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Jsut some background - and a half apology :)
September 19, 2012
2:45 pm

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We've had a lot of contention on this site lately – perceived "affair supporters" versus "affair bashers".

I thought I would take just a moment to share a little about myself understanding most of my posts don't reveal much of my circumstances.

My affair started in 2008.

At that time I was in a near sexless marriage. I had a pre-teen child, a wife that was more a friend/roommate than a spouse, and I was a lonely man. We had both been fortunate in our careers. We lived in a prestigious gated community, vacationed at exotic places, had multiple homes, and people to clean our homes and tend to our properties. We are fit, healthy, genuinely decent people, active in our community, etc.. We looked quite wonderful to those that viewed us from a distance, and our family members, and friends. In many respects we had accomplished many of the materialistic objectives American's covet, which quite honestly were the shallow things we both focused on in life.

But alas, all was not so well within the four walls. We lacked what holds a couple together. We lacked romantic love, connectedness, and intimacy – and more tangibly the result of these attributes – a healthy sex life.

I met a woman in 2008. I will never forget the day we met. I meet a lot of people n my line of business. For some reason meeting her I remember vividly. What she wore, what we discussed, the tone of her voice, the office we met in, the weather that day, her posture, non-verbal gestures, the scent of her perfum, etc.. From that day onward for months, nothing ever went wrong, everything went right, very right. Our hobbies, values, interests – everything was in sync.. She is from another part of the world and much different than what I consider the typical American woman. She intrigued me form the onset and that has never since changed. She made me feel important, cared for, and loved – I missed that so much it was impossible to resist. Once the affair started, despite all the confusion I had, the only thing I knew for certain was that I could never let her go, and so far I haven't. I wont burden anyone with all the gory details, but we simply clicked in ways I never knew existed. We built a connection and relationship that showed me what was possible in this world. It was beautiful, but because we were both married it was tragic at the same time.

Sometime in 2009 I found this site – was a different physical site but same address at the time. I became "conflictedaffair" because the name fit. I posted my trials and tribulations as I went from the "euphoric" phase of my affair, through the realization of it not solving my core problems, through therapy, getting "busted", all the way through my separation and now my divorce proceedings. None of this makes me better, smarter, or ethically different than you guys on the topic we discuss – but generally speaking it makes me more experienced. Despite what you or others may think of me, my intent is not ill. I view my marital failure, my affair, finding someone I truly love – my OW, as a defining phase in my life. One of magnificent positives, and tremendous negatives and failures. I think with the benefit of hindsight I could have greatly reduced the negatives without compromising the positives. If possible – it would nice to help someone else do the same.

My "success" is leaving a failed marriage and being able to pursue a woman I love. Yours may be restoring your marriage or taking it to levels that never previously existed. The is no one way to succeed, but I generally don't think staying married and trying to preserve a secret relationship that bridges gaps as success that lasts.

My biggest failure was trying to retain the positives in my marriage while addressing the negatives through an affair. The two cannot be sustained over time – I just firmly believe that, not based solely form my experience alone, but rather from watching and reading the literally 100's of people I have seen come and go from this site over time.

Ultimately, I had no choice but to go back and fix/address the issues that led me to that place – but I had a new host of issues to deal with in addition. I spent well over a year sorting my life out, it distracted me from work, it has alienated friends and family members, it has caused pain to myself and others I care for that simply could have been avoided had I known then all that I know now.

It also left me with a – as one user informed me – "polarizing perspective" that we have three options when dissatisfied with our marriages:
1. We fix the problems
2. We accept the problems
3. We leave the marriage

It's a very black/white perspective – and in the world of human behavior there are shades of gray, but I like to start with that position because it simplifies what can otherwise seem like an infinite set of variables and considerations that – at least for me – kept me paralyzed, endlessly thinking in circles, and making no progress towards resolution. Instead it took my affair being discovered as a catalyst for change. I'd strongly recommend avoiding that and controlling your destiny rather that reacting to the chaos that will surely follow, and most long term affairs do get discovered and they aren't well received. More times than not I do believe in time – we will ultimately be forced to chose. I also believe the impact of an affair over time, or through discovery, begins to eliminate these options we have.

That's it in a nutshell…..it has been a hell of a ride, and for some reason I cannot articulate, I get some sense of reward, a feeling it wasn't all for not, if I come back to this place I used as a safe haven and find a person here or there in a similar predicament and help them navigate these turbulent waters.

Lastly just want to say – I am not an advocate for affairs, an advocate for betrayed spouses, nor a basher of either. I am an advocate for happiness and I think that in the end it is happiness that we all seek.

Anyway…that's me for whatever it is worth.

Best of luck.

"Most people would rather be certain they're miserable, than risk being happy." -Robert Anthony “It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.” ― Elbert Hubbard "The path of least resistance is the path of the loser." - HG Wells
September 19, 2012
5:07 pm
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And best of luck to you for the future with your new SO.

September 19, 2012
5:12 pm
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CA,
I find it a shame that you had to post this.
I've been reading and posting on this board for over a year. I've not seen this level of personal attacks before. This has always been a place where all views can be posted without fear of personal attack. I often speak with my BS hat on and I know that is not popular but if it makes someone take a measure of consideration for how their actions will impact their spouse, I find it worth saying.

I admire your ability to put aside the remarks and state your opinion. I don't always agree and have always accepted it as your opinion based on your experience. Just as my opinion is based on mine.

I haven't posted as much as I used to b/c I simply don't desire to be a part of the negativism. It is possible to post opposing views without negative fallout and personal attacks. It used to be that's what this place was all about.

My Best CA,
C.

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
September 19, 2012
5:17 pm
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I have learn so much from you. I love the deep of your thoughts. I thank you for sharing your experience, and everything you said, you explain yourself always in a mature way, from your perspective of what is life for you. I have many simililarities and the way you think. I am conflicted this my time noe you have past your. Lucky you :)
I am proud of what you have discover and the courage you have had.
I read you always, you make me think and have teaching me without knowing it many ways of how to behave to not feel some times so miserable.
I thank you again and please don't stop writing here. I think your Woman now is a lucky one!
Cheers for happiness CA!! Agree with you!
Big hug!

September 19, 2012
6:21 pm
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I agree with so much that you say here.
you're right when you say there are many shades of grey because that is where everyone is on this forum. somewhere in that spectrum of grey.
the three options you point out as solutions are not appealing to most people here, obviously.
hence the backlash you get.
#1, to fix it- takes willingness and perseverance.
#2, to accept the problems – is just difficult in and of itself. The acceptance of the marriage as it is, and ultimately the dissatisfaction, is what leads people to affairs in the first place. hence the conundrum.
#3, to leave the marriage- as you know is so not that simple. You're very lucky to have had the resources and the situation in which to make a move. (and hey you know what? the courage too!).
unfortunately this stuff is so complicated!
but your input is always valued:)

September 19, 2012
6:34 pm
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CA, I have a question for you. If there had been someone like you posting on this board, during the time you were having your affair, do you think it would have changed anything in your situation?

September 19, 2012
6:46 pm
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Echoing some of the previous posts, CA. I often find myself disagreeing with your vision of how things should be. Perhaps that's because I'm in the throes of an A now, or perhaps my work as a divorce lawyer colors my opinion on what options people have and should take. But it doesn't matter. Your experience is your own, and your opinions as valuable as anyone else's. All viewpoints should be welcome here, and up until recently, that's how I thought it was, and what made this forum unique. I hope it returns there soon.

September 19, 2012
6:59 pm

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"Leo" wrote: CA, I have a question for you. If there had been someone like you posting on this board, during the time you were having your affair, do you think it would have changed anything in your situation?

I don't think, I know – unquestionably helped me, immensely. There were numerous people that helped in small ways but two people stand out from long ago.

There was a user "The Skeptic" – real hard ass guy, would blast everyone that fell in love and a huge advocate for affairs. Probably the only person I ever saw here that could compartmentalize everything, had a few AP's for sex, kept some semblance of relationship with them, but contained everything. His views were 100% opposite of mine. I learned from him that this was not a lifestyle I ever wanted long term if being like him was how to be successful – I say that with no disrespect – I mean it with gratitude.

Then there is Jay.Lo. She will still come around on occasion, but she had an affair going with a MM and she got divorced. I don't want to speak on her behalf, but my impression was that she knew her marriage was failed and had the courage to end it. She offered a lot of hope and inspiration. We exchange PM's from time to time – and I've never explicitly told her – but she modeled for me what I lacked the strength to do myself and I feel indebted to her.

Having said that, I did a lot for what people currently in affairs do. I explained why my affair made sense – I have an airtight rationale for it I have crafted over time. I had a laundry list of reasons I couldn't fix my problems & and equally impressive list of reasons it made since to not leave until some future conditions were met – be it $, child aging, etc etc..

I don't think what I did works for everyone. I do think staying a cheater works for almost nobody over time. The phases we go through are similar & the outcome may vary. What I think is VERY consistent is that when we reach the outcome, whatever it may be, it is a better place than time we spend in between.

The hard part about affairs is that they are rarely BAD in total – there are moments of damned jubilation – it's totally wonderful – and early on that feeling is happening the majority of the time. However it also seems common that the lows are very low. So for me, the "on average" happiness wasn't what I wanted and the upside had a cap on it – there is only so much real happiness I can get from a mediocre marriage and/or a relationship on teh side that only exists in secrecy.

That's my situation. The other possibility that wasn't applicable to me that worries me with many here is that they do love their spouse, and they claim to be happy. This is scenario I can never connect with. To me it is so incredibly difficult to find someone that you can accomplish this with – a true partner with mutual love and respect. To risk it all for a side thrill has always bewildered me – but that's probably a topic for another thread. I have no experience or understanding of that.

"Most people would rather be certain they're miserable, than risk being happy." -Robert Anthony “It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.” ― Elbert Hubbard "The path of least resistance is the path of the loser." - HG Wells
September 19, 2012
7:08 pm
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I hope you don't feel like I'm being difficult. But one more question if that's ok. If someone had as frequently and (I hate to use the word but I can't think of a better one at the moment) forcefully espoused the views that you currently do would it have impelled you to get divorced any sooner? Or would you still have had to come to your own realizations in your own time?

September 19, 2012
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I think it's wonderful that you were able to get out of an unfulfilling marriage; however, I wonder if you would have done so without someone "waiting in the wings," so to speak.

I believe the only reason to get out of a marriage is for yourself. I can understand an affair opening your eyes and being the catalyst to leave a marriage, but as far as leaving to be with an affair partner the odds of that relationship working out long-term are dismal. I am not being pessimistic but realistic. Hopefully, you two will beat the odds.

September 19, 2012
8:07 pm
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"Leo" wrote: I hope you don't feel like I'm being difficult. But one more question if that's ok. If someone had as frequently and (I hate to use the word but I can't think of a better one at the moment) forcefully espoused the views that you currently do would it have impelled you to get divorced any sooner? Or would you still have had to come to your own realizations in your own time?

I'd like to throw my $0.02 on that one – although reading CA's story, and his conclusions and observations didn't impel me to divorce, they are in a large way responsible for providing the impetus to engage in a big campaign of seeking and devouring resource material on how to tackle the "fix" option of his posts. I find his posts not only insightful, but also the way he words them and breaks down his reasoning is engaging and uncannily penetrating to the core of the issue. I can honestly say that by presenting his views in such a direct manner, his posts actually do share some credit for helping me. My own A was beginning to topple towards the latter stages where he describes as the total "on average happiness" being low. The A was hitting the waters where you've seen the frequent anguished posts by others where their A is now becoming very emotionally invested, and now they are expending an immense amount of emotional energy to make TWO relationships work. And it does become work. I had reached that stage that CA describes as the "end point" all A's do eventually reach – The marriage wasn't working and now the A is floundering too.

What I learned afterwards was that because I did not seek to fix my M, but rather engaged in an A instead, I had doomed my M without actually really trying. Why? Simply because I didn't know how, and did not believe it was possible because I never sought effective help. (this is key here for those who have tried and failed help resources: not all who have tried, have tried more than once. For those who have tried all of the best methods, the "fix" option obviously isn't for them) In an ironic twist if I had never had an A, I might not have been motivated to educate myself on how to fix my M :o Life is strange. But the end result is now positive. I've learned not only what steps were necessary to bring my M back to excitement for both of us, but I'd also been given the courage to leave it if that failed. My stress level was dropped to an all time low.

Not everyone who comes here is only looking for help to make their A succeed. Some of us first come here looking for help to make their A succeed AND THEN help finding a path to take after the A has ended. The more vocal and persistent critics of CA tend to gloss over that, and attack him for providing that important perspective. And it is an important perspective. I'd much rather see someone who lashes out with personal attacks on him take their ball out of the sandbox and go home like one recently did than see CA leave. At the end of the day, I hope you haven't been discouraged by this recent small segment of members lashing out you CA, because from what I can see I think you're still looking at a ratio of far more people appreciating your perspective than not. Even your critics have told you they like your posts. Well… the ones who aren't rabid, anyway. Laugh

September 19, 2012
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Happyplace are you including me in the list of people who have lashed out at CA? Because I don't believe that I have. All I've done is asked questions. I understand that CA's posts have helped you. I'm sincerely happy about that. What I'm simply doing is trying to understand is if the way you and CA sometimes express yourselves is more hinderance than help for some other people on this board. If your affair had been at it's beginnings, when you and your AP were in "blissful" stage, would CA's posts have helped you then? I have no problem with you or CA. In fact I admire your wish to help people. It just seems to me that sometimes the style of your posts make people feel judged. This causes them to react defensively, rather than hearing the content of the message.

September 19, 2012
8:28 pm

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"sweetsthnbelle" wrote: I think it's wonderful that you were able to get out of an unfulfilling marriage; however, I wonder if you would have done so without someone "waiting in the wings," so to speak.

I believe the only reason to get out of a marriage is for yourself. I can understand an affair opening your eyes and being the catalyst to leave a marriage, but as far as leaving to be with an affair partner the odds of that relationship working out long-term are dismal. I am not being pessimistic but realistic. Hopefully, you two will beat the odds.

This is a fact! No offense and agree completely. This was one of the many factors that delayed me taking action, because I had not previously confirmed my marriage was dead – it took a long period of reflection, therapy, and obtaining knowledge to be assured that regardless of what happened in the future I knew that I would never look back with regret for seeking divorces. I can say with 100% certainty that whatever my future hold, including being alone forever, I am wholly convinced leaving my marriage is the best thing for me and therefore my wife as well.

I believe the odds of a successful relationship with the AP are in the 2% range. While I hope to be one of the lucky ones I also know we all think we are the exception. I am prepared to go forward with enthusiasm and take whatever life brings me.

"Most people would rather be certain they're miserable, than risk being happy." -Robert Anthony “It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.” ― Elbert Hubbard "The path of least resistance is the path of the loser." - HG Wells
September 19, 2012
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"Leo" wrote: Happyplace are you including me in the list of people who have lashed out at CA? Because I don't believe that I have. All I've done is asked questions. I understand that CA's posts have helped you. I'm sincerely happy about that. What I'm simply doing is trying to understand is if the way you and CA sometimes express yourselves is more hinderance than help for some other people on this board. If your affair had been at it's beginnings, when you and your AP were in "blissful" stage, would CA's posts have helped you then? I have no problem with you or CA. In fact I admire your wish to help people. It just seems to me that sometimes the style of your posts make people feel judged. This causes them to react defensively, rather than hearing the content of the message.

I haven't seen any of your posts against him Leo, so I can't say I am including you, but if you say you haven't then you've answered your own question ;)

As far as hinderance vs help all I can do is offer what I have observed – I've only witnessed a very small segment of this forum membership actually lash out at him in vicious, personal (and I might add, petulant irrational) attacks. I've seen far more either respond with intelligent debates, or in agreement. You know what I had always found a hinderance? The far more numerous posts describing the pain their A was causing. That depressed me so much about my A when I was in the fun early stages that I actually stopped coming here because of it. Which is why I laugh at the irony – here you have this small group of people raging all over CA, who express how happy and fulfilling their A's are as a counter argument. So you know what I did? I made a point of checking their post history. Take a guess at how much happy fulfillment in the A I saw there.
CA's posts are the least of their worries. If you want me to really probe a raw wound, I'd conjecture some of them get angry because it strikes a sore spot they don't want to think about. What gets me is that they would rather rage hysterically than to simply use the foe feature. Incredible. It's almost like they just want to fight.

September 19, 2012
8:51 pm

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"ConflictedAffair" wrote: I think it's wonderful that you were able to get out of an unfulfilling marriage; however, I wonder if you would have done so without someone "waiting in the wings," so to speak.

I believe the only reason to get out of a marriage is for yourself. I can understand an affair opening your eyes and being the catalyst to leave a marriage, but as far as leaving to be with an affair partner the odds of that relationship working out long-term are dismal. I am not being pessimistic but realistic. Hopefully, you two will beat the odds.

This is a fact! No offense and agree completely. This was one of the many factors that delayed me taking action, because I had not previously confirmed my marriage was dead – it took a long period of reflection, therapy, and obtaining knowledge to be assured that regardless of what happened in the future I knew that I would never look back with regret for seeking divorces. I can say with 100% certainty that whatever my future hold, including being alone forever, I am wholly convinced leaving my marriage is the best thing for me and therefore my wife as well.

I believe the odds of a successful relationship with the AP are in the 2% range. While I hope to be one of the lucky ones I also know we all think we are the exception. I am prepared to go forward with enthusiasm and take whatever life brings me.

I know the statistics for this are dismal, but I've said it before and I'll say it again--3 of the men in my small family have all married their OWs. All of those marriages lasted until death, over 20 years and counting, or over 35 years and counting. So it IS possible.

CA, I hope you're one of the lucky ones.

September 19, 2012
9:02 pm
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Seriously wish there were a 'LIKE' feature a la FB. LOL.

I too, wish CA nothing but happiness in his future relationship endeavors. It's all any of us want, to have a relatively calm and happy life with someone who loves ALL of us, for us.

;)

September 20, 2012
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As somebody who's been engaged in this debate lately, Leo articulates another point that I think is more fundamental than what the "correct" course of action is for any one individual in any given situation and it's this--for most people, the really important lessons in life have to be learned on one's own. I will submit that every individual step that CA went through contributed to his ultimate decision and to making a decision he was sure about and could "own"… and while I admire the sentiment around wanting to save others the same pain--I think it's naive and ultimately counterproductive to that individual's growth. We're all in different stages in the journey of life and we're not all likely to come to the same conclusion. I'm all for offering advice or encouragement to those who are looking for a way out, but as for the others--let them reach their own conclusion about what's best for them.

As I said in a different thread: I'll be sad if my relationship ends, but I won't regret it because I've learned so much about myself, MM, all of you and life in the process. That's worth the difficult times. As someone who's lived most of her life thinking she's pretty damn perfect, the realization that I'm not was probably worth it alone. Heck, if nothing else, I'll be able to write a helluva book someday. ;)

Don't rob people of their opportunity for personal growth.

September 20, 2012
1:35 am

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Thanks for the replies and taking the time to do so. I don't expect everyone to like my thoughts or me for that matter. Was just providing some context as I realize many are new here and haven't been around as I went through all of my turmoil.

I don't want to 'rob anyone of their personal growth', god I hope nothing I, or anyone else, posts could have such a profound impact on anyone…positive or negative….I just thought I might offer food for thought. This has all gotten quite deep. This is a forum after all, congruent views are not expected.

Flying back to u.s. tonight, going to enjoy my ow and child for a few days and take a hiatus from here, as always this have been a great diversion while out of town but seems it's all gotten a little too personal and heavy at least for me. I come here for fun and entertainment at this point in my 'process'. Best wishes to all.

"Most people would rather be certain they're miserable, than risk being happy." -Robert Anthony “It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.” ― Elbert Hubbard "The path of least resistance is the path of the loser." - HG Wells
September 20, 2012
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I have to respectfully but strongly disagree with this. When my A ended I was fully prepared to jump on AM to find another. Furthermore I had even vehemently disagreed with CA's assessment that I fix or leave instead. After my disagreement with him on. Foe'd him. Once I had calmed down the next day I started reading many of his posts more calmly and objectively. It was the proverbial lightbulb turning on for me. I abandoned my plan to seek further affairs. I still felt my M could be revived so I began buying books that addressed my personal M problems, and taking steps to fix things. It wasn't the only motivator, but CA's own observations were most definitely a big impetus towards me finding my solutions. His no nonsense but carefully thought out posts really helped me out, completely the opposite of being counter productive. Just yesterday I had the immense personal pleasure of having someone tell me that my own descriptions of my A journey helped someone here save their marriage and they thanked me for it. I'm not against people learning their own lessons but people also need help to do that.

I think I understand that you're saying his stance doesn't apply to everyone. Perhaps, perhaps not. I will say that the facts are on his side in this though, and can be backed up by mountains and decades of research by highly qualified and credible sources considered the top of their field. His own personal observations of the repeated patterns of people he has watched here are also dead on the money. But regardless if you agree with that or not, the point still remains that were it not for his contributions, myself and others may not have learned their own lessons. I could possibly have reached my own conclusions without CA. But he did help me reach them possibly a year or more earlier than I did, saving me a lot of misery.

September 20, 2012
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"happyplace" wrote: It wasn't the only motivator, but CA's own observations were most definitely a big impetus towards me finding my solutions. His no nonsense but carefully thought out posts really helped me out, completely the opposite of being counter productive.

His own personal observations of the repeated patterns of people he has watched here are also dead on the money. But regardless if you agree with that or not, the point still remains that were it not for his contributions, myself and others may not have learned their own lessons. I could possibly have reached my own conclusions without CA. But he did help me reach them possibly a year or more earlier than I did, saving me a lot of misery.

You and CA get a room already!!! Laugh

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