Missing and Regretting

Do I miss her? Now there’s a good question. It sounds simple enough, right? I mean, either you do or you don’t. There doesn’t seem to be any ambiguity in the question.

“Well, it’s complicated,” is my honest reply.

In general, no, I don’t miss either Scarlet or the affair. I am committed to my wife and I regret all the aspects of the affair, all the bad decisions that caused it to happen, and all the times I should have put a stop to it but didn’t.

However, there is a difference between regretting what I did and feeling nothing for Scarlet. I know there’s a particular reader (who’s unread comments go straight into the trash) who would disagree with that, but it is true. I’ve seen it too many times in too many people, besides feeling it myself.

I can honestly say I wish I had never met her. I regret not running the first time I had an inkling that something was wrong. But I can’t change the past. I did make those stupid decisions which led to my falling in love with another woman.

Now part of my punishment is I have feelings for her that linger. Not every cheater has lingering feelings for their AP, or even the same feelings, but I do. I can’t just choose not to have those feelings, or believe me I would have. What I can and have done is repent, cut off all contact, stop wallowing in the memories, and turn to my wife in loving devotion.

I don’t love Scarlet anymore, I can say that honestly and without reservation. But we were close friends as well as lovers, and I do miss her sometimes (thankfully less with each passing day). I occasionally wonder what she’s doing, or how she’s doing in her marriage or her work. Hell, part of the reason I regret the affair is because I care about her and I hate that I hurt her and involved her in my sin.

I don’t indulge in those thoughts about Scarlet, they come on their own and I do my best to let them go quickly. Memories are the same way. They come unbidden and unwanted, yet I can’t forget how happy I was with her before everything came crashing down. I remember how it felt to be loved, cared for, and wanted by her. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel good at the time, but I can’t afford to linger with the memories of the affair.

Those memories are bitter now. I can’t think about the good times without remembering the bad times that resulted. I can’t think about the affair – the emotions, feelings, and events – without knowing that it was wrong. The whole thing was wrong in so many ways – how I betrayed my wife, how I used Scarlet, how I hurt myself with this sin. I regret all of it. I know it was the source of almost unimaginable pain and guilt and shame.

It’s not just that I was caught, it’s that I did it. If my wife had never known and other circumstances had ended the affair, I would still hate that I did it. It would still be wrong even if Scarlet and I were the only two who knew.

So do I miss her? I suppose I do occasionally have those moments, but the better questions are “Do I regret doing it? Am I sorry? Am I committed to healing my marriage?” The answer to all of these questions is an emphatic YES!

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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
This entry was posted in The affair and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Missing and Regretting

  1. Are you sure you loved her and not the freedom of her. Most men need validation of their worth everyday in order to feel loved and it’s easy to do that when you don’t need to think about anything but the person in front of you at the time. Real love is a choice you make everyday after the newness of a relationship goes away your left with the day to day of life

    Liked by 2 people

    • You have asked this in a respectful way and as a question, which I really appreciate. But I have to say that for some reason there is always this assumption from some people that there can’t be real love in an affair and I’m not sure why that is. I agree that the love that comes from day to day life together is a different kind of love, there is no question. But my EA went on for almost 4 years of spending every day together. It wasn’t about newness, it was about having a deep emotional connection to each other. Some affairs are about catching pieces and moments in time and I agree that those are more likely to be about newness or the excitement of the secret. But there are plenty of affairs that are based on a more long lasting connection, friendship, and love

      Liked by 2 people

      • I hope I didn’t offend you. I ended up reading a lot about affair statistics and reasons for affairs but it’s interesting to read what goes on in people’s heads rather than words in a book from “Experts”

        Liked by 1 person

        • You didn’t offend, I really did respect how you asked the question. I think there are a lot of varieties of affairs. But it’s strange when you know what you feel, you know what you experience, and others who have never met you insist you didn’t feel it or it wasn’t real. I completely believe that some people feel differently about their affair partners when they have some distance–the same way many of us feel about ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends after the fact. But of course some people fall in love and it’s real. Who says that just because you married one person that you can’t love someone else? You aren’t supposed to, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen

          Liked by 1 person

          • So then what makes you choose one person from another? Love or guilt

            Like

            • Well, I am single, but I can tell you why I think a man might choose his wife, even if he loved the OW–love of his wife, love of his children, guilt, fear of failure, fear of how he will be viewed by friends and family, fear of financial implications, fear that it wouldn’t work out with the OW in the end, dedication to the life he agreed to with his wife.

              In my case, there is no question Jack’s main reason was fear of failure and not wanting to put his kids through a divorce, which he went through at their age. But I think every person and every marriage and every affair is different. There can be multiple reasons why.

              In terms of choosing the OW, even if they are massively in love, it’s incredibly risky. The only reason to do it is the idea that there is someone other than your wife who would make you happier for the rest of your life. But at one time or another, these men though that person was their wife, so there is always the fear it won’t turn out. And so you take the risk of blowing up your family, your social circle, your financial security for love, but with no certainty it will work out in the end. I think there is a reason few people make that choice and it’s not because real feelings aren’t involved

              Liked by 2 people

            • I see. This is my opinion but I just don’t think it can be real love when there is lying involved. It doesn’t seem pure to me.
              I do see how an affair can happen in a marriage when there is an important element missing. If you had everything you want in your marriage why be with anyone else.

              Like

            • Anonyman says:

              I appreciate the respectful way you have been discussing this. I know we disagree, as I suspect would most people who have not been the OW/OM, but you seem to have an open mind.

              For myself, I’m a little tired of the argument. It’s not that it isn’t worth discussing, it’s that some people are not respectful and are only interested in telling me I’m wrong.

              Nevertheless, here it goes. If one says love cannot be true in the presence of lies or deceit then who among us can say we’ve always been 100% truthful with our spouse? If true love is selfless then who can say they have always pit their spouse first? If true love is kind, then who can say they’ve never said a mean thing to their spouse? Pure, sacrificial love is the Godly ideal, but we are humans who aspire to but cannot reach it. We love imperfectly and we sometimes love things and people we shouldn’t, but that doesn’t make it not love.

              Each affair is different and the love involved spans the spectrum from none at all to soul – mate. I’d rate mine about 7, whereas my wife and I are a 9.5 or 10. The affair partners are the only ones who can say where they were on that spectrum. They are the ones who felt that love and they are the ones who have done the introspection to determine how real it was.

              I’ve done that and I can tell you that my love was real but wrong. Others may not understand it, but I ask that they respect me the same as I respect those who can’t see it my way. I earnestly hope they never have my perspective on it, either.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Thank you for your honest answer. I’m gonna ask another question and I hope this doesn’t offend you. But did you know what you were doing when Scarlet came into the picture? What I mean is did you need something from her that you weren’t getting at home?

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            • Anonyman says:

              No, it doesn’t offend. There was something; although, why I wasn’t getting it is complicated and largely my fault. In any case, I wasn’t consciously seeking it out, but when I got it, well… things got interesting

              Like

  2. Love…define it… It can mean so many things…Move on with your wife, but don’t discredit what you had with your AP (affair partner)….if you’re going to blog…anonymoously… then do it.

    There is a lot of research on extramarital affairs that suggest that affiars are beneficial to marriages…or can be…but don’t throw your feelings or what you shared under the bus. She meant enough to you to risk everything. She didnt get a lot but give her that…that you loved her. Even if it is in the blog world…don’t…just dont. There is very little the OW gets, but at least be honest about your feelings and acknowledge them here.

    Wishing you the best!

    Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pabloswife says:

    WOW… you don’t love your wife more than your AP do you?? Surely not!! LOL!!
    Way to go for realizing what was real and what mattered!!

    Like

  4. chely5150 says:

    I too thank you for your honest answer to question by trust truth terrified. I guess the hard part for me to understand is; when I love someone I want to shout it from the rooftops, tell the world because I love (for me in my marriage) with the whole of me body and soul. So its hard for me to understand how you can feel “love” yet have to keep it all trapped up inside. I guess that’s how compartmentalization works, but that’s just not me. I’m all or none -that’s how I am. Anyway I appreciate being able to see inside your head -it helps, sometimes stings a bit but I must read if ever to understand the other side of this nightmare I live. I think that you are genuine when you say you love wife and are committed to making your marriage turn around. I think for most people (either side of this) if we only knew then what we know now. Maybe just maybe, but then again – mine is just so damn complicated -survival of my marriage is definitely up in the air. I wish you continued success on your journey.

    Like

    • Anonyman says:

      Yes, it is compartmentalization, but it was also hard not to show love. The times Scarlet and I were together around others, it was a constant struggle to stay in character and not show my affection for her. I don’t think I succeeded very well, either.

      I’m fond of saying “it’s complicated” because there really aren’t any easy answers. Affairs are wrong for a lot of reasons and because they’re wrong, they twist us into doing things and acting ways we normally wouldn’t.

      Like

  5. I have had multiple discussions with my husband about this very topic. And I relate to a lot about what has already been discussed. For me, I never imagined being “in love” with two people. To be honest, pre-affair, that just seemed insane. It just didn’t make sense. I recall when I met my husband, I screamed in a tube station (this was in Europe) that, “I’m in LOVE” in front of hundreds of strangers (literally I was hit by cupids arrow)…I was that in love….so it didn’t make sense when I started to have what felt like real feelings for my AP. And I did struggle with that during the affair.

    I came to a few conclusions, although I know a certain reader too that would definitely disagree (see circular file!). My thoughts were 1) I never thought I could love another child till I had a second. Then I realized my heart was big enough for more than one. Clearly, as humans we do have the capacity to love more than one person at the same time. 2) the love I have for my husband is an enduring love. It’s weathered storms. It’s been through hard times, good times, awful times and such. But the love (and actually I like to say it was a very deep, deep level of caring that I felt for my AP) I felt for my AP was the beginnings of love.

    By the sheer definition of being in an affair, our relationship could never really grow like a typical one. Sure it was tested at times. But it wasn’t stomped on, pulled, pried or strained like a day to day marriage after several years. And that causes your love to grow in different ways. Overall, my “love” for my AP felt different than the love I feel for my husband. That is the best way I can describe it, at least now…off the cusp.

    Like

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