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Am I wrong to grieve about this?

Discussion in 'Married Couples' started by bluegreysky, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. bluegreysky

    bluegreysky Can't adult today.

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    At the beginning of the year, I was fighting with my husband too much. I had been for a long time and I was finally at my witts end. Sometime towards the end of January, I met a man who frequented a coffee shop that I went to almost every day before work (at the bank at the time). It was just a casual conversation with a stranger sitting near me up at the bar area, but something about him caught my attention. I felt a connection I never felt before... potential for a deep friendship? something that was missing from my life? If I wasn't careful, it could have probably been an affair.
    In a way, that's what it became.

    I kept going back to the coffee shop because I did anyway to get coffee, but over the course of several weeks, I started talking to the guy more and more often.
    Then, during the seperation from my husband, I found myself going there to meet him on purpose.

    We did have a strong connection, he felt it too... but neither of us knew what to do about it and we knew we couldn't really. For many reasons. Mainly, I was married. AT THE TIME my husband was angry and talking divorce so maybe I just didn't feel bad about this friendship.
    But I still knew better. I still felt guilty for what I was beginning to feel in my heart.
    The guy had been in three longer term serious relationships in 10 years and all three had broken his heart. He was 33 and never married. When he was maybe 31 he decided he didn't want another relationship. So I thought it was perfect... a guy who doesn't want a relationship can be friends with a woman who isn't available to be in one.

    But I was wrong. The more we talked, the more I found stuff we had in common, the more he would tell me stories both good and heartbreaking about his life... the more I got attached.
    I did feel like if my husband left for good, maybe down the road I could see myself with this guy. At one point, I even believed that maybe God was showing me who my "soulmate" would have been, had I not decided, rather codependently at 23 or 24 that my husband "was the only man in the world" and I had stayed single. I got feelings for this guy. And though I never told him, I think he could sense it. And it scared him away.
    Oh well, might as well have been for the best.

    Months down the road, I would bump into him in public somewhere and he would be perfectly friendly to me as if we had never gotten too close and he had never ghosted me and I would find this extremely confusing and upsetting but the old friendship could and would never return.

    So yes, I had an emotional affair.

    I told my husband, early on, when it was still fresh. It had just ended at that point... or at least, the guy had just ghosted me and I knew he had and I accepted that and I told my husband about it. Since in summer 2016, my husband found out in really horrible way about something terrible that happened to me during an 8 month break up when we were dating that I'd kept from him.... I felt I should be honest this time. It made him paranoid and crazy, and he wound up having a meltdown later on after drinking one night but that's beside the point.
    All the side effects on my marriage from it are beside the point.

    We still moved back in together, we still tried to work on things. We are still struggling now but it's not because of this incident.

    However... I never forgot the friend. Let's call him M. M had such a deep impact on me... gave me friendship like I hadn't had with a guy in years, made me feel emotions I didn't know I could feel, showed me new outlooks on life (he wasn't Christian, but he had some very level-headed ways of looking at things like feeling that anger was a waste of time) and I went through intense confusion over him... sleepless nights, tears, prayer... all for nothing it seems.
    And when my husband and I would fight after the seperation ended, I would actually miss this guy. Think of how kind he was and slow to anger and passive and wish I could have that.
    But I don't. I have what I have because I married "R" not "M" and I accept that.
    Still, I never truly got over M.

    So one night I googled online "how do you get over an affair partner", even though he wasn't a true affair. And most of the advice to people who had posted about real affairs on other forums and had psychology doctors answer them back basically said "treat it like a normal breakup with a normal boyfriend, allow yourself to grieve, then let it go and find what you sought that was missing in your marriage so you can restore whatever it is and fix your marriage"....
    Well, it's not what's missing in my marriage... it's what there's too much of. Discourse.
    But we're seeing a therapist I'm seeing a therapist he's seeing a therapist we will get there...
    But the part about "allow yourself to grieve"... in a Christian lifestyle, is that wrong?

    Am I supposed to grieve a lost friend I never should have had in the first place?
    I feel like psychologically I need to, just so I can go on with life and be ok.
    And that would be even if there was no spouse and I just needed to be ok so I could focus on being my best self.
     
  2. Jane_Doe

    Jane_Doe Well-Known Member

    +590
    Mormon
    It is normal and healthy to grieve after you loose a bond with someone.

    Should you have bonded with this way with this person in the first place? Of course not. That's why you've stepped back and surrendered the bond. And now the grieving part of you working through it. This too will pass.
     
  3. snoochface

    snoochface Meet the new boss -- same as the old boss.

    +2,405
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    Let's say you win the lottery and find out that you are now a multi-millionaire and will never have to worry about finances again in your life. If someone told you that you weren't "supposed" to be happy about that, would you be able to turn it off?

    Or if a loved one died suddenly, and you were told you weren't "supposed" to be sad, would you be able to flip the switch and not be sad?

    My point is, it doesn't matter if you are "supposed" to grieve, or "should" grieve - you ARE grieving. You can't flip off your emotions. You can stuff them and try to force yourself not to feel them, but that is a breeding ground for future emotional instability. It's not worth trying not to feel what you do, in fact, actually feel, just because someone - even yourself - tells you that you're not "supposed" to feel it.

    So my advice is to let yourself feel what you feel, feel it as intensely as you do in fact feel it, work through it in therapy, and then, yes, get back to the business of figuring out how to save your marriage.
     
  4. musicalpilgrim

    musicalpilgrim pilgrim on the sacred music pathway Supporter

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    This talk about grieving in this instance is not Scriptural, it is called sin in the Bible, and the remedy is to repent.
    Jesus had a lot to say about it, and he loved you so much that he died so you could be forgiven.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  5. eleos1954

    eleos1954 Member Supporter

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    It's just s
    It's just something that happened and never grew into anything further. Perhaps reminisce on the experience and move on mentally about it.
     
  6. GirdYourLoins

    GirdYourLoins Well-Known Member

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    Sounds to me like you created a soul tie to M. As it was what you call an emotional affair it is something that is rooted in the sinful nature it needs to be repented of and broken. I only leaned about soul tie teaching recently and recommend you google it and look into it yourself. I had to break soul ties to the past, previous relationships, parents, etc and it was a huge release in my life.
     
  7. Tropical Wilds

    Tropical Wilds Lord, beer me strength...

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    If the shoe was on the other foot and it was your husband who had an affair, would you be ok with letting him grieve and treat it like a breakup? Would you believe that doing so is for the benefit of your marriage?
     
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  8. bluegreysky

    bluegreysky Can't adult today.

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    well I rather he be sad for awhile and get over it then keep insisting he'll be with her someday..
     
  9. WolfGate

    WolfGate Senior Member

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    Some of you are, IMHO, arguing against her grieving with comments that, while valid, do not directly relate to the question of her grief. Yes, she should repent. But repentance does not mean sadness at the loss she feels is also sinful. It is a consequence of what happened, and while that should not have, dealing with the sadness is part of moving past and leaving it behind and working to get on a path that is right.

    bluegreysky - deal with the grief as what it is, in a way that is focused on moving you past it and into a stronger relationship with Christ and hopefully your husband.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
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  10. mina

    mina Brown Eyed girl

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    grieve the friendship lost; allow yourself to root it all out in therapy. Work on developing a friendship with your husband- the kind you want. do you want that from him? Have you told him?
     
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  11. Tropical Wilds

    Tropical Wilds Lord, beer me strength...

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    Well, if you’d be ok with him taking time to be sad about a relationship he could have been in if he wasn’t married to you and the pain that reality causes for him, then mourn away. However, do not be surprised if he finds your feelings counterproductive to restoring your marriage or if he feels that the mourning process is still a betrayal akin to the original affair itself.
     
  12. snoochface

    snoochface Meet the new boss -- same as the old boss.

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    She can't flip a switch and just stop feeling what she's feeling. What happened is not right, and she knows it. But now she is dealing with the fallout of what she did, and that comes with feelings that exist within her and can't be turned off like a lightswitch, any more than she'd be able to stop joy or loneliness or any other emotions, just because she's not "supposed" to be feeling them.
     
  13. Tropical Wilds

    Tropical Wilds Lord, beer me strength...

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    I don’t disagree, but that doesn’t mean her husband won’t have feelings about it or that it won’t impact how their reconciliation plays out.
     
  14. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33

    +2,554
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    There's all kinds of grief, and maybe it's healthiest if you look at this not as necessarily as "losing someone you shouldn't have gotten close to" but more about WHY you feel this loss.

    It could be that for that time you had more hope than you have now (could that be true?). So....you're grieving the loss of hope that you'd gained.....maybe the feeling of looking forward to seeing someone and having a stimulating chat?

    It's normal (and healthy) to grieve losses of expectations. When you two got married....think back to what you expected marriage to look like. I'm just wondering if *that* is mostly what you're grieving right now?

    Our Bible study group recently did this study......maybe reading this will give you some insight. I love the quote by Fr Richard Rohr, "Pain that isn't transformed will be transmitted". It's better for you and even better for your husband if you work through these emotions.

    I'm just wondering if this could open dialogue between you and your husband about what you'd like for your marriage (working more on a foundation of friendship and teamwork)?
     
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  15. DZoolander

    DZoolander Regular Member

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    People in the midst of traumatic relationship stuff normally aren't good judges of who might or might not be a suitable companion for them. There's a reason why those people are usually called "rebounds" - and why they don't normally work out.

    Realizing that truth would likely be the best way to resolve any grief you may feel.
     
  16. bluegreysky

    bluegreysky Can't adult today.

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    One of the advice articles I read told me treat it like an addiction.
    He gave your brain a rush of dopamine. He gave you adrenaline. Then he went away. Now your brain is screaming for more of the high. How do you deal with addiction? You get far away from what addicts you. You detox. Then you fill the void with healthy things. Ever since I learned to look at it like that, I have been able to address it like I have on here
     
  17. *LILAC

    *LILAC Well-Known Member

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    You sound like you're all over the place in regards to your marriage! Yes, it's true the new dude gave you an adrenaline rush so I'd advise you to stay away from that and involve yourself in something else like exercise or a new hobby that you enjoy. Fleeing temptation is the best way to resolve your marriage.
     
  18. DZoolander

    DZoolander Regular Member

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    On the way to work this morning I was thinking about this thread a little bit, and it occurred to me that I might have been a little short in my response/or seem to have come off possibly smug/etc. If so that wasn't my intent. Let me clarify a little bit.

    IMHO, people need time to breathe when coming out of a relationship. Let's say that things didn't work out between you and the husband. Let's say that you guys ended up in divorce. I think that you, like everyone else, would need appropriate time to "reset" before moving on to the next relationship. I also think that "reset" is a long process, and doesn't include having the next potential partner selected and waiting in the wings until you cursorily decide that "it's been enough time." (maybe a month or two? lol)

    When I was younger I went through a divorce. I split with her in early 1998 and the divorce was finalized in late 1998. I didn't date anyone else until mid to late 2000...and even then it was just casual and non-committal dating. I didn't even think about having a "girlfriend" for another two years, and even then I didn't really take the girls seriously. It was just more than casual dating. I met my wife in 2004.

    So there was a 2 year span before I even started dating, and a 6 year span between when I split with my ex and when I met my wife. I grew to really enjoy being single, and it was only because I grew to like and love my wife that I changed that. Now, I'll grant that I'm a bit on the extreme end of the scale with respect to that, but I think the idea is sound.

    ...and I really wince when I see people talking about possibly having someone waiting in the wings psychologically before they've even figured out if a divorce might happen. Dno't get me wrong - that's not unique - lots of people do it. But I rarely have ever seen it work out well (going back to my original post of not being in a good place to determine who might be a suitable mate while in the midst of relationship trauma).

    Usually what they're attracted to are things in this new person that they felt were deficient in their current partner...but relationships aren't made on just accounting for a specific set of deficiencies.

    Just my .02
     
  19. bluegreysky

    bluegreysky Can't adult today.

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    You know what Im just tired of feeling like I'm not worth it.
    But the other guy didn't help either he ghosted me.
     
  20. DZoolander

    DZoolander Regular Member

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    Not worth what? Getting more out of damaged people than they’re able to give?
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
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