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Name: Sarah
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Finally ready - July 9th 2020, 11:01 AM

This is the first time I have ever made a thread in this section. It's going to be extremely long because it's recent, the memories are fresh, and I'm finally ready to talk about it to the world. It's mostly a 'this is my story' and 'I'm still recovering' sort of thread. No one has to read if they don't want to. I just finally gained the courage to write it out.

So, during my time in university I met someone. Specifically, a guy. We became good friends and were of similar age. I barely have any attraction to men so never really acknowledge it. But there was just something about him that was different. He seemed mature, charming, polite, he had such a great sense of humour. He seemed so perfect. I actually started developing feelings for him but repressed them so hard because he was actually married. A huge no go.

One night we were studying on a common room when he brought alcohol. I can get pretty tipsy quickly since I don't usually drink. I ended up coming out to him as gay and he said he was 'so happy' because I was hist first gay female friend. After that, it seemed like it brought us closer together because we'd discuss girls together, and I could actually feel like I was being myself with him.

My flatmate and friend was having a birthday party in our flat and since we could invite some friends for her 21st, he was the only person I invited. It was the first time he'd seen me outside of a 'working' environment, if you want to call it that. I was already drunk by the time he arrived, and was more so as the night went on.

He needed the bathroom so I brought him to my room. We both took turns to use my bathroom and then stood in my room chatting. He asked me about my necklace and then leaned in and kissed me. I was drunk, and already had feelings for him, I ended up kissing him back. I confessed that I really liked him, and he said to me that he 'wanted me so bad'. He was very erect. I panicked in fear of what would happen and so suggested we go back to the party, and so we did. I raced to my closest friend who was also my flatmate, and told her what happened in her room. For the rest of that night she kept me away from him, which I was grateful for.

I wanted to speak with him the very next day about what happened because I knew it should never have happened. I was seriously drunk and he wasn't. It was clear he didn't care about me politely scolding him for the fact we kissed when he was married and has a child to think of. All that came out of his mouth was, 'what would you do if I kissed you again'. Thankfully he didn't try anything.

I left for home for 3 weeks to spend Easter with my family, and in that time it was pretty awful. My feelings for him were still there, and he would keep flirting with me and I gave in and would start sexting back with him. He would say some red-flag behaviour like, 'you look like my ex girlfriend' and when I'd confront him he would say how 'English isn't his first language'. He was an international student from an African island but this was his 2nd university and he spoke English almost fluently. He'd also do other things like brag about the fact he'd had sex with many, many girls, including that he'd 'scored with the president's daughter'. Another red flag I chose to ignore.

Suddenly he would start avoiding me by speaking to me for 5 minutes and then going, 'chat later' or instantly cutting me off in some way. He got drunk a few days before I was due to return to my flat, telling me that he had been trying to avoid me to 'not want it'. I was deeply hurt because I too was very torn and he was leading me on.

3 days after I came back to my university flat, we ended up having sex. He spent around 5 hours with me and we were going to just keep things as friends with benefits. I only agreed because I had feelings for him and wanted to be close to him. He would come to see me almost every week and would have sex every time he came over.

Sometimes he'd flake out and say he couldn't come see me because of his Spanish exam (he was taking an extra course which was optional). I tried to be understanding, but he'd flake out so many times and for so many things that I would get upset since I too was taking time out of my studies to prepare to see him, only for him to not turn up. I'd feel like my time was constantly being wasted.

Shortly before the 2nd year of university was over, he was getting ready to return to London (he lived with his aunt whilst he was studying in the UK) and was going to come see me, but once again flaked out. I got so annoyed I messaged him so many things in rage, and then he confessed his love for me. I instantly calmed down, and asked him to come see me. He would keep refusing because he didn't want me to tell him to his face that we were 'breaking up'. I begged him to come see me. H ended up doing so. I cried in front of him, we kissed and hugged. We ended up having sex again and before he was due to leave he told me he loved me again, and I ended up telling him I loved him too. Because I did. He was the first ever person I had truly, deeply, fallen in love with.

After he left for London, he was so sweet and would message me things and tell me how much he loved me. He would video call me when he managed to get out of the house and be alone. It got increasingly harder for me to be away from him because I knew I'd really fallen hard for him.

3rd year came around and things took a major turn for the worse. We were going to agree to see one another as soon as we got back to university, only, he flaked out again and said, 'babe, it's raining', then proceeded to say how his wife knows he never goes out in the rain so it'd look weird. I didn't say much but he knew I was annoyed. Mostly because he was quite happy to take the trip over to see me the day he told me he loved me, but for some reason not when there was less rain and we hadn't seen each other in 3 1/2 months.

Over the course of my 3rd year, he was emotionally abusive to me. He would gaslight me. Manipulate me. Ignore me until I begged him with apologies even when he was the one who'd done wrong. I let him plagarise my work so he could pass assignments. I let him come over to visit just so he could have sex because I wanted him to be happy and to please him. I let him use me over and over again. Out of all the times he visited me, only twice did he visit and we never had sex. The first time he came over and only my top half was exposed. We were just there on the bed talking about whatever and just relaxing. I opened up to him about some of my personal life. My struggles with depression and suicide attempts. It caused him to tell me a story about how he got a girl pregnant when he was 18, but it turned out she was just 12 years old. He tried to make me promise never to attempt suicide because he 'didn't want to be responsible' (which was why I made a thread few years ago about forcing people to make promises). The story of him having sex with a girl who told him she was 18 wasn't the first time I'd heard it. He mentioned it when we were day drinking in celebration of the year being over with friends. I should have known back then the guy was a huge red flag, but I wanted to keep an open mind and be accepting. The second time he was going to come over and when I said I was on my period, he looked down to his feet and went, 'Oh..' in that tone of voice... and then it was as if he knew he couldn't get out of the situation so agreed to come over anyway.

Another time when he did finally come over, we ended up having sex whilst I was on my period. I went to the bathroom to clean up to make sure everything was ok, but there was no blood at present. He then thought I was lying about my period to get out of having sex with him the day before. (I was on my period but couldn't concentrate in the lecture theatre because of his excessive keyboard jamming that I raced out as soon as the lecture was over) Even a couple months later he still believed I was lying to him and said that it 'wasn't his first rodeo'. I was very confused because I was telling the truth, and was confused as to why every time I pointed out him having sex with his wife, he'd say ,'no access' because she was on her period.

My Christmas also got ruined. I was really looking forward to seeing him. I spent a lot of money at home with my family to have a good time. Christmas Eve came and I made a joke about him giving me leftover food. Apparently it really annoyed him and he said he was insulted so refused to speak to me for the whole day. I could feel something was wrong but chose to ignore it since it was Christmas. I woke up the next day and said good morning and wished him Merry Christmas, instead all I got was, 'I'm still annoyed by what you said'. I apologised to him and said I was joking. He said he accepted my apologise but then continued to tell me off and how I had insulted him. I apologised more and more. He said it was ok, but continued going on and on as if he was trying to make me feel bad and beg for his forgiveness once again.

I was actually upset by him doing all of that and couldn't enjoy the rest of my Christmas week at home. I could barely eat. When I got back to university he sent me some message over Whatsapp to say how he can't see me as much and has to put aside his emotions because he's so stressed about his dissertation. He knows I've attempted suicide in the past, yet said, 'have you ever wanted to commit suicide? I felt like it the whole time but all I could think about was my little princess' (his daughter). Naturally it felt like he'd never listened to anything I'd ever told him of my personal life. I should have known since the red flag encounter the day after the drunk kiss.

I got really annoyed that he was shutting me down saying how he can't afford to show emotion at the moment and blah blah when not once had he ever considered how he'd made me feel. I blew up and got angry with him and then he would counter saying how he and I aren't good together at the moment (I forgot the exact words) and when I brought up how he's being unfair, he would say, 'I know, but there it is'. He was so cold and nasty. I was trying to be understanding that he was stressed, but he took out out on me so hard it hurt really badly.

Normally we'd walk to lectures together almost every morning, but after all that, I decided to stop, since he basically said he wanted space. So I gave it to him. But then when I asked him to let me know if he still wants me to let him know if I'm walking down, he got really defencive and said something along the lines of, 'it was your choice to go down there alone and I didn't ask you to'. I was thinking to myself...'what?' all I did was ask him if he still wanted to walk down together.

I got so upset I just had to tell somebody. I called a friend (which ended up being a bad idea) and she was , at the time, supportive. The guy ended up giving mixed signals because after him telling me he can't afford to show emotion to me anymore, he sat next to me during a lab exercise and kissed me whilst no one was around. I said to him I thought that wasn't what he wanted right now. He came out with some twisted response saying, 'Yeah but we can still be together now'. He would constantly move the goal posts and rules to suit him.

I ended up getting fed up and left him to it and gave him space, but then it was like he was punishing me for not doing what he wanted and being there at his beck and call for kisses and intimacy that he would completely avoid me during lectures. He would only speak to me when others were around so he looked like a nice guy. He would refuse to work with me but chose to work with someone else in the class. He claimed that 'they approached him' for help and he 'couldn't say no' and said, 'you know how it is, I can't say no to people'.

During the whole time we were together he did nothing but crap on his wife. One night in 2nd year she was having a crisis with her essay and couldn't think how to write it. He told me he had idea what he was doing when he tried to help her, and that he's 'slowly getting tired of her '. Another time in 3rd year when he came to visit after we were demonstrating our dissertation posters to our supervisors, he told me that his wife is constantly depressed and that he's just got that way he 'just leaves her to it' and hand waved a shooing motion. He also admitted to me that he can't truly love a person because his father told him to 'only ever put all your love into your children'. Which meant that he neither truly loved me nor his wife of 10 years.

A few weeks before we were due to do a presentation on our dissertation projects, my closest friend went missing for a week. It triggered me so hard because I was the last person to see her. It brought up old memories of my grandmother dying and all kinds of other stuff. I had nobody to tell about the affair I was having. She wasn't around to talk to. I had no family with me, or friends, or him. I felt that alone that I actually contemplated taking my own life again, after 10 years being free of it. I ended up telling him about it after he returned from his de-stress weekend and he got really upset.

We ended up in a disagreement and I asked him why he's with his wife if he's having so much trouble. He said he still loves her. I asked him if that's the case then why be with me. He said he 'still likes being with me too'. From that moment I just snapped. I realised that he was only with me because he was unhappy in his marriage. He'd never intended on leaving her. I was just some fling to have fun with and because I was getting too stressful for him, he wanted to push me away until he was having wife troubles again. I was being used his whole time. I lost a friend over it despite them telling me that he doesn't care about me right from the start. I ignored my best friend on so many occasions when he told me 'the guy is a scumbag' all because I was deeply in love and wanted to make him happy even if it cost me my own.

I was so angry that any emotion for him that I had just instantly vanish. I don't know how or why. I was just consumed with snapping back to reality and realising what a complete moron I've been to my friends, and myself. How stupid I had been for allowing myself to let him treat me that badly. How I let him use and abuse me the ways that he did.

The day we were due to present our dissertation projects, I patiently waited for both of us to complete our presentations. He once again lied to his wife about his whereabouts and came with me to my flat. When we got there I just sat down. He sat down. Neither of us said anything. I was just too angry. He stood up and pulled me up to give him a hug. He was erect again, as if he was expecting to have sex one last time. Only, I wasn't in the mood, I had come back to reality off my idiot cloud and was ready to unleash how he'd made me feel for 12 months.

He was there for just 30 minutes while I yelled at him. Swore at him. Berated him. Told him how much he'd used me. He continued to deny that he'd using me and that he loves his wife very much. That he 'loves her like he loves his family'. It was clear that he wasn't in love with her. He just cared for her on the level he does a family member. He didn't even mention any feelings he had for me. He claimed that we were together for 'no strings attached' and said that -I- had said it. I called him out and said he knows I never said that because it's not a word I would ever use. You don't go telling someone you love them and then when the whole thing goes balls up, 'oh I thought it was no strings attached'. There were strings the second one admits feelings for the other.

He sat there letting me yell at him, just agreeing with me just to make me be quiet, but I wouldn't. I just kept going on and on to the point he couldn't take it anymore. He put his coat back on and walked out. What he didn't realise was that I'd actually recorded the whole thing. I was tired of his lies and his behaviour.

I was so guilt-ridden for my behaviour towards his wife. She knew what was going on the whole time but said or did nothing. She gave him so many hints that she knew but he chose to ignore them. It was no wonder she was so depressed and I had a hand in making her miserable.

After we started seeing one another, apparently his wife found a hair grip down the sofa and instantly made a 'joke' saying 'I know who this is from, it's that redheaded girl isn't it!'. I had only visited their house once compared to all their other female friends. It was already obvious back then she was suspicious. During the summer break, he was watching Orange is the New Black with his wife and would apparently bring me into conversations a lot, and said how he 'may have converted me' (from being gay). She apparently said, 'It sounds like you already have'. And that 'everything is about Sarah these days'. Even back then it was obvious she knew something was going on. Then in 3rd year she was apparently having dreams that he was cheating on her and she'd wake up crying telling him how much she loved him. He would say, 'We can't see each other for a week or two, just to lose some of the heat'. He kept doing it thinking he was being sneaky when really, 1-2 weeks of not seeing me isn't going to make a difference. Nor was deciding to wash his own clothes just in case any of my hair fibres were on/in his clothes.

It wasn't his first time cheating on a person. According to him, he was already with another girl when he cheated on her to be with his current wife. So I guess I'm the fool for being so laid back and overly open-minded and ignoring it.

This post is long. I could have made it longer because there's so much I could say about the whole 12-month ordeal. Thanks to him I will never trust a person so deeply ever again. I will live in constant fear that anybody I get close to is going to hurt me, even if they don't intend to. Thanks to him I have been made to feel lonely, isolated, disgusted with myself, worthless, meaningless, ashamed, guilt-ridden.

I wrote anonymous posts, HelpLINK requests because I was ashamed of how people will judge me. I beat myself up so hard because I had an affair with a married man. I beat myself up for how I treated my friend. I beat myself up for how I made his wife feel. I wanted ot tell her properly so badly. I wanted to ruin his life for what he did to me. I still lie awake at night thinking of all the terrible things I could do. I still feel angry for what he did to me, and how he made me feel, how he treated me. I don't do any of those things because I take comfort in knowing that deep down his wife will never truly trust him again, and that the truth always comes out eventually. No matter how hard it is for me and all the terrible things I think about, I want to be a better person than he will ever be.

Saturday next week will mark the last ever time I saw him again. It was graduation and I was forced to sit next to him for the ceremony. I put on my best clothes. I wore an expensive dress and shoes. I wore make up. I got my hair done. Put on expensive perfume. He cheerfully said hello to me, I begrudgingly said hi. I refused to speak to him thereon after. I made sure I looked the best I could to make myself feel powerful and strong. I did so with confidence. During the end of the ceremony after we were to turn and clap for our families whom supported us. I stood facing my mum with a big smile and clapped. We were then asked to face the front again. He didn't. He continued facing me. I refused to even acknowledge he was there. Every time the camera panned towards me I was sat with a big smile on my face. I wanted to feel like I was better than him.

I'm done hiding this story from the world. I'm done beating myself up. What I did was wrong, but I also accept that I was heavily deceived by a man and I was a victim of abuse. Judge me all that you want, or hate me for my relationship with a married man, but just remember that emotions are a powerful thing and we do crazy, stupid things when we're deeply in love with someone.

Today I finally logged back into Facebook and browsed my posts. I saw one he made and tagged me in. I saw his face. I didn't feel anything. I just realised that I was finally over seeing him and I don't feel hurt anymore. I still have a long way to go. If I were to click on his profile I know I wouldn't be ready to. I know I still have a long way to go until I'm truly over what happened.

But for now I'm ok with how far I've reached. I'm happy that I managed to escape him and accept what had happened, the things I did, and move forward.


Life is for living, not for losing.

Last edited by Rivière; July 9th 2020 at 12:56 PM.
   
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Re: Finally ready - July 16th 2020, 04:01 AM

Hi Sarah,

Thank you so much for pouring your heart out. I'm sorry for not being able to reply earlier.

I read your whole post carefully; you have been through an awful lot. From catching feelings for him, getting together with him, putting up with his cunning ways and red flags, realising everything, reflecting and coming to a closure, choosing to look forward, you've come a long way. I want to give you a virtual hug for making it through this roller-coaster with such a toxic person. I completely second your friend; this guy is a "scumbag" indeed. I'm so sorry that you had to put up with so much of his nonsense.

I feel that in life we come across toxic people like him and keep giving them the benefit of doubt, until a certain point whereby we snap to reality. But by then, we realise that some things can no longer be changed; the repercussions of being in their company will stay with us for time to come. Yet, like you very correctly said, we're all human at the end of the day. We all end up ignoring red flags, doing uncomfortable things, siding with the wrong people, etc. It happens, absolutely. My ex-best friend is a very toxic person, but of course I was foolish, ignored many of her red flags and ended up making a mess of my life. She alienated me from my friends by doing character assassination of them (and yes, I believed her stories like a fool), she gaslit people, she had temper tantrums, she always turned the tables, and she ended up creating a big scandal, to which I became an accomplice and hurt many of my friends, which I sorely regret even today even though I have apologised to them. But these are what make us human - to go through all these things, come to an awakening, and then try to look forward.

"We ended up in a disagreement and I asked him why he's with his wife if he's having so much trouble. He said he still loves her. I asked him if that's the case then why be with me. He said he 'still likes being with me too'. From that moment I just snapped. I realised that he was only with me because he was unhappy in his marriage. He'd never intended on leaving her. I was just some fling to have fun with and because I was getting too stressful for him, he wanted to push me away until he was having wife troubles again. I was being used his whole time. I lost a friend over it despite them telling me that he doesn't care about me right from the start. I ignored my best friend on so many occasions when he told me 'the guy is a scumbag' all because I was deeply in love and wanted to make him happy even if it cost me my own." From a third-person's perspective after reading your story, this is the correct realisation. I just want to highlight that there are so many people in this world, some of whom I know personally, who live in blind trust for years, even decades, on end, and unfortunately never realise the glaring loopholes in the person they're trusting while it's apparent to everyone else. It's better late than never that you've realised this

I'm also so glad and relieved to hear about how you behaved on your graduation day (also, congrats on graduating!) - after all, actions are louder than words. Giving him the cold shoulder was the first step in making this clean break. I'm happy you gave him a piece of your mind as well; people like him need to hear it.

From this point on, the best thing you can do is focus on yourself and your growth, whether it's personal growth, career growth, even spiritual growth, anything. Rising like a phoenix from all the mistreatment he put you through is the best slap you can give to his face. Take your time to heal - seeing that you've graduated, you can perhaps channelise your energy into your career, or anything really that interests you. This pursuit will be a great way for you to cope with the aftermath of all you've been through.

Also, don't forget that Karma is real. He's cheated on his wife many a time, gaslit you, always made things about him, made you undergo so much mental and emotional turmoil, "used you" just for his sexual satisfaction, etc. - all these will not go unnoticed. The truth will prevail one day, and he will get his due punishment.

There was this book I read many years ago called "Cry Salty Tears" by Dinah O'Dowd, the mother of English singer-songwriter Boy George. It's her autobiography, where she talks about being horribly abused by Boy George's father. The father was a very toxic, belligerent man who ended up marrying another woman subsequently, after making Dinah go through decades of hell with domestic abuse. Despite everything, she fought like a tigress and left a very moving tale to be read by generations to come. I read the book many years ago, but I'm still inspired by the way spoke volumes of the resilience women have in the face of hardship, rape and abuse. You will rise from the aftermaths of this tumultuous 12-month period of your life. Where wounds have been seared, they will heal with time. I'm rooting for you!

An important thing I want to emphasise is, and you seem to have realised this already - please don't beat yourself up for whatever happened. You were a victim of his company, his behaviour, his lies. And we all end up succumbing to the behaviours of toxic people at some point or the other; no one has managed to "dodge a bullet" successfully all the time. Yes, it indeed shatters our ability to trust, but that's how we all learn from experience. And while we will doubt our future interactions with people, our previous experiences will actually help us be more selective of who we choose to be with, so we might not end up in a similar situation again. Think of it this way - now you know how to detect red flags, and this will guide you to the right kind of people. That's what I told myself after my ordeal with my ex-best friend; next time someone show similar signs, I know that I need to avoid them.

Finally, whether you want to have a proper discussion with his wife or not is up to you. If you feel it will help you come to a closure after all that has happened, then go for it. If you feel that you want to spend some time healing first and then think of talking to her, then that's also well and good. From personal experience, I felt that I recovered from my toxic times with my ex-best friend after I apologised to the people I ended up hurting.

I'll end off with a little anecdote - I was in a little deli once in Dublin when an old lady sat next to me. We started chatting and I told her how I had come there to treat myself because my exams had ended. She said, "You have many years ahead of you, so let me give you some advice - remember that you come #1 always, and you aren't being selfish."

I never saw her after that, in fact I don't even know her name. But her message stays with me till today, and I want to convey it to you. While there are times in life where we have to put other people before us, by and large, we should live our lives with our own welfare in mind. If something is about to hurt our wellbeing, if something is causing us grief, we have to end it. That's the ultimate form of self-love. You're already on this track, so keep it up!!

You can always DM me if you'd like to talk about anything!


Last edited by Mallika; July 16th 2020 at 10:17 AM.
   
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Re: Finally ready - July 16th 2020, 12:39 PM

Thank you ever so much for taking the time to not only give such a detailed, and well-thought out response, but to actually take the time to read my essay of a post! That means so much to me, and I sincerely appreciate it!

I am a firm believer in karma, and is the biggest reason I chose not to talk to his wife about what happened. I've worked so hard to get where I am right now. I've worked hard to earn my Personal Trainer qualification and my license to train clients at my gym. I've worked so hard to be where I am right now, one year later. I know I could easily spill to beans on my affair with him to his wife, but that would be the easy way out, and a selfish one I feel. Sure I'd feel better knowing I got back at him for what he did to me, but I would hurt his wife, and his daughter. That wouldn't be fair. By doing such a selfish act as that, it would come back to bite me by ruining all the hard work I put into where I am today.

I take comfort in believing that his wife, as much as she loves him, will never trust him again. One day I hope that she will see him for the person he really is, and leave him for a better man. She deserves far better than him, someone who is truly worthy of her love.


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Re: Finally ready - July 16th 2020, 02:17 PM

Hello Sarah,

Thank you so much for telling us all about what you have gone through and I am so sorry for this. When things like this happen to us it can be hard to find a way to cope and forget about it all. Because something will happen and it takes us back and we can get upset, angry with everything or depressed and you feel much more. No matter what you are feeling, it is totally fine and that's when you want to do something to get your mind off of this for a while. You can try talking to your family or friends or going for walks around your house or reading or drawing or painting or something else that you enjoy doing until you are doing a little bit better. I wish you the best and hugs to help.


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Re: Finally ready - July 18th 2020, 02:43 AM

Hi Sarah,

I'm so happy to read about how much you've achieved in the past one year - it's great to know that you're now a professional trainer with clients! Keep it up!

Regarding telling his wife, I think you're absolutely justified to have made this resolution. I can see what you mean when you say that apologising now might be the "easy way out"; telling her now might just mess things up further, so things are better left as they are. It makes sense, and I'm happy you've come to this decision, and like you said, we'll believe that his wife will take a course of action in her own life that will bring her to a better place.

Take care!
   
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