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Anyone had an affair with a good outcome or is it always mayhem and destruction?

(108 Posts)
GoodGirlGoneBad74 Fri 16-Nov-12 10:09:33

Am feeling terribly confused right now. Don´t really want to go into why I´m asking this but conventional wisdom and the traditional view is that it´s the worst possible thing to "cheat" and have an affair and that it only leads to suffering, horror and pain.
Can anyone tell me otherwise? Have any of you had an affair and it´s had a happily ever after ending? Looking for experiences (good and bad) of those who´ve been there.
Any of you had an affair, enjoyed it, ended it and then carried on with their marriage without anyone finding out or slipping into an abyss of insane guilt?
All comments welcome and flame me if you´s all good therapy probably!

ShamyFarrahCooper Fri 16-Nov-12 10:13:20

Well the person having the affair may well continue to enjoy themselves but their spouse will end up suffering horribly. It's a horribly selfish thing to do imo. End the current relationship first.

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Fri 16-Nov-12 10:15:13

Not for a good few years, otherwise believe me that´s what I would do in a second...never ever cheated on anyone in my life.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 16-Nov-12 10:20:18

I know several people who have engaged in discrete affairs, not been discovered, not gone mad with guilt, not left their families and it has not directly led to suffering, horror, pain or all the rest. However, I'm not sure that's the same as a happy ending.

If you're contemplating an affair yourself think long and hard. There are three people (at least) in the mix and someone is going to be affected by the experience. Could be you, your partner or even the OM. If you're the one being unfaithful you have to become an adept liar (to all parties) with a good memory and be damned organised - it's very hard work. You have to switch off anything approaching a conscience and that can be problematic in ways you may not appreciate.

If your marriage is rubbish, deal with the problems or split. It's a lot easier on the soul...

izzyizin Fri 16-Nov-12 10:26:46

If you've 'never cheated on anyone' in your life why start now?

However it pans out, all you'll be doing is chipping away at your personal integrity and that's far too high a price to pay for the dubious pleasures of an extramarital affair.

Overall you're best advised to keep your knickers on until such time as you can remove them without harming yourself as well as others and if that means waiting a few years or more, so be it.

Bonsoir Fri 16-Nov-12 10:29:53

If you have an affair, your marriage will never be the same again.

CaptainHoratioWragge Fri 16-Nov-12 10:30:22

"Any of you had an affair, enjoyed it, ended it and then carried on with their marriage without anyone finding out or slipping into an abyss of insane guilt?"

Well, it wouldn't be insane guilt, would it?

More like perfectly rational, sensible guilt?

Seeing as it would be breaking the trust (and probably heart) of the other person??

PostBellumBugsy Fri 16-Nov-12 10:30:43

I think it depends on the affair.

Some people are able to have sexual encounters outside of marriage & can compartmentalise and keep it all separate.

Many people have affairs that involve feelings & emotions & I think those are the ones that end up being really messy. If you fall in love with someone else, it is very hard to stay living with another person.

Also you have to be a very good liar, as you will have to start deleting texts, emails, finding alibis for when you are with the other person. You have to remember the lies you have told & unless you want it all to go tits up, you have to hope that the person you are having the affair with will be an equally good liar, so that you don't get found out through them either.

Dahlen Fri 16-Nov-12 10:32:38

Why can't you split? You may not want to, or feel that the timing isn't right, but that's not the same as 'can't'.

IME, these things usually end up coming out. The world is full of adulterers who thought they could keep it discreet but miscalculated. If you really are determined, make sure your co-conspirator is someone who has more to lose than you should your affair become public, and make sure it's someone with a devious streak who is good at covering their tracks (what a catch he sounds already, eh? hmm).

The thing is, unless the betrayed spouse sees discovery of the affair as a relief, giving them the excuse they've been looking for to leave (which does happen quite a lot I think), it always causes pain. Even in marriages where an affair has been worked through and held up as 'the best thing that could have happened to us', it didn't become so without an awful lot of misery and upheaval first.

DoIlooklikeapeopleperson Fri 16-Nov-12 10:40:09

I agree with everything PBB said.

Affairs are rarely about sex, for me it was the attention & an escape from the boredom of everyday life. It wasn't worth it, I got hurt and was left feeling worse than before. ( although I enjoyed it at the time )

I'd never do it again.

fluffyraggies Fri 16-Nov-12 10:50:19

Yes, why cant you split OP?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 16-Nov-12 10:51:58

What sort of good outcome might that be then? I am genuinely curious.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 16-Nov-12 11:26:00

There are 'good outcomes' but, in any three-way relationship that ends up as a two-way relationship the good outcome will always exclude one of those people. The only way the outcome stays good is if all three keep things very separate and, of course, he cheated-on person never finds out. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

badtime Fri 16-Nov-12 11:43:53

I suppose asking your partner for an open relationship is out of the question? Some people do manage to make that work, and it avoids some of the problems of an affair.

Looksgoodingravy Fri 16-Nov-12 11:47:13

Imo even though some people can compartmentalise it's usually the betrayed partner who is distanced from (speaking from experience), two people know about the situation and one person possibly thinks they're going demented at home knowing something isn't 'quite right', this is an awful thing to do to somebody you are supposed to love.

Would you treat your friends this way?

You need to look inside yourself and ask yourself why you need this extra person in your life, why are they worth risking your relationship for.

fiventhree Fri 16-Nov-12 11:49:31

I notice you are not falling over yourself to explain why you 'cant' tell or leave.

LemonDrizzled Fri 16-Nov-12 11:53:14

I was married but in denial of the miserable EA nature of my relationship. I had a short but passionate and extremely lovely affair with someone unsuitable. He never told his wife and went back and worked harder at his marriage and is still with her and his DC. I looked hard at myself for reasons why I had behaved in such a shitty way, took some bracing advice off here, and ended my marriage 2 years ago.

Four years on I am happy with a new DP, my ExH is happy with a new DP and I suppose you could say it is a good outcome although I wish I hadn't made the choices I did. You live and learn! There is a poem somewhere online about being able to look at yourself in the mirror with respect that resonated with me.

RedBushedT Fri 16-Nov-12 12:51:36

I'm similar to LemonDrizzled. Was in a crappy marriage with EA issues & alcohol abuse (him)
I had an affair. It gave me the push I needed to think seriously about my situation.
I tried to make things work with h when the affair was discovered but my heart wasn't in it. Things were too awful.
In a way the affair had a 'happy' outcome for me in that it made me recognise how utterly warped my relationship was.
We split up and I'm now dating the OM.

However.... Word of caution.
I had never cheated. Ever. And I still suffer terrible guilt for what I did.
I really wish that I'd finished my marriage first. Although realistically I can also recognise that I was so ground down that I didn't have the strength.

Sorry, not much help..

If you are able to, end the relationship first. You'll feel much better about yourself in the long run.

My marriage and babies are the product of an affair, as both DH and I committed to the wrong people way too young. While this is a happy outcome there was hurt along the way, for us and our respective partners. His ExW is now happily remarried and expecting her first baby and my ExF is engaged to a girl he had always fancied, so I guess it worked out well for everyone ultimately, but it was a shitty thing to happen, we should have broken it off with our partners before getting involved and that does stay with you. When I recently MC I found myself asking if it was karma for what we did. Of course not, but believe me when I say no affair is without consequence.

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Fri 16-Nov-12 15:30:03

Thanks everyone for sharing your stories and thoughts...I guess you are all telling me what I already know :-( It´s just I´m struggling with my willpower and guess I need a reality check!
Don´t care if I get hurt- would rather feel something than the nothing I´ve been experiencing the last 7 years or more but the thought of hurting everyone else is what´s so scary....
And I can´t leave at the moment: 2 small kids, alone in a foreign country with no family support, just invested in a major business venture with DH with large financial investment for our family´s future, etc....yes, I know...I pick my moments to have a wobble :-((
And I DO know the right thing to do....just have this devil on my shoulder saying that you only live once.... and it´s just so nice to experience that feeling and excitement again with somebody new.
Oh lot are seriously going to jump on me for that last comment...blush

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 16-Nov-12 15:36:04

It's not the wanting the excitement again. Everyone needs to feel wanted. It's why you're letting the rest hold you back from splitting properly that'll get you the flaming. If it's dead it's dead and there's no point being a martyr for the sake of other people's feelings only to end up probaby worse off because you've acted recklessly out of desperation. To do some objection handling for a second.

- small kids.... flexible, portable and more resilient than most people think
- foreign country... flight tickets back to home country easily secured.
- no family support... lots of very happy lone parents out there or see above
- investing in a major business venture.... what price self-worth and happiness?

Dahlen Fri 16-Nov-12 15:41:52

Ok, so if you've been that heavily investing into your family's future, clearly you see your marriage as a long-term thing, which begs the question why you are feeling so unfulfilled in it that you've resorted to considering an affair.

What's missing? Why are you feeling so dead in your marriage? Is it circumstances? Is it him? Or is it you? Or is it both of you? Is it repairable? Is it worth getting marriage guidance counselling? If you can improve things, that would be my first option in your situation.

At the same time, however, I think you should stick with that 'you only live once mentality' and consider the fact that if you're not careful there will always be a reason to stay - another business venture, another move with no local support, etc etc. You'll find yourself waking up in 20 years time (without the distraction of young children) feeling like you've wasted your life.

If you are unhappy and determined to leave, there could well be a way to continue the business venture without having to remain living as husband and wife - if you are both capable of behaving like caring, considerate adults with your DCs best interests at heart and an eye on long-term financial security for both of you. That's a lot less likely to happen if you have an affair and get caught.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Fri 16-Nov-12 15:45:30

I had a text affair which nearly went further. I won't go into what happened but it made me realise 2 things

1) My DH was worth more than the OM
2) My DH and DD deserved better
3) My marriage was actually pretty good and not worth sacrificing
4) In life I have done pretty well and made me realise all of DHs "selling points" over other, inferior men.

betternamechange Fri 16-Nov-12 15:45:55

I am in an affair. Have been for almost a year. It is a strange thing and almost doesn't seem real. I don't see a happy ending because i somehow thought i could 'compartmentalise' but emotions and feelings don't work that way. When i spend time with him it feels lovely. But i feel guilt, frustration, unsettled, and struggle with the fact that we can't have a relationship in the full sense of the word but settle for less. It is a conundrum. What is the point of a relationship that can't go anywhere as neither of us would leave our marriages. We question it but don't stop it. That's my story. I never ever thought i would be in this position. Really truly.

So you're not going to have an affair.
You can't leave your marriage.

Only other option is to work at fixing the marriage. Is that possible?

izzyizin Fri 16-Nov-12 15:46:49

You pick your moments to 'have a wobble'? Nah. You've built a house of cards and that's what's going to wobble and coming crashing down on you when your duplicity get discovered by your dh - which it will in the not too distant future.

As it happens, I suspect your denouement will come a lot sooner than you think. I reckon either just before or shortly after New Year. When the inevitable happens, don't say you weren't warned.

IWasAHorriblePersonBackThen Fri 16-Nov-12 15:54:04

NC'd for this

I had an affair with my married boss when I first graduated. It lasted about 2 years then just fizzled out amicably. I was single at the time and suffering from cripplingly low self esteem. I'm really ashamed to admit that I thought that the fact that he would risk his family to shag me meant I must be something really special hmm

Nobody found out (to my knowledge) and nobody got hurt so I guess you could chalk that up as a 'successful outcome'.

Of course my comeuppance has come now that I am married to my lovely DH. He is a good looking man, wealthy and quite a catch.

Despite him never giving me any reason to mistrust him, I am absolutely convinced that he will cheat or leave me for a younger, prettier model.

The thing is, because I know how easy it was for a young and pretty me to seduce an older married man, I am convinced that all men (my DH included) would do the same as my boss did all those years ago if handed the opportunity on a plate.

My point is this: Even if you have what on paper is a 'successful' affair, the repercussions might come at a time and in a form that you couldn't have anticipated when you were laying the foundations for it.

It's just not worth it.

NatashaBee Fri 16-Nov-12 15:55:32

Even if noone ever finds out, even if you don't end your marriage to live with the new person, I think you will be plagued by an inability to trust your partner (current or future) because you know first hand that it's possible to be that deceitful - because you did it, and every time they say 'I'm going for drinks with work' you'll wonder if they really are, because that was one of the excuses you used when you were seeing the other man. And that's the best case. If you go into a full time relationship with the other man and leave your husband - the other man knows that you have cheated and lied. Not exactly the best foundation to build a new relationship on.

Charbon Fri 16-Nov-12 16:04:46

Look, you're only going to get some proper help and understanding if you stop all the laughing and joking about this on threads from the last few days and start realising that this is serious shit. Your posts come across as though this is no more serious than you having an ice cream addiction from which you've fallen off the wagon.

I get that it's probably your defence mechanism, but stop trivialising this and have a think about how childishly you are coming across.

Today's thread is all about you trying to get permission to have an affair that won't damage you or anyone else.

No-one can endorse that with any conviction though.

If posters have known friends to get away with secret affairs, how would they know what damage had been caused? They are not in those relationships and haven't lived the experience of those involved.

If posters have had secret affairs themselves, some of them might be in denial about the damage this has caused to their partners and themselves.

Focus on your situation and whether you, your relationship, your family, the OM and his partner and family if he has them are all going to escape damage because of your affair. Decide what damage you can live with, if any.

Get over yourself a bit too. Of course it's thrilling and exciting to be desired by someone new. Your husband would feel exactly the same of course. The OM feels it too. It's not a major deal and it means precisely nothing.

Having an affair however does mean something.

izzyizin Fri 16-Nov-12 16:16:52

Thanks to Charbon for the heads up re your recent musings, but what a let down.

It's more than a tad pathetic to get so worked up over what's little more than a knee trembler. Haven't you got any pride in yourself or your family?

EuroShagmore Fri 16-Nov-12 16:18:07

I know a number of people who have had affairs and a "positive" outcome. In all but one case, the affair was not discovered and the couple stayed together, and the relationships seem strong. In the one case, the affair was discovered and the couple divorced. Having known one half of the couple for years, I would say the split was inevitable with or without the affair. He had said more than once that he wanted to leave but felt guilty because of his kids - there was never a good time due to health problems, exams, etc. So the marriage was already over in his head (and probably hers - they were leading increasingly separate lives anyway).

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Fri 16-Nov-12 16:18:29

I told my DH how I felt this week. I wanted to be honest and to see if there was some way we could continue in a "partnership" while the venture got off the ground and until we were financially stable enough to split...also to keep things together for our kids in an amicable way.
He still loves me and wants to sort it out. Basically, there´s no grey area: either I find a way to love him or we divorce and that will mean financial ruin for us. Dahlen ..the reason I got in so deep with the business thing was to secure our future financially...for all of us. We´ve been broke for too long and it´s the only way we can hope to do better. And yes,it IS kids may want to go to uni, etc...we need to make the money now.
Basically...I married my DH, who I am very fond of and is a good man in many ways (in some ways quite difficult) knowing that I didn´t love him deeply. I thought it would be enough and after experiencing a very deep love previously, it seemed easier to forego the big highs and therefore not have to experience the big lows or get hurt again.
I was coasting along...just resigned to a life with no excitement, fun or romance...and then this other guy popped up...neither of us went looking. We became good friends but after a while, fell for each other and it made me realise that what I have just isn´t enough.....
We are supposed to be going for counselling...I just can´t seem to fight this pessimistic feeling that it´s not going to really change anything. How do I make myself want it to work when my heart checked out ages ago?
Urgh...I´m such a mess! [onfused]

Dahlen Fri 16-Nov-12 16:32:06

Why does divorce have to equal financial ruin for both of you? That's not a given at all.

Yes you will need to run two households rather than one, which will obviously incur extra costs, but there are ways around that which don't involve withdrawing the investment money from your business.

You don't have to have a divorce or even a financial split of marital assets until you want to - which may not be for some years. I know a separated couple who have done this because they run their own business together and want to keep everything joint until their children are independent. It works very well for them. But there is mutual respect and commitment to the greater good of the family, as well as recognising that their relationship wasn't working and that they should both be free to meet someone else. One of them now lives with a partner.

From what you say, if the love was never really there in the first place, then you're not going to be able to develop it now. That doesn't mean you can't have a good relationship, but it's never going to be passionate and heady. Historically, that was pretty normal for marriage of course, and only tends to cause a problem when someone new comes along and provides a contrast - as you've just discovered.

If you really are determined to stay (which I think is a mistake and will cause greater harm long term), the only way you can get round this is to really pursue your own (non-romantic) dreams, and derive fulfilment and passion from those.

onanightlikethis Fri 16-Nov-12 16:39:51

Mmm. I am currently going through similar. I married a lovely safe man- knowing probably that he wasn't my true love, but offered me somevof the things I thought I wanted. Fast forward 14 years and I had an affair. My marriage was lacking, I didn't feel loved( although he did love me)
So I confessed to the affair, we tried to make it work, counselling, making time to do stuff together, but I had already left the relationship. I had been thinking about ending my marriage but took a catalyst to do it.
Now- we are divorcing, very amicably, still living together, and I feel like a weight has lifted.
After tasting how love could be- I couldn't settle for a non demonstrative man. Counselling helped us realise that there were issues in our relationship that had been going on for years- resentment, lack of communication and shared goals.
I really wanted my marraige to work- but it didn't.
The OM- he's waiting for me. I feel positive that a decision has been made, but it took us 6 months to reach it. The barest part was trying to make it right, when I knew deep down it was wrong for me.

izzyizin Fri 16-Nov-12 16:41:04

It sounds as if you don't excel at making choices that will produce positive outcomes either for yourself or for those around you.

Sadly, this may mean that you'll continue to shortchange others in order to stroke your ego.

Ilovemyteddy Fri 16-Nov-12 16:43:31

At the end of the day, OP, you are the one who is either going to, or not going to, give yourself permission to have an affair. It is your choice and yours alone, and even if hundreds of MNetters came on here and told you how wonderful their affairs were (which is highly unlikely and I wouldn't believe them anyway), you are the one who will be making the decision to cheat/not cheat on DH and your DCs.

I've had two affairs - one physical and one emotional. I was, and still am, happily married (so in a different situation to you) and my DH does not know about either affair (which happened a few years ago.) I think it's hard to see an affair for what it really is, until you are no longer involved in it. But enjoyable is not a word I would use to describe either of my affairs. Exciting, thrilling and addictive, yes, at the time. But the lying and cheating and the compartmentalising and covering your tracks mean that you lose all sense of reality. You can't tell the truth from the lies. You risk everything, but convince yourself you will never be discovered.
You lose your sense of self-worth, and more importantly you lose your self-respect.

My marriage has also been affected, even though my affairs weren't discovered, because I have a huge secret that I am keeping from DH.

Whether you "slip into an abyss of insane guilt" really depends on the kind of person you are. If you are a person, like me, who thought that they were a 'good person' who would never cheat, then yes, the guilt is horrendous. But what is more painful is that you get to know yourself for who you really are - in my case, someone who had no boundaries, who felt entitled to some fun after years of being wife, mother, daughter etc, and who is basically selfish.

I can see from what you have said about your current situation with an unaffectionate marriage, living abroad, and the business venture, that you feel trapped in your marriage and your current life. Don't let those reasons lead you to making a terrible choice that you will live to regret.

And as for "you only have one life" - I remember a friend who had also been unfaithful saying that she would have something to remember when she sat in her rocking chair as an old lady. I wish I couldn't remember what I did. I wish it had never happened.

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Fri 16-Nov-12 16:46:32

Haha...even "onfused" now! confused

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Fri 16-Nov-12 16:58:33

*Exciting, thrilling and addictive, yes, at the time. But the lying and cheating and the compartmentalising and covering your tracks mean that you lose all sense of reality. You can't tell the truth from the lies. You risk everything, but convince yourself you will never be discovered.
You lose your sense of self-worth, and more importantly you lose your self-respect.*

This. OP, I know it might seem exciting - who isn't thrilled by the chase ? It's really, really not worth it when you're hiding your phone all the time, paranoid that every time your DH is in less than a wonderful mood that he's found out, worrying about whether you have managed to delete all the sent items from your email.


OhDearSpareHeadTwo Fri 16-Nov-12 17:02:06

Oh yes, and another thing - while it went on I could hardly look my mother-in-law in the eye. Or my parents.

Having an affair, whether it's an EA or physical is draining in ways you have no idea until you're embroiled in it. And it's not like a movie where it's some great, romantic affair. It's just sordid.

Virgil Fri 16-Nov-12 17:03:45

Im very happily married as a result of an affair (I had an affair with DH when he was married and I was in a serious relationship). We've now been together for fifteen years and have two lovely DSs. But it created trauma and heartbreak at the time and it was hard getting through that stage.

Charbon Fri 16-Nov-12 17:04:00

You say you've told your husband how you are feeling and wanted to be honest.

So did you say that you didn't love him enough to marry him, have settled ever since and have now started an affair?

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Fri 16-Nov-12 17:04:41

Digbert...thanks for your post. Sounds v similar to me. I know I need to at least go through the motions of trying and do my best to want to at least I can say I did it!
Of course, I don´t want to cheat...for all the reasons you have all listed...thanks for sharing Ilovemyteddy and dahlen your comments are really constructive too.
Charbon joking IS my coping mechanism and sorry if you don´t like my style of writing....I take this extremely seriously and that is obviously why I am here. I am not looking for permission...I just really want to know the consequences of all my options from other people´s 1st hand experiences.
I don´t get why some people seem to get so emotional and angry on here with complete strangers whose lives you know little about, but thanks for all the input of all kinds anyway.

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Fri 16-Nov-12 17:22:40

Charbon :Of course I didn´t realise at the time I got married that this would happen.
I thought I´d never love again the way I did with man no. 1 and I married with my head more than my heart (although of course I was in love with him, just not as much as I could have been....and when the headiness of the 1st few years wore off, it became clear it was not a fulfilling relationship) It´s all very well to say in hindsight that I shouldn´t have gone ahead with it, but at the time I thought it was right.
My DH is an extremely emotional man when he´s upset...I don´t think complete honesty for its own sake is constructive. To tell him that I never loved him as much as I would have wanted to, makes HIS last 10 years a lie and that would hurt him incredibly what purpose?
He knows about the other man but doesn´t know that I love him. I tried to cut ties a couple of times but so far without success...and sure, flame me for willpower is not my biggest strength, which is precisely why I am here!

Charbon Fri 16-Nov-12 17:32:07

So you're not being honest with him then and you're allowing yourself to think that this is a kindness to him.

Are you being honest with yourself then?

Try and be as honest as you can about how you really felt about your husband and marriage before the OM came along. If you were very unhappy then and knew you didn't love enough, what did you do about that?

Or is it that you've told yourself that oft quoted delusion that you didn't realise how unhappy you were until you met someone else?

In all this, focus on your actions and efforts - no-one else's.

izzyizin Fri 16-Nov-12 17:37:28

As integrity and willpower are clearly not your biggest strengths, what is?

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Fri 16-Nov-12 17:53:32

Jeez, izzyizin ...I haven´t actually DONE anything that bad yet and I am TRYING to do the right thing, OK?
Charbon as I said before...what purpose does complete bare-all honesty serve if it isn´t constructive other than just to clear one´s own conscience? Everyone is different obviously, but were the situation reversed, I would prefer my partner to hold off on any unnecessary hurtful details if I hadn´t specifically requested them. If he asks me, of course, I will be honest but seriously, why twist the knife?
And this isn´t a case of a big chane in my attitude since OM came along...I was well aware I was dissatisfied but what has changed is that I now realise I am very vulnerable to falling for the attentions of somebody else because I am in an emotional wasteland.
I thought I was tough and strong and could live without it. Now I see that the prospect of the rest of my life without truly feeling much is a pretty bleak one.

fiventhree Fri 16-Nov-12 17:55:22

" I am not looking for permission...I just really want to know the consequences of all my options from other people´s 1st hand experiences."

I think you may mean, will you get away with it without any consequences.

I think not. Even if they are mainly consequences for you. I think your h will 'know', even if he doesnt know, or he will have a gut and disorienting feel that something is wrong. And you will lie and confuse him ore when he asks, which is abusive, as he will carry on feeling crap.

If you really want to know what the Possible consequences are eg if you are found out, read a book on the consequences of infidelity- Shirley Glass is well researched.

Nobody can tell you whether you will get away with it.

If you want to think through the consequences of leaving, then that is a different thread.

Charbon Fri 16-Nov-12 18:03:50

But hopefully you acknowledge that one of the biggest reasons for your dishonesty is self-interest, while you make up your mind what's best for you, and that failing to tell your husband the true nature of your feelings for either him or the other man, gives you the luxury of choice that your husband lacks?

You are absolutely kidding yourself when you say that you need to know you tried everything to save your marriage. This marriage is not going to work because you love someone else and have got yourself locked in a script (that might be true or untrue) that your marriage was doomed from the start and you only realised how bad it was when the initial 'in love' feelings faded.

It just cannot work while you have that mindset, you love someone else and you're keeping secrets.

If your marriage and your feelings for your husband are as you describe them, end the relationship and be kind when you do. Anything else is just a smokescreen to help you feel better about yourself, but it's self-deception of and deception of the highest order

janelikesjam Fri 16-Nov-12 18:16:59

The only thing for me - and I have never been in any of these situations - but something that rings true for me anyway.

I think sometimes people do fall in love with other people. And thats the way it is.

However, I don't think most affairs fall into that category, generally to do with other things, e.g. ego issues.

The question is - can you tell the difference?

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Fri 16-Nov-12 18:23:57

Hi janelikesjam...what do you mean exactly? That I have poor self esteem and need a boost or that I have an over-inflated ego that needs stroking? Genuinely interested...not a sarcy reply btw smile

Ilovemyteddy Fri 16-Nov-12 19:25:15

I think affairs happen for many different reasons. Some people do genuinely fall in love with other people. Some of the posters on this thread obviously did. But also it is easy to think you have fallen for the OM when, in reality, you have fallen for the excitement and the ego-boost. It could be a product of poor self-esteem or an over-inflated ego. You could think that you have 'settled' for DH, and that you need to get back some excitement in your life. You could feel that you have sacrificed your happiness for DH, the kids and the business and that you need a 'reward' for that sacrifice.

It's easy to make excuses for poor choices. But if you choose to have an affair you are making a conscious choice to deceive your DH, your DC and, ultimately, yourself.


janelikesjam Fri 16-Nov-12 19:29:44

If I could have found the words Teddy, thats what I would have said.

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Fri 16-Nov-12 23:57:38

Thanks everyone.... Even the nasties!
I guess I just wanted to hear it to give me the strength of conviction to keep staying away from the OM. Don't forget girls, that its very easy to stone the adulterer but kindly advice is more helpful! No need for some of you to get so bitchy, ok? I was sounding out the idea to get my head around the complex emotions I'm feeling. If you haven't been in the situation it's easy to judge but I never chose to feel these things... And at least now I have FULL empathy for those who do stray -doing a bad thing doesn't make you a bad person necessarily .
I'm not having an affair and I AM going to counseling with hubby so some of you can jump down off those nice big ponies now. Thanks to all who shared honestly- you've really helped :-)

The only person being bitchy is you OP.

Did you expect a cheer squad to urge you into fucking around?

Grow up!

Slippersox Sat 17-Nov-12 07:59:58

Well said Walter.Grow up OP.Have read your posts earlier this week on another thread and agree with Charbon's earlier comment that wether intentional or not the jokey and almost flippant style doesn't help, and is possibly why you are not receiving the 'kindly' advice you expect.Now you've got defensive with your comment about stoning the adulterer when from what I can see replies on here have been measured,mature and genuinely trying to help.
Hopefully a good counsellor will be able to help with your complex emotions.I daresay your husband has plenty of those too.Good luck sorting things out ,whatever outcome you decide on.And before you get defensive again for both your sakes I mean that sincerely.

Proudnscary Sat 17-Nov-12 08:28:29

So another OP who asks for advice and shared experiences, then resorts to the 'strangers on the net' shit and calls posters who tell it like it is that they are 'nasties'.

It's insulting and stupid to come on here desperate for some help then bite the hands that feed.

No-one on here has talked about the affect this could have on your children - apart from in terms of divorce/finances.

My parents both had affairs throughout their 17 year marriage. I found out from overheard phone calls, found photos, relatives gossiping, parents confiding some of the truth and me working out the truth, witnessing an inappropriate looking kiss.

It was devastating.

It affected my emotional development, my self esteem, and very very much my view of my parents.

It was frightening and depressing.

I am 42 now and I still have no respect for either of them because of this.

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Sat 17-Nov-12 14:44:26

Thanks for that point of view, proudnscary
99% of the posters were genuinely helpful and I appreciated them telling it like it is. I didn't expect a whole bunch egging me on to do it at all! I was just surprised at the anger and emotion that seemed to come through from one or two with quite personal insults which I just thought were completely unnecessary - people who clearly needed to come on here and vent at me which I just don't see the point of. I use humour to deal with hard things in my life and also so as not to come across as whiney and desperate. Sorry if it appears inappropriate to some, but everyone is different, ok?

noddyholder Sat 17-Nov-12 14:50:01

A friend of mine with no kids came round to visit me at lunchtime one day a couple of years ago and she had been having an affair and she was single the man married. I had been very scathing but she assured me he was lovely and his wife and him both knew it was over blah blah. I didn't believe her and I logged into MN with a namechange (she doesn't do MN) and let her ask a few questions and she got lynched and really attacked (I subsequently also got attacked as I forgot to namechange back and people spotted me and thought it was me!). She was shocked at the vitriol but I had been secretly hoping it might kick her up the bum. Now a few years on they are married one child another on the way and his wife is also re married and they all get on great!

victorine Sat 17-Nov-12 16:40:08

I am having an affair and it seems to work for me. I'm in my 50's and in a marriage where there is very little sex. I met a lovely man a few years older tha me who is in a similar situation and we meet up about once amonth for shopping, gallery trips lunch and an afternoon of very excitng sex. We have become very good friends, talk about our families sometimes, but mainly more interesting stuff than that and neither of us have any intention of leaving our partners. I'm getting on much better with DH now that sex is not a contentious issue and would be very happy for this to continue exactly as it is indefinately.

nkf Sat 17-Nov-12 16:41:49

My ex is married to the woman he had an affair with. I guess they would call it a good outcome.

DialsMavis Sat 17-Nov-12 16:51:32

My brother got married yesterday to a woman he had a fling with while she was married (no DC). They met 17 years ago, had a torrid fling, stopped. She stuck with her marriage for a couple of years, but realised it was dead and she loved my brother. She then divorced her husband and was single for a year or 2. Her and my brother have been together a decade and love each other very much. smile

My ex cheated in me with my best friend. They now hate each other, have both lost nearly all their friends and my lovely DS has to live separately from his father sad

amarylisnightandday Sat 17-Nov-12 16:52:29

I had an affair within a ltr. It ended soon and wasn't discovered but I far from for away with it. Something inside me died and I will feel guilty forever.
The man I had an affair with cheated in his next partner too - glad I was never his official partner or that would have been me. He will just carry in behaving like that anyway.
The man I cheated on is too good for me. He was then and certainly is now. He remains a close friend and every few years we talk about giving it another go but something holds me back as if there's no point because I already destroyed it.

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Sat 17-Nov-12 17:01:04

Thanks noddyholder - it's shocked me actually. I mean I expected some disapproval and people telling me what a terrible option it can be, but I thought this was somewhere where there's a kind of sisterhood of support - I would never dream of writing insults at somebody like that! Strange really!
And thanks also, last three posters for being brave enough ;-) to give a different perspective. If there's anything I've learnt the last few months, it's that life is the opposite of black and white and I'm not referring to the 50 Shades book either! Oh sorry, shouldn't attempt humour ... Eek

CaptainHoratioWragge Sat 17-Nov-12 18:04:17

"but I thought this was somewhere where there's a kind of sisterhood of support"

Good grief!!

You expect people to support you in ruining your life, that of your partner and whoever else is involved in this mess.

What would be sisterly about that?

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Sat 17-Nov-12 18:28:54

Um.... Did you actually read anything I wrote previously or just that one sentence out of context?
Did I say I was looking for support and the go-ahead to have an affair at any point??
It's looking like Mumsnet is a pretty hostile place. What's the deal with you lot? Why so much aggression on here? Perhaps this a place for people to come and shout at each other!
Not liking this atmosphere at all which is a shame as there are some lovely helpful people on here but not sure that the rest are a very healthy bunch of mummies all in all!
Calm down a bit, crumbs!
Thanks though, it HAS been of great help and very enlightening in a whole lot of ways.... I work in a nearly all female workplace and went to an all- girls school and have always argued with people who claim that a whole bunch of women together is conducive to bitchiness. Well, I guess I've been proven wrong
going off to find some friendly sisters

Abitwobblynow Sat 17-Nov-12 18:45:53

GGGB, just to let you know that Charbon and P&S are both counsellors. So I would advise you to read very closely what they write, especially Charbon who is cutting through the issues you face with a scalpel.

I suppose the hostility is because a lot of us have been absolutely shattered (no exaggeration) by affairs in our lives. I woke up to a large, thin carving knife between my shoulder blades and piercing my heart and it was plunged there by the person I thought was my friend and who I trusted most in this world. Affairs are about anger.

Also I suppose MN is trying to get you to wake up. The flirting and attraction of which you speak is an addiction. It is crack.

Also: I read a wonderful extract today, from a family lawyer saying that teenage girls are taught all sorts of things, don't walk at night, don't go near the cliff face - but they are not taught about the single most dangerous thing a girl will do, and that is how to judge the person they marry [and it followed with a list of good things to look for, and red flags to beware of].

Can I have your steady, stolid, honest, H? He sounds like a wonderful friend and life companion. How you describe him comes up in the good list...

I will swap him happily for the handsome, mysterious, brooding, hinting of troubled, intense self-absorbed person I was stupid enough to marry.

People are extremely supportive here.

And I've seen other women post on here before and NOT met with hostility.

It's your attitude tbh more than anything else.

If you came across as a nice person you'd be treated accordingly.

As it is the snide, sneering sarcasm sets my teeth on edge.

MummytoKatie Sat 17-Nov-12 20:07:55

When I was 19 I had a reasonably serious boyfriend. One day I was in the pub with a group of friends (not my bf) and talking to a really good male friend. He went off to the bar and I suddenly banged my head on the table because I had just realised how much I liked him.

That was the Minday. In the Thursday I finished with my boyfriend. On the Saturday I got together with the bloke in question. 17 months later I married him. We have now been married for over 12 years and have dd and another on the way.

Technically it wasn't an affair. Nothing happened between me and Dh before I ended it with ex-bf.

But we still paid for it. And we will always pay. Dh will always slightly doubt my fidelity. I will always worry about how ruthless he can be if he really wants something.

Last summer my best friend from Uni got married. I was bridesmaid. Dd was little bridesmaid. My parents went. Ex-bf was invited as we were all friends at university. I was glad when he couldn't go as it would have felt wrong playing "perfect wife and mother" in front of him. Even though for nearly 14 years that is exactly what I've been!

crazyhead Sat 17-Nov-12 20:57:53

I had an affair which pushed me to end a relationship that I had to end (to be fair the affair then really happened after the ending), that ironically I hadn't ended because of a misplaced sense of responsibility.

It caused me terrible distress all the time I was in it. I cried literally every day with anxiety and guilt, it tore me apart and took me years to get over.

For me, the good thing was that it changed my whole outlook on the world, and made me realise how people make mistakes - it has given more sympathy for why people do all sorts of bad things - and also that it is better to insist you are with a man who gives you what you need in a relationship and therefore you don't get in the position where affairs happen. I am now with the love of my life and I believe I could never ever cheat on him.

For my ex, it meant he could move on from me and get his current partner.

However, after the affair the guy I was involved with got back with his wife. I still feel deeply guilty to his wife who had been with him since being a teenager and I fail to see what good could have come out of it for her. I hurt that woman and what had she done to deserve it? Normally I am a nice person and I feel so sorry that I failed so much.

I understand very personally why people have affairs to force an end to failing relationships, but if you have this clarity in advance of falling for someone it is better to act now.

topknob Sat 17-Nov-12 21:31:40

OP have tried to msg you but it won't let me..

dippyDoohdah Sat 17-Nov-12 21:43:06

If you do ever resurrect love within your marriage, but have had an affair, the affair may feel great/love etc..but..months or years later, you will question all your values and regret it, how easy it becomes to sneak, double cross etc. Unless affairs (more rarely) end in marriage, these awful feelings about yourself will catch up one day and linger. In fact, as some have said, even if it ends in marriage, it causes other insecurities and guilt. Good luck with counselling, hope it brings some chinks of light for you

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Sun 18-Nov-12 08:45:28

Thanks to the last few posters.... This was the kind of help I was looking for, tbh. :-) I have no friends that have ever admitted to anything like this so I just wanted to hear first hand accounts of affairs, good and bad (and of course, I realise- mostly bad) the outcomes, feelings and experiences. My whole perception of life, relationships and marriage has been turned upside down recently and the fact that I even considered an affair was shocking to me. I needed to know the harsh reality to get me to think clearly about my situation. It would honestly be a last resort if all else failed but, as so many of you have said, it DOES cause so much pain for the deceived parties that it just seems to awful to contemplate really.

MyLittleFireBird Sun 18-Nov-12 09:07:04

But we still paid for it. And we will always pay. Dh will always slightly doubt my fidelity. I will always worry about how ruthless he can be if he really wants something.
MummyToKatie, I'm sorry but this is absolutely ridiculous. Either you are being really melodramatic or you have problems in your relationship. I suspect the former. You were 19 FGS and you weren't unfaithful. Break-ups are never nice, but you did the right thing. Why on earth would your husband slightly doubt your fidelity 13.5 years later? I have no idea what "playing" the "perfect wife and mother" means, but again, it's 13.5 years later - one would hope your ex has got over it by now and be happy you and your DH were together with a family. You know, like any normal mature adult would be about a teen/early adult relationship.

My best friend's DH had an affair, but her marriage has survived and they seem stronger than ever and very much together. I think it cleared many issues and made them realise they really did love each other.


She went through hell, and isn't really over it. I try to be there for her, but there is very little a friend can do other than hand hold, and it has been hard seeing her so upset. At times I've wanted to kill him. Selfish little sh*t, who wanted it all and hurt the one person who really loved him to get it.

As for OW, well she was hurt too. He lied to her, promised marriage, the whole package. I hate her for what she did to my friend, but as a woman I have some sympathy with her. He hurt her too.

Affairs hurt so many people. There may be happy outcome for two of the three, but there will always be mayhem and destruction along the way.

If you can stop yourself, that would be the better outcome for everyone.

Shamefulpleasures Sun 18-Nov-12 15:02:05

Name changed regular of many years.

I'm a serial adulteress I suppose. I love my DH. He loves me. We both love our children. But about 3 years ago I read about dating Internet sites for married people. One night when drunk I joined one. Free for women, ruinously expensive for men.

And within a few weeks started an affair. Then it finished. Then another. And so on. And it continues. And yes, it is selfish. I know that. I am acknowledging my selfishness by indulging it in a controlled way. I fell in love once. And yes that hurt. And a few men have (unaccountably) fallen in love with me, and been hurt. But thems the risks when you engage in this sort of thing. Participants have to bear it. And my family have never found out, to my knowledge none of my partners have been, either. I have become good at lying, and (shamefully) I rather enjoy it.

Some of you have even met me in RL. You wouldn't guess. I'm a professional, happy, straight down the middle articulate woman. I really don't think anyone knows. I really don't.

I would expect that the best anyone could expect from an affair is for there not to be a bad outcome (ie getting caught and ruining your marriage). I cannot for the life of me see any way for there to be a "good outcome".

Shamefulpleasures Sun 18-Nov-12 15:27:45

I think some people use affairs as a catalyst to break up their marriage, whether or not they know this is what they are doing. Mostly I think they don't.

I most certainly am not looking to break up anything, and have developed a pretty good nose for men who are- and steer clear.

Just selfishness, and the thrill of being desired and of the new. I know I am a Bad Person. But at least I know it, and allow it to be so in a controlled way. This is necessary, ask Jung.

Shamefulpleasures Sun 18-Nov-12 15:50:02

Just realised that I hadn't answered the OP's question.

The answer is yes- as long as you are sure what for you constitutes a good outcome. Because, as conventional wisdom in the form of many posters here warns, if you don't know- then there could be nasty surprises for you and (crucially) for undeserving others.

Proceed only with caution.

Hertfordshire Sun 18-Nov-12 15:59:41

I was friends with a woman who was serially unfaithful. She always thought she was getting away with it but couldn't see any connection between her actions and what was happening all around her. An emotionally distant husband who took any opportunity to work abroad, unfulfilling relationships with her children and very few friends.

She wasn't a happy woman at all and so she didn't get away with it, really. I think she'll have a very lonely old age.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Sun 18-Nov-12 16:10:40

Two of my best friends had an affair with each other. Both were married and both ledt their partners to be together

They both regret the hurt they caused and the way they went about it, but they don't have any regrets about being together. They are madly in love and have been married for almost twenty years now

I don't judge them, I don't know what led them to have an affair and they clearly adore each other

I also have a friend who had an affair but then split up with both men, her 'd'h used to regularly beat the crap out of her and I think the affair was the push she needed to leave. I don't judge her either, in fact I was thrilled when she left her vile abusive husband

Sometimes things are just not black and white. Of course you should always try to live your life without hurting other people but sometimes you have to put yourself first too

mamaslatts Sun 18-Nov-12 16:19:20

You sound very lonely from your posts, OP, could this be another reason you are drawn to someone else?

As an aside, I think its quite cruel to attend counselling more to be 'going through the motions' rather than because you actually want to fix things (you seem to be saying it is pretty much unfixable). If you are going to split and co-parent/co-work amicably that will probably be impossible if you have had an affair.

FairiesWearPoppies Sun 18-Nov-12 16:29:29

A word of caution if I may. Several years ago one of my best friends dp cheated on him ( with my xp) when he found out he was devastated and it was the catalyst for him taking his own life sad

They remained together and have 2dc however their happiness came quite literally at the cost of his life and I personally hope they burn in hell for what they did.

JustFabulous Sun 18-Nov-12 17:44:28

Contrary to thinking that there is no "sisterly support" I would suggest it is there in abundance as people are trying to guide you into not making a complete fuck up of your life, your husband's life and your children's life. Not to miss out both your extended families too.

Everyone has choices. You might not choose to fall in love with someone else but unless it is a very rare looked-at-each-other-and-it-was-love situation it has to build and grow from conscious meetings, etc.

Affairs change everything. I had an EA with an ex which was just phone calls, texts, emails and video chats but it was enough to devastate my husband and to lead us to the situation we are in now where one consequence is me feeling insecure when before I was 100% secure. It is my own fault and I deserve it.

Grow up. Have counselling. Be honest with yourself and stop messing with your husband's life. If you don't want him anymore, let him go so he is free to find someone who thinks he is amazing and loves him in the way he deserves to be loved.

Discretionadvised Sun 18-Nov-12 20:01:50

I have found this thread really helpful to read. Dh and I have been together for 14 years and have three young children. I posted my full story a couple of weeks ago but then asked to delete it as both I and the om were identifiable.

I have been unhappy for a number of years. Stayed for the kids etc etc. then a horrid accident tipped things over. Ever since I tried to make it work but felt increasingly wanting out. Two months ago I became involved with another unhappy man who was desperate to get out of his relationship but staying for daughter. A affair began and emotions most definitely involved. It has been the catalyst for me to end my marriage and the process has started with dh moving out after Christmas.

I feel deep,guilt about the effect of splitting up on my kids but not about the affair. I was unhappy. The om, however, has been wracked with guilt and a few days ago has put the relationship on hold until he can move out. It's not the physical side that he's guilty about but the lying and deceit. I believe him when he says that he wants to build our relationship on trust.

I respect him for this and know its the right thing but hurting so terribly much. I feel sick. I have fallen for him completely and utterly and never felt like this before. I am prepared to wait but terrified of losing him. Either way my marriage is over and that's good. I want him so badly it hurts. We both hope to have a future together and I have to trust him. He says stepping back will expedite moving out. I guess I won't know whether there can be a happy ending until that happens. Meanwhile hurting and having to remind myself constantly that this is the right way to do it. My rational side knows if its meant to be then e can both wait, my feelings though are in turmoil.

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:20:35

Hi all :-)
You're right, mamaslatts - I guess I AM pretty lonely! Moved to my DH's country, had to learn lingo, unfriendly locals, 2 small kids without support network, blah blah... But hardest of all has been lack of social life! I have been the one who has gone out and made friends. It's usually through me that anything social gets arranged. DH has not made any real friends after 6 yrs here - his country but not the city he's from, you see. He just wants to do everything as a family or with me and I feel trapped, stifled and bored a lot of the time. Kids are not easy and weekends spent with just the 4 of us often end very miserably!
Oh oops, sorry, I am banging on with my sob story aren't I ?
Just want to escape this cage and perhaps this OM has just been a breath of fresh air for me!
Wish I could do the " amicable split" thing but he won't be capable. It will be horrendous, messy and full of acrimony as he's a pretty hot headed guy when upset :-(

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:27:44

So, yes, the theory of doing the right thing is all fairly clearcut.... The practical though is that this is NOT a time in my life or my kids life when I can split - it isn't unbearable, I've lived this way for ages. I must try and feel committed to the relationship and make it work and this is why I am here..... The whole crux is that I find myself struggling terribly to really WANT to make it work and make the effort. What your head wants and what your heart wants are two different things sometimes!

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:33:00

Oh and PS discretionadvised ... Good luck. Let us know what happens. I won't even attempt to give advice! What do I know? whichever way it works out though look forward and don't look back- it will all be fine in the long run- you've taken the decision and it sounds right. Never live with regrets :-))
That was advice, wasn't it? Oh well, just hoping it all goes fine for you xx

MyLittleFireBird Sun 18-Nov-12 20:34:41

Wish I could do the " amicable split" thing but he won't be capable. It will be horrendous, messy and full of acrimony
I have always thought that knowing a split would be acrimonious is evidence it's probably a good idea. i.e. only a relationship with some healthy elements can split amicably

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Sun 18-Nov-12 21:07:29

I think the problem is that he will cling on for dear life because he loves me and because being alone would terrify him. It would be pretty devastating for him :-( So you see why I considered an affair in the 1st place.... What he doesn't know, blah blah... But yes, if i had one and he found out ... 100 times worse!

Discretionadvised Sun 18-Nov-12 21:23:07

So who's the OM? I guess the hardest part for me is now feelings are involved having my emotional state completely dependent on someone else's. I guess no different to any full on early relationship.

Mines hard as I also work with him so see him everyday

rabbitonthemoon Sun 18-Nov-12 21:29:45

Well can an affair have a good outcome is a very difficult question. I had one. The outcomes were bad, for a long time and then came good again as in the end, after a very bad and hurtful mess, I met my husband. And that wouldn't have happened otherwise - life is a funny thing.

I was in an abusive relationship for 10 years. In the last year, I had an affair with someone from work who made me feel amazing. In hindsight, I should have ended my relationship first but I was scared and weak. To this day I am appalled at what I did. We didn't have children and weren't married but it was still a shitty, wretched thing to do to someone, even if they were pretty horrible to me. An affair really is like taking drugs in terms of not being able to stop. And it involves a lot of lying and wishing you were in a different place with a different person. The small highs of texts/emails/illicit meetings/kisses/tummy lurches/sex are entirely outweighed by feelings of guilt and panic at covering your tracks. Well, that is my story anyway. When my ex actually found out, it was the worst day ever and I have to purposely not ever think about it.

I quickly realised after my relationship inevitably broke down (in spite of trying to fix it) that when I was free to see my affair, I didn't love him at all. He was quite boring actually. And the magical sex went stale very quickly too.

Now I am in a happy place! But I regret what I did every single day. I feel for you that it has come to you having to ponder on this. But be careful. It won't be like you think.

Discretionadvised Sun 18-Nov-12 21:35:03

Interesting story rabbit. I did wonder how much of my feelings were due to the situation rather than him. However I am so head of heels (and hurting) at the moment that it doesn't feel like anything other than him.

I got no excitement from the lying, illicit meetings but have become a text addict. But did /do love being with him.

However the constantly wishing your were with some,es doing something else is horrid. Although that has begun to stop as dh and I separate an do the essential together only (kids)

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 21:38:51

"small kids.... flexible, portable and more resilient than most people think"

oh my goodness, that's so casual


"small kills.... have to fit it with whatever you want at the time, easy to take from the other partner and you won't know what damage you've done until later"

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 21:39:20

kills meaning kids of course

i mean how can anyone even think along those lines! it's so callous

Discretionadvised Sun 18-Nov-12 21:41:16

A flippant way of putting it. But in some the sentiment is true of the parents are unhappy. Not good for them either

cronullansw Sun 18-Nov-12 23:14:40

I was a serial adulterer, not one nighters, but more established affairs.

Then I met one who I thought was VERY special, we got close, we got careless, we got caught. DP then left and was going to try to take the DS, I realised at this point how much they both meant to me and we both managed to put it behind us and go forward.

it wasn't easy for a while, I did get reminded on many occasions with little verbal digs, but we did it, we moved on and 11 years later we are still super happy. On the other hand, DP is currently on an overseas trip and not answering the phone for the last 12 hours after going to a pub where they know a lot of people.... smile

Discretionadvised Mon 19-Nov-12 06:38:34

The hard bit for me is stepping back from something athat has already become intense. Despite knowing rationally that is for the best doesn't make it hurt less when the OM does the sensible thing. Just want him so badly that it hurts having to wait whilst we put our lives in order. If Id known how much it would hurt then I would have wanted to wait. Sadly the luxury of hindsight isn't one I can have so now hurting and confused whilst the OM sorts his life out. Trying to give him space is killing me and Im not very good at it as so insecure and impulsive

Yogagirl17 Mon 19-Nov-12 08:29:26

I haven't read the whole thread, only the first couple of posts but:

a)If is horrible, selfish thing to do. There's no two ways about it. You are consciously choosing to lie, manipulate and hurt someone who trusts you. I don't care what your reasons are but if you tell yourself they make your affair ok you are only trying to justify it to yourself to make yourself feel better. Don't. You should feel like utter shit.
b)I don't think it matters if you are the married partner or the OW, it takes two people to make an affair happen and you are both making a conscious choice to do something you know is wrong. I don't really know why you're bothering to ask to be honest - are you really hoping someone on here is going to say there, there it's ok, don't you worry? It's just more attempts at self-justification. It's wrong. Face up to it and stop trying to pretend otherwise for even one tiny little second.
c)Don't say you "can't" end your existing relationship. That's just as much utter crap as trying to justify the affair. There is ALWAYS a choice. It might be a fucking hard choice to make, but it's still a choice. Again, just more attempts to justify doing something totally, morally bereft.

I'm afraid I am with Yoga on this. If you get to the point where you are considering having a physical affair with someone, you either commit to working on the marriage/partnership 100% or bail out. Have the courage to treat your OH with some decency.

I once had a brief relationship with a woman which got very intense surprisingly quickly. We'd slept together a couple of times at my place when one morning she said she needed to tell me something. Turns out she was married (unhappily) with two small kids. She'd found assorted excuses for the three overnight stays. I was absolutely taken aback. I asked her to leave after a fairly short conversation (!) and had no communication with her again, much as she tried. I had absolutely no idea (no rings etc) and even though I knew nothing I felt guilty as hell.

Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 08:00:01

" The om, however, has been wracked with guilt and a few days ago has put the relationship on hold until he can move out. It's not the physical side that he's guilty about but the lying and deceit. I believe him when he says that he wants to build our relationship on trust. "

Oh, so you started fucking did you? Imagine what his wife would feel reading that bunch of ass blowing. I am a deceived wife and I found it hugely hurtful! Has it not occurred to you that his M difficulties could also be down to him? And no, your relationship will never be built on trust, and statistically it has a 3% chance of working. I think he is thinking better of it and has gone back to his wife.

come on guys, affairs are WRONG.

GGGB, "DH has not made any real friends ... He just wants to do everything as a family or with me and I feel trapped, stifled and bored a lot of the time. Kids are not easy and weekends spent with just the 4 of us often end very miserably! " it is just incredibly how much this crops up, isn't it?

THIS is what was wrong with our marriage, and he was furious if ever I brought my dissatisfactions up, and f*cked OW to passive aggressively tell me how angry he was. Well, it wasn't true love was it, or he would still be with her instead of dumping her the minute I found out.
And filled her ear up with the same stuff Discretion has been lapping up. angry

Whatever wrong I did as a person, a woman and a wife, I did NOT deserve this level of pain and deceit.

Split up first, come on!

McBuckers Tue 20-Nov-12 08:27:47

The first time my husband strayed it felt like a physical pain that just wouldn't go away.

Now that he's left us to be with another woman he recently met at work I'd say it feels like a bereavement.

And what's worse is watching the effect it is having on the children and their behaviour.

I think what my husband did was incredibly selfish, he might be enjoying a "happy outcome" at the moment as he swans about London enjoying nights out, lie-ins and freedom, the outcome for us has been a lot less happy.

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Tue 20-Nov-12 09:48:12

Really sorry to hear your experiences on the receiving end. I suppose most "cheaters" don´t set out to cause hurt....they probably hope they will get away with it and never have to tell (except, of course, those who go heartlessly galavanting in London and leave ex´s with the kids ...grrrr!)
I just find myself questioning the whole state of marriage, commitment, etc at the moment. I was so traditional and conservative when we married, now I´m not convinced it´s a very successful practice all in all, if what all the stuff written here and elsewhere is anything to go by! We have such high ideals and expectations at the start and it seems like the majority find it disappointing. Not to say that for some people it isn´t a very happy state, but not sure they are in the majority at all.
The problem is coming up with a workable alternative....tricky one hmm

McBuckers Tue 20-Nov-12 10:10:53

I think you could be on to something with the high ideals and expectations. We all stand there saying "for better and for worse" but I don't think some people are quite prepared for the responsibility of marriage - even before kids come along.

All the arguments i had with my husband were about issues related to the nature of partnership and responsibility. My husband never thought he should have to tell me when he went out for a few beers after work, even when he came back at 3am. When the kids came along he resented having to use "his" money on family things, still went out til the wee hours 3 or 4 times a month, sometimes put less money in the joint account without telling me, never did his share of the chores etc etc.

I think he resented anything that impinged on his freedom and never fully appreciated what partnership and commitment were.

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Tue 20-Nov-12 10:26:04

Oh dear, McBuckers...sounds like you should have ditched him 1st! Sorry, being flippant and boy do I know that it is a lot more complex than it sounds! I´m sure in the long run though, you will find you are a lot happier without having to deal with all that crap from him.
I look back now and realise I just followed the path most travelled....husband, kids, mortgage, etc because it´s what you do and I didn´t have the strength or maturity to question any of it back then. Now I´m questioning everything whereas my husband is still totally convinced that it is what he wants...THAT is the huge problem. Wish to God we were on the same page sad

McBuckers Tue 20-Nov-12 10:43:21

I guess I didn't because not only did I love him but I thought that most marriages have ups and downs especially when you've got small children and no support network around you. It's easy to get sucked into the humdrum and not make the effort to enjoy being together as a couple.

I think my husband needed more excitement in his life, more things to look forward to, I think he may have felt like he was on a treadmill by the end and he chose to escape in the most destructive way possible. I'm not excusing his affairs, I'm just trying to understand what led to them. I think there's probably also something in the personality of cheaters that allows them to justify the hurt and suffering they cause to others by somehow offsetting it against their own personal happiness. My husband claimed he'd done nothing wrong "all I've done is fallen in love".

If he had simply left I would still be devastated but I don't think it would feel as bad as it does now - to put another person before his family and to lie and deceive me and his family has left my self esteem in tatters.

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Tue 20-Nov-12 10:57:17

Perhaps before marrying, people like your husband and possibly me too, should be put through an aptitude test before any licence is issued! Some people are just better at commitment and "forever" than others. I think it´s all about personality type probably. Monogamy suits some, serial monogamy suits others and perhaps polygamy the rest of ´em!
All so much clearer in hindsight. Wish Apple and co would develop a Crystal iBall so we could all look ahead and avoid all this trouble!
Hope you soon start to feel better...and it´s a cliché but pretty sure it was "him and not you", so have faith that you will be loved again :-)

McBuckers Tue 20-Nov-12 11:21:31

I think a serious discussion about where we saw ourselves in a few years time and a bit more upfront honesty about situations and issue we would accept and not accept would have been beneficial.

madmomma Tue 20-Nov-12 22:19:00

brycie I absolutely agree. It's shocking to hear a child's family being split discussed as if it's a matter of a few trivial arrangements.

I admire anyone who keeps their family together despite their own emotional lives being less than perfect. (excluding of course abusive relationships)

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