Thank you for all your help and advice. I feel more confident to move on now 

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Full disclosure- I am a BS. Much of what I will say here may be harsh and hard for you to hear. I would like to think of myself as (finally) firmly being on the road to healing though.

Are you delusional you ask? 

What I think you did was live a life of delusion. Basically, the two of you took The best part from your primary relationships and invested them in someone else. If you take the ‘good’ and ‘fun’ parts and look at those bits only, of course the ‘connection’ and times that you shared would be viewed as far better than in your actual marriages. 

We often refer to that as living in a fantasy on these boards. Or an affair bubble if you will. 

‘Has he moved past what you had’?

Perhaps the first step to answering this, is asking you: ‘what do you think you had?’ 

The title of your thread ‘was it true love’ implies you think what you had with him was true love. I’m going to counter that presumed answer with ‘what is love to you?’ 

IMHO you need to ask yourself some hard questions. Why did you reach out to him? What is going on in your marriage that is making you reminisce about ‘better’? How would you feel if your position had been reversed and you put yourself in your husband’s shoes? 

I think you would be better off focusing on what’s going on with YOU and your marriage (remember how you vowed to be with only your husband and forsake all others?) rather than pursuing this person. What is it that you are seeking in doing this?
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Hello everyone, 
I am currently in a state of sadness and confusion. Since my situation is completely unconventional, I have no one to talk to about it but would love to hear what others think. 

Has he moved past what we had? Did we ever have anything to begin with or was I delusional? 

First, most sadly your situation was not unconventional, nor original.  It is exactly how nearly every affair plays out (perhaps your timeline was a little longer than some. . . )

Second - did you ever have anything to begin with? Yes you had a FANTASY and you are delusional if you think real life with him would have been that fantasy. 

Please seek help in figuring out why your "go to" coping mechanism is so self destructive.  You deserve a better life than you are creating for yourself.  And for dang sure your husband deserves a spouse who is actually invested in being married to him.

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I am a former OW myself (as well as a BS before that). 

I will tell you that I felt similarly for a while about never being able to get over the attached man I was with. And I could definitely see myself still feeling that way still if I hadn’t sought help after the affair ended. I was terrified for a while to be with anyone else, because I was worried that I’d still be clinging to feelings for him because it was “true love”. 

Affairs bring about strong feelings, not because they’re based on true love, but because they’re based in deception and lies. When you’re with someone who is in a committed partnership with someone else, you feel “chosen” in a way, this person is putting everything on the line for you, risking their entire life for you. It’s an intoxicating feeling, but it’s not true love.

Ask yourself this (because I also had to ask myself the same things): Do you truly believe your “true love” would have to hurt another person to be with you? Do you truly believe that if it was “true love” that this MM would still, years later, be unable to be with just you? Does “true love” need to be hidden? What has your MM actually done to show you he loves you? I think you’ll find if you look at the situation objectively, it’s not much more than words. 

I think you would find, like others that have been in our shoes, that if the day did come that you guys were in a real relationship, things would soon fizzle out. A LOT of the intense emotions that come from being the OW come from being “chosen” over the primary partner. If you ever become the primary partner, your focus will likely switch, things won’t be the same. And even if you can be happy together, you’ll always know that your happiness came at the expense of another person, a person that was by all reasonable expectations, totally innocent and undeserving of that kind of pain. 

I would suggest looking into independent therapy sessions. Most Other People (myself included) need to take a deep look at themselves and figure out WHY they were willing to settle for what little their affair partner was offering. WHY they could turn a blind eye to someone else’s pain. 

Your issues in your current marriage could be valid, and I wouldn’t so quickly dismiss them, it’s also worth maybe looking at your happiness, and your spouses happiness and seeing what (if anything) you can do to be happy and fulfilled. I also think it’s important to be honest with your husband about what’s taken place with the MM during your own marriage, if you haven’t already. 

I will say this, I spent months in therapy and I’m doing quite well now, at least on a personal level. The attached man I was with before rarely crosses my mind anymore, except when I’m here, which is why I’ve been limiting my time recently. I met someone else, and I can honestly say that I don’t find myself comparing the two relationships. I have learned to forgive myself, and I’ve moved on. I hope you’re able to do the same. 

Formerly EasyAsABC 
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At this point, I know that I am not being true to myself or my husband by being in this marriage. I love MM with my whole heart. 

Clearly your husband is a distant second to your boyfriend. Typing that sentence and reading demonstrates the complex wrongness of your situation. Your boyfriend is plan a and your husband is plan b and has always been. Your husband has a sixteenth of your heart, but the remaining 15/16th's is owned by your boyfriend.

Simply out of what little respect you have for your husband, confess and offer him a very fair divorce. Since he doesn't have your heart or respect, think about giving him the opportunity to maintain his dignity so that he doesn't find out from your boyfriend's wife, which can happen  next week, next month or next year. If his wife is reconciling, she will do whatever she needs to do to keep her husband, including informing yours on what's going on so that what has lurked in darkness can be unveiled in broad daylight, where affairs frequently are stopped or slowed due to the light being shown upon them. 

Your husband never stood a chance and he doesn't even know it. He's in an open marriage, thinking he's in a closed one. He's been playing second fiddle since before your marriage and his personal future is 100% contingent upon someone he doesn't even know exists. In other words, if your boyfriend leaves his wife for you, you're instantly choosing him and your husband will be incredibly devastated due to not having a clue your heart was with another man for years, when he thought all along it belonged to him. He will be devastated no doubt, but by confessing, you are at least, giving him the opportunity to decide his own fate and not decided by someone he doesn't even know. 

Lastly, your situation is not unconventional. It's quite typical actually.
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I agree its a toxic relationship at the expense of others and is far from exceptional or true love. Its an escape from whatever is broken within. Perhaps the feeling is powerful because of a FALSE sense of feeling chosen but even that is just an illusion. Its something you tell yourself to allow yourself to act out of character. So it must be something really special otherwise you would have to admit to yourself that its wrong and you can not do that so you chose to believe the fantasy and illusion. You are not chosen you are used and you are using. If you were chosen, the MM would not hesitate but leave his wife, BEFORE getting involved with you, not testing first how it goes. If you are really honest with yourself, you didn't believe in that relationship 100% either because you kept your then boyfriend as a backup, in case it went sideways at least to start out with. It has nothing to do with being chosen because that would mean that one is aware of the consequences but from what I have learned, is that the consequences get pushed away cause its too uncomfortable and would mean guilt and shame. Compartmentalizing, rationalizing, depersonalizing (purposely calling the partner "wife" "husband" instead of by their name, to make it less real....detaching oneself from the situation....) and justifying all allow the involved person to do what they do, all far from real love and choosing one over the other. 

Another thing that irritates me, and perhaps that's just a personal pain point, is the complete lack of regard for your own now husband and then boyfriend and the wife of your AP. Real love thrives in the light and honesty not in the shadow and with need of secrecy, deceit, betrayal and expense of someone else. 

Try and be honest with your husband, give him the chance to make a choice. Try and heal yourself and not look for someone or something to do that for you only then will you be able to be open to give and receive love. all the best on your journey.
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ABC, can I just tell you how beautiful the above post is? I can see how much better you feel about yourself through the time line of your posts! I do not mean to sound condescending in any way, but I want to say that I am proud of you and for you! So happy to hear that you have found yourself a healthy relationship!
Wishing everyone here peace and healing!

Female BS Married 18 yrs
DDay 3/7/2017 through 4/2019 and counting. 
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