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Re: Help
Jul 2, 2003
Hi there,

For what it's worth, here's my spin on things...hope it helps in some way :)

You felt a feeling of sexual temptation and excitement, the opportunity was there to act on it, but unless I missed something, it didn't go beyond the kiss--yet, anyway. Yes, you were out of line for doing that and for the way you treated your friendship with your buddy. However, you maintain that you love your wife, you sound truly remorseful for kissing your friend's wife, as well as for betraying your friend's trust.

You're health is being affected by your guilt and the sexual and/or emotional feelings you continue to have. That's why you can't keep it bottled up in you, but I suggest you turn to this forum, a counselor, a therapist--anyone--but NOT your wife or your buddy for guidance or to make a confession to relieve your pain and guilt.

They can't possibly be objective, and it will only make matters worse, and it will cause them pain that might be unnecessary. If you do tell them, I expect you hope their reaction will be one of forgiveness, but you could also find yourself facing a separation or divorce as well as the loss of a friendship.

You can't continue to beat yourself up over this either--another reason to talk to an objective third party such as a therapist, or someone of a similar profession (which gives you the comfort of confidentiality), not another guy friend or family member who you will then be worrying about telling on you--and it wouldn't be fair to put someone else you know in the position of having to decide what to do with what you tell them, don't ask someone else to keep your secret, talk where you have confidentiality.

Find someone who has the education and insight to help you understand why you kissed another woman, whether your friendship with your buddy is real or not, and take what you learn and apply it to your relationship with your wife if you discover that's what you want at the end of all this.

I understand that it's hard to live alone with your thoughts, which is why I continue to suggest you speak to a pro--it will be worth the time and money in the long run, and do it before you hurt yourself, your wife, and your friend again.

You say you continue to have thoughts about the woman you kissed, but if you don't act on them, things are still fixable--for you. You don't understand yet why you did what you did, you don't know how to deal with the potential pain this could cause in others' lives, and you're being affected mentally, physically and emotionally by it--time to get some help so you can understand what's happening with you.

As for the woman you kissed, eventually her behavior will come out--if you say she acts like what she did was no big deal and appears to have no conscience. Her viewpoint on this indiscretion is enough to suggest she may have done more than kiss you, and she'll probably continue w/her actions. She has obvious problems, but don't make them yours. At this point, they are her problems, and she's not the one looking for help--you are, so don't bother worrying about her right now. Continue your own quest for knowledge as to why you did what you did.

As for your buddy, my guess is he probably already knows something is wrong with his marriage, with her, and possibly with him, but what he chooses to do with the knowledge he has or suspects is up to him. You interfered by kissing his wife, now back off, let their marriage unfold as they deal with each other in the way they choose to. If you stay out of it, then things will take their natural course without you being a party to it.

I believe the majority of the time, when a person has an affair--whether it be an emotional or a sexual one--it's a sign of something wrong with the marriage, not always, but it's a sign of something wrong--either w/the marriage or the one or both people in it. Some people act on their marital troubles by having affairs, and others choose to seek counseling. What they do about their marital problems is up to them. And now what you do about yours is up to you, and eventually your wife, too, just wait to get her involved until you understand yourself and your actions better.

I don't think any of us are qualified to judge any of you. We only know the info you've chosen to disclose. And you're looking for help, not judgment calls. You're human, and you made a mistake, you still feel tempted, but so far you haven't acted on it. It sounds that you want to share your inner turmoil which is why you came here in order to deal with your transgression.

No reason to call in the "thought police." I'm sure all of us at one time or another have thoughts about another person while we're in a committed relationship, but in the end it's about whether we choose to act on our thoughts or not.

I hear your pain and your guilt, but I am not sure you understand or know why you're having the thoughts you are. Don't paint yourself as a loser because you have some problems going on inside you right now. Instead be mature enough to recognize that you have some issues--which you've already done by coming here--and take it one step further by getting counseling.

I suggest first talk to the pro alone, and then after some sessions, if it's determined that you have real marital issues that don't involve just you, your thoughts, your past indiscretion of the kiss--then it's time to bring your wife into it and you'll both decide through counseling if you have a future together.

Sorry for the rambling, and thanks for reading my very looooong post. BTW, I've been where you are, too...

Best wishes, Annie...

p.s. It might be helpful to read the thread on here started by Red Bean. The subject title something like "Cheated 3 years ago, told him today." As always, though, every situation and the people involved are different, but her post and replies make some good points. Keep looking for your own answers, too!

[This message has been edited by Annie45 (edited 07-02-2003).]
Re: Help
Jul 3, 2003
Hi Nick,

Thanks for your kind reply to my thoughts on what you're going thru :) Sometimes I get a bit lengthy, and I'm glad you didn't perceive me as "preachy!"

I've been where you are--at the time, I thought I knew why I did it & why it was with the man I did it with. But I later found out via a terrible accident and the resulting therapy I had, what the real reasons were for my (and this man's) actions. I'm not saying that it made it okay to have an affair, I'm just saying that via therapy, where I had complete confidentiality, I discovered the deeper reason.

When I had my affair--I thought the reason was because I'd known this man forever, he was like another big brother to me (he was my brother's best friend), I'd had a crush on him when I was a teen, he was attractive (but had a longtime g/f), I had no intimacy w/my husband, and I felt very lonely.

After I'd been married about 3 years (I was 27 or so), I hadn't had my kids yet, and found myself alone quite a bit. I had a job near where this guy & my brother worked, and he'd stop by to say hi or have lunch occasionally. Nobody thought anything of it--not even me. He was a family friend (even worked for my dad for awhile), I'd known him since I was 11 yrs. old, and a group of us (my ex included) all hung out and partied a bit--it was the early/mid 80's.

My brother bought a motorcycle from this friend, and 2 months later, he was killed in a motorcycle accident. He was 8 yrs. older than me. I was devastated--I can't begin to describe all of the emotions that were happening inside me.

I was the only sibling here, was the one who got "the call," had to go to the hospital, but he was a DOA. I had to tell my parents their only son was dead. My husband wasn't around, and I was left alone to deal with the funeral arrangements, my parents, packing up my brother's things--I was a zombie, numb and deeply depressed. I cried every day for a year or more.

I was literally immobilized, I couldn't function beyond the things I absolutely had to do, and I was totally alone. I was put on medications of all sorts. My parents were dealing w/their own grief, my ex was always at work (24/7), & my 2 sisters lived far away. I found myself getting & giving comfort to & from my brother's friend. He, too, was totally devasted and blamed himself for what happened as he was the one who sold the bike to him. They'd been friends for over 15 yrs., worked together, played together, everything.

Well, I suppose you can guess the rest. After about a year or so, this man & I took it further than talking and crying together--it happened totally out of the blue and completely unexpected. Yes, I'd fantasized about him since I was a kid, and I thought "heck, we only live once, my husband isn't interested in me, so why not?!"

The affair lasted about a year, but my grief and depression lasted longer. I needed help, and through my counseling, I learned that my affair wasn't because of my marital problems nor even the sex. I didn't choose just any guy to have an affair with, nor was he just having a fling with someone.

I know it sounds bizarre, but through being intimate with my brother's best friend, the psychiatrist made me see that it was my attempt at getting as close to my brother as I could. He was forever gone, but his friend was a constant reminder of him, and we both loved my brother very deeply. Again, it didn't make the fact that I had an affair right or okay, it just made me realize why I did it.

My husband & I divorced 15 years later and to this day, he doesn't know about the affair--there's no need, not even now. It had nothing to do with him. We divorced for other reasons.

Thanks for taking the time to read my story. I hope it helps you in some way. I also understand how talking about things help--just taking the time to put my story in writing helped me. I still miss my brother every day. But my divorce and my affair were 2 separate situations that had nothing to do with the other.

I hope you'll keep in touch, and let me know if you do seek out a pro, if you find it helpful. Hang in there, and again, don't beat yourself up, just try to understand yourself & your thoughts.

Thanks again for listening, good luck, and best wishes, Annie...
Re: Help
Aug 12, 2003
Hi Nick :)

When I read your posts, you sound so alone in all this. I really don't think you should tell your wife at all, unless you're prepared for the worst...a separation and/or divorce. I don't mean to be repetitive, but I also don't think you should confide in a friend (as it sounds like this other woman's g/f is involved somehow--probably from the other woman talking to her...) but if only the other woman you have feelings for is doing the talking, then if you stay away from this friend and don't confide anything to her, you aren't furthering your risks. I think, too, that if you've committed yourself to sticking it out with your wife, that by having further talks about this woman--either to her herself or to her friend, that you are still "involved with her" to a degree. I know it's easy for me to say, but if you really do want your wife and marriage--try to stay away from all the third parties that could cause potential problems.

You sound like your heart is in the right place when you say you are going to talk to her friend and you also mention that you don't want to hurt the other woman, but when and who thinks about you and your hurt? This other woman sounds somewhat self-centered and her motives seem questionable. Maybe in the sense of an ego boost theory, it might apply to the other woman, but I, as you, don't think it's the case for you.

As I recall, all you've done so far is kiss this woman several months ago. Perhaps you feel an emotional betrayal to your wife because of your thoughts--but right now that's all it is--your thoughts. You keep everything to yourself because right now you pretty much have make unilateral decisions, and it must be like hell living inside your head so alone sometimes. I really do feel for you...

You and I talked before about you're venting all this and getting it all out of your system to a confidential third-party such as a counselor. I seem to recall you went as far as to even calling someone, but were afraid your wife would find out. If you haven't made the appt. yet for that reason, maybe you could ask yourself which is the "lesser of two evils" in all this--your internal turmoil brought on by your thoughts and feelings for this other woman and the potential danger it can do to your marriage and your friendship--or that you've sought out some counseling to help you make your marriage better?

I know it's hard to walk away from a long-term friendship, and didn't you say you were even considering moving? This isn't just a mid-life crisis, Nick, this is a very real emotional problem you're dealing with, you're trying to care for everyone else's feelings but you seem to neglect your own, and these feelings have been lurking under the emotional surface for 8 years now, so I don't think you can call it a mid-life's reached the point of a full blown marital crisis if you don't find someone to talk to to help you understand why you're so drawn to this woman.

I know I told you before, but early on in my marriage I had an affair with my brother's best friend--someone I'd had a crush on since I was just a kid! He sold my brother a motorcycle and 2 months later my brother was killed in a motorcycle accident. I was so devastated, and my husband--although he tried a bit to relate, he really couldn't, and I was alone with my misery. I, like you, found myself constantly in the company of my brother's friend (who was in a long-term relationship at the time), and we cried together for a year. After that, though, it turned into an affair. I was on a lot of medication due to the depth of my grief over my brother's death, I felt I had nobody to talk to who could possibly understand what I was going thru, and my parents moved out of state as they, too, felt that the memories here were too strong so it was "out of sight, out of mind" for them when they made that decision.

Later, thru couseling, the counselor helped me realize my affair was about trying to get close to my brother--he was gone forever, but his friend was a daily reminder of him, and I was the same to his friend. It went from crying on each other's shoulders to a full-blown affair where he even declared his love for me, and I almost left my marriage. 15 years later I did divorce my husband, but it had nothing to do with my past affair--the marital problems I had and the affair I'd had so many years before were two totally separate issues.

The only reason I mention this again is that I really feel that you yourself might be in such a state of confusion and self-blame and self-doubt, that you can't see things clearly right now, and maybe a counselor could help you understand your actions (and inactions) in your life right now. You've said before it has always helped you feel better to talk to us on these boards, so imagine how freeing it could be to you to get all this out in the open and off your chest with someone who you don't have to worry about "telling on you" or judging you, but to listen and help you understand why you did the things you did and the feelings you still have. You might be surprised at the self-discoveries you could learn. I hope you follow up on the idea, Nick, before anyone else gets more involved in your scenario and the more people who know, the more likely your wife will find out...and possibly your guy friend also.

I also know it's easy for me to say that it's time to let the friendship go, but you said yourself that's what it would take. I see you as the only one looking for help and answers, and you're even considering changing your life to the degree of can't do this alone, it will drive you crazy to be alone with your thoughts this much and that's not the best state of mind to be in when making life-altering decisions.

Hang in there (even if it does sound like it's only by a thread), and reconsider talking to a counselor if you haven't done so already. All the things you have to make decisions and choices about right now seem too much for one person when there are four people's lives involved right now.

Good luck, Nick, and let me know how you're doing, ok?

All my best, Annie...

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