You can choose to make the new year start with a new awareness and determination to set and guard your boundaries. Choose to start from a place of strength and positivity, understand? You're doing it already by staying clear of the "party" at your folks tonight.
Good on you. Happy New Year.
There's always failure. And there's always disappointment. And there's always loss.
But the secret is learning from the loss, and realizing that none of those holes are vacuums.
- Michael J. Fox
I identify as a BS.
I have never addressed this on SI before.
Imagine my surprise to discover in MC that I participated in a EA while in college with a 'friend'. It is/has been difficult to face and relate to that behavior.
I spent years in the military maintaining my boundaries and priding myself on being able to maintain proper relationships. Post dday I used to spout that I had boundaries before I knew what they were.
Except in learning to be honest about the development of my relationship with my husband, we took a look at my EA. My H and I were dating on and off, breaking up and getting back together for about a year. This 'friend' was there through out that process. I have had to be see myself and my behavior for what it was, not for what I wanted to dismiss it as. Honest enough to face the shame I feel now for encouraging and enjoying the attention and validation from this 'friend'. I was 19 years old, and I knew better. Enough to hide how 'close' we were and how much I believed my friend liked me.
I was a faithful, loving wife. I kept my vows. It was devastating to discover my H's affair. It still hurts. It still lingers, even as we rebuild.
I had no idea how invested I was in being a BS, until I discovered that I am also a WS. To say it was a shock to the system to face up to the fact that I cheated, is an understatement. I cheated first. I cheated before we really even got going. It sucks seeing that, knowing it and acknowledging it to my H, to myself and now here.
It took me time to accept myself in this new light, especially since I put myself on the fidelity pedestal... for years.
As for your situation....
Boundaries were breached with the texting. I do wonder if some part of you understood the danger and enjoyed the attention. If I am projecting I apologize, that is certainly possible. But I still question how you allowed yourself to drink and be in a position to have that moment. Alcohol is certainly a factor, so is her manipulation. But weakness alone does not explain how you got in a position to do what you did. You made choices too.
You need to look at that. At your participation in opening that 'door' for the drunken moment.
It is so difficult to identify as a WS. Even a madhatter. I know I am, but I want to qualify and rationalize it. Even today in this moment. That is why I put my age in there....
Facing it is hard and I admire your strength and efforts to do so. Here you are.... facing it. Looking at it and trying to learn from it.
It will be hard to tell your parents and the BS. I encourage you to do that. You don't have to be ashamed of being authentic and establishing firm boundaries.
You don't owe it to this women's family or even your parents to make things 'nice' or 'easy' or 'comfortable'. It's a mess. Letting it be that and finding a workable way to visit your parents and maintain seeing these neighbors in whatever limited way is possible. You can figure it out. The new normal may take time, but you need to ask yourself if you want to share the room with the elephant for how ever long your parents live in that house. You can take a big chunk out that sucker with the truth. The rest will take time, but you can do it.
I wish you well.
NIK, I'm trying...!
Several changes need to happen. I'm part way through 'not just friends' and am finding it very interesting. I should definitely have read it when I first planned last year!
I think the book needs to be read by someone who's willing to accept the truth as I can see it as being easily disregarded by someone who has their head firmly up their own ass.
Anyway, onwards an upwards.
On a side note. Next doors husband has gone to America for 2 weeks on business. I can honestly relate to how he's quite possibly feeling leaving this unknown situation behind. That really cuts me up. I am steering well clear and so far she has made no attempt to contact me. Hope it continues. I do hope they are doing ok, they have been such a huge part of my life for such a long time.... I'm gutted I've lost two of my closest friends through my own behaviour.
I'm also concerned that the mix of ADs and sporadic binge drinking is what is making my judgement so impaired although maybe that's just me trying to find an excuse for my behaviour?
I guess her "don't worry everything is fine, husband is cool, we can still be friends please?" Statement has not quite stayed that way.
Still can't believe what I've done and I didn't expect any different from what's happened above but I am totally gutted to have lost 2 friends who have been such a big part of my life for so long and always been there for me.....
I wish I could put it right, I wish I could take away the pain I have caused him.
Yes it's done. Yes I need to move on. Yes it wasn't all my fault. Yes it seems I have been pursued for some time. But damn......!!!!!
I strongly suggest dropping/drastically reducing the consumption of alcohol. Facebook never has been and never will be the problem. Simply boundaries work quite well. Just keep yourself out of situations like you were in with her and you will be just fine.
He's away with work another week in America. He clearly knows what he saw despite his wife gas lighting him and saying everything's ok.
Give him his space. He knows how to contact you if he is so inclined.
Don't really know where to start with this.
I just want to say that I'm really really sorry. I only have vague memory of the night. So much was drunk, that and the tablets I'm still on seems to result in me blanking out memories on nights when I binge drink.
It's no excuse and I'm not trying to use it as one. I have given up drinking now for at least the next 12 months while I try and sort myself out.
You've always been such a good friend and I'm very disappointed in myself about how I've behaved. I've no idea how or why it happened but I've let not only you but all my family down.
I hope one day we can make amends but in the mean time I will leave you all well alone as I do not wish to make things any worse than they already are. If you feel the need to talk about this then do get in touch and I will answer any questions you may have.
It was a massive mistake and I'm very very sorry I let you down and betrayed your trust.
[This message edited by foreverempty at 11:11 AM, January 6th (Monday)]
I posted the above before seeing your reply.
As we have no option but to share at least some ongoing interaction I just felt like I should try and apologise as much as I could.
I don't love his wife or harbour any secret desire to steal her from him. From my side it really was just a massive mistake. I have been reading 'not just friends' this past week and I'm learning lots but one thing that does strike me is that having completed the questionnaire she has dotted about, that I haven't been particularly emotionally involved with her and didn't ever take on talking about her relationship or the problems they may have within. It really was from my side strictly friends. I can't answer for her and from her bahaviour it seems the same can not be said. The one questionnaire early on in the book marked me as not being in an EA with her with totally honest answers from myself.
Yes I can see where I will change my approach in future and won't ever put myself in a position like I did as far as is practicable. I have good morals and normally exercise good boundaries. But I am human and do sometimes f@@k up like in this case, but not in this way before.
I don't want to do any more damage but I don't want to hide from this either. Sooner or later we will be stood on the drive together or at a party we've all been invited too, or bump into eachother in the pub across the road.
I'm very confused.
I'm sure your intentions are good, but it comes across a bit too much about you and what you need to move past this.
[This message edited by Crescita at 11:44 AM, January 6th (Monday)]
I think before you try and contact him you need to work yourself out first. You also need to let go of the notion that there will be any friendship in the future. You're now an enemy to their marriage. You can never be friends again.
Sorry for the harsh words but I think you need it to realize the severity. I'm sure you are tormented by this but you cannot fix it. You can only fix yourself.
If you decide to send a letter I will not add the drinking excuse. Say sorry and say you can be contacted if there are questions and you'll respect their marriage and stay away.
If you're invited to the same party, don't go. If you walk into them at the pub, leave. The wife has a part in this but you can't control her actions now but you can yours and you need to respect their marriage now and stay away.
I'm sorry you're hurting. Sorry for the 2 x 4's. Good luck!
[This message edited by BrokenDaisy at 12:10 PM, January 6th (Monday)]
Your both right I guess abou the amount of 'I' Above. It's just I've no idea what to say. And putting in there about drink and meds wasn't trying to excuse it but maybe I'm just grasping at straws to let him know this wasn't in any way planned or manipulated but that I just f@@ked up which I'm holding my hands up and shouting out loud about.
I'm also sensing and reading a lot of blame-shifting and minimizing in your posts. This was you. The WW too but you as well. No amount of alcohol or meds or personal painful history excuse it.
I appreciate that completely and fully accept the 2x4s. I am making big steps to work me out and realise why I let this happen, by that I mean allow myself to make the choice I did. Yes she pursued me but no one made me do what I did.
I'm desperate to talk to my IC about this but I'm still over a month away from my next session with her. I am steering well clear of her whenever I visit my parents. I keep the curtains closed in my room which overlooks their house and she seems to thankfully be doing the same.
This is completely surreal. Still can't believe this is even happening!
Do ask in general what you can write in regards to an apology letter if you really want to do it. There are some wise SI'ers on here. Much wiser than me. I don't think it's an awful idea to apologize, I just don't think mentioning the drinking is a good idea. A short but sincere apology and promise to leave them alone and to offer any detail if he may seek it may be appropriate.
Hang in there.
[This message edited by BrokenDaisy at 1:47 PM, January 6th (Monday)]
The same is to be said about her behavior in my opinion. She has never tried to contact you while sober for anything other than as a friend, correct? The two times something inappropriate happened she was drunk, right? Sure, there may be things going on in her marriage that makes her act this way when drunk but I doubt it has all that much to do with you, you just happen to be the one there. That's something she needs to figure out.
You were drunk. She was drunk. This never would have happened without the alcohol, so how can we say that alcohol was NOT the reason? I'm sure a large percentage of people on this thread alone have stories of stunts they have pulled while drunk that went totally against who they really are.
The bottom line is, if you have certain behaviors while drinking that are not really who you are and go against your beliefs, you do not drink. Period.
I would talk to the spouse, too, as you feel you need to. The circumstances really demand it, I think, what with their friendship with your parents and the close proximity of their homes.
People do really stupid things when drunk. That's my thought on this whole thing. Cut yourself some slack and then make this right, somehow, someway.
[This message edited by cissi at 3:06 PM, January 6th (Monday)]
Can't find fault in anything you've said there.
Never ever have either of us inappropriately acted in any way at all whilst sober ever. It just wouldn't happen from my side for sure and she has never expressed anything but support for what I've been through these last 2 years. That's why the first incident I just laughed off as a drunken mistake on her part and never thought about it again. Hell that night we were drinking with her husband and he left us to it and went to bed and that shows how comfortable he was with our friendship only relationship. We've never touched, flirted, secretly held hands or lingering looked at each other before even when drinking. Both nights in question were extreme drinking and by that I mean a good half a liter or more of neat spirits each plus wine and beer. Nights like that rarely happen.
I've given up totally for now. I've never craved drink, I can go for weeks without it no problem at all and can also just have 1 pint and enjoy it like when I take my dog out for a walk with my little nephew.
The rare binge drinking is the only thing I really need to stop but for now I'm committing to a full 12 month dry. I'll spend the saved money on doing up my home.
Yes, I believe alcohol lowers inhibitions, but it doesn't manufacture attraction/lust. There had to have been "something" there (on either of your parts) in order for this to have occurred. You said yourself that she came onto you before, so it wasn't an isolated incident.
As a BS, had I received the letter you wrote, the letter would have been trashed. First, I agree with the previous posters that it was full of "poor me" and seemed to blameshift.
Second, if OW would have come to me face to face and owned up, I may have received that apology a little better. Texting or emailing seems very cowardly to me in light of the fact that he was a friend and the damage done. I do think that you should contact the BH in person. If he slams the door in your face, so be it- but at least you tried.
[This message edited by GabyBaby at 4:01 PM, January 6th (Monday)]
WXH (serial cheater, 12+ OW. Undiagnosed SA?)
Note: I edit often for typos/clarity.
Sooner or later we will be stood on the drive together or at a party we've all been invited too, or bump into each other in the pub across the road.
I think that you need to do everything in your power to make sure that doesn't happen -- and that includes not going to your parents' house, as even if he doesn't see you, he may see your car. Staying away from places you know he frequents, and discreetly leaving were he to show up. Declining party invitations from mutual friends. But not being dramatic about it so everyone knows what happens (except your parents.)
Remember how terrible those first few weeks/months were when you JFO? Give him space -- lots of it. He knows how to get in touch with you if he wants to. Had the OW sent me a letter, it would have just made me hurt even more. I needed to cocoon and work through things. There is nothing she could have said that would have made me feel even the slightest bit better.
It will mean a disruption in your lifestyle, but given your actions, I think those are the consequences. As we always say here, it's actions, not words, that we need to watch -- what actions will you demonstrate? You have played a large role in destroying his life as he knew it, and right now, you need to consider what will help him -- not you. That apology letter seemed to be about making yourself feel better.
Can you get in to see your IC earlier if you call with an emergency? I know when I was going, if I couldn't get with mine, I could have at least called and spoken to someone. Perhaps that could help tide you over a bit? Please be very careful and don't do anything rash that makes things worse and that you'll regret later.
Married: 11 years, no kids
The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. -Michelangelo
Yes, I believe alcohol lowers inhibitions, but it doesn't manufacture attraction/lust. There had to have been "something" there (on either of your parts) in order for this to have occurred. You said yourself that she came onto you before, so it wasn't an isolated incident
Gaby, I disagree with this for all the reasons I have stated above. I'm not saying everyone reacts the same way to alcohol, but in my younger days my friends and I were pretty heavy partiers. There were times when one of us would end up with some guy and were completely humiliated the next day - like, how could I?? Same for guys. You've surely heard how people have gone home together drunk and were horrified in the morning once they got a good look at each other?
I will say the biggest problem with this sort of thing happening is the person's state of mind before they even begin drinking. I used to tell my girlfriends not to go out drinking if they were upset about something (especially a boyfriend), if they were PMS'ing, or it was a full moon - and God help them if all three were going on - lol. That is the thing that gets a person into trouble. I would venture to say that foreverempty's friends are having some sort of problem within their own marriage. The drink brought out the neediness of the wife, for whatever reason she may have had, and that is when the inhibitions were knocked down. Then there is what foreverempty has gone through for the past two years and bingo - very bad combination of emotions to add alcohol to the mix.
These sorts of things don't happen to people who are not having some sort of problem or ache in their heart before they even take the first drink. The person they are with is completely irrelevant - it could be anyone they are trying to fill a void with.
I hope I am making sense as I'm in a huge hurry and don't have time to try to get my thoughts across very well.