Two Weeks After I Ended It: Wishing I Hadn't

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Two Weeks After I Ended It: Wishing I Hadn't
11
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 10:53pm

I've posted here before.

I had a tender, but short,3-mo. affair with a former colleague, who lives 500 miles away.

I am married w/ no children; A is separated and shares co-parenting of their three children with spouse.  No divorce yet and may not happen for awhile.

I ended the A 2 weeks ago this Tues.  I didn't see much of a future, outside of messages that continued to be lovely and welcome.

My bi-racial H has NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) - probably situational as a result of growing up as a child in a bi-racial marriage.  Life with him can be hell at times.  He wakes up most mornings slightly annoyed, which then builds into anger, sometimes full-blown by nightfall.  H never physically hits me, but is nearly always moody/angry/annoyed - depending on what sets him off during the course of a day.  If you've ever seen "Sleeping with the Enemy" (a Julia Roberts film), he has some of the same traits that her H has in that movie.

H is charming to friends who don't know him well/nor his backstory, and they think he's a great guy.  To them, he is charming and expresses interest in their lives.  H has constant need for attention, flattery, adoration.  He gets angry when another man compliments me or expresses any innocent form of attraction for me - and will deny my perception that a man just might be interested in me.  H is never gentle or unconditionally loving toward me.  Never compliments without my asking how I look, etc... 

It will be two weeks on Tuesday since I ended my A, who graciously agreed to abide by my wishes for no contact.  I had hoped that by now, the pain of ending it would diminish, but it hasn't.

I miss him so much, even though I know the situation isjust so very far from ideal.  I want to reach out; to say something like, "this feels too much like my best friend died" or "I feel like someone shot my dog", but I fear he will not reply.

My few friends with whom I've taken into my confidence on this have begged me to not reach out to my A and so far, I haven't.

Concurrently, I began therapy to work through the challenges of my marriage - and facing the complexities in my life situation in-general (all the responsibilites that are intertwined with a marriage - mortgages, bills, taxes, and so much more).  I have been feeling paralyzed about these things.

In the end, I know this is not the life I want for the next 30-40 years I have on this earth.  Before the A, I was dealing with it. After the A, it has suddenly become an almost unbearable situation, from which I desperately want to just run away.

I'm not sure I have the strength to keep me from reaching out to my A, so I guess I am looking for your advice - on what you would do/thoughts on the wisdom of reaching out.

Thanks so much.

Community Leader
Registered: 09-21-2007
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 10:44am

Hi!

I am so sorry that you are going through it all right now.  I hope the therapy can help you heal.

I know the pain and the emptiness you feel by ending it.  And who knows how long it can last.  But in the long run, it is for the best.  It didn't sound like you were happy nor did you want to live like that.  At the same time, you are dealing with your H.  And that in itself, could have you running to AP.  I would continue to avoid contacting him.  Harder than it sounds, because he is comforting and a support for you.  As time goes on, and it is cliche, the heart heals and gets better.  Try to keep yourself busy and don't stress yourself out.  I believe you can make it through without running away!!!!!!!

We are here for you anytime!

 

Shadow Word generated at Pimp-My-Profile.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2007
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 10:45am

I'm curious why your friends are so against you reaching out to AP - ?  I can see it may not be the best idea with all you're going through right now, and you don't want the A to become a crutch for either remaining in a M you're not happy in or expecting AP to take care of you.  It doesn't sound like you need the turmoil of an A added to your life right now.  If AP was supportive and offering you support, and you were both ok with being just friends while you deal with things at home, that would be good for you. 

Two weeks is not enough time for the pain to diminish or, IMO, to make a sound decision about it.  I was feeling so miserable in the 2nd week, all I wanted was to not feel it anymore, and in hindsight I'm grateful AP was stronger than me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 11:28am

Hi, CS.

Thanks. Well, I did it.  I sent a text message to my AP this AM.  I said, "Hope you're doing ok".  That's all.  No reply.

I previously asked him to stop any future communication (when I ended it), so I don't expect him to respond.

Part of me was feeling badly that I had abruptly ended things, in the midst of his own misery (he is separated and dealing with the fallout from that too - his wife left him for her own A, but has since waffled back and forth on him... another reason why I jumped through the escape hatch - it was not going to be a satisfying situation for me long-term).

So, I've known that sooner or later, it would come to an end without near-term options.  Tather than prolong the inevitable, I took matters into my own hands.

I'm glad I sent the message.  It was the kind thing to do.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 11:57am

Thanks so much for your message!  The good news is, time heals.

I'm in the process of booking appointments to interview two alternative therapists (the first one I met with was 100% supportive - but depressing.  I want Dr. Phil - or someone like him; someone who gives you the tools and confidence to transcend chalenges like this).  These two alternate therapists were recommended to me - one of them founded a holistic healing practice, which greatly appeals to me.

In addition to the positive therapy, I'm also going to start taking yoga classes.  My gym has a wonderful studio with outstanding instructors.  Every time I see them, they are smiling ear-to-ear and seem so peaceful. Who wouldn't want that?

I think that being able to express ourselves in relative anonymity on this site is also extremely helpful, particularly at more stressful times during the day when there is no one to talk to, and appearances must be kept up.

Life is quite a journey, and I've been through enough challenges to know that pain is simply part of the process.  But it's also temporary. 

Thanks again for your wise advice and look forward to continuing the dialog.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2010
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 5:12pm

Most of us have been through the agony of multiple endings on here, and I think back to the most serious time we ended it in September of last year.  If I had stuck to NC, I would be a year out from this mess.  Instead,this weekend  I was getting upset about him and the never-ending, ongoing issues that have plagued our A from the start.  I can only tell you that the problems that pushed you into ending it will still be there if you get back together, and they will still bother you.  Having contact again does take away the short term pain of breaking up, but that is only a temporary fix, and you will be feeling crazy again not so long from now.  This may sound odd, but have you read Mackenzie Phillips autobiography, High on Arrival? It's not only a fascinating book, but it really highlighted for me the crazy pull of addiction, and it reflected so much of the struggle I feel in my R with XAP. It makes you realize that there is a strong addictive component to all of our As.

And it is also totally normal to focus on the negatives of your M when you are involved in an A.  I had issues with my H, but those issues were magnified by 100X when I fell in love with my AP.  I have no idea why that happens, but it happens a lot.  I left my M and while I still think it was the best thing for both of us, I no longer feel so overly critical, and I have affection for my XH again.  Maybe it is because we are not together anymore, so it is easier to get along, or maybe it is because the A is over?  I don't know, but you can just automatically assume that at least part of the discontent you are feeling comes from your involvement in the A, and what it does to your head.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 8:40am

Hi, Janejosie.

I *SO* needed to read your post this morning.  I broke NC w/ my A yesterday (I texted him, "Hope you're doing ok"), and as soon as I sent it, I regretted it.

When I abruptly ended our A 2 weeks ago, I asked my AP to stop any further communication with me and wished him all the best for the future.  He's a great guy and he said he would respect my wishes.  So, as I expected, he did not respond, but his silence nonetheless made me profoundly sad. 

I erased AP from IM chat, LinkedIn - but oddly can still see him on Yahoo Messenger (the portal view version), and just seeing him online makes me smile.  I was close to deleting him from my phone (H would not suspect since AP was a legitimate colleague), but can't bring myself to cut that last tether.

I'm glad to know that it's normal to focus on the negatives of M (I got the same validation from the AYA board, where I really belong, so I am relieved to know this is temporary).  I do love my H, but, my M has been seriously rocky for awhile, long before the A, as my H has Narcississtic Personality Disorder.  H starts the day with angry rants over the morning news and the day goes downhill from there. He is particularly misogynistic - most women who don't fawn over him are "c*nts or b*tches - particularly newswomen.  He really had it in for Ann Curry and Katie Couric until they left NBC.  It was distrubing.  I telecommute, so I find myself escaping our home most of the day (even before the A) - to the gym, Starbucks - any place with Wi-Fi.  He even yells at our dogs, who are the sweetest, kindest dogs ever.

AP knows very little about the details of my M, except that we have problems & H has anger issues.  AP is going through his own on-again/off-again relationship with his W (who is/was having an affair with a mutual friend of theirs).  Their 3 children are in HS and this has been his primary focus.  AP is a wonderful father.  Our timing just wasn't right and we are just too far away (500 mi) to continue.  It was not satisfying to miss him so much, with so very few opportunities to see each other, and with my own marriage at a crossroads - these are the main reasons why I ended it and asked him for NC.

From here, I am entering counseling.  I'm not sure I want the rest of my life to be privately filled with so much unresolved anger.  Have been too scared previously to look into ending my marriage.  While I am still very attractive, I'm also 52 and worried about the future.

Part of me wants to send a longer message to my xAP so that he can understand my reality and desire to do something "healthy" about my M.  We always talked about his M problems - never much about mine.  I'm not sure that would be helpful for him to know why I left so abruptly.

In the end, I know it would never work out.  Probably best to just continue to keep the door closed and an eye on the future.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2007

I'm sorry that you didn't hear back from AP.  I think you'll just know as time goes by if you want to offer him more of an explanation.

How long have you been M?  I know that fear of the unknown can be paralyzing.  Sometimes we don't realize just how crazy a situation is until we're away from it a while, though.  I can't imagine that the challenges you'd face being single would be harder than walking on eggshells all the time.  I don't mean that to sound judgemental at all; I have never walked in your shoes.  I just can't stand seeing anyone unhappy.  52 is young, IMO.  You could have another 52 yrs left.

I hope you're able to find a good therapist.  I've had some doozies, lol.  I recently started seeing a pain psychologist because of my health issues, and in 2 sessions she's done more for me than all the rest combined!  I leave feeling so empowered.

I also telecommute & understand it can make dealing with life in general more difficult.  While I feel bad you need to escape from your own home, I think it's great that you're out around people and give you mondo kudos for going to the gym!  :smileywink:

I hope today is a good day for you.  Do something nice for yourself!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 3:45pm

Thanks, CS.

I've been communicating on the AYA site and one member's observations helped me realize that our A was mostly about my xAP feeling better about his uncertain on again/off again separation from his cheating wife - and really not much about me.  He never asked about my M problems, but I inquired - often - about his.  Just embracing this reality has helped me decide that the way I ended our A, was just right.  My exact words were, "While our few times together were very nice, and temporarily filled a void in my life, it hasn't been satisfying in the long run for me personally, nor a healthy way to deal with my own marital problems.  It's not what I wanted.  I am therefore asking you to please stop any further communication. I really wish you all the best for the future."

As for my M, it's 11 years this year and, yes, I walk on eggshells constantly - but even that is no guarantee that he won't explode.  I am home right now, working at our snack bar with him and he just exploded about three things in the space of 30 minutes:  extreme anger over not being able to set up his new computer; anger over my desire to have a piece of coffee cake he bought ("just replace it - you never replace it") and another f-bomb rant about something on TV, which is on in the background.

The good news is, I did do something nice for me - I booked an appt w/ one highly-recommended therapist; went to my gym, had a great workout with my familiar gym friends, went to the coffee shop and saw my favorite baristas for a few minutes, had uplifting phone calls with two friends who know about my A and also my NPD H and my M.

How was your day today, CS?  You give so generously of yourself on this site.  I feel so fortunate to be connected to you.

Hugs,

PACD

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I just kind of lurk on this site cause I'm not having an affair, so can't really be knowledgeable about that from a personal perspective, but I am knowledgeable about what it's like to be in a bad marriage.  My exH (2nd marriage) has bipolar disorder & I know what it's like to be walking on eggshells because he might go into a rant about some stupid thing--like someone parked in the street in front of our house, or some major life changing even like that.  I think you are taking the right steps to do things for yourself & move toward ending the marriage--that is just no way to live.  I was also over 50 when I got divorced & it was more complicated because I had 2 kids, he had one, I was worried I'd have to sell my house, didn't want the "failure" again of a 2nd marriage, etc.  I remember talking with my friend one day and she was saying that now we're over 50--do you want to live the rest of your life like this?  And of course I didn't.  I was just so relieved when he moved out, not having to worry about any arguments, I could be relaxed at home and enjoy time w/ my kids--before that I would dread going home from work & wondering what kind of a mood he'd be in--and I don't even like my job that much.  I think it's good that you ended this affair right now cause I think it would be a distraction from doing what you have to do to end the marriage.  After you're separated, you'll have the free time to focus on yourself and then to find someone for yourself and you'll be free, so you can also have a relationship that is good for you with someone who is also not married.  Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 1:45pm

Thank you, Music Lover.

I could have penned your message myself.  Both my H and I work from home, but I find myself spending as much time away from out house as possible.  I start by going to the gym in the morning, continue on to a remote wi-fi spot like Starbucks where I can work, stop by the grocery store and return home in-time to prepare dinner.

I always knew my situation wasn't ideal, but this A has completely brought to light everything that I previously pushed in the background.

I, too, am not happy about the looming failure of a 2nd marriage, but the facts are what they are. Many of the feelings of loneliness I felt in my 1st marriage are coming back to me now.  Workaholic husband who was never at home (he was away so often he had a "panic button" installed on my side of the bed, in case of emergency.  It became a sad symbol of the loneliness I felt.)  His NPD brother (yes, narcississtic personality disorder!!) lived with us and treated me like the hired help (I came from the middle class, but married into his upper class family).

The sad truth is, I escaped mostly to get away from his toxic NPD brother -- only to marry someone just like him... in so many ways.

While I am sad I ended my A, I agree that it would be a complicating distraction.  Now that it's behind me, I am forced to lay bare the issues I simply must confront, versus facing going to my grave in another bad marriage because I could not summon the courage to do something about it when I was young enough.

Interestingly enough, a close friend is introducing me to a male friend of hers next week.  It's purely legitimate (he's facing similar sports-related surgery I had earlier this year, that requires a lot of consideration).  Who knows where these new friendships eventually end up, but it nonetheless puts at least one ray of hopeful sunshine in my life today.

*HUGS*