Make a comparison table where I had to list what was real versus what was unreal in the relationship. For every real list an unreal.
1. (Unreal) - Because men chose to speak to me and engage in sex with me, I was worthwhile.
(Real) - Because I was sexually available, but emotionally unavailable, men wanted to talk to me and have sex with me. In it all, I (the real me) was worthless.
2. (Both real and unreal) I felt wanted and desired (the unreal part was they didn't really want me and desire me .. I was just an object.
3. (unreal) I was getting away with it, at work, at home and in my soul.
(real) I am so behind at work, it's unreal. At home, things were suffering and I couldn't look at anything good my husband was doing. In my soul, I was slowly eating myself alive.
4. (unreal) I was the only woman in each of these men's lives.
(real) Just like me they had one side f*ck after another.
There's many more ... but that's enough for now.
How did it make my life unmanageable?
I was constantly online, talking to men day and night - at home and at work, on the phone and meeting them in person. I put off deadlines, I put off work. I was afraid I'd be fired. I should have been. I was afraid I'd lose my marriage. I would have deserved it. I was obsessing beyond belief. When I wasn't doing one of the above "actions" I was obsessing about the next conversation, finding the next person, keeping my hold on the the people I had.
What was the payoff?
I felt desired, wanted. I didn't have to feel alone. I was leading an exciting life. I was "the best" at lots of things.
Who did I hurt?
My colleagues, my husband, my family. I hurt the men I was involved with, by helping them to continue their own addictions and I hurt their families, their jobs. Most of all, I hurt myself.
How was I at fault?
I'm confused about the answer to this. The program might tell me I wasn't ... that I was diseased. But if anything, I kept letting it happen, even when I knew it was wrong. My amend is that I have stopped and am trying to stay that way.
What should I have done instead?
I think at the time, I did the only thing I knew how to do. In retrospect, I guess I should have just never started chatting with men online. But that doesn't even seem like it was an option at this point. It was of course, but it doesn't seem like it now. Everything just happened. I guess I still am deflecting a lot of the blame.
History of the relationship.
I'm not sure I understand this question as it relates to me -- but there was more than one "relationship." My relationship was with one man after another who I met on the Internet and later met offline for sex. Some men I'd had several conversations with before meeting them, but in the worst of my addiction, I might talk to a guy for a few minutes and meet him a few minutes later for sex. Others, I would have "committed relationships" with. What a joke. It's all so surreal now, yet I still feel closeness to some of these people. It's unreal.
1 week ago