How Long Is Too Long?

So often as being the OW we forget that our MM has a lot to deal with also once it gets serious.

I thought he just wanted the best of both worlds. And for a while that was true. But there came a point when it wasn't just for fun anymore and having the best of both really didn't matter.

Before my MM became my husband, I was the OW for over 8 years. Everyone always asks me why I waited for him for so long. I never realized until now exactly why I waited. So I'm going to tell you.

My husband was fighting an inner battle that I was not aware of until after he left his family. He knew things that I didn't and he didn't want to burden me with them. He was protecting me as well as dealing with more than I ever thought. He was leaving more than just his wife. He was leaving his whole life and everything he had worked so hard for up until this point.

Besides the obvious material things, like the house, furniture, and cars, he gave away so much more than I ever realized.

My husband gave up a good Christian woman that had the patients of a saint with him for me. I'm a hot head with a very sharp tongue that can slash deeply and once those words are out of my mouth there is no taking them back.

He left behind his children because he knew they would want nothing to do with him if he were with me. They are all adults with children of their own. In giving up his relationships with his children, he gave up ever knowing his grandchildren.

.He left behind friends and acquaintances. He left his whole world as he knew it.

This man gave up everything that was dear to him just to be with me! How could he do that? Could I give up my kids for him if I had to? I don't think I could.

He knew how things would be if he left. He knew the kids would not want anything to do with him/us. I thought eventually they would understand and come around. He knew they wouldn't.

He battled this for over 8 years without ever burdening me with his thoughts fears and the pain he knew he would face if he left. How selfish of me to have him do this just because I wanted him all to myself.

This man loves me so much that he put himself through all this pain just to be with me. And I admit I can be a very difficult woman sometimes.

We just had our 3 year wedding anniversary. He truly is an amazing man. This is why I waited so long.

totallytea totallytea
51-55, F
8 Responses Dec 7, 2012

for 7 years i was the other man but in the end i gave her the choice him or me i was in love with her but shearing was no longer an option for me. She choose me and has now divorced her husband. She now lives with me full time and we are happy

Well, you are the 1% that the mm left his wife and family for ...At least he wasn't a coward (like the rest of the MM) and screwed with your mind, body, soul, spirit, etc, etc. My MM was a complete psychopathic narcassist. I really hope that your situation lasts, and he doesn't turn around and do the same to you ... good luck girl :)

Really? Search the websites, they do state that 1% of MM leave, and 2% of these marriages last. This site is supposed to be supportive; and I already know why I was attracted to such a character ... had to do with me being naive. I'm not a child, and I intend to stay away from MM, or characters as such ... but thanks for your expertise!

Literally dodged a bullet ...he destroyed my life and should've ended me. But I refuse to give up ... It's a long way to serenity, but I'm working hard to get to a place of inner peace. Thanks for the response!

Does anyone else think the statistics may be skewed because married couples who met while committed elsewhere are not likely to answer "yes" to having an affair that worked out? I think it is probably more accurate that 1-5% of the relationships where someone got caught or found out worked out. My grad level stats class was all about manipulating numbers...makes me very cynical of stats (always consider the source!)

I am glad to hear you are doing better. Always love a happy ending.

Hey I thought you and your MM turned hubby were on the rocks. Did you patch things up?

We are doing very well actually. But you are right, we did have a rough spot for quite a while.

So I just found out why he ended it Sunday. He read my comment on here. I wondered because he just kept saying he doesn't want to hurt me any more and he doesn't want me putting my life on hold. So I don't know if I shot myself if the foot or did myself a huge favor by posting that. Right now I just ache so much.

wait, not on THIS one, on the comment I posted on "How long is too long" Well, it could have been both, but I bet it was the other one that sealed the deal.

I'm sure it isn't anything he didn't already know!

Hi...what I would like to know is how you managed to deal with him having sex with his wife for 8 years??

We lived together during the week because he worked out of town. He went home on the weekends and he was usually at my house then too. I never looked at him as mine. I didn't ask and he didn't tell me. It was easier that way.

Thank you for sharing your story. I do wonder about all my MM has on his plate sometimes. Although, I do try and keep those worlds separate.

Thank you, TT for posting this. I worry a lot about what is going on in my MMs “real” life that he doesn’t share with me. His wife found out about us shortly after we started seeing each other. She also knows he is still seeing me. They have a young son I have met only once, when we got all our kids together for a full day at a museum and the park. She made it very clear that I am not to be around their son. (Funny how I am banned from the child but not the husband?) When she found out she also called his family so now his mother and grandmother will not speak to him. They are 2,000 miles away and he has said they haven’t been close, but it bothers him. Our whole department at work knows. They still treat us just fine, mostly because they knew us and liked us both before this came up. Our mutual work friends we are close to we have told on our own but the rest just figured it out. We have not been that good at hiding our feelings. He doesn’t tell me much about what happens at home, especially when she knows he has just been with me. He took home an extra copy of a kids movie I had sent for their son. I guess he told her, or she figured, it was me who sent it. It was sent out and not allowed in the house. I am just now thinking again about how strange it is that the Chipmunks Christmas is not welcome in the house, but he can come home with my body fluids on him, and that is accepted? Anyway, it isn’t easy for him I know. He stresses and has horrible bouts of guilt. He decided to leave work early the other day because he was so stressed over everything.
I know he had a good life at home before I came along. He has never said anything bad about his wife and he said he was content before I came along. Now, of course, he says he would be with me if he could, blah blah blah. That’s no consolation when I want him to be with me and know he never will. It’s easy to say what you would do if you could when you know you aren’t expected to live up to it. I’ve told him I won’t ask him to leave because I don’t want him to leave for me. If he does it is because that is what he needs to do for himself, with or without me. So I know I have an expiration date. We just agreed to take it one day at a time, whatever that means. So how long am I supposed to do this one-day-at-a-time thing? Until I can’t take being a side dish anymore? Until his wife gets tired of sharing him and gives him an ultimatum? Until he does either get tired of me or the guilt wears him down? When you say your husband is the most amazing man, I relate to that. I think mine is too and I would wait for him if I knew there would be a happy ending for us.

I asked myself all the same questions. There were many days I had just had enough and didn't want to do it anymore. As I said, I have a very sharp tongue and would lash out at him because of my frustration. I didn't have any answers either. I quit seeing him many times, but we could never stay apart. I never asked him to leave until after they were divorced. Yes he still lived with her after the divorce. All I can say is that if it is meant to be it will be. Just don't put your life on hold for him. That would cause resentment. Continue as if you are single. That includes dating if the opportunity arises. It's what drove my husband crazy and he didn't want to lose me. Even though I never really went out with anyone else. He just thought I did. I was finally tired of him going back and forth and ended it with no contact when he finally came to his senses.

Remind me, did his wife know about you? Now that my MMs wife knows he has to be a lot more careful and we have only had one overnight since then. The lying and sneaking was really bothering him. Honestly I think he got caught on purpose. At the very least he left the evidence out and tempted fate and sure enough, she saw it. He had been telling her little bits here and there, like that we would hang out after work sometimes and that we had feelings for each other. It has made it harder to see each other because she knows where he is going , and it hurts him to know he is hurting her when she knows where he has been.

I have thought about dating. I have opportunity, especially now that some of my guy friends are finding out that I'm separated from my husband. I have a friend I always said I would go out with when I finally get my divorce, we are just having a hard time coordinating. I don't know how I would feel about him or anyone else and I don't want to string someone else along. I don't want to sleep with anyone else, for sure. I can't go back and forth between two men and I would have to tell my MM. Trust me, he would take one look at me and know! Still, I would hope maybe if I get out there and make time for other people I can distract myself from him.

Sammy, you have no idea. She has proof to take him to the cleaners and completely destroy me at any moment. So far she has been a much better person than I would have been if it had been the other way around.

Yes moonbeam his wife knew then divorced him, but he continued to live with her and try to make it work. He knew what he was going to have to give up. I can understand why he didn't want to leave. The things that a couple that has started a relationship this way, are not things a normal couple would have to deal with and it can be extremely stressful.

And so we have a winner. We are over as of yesterday. He pulled the plug, which I think is good because now he can say to himself he did the right thing for his family. I am hoping that will help him feel better about all that happened. I don't know what prompted the conversation, maybe just me asking what was bothering him, but he said he can't do this anymore and doesn't want me to put my life on hold for him. I may have said this already, but he said from the beginning he was not going to leave so I knew it was inevitable. It just sucks. I'll be okay, I know I will. At least now I don't have to think of myself as a dirty mistress. ;-)

moonbeam I am so sorry, but you really are better off without being on an emotional roller coaster ride. Here is a little more bad news, it isn't over yet. He will be back for more.

shreya you are where I was. You don't think he will leave her? Give it time.

TT, I don't know if he will or not. It is hard to say at this point because it has been only two days. It probably doesn't help that we sit two feet from each other at work, separated by only a thin cubicle wall. We can hear each other breathe. Yay. And of course we have the same friends too. I don't know if I want him to come for more. Well of course I do, but this particular five minutes that I am sitting here typing I just want him to stay on his side of the wall. He brought me coffee but I couldn't even look at him. It will be a long day. sighh...

That will make it even harder for you. I hope everything turns out the way you want it too. ; )

It hasn't been a bad day. We have been talking a lot and took a walk together to chat and get some things out and was more relieving than painful. I think having had a strong friendship before all this helps more than I thought it would. I have always kept my ex-whatevers around as friends, which a lot of people think is strange, so really it is no different to me. It's just a little raw now but that will pass.

shreya, you seem to have a positive and realistic outlook on your situation. I hope thing work out the way you want them to.

Yes we are! Why do we have to be so damn good at it? ;-)

One question for you to really think about; When are you going to end your misery and start really living. I've lived in your shoes, and living only begins, when you start to care about, get inside your own head and start to want better for yourself. A side dish is not having any individuality. You wait on him for scraps of time and affection, but it is superficial. He's not going to leave his wife, so how long are you going to wait? In the meantime, your losing out on precious years. You are important; start living for YOU. Hugs and support.

It makes me feel so much better that other people share the same problems as I do...

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