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Separating from 'the other woman'.
need some guidance in helping get my life back on track. I've been through some tough times, recently diagnosed as recurrent MDD, but also concerns on Bipolar, but between my psychologist and psychiatrist(s) it's undecided.
During a stage, I ended up having intimate relations with a close friend who was supporting me, which developed into an emotional dependency/attachment. Alas, it wasn't just mine as she also became more engaged with me, although she was 'just up for fun, no regrets, no emotions'. We care alot about each other... but as I've not settled on a good dose of medication, as well as some counselling, the damage to my family is something I need to focus on and fix. As well as the many other issues going on 😞
So I've asked my friend for space, told her that we crossed a line that has made our relationship more than friends, and that I need to take a break (which I expect will be a very very long one, or for ever) that has meant her support for me is now compromised. The issue now, is that she first got angry, then started pleading with me to not leave her, and now has made comments around life not being worth living without me.... I have had suicidal thoughts myself, and this is a big shock. I care for her, and although she's now part of the problem, she's been my saviour in a few bad times.
But the guilt I have, the wonderful family and wife I have, are things that I now know I've been neglecting, and need to get back to. Although I love my friend dearly, repairing the relationship with my wonderful wife and kids is where I need to be...
How to support my friend is where I need help, it just adds to the hurt to know I'm ruining others around me that I care about..... Looking for 'safe' ideas of how to support my friend... No-one other than her and I know about our 'affair'.... She is also married, with a good husband, and two gorgeous kids....
I've made a mess.... need help....
you mentioned she was " just up for fun, no regrets, no emotions". Why has she suddenly changed? I think this is another question you need to ask, although Ng with what Apollo Black has suggested.
Was your wife supporting you? Why did you feel the need to turn to this friend? Does her husband know of her support?
Depression and other mental health issues can really twist our minds and mess with our usual behaviour.
It does sound like you have found yourself in quite a pickle. I do understand it is difficult at times to not find comfort and solace in another person's arms, someone other than your partner.
As you have discovered, it can become very complicated and messy, with people being hurt and regrets forming.
Hopefully you will receive the help you need to get on top of your mental health issues.
In all fairness to all involved, I guess you have to decide where to from here?
'just up for fun, no regrets, no emotions' I don't know if that is really possible for a lot of people. Some women also find the whole intimacy thing to be so very personal and emotional. I'm not suggesting men are not capable of this, just I think it is more intense in women.
I don't really know where you go from here. Suggest your girlfriend connects to somewhere like Beyond Blue, she can use the phone help line on 1300 22 4636 to talk out her emotions. Or LifeLine.
Cheers from Mrs. Dools
Hi and welcome MP;
Our forum is here to support, listen and offer valuable experience and knowledge. It's good you've had the courage to ask for help. We care and try to be as non judgemental as possible, though issues like this may trigger certain responses in others. Thankyou for giving people who read this (and don't post) an opportunity to learn too.
As a woman who's been cheated on, I'd really look at the option of not telling her instead of validating your guilt by coming out with the truth. Disclosing this info will cause her so much pain, it's not worth it. Making peace with yourself and letting it go without punishing her or yourself is a much more appropriate action; for all concerned. Learn from your mistake and chalk it up to experience. Your mental health is of greatest concern.
This is your 'mess' as you call it. What you seem to be doing is combining all issues and creating one big problem. Separating; your guilt and shame with your wife, breaching the boundaries of friendship, addressing your friends unexpected response and; her role in this (which is not for you to deal with) needs to be addressed one by one..prioritise.
I've slept with a close friend in the past, (not cheating) and as hindsight tells anyone who's done this, it's never the same. Unfortunately the collateral damage has to be accepted, then move on from it with some sense of grace and integrity.
Conciliation with your friend may or may not be the way to go, but in all fairness, she has accountability too. Her anger and then threats of helplessness were obviously unexpected responses; but it's a two way street. Negotiating or giving in to her plea's isn't constructive. It's about moving forward with humility.
You've made your choice and accepted fault; time to get on with your mental health issues and family life. You seem intelligent, regretful and a caring man, focus this where it's more useful; on you and your future.
I wish you well...Dizzy
PS..Mrs D has given some good opinions and suggestions for ongoing support; give this some thought.
thanks Dools, CMF, Dizzy and Apollo Black for reading and commenting. I did see your first post Apollo, and some of your comments/questions are very real and relevant, and represent some of the harsh realities I have now to face.
On Saturday I discussed my need to cease the friendship with the friend, focus on my health and my family and work out how to dig myself out of the hole. I did this over FB messenger, and I thought we'd got to a clear message, even though I think she was hoping it was temporary.
Sunday morning, my wife stumbled across the messages on a shared computer, and the whole situation has just changed 😞 I'm crushed, and I am now trying to be strong and take responsibility for my actions.
I've just torn a hole through the head and heart of my family, and my wife although crushed she seems to be handling so much better than I expected. But I am under no illusion that things are fine. I'm taking the approach of trying to shut up, listen, and try to find ways to show I'm here. Whilst my wife is also trying to process this and have the double worry of knowing I'm on a real rollercoaster, up and down, and at times quite fragile.
It's a real pickle, it doesn't make a lot of sense. All of my wife's insecurities have come up, and as I'm no longer in a position of trust, I expect my reassurances of me being the problem have little weight. So far the kids are both our priority, and I hope provide the base to re-engage. She has many question, she want's to know details, but I'm not sure that will help. It scares the crap out of me. But I suggested going to a counsellor together, but so far she has rejected that. I'm hoping that will change, but at the moment she is more worried about what other people will think of her, along the lines of 'if anyone found out, they will think it's because of me'. Something I didn't expect. She also doesn't want people to think wrong of me badly, when I feel like the the kind of guys I think were arseholes.
New territory, much help needed, thankful for being a couple of months into treatment myself, not sure I could have handled this earlier.
thanks again for the understanding ears/eyes. I feel horrid, I don't know how to deal with this, and be a good husband, father and human.
I have an appointment with my counsellor tomorrow morning, but am not expecting miracles from 1 hour. Suggestions welcome...
Hi MP, welcome
OK the situation has changed.
Like any open would take time to seal, your wife will, if she chooses take time to take the next step which will be forgiveness.
But as you have had choices you know she has the right to exercise hers.
But your counsellor is there fir that advice. My words are just to day...let her have time.
Hi Mallow Puff,
As you have discovered using public media to express person feelings is not always a good thing unless you consider who will read the information.
In a way, maybe this is a good thing, the whole situation is out in the open. It may be extremely painful working through the hurt on all sides. Hopefully the outcome will be worth it.
Relationships Australia offer counselling. Maybe you could see what information they can provide about relationships.
I suppose the main thing is to try to be there for your wife but not control or suffocate her at the same time. A bit of a balancing act. She may need time to process all of this.
Your wife may have many mixed emotions and could also have various emotions and feelings similar to the grief process. Google that as well for some idea on what may be ahead for you both.
Keep working on your mental health issues, use the phone help lines if you need them, try and find support options that will help you both.
Hopefully you will have a stronger marriage once the dust storm settles.
All the best from Mrs. Dools
Hi Mallow Puff
I was hoping you didn't take offense to my post. It obviously offended enough to be moderated and removed, and I could have worded it differently in hindsight.
The thing is, I've been in your position before and I can speak from direct experience. My main concern was that if your own guilt didn't eat you alive, then there would be a high risk of you being found out which could be worse for you. I think there's a lot to be said about "the truth will set you free". Unfortunately your wife did find out so the damage control needs to be handled in crisis mode as you're currently experiencing.
I think you did the right thing by contacting your friend and ceasing the friendship, since you had a clear ambition to focus on your wife and family. I know your friend wouldn't like it at all - because she's in an affair fog. Dopamine makes us do crazy things (like get addicted to drugs and have affairs) and cutting off your relationship is like cutting off her supply. She'll hurt of course but it's temporary. You really need to resist the urge to contact her.
Your wife is going to go through a grieving process and things are no doubt going to be really bad for a while - but, this doesn't mean that you can't work on your marriage if she is willing, and to slowly rebuild trust.
It's going to be really hard, but you can get through this even though it seems like your world is falling in. There will be a time when things are good again. Keep going to your counselling, try and get your wife to go with you if/when she might be ready and try and stay strong for your kids too. Take things day by day. Try and eat well, rest when you can and also get as much exercise as you can.
Welcome back MP;
So, wow, what can I say? The proverbial shit has hit the fan and there's no going back I'm afraid. Personally this is disappointing. I feel for your wife having been 'there' myself. Having said that though, to re-phrase what others have stated; 'it's out in the open, so better get on with damage control'
I don't want to sound flippant or aggressive, but I think it may be a good idea to address; bins emptied often, lawns mowed, breakfast's in bed, impromptu flowers, chocolates and girly gifts, homework helping with kids (if relevant), lot's of coffee/tea without being asked, and a gentle hand on your wife's shoulder with the words; "I'm here for you wholly and solely when you're ready ok? It's not your fault, none of it is. You're my life partner and I broke your trust. I want to grow old with you and will do whatever it takes to prove I've learned from my mistakes and, will never put you, our kids or myself through this again."
If she accuses you of only doing things to get in her good books, explain; "You bet I am! You are the love of my life and deserve everything I can provide. I love you deeply and will be regretful for the rest of my life"
Of all the things women complain about in men, it's that they don't express their feelings enough or 'talk' to them as women need to be spoken to at times. Pick your time wisely my friend...a calm and non eventful moment is best when both of you are in a communication state of mind. Beg on your hands and knees if you have to, and do not argue or show facial expressions of negativity in any form. If she bellows or screams, take it like a man! Nod your head in agreement and give her the room to 'shed' her anger and pain when it's time - no matter what she says or how hurtful she is. Do you understand? No counsellor will give you room to do any of these things. If you think your marriage is worth saving, do right by 'her'. She is a victim in this scenario.
I would even suggest crying in front of her. I'm not joking ok? SHOW remorse!
Sorry if this comes across as bitter, but I've been a woman scorned, and this is my advice. Take it or leave it.
Best of luck...Dizzy