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Waking Up

I had an affair with a man who was, at the time, a coworker from another state. We fell in love hard and quickly, and to this day he is the man that truly has my heart. I had issues in my marriage like everyone does, but the problem (for lack of a better word) was that love was not one of them. My husband is a great man, and I can't imagine loving someone more than I love him, or than he loves me. Not to get into it all here, but our love is not an intimate one, and our relationship is devoid of any kind of sexuality. My marriage is not healthy, but that doesn't make it any less loving and the idea of ending it tore me apart and I knew I could never do it.

The problem always was, I was -and still am- completely in love with this other man. No one I've ever met and nothing in this world could make me feel as happy and as healthy as just talking to him could.

I tried to end it a million times but I was never as strong in my conviction as I'd like to have been. In my heart, it was as if I felt the memory of past lives with him and every wish I ever had throughout a lonely and somewhat difficult life seemed to be answered by him. He was my best friend, a relationship I'd always yearned for and never quite found in anyone. But I still couldn't leave my husband, who is the most special person I've ever known. It wasn't his fault I found my soulmate now, and my husband too loves me in a way I've never been loved before and have always wanted. Perhaps not the way a man should love his wife but that doesn't negate the beauty of that love.

Over the last two years, (three years since our affair began), my friend and I have gone from having a pseudo relationship (our frequent work travels allowed us to, at one point, spend more time together than with our spouses) to, at the last time we were together, having what can't be described any differently than 'an affair'. It is not our feelings that changed, but rather the circumstances. We don't work together anymore and so the only chance to see each other is when I travel to his city, and there we can share a few stolen moments in my hotel room. It is nothing like what we used to be and really brought home to me the need to do do what I believed was right - to end it with him. He wanted us to be together, to start anew, and I dragged our beautiful love into the deep mud of an affair instead. It wasn't meant to be that way.

Its been about 4-5 months now since we've 'been together' or had any significant communication. I recently traveled to his city and for the first time, didn't contact him at all. I got through my business trip and went home without him knowing I was there.

Our relationship feels like a dream to me - like a beautiful dream that was far better than my reality. And the last three years, I've been sleeping way too much trying to chase that dream, to wrap myself inside of a world where everything is how it should have been. But unfortunately, you can't always pull your dreams into reality, they often get lost in translation, which is what my heart always told me would be the case here. So for the first time in three years, I chose to stay awake.

The problem is, staying awake hasn't resulted in the strength of the dream diminishing. I am haunted by a true love that will never be and the pain of wanting something that I can't hold, the pain of chasing a dream that will never materialize. I am so afraid that I will always feel this way.
IJustWantYouToKnowWhoIAm IJustWantYouToKnowWhoIAm 31-35, F 3 Responses Jan 19, 2013

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The fact that you went to his city and never contacted him means you have moved on in a big way!. It takes time IJust, it's such a strong bond, because an affair relationship doesn't really develop all our personality facets and we can only show our deepest caring and giving through the physical side which is our deepest, so healing from that takes intense work.
I feel it too, it's like having been in a different world which was complimentary to the world we live in, but now we're back to having only this one. It may seem lacking for a while, but I'm sure that with time the feelings will calm down and you reconnect with who YOU are.... Unfortunately you have to live for a while, develop your interests, have a lot of shared activities and social events with your H, to try and make that bond strong again. Try and calmly savor what you DO have with him. You obviously adore him or you would have left three years ago.
I realize that when we share intimacies with someone other than our partners, we break a private and intimate circle that takes a long time to rebuild, wether the partner knows about it or not. In your case it's in YOUR hands and some therapy might help. If you want it back, it will be yours again. If you have doubts, discuss your marriage with your H and see what his view is on how to strengthen it.

So true m. We do only show our deepest emotions.

Hard to say where do go from here. Just take thing slowly. Only time will tell what will happen.You need to walk your own path. Take some time away for your self,away from hubby and the friend.

For god's sake, seek a therapist. You want it to end for ever?? Tell your husband, see him suffer, cry and crawl in agony. He you really love him, you will stop the affair after seeing how much pain you caused him. I am sorry for blunt response but after 8 years of discovering affair of my wife, I still have nightmares sometime. Though the flashbacks are very less and I bring the topic back about once in 4-5 months. Do not confess though if you don't have a child. kids are a big catalyst for marriage to survive after an affair. God bless, you'll need it.

Well, I'm very sorry for your pain but your response is obviously about you and has nothing to do with responding to me, nor is it in any way helpful. I clearly stated that my affair was over and I never indicated I was considering confessing. I have to question your advice to confess in order to be able to see how bad it hurts my husband and that will motivate me to end my (already ended) affair...that seems very strange to me, that you would find the need to see others pain in order to motivate self growth.

Thanks for the 'God bless'. I hope you too find your way out of your own darkness and can find yourself in peace one day. Kids may be the reason why some marriages don't end despite an affair (yours included?) but they certainly don't meed the marriage survived. A marriage should connote a certain type of relationship. Perhaps you should consider whether or not yours is that. You deserve true happiness, as does your wife, in your relationship. Its never too late to find happiness and nightmares, flashbacks, and constant rehashing of the past don't sound overly happy to me.