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Discussion Starter #1
Thanks to the advice I’ve found here my marriage is better. I’ve learned a lot about boundaries, transparency and situations that are being put to good use. I really dodged a bullet just in time and I would like to thank the members who take the time to think about other peoples posts and comment on them. You do make a difference.

My story is not the typical story. My problems started when my marriage was at a high point and life was good. My warning is that you can be hit at any time not just when you are vulnerable or your marriage is suffering.

I’m an advocate of opposite sex friendships but that was also part of the cause and I admit it fully. And to those of you who feel you can control your opposite sex friendships please listen to your spouse. Despite whatever problems you may have with you spouse your spouse still knows you well. They can see when you act differently towards someone. They get the gut feeling because they are picking up on all the vibes of your behavior not just what you say. If I hadn’t listened to my wife and the points behind some of her comments, I might have been sucked into the black hole and not have been able to get out.

The cliff notes version: A friend of my wife’s (now the OW) helped out with leading a set of kid activities with my wife. They got me more involved with the kids and the OW gave be some advice which I followed that turned out to really change my life for the better. I got back into a hobby that I have introduced to my kids as well. My wife likes and supports the change as well as the kids. Through kid activities I spent a lot of time with the OW. I really enjoyed her company and advice, the fog descended.

I began to escalate contact and contrived situations to be together. My wife noticed and called the OW my girlfriend. I was developing feelings for the OW and my wife saw it before I did. It wasn’t much longer before I realized that I was in love with the OW and that my wife suspected it. Fortunately I never confessed my love to the OW (I still don’t think she sees it). I knew I had a problem and found TAM.

I initiated transparency with my communications with my wife. I think she was one of those whom you read about here that didn’t have a problem with the relationship because she trusted me. Eventually I confessed my feelings to my wife and we have worked through the hurt. Our solution didn’t use the standard TAM no contact prescription. And even so the Fog lifted. And the fog was real, I felt the withdrawal. I have transformed my feelings for the OW into ones like my relatives. Now as far as I’m concerned she is like a sister whom you love but have no desire for.

For those of you reading this whose spouse asks you about someone and you say “We are just friends.”. Remember that they are asking you for a reason and they probably know the answer. It is time for you to be honest with yourself and see if you can go no contact with your “friend” for awhile. If you experience withdrawal, you are more than just friends.
 

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For those of you reading this whose spouse asks you about someone and you say “We are just friends.”. Remember that they are asking you for a reason and they probably know the answer. It is time for you to be honest with yourself and see if you can go no contact with your “friend” for awhile. If you experience withdrawal, you are more than just friends.
:smthumbup: That is awesome that you can see all of this now! Mind if I use it as a signature?
 

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Thank you, meson. Your post should be required reading for everyone who finds themselves in a similar situation when they come onto TAM seeking insight/advice.
 

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This!

It needs to be required reading. For some poeple, it's hard, but it's better to isten to the clues that your spouse is sending that they know something is off than to have to deal with the consequences of not doing so, like I am.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have seen so many sagas here that could have been avoided if the y had just given their spouse the benefit of the doubt. But this can only come when there is respect and a lot of the time this loss of respect is the real problem. Even if you don't beleive your spouse the withdrawal test can be done. One just doesn't pine for someone who is only a friend.
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More power to you for being able to head this off at the pass.

My only thought is that the vast majority of people are not going to be able to manage this while maintaining contact with the object of their affection. Infatuation is a very powerful emotion, it is no joke. As you say, it is a powerful compulsion.

I'm curious--to what extent did the OW return your feelings? Or would you say this was largely one-sided?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
More power to you for being able to head this off at the pass.

My only thought is that the vast majority of people are not going to be able to manage this while maintaining contact with the object of their affection. Infatuation is a very powerful emotion, it is no joke. As you say, it is a powerful compulsion.

I'm curious--to what extent did the OW return your feelings? Or would you say this was largely one-sided?
This is an important part. I kept my feelings to myself. The OW never knew and still doesn't. I told my wife and TAM and that's it. My lesson from this is to avoid feeding the fire. If I had confessed to the OW then something could have started that I couldn't control. However if she knew I felt that way it would have been best to go no- contact. Nothing breeds interest like knowing someone is interested in you. So I've learned to keep that stuff private.

That's why I was able to dodge the bullet. But I can say that what I learned about boundaries has already been put to good use. Someone else has shown me indications of interest so I keep her at a distance. Not no contact but stricter than other friends.
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Discussion Starter #10
BTW. Iheartlife not telling her has been really really hard. But not telling her was the best and I still get urges to do so. I've read more than a few threads that start after the OP states they told the OM/OW and those never end well

Listen to your spouse and keep your feelings known only between you and your spouse.
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Excellent post and very sound advice for anyone in a marriage or committed relationship.
 

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Thanks for the excellent post.

I'd love to have my H read this, only he'd get mad ... I have to be ready for a few days of silent treatment.
 

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It sounds like you learned a very important lesson. Good for you for stopping things before they got completely out of hand.

Affairs happen because the other person fills needs that a spouse is not filling.

No one person can fill all of another person's emotional needs. So there is always something unmet, even in the best of relationships.

Your case is a perfect example of this. There was really nothing wrong in your marriage. But the OW was able to fill something your wife did not.

What makes affairs so intoxicating is that a spouse fills some of our needs. The the other person fills others. Suddenly the WS has more of their needs being met by these two people then they have ever had met. That's why so many in affairs are cake-eaters. Who would want to give up the high created by this?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
She knew.

She also saw the change. She's seen whatever signals your wife has sent too.
Yes, she probably did but it's a big difference to guess and to know for sure. I was lucky to intuitively know that that would be going too far. If she had known for sure it's possible it could have fed something that otherwise she left alone. Almost all the bad cases on TAM have one confessing to another....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Affairs happen because the other person fills needs that a spouse is not filling.

No one person can fill all of another person's emotional needs. So there is always something unmet, even in the best of relationships.

Your case is a perfect example of this. There was really nothing wrong in your marriage. But the OW was able to fill something your wife did not.

What makes affairs so intoxicating is that a spouse fills some of our needs. The the other person fills others. Suddenly the WS has more of their needs being met by these two people then they have ever had met. That's why so many in affairs are cake-eaters. Who would want to give up the high created by this?
:iagree:

So true one person can't meet all of our needs. In my case the OW is very different from my wife and I enjoyed the different perspectives. The mistake is to let the interaction become unbounded. If I hadn't realized this I could have easily gone down the road where the OW became equally important, then more important and so on.

:iagree:

It's all about the high. It just felt sooo good. I went through very difficult withdrawal which led to some depression. This I realized was the proof that I had gone way to far. I'm really glad that I see this now but it was hell to go through.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update: Since I wrote this last summer a lot has happened. I felt a twinge of feelings return on an outing our family had with the OW and others. This led me to resign from my position In an organization that the OW my wife and I belonged to. The OW and my wife are still friends but I see very little of her these days though we are still friends. My wife and I are doing well though we have had a medical scare we are forging new bonds and doing more things together than ever before.
 

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Good for you. It ended up being harder to de-infatuate yourself than you thought.

And yes, the OW and you did not discuss this directly but what typically happens is that you are kept on a back-burner simmering until she decides to capitalize on it. That is the beauty of playing dumb. Never having to acknowledge keeping you in tow.

So years can go by, all the while they are exercising power over you, and you pretend you aren't hoping to cash in. The wife is getting robbed of psychic energy devoted to the OW in vain.

So cut the head off and kill it.
 
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