Jump to content

Update: 2+ years after the split, fell for breadcrumbs and feeling very foolish


Recommended Posts

My original thread relating to this issue can be found here. There are some other threads with background information that can be found through my profile. The basic background is that I am a married woman who carried on a one-year emotional online affair, which ended over two years ago. I consider it a breakup of sorts, that's why I'm posting this here, please let's not go into what a terrible person I am or how I don't deserve to be posting here. The story is that I never got over this guy, even though we never even met--I've posted about this as recently as April. I think I have thought of him every single day since I ever met him, it did not stop when he stopped talking to me. He was my best friend for the year we were "together." We talked just about every single day, often for hours, adding up to hundreds of pages of chat transcripts covering just about ever topic under the sun. We were both there for each other when we were going through difficult times--loving each other, encouraging each other, being little rays of sunshine in each other's lives. When we decided to stop the romantic part of our relationship for serious, we thought we could be friends, I thought I could think of him as my brother and therefore still be able to love him and have him in my life without betraying my husband. But instead he cut me out of his life, stopped talking to me, started ignoring me, started lying to me about why he was ignoring me, and basically moved on with another woman at super-fast speed. A couple months after our break he emailed me basically suggesting he had never loved me and had only been infatuated and confused--that was the kicker for me. For years after that my brain was stuck on that one thing--the truth was that I knew he had loved me and my brain refused to accept this new reality he was trying to push on me, but there was nothing else I could do, so I just got "stuck." I could not deal with the loss of his friendship, either, because I was willing and ready to be his friend even though he had a girlfriend, because honestly, I truly loved him and just wanted him to be happy (or so I thought.) The loss of his friendship was the most jagged pill going down my throat, I positively could not accept it. For all these years, I have thought about him far more than makes sense, I have been obsessed against my will. I have tried numerous things to erase him from my mind, and nothing has worked. People here have suggested that I am holding on purposefully, but I am telling you--that is not the case. This whole time this love has felt like an embarrassing curse that I could not scrub out of my heart.

 

Things with my husband got way better since that first post--I now definitely do love him and I do find him attractive and basically I don't feel at all like I did at that first post. But it's still rocky. I won't go into that, but that's where I am with the husband--still trying to make things work and struggling along, but to this day still harassed by lingering feelings for this other guy.

 

Anyway...after over two years of me pining for this guy, he finally recently contacted me again via email (we had communicated on only three other occasions since the split, and the last time was over a year before, and none of those communications were anything resembling our former friendship.) The woman who he had moved on with had cheated on him, he said, and they were no longer together, and he just really needed a friend.

 

Now you see--I knew about "breadcrumbs," having been visiting this site for years. I thought somehow, though, as long as I had "no expectations," it wouldn't matter. But I guess I built up expectations, because now I'm disappointed.

 

At first I was very cautious in replying to him and not particularly friendly, but after a few back-and-forths, things warmed up and he was so much more like the friend I knew from so long ago. We emailed each other back and forth on an almost daily basis for a couple weeks. I told him that I was still upset about the way things ended between us and he cleared up a couple issues that had had me in limbo all these years--he basically admitted that he had loved me and he told me the reason he had not been talking to me was because he was respecting the wishes of his girlfriend, who did not want him talking to me. Those two things were like bells of freedom when I read them--two things that have been torturing me all these years--how could we have both mistaken infatuation for love, how had he just stopped talking to someone who was supposedly such a dear friend? Both issues more or less resolved, but you know what? He never apologized. He didn't apologize at all, even though he did and said some extremely hurtful things back then. That should have been the first warning flag for me.

 

In his last email he said he was going to see his ex again to collect some of his stuff and I could tell he desperately was hoping they would reconcile. I didn't know how to respond to that (I don't begrudge him reuninting with her, but I don't encourage it either seeing as how she cheated on him--I don't think she's a very nice person). So I didn't say much on the matter--and I have not heard from him since. I emailed him again asking if everything was okay--no reply.

 

So anyway, now I'm here again kicking myself for being so stupid to allow myself to build up foolish hopes based on what I should have known good and well were just "breadcrumbs." I don't regret replying to him, because it helped me get release from those issues that were bothering me, but now I'm back in the recovery phase, trying to once again accept him not being in my life. I honestly just wanted to be his friend. I was ready and willing to be there for him as he coped with this breakup. It would have hurt me to hear all about how much he loved her and how heartbroken he was, but I was going to do that because I thought he was my friend. But now that he is not replying and I'm getting so MAD about the whole thing, I find myself feeling less and less compassion for his situation, so I wonder--maybe I never wanted to be his friend, maybe that was a lie. Because friends tolerate friends ignoring them for weeks at a time when they are coping with a breakup, right? But I am not ready to tolerate him ignoring me like this. Not after I just got done telling him how upset I was about how he cut me out of his life the first time around.

 

I know he's going to contact me again. I don't want to reply any more. I feel I got what I needed, and he's obviously not going to be the kind of friend I want. To clarify, I don't think he and his girlfriend got back together. I think she is with someone else and I think he's so depressed he just does not want to talk. (This is based on the fact that he has deleted his Facebook page and she deleted pictures of them together from her Facebook page.) If he's depressed and doesn't want to talk, that's fine, but I don't see why he can't just tell me that, I don't see why I have to be left hanging like this. Previously the longest he went without emailing me was four days, and even then he apologized for taking so long--now it's been over two weeks and nothing. This just confirms what I thought about him before he changed my mind again with his renewed contact--the last thing I need is this guy's lousy idea of "friendship."

 

So that's where I am. I don't know why I'm posting this other than to maybe help someone else. As for me, I hope to God I will now be able to move on with my life. I feel now that I have those two issues cleared up so my brain can move on after two years of me trying to force the square peg of lies into the circular hole of reality. But I'm scared. I've felt I was ready to move on before, I even felt I had moved on before, and yet here I am, over 2.5 years after our split, still with it occupying my thoughts every single day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being in contact with him is tearing you up. For your own sanity don't respond to him and let him go for good. You said things were better with your husband, I would concentrate on that.

He contacts you in times of trouble just to confirm that you will still be there for him no matter what. You have the power to overcome this and move on, use it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think as long as you stay married, you will have the ghost of feelings for another man (be it this one or another one) haunting you. I think you have carved your heart in two pieces and now you think loving your husband 50% is enough. But something is missing there. It has been since before the affair started.

 

I hope one day you leave him to find someone you can love 100%.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

seeing as how she cheated on him--I don't think she's a very nice person).

.

 

This may seem beside the point to you, but does your husband know about this guy and that he's been in your life/on your mind for years? I think its interesting that you characterize this woman as "not very nice" when you've done essentially the same thing.

Anyways, I'm the wrong person to talk to about cheating in a marriage and I won't get into it further.

It seems you've learned twice now that he's not a real friend and just seeks attention when he needs it and can cut it off when he doesn't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, kitkat, that is what I intend to do. I'm already feeling better today. Yesterday was sort of the day when it all hit me, when I finally had to admit he's pulling his old stunts and going AWOL again. I am just so relieved that I got what I needed from our conversations. While there are still things I'd like to say to him and while I still miss him, I finally feel like I'm "whole" again, enough to move on with my life happily.

 

MsDarcy--all i can say is I hope you are wrong. I love my husband, but there is a certain disconnect between us. I always feel that it's him keeping it there, though. But that's another story, and really, for the most part things are good between us, it just gets a little "iffy" sometimes.

 

This may seem beside the point to you, but does your husband know about this guy and that he's been in your life/on your mind for years? I think its interesting that you characterize this woman as "not very nice" when you've done essentially the same thing.

My husband does know about this guy. Way back when we stopped talking to each other I told my husband about our "relationship." He was upset, but he knew that he had not been treating me very well and that I was looking for things in other people only because he was no longer providing it for me. I'm not saying he was as in the wrong as me, but the point is that if you are not treating your partner with love, if you are not giving them your time, if they are begging you to be there for them more and you refuse--you should pretty much *expect* them to seek out those things in other people. What I did was a violation of our wedding vows--but what he was doing was as well. He was not loving and cherishing me, so I stopped forsaking all others. I won't go into all the full story, but there was a long lead before I even met this guy where my husband was ignoring my constant pleas to be there for me more, and when I told my husband about this other guy, he pretty much admitted that he knew he was partly to blame for not treating me the way he should have. This is the only reason we are still together today--he changed his behavior and committed himself to being a better husband to me, and in return I am a better wife to him.

 

He does not know of my lingering feelings, though, and I have absolutely no intention of telling him because I do not feel it is something that I can change so it would just needlessly hurt him and possibly damage our marriage even more--plus I honestly think he would think I've got a screw loose (admit it, my story sounds like I'm not operating with full brain capacity, otherwise why would I still be obsessing like this?). I can control my actions, but I can't change my feelings. I would rather just allow the feelings to fade, and I feel like I have that opportunity now.

 

I understand where you are coming from, but I have absolutely not done essentially the same thing as his girlfriend. I never physically met this guy. He was too far away for that to be a real option (though it probably would have happened if I had been willing), but even if he had been local--well, let's just say that the distance was a barrier that was preserved on purpose and I would not have gotten to this point with someone I interacted with physically. Also, she did this at a time when he was away dealing with the loss of his brother, who had committed suicide. There were other serious losses he experienced in the months before that as well--and that was when she decided to cheat on him, when he was already at the lowest point at his life to date. With me and my husband--he was very stressed out with work, but he was not dealing with those kinds of losses, so while I think my behavior is bad, no, I don't put myself on her level. But for what it is worth, I would not advise a man to date a woman who did what I did either. I would, however, advise a man to stay married to such a woman. They are very different situations in multiple ways.

 

Still...if he gets back with her, that's fine and I would have been supportive of him and respected his choice since I thought we were friends. I normally refrained from saying anything too bad about her when we talked about it, in good part because I realized I was bound to sound like the most hypocritical person on the planet. But most friends don't advise friends to get back with their cheating girlfriends, you know? I was more in the "it's her loss, you deserve better" crowd.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

imo it is equally bad, if not worse, to carry out an emotional affair on your husband, talking to someone else for hours a day, loving them, pining for them for two years, confiding in them, as it is to physically cheat once or twice...

It would kill me if my BF has sex with another woman, yes, but I might be able to forgive, depending the circumstances, but it would crush and devastate me if he confided in another woman, told her all his thoughts, his worries, loved her, pined after her, instead of coming to me with his thoughts, I don't think I could forgive him if he emotionally cheated on me, loved some other woman and she had his heart and I got 50%...

plus their relationship probably wasn't good or she wouldn't have done it, don't make her the black sheep here, you don't know her or why she resorted to this

and you also don't really know this man you still pine for, you never met, you love a fantasy, you have no idea if it would click in real life, if there would be chemistry

I think it is impossible to truly love someone you never met, people portray themselves differently online than in real life, and you don't know his smell, his quirks, his habits, and you do not know if you would love all that in real life

I did this once, fell in love, thought I really, deeply loved this guy I had been writing with, his writing was beautiful, his letters made my days better, I was so crazy about him, on the phone as well, I was head over heals until we met in person, there was zero chemistry, nothing, zip, nada, in fact his scent turned me off so bad....

so I don't understand all this pining over someone you never even met....but I said this before as I have been following your story for two years now...

and you don't want him to mail you again? pretty simple, block his mail address...problem solved!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought I could think of him as my brother and therefore still be able to love him and have him in my life without betraying my husband. But instead he cut me out of his life, stopped talking to me, started ignoring me, started lying to me about why he was ignoring me, and basically moved on with another woman at super-fast speed.

 

You had already betrayed your husband. You had replaced your husband in your affections with this man in every other way bar a physical one. Therefore cutting off all ties was the only way to stop betraying your husband otherwise nothing would really have changed would it? With this relationship only being based on an emotional connection and not a physical connection, all you would really be doing was giving it a different label. You would, however, still be emotionally connected in the same way as before. At this point he did the right thing.

 

Now he has come back to lean on you as his emotional crutch ... under the guise as "friends" because he knows you would willingly accept that. At this point he did the wrong thing.

 

If you feel that you have now got what you needed then you would doing the right thing once again by NOT replying and cutting all ties - again.

 

You are not and never will be "friends". Friends aren't emotionally attached to each other in this way. If you remain in touch with him as "friends" then you will continue to hurt. You will also be betraying your husband again which you said you don't want to do.

 

It is evident there is something lacking in your marriage and this is what really needs to be addressed. You obviously aren't fulfilled and you looked/found that fulfilment elsewhere. Since then you have gone back to being unfulfilled. You see him as the answer and that is what you can't let go of.

 

Now is the time to take a long hard look at your marriage and why it is you can't be happy with your husband alone and whether or not this marriage is really what you want.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

but I have absolutely not done essentially the same thing as his girlfriend.

 

Emotional cheating and physical cheating are both painful and equally as wrong. My ex-husband cheated on me both emotionally and physically (though I struggle to believe the first time was just emotiona) and they both caused immense pain and suffering. Knowing that he was sharing his innermost thoughts and feelings with someone else was just as damaging to me as knowing he was sharing himself physically with someone else. With emotional cheating the intent or the longing is always there. You still cheated on your husband so just bear that in mind when you are judging her in a way that you asked us not to judge you. What his ex-gf did or the reasons she chose to do them does not justify or make better your own actions.

 

I am telling you this so that you don't make the mistake of excusing this kind of behaviour in the future. It is wrong and should you find yourself close to a situation like this again (whether it be with him or anyone else) then you really need to stop and think about whether or not you should really be married.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Emotional cheating hurts more and is worse imo. You spent hours talking to him daily...That would kill me if I were ur husbund. Talk about major deceit and betrayal. I remember finding out my first love spent an hr and a half on the phone with the other girl while I was asleep in the other room (his parents house)...That really hurt bad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So that's where I am. I don't know why I'm posting this other than to maybe help someone else. As for me, I hope to God I will now be able to move on with my life. I feel now that I have those two issues cleared up so my brain can move on after two years of me trying to force the square peg of lies into the circular hole of reality. But I'm scared. I've felt I was ready to move on before, I even felt I had moved on before, and yet here I am, over 2.5 years after our split, still with it occupying my thoughts every single day.

 

 

 

Don't think that you are "helping" anyone by trying to justify betrayal. Betrayal is one of the worst things you can do to a person. On the one hand you ask to not be judged or criticized for your cheating, while at the same time telling the people on this site (many of whom are suffering terribly from betrayal) how upset you are because your affair fell apart, and because your cheater friend turned out to be turd. What did you expect from a man who would cheat with you, against your husband? Unreal. You're bargaining with yourself to justify this mess. Cheating is cheating, no matter how you cut it (physical or emotional), and you're still in "cheat mode" with all this chatting with the other man and hoping he'll come back into the fold with you again. It's disgusting. There will always be temptations in life. It takes character and honesty to not give in, even when you think you can get away with it.

 

I don't think you're in love with this other guy. I think you're in love with the idea of someone being crazy for you. Your cheater friend was crazy for you, but what happened? It faded and then disappeared, ending with him cutting you off and him being with another woman. That's because "crazy in love" is unsustainable, and is the stuff of fairytales. Not too mention that anyone who is willing to insert themselves into another couples relationship (like your cheater friend did) is an opportunist, and will always be looking out for themselves first and foremost.

 

You say things have gotten better with your husband. Well, work on that, and thank the stars that he's even willing to stay with you after your affair. That, or get a divorce and allow your husband to go find a woman who won't stab him in the back when someone else tempts you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...