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R Complications (An unexpected journey)

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Disturbedbassist posted 4/22/2013 11:04 AM

Let me apologize for the wall of text that is about to happen. I know its not uncommon on SI but still, sorry for "War and Peace." I have been lurking for a while and reading the healing library. My situation just got really complicated and confusing. I really feel like I need to get this out here for some opinions.

My DDay was February 9th of 2013. I was in bed and my WW was cooking breakfast. I decided to use her iPad to check the web and noticed Facebook was open. I opened her messages out of curiosity (I had no suspicion what-so-ever) and noticed a message thread between her and OM going back to November of this year. I immediately confronted her and she confessed to everything. She tried to talk about it but honestly all I remember is packing a bag and leaving for a friendís house. I stayed there for a week and called in sick to work.

That week I had several DDays. I logged into all of her email accounts and read her texts from an old phone. I found 3 previous OMís. One was an online only thing, the other two were PAís. When I confronted her she confessed to all of them and told me everything I wanted to know. After another week of separation and some very emotional conversations (kinda leaving detail out here for brevity) we decided to try counseling and began to R. I felt very hurt but honestly, our relationship had not been that great and I realized those relationship problems (not the Aís) were not all her fault. So we began the R process. She NCíd the OM and gave me (officially) all of her accounts and turned on GPS tracking on her phone so I could see her locations. She became very honest with me and our counseling sessions were very productive. Overall she seemed to be genuine with the R.

In addition to all this, I began to step up my game. I hit the gym and tried old hobbies. I picked up a guitar again for the first time in a while and eventually joined my old band. I lost about 25 lbs and worked harder at work. I ended up getting a promotion which is where stuff has gotten complicated. Life is good, and my marriage seems to be getting better.

I have been getting more attention from females than ever. For the most part its flattering and a boost of confidence for me. I generally avoid flirting back and make sure that my wife is comfortable in my interactions with other people. We have agreed to a full disclosure situation. If someone flirts with her or hits on her she tells me and the other way around. I have told her about this situation, so Ė no secrets here.

I met someone through a professional organization I am a member of and we became friends very quickly. We are only friends but I can tell she has feelings for me. I have not returned her feelings or flirtation in anyway but the whole situation has me fucked up. I can tell that I like her. I donít want to change anything in my life and I love my wife, this is just so complicated emotionally. I canít tell if its because Iím still hurting, angry, vengeful, or if there is some part of me that wants the grass to be greener. I have not spoken with this person since I noticed these feelings (last time we spoke was 3 weeks ago) and told my wife about her interest in me. I have spoken with my counselor about this and he thinks it will pass. I feel like I canít sit on this shit though. Its going to fester if I donít get it out.

So here it is SI. What do you guys think? Has this happened to anyone? Do the feelings ďdissipateĒ as my counselor thinks? I canít help but feel like I need to look at something here, I just donít know where to start. I feel like I am doing everything I can.

[This message edited by Disturbedbassist at 11:08 AM, April 22nd (Monday)]

struggling3 posted 4/22/2013 12:10 PM

Do what you know is right....end of story. Tell the other person the next time you are with her and it feels like an issue again. Simply "I am flattered but I love my wife and am not interested"

Rebreather posted 4/22/2013 12:15 PM

Go NC with this person immediately. It is not uncommone for a BS to have this happen. To see the nightmare of damage it can cause, read the "mad hatter" thread in the I Can Relate forum.

If you want to reconcile, you have to shore up your boundaries. Predators can smell the weakness. No longer consider this person a friend. She is a threat.

Josephine01 posted 4/22/2013 12:22 PM

Dear Disturbed,

I think the same thing that the other poster rebreather said. You need to cease the relationship with this person. Tell her that you think your friendship is moving a bit fast and you are trying to work some issues out with your wife and a new female relationship could complicate the marriage even more.

Hope it works out for you,

h0pe4ul posted 4/22/2013 12:27 PM

I have not returned her feelings or flirtation in anyway but the whole situation has me fucked up.

I have not spoken with this person since I noticed these feelings (last time we spoke was 3 weeks ago) and told my wife about her interest in me. I have spoken with my counselor about this and he thinks it will pass. I feel like I canít sit on this shit though. Its going to fester if I donít get it out.

We have agreed to a full disclosure situation. If someone flirts with her or hits on her she tells me and the other way around. I have told her about this situation, so Ė no secrets here.

I have gone through the same thing as you. After D WHs PAs some years ago, I tried to R with him bc he was so remorseful and truly sorry at the time but my heart had become so numb to the pain I was feeling, I didn't realize I started to detach from WH emotionally.

During this time, other men started giving me compliments, looking my way, and doing the things WH didn't do with me, and it rocked my world in a way.

I started developing feelings for one of them but never told the other man how I felt. However, I did run and tell WH as soon as I realized what was going on.

In your message, it seems like you spoke w/your counselor about how you felt, and YOU know how you feel, but you didn't mention telling your wife about the feelings inside of you regarding the OW, even though you stated in your message that you both agreed to "full disclosure".

Secrecy is the breeding ground for As. So, I would encourage you to tell your wife asap about what's been going on inside of you so that you both have an opportunity to work together on what could be going on inside of you.

Also, you are starting to tell your wife half truths bc you told her how the other woman feels about you but you never mentioned how YOU felt about her.....this is how As start. Please be very careful!

You have changed a lot externally, but how are you doing inside, truly doing internally?

I am not an expert and am not here to diagnose or critique you in any way but during the time I went through what I mentioned above, I became a workaholic and did all I could to change the things around me or externally bc I felt so out of control with what was happening inside of my aching heart.

Have you had time to grieve what was done or to feel angry or to hurt? You love your wife but is there something missing in your marriage for you that you haven't shared with her? What makes you like this OW so much?

It may be time to dig deeper than you have so that you can see what's going on at the root of your like for this OW bc it seems like you like her for how she makes you feel, not truly for who she is because you really don't know her that well yet.

Please talk to your wife so you and she can deal with this and do all you can to put up safeguards with the OW bc if you don't, you could be sending messages to the OW that you are interested without realizing it.

I hope everything works out for you!!! You are not alone. :)

[This message edited by h0pe4ul at 12:31 PM, April 22nd (Monday)]

Fidelia posted 4/22/2013 12:51 PM

Please, if you talk to the female friend DO NOT mention anything to do with the state of your marriage - that can be a breeding ground for an EA.

Please also hear this: If she knows you're married and is still attracted to you and letting you know that, she is NOT your friend. No friend would want another to betray themselves and their marriage.

No contact is best. No apologies are needed. If you have to have contact, then businesslike and no small talk is safest. If she approaches you wanting to know what has changed, you could simply say, "I'm married, love my wife and don't need female friends"

Disturbedbassist posted 4/22/2013 14:57 PM

Thank you all for the advice, I will reply to the questions asked as soon as possible. It's kind of a crazy day at work. For the record I am not currently in contact with this person. I told her that we needed to stop talking because I felt like we were close to crossing professional lines. She does not work at my company. So basically I went NC. I agree I need to tell my wife about all of this, its just not something I'm use to. I have never thought about another women like this since we have been together. I have never cheated on anyone in my life. Any suggestions on how to talk to her about this?

[This message edited by Disturbedbassist at 2:58 PM, April 22nd (Monday)]

standingonmarble posted 4/22/2013 15:07 PM

IMO, I believe this is a stage that a lot of BS go thru. To have the ultimate betrayal happen to you, really messes with your head. To have it verified that you are still attractive and "doable" is an ego boost just when you need it/don't need it.

As for talking about it to WW, you might want to approach it from that view point, just how validating it is to know that you are still a desirable man. Do those feelings give you any insight as to how her A happened? Could this discussion lead to some real understanding between the two of you? Would this information affect her in a negative or positive way in reconciling with you? (not that it should stop you)

If it starts to get heated, stop talking and cool off.

h0pe4ul posted 4/22/2013 15:59 PM

It's really encouraging to hear that you never wanted to be with anyone else, let alone thought of anyone else while married to your WW.

You sound like you truly do love her and want to do the right thing.

I would encourage you to be as open and honest (naked) with her as you can about what's going on inside of you regarding your concerns about the OW approaching you and how it made you feel inside.

I think by being completely honest with her like you'd want her to be with you, she would come to see just how much you love her even after all she's done to betray your trust. This may also make her want to open up to you all the more.

You could have easily succumbed to the OW attraction to you but put a stop to it bc you love your wife and don't want to hurt her at all. What woman would not be happy to hear that she is your one and only, especially after all she did to break your heart? :)

How to Approach the Conversation:

1. Make sure it's at a time where you both have each other's full attention (cut out all distractions as best you possibly can).

2. Maybe let your WW know ahead of time that you would like to spend some time with her to talk about a few things on your heart.

3. Then you can possibly schedule the time you will spend together. Maybe go for a walk at the park, go for a drive, or talk over coffee....something you both like doing and that can be like a neutral place for the both of you.

4. Maybe you can start out the conversation by letting her know how much you love her and value your relationship with her and is why you want to be completely honest with her about everything.

5. Afterwards, you can let her know that your heart has been troubled by the situation w/the OW you got a little close to and then explain why.

I believe like one of the other posters wrote that you got a chance to see how vulnerable your WW may have been when in her A but I think your WW will also get a chance to see what you must have felt like knowing she was getting close to another man.

Just so you know, she may start to worry about losing you after seeing that other women are still interested in you and especially after she cheated on you first. Many WS go through that too during R. If you really do want to be with her alone, you will possibly need to reassure her that you are totally committed to her but don't hold back on letting her know how what she did to you led to the feelings of pain or rejection you may have felt also. NO excuse for picking up a relationship with another woman without ending it with your wife first (and I know you didn't do that)...however, in sharing w/your wife, don't downplay how you feel inside either.

Sometimes, when R and dealing with remorseful WS, us BS can lose sight of how we feel and push down what's going on inside of us to focus on what WS is going through. There is a time for that....but you need to be able to share and be heard too. :) They need to know the pain they caused to really get it and it's OK for you to share your love for her by letting her know what's truly going on in you.

Even though you didn't allow anything to happen, just knowing that someone else made you feel like or what she would only want to make you feel will also give her a glimpse into your world as well.

However you decide to proceed, I hope everything works out. I believe it will for you bc you can truly hear the love you have for your WW through your posts.

Wishing the best with your talk w/your WW and throughout this healing process as a whole. :)

P.S.--If this is something you just feel like you can't do on your own, you can always get a MC that the both of you are comfortable with to help guide you in sharing this info w/your WW or ask your WW to come to one of your IC sessions so your counselor can help you share with your wife what's going on inside of you.

[This message edited by h0pe4ul at 4:20 PM, April 22nd (Monday)]

Disturbedbassist posted 4/23/2013 08:01 AM

Wow. Thank you all. Its really comforting to know I'm not alone in this situation. Honestly I was starting to feel like a real loser for feeling like I do. I mean, the feelings I've had actually made me feel dirty and ashamed. It's a huge relief to know that other BS's have felt this way.

All I want is to be with my wife, thats all I've ever wanted. I am going to talk to her tonight. I need to get this out there before secrecy becomes the breeding ground for an EA like earlier posters mentioned. Our MC knows about this situation, but I think that we can talk about this and see how it goes outside of MC. If it gets bad or heated we can step back and try again in our next MC session.

To answer some earlier questions, internally I feel like I can finally trust my wife some again. I don't have as many triggers as I did at first. When all of this started basically any kind of sexual content on TV or physical contact would cause me to get sick to my stomach. Right now I feel like I am reaching a point where I can be the person I should have been for her before the A's. I don't mean to paint a completely rosy picture because obviously this is all a process that will probably take a long time. Its been getting easier one day at a time.

I have followed a lot of the advice in the healing library and I feel like this situation has indeed, as others have suggested, given me insight into how she felt during the A. There is a part of me that likes to self destruct and I have a feeling thats where some of the feelings for this OW are coming from. Its just hard to sort through the crap sometimes and know what feelings are real and which are based in something else. You guys have helped put all that in perspective. Thank you :)

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