Closing the book....

Once again, thank you to everyone who has read posts here and shared comments on their experiences. I appreciate comments that are both positive and negative. I realize not everyone sees me as a saint- and to the person who called me a "skank," well.... that's OK. I get it.

The point is, I started this blog to help others in the same situation try to avoid some of the mistakes I made, or at least to know how to deal with them and move forward into a more positive place. Yes, I know I made mistakes. I think it's each of our jobs to work on our own failings. A blog can never convey the hurt, pain, guilt, and penance an individual pays out. But let it be known, mistakes come at a cost. To you, and to the people you love. But I've never really been into judging others. I just wanted to try and help. Because making a mistake doesn't make you a horrible person for the rest of your life. You can start being different. You can start being better. Right now.

I wanted to do one final post to let readers know that I am no longer actively checking the comments on a regular basis. I will check in as I can, but the good news is that I rarely think about this anymore at all. My marriage is in a great place and I feel that I have moved past my affair for good.

For those of you looking for advice on what you can do- here are my basic steps that I think apply to most every situation I've read about in the comments over the years:

1. Stop all contact with your exAP. Immediately.
2. This means, whatever email account he/she has for you- delete it. Disable it. Make it vanish. Poof. Gone. Do not look back.
3. Whatever phone number that person has for you, change it.
4. Block the exAP on Facebook. Delete any other social media accounts you have that may tempt you to spy/stalk that person. Tell someone else if it helps you stick to the promise to not stalk that person online. The more time passes, the easier it will get to not try and keep tabs on them.
5. Even if you fail at the above, hold to the next rule steadfastly.....
6. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER.... under any circumstances..... never contact your exAP again. Ever.
7. No, not even for that reason.
8. Really? You're still trying to argue you need to tell him/her about THAT? Why? Examine that question for at least as long as you were in the affair before you take any action.
9. If you feel you must reach out, write the letter you envision sending to YOURSELF. Let it sit one week. Read it again. Let it sit one month. Read it again. Let it sit six months. Read it again. I will bet you a lot of money your heart will change the longer you let it sit. It does not need to get sent. Get the words out, but don't send them.
10. If exAP contacts you, tell him/her that you plan to tell your husband/wife everything about the call and everything that they say. STICK TO THIS. They need to know you are no longer on the same "team."
10. Good luck- stay strong and get a good therapist. You can do this.



Processing the past with music

Sometimes listening to my iPod in the car one of the songs comes on. THE songs. They were more than just music. We traded them back and forth like messages in a bottle to one another in emotionally encoded mix CD's that meant something, but weren't supposed to mean something.... if asked, that is what you'd say, anyway. We had to be cool about our sordid affair. Nobody was supposed to really care about one another. Most of the time anymore I skip past these songs. I'm not there anymore. It's a chapter of my life I've largely closed. But sometimes I like to revisit these dogeared sections of the difficult past. There are times it really helps me relive the powerful AHA moment of realizing, I'm done with it. And I know why. And I've forgiven myself, and him, for everything. This is actually one I came across after the last contact. It wasn't something I ever gave to him... maybe that's why I'm still able to stomach it, and get something out of it. Hope you enjoy. Best line: "At the end of the year, when the cliffs rise up behind you, and the stream runs in circles, from the chasm to the core, and the sun comes in tears, cause the gardener did not find you, will you bloom bright and fierce? Will you know- you don't need him anymore?" -Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer Blooming bright and fierce. Harebell


He's having a baby.

Yep. It hurts. Not as much as it might have, once... but it hurts. Damned information chain.


Fade to blur

I thought of the AP today randomly and realized.... I can't even clearly picture his face anymore. That feels so freeing.


Hope in the World

Why haven't I posted? He's gone. Not completely but I have not thought of him in months. MONTHS! Not days. Not weeks. M-O-N-T-H-S. Let's keep this short and sweet. You can get there too. Time is your friend. I'm glad my story can help any of you out there, on either side of the painful equation of an affair. Hang in there and happy spring!


What I've Learned

The perspective of over three years is astounding. I had insomnia tonight and slept a grand total of about 20 minutes. In the past sleepless nights came with thoughts of our fantasy life together, or replaying steamy scenes from our sordid past. Tonight, here is what I remembered with stunning clarity: each and every time he let me down, and precisely how. Let's review two bookends that serve as nice highlights, shall we?

1. When talking about my mom that had passed just 6 months after our affair started, I remarked that she had been so young. ExAP's comment? "How old was she?" Me: "64." Him: "That's not THAT young."

Thanks asshole.

2. When he started dating the girl he's now married to, it was one week after our last tryst. Just over a month after that began, he brought her to a party at our house. The party was supposed to start at 7. Most people didn't get there until 8pm or later. He and the new GF showed up at 5:00pm. DH and I had to chitchat with them the whole time. I began drinking myself into a stupor right then.

He started an asshole, and never changed. I'm so glad I don't have him in my life. I'm so glad I got away from him and realized what a wonderful, good man DH is. I'm so glad I don't waste any more of my precious time fantasizing about the man exAP never was.

I may still have my sleepless nights, but I can still rest easier than I used to. Welcome, 2011.


Coming up on three years since I last saw him

I am still in a good healing place. But tonight I felt I had to come downstairs from trying to fall asleep to get these thoughts on digital paper. He has been quite present in my dreams of late. Not consistently every night, but every week or two he pops up, and it's that amazing feeling of waking up from a dream where you were with your best friend... and then you miss them so much because you didn't really talk to them, and with every waking moment you remember less and less of your reverie. I found myself in bed tonight recognizing something. There is still a piece of me... I'm not prepared to call it small just yet.... but it's a piece that wants to be in another life. It's not just about the exAP either. Tonight what set this off was thinking about something as mundane and banal as furniture and bedding choices. Regretting the poor taste I had when I bought the cheapest thing available without a critical eye to what I want my surroundings to look like... and having this overwhelming thought of, "wouldn't it be kind of cool to just leave and start with a totally clean slate?" I mean, come on. My overly country-themed daybed is bad, but bad enough to make me want to leave a marriage? Maybe there's something else there. And maybe that's why the exAP is coming up in my subconscious again. More after the jump...


Random obsession

I still feel like I've moved past the ExAP. However, I still find that I am randomly completely obsessed with him, albeit much less frequently. I haven't thought about him this much in at least 6 months, I'd say. My stupid dumb password-knowing usually yields almost no info on him, but I just saw he's visiting the place. Our place. Where we first met and became friends, and where it all happened. The building itself is no longer there. But I know he's got to be thinking back to the past too. In that setting, it would be impossible not to. I find myself missing him at these times in a weird way. Like, in a "how I wish I could just talk to you" way. Of course during the affair and failed no contact, that feeling was always what ruined it. We'd think we could just talk and catch up, with no more relationship stuff, and inevitably we'd end up on each other not too long after that intimate chat. But I guess the point is, I do still care what he's doing, what he's feeling, and I miss him. I know that won't stop. I'm just so grateful he's not in my head every day anymore. I can deal with these bouts smartly. I have almost no fear left that I'll make a bad choice. But I do wonder if something down the road will make our paths cross again, planned or not. And I wonder what I will say. That's probably something I should stop wondering right now...