What if they carry a torch for AP-forever?
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Coping with Infidelity Relationship recovery from the destructiveness of infidelity.

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Old 12-10-2012, 10:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What if they carry a torch for AP-forever?

Background- Husband had short online EA eight months ago. We have been in weekly counseling ever since. After all this time I believe he still carries a "torch" for the AP. They never met in person...and the EA ended at it's peak.

He has lots of triggers (songs, drive in to work etc that are wrapped up in memories of her)....which to my rational mind makes no sense because it was so short and not at all based in reality. Pure fantasy. If you looked at my spouse on paper, he would seem like he has it all together.....so how could he be so mentally brainwashed by the power of this fantasy???

After all this counseling he seems to have the right/left brain battle....he knows it's illogical, stupid and has no future but he says the emotions are still so close to the surface...... yet knows he wants to be with me. I know there is NC but I don't have any guarantees that hes not "feeding" it within his own head.

How can a EA have such lasting impact to this day....it's driving me nuts because I feel like I'm in the same space as a fictional perfected love in his head???


How does one live with their memory?
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What if they carry a torch for AP-forever?

Give it time. I'm almost a year in NC and I had a strong trigger just three weeks ago. Get rid of the songs and files.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What if they carry a torch for AP-forever?

Sounds like what happened to me and I'm afraid I don't have a good answer for you - it makes no sense. It took a solid year to be over it for me. Time will kill it as long as he maintains NC.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What if they carry a torch for AP-forever?

Does talking about it make it worse or as out therapist says, "it diffuses the secrecy to talk about the EA as long as its in the service of healing.

It's not the main topic in our sessions but if at home and it comes up he shuts down or defends it? Defends as in doesn't want me to point out how illogical it was. Like even thinking of it churns up some positive longing for it.

He described it as not having closure bit that he didn't need closure, that its the "what ifs". Or that she was interesting but his life with me is more interesting and he wants this instead but she will always have a place in his heart....WTF
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What if they carry a torch for AP-forever?

The in between this time of waiting is making me afraid to commit to him. I feel hopeless. Disappointed in myself that I am trying to be patient with him getting over her? Worst part is, she doesn't exist, not in the way he embellished her in his head. That is the hellish part. Like loving someone who has dilussions of grandeur.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What if they carry a torch for AP-forever?

OUCH. DH, how miserable. Especially to try and 'compete' with a freakin ghost. Someone who never existed, at least not the way he thinks she does. I think that is likely true with all AP's. They show only their 'good side' to your WS. I just posted this in another thread. Its hard when your ws looks at the AP thru rose colored glasses, while judging you with the cold harsh lense of reality. They see your flaws. SHE has none. My H was like this during his EA and for mos afterward. I could say "you look good today babe" and he'd say "eh, thanks" and that was it. It meant nothing. However if SHE said "you look good today" OMG! surely the heavens had opened and bestowed an angel unto him....vomit. But unfortunately, its true. You represent reality. Bills. Sick kids. Taking out the trash. Forgetting to pick up his dry cleaning. The flu. Morning breath. and SHE is all bright eyed and bushy tailed in the am bc she wasnt up with his sick kids all night. She forgot HER H's drycleaning so she could hurry in to see him. She doesnt see him when she's sick. Or with morning breath. She always puts her best foot forward. As does he when he's with her.

He doesnt know the difference or he cant draw the difference in real love and infatuation.

So what can you do? Well IMO you have two choices:

1. Wait it out and hope he comes around, which he likely will eventually.

2. Leave him and have him let you know when you arent plan B. Personally I couldnt live with "she will always have a special place in my heart". Thats BS. It sounds like he likes it that way to me. The ws' I know of have all said "I WANT HER OUT!" and keep working until she is excised from their heads and hearts. they dont just accept that she is there to stay and expect you to do the same.

As I see it thats all there is. Do you see any other options?

Last edited by canttrustu; 12-10-2012 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What if they carry a torch for AP-forever?

It's a strange thing to have happen to you. An EA is all consuming, it's an obsession that you focus on 24/7 for the most part, when it vanishes in the blink of an eye it's tough and traumatic (all deserved btw). I think ending in such a fashion can make it tougher to get over, hence his description of not having closure - I definitely had that feeling.

As far as talking about it - hard to say. I really don't see much point in discussing it, you're not going to debate him out of it, and you could give some life to by having think about it. If YOU want to discuss it then by all means, but unless you want to I'd leave it alone.

Don't be too patient with this. He can wallow in these feelings almost indefinitely. He may need a swift kick in the arse to get motivated to shut it down. Me - I was like your H in that I knew I wanted my wife - I knew I loved her - but I couldn't get the damn OW out of my head - read my thread. I kept it to myself though, never was I going to subject my wife to watching me mourn the death of my EA. I shoved it in a box, locked it up and threw away the key until it was dead. He needs to make up his mind to kill it and let it be dead and buried.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What if they carry a torch for AP-forever?

The fact that they know so little about how the other is makes it all the more appealing.

This way, they can be the perfect woman in their minds. Just like when you see an attractive person and fantasize about how they are like. The intrigue and mystery goes away and reality sets in when you hear their voice and their actions. Their faults kick in.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What if they carry a torch for AP-forever?

I agree here so much. Your H cant expect you to just accept this. Basically, it is what it is so deal with it?? No sorry. He doesnt get to bleed all over you about her"special place in his heart". Thats total hogwash.

As Sig said: I kept it to myself though, never was I going to subject my wife to watching me mourn the death of my EA. I shoved it in a box, locked it up and threw away the key until it was dead. He needs to make up his mind to kill it and let it be dead and buried.

Its too much for him to ask for you to watch him miss her. Its one thing when I knew my h was missing her a bit in the beginning of NC. Having some withdrawl. BUT never did he say to me "She will always have a special place" NO he worked HARD to rid himself of her. I knew it was there but he never bled on me about it. This is his cross to bear. If he just accepts that she will 'always' be there in his heart- then she will. He needs to re focus on his marriage. And perhaps find someone else to bleed on about this issue. But he's got to stop being the victim here.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: What if they carry a torch for AP-forever?

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Originally Posted by jameskimp View Post
The fact that they know so little about how the other is makes it all the more appealing.

This way, they can be the perfect woman in their minds. Just like when you see an attractive person and fantasize about how they are like. The intrigue and mystery goes away and reality sets in when you hear their voice and their actions. Their faults kick in.
My worry is the same. I wanted my WS to go ahead and marry OM so that she can see the imperfections. It's too difficult to compete with the fantasy of not living with that real OM and staying with BS, makes OM more appealing.

I maybe wrong, one of the reason I wanted D over R is that with D, I can expect my WS to miss BS more than OM !!!
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: What if they carry a torch for AP-forever?

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My worry is the same. I wanted my WS to go ahead and marry OM so that she can see the imperfections. It's too difficult to compete with the fantasy of not living with that real OM and staying with BS, makes OM more appealing.

I maybe wrong, one of the reason I wanted D over R is that with D, I can expect my WS to miss BS more than OM !!!
so? You think " I'll just let her go live with him, that'll teach her" huh????? NO. Think of all the damage taht will be done to your marriage during that time. IF you want to R and she does too, then do so but you cannot say "well go try that out for a while then you'll see how great I am". Because it may take a week, a month, or a year to figure it out. Then how much damage is done to the marriage while she is with him?

I dont know your situation but this sounds irrational to me. I get that you want her to pick you over AP. And if you dont feel she is doing that then leave but if youre looking to keep the door open I wouldnt divorce her. NOW, you can file for divorce but you have to mean it. You have to be willing to lose it all. You dont divorce her hoping she'll go with OM and miss you. You tell her "its me or him" plain and simple.

sorry for the TJ BH. Back to you.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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so? You think " I'll just let her go live with him, that'll teach her" huh????? NO. Think of all the damage taht will be done to your marriage during that time. IF you want to R and she does too, then do so but you cannot say "well go try that out for a while then you'll see how great I am". Because it may take a week, a month, or a year to figure it out. Then how much damage is done to the marriage while she is with him?

I dont know your situation but this sounds irrational to me. I get that you want her to pick you over AP. And if you dont feel she is doing that then leave but if youre looking to keep the door open I wouldnt divorce her. NOW, you can file for divorce but you have to mean it. You have to be willing to lose it all. You dont divorce her hoping she'll go with OM and miss you. You tell her "its me or him" plain and simple.

sorry for the TJ BH. Back to you.
Thanks but I can't overcome the pain of what WS has done to me, so going for R is so difficult for me. It's only 4 months from the DDay. Sometimes I feel D is good over R and close the chapter !!!

And once my WS told me that somewhere down the lane, she would prefer OM which makes me feel that WS still has feelings for OM and I can't live with that, so I feel it's better to let my WS go..
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: What if they carry a torch for AP-forever?

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Thanks but I can't overcome the pain of what WS has done to me, so going for R is so difficult for me. It's only 4 months from the DDay. Sometimes I feel D is good over R and close the chapter !!!

And once my WS told me that somewhere down the lane, she would prefer OM which makes me feel that WS still has feelings for OM and I can't live with that, so I feel it's better to let my WS go..
Perfectly understandable. R isnt for everyone.

Good luck.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: What if they carry a torch for AP-forever?

John- I get that same way to. Sometimes it's a daily problem to forgive and try to put it behind us. How does a BS describe that feeling that our spouses heart was once a cozy place for us to dwell alone but is now crowded and we are struggling to breath???

They let someone else in..... and I have a hard time sharing. Four months is not long at all.....you are at the starting gate. I would expect you to still be in the struggle. In fact I would be _worried_ if you were already over it???? Affairs of all kinds are traumatic and they are supposed to break us open. Our worlds are upside now. It's expected that their should be collateral damage.

I would chalk up what your wife said about preferring the other man to be still in "fog" talk. I would pay more attention to that if she utters it two years into your recovery.

As CantTrustU said-- you divorce based on what YOU can't live with. No one would fault you if you can't forgive. If the pain is too much then you have to look out for yourself first. However, maybe allowing the pain to settle a bit before. You might have a different perspective on that pain 6 months from now.

Time-- that magical element that is supposed to heal us.....oh how I wish this time would hurry up and do it's work yet while I wish for it to heal my wound I recognize how many other things I'm missing out on in this _rush_ to the finish line.

Here's the kicker about my spouse...I wouldn't say he is "subjecting" me to his longing, but I feel his emotional energy change if he triggers.

You know how you _know_ your partner so well that you can almost "smell" the problem they wrestle with???? It lies there under the surface and once in a while it bubbles to the surface and you feel it on them??
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: What if they carry a torch for AP-forever?

Sigma- **" I shoved it in a box, locked it up and threw away the key until it was dead. He needs to make up his mind to kill it and let it be dead and buried."

<---can you share some practical tips that you used to help quell the triggers? Mental tricks? Almost like 12 steps to stopping the mind movies?
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