The Loneliness of Extra People

One thing about affairs is how lonely they make people. Introducing an extra person into the marriage covenant increases the loneliness of everyone involved.
For the unfortunate, loyal spouse, she has lost her best friend to infidelity. Some of her friends when they find out will start looking for those little signs that she brought it upon herself. Even if they aren’t, she feels exposed – her marriage has been revealed to the world to be deeply flawed. Her friends in whom she can confide are put under stress as they try to see her through these tough times, which may cause them to withdraw as they too get burned out from talking about the ugliness of an affair.
For the infidel, well, he’s the bastard who betrayed his spouse. He probably also betrayed his partner’s spouse. Honestly, who wants to be around such a person? Before I became that person, I wouldn’t have and I wouldn’t want my wife to either.
I also have done my best not to be exposed to any more people than absolutely have to know. None of my friends know, none of family knows except for my parents (who my wife told), my boss is the only one at work who knows – and none of these people want to deal with the ickiness of what I’ve done.
In terms of recovery support, most of the help is for the victim.  This makes sense because they are the ones who have been hurt. However, the advice for the infidel is always “Be contrite, be better, don’t contact the other person, go to couple’s counseling, and everything will be alright.”
Well, the problem is neither of us feel alright and I don’t have the slightest idea if what we’re both going through is normal. We’re not the only ones going through this, but it sure feels like it. We’re no stranger to loneliness, but this is a loneliness we’ve never known. This sucks, and it’s all my fault.

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About Anonyman

Recovering adulterer and husband of an awesome wife who has given me a second chance. Sinner and Christian, saved by grace alone. I cuss a lot
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15 Responses to The Loneliness of Extra People

  1. Nephila says:

    I have never said everything will be ok. The tables have turned and now you’re married only because your wife allows you to stay married. She has every right to decide otherwise based on the affair. But it’s true that remorse, real remorse not fake self-pity is the key. It’s not enough on its own, but without it there’s no chance. And it should go without saying that continuing to betray her with contact to the other woman is going to destroy everything. Couples counselling is usually a good move but it depends who you are seeing. But no, no guarantees.

    What is it you want to hear? That waywards are in pain? I’m sure they are. My husbands pain is that he can never undo it, never go back to being an undamaged character, never undo the harm. And he’s had a lot of support from friends and family for stopping the affair and commitment to making amends as much as possible. He’s had a lot of support in keeping OW out of our lives when she keeps trying to see him. Literally friends who warn him to get out of his office as she’s on her way.

    But plenty of waywards just have pain because they can no longer eat cake.

    If you’re the first kind I think you’ll get a fair bit of support. Especially from betrayeds. But we won’t tell you it will all be ok. All bets are off now.

    Like

    • Anonyman says:

      My post was not a response to your comment. If I reply to your comments it will be with a comment. Yeah, my post probably has the scent of self-pity to it. What brought it on was I was watching my kids play at the park and I was reflecting on the fact that my wife and I don’t have many people we can talk to. It just kind of struck me that with all the people I’ve interjected j to our marriage we’ve actually become much more lonely.

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  2. Let go says:

    Nephila, are you a troll? You are beginning to read like a child with a machine gun. You just pull the trigger and star shooting. I am not a cheater so I have no dog in this fight but you need to lighten up!!! He gets your point. He cheated, he hurt his wife, his family, the other woman and he is miserable! Enough, already!

    Like

    • Nephila says:

      Yes “Let it go” it’s so awful of me to say he’s on the right track but there are no guarantees. Honestly, if you have no skin in this why are you commenting? Your name suggests you’re a cheating apologist since that’s *always* what they say. So far this man appears not to be making excuses. Good luck to him. But it’s a hard road. I don’t think he is correct that remorseful cheaters get no support. They get tons but they have to be genuine and also ask for it. My husband wouldn’t either, until his back was to the wall and he needed people to help shut out the exOW bunny boiler. He found there was a lot of support. Obviously unremorseful cheats don’t get that, nor should they.

      How about you let it go and leave it to people who have a clue.

      Like

      • Anonyman says:

        I welcome her/his comments. The fact that they have no direct experience doesn’t mean they don’t have something useful to say. I have not seen Let it go say anything in defense of cheating. Furthermore, you’re reading an awful lot into that username. Personally, I assumed it was a reference to Frozen.
        For a variety of reasons, I’m not comfortable bringing in even more people into this wretched affair, not the least of which is that the ones who already know have made it clear they just want me to get over it. What would be nice is if I could find someone who’s gone through what I’m going through, someone who understands and won’t judge, and was able to make his marriage work. Because that’s what I want – not to have my ego stroked or my behaviors excused.

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        • Nephila says:

          My response is based on that person basically stalking me on comments all over the place. Painting me as if they know better than victims of infidelity! I know people can have external views of value, but they don’t tend to come from people who put down victims.

          Beware of the ego strokers. You *will* attract them and they will trumpet the siren cry of “I don’t judge”. I think you need people with good judgement around you. Fair judgement. Wise judgement. No judgement is what got you into this. You didn’t judge your OW. You didn’t judge your own conduct. I am *not* condemning you as forever bad. That should be obvious. I stayed with a remorseful cheat. I don’t regret it and I don’t really expect to. But judge his behaviour I sure do. And should.

          I suggested you read remorseofagoodguy and I stand by that. Beware of people in your situation because *most* are not actually remorseful.

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  3. kit says:

    You need counseling to discover the origins of your behavior. Your wife needs counseling to manage her feelings of the deepest betrayal that she will ever experience. You both need time to heal and often times that takes professional help. How much is your marriage worth? My husband’s willingness to get help and his willingness for me to also get help has been a tremendous step in the healing of our marriage. Friends are wonderful and a great place to fall, but they often times don’t have the resources to manage the damage that the affair has done to both you and your spouse.

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  4. ‘Alright’ is more of a spectrum of wellbeing, from ‘worse than yesterday’ to ‘better than yesterday’ to ‘better than ever’. But it’s amazing what human beings can actually live through. If the extra person is gone, so long as they didn’t leave a gaping extra-person shaped hole, perhaps you and wife will have the greatest common ground of all – wanting and working to save your marriage?

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  5. Nephila is a troll. She dumps on everyone’s blog and it is best to just ignore her and send her to spam.
    Also, I can completely relate. Everyone in an affair is hurt, even the wayward spouse. What you did was hurtful to others, but that doesn’t mean you weren’t hurt too in the process. You should get counseling to help you get through this. You need support so you can be supportive to your spouse, if you want to fix your marriage. You both deserve support during this time.
    Hang in there.

    Like

    • Anonyman says:

      My wife has had a wonderful counselor who has helped her in a lot of ways. I think she’s a bit impatient to be “over it” but she’s definitely better than she was.
      My counselor helped a bit, but I stopped going because it just wasn’t going anywhere.
      I appreciate your kind words. I’m doing my best, but some days and weeks are better than others.

      Like

  6. Let go says:

    I am not going to make excuses for being on this site. I am a child of divorce.. My parents divorced when I, and my siblings, wereyoung adults. They both quickly remarried and sold the family home. All of a sudden we were left with no place to go for holidays or just family visits.
    There are other divorces in my family due to cheating. The kids were collateral damage. Younger and much more vulnerable than I was and it took years for them to “move on”. I hope, if you have children, and they know about the affair they get counseling. One of my young relatives went from a sweet kid to a bully because there was no place else for the anger to go.
    The good thing is that a remorseful parent is usually forgiven by the children. You need to openly show your love and respect for their mother.
    I hate the prevailing “wisdom” that says we need our own passwords for all our electronic gadgets. Why get married if you sneak around and keep secrets from your spouse?
    Lastly, with more and more affairs starting at work people need to realize that those working hours are when we are at our best. We eat breakfast on the run and then joke, discuss, flirt with our coworkers and then go home dead tired. The truth is that the OM/OW is just a boring as the rest of us. You can sparkle when you are at your best during the day. Sadly the spouse gets the leftovers.

    Like

    • Anonyman says:

      Sorry, your comments were in the spam box. I promise I wasn’t intentionally blocking your comments. My kids are too young to get what is going on. I’ll explain to them when they are older that daddy did something very hurtful and stupid. Hopefully they won’t follow in my footsteps.

      Like

  7. Let go says:

    I tried to send a reply to you earlier but lost it somewhere. I am a female and the child of divorce. My parents divorced when I was a young adult. It impacted my siblings and me because both parents quickly remarried, moved away and sold the family home. All of a sudden we were for bereft of anywhere to go for a holiday or family get togethers. When discussing this on your site, and others, I do not refer to it because it did not consume me the way it would have when I was younger. I saw the cracks in the marriage and although I was sad about the divorce I understood why it happened.
    I write about things because I saw a family member go through a bitter divorce resulting from infidelity and the impact on the children was horrible for years. I do not condone infidelity in a marriage unless both partners agree to have an open relationship. Occasionally there is a spouse who is incapacitated and the other is left with yearnings that will never be met. In that case if they choose not to divorce but find another love to fulfill their needs I would have a hard time judging them.
    This affair that you had seems to be eating you alive. I hope that you are using this blog to get rid of suicidal feelings and thoughts. I do not know where they come from. Is it guilt or is it that you want your lover? You cannot be loyal to both. There is a lot of chatter about the fact that people can have long-term affairs that their spouses never know about. I feel that that robs the marriage of something basic, truth. If you can lie that easily to someone you profess to love there is something wrong in your moral makeup. You are a grown man…..man up! Stop feeling sorry for yourself and give your wife reason to trust you again. She may never…..or she might. The most important role of your life is to be the most open, honest person she knows. Both of you need to mourn the death of your old marriage. She will never “see” you the same way again but true remorse can help both of you move on.
    I don’t know why Nephila is so consumed by anger unless her father’s adultery wrecked her childhood. I know from observing a relative that unresolved childhood trauma follows us for years. I hope she finds peace in her life.
    My “name” is a take off from a sermon by TD Jakes. He says if someone wants to walk away from you to let them go. It is a beautiful talk about owning your own happiness.

    Like

    • Anonyman says:

      It’s guilt. I don’t think what I did was right and I don’t wish to return to the affair. I have ample evidence of how badly I’ve screwed up my marriage. Yeah, when I wrote that post I was feeling a little sorry for myself in spite of being the one who put myself in this position. Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I make no apologies for writing what I’m feeling because all I’m trying to do is be honest about how I’m feeling. If I’m feeling depressed or if I’m wallowing in self pity, that’s what’s going to come out on that day. That does not mean that’s all I do or the only way I feel.

      Like

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