finally had the courage to end it
by A Fool
How did I end up in as the other woman? I had no self-esteem. I was divorcing after 16 years in an emotionally abusive marriage to a serial cheater, alcoholic, financial disaster of a man. I had two teen boys to raise alone after almost being bankrupted. I joined Weight Watchers and a marathon training group to lose weight. I lost 62 pounds! I told my 22 year older coach what I was going through. Stupid move on my part. I became prey. He became my best friend, confidant, and running partner/personal coach. He had me on a 4 day a week running schedule with him. Good alibi for his wife. I thought he was just a really nice, fatherly coach. I had no clue he was interested in me. He didn't act married! Well, he gradually pushed my boundaries. He said I was beautiful and how he wanted me to be his wife. I was his soul mate. He was sooooo in love with me. After being fat and in a sexless marriage, I sucked up every word. He made me feel beautiful, desirable, and sexy. It was incredible.
He texted me constantly and kept tabs on me. Wow - someone was paying attention to me. He gave me all the stupid lines about being in an unhappy marriage, living as roommates, no sex in 6 years. Because I was going through a divorce, I believed that he was divorcing, too. He pretended he was looking for an apartment and filing papers, but the deadlines kept changing. Things were complicated. Blah, blah, blah . . . You know the rest. I'm not a stupid woman. I have a PhD, but I totally fell for all of the lies. He was so good at making me feel that I wasn't patient enough. If I would just believe in him . . . Why would he lie to me?
I'm so glad that I found women sharing their MM stories online. I was so miserable and trapped, but I couldn't tell anyone. I had never done anything so horrible in my life. Your stories helped me see the truth of the situation. I was shocked and outraged at how many women fall for this. I thought my situation was unique. I kept reading and re-reading to build up the courage (and the anger) to end my relationship after wasting almost 4 years of my life. It took 4 tries of NO CONTACT during the 4th year, but I am finally free! I had many earlier attempts to end it in a "let's be friends" way, but that did not work. He weedled his way back in. He constantly crossed my boundaries.
I am lonely, but I can look at myself in the mirror again. The horrible pain, confusion, and frustration of having my emotional needs met by someone else's man is gone. I would rather be alone than ever feel that way about myself again. My head is finally clear so I can be productive at work and home. Being in limbo was like being in quicksand. I kept waiting for him to make it right so I could start living fully.
I am 30 days free, and I'm not getting sucked back in by his emotional games. He really knows what buttons to push to reel me back in. I had to cut contact completely. I had to change my routine. Over the year of disengaging myself from him, I gradually filled in whatever needs he was filling with healthier alternatives. Living the lie, I had cut myself off from friends and family because I didn't want them to know. I reversed that. Every time I thought I needed him for something, I figured out an alternative. I called my brother for help with my car. I went to lunch with my mother when I wanted to try a new restaurant. I started a girls nite out with some other women. I think I have friends now! I started volunteering with my son. I cuddle with my dog while I read a good book.
Most importantly, I got a therapist who I told the whole truth to. Hardest thing I ever did was to admit what I had done. I asked her to hold me accountable so that I could leave. I will have to live with hurting his wife and violating the sisterhood of women. The next steps are to build up my self-esteem so that I can have a healthy relationship. 16 years of a jerky husband + 4 years of an MM = 20 years wasted. I'm not wasting any more time with emotionally unavailable men.
To widen my safety net, I asked a few coworkers to support me in leaving an "unhealthy relationship." When he texts or emails (even though I've asked for NO CONTACT), I go tell them about it and ask them to hit me with a ruler.
I look back and can't believe I fell for it. And, I can't believe that I didn't leave when my gut told me to RUN! We are different women with the same stories. LEAVE NOW. DON'T WASTE ONE MORE DAY OF YOUR LIFE. YOU CAN DO IT. YOU ARE WORTH IT.
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