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I didn't have a doubt in my mind that I moved on...


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I'm going to give you the Cliff's Notes version:

Seven years ago, I started seeing a woman (A) who was in a LTR, at the time. It was a genuine friendship, at first, and around that time I started seeing someone (T). So, for a while we were both in relationships and enjoyed each other's company, and it seemed to be healthy. After a little bit, we started admitting that we had very strong feelings for each other. We became intimate and a very strong relationship formed from there. With my SO, I was very honest. I told her what it turned into, and that I was committed to her (T), especially since I did not feel A would leave her SO. A was not honest with her SO, and he was becoming suspicious; rightfully so. Over the period of a year and a half it continued, and somewhere around then, he asked her to marry him and she accepted. A and I continued to see each other, and we were in a tight spot. We loved each other a great deal, but we loved our respective SO's that we didn't want to hurt them, either. Eventually, A's SO found out about what was going on and threw her out.

 

She showed up at my place that night, though T was there staying the night. A and I sat in the driveway as she told me what happened. I realized that I was, right then and there, forced to make a choice. My thought process at the time was all over the place: My gut told me A was who I truly loved, but I had another feeling that T had been there for me the most, and would be the morally right choice. I wished A well, and suggested she find a hotel. After she left, I went upstairs, knowing T watched from the window. She looked at me and said "I feel like you want to get in the car and get A back. Are you sure about this?" I wasn't. But, by god, I was going to press on.

 

A's SO eventually took her back, and they got married some time later. T and my relationship grew and we married, as well. All of the deal with A was pretty much behind me and, aside from the occasional daydream about wondering what would have happened (as I occasionally do for all of my exes), or disappointment that we couldn't be friends, as I miss having someone to talk to about books. T and I have two children, the second was born a few months ago with severe congenital defects. It's been quite a struggle, and I am really having trouble watching our child go through it, but I've been strong for the most part. T and I have been doing very well.

 

But the other day, I ran into A at the store, and she did her typical deal where she pretends she doesn't see me until the last second possible, then just gives me a polite smile like I surprised her and is trying to avoid starting a conversation. The rare times we run into each other, this is the routine. However, this time I noticed that she was pregnant (her first).

 

I don't know what happened, but the moment I saw that, this wave of sorrow swept over me, and this heavy sensation ran from the top of my chest down my body and around to the back of my neck. I hadn't felt something like that since, years prior, when A came to me and told me that her SO had proposed to her and she said yes. It just hit me like a pillow-sized frozen bag of beans. This was weeks ago, and I have been an absolute wreck since, and I don't know why. With all of the other stuff that's happened since we parted ways (A getting married, A and her husband getting a house, A getting a bit of success in a career we share soon after I got fired, etc.) I didn't feel any of this hurt or jealousy. For those things I felt like "That's her gig, good for her. I got my gig now, and I'm happy with it." But seeing her with child really knocked the wind out of me, and it's causing some of my old bad habits to surface a bit (drinking, smoking, and working too much).

 

But why? Why does this give me a feeling of loss? I have a wonderful wife, two wonderful children I wouldn't trade for anything in the world, and a better career than I did before. Part of me wondered if it's because of my struggles with our recent child's health (which will be a lifelong battle, it looks like), and it's a jealousy of parents who have perfectly healthy children. But I'm not sure if that's the case, because I have other friends who are expecting or have kids and, though there are fleeting moments of mild envy, overall I don't feel anything remotely as strong as this. It's not even the same sensation, either.

 

What the heck is the matter with me and how do I get over it? I have no idea who I could possibly talk to about this, and I'm doing my best to hide it, since it's not fair to my family to be subjected to this. I think I'm doing well, but I know that I'm bottling it up, too.

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What an incredibly selfish thing you have done to your SO.

First of all, there is no such thing as a genuine friendship between a heterosexual male and female. 'After a bit you admitted you had feeling for each other, and became intimate!?' How is that being respectful to your partner? Would you like it if she had an intimate relationship with another man?

You should have been honest then and there and told her you were in love with another woman.

A's partner found out what was happening and threw her out - rightfully so. Then she shows up at your doorstep - with your partner INSIDE and demands you chose!

You regretted your decision to stay with poor old T (your second option), but went along with it and started a family.

You loved A, and still do. You have been dishonest for some time.

Your options are to tell your wife and try and get over it together.. try to get over it on your own, she is obviously over you - (hopefully the feelings will go away with time), or the extreme option:

show up on A's door step and demand she choose between her husband and you.

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Kennedy,

 

i don't know what to tell you. I've never really been interested in 2 people at the same time. And the only time I've really wanted to be with someone other than the person I was with, it helped me to get out of a bad relationship. Also I'd move heaven and earth to be with someone I loved, so I don't really understand how you could feel what you did for A and stay with your partner.

 

But I know what it feels like to feel incredible loss, and not be able to understand how could you can feel that way but things not work out. I haven't found the answer, I've just got a profound sense that this isn't how it's supposed to be.

 

My advice - go back to forgetting about her, it's all you can do.

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For the both of you it wasn't the right time to get married. And personally I don't believe in getting married, because these kind of situations happen too often for my liking.

 

The thought that struck me as I read about you seeing A pregnant. Is the same as what you were thinking.

 

Your relationship is really hard at the moment because of your recently born child. And are therefore (albeit unconsciously) looking at greener pastures. You had all the time in the world to be with the other woman, but you didn't. So it would be not very smart to start something with her now.

And you wouldn't know how you two would get along in a long term situation anyway.

 

Everyone 'likes' someone else at some point during a long term relationship. That is the moment where you choose between two people you like. And personally I always stick to the one I have invested my dear time in, know we click in a long term situation and who I'm sure I love.

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I think it would be helpful for you to talk this out with a therapist who can help you work through it. I think much of this has been bottled up and you haven't moved on from A.

 

I agree with this. You need a neutral ear, and this forum is not that. In fact, most people anywhere have been hurt by a lover who's not over someone else--so that kind of problem can tap some deep hostility that isn't helpful to you.

 

Someone trained to help you deal with emotions you can't work out in plain sight of family and friends is your best bet. You know your intentions, so hiring an expert to help you get there would be the smartest, kindest thing you can do for yourself and your family.

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I agree with Justletgo.

 

YOU need to move BEYOND your past. OR are you truly STILL confused?

I suggest some counselling as well. This commotion within you is wrong... in so many levels.

 

DO you 'love' the woman you've got now? If yes, then you should be way beyond your past, now.

 

In ways, it's also a 'selfish' behavior, I feel, as you've already gotten married and have 'your own' children.. then to 'think or react' towards this lady of your past, BECAUSE she's now expecting?

What do YOU expect?

 

I think it is time for some help...

 

gd luck

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I think you've kind of locked your mindset into the "what could've been" mode with A. And that if you'd left T for her that night you'd very likely be doing the same thing with her now if you were married to A.

 

I say this all, because what I see from your postings here is that a huge part of the problem is you had this fantasy/secret life with A. Of course that's exciting, it's forbidden, you get to fantasize away about all the great things this relationship is that makes you cheat on your SO, because it's just too much to resist. You get sex, you get to talk, but there is a huge problem with these types of relationships. They aren't based in reality. They're fantasy through and through and rather selfish fantasy where you get to live out your dreams without taking the normal day-to-day responsibilities and work that all good relationships take. Bluntly speaking, you never had to live with A. You never got to see all of the bad parts of her, to experience those days when you both fight and wish you'd never met each other, to come home tired to find the house a mess and the baby crying and well...real life. You never had a real life with A, just a fantasy one where it was all great and the worst thing you had to go through was each of your SOs finding out you were both cheating on them with each other. And in my books that's not really the sort of crisis that proves to one that two people can get through anything, cliches about 'love conquers all" be damned. Who's the person who has stood by you in the darkest of times, in the most dull of times, who can still make you smile and laugh? There's who you should love and likely do, but you've gotten into this mindset that a fantasy life has got to be so much better than the real one. If it's terrible with your wife, and I don't get that it is, then that's a whole other kettle of fish.

 

Of course you still have those fantasies about what life with A could have been like and so yes, it's a bit of a shock when the fantasy apple cart gets upset and you have to suddenly see she's a real person with a real life that doesn't involve you. So.what.

 

I'm telling you to wake up and on this day of Thanksgiving be thankful for all the things you do have and stop worrying about the things you don't. You have no way of knowing if they would have worked out and frankly A has no loyalty or allegiances to you. I'd consider myself lucky she doesn't cut you dead whenever she sees you--after all she came to you in her hour of need and you sent her packing, remember? So stop it already with the fantasy, let the past lay where it will, look to the future and the woman who stood by you when most of us would've shown you to the door that night. And who is now the mother of your child. Don't allow the mindset to settle in that the grass is greener somewhere else or that A is your fail safe if everything goes wrong and you need an out or a release--something many people who have affairs sort of view their cheating partner as BTW--at least according to therapist friends.

 

You do seem to know that whatever your feelings may be they are indeed partly due to the fact you're going through rough times right now and quite possibly a part of you wants to escape. This is where therapy comes in though, not romanticizing an old affair with a woman you don't even know any more and bluntly speaking never did, not fully. I know this sounds harsh, but I'm trying to get you to wake up and realize these types of fantasies are very dangerous and if acted on they leave a huge damage toll on everything and everyone. And in the end you'd likely end back at Square One now regretting and missing T and fantasizing about the life you used to have with her. Why? Because you seem to have fallen into a pattern of using a fantasy relationship as an escape and never really did the work of getting through that and stopping it or changing your mindset. You chose T and yet you've always done the whole "did I do the right thing?" routine and what that has done is kept you stuck. You made a decision, own it fully or work out in therapy how to own it fully and just move on. I'm telling you to stop this line of thinking, because it's a dangerous one. Go get some counseling if you need to get over it and to address what's happening right now. Don't reach for the sexual and emotional equivalent of a bottle or a pill to numb the pain. Just my two cents.

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Seeing her broke your heart all over again but you got over it before and you will again. You will. It just takes time.

 

Don't think that the grass is greener, it isnt. It was an affair. After a love affair, the grass always tinged brown because of the pain and guilt and will remain so. It shouldn't even have happened. Have no regrets. Keep that fence up high and dont look over it again. Keep moving forward.

 

Your wife needs you, your children need their dad, you know this. Plan some fun times and days out with your family so you can rid yourself of this heartache and get back to being you again -a good husband and father- much faster.

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