More threads by Mariah


I am new here and I hate that this will be my first post because I?m not a horrible person but what I am doing is horrible and I am sure there will be some backlash from all this I am just unsure of what to do. So I'm here to post my plight.

I?ve created an on line web of deceit that has spilled on over into my real life, my real married with two kids life? About a year ago I met a man in a forum chat room much like this one, it was a self/peer help group for a religious group members had been involved in. Anyway, I got to know this man well. We chatted for 4 and 5 hours a day on line, I?d stay up into the night, I?d get up in the night to chat with him. He was wonderful. He knew I was married he knew I had children and it came to a point where he?d said it?s not fair on me or my family or him to keep it up. So the romantic part of it ended and we were friends.

But I was hooked, and actually it was like that, almost like I was addicted to him, or what he was providing me. We all know how easy it is to spill our guts to perfect strangers on line, and all it takes is a few ooos and awws and poor you and a couple cyber hugs and some kind understanding that perhaps you don?t get in your real life and WHAMMO you get attached to people. I felt A LOT for this man. I really did. He knew it and it never really had a chance to cool off for me from him because he never left. He said we can?t? continue on like we are (romantically) but I?m still here for you, we can be friends we can talk and share and basically be what we were but with out the thought that I am cheating. How?s that for rationalization?? But when you ?break up? you let go and there?s usually a period of absence right? Not in this.

Well, I battled with my feelings for him, I knew he was involved with someone else it killed me, but still he?d talk to me everyday he was there for me emotionally. BIG TIME. I got hooked on that, the validation, the feelings of understanding, the vulnerability I?d feel, the closeness , the humanness I felt with this man.

It clearly had started to fade some for him as he was involved with someone else and I was desperate to get that, what I just explained in the last paragraph from him. I pulled some crazy ****. I signed up as another person on yahoo and added him, I?d call his house in the middle of the night and hang up, I signed up and talk to his old girlfriends on msn, I had talked to anyone and everyone that we knew jointly about him. Pathetic really when I think back on it.

But I wanted his attention, I was getting a bit ****ed at this point because I reasoned, HE was the one that made me feel all this stuff for him and then he ditched me. He KNEW all along that I was married, and then suddenly he gets a conscience? But he was still there still willing to half heartedly give me what I was so desperate for, just enough of a crumb to keep me hanging on. I?d take whatever I could get, I had no pride at all.

So finally in an attempt to get his attention I made up this story about being pregnant, being so distraught about the whole thing, husband not happy, like a real pathetic plea for attention. It didn?t? work. Little did I know he was in the midst of breaking up with his other on line girlfriend. He lives in Australia by the way.
So in one last final calculated attempt I created a new identity. Her name is Terri. I never intended for it go beyond me simply having his attention again, it was nice to know what was going on in his life and how he was doing. I never meant for him to fall in love with her, or so he thinks.

Here?s the extent of my lies and deceit. Terri is 35 single, a teacher lives in Tucson AZ with anorexia has an abusive past with an ex boyfriend who threw her down the stairs and caused permanent damage that gives her headaches on a regular basis. She lives in a 2 bedroom bungalow with a cat named misty and her favorite thing to eat is Neapolitan ice cream (Terri not misty) and drives a blue Saturn. She?s a best friend named Kari and a sister named Maddy. Her father died 5 years ago in a car accident and her mother lives with her brother and his wife and two kids named Ben and Rita and makes $38K a year. Brown hair blue eyes and weights 110 lbs. Need I go on??

And this man is in love with Terri. Wants her to come to Australia to visit and to see if they get along and can develop a long term relationship. Terri is all for it except she has a hard time trusting because of her past and blah blah blah?.

Everything I speak to this man about is a lie. But what I FEEL for him is real. What he feels for Terri is real too, except Terri isn?t real, and it?s not like what he feels for Terri is actually me. I?m not that stupid.

So my question now is, WHAT DO I DO?? Surely I can?t devastate this man by telling him the truth right?? But I know I can?t continue on like this. I genuinely feel for the man. We?ve even spoken on the messenger. I need what he gives me, I am desperate for it. It?s like an addiction. Are there such things as emotional addictions? I don? tknow. I feel like I have one. Oh and so lets not forget to mention that my husband found an email to this man from Terri.

I think I need the loonie bin, or a lobotomy (I hope it?s not disrespectful to say that I just feel crazy). Do other people pull this kinda ****? I feel so desperate. What do I do? I don?t want to hurt this man, if I tell him it will devastate him he thinks he?s in love with Terri. If I don?t tell him, I end up continuing on like this with the risk of my husband find out again. He?s already, in a fit of rage and hurt, threatened to end our marriage, I swore up and down it was over and that it was just a game. He?s a hard time believing me I think, but had to accept what I said. (and oddly things are better between us, figure that one out)

I know this is not healthy. I know that there is no good ending to this. I know I have to look at what I am getting from this man and try and figure out a real way to get it in my own life. There?s a huge lack of emotional support, of feeling worthy, of feeling accepted,in my own life. I get that from this man. Sick part is, his feeligns aren't for me, they are for someone I've created, AND I don't care, I still get what I need. I?ve even contemplated telling him it?s really me, in some sick hope of him wanting me but ... I'm married and not about to leave my family... I know it's all so crazy.

Anyway, anyone have any thoughts on all this? Just looking for some support. I know this is long and if you've managed to read to the end of it thanks for listening.


David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
There’s a huge lack of emotional support, of feeling worthy, of feeling accepted,in my own life. I get that from this man.

I think the key in what you've posted is twofold: First, you don't feel you're getting what you need to feel content or fulfilled from your "real life" existence. Second, you feel that your online relationship with this man provides what is missing in your real world life.

Have you considered couples counseling? Perhaps combined with individual counseling to help you work through what seems to have become an obsession with your online relationship?


First of all, I agree with David. You and your husband need to get some couples counselling to deal with what's missing in your relationship. It may be that you need counselling, as well, to help you deal with your obsession with this man you met on the internet.

Secondly, there's no way you're going to be able to make this all go away. What's been created is, to the Australian man, a real person. You can't take that back. It's already there. The best you can do is to make a choice: either, tell the truth and stop the deception, or simply let "Terri" disappear. No matter what you do, someone's going to get hurt. That's what happens when this kind of thing gets going.

You asked if other people get into messes like this. Yes, they do. It happens all the time, and a lot of people have had their lives ruined by similar incidents. It's time for you to step away and do something about your life in the real world, Mariah. I'm sorry this has happened to you, and I'm sorry for the man in Australia. However, there is no "Terri", and there is no relationship. Relationships are built on truth. :hug:
Welcome Mariah!

I think most people realize or come to realize that the internet has a huge potential for lies and deceit especially when chatting with someone you`ve never met.

Since you care more about keeping your family intact, worrying about how your husband feels is more your pressing concern now than how Mr. Aussie feels.

Telling Mr. Aussie the truth would appear to be the more honest way to end it if you don`t entertain the hope that this will draw him closer to you...

Realizing what is real and what is not in this cyber fantasy will benefit all concerned. The one thing that is real is you and your husband needing to pay closer attention to one another. You might benefit from face to face counselling; try discussing this option with your hubby. Good courage Mariah!




well it's me 7 months later and guess what? still carrying off the deception still being "Terri" feeling horribly guilty and awful and really not know what way to end it but knowing it can't go on. knowing that this is simply a symptom of what is really happening. Being Terri to him definitely gets some need met, but what? why? how? attention? sympathy? I said in an earlier post that I get support, feelings of worthiness, and acceptance, I don't know why I wrote that because really I already know worthiness and acceptance comes from inside not out, so that's why I am really confused about what I even get from this man. I just feel stuck and I feel horrible, not for myself (ok partially) but for Chris who I am deceiving so convincingly (I am assume). Any suggestions? Rubber Room? Lobotomy?


Hi Mariah;

Ideally speaking, what would you want to achive here most? Tell him you're Misty? Have him acknowldege that he has feelings for you? "Prove" to him that he can be with you even though you're married with children?

The reality of the situation is that no matter what you do, it will hurt him. end it now. What you achieved with your deception, is that you stole his integrity. I say "stole" because he's not even aware that he's being played. He ended things with you because he wants to remain honest and possibly, meet the woman he met online and be with her. What you're doing, is taking that away from him. How can that be love? When you love someone, you want the best for them, you care about them and you respect their values, desires, and preferences....even when they don't match your own. Loving a person is not about getting what you want with or from them. Loving someone is letting them be who they are. Instead, with your lies, you've made him into a man that he did not want to be.

Let him go. You will grieve. You will miss him. You will be drawn to him. It will be hard and it will hurt. But in time, you will get better. And you will feel a thousand times better for loving him enough to let him be himself and getting what he, rightly, deserves.

Good luck. :hug:


Internet is full of delusion. It's easy to say care, hugs, and such in internet than prove them in real life. You can be anything from a total jerk to a very kind person. Just by seeing how much a person online is just showing how less they socialize/interact in real life and usually ended in how good they can in real life socialization/relationship. I have been in internet world for years and spent 10hours++ per day on it, so I assume I had see and make soo much delusions. :)

You had lie and it's not devastating to add some more lies. Make Terri find a good real life guy and slowly got busy with her new happy 'real life'. So then, although the guy will miss this 'Terri', he won't feel hurt.

Tell your husband things that make you feel attached to the cyber guy, but of course don't mention 'there is other guy' (comparing). When dealing with a man, usually they don't know what woman wants before the woman tell it with dirrect words.
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