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  1. #1
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    Nov 2013
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    Emotional Infidelity - why did it take me so long to wake up

    Hi.
    It's not so much the situation now, since things seem to be coming to an end with our relationship, but why didn't I see it sooner? I am in my late 50's and met a guy through a friendly aquaintance (female). She told me his situation had been terrible for a long time, and that he had moved out to the caravan at the home he shared with his partner.

    Anyway to cut a long story shorter, we started to date, and we "fell in love" with him saying he thought I might be the woman he would marry some day. Against my better judgement he moved in with me fairly quickly, although I had wanted him to get his own place, everything seemed so peachy, I went ahead with it.

    What I hadn't understood completely at the time is that he was actually having a long standing - over a few years - "emotional affair" with the female aquaintance of mine who had introduced us. I had even asked her if she had any kind of interest in him, before we dated, and she assured me that although he was a good friend, she had no desire to go any further with him, ever, never, no sexual physical attraction etc. etc. His obsession with her is what had ended his last relationship.

    Now this woman had been in a long term, unhappy relationship, that often left her sad and desperate, and sometimes in financial difficulties. My partner had been in the habit of consoling her, giving a bit of money etc. etc. even though she had a partner.

    I thought that would moderate, if not change somewhat, now that we were partners. I recognised early on that his visiting her after work etc. were something of an old habit and I hoped that would change. It did not. I hesitated to confront him about it because I did not want be someone who stopped thier partners from being with their friends.

    It has taken me so long to sort out the behaviours and recognise what has really been happening. It was confusing, because she is just a friend, right? But over time I started to realise my feelings of anger was not jealously, but a sane response. Sometimes the 3 of us would go somewhere together, and I would find the whole time I would be totally ignored by both my partner and her, as if I was not there.

    If ever there was a decision or choice to be made, it was always hers that he supported, and mine ignored. In fact sometimes he wouldn't even hear what I said to him when she was there.

    As time went on it became clear that his life actually revolved around her, not me. A couple of years drifted by, I became very depressed and didn't look after myself or my share of the housework. I didn't know what to do.

    It came to a head about a month ago when I broached the subject of committment, his response was that he didn't feel deeply enough about me to make a long term committment.

    Since then I have sought the support of a counsellor, who is terrific, amazing in fact.

    Because I have been feeling stronger I broached the subject of "emotional affair" with him, it didn't really get anywhere since he is still in denial, but I am glad it is out in the open.

    I called the female aquaintance, and discussed it with her. She said she never ever wanted a relationship with him, she is aware he would want one with her. But the part that really disturbs me is that she says she has a very deep "spiritual" relationship with him, so I doubt she will ever back away and let us try to repair. But it is beyond that, I see it now.

    Just feeling a bit shell shocked and wanting to share, any feedback would be welcome.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2005
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    Re: Emotional Infidelity - why did it take me so long to wak

    Marigold, I think you are doing the right thing for you by backing away. Looking after yourself is needed, not what is happening with these two. I feel your feelings are being disrespected and you deserve so much more as do we all. It's best that you take up your own life and move on, one day at a time. Meanwhile, feel free to keep coming back and becoming part of our family as there are very caring people here who have been through problems of all kinds, deeply understand and try to help!
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.


    True love is wanting to give to another person without any thought about
    who’s getting the better of the deal.

    Love always creates, it never destroys. In this lie's man's only promise

    ~All quotes by Leo Buscaglia


  3. #3
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    Nov 2013
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    15

    Re: Emotional Infidelity - why did it take me so long to wak

    Thanks Luba, yes one day at a time is good advice.

    We do need to share our accommodation for a while longer, and that is a bit hard, but I think we can manage it amicably until we sort something out.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    Re: Emotional Infidelity - why did it take me so long to wak

    These are very difficult situations to deal with.When mind and heart are conflicted, it is very demanding to get through the day, and keep your life together. You describe it in a "distanced" perspective, but I think there are a lot of emotions underneath the surface. Don't be too harsh on yourself, and don't demand the impossible from yourself either.

    I don't have much to add to what Luba has written. At times like these, it is best to try and make a plan to amicably go your separate ways. First step of course is to stop living under the same roof, as that will ensure there will be fewer and fewer reminders of the other, and that in turn will help you to move on.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  5. #5
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    Jul 2008
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    Re: Emotional Infidelity - why did it take me so long to wak

    Greeting's Marigold!!!!!

    A BIG warm welcome to LS!

    I too, support the advice given above. I think that you have decided to go see somone to talk with is great, and it is great that is helping you! I think you did a good job of making a long story short, ( I am soooo bad at that!) i can very much get a sense and understanding of what this has been like for you. I think it's unfortunate to know this aquaintance of yourself set you up into this, and then, i'm sorry i find it disrespectful of her to continue her communication's with him the way she does. That is not kind! I mean i certainly understand spiritual relationship's, they can be tricky indeed, but if she really does not want him like that and is aware he does and does not direct him otherwise that is not fair for anyone, ya know? As for him grrr Oh he does'nt feel deeply enough to make a long term commitment yet he has stringed you along for some many years? Tis, tis, they are both selfish! I'm sorry i am being very direct with my opinion's, but you asked so i hope it's ok i'm honestly sharing! YOU do deserve so much more then this! I think you will find it too! Everyday as you are aware and acknowledge face on the issues that haunt you you will become stronger and grow from this. Everything has it's reason's whether we understand them or not! It what we make of them and take of them! Sometime's love is blind, sometime's in hope's we go against our better judgement, sometime's we ignore the truth's. We are only human and everything is but a lesson! Thanks for coming and sharing your story with us! I appreciate your strength and honesty! Please feel free to wonder around and make yourself at home!
    " To thy own self be true..."

  6. #6
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    Nov 2013
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    15

    Re: Emotional Infidelity - why did it take me so long to wak

    Thanks for your insights Vautrin, you are right in that there are a lot of emotions under the surface.
    BridgieBridge, you are correct, I have been struggling with the fact that some of it is on her side, her constant neediness, and whinging, even though she is in much better circumstances now, she always finds something to complain about, and of course he rushes to the "rescue".
    I keep trying to get a reality check on how angry I should be with her, because people often tend to blame the woman, when often it is the man who is out of order. Because the friendship was pre-existing over a few years it has been hard to get it all in perspective, and I didn't know at the start how things would play out. I think I do now, and just see them as selfish, mixed up people, who have disregarded and disrespected my feelings.
    Your directness is appreciated, it has helped me get more in touch with my feelings, she never really gave us space to grow, and holds him back from a full relationship with someone else. I asked her maybe he would be happy with her, just having a non-physical relationship, and she said that would be no good because there would always be a part of him missing something (like doh!").
    Thanks for your feedback.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2005
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    Re: Emotional Infidelity - why did it take me so long to wak

    The more I think about it, the unhealthier this whole relationship between this guy and this "friend" becomes. They don't even realize how messed up this whole "friendship" is, and as a consequence they won't recognize how their behaviours are contributing to your failed relationship with this man. They did not disrespect and disregard your feelings. It simply was overridden by this "friendship".

    They are both responsible for their own behaviours, and thus they are both responsible for the dysfunctionality in this friendship, and they are both responsible for continuing this friendship on the same dysfunctional basis.

    While he seems to be suffering from the rescuer syndrome, she seems to be reveling in, and exploiting of, the damsel in distress routine. And using it to her own advantage, to help her with life's "unbearable" tragedies (which are probably often no worse than a slightly wrongly clipped fingernail; nothing to get really worked up about). The whole routine is probably her way of relating to people (or at least men), and it certainly works on this man.

    So in short, you unwittingly found yourself in a position from which you could not win. Normally it takes some serious time of interacting with the two of them to figure this out, and see how unable or unwilling the two of them are to change their dysfunctional behaviours. The proof after all, is in the pudding.

    Don't beat yourself up, and don't blame yourself for others' dysfunction.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  8. #8
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    Jul 2008
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    Re: Emotional Infidelity - why did it take me so long to wak

    Yes often blame get's placed on just one party, when it really does take two to tango! I can very much understand how you may feel and how you did not see this in it's entirity from the beginning. Let's be thankful you see it now though! Sometime's it's hard to see the positive's in the negative's. I do think the sooner you can part ways with this the better off you will be and the easier it will be to digest and fully move forward for the better of yourself. However i do understand that things like this are not resolved in a day! In the meantime, just keep on growing stronger, love yourself. We are here for ya to fall back on, vent it out and are routing for your happiness!
    " To thy own self be true..."

  9. #9
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    Nov 2013
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    Re: Emotional Infidelity - why did it take me so long to wak

    Quote Originally Posted by Vautrin View Post
    The more I think about it, the unhealthier this whole relationship between this guy and this "friend" becomes. They don't even realize how messed up this whole "friendship" is, and as a consequence they won't recognize how their behaviours are contributing to your failed relationship with this man. They did not disrespect and disregard your feelings. It simply was overridden by this "friendship".

    So in short, you unwittingly found yourself in a position from which you could not win. Normally it takes some serious time of interacting with the two of them to figure this out, and see how unable or unwilling the two of them are to change their dysfunctional behaviours. The proof after all, is in the pudding.

    Don't beat yourself up, and don't blame yourself for others' dysfunction.
    Vautrin, what you say rings true. It has been confusing, because he is the kind of person that jumps in to help people. That is part of his nature, and I see it as a good thing when there is clearly defined relationships with who he helps.

    It's all about him stepping out of the relationship instead of communicating there is an issue to discuss, he has done this with past relationships before this "friendship" began. He told me his history when we first met, but I didn't understand the significance of what he was telling me.

    While I have learnt the hard way, I hope that others take heed of this insidious issue of "emotional infidelity", and how destructive it is.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    1,209

    Re: Emotional Infidelity - why did it take me so long to wak

    I'm also wondering how many other "friendships" like this that he may have? I know you're going through an awful spot in your life right now, but thankfully it's almost over. At least you found out now.

    He sounds like the proverbial "player." He will never be one to completely commit to anyone.

    Welcome, Marigold. I hope you see the light at the end of this tunnel soon.


  11. #11
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    Nov 2013
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    15

    Re: Emotional Infidelity - why did it take me so long to wak

    Thanks IvyRose, I certainly understand that in this situation on wonders if there are others too. But I do know that is not the case here. I am seeing my counsellor weekly, and considering going to a relationship counsellor so that we can clarify things as we separate and go our own ways.

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