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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

Cherriesarelovely Mon 01-Apr-13 18:14:34

I agree with Toast. However, I don't think that just because you are basically bored and fed up with your DH you would be with another person. I have no time for people who are cheating on their partners, having been cheated on myself twice BUT I do acknowledge that I may well feel unfulfilled if I had settled down with my very first boyfriend. For one thing I have spent the last 20 years in relationships with women so I agree that we are often very different people at 35 than we are at 17!!

I know it feels like the issue here is OM but if he is not prepared to leave his wife it isn't really is it? I think you need to move on from him for the sake of your own mental health. He has obviously been a catalyst for your thoughts about maybe leaving your DH. However, you also say you were pretty happy with your DH before this.

My advice would be to cut off all contact with the OM for good, however stressful that might be and to get some counselling so that you can decide once and for all if this is a "phase" or if you really do want out of your marraige. Please don't continue to conduct your affair behind your DH's back. Poor bloke.

Charbon Mon 01-Apr-13 18:19:11

OP of course he will continue to put his own happiness in front of his wife and family when he decides to stay with them. Because he already knows that's where his happiness lies, which is why he put the brakes on an affair last time. You're seeing this in overly romantic terms; that even if he chose his wife over you, he would be making a 'happiness sacrifice' for the greater good of his dependents. That really wouldn't be the truth, however much it would prop up your ego to think it. He will choose what makes him happiest. As will you of course.

Friendship is never going to be an option. Just as this relationship changed forever when you both made it an affair, so your marriage has been forever changed too.

How did he get in touch with you again?

Pilgit Mon 01-Apr-13 18:23:53

Charbon isn't mystic meg - these affairs all follow the same format. If this was true love you both would have ended your marriages. There are worse things than a broken home for children. You are not star crossed lovers. You are not giving up something real. This is fantasy escapism. The love you feel isn't real as it isn't rounded, it doesn't have commitment. Your feelings have developed to insulate you from the guilt and to justify your awful behaviour. You're in the middle of a cliche. You want to save your marriage? stop pretending this affair is anything but sordid and choose to step away from it.

My dad had an affair and left my mum for the OW. It didn't make him happy. Mum would have felt better if it had. The fact that it hasn't just makes the hurt pointless. He said a lot of the things you have. Reality doesn't match up. You are enjoying the drama of it - I suggest if you want that kind of drama watch the soaps

piratecat Mon 01-Apr-13 18:40:30

i don't ever understand how on these thread the op's are accused of enjoying the drama.

op you either have to stop it altogether, or ask this man outright if he wants to be with you.

If he doesn't it shows you that he is committed to his family. If he says he does wish he could be with you but doesn't want to break up the family, doesn't want to upset them, can't do it, won't do it till such an such date. END IT.

He doesn't love you enough.

It's hard, it hurts and if you are strong and stick to no contact, then time will pass and what will be will be.

Lavenderhoney Mon 01-Apr-13 19:15:40

If you don't want to continue to ruin your marriage and the stable home life of your dc, suggest you change jobs. Get your cv out there and move. Change your mobile number and block him from fb or anywhere else you have all these little chats.

Tell him to ignore you and any drunken texts or emails. You have already parted once, and you had a big chance to make it right. It's not fair on your dh and dc to give him headspace. What would you be doing if you weren't texting or mooning about?

Are you working together? One thing that co workers are really good at is spotting affairs. If you two aren't busy enough to work then no one else will be, they will be watching you instead, with interest. It will be obvious to anyone your dh wouldn't be madly texting all day, and causing high/ low mood swings. Do you think your dh hasn't noticed as well?

scottishmummy Mon 01-Apr-13 19:23:46

Frankly,op has said her and fancy man and self won't be item.so time to cool it
Work on the marriage or leave and pursue a life out with the marriage
If one is unhappy no pint going through motion in unhappy marriage.owe itself and dh

SecretJewel Mon 01-Apr-13 19:25:04

He got in touch again by e-mail.

We've only seen each other a handful of times. He seems happier just keeping up the emotional connection by e-mailing and texting, but is more nervous of actually seeing me. He seems to know where his vulnerabilities lie, and is making a conscious decision not to put himself in that situation.

But then why did he get back in touch?

I haven't asked him out right, but reading between the lines I think Charbon's description of his marriage since this all began is pretty accurate (as it is of mine really, I suppose).

And this is the bit where I get stuck. We go back to No Contact, we do the 'right' thing, no children get hurt, we eventually get over each other.

But, we've both already ballsed up our marriages now anyway. They ain't ever gonna be what they were after this, and if that leads to living in a general, mundane low level of unhappiness, then there's always going to be the option of us gravitating back towards each other again.

Surely there's a strong possibility that's why he suddenly decided to get back in touch with me out if the blue this time?

scottishmummy Mon 01-Apr-13 19:30:39

You're repetitively stuck on the lovey dovey narrative,avoidant of real life
Have you and he actually discussed what next term of rental,5kids,exes,where to live?
This is still all giddy,with no substantiation and schoolgirl ooh look he emailed you

thegreylady Mon 01-Apr-13 19:34:07

If you want to save your marriage then all you can do is delete OM's number,change yours and cut him out completely.What you are feeling is the lust,fun and excitement of a secret relationship.
What would you feel if your dh read this or even more what would you feel if he were the OM in this situation?
You are 35 not 15.You have children do you love them?Is your dh cruel and neglectful?
You know what to do.

that is a lame excuse and you know it (the fucked up marriages so may as well not bother bit) marriages are as good as you put into them.

He is satisfied with texting and emailing because he gets all the benefit of having a woman hang on his every word with extremely low effort on his part.

You are worth more than that.

Charbon Mon 01-Apr-13 20:13:08

No it's likely that his marriage will recover far better than yours. From what you've said on this and other threads, he is far more committed to his marriage than you are to yours. What he has always wanted was the thrill and the excitement but not the reality. He can continue to delude himself this isn't really an affair because nothing much has happened. So until this goes to the brink again, he can get all the nice bits without the guilt.

I'd guess that some disappointment occurred either at home or in life generally just before he got back in contact and that he did so because he knew it would be a sure-fire 'quickfix' to his ego. When he wrote that E mail I'm guessing he was deluding himself that there was no harm in restoring friendly contact. When you responded as he'd hoped you would, he told himself that he wasn't responsible for you still being as keen to meet etc. and now he's telling himself that as long as he rations this or backs off from meeting too regularly, no harm will be caused and he's not doing anything terribly wrong.

I think I may have mentioned on another thread of yours that for a man like this who was basically content with his lot, he would have always needed a long permission-giving process. Yours was very much shorter, hence he is more invested in his marriage than you are in yours.

If he backs away again, he will be able to make his marriage as good if not better as it was before by putting more effort in - that is assuming his lack of investment in it since he started this thing with you hasn't done too much damage to his wife's feelings for him and their marriage.

For your own marriage and you personally, I'm not so sure. I think you'd benefit tremendously from seeing a good counsellor who will examine with you why you play games. We talked a lot about that on one of your earlier threads and I was hopeful that you'd take some concrete action to address this destructive aspect of your personality. Because although the game is currently focused on this unattainable man, there will I think be others when this doesn't work out. And each time an unattainable man doesn't choose you, it will become even more important that the next one does with the stakes getting bigger and the affairs getting riskier and more high-octane.

I don't think you'll walk away from this affair and re-commit to your marriage. Obviously I hope you do, as much for the other characters' sake as your own.

But honestly I think until you address why you play games, this will just play out as I've described. You can change yourself and your own personal outcome if you really want to, whether your marriage survives or not.

scottishmummy Mon 01-Apr-13 20:15:08

Op,many people manage 2nd significant relationship after marriage
1st step is admitting to all concerned,things arent working and harm minimisation
you've got worst situation,deceit and hanging around for what ifs.and won't be honest with dh

Fairenuff Mon 01-Apr-13 20:30:05

I think you should end both relationships and then get some counselling for yourself.

Your marriage is over because you've broken the terms of the contract. If you were honest enough to tell your dh what you're doing you would then have the opportunity to build a new and different relationship with him, if he wanted to. As it is, you have a sham and you've already realised how unsatisfying that is.

Your other relationship is never going to work either. Even if you did both get together, neither of you would ever be able to trust the other. You both know that you're willing to lie and cheat to get what you want, so that would be an unsatisfactory sham too.

Maybe, if you could learn to be honest and trustworthy, you might eventually find someone you can be loyal to. Either that, or someone who is willing to have an open relationship which might suit you better.

Sad for your children though sad

Trazzletoes Mon 01-Apr-13 20:34:23

If you really can't see yourself ever being happy again with your DH then you should end your marriage.

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 01-Apr-13 20:47:16

Work on falling in love with DH all over again

Cut all contact with the OM

Viviennemary Mon 01-Apr-13 21:16:32

I don't think you can work on falling love with somebody all over again. I think you can work and make a marriage a reasonable option and be fairly happy in a way. But I don't really believe you can work on falling in love with somebody. Maybe I'm just a hopless romantic.

SecretJewel Mon 01-Apr-13 21:16:37

So basically, I'm doing my best to tempt a committed and loyal married man into flattering my ego by having an affair with me? sad

How the hell did my life ever come to that?

I have indeed been getting myself some counselling (another secret to keep), but not enough obviously. It was getting expensive.

Charbon, I agree totally with the points you make about my game-playing character. I am not sure though whether this is really me as a whole, or whether it is just a funny phase I am going through.

I've been with 1 man all my life, and I've spent vast periods of time at home on maternity leave, or working very low hours due to lack of childcare. Now all the kids are at school and I've got a tiny bit more freedom, I am sort of finding myself again (and messing it all up clearly).

I have however, never looked twice at another man since I was 17. Dh was everything to me. He was the one who played around a fair bit in the very early years of our relationship when we were very young. I always wanted him back because I was besotted with him.

We went straight from that phase of our lives into marriage and children. He has been totally committed and faithful since then and I haven't really given the early days a second thought.

Until now. And I know that's why my permission-giving process was so much shorter.

SecretJewel Mon 01-Apr-13 21:19:54

I think I agree Vivienne sad

That's the bit I can't overcome. I will stay with dh, I will have an okay life.

But will I ever feel that depth of love again? It's not something you can control, is it? It's just there, or it's not.

I agree with Fairenuff. Yes, your marriage as it was pre-affair will never exist again. You can make it better than before but a new agreement should be reached and both parties should agree to it. It will also take a huge amount of work and perseverance and the cooperation of your husband whom you are treating very poorly right now.

It is unlikely to ever work longterm with the OM, no matter whether he wants to leave his wife or not.

Jewel, part of making a new marriage is figuring out why you were so in love with this man. The reason I recommended marriage builders is because they help with that.

Vivienne, I disagree. I know it is possible.

Fairenuff Mon 01-Apr-13 21:33:41

But will I ever feel that depth of love again?

No. At least not with either of these men. Both those relationships are more than crap and you cannot possibly work on your marriage whilst carrying this huge secret of infidelity.

SecretJewel Mon 01-Apr-13 21:36:35

Well, I am certainly going to give it a try then.

And will definitely have a look at marriage builders.

Really appreciate everyone's input. It helps a lot.
Even if talking about it here is enough to stop me texting him right now, that is a massive step forward :-)

yes, be aware, the marriage builders party line is that keeping infidelity a secret prevents fixing the marriage.

like I said, picture one of your kids sobbing every time you are tempted. You are screwing with them.

Viviennemary Mon 01-Apr-13 21:44:32

I hope you work things out. And I've never really tried to fall in love with somebody again. But one thing is for certain there is no guarantee the love for this other man will last very long. And good for you Selfconfessed for proving me wrong. grin

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