Never Good - Regarless of the Situation
Our affair started 5yrs ago via on-line dating site. He contacted me, his profile pic (left hand holding wine glass w/wedding ring) I had no desire to meet him & told him so. I don't date married men, nothing but a dead end relationship. He pursued & convinced me to meet him for a drink to hear his story (they all have one)...so I did.
His story was much more complicated than anything I ever expected to hear. 10yrs ago (10yrs into their marriage) wife went chiropractor, left a quadriplegic (little movement in one finger, head, eyes, feeding tube, only means of communication is via a special computer/dot on her forehead). What a horrible situation to happen to her & for her to be in. Did I mention, 6mos after her accident, their 4yr old son died of a terminal blood disorder– horrible year for this family.
He transferred jobs, moved closer to her parents, modified house w/handicapped accessible second semi-attached house, hired 12hr/day in-home caregiver, all so she could be home, not in a facility. Admired him for hanging in there doing the right thing, at the end of the day, he was married & I knew no good would come from it-famous last words. After initial meeting, he would call, we would meet for lunch/dinner. I did my best to keep him at arms length, but it was difficult, I kept going back to what 'he' must be going through. Obvious what she was going through, but did anyone see this from his perspective. Took 7mos for affair to become physical (not without his trying, it was me saying no, I can’t do this) I tried to justify the physical affair being ok because he wasn't having sex w/his wife.
The first year was difficult for both of us. We went on a very nice trip together/had a great time, when we returned reality set in/all the guilt that goes w/ being involved in something like–it’s a lot for both sides to deal with. He comes from a very religious family & was struggling w/what we had gotten ourselves into, he called time on our relationship, said he was going to seek counseling w/church pastor, that only lasted a couple of months & he was calling, texting &it was just a matter of time before we were right back where we were before.
The next couple of years got a little easier, we both settled into our respective roles, understanding/accepting what each of us could bring to the table. We spent a lot of time together really getting to know one another, the connection we shared was amazing. I know this is horrible, but I would go over to his house several times a week after the caregiver was gone & wife was in bed (in the semi detached second house). He would cook dinner, we’d share some wine, watch tv, spend time in the hot tub & have our time, then I would go home. We took several trips together over the years, Jamaica x4, Cozumel, Vegas, CA, FL, CO. He took his wife on several trips – he was doing his best to make sure she had some quality of life, but as he told me, going on a trip w/his wife was a chore, going on a trip w/me was enjoyable & relaxing.
I wasn’t totally blinded by what all of this was doing, I struggle with it & it caused problems between us over the years. I called it ‘growing pains’ but I know that it could only be growing pains if we were involved in a normal, healthy, growing relationship–which we were not. He told me at one point that if it wasn’t for me (or because of me) he was able to stay in his marriage & not go totally crazy– OUCH! There were times that his wife would tell him she wanted more of a relationship, he would tell her that that’s not what their marriage was about now. He told me that they had sex once after her accident, that it was no longer enjoyable, it was a real chore/hassle. I told him I thought it was interesting, his wife had the commitment & wanted the connection – I had the connection & wanted the commitment, between the two of us, he had it all.
This time last year he & his wife were having a lot of issues so they went to several joint counseling sessions w/her psychologist. Shortly after he said that he was thinking about getting into some therapy on his own. He had a lot of issues that he needed to work thru, up to this point (the past 10yrs) he’d been burying away in the bottom of his daily bottle(x2) of wine. I told him I thought that was an excellent idea – but also told him that in order for therapy to work, he needed to be open/honest about everything. I knew that would be a struggle for him as the past 10yrs (long before me) he had gotten really good at lying, he called them ‘white lies’ a necessity to keep the peace at home. Once you start lying, it becomes a normal part of your being, you start lying to everyone about anything. I also knew that him going to therapy could spell the end of us as I knew in my gut, no matter what the situation, what we were doing wasn’t healthy for either one of us.
A couple months passed, he had yet to seek a therapist & his tone about it changed. The more I thought about it the more concerned I got. Fundamentally he was a good guy, but he was just a shell of who he once was. Prior to meeting him, he had walked away from his (very successful) career of 19yrs as the logistics of him working/being away from home, didn’t sit well w/his wife. Since I’ve known him, I watched him embark on a couple new ventures, that he could be very successful/fulfilling for him, just for her to throw a wrench in it. I saw his wine intake increase, had no doubt he was battling depression on some level. I cared too much about him to see it continue.
At the beginning of this year, he still had not followed thru w/therapy (I reminded him, that this was his idea in the first place–I just saw all the benefits) I really pushed the issue & became the bad guy! I was ready to walk at that point, but was unable to do it without someone in his world knowing all of his struggles (he had told a couple of his friends about us, but they were causal friends – this called for something much more). I knew enough about his family & family dynamics I felt I knew who I could reach out to that would be understand & non-judgmental.
Thanks to wife’s facebook (he doesn’t have one), I contacted one of his sisters (all out of state). Knew this was going to make him mad & it very well could be the end of us. I was ok with it as long as I could pass the ‘worry torch’ on to someone else that I believed would have his best interest at heart & be there to help him through his struggles. Her reaction was pretty much what I had hoped it would be. Yes, he was mad (at first) but understood why I did it. His sister (he refused to talk to her about us) gave him name of a counselor, he agreed to see. After first visit, I knew it wasn’t going to last, he said the guy was too religious (no surprise w/sister working in a church) – he went a total of 2/3 times.
I told myself earlier in the year, if things didn’t change, our trip to Jamaica (June) would be our last as I could no longer continue status quo. Hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I knew that it was what I needed to do – if for no other reason than my own sanity. When he returned from his July 4th family holiday trip – I told him it was over/I was done. He was mad & upset that I dumped him & that I’d been planning on doing it for some time - he couldn’t see my reasoning behind it. He was mad that I once again involved his friends/sister in our drama, he said they were now concerned/worried about him & that bothered him.
All I wanted was for him to get help, some real help. I know unless a person wants to get help all the therapy in the world isn’t going to help them. The past 3mos have been very difficult, the break up didn’t go as smoothly as hoped/wanted – there were words, & a lot of unnecessary drama. He offered to pay for 10 therapy sessions for me as he knew how difficult this all was for me (I took him up on it, 4th session tomorrow). He decided to go the route of church counselor - I reminded him how well that worked the first time – he was putting a band-aid on something that needed major surgery.
It took me pointing out a couple things before it started to click:
*Celibacy: tried this route for the first 5yrs as it was the ‘right’ thing to do, but not something you were able to maintain (thus my reason for being). The fact that we were in an emotional affair for 7mos prior to becoming physical shows you were in need of more than just a sexual relationship – is it wrong for you to have those feelings/desires? Everyone else does.
*Responsibility/Duty: are you staying as its deemed by others as the ‘right thing to do’ – Who is it ‘right’ for Your Wife? You? If it was ‘right’ for you – NONE of these issues would be issues (I never would’ve come into the picture).
He had told me before that he didn’t want to disappoint his parents/others. I finally had to ask him which would disappoint his parents/others more:
*Waving the white flag & surrendering that for his own sanity, self-worth & well-being he is no longer able to continue caring for his wife & everything else that comes along w/staying in the marriage. – OR –
*The reality of what the past 10yrs of trying to do the ‘right’ thing, living up to others expectations has created – A lying, cheating, unemployed, depressed alcoholic.
Finally – I think I got thru to him, he has his first therapy session for tomorrow. I know he cares about me & I love and care about him very much, probably always will. I have a very large hole in my heart & void in my life right now. He spent the past 5-10yrs pretending to be someone he’s not, hiding from himself, his feelings and everyone around him – we both need time to heal now, in order for that to happen, I know I have to be out of the picture. Who knows what the future holds, but for the here and now, its time for me to start re-claiming myself.
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