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I need help. Please answer!
August 30, 2007
4:35 am
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paty
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I’m and Italian 40 years old “girl”. Two years ago, after what I thought had been 10 blissful years of marriage, I became attracted by a friend that I used to run with (we belong to a running group). Besides running together, we had exchanged email addresses and started chatting on computer, thus getting to know and appreciate each other more and more. Nothing physical happened for about a year. Let me tell you, before I go on, that for 13 years, together with my husband, I belonged to a very strong religious community (Latter Day Saints). Our whole life turned around the church, but I was happy about it. My husband’s job kept him out of town during the day. We hadn’t had children, notwithstanding all our attempts (included in vitro fertilization and adoption, for which we were supposed to wait two more years).
Anyway, when I figured out I had fallen in love with A. I candidly talked about it with my husband: probably, had he shown some jealousy, things might have ended differently, but he acted as if I were ill, and in a way I felt myself as if it were sort of a bug that I couldn’t get rid of. In the end, I decided to take a trip abroad and spend a month with friends belonging to the same religious group, also getting psychological help. When I came back I though I was whole again, but the very next day I felt compelled to go and find A. He had had a rotten month himself, unsuccessfully trying to forget me, so in the end things got even worse and our relationship became also physical, leading, in about 6 months, to breaking up with our spouses and going to live together. Nevertheless, things haven’t been exactly perfect since then: daily living together brought up the sides of our personalities that hadn’t shown during our “perfect story”, but the main reason was, and still is, that I can’t help but live with huge feelings of guilt for having abandoned a man that loved me with all his heart and adored whatever I did, plus my religion, whose standard I wasn’t living up to anymore.
I actually don’t miss neither of them, I just feel like sh** because of what I did: this makes me act childlike toward A: on one side I feel that he’s all that is left in my life and cling to him constantly, making him feel pressed and breathless; on the other hand, I constantly feel that I should end our relationship, but I love him deeply: it’s just that I can’t live this story in a relaxed, serene way. I’m aware that in any case things could go back to what they used to be, but still I can’t help acting the way I do (feeling bad, making him sense it, and, thus, questioning our relationship and putting it to trial).
I need his CONSTANT attention and love, to be cuddled constantly, and if, for a day, I feel like he’s not paying attention to me, I start making up stories that hopefully will get him jealous, so that he’s interested in me again. But these things only make him angry…
I didn’t use to be that way with my husband at all, but after all my husband was dependent on my love as much as I’m now dependent on my new partner’s love (infact I find myself saying and doing many things that my husband used to tell me, live “I need you”, or “I can’t live without you”).
I got to the conclusion that I’m codependent, but is it possible to start being such from one day to the other?
What really confuses me is that I had great parents, who loved and took care of me, but I know I lack self confidence and self esteem, all the same.
Please, help me.
E.

August 30, 2007
6:13 am
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thedogsmom
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(((paty)))
Your story is heartbreaking. I am sorry for the pain you bear and for the pain you have put your husband and now your current boyfriend through. Sometimes in life, we follow our desires and temptations and throw out our honesty and integrity and make poor choices in life. We are human with many emotions and feelings and as such, sometimes do things out of context even when we know we are wrong.
We have to live with those consequences of those poor choices and in your case, you did indeed lose the trust and love of your ex-husband. For this I am sorry. However, the past is done and the mistake has been made. You cannot change it but you can make an agreement with yourself to learn from those mistakes. That is the best that you can do.
First it sounds like you need to forgive yourself. Only humans punish themselves over and over again for the same mistake. There is no justice in reliving the pain over and over IF you have truly learned from the mistake. Some things you can make amends for and sometimes others are unable and unwilling to forgive you for mistakes that have hurt them. You cannot decide for others what they should feel or how they should treat or react to you.
It sounds like you are accepting that your past relationship is damaged beyond even your desire to fix it. Now is the time for you to heal and forgive yourself. You will not benefit from hurting yourself over and over, with your guilt and sorrow for what has already been done. Guilt is an emotion that we often abuse. It is a good thing to have IF it stops us from doing that which is wrong-- but there is no need to hold on to the guilt ---after the wrong deed has been committed.
I am not saying that it is okay to feel nothing for the wrongs you have commited in life. Indeed you should feel sorry and remorseful because you broke your commitment and thus hurt somebody who loved you.

But...at this point in your life...it is time to move forward...it is the ONLY way to live. For the past is the past...and you have only the here and now. The future is not a given..but hopefully there is a brighter tommorow that you can look forward to. If you cannot forgive yourself, you stay 'stuck ' in the past. This is no way to live and will not help anyone.
It's time to say your sorry's foremost to yourself and FORGIVE yourself. It's time to learn more about yourself...and try to improve the things that are causing you harm.
Your current jealousy and fear that you have with your new lover is surely going to destroy that relationship unless you can figure out why you are feeling so vulnerable and needy.
I believe it is because you have remorse and regrets and sorrow for having the affair and hurting your ex.
Would you forgive a friend who confessed to you that she had made some terrible choices and mistakes in her life. I believe you would, IF you knew she was truly remorseful and would vow not to repeat the wrong-doings. If you could extend your love and forgiveness to a friend in need, shouldn't you allow yourself the same kindness and love?
You have mentioned being codependent with low self-esteem. Try not to worry about your new boyfriend abandoning you...and work on your self esteem. Have you tried learning more about codependency? Are there any codependent classes or groups that you might be able to attend?
I do believe that you are deserving of leading a peaceful life with a good relationship. It starts with forgiveness.. then growth..Let the pain of this mistake...lead you to grow and learn from it.
TDM

August 30, 2007
6:19 am
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Robert123
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hey paty, this is a good place to share those kinds of things...a therapist might also be helpful. Dealing with feelings can be a long road but the benefits of working thru a problem can outweigh the hard work involved.
R

August 30, 2007
5:31 pm
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nappy
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Welcome Paty to this site but by reading your story, the old saying does goes:
"The grass is not always greener on the other side."

While living in this world before we depart from it, we will be tempted so many times and when we bite into the bait, then we do have to face the matter whether it is right or wrong but those are the choices that we choose in life.
See our mind can play tricks on us to where we really do believe what we are thinking. You thought that being with "A" that your life was going to be perfect but when you woke up from that dream, you realize that you are in the same boat that you were in when you left your husband. Now since things are not going right with you and "A", you want him to feel bad and sad just like how you feel.
If you love this man, then please stop with the games of trying to make him jealous because sometimes, it can and will backfire on you. You can't go back into the past but you can go forward toward the future. You have to deal with your mistake and come to terms with them so that you can move past the quilt, shame, hurt and get on with your life on being happy.
Nappy

August 30, 2007
5:44 pm
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lost lady72
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August 30, 2007
6:23 pm
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Tiger Trainer
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(paty)

I am so so sorry you are feeling so down on yourself.

I agree with a lot of what thedogsmoms said. Acknowledge mistakes and learn from them but then move on.

Speaking as a Latter-day Saint myself, I know how feeling guilty can really hurt your self esteem. use those feelings to boost yourself and make yourself feel better. I dont' know how active you are or were, but having a long talk with God can help straighten some things out and organize your feelings.

This is a great site and there are many many supportive people here. Don't be afraid to continue to unburden yourself here.

August 30, 2007
6:45 pm
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fantas
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Paty,
welcome to the site. It sounds like you are in the middle of really strong tornado right now. Like it has been suggested, be gentle with yourself and you begin to learn what it was that led you to sabotage your stable marriage and now your new relationship. Even if you say that your marriage was good, something must have been missing for you to want to seek another man to the extend that you did. I think this will be a great awakening for you. Are you seeing a therapist? I would suggest being alone for a while so that you can sort yourself out and really figuring out what you need.

Is there any chance of you working things put with your husband? I have seen marriages rebuilt before and it sounds like he really did love and care for you. Would he be willing to work through this with you?

August 31, 2007
1:22 am
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Ned 348
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I also feel for you. I know what you mean about being so confused. I was married for 18 years and could not take being married to my wife anymore - big problems. We are still on friendly terms and things are great. She is a nice person, just being married to her sucked.

Anyway now I am seeing someone else and sometimes when I am with her I feel like, what am I doing with her? Sometimes it feels like I should be with my ex-wife mostly because that seems the way it should be, not because that is what I want.

When I was alone that felt lonely. So that was no good. Sometimes I feel so good when I'm just in the house alone (I live by myself)and the fact that I am not living with anyone or married. Sometimes I feel like just dating but I really don't want that. Sometimes I just feel like leaving women alone completely, but I just can't seem to do that. I ask myself what the hell do I really want and I cannot figure that out either.

It seems like you have so many issues and finding an answer is going to take a lot of soul searching. I don't know if you can go back or want to. The trouble with backtracking is that you rediscover what made you leave in the first place.

Importantly you know what you are doing to hurt your situation and identifying is always an important first step to trying to get a solution. The only problem is that finding the answer is so hard, as affairs of your heart always are.

You are pissing off your present partner for whatever reason but if you leave him you will transfer these tendencies to your next partner or you will find someone that will do those things to you. The answer lies within you.

August 31, 2007
12:26 pm
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soofoo
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Paty-- Is there any way you can get back involved with your church? I think you are right that you are needy because your partner is all you have right now. If you could reconnect with your church, you might feel less needy. I am not a latter day saint, but I am familiar with this church and I hope that they will welcome you back. I believe that no matter what, Jesus still loves you despite your mistakes. I agree with Tiger that strengthening your connection with God will help you through this hard time. It may be the only way to get through your feelings of guilt.

It is obvious from your post that you are a very intelligent and insightful person. God bless you and may he light your way.

August 31, 2007
5:19 pm
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Tiger Trainer
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As soofoo said, if you want to be back in the LDS church, the church will not turn you away. It is one of my fondest hopes that my husband will one day decide to return to the church.
There are more people than you think who have made the decisions you did and are now back to being members.

September 5, 2007
1:54 am
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paty
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I just wanted to let you know that A and I made up our minds: we decided to take some time apart so that I can figure out what I really want and cope with all the unresolved problems and feelings I'm still struggling with.

I know I can always count on him for help, but I'll truly try to leave him alone, in order for both of us to clarify our minds.

I'll also try and find a counselor, perhaps in a short while...

In the meanwhile, please say a little prayer for me or just think of me: I hope so badly to be able to resist and, by so doing, helping at least him, if not myself.

He deserves more than a disturbed person, or, to say the least, someone who doesn't even know anymore what and who she is.

Wish me good luck: I need it very badly.

Ciao

Paty

P.S. Today I'll go back to my own house (we used to live in his) and there I've no internet, so I could be a little slow in replying your eventual posts, but I have access to internet from work, so, please, KEEP IN TOUCH!!!! I need you more than ever!!!!

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