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Ex playing with my mind?
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Ex playing with my mind?

Quick b/g. Married 34 years, mainly happily except for 1 infidelity by husband. Got through it by talking. We do that well! 5 years ago an ex from 35 years ago got in touch with me out of the blue. We emailed a lot then he asked me to go out to the place he was working for a holiday. I, honestly, in all innocence, with my husband's blessing, went. We just got on purely as 'friends'. We met, talked forever about our families, work, politics etc. etc. Then we stupidly, after 4 days, slept together. At the time it seemed so right, he declared he should never have 'dumped' me as I reminded him he did. We should have had children together and on and on. He had always been very tactile. He declared he loved me.
It almost ended in disaster. My husband was incredibly patient. I very nearly left until my son (at Uni) called us 'losers' and was visibly shocked and upset by my intention to leave. It all became clear how stupid I'd been. I did not want to lose my beautiful family. So, I ended it. Completely. This all happened within 6 months.
Last year (4 years after with no contact at all) this ex got in touch again. I thought we could be friends. I did not want him at all but was happy to help him as he was getting divorced because he'd met someone else. This other person had actually broken up with him, though. I spent months supporting him by email (we didn't meet), but I found it very difficult sometimes, thinking 'I've been here before'! It was most bizarre hearing almost every detail of their relationship. Lots of similarities with the stages I'd also gone through with him.( He's very controlling and manipulative). She had similar issues with him which is why she ended it. I felt genuinely sorry he had lost both his wife and his girlfriend (but I did keep telling myself, ah, this is Karma at work!). At no point were there any thoughts of a reunion.
Then 2 months ago his best friend died. My (still) best friend had been married to him for a short time 30 odd years ago. I had to tell her and she was visibly upset. Anyway, I gave my ex her email (we had gone out together all those years ago as couples) so he could fill her in.
My ex lives in Europe by the sea and he asked her to go over for a 'break'. Oh, dear, I panicked. But this is where I need help to sort out my feelings! I felt really hurt! I've been trying to analyse why. I certainly don't want him. I do want my best friend to be still my friend, though! She seemed so carried away by it all. I tried to warn her but she just brushed it away saying nothing would happen.
My ex almost stopped emailing me, the odd message quite cold. They both 'shut me out'. So, is this why I feel hurt? She is going to the exact place we had our affair. Is that it? My memories being trampled on? I decided I must sever all contact with him, so I told him 'goodbye, none of my business'. Actually for my own sanity, but he, in his arrogance, assumed it was because I was jealous. Angry? Perhaps. If I could understand my emotions I would just put it in the past and forget it. I feel like a teenager again! I am the one who everyone comes to with their problems and I can't figure out my own!
I read some posts on exes - can it ever be friendship? I think it is dangerous ground! But please can someone make some sense of what has happened? It feels like some psychological mind game.
42 Comments Post a Comment
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Hi, the same happened to me a few years back. I google my exs name and it came up and we made contact. If she was not far away in the North West, i could see very eaisly a rekindled affair would have developed.
And your correct, the whole thing is a very bizzar experince with all the old feeling coming up from the deep past.
In many ways (short of actually having sex with them) i think is good to get all those unresolved feeling out as have been repressed for years. With her, i hadnt been in contact for over 25 years.

I think when we now look back at how it could have been, we now realize why it did not work the first time and for once we can really move on with those deep rooted feelings finally put to rest once and for all.
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Hi, That's made me feel much better already! Thank you for sharing your experience. Did you meet up? Often those 'attractions' we had all those years ago are still there. The chemistry. And why we formed a relationship in the first place. It IS bizarre!

We certainly thrashed out all those repressed feelings in the time we had. He had been married twice (the first to the one he left me for - lasted 4 years). The second 'just for children', almost a contract whereby he would marry her if she got pregnant. Apparently loved neither. I married for love. I think because I seemed to have a more stable life he thought he could have had the same if he'd stayed with me. I doubt it very much!

I definitely realised I had come off best. Then I very nearly ruined it all. I shudder to remember but it made me love my husband even more.

In retrospect, I shouldn't have continued the conversations this last time round. It stirred it all up again, especially when I had to almost 're-live' it through another woman. Was that cruel of him? Or just thoughtless? And  being with my best friend now! Deliberate? That worries me. If it develops I'll end up seeing him at some point again. If it ends in disaster, I'll be picking up the pieces! I pray they just stay friends.
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I still continue some text once in a while like " what cookin" . After all, we had very intimate moments together and all the ex,s have a special place in our hearts and soul. We did not meet up but if she was close im sure the same that you did i would have done and would have regreated it. She dumped me as did yours dump you and think the person that got dumped is still vulneralbe till the cows come home.
To be honest, i would like to have contact will all my ex,s just to see how there lives turned out.
But you know whats funny, the ex that i did contact ended up a 50 year old spinster broke, never been married, never owed home and really never loved. She ended up asking me many times for her rent money. And in contrast  i did all of them and became a success and still am growing both spiritually and financilly day be day.
That comment you made about karma certainly holds true.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi there.  Well, I'm really firm about this.  Secondary gain is something real and many fall into the trap of it.  What is secondary gain?  It somewhere deep inside of you makes you feel good to have this admirer.  It's dangerous.  

He is not part of your life.  He's an ex from THIRTY FIVE years ago.  Any time you've spent together since then was that fantasy world that false intimacy gives us.  It wasn't love that built from spending REAL time together but stolen moments, romeo and Juliet style, etc.  

You owe him nothing.  You are not cold hearted to walk away and request he not contact you ever again.  Nope, not at all.  Because he is a bona fide threat to your lifestyle.  And it is not worth your husband being at all upset over him.  

break all contact.  and look within for what is really going on with you and the secondary gain.  Work on your own life so that you don't need that.  

good luck and peace
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Your last question -

No, I cannot make any "sense" of this
and
Yes, it sounds like "some psychological mind game"

or as SpecialMom suggests "secondary gain"

My advice: reapply YourSelf to Your 34 year Marriage.

GoodLuck
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Is your best friend aware of what happened between you two recently?  That might be enough to keep her away from him.  I wouldn't want any girlfriends sloppy seconds especially when he was still trying to contact her.  I'd tell her you are ceasing all contact with him as he was interfering with our marriage.  That should get her attention that it isn't good to be with him.  good luck
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Wow this is all so helpful!

I think, deep down, I knew it was all wrong, yet I 'thought' I was helping him with his troubles. Especially as I had had first hand knowledge with him. I thought I could just be a friend - I seem to have spent my life solving problems for others! Instead, it churned up all those memories again.

My friend knew everything! I had confided in her throughout! Every detail! It sounds an awful thing to say (and I would never tell her) but it's not him she wants but his lifestyle. Or a free holiday(s). He has an idyllic home on an island that he built himself. But no-one to share it with. The trouble is, he is so manipulative - and patient, like a predator - and she is so vulnerable, single, caring for her mother, after a life of riley with her partner and their children. They co-habited for 24 years and she left him and got nothing. The law couldn't help her. Everything was in his name. I went through it all with her, the Prozac, bankruptcy, despair etc. She is just turning the corner now.

She could so easily fall into a trap. Nothing comes for free.
Thinking about him recently, the word that comes to my mind is 'toxic'. Not in a literal sense, only how he plays with my mind and makes me feel. That's when I decided to end it for good. And I did it in a nice way but very clear.

You know, Specialmom and Tinkerbell, I did enjoy the flattery! That is what was so addictive. My husband is not very demonstrative but I know, deep down, he cares. We have gone through a lot together. The children were at Uni, empty nest, asking myself' Is this it then?'. I'm lucky to have my own business which was becoming a bit repetitive. Now I want to grow it again. And I have persuaded my (always busy with business) husband to take a week's holiday with me! Not unusual, you may say - but it IS, we hardly take holidays because of our respective businesses.

And Life360, isn't it strange how these exes that cause so much pain are actually the ones with the problems? You, too, must have felt so thankful for the path you took. It doesn't bear thinking about how life may have turned out otherwise. You must also be strong and walk away, like me - I know you have, but completely. And, sometimes people reflect their own inadequacies, or weaknesses on to others. By that, I mean, my ex said he dumped me because I was too possessive and clingy (perhaps because I knew he was cheating on me!). Yet over his entire life he has done the same thing but in a more controlling way. He has controlled every woman in his life until they become so dependent on him - then he walks away, or they do to save their sanity. This last woman, who left him after he divorced his wife for her, actually said in an email to him (yes, I was privy to many) that she gave her finger and he took her whole hand. Well expressed, I felt. She had to sever all contact. Leaving him calling her 'crazy'. However hard I tried to tell him he just didn't understand. Yet, he would blame himself for other reasons. So not entirely arrogant!




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I want to add a comment about life in general. I was diagnosed with cancer, treated and cured a few years back, but with the first news that i had it, i realized that my life was truly blessed and all the  people that crossed my path in the years prior are important. All of the wonderful people that were attracted to me, for what ever reason, are part of me and will be in my heart and soul forever. And in some strange way, i believe we are all married to eachother, even the stranger on the street that gives us a smile, is part us.
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I'm so sorry to hear about your illness but happy you are now cured. It is often something so shocking that makes us stop and think. About life, what is important - and, boy, does it put things into perspective! Afterwards you have a different view on lots of things.

What you say about all of us being connected in some way is very true. I guess we all have our different beliefs, or faiths, or religions. Strangely they all seem to lead down a similar path, to make sense of why we are here, what's it all about? That is why I am so saddened by religious wars and bigoted people who think their way is the only right way.

I learnt transcendental meditation when I was 23. (I actually met my husband at the first meeting!) and part of the teaching - you may already know, like Hindu and Buddhist - is that we have many incarnations, each one where we come back to learn until we reach a high enough consciousness to reach the 'enlightenment'. Whereby that's it! No more coming back to earth! That's put very simplistically, forgive me, but I don't want to go on too much.

In addition, I do believe in Karma, Beings from past lives interacting in different guises, that 'co-incidences' are definitely not just chance. And that people come into our lives for a 'reason', sometimes only for a short time. And conversely, we enter into theirs. It is a fascinating interaction of souls.
I am also a great believer in natural therapies, holistic treatments and healthy eating; positive thinking and being tolerant.

On a bigger level, though, I do believe we are all connected in nature. That everything must balance....oh, another time! You are making me think too much and I must do some work! I am in the UK and it is 4.30 in the afternoon.
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Hi.  I think this is rather complex.  Being slightly disgruntled in your relationship or longing for that 'in love' feeling can happen.   your husband isn't great at making you feel beautiful or sought after.  And frankly after many years of marriage, that can happen.  Good to maybe work on that.

because I do really feel that is part of the whole thing.  

I also am guessing that there is some psychological stuff on your end as well in seeing your friend possibly end up with him.  This would be hard on you because deep down you would be a bit jealous.  

In reality, you probably should stay out of what happens with them.  Your friend is an adult and knows this man's history. So let it play out and try to not be emotionally involved.  Sure, it burns the thought of them setting up house on the lovely island together and her receiving all those compliments you were getting, etc.  But sweetie, you need to put your attention squarely on your own life.  

I'm not really one that fully believes in karma.  Life just happens.  And if we are centering attention on what happens good and bad on someone else, we are wasting our own energy.   Better to just create what you want to happen in your own life.  

I would begin planning some dates with your husband.  Focus on the good things about your relationship and make these dates happen.  It will help reconnect you with him and force the thoughts of this other man out.  And those thoughts need to be out.  good luck
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I feel as yourself. Even to view an ant crossing my path, ive concluded that all things want to live and is our duty as workers of God to insure life to even the smallest of Gods creatures.
I to have been to the high mountain and gazed down at creation and what i DONT see are the values and beliefs that humans possess as something growing naturally in the valley below.

Now you got me going!!
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Of course, you are right to an extent, Specialmom. Except the first time round (i.e. 5 years ago), when the affair happened, and I subsequently realised it was only fantasy and ended it, my husband and I did change.

It hit him really hard - because he never expected I would ever do such a thing, even though he had done it to me - (almost ok for a man??). Anyway, that was years ago and we talked and got through it. When it happened with me, there were no arguments, just a resignation that I knew what I was doing - and an acceptance, almost. This time he wouldn't talk about it. Perhaps that is a man's way of dealing with something so painful?

However, he left me to work it out - most of which I did with my best friend! When I finally decided it was stupid and not 'real' and I was not prepared to exchange my life with an intelligent, good man, with whom I had experienced so many things, with someone I hardly knew, had been married twice etc., my husband was wonderful!

We moved closer to a main city (and our children), started going out together - even the theatre and cinema! - and even shared a new office! So we did work it out. I was so much happier and so was he. We connected again.

Then, as I explained, last year my ex re-emerged! I was so much stronger and really thought I could be a platonic friend to him. Admittedly it was weird helping him over his lost love AND divorce. I was fine until my best friend came between us! That was when my feelings surfaced and I felt quite overwhelmed by it! Why? Why? I tried to brush them away but they crept into my head. If only I could get a handle on the reason I knew I could get a grip on the whole situation.

So, that brings us full circle and why I found this wonderful site. I don't think I'm 'jealous' of the setting in the least - I can't take too much heat! Makes me irritable! Sure, it's a beautiful island - and it is perfect for my friend! It's her dream!

I've said before I don't want him. I know that much.

As you say, she's an adult. But, since leaving her partner, has met some pretty dodgy guys! It was just that 'feeling' I got as soon as my ex caught up with her again. They had known each other all those years ago, of course, so not exactly strangers. His emails became all about her - poor thing, she's had such a tough time etc. - think she needs a holiday. All quite innocent and philanthropic. At first I thought how wonderful for her! Then his emails to me almost stopped. And when I talked to my friend she was a bit 'secretive' but when I joked about him she giggled and told me the things he'd been saying in his emails - a bit 'suggestive' and that there had been 'loads'....which is when the alarm bells started to ring! I thought 'I've been here already!'

That was when I had the unwelcome responses of these dratted emotions! I kept them to myself apart from warning her to be careful. With my ex I did tell him it was far too close to home for comfort and if I had to choose (in the event of a fallout) my friend would have my support. Then he replied accusing me of threatening to end our 35 year friendship because he'd simply offered her a break. Put that way, it made me feel very childish! But it was deja vu.

Actually, over these last few days, after talking to you guys, I am feeling so much better! They don't occupy my mind nearly so much. I am feeling free again. I wonder if it was just a kind of 'withdrawal' symptom from a 'habit'?

Sure, I have issues, hangups maybe....but many things got ironed out a couple of years ago when I had a liver problem (the centre for anger, resentment etc.). I saw a homeopath and we worked on 'letting go' of it all. I don't bottle things up any more. Felt wonderful ever since! Until now!! That is another reason why I must get to the root of this issue. It will impact on me otherwise.

Life360 - there is a big problem with the world! I keep saying something must happen soon to redress the balance. Perhaps it is already happening? I get heartened when I hear others, like you, with the same sentiments. Maybe there are more of us than we think and collectively we will make a change??

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Part of what i sense is in the essence of what a relationship is all about. In a way we want to share our lives with the world but for some reason it has evolved and  limited to one partner and often it becomes a tug of war of whos opinion is correct. Each looking to the other for validation of their own views.

The longer couples are together, the more estranged they become. The charm and sexually onced used to secure their mate has turned into humdrum and habits only to be reinforced by socially created views.

Even in this forum there will be so many explainations about what is right and what a person should do but really it boils down to love and if love is at the epicenter then questions are answered before needing to asked.
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Okay, thanks for a clearer perspective.  I will say that I'm VERY happy that things over all are going great with your husband.  Keep your eye on that.  Work on that.  Be as active as possible with that.  Look for friends that are both you and your husband can be comfortable with.  Old friends are good but ya know, some run their course.  That ex was never a friend.  And in truth, your friend being interested in him after all you told her is really kind of squirrely on her part.  Sorry, no second hand men from my friends.  

I'll be dead honest.  This is bringing up emotions for you that you really don't need to be having.  I'd stop ALL contact with him and just tell him that your husband has been more than patient with you, you love your husband and will do anything for him so would like him to cease all contact with you and now that you are having some kind of relationship (whatever it is) with your friend, that you are placing himself in your life in an unwelcome way.  That you love your friend but that you don't feel it is a good thing for you to have any emotions over it and therefore, need to stay far away from it.

And you do.  And you can tell your friend this.  Maybe they'll sail into the sunset and be very happy together or maybe she'll be on a roller coaster with him and you can reconnect after.  But during this situation, I would limit your talk time, face time, facebook time, etc. with her.  I just would.  Your marriage is more important than any friend.

And perhaps he is toxic and evil inside.  Perhaps he knows he's bugging you and that is what all this is about.  

But who cares.  It is all a waste of your energy and distracting you from the life you've now made a conscious decision to live.  One without HIM.  One without any threats to your marriage.  And one that is not having stress in it caused by him (and his hooking up with your friend.)

I do not feel love is anything other than a simple emotion.  Just like anger, fear, jealousy.  We should love purposely and not feel that this emotion rules us.  You want to love your husband.  Do so and honor him as you've been doing (so glad you have turned it around and the two of you are good now.)

By the way life, I'm more in love with my husband now than when I married him.  For me, the things we've experienced as a couple have endeared him even more to me, made him sexier, made me even happier to be with him.  Time helped us and actually made us closer.  
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Thank you for all this support. It is really clarifying things in my mind.

You know, in an email from my ex, a while ago, he questioned my not talking about my emotions, feelings etc. - it was always about HIS - (well, yes, that's what it was all about, wasn't it??). Then he asked 'Are you really unhappy? In your marriage? You never talk about it. I think you are suppressing your feelings like I did with my wife for all those years. !!!!?

Is this what you meant about society, Life?! I was shocked! When one is 'counselling,' the 'patient' really does not want to hear about your issues!!

However, I just replied saying I have no issues. My marriage is happy, I am happy, I love my family, work, home....I hate having problems I can't solve, I hate my little life being upset...I wish we could sell our second home, I wish I was a little bit thinner, fitter. And ended it with I need very little and I have all I want. I really meant every word. I was so puzzled that he should turn things round to me and suggest it was ME who was unhappy.

This is what I meant about him 'playing with my mind', I think. Sure, we all have problems from time to time, but I have learnt plenty to be able to solve anything that comes along. (Which is probably why others tend to lean on me with theirs?).

I do believe these days that people give up too quickly on their relationships. It is so sad and leads to a much less fulfilled life in the end. I feel the same as you, Specialmom, with my husband. It was so lovely to hear you say you love your husband more now than when you married him. Nothing can substitute for the experiences of life, faced together, good and bad. I did realise that after this 'affair'. My husband is a million times the man my ex is. Sure, he has little faults - so do I - probably more! But, you know, we have learned to laugh at them! Yes, we do laugh a lot! And he is the only person in the world I trust.

Back to my friend. That is exactly how I feel! I would NEVER go after her cast-offs!

Actually, this could all blow over, like you say. They haven't met in 35 years, same as me. We are different people, yet the same, somehow. It is weird. Appearances have changed..then you look closely, beyond the physical changes, and see that young face you remember. Then it all floods back.

They didn't have a relationship. I think they dated for a few weeks but it was his best friend she wanted - and got! So, perhaps my ex was using her to taunt me? In a 'fun' way for him but a 'cruel' way for me? Like a mouse and a cat?

I also wonder, now, if those unwelcome emotions I experienced were coming from that vulnerable time when he 'dumped' me all those years ago? Bringing it all back and making me re-live them? But, using my best friend??? Come on - find someone I don't know! That's the part I find so hard! And I really should be happy for them!!

Day by day it's getting easier. They are actually together now. It is all boiling down to the fact that they are 2 people I know so well and for so long. And both wanting me out of the picture. That is what I found so hard. The 'secrecy'. All they needed to do was just say, matter of factly. It also would have been nice for my friend to ask simply how I felt about it? They know I am not an unreasonable person - wouldn't that have been a polite gesture? Or am I just TOO principled? Because I would have done that.

OK, so perhaps I am upset that they don't 'need' me any more!! They have each other to swap woes with! Yes, you are right. I must keep well away - and I have!

Isn't life strange??!
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Ya know, what keeps striking me is that you entertain these conversations with him.  Pull the plug.  NO conversation.  And tell your friend that you've taken this stance.  I would be honest with her that in truth, you will see and talk to her less if she is with him.  That he is toxic to your life, you want nothing to do with him, and if she is with him, your contact with her will be less.  This saddens you but is really what has to happen.  

Because I have to tell you.  I'm concerned.  You are emotionally attached to this situation in a way that is not a women that is done with something.  You are still very wrapped up in analyzing him, her, what's going on with them.  

This all matters way more than it should to you if you are making a choice to be with your husband.  I'm going to be flat out honest.  I do think you are jealous that she is getting this man's attention.  Deep down.  I think you need to see a therapist about sorting out your true emotions.  

Your husband is only going to be patient with this for so long.  I'd be over it by now if this were my husband still ruminating over and over again about an ex of 35 years ago that he had an affair with.  I'd expect ZERO contact and I'd expect that my spouse wasn't still wrapped up in worrying about it all.  
good luck
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Thank you for your plain speaking! It is what I need to hear because it has made me realise it sounds like I am just a spoilt child!! Words can be SO inadequate! I'll try again.

Like I said yesterday, and I'm not sure you understood, I WAS over it 5 years ago. I'm not still ruminating over an ex from 35 years ago - It was rekindled only 5 years ago. It was an overwhelming experience. I went through ALL the emotions back then. Made everything right with my husband again then. IT'S OVER. (And I am not trying to pretend otherwise).

You don't seem to be grasping my REAL problem. He re-emerged only last year, quite out of the blue, and I thought I could just  be a friend. Now, I'm sure I could have been if he hadn't poured out his heart and soul about this new love, who'd left him, AND his divorce. It was VERY emotional, very analytical, heart-searching stuff....and HE was seeing a qualified therapist (actually they can often cause more problems). I do NOT pretend to know it all. But I DO know I do NOT need a therapist!

He had a therapist. My best friend had a therapist (who insisted on her taking pills - Prozac). My ex's latest girlfriend had a therapist. ALL of them. ALL totally screwed up! In fact, with my friend, it took myself and another close friend of hers ages to wean her off - both the pills and the therapy. I had known her all her life and she became a completely different person. She was becoming a complete zombie.

So, you see, I became embroiled in BOTH of their lives VERY closely. I was a 'sounding board' for their emotions. Especially my friend when she went through her split from her partner (I outlined it in an earlier post, so I'm not repeating it). It took 4 years thereabouts, talking over and over, EVERY day. Some days I was completely exhausted! But she is my dear, dear friend and was going through HELL.

With my ex, not only did he want me to help him with his own emotions but he kept asking me to explain his girlfriend's too. Much of it I could - common sense, pretty much, but an awful lot from early childhood. I certainly do not pretend to be a fountain of knowledge but I actually do know a lot about psychology, having studied it when I was younger. At least I got him to reduce his visits to the therapist until they ceased altogether

It is this intimacy, with both of them, that makes it so difficult for me.  
They both depended on me for so long. When I tried to withdraw from my ex, when I thought he was 'over' his trauma, he begged me not to 'desert' him now! (He has a tendency to become a 'little boy' when he wants his own way).

Does this explain my complex issue any better? It is not just a straightforward 'lusting after an ex'. I am not a stupid woman. This is deeper stuff, which is why I titled my thread 'Is he playing mind-games?'

I will understand it soon. I am getting there, slowly. Thank you for helping me! My sister-in-law is a midwife and she said she needed other midwives to get her through her births....


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You don't sound "over" this to me at all.  In fact You seem over invested in Both these People's Lives.  You should let this go - Your Friend is entitled to do Her own thing" with Him (as You did!!).  It's not Your problem and You should quit trying to make it Yours.

YOU are making this Your "complex issue".  YOU are the one making it "so difficult" for YourSelf.  This doesn't 'belong' to You, YOU are 'making' it Your concern ("issue")

My feeling is if You were "over" it - that would mean NO contact with the Man You had an affair with.  I cannot understand why You would want to remain "Friends" with Him or how Your Husband could be comfortable with that.  You may not be having sex with Him anymore, but You are emotionally involved and You don't want Him to have an affair with Your GirlFriend.  If I were Your Husband, I would feel troubled about that.

I agree with SpecialMom - I think You sound jealous of Their involvement with one another.

You should apply this amount of energy and emotion into Your Own Marriage and let Your "Friends" take Their Own paths.

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Oops, just another thing - I stopped all contact 2 weeks or so ago with my ex.- you seem to think I'm still encouraging him. Before I came on this forum, actually.

With my friend, I told her to be careful and that I would 'keep my nose out' from now on!' - that, too, was 2 weeks ago. It was said in a light-hearted way because she was still adamant nothing would/could happen.

Just wanted to make that clear!

One other thing I must make clear is that during all our recent emails (with my ex, since he contacted me last year) it was ALL about him. Sorting out his head. There was never any suggestion about us getting back together. In fact I made that abundantly clear before resuming any conversations right at the beginning. Not that he wanted it either. This new girlfriend had bowled him over. And I was genuinely sad for him that it hadn't worked. Sure, there were instances when I had to use my experience with him to try to explain his girlfriend's responses. That's why I was good for him. I knew him so well.

So, you see, contrary to what you perhaps assumed, this connection was not about him and me.
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I want you to know that I get it.  The re emergence and your continued attachment to the situation now is what concerns me.  If I had someone from my past try to enter it again-------  I would ignore them completely. So, I do get what you are saying. I understand  you cut all ties two weeks ago.  Bravo and stick to that!  You are still very much emotionally attached to what is going on with him.  

I have a friend that I had to break ties to.  This wasn't a lover but simply a friend.  It was a toxic person that caused me stress.  I broke ties.  Just last year, she contacted me again.  I ignored her.  She continued to try to reach me.  I sent this:  I've chosen to not have contact with you.  Please respect that.

So, this should have been what you should have done a year ago.  That he is with your friend and it is bugging you deep down . . .   worries me.  You have to distance yourself emotionally from this.  it's not worth the inner turmoil.  

Secondary gain is real and very embroiled in this.  You need to close the gaps so he can't get into your head in any way.  For the sake of your marriage and own dignity.  

Secondary gain allows you to think it was helpful and necessary for you to counsel him on other relationships.  

I just encourage you to really understand that all of that was unnecessary.  He's not part of your life or is he?  You decide.  But if he is not part of your life . . .  that includes you playing counselor to him.

I do tend to wonder about your friend who has all these woes you help her through and this man . . .  if part of what internally makes your ego feel good is to feel like you are 'helping' others and in a better position in life than them.  

Please please understand that I am NOT putting you down or judging you at all.  I just know that a lot goes on behind the scenes in our subconscious and it can cause us to do things that probably isn't in our best interest.  And we all do it.  I'm not different than anyone else.  We are ALL works in progress.

And just from an outsiders point of view, this situation has you still emotionally attached to this man.  And that is NOT helpful to your marriage.  Cut all ties as you say you've done and that might mean telling your friend you don't want to talk about him.  You might not get to see her much or talk to her much if their romance really heats up.  You don't have control over that. You only have control over you.  Block him on all social media so he can't see your pages and you can't see his.  Block his number from your phone.  Be done with it in your heart and if you aren't there yet, then keep working on that.

good luck
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THANK YOU!!!

I UNDERSTAND AT LAST!

What it is that's been bugging me, thanks to your help. I really thought I could be 'friends' with my ex. That I was putting in place that 'distance' to be able to treat him as a friend.

In fact, in this case, it is IMPOSSIBLE. Perhaps if we'd just talked about the weather (like we Brits are famous for!)......but because it was ALL about his ex-girlfriend and ex-wife - and what was I, after all??....it was churning up all those emotions from my deep being.

NO WONDER I was perplexed! NO WONDER I thought I was going mad!! Of course, I was/had been, emotionally involved with this person which means that I can never view his life in a detached way.

It is a fine line and, if crossed, causes confusion.

I'm afraid the 'helping others' is in my bones. I've always been the one people gravitate to. Sometimes I can help, sometimes not. I don't do it for conscious gratification. I don't ever go looking for it. In fact, I often find it exhausting/frustrating/overwhelming. But, sometimes, I may just point someone in the right direction and they can see the road again. This is why I gave up psychology all those years ago. But I still LOVE philosophising!!! We have many fascinating discussions with groups of friends......

And here we are - I couldn't solve my own problem without you!!!!
Thank you SO much!

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I STILL think You should give all this emotion and energy (analyzing) (helping others) to YourSelf and Your Husband.  

You've said You don't 'need' therapy and You suggest Your Friend and GirlFriend's therapy('s) were "screwed up" - but hasn't this all been about You giving them/or wanting to give them therapy?  You have sound like You know what is best for them.

You made Your own decision to have an affair while You were Married and Your "Friend" and Your GirlFriend can make Their Own decisions. I think I understand They are neither one Married to SomeOne else.  I totally agree with SpecialMom.  You have made this a "complex issue" (your words, not mine) by giving this undue attention.  It should not be Your concern.  You should be more taken with Your Own Relationship with Your Husband.

I'm curious how Your Husband has felt about You being "friends" with Your ex who is also the man You had an affair with while married to Him??  or did He know?
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Such a pity we only have words here. As I said they are SO inadequate....and open to mis-interpretation.

I really did not intend this discussion to become so intense - or analytical - as it has become. I was only trying to understand/make sense of my feelings that seemed to come out of the blue and were quite simply bewildering (to me).

Now you are probably thinking 'Ha, I've touched a nerve'.....'I was right all along'.....well, to an extent. What you did NOT know was that my husband and myself had talked about separating 10 years ago. Our marriage had become simply a financial arrangement. We virtually led separate lives. He went away on business often. We agreed that each could do whatever we wanted. Sex was non-existent.

So, please don't preach to me about my 'unfaithfulness' whilst I was married. Goodness knows what my husband got up to! My husband knew I was visiting my ex. How many people 'cheat' whilst in a happy marriage?

BUT, it was because of my affair that my husband and I got back together. Believe me, we had done plenty of talking during our marriage! I invested a LOT of energy and effort. This time, however, my husband wouldn't talk about it. Initially. Once I ended it, we talked. And talked.

You talk about it all being MY fault. Sure, I'm guilty. But, at the time (of the affair), we agonised over our situation. He (my ex) was in an unhappy marriage, too. We were just two lonely people who had loved each other passionately once..and it sparked again. Intensely. Mind-blowingly. Explosive. Eventually, I ended it, after 6 months by saying I couldn't be responsible for splitting 2 families, however imperfect they may be. His wife was distraught. And, by then, I looked at my husband in a different light. In fact, he had become SO much more gentle, attentive, generous - all traits that had all but disappeared for years.

I look back on that time and I thank my ex! He reminded me how a woman should be treated...and my husband picked up on that, again. It was, most definitely, one of life's magical times. Everyone started to comment on how confident I looked. And Happy. Even my husband's family applauded me - because they knew how shabbily my husband was treating me.

So, you see, it isn't all black and white.

You are probably right to say I am jealous. Yet I'm not. There are still conflicting emotions. Brought about because I allowed this man back into my life. I thought I was 'safe' from my emotions. This was the mistake. I am not as strong as I thought I was.

Therefore you are right in what you say. And what I have realised, with your help. That it can NEVER be just a 'friendship' because of all the past emotional history.

It was those conversations about his feelings/emotions that brought mine back up. It was utter confusion in my head.

I must add I was not 'giving' therapy!! To either of them. I was listening, sympathising, perhaps explaining certain reasons why people did strange things/behaved in unwelcome ways....  and urging them to find their own solutions. I certainly did not think I knew better. They are both highly intelligent people whom I had known for nearly 40 years.That sounds so arrogant! However subconsciously you think it was. But it is your prerogative to think whatever you do.

So, in light of all this, I probably was 'jealous' of my friend...because I still had an emotional attachment to my ex. However irrational. But I also felt 'protective' towards my friend because of her past vulnerability. As I said, she is only just emerging from her traumas. The last thing she needs is another disastrous love affair. But, yes, it is NONE of my business. I did say that to her, if you remember!

I honestly feel cleansed now! No way could I have said all this to someone I know face to face. It is painful to bring up the past, especially when I really thought I had come to terms with everything.

It happened. It's in the past. I have learned from it. I hope my ex and my friend find happiness, either together or apart.

Shrinks? Some are good, others not! But they sure earn a lot of money!!!!





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Okay, let's not get side tracked.  :>).  I think you are on the right track to realize that you can't be friends with the ex.  I'd make that clear to him (and yourself by taking official steps like some blocking action).  I promise you, you will be happier in the long run.  I've had inner turmoil before myself and it is indeed confusing.  A jumble of emotions that you wish you didn't have and know you shouldn't have but there it is.   Best to separate from it completely In my opinion.  

That is one of the reasons why I say you may need to take a break from your friend for a bit too.  it may come to that.  Judge it by the turmoil that builds inside of yourself.  If it starts to bubble up again----  give the friendship a bit of a time out.  She's making a conscious choice to interact with an ex that surely she knows has been a struggle for you.  I, in all honesty, wouldn't do that to a friend.  No matter how cute they are, how available, how  much they pursued, or what kind of island they offer (although no one has ever offered me an island. :>) )  So, just decide what to do about that friendship with your girlfriend as time goes on and judge it by if you feel that familiar emotional spinning.  

Stay close to your husband and glad you worked through some 'things' and are on the right track.  maybe this is a good time to plan a nice getaway with him.  peace
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And I do want to comment on one thing.  Please don't take this the wrong way but the affair with the ex five years ago sounds so glamorous.  Even thanking him for reminding you how a woman should be treated.  

Sweetie, think about it.  You were his side thing.  Was he treating his wife the way a woman should be treated?  

The affair was just an affair.  As torrid as they all are.  Nothing special.  And you need to really try to see that more.  

peace
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Thank you for your help.

It has certainly clarified things in my mind.

Yesterday, I had begun to understand the 'inner turmoil' I was experiencing. Today, I feel almost back to normal! Or, in reality, back in 'control' of those feelings, knowing exactly where they came from!

You know, that is all I needed. It made me feel inadequate that I couldn't understand them and put them firmly 'back in the box' where they belong. They have been dealt with, it's not a case of submerging them. In fact, they had been dealt with a long time ago but I allowed them to resurface through being back in contact. Which is where the confusion lay.

Strangely enough my ex has been in touch with all his exes. And he has stayed friends with both them and their partners. Which is why it seemed fine for me to do the same. The only difference is that there was no 'chemistry' with the others. What I will never know is if I was just there in the right place at the right (wrong?) time. But, it doesn't matter now.

I WILL keep those precious memories filed away. It WAS a turning point in my life. And though it may sound (when I said I thanked him) that I am/was some pathetic creature grateful for any crumb. Quite the reverse. HE, in fact, because of allowing his emotions to surface (the first time in most of his life!) went on to meet another and have a deep, meaningful relationship, even though it has now ended. The (2nd) marriage, as I said was a 'child contract'. His wife was quite a 'disturbed' person who, actually, has, sadly, almost lost touch with their only child (they lost 2 others). That, I cannot even contemplate! The child (now a woman), because of issues during her childhood, with her mother, only makes 'duty' visits. Thankfully she has a great relationship with her father. And, through their divorce, (who knows?) she, the ex-wife, may find a more suitable partner and happiness.

And because of it, I regained my confidence and I repaired my marriage! A win-win situation in my opinion!

I take on board your comment about the 'affair' being just that. Nothing special. Well, I beg to differ!! The thing I agree with, and I have dealt with this already, 5 years ago, is that it is over. I have no desire to go back there.

So, wow, it's taken a few days of soul-searching!! Thanks to your patience, I am at peace in my mind now. He wasn't 'playing mind games' with me after all. It was myself 'allowing' those emotions to re-surface. It was my mistake to allow him back into my life. I am not strong enough to cope with the 'complex issues'  (read 'complex emotions'!) that accompany it. Tinkers, that's what I meant by that comment! Not that 'they' were becoming 'my' pre-occupation. I already put in place the distance I knew was necessary.

My friend? She will always be my friend! But we have lived for the last 40 years entering in and out of each other's lives.  A bit of space now will not damage anything. To be fair, she had a dramatic fall in lifestyle when she left her partner. She is very 'glamorous', has been used to exotic holidays, fabulous clothes/possessions, money....it could be that she is 'chasing those dreams' again here? He has the lifestyle (oh, he doesn't own the whole island, by the way!!). But there is never a free lunch, is there?!

Thank you, thank you, guys! I'll be keeping an eye on this brilliant forum from time to time....but, I've had enough of analysis for a while...it's back to my Creative business now.....!!! Keep up the great work!

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Well good luck.  Glad the forum was able to help a bit.

I do think that the conversation got a bit analytical because this might be the path you took with the thread.  I'm guessing you do a lot of 'thinking' and when you express it here, other's who do a lot of 'thinking' will exchange their thoughts.  

I would evaluate yourself for secondary gain.  It is crystal clear from the outside looking in that this is part of the situation.  Wishing you luck and peace!
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Ive got to say that its good to have a person like specialmom here to ground all of us that are slightly flighty in our minds.
Bottom like she is correct and that our past is just that.

I would like to add also that the "now"  we are currently live in is a sign of our progress in life and to relive the past is a regression. However we got here, we have picked ourselves up, brushed ourselves off and with a head held high enter the future with the knowlege that we have gained from our prior journey..

On a side note, my ex that i was talking about text me today and asked me to western union her $375 for her room rent due sunday as well as $150 for her belongings storage fee due monday.

Now aint that the cats meow. I think ill now take specialmoms advise and discontinue my communication with her as now i see the light also!!!!
She even said an even $500 would do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Yes, Specialmom, you are the best! Putting it all into perspective for us!  Yes, I am one of those 'thinkers', I do tend to analyse - sometimes I envy those who go through life just letting it all happen! But, that is me and my philosophising nature! It is the person I AM.

However, I am still fine today - in fact, hardly a thought about it all for 2 days now - I am calm again now I understand where those mixed up emotions were coming from. Most of all, that I am just a normal human being!

Life360, I am SO happy that this thread has helped you to see the light, too.
I did think that this thread, being so long, just might help someone else. STOP ALL CONTACT NOW!!!! Once you give just a little it will never stop! Remember my comment about my ex's ex girlfriend? She said she'd give him her finger and he'd grab her whole hand!

I think, you are similar to me in these situations, Life, we 'want' to help but I think the other ends up taking advantage of our 'caring' character. We  also have the 'guilt' that we were the ones that succeeded (in our own life) whereas the other is still struggling. That is NOT to be taken out of context, everybody - do not read 'superior'....only more calmly, accepting and peacefully.

I do agree about your comment, Life, that the 'now' we live in is a sign of our past....a different path.....a different choice....we could be in a much worse place! So it is, with dignity, that we continue forward and enjoy life.
These experiences only enrich us and make us compassionate, fulfilled beings. Most of all, at peace with ourselves.

I'm going to miss you guys! So, I will pop back from time to time. I am so glad I found you all! Good luck to everyone!
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I know this post is seen as concluded but there is a little more I would like to add, just in case it may help someone else.

Because I work on 'intuition' it sometimes takes a while for my brain to rationalise the 'why'.

It seems that we all got caught up in the reason of my hurt feelings being because of my ex. I couldn't get my head round that because I knew I had dealt with him 5 years ago. How many tries do we need??

Actually, as the focus was on him, we took our eyes off my 'best friend'! SHE was the real cause of my pain. I've done a bit of reading and general light discussions, leading me to the root of this. My 'gut' was saying 'betrayal', 'incest(!)', 'going behind my back - exclusion'.....all thoughts and feelings directed towards my ex. Irrational, I kept telling myself!

Well, when applied to my 'best friend' makes complete sense! It is a cardinal rule, isn't it? To not go after your friend's ex - in my book anyway.

And, sure, this was slightly different because I am married and I committed a sin by having an affair.....but does that preclude me from having feelings? If she had asked me how I felt, I would have said absolutely fine. But it was the 'He's asked me and I'm going if it kills me' response that hurt so much. Without a second's thought about how I might feel.

Another reason I was shocked is that her close friend was 'supposedly' making a play for my friend's partner and that is why they split up. When, actually, it was the other way round. My friend was actually having an affair with the friend's husband!! I was privy to this 'secret' and did not judge. Needless to say, as soon as she left her partner, the husband was back in the family fold! Firmly and permanently!  For the last 5 years she has blamed this friend for all her woes. Dividing their mutual friends in the process.

So, there we have it! 2 for the price of one!! Both out of my life for good. Neither share my principles or morals. And I no longer have to listen to their troubles - freedom!!

I do feel vindicated because the inner turmoil was so out of character for me. I wonder how many other women share my unspoken rules about exes, how ever old? I know Specialmom does!  
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This makes no sense to me - most especially Your feeling of "betrayal" and "going behind Your back" and "cardinal rule" as regards Your Friend. You were perfectly capable of "betrayal" and going "behind Your Husbands back" to break the "cardinal" rule of fidelity to one's spouse(??!!).  Seems to me in view of Your own indiscretion, You'd be willing to cut Your "ex" and Your Friend some slack.  Under these circumstances I don't understand Your "principles and morals". in the least.  You cheated on Your Husband but You feel Your GirlFriend is breaking some sort of rule to be involved with the ex You cheated on Your Husband with??!!  You are WAY too invested in this - it does not sound reasonable - no matter how many times You explain and re-explain.  I think You need to explore this with a therapist.
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Of course it doesn't make sense to you because you don't read with understanding. Or think, before you pass judgement.
Perhaps you need a therapist since you sound very bitter and judgemental?
Others will take a different viewpoint. We are all entitled to our opinions, including you.
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I'm not being judgemental or bitter,  I'm being   o b s e r v a n t.

You have written  e x t e n t s i v e l y  about this.  You can't seem to put it to rest.  I am only one of others who thought therapy might be helpful, but ultimately, You are free to make Your choices in spite of any observation I make.


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You are wrong, actually. You are the only one who's mentioned therapists. Don't tell me you are one??! However, I do value your comments because I would hate to have only 'yes' people 'observing'.

Far from it being 'all consuming' - I am far too busy with my business - but my subconscious still mulls over things until I come to a conclusion. I thought I had concluded it by accepting the general consensus that it was my fault and I must still have feelings for my ex. (Sure, some, but only because of our history). And that I shouldn't have allowed him back into my life. I do agree. But still that nagging kept surfacing (only occasionally).

Then it occurred to me that my 'best friend' (actually, oldest is a better description) is also part of it. Reading back (to find someone else telling me I need therapy!!) I re-read this from Specialmom:-

>Old friends are good but ya know, some run their course.  That ex was never a friend.  And in truth, your friend being interested in him after all you told her is really kind of squirrely on her part.  Sorry, no second hand men from my friends.That is one of the reasons why I say you may need to take a break from your friend for a bit too.  it may come to that.  Judge it by the turmoil that builds inside of yourself.  If it starts to bubble up again----  give the friendship a bit of a time out.  She's making a conscious choice to interact with an ex that surely she knows has been a struggle for you.  I, in all honesty, wouldn't do that to a friend.  No matter how cute they are, how available, how  much they pursued, or what kind of island they offer (although no one has ever offered me an island. :>) )  So, just decide what to do about that friendship with your girlfriend as time goes on and judge it by if you feel that familiar emotional spinning. <

Which re-affirmed what others have said, too (elsewhere and amongst my girl-friends). So, I will not accept ALL the blame in this. I think I had a near normal response. And THAT is all I needed to know!! OK, maybe not in your book, Tinkerbell, but thank goodness we are all different.

I only decided to write it down, partly for my own understanding, but that it MAY help someone else.

For the record, I haven't been in touch with either of them for over 3 weeks. I never said anything to either of them - neither ever knew how I was feeling - which is why I felt the need to vent my feelings here!

My 'best' friend is back from her trip but hasn't been in touch with me. Now that speaks volumes! But it's OK, I'm obviously such a BAD friend.....

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Tish, it sounds like you are getting in touch with where the emotions and irritation are coming from.  I personally think that is a good thing.  

You are correct.  I wouldn't do that from a friend and would not be thrilled with a friend doing that to me.  I also separate myself from situations that cause too much inner angst for me.  Even when caused by a friend.  Sometimes friendships do not last forever and sometimes they go on breaks during periods in which the turmoil they cause is too much as is the case here.

I think what Tink was noting ---  was that it can not be denied that there is a double standard at play here.  That is true, to be honest.  You also breeched what many wouldn't do by cheating and put the morals for self gratification at that time on the back burner while you hurt someone you cared for.  BUT . . .  big BUT . . .  we all do things that we aren't proud of and wish we hadn't done.  We all do the wrong thing and make poor choices and we all in some way from time to time hurt someone we love.  We are human.  And just because we've done that does not mean we should from then on say that those in our life have a free pass to hurt us.  It is still appropriate and right to set standards and boundaries for those we have in our lives.  So I hear what Tink is saying----  but I also think one must move on from past 'deeds' and go on to expect ourselves and those in our life to do the right thing.  

And forgive me Tish, I do still believe there is a hint of jealousy on your part of their budding romance.  If he falls heavy for her and they become a true couple, that might sting.  Too close to home.  That is absolutely human and a justifiable emotion.  Even if you are happy with your husband---  you did give this man up to be with him and having his new relationship with a friend would hurt on some level.  

But I do agree with the progress you've made at placing the WhY to these emotions you have.  That is a good direction to go in to rid yourself of them.  

good luck!!  
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I understand (emphasize understand) the emotion, but (emphasize but), I do think You are dwelling on it to distraction.  You have no control over what They do - You would do best to let it go, and You seem unable to do that.  You're making a bigger issue of it than is good for You.  You have Your life and They have theirs and They are free (maybe even deserving?) to do what They want and it should not affect You this hugely.
You don't have to like it, but You don't have to let it bug You this way, this much.  You are making it matter WAY more than it should.

P.S.
No, I'm not a therapist
AND
I am not the only one who mentioned therapy to You - You answered that You don't need therapy, and You suggested it was not helpful to Your Friend - that You and another Friend had to "wean Her off therapy and pills".
AND
Therapy doesn't mean someone has more issues than another, it just means one has the courage to face Their issues.  

I too wish You luck
Regards,
Tink
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Thanks for those comments.

I'm not dwelling on them (as an item) - that's fine. I have never deluded myself there. Of course, they are free and if they get on, great.

I know that you have all pointed to that as the root. I know it isn't and that's all that matters. Perhaps when you have had a little more experience in life you may understand? I can see perfectly where you are coming from.

It is down to the fact that I have lost 2 friends overnight. Not simple acquaintances, but close friends with whom we have always had complete honesty. Until now!

For me, it has been like a 'bereavement'. Especially my 'best' friend and me - we have always had the same humour and personality - SHE would be the one I would turn to here! Ironic? We would talk and collapse in heaps of laughter (like children!) at our silly 'worries'. Our respective children would roll their eyes and walk away, shaking their heads and laughing at us!  

So THAT is what I am grieving. Alone we can both become serious and introspective, together we have that symmetry to overcome the hardest adversity.

In fact, today, I was chatting with a friend and briefly mentioned my dilemma. She is a tough cookie and said 'contact her, then'. And 'why have you lost 2 friends?'.....'not your fault'.....'if your friend doesn't respond then she was never a friend'. Matter of fact as only an outsider can be!! Like you guys.

So I have just sent a brief text to my friend. I will wait and see. At least I will know what I am facing rather than imagining all sorts of scenarios.

We'll have to agree to disagree with therapy, Tinks. Here in the UK it isn't nearly so common as in the States. Besides, I've had plenty of problems in my life and not one has got the better of me. I am quite capable of solving almost anything. Even this one has actually narrowed down to losing my oldest friend - after 40 years of never an argument - and over a guy!!! Unbelievable! We are bigger than that!

And also, please try to temper your comments. I know you are trying to help but you really don't know the full facts of anyone else's life. Be careful with your words, Tink. Take a leaf out of Specialmom's book and try to be more diplomatic. There are vulnerable people out there - yes, like the ones who seek out therapy and mind-altering drugs. I have seen too many people become addicted. Check out all the atrocities in both our countries, perpetrated by 'crazy' people - the common link? - pharmaceutical drugs. Fact.

But thank you all the same for giving your time to me. It has helped me to conclude where the 'pain' is coming from.

At least my ex asked my opinion before inviting my friend to stay! Of course, I said 'that would be a nice gesture' and meant it. That was the nature of our friendship. Whatever you say, or think, it was never about 'that friendship' even though you convinced me it was off limits. We are both far too mature and level-headed for it to be otherwise. It had worked for a year on a different footing without any emotional issues. We were friends.

I hope, one day, you experience  similar relationships. It is quite rare to find lifelong friends with whom you can share anything and everything. That is what I've lost. But now I am going to try and build bridges.

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Thanx anyway Tish,

but no thanx,

it will not be my experience to have similar relationships as the ones You have described here.

Regards,

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I just want to say that Tink offers some very valuable insight Tish.  She's not wrong in what she is writing but it is hard to hear.  I tend to agree that this is much deeper than you want to convince yourself of.  

You immediately dismiss any notion that this has to do with jealousy that he may be falling in love with your friend now and she getting all the great things he had to offer and gave you.  And that irks you.  Remember, denial is a protective mechanism.

Many never go deep to understand their complex emotions on a difficult subject.  You have started this process.  Maybe you'll go further with it or maybe you'll just move on.  Either is good.  But regardless, you need to stop all communication with him and your friend if you feel betrayed by her.  (I would feel betrayed by a friend on some level even though it is indeed within the rights of two single people to get together.  She didn't ask you if you minded---  but just did it and that would not sit well with me.)  Be done with it.  In fact, eliminate all access to them and them to you.  Especially him at this point!!  (If I were your husband, I'd have ONLY stayed with you had you done this any way.)

I do want to note that you clearly do not lack confidence.  LOL  However, I am almost 50 and have much life experience as does Tink.  I promise you, I've had equal friendships and romances on the same level that you've experienced.  I've had a lengthy and successful career.  Lovers.  Best friends.  The desire to believe everything in your own life is so much 'more' than what others experience is offputting and perhaps is another way your psyche protects you.  Humbling oneself and knowing that no matter how much experience we have, how smart we are, how successful we are . . .  that we have much to learn from others is a way to grow.  good luck
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I am SO SO sorry, Specialmom and Tink.

This post has simply been all about a bruised ego and a letting go of the past. As simple as that. I have woken up out of my deep reverie and can see it for what is was..

Excuses are not intended here but just a little insight into my position. I have been working on a difficult design project, 7 days a week for the last month. Alone in my studio for long stretches. Some of the work was repetitive allowing my mind to wander.

This 'issue' got completely out of hand....but the more I dwelt on it, the more 'complicated' it became. It is just the normal process of how I deal with things. Some people can just 'walk away' and forget - lucky if they can but often that same issue comes back to haunt them. I have to deal head on - analyse and analyse until I completely understand the 'why'. Then walk away. (This is the' learning' we all go through, isn't it?)

Looking back on my 'vitriol' it is all here, a blow by uncomfortable, unattractive blow account, how my mind was processing it (normally I am the only witness to this!).

I  was being forced to deal with the 'ex'. I DID rebel against it because it was over and done with 5 year's ago - I KNEW that. Not jealousy of him or her......NO, just that blasted beautiful island whilst I was stuck in my studio!!!

There are many more islands.....just as beautiful, if not more so.......!! And I can go to one in a month's time with my husband! And because my bank balance is bigger I can treat him!

My friend? Yes, I was defending her as I've always done! Totally unnecessary. She didn't give me a second thought.....apart from her parting shot email saying 'I'm off tomorrow - hope you're not burning the midnight oil on that project!'. Of course I b***** was. No choice!

Specialmom, I wasn't directing the anger at you. If you read what I said it was suggesting Tink took a leaf out of your book. You have been such a support. You have a special gift for listening and gently guiding people through. But you know that. Although I have to say it got a little too psycho-analysing... but how were you to know? I probably sounded like a demented squirrel. THANK YOU.

Tink. Yes, you made me so angry!!! You sounded like a sanctimonious, pompous prig! (I had to delete what I ACTUALLY wrote - you'd have been suing me!). But, you know, you were absolutely right! So, thank you! It made me snap out of that dark place I was trapped in.

But, Tink, another thing happened yesterday. A body was found in woods next to us. It was that of a migrant worker who'd committed suicide. A sobering thought. Why? His community said he had no-one to talk to. So, both you women, you really do a brilliant job, giving up your time (I'm guessing for free) to others. I must add, though, that if this poor man had come to you, Tink, and you'd told him to 'get a grip and pull yourself together' sort of thing, he could have just been pushed over the edge the same. That's what I meant to you. Not everyone can solve problems in the same way, or are in that suitable space to do it alone. The truth hurts. But sometimes it has to be delivered in a timely fashion! Weeks ago you tried to tell me to forget it.....but I wasn't ready then, I just couldn't. You just got my back up! Yesterday, or the day before, the time was right! THANK YOU.

2 days ago I completed and delivered the project! Still more, but that's 'business as usual'.

Finally, last night I laughed at something ridiculous. It felt SO good afterwards!! That is what I was missing from my 'best' friend.....but I can do it with other people!

I am not confident. I worry about everything. But I never bottle up problems. And I never stop learning. And I must stop 'protecting' grown-up people who are responsible for their own actions! It only prevents them from learning from their mistakes after all.

For the record, I haven't contacted either party. The text was never sent. I don't need them.

And they all lived happily ever after....

THE END.

(This is where I break down and cry, meaning it's over and finished)

  
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OMGolly Tish,
130 paragraphs over a 2 1/2 week period - the most extensive posts I've ever read!!

You've had good, very good advice - I agree with You totally that SpecialMom is very "diplomatic" in Her knowledge (keyword "knowledge") She's VERY knowledgeable, diplomatic, and admirable - but You don't listen to Her either.  I don't understand why You were here - You have all Your own answers, You already know the whats, the whys and the what for's.  Why did You come here??

That being said:

I've been told I'm a "straight shooter", that I don't "beat around the bush".  I am blunt and direct but I always mean well - so I'm outa' here - before I  say something that can send someone "over the edge" like that poor migrant worker!!   An apology from me might sound as sincere as Your own did so instead, I will withdraw from this thread and I wish You good luck
Regards,
Tink

  
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I lived with my ex husband for 2 years and was married to him for 15 before we got divorced for his infidelity. He is as much to blame as the woman he cheated on me with, of this I am certain. He is still with this woman because I threw him out when I found out and would not take him back. He went to live with her the day I threw him out. I knew the woman he cheated with. They formed a relationship while he was remodeling her house. Her husband had been recently killed in a boating accident and I had even felt sorry for this woman because she had been left 2 children to raise on her own. Me and my husband did everything to help her in this trying time. I had even been to her house on several occasions to help my husband with problems she was having maintaining her home. I was always greeted with hugs and she didn't know what she would do without us. What a big mistake!!  She knew exactly what she was doing, without any question. Did she care that me and my husband had a child together? No, she did not. Did she care that she broke up a 17 year relationship? Not at all. Did she feel the need to try and turn my 7 year old son against me when I was forced to let my son go there every other weekend so my husband had visitation rights? Yea, she did. Did she feel the need to harass me with phone calls and text messages calling ME a *****, and it was my fault because I couldn't keep him happy? You guessed it, yea she did. Will I feel sorry for this woman when she finally gets what she deserves? Not in the least. Will I feel sorry for him? He already called on several occasions to tell me what a mistake he made and what a nut case she is, till I told him never to call me again unless its to talk to his son. I don't feel sorry for him at all. I moved 450 miles away to get away from all of it. So I ask you, do you really think I feel any remorse for walking away? Hell no. And as far as me having any sympathy for a woman who cares nothing about breaking up marriages and families for her own simple gain with no regard for others feelings or the kids involved, I hope the rest of her life is a living hell on earth.
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