Whether you were the ender or the endee....

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-13-2010
Whether you were the ender or the endee....
Tue, 11-13-2012 - 10:41am

Hello all,

I am 40 days NC and it is a struggle.  But, as the vets say, and as I am learning, NC gives me time to really look at all this for what it was.

I was the ender.  BUT, I am now seeing/feeling that XAP had no intention of ever leaving his W for me.  His motive was simple:  to have something on the side.  And he did whatever it took (fake promises, lies, etc.) to keep that going for as long as he could.  My T (and my H) tell me that I was probably not his first AP and probably won’t be his last.  He’s just “that type”.

But, you know what.  I don’t think that I ever really intended to leave my H for XAP either.  I didn’t want to break up my family, do that to my daughters.  (XAP has no children and his current W is his third W).   Certainly in the early stages of the A, we both thought we would leave our spouses for each other.  I think that just comes with the early “high” stage of an A, in addition to the fact that we will say and do anything to keep those feel goods coming. 

I have told my H about the A, we are in counseling, I am in IC and I/we are working hard to be better people and have a better M.  It is HIGHLY unlikely that my XAP is doing any of that.  Highly unlikely.

And, here’s my point.  Whether you are the ender or the endee, did you really intend to leave your spouse for your XAP?  So, for those of you especially that are the endee (I see several on the boards lately) and are struggling, did you really intend to leave your spouse???  I am sure that there are those of us that were ready to leave and many that have, but I am also thinking that there are several of us that really never intended to leave our spouse. 

But, with that all being said, I am struggling to let go of the fantasy, the hurt and am trying to forgive myself and XAP.  But, when I think about what was REALLY going to happen - i.e. neither of us were going to leave our spouse, it helps me to REALLY see this for what it was.  A false relationship.



(I will probably post this on the AAS board also but wanted to post here also to possibly give an endee something to ponder!)

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2003
Tue, 11-13-2012 - 11:40am

No, I never intended to leave my spouse, or at least not to be with xAP. I don't think I could ever be with him for real, for so many reasons. I considered leaving my H and being on my own though. But I love him, and my unhappiness in the M comes almost entirely from my own issues and being afraid to fully commit to someone.

My H is like the foundation for my "house"... xAP was seasonal decor. Fun and pretty and nice to have, but superficial, temporary, and downright silly at times. Unnecessary always. And very tacky.

I have, however, realized part of the thrill of the A was trying to get him to want to leave his W for me. I have deep-rooted insecurity and daddy issues. I am always seeking outside approval and validation that I am smart/pretty/wanted. xAP gave that to me in our happy moments. And because my father left the family (me) for another woman when I was a child, some sick part of me wanted to be the one xAP left his family for. Freud would have a field day with me!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2011
Tue, 11-13-2012 - 11:50am
Ya know for six months he and I were talking about it, where we would live, how it will happen that next summer was our deadline. I was caught up in the fantasy, pushing him to make her mad, let her see that they are over and every once in awhile i thought "what will i do if he really does this?" There are so many reasons beyond my h and kids why this would be worse, i have my self in somewhat of a financial bind at the moment, totally my own doing from putting things off and letting stuff side and i hate it. Xap lives this way everyday he doesn't make enough nor is he smart with what he has. I do normally have a fairly comfy life, decent house, nice car we are comfortable. Not that I'm materialistic but he lives in a very small house which is what he intends us to live in, they drive older cars that always seem to need work etc. I've noticed that when i watch his kids after two hours i can't wait for them to go, they are somewhat annoying children that don't have alot of boundaries. I would think is this what u want all the time? I think i wanted him to leave but not so sure iwould of however I have completely pushed my h away which was the plan for both of us, make them see its over separate and then end up together. All that said i don't think i was going anywhere but i don't know how long h will stay in a marriage like this.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2012

Hi Sunrise,

Interesting thought that I have actually had myself here lately.  Tomorrow is the three week mark for NC.  I like you am still struggling and pretty miserable at times.  I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, and your topic has certainly come up as I replay things in my mind!

The truth is, I would have left my H for the xAP, but only during a specific window of time.  In the beginning, I would have said no.  As things progressed maybe between the 1-2 year mark, I would really have done it.  However things have changed in the situation with my xAP and with my H.  For about a year now I would say the answer has shifted back to NO, I wouldn't leave my H for my xAP.  Not only has my relationship with my H changed for the better, but a few months ago my xAP found out he and the W had been matched for an adoption. 

Though I am still very sad, hurt, mad, etc about all the things that have happened over the past three years, I know I wont ever leave my H.  These feelings have been a constant struggle for me lately.  If I know I wouldn't leave, and I have known that for some time, why is the ending of my A so very very hard? I was the ender too.  Shouldn't I be able to handle something I know is the right thing to do, that I desperately want over with?

The fact that I know the A is over does not change all I have gone through, or how I feel about my xAP.  I still love him, I still wish him happiness.  I still think about him - A LOT.  Maybe this will never fully subside, I don't know.  I hope eventually I don't feel like my heart is breaking every single day, like a piece of me is dying.  But I know I am doing the right thing for both of us.  I HAVE to do it for us, because I am not sure he can. 

I think of that song by The Fray....I forget the name but the lyrics in the song are "sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same."

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-19-2012
Tue, 11-13-2012 - 5:38pm

I would of never left my h either and I struggle with why I was doing this when I knew there would never be no future for us.  At first I chocked it up to it made me happy, but that was the beginning and the longer I was in the A there were more unhappy times than happy.   It's hard to wrap my mind around it.  Maybe I just wanted him to love me more, for what reason... I don't know.  Don't even know what I would do with that!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-13-2010
Wed, 11-14-2012 - 10:19am

Redlight, I get your analogy!  That was great.  My H too is my foundation and XAP was seasonal décor.  Great way to put it: “and very tacky”.  Made me laugh, but I got it! 

And Lookingforhappy, I got a kick out of your reply.  XAP bought a small, older home in the south part of town, near where he and his W lived.  I lived up north.  He fixed up the house, said he was buying it for me.  Even “snuck” me in there at one point soon after he bought it and it was still vacant.  Well, he needed to rent it out for a while since I wasn’t immediately leaving my spouse to move in.  Guess who rented it?  His W’s co-worker and employee. Yep.  And that person still lives there.  How twisted is that?  Not sure how well it would have gone over if he had to kick out his W’s employee so that I could live there.  Such fantasy land we lived in!

Changed, your comment resonated with me:

If I know I wouldn't leave, and I have known that for some time, why is the ending of my A so very very hard? I was the ender too.  Shouldn't I be able to handle something I know is the right thing to do, that I desperately want over with?

Great thought.  But, we are handling it.  Maybe some days it’s not very pretty and mostly just a dang hard struggle, BUT we are doing it.  But, A’s are like addictions.  And, like all addictions, we know it’s not good for us, but we keep going back for the high and when we finally decide that we’ve had enough, we have to abstain and go through a withdrawal period.  But, if we stay the course, do the work on ourselves, we will get there.

But I know I am doing the right thing for both of us.  I HAVE to do it for us, because I am not sure he can. 

My situation exactly.

Reckless, my experience was the same as yours when you say:

…the longer I was in the A there were more unhappy times than happy.

I think that’s because A’s always end, there is an expiration date on all of them.  But the A’s don’t end until the unhappy times start kicking in and becoming more and more the majority of the time.  For me, these unhappy times set off my alarm that said “this is no longer meeting my needs; it’s not working for me.”  Time to go.

The real struggle I am having is something you said Reckless:

I struggle with why I was doing this when I knew there would never be no future for us.

Let the T begin.  That is what the A can teach us.  The “whys” of our behavior, the motives.  And that’s where an A can teach us something. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2011
Wed, 11-14-2012 - 1:28pm
Neither one of us would have left our spouses. Total cake eaters. My H is a better match for me than xAP is. Had I met them on the same day, I would have picked H. I suspect xAP might have picked me, if he had a choice. But, he is very devoted to his children, and since we lived in different cities, one of us would have had to leave our kids if we were to be together. NEVER would have happened, even if we DID want to leave our spouses. But when I really think about it, I wouldn't want xAP even if we were both suddenly single. He has a number of dealbreakers for me. As a relationship partner. As a friend (we were friends for 10 years before the A), I would still love him. Like many of you, I have figured out through my healing that the A didn't really have anything to do with being "unhappy" in my M. If you had asked me the day before the A started, I would have said, and believed, I was happily married. I now understand that I wanted xAP to love me, as some kind of validation that I am loveable/pretty/smart etc. All the things my mother told me I wasn't when I was a child. All the things that DH, even though he clearly thinks all those things, is not great at telling me either. But here's my thing, I pick men that have a hard time sayign those things themselves. I guess that is what I am comfortable with, given my childhood. So at one point, I had a mother (we are now NC), a husband, and a boyfriend who are all great at pointing out my flaws or at least not acknowledging how great I am actually am! Yuck! The other thing is that I am afraid of losing love. So when xAP initiated the A, after such a long and good friendship, I think I was afraid of losing him if I "rejected" him. Of course, the second we embarked on the A, the friendship was doomed anyway. Had I handled it better, in a away that xAP would not feel rejcted, perhaps we could have stayed friends. Honestly this week has been very hard for me. Ther eis some major cr*p happenign at work, and he would hve "gotten" what is going on, I wouldn't have had to explain it. I miss my friend. A lot.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-13-2010
Wed, 11-14-2012 - 3:31pm


I’m sorry you are having a tough week.  And sorry that you feel you are missing your friend.  That must be hard – thinking of you.

Thank you for your reply.

Neither one of us would have left our spouses. Total cake eaters. My H is a better match for me than xAP is. Had I met them on the same day, I would have picked H. I suspect xAP might have picked me, if he had a choice.

I think this is true for me too.  But we sure do get in a fog when we have on rose colored glasses! 

Again, thank you for your reply and I hope you’ll post more during this hard week.  But hoping that this too shall pass for you and you’ll be smiling in no time!  Stay focused on the present and accept that this situation is what it is.  Acceptance brings peace.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Thu, 11-15-2012 - 11:25am

I was the ender but would have left my H for my xAP.   

My H and Ihave no children and have been in a dysfunctional marriage for years.  My H struggles with insecurity issues that have meant living with an often verbally abusive man for over 10 years.  He sucks the life and happiness out of me.  He's so insecure that no man dare approach me and have an innocent conversation with me when we're out socializing. 

He dominates our conversations and if should interrupt his long streams of consciousness, I am angrily reprimanded for interrupting him.

I ended my A mostly because my xAP is geographically unavailable and in the middle of a separation from his own W.  I was at-risk of being in a rebound relationship.  He is also financially strapped and in a complicated co-parenting living arrangement with his W.  It would not have worked.

My H and I are in marriage counseling where he verbally dominates our sessions.  Our T finally looked at me toward the end of our last session and suggested that I needed to speak up and ask for what I want.  She's excellent and in reality, my H is the one who needs help, but his complete sidelining of me is one of the core issues in our M.  I spend a LOT of time away from our home - for years - so that I can at least be with friends who value my relationship with them.

I'm not sure what the future will bring.  But I do know this:  there's a right way and a wrong way to live life rightly.

My current M is my second M.  I left my first H because he was never around, we were living in another unfamiliar country; he was emotionally unavailable and a workaholic.  He went into the office at 10 and came home at midnight. 

I married my 2nd H because he was the total opposite.  Friends sold him as the guy who could make me laugh.  Indeed, he's the life of the party and loves the constant attention to prop up his ego. 

It's hard to change someone who has been this way for a long time.  But I felt the need to do the right thing - end the A, try to fix my M fairly, and to the point where I am getting what I need to be happy.

We are making some progress, but I can see we'll be in T for a very long time.  And it doesn't help that I still privately have feelings for my xAP.   I just want to get over him, become happy and mentally healthy and move on to a better life.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-19-2011
Thu, 11-15-2012 - 2:53pm

Hi Sunrise!

I had a few As Embarassed 

The first one was The One that started it all - I fell for this man and after it ended, I just rebounded to distract from the pain with some tacky seasonal decor (love that!) for whom I NEVER would have left H! Ugh! So much regret and disgust at myself over that, but...

Back to the original A - For a while there at the beginning, I truly believed I would have left H for him! I was ready and willing. I think I had kind of snapped when the A began and was in a very unrealistic place, completely fogged. The Ap was someone I had wanted to 'get' for a few years, did not think was possible, and when it happened I was so shocked, gratified and rewarded that my state of disbelief and elation kind of sent me on this whirlwind of fantasy and unrealistic wishes. I really think I went temporarily insane!

Leaving for him was never an option, he did not want to cross over with me into real life...he was a reluctant AP from the start. Although we mutually tried to end several times, I was finally the 'endee.' After the fog lifted I was able to see that leaving H for him would have been disastrous for my family but to this day, I do not know what I would have done if xAP had actually offered it. I really, really wanted to go ride off into the sunset with him and be 'rescued.'

As much as I wanted him though, I think on some level - even in the midst of the A, although I was wishing for him to declare his undying love for me, somewhere deep down I was relieved knowing that leaving wasn't 'really' an option, so I wouldn't have had to make that choice..

Avatar for happyasme
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2012
Thu, 11-15-2012 - 2:54pm

This is a great post that gets us all thinking.

First is the fact that it is not that important if we are the ender or the endee, it’s important that the A has ended.  As enders, we may feel more empowered at first, but we all go through the pain on our healing journey, and that includes the dreaded “R” word, that enders, just like endees deal with: REJECTION.

We often talk ‘badly’ of our xAP,  of their lies of deceit and omissions, of leading us on, that in the end they would not leave their M for us, that’s why it’s so important to acknowledge that we were never going to leave our Ms for them.  That forces us to look at us, keep it real, and acknowledge that we, perhaps unconsciously, dished some lies of omissions ourselves.  And the only way we justified it was because it wasn’t real, xAP were not real people in the sense that we needed to be accountable to them relationship wise.

As I am leaving my M, I see my A was as a ‘pretend’ way to leave my M,  I was lacking the strength and courage to leave for real.  Despite the daydreams I had during the A of being together, I would never have left my M for xAP, there were too many red flags there, red flags that I had ignored prior to marrying H.  xAP and H are similar, and not in a good way either.  Oddly enough, it is only by taking a cold hard look at all this that I was able to acknowledge the deal breakers I had accepted in my M.