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Can a "good guy" ever cheat on his wife?

(270 Posts)
confusionoftheillusion Tue 22-Jan-13 15:15:08

I met a guy last summer and became friends. Had a drunken kiss in November. Since then have been meeting once/twice a week. 

Both married and recently have started to talk in detail about the problems we both have at home. He is talking about wanting to be with me, as in leave his wife and be with me together as a couple. I think he is wonderful in so many ways but also think that if he is that comfortable cheating on his wife he must be a bit of a dick. We haven't slept together but that is due to me being pretty upfront about the fact I wouldn't do that. I am also aware that me cheating on my husband makes me a not great person either. 

As always the situations either side are not quite as straightforward as we would like. 

I feel an awful lot for this man. However I am so conscious that we are having an affair so it's not the real world. How would I ever know if it would work in the real world? And is there ever a time when a 'decent' man has an affair? I feel that he is a "good guy" but then logically I think that he can't be as he is lying to his wife. 

MirandaWest Tue 22-Jan-13 15:16:07

Both of you are cheating. Neither of you is doing anything particularly "good" at the moment.

KirstyoffEastendersweirdtoplip Tue 22-Jan-13 15:18:17

I understand your situation very well, and it's really tricky to know what to do. How could you ever trust each other? But then, how do you really trust anyone?

Do either of you have kids?

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 22-Jan-13 15:19:32

I think he is wonderful in so many ways but also think that if he is that comfortable cheating on his wife he must be a bit of a dick.

There's your answer, I think.

confusionoftheillusion Tue 22-Jan-13 15:19:43

You're right - I know this.
I think of myself as a good person in a crap situation doing a really really crap thing. But i'm not a bad person. Just wondering if the same can ever be said for men or if they're all arseholes driven by their dicks.

confusionoftheillusion Tue 22-Jan-13 15:20:26

We both have young kids. I know - its shit what we're doing

Numberlock Tue 22-Jan-13 15:22:15

Well you know what they say, when you marry your mistress, you create a vacancy. (Though this man will never leave his wife for you, why would he? He's got the best of both worlds at the moment.)

the problems we both have at home

And I'm sure it wouldn't take a great deal of imagination for us to guess the bullshit he's spinning you (and vice versa). Wife doesn't understand him? Grown apart? No longer having sex?

As always the situations either side are not quite as straightforward as we would like

Actually, they are pretty straightforward. You're both cheats. If you're so unhappy with your marriages, end them. If not, work on them. Actually do both your partners a favour and divorce them so they can find someone who's not doing the dirty on them.

What exactly are you hoping people will say on here?

daisygatsby Tue 22-Jan-13 15:25:02

I think of myself as a good person in a crap situation doing a really really crap thing. But i'm not a bad person. Just wondering if the same can ever be said for men

how can it not be the same for men?

i think its way too black and white to say everyone who cheats is a bad person. of course they're not. people make mistakes, make wrong decisions,etc..

One affair does not define a person. Hell, 20 affairs doesn't define a person entirely. You might in all other areas be utterly wonderful people. But when it comes to starting a long-term stable relationship with each other you'd need to consider that the way you both chose to deal with problems with your current marriages wasn't exactly ideal hmm So perhaps not good marriage material, without a lot of work.

Otherwise when a bit of the gilt wears off your shiny new relationship, how would you react? I think that is a question you both need to consider.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 22-Jan-13 15:27:05

You're both doing exactly the same thing. If you're not a 'bad person' because you are cheating why should he be because he is too?

TomDudgeon Tue 22-Jan-13 15:28:06

You're as bad as each other

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 22-Jan-13 15:37:54

Of course decent people have affairs. Decent people can be flawed, make mistakes or act foolishly same as anyone else. There's no monopoly on being an idiot.

Lueji Tue 22-Jan-13 15:41:21

The question here is whether he (also you) is able to come clean to his W and sort out his marriage as soon as possible.
Or if it's just a ruse to get you into bed...

Lots of people have "exit affairs", as it is only then that they get the kick to leave a failing marriage.

It doesn't make them "bad".

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 22-Jan-13 15:45:14

There is no shame in wishing to end an unhappy marriage. However, I think that your relationship is clouding the issue for both of you.

Stop meeting and give yourselves the chance to properly evaluate your own situations. The energy that you are wasting on this fantasy would be better spent either trying to repair your marriages, or ending them as best you can.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 22-Jan-13 15:46:17

Perhaps it can be useful to separate the person from the behaviour: the person may be fundamentally good but flawed, but the behaviour (cheating) is emphatically bad.

Having established that cheating = bad, what are you and he going to do about it? Persevere, knowingly, in bad behaviour? Or end the behaviour, painful as it may be? I think that the measure of him (and you) as a person rests in that choice.

Ormirian raises another interesting point: even if you are both good but flawed people who would be good together in ideal circs, the fact that you got together in an affair does rather cast a pall on whatever future relationship you may have, even if you both nobly disentangle yourselves from your respective cuckolded spouses.

scaevola Tue 22-Jan-13 15:49:40

I wouldn't believe his account of his marriage. And if he put the effort he puts into sneaking round to meet a potential affair partner into his marriage instead, then just think how much better the relationship would be.

As would yours, incidentally.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 22-Jan-13 15:51:31

Lots of people have "exit affairs", as it is only then that they get the kick to leave a failing marriage. It doesn't make them "bad".

I agree with that. However, both affair partners have seen each other behaving badly. They have even been complicit in each other's bad behaviour (cheating). How then can they view each other as "good" people - let alone build a healthy relationship together?

Has anyone managed that?

Charbon Tue 22-Jan-13 15:55:59

Depends what you mean by 'good' doesn't it? Lots of 'good' people who've been loyal partners, good mums and dads and generally upstanding citizens - make mistakes like this. But dig a bit deeper and you'll usually find that they are more selfish that most and often feel unnecessarily entitled to an adventure, sometimes as a kick-back from living a conventionally 'good' life.

I don't think it's terribly surprising that people who've been married for a long time aren't immune from an ego boost and someone other than their partner making them feel young, sexy and valuable again - but so what? Invariably in affairs like yours, it's not the other person who is so wonderful, it's more the feelings you're stirring up in eachother about yourselves.

Affairs are so often about the self-image that is reflected back through the lover's eyes, rather than a true meeting of minds and bodies. So it's more akin to renewed love affair with yourself than anything magical about the other person.

Your own partners are just as vulnerable to the same sort of attention and with your attentions elsewhere, especially so. What might differentiate them from you and this man is that they are more unselfish and feel less entitled, but equally they could both be just as much suckers for attention as you and this man.

I definitely wouldn't read anything into his tales of unhappiness at home. It's more likely that the unconsumated sexual chemistry is driving this and he is as addicted to the feelings about himself as a red-hot lover as you are.

Best to just see it for what it is, rather than through either rose-coloured spectacles or strange double-standards about men and women.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 22-Jan-13 15:57:19

You're right, it's not the real world. It's not living together. It's not sharing the mundane, the ordinary. For a start unless you all meet up on playdates, you don't have your young DCs gambolling around to spoil the romance of it all. You probably see each other without old prejudices, past slights, change wrought by age or stress or even predictability.

Oscar Wilde said, "It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious".

There's enough of the illicit thrill, of secrecy, breaking some rules, and anticipation of how things might end up one date. I assume if your initial encounter and friendship developed into an EA, over months, you were already dissatisfied with what you had. Ask yourself, honestly, if not him, could it have been someone else.

freedom2011 Tue 22-Jan-13 16:05:15

If you spent more time working on your marriage and less time mooning over this plonker, you might find you had less problems at home. If your marriage, despite work, is irretrievable, start going through the motions to get out of it. Your assessment of this OM as a lying dick is spot on. Step away completely from the OM. Start working on your marriage. You so obviously know the right thing to do. Now do it.

Charbon Tue 22-Jan-13 16:19:05

I would also add that the fact you are married too blurs how honest he is likely to be about his feelings for you and his intentions to leave his marriage. It's so much easier to claim undying love and make these promises, knowing that being held to account for them is a day that might never come or if it does, is way into the future. Hence, you will often find that people back off when reality starts to intrude or the other married lover starts the process of dissembling their relationship. So from your point of view, be sceptical about what he's saying but equally he should be just as sceptical about what you're saying.

For both of you, if you want to individually leave your marriages because they are no longer making you happy and that was the case before you met - then that is the right thing to do.

But you should both beware of making grand sacrifices just because of the affair, because it is extremely rare for both partners in an affair to have equally dead marriages and what often happens is that one of them gets cold feet and chooses their spouse instead. Unfortunately, this decision often comes too late for the OW/OM who has ruined what was a decent marriage to a spouse who has by then (not unreasonably) given up and got on with his/her life.

shockers Tue 22-Jan-13 16:43:03

Just out of interest, what are the problems that he has at home?

justarandomguy Tue 22-Jan-13 16:48:58

I know exactly how you feel. I'm a guy in more or less the same situation as you. I'm not a player, never had an affair and have a good marriage (I'm sure I'll get a good flaming for that). I don't think just because he's having affair with you means you cannot trust him in the future but then I would say that.

I've lurked here for a while now, read the stories of the heartache that affairs cause, read the caustic and also valid and sensible advice and comments made here and most of it is not what you want to hear.

I can't offer you any advice because I'm wrestling with my own situation however I would say that life is just not as black and white as some people seem to think it is.

You don't say whether there are children involved, if there are then this will likely heavily affect his decision on whether to leave his marriage.

Good luck, whichever way it goes.

cupcake78 Tue 22-Jan-13 16:55:46

Everyone has errors in judgement and makes mistakes. It's what you do about it that in my opinion says more about your character.

You both know what your doing isn't nice and you seem to recognise you have problems at home.

The honourable thing to do is walk away from your relationship and decide what to do with your marriage.

The only thing you really know about this man is he has seeked escapism rather than addressing his marital problems.

Whether he'd do it again is anyone's guess but he and you have shown you can and are doing it.

cupcake78 Tue 22-Jan-13 16:56:00

Everyone has errors in judgement and makes mistakes. It's what you do about it that in my opinion says more about your character.

You both know what your doing isn't nice and you seem to recognise you have problems at home.

The honourable thing to do is walk away from your relationship and decide what to do with your marriage.

The only thing you really know about this man is he has seeked escapism rather than addressing his marital problems.

Whether he'd do it again is anyone's guess but he and you have shown you can and are doing it.

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