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Can a "good guy" ever cheat on his wife?

(270 Posts)
confusionoftheillusion Tue 22-Jan-13 15:15:08

I met a guy last summer and became friends. Had a drunken kiss in November. Since then have been meeting once/twice a week. 

Both married and recently have started to talk in detail about the problems we both have at home. He is talking about wanting to be with me, as in leave his wife and be with me together as a couple. I think he is wonderful in so many ways but also think that if he is that comfortable cheating on his wife he must be a bit of a dick. We haven't slept together but that is due to me being pretty upfront about the fact I wouldn't do that. I am also aware that me cheating on my husband makes me a not great person either. 

As always the situations either side are not quite as straightforward as we would like. 

I feel an awful lot for this man. However I am so conscious that we are having an affair so it's not the real world. How would I ever know if it would work in the real world? And is there ever a time when a 'decent' man has an affair? I feel that he is a "good guy" but then logically I think that he can't be as he is lying to his wife. 

MirandaWest Tue 22-Jan-13 15:16:07

Both of you are cheating. Neither of you is doing anything particularly "good" at the moment.

KirstyoffEastendersweirdtoplip Tue 22-Jan-13 15:18:17

I understand your situation very well, and it's really tricky to know what to do. How could you ever trust each other? But then, how do you really trust anyone?

Do either of you have kids?

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 22-Jan-13 15:19:32

I think he is wonderful in so many ways but also think that if he is that comfortable cheating on his wife he must be a bit of a dick.

There's your answer, I think.

confusionoftheillusion Tue 22-Jan-13 15:19:43

You're right - I know this.
I think of myself as a good person in a crap situation doing a really really crap thing. But i'm not a bad person. Just wondering if the same can ever be said for men or if they're all arseholes driven by their dicks.

confusionoftheillusion Tue 22-Jan-13 15:20:26

We both have young kids. I know - its shit what we're doing

Numberlock Tue 22-Jan-13 15:22:15

Well you know what they say, when you marry your mistress, you create a vacancy. (Though this man will never leave his wife for you, why would he? He's got the best of both worlds at the moment.)

the problems we both have at home

And I'm sure it wouldn't take a great deal of imagination for us to guess the bullshit he's spinning you (and vice versa). Wife doesn't understand him? Grown apart? No longer having sex?

As always the situations either side are not quite as straightforward as we would like

Actually, they are pretty straightforward. You're both cheats. If you're so unhappy with your marriages, end them. If not, work on them. Actually do both your partners a favour and divorce them so they can find someone who's not doing the dirty on them.

What exactly are you hoping people will say on here?

daisygatsby Tue 22-Jan-13 15:25:02

I think of myself as a good person in a crap situation doing a really really crap thing. But i'm not a bad person. Just wondering if the same can ever be said for men

how can it not be the same for men?

i think its way too black and white to say everyone who cheats is a bad person. of course they're not. people make mistakes, make wrong decisions,etc..

One affair does not define a person. Hell, 20 affairs doesn't define a person entirely. You might in all other areas be utterly wonderful people. But when it comes to starting a long-term stable relationship with each other you'd need to consider that the way you both chose to deal with problems with your current marriages wasn't exactly ideal hmm So perhaps not good marriage material, without a lot of work.

Otherwise when a bit of the gilt wears off your shiny new relationship, how would you react? I think that is a question you both need to consider.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 22-Jan-13 15:27:05

You're both doing exactly the same thing. If you're not a 'bad person' because you are cheating why should he be because he is too?

TomDudgeon Tue 22-Jan-13 15:28:06

You're as bad as each other

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 22-Jan-13 15:37:54

Of course decent people have affairs. Decent people can be flawed, make mistakes or act foolishly same as anyone else. There's no monopoly on being an idiot.

Lueji Tue 22-Jan-13 15:41:21

The question here is whether he (also you) is able to come clean to his W and sort out his marriage as soon as possible.
Or if it's just a ruse to get you into bed...

Lots of people have "exit affairs", as it is only then that they get the kick to leave a failing marriage.

It doesn't make them "bad".

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 22-Jan-13 15:45:14

There is no shame in wishing to end an unhappy marriage. However, I think that your relationship is clouding the issue for both of you.

Stop meeting and give yourselves the chance to properly evaluate your own situations. The energy that you are wasting on this fantasy would be better spent either trying to repair your marriages, or ending them as best you can.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 22-Jan-13 15:46:17

Perhaps it can be useful to separate the person from the behaviour: the person may be fundamentally good but flawed, but the behaviour (cheating) is emphatically bad.

Having established that cheating = bad, what are you and he going to do about it? Persevere, knowingly, in bad behaviour? Or end the behaviour, painful as it may be? I think that the measure of him (and you) as a person rests in that choice.

Ormirian raises another interesting point: even if you are both good but flawed people who would be good together in ideal circs, the fact that you got together in an affair does rather cast a pall on whatever future relationship you may have, even if you both nobly disentangle yourselves from your respective cuckolded spouses.

scaevola Tue 22-Jan-13 15:49:40

I wouldn't believe his account of his marriage. And if he put the effort he puts into sneaking round to meet a potential affair partner into his marriage instead, then just think how much better the relationship would be.

As would yours, incidentally.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 22-Jan-13 15:51:31

Lots of people have "exit affairs", as it is only then that they get the kick to leave a failing marriage. It doesn't make them "bad".

I agree with that. However, both affair partners have seen each other behaving badly. They have even been complicit in each other's bad behaviour (cheating). How then can they view each other as "good" people - let alone build a healthy relationship together?

Has anyone managed that?

Charbon Tue 22-Jan-13 15:55:59

Depends what you mean by 'good' doesn't it? Lots of 'good' people who've been loyal partners, good mums and dads and generally upstanding citizens - make mistakes like this. But dig a bit deeper and you'll usually find that they are more selfish that most and often feel unnecessarily entitled to an adventure, sometimes as a kick-back from living a conventionally 'good' life.

I don't think it's terribly surprising that people who've been married for a long time aren't immune from an ego boost and someone other than their partner making them feel young, sexy and valuable again - but so what? Invariably in affairs like yours, it's not the other person who is so wonderful, it's more the feelings you're stirring up in eachother about yourselves.

Affairs are so often about the self-image that is reflected back through the lover's eyes, rather than a true meeting of minds and bodies. So it's more akin to renewed love affair with yourself than anything magical about the other person.

Your own partners are just as vulnerable to the same sort of attention and with your attentions elsewhere, especially so. What might differentiate them from you and this man is that they are more unselfish and feel less entitled, but equally they could both be just as much suckers for attention as you and this man.

I definitely wouldn't read anything into his tales of unhappiness at home. It's more likely that the unconsumated sexual chemistry is driving this and he is as addicted to the feelings about himself as a red-hot lover as you are.

Best to just see it for what it is, rather than through either rose-coloured spectacles or strange double-standards about men and women.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 22-Jan-13 15:57:19

You're right, it's not the real world. It's not living together. It's not sharing the mundane, the ordinary. For a start unless you all meet up on playdates, you don't have your young DCs gambolling around to spoil the romance of it all. You probably see each other without old prejudices, past slights, change wrought by age or stress or even predictability.

Oscar Wilde said, "It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious".

There's enough of the illicit thrill, of secrecy, breaking some rules, and anticipation of how things might end up one date. I assume if your initial encounter and friendship developed into an EA, over months, you were already dissatisfied with what you had. Ask yourself, honestly, if not him, could it have been someone else.

freedom2011 Tue 22-Jan-13 16:05:15

If you spent more time working on your marriage and less time mooning over this plonker, you might find you had less problems at home. If your marriage, despite work, is irretrievable, start going through the motions to get out of it. Your assessment of this OM as a lying dick is spot on. Step away completely from the OM. Start working on your marriage. You so obviously know the right thing to do. Now do it.

Charbon Tue 22-Jan-13 16:19:05

I would also add that the fact you are married too blurs how honest he is likely to be about his feelings for you and his intentions to leave his marriage. It's so much easier to claim undying love and make these promises, knowing that being held to account for them is a day that might never come or if it does, is way into the future. Hence, you will often find that people back off when reality starts to intrude or the other married lover starts the process of dissembling their relationship. So from your point of view, be sceptical about what he's saying but equally he should be just as sceptical about what you're saying.

For both of you, if you want to individually leave your marriages because they are no longer making you happy and that was the case before you met - then that is the right thing to do.

But you should both beware of making grand sacrifices just because of the affair, because it is extremely rare for both partners in an affair to have equally dead marriages and what often happens is that one of them gets cold feet and chooses their spouse instead. Unfortunately, this decision often comes too late for the OW/OM who has ruined what was a decent marriage to a spouse who has by then (not unreasonably) given up and got on with his/her life.

shockers Tue 22-Jan-13 16:43:03

Just out of interest, what are the problems that he has at home?

justarandomguy Tue 22-Jan-13 16:48:58

I know exactly how you feel. I'm a guy in more or less the same situation as you. I'm not a player, never had an affair and have a good marriage (I'm sure I'll get a good flaming for that). I don't think just because he's having affair with you means you cannot trust him in the future but then I would say that.

I've lurked here for a while now, read the stories of the heartache that affairs cause, read the caustic and also valid and sensible advice and comments made here and most of it is not what you want to hear.

I can't offer you any advice because I'm wrestling with my own situation however I would say that life is just not as black and white as some people seem to think it is.

You don't say whether there are children involved, if there are then this will likely heavily affect his decision on whether to leave his marriage.

Good luck, whichever way it goes.

cupcake78 Tue 22-Jan-13 16:55:46

Everyone has errors in judgement and makes mistakes. It's what you do about it that in my opinion says more about your character.

You both know what your doing isn't nice and you seem to recognise you have problems at home.

The honourable thing to do is walk away from your relationship and decide what to do with your marriage.

The only thing you really know about this man is he has seeked escapism rather than addressing his marital problems.

Whether he'd do it again is anyone's guess but he and you have shown you can and are doing it.

cupcake78 Tue 22-Jan-13 16:56:00

Everyone has errors in judgement and makes mistakes. It's what you do about it that in my opinion says more about your character.

You both know what your doing isn't nice and you seem to recognise you have problems at home.

The honourable thing to do is walk away from your relationship and decide what to do with your marriage.

The only thing you really know about this man is he has seeked escapism rather than addressing his marital problems.

Whether he'd do it again is anyone's guess but he and you have shown you can and are doing it.

Beamur Tue 22-Jan-13 17:05:30

Charbon speaks a lot of sense.
Sometimes relationships 'overlap' and it works out ok in the end, sometimes not...

Kaykat Tue 22-Jan-13 17:10:06

Why don't you ask his wife if she think you are such a good person?

I feel so sorry for that poor lady, and for your DH and DCs, they don't deserve this.

ironhorse Tue 22-Jan-13 17:12:46

its interesting that you think hes a dick because hes cheating on his wife but you dont label yourself a dick because your cheating on your hubby? you also say you think hes wonderful - id hate to know what you thought of someone who you didnt think was wonderful. you ask if there is ever a time when a decenet man has an affair - turn it round and ask if there is ever a time when a decent woman would have an affair? ive always thought woman who are the bit on the side are always tarts or slappers.

why are you different from him in that your a good person in a difficult situation but hes a dick - could that not be him too?

if your unhappy in your marriage then leave your OH and your kids, if not leave the other man, simple really.

confusionoftheillusion Tue 22-Jan-13 17:14:24

All really useful posts - thanks, charbon especially I recognise what is going on in what you post. OM does make me feel amazing which my husband does not, so yes, it may be more about the feeling I get rather than actually him as a person. There is also a physical attraction (obviously) which I just don't feel for my husband, despite trying to for some time now. Ditto your post about both partners not having equally dead marriages. His sounds a hell of a lot worse than mine (though who knows if he's telling me the truth).

justarandomguy - thanks for your post, interesting. If you have a good marriage why are you having an affair? And what have you told our OW about the marriage? I'm guessing you haven't told her its good!

To answer the thread title, no they can't. A good person will finish one relationship before starting on another, regardless of gender. Only wankers cheat.

However, since you both are cheating on your spouses you sound ideally matched from a moral point of view so I don't understand why you are asking.

confusionoftheillusion Tue 22-Jan-13 17:18:52

ironhorse I do think I'm a dick for what I am doing to my husband - I guess my point (maybe irrelevant) is that he doesn't seem to wrestle with it like I do. If I'm completely honest I think we are both good people (but then I would say that wouldn't I)
I also always thought that women who were bits on the side were tarts or slippers but it turns out you really can't judge someone till you've walked a mile in their shoes. I never in a billion years thought I would be in this situation but I guess a cocktail of circumstance/chemistry/personal weakness have brought me here.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 22-Jan-13 17:26:24

justarandomguy see OP''s post at 15:20:26 they do have young DCs hth.

Charbon Tue 22-Jan-13 17:29:53

I wouldn't flame you randomguy about the 'good marriage' bit. It is an extraordinary myth that affairs only occur when marriages are miserable and dissatisfying. Or that the people having affairs are noticeably 'bad eggs'. I also find it tiresome when married women having affairs are told that their married lover is 'a lying dick' when in fact he is doing nothing different to the OP.

In truth most people are vulnerable to flattery and ego boosts and it means precisely nothing about their sanctioned relationships. 'Good' marriages peak, trough and flatline occasionally, depending on competing responsibilities and pressures. All 'real' relationships are like that, apart from in romcoms.

The mistake people make is thinking that a new person or new relationship will be any different, or that they won't ever be vulnerable again to that same flattery and ego-boosting attention.

It shouldn't surprise me of course, but what defeats logic when two lovers are complaining to eachother about their marriages is that their spouses will have their own grievances and dissatisfactions and so often, they actually have more to complain about than the ones who are having an affair. People in affairs so often exaggerate minor grievances to justify their actions and also to 'mirror' their lover's complaints. I often think if people in affairs could be a fly on the wall for an average week in their lovers' homes, they would gain a very different perception of how 'bad' these other marriages - and spouses - really are.

confusionoftheillusion Tue 22-Jan-13 17:37:22

charbon you talk much sense. I often wonder whether things are as bad as he says they are at his place. I haven't talked too much about my marriage - my marriage itself is actually fine in that it functions, we get on, we have a giggle but there is no sexual attraction (on my side) so it is fair to say that perhaps if it wasn't this guy then it would have been someone else. Although ever since the first time I met this guy I felt attracted to him. Weird really as he's less "handsome" than dh, but I was just intensely attracted to him. God I sound like a twat.

Maybe it is just that at the time I met him I was vulnerable to this. Looking back and knowing what i know now, he definitely was vulnerable given the state of his marriage.

Charbon Tue 22-Jan-13 17:39:19

Cross-posted.

If you've always thought that men who had affairs were 'arseholes driven by their dicks' and women who slept with them were 'tarts and slappers' then no wonder you're conflicted. People are not one-dimensional sexual stereotypes. It might surprise you then to know that just as many women in 'good' marriages have affairs as men in 'good' marriages but that because women are socialised differently to men about sex, more unfaithful women than unfaithful men blame their marriages for their affairs because they find it too hard to admit that they are driven by lust just as much as men.

You're letting yourself far too much off the hook here by inferring that this just happened and you've suddenly found yourself in this situation. You chose for this to happen, because there are aspects of your personality that you possibly don't want to confront.

sassy34264 Tue 22-Jan-13 17:51:00

I read something interesting a few weeks back (not on here). A woman was commenting on people who leave their spouse for the ow/om.

She said, 'if people realised that the thing they were running too, would end up the thing they ran from, they may think twice.'

Made sense to me. As chabon says, peaks, troughs and flatlines are in all relationships and if you are the kind of person who prefers to bail, then when the next relationship has the same troubles you will bail again. Goes some way to explaining why such a high percentage of second marriages fail i think.

sassy34264 Tue 22-Jan-13 17:51:37

sorry charbon

sassy34264 Tue 22-Jan-13 17:55:08

By the way, i'm not talking about people who leave marriages because of violence and abuse or if they have discovered an infidelty.

I just mean run of the mill, it's got stale, dull, etc.

GirlOutNumbered Tue 22-Jan-13 18:02:37

My mum had an affair 20 years ago and left my father for him. They are still married and he is the most wonderful man, who I am proud to have as a step father.

Sometimes these things happen and it really is because they married the wrong person and do meet their soul mate.

Charbon Tue 22-Jan-13 18:11:04

Looking back and knowing what i know now, he definitely was vulnerable given the state of his marriage.

No, not definitely at all.

People are 'vulnerable' because of all sorts of reasons. You'd be amazed how many other factors influence the timing of affairs.

Sometimes it is just plain and simple opportunity i.e. someone was there and there would have been no affair at all if the other person hadn't shown an interest.

Sometimes it's because of an external event, like a bereavement, change in appearance (e.g weight loss/weight gain/new gym habit), or a bad time is being had in some other aspect of life such as work, friendships, with kids or the extended family and the affair looks like an escape.

Anyone who tells you that they wouldn't have had an affair if their marriage had been happy isn't being honest with either themselves or you. In many cases people just don't know that because either the opportunity hasn't arisen or the person offering it didn't attract. But even if they can recall other realistic opportunities that were knocked back because in their view their relationships were happier then, what you'll often find is that life in general was more satisfying then too i.e when work was more fun, kids were more manageable or hadn't yet arrived, they were fitter and more secure about their appearance.

It's always important to look at other factors in people's lives and not just their romantic relationships.

houseelfdobby Tue 22-Jan-13 18:15:09

girloutnumbered how old were you at the time?

GirlOutNumbered Tue 22-Jan-13 18:16:32

I was 14 when Dad threw mum out. I chose to go with mum.

justarandomguy Tue 22-Jan-13 18:25:12

@confusionoftheillusion - we don't really discuss the state of our marriages. I don't think either of us can blame the situation on a bad marriage.

@Charbon - I don't know if you have a counselling background or are just worldly wise but your advice is always well balanced and thought out, thanks for your thoughts.

JumpingJackSprat Tue 22-Jan-13 18:27:37

you will never be able to trust him.

confusionoftheillusion Tue 22-Jan-13 19:04:00

Right again charbon - there are aspects of my personality that I don't want to confront... And in my head I have used my husbands DV (one isolated incident) as an excuse for me to break a vow too. I know this is not healthy and is very very immature of me. Given what you've said there are things that OM has said which also make him vulnerable - and me I guess. God, why couldn't I have heard all your posts before this stupid thing started!

@justarandomguy - do you want to end your affair? Do you know how you ended up in it? Or did it just happen and spiral?

girloutnumberd - thanks for your point of view. I hope your ddad found someone too.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 22-Jan-13 19:30:34

This is the point where you tell us more about the DV in your marriage, confusion.

wrinklyraisin Tue 22-Jan-13 19:58:27

You might not be bad people but you are choosing to act very badly when there are alternatives like divorcing your current spouses in order to free yourselves up to be together if thats what you both want. There's no decent excuse for prolonged (or any kind of) cheating, really, if you want to continue what you're doing then you're destroying your character in the eyes of everyone around you.

Charbon Tue 22-Jan-13 20:05:46

I don't want to jump to any conclusions about the DV you've now mentioned. You say it was one isolated incident, but what form did it take? Did this happen before you first met the other man, for you to say it was a factor?

I think this is irrelevant to the affair in any case, although it might be relevant to your marriage.

The best advice I can give you is for you to acknowledge that it's impossible to make any rational decisions about your marriage while you are having an affair. And the same advice applies to the OM.

How easy would it be practically to end the affair? Do you work with him and is contact necessary?

confusionoftheillusion Wed 23-Jan-13 07:33:43

The DV was basically that after a massive row when we were both drunk my husband attacked me. This was after I'd met the OM but before anything had happened. Nothing has happened violently since. I threw him out for a week and then let him come home, we talked, he was mortified and he hasn't said so much as a cross word since....

I think it has had much more of a lasting impact on me than him though.

charbon you are right and I know on every level I have to end it with OM. OR at least put it on hold until such time as we are free to date like 'normal' people. Ending it won't be hard as we both know it's wrong. I have ended it once, well clearly not very well. It will be the no contact bit afterwards. We don't work together and there is no reason to see each other so if I could just delete his number then I would have no way of reaching him anyway...

Abitwobblynow Wed 23-Jan-13 07:44:47

The ending and coming back together again is what sustains the affair. There is always the star-crossed lovers dynamic 'we tried to end it but...(it is bigger than both of us)' How else do you keep the fantasy going? Prolonged periods of contact means you get to 'know' the person, which is not what affairs are about.

parttimer79 Wed 23-Jan-13 09:01:20

Right, I'm going to put my head above the parapet here.
My current DP and I got together after exit affairs on both our parts.
Do I think this brands us as terrible people, bad sons/daughters, bad friends? No.
Do I think it is a shitty thing to do, done only by people who need to take a good hard look at themselves, their ideas of what is acceptable in a relationship and whether they put their own needs ahead of the needs of others. Yes,yes I do.
It has taken a lot of counselling, time and work to get to a point we can both see this so if this looks like the shiny happy option, trust me it is not.
We now have a very strong, honest relationship, very different to the marriages we were both in before but I would far rather havegot here without hurting other people.
My advice would be stop getting caught up in the star crossed lovers thing. Decide if your marriage is sustainable, with or without OM as a safety net and then act. Affairs prolong a state of indecision where you feel like you have to take no responsibility for your actions.
Sorry for the essay btw.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Wed 23-Jan-13 09:27:30

You can delete his number. Can you identify what's stopping you?

confusionoftheillusion Wed 23-Jan-13 09:35:32

parttimer thanks for your real life post. You're right. I know I'm being totally selfish here. I need to end it. I am seeing him tomorrow so will have the conversation then. It has to be done.

hotdamn - what is stopping me from deleting his number? The feeling of emptiness at having no contact with him and going back to my boring marriage with a man I admire greatly as a parent but not a man I see a long happy future for myself with. My husband is a good man but he doesn't have enough to interest me for the next 50 years I don't think.

I would have to delete his number though. The temptation would be too great otherwise.

justarandomguy Wed 23-Jan-13 09:47:25

@confusionoftheillusion - Do I want to end it, honestly no.
How did I end up in it? initially I thought it just happened then I began to wonder why and Charbon's analysis of how affairs can happen has confirmed what I was thinking. I'm not going to disclose on here what that is but I think it is connected to an external event.

MegaClutterSlut Wed 23-Jan-13 10:14:01

sorry haven't read the whole thread but op if you are unhappy in your marriage why don't you end it and find someone (not OM) who can make you happy?

So many people get hurt when affairs are found out (which they always do in the end)

In your op it's clear you would never trust OM even if you two were to become a couple and no he is not a good guy, he is betraying his wife and kids (if he has them) but then so are you. I know I wouldn't have 100% trust if my relationship was started by an affair so it wouldn't work from the get go imo

MummyIsMagic79 Wed 23-Jan-13 10:17:37

Confusion of the Illusion - search my posts/threads and see what you are doing to everyone involved.

You're not friends with his wife by any chance are you?

MarilynValentine Wed 23-Jan-13 10:27:30

I think the issue here is the DV.

Forget about agonising over the affair for a bit. You 'greatly admire' your DH but he attacked you. It was after that you began your affair.

You are hiding from the enormity of what happened (an isolated incident *so far*) in the arms of your OM, who you don't really trust.

Your H was violent towards you but seems less affected by it than you are.

Your OM is being unfaithful, just as you are, but seems less affected by it than you are.

Neither of these men are in sync with you, there is a disconnect, a lack of empathy, feeling.

I think you need to focus on that fact that your husband attacked you. Why are you minimising it? It wasn't ok.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Wed 23-Jan-13 10:37:14

It's interesting that you are asking whether a man who is willing to have an affair can be a "good man", one you can trust in a relationship. Instead of asking whether a man who is willing to attack his wife can be a "good man", one you can trust in a relationship.

Is it fear of being single, confusion? You want to be certain that you can transition straight into another relationship before you take steps to end your current one?

Don't be afraid of being single.

Being single is a wonderful strengthening process, in which you discover who you really are, and what you really want (and deserve). It is a great thing to do in between relationships.

scaevola Wed 23-Jan-13 11:00:24

Interesting question, hot can a good man make a bad mistake in having a singe violent outburst? What weight can ever be put on seemingly genuine attempts to make up (not putting a foot wrong since then etc). And, in thhis case, what made it happen? OP says she had already met OM, so perhaps she had made more of a perceptible shift away than she realises.

OP: if you think my question is fluent bollocks: do you also think that he is a danger to you because the DV makes him irretrievably no longer a "good guy"? For DV is different to an affair because of the immediate physical danger. And you need to prioritise your safety above all else.

MarilynValentine Wed 23-Jan-13 11:08:36

scaevola - agree that the OP needs to put her safety first.

But let's be clear, what 'made' the DV happen was NOT the OP's fault/caused by any behavioural shifts on her part. The reason her H was violent was due to inadequacies/issues inherent in him.

I'm sure you didn't mean it to sound like that but just wanted to make that clear for the OP. Sorry if I misinterpreted you.

Charbon Wed 23-Jan-13 13:31:53

Right, so it's becoming clear that the relationship with the OM was never built on an ordinary friendship that changed into something else. It was always built on sexual attraction so it was an affair in your heads the moment you met. I think you need to acknowledge that because I get the sense that you think the affair actually started some time later, which is why you're insistent that the DV occurred 'before anything had happened' with the OM. Something had already happened with the OM though. Just because the mutual attraction was unspoken and not acted upon, makes no difference.

What usually happens is that as soon as someone else has taken up occupation in your head, the process of withdrawal and distance from the existing relationship starts in earnest.

When the DV incident occurred, was there anything else going on in your husband's life? You say you were both drunk, so was this violence connected to drink on his part and has aggressive drunkenness been a problem in the past? In other words, was this behaviour completely atypical?

I think the only connection between this incident and your affair is that it became part of your permission-giving process to move the affair on to the next stage. That might sound very calculating, but when ostensibly 'good' people have affairs they usually need to have a rationale for doing something they instinctively know is wrong. Sometimes it's consequence focused (this doesn't have to hurt him/her and he'll never find out.) Sometimes (especially in previously good marriages) it's engineered so the disharmony and negative reactions from a partner are purely the product of the affair, but the gap is created that is necessary to act. Sometimes it's a bit of both. In marriages that have always had problems, previous incidents are resurrected and magnified and given far greater significance than they were at the time.

DV is at the extreme end of the scale and would for many, be relationship- ending in its own right. The problem for you is that the affair has impacted your judgement about it.

There are likely to be competing pulls going on here.

Had you not been having an affair and not felt some guilt about that, you might have decided this was the death knell to a marriage devoid of sexual chemistry. But your affair and guilt might have prolonged a marriage that should have ended there and then.

Then having stayed in the marriage, the DV became a permissible reason to do something that you would have done anyway i.e. progressed the affair.
I think you might need to be very honest with yourself about that. If it wasn't the DV, it would have been something else.

If you're going to end it with the OM, make it final. Any suggestions that there might be future scope if your marriages end is effectively signing those marriages' death warrants. If it's easy to avoid the OM, this really is about going cold turkey and permanently deleting any means of contact. It will require great willpower and it's likely you'll need some other prop such as your own counselling to get you through it.

Charbon Wed 23-Jan-13 13:37:40

By the way, I'd advise against seeing the OM in person when you end it. The tearful farewell kisses just add to the drama and are unnecessary and indulgent.

You should also ask him to respect the no-contact rule and insist he doesn't contact you and put his number back in your phone. If he genuinely cares for you he will comply with that request.

confusionoftheillusion Wed 23-Jan-13 14:03:31

mummyismagic No - I don't know his wife. Never met her but have heard things about her through other people who do know her. I am acutely aware I am betraying another woman, another mum, that does not feel good.

scaevola I may have made some shift in the months leading up to the DV as I was coming out the other end of having depression. However I still don't think this gives my husband the right to hit me!

hotdamn - yes, I am afraid of being single. I agree with all the things you've said about it but I still would rather be in a happy relationship. I know I am not now so something has to change.

marilyn your comment about neither man being emotionally in sync with me really resonates. My dh is most certainly NOT emotionally in sync with me. I always thought this was a good thing as I thought he could be the rational one and I could be the emotional one but maybe not!

charbon more wise words from you. I suppose when the DV happened I did want to end it. But if I am honest I didn't feel I could throw away 10 years because of one night. Because it was just the isolated time. He hasn't been an angry drunk before.

Maybe counselling for me would be a good idea.

scaevola Wed 23-Jan-13 14:12:48

Of course it doesn't give your DH the right to hit you! As pointed out it's totally unacceptable and based on flaws within him.

Which bring us back I suppose full circle: an affair is also unacceptable behaviour based on flaws.

Your interest in finding counselling could be a good idea. It will put you in a stronger position to work out if you (and perhaps later the two of you) can accept each other, flaws and all, with genuine intention to get back the good bits and find secure controls to prevent the unacceptable manifestations of the flaws in future.

Charbon Wed 23-Jan-13 14:13:41

So he hasn't been an angry drunk before or since?

This seems odd. Can you explain more about the row? Was there violence on both sides? Did anything other than drink affect your husband's violence? What form did it take?

MarilynValentine Wed 23-Jan-13 19:53:29

confusion I do really feel you are overly focused on your OM and the inevitable drama of an affair to distract yourself from the impact of that one incidence of DV.

DV is a deal-breaker. Once is enough to end a marriage.

Do you think part of your motivation towards having an affair was to do with distribution of guilt?

i.e. your DH hurts you. It's too much to process. You want to make it less impactful. You have an affair. Guilt on both sides. Makes your DH's violence feel less damaging.

?

Sounds a good idea to go no contact with the OM - to clear your head and address the problems in your marriage.

Hope you're ok.

cronullansw Wed 23-Jan-13 20:14:28

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

confusionoftheillusion Fri 25-Jan-13 07:01:01

marilyn - yes I think you're right and the affair may have been to do with distribution of guilt. I also think it was just selfish physical and emotional attraction to OM who is not like my DH in many ways.

I ended it yesterday. Today i feel sick.I haven't slept a wink. I know it's the right thing to do but it still hurts like hell. I don't expect anyone to have sympathy for me cause I got into this place knowing that it would end badly, and I just selfishly thought of me and him when getting into it but still I am feeling very upset about the whole thing. He was upset too but understood everything I was saying and why I needed to end it. I did do it face to face charbon and yes the were tears on both parts but I just couldn't face doing it over the phone.

I also know I need to talk to H about our marriage which again makes me feel sick to the pit of my stomach. It's such a mess. One step at a time I guess.

Thanks for all the posts on this thread and for taking the time to write. It has been really helpful.

wrinklyraisin Fri 25-Jan-13 11:22:43

You've done the right thing. Now concentrate on yourself and your marriage, whether working on it or ending it. It hurts now, but honestly you'll feel more self respect and good karma from this in the long run. Affairs are so unnecessary and destructive IMHO. Take care of yourself. I hope life works out well for you whatever happens next op.

MarilynValentine Fri 25-Jan-13 11:38:03

Well done confusion.

Please don't let your understandable guilt about the affair diminish the terrible enormity of your H turning on you physically.

Good luck.

lemonstartree Fri 25-Jan-13 11:46:27

^Do I think it is a shitty thing to do, done only by people who need to take a good hard look at themselves, their ideas of what is acceptable in a relationship and whether they put their own needs ahead of the needs of others. Yes,yes I do.
It has taken a lot of counselling, time and work to get to a point we can both see this so if this looks like the shiny happy option, trust me it is not.^

This is a very honest and truthful comment. There are not many people who end up together as a result of betrayal, who end up in an honest comfortable relationship unless you are (both) prepered to take long hard and brutal looks at yourselfs (as parttimer and her dp/h have done) Would you be able to do that ?

Charbon Fri 25-Jan-13 12:08:02

Yes I think you would have probably carried on into an affair anyway regardless of this incident with your husband, so I'm glad you've recognised that.

I don't have a huge amount of confidence that you will stick to this decision though - you've been here before after all and the break-up/make-up thing in affairs becomes almost as addictive as the affair itself. It will be especially hard if the OM contacts you or if you start convincing yourselves that you can now be 'just friends' (which you can't). If the OM does contact you - or you contact him - it will be for selfish reasons and not love though; just so you are clear about that.

It's notoriously difficult to save a marriage after something like this has happened and remains a secret. Whether it's true or not, the narrative about your husband having no sexual appeal might have become locked as a justification in your head and for some women, an unknowing cuckold is the antithesis of a sexually attractive man.

I'm also interested that you have evaded questions about the violent incident, what happened and what might have been behind it. If it's too painful to revisit, that's fair enough - but if this has also had a different narrative applied to it by you after the event, I think it would be more helpful to deal with the truth.

AnyFucker Fri 25-Jan-13 12:25:49

You have posted before about your violent husband. It's ok to end your marriage on the basis of one incident, since what you describe demonstrates he clearly killed any love you still felt for him

The Om aside, your marriage is now a sham and that is completely understandable

LaQueen Fri 25-Jan-13 18:23:20

Neither of you is a very good person, to be honest.

Presumably, you're both lying to your partners, being disloyal, and deliberately breaking the vows you made to each other. You are showing no integrity and nothing in the way of honour.

Not very good is it.

A person with integrity, with honour, recognises the fact their marriage is struggling...they try and work at it...if it fails, then they walk away...

If there is some new, shiney person a-tempting them...then they ignore them, and walk away and try and work on their marriage. If, finally it all fails, and the dust settles then, and you've moved on...then fine, contact the new, shiney person.

You deliberately deceive by degrees - no one wakes up one morning to suddenly discover they have been unfaitful. I never for one second believe the pleas of 'But, I couldn't help it.' Yes, you could...but you simply chose not to.

I have no sympathy, or time for people who decide they're bored with their marriage, and tired of their partner...it's encumbent on you to sort it our honourably rather than devastating the life of someone who really doesn't deserve it - by lying to them, humiliating them, making them look a fool...who the fuck are you to treat some like that?

And all because the lady fancies a bit of mystery and sparkle hmm

LaQueen Fri 25-Jan-13 18:25:05

Oh, I only read first page...

Well, not applicable to OP then.

perfectstorm Fri 25-Jan-13 18:31:41

There's a really interesting guy (American) who works on attitudes to race. And he was talking about how people see being "a good person" as a static state - that they're a good person, so they can't make a racist comment.

His argument is that being a good person is like being a clean person. It's a constant process, and that succeeding or failing one day is only important in how it helps towards a habit. You don't say, "I don't need to brush my teeth - I'm a clean person." You brush your teeth because you want to be one.

I'm sure you've been a good person in the past, and hopefully you will be again. But you are sleeping with the father of two small children. The damage you could do them if that came out, and probably are doing them in terms of their mother having a terrifying sense that something is wrong, is not the action of a good person. Neither of you are currently good people.

Whether you return to being a good person is a choice only you can make.

perfectstorm Fri 25-Jan-13 18:32:38

Crap, sorry, this is the perfect example of why not to post on a thread you've not read properly. On Relationships, that's inexcusable - I'm sorry. I hope things work through for you.

LaQueen Fri 25-Jan-13 18:37:36

Also apologise OP.

I thought I read the whole thread, but then the thread flipped into pages again, and I realised there were two more.

Does anyone else's MN do this? Sometimes you don't get any pages in a thread?

perfectstorm Fri 25-Jan-13 18:44:06

LeQueen I think it may have with me, too.

AnyFucker Fri 25-Jan-13 18:48:36

My MN starts to do that when it's about to start going really weird and pissing around

frustratedworkingmum Fri 25-Jan-13 18:54:41

My dad wasn't a bad person, he really wasn't and im not just saying that because he was my dad. He was the kindest, most patient, lovely, put upon man you could ever hope to meet.

He had an affair, now it might have been because my mum treated him like shite (she really did) and he was looking for comfort but he shouldn't have done it. I was 12 when it all came out, it destroyed me sad

DiscretionAdvised Fri 25-Jan-13 22:41:16

It's not as simple as saying people are good or bad. I do believe you can trust one.

However the best thing is to decided what you want out of your marriage regardless of the om. He has to do the same. D you want to end you marriage and be on your own. If the answer is yes for both of you then you should go ahead and end your marriages in the knowledge that its not to be with each other but because your marriages are unhappy. Knowing the om may be there for you will make it easier. If the answer is no then end the EA and work on your marriage.

For what it's worth I understand. I became friends with a colleague, we were both desperately unhappy. The exit affair started. Within a week of this happening I took steps to end my marriage. We text continually, see together very occasionally outside of work. Have sleep together just a couple of times. Dh moves out on Friday. The om moves out in march. I trust him as know him to be a moral and honourable despite his actions, as am I. Yes neither of us have been honest with our partners but it would only cause unnecessary extra hurt.

Living with someone else whilst your heart is with someone else is bloody hard even if there is no illusion of marriage. Thinking of said om doing the same is just as hard.

Think carefully and the decision in the basis of your marriage not the om

TDada Sat 26-Jan-13 07:33:12

Hi, wonder how the beau would respond if you said to him " let's cut the emotional crap and have once a week sex, physical affair only". Possible that he really loves you. Also possible that he isn't getting enough at home and/or has wandering eye. Sorry to be so direct.

Also note that it is not unusual to find someone other than DP attractive. Perhaps it would help if you told DP that you are finding someone else attractive. He might up his game.

Final apology for not having read the entire thread.

Best wishes

DiscretionAdvised Sat 26-Jan-13 22:30:38

Tadada. That's what's made me trust the om as he has been the one trying hardest to resist a physical relationship.

It's a good point!

confusionoftheillusion Tue 29-Jan-13 13:34:22

Tdada - are you saying that if OM is up for once a week sex no strings then he clearly has no feelings and if he says "no" to that then he does?

discretion - your advice is spot on. I do need to think about whether I can stay with dh. I haven't even talked to him about how I am feeling about our marriage.

I called relate this morning to find out a bit more about what they offer. I think I could benefit from some counselling alone to try and figure out some of the stuff which is in my head and maybe the two of us as a couple could try it. I don't want to just walk away from my marriage but the strength of feeling for OM is overwhelming. Am I right in assuming this is probably because it's an affair though and not the real world?

perfectstorm your comment about it being a constant process is probably the best answer I've read to "can a good guy cheat on his wife?".

Such a mess. I wish i'd never started this. Maybe that there is my answer....

Charbon Tue 29-Jan-13 13:38:10

Yes. The strength of feeling on both sides is amplified because it is an affair and not real-life. Especially as you haven't had full sex.

So, has there been any contact between you and OM since you finished it?

confusionoftheillusion Tue 29-Jan-13 13:58:45

Yes. There has been some texting and 2 phone calls. Both as bad as each other though he initiated. Obviously I could have just ignored or replied politely saying 'don't contact me' but I didn't so am equally to blame. I now see why people always said affairs were addictive. Especially when you feel like you might be falling in love. We spoke last night and I told him I thought the best thing for us both was to have no contact but he's asked me to think about no contact for a month but with a set date to meet up in a month. He says he can't bear the thought of not seeing me again or knowing when he might. I said I'd think about it but I don't know what the point of that is. If in a month things are better with DH I won't want to see him for fear of undoing the hard work. But equally if I decide I want out of the marriage I might be hopeful about starting something with him, and he, in the meantime might have fixed his. Either way it just seems a bit silly.
Go on then, flame me, I have been weak - again

Virgil Tue 29-Jan-13 14:08:29

Yes a good guy can cheat on his wife.

My DH is a wonderful husband and father. He is supportive, does his full share around the house and he is my best friend. I also still fancy the pants off him. We have been together for 15 years and have two wonderful DCs.

When I met him he was married and he cheated on his wife (and then left her).

Many people who have affairs don't plan for it to happen. It's really not black and white.

Charbon Tue 29-Jan-13 14:09:55

I'm not going to flame you but as you know, that doesn't surprise me. The breaking-up and making-up, angst and hand-wringing is as addictive as the affair itself.

Setting dates into the future is another thing that doesn't work. Knowing that you will be meeting in a month just means that during the preceding 4-5 weeks, you're in a holding position which means there is no movement at all.

The only thing that works is no contact at all, getting some support for the old turkey symptoms while that happens.

Just be clear that all the time you're in contact, the affair is ongoing and nothing will change. You'll continue staying in marriages that could either work or fail, you'll carry on deceiving people and running the risk of it being discovered and you'll remain in a high state of drama and illusion.

Some people do this because they like the drama and romance of it all, but they don't want to do the adult thing and resolve things one way or another.

Charbon Tue 29-Jan-13 14:10:42

cold turkey - not old!!

confusionoftheillusion Tue 29-Jan-13 14:29:45

I definitely don't like the drama at all.
I like him though

confusionoftheillusion Tue 29-Jan-13 14:31:13

virgil - I'm guessing your DH left his wife for you?

Charbon Tue 29-Jan-13 14:40:21

I mentioned upthread that if you got in contact with eachother after you finished things, it would be for selfish reasons and not care or love for the other person.

If you truly cared for eachother as individuals, you would want the turmoil and conflict to end for that person and would respect their need to sort their own lives out.

What's driving this I think is unconsumnated lust - not love.

But you seem to have a need for it to be true love.

If you're that sure that your feelings for one another are love and not lust - are you brave enough to put that to the test?

Charbon Tue 29-Jan-13 14:43:23

BTW - are you running two threads at the moment with different usernames? confused

newNN Tue 29-Jan-13 14:50:42

The thing is OP, both he and you are going to bed with your spouses every night, waking up with them in the morning, kissing them goodbye when you go to work, exchanging 'I love you's' with them, doing all the things that people do when they are in a marriage. You are both behaving as though you have long term plans and futures with your spouses. And at the same time you and OM are both plotting meet ups and texting each other and getting off on all this unfulfilled sexual tension. It's made deceitful, liars of you both.

Could you build a relationship with a man who has looked his wife in the eye every day, kissed her, told her he loves her and who, at the same time, has been plotting to meet up with you?

I've been on the other side of this, as a wife, and I feel physically sick at the thought of my husband doing all this with me and then going off to work, in the shirt that I ironed and meeting up for a good flirt with someone else.

Do I think he's a good person? A difficult question. I know him to be capable of lies and deceit and incredible selfishness. Maybe it's better to know that, than persist in the rose tinted view I used to have. Ours was a 'good' marriage too btw - not without its problems but by no means bad. I'd definitely take what he is telling you about his marriage with a pinch of salt. I think my husband is not a bad person but he was weak and flawed and I deserved so much more than he gave me.

I think that you have to decide about your marriage and act accordingly - not do this thing where you are half in and half out. You are being so unfair to your spouse, who deserves to know what is going on within their own lives.

fluffyraggies Tue 29-Jan-13 15:31:53

If you still genuinely believe you may want to stay in your marriage OP, then rather than unilaterally deciding whether the marriage is dead in the water why not talk to your DH honestly about what's been happening? And face the fall out together.

I'm oversimplifying hugely here and don't have the skill of many other posters to advise you. I'm sorry.

I'm not speaking down to you from the moral high ground at all here, by the way, as i've been in a similar position as you. However one of the differences is i didn't want to save my marriage at all. In your situation - wondering about doing the right thing, and the good thing, well, i just feel your DH should be in the loop by now. Otherwise this is nothing but a messy affair, and morally you will always feel you've done badly by your DH.

Has the OM expressed thoughts about you telling your DH?

This was clumsily worded post, apologies. Not feeling too well.

bestsonever Tue 29-Jan-13 17:09:27

To leave your DH is a decision best made on the state of your marriage as it is, with no distractions from anyone else. You leave because you are with the wrong person, not because someone else may appear better, they often turn out not to be. You can't focus on your feelings about the marriage, and family life you have, whilst still being in contact with OM. If you arrive at the decision that you would rather be a single parent than with your DH, then call time on it. You can't bank on this OM turning out to be all that you want as you just get to see the best bits in an affair, not how the daily grind would be. I doubt a month is long enough.

confusionoftheillusion Tue 29-Jan-13 17:15:39

Hi fluffy - neither of us has talked about us telling our spouses. Though we have both talked about leaving to be together. I think my dh would leave me immediately if he knew what I had done. He would be quite within his rights to. I am finding it so hard to look him in the eye and I know as a person - let alone his wife - I have been shit to him. I am going to stop this thing. I am.

charbon - Your post rang true.i do care about him as an individual so youre right.i have to stop this. I am supposed to call him later to let him know if i can do the "meet up in a month" thing. I will tell him no i can't and that we have to do no contact and then delete his number so I cannot contact him. Then if he truly cares about me hopefully he will do the same. Your advice is always so amazing. (Yes i have got another thread on mn with a different name but not about this.)

I hate this so much. I know it's all my fault so I have nobody but myself to blame.

confusionoftheillusion Tue 29-Jan-13 17:24:07

charbon - when you say "if you're sure your feelings are love and not lust are you brave enough to put them to the test" what do you mean?
Do you mean leaving our respective marriages and giving it a go together?

Charbon Tue 29-Jan-13 17:51:06

No, what I meant was that if this is love and not lust, you will only want the other person to be happy and to do the right thing by themselves. Going back to the original question posed in your thread, for most 'good people' it's important that they do the right thing and can live with themselves and their own actions.

Being a factor in someone's marriage break-up is never an act of selfless love. Whether it's the right thing for a marriage to end or not, there will still be major upheaval for all parties and normally considerable upset for the person who doesn't want the marriage to end and for any children involved. It's therefore especially important to 'good people' that they take a decision of that gravity and import without the influence or coercion of others.

So the test of love is to withdraw from the picture entirely.

Being totally realistic here, sometimes the damage done by an affair is too great to ever repair the marriage, especially if it remains a secret. Many people feel that they are unable to see their partner in the same light ever again and so the marriage either limps along unsatisfactorily or it ends.

However there are some marriages that recover after a secret affair but only if the person having the affair recognises how much the affair itself was causing a marriage to be problematical and how much better it's become without the spectre of the OM/OW. Better still if the person faces up to the personality and character traits that allowed an affair in the first place, stops blaming their marriage and other people - and works on oneself. This is often best achieved in counselling.

If on the other hand it is lust that's driving this and not genuine reciprocated care and concern, one or both of the parties will be putting their needs first and keeping up the contact. IME these are the very people who get cold feet when pressed to leave their marriages, or if they do leave they will repeat the infidelity in the new and subsequent relationships. They also tend to exaggerate their unhappiness at home in order to justify their affairs and feel no guilt about criticising their partners and blaming them for their infidelity.

confusionoftheillusion Tue 29-Jan-13 18:12:20

charbon do you offer one on one counselling? Very wise words.
I know there are many parts of my character which caused the affair. It wasn't dh's violence, although of course this made me feel extremely disconnected from him. I had a choice every time I was meeting up with OM and many times I didn't go, but the vanity in me drove a lot of it at the beginning and then of course I developed very deep feelings for him.

I spoke to relate today who said the best thing for a couple is to do a first session together, then one each separately and then one together as an initial block. Then we can see where we go from there. She said I didn't have to disclose everything to my h but that if she thought it was relevant she would suggest I did.i think this is pretty relevant but I don't think I could disclose it. Coward I know.

cathkidstonbag Tue 29-Jan-13 18:19:12

I can't see any point to you going to see a counsellor together if you aren't going to disclose this. Why not just go on your own? I went to marriage counselling on my own! Certainly made me look at things in a new light and made me a stronger person.

Seeing a counsellor on your own would help you work through all of these feelings and untangle it all for you. Then with a clear head you can make decisions.

confusionoftheillusion Tue 29-Jan-13 18:32:01

I did think that cath but she said they prefer to see couples together. I did say that there were some things I didn't think I would disclose and that I wasn't Sure I even wanted to save the marriage but she said for couples that was the best way - maybe I should call and speak to someone else...

cathkidstonbag Tue 29-Jan-13 18:40:18

Find someone else. I'm not sure in a case with DV that joint counselling is the best idea.

Get your own head straight then work out how or if to save your marriage.

Charbon Tue 29-Jan-13 18:40:19

I'm not Relate's greatest fan to be honest and in any case, I genuinely don't advise couples counselling when one of the parties has had/is having a secret affair. It's not fair on the person in the couple who's left in the dark and it's not fair on the therapist.

While having an affair might not have relevance to the marriage (in that the marriage didn't cause the affair) once it's happened, it will always have relevance to the future relationship.

I'd recommend you see someone on your own for now. If you're going to stick to no contact, you'll need some support while that's going on and I suspect you'll be unable to evaluate your marriage properly until that period of grief and loss is over.

I'd recommend you speak to your husband though about your ambivalence regarding the marriage because at the moment he appears to be unsighted and in fairness, needs to know something about the turmoil that exists. This is advised with the caveat that if you fear any future violence, postpone that conversation. I don't get the sense that this is likely however - and on the other active thread I thought was yours, the OP referenced a one-off episode of violence that was related to a meds. clash - which has now been resolved.

I always think in the interests of fairness and in non-abusive marriages, the other partner needs to be given the opportunity to rescue his marriage and work on the problems within it. If these are problems that pre-existed your affair, they will be in the open domain but he might not realise how imperilled his marriage and your attachment to him is. I think he needs to know this at least.

confusionoftheillusion Tue 29-Jan-13 21:44:38

Me and dh have talked. I am going to go talk to someone to try and make sense of it all. I haven't told him about the OM but told him about my ambivalence and how I've felt differently since the violence. I felt awful not sharing my side of the weaknesses in the marriage. But I know it would not be repairable if I did. So maybe that means I want to repair it. We'll see.

I texted OM and said "I can't meet up in a month. It has to be no contact. its the only way for both of us to build the lives we want. Please respect this and don't respond to this message". He hasn't responded which I guess is what I want. Though of course it's kinda crushing.

confusionoftheillusion Tue 29-Jan-13 21:45:33

Dh was pretty ambivalent about it all actually. Didn't seem hugely bothered but maybe that says a lot too

cathkidstonbag Tue 29-Jan-13 22:17:37

Or maybe you want him to be ambivalent? OM has done exactly as you asked but I get how hurtful that must be. He needs to go away and sort out his life too while you do the same. Focus on what you have in front of you now, this needs all your emotional energy.

QueenofPlaids Tue 29-Jan-13 22:19:27

I had, I guess, an exit affair with my DP who I'm now intending to marry. We fessed up incredibly quickly (within days of kissing and before anything sexual). I was confused, young and I behaved like an ass.

Current DP saw this, wanted to wait until I had disentangled myself and made no promises he couldn't keep. I genuinely wouldn't want to inflict that on anyone ever again, nor I think would DP. We waited a long time to plan marriage, I think in part as a result. But yes, it is possible to have an exit affair that lasts. Not likely i suspect, but possible.

We had no joint assets, no kids, which I think makes things a lot more straightforward. Also only a few years together, so much easier to step back than a 20yr marriage. I was not an OW for him, so yes I trust him - I would probably struggle otherwise because I am a much less forgiving person than DP.

To be honest OP. your situation sounds so much more complex. OM is almost incidental. You've not said he's the love of your life and if not (or if either of you is unsure) I really would urge you to step back and deal with the crap at home. As others have said, the stats aren't with your OM choosing you and moving off into the sunset together. Even if he did, you'd have DC and 2 angry, betrayed exDPs to deal with. It won't be an easy road.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 29-Jan-13 22:25:27

Op neither of you are nice people and if you were you would do the decent thing. So many people stand to get hurt here except for you and him, ironically the only people to be doing anything wrong.
If your marriage isn't working, do something about it, either work it out with your dh or divorce. Stop being so selfish and think of the people that matter, your family.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 29-Jan-13 22:29:39

OP. Have only just read about the dv, sorry for being so blunt. FWIW I agree with others that you need time and to step back and assess what is best.
Irrespective of this OM though, if your marriage is over you need to take action before getting too involved with OM.

confusionoftheillusion Wed 30-Jan-13 08:05:46

potatoprints - you don't have to apologise for being blunt because of the dv. It doesn't excuse anything and what you said in your first post is still right.

So I'm onto no contact now. Not able to bring myself to delete his number. Keep telling myself lots of things:
1. As a poster on here said, it's a constant process to be a good person.i fucked up badly but I am now trying to put it right.
2. My h does not deserve to be betrayed so I need to focus on that relationship first.
3. I am hurting but I haven't had my heart broken. ( I know this is my fault btw)
4. If its meant to be, it will happen.
5. I don't want to be the reason a family (his) breaks up. I believe his marriage is pretty awful (if he's been tellinge the truth) but if he leaves I want him to do it of his own accord. Ditto with me.
6. I am going to make the choice every day to DO THE RIGHT THING from now on.

Anyone else have any advice on how to cope with the inevitable desire to email/call/text over the coming days and weeks?

Bobbybird40 Wed 30-Jan-13 08:56:48

Only one sure-fire way OP - delete the number. The fact that you haven't is quite telling.

confusionoftheillusion Wed 30-Jan-13 09:05:47

Just feels so hard to delete his number when one week ago we were talking about the future and the fact he blurted out he'd like to have kids with me and could really see us being together. I've turned into a total sap over this man. I just want to be with him. The problem is I know he would carry on the EA but I can't. I offered him no strings sex once a week (as per a previous posters suggestion) and he turned me down and was the pretty offended, till I explained why I'd said that. Clearly I couldn't and wouldn't have done that but it was reassuring to know he wouldn't either.

Suppose it's one of those cases where you just have to trust that what will be will be.

Bobbybird40 Wed 30-Jan-13 09:11:45

Sounds like you and your current partner relationship is dead in the water. All this talk about Relate, counselling etc is just delaying the inevitable and wasting everybody's time. Do you really need a third party to tell you that you've had your head turned? That said, the other bloke doesn't sound 100 pc right either - if he was, you wouldn't be so in two minds.

confusionoftheillusion Wed 30-Jan-13 09:23:10

I'm not in two minds about OM. The thing that's stopping me with him is that he is married and though he says he wants out of his marriage I know he doesn't want to leave his kids. And he hasnt made a decision yet about what he is going to do. So I don't want to put pressure on him to 'choose' as I don't think that is right.

I don't think h and I will go to relate. I need to talk to someone about it though and I dont have anyone in RL. My gut tells me h and I will not be able to get past this though

Charbon Wed 30-Jan-13 12:51:52

Well of course the OM acted all offended when you offered no-strings sex. That's what he was supposed to do wasn't he?

It might help if you realised how gender scripts work in affairs, like roles in a drama.

His role is to play the sensitive, caring soul who listens to your every word and for whom sex is lower down the motivational order than love and deep conversations where you connect at a deep level. Whereas your role is to give him respect and value, placing sex and his sexual worth high up in the motivational order. Put simply, in affairs what you're often dealing with are sexual stereotypes and caricatures and your role is to play the antithesis of the caricature depicted of the other's spouse.

His additional role is to claim that he is staying in his marriage because of his children, because that reinforces his 'caring father' credentials. But the real truth is that especially these days, no man has to 'lose' his children on divorce any more than a woman does. And if he thought that divorce was going to result in him losing his children, why would he risk an affair and being thrown out?

You're not serious about this if you haven't deleted his number.

I'm interested in your husband's ambivalence though. I'm sure he must have sensed your distance since the summer, so I wonder whether some self-preservation has kicked in and the gap between you has been getting wider? If in the past he would have had the motivation to fight for his marriage, I wonder why he lacks that now? As another poster said, we can engender ambivalence sometimes if that's what we want to achieve. I'd be very interested in your words, tone and body language during that conversation.

DiscretionAdvised Wed 30-Jan-13 13:18:32

Can I emphasise what I said above - do what you need to do in your marriage regardless of the OM. He must do the same.

My actions and my exit affair are not honourable I know. But, TBH, without the knowledge that just maybe things might work out with the OM, and without his support through a shitty time, I just don't know if I would have the strength to go through with it. Even if things don't work out, he will have helped me get throguh this and ending my marriage is something I really need to do.

I don't think you need to delete the number but you do need to try to refrain from contact. If you are wanting to work on your marriage then definitely delete. You also musn't mess the OM around - men do have feeling too and his may well be honourable. It is easy (on reading many of the responses above) to assume that the OM is just after one thing. I don't think that it is like that. Have you ever discussed his feelings towards his wife? He shouldn't leave her for you, but if he is unhappy leave her anyway. The former puts too much pressure and is a bad place to start.

Whatever you decide you have a tough road ahead and I wish you all the best for it. I have been living with DH with my heart with the OM for 4 months now and it is killing me. The more time has passed the more I have fallen for him, I feel I will explode at the moment. I have found no excitement in the duplicity and secrecy and hated that aspect. Yes there is teh excitement of falling in love with someone and feeling that they are falling in love with you. The moment the affair started there was no pretence of a relationship with DH although we had to go through the motions of a family holiday etc for the sake of the kids. FWIW we haven't had sex for two years. He moves out in two days time. He knows nothing about the OM but has been very suspicious - mainly due to the fact I have had the strength to go throguh with this rather than making (yet another) try to save our marriage. He beleives that I wouldn't do that if it weren't for someone else. Admittedly I have probably been a little overprotective of my phone as well.

Bobbybird40 Wed 30-Jan-13 16:35:09

With all due respect charbon, I'm not sure that psycho-babble like that really helps anybody.

Charbon Wed 30-Jan-13 18:16:57

I don't think the term 'psycho-babble' is respectful at all Bobby, but you post your advice and I'll post mine. It's up to the OP and lurkers what they take from our different slants on this.

fluffyraggies Wed 30-Jan-13 18:59:01

confusion i get a feeling from your posts that you are trying so hard to do the widely accepted right thing, but not what feels the right thing for you at all.

If this is true then i can imagine that you now worry that all your instincts and 'gut feelings' are suddenly worthless, off the mark and you feel all at sea. You've taken allot of hard decisions the last few days and are wading through deep emotional waters. Maybe slow down a little. I know i said you should tell your DH about your EA - and i stand by that - but give yourself a little time. There is nothing to be gained by rushing into anything.

My own mess situation was different to yours also because my OM was single and childless, easier all round, (what am i saying?! None of it was easy! smile ) so it's tricky for me to put myself in your shoes entirely. However you do seem so worried about your DH leaving if/when he finds out about the EA that i wonder - can you picture life without him? Deep down, is your worry due to love for him, or fear of the unknown? Stepping away from him without the OM beside you?

I cant help you with resisting temptation to contact OM. It's not something i tried. But i think if you have any further conversation with him think about telling him to get back in touch when he's single and you'll do the same. Only under those circumstances will you be free to carry on. If you had both made a clean and decent break with your spouses i mean.

Keep in mind there is more than just the 2 options of staying married or carrying on the affair. There is 2 more - being single, or being single and then getting with the OM 'properly'.

VanderElsken Wed 30-Jan-13 19:37:27

You must be aware and sensible about the fact that obstacles, excitement and the non-domestic all make affair partners seem much more attractive than they probably are.

But what's spoken of less often on here is that occasionally an affair can make the primary partner seem more attractive than they actually are, due to guilt and heroising of the ignorant party.

People tend to feel powerful enough to question and leave relationships once they have the feeling they have alternatives. Otherwise they tend not to very seriously. I don't mean alternatives like other people necessarily, it can be self-sufficiency, a windfall of money or losing lots of weight. This can be very bad a lot of the time and occasionally good when a relationship is very bad and even abusive but someone feels they have no choice. There are many many people I know who would leave their relationships but for financial and child related things they are too comfortable/frightened/lazy to alter.

Here's a good short piece on whether your relationship is over. http://www.chestnuthillinstitute.com/blog/586

If it's not then really there's no excuse except selfishness for not working on it. People do selfish things all the time, this would just be another one.

But if you want out and you see this as your chance, don't hide behind wanting to be a 'good person' while corroding both relationships from within. Leave. And believe you and others would eventually find happiness. That would be the act of courage even if it hurt.

confusionoftheillusion Thu 31-Jan-13 12:02:06

bobby - I welcome any opinions and have actually found charbons posts really helpful in enabling me to reflect on some things I didn't know/realise/want to admit. So charbon please carry on posting! I know others find it useful too.

I read the article. I do still like and respect my dh and we do have a laugh together but I don't fancy him. I've never fancied him. Can we get back from that? I don't know.

Having said that since we started talking and I said I wasn't happy I have started to see him as more attractive - not sexually but just starte realising what a 'nice' guy he is. And maybe that is fear of being single. It's all very confusing

VanderElsken Thu 31-Jan-13 12:51:29

I would say if you genuinely don't fancy your partner and more importantly, have never fancied him, then there's absolutely no reason to expect that you ever will.

It's a good sign that since talking you have become closer and you are impressed with him.

Think very hard if it's true that you never have been physically attracted to your partner. Try and separate the power of recent feelings of comparison that are related to the OM and routine and longevity.

Think what that means, for him and for you if you do not and have not ever had physical attraction to the person you're with. If that's really the case, and not simply an excise you've some up to explain things now, you are probably best off leaving rather than making you both miserable.

confusionoftheillusion Thu 31-Jan-13 14:39:31

I have been physically attracted to him as in thought he is handsome but I have not been sexually attracted to him in about 4 yrs. when I was sexually attracted to him it was only while we were actually having sex. I would never see him and 'fancy him'. I married him cause i liked him and thought he would treat me well. In recent years I only like having sex with the lights off. I can then just focus on the feelings and not him. Shit that sounds awful.

newNN Thu 31-Jan-13 15:10:47

It sounds like you and he would be happier going your separate ways. I think it's maybe normal to have times when you fancy each other more than others - children, stressful life events etc can get in the way of sexual feelings, but to never feel attracted to him, does suggest he isn't the one you should be with for the rest of your life. Imo, anyway.

VanderElsken Thu 31-Jan-13 15:43:26

That does sound a tiny bit awful but at the moment that is tied up in your infidelity. It is different from never having felt any physical attraction to him. Has he changed physically in the last four years? What happened four years ago to you in your life?

Liking someone is tremendously important, as is being treated well.
It is pretty unusual to look across a room at anyone and thing, 'phwoar I really fancy them!' at least it is for me. Especially if you see them every day and pick up their socks.

VanderElsken Thu 31-Jan-13 15:50:12

If you truly are in a quandary about this and you truly haven't slept with OM yet and you love your partner, I would strongly consider telling him. This can take all the air of secrecy out of an affair and you will have to admit it and see it for what it really is. If it can outlive that and enter the real world, outside its own little secretive bubble, you may well find you want to leave to explore that relationship.

But sometimes the admitting, once the shock has worn off, will leave you closer to your primary partner, through all the upset and fighting, and not holding back anything anymore. By not telling him the truth, you are strengthening your intimacy with the OM and weakening it with your primary partner, and then wondering why you feel closer to the person you are sharing the most with.

Excellent post VanderE.

Tell your H. I can guarantee that will dispel his 'ambivalence' like a red hot poker up the arse hmm Affair happened, it's fact. Not telling him and trying to revive your marriage will be like trying perform CPR on someone while they are bleeding from a major artery - pointless and messy.

Expose the affair, then try to reconcile. Accept that it may not work.

Charbon Fri 01-Feb-13 18:13:57

I don't know if you are still around OP but I endorse the last few posts about introducing honesty about your affair to the discussions with your husband. I think without it, any attraction and respect you might regain for your husband are doomed.

PaperLantern Fri 01-Feb-13 19:05:57

Can someone please explain to me why on earth we are advising the op to go cold turkey on the OM and not talking more about leaving her "d"h who has hit her?

Sod you betrating his trust. He has completely betrayed your trust by hitting you. You will never forget that when you look at him when he takes even a sip of alcohol or the second he raises his voice to you. If he is a good man he won't respect you for taking him back either.

Regardless of whether things ultimately work out with the om, an exit affair is not the end of the world .DV is.

toffeelolly Fri 01-Feb-13 19:11:05

If he is a dick, what does that make you. pity his wife and pity your husband !

PaperLantern Fri 01-Feb-13 19:12:39

Pity a man who has hit the hit the op, delightful hmm

purpleloosestrife Fri 01-Feb-13 19:20:47

Don't condone any violence, but neither do I condone what OP or her married to another woman "DP" is doing.

Generally,rule of thumb is end the marriage if it is that awful, or work at it and make it better.

Being a shitty cheat is just that. shitty

PaperLantern Fri 01-Feb-13 19:33:38

fine I don't disagree with you.

But why are most of the posts on this thread about whether or not the OM is being a shit or the OP is being a shit. I would actually say ATM what either of them is doing is not the end of tne world and certainly if they both ended their marriages now and got together not the best opening but actually It might work out.

It will *NEVER NEVER NEVER*work out with a man who has hit the op, whether he,s a good man who made a mistake or not. The op's post SCREAM that the dv has killed the relationship, abd yet It a post a few posts above mine there's talk of reconciliation with the "d"h.

What message are we trying to send out? a relationship with violence in is retrievable so long as you as you don't have an affair, cos that's the really shitty bit right hmm

Charbon Fri 01-Feb-13 21:06:12

PaperLantern the OP has not discussed or opened up at all about the nature of the DV concerned; she has only said it was one isolated incident. As I'm sure you realise, DV covers a fairly wide ambit of behaviour and now includes emotional abuse. We get the sense that this was physical violence of some sort, but again without clarification this can range from an angry push or shove to using a weapon or sexual violence.

It is abusive behaviour but an affair is also recognised as being an emotionally abusive act.

When dealing with abusive behaviour of any kind (including a physical incident) and also infidelity, context and content is everything.

DV might look like a black or white issue, but the truth is that there are families and couples all over the world where there has been a single isolated act of physical trespass in their history and the relationship has survived and thrived. I certainly know couples where there has been a hugely regrettable push, shove or slap around the face at one point, but they've got past that and learnt to manage conflict better. I've also known people who've been uncharacteristically violently aggressive when their medication has gone haywire.

Likewise, I've known many couples survive an affair and the abusive nature of them. But like DV, the key to that has been for the unfaithful party to know their triggers and vulnerabilities and work on those to ensure there is no repeat infidelity.

The OP's circumstances seem a world away from a man who is repetitively abusive and violent and a woman who is a repeat philanderer. Hence I think people's posts have recognised those nuances and would have been far more damning of both the DV and the infidelity if the circumstances were otherwise.

AnyFucker Fri 01-Feb-13 22:13:55

PL I agree with you

I have simply advised the OP to leave her husband and said no more, on several occasions now. I do not understand why so much headspace is being employed in overthinking this

OP, I'll say it again

when your H attacked you, he killed your marriage

whatever has happened since is simply it's dying throes, and you are prolonging the agony with your angst about another man

the other man is a symptom, not a cause, of your marriage breakdown

your husband did that when he applied violence towards you, and you are confuscating that with your guilt and your pissing around with another man

leave your husband...all will become clearer

AnyFucker Fri 01-Feb-13 22:16:18

male aggression vs potential infidelity

no contest

charbon, I love you love you love you

but I'm not with you on this one

Bobbybird40 Fri 01-Feb-13 22:50:28

Yeh but didn't the OP say she had already met the other gadge when the DV happened? That muddies the waters re DV killing the marriage.

AnyFucker Fri 01-Feb-13 23:09:33

DV is a deal breaker

whether OM was already in there, or not

dontlaugh Sat 02-Feb-13 00:03:03

Charbon, really?? Your posts are comforting, sensible and always always spot on (I am reading lots of them atm in relation to my own life).
If I only ever took one thing from MN, it's to walk away from DV. Can you really believe DV is not black and white?

confusionoftheillusion Sat 02-Feb-13 00:13:47

I had met the other guy but nothing had happened. The DV took the form of him pushing me and then holding his hands round my neck. I had a thread on here about it before but don't know how to link back. H was drunk and on prescription meds. I don't think he would ever do it again or I wouldnt have come home. ESP with ds but it has still changed something in the way I feel about him. Just as he is not a repeatedly violent man, I am not a serial cheater. However I have cheated and on reflection I believe that to be due to me as a person as much as my feelings to h since the violence. And if I am honest it is also due to OM and my feelings for him. He genuinely means something to me. Of course MNET will scoff at this but he does.

It sounds warped but if I walk because of the one incident of DV I feel so guilty cause my h will never forgive himself. And really I am just as bad for having an affair.

confusionoftheillusion Sat 02-Feb-13 00:16:17

Which I know leads to the conclusion I should tell him. I'm not going to though. I think it's over sad I feel so guilty for my ds

I'm not sure if, and how we could even work at it, or even if we want to. He says he doesn't want to split but he doesn't really seem to care!

Charbon Sat 02-Feb-13 00:52:52

Thanks for the clarity confusion. That other thread that was active this week was surely yours then wasn't it? All the details were identical.

Only you know whether you can't resurrect your feelings for your husband now. It sounds as though you think you cannot. In which case, I think you've got two options. Go to counselling on your own and suspend the decision, while remaining NC with the OM - or bring this to a swift end.

It's anyone's guess why your husband seems ambivalent at the moment, but it's not unusual at all someone to feel extremely ambivalent about a partner when he or she is having an affair. That tends to end as soon as an affair is admitted or discovered, but it doesn't sound like you want to disclose.

Regarding other posters' comments, I mentioned on a thread the other day that I often feel out of step with some of the received wisdom on this site, especially in situations where there are shades of grey. For example, the stock response from some on an infidelity thread is to leave and not forgive, regardless of the circumstances. It's the same with one-off DV, where the circumstances are far from clear-cut and has been committed by a person in extremely unusual circumstances.

As someone who has seen couples work through single episodes of infidelity and low-level DV, I would feel inauthentic and irresponsible joining in with that chorus, when my experiences in life tell me that there are nuances and often other factors at play. I've seen couples stay in a loving marriage when one of them has hit out once because of physical pain, or a meds. clash where their mind was chemically altered.

I must stress that this is completely different to any violence where the only context is long-tolerated abuse that has escalated, or sexual violence of any type. On those occasions, I entirely support the one-strike-and-out philosphy. And I think posters' support for women's choices to leave in those circumstances is magnificent and I've often added my own support to those threads.

Equally I don't blame the OP here at all for feeling that something was irretrievably broken when this violence occurred, especially with the facts that are available now.

But what I'd also say is that it doesn't matter why you want to end your marriage - any reason is enough - and there are evidently more reasons than the DV, some of which are of your own making. The only reason you need though is that you don't want to be in the relationship any longer and that your feelings are not strong enough to stay. That's okay and perhaps you need to give yourself permission for that.

Abitwobblynow Sat 02-Feb-13 06:33:56

Bobbybird, can I tell you as a betrayed wife, Charbon's psycho-babble is VERY helpful to me.

You see, when she talks about the roles in the drama (and my H spouted ALL that shite - and he still hasn't gone), it helps depersonalise something that is intensely painful for me.

So thank you Charbon, and as you were.

PaperLantern Sat 02-Feb-13 10:10:34

Hearing what you're saying re the dv, but stand be my first post.

Having been hit by a good man, It doesn't matter whether you leave him you not he will never forgive himself any way. That's what makes him a good man. He doesn't respect you for staying and having put up with something he himself wouldn't. For this reasons he will feel increasingly ambivalent towards you because feelings of guilt mix in with the love. Because he respects you less It is also more likely to happen again, what has he got to lose? Certainly not you.

That's leaving aside your own feelings (and attempts to minimise what sounds like a very scary assault)

AnyFucker Sat 02-Feb-13 10:19:52

I also admit that my thoughts here are posted with the previous threads OP has posted in mind, as I recognised her from the previous one (and probably the one before too)

So, not too many "shades of grey" for me, in this particular scenario

Abit, I find charbon's posts hugely insightful too. "Psychobabble" it is not, and that is offensive to her.

newNN Sat 02-Feb-13 10:31:28

paperlantern, do you think your comments are true about men who cheat too? That they respect you less for staying with them, when they themselves would have left ( or believe that they would have left. Impossible to say for sure how you will react until it happens. leaving is not as easy as it sounds in theory). I really don't want to think that my husband will respect me less for 'tolerating' his behaviour (tolerating not the right word but ykwim). would hate to think that by staying a person makes repeat behaviour more likely

confusionoftheillusion Sat 02-Feb-13 10:39:55

That is interesting. It hadn't occurred to me that he might respect me less. He did say "I couldn't quite believe you'd forgiven me and everything was back to normal" so I guess it has been on his mind. I just feel terrible for ending it cause of one stupid thing which spiralled. I understand charbons thought that I may have strayed anyway if I didn't fancy dh much but I do think with this guy at the beginning I was thinking "you broke my rules so I'll break yours" as dh has always said cheating would be a deal breaker - but I always said DV would be. Unfortunately somewhere along the way I fell for OM.

It is sad to think how fast things can change in relationships isn't it

confusionoftheillusion Sat 02-Feb-13 10:41:37

I don't know about losing respect from your dh for taking him back after cheating. I know OM said he respected me a lot for putting the brakes on 'us'. I believe most men (the type I know anyway) are attracted to strong women

Bobbybird40 Sat 02-Feb-13 11:57:25

Aye well I take the psycho babble bit back - sorry charbon, I agree wholeheartedly with your comments later in this thread.

Charbon Sat 02-Feb-13 12:48:28

Thank you all for that understanding and feedback.

Confusion it's certainly possible that your husband's ambivalence is tied up with lessening respect for you because you stayed, but again I think it depends on the person and the circumstances.

In the cases I mentioned where the one-off DV was completely atypical and caused by extraordinary factors, the people concerned have been so horrified at their behaviour that they have had trouble forgiving themselves but towards their partners, have shown nothing but admiration and thankfulness that there is a willingness to forgive and get past it. That's also been my experience with people who've been given a second chance after infidelity; their admiration and respect for a partner who puts their pride and ego to one side and is willing to work on forgiveness, are huge.

But yes I've come across other people who don't respect a partner for forgiving, but that's mainly because they know they will be abusive/be unfaithful again and inwardly, they can't understand how their partner doesn't realise that. These are the people who do no work on themselves to prevent it ever happening again and want it brushed under the carpet.

OP you've mentioned a couple of times that you'd be ending your marriage 'for one thing - the DV' but that seems an odd contradiction given the other factors you've mentioned: never fancying your husband, poor physical chemistry, which you insist pre-date the DV and the affair. This again makes me wonder whether there's a bit of history re-writing going on because of the affair. But if you ended your marriage, the affair would be a hugely significant factor, by the sounds of it as much if not more of a factor to you personally than the DV. Saying that you'd be ending your marriage because of the DV alone feels disingenuous and self-deluding to be honest.

You're still in touch with the OM aren't you?

Abitwobblynow Sat 02-Feb-13 13:36:24

Affairs are such an addiction.

Charbon Sat 02-Feb-13 13:41:25

Also, please don't rule out that your husband's ambivalence might be because he has had his head turned by someone else. I alluded to this in an earlier post and I've seen that happen several times. People having affairs are nearly always quite arrogant and complacent about their sanctioned partners and it never occurs to them that the distance they've created leaves their own partner vulnerable to someone else getting close. The same of course applies to the OM and his own wife.

confusionoftheillusion Sat 02-Feb-13 17:19:49

The truth is that I probably didn't feel that "not fancying dh" was a good enough reason to end our marriage and if I'm honest I felt the DV gave me the 'valid reason' I felt I needed to end it.

But now I am faced with the thought of ending it I don't know if I could do that to dh. He says he is bothered but hopes we can work it out - that's why he's not getting all upset about it...

confusionoftheillusion Sat 02-Feb-13 17:20:48

I think I would be relieved if dh had found someone else. If he has they're not in touch via phone as his is constantly out!

Charbon Sat 02-Feb-13 17:31:51

Yes, people often say they'd be relieved - until it happens.

If you're still in touch with the OM (and I think you are) and you're still prevaricating about ending your marriage, you're making yourself stuck. Usually that's because something about the current situation is more appealing than the alternative.

But that's just not fair on all the other people involved. If you believe yourself to be a good person, then do the right thing. The status quo benefits no-one.

Abitwobblynow Sun 03-Feb-13 17:38:47

My H said he was relieved when I found out -

what is that all about??????

VanderElsken Sun 03-Feb-13 17:50:55

Relieved presumably because the lying and sneaking and management of an infidelitous relationship is incredibly stressful and guilt-ridden as well as the excitement and rush that often gets described. If someone actually falls for another party they don't want to hurt either person and become responsible for managing everyone's pain (which is inevitable because any joy on one side by definition is pain on the other).

Any thing that stops the cycle and fear and shame, even revelation and attendant agony becomes welcome after a while. And this can be the point when the affair is seen for what it really is, because the romantic rose tinted glasses came off a while ago amongst all the deception and protection. Imagine having another secret 'job' that you hide from your partner, day in day out, and all the stress and lying that would entail. That's how an affair feels after a while and being able to be honest is a relief.

confusionoftheillusion Wed 13-Feb-13 11:20:10

Well I have answered my original question in that I do believe a good guy can cheat on his wife. I do believe OM to be a good person.

I am after some advice though... Was going to start a new thread but since the background is all on this one i'm hoping some of the helpful posters might still be lurking!

I've decided what i should do is to really focus on my marriage and give it everything I can and then if it doesn't work we will separate. My question is though, how do I 'give everything'?

My thoughts were:
1. Less tv, more talk or games or just better quality time.
2. Going for days out as a family. Just us, no phones.
3. Talking more about how we are both feeling. (this is hard as 1.dh isn't a talker really and 2.i can't be honest with him about the affair.)
4. I am already in counselling so carry that on. We can't do couples counselling as I won't tell him about the affair.
5. Maybe take a holiday?

I don't actually want to have sex with him, or do anything physical. Do I just have to suck it up (pardon the phrase) and do it at some point? Or essentially we are flat mates. Or do I have to accept that if I don't fancy him it is all but dead in the water.

I feel I owe it to dc, and the fact we made some promises (which we have both broken admittedly) to give it a decent shot.

Advice would be welcomed.
Thank you

notanotherstatistic Wed 13-Feb-13 12:15:32

I'm going to be blunt, but I don't think that it is very unlikely, given the circumstances, that you and your DH have a future. I speak from personal experience.

Firstly, the affair and the OM still loom large in your life - everything that you have said shows that your are very strongly attached to the OM and not to your DH.

Secondly, you just don't want to have sex with your DH, and from what you have said that predates your affair.

Thirdly, and this is the clincher, you are not willing to come clean about the affair, in which case counselling is out. Now, you don't necessarily have to have counselling, but this secret will erode your already low level of respect for your DH.

I think your best option, is to be honest with your DH. He may make the decision for you, and decide that he wants to end the marriage. In any case, it sounds to me that separation may be the best option for all concerned.

notanotherstatistic Wed 13-Feb-13 12:16:25

Mean to say "don't think it is very likely. Sorry.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 13-Feb-13 13:56:03

The problem is that your emotions are already engaged elsewhere and you have been leading a double life. Secrets can be very damaging even if your DH does not know what has been happening, he will have been aware at some level that things have changed but could not put a finger on exactly what is different.

Your best option is to come clean.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 13-Feb-13 13:58:38

Also I think its cruel to make him compete for you when he does not know that he is already being set up to fail.

MarilynValentine Wed 13-Feb-13 14:21:06

What about the DV?

What is your husband going to do to deal with the fact that he physically attacked you?

confusionoftheillusion Wed 13-Feb-13 15:38:07

He has come off the medication he was on at the time and the mood change is noticeable. He has also done a lot of reading around his anger. He didnt drink alcohol for 3 months though I have said that I don't mind if he does so on occasions he has a couple of drinks. I am not scared of him and I don't think this would happen again. I do howeve think I has changed things.

I see how coming clean might be my best option but I am too gutless to do that.

MarilynValentine Wed 13-Feb-13 15:48:30

You sound utterly squashed OP sad

It really doesn't sound as if you really want to be with your H.

FellatioNels0n Wed 13-Feb-13 15:49:30

Anyone can fall in love with someone else. Anyone at all. Obviously if you are unhappy to start with you will be more receptive to the signs that someone is interested in you, but even 'perfectly happily married people' can find themselves inexplicably head over heels with someone else. It happens.

If you really do want to be the good guy/good girl you do the right thing and remove yourself from the other person's company at the first sign that there is a sexual/emotional frisson that could get out of hand. It's the decent thing to do. Allowing yourself to indulge in more and more intimate contact, even if you don't actually shag, is just asking for trouble. There is always a point at which you know you should back off. If you don't, then fine. But don't try to pretend you had no idea it was happening until it was too late.

(Although I do tend to think that if you are reasonably young and in a marriage/LTR with no children yet, and you get an uncontrollable urge to be with someone else you should just follow the urge. If you can't stay faithful when you are supposed to be in the happiest most carefree phase of your relationship then what is the point in going forward with it?)

confusionoftheillusion Wed 13-Feb-13 16:13:01

I feel squashed!

MarilynValentine Wed 13-Feb-13 16:32:33

Unsquash yourself, woman! smile

Maybe it's time to stop making lists about what you SHOULD do to force yourself back into a relationship you don't really want, and start having a think about what you want from a relationship, and how it might feel to be single for a while.

confusionoftheillusion Wed 13-Feb-13 17:06:13

Scary!

That is the first emotion that comes to mind

And the huge guilt for dh who loves me and dc who loves having us both together

But you're right!

I find it very difficult reading your posts, confusion, because I could have written it at any point over the last three years. Word for word, except for the DV.

Speaking bluntly, your marriage is over. You have emotionally checked out, and because you're a nice person, this terrifies you and you are trying to do the 'right thing'.

But that right thing sounds like it's the right thing for everyone else - not necessarily for you.

Leave your husband. Not for the OM, but for yourself. Once you're single, you can decide what to do about OM - but first thing's first.

Leave your husband.

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 07:15:37

Hi rockinastocking given what we just talked about on the other thread it's quite scary, but interesting that you could have written my post.

I keep thinking if I could jut get OM out of my head then maybe I could work on it with dh. He is a really nice person an a brilliant dad. We get on and compared to a lot of people we have a good relationship. We're kind and supportive to each other and thoughtful and respectful. (once you removed DV and an affair of course) but I we can get past that I wonder If there is a chance we could make it work, and therefore if we could keep the family together for ds.

Of course the fact I'm not sexually attracted to him is an issue. A big one. I can see he is good looking, in good shape, smells good, no bad breath!!! So why dont I feel it?

And now I have to fake my way through valentines day!! sad

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 14-Feb-13 07:42:48

You don't feel sexual attraction probably because you are too engaged with OM and have lost all. I would get Shirley Glass's Not Just Friends and read it - it will explain what is going on in your head and help you work out what you need to do to repair the damage.

I'm sorry if my blunt words have upset you, Confused. It's just I recognise that constant searching for a spark of feeling for a man that, on paper, seems perfect. I did it for ten years.

Once I realised that, if I had to ask myself "Do I love him?" ten times a day, the answer had to be "no".

Then I had to give myself permission for that to be enough to leave. It was hard.

Of course, all relationships are unique, and yours won't be the same as mine. But can I just say, the phrase "apart from the affair and the dv" (I'm paraphrasing) is one of the saddest I've read on MN. You have very low expectations for yourself sad

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 10:38:10

You haven't upset me. It's not that, it's just that I want to be as brave as you were! You're right - when I wrote "apart from the DV and the affair" I thought "what a fucking joke of a marriage!!".

I have thought about reading the Shirley glass book but there's no way I could read it without dh seeing it... Ironic when I managed to see another man that I say that!

You'll get there.

I often used to think, if only I'd put as much thought into getting into the marriage as I did into getting out of it, I wouldn't be in this situation.

I bought Shirley Glass, btw. But it didn't really help me.

Try "Too Good To Leave, Too Bad To Stay".

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 10:42:15

you have very low expectations for yourself - can you talk a bit more about this rocking? I thought I was doing such a smart thing marrying a man who "ticked all the boxes" (except the butterflies one) so I thought I had quite high expectations. OM has told me he will leave wife and I have NEVER asked or hinted at that. Do you mean I should expect the butterflies? I just thought a solid dependable reliable man would be the way to go! (opposite to my dad who is wonderful but was a bit of a useless husband in his younger years!)

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 10:44:11

Yes - its funny. I just really wanted to get married and start a family. I nearly didn't marry him but thought (after some bastard exes) "well he'll always be kind to me and that counts for a lot).

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 10:45:08

that was in reference to the comment about putting thought into getting into the marriage^^

I didnt really - I just said yes.

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 14-Feb-13 10:45:52

Can I ask, when was the last time you spoke to the OM? At all, in any way?

Well, I just think that you could perhaps settle for more than a husband who has hit you. And a marriage that you don't need to go outside of to get your needs met.

The world doesn't end if you end your marriage, I promise. It's not easy, and in many ways my life is harder, in a practical sense at least. But, a year down the line, not to have that nagging doubt, guilt, misery, eating away at me is priceless.

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 11:18:49

OM sent me something today.

You're right about settling for someone who hit me. I know this might sound silly but although I always swore if he physically hurt me I'd leave, when faced with it it's not that simple. The fact he was on medication I think played a huge role as looking back I can see his mood altered when he was on them. Also since being moved off them he's been back to his normal kind placid self. So even though he takes full responsibility for his actions, I do not think of it as being the 'real' him who did that.

The point about having to go outside the marriage is a good one though. I suppose I've felt too guilty and like I'm a shit person to actually think that the fact I've done that say so much about my marriage being shit. I thought it said more about me being weak.

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 11:19:38

Do you have DCs rocking?
Thats the bit that eats away at me the most

Yes, two. That's the bit that still breaks my heart.

But in the end I couldn't see how having a depressed and anxious mum who was having an affair was in their best interests.

I did give up my OM, for a whole year, no contact, to work on my marriage. Came clean, counselling, everything.

But if it's not there, it's not there. And it wasn't, for me.

dippymother Thu 14-Feb-13 11:27:40

I really feel for you confusion. I was married to DH at 21 (he was 22), he was good, kind and treated me well. I didn't have butterflies either but he was a good dad and we had a good life. No DV at all. At 45 however, I found myself widowed with two teenagers. For years I would have got on my high horse about OW/OM, it wasn't something I could understand and when I saw the devastation it caused to one of my friends, I vowed it was something I would never do. My family and friends were very supportive although it did dwindle away somewhat after a year or so. I began to feel lonely, my children were treating the house like a hotel, they had great social lives and I hardly saw them. So, I started joining various clubs/evening classes etc and even tried internet dating. Some dates were bad and others were better but I began to enjoy the single life (no washing pants/pandering to a man's needs, coming in and going out whenever I wanted to, etc) and didn't want anything too serious. Single life can actually be pretty damn good. Then I met my current DP. Mutual attraction was immediate. He confessed straight away that he had a girlfriend he'd been seeing for 7 months (they were not married/no children). He said she was a lovely girl, very caring but she was not "the one". He came on to me pretty strong and I succumbed after agonising about it for a while. A couple of weeks after that DP ended his relationship with the girlfriend and we have been together now for 18 months. We couldn't be happier, but I am well aware that I was for a short time an OW and I'm not proud of that. I consider DP to be a "good" man. It has made me realise that you cannot and should not judge people unless you have been in a similar situation. One thing though, you only have one life. Make sure it's a good one. You need to be happy and if being happy is walking away, then do it. It's not worth wasting time on a marriage or man you don't fancy the pants off, just because you don't want to hurt him or your family. But decide what to do for yourself, whether or not the OM is part of the future. Being single is scary, but it can also be very liberating. If you read the threads on here about single women, most of them are happier than they've ever been. Good luck whatever you decide.

The thing is, for sixteen years I never looked at anyone else. Even as a student at uni while ex-h was at home.

Having an affair just wasn't ME.

So when I dis it, it was the proof I needed that we really were over.

Not that I didn't feel bad. I did. Still do. Was a rubbish thing to have done. But, one behaviour doesn't define me, and people do things for a reason.

*did

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 11:43:00

Yeah - I haven't ever cheated either and consider myself a very loyal person so it has shocked me. The most shocking thing was that the morning after it happened (a kiss) I woke up and felt no guilt whatsoever, just a longing to see OM again.

I am seeing a close RL friend this weekend and plan to tell her everything. I know she had an affair in the past (Pre marriage but she has since married him) so I know she wont judge me but I could use some rL advice.

I have a happy life, I'm not anxious, depressed and life is easy without real stresses. So it is hard to walk away from the marriage. But if I do I feel like I didnt at least try for my dc....

rocking - are you an xh able to be amicable? Are the dcs doing ok? How old are they? Thanks for all your posts

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 11:43:51

^ she married the guy she was with when she had the affair - not the guy she had the affair with^

DCs are fine. Sad, but able to see some positives. They've made me very proud this past year, and have both said me and their dad seem happier.

Me and ex are fairly amicable. He's not happy that I'm with OM, but that's to be expected. We keep it going for the kids. Managed a nice Christmas Day together, for example.

Oh, they were 11 and 13 when we split.

Charbon Thu 14-Feb-13 12:37:22

I don't think your marriage is going to work confusion which is a different thing to whether it could work if given a chance.

You are too mired right now in a script that he was never the right man for you and that if he'd made you happy, you wouldn't have had an affair with a married man.

That might be partially accurate, it might not, but it's what's in your head and you are looking for things to support it, whether that's other individuals' stories or your own possibly selective memory.

Being in contact with the OM is sabotaging both your marriage and your own clarity.

Have a think too about this script you've got running about yourself being a good person who is honest in all her dealings with people apart from the isolated act of the affair. From what I've observed, that needs challenging a bit. You might be a good person, but the dishonesty that's required to have an affair is never a discrete entity and so it shows up in your dealings with others too.

For example, I don't know you or how you behave with the others in your life but I can observe your lack of straightness and honesty on this forum with people who have given up time to help you. You denied being the OP of the other thread that was too identical in posting style and circumstances for it not to have been you and you either evade completely or give a politician's response to questions about your own continued contact with the OM i.e. 'he sent me something today' (presumably to mark St. V) - neglecting to mention your own contact.

You're sabotaging your own truth by these actions and so your marriage cannot work while this is your mindset.

The truth about a situation always going to be compromised while we are seeking ways to bend it or shape it to fit what we would like it to be. Often the real truth is something that can only be seen from a position of distance and hindsight and when there is no pay-off for twisting it to fit the circumstances or our self-image.

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 13:56:36

Erm charbon - appreciate the bluntness but I said the thread about the DV was mine when you asked. Name changed cause DV always skews everyone's opinion and I don't think this is my husbands genuine nature so that action carries a lower weight for me than if it did.

But wow - you sure don't hold back!!!

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 13:57:42

I appreciate your honesty - just felt rather attacked by the post!

Charbon Thu 14-Feb-13 14:05:09

I've re-read your posts and I can't see where you agreed the other thread was yours. What you said when I asked you whether you had another thread about this was:

(Yes i have got another thread on mn with a different name but not about this.)

If you can point me to the post where you said something different, I will apologise unreservedly.

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 14:17:11

I posted on 02feb at 00:13:47 that I'd had a thread on here but I didn't know how to link back to it. (and I don't know how to link to that post saying that either!)

I don't want you to apologise though!

I am so confused. I think I just need time out from both men.

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 14:18:32

The other threads I've had on M.net under my normal name have been about entirely unrelated things!

Charbon Thu 14-Feb-13 15:05:24

From other posters' reactions, it sounds like there has been more than one other thread in the past but my issue was whether the other active thread at that point, chronicling an identical situation, was yours. You indicated in reply that it was not. That's all.

I agree you're confused, but I think some of your own actions are responsible for that.

Now that you've said that the other thread was yours and that you'd name changed because it skews responses, you might want to think a bit more about that and how you deal with information.

I agree the mention of DV skews responses because people apply their own value judgements to it. I accept that the most important judgement about that is yours, but if yours is to decide that the DV was in exceptional circumstances and that it has no true bearing on your husband's character, have a think why you changed your mind and mentioned it, quite late into the thread?

Was it to alter people's responses because until that point, posters had been quite challenging of your behaviour?

Or was it to give posters a full picture so that they could give you balanced advice?

Only you know your true motives, but I see potential parallels here with what might be going on with your marriage and the affair.

Your husband doesn't have the full picture and so his responses are skewed based on the information he does have.

You don't have the full picture of the OM's marriage and so your responses are skewed based on the information he gives you.

The OM doesn't have the full picture of your marriage and so his responses are skewed too.

The OM's wife doesn't have the full picture......and so on.

We all have the capability to skew information we give and therefore control the responses. Sometimes the results are fairly innocent, but where the stakes are high, they are not. The situation you're in is one where the information various people are skewing and with-holding is compromising others' ability to make judgements and decisions.

And that sort of manipulative behaviour tends to leak out into other areas and affect other interactions.

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 14-Feb-13 15:09:22

I don't think you find peace or freedom until you tell your husband.

Usually, I think people are capable of making that decision themselves, and sometimes telling your partner can just be a way to ease your guilt.

But in your case, I think you need the consequences. You need him to say that's it, I'm leaving - in which case you can see how you feel, and if you want the OM, or you need him to say that he understands, that he made a mistake with the DV, and that you can try and work through it.

But it'll only work if it's based on honesty, and you'll only get that by coming clean.

The reason you won't come clean? It'd mean giving up your secret affair with this other man. He's not good. He's cheating on his family, and following the script every other cheat does down to the letter. Then it happens again. All the men say it wouldn't, and all the women think they are different, or why would they be in that situation? But they are.

Unfortunately, I also think you'll ignore all the advice to be honest, come clean and stop contacting the OM until you are in the same position your husband and OM's wife are in, and then you'll see the destruction this has caused. And that everyone here was right, and it wasn't worth it.

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 14-Feb-13 15:09:54

If you can't give your husband faithfulness, you should at least give him honesty.

And if you can't be honest with him, walk away, because you clearly have no respect and no emotion for him at all.

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 15:23:57

Sorry charbon - I can see why it was confusing. The more recent thread was started by someone else but I and a couple of others had posted on it *why do the OW do it"?

I am so confused and I'm not sure mum's net is helping either! Whilst everyone has interesting advice and experience it is stiill just strangers advice.

Think I need to take some time out. Am seeing a counsellor so hopefully that will help.

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 15:27:06

charbon you say "now you've said the DV thread was yours" but I said that on 02.02.13 when I was asked...
Sorry if that's not the mumsnet way to do things

Charbon Thu 14-Feb-13 21:07:52

Let's be clear about this. On 29th Jan when I asked you whether you had another active thread about this situation, I was referring to this one on which the OP had posted that day. The circumstances seemed to be identical and so I wondered whether you were the OP of two threads running simultaneously.

I obviously wasn't referring to previous threads of yours in the distant past or future threads of others. The 'Why Do OW do it?' thread as far as I can see was started this week, three weeks after I posed the question.

I think the Mumsnet way is just to tell the truth.

Good luck.

barnsleybelle Thu 14-Feb-13 21:25:27

You are both letting yourselves and your children down and should be ashamed, pure and simple.
If there are problems in your marriage devote your energy into sorting or moving on from that and not cheating.
Sorry, but there are no excuses for betrayal from men or women, particularly when children are involved.

MarilynValentine Thu 14-Feb-13 21:34:39

confusion you still seem deeply uncertain of what you want to do. Keep posting if you need to, it's okay to be muddled.

confusionoftheillusion Sat 04-May-13 08:20:08

Hi, I'm back - still muddled so posting again and hoping some of you helpful people are still around.

I'm have still been seeing OM. He told his wife last weekend weekend that he wants to get out of the marriage. OM has always told me he thinks his marriage is dead. I have always told him that maybe I could fix mine. What I now realise (through counselling etc) is that I could probably fix mine to the point of having a good life but not a good relationship. H and I are talking more. He now says he thinks he's depressed - says that's why he was violent, aggressive, grumpy etc but also says he doesn't know if he wants to be married to me (the relief I felt was overwhelming) but also doesn't even know if he wants the responsibility of being a dad. 

I am so confused. I am so cross with him for saying he doesn't know if he wants responsibility of being a dad but I know I have no right to be cross when I have been cheating.

I told OM on weds that I needed some space to think all this through. OM is not putting pressure on me but I also feel more than ever he should be focussing on home as his wife is begging him to reconsider, using the dcs in a very twisted way and telling them things that are (a) untrue and (b) will mess up little heads. I feel dreadful that children are being manipulated.

So I'm here, in limbo... Unsure what to do. I don't know if I have the courage to leave... And I also don't know If maybe dh and I can get back what we had.

My heart wants to leave too and be with OM but it all feels so scary and so big. And what if it's the wrong decision?

confusionoftheillusion Sat 04-May-13 08:22:09

I should add that dh is being "nice as pie" at home. I'm lying in bed with a cuppa while he gets up with dc.

What a mess- your poor DH. His poor dw. They have both been cheated on, lied to, gaslighted for the past few months and yet they are both the bad guys... Hmm, if they are such terrible people, why don't you both leave instead of screwing them over in this way?

There is no right or wrong decision here. Just make a decision and it will be.

What things is she telling them that will 'mess up their little heads'? Daddy is going to set up home with another woman and some other little kids? That's what is being planned, no?

confusionoftheillusion Sat 04-May-13 09:14:45

I don't mean to paint them as the "bad guys" at all. In fact I don't think any of us in this are bad people. We've all made questionable choices and said/done things that aren't right.

She's saying things like "dad doesn't want to live with you" "dad doesn't love us anymore", "dad won't hug mum when shes sad" "you won't get to see dad much when he goes" "dad doesn't care about is anymore"... I know she must be hurting but that sort of shit is totally unnecessary.

What you say about making a decision is right.

AuntieStella Sat 04-May-13 09:21:53

It is wrong to say that he 'doesn't care' about them, and damaging to say this to children.

But the bottom line is that he is doing all those things. And you played your part in bringing him to the point at which he felt justified in betraying his family. This is why the advice is to end an unsatisfactory marriage (and live singly for a while) before moving on. His W's reaction may not have been expressed wrongly, but in the basics she is right. He didn't care enough about his DC to do things the decent way round and thus spare them pain.

You have to live with this as part of the price tag of the affair. You have chosen to be with a man who is capable of both justifying the temptation to have an affair, and who chooses the crueller path in dealing with the end of his marriage.

'I know she must be hurting but that sort of shit is totally unnecessary"

Honestly, what do you think happens? You and her husband set up a home together, all the kids are delighted with their new step siblings, your kids love their new daddy and his kids love their new mummy? Really? This is what you anticipate?

many step families struggle without an affair in the background - when everyone knows you are the woman who daddy left mum for it is a hundred times worse.

DottyboutDots Sat 04-May-13 10:33:19

Saying things like that to the children is wrong. The children and a mother are not one entity though I'm sure many mother's feel that way and thus they are trapped in unhappy marriages.

I'm always amazed when people drag their children into it. My great girlfriend told her 6 year old son that she hated his daddy. A terrible, terrible thing to say and one that several of us told her was utterly unacceptable and that she has to get a grip. Yes, her STXDH is being a cunt, but the children need as much help at the time of separation and she needs to be a grown up. Being cheated on is hideous but it doesn't mean anything goes in retaliation.

Leavenheath Sat 04-May-13 11:14:22

Oh FGS as usual, you've got no proof that his wife said any of those things. But even if she did, the woman is in shock isn't she?

Has this charmer admitted to her he's been having an affair then? Or has he done the weaselly 'I'm unhappy but there's no-one else' routine?

Not that you've got any grounds to blame him of course. You're going to let your own husband take all the blame for him dumping you aren't you? What a cowardly thing to do.

The best thing is for you two to get on with it and tell everyone what's been going on. Don't hang around like bad smells. Let your families get on with their own lives now.

confusionoftheillusion Sat 04-May-13 11:20:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CajaDeLaMemoria Sat 04-May-13 11:25:11

Did you see a counsellor?

You keep saying you don't know if you can have a good relationship with your DH. He can't do right for doing wrong.

You can't. It's nothing to do with him, though. It's you. Maybe you need to see and accept that to decide what to do?

Instead of spending the last few months trying to rebuild something with your DH, and giving your marriage a chance, you chose to stay in touch with the OM. Because it's nicer for you, that way. Because you don't hurt, you just hurt your husband, and his family.

All this anguish isn't real. You'll do whatever you think is best for you, regardless of the destruction it causes, and you'll end up in the same position that the OMs wife is currently in. I'd bet my life on it.

And your husband? No wonder he's confused and unsure. He's had the worst of you for such a long time. Tell him you've been cheating, and you'll have no decision to make with regards to the future.

He's trying to fix this, and fix himself, and he doesn't know what he's up against. That's totally unfair. You've set him up to fail, so you can try to justify the OM.

fergoose Sat 04-May-13 11:26:18

His poor wife sounds utterly heartbroken.

You can't justify your behaviour by trying to make her out to be the bad person here.

CajaDeLaMemoria Sat 04-May-13 11:29:44

Continue believing what he says, by all means. But when the thrill of the chase is gone, and you don't belong to someone else anymore, he'll find his next target.

You keep saying you are different. Everyone always thinks they are. There is nothing special, nothing Romeo-and-Juliet about this. It's the exact same script, the exact same beliefs, that all the other affairs follow.

Leavenheath Sat 04-May-13 11:31:10

Yeah right. And your biggest problem is trashing a hurt woman is it?

Really?

Get over yourself. With any luck she'll be a mumsnetter and everyone will tell her her husband's a liar who's been having an affair. But she's not stupid. She'll have worked out that her cowardly husband won't ever have had the courage to leave until he found another bed to go to.

With any luck your husband will work it out too.

AuntieStella Sat 04-May-13 11:34:25

One reported instance of speaking out of turn does not make her the 'bad guy', especially as what she is saying is right (just to the wrong audience). Her H is being cruel to her and the DCs in protracting this.

Why you want a man who is capable of shit behaviour over a long period is beyond me. But assuming you do, then the least worst thing now is a definite end to both marriages. Stringing along hurts worse than pain followed by freedom to move on.

You've been creeping around having an affair with their dad for six months, and suddenly you're all concerned with the kids' welfare?

Why don't you just be honest with your partner? Say, I'm having an affair and I'm not sure if I want the om or you. Om is married and he's not sure he wants me or not.

Perhaps you could rent a place on your own, OM could rent a place, you could date...No?

Leavenheath Sat 04-May-13 11:39:15

By the way, how come you don't think it's OUTRAGEOUS of a mother to break up her family because of some tawdry affair - and help ruin another family in the process?

But in your warped world, a hurt woman saying a few things in shock, is worse.

When the truth comes out, the children won't share your worldview I assure you. His will hate you and if yours ever find out why their family broke up, they won't exactly be handing out prizes for mother-of-the year, so quit trashing another mother.

confusionoftheillusion Sat 04-May-13 11:41:21

Ok I get it. I'll just crawl back into the OW hole where all us evil people hide

Leavenheath Sat 04-May-13 11:43:53

Oh don't come out with that passive-aggressive bollocks. Take some responsibility, woman!!

CajaDeLaMemoria Sat 04-May-13 11:44:36

You probably aren't evil. You are behaving horrifically. You are ignoring the truth because it doesn't suit you, and then wondering why the situation doesn't improve.

Does no part of you wish you'd never started this?

Or feel that you owe it to your partners to be honest, and stop them wondering what they did wrong?

confusionoftheillusion Sat 04-May-13 11:44:46

I do know what I am doing is awful, horrible and wrong.
Believe me I have been to emotional shitsville and back over this too.
I understand why everyone is saying what they're saying.

Its not that you are an evil person(!), but you are both behaving badly and hurting people.

There is a better way to behave but you are choosing not to take those options. I don't know why - cowardice I suppose.

You could:
Tell your husband its over. Tell him why. Make a happy home for you and the kids.
Tell the OM you'll see him in 6 months time when he's single.

Instead, you are lying and cheating and complaining that other people aren't very nice either.

Xales Sat 04-May-13 11:45:45

Right so a man capable of lying to his wife for months on end (not telling her the real reason why he is dumping her probably with the majority of the child care etc while he hands over a pittance) and fucks off to shack up with another women and her kids who is just as deceptive is going to be completely and utterly honest and not lie in the slightest to that other woman hmm

He is a proven liar. How dare you think you have any moral high ground over his wife based on his account.

joblot Sat 04-May-13 11:46:59

Gullible and selfish are words that spring to mind. Finish one before you start another- do as you would be done by

confusionoftheillusion Sat 04-May-13 11:48:23

To be honest ALL of me wishes I hadnt started this and I will always have to live with it on my conscience. I can't help how I feel for OMbut should have waited till we were both single.
I know what I have done to another family is terrible - although I believe theyd have split anyway... No excuse I know.

Leavenheath Sat 04-May-13 11:52:17

Look this is really simple.

You've both behaved atrociously. But you can't change that.

All you can do now is take responsibility for it and tell the truth.

Don't leave your spouses wondering why their marriages are over, or all the children bewildered about why this has happened.

Be honest with your spouses and get the fuck out, so that they can start to heal.

Above all, don't let any of these innocent people take the rap for your duplicity.

Will you both do that or will you both continue to lie and only move out when it suits you?

AuntieStella Sat 04-May-13 11:52:32

"wish we'd waited until we were both single"

Well, you can't change the past. But your choices make your future. As you want to be single, better get on with it. Have you initiated your divorce?

Then split. It really won't be the end of the world. Split with your DH and steer clear of the OM until he does the same. Being single is not terrible.

And avoid making digs about the way the OM's wife is handling this, because it might be you one day.

LookingForwardToMarch Sat 04-May-13 11:56:40

I can't help but laugh when people like you hold their hands up and whimper 'I couldn't help it'

No your husband can't help the fact he has a lying cheat of a wife. OM's wife can't help that she has a miserable excuse of a husband. And all the poor children involved can't help that they have selfish dishonest slags that put their own satifaction above everything else and be damned who it hurts.

So why don't you help them? Come clean about what trash you are so that they can all get on with their lives.

And you and OM can cheat on and lie to each other for all eternity.

Have fun with that karma.

confusionoftheillusion Sat 04-May-13 11:57:27

No I haven't initiated a divorce. I'm still in a place of wondering if Me and h can make it work.

I don't know what OM is doing with his w. I think we both need to figure it out separately.

2anddone Sat 04-May-13 12:00:01

I haven't read the whole thread only the first two and last page. You should be ashamed of yourselves. You are both bad people I don't give a shit about one dc incident you are ow he has a WIFE at home and children you disgust me as does your pathetic excuse for a man you are having an affair with. For god sake leave your husband and get om to leave his wife so you can be together hopefully living in misery. People like you and him make me sick and if it weren't for people like you to my 2 dc might not be up every night because my h did exactly what you two are doing now

2anddone Sat 04-May-13 12:01:25

*dv not dc

confusionoftheillusion Sat 04-May-13 12:03:07

lookingforward - I don't remember saying I couldn't help it. I am very aware of the choices I made.

I hear what you're saying and a yr ago would have had the same view about people who cheat. I wont judge anyone as harshly in the future

Leavenheath Sat 04-May-13 12:03:31

So will you tell the truth to your husband that you've been having an affair?

Or are you going to hedge your bets while the OM destroys his life for you?

confusionoftheillusion Sat 04-May-13 12:04:44

Recognise the stupidity of my judging comment as clearly I have judged the wife for saying hurtful things to her kids. I need to take a look at myself closely don't I

confusionoftheillusion Sat 04-May-13 12:05:25

OM isn't destroying his life for me. Of that I am certain.

Leavenheath Sat 04-May-13 12:07:31

You have no certainty at all. You've never lived in the OM's marriage.

Will you tell your husband the truth?

confusionoftheillusion Sat 04-May-13 12:08:16

Not sure leavenheath...

Leavenheath Sat 04-May-13 12:11:35

Well I hope he finds out then. The OM's wife will have been doing some digging and she might contact your husband.

LookingForwardToMarch Sat 04-May-13 12:15:26

A couple of posts up

I cant help how I feel about OM

And you should be judged, harshly.

AuntieStella Sat 04-May-13 12:16:10

"Ihear what you're saying and a yr ago would have had the same view about people who cheat. I wont judge anyone as harshly in the future"

So 'affairs are wrong except when I want one'?

But tying yourself up in knots about guilty feelings isn't going to help you now. Using the guilt productively is.

If you want to be single, as you said in one post, start a divorce. Yearning to be single in the abstract doesn't help anything. Either do it or don't.

And a nod to the practicalities. If the betrayed wife finds out who you are, will she tell your H? For if this could happen, then you need to think about whether that is the way you want him to find out. This is, again, a choice for you.

LookingForwardToMarch Sat 04-May-13 12:19:42

You shouldn't have a choice whether you want to be single or not.

If you had even a shred of decency ( which I doubt btw) then you will tell you husband what kind of selfish narcissistic loose woman he has been sharing his life with.

Then it should be his choice whether he wants to ontinue putting up with you or not.

itwillgetbettersoon Sat 04-May-13 12:22:16

When my STBXH told me he was leaving me and the children I really can't recall what I said but it certainly wasn't 'ok fine have a nice life"! I said some terrible things to him to make him understand exactly what he was doing. In hindsight I was wasting my breath but I'm sure my children heard some awful things. But I was in terrible shock and fighting for my marriage. Don't believe a word your OM is saying as it will all be taken out of context. Lets be honest he is the biggest liar ever! I don't get why you are worrying about his children now! Too late for that. You and the OM have / are /done / doing some awful things. How you can even look at your husband or children. Selfish, cowards etc etc.

Leavenheath Sat 04-May-13 12:24:56

I see you've withdrawn that post where you admit that the OM hasn't told his wife he's been having an affair.

It's very relevant to the advice people give you.

miffybun73 Sat 04-May-13 12:26:16

The short answer without knowing any background is no, a good person would end one relationship before starting on another.

akaWisey Sat 04-May-13 12:51:23

I don't think you have any intention of telling your poor H what you're doing until your OM has told his wife, left and has invited you to join him. When/if he does that I don't think your H and your DC's will see you for dust. That's how selfish and self centred you sound OP.

I suspect Charbon left this thread at the point at which she realised there is no reasoning nor appealing to you for some empathy for the families who will be destroyed by this mess of your creation.

I wish I'd been able to say that to the OW who was instrumental in my marriage break down. Unfortunately I was (surprise) too fucking shocked and traumatised for quite some time - and so were my children.

DottyboutDots Sat 04-May-13 17:53:24

OP, one of my girlfriends had an affair for 8 months. She was a nervous wreck. She finished with her DH (no kids) 3 years ago and is getting married in July to the OM, they now have a 1 year old and are very happy.

confusionoftheillusion Mon 06-May-13 08:14:55

Thanks dotty. I am also in bits about it too. Glad it worked for your friend x

perfectstorm Mon 06-May-13 11:06:00

You've been creeping around having an affair with their dad for six months, and suddenly you're all concerned with the kids' welfare?

Yes, this.

I had sympathy for you before that point. Life is complicated and emotions are messy, and there are all kinds of complications in life. All of us do things we aren't proud of and moral lines are often blurry in the extreme.

But once you start posting mealymouthed, syrupy words of concern for how their mother's pain might mess up the "little lives" of children when you are responsible for that pain, you pissed me off. No, their mother is not behaving in an ideal way. That tends to happen when husbands fuck other women, and the people responsible for messing up those little lives are you and their father. Not the people the pair of you are betraying - which include your children and his. How dare you judge a woman you are so wronging when you are behaving in a way that will screw up all the kids in the equation? As far as we know, she's not had any affairs.

I have no idea what any of you are like. I do know that pious pearl-clutching because a woman you have treated so appallingly is behaving less than perfectly under the pressure YOU have inflicted is horrible. You appear to believe your own shit does not stink. It does, and so does that attitude. You can't help how you feel, but for crying out loud accept you're an adult, acknowledge what you've done and the costs for others and work out what to do next.

The situation is what it is, and you now have to move forward. Eagerly seizing on evidence that the OW is the bad guy and thus a bad mother and thus you aren't really any worse than she is and hey, marriages just don't work out sometimes... no, no they don't when affairs happen. Again, own your own actions, own that they have been crappy but you are where you are, and try to move on with a little compassion for the victims of your choices. That would include your husband and the OM's wife.

confusionoftheillusion Mon 06-May-13 11:18:35

Fair point perfect storm. I did judge the things she said and should have shown her more compassion... From the start.

Pomegranatenoir Mon 06-May-13 11:24:59

Really can't believe you have the cheek to put a message on here to ask for help. You are a despicable human being. Pretending to be concerned about children whose life YOU have ruined because YOU wanted to be with a married man. Complaining about their mother when she is doing her very best to keep it all together. Her life has been ripped apart by you and what you have been up to with her husband. You have taken away the future that they had planned together, you have taken away the sunny days playing together as a family or the Christmas mornings watching their children open their presents. Never again will any family situation be the same because of what you and her husband started. She is hurting. You are aware of what you are doing and in control of it. Whether you admit to it or not. She isn't. You made the decision to pursue a spark between you - that was your choice! All control was taken away from her and she is dealing with the aftermath in the best way she can. I hope you really pay for what you have done because I am very sure that all of the innocents in this sorry situation will be paying for your fun for the rest of their lives.

Selfish, selfish woman with an equally selfish man. You really have no idea of the destruction you have caused and probably never will. Although maybe when you think you are in a safe position with him, leading a happy life, he will do the same to you. Karma is good like that!

perfectstorm Mon 06-May-13 15:59:03

Confusion I'm not judging you for what you've done. None of us is completely perfect in this world and Lord knows I've made mistakes. I'm lucky in that I've never been tempted (yet) and nor has my DH (I sincerely hope, and genuinely believe) so I'm not about to cast stones when I haven't walked in your shoes. That's not what made me so angry.

You're right: you ARE the bad guy in this, and so is he. Your spouses have every right to hate you because the affair will have destroyed your marriages, whether they consciously knew or not, because your energies have been elsewhere, the excitement and focus elsewhere. To blame the victim when she reacts to the catastrophic pain you have both inflicted is, I'm sorry, reprehensible. She and your husband need to focus on the kids, yes, but they are human, and if you and your OM haven't had the restraint not to destroy your children's families, how can you ask them to have the restraint to grieve in child-friendly ways? Part of the consequences of your actions will be that they say and do things that will have terrible, possibly irreparable consequences on your children's emotional and educational life chances, permanently in all likelihood. She didn't do that. You did. To blame her for the clearly forseeable results of your actions is pretty appalling, yes.

Your kids and her kids will suffer abysmally. Half of all fathers lose all contact with kids within two years of separation, and while a lot of them are down to bad dads who can't be arsed/horrible new step-mothers or stepfathers/bad mothers who use the kids as weapons, I suspect an awful lot more are down to it being so agonisingly painful for all concerned that one or both parents calls it a day, and as court battles usually benefit nobody and cost phenomenal amounts, that's the way things stay. You have been living in a bubble pretending that this isn't the reality, but it is: you have two sets of kids who have a fifty fifty chance now of growing up without a father, because of your choices. You have flicked a domino that could well end very badly for your babies and her babies. And you can't exactly pretend you didn't know it, from the start. To start judging ANYONE else in this scenario is... well. An interesting moral position to be in.

perfectstorm Mon 06-May-13 16:05:22

Incidentally, there's a lot of research showing kids do better when a parent dies of natural causes (obviously murder or suicide aren't applicable) than they do after divorce. And that applies whether the breakup is acrimonious or not - it's just the level of damage amongst the divorced-kids cohort that varies. The damage to their life chances is less when a parent dies of natural causes in their childhood, in terms of early pregnancy, educational opportunity and

This woman could be behaving like the Virgin Mother and her kids would still have statistically better life chances if your lover dropped dead of a heart attack tonight. So would yours if you or their father did. Them's the breaks, I'm afraid.

confusionoftheillusion Mon 06-May-13 17:37:53

perfect storm - you're right to have a go. I shouldn't have said what I said about the W being unreasonable for saying what she said in front of the kids. I should have thought more about her.

Your point about kids of divorce is relevant and of course it's something I've considered for my own dc but kids growing up in homes where the parents are unhappy, hostile or present a negative view of relationships also suffer. Neither is good.

I did what I did. It was wrong.

DottyboutDots Mon 06-May-13 17:48:08

perfectstorm, could you poss link the divorce evidence here please? I've seen many threads countering that divorce, if it's done right is OK for the family (mother's mental health and financial stability being the biggest key factors).

happyAvocado Mon 06-May-13 17:50:05

does wife of OM know about you seeing him?

No

AuntieStella Mon 06-May-13 17:57:28

For ease of reference, OP has a concurrent thread and it is here.

happyAvocado Mon 06-May-13 17:58:34

not sure if this aspect of adultery was mentioned in this thread - I was cheated on by my ex
I think no-one would have predicted the impact it had on our kids, his siblings, me most of all

ex's siblings hate him for what he's done to me and his kids, however they can't say - oh well, we won't see him ever again

so I was avoiding christmases with them - my kids love going there as I have no family in UK
that is how they grew up - having christmases with their cousins, aunties, uncles, grandparents, so ex is there too, and I felt sick having to be with him in the same room on happy occasions like that
I love his family, they are on my side and now just over 4 years since I found out he was seeing someone else I can just about to be in the same room as him

he also decided to tell the kids - he had an affair, so my kids are torn between loving him and hating the same time

if you want to be hated by his family - carry on, but you will never be part of his life the way you would like to be

confused2222 Sun 29-Sep-13 09:01:48

how did it all end??

intheduskwiththelightbehindher Sun 29-Sep-13 10:44:30

Speaking now as someone who has been at all three corners of the infidelity triangle - stop it now. It always always always causes pain. Sort out whatever is missing in your relationship now, or leave it. Don't just indulge in escapism and ego stroking. It hurts everybody.

Boosterseat Sun 29-Sep-13 17:30:51

Zombie thread

confused2222 - but you aren't the "good person" are you?

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