Is it a sex blog? A mommy blog? A bitch & moan blog? Um, . . . yeah. This is my place to be totally honest. In my real life, I feel like I'm always lying to somebody about something. Here, I am totally honest. Brutally so. However, no matter what bad things I say about my kids, I adore them and would never ever really, say, sell them on Ebay. The husband, often referred to as Spousehole, is another story. Oh yeah - if you are under 18 (or if you are my husband), please leave now.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Emotional Rollercoaster

I'm about to post about something I've been withholding from the blog. I've withheld it for several reasons. First, I feel stupid about the situation. Second, the other person used to be a blogger and I didn't want anyone making the connection. But if I don't talk about it, I may just burst. And my emotional rollercoaster won't make any sense if I don't explain. But I may delete this soon after I post it. I don't know. Anyway, here goes:

I've had one rule about internet friendships and extramarital flirting/relationships or whatever: Don't fall in love. That is, love your friends as friends. Have some emotional connection with friends and lovers; but don't fall in love. There's a part of your heart that you can't open to others; it belongs to your spouse and only your spouse. Besides, I'm not one of those people who falls in love at the drop of a hat. Lust, yes. I fall in lust pretty easily, especially with intelligent, confidently sexy men. I fall in Like quite a bit - I like people. I'm basically a friendly person. But I don't fall in love easily; I don't open my heart that easily anymore.

My mistake: I let someone in. It wasn't intentional, it just sort of happened. We read each other's blogs, left comments. Emailed each other with words of support for our respective situations. Soon we were chatting occasionally, then more regularly. Eventually we were chatting nearly every day this summer. We talked about life, love, marriage, sex, food, children, our childhoods, politics, religion (a lot of religion); we talked about everything and about nothing at all. We could, and did, go on for hours. We exchanged pictures - not only of ourselves but our families. We told each other just about everything that happened in our lives. We have a similar messed up sense of humor. Example: Discussing a sexual harassment prevention video shown at a job training seminar, he said "What does it say about me that I almost laughed out loud when the first words out of the video narrator's voice was that the company has a very rigid policy about sexual harassment?" Except I would actually have laughed out loud.

It got to the point that on days we didn't have contact, I missed him. But it's okay to miss a friend, right? Eventually it became apparent that we were more than friends to one another, but we kind of danced around it. Neither of us was looking for more than a friend. We each had and have other friends, but this was different.

Then his life took a drastic turn. He had to stop blogging - deleted his blog entirely, in fact, to protect his family. He had to resign his job, in the only profession he had ever known. His life was turned upside down. This also meant that we would not have regular contact anymore, as his days until he found a new career would be spent nearly 24/7 with his wife.

In our last online chat, he told me he loved me. To my own surprise, I told him that I loved him too. I thought it through later: Was I just saying it because he said it? Or did I really mean it? I realized that yes, I meant it, although I've always believed that you can't fall in love with someone you've never actually met in person. I felt kind of stupid about it - what kind of simpering idiot falls in love over the internet? Besides, we could never really be together. Neither of us is prepared to leave our children or move our children away from their other parent to be together. Being together is a fantasy that can never actually come true, so I needed to just get the heck over it. No problem, right?

After all, I thought, this "love" is merely an illusion. I just feel this way because he listens to me, accepts me - flaws and all, forgives my mistakes, and is basically everything I'm not getting from my spouse. It's kind of like transference in therapy - where you feel briefly like you're in love with your therapist. They listen to you, affirm you, they don't dismiss your feelings or your fears. Like transference, this too shall pass, I thought.

He and I even talked about this - that you can't really know someone online or over the phone. Until you spend time together, flesh and blood, you don't know. Until you've had to wash their dirty underwear, deal with their moods, pick up the dishes they left out, eat dinner together day in and day out, travel together, or live with the aftermath of a mistake they made, you don't know. You just don't know.

I thought that our inability to easily or regularly contact one another for awhile would help things. That this would be some silly crush that would pass. And in the couple months that have passed, I did feel better about it. We've had intermittent contact and it felt like my emotions had settled down. I felt that I still loved and cared for him as a friend, but that anything beyond that had passed. I had moved on.

He's got a new job and he's away from home at a training for said job. Away from his wife, but also a couple time zones away from me. We've emailed, but hadn't actually talked. Until this morning.

This morning we talked on the phone for about half an hour.

Damn if it didn't all just come rushing back for me. I've spent the rest of the day on an emotional rollercoaster. Happy to hear his voice. Ashamed to find that I still care so damn much. Giddy and playful. Kicking myself for not just getting over him already. Up and down. Up and down. All freaking day.

Nothing's changed. I'm not leaving my husband. He's not leaving his wife. We aren't going to be together. We can't. I'm exactly what he doesn't need. But I love him anyway. Damn it. Time was supposed to take care of this. I HATE this feeling.

I'm hoping that just getting this all out will help. Maybe if I read the words, I'll realize just how silly this all is and be able to move on already. Or maybe I'll call him back, hear his voice again while I can.

I've added a poll to accompany this post. I think it is self-explanatory. I'm not answering it myself, because I just don't freaking know. (That goddamn emotional roller coaster again.)

P.S. If you think you recognize my friend from this, please don't leave a comment saying "Are you talking about so-and-so?" Email me if you're so curious. Perhaps I'll tell you, perhaps I won't.


girl under cover said...

Been there, done that... have no advice. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

I think it does help to write it out. Not to convince yourself that you're wrong or right, but just to get it all out and clear your head, at least for a little while. There's no easy answer. Please don't delete this post. Your feelings are valid.

Dates Bubbas said...

Here's the deal... yes, you can fall in love with someone you don't know the same way you know other friends or your spouse. Let's be realistic - you are a woman who is starved for affection, affirmation and attention from your spouse. This man gave you all of that in writing. Then you talked on the phone and there was an additional emotional connection because you could hear in his voice just how much he cares for you.

This isn't a matter of "simpering idiots" falling for each other. How do you think many of those couples fell in love through WWII? They didn't have the instantaneous connection of the Internet or even intermittent phone calls. Stop being silly...

Chelle said...

Oh man.....I totally get what you are saying girl. I sooooo totally get it. *sigh* :)

TUG said...

Well, I think you know how I feel about this. Except for me I also know the flesh and blood aspect of it. Call yourself lucky you didn't know that aspect of the relationship.

I'm with you, but I'm certainly not one to offer any advice. I can only offer you my support and friendship.

Vixen said...

Fuck Bunny. Once.again....I can resignate and *know* what you are talking about...referring to.

That is PC and I. And it wasn't on purpose and I was in a horrible position w/ my ex.... But yeah.

I hope you feel better having written this. It made you look like a strong person being able to vent and get it out.

xo sweetie

ArtfulSub said...

It must be possible to fall in love on the internets and phone. I don't think you're crazy.

At least not based on this post.

Trueself said...

Well, I'd be the last person in the world to give advice on this one. And just for the record, I could've easily fallen in love with him too. He is a wonderful person.

Sue said...

You've read my blog. I'm struggling with this right now. I know I put on the big girl panties and show on the outside that everything is ok, that I'm not hurting over it anymore, but it's a show. It's also some fucked up attempt to throw myself into "happy".

I'm not sure I've said this on my blog, but my "friend" is actually someone I have met before, in person. I've danced with him. Maybe that is what makes it so difficult for me. I have the fantasy and a distant memory of actually touching him.

And I don't think I said the particulars, but after 16 years, his first wife (whom he has loved all this time, a love that has interfered in all his relationships since her) emailed him out of the blue and apparently is giving him another chance. I see how stupid it would be for him not to take it, even if it doesn't work out, for his peace of mind, to say that he tried one last time.

So, I'm taking his lead and giving Paul one last try.

But I still love my "friend"...I just keep telling myself I love him as a friend only.

SoCal Sal said...

A connection is a connection. It can even stretch thousands of miles.

I could have written that exact post, so I can really sympathize. So here’s my 2 cents.

It is much easier to connect online as you don’t have the day to day responsibilities with the other. As you mentioned, no dirty underwear … etc. It is like you only get the “best of”. It feels real, it can be genuine, but it is also a partial fa├žade. The kicker, is the actual feelings.

I wish you the best as you work through it. {{HUG}}

bikertigger said...

Yes....One can fall in love with some though remote systems. BUT only to a certain point.

I think. HELL I DO NOT KNOW!!!!

da Missus and I met in a chat room. Chatted for a couple of months. Elevated to phone calls. We then met for a weekend. A month later she moved in with me. And she moved in with me without us seeing each other at all in that month until I went to help her move. That was over 8 years ago.

Did we "fall in love" over the 'net and on the phone? Probably. Could I have had her move in with me before the weekend in Little Rock? I do not think so.

Does that help

George said...

Of course it is possible to fall in love over the Internet. But what type of love is it? We hear things, we read things and we fall in love with what you think this person represents. Maybe he/she turns out to be exactly as you imagined but the odds are slim. Another thing is that we only tend to hear/think the best of the person. I think it is quite easy to fall in love over the Internet

Renee said...

I think it's very easy to fall in love with how we perceive that person to be. Whether they're really that good in person is quite another thing.

I've met people IRL that I first met over the 'net. Some were exactly how they presented themselves online and over the phone. Some weren't what I expected at all.

There's usually a 'be on my best behavior' stage in a relationship. That can play out for a long time over the 'net. Some people won't show their true selves for one reason or another. That happens IRL too I know.

Yeah, I'm kind of skeptical. I do think without the reality of day in and day out physical, face to face interaction, that we can fall in love with a perception of that person.

BTExpress said...

I met a girl briefly before I was drafted into the army. We hit it off and exchanged letters while I was in basic training and AIT. We talked on the phone a couple of times, but since long distance phone calls on a pay phone were so expensive, that didn't happen often. We fell in love and told each other. Things were great. After my training was complete, I got 30 days leave before having to go to Vietnam. We dated a few times before we both realized that we weren't really in love after all. I liked the attention while I was in training and I guess she did too. I broke up with her and we never saw each other again.

I guess your in a similar situation. You craved the attention you weren't getting and fell in love with that. If you dated the new guy, then maybe you'll fall in love. Or maybe you'll realize it wasn't love after all like I did.

Ron Burgundy said...

I'm not sure what to tell you Bunny. Part of me says - sure - you can get to know someone over the web (or by phone and mail in the old days) and fall in love.

Part of me says - as someone comments - you need to be with that person in the flesh to really know.

The final part questions how you can go through this experience and then say with complete certainty that you would never leave your husband (and he his wife).

Big kid stuff for sure - I hope you are able to get through it.


Lady in red said...

I think it is possible but i also think that it is very difficult to sustain. I believe your feelings are very real.
I have recently blogged about a man I met online about a year ago, we became friends and he was my confidante I told him things I didnt tell anyone else, he was there for me during my ups and downs. then we met and I fell for him. recently he told me that he didnt feel the same. I was devastated. after a few weeks we were able to talk again as the friends we used to be.
yesterday I blogged about the hurt some of the thing he had said caused me. after not reading my blog for months he happened to read this. We have worked through it now. But what I want to say is that I blogged it because that is how I deal with my emotional rollercoaster. by blogging it I was able to get over the hurt so much quicker than if I had just kept quiet and let it fester.

Rae said...

I'm annoyingly able to fall in love with my guy friends unfortunately. I've had some good guy friends, so it has ultimately worked out, but I don't know what to tell you...

Sometimes it does just help to get it off your chest. Maybe it won't make you fall out of love, but it's nice to say aloud all the same.

Hang in there.

Sandi said...

I completely believe that a person can fall in love with someone from online. I have been there.. and it hurts like hell to get out of.
If he called me or im'ed me today? would I go right back into it with him?? probably yes.. cuz I suck like that:)

hang in there girl.

Loving Annie said...

I have no idea who it is, but it doesn't matter. I feel for you, Bunny.

Love just DOES take you by surprise, and it isn't easy to go through what you are going through, no matter how much logic and understanding of the situation you have.

*cyber hugs*
Loving Annie

whitenoise said...

How did you feel about your spouse before you were married? I'm guessing that you were probably in love with him, too.

But, then came bills and a mortgage and leaving the toilet seat up and kids and fights over money...

Unfortunately, there's always bad with the good. Sometimes in longterm relationships, we forget the good and let ourselves be overwhelmed by the bad.

Your internet romance is cherry-picking. You've only taken the good and really have no idea at all about the bad. Likely, time would turn this fun, mysterious, new relationship into the same thing you already have.

Plus, you would turn the lives of your kids and spouse completely upside down. And for what? Something that probably isn't even real.

Try to remember what you already have and ask yourself if you can make it better, if you can take it back to what it used to be. You owe it to yourself and to your family to give it an honest shot before you run off chasing rainbows.

Nice & Naughty said...

Bunny, I know what you mean here... He is able to meet all of your emotional needs and gives you that love high. I know it too well. Time does help, but it will hurt for awhile.

Evening said...

Ohhhhh Bunny!!!!! I am so sorry you are hurting.

Valyna said...

I'm so understanding of what you're going through, except in my situation I don't have kids... just dogs :/ But when I met my current love online - I was already on the outs with the husband. You said you have no intention of leaving your husband and I think that's a very important sign right there. You don't want to harm something you have no intention of changing. Believe me.

I ended up leaving my unhappy life in Indiana for someone I met online and I couldn't be happier. We've been living together for almost 6 months now and it was the best decision I ever made. We were completely meant for one another.

HOWEVER, like I said, I was already in an unhappy place with every intention of leaving. If you're not there... then don't test the waters. It will only make everything more difficult... and the pain that builds from guilt and doubt is not the way anyone should to live.

*loveums to you girl... I know it's hard. {{hugs}}

Anonymous said...

I think you can fall in love with someone over the internet. You can fall for what they represent and what you perceive them to be. Meeting them and having them turn out the way you picture them based on how they portrayed themselves to you over internet and phone is a different story though.

I would say more but anything I'm going to say has already been said by other people. I would also tell you a few other things but they're personal and I prefer not to mention them here as I haven't ever blogged about them.

I hope this gets better for you doll. *Hugs*

Stephen Rader said...

I hope you're feeling better and off the emotional rollercoaster. You are a beautiful person. Thank you for sharing your feelings in this post.

oatmeal girl said...

yes. definitely. you can fall in love with someone via the internet. i've done it, it's real, and it's good. that doesn't mean all such cases are actually "love" but it's possible. it all depends on the people.

sure, you can be falling in love with an idealized fantasy. but on the other hand, if there is honesty, the writing and the phone calls can help you know someone better than dating, because all you have are the words to keep you connected.

i've only just discovered your blog and haven't read the archives, plus after my own history of failed marriages and odd relationships i wouldn't dare pass judgment on anyone else's decisions, let alone think that i know what's good for them. luckily, my own relationship, which continues after meeting in the flesh, is not hampered by spouses or other lovers. however, there are still 250 miles and careers and family ties and possessive cats to deal with. so we do the best we can.

i believe in the pit-of-the-stomach test. follow your gut. sometimes things will be good. sometimes you'll make mistakes. (i sure do.) and sometimes things work out really well. it's just that we often can't foresee what "really well" will be.

good luck.