Answers, part three.

Q: (from Kindred Spirit) Your feelings for CL still run strong. Yet do you know how he feels about you?  Did the guilt shut him down?  Do you still talk to him?  If he summoned you, would you go?  Was it “just an affair” or was it much more to you?

A: That’s a lot o’ questions.  Good ones.

First, I do know how CL feels about me.  I know that he loves me.  I know that it’s not necessarily the same love I feel for him, and it’s certainly not an unselfish love, but it’s the truest love he says he’s ever felt.  And I believe him.

I’m not sure I understand the second one.  But CL never seemed to feel much guilt.  Or, if he did, he didn’t talk to me about it.  Neither of us really wanted to be a source of guilt and shame for the other.  But, since we likely were, we didn’t want to know about it.  We were really good at denial.  In the end, he was better at it than me.

I don’t talk to him.  The ending was anything but clean.  But finally I asked him never to contact me again for the rest of his life, and he’s remained true to that.

If he summoned me, I would not go.  I am not his first choice, and that’s been made very clear.  And I deserve to be someone’s first choice.

It was definitely not “just an affair.”  I’m not sure what that means.  Just sex?  I can only speak for myself here, but it was not just sex.  I didn’t go out looking for it.  It happened unexpectedly.  We began e-mailing.  Then we fell in love.  Then we made the heartbreaking choice to consummate that love.  And then it was too much for me to handle.

I had been asleep before I fell in love with him.  I didn’t know it, but I was.  He woke me up.  He showed me the good and wonderful things about myself.  He made me feel strong, capable, and lovable.  He accepted everything about me.  He loved everything I showed him and always wanted to see more.

It was the most painful, pleasurable, joyous, sorrowful, surprising, beautiful, horrible, frightening, comforting thing that has ever happened to me.  And it was wrong.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Answers, part three.

  1. your last two paragraphs brought tears to my eyes. because i’ve never identified with anything more than i do with that right now.

  2. You know, I read all this and I can’t help but be excited to see the woman you’ll become on the other side of it. You’re headed there, and I know that, but I also know that there’s a lot of torment in the process, of learning and growing and evolving — both yourself, and your relationships.

  3. First I want to commend you for being brave enough to answer very personal questions about yourself to a bunch of strangers. I realize you blog anonymously, so there is some safety in that, but nonetheless, it would be easy for you not to answer these questions.

    Second, the last lines struck me: “It was the most painful, pleasurable, joyous, sorrowful, surprising, beautiful, horrible, frightening, comforting thing that has ever happened to me. And it was wrong.”

    My dear, falling in love is rarely “right” but I would never say it’s wrong. Yes you had an affair. So do lots of people. You’re working very hard to rectify things in your life, so don’t think of something as “wrong”. I realize you hurt CH and yourself and even CL, but you also grew and experienced a lot with CL and that has helped you realize what you want/need in your life.

    All in all, hang in there. And work hard on not being so hard on yourself. It’s easy to punish oneself for a very long time. Eventually you realize it was a lot of wasted time and effort, and forgiving yourself is a very good thing, the sooner you do it, the better.

  4. The last line is as wonderful as it is heartbreaking. But I can’t help but think that it wasn’t as “wrong” as you think it is. I’m sure you have learned so much from this experience, about yourself, about love, and about the world, and although you may have felt/feel guilty, ashamed or remorseful, I think in the end you will come out of this feeling more assured and empowered than ever before.

    Thank you for sharing such intimate details about yourself and your relationship. Sometimes it can be hard, wondering what people will think of you, but for the most part, I think people are very supportive, and talking (or typing) about it is often very therapeutic.

    Hang in there!

  5. kindred spirit

    Good answers.

    Why do you say CL’s love for you is not necessarily the same as your love for him? Are you basing that on his decision?

    You speak with extreme confidence about the love you both hold for each other. Yet I sense incongruity when it comes to not being “his first choice.” Can’t he still hold that very strong, true love for you and make a decision to go back at the same time? It seems a little out of place and incongruent in itself. I’m not diminishing the fact that he chose to stay in his marriage over you, but I’m also not allowing his decision to diminish one iota the significance and beauty of the relationship the two of you had together. Based on your description, it seems your shared relationship and love would transcend his decision to stay in the marriage regardless of the outward appearance. I know this is confusing, not normal, out there, but it’s my opinion.

    My CL left me for her marriage. I know she loved me as much or more than I did her. She astounded me at times with what she shared with me, and our relationship had similar feelings as yours with CL. Yet she went back. She went back because she could not handle the guilt. I never felt guilt. She did, but only at the end, as the religion continued pounding on her. She caved. I still have confidence in what we had. I will never doubt it or feel guilt about it. I respect and understand her decision even though I didn’t/don’t like it. Yet I know her heart. We, too, parted on less than ideal terms, and we have not spoken since.

    To me, the lack of feelings of guilt in your relationship with CL is both significant and healthy. Get over the cultural and religious opinions of affairs. You had a relationship, a very significant one. It may be defined as an affair by some, but it was more than that to you and to CL. That is what is important, and that is why I asked. Hold it in its proper place of significance and meaning to you. The absence of guilt tells me that what you felt is true and very real. There is a tendency to discount and dismiss such reality in the face of our upbringing.

    You would not go back because you were not his first choice? Is that anger, a coping mechanism, or did your love for CL vanish with his decision?

    Seek your heart, and if being with CL (or CH) is what brings you comfort then follow your heart. Yet you must be willing to acquiesce to CL’s decision at the same time. So what do you do? Tough one. Not communicating forces each of you to move on without the other on different paths. It is hard, but it may make it easier at the same time. Yet is this what you both truly want? Would he come back to you if you welcomed him? Then, would he leave his marriage to be with you? I know you will say he’s already made that choice. Has he, or have you?

    You describe that CL woke you up, that he showed you the good and wonderful things about you. He made you feel strong, capable, and loveable, “accepted everything about me.” Honey, it doesn’t get any better than that. This is significant. You being you, the true you. “Know thyself.” You found it. He accepted you as your true self. Now if you decide to follow a different path than CL, that’s not necessarily wrong as long as you are true to yourself. But be true to yourself. Do not allow ego to interfere. Do not allow cultural standards to interfere. Do not allow religion to interfere. Do not allow CL or anyone else to interfere. Be you and feel good doing it.

    It was not wrong in my eyes. How could it be with so much joy? It was a beautiful experience, a great season in your life. Hold it now in a special place in your heart. Move on if that is what you decide, but do not discount what you had.

  6. DB

    I’m so proud of you, and I care about you deeply.

    This might make me very unpopular here, but I just can’t buy into the whole “it wasn’t wrong” thing that many of your readers seem to believe and would have you believe. Maybe if they knew both you and CH in real life, it would be harder for them to say that. Maybe if they read CH’s blog, they wouldn’t tell you just to be yourself and not worry about the consequences.

    It’s wrong to break a vow to someone. It’s wrong to lie and deceive. Why? Because unfortunately, we aren’t really the center of the universe, and while those actions might bring pleasure to us, they also break the hearts and destroy the lives of others.

    The affair happened, and you’ve taken responsibility for it all along. I, for one, am proud of you for seeing the reality; that it was an experience that developed and changed and grew you as a person, but it was still wrong.

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