Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What Am I Doing?

Posted By Anonymous.

I have something to say. Something that I think is bad. Wrong. Wrong, wrong, dirty and wrong.

I have been married for 10 years to an amazing man. We have 3 kids. 3 beautiful, adorable, busy, energetic kids. Lately, we’ve been stressing about finances. Our credit is horrible, because husband lost a job, we lost a house and a vehicle because of it. So we rent. And we no longer WANT to rent, but there is nothing else we can do. Can you say "mortgage crisis"? It has gotten to the point where whenever we talk, we end up arguing. The only way we can hold a rational conversation is through email or text message. I can’t remember the last time we had sex. Even further than that, I can’t remember the last time sex lasted longer than 5 minutes. I am a sexual being. Sex is important to me. It’s not to him.

So the wrong thing? Yeah. I googled the name of an old friend. Ok, not just a friend. But a friend with benefits. Wonderful, awesome, mind blowing benefits. Benefits that lasted four years. Benefits that lasted until I met the man that is now my husband. I found this friend. I emailed him. He’s now married, with kids. He’s moved 1000 miles away and is no longer anywhere near me. It had been 10 years since I last spoke with him. We remained friends (but no benefits) up until the day I got married. After that, we cut contact. It was really best for both of us. It was extremely hard to be friends without benefits.

So I found him and emailed him. He emailed back telling me he was married, kids, moved, finished college, nice job, etc. I emailed him back and told him what was going on in my life. Just jumped into it like we were old friends again...not like we hadn’t talked in 10 years. He emailed me back and told me it would probably not be a good idea for me to email him because if his wife found out it would hurt her. I was humbled by that email. I told my husband what I had done. I let him read the emails. He was somewhat upset with me that I confided in this person that I hadn’t talked to in 10 years. He asked me not to ever speak to him again. He didn’t understand the whole friends part...he wasn’t able to get past the benefits. And that I enjoyed the benefits, and talked about the benefits. From day one he was always jealous of this friend...probably for good reason. I knew he had nothing to worry about, but he didn’t know that.

Fast forward one week later. I get an email from a weird address. "Hey this is so and so, wife and I are going through a rough patch and I thought it was her emailing me pretending to be you (she knows about me to...he cheated on her with me while they were dating...many times...she doesn’t like me for good reason). But then I did some research and realized that she would never know your married name. So email me on this address from now on and we can talk. So I did. Big mistake.

It started out innocent. Talking about our kids, our lives, our jobs, our spouses, our families. Catching up on the last 10 years. Then we started chatting on Google instead of just emailing. Once or twice a week we would chat for a few hours at a time. Then the chats turned dirty...as they were probably destined to do. We started talking about our past, and possible future..not together, just the benefits. We started describing things we wanted done to us that our spouses didn’t do. Now we chat everyday while we are at work. Not constantly, but in spurts. Regardless, we both have the screen up all day long. We have progressed into planning on how we are going to meet each other again. We tell each other our problems with our spouses. We offer advice and encouragement on how to "fix" our relationships. This has been going on for 6 months now. We never run out of things to say. He’s called me at work once. We actually talked. It was nice. But awkward. We decided that we rather the computer.

The worst part? I’ve come to realize that I am truly upset if I don’t get to talk to him. And it hurts me to know that I would talk like this to someone else when I have not done anything like this in my 12 year relationship with my husband. It scares me that I can tell this person, this man, all my fears, my hopes, my desires, my needs. But I can’t tell my husband. And it saddens me that I am actually thinking about meeting him. Somehow. Someway. I need this man behind the computer. I need to feel the way he makes me feel. It is just sex. We both agreed to that. But it’s not. Not for me. And I don’t think for him. We see in each other the things we want to see in our own spouses. We can have all the benefits without all the bullshit. But I am smart enough to know that if we have the benefits, and the benefits are truly what we remember, the bullshit will come. We will resent our spouses. Our relationships will probably fail. Our relationships that we have worked so hard to make. I know I should let him go. I know I should stop. But I can’t. I can’t let go of the way I feel when I talk to him. I can’t give that up. Giving that up now may make me turn to a person who is actually real. And within reach. And THAT would truly be devastating.

But I need to stop. How do I stop? How do I pretend like this never happened? To me, it’s cheating. The things I’ve said, the things he’s said. It’s cheating. Right? I’m not telling my husband, I’m not being 100% honest with him. I really don’t think that I will ever meet this friend for real. There is too much at stake. Too much to lose. Not for just one night of amazing benefits. But if I do meet him? I will cheat. For real. And that is wrong. Wrong, wrong, dirty and wrong. But yet, I still cannot stop.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

I posted here awhile back because I was contemplating an affair with a coworker. Our story is the same as yours, without the history.

People warned me not to do it, that it would change me. That it would just get messy. They correctly guided me to patch things up with my husband.

I didn't listen to them. I started the affair. It has not crossed the all-critical boundary, but enough has happened that if anyone found out, I would have some major owning up to do.

It does change you. Whoever said that hit the nail on the head.

I'm happier, I feel better, and to some degree, the discussion I've had with the other guy have fed some good, healthy conversations with my husband.

Here's the problem, though. You're going to grow further and further apart from your husband, and you'll become more and more attached to your FWB (already happening!).

Your friend is using you the same way you're using him. And if you want to know how lonely life can get, if you've ever wondered just how isolated one person can become, think about this.

When I'm upset or sad about my shitty life and precarious marriage, and my "friend" is not around, or not in a good mood, or is scared that his wife is figuring things out, I'm more alone than I ever, ever was before.

- Am somewhat addicted to my friend. So not having access to him is torture, even when I'm in a good mood. Not having access when I "need" to talk to him? One thousand times worse.

- None of my friends- NO ONE who knows me knows about my friend, so I have a significant part of my life that I have to hide, even when something is wrong. I have to make up other reasons for my tears.

- My husband knows. He doesn't have proof, he doesn't really *know*, but in his heart, he knows something isn't right. So he's quit talking EVEN MORE, and if we even have sex, I'm so freaked out about being "found out" that I'm cold and withdrawn, which hurts him even more.

All of this to say, if you can't take it anymore, get divorced and find a man without a wife, in your town to confide in. Don't ruin four people's lives.

You're going to do it anyway, though. I did. Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Basically, this is how I see it. You've already betrayed your husband. You've already made the union you have with him, and the family you created for your kids, less than it was.

Think 20 years down the road. If you still want your husband in the picture in 20 years, cut off all contact with your "friend." He's not a real friend if he's enabling you to betray what you've worked so hard for over the last 10 years.

And then talk to your husband. Over the phone, over text, however you need to get out what you need to say. Did you ever talk to your husband the way you do with your friend? Why did you even marry him? Maybe you won't end up together in the long run, but do you want your kids to know their parents didn't make it because you cheated?

Anonymous said...

here is teh deal
if you want to have an affair,break off your marriage and then do it

if you don't want to have an affair, move on and focus on your marriage,

it really is an easy choice.

Anonymous said...

Easy is about the very last word that I would use to describe this situation.

I hope you find happiness. Sometimes we need a push to jump from the cliff to do what is right but no one can tell you what that is.

Anonymous said...

How dreadfully sad. I can't even begin to imagine how one might deal with this. Easy is the absolute last word anyone should use to describe this situation.

Things have already changed, how you choose to progress will further dictate how the rest of your life will change. It will, more, too. It will. Good decisions (in lieu of luck).

Anonymous said...

I'm in a vaguely similar situation... except I'm single and friend not quite yet with benefits is in a relationship. If I left it to him, we'd definately be FWB by now. It's hard being strong, I know that.

To be honest, I think he's a completely git to his GF trying to get in my pants, and if they split up I wouldn't touch him in a million years because if he's so keen to get with me, then he'd probably be quite keen to get with someone else pretty soon after.

I've tried to sevre contact, be we always just end up talking again. Believe me, I know how hard it is.

I'd love to give you some advice, but all I can think of myself is avoid meeting up. Afetr that, I'm stuck myself...!

Kate said...

It's dangerous.

You were friends with benefits, but never had a real relationship with him. Why? Examine that. It's the escape, the danger, the excitement, the connection.

I've been there, I know.

But the longer it goes on, even without being physically consummated, the harder it will be to fix the damager (even without being found out by spouses)

I wish you luck, it isn't easy. But, if you value your husband and your marriage, you have to find a way to make things right.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you know what the right thing to do is, the question now is are you willing to do what it takes to do the right thing?

You have problems in your marriage; communication, finances, and sex. There are no easy solutions to these problems; I have been there. It takes work to overcome these obstacles, it takes commitment and willingness to change. Even if you try your hardest, your husband may not reciprocate. It's a tough place to be- easy marriages are myths.

But my question to you is what is your marriage worth? Is it worth working for and trying, going to marriage counseling, or is it worth throwing away for a person with whom you cannot even speak on the phone?

When I was faced with my marriage possibly ending, my main focus was that I would have to answer to my kids, that if the marriage failed, I wanted to be able to say to them with a clear conscience that I tried my best.

This is a tough place for you. The decision to go forward with the affair would be difficult, and the decision to cut this FWB out of your life will be difficult as well. There is no easy way out. My advice, if you want it, is to cut the FWB off completely. Delete him, block him, do whatever you need to do to not allow yourself to fall back into that trap again. Confide in some girlfriends and ask them to hold you accountable. Focus on your marriage and try to make it work. If it doesn't at least it won't be because you destroyed it.

Anonymous said...

First anon commenter - these actions, continued, will ruin much more than four peoples lives.

"what am I doing" anon - you are making bad decisions over and over again. Stop the relationship with your ex FWB. If you cannot do that, then you should seek a divorce. Plain and simple. Think about the kids if you can't think about the other spouses.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that you think about your kids and what this would do to them and their lives. I know my Dad didn't think of that when he decided to have an affair. Or maybe he did, and he decided that sex was more important. I am not sure which is worse. Just know that the consequences go far beyond you and your husband.

Candy said...

Many years ago, I found the internet, and embarked on relationships with 3 different men who I knew only through the computer. That didn't diminish the depth of my feelings for these men, the fact that I never saw their faces. The nature of our relationships meant that the focus was on our minds and our hearts, and not on things like who was going to clean the bathroom or how we were going to pay the mortgage. It was all the good, and none of the bad. And it was intensely emotional, and very difficult to move away from.

These relationships, all happening at different times, consumed 3 years of my life, of my marriage. I eventually had to quit my job (where I did all the IMing) to get away from the computer and the men. I can't pretend things worked out perfectly with husband, we're still together but he doesn't know what was going on. But I regret it all the time. And I also miss it. It was so exciting, that time of my life.

I can't tell you what to do, I'm only telling you I know how you feel. Just know that you're turning to this man to get away from the things that you don't want to face in your own marriage, and it isn't real. If you ended up with this guy, those things would still exist, just in a different relationship. Spend some time working on you and what you want. Maybe some counselling? Good luck to you. I understand.

Anonymous said...

My mother broke up her marriage to my father over another man (who she eventually married and divorced). Maybe my father wasn't a saint, but she was absolutely wrong to turn her time, attention, and love away from our family and lavish it on someone else. Where were we (her three children), who was taking care of us, when she was off getting her "benefits"? Where will your children be, who will be taking care of them, if you decide to actually get yours?

Don't do it. If you need to leave, do that. If you don't need to leave, seek individual and/or family counseling. I know money is tight, but counseling is MUCH cheaper than a divorce.

Whatever you do, for the love of your children, for your own self-respect, and out of respect for the man you've built a life with for the past 10 years, cut this FWB out of your life. For good.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could tell you what to do. I'm in nearly the same situation. Nearly 10 years into my marriage and I'm finding it to be alarmingly claustrophobic.

I had a one-night stand one night a few months ago when I was drunk (no excuse, I know). I felt horrible about it at the time, but justified it with my suspicions that he'd done the same thing recently in our relationship.

Now I've gotten myself entwined with someone I've met online. Our lives are on totally different paths and I don't know if there's anything non-sexual that will come of it. We've never met in person, but may meet in the next few months.

My husband deserves better than this. He's a good guy and a good dad. Our relationship just keeps getting stuck in the same cycle. There are days that I think we stay married because that's what society, family and friends expect us to do -- not because we want to be together.

I see the relationship my parents had -- one where marriage is a matter of endurance instead of a celebration of love. I've seen how miserable my mom is. Stuck now and financially unable to follow her dreams. I don't want to become the bitter angry person that marriage has made her.

I wish I had easy answers for you. I know what's right thing for me to do - determine the fate of my relationship with my husband and start fresh with a clear head. Unfortunately I don't think that's going to be as easy as it sounds.

Anonymous said...

how would you feel if your husband was doing this exact same thing to you? If your husband was saying the things this man has been saying to you, to another woman? Think about that...this is not just about you. This affects your husband and your children.

It IS an easy choice. Break up with your husband and do whatever you want, or cut off contact and work on your marriage. You already know this, you just want to be selfish and have your cake and eat it too.

Anonymous said...

I really can't believe how harsh some people are being. I guess this post really struck a nerve.

Have you tried marriage counseling? Or even counseling just for yourself? You obviously are being torn apart by this, and there must be something going on with you that makes feeling out of control and on the brink of losing the things you care about appealing.

This is a place to be honest, even if it's being honest about a part of yourself that is not very attractive. Just wanting to post about this shows that you're struggling. If you were hooked on drugs or alcohol it might be easier for some people to understand, but it's all a way of losing yourself.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how okay this is with some people. Has everyone forgotten about fidelity and honesty in a marriage? You already know what you are doing is wrong. You knew where this would lead when you looked him up. You absolutely cannot go on lying to your husband. He deserves at least that much.

Anonymous said...

I think you needed to post this to get a reality check. I think you already know what you should do. No matter how hard it is, you need to go in one direction or the other.

Anonymous said...

read this

http://herbadmother.blogspot.com/2007_07_01_archive.html

Anonymous said...

My mother cheated when I was young. I was aware. It ended the marriage of my parents, made our family the talk of the town, and was extremely painful for everyone (my grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends of my parents, etc.), not just the two people involved and their spouses.

This isn't a friends with benefits relationship, you're choosing to contrive a relationship with this man as a way to escape the feelings in your present relationship. This isn't about sex, this is about attention and drama. Stop thinking about how amazing it would be if you got together, stop creating this fantasy. You're trying to conjure up a mental image as a way of escaping your current relationship. But, at the end of the day, your relationship is still there in an even bigger mess than it was before. You can't escape from the problems, from the messiness that is inherent in every single relationship. This is your marriage, and it's okay that it's not perfect. You can work on it. You can can use this as an impetus to get into counseling, to stock up on anti-infidelity resources before you completely check out here and use it to the benefit of your family because they deserve it.

So, stop. You can do that, just stop it. Call it off and say no more. You owe it to yourself and your family not to perpetuate this any further.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with those who say this is simple. This isn't about your fwb, it's about your marriage; the emails and chats are just a pleasant and exciting way to distract yourself from that. You have to decide whether your marriage, or your commitment to your marriage, has anything left in the tank. And you can't recommit because of guilt about your children or your husband; you have to make this decision for yourself. But using adultery as a way to slide into a divorce is something you will definitely regret.

Carrien said...

It sounds like you have lost hope for your marriage and that is what drove you to establish contact in the first place.

It also sounds like your husband still cares about you or he wouldn't be so upset that you contacted this other man.

All marriages go through dry spells, all marriages go through difficulties.

The difference between marriages that last and marriages that don't is simply, IMHO, whether or not both people are willing to keep trying through the rough patches to make it work. It takes two people to make a marriage, it only takes one person to ruin it by giving up.

There have been many points in my marriage that could have been deal breakers for us if we let them be, we both make mistakes. But we forgave, and moved on, and we're right now happier together than ever before. But I don't fool myself that it will always be like this. We'll experience more difficulties, and we'll move through them, and we'll be stronger as a result.

You can't pretend this didn't happen, but you can choose to stop talking to him. You can choose to spend more of your time thinking about what is good about your life with your husband and children than what is bad. You can start by identifying the things that you have to be grateful for all around you instead of devoting energy to worrying about the things that aren't working out well.

This season in your life and marriage is just that, a season. It will end, things will change, they may get worse, they can also get better. Don't you want to see what happens if you try?

You can change your heart back to your husband and family if you chose to. Love is an action, a choice, not a feeling. You can choose to love them by cutting off this relationship that will hurt them. You can choose to love them by choosing to be present and loving in ways that you aren't tight now.

You can choose to love your family by making unselfish choices for their good rather than your. Isn't that how you would like to be loved? Wouldn't you like for someone to love you selflessly? To serve you and love you?

Why not try being the first one to love like that and see what happens? I expect you will be pleasantly surprised.

I wish you all the best, and the courage to listen to the voice of wisdom I know you already have in your own heart from what you have written here.

hugs

The Grown Up Teenager said...

Please don't do it. Your instincts are right...you're already mentally and emotionally cheating. Physical is just the next step.

Other commentators have already covered the "Think about your husband" territory. I suggest you think about your children. Think of looking your children in the eye, when they're in their teens and admitting your infidelity was the cause of their parents divorce. Kids aren't stupid. They'll get the full story somewhere. See if you can stomach that.

Imaging trying to explain it to your parents, your family, your children, your coworkers, your friends, or anyone else that matters. "I lost my husband and the father of my children because I cheated on him with an old fling."

Seek whatever kind of help you need to salvage the relationship you're in. I would suggest marital counseling, like many other commentators, but also a financial advisor. Financial issues can put a huge strain on any person, and you have no idea how much better you'll feel once you get those resolved. Make every effort to save your relationship, and go from there.

Best of luck. It isn't easy, but if you really dig in, it'll be worth it.

Anonymous said...

You are having an emotional affair.

I've been thru this as the betrayed person and it will destroy your husband, destroy your self-esteem and after the affair runs it's course, you'll feel like the biggest douce bag in the world and wonder WTF you were thinking.

I'd give anything reverse time and undo the horrible damage done to me and our marriage by my spouse.

Prepare for a massive shit storm if you fuck him.

Anonymous said...

You CAN stop. Want a good reason? Want to hear how it affects someone? Read http://nowthatyoureonfire.com/ for my story of how I'm dealing with my husband's infidelity.

Do you at least respect your husband as a person? Are you so cruel you can't even be HONEST with him? I would think that after 10 years you could agree you at least owe him that.

Want help in stopping? go to http://survivinginfidelity.com/

Please, for the sake of the betrayed souses, for the sake of the children, for your own sake... STOP cheating.

Christina said...

My husband had an affair in October, so I'm looking at this from the other side of the coin. It started out in a similar way to you, and it remained an emotional affair for the most part. (They didn't have sex, but there was some physical intimacy.)

To me, it sounds like you are unhappy with the current state of your marriage, and so you are looking for that excitement you used to have with your husband elsewhere. Relationships are always flashy and leave you breathless in the beginning. But any long-term relationship will eventually have to deal with the same issues: work/child care issues, "hey, did you pay the water bill?", walking past your husband sitting on the toilet, etc. Everyday life is harsh on that early-romance glitter.

If you still want to remain married, you need to cut all contact with your old friend, and instead focus all of the energy you have put into him towards saving your marriage and your family. That's where your energy should be in the first place.

Counseling can do amazing things if both partners are committed to making things work. When I found out about my husband's affair, I laid out the rules: if he continued, I would leave, and if he cut all ties with her and made a commitment to me, I would be willing to work on saving our marriage. I also spelled out that if this ever happened again, I would divorce him in a heartbeat and make sure I had custody of our children.

He has cut all ties, and he makes a strong effort to be transparent in all that he does, to remove any suspicions I might have. We've been in counseling for nearly two months now, and we're just starting to hit on the underlying issues that caused this and soon will work on how to prevent this from happening again. I still have little trust in him, and he understands that part of his job is to win back my trust.

It hurts. If you only knew how terribly painful it is to have a spouse cheat on you, your decision might be easier to make. It feels like your world is falling down around you, like nothing in life is real anymore. My wounds are starting to heal, but it isn't hard for me to remember the full depth of the emotional cuts I received.

And if you are certain that there is nothing left in your relationship with your husband - no chance of you ever wanting to repair your marriage and strengthen it - then you need to be upfront and honest with your husband and immediately seek a divorce. It's only fair to him and to your children. They don't deserve to live a lie.

Good luck, and I hope that whether you choose your marriage or your affair, you are honest with your husband. It will hurt him to hear, but finding out from someone else will make it hurt even more.

Anonymous said...

I have to say I'm appalled at the condemnation you've received from these other commenters. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone...

Anyway, I've been in your shoes. It was fun & exciting & terrible & petrifying. But the truth is that you cannot have both. You just can't. One day you'll have to choose. Ask yourself this: would your FWB choose you? Now, this very instant, would he leave his wife & family for you? Because when the time comes for you to choose, it may be out of your control. It may be that your husband finds out and chooses for you. Where will your FWB be when that happens?

Be careful sweetie... This is a dangerous path you're on.

Just my 2 cents.

flutter said...

for better, or for worse.

good luck to you

Anonymous said...

I'm going to say this because I was in your shoes at one point...

You are being selfish. You are thinking only of yourself and your needs and wants.

You have 4 other people in your life to think about: your 3 kids, and your husband. They deserve better and deserve a mother and wife that is there for them.

All these things that you "talk" to with your ex-fwb? Talk to your husband about them. Email your husband instead of ex-fwb. Chances are the moment you start the really open communication through email, you and your husband may start to open up in person.

I "cheated" on my husband with an ex-coworker through email. I was addicted to him, I needed an email from everyday. Finally, one day, he didn't email and it hurt. Then I got a little angry and I forced myself to stop emailing him. 2 weeks went by before I heard from him again. Guess what? I didn't care. That 2 weeks opened my eyes. I started talking to my husband about what was bothering me. Funny, husband was feeling a lot like me. We started commiserating together, making plans to fix things. We went to counseling. I fell in love with him all over again and our marriage has never been better.

There's a reason that your ex-fwb is so enticing... you have no "real life" with him.

So, get out of the self pity "my life sucks" trap. End the communication with ex-fwb and start communicating with your husband. Time to get down to brass tacks and face the hard things and not take the easy way out.

Anonymous said...

I have been in both places in this. I have cheated and I have been emotionally cheated on (the SO never had sex, but had dirty chats online with other girls). Sex and the need for it can really bring out someones true colors.

I have thought about cheating on my current boyfriend and almost did just because I wanted the kind of sex that he will not give to me. But I love him and I just couldn't do it.

It seems to me that your marriage was in trouble before all of this. I would suggest counseling and if you can't see a change able to be made, then its time to move on. In the mean time don't leave yourself open to the temptation of the other person. Tell him that you need to cut ties, that your family and husband need you and that the relationship you have with him is too distracting for you at this time.

Ami said...

You are not an awful person, but I think you are making an awful choice. Marriage is not easy. There are bad days, hell, there are bad YEARS if you are married any amount of time. You move through the bad part with lots and lots and lots and still more work. Work that is not evenly divided 50/50.

Right now all of your energy is focused on an image, an email, a computer screen. It's not even a real person, because you only see a small part of this guy. There's no morning breath, no hogging covers, no snoring, or chewing with his mouth open.

So there is no energy to participate in your marriage. Turn off the computer, fix your life, and then if you don't want to be married get divorced.

And I have to tell you the truth, after the "bad time" with my husband and all the work, it was a great fabulous time in our marriage. And I could have missed that. You could miss that.

Rachael said...

How terrible, to be stuck like that. I can't imagine being in that kind of relationship with my husband.

I think for you, it's decision time. You are not happy with your life the way it is. So, you need to make a choice. You work on your marriage (of course it means your husband has to participate), or you end it and move on so that both of you can be happy.

I don't think your old friend is the answer. I know it's tempting, believe me. But you need to make decisions to make your life good again, and possibly ruining his marriage is not the way to go. That is HIS choice to make.

Good luck, girl. I hope your heartache is over soon so you can be truly happy. (Hugs)

Chaos said...

As many people who tell you not to do it, it will not matter. I did this. They told me not to, and I did it anyway. I met with him and your right cheating is inevitable. The one thing I will tell you is that even though the FWB was great during that time, I needed to tell my husband. The good thing is that it changed us both. We started looking at the reasons for why it happened and have been more aware of when things aren't going great. Some will tell you it is a horrible thing to do, but for us it pushed us to absolutely make a decision, and thats not a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous poster here:

I appreciate the comments. I really, really do. I didn't write that and submit it looking for acceptance, or for anyone to say "it's okay", but I do have a response for those saying it's "easy".

It's not "easy" to just walk away from something you are addicted to. It's like a drug addict, or a cigarette smoker, or a coffee drinker. Put down that cup of coffee right now, that coffee that you depend on every morning, that coffee that you cannot function without. Put it down and never look at again. Never think about it again. It's not easy. Certainly not smart, and certainly not easy. If it were easy, it wouldn't be a dilemma.

And as for a marriage failing because of an affair...the affair may break it completely, but the affair is not the cause. In all relationships there is an underlying cause for an affair and THAT is what ruins a marriage. I don't think one single person who has ever cheated suddenly woke up one day and said, "Hey, I think I might want to have an affair today." I know I didn't.

Anonymous said...

It *is* cheating. It's called an emotional affair. And to many spouses, an emotional affair is far more devastating, far more difficult to "get over" than a simple physical affair such as a one night stand.

You're talking to a man behind your husband's back. And behind his wife's back.

You're talking about all the dirty things you'd like to do to each other - as long as your husband isn't looking.

It's a secret from everyone, because as long as it's a secret, you can pretend you aren't a liar. You can pretend you aren't thinking incredibly dirty thoughts about a married man. You can pretend you're still the same person that you were six months ago.

Imagine if your best friend's husband told you the story that he was doing the same thing. What would you think of him?

There is no good ending to this. None. At all. Ever.

Cease contact now. It's a false fix. And it will destroy your life. Email your paramour and tell him the affair is over. That you will no longer be contacting him and that if he contacts you you will not respond.

There is an excellent website that can help you through this at http://www.survivinginfidelity.com. I encourage you to go there and talk to others who have been in the same situation.

Anonymous said...

I think that what they are saying is that the CHOICE is what is easy...in other words, you have only two choices so you need to pick which direction you want to go.
Of course you didn't wake up one day and decide to have an affair. But that doesn't change the fact that you ARE. And if your marriage is failing because of other reasons and not the affair...why not leave him before you have an affair?
I also don't think you can say that this is an addiction akin to drugs. This is the first time you have done this right? You just want to feel good and excited, etc. etc. Everyone does!! But you can't have both. And if your love for your husband and children is deeper than your love of this feeling, than you can make the right decision.

Anonymous said...

My mother did the very same thing, later on in life, after I moved out of the house. I knew she was unhappy in her marriage, and I honestly didn't care that she carried on this relationship until she moved there to be closer with him. She never ended her relationship with her current husband, and that is the only thing that upset me, because it seems tainted. I wish that she just got divorced, and then I wouldn't care what she did. I agree with the comment above, get divorced and find an unmarried man...there are too many people involved.

heartacheorheartburn said...

I completely understand where you are coming from. I was married for 17 years when I had an affair with my best friend. It was more than sex though. I've told my story at my anonymous blog. www.heartacheorheartburn.wordpress.com
I hope for the best for you.

Anonymous said...

Saying your an addict is an excuse. All addicts have to decide the want help. And adding that comment tells me that you really wanted us to tell you to leave your husband. ANd some will think I'm harsh for saying that, but sometimes you have to be harsh.

No one here has presumed to say that no matter what you have to stay with your huband, but there is a wrong and right way, and cheating in any form is the wrong way.

When my spouse cheated, it hurt more than anything has ever hurt me in my life, and I've had some serious damage done before that. My best friend, the one person I counted on more than life itself, was the one person that couldn't help me feel better, because he betrayed me. It took a lot of time and work to fix that. There were underlying causes, and we agreed to work on those. Many of the commenters above said that you have to decide if you want to fix those problems or not, and while the affair alone isn't the only cause of your relationship failing, it could be the final straw.

Imagine explaining to your child in 20-25 years why they shouldn't be cheating on their spouse...what would you tell them in your situation.

I hope that you can make the right decision for you, and those you love, whatever that might be. The FWB isn't going to make your life great unless you've made peace with yourself. No other person can do that for you.

Anonymous said...

Please don't do this. Have more respect for yourself. I've been exactly where you are. I was feeling ignored and lonely and frustrated at home and just wanted someone to pay attention to me. I wanted someone to talk to and laugh with and have fun with again. I hooked up with my FWB in August and the sex was awful. Nothing like how I remembered our time together or had fantasized about. I saw him again in October and nothing happened, we just hung out and talked for a few hours. The last time I talked to him was Christmas Eve. I had called him specifically make arrangements to spend a few days over New Year's with him and thought it was all set - until he didn't call back to confirm. And he hasn't called since. And I don't miss him. There are good reasons why some memories should remain memories. Take all the time and energy you are using to create this fantasy and apply it to your marriage if you want to make it work. I am and I'm glad that I have realized who really cares about me before it was too late.

Anonymous said...

You are correct when you say it is not easy. You are correct when you say it is a brain chemical thing. "According to Dr John Marsden, head of the National Addiction Centre at the Maudsley Hospital in London, when you are attracted to someone your brain
releases the drug dopamine, giving the same reaction that taking cocaine or speed would create.

"Attraction and lust really is like a drug. It leaves you just wanting more," he said.

However like the drugs - the first flush of love is temporary."

BUT.what.are.we.as.humans.if we do not exercise our ability to choose, to make good decisions. I guess it comes down to this what is your reputation with yourself. Would acting on a lust temptation not make you question who you are as a person?

Anonymous said...

Please BECOME.AWARE. "Lust and infatuation are complex subjects. For purposes of clarification I am using the definition of Dr. Julia Heiman of the Kinsey Institute, who defines lust as "the experience of attraction and interest in a desirable partner as a sexual being." It is the physiological perspective that holds the most potential to explain why people make such terrible decisions when they are swept away by these incredibly strong feelings. If we are to prevent our own demise, the first step is to become educated in the physiological reasons for such illogical behavior."

Anonymous said...

Here is the link for the above quote.
http://www.lawofficer.com/news-and-articles/columns/Trautman/lust_and_infatuation.html

Anonymous said...

knowing why such an overpowering feeling is happening can be the key to preventing us from making some of our life's most regretful mistakes. Whether the indiscretion is an opportunistic few minutes of lust or a lengthier affair, we should recognize the situation for what it is; a foolhardy response to an explosion of adrenaline-like neurochemicals. Rather than destroy the most important aspects of our lives, the answer is that we must quickly get out of the situation.

Dr. Harville Hendrix, a former professor at Southern Methodist University, explains that infatuation occurs when we find a person who fulfills an unresolved emotional need from childhood or serves to complete some other unresolved situation from our youth. This explains why the noble qualities we theoretically seek in a lover, such as honesty, caring and truthfulness, aren't enough if the "chemistry" is not there. On the other hand, if we associate resolving an unresolved child/parent issue from our childhood with the person, the chemicals explode and infatuation begins.

To make matters even more hazardous, some people actually become physiologically and emotionally addicted to the rush of chemicals that infatuation brings. They must have the excitement and sensations that only infatuation can deliver. Another contributing factor for why some spouses are repeatedly unfaithful to their mate is that those who become addicted build up a tolerance to the chemicals.

In the end, the adrenaline-family of chemicals that brought forth the feelings so breathtaking that they were willing to ignore major career obligations and betray those they love, fade away within six months to three years. The only thing left is destruction and ruin, which would have been prevented if they had just walked away when the feelings first began.


More from http://www.lawofficer.com/news-and-articles/columns/Trautman/lust_and_infatuation.html

Anonymous said...

Here is a little bit more from Neal Trautman National Institute of Ethics. "It is common to hear the question "What were they thinking?" when someone has jeopardized their job, career, marriage or the welfare of their innocent children for "an affair." From a medical standpoint, the straightforward answer is that those involved simply were not thinking. Their logic, reasoning and common sense where overwhelmed by a powerful adrenaline-based family of drugs. This fact must not be construed as an excuse, it is merely a reason. Those who betray their loved ones in this way are committing an appalling act of selfishness."

I wanted to copy some quotes from his article on this topic because the poster asked "How do I stop?"
and I think the answer is educate yourself on why this is happening, ie brain chemicals and choose with the logical part of your brain how to behave. Don't give in to brain chemicals. Choose logically. even if it is difficult. Be informed. Become aware. You can do it.

Mr Lady said...

I am honestly MOST concerned about the internet only aspect of the affair. If you'd gone from chatting to calling to a visit, THAT would be an emotional affair. That would be, for lack of a better word, the natural progression of things. Fact is, we are sexual beings. You don't get it at home, you WILL get it elsewhere. Sad, yes, true also.

But that you don't want to talk to him on the phone, that you just want it to stay on a screen, that's a warning flag for me, and a great thing for you. THIS you can get out of with some porn and a couple of romance novels. It has nothing to do with the guy, save the convenience of his situation to yours, but the things he says to you. Anyone could say those things.

I'd end it. If you're posting it here, you're obviously conflicted. Don't do anything in your life that feels wrong; it's too short. End it and romance your husband. Money is the most useless thing to fight over. Go eat some mac and cheese, drink a 40 of mad dog, and have some backseat of the car sex. You're letting your life become you, and I'm betting you and him are more than a pile of bills. 10 years and 3 kids doesn't happen without substance.

Anonymous said...

"You don't get it at home, you WILL get it elsewhere."

No lie.