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.

Tell me about emotional affairs...

(135 Posts)
Livingthedaydream Sat 11-Jan-14 18:10:17

Regular but NC'd.

Why do they start?
Where do they go?
How do they end?

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Thu 30-Jan-14 09:49:38

You did the right thing to break up with your partner who you were unhappy with.

You say you are going to take it slowly with new guy but it doesn't look slowly from the outside. Anything could happen with him, but I really would suggest getting some distance between you, concentrating on yourself and your friendships for a bit, if possible. A break-up with children is VERY different from a break up without and it is likely to turn very messy.

Tonandfeather Thu 30-Jan-14 11:24:21

I have a feeling that this guy's WIFE is going to get fucked over. The poster knows the score, she doesn't.

All because the poster and this guy have decided the exes "don't need to know" there was an affair. Worse still, presenting those lies as an act of altruism!

Which is why I hope the guy's wife finds out about you, poster. Because apart from not wanting character traits of dishonesty and lying to be exposed, the main reason guys don't tell their wives and family there's someone else is to keep a safety net if their new romance fails.

Better that his wife knows the true character of this guy so that she can tell him to go away and stay away if he ever wants to come back.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 30-Jan-14 17:25:50

I don't agree that men or women decide to keep an affair 'secret' for reasons of returning home should their new romance fail. What husband/wife would accept a returning spouse - for any reason?

I can totally see the benefit of 'keeping quiet' because if you didn't confess at the start of an affair, blurting it out at the end of a relationship isn't going to make the other person feel any better, is it? Why can't people be free to just end their relationships without a full-blown autopsy? All that telling the partner of the 'other person' would bring is unhealthy comparison. I know that there are posters who disagree with this and think full disclosure is the only way but, not their call, it's OP's call, the MM's call, nobody else's, not even the other partners involved.

If a relationship is over then it's over. It only needs one of the pair to decide that. It's up to the leaving partner to decide what they tell, how much they tell, etc. The important bit is to actually tell the other person that it is over. This, they have done.

Living... read Thisisaghostlyeuphemism's post carefully. I think she's right about the fact that you ought to be pulling right away at the moment, concentrate on your other relationships/friendships. I said in a previous post that you're not starting from quite the same position as anybody else getting together with somebody. You're not - this is it, the 'pinch point' - and it needs careful handling if you really think this is going somewhere. I think that you should both be taking a little time to reflect on your ended relationships - not necessarily grieve them, people make all kinds of assumptions about the need for that - but just reflection and thinking about how you will not bring past mistakes to your next relationship. You have all the time in the world now, the rest of your lives, there's no rush.

Tonandfeather Thu 30-Jan-14 17:44:54

What husband/wife would accept a returning spouse - for any reason?

Loads of people. 2 friends of mine did. There is another thread at the moment about a man who left very suddenly and the poster has no actual evidence of an affair, but would take him back if he wanted to return.

Are you really saying you've never heard of that?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 30-Jan-14 17:56:18

Not from any people with their self-esteem intact, Ton, no.

If my husband wanted to leave without talking to me beforehand about our relationship I'd let him go and that would be that. Why would I be at the beck and call of somebody who didn't think I was worth a conversation with when it mattered?

Tonandfeather Thu 30-Jan-14 18:39:00

I'm with you on that of course - although I don't think anyone knows what they'd do till it happened - but I thought you were suggesting this turn of events never occurs. Apols if not.

I wouldn't be that harsh on why women take men back though, or on women with shattered self-esteem. There's often a lot of pressure on women to make allowances for men's "mental health breakdowns" or stress coping with balancing careers and family life. Women are also statistically more likely to be left with more childcare and less money when a husband leaves suddenly.

I can't help comparing the poor poster in the other thread who's clinging to beliefs that her husband is having a breakdown and doesn't mean what he says, to the sheer selfishness on this one. It would help that other poster so much if she could see her husband more clearly instead of having sympathy for his mental health.

The sort of anger and self-assuredness you talk about (I'd let him go) often only kicks in when an affair is finally discovered. When my friends found out what had really been going on, they were MAGNIFICENT in their long overdue contempt for the liars they'd been making allowances for.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 30-Jan-14 18:55:45

Ton... I was gender-neutral on that; I don't think any person serves themselves well by taking back somebody who chose to leave.

It happened to me so I speak from experience and I disagree with you about being harsh on women. Women have the lionshare of child-rearing responsibility, they just do. There are fewer women who leave a family than men who do the same, it's a fact. As that is a sad fact it's obvious that lone-parent women have the greater responsibility for parenting (and are so acknowledged by the courts in the UK), that this responsibility translates to making sure their children grow up with healthy self-esteem. Fairly or unfairly, that means that the children are the first consideration, rather than the wishes of the left parent or those of he errant ex partner.

I don't believe the content of many of the threads here; I think some posters have been conditioned to accepting and expecting congratulation for their 'strength' in the face of adversity and that's not healthy. It skews their posting in terms of what they perceive their audience wants to read. Nobody knows whether that poster's partner had an affair or not so speculation is pointless.

I don't understand your last point. I don't believe that affairs are routinely discovered; I don't believe that the majority of them are. Whether somebody has an affair or not if they leave their partner and are admitted back into the relationship, that's no demonstration of 'magnificence' to me from either party.

Tonandfeather Thu 30-Jan-14 19:16:17

You have some very odd views.

But I won't debate with you any longer because we are miles apart in our understanding of women's issues, equal rights and whether lying to partners at the end of a relationship is acceptable. You seem to think it is. I don't.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 30-Jan-14 19:23:06

I think it's up to individuals to decide for themselves, Ton, nobody has the right to dictate that. Affair partners, by virtue of what they are doing, are lying to their partners all the way through the affair. If they don't confess it and end their primary partnerships then disclosure will add nothing but pain. Better for them all to keep quiet and let their ex-partner find peace and happiness elsewhere.

Skirting over your rather rude assessment of my views because they don't accord with your own, yes please do feel free to ignore them in future, I won't be in the least offended.

For what it's worth I think disclosure or not is a very individual thing and highly dependent upon the circumstances. Honesty is the best policy imho but in real life I do understand that this is easier said than done on occasions having lived through xh's affair. Life is complicated.

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