Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
I await the flaming.
So I am having an affair with my ex.
I love my husband. We have two children. I can never leave my husband as he is the best father on the planet and I could never let the children be brought up by a web of step parents as I was. I know that if he found out about my infidelity it would of course be a deal breaker.
But after years of being with someone who doesn't love me back, who doesn't really do sex or emotion or anything of any depth I am finally feeling the love/passion/emotions that I used to feel when I was with normal people.
I'm not prepared to sacrifice the stability of my children's lives for the sake of my own happiness. I have made a conscious choice to make my life bearable for the foreseeable future.
And I think I'm starting to not feel guilty about it all.
I can see OP that you are in a very difficult position, because if it is, in part, conservatism that makes your husband choose not to self-identify as gay, then that same conservatism may mean he wouldn't be happy with ménage a trois situation. You say that you know that the OM would be a deal-breaker for him, which confirms this. (Although I do think this somewhat hypocritical - he doesn't want you, but he doesn't want anyone else to have you either).
I don't know that it's realistic, though, to think that you can keep this going until your children have grown up.
For a start, at some point your husband may get the courage to act on his feelings for men. Or you may break down with the stress of it all.
The person who is in the worst situation is the OM. You have your husband & your family, your husband has his family & his gay friends, while the OM has a bit of snatched time with you. This can only be making him very unhappy. And a sensible man is not going to put up with the status quo for very long, it's unliveable.
I think you really need to examine your own childhood & ask yourself why you see this as the only template for divorce/remarriage.
Because I have friends whose step-parent was better a parent to them than their real one, who became extremely close to their step-siblings. I also have a friend who is an excellent mum to her 2 step kids & treats them exactly the same as her own daughter.
And although I can't deny that divorce is traumatic for children, your interpretation of the narrative after divorce is wholely negative. It doesn't have to be. Some remarriages & blending of families are very happy.
If you truly love your ex, then I'm sure you could make it work, and I'm sure that, even if you don't think you want to now, you could make a good step-mum to his kids. I'm sure, equally, that he could be a good stepfather to your daughters. You would both be very aware of your own experience and have the life skills to circumnavigate the problems you encountered as a child. It's odd that you talk about not wanting your children to have a dad whom they only see as an 'occasional visitor, 'not a permanent fixture who looks after them'. That does not have to be scenario here. You could have joint custody for a start.
The longer this affair goes on the more likely your husband is to find out, and that might propel you into an acrimonious divorce, when it would be possible to negotiate an amicable one, to the least disruption to your children.
I don't really believe it will be possible to keep the relationship with OM going long term, & it's not fair on him. If you lose that you could end up feeling so bitter to your husband that you are no longer able to continue in the marriage. All the more so if your husband does end up coming out at some later point (perhaps after his father has died).
You cannot protect your children forever from the fact that your relationship with their father doesn't work. That can work ok while they're small, but when they're older, no. And you will be giving them a strange model of a relationship for them to build their own relationships on.
I would try to talk to honestly with your husband about the fact that the relationship does not work for you emotionally, and that if he doesn't want to be honest about his sexuality, he does at least need to be honest about that. That would be a start.
She seems to have reason to strongly believe he's gay. His friends have told her he's gay
So? It still doesn't mean that he is until he decides to say so.
If OP doesn't like it, she is free to leave but she has already said that she doesn't want to, so life can't be all that bad for her after all.
She is enjoying her home comforts too much to put herself out.
In fact there's a lot less evidence that I'm homophobic than there is that the OPs husband is gay, but you're very quick to label me aren't you lol!
Oh FGS. I'm not homophobic and I haven't written anything that could be viewed as such.
The OP is married to this man. She seems to have reason to strongly believe he's gay. His friends have told her he's gay. He doesn't want sex with her.
Being gay is no big deal. Marrying someone under false pretences IS a big deal.
Widdle, I can assure you I do not need to get a grip.
I would recommend that you curb your thinly veiled homophobia, and refrain from using language that is, at best, extremely offensive, but might be viewed by some as verging on hate speech.
Not true Widdle.
The only person who knows if he is gay is him. Looking gay does not make it so. Mixing with gay people, does not make it so.
Even having a gay sexual experience, does not mean you are gay. Can you really not understand that?
If you say I'm gay, it doesn't mean I am, no. But if you said I was gay you'd have nothing to base the statement on would you?
Whereas the OP has plenty on which to base her suspicions on.
He can claim to be straight til he's blue in the face. He can desperately WANT to be straight. But he is gay.
It's different with sexual orientation Widdle
If I say you're gay, does it mean you are? No, of course not. Only you can identify your own sexuality.
Oh get a grip joannesroom. Of course being gay isn't the same as being abusive. I'm making the point that you can "identify" as anything you like but it doesn't make it true.
If I identify as a goat it doesn't make it true, no matter how much I might want it to be.
Now go ahead and take offence on behalf of gay people and goats
Getting the OP's financial ducks in a row in case of a divorce is so practical. I like your style, bunion. At least it minimises disruption to the family, if divorce were just a matter of time anyway.
This is supercynical however ...
So might be wise to get the ducks in a row in case of divorce - have copies of marriage certificates, all his P60s and P45s and tax returns and pension documents and bank statements and property details.
So she can either stop what she is doing, keep it up but hide it (risky) or tell him/be careless enough he finds out (even more risky).
The only difficulty with an agreed arrangement, which is a sensible thing to do, in OP's case is that her dh is still in denial about his sexuality ...
If your husband is gay he might well want an agreed arrangement that you can each discreetly see other people. Perhaps sound him out on that. There is that gay man who wrote a book about this issue and has been in the press and he offered his wife a deal where he stayed married but he could see gay lovers on the side.
Eh? I wouldn't dream of likening someone's sexuality with being abusive, and frankly find it immensely insulting that anyone would.
"If your husband identifies as straight, that's what he is".
Ok. So if an abusive husband identifies himself as a nice bloke, that's what he is?
The guy is clearly as gay as a yellow duster and married the OP under false pretences. He can insist he's straight til the cows come home but it doesn't make it true.
Well I can see what you are saying Bella and I understand. I also think you sound like a nice lady making the best of a bad situation. The only risk I can think of is what if you are making a mistake with the sins of the fathers being visited upon the ins? You are projecting your experiences onto your children. What if it is different for them? What if being in a step family works out alright for them, yet you gave up a chance of a happy life and an intimate love for nothing?
I don't really know what you wanted to get from your post, but you must have known that it would cause quite a storm.
Although I do have a lot of sympathy for your situation , there are a number of things I take issue with.
Firstly, one's sexuality is entirely subjective, and no one can assign a sexual orientation on another person. If your husband identifies as straight, that is what he is, and will remain until he chooses to identify as not straight. Even being his wife does not give you the right to say 'He is gay. End of.' There might be a number of pointers that he is gay and maybe he knows this at some level, but until he owns this, and is ready to act on it, he remains a straight man.
That said, there is no reason why you should accept a sexless marriage, and that itself is grounds for separation. It sounds as though you have had sex with your husband once in seven years. As you are doubtless aware, good sex is a barometer of a healthy relationship, and if you husband is withholding sex, there is a big problem. I presume that the two of you were not able to address this together, or he declined to acknowledge this as a problem.
In the light of the obvious mismatch in sexual desire, and what sounds like an inability to address the issue, it is not surprising that you sought emotional and physical intimacy elsewhere.
You sound quite confused as to your feelings towards your husband now, and I can't help wondering why you are concealing your new relationship from him. Would this be a deal breaker? Would he want to divorce? He must surely be aware of the problems in the marriage, and surely would not be surprised that you were seeking sex elsewhere, if he was refusing it.
I am quite sure that many marriages accommodate these secret, discrete affairs with one partner either being unaware, or turning a blind eye. If the marriage is solid in other ways, it might be what actually helps it survive.
I have to say though, yours does not sound particularly solid. It sounds as though you bear quite a lost of unresolved anger towards you husband.
The other aspect of your dilemma that I am not in full agreement with, is your assertion that you must stay together for the sake of the children. They sound lovely well-adjusted children now, and would most probably stay lovely well adjusted children in the face of a separation. You do not have to repeat the mistakes of your own parents and could quite possibly navigate a split which did not involve huge upheaval. In a way you have the advantage of knowing how not to do it.
Although the situation you have created for yourself at the moment might be working for now, is it really sustainable in the long run? Won't there come a time when you want a full relationship, not an occasional night in a hotel. OM might also want more than you are currently able to give him.
I would urge you bite the bullet and have this difficult conversation with your husband about where you are going, because wherever that is, it seems unlikely it will be together.
Oh Bella, you don't see it, but you are setting the most awful impression of marriage for your children that will have such a profound impact on their lives.
If it's as bad as you say, presumably you don't ever touch DH or he you, laugh with DH, share a secret, kiss in front of them etc. what do you think they will think marriage iS all about? Such co existing for the sake of the children.
Yes, you think he is a wonderful father but a wonderful father also sets a good example to his children of how to behaves in relationships. So they have this wonderful father who is as cold as a fish to their mother. It will mess with their minds, it really will. Be brave.
Once you step over the line there is usually no go back, men are supposedly worse then women for forgiving! You'd be throwing a lot away for what? To be with an ex, they are your ex for a reason.....if he truly loved you he'd be the one you'd have married.
Don't confront him, Bella, just say it as kindly and as acceptingly as you can.
Tell him you want to stay married. But would he mind if you very discreetly got some relief elsewhere, how would that make him feel?
Opening up the debate, like.
He married you knowing he's gay. I think that counts as exceptional circumstances and you can't really be slated for what you're doing now. In effect, he was having a form of Affair in his head from the moment you were declared man and wife - he certainly wasn't all yours was he?
I agree with this. I am not sure why you are getting such a hard time OP as your husband married you under false pretenses and was dishonest. You sound like you have had your heart broken by him, and I certainly understand why you are doing things the way you are.
Whatever decision you make it will affect your children in a negative way - the positive thing you can do is minimise their pain as much as possible and if you are both good parents you will do this. I left my husband 6 months ago for another man. I had not started a relationship with this man until I had left my husband - but I did start a relationship immediately after. My children have not met my partner yet and are still devastated that my husband & I have split - as is my husband. But together - my husband - or should I say ex-husband - have minimised the effect on our children and in the past 8 weeks they have really settled into their new lives and are happy - they are very loved and we both show it all the time. They both feel secure and they are showing this - they have started to misbehave again which shows to me that they don't feel they need to be on their best behaviour and are just being normal. I do believe I made the right decision, I am happier than I have ever been with my new partner and my children are not showing any signs of any long term damage - my house if full of laughter all the time.
I wish you luck OP and hope you make the right decision for YOU - as life is too short not to.
Similar to what I read on a recent thread; you don't need to prove to your DH that he's gay. You don't have to prove to him that you know.
You need to say "Look, I know you're gay. I don't want to be married to a gay man. We can be just as friendly and parent just as well apart as we are now. Now, what's the next step?"
I wouldn't mention the OM at all. I wouldn't ordinarily say that but really - your husband is gay. He married you knowing he's gay. I think that counts as exceptional circumstances and you can't really be slated for what you're doing now. In effect, he was having a form of Affair in his head from the moment you were declared man and wife - he certainly wasn't all yours was he?
Join the discussion
Please login first.