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Old 05-06-2014, 07:02 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
I think what threw me for a loop this past week was that a few months ago I swore I'd stay single for the rest of my life and that I didn't want to have anything to do with men EVER again. And, all of a sudden I find myself fantasizing? What the h*ll? Again, that's the reason I posted here and I will be speaking to my sponsor and therapist later this week, too. Just like with an addiction, better to nip it in the bud now, right?
Liz, I am divorcing. When I asked him to move out, I really honestly felt the way you use to feel. No way in hell did I want another man! I did recognize that that would likely change BUT I had no intention of dating for a few years (until I finished the grad degree I'm just starting to work on.) Now, here I am, less than 2 weeks until my divorce is final and I want to date. Like now, lol.

I think we want to know that we are desirable to someone else. We need the confirmation that we are likable/lovable. And, if we're not getting that affirmation at home, it's the natural inclination to want to seek it elsewhere.

Do you think the real issue is that you haven't made a true commitment to stay in your marriage but instead tricked yourself into thinking you have? These are rhetorical questions but what are your reasons for staying, and what are the reasons that you want to go? Do you think you can realistically stay in your marriage and be a good wife for the next 10, 20, 30 years? Maybe it's time to reevaluate your reasons again?

As everyone else has said, while you are still with your AH, developing a friendship with another man is a slippery slope and in the end, will only complicate things (and give you more work to do down the road.)
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:17 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Hi Liz, not giving advice on what to do but maybe what is going on in your head is that at some level you realize your marriage is over? This is neither a good or bad thing but more of a wakeup call. Don't know but it's something to consider.

Your friend,
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:32 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Liz....if there ever was a message from the Universe that you need to work harder o n your SELF.....this is it. Cut this new guy loose----he has got to be trouble---he knows that you are married and is just using you to feel good about himself (as the bottom line).

Your husband doesn't care about you (according to your posts) and this guy doesn't care about you (in my opinion).

You are the only one who can truly care about you in this picture. Your happiness does not hinge on either of them. It rests squarely on you.

I am being blunt--but, this is exactly what I would tell my own daughter.

I hope that you talk this over with your sponsor and therapist.

dandylion
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:34 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Have you ever been on a diet and cheated with a piece of chocolate? I hate dark chocolate, but when you've been on a 4day juice cleanse it can be the best chocolate you've ever had.

My point is - when normalizing bad and neglectful behavior one might forget what positive attention and companionship feel like. A simple piece of chocolate or a friendly soul can be a great reminder.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:14 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
Liz....if there ever was a message from the Universe that you need to work harder o n your SELF.....this is it. Cut this new guy loose----he has got to be trouble---he knows that you are married and is just using you to feel good about himself (as the bottom line).

Your husband doesn't care about you (according to your posts) and this guy doesn't care about you (in my opinion).

You are the only one who can truly care about you in this picture. Your happiness does not hinge on either of them. It rests squarely on you.

I am being blunt--but, this is exactly what I would tell my own daughter.

I hope that you talk this over with your sponsor and therapist.

dandylion

Dandylion, this is not meant as a criticism but more for giving myself a reality check here - they way I understand it, they are just talking like normal friends do. What leads you to your conclusions?
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:46 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by 9111111 View Post
Dandylion, this is not meant as a criticism but more for giving myself a reality check here - they way I understand it, they are just talking like normal friends do. What leads you to your conclusions?
Agreeing about us just talking as friends. Also, I wanted to add this to the story as well. This man has met my mother and stepfather every time they go visit my sister in Denver. My mom happens to be there now visiting from the east coast. She ran into this guy while at church with my sister, and they chatted and eventually she invited him to her house in VA and told him they'd teach him about organic gardening and beekeeping, etc. She revealed this all to me before I even told her that I had spoken to him a few times these past weeks. He told her, "Oh, I was talking to Liz this past week and we were discussing your farm and I would love to come visit." So, one of the texts yesterday was this, "Hey, I ran into your mom and she invited me out to the farm when I go back east to visit my kids this summer. I'm hoping to be able to learn some things from them and really look forward to the visit." As I see it, the guy just likes to be friends with people. He's been friends (just friends) with my single sister for 2 years now and also with all of the women in a divorce care group at her church.

My issue is what is going on in my mind where I create an alternate reality/fantasy about something that isn't real and isn't ever going to be real. Other people suggested taking a look at what's going on in my marriage or where I see myself in 10 years with my marriage. I already know I'm staying until I can get some finances squared away, get things organized as far as my son's schooling goes since I want to continue to homeschool him, get a good resume written (this is next on my list), etc. I do not have any hope for my marriage right now. My AH has made it clear that he does not want to quit drinking and cut off communication with me and even with our son to some degree. And, I think I've made it clear to myself that I don't want to live with active addiction much longer. AH gets his interlock off in July and I am not sure I'm going to handle that very well. I have a lot of things to think about and a life of my own to plan for now.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:51 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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9111111....LOl...first of all I draw from a long lifetime of experience ...with men and relationships. There is also the fact that long hours have been spent on personal issues, her marriage, his divorce, etc.... Men don't generally choose to spend a lot of time engaged in these kinds of issues unless they have an agenda at a personal level. Plus...he knows that she is married and in a very difficult situation in her marriage. Don't tell me that an attractive, financially prosperous man can only seek out a beautiful and vulnerable woman to talk to about these things.....(oh, give me a break).

Also, just because Liz want to categorize it as adult, general conversation..doesn't mean that he doesn't have a hidden agenda for himself. Even Liz knows that it is more...because she has been having relationship fantasies about him.

Maybe I can't prove this in a courtroom...but, I sure would bet m y kids milk money on it....

dandylion

P.S.--I know very well how we can get "clouded" when we are emotionally starved and vulnerable.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:51 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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So I am bias as what finally got me dealing with the alcohol problem in my life was my hubby's affair. Please know that as I type. Also I have been struck on support forums for infidelity how their idea of alcohol use and affairs varies so differently then it does on this forum, and I am starting to wonder if maybe it is about the lense that we have on and the place where we are, and what we have experienced. Makes sense our experience shapes what we see and feel going forward.

When you read the books and learn about affairs most of them start out as innocent conversations and interactions that can quickly slide a person down a slippery slope into trouble. Not all that different from the stinkin thinkin that people struggling with recovery can convince themselves that they can moderate, and just have one.

Of course we want support and to feel better, and what an awakening that we can't get that from our relationship, for whatever reason.

We have the right to get our needs met, I don't want to deny that. I guess though it is hard for me to imagine when I was in the thick of it with my ex if I would have truly known what my needs were and if they were met or not. i just wanted to hold onto anything that allowed me to feel "good," and I was feeling so bad and lost most of hte time. Also I had this idea that "someone" else would fill that and make it all great for me. In many instances I am starting to learn that it is often me who needs to fill those needs, not anyone else.

Yes my relationship fell short in many ways, but I stayed in it and that is not anyone but myself's responsibility.

The emotions and feelings that we are talking about here with a person outside the primary relationship in many instances by people in affairs is described as a high. Affairs also cause damage and destruction in relationships, similar to other addictive behavior that we are all so familiar with. For me dealing with the alcohol abuse has been much worse, (I got some boundaries around the affair I was not capable of with alcohol).

Liz I commend you for feeling this, understanding where you are at, and telling us about it. That to me is the true mark of self care and responsibility, and a step away from the slipperly slope. Also I commend you for realizing that these feelings and interactions are about you and where you are at.

What a great opportunity to deepen your recovery and really learn about what you need and want as you move forward in your life....

As I write this I realize how nervous I am for posting this. I feel like I might be being judgemental (and that is not my intent). Something in this post has really struck a cord in me and I appreciate you letting me put it down.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:32 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
9111111....LOl...first of all I draw from a long lifetime of experience ...with men and relationships. There is also the fact that long hours have been spent on personal issues, her marriage, his divorce, etc.... Men don't generally choose to spend a lot of time engaged in these kinds of issues unless they have an agenda at a personal level. Plus...he knows that she is married and in a very difficult situation in her marriage. Don't tell me that an attractive, financially prosperous man can only seek out a beautiful and vulnerable woman to talk to about these things.....(oh, give me a break).

Also, just because Liz want to categorize it as adult, general conversation..doesn't mean that he doesn't have a hidden agenda for himself. Even Liz knows that it is more...because she has been having relationship fantasies about him.

Maybe I can't prove this in a courtroom...but, I sure would bet m y kids milk money on it....

dandylion

P.S.--I know very well how we can get "clouded" when we are emotionally starved and vulnerable.
According to my sister, this man is quite open about his past and his troubled marriage while he was serving in the military, and his other problems and openly shares about it with anyone willing to listen, man or woman. She said he's like an open book. So, with that said, I'm not reading into anything on his part. He's a nice guy and I don't plan on continuing contact with him other than mailing him the book I promised to send.

Honestly, even if I were to file for divorce today, I know I would not be ready for any type of relationship with a man. I have too much at stake with my son and his needs and schooling him and trying to make a living. I know what my priorities are. This man just became a distraction mentally because it felt good. I get that and that's why I shared it here. There are lessons to be learned.

My mother cheated on my father when I was in high school and wound up marrying the guy...after my dad found them on the couch together and they eventually divorced. I knew at that point in time that I would never do that to my children(well, child, lol). I have always had the belief that if you go searching for a relationship outside your marriage, then you should have the grace to let your spouse go and then move on with your life. Again, this is the reason I shared it here: to hold myself accountable, to bring awareness to what I was feeling, and to search my heart and find the answers to where I need to work on myself for the future. You guys are always so good at being honest and forthright. I appreciate that and that's also the reason that I titled this thread the way I did.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:37 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Liz---way cool. My main point was that your main energies should be focused on you (only). My response to 9111111 was just to answer a question that she asked me directly.

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Old 05-06-2014, 10:12 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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I fall more into the camp of "these kinds of interactions teach us valuable things about ourselves."

I know that I tend to isolate as things get worse. I know that over time, I have begun to accept certain things as "normal," when in fact they are totally ABNORMAL (or at the very least, unacceptable to me). Being abused emotionally, being starved for attention and affection and connection does funny things to our self-image, and sometimes it takes a two hour conversation with someone who isn't insane from alcoholism to snap us out of our complacency, our self-imposed isolation, and our acceptance of things we wouldn't normally accept in our right minds.

And when you see the interaction as something that helps you shake off some of your own dysfunction, that's a good thing! I know that you are not looking to cheat on your AH, or to start an emotional affair. I know that you will dial all of this back appropriately. But don't lose sight of the fact that you have been reminded of what a healthy interaction feels like. Don't let the drudgery of life with an active A rob you of those feelings, because you are a WONDERFUL person who deserves all of those things. Only you, as you work on yourself and progress through your recovery, can do the cost-benefit analysis of staying versus leaving.

((HUGS)) my friend!
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:14 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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I know that you are not looking to cheat on your AH, or to start an emotional affair. I know that you will dial all of this back appropriately. But don't lose sight of the fact that you have been reminded of what a healthy interaction feels like. Don't let the drudgery of life with an active A rob you of those feelings, because you are a WONDERFUL person who deserves all of those things. Only you, as you work on yourself and progress through your recovery, can do the cost-benefit analysis of staying versus leaving.
I second this. At some point I knew that I wanted and was deserving of a normal, reciprocal, non-abusive relationship, and that I wasn't going to get that in the relationship I had. I wasn't ready to start a new one, but I knew I wanted one in the future. I met some people my age who shared my interests and -- I didn't fantasize exactly, but it did remind me what it felt like to be appreciated for who I am even in the tiniest way.

I'm not officially dating anyone, but I've been talking to some gents lately and have been pleasantly surprised at the abundance of decent people out there looking to date in their 30s and 40s. I'm a nice person and I'm smart and moral and all that important stuff, but I'm also really bodily insecure after two kids and some extra weight, as well as close to ten years in a relationship with the STBXAH who thought it was stupid and annoying to toss a kind word my way, and said so every time I told him it would be nice if he noticed when I dressed up or got a new outfit or lost weight or was happy or felt accomplished or was flirting with him. I hung out with someone recently who was very verbally complimentary of me and it was like someone poured a fresh glass of water on a wilted fern. I forgot what it was like to feel validated.

Don't pursue this relationship for anything, but consider what it would be like to have a relationship with someone who was capable of the vast amounts of emotional work that you value in yourself.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:15 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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I had to comment to you. I didn't want to because what I will say is not something that I feel should be in the f & f section. I know I told you that I am an RA.

When I was married, there was this one time, I just couldn't stay in the house anymore, I had to get out of there. He was either giving me the silent treatment or he was raging. I just couldn't take it anymore.

I went to the corner bar.

I didn't really go there to drink, even though I did, I just wanted to get away from the craziness of everything.

I was never really at this bar, maybe one other time we met our neighbors there. I guess in a way I was hoping I would meet up with our neighbors. No such luck though.

So I as a woman, alone, walk into a bar.

I was quickly surrounded by about 8 men wanting to buy me a drink. I heard my AH's voice in my head. It was saying that the only reason a woman would go to a bar is to pick up men and to get laid. That men don't want to talk to a woman, they all just want sex.

So I saw myself now, as a piece of meat in the ocean surrounded by sharks.

Really, didn't he just prove his point????????????? So I just felt dejected, rejected, like no one would ever see me as a human.

Got me pissed !!!!

So I just swirled my seat around and spoke to all of them. I said, look I am married, I did not come out here tonight looking for sex, or looking for anything. I just didn't want to be home tonight. I thought I could just talk to someone, and have a normal conversation with someone, without feeling like a piece of meat, if you can't do that, then leave me alone !!!!!!!

After I said that, everyone disappeared, then I went to order a beer for myself.

But it was already in front of me.

I thought I scared everyone off. I looked to my left and there was a man there. He told me that he listened to me and that he heard me. He told me that he would not touch me or act in anyway inappropriate. That he was sick of all the BS and he would also appreciate just a normal conversation with no ulterior motive.

We had a great night, we talked about everything. His job, my job, his dreams, my dreams, we played pool, I wasn't too good, he gave me tips. I gave him a little friendship hug when I left. That was it.

Was it an emotional affair. To me, no it wasn't. It was me learning that there are some nice people out there. It was me learning that I needed a lot more then what I was getting out of my relationship.

And sometimes I think, why if you are a female, that a female would need to give you the normal conversations, because if it's a male doing this, then it is considered an emotional affair?

To me, I think it is an awakening of your own feelings of what you want to have with your partner.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:40 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by amy55 View Post
To me, I think it is an awakening of your own feelings of what you want to have with your partner.
Hah Amy, my AH has always said that to me that women only go to bars to get laid. Not true, I went to bars a lot in my 20's and never had sex with anyone (sometimes I wish I had lol). I just had fun with my friends and sure, the male attention was nice.

Liz, I have been reading your posts for a long time. I too have been in a marriage where my husband cannot give me what I need. I have lived with that for 7 years. And you know what, life is short. We don't have to resign ourselves to loveless marriages. I feel the same as you. I would never start another relationship without letting my husband go. I had a dream a few months ago that I was in love. I was reminded how that felt. I think it was my subconscious telling me that it's not too late.
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:22 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
9111111....LOl...first of all I draw from a long lifetime of experience ...with men and relationships. There is also the fact that long hours have been spent on personal issues, her marriage, his divorce, etc.... Men don't generally choose to spend a lot of time engaged in these kinds of issues unless they have an agenda at a personal level. Plus...he knows that she is married and in a very difficult situation in her marriage. Don't tell me that an attractive, financially prosperous man can only seek out a beautiful and vulnerable woman to talk to about these things.....(oh, give me a break).

Also, just because Liz want to categorize it as adult, general conversation..doesn't mean that he doesn't have a hidden agenda for himself. Even Liz knows that it is more...because she has been having relationship fantasies about him.

Maybe I can't prove this in a courtroom...but, I sure would bet m y kids milk money on it....

dandylion

P.S.--I know very well how we can get "clouded" when we are emotionally starved and vulnerable.
Thank you for taking the time to explain.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:24 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Maybe some one is trying to send you a sign?
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:02 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by amy55 View Post
I had to comment to you. I didn't want to because what I will say is not something that I feel should be in the f & f section. I know I told you that I am an RA.

When I was married, there was this one time, I just couldn't stay in the house anymore, I had to get out of there. He was either giving me the silent treatment or he was raging. I just couldn't take it anymore.

I went to the corner bar.

I didn't really go there to drink, even though I did, I just wanted to get away from the craziness of everything.

I was never really at this bar, maybe one other time we met our neighbors there. I guess in a way I was hoping I would meet up with our neighbors. No such luck though.

So I as a woman, alone, walk into a bar.

I was quickly surrounded by about 8 men wanting to buy me a drink. I heard my AH's voice in my head. It was saying that the only reason a woman would go to a bar is to pick up men and to get laid. That men don't want to talk to a woman, they all just want sex.

So I saw myself now, as a piece of meat in the ocean surrounded by sharks.

Really, didn't he just prove his point????????????? So I just felt dejected, rejected, like no one would ever see me as a human.

Got me pissed !!!!

So I just swirled my seat around and spoke to all of them. I said, look I am married, I did not come out here tonight looking for sex, or looking for anything. I just didn't want to be home tonight. I thought I could just talk to someone, and have a normal conversation with someone, without feeling like a piece of meat, if you can't do that, then leave me alone !!!!!!!

After I said that, everyone disappeared, then I went to order a beer for myself.

But it was already in front of me.

I thought I scared everyone off. I looked to my left and there was a man there. He told me that he listened to me and that he heard me. He told me that he would not touch me or act in anyway inappropriate. That he was sick of all the BS and he would also appreciate just a normal conversation with no ulterior motive.

We had a great night, we talked about everything. His job, my job, his dreams, my dreams, we played pool, I wasn't too good, he gave me tips. I gave him a little friendship hug when I left. That was it.

Was it an emotional affair. To me, no it wasn't. It was me learning that there are some nice people out there. It was me learning that I needed a lot more then what I was getting out of my relationship.

And sometimes I think, why if you are a female, that a female would need to give you the normal conversations, because if it's a male doing this, then it is considered an emotional affair?

To me, I think it is an awakening of your own feelings of what you want to have with your partner.
Amy, I don't know how to pick out text and highlight on these boards so I would up taking your whole post, LOL. What struck out to me is the part where you compared the normal conversation being an emotional affair. I always wondered that, especially since more than 50% of my friends before I got married were men. I actually had trouble with female relationships for a long time especially in my late teens and early 20s, I couldn't relate to women and always found men easier to get along with.

Last night I spoke to a friend from program and she said something that her sponsor used to say to her, "Just take this as one more piece of information and tuck it away."

Jazzman said it a different way, though: maybe I need to heed this sign? Don't know, but it does need more thought.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:48 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Liz.....I would add, here, that I have had many strong friendships with men in the course of my life---especially workplace friendships. I thing the main thing is the nature of the kind of emotional investment. The friendships that I have had with men FEEL different than with the men that I have been romantically involved with.

Lol....I can think of many male friends that I have had--and love dearly at a human level--that I could not even IMAGINE sleeping with..or living with...or anything remotely similar.

As we have been discussing here...there is always the possibility of a casual friendship turning into something more romantic in nature if the right circumstance presents itself. i.e.---the perfect storm---an emotionally starved person who is thrust into a closer environment with someone that they are capable of becoming attracted to.
I think you get the point....

Understand that I am not trying to be accusatory in any way, here...I am just joing in the discussion on this subject.

You seem to understand the situation that you are in, right now and don't seem inclined to enter where angels fear to tread...

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Old 05-07-2014, 09:53 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Liz, to answer you question as to why if I talked to a man that I would consider that an emotional affair, quite simple. I was repeatedly told that the only reason a man would waste their time talking to me was to get into my pants. When I walked into that bar, my ex almost proved his point, when I was surrounded by the "sharks". But one stayed, and he also just wanted to have a normal conversation. It changed my opinion of men.(lol)

That incident stays with me, and I will always embrace it. It showed me that everything my ex (then H) said to me and about me, was not true.


I'm also not going to disagree with anyone here about things could be an emotional affair. Or could end that way. I think it's more to do with how you look at things and how you act on things.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:31 AM
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The non-face to face kinds of relationships are tricky. It is way to easy to form an opinion based on which side of the fence we are sitting.

Do I think you've done anything wrong? Nope. I do think it is a slippery slope so continuing on at the current level of intensity is unwise IMO. Certainly there has been lots to think about and learn that has already been stated. Some powerful signs have come to light.

Here is the catch 22 - if you posted that your husband had been doing this I'd probably have a very different response - one that wasn't quite so understanding. It is what it is. In general - if our actions are not OK if done by our spouse - they are not OK if done by us either.
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