Hello! I am new here...I really need some words of encouragement! This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me! A year this past February, I lost my first love, high school sweetheart and love of my life...

i am 51 yrs old (he was 52) and we got reconnected in mid 2015. We were each other’s first loves more than 30 yrs ago. He found me on FB and sent me a friend request, which I prompty accepted. I hadn’t seen him in more than 10 yrs as we live in the same city. I knew he was divorced from his first wife and had 2 kids but that was about it. We began chatting on a daily basis, catching up on each other’s lives. He told me that I was the love of his life and in all these years, he thought about me constantly. He had remarried four years earlier and I am married as well with 3 daughters. One thing led to another and it quickly escalated into a full blown affair. The old feelings reignited and it seemed that time had not passed. I was in heaven and so was he.....until his wife found out....then the nightmare began.

A vicious cycle of disappearing and reappearing started, as his wife was on to him like a hawk. She checked his phone continuously and even had it tracked among other horrific things like blocking me from all social media, calling my husband and even telling people so my in laws would know all about our affair. All this took a tremendous toll on me, him and our relationship. He would tell me he loved me and would leave her (even had me look for apartments) and then just bail on me only to come back a few days later telling me she knew it all and wouldn’t let him even use the phone!!! Even though this was happening, I do believe he really loved me as I felt it in his words, his touch and his embraces.....He just didn’t have the tools, or guts, to do what needed to be done....

The last time I saw him was Feb 2, 2017. We went to our usual spot. We kissed, we hugged, we laid in bed together blissfully as he told me he needed more time to settle his business with her so we could finally be together forever. As we were walking towards the door to say goodbye, he said he would call me so we could meet the following day. (I never called him as I didn’t want to cause him any more trouble.) He told me he loved me, we talked on the phone on our way to our respective homes.  I never heard from him again.

On February 22, a friend of mine called me and told me he passed away that morning due to cardiac arrest....I fell to the floor sobbing desperately as I knew what was coming (or not coming) next. I couldn’t go to the funeral, the mass, I couldn’t talk to any family members, I got no condolences, no sympathy for my pain. I was officially invisible. Plus, now I had to wonder what happened, why didn’t he contact me prior to that day. To make matters even more painful, I wrote his wife twice, once to offer my condolences that very same day, and another one a few months later apologizing for all this mess and I never received an answer....I was ignored once again!

It’s been a year already and I still cry every day in hiding. I can’t talk to anyone as no one understands the devastation this has caused me. My soul has been destroyed and my heart has been shattered. He is constantly on my mind and I feel him talking to me, as if trying to comfort me. I guess I’ll never really know what his real feelings were....I just try to believe they were true for my own sanity. This has been the most painful episode of my life. My questions will be left unanswered forever....How do I continue living with this pain?

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Hi Veronica,

I am so sorry for your pain. I am also experiencing a huge loss right now, not because my affair partner died, but because his wife found out, and she has insisted we have no further contact of any kind, even though we were friends for ten years before the affair and even though he and I published a co-authored book chapter that, ironically, just came out this month. We also both have been pivotal in each other's careers and emotional lives, but none of that seems to matter to anyone else because we had sex. He also told his wife that it was a one-time thing that happened and that I pressured him, which I was then stuck confirming (long complicated details), even though the reality is that the affair lasted about a year. I feel really and sincerely awful for the pain we caused while also feeling angry at society for refusing to see this relationship as anything more than unidimensional, and for seeing it as de-facto threatening to his family, even though what I would have liked was open polyamory, not for him to leave his wife (I am also married and do not want to leave my husband). I am also angry at him for sort of throwing me under the bus, although part of me also understands, or at least has compassion. I could use a friend who identifies with the grief, too, right now, if you would like to get in touch. My email is magdalenerysak@gmail.com. Hope to hear from you. ~Maggie

Wow Veronica, you could be me and telling my story. How are you doing now? As for your question, I have no answer but I can tell you I understand your pain. I am in a world of pain after a year and 4 months of my man's passing. He was my soul mate and the first guy I ever had a romantic physical relationship with 46 years ago. Then we got back together again in 2007 and were together until 2015. We were both married. He broke up with me because it was just too hard for him being so sick to carry on a relationship with me after his wife found out. He had been terminal since 2013 and finally succumbed in March of 2017. I didn't stay in contact with him after he broke up with me because he asked me not to so I didn't. Hardest thing I have ever done. So I had to keep checking the obituaries to see if he died. Those two years after he broke up with me and before he died were the darkest years of my life. I woke up every morning wishing I were dead. They are all a blur to me now. I don't know how I coped. I felt betrayed by him and I was so angry at him for choosing to stay with her as he died instead of me. We had so few days left and I felt he squandered them instead of at least staying in touch with me. I felt like everything he told me was a lie and that he really didn't love me if he could just write me off. He broke my heart and hurt me beyond anything I thought I could bear. Then he died and it was like losing him all over again. I am still devastated. I have no outlet for my grief. Even though I feel like he threw us away I still love him with all my heart. He came to me after he died and the first thing he said was, "I'm free! I'm not married anymore!" He apologized to me and told me he still loved me and that he thought he was doing what was best for both of us but realized he was wrong. He said he made it to heaven and was thankful that I talked to him of my faith because it made a difference. He told me that our love will never die and that he will be there to greet me when it is my turn. He told me that all I had to do is think of him and he would be right here with me and so we talk all the time and even as I am writing this I can feel his presence in the room with me. Now, maybe I am imagining all of this and I am crazy with grief and out of my mind but it does give me comfort. Because I saw on his fb page before he died that he did become a believer I know that even though we could not spend the rest of our lives on earth together that we will be spending eternity together. Even with that happy thought I still grieve the loss of him and being able to see him and hug and kiss him. It will be different in heaven but at least we will be together again in some capacity. I am still with my husband of 43 years as he wanted to stay married to me. We are doing better since B died but it still does not compare to the relationship I had with the love of my life. My husband and I are friends and companions so I guess that is a good thing. What B and I had was so much more and I truly felt "one flesh" with him as I have never with my husband. My husband knows all about our affair but doesn't want me to talk about it at all so all those memories are stuffed inside of me without an outlet. Thank you for speaking out because it helped me to be able to share some of my pain. I understand.

Hi Krista! Thank you for sharing your story. It has been almost 17 months after his passing and I still cry every day. I have to wait until everyone leaves the house so I can hide in my room and cry. It’s all I can do, as no one understands my pain except women who have gone through this tragedy. The hardest part is the lack of closure, the unanswered questions, the non existent support and especially, not being able to be with him prior to his death. (I don’t even know how he died) I was treated like crap by both of them but I do believe he had feelings for me. The wife had him on a short leash and he did not have the emotional capacity to do what had to be done. God only knows what other issues were simmering in their marriage. He was clearly unhappy or he wouldn’t have pursued me. I don’t know what goes through these men’s heads but I am sure they must love their affair partner. It’s just that they’re weak, lazy and controlled by the wives. I am certain most of them regret dismissing us at some point. Unfortunately for them, and us, their time ran out....then we mourn them once again....

I hope I can stop thinking about him and continue to live whatever time I have left. All I know is I will never be the same. I will never love another man like him again....

May you heal and live peacefully! I will have you in my thoughts and prayers. 

Veronica, I very much relate to what you are going through. After his wife found out about us she blocked me from his facebook page and checked his phone everyday for messages or phone calls to or from me. We would still text each other when we had the chance but that became very rare. I know he loved me. I know that if he had been well those last years that we would still be together somehow. Of course, if he had been well, she wouldn't have found out about us. In a way, I think it was better for me than you because I knew he was dying. I had time to get used to the idea that he wouldn't be around. Also, I think he thought that since he only had a short time to live that he didn't want to divorce her, marry me, then turn around and leave me with no one to take care of me. His disease took all of his life savings and 401k in medical bills. He left his wife with a veterans pension but nothing else. She is partially disabled though and knows how to work the system so she will do alright. 

Sometimes I think that men don't see love and commitment as one and the same. He told me that I had his heart even though she had his name. He felt committed to her even though he was in love with me. I really don't understand it. I didn't go to his memorial service either but I did know when it was. I figured I would get thrown out if I went so I saved myself that embarrassment at least. I did send him flowers to the service though, anonymously. His favorite, sunflowers, along with red roses for my love for him. It was after I got the confirmation that my flowers arrived that I broke down the first time. For some reason that was my moment of closure. I realized it was final. He was gone.

Are you a spiritual person? I am a born again Christian. I know, how could a believer get involved in an affair with a married man when I knew it was wrong, knew it was sin, knew it was against everything I believed in? Well, it took marrying a man I knew I wasn't in love with, years of trying to live in a marriage where my emotional needs were not met, years of trying to make up for not being in love with him, years of pretending that I loved him, years of trying to figure out why I couldn't grow to love him and why he was so emotionally unavailable. Finally we were to the point that I had emotionally divorced myself from him. We never talked, we had even stopped arguing. I was totally indifferent and he seemed to be okay with that. Three years after my affair began he was diagnosed with Asperger's so that cleared up a lot of questions about his behavior.

So why B? He came back into my life in 1979 after he broke up with me in 1972 and asked me to get back together with him. At that time I had a 1 yr old son, and even though I knew by then I shouldn't have married my husband, I was trying to be a good Christian, a good mother, and a good wife. I told him "no" and he told me, that if I ever changed my mind, to call him. That stuck in my mind and heart all these years. So in 2007 when I could see that my marriage was ending that thought came back in my mind. I knew if I ever called him he would be there for me. In a moment of weakness I called his brother and his brother asked me if I wanted B's number. I took it and a few weeks later I called him. We met, had lunch, he kissed me and everything that we ever felt for each other came rushing back in for both of us. We were together, even though married to other people, ever since until 2015. We tried to break up 4 or 5 times because both of us knew it was wrong but the needs being met and the feelings of love were too strong. We were both weak. We needed each other's friendship, emotional connection, and physical closeness. We talked every day, once or twice a day. I have never felt so comfortable and safe with any other man. I felt I would rather do nothing with him than something with anybody else. We were so attuned to each other that we could understand what each other was thinking by just a look or a nod. We were connected as I have never been with any other man. He took care of me emotionally and had my back. We were partners and planing a future together. He knew how to encourage me yet let me make my own decisions. It was an incredibly wonderful relationship, except we didn't belong to each other. That was the really sad part.

He changed my life forever too so I know what you mean about never being the same. I learned so much from him about how a normal relationship should be, even though our relationship was anything but normal. I found what I was missing in my marriage, the emotional love and intimacy that a person with Asperger's just can't give me. It's okay though. Now that I have had those 7 wonderful years with B I feel content and I really don't need to have those feelings with my husband. I have had the love of my life, and even though it was wrong to do it the way we did, I don't regret one single drop of love that B and I had for each other or the time we spent together or on the phone. They will always be precious to me. A gift. Something I can hang on to when things get rough in my marriage. I know that I am lovable and I am capable of loving and I was in love with someone who was in love with me.

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