't for a second delude myself into thinking this will be easy but I am determined to become mentally stronger and to get past this.  I will definitely go through the healing library of EAS and look for more articles. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2013
Sun, 02-16-2014 - 1:16pm
Hi F"Y"WBH, How is it going for you? I do read the message boards from time to time, but, don't write unless I think I can add value. It seems that you are hanging in there with your NC. If so, keep it up because it will only get better with time and you will eventually start looking deep inside you and start falling in love with yourself and what you stand for. It is also very important to make sure to know that your xAP is "Just a Man," an ordinary stupid man, no better than anyone else. He fulfilled a need in you, but, that was a deceitful manner in which both of you fulfilled your needs.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2014
Sun, 02-16-2014 - 8:35pm

 Basically I have ok days, good days, and then harder days.  When I get caught in a wave I have been trying my best to ride it out.  My therapist said that I should look back afterwards and see that I survived it and it should give me strength to ride out the next wave. I am proud to say that I have kept the NC.  In the midst of a wave it is excruciatingly difficult  and almost seems impossible to get through... I have thankfully been able to actually enjoy more moments in between waves and be more in the moment with my family between waves.  I still cannot find anything that replaces the good feelings, the sense of exhiliration that I felt during the A.  I work out more at the gym...I do as much as I can to stay busy...but the quiet time - that is the killer.  All the things I need to work on in my marriage becomes apparent then.  We are great parents and roomates but we don't seem to relax or connect well together during those quiet times.  I have to re-learn how to connect or atleast re-learn how to be quiet with myself because as soon as my mind is quiet my thoughts and body return to my fantasies of being with my xAP. I appreciate having this forum.  Sometimes it is too difficult for me to find the words to write so I just read other people's entries and remind myself how I am not alone.  I gain strength from the fact that we have a support network.  I would never wish this on anyone, but if it's already happened it is good to know we have a place to help each other out. 

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