Recovered from affair

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    Mmm…so yes, my personal/romantic life was kind of messed up and painful. When I was 23 I fell in love with a married man (he was about 64 years old…should have known better). Yes. This happened on retreat, in Thailand, and well, its been some years since it all fell apart and it ended for the best. I finally feel more moved on, though I look back and regret some of the things I would say to him…I really hated him for a long time. I only recently surfaced from my hate of him, though I don’t know if I forgive him. He wanted my forgiveness, for not being strong enough to not tell me his feelings, but I just couldn’t forgive him at the time. We could never leave it on a good note, it was forever tainted by the lack of integrity the relationship had had.

    I sometimes wonder how I could have entered into an affair in the first place. I definitly felt guilt for the pain that his wife suffered, no doubt. I wonder how I am supposed to find someone else to love, how can someone love someone who has been the ‘other woman’.

    I really did love him (though no sure whether he was being himself on retreat) and it was so hard letting go. We apparently had to let go because of his family and his commitment to his Buddhist practice. I remember it was like a hole was being torn in me. I would cry all night, and despair. I would ruminate and send him a million emails, which he hated. Its a bad habit of mine. I email him occasionally, just song lyrics, I don’t expect replies from him. I guess he is still important to me in some way. I never felt so much tenderness for another person before, I never felt so understood, though I could have been imagining it.

    I try to have compassion with myself, to not judge, but I still feel like damaged goods.

    So yeah…I don’t need a lecture on morality here..I know what happened was wrong.

    I just needed a space to talk about it. I mention him vaguely to my sangha, and its hard carrying something around like this that I can’t be open about. Most people can talk about their past boyfriends, but there is one person I can not really talk about, and I loved him the most out of all the people I have known. I have pieced my life back together, had therapy, and function…anyway…here it is.

    Any thoughts?


    My dear Lynda,

    What is important is that you have pieced your life back together. A lot of people get stuck in the past, and never proceed forward with their lives.

    I can only recommend to you that you cut this person out of your life, completely. Delete emails, phone numbers, facebook, everything. Somtimes the tiniest threads can keep people attached to something negative. This is just a remnant of the the past now. This experience of the affair does not define you.

    Even if you cant forgive him, you can forgive yourself. You never had any intention of hurting anybody, and not only that, this man is much more responsible for the affair than you can ever be.

    Lynda you are not damaged goods. You have got your life back, you are at the beginning of a new journey. A pebble tossed from a beach can become a tsunami on the other side of the world. You are that pebble Lynda.



    It takes two, you can not say that the blame is more his or hers. When people say it wasn’t my “intention” to hurt anyone, its seems dodgy. There are some behaviors that when executed, carry the risk or guarantee that someone will be hurt, cheating or being involved with an affair is one of these situations. Just because one says they had no intention of hurting him, yourself, or his wife does not absolve one of responsibility, one should know what would inevitably occur and this be reason enough to steer clear. Its played out in life everyday as an example to all of the consequences of this behavior. Getting to the bottom of why it happened will be a better focus of energy than simply on what had happened.

    You do speak wisdom that this is in the past, and nothing can be done about it now except, accept responsibility for her part, make a change, learn from it, and grow. Make sure to never involve oneself into situation that has caused so much grief and pain ever again.

    I’ll agree that, Lynda you are not damaged goods. Bad choices do not define us, as the person we wish to be tomorrow can be better and different than the person we were yesterday. Its ultimately your choice, to allow yourself to let the past dictate your future or flip the page and start a new chapter.

    I also agree to cutting this person off, you say you can not forgive him, and still have negative feelings, yet you continue to engage with him……if these statements are true, then what benefit are your receiving by tearing open old wounds? or are you simply trying to still feel a connection? even if it causes you pain after the initial buzz wears off?

    I hope you can find peace on the matter, we are all capable of some questionable behaviors, its the downfall of being human, the upside is the ability to find understanding and control ourselves moving forward.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 5 months ago by Chad.

    Chad thank you for your response. I am glad we agreed on several points. To clarify what I meant about Lynda bearing less responsibility; I was specifically looking at the age difference, which is quite substantial. At the age of 23, even though you are considered an adult legally, you are still at an age where you are meant to make mistakes, you will make mistakes, and you learn right from wrong through real experience. At the age of 23, Lynda is learning how to function in society for the first time without the protection of her parents.

    The man is 64 years old. At that age his wisdom and past experiences should have told him not to cheat on his wife. To be quite frank, Chad, I wouldnt be at all surprised if this older gentlemen saw an opportunity to seduce Lynda and did just that.

    Lynda, at the age of 23, you are going to make so many mistakes, but it is ok, because through these experiences you will grow and learn to become a stronger person. Life is going to throw lots of things at you. Champions find a way to push past the hurdles of life, and find a way to define their reality, they dont let situations define who they are. I sense a champion inside of you linda, I sense a part of batman in you.



    Your point becomes more clear, surely the more accountable person here is the 64 year old man. I agree and have no doubt he saw this opportunity to take advantage of a well meaning and maybe tad naive younger person. We were all that person once, just wanting love and not quite sure how to get there, meeting predatory folks along the way. Whenever I see a relationship with a large age disparity your comment is always what comes to mind.

    I understand that 23 is not a ripe age. I know we dont live in a society where 23 is really an adult. My therapist told me the adolescent mindset last till into the mid to late twenties these days. Where as 200 years ago this was mid life for some people.

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