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This is excellent advice!

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Thank you for your rambling. Thank you thank you thank you. Marianna you are NOT alone. Thank you for your comments. You really helped me see that there is still hope even though the progress is slow going some days. Up days and down days. Most of all, thank you Natalie for creating such a wonderfully safe harbor for everyone to heal and move on. Thank you all for your kind words.

They mean a lot to me. Mending, I think, often takes much longer than the time spent in the relationship. But I told myself that if I was willing to spend 2 years in a dead-end relationship that crushed me, I should be willing to spend at least that long truly HEALING from it, if only to keep myself from making the same foolish choices again. Listen to Nat!!! It will get better.

I promise. A year and a half with my MM and it took me that long to get over the big hump and really begin to move forward. I really believed everything he ever told me and even after I horribly ended things with him, I think I was still holding out…hoping for him to do something. Make a move or prove me wrong or something. Still clinging to the fairy tale and all the plans we made. What helped me was reading this blog and other various articles all saying the same thing I found online, facing reality by looking at facts only, which was hard for me to separate and to stop speculating and treating feelings as facts.

I also made The List. Once I thought of everything I could, I looked at that list and it helped me to see him more clearly not as a monster or a piece of crap, but more balanced and without rose-colored glasses. It helped me to see that list and ask myself if this was The One for me, as I had thought. In other words, to focus on what I wanted instead of the perceived rejection.

Do you want a guy you can trust? Can you trust him? Do you want a guy who is so good at lying? The other thing is to start focusing on building up your self-esteem. They can be simple or major things. Paint your nails, get a hair cut, sign up for a dance class, learn something new, etc. Baby steps. To hear from people who have been in the same boat, and come out of it is the most helpful thing I have read so far! And I have read a LOT! Sometimes I think that reading about it all keeps me focussed on him and is another way of holding on to him because once I let go that really is it!

Kerrazy I know, I am sure he is not reading all about how to let go of me! THAT is the crux of the learning. A total denial of reality and a belief in a fairy tale of love and obstacles and true love will out. When as we know it is the truth that will out. I thank you all for your stories and advice here. Even MORE thoughts I had thanks for letting me vent , after reading the other comments on here and thinking about things for a bit:. One of the main problems with trying to heal from an affair is the fact that you have multiple wounds to heal from.

First, there is the pain from the relationship ending. This pain, like any breakup, hurts like hell all on its own—even if YOU ended it, or agreed that ending it was the right thing to do. And to make matters even WORSE, you have to face the personal issues like low self-esteem, poor boundaries, pain from previous relationships, etc. It had its problems, obviously. Instead, for whatever reason, he is honoring the vows he made. I feel the same way.

For cheating on his wife rather than ending one relationship before starting another? Therefore, I prefer to think of him the way KC described: that he has stopped at least ONE lie and is trying to do right by his wife and kids. The rest of my original comment got caught off, and might again, as I tend to ramble. If I truly loved him, I would want him to be his best self and to do the right thing instead of wanting him to choose a path that will cause him a ton of guilt and shame and regret, that might end his relationship with his kids, and that might destroy his self-respect all of which he would likely resent me for and would destroy whatever relationship we had.

More importantly, instead of focusing on my pain and on the rejection, I started looking at why I choose men who need to reject me. One of the hardest things for me, in letting the MM go, was to admit that he lied to me. The whole relationship was based on fraud and lies and deception. I needed to get my ego stroke, my words of affirmation, and the truth about me from another source. It was hard to admit these things, but when I did, I felt freer than I had in a very long time.

Less pain, more truth, a better me. Depends if that is what he is really going to do. A lot of these guys state this after they feel the pressure to leave the marriage. Today, I have recommended several mistresses to this post, as I only see them in cyber space, due to what I consider odd character -being a mistress- I refuse to socialize with them. Like, why would I want those women hanging with me as I flirt with and date new men?

Talk about bringing the wolf to the lambs. There, I said it. I tough-loved the mistresses out of my social life. Why not just go and hang out with like-minded folk? You have no empathy for them — you could never be a friend or confidante. Being devoid of empathy is a code red alert. For them. Would you listen to an under 40 woman make the same complaints? Natalie, thank you for this.

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Had to get my reading glasses on to see it, of course. And then I tripped on my cane on the way back to the computer. Have to agree Kmac — you did give me a terrible fit of the giggles and a hilarious mental picture! Thank you! Kmac: LOL loved this!!

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Am 52 and had to put my glasses on 2 and use my zimmer frame to get to the computer!! Hey all, got my bifocals, cane, and all my electronic devices to assist me in my old age. Thanks Natalie for clearing up the age factor. Trust me, Wildflower somethings can have wild passionate sex just like 20, 30, 40 somethings.

If only it were about wild passionate sex. I know thinking about 50 somethings having sex may be a yikes moment. But 50 somethings have sex and relationships too. I do have a great deal of empathy for anyone who has been deceived and for anyone who has deceived themselves whether they are 2o, 30, 40 or 50 or It still hurts. Hope this blog is still around when you turn 50! Thanks for the great response to the higher than mighty Flower. Many middle aged women still got it going on. Can we stop treating age 40 as some magic number?

People develop at different rates. There is such a ripple effect with affairs. I strongly suggested she get serious psychiatric treatment for her issues. The scope and sheer insanity she engaged in was very very scary. The issues they carry are extreme, life long and cannot be glossed over by the affair. This guy is married with a slew of kids and NO he has not left his wife. Max, I disagree with some of this comment. Very smart people who have even had fairly emotionally stable lives can become greatly impacted.

Excellent response Nat. Then a funny thing happened — I started reading the comments on the site and found that a lot of OWs had a many of the same issues that I had. For serious, you never know with those wiley creatures. I had a friend was she, really? I patiently listened.

She invited me to her birthday girls only — they did not know about the bf then. I made some comment since I did not know what the situation was at the time, and it turned out she thought I should be envious of her since I did not have a bf. When she told me how long she was dating the bf I realized it must have been even before her divorce started. Well, I try not to judge, but I felt used and hurt since I was good enough to listen to her, but not good enough to need some time to recover after a long marriage… I try to avoid her now.

Eventually, they will find out but it is too late…as poor women already in love with these losers! I feel sorry for both sides OW and wives…. Also there are always the exception stories you hear about from a friend of a friend etc. And also you have people who are always in the media like Angelina and Brad. Angelina was a OW and they are still together. I wonder what makes them the exception? Why are they still together? In my experience it happens quickly, within months if not weeks.

AJ was NOT an exception to that. The longer it goes on, I feel that the less likely it is that he or she will leave. They get comfortable with the double life. The wife conned by the husband and robbed by OW. I think there is always a cost to a man leaving his wife, partner etc. My dad left for his mistress, made it work for 19 years before she left him for another man.

He will probably never know the full cost of his choice to leave and be with his mistress. Angelina even grew up in that country. You have no way of knowing what the reality is behind the hello type photoshoots. Everyone makes mistakes. I would also like to add being in contact with people who could not empathise was what caused me to withdraw and caused my stress related illnesses.

We assume to be oh so individual, but we are just as crazy as everybody else. I was turned into an affair after my long-distance dude started dating my facebook friend who was writing with me for several weeks before they got together. He just changed our roles and eventually I was left one month before I could have applied for jobs USA since he was so annoyed by my jealousy and said our relationship had not been perfect to begin with since I was jealous at innocent romantic remarks at is fb wall — and so he chose her.

The irony is that my jealousy simply showed me who he truly is — somebody who starts affairs quickly and is skilled at stringing people along. The thing is these men are not evil; they have their own issues. But those are none of my business. I have to get right with myself and understand that relationships are not an escape from reality but the cherry on top of an already full life.

Unavailable after another, it becomes far more pleasant to live there than in reality. Marianna, Reading your comment us like reading a page from my own life. I too was involved with a married man. The only difference is that i didnt initially know he was married. It was a long distance relationship and he told me that he was divorced.

I found out a year later that he wasarried. He admitted that he was married but that they were separated and didnt have the money to divorce her. I forgave him only to find out 3 years later that they were not separated… But living together the entire time. I saw the red flags… Questioned him about my suspicions but he always had a logical explanation. He was quite good at turnibg things around on me and making me feel selfish. Its beem year since i ended it. Yet, like you, my heart still loves and misses this person… And i cannot understand why.

Every few months he calls to see if im seeing someone. Im not but i told him last December that i was. Felt awful for lying but i felt it was the only way to set myself free. How did you meet this guy, and how often did you see each other? Did he have two homes? Were you exclusive? Can you physically touch them not just see across the desk at work on three separate days each week, every week, consistently. Fantasy relationships almost always have three core elements: 1.

Distance and crumb communication to match 2. Failure of the touch test. Perfect article. I managed to get myself out of an affair, but I really had to let it all blow up in my face and realise the deception was to everyone. They love their wife, they love you and they probably love every other woman that makes them feel happy for that moment. Unfortunately when your that happy you attract people who want a taste of that happiness as their life is so miserable and they want a way out.

They see you as the way out! It comes from either an unhappy marriage, unsatisfied life or not reaching their goals. Seeing you achieve all that you are makes them want a piece of you but to keep their life they built at home intact which is crumbling around them. I soon changed though, his problems became mine and I got obsessed with this whole wanting to change his life and make him happy.

I lost myself, my dignity and all my own personal morals. I lost that amazing happy single person I once was and got sucked into deception, lies and an untrue me. It ended 6 months later and I never want to go back there again. I really hope he is being a true husband. I look back and realise I did love him but it was more the idea of him the cardboard cut out but he was never mine to love. I was lucky I had amazing family and friends to pick me back up and get me on my feet again. It turned my life upside down and strangely for the better.

Ive learnt how low I can go and I never want to go back there again. My friend also during the same time was with a married man, her love affair story has actually ended with a smile. The man had guts and left his unhappy marriage to be with her. But this is rare. I was married for 10 years—no kids, which I know complicates things—but I was unhappy and had the courage to leave. It was NOT easy. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I broke his heart. I had to live with that. I have been hit on by married men and I do not hide my disdain.

As Natalie says above: there is no such thing as an honest cheat but even more importantly—there is no such thing as a liar with character. It started as an affair. They each eventually left their spouses after some back and forth on his side and settled into a life together. Problem was…. His ex was and still is so hurt by the whole business she has made everything and I mean everything very difficult. Her ex was not much better. From splitting their assets to contact with the children. Holidays were a nightmare on both sides.

My friend told me that she was ashamed that her kids and the rest of her family knew all about the circumstances of how they got together. They have been together for 6 years now and are on the verge of splitting for good. Headache, heartache, stress, anger, and a whole host of other negatives touching not only them but everyone involved. Two months ago today there was a large popping sound…it was my head coming out of my rear end. I woke up and looked at my Married Man and thought…if you are lying to your wife to see me, then how can I believe anything that is coming out of your mouth.

We had met online and from the beginning he lied about his age, the email he gave me and the fact that he was married…so what would make me think that he would be honest with me now. Luckily we had only been together nine months and I had tried to leave him three times before because of how badly I felt about the affair. He always pulled me back in by taking me on trips, the sweet nothings he would say to me and promises that he would leave his wife…just not right now.

It has been the most difficult time of my life…the affair, attempting to break it off, going back and then realizing it was me that needed to change my behavior, not him. This website and the book have helped save me from myself. Thanks Natalie! Their relationship developed a little before or around the same time he met me, and I knew he was attracted to me and felt that chemistry and connection. Fast forward several months, and I get a kiss and an I love you from him. I say it back, along with telling him my health secret. From there, everything goes downhill for me.

I definitely felt like I was in some kind of holding pattern, waiting to see if he would leave his girlfriend, or if he would spend more time with me again. He was the first man in so long that I felt something for, after being divorced for so long from an emotionally abusive husband.

I have surprised everyone in my life with how fast I went downhill over this. My reaction compares to those from women on this site who have been with an attached man for years! What is wrong with me? I know it cos I felt it too for so long I thought it was normal. That would piss me off if he had no intention of following through.

First, you will be sad, then you will be mad. Hi Doubtful, I was thinking of your situation earlier and I suspect that this is where you are stuck:. There was a build up. A move was made. You then blurted out the secret health thing.

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He bolted. You then feel rejected. You are stuck on the perceived rejection and your feelings about this secret. NML, Thank you for taking the time to consider my situation and respond. It is very personal. You are correct on every point from all the way across the pond. How did you do that when I have had to be in therapy to figure it out? Why do you think my impression is mistaken? Lets just say for hypothetical that your health secret did scare him. Lets also say that any man you truly want to be with and trust with real intimacy you would eventually share your secret with — otherwise, what kind of relationship is it?

And rather than waiting, building a relationship, luring him away from his gf, that wise part of you decided to have him reveal his character up front. And he failed the test, big-time. The shame and disappointment is not on you. He wanted a fantasy on the side; you gave him a real person and he freaked. This is not the partner you hoped he would step up and be. This is not the man for you.

O my goodness, Ixnay, I am so grateful for your words. During another follow up conversation, I explained that I thought I told him because I did not want him to leave his gf and arrive on my doorstep only to find this out then. Almost as if I was watching out for him more than for myself. He told me there was a lot of beauty in that truth. So, it seems he was fine with all this, but I just could not settle down inside.

Then, I had to watch him with his gf which made me all the more unsettled. I would like to think that there is a wise part inside me that was watching out, like you say. In fact, when I told the therapist that I might have self-sabotaged, her response was like yours, saying she thought I had self-preserved. I am almost 50 years old and am facing things about myself for the first time. So odd to have thought I knew myself so well only to have to go through so much self-discovery now. It is taking a long time to retrieve my equilibrium. The more I read of your situation, the more it confirms that this was a fantasy situation.

Both of you were being unrealistic and one of you was actually having an affair. This seems to have bypassed you and the truth is, this whole situation is more about your feelings about you than it is about him. In the face of truth, you have opted to hold onto blame and shame. Now why would that be? I think that was an assumption on your part. This man was just playing around. You both had different views of the same relationship.

You are under a mistaken impression that you and he were in love. This is an inappropriate, clandestine involvement that got out of hand. Self-preservation indeed. But you have been punishing yourself unnecessarily and ultimately, it is you who must stop rejecting you. All this situation has done is highlight how you need to take care of you and come to terms with your secret. Stop rejecting yourself before others do.

Thanks, NML. Are you meaning that the uncomfortable truths include how I feel about myself or about the fact that he rejected me?

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When you mention that one of us was having an affair, which one? The I love you and the kiss is too much, but not worth a year of agonising. Also, gym instructors pull this stunt all the time. They get up close and personal with women who are vulnerable, then move on when the woman appears to be taking them seriously. Happened to a colleague of mine. Her marriage was almost wrecked by her obsessiveness and her texting.

He had no intention of ever fully entering. And then go home to your girlfriend. If you want more than fun, pick someone who can offer you that.

All you have to do do is fantasize, cry, and react. Unless you are both single, the two of can only be just messing around. A more valid pursuit is to ask yourself why so little meant so much to you and continues to do so. You are so right here. I am EU. I never even looked at another man. This man was my exercise instructor, I knew some of his family, and I helped promote his new studio.

I felt I was more than just a student in his class. He was attentive, and I exceled in the class. It was very hands on, and I am not exaggerating when I say I felt that he and his instruction melted me. I think I did feel it was safe as he had a gf, and I did not think anything would really progress. Once it did, though, even if barely, I was a wreck and have remained so. I always knew but did not understand the impact of how badly I truly feel about myself. I am very grateful for the responses I have received, from you and others, including NML.

I feel like my story is so small, and I have spent so much time trying to figure out what was real, what I did wrong, where he was coming from, etc. I never expected such responses, all of which have helped to validate my experience. It was real after all. And, if I had more faith in myself and in my worth, I would not have had to wonder in the first place.

Aaaaaand I just choked on my iced tea hahahaha! Oh gawd, I will never be able to hear that dignified GPS voice again without picturing a giant schlong skipping down a garden path. At least it means you felt uneasy rather early, which is a good thing in my book, EVEN IF you might have done some stupid things to avoid the truth at first.

Well, maybe some of your acquaintances might have judged you more positively, but who cares? It will only hurt us more. More than a decade ago, I stayed in a dysfunctional relationship for years. He was EU and very self-centered, but I gladly put up with it because he reminded me of momster sigh. Thanks, Elly B, for your considered reply. I do think this is my personal bottom, as you mention. This man was my exercise instructor, and it was a pretty intimate and physical setting in general.

I feel like he melted me, almost. I thought it would be my dream come true to have him kiss me and say he loved me, but it turned out to be the worst that could have happened. I turned into a nervous nelly. Soon after, his gf stopped speaking with me and he was aligned with her.

At the exercise place he owned, it was as if I was discarded. ALL of them would swear blind there was nothing amiss with what they were doing…. It might be a relaxing environment for you, and help you to distract yourself from your current turmoil, too. It almost bet that some more months into your recovery, you would not even WANT to return to your old gym anymore. Thanks, EllyB. It is a small, intimate exercise studio, and I would attend early morning classes before work. You are right, it has cost more money to change studios, not to mention the therapy expense.

Thus far, I am perservering, but if I were to be truthful, I would say that I am waiting for when none of this matters to me anymore so that I can go back to the original studio. Just tonight she told me the same thing — that the goal of the therapy, the healing cannot be to go back there. I fell for it!! And for the wrong reasons. However, I told him we needed to stop and to stop calling me. The problem is, I have a major attraction to this guy — being with him felt like a drug of some kind. Having watched a friend go through something similar to you recently, I would suggest there is something you are not facing up to in your life.

Some of those issues probably relate to your current relationship. You are so right on all points! These are things I need to hear. I have such a strong attraction to the MM, I still think about him non-stop. I know I will never get the attention or intimacy I crave from my own husband. I am taking steps to stand on my own two feet so I can leave in a couple of years. It makes no sense. I feel like a lunatic! Men somehow tend to get away with less harm to themselves.

I do have the impression that this is the case. Women do get more penalized for everything, even for aging. I knew he was married but I was thrilled by the attention, the Hitchcock-level intrigue and enjoyed the dysfunctionally passionate sex. I take responsibility for putting myself in an impossibly painful situation that, of course, ended badly. A year later, I rarely think of him except to be reminded of his manipulation and cruelty. In December, I started receiving strange texts he was using a different cell number from a man trying to meet for sex. I had my doubts at first, but now know it had to be him.

I was disgusted by his contact. We were in a very small social circle. He was wildly attracted to me from the get go. After two years he invited me out for coffee. He invited me to every social event at his home. Finally one night when his wife was out of town he invited me to dinner.

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Why don't I feel confident? Then and this is really important challenge the hell out of those thoughts and start looking for evidence you already have, to disprove the negativity. You will be able to find proof that there were times you have been confident and felt great, you just need to let yourself look for it. Remember that confidence is a feeling created by a thought so check your thoughts and change how you feel. Read more: How to inspire sexual confidence. Seriously isn't it about time you started having your own back?

Self-Forgiveness & Overcoming Guilt

Isn't it about time you started to choose to like yourself and look at all the wonderful things that make you you? When we really know our worth we become sexually confident effortlessly. Confidence isn't something you get from anyone else other than yourself. Confidence is not something you need a partner to give to you or validate in you. When we really know our worth we stop giving people discounts. So start being nice to yourself and you'll find more people willing to be nice to you. I have co-workers who don't believe me that it works but I am a total believer.

I have noticed little things changing like wanting a glass of water when I wake up each morning. There is no other explanation as far as I'm concerned. Now I look at shedding pounds not losing weight. It also allows you to relate to what your mind set is on food and how to control it. Why are you really eating?

Are you hungry? Most times I am not. I think the skinny book gives you insight to putting out positive energy and attitude and if anyone is sending you negative energydon't let them. Read the Skinny book. Page down for other works by the same author. And then I'd tell her how to empower me to build self esteem that would not be dependent on my success or lack thereof. Never before has there been a book that actually exposes the myth of self esteem.

Yes, our society is a self esteem crisis promulgated by the way we were taught by well meaning parents and role models to build self esteem. We were taught to make something of ourselves to feel better about us—get a well paying job or career, graduate high school or a prestigious college, get married and have a fine looking family, buy a beautiful home, be charitable, have a lot of friends, and so on. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these aspirations the heart of the American dream , accomplishing them with the intent of feeling better about ourselves, sets us up for a disastrous life crisis that may not stop at only one crisis but go on and on to a resultant end of life.

This book is about how to build true self esteem from self. How to rekindle that level of self esteem to that which each of us was born. We innately felt good about ourselves without the need for success. Exploring each new day was sufficient for maintaining our self esteem. When we were babies there were no "bad hair days" on our mind. This book unravels the mystery of how to feel good about yourself in the midst of disaster. This book puts a bounce in your step.

As you read this book, you will actually think that Richard is in the room coaching you in overcoming the "dead-give-aways" of self confidence unconscious habits like the Gallow's laugh, to name one of the many, that announces to the world that you have little if any confidence , developing assertiveness, and establishing a self image that's built on solid foundations! A mid life crisis or for that matter any life crisis will have you question the fabric of your being. A life crisis can start at any time. It could be simply from waking up one day and realizing that your life has been wasting away.

Or life crisis can happen after break up of a relationship, loss of a job, collapse of the stock market, death of a loved one, or loss of a physical skill, debilitating accident, signs of aging, change in social status, and so on. Why me? Why now? Your days and night are consumed with anguishing thoughts and even wondering why you should go on. With this book you can put your life back together and discover new purpose in life. In fact I find many panic suffers go into a panic state when they attempt deep breathing exercises or try to relax.

Strangely enough, panic anxiety attack, and agoraphobia are all diseases of ignorance. Your personality traits and diet often determines that you react with anxiety to stress—including free floating anxiety. Everything you need to know about how to put a floor where that bottomless pit was, get on with your life, and be happy again. An intimate option to expensive restaurants with even better food.