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Had an affair (Not proud) and now super confused! Help!


Anonymous1983

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Hi all,

 

This is my first time posting on here. I hope some of you have the patience to go through it and give me some advice.

 

 

I am not really sure how to structure this post, so I will begin with some of the background information.

 

I [32 yrs] have been dating my girlfriend [28 yrs] for about 7 years now. We met while I was working in Switzerland. She is Thai and was in Zurich on a business trip. For about 6 months after her trip, we kept in touch online and I ended up visiting her for 1.5 weeks in Bangkok, which is were we officially got together. For about 2 years we held a long distance relationship, visiting each other 3-4 times a year. Eventually an opportunity arose and I moved to Bangkok, Thailand for work and have been here for roughly 5 years now.

 

Regardless of the long distance factor, our relationship started out rather great. She is a very kind, caring, and beautiful person. The distance between us multiplied our love for each other. Being in such a long relationship, we've met each other's families and friends. We even often talked about the future, marriage, etc... I suppose, what most couples talk about after being in a relationship for so long.

 

Things weren't always perfect in the relationship. We had a lot of disagreements and arguments over the years, but always managed to come to a compromise. After about the 4.5-5 years I started became disgruntled in the relationship and when I look back at it now, I think unhappy. I could never really pinpoint the reason to my unhappiness. Not sure if I wasn't satisfied with aspects of my relationship. I also had a rough patch in my career. The company I worked for went bankrupt and then the company I joined shortly after also had to downsize. Shortly after I got a new job. Luckily all still in Thailand, but there were a lot of stress factors at that time.

 

To get to the point. I had an affair around 5.5 years into our relationship. This is also the first time I cheated on anyone.

 

Now before you guys start lambasting me, please know I don't feel proud about what I've done. Feel free to call me names, tell me how much of an a-hole I am, but really, I know all of this already. I know very well what I did was wrong! I am an a-hole for cheating and lying. I feel truly guilty. I am disgusted by what I've done, but I can't change the past any more. What is done is done and I must live with it.

 

So you may be asking yourself, how did this affair begin, interestingly enough it began the same way my 7 year relationship began. A woman [27 yrs] from the Philippines was in Bangkok for work, we bumped into each other through a work conference and kept in touch online. To this day, I do not know what drove me to start this affair. I know that one bad decision, lead to another, then another and before I knew it I was in too deep. I may have believed that this was an opportunity for me to vent my frustration and unhappiness or something, but again, I am not sure now why I really did it. If I think hard enough to the reasons of the affair, I really come up blank. I had no intent to mess with my gf's feelings.

 

Over the course of 1.5 years, I visited my affair gf in the Philippines a total of 4 times, she visited me twice. I naturally kept things discrete. This also means that I did not share my social media profiles Meaning she didn't know I had a girlfriend at the time. The difference between my affair and relationship of 7 years, was that the woman I was having an affair with wasn't entirely serious at start. She didn't believe so much in long distance relationships and to her it was just a fun moment in her life. This is something she actually told me during the first few months of our affair. As time passed, it wasn't about just sex any more, but we emotionally bonded at such a level that I have never experienced before. I think I feel in love with her, but I was afraid to tell her. At some point she even told me her feelings for me changed and she really liked me. And basically when that happened, (During my latest trip in January) I snapped.

 

As I flew back to Thailand from my last trip visiting her, I knew I had to fess up, I couldn't keep it inside of my any more. Something had to change. I was so deep into this that I became very scared of what would happen, but I also felt guilty, sad, angry, and most of all confused (Still am). About a few days after my trip I came clean about my situation with my affair gf. I told her how bad I felt, asking for her forgiveness and that I was a total d-bag for what I had done, but I also blurted out that I felt so much for her, that everything we experienced emotionally was genuine and that I really wish I could be with her. Of course my assumption was that this is over. The day after, she messaged me saying that if I wanted her back, I should be fighting to make it up. She magically accepted my apology saying that she really did like me and that I had a very easy choice. Either her or my 7 yr gf. I think deep down I really wanted my affair gf, but I told her that I had to choose my 7 yr gf and sort things out with her. My affair gf also asked me at the time we talked whether we could realistically even have a relationship because of the long distance, etc... I sided with her on that saying long distance may not work, even though I knew it was possible. That night we talked, we decided to talk for the last time, that was about 1.5 weeks ago.

 

Now the thing is, I did not tell my 7 yr gf about the affair. Many of you may think that she has a right to know and a right to decide whether she should continue this relationship. While that is a fair argument and knowing that I violated her trust, I do not have the heart to tell her. She is a very sensitive person and if I told her what I did, she would be devastated and I am honestly not sure if she would recover knowing what had happened. Telling her would also not make me feel any less guilty or bad. What I did is set in stone, there is no turning back and I will always feel horrible for it. Regardless of the different side of opinions, I have decided not to tell her

 

What is confusing me the most is if I still love my girlfriend or if I love my affair gf? Many may say that if I cheated on her, why would I love her, that doesn't make any sense. I would probably agree with anyone making that statement, but I do care for her a lot and can't bear to see her get hurt. I only want the best to keep her in that happy bubble, but deep down inside I am not sure if I am happy, if I REALLY love her. Another question that keeps me up is if I really am in love with the woman I had an affair with or whether it was just infatuation.

 

After I ended my affair, my gf and I talked about our relationship for about 3-4 days. I questioned the status of our relationship. I told her how I felt, both positive and negative. We cried a lot, she cried even more thinking the relationship would end, but I kept saying that I wanted to work on our relationship. That I needed to find out what was wrong, why I was unhappy and change that. My girlfriend now thinks everything is okay, but deep down inside, I have this pain and this sadness. On the other side, I feel I have this duty to my gf, to make her the happiest she can be. I am totally lost right now.

 

I drafted a big email to my affair gf about 5-6 days ago. The email is sitting in my inbox. I basically wrote how much I am madly deeply in love with her and how she completes me. At first I thought if I wrote out what I felt, it may give me clarity, but still I am not sure what I should do. Now the email sits in my inbox waiting to either be sent or not at all. The longer I wait, the less chance I will have at rekindling things with her, but then again I don't know if I should send it. Maybe all my 7 yr gf and I need is that we put a bit of effort into our relationship to try and get it to bloom again or maybe it is just too late. Should I just end it after 7 years and send out that email or should I just end it with both completely and try to find myself, eventually going on into a new relationship?

 

I am totally lost right now. While I've done a lot of bad in this relationship, I do also feel heartbroken. I wish I could take it all back, but now I am here and I don't know what to do! How do I know if I still love my gf or if I REALLY love my affair gf? This all seems very childish for a 30+ year old man, but I've never been in a situation like this before. Is there any logical and objective way to analyze this and then come to a conclusion?

 

Hope someone can help me come closer to an answer.

 

Kind regards,

Mark

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I'm not going to call you names. As you said, you already know what they are and which ones apply to you.

 

You also already know what you want, and what you have to do to get it. You're just agonizing because you feel like you should.

 

The bottom line is this: you have to come clean to your girlfriend (your long-term girlfriend). You think you're doing her a favor by not telling her, but here you are, having already cheated on her questioning whether or not you even love her, and on the fence about whether to leave her. She deserves better, and she'll find better. Oh yeah, she's gonna hate you, no way around that. But she really deserves to. And that hatred will help her get over you faster. If you care as much about her feelings as you say you do, you'll let her hate you and won't do anything to try to save face.

 

Also, you'll send that email that's waiting in your inbox. Because you know you love this woman, and if you're both okay being together and trusting each other after what's transpired, you deserve each other.

 

So man up and do the right thing. Yeah, it sucks, and you have nobody to blame but yourself, but you know it's what you have to do.

 

Best of luck.

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Affair gf:

About a few days after my trip I came clean about my situation with my affair gf. I told her how bad I felt, asking for her forgiveness and that I was a total d-bag for what I had done, but I also blurted out that I felt so much for her, that everything we experienced emotionally was genuine and that I really wish I could be with her.

 

Another question that keeps me up is if I really am in love with the woman I had an affair with or whether it was just infatuation.

 

Long-term gf:

We cried a lot, she cried even more thinking the relationship would end, but I kept saying that I wanted to work on our relationship. That I needed to find out what was wrong, why I was unhappy and change that.

 

I only want the best to keep her in that happy bubble, but deep down inside I am not sure if I am happy, if I REALLY love her.

 

What is confusing me the most is if I still love my girlfriend or if I love my affair gf?

 

 

You love neither. How can one tell? Your actions and your words don't match. Your mind is all over the place, vacillating from one to the other. To me this says that you love neither. You are in no position to love anyone at this point in your life because you seem to have lost yourself. Love = consistency between words and actions. If you look at the quotes insulated above, not even your words match.

Don't send that e-mail to your affair x-gf. Your emotions are so fluid that whatever you wrote in there is liable to change again and again. If you are really not a d-bag and don't want to hurt her any further, let her go. You are in no state to provide anyone with a healthy relationship right now.

Break up with your girlfriend and seek professional counselling to find what went wrong. How can you fix any of the two relationships if you don't know the causes? You can't.

Break up with both and focus on yourself. As long as you don't know WHY/WHAT went wrong, you are in no position to sustain a healthy relationship with someone else. You need to find yourself first and you can't do that with a second person in the equation, or you risk repeating the same mistakes.

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It wasn't really an affair. It was a double life which is worse. You lied to both of them and pretended you were single. You knew the whole time it was wrong and since it was long distance, you could have easily put a stop to it but you carried it on for 2years. This is pathalogical lying.

 

Now you are still lying and trying to hide everything which shows you have not changed or really learned from the experience. Past behavior is a clear indication of future behavior and you will likely repeat this viscious cycle unless there are consequences and you work on yourself to figure out why you did this and learn how to prevent it from happening again

 

My guess is you like the infatuation stage more than the commitment stage. You got a bit bored or comfortable and you were looking for some excitement. These things don't "just happen". You allowed it to happen because you wanted it to happen

 

And being dissatisfied or unhappy is not an excuse or reason for your actions.

 

I think your partner deserves the truth

 

Also your partner must have meant an awful lot to you since you moved to be with her, changed your whole life because she is what you wanted. This shows impulsive, irrational behavior based again on infatuation. A relationship has a weak chance of working if one partner has to give up everything to be with the other. There is too much sacrifice involved

 

I think you are in love with the idea of being in love and do not really know what real love or commitment is

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I can't bash you for the affair, shyt happens and at times we allow desires to get the best of us.. I will say though if you're not happy and you don't love your gf you need to leave. It's not right to waste another person's time under false pretences. I'm not even saying that you have to come clean about everything to her, but you definitely should let her know that your heart isn't in it anymore. Allow her to begin her healing process, don't waste anymore of her time. I highly doubt your affair gf is tenable for the long term. Even if it were are you sure that you would be able to remain faithful to her especially with the distance? And no matter how much she says she understands and forgave you, she will always have in her head that you came to her out of deception. That is a huge recipe for insecurity. She'll question everything you do, and will even start to put herself in your gfs shoes and wonder if you're going to start an affair and leave her the same way..

 

Whatever you do, good luck to you.. But at the end of the day always be proud of your decisions, be a man of principles and morals.

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Well, it's 2:00 a.m. here and I'm too tired to call you names anyway lol But also probably too tired to write a proper reply....I personally think that you did give the answer as to which woman you really love (you said this a few times), and that is your affair girlfriend. It sounds to me like you were starting to lose feelings for your 7 year girlfriend, which is why you had the affair. But then you freaked out for whatever reason when the affair girlfriend asked you to be with her. I think obviously you still care about your long term girlfriend and maybe love her as a person, but you don't sound "in love" with her. Either way I think you should tell the 7 year girlfriend the truth and really end it with her for good. I think you care for her and her wellbeing and don't want to hurt her, but that is not a reason to stay with her. As far as the other woman, yeah, I would be careful as to thinking how true your feelings that you consider love really are. It could be infatuation and escapism and feeling the butterflies because it was something new and exciting. I would say end it with 7 year gf and then be alone for another week or two. If during that time you still can't stop thinking about the affair girlfriend, then you should be with her.

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but I also blurted out that I felt so much for her, that everything we experienced emotionally was genuine
This, my friend, is pure fantasy and when you realize that you were with this women ONLY when life didn't get in the way, only when there was nothing but sexual energy (due to not seeing her much so each time was like the first), Only with her in a perpetual state of "new relationship energy" and that you don't know her well enough to know that you love her, only that you are in lust with her, that is when you will get over your feelings of limerence for her and be able to concentrate on your relationship with your 5 year girlfriend.

 

If you knew the affair partner well enough to actually not fear leaving old faithful of five years, you wouldn't have left her, you would be with her and you wouldn't much care past the initial guilt about Miss five years.

 

You would do well to get personal therapy to help you to come to terms with your guilt and then once you have, you can then make an informed decision as to whether you stay with 5 years because you love her or you're just there because she's safe and a habit.

 

Whatever you do, don't leave her for the affair partner. That would be a huge mistake you'd have made over lust and infatuation and new relationship energy. Nothing more and when that all wanes (which it will in any long term relationship) you'll wonder why you were stupid enough to do what you did.

 

You better learn from your mistakes too. Obviously you can't be in an ongoing email situation with the opposite sex. You confuse your infatuation for love, you lack the personal boundaries to keep yourself from become vulnerable to other women and you have little self-control. Work on you and then make life changing decision when you are more in control through the use of personal boundaries and self-restraint.

 

You'd be far better off if you just did the mental work you need to do to STOP thinking of Miss Affair then you ever would to be with her because you cant stop thinking of an eff buddy that you mistake feelings of lust for love for. Think about it. What kind of life mate material is someone that found out you lied to her about being single and then would still stay with you knowing that you lived with someone the whole time you were playing bed buddies with her? Most people worth having would have disowned you immediately, came here to post about how betrayed they are over your lying through omission and would do the work they need to get over you. THAT is someone you can assume is worth being with because they have the self-respect and love of self to extract themselves from people who lie and cheat.

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I'll add to that soap box speech above by saying that you don't even know if you don't love your long term girlfriend. How can you tell when you have a pink elephant sitting in between your and her emotional connection? You didn't even give her a chance to remedy what was making you so called "unhappy" and that my friend is what is so crappy about this whole situation. Well, she knows now. Maybe you should get that therapy so that you can figure yourself out?

 

The answer is:

You think time spent and lust are the same as commitment and genuine love.

To make things worse, you also think wasting more time will fix it.

^^^ This

 

Yea... don't be listening to people that basically are just giving you a free pass on finding out what's missing in you. Missing to the point that makes you mistake lust for love. Instead, get over your addiction to thinking about her by doing the hard mental work that will get you to the point of being thought free of your fling partner.

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Hi all,

 

Firstly I would like to thank everyone that took the time to read through my post and then reply to it.

Secondly, as tough as it is too read some of the replies, I really appreciate everyone's candor, this is something I really needed.

 

I've given what everyone has said some thought and honestly feel a little better now. Who would have thought that sharing my experience with complete strangers would help me see myself a bit better. Thank you everyone.

 

I am beginning to believe that I am/was in love with the feeling of being in love and since the affair was long distance, that in love feeling lasted a lot longer than if I was consistently together with her. So whenever we met, that feeling was rekindled. So that does make a lot of sense. I however don't believe I am caught up in some vicious cycle that can only be stopped if I seek therapy. I have had my fair share of relationships in the past, but I have never cheated on any of my girlfriends before and I have only cheated on my long-term girlfriend with the affair girlfriend. So if the vicious cycle some of you are referring to is the constant rekindling of the in love feeling with the same affair girlfriend, then okay, I buy that. I do feel super horrible about what I have done and the longer I was in this situation the more and more my guilt, fear, and confusion grew. Now I feel so bad that I don't want to ever find myself in a such a situation again. Some of you may think, once a cheater always a cheater and, "Ya, he says that now, but he will be back at it," but I truly believe the feelings that transpired to get me out of this predicament gave me a good heart and brain whacking, almost akin to a shock. I am not saying all is done and well now, time to carry on, it is not. All those negative feelings that arose from my actions are still there and I know I that it will take a bit of soul searching before I am ready to think about serious relationships again.

 

As much as I want to get in touch with my affair girlfriend because of the lingering feelings I have, I have decided not to. As far as I know, she is already seeking closure, so I have decided to delete her phone number, as well as her Skype and other chat app contacts. I have also deleted the draft email I had saved. I agree now that even if I did get back in touch with her and tried to pursue a relationship, it would be one marred with the memories of me having cheated, perhaps not allowing the relationship to ever fully bloom or to ever have the full trust any relationship deserves. I will probably need some more time to get over her, but that chapter is done.

 

I have also decided (already done) to break up with my long term girlfriend, but have not and will not tell her about my cheating acts. You might not agree and some of you'd say that if I cared for her, I wouldn't have cheated on her to begin with; point taken, but what has happened happened. I still care for her and I don't really see what telling her will achieve other than more sadness and pain. I know how sensitive she is and how much that would damage her. I hope she will be able to find a guy that will love her fully and never do something like that to her. Of course she didn't take the break up very well, but I am sure that in time she will get over it.

 

As for me, I need to keep myself busy with work, friends, and whatever else to get my mind off of this and from this day forward try my best to live a life of honesty.

 

Thanks again for everyone's insights!

 

Kind regards,

Mark

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Hi all,

 

Firstly I would like to thank everyone that took the time to read through my post and then reply to it.

Secondly, as tough as it is too read some of the replies, I really appreciate everyone's candor, this is something I really needed.

 

I've given what everyone has said some thought and honestly feel a little better now. Who would have thought that sharing my experience with complete strangers would help me see myself a bit better. Thank you everyone.

 

I am beginning to believe that I am/was in love with the feeling of being in love and since the affair was long distance, that in love feeling lasted a lot longer than if I was consistently together with her. So whenever we met, that feeling was rekindled. So that does make a lot of sense. I however don't believe I am caught up in some vicious cycle that can only be stopped if I seek therapy. I have had my fair share of relationships in the past, but I have never cheated on any of my girlfriends before and I have only cheated on my long-term girlfriend with the affair girlfriend. So if the vicious cycle some of you are referring to is the constant rekindling of the in love feeling with the same affair girlfriend, then okay, I buy that. I do feel super horrible about what I have done and the longer I was in this situation the more and more my guilt, fear, and confusion grew. Now I feel so bad that I don't want to ever find myself in a such a situation again. Some of you may think, once a cheater always a cheater and, "Ya, he says that now, but he will be back at it," but I truly believe the feelings that transpired to get me out of this predicament gave me a good heart and brain whacking, almost akin to a shock. I am not saying all is done and well now, time to carry on, it is not. All those negative feelings that arose from my actions are still there and I know I that it will take a bit of soul searching before I am ready to think about serious relationships again.

 

As much as I want to get in touch with my affair girlfriend because of the lingering feelings I have, I have decided not to. As far as I know, she is already seeking closure, so I have decided to delete her phone number, as well as her Skype and other chat app contacts. I have also deleted the draft email I had saved. I agree now that even if I did get back in touch with her and tried to pursue a relationship, it would be one marred with the memories of me having cheated, perhaps not allowing the relationship to ever fully bloom or to ever have the full trust any relationship deserves. I will probably need some more time to get over her, but that chapter is done.

 

I have also decided (already done) to break up with my long term girlfriend, but have not and will not tell her about my cheating acts. You might not agree and some of you'd say that if I cared for her, I wouldn't have cheated on her to begin with; point taken, but what has happened happened. I still care for her and I don't really see what telling her will achieve other than more sadness and pain. I know how sensitive she is and how much that would damage her. I hope she will be able to find a guy that will love her fully and never do something like that to her. Of course she didn't take the break up very well, but I am sure that in time she will get over it.

 

As for me, I need to keep myself busy with work, friends, and whatever else to get my mind off of this and from this day forward try my best to live a life of honesty.

 

Thanks again for everyone's insights!

 

Kind regards,

Mark

 

This is just one man's opinion, so take it or leave it.

 

What you end up doing with your affair girl is the least relevant part of this story. If you have feelings for her, go for it. If you're starting to question those feelings, then only good things can come from that, so do what you feel is best.

 

The more important parts are you and your long term girl (from least to most).

 

You haven't done right by your long term girlfriend. She deserves to know the truth, regardless of how pointless you think it is. Knowing everything will help her to heal more quickly and more completely, because she's gonna be going over the relationship with a fine-toothed comb now that it's over, and things aren't going to add up.

 

You say she's sensitive. I say that's just your excuse for being a coward. Stop trying to save face. You want her to look back and remember the good parts about you, I know. But the more you try to make yourself look like a respectable guy, the more she's gonna wonder why it had to end, and the longer she's gonna be in pain over you.

 

Your selfishness screwed her over in the relationship. Don't let your selfishness screw her over in the healing process too.

 

As for you, while I don't think therapy could hurt, you definitely need to work out what exactly you want from relationships. Do your best to learn from your mistakes this time around (not just the cheating thing, but from the whole relationship), and use that knowledge in your future romantic pursuits, whatever form they take.

 

Currently, your thoughts are all over the place as you attempt to cope with what you did. A good example from the above post:

 

I am not saying all is done and well now, time to carry on, it is not. (...) I know I that it will take a bit of soul searching before I am ready to think about serious relationships again.

 

As for me, I need to keep myself busy with work, friends, and whatever else to get my mind off of this (...)

 

You can't work on solving a problem if you're actively trying to distract yourself from that problem. Think on it, talk to people about it, write about it, do whatever you have to do to address it.

 

But obviously, before you move forward, you need to let her know what happened.

 

Best of luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you find yourself in love with two people at the same time, you choose the second person, because if you truly loved the first person, you would never have fallen for the second.

 

I think you want the second one more... But you do love your real girlfriend... You just aren't IN love with her. You care about her well-being and her feelings, but you don't want to be with her. Look at it from this perspective. Take the relationship out of it with your girlfriend and let's say you are just friends... You knew her boyfriend was cheating on her... Would you tell her? Would you feel that she ought to know because she deserves better? Even if the guy swore he would never do it again, do you feel that he deserved her? If you answer the way I think you will, then apply that to you... Tell her... And then both of you move on. You with Ms. Philippines and her with her life... She will get over it with time. Women are much stronger than we get credit for.

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If you find yourself in love with two people at the same time, you choose the second person, because if you truly loved the first person, you would never have fallen for the second.

This is inherently untrue. If you let down personal boundaries, then its quite possible to find yourself in love with more then one person and to choose the second on the premise that your theory is correct is (the op) doing so due to LUST, not love. Particularly when the "feeling" is based on stolen moments where real life didn't get in the way.
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I have never been IN love with two people at the same time. I have been in love and then fallen for another person while in that relationship... I was then IN love with the second person. I still cared very deeply for the first person, but once you realize you are in love with someone else, you realize the difference between love and in love. You can totally love two people at the same time... But I don't think you can be IN love with two people at the same time... Unless you are all in a relationship together. Basically, you can even be in love with the first person and love the second... But once you acknowledge that you are actually IN love... your feelings for the other person become more clear.

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I have never been IN love with two people at the same time. I have been in love and then fallen for another person while in that relationship... I was then IN love with the second person. I still cared very deeply for the first person, but once you realize you are in love with someone else, you realize the difference between love and in love. You can totally love two people at the same time... But I don't think you can be IN love with two people at the same time... Unless you are all in a relationship together. Basically, you can even be in love with the first person and love the second... But once you acknowledge that you are actually IN love... your feelings for the other person become more clear.
This is a prime example of confusing new relationship energy, infatuation and lust while calling that "being in love"
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