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Long Term Affairs Part 39

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ShatteredSakura posted 1/22/2020 14:14 PM

I often wonder if i am unable to answer these questions because of my own flaws.

Maybe. People throw out "codependent" a lot, that something is wrong that you cannot do an about face and cut the person out in your life. People have a tough time cutting toxic family out of their life, but it's supposed to be easier with someone we voluntarily came together with? First glance is yes....like we'd do that with friends, coworkers, etc....but this other person we voluntarily came together with to make a family with...it's a different ball game IMO.

I know I have a tough time letting go. Our personal flaws probably exacerbate things. What our cheaters have done to us should make us hate them. But we made them part of our family, it's really hard to switch that off.

Recently I came across a meme that had a really nice definition of love, quoting it rather than the image:

My psychology professor said "when you fall in love with someone, you aren't interested in anyone else. If you are, you aren't in love" and I think everyone needs to hear that.

This is how I feel about her. I don't want anyone else - I still don't want anyone else. And I don't think I'll want anyone else for a long time. It's very painful that, by this definition, she didn't truly fall in love with me in return.

The loss I feel (and last three days I've been acutely feeling it...every morning I wake up from dreaming about her, and the feeling of loss envelopes me), is exactly the same intense feeling I've been grappling with since my grandfather's death last June.

It's that same intense empty feeling of "I'm never going to see this person again, there's a hole in my life, I'm not going to make new memories with them, I love them and miss them dearly". I am certainly not codependent with my grandfather. But he was close family...and I regarded WW the same.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 1/22/2020 14:36 PM

LOOK AT YOUR PICTURES - DON'T DELETE YOUR LIFE

Re: Pictures - it's all about how you frame them (cheezy I know, but indulge me here...)

I look at mine sometimes and I focus on me - how I felt at the time. I mean, hey, we went to Bermuda - and Bermuda was freaking awesome. I loved it - and not just because I was there with him. At the time I loved the place - him being there made it "better" for me...but in reality, if I "delete" him from those pictures and those memories, I still had a fantastic time there. The sunsets were still beautiful. The warm breeze and the myriads of fish I saw when we went snorkeling were amazing - and they still are. It's the same for a lot of other photos...for example:

I can look at the pictures of a wedding we went to the day before d-day2 - I will use a picture of he and I that is still hanging on my fridge as an example. I can frame that picture in one of two ways:

1) That 24 hours after the picture of where he had his arms around my shoulders kissing me on the cheek, he was telling the OW that he "really loves her." I could even go on and make shit up in my own mind that I'm not sure of, and think when I look at that photo: "He probably excused himself to go to the bathroom right after that picture was taken and secretly texted her or even called." I can look at myself and think about what a fool I was being made of then, what an asshole he was...and so on.

OR

2) I can remember the fun I had there at the wedding - how happy they looked, how cute the flower girls dress was. I can look at myself and think I look good, or like shit, or whatever. I can appreciate my own happiness for what it was then, in that moment, because I was there. I can think about how crazy-hectic and actually fun it basically doing all the decorations for the entire reception until the wee hours of the morning the day of the wedding because there had been a huge unexpected wind storm the afternoon before which had destroyed all of the decorations that were already in place...and how the incredibly thankful bride to be and I inadvertently opened the bottle of champagne they had set aside for their wedding toast at 6am after finally finishing...and how they toasted me at the wedding and told everyone I guzzled their champagne that morning and we laughed and laughed...and yeah, I can still be sad that the fantasy I thought I had with him is over and that all was not what it seemed at that moment, but I can remember that in that moment I was happy, and focus on me, and on finding that again.

It is YOUR CHOICE to do either of those things...and dammit, refuse to let your WS and their stupid choices steal the good parts of your life from you. Your life was NOT all about your WS. Your happiness was NEVER inextricably tied to their person - if you think about it you will realize that while your happiness was enhanced by them at times for sure - it was not them or nothing. If you think back it's likely you never thought about your life like that before the A so why would you start doing that now?!?!?!

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 2:41 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

ShatteredSakura posted 1/22/2020 14:40 PM

Tallgirl, this is where I am too. I can't see myself without him, but the affair is still active and its been 5 years now. Oh and I don;t know if I mentioned this before, but it's their second go round. He's been cheating basically since our 2nd year together.
And pictures, well, let's just say I thought I was on the most magical trip ever, a month in Paris. But guess who he texted every single day and sent pictures!

2019 was WW's 2nd go round too. 2018 the first...it was so much more tamer in retrospect (although technically they started late 2017, but it was a one-time thing...but she refused to go NC with him and well, look where that led to! She later threw it in my face that she didn't see him in person for months and that should have counted for something...but she still talked to him daily).

It's a mind fuck to think about, but there were a lot of quiet, good moments in the last 3 years too. But that means we only had 3 or so years her not cheating. Of course, some forum posters had a good point in my original JFO thread, that because she never wanted to give him up as a friend, she was in fact already cheating from the beginning (he was her ex, and they worked together, so he never was gone from her life). We had many arguments how their boundaries were too close for comfort, but she didn't want to lose him as a friend.

She had a chorus of friends telling her nothing was wrong with that, and I got blamed for being "controlling" which still burns me up to think about. Knowing those friends, if the reverse was true I'd be a jackass if I kept an ex around as a friend like WW did. I was literally the only person in her family and circle of friends telling her how improper her relationship was.

At least with respect to vacations, I haven't been on a big one with her since 2016 and our "dream" vacation was basically our honeymoon in Hawaii. But she probably talked to him then too...although I do remember she wasn't as glued to her phone during it, but maybe that was due to the poor cell service she had lol.

ShatteredSakura posted 1/22/2020 14:43 PM

It is YOUR CHOICE to do either of those things...and dammit, refuse to let your WS and their stupid choices steal the good parts of your life from you. Your life was NOT all about your WS. Your happiness was NEVER inextricably tied to their person - if you think about it you will realize that while your happiness was enhanced by them at times for sure - it was not them or nothing. If you think back it's likely you never thought about your life like that before the A so why would you start doing that now?!?!?!

What's interesting is looking at pictures from our Hawaii vacation, when I know she wasn't fooling around, I can still look at them and think fondly back to those events. Unfortunately they make me miss her a lot.

It's the pictures from the last 3 years where I know what she was doing, that those memories/images feel a lot of taint.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 1/22/2020 14:49 PM

See Shattered - you did EXACTLY what I was talking about in option 1 of my prior post (highlight the word probably):

But she probably talked to him then too...although I do remember she wasn't as glued to her phone during it, but maybe that was due to the poor cell service she had lol.

Let that shit go (and stop making things WORSE in your head)! I too get depressed from time to time (as my posts on here evidence 1000X over), but reclaim your life - that includes the good parts of the past. I spent over a year being angry and pissed off about a life my WH "stole" from me...and while part of that is true, part of it is not true at all. I had a lot of joy and happiness during our years together that weren't because (or solely because) we were together. I can either take that back or ruminate on in all being ruined...and if I'm honest with myself, there was a lot of good shit during the time I shared with him, regardless of whether he was there or not. A LOT. I'm guessing you did too. Relish that stuff - you only get one life as far as I know...so don't let what they did blacken your whole existence.

There is a lot of literature about changing your own attitude and how being positive has a positive affect on your overall outlook. I used to think that was feel good bullshit...but as usual, I'm beginning to realize I was wrong!

ThisIsSoLonely posted 1/22/2020 14:54 PM

It's the pictures from the last 3 years where I know what she was doing, that those memories/images feel a lot of taint.

It's why I used the picture of me and my WH at that wedding as an example. We drove back that next morning and that day I recorded his 30 minute love-fest conversation with her. It's our last pre d-day2 photo together. I could use that to make myself fucking miserable over and over and over again...but damn I look pretty good in that photo and I was happy that day for a multitude of reasons...so that is my focus/my frame...and the funny thing is after practicing that for awhile, now when I look at that photo (and yes, it really is still on my fridge) it makes me happy, because I have decided to focus on the positives of it - on the whole day instead of just on him and the negativity, real, and imagined, in my mind.

Don't wash the tainted aspect of it away so you feel better about your WS, do it for you.

I get that it makes you miss that time - how things were/seemed to be/how you felt...but you know what?!?! My feelings of happiness in that moment were PURE and 100% real - my WH's wasn't. He is the one who should look at that photo and be sad if anyone should, as it wasn't 100% real. I...I have nothing to fear from that picture, and I loved that day and I loved him too. I got to have those real feelings and he didn't. Too bad for him - that picture is mine!

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 2:55 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

ShatteredSakura posted 1/22/2020 15:08 PM

Eh, that was more of a joke about the Hawaii trip line (although I remember she had trouble reaching her mother/brother because of the service). I know she talked to him "as a friend" plenty back then, before her PA. It doesn't taint my memories of the trip.

I mean sure, you're right, definitely coming from the perspective of the affair being a secret at the time the picture was taken. Much of her affair was an open secret, maybe you can say some of those pictures were tainted to begin with.

Like Christmas 2018 a picture of her making eggnog in the kitchen with my parents. Everyone looks happy, especially WW. But I know she wasn't happy, and I know she was still in constant communication with him but had "broken things off" with him for a few months by that point. I thought we were finally starting to move slowly on towards reconciliation and start healing, and NC would come in time [instead three weeks later she started being sexual with him again] At the time, it felt like a mask she was wearing for my parents (they didn't know), which still makes me feel a bit sad to think about.

I had hoped, that if we got over things, years down the road those pictures would become more special. Kind of a "fake it until it's real". So, IMO, it's a mixed bag. 2019 was more of the type of scenario you're talking about, when for half the year I didn't know about the sex. But I deleted a lot of those pictures, and we didn't really do much of note anyways. After June 2019, I barely took any pictures of her for obvious reasons lol.

[This message edited by ShatteredSakura at 3:12 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

gmc94 posted 1/22/2020 18:40 PM

TISL, I am glad at your ability to reframe.

I'm not there. Don't know if I will be. On dday I - literally - watched all those memories fly before my eyes in flames and disappear. Maybe that experience has me somehow 'stuck' on things, but it's not the pictures - it's the memories that are reflected in the photos.

Generally speaking, I'm fine looking at photos that do not include him (and just that took a lot of work). But I am absolutely NOT fine seeing any photo that does include him. Been like this since dday (I vomited more than once when I'd remember something I said/did, clueless about his A, and then put the dates together).

Anyhow, the reframing thing (for memories, photos, or whatever) comes up a lot. I think some of us are better at compartmentalizing things than others. I've NEVER been a good compartmentalizer. And after dday, the very idea of getting better at compartmentalizing makes my skin crawl.

Maybe there will be a day that I devote energy on this front... maybe not. In the meantime, I'd just assume not look at those photos. To me, they are a huge reminder of years' long humiliation and every fucking thing I've lost (and still grieving) bc of my WH's shitty choices. I don't need more reminders - my brain does a pretty good job on that front already.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 6:41 PM, January 22nd, 2020 (Wednesday)]

ThisIsSoLonely posted 1/22/2020 19:56 PM

Anyhow, the reframing thing (for memories, photos, or whatever) comes up a lot. I think some of us are better at compartmentalizing things than others. I've NEVER been a good compartmentalizer. And after dday, the very idea of getting better at compartmentalizing makes my skin crawl.

I get what you're saying, but it's not really compartmentalizing. When I look at that photo on my fridge, I can simultaneously look at it and think "fucking bastard" and think about the other good stuff. I think the fucking bastard part has just faded more into the background now - it's taking a backseat to my life as I saw it and as how it really was, for me - that and the fact that I simply have become exhausted and tired, and yeah, bored with dealing with this mess of a life that WH saddled me with. There is only so long I can focus on a losing battle before I simply have to move on. I still have waves of sadness, but they are less and less now, and he bothers me less and less. I know it's because of a loss of caring so much..generally speaking you can only invest so much and get little to nothing back before you stop. The eventual pulling away is hard, but once you make that initial break...it's easier. For me it's been a mental break as we still live together.

But there is something to that whole focusing on positives - ironically it was something my WH's IC said about it that really stuck with me. Try it for a bit.

I think my problem was that part of me wanted to keep that anger and that sadness and that bitterness as it made it all still real - still attainable. Letting all of that go and focusing on myself instead of "us" meant that I was letting it go - giving it up. I tried sad for a long time - but it wore me out.

Tallgirl posted 1/22/2020 20:01 PM

I donít vomit when I think of things during the A. I get pissed off.

Been that a lot.

Today I went for a test, she asked me to give an emergency contact. Gave him. Then she asked for the relationship type. I stared at her. So wanted to say asshat, ex husband, I said husband eventually and rather reluctantly. It took me a full minute to answer. I defaulted to our current legal relationship. I am sure she wondered what was wrong with me.

I wonder that too

WhyAgainWhyHer posted 1/30/2020 14:01 PM

They must be fighting, Hell, maybe she dumped him again. All I know is, he is about in the worst mood I've ever seen. Nasty to everyone, constantly checking his phone, even in from of me (not normal).

Poor baby....

ShatteredSakura posted 1/30/2020 14:51 PM

I'll know when they are fighting or break up for the fazillionth time (began as a typo, but feels bigger than gazillion), when suddenly she'll spam my phone and want to come back home.

Once I move, the window on that will be closed since she won't have her name on the lease of course.

I was thinking recently something that caused some self inflicted pain. A few times in the past month I got "I have not looked at my phone all day" excuses from her after a long period of unresponsiveness. This is a woman who was attached to her phone through most of our relationship like it was an appendage. She always was on it. It made me think the only reason she was on her phone so much was because of him, but for me I'm not a priority and haven't been for a very long time.

Obviously her actions have shown this repeatedly. Just remarking on yet another nail in the coffin.

WhyAgainWhyHer posted 1/31/2020 09:12 AM

Fazillion...I like that.

We were actually in the same room at the same time and I asked what was going on, why was he so angry. He just glared and walked off. SO I yelled to his back, I guess both your women aren't talking t you now. Door slammed.

Idiot.

ShatteredSakura posted 1/31/2020 09:50 AM

Heh.

It's definitely a fazillion because their two years as a real couple (before we met) I was told they were constantly breaking up and not getting along. And this is the man she cheats on me with? They kept breaking up during the affair.

[This message edited by ShatteredSakura at 12:33 PM, January 31st (Friday)]

WhyAgainWhyHer posted 1/31/2020 11:08 AM

I'm just going to keep pushing his buttons. I just made reservations for us for Valentines Day. He absolutely hates Valentines Day. Also, its HER birthday.

Chaos posted 1/31/2020 11:49 AM

Chiming in here - I can't do the pictures during his LTA either. They are tainted. They make me cry.

I'm a big scrapbooker. I make a Year in Review type album every year.

I've been known to look through them with a lone glass of wine and cry. Because I just can't tell. I search them looking for something - anything and just can't find it. We all look so damn happy.

ShatteredSakura posted 1/31/2020 12:00 PM

Triggers happen when we least suspect it.

Last night I saw a ferrer rocher commercial on tv, specifically for valentine's day because it was their heart shaped box. Those are her favorite candies...

I've never before seen a commercial for them, why now?1?

This valentine's day is going to be depressing. Not because I buy into it (I'm not really fond of it's commercialization) but I'm going to be bombarded with stuff that will make me think of her.

Chaos posted 1/31/2020 12:04 PM

It's definitely a fazillion because their two years as a real couple I was told they were constantly breaking up and not getting along. And this is the man she cheats on me with? They kept breaking up during the affair.

I was told something similar. 4.5 year LTA and they were always breaking up. Boo fricky fricky hoo.

As for Valentine's Day
AP in my case has that as a BD too. FUCK that day. I refuse to celebrate it for that reason alone.

Sorry - a bit bitter during February I'll go find coffee and chocolate now...

ShatteredSakura posted 1/31/2020 12:29 PM

At least it's a short month. Always a silver lining.

I'll buy myself some chocolates when the sales hit the day after.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 2/3/2020 10:07 AM

I've never before seen a commercial for them, why now?!?

You've been lucky - those stupid things are on ALL the time where I have lived. Funny thing is I don't even know what it is - like I've never seen them for sale anywhere to my knowledge or at least they haven't caught my eye. I always thought they were cheap chocolates like whatever they sell at Walgreens or Walmart in some heart shaped box. Even if they are not, think of them that way!

But this quote below, yeah, I think I have felt this way for a long time and just never put it into words...however, isn't that true of "falling in love" generally:

My psychology professor said "when you fall in love with someone, you aren't interested in anyone else. If you are, you aren't in love" and I think everyone needs to hear that.

How about not when you fall in love with someone else, but when you ARE in love with someone else? I think it's different for everyone - some people are happily married, never cheat, and still find other people attractive...whereas in my case, I realized recently that I didn't even NOTICE other men as being attractive or not...like never. They were just people to me - I was willfully blind to them. The statement I "only had eyes for you" was 10000% applicable to the way I felt about my WH until the A. It sucks to lose that, as honestly, I don't even like looking at others, even now.

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