clb0978
About a month ago my husband found some inappropriate pics on our home computer that I had saved.  
The story begins about a year ago I received a very sweet message from an old guy friend from high school through Instagram. " I hope you feel as good as you look"  Honestly this wasn't uncommon, see the year before I had beat breast cancer and well was getting my hair back and getting in shape so several people from the past had reached out to me to give me well wishes.  Then more frequently this friend would message me and send a wave or say hello.  I didn't think anything of it.  Then about 4 months ago he reached out to me again and we began talking and reminiscing about our past.  I knew he was married and he knew I was married.  We started as just friends then a little flirting and then became almost what seemed like a relationship.  He was messaging me "good morning" and "good night" everyday and some days we would talk all day long everyday.  It was exciting and honestly haven't felt like that in a long time.  He struggled with talking to me sometimes clearly because we were both married but still continued.  We ended up sending several explicit photos to each other and were getting ready to plan when we might meet and bam my hubby found the photos.  He immediately made me end contact with him of course and made me send him a pic of my hubby flicking him off.  A week later my husband called his wife and told her about it as well.  

Here is my issue.  I am I think in love with this friend of mine.  I am having a difficult time not contacting him and he is on my mind constantly.  I have started seeing a therapist who I am hoping can help me work through these feelings and help me decide if I do in fact want to save my marriage.  I feel like a crazy person.  I am trying to go out of my way to run into him some days which I haven't.  I am a grown ass adult.  Obviously if my friend felt the same about me he would be in contact, right? Ugh!!! He has always told me he loves his wife but why was he talking to me? Why did he tell me he missed me when we didn't talk? Why is he not calling me now? Him and his wife have only been married over a year.  My husband and I have been married 14 years. I am struggling big time.  
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anthro
clb0978 wrote:
 Here is my issue.  I am I think in love with this friend of mine.  I am having a difficult time not contacting him and he is on my mind constantly. 


You aren't. Love doesn't work like that at all. You know this already.
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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ThrivenotSurvive
What you are feeling right now is infatuation.  It is a powerful chemical soup that is at the beginning phase of any relationship (illicit or otherwise.) I think this is likely further complicated by your recovery from cancer.  Many people experience major moods swings after conquering "death" in their minds (some experience euphoria, other depression, others vacillate between the two.)  There is often an unconscious, but compelling need to grab life with both hands and FEEL more, DO more, etc.  

To further complicate matters, your husband was by your side throughout you illness.  Whether you realize it or not, you may (unconsciously) associate him with your illness, your fear and a feeling of helplessness.  If at times, he wasn't able to handle your illness with grace, you may even have some resentments built up.  But even if he was perfectly supportive, a part of you may be rejecting him because he reminds you of illness when all you want to do is feel healthy, strong and feminine/beautiful again.  

I don't discount the feelings you have, but emotion isn't TRUTH.  Emotions are fleeting.  I have been totally infatuated with someone and two months later mildly disgusted by them.  You need to be VERY, VERY wary of following "your heart" right now.  You are in a very vulnerable position and this is a time period a LOT of people make choices they regret for the rest of their lives. 

I had a situation once - my husband was in a bad place at the time, having recently had his own health scare and in danger of being laid off.  His  way of staving off depression was the throw himself into hobbies with his guy friends.  I tried to be understanding, but as the weeks turned to months I was feeling neglected, pushed aside and rather lonely.  One of our friend group wasn't as in to the hobbies and he and I would often end up hanging out together, while the others played.  He laughed at my stories, he complimented me, he made me feel good.  He was smart, could debate on topics my husband found boring and as time went on I found myself looking forward to seeing him.  Dressing up when I knew he'd be there.  We never spoke of it, but the chemistry was so clearly there on both sides, our friends started teasing him about following me around like a puppy dog.  Before long I found myself FEELING like I was more in love with him than my husband.   

I talked to my mom about it and she had VERY sage advice.  She said, "Maybe you are in love with him, maybe you aren't.  Maybe he's better suited to you, maybe he's not.  But one thing is for certain - you wouldn't have even noticed him if everything was good between you and your husband.  And I know that you will never be able to live with yourself if you do something shady.  So focus on figuring out whether your marriage is a good one that is going through a dip and needs some attention - or if it is dead.  If it is dead and can't be saved - get out with your dignity."  

I did what she suggested and discovered that my marriage just needed the time and attention I was putting on the other guy.  We blossomed and had another 10 great years until other tragedies befell us - but that's a different story.  The point is that once I took my attention off the other guy and focused on reconnecting with my husband in about 2-4 months I wasn't even thinking about the other guy.  Because infatuation must be FED.  

In addition, you have another HUGE issue.  Your friend loves his wife and was likely feeling a lot like I was at that point in my life - lonely, disconnected, wanting to be SEEN with fresh eyes.  But now that his wife knows he's having to fight for his marriage and he's probably realizing just how much he does love her and just how much he doesn't want to lose her.  Please don't make matters worse by trying to mess with that.  It would be cruel to EVERYONE (including you because it won't end well for you either.)  

It's not that the two of you don't have "feelings" - it's that I think those feelings have a lot more to do with what is going on inside each of YOU rather than some deep "soul" connection.   

I am glad you are in counseling - you need to sort out all these feelings before you make a bigger mess of your life and other people's.  You've gone through something (illness) that changed you in deep and profound ways - and you need to sort out how to incorporate those in healthy ways.

One last thing - be very careful right now.  How you behave over the next few months will likely make or break your marriage.  Right now you are very focused on losing this other guy... but I can assure you that if you keep focusing on him, you will lose your husband.  We all have our limits, and no one likes being taken for granted or taken advantage of - so he's likely doing some serious soul searching of his own right now.  Be sure you don't want this marriage before you throw it away.  

If you do, I can almost assure you that you will not be starting over with your friend.  He's probably doing everything in his power to save his marriage right now.  But if you really don't love your husband, you can leave with your dignity and find someone SINGLE to start over with.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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hurting
You aren’t ‘in love’. The way you’re describing this mess is writing out like a teenager high on hormones with no insight into real life. Sure, 15 year olds ‘fall in love’ because a guy sends them a bunch of pictures and texts. Did you fall in love and stay with your husband for 14 years because he sent those things to you? Or was it because of your shared experiences, values, his person? How well do you think you can know someone (pretend a friend wrote out what you just did), through a bunch of texts and photos? You knew him many years ago, sure. Do you actually KNOW him now? 

Yes it’s intoxicating because you feel good- yes he’s on your mind constantly because guess what? He makes you feel good. That’s why you crave the contact. You gave yourself an addiction to the dopamine high you get from anything that makes you feel good. Wanting contact from him now is the same as withdrawing from any substance one might perceive as ‘pleasurable’.

Furthermore, you’ve just grossly betrayed your husband. The one who stood by your side through sickness and in health. It doesn’t seem like much right now huh? How does that stand up to a bunch of texts, emojis and ‘good mornings’ and ‘good nights’? 

Quite frankly, you aren’t feeling like his messages are worth more to you because you ‘love him more’. It’s because you LIKE the attention. It makes you feel special. 

Honey, someone making YOU feel good doesn’t mean that you love them. You just love the way they make you feel about YOU. It’s all about you. 

Cut it all contact, stop checking to see if he has reached out to you (you’re probably checking every chance you get- it isn’t helping you get over this) and starting looking at what was going on with YOU that made you so vulnerable to this behaviour.

A word of advice to you (which probably won’t get through given the frame of mind you’re in, but worth a try). Very soon, it won’t be about whether you GET a chance to try to save your marriage over something that is literally a high school crush. Your husband is going to start getting angry and start seeing that HE does not need to be treated like trash by someone he has stood by through thick and thin for. Your husband isn’t going to keep standing by waiting for you to get your head screwed on straight. How much pain do you think you’re causing him by continuing to act like this? I’m guessing the way this will affect him never even crossed your mind. Soon, your brief window of opportunity to even want to participate in trying to work through this will fade. Your husband will not hang around waiting for you to ‘decide’ forever. Not after what you’ve just done. I hope for your sake that you manage to pull yourself out of this mess and start to focus on the things that really matter before that happens.
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UrbanExplorer
I was in your place several years ago. It's so powerful to connect with someone who reminds you of who you were when you were young and all of life's possibilities were open to you. It's common to feel like your marriage is dull or even dead and that you're just coparenting and being roommates.  The affair is truly like a drug or escape. The neediness you describe is the biggest clue for you. You're obsessing. Your feelings for him are about what you need right now and not actually about who this OM is or what he would be like as a real partner.

Consider that this path is also the pinnacle of self-destruction. You will hate yourself if you stay on it. You will be filled with regret. The people you love will be angry with you and deeply devastated. You will wonder why you ever latched on to this guy and found him to be so great for you. You will see it for what it is, both of you trying to fill a temporary void. Focus on yourself and what got you to this point. Do not contact this guy. I promise the feelings will fade and you will get the clarity you need.
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