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Discussion Starter #1
Well...it's a big day for me here on TAM; got my first PM today, and started my first thread here :D

But more significantly...its my 30th wedding anniversary....and it may not have happened if I had not stumbled across TAM. I owe so much to both the Betrayed Spouses, as well as the Wayward Spouses, who have been willing to share their pain, suffering and struggles as they deal with the aftermath of an affair.

Almost three years ago I (then 55) started a close and complicated friendship with a young single mom (27) who was previously a casual acquaintance, as well as her live in boyfriend (32). Mostly drinks and dinner, and sitting at her house drinking waaaay too much beer with the boyfriend. Unfortunately, I developed an inappropriate friendship with the girl, for a whole host of reasons; a lot of it was due to her financial distress because of a period of unemployment on her part, and the boyfriend's refusal to see the situation and continuing to spend every dollar available. For the first several months of helping her I was actually the only person who knew how bad it had gotten, and I kept her from being foreclosed on several times. I also had a lot of sympathy/concern for her due to past abuse from both her mom and her ex-husband, who actually shopped her around for sex with other guys...the now boyfriend was one of those guys.

Yea, basically I was the White Knight and she was my Damsel In Distress. The time we spent together (lunches several times a week), the shared emotions, and the overall (initial) secrecy changed a true friendship into one that was inappropriate and too intense, and that stressed out everyone around us. By the end we constantly balanced on the razor's edge between an inappropriate friendship and an EA/PA (with us, the two would have gone hand in hand quickly). But we are both decent people and knew at some level that this was something we could just not allow. Because of circumstances, it was really up to me to make the break between me and the two of them. I started a somewhat soft No Contact with them a little over a year ago, and a very hard No Contact about 4 months ago.

This has really been a pretty constant struggle for me, and I use TAM to keep me reminded of how much pain I would cause my wife and boys if I did not stay away from this young couple, and also how much pain I would put myself through if I could not stay away from this inappropriate friendship that I wanted so badly to maintain. So, truth be told, I have spent 1 to 2 hours daily for over the past year reading about the suffering of others, to convince myself not to cause that type of suffering to myself and those around me...sucks to have to publicly admit that.

For all of us WS and BS on TAM....we all post here to gain insight into our situations, and to try to help other posters with their struggles. But I think we all sometimes forget to realize that the influence of folks posting here goes far beyond our registered community. There are certainly many many lurkers, who like me until recently, just read what is being posted. I am just as certain that many relationships are affected in a good way from this, from tempted spouses deciding to not stray, to WS choosing to end affairs. I salute all of the TAM posters! (even those I don't agree with) :)

Even though most on this site do not really know much about me, I have spent so much time on TAM that I sometimes feel a true relationship with individuals.....feeling happy when things go well, distress when relationships end badly. And for a few of you, I hold my breath as your uncertain situations continue to evolve. And I will always feel a sense of loss for someone I felt true close empathy with, HerToo, whose struggles and sad ending really hurt me.

I hope everyone has a great and wonderous day......John...the old guy in Missouri.
 

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Congratulations on reaching such an incredible milestone! Happy 30th wedding anniversary to you and your wife..... I have become a firm believer that marriages can indeed thrive after an affair. Never because of the affair, but in spite of the affair, if there is love, the ability to forgive and accept forgiveness, and the willingness to do the hard work repairing yourself and the marriage is what both spouses truly desire. Happy anniversary, John!
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Happy anniversary!
It's mine today too. 19 years for us. We very nearly didn't make it, but we are well in the way to healing and building a happier future.
Well done in stepping back when you did. You truly did the right thing.
Cheers!
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From another old guy...well said John.Congratulations to you both on your anniversary and wishing you many,many more!
 
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daisygirl,happy anniversary to you also and you sound like you're preparing well for many more!
 
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
...thanks for all of the kind thoughts.......last night Linda and I went to a charity dinner down in KC at a food pantry/kitchen as part of our way to celebrate.....had burnt end chili and cheesecake from the cheesecake factory...very nice stuff. Plus they had a few players from the KC Chiefs 1970 superbowl winning team...very relaxed setting, and got bunches of autographs and the chance to really chat with Len Dawson, Jan Stenerud and Jim Lynch (all of the signed stuff is for my two boys and a good friend since I don't collect this type of stuff).

And now back to the serious; even though me and my inappropriate friend seemed to always stay on the razor's edge, away from a full ea/pa......this type of situation always takes its toll.......for me it was clearly resulting in the start of me detaching emotionally from my spouse....once started, this is tough to reverse. So for those hearing a spouse defending a friendship that you strongly feel is inappropriate...do not let it go......it does not get better on its own...trust me.

and full and hard non contact is essential, even for an inappropriate friendship.......it would take so little for her and I to re engage and cross over that ea/pa line if we were to stay in touch. It is simply not possible to remain "just friends"
 
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