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Really strong urges to be unfaithful - does everyone have this?

(101 Posts)
HowMuchIsThatDoggy Tue 13-Sep-16 14:41:48

I'm in a happy, long, committed relationship. DP is brilliant. No excuses for how I feel.
Basically, periodically (and probably cyclically, hormonally speaking) I really, really want to cheat. I think about it loads. I currently have a "crush" (which I suspect is unfortunately mutual) which I will, as ever, make sure I don't act on. But it feels like a physical ache that I can't.
Is this normal?
16 years and I've never acted on these feelings, but it's so bloody difficult.
Any words of wisdom for me?

OnTheBr1nk Tue 13-Sep-16 14:43:39

One option is to discuss it with your DP -- perhaps you can come to an arrangement to open up your relationship. How would you feel about him occasionally being with someone else?

category12 Tue 13-Sep-16 14:44:18

Have you ever thought about an open relationship or polyamory?

HowMuchIsThatDoggy Tue 13-Sep-16 14:44:43

Hi OnThe, I'm not sure. I don't think DP would go for it in any case, and it would feel like a bit of a risk.
Thanks for your response. It's an interesting idea.

OnTheBr1nk Tue 13-Sep-16 14:44:58

(NB: It's not for everyone and it would require excellent levels of trust and communication, but plenty of people manage to make it work.)

HowMuchIsThatDoggy Tue 13-Sep-16 14:45:20

Thanks category, as well. I don't know anyone with this arrangement IRL, so it never really occurs to me.

HowMuchIsThatDoggy Tue 13-Sep-16 14:46:08

Does everyone in LTRs have the same??

DogsAndCatsAndThings Tue 13-Sep-16 14:48:03

No, but maybe you and your husband can sleep with other people or be swingers?

OnTheBr1nk Tue 13-Sep-16 14:48:32

Impossible to answer for everyone, but it seems like a very common and standard thing, and nothing to beat yourself up over. Perhaps instead of fully opening your relationship you could at least talk about these urges with your DP, encourage him to share his own crushes with you, and use them as fuel to feed your sexual relationship with one another -- i.e., instead of both separately secretly fantastising about others, do it together, out in the open.

sleepachu Tue 13-Sep-16 14:49:12

be careful about asking him to open up your 16 year long relationship - it could horrify him enough to end it. without judgement, I think you need to look at cheating with the view that it may end the relationship (and not necessarily on your terms) and decide how you feel about that. I'd also explore why you're feeling that way. if it's cyclical, is it a sexual thing that could potentially be satisfied within your relationship? e.g. could you see how he'd feel about fantasy role play (pretending you or he or both is/are someone else?)

I'd be so wary of cheating on a good relationship. being a cheat doesn't feel good.

HowMuchIsThatDoggy Tue 13-Sep-16 14:51:32

Thanks all for being understanding.

Good ideas, Brink and sleep. I would feel very wary about broaching opening up the relationship with DP. I think he might be very upset.

OnTheBr1nk Tue 13-Sep-16 14:52:34

FYI, good book on the subject of open relationships is Jenny Block's 'Open'

HowMuchIsThatDoggy Tue 13-Sep-16 14:53:28

Thanks for the book suggestion. Might have to be a bit careful ordering that on our shared Amazon account grin

OnTheBr1nk Tue 13-Sep-16 14:54:00

Fair enough. There is a chance he might be turned on, though, or relieved to be able to express some of his own pent-up feelings. One tip is to put it to him in the form of 'I had such a weird dream last night...' and describe it in those terms, make it clear that you enjoyed the dream, and just kind of read his response.

Otherwise, your only real option is to take these feelings and channel them back into your relationship with DP.

HowMuchIsThatDoggy Tue 13-Sep-16 14:55:05

It's very true, Brink - for all I know, he's thinking exactly the same. I like the "dream" idea of bringing it up, actually...

Obsidian77 Tue 13-Sep-16 14:59:52

I think it's very common to feel the way you do. There are tons of studies that suggest humans are hardwired to cheat. The fact that you haven't already is down to you choosing to overrule your basic impulses.
Researches estimate 60% of men and 40% of women do cheat and and the female figure is likely to be on the low side.
However one skim through the relationship threads will show you the misery that infidelity causes.
I think you do need to at least raise the topic with your partner. You could try saying "I read this thing on MN about infidelity and it got me thinking, how would we handle it if a similar situation came up with us?"
Oh and I think open relationships are much more common than people realise, I bet you already do know people in that situation, they just don't broadcast it..

HowMuchIsThatDoggy Tue 13-Sep-16 15:04:44

Wow, I had no idea the figures were quite that high, Obs.
Yes, I know how horrendous cheating can be - I've sometimes read and re-read MN threads about the fallout from infidelity to stop myself acting on impulses to date.

I'm starting to wonder now who the unbroadcast open-relationshippers I know might be...

AnchorDownDeepBreath Tue 13-Sep-16 15:07:16

Do you have a link to that research, Obs? It's quite far out from anything I've seen.

HowMuchIsThatDoggy Tue 13-Sep-16 15:07:35

Also, I'm in my later 30s, and I wonder whether the time I'll feel like this is limited? I don't want to suggest an open relationship that I then don't want any more in a few years time.

ProcrastinatingSquid2 Tue 13-Sep-16 15:13:04

I have in the past, OP. Always in the week or so around ovulation so I know what you mean about it being hormonal. I haven't felt it for quite a while but instead I seem to find my partner really annoying around that time. I'll start arguments with him. The stereotype is women go crazy with pms but it seems to be that fertile window when I go a bit nuts.

HowMuchIsThatDoggy Tue 13-Sep-16 15:18:00

It can be totally overwhelming sometimes, can't it, Proscrastinating?

gillybeanz Tue 13-Sep-16 15:19:04

Yes, both me and dh feel like this from time to time.
We ask if they want to shag the other person, and it's either, Yes if i got the chance, or no just window shopping.
We have never stopped each other from doing anything, it was part of our choice of being together.
In 24 years of marriage, neither of us have acted on it, but it helps a lot to be open about these things. I know when he fancies somebody, I can just tell and him likewise, it's pretty harmless unless you are controlling in your relationships.

HowMuchIsThatDoggy Tue 13-Sep-16 15:20:56

That sounds really impressively healthy, gilly. How do you make sure it never worries you/him when one of you fancies someone? Do you just know for sure it won't be acted on? Or not mind that much in theory if it was?

ImperialBlether Tue 13-Sep-16 15:21:10

When you think of it, what do you think of? It's interesting you term it as thinking about being unfaithful - that would be a really seedy feeling - rather than thinking about sleeping with other men.

Being unfaithful would involve excitement, yes, but might also involve fear, feeling out of control, guilty, sordid, unable to control yourself, regret you're hurting someone you love, being unable to look them in the eye, etc.

Is that what you want? Or do you just find some men attractive?

ProcrastinatingSquid2 Tue 13-Sep-16 15:22:02

Yeah, it does make you feel a bit of a slave to your hormones

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