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.

Do you think an affair can be harmless if it's never discovered?

(241 Posts)
Dietxokebreak Thu 17-Oct-13 18:23:54

And if its mainly physical, neither party had any intention of leaving their partner and it's conducted at times they would be away from their families anyway?

Wellwobbly Mon 21-Oct-13 07:43:27

flowers thanks
'Her DH is the one breaking his vows, but you don't have to make it quite so easy for him.' flowers thanks

blueshoes Sun 20-Oct-13 23:44:07

meditrina, you are just scaremongering.

Leavenheath Sun 20-Oct-13 23:41:20

So what are you going to do OP?

Dietxokebreak Sun 20-Oct-13 23:37:33

Chelsealady- if I knew about it of course I'd be hurt and it wouldn't be harmless. What I meant was whether it was possible that if an affair wasn't know about or ever discovered/disclosed that the innocent partner wouldn't be impacted in any way or whether there was always a change in behaviour/damage done to the relationship

Chelsealady Sun 20-Oct-13 23:02:16

Would you see it as harmless if your partner was to cheat on you? I very much doubt it so why should you do it? I beleive on treating your partner how you wish them to treat you!

Diet forget the CV, forget all of that. You'll not get fired. Everyone is far too scared of a sexual harassment case to so much as threaten you with a disciplinary.

Perhaps just have a heart. Read the threads on here from women going through the discovery of their partner's affair. You can practically taste the pain. Read them all, and then read them again. Try and understand, just try.

Her DH is the one breaking his vows, but you don't have to make it quite so easy for him.

meditrina Sun 20-Oct-13 22:14:13

It's not a case of who "should" be keeping their CV up to date. It's a case of how it will work out - the junior one is the expendable one. And a reputation for shagging the boss (or similar) can haunt you for years, especially if it's a line of work where everyone knows everyone. It'll be career limiting as you will be typecast into the 'lightweight' category. It won't be the affair partner 'trashing' her reputation - it'll be everyone and their gossip that'll do that.

I agree that all that is wrong. But I doubt societal attitudes will have changed in time to help OP if discovered. Hence need for planning for a different career.

Dietxokebreak Sun 20-Oct-13 22:05:36

It would be awkward and I wouldn't want people to know but i'm moving to another office next year so there's not much longer that i'll be around him anyway.

nooka Sun 20-Oct-13 19:24:11

Sector issues seem unlikely, but given the guy is senior to her and it's a small company I don't think that it is unreasonable to speculate that the OP may be at some risk employment wise if things end badly (for whatever reason). Not necessarily that she may be sacked but that she may find things made very uncomfortable.

ALittleStranger Sun 20-Oct-13 17:56:43

I think it's very unlikely that the OP could "trash" her reputation enough to not be employable in her sector! And if that were the case then we should all be a little outraged.

Missbopeep Sun 20-Oct-13 17:40:18

Don't you think HE should be the one keeping his CV up to date?
Married, senior, 'taking advantage' of a younger and perhaps vulnerable woman?

meditrina Sun 20-Oct-13 15:37:27

As you can never rule out chance discovery, I hope you're keeping your CV up to date, and have skills transferable to other sectors if your reputation is wrecked beyond short-term fix in your current field.

Wellwobbly Sun 20-Oct-13 15:31:05

Here's how you end it:

tell him that you being together makes you so happy and him happy also, and so you are going to tell his wife so she can be happy for you both.
very important to act dim and happy

You will not see him for dust!

Leavenheath Sun 20-Oct-13 15:11:09

He doesn't want you to feel bad because then you'd pull the plug on it.

He knows damned well that a lot of women in your situation would feel bad and just can't make those sort of bargains. As Scary says, there'll probably be others who can. As you can see from him, people are able to twist all sorts of things to justify why they do what they want to.

Your little bargain to do what you wanted to was that it wasn't doing anyone or anything any harm. Now you've faced up to the unlikelihood of that and have acknowledged there's not much in this for you either, hopefully you can't deceive yourself any longer.

ScaryFucker Sun 20-Oct-13 14:48:44

It certainly sounds like you should end it for your own sake too

Like I said many posts ago on this thread, you will look back on this period of your life and feel ashamed

A way to ameliorate that shame is to resolve to end it yourself (before you get traded in for another model, because you will) immediately

Dietxokebreak Sun 20-Oct-13 14:43:37

Yes - he tells me that I shouldn't feel bad because he's the one doing wrong but seems he just doesn't feel bad enough to stop so am starting to feel i'll have to walk away and not let myself be part of it.

I never thought it through and made a concious decision that it was a good idea. I know it is not but think it was probably your classic slippery slope from 'harmless' flirting to being way too involved without really seeing it and then I wanted to believe that it wasn't so bad even though I know it is.

Leavenheath Sun 20-Oct-13 14:42:37

But why does a distraction have to involve meeting men?

Even if it does for you personally, wouldn't you get more out of seeing a bloke who could see you whenever or wherever, with whom you could have regular sex?

He's risking it all because he thinks he's cleverer than he probably is, and possibly because his wife trusts him and has got better things to do with her time than check up on him. Let's face it, she might be one of those people who thinks that if her marriage is okay and her husband's saying he's happy and loves her, nothing untoward could ever happen. Most of us know life's not like that, but I could understand it if some people still believed all those old tropes. That's not to say she might not be noticing some odd behaviour of course, but if posters on here are anything to go by, she might be putting that down to the hoary old chestnuts that he's stressed at work or depressed.

It's obvious what he's getting out of it and why he doesn't want to stop then, but it's good you're questioning what's in it for you.

ScaryFucker Sun 20-Oct-13 14:14:14

What do you think you wanted from it in the first place ?

cjel Sun 20-Oct-13 13:53:30

Are you starting to feel perhaps you should be the one to end it and not take him back?x

Dietxokebreak Sun 20-Oct-13 13:41:14

I'm starting to realise there isn't really anything in it for me. I'm living away from home and if I'm honest am fairly lonely here, I guess he is a distraction. I know I should have found myself another distraction but I'm not very confident with meeting guys and always saw him as just a friend at work until it went too far. I know this is not an excuse as I let it happen when I should have stopped it but I never went after him or pursued it.

I don't really understand why he risks it all - he says his wife would leave him if she found out and he doesn't want that to happen but when I say we should stop as it's not worth risking hurting everyone for what we have he says he doesn't want to.

Leavenheath Sun 20-Oct-13 12:36:38

Speaking for myself only I've never met anyone who can compartmentalise an affair and it always has a harmful effect on someone, somewhere- or more typically, a lot of people in a lot of places.

What do you get out of it then? Are you saying this isn't harming you at all? I asked this early on in the thread before it got overtaken by an attention seeker and then you abandoned the thread for days.

That's the angle I'm focusing on- what harm if at all it might be doing to you?

I can see it's a salve to your conscience believing it's not having a harmful effect on his life or the people in it, but unless you say differently I don't suppose it would matter too much if it was, or cause you to change course.

So the self-interest angle's probably more relevant. What are you getting out of this, why are you doing it and what (if any) harm is it doing to you, your life and your view of of yourself?

Dietxokebreak Sun 20-Oct-13 12:18:25

I'm still here - don't really know what else to say as seems general opinion is that it is very rare that someone can be involved with something outside their marriage and not let it affect it.

I know it sounds pretty hollow but I really don't want to hurt anyone and I think I have naively told myself up to now that because neither of us want anything more from this that it wouldn't have an impact on his family. Obviously I don't know for sure how he behaves at home but I get the impression he compartmentalises pretty well and he tells me he is happy with his wife.

We do work together, it's obviously not something that's known about at work although our company is fairly small and doesn't have any specific rules against relationships or about disclosure. He's more senior than me but is not my manager and there is no favouritism.

Leavenheath Sun 20-Oct-13 11:59:42

You appear to be misunderstanding what posters are telling you Miss.

We are saying that some firms prohibit relationships full stop, some have rules only about disclosure and of course others have no such rules at all. The size of the organisation or whether they are 'household names' is irrelevant. The determining factor is the nature of the industry or work, obviously.

So the couples you know who met at work probably work for firms who either have no contractual rules about personal relationships because their business/code of ethics doesn't require them to, or it was fine as long as they disclosed them.

I have no need for you to believe these policies are 'widespread and common'. They are of course both, within particular industries and sectors that you might have no experience of. Because they've been around for many years, I was surprised when you said you hadn't even heard of them- and even more surprised when you seemed to think there was an employment law that protected people against sexual favouritism- but like everyone else on here, I have to accept that what's common knowledge in my world, isn't in others.

I'm not convinced those having an affair with a colleague consult the terms of their employment contract and disclose it. I personally think those terms aren't worth the paper they are written on.

I asked DH what his work would think about his affair. He reckoned they wouldn't care, given the (married) head of HR was herself having an affair with a (married) very senior partner. Says it all really.

meditrina Sun 20-Oct-13 08:09:58

My first hand experience was in a major UK public sector employer. Yes, people struck up relationships with colleagues. But if in same line management chain, one/both would be moved.

Though OP doesn't say if the absences during which the affair is carried out are down to work or a hobby or something else.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now