Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Group Therapy: Love him enough to let him go

Group Therapy: We have another group therapy this week. This just came in, please give your advice and help or whatever you have to say in comments.

"I am such an idiot. I set myself up; there's no one but myself to blame. It's my fault I fell headlong into impossible love with another woman's husband. I didn't ask for it. I didn't want to. I certainly didn't plan to. He didn't either. People don't plan these things, or even seek them out.


People seek out affairs, they seek out quick fucks and meaningless momentary escapes from their lives, but I am convinced they do not set out to fall in love with someone else's spouse. This road can lead to nowhere but pain.


At first, with the newness of falling in love, the attention he lavished on me, and the myriad ways he was so different from the monster I married I convinced myself the flight would be worth the fall. I thought I could handle the pain, even welcomed it because even though I'd have to face it eventually, it would mean I'd lived. It would mean I'd rolled the dice and won, just for awhile. I embraced the pain I knew would come because I convinced myself that I could handle it. I could control how much loved him.


Oh, how very wrong I was.


I am in the pain now. I am in a world of hurt I didn't realize existed. I have never been loved by a man before. I was never loved by my husband or any of the men I dated before him. They loved my body, my looks, or my money, but never me. This man, this other woman's husband saw me. And he loved me. He loved me in spite of my flaws and my impossible situation. He loved me before he knew I was rich. He loved me before he knew of my connections or what I could offer him. He loved me.


I know what you're thinking. I know that everyone looks at adultery and shakes their heads. When the adulteress says, "it's different" eyes roll and tongues cluck in disbelief and even some disgust. That's okay. I understand that; I've done that. But this was different, ridiculous as I know it sounds.


I knew from the onset that he would not leave his wife. I don't think I loved myself enough to allow that to be a deal breaker but I know I loved him enough to understand his reason - his children - and to support his decision because I love him enough to want what's best for him. And his babies are his whole world. He is as addicted to his children as I am to mine and I don't know if he could stand the thought of being apart from them if he left his wife. He's not a part time kind of daddy.


And, naively, a small part of me I didn't even acknowledge existed thought that maybe someday, when they were grown or at least older, things would be different. Regardless, I loved him even though I wasn't enough. I loved him (at least in part) because I wasn't enough, I think. I would have thought less of him if he'd have put me before his children. I would never want him to do that and so I accepted the situation as it was.


His wife found out today. Honestly, at this point I don't know how much she knows. The phone call was brief, to the point, and so very very devastating. "It's me, baby. Things are very bad here. She knows. I'll call you when I can. I love you. I'm so sorry."


And my world has crumbled. There is an iron fist wrapped around my heart and who can I even tell? It's such a shameful, dirty secret I cannot even have the luxury of hurting over it.


There is one person in my life who knows my secret. I told this person today that his wife found out and the response I got was, "Well you should be glad! He'll get divorced now for sure!" I am many, many things, but glad is not one of them. I love him enough that I want him spared of all pain, even if sparing him means taking it on myself. No, I'm not happy he may be getting a divorce. I'm devastated for him because I know that if it happens and he is separated from his children, an essential part of him will be changed forever. I would rather never see him again than see him destroyed.


I learned a very hard lesson today. Love does not conquer all. Just because we're in love does not mean we can be together. I do not embrace this pain anymore. I'm not so sure anymore that it's worth it. My heart is broken, partly for what I am sure is the loss of this man who, despite his flaws and despite what you must think about his character considering he claims to love me but stays married to another woman, truly did love me very well, but mostly for him and what he now faces.. And I have to love him enough, now, to let him go."

Anonymous

12 comments:

binks said...

I am really sorry for your pain. Even though it seems, at this moment, that you will never love again, wounds heal.
I don't know your whole story or marital status, but it seems you seek out the unavailable.
I would take this as a life lesson, focus on your family, work on finding your self worth without a man, and move on.
"Out of the ashes of our hopelessness comes the fire of our hope." ~ Anne Wilson Schaef

T said...

I think you've said it all... loving him enough to let him go IS all you can do.

I can't offer advice, because honestly - I can't relate... but that's what I love about coming here... the different perspectives - the ability to see your dilemma and your pain without judgment... and no, I'm not judging... I thought I would frankly (and probably would if you were my sister or something) but I can feel the pain.

Lesson learned - love does not conquer all. Love sometimes causes exorbitant amounts of pain. and Love... sometimes isn't our most important responsibility in life.

UP said...

Love isn't only blind, it's stupid.

I'm glad you wised UP and let him go!

A married man who would do this isn't worthy of you.

Move on, look for a better man.

UP

Elaina said...

Honestly, there is only one thing that comes to mind:
If he will cheat with you, he'll cheat on you.

However, leaving aside cliches' and what normally happens, I'm sorry for your pain. I'm sorry for his wife's pain. And I know, with certainty, how I would react if I was in his wife's shoes: I would love him enough to let him go, to you. I would never, ever keep my children from their father, as no child should be used like that. But if my husband wanted to be with someone, I couldn't be with him. I wouldn't want that for him, but I mostly wouldn't want that for myself. If he was in love with someone else, if he was telling them that he was in love with them, if he was calling her on the worst day of my life, I'd let him go. It would be hard, but frankly, if he cheated on me, if he fell in love with someone else, I wouldn't want him anyway, because apparently he wouldn't want me.

I hope I'm being clear here. I don't blame you and I don't think you're a homewrecker. Vows are made only between spouses, so the only person responsible for this is him, not you. It is his responsibility to either be faithful to his wife, or divorce her. Nothing is black and white, and that includes this. You say that it's a "shameful, dirty secret", but it's only shameful if you're ashamed. Don't be ashamed. There should be nothing shameful in being in love, no matter the circumstances. People say that it's better to have loved and lost, blah blah blah, but I think sometimes that's bullshit. Still, I want you to know that at least one person (me, if it wasn't obvious) thinks that sometimes marriage is overrated, and love is underrated. Don't undervalue your love.

Also, if I may offer a bit of advice: this is the worst day of her life, but it sounds like it's pretty high on the list of your worst days, too. I wouldn't make such a drastic decision right now. Give it some time, and see what happens.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

First of all, I want to say, I really AM sad you are hurting. That kind of hurt is hard to overcome and definitely hard to ignore. Nothing really takes the edge off, nothing really can distract you because it WAS your distraction or your escape from reality.

So for that I am truly sad for you.

But he was already someone else's. You knew the ending when you kept falling into the situation. These kinds of relationships always end bad... always. You don't only affect you and him, you affect his family and your family and on and on. It's quite the impossible ripple affect.

But like I believe someone else already mentioned. I think you need to find your own self worth. I don't believe that just because you fell in love with another woman's man that you have no self esteem.- but it's definitely lacking somewhere.

I just think that love is this thing that everybody seems to desire that doesn't have it and everyone that has it takes it for granted. Love doesn't make up our life nor, as T greatly put it, is it our biggest responsibility.

Love sometimes makes us selfish and when it becomes that, then well, it isn't a pure love...or love at all in most cases.

DCHY said...

Here's my two cents - be glad that you were loved for who you are. The situation behind that was not appropriate (not trying to jump on you for that or anything). The pain you're in? That's the feeling of being loved that got taken away from you.

You went in with eyes wide open and something unexpected happened. Then someone found out. The messy situation got messier.

I applaud you for not being selfish or self-centered when you said you didn't want him to get divorced. The reality is he chose to do this and he had no intention of leaving his wife.

If he does get divorced, what then? I am curious about that.

Tit for Tat said...

"Love is not a feeling, but an action"

I would say the actions of both of you pretty much sum up how much you "love" each other.

robin said...

Ouch. The comment before mine is harsh! I completely agree that one doesn't go out of her way to fall in love with a married man. So people need to be a little more kind when it comes to judging this situation. People develop feelings for each other without meaning to, it really can happen to any of us.
Here's my concern for you: that you don't love yourself enough. (Your own words.) Several times in this post you put this man and his needs (ie: his life with his children) ahead of yours. Those are really, really unhealthy emotional habits, ones that will continue to mire you in relationships that don't give you what you want. Until you can love yourself and put yourself first, you'll always be short-changed. Sounds like you need to get to the bottom of why you do this so that you can heal yourself and be able to be in a healthy, happy relationship. You deserve that, for sure.
I wish you luck with this situation and hope that your heart mends quickly.

Tit for Tat said...

Robin

My comment was not to be harsh but to point out that maybe what some people call "love" is more likely infatuation or lust. I personally dont think its love when you intentionally put someone in a vulnerable or difficult position that will end up hurting themselves or others. Cheating is not something you "fall" into unless you choose to close your eyes to all the danger and damage that is looming. I wonder if the said person's would walk their kids off a cliff and then say that they couldnt help it because they loved them? I highly doubt it.

robin said...

Tit For Tat:
Thanks for clarifying. It was really hard to tell what you meant by that one sentence, so I am glad that you explained a little more. Appreciate it.
I agree that one doesn't "fall into" cheating, but that wasn't my point. I had said that people can develop feelings for each other without intending to. Sometimes you realize you are in love with someone without anything even happening between you. It can be so much more complicated than making sure you keep someone out of harm's way.
Anyway, thanks for your comment.

Kenny said...

Weird...

Someone falls in love with another person and cheats and people are rather forgiving. Ready to break up families and such.

Someone is in love with their spouse and wants to keep their family together but wants either some or different sex, and cheats, just for sex, and they are not so forgiving.

There is no easy answer to your difficulty...

I would deal with being married to a monster first. When your with a monster I think anyone would seem like Mr. Right.

Is he with a monster also?

It seems to me that most men are all too willing to pull the "I love you" rather than the "I wanna fuck you" card. This leads someone else on and fucks up their life in a major way. Another plug for the worlds oldest professions, no love...no strings...no hurt feelings...

Sorry your hurt...that sucks...but I do agree that it seems like you just closed your eyes on this one...but I can't judge, I've been there. What do you do now? Deal with your feelings and make a decision with your monster, whatever you choose make the most of it.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

@ robin:
I agree that sometimes you fall in love without wanting or meaning to.

Falling into bed and/or acting on those feelings by continuing the relationship is another issue.
That takes action, which they both knew was wrong and would end up hurting everyone involved.
So, it IS pretty hard to "FALL" into a relationship.

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