1.03.2011

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.

23 comments:

  1. My affair ended in February 2010...and reading your blog gave me a little glimpse into what I've already known--it doesn't ever really go away, does it?
    I'm only 15 months out and things in my head have calmed down--nothing's screaming at me till I cry anymore...but, not a damn day goes by that I don't think about my xap in one way or another. I often wonder if the other partner in the affair ever has thoughts or hard times or a longing inside or ever FEELS a damn thing, ya know?

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  2. Here's the good news: it does go away. I haven't posted in so long because I think (knock on wood) he may have finally faded permanently from my conscious soul. I say conscious because there is still a dream here or there, but very rarely and it doesn't come packed with the emotional punch it used to. There is hope. Time is your friend. Glad I could help. P.S. Your ExAP most certainly has thoughts and feelings. Don't worry about that. Hard as this fact seems, that does not matter at all. What matters now is you not caring about him, ever again. It will happen. I promise.

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  3. Anonymous2:37 PM

    Hello,

    I was reading this and my jaw dropped. I met a woman in Feb, 2007 at a doctor's office (she was the tech) and we began an affair that lasted—4 years. I tried to end it 6-8 times, but it never held. However, I finally ended it on January 14th, 2011 and guess what? Two days before the drive to see her to end it (I had written a letter in advance), I found out she was seeing another married man the same time as me (she was 49, and single).

    I fell deeply in love with her even though it was so wrong and then when I found out she was lying to me all this time, I realized how my own wife felt and it made me sick to my stomach. The only good thing is in those 4 years we did not make love, we did commit sin by kissing, touching, etc, but I could never bring myself to go that far, but it doesn't matter, adultery is not defined by lovemaking—kissing and touching is adultery.

    My question is this, when will I forget her? I think about her incessantly, like a drug I just want to hear her voice but I refuse to call, its been 5 months of NC (except a couple of brief emails) but its so hard. She moved on more easily because she had man #2 in the background. I am baffled though, how can a person carry on two affairs at the same time with two different married men? The other guy was 64, I am 44! I'm just trying to figure this all out and was wondering, when will I wake up and not think about her anymore?

    I also wonder if and when the other guy leaves her will she try and contact me? She knows I confessed to my wife (I did that last year) and yet I have to be honest, I still miss her because I cared deeply for her and my marriage was not good, but that is no excuse for the wrong I did. I just want to be whole again and forget her for good.

    Thanks
    John

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  4. John,

    First, thanks for reading and I'm so sorry for your hurt. I wish I had a definite answer to your question about how long it will take until you forget her. The only good answer I can come up with is, "probably longer than you think." But I can tell you it will happen. There were full YEARS after no contact when I was sure I would never stop thinking about ExAP. Which you can see from my posting history. But now, I can tell you confidently that he barely ever even crosses my mind. It took a full 3 years until that point and we were involved for 4 years. I doubt there is a hard and fast rule of thumb.

    You can forget her for good and make your life whole again. Here is how you do it. Get through today without contacting her. You can think about her, but process it in a healthy way. (Maybe blog about it, or journal about it). Then do the same tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. When you want to contact her ask yourself why you were unhappy in your marriage. Was it about your wife or about you? Trust me, it wasn't about your AP being the ideal, perfect woman. That much, I know. Nobody is perfect. The questions are inside of you. You need to figure out who you are, and what you need. And an affair built on no trust is NOT it. Get into therapy if you are not already; that will help. I hope if you are working on your marriage that it is going well.

    Time is your friend. And it takes a lot of time. You will get there. Thanks again for reading.

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  5. P.S. I hope for your sake that she doesn't contact you. If she does, be strong and do not respond. This is VERY important. Good luck.

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  6. Anonymous5:18 PM

    Hello,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to me. I admire people like you, not afraid to tell it like it is with gut level honesty. I have been in therapy for 8 months, its helps. I will blame my wife for my affair, no. That is unfair to her and wrong. Our marriage has its woes, but she would never do to me what I did to her. What baffled me most is my EXAP was having another affair with a married man at the same time as us and, telling me how wrong it was what we doing, all the while doing this. To this day I still cannot figure that out.

    The mistake I made since January 14th, the last time I saw her is I have emailed, numerous times. I can no longer do that, it just makes me look weak and needy (she is not emailing me back, she has her other "mate"). If she had not told me she loved me so many times it would not have hurt so bad, it was never about sex, I truly loved her, even though it was wrong.

    I am going to take your advice and journal my thoughts, I will not email her again. You are so right, any relationship built on lies and deceit would never last anyhow. Even if I was single, I would not date her because I could never trust her. Quite a paradox!

    Thanks again, your blog has helped alot of people like me, you are truly a great person.

    Sincerely,
    John

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  7. Anonymous5:19 PM

    woops, I meant "I will not blame my wife"

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  8. Anonymous2:47 PM

    Hello,

    Last question. Closure is never easy with these matters. But, I know she has not ended the other affair and if her adult children were to find out, they would confront her (they found out about me in 2009). She is also a Jehovah Witness and would be expelled from her congregation if they knew about her two affairs (there were others besides me and and current man) and I have all the evidence that with just one letter to her church elders or children would bring her lies all to the surface.

    There is a big part of me that wants to to do this, just for her to pay for what she did, especially all the lies. For example, she told me in an email that she confessed to her congregation, turns, out, it was a lie. She told me she ended the other affair, that was a lie too.

    I am on the endge with this one. What would you do?

    Sincerely,
    John

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  9. John- sorry it took me so long to respond. I only get on this when I have the privacy to, which isn't often these days. I think you know the answer to your question. Stay out of her life. Do not reach out to hurt her, or to reconnect with her. Will that really change anything?

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  10. Anonymous11:54 AM

    Hello,

    You said it simply and succinctly. It won't change anything. It's just hard when you believed someone for (4) years and they lied to you all the way through. I was to blind. I did not send the letter, I deleted it and will not send. I am glad I found your blog, it helped me see this in the right light. I am a changed man, I will never allow this to happen to me ever again and I am grateful we never made love, that would have ended my marriage for certainty, but I cannot deny I loved my EXAP dearly, I did, and it was real love but I am glad that I ended it, not her.

    Thank you for replying, it meant alot and it made a difference.

    Sincerely,
    John

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  11. Anonymous4:19 PM

    John - I don't want to be mean, because obviously you're in a lot of pain, and I hate to point out the obvious, but you're upset that your AP lied to your for 4 years. And you did - what - to your wife for 4 years? I know you're upset and heartbroken, but please try to realize the unbearable pain you've caused your wife, with whom you took VOWS to love and honor and cherish her until death do you part. You implicitly PROMISED your wife when you married her that you would never do this to her, and yet you did, lying and cheating behind her back for 4 years.

    Your AP, on the other hand, as despicable as her behavior was, made no such commitment to you. She is single, she can do what she wants, hard as that may be to swallow. She never stood up in front of God and the community and promised to be faithful to you, as you did with your wife.

    I almost tried to kill myself when I found out about my husband's 8 month affair (2 nights of sleeping together), that's how completely devastated, disillusioned and heartbroken I was. I'm not trying to make you feel guilty, but you need to understand that what you did to your wife was far, far, worse than what the AP did to you, so any thoughts of spite or retribution on the AP should be rechannelled into finding ways to make this up to your wife.

    I can see now how lost and miserable my husband was before the A (actually we both were), and now we're being honest and open with each other about our needs and making our marriage and our relationship our #1 priority. While we still have our rough patches, our marriage is now better than it ever was (8 months after D-Day and NC), but I have to tell you that the first few months were absolute living hell and I would never wish that kind of pain on anyone.

    Your time would be better served reflecting on the pain you've caused your wife and figuring out how to help her through this rather than sitting in self-righteous condemnation of the AP, who actually didn't do nearly as bad a thing as you since she isn't married.

    Pain is pain, no matter which side of the fence you're on, and I feel for you. Wishing you strength and good healing.

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  12. Anonymous, I'm really sorry to hear of your pain but glad you and your husband are working on things together. Once you get to that point of realizing the only thing that matters is the two of you, individually and as a couple, you are on the right road. Good luck!

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  13. Anonymous7:24 PM

    Anonymous,

    You are correct, but you have no idea what my situation was, nor did you pose any questions. I know I hurt my wife, I have apologized to her over an dover and I did not sleep with my AP, I only saw her about 12 times in 4 years and it was an emotional affair, but an affair nonetheless. Affairs are an outcropping of unmet needs, yes I was guilty, but my wife has admitted her lack of doing the things the marriage needed, its no excuse, but when we are drawn into someone else and its not for sex, that means there is a gap in the marriage relationship. My wife would have never found out, there were no cards, love letters, or anything of the sort. I confessed to her on my own and ended it with the AP on my own. However, I could never go through with making love to the AP, that was a line I could never cross and thankfulyl, didn't.

    That doesn't mean I cannot feel pain for what the AP did. Yes you are 100% right, but again, there are two sides to every coin. As a result of what happened, I am a changed man and will never allow myself to draw close to anyone, unless I become single. I'm not being self-righteous, I what I did wrong, but betrayal hurts, regardless of which side of the coin you are on.

    John

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous8:36 AM

      Yes, the lady above has pointed out our obvious and is correct.. but this blog is not about being correct .. it is for our healing... this is for the healing after what WE did... we are throwing oranges in with apples...Not to diminish what she has gone through and it is the product of this but Her pain and that afflicted pain is for another blog.

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  14. Anonymous12:17 PM

    My AP is not an asshole , unfortunately , hes a friend who became more because he was in pain and lacking in his own relationship . Does that matter ? it sure makes him harder to leave as I know Im hurting him too. Urghgh!

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  15. You know, for as much as I call the ExAP an asshole, I don't truly believe he is, deep down. He was my friend. In a way it's BECAUSE I love myself and respect myself more now that I am able to admit: I am not a dummy. I would not start up with someone who was just an ass. It was still wrong, but...

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  16. There is a light8:56 AM

    Hi there,

    I have let myself go off the railroad trying to flounder around surviving after this myself. I googled and discussed this and have gone every week hoping the next I would get over him. My affair was only 5 months and I am now 6 months after still trying to get through it. And I actually sought mine out!!..after 20 years of total faithfulness with my husband!! I totally went into unchartered territory and crossed this line.......I never could have predicted this multidimensional pain and torture. It is getting easier getting through the days like our host has said but not without a bumpy bumpy road.

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  17. Anonymous10:24 AM

    It will get better. I was in my affair 10+years. The last to have been getting over it and moving on. I do still think about him. I know deep down he isnt thinking about me. He has a new wife and a kid now. Yea he deserve to be happy i guess. But just doesnt seen fair he is happy and my life is still torn to pieces. I am trying hard to forgive my self. I still fell bad, used and stupid for ever even entering into an affair. But i am doing better. It takes time.I can sleep at nite now. I have that peace of mind. He doesnt even come to mind like he use too. Funny how we females fall so deep. I loved this man. Oh well its over now. Life does go on.

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  18. I think our perceptions of our ExAPs now say a lot about the initial causes of our affairs. We want to know (or believe) they are still thinking about us, still need us, still love us-- more than anyone else. But you know what? Behind all that crap is just the real you deep down inside that wants you to love yourself. No other person can do that for you. I think it's all about seeking acceptance and validation. If you don't get it in your marriage you probably also don't get it internally. And that's where you need to start. Inside yourself. Accept yourself. Love yourself. What he/she is doing right now really does NOT matter at all, one bit.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous3:09 PM

      I am keeping this one. The longing I feel for my exAP is not for her, it is for something that I need to fill this void. She was a fantasy, it was not real, nor was the future. She is not perfect like my mind makes me think she is and I am not that important to her. Frankly, I am more than likely one of many men.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous3:12 PM

    Read this online...helped me to see the truth that she is a manipulative, narcissistic, drama queen with a borderline personality disorder....


    "She was not perfect. Love addicts tend to live in a fantasy world and only see what they want to see. Everything they see is wonderful. We somehow don't see the flaws. We just see fantasy and don't realize that it isn't real! She was cheating on her husband. She was dishonest, she was a liar, she was selfish. There were times when she also lied to ME. She did a lot of disgusting things. I concentrated on all those things. So instead of trying to stop thinking about her, I focussed on all her bad qualities, the ones that weren't part of my fantasy. This helped me to wake up and accept that my fantasy world with her wasn't real. My obsession diminished quickly as the image became less pleasant."

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  20. Anonymous4:06 PM

    "He started an asshole, and never changed."

    I was shocked to read this. This blog has been a repetition of the same thing post after post: can't stop thinking about my AP, can't stop thinking about my AP, can't stop thinking about my AP. Now after 3 years of this you realize he was an asshole? Ugh, your poor husband.

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  21. Anonymous9:20 PM

    I was in the same situation. It was a 4 yr addiction, but after I confessed, I knew it was over I felt a sense of its finally over. I need to move on with my husband. I have days I miss him, it's been 7 months of NC, I'm fine with that but I do wonder if he misses me, I guess it's this time of year for me.

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