June to September Affair - I ended it

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
June to September Affair - I ended it
14
Wed, 09-26-2012 - 10:00pm

I met Allen at work.  We went on the road together for a work, got to know each other well and became close friends.

His wife was leaving him for another man (who apparently was a mutual friend).  Off and on attempts at reconciliation proved fruitless.  They sold their home, placed their children in another house, with the spouses taking turns individually staying with them while the other is at a shared apartment nearby.  They rotate occupying the apartment on their off weeks.

I am on my 2nd marriage to a bi-racial male who has unresolved anger issues that surface daily/hourly/always in our marriage. The simplest of conversations are nearly always punctuated with exasperation, impatience or outright anger.  He has been diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

A few years ago, we entered a brief course of counseling with a therapist, which was abandoned (by him) soon afterward.

In June, Allen and I were on the road, had a beautiful dinner and returned to our hotel to kiss and make love for the night.  It was wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  So did he.

We continued to see each other at work (only occasionally as we both work remotely (we live 500 miles apart).  He frequently texted me (daily), and his messages were beautiful and loving.

In July, we were both laid off from our jobs (new management), which effectively ended easy opportunities to continue see each other.

I joined a new company (a start-up/no salary) and in August attended an industry event 45 minutes from his home.  He asked to meet me there - and he stayed with me overnight, spending another wonderful, tender, loving night in each others' arms.  Clearly, we both needed each other and it was lovely.

From there, he began doing contract work for a new company and he reduced his volume of messaging me as often as he had been.  when it was his turn to spend his week with the children, I might hear from him once, but I understood.  I never pressured him, nor did he pressure me.  Our communication was meant merely to be sweet, supportive and loving.

Two weeks ago, on a Saturday,, he wrote to me after no communication for a week and it was very nice; said he was thinking of me and fondly remembering our time together.  He asked to speak with me over the phone the following Monday.  We spoke, but it was nearly all about what he was doing on his project work and the children.  It was not a satisfying call - and I suppose part of me wondered if he was trying to taper off our brief affair to its natural conclusion.

This feeling intensified and by midnight, I was wondering if things were ending.  I could not sleep that night.  I just had "a feeling".  At 1:00 AM, I got up to write to him, to say I needed to leave our affair; that while our time together was very nice, it was not satisfying in the long run and that I needed to address my own marital problems.  I asked him to stop any future communication.

It was the saddest thing I've done in a long time.

He wrote the next day/afternoon to say he was sorry and would respect my wishes.

I spent that day removing him from my phone and other contact lists.  It feels like someone special died.

So, it's over and I am back to living without reprieve from my angry NPD spouse.

I returned to our therapist a few days ago, but all she told me was what I already knew - I could either stay and be unhappy the rest of my life, or leave for the great unknown, in hopes that my life, at age 52, will improve.

My therapist emphasized that life can be wonderful without a man, but in the same breath reminded me that we live in a world made for couples.

I have been numb and sad since then.

Part of me wants to reach out to Allen; to reconnect and start where we left off, but I can't right now.  Perhaps in a year when things have settled in his life, but not now.  It would be a mistake.

So, I've just been going through the motions in these days since, like everything is "normal."

Anyone else in a similar situation?

 

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2012
Thu, 09-27-2012 - 9:13am

Are you sure that removing Allen from your life completely was the best thing to do?  Certainly you were friends initially and despite the brief affair that occurred inbetween, the friendship can still remain in place, right?  Given your situation at home, I think having someone who genuinely cares about you is probably a good thing to have around. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Thu, 09-27-2012 - 9:31am
Thanks for that link. In my case, I married a narcissist and feel trapped and too afraid to leave.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Thu, 09-27-2012 - 9:34am
Thanks for your feedback. It's been a little over a week now and am miserable. But I worry about his response if I reach out to him, saying I've changed my mind. What would you advise I say to him?
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2007
Thu, 09-27-2012 - 9:42am

My situation isn't similar, but my A of 6 yrs recently ended, and I completely understand when you say it feels like someone special just died.  XAP is in a long-term R that is stifling.  He is a couple yrs older than you, and I know that plays a huge part in his fear of leaving, and he doesn't want to end up alone & starting over again.  It's sad to me because he's such an amazing man - if things didn't work out with him & I, he wouldn't be alone for long.  He has a lot of life left to live, and I don't want him to live it unhappy & seeking out A's to fill the void.  But I'm not in his shoes.

Yes, our society places importance on being in a R.  I've been single now for 8 yrs, and there are times it's hard and I do get bummed out because it seems like everyone else has what I'd like to have.  But I don't regret leaving an unhappy M.  Not once.  It was a freeing & liberating experience.  When you're a couple, your social circle is built around other couples.  But when you become single, other single people somehow just magically appear in your life.

I'm really sorry for all that you're going through right now.  The place you're in of just going through the motions s-u-c-k-s!  It started getting a little better for me around the 4th week.  It has to be exhausting for you to try to deal with your grief and be walking on eggshells with your H.  This is a great place to come to for support.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Thu, 09-27-2012 - 10:26am
The funny thing is, I'd rather spend my free time with my single girlfriends than with my NPD H. Without them, I would be a basket case by now. Most all of them know about my H. He flirts with them to puff up his ego and I don't even care. (On the other hand, let a male friend [or stranger] flirt with me, and he quickly dismisses that guy as a "loser".)

The saddest part for me is that I left my 1st marriage for similar reasons. Only it was my former BIL (who spent most of his waking hours with us) who had NPD and targeted his spear on me. My DH from 1st marriage was simply emotionally unavailable - and refused to kick his brother to the curb from our life.

Question for you: do you think I did the right thing to end the A and close the door? Or should I have suggested remaining friends? I miss him so much....
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2007
Thu, 09-27-2012 - 10:49am

On the one hand, I can understand what sony is saying about having someone special in your life who cares for you.  That can give you great comfort & strength.  On the other hand, I worry about the place you're at and that you could get too wrapped up in AP being the answer.  If you decide to reach out to him, just be honest with him about how you felt when he called.  If he's worth keeping around, he'll understand & maybe he feels it's hard, too.

I was going to comment on his phone call.  xAP still calls me to tell me about his day & what's going on in his life.  It used to bother me that after not hearing from him for a few days, he'd call & jump right into that.  I tried talking to him about it & had the whole men are from mars thing going on, but eventually what he told me is that he looks forward to talking to me & it's how he shares his life with me.  Your phone call could've been trivial talk because there's distance, or it could be that he was excited to share.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Thu, 09-27-2012 - 11:35am
Thanks for that. You hit the nail on the head. My biggest worry is that I could get too wrapped up in AP being the answer to my marital problems, even as a friend. While I would talk myself into him being just a friend, I worry that I will fall in love with him. Frankly, I was already headed there when I ended it.

In reality, he just can't be the answer. He's 500 miles away, engaged in an awkward co-parenting situation where he shares a residence with his wife (off-weeks when she's not there of course); children are still in school - and will be for the next 4 years before college; still technically married with no movement yet toward divorce, etc.... And then there's the "on-the-fence" stance his spouse is taking about their marriage altogether. He eagerly jumped at the chance to reconcile with her a few months ago when she said she was willing to try. (She eventually backed out.)

I am too vulnerable and would be settling for occasional LD phone calls and text messages.

Why Sony's suggestion is very appealing to me - to restore the friendship part - I am just not in a good place right now to do that.

I was thinking of reaching out over Thanksgiving or Christmas, sending a simple message like "Happy Thanksgiving my friend." By then I think I will be stronger emotionally. Is that advisable?
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2012
Thu, 09-27-2012 - 12:16pm

I'd suggest you simply say something along the same lines that you've written down on here.  You miss him terribly and you think you've made a mistake.  Chances are he probably feels EXACTLY the same way you are right now.  Also I think you should consider ending your marriage, especially if the major factor is the fear of leaving and being on your own.  Obviously I do not know much about your home life and how much is involved there.  However, you've already shown that you can find another, better man that sincerely cares about you (and you weren't even single and on the market).  You need to give yourself more credit here.  Think about it in this way, we've all seen the abused spouse who keeps going back to their abuser.  For the life of us we can't begin to understand why someone would keep going back to that.  I think some people become so accustomed to the miserable situation at home that it becomes familiar and comforting, despite the unhappiness.  I think if you left, it would certainly be difficult initially, but you've weathered these storms in the past.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Thu, 09-27-2012 - 12:47pm
Thanks. I'll consider it, but my main worry is that I may expect more from Allen than he's able to give, and end up using him as my emotional crutch, like the way some ill-fated affairs seem to go.

I think I need to let some time pass where he's concerned, while I get my own affairs in order. I am currently looking for a stronger therapist who will inspire me; also beginning to look for better social outlets where my career is concerned. Working from home isn't all what it's cracked up to be. Staff meetings with two dogs and a cat - not workin' for me. My plan would be to reach out to Allen over the holidays in late November/early December, when I am emotionally stronger and in a better position to handle the changes I know I need to make.

Please continue to write, Sony. I value your opinion a great deal. Thanks!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2007
Thu, 09-27-2012 - 1:19pm

I think you'll just know when/if you're ready to reach out to him.  He may or may not respond when that time comes.  If he's someone you truly consider a friend & who you'd want to be there down the road as a friend, you can always elaborate more as to why you ended it when you feel up to it.  Another poster here said a few days ago not to force things, and that's something I've been thinking a lot about.  Just be true to yourself... always.

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