My Online Love Affair And Subsequent Broken Heart

This is my second draft of my story. So much has happened in the past 18 months with this man (I'll call him John) and now I'm left heartbroken, lost and lonely. I don't now where to go from here in terms of my life and this relationship.

I guess I'm hoping that, in writing this, it will help me gain some closure and maybe if anyone comments, I will gain a different view point or some advice. It's a pretty long story (I apologise in advance!) but here goes...

To begin with, I feel like I should tell you a little about myself. Until recently, I was in a 8 year relationship with the father of my 2 children, (I'll call him Alan). Our relationship was, for the most part, ok. I met him when I was quite young and there was almost 6 years between us. As I hit 30, I began to see big differences in us as individuals and began to wonder if this man was really the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. However, I didn't go looking for an affair. I loathed listening to friends/collegues stories of infidelity, mostly because it seemed like a whole lot of drama, after which everyone went back to their partners or ended up divorced and kicking themselves over what they threw away for a fling. My relationship with Alan wasn't great but I never felt bored enough to go looking elsewhere.

In July 2011, I had recently begun playing a word game app on my Iphone and had signed upto their Facebook page to find other people to play. This was how I met John. John had seen me on the Facebook page and requested to play a game. He was 35 (I was 30) and lived in the USA, whereas I live in the UK. We played a couple of games and made polite chit chat on the text board that went with the game. He was married to 'Mel' who he'd met when he was 16 and they had 2 children together.
We seemed to click immediately. He was funny and got my slightly dry and sarcastic sense of humour. It was odd how easy it was to converse with him. It felt like we had met years before and had just picked up the conversation as if no time had passed at all!
After a short while of talking and playing, he suggested we find each other on Facebook. I was surprised when I saw him, because he was exactly my type. Tall, broad, dark eyes and lovely smile. At this point, there was no flirting as such. It was mostly friendly chat, we both knew the other was in a relationship.

John mostly suggested moving onto different platforms to keep us in touch and after Facebook, he suggested we text via Skype. It was during our first conversation on this that he mentioned being unhappy in his marriage. Unsure if Mel was the person he wanted to be with and said there were times when he felt like he needed to take some time away or go to therapy to sort his head/heart out. We spoke about it and many other topics and before long our conversation took a flirty tone as we realised that we were developing feelings for each other. John suggested we video chat via Skype one night I was alone (my ex was away with the children overnight). I asked John what Mel would think about this if she knew and he replied that she wouldn't like it and didn't know about his online 'life'.
I was nervous about doing a web chat with him. I'm a confident woman, but didn't want to get into a situation where he would expect some sort of peep show! However, I needn't have worried. During our first video chat, we spoke for 3 hours and spent alot of time just staring at each other!
I went to bed that night amazed and feeling like a teenager and woke to messages from John telling me he couldnt stop thinking about me. He called me later the next day and every day after that...

You may be wondering how John and I were able to carry this out. John worked a job that saw him working 5/6 days a week, each day was a long 12-14 hours with alot of time to himself. His home life always seemed odd to me. He slept on the sofa in the basement or with the kids in their beds, while Mel slept in their bed. When I asked him about this, he said his bed was uncomfortable. I always thought that was an odd response because why didn't they just buy a new bed?
I managed to do this because, to put it bluntly, Alan trusted me. He knew my views on infidelity and always believed me when I said I was just texting various friends. We only spoke or video chatted when Alan wasn't home.(Alans job also meant he was away from our home during the week, returning on Friday nights). But John had no issue with doing this in the basement while Mel slept upstairs. Obviously, I still made time for work and my children, but any spare time I had outside of that was majoritively spent talking to John or about John to my best friend, who didn't agree with this situation but who could see how I felt and how happy he made me.

We very quickly built up this little world for he and I. We began texting through Whatsapp, so we could exchange pictures etc. Every day our routine was as follows: 6am (my time)/1am (Johns time) - We would vid chat on Skype for a couple of hours. 2pm/9am - We would talk on the phone as John drove to work. We constantly texted and spoke throughout our day. We never went more than 2 hours without talking to each other.
I know it sounds very intense but how we felt about each other was something we had never felt for anyone before, including Mel and Alan. We couldn't get enough of each other and missed each other terribly when we couldn't talk.

We spoke about everything in our lives and were open with each other about how we felt. I find it difficult to put into words how strongly we felt. It was like falling in love with someone for the very first time in your life.
And before long, we realised we had fallen in love.

We did used to sit and discuss how odd our situation was. How could you fall in love with someone you haven't physically met before? We weren't naive people. In fact, when it comes to relationships, I'm pretty straightforward and realistic.
John and I even wondered if we had been together in some previous life! It really felt like we had known each other before and were lucky enough to have found each other again. I think there is a part of me that truely believes that. We found ways to make us feel as close as possible. We sent songs and playlists via Dropbox to each other. Sent parcels and gifts to our work addresses. When we spoke, it genuinely felt like he was coming home to me at the end of his day.

So, this was how we carried on for the first 6 months. I basically withdrew into my phone and into our little world. I spent day and night grinning into my phone, taking it everywhere with me. I felt great about myself, lost weight, was always happy! Friends and family were suspicious that something was going on but no one confronted me apart from the odd comment.

During our conversations, I asked John if he had been unfaithful before. He was honest and said he had "cheated some" on Mel and had previously met another woman for a one night stand that he met online. This didn't upset me or make me jealous, but I did wonder if he was doing this with other women at the same time as carrying out our affair. He assured me that there was no one else and he and I being together was all he wanted. He wanted to be with me and it was around that time we began making plans to meet. Plus, the amount of time we spent together, there was no more time for anyone else.

Towards the end of 2011, John had the chance to join a work colleague on a job in the UK, in a city just two hours away from where I lived. We were so excited, hotels and flights were booked and I told Alan I was going away for a girls weekend. We planned to meet at the beginning of January 2012 and spend Friday to Monday together.

Then, just like something out of a bad soap opera, on Christmas Eve, Mel found emails between John and myself including pictures I had sent him. Everything came crashing down. He sent me a text telling me she had found them and was going crazy. I was so worried for him. Imagining him spending Christmas morning, alone, in some hotel. On top of this, I was heartbroken that our affair was over and spent most of Christmas Day fighting tears. I didn't expect to hear from him again. It was at this point, I foolishly confided in my sister about what was going on. She had nagged me for months about who I was having an affair with, saying it was obvious I was etc. I came clean as she could see I was upset about something. She was gobsmacked but said to me "It's over and was never real to begin with. you need to forget him and move on".

Then on the 28th December, he contacted me. He said he wanted to work on his marriage and Mel and he were going to marriage counselling and he had also agreed to go to one on one therapy to try and figure out why he cheated. (Johns parents had divorced when he was 12 and hated the idea of his kids growing up with a him being a part time dad. I used to find this statement conflicted with his life, as he chose to work such long hours and so many days of the week).
We said our goodbyes, during which there were huge amounts of tears. He said he would always love me and didn't want to lose me. During this goodbye, John then asked me to "wait" for him, until things settled down. The idea of not having each other in our lives was unbearable.

So, John and I got sneakier. We didn't Skype for 3/4 months, but we created a joint email account through which we conversed. Sending emails and pictures on an increasing scale. We missed each other but I was happy just having him in my life still.

Things with Alan and I however, had deteriorated. We grew further and further apart. Telling my sister (who is 30 and married) on Christmas Day was an awful idea also. She began watching me like a hawk and got increasingly angry over what I had done. To this day I'm not sure of the reasons why. She has never liked Alan and always thought I could do better. But you would think she was the spurned wife.
She began trying to contact John through his Facebook page, demanding to talk to him about what had happened. When John didn't respond, she started threatening to contacting and telling Mel. She also took to posting things on his Twitter page, calling him all sorts of names, sleazy online pervert and a cheat etc.
On top of this, she involved my parents. Filling them in on everything.
I still feel so angry about this and these actions have changed my relationship with my family and espcially my sister, forever. (I am no longer as close with them and they are constantly suspicious of what I'm doing and who with.) My Mum thought I was in need of protection from this online predator!
I felt like I was 14 years old. No one stopped and thought "wait! she's 31 and responsible for her own actions!"

Inevitably, all this got back to Alan. My mum called me one night and was screaming down the phone "You think you are in love with some sleaze..." and he overheard her.
Alan was completely devastated and so was I. I saw how selfish I had been acting just by the look on his face. He wanted to leave but I begged him to stay, saying I would stop talking to John and concentrate on our relationship.

So, for a short time, Alan and I focused on being a couple again. I spoke to John via email but not as regularly as before. Alan and I tried to make things work, but he was too angry about the affair and I just didn't love him anymore. We split in August 2012. Meanwhile John and Mel were still together. They had stopped going to marriage counselling but John was still going to his one on one therapy. He toyed with the idea of moving out into his own place and got as far as telling Mel this, but never actually did it. He said the timing was bad as the kids were starting school, it was their birthday etc.
I used to get frustrated with this, as nothing in his situation was changing, whereas my whole life was turned upside down. Mel had no idea we were still in touch, not that it ever occured to me to tell her. But when John and I would discuss his situation, he would always say he was staying for "the kids" and if they weren't around, he would have left to be with me long ago...

John and I had increased our contact and were back to constant skype calls, vidchats and texting. John also brought up wanting to meet again and arranged to visit me in September 2012. He told Mel he was going to stay with friends in London for the weekend, instead flying up to stay with me in a hotel. Mel didn't seem to question this trip until the day John was due to fly.
I think, looking back, it was probably because she didn't expect him to go. John has a track record of talking about doing things (like moving out!) but not actually going through with it.
It was touch and go whether he was going to come. Mel knew my name and that I came from the UK. John said she accused him of coming to meet someone here and demanded to know what was going on. That's all I know of that situation, but John came over, arriving here on the Saturday morning and flying home on the Monday lunchtime.

Our time together was short but amazing. We mostly stayed in the hotel room eating and being together. But we did venture out for walks and dinner. The sex was intense and exciting. We had had a huge build up to this moment, which can sometimes result in a big let down, but we were matched perfectly in this department and it felt like we had been together for years and knew each others bodies and responses well.
We didn't talk about our future while he was here. We had agreed previously that we just wanted to concentrate on being together and not to get bogged down and upset having big conversations about things we can't change.

When he left, it was so hard saying goodbye. He told me he loved me and didn't want to leave and I sobbed and said I wanted him to stay.
When he was in the departure lounge, he called me (I was driving home) and we both just cried and said our "I love you's". It was another difficult goodbye for us and I was so sad to see him leave.
If I'm honest, I expected us to meet, then once John went back home, we would just naturally drift apart. our curiousity sated. But, it was the opposite. We carried on as before. I was single now and there were times when John would get upset and jealous when I was out with friends. He wanted to be here, but was torn because he wanted to be a good parent also.

In November, John told me he wanted to come over to spend proper time with me as a couple. He had discussed this with his therapist and realised he wasn't happy at home. He was going to tell Mel he was moving out between Christmas and New Year. Then he was coming to spend time here with me at my home in January. To say I was excited was an understatement. It felt like, finally we were making some progress.
We decided he would come here, then I would visit him and we would see how things went. We did discuss the future, he asked me if I would move with my children to be with him. I told him I would if I felt I was moving for something solid. I wouldn't upsticks to be a girl on the side for him.

During our relationship, John had spoken to a couple of my close friends who knew about us. John also had two friends that knew and I had spoken to them very briefly. I mention this because he always wanted to be involved in all aspects of my life. He sent toys for my children, (they didn't know about any of this, mostly because they are still quite young), he sent my best friend a couple of packages via me etc. He sent me flowers constantly and always asked if guests had noticed the flowers, what had they said? Did they know who they were from? It was as though he wanted to people to know we were involved and that his presence here was strong. If I had a problem, he always offered to help, send money etc. I never accepted however. I didn't want to be seen as any sort of gold digger or to feel like I was being 'bought'. But I know it concerned him to see me struggle.
Financially, John and I were very different. He ran his own company on the side of his job and was wealthy. I am a single mother with two small children and work part time.

So....plans were made again for him to fly here. He would fly here and we would stay here for a few days at my home, then spend the weekend in the same lovely hotel as his last visit as it coincided with my birthday. All in all he would be here a week. (My children weren't meeting him. They were staying with their Dad during this time as it was school holidays here).
The only factor that worried me was telling my family John was coming here. We all live in the same small town and it would be impossible avoiding each other. Also, I had told them months previously that John and I were no longer in contact. But John and I discussed this and I felt optimistic that telling them would go well. As John pointed out, he would be separated, I was single. We weren't hurting anyone. We had spent time apart and had decided to try and make this relationship work.
John wanted me to tell them at the same time he told Mel he was moving out, but something inside me held back and I decided not to tell them until I knew he was on the plane coming over here. I just didn't want to jinx anything and give my sister the chance to crow about it, if for any reason, John didn't come. Also, I think I was scared that he might not come. I have mentioned his track record and I guess at heart, I am a slight pessimist.

The run upto his flight (which was on Jan 3rd), was busy for both of us. Christmas, New Year, Work and Family kept us both busy, but we spoke as much as we could and true to his word, John told Mel he was moving out and that he was visiting the UK for a week after New Year. We didn't discuss Mels reaction much, but he said it went well and he felt positive about the road he was on.
I had concerns however. The whole point of us doing this was so we could be honest and up front and not have to worry about lies and what people would think/find out etc. but when John came here, he would still be living at home as there wasn't enough time to move out and find somewhere else to live. When I brought this to his attention, he assured me that he knew what he had to do and was working on it as best as he could.
I listened and believed him. He had never let me down before with so much as a missed phone call and I knew he wanted this as badly as I did.

I spent New Year with my family, my aunty Grace and her family to be precise. Grace and I had always been close and she was often the one I turned to for advice when I was growing up. I hadn't told her about John and I, but when I go there, I felt great that we were getting our chance and told her our story. She was excited and happy for us. John was excited too, I think mostly because it was a member of my family that accepted us. He asked to speak to her on New Years Eve when he called and suggested we meet her while he was staying here. Grace thought he sounded "lovely".

The last phone conversation we had was on New Years Day. He was still living at home with Mel, but was excited to be coming here and told me he couldn't wait to spend time as a couple, lie together with me and he loved me. His fight left at 5pm his time on the 2nd Jan. I had decided what I was going to tell my parents and sister and were on the countdown to him being here. During our last text conversation, he said that he was all packed and "psyched!!" and was going to bed as he was shot.

On the morning of the 2nd, it all came crashing down. He text me to say we needed to talk and I knew instantly what that meant. He said that the night before he had spoken with his Dad and had told him everything. About us, our situation, our plans etc. He also spoke about when his parents divorced and how it felt as a kid being left by his Dad and how badly he missed him.
This had helped him decide that he wasn't now coming over. He didn't want to be a "part time Dad" or live alone. He needed to make his marriage work.

I was utterly devastated. I begged him to change his mind, then realised that I was begging someone to leave their kids. There was nothing I could do but accept it. I told him he had broken my heart and that we had to say goodbye.
He called me and sounded sad but not upset. I was in tears and in shock. He told me he would still pay for the hotel and that I should go and stay with my best friend. He apologised over and over and said he felt awful for doing this so close to him being here. He said he would always love me and would be thinking of me.
I kept the conversation short as I couldn't think of anything to say to him. I was in bits.

I spent the next 24hrs in shock. I didn't know what to do, how to feel. It was all so abrupt. He contacted me the next day to say he felt awful about what he had done and that he loved and missed me like crazy and again on my birthday to ask if I was taking the hotel. He said again he loved me and couldn't believe what he had done. I told him he needed to stick to his decision and focus on his family.
He said he wasn't deleting my number and that he would still check into Whatsapp regularly (they have a "last seen at ..." header. This was our way of letting each other know we were ok and thinking about the other), but wouldn't text as it was "too hard".
My birthday was spent with a friend at the hotel for just one night of the three booked. I got drunk and tried not to cry all night. When I returned home, I found he had sent flowers with the card "Your love lights up my life like the sun in the sky". When I contacted him and asked why he had sent them, he said "I couldn't not send anything".

That was two weeks ago. We are still checking in regularly on Whatsapp and have text a couple of times. He says he cannot stop thinking about me, he loves me and spends his time constantly thinking about what am I doing/feeling/wearing etc. He has said he needs this time to see if he really wants to be at home and that it will be like this for a little while and he'll be "sorted after time apart". He asked that I give him time as that's what he needs to figure out his future.
I haven't asked anything of him and feel like his tune has changed from his initial goodbye. It sounds like he is expecting to have a break then pick up where we left off but I find that hard to believe. I haven't asked him because I refuse to give him any more power, but I think even giving me that hint of hope is an awful thing to do if he knows he has no intention of follwoing through.

It feels like he has died. To go from being in each others lives constantly to absolutely nothing. Knowing we won't have time together again or talk again. It's unbearable. I miss him terribly and feel completely lost in my life.
This man came into my life and made a place, promised to be here and never wanted to leave. Built us up and made plans with me. It felt like we were working towards a future together, then just dropped me from a great height. We went through so much to stay together and this was supposed to be our time.

I don't feel angry, maybe I will later. Right now I'm sinking into this hole of grief despite my best efforts. Each day I tell myself I need to stop checking into Whatsapp as I'm still giving him something he needs from me, whereas I'm getting nothing from him, but I can't.
I want to forget him and move on but am terrified to lose him and for him to forget me. I just feel like I'm drifting. I hate being at home as I decorated the place for him visiting and everywhere I go is a big reminder of him and a happier me. The other day I just got in the car and drove and drove..

I know there will be many of you that feel I deserve everything I got. I had an affair with a married man and have caused upset and heartache. But I am suffering and I just don't where to go from here. I have thought about letting him know how I'm feeling and asking for clarification on what he meant when he asked me to give him time. It's only my pride stopping me though so far.

I just miss him and have no idea how to get past this. If anyone has advice or comments please post. Thank you for reading.

MissCharlotte MissCharlotte
31-35, F
4 Responses Jan 15, 2013

I advice you to cut the connection. Take time away from the internet if posible. Work on yourself and relationships whether friends or more offline. I had a man I loved and never got to be with much in life. I cried so much. He got sick and passed. I will never completely forget him. He lives in my soul. I have someone else now.

Are u interested in cybersex?

I completely understand. I once went through a very similar situation myself. At the time, I thought I was a little naive and I think maybe, if you are honest with yourself you probably have been a little naive too. Love is blind and when you fall, you can really fall and all sense of reality and logic can fly out of that window that he or she has just opened.
It might sound like a cliché but what you need is to be strong, you need time and you need friends. Be very careful because I would suspect his return is very likely. Encase your heart in lead for a while don’t let him hurt you again. If he really truly loved you, he’d be with you.

If you need a friend on here, you have one. x

I just read your story and I do know how much you're hurting. I broke off a 7 year relationship over a year ago....but I had been divorced for over 20 years and he was a widower. I know how you're hurting because I too built my whole life around this man for 7 years and I just got totally bored with it even though I did love him. After I broke up with him, I realized I had NOT built a life for ME....just around him and that is just what you did. You built your life around this man even though you were both in different countries.

The only thing I can say to you is you need LOTS of time to get over this. I'm still not completely over my relationship but I'm much better. I went into a very deep black hole after my breakup and am just getting out of it little by little the last few months. A HUGE help for me was getting a dog. I got my dog in September 2011 and broke off my relationship in November....just 2 months later.

I don't have answers for you....just give yourself time and work on YOU. I'm still sort of isolating myself and haven't gotten the nerve to make new friends yet....don't really know how. My kids are grown and I have grandchildren AND 3 great grandchildren.

One thing I will NOT do is try to find someone online. This is just my opinion, but NOTHING.....and I do mean NOTHING usually comes from infidelity. I'm ashamed to say I had several affairs when I was married at 14 and was married for 23 years....and thought I was in love EVERY TIME!!

I know you "think" you loved this man....and you probably did and do....but I think (again my opinion from experience) it's the excitement, newness and the break from boredom in your marriage that made it feel like "real love". That's what I felt when I had an affair. I was content in my marriage for....oh, maybe about 15 years....then it seemed I was ONLY happy in my marriage when I was in an affair. But in looking back, I know it was only the excitement and newness that I craved. It was never "real love". I'm even wondering now if I really loved the man I broke up with last year....not sure if I even know what "real love" is.

So, I won't write a book here for you....but, just give yourself LOTS of time and make a REAL break from all of this and make a real, new and constructive way for your life to go. Good luck to a LOT of books. I read a few that helped me a lot. "How To Get Over A Breakup" and lots of others will help. Do a search on for books like these or a Google search for books on breakups. They can help a lot. Again, good luck to you!!