Do you Journal?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2012
Do you Journal?
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 10:10am

Today is day 9 of NC.  I guess it is NC.....there has been no contact either way in 9 days, but it was not a formal request for no contact, it was shouted (by me) into the phone, to him, to NEVER, EVER try to contact me again.  (After finding out he was seeing someone else and had lied about it all summer.) My situation was a little different in that I was single (widow) and he had not lived with his W in many, many years.  I guess I was able to treat our relationship as "normal" because he was so involved in my life.  The only secrecy was on his part but his family lived far enough away that we came and went as we pleased much like any other couple.  The NC has really opened my eyes to how much I was burying inside in order to keep this relationship.  I can justify it all I want but when it comes down to it, I was involved in an affair. Period. I begged him over the years to please make the divorce legal so that I could be a part of his life too. (He has grown children that he would visit from time to time, but was not really close to them)  The thing was, for so long, I WAS his life. My friends were his friends, my family loved him. (they didn't know he was still legally married) I was happy as a clam, in love with a man that would do anything for me.  I THOUGHT that was unique.  After I found this site, and started reading I realized that what I thought to be a relationship was in truth only an A.  The kicker is that he knew it was killing me inside and instead of honoring the 10+ years we were together, he starts an A with a MARRIED women he reconnected with from H.S.  He NEVER intended to get a divorce and strung me along like a rag doll for all those years.  To be honest, I never thought about how people feel in affairs, because I could wrap my situation up in a pretty package and label it a relationship.  I see, however, that everyone that has been in an A had the same emotional connection to the AP that I did.  Talking about EVERYTHING and sharing so much that when the contact is severed you feel like you have lost your best friend too. 

I am trying to start journaling but find myself staring at the blank page with nothing but memories of us flashing before my eyes.  If you journal, does it help?


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2011
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 8:58pm

Another journaler here

Journaling served many purposes for me - it let me get my anger out, let me have the conversations I needed in order to close things out.  It let me play out scenarios to the end, to different ends.  It gave me a place to put my frustration and weakness and anger and sadness into the universe and dispel it from my soul.  It is a safe place to pour out my heart, to be brutally honest - it gave me back my solace.

I still journal - 2 years later.  That single A vastly changed the landscape of everything I knew, and everything I will ever know.  I'm sure you had the same epiphany so many of us did - that this miracle of connection and devotion and love with that other person seemed so special, so unique, so..... perfect.   But you are right in that it was just another A.  Sometimes I'd just write words.  I'd crank up music and just write whatever words repeating them again and again until I had another thought just to drown out the feelings of everything.  As I moved on, journaling has become a way to measure progress.  It allows me to work out some long-standing issues I had before my A, things that led me to the A.

So yes, journal.  Start with feeling prompts - I am mad because, I feel betrayed because, I feel sad because, I want, I need, I can, I can't, I wish, I know, I cry.....use all of them - be mad.  The loss of your A is the same as a death, if not worse because they still exist and all the feelings and emotions have no resolution - they simply must stop.  Say the things you want to say to him - argue, play out all the avenues - if he had stayed, if he never came into your life, if he only wanted you as an ongoing mistress - play them all out - give them alternative endings..... journaling gives a voice to emotional and ego needs and wants and allows us to see who we are without all the window dressing.


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2011
Sun, 10-07-2012 - 10:52pm
"But compared to the espionage sh!t I used to do just to maintain an A, that is so, so, so minor." funny but true!
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2011
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 1:42pm

Oh, honey--YEAH.

I've been NC for 10 months now. I was just looking at my journal this morning. It does really help to see how far I've come since the beginning. It also keeps me from forgetting the reasons I ended my A. All I have to do is go back 10 months to see the misery and grief I was feeling, to know that I don't want to go back there again, ever.

I read it quite often, although I don't write in it now as often as I used to. Which, for me, is another good sign. I really needed it back then. Not so much now, except as a reminder.

I gave it a totally innocuous name and put it in a totally innocuous folder on my 'puter. I wish I knew some way of making it a file you could only get into with a password, but I'm not computer-savvy enough to know how to do that. But compared to the espionage sh!t I used to do just to maintain an A, that is so, so, so minor.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-13-2010
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 11:51am

Yes!  I am big on journaling; always have been, even way before the A.

I just ramble and ramble when I journal.  Just go on and on; about anything that pops into my head.  If anyone were to read them, they would think I was completely ADD and insane and uneducated in that I would fly from one thought to the next!

And it was so cleansing to LEAVE it on the paper.  And, many times, as I wrote, an insight or even an answer would pop up.

And, like E1 says, it is so interesting to re-read the journals at some point on down the road.  It's amazing to see what was so important or difficult or scary at one time has since resolved itself and is no longer a concern.

A word of caution is to keep your journal in a place where it will likely not be found.  It should be your safe "place" to go and just BE and let it all out.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2008
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 11:30am

Hi Better,

I journal and did it regularly after ending my A.  I journaled a lot in the beginning about things I wish I could say to xAP and/or feelings or emotions I was experiencing. I found giving my thoughts and emotions a voice on paper or on the computer screen helped me let them go. When I was a little further along in my recovery, I would journal in the mornings and if other thoughts about xAP or the A came up after that I would tell them to go away until tomorrow when they would have their time to come to life on a blank piece of paper or computer screen.  If it seemed urgent and pressing, I would take time out to write it down. I do think it is good to set aside specific times to journal so that you are not spending too much of your day dwelling on those issues. Overtime little of my journal had to do with xAP and the A and more to do with me and current challenges in my life or just how I was feeling in general day to day.

As Clarity mentioned, try writing about your xAP what you’re feeling or thinking about him and/or the A and/or what you’d like to tell him is a great place to start.

One thing journaling helped me see clearly, is feelings and thoughts can change sometimes as often as minute by minute. They along with perspective can change over time especially if you are doing work on yourself to actively change. If you find looking back that you are writing the same things you were a year ago, it might help in seeing where you are stuck. It can be a useful tool in many ways.


Whether you think you can or you think you can't you are probably right. A parrot can repeat what it has learned but the mark of true intelligence is applying what is learned.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2005
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 10:25am


I journaled...a lot.  There were times that I was so full of angst, I couldn't journal fast get it out of me...and I always felt better afterwards.

If you find yourself staring at a blank page, maybe start by writing the never-to-be-sent letter to your JAM.  I'm willing to bet that once you set that pen to paper, it won't be able to keep up with thoughts.  That's how it was for me anyway...once I started writing, it all just came pouring out.

Journaling can also act as a means to see your be able to look back and see how you have progressed and as a reminder of where you never want to go again.