I Had An Emotional Affair, Now It Is Over And I Am Heartbroken

Wow! I thought I was all alone and then I find this forum and see that so many people have had a similar experience. It is very helpful to hear I'm not crazy for letting this happen. It is even more helpful to hear that others who have been through it have gotten past it.

Here is my story.
I have been married 20 years. It has not been good for the last 12 years. I knew this, but also knew that I had so many other blessings in my life -- 2 wonderful children, an amazing step daughter, a great job, wonderful friends, loving extended family, my health and on and on -- that who was I to complain about the fact that my marriage hadn't turned out as I had hoped. I chose to focus on my blessings and ignore the things I could not change.
Then this summer, everything came to a head. My youngest daughter finished elementary school, my older one will be driving soon -- I could see that my ability to bury my emotional needs in my kids would be gone all too soon. Both girls started to talk more and more about boys -- and I could see the example I had set for them about what love and marriage and a husband should be was not what I wanted for them. In church my minister did a whole series on the family and how to keep it strong. I sat there week after week all by myself crying out to God, asking for more. And finally, in the middle of the summer, I was contacted through the Internet by my first love.

He was also married (we got married within 10 days of each other) with kids and a difficult marriage. He lives over 1000 miles away, so it seemed safe. It started off as old friend reconnecting. It moved on to him trying to help me with my marriage problems and providing some spirtual advice. Before we knew it there were strong feelings developing. There was flirting, but nothing over the top sexually. It was a very sweet and romantic relationship. When we went too far over the line, he tried to put it back on course. Twice it came to a head and he had long talks with his wife and came back to me to make it clear he felt committed to her. I started marriage counseling with my husband and tried to work through the problems in our marriage.
Each time he chose his family over me I was devasted, even though I knew the possiblity of us being together seemed impossible.
All the things I loved most about him -- his love for his children, his love of God, his sense of commitment and honor --- were all the same things that would keep him with her.
We agreed that we would each make our own choices about our spouses and our futures without any expectations of each other.
It was becoming clear to me through counseling that my marriage would most likely not make it.
The more certain I became, the more he seemed to push the boundaries of the impossibility of us being together.

Then over the holidays he came to my state to visit family. We met in secret for about 5 hours on New Years eve day.
It was amazing. We met in a public place. Had breakfast. Then sat in my car for hours talking about everything and nothing at all.
I've never know a man that I could talk to so easily about anything. We have common interests and beliefs and passions.
Eventually we kissed and I realized I hadn't felt that desire for anyone is many, many years.
When we said goodbye, it was painful but I fully expected to see him again.

He went back to his home state and the emails, phone calls and texts grew more intense.
He loved me. He would never leave me. I was his other half. He missed me. He needed me. He would never foresake me.
And then 2 weeks ago his wife found out.
She called me 15 times that day from 3 different phone numbers. He and I emailed back and forth all day and he professed his love for me, how he wouldn't let me go and how he had told her I was his best friend.
Then that night I got a voice message from him telling me that when he called back he wanted me to answer the phone.
I did.
He then told me I was on speaker phone and that he would never be able to talk to me again.
"He" was on our email account all night. I now know it was her reading all our emails, all my private thoughts and feelings.

The next morning he sent me a horrible email telling me he was a liar and a cheater and a thief and an adultier. He hated himself for what he had done and hoped someday to be forgiven.
I couldn't leave it at that and we had one more phone call the next day. It was so painful. I knew once we hung up the phone I would never talk to him again. It felt like he was dying. I wanted to die too.

A few days later I started sending myself emails to the account reserved for him, just so I could document the end of the journey in the same place it started. After about 17 notes, I accidently sent one to him. When I realized my mistake I sent another explaining it had been an accident and to please just delete it.
At that point he sent one last email. It was horrible. It was judgemental and mean and unforgiving. It was not the man I loved but someone who was in incredible pain and under the influence of others. It hurt me deeply.
After that he deleted his Facebook and his email account.
I didn't intend to contact him again anyway, but knowing they are gone is just another knife in the heart.

I am destroyed. I cry every day. I miss the Good Morning Sunshine notes. I miss the end of the workday recaps. I miss the Sunday afternoon phone calls. I see him and feel him and remember him everywhere I go.
I hate what happened, yet I wouldn't trade it for anything.
It woke me up. It made me realize what I have been missing all these years.

Even though he thinks the whole thing was evil and a test from God that he failed, I see it very differently.
For my husband -- God woke him up. Through my pushing, he is now becoming the father he should have been all these years. He has now started going to church again. He realizes all the damage he has done and is sorry for it. He will never be the same man.
For my friend -- God woke him up. He pushed him and his wife to the brink. My hope is this will make them realize how much they mean to each other and fix the problems in their marriage so he can have the life he always dreamed of.
For me -- God woke me up. He made me remember what it was like to be in love. He made me see what true compainonship and partnership looks like. He lit a fire under me that I need to make some changes in my life in order to have the life I'm supposed to lead.

I don't believe my marriage will survive. This affair didn't cause the problems. The problems in my marriage left the door open for this affair to happen. Unfortunatly those problems are so deep and have taken their toll for so many years I believe it is past repair.
But at least I now know what I'm looking for. That is is possible.

I'll know I've really made it the day I go to bed at night and realize I haven't thought about him once.
Unfortunatly, today is not that day.
soconfused31 soconfused31
41-45, F
13 Responses Jan 30, 2011

gosh! it's like reading something i may have written. it's hard, every day. i struggle to forget and move on, like i know he has moved on. he is committed to his wife and i wish i was as committed to my husband. i cannot get this man out of my head - he was also my first love and the man who epitomises love for me. i hope it gets better because i can't wonder like this forever surely?

This sounds like my story,, never meant for it to happen, never wanted it to happen.. now he hates me and I cry each and everyday ! thanks for sharing....

wow, <br />
<br />
I am just starting the most amazing EA and am searching already for answers. My life is in such shambles as I am only 4 months out of my husband affair, & now I am involve (EA) with another jilted spouse . I never imagine this to be the outcome of my husband affair ! <br />
<br />
I know there is a lot more heartbreak that lies ahead on this road...but hope for some joy too.

1x - It is a tangled web we weave sometimes. My EA was full of up and down (like my marriage). Seems there are a lot of folks going through this..Hope things work out for you and know you aren't alone here.

Dear soconfused31 - Thank you for your update message on March 15th. I have just be going through an end to an EA and I am completely miserable. I've been trying to read and get information on people who have/had experienced the same things to comfort me that I am not alone (though I still feel that way at times). <br />
<br />
My story is similar to yours. Been together with my husband for 29 years (22 married). We've seen A LOT of ups and downs and currently been going through a rough patch for a while..I was contacted by my first love recently. Things started off getting reconnected but eventually became more. A month into or so into things I mentioned that perhaps we were getting a bit preoccupied with each other but we just couldn't *not* keep in contact. Things came to a head recently and decisions made that he was going to try and salvage his marriage and I wasn't ready to vacate mine yet and he stated cannot have contact with me.<br />
<br />
With that said, I have been completely consumed by grief over this loss. I can't eat, I can't sleep and most of the time just do not know what to do with myself..My husband is aware of the situation and although is hurt..he is trying to console me as he sees my anguish.<br />
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I want so desperately to contact this man but I know if he truly can work things out with his wife, I need to respect that..I just feel such emptiness at not being able to communicate with him, my heart aches like I've not felt in a long, long time.<br />
<br />
I've prayed about this and hope that whatever is meant to be is meant to be and things happen for a reason..In the meantime, I just feel lost.

Hang in there. It does get better. Take it one day at a time.
And know that sometimes you may just need to cry it out.
I shed a million tears over this man, but each time it happens I come out of it a little stronger and a little more resolved to find my happiness without him.

In my own opinion, the man still loves you but because he was forced back to his comfortable existence by his wife, he had to cut ties with you. Those cruel mails and phone calls came in because he was made to do so by his wife. A man loses a lot in moving away from this "comfortable existence" same men would rather stay in bad marriages than lose that status. I take it he is being cruel to you so that you feel rejected and not contact him again. Move on, you deserve better, no one knows why our hearts love, I wish we loved with our feet so that when we run out of love, we just brush it off... take care! xx

I'm in the middle of one myself. It's beautiful, yet painful. I well understand what you are talking about. I think the best outcome is for it to lead to something, a new union when it is possible, because I don't think this happens when people are happy in their marriages.

I am in the middle of an EA right now, and the thing I fear most, is it ending and feeling the pain you felt when yours ended. I am in so deep that when I don't hear from him or he doesn't answer my text, I panic and get very upset. But, despite the pain I fear, the happiness I feel when we talk or we are together makes it worth it.

Wow! Thank you for the update. It felt good to read your words, and feel your strength and wisdom. Thank you for sharing. ~ E-Luv

It has been exactly 8 weeks since I last spoke to the man I loved and I wanted to post an update to let you know how I was doing. <br />
<br />
I still think about him every day. Once in awhile I cry. But for the most part the addiction is broken and I'm beginning to be able to look back without all the pain. <br />
<br />
I've learned some great lessons from this. Lessons I hope to share with my daughters and other women some day. <br />
I've learned there is a level of sadness I never knew existed. <br />
I've learned how strong I really am. <br />
I've learned God's will isn't always my will, but as long as I'm willing to put my faith in Him, He will see me through. <br />
<br />
I am on my way to healing. <br />
I still miss him very much, but in all honesty if he called today, I'm not sure I could talk to him. <br />
He always told me our situations were different -- I understand what that really means now. <br />
He was not ready or willing to let go of the life he has to be with me. <br />
I was. <br />
His, while not what he wanted, was not painful. It was "good enough" for him. And that is okay. <br />
Mine was painful and not good enough. I want more ... and that is okay. <br />
<br />
To anyone reading this and in the gripes of the pain ... know it does get better. <br />
Sometimes letting go is the hardest thing, but it is only in letting go that we are free to reach for the next thing. <br />
<br />
Hebrews 11:1<br />
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Mine ended alot like yours. He's with his wife and has cut off all contact. The last call I made just for and ending. He said to never call him at home again, and since that's the only number I have, that meant it's over. All I said was that's fine, but you didn't keep your promise. All I asked of him, if it came to us to stop talking, he swore he wouldn't leave me without telling me. He wasn't that kind of person. That was itl I really was not mad that he decided it was too big of risk for his family, but was disanpointed that he didn't give me an endling. I listen to this song when I'm alone in my car. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-PlAkprhvQ Maybe our hearts will mend, but our love will always be there.

It is so wonderful to know that I'm not alone. That I'm not the only woman going through this sort of thing. My details are not identical ... but, the similarities are strong enough that I am in tears.

I found this article extremly helpful. <br />
http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/04/11/12-ways-to-recover-from-an-emotional-affair/<br />
<br />
I made it through the whole day yesterday without crying once. <br />
Even more of a miracle considering we are snowed in and I don't have work as a distraction. <br />
<br />
The part in that article about approaching this whole thing as an addiction put it into a different perspective for me. <br />
<br />
First it helps me understand the triggers --- early mornings (good morning Sunshine notes), 4:00 (end of his workday wrap up note), 9:00 (time he would put his daughter to bed and send me a quick good night note), Sunday afternoons (phone call times) -- and be prepared for them. <br />
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Second it makes me realize that he was the drug I was using to offset some of the pain of my real situation. I went from years of numbness to fear of the unknown. Daily doses of him eased the fear. When they stopped I had withdraws and all the fear I "put off" came flooding back in. <br />
As the withdraw symptoms subside, I will be able to get back on track with facing the real issues at hand. <br />
<br />
Finally, letting go of an addiction … let's say beating an addiction, is an easier challenge to face than letting go of a person.

I am in tears right now as I sit waiting for "him" to send me a message. The only difference between your story and mine is that up to this point he is still in contact with me and wants to remain friends.<br />
I wouldn't change what happened to me because I too never realized what I was missing. <br />
I try everyday to be strong and not expect too much, I still get a message most mornings "Good Morning Beautiful" and in the afternoon when he wont send anything for the rest of the day "Sweetdreams" But it is not the same as it was and I feel so alone and lost with out that light.<br />
It is very comforting to know that there are others that are going through the same things and maybe in some small way we can help each other get through.