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BrknBttrfly posted 4/19/2014 13:27 PM

This is what I've been telling myself. But I know in my heart it is still wrong. Maybe not AS wrong as a physical affair, but I gave a piece of my heart to another man and that counts as being unfaithful. If the roles were reversed I would be heartbroken.

I'm new to this forum and don't really understand all the abbreviations so I will be using full words...

About 10 months ago, I was about 5/6 months pregnant, and my husband went to his parents house for the weekend to help his dad who was adding an addition on their house. I was lonely, bored, horny- he wasn't there, not an excuse but a reason, so I went in an online chat community in search of some attention. I talked to people- male and female- in a sexual manner. And I became addicted to this online chat community. Even when he returned I was always on my phone searching for people to talk to and "play" with both online and on the phone.

But it wasn't until I met "him" that I really felt a lasting connection with anyone. We played together on the phone (phonesex) and continued to message one another. Eventually our intimate conversations were what I looked forward to. I snuck in corners of my house and texted him. I talked to him everyday on my way to/from work or on my lunch breaks or whenever we could find time. He is 13 years older than I, married, 2 kids. He cheated on his wife a few times and was looking to do it again But it never went there with us. We talked about it- planned it out- we were going to meet whole I was away on business. I realized I had an addiction to him in a way. I found myself acting like a silly schoolgirl around him- getting giddy whenever he texted me and checking my phone every 5 seconds. We took breaks from each other. Me when my baby was born and he when they though his wife was sick. But we would always backslide and find each other again. He fulfilled some kind of void that was missing in my marriage.

I told him things about myself no one knew. He knew the real me and the secret me. I let my guard down... And I realized I was starting to form some very strong feelings for him. I don't know if he felt the same about me but I was really starting to fall in love with this guy... This man I've never even met who knew so much about me. Everytime I had an argument with my husband I cried to him. Everytime I had a moment alone I would contact him.

After having this realization I knew I had to walk away- for good! I was so distracted at work and even spending quality time with my baby- I would text him while I was feeding her or holding her- and that was it for me. That was rock bottom. Like an alcoholic I was addicted to this online affair.

So on Tue I told him I was done. I cancelled my account in the online community and the smartphone app we used to text and send dirty pics and videos to one another without getting caught. I deleted his number from my phone (although I do have it memorized) and and trace of him from my life.

I did almost everything right (I never told my husband nor would I... I just don't think I can handle going there)

At first I felt a newfound sense of freedom and happiness. Like I was strong enough to not let this addiction of him get the better of me. I told myself I didn't need him. I made a point to be an extra amazing wife and mom and to put all my energy into my family and my career.

But then yesterday I started getting sad. I miss him. I want to know what he's doing right now- is he missing me? Is he sad too? I'm a mess- I'm not as strong as I told myself I was. Sometimes I cry over him when I'm alone. What have I done? I never intended to fall for anyone or get feelings involved. I made a huge mistake and now I'm embarrassed and ashamed for myself. I mean it's a guy from an online chatroom! Wtf how did I get so wrapped up in this stranger??

I'm not a cheater. This isn't me. I have been cheated on by ex boyfriends and I am totally against cheating so how did I get to this point. I am glad I stopped this before anything happened but I'm worried I will backslide. And next time it might be worse. How do I stay away for good?

BaxtersBFF posted 4/19/2014 13:41 PM

Welcome to SI!

The addiction facet of A's is really amazing. Think of the stuff you mentioned in your first post, and think of the other stuff...would any sane person have done something like that with a complete stranger? Well, yes, you did. It's a shocking revelation when we realize the crazy shit we've done.

There is a post I bumped earlier called Maia's Withdrawal Guide. It's a good read and might have some things in there to help you through this phase.

On the addiction subject, can you imagine that it wasn't really this guy at all but the feelings you got from communicating with him? He could have been anyone. At the same time, it never happened with anyone else, so how did you get into this spot? That is what you need to start asking yourself.

I know you said you aren't planning on telling your H about this, but that will be a mistake. We've seen it time and again; some piece of information is revealed, the BS starts putting 2 and 2 together, the secret builds up to where you feel your going nuts...1 year or 20, it doesn't matter. WHEN the BS finds out, and they most certainly will eventually, you will have to deal with all of this then.

Glad you found us.

painfulpast posted 4/19/2014 13:46 PM

Hi and welcome. I'm a BS (betrayed spouse), so I'll be gentle here.

First, I commend you on your desire to stop this affair. You've definitely found a wonderful support group here.

Second, gently, there are PAs (physical affairs) and EAs (emotional affairs). Both are affairs, and both are hurtful to all involved. From your post, and your naming it 'online affair', I would say you had an emotional affair. If you're not familiar with them, I suggest reading about them. It may help you make sense of the whole thing.

I would recommend that, when you start feeling sad, or missing OM (other man) you post here. The members here in the wayward forum have seen and done it all. They'll be a great shoulder to lean on. Also, browse some of the other forums. Search for people that are dealing with EAs, both as the wayward and the betrayed. Learn what damage can be caused, and strengthen your resolve to continue your 'no contact' (NC) with this man.

Good luck, and stay strong!!!

Afwife4201 posted 4/19/2014 14:56 PM

I am a betrayed spouse. It's hard to read words like this without getting angry.

Can you ask yourself why you let yourself get to this point? Are you missing something from your H that he isn't giving you? Emotional needs are just as important as sexual needs and communication ties it all together. If you truly love someone, you don't want to hurt them. You will communicate with them and tell them what you need and want. Give it a certain amount of time...and if he doesn't meet your needs, get out of the marriage.

It hurts for this to happen to someone. So, just as you are sad and missing your AP, your H is also sad and missing you.

By the way, I wouldn't be so sure your H doesn't suspect anything. If you were texting as much as you say you were and ignoring everyone, then he probably already suspects something what going on. Eventually, it will come out. Nothing stays a secret forever.

authenticnow posted 4/19/2014 16:26 PM

But then yesterday I started getting sad. I miss him. I want to know what he's doing right now- is he missing me? Is he sad too? I'm a mess- I'm not as strong as I told myself I was. Sometimes I cry over him when I'm alone. What have I done? I never intended to fall for anyone or get feelings involved. I made a huge mistake and now I'm embarrassed and ashamed for myself. I mean it's a guy from an online chatroom! Wtf how did I get so wrapped up in this stranger??
This part really stuck with me. After my EA ended I felt the same way. Then every time I felt sad I found myself contacting him. It was a pathetic cycle. Bottom line is I thought I needed something from him, that I was getting something from him that fulfilled my life. I kept going around in circles feeling exactly like you do: WTF am I doing?

We finally stopped contact altogether. From that day the pain was excruciating for me at the time. I cried in the shower, I cried driving home from work because after work was when I'd usually call him, I sat on my hands not to call him (literally). I couldn't believe the power of it. It made me sad, so sad for what I had let myself get into.

Anyway, the point of my story is in my tagline. As humans it's in our nature to avoid pain. But emotional pain won't kill you. You have to feel it to heal it is something I learned on SI. You get through it, and you figure out the next step.

Do not contact him no matter what, and I promise it will get better. It will take awhile, but it will get better.

BrknBttrfly posted 4/20/2014 19:13 PM

Thanks everyone for your input and words of wisdom.

interesting point about how it wasn't him per say but how he made me feel. I think it was also a series of events in which one thing led to another and bonded us in a way. Like I said - I had no intention of this happening. Yes I was lookng for random strangers to "get off" with. But I consider that no different than watching porn. My husband wasn't there and if he was home alone and did the same I honestly wouldn't be mad or betrayed. I am like a guy when it comes to sex and masturbation, but that is another story. No he does not know about this hyper sexed side of me- no one does. I made great efforts to keep it that way my entire life. Maybe it's my catholic school upbringing that made me want to hide it all my life. It's a part of me I am ashamed about most definitely, and I just cannot bring myself to share it with anyone who knows me and I feel wouldn't understand. Judge me all you want. But I feel like everyone has a secret they don't tell anyone- even their spouse. This is mine.

Still I know this is no excuse for letting this mess get as far as they did. There were lots of things missing in my marriage. We had been starting to fight more and more. My husband has two sides- the sweet, gentle, giving man I fell in love with and an angry, pissed off, high strung side that I can't even bare to be around sometimes. I find rather than get pissed off back it helps for me to just ignore him and walk away when he gets like that. Not the most functional solution I know. We have things to work on. I think my conversations with my online man were almost getting even with him in a way. Again this is no excuse- just an explanation for what drove me to that point.

I am getting angry at myself reading my own words as well. I was so anti cheating. I told friends to leave their significant others for cheating. It just goes to show you that anyone could be driven to this point. Even those who consider themselves "betrayed". it doesn't make it hurt any less but I am just trying to say- never say never.

As far as emotional vs physical I think my situation is unique. It was mainly sexual but online/on the phone. The emotional stuff came later and came on slowly.

Finally I know I will continue to be judged and well deserved... But I just cannot tell him. I'm not going to end my marriage over something that was really nothing in a way. I know that he won't find out. Because it's over and other than this forum, every trace of what happened is deleted. I vow to never let myself get to this point again. I don't ever want to feel like this much of an asshole. I am working on myself and communicating with my husband more... But this secret has to die with me.

[This message edited by BrknBttrfly at 7:31 PM, April 20th (Sunday)]

isadora posted 4/20/2014 19:41 PM

My WH did the same as you, an inappropriate exchange online that turned into an EA, then another one that was more intense (which ended when when her BH found out). Then a few more inappropriate exchanges online. Then he white knuckled it for awhile. Since he blamed the problems in our M he never worked on himself. I didn't know what he was up to at the time, I just knew something was horribly wrong. I wanted to D and felt bad for thinking that way.

Then he reconnected on FB with his HS girlfriend who lived in the suburbs, and you can probably guess the rest. He had to confess because he was less and less discrete. I found out about the earlier ones because he didn't delete enough and I got to be an excelled detective and once I found out the truth I recognized the pattern

Focus on fixing you and why you gave yourself permission to have an A in the first place.

nuance posted 4/20/2014 19:42 PM

If you don't tell your BH he will never know how bad the state of the M is/was to work on the M. Also, next time that you are mad at him for something you will ne vulnerable to go back to some kind of A.

My FWW also had online As and it took many years for us to heal and improve our M. And I knew about the As.

bionicgal posted 4/20/2014 19:59 PM

Good for you for being here - you will learn a lot from both BS and WS alike.

Gently - Right now, you are still a little "in the fog," as they say. The more you read about affairs, and online emotional affairs, the more you will see yourself, and realize you are not alone. This is a good and a bad thing, as thinking you were different somehow probably allowed you to rationalize what you were doing. But, you'll see there are lots of good people here who made mistakes as well.

I also say your H needs to know, as that is what will get you out of the addiction mindset the quickest. Our MC told my H early on when he thought he had feelings for the AP to tell himself he was not missing her, but rather the feelings he had in the affair - and this turned out to be so, so true. Their relationship was as fake as Dolly Parton's nails. But, it doesn't feel that way at the time; it feels like something. But, if you want a real, authentic, lasting relationship with your husband, he needs to know.

BrknBttrfly posted 4/21/2014 04:44 AM

In no way am I trying to rationalize what I did or blame issues in my marriage. Like I said several times- I'm not giving excuses here- just maybe understanding reasons to what drove me to this point... So that I can recognize the signs and not let it happen again.

Believe me- I know there are tons of others like me. I can't tell you how many married men and women I met online that were "escaping" their marriages and their lives. I know my situation is extremely common. But I do not think an online affair can always be classified as just physical or just emotional. My point is - not everything is soo black and white and needs a definition.

I can't tell him what I did. I am not going to move backward, only forward. From this point on I will be more honest and forthcoming about things that bother me and will be making a serious effort to communicate my feelings- without fighting... Without walking away when he gets into his angry/high strung mode.

Our issues and what I did are really two separate things. I have been doing things online for years- before he came into the picture. I think the issues in the marriage may have been why I found a shoulder to cry on in this particular man and that was maybe how it got to the emotional level that it did. But I recognize what I did was wrong and I know I never want to go back there's done. And the guy has been totally removed from my existence. I know I will have weak moments and miss him. But I know the signs now. I just need to make sure I stop before ever letting it get there again.

Forgive my typos- I'm on my phone!!

[This message edited by BrknBttrfly at 4:48 AM, April 21st (Monday)]

isadora posted 4/21/2014 05:38 AM

I was in the same M as WH. Faced the same problems and issues. He chose to cheat I did not. WH has said he recognized the signs and wouldn't do it again. He white knuckles for a few years and was bored, insecure, anxious and reached for his go to coping mechanism an inappropriate online conversation. WH will never be a safe partner until he figures out why cheating is an acceptable response to any problems in our M or his life.

20WrongsVs1 posted 4/21/2014 07:48 AM

You're here looking for help, and that's a great start. When you say this...

Our issues and what I did are really two separate things. seems like a contradiction when you say this

I think the issues in the marriage may have been why I found a shoulder to cry on in this particular man and that was maybe how it got to the emotional level

It gives the impression that you are, at least in part, blaming the M or BH for your infidelity. Usually we WS have poor coping skills. When there are "issues in the M," we look at external factors instead of internal ones. Your emotional needs weren't being met, so you looked to fill that hole in an unhealthy way. Welcome to the club.

Opening lines of communication, instead of building up resentment, with your BH is a good idea. Really check in with yourself, though, and see if *you* can be the change you're looking to see in your M. It may be that nothing BH is doing, or not doing, will impact your happiness. Ultimately we're responsible for our own happiness. It comes from within.

Aubrie posted 4/21/2014 09:30 AM

But I do not think an online affair can always be classified as just physical or just emotional. My point is - not everything is soo black and white and needs a definition.
To be honest, EA, PA, doesn't really matter. An A is an A.

Hi. I'm Aubrie. I had three online flings. One was with a guy Ive known since I was 15. He was a "friend" before my husband came along. I kept this friend after my marriage and continued to confide on and rely on this guy for several years. We leapt over boundaries left and right. He was an EA in every sense of the word. However, there was tension. And if I'm honest with myself, given the chance, it would have been PA.

Second fling was a flirty, "fun" thing. While "technically" only EA, given the chance, it would have been PA.

Third fling. Just like the guy you describe in your initial post. My life revolved around him. Secrets, stolen moments from my family. Long emails of "love". IMs galore. I opened up about my hurts and abuses. Fun little fact, after he had me wrapped around his finger, he used those last hurts and abuses against me. He hurt me repeatedly with them, while also spouting praise, and me bending over backward to do his bidding. While not a PA in the literal sense, I "got off" with him. I sent him pics. We webcammed. So technically, it was a PA. My husband sees it as PA. My heart, mind, and body were given.

There are people that will argue that the AP never touched my skin, he never consummated. However this guy saw my everything in the throes of ecstasy. Doesn't matter that he wasn't sitting on the bed next to me. He saw and heard and participated in moments that I should have only shared with my husband. And that was enough for my husband to call it a PA.

To each their own.

No. Its not always so black and white on what classifies an emotional or physical affair. But it doesn't really matter.

You said you view these chat rooms and getting off the same as porn. I wonder if your husband has the same views as you. See, I tried to justify my behavior by saying the same thing. But to be honest, I was kidding myself. I knew it was wrong. I knew my husband would feel betrayed. If I really thought he wouldn't have a problem with it, why hide it?

I'm not going to sit here and lecture you. I'm not going to "judge" you. Quite honestly, nobody here is judging. We've all walked this path. Now, they're going to point out bs and excuses. That doesn't make it "judging". It means they know the song and dance and will call you on it.

One more thing. I confessed to my husband. Didn't have to. This secret totally could have died with me. But I confessed because it was the first step in being honest. Authentic. That was in November of 2011. We are in R. And healing.

Good luck in your journey.

bionicgal posted 4/21/2014 11:23 AM

From what I have seen, breaking the addiction of the behavior is exponentially more difficult if the BS doesn't know. I don't mean to minimize how difficult it will be to tell, however not telling sets the stage for it to happen again, and doesn't allow your marriage to grow in the way it needs to for you (and him) to be happy.

Plus, it is just super unfair for him to not know what he is dealing with. He deserves a voice and a choice, just as someone that you love.

NoMorDeceit posted 4/21/2014 12:17 PM

I am like a guy when it comes to sex and masturbation, but that is another story. No he does not know about this hyper sexed side of me- no one does. I made great efforts to keep it that way my entire life. Maybe it's my catholic school upbringing that made me want to hide it all my life. It's a part of me I am ashamed about most definitely, and I just cannot bring myself to share it with anyone who knows me and I feel wouldn't understand. Judge me all you want. But I feel like everyone has a secret they don't tell anyone- even their spouse. This is mine.

No judgement here. I understand and relate. Though ultimately I did divorce my first husband (no cheating) to pursue what I needed to live as authentically myself. I did find a man I could share that piece of myself with, he did understand and he knew what to do with a "me".

I think you need to deal with the underlying issue of your sexuality and sexual needs. I don't think it is "another story" at all. I think it is a huge part of this story. I'm not sure why in the world you wouldn't share who you are and your needs with the husband?? If you don't figure that out, you'll be cheating again. I'll bet the farm on it. This is a pretty serious secret and is tied into so much of who you are, I wouldn't downplay the importance of it. I mean look where it has led you? kwim? I'd start talking to your husband if I were you.

As a FBS, I of course think you should tell him about your affair, but I think you need to reveal the drivers here and deal with those just as much.

[This message edited by NoMorDeceit at 12:19 PM, April 21st (Monday)]

BrknBttrfly posted 4/21/2014 20:39 PM

So maybe I need to clarify what I was saying... The fact that I go into these online chat rooms has been happening long before I met my husband. I wasn't saying I was driven to it due to problems in our marriage. This is something I have been doing for 15 years. We have been together for 10/ married 6. That was what I meant by "our issues and what I did are separate things." I am not going to tell him about it because I don't think every little detail like that needs to be shared. I know he watches porn when I'm not around because I saw it in his computer... And that's fine he's a guy and that's healthy. That's what he should be doing! He doesn't need to tell me about that and I don't need to tell him about my porn- which sometimes involved (past tense) strangers in a random chatroom....

The fact that this particular situation grew to an emotional level is the issue. That was what I meant by saying I used the online guy as a shoulder to cry on. I just needed to clarify that I was not contradicting myself because I was talking about 2 different things.

Also I said several times that the issues we might have in our marriage are no excuse for doing what I did. Yet I still was accused of blaming what I did on my marriage. No I am not- I take 100% of the blame. I was simply explaining what may have been a trigger for me. But I am in no way excusing, rationalizing, or blaming anyone but myself. I know what I did was wrong.

I really do appreciate everyone's words of advice. I am learning by reading all of your stories not that we are all alike, but just the oppositte. Every story and situation is different and unique in it's own way. And one can truly only learn from their own mistakes.

While you all may not agree with my decision to not tell my husband, I just am not ready to do that now, if not ever. Maybe someday... Just not anytime soon. But I am ready to move forward and put this shit behind me. I'm taking it one day at a time. I'm keeping the other guy out of my life. This is the first and last time I ever want to feel like this, and that is enough to make me not go down this road again. It's not like it's some trap I'm going to keep falling into. Believe me I have learned my lesson. I just need the support right now because it's hard when I miss this guy so much. I haven't had any communication with him in 6 days. Instead of calling him I have been spending my commute to and from work listening to audio books or the radio or catching up with friends I hadn't talked to in a while. Anything to distract myself. And when I'm home I've been extra good to my husband- listening more and rediscovering him in a way. I am making peace with what I've done

Wodnships posted 4/21/2014 21:08 PM

Maybe not AS wrong as a physical affair

I'm a BS. And I want to make sure you understand what you are doing there. My wife had an EA on line with her ex boyfriend. I would have much rather she had a one night stand with some stranger she met at a club at least that I could understand. Instead she didn't care about all I've done to her over the years, she didn't care about all we shared. All she cared about was getting her ego stroked. And there wasn't even a cyber of phone sex element to their conversations.

On-line affairs are every bit as wrong as physical affairs and until you accept that and stop minimizing what you did you can't truly move on from the behavior.

BrokenButTrying posted 4/22/2014 03:45 AM

Hi BB, welcome to SI. You've already received some great advice.

One comment really stood out to me in your OP.

He fulfilled some kind of void that was missing in my marriage.

Gently, this is very misguided. The only void that exists is within you. If there is a void in your M it is there because you created it by not being honest, by being so broken and not sharing yourself completely with your BH.

Your A has nothing to do with your BH or your M. I think counselling would be helpful for you. It would allow you to figure out why, when you are feeling lonely, bored, in need of sexual gratification, you reach out to strangers instead of your BH. Why is that coping mechanism there?

I don't know you, or anything about you other than what I've read here but it seems to me that you are afraid of letting anyone get close to you. You say you opened up to your AP in a way you had to no one else, not even your BH. But you were still maintaining distance because you had never met him, he didn't really know you, he couldn't get too close, so it was safe to be yourself.

If you want to heal from this, fix what is broken, then you need to confess to your BH. It is the only way to live an authentic life.

[This message edited by BrokenButTrying at 3:51 AM, April 22nd (Tuesday)]

BrknBttrfly posted 4/22/2014 12:15 PM

I really do appreciate all of the input and that you are all taking the time to reach out to me. However I do feel like a lot of what I am saying is being quoted and misconstrued and that my words are being twisted in a way. Maybe it's my fault by the way I am wording things or perhaps my follow up posts aren't being read.

I have never once blamed my marriage for anything I have done. I blame me - 110%. I simply just cannot tell my husband about this sexual side of me- I would rather bury it than tell him. I don't care if you choose to judge me for that. That is just the way it is. Your judgements will not change my mind on that.

I never tried to minimize what I did but it was what it was- we never met, he never even knew my real name. He knew some secrets about me but didn't knows as a whole person. We had some deep conversations and some very sexual ones. But he wasn't an exboyfriend and we never talked about love or how we felt about one another. The second I realized feelings were involved on my end- I ended it. You cannot tell me that is worse than a physical affair. Or an emotional affair that had a deeper meaning. It was simply an online affair that was sexual and emotional in ways but it wasn't more than it was.

I know it is human nature to try to analyze someone but I haven't shared ALL the facts.

I don't think that he fulfilled a void in my marriage. I worded that incorrectly. I think maybe I THOUGHT at the time he did and he was a temporary fix. I know that any missing void is between my husband and I and has nothing to do with him. All I was doing was explaining what triggered me to do what I did. I didn't say I was.

Perhaps this forum is not the correct avenue for me. I was really just looking for support without judgement and analyzation. I know you were all trying to help and I do truly appreciate that. Thank you.

BrokenButTrying posted 4/22/2014 15:58 PM


You'll find no judgment here. We are all waywards, we have all done exactly the same thing. We have all made the same bad choices, hurt the ones we love. The only difference between us is that we are further down the road to healing.
What you're picking up on is not judgment, it's pain. We recognise ourselves in you. Or at least, what we used to be. There is understanding and compassion in the advice you have received so far.

Please keep reading and posting. Sure it's hard sometimes, but it's worth it. I'm 4 months out from Dday, I owe half of all my healing thus far to SI. The members here help me make myself a better person.

If you're looking for people to make you feel better about your affair, tell you it's all ok, you're right, you won't find that here. But what you will find is a bunch of people who will support you in your journey to change. Yes, they will give you 2x4's when you're being an idiot but they are not needless, they are to steer you in the right direction. They will also be your biggest fans, cheering you on when things are going well, picking you up when you're feeling down, they will share their wisdom and their experiences.

I apologise if I misquoted you in the wrong context. The only problem with online communities is that it's easy to misinterpret words on a screen, so I'm sorry for that.

Again, I encourage you to get yourself into counselling. Find out why you cannot share that sexual side of yourself with BH, explore your coping mechanisms for holding it in (because they currently aren't working very well - otherwise you wouldn't be here) and create new ones.

As for whether an online A is the same as an EA and whether either is worse than an PA or not... That is for your BH to decide. Betrayal is betrayal, it doesn't matter how you dress it up, it hurts just the same and you only have to glance on the JFO board to find that out.

[This message edited by BrokenButTrying at 4:00 PM, April 22nd (Tuesday)]

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