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The following stories have been submitted to Internet Romance Ups & Downs. You will find success stories and heart-breaking stories. I want to applaud those individuals who shared their stories with us. Sometimes just sitting down and pouring your heart out is the best therapy.

Success story - by Marie
My husband had an online affair approximately three years ago. He met her on AOL Instant Messenger (I think many of you will agree that Instant Messenger has caused many divorces in this country). Anyway, I found out about the affair when she started e-mailing him love letters and nude picture of herself. He didn't even tell her that he was married. I expected him to deny everything, but he claimed that there wasn't anything to it -- he was just playing around.

Well, the love letters stopped (or my husband was deleting them before I saw them), but the phone calls started. The LONG-DISTANCE phone calls started. He was working nights and was home during the day all by himself. I realized at one point that we hadn't received the phone bill for that month and he said that it was probably lost in the mail. I called for a duplicate and found out that he had run up a $400.00 long-distance bill. Again, he was home during the day when the mail arrived, so it conveniently disappeared. He still claimed that he was bored during the day and was just playing around.

Well, I couldn't stand it anymore and gave him an ultimatum. Either the affair stops or I divorce him. I told him that he had a choice to make -- me or her. Well, he chose me (yippeee!!), but this little Texas Tart (as I like to call her) kept calling for a while and it took my husband a few tries to finally get her to understand that it was over.

Now, I don't want to make this sound so cut and dry, it took me a LONG time to forgive him. I still have flash-backs every so often. Here it is three years later and I've learned so much about myself and relationships, that I thought starting this website could benefit a lot of people.

In a way, I'm glad that I experienced this is my life, because now I know that my husband and I can survive anything! I love him tremendously!!

A Warning - by Deborah
This is a story written about falling in love in a chat room. I had no intentions of doing this but it happened. I have learned from this experience and will never let this happen again as having an affair online is as real and dramatic as it is in 3-D life. This man seems to do this to many women and it is a game with most women. Many victims on the internet. Thank you for listening.

This is a love story. A love story that is witnessed by nature....mother/father. This story was whispered to me by the loving breath of an angel. An Eagle......such a bird, a bird of flight, The Messenger as looked upon by the native American culture. This Eagle was small, playful and searching.....searching for?.....for food, to grow, to nourish her spirit and bring this small eagle to maturity. One day this eagle came upon an enchanted forest. This forest was different from all other forests as the trees were wonderfully colorful, bright and very playful. There were other lively beings in this forest too. Bright stars that shown a guiding light to those who entered. Trees who looked after these woods as mothers, and mothers who have such a funny way of looking at things,,,,to look after their children, Small beautiful wishes that were whispered throughout these colorful trees, even many mystical dragons who came with words of wisdom for those who wished to listen. Other smaller animals like otters and wolves who danced around under these wondrous lofty trees. Elves and fairies who spread playful wonderment, prank playing as jesters in a kings court. Sometimes even negative forces entered but could not stay as they were driven away by the force of love. The Eagle loved this forest, flying from one tree to the other....looking at them, asking them questions, loving them and learning many things from them. The eagle felt right at home in this forest of trees.....trees that could actually speak. The eagle flew and flew never resting, never landing.Flying, playing, sometimes even singing her funny songs to her new found friends. Flying high in the mountains then back again to her friends of enchantment. The eagle became larger, more confident of her strength and spiritual development that was nourished by the food this forest provided. The eagle's wings grew brighter, fuller and a color that only could been seen by those who entered this magical land. One day as this eagle was flying and playing she heard a whisper from within this miraculous enchanted forest. She flew further into the center of this woods.....again another whisper...such sweet words were heard. "Eagle....eagle...come talk to me.....play with me ....oh eagle of the mountains, come find me." Finally after many whispers the eagle found this tree of such voluminous colorful loving words. This tree....such beauty it possessed. Long willowy boughs....tall and straight....very colorful and standing above the rest. What kind of tree was this? Different in appearance,and after looking, it appeared as a red willow. The eagle did not see any other red willows in this mystical magical place. A mighty loving tree of strength, flexibility and intelligence. The eagle circled around this tree...looking at him...playing tag with him....touching his boughs but never landing. Then one day the willow invited the eagle to rest on one of his boughs. The eagle, hesitant at first, found this tree's kind soothing and caring words so inviting, she decided to rest her wings. Along with her she bough a shower of dust from the stars. This dust used as a bed placed upon his boughs. The willow was happy. The eagle at first was quiet, just observing this great tall happy red willow. Caring words, tender thoughts made the eagle relax and rest deeper into his lofty strong boughs. They became fast friends,,laughing, playing, discovering, singing and even speaking Italian to one another! At night, the eagle would lay her head on his trusty bough and listen to his wonderful stories, his words of wisdom and his love of her mother....the earth. The eagle would tell him of her soul's secrets...told only to him and stories of her life in her far away land. She felt safe resting in his arms of love and trust, comforted, warm and cared for. He told her of his best friend the moon, of the shadow it would cast upon his boughs as it would flutter in the warming breeze. And of his lake..hidden by hills that only was sighted to him as he was taller and could see further. They danced in this moonshadow......feeling the moisture of the water collected in the cup like leaves created by the willow. Collecting this moonwater to quench the eagles thirst. The willow would gently raise these small carefully fashioned cups to the lips of the eagle to sip the magic water .........moonwater. After they would hug and hold each other to the music created by the breeze singing a hushed breath of a song over this "moonwater". They would sway together listening, dreaming, and loving each other. Their friendship developed into love....deep love....love of the soul and of the spirit. Their souls touched and one breath was taken, each ....one breath. Lasting love...lifetimes of love. Soulmates. They looked deep into their souls and knew that this love was everlasting and yet instant. The spoke of their mother often....their earth mother. They shared this love of her. The great will became strong as a tree soldier. The willow kept the eagles secrets in a treasure chest built from his discarded branches,,,carved ever so carefully. The eagle brought the great tree stones used as forbidden barriers to anyone who dared reach for her to perch in this enchanted forest now and before. The great willow used these stones at his base for a foundation of their trust and their love. This foundation was forever secured by the water from the moon. The foundation where lasting love and friendship would be built to last. They held each other tightly....swaying in this nightly ritual of the moonwater song. They slept with the comfort of knowing how much love was between them....still.....quiet.....just a smile to reassure them of the others contentment.

One day the eagle became restless. The eagle wanted to fly to another land, but the eagle did not want to leave her strong wonderful tree soldier. Nightly the eagle would tuck a kiss beneath the willows head to comfort his thoughts and allow his sleep to be with peace. But the eagle grew more and more anxious....anxious to spread her wings....these wings that had grown to look as wings of an angel....white and strong....but needing to spread them and use them. The eagle did not want to leave her willow.

The eagle, one night, asked the tree, "Oh my dearest willow.....please come with me to a land so great. It is nice here, but the world is so vast. Come willow fly with me." The willow was stunned. "I cannot go with you Oh Lady Eagle of the Skies!" "I am solid, I cannot fly. I am rooted to the ground with small saplings at my feet." The eagle stood on his boughs with a tear in her eye. She said, "I will teach you to fly My Dearest!" " I cannot", said the willow. The eagle flew to the base of this beautiful clean spirited red willow. She scratched at his roots. She saw his strong thick roots penetrate this enchanted earth, even homes of fairies were tucked in the roots furrows, made comfortable too, by this great willow. She saw that these roots were deep.....these roots that have grown deep into their mother, twisting and turning around rocks....through great ponds of water...and finally up to support 2 cute small red willows at the foot of this might father tree. The Eagle watched...and tears began to well in her eyes. She pulled at these roots, but they were strong and unyielding. She did not want to separate the willow from his small saplings....she did not want to hurt any part of her willows life. She fell to the ground spreading her wings wide and wept many tears, tears of unrealized love. The great willow looking upon the ground wept as well, many tears that fell as rain upon her white wings.Looking up at him she rose and flew to her warm comfortable perch he made so endearing to her. She looked at him....her might tree soldier and said, "I see you are so rooted My tree soldier, I see you cannot come with me. I am sad, but I understand." "I love you My Dearest Willow." The willow replied, " I have always loved you My Lady Eagle and I always will." "Please stay with me here in this safe protected forest of enchantment." "I will love you till this earth turns to stardust." The eagle heard life call to her....she knew she could not stay. She stood on his thick might bough that had grown to suit her so. She turned and looked out into this forbidden forest, this ever tempting woods she had grown to love. As she stood, she heard the cries of her friends from her world beyond. Cries for her to join them once again to frolic and touch. To sing and paint with the colors of her world. She then turned to the great mighty willow and said," I must go willow,,,my dear sweet willow. You have been so kind to me. You have given me many gifts, the gift of understanding, the gift of love, the gift of life, the gift of trust, the gift of rebirth and the gift of my soul." " I will love you forever great willow, I will love you more than you will ever know. You are part of my soul now, you are part of my spirit now, to love myself, I must love you as well, as you are part of me now. I have felt you, I have been loved by you, I have been cared for by you. I love you willow." "But at the moons first shadow I must go. I will sit with you one night more. We will hold one another and listen to our song of moonwater and sip this sweet nectar of the moons water from your carefully crafted wooden cups. I will hold your boughs tightly once more, I will rest my head once more against your trunk to hear and feel your life beat one last time." They were quiet. Silence rang out with a thunderous quiet. The watched the moon. The allowed tears to come and mix with the moons water. They felt each other's soul. The basked in their love and felt its life flow through them. When morning came....the eagle stood at the tip of his might bough. Good bye my tree soldier. Wrapping her wings around his strong thick trunk she gently whispered to him.... I love you...... The Mighty willow held out his bough as the Eagle spread her wings and flew upward further and further ....to the sea. The eagle knew that that nights moonshadow would comfort her love, and see him through these lonely nights. She flew.....flew high ....the willow held all his boughs out to her, weeping ,,,,then when she was out of his sight, he looked down at his little saplings and knew this is where he belonged. With tearful eyes he smiled upon them and knew he would never forget his Lady of the skies.....his soul keeper....his lady of his dreams.....He waited. His place was set...Eagle was gone. Good bye my Lady of the skies.....I will always love you. As silence rolled over this great enchanted forest like fog enveloping the shores of our great father ....the ocean...a voice...a whispering voice could be heard whispering a sweet song...... One look at love and you may see it weaves a web over mystery.....all raveled threads can rend apart for hope has a place in a lovers heart.

Whispering world a sigh of sighs, the ebb and the flow of the oceans tides. One breath or one word may end or may start a hope in the place of a lovers heart. Look to love you may dream, and if it should leave then give it wings. But if a love is meant to be, Home is home and the heart is free. Under the heavens we journey far, on roads of life we are the wanderers, So let love rise, so let love depart, Let hope have a place in a lovers heart. Look to love and you may dream, there is hope in a lovers heart........

Need someone to talk to:
In January I began an online affair with an old high school flame. Turns out we are both unhappy in our marriages and have been for a long time. I would leave my husband even if there were not someone else, however my elderly mother lives with us and it would be very difficult for her if I made such a drastic life change as to move from Georgia to California. My lover and I have not seen each other in 34 years. I was 18 and he was 21. We only broke up because he would not consider asking me to wait 3 years while he served active military duty overseas. I feel like I cannot live without this man in my life and would like to talk to someone else having the same difficulty.

Thank you

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