Devastated and stuck between a rock & a hard place

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Devastated and stuck between a rock & a hard place
Mon, 08-13-2012 - 5:52am

I am 30 yrs old, have been married ten years and have an 8 yr old daughter.

I have been having an affair with a married man I am absolutely head over heals in love with for a year. It is long distance though we see each other every other month and talk over phone, email, IM 100 times a day at least.

It has been getting harder and harder not to be together and to find time to sneak away to email or make phone calls. It's a very stressful life as I am sure you all are aware. I would have done it forever to keep him in my life though. I love him that much.

I could sense it was getting too hard for him though and tonight I just basically asked and asked him - basically pushed him for the truth until he finally surrendered.

He admitted he loves me with all his heart but that he has to get his life back in line, focus back on his kids, get his life back in order.

I have never felt SO hurt or wounded in all of my life. I haven't gone 30 min without sobbing in 24 hours which is alarming to my husband and child to say the least!! I feel like my life is over, as dumb as that sounds. Like I can't live without him.

I immediately begged him not to go where he replied that I just pushed and pushed until I'd basically convinced him and that we could talk about making it work tomorrow.

Now I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place, I don't wanna lose him!! But I know if he stays it will only be to keep from hurting me and that eventually he will leave again. Him staying would be only avoiding the inevitable. But part of me doesn't care, as long as I get more time with him, I don't care why he stays or when he leaves me again.

I am beyond heartbroken, god - I am shattered.

We can't talk over the weekends much as we are with our respective families so all this basically went down over email.

Last night he told me he would call me in the morning so we could actually talk about this where we can hear each other voices and stuff..

My plan is to try let him go, but if I am being 100% honest in my heart that is NOT what I want so not giving into the urge to stay is going to be worse that difficult because I know he his half hearted about leaving to. He loves me, he WANTS to stay but it's all so hard and has become too much for him. I know convincing him to stay would not be impossibe but I don't want to be back here again in 3 months either.

I want to let him go, but I love him SO much and honestly  I don't have much confidence in myself, I will keep ya'll posted.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-26-2010
Sorry for your pain. At some point in time all affairs feel pain. If both of you know this relationship is going no where. Eventually there will be a point to where you have to let go. You must have been sensing a change in your AP, thus the pushing and questioning you did.

I know you feel this is "real" love. I know you have shared more with him then anyone in your life. I know you feel this is the strongest connection you have ever made. Here it comes, but it is based on fantasy, dreams, affair language, chemicals and endorphins. Your affair has been going on for a year, yes I know you talk everyday, yes I know you have met, yes I know the connection and the sex are phenomenal, but life, the bills, the kids and the day to day grind don't touch you in your affair.

So my question is, Where do you want this to go? How do you see it ending? No matter what happens, now the affair has branched off into new territory, things have changed. As sad as it is, it has a shelf life.

Do you want it to slowly fade? Do you want to rip the bandaid off? It is truly time to take a deep look at yourself and your true needs. Your child's needs.

I am sending you HUGS and strength, best wishes.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2010

Aww...I remember that acute pain.  I didn't cry in front of my H or my DD because I could not stand for them to see me that way, but I did sneak off to the car and tub to just sob and sob.  It does feel like your heart is breaking, and maybe it is.  But I can say looking back now that some of it must have been chemical, because three years later, as we have had a slow split in the last year, it was not nearly as painful.  It hurt, but it wasn't that undeniable, unforgettable, intensely sharp pain.

PLEASE be careful about letting your family see your pain right now.  First, it isn't fair for your daughter to have to see you like this.  You do have the ability to control it, and if you don't, you need to hide yourself somehow.  Second, it is very likely that at least some of the lack of interest in your H is directly linked to the chemical high you are feeling from your A.  When it wears off, you may realize that you still love him (your H) more and want him more than you ever thought you would again.  If your behavior now is so unusual, your H WILL notice, and he may not ask about it now, but that seed of suspicion may be planted in his head. It's really important not to blow up your M now, in the midst of the fog.  

My guess it that even if you didn't ask him to, your AP would come back to you to continue the A.  Many men just need some distance to feel more in control again, and the allure of the relationship begins to pull them back again after they regains balance.  I think maybe it would be best to just let him do what he needs to do, and to focus your energy on getting yourself balanced, as well.  You have let yourself become consumed by the A.  You NEED distance, too.  Of course you want him, but that is the addiction talking.  Love does call people back together, but it is a gentle call and it doesn't tear you apart.  That's not to say you don't leave each other---what I mean is that with the level of obsessive passion you seem to be experiencing is related to addiction, not love.  I'm sure the love is under there, too, but the need need need is burying it in its intensity.

Stepping back at this point is very tough, but it is not something that every addict who first gives up her addiction goes through. When it was my time to do it, and it felt like it was tearing me apart, I thought of my father-in-law.  He was a lifelong alcoholic since age 15 who gave up drinking cold turkey 10 years ago.  It gave me the strength to pull back and get a hold of my emotions again.  

I guess what I am saying is that you don't have to view this as the ultimate end if it is too hard for you to handle.  Usually, these sort of breakups aren't the end.  Maybe if you can view it as a time for reflection and recalibration in your A to make it a more realistic R, it will be a good thing for both of you.