Long Term Love Affair

Sorry so long but I need to tell someone who won't judge -

I had married my high school sweetheart and stayed faithful to him for 20 years. Unfortunately he could not say the same. We had children, and I believed that this life I had would be the best I was ever entitled to.

Then 10 years ago, I changed jobs and met a man who instantly became my best friend. I'll call him "R". While of course I noticed his attractiveness, I never thought of cheating on my husband and also believed him to be uninterested in me. We worked closely together for years and got to know each other well. He was single when we met. Soon after he met a woman at his second job, they decided to marry. I thought it was too fast but it wasn't my place to deny him happiness.

Within the first year or so it seemed clear to me that things weren't going well. We would share stories of our marriages and try to figure ways to make them work. After their 2nd anniversary, he decided he wanted to divorce her and started the process, in a desperate move she got pregnant in an effort to "bring them closer". So he stayed once the baby came. He was so miserable and felt trapped. Nothing had happened between us yet.

Around the same time, my mother passed away unexpectedly and that event really changed me. I lost weight, worked hard on improving the me inside and out. It brought into sharp focus for me all the cracks in my own marriage. We'd been in counseling on and off for years (at least 8) and he was emotionally abusive to me. I decided life was too short and I filed for divorce after yet another long, unsuccessful round of counseling together and apart.

Once the divorce was underway and R standing by my side every step of the way, well, things did get out of hand and like the tired cliche "it just happened" that we became involved. At first we tried to stop, he went back into marriage counseling, and at one point we decided to end the friendship because it seemed we could no longer feel "just friends" was where we wanted to be. The counseling went badly for him and he quit after only a few sessions. I once asked him why he'd married her when he had realized so fast afterward that it was a mistake and his reply was a simple "because you are already married".

We resumed our affair after my divorce and have been steadily seeing each other since (7 years). Our relationship has grown and deepened so much over these 7 years that we've been romantic and physically connected. He helped me select my house, he does work around the house, helps me out financially when he can (I won't always accept). He is with me nearly every day for at least 3 hours, and sometimes as many as 6. He tells me that he considers this to be "our" house, and here is the only place that he feels like he can relax. He has a key and the garage code, and will even come and eat and hang out here when I'm not around. he cooks for me, we watch TV, he even watched the animals when I am out of town.

My kids are grown now, and have known him as long as I have. I've told them about us and they are fine with it - they say the see how happy I am now, and know how unhappy their Dad and I were (their Dad is still with the woman he moved into the house within a month of my moving out).

A few of my close friends know the story and are supportive, but mostly it's a secret I can't tell. I did have a period after my divorce that I dated other men as well, actually at R's encouragement since he knew I'd had very little experience dating. None of them came close to R in my mind and heart. I did get serious with one man who proposed to me, but when he did so, my only thought was "what about R?" so I knew I'd been trying to force myself to have feelings for someone when I loved another all along. It isn't "someone" that I want to go out in public with be with, etc, it's R. Only and forever R.

That experience has shown me that for me, as incredibly hard and lonely as it is to be the OW, he is the love of my soul, and I don't want another man. I'm sure some will be skeptical that he wants to leave and why he stays, but remember our beginning. He was single and I was married, and I've watched him experience it all, every single step - so I know it's the truth. All of it. I know the man he is and how he thinks. He once told me that she is his obligation and I am his heart.

I do feel that someday we will be together, in all the ways I want. It may be a while yet, the child she created to "save" the marriage is in 1st grade now. But, the time will pass slowly either way, but there is no way I want to live my life without him. He's been in it so long.

Somedays it's so very hard. But when I'm with him, when we talk, and even when we bicker, when he is here when I get home and is fixing something I didn't even know was broken, when he tells me how he feels, and mostly when he holds me in his arms, I am home.

I know this isn't everyone's story and some of you will think I'm crazy or maybe pathetic, but he is my soul.

Any advise? Thoughts? Perspective? Anything but hatred is welcome.

butterscotch66 butterscotch66 46-50 15 Responses Sep 12, 2011

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I'm a little confused about R's story. If he was filing for divorce and serious about it, why was he still having sex with his soon to be ex-wife. I also don't understand why he doesn't get a divorce now. He can still be a good father and be divorced. It sounds like he is not telling you the truth about how he feels about his wife. It does sound as if he loves you, but I don't think he is being totally honest with you.

Wow, I'm so relieved to know I'm not the only one! Your story sounds pretty much the same as mine. My love married a few years after we broke up and tracked me down in 2009. I maintained a relationship with only him for 3 years after he tracked me down, then decided I wanted to have someone else that was only mines. What a mistake!!!!! I'm now 1 1/2 years into relationship with my live in man who wants to marry me, but I'm miserable with him. The only person that makes me happy is my love. Almost 9 years later and we still know that were each other's soul mates. I'm going to end my relationship with my live in man to pursue my happiness with my married love!

I understand he holds your heart in his hands, I am in the same situation. I hope and pray it will only get better as the days go by. You love each other simple as that! Take care,
Mary Jane

Hi. I was married and have four children. I left my husband 3yrs ago. It took me great courage to leave. you see, i was a battered wife. emotionally and physically. my husband is a drug addict. a womanizer and yes, a wife beater. i endured this situation for 15yrs and i was faithful in spite of what i was going through. i never loved my husband but i was afraid of him. people ask, "then how come you had four kids?" when youre living with someone you are afraid of, there is nothing that you will not do so as not to get hurt. I was so young when i met him. we were just teenagers. I dated him even if i wasnt really fond of him just because my friends wanted me to date him. unfortunately, he got me impregnated after a month of dating him. infairness to him, he didnt leave me. He decided to stay. that's when all the beating started.

IN 2009, through a social media network, i came across my ex's account. i will call him S. S was my boyfriend before my husband came into my life. i split up with him over some petty fight. We chit chatted and laughed at our "those-were-the-days" moment.. He is also already married and have two kids. We became chatmates from then on and from there we realized we still feel something for each other. He said he looked for me and wanted to win me back but the time i split up with him, we also moved to another town. he waited and looked for me..until he learned i was already pregnant. he needed to move on.

We tried to end whatever was starting to ignite because of course we know it is not right. its not right in the eyes of the people. it isnt right in the eyes of God. but our attempts were always futile. The following year, i took courage and ran away from my abusive husband with all my children. but after a month, i needed to return the kids so as not to sacrifice their education and their lifestyle. my husband was well off while i have nothing. i looked for a job and promised my kids i will get them back..

While all of these was happening to me, i was having an affair with S. he wanted to leave his wife but i dont want him to. i cannot bear the guilt. but i know in my heart that i dont want nothing but to be with this man for the rest of my life. til the day i close my eyes eternally. i love him too much and i feel and im pretty sure that he feels the same for me.

but there are still times that i try to let go. bec people around me say it is not worth losing my soul. God is punishing me.. they say that because i am now working abroad and my ex husband is preventing my children from communicating with me.

I am going through an emotional roller coaster ride right now. S is willing to wait for me, and says when i get back he will not let me be alone. that he will stand by me and we will build a life of our own. although, i know in my heart that that is what i really want, i feel guilty and i feel that im being punished. in exchange for my happiness being with this relationship, i am not able to talk to my kids and it kills me every single time.

I need help. :(

I understand completely, I was with my partner for 6 years and had a beautiful baby boy,we got married and things were great 'the perfect family' until one day my husbands friend and I started to talk,nothing serious just general talk.I had know him for years so this wasn't strange at all! until a general talk every few days became talking every day. I had always found him attractive but never any further as it was a place I thought I would never go...but we got attached and I felt like I needed to talk to him everyday,none of our partners knew we spoke and they lived over 200 miles away. things progressed and we got closer and closer until we made the decision to got away for a night together, we had an amazing night we just had this chemistry that pulled us together,the sex was out of this world and lying in bed with my head on his chest it just felt right! but this was the start of the end of my marriage, my husband started to notice changes in my behaviour,I always wanted to look nice,started to diet and take care of myself. As the months past it was now a full blown affair,it was hard but it was like an addiction. We had planned another night away and after amazing sex lying in bed together,he opened his mouth and said 'I cant do this any more' he thought things were getting too risky and we needed to concentrate on our own lives and my failing marriage,part of me agreed but the other part felt so hurt and broken,I was a lost sole.We didn't speak for a short time but but I couldn't help how I felt,I needed him! things started to heat up again and we met up and had sex a few times,but whilst this was happening my marriage was ending my husband packed his stuff and left,I do blame myself and now my life is stuck in a situation where I need and still see the man I had an affair with but its always no strings attached! but I am now a single parent and a divorced woman. End an affair before it starts,its never going to work out good and is guaranteed to hurt people,most of all yourself! Us woman open our hearts too much and often end up with it broken!

I love your story, and I can relate more than you know. I have been the OW for almost 6 years now. We were friends first and over the course of 3 months it turned into something that neither of us expected. I hate referring to it as an affair, because it's so much more than that flimsy word. We're best friends, I've been by his side in his battles with alcoholism, and he held my hand during chemo and all the other horrors of cancer. We tell each other everything, support and encourage one another through all the highs and lows of life. Unconditional love, plain and simple. We do have a physical relationship, but it's not the focal point, it never has been, and when we're together, it's all about making love, not fulfilling some unrealistic fantasy.
I've never asked him to leave his wife, because he and I both have very strong senses of responsibility to our loved ones. I've never been married, but I'm very close to my family, and would not want to do anything to upset them.
I'm not going to lie, loving him has handed me some of the greatest emotional pain I've ever felt. I would love nothing more than to truly be his, wear his ring, bear his name, wake up with him beside me. But despite the circumstances, despite what people may think, this is the truest, deepest, most meaningful relationship I've ever been in, and despite the heartache and moral ambiguity, I can't find it in me to turn away. He and I have both tried to break this off multiple times, but we always come back to each other.
Thank you for sharing your story, it has enabled me to share mine.

I'm happy for you, but do you ever worry about his wife finding out? I had an emotional affair with my first love for about 8 months, and it ended abruptly when his wife found out. I really didn't want him to leave her, because I'm married and we're both in long time marriages. I really hope things continue to work for you, because I can tell how much you love him!

I love your story, because i know what you are going through. You are clearly both good people and willing to life your life to his obligations to his wife. He is afraid to hurt her and you are also sticking by him because you love him. Love works in mysterious ways. Now one can judge people for having feelings. Without them we are not humans. What we do right in live and what we do wrong in life just plays a role in who we end up being. Never regret your feelings. They are you. Listen to your heart and soal and act. Good luck

I have had a long distance affair with a MM for 11 years. He was separated at first as I began to fall in love with him. After a year he confessed to returning to his wife 5 months prior, my heart was broken, but I was already so into it I was willing to keep it up, It didn't matter. They live like roommates, no sex. I continued to date other men for years even as I was seeing him. I had been married for 30 years to a cheater, alcoholic, drug addict. I caught him in one final affair and that was IT. My MM is a good family man, hard worker, it's just that he and his "roommate' have nothing in common anymore. She seems to be somewhat of an agoraphobic. He doesn't support me financially, he doesn't make a big income, but he's a wonderful companion. we go on short trips, cruises, talk on the phone constantly. Had we both been single when we met, we would probably be married now and I wouldn't be this content with my life. We see each other a few weekends a month, he takes care of things around my house, visits with my other friends and family. There are many reasons why one goes outside their primary relationship, especially at our age (mid sixties). I find that I don't want a man in my place, in my face 24/7. I've enjoyed dating relationships out side my time with him, but now we are exclusive and quite happy with each other. I'm sure his roommate knows, but doesn't care as long as he fulfills his home responsibilities. I have no ill wishes toward her, would NEVER confront her or 'tell on' him. I actually think she enjoys her time alone when he's gone. It's working for us, we are a little part time family and it's good.

The fact that I have taken the time to seek out a forum where this is the topic speaks volumes to the inner turmoil I feel. I must be pulling at straws to actually be sitting here researching this. Truth is my mind is so often occupied with the details of my situation which now spans around almost 9 years or so. I met a married man at work and had an immediate connection w/him. I did not know he was married until after we had started a physical relationship. When I found out I was shocked, hurt and really angry, but ended the relationship because I felt I had no choice. We saw each other periodically at work and after months of very limited contact started emailing one another again. Fast forward, and now years later although we have only seen each other on very few occasions (I resigned from my job) we have kept in contact thru texting/email. We have a strong bond, one that neither of us will break. We are not physical anymore (I refuse to be) but none the less we are certainly in an emotional affair of the heart and I know if we were to see one another we would have a difficult time resisting. He flies to the city where I now live because of his job and although I ask him to avoid coming here I know he would come far more often if I asked him to. Here is the thing. I love him beyond measure, but I do not permit him to be a tangible part of my life, he is however a constant presence in my heart. It sounds crazy but I cant hurt his wife by sleeping w/him, I feel that to some degree I am trying to protect his wife by keeping him at a physical distance, but again, he is in my heart. This is the craziest affair that can poss be, one where we don't see each other, certainly don't sleep together but are in love none the less. We never loose contact.... and this is how I live my life.

Hi! <br />
I hope you are still together. I know exactly how it is like to be in love with a married man. I am the OW, like you. You see, people just do not understand. They blame us for having an affair with a married man. And then I ask them, who is to blame? After all, they are married and we are free. They are "commited" and expected to be faithful. Right? <br />
When my relationship with E started, I didn't think it would last. It has been 6 years! And believe it or not, I have tried breaking up several times. He keeps coming and begging for me to stay . I know he loves me. <br />
I am not sure he will ever leave his wife. He is not strong enough to confront his family, parents, aunts, cousins, daughters. He has a special daughter that needs more attention, and he is a good dad. I know he doesn't want to leave his girls. And he may also worry about what people say. In an case, I have decided to stay with him, no matter what. He is the love of my life and I am aware that the outcome might never be what I expect. It hasn't been easy for me either. I don't call him at night, sometimes he takes the annual family vacation And I get to stay here, alone...<br />
Our relationship is important for both of us. We enjoy being together, we are best friends. Sex is unbelievable. When I first met him, I could sense he was starving for love, affection and appreciation. Hard to believe in a 40 and something really handsome and successfull man. <br />
I'm sure his wife knows about us, but has decided to play blind. They allways know... <br />
I was in a bad marriage for 10 years, until one day I decided to leave. She could do the same, save her dignity, and yet has decided to stay. There are no victims in this story.

life is a complicated place. I live in a world like yours, with a best friend that I feel the same about. I am married - he is in a relationship with the mother of his 6yr old daughter. Truth is that neither of us chose our partners as a second choice. We both love our partners just as much but the relationship between us is something we never knew existed until we experienced it. <br />
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We don't have a long term plan. We hold back on a physical level but it would be naive of us to pretend we aren't what we are. 5 years is a long time and we have tried time apart and distance and all the recommendations of leave the 2nd relationship to explore the first but the reality is that although it is not the conditioned status quo of society, what is wrong with our relationship? We love each other. We honour our relationships and the commitments we made earlier to our meeting each other with sincerity and love. <br />
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We don't see each other as often as we'd like. sometimes it is 3 times a week, sometimes it is once a month. truth is no matter where he is or what is happening, I know he loves me. I know he cares about me and misses me. I also know that I am a good person who was raised to honor the commitments I make. I love. I am loved and While how I feel about him is unsaid in my home life, I am open about times I see him or spend time and my husband doesn't ask questions. <br />
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Truth is, I genuinely don't believe that there should be no secrets in a relationship, I believe privacy and trust are big things. I trust my husband that his secrets are for the best of his personal self and ask only that he tell me if he no longer loves me. I give the same in return.<br />
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There may come a time when our marriage no longer works and there may come a time when our time together may not have to end but realistically, impatience will only speed up irrelevant decisions, that are un nessersary for us to make at the moment. I honor the physical aspects of my marriage by not having sexual relations with my best friend, but I do kiss him. We have a beautifully intimate relationship where a touch is appreciated fully and it is as deep as it could be even if we were sexual. Communication is the focus. Where as my home life is a fun younger relationship ba<x>sed on sexuality for intimacy, he is less skilled at communication but is a very kind loving man as well. <br />
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I just consider that at this moment in my life, I am very blessed. People will judge heavily, and have in the past but this is my life. I don't judge the illusion that is your marriage don't judge mine just because it scares you. My truth is my own and I have learned to love and accept love in return. I call that blessed.

Life is a complicated series of circumstances and decisions that lead us down the paths we live.<br />
You and I are in similar situations. My high school sweet heart and I were married for 22 years. During those years, the relationship that was thought to be ideal, fell completley apart, with him having multiple affairs. I stayed with him for several loveless, sexless years to attempt to have an intact home life for our children. When this became too difficult, I finally left the marriage.<br />
During those final years, by chance, I met a man. We have been seeing one another for 6 years, with each of us pulling away only to come back to one another. The emotional connection that we feel for one another is beyond anything that can be put into words.Yes, he is married. He has struggled with leaving many times, before we met, but due to his strong obligations as a father, has many internal struggles with this. He encourages me to date, and get on with on my life. <br />
Funny thing is, I have no interest in dating. I know there is no one that will even come close to the way I feel for him. <br />
There are many strugles: I struggle with having an affair with a married man as this is one of the many things that led to the distruction of my marriage; Is this relationship causing more trouble in his married relationship?; Am I causing pain to not only myslef, his wife, but also his children?<br />
Is the feeling of complete, utter peace, feeling of oneness, being grounded, at home, safety, love in his arms worth all of this?<br />
All of the daily internal struggles of a redheaded woman.

What some people never have and never will understand because they have never been where you are is that...some time two people find each other and they truly are soul mates...It isn't always perfect because you may meet this person while you or he or you both are married to other people. You know when you heart belongs to someone and some times there just isn't a damn thing you can do about it.....It's just the way it is....No one can understand what is in your heart and his heart except the two of you...Yes ideally he should leave but life isn't always black and white...Good Luck with everything.

I admire you for getting out of your marriage , that is such a brave step. Yes its wrong having an affair but until it happens to you no one should judge you . I am in the same situation . You and he have been together a long time , does he ever say he will eventually leave? How long do you think you can carry on in this situation? It sounds like many people and close family are aware of your relationship so whats stopping him taking that final step to be with you? Most woman get too attached and start pushing for the man to leave , have you never got like that ? i have only been in my affair 9 months now and i am far too attached and pushy!