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post #76 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 09:00 AM
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Re: Just a very painful story and I got nobody to blame but me

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Originally Posted by EllaSuaveterre View Post
What's the reasoning behind that assessment?
I think OP answered this herself in her last post. ^^^^

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post #77 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 10:09 AM
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Re: Just a very painful story and I got nobody to blame but me

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I understand it is all on me now, I am just hoping to have a better experience with a new therapist who holds me responsible for my actions.

In regard to my family, here is the situation.
I have no doubt that my family is deeply disappointed in me. They have known my husband since he and I were 19 years old (when we started dating). Husband and I are now both 41 y.o. and throughout all these years my husband has been an honorable man and has shown that is a respectable, reliable, selfless and loving man. Unless I were to make up lies about him there is not one iota of evidence that would suggest he is anything but an upstanding, devoted husband and father. My family tends to keep their feelings and thoughts to themselves and we all avoid talking about painful or embarrassing issues. I hate to admit that we tend to keep many secrets from each other and the reason we always give is "I do not want to hurt or disappoint you, I do not want to add stress to your life, I do not want to make you unhappy." So at least for me, the facade is over. All my "dirty laundry" is out there for them to see. I cannot and will not hide it anymore. It hasn't done any good.

I know my mother worries about my daughter and has asked me to be strong for her. But she has by no means tried to defend me or my horrible actions. I have asked her and the rest of my family not to interfere by advocating for me. I have asked them more than once that unless they are to show empathy towards my husband, I do not want them to bother him.

After the first time my husband found out about my EA, I did feel like I was being punished for not being allowed to get back on Facebook. I rationalized that as long as I kept this man blocked, I had the right to enjoy interacting with others. Also I even remember complaining about my husband looking at my thread here and private messages because I felt I had a right to my privacy and he should just trust me!
I now know how wrong I was. I have come to understand and embrace the need for me to share freely with my husband in order to regain his trust. I understand that if I ever had any right to privacy, I only have myself to blame for losing it. But I am relieved knowing that I do not have to be spending so much time and energy on finding ways to hide things from my husband or ensuring that I deleted a certain conversation. There is a lot of freedom to be gained from being honest and open with him.

Would you please explain what you mean by my husband "playing ostrich"? Is there anything I could do to discourage this?

Thanks again for your feedback.
IJF,

I don't agree that one EA with a guy whose face you never saw, and two episodes last week classify you as any kind of stalker. In fact, you are not here trying to justify your behavior but correct it so speaking as a BH whose WW did a lot worse than you, i think a lot of BH out there would be a little happy to have someone trying like you seem to be. notice I said seem because you are not out of the woods yet and you know it. Not going to bore you with details of my story, they are briefly in my profile, but my WW has done it all correctly, and had very little time to decide if that was what she wanted. So i guess you would say I reconciled.

Back to ostrich explanation you asked for. Lets start out upon discovery. BH has choices to make and just like any crisis situation those made initially have a major impact on the outcome. That is my opinion. Some may disagree. But if someone has a medical emergency, the initial seconds and minutes are vital. I don't think the BH response is any less vital.

Unfortunately, the initial reaction of most BH who find their way here or any forum, is to be so shocked and in paralysis that inaction and denial take hold and the pick me game starts. That happens despite the fact that probably 95% of men will make the statement that infidelity is a deal breaker. if you read here or other forums you will see that those that cannot take any action and make the following statements very rarely work out OK
(1) I want to reconcile no matter what she did or does
(2) i can forgive her without even knowing what the hell she really did
(3) it's my fault
(4) i do not want to take steps to monitor her because she can always cheat some other way. this one is correct BUT you can make it a lot harder to have her not get caught for a period of reaonsable time
(5) I don't want to know the truth

i could go on. But those that do closer to what some call the "nuclear" option have much better results, be it reconciliation or divorce with less pain.

Your husband initially got out of denial to anger pretty quickly, at least temporarily, which is what caused the exposure to your family. And by the way, you have done exactly the correct thing to tell them to back off and that you are accountable. the better take that advice or they will become a trigger to your husband. Unless your father has cheated on your mother, her opinion is meaningless since she is not sleeping each night next to a man who has betrayed her. People who have never experienced this cancer called infidelity have no relevant opinion. my bet is that is you told ten girlfriends what you have done is that 6 or 7 of them would tell you to tell him to just get over it, that it was no big deal. Thats a whole additional topic, peer pressure or approval.

But your husband now seems to be letting you deal with the handling of things on this, which is good to see if you are proactive but it seems he is just now hoping the therapy works. You are here searching for answers but it appears he is being now passive. maybe i am wrong.

Lastly, since you are tarting on a new IC, you should sign the documents allowing your therapist to share the assessment and information with your husband. That does not mean he attends. But it does mean he will meet with him or her and find out somewhat what their opinion is of your problem and it will not be only what you tell him. There are more threads than you can count on IC or MC telling WS terrible advice or WS lying to IC or misrepresenting situation. Right now, you cannot trust yourself and the last thing you need is any justifiation or minimalization of what you did from any IC. Remember another thing also, i believe if you google professions where infidelity is most likely, therapists will be on the list. PHD's have written and are at the forefront of all the literature approving and justifying non monogamy. here have even been threads on SI where a female therapist recommended the infamous AM site to a client and told her it would help her marriage.

You are 41 years old and cannot live the rest of your life without interacting with men other than your husband. You seem like you can do what is necessary as long as your husband does not let you continue to re-offend with no consequences. So far, telling your family is the only consequence. You are concerned right now and regretful that you got caught. Remorse takes actions over a longer time period but you right now are headed in a positive direction.
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post #78 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 08:13 PM
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Re: Just a very painful story and I got nobody to blame but me

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I hate to admit that my own husband said to me that he is sure that the man I originally became emotionally attached to had made no attempt to contact me not because he is necessarily a man with integrity but more so because I made it quite obvious that I have an obsessive personality and may have even scared him away as I was essentially stalking him (logging on to facebook at the hours I knew he was on it, poating on the group where he is an administrator just to get his attention, etc).
This man had never shown any interest in me and it was me who suggested we should meet one day (at the time it was a lie to keep him or get him interested in me) and he perhaps was at best just going along with my flirting. I explained in the original thread that is currently deleted that I had never even seen a picture of this man, I knew he had sone serious health issues and that he is 2 decades older than me. And the last communication I had with him he asked me to focus on my husband and that was that. He does live in the same town I work but sadly it took these 2 last men to "get over him." So there is essentially no chance of me ever trying to meet with him.



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It has been almost a year. I never got over my EA partner (not really a partner as he did not reciprocate my advances, and he was unaware I was married).

I am a very disturbed person. I seek validation and attention especially from males every chance I get. Then when one appears to show some interest I start imagining how great and complete my life would be if only those men where also in my life. My plan was always to get them interested enough in me and then if they would ever try to set up a face to face meeting I would simply unfriend or block them. It made me feel so desired and wanted and maybe even powerful to get these men to notice me and then I would dump them without much thought.
So not only was I hurting my BH. I was also using these men as tools, not a real people with real feelings, but just as tools to attempt to fulfill my endless need for validation.
I seem to only be able to get over someone by replacing them with someone or something else that will fill my emptiness..I used to binge eat and when I stopped it, facebook became my new addiction. I sepnt hours and hours of my day (when I wasn't at work) checking for likes and comments on my posts...I couldn't get enough. And each and every like I took it as a sign of approval. I would actually come to believe that I was so loved and admired by my facebook friends.
I believe that, given what ItWasJustAFantasy has told us, she is best served by serious professional help. She potentially considers a man that she didn't know - but obsessively followed on fb and admittedly stalked online - an EA partner. She actively and obsessively pursued relationships with other men for the very broken reasons detailed above. Much of this appears delusional and indicates imo a need for serious treatment.
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post #79 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 09:30 PM
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Re: Just a very painful story and I got nobody to blame but me

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I believe that, given what ItWasJustAFantasy has told us, she is best served by serious professional help. She potentially considers a man that she didn't know - but obsessively followed on fb and admittedly stalked online - an EA partner. She actively and obsessively pursued relationships with other men for the very broken reasons detailed above. Much of this appears delusional and indicates imo a need for serious treatment.
I'm not very active here anymore, but thought I would weigh in on this discussion, mainly because the OP reminds me of myself in some ways. Here's my two cents:

@Itwasjustafantasy, I think you can benefit from psychotherapy, but I don't agree with alte Dame that you are delusional and in need of "serious" treatment. I think you can control yourself, but you choose not to. Perhaps you can figure out why you feel so entitled? I'm not saying that to insult you. It seems to me that some of the things you are doing are ways to cope with life and are self-soothing. IMHO. Again, I believe you can control yourself and your actions. But what fun is that?

I also disagree with the use of SSRI medications, but that's me. I prefer more natural solutions. Your age is something to consider as many women start perimenopause in their 40's. Our hormones have a great deal to do with our health, including our mental state. Just something to consider.

You married young so maybe take some time to grow up. Learn about yourself in therapy. Choose to be the person you want to be. You don't need to be a hot mess. Think about your daughter and the legacy you will leave behind. Best of luck.
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post #80 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Just a very painful story and I got nobody to blame but me

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She potentially considers a man that she didn't know - but obsessively followed on fb and admittedly stalked online - an EA partner.
I do not want to get into a discussion about the severity of my emotional/mental health issues as they will probably be best assessed and diagnosed by a mental health professional. I do admit that I need professional help which I am in the process of getting.

I do not consider the man I was obsessing about an EA partner per se. I only use this term because when I had discussed this issue in an original thread I had started early this year, it was pointed out to me that referring to my feelings or attachment to this man as a "one sided EA" meant that I was minimizing the inapropriateness of my behavior. A more accurate term would be "object of my fantasy or obsession" but that is one I have not seen used in this forum. I do recognize that this man did not reciprocate my advances once he learned I was married. Now when I say I did not know him, I meant to say that I knew very little about him. We did share some of the same interests and beliefs, I was a member in a group of which he was a moderator and I knew about his health issues, a bit about his volunteer work, and a couple of other things we had in common. Assuming he was not misrepresenting himself, I could say he was not a completely random stranger. But in reality I barely knew who he was. I should add that when I first learned about him, I genuinely intended to be just friends which is how I found out the few things I knew about him. Unfortunately I took things in the wrong direction and found myself longing for someone I barely knew while being married to someone else. I hope this helps clear things up a bit.

Before I became familiar with TAM I would've considered my interaction with that man to be just innocent flirting, having a crush on someone or something similar to it. I now know better and the best way to describe my behavior is to call it an EA. If you or anyone else can come up with a more fitting term for it, please do share especially if your intent is not to humilliate or hurt me as I can do plenty of that on my own. I am just trying to keep things simple.
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post #81 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 09:41 PM
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Re: Just a very painful story and I got nobody to blame but me

I have to ask how psychotherapy is not serious treatment. Honestly, OP describes herself as deluded and obsessional. Why would people discourage her from pursuing serious professional treatment?
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post #82 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 09:56 PM
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Re: Just a very painful story and I got nobody to blame but me

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I have to ask how psychotherapy is not serious treatment. Honestly, OP describes herself as deluded and obsessional. Why would people discourage her from pursuing serious professional treatment?
I feel that many people can benefit from psychotherapy at one time or another in their life. It's like a tune up, really. When you say "serious treatment" it makes me think of inpatient treatment and drugs and shock therapy and the sort of intervention that only the minority of the population needs. Too many mental illness labels are bandied about now days, IMHO. I'm sure big pharma doesn't mind though.

ETA: "Deluded and obsessional" used to be called daydreaming.
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post #83 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 10:03 PM
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Re: Just a very painful story and I got nobody to blame but me

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Before I became familiar with TAM I would've considered my interaction with that man to be just innocent flirting, having a crush on someone or something similar to it. I now know better and the best way to describe my behavior is to call it an EA. If you or anyone else can come up with a more fitting term for it, please do share especially if your intent is not to humilliate or hurt me as I can do plenty of that on my own. I am just trying to keep things simple.
Don't worry about the terminology. It is what it is. It's moral relativism. If you are doing something that is objectionable by your standards and beliefs, seek ways to improve (which you are doing).
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post #84 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Just a very painful story and I got nobody to blame but me

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I'm not very active here anymore, but thought I would weigh in on this discussion, mainly because the OP reminds me of myself in some ways. Here's my two cents:

@Itwasjustafantasy, I think you can benefit from psychotherapy, but I don't agree with alte Dame that you are delusional and in need of "serious" treatment. I think you can control yourself, but you choose not to. Perhaps you can figure out why you feel so entitled? I'm not saying that to insult you. It seems to me that some of the things you are doing are ways to cope with life and are self-soothing. IMHO. Again, I believe you can control yourself and your actions. But what fun is that?

I also disagree with the use of SSRI medications, but that's me. I prefer more natural solutions. Your age is something to consider as many women start perimenopause in their 40's. Our hormones have a great deal to do with our health, including our mental state. Just something to consider.

You married young so maybe take some time to grow up. Learn about yourself in therapy. Choose to be the person you want to be. You don't need to be a hot mess. Think about your daughter and the legacy you will leave behind. Best of luck.
Zanne,
I fully agree with what you are stating here. I do need to learn and practice healthier ways of coping with some uncomfortable emotions. Again, I will leave to a professional to determine the extent of treatment I need. I am fortunate that there are a lot of resources that I can avail myself of on my own, but I do think that I can use the guidance of a professional. Thanks for your insight.
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post #85 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 10:22 PM
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Re: Just a very painful story and I got nobody to blame but me

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Zanne,
I fully agree with what you are stating here. I do need to learn and practice healthier ways of coping with some uncomfortable emotions. Again, I will leave to a professional to determine the extent of treatment I need. I am fortunate that there are a lot of resources that I can avail myself of on my own, but I do think that I can use the guidance of a professional. Thanks for your insight.
You are fortunate, indeed. We all have a different life story, so seek the path that is best for your journey. If I may offer another bit of advice, be careful that this place doesn't turn into your next obsession.

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post #86 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Just a very painful story and I got nobody to blame but me

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I have to ask how psychotherapy is not serious treatment. Honestly, OP describes herself as deluded and obsessional. Why would people discourage her from pursuing serious professional treatment?
I am not sure how much more clear I need to make this: I am in the process of getting treatment. I had a psychiatric evaluation earlier this year, I am in the process of getting a new one and seeing an addictions specialist as well. Regardless of what others may say, I do not see how I can be discouraged from seeking the treatment I am already in the process of securing. I do happen to be extremely fortunate to be able to function well at work and elsewhere but as a mental health professional myself I can recognize that I do need help. I do know the benefits of psychotherapy and the need of psychotropic medication in some cases, I do not have anything against them. So you do not have to worry about others potentially discouraging me from getting professional help. I am well aware of the stigma attached to mental illness, if I knew for a fact that I could benefit from inpatient treatment/ electroshock therapy or other such interventions I would welcome them. I am educated about them and I know that at this point in time I simply would not meet the criteria for admission either voluntarily or involuntarily.
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post #87 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Just a very painful story and I got nobody to blame but me

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Unfortunately, the initial reaction of most BH who find their way here or any forum, is to be so shocked and in paralysis that inaction and denial take hold and the pick me game starts. That happens despite the fact that probably 95% of men will make the statement that infidelity is a deal breaker. if you read here or other forums you will see that those that cannot take any action and make the following statements very rarely work out OK
(1) I want to reconcile no matter what she did or does
(2) i can forgive her without even knowing what the hell she really did
(3) it's my fault
(4) i do not want to take steps to monitor her because she can always cheat some other way. this one is correct BUT you can make it a lot harder to have her not get caught for a period of reaonsable time
(5) I don't want to know the truth

i could go on. But those that do closer to what some call the "nuclear" option have much better results
Thanks for the explanation Straighshooter. I think I understand this now. I'd have to say that the one statement that most closely resembles what my husband has been doing since learning about my latest inappropriate behavior last week is #4. While I have given him all passwords, never ever lock my phone, etc. he believes that spending any amount of time monitoring my actions is fruitless and something he just does not wan to have to do. As it is we have limited time to enjoy alone time without our little one around and we both work full time jobs, have a house to maintain, etc. so I can understand why he would resent having to use up any precious time keep track of every move I make.
So while he recognizes the need to have some sort of control by having my passwords (I have been off of Facebook for a couple of days now, my account is deactivated and only he has a new password for it which I do not have) of social media accounts and email accounts (work and 2 personal accounts), he has told me that if I wanted to cheat I could easily set up alternative secret accounts and he would then have a false sense of trust. My husband has told me that each and every time I was found out, he would notice a change in my behavior. The most obvious one being a progressively increased time spent on facebook. He has an account too and whenever he would check his, he could tell when I had last signed on. And of course he could also notice how I seemed preoccupied or distracted by something other than whatever we were doing together as a family or in any situation where I would have to turn my phone off or put it away. This I have to admit is so very true.

I want to work with my husband to ensure that we do not rugsweep or do anything that could potentially harm our chance at a healthy outcome. Especially if we are to reconcile, it would be devastating to know that we make irreparable mistakes along the way as it would be a lot more painful to find ourselves in a fake reconciliation of sorts. I believe this time around I am 100% committed to fixing myself and to doing all it takes so that even if my marriage ends, I could at least know that I gave it all I had to regain my husband's trust and to salvage my marriage.
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post #88 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 11:28 PM
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Re: Just a very painful story and I got nobody to blame but me

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Originally Posted by Itwasjustafantasy View Post
Before I became familiar with TAM I would've considered my interaction with that man to be just innocent flirting, having a crush on someone or something similar to it. I now know better and the best way to describe my behavior is to call it an EA. If you or anyone else can come up with a more fitting term for it, please do share especially if your intent is not to humilliate or hurt me as I can do plenty of that on my own. I am just trying to keep things simple.
A little more feedback on the EA comment...

Emotional Affair is a relatively new term. When I joined TAM four years ago, I had never heard of it, but soon I was convinced that I had at least twenty EA's in my past with co-workers, bosses, neighbors, even TAM members. Another term is limerence, although it has a slightly different connotation. I referenced daydreaming earlier. I've been a daydreamer all of my life. As you probably know, our minds believe what we tell ourselves. Reality can become blurred.

Before you believe the worst about yourself (especially based on the feedback from a group of people who have been on the receiving end of betrayal and are on their own journey of healing), I think you should set the labels aside and think of them as a real possibility or at the very least, a warning, but more importantly think about your actions and how you got to this place in your life. You didn't just get to this point overnight. It has been a series of thoughts and decisions which you have allowed yourself to accept. Other people would never accept such behavior for themselves. They have boundaries. (And are very proud to say so!) That's why I said to think about who you want to be. Sometimes it's hard to know when we are already so deep in the hole we have dug for ourselves and can't see the light of day. Keep trying. You are worth it.

As I mentioned, I'm not a fan of prescription medications; I have my reasons. That said, I will share that my youngest son has been on Lexapro for the past three years. He is finally tapering off and I'm happy about that, but I respect that it was a necessary intervention. I took a different route and probably suffered more for it. I'm grateful for where I am at though, considering where I have been. Just clarifying my comments about psychotherapy and/or meds.

Things do not always turn out the way you think they will, but sometimes it is for the best for all involved. If you focus on working on yourself and being a better partner and yet, your marriage still fails, you will not have lost. But you probably know this. I'm sharing all of this because I see some similarities in our stories and I hope to caution you. Good luck.
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post #89 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 11:34 AM
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Re: Just a very painful story and I got nobody to blame but me

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I am not sure how much more clear I need to make this: I am in the process of getting treatment. I had a psychiatric evaluation earlier this year, I am in the process of getting a new one and seeing an addictions specialist as well. Regardless of what others may say, I do not see how I can be discouraged from seeking the treatment I am already in the process of securing. I do happen to be extremely fortunate to be able to function well at work and elsewhere but as a mental health professional myself I can recognize that I do need help. I do know the benefits of psychotherapy and the need of psychotropic medication in some cases, I do not have anything against them. So you do not have to worry about others potentially discouraging me from getting professional help. I am well aware of the stigma attached to mental illness, if I knew for a fact that I could benefit from inpatient treatment/ electroshock therapy or other such interventions I would welcome them. I am educated about them and I know that at this point in time I simply would not meet the criteria for admission either voluntarily or involuntarily.
I actually wasn't responding to your comments when I made my last one. I was responding to another poster. I was not referring to in-patient treatment of any kind. That reference came from another poster. Frankly, none of us knows what your treatment should be. I am simply in agreement with a number of other posters that your behavior is outside of the realm of the standard cheater script.

Since I think this, I believe as well that your issues are not well-served by a thread on a forum like this. That is what I have been trying to say - not that you haven't sought treatment, but that you should keep pursuing that treatment instead of talking here. I think that forums like this are exactly the sort of venue that you should avoid, given your issues as you have described them.
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post #90 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Just a very painful story and I got nobody to blame but me

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I actually wasn't responding to your comments when I made my last one. I was responding to another poster. I was not referring to in-patient treatment of any kind. That reference came from another poster. Frankly, none of us knows what your treatment should be. I am simply in agreement with a number of other posters that your behavior is outside of the realm of the standard cheater script.

Since I think this, I believe as well that your issues are not well-served by a thread on a forum like this. That is what I have been trying to say - not that you haven't sought treatment, but that you should keep pursuing that treatment instead of talking here. I think that forums like this are exactly the sort of venue that you should avoid, given your issues as you have described them.
My apologies. I understand what you are saying now. I do agree that this forum (or any other online forum for that matter) might not be the best place for me...I just needed an outlet and at this point it has helped me and served its purporse. I do realize that I need to live my life, including seeking help, outside of the virtual world and as unequipped as I feel I know there is no other way out of my problems. I have to live in the real world and learn to cope with the ups and downs of real life as scary as it all may seem and that is what I intend to do.
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