Much peace & Love,
I don't think there's a simple answer to your question, but I think you answered part of it in yourself. I've read that the average affair lasts 2-4 yrs, whether your wanting him to leave or not. I was well on that 4 yr mark before I knew I'd started hoping. I told him in tears, feeling I'd betrayed the basis of our relationship & would be thrown to the dogs. Instead it brought us closer together. By that point, we'd become best friends, had been there for each other through a lot of ups and downs, were seeing each other every day of the week, and doing things that most people in a R do.
He never told me he was going to leave, and I never hounded him about it. It's true I"m hurting beyond belief right now that it's ended, but I'm an adult, and I'm aware that I'm responsible for that. Any R can be painful, non-commital, and present reasons to not be together - not just an A. I never felt that with him; we both made the choice each day to be there. I don't feel I wasted years waiting. He added a great deal to my life. I dated on & off after my M and through the A, and I never met anyone as open, loving & compassionate as him. I don't know if I ever will.
Purple, I want to agree with you, but I can't fully. I love my AP, gosh,more than I thught my heart could. However, I could not be with him. My children come first. My H and I are separated, but I do not feel comfortable bringing ANY man near them. I am also very sensitive to my needs, rather than my dreams. Would my AP fulfill my needs to feel secure, protected and not fear being left behind? Probably not. If there is such a thing as soul mate, I believe he is mine. However, we are both like butterflies that need freedom and we offer that to each other. Neither of u is secure enough within ourselves to believe we can love fully and be loved fully. So we couldn't run towards each other because we will always wonder, to some degree when the other person will be leaving us behind.
I choose to love fully, he has my heart, but he can't have my life because I can't share that with anyone other than my children.
May be I don't love enough or don't know what love is.
I understand your perspective, but I don't believe that love is enough, nor is it as black and white, there are many shades of grey (good book btw) as to why us marrieds won't leave.
Personally, I would rather break my heart, than my H and children's, to be with AP. Reading both MAS and EAS over the years, as well as reflecting on my 4yr A experience, I have come across many marrieds that are deeply in love with their AP's, but will just not jump that fence, it does not mean that they love their AP's less, there are many who have stated that they love them more than their spouse.
In my world, love does not conquer all, my children's and husband's emotional stability does.
Isn't it amazing that as young children, especially girls we are taught that true love will always last and our prince will come riding up on a white horse one day. It's just not that simple. Where I agree with you on somethings I don't agree that if a person loves you they will leave everything they built up, family and friends to be with you. Sometimes love just isn't enough. God would we all like to believe it but it's just not possible. Take for instance a sf friend of mine who has been in a long term affair of more than 20 years with a MM. As much as they mean to each other he can't leave his wife and kids because he would be homeless and kidless. She would take everything he has including the business. As much as he loves my friend it's just not worth it.
I also don't agree that if someone loves/cares for you that they will do everything in their power to see you. Yes they will try but once again the risk of losing everything they have far outweighs the love/emotions they feel. Someone said it above, love is not always black and white.
"As much as he loves my friend it's just not worth it."
"Yes they will try but once again the risk of losing everything they have far outweighs the love/emotions they feel. "
I don't know, but don't you think this is kinda insulting? Yes, if both APs are in it just for the kicks and the highs, then yes, it really is not worth it to mess everything up. But when someone says that real feelings are involved, it doesn't really seem fair to keep the other AP dangling.
To me, these statements say, "Yes, I love you, but not enough to make any changes in my life that would make me uncomfortable/make me work harder/make me look like the bad guy". Is this really the kind of partner you want to be waiting on?
*Just an intro: I'm a lurker, and I've posted on several boards. I've had 2 As over 10 years ago while I was married to my first H, so I'm not a stranger to As.*
It hink once someone says, yes I am leaving my family for you, then yes, that person has to do it.
On the other hand, if the person says I love, but not enough to leave, then the person waits on her own choice. No promises are made.
I am very direct in that regard, even now that my H and I are separated. I am NOT putting you ahead of my children. I won't leave them, I won't leae my H for someone. If my AP said to me loves me and wants to have a life with me, I would need to get specifics. Because, it may be that his idea of making a life with me could be being the OW for the rest of my life. If he tells me he is leaving his family (I would panic and say NO) but also put specifics about what we would do.
In fact he once asked me, if he left would I take him home, I said no. mmm, that may have hurt him.
I agree with you, Kittery, but if someone says they're leaving their family, it should be followed by actions, not indecisions. Don't you think so? I'm so tired of seeing friends putting their lives on hold and getting hurt over and over again for people who don't follow through.
I also agree that if someone declares that they're not leaving their spouse, it's the other AP's choice to "stick around". "Waiting" isn't really the right word since it means "...to remain or rest in expectation". If there are no expectations, one is not really waiting.
Now back to the sticking around part. Maybe APs stick around because it's comfortable for them, like they're comfortable having a wife/family/house/money at home. They have their APs who they see on the side and have their wives and families in tact at home. They really don't want any expectations either.
Hmmmm... I've been out of my As for so long, I don't remember if I expected anything from my APs, besides the sex. Like you, I wasn't going to leave my then H for anyone. There were no feelings involved during my As. And then it came to the point in my first marriage when I realized that there was no respect or trust anymore - we weren't at our best anymore. I didn't want our daughter to see this, so I left and made a better life for myself and her. I'm kinda glad to see, too, that my XH did the same.
Best of luck to you, Kittery. Hope you find the peace you're looking for.
**Correction: One of my As was with a good friend of mine. When I said there were no feelings involved in my A, I meant I loved him as a friend, but I wasn't "in love" with him.**
liv, I totally agree with you. If someone says he or she is leaving the spouse, then yes, a plan needs to be discussed and be put into motion.
I agree, it's not waiting but rather sticking around. But, I think once someone tells you that he is not leaving his wife, then it isn't fair to keep hopes and get angry because the person is still not leaving the spouse.
Thank you, I don't know if and when I will find peace, love or anything else, but I will try to mathe the best life I can
I don't agree with the whole stringing along that AP's do. I also get that there are some gray areas and not everything is black and white however, I'm just speaking for myself and what I think I'd do if I'm miserable and so unhappy in a marriage. There would be nothing that would make me stay and even if I have children and left it still wouldn't make me a bad parent. I don't knock anyone who wouldn't leave because they feel the kids would take this hard....to eachs own. I just know being me if I want to be with you and there is no more love in my marriage than nothing will prevent me from being with that person.
Life is not black and white at all. But I do truly believe that if the AP, who claims to have it so horrible at home yet can't let go of that relationship (or can't take steps to try to make it better or work their way out of it), really doesn't have it all that bad and/or really doesn't love you as much as you have lead yourself to believe. Sounds harsh, I know. But I believe that.
Also just wanted to chime in on divorce. There seems to be some talk here of "leaving families". I divorced my spouse, not my child. When he said "so you are leaving us" I said "no, I'm leaving YOU. I'm never leaving our child."