What Is the Right Thing to Do When an Old Lover Connects with You Online?

Woman typingWhat would you do? An important romantic figure from your past finds you on an internet social media site. Perhaps this was your first love. This renewed connection brings to mind the passion and enthusiasm of youth—before children, financial problems, and middle age. In your mind, you travel back to a time before career worries, mortgage problems, and thinning hair to a time of anticipation, optimism, and more energy. What would you do? Is it a wrong choice to maintain contact on-line? Is it wrong to have a texting relationship? Where do you draw the line? What is the line that would determine that this is an inappropriate relationship?

Infidelity is high on the list of issues that prompt couples to seek relationship therapy. As a therapist who has worked with couples for over 25 years, I see couples struggle with the aftermath of affairs. Typically, both partners are in considerable pain as they work to heal their marriage and build the trust back. Most couples are able to navigate the storm with the help of therapy, good intentions, and motivation to save the marriage.

Recently, social media has been a player in the triangle when individuals find the old flame or school love that has been out of their lives for the last 15 years. The story has become well known. At first, the reunited lovers are happy to find each other on line and enjoy the new “friendship” and reconnection. There is no threat to the marriage. The new spouse is told about the on-line relationship and nothing seems amiss. But slowly over time, the relationship returns to romance. The now married partner struggles with the old emotions getting stirred up again and begins to feel guilt. They try to work it out on their own by not telling their current spouse about the feelings only to find the appeal of the former romance growing stronger. They decide to meet for coffee. They don’t tell their current spouse because they don’t want to worry them. The secrets continue to grow until they become lies. They kiss and an affair begins. It ends when their current mate stumbles upon text messages or email. A few more lies follow when the wrongdoer is confronted and tries to limit the marital damages. At this time, the current spouse is hurt by the infidelity as well as the lies and denial. The lies become worse than the offense. When they come to my office for therapy, they work on repairing the damages and fixing the elements of the marriage that weren’t working before the affair. It is a lot of work to do.

When I review the choices that the wrongdoer made along to way, it is clear to me how the situation could have turned out better. Here is my advice on choice points. As soon as you begin to have feelings for another person, tell your partner, even if this disclosure causes you pain, embarrassment, or discomfort. Have long conversations with your spouse. Expect the conversations to be difficult. Expect to talk about any unhappiness that may be seeping into your relationship. Dissatisfaction that didn’t have words previously will now have names.

The names of these dissatisfactions are stress, money problems, job troubles, parenting issues, or other family concerns. These difficulties are some of the things that send partners into the arms of someone else. They are looking for an escape from the demands of life, and the old flame takes on the bright shining light of deliverance. The deliverance is short lived. The once bright light that looked like a beacon of hope in the storm was more like a kraken leading you towards the rocky shores of a shipwreck.

My advised choice point looks quite logical in hindsight, but if you are in this situation now, it does not look so simple. If there is something going on in your life that you can’t tell your partner, then the relationship is in trouble already. Talk over your choices with a trusted friend or counselor. There is more at stake here that finding relief from stress. You may be making a choice that will change your life forever. Most people who cheated on their spouses say, afterwards, that they wish they could take it back. Choose wisely.


© Copyright 2012 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Pamela Lipe, MS, therapist in Saint Paul, Minnesota

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • Maura

    January 20th, 2012 at 5:25 AM

    Ignore it!
    Nothing good can come from it!
    You broke up one time before and for probably a good reason.
    That is what you need to remember.
    That and the pain that you could cause in the end by renewing this relationship.

  • Kydee

    March 13th, 2017 at 5:09 AM

    Wow! Talk about timing! I just had an ole friend contact me after 25+ years. We were lovers but nothing serious on his part. He never knew how I felt. So it seems he looked me up on one of those people search sites tracked me down on social media and contacted me. We both have since married. His wife is 17 yrs his Jr. Says he’s had me on his mind for a long time! I wonder if he’s looking for absolution or romance? I’m very puzzled. Wondering the motive to his contact. My husband has been unfaithful to me so I’m very cautious!! Having said that after being so broken having someone tell you a thing like that and tell you the songs he hears that reminds him of you well that’s an instant ego boost! Still fire is fire!!

  • Colin

    March 13th, 2017 at 5:14 PM

    Don’t do it.
    My story is very similar, 28 years after we finished she has contacted me. Same story, both married, but exchanging romantic songs, talking about the past trying to put it right. My life and head are a mess. I start on anti depressants tomorrow and currently having counselling to get my head straight. The problem is there is no one you can ever confide in. It’s a secret you have to carry alone.

  • Alan

    January 20th, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Talk about timing! Just this Wednesday I got an invite from my ex-girlfriend. I’m a college senior now and yes,I can relate to some of the things listed here. We were in sophomore year then and things were a lot better back then. I didn’t have the uncertainty of finding a job at least.

    One email after 2 years of the breakup reminded me of all the things we shared and experienced together. I haven’t responded to her invite, I’m still thinking about it. Frankly, it would be nice to get back with her because I’ve been single for almost a year now but I’m cautious. I cannot say I would definitely be able to resist but my advice to married folk-Please resist and stay away!

  • Brad

    January 20th, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Don’t you think that if your marriage is strong to begin with then reconnecting is not going to be a problem? It can be fun to reminisce.

  • sharlen

    January 20th, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    nicely explained here.I wholly agree that it usually starts off innocently and with the intention of being friends but can quickly change course.maintaining a platonic relationship with a former flame is never going to be easy.

  • Hanna

    January 21st, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Can you even imagine how hard it would be to tell your husband that you hooked back up with an old flame online and now you think that you have feelings fro him again? Oh wow that would be some trouble in my house for sure! He is so jealous of my exes and I guess I would have to admit that I am too, so the best thing for both of us to do is to completely ignore anyone form a past life that we find online.

  • gg

    January 21st, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    ignoring may be the best way…but is it the easiest? I dont think so!

  • Joni Sparkman

    January 22nd, 2012 at 7:13 AM

    I have had some friends who did think that this was harmless too, until they did start to feel something and that is when they finally realized that this was something that they needed to put the brakes on fast. I think you don’t realize the earm that it can do til you are in the midst of it, that is why you have to disengage before you really get into trouble.

  • Bobbi

    January 23rd, 2012 at 5:22 AM

    It might be ok to get reconnected, say hi chat about the families, but to do anything more than that is deceptive and should be left alone.


    January 23rd, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Its never easy to just ignore a person you’ve been with.But think of it this way-Is the intended ‘friendship’ more important to you than your present relationship/marriage?

  • Ken

    June 3rd, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    You younger folks probably think that these situations are for you. I graduated from HS in 1955, and had a torrid love relationship with a girl who was 17 and I was 18. It ended when I went into the Army, and then after I served my enlistment we met once and picked up our relationship, including sex, for about a year. The problem is she had married while I was in the Army. Within a year it ended again, as her husband was killed. I continued attending a community college and then moved to another state, where I met another woman and married. We have four children and grandchildren when this woman found me on the internet and contacted me! I was surprised to say the least, but immediately told my wife simply that an old girl friend from HS had contacted me,and we had emailed each other. At first my wife who has been married to me for over 45 years was jealous, but after a short while said she was fine with us emailing. We still live in another state. Frankly, I would like to meet her again, see what she is like, and know she feels the same,but of course we are now older people and not the teenagers we had been. So it is still up in the air about this meeting, so kids, don’t think these type of feelings and situations are just for the young.

  • Valene

    December 27th, 2016 at 3:47 AM

    I agree with you Ken. I have been in touch with a teenage lover on and off for the past few years (I was 18 and he was 19) we are both now in our mid 50’s. It started with the normal catch-up about what we had done and our families (I have been married for over 30 years; he has been divorced for over 16 years and is single) about 6 months ago we started to talk more openly and it became evident that we both still found each other physically attractive. We live almost 4,000 miles apart and so the chances of ever meeting up are slim however this didn’t stop us from fantasising how it would be if we did get together again. I read more into this flirting than he meant and ended up making a fool of myself by suggesting that I could leave my husband – he freaked out and has since kept me at a distance – saying that we are friends nothing more. So this is just a little cautionary note that by trying to resurrect and old relationship you can ruin the friendship and may live to regret that

  • johnny d

    September 6th, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    wow, that sure is a lot of embellishment beyond the original question.

    I am Facebook friends with most of my old lovers. We dont have a spark or a longing, we’re jsut friends. The girlfriend I had just before marrying is good friends with my wife, and babysits for us. Again, no drama.

    This article isn’t about old lovers contacting you on facebook. It’s about having an affair. Not sure why it was presented as the former.

  • bronwen

    April 20th, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Hey, I have a guy contacting me on every site I have ,at the moment its just Hi there how are you, etc but : firstly its from a guy I had a summer fling with when I was 15 in spain and yes just a kiss no sex: I am now 47 and very married.and dont speak spanish ! HELP, why ? x

  • Aimee

    July 16th, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    I emailed someone I was good friends with in hs and later dated in college- (we were each other’s first love and very attached; I broke it off because i got scared things were moving so fast.) I asked whether he was attending our class reunion. He said he wasn’t but asked how and what I was doing etc. So I answered with a brief summary and asked how about you? Now he hasn’t answered and I feel terrible– Can i email one more time just to apologize? Or will i make it worse? I did not mean anything improper at all, but we are both married and haven’t seen each other for 20+ yrs, live in different states.

  • ken

    November 15th, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    You have to consider the feelings of your partner I know that my present partner has contact with a person that they had a secular relationship with. They don’t know that or know or doesn’t care. I hinted that I know but they are oblivious. I am jealous. How d hold I feel. I must admit that I am hurt by this. There is no explanation that will make me feel brtter. I would have hope that t he affection that I shower would have killed any need for them to reconnect with any past lover. I’m crushed.

  • jibryel

    March 19th, 2015 at 3:08 AM

    goin where the wind blows

  • mike

    April 23rd, 2015 at 3:28 PM

    Yes, the Internet unlocks the secret hiding place of people you could not find 20 or 30 years ago. I recently contacted a summer romance who I have not spoken to in 30 years. Actually I had no idea what happened to her after college. But on night, I was driving through a small town and all these memories came back because that was the town she was from. So, I wanted to know what happened to her. We some very few facts, I found her with now a different last name but living in the same State I moved to, which neither of us are from. We both have families and have both been married a long time. I spoken to her on the phone and she still has the same captivating voice I remembered long ago. There really is not much more to say as I don’t have any thoughts of more, but we both felt there must be some reason this happened. Perhaps it just completes a story that began one summer a long time ago. Wow now I feel old.

  • Michael

    June 17th, 2015 at 12:14 AM

    My wife and I are both connected to ex’s on Facebook and routinely see them when we go out with groups of friends. We talk about and aren’t bothered by this. We’re not naive: we’ve both had subtle (or not so subtle in her case) offers; we just tell one another when it happens and tell the people no.

    I think some people get freaked out about their spouse being around somebody they’ve had sex with because, at one point, their spouse was sexually attracted to this person. Since they were once attracted some spouses question whether maybe they still are still attracted. Well .. they might be! But attraction and action are entirely different and, if you trust your spouse, they won’t act on it. If you don’t trust your spouse, or if they’re not trustworthy, then this just seems like a red herring for deeper problems.

  • Gabria

    August 28th, 2015 at 7:50 PM

    Hey gen X-ers, here is our bind. We are now 40 plus and the lovers from our past have found us. They are usually unattached when they search us out. Wefind ourselves on the receiving end blindsided. We are in long-term, and in most-times (sadly) sexless, yet monogamous unions. We left them or they left us between 1980 something and the late 1990s. We were free in a retro-70s stance, full up on grunge and Clinton-era possibility. Those days are far behind yet still very close when the internet glares in our faces.Guess what: there were abortions, failed engagements, class issues, gay issues, many issues that tore our worlds apart. People from our past come out of the woodwork looking for healing in a more open-minded time. It still hurts though.

  • Lanise

    October 15th, 2015 at 4:19 PM

    Same situation here. Reconnected with first love about 3yrs ago. We are both married. 30yrs for me and about 22yrs for him. Our situation is a bit different however. There is a family relationship. My godmother is his aunt. So we grew up basically calling each other cousin, although no blood relation. We have also lived in two different states all our lives. Our relationship started when we were 14 and 15 yrs old. But..skip to the present. Within 2wks of reconnecting he states that “we should be married right now-5kids and watching the grandkids come”. That was 3yrs ago. We have been in a relationship since then. Half of the family (his side) knows we have started back up again. Both spouses have stumbled across errant emails or text. We love our spouses …. but. Can’t leave each other be. At a lose.

  • Dr. Mayur Jain

    November 20th, 2015 at 10:39 PM

    It’s not very easy to ignore your first love, I came in contact with her after 23 years and found that I still love her a lot. I texted her a couple of times, the response from her side is luke warm but…………her thoughts make me feel very comfortable.

  • Lanise

    November 23rd, 2015 at 8:38 PM

    Yes. I do understand.

    My situation is still the exact same. The only slightly difference is that there is more of a push to “drop all pretense” and basically go full heads up. Much to think about. Thx.

  • Suzan C.T

    December 4th, 2015 at 10:46 AM

    Please I need to know does that mean my exboyfriend still loves me? Because
    *My exboyfriend that was suppose to marry me but I dumped him and he got married 11 years ago but within this 11 years he make sure he phones me annually to cherk how am I doing.
    *when he speaks to me he.calls me with my clan name or with all my full names and my surname.
    *We are living in different cities but he phoned me and asked me to buy him a suit that I apparently bought him when we were still dating, because the suit I bought him before he got married is small and no longer in good condition
    *Does he still loves me?

  • Stephanie

    April 17th, 2016 at 2:42 PM

    I am in my 50′ s. My first love was a wonderful man. I was 18 he was 21. He has been with his partner 30 yrs and I am divorced but been with my new partner 11 yrs. My first love and I were engaged but I was too young and decided to end it. I broke his heart. Over the years I have
    Very thought of him a lot and recently found him on social media. We had coffee several times and discussed our families. My partner has had health problems for 5 yrs so our physical relationship is zero. The third time we met we kissed passionately. We will not leave our partners but we are both so passionate about each other. It’s a dilemma and the difficulties arise when you have feelings for each other that are deeper than friendship. We only grab an hour or two each week and I wonder what he is doing all the time. I don’t have the ability to concentrate on anything. I’m 55 and feel so young when I am with him.

  • Max

    April 20th, 2016 at 11:53 PM

    I am 65 years old and in a marriage with a man I met in college . We have been married for 44 years with two grown children. My husband has been unfaithful three times in the marriage at six year intervals. The last one was devastating and involved the woman accosting me at my home and involved the police. My husband maintained his innocence in all this but I cannot forget or forgive. When approached for intimacy there is always a problem.. My choosing the wrong time or wrong approach. I have endured this for years and cannot any more. I recently found my former lover from years ago whom I have never forgotten. We have been texting for almost a year . We want to meet but there are some circumstances that prevent me from doing such. He lives in Arizona and I in Florida. We had planned to get married all those years ago but I got cold feet with our first priority to finish school. He is divorced and I find myself wanting to see and talk with him more than on the phone. i have always loved him and we dated for two years. My husband I met after a breakup with my intended. I want to be with my former but neither of us have spoken beyond our unfinished business as we call it. We plan to meet this fall. Am I really looking at this realistically ?

  • deb

    May 17th, 2016 at 4:43 AM

    I’M lost i was married had three kids divorced and married to the man off my dreams. the problem is me and my ex boyfriend had drunk sex and after twenty years i fond out my last son is his, he has contacted me and told me what happened i always new my baby seemed different from the other two. and i did not remember cheating or ever having sex with this man but my son looks just like him. i’m in such a mess and don’t know what to do. this all happened in my 1st marriage. and after sixteen years off being with my 2 marriage i’m talking to this man and i don’t no what to do we have been making plans to see each other but with the info i got i could harm so many people please someone help me to do the right thing. do i tell my husband about my son we don’t have children together and tell each other everything. do i tell my ex my 3 child is not his, do i tell my 20 year old son he has a different father. please some one help

  • paula a

    October 24th, 2016 at 4:42 AM

    this is my life what did you do i need help on what to do

  • tammy

    October 31st, 2016 at 5:30 AM

    so i’m wondering what did you do??

  • Christina

    February 27th, 2017 at 6:23 PM

    What did you decide to do?

  • Cc

    July 16th, 2016 at 8:29 AM

    Tell your son who his real father is. My mom died five years ago and I just found out through an old photo, hunches and a trip to another country about having a different father than the one I grew up calling dad. It explains so much in my life. I can finally make myself happy and move forward being happier. As for telling the father I don’t know what the point is after he’s grown. And telling your current partner would be helpful cuz he’s probably a stepparent and it would help him understand him better. Good luck!

  • Ellen

    August 8th, 2016 at 12:19 PM

    If its all so plutonic and just an innocent old friend- then bringing the person home for a bbq or catch up over coffee should be no problem…if a meeting was to be separate or clandestine then I think the relationship should not be renewed if you love your partner… I suppose its really a case of – what’s most important spending time and rekindling love within your marriage or trying to go back wards

  • Ann

    October 23rd, 2016 at 8:17 PM

    I recently reconnected with am old lover that I had not seen in 40+ years he is married and I am divorced. We met for coffee and talked for over 3 hours. I was nice. He had been so upset over hurting me and even though I had let go I feel it was something he needed to resolve. We talked about thoings that had both happened to us over the years and I am glad we met. I helps both of us to grow and have closure. As long as you are mature about it. I see no harm.

  • KH

    October 30th, 2016 at 7:27 PM

    I was just contacted by my old boyfriend I hadnt seen in 15 yrs. He wants to meetup,t old me he’s always loved me.. I’m afraid he has this old image of me in his head of being young and hot..great sex . I’m 15 yrs older now in my 50s. I’m a grama.. gained weight. Alot of feelings stirred up hearing from him…like you dumped me when I was skinny n sexy what do you possibly want with me now? I’d like to see him again because I did love him alot.. but I think I should just let him keep the old memories of me…

  • Mega

    October 31st, 2016 at 4:03 AM

    Hi all,so ive been going through all the comments and stuff and can relate to so many of you guys. im going to be married for only 4 years now in December we have an 2 year old son,but one of my past flames also just started making contact with me during the last 3 months,we are actually meeting this weekend without my husband knowing. i know this is sooooo wrong in soooo many ways,but i do feel the urge to just be with this person one last time,we never got the chance to say goodbye in the past and he has always been in my thought vis verca….the feelings we still have for eachother is incredibly strong. i dont know what to do. and it almost seem that im no longer physically atracted to my husband anymore and this did not happen now,it has been awhile. there has been alot of things has happened between me and my husband making me even want to be in this marriage anymore. he use to drink alot and verbally abuse me aswell as to pusshing and pulling me around and then he dont care if he does that infront of our child,the last time he did that were about 3 months ago and i wanted to get an divorce only then did he sincerely appoligised and started to drink less and it was in that time frame were my ex stepped in. dont get me wrong i love my husband ALOT sometimes it feels like we are so used to being together dont even know if it is love anymore.

  • tammy

    November 1st, 2016 at 5:00 AM

    please i’m going though so much know that i did it, h its so much fun at the beginning and then it just gets to hard enjoy the failings you have do not act on them its to much pain.

  • Brandon B.

    January 2nd, 2017 at 12:34 PM

    Hey. Just read your post. I am going through the exact same thing right now. I too have a lot of feelings and I can say love for the woman I am going to meet with this Friday. I told my wife at first that we were talking but since have not decided to tell her that we are going to meet each other this week. I have so many emotions for this woman. But really don’t know how it is going to go. When we talk I can tell and she has told me that she still has feeling for me. We were young but had a very strong relationship. And unfortunately I had to move. Across the nation. Just today she told me that it was my fault that we aren’t still together today. Me personally it has been a struggle with my marriage and I am gonna go see her. And what ever happens well I’m gonna go with. I do love this woman and always have. We didn’t leave on bad terms I just had to move. I hope what ever you did was the right thing for you. I feel like that of we are seeing each other again than it was meant to be. I truly believe in true love and I’m pretty sure she is the one.

  • Sarah

    January 16th, 2017 at 12:24 PM

    Please take it from me. Don’t do it. My ex from high school that I haven’t seen or spoken in 26 yrs send me friend requested me and I accepted. After a short affair I was the one married he was single he wanted me to leave my husband and be with him. After a lot of pressure and wishful thinking I did just that. And I’m telling you it was great. And so much excitement which was short lived. He was a drunk and very controlling he made me see that all my husbands faults weren’t actually that bad. We’ve been married 11 years. So here I am three months later humiliated family want speak to me , luckily my husband knows everything and we are working on repairing our marriage!! I hate that I cheated I live with the shame and guilt everyday I wake up .. and me and the ex-lover have lost our friendship , he hates me and has talked about me so I have to live with all these feelings … I’m lucky to have a husband that saw it he asked two to make a marriage and two too break it.. we are on the road to healing and has forgiven me but I haven’t forgiven myself for allowing this behavior. Don’t do it.

  • salina

    March 23rd, 2017 at 4:16 AM

    hi brandon
    any update

  • tammy

    October 31st, 2016 at 5:04 AM

    Don’t do it its to much heartbreak

  • Mega

    October 31st, 2016 at 9:49 AM

    I know that if it comes out and it eventually will its gonna cause alot of heartache…mostly i think that everything that has happened in my marriage these past 4 years drove me to this point (and im not making excuses) i use to be someone judging people who is exactly what im doing ceucifying them because it is SO wrong to have an affair and yet look where im at !! Its come to a point where i dont know how or if i even want ro fix it !! To be honest sometimes i wish my husband could do something bad enough to give me a reason to walk out of this marriage but ywt again dont know if ill ever be able to cope without him and know that despite all the wrong ill miss him alot. And im not saying i want a divorce to be with this other guy,i just feel so trapped,and like i have to pretend my whole being !! I dont even know if im making ANY sense now.

  • tammy

    November 1st, 2016 at 5:12 AM

    I do understand what you are saying i’ve had the same failings. and i acted on it and it was fun but i’m not in love with my ex i thought i was. i just wish it never happened and i’m the one with all the gilt and i’m a mess its just is not that easy and my life has changed so much i also cant get ride off my ex he keeps telling people and i have to come clean. i’m the person that talked about woman like me and know i’m one and the pain im going to put on my family im lost.

  • Mega

    November 1st, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    Hey Tammy !! Wow why did he have to go and tell people…i think the difference between my situation and yours is that i do love my ex and cares about him alot,never believed one can love 2 people at the same time… He actually have been asking me to give him another chance to show me how much he cares and loves me and all of that,but also told he dont want to tear my family apart or be the reason for it. The thing is he came back into my life when i was at my lowest regarding my marriage,and im already feeling the guilt though nothing has happened yet but the emotional cheating is already eating me from the inside…and then theres this 1000 questions im asking myself about were me and my husband even meant to be we did rush into getting married when he had to move away for work.we got married in a months time !! And then i knew that he was like this that he has a bad temper and that he already did slap me twice in our relationship but never again after that whenever we have a big fight and he had something to drink he would hit a door,wall or throw something and i dont want expose my child to that kind of life !! The past 3 months have been much beter tho but is it for real ? Will it stay like this ? When will he flip again to a point that im scared for my life or even my childs life ? This is not the kind of life i want to live !! And most certainly not the life for my child…yet when im at home i have to suporess my feelings and be his wife,but constantly thinking about someone else !! 😥

    I hope your ok,and tho i dont know you i know what u are going through.

  • tammy

    November 2nd, 2016 at 5:12 AM

    There is no difference i am deeply in love with my husband he is a wonderful man i’ve been with him for 16 years and he has never hurt me, alway loving i melt in his arms still. but the other man was a old boyfriend that i had a child with and did not know it was his. he always seem to come back in my life when its to late and know he wants me more i do love him and i also love my husband this is so hard and why is it happening to me? you should never let a man put his hands on you and never give a second chance that is not love, you you need to do whats best for you and your children. im just saying its so hard when you do let your self go and give your self to the other man. but god you do fail so alive, and then it gets to you and start to wear on you. it becomes a regret . please think it all though first.

  • tammy

    November 2nd, 2016 at 5:17 AM

    I’M lost i was married had three kids divorced and married to the man off my dreams. the problem is me and my ex boyfriend had drunk sex and after twenty years i fond out my last son is his, he has contacted me and told me what happened i always new my baby seemed different from the other two. and i did not remember cheating or ever having sex with this man but my son looks just like him. i’m in such a mess and don’t know what to do. this all happened in my 1st marriage. and after sixteen years off being with my 2 marriage i’m talking to this man and i don’t no what to do we have been making plans to see each other but with the info i got i could harm so many people please someone help me to do the right thing. do i tell my husband about my son we don’t have children together and tell each other everything. do i tell my ex my 3 child is not his, do i tell my 20 year old son he has a different father this is how my journey started.

  • Mega

    November 2nd, 2016 at 8:53 AM

    Wow Tammy that is alot to deal with,i dont know what to say to you do you tel your husband and most importantly your son … I would have probably let it kill me from the inside because to break news like that after 20years will cause alot of heartache,tho they say its best to come clean. Dont think im in the position to give any advise 😥 and yes i should not have given him a second chance but im a sucker for second chances and always believing someone can change or seeing the good in people

  • tammy

    November 2nd, 2016 at 10:35 AM

    please don’t make the same mistakes and go with him you will love it at first but then it hits you like a tun off bricks to much pain, if you are giving him a chance then do that, if he messes up go for it. look at me giving advice when i cant help my self.

  • Mega

    November 2nd, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Thanks alot Tammy,just wish i could do the same for you !! I would have propbably took that to the grave with me.

  • jda-m

    November 9th, 2016 at 6:26 AM

    I got in touch with my first “love” after almost 37 years. He was the first man I ever slept with and I was hopelessly infatuated with him at that time. He is 6-7 years older than me, and when I was 19/20 and he was 26/27, he was so different from other any other “boys” I knew and just so thrilling to be around. It was a challenging situation because I met him as a result of he and his brothers being close friends with my father and stepmother and also one of his younger brother being engaged (briefly) to my sister. My father did NOT want me to get involved with any of these brothers. They were in a local rock band and they always had a queue of girls hanging around, panting after them. So my relationship with this person had to be a secret and I lied to my family about it and we sneaked around. The guy made it fairly plain that he did not want any sort of committed or long term thing, but of course I was smitten and hoped he would eventually be, too. Well of course it all fell apart after 6-8 months. I met someone else a few years later and got married, had a couple of kids who are now grown, and have had a very successful life, marriage, etc. My sister (who had been engaged to his brother) died a few years ago. It was a tragic thing. She had no children of her own and had been very close to my kids. In an effort to pull together a “memory book” of their aunt for my children, I contacted some people from her past to contribute some stories or memories. I thought of these brothers and all the years that have passed. I looked them up and was able to find the one who’d been engaged to my sis as well as the one I was so taken by. I wrote very innocent messages to both, asking them if they’d be willing to share any thoughts about my sister. –I live far away from where all of this happened, BTW, and my father and stepmother had fallen out of touch with all of the brothers. Though I had thought of the one I’d been with from time to time, he had pretty much slipped away from my thoughts. The only man I’ve ever been with besides my husband was him however, so I could never completely forget him. I will confess that part of my looking these guys up has been a lot of disruption in my life; both my kids now being grown and out of the house, retirement looming, uncertainty about the future, disinterest in me from my husband (and I always had a stronger libido than him), a general feeling of boredom and restlessness. Both the former fiance of my sis and my former lover responded to me and that was sort of nice. However, even though I sort of imagined the guy from my past might not even really remember me, he most definitely did and in his first message back to me, made some reference to how sexy I had been and he cited a particular episode of my wearing some lingerie that was a turn-on to him. This hit me like a punch in the gut. We never had a “break up” since our “relationship” was so clandestine and non-monogamous (I think) on his part. He basically just sort of began ignoring me and discarded me. At the time, I figured I must have been a “lousy lay”. He has now assured me that was not the case. At first I told my husband about the messages and even told him what this guy had said about me being “sexy”, etc. And I found myself totally caught up in the fantasy of remembering how exciting those times with this guy had been. I began just craving those words from him, him calling me “honey” and “sweetheart”, etc. I am a professional woman now, in my mid-50s, and I supervise people and NO ONE would dare talk like that to me–I wouldn’t tolerate it. My husband rarely talks that way to me. But I love it from this guy. He is divorced and lives several states away. He has suggested that we videochat or talk on the phone, but I have refused to do that. We have now been in contact for about 8 months. I feel like a fool over all of this. I fantasize about him almost constantly. I am trying to keep some distance by refusing to talk on the phone (I think it would be incredibly emotional to hear his voice) and I never sign any messages with my name but just use initials. I realize this is not real. I keep telling myself I am not “having an affair”, but am just enjoying a fantasy. I have a basically great marriage (my husband is also a professional and we have a good life together) but it is totally lacking in excitement. I feel like I need more and have tried to convey that to my husband. I am seeing a counselor about all of this. I feel like a weak and bad person for indulging in this flirtation. My husband knows I am still in email contact with this guy, but has little patience for it any more. I don’t hide it from him, but he has said he doesn’t want to hear the guy’s name ever again. So I can’t talk about it to him. And though most of my exchanges with the person have been fairly benign and friendly/chatty, he has almost always managed to slip in some sort of flattering or titillating comment. (He also used to be very, very handsome while I was passably pretty–now he is showing his age and doesn’t look so hot whereas I have taken very good care of myself and look pretty darned good). Recently he totally crossed the line and wrote some extremely graphic sexual things. I scolded him for it and asked him to think about what he is doing and the potential for damage to my husband or my marriage. He said he has no intention of messing up my marriage–but in a lot of ways, he already has because I am so foolishly and school-girlishly smitten with him again. Can someone offer some advice? This is so incredibly hard. I never thought I would be a person struggling with something like this. Most people who know me would be floored if they knew about this. I feel like I want to say and express what’s in my heart since life is short and I’ve always been just sort of uptight and controlled, but I don’t want to hurt anyone and I know I could have no future with this person and I would not want to but the flirtation is intoxicating. I am just struggling so hard over this. It’s very painful and I am not a sneaky or secretive person by nature. Please help with any ideas.

  • Alice

    November 10th, 2016 at 11:31 PM

    What has your counselor recommended? My high school ex recently contacted me. We haven’t spoken much in about 35 years. He is separated and his wife is filing for divorce. I am married and things are okay. It is the second marriage for both of us and we have no children together. Now I am thinking I should have sought counseling before. My first husband was very abusive and I don’t think I really got over my pain, fear, and insecurities. My HS boyfriend has said he still loves me very much and wishes he could have saved me from the pain of my first marriage. Nothing has happened but it is wonderful talking with him but I realize a part of that just may be my emotional vulnerability. It’s a really tough situation.

  • jda-m

    November 16th, 2016 at 1:46 PM

    Dear Alice,
    Thank you for your message. I truly appreciate it. What do you think will ultimately happen between you and your HS boyfriend? I certainly understand the emtional vulnerability part of all of this.

    Well my therapist says for me to be very careful and aware of the potential for harm to my marriage and hurt to my husband. I certainly understand this. And I don’t want to hurt anyone. This has gotten worse in the past few days as an old girlfriend of mine from my HS days recently cleared out some things from her parent’s home and sent me a sheaf of letters I had written her many years ago. Among those were many I wrote wherein I talked at some length about this relationship with my old boyfriend and it was EXTREMELY hard on me to read these. I wish I’d never seen them. I realized I had lied to myself for many years, minimizing how strong my feelings for him were, how romantic and beautiful the lovemaking was, etc. Now I am just feeling so terrible and emotionally fragile. I have found myself wishing I could just die. It seems so melodramatic in a way but I feel like the beauty of that past is long, long gone and I can never have that sort of happiness again. I start to feel like the rest of my life is just a downhill slide now, with no excitement and no one needing me anymore. I realize this is all caught up with unresolved grief and sadness at the loss of my sister (who was a big part of my life during those years–in fact she pushed this former love and I together in the first place), the death of a beloved pet, my kids grown and gone, etc. I am just miserable. I have contemplated talking openly to my husband about this and suggesting that I go to visit my old lover and get a dose of reality. How icky a person does make me?? But I wonder if I could then maybe “get over it”. I know he’s not the person he once was. I don’t and wouldn’t want a “relationship” with him. He lives in extremely poor circumstances I think and I think he doesn’t take very good care of himself. But I feel an overwhelming desire and longing for him. The idea of even thinking of this, talking to my husband about it, etc. just feels so terrible and awful. And then I wonder what, if anything, could be really solved by that. Maybe I’m fundamentally a dissatisfied sort of person–sometimes my husband suggests that to me. I am really rambling now, so forgive me. Anyway, I am suffering and crying a lot over all of this.
    Alice, I wish you the best of luck. It must feel fulfilling on some level though maybe also very conflicting to have this former boyfriend of yours confess he loves you. I am sorry for the abuse you suffered in your previous marriage. I am not dealing with that sort of issue, but certainly with issues of a really messed up home life growing up.

  • John

    January 8th, 2017 at 8:50 AM

    What an amazing site. You think you’re the only one then you realise that there’s half the world suffering from the same deranged pituitary and adrenal glands. The former insisting you need to get into bed and the latter demanding eternal and undying love and affection helped by a small shot of Oxytocin released into your cerebrospinal fluid , the bulk in the bloodstream of course has an entirely different function. And we are supposed to make sense of all this ? – Yeah good luck with that. Contact and response online or not, it doesn’t matter exactly how contact is made.

    After a holiday romance with a lovely attractive girl, week-end visits and a few holidays, I married someone I didn’t really know inside out. Fuelled with excess Oestrogen and Testosterone, the first 10 years and 3 babies went swimmingly well, when I noticed that there was a distinct drop in interest in me from my wife after each. I did raise the issue with the response “what do you expect!”

    At this time I was working with a drop-dead gorgeous young woman in the office and on-site visits. She was having “unreasonable husband” problems due to drinking. Two or three of us were sitting chatting to her and she said her husband would rather drink than come home to find “dinner-in-the-dog”. Fatally, I suggested if she were my wife then I would not let her out of my site. I have never cleared an office so fast! After knowing each other and our emotions and responses really well without any pressures we fell in love and had a deep meaningful love affair. We were both on cloud 9 for a couple of years, then I had to move jobs and we both had emotional meltdowns. She had got divorced by then and coped better than I did due to my family finding out the whole story. We parted sexually with great lasting pain, but it took another 5 years and another marriage of hers for us to let go of each other. Eventually during a phone call of mine I realised she had met the Mr Right I had begged her to find for years. She cut me adrift, we said goodbye and I wast emotionally lost-at-sea until today (27 years later).
    She fell out of love with me by falling in love again, and marrying. I with a family did not have this satisfactory evolutionary-biological option, and to this day I can wake up with a wet pillow at 4 am thinking about what she used to be to me, mean to me – attentive loving affectionate tactile selfless, which can overwhelm my thoughts for large portions of each day. I know from FBk that she remembers who I am and even by deduction, my birthday. Her husband tragically died after 14 years and a further 13 have passed and she has made no contact.
    Our love affair has left us a billion miles apart emotionally, she has moved on and I am stuck lost where she left me. I am resigned that the love and need for what she used to be will eat at me forever, but knowing it is false and she can no longer be anything like the same person now doesn’t change anything.

    So my friends, if you are married with children, Do Not have or even contemplate a meeting that could lead to an affair unless you are Hell-bent on self-destruction. Long-term fun,fun,fun it definitely ain’t. Best of luck overcoming your desires with common-sense.

  • Andrew

    January 13th, 2017 at 10:47 AM

    John, thanks for sharing your life and the insight it provides into my future if I don’t get a grip on my own destiny. I know what is right and what is wrong, and not to act on the impulse of my inner feelings, which cannot be real after all this time. It feels like an infatuation, and I am flattered by the interest shown towards me.

  • Andrew

    November 21st, 2016 at 7:53 AM

    Like most others here i have the same issue.
    I’m 52 and happily married. I was recently contacted on FB by my ex from 28 years ago. We were very happy for several years living together but both of us suspected the other of cheating. I might add that i was never unfaithful to her and can only take her word that she never cheated on me. So eventually she moved out and we moved on with our lives, bumping very occasionally into each other. On one occasion we we got quite close but did not act on it.
    So fast forward 28 years, I am happily married with 2 grown up children living in a different country. She is in her second marriage with no children. About 3 months back I got a FB friend request for her. I had previously looked for her on FB but without success. I accepted straight away and the text chats began. We are now talking on the phone for hours and really been honest about the reasons why we split up. Obviously there is no reason to lie now. We are now talking on the phone for hours exchanging romantic songs of breakup etc and like many others, spoke about meeting up. I am now 4500 miles away from her but would get on a plane tomorrow if I could.
    My marriage is pretty perfect. i love my wife and children very much and never looked at another woman in the time we have been together, but here I am now yearning for my old flame. I am very confused and my waking hours are domintated by thoughts of her, and much of my sleep.
    I know what i should do, but I can’t let go. I thought I was alone with my problem and came to this site seeking help, only to discover my problem is not unique. There is a simple answer but its is not what i or most others in my position want to hear. If I could turn my life back 28 years and do it all again, would I do it differently? Maybe but then I would not have my wonderful family.
    It is only a matter of time till I return to my home country for a visit and I know that i will end up seeing my ex and i know it will be the path of self destruction. I just don’t think I am strong enough to resist this feeling I have.
    I do know, I will live to regret it. I will eventually make a mistake and forget to delete my message history or my ex will, and our worlds will come tumbling down.
    Why do I continue when the writing on the wall is so clear? I do not know, I need to see her, I need her. The question is do I need her more than my wife. I guess only time will tell, probably when it is all too late and I end up living a lonely life alone.
    Please someone help me wake up form this nightmare

  • Zoya

    November 30th, 2016 at 8:06 PM

    I am in the exact same predicament. I need him. I am happy with my husband and two beautiful children. But. I need him. I can’t explain. It is beyond me. Let me know what happens. And good luck. xo.

  • tammy

    November 22nd, 2016 at 4:33 AM

    It is so hard but im in love with a fantasy. and i have acked on my failings know im so deep i can’t get out my ex wants me to leave my Husband and i could never do that to him. i love my husband I have a very good life, but know i have this ugly secret that is killing me, so please end it befor it gets to the point of no return .

  • Andrew

    November 22nd, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    You are so right and I know it, I am trying, but it is only the 4500 miles distance that is stopping me.
    I know what i should do. I have never been so weak to temptation before. I will be heading back in the new year to visit family. I hope I have my head straight by than and act smart.

  • Jd a-m

    December 5th, 2016 at 7:28 AM

    I think Tammy really has the right answer for all of us, and we know it, even though this is terribly hard to face. The very best option is to stop the contact and do not seriously consider giving in to the temptation. It is incredible how overwhelming it is, I certainly understand that. The potential for harm to yourself and others in your life is not worth the fleeting pleasure a tryst with this person could bring.

  • Al-S-K

    December 14th, 2016 at 6:57 AM

    I have a female friend that I have known for over 30 years. We were the best of friends, but were never quite a couple because of the friendship. However, the love was, and always has been stronger than imagined! It is my fault that we aren’t together. Years ago, I didn’t risk that valuable friendship. Instead, I allowed hormones to get interfere and dated other girls that would allow more. This put some distance between us and we ended up marrying other people. Although we stayed in touch, we, and others, could still feel the deep connection between us. We ended up reconnecting on social media and the love still exists. Some of the conversations still mention the mistakes and that we should have been a couple. There really is no doubt! I miss her and she misses me, too! The thing is, we are both too loyal to act upon it, but the ache of the heart is terrible!! How can one live with this?

  • Andrew

    December 16th, 2016 at 9:21 AM

    I can sympathize with the situation you are trying to come to terms with.
    I think all the advice given on this forum is correct. I had went a couple of weeks without talking to my ex, and after a couple of days I started to feel a bit better, my life began to come back into focus and able to get on with my real life with my wife. Its easy to say to break all contacts with your friend, and I would love to do that in my situation too, but I know how difficult it is.
    I have yet to take my own advice but have had some relief by not talking to my ex, and getting my head straight, to some degree. I hope I see sense soon and break that social media connection. I wish you well with your situation.

  • John

    January 8th, 2017 at 10:27 AM

    My first love relationship was deliberately devoid of sex; she was 15 then. We went out for 2 years and loved each other’s company but still remained virgins, we were practically joined at the hip. Eventually with raging hormones I was a bit too aggressive in attitude and lacking in softer understanding feelings and actions. All my own fault; she was still only 17 with no experience of roping stallions. She was away on the job training and wrote to me to end our relationship; I was quite devastated but had only myself to blame. I kept tabs on her through my Mum who worked with her and was very fond of her and very cross with me. She got engaged/disengaged, married/unmarried and eventually found the (second?)love of her life.
    Many years later when Social media was started she found me and messaged me expecting I hated her for dumping me. I responded saying I was glad that she was happily married with a child and that I had never blamed her for anything at all, it was all my own making. I told her I believed she must still be the truly lovely natured wonderful person that I let go.

    We exchanged emails and wrote to each other regularly, weekly in the early days, I told my wife that I was writing to her and she told her husband too. Some of her content was pretty personal and I respected that and was/am always careful, thoughtful and generous in my responses. What I didn’t know at the time was the reason she had taken the risk contacting me. All because she was pretty poorly with severe depression, and it transpired years later that I had helped her come out of it.

    In fact 17 years later we still telephone/text/message/chat each other weekly, and send a reminder if we don’t hear just to know we are ok. Some of our content still is pretty personal – we are each other’s confidant and advisor. I think we both believe we are highly blessed to have such a close friend that cares only for our wellbeing.
    We certainly love each other and our spouses don’t see anything wrong in that. I know her husband pretty well, and he calls to her when I ring up “XX your other lover is on the phone Come-on he won’t wait forever” “I have so far” I said! There is a tinge of love-lost but it certainly isn’t wasted.

    We all meet up bi-annually when we can fit it in. It does work perfectly, we live well with it.

  • So Confused

    December 27th, 2016 at 6:29 AM

    I am in the same situation as everyone else. My first love and I met in high school over 20 years ago. We dated for a while but then he left to basic training and we lost contact. Every 5-6 years our paths cross. We see each other in the states that we are living in or we find one another on social media. I am currently married and have been for 19 years (with a few separations thrown in there). During this time my first love and I have hooked up a few times and he is always wanting to be with me. He hasnt asked me to leave my husband but he always tells me he will be there waiting for me. So once again he has come back into my life, and once again the feelings are so overwhelming. My married life has been a lot of ups and downs but right now we are fine. I have these feelings like I just want to be with my first love but I cant just leave either. Im so lost.

  • realizing my mistakes

    December 29th, 2016 at 8:40 PM

    When I was 17y.o. which was way back in the early 80’s…Madonna days..lol and fake i.d.s going to bars and night cliubs; I found myself seeing one guy that one night. I looked at my friends who I was with and said; “That is the guy I am going to marry” . and of course we introduced ourselves because he also noticed me at thae same moment. we danced, talked for hours. He called after that night and it did not stop for a VERY LONG time. Things happen. I had an on/off boyfriend since high school. I was torn between the both. I could not stop seeing this guy I knew was going to be my soul mate. Trials and tribulations had seperated us. He ended up in the marines and I ended up marrying my boyfriend since high school. We had a beautiful set of identical twin girls (which of course was the ONLY good thing we had done together). After all the abuse emotional and physical I ended up taking the twins and myself back to my parents. I ended up with that perfect guy I knew I was going to marry. After a few years, we bought a house, we made things happen. I ended up getting pregnant with him and it was a almost perfect life. We did not plan the pregnancy, but we were both happy even my twins were excited. After having the baby I got to take leave from my job…then he wanted me to stay home until the baby was old enough to go to a day care..meaning she needed to walk, talk and go potty by herself. That child did not take anytime for that! She was just like the twins! By the time she was 18 months, she was doing it all. After years of goin back to my regular jog, Unfortunately my job lapsed and I needed to find another one. I was always into sales, customer service jobs.. but could not find any 9-5 jobs. I found a job serving in a restaurant.. I trained as a server, then upped my way to bartender, then upped my way to management and did it all. I was always working, hardly ever home and I ended up on the fast track. The worst mistake of my life. The money was GREAT!. The lifestyle seemed great…but I got more away from home life. And because of me and my stupid mistakes I lost him. For 12 years I thought life was a party. I took great care of my children, but my time was my time. I regret every moment of what I did. In 2012 I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer which turned into metastatic stage 4 cancer. I believe that this happened due to what I did. I truly believe this is my punishment. And I do not blame the higher power for this. It has made me stronger than ever. And I realize all the mistakes and hurt I put upon my one and true love who took in my twins as his own, who provided me and the children everythingwhile we were together and even after we were apart. Recently I had to move out of state. After losing our home which he allowed me and the children to stay in due to my inability to work due to my illness and our agreement…I contacted him and asked if he would please meet me. He did. I asked for his forgiveness and wanted to know how much he hated me for all that I caused. This absolutely wonderful man looked at me and held my arm and said he had forgiven me a very long time ago. So for the past few months its just been a couple texts a Christmas card to him, his family because they are just as wonderful as him. I believe in miracles. I believe there are chances of reuniting with this most special person, other than my children and grandchildren will happen. I have been fighting this stupid disease since 2012. I am not giving up for ANYTHING! And after seeing a few of my old friends reuniting with their exes, it just gives me more hope and positivity. Because it keep me going! Love holds no bars. Nothing Beats a failure like a try! Optimism is healthier than pessimism..So I believe I will win both fights!!! I truly believe!!

  • Blue

    December 31st, 2016 at 6:30 AM

    In 2008 after a bad time in my life I contacted an old boyfriend first true love on fb knowing he had been looking for me years before
    Anyway we chatted on fb for ages catching up and he was married we agreed to meet and its was just like old times we continued to see each other for 6 years he was now separated but ever time I go visit him I had to hide ! and he would still go up home after work and drop me off at flat , I was always hidden anyway one day his ex wife phoned and he called her Annie not Ann so I messaged him and said STOP go home and be happy I walked away
    year later I message on fb comes up now getting divorce I never went back when you dumped and he messaged more then find out he dating someone else and gone away with her and going to Australia next year I said cool and hope he was happy funny how his messages stopped while he with her feel like a booty call so now I have replied said good luck and deleted and blocked all contact and said I have got engaged (not)
    He has hurt and confused me so much and is away with new Girlfriend Enough I deserve so much more

  • Diane

    January 5th, 2017 at 10:40 PM

    I am happily married for 30+ years. I do indeed remember my first (okay, maybe second) “love”, who was never, ever a true love, as I see it now. We dated in college intermittently, then seriously after college; serious enough that he discussed marriage with me many times. He met my parents; I met his. We discussed our parents meeting each other. He left me when I was, I think, 26 years old because he met another woman while he was in grad school in another state. I am embarrassed to say I dealt with this situation badly by drinking too much and trying to hang on to him, which he allowed, until his new girlfriend returned from wherever she was. For some time, I wondered what I did wrong because I lingered over my perception of the “wonderful times” of our relationship, brief as they were, when I believed he did care for me. I now understand that he was a serial cheater, as he was in college, all along. Weirdly, my father, not one to intrude on the personal lives of his children, urged me to change jobs after the end of this relationship, and I did. I had a very successful career in finance and met my husband. We are happily married for 30 years +, and we have two adult children we treasure. Rest in Peace, Dad, and thank you. I love you.
    Back to the subject at hand: the answer to this question is this: No I would never contact this man for any reason. Nor do I think he would contact me. It is a chapter closed a long time ago that I never wish to revisit. I hope this comment is helpful to someone.

  • Angela

    January 14th, 2017 at 9:47 AM

    I am in the same situation my husband contacted his first love on FB (they were both 17 years of age ) he is 54 now. They met for coffee and the love rekindle he told me. He dropped the bomb left and moved in with her immediately. I begged him to come back and try and salvage our marriage he refused. He is not the man I once knew he is cold . He travels 120 miles each day to his job she lives that far away. They are parading around as husband and wife with no regard for my feelings . He immediately changed his profile on FB from married to being in a relationship with her, she changed her profile picture to one of both of them smiling. She has been separated for 12 years her children left home. I am now 62 alone children also left home and living in different countries . Our marriage had its difficulties like most nothing large enough for him to do this. He is still 2 years on giving me some money . I work part-time and don’t earn enough to run the home. I have worked for many years which was a help with substituting his income as he is self employed. I am now very lonley and miss him very much. He has hurt me so much the pain is unbearable .

  • jebus

    April 29th, 2017 at 8:39 PM

    The problem it seems reading all these posts that times have changed and it’s nearly impossible to escape the past these days. Social media is an absolute evil , especially for those of us that still lingers after love lost. I made the grave mistake to join FB and connect with my first love. I had never gotten over her or the way that we broke up. We were 16 and were only together for 6 months but the feelings I had for her I have never experienced with any other woman. She has haunted me since age 16 and now at 39 I have finally given up on chasing something I’ll never get back. Reaching out to her was a big mistake and just set me back years in my recovery. I call it recovery because I know by now she will never leave my dreams and thoughts. You just find ways to live with it. I deleted all my social media accounts and it’s definitely helped. There is a reason people lose contact. We are not meant to stay part of everyone’s lives. Social media breaks up relationships and control people’s lives

  • Netty

    February 7th, 2017 at 6:35 AM

    Ive been married for seventeen years . The marriage has not been easy and still together now for the sake of the business in which I work full time. I am totally dependent on my husband for my job,home and income. We don’t have children. Five years ago my husband took up with a neighbour who lives here for a couple of months each year and then she disappears back to her own life in the US. I was completely devastated when I discovered their relationship. The lies and deceit of the past few years , late night whispered phone calls etc etc..will never go away and to be honest I more or less accepted that this was ‘my lot’ and I either had to accept how it was or leave. My girl friends have often suggested I find a lover to fill the gaps in my life but honestly never thought I could until now..
    Two months ago an ex contacted me via FB. He is single we are both late fifties.
    We now have been messaging most days I love his attention and lovely comments, I feel very special and loved. I don’t know what to think anymore about the sort of person I really am. We plan to meet up soon ….he lives a boat ride away ….and who knows how it will go and what will happen. My whole mind is taken up now with this person, I can’t think straight it’s very weird and like other people have commented above I feel like it’s a destiny for this to happen to me now. I know I could lose all the things in life that matter to me like my house, my job but I can’t seem to stop myself…I’m just looking for some love I suppose and what is wrong with that?

  • Netty

    February 17th, 2017 at 12:39 AM

    Just to provide and update ….. I couldn’t bear the thoughts so told my husband what was happening and came and met up with my ex yesterday evening….. 23 years is a long time but after an hour or so we were chatting away like we’d never been apart. Catching up on where our lives had taken us, talking about what we had done together and where we’d had been and not really understanding why we didn’t put more of an effort into the relationship all those years ago. The physical attraction is still there, he could easily have devoured me…. a big bear of a man. He is so unlike my husband…….wild long grey hair blowing in the wind, unkempt, untidy, free and romantic ……. Driving to a high point so we could see the moon light on the sea, that sort of thing…I was hoping that by actually meeting up with this person I could rid the allconsuming thoughts from my mind BUT not so.
    Like others have commented it’s a very strange feeling, perhaps best to have not ‘friended’ in the first place but for most of you reading this it will already be too late.
    Good luck with whatever you decide is best for you……

  • Netty

    February 18th, 2017 at 10:02 PM

    I’m back home now and feeling lost, empty don’t know how I will get through the next few days really without having that visit to look forward to anymore. We haven’t arranged to meet up again, which will make it harder but as my ex says it is better this way. We shall see it doesn’t feel like it at the moment….good luck to everyone out there in making the right choices and decisions for you.

  • Christina

    February 27th, 2017 at 6:51 PM


    I read both your updates. How are things going? What are you going to do? Was your husband OK with you meeting up with an ex? Is your ex not wanting to meet up any more? That’s a lot for you to go through :( I’m sorry you’re going through it. I know that’s how men entrap women job+$+home= husband tries to be in total control of wife.

  • William

    February 12th, 2017 at 3:50 PM

    I think of my first love every day. We dated for three years and planned to get married. I came home from my first year of college and she dumped me. Said she was marrying someone else when she turned 18 in a year. Have not seen her since but cannot stop thinking about her. Very painful. It’s been 40 years but I still love her very much.

  • Christina

    February 27th, 2017 at 6:35 PM

    It’s OK to love, cherish and honor the memory even greive over the loss of what was and what could have been. But, release her, the situation, and yourself. It’s like mourning a loved one. But even grief must transform from one stag to the next. Jesus Christ loves you and didn’t cause this pain but is able to love you to wholeness. Cry out to Jesus Christ. He’s faithful and kind. I know because I’ve been where you are.

  • Amy

    February 14th, 2017 at 6:22 PM

    Hey guys so I dont really know where to begin so ill try my hardest for this to make sence. So like 8 years ago I was probably 18 now 24 still young (I think) anyway back then I was walking home from work one day when this guy (my step brothers friend) invited me to this party anyway I was really drunk and thought he was really cute and we had a fling. Well my step brother disapproved because hes an a#$hole anyway so we never actually started dating. Over the years even though I had moved on with a guy I still had feelings towards him and am reminded of him everytime I go shopping because he works there unfortuantely but I never said hi just ignored him. Anyway so last year I was walking out of the supermarket and I could see him staring at me and I was looking back at him so I decided to find him on facebook and message him how I was sorry that I am so rude and never say hi and we started chatting from there, he told me how we still had strong feelings towards me some part of me just thought he wanted sex but the thing is he has a girlfriend who hes getting married to and a kid. Anyway we had a fight because he said how he wanted to catch up with me for one last time and most of it sounded like he wanted sex.. I cant say I wouldnt have it with him but I didnt want to feel like a slut and it just felt wrong so I said Ill just give you a kiss anyway he kept talking sexual and then we got in a fight and I blocked him then unblocked him.. went off at him again and then he blocked me lol. Anyway 5 days ago he messaged me and told me basically he was sorry about how things ended and how him and his girlfriend were fighting the whole time we were talking (but so was me and my boyfriend) and that everytime he sees me I remind him of the past and the strong feelings he had towards me, how he still thinks about me a lot and all the feelings he said in the last message (before we got in a fight) were real (sounded like he just wanted one thing to me though) he said that everytime he sees me that he can feel the connecting that it is still there. So I asked him does he still have feeling towards me and he said he would explain the next day which he didnt (made me think he was horny lol, or felt low and wanted me to feed his ego what are you guys gathering so far from this?) anyway I was waiting, waiting, waiting, didnt reply he did this last time which is why we got in a fight to anyway I was so angry I told him how he is exhausting and how it seems that he is not 100% being with his fiance and that if he really cared about her he would just tell her. Anyway this is really hard for me to deal with its doing my head in.. because the connection is still there .. I do have strong feelings for him and I also have a boyfriend and my boyfriend is so supportive of me but I still wonder what my life would be like if I was with him.. I feel old and traped in a relationship that I am not 100% confident that I am happy in because all my family love him and I dont know what would happen to my life if I left him.. but the thing is I would only be in a relationship with the guy I am currently with or the other guy (dont want to say names) but this other guy is getting married and has a kid so he is lieterallly traped.. I am so confused .. this guy talking to me makes me feel as though he would be happier with me then his partner but and that I would be happier with him but then another part of me just thinks he likes the idea of having me.. but is actually happy in his realtionship.. what do I do ? I wish we never started talking because I cant stop thinking about him.. I really hope he is happy and that is what he wanted (a$#hole).. I hate how much I like hi. What do I do?

  • John

    February 15th, 2017 at 3:41 AM

    You clearly had very emotional relationship, and it was you that rekindled the spark. I think you have already worked it out in your final thoughts. He has a partner and a child and although he really liked sex with you and wants some more, he is unlikely to leave a partner and child to fend for themselves. His love for his child will be greater than for either of you two girls, so shop somewhere else!

    What he really wants is an affair with you and a family at home – that’s guys!

    Your choice – when do you want your heart broken? Now or after you have had the affair and broken your own relationship. You are very unlikely ever to be with first-love, better keeping the fighting with your own partner to play-fighting, and enjoying making up!

  • John

    February 15th, 2017 at 3:05 AM

    The young lovely girl you knew is now entering old age, and may look unrecognisable from the person you knew. She will also have undergone Menopause, and her then attractive Oestrogen-fuelled qualities had dropped off 50% by the age of 40, and very much more so after the age of 60. Even now, she will not be emotionally anything like the person you knew. When we grow old together these changes are more imperceptible, we should degauss the ghost we think we love, and concentrate on our new love. However, if on a romantic holiday location you are now sitting 3 feet apart thinking “right place-wrong person” then maybe it is time for a change – of something.

  • Green

    February 15th, 2017 at 10:50 AM

    My recently divorced niece was contacted by her twice ex-boyfriend from high school after 15 years of not speaking. They have started dating and it turns out he is an addict just starting recovery. How can I try to convince her this is a bad idea?

  • Martin

    February 16th, 2017 at 12:19 PM

    To those words of wisdom that have been spoken, they are right! I have been married 26 years and last year an affair had come out and I was devastated, yet instantly forgiving. She was very alloof of my quick actions. She though I would be mad as hell. But it was over and she can’t stand the guy who reality was as predator from her past and they had started on-line facebook and she just said hi. We had some problems for sure and she decided to meet him and the way it went. Then another former real boyfriend (a true flame) from high school, who she had deep feelings for because he understood her and talked her language happened to contact her and see why she hadn’t talked lately online or text. Wow she had been texting him for years and staying in contact, I didn’t know. So I was hit with a double whammy and now that we are working on the marriage she still keeps in constant contact with the second old boyfriend and I feel like I am there for the physical and not the emotional or spiritual. She says that its not going away as if that relationship was more important to her than ours is because he is the one keeping her upright and stable through this and not relying more on me. It bites and I don’t know how long I can do this. I hope it would have abated by now but it hasn’t and even though it is like her having a girlfriend to talk to, it gets a little to much for me when she is constantly texting during dinner, while watching a movie together on our bed, etc… Just don’t do it and if you can’t get out of the relationship and be a bigger person. If he or she talks your language and your partner does not anymore change your damn language and get over yourself because you partner is or has.

  • John

    February 18th, 2017 at 8:13 AM

    I still text and chat on the phone to my first love after she contacted me 20 years ago. Yes, it is emotionally like we had never parted although we would have driven each other nuts like when we did part. However, we still have a deep understanding of each other, and I joke with her husband whom I have now known personally for years and has known about me for those 20 yrs. I find we can discuss issues, and get sound advice and emotional support that I cannot get from my wife of 50 yrs. because we are talking different languages. We are decades over any romantic relationship, but a better friend I have yet to find. If we don’t text for a couple of weeks we will send a quick txt to check all is well. My wife and I have had invites to go stay with them but my wife says she is not into old girlfriends. I have no idea what she really thinks of our friendship which is 100% open; it has made no difference although wifey doesn’t always like what she reads on my iPhone. The relationship/friendship does keep me absolutely supported and stable: it is staying put. If it’s a problem then it isn’t mine.

  • Colin

    February 23rd, 2017 at 2:42 PM

    So, I have read the advice and other people’s experiences on this forum. I have shared my story and the obvious solution to avoid destroying a happy relationship by reconnecting with an old flame. After all of that, I have still gone ahead and met my ex from 30 years ago. The feelings we have for one another are irrational and
    disproportionate to the time we have spent apart compared to the few hours we shared together.
    I am not an expert in any shape or form but I have life experiences and I have a theory.
    I believe, once you have truly loved someone, and for whatever reason have gone your separate ways, the love
    for that person does not end, but lies dormant in your subconscious. Even if you never ever see that person again the love is still there, but the trigger to activate it is not.
    The problem is, if you reconnect with that person one day, even as a friend on social media, the switch to the
    subconscious where that love has been locked away and forgotten, is reactivated. You begin to analysis your old relationship with that person and the emotions blossom again but at an unbelievable rate. All the years spent
    apart are now playing catch up with your love for that person, so when you meet up you are like lovers who
    have been forcibly kept apart and finally found one another again. They can fall deeply in love within a very
    short period of time, even hours. Looking at this relationship from an outside perspective, it makes no sense at
    all, but for those concerned it is very real indeed.
    The problem that follows is, irrational decisions based on those compressed emotional feelings of love. Unlike a new relationship, no time is given to getting to know that person, people jump in feet first 100%.
    I’m not an idiot, many will disagree, I can see this all so clearly, but I am a fool, because even with my own
    theory, I continue to move forward to the final conclusion with my own experience.
    I have a wife I love dearly and who loves me probably even more, but after just one meeting with my ex I have
    thought about leaving my wife and kids for my ex.
    How can this be? My theory goes someway to explaining it, if only to me, but I feel I have put it into context
    and if I can see that I act appropriately and not pursue this relationship any further.
    As I fly home to my wife, I have overwhelming feelings of guilt that I must deal with alone. My thoughts for my ex dominate my thoughts both night and day. I’m checking my Facebook messages and emails every
    few minutes hoping for the message in my inbox. I cannot function like this and it is gradually affecting my
    work and its only a matter of time before I forget to delete a message and my secret will be out. My life and that of my family will be devastated. The reality is, my ex will probably not leave her husband for me, and this
    madness will have all been for nothing.
    I think my wife already knows but has chosen at this time to say nothing. She came home from work early while I was talking to my ex on messenger, and has casually asked about her being a Facebook friend. I think I know I am on borrowed time.
    I am travelling home now on my flight, I am half expecting my wife to ask if I saw my ex on my trip. I don’t
    know what I will say.
    Once the lid is off, it will take a very strong person to put it back on. I am not that person.
    I foresee a long and lonely life for myself.

  • Christina

    February 27th, 2017 at 6:42 PM

    What happened?
    Your post was so heartfelt and relatable.

  • Colin

    February 28th, 2017 at 8:58 AM

    Hi Christina,
    Well I have been home now for almost a week. My wife hasn’t challenged me on meeting my ex. Maybe she is hoping it’s a passing phase and said nothing. I just don’t know.
    I have been in regular contact with my ex. She describes the same pain, confusion and and deep sense of missing ‘us’, as am I, along with many on this forum. I just can’t seem to end it.
    My ex has said sometimes she wish she had never made contact and I agree. I spend a lot of time alone through my work so have many hours to think and torture myself about my situation. I keep hoping my ex will drop me so we can move on but I don’t see it happening. Our situation is pretty hopeless and unlikely to end with us together as a full time couple. At the earliest opportunity I will travel to see her again but fear my wife will travel with me making it almost impossible to visit my ex. What a mess I have created.

  • MB

    March 14th, 2017 at 4:05 PM

    I have been reading every comment on here, my story is also sad. 16 years ago I walked out on my ex wife whom I have been with since Uni and got married to her in the late 90s. We had a daughter together that was stillbirth. I went Crazy just couple of months after that. I lost my sense, I lost my mind and decided to walk away and divorce later. Now 16 years on , been married to my current wife we have kids, she loved me, gave me everything possible, moved to another country and achieved alot in my life.Now the situation is that I cannot live with guilt and the loss of my first love. she married had kids and her husband died, she moved far away and married again to a man who does not want kids at all. We reconnected lately and the flames ignited. Not that I am unfaithful to my current wife, but because my poor ex wife been through hell , I am so proud of her strength. She wanted explanations to why I had to leave her? ” why did you leave me? why did you disappear? . she told me that she has been living but in pain, she always loved me. I tried to explain everything but I think it is far too complicated than it seems. She does not say she still love me but just that warmth and sincerity she showed me made me cry and feel that I have lost not just a wife, I lost a friend, a woman that grew up with me to a mysterious life. My current wife loves me but sometimes I feel that there is no connection, we exist because the kids have kept us together. I never suggested that I want my ex back, she is married now. The story still going but I don’t want to hurt anyone, I don’t want to die without knowing if she ever forgiven me or not, is she happy? I only say this because she is just like me devastated from whatever caused us to split . Life is a b*tch and we all marry one.

  • Christina

    March 14th, 2017 at 5:51 PM


    Any improvements?


  • Andrew

    March 20th, 2017 at 1:59 PM

    Hi Christina,
    Little change really. Life is pretty unbearable for both of us. We are so many miles apart, it is almost impossible to meet up to see if there is any chance of a future together.
    I had to leave my ex crying on the phone the other night, I have sought medical help for my deepening depression, caused by a situation that i have no control over.
    We have decided to sit down and discuss how to end this pain we are causing each other. We should be happy, but are anything but. Neither of us wants to stop but I see no other way to retain our sanity and recovery our lives again.
    I am dreading the conversation, but i hope others here can learn from the hurt and loss of control these meet ups can cause.

  • Colin

    March 20th, 2017 at 2:05 PM

    Sorry to avoid confusion, I have used two names on this forum.

  • John

    March 16th, 2017 at 4:21 AM

    I like Colin’s theory of a love lost being locked up, filed and dormant awaiting a trigger. Mine for my first love certainly was and was reactivated by her unexpected email to me. Memories and emotions suddenly flooded my brain together with conversations, and it took only microseconds to decide to reply to her. The compulsion was irresistible, wise or not. After a silent gap of 37 years, all rational reasoning disappeared in a puff and the genie was out of the bottle! Married with kids, I really didn’t want to fall in love again, so extreme care was essential.

    She told me in the first email that she hoped I didn’t hate her, and was happily married with a child now, but wanted to know how I was and how I had succeeded in my career. I was delighted and staggered to hear from her, the relationship had been very loving with a traumatic break caused by my being persistently aggressively jokey. I told her she should have no worries, and that I was sure she was still the lovely, generous and kind person I had driven away.

    We texted, emailed and phoned, she did raise some very personal things (some with much regret I felt), but answers she needed and I was happy to discuss and provide my view. We were hundreds of miles apart in different counties in the UK. After only a short time we were talking on carphones every day going to work, her entire 30 minute journey. Since she had my cellphone she called me at bedtime when I was away from home in a hotel on a course: I was happy to chat, and we were flirty but circumspect just. The relationship escalated into a loving supportive role – which objective i believe is why she contacted me. She certainly still is always very happy talking to me, and I her; we txt and call every week.

    After a silent gap of 37 years (now nearly 20 years ago), we have been best friends ever since and we are each other’s therapy for emotional issues particularly.

    I can thoroughly recommend this type of reconnection.

  • Christina

    March 16th, 2017 at 11:00 PM

    It all sounds lovely, but isn’t that connection and dependency a text book example of an emotional affair? I’m not throwing stones, but isn’t what you described the bonding glue of emotional intimacy?

  • John

    March 18th, 2017 at 12:22 PM

    Thank you very much for your input. I don’t consider your comments as throwing stones at all! In fact I am an avid reader of your concern and comments here, and look forward to your views. You have inadvertently raised a fascinating dichotomy as follows.

    I think the way I have described my current long-term relationship with my teenage first-love may well sound like an emotional affair [EA], and it does seem evenly balanced. It is certainly extremely unusual.

    I have most definitely had an EA as well: – After a torrid physical deep (and damaging) love affair which ended after 3 years due to change of jobs, we were unable to let go of each other for another 5 years across different UK counties as well as a USA/UK separation on a 2months-on 3weeks-off contract for 2 years. The lady had during that time remarried, but still we needed each other in our lives. We met frequently once per week when I was in the UK – quite circumspect in public places, with quite appropriate hugs. When not in the UK we wrote to each other. Only when she finally met somebody like me as i had begged her for years for her own happiness, did she cut me adrift and go. She was finally happily remarried with a family, and I never saw or heard from her again. That was most definitely an EA, described herein elsewhere.

    Other than our long-term marriages, my current Friend-Zone relationship is certainly one of emotional support, we see each other once per 12 /18 months recently. I have just spent a couple of days with her and her husband whom I have also known well for the last 20 years. She and I are of very similar backgrounds, education and personality, and I think if we ever found ourselves both bereaved, then we may well be once again well suited. However, any romantic connection was buried many decades ago. Whether Colin’s lost-love trigger theory (of which I am a great fan) could then revive it, would be a very interesting issue. But, for now that is highly academic and theoretical. There is certainly a bonding glue of emotional empathy – I’m not sure about intimacy. We are not dependant upon each other, but we do seek support from time to time which we seem to get readily from each other, in a way we can almost finish each other’s sentences. The weekly contact is mainly about our families, children and grandchildren, all of whom know me. It is indeed a very close and seemingly unbreakable friendship. Her husband is quite pleased about it as an additional line of support. My wife is more cool about it, but about most other things too. My friend’s extended family value it as do my four children. We have known each other now for nearly 60 years, and never at any time had sex. I am dubious about its description as an affair.

    I should be most interested if you had the time (and energy) to compare these two types of emotional relationship, and see if you think they are both affairs but at different ends of the spectrum. Secondly- do you think it wrong (like the extended physical affair), if nobody is hurt by it and it is actually valued by the families concerned. I’d love to hear your comments.

    Best regards

  • Karley

    March 20th, 2017 at 1:59 PM

    John, I am so glad to have read that your outcome was positive with the rekindling of the relationship and then successful friendship in the open. It makes me feel more human to know that my thoughts and feelings after being contacted by a young love about a month ago are normal. Out of the blue a man from when I was 17 contacted me and wants to rekindle a friendship (I think). Both married, kids and successful. I worry though that the innocent flirting is an emotional no no. I didn’t ask for this and my marriage does have some emotional holes so it is easy to accept the kind words of someone you used to enjoy. It was never physical even at a young age. I am not sure what this man wants and I have asked, but have not gotten a direct answer. I am hoping that I can keep him as a friend and that I do not have to go through the loss of him in my life again.

  • John

    March 24th, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    It is certainly an unusual situation, and not giving 100% open and honest answers must wave an amber flag. Loss at an older age is significantly more devastating than during teenage years. But I do have words of warning of at least extreme caution, and to proceed with great care! The advice would be different to men or women for the following reason and is a Male perception:

    It is indeed a very serious subject with possible devastating or wonderful (second chance) consequences which are very dependent upon circumstances of the current relationships. These are partly based upon noteworthy differences in the hormonal changes in men and women.

    As we know hormones affect our feelings, intensity and therefore associated intentions/aspirations. Generally in men there is a very slow change dependent on genetic and other factors, also the amount of regular intensive physical exercise undertaken has a significant effect in preserving levels. Sometimes in women these changes (mostly in a different hormone of course!) significantly reduce feelings that were once a driving force, and sometimes with others to a very much lesser extent. In my case my friend described how she had to replace deliberately the actions, attachment instincts that were distressingly no longer there naturally. The alternative is to ignore the change and plod/jog along in a marriage which to the husband may well seem as though he is now married/hancuffed to an android. This can make the man extremely vulnerable and emotionally fragile to attention of which he has by no fault been deprived.

    In my case it was relatively simple to ascertain that it was a safe relationship/friendship to develop, although some of her conversation was slightly flirty I thought, I played that aspect down in banter. We have guided ourselves over the years into a very valuable relationship. However, some many years down the line, I am almost certain I would not take the same responsible attitude. I have not changed “I’m the same boy I used to be” (with apologies to Steve Winwood) but emotional circumstances have changed dramatically for me, neither observed nor understood (despite discussion) by my wife. In fact my emotions are screaming out to me that if I tripped over someone soft, affectionate and tactile in the street, I could well have moved in by the evening! BUT, nobody at the other end of a text would know.

    For a man if his current emotional relationship is satisfying and secure, then he will want just a rewarding platonic friendship. However, if not he may well crave and engineer reigniting flames and passion, but may later realise he doesn’t want it after all, and ghost the lady.

    For a woman if she is likewise secure she will want the same rewarding friendship, but I know women friends who have found themselves married to a now boring, disinterested, unaffectionate spouse and have been tempted into divorce, one with a brilliant new marriage, and the other still single with a couple of failed/fizzled-out relationships.

    It can be a very dangerous enterprise. A game it is certainly not, and to get in too deep to alter course is all to easy for either sex as the stories here will testify. Accordingly good well-developed and explored research by discourse is essential to elucidate underlying motives. I was very lucky. Good luck to anyone in this position – please be careful.

  • Christina

    April 9th, 2017 at 9:11 PM


    I’ve read your comment and your reply to my comment. Thank you for explaining your situation clearer. I’ve taken some time to work on some of the issues that brought me to this website. I think your comment and description touched on some themes that are foundational and at the core of any relationship. Trust, boundaries, emotional safety etc. It is hard for me to imagine experiencing the friendship you’ve described. I’m not saying it’s I’m possible just I haven’t seen it or experienced it. I do not know how I could be emotionally free with a man and not have feelings for him. I do not know how I could feel emotionally safe in completeness and not have feelings for the man. What led me to search and find this website are those two core principles. The man I’ve set a drift is married, happily. She seems like a really nice lady. I am happy for them. But the man and I talked and if we’d been more open about our feelings years ago this story would be very different. He would have purposed and I’d said yes. We discussed it, and should (God forbid) he find himself bereaved we will see what there is to see with us. But now, I’m leaning on God through prayer to help me live my days in abundance if love and light. I know I couldn’t handel more then one or two conversations per year. I know we’d cross the line. I’m not interested in half’s, or second place. I know I won’t be satisfied. I want all of him or I walk away. I won’t toy with trying to walk a line and fall off and loss dignity and self respect. I love this man as I’ve never loved another. But I wont tell him this. Unless the future is very different from the present. If I didn’t have the love of Jesus Christ to help me through this I don’t know what I’d do.

  • Claudia

    March 23rd, 2017 at 11:40 PM

    The right thing to do after being contacted by a lost love online? Too late for me to find out… I am in the middle of a complete mess and the worst part is that I created it all. I guess he was my love but I wasn’t his. I feel that he wanted to be nice to me after I contacted and has been polite but distant, has not even asked about my own life but went on and on when I asked about his. A little narcissistic I should say. Once I concluded it was all a total fiasco, he sent me a little message saying it was his birthday. I didn’t know how to take that. Replied wishing him well. I am mourning the loss again, but it has been a one way street and I recognize it. I am just hoping to let go and move on with my life.

  • mark

    March 29th, 2017 at 12:41 AM

    I reconnected with my first love and we talked and the feelings came rushing back.I never understood then why she left me we dated for over 5 years and talked of marriage now she has done it all over again she came in at a very low time in my marriage of 20+ years my life has been turned upside down. I was at the point of going to see her I was only stopped by distance. my wife has separated from me and I never even saw her only text and phone calls with the old flame. I would just say take it slowly I don’t know if I can go back so now I no way forward and no way back and all this just took monthes

  • Christina

    April 9th, 2017 at 9:21 PM

    That’s so intense. I’m sorry you’re suffering. Going slowly is smart. It gives time the chance to allow people to demonstrate their true selves. Did your marriage end mainly because of the old flame? It sound like it contributed but was a factor but not the only factor. I hope things get better and you find some peace. I’ve taken to praying and asking Jesus Christ to help me know God’s love and light. It’s been like a life raft in these turbulant times.

  • Calli

    March 29th, 2017 at 8:19 AM

    In 2013 I had been contacted on Face book by an old boy friend from 3 decades past. I had been married Since 1982 and The marriage was noot a good one over those decades with my sex deniall to get a desired social outcome from my defiant husband, The fact i have Bi Polar not allowing him to divorce me, and the last 12 years the escalating violence from my husband to friends and family just trying to make him fit the place we wanted In what is now 16 years since it started I have been hurt twice for interfering in things my husband wanted for himself. Once when I tried to get him to back off a job bid to letyounger seniority have it in the fight that started the violence he left me with a broken ankle and four men on our porch and in the street in critical and grave condition, all over a stinking job.
    Then * years latter over a vacation he wanted and had schedualed he just about tore my arm off and went to murder his father when we told him he was staying and working for a younger man again. HE threw me accross an offiuce gettuiing the canvcelation check I was holding until coming back and he intended to Strangle the life out of his father to get his passport back when we were going to give it to TSA to hold until we were gone, I had to serve 2 months in county jail for canceling his trip. His father did to.

    We have alwayts just tried to get him to consider others before himself and in the process forgot he needed some consideration also in the attempt to keep him from taking his rights and disrupting hopes.. After MRSA took his spine latter on that same year he was in Rehab for three years relearning to use his hands and walk, When he came home he had decided he was not going to try and work out any thing he was going to do as he pleased no matter who hurt in the deal. I was seeing my old BF and was caught coming home with him one morning. MY friend was thinking just keep his mouth shut and let things continue, He swept my husbands cane and the retaliation put him in ICU and My husband in a stress center, for rage control, All we wanted when he was expected home the Saturday two weeks latter. Was to sit down at a dinner night we were arranging and talk like reasonable people that we knew we had abused him but we had to figure a way forward from there, I used a unfortunate word we needed to figure out what he would be allowed when the world went crazy with him saying Who in the hell did we think we were to allow him a thing now, He said he was now the sole and only judge and arbitor of what he was allowed under his roof and that applied to to a sex life we had denied him. He raped me begging to please talk this through.
    The past worked against us after that, I would have served far more time than my husband for misconduct in sex. To State charges of Marital extorsion and fraud in the marriage and federal charges of maintaining an indentured servant on involentary basis In essence we made him a slave. We have done nothing but try and slow things down since. We cant think with the next problem he creates. IN 2015 We were going on a cruise to Cancun. My husbands refusal to accept he was staying resulted in the whole groups not going after he broke his fathers neck When his father just wanted him to go home and High range because he had not invited my husband, just me.. He bought a ball bat to the room we were in to send him home with the 1st class ticket the Criuse line offered with his fare return to avoid trouble I would have gone any where he wanted on our return this time just to stop trouble before it did. My husband hiut his father under his chin so hard when he swung the bat his neck broke. We were all handed tickets home and others waiting got the berth. MY husbands rights are more important to him than life now no matter who it hurts or causes discomfort, HE is willing to kill to make sure he does not get interfered with now, controls the finances, where we live. even friends now have to call ahead to come see me.

  • Christina

    April 9th, 2017 at 9:28 PM

    This sounds dangerous. Have you considered getting away and getting a fresh start?

  • Calli

    April 14th, 2017 at 4:40 AM

    He sent me home to my mothers once in 1987,for two years after a refusal to let him Ruin other peoples vacation plans the day Me and his family and many of our friends flew in from a two week vacation we had in Rome. We had begged him to stay and work for a woman and her fiancé with over six years less seniority than my husband had at work> the woman’s mother and father were going and we felt that it was a perfect time for the two to go have a wedding and honeymoon of their own since they were Catholic. I had told my husband two months before that So many favors would be owed if he stays home and worked through the Roman vacation Knowing he had not had a single day off since our own wedding over five years before He was either in the plant 12 hours a day minimum or he had been at sea and under water for three and a half years on submarine patrols. The last two years after his return from the navy I had promised if he would not use his seniority to disrupt lives by just taking the rights he had acrewed through his returned seniority under a UAW contract, I would start the sex life he expected then, And two years latter I am again begging for his cooperation with the needs somebody else had. This time angry before he would back off he made me swear to go any where, any way and any time he choose that I would be the travel companion and sex partner he expected with our marriage. We talked in Rome, About when the next least disruptive time my husband could take for his vacation would be, and the decision was Fron the day after the Christmas shutdown to valentines day, He could take his three weeks then, and ad his 20 days personal time as the replacement for the holidays Then in three years he could take the next European vacation to Athens with me. We got back with a new pair of boots as a peace offering, Just wanted to go get a Breakfast on our return. Present the gift and ask what Vacation he wanted in January so we could get on planning it on the over night fight home I had visions of starting our marriage in six months on the right foot on a tropical beach In a nice hotel. At a place like Hawaii, Barbadoes, The Caymans or the Bahamas, I even thought The Canaries would be Nice for a romantic start to a sex life six years after the wedding, beachs Bikinis and the ocean. in mid winter out of the mid west was my thought. We got back to a husband that had already researched this possible places and time, Found that there would be nothing available. He was planning to take off the day we flew in displacing hundreds of other people from their plans, would not discuss with me or any one else to allow us to come up with something for a vacation That would not disrupt any one else’s plans. The resulting fight was only 40 minutes before I was shoved on a bus for my mothers with the savings what I had bought with me from Rome and the divorce he was filing for the next Monday. I came back two years latter to the divorce being declared moot my husbands father and his judge friend hanging a court order to keep my husband from taking time off he wanted, Nothing was ever listened to about somehow making peace in the community and he would get a vacation and we could start our marriage in peace with everyone, all he had to do was cooperate for a time and everyone would ease off of him. In 2000 he even had to be arrested and escorted to work from jail from the 23 of December to the second of January We flew in from that Years vacation from Bavaria with a 1300 dollar electronic clock that had changing scenes of what happened over the Millinial celebrations there. He could have at least made believe he had been there and we hoped with the New century and year that this arrival home would not be like the last four that we had come home to. AN even more sullen uncooprative person just because he was not getting his way We even had a plan to get him a vacation latter that spring or summer and he could take his personal time of then 25 days and act like the millinial and Christmas holiday was at that time. JE should have just taken the time as a direct exchange he did not have to get in other peoples way over the times. WE got back the morning of his 45th birthday with the thought he could call in the rest of that week on January the 5th 2000> HE said and just where was he sick enough to get a doctor to back him for even 3 days of personal time That had to be arranged for the year before and he was not giving it to us. Then he presented me with my gift from him, The clue on the box was my worth as a wife. He ad collected the leavings from dogs and boxed it. His parents was the historical way he had been treated. A house covered in what he had given me and a wagon wheel set up in the yard with rawhide wrist ties and a bull whip and sign hanging on it with the words inviting the discrimination community should come and participate in the beating of and uppity slave. His mother was taken to he sisters crying that we had succeded in getting her son to hate everyone now. The next year after the only six days off he had in 20 years I was on my knees on November the sixth 2001, Saying that he could wait two more weeks to take a different job bid and shift in the new plant Let four men in better social position have the job he wanted HE told me we had ruled his life in a dictator ship, And blackmail for 16 years he was going to do as he please and I could sell myself on the street since I was a tramp. He had found out about the fling I had in Bavaria and wanted me in truth dead so he could get a new wife. The next day I saw him nearly kill the four men wanting him to remove his bid, Leaving them on our porch and one in the street with both legs and an arm broken Theb county commissioners sons face was crushed and the man I had a fling with had his rib cage flayed and lungs and heart punctured over my husband refusal just to take a different job and shift. Since they attacked him first they deemed it self defense. I was crying in pain after he kicked the front door in on me and broke my ankle.

    After that day until 2009 it was stealing and locking his passport in a safe deposit to keep him from going on vacations. Escorts to work at firearm point over refused holidays and he started building a casualty count for every time he was interfered with. IN 2009 he had 34 years seniority, The man he had trained to take his place on his 5 week vacation time was I trouble after a white shotgun wedding. He had 2 years seniority. and needed the time with his 4 month pregnant bride. So We stole his passport again and cancelled his berth on the express Got the refund and included the ten percent out of his fathers pocket of 6354 to give him on Christmas after noon at his work gate, along with a five week rental I was arranging in ST Criox. starting January the second 2010. When we told him he was not going in a office in TSA in the airport he threw me across that office dislocating my arm and started tearing my reservations and boarding passes up and took the money out. We were getting him a vacation just not the one he wanted as the first since 1976. He could have waited the next seven months instead of getting so depressed he became ill in October with MRSA in his spine causing three years of rehab before 2010.
    After the three years I thought he was coming home in a wheel chair, I started with another man that I had known for decades

  • Colin

    March 29th, 2017 at 10:18 AM

    Well I finally took my own advice. After a long talk with my ex, who has been suffering the same way as myself, we reluctantly decided to end any further contact. I have felt sick to my stomach and walking round in a daze, like a teenager who has lost his first true love.
    I knew it had to be done, as did she. I told her couldn’t abandon my wife and family for her, and she understood. I still have her contact details and so want to contact her, but after what we have discussed the only way I could contact her if it was if my circumstances had changed and I was prepared to be with her.
    I am struggling but it is something I must live with alone until I feel better.
    Don’t give into temptation. Don’t respond to contacts from you ex lovers, because you will have life of misery which you cannot tell anyone about. Good luck to you all.

  • Christina

    April 9th, 2017 at 9:30 PM

    So true. I understand what you’re saying. Step up or step off. What other realistic choices are there? All the best.

  • Mary

    April 9th, 2017 at 8:27 AM

    I too have been struggling with the idea of contacting my ex boyfriend. He was truly my first love. We met when we were both 19. That is over 40 years ago. We were together for 3 years. He moved to another state when we were both 22. I visited him when i was 23 but i couldnt move there because i was very close to my mom and it would have been very difficult to do at that time. I have been married for 38 years now with 2 grown children. My ex still lives in another state along with his sister who also lives in the same state he does. I was able to find both of their phone numbers and want to call his sister just to see how she and he are doing. I was friends with his sister but have not seen her in about 30 years. I don’t think there is any way I would be able to travel to where they both are. But would it be okay to call her after all these years to see how they are both doing? I think my ex is divorced now. I can’t seem to stop thinking about my ex after all these years and I don’t know how to stop. Would it be wrong to call his sister just to catch up with her?

  • Colin

    April 10th, 2017 at 8:36 AM

    Mary, please be careful. You say want to see how your old friend is doing but the reality is you want to make contact with you ex. You are at the start of a dangerous road. Take my advice and do not make any contact with your ex or his sister. I made that mistake and have been living a miserable mixed up existence.
    Once you start down that road it is almost impossible to turn around or stop. I did manage to end the contact but my every waking hour is still tormented by thoughts of her. I regret it every day. Good luck

  • Claudia

    April 9th, 2017 at 9:18 PM

    I know that when someone tells me or advises me to not to pursue any contact with him, I am more prompt to do it anyhow. It reminds me the old days when people wanted to separated us, so I thought. I am hesitant to advise you to not even try to contact his sister to get to him. I know it may be an innocent move, but one you will forever regret. Don’t do what I did please. I am going through hell and back for following my heart instead of common sense and reason.

  • Jack

    April 19th, 2017 at 10:37 AM

    My situation is a bit different. My first major love was 30 years ago in college. Very intense relationship for two years which deteriorated after I graduated. I will take my share of the blame and bear no ill will towards her for pulling the plug.
    We actually got together once for dinner about a year after our break up. Went well enough and she invited me to call her once I moved back to her city. I chose not to as I was well on the road to recovery. I did send her postcards now and then and we exchanged Christmas cards once. I now suspect there was a chance at reconcilliation during the aftermath.
    Time went on and I saw here briefly a few more times over the years (we had and still have a common friend). She was less friendly, perhaps mildly hostile. I suggested we get together for coffee and she declined.
    She eventually got married, had two kids, and then got divorced. I eventually got married and had a kid much later. I remain happily married. I have no desire to abandon that and rekindle anything. Sometimes it is fun to imagine it in an alternate universe sort of way, but that is it.
    But… there has always been something that nags at my psyche. She is one of the pivotal people in my life. Nothing can change that. And I just feel that there is something unsettled in the universe to not be on good terms with such a person. I would love to swap casual emails now and then, nothing more.
    The reason this is on my mind is that my college reunion approaches. She will not be there as she was a class ahead of me. But her sister and some of her aquintances certainly will. Thus she is on my mind more than usual.
    Any thoughts on this? I am not planning any moves. I am just courious as to why this is important even 30 years on.

  • Jack

    May 8th, 2017 at 6:44 AM

    No thoughts?

  • Colin

    May 9th, 2017 at 8:08 AM

    Hello Jack,
    Your story is not dissimilar to my own experience. The reconnection started out as just a friendly email exchange and then moved on to phone calls. We spoke for hours about our past and where we went wrong. Eventually things began to spiral out of control emotionally. I am happily married and never looked at another woman but here I was now contemplating walking out on my wife and family to be with my ex again. We live in different countries now, but I ended up flying back to see her. What a mistake, I was head over heels in love (probably lust) with her again. My life has been a mess ever since. I am trying to get back to normal again with my wife and have broke off all conversation with my ex, but it is very difficult. Not a moment goes by when she is not on my mind. This is still recent and we have not spoken for one month now although she emailed me on my birthday. If I could turn the clocks back, I wish she had never sent that friend request on Facebook. I’m afraid once you open that door to those emotions you will find it very difficult to close it again. Good luck my friend.

  • Christina

    May 18th, 2017 at 7:42 PM

    You’ve made good points. This pull of the past is powerful. The one I love is in your spot. We’ve cut off communication. It feels like a part of me is missing. Like an arm or the ability to sing. Im concerned if we communicate an affair would follow. Not the life path we want to take. Do you choose to love your wife and hope the feelings for the other woman fade?

  • Colin

    May 19th, 2017 at 11:59 AM

    My hope is my feelings will fade for my ex over time, and to be honest, they are to a point. I’m trying to concentrate on my marriage, which up until I spoke to my ex, was really good. My hope is it will be good again, but I am finding it hard.

  • Jack

    May 10th, 2017 at 8:02 AM

    Thanks Colin.
    Your theory makes a lot of sense and your words of warning resonate. Realistically, I don’t have the opportunity to reach out to her. I do not do Facebook or anything like that and there is no way I am going to dial her number.
    A Question: Do you think that is why she declined my friendly overtures in the 1990s? In other words, did she suddenly not want to get together for exactly the reasons you describe?

  • Colin

    May 11th, 2017 at 3:01 PM

    You maybe right. If she never fully got over your split maybe she couldn’t face re-living the old feelings and pain that went with it. I know I have analysed the reasons why my ex and I split up and why. That was 30 years ago and I cannot find the answer. It has been haunting me every day since she contacted me.

  • Jack

    May 12th, 2017 at 1:32 PM

    Thanks again Colin. I appreciate your input.
    I am now thinking that maybe it’s a good thing there is little chance of contact. It’s easy to say I could handle it, but once the Pandora’s Box is opened….who knows? I often refer to things like this as Time Traveling without a Time Machine. Seems it can be an emotionally perilous trip.
    In any case, I have rehearsed some polite pleasantries should I bump into her sister at my reunion in 3 weeks. And I will leave it at that.
    Good luck with your situation. The heart wants what it wants. Just make sure it makes the right choice.

  • Sade

    May 31st, 2017 at 5:52 AM

    My ex and I have re-connected 8 months ago after 8 years apart (we were together for 9 years). Neither of us had re-partnered in the 8 years apart because we still loved each other (but both assumed the other didn’t care anymore!). Unfortunately he meet a ‘nice lady’ just 3 months prior to us reconnecting. We both still love each other but he doesn’t want to hurt this new lady by leaving her as he promised to support her through a medical issue. He doesn’t love her but can’t find the gumption to end things with her. This is all complicated by the fact that we have an intense kink relationship that he cannot get fulfilled with the new woman, therefore he is denying himself of lifelong deep-seated needs and the fact that I am his ‘one true love’ – all because this lady has made him promise not to hurt her like other men have in the past (by abandoning her with this medical thing – non life-threatening). If she left him, him would be back with me in a heartbeat, but he doesn’t want to do the breaking up. I am beginning to think that I should I let her know what is happening in the hope that she leaves and allows him to restore his life with me?? I want him to be true to himself rather than sacrifice our lifestyle for someone he doesn’t love…

  • Teeto

    June 1st, 2017 at 4:52 AM

    41 years later and I hear from my first love. He is divorced, I am widowed 2 years. That made all the difference. An easy, passionate, fun reunion.

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