Trying to live happily ever after, after an affair. But with a twist.
January 9, 2014 10:54 AM Subscribe
I love my boyfriend dearly and we have had a very strong exclusive relationship for over a year now. However, we started as an affair while he was married. I am still struggling with the guilt I have over this. Are there any resources out there for helping people deal with the aftermath of the affair when the couple is now the husband and the mistress and not the husband and wife?
posted by Argyle Sock Puppet to Human Relations (45 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
First, I know we did a terribly shitty thing. We are not shitty people, we were involved in shitty actions and a shitty situation. I do not want to go into too much detail, but here's the bare bones: I was friends with a couple, became involved with the husband. Their marriage was already shaky when we started the affair (hence, part of why it started). Since then, she found out, the divorce was quickly finalized (no kids involved), and we have been together publicly for a year now. We've lost a lot of mutual friends and obviously there are a lot of people angry at us. Our families have been very gracious and accepting, so that has been very positive. We have a good relationship with a lot of communication and we connect very deeply. We are planning our future together.
BUT--I still struggle with guilt and shame about what I did. I initiated the affair and I destroyed my friendship with the wife. I feel terrible about that and can't seem to shake it. It's starting to affect my sex life with my boyfriend as I feel like being physically intimate is wrong. We had a healthy and normal sex life up until about six months ago and I would like to get back to that place. Now I squirm away from physical contact and my sex drive is dead and buried. He's frustrated and I'm frustrated and I don't know what to do. I am starting cognitive-behavioral therapy with a new therapist and planning on attending relationship-oriented group therapy to work through this. In the meantime, I am searching for books or resources that could help me out, but all of the books about recovering from affairs are geared towards saving the marriage and not nurturing the new relationship. Is there anything out there for people in my situation?
Apologizing to my former friend and my boyfriend's ex is not an option. She has been extremely nasty and badmouthed us to everyone, spreading lies that make us look even worse (things like she caught us in bed together when she didn't, or that I sent her hurtful emails or texts--I have not communicated with her at all since she found out, despite her sending me nastygrams). Making contact with her would likely make things much worse and I don't think it's fair to anyone to go there. I don't expect her forgiveness and I am not going to salt the wound by asking for it. This is about me forgiving myself, not her forgiving me.
Please refrain from judgment over what we did and how wrong it was. I know. Believe me, I would not be asking this question if I didn't know that it was a terrible thing. But it's in the past and I'd like to move on. Just because we did something wrong doesn't mean we don't deserve a good relationship. Thanks.