Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Anyone had an affair with a good outcome or is it always mayhem and destruction?(108 Posts)
Am feeling terribly confused right now. Don´t really want to go into why I´m asking this but conventional wisdom and the traditional view is that it´s the worst possible thing to "cheat" and have an affair and that it only leads to suffering, horror and pain.
Can anyone tell me otherwise? Have any of you had an affair and it´s had a happily ever after ending? Looking for experiences (good and bad) of those who´ve been there.
Any of you had an affair, enjoyed it, ended it and then carried on with their marriage without anyone finding out or slipping into an abyss of insane guilt?
All comments welcome and flame me if you like...haha...it´s all good therapy probably!
Well the person having the affair may well continue to enjoy themselves but their spouse will end up suffering horribly. It's a horribly selfish thing to do imo. End the current relationship first.
Not for a good few years, otherwise believe me that´s what I would do in a second...never ever cheated on anyone in my life.
I know several people who have engaged in discrete affairs, not been discovered, not gone mad with guilt, not left their families and it has not directly led to suffering, horror, pain or all the rest. However, I'm not sure that's the same as a happy ending.
If you're contemplating an affair yourself think long and hard. There are three people (at least) in the mix and someone is going to be affected by the experience. Could be you, your partner or even the OM. If you're the one being unfaithful you have to become an adept liar (to all parties) with a good memory and be damned organised - it's very hard work. You have to switch off anything approaching a conscience and that can be problematic in ways you may not appreciate.
If your marriage is rubbish, deal with the problems or split. It's a lot easier on the soul...
If you've 'never cheated on anyone' in your life why start now?
However it pans out, all you'll be doing is chipping away at your personal integrity and that's far too high a price to pay for the dubious pleasures of an extramarital affair.
Overall you're best advised to keep your knickers on until such time as you can remove them without harming yourself as well as others and if that means waiting a few years or more, so be it.
If you have an affair, your marriage will never be the same again.
"Any of you had an affair, enjoyed it, ended it and then carried on with their marriage without anyone finding out or slipping into an abyss of insane guilt?"
Well, it wouldn't be insane guilt, would it?
More like perfectly rational, sensible guilt?
Seeing as it would be breaking the trust (and probably heart) of the other person??
I think it depends on the affair.
Some people are able to have sexual encounters outside of marriage & can compartmentalise and keep it all separate.
Many people have affairs that involve feelings & emotions & I think those are the ones that end up being really messy. If you fall in love with someone else, it is very hard to stay living with another person.
Also you have to be a very good liar, as you will have to start deleting texts, emails, finding alibis for when you are with the other person. You have to remember the lies you have told & unless you want it all to go tits up, you have to hope that the person you are having the affair with will be an equally good liar, so that you don't get found out through them either.
Why can't you split? You may not want to, or feel that the timing isn't right, but that's not the same as 'can't'.
IME, these things usually end up coming out. The world is full of adulterers who thought they could keep it discreet but miscalculated. If you really are determined, make sure your co-conspirator is someone who has more to lose than you should your affair become public, and make sure it's someone with a devious streak who is good at covering their tracks (what a catch he sounds already, eh? ).
The thing is, unless the betrayed spouse sees discovery of the affair as a relief, giving them the excuse they've been looking for to leave (which does happen quite a lot I think), it always causes pain. Even in marriages where an affair has been worked through and held up as 'the best thing that could have happened to us', it didn't become so without an awful lot of misery and upheaval first.
I agree with everything PBB said.
Affairs are rarely about sex, for me it was the attention & an escape from the boredom of everyday life. It wasn't worth it, I got hurt and was left feeling worse than before. ( although I enjoyed it at the time )
I'd never do it again.
Yes, why cant you split OP?
What sort of good outcome might that be then? I am genuinely curious.
There are 'good outcomes' but, in any three-way relationship that ends up as a two-way relationship the good outcome will always exclude one of those people. The only way the outcome stays good is if all three keep things very separate and, of course, he cheated-on person never finds out. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
I suppose asking your partner for an open relationship is out of the question? Some people do manage to make that work, and it avoids some of the problems of an affair.
Imo even though some people can compartmentalise it's usually the betrayed partner who is distanced from (speaking from experience), two people know about the situation and one person possibly thinks they're going demented at home knowing something isn't 'quite right', this is an awful thing to do to somebody you are supposed to love.
Would you treat your friends this way?
You need to look inside yourself and ask yourself why you need this extra person in your life, why are they worth risking your relationship for.
I notice you are not falling over yourself to explain why you 'cant' tell or leave.
I was married but in denial of the miserable EA nature of my relationship. I had a short but passionate and extremely lovely affair with someone unsuitable. He never told his wife and went back and worked harder at his marriage and is still with her and his DC. I looked hard at myself for reasons why I had behaved in such a shitty way, took some bracing advice off here, and ended my marriage 2 years ago.
Four years on I am happy with a new DP, my ExH is happy with a new DP and I suppose you could say it is a good outcome although I wish I hadn't made the choices I did. You live and learn! There is a poem somewhere online about being able to look at yourself in the mirror with respect that resonated with me.
I'm similar to LemonDrizzled. Was in a crappy marriage with EA issues & alcohol abuse (him)
I had an affair. It gave me the push I needed to think seriously about my situation.
I tried to make things work with h when the affair was discovered but my heart wasn't in it. Things were too awful.
In a way the affair had a 'happy' outcome for me in that it made me recognise how utterly warped my relationship was.
We split up and I'm now dating the OM.
However.... Word of caution.
I had never cheated. Ever. And I still suffer terrible guilt for what I did.
I really wish that I'd finished my marriage first. Although realistically I can also recognise that I was so ground down that I didn't have the strength.
Sorry, not much help..
If you are able to, end the relationship first. You'll feel much better about yourself in the long run.
My marriage and babies are the product of an affair, as both DH and I committed to the wrong people way too young. While this is a happy outcome there was hurt along the way, for us and our respective partners. His ExW is now happily remarried and expecting her first baby and my ExF is engaged to a girl he had always fancied, so I guess it worked out well for everyone ultimately, but it was a shitty thing to happen, we should have broken it off with our partners before getting involved and that does stay with you. When I recently MC I found myself asking if it was karma for what we did. Of course not, but believe me when I say no affair is without consequence.
Thanks everyone for sharing your stories and thoughts...I guess you are all telling me what I already know :-( It´s just I´m struggling with my willpower and guess I need a reality check!
Don´t care if I get hurt- would rather feel something than the nothing I´ve been experiencing the last 7 years or more but the thought of hurting everyone else is what´s so scary....
And I can´t leave at the moment: 2 small kids, alone in a foreign country with no family support, just invested in a major business venture with DH with large financial investment for our family´s future, etc....yes, I know...I pick my moments to have a wobble :-((
And I DO know the right thing to do....just have this devil on my shoulder saying that you only live once.... and it´s just so nice to experience that feeling and excitement again with somebody new.
Oh boy...you lot are seriously going to jump on me for that last comment...
It's not the wanting the excitement again. Everyone needs to feel wanted. It's why you're letting the rest hold you back from splitting properly that'll get you the flaming. If it's dead it's dead and there's no point being a martyr for the sake of other people's feelings only to end up probaby worse off because you've acted recklessly out of desperation. To do some objection handling for a second.
- small kids.... flexible, portable and more resilient than most people think
- foreign country... flight tickets back to home country easily secured.
- no family support... lots of very happy lone parents out there or see above
- investing in a major business venture.... what price self-worth and happiness?
Ok, so if you've been that heavily investing into your family's future, clearly you see your marriage as a long-term thing, which begs the question why you are feeling so unfulfilled in it that you've resorted to considering an affair.
What's missing? Why are you feeling so dead in your marriage? Is it circumstances? Is it him? Or is it you? Or is it both of you? Is it repairable? Is it worth getting marriage guidance counselling? If you can improve things, that would be my first option in your situation.
At the same time, however, I think you should stick with that 'you only live once mentality' and consider the fact that if you're not careful there will always be a reason to stay - another business venture, another move with no local support, etc etc. You'll find yourself waking up in 20 years time (without the distraction of young children) feeling like you've wasted your life.
If you are unhappy and determined to leave, there could well be a way to continue the business venture without having to remain living as husband and wife - if you are both capable of behaving like caring, considerate adults with your DCs best interests at heart and an eye on long-term financial security for both of you. That's a lot less likely to happen if you have an affair and get caught.
I had a text affair which nearly went further. I won't go into what happened but it made me realise 2 things
1) My DH was worth more than the OM
2) My DH and DD deserved better
3) My marriage was actually pretty good and not worth sacrificing
4) In life I have done pretty well and made me realise all of DHs "selling points" over other, inferior men.
I am in an affair. Have been for almost a year. It is a strange thing and almost doesn't seem real. I don't see a happy ending because i somehow thought i could 'compartmentalise' but emotions and feelings don't work that way. When i spend time with him it feels lovely. But i feel guilt, frustration, unsettled, and struggle with the fact that we can't have a relationship in the full sense of the word but settle for less. It is a conundrum. What is the point of a relationship that can't go anywhere as neither of us would leave our marriages. We question it but don't stop it. That's my story. I never ever thought i would be in this position. Really truly.
So you're not going to have an affair.
You can't leave your marriage.
Only other option is to work at fixing the marriage. Is that possible?
Join the discussion
Please login first.