This is an embarrassing post and I actually feel ashamed of myself for this which is something I am working on each day. At the same time I feel as if I cannot help the way I feel about this person. About two years ago, I met someone who was charming, funny, raised pretty much like me, and a preacher's son (I am a Christian). He had all the qualities I was looking for in a partner. We texted back and forth for over a year, actually up until this March. We met at a songwriting appointment because we are both in the music business and his band is about to be pretty famous next year. We didn't know at the time who would break and who wouldn't because becoming successful in the music business is just as much about luck, timing and Divine Intervention as it is about talent. Anyway, over the course of that year and a few months, I thought we really connected. I was unable to cross certain lines because I was a married woman and already felt horrible for even opening the door to this emotional connection with another man. My husband was being extremely mean and I think when this man was polite and interested in me I was so starved for someone to find me smart, interesting and attractive again that I just fell in. I realize it wasn't right, but I can't say I would have cut it off at the beginning if I could go back. In fact its just the opposite. About two months before my husband and I officially separated, this man met a woman, fell in love with her and married her all within the span of 2 months. Then my husband and I split up. This has left me so sad and regretful about the way I handled this situation. I spend a great deal of time fighting thoughts such as "you missed out on the best thing that could've happened to you because you didn't do this or that" or "if you had only gone to see him when he wanted you to" or "if you had only talked to him on the phone when he wanted you to, you would be with him now, happy instead of still in this marriage, separated, with a husband who loves you and wants you back but who is obviously still controlling and who you feel it is impossible for you to love anymore yet you can't divorce him because he is trying so hard and you know you can't stay in a marriage simply for those initial sparks because that fades." I even think "if you had followed your heart with him (the other man) and just left your abusive marriage, you would have had the best of both worlds, the friendship AND the chemistry (because I never really had that kind of chemistry with my husband, we were attracted to each other but it was never this deep heavy spark-lit kind of romance. It was more practical, based on friendship and mutual respect.)" I hadn't felt those sparks in a long time and they reminded me of what I was missing which I think is part of why I seem unable to fully fall back in love with my husband, since that element was never there to begin with. However, what my husband and I did have in the beginning was important as well, it just didn't cover the entire friend/lover spectrum, where this person did for me, albeit for a year and a few months via text mainly. So I just hide my feelings. I obviously have to hide them from the other man because I have to respect the fact that he is married now and wouldn't be receptive. He no longer texts me and it has made me so sad. I miss him terribly because he was actually a little bright light in my world of mean or at best empty marriage. I can't tell my husband because he would be so upset and it would hurt him so badly and what is the point. No good would come of it. I can't really tell anyone but my closest couple of friends and I can't even tell them the extent of my feelings out of plain guilt. So I have basically spent every day since we last spoke missing him, keeping it inside, and feeling terrible for missing him. I realize this is terribly unhealthy. I am trying so hard to reframe this as I really have no idea what life would have been like with this man. We had a relationship in which we texted one another. We didn't even spend any time together really because I was married, his band was on the road and I was in nursing school. I am totally making up stories and glamorizing something in my head that may or may not have even worked out in the end. I also know that according to my religion, my God would not have sent me another man while I was married. That totally goes against everything in the Bible. Finally, the way he treated me by discarding me at the end and not even telling me he had proposed and married this woman (he just let me find out in town) AND the fact that he pursued a married woman says something about his character. Additionally, he had a girlfriend at the time he pursued me, adding to the character issue. He was struggling with our relationship and I could tell, which makes me think he is not a typical cheater kind of guy. I think that is why he eventually started putting more space between us and pretty much cut me off after we saw each other the one time. He says this girl is different because she is "the one" and he would never ever cheat on her or even leave the door open for temptation and so far it seems completely true. They've been married now about 5 months. Finally, I realize that our relationship must have meant more to me than it did to him and maybe it was just something to pass the time because he was unhappy in his relationship just as I was, yet he didn't connect to me the way I connected to him obviously. So I'm in a constant cycle of missing him, regret, and guilt over missing him, with nobody to talk to about it! On top of everything he is becoming a celebrity so I'm starting to see him places with his new wife! I can't get away! Last night I decided instead of trying so hard to reframe what I was feeling, I decided to try accepting it. Yes I miss him. Yes I have regrets that I didn't follow my heart. Yes I feel guilty for that because regret over NOT cheating with someone is not the way I want to feel. I stated to myself, "It is okay. I will feel this way as long as I do and with time it will get better. Eventually it will be a thing of the past like many other situations I never thought I would get over." If my husband and I end up divorcing, there will inevitably be someone else out there that I will feel these same feelings for just as I have in the past with two other people, although right now I feel like I missed out on my soulmate. I've decided its okay to feel that way right now, its just where I'm at. Time is a great healer. I don't know if this is the right approach, but the other approach wasn't working! The first approach of reminding myself I'm romanticizing a relationship I know nothing about just didn't really help me. Its almost as if I have to allow myself to feel all of these emotions without trying to convince myself otherwise. I don't dwell on thoughts of him or thoughts of regret, I just say yep that's how I feel and move on instead of replacing that thought and moving on. Has anyone had an experience with reframing feelings in order to heal versus accepting them where they are? I think both are appropriate depending on the situation. I mean I don't just accept that I am a perfectionist and will never be out of pain because of that. I remind myself that now that I am aware of my TMS traits, my pain is already getting better and I move on. I reframe that. I think it all depends on context. I apologize for the length of this post. I just haven't been able to speak with anyone about the depths of this situation and it has been very difficult for me to keep it all inside. Needless to say I am journaling a great deal on this issue. Between the husband trouble and this guy its been a blinking neon TMS welcome sign. I am so thankful for this forum and you all.