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Processing an Affair?

Open forum ... what's on your mind? Want to vent or lament about your Limerent/Love Object? This is the ideal place.
AnnieKaye9924
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Processing an Affair?

Post by AnnieKaye9924 » Sat May 11, 2019 10:16 pm

This is just kind of a brain dump; I’m having a rough day. Reading this board and discussing with a confidante has made me realize that I had an affair, at least emotional, in which we expressed our feelings, but there was some physical contact too, but not sex. The romantic/physical part ended almost 5 months ago.

We are now trying to be friends & this LE is making me miserable, wondering if there is anything going on with this other coworker he is close to, wondering where he is, who he is texting, who he is spending time with. I HATE this. My boundaries have been pretty good with conversation topics, etc. But this is someone who I thought was my best friend for years.

Can anyone relate to any of these feelings? I feel like I’m just processing all of this on my own. I would give anything to know what he is feeling/thinking & if it’s affecting him like it is me. I’m not sure if talking about it with him would help or if that’s my brain just trying to get high. Also if he has already moved on to the next I would feel super crazy.

Just curious if anyone has navigated a similar scenario.

Pattihopeful
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Re: Processing an Affair?

Post by Pattihopeful » Sun May 12, 2019 3:04 am

Annie K I can relate to some of it. Feeling like I became emotionally close to another, disclosed infatuation, was told to decrease contact and grieving. I feel like I was unfaithful.

Plus he rode over 2 hours to an event with another woman. Not the initial woman I was thinking of but another one. I wonder what he is thinking of her and others. He always seemed more than willing to talk to me and then it all changed. Sorry you are going through this! It seems you are doing the best you can in the situation. Very tough.

Helpmeplease
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Re: Processing an Affair?

Post by Helpmeplease » Sun May 12, 2019 8:54 am

AK yes I share.

Being friends is extremely hard especially with what seems to have been a two sided EA (?). You definitely need time out before considering friendship and if you had two way discussions on feelings before could you ask if friends is possible and that it's enough for you both? (Being able to walk away if not?). 5m doesn't seem enough of a gap given your comments here - how often are you seeing him now (as friends)? Be very careful on types of conversations, that draws you back

I felt my LO was my soul mate, it's super scary thinking of losing your best friend. Now I realize I wasn't her best friend and she isnt mine - best friends should be genuine open and balanced.

I spent too long thinking what is she thinking. You will never know unless you ask. Asking is dangerous. Given your history I think you could ask if he wants to try and be friends and have that open discussion as long as it's controlled not to spread into wider topics - cut those off immediataly if they come up
Last edited by Helpmeplease on Tue May 14, 2019 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Cookie
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Re: Processing an Affair?

Post by Cookie » Sun May 12, 2019 2:20 pm

Hi Annie,

I'm sorry you are suffering. I would not recommend talking to him about it. Don't worry about what he is thinking and feeling...focus on you rising above this. And be glad you didn't have sex, for sure. It makes it so much worse.

Have you ever tried anything like meditation or acupuncture? The latter has been very helpful for me, and I'm not usually one to seek those things. It feels like it's releasing deep-seated pain and letting go of the anxiety and obsession. The last time I went, I was almost glowing when I left. Someone commented about it when I got on the subway, which was kind of funny but also reaffirming that I was feeling better.

What I see happening post-affair is our brains going bonkers trying to sort it all out. Replaying every single thing that was said and done, messages, interactions, etc. -- to the point of complete madness. Then the guilt of the affair on top of that. Recovery has to happen on a higher level. Out of our brains, even beyond our hearts. Our souls have been laid bare and damaged and need to be healed.

You literally have to rise above it. Envision yourself soaring. Get help in whatever way helps you do that. But I think we have to leave our brains for a bit because that "processing" just kind of turns into more obsession.

And sadly, I don't think you can stay friends. Maybe others have been able to manage it, but it's just prolonged the nightmare for me...the last one being the worst. I've given our "connection" up to the universe. Because it definitely wasn't real here on earth.
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AnnieKaye9924
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Re: Processing an Affair?

Post by AnnieKaye9924 » Sun May 12, 2019 2:33 pm

@HMP, thanks for the comments. We teach the same grade at work & share an office/workspace & literally interact all day long. We take most all lunches & breaks together. It’s like the same as it’s always been, except no physical interaction & no feelings discussed. He pursued me really hard for months. I gave in a little but I didn’t want an affair; I mean, I did, but couldn’t live with myself. I eventually said my feelings were too strong to continue.

There was no gap either. The break happened at the Christmas holidays but we messaged as usual during.

What bothers me is that it seems he has zero difficulty turning the feelings for me off. So I feel like I’m struggling alone.

Also everything I’m reading about moving past an affair says you have to have NC. I struggle with that thought.

Logically I know that this man really is not my friend if he tried to disrespect my marriage.

I have a fear that eventually our years-long friendship will fade out to acquaintances. What if he wants to pursue someone else? I will not be able to befriend him if so. I don’t think he’s a serial cheater but what do I know?

So I have all these worries swirling & the LE makes it worse, but I KNOW logically that this is a situation I need to get out of. I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on about affairs & how damaging they are & how to recover. Maybe I can approach it from that angle.

Cookie
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United States of America

Re: Processing an Affair?

Post by Cookie » Sun May 12, 2019 8:09 pm

AnnieKaye9924 wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 2:33 pm
What bothers me is that it seems he has zero difficulty turning the feelings for me off. So I feel like I’m struggling alone.

Also everything I’m reading about moving past an affair says you have to have NC. I struggle with that thought.

Logically I know that this man really is not my friend if he tried to disrespect my marriage.
Our situations are so similar, Annie.

Like yours, LO knew of my marriage and blatantly disregarded it. As I did. You’re right, that is not a real friend. That’s a predator/user. All that magic bond and great connection/best friend stuff? It was a fraud.

Everyone says, “This was different,” but I’ve felt that all 7+ times.

NC is hard at first but later feels like a gift. Like being let out of prison. It feels so lonely at first, and don’t be afraid to reach out. I told a close friend and it turned out she had just shut down an affair she was having with her friend’s husband!

Affairs destroy. But we can repair and rebuild. Not with ex-LO “friends” around though.
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Helpmeplease
Posts: 565
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Great Britain

Re: Processing an Affair?

Post by Helpmeplease » Sun May 12, 2019 9:00 pm

Will you get time apart over summer holidays?
Can you find other jobs?

He isn't your friend, your happiness is not something he cares about

AnnieKaye9924
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:22 pm
Canada

Re: Processing an Affair?

Post by AnnieKaye9924 » Sun May 12, 2019 9:43 pm

Pattihopeful wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 3:04 am

Plus he rode over 2 hours to an event with another woman. Not the initial woman I was thinking of but another one. I wonder what he is thinking of her and others. He always seemed more than willing to talk to me and then it all changed. Sorry you are going through this! It seems you are doing the best you can in the situation. Very tough.
Thank you! It’s awful to worry about who they’ll pursue next. I have severe issues with abandonment/being “replaced” since I was a child. So this situation is triggering all of that old garbage.

AnnieKaye9924
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:22 pm
Canada

Re: Processing an Affair?

Post by AnnieKaye9924 » Sun May 12, 2019 9:50 pm

Cookie wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 8:09 pm
AnnieKaye9924 wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 2:33 pm
What bothers me is that it seems he has zero difficulty turning the feelings for me off. So I feel like I’m struggling alone.

Also everything I’m reading about moving past an affair says you have to have NC. I struggle with that thought.

Logically I know that this man really is not my friend if he tried to disrespect my marriage.
Our situations are so similar, Annie.

Like yours, LO knew of my marriage and blatantly disregarded it. As I did. You’re right, that is not a real friend. That’s a predator/user. All that magic bond and great connection/best friend stuff? It was a fraud.

Everyone says, “This was different,” but I’ve felt that all 7+ times.

NC is hard at first but later feels like a gift. Like being let out of prison. It feels so lonely at first, and don’t be afraid to reach out. I told a close friend and it turned out she had just shut down an affair she was having with her friend’s husband!

Affairs destroy. But we can repair and rebuild. Not with ex-LO “friends” around though.
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. You’re right that processing is making the obsession worse, so I need to quit that.

You are right, this whole time I’ve thought my situation was “different” than all these situations, because we’ve been friends so long, because I think deep down he’s a good person, because he still shows so much interest in me. It is very hard to come to terms with the fact that this relationship that has given me so much comfort & joy over the years is really fake.

We always agreed we would stay friends no matter what happened. Things just play out differently when feelings are involved.

Did your LO turn off his feelings too? I have noticed your signature on other posts...your LO had an SO AND another girlfriend?! I would not survive that! Is that why it ended?!

Rosa5
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Re: Processing an Affair?

Post by Rosa5 » Sun May 12, 2019 10:46 pm

My situation is so similar, I could have written that myself.

I was having an emotional affair with a co-worker for several months. On 2 occasions, I physically cheated on my husband (but not sex). My LO pursued me really hard and tried to get me to leave my husband/ have an affair- I couldn't do either. I was stuck and didn't know what to do. When he realised he wasn't getting anywhere, he became frustrated and suddenly just switched off and went cold. I know how painful it is when somebody you thought truly cared about you just switches, and you realise that they never had feelings for you like you did for them. Like you describe, my LO hard zero difficulty switching off his feelings, which made me agonize over whether he ever truly felt anything for me. I really relate to what you said about obsessing over whether they feel the same way and wondering what they're doing/ who they're talking to/ if they've moved on to someone else. I've tormented myself with these thoughts for months- driven myself crazy thinking about him moving onto other women. It is so painful.
I know your work situation won't allow you to have no contact, but like everyone says, low contact really helps. Like you, the thought of this terrified me. My whole world revolved around LO, and I couldn't cope with the thought of not getting my 'daily fix' of him. I knew I needed to go LC, but I didn't want to and didn't feel ready. You need to make yourself WANT LC. What really helped me want LC was feeling anger towards LO. To do this, pay attention to all of the ways your LO has treated you badly, for example: Think about how selfish he was to not care about your marriage- showing that he doesn't care about your happiness; think about how he just turns his feelings off like a switch- showing that he can't be a very genuine person; think about how he's already showing interest in your other co-worker- showing that he uses/ plays women... list all of the ways you can think about that show he doesn't care. This will help you to see him in a different light. This helped me so much. It helped me see my LO as a selfish, narcissistic person who was just using me. This anger I felt towards him helped me to genuinely want to limit my contact with him. Good luck!

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