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  #21  
Old 12-05-2011, 11:09 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Originally Posted by secretposter View Post
... I am not about to go into intimate details on a public forum. Suffice to say that we have been intimate. I did not expect this relationship to develop, it was an out of the blue sort of thing, we met, hit it off, been seeing each other for a while now.
Well, everyone's anonymous here, and using aliases, so don't worry about that. The forum can come up in Google searches, but if you keep the details generic (but not as vague), you won't reveal anything. The reason I asked is that you've come here for advice and how can we help when you have pussyfooted around what really happened? It's quite a different thing to admit you have been fucking this other woman than to say:

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Originally Posted by secretposter View Post
Thing is I've met another woman who is in an open relationship and is happy to remain so and we get on like a house on fire. What drives me nuts is the fact that I cannot tell my wife about this wonderful person in my life. It's frankly cracking me up.

I'm okay now but I know as my relationship with this other woman progresses it's going to become more difficult but it has reached the stage that losing either would break me.
Quite frankly, I thought you were referring to a flirty friendship that you were afraid to confess to. However, you have not only been cheating emotionally but physically as well. Not sure if "a while now" is a matter of weeks or months, but this is a serious breach of trust. Interesting how politely you wanted to say what you were doing -- you really don't want to come clean about it, it seems. But now our feedback can be more focused in dealing with what it's really about, since we know now what the deal is.

Okay, what I'm about to write will be blunt and may seem harsh. I'm not judging you, but just saying things as a way to shake you up a bit, because I think you need to stop deluding yourself. You've said you and your wife have been through difficult times before - what prevents you from being honest with her now? What are you afraid of losing? Her trust? You've already decimated that. If you want to repair what you have, you need to be truthful. Does your girlfriend know you've been keeping it a secret? How does she feel about perpetuating your cheating and being with someone who is lying to the woman he loves? Does your girlfriend enjoy being treated like a dirty little secret or does she want you to be honest? Or have you avoided the topic with her also and just been thinking with your little head?

What do you really want?
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  #22  
Old 02-07-2012, 01:27 PM
secretposter secretposter is offline
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Stupid mistake. Stupid, selfish, idiotic mistake.

Mistook a self-centered, immature, greedy, 'curious' fling with 'love', completely deluded myself that it meant more than that, and shattered every part of a woman who has loved me wholly, monogamously, and unconditionally since she was seventeen, by lying to her, consistantly assuring her, swearing she was all I ever wanted, my One True Love.

Now that she is destroyed, I realise with horror that she was all I wanted, after all. I'm not poly. I made a selfish, stupid, mistake.

My wife is young, and beautiful, and sweet and good, and I threw everything she gave me away on a dumb whim.

Loving, innocent, wife now in intensive counselling and marriage destroyed.
Don't understand how she can want or love or forgive me when I've treated her so badly and devastated what she gave me.

She is so sad and embarrassed, yet cares enough for me to hold my hand through STD appointments. She has spoken compassionately on the phone to my 'lover' and is desperately trying to come to terms with what I did. She's an angel, trying to support ME, when she herself is gutted inside.

I don't know why I did what I did.
Somehow, she forgives me.
I don't think I can forgive myself.
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  #23  
Old 02-07-2012, 02:45 PM
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Vixtoria Vixtoria is offline
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Okay, so here you are in a mess. I understand. I had an online emotional affair and now, we are still dealing with fall out. We have been married 17 years this past Sunday, I too came out bi after being married. To my husband first. Name the biggest hurdles for marriage, we've had them. We were just discussing last night actually the degrees of cheating. He felt that perhaps what I did wasn't as bad. 'At least there was nothing physical' I however feel that it's just as bad because it's all the worst parts of cheating. The betrayal, the hidden facts and out and out lies. The broken trust. Now I'm saying all this because I totally understand you feeling badly. I still get worked up, cry, feel shitty for what I've done. We are in a relatively good place now. I'm in a relationship that has been open and honest from the get go. It took us time though.

Please please remember that right now SHE is the victim. You feel bad, that's yours to deal with not hers. It's great she's being supportive but are you? If you want to salvage things you need to be there for her. Apologizing and offering to listen to her. As often as she needs to in order to vent and process. She may just be focussing on you so she doesn't have to deal with the full pain she feels. That will come out sooner or later and it will be messy. So encourage her to vet it out even if it hurts you to hear it.
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  #24  
Old 02-07-2012, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secretposter View Post
Now that she is destroyed, I realise with horror that she was all I wanted, after all. I'm not poly. I made a selfish, stupid, mistake.

My wife is young, and beautiful, and sweet and good, and I threw everything she gave me away on a dumb whim.

Loving, innocent, wife now in intensive counselling and marriage destroyed.
Don't understand how she can want or love or forgive me when I've treated her so badly and devastated what she gave me.
Stop hating yourself. She is not "destroyed." I'm sure she is emotionally devastated, but not destroyed. However, I am also sure your wife has her own strengths to call upon which will get her through this.

You now have the opportunity to move forward and rebuild your marriage on a foundation of honesty. Get into couples counseling with her, keep talking to her, work on things together now. People do bounce back from such transgressions, marriages can be repaired. All is not lost.
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Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein

Last edited by nycindie; 02-08-2012 at 04:35 AM.
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  #25  
Old 02-07-2012, 09:34 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Yes, you are in a mess.

I understand that you feel guilty, remorseful, ashamed, and maybe even frightened.

Some of that is probably appropriate. You did screw up, and you needn't have done so.

However, rather than wallowing in guilt, your task now is to figure out a way to take responsibility for what you did, to behave more responsibly in the future, and to salvage what you can of the relationships that matter to you.

Before I go on, it would help to know what you were hoping for in posting again to this forum. If you just wanted to vent, well, I hope you feel better. If you were hoping for unqualified support and/or pity, you won't get it here. If you were hoping for unqualified condemnation, to confirm your guilt and give you more cause to wallow in it, I don't think you'll get much of that, either.

If you're hoping for some advice, maybe another talkin'-to, some of us may be willing to help . . . but first we need to know a lot more.

What actually happened? I would conjecture that you continued to cheat on your wife in secret, but were forced to reveal the affair when you contracted an STI.

Is that how it went down? Filling in details for us here, in writing, might help you make better sense of it all.

In the mean time, I would suggest that harping on your own guilt and shame isn't really helping very much. You are basically beating yourself with a bludgeon, which doesn't really do any good for you, your wife, or your lover.

(It's not really doing us any favors, either, but never mind that now. If you receive any responses here that help you, so much the better.)

I suggest it would be more constructive for you to take up finer tools. Rather than the bludgeon and the flail, you need scalpel and tweezers.

You write as though you did ONE BIG BAD THING, you have TOTALLY DESTROYED EVERYTHING, and you have ONE BIG LOAD OF GUILT as a result.

That isn't so.

One thing you can learn by reading this forum, or even just by reading earlier postings to this thread, is that relationships and the actions we take in them are complex. There are lots of little decisions we make along the way, each of which can be evaluated on its own merits.

So, ask yourself: Of all the decisions you made in your relationship with your lover, and in your recent relationship with your wife, which ones were blameworthy, and to what degree? In other words, you screwed up, but in precisely which ways and how badly did you screw up?

Here's a partial list of things to consider, based on what little I know of your situation:
  • That you developed feelings for another woman isn't really your fault; it happens, sometimes (see earlier posts on this thread); responding to another person, at whatever level, can be a good and healthy thing, and not in itself something to be ashamed of.
  • That you put yourself in a position to develop such feelings may have been partly your responsibility (that is, you could have avoided it), but that isn't, in itself, bad.
  • That you were unreflective and did not practice self-control in your first responses to your lover is pretty bad, as some of us tried to point out, back in December.
  • That you had sex with the other woman is not in itself bad; that depends on context.
  • That you contracted an STI (or so I gather, from your oblique reference) is not in itself a moral wrong, though the infection is clearly bad for you; it does raise the question of what measures you took to reduce the risk, which raises a question of how responsible you have been.
  • That you kept all this from your wife at first - and subsequently? - that could be the nub of the matter, right there.
Now, regarding your wife, you don't do her any good by casting her as an angel, or yourself as the recipient of unearned grace. How much have you talked about all of this with her, in what detail? What is her reading on the wrong you've done and the harm it has caused? I'm willing to bet the secrecy and the deception hurt her much more than the sex and the STI.

I suspect your wife may already be using finer-grained tools, sorting out the good and the bad of the situation and, apparently, working on saving the good. She may be less angelic than pragmatic, which still works out pretty well for you: at least it would give you a chance to save your marriage, if that's what you want, if you're willing and able to be pragmatic as well.

Have you shown your wife this discussion? I don't think it would hurt anything for you to do so.

I have one other concern, as you work through all of this. The tone of your note suggests that you have already written off your lover: you've dismissed your whole relationship - which, back in December, was essential to your happiness, remember? - as "a dumb whim"; your use of quotation marks around "lover" suggests you are diminishing the relationship and diminishing her.

For good or for ill, you are in a relationship with a woman who is not your wife. However ill-founded that relationship may have been, however much it was veiled in secrecy, however much that relationship must change now that it has been brought into the light, it is a relationship with another human being.

Part of your challenge now is to find a way to honor that relationship, acknowledge and honor the full humanity of your lover, even if you can no longer be her lover.

To do otherwise would be to compound the harm you have done.
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Last edited by hyperskeptic; 02-07-2012 at 10:48 PM. Reason: clarity; fussiness
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  #26  
Old 02-07-2012, 11:11 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secretposter View Post
Mistook a self-centered, immature, greedy, 'curious' fling with 'love', completely deluded myself that it meant more than that, and shattered every part of a woman who has loved me wholly, monogamously, and unconditionally since she was seventeen, by lying to her, consistantly assuring her, swearing she was all I ever wanted, my One True Love.

Now that she is destroyed, I realise with horror that she was all I wanted, after all. I'm not poly. I made a selfish, stupid, mistake.

My wife is young, and beautiful, and sweet and good, and I threw everything she gave me away on a dumb whim.

Loving, innocent, wife now in intensive counselling and marriage destroyed.
Don't understand how she can want or love or forgive me when I've treated her so badly and devastated what she gave me.

She is so sad and embarrassed, yet cares enough for me to hold my hand through STD appointments. She has spoken compassionately on the phone to my 'lover' and is desperately trying to come to terms with what I did. She's an angel, trying to support ME, when she herself is gutted inside.

I don't know why I did what I did.
Somehow, she forgives me.
I don't think I can forgive myself.
It is so painful when we hurt ourselves through our own stupidity and so much worse when our actions hurt our loved ones. Yes, you did something deeply untrustworthy and profoundly hurtful.

Think about what nycindie and hyperskeptic have written. They are wise.

I don't know you or your wife and could be completely off base so use or ignore as you see fit.

You appear to be putting your wife on a high pedestal. She is innocent, sweet, good, young, and angelic. The problem with pedestals is that one never actually sees the loved one for who they actually are. I wonder if you see your wife as she is. If this is accurate, you need to see the actual woman, not the young, angelic, innocent version trapped on the pedestal, in order to begin to repair your marriage.

Are you older than yourr wife? She was quite young when you two became involved. I also wonder if there is a bit of a madonna/whore dynamic going on - it's pretty obvious who takes on what role in your mental landscape. As hyperskeptic wrote better than I can, your 'lover' is a woman, who while responsible for her actions, deserves respectful consideration even as you hate your own actions.

So some thoughts. Maybe you find them useful, maybe not.
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  #27  
Old 02-09-2012, 03:07 AM
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Alleycat Alleycat is offline
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So, you knew the sudden and new relationship that you entered into was potentially something your wife would be hurt by, you chose to actively pursue it and as well chose not to disclose any details about this new relationship or possibly poly tenancies you may have had to your wife for roughly . . . . two months . . . . ?

reading between the lines a bit, I take it this is not the first time a similar situation has occurred, but very likely the first time you've had an extra-marital encounter with serious consequences (the STD that you seem to have contracted) that you haven't been able to talk or plead your way out of with apologies and verbal self-flagellation.

Dude, you fucked up.

Instead of trying to distort what you did (or diminish who you did things with) or admonish yourself further for everything involved;
Give your head a shake, maybe explore the possibility that you have a taste for serial cheating and a need for the attention and negative fallout that comes afterwards. If that IS the case, you AND your wife really need to address it.

Someone else said it perfectly:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mennodaughter View Post
Lying to your wife, hiding your relationship, and maintaining secrecy is NOT poly. It's cheating. You can call it whatever you want. However, if you are not being honest with your wife, you are cheating.
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