Emotional: A love affair gone sour - or am I just too overcome with grief & guilt

An attraction with X, a married work colleague grew to become an overpowering affair marred only be my periodic guilt trips and attempts to stop but eventually the crap hit the fan

Yes I willingly had an affair but I never really thought it would lead me to break my marriage and leave my two little girls.

But once it all came out, even though  there was so much guilt and so many tears I couldn't stay in my marriage.  I had tried on too many occasions and just screwed everyone up. 

I even had a nightmare dream, that I was being possessed by the devil.  That may sound trivial but it was so real and  frightening that I remained awake from 02:00 and as soon as I could sought the consel of a priest.

Anyway eventually both marriages collapsed and that should have been the opportunity for "the lovers" to be open and honest and actually set about building the lives we had daydreamed about during our headier secret trysts.

The problem is that the whole nasty process seems to have poisioned my mind and suppressed my heart.

The now ex-wife had played on my emotions and someshat successfully cast some doubts on my true devotion for the other woman and the mantle of guilt is too heavy for me to think of pursuing happiness at the cost of misery for those I had previously been and still felt responsible for..

I've tried spiritualism and some conselling without finding any strength of purpose and it's fair to say I'm somewhere between complete denial and revolt.

X has no such doubts and has given me chance after chance to make something work - so much so that my head is filled with the mantra "I can't keep going back" but I'm trapped because I canot see or even work towards a way forward.

I kind of know that I'm punishing myself and unfortunately that means punishing X too but what can I do?

At X's blessed persistence we keep retrying but she's SO much in love with me that it seems an overwhelming responsibility and one I cannot keep to for long so in stupid irony I break it off and break her heart again ... in order to protect her?!?!?

Meanwhile I'm like  a headless chicken recklessly open to starting something new with someone new because that new relationship wouldn't carry the burden of guilt and shame that's taken things with X from perfect to seemngly impossible

I may be a hopeless case but any advice - especially from anyone who's been through something similar - would be most welcome


  • If X was genuinely THAT attractive and is clearly THAT much in love with this fool then she is a IRREPLACEABLE and you're damned  lucky to still have a chance with her.

    MAN UP!  X has been far too patient and understanding already so she'll certainly help you heal and grow.

    Don't go back to X - go FORWARD!  Start to build the facets of a normal relationship that your affair precluded and you may be surprised at how easy and HAPPY it all becomes.

    You may - and almost certainly WILL - NEVER find another like X

    At least try the omelette!

    • TonyP
    • 22 Apr 2022
    • 09:45

    I feel for you mate - and for everyone involved - cracks and indiscretions can grow almost imperceptably and who doesn't want to smile or feel flattered? 

    But eventually we all have to face the music and that can be overwhelming as it raises all sorts of positive and negative emotions, often with some sense of shame and of course a cacophany of conflicting caring emotions and responsibilities.

    You sound like a caring and perhaps over-sensitive soul and that's perhaps what led X to have such strong and unbreakable feelings for you.

    My best advice is DON'T BREAK ANYTHING ELSE!

    Your recent life has been one of secrecy, deceit and lies as well as fantasies.  Now it is time to be honest.

    Try to be honest with yourself and remind yourself of everything about X that was so good that it led to all this chaos, then in that context and most of all be honest with X.  Cut the legs off that headless chicken and try to work things out with X .

    Even if that means taking a break for self-analysis and reflection then set a time to review with X and meanwhile promise that both of you will be faithful to each other and NOT complicate things further with someone new.

    That way you can regain some much needed  self-respect and maybe come to understand that it is your right and responsibility to try and find happiness for yourself and to whatever extent that has meant letting down or hurting your ex or family then the best you can do is be honest and caring in your treatment. 

    But ONLY finding YOUR best route to happiness ultimately justifies any hurt and upset caused.  So you broke a few eggs.  Don't throw out the whole omelette just as it's about to cook!

    I wish you good luck and for your  sake and X';s I hope you find your way back to the self-respect and sense of decency you seem to crave.

    • Good advice!