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TOW FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Back to Part Two



  • Children are too young.Wife is too ill, or unpredictable, or unstable, or violent. He's my boss so another excuse is - it will ruin his business relationships. He will lose too much financially

  • The children. Children always must come first but I believe it is better for children to grow up with two loving parents who don't live with each other than to grow up living with parents who don't love each other.

  • Loss of Money!!!!

  • He never wants to cause his child any pain, or cause his child to lose respect for him. Plus, he still loves his wife, though he's not IN love with her, and he feels like marriage should be forever. He made a promise. But sometimes he feels so alone....I feel like theseare valid reasons, and not excuses. I think he is trying to meet his needs without hurting anyone.

  • Used to be the children....now the big one is money.

  • The most common excuses are (1)the children; (2)the timing isn't right; (3)financial reasons; (4)afraid spouse will be too devastated to go on ~ the list is endless. They aren't valid reasons, they are excuses to avoid having to give up anything.

  • I have never asked him to leave his wife

  • Can't afford to leave the wife, there is too much money involved. He has a young child as well but that isn't really a reason he stays. The wife is aware that he is seeking outside relationships. She clings to the idea that he will change his mind.

  • Kids, money, history, spouse would be devasted, and love for their spouse. Are they excuses? Sure. If they really wanted the Ox, they'd find a way (and the guts) to leave.

  • His children. Actually his younger daughter; his older daughter knows things aren't good between mom and dad. However, he has said if he does leave the W, it won't be because of me - he has been contemplating leaving long before we met. And he has said he never wants to get married again, even if our relationship lasts a lifetime.

  • The #1 reason for not leaving is "the kids", but it really doesn't make sense that a man could be cheating on the woman who GAVE him the kids that he loves so dearly. But, not in my relationship because my MM has only been married to his second wife for 2 1/2 years and they have no children together and won't ever because they're already 51 and 56 with grown kids from each of thier first marriages. I honestly haven't figured out my MM's reason for not leaving his wife. We've been together for almost a year, are very much in love, have a great sex life, but I don't know what his problem is. His excuse is that it's "easier said than done". But wouldn't it be easier to have one good relationship that 2 half relationships?

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  • Well, I have decided to stop it with my MM. The "why" is because of this board. I kept on reading how their MM/W was so in love with them. I read how their MM/W would do things which would put them at risk of being found out. I read how they can't imagine life without them, etc. I could go on and on, but the point is my MM never really did any of those things.

    I can tell you that there is nothing to show I was involved in his life. Only once did his wife notice his phone bill and saw my number appear a number of times. He told her it was a client he was working on. The only reason I know this is because I asked him if she ever suspected anything and he gave me that bit of information.

    I also feel that he is not in this as much as I am, emotionally speaking. I have told him that I love him and all he does is give me a kiss. I have never told him over the phone because I don't want a "no response" from him. He has told me that he can't think of his life without me in it, but I think he was saying that only because he thought maybe that was what I wanted to hear. The last time I saw my MM was in June. He was in town on business and was able to see me. I want him to come to town because he wants to see me and not because he is here on business. I want more from him and he is not giving it to me.

    I want what some of the others on this board have. I know I am jumping around , but my thoughts are not clear. The thing is I don't feel anything right now. I don't feel depressed, angry, happy. I feel nothing. I may feel it later, but it has been 4 days now. I wasn't even crying or felt anger when I told him. I left a message on his voice mail, only because I felt that if I did it right then and there rather than waiting to tell him in person, I would lose my nerve. I know this is not the greatest way to tell him. I also told him not to call me.

    I have ended it with him several times in the past, but he would always call me later to see how I was doing and we would start up again. That is why I told him to respect my wishes and not call me. I wanted more and he wouldn't give it to me. I know I will probably post more if I start feeling an anxiety attack come on. That is when I know my emotions are going to blow.

  • I ended the affair.My MM and I live in different states but have spent alot of time together since July.I was going to relocate to his state,he was going to pay for the move.He has his own business and works 7 days a week and his wife keeps very close tabs on him so the most I could see him would be a couple time a weeks for a few hours and maybe meeting for lunch besides that.I have 2 children, so to totally turn their lives upside down for that just wasn't worth it,love or not.I wanted more, I wanted 100% because that's what I would've given him.We talked about a getting married someday,and at one point I was willing to wait,but that became too big a risk when I looked at the big picture. I do want to say though,he is my first true love.The hardest thing I've ever done was ending it(harder than divorce,giving birth)..it was like ripping my own heart out.Never have I been so close to someone, so intimate, such good friends.Today it hurts.

  • He did, because his W found out.

  • I ended it because both of us had gotten to the point where the affair was beginning to be more important than our marriage. We both agreed after our third meeting that although we felt we were meant to be together in regards to how we felt for one another. We would never be able to deal with ending the relationships that we already had. Once it got to the point that he didn't care if he wife found out or not I knew it was time to end it, because I do know he loves his wife. When he returned home the last time if she had asked he would have told her straight out, I have no doubt about that. He was in so much pain, as he usually is when he goes home. That time it was much worst.

    I compounded that by telling my husband about the affair when he found certain items. This all happened in the same day. It has made it much harder for contact. I guess I was looking for a safty net as MM put it.

    I ended it, but is it over. I'm not sure yet. He told me it would never be over, not really over. More and more I'm starting to believe that. He told me I would always feel his presence and his love and I do, yet I miss him.

    It's really sad when I think about it and feel sorry for myself which I try not to do often. I finally found out what it was like to be in love with someone and he finally found someone who loved him for just him and we can't have that, because its just not right and its not our time. The more time we had together the more we wanted, it was making us crazy.

  • My first affair with the same OM ended when he decided to get married...It started up again two years later.

  • I ended it after a year. I was the "other woman" and it was just too painful to keep hearing the same lies again and again ("give me time" "I'll leave her after Easter, her birthday, Thanksgiving,etc"). I made him decide between her and me, and gave him 2 months to think about it. He decided on me until the day came when he moved out- then he went back! Needless to say, I went over too and made him tell her the whole thing. She was not that upset because she suspected anyway, and all three of us made peace with the issue. (not with each other!!) They are still "happily" married and I have moved on to a healthier and more stable relationship.

  • My "affair" is over in the sense it is not secret anymore and my mm now lives with me. But as to how it got that way, I think it is because I couldn't stand living the rest of my life lying to everyone around me. I didn't want to be "second choice". If I was going to be in a relationship..I wanted to be given the respect that I deserved and if that meant me having to give up the MM to get that...I would of in a heart beat. I asked my husband for a divorce and then he found a letter. Then my mm had to make a choice and lucky for me..he chose me.

  • I ended it because it was wrong.

    I ended it because in a moment of great strength and courage,I finally did the right thing.

    I ended it because the pain and confusion was greater and more overwhelming than the stolen moments of joy.

    I ended it because I was so sick and tired of the emotional rollercoaster, the contradictions, the omissions, and all the baloney that comes with an affair.

    I ended it because I didn't want to figure it out anymore.

    I ended it because his wife deserved better.

    I ended it because I deserve better.

    I ended it because I finally realized I loved myself more than I loved him. the end

  • I broke up with my MM a month ago cos I needed to move on; will get married soon to the one who loves me more; someone who is always there when I need him around; though I love my MM deeply...but I couldn't tolerate the loneliness, can't imagine how devastated I will feel facing rejection. Conclusion: Learn to love yourself more.

  • I am ending it because I am sick of his lies and of living a lie. I have never had a relationship before with a MM before. He pursued me heavily and convinced me he was in the process of leaving his wife. Before I knew it, I was falling in love with him. Soon, when he realized that I was hooked, his plans became more vague. I discovered this site and through the message board,stories and women in the chat room, I realized that my MM was lying not only to his W, but to me as well. I also realized that this is probably not his first affair. I am heartsick to think that I could have given my love to such a creep. If I would have only known the signs before, but as they say, hindsight is always 20/20. Now I am in the process of rebuilding my self esteem, forgiving myself for being so blind and trying to get on with my life. Through this bitter lesson, I know that I will never get involved with a MM again!

  • I ended the affair, he would have gone on until we died, but I doubt he would have ever made any changes in his life that wouldhave been necessary to have a "normal" relationship.I made a decided effort to end the relationship, knew all the reasons why and ended it. I told him on such and such a date it'sover (gave him a date two weeks in advance) and that was it. I was not heartbroken, or even hurt, haven't longed or desiredfor him. I am curious as to how his little sefl induced drama is going, but other than curiosity, I don't think about him much. Idon't particularly regret the affair, as I feel I learned a lot. In general, I got very busy just before we ended and focused on myown needs, and those of my family. I imagine had I not done that,I might still be in the affair, no matter how bad it was for me.

  • Mine ended when the stress and strain of his divorce took it's final toll on both of us.

  • Everyday I cosider ending the affair, but when I think of my life without him in it, I just can't do it. It will be me who does it eventually. He'll never end it. Why should he, he has the best of both worlds

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  • Resist the urge to have any contact at all and focus on yourself...time heals but only if the break is a clean one.

  • Fall in love with someone else

  • Working out, hanging out with friends, unfortunately gaining weight. I've never made it past the first 2 months before we end up back together. I always feel like if I could just breech that barrier, that I would be fine. Oh, it helps to have someone else to just mess around with on the side. He helps to make you feel better about yourself.

  • I hang up on him, try every which way not to see him and we work together, this is difficult.Try and focus on something other than him, and feel the pain and rejection and deep loss. I wait and wait until I don't feel anymore.

  • Guerilla Tactics: Try to concentrate on the bad things. The loneliness, etc. Write down all the negative things you can think of. Every time you start missing them READ THE LIST. Try to hold on to the anger at first.

  • My MM has told his wife all about us. We still saw each other daily and emailed nightly for two months (I had told him that he had four months to think things through, but that he was not decided by this coming may, I would leave his life forever) Last saturday (2 months after his full confession- promise to keep his pants on- but refusal to stop seeing me) his wife threatened suicide and he ran to me for refuge and help/guidance and the affair begain again. Instead of waiting around until the four months is up I asked him for some space wherein we do not CONTACT at all for a month so that he can see his life without me in it, and I can see mine without all of this emotional upheaval. A friend who is psychiatrist suggested the following techniques, which have worked quite well so far:a) thought cessation- when you think of him say STOP to yourself (out loud if necessary)b) picture him in some ridiculous situation that will make him seem silly and amusingc) reinforce the positive in your selfd) relaxation techniquese) IF YOU MUST see him (at work) picture him covered in something smelly and disgusting (pus, maneure, etc)Well, we will now see if this is enough to get me to the point where I don't care if he stays or leaves...it will simply not affect my life one way or another!

  • With difficulty, if the breakup isn't by common consent. I am going through the pain of a breakup at the moment and it is more dificult because my MW works with me so I see her on a daily basis. This acts as a knife in the wound. One way I have tried to overcome the pain is, when thinking about her or looking at her, I try and picture her as some other female work colleague and set my feelings to the levef I would feel for that person without the emotional impact. It works, sometimes.

  • I feel like there wasn't much closure and I think this has made it harder. It has also been hard because the relationship wasvery turbulent for several months before it ended. I have coped by keeping a journal of my thoughts and trying to find someclosure from within. I allow myself to cry when I need to and chatting with others in TOW has been very helpful. I'm not surewhat else you can do when relationships end, other than to understand the stages of the healing process and to know that it'sgoing to take time.

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  • I think it is possible,but difficult.To do that we need to take away from it the positive things we received from the relationship,that's where I am right now, trying to look at the sweetness, the specialness, the intimacy,without wanting them back.It's easier now since I've been out of it for a few weeks.But when the break up was fresh I had to constantly remind myself of the reasons I ended it,and to look on them as lessons learned,to embrace them as precious things too, because they helped me to grow.If I didn't look at it that way I would become very bitter and angry and then I wouldn't truly have moved on.In order to end it, I had to look at what I want out of a relationship,right now not in the future,could I truly be happy in a relationship without them,if not was I willing to settle or was I willing to walk away and give myself the opportunity to have those things?So no I don't think bitterness and dissolution are necessary and in the long run they seem to keep us connected to the person we've ended it with.

  • i think it's possible for it to end w/out anger, but that during the grief process some feelings of anger are inevitable...it's a necessary stage to go through...luckily, it doesn't last...you may go back and forth among all the various stages...sometimes quickly...sometimes not...

    as with any grieving of a loss...finally comes acceptance and a sense of peace...

  • Yes it is. I have ended my affair even though he is now getting divorced. We are still friends and I still love him. One point I was always asking my therapist was as many times has he hurt me I never hated him and the anger I sometimes felt always went away quickly. I came to the conclusion I could never stay mad or hate him because he never truly intended to hurt me any of the times. He had many doubts and confusions as I did and was also afraid and still is of the power of the love and emotions we feel for each other. We still chat every couple of days on the phone, but I know it's time for us to move on in other directions. He will always be my first true love (even though I was married for 14 years) and always be my bestfriend.

  • I think it is possible to end it without all the anger, but as with any romantic relationship, we think that we are SUPPOSED to feel the bitterness of the ending. If it is a mutual understanding that things are over and that ending the relationship will be the best thing for all concerned, the bad feelings will be a minor phase of the process. You will still feel the hurt and the sadness (as is natural), but the anger will be minimal.

  • I think it is possible to get through the separation process and subsequent healing without going through the stage of anger. Several of my friends were divorced before my ex asked for a divorce, and I was shocked at how bitter, angry, and vengeful some of those women became (and how they seemed "stuck" in that stage)--women who had previously been warm, compassionate, understanding. So, while it wasn't easy, I TRIED to react to everything my ex said and did in love...and the more I did that, the easier it became to do, and I began to see that his actions came out of his own hurt, confusion and fears. He was not intentionally insensitive or trying to hurt me.

    Having said that, I do think it took longer for me to heal because I skipped the "anger" stage. It probably WAS harder for me to let the love go because I didn't feel the anger, but I still think I handled it the right way for ME, and I DID heal. A lot of those bitter and vengeful ex-wives that I knew are still bitter and vengeful many years later, and I look back on my ex as a fond memory and nothing more.

  • If the other partner is ending it, thepain, dissolution and sorrow are excrutiating. Every small incident becomes a mega memory and torments. Every small detail about him or her that you remember becomes a sort of tormentor and haunts you. In all the things you enjoyed together, you only see a sense of loss which is the most difficult to contend with.

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  • Yes, I think there are many differences between ending an affair and ending a normal relationship. Before my exmm wentthrough a divorce, I attempted the end things several times. My reasons were numerous. Guilt, feeling like a second choice,concerns about the future of the relationship, trust issues and hating the double life I was leading. I have never experiencedmany of these emotions in normal relationships.

  • The emr ended peacefully and quietly, and should we choose,would remain friends. I think that would be unhealthy for all parties though.

  • It's harder to get closure when an EMR ends versus a "normal" relationship. EMRs usually end because the man won't get divorced--not because of mutually recognized irreconcilable differences. So the tantalizing prospect of "he might get divorced" still remains. Often the man himself wants to leave it open for a possible future. Also, the MM often leaves and comes back repeatedly, so it's much harder for the OW to know that it's really over. And when the MM finally does leave, he often does it in a painful and abrupt way because of his guilt. All these elements make the end of EMRs much messier and drawn out and painful. Normal relationships tend to end more cleanly.

  • The constant back and forth MM has gone through between W and me has left me questioning my sanity, and my worth. Sadly, it's somewhat like losing a competition. I didn't want his decision to leave to be because of me, I didn't want to be the cause of it, but inevitably, the decision to stay with W left me feeling as though I wasn't smart enough, attractive enough, funny enough, whatever.

  • The basic differences between the two from the start seem to be magnified at the end. In a normal rel. you probably have a much larger support group to cheer you on in the beginning and to lend their shoulders when it ends. The OW/M usually has no such support system since the whole EMR thing is a "secret". In fact as the EMR continues the OW/M becomes more and more cut off from family and friends in able to continue the EMR. By the time it has run its course the OW/M has virtually no one to turn to for comfort and support.

    Side note: I know several ppl who have ended normal relationships and other than the "normal" grieving period they are fine. On the other hand the majority of EMR OW/M seem to get/need professional therapy (including myself). This in itself speaks volumns.

    So all in all "YES!" I believe there is a huge difference.

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  • I only recently left W. But some of the things that is now bothering OW is things like: Do we both move to a neutral town? (wecurrently live 300 miles apart), what about jobs? Is it easier for either of us to quit job or should we both commute? Are wedoing the right thing? will the feelings and love between us be the same once we are together every day. Will there always bethat fear that since this resulted from an EMR that one or both will get into another EMR.All good questions, but I'm positive that with alot of work, which if you're truly in love, is very much worth it, the feelings, loveand excitement that you experienced during the relationship, can and will exist long after the MM/MW leaves the marriage.

  • The biggest challenge that would come from that would be how we both deal with his ex-wife - and the children - it adds awhole new dimension to the relationship

  • Two big issues for me...TrustWhat if W wants him back?

  • Dealing with the aftermath is no picnic. We're all in therapy now, for an illustration of the difficulties even after the marriage hasdissolved.There is a lot of guilt to deal with too.Just dealing with what happened itself is hard.

  • Insecurity, problems dealing with continued relationship between MM and W, impatience with beginning a new life out in theopen, problems with meeting respective families, but mainly everything is WONDERFUL!

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