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Healing your relationship after an affair
If you’ve had an affair, there may be a question mark hanging over your entire relationship. If you and your partner have decided to work things out, the following tips can help you both to overcome the effects of the affair and start moving on together. When you first admit to your partner that you’ve had an affair, it’s natural for them to feel lost and confused. Their safe connection with you has been threatened, and it can lead to a ‘fight or flight’ reaction. They may feel angry and behave aggressively or they may shut down and be unable to communicate with you at all [1]. Affairs leave people feeling emotionally vulnerable, so your partner may become insecure and clingy to protect the relationship [2]. They may repeatedly ask for reassurance that you love them and are still committed to the relationship. Try not to get frustrated - give your partner time to react to the news without criticising them. After the initial shock and rollercoaster of emotions have died down, you and your partner can both begin thinking about how and why things went wrong in the relationship and how you might move beyond the problem [3]. Revealing an affair can cause your partner to become extremely aware of your behaviour in the relationship and they may start to analyse and judge your actions [1]. They may become more suspicious of you, even when you are behaving normally. For example, if you are trying to be considerate and leave the room to answer your phone, your partner may worry that you are trying to talk to someone in secret [4]. How can I help us move on? One of the best things you can do is try to understand your partner’s point of view. Encourage them to talk about their feelings, even if it hurts to hear. It is also important for you to communicate your own feelings. You will both need to find ways to overcome the mistrust. For example, you may consider sharing the password to your Facebook account or giving your partner access to your phone. These things will only work if the decisions are made together, so make sure you discuss these ideas thoroughly and come up with a plan that works for both of you [4]. As well as talking things through together, several studies suggest that couple therapy can be an effective way of coming to terms with an affair and moving on together [5] [6]. In a recent study, couples who had successfully dealt with an affair recommended seeking support from people outside of the relationship, as well as talking and listening to each other. References [1] Oka, M., Sandberg, J. G., Bradford, A. B., & Brown, A. (2014). Insecure attachment behavior and partner violence: Incorporating couple perceptions of insecure attachment and relational aggression. Journal of marital and family therapy, 40(4), 412-429. [2] Johnson, S., Makinen, J. A., & Milliken, J. (2001). Attachment injuries in couples relationships: A new perspective on impasses in couples therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 27(2), 145–155. [3] Olson, M. M., Russell, C. S., Higgins‐Kessler, M., & Miller, R. B. (2002). Emotional processes following disclosure of an extramarital affair. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 28(4), 423-434 [4] Brimhall, A. S., Miller, B. J., Maxwell, K. A., & Alotaiby, A. M. (2016). Does it help or hinder? Technology and its role in healing post affair. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, 1-19. [5] Dunn, R. L., & Schwebel, A. I. (1995). Meta-analytic review of marital therapy outcome research. Journal of Family Psychology, 9(1), 58-68. [6] Baucom, D. H., Shoham, V., Mueser, K. T., Daiuto, A. D., & Stickle, T. R. (1998). Empirically supported couple and family interventions for marital distress and adult mental health problems. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66, 53– 88.
Article | cheating, counselling
If trust was broken by a previous partner
What am I up against? If someone put your heart in a blender during your last relationship by either cheating on you or breaking your trust, it can be hard to trust someone else with your (now-liquefied) heart. If that’s you, you’re not alone – betrayal tends to have this effect. A betrayal teaches you to be cautious and reminds you that your trust is breakable. When dating or starting a new relationship, try to bear in mind that any potential partner deserves a clean slate and a fresh chance to earn your trust. How can I deal with it? Try not to test them A very important element of any relationship is the demonstration of commitment [1]. But seeing as you’re just dating (which is considered by most as a BETA test for a relationship), you can’t expect them to provide those signs of commitment yet. If they haven’t made any promises to you or committed themselves to you, then you’re not yet in a position to expect loyalty or faithfulness. Be aware of your own vulnerability and emotions When people feel betrayed, they’re often left with a sense of vulnerability and weakness – sometimes long after the thing happens. But, by coming to terms with how that betrayal has affected you, you’ll be in a much better place to start dating. You’re that much more aware of things like your own self-esteem, your sensitivities, the affirmation you need, the need for exclusivity, etc. For example, you may recognise that moving slowly is good for you, or you may decide that you’re not ready to date at this time. Consider letting your date know If you decide to tell your date that you’ve been hurt in a previous relationship, try not to place any expectation on them to heal you. Rather, tell them that you’re working on it. If they choose to be supportive, then great. This becomes you two against the trust issue, rather than one person on their own dealing with an issue that affects both parties. Couples who refer to themselves as “we” more than “I” or “you” are better equipped to deal with conflict resolution and positive problem solving solutions [2].  Give yourself some time It’s natural to want to push forward into the new and leave the old behind. Past might be past, but (to quote The Lion King) the past can hurt. So allow some healing space, and take it slow with anyone new. If they don’t take the time to understand and be supportive of your choice of pace in the early days, this could be a warning sign about the future prospects of the relationship. References [1] Gabb, Klett-Davies, Fink, & Thomae, 2013; Reynolds, Houlston, & Coleman, 2014 [2] Simmons, Gordon, & Chambless, 2005
Article | breakups, trust, YPc
Dealing with jealousy when it first starts
What am I up against? Jealousy is renowned for its negative power. Everyone has felt it swell up inside them at some point or another, and although short bursts of it can remind you how much you care for someone, prolonged jealousy can be harmful to a relationship. How it manifests and how it’s triggered will vary from person to person. But one research study has found that, generally speaking, the triggers between men and women are profoundly different. “Young men on average fear their partner having sex with someone else, whereas young women on average fear their partner falling in love with someone else". (Groothof, Dijkstra, & Barelds, 2009) How do I deal with it? Trust is slowly earned and quickly broken If you’re feeling a lack of trust between you and your partner at the start of the relationship, it may just be that trust still needs time to be established. If one or both of you have been hurt in previous relationships, it may take longer still. Being in a relationship is risky for anyone– everyone is quite aware they can get hurt even if they’ve not been hurt before. If you’re dealing with past betrayals, it’s easy to get stuck with memories of what went wrong. A partner can assist with this healing process, but it shouldn’t become their responsibility to ‘fix’ the other person. When jealousy triggers control, take caution When you enter into new relationships with past betrayals inflicted by ex-partners, there are a few ways you can play it. You may choose to tell your partner about your previous betrayal, and allow them to earn your trust while working it through with honesty and sensitivity. Of course, it’s possible to have a balanced relationship without mentioning the past betrayal, as long as you treat your partner with respect. Where the jealousy gremlin does the most damage is when you seek to control the other person, to appease your uneasy feelings. Be very wary of exhibiting controlling behaviour. Be mindful of online social networks Social networks like Facebook can crack open a window into what you’re doing, who you’re flirting with, and even where you are.  One study (Muise et al, 2009) argues that the wealth of information about our partners can contribute to an increase of jealousy. Research also shows that women are more likely than men to monitor their partners’ profiles.  If you think you're detecting flirtation on your partner's activity, stop and give yourself a minute. Come off the social network, clear your head (maybe make a cup of tea or something), and return to it. If you still think there's a lot of flirtation going on, ask a friend who is neutral and doesn't revel in drama to give you an outsider’s perspective. You might find that you’re overreacting to something quite harmless. Text is easy to misread. Equally, if you think your own social network activity might trigger jealousy in your new partner, just be mindful of how your interactions and statuses may appear. You may well be perfectly innocent but there’s no harm in being considerate and thinking about how your words and pictures may come across to others. Keep an open and honest dialogue Talking to each other about what bothers you and giving each other a chance to respond can be hugely helpful for both sides. It’s useful to talk about things you have noticed and don’t like, rather than allowing a catalogue of complaints to build up in the back of your minds. Also, remember to talk about what boundaries you would like to have in place. Being clear about what you do and don’t find acceptable lets your partner make an informed choice about how they behave and how it might affect you. Accept what you cannot control Although it's not easy, it’s possible to ease jealousy by simply accepting that it’s not your job to control someone else’s behaviour. Your partner will make friends both online and offline, they will likely have drinks with colleagues and share jokes with attractive people from time to time. This is where trust comes in. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt, in the same way you hope they will do for you.     Remember that jealousy isn’t pretty Another problem with jealousy is that it’s rarely attractive. You wouldn’t write a dating profile that says: “I go to the gym three times a week and I’m the jealous type”. Jealousy tends to come hand-in-hand with neediness, insecurity, and emotional baggage.  While some reports say jealousy can make for more intimate and passionate sexual encounters, there’s little evidence to suggest that it’s helpful for maintaining a healthy long-term relationship. If your partner is struggling with jealousy, turn your attention to supporting them and building up that trust.
Article | jealousy, YPc
Cyber snooping and stalking
What am I up against? Most of us walk around with little computers in our pockets, broadcasting our lives and even our whereabouts. And while this is indeed a marvel, it’s also how cyber snooping and cyber stalking are afforded to us. A study carried out in Amsterdam [1] suggests that the wealth of information available to us about our partners creates a strong temptation to snoop, which in turn can exacerbate jealousy issues. Cyber snooping can include monitoring a partner’s Facebook, keeping tabs on their movements via Foursquare, or even tracking them via GPS. Whatever form it takes, it’s usually unhelpful for a relationship.  How do I deal with it? 1. Assess why this might be happening If you or your partner are struggling with cyber snooping, it might be tempting to call it insecurity, but the cause may be more complicated than that. If one of you has had experience of trust being broken, or an ex-partner who was secretive or manipulative, this can increase the need to try and control a partner. Experiences from childhood, such as a parental separation following an affair, can also have huge effects on people’s behaviours, attitudes, and ideas about what constitutes ‘normal’. We often refer to these buried causes as hidden issues, and such issues need to be uncovered by the person who has them. 2. If you’re the one snooping Although it's not easy, you can ease the need to monitor your partner's activity by accepting that you cannot observe all of their behaviour. Your partner will make friends both online and offline, they will likely have drinks with people after work and share jokes with attractive people from time to time. You can’t control what happens offline, so don’t bother trying to control it online. It’ll only feed your need for more control which you ultimately don’t have (and can lead to controlling behaviours). This is where trust comes in. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt, in the same way you hope they will do for you. If you think you're detecting flirtation on your partner's activity, stop and give yourself a minute. Come off the social network, clear your head (maybe make a cup of tea or something), and return to it. If you still think there's a lot of flirtation going on, ask a friend who is neutral and doesn't revel in drama to give you an outsider’s perspective. You might find that you’re overreacting to something quite harmless. Text is easy to misread. 3. If they‘re doing the snooping If your partner’s cyber spying is affecting you, it might be worth having a conversation about how it makes you feel. For best results, try not to be accusatory. Take an interest in what they’re saying, even if they become defensive.  You might learn an entirely new reason for their snooping. Perhaps they’re uncomfortable with you being friends with your ex on social media, or maybe they find your photos a little inappropriate. It may be that you can make a compromise here. Equally, if you think your own social network activity might trigger jealousy in your new partner, just be mindful of how your interactions and statuses may appear. You may well be perfectly innocent but there’s no harm in being considerate and thinking about how your words and pictures may come across to others. 4. Remove temptation If you or your partner are struggling to stop checking Facebook, refreshing the GPS signal, or chasing each other’s social trails, then consider deleting the apps and restricting the time spent online. It might seem a bit drastic, but it could turn out to be quite freeing; by removing yourself from a situation that isn’t doing you any good, you’re giving your relationship a chance to grow.
Article | jealousy, social media, YPc
How can I deal with jealousy?
Jealousy can be a strange and powerful feeling. It’s closely linked to self-esteem [1] and may reflect how confident you feel in your relationship [2]. The more confident you are that your partner is committed to you, the less you’ll worry about them leaving you. If you’re not secure in the relationship, then it may not take much to set off your jealous feelings.  Jealousy itself won’t necessarily do your relationship any harm [2], but acting on jealous feelings can be very destructive [3]. Left unchecked, jealously can lead to behaviour that you might not be proud of – seeking constant reassurance, making accusations, becoming possessive, and even threatening to break up [4]. The following tips can help you boost your self-esteem, increase your confidence, and start to deal with your jealousy. Accept the jealousy The next time you feel jealous, remember that it’s just a feeling and you don’t have to act on it. This might not be easy – if your usual responses have become ingrained over the years, it might take you a few goes to change things. Breathe slowly, and notice the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing. You may feel angry or anxious – that’s OK. Just accept that it’s happening and give yourself a chance to reflect before you act. Talk to your partner When difficult feelings come up, it’s usually easier to deal with them straight away [5]. Talk to your partner and try to focus on describing your own feelings, rather than their behaviour. Let go of blame, and explain to your partner that you sometimes get upset or worried about losing them. Be clear that you’re not asking them to change anything, but that you’re trying to deal with some unpleasant feelings. Listen Give your partner a chance to respond. You may find it helpful to ask what would be the best way for you to talk about similar feelings in the future, so you can build up your own way of communicating about your feelings as a couple. Tackle negative thinking Like other forms of worry, jealousy can lead you to focus on the negative, and misinterpret your partner’s behaviour. Remember that your jealous thoughts don’t necessarily reflect reality – you may think your partner is interested in someone else, but that doesn’t make it true. Take some time to reflect on the deeper feelings behind your jealousy. If you are truly afraid of losing your partner, ask yourself why your confidence has been rocked, and what you can do about it. Tackle your assumptions Sometimes when we have low self-esteem, we can read meaning into things that have nothing to do with us. If we’re feeling down, we might see someone yawn and assume it’s because they find us boring when, really, they might just be tired. The same can happen in your relationship. When something happens that makes you feel jealous, ask yourself what else might be going on. Sometimes people dress up to feel more confident amongst their peers, and not to attract a new partner! Develop your communication skills You can improve your confidence in the relationship by working on your communication skills with your partner. Make a habit of praising each other, planning fun experiences together, and being on the lookout for positive behaviour from each other. Over time, this can help boost your self-esteem and strengthen your relationship. Accept uncertainty You can never know for sure that your partner won’t leave you. It’s instinctive to want to protect yourself from the fear of rejection, but uncertainty is a part of life and a part of every relationship. When you accept this, it can give you a new sense of freedom to stop worrying about what your relationship might become, and get back to enjoying what it is. References [1] DeSteno, D., Valdesolo, P., Bartlett, M. Y. (2006). Jealousy and the Threatened Self: Getting to the Heart of the Green-Eyed Monster. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91 (4), pp.626-641. [2] Sheets, L.V., Fredendall, L.L., & Claypool, H. M. (1997). Jealousy Evocation, Partner Reassurance, and Relationship Stability: An Exploration of the Potential Benefits of Jealousy. Evolution and Human Behavior, 18 (6), 387-402. [3] White, G.L., & Mullen, P.E. (1989). Jealousy: Theory, Research, and Clinical Strategies. Guildford, New York. [4] Carson, C. L., & Cupach, W. R. (2000). Fueling the flames of the green eyed monster: The role of ruminative thought in reaction to romantic jealousy. Western Journal of Communication, 64, 308–329.  [5] Theiss, J. A. and Solomon, D. H. (2006). Coupling Longitudinal Data and Multilevel Modeling to Examine the Antecedents and Consequences of Jealousy Experiences in Romantic Relationships: A Test of the Relational Turbulence Model. Human Communication Research, 32: 469–503.
Article | jealousy, trust
0 4 min read
Jealousy and affairs
Most of us experience feelings of jealousy in our relationship from time to time. Sometimes, it’s just a fleeting feeling that’s easy enough to let go of; other times, jealousy can take hold, settle in, and turn to anxiety. Mild feelings of jealousy can be useful. A little bit of jealousy might remind you not to take your partner for granted – but when jealousy won’t let go, it can become extreme or obsessive. Jealousy, left unchecked, can ruin a relationship. Where does jealousy come from? Often, it's linked to something in your past which has left you with a sense of insecurity. If you're insecure in your relationship and very dependent on your partner, then you may have more triggers and be more likely to become jealous. You may find it helpful to explore where your feelings of insecurity come from. If it’s something you’re able to identify, try to accept and own it. Have an honest conversation with your partner about your insecurities, and explain that you’re trying to work through them. Affairs People have affairs for a variety of reasons. It isn’t always about sex, but an affair is usually a sign that something in the relationship is not right. An affair is a breach of trust between partners. Trust is essential in any relationship, and it's often taken for granted. Finding out that your partner has had an affair can be a huge shock. If your partner has had an affair, you may feel insecure and jealous for a long time. You may choose to end the relationship but if you and your partner both want to try and repair the damage, it’s likely to take some time before you feel confident in your partner again. There’s no set time on how long it will take to rebuild your relationship, but it is possible to recover if you’re both willing to move on from the affair and work on the underlying issues. Many relationships do survive affairs and can sometimes end up being stronger over time. As time passes, trust can be restored and you may find yourself feeling more secure in your relationship. An affair will nearly always bring about a change in a relationship, but it doesn't always spell the end.
Article | jealousy, trust
0 3 min read
“Girlfriend cheated, I can't get over it”
I met the perfect girl about two years ago who ended up being my first love and first serious relationship. She became my girlfriend, my best friend, my EVERYTHING! Then almost a year into the relationship I was going through some stuff that made me very stressed out and less available to spend quality time, which put a huge strain on our relationship. My girlfriend began to go out with her friends all of the time and I never thought anything of it because I trusted her and was busy myself so I wanted her to have fun. One day later on down the line I see a picture that she was tagged in on Facebook with this guy behind her dancing with her. We had a rule that we wouldn't dance with anyone else and when I questioned her she said they took the picture right when he got behind her to dance with her... Being the (dumb) trusting boyfriend, I accepted what she said without question and just asked her to remove the picture. Then a couple of weeks later, she had a falling out with her roommate who supposedly posted that my girlfriend cheated on me on Facebook and my girlfriend told me about it and how it wasn't true and being once again the (stupid) trusting boyfriend, I was receptive to what she said without question. Cheating was something that i didn't think she would ever do because I knew that she loved me dearly. I began to feel myself becoming more and more unhappy primarily due to the great amount of strain that was put on our relationship because of what I was going through. My girlfriend was somewhat supportive but complained and didn't like it at all one bit. I thought about things for weeks and decided to break up with her because I needed time and didn't wanna do anything bad to her like cheat or anything. She was heartbroken and begged for me back but I refused. Months later I tried getting back with her and she was not making it easy for me at all. There was another guy who she was seeing but she still loved me and it showed and I knew I just needed to be patient so I was. She then decides to get some type of birth control that required her to have an STD test and come to find out she has syphilis and I was likely to have to it as well because we had sex on several occasions. Being focused on wanting to get her back I completely brushed that off when she told me and she felt like she couldn't make me wait for any longer because I was the best thing that's happened to her and she dropped everyone and got back with me. Weeks following I found out that she lied about a guy she said she didn't have sex with and that she cheated on me back when I was going through that stuff and her roommate had posted it on Facebook and told me it wasn't true when it really was. I was completely crushed! I couldn't do anything but want to work things out because I had just gotten her back and wasn't ready for things to end. She made a 360 degree change  for the better and has shown me that she was sorry and loves me and would never do anything like that again. It has been seven months and still to this day, I can't seem to forget about it and I feel like its preventing me from moving on with her. Things will be good for a couple of weeks and then something will happen or I'll see something that reminds me of what she did and it just brings me back to the situation and how much it hurt me. Still to this day there has been a lingering unhappiness that I just can't get over because of what she has done and I do not know what to do with myself! I wish I could just get over it so I can move on with this girl and my life! She has done everything she possibly can to show she is sorry and to make things better. Although I do want to move on with this girl I'm not most concerned with that. What I'm mainly concerned with is what the best thing for me to do for MYSELF is. Advice would be greatly appreciated.. I have been having way too many sleepless nights..Thanks! By the way... my girlfriend and I are both in college. I'm 20, going on 21, and she's 19, going on 20.
User article | cheating, trust
“Married, having an affair with younger man“
I am a married woman with children and I'm having an affair with a younger man (10 years younger) who's also in a relationship, and has a baby!! I know what we're doing is wrong but neither of us intended for it to get this far or for anyone to get hurt. My marriage is at an all time low at the moment and has been for a long long time, we just don't get on at all, constantly argue and there is no intimacy between us at all!! but I just plod on for the sake of my children - H (the other man) is more or less in the same position but he's not married just lives with his girlfriend and baby. We first started out just messaging each other general conversation but things progressed further with each of us confessing how we'd love to meet up - eventually we did at his house while his partner was out and one thing led to another!! We've recently met up in a hotel room and had the best time ever. I can't leave my marriage as it would destroy my husband and kids and he won't leave his girlfriend because of his baby, he says he can't leave her til his baby is old enough to leave home (which is a long way off!) We don't see each other as much as we'd like to as it's difficult for us to both getaway but message most days. I am at an all time low at the moment as I can't stop thinking about H and the times we do spend together :-( would love to hear from anyone who's been in the same position......and what I should do x
User article | ongoing affairs
Community posts
“I didn’t tell my boyfriend”
My female coworker invited me to a weekly game and movie night. There are a bunch of strangers, girls and guys. They’re all friends and their group is always growing. My boyfriend didn’t like me going. He said it made him uncomfortable and jealous, and why would I put myself in a situation to potentially mingle with single guys? That’s not why I went but I stopped going for his sake. I’ve kept in touch with some of the girls from group because there really nice. The whole point of me going was to make some new friends in a Christian environment. Anyway, they invited me to a birthday party for one of the guys. It would be in public, not at someone’s house. So I figured it should be fine. I talked to my boyfriend that day and didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to end up asking his permission if he didn’t like me going. I get to the party and I realise I miss him. I talk to our host and she says he can come, so I call him up to invite him. He's hurt that I didn’t tell him about me going out because he feels I hid it from him. So the next night, after this all blows up, he goes to the strip club, making sure I know where he’s going. He thinks I went out behind his back out of spite, because I’m “mad” when he goes out with people and doesn’t tell me, which I'm not. It is fine because I trust him. It was completely innocent, and he went out specifically as payback. He TOLD me it was payback. This isn’t even the same thing. If he had gone at random, it would’ve hurt my feelings. But the fact that he did this, to specially hurt me, I feel so hurt. And I can’t even tell him how much it hurts me right now because he’s still hurt because he thinks I’m lying and stuff. I’ve apologised so many times because I realise his hurt feelings. He has major trust issues. But I never hurt someone deliberately out of spite and vengeance. And it hurts that he did that to me.
User article | control
“Separating but living together”
This is quite raw for me, but here goes. I have known my wife for 15 years. We have been together for 10 and married for five. We have two children – my stepson is eleven and our daughter is seven. We have had our difficulties over the years, mostly due to intense stress in both our work lives and with our parents. My parents both died relatively recently. My wife's parents have always had a really really bad relationship with lots of control, shouting, absence and possibly cheating. My wife started to act oddly earlier this year. The phone was locked and never out of her grasp. She started to go away for long five- or six-day weekends – totally out of character. Both I and the kids were really upset. I have recently discovered she is seeing someone. I pretty much know everything including a shared diary detailing when they are away. My wife flatly denies everything. According to her she is with work friends. That's what she tells the kids as well. She has told me we should separate – but then she says we shouldn't. Her latest is that we stay together in the house for the next x number of years. Says we are not a couple at the moment, but she doesn't know what the future will bring. We are even going on a two-week holiday in the summer as a family, a holiday I was originally told I couldn't come on. It's like she is living two totally separate lives. She recently told me she doesn't want to live with anyone else, doesn't want to create a new family, and doesn't do casual sex (in a response) to a fairly upset question from me. She has a history of going off the rails somewhat, but never admits to that. She has said there needs to be more to life than just the kids and work, and just wants to feel good about herself. I feel deceived, devastated and just don't know what to do. I need to be strong because of the kids but its killing me. I don't see how she can realistically run two lives – but in her head she appears to be doing it. It's almost as though they a parallel and never meet. It's only when it gets close to her going away and the two lives start to get a bit closer that there is friction. I know quite a lot about the man she is seeing. He is a single dad with two kids. I cant see how he can be happy if hes interested in her with this arrangement – sees her maybe every three weeks, still lives with her husband. I just don't know what to do. Divorce her, hold fast and see what happens or what? It's just killing me.
User article | course, GIRFC
“Falling for an unavailable man”
OK, here goes. Before I get everyone telling me how awful I am... I already know. But I need to get this off my chest as there’s no one else I can speak to about this. I was in a relationship (on and off) for five years. I think we’d both settled. He cheated on me three times and I’ve caught him on dating apps numerous times. Needless to say I forgave him every time and believed his lies. I then started to feel incredibly depressed. I wouldn’t go out, wouldn’t talk to him, and generally didn’t treat him very well (he didn’t really seem to care at the time). Anyway, there was a works do a year ago and my colleague kissed me. My colleague who is living with his partner - I thought they had a strong relationship. It was definitely just a drunken snog but I did enjoy it. At the time my partner was telling me he didn’t know if he wanted to be with me so it was a great confidence boost. I didn’t really know my colleague that well at the time so it was easy enough to forget about it and never speak of it again. As the months went on we grew closer and closer, I was confiding in him more than my partner (I didn’t really realise this though). I then realised I was starting to get feelings for him, and started having dreams that we were in a relationship. A couple of months later at another works do we kissed again, but both knew what we were doing. After that we started talking a lot about us kissing, it became the main topic we spoke about, and basically saying we want to take it further but can’t because we were both in a relationship and didn’t want to hurt our partners. He’d never cheated before either and always vowed we wouldn’t so we agreed it would never happen. Anyway one day we were talking and he just kissed me. A lot. Then we both went back to our partners and agreed it can’t happen again. The chemistry was just becoming unbearable. Eventually, we took it to the next level and slept together. We were both completely sober and knew exactly what we were doing. Then a couple of days later he tells me he’s riddled in guilt and can’t do it again which I agreed. I couldn’t live with the guilt so broke it off with my partner and have now moved out. I cannot stop thinking about my colleague but nothing has happened since. I think it got too serious when we slept together and we both realised how awful we were. We’re still very close, and talk about everything, but don’t flirt as much now. He’s been so lovely to me when no one else has been through my breakup. He phoned me a couple of days ago just to make sure I was okay. He loves his girlfriend, and I certainly don’t want to split them up as she doesn’t deserve that, but at the same time it’s killing me how much I like him and want to be with him ALL the time. Has anyone had any similar experiences?? How do you deal with it??
User article | cheating, unrequited
“Caught my wife sexting”
My wife lost her whole family since 2016. She was working with a friend of ours for over 20 years. She had only been on the job for a year until she lost both parents 28 days apart. Well she became friends with the people at work and sees them on lunch. Soon after she starts going to Kroger everyday at 3pm. I see her there with my friend. It went on for months. I told her how I felt then she got mad said she cant have any friends. I said its disrespectful as a wife to be hanging out with a guy, when you are married. I wouldn't do that. I just don't see it as very good thing for married people to do. We have been together since we were 14. I thought she had stopped. I drove buy one day the they are at Kroger's, just there, nowhere else. I hoped she would admit it she didn't. I said I seen you at Kroger's it seemed harmless he too had lost his parents. I thought maybe there was some relief like helpful counseling. This was 2017. Then on my birthday Nov 1st 2019 she says her macbook is frozen up. I look into it, fix it, then find her sexy pics and I love you I can't live without you. And there were deleted texts. He said, you want me to erase all this? She said, no I don't care. I trust you because I love you. I immediately handed her her macbook fixed open to that page. She said, stop what's the matter? like I had been into something. I said, I read your text and seen your pics to the man you love she says he tells everyone he loves them. I said, well everyone don't say it back and send naked pics. I saw them but as soon as they opened they were gone. Like stuck, frozen in delete. But it was a thumbnail. I said no way. I ask her, she swears she never sent nothing like that. I went on and we decided drop it. She dropped contact. I'm OK with electronics so I got everything so I can see it. She sent nothing. She quit, stopped immediately. She saw how bad I was hurt and how bad he was getting ready to be. So I buy a Walmart phone, start catfishing him. He believes it because I knew the answers to his questions from her text said. What's your favorite pic? he said. I like them all, I said since I don't have my I phone I lost everything. He said, I still have them all. I said, can you send them to me? He goes for it. I was horrified. My wife is naked several times - some pics that make Hustler look like Disneyworld. Well, at this point in time we moved to Florida. I own a construction company and was 1,000 miles from the guy. But if she don't admit to that until I show her and says she don't remember the text because she was drinking. He sent me forwards of his favorite text, what had happened in the three years we're at home, she swears no sex. I catfished the guy, I said. I just told him we had sex, he said why that's a lie only thing you did was send me pics. He says at that point things would have changed. Or would have ruined our friendship if we really did it. He says was just fun to talk about. I'm with her still because she has no family and I love her. But I am starting to think that I'm kidding myself. The love and becoming distant I told her tonight I didn't think I was in love with her anymore, but I still love her. She has broken me into a million pieces and thinks its supposed to go away. The pain hasn't stopped. I don't think it will. She said she was on all kinds of zoloft and antidepressants. It didn't feel real. I said it was real and she's hiding behind that. I think I'm going to have to end this marriage right before our 25-year anniversary. But she doesn't want to now she sees how bad it hurt me. I don't think it with stop hurting until I move on. Should I end it?
User article | cheating, affair, sexting
“Having an affair with a married woman”
Hello lovely people! I wanted to share my current situation with you as it is not easy for me. I am a 23yo male currently having a relationship with a woman who is 14 years older than me (37). It all started about five months ago. We were working together and there was something between us. She is married but her husband is working outta town and is missing for a few months then he is back in here for a few months. Our story started as you can guess when he was away. I will call her B. B is a shy and innocent person. B said that she has never cheated before in any of her relationships and it is her first time doing that. She is married for 10 years and has no kids. She said that she chose him not because of love and passion but because of him being good and right for her (Beta male provider :). So my experience with her is truly amazing. The greatest sex in my life. We text all day with 'I love yous' etc. When together, nothing matters and it is a fairy tale. So we were seeing each other for a month and then her husband came back. She said that they live in a sexless marriage since a year and a half. He wants to have sex with her however she does not. Last time they had sex she cried etc. The thing is that when he came back (two months since he is here), she is still coming to my place once a week for 2-3 hours. She claims that she is staying faithful to me by not having sex to him. At the start she said that having sex with him is something mandatory, before he came back she said the year and a half sexless thing. I believe her about it as she is not that kind of person. However, she will not leave him as she is scared and also wants to have children. They tried to have child in the past but it didn't work. Now when it comes to this she is like crying and saying that she doesn't want a child from a person she is not in love with. She will also not leave him as I cannot offer her a future due to the age gap. She just wants to have both of us hooked but it is really torturing to me as I am constantly thinking about her day after day and it is freaking me out I am completely mentally obsessed and all I get is two hours a week. Her husband is suspicious of her, however, he is the beta male that wont start a fight or check on her phone. (we are texting every night before she goes to sleep while he is watching movies in the other room). I read some stuff online with similar stories and I know that I have to leave her. A clean breakup. However, I do not want to do it because everything is amazing and the love we give each other is huge. Can you share some thoughts please? Will be very appreciated.
User article | affair, cheating