EasyAsABC
I’m having a bad day today. 

For almost a year the person I turned to for everything was the attached man I was involved with. And if things were still as they were, that’s exactly what I’d be doing right now. 

On days like this its its hard to remember the bad, and it’s impossible to remember the ugly. I think back to the time we were together and see only the positives, only the ways my life improved by having him in it. I feel a profound sense of loss today, and I’m having a hard time getting over it, of reminding myself of exactly why I cut contact, and of realizing all the good that’s come from me no longer carrying on with that relationship. 

Today, I just miss him. 

Today, I am thankful I blocked and deleted all forms of communication, or I would have inevitably reached out. Having to take that extra step to unblock a number, or reinstall an app gives me an extra 90 seconds to rethink what I’m about to do. That doesn’t make this hurt less though. 

I don't understand how to stay angry, or how to stay relieved that he’s out of my life. I’ve talked about this at length with my therapist whose only real insight or input was that it was “normal” at this point, that he had had such a positive influence in my life, that it may well outweigh the negatives, and I may feel this sense of loss indefinitely. Which wasn’t encouraging in the least. Yes, he helped me during my darkest times, but he was also responsible for the onset of new, different, and at times more overwhelming sorrow. Why can’t I focus on JUST that, so I can cut this mental tie? 

I feel like I'm drowning today. At least with my ex husband I had turned my emotions off, I felt nothing, no joy, no happiness, no love, but also no sadness, just... nothing. All the time. His affairs stopped hurting me, his words stopped hurting me, even the physical and sexual abuse stopped hurting, even when I wound up in the hospital.

Meeting this man turned my emotions from nothing to everything, and after igniting that in me, to have things end the way they did, I feel like I’m feeling years of emotions all at once, and it’s excruciating. The last time I saw him, I screamed at him. I told him to “get the f*** out of my car” and that if we ever run into each other again I’d “pretend I’d never met him”. I’m having regrets over that, and regrets over losing what was essentially my best friend. I’m just really lost today.
BS to an abusive H 2009-2018
OW 2018-2019
I wear many hats.
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TimT
I understand all of that, Easy... the lost connection, the awareness that even though you can logic your way through the bad decisions and consequences there is still a part of your heart that misses, wondering whether "normal" is ever going to feel satisfying again.

Thank you for being honest about your struggle. I know there will be some betrayed spouses that don't want to hear this and may have little capacity for empathy, but this is the real world and this forum is committed to helping ALL of us heal. I was Easy. I'm glad I'm not in that place anymore but change wasn't an easy process.

I'm attaching an article that I'd like you to read. I don't know if it will make sense, but it is, in a nutshell, the change of focus that moved me out of feeling stuck. 
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ThrivenotSurvive
One thing I wonder is if at times, you give him credit for saving you.  Because he was there to empower you at such a low point in your life.  Granted there will be those that say he only helped you because he was a user... but people are rarely black and white, good or bad.  Maybe he was a GREAT friend - but that is where it should have stayed - as a friend.  Because his issues seem to become far more apparent when it becomes a love/sexual relationship.  I've know a LOT of people like that - loyal and trustworthy friends who'd do anything for you... but the worst boyfriend/girlfriend you could imagine.  Because adding that element to the relationship triggered all their issues.  

Regardless - there is no going back.  And it would be impossible to just be friends at this point and truly detrimental to all involved to even try. 

But to go back to my initial thought... are you sure that you aren't giving him 90% of the credit for your surviving this difficult time - when maybe  YOU deserve 75% and he deserves 25%?  Is it a way of unintentionally demeaning yourself by giving someone else the credit (and love/attachment) that rightly belongs to YOU?

And is anger the only way to disengage from someone?  I've had relationships with friends and lovers where it just became obvious that we weren't good for one another any longer.  I didn't have to hate them or think they were awful.  I just had to KNOW with certainty that they were not the right person for me.  That they were not bringing me joy or happiness. 

And clearly this guy isn't the right person for you.  Not as a lover.  Maybe he was good as a friend.  But that ship has sailed.  And as a SO, he sucks.  Even if he wasn't attached, he has a LONG history of cheating.  That doesn't change without a LOT of therapy and work.  That is something in him.  The whole "meeting the one that makes you want to be faithful" is a myth of the highest order.  I've NEVER, EVER seen it happen.  Eventually that couple hits the same bumps or new ones, and the old messed up coping mechanisms fall into place.  

What are you doing to find the magic - the feeling good - inside YOU?  Therapy is great - but it's for healing the broken and painful bits.  How are you working on finding JOY?  

If you have friends - start getting out with them.  If you don't, join MeetUp or other groups and start doing something with people you enjoy and meet some friends (preferably female until you are a bit farther down your healing journey.)  Ride bikes, play kickball, take a photography class, join a gym, mentor kids, help out at the retirement home, learn to box and think of your ex when you throw a punch(both of them).  Find ways of getting out of your own head.  And connecting with new people.  

The void is there.  You need to find a way of filling it  He was your friend, he was your support. You have a counselor now - they can be support.  So find friends.  Join a support group for survivors of abuse, or volunteer to help other women.  Set a goal to run a marathon and start training.  Set a goal to read a book a week about healing and resilience.  Find whatever works for YOU to start replacing all the holes he left in your life.  

You can do this - you left an abusive marriage.  As you know all to well, MANY don't - or they leave in a body bag.  Your emotions have come on line again.  That is a blessing even if it doesn't feel like it right now.

But its like your heart was sleeping (like a foot) and he helped wake those feelings up.  But you are experiencing the pins and needles... but as we all know if you keep flexing that limb and pushing blood to it, the pins and needles pass.  Keep pushing blood into your heart.  But focus those feelings of love and care on YOU.  YOU haven't come first for a long time.  Take advantage of this time.  Rediscover YOU.  There is a amazing woman in there with a wealth of experience and new found wisdom.  You might find you really like her company. 

I know you are struggling Easy - but I also know that you have already shown you have the mettle for this fight.  Just remember this fight is for YOU - to build a life of your design with the love you deserve. 

I think if you can hold tight through these days/nights, they are going to come less and less.  And your joy and self-confidence will return.  I for one am in your corner, rooting for you all the way.  
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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ThrivenotSurvive
@TimT - 

That was a great article.  It explained a lot for me.  I just referenced Viktor Frankl earlier.  His work and Brene Brown's have been instrumental for me.  
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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jmh78
I would say you only need to ask yourself what kind of person you want to be?  Because all those happy feelings that you are missing came at the tremendous expense of another person.  I think an affair is, by definition, an unhealthy relationship.  Now there are lots of unhealthy things that people do for short term pleasure, but not too many of them induce this level of pain on an innocent bystander.  I’m a BS, but I understand how what’s right and what’s wrong can be a bit hazy at the start of an affair when brain chemicals can help you justify anything.  You however, are not at the start, you’re at the end.  Would you knowingly and purposely hurt someone else for your own happiness?  If not, then consider that enduring your current emotions is just the sacrifice you have to make to be the person you want to be.
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anthro
I dunno, I think the biggest favour you could possibly do for his wife is to get him to leave her for you. The best shot she has at ever being happy again is if she is free of her toxic husband.

As for what would be best for you, well that's something for you to think about. 
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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EasyAsABC
anthro wrote:
I dunno, I think the biggest favour you could possibly do for his wife is to get him to leave her for you. The best shot she has at ever being happy again is if she is free of her toxic husband.

As for what would be best for you, well that's something for you to think about. 


I still struggle daily with the fact that she doesn’t have the slightest clue how toxic he is for her, but you’re right in the sense that from the outside looking in, she’d likely be much better off without him. 
Unfortunately, she’ll never be given the information she needs to make a completely informed decision for herself. And she’ll continue to be someone he takes advantage of, because he’s mastered hiding things from her. 


Things have been rough since posting this, and I’ve made some mistakes. I’m again struggling with the fact that she knows next to nothing about who he is and what he’s done. 
BS to an abusive H 2009-2018
OW 2018-2019
I wear many hats.
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Sadie
I am sorry you are struggling today.  Don’t underestimate your strength.  Anyone who can endure and leave and abusive marriage can get past this as well.
     Chances are good that his wife knows exactly the kind of man he is.   Especially after an affair is exposed, spouses have a pretty good bead on who they married.    Yet so many of us choose to stay.    We have years of history together.  Years of combining incomes, retirement, families, kids, homes.   It’s hard to let go of so many years together.  My wh husband and I have 34 years together.   With that kind of history, no matter how hard it is to rebuild, that is what we choose.
     I could have easily contacted the AP. For so many reasons, I chose not to.   Mainly, she had taken so much from me already, I most certainly was not going to give her the satisfaction of seeing my pain.   I didn’t want to hear from her how she loved him, or wanted a life with him, or any part of her version.   I am still struggling with the version I have been given, and I am a little over a year past Dday.    
      Remind yourself that this man is toxic for you as well.   Good luck
      
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ThrivenotSurvive
If she didn't know before - she is likely beginning to dig into who he is and what he's been up to now.  If she doesn't, she isn't ready or doesn't want to know.  

If she reached out to you, be honest.  If she doesn't, try to let it go.   Your only responsibility in this situation is to sty away and not be part of the problem (his actions are his problem) and take care of yourself.  

Even if you told 100% the truth, she'd have trouble believing you because in her mind you are just as dishonest as he is and may have mixed motivations.  It's a sad but true fact that they only thing she knows of you is possibly the worst thing you've ever done.  So her opinion of your information will be colored by that.  Remind yourself of that when you get the urge to enlighten her.  

Sorry you are having a hard time.  
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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HangingOn
For almost a year the person I turned to for everything was the attached man....

Im sorry you are hurting and I know there are two sides to every story.  
Every time I read your post I can’t help but think, he isn’t “attached”, He is married.  Attached is simple, ticks do it, babies do it, glue does it, it defines Velcro.  Stop candy coating.  
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ThrivenotSurvive
She isn’t.  He isn’t married.  It’s a long term girlfriend he has a child 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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