Painful and wonderful at the same time?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2009
Painful and wonderful at the same time?
Sat, 03-23-2013 - 1:01pm

3 years ago my AP and I started out as just physical.  Recently we "crossed the line" to I love you.  It's so intense. 

I've been ready to leave my H before I even started the A.  My AP has always said he's not leaving his marriage.  He says he stays cause he doesnt want to lose half of everything (there is a great amount of wealth involved.. honestly he could EASILY live on half!).  He doesnt want to hurt his children and break up his family.

Lately I've considered not seeing him anymore.  It hurts so much to love him knowing I will never be able to have him.  I know after I leave my marriage and I'm single, that I'll want more from a relationship.  I'll need to date men that are available.  It will be nearly impossible to fall for someone else when my heart is still loving my AP.

oh gosh...   I've been rambling.  lol

anyone been thru something like this??

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2010
Mon, 03-25-2013 - 1:44am

I was in a similar situation, and I agree that it is very hard.  But then again, it seems like almost all of the A situations are difficult, especially when feelings get involved.  All of the things you said applied to what happened with me.  The only part that isn't the same is that I was not sure I wanted a D before the A.  I wasn't happy, but having the feelings I had in the A showed me how anemic my M had become.  I did eventually get a D about 3 years into the A, and it changed things.

 My AP was very clear about not wanting to leave his M, and he never wavered on that stance.  I tried to stay practical, but it was really like trying to fight gravity or something. I was unhappy because I wanted more deep down, no matter how I tried to convince myself otherwise.  I loved him and it made me sad that we weren't together.  I found myself contemplating ways to blow the whole A up, including ways that expose the A to his W. I didn't end up doing that, but it scared me that I might be willing to destroy his life, her life, and the lives of others.  

I'm sure my intensity was obvious to him, and he ended the physical part around that time.  We have stayed friends, but there are definitely times that I wonder if I will be able to find a new, healthier match for me with his shadow lingering over my life.  He's so comfortable to me, and the idea of trying to find some new man who appeals to me as much as AP does is tiring.  

One thing I have noticed in my own R and here on MAS in the past 4 years is that if you're still in the really intense feelings stage, ending it probably won't work.  You will put yourself through pure hell with good intentions, but end up back in the same place in 3 months.  The good news that I have discovered is that if you let the A play out on its own, the end is easier.  Since AP stood firm in his decision to stay M, I have been hurt a lot in many, many small ways.  Each one of those smaller hurts builds up a defensive callous, and the last time I ended things about 6 months ago, it was much easier to deal with the split.  It didn't stick, but now I can contemplate the idea of ending it without getting a panic attack.  It does get easier as you finally come to terms with the limitations of the A.

I hope this helps!

Community Leader
Registered: 09-21-2007
Mon, 03-25-2013 - 1:06pm

I agree with the painful and wonderful at the same time.  I often wonder how I keep doing it with the feelings I have for AP, and not really knowing where he stands.  AP is single, so thankfully, I don't have to worry about an M, but I do worry about mine. 

I have been down that road and even posted on AAS, thinking  that I could do it and be free.  But it's hard.  I know exactly how you feel.  As if ending it might spare us more hurt and pain that may be unnecessary.

I wish you lots of luck and lots of hugs, whatever you decide!!  Smile


Shadow Word generated at

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2003
Mon, 03-25-2013 - 10:10pm

Oh yeah, been through it...and still am going through it. Pretty much the exact same scenario as yourself..started out as a physical affair (ok, I fell in love IMMEDIATELY..before anything physical) left my husband of 25 years after a few months (A started in July, ex-h moved out in November) and have been with AP ever since. He told me from the start that he wasn't leaving his wife..same reason as yours basically, just doesn't want to give up his house (the wimp) blah, blah, blah. 

It used to get to me terribly..we've had some pretty knockdown fights because it just gets too much for me and I lose my mind. We've both said I love you, pretty much from the beginning too..just in case you were wondering. I kid myself all the time though, and tell myself that I have the best of both worlds. I have a devoted boyfriend who I don't have to be with 24/7, and I preserve my autonomy. However, deep down...I want a mate. One who lives with me and who helps with all the day to day stuff, and one who is the recipient of all the love I have to give!

Hah, I am a lousy liarSmile One day I will have to figure out what it is I want..and it will have to be soon as we've been doing this dance now for six years..and I am about to turn 51 next week. I can see myself as sixty years old and still going through the same thing..ack.  I bloody well hope not! 

Good luck to's not easy when real feelings are involved.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2013
Tue, 06-25-2013 - 10:07am


I like what janejosie shared, its very insightful. Thanks for sharing janejosie.

Initially OM was the instigator or a hope for us. Last November, we had an intense talk (fuelled by many glases of red) whereby he basically told me he can't leave because of money and he has cousines who would literraly kill him and there is the very young children. I revealed my M cannot be salvaged and is on destruction path.It gutted me to hear it.

Few months later, sober (well 1 pint is not drunk talking right? just a conversational lubricant) he said feel trapped in the m and he can only leave in 2 years, and then he said something really weird - if I ever divorced, i wouldn't wait around for him I'd find someone...(he looked at me searchingly and i didn't knw how to reply so he changed topic quickly)

No I am not quite prepared to leave my M just yet. H adores me, he just self sabotages alot in our fights and interactions. And I have no doubt if I tried on my end, thigns between us would be sweet again. but after a very nasty fight with H, I just don't love him anymore.

How have Om and I progressed? We sill feel pretty intensely for each other, it is under currant, he is a very reserved person. He is the one who initiates contact daily, and if there is a lapse in time, he wonders if everythigns ok with us. yet when I meet him, and we chat the mundane things, he goes on about moving interstate to job seek etc - which really puts me off.

Yet I am so compelled. Its not the sex. Sex is quite vanilla. I have better sex with H. Just it hurts to know he lays next to her every night. I have never cheated on a bf, and not been in a situation where I cannot have access to the man I love. Be able to kiss him, grab his bum, walk arm in arm with him..hell, we don't even call each other, just texts. I detest the whole OW label and the inconventions.

The wonderful is slowly dissipating.  And its becoming heart wrenching more than anything. Truth be told I hate the situation. It hurts. I don't like being in it. I hate the OW label. I am playing it cool for now and he notices and when I tell him before, he relays the same which hurts even more. So I play it cool now and hope that it plays out. But jeeze is it turmoil.

Anyhow, just want you to know you are not alone. That I too dream and hope and want. But Reality cuts like a knife and sometimes confronting the truth is not the answer. That there is a learning in this and like janejosie we'll look back and be able to breathe a sigh of relief at how its panned out!