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How do people get away with affairs?

(125 Posts)
LoveBeingAwakeInTheNight Mon 01-Sep-14 12:16:21

Quite a blunt title and certainly not looking for tips grin I was reading some threads and I just wondered how on earth do they get away with it? How do they make excuses? How do they get so much time away from their partner? I am certain not victim blaming, I just wondered maybe could see if I need to pay attention to anything

getthefeckouttahere Mon 01-Sep-14 12:24:29

Now thats a great question!

I am a reasonably clever chap, decent demanding job, tech savvy and a realistic view of the world and what people can do. I was gobsmacked when i walked in one day to told by my ex that she had been having an affair for a year and we were finished.

I came to the conclusion that i was a complete and total idiot, who ignored the obvious and sub consciously didn't care that she was having an affair.

With time i have realised that this wasn't the case. The truth was that my previously lovely partner of 14 years had become a devious accomplished liar, who was determined to have an affair. She played upon my trusting nature and was willing to lie to me and our two DC at the drop of a hat without batting an eyelid. Hey ho.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Sep-14 12:29:35

There's someone I know who has got away with it for decades. His work & hobbies involve a lot of travel and overnight stays and his DW is well-treated, very trusting and not suspicious. If you met him you'd think he was a totally straight-up, ordinary bloke... another asset in maintaining a 'double life'.

partyskirt Mon 01-Sep-14 12:31:46

that's sad getthefeck -- I hope you have found new happiness

getthefeckouttahere Mon 01-Sep-14 12:35:08

Ty party, it was very sad indeed, but i am getting to a much happier place 3 years down the line, but its been a hell of as journey!

LineRunner Mon 01-Sep-14 12:39:57

The first time my ExH did this, I knew. New phone, new clothes, works event, came home and decided to sleep in the spare room so's 'not to bother me'.

The second time he just learned to be completely, ruthlessly devious.

Sickoffrozen Mon 01-Sep-14 12:44:14

A friend of mine has been having an on/off affair with a married man for 7 years. She is married too. She isn't in love with him, she just likes his company and the sex and generally meets him once a month. Fairly easy to do if your job is flexible. They don't bombard each other with texts and only communicate by email from work so no suspicions anywhere. They book a hotel and spend an afternoon/evening together. He pays on his work credit card (own business and works away a lot). They have dinner, chat and have sex. They generally repeat it again in the morning before having breakfast and then leaving! She is very matter of fact about it. Only I know on her side and she says he has told no one. I don't think they have even come close to being caught.

She doesn't seem bothered by the wrongness of it all. She doesn't actually see it as being particularly wrong as long as no one finds out which as described above is unlikely. I said to her that he probably has more than her on the go and she said he can do what he likes. Doesn't bother her as they always use protection!

It's not for me but I suppose some people have different views than others on these things!

however Mon 01-Sep-14 12:47:40

You know, I've often thought it would be dead easy for me (and therefore plenty of other SAHMs) to have an affair with another mum from school.

I wonder if it goes on a lot?

meringue33 Mon 01-Sep-14 12:56:08

Haha. A friend of mine did, However. Her toddlers were very good nappers, otherwise it would not have been possible. She was however busted and her marriage ended.

Fontella Mon 01-Sep-14 12:56:31

The senior manager at a place where I used to work was having an affair with a member of staff. Everyone knew about it - apart from the bloke's wife that is. We had a work's social club and he was always in there with her, it was common knowledge to everyone at work. It was just the weirdest situation and they were quite brazen about it, and yet the wife was oblivious - didn't have a clue, and I know that for a fact, before anyone asks 'are you sure she didn't know'. No she didn't.

First time I met his wife I was shocked at how attractive she was. A Really beautiful lady, slim, lovely and so friendly and nice. I They had young children who she also brought in from time to time, and to all intents and purposes seemed a really lovely happy family. The boss was also very good looking but his mistress was a plain, little plump thing, and to be honest, a bit of a cow - no-one liked her. It was really odd, the whole set up, not least that there would occasionally be social occasions that the wife would attend with her husband - the boss. Mistress would be there in the background but occasionally you could catch them stealing furtive glances at each other behind the wife's back. it was really uncomfortable to see.

Everyone was too shit scared of their jobs to tell the poor wife. I eventually left and moved away from the area, so I don't know how it all ended up.

ravenmum Mon 01-Sep-14 12:57:58

It definitely helps if your partner simply does not think you would be that nasty, as you come across as a decent, honest person. Even though I could see some things my husband was doing - sending text messages to a woman - I was willing to believe his story that he was talking to her about his mother's and her father's illness, as they were going through the same thing. I thought he might end up having an emotional affair, but I didn't think he'd been going to hourly sex hotels with her for months and months, as I honestly couldn't imagine him doing anything so low down and disgusting or using his dead mother as an excuse for it. I did complain, but he would always bring up his dead mother to make me feel I was the one being unreasonable.

It helps if you have always had irregular or very long working hours, with long business trips so your spouse has got used to you coming home at all hours or not at all. Just add some comments about how you have to do someone else's job as they are seriously ill, and (again) your spouse will feel bad about saying anything.

Complete change of clothes, look, weight loss, manly moisturiser, new beard? Your mother's death has made you think about mortality so you want to take care of yourself.

Shutting yourself in your room with the computer to write long emails to your mistress about your bitch of a wife, never once mentioning your dead mother but instead writing pornographic novels about your mistress's "pussy"? Tell your wife that you have realised you never get any time to yourself (i.e. make her feel like a nag if she complains) and that you need time to grieve over your dead mother. Tell her (indirectly, of course! Don't want it to be too obvious) that she doesn't understand, as her mother is still alive. Then if she repeats that back more directly, tell her how hurtful she is for saying that. Generally play lots of mind games so that she doesn't know who it is being nasty any more.

Hesaysshewaffles Mon 01-Sep-14 13:12:03

I felt a right dick head for not noticing that he'd been having an affair for a year! I knew something was wrong and hiding something but I had no idea it was another woman until I hacked his phone one day. He worked with her and his leaving early and staying late, stopping ringing at lunchtime was put down to his senior promotion. He had one night away a month called poker night and would ca me when he was there so I could hear then in the background - he'd then go to the travelodge!

Truth is he got cleverer and cleverer and made me feel like I was imagining things. He also ceased all intimacy.

I hacked his phone as after a year I couldn't take anymore. I didn't really have much of a life/independence then. If I did I probably wouldn't have noticed as much

IrianofWay Mon 01-Sep-14 14:04:55

It's called trust and its the main casualty of an affair. H was different when he was in the A but we'd been together for 28 years at that point so he'd been through many phases of 'different' before - none of them caused by an affair. Different through stress, grief, depression, simply because he was growing and changing. Just like me. Funnily enough infidelity wasn't the first thing to cross my mind. I trusted him not to do anything of the sort because I thought that was the last thing he'd ever do.

So how do they get away with it? Beleiving your spouse is having an affair is like seing something appear or disappear before your eyes - you automatically assume you imagined it because the alternative is totally unbeleivable. It takes some pretty concrete proof, or a confession, to accept it really is happening.

Which is how, I guess, all the practical difficulties that you'd think would arise are got over - H stayed a little later at work most days, he went out to more work events than before, his mood was different, he was always looking at his phone - didn't mean anything ominous to me. Now, sadly, having read so many stories on here and elsewhere about affairs, I am far more cynical and suspicous about behaviour than I used to be. Another delightful little gift from the Affairy Godmother hmm

mrsspagbol Mon 01-Sep-14 14:35:24

Gosh flowersto you all.

dolicapax Mon 01-Sep-14 14:46:33

My H's job required him to work in the US and Europe most weeks. I regularly didn't see him for a week or two at a time. His affair was with a US colleague who had a similar schedule so they stayed together in hotels on business travel. With the benefit of hindsight there were plenty of clues in his attitude towards me, but practically it was very easy for him to lead a double life.

The sad fact is the majority of his male colleagues were doing exactly the same thing, always with young women at least 10 years junior to them. There are a lot of trusting women (and I guess men) out there who have no clue.

Purpleroxy Mon 01-Sep-14 14:56:06

Very easily. My dh did the following:

DW I am going on a business trip and staying in a hotel in London (completely true). But I forgot to mention taking a colleague with me to share the room and have sex with.

It's very easy if you often work late anyway. Eg Mon, Tues - work late, true. Weds - "work late", aka shag colleague in a locked meeting room in the office.

Even better if you affair partner can facilitate - my lovely OW had a boyfriend/partner who lived in sometimes and also a child who sometimes was with his father, OW's xH. So when she got rid of her boyfriend and her child, she got my DH round to have sex with, watch TV and spend cosy evenings. OWs xH was X because she cheated on him when on maternity leave with her child hmm. She was a classy lady and my dh was an ego maniac. It was love you know.

Oh I forgot to mention, at the time, our kids were baby and toddler so I had my hands completely and utterly full. Helps when deceiving someone.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Sep-14 15:02:36

BTW.... the question was 'how do people get away with affairs?' and the truth about affairs that are got away with is that no-one knows that they have happened besides the participants. Most of the stories above are about people who didn't ultimately get away with the affair, but were all discovered one way or another. It's like the perfect crime. The truly perfect crime is never recorded because no one knows it even happened. The perfect affair is the one that is taken to the grave with the cheated spouse believing they had a 100% faithful partner. smile

kentishgirl Mon 01-Sep-14 15:09:52

I knew deep down my partner was having an affair but he always had a rubbish reason or excuse for what I asked him about. Even though at the time they were blatantly rubbish excuses, somehow I decided to put my head in the sand/cling on in the hope I was wrong, but mainly, I loved him, I'd always been able to trust him and I couldn't bring myself to believe he could be so cruel and devious. It was a very weird 'doublethink' going on in my mind, I believed he was having an affair, at the same time I believed he wouldn't have an affair.

Practically, he worked odd and long hours, he travelled for business, quite easy for him to lie to me about what he was doing.

They get away with it because they are devious, nasty people taking advantage of someone who isn't like that, so can't believe someone who is supposed to love them could be like that.

IrianofWay Mon 01-Sep-14 15:13:19

That is very true cogito. I guess the answer remains the same though - just the participants were more skilled or just luckier.

BeforeAndAfter Mon 01-Sep-14 15:16:31

My XH got away with it for as long he did because I was totally trusting, I worked long hours, worked away from time to time and I truly believed you could have it all i.e. a loving husband who was a best friend and who would not dream of cheating. Then I got suspicious...

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Sep-14 15:21:27

Not sure the answer remains the same. There's often talk of cheating spouses acting differently, wearing different clothes, losing weight, being more argumentative, evasive, hiding their phone, deleting their mails etc and I think those factors describe the 'unsuccessful' cheat. The 'successful' cheat is nothing like that obvious. As I suspect that the OP is trying to work out some rules of thumb for spotting infidelity I think the message to take away is that anyone can stray, you can't prevent it, and not everyone is going to give themselves away in the process. Be a little less trusting and a little more observant/questioning perhaps, but don't beat yourself up too much if you get a nasty shock. Shit happens....

Sickoffrozen Mon 01-Sep-14 15:23:49

I think it's more skilled and not letting feelings get in the way too much. My friends view is very matter of fact. I suppose she is his perfect mistress. Doesn't demand his time, doesn't text him, doesn't phone him. Just takes him for one day a month and then goes back to her life. She only told me because we have known each other for years and I don't really know her husband. She is happy with her home life pretty much too. In her words, she is just greedy!

Ivedunnit Mon 01-Sep-14 15:34:00

I work in a male dominated Industry with a fair bit of travel. Having seen what I have seen there would be few men that I would trust!

BeforeAndAfter Mon 01-Sep-14 15:34:46

I think the perfect affair needs parties on an equal footing i.e. neither party wants to leave their marriage and they're happy to spice things up (as they see it) from time to time but not too often.

I have a close male friend who is permanently unfaithful. He always pays cash, he stays away on business so has a paid for hotel room and always plays away with married women so he doesn't have a woman pining for him at weekends. He's not the most handsome man but he's never short of a woman who'll play away with him.

BeforeAndAfter Mon 01-Sep-14 15:37:47

Same here Ivedunnit. The 'what goes on tour, stays on tour' maxim is alive and well in my field.

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