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I don't know exactly why I'm posting here, just have a lot on my mind and no one I can say some of this to. I have been married 20 years, husband always a distant sort of person, spent a lot of time working and then playing video games half the night. This got worse and worse over the last 5 years or so. I thought about leaving the marriage many times. 2 of our 3 kids have chronic medical problems and need a lot of attention and worry, so there hasn't been anything fun or enjoyable or anything to look forward to for a long time. In August, I posted an ad on an erotic pen pal website and started emailing a guy I met there. That was the beginning. Over the next few weeks, I got more and more sucked in, not only for the sexual talk, but for the conversation and the feeling of having some intrigue and excitement. I had one significant, month-long correspondence with one particular guy. I eventually started live chatting and even a couple of phone sex encounters. I never planned or wanted to meet anyone, never exchanged pictures or saw anyone, only voice and text.
After 2 months, in a fight with husband, I told him what had been going on. He freaked out (understandably) and we spent most of two weeks talking and crying, starting MC, and trying to move on. We both want to stay married. I have closed all email accounts except for my main one, he has passwords and permission to look through any of my communications, I apologize frequently and try to show my remorse with every interaction.
Things are really good right now, it was a huge wake-up call to both of us, that we either need to really be present in the marriage or end it. But, I miss the one EA! I am so sad to have had to end the conversation. I emailed him, with husband watching, at D day to say that I was ending it to preserve the marriage, and that he should close the email he was using, as did I, to avoid temptation. He did. So it would be very hard to find him again, although possible, if i put my mind to it. Husband has made it clear that it can never happen again, ever, or he will leave.
Anyone been in my shoes? Trying to resist the pull of the internet? I am so embarrassed and ashamed of what i did and that husband was able to find and read most of it. I know how much i betrayed him and feel terrible. He is taking some responsibility for some of the problems in the marriage that contributed to the hostility and loneliness I felt.
 

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I don't know exactly why I'm posting here, just have a lot on my mind and no one I can say some of this to. I have been married 20 years, husband always a distant sort of person, spent a lot of time working and then playing video games half the night. This got worse and worse over the last 5 years or so. I thought about leaving the marriage many times. 2 of our 3 kids have chronic medical problems and need a lot of attention and worry, so there hasn't been anything fun or enjoyable or anything to look forward to for a long time. In August, I posted an ad on an erotic pen pal website and started emailing a guy I met there. That was the beginning. Over the next few weeks, I got more and more sucked in, not only for the sexual talk, but for the conversation and the feeling of having some intrigue and excitement. I had one significant, month-long correspondence with one particular guy. I eventually started live chatting and even a couple of phone sex encounters. I never planned or wanted to meet anyone, never exchanged pictures or saw anyone, only voice and text.
After 2 months, in a fight with husband, I told him what had been going on. He freaked out (understandably) and we spent most of two weeks talking and crying, starting MC, and trying to move on. We both want to stay married. I have closed all email accounts except for my main one, he has passwords and permission to look through any of my communications, I apologize frequently and try to show my remorse with every interaction.
Things are really good right now, it was a huge wake-up call to both of us, that we either need to really be present in the marriage or end it. But, I miss the one EA! I am so sad to have had to end the conversation. I emailed him, with husband watching, at D day to say that I was ending it to preserve the marriage, and that he should close the email he was using, as did I, to avoid temptation. He did. So it would be very hard to find him again, although possible, if i put my mind to it. Husband has made it clear that it can never happen again, ever, or he will leave.
Anyone been in my shoes? Trying to resist the pull of the internet? I am so embarrassed and ashamed of what i did and that husband was able to find and read most of it. I know how much i betrayed him and feel terrible. He is taking some responsibility for some of the problems in the marriage that contributed to the hostility and loneliness I felt.
The ups and downs in marriage is shared equally by both spouses. The affair was just you. Nobody made you do it, you did it because you thought you could.

Many people have been in your shoes, though you won't find too many of them here. Some of them I hope will show up and answer your questions.

Before you decide which way to go, stand in front of a mirror and ask yourself what you want to get out of life. If you want to stay married, you can never betray your family again. Never. If you want the charm and forbidden taste of an affair, divorce your husband and indulge. But then it will not remain an affair, so half the charm goes right into the drain. Am I correct?

Be honest with yourself. Many people will talk about the 'fog'. I don't believe in it. If you are having second thoughts about restarting the affair, then may be marriage is not for you. Think hard about whether you are ready to commit to your husband again.

Marital problems can be solved and healed. Scars from infidelity never heals. Your husband lost the ability to trust another person completely again for the rest of his life. You don't yet comprehend how big a loss that is.
 

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............ So it would be very hard to find him again, although possible, if i put my mind to it.

But, I miss the one EA! I am so sad to have had to end the conversation
If you "put your mind to it"? sounds like you are hanging onto that thought with some longing to me
and you "miss the EA"...Christ

Husband has made it clear that it can never happen again, ever, or he will leave.
Anyone been in my shoes? Trying to resist the pull of the internet? I am so embarrassed and ashamed of what i did and that husband was able to find and read most of it. I know how much i betrayed him and feel terrible.

He is taking some responsibility for some of the problems in the marriage that contributed to the hostility and loneliness I felt.
How is he? What is he doing now then to make you feel less lonely?

husband always a distant sort of person,
20 yrs and you never addressed this with him ?
How come he's a distant sort of person? why?
 

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Get the two books linked to below. MMSLP is for your husband. NOT JUST FRIENDS is for you especially and your husband.

Time is your friend if you do the right thing. Turn this into an asset instead of a liability.

BTW, what kind of man do you think gets off on an internet relationship. Pee uwe
 

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Absolutely second buying your husband the MMSLP as soon as possible.

Get him working on doing what he needs to do in his life. It's for his benefit, but trust me, you will benefit even more.

Good things in the long run are usually a B***h when they are happening.
Try to make this a good thing.
 

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There are ways to rebuild your marriage into one that is better than I has been and full of the passion that you are seeking.

Get the book "His Needs, Her Needs". It's for both of you to read. Then do the work it says to do.
 

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You've been married 20 yrs---lemme tell you something---You ain't the same person you were 20 yrs ago, and neither is your H.

You went online looking for other men---you spent all that time looking for these liasons---just out of curiousity---HOW MUCH F'ing TIME HAVE YOU SPENT FORCEFULLY TALKING TO YOUR H, ABOUT THE PROBLEMS IN YOUR MGE, in the LAST 20 YEARS

Have you spent 1/100 the amount of time talking about marital problems, that you spent chasing other men on the internet---I bet not.

1st if your H has to work long hours---SO YOU CAN HAVE A GOOD HOME AND LIFESTYLE, that's the way it has to be, until the 2 of you can adjust

YOUR H. HAD NO RIGHT TO IGNORE YOU WHEN HE CAME HOME BY PLAYING INTERNET GAMES----why wasn't that addressed and talked about---had you forcebly talked about that problem, you might not have ended up having phone sex.

You MUST talk to your H---4 to 5 nights a week at least 20 to 30 minutes---talk and discuss---spend the time WITH EACH OTHER

As to having lingering thoughts about the POS internet lover---WHO MORE THAN LIKELY KNEW YOU WERE MARRIED----you had better DELETE him now---just out of curiosity--if you screw up and your H leaves---is this long distance lover gonna provide food for you---is he gonna pay your mtg---is he gonna take care of your medical insurance---is he gonna handle your emergencies---I DOUBT IT---but you just keep on thinking about him---and how he will take care of you---if you end up D.------time you faced some REALITY---your internet lovers WILL NEVER TAKE CARE OF YOU---not a one of them will ever pony up dinero to make sure you have food and shelter----TRY THINKING ABOUT THAT FACT---instead of thinking about your slimey internet lover!!!!!!!
 

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OP
for some reason I'm not in my normal judgemental mood today. It'll just say that you should maintain a very remorseful attitude, reflecting that what you did was indeed worse than any offense your husband ever committed (unless you have more to tell us on that)

In terms of your internet affair, I'd be self reflective on this. Whoever was chatting with you was not a real person, not to you anyway. You know allmost nothing about them, never met them. Was really nothing more than your sexual fantasy, facilitated by the person posting on the other end. You enjoyed it because your mind could fill in all the blanks just the way you wanted -- creating the perfect emotional/sexual partner.......with no faults or personality problems for you to deal with etc.

The person could have been a total fraud, almost nothing you imagined about him, or what he told you could be true. Yet you're tempted to try to find him again. Work with your M C to build a better emotional bond with your husband - he IS in fact a real person, after all. And there are better ways to create and indulge sexual fantasies than what you did.
Good luck
 

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To the posters who asked if i had ever talked to him about the emotional distance, yes, many times, over at least the last ten years. I asked him to go either to individual or couples therapy, all of which he refused. As far as his work, i found out that, the time he told me he was working on the computer was 4-5 hours a night of video gaming. And coming to bed well after i was asleep. And yes, i love him, which is why i stayed 20 years hoping for him to become more involved. The ea happened for a few weeks, after 20 years of never doing anything untrustworthy, ever. I take absolute responsibility for my actions, never said he pushed me into anything, just that he feels a small amount of responsibility for spending so much time and energy on outside activities for so many years.
And nuclearnightmare, thanks for your comment. That's exactly right, i was using the chatting as a fantasy and an escape from reality. Nothing about it is worth jeopardizing what i have in real life. I just have to make sure to remember that when real life is a little stressful so i don't start up again.
 

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You and your H---also need to talk to each other several times a week---no matter what--you make the time, and you find things to discuss

Also the 2 of you should start going out on dates---revert back to pre-marriage, and just after mge---where the 2 of you courted and went out---its time to start that up again---just to keep some spice and fun going on, in what has probably become a stale, same old, same old mge---it happens to lots of mge's----

Mge ain't easy---you gotta work at it
 

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Start the internet conversation with your husband.

Send him the kind of emails that you are missing. I hope it does not trigger him.

All on the internet was a fantasy. Nothing real.

Try initiating with your husband.
 

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You say you love him, you say you stayed 20 years married to him yet you also say that you are in fact "resisting" to chase this phantom of an emotional affair.

Your post in reply to nuclear's indicates that your eyes were opened with that post and you see things clearly now.. Forgive me if I don't believe that particular response of yours for a merest of all seconds.

May I inquire as to why yo chase this fantasy? Why do you say you love your husband yet feel an urge to chase an internet affair?

What's wrong with this picture?
 

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Sorry if you don't believe me; i'm not trying to prove anything to anybody else, just was hoping for some support in getting and keeping my priorities straight. I thought the post from nuclearnightmare articulated the issue very well; after a long marriage with it's share of problems, i stupidly chose a very bad way to blow off steam, and now that i see the level of damage i've done, am very committed to rebuilding as much trust as i can. He is making an effort to forgive me, and i am being as transparent as possible, and avoiding the internet as much as possible . I hope that with time, things will improve.
 

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Communication now is the key. Good for you. Take the opportunity to realize you both had faults and address them together. Nobody is perfect. Good luck to you!
 

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A cheater on here, that is a good sign. You knew you wouldn't get much sympathy but you did it anyway. Posters are being uncharacteristically kind - you are definitely in the enemy camp. :)

You have withdrawal symptoms. It's chemical. Cast your mind back 20 years ago when you had to say goodbye at the end of a date to your then bf and husband-to-be. You wanted it to go on all night. For good measure, remember how happy you felt on your wedding day.

All that chemical stuff dies down, 3 years max. One of the hormones is called PEA. "Yeah, for pea-brained" my doctor friend says.:D It is the affair 'fog'.

Imagine if you were still in contact with OM on the internet in 20 years time. Would he have the same allure?

I'm not hammering you about the hurt you have caused your H simply because unlike most threads on here you confessed without being asked. H didn't have to go snooping. OM gave you attention and from what you said you were craving that. You had even thought of leaving.

Your H will never have the attraction of some new man. You can get divorced and spend as much time as you want on the net or going out to bars getting to meet other men. Then you will meet one and get to know him. . . 'and so it goes', as Kurt Vonnegut said.

Your H has had his wake-up call. And so have you. He didn''t kick you out and he sounds as if he was on TAM with his NC move.:D He put you into DT mode abruptly. It's tough getting off a drug. But H very clearly wants you where you have always been, even though he neglected to tell you that.

I suggest you and H go on a holiday alone, preferably to where you went on your honeymoon, even for a weekend. Reconnect with each other and remember what brought you together 20 years ago and then hold that thought when you return home and have to put out the trash, the mundane part of life.

You must stay with H for the right reason - I am presuming you still love him. If not all I said will have been in vain.

The withdrawal symptoms will fade away in time. Do vigorous exercise when it gets bad, buy a treadmill/exercise bike for your home. And, after all you don't know what OM is like. The virtual world is just that. You and OM don't have to take out the trash weekly.

Imagine that your H disappeared, that's right, vamoose! Would you be bereft and go looking for him everywhere, call the police, haul in your family/friends?

Here's a song for you & H. . .
and for all you R people out there. . .
Watch it together perhaps as you try to rebuild. . .
Don't forget to substitute the 'you' for 'us'.

Coldplay - Fix You - YouTube

LIGHTS WILL GUIDE YOU HOME.

For someone who is generally anti-R, I have to say what I have written and this song has got me thinking too. Thank you.:D

God Bless.
 

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Thanks for the responses. I do feel a little like i am in withdrawal. I am definitely hoping that the cravings will die down with time. Husband and i have made a point of going out together as often as we can, for a meal or a drink, and have talked and talked about everything, big and small. And yes, a lot of the appeal of the ea was the fantasy aspect. As you say, no taking out the garbage with the OM. No kids, no financial discussions, kind of a vacation from reality. But it's not real, and doesn't last. I just have to keep remembering the misery and damage my screwup caused and will cause in the future.
 

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Sorry if you don't believe me; i'm not trying to prove anything to anybody else, just was hoping for some support in getting and keeping my priorities straight. I thought the post from nuclearnightmare articulated the issue very well; after a long marriage with it's share of problems, i stupidly chose a very bad way to blow off steam, and now that i see the level of damage i've done, am very committed to rebuilding as much trust as i can. He is making an effort to forgive me, and i am being as transparent as possible, and avoiding the internet as much as possible . I hope that with time, things will improve.
Things will improve as long as you both continue along this path, but may never be the same as they were. The success of your R will depend in large part on coming to terms with this. Also, please keep your husband close as you continue to withdraw from OM--let him know what you are feeling and how you are trying to overcome what is in fact an addiction. Let him be your detox partner.
 
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