I used to come to this forum to read stories that made me feel less alone, and to give me some sanity and hope. In the midst of my affair, and the lengthy and painful ending of that journey I was here often.. Sharing my story, getting advice, and reading all of the other stories similar to mine. If gave me a sense of calm, and belonging.
I still come to read here often.
It's been over since July. Really over. After 4 years of the affair, and many, many attempts at ending it. I had been beaten down though, with no more fight left. Love for him, yes.. But no more fight in me to ward against his indecision and the constant watchful eye of his wife, along with her drunken outbursts and threats. I had no fight left against the heartache and the lonely, and the fighting and deceit and self loathing, and worthlessness.
I let him go. And they are still together, in what I can assume is their own brand of personal hell.
I met someone in August and reluctantly decided to meet for a drink. We have been exclusively dating ever since, and I am happy with him. He is a great man with a loving heart, he treats my children wonderfully, and he treats me like I matter. I have fallen in love with him.
I still think of mm every day, with a heavy heart. I miss him, and us. I feel like someone else decided our fate, but I don't miss the drama and the pain.
I come here to read now because I can still remember, and it gives me comfort.. But my comfort comes now in a different fashion.
On any given day, I look at my EP feed, and I can read so many stories from you amazing and beautiful women who are so unhappy. In so much pain, and turmoil. Who feel lost and unimportant and second best. There is so much lonely here in this forum, and in no other community that I have come across are there so many strong women who are afraid to use their voices, or have their needs met, or even speak of their feelings for fear of pushing him away. So many eggshells. And so many fractured hearts.
I come here now to remind me that I made the right decision. I don't want my story to be a sad one..
My heart aches for all of you who have shared your painful journeys here. I so hope you find the strength to finally let go of a romanticized affair for a happy and fulfilling reality.
I still struggle everyday in missing my mm. Proximity doesn't allow me to forget, we live just blocks from one another. But time has allowed me to reflect on all of the hurtful things I let him put me through, and combined with the stories I read here - I can't ever go back to that. I've grown very much to resent him for what he has done to me, and to his W, and how he willingly tortured us both. I'm ashamed for letting him treat me that way.
I make progress everyday. I am becoming myself again without mm. I have a voice now, and I use it. I don't wait by the phone, and I live everyday without waiting for anyone. I live outside my old shell, and It's a breath of fresh air. I am trying to be trusting of my new man who treats me so well...
Ladies you deserve so much more than to share stories of sadness each day. Sadness and jealousy and panic and heart ache and insecurity and unworthiness... You don't deserve to dread each weekend as it comes because of NC. You don't deserve to spend even a minute with a sick pit in your stomach knowing where he sleeps at night, or who he vacations with, or wondering why he is silent. You deserve so much more.. We all do.
Go and be loved, the way love is intended. You'll never find that great love while you're clouded by this unhealthy one...
And I've come to realize something..
Living life outloud with a man you adore really is as great as you've imagined. You just need to imagine doing it with someone who hasn't broken your heart into a million shards. Either way it's a fantasy...
Go and get the happiness and companionship you deserve my beautiful friends. It's your time.
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14 Responses Feb 6, 2015

I applaud your candor and am touched by your sadness and have a great empathy for you. It is not easy to have involved yourself in a dalliance that ultimately did not come to the conclusion that would give you the happiness you deserve..
Your problem obviously is that your expectations and your inability to control your emotions have led you into this sadness.

Affairs with married men do have a downside and any man who enters into these dalliances knowing deep in soul that he will not leave his spouse for the woman he professes to love in this arrangement is dishonest and one whom I consider a predator in every sense of the word and less than a man.

Dalliances either of short or long duration are only a momentary escape mechanism from a relationship devoid of intimacy. They should taken on only by those that understand fully what the impact on the other will be and with guide lines fully explained up front to avoid the very sadness that may prevail at its end. The vast majority of these do end, very few result in a satisfactory conclusion.

They should never be with single women for that is an absolute travesty and a cruelty as well.

Again may I say that you express yourself beautifully and I do wish you the very best for your future.

Thank you for writing this. I see this was written in February so you may no longer visit this site. Either way some elements def hit home. Not all apply to me but the ones that did hurt. I pray for strength to do what I need to do for me

Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing your new enthusiasm for life and your better understanding of life. Life needs to be lived fully and not in pain, suffering or frustration. Thank you so so much!

I just came across this post from a while back...thank you for writing this. My friends tell me I've turned into a shell of the person I used to be before MM depleted me of every bit of energy and emotion and love I had to give, along with my self-esteem. I feel it too, although I don't like admitting that MM has made me weaker bc I enjoy him so much. But it's true. We're a bunch of women clinging to the hope that a man will one day leave his primary relationship for us, and settling in the meantime because we are addicted to the void the affairs fill for us. You wrote exactly what I feel every time I come here. I wonder what happened to each of the other OW here that made them feel like they don't deserve an ordinary relationship, and my heart aches for them. And truly, my heart aches for all the wives too, because many of them suspect their MM of affairs but are just as beaten down as we all are and can't muster the strength to confront it or leave. I'm glad to know there are people like you here reading and posting, without judgment but with the honest truth.

Thanks and prayers to you! I have been there and it does get better!!!

Act your age, not your shoe size?

This is a great post and I hope it can serve as inspiration to people, men and women, who are settling for less for whatever reason. All of my contributions here lately have been to show sympathy for my fellow cheaters but to point out that there is a better world out there. That is twofold - getting out of the marriage in which cheating seemed like a good idea, and to get out of the affair that was killing the participants with all of the guilt and hurt feelings that affairs naturally produce.

There seems to be some resentment towards your post from women who insist that they are content with their OW lifestyle choice. I would never condemn the choice, having cheated myself, twice. I would question why such people would be on EP at all if they are totally ok with being on the side.

Your still the other woman.

I recently joined this site to participate in this particular forum. My relationship is a happy one, it grows and evolves each day. I can safely say that he rarely does a thing to upset me. My relationship is the most healthy one l could ever want and l do not need to find a different man to spend my life with and while we don't live "outloud" technically - l am living life, with a man l adore, who is my greatest love. The thing l have noticed is that people dont need to reach out and write as much when they are happy....its when people are sad, and if your are the type of person who is inclined to essentially blog here as a kind of therapeutic outlet you will write for feedback, seeking empathy and support - to get others opinions, to know that others would react the same way. Most people dont need opinions from others when they are happy, so maybe those stories dont get told here as much.I have also noticed that this group has over 11,000 members...granted not all would be people truly in a OW relationship, alot would be men, alot would be people rubber necking the pain and sadness....but a **** ton would be real women, in real mm/ ow relationships who are happy in their relationship and they don't feel the need to seek opinions or feedback....so they stay quiet in the shadows. Their happy stories dont get written.Not every MM/ OW relationship needs to be fixed :-) but l am most definitely happy for you lyrics, finding that great love IS amazing huh ...my mm and l know exactly how you are feeling ;-)

Such a thoughtful and helpful post, I shouldn't be surprised it's causing a few negative comments ? As here there is always someone to stir the pot.

I truly a appreciate your story of hope, for that is what it is! Day after day I read these stories too, I am one of them yet I don't feel like I am.

I understand this is about relationships, at it's core, but I do wish there was a true story of peace and happiness that didn't involve a man at all! We all want love that is why we are here writing, but I sure wish my only hope of getting over this guy wasn't in finding another one (who just happens to be single this time). Even though it's a couples world, and the human condition calls us to be in a relationship, I sure wish all these smart, self-reliant, giving women knew how much they are worth-- with or without a man!

That being said, thanks again for sharing! I hope I can relate to your post more than all the unhappy ones someday.

Well.. I'm willing to bet she has male friends. I think a woman doesn't have to have a man to be happy but she has to at least have one close male friend to be happy...

And I'm not talking about for a physical relationship or anything

I don't think I misunderstood your point.. I didn't dispute your point at all. I was just stating an observation and theory that I've established.. Which I look back now and realize that it was a little irrelevant to what you were saying. I totally agree that a woman does not need to be in a romantic relationship to be happy (which was indicated from my original post too), but I do think male friends are necessary. I totally agree that I think it makes NO SENSE to be waiting by the phone. I lived before the days of "land lines". Only a small portion of my classmates had a phone at all. So in a way I've been through that time period too. (I'm from a then-third world country.) I never understood it.

Although I agree with your story, and I'm very happy for you, finding someone to build a loving relationship with, please remember that not everyone here is the same. Although many women here are experiencing difficulties and painful experiences, not all of us are. Some of us have found what maybe an non typical relationship, but ones that are working for us.

That was beautiful, thank you for sharing your experience with us. I'm one of those who sits by the phone and waits and have stopped living. Thank you for giving me hope for the future.

Im confused you expected him not to stay with his wife whom he made a lifetime commitment and assume they live hell now. Hell she could have been drinking due to the pain of the affair you had with her husband.

I think often the OW thinks MM isn't "cheating" because the marriage is already dead. The W may not realize that and should consider it cheating, yet would decide to take him back. I think often the OW doesn't feel like she's the home wrecker because the home is already long wrecked. I don't think that's the case for you, humbled, but I think majority of them are not like your case...

Wow. This is exactly what I needed to see. Thank you for sharing.