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On the brink of an affair... Is there any way these things work out ok?

(141 Posts)
ontheprecipice Wed 08-May-13 22:32:52

I suppose I know the answer.

BTW, I am a regular, but have NC's for obvious reasons... Am not a troll, even though this could be considered a very troll-like first post.

I am on the brink of an affair.

I am married with two children. So is he. We both intend to stay with our spouses, but neither of us have active sex lives within our marriage, or much in the way of intimacy. Otherwise the marriages work ok. I wouldn't describe myself as massively happy or unhappy in mine. I am certainly not unhappy enough to disrupt mine, my husbands or my young childrens lives by separating. He is broadly in the same boat.

We met via work (but we don't work together). Instant chemistry and attraction on both sides.

We have been emailing and speaking on the phone. We have had coffee a couple of times. The last time in the middle of an innocuous conversation he reached over and kissed me. Neither entirely unexpected or unwelcome. We then went for a walk and kissed some more.

I know the next time we meet, we will probably end up sleeping together.

I never thought I would consider such a thing. But I've never felt more alive. I feel like a woman again, for the first time in years. Paradoxically, I feel good about myself for the first time in ages. Not good as in 'virtuous' obviously. But good as in interesting, desirable, womanly.

I don't know if want some sense talked to me, or reassurance that a dalliance doesn't have to mean the end of a marriage.

I'm bracing myself.

Charbon Thu 09-May-13 20:54:34

No, I knew you weren't advocating tit-for-tat perfectstorm. Not at all. But if the OP does find out her husband's been unfaithful, it would be a very human (but childlike) response to go ahead and have this affair. So many affairs are punitive in motive.

From what the OP's said, the kindest thing to do would be to end this marriage because it's probably meeting neither party's needs.

perfectstorm Thu 09-May-13 20:46:55

Completely agree, Charbon. I wasn't advocating tit for tat - hope it didn't come across that way? I was just wondering if the OP had considered the possibility, given the way her husband seems so... well. Impersonal, really. I think working out what lies beneath their problems is important in order to address them, whether she leaves or remains.

Good luck, OP. Sorry things are so tough, and glad you posted for support before things went any further. Whatever the future holds, it will be better than that option, whether you stay or go.

confusionoftheillusion Thu 09-May-13 20:40:10

So true charbon. I've only VERY recently ended my affair and missing OM like mad but am already being a better mother, employee and feeling more calm inside. An affair sends you round the bend

Charbon Thu 09-May-13 20:32:52

I often wonder that about 'affair threads' on here perfect storm, partly because I've known people in RL to be obsessively worried about being on the precipice of an affair and it's turned out that their partners had already been unfaithful, but also because so many of the 'affair cues' are present. A man who has emotionally checked out of his relationship, sees his wife as a status object and not as a human being, is unconcerned about his sexual performance, giving less and less to the relationship and with plentiful opportunities due to working away from home.

In those circumstances though, the very worst thing to do is to have a tit-for-tat affair because then children see two emotionally absent parents. It always shocks people looking back just how much energy is spent on maintaining an affair - including preoccupation and emotional absenteeism, checking phones, reading and receiving texts or messages, covering one's tracks and remembering to get stories straight, as well as any time spent with the lover. Many people look back and realise that they got no meaningful work done in this period, other relationships with extended family/friends suffered and they also notice a new detachment from their children's lives. It's as though Real Life is suspended.

perfectstorm Thu 09-May-13 20:01:24

QueenofWhispers the OP has an entirely valid, reasonable and normal need to feel loved and valued and to have sex with someone she desires and who seems to desire her. I agree that she should explore her own sexuality, but not that she should have to "pretend" she's having a relationship with anyone. Her husband is not treating her like a person at all, and while an affair would be a terrible thing to do to him or anyone, that suggestion will make her feel even worse, I imagine. It certainly would me. She deserves a lot better from her husband than he's getting, even if nobody deserves to be cheated on.

OP you have to talk to him, brutally honestly. I think you know that. And you did absolutely the right thing to post here, because if you can't salvage the marriage and you need to walk away, you can do it with honour, and then move on to meet someone else. And you never know - memories can be tricksy and it's hard to remember the good times when so overlaid by bad. Your DH and you may, just possibly, be able to build from this if you are honest and he is willing to be, too.

I have to ask: has it ever seemed possible that he has himself had an affair? He does appear to have checked out emotionally, from what you say. And it would not be the first time someone's marriage is so withered on the vine that they in turn look elsewhere. It may be wholly off beam, but it's not impossible, either.

HighJinx Thu 09-May-13 19:43:19

It sounds like this thread has helped you to gain a bit more insight into your marriage, even if you don't like what you see.

It seems that you have decided not to go ahead with the affair. If you feel that talking about all this online is helping perhaps you could start a new thread without mentioning the potential affair to get more support/advice on where to go now.

Just a thought. I hope you are OK.

QueenofWhispers Thu 09-May-13 19:41:00

can't you just check into an hotel and use a vibrator? pretend like it's the other man?

perhaps even do it in the shower and pretend?

why involve an actual other human and ruin the lives of everyone.

I do think some women embark on affairs due to low self esteem. They are so needy of whatever the affair seems to offer them that they are willing to throw their integrity out of the window to get it.

Having respect for yourself as a woman involves respecting other women too and not doing unto them what you wouldn't like done to yourself. The OP has no idea or concern about her potential lover's wife - who could be totally unaware of his philandering ways and under the impression she has a good marriage/sex life and would be devastated to find out the truth.

Sleeping with a man who doesn't give two hoots whether you're satisfied or not would lower anyone's self esteem over time I think.

AnonYonimousBird Thu 09-May-13 18:58:27

"Once it is done, it cannot be undone."

That line is out of a novel, and a pretty rubbish one at that, and isn't very original, but reading it in black and white recently, it has stuck with me.

Sound advice, OP, you know you are being an idiot even to consider it.

Whitebird I think it's very clear that the OP has low self esteem, and that is who we are talking about. I don't think the northwitch was generalising about all women who have affairs.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Thu 09-May-13 18:50:03

TheNorthWitch, are you honestly saying that all women's who have affairs have low self esteem? That seems a bit simplistic.

You say this man makes you feel alive, desirable and womanly but I bet he sees you as vulnerable, unhappy, sex starved yet willing to remain in a safe but unsatisfactory relationship and whose self esteem is so low that she would do the dirty on her partner and another woman - so easy sex for him and no messy consequences for his marriage - RESULT!

KitchenandJumble Thu 09-May-13 18:34:35

OP, what steps have you already taken to address the issues within your marriage? Have you told your DH how unhappy you are?

An affair is definitely not the answer. It's a short term fix, not a solution. And you would probably end up feeling even more miserable afterward. It sounds as though you don't really like the other man anyway.

If you have already done your best and see no way to work through the problems in your marriage, then ending the marriage is really the best thing you can do for yourself, IMO. And for your children too.

Op you were absolutely right to post here. I just hope you have reconsidered your course of action.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Thu 09-May-13 18:22:25

I only meant that you shouldn't post here without expecting to hear you shouldn't do it.

SundaysGirl Thu 09-May-13 18:17:30

Just to add to what others have said re: players. I've been involved with a couple of these types, the philanderers, who lie easily and need the rush and thrill of a woman to seduce and chase. They never want what they have after they have had it. At least not for very long. No matter how amazing the sex will be (or not, he might be rubbish) you are nothing but a conquest to them.

They have a need to be admired, to be 'loved' by (ie be able to fuck the woman and have her gasp-y admiration), to 'conquer', a woman, and it doesn't matter much who. So long as someone is there to chase and to massage their ego then its all good to them. They will make you feel like a goddess because they figured out exactly how to do that.

However they have the emotional depth of a puddle at best and are inherently untrustworthy and selfish.

Even if you had this amazing sex you seek with this man, it will be gone sooner rather than later when he moves on (probably sooner) and then where are you? Back to exactly the same position you were before...well not exactly the same, you will also be saddled with the guilt and loss of personal integrity.

Having been someone lucky enough to have experienced mind blowing sex, and great passion with people I can tell you it is not worth it unless the rest of the relationship / interaction is also good. Passion alone turns sour very quickly and then you regret like hell where you let your fanny lead you.

Why can't you have a frank conversation with your husband where you lay it on the line? Where you say that the situation has got to the stage where you have been seriously considering seeking sex elsewhere? And see what his reaction is?

unapologetic Thu 09-May-13 17:58:47

The earlier poster who said people who have shit sex or no sex often go on to have great sex. Eh? How on earth can that happen? I think that is nigh on impossible.

But OP, I agree with most of the posts on here telling you to finish your marriage. I don't think you will though.

ontheprecipice Thu 09-May-13 17:41:06

Whitebird - where would you suggest I post it?

My intention was not to rub salt in anyone's wounds. But this is a relationships topic, not a "people recovering from a partner's affair" topic. My situation was clear from the title. if someone feels it's too close to the bone for them to read, they are under no obligation to do so.

Besides, the responses from people on the other side of the fence, have been the most compelling in my decision to stop this. Now.

I'm sorry if it was painful for them to respond, and I am especially grateful to them if it was and they posted anyway.

I'm in a desperate situation in my marriage. I didn't realise how desperate, actually, until able to talk about it here. But if that is not permitted on the relationships topic, then I guess there is nowhere to discuss it after all.

All I've done at this point is meet this guy. Once. We kissed. Once. We have spoken half a dozen times on the phone and emailed some. I hardly think that requires me to be branded with an S on my forehead.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Thu 09-May-13 17:31:20

I think the three options you outlined are correct.

I have never heard of someone who started having great sex after years when they never had it in the first place.

Great sex is amazing and when I have been in the fortunate position of having it I can understand why people would risk everything for it.

Lots of people have affairs. It doesn't make them terrible people.

People who have been wronged by an affair are over represented in Relationships. Surely you know this? Why are you posting here?

fluffyanimal Thu 09-May-13 16:40:33

He wants a wife. I don't think it really matters who I actually AM.
I don't think he even knows who I actually am. I am a job description.

He says "I love you because you're my WIFE." I'm supposed to think it's sweet. I find it insulting. I am not WIFE. I am ME.

^^ This. This is where you start. This is what you say to your husband. And back it up by saying that the lack of interest in your sexual satisfaction is just one symptom of that.

There really really is a point in doing that. The point is that you will stop being WIFE and will become YOU, either through leaving your husband, or in the best case scenario by him realising how much he does not value you and going with you on the journey to be YOU not WIFE.

Could you end the marriage and co-parent in the same house.
So you split up but stay together, if that makes any sense?
Not sure what he is like or if it's something he would agree to. I think you need to get out of the marriage though.

lydiajones you need to go back through and read the whole thread.

ontheprecipice Thu 09-May-13 15:42:51

All those who PM'd me. Thank you. I'll reply, promise. And I appreciate your honestly and desire to help. Just balancing work and single-parenthood ATM so tight on time...

ontheprecipice Thu 09-May-13 15:41:52

This OM, at least made me feel like ME.
Even if he is a lying, cheating cock-lodger.

ontheprecipice Thu 09-May-13 15:40:55

I know I have to end it.
I don't want to be that person.

I don't really want to be this person either, mind you...
I feel worse than I did before, all of you who said I would, you were right.

A taste of honey and now everything else tastes more bitter than it did before.

God. I feel so hopeless about it all.

I don't even know where to start. H is barely home. Right now he's in a different continent. Next week he'll be in another country Tuesday-Friday.

Is there even any point...?

He wants a wife. I don't think it really matters who I actually AM.
I don't think he even knows who I actually am. I am a job description.

He says "I love you because you're my WIFE." I'm supposed to think it's sweet. I find it insulting. I am not WIFE. I am ME.

gazzalw Thu 09-May-13 13:28:13

It is always easy to let your heart (and hormonal lust) get the better of your morality when faced with temptation.

I would strongly suggest you run in the opposite direction. It is naive to think there won't be massive fall-out from this even if you think you are going into it "with eyes wide open".

You cannot keep your feelings in check necessarily no matter how much you go into an affair thinking it's all about sex...

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