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I have massively screwed up my marriage, and I desperately want to get it back.

(169 Posts)
SecretJewel Mon 01-Apr-13 15:17:59

I'm in love with somebody else :-(

We've been friends through work for a long time, but over the last year or two, we seem to have gradually fallen in love.

That sounds terrible. I have never felt like this before about anyone.

The depth of feeling that comes from loving someone based on gradually getting to know their character and personality over a long period of time has blown me away.

When I met dh, the initial attraction was all based on looks and was very much a physical thing. Obviously the growing to love each other then was based on more than that, but I still know that we would never have got that far if it wasn't for the looks thing.

The new man, I wouldn't have looked at twice across a crowded room, but I have fallen in love with him through our friendship, and now I think he is gorgeous!

Anyway, so our 'relationship' has now gone as far as kissing and texting all day every day. I can't stop thinking about him.

Apart from him and dh, there has never been anyone else in my life. I settled down with dh when I was 17. I'm now 35 and we have 3 children.

Every conscience thought that I am in control of tells me, I want to stay with dh, I want my family together, I DO NOT want to bust our lives apart.

BUT, my heart says so different. My heart is gone. I love the OM now and there doesn't seem to be anything I can do about it.

I know the answer is 'I am in control of my own actions'. I know this and I did stop all contact with OM for a period of about 5 months. I saw him again a couple of months ago, and now we're right back to square 1.

I almost wish he didn't feel the same way. That it was just some silly one sided crush. But it's not. I'm going to push him away. I'm going to plod on day by day with my family life, but I'm always going to know now that there is someone else out there who I could be so happy with.

I was happy enough with dh before I knew what it was like to feel like this about someone. Nothing can ever undo that now. sad

Trazzletoes Mon 01-Apr-13 16:32:39

Justin I think you've not the nail on the head. I suspect that one of the things that is making it hard(er) for the OP to just up and leave her marriage is the possibility that the OM won't leave his.

OP, it is desperately unfair on your DH and DCs to carry on with this behind their backs. Either stop the affair or leave, regardless of whether the OM leaves his DW or not. Regardless of what you think right now, you aren't committed to your marriage.

NutherChange Mon 01-Apr-13 16:33:00

You have two choices:

1. Stop giving the OM head space and you will eventually see the situation for what it is and hopefully never put yourself in the same situation again, or

2. Devastate your DH and DC by leaving them for this man. Your feelings way very well change once he bottles it and doesn't leave his DW and DC and you end up loathing the man when you're left with nothing.

Trazzletoes Mon 01-Apr-13 16:40:24

secret but you ARE blowing it all apart, right now!

Trazzletoes Mon 01-Apr-13 16:43:32

secret if you really WANT to concentrate on your marriage then you need to do it. Cut all contact with OM. Would you be able to change your phone number? At the very least, delete and block his. If you have had a 5 month break, it sounds like you don't work together any more... If you do, is it possible to have no work contact with him? Otherwise I think you will have to look for a new job. If you're going to stay, it is up to you to devote 100% of your relationship energy to your DH and DCs.

HeySoulSister Mon 01-Apr-13 16:46:42

Op I can really relate to this. I'm not in same situation but yes, I can relate to the bit where you can't go back because now you've felt this with someone, nothing else will do

EdithWeston Mon 01-Apr-13 16:48:19

"I know what it's like to feel that way about someone".

No you don't. You are in affair bubble. It's not real.

chicaguapa Mon 01-Apr-13 16:51:12

how I can get over the fact that now I know what it's like to feel that way about someone.

Time, time and more time. And hopefully knowing deep down that you did the right thing for your family will give you comfort and strength. If after more than 12 months away from OM, things are still not good with your DH, you'll have more clarity on your marriage and can then think about your options then.

JustinBsMum Mon 01-Apr-13 16:52:38

how I can get over the fact that now I know what it's like to feel that way about someone

Imv this can still be an infatuation rather than real love. It's an artifical relationship, real life and all its demands is not intruding on it.

OP, were you infatuated by people in the past when you were a teenager? Have you missed this part of life and only just found it now. Surely most people have infatuations at some point in their lives. But you don't act on them.

SirSugar Mon 01-Apr-13 16:53:27

You can always wait like I did, until my H died and OMs children grew up and his marriage was over - took 20 years.

But don't sleep with him, stay friends if you like and talk about everything else apart from wanting to run off together. If it's the real deal you will get there eventually.

I knew for years I wanted to be with OM, accepted it knowing that it wasn't to be at the time, and got on with my life instead of all out destruction.

Love waits

You are with someone who is willing to cheat on his wife and kids, if you were ever able to be together you would be with someone who would be completely willing to cheat on you. I know people who have married the OM and have been consequently cheated on and their families have broken up.

Whomever said it was an addiction is right. Cheaters (you) show extremely similar behaviour to alcoholics. Many counsellors treat them the same way. Unless you are separated from your addiction you will continue to use it which will damage all the people you love.

Every time you get a text or think about sending a text imagine your kids finding out and how they will feel about it and them living in two homes and having to deal with the fallout. Invest the energy you would into making your marriage better instead of breaking it down.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com is a helpful place for those who want to make things right.

Charbon Mon 01-Apr-13 16:59:04

I remember your other threads.

Nothing has changed secretjewel.

For him or you.

You're still playing games in the hope that this man will fall properly in love with you and offer to leave his marriage, only so that you can say at that point that you're not going to leave yours.

This isn't love on either side and it never was. It's about the feelings this gives you individually about yourselves. For you it's validation because your esteem is disproportionately propped up by the prospect of winning unattainable men (your good looking husband) and for the OM it's that the interest of a good looking woman has made him feel alive and good about himself at a time when his life is all about responsibility and stability.

If he ended this 5 months ago, he doesn't want to lose his marriage. But a part of him like you enjoyed the addiction of the contact and since he won't have told his wife what had gone before, she has carried on as normal. He won't have done though. In his head he will have been looking at his wife more critically and blaming her for the 'sacrifice' he made. Every time she complained about something in those 5 months, he would have irrationally blamed her for it and inwardly thought 'she doesn't appreciate what I've given up for her'. You might recognise this in your own marriage, except of course it wasn't you who gave up anything; the OM did.

Next what will happen is that the OM will convince himself with your help that you both need to get this out of your system. Once he's fully committed to taking this a stage further, you'll rack things up with insistences that you love him and he'll start mirroring that adoration. Both will be false however. You will try to turn this into the love story of the century and he'll probably go along with that, while inwardly knowing it isn't.

Eventually the guilt will get to him and he will end it with you, or he'll get found out. What he won't do is give you what you want - an offer to end his marriage. But nothing less will validate you and when you don't get it, you'll be very hurt and feel worse about yourself because in your world, it's much worse if an average looking man doesn't want you or prefers his wife to you, than if he was what would be considered as a 'prize' by others.

At some point you'll start the process with someone else.

Because none of this is about the OM, your DH or your relationship.

It's about you and your personality.

StuntGirl Mon 01-Apr-13 17:02:11

Either leave your husband or make your marriage work. Those are your only two choices. Cheating is not part of any of it.

Dozer Mon 01-Apr-13 17:09:18

If you don't want to be married to your DH, then admit that and separate.

But don't count on OM leaving his family for you, or it all being happy ever after.

What you are doing is not romantic it is selfish and hurting your DH and children, and OM's family too. Grow up. Or at the very least shut up with the "neither of us has ever felt this way, we just can't stay away" bullshit, trying to convince yourself he/this is worth the inevitable damage.

Viviennemary Mon 01-Apr-13 17:09:58

I think the decision is yours to make. You either finish the relationship with this man, or end your marriage. I don't think this in limbo and cheating on your partner is a good thing for anybody. People do end marriages to be together. I don't know if I approve of that or not but it is not unheard of. But when you say you can never be together it sounds as if you've made the decision already. I hope you work things out somehow.

classifiedinformation Mon 01-Apr-13 17:17:03

Most posters answering this thread have basically said, you've made your bed, now lie in it. But no-one has looked at it from the side of the DH, is it fair for him to be with someone who is "settling" for him? Does he not deserve someone who truly loves him with all they are?

I would say OP that you need to decide if you can carry on and get back your love for your DH. Either way you have to really think about things properly and put all the romance aside.

I do think though, that having been with no-one else except your DH does leave you open to this kind of problem. It happened to me with my exh, although there was no-one else and some EA from him. I found out that I just didn't know enough about myself or life before I married. It's tricky, I feel for you OP, but be aware that this OM may not be "the one" either. Good luck.

Charbon Mon 01-Apr-13 17:22:47

If I remember rightly, the OM had suffered a bereavement before this all started and at no point had said that his marriage was unhappy. It's very common for people to start affairs at these points in their lives because there is a definite dip in most long-term relationships when life seems to be all about work, raising children and responsibilities and the mirror every morning shows the passing of time. A bereavement shakes this up a lot and forces people to face their own mortality and so they are partcularly attracted to an escape from that new pain/grief seeing as it's come on top of all the other burdens of life. So I agree with the OP that the OM is no more of a sleazebag than indeed she is.

You are just two ordinary people who happened to work together and are caught up in an escapist fantasy. It is absolutely nothing more than that though.

Lizzabadger Mon 01-Apr-13 17:25:56

I think you should tell your husband what's been going on so he can make an informed choice what to do.

SecretJewel Mon 01-Apr-13 17:29:54

Justin, you're right that I am not 100% sure he would leave his wife. In fact, I am 99% sure he wouldn't. Not sure what to make of that. That's just another thing that makes him lovely I suppose. I don't want to be with the kind of bloke who would put his own happiness before that of his kids.

Charbon, <gulp>. Don't know what to say. Mystic Meg?? :-)
With regards to the 5 months apart thing, I haven't asked him what his marriage has been like. I thought I was doing the right thing respecting his wishes for No Contact, but now I know that even after 5 months of it, my feelings didn't change at all. It was him that first got in touch again, and his feelings haven't changed either. We both thought maybe we could be friends again after the gap. I massively miss our friendship more than anything and am quite devastated to discover that friendship doesn't look like an option.
P.S. How do you know everything?!?!?

Sunnywithshowers Mon 01-Apr-13 17:40:59

OP this is an infatuation. I have been infatuated before - it's intense and very, very bloody painful. But infatuation can and does end: I was so relieved when mine was over.

If you really, really believe your marriage is over, then by all means consider ending your marriage. However, ending your marriage for an OM is hugely risky and, as has been pointed out upthread, will hurt a lot of people.

It might be worth going somewhere for relationship counselling (Relate?) on your own. It'll help give you an insight into why you are feeling like this now, and help you decide on a way forward.

LordLurkin Mon 01-Apr-13 17:42:26

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/1720133-I-Think-I-destroyed-my-marriage

Read that thread and tell me the fallout is going to be worth it. Seriously I would advise you to show some dignity and tell your husband and get things out in the open. Sure its going to be messy and painful but do you honestly believe things will stay hidden forever. And as the OP on the thread I linked to is finding out it will be worse the longer its left.

weegiemum Mon 01-Apr-13 17:52:26

You could be my mother.

When I was 12, after a 4-year affair, she left my dad (and her 3 dc) for the OM, who was my dad's best friend! After years of sneaking about, denial, deceit etc she finally left.

And fwiw, she's been married to him now 20 years and my Dad is in a very happy marriage of over 25 years (with the lovely woman I now call my Mum! - as my relationship with my mother has irrevocably broken down).

30 years on, I'm still in therapy and my younger brother and sister probably should be!

Whatever you're planning, do it soon, do it openly and deal with the fallout!

BrunellaPommelhorse Mon 01-Apr-13 17:54:25

you just need to man up and stop being so fatalistic

Toasttoppers Mon 01-Apr-13 17:54:33

I think your bored op and narked off you have only ever been with one man.

I guarantee OM socks missing the laundry basket would be just as tedious as your DH doing it after a while.

weegiemum Mon 01-Apr-13 18:01:29

And I thought - me and dh. We've been married 18 years, have 3 dc of 9,11,13, been together since I was 19 he was 20. We've only ever been with each other. But it doesn't matter because we're happy and totally committed, despite health, mental health, financial etc issues.

We promised for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health.

And yes, sometimes it's been an effort, but it's one we are both happy to make!

fedupofnamechanging Mon 01-Apr-13 18:01:48

jewel, he is not 'lovely'. If he was, he would not be doing this with you. When his wife finds out, ask her if she thinks he is lovely.

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