A little background. I had an affair on my husband for years. If I'm going to be honest, it was on and off for about 8 years. The man I had an affair with was my ex-boyfriend. The man I dated before I met my husband. I feel I had unresolved issues regarding my ex. Anyhow, I started this affair about 3 years into my marriage. It was an emotionally affair. It had nothing to do with sex.
Fast forward to June/2009. I cut my ex/mister out of my life completely. I broke things off in a not so decent way. I kind of told him I wanted to be friends, changed my number , blocked him of FB/msn/email etc. I came clean to my husband about my affair in Nov/2010. It felt so good to finally come clean about everything. We agreed to work through our problems. Shortly after, we found out that I was pregnant with our beautiful son. I honestly thought everything would be ok. Things were bad on and off between my husband and I. When it was bad, it was really bad.
So after not talking to my ex for 3.5 years, everything seemed to be going well. I had this wonderful baby boy, hubby and I were doing well. I didn't even think about my ex, ever! That was, until he contacted my cousin Dec/2012. I gave in. I did talk to him briefly and told my husband immediately. I said my goodbyes to my ex. This time I actually told him that I could never speak with him again. So, in turn (I believe out of anger), he came on to my cousin. That made me extremely angry and I told him off. I was so mean. I said some extremely hurtful things. Things he knew I couldn't live with saying because I'm never mean to anyone. Basically, I played right into his hand.
So here is my newest dilemma. Since that (Feb/2013), I can't stop thinking about my ex. I don't know if it's guilt for what I said but I feel I have this attachment that I'll never quite get rid of. These feelings are causing problems for me and my marriage. I need to get past this. It's been 4 and a half years since I originally broke it off. How could I still feel emotionally attached after so long? I'm scared I'm going to do something stupid and talk to him again. How do I move past him?
From the WS point of view, is this normal after all this time?
Why were you angry about the OM going after your cousin? Was it anger or jealousy?
You have to start looking deeper into things. Does your BH know it was a full 8 years? On and off doesn't really count IMO. Do you remember having these thoughts when you broke it off in June of '09? What did you do between then and December of '10?
This is a bit nit-picky...but you say there wasn't a thought inside your head except guilt. Well, that guilt was tied to what you had done, and what you had done was with the OM.
You then say that you didn't think about him unless you were fighting with your BH. So, your arguing with your BH and memories of the OM come up.
It would be great if we could just shut that door. We should be able to. The AP's shouldn't matter at all. It isn't fair to our BS's that memories of the AP happen at all. But, as you are seeing right now, they do happen. Just shutting the door sounds like it won't be enough to finally deal with memories of the OM. You need to actually work through what went on.
I know LTA's are a bit different than many other A's, so I'm not sure if this applies...but over those 8-years of on and off, what was going on leading up to the on times. Why did the affair restart? What was happening in your life during those times?
So if the problems between your H and you weren't the reason for your A, what was? What started it?
We can understand what you are going through, but you are going to have to start trying to separate the OM from the A. 8-years is a long time, and I know you felt emotions toward OM, but given A's in general, even LTA's, and the on-off stuff over those 8-years, it is likely that it wasn't love you were feeling, but rather every time you were in contact with the OM, it was another hit, another high. These are two separate things...the OM and the feelings you got from the A, from the continued contact.
If you step back from your situation and pretend you were helping out a friend of yours who had been clean and sober for 3-years after a long period of addiction, what would you tell your friend? Would you be able to understand that maybe they relapsed because they didn't deal with the addiction in the first place? Did the stop drinking? Sure, but will it last if they didn't really deal with the deeper issues and if they don't have a support network to help them from going back into that dark place?
I don't say that to be rude or harsh. I've been where you are, and the turning point for me was letting go of the romantic notion that I was caught between two lovers, when in reality I was just behaving immorally and treating those I purported to care about like shit.
As for getting rid of the thoughts and feelings for OM...the more you redirect your thoughts when he crosses your mind, the sooner you will reach indifference. For some people it's an active process rather than a natural occurrence of time and distance.
Divorced and remarried to XBH
First child (daughter) born February 2016
After D day I thought alot about xap and tried to hide it from my bh. I even had dreams about him which bothered me because during the A I would dream about him and then we would meet up in the next few days.
Luckily my bh recognized that I was hurting before I said anything and he actually told me that he understood I was mourning the loss of xap.
Wow - I was blown away. Made me love bh even more and encouraged me to work harder at R
D day - July 2011 after a 4 year relationship with OM
Reconciled and renewed our vows on our 22 Anniversary in June 2012
I wonder if I apologize for the crule things I said, maybe these feelings would go away but I can't do that without risking my marriage.
Sticks and stones will break his bones, but words will never hurt him.
Well, that's not entirely true as words can be incredibly hurtful to people, but we can heal from words if we choose to. I think that saying was built to remind us that we have the power to choose how people's words affect us. He has the power not to let your words hang over him. He's using them/you to keep you in his life.
Gently, I think that you are looking for one more reason to talk to him. This is something that can be left unresolved as it is imperative to your marriage that you LET HIM GO.
Make your peace with the universe. You are not a cruel person, you were hurt/jealous/angry. Whatever the emotion, it was energy spent on your AP instead of your BH. I think this will be an excellent exercise in controlling the impulse to have your ex in your life. You do NOT owe him an apology. Like you said, he laid the trap and you took the bait. He knew you would respond like you did, and he's counting on your good nature to come crawling back to him "one more time" time and again. Next time, he'll leave an even bigger message that you'll feel obliged to respond to.
Instead of diving back into the quicksand, just walk away. You can do it. Even if your heart and mind are confused, you can physically close that door, if you choose.
[This message edited by Jrazz at 12:18 PM, November 25th (Monday)]
How do I get rid of thoughts of my ex?
By taking a look at this person in the light. When I read your post it is as if you are describing this other man as an innocent victim. You say you feel bad because he loved you and you feel like you hurt him. You feel bad because you said cruel things to him.
Take a good hard look at this person though. He knew you were married and he decided to have an affair with you. He wanted you to leave your husband showing no respect for your marriage. He did very cruel things to your H. He is trying to manipulate you by involving your cousin. You don't owe him an apology - he owes your H and your M an apology. You need to take ownership for your own actions which it sounds like you are trying to do - just because you are taking accountability for your own actions doesn't make the other man innocent. When you look at him for the cruel things he has done I bet your thoughts of him may change.