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Torn

trying to talk myself off the ledge...

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I'm having an affair. Not physically, but mentally and emotionally. I honestly don't know what to do. I'm not ready to end it. Nor am I ready to take it to the next level. I can't. It would destroy my whole family, my world, eternity! But I want to. And he wants to, which means destroying the whole world of not one, but two families. I've never kissed him. I've never held his hand. I've never even been alone with him. And it's the hardest thing I've ever NOT done because I've never wanted to so bad in my life.

We chat online about everything under the sun (and I draw the line at anything sexual, though he tries and we've not exactly had perfectly "chaste" conversations). We avoid one another in public (though we do see one another, it's a small town) ... because we know we can't trust one another not to do something we both know we shouldn't. But I want to sit down with him face to face and have a good heart to heart conversation about what is happening (chatting just doesn't include enough emotion for me) ... I just don't know that we should. I don't know if we can trust ourselves.

I keep justifying this by analyzing my own crappy marriage (and his). BUT.... It doesn't matter how bad it is at home, though, there is NO excuse for this behavior. From either one of us. He's on my mind 24/7. I can't sleep. I can't eat. I'm making myself sick.

I've prayed over this ... a dozen times a day. I've fasted. I've studied the scriptures. I've researched lds.org. I know what I'm doing is wrong. I have this feeling that I should go to the temple, but I feel so unworthy. He's become a wonderful friend and I never imagined that it would escalate beyond friendship. He's everything that's missing in my own marriage. But that is no excuse. I just don't know what to do. :bawl:

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Having a tough time in a marriage never justifies having any kind of an affair. There is no justification no matter how much you may have yourself convinced of this.

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I was in a similar position as you several years ago. I felt all those same emotions and rationalizations that you're describing. I often think about what I would have done differently then, knowing what I know now. I would have had a very honest discussion with my wife. I would have told her what I was thinking about doing and everything that was happening. I know she would have freaked for sure. But certainly a lot less than she did after the fact, when I confessed that I had actually followed through with what originally had been a forbidden thought, to what became a very regrettable action.

Seriously, talk to your husband, tell him what you have been tempted with and why that temptation has been so strong. Discuss with him openly what you feel has been lacking in your marriage. Seek the council of a professional, or at least your bishop. It sounds like nothing has progressed beyond the point of no return, yet. So please, nip this in the bud and expose this fantasy of yours to the light of day, and for what it really is. Don't wait until it's too late.

I would never recommend an affair to anyone. I have been blessed with a very forgiving and understanding wife. But I would take it all back in a second to change the emotional and spiritual destruction that my affair caused, not only to my marriage, but also to our children. Fortunately our marriage has been in recovery instead of divorce, but the road to recovery is long and filled with eternal regrets. Almost three years after my confession (and 4 years since the affair ended) we're doing a lot better, but we still have a long ways to go.

You have taken the first step to avoiding disaster by coming here and seeking help from others. Remember that all actions first begin as thoughts. You are still able to redirect your thoughts, emotions and energy before it's too late. Please, do yourself a huge favor and focus on your marriage and do everything you and your husband can do to pull back from the brink of disaster, before it's too late.

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Great way to explain it Repentant1!!! When I talk with young adults I always explain how the chat rooms and posting on the internet allows a person to become, or represent themselves, as whatever they want. As an example I discuss some of the men and women we have caught online while pretending to be someone else, (I have retired from law enforcement). This is an extreme example but the point is the same. You don’t really know him, nor does he know you. All you know is what you have presented to each other. If you have been totally honest with him, (and he with you) why haven’t you used that energy with your spouse? Rekindled your relationship?

My wife will tell you I, I am not the easiest person to live with. I don’t always pick up after myself, dirty clothes don’t always make it where they belong, I forget things, I can be late, I don’t always call to let them know, (this is not confession time I know) and she has a list of things I could complain about. That is reality. You have a list on your husband, and I’m sure he has a few about you. That is life. And, we as adults, we who live under the covenant, are expected to work with, work around and help one another improve our weaknesses. Not find someone else.

Every relationship has a “honeymoon” period. This is why I always council people to date 4 season before entering into the marriage covenant. Make it past that honeymoon and know one another before marriage.

You and your chatter have started a honeymoon relationship. Mental as it may be, it is a honeymoon relationship. You really don’t know each other, your habits, emotions or your physical/emotional cycles. Get out and stick to your covenants. Improve what you have and what you have committed to!

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Thank you so much for helping me with this. You've said many things i needed to hear. I honestly don't know about my own marriage, my husband is not active in the church and has not been for a majority of our marriage. He's done this very thing himself (though I don't know to what extent, he never would fully confess) and I still don't trust him to this day, and now to think that I'm doing the same thing back is killing me. We are best freinds, and that is the only thing that is keeping us together. We have a lot to work on. I will work through this, and I know the first step is ending it, which I am going to do. Thanks so much.

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About two years ago I was in the same place as you. My marriage was not going very well, and I felt like I needed a friend. I found that friend online through a blogging site. We began to chat on a daily basis and I became very close to him. I began to have an emotional affair with him. At first I tried to keep things clean, I tried to keep all of our conversations chaste, but over time the temptation wore away at my resistance until I finally began to give on little things. Soon we were calling each other daily talking about everything, and talking about what we wished we could do, when we weren't talking to each other on the phone we were chatting online. I felt, just like your screen name, torn. I still loved my husband, but I also found myself falling in love with this other man. My want and "need" to be with him was almost as strong as my want and need to be with my husband. Eventually I allowed things to progress and I ended up having a physical affair with this man. It took me three months before I confessed to my husband what had happened, I told him on January 1st of this year.

Since then things have changed a lot. My husband is thankfully a very wonderful forgiving man who decided not to divorce me but rather to work through it all with me. We have both made immense effort to work through what I did to our marriage and things have improved incredibly, however, if I could go back in time and change things I would. I would never have spoken to that man in the first place, or I would have cut him out of my life much sooner than I did. Things I would have changed if I had known then what I know now:

1. I would have worked on my marriage, there were many problems I had with my husband, but not all of it was him, a good amount was me. When I actually did start working on my marriage things did get better. I know that if I had worked on those things before I turned to having an affair with another man I would never have strayed, I would have had a marriage where I would never need to.

2. I would have made sure that I did not have male friends. It was something I had been advised of before but I figured I was strong and could handle it. But putting myself into a circumstance where I allowed myself to become close to another man other than my husband brought me to a place where I found I was weak. If I had never given myself that chance things would have gone differently.

3. I stopped going to church because as a couple we had never been very active, I would have gone to church as I know now that church by itself would not have kept it from happening, but it would have given me extra spiritual strength during the week.

Having gone through what I have gone through and knowing the HELL that I was in when I realized the severity of my sin my advise to you is this:

1. Drop all contact with this man. I know how much it hurts, I had talked myself into believing the man I had the affair with was my soul mate when I dropped contact with him. It was very difficult for me, but I am so happy now that I did it.

2. Talk to your husband, explain to him your feelings for this man and work with him on a plan to improve your marriage together.

3. Work on that plan, whether or not your husband follows through and works on it as well, make sure it is a priority for yourself.

4. Talk to your bishop, get his support and possibly go visit a LDS Marriage Counselor.

5. If you feel that you should go to the temple then go, there is probably something to that prompting. The temple gives us such spiritual strength, while you are there put your name on the temple prayer roll. If you feel bad doing that for yourself then you can act as proxy for me as I can not currently attend the temple but if I could I would put your name down for the prayer roll.

If you need to talk to anyone about this or are having a tough day please feel free to message me. I know the feelings you are going through, I know what a torn feeling it is. I just wish I had reached out sooner like you are doing now.

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Thank you so much for helping me with this. You've said many things i needed to hear. I honestly don't know about my own marriage, my husband is not active in the church and has not been for a majority of our marriage. He's done this very thing himself (though I don't know to what extent, he never would fully confess) and I still don't trust him to this day, and now to think that I'm doing the same thing back is killing me. We are best freinds, and that is the only thing that is keeping us together. We have a lot to work on. I will work through this, and I know the first step is ending it, which I am going to do. Thanks so much.

Get the Book, living a Covenant Marriage.

Also, there has to be an underlying issue that caused you to draw to this person.

Counseling.

Maybe by setting an example for your husband and fully confessing what you are doing, will show him that you are coming out and being honest with your own feelings, your own emotions, and your own realization that what you are doing is wrong.

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