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End of the affair, little hand hold

(30 Posts)
fullycaffeine Thu 19-Sep-13 11:48:22

I posted a few months ago about my marriage being in a bad place, and having a crush on someone I was working with.

My crush developed into a 3 month emotional affair.

Conversations with the other man developed into talking about being together, how it might work practically being together etc.

We ended up sharing a tent on a work trip away (my work is not conventional!) and had a bit of a cuddle, and talked more about being together.

To cut a long story short, hubby found out about our night in the tent, was understandably furious, we separated for a short while, and through counselling and open communication we are now piecing things back together. It's a slow process, but things are better than they have been in a long time.

I have 2 dc's (young), and realised that I wasn't willing to simply uproot them and move directly in with someone else, and came to the realisation that neither was I willing to just chuck my marriage away without first seeing whether the spark could be reignited.

When I ended the affair, OM got pretty angry and upset that I wasn't willing to immediately jump in to living with him, and basically denied any involvement, saying nothing had happened. Physically it hadn't but it certainly had emotionally on both sides. OM painted himself as victim to my advances, when it was very much mutual.

We still carried on working together as we had work events we had to fulfil as part of a team.

Fast forward a few months, and working with him has become impossible. He's being vile - my work and social life crosses over, so working with him, and my DH being in the same room was proving to be very tense.

Our work commitments came to a temporary stop. I then found out that OM had been badmouthing me to the colleague we both work with. In addition, he told me that a particular element of our project was 'crap', 'poor', 'weak' and said that because I was a mother to two children I would be unlikely to achieve all I wanted in my work.

I snapped, and decided that enough was enough and it was time to move on and get this person out of my life - for me, my sanity, and my marriage going forward.

I ended our working relationship by email (I know, I could have done it face to face, but I had had enough), he was owed some money, which I settled by sending via post.

He has been in touch today with a vitriolic message berating me for being so immature in ending things without seeing him face to face (in my view, his denial of everything, plus badmouthing me was enough to justify my way of ending it).

I feel I have been fair (I paid him), and patient (not arguing back, or slagging him off publicly, or telling anyone about what happened). I've tried to be polite with him.

Not looking for sympathy, as I know I made mistakes, but I guess I need some reassurance that I've done the right thing by cutting all contact. I just feel I need it to move forward with life & my marriage. DH is obviously really pleased.

Feels difficult, and I suspect the badmouthing may continue to a wider circle of work colleagues which I guess I can't stop. Our paths are unlikely to cross, as in seven years of living where I do I had never met him.

I do now feel immature, but he has been so horrible and hurtful to me, at the same time I just don't see why I should care so much!

Feel a bit better for getting it off my chest, sorry so long.

familyscapegoat Thu 19-Sep-13 18:08:48

There's a difference between doing the right thing for the right reasons at the right time and doing the right thing for self-serving reasons at a time that was long overdue.

Few people have to socialise with work colleagues, even if there's a 'cross-over' between work and social life like the OP's described. Taking a professional hit for not being able to attend these social functions would have been a price worth paying rather than subject the husband to the indignity of having to be in the same room as the OM.

Initially, the OM who presumably wasn't married, was no more of a 'cad' than the OP who dumped him unceremoniously when this relationship no longer suited and was causing her problems at home. After that, his behaviour should have been reported to senior management as harassment in the workplace but I daresay the OP didn't want to have to admit to anyone that she'd been indiscreet with a work colleague and so again, put her own interests first.

Too right I'd say this to someone who asked for my opinion and advice about this in real life.

missbopeep Thu 19-Sep-13 18:11:53

Oh take your judgy pants off for once.

You and I know nothing about the work circs but it doesn't take much imagination to understand how work and social life can cross over. Who are you to assume the OP could have cut the work contact?

She and her DH have had counselling, she's contrite and they are trying to patch things up.

What do you want for her? A stoning?

missbopeep Thu 19-Sep-13 18:13:15

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Dahlen Fri 20-Sep-13 13:52:54

fullycaffeine - this is in response to the latest post about your work circumstances on the duplicate thread (thanks for clearing that up).

From what you've said, you don't really have to worry too much about professional damage limitation. It sounds as though your XOM has something of a reputation already, which existing clients are already aware of. Potential clients would, I expect, be most hmm if he started badmouthing you to them, thinking it would more than likely be professional jealousy. Furthermore, IME when it comes to business relationship, most people don't give a damn about rights, wrongs, fairness or whatever, simply getting the job done at the price they want in a timescale of their choosing. Since you don't actually work together and won't have to see him again, I think professionally you can put it all behind you and concentrate on the emotional fallout.

Your initial post concentrates all on the breakup between you and OM, and while I know you've been hauled over the coals for focussing on that rather than your marriage, I'm going to go against the grain and think that you should carry on thinking about it. Until you've got OM out of your system, you can't really make a go of it with your H. Definitely do not contact him, but think about ways you can move on.

You've been on MN long enough to have read that affairs are not about the OM/OW but what people feel about themselves in the process of conducting that affair - alive/desirable/excited, etc. That's why so many of them fail once the novelty wears off and the attraction to the real person is found to be lacking (or even entirely absent). The reason you feel so hurt is because you're experiencing rejection, despite the fact that you're the one who broke it off. The OM's behaviour now is a rejection of everything you thought he was. That's making you feel inadequate because your realise it was all an illusion, which makes you feel foolish and not quite 'enough'. You've actually had a lucky escape from him IMO but that's another story.

Once you can examine what shortcomings in your own life you were looking for this man to solve for you, you are ready to concentrate on your marriage. It may be that your marriage is lacking in something, but very often it isn't that at all, it's something else entirely, a more deep-rooted sense of dissatisfaction with life. But you need to work it out because if the cause of your malaise is not your H, no amount of working at the marriage will solve it. Conversely, it may be the case that you do need to leave the marriage, and you shouldn't stay out of a misplaced sense of guilt. You'll need to be brutally self honest to get to the bottom of this, which is why I'd recommend single counselling as well as joint.

OrmirianResurgam Fri 20-Sep-13 15:37:02

Good luck fluffycaffeine. It won't be easy but you have taken the first steps xx OM is being ridiculous. You didn't make vows to love him and stay with him forever. Can you move jobs? I would if I were you for my own convenience not for his.

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