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How to stop an emotional affair??

 
 
Reply Sat 11 May, 2013 01:35 pm
I was in a strong friendship with a married man for over a year when things got physical. It all ended due to the fact he chose to stay in his marriage for the sake of his daughter. We have tried to remain friends, yet this is very painful. We have to see each other every day and we are still in contact via phone and we still meet. Neither of us can let go, and both are certain of a very strong bond, yet know we must suppress it. Any advice appreciated. Please be aware I know this situation is not ideal,and is quite selfish. It is just how life turned out, and no matter how I try thoughts and memories of him are with me every day. Yet we both know this is impossible. We have tried to break contact, with no luck.
Advice appreciated.
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Type: Question • Score: 10 • Views: 7,171 • Replies: 69

 
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Sat 11 May, 2013 01:54 pm
@Georgia27,
Try a LOT harder to break contact.

Walk a different way. Change Jobs. Eat at a different restaurant. Delete all messages and numbers and history. Throw away anything tangible.

Unless you are working together in a 2-person office, or you live next door, you can find ways to not have contact. Do it and do not go half-measures on this.
Georgia27
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 May, 2013 02:55 pm
@jespah,
Thank you Jespah. Our issue is that both of our children attend the same school and therefore we see each other every day. I go a few days without contact and then I miss him so much we are back in touch. Yet I feel we cannot sustain friendship. Surely this would be impossible?
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 May, 2013 05:29 pm
@Georgia27,
Georgia27 wrote:
It is just how life turned out


That stands alongside "It just happened" as an example of shrugging off responsibility. You are responsible for what you did with your life in the past, what you are doing with your life now, and what you will do with your life in the future.

Try harder to break contact. In fact, don't just "try harder". Just do it.

"For the sake of his daughter"? He wasn't thinking of her when he started shagging you, and neither were you. It sounds like an excuse. You need to do this, and you posted here because you need to hear that.




0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Sat 11 May, 2013 05:52 pm
@Georgia27,
You don't mention whether you are currently married - just curious how many grownups were being deceived in this situation. It doesn't sound like he chose between you and his wife, but between you and his relationship with his daughter. Did you honestly think he'd get a divorce to be with you?

Quote:
I go a few days without contact and then I miss him so much we are back in touch. Yet I feel we cannot sustain friendship.


So, are you doing all the contacting?
Georgia27
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 01:41 am
@JPB,
Thank you all responses.

Yes I am married also.

Yes he is still living with his wife and child.

I did at the time believe that we could be together and eventually that we would all be able to find somewhere to live together and make a start over. I loved him and I thought he felt the same.
Georgia27
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 01:42 am
@Georgia27,
To add to above comment. We are both in equal communication at the moment, still on a daily basis via text. Although his behaviour blows hot and cold.
vikorr
 
  3  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 03:40 am
@Georgia27,
Generally people replace one habit with another (thinking about him is a habit, in this case a particularly rewarding one because of the drugs that thinking about him produces and sends through your system. And given that, I'm sure you can work out what happens when you don't think about him, or see him for a while.)

Have you considered starting to think about your marriage?

Things like : identifying what is missing, emotionally, in your own marriage relationship, and moving towards getting those emotional relationship needs met? You fell in love with, and married your husband, for a reason....where did those reasons go, and have you asked him about it?

A hint on some common reasons :

1. You're exhausted from work
And, why is this a killer :
- we still make time for what's important to us (so if you are not making time for the other party, or he is not making time for you...guess what that says to them?)

2. Life's too busy
See above re making time for what's important to us

3. You're not in the mood today
Just like we give time to what's important to us, we also put effort into things that are important to us (hence the 'best behaviour / effort / thoughtfulness etc when dating). If you don't put effort into your relationship, guess what that says to the other party?

4. The kids need time and attention
Well, they do...but just like time, and effort, guess what putting all your time and effort into the childrens says to the other party...

That's what goes both ways.

If you want to feel physically attractive, and wanted...guess what you need from your husband (no brainer : time, effort, thoughtfulness while chasing you)

And if he wants to feel both desired and powerful in the pursuit (or whatever feeling chasing you gives him), guess what he needs from you?

It may end up rewarding you more than you think.

He of course, may have to be slowly persuaded into it. Even with that effort, if you are in a marriage, isn't it worth giving it your damnedest to see if you can make it happy, together with him? (why stay married otherwise....it'd be a terrible, terrible waste of life to stay endlessly, unhappily, married)


Georgia27
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 03:54 am
@vikorr,
Hi Vikorr. Thank you your response. I fully agree about the fact that I need to find things to fill my time, and I need to concentrate on my children.

My marriage has been quite tricky for around 2 years with my self esteem being chipped away. Many times I have sat and tried my upmost to make it work , but it didn't make a difference. It would get better for a week or so and revert back to normal.

This person appreciated all I did, we shared so much in common, I could trust him in anything and when we together I just felt alive. I had never felt this in my whole life. It wasn't purely sexual. He was just the most intellectual and loving person I had ever met. It pains me to think we cannot make a life together.

Living with him still in my life hurts us both, and I know that being friends is prolonging things.

I have four children to consider this man has 1 child.

Most days I wish it hadn't ever started, yet on the other hand it showed me what the proper meaning of love is. Yet it is killing me to fully let go. I thinking still going for coffee is damaging both of us, and feel I need to find it in my self to be stronger.

Thank you for not judging me.
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 05:44 am
@Georgia27,
Hi Georgia, judgement isn't at all important in life. I have several beliefs, which revolve around contributing circumstances and self responsibility...which precludes 'blame'.

It is my belief that everyone in life :

- tries to be happy...but also that we often go about it in (in the long run) self defeating ways (not always of course)
- must take responsibility for their own life, who they are, and what they do, and
- should recognise that all our actions have consequences.
- should respect themself, and show themself that they are important (this is done through actions, not thoughts or words)

Anyway, there's lot's of other things like that - those are just the most relevant to your situation.

Quote:
My marriage has been quite tricky for around 2 years with my self esteem being chipped away.
The last part I mentioned about my beliefs - that we must all respect ourself...

You must always, respectfully, stand up for 'who you are'. The importance you show to 'who you are' is, by definition, self esteem. What you do, reinforces or degrades your self esteem.

There is another truism in life - your beliefs will alter towards the direction of your actions. The easiest thing to see in action with this is, of all things, affairs. The first time it 'happens', people feel guilty, the second time still, the third time and each subsequent time...your beliefs alter further and further. It doesn't always completely alter (we are often conflicted as humans), but our actions most definitely alter our beliefs.

Taking that principle one step further - if you allow a person to treat you with disrespect, you get angry with them, and with yourself. If you allow them to treat you with disrespect again, you get pissed off, but it's a bit hazier. If you allow them to disrespect you in the same way a third time...you start wondering if you are doing something to deserve the disrespect...the fourth and 5th, and...your mind itself, is now telling you that you must deserve the disrespect, for you are accepting it...

In other words - some things are worth 'fighting' for. 'Fighting' because you can stand up for your own respect, quite respectfully of the other - no matter how nasty they are (it's called dignified firmness coming from who you are)...though sometimes it is also quite appropriate to become angry, passionate, and pissed off.

And taking that even a step further...this also applies to whether or not you are treated as (any of) : desirable, important, interesting etc.

If you do try everything and don't receive what you need...remember it takes two to have a relationship, and if one person just isn't in it...it may be worth reconsidering if you even have (or should have), a relationship.

Good luck with everything.
0 Replies
 
Georgia27
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 05:54 am
@vikorr,
Thank you for your response. Some of what you said truly hit home. The fact that I let my partner knock my self esteem for many years made it impossible to know my self worth. I allowed him due to my own weakness. I perhaps believed that I could change things and make them better.

Meeting this person showed me that there can be happiness out there. It just obviously isn't with the person I would like.

It is a such a huge step to walk away from the current marriage and in the meantime I am trying to understand how I lost something so good in the other person.

Emotionally I am just feeling quite lonely and unable to react well to day to day life as I usually can.
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 07:10 am
@Georgia27,
Georgia27 wrote:

...

Emotionally I am just feeling quite lonely and unable to react well to day to day life as I usually can.


Then consider carving out some time for therapy.

Talking to an objective outsider can help, plus it will be time away and for yourself (which it seems you need - 4 kids - no wonder you're overwhelmed). Talking over problems can help quite a bit and, again, it is you leaning on a neutral professional rather than on the man you were having an affair with.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 07:22 am
@Georgia27,
One can only wonder if you had been willing to invested the emotional capital into your marriage instead of having an affair if this would be an issue for you at all.
Georgia27
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 07:34 am
@BillRM,
Thank you for taking time to respond
PUNKEY
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 12:29 pm
@Georgia27,
I know it's hard to stop this addiction (and you must admit, that's what it is, since you cannot have what you want and spend so much time on it in spite of this fact)

Have you REALLY gotten an accurate vision of this? He would be with you if he REALLY wanted to. He is using his child as an excuse for not being with you. He's a coward . . . or not ready to give it up for you.

Were you both ready to upset two homes to be with each other? He has let you know that he wasn't willing to do that.

I wonder why you aren't a little angry, even resentful. He's rejected you and you still ache for him. Puzzling to me.



ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 12:49 pm
@Georgia27,
Georgia27 wrote:
he chose to stay in his marriage
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 12:56 pm
@Georgia27,
Georgia27 wrote:
The fact that I let my partner knock my self esteem for many years made it impossible to know my self worth. I allowed him due to my own weakness.

<snip>

I am trying to understand how I lost something so good in the other person.



seems to me that this second man is really no better than your husband. He took advantage of your weakness.

He has chosen to stay in his marriage. It doesn't matter why he made that decision. He chose his marriage.

It seems that you need to choose you.

You've got an opportunity to become strong in yourself.

Punkey is right in picking up that you're not angry at a man you should be angry with. He took advantage of you. I don't often think this when people come in talking about relationships outside of marriage, but you really seem to have described a user.

End the friendship with the man. No friendly chat when picking up children. Block him on your phone and discontinue any contact with him. Don't explain it to him. Don't apologize. End it. Move on.

Focus on yourself. Get counselling, or support from a spiritual counsellor. Whatever works for you.

When you are strong you can sort out if you want to stay in your marriage.

If you decide that the marriage is over after counselling, take some time to live on your own and get to know yourself. Once that is done, you can determine if you're ready for a relationship with someone else.

First steps: block him on your mobile. Do not respond to any contact attempts. No apologies or explanations. Shut the door. Move on.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 12:58 pm
@Georgia27,
Georgia27 wrote:
I am trying to understand how I lost something so good in the other person.


that is an easy question/answer. He was never available to you. He is married, and has chosen to remain in his marriage. There was something exciting with him, but not necessarily good.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 01:29 pm
@ehBeth,
I'm not without sympathy for how you feel, but I too see the situation as cockeyed re your sense of yourself, this guy, and your marriage partner. One thing I don't think you know yet, but will come to understand, is that part of the power of affairs with the married is the unavailability, the thrill, joy, of finding someone tuned in to you, and not the everydayness of a person or persons you know in marriage or past relationships; all the romance, the mutual understanding, not much of the tough stuff except how to meet him somewhere.

Georgia27
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 01:33 pm
@ehBeth,
Thank you so much for your responses. It is really helping me to put things in perspective. Yes I feel that you are right in what you are saying maybe I should feel a little angry, resentful maybe. I just found what I thought was so right in him, when we were together I felt alive, wanted, and respected fully. I also respect that I should have been fully aware that he would never leave his wife. I was under some sort of illusion that we could have eventually been together. I truly believed that he loved me, yet how naïve was I.

In reality I know what I must do. I know that seeing him every day at my daughters school is destroying me, and the fact that his daughter and mine are best friends makes that harder to.

I know that we shouldn't really still text or meet for coffee as we do as all we do is visit old ground.
Everytime I explain my hurt and feelings he asks me to meet him somewhere in the middle and us just keep a strong friendship.

My questions really are.

If it was really just out of sex and excitement, then why end it? nobody had found out and he could have continued to have me in his life.

Why play hot and cold?? Disappear for a day, then show up stating he misses me, or regardless of the situation he still looks forward to seeing me. Maybe will text me goodnight.

Its all so deeply upsetting. I know deep down that all the support I have had on here is right, I am just in such a mess over all of this. It is at the moment still a big focus.

Thank you again for all advice.
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