Marriage Missions International

Getting “Unhooked” From An Emotional Affair

Freeimages.com

Freeimages.com

“How can I get unhooked from an emotional affair?” There is not easy way, and it will involve a process of time. In that process, several practices are important. First of all, separation is important. The emphasis here is on abstinence and sobriety. You don’t indulge yourself with the other person’s presence. You must stop exposing yourself to this shared life experience. The contact is what keeps these feelings alive; you need to stop feeding the compulsion.

I hasten to add that you just can’t bury these feelings. Therefore, the next step is identification. What is the “something” this person touches inside you? What unmet need does he tap into? Sometimes the infidel can process this with a spouse or a same-sex friend, but other times that will need to be done with an experienced counselor who is committed to restoring the marriage.

My experience is that the longings that underlie infidelity go back to childhood; the infidel brings them with him or her into the marriage. They often were touched upon or satisfied in the initial phases of the relationship with the spouse, but over time have been buried by the crush of life’s responsibilities.

The next process is exposure. Don’t allow these longings and feelings to remain a secret. The longer an infidel allows these feelings to continue as a secret, the more he or she will idealize the person the feelings are attached to. Idealization means this partner becomes perfect, and as a result, no one else (e.g., the spouse) can measure up. The partner is beginning to be seen as “all good,” and therefore the infidel will have to see the marriage as “all bad.”

As mentioned earlier, if you encapsulate these feelings at this point, they will only lie dormant to be triggered again later. I usually encourage the infidel to share his feelings with his spouse, after seeking counsel. After all, the spouse has been involved in this story already (in that all affairs are a triangle, even if the spouse is unaware) and might as well know the secrets that are occurring in his/her marriage.

The next concept here is to journal. Write down the feelings you are experiencing in this rather involved and tortuous journey. Feelings don’t have to control an individual, but their influence is strongest when they are held in secret. The longings that have led to this emotional affair are a part of the childhood magic; journaling them gets them out into the open, into the adult realm.

The next step is displacement. Use this process in tandem with some of the other processes. Here you do something else in lieu of focusing on the partner. You can exercise, get involved in spiritual development, or take on different projects or hobbies. This is the “doing” part of healing.

The final idea is to grieve. Though this is extremely difficult for the spouse to observe, it is important and necessary. Many times this needs to start with a “good-bye” letter (written to the adulterous partner). Most infidels find this very painful to do. It seems so unnecessary initially, because (seemingly “nothing evil has happened,” since they didn’t have sex. Only after thorough processing, and the passage of time, will the infidel be able to look back and see how befuddled his/her thinking really was.

This is also a good time for the infidel to review his/her “loss history,” and this leads naturally to grieving. What other significant caregivers, friends, loved ones, or pets has the infidel lost that parallel the lost feelings in giving up the affair? The infidel will probably want to do this in private and only later will be able to share the depth of the experience with his spouse.

(A caution here: The depression is not about what you feel for the partner, but just what you are feeling, period. Keep the partner out of the equation-it will make it easier for your souse to listen to your feelings, and easier for you to connect with the feelings in your heart that need processing.)

The Healing Process: Neither your partner nor your spouse can release you from the emotional hook you’ve experienced. Many spouses caught in this kind of emotional affair have found portions of The Serenity Prayer helpful:

“Lord, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Be careful of changing the components around. Don’t try to change the things you cannot change-that will only lead to frustration and anger. On the other hand, don’t accept the things you should be changing —that will only lead to feelings of victimization, a sense of “What’s the use? I can’t lick this, so I might as well give in.”

Time, the healing process, always requires a backward look. Encouragement is not usually the result if you look to where you need to be, feel like you ought to be, or even want to be. You will see the feelings diminish as you look backward to where you were three, six or nine months ago.

Rebuild and concentrate on the lost relationships that contributed to the vacuum that the emotional affair filled. That could require quite a search on your part, some intense conversations (even confrontations) with people in your life, a lot of focused reading, and even some trips/visits to significant places in your childhood.

Enjoy the process and reschedule the experiences that made your marriage good in the first place. Here I encourage couples to each identify the “eight greats” of their marital experience. Independently, each spouse should identify the eight great experiences, or highlights, of their marital history, then decide together on five that they’d like to repeat. You see, shared history is a critical component of intimacy. Rare is the spouse who won’t join “the almost infidel” in this endeavor and experience recovery from close call. Why, most of us had close calls ourselves.

Some Cautions for the Infidel: Temptations do not an identity make. Some people struggle with the same temptation for years. For instance, just because someone wants to smoke again because he’s tempted doesn’t mean he’s a smoker. Don’t let the temptation to return to the partner shame you into feeling “What’s the use? I might as well give in. I’ll never be free of these feelings.”

Second, remember that in periods of high stress, difficult emotions, transition, and marital dullness, you will feel an increased desire to return to the partner or to renew thoughts of him/her. At times, infidels report that they have yearnings to think about this person just to see if the feelings are still “available” as in the days gone by. This “testing” is common to obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and the intent is to prove to oneself how far one has come in the recovery process.

Be careful —this process can begin to mimic the destabilization process of a Class 2 affair described in chapter 6. As mentioned there, such practices only intensify, rather than lessen, the attraction —and the hook goes much deeper.

Some Encouragement for the Spouse: First, remember that these longings were present in your spouse before you entered his or her life. You didn’t create them, and you probably can’t fully satisfy them.

Second, you did tap into those longings early in your relationship in some fashion. The longings were present in the initial feelings of what love is all about. For whatever reason, the infidel settled for the initial feelings of what love is all about and superficial satisfaction of those longings, versus deepening and maturing them. This is not your fault. Many times it is the result of a combination of circumstances: work, school, family, and so on. But the exciting thing is now you both can go deeper in your love for each other.

Last, both of you will eventually forget the partner. The memories of this experience will fade in the same way that a widow or widower forgets about the loss of a good first marriage if the second marriage is a pleasant experience.

It is possible to rebuild after an emotional affair has been discovered. Work through these steps and you will make progress. This is the kind of stuff emotional intimacy is built on, and that is the key to any good marriage.

The above article comes from the excellent book, TORN ASSUNDER: Recovering From an Extramarital Affair written by Dave Carder, published by Moody Publishers. This book is very comprehensive and is a great practical guide for dealing with extramarital affairs. It’s very comprehensive because it carefully sorts out the different kinds of affairs and deals with each kind —giving very practical and insightful information. It doesn’t lump all infidelity together “giving over-simplistic spiritual answers.” It’s practical because “it deals with daily, gut-level issues both partners face.” We highly recommend getting this book!

There are a couple of parts that especially stand out and set it apart from other resources. One in particular which is EXCELLENT is titled: “When Your Spouse Doesn’t Want You Back: The 90-Day Experiment.” We wish we could have put this portion of the book on our web site but it’s too long to be able to honor the author’s copyright privilege and it really can’t be shortened to do it justice. You really need to get the book to have this as well as the other helpful information. (If you’re dealing with this problem and you can’t get this book in your country then please contact the publisher at the above web site and see if there’s something that can be arranged.)

Share

Join the Discussion!

But please observe the following guidelines:

  • Try to be as positive as possible when you make a comment.
  • If there is name-calling, or profane language, it will be deleted.
  • The same goes with hurtful comments targeted at belittling others; we won't post them.
  • Recommendations for people to divorce will be edited out–that's a decision between them and God, not us.
  • If you have a criticism, please make it constructive.
  • Be mindful that this is an international ministry where cultural differences need to be considered.
  • Please honor the fact this is a Christ-centered web site.
We review all comments before posting them to reduce spam and offensive content.

Comments

1,497 Responses to “Getting “Unhooked” From An Emotional Affair”
  1. Trying from United States says:

    I’ve mentioned this before on this site, and I know the Wrights have a link to a radio program that this author did
    http://marriagemissions.com/guarding-against-emotional-fantasies/ but the book–“Every Woman’s Battle” by Shannon Etheridge was sooo valuable in helping me analyze what was happening in my life. I read it 3 years ago when I finally could admit I had a problem, and re-read most of it again this summer as I struggled with guilt, depression, and confusion. I am not entirely free, even today, yet I celebrate each victory, and rejoice that there is HOPE!

  2. Trying from United States says:

    Thinking of everyone, and praying that Victory in Christ is yours. Three days ago, I was hit with huge waves of emotion and nostalgia. I didn’t know why–I have kept boundaries, discarded thoughts, working on freedom as my goal. After several hours, it occurred to me. We had put up our Christmas tree and started decorating the house. I have many memories of ex-AP during this season, and something deep inside me was triggered again. What a relief to identify that, and I was reminded of the words below…

    “Second, remember that in periods of high stress, difficult emotions, transition, and marital dullness, you will feel an increased desire to return to the partner or to renew thoughts of him/her.”

    The rest of the day was a challenge for me, but I knew what I was facing, and with God’s grace, the rest of the week has been much better so far.

    As blessed as this Christmas season can be, it can also be a very difficult time for many. Satan will use anything to discourage and disturb us, but take heart–as always, with anything, God’s grace is sufficient!

    • Laura from United States says:

      Hey Trying ~~Through your pain these last few days, there were many blessings. The gift of being able to step back from the nostalgia, identifying its trigger, and making steps to move through it is wonderful. You could have chosen to just ‘go there’ in your mind and heart and relive the past, but you’re consciously working to honor God, your vows, and yourself in all ways.

      I faced many weeks of serious illness this fall and was very isolated as I tried to rest and heal. During this time of weakness, both physical and emotional (scared and lonely), I spent too much time in my own head. Like you, the emotion hit and I missed the connection we shared immensely. I didn’t handle it as honorably as you and initiated some personal contact (whereas our contact is generally limited to just hellos and such when we run into each other). A week or so after, when I was finally starting to feel better, I was kicking myself. I realized that I had only reached out cuz I was in a weakened state.

      When I face these times of illness (about 3 times a year), I KNOW I’m not myself. The illness I have literally changes my brain chemistry. I become insecure and hypersensitive. Some of it is loneliness, some of it is sadness, some of it is feeling sorry for myself. I’ve learned to not to act on these emotions during this time for the most part. But this time, I did act by contacting him. So your quote above rang so true to me. Thanks for the reminder. We need to be MOST on guard when weak (for any reason). But gosh, that’s when it seems hardest. Praying we all continue to be open to God’s love and grace as we move through this Christmas season. Laura

      • Trying from United States says:

        Thanks Laura, for pointing out progress and the benefits and blessings we have from knowing the Truth. I have had a good 2 weeks, and then today, we were at the same event –just a brief hello as we crossed paths. I feel so weak and stupid that something that neutral could make me cry –yet I came home, and I’m sad. Sad for so many things, and its been so long… This is the cross I bear because of my choices.

        But I just pray that Jesus will continue to give me the strength to turn sorrow to blessing, to continue to seek Truth, to continue to be faithful to boundaries and respect for marriage –his and mine. An acquaintance of ours died suddenly this week, and I have really done a lot of soul searching about how I will be remembered when I’m gone.

        Laura, I hope and pray you’re feeling better now. I know how weak I still feel on certain days, and pain and uncertainty just magnify those feelings. I have a sticky note on my desk with 2 words on it– “Recommit constantly” –that is the path we walk these days. – Praying the the love of Jesus would fill our hearts and mind, and grant us peace during this Christmas season and all year through –day by day, moment by moment.

  3. Dian from Canada says:

    So I discovered over 100 emails in less than a month to my husband’s 13 year old student who is now in his mid 40’s. She lives far away. The emails became increasingly flattering to each other and were filled with praise and “connectiveness on how important they were to each other.” They would be sent at 1:40 in the morning and would greet each other with “good mornings.”

    My husband hid them but when he was discovered said he wanted to send just one more… saying they would stop. He showed me a sample of what he wanted to say. To me it was just another way of staying connected.

    He mourned visibly for days and after two weeks I was beginning to relax. Then he felt he had to send another one, explaining to her how the writing might be misconstrued and might hurt people and that he wouldn’t be writing any more. He kept this a secret even after I had asked him to tell me of any further communication to which he agreed. Then he’s saying he doesn’t want to email anymore now but doesn’t have any confidence he will keep that promise. I’m about done. He gets very angry with me if I seem sad or untrusting, yells, calls names… you always… etc.

  4. Elaine from Canada says:

    I am a Christian, involved in my church. I’m a part of a Bible Study and sing in my Church Choir. My children, 14 and 12, attend church with me and my husband does not attend church. He is positive about us attending church. I posted here quite a few years ago because I had an emotional affair with my son’s hockey coach, probably about 2008-2010. Thankfully that is long over. I don’t have to see him and I went to see a counselor and worked hard to improve the marriage. It’s not a bad marriage though but he’s very involved with his work and my son’s sports and often times doesn’t spend a whole lot of time with me. I continue to take the initiative to go out on dates and have intimacy with him.

    Enter a new staff member this past September. I teach music and ESL, enjoy my job and have good relationships with my staff. Anyway this man and I clicked right away. I wasn’t looking, nor am I still looking for an affair partner in my life. The other man came to my room probably at least twice a day talking to me. We talked about lots of subjects and developed a strong chemistry. Once or twice I felt like he was going to ask me to lunch. Thankfully that didn’t happen. The effort was always on “his” part and I never went to his office to chat.

    Anyway, he has been transferred to another school and I may never see him again. I have tears in my eyes as I type this. I know it’s probably better if I never see him again as I’ll get over him faster but it does still hurt. The emotional affair cuts deep even though in this cast it’s not physical. I really wasn’t expecting this to ever happen to me again after the painful circumstances of the previous emotional affair.

    But he made me feel so special and I looked so forward to our chats. I’m thankful it never went physical but I’m pretty sure it was headed that way. It really is best that we don’t have any communication now. I’ll do my best to get through the pain with prayer and God’s guidance. Anyway, if someone would like to comment, please feel free.

    I really appreciated this website some years ago. Laura, Maureen and another lady, can’t remember her name, she was a court reporter were helpful, caring and kind with the comments. Also, Cindy who works on the website, replied as well.

    • Trying from United States says:

      Elaine, I remember you well! My heart goes out to you, and I can so relate. I also had to go through this situation, emotional attachment to a man other than my husband TWICE. At the time, I truly thought we were just friends, but that bond was formed. The pain when it was severed was much deeper than the first time because we shared so much more. The second time ended in 2012 but I still am socially connected to him and his family, so it has taken a very long time to heal.

      I am thankful your friend has been transferred out of your life. It will make “NO Contact”–easier. Settle it in your heart that this will be a process. I will pray for you, and I would encourage you, (if you can find my posts from 2013 and early 2014) to read some of my experience. If not, I will be glad to share it with you again.

      You are wise to recognize that you have bonded with him, and that is not God’s perfect will for your life. I had to reference and re-read the articles and advice on this website many times. And adopt personal boundaries for myself and my marriage. I still struggle with many things as my marriage is troubled, but I don’t experience the excruciating pain and hurt anymore. Praying for your healing.

  5. Elaine from Canada says:

    Hi Trying: I found your post yesterday morning and was deeply touched by your words! It meant a lot to me! I did go back to read some of your and Laura’s posts from 2014. There were some good and helpful exchanges between the two of you. It has been quite a few years of difficult but thoughtful and prayerful time that you have spent on this site. I’m so sorry that you’ve had a difficult marriage and that you continue to have contact with the OM and his family. But I also think you’ve managed to distance yourself from the “feelings” that you had for him.

    I was wondering two things -were your Emotional Affairs with two different people or the same person twice at two different times? I also wanted to know if when the affair is over and I really do think it’s an affair that didn’t become physical, did you observe the pain on him too? I saw that twice on my friend when he told me that he was leaving and then later in the school hallway he looked like he was going to break down but held it together. He left it with me that he was going to come back to visit and that he was going to try to come back if there was a job open.

    It’s not good for me to think about that now. God’s healing, keeping busy with church, the job and my family is where I need to focus. I’ll say a prayer for you at church today Trying and will continue to post during the next while. I’m surprised that this has happened twice to me, that the hook went even deeper and my relationship with this man felt so deep and real. I do understand how I’m feeling this time around.

    It helps to know that others in the world are experience this pain and that there is help out there.

  6. Laura from United States says:

    I came on tonight for some support without much hope of seeing anything new since it’s been so quiet on here… but instead found two dear friends! Hello Elaine and Trying –I’m still here, too.

    Elaine, my heart hurts for you in that you are struggling with this type of pain again. And I so appreciate and respect the courage it took to post here the fullness of this affair and the bond that you felt with this man. I’m certain you know in your mind and soul that this transfer is a blessing from God, but it will take time for your heart to follow.

    I only briefly addressed it here, but I, too, ended up in a second affair about two years ago. Primarily emotional, but some physical stuff started. I believe everyone is susceptible to affairs, but I think those of us who have already been in one, are even more so. First of all, there was something missing within us or our marriages that opened the door to the first affair. And even though the affair ends and we move on (or try to in my case), the emptiness is even greater. We’re still missing the original thing and, in addition, now we’re missing the high of the affair, this other person’s presence, and such. It’s no wonder that another man somewhere down the line has a place to plant himself in our hearts and lives.

    For me, the second affair partner became a really good friend at first. Both my husband and his wife knew of our friendship; we actually all did things socially together. However, the personal connection between us grew more intimate and soon it got out of hand. His wife started to not like our friendship anymore (a wife’s sense) and we cut ties. We severely limited contact about 18 months ago, and about 6 months ago decided no contact was best for both although we did share simple Christmas greetings but that’s been it.

    It’s been much easier for me to let go of this man. For two reasons, I believe. First, the limited and no contact. Not seeing him is so helpful. Second, although I liked him and cared about him, I knew that what I was really doing was replacing the first affair partner. It’s so pathetic.

    I came on here tonight to read as I needed some support. I won’t go into all the boring details, but nothing in my situation has changed. Although we rarely talk, we do see each other in the community a lot. Our lives are entangled in many ways and we call each other a friend, but it’s not friendship in the true sense of the word. About six months ago, I tried in an email to set a new boundary with him, to cut ties as best as possible, but my efforts fell short. So the subtle push and pull on the connection between us continues, and there has been a renewed attempt as of late to build a genuine friendship. I know myself well, and I know exactly why I can’t let go once and for all. Not so sure what his reasoning is for not cutting off all contact with me. And so here we still are.

    Elaine, I’ve thought of you often over the past years and prayed you were doing well. I’m grateful you were able to make your way out of the first affair, and I’m sure you’ll find the strength to get beyond this one as well.

    Trying, as always, your truth and candor are greatly appreciated, and you have so much wisdom to share. I always feel stronger after having connected with you on here and your words bring me hope.

    I’m looking ahead to the start of Lent next week and am trying to come up with ways to grow in my faith. It’s pretty lukewarm right now and has been for quite a while. I’d really, really like this Lent to be a time of true renewal, so that on Easter, I can celebrate new life with Christ. I want to fully appreciate the amazing husband I have, the life we’ve built, and find peace for my soul finally.

    I look forward to sharing with you both in the days and weeks ahead. -Laura

  7. Trying from United States says:

    I will do my best to reply to you Elaine. It has definitely been a very tough last five years! The second “affair” was with a completely different individual, actually much younger than I. Very similar circumstances to yours, in that I did not initiate a relationship, he did. For a very long time, I refused to recognize that a deep bond had been formed. Only when we no longer were in personal contact with one another, did I realize how much he meant to me. I have grieved long and hard. Too long ,most likely.

    I believe that God is sovereign and in control of all circumstances. There are things He allows in our lives that are so unsettling and unpleasant. I was completely shocked to find myself working at an event Sunday with both men. Again. This happened once before but I knew they were both going to be there, so I had prayed and strategized and was able to walk through it fairly gracefully. So what was I to do? We were at a public event that I had responsibilities to fulfill . Thankfully, #2 kept his distance. I was able to have brief social conversation, and that was it.

    I must confess that I wished it was more, but now a few days out….I am thankful! The less I know about him and his life, I am much better off. And very minimal pain. I see now how he took advantage of my Christian good will and kindness. I have had trouble forgiving him and forgiving myself for not identifying and removing myself from the situation, but I am moving on. I had not seen or talked to #1 for six months or so. So we chatted, but I felt ok. Our families continue to interact from time to time (their kids are friends with our kids)so we have mutual conversation, but its just that for me. #1 did seem to seek me out several times during the day Sunday, but it didn’t really bother me.

    To answer your second question, Elaine. The pain was very evident with both of them. That broke my heart many times over, and also made it harder for me to disconnect. #1 would stare at me constantly, even stopping by the house, until I had to confront him directly and ask him to leave me alone. I believe he had more pain than I. #2 told me once, months after the separation, that he was suffering….it tore me up. Sooo, once again, NO CONTACT, is best. Time does heal. Many of my triggers are no longer there. To keep me chained to reality, I still interact at times with both of their wives. And praise God, we can be on friendly terms, and life goes on.

    This is getting long.
    and Laura I do want to reply to you also.!! Prayers for courage and grace . I will respond more later.

  8. Elaine from Canada says:

    Hi Trying and Laura: I continue to be amazed and deeply moved by both of your posts. I think God has put us here at this particular time to support each other. Trying, I so appreciate your candid post about the EA which has occurred twice with two different men. You are navigating through this process and your steadfast faith is what will get you through the difficult times. It was pretty weird that both men were there at the same time. May God grant you good health in the coming months.

    Laura, as always it is so good to connect with a good friend. You have also had a very difficult time with these two men with the sporadic contact and the feelings that you have for them. It is a difficult road that you travel but I know the Lord will give you strength and guidance. Keep focused on Him! I also wish you better health in 2015!

    I went to see my counselor yesterday and had a good session with her. I had not seen her in about 5 years. The emotional affairs are a result of being ignored and not being validated at home. She suggested a book called “The Five Love Languages” which I am going to check out in the next while. There are Bible verses quoted in it and Christians have found it very helpful. Have you heard of it?

    It’s been a rough week as I am teary quite often throughout the day. I am missing the other man terribly and am navigating through the idea that I will never see him again. I am keeping busy and being productive at home and work. I don’t want to be tempted to contact him as this week I am going to a course at a school not far from where he is now. I need to stay strong! He and I shared a lot and it felt really good to be validated and connected in a deep way. But that is not God’s will for me. He has a wife and daugher who are counting on him.

    Bye for now! Thinking and praying for you Laura, Trying and all who visit this site.

    • Trying from United States says:

      Dear Elaine, I didn’t see your post until a day later. I am very thankful to hear you paid a visit to your counselor. It helps so much to have someone to process the grief with. Celebrate each hour and each day that you are NO CONTACT. Celebrate it with tears, yet knowing you are doing what is right. You hadn’t mentioned earlier whether he was married or not, but I wondered if he was. This is one of the things that has helped me. To keep reminding myself, that he is HER husband, not mine. That I would never want to tear their family apart, or cause the children pain.

      Our emotions can be so intense at times, we cannot reason clearly. I will definitely pray that you can resist contacting him next week. The urge to even “just see him” can be so strong, but take courage, and stay busy, as you have been doing. I am thankful for the observation that your need stems from not being “validated” at home. I can identify with that in a big way,and just hadn’t heard it put in those terms before. It helps.

      I actually took my own advice and went back and read some posts from one year ago. I was in a much healthier place then, I believe, but I was also in counselling and working at a job I loved. Over the summer 2014, I had some really tough life issues strike me, and I really struggled. I am in a better place than last fall, but I was struck by some of my own posts, hardly imagining that they were written by me.n:) hey were, but I was so much stronger then. So it was good to read my own advice, and realize that like Running Man often stated, there is an ebb and flow with this journey. Some really good times, and some really tough times. Each of us will walk our own journey, yet not alone!

  9. Trying from United States says:

    Elaine and Laura, How are things going for you this week? It is fascinating to me how circumstances and life experiences can be so similar. We are all unique individuals scattered around the world, and yet we struggle with the same things. Because we are all created in God’s image, and as King Solomon said–“there is nothing new under the sun”…..we fight this earthly battle.

    Laura, I am thankful for your desire to recommit to the Lord during this Lenten season. Truly, only by God’s grace and mercy can we do anything worthwhile. I agree so much with your observations that we are very vulnerable to second affairs due to the pain and unresolved issues that made us susceptible to the first time. I have recognized I am in pain, physically (chronic) and emotionally–This is my life now. But what I do to deal with the pain is where I have choices. Healthy or unhealthy choices? An emotional dependency on another man is an unhealthy choice. Turning to alcohol or drugs is an unhealthy choice. Losing myself in novels, TV, movies,work –to escape the pain–is an unhealthy choice. Easier?–yes more readily available?–yes

    Herein lies the challenge for me. The doing part of healing–as mentioned above. The displacement of focusing on the other, and actively seeking healthy alternatives, new hobbies, exercise, new friendships, renewal of former friendships, Bible study, counseling, journalling. I must confess I have had some tough memories to process this week. Seeing and interacting with both men last weekend has naturally triggered some. Thinking back on my circumstances and recalling just how I did end up in a second dependency has brought back some pain. I don’t want to ever go back, but I have so many unanswered questions. I haven’t done this in a LONG time, but I actually stayed home from an event this past weekend to avoid any ‘surprise’ meetings. I just didn’t feel strong enough to deal with it.

    Praise God, my hubby and I are actually in a fairly good place (for us)–we were able to take a little trip together, and also are actually engaging in some conversation from time to time. I am thankful, yet fearful, because it never lasts. And I never know when or what will him against me. I am trying to enjoy each day we have.

    Even though I had been on this website for a few years, even though I knew what I was vulnerable to, even though I knew what healthy boundaries were, even though I was seeing a counselor, even though I never thought it could happen to me again–I was hooked again. So, Elaine, I will encourage you to dig deep, and cling to prayer. Journal, or possibly return for a time to counseling. You will get through the heart-wrenching pain of breaking the bond you two have formed–but its a process. Keep in touch as you can! You are not alone!

  10. Laura from United States says:

    Just deleted the secret email account we used that had all of our communication—-finally.

    • Trying from United States says:

      Laura, I am so glad! There are so many fine little threads woven into our lives from these men. Feb. has been a rough month for me. I finally got out my calendar, and I really didn’t remember until I saw the calendar, but last year at this time, he renewed contact, and stirred so many memories. I also resumed counselling at this time a year ago, so I must have been troubled. I am making progress, because I can say troubled, not traumatized… discouraged, but not depressed… struggling but not paralyzed with grief. I celebrate this victory with you!

      • Laura from United States says:

        Thanks for cheering me on, Trying. It’s heartwarming to hear that you are able to recognize your own progress, as small as it may seem at times. You and I are both very hard on ourselves (as rightfully we should be at times), however, we beat ourselves up a lot over all of this and forget to recognize the successes we’ve had. The connection you made to last February to now was interesting and going back and reading about where you were. I’m so sorry it’s been such a hard month for you. I’ve had those really touchy periods of time, too. And when they come on the heels of feeling stronger and making progress, they can feel like huge setbacks.

        You used the words troubled and discouraged. Can you expand on what exactly is troubling and discouraging you?

        My feelings vascilate between resolution and contentment, low anxiety, and disheartenment. As you know, we are ‘friends.’ More acquaintance, than friends. Although purposeful contact is sparse, either one of us can call, text or email and the other will always respond. And we are kind and friendly when we happen to run into each other in the community. So not sure how to describe it.

        Resolution: I resolved years ago that I’d just have to live with my feelings for this man always simmering on the back burner in my life. I waited for that fog that everyone talks about to lift, and it never went away. I like the guy and his qualities a lot, bottom line.

        Contentment (A): There are times I have felt contentment again. Even with this stuff on the back burner, I’m content in my marriage and can relish all the gifts God has given me.

        Contentment (B): On the other hand, there is sometimes contentment over knowing that the other man still cares for me deeply. But that is an up and down ride for me too.

        Low Anxiety: When I know I might see him in church or in the community, half of me hopes to and the other half hopes he’s not there. Cuz when he is there, I’m on ‘alert’ and there’s that heightened sense of awareness. But sadly, I think that feeds a part of me. Otherwise I would avoid those situations. But when I know he’s out of town, I love how relaxed I feel knowing I can move through my space and places without that anxiety. It’s confusing and annoying this wishy-washy feelings.

        Disheartenment: I’m disheartened to realize and learn just how immature I can be to let my emotions lead me so far astray. I’m so smart and know exactly why I’ve been in this situation for so long, but mentally, I haven’t been brave and mature enough to move forward as well as i should have. I let my emotions dictate more than I should.

        I used this space today to sort of ramble and journal myself. Thanks for being on the other end to ‘listen’ and help me reflect. Hope to hear from you soon. Hugs and prayers always, Laura

        • Trying from United States says:

          Laura, Thanks!! I, too, finally started journaling my feelings a few days ago. It helps to get the spinning crazy thoughts and questions on paper and out of my head.

  11. Elaine from Canada says:

    Hi Trying and Laura:

    I have been rereading your recent posts over the past couple of days and see the insights and understanding about all that you are going through. Laura, I’m so glad for you that you deleted the communication with the other man. That took alot of courage to do that and also to post here and be accountable. You know in your head (maybe not your heart) that it was the right thing to do. This “unhooking” is the most difficult thing to do; it feels like an uphill battle where we wonder if those feelings will ever be completely done. It affects our whole lives, relationships with our spouse, friends and family. I found my recent counseling session helpful. I also started to keep a journal soon after we said goodbye. If you have an opportunity try to talk to a professional that can be helpful.

    Trying, I am so sorry you have been struggling with the EA for so many years. Seeing the other man in the community can trigger old feelings and thoughts of all that you shared with them. I find that if I keep myself busy with my teaching and the family that helps to put things into perspective on what is really important in this life. Easier said than done, especially if you have health concerns. I pray that God grants you good health and that you can put your focus on what is important in life! I also found that taking up an interest like crafts, reading, and jewelry making helped fill the void of missing Him when I wanted to end the first emotional affair.

    It’s been 3 weeks now and I am still missing the other man alot. It’s really overwhelming sometimes and I find those feelings pass eventually. It’s like riding a wave in the ocean and not knowing when that wave of emotion will come again. It helps to take some time to write and think about HIM but also to come back to what’s real and true in our lives and to realize that thoughts about being with him is a fantasy.

    An issue I wanted to mention that goes along the Emotional Affair is getting closure. Unfortunately the first man wanted to keep this secret relationship going and I wanted to stop it. It was very similar to your situation Trying in that he looked at me alot when we were in close proximity, wanted to talk with me and positioned himself so he could be near me when I exited the arena. Some months ago while standing in my kitchen I saw him drive by, slow down and look in the window. I have stayed away from several events that he would attend during the past six months so the no contact was something I carefully executed. I did not want those old triggers to become an issue again.

    I’m so happy and thankful that we can support each other. I was thinking about the fact that we may know each other when we meet in heaven. Trying and Laura may God grant you peace and fulfillment in your lives!

    • Laura from United States says:

      Hi Elaine, I just responded to Trying and now need to run off somewhere. Thank you for your post. I’ll reply soon! Laura

    • Laura from United States says:

      Hi Elaine, I’m so sorry it took me all week to respond to your post. How has your week been? Have you been able to maintain no contact? At four weeks in, I can imagine it might be especially challenging as the reality of never talking to him set in. However, on the other hand, I can also imagine that at this point, you might be feeling stronger and perhaps a sense of freedom from all of the raw emotions. Please let us know how you are doing.

      You made the ocean analogy. I can relate to that one, especially early on after the end of the affair. I would try to just ride the waves of emotions; some being so overwhelming and painful, but then having those feelings subside a bit. However, even in calm waters, there is the powerful undercurrent that can pull at you no matter how strong you try to be. It’s so hard. And the lack of control we have over the depth of emotion can be disheartening. But the wave analogy is good, too. It brought me hope that I could get past the severe pain when it came (sometimes still comes).

      Thanks for all of your comments and support of my getting rid of the old communication and email. I hadn’t looked at any of it for a very long time, so it’s not been hard. I’ve been in counseling twice since this affair. Both times specifically for the impact the affair had on my life. I went right away after the ending cuz I was a complete wreck. I went for about a year and it was very helpful to me. I sought out counseling again a few years ago around the time my exAP and I were thrown into a highly charged situation with a mutual friend. It was with a different counselor and I struggled a lot with it. She was pushing me to tell my husband about the affair and that wasn’t something I would consider. I’m not saying she’s wrong, it’s just not an option for me, so I quit seeing her.

      You, Trying, and I all have the commonality of seeing our exAPs in the community or social circles and it is so hard. Right now, I have the opportunity to see him every day for the next month or so. In order to NOT see him, I would have to stop doing something that I really love doing; something that feeds my soul; something that is MY daily routine that he just happens to be involved in right now.

      I’ve tried still doing my routine and have seen him many times in the last two weeks (not spoken though), but I think it’s better for me to just stay away until his time there is through. I’ll still see him around town regardless, so sometimes it seems silly to work so hard to limit contact when it will happen anyway. That’s where I get confused. Why should I give up what I love when we can’t go full no contact anyway? What’s the point? However, seeing him every single day for an extended period, is obviously not healthy when I still care too much about him.

      Elaine, you said keeping busy helps. I have a very active and full life and yes, it helps. But my thoughts drift to him often daily. Basically still just wanting to check in and find out what’s new or to simply share something that happened in my day or get his point of view on something. Just the simple stuff. I’m fading, so am going to sign off. Take good care, Laura

      • Laura from United States says:

        It happened again! It happens every single time I resolve to limit all contact that I have control over!!! As I said in last night’s post, it’s better for me to stay away from seeing him every day and that’s what I decided to do. I prayed about it in church this morning and felt strengthened by God to get through the temptations of the next weeks. Once these weeks are over, I can go back to my normal routine and the exAP won’t be around.

        This afternoon, I was at a store that I don’t frequent often and guess who pulls up next to me? This store isn’t in his part of town either, so this was completely coincidental. We stood there talking for quite a while; just catching up with each other. We have these conversations, usually by phone, about twice a year.

        It just happened, so I haven’t processed the emotions yet. I’m so frustrated! This has happened so many times before! Trying, you’ve commented on it before in some of my posts. I think you made the connection for me one time that every time I try to sever ties a bit, he pops up to ask a favor or such and the connection is there again. I’ll have to look back. It may have been last year in January; or sadly the year before, that you noticed this.

        At church today, during the sermon, something the pastor said made me think of the line, “Oh the tangled webs we weave.” I visualized a spider’s web as I prayerfully asked for strength to get through these next weeks. I saw myself cutting away some of the threads (meaning limiting contact), leaving the remaining connections sparse and thin (the random contact) so as to not have as strong of a hold on me. And then this happens. The busy spider is weaving threads again, connecting us. I don’t see us ever NOT being connected through friends, community, church, etc.

        I just want to scream! I want all the anxiety and pain to go away! If we have to see each other, then I want to be free of the emotions that are attached to him; the longing to know him and his thoughts and how his mind works. Free of wanting to connect with him on the deeper level we shared before.

        I know that so much of what I’ve said is wrong and not supporting the whole idea of unhooking. I get that. But I’m so confused and frustrated and in pain right now and just needed to write some things down. I so appreciate the support I’ve received over the year from those of you who have reached out and given me so much wisdom. Thank you. Laura

        • Trying from United States says:

          Laura, I completely understand what you are saying. I don’t understand why this happens. We’re being tested for our faithfulness. And yet when I think I get it right, some meeting occurs that sets me back. How to be free of the emotions, and the genuine caring for them, their lives, etc. I believe Cindy Wright had a post a little while back about the random meetings and how we can handle them. I should try to find it. Or if you do, post the date.

          Last week, I’ve been bombarded with struggles, really wanting to talk to him, trying to pray for their family, keep the proper perspective, sensing that there is trouble again. I’m a person of deep caring and compassion, and I don’t know how to stop being that. So the pain is part of who I am right now. I have to accept that, and do what I can to cope with it. I canceled an evening yesterday. I needed to sleep, to be restored in body and soul, and that cannot happen when you are constantly serving others. Burying the pain doesn’t work. Taking it out on your family doesn’t work either.

          Finding way to surround myself with true and helpful things, looking for ways to bless my husband and family, and praying for peace. Our trials do draw us closer to God!

      • Elaine from Canada says:

        Hi Laura, Trying, Ruth and all who post here: Laura, I really appreciate your recent post to me. I totally understand the struggle that you write about. It was very surprising and unexpected that you bumped into OM while shopping. Sometimes it just can’t be helped that you will have contact with them. And when we try to exercise no contact they are on our radar. You’re handling yourself well. I did seek help a few years ago from another professional and I was counselled to continue taking part in those activities that I love to do. And of course you should do the same. A lot of our lives are centered around our church life, faith, family and friends.

        I have not had contact with the OM for about 5 weeks. I was tempted to contact him but did not. At this point I still miss him but am better able to focus on the family and faith. Things are okay with the husband but lack of validation, being ignored and not being appreciated continue. There are good things about the relationship, he does sometimes pay attention to me and spend time with me but I initiate that.

        Anyway there has been an unexpected turn of events. I’ve heard from another staff member that the OM is returning to my school and will be working at a temporary position on March 24. I really wasn’t expecting that at all. I was pretty resigned to the fact that I’d probably never see him again. This will mean continued contact for the time being. I need to be careful to keep my boundaries and to know that this is not God’s plan for life. I’ll keep you all posted and pray for continued NO Contact for each one that posts here!

  12. Mjo from United States says:

    Oh my, in my head, I have thought “I am not alone”…. and finding this site… oh, I really am not alone! In May 2013, I connected with my high school sweetheart and first love. I have been married 38yrs. He married at age 49 to a “mail order bride.” We shared with each other the regrets of not staying together when we were younger. He expressed that he loved me still and never found anyone like me.

    He also said he did not love the woman when he married her and does not love her now. He cares about her and spiritually is committed to the “Vow” he has taken. He lives on one side of the country… I on the other. He came to where I was twice… until she found out. Before this all started, my marriage was deteriorating for about ten years. I have hung in there.

    So, when my first love and I connected, it was amazing and wonderful and powerful… we even talked about being together. But voice of reason struck us. Knowing we love each other and trying to do what is right with both of our marriages, he has stopped communication, but I attempt to continue e-mailing him and writing letters. His only comment has been “this is hard for me too.”

    I have thoughts of him every morning, noon, night. I can’t get him out of my head. I can’t stop him in my heart. I’ve tried life coaching, therapist, Christian counseling… alcohol to dull the pain. I’ve gotten on my knees before My Savior …asking forgiveness. My husband knows about the affair, but doesn’t know my continual obsession in my mind.

    How do I get this man out of my head?? I say I’m not going to write a letter or email… there was no closure, and that haunts me. Knowing he loves me kills me… and I love him, but we cannot be together. And yes, maybe, we would not be good together …how do you battle the “first love” thing when you still love each other?? Any counsel to help me move on… I need to move to a resolve. Thank you. Mjo

    • Trying from United States says:

      Welcome! You definitely are not alone in this struggle. You are in the right place for Godly advice and counsel. I don’t have much time for a reply but would encourage you to read as many of the old posts on this blog as you can. There is a lifetime of good counsel from the past few years of many who have travelled this painful path.

      Be thankful he has the resolve not to contact you. My first prayer would be that you also would determine in your heart that you will not initiate any more contact of any type. That is your first step. It is what is keeping things alive in your head. You will most likely still think of him and “talk to him” in your mind for a long time. If you must write to him, delete the email or burn the letter after you write it.

      Baby steps towards victory! I will be praying for you, and please feel free to post. Another strategy that several of us have used is to come to this website when we are tempted to contact the OM. Read, cry, post, do whatever it takes until the urge passes. It has helped me innumerable times over the past 5 years. Praying for your peace one day.

      • Submissive from United States says:

        One scripture for all you ladies and gents on this page. Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.” Ladies seek Jesus to clean your heart and to confess these things to your spouses. When we confess our sins, He is faithful and Just to forgive. At the same time though your husband is your head and keeping secrets will not ease your pain but make your burdens greater… saying this in love ladies. Repent and confess to your spouses and turn from the sin. This is when true healing will come. :)

  13. Ruth from United States says:

    Laura, Trying and all, The last time I posted here was early August of 2014. In total, I haven’t spoken with or even seen the OM in over 9 months. It was so strange reading my own posts from last year. I feel like I don’t even know who that pathetic person was. Why was this so hard for me? How could I ever try to substitute another person for my husband? I guess if I knew those answers, my EA never would have happened, but still, it’s very confusing.

    Anyway, my main reason for posting is to try to reinforce the NO CONTACT rule. This was so hard for me to understand in the beginning, but I’m positive it is the only reason I’ve gotten my true self back and I hope everyone who is in this awful place can commit to it. I’m sure it’s very difficult if you’re in a situation where you cannot completely avoid seeing the person, but reinforcing to him/her that you cannot continue any kind of friendship is a necessity for truly moving on.

    I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t even glimpsed the OM in 9 months (strange since we’re in a small town), but my husband had to be in the same space as him last month for a kids event. I felt so bad and apologized to my husband that this was ever an issue. I found myself getting mad at the OM for affecting my husband like this, and also mad at myself all over again. My husband assured me it’s okay, but it obviously bothered him and ruined his evening. Goes to show that even almost a year later I’m still dealing with the fallout from my terrible decisions, and I worry that this will never cease. Hopefully, with more time, we can all just roll our eyes at an OM spotting and move on without the hurt. Hopefully.

    Yikes, didn’t mean to type this much, but I really hope all of you can really commit to NO CONTACT -it gets SOOOOO much better with time, trust me. I’m completely numb to this person and have zero feelings for him, absolutely no interest in having any kind of friendship that I thought was so important before. We all have plenty of friends, we can certainly live without this one! Prayers to you all!

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Thanks Ruth, for coming back and for encouraging those who are still struggling. It’s, and you are, such a blessing to all who read this.

    • Molly from United States says:

      I think each and every situation has unique components yet the basic truths offered on the site have proven to be effective. No contact, Journal, talk to a counselor, find a friend that can be an accountability partner in a kind but tough love way, write to the OM to get the rambling one way conversations out of your head and then practice blocking. Self reflection is great but at some point you have to get the guy out of your head. I Am ashamed to admit how long it took for me to acquire and stick with blocking – over 18 long months. At first it was a challenge but every week was easier than the previous and within a month or so Of never entertaining thought of him for more than a 10 seconds, I could tell that I was in a much healthier place. Like Ruth I now look back and feel foolish. The feelings that developed over a span of years were real as was the deep hurt but it was all wrong, not God’s plan for my life and in the end hurt a few people and benefited no one. Yes it boosted my self esteem in some ways and opened my eyes to how I could possibly better my marriage but I wouldn’t pick this route. I wish I could offer a new piece of magical advice but the best I have is to allow yourself to process and evaluate but then block, block, block. Consider it this way, if you feel you get some comfort out of thinking about him or the used to be/ what if scenarios, you can always go back to that but challenge yourself to 30 days of blocking to see for yourself if it is freeing.

  14. Diaz from United States says:

    I was cheated on just recently by my girlfriend of 6 yrs. We have a 2yr old daughter together but she stays with her folks and I live with mine, which isn’t very far from one another. The day she admitted that she was seeing someone else caught me by surprise yet I had a my suspicions long before she said she actually started seeing him on regular basis. I just denied the notions because she was so eager to want to move out with me that I played off as some little eye candy crush.

    I was able to convince her to give some closure but it always felt like if she was holding back. Is it wrong for me to push the issue until I get the full picture of why? We’re working through this one day at time but it always seems that once we move forward we end up at square one. We still do care for each other and are pushing through this together. I love her and our daughter without question. I don’t even know what the guy looks like and she works with him still. I guess what’s eating at me is that I don’t even know if things have or haven’t changed between them.

    • Pie lady from United States says:

      I am glad to read these comments and know that I am not alone. My situation is similar to Mjo. I’ve been married for 31 years and am basically happy, with children and a couple grandchildren. A couple years ago, though, my first real boyfriend and first love and I reconnected. He was married years ago but was widowed.

      He and I talked about regrets that we didn’t marry each other. How different our lives would be if that were so. He and I agreed recently that we need to emotionally let go, but it’s so hard. I’ve prayed about this so many times, asking God to give me a renewed love for my husband, and to look to my ex as only a good friend. I think this will take more time. Thank you ladies, for all you’ve shared.

      • Pie lady from United States says:

        I really hope someone else comes on. I’d like to talk to someone about this

        • Cindy Wright from United States says:

          Dear Pie Lady, I have also been hoping that someone would respond to your plea. But it must be that those who can are busy in some way. How I wish I had magical words, that once they’re said, you can agree and all will go away and be better –that you won’t be plagued by the thoughts and questions that are haunting you. But we both know that this isn’t the way that life on this side of Heaven works. This is the tough stuff, when it comes to emotional issues –particularly those that are connected to anything of an addictive nature. Forbidden or unfulfilled “love” can go the same route of other addictions. We want what we know we shouldn’t have and try to rationalize that maybe it’s not as bad to give in as it is.

          I don’t need to tell you the consequences. You already know them. But unfortunately, you opened up a type of Pandora’s Box and as a result, the “need” to have what you know is wrong, won’t be quieted as easily. I know this from personal experience on many levels. When you feed a temptation, and go farther than you should, backing up and going in a healthier direction is all the more difficult. That’s just the way it is. I wish it could be different. But it isn’t.

          Please take some time to read through as many of the comments you can within this thread. I believe you will be able to glean the information you need –you may not want it, but you need it. Your name and the specifics of what you’re going through may not be mentioned, but I believe that enough of the important stuff will be.

          You need to starve your thoughts, not run with them. Do what you can to distract yourself with good stuff… don’t even allow yourself to go down the imagination trail of “what if’s” and “why not’s” “why can’t I/we” and “if only’s.” Those are thoughts that can sabotage your going in a healthy direction. They will feed the imagination monster that you’re battling with right now. And the more you feed it, the bigger and fiercer it will get and the harder it will be to quiet it. But, on the other hand, the more you feed that, which you should, the more you can replace those unhealthy thoughts and actions, with good ones –good for all.

          I can’t help but think of something that Diane Sollee said, “What we really need is a time machine so that people entering into an affair could flash forward and see themselves, their kids, and their lives at the other end of this ‘tunnel of love’ –at the end of the lust.” It would help, if we could, because believe me, we see the destruction on the other end over and over and over and over again, and it isn’t pretty. Please fight this thing. Don’t feed it; starve it. It won’t go away easily or soon, but it’s not good to do what is wrong, no matter how much you want it. I pray strength for you, and help (as you read other comments, and pray, and contemplate all you’ll take in by this).

          • Pie lady from United States says:

            Thank you so much, Cindy, for your response. I really do appreciate it. I know what you’re saying, and you are right. It just feels so, so good, for someone at my age (in my 50’s) to hear my ex boyfriend tell me things like I’m beautiful, sexy, etc, like he did so many years ago.

            Of course my husband will tell me these things too, but he’s expected to since we’ve been married so long. When someone else –someone I loved (and still do) finds me that attractive, when at the same time I see signs of aging in the mirror, it’s so terribly hard to not yearn for that attention that he can give. I know I need to fight this for my family, though. Thank you for the encouragement.

  15. Elaine from Canada says:

    Hi Pie Lady: I appreciated your comments, your total honesty. It certainly does feel fantastic to be thought of; it’s exciting and and gives us a “high” that we don’t get from our husbands, especially when we have been married for a long time. But as we all keep saying blocking, stopping our minds from going “there” is the best for our marriage relationships. It sounds like a lot of memories/nostalgias are going on with the OM. No contact and putting our energy into our home relationship is where we need to be. This is what the Lord wants for all of us.

    This week the OM in my life came back to my work place. It has not been easy. He come back to take a temporary position after being transferred due to a staff illness. I did not contact him in the 6 weeks that he was at another school. It was really hard, mind over matter but I kept the no contact for that time. Now I have him coming to talk to me in my class, looking at me a lot. Yesterday he seemed really nervous talking to me but I felt quite relaxed about all of it. It felt good to catch up but I know I must do my best to block my emotional attachment to him.

    • Pie lady from United States says:

      Elaine, thanks so much for your reply. I’m sure it wouldn’t be easy to have to work with him. I don’t have that situation. I will not happen to run into him. I last saw him three months ago, and I last spoke to him nine days ago, very briefly. I’ll need to see him at least once again; no need to explain why. Hopefully all will go well when I do see him again -I’ll be strong.

      And yes, there are many memories of 33 years ago when I was with him. And you know, when he and I got reconnected after so many years, two years ago, all of those feelings came back along with the longings. It’s some tough stuff. And he doesn’t have a wife to cheat on. I don’t know if that makes it harder or easier. Well, thanks again. I hope you can continue to be strong despite having to face him everyday.

      • Pie lady from United States says:

        Elaine, how long have you been married? Is this the first time there has been OM in your life? I really didn’t expect this to happen to me. My marriage was not and still isn’t suffering. I wonder if it’s a type of a mid life crisis.

        • Elaine from Canada says:

          Hi Pie Lady: To answer your questions… we’ve been married 20 years, had our ups and downs but we seem to be in a pretty good place right now. Last week we celebrated our anniversary with a trip to the Art Gallery and a nice dinner out. This is my second emotional affair. If you look at my previous posts there is a little background on the first EA. The first one lasted about 4 years and it was really rough.

          It is good that you have a solid long term relationship with your husband. Be thankful for that! It will help you navigate through this process. From my experience with the EA I think it would be difficult to be good friends with him. It will be easier for you to stop contact when this is possible, then the feelings for him will diminish.

          My goal is to be polite, somewhat distant but set my own boundaries with the OM when there is contact at work. Easier said than done! If someone could comment on having to work with the EA partner but keeping it on a strictly professional level, that would be appreciated.

          • Pie lady from United States says:

            Hi Elaine, I will look over your previous posts about your first EA. This is the first one for me, and it was extremely intense at times. Hopefully, I will learn from this so that I’ll be on guard so as to not let this happen again, with God’s help. There are lyrics to a song that has helped me a lot-

            Well everybody’s got a story to tell
            And everybody’s got a wound to be healed
            I want to believe there’s beauty here
            Cause oh, I get so tired of holding on
            I can’t let go, I can’t move on
            I want to believe there’s meaning here

            How many times have you heard me cry out
            “God please take this?”
            How many times have you given
            me strength to
            Just keep breathing?
            Oh I need you
            God, I need you now
            Standing on a road I didn’t plan
            Wondering how I got to where I am
            I’m trying to hear that still small voice
            I’m trying to hear above the noise

            How many times . . .

            Yes, my husband and I do have a good marriage and have learned to communicate well, and he’s been much better at trying to please me. So, why am I still hanging on emotionally to my ex? Why can’t I be happy for him if he can move on without me and maybe even find a woman who he can be happy with?

Marriage Missions International