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    It is a long story…I knew this girl who is a friend of my sister for quite sometime now…for about 22 years, precisely from July 1995. I always had a crush on her and remember to-date the dates/years I met her and what happened when…strange. I knew I loved her. There has never been any girl in my life for a while, still she lived far away going to school, I finished my college and went to a job in 2001. All the years of college I always have considered her as my soul-mate and never had any relationships of any kind with other girls, other than simple friendship. During college times in our dorm I used to tell stories of how I met her and what she is about to friends and that will be the amusement for a few and a few even made fun of me calling by some name tied to that girl.

    Every one of our meetings, I remembered in a pristine way and the conversations and how she reacted etc. and she seemed to love talking to me, this was up until 2001.

    In 2001, I worked on night shifts, started talking to her over phone a whole lot and on 3-Feb-2001 (omg) I told her that I love her like a maniac and all what I have been through since 1995 when I was just 18…though she seemed to like the fact that I love her, nevertheless said she is in love with another guy. (which eventually did not work out I heard from a common friend)

    I moved on (superficially) but subconsciously took a copy of her and started dwelling with those memories, never allowed anyone near me, if they did I will tell them all about this girl and they will, well, kind of be my friend. I was in love in with (lost) love and thought there is no one else for me on earth and still was hanging on.

    I met her again when she came to work in my same city during 2004-2005 a few times. But no major episodes like before.

    Then I met my wife in 2006 and married her, all happened in a flash, not sure how before I realized it. We moved to another country on work. She also married someone in 2005. We both have two kids in beautiful marriages.

    Fast-forward in 2014, she came back in touch and we happened to discuss the possibility of the road not taken and how it could have been. We ended up saying we love each other over phone. Suddenly she flew out of radar and I did not contact back.

    Again in 2017, I moved back to home country and this time it was much intense. The first day we met, we kissed. This making out went on for a while and then we went out on road trips and had sex. She became an addiction for me after that, all the more than what she had been in the past 22 years. We both knew what we were doing and felt guilty and feared what will happen to our marriages.

    I came to know along the way that in these 12 years or so, she had other close associates from her office whom she is very close with, travels on business and had some kind of emotional dependency on one of the guys. (just typing her exact descriptions here)

    She seemed to have been in touch with the boyfriend she broke up with in 2001-2002 and meets him whenever he comes to her city, as a family friend. (As per her)

    This is where I started getting confused, THOUGH SHE HAS ALWAYS BEEN EVERYTHING TO ME FOR 22 YEARS, we have met for merely 12 hours, if you count it that way. Whereas, the other folks have been with her for years together. (travel, hanging out, having fun etc.)

    This is when I started suspecting that she is just using me, as I have all the reason to be mad about her, but she has no reason literally other than needing a F#$@ buddy, here is when I told her to stick to me with some kind of commitment and I deserve it for what she have been to me all my life.

    I know what more than half the people reading this will tell me, we both are married with 2 kids and cheating on our spouses, and I cannot expect any commitment from her.

    But this is my situation, so just saying it as is. She started withdrawing from me slowly after this incident and she never whatsapp-ed me or called me. But if I do she reciprocates. She can go without being in touch even days together. But she was never like that, she was in touch even if she traveled on work to other country…she used to give me hourly updates !

    It hurt my self-esteem so much, that I am staying away from reaching out to her for 10 days now…she is in my thoughts 24/7.

    Now, I am unable to figure out her mentality.

    Has she:

    1. Used me and feeling bad after I demanded that commitment and letting me go?

    2. Does she want a break?

    Should I:

    1. Cut-off all contacts and be happy with the happy marriage that I have got. I do love my wife, but you all have to understand that this girl is something much much more than everyone to me. But I cannot hurt my wife ever for her. Difficult situation.

    2. Should I try to reach out myself and be friends with her and nothing more than that?

    3. Try my best to have her back? I know this is futureless and it is a sin.

    Please shoot out your advices and opinions. Please do not curse me for being honest.




    As you pointed out, you have only been together for 12 hours.  It takes a while to really get to know someone. She is a fantasy, a projection of your desires.

    You owe it to your marriage, to your wife to cut off all contact and walk away.

    As you pointed out, this is futureless and a sin.



    Dear Maddy:

    You wrote, “this girl is something much much more than everyone to me”- it does read true to me, she is indeed much, much more. I think she embodies hopes and dreams you had from a very early age, hopes and dreams for true love, something almost holy, clean and pure.

    When she finally had sex with you, that was a conflict in your mind, it took away from the image of that love you yearned for, that early kind of love we all yearn for when we are very young.

    What do you think?


    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by anita.

    @Mark, thanks for your kind words of wisdom…I will surely focus my everything towards that direction. Eventually, that is what I should do.

    @anita, yes I kind of broke inside that she was able to “cheat” her husband, as opposed to what I have envisioned her character to be, what if I was married to her and if she still did this. This is the point of conflict for me and I started believing she is a habitual cheater. And the feeling there is a high chance that she might have “used” me hurts me so much.

    I would not be this hurt if I had not met her at all. If she was so much to me, not just a physical thing and meant everything romantic that was around me for these 22 years, and now realizing that she used me??!!

    I am unable to swallow the truth and erase my fantasy, dreams, imaginations and the worship I was doing internally.

    She was constantly on whatsapp with me and spoke at least once a day for the past 8-9 months. Our offices are close-by and we met almost every other day for coffee. After this physical episode over a period of 2 months, she decided to dump me?!!



    Correction: This is where I started getting confused, THOUGH SHE HAS ALWAYS BEEN EVERYTHING TO ME FOR 22 YEARS, we have met for merely 10 days (~240 hours), if you count it that way…


    Dear Maddy:

    I will repeat some of your story (it helps me process information this way) and then give you my understanding at this point, maybe ask you questions.

    July 1995, when you were eighteen, you met and had a crush on a girl (I will refer to her as G) who was your sister’s friend but didn’t date her. During college you didn’t have “any relationships of any kind with other girls, other than simple friendship”. You considered G to be your soulmate, telling others about her in glowing terms.

    In 2001, you were 24,  you graduated college and took on a job. Feb 2001 you told G that you “loved her like a maniac” since 1995. She told you that she was in love with another guy. You kept thinking about her, “never allowing anyone near me” and if a woman tried to get closer to you, you told her all about G, so to make an intimate relationship impossible.

    In 2006, a year after G married, at 29, you met a woman and married her quickly, “all happened in a flash, not sure how”. In 2014, at 37, married with kids, you renewed communication with G. also married with kids. The two of you exchanged I-love-you over the phone. In 2017, at 40, you met G in person, kissed on the first day and eventually had sex. Following that, she became an addiction you wrote. And you started feeling jealous, suspicious, that she had other lovers from her office, while traveling on business, an ex boyfriend perhaps that she still met from time to time.

    You got confused, “though she has always been everything to me for 22 years”, you figured that you have been far from being everything to her, that she spent more time with possible other lovers and/or “close associates” than she did with you. And she “cheated” on her husband with you.

    Next, you “started suspecting that she is just using” you for sex. Next you asked her for a commitment, telling her something like “I deserve it for what she have been to me all my life”. Next she withdrew from you: she stopped initiating contact with you, but responded to you when you contacted her. You think about her a lot and haven’t communicated with her for ten days at this point.

    My understanding: you are confusing reality and fantasy. In reality, you never got to know G. G represented something to you that you highly value. You saw that value in her but she is not closer to that value than other women, maybe she is farther away from that value than many other women. You don’t know, you just happened to project that value into her almost randomly.

    The value that you projected into G has nothing much to do with who she is individually.

    This value, this “something much much more than everyone… so much.. not just a physical thing.. EVERYTHING”, is completely trustworthy, undisturbed, forever kind of Love.

    Before you met G and all through the years, you had little or no trust in love or in women able to love you. But you didn’t want to live life so empty of hope, so you made believe there is such love for you in G. And you used G to keep interested women away from you.

    Once you became physically intimate with her, fantasy and reality collided. Wait, Reality said to Fantasy: if her love is so completely trustworthy, undisturbed and forever, how is it that she has those other close associates and that ex boyfriend she still meet, and spends more time with them!?

    And then you went all the way to suspecting her for being a “habitual liar”.

    But there never has been a relationship with her before the sex, you never got to know her. She never promised you love. That was Fantasy. And now, even that short sexual relationship is in question, as she has withdrawn from you.

    Would you like to share about the time, long, long ago when you lost your trust and hope in a woman being able to love you completely, a woman who can be trusted to never hurt you?




    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by anita.

    @anita, Thanks for your detailed reply. I completely agree with most of your statements. But for a few things:

    “She never promised you love” — She did when we reconnected in 2014, over phone she said she never knew she loved me that much. Now the love I have for her revitalizes her and help her self-actualize her etc. I think may be she simply liked the fact that someone is loving her like crazy, that is it. do not know…

    In the last 10 months of whats app and phone conversations with G, she kept saying she loves me, she does not want to let me go this time. She loves me like her little one etc.

    I discussed this with my wife and she kind of knows who G is. (Of course I did not tell her about the sexual thing that happened two times, I feel devastated for hiding this from her) My wife is such an angel, she CANNOT lie to me like this.

    My wife is level-headed and not emotionally driven, she said, hey look: I might have a past and I know you have as well, but once married we are committed to each other and so is G. Do not get obsessed with G and if she is not committed means she only want a no-commitment thing from you (and others), means that she is in someway no happy with her husband. (I do not think so, just like me she is happy with her spouse)

    The more I think, the more I have to believe what Esther Perel says about why happy people cheat: “Adultery is the revenge of the deserted possibilities from our past” — What a gem !

    My wife said if I happen to do anything with G and if I want the marriage with my wife to continue do not tell her and she would not tell anything to me as well…I know my wife cannot cheat, she is much more decent and clear than me, should rather quit in case she wants to have another relationship…I feel guilty that I only have a such a messed up past and a messed up mind 🙁

    By now, I figure G was not sincere to me, never intended to be. She just liked the lightning flash of her youth coming back in her late 30s and simply wanted to capitalize on that to feel better. (I would not blame her)

    What I hate is the withdrawal, nothing more than a “good morning” in whats app, acting to be busy.

    This is the most hurtful part: What I once pointed out that the passion has reduced in G and she is not interested in meeting, she has not said “I love you” in a while in person or in whatsapp, this is what she said:

    “Hey, do not try to make me feel guilty and paint a sad picture of yourself. If you do I will run away from relationships” This broke my heart because, G always liked me boing clingy and told me that a few times.

    She liked me pulling her legs and often had told that poky-humor of me is something she loved, then 2-3 months back she said she does not like it and cannot put up with that for life in a really really rude tone!!

    Al makes me believe that G used me for part-time fun and occasional sex and keep me on the sidelines when she is bored of her husband or one of her mates. (one of them she travels with overseas for a few weeks from time to time)

    She herself had told me once that one of those guys is coming so close to her — in a bragging way…

    I know one thing for sure, I HAVE TO STOP CONTACTING and STOP THINKING ABOUT HER.

    But how ?!!!


    Dear Maddy:

    I agree, it is a good idea to “stop contacting and stop thinking about her”. Regarding the contact, because she no longer initiates contact with you and responds only if you initiate contact with her, keep not initiating. This is the easy part, compared to the aim of not thinking about her anymore.

    I am trying to understand your liking of the sentence, “Adultery is the revenge of the deserted possibilities from our past”-

    will you tell me about the deserted possibilities of your past?



    Thanks @anita.

    I consider the fact that I did not re-pursue G after I came to know that G’s love did not end in marrying him in 2003-2004 (that is when I came to know) was an ego-driven bad decision…G is an egoist than me so she did not initiate anything though we met 3-4 times in 2004/2005.

    I consider that as a lost opportunity, but I did not want to put my self-respect at risk by asking her again. I am not that much of an egoist as G for sure. Otherwise I would not be initiating conversations and longing.

    I am guessing, she being in a happy marriage and the fact that I am just another one of her admirers in her life, being able to do all the things she did with me and said to me, I strongly believe there could be a psychological reasoning…is why I believe G’s deserted possibilities might have taken the revenge and made her do what she did…

    Question: to the aim of not thinking about her –> tell me how. this is the tough part as you agreed. I started spending more time with my kids, wife and talking to my mom already. (not about G, in general)


    Dear Maddy:

    Spending more time with your wife and kids is a good idea.

    You mentioned your mother, what is your relationship with your mother like and how was it when you were growing up. (I need this information to understand your situation better).



    I love my mother…a lot and we are close. My wife and kids love her as well. My childhood had been good with her and my grandmother. They took great care of us. I have elder sisters as well. (I wish I can go back to those days, grew up in a hamlet) Mom has heart issues and had to undergo a surgery last winter. I moved back only because of that reason to extend some support. She lives with us for the most part of the year now, unless she has somethings to take care of in the hometown.

    Going back to the original issue, G is egoistic, doesn’t message me unless I do. She withdrew from me I didn’t. But I am pretty sure if I ask why she is silent, she will blame me for not pinging. What hurts me is G reached out always if she likes to do so. She even said “Sorry for being up your a$$” a few times. Suddenly if familiarity has bred contempt, she does not need me :'(

    I realize G does it because I am “one” of those tools for fun for her. But she used to be everything for me. I wish I have not met her again…not like this…not like this.

    I am a speck of dust in her window, she is a lonely start in my sky…hmm…

    I hope god gives me the attitude to be brave, have some self-respect and I move on… Thanks.




    Dear Maddy:

    I don’t know why G “used to be everything” to you. Like I wrote to you before, and I think you agreed, you didn’t know her well. Seems to me that you didn’t know her at all,  other than maybe the way she looked, the sound of her voice, some details about her life. I don’t think you knew her thoughts, her feelings, her values, or her motivations. She was your Fantasy.

    When Reality and Fantasy came together in a short sexual relationship, Fantasy exploded and you are left confused and angry.

    You wrote before that she “cheated”  on her husband with you. You put “cheated” inside quotation marks, as if she didn’t really cheat on him with you, as if she was always yours. Part of your Fantasy was that you were as special in her heart as she was special in yours, that you were her number 1. This is what exploded, reality showing you that she had other close associates. You were not her number one.

    I don’t think you fully understand this concept, that she was a Fantasy. That you didn’t really know her. And that you recently found out that indeed she is not that the fantasy woman you had in mind and heart. You don’t realize that you are currently angry at a Fantasy.



    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by anita.

    Thank you @anita.. I understand…just that I am finding it difficult to digest it. BTW on the cheating, I am no good either. What I did to my wife is the same 🙁

    I am glad I still have my marriage. Thank you once again!


    Dear Maddy:

    You are welcome. Living in Fantasy is not that unusual, by the way. People often do, because reality is not that pleasant. Different fantasies for different people, you had your own, that is all. Better Reality, I say because we are better, our mental health is better when we see reality for what it is.

    We function better when we see reality.

    I hope your marriage gets better, that you find what you need in your union with your wife, within your real-life family.


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