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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. 

Charbon Thu 14-Feb-13 15:05:24

From other posters' reactions, it sounds like there has been more than one other thread in the past but my issue was whether the other active thread at that point, chronicling an identical situation, was yours. You indicated in reply that it was not. That's all.

I agree you're confused, but I think some of your own actions are responsible for that.

Now that you've said that the other thread was yours and that you'd name changed because it skews responses, you might want to think a bit more about that and how you deal with information.

I agree the mention of DV skews responses because people apply their own value judgements to it. I accept that the most important judgement about that is yours, but if yours is to decide that the DV was in exceptional circumstances and that it has no true bearing on your husband's character, have a think why you changed your mind and mentioned it, quite late into the thread?

Was it to alter people's responses because until that point, posters had been quite challenging of your behaviour?

Or was it to give posters a full picture so that they could give you balanced advice?

Only you know your true motives, but I see potential parallels here with what might be going on with your marriage and the affair.

Your husband doesn't have the full picture and so his responses are skewed based on the information he does have.

You don't have the full picture of the OM's marriage and so your responses are skewed based on the information he gives you.

The OM doesn't have the full picture of your marriage and so his responses are skewed too.

The OM's wife doesn't have the full picture......and so on.

We all have the capability to skew information we give and therefore control the responses. Sometimes the results are fairly innocent, but where the stakes are high, they are not. The situation you're in is one where the information various people are skewing and with-holding is compromising others' ability to make judgements and decisions.

And that sort of manipulative behaviour tends to leak out into other areas and affect other interactions.

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 14-Feb-13 15:09:22

I don't think you find peace or freedom until you tell your husband.

Usually, I think people are capable of making that decision themselves, and sometimes telling your partner can just be a way to ease your guilt.

But in your case, I think you need the consequences. You need him to say that's it, I'm leaving - in which case you can see how you feel, and if you want the OM, or you need him to say that he understands, that he made a mistake with the DV, and that you can try and work through it.

But it'll only work if it's based on honesty, and you'll only get that by coming clean.

The reason you won't come clean? It'd mean giving up your secret affair with this other man. He's not good. He's cheating on his family, and following the script every other cheat does down to the letter. Then it happens again. All the men say it wouldn't, and all the women think they are different, or why would they be in that situation? But they are.

Unfortunately, I also think you'll ignore all the advice to be honest, come clean and stop contacting the OM until you are in the same position your husband and OM's wife are in, and then you'll see the destruction this has caused. And that everyone here was right, and it wasn't worth it.

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 14-Feb-13 15:09:54

If you can't give your husband faithfulness, you should at least give him honesty.

And if you can't be honest with him, walk away, because you clearly have no respect and no emotion for him at all.

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 15:23:57

Sorry charbon - I can see why it was confusing. The more recent thread was started by someone else but I and a couple of others had posted on it *why do the OW do it"?

I am so confused and I'm not sure mum's net is helping either! Whilst everyone has interesting advice and experience it is stiill just strangers advice.

Think I need to take some time out. Am seeing a counsellor so hopefully that will help.

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 15:27:06

charbon you say "now you've said the DV thread was yours" but I said that on 02.02.13 when I was asked...
Sorry if that's not the mumsnet way to do things

Charbon Thu 14-Feb-13 21:07:52

Let's be clear about this. On 29th Jan when I asked you whether you had another active thread about this situation, I was referring to this one on which the OP had posted that day. The circumstances seemed to be identical and so I wondered whether you were the OP of two threads running simultaneously.

I obviously wasn't referring to previous threads of yours in the distant past or future threads of others. The 'Why Do OW do it?' thread as far as I can see was started this week, three weeks after I posed the question.

I think the Mumsnet way is just to tell the truth.

Good luck.

barnsleybelle Thu 14-Feb-13 21:25:27

You are both letting yourselves and your children down and should be ashamed, pure and simple.
If there are problems in your marriage devote your energy into sorting or moving on from that and not cheating.
Sorry, but there are no excuses for betrayal from men or women, particularly when children are involved.

MarilynValentine Thu 14-Feb-13 21:34:39

confusion you still seem deeply uncertain of what you want to do. Keep posting if you need to, it's okay to be muddled.

confusionoftheillusion Sat 04-May-13 08:20:08

Hi, I'm back - still muddled so posting again and hoping some of you helpful people are still around.

I'm have still been seeing OM. He told his wife last weekend weekend that he wants to get out of the marriage. OM has always told me he thinks his marriage is dead. I have always told him that maybe I could fix mine. What I now realise (through counselling etc) is that I could probably fix mine to the point of having a good life but not a good relationship. H and I are talking more. He now says he thinks he's depressed - says that's why he was violent, aggressive, grumpy etc but also says he doesn't know if he wants to be married to me (the relief I felt was overwhelming) but also doesn't even know if he wants the responsibility of being a dad. 

I am so confused. I am so cross with him for saying he doesn't know if he wants responsibility of being a dad but I know I have no right to be cross when I have been cheating.

I told OM on weds that I needed some space to think all this through. OM is not putting pressure on me but I also feel more than ever he should be focussing on home as his wife is begging him to reconsider, using the dcs in a very twisted way and telling them things that are (a) untrue and (b) will mess up little heads. I feel dreadful that children are being manipulated.

So I'm here, in limbo... Unsure what to do. I don't know if I have the courage to leave... And I also don't know If maybe dh and I can get back what we had.

My heart wants to leave too and be with OM but it all feels so scary and so big. And what if it's the wrong decision?

confusionoftheillusion Sat 04-May-13 08:22:09

I should add that dh is being "nice as pie" at home. I'm lying in bed with a cuppa while he gets up with dc.

What a mess- your poor DH. His poor dw. They have both been cheated on, lied to, gaslighted for the past few months and yet they are both the bad guys... Hmm, if they are such terrible people, why don't you both leave instead of screwing them over in this way?

There is no right or wrong decision here. Just make a decision and it will be.

What things is she telling them that will 'mess up their little heads'? Daddy is going to set up home with another woman and some other little kids? That's what is being planned, no?

confusionoftheillusion Sat 04-May-13 09:14:45

I don't mean to paint them as the "bad guys" at all. In fact I don't think any of us in this are bad people. We've all made questionable choices and said/done things that aren't right.

She's saying things like "dad doesn't want to live with you" "dad doesn't love us anymore", "dad won't hug mum when shes sad" "you won't get to see dad much when he goes" "dad doesn't care about is anymore"... I know she must be hurting but that sort of shit is totally unnecessary.

What you say about making a decision is right.

AuntieStella Sat 04-May-13 09:21:53

It is wrong to say that he 'doesn't care' about them, and damaging to say this to children.

But the bottom line is that he is doing all those things. And you played your part in bringing him to the point at which he felt justified in betraying his family. This is why the advice is to end an unsatisfactory marriage (and live singly for a while) before moving on. His W's reaction may not have been expressed wrongly, but in the basics she is right. He didn't care enough about his DC to do things the decent way round and thus spare them pain.

You have to live with this as part of the price tag of the affair. You have chosen to be with a man who is capable of both justifying the temptation to have an affair, and who chooses the crueller path in dealing with the end of his marriage.

'I know she must be hurting but that sort of shit is totally unnecessary"

Honestly, what do you think happens? You and her husband set up a home together, all the kids are delighted with their new step siblings, your kids love their new daddy and his kids love their new mummy? Really? This is what you anticipate?

many step families struggle without an affair in the background - when everyone knows you are the woman who daddy left mum for it is a hundred times worse.

DottyboutDots Sat 04-May-13 10:33:19

Saying things like that to the children is wrong. The children and a mother are not one entity though I'm sure many mother's feel that way and thus they are trapped in unhappy marriages.

I'm always amazed when people drag their children into it. My great girlfriend told her 6 year old son that she hated his daddy. A terrible, terrible thing to say and one that several of us told her was utterly unacceptable and that she has to get a grip. Yes, her STXDH is being a cunt, but the children need as much help at the time of separation and she needs to be a grown up. Being cheated on is hideous but it doesn't mean anything goes in retaliation.

Leavenheath Sat 04-May-13 11:14:22

Oh FGS as usual, you've got no proof that his wife said any of those things. But even if she did, the woman is in shock isn't she?

Has this charmer admitted to her he's been having an affair then? Or has he done the weaselly 'I'm unhappy but there's no-one else' routine?

Not that you've got any grounds to blame him of course. You're going to let your own husband take all the blame for him dumping you aren't you? What a cowardly thing to do.

The best thing is for you two to get on with it and tell everyone what's been going on. Don't hang around like bad smells. Let your families get on with their own lives now.

confusionoftheillusion Sat 04-May-13 11:20:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CajaDeLaMemoria Sat 04-May-13 11:25:11

Did you see a counsellor?

You keep saying you don't know if you can have a good relationship with your DH. He can't do right for doing wrong.

You can't. It's nothing to do with him, though. It's you. Maybe you need to see and accept that to decide what to do?

Instead of spending the last few months trying to rebuild something with your DH, and giving your marriage a chance, you chose to stay in touch with the OM. Because it's nicer for you, that way. Because you don't hurt, you just hurt your husband, and his family.

All this anguish isn't real. You'll do whatever you think is best for you, regardless of the destruction it causes, and you'll end up in the same position that the OMs wife is currently in. I'd bet my life on it.

And your husband? No wonder he's confused and unsure. He's had the worst of you for such a long time. Tell him you've been cheating, and you'll have no decision to make with regards to the future.

He's trying to fix this, and fix himself, and he doesn't know what he's up against. That's totally unfair. You've set him up to fail, so you can try to justify the OM.

fergoose Sat 04-May-13 11:26:18

His poor wife sounds utterly heartbroken.

You can't justify your behaviour by trying to make her out to be the bad person here.

CajaDeLaMemoria Sat 04-May-13 11:29:44

Continue believing what he says, by all means. But when the thrill of the chase is gone, and you don't belong to someone else anymore, he'll find his next target.

You keep saying you are different. Everyone always thinks they are. There is nothing special, nothing Romeo-and-Juliet about this. It's the exact same script, the exact same beliefs, that all the other affairs follow.

Leavenheath Sat 04-May-13 11:31:10

Yeah right. And your biggest problem is trashing a hurt woman is it?


Get over yourself. With any luck she'll be a mumsnetter and everyone will tell her her husband's a liar who's been having an affair. But she's not stupid. She'll have worked out that her cowardly husband won't ever have had the courage to leave until he found another bed to go to.

With any luck your husband will work it out too.

AuntieStella Sat 04-May-13 11:34:25

One reported instance of speaking out of turn does not make her the 'bad guy', especially as what she is saying is right (just to the wrong audience). Her H is being cruel to her and the DCs in protracting this.

Why you want a man who is capable of shit behaviour over a long period is beyond me. But assuming you do, then the least worst thing now is a definite end to both marriages. Stringing along hurts worse than pain followed by freedom to move on.

You've been creeping around having an affair with their dad for six months, and suddenly you're all concerned with the kids' welfare?

Why don't you just be honest with your partner? Say, I'm having an affair and I'm not sure if I want the om or you. Om is married and he's not sure he wants me or not.

Perhaps you could rent a place on your own, OM could rent a place, you could date...No?

Leavenheath Sat 04-May-13 11:39:15

By the way, how come you don't think it's OUTRAGEOUS of a mother to break up her family because of some tawdry affair - and help ruin another family in the process?

But in your warped world, a hurt woman saying a few things in shock, is worse.

When the truth comes out, the children won't share your worldview I assure you. His will hate you and if yours ever find out why their family broke up, they won't exactly be handing out prizes for mother-of-the year, so quit trashing another mother.

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