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My affair
November 27, 1999
5:13 pm
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berry
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In a nutshell, after almost 15 years of marriage, I began an affair about a year ago. I was not looking for one, and, if anyone asked, I would have told them that I was very happily married. But suddenly, a friendship of twenty years with a former college professor, 20 years my senior, changed. What had been a solid student/teacher relationship evolved into passionate romance. I was completely blindsided.

Some particulars: I'm 39, have two daughters, 13 and 10, and work part time as a grant writer.
My husband is 41, and has worked for almost 20 years at a hi-tech company as a MIS manager. He is an extremly hardworking, dedicated and loyal employee, and I admire him for that, although it has taken its toll on our relationship. I have become very bitter and resentful of the fact that he is unable or unwilling to share more of his time with his family.

So, my dilemma is this: I have fallen deeply in love with V, my former professor. V, who has been widowed for about 10 years, is 64, and suffers from emphasema. I believe he feels the same for me, but is troubled with the fact that I'm married and have two daughters. He is worried that he might be the cause of a family falling apart. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't wish I was with him....but my committment to my daughters' happiness and stability prevents me from considering divorce. And, even though I have become disillusioned with aspects of my marriage, I still care for my husband and do not want to hurt him.

So, I feel like I'm being torn in half. I am constantly thinking about V, when I can see him next, how much I love him, etc. To compound matters, because V's health is somewhat fragile, it's a safe guess that there may only be twenty years, if that much, that we have left.

I have tried to find the right "balance", whereby I can share enough time with V and my family and be happy, but lately, I am always yearning for V. I have come to the realization that unless I leave my husband and am fully prepared to suffer the consequence of jeopardizing my girls' stability and happiness, this is the way life will be for me.

So, I have been leading a very sad, tortured existence. I curse myself for making such a stupid mistake, although-at the same time-would not have done it differently, as the love V and I share is a such a gift.

I need to talk to someone about my feelings, which is why I decided to post this here. I have been thinking about getting counseling now for a while. I can tell that this burden is too much for me to bear alone.

Any thoughts you can share will be greatly appreciated.

November 27, 1999
8:21 pm
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Silly
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I will dedicate a few of my rosaries for you. I hope someone with something in common with you or someone who can relate to you will read your thread. Rosaries are very, very powerful, especially when someone has faith in them like I do, even if you don't. I'm not trying to press my faith on you; I am just letting you know that I will be doing all that I can. Good luck.

November 27, 1999
8:42 pm
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J. C.
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Berry, I'm really sorry for your pain and confusion. I'm not a couselor, but I will suggest weighing out all your options. I also think you should talk to a professional about this too. It really is too much for you to handle on your own. You wouldn't be in this position it weren't. Obviously, your husband and your children can't help you with this. Do you wonder how this affair is really affecting you? Think about all the changes you have gone through since it began. Do you think you could change it back or go back to the way things were before? How has your husband changed? How has your feelings and views of him changed? Ask yourself the same questions about your children. How have they changed? And your feelings for them? You don't need to answer me...answer to yourself. You are your own boss. It's a really good idea to understand exactly how you are feeling and where you stand right now when deciding on the rest of your life. You know that whatever you do will decide on the rest of your life...everything you have done already had made some permanant changes in your life. You can speak as freely as you want here. I wish you all the best.

~JC

November 28, 1999
4:14 pm
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BROC
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Berry,

My two cents.......

First, whats up with you??????????????????????????

Forget V, your family, etc. Push that aside. What is up with you.... whats inside the woman?

You see, there is something missing, but its within you. Ever heard of codependency? Just a thought.

In reading your posts, the common theme seems to be your obsession with this other man....V. ALl your thoughts are about him, when you can see him, spend time. Hell, your wondering how much time you will have in the future with him given his current health condiditons. That my dear is codependent thinking.

What about this? JC said get some therapy. I agree. That is an excellent starting place. Then and ONLY then can you find out the problem. Right now what you think is the problem is ONLY symptoms of the actual problem, which again lies in you.

This stuff, espeacially if you are new to it, is confusing. All these terms, and such. But I can promise you they are right.

So many times, 99% probably people think its the person they are with, the job they are at,their family at home, etc. that is the problem with thier acheiving happiness.

But most of the time, again probably 99% of the time, its the person themselves.

Here is a fact! If you aren't happy with YOU, then noone else, or anything else WILL EVER MAKE YOU HAPPY.

FACT FACT FACT!

Here my prediction. Your husband is avoiding the homelife because he is unhappy like you. He is a workaholic. Very common form of avoiding the pain. Yours, is relatinship addiction. Your in pain, so in order to avoid it, you jump into an affair. What better way to forget about the problems at home. And, when your at home, and can't see V, then you consume (obsess) in your thoughts of V. Again, using it as a way to hide or numb the pain.

Textbook 101.

Anyone care to debate over this one?

Broc

November 28, 1999
5:26 pm
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site coordinator
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BROC,

I'll be a more the devil's advocate in my brief response...

What berry is describing, isn't necessarily the signs or symptoms of codependency, low self-esteem, etc. Her affair may be a normal human response for love, acceptance, and self-expression.

Not all behaviors like this are necessarily indicative of low self-esteem or codependency...but to be sure, it's a great idea to check it out with a professional as berry herself, JC, and BROC have suggested.

However, the confusion, and pain which can evolve from this are certainly a concern.

keep us posted berry, SC

November 28, 1999
6:35 pm
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berry
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Thank you JC, Silly, Broc and SC for your kind words and advice.

I think, to some extent, I am somewhat co-dependant upon V. for my own happiness. I am glad that Broc pointed this out, as I have been concerned about how "obsessed" I have become with V. For some reason, even though I know what co-dependancy is, having experienced it when I was much younger, I seemed to have missed seeing it with this relationship.

As far as my sense of self worth, self esteem, etc., I actually feel pretty good about myself. I lead a very busy life, not only as a result of my kids' activities, but my own personal pursuits. I have been very successful this past year in terms of my job (received a promotion) and met some other goals I had set for myself.

In a lot of ways, I have felt that my relationship with V has enabled me to "give" a lot more back to my family. I feel a lot more "complete". V is giving me a lot of the love and affection that is missing in my marriage.

In my initial post, I mentioned trying to find the right "balance" between sharing time with my family and V. After reading the above replys, I think I see that achieving this "balance" is tied into me not being codependant upon V. But where does love stop and co-dependancy begin? It seems like it is a fine line. Isn't it natural for someone in love to want to be with that person?

I have felt a lot better, just putting my thoughts down in writing and getting feedback, so I will be looking into getting some counseling. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

Berry

November 29, 1999
1:21 am
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J. C.
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It's good to hear from you, Berry. I really don't know what I could do or say that would be helpful to you, but I want you to know that I am hear listening. I know that writing down my feelings always seemed to help with the frustrations and sometimes sorted out the confusion a little bit. Sometimes when you go back and read what you wrote last week...it sounds different, like it came from somewhere else. Anyways, keep us posted.

~JC

November 29, 1999
9:16 pm
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arvette
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Well, let me help you. The first thing you might want to consider, is what feeling your children may have of you? Happiness is best felt for you, if this is what you really want. However, you need to consult your feelings of not receiving time from your husband before you leave him. We need to talk to our significant others if we are not receiving the love and affection we desire. If for some reason, we are not receiving that, then we need to leave. Lets not continue the hurt for which we are demonstrating. I do not want to lecture, but being a good counselor, I am most concerned with your feelings. What are you doing now, to make sure you get time? What are you going to do, when V, if so, dies from his condition? What do you do, if your children suddenly picks up on the fact, that you may not love them, and you do not spend time with them. They may want to hurt you because you are doing the exact same thing that your husband is doing to them, and that is not spending time. Children do not have control over their ability to split their time. So, who is more important your children or yourself?
Here is something that might help you.
1. What are you going to Do, and How are you going to do it

2. What is your plan?
3. Are you ready to live with the consequences?
4. Are you motivated enough to follow through to the end

December 1, 1999
5:48 pm
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BROC
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Site Coord.,

If you re-read berrys posts, at least when I do, it screams codependency.

You said that codpendency is seperate from love, acceptance, or self expression.

I agree with you, but I don't see that here. Love takes time to evolve. Getting to know that person inside and out. Knowing all their qualms, habits, etc. She has know him a long time, but as a friend.

I have many girlfriends I have know for years and years, I "love them", but I'm not in love with them. I don't know them in every way possible, as one should know their mate, or potential mate.

I definitely think she loves him, but those yearning feelings....the butterflies in her stomach are pure and simple infatuation. She is in love with the idea of what he is, what he can provide, and/or do for her and her life.

She isn't happy. As I said in other thread, I think the one with jwt, if she isn't happy with her life now, adding V will not, no way in hell increase that happiness, at least not for the long term.

She is, in my opinion, looking outside of herself for the happiness she feels she is lacking, that is lacking in her life.

Again, until she seeks professional help to pinpoint whats wrong WITHIN her, her life will never never never ever get better, at least long term. She will see brief glimpses of it.....we all do. But long, sustained happiness....one full of serentity and void of control, manipulation, games, hidden feelings, etc. no way in hell.

I can't say it enough. Until you figure out you, forget it. The rest will never happen.

Thats a promise my friends. Thats thousands of dollars in couseling, groups sessions, books,etc. for free.

Broc

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