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Having an affair with my soulmate but feel sick with guilt about kids :(

(226 Posts)
HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 14:36:42

Hi there, can't believe I'm posting this, I just have nowhere to turn for advice on this IRL.
Basically am having an affair with my highschool sweetheart from nearly 18 years ago. When I say affair we haven't slept together and we live hundreds of miles apart so only meet up rarely (every month or so) but we have kissed (and more) and text each other loads every day.
We've both said we love each other and via text / in person we've discussed everything about being together in the future, right down to what jobs we’d do, having more kids … but always avoiding the thorny questions of when / how it would actually happen. I have 2 kids and he has 1.
Am torn between wanting to stop this if it’s not going anywhere (though this would really break my heart as I love him so much), and trying to work out a plan for the future that might potentially work …
Have just been reading stuff online about kids and affairs and divorces though and it makes me feel sick with guilt. DH is a really, really wonderful father and I know it would be terrible for the kids if we split up. But I just can’t reconcile that with the way I feel about this other guy who truly is my soulmate.
If I turn my back on this, I might regret it my whole life, and then I would resent the kids as being the only thing holding me back from finding happiness.
Please help!!
HH xxx

HeySoulSister Wed 22-May-13 14:39:33

I would get out of the marriage first I think. then take it from there...

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 22-May-13 14:43:14

Oh dear, be prepared for a flaming. Not from me I hasten to add... too long and colourful a past to judge anyone else too harshly.

What I am going to say therefore is 'please stop'. Just stop. There is no good outcome to this situation if you carry on like some giddy schoolgirl. You have to call time on the affair and decide honestly what to do about your marriage. 'Nothing' is not a valid answer. You either have to be honest with your DH and part ways or you have to commit to making your marriage work. There is no third way.

If this other person has any respect for you whatsoever they will back off and let you make this decision first rather than keep pressing for a relationship which is currently wrong on so many levels.

Only when you've properly decided how to take things forward at home can you even think about how the future looks. At the moment you're throwing in your lot with someone on very shaky grounds and there are too many people involved on all sides.

Lucylloyd13 Wed 22-May-13 14:45:06

There will be a price to pay. An outraged husband, a furious wife, grandparents and three bewildered children.

That does not mean that either of you should endure unhappy marriages, it is to say that at the moment you have the joy of texts, with none of the consequences.

I am curious that in the circumstances you have not had sex.

BurtNo Wed 22-May-13 14:48:35

resenting your children for preventing you from running off with another man - really???

scaevola Wed 22-May-13 14:49:52

It's decision time.

There are two possible courses of action

a) break of contact with your affair partner and work on improving your marriage
b) end you marriage now, and go forward into a different future, possibly with this other man. But do stop contacting the man until you are properly separated.

There are other options, but they are likely to be much messier and bring greater pain. And will probably lead to either a or b anyhow.

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 14:53:24

I know you're right ... I know I should work on my marriage as that what's best for the kids in the long run and I could NOT bear to hurt them. My Dad left my Mum and the whole family has suffered the consequences for years.
I just don't know if I have the courage to wean myself off this other guy.

scaevola Wed 22-May-13 14:54:29

Weaning off won't work.

No contact might.

tomorowisanotherday Wed 22-May-13 14:55:17

please end one relationship. It matters not one jot (to me) which one! but you must finish it with one before you move on. its the only way to be fair to everyone involved.

Children are adaptable and will adapt to any situation once things begin to settle. IMHO its the unsettlement that damages kids. its the hearing one thing but seeing another that unnerves them. they lose trust in the adults around them and thats never good.

Noone can help thier feelings, and you cant do anything about your feelings, but you can control how you act (or dont act)

LadyBigtoes Wed 22-May-13 14:55:49

I know he really feels like your soulmate, but remember he might not be. He might be a bastard who has serial affairs and makes all his mistresses feel like you do now. He might be simply exciting in the circumstances, and not if you settled down with him. He might be crap in bed! Either way, both of you are being unfaithful, and that makes neither of you a very good bet.

At least stop for the time being and try to clear your head.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 22-May-13 14:57:14

You haven't actually said anything much about your marriage. Was it unhappy before you met up with the other man?

Weegiemum Wed 22-May-13 14:57:34

You have to have the courage.

My mother had an affair with my Dad's friend and left with him. They're still married, I'm still in therapy (at 42!).

Sort it out properly. You're the grown-up, you owe it to everyone, especially your dc, to act like one.

My mother became so disengaged its almost 9 years since I spoke to her.

cestlavielife Wed 22-May-13 14:57:57

leave the kids with their wonderful daddy and go off ?
they will manage... they can have a happy life, you could see them every other weekend...

it is an option .

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Wed 22-May-13 14:58:34

If he is your "soulmate" and you really are in love with each other, then tell your husband and end your marriage.

Your husband will still be a "wonderful father" if he isn't married to you.

You need to think logically though as well. Distance? Houses? Children?

As Cog says, you will get some harsh replies for posting this. (not from me either smile) but do sit down and do some thinking.

cestlavielife Wed 22-May-13 14:59:41

if you are not "present" with the kids now, looking at them, resenting them already, then they are suffering now...so do one thing or another but dont stay in limbo. be honest.

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 14:59:56

This will sound crazy, but it isn't obvious that it's unhappy now ... that is, I'm playing the part of the good wife and DH is oblivious and we don't argue and we agree on the important things like parenting decisions and so on.
I think I was feeling very bored, trapped and unhappy (though DH doesn't know any of this) when I got in touch with the other guy and then having got in touch we fell back in love ...

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Wed 22-May-13 15:01:19

Is he married btw?

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 15:01:20

Definitely not resenting the kids already - am more attentive than ever with them as I'm just feeling so guilty all the time so am kind of compensating for something I haven't even done yet!!

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 15:02:03

Yes he's married.

Snorbs Wed 22-May-13 15:04:24

We've both said we love each other and via text / in person we've discussed everything about being together in the future, right down to what jobs we’d do, having more kids … but always avoiding the thorny questions of when / how it would actually happen.

Of course you're avoiding the "thorny" question of how you'd actually do this because that would break through the fantasy and splash you in the face with a bucketful of reality.

You are being unspeakably cruel to your husband by allowing him to continue believing that he has the marriage it currently suits you to have him think he has. Is your husband such an arse of a man that he deserves to be treated this badly? What's your husband doing while you're meeting up with the love of your life? Where does he think you are?

I have no dog in the fight about whether you should stay or leave. That's up to you. But casting yourself as someone helplessly overwhelmed by her feelings in some tragic yet romantic love-triangle is beneath you.

Shit or get off the pot. Just stop treating your husband like a cunt.

scaevola Wed 22-May-13 15:05:24

If communication with your DH really had broken down such that you could not discuss your relationship and areas where you wanted to change it before you started giving your emotional energy to someone else, do you think you will be able to do so now?

Do bear in mind that your view on your marriage may have been altered (by magnifying faults and withholding from any attempt to fix them) as justification to embark on your emotional affair.

But however it came about, it doesn't alter the need for you to make a decision now.

One or the other. Possibly neither. But not both.

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 15:06:05

He knows where I am but thinks me and this other guy are just old friends. He hasn't done anything to deserve this, you're right. It's totally my problem.

apatchylass Wed 22-May-13 15:07:35

an affair is an affair. It's not real life. that's why it appeals. It is a break from real life. What you have is an affair.

Not saying it wouldn't turn into something more substantial but discussing jobs and kids by text and meeting once a month is no grounds for a solid future for your children. If you really want to be with this person, you need to be sorting out finances in an adult way and discussing childcare arrangements with your current DPs .

Don't forget real life will fast intervene if you leave your DP for him. Your gorgeous lover will leave smells in the bathroom and not quite 'get' your kids because they're not his and get stressed that you all have so much less money than you had before there were three homes to keep up not just two.

Not saying it's not possible, just saying your post describes a relationship without a single toe in reality. No way should you leave your children's father for something so tenuous.

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 15:08:29

Emotional energy is just the right phrase - I've definitely been investing it all in this other guy and I do need to reinvest it in DH but I just haven't been able to so far. Don't know what it will take for me to be able to ...

EuphemiaLennox Wed 22-May-13 15:08:49

OP this all seems so real to you right now.

But you know, it isn't.

You're caught up in an intoxicating game of romance and passion that is like a drug but it isn't real.

The fact you call him your soul mate is a big clue to that from the off.

Your husband and children ae real. Very real.

You need to metaphorically slap yourself hard and drag yourself back to that reality, and decide what you want.

Cut the 'I can't be without him' lines. You have choices to make. Choices about the kind of person you want to be and the kind of life you want to lead.

Maybe you'll decide your marriage is not the life you want to lead, but you shouldn't make that decision whilst drunk on the idea of love with an unreal idea of a man and a life.

Maybe you would have a future with this man, but you'd need to discover that in some other way, rather than through these addictive brief shots of intensity, which as I said aren't real.

Drop the love struck passion schtick, and get a head headed reflective viewpoint.

You're trying to justify your current actions. 'I'm more attentive to the kids' and 'DH doesn't notice'.

Try to think about how you'd feel if you DH was sneaking around, texting another women and telling people on a chat room that it was okay because you didn't know and he didn't want to upset his kids?

If you want the details there are plenty of threads on the relationship boards that will tell you how that feels. Please try to be objective. It's fun to play at being 18 again but you need to consider the consequences.

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 15:11:24

apatchylass - I know you're right, it's a break from reality. That's why it feels so good and is so addictive because the reality is just depressing me right now.
I know as well that what you say about the relationship between the kids and any new partner is true and I would find that really hard to take.
Does turning my back on this really make me a better person and a better mum though, or just a really unhappy one? sad

zippey Wed 22-May-13 15:12:10

How can you resent your kids for something that isnt their fault? (your feelings for another man)

scaevola Wed 22-May-13 15:13:20

If you don't think you can reinvest your energy in your H, that's a valid decision. And means you need to start planning the practicalities of how you end your marriage.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Wed 22-May-13 15:14:40

Gosh, you're so passive.

So, then, that being the case, just carry on doing what you're doing for the rest of your lives.

Doable, you think......?

zippey Wed 22-May-13 15:17:47

Do you want to leave your DH for this man, and does he want to leave his DW and any children he might have for you? Or are you both just wanting to have this affair on the side and happy at that.

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 15:20:17

This is going to sound really pathetic. I want to leave DH for him, but I can't do it - I've thought about having the conversation and I just can't face it and what it would do to the kids. On the other hand I don't like the secrecy of what I have with this other guy because I want to be able to meet up with him without feeling guilty.
I know there's no way to reconcile these two things though.

apatchylass Wed 22-May-13 15:20:19

Hollie, if you are unhappy then find ways to get happy which don't destroy your family. To some extent we choose whether or not to feel dissatisfied in a relationship (unless our DPs are abusive). If you're bored, put effort into having more fun and excitement together. or on your own. But go easy on exploding everyone's lives on the basis of a very tenuous relationship which is based on the memory of a love that existed when neither of you had adult responsibilities.

Concreteblonde Wed 22-May-13 15:20:30

Your husband deserves to be with someone who respects him enough not to lie and cheat.
Your children deserve a mother who is not constantly checking her phone whilst smothering them with false attention.
Have some bloody guts. Tell your husband it's over and sail off into the sunset with your soul mate. Kids will adapt just fine to seeing you less and your husband has the opportunity to be with someone who isn't capable of such lies.

EuphemiaLennox Wed 22-May-13 15:21:38

Another option you haven't considered: maybe ditching the soulmate guy, and recognising it as an unreal relationship which would never fulfill the perfect status you were giving it, reinvest your energy in your DH and kids, enjoy family life, watch your kids grow up happy, feel lucky and relieved you have a good husband, grow closer to your DH as this realisation hits, and feel thankful that you were never stupid enough to ditch this happy family life in your temporary madness.
<radical>

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 15:22:46

I could never do that. I've thought about leaving and I could NEVER leave my kids. I would never, ever forgive myself.

everythinghippie29 Wed 22-May-13 15:24:45

Tread carefully, my mum had an affair when I was young. I still harbour a great deal of resentment towards her. I've found its affected my ability to trust people as I always assume that someone is always looking for the next best thing and it did lead me to believe for a very long time that everyone was selfish and callous. My father was hurt and very bitter and my sister and I were exposed to very venomous rants from him ( which granted, I see now came from hurt) that again impacted how I viewed my dad. As an adult I can try and understand my mums motivation and even rationalise it to a degree but I lost a great deal of respect for her as a child that I doubt she will ever get back. I would always say don't stay in a relationship that makes you unhappy but leaving your unsuspecting husband who by your own admission had done nothing wrong apart from not be a fuzzy, idealised romantic notion, you could risk being demonized in your children's minds. Again, this is just my take from my experience and each family is different but I found my mother's affair very damaging, at the time and going on into my adult life. It has has long term ramifications on both my own attitude towards relationships andy parents.

Sort out your marriage and either leave, be on your own and show the children you have done it for you or work at your existing relationship if you think it is worth it. Don't run into the arms of someone else crying SOULMATE. Affairs are by their very nature exciting, giddy and unique but reality can be sobering and you may regret it down the line. Don't sacrifice the respect if your children for short term happiness, but do what is right for you and them in the long term. If your old flame is meant to be it will happen when you both are out if your current relationships. sad

Snorbs Wed 22-May-13 15:26:14

Thinking about it, the answer is obvious. You say your husband is a fantastic father. You say you are in love with your old flame. There's a straightforward solution - move out.

Your husband can then go on to hopefully form a new relationship with someone who will treat him with some modicum of respect. Your kids get to stay in their home with their wonderful father and so reduce the disruption to them as much as possible. And you get all the time you need to do what you want with your soulmate.

EuphemiaLennox Wed 22-May-13 15:27:20

Really? You want to leave your DH for him and yet you've not had sex and you only meet up every few months??

That wouldn't be a good basis for commitment if you were both 25, childless and single never mind 2 married people with kids.

Hollie you need to wake yourself up from this fantasy and fast.

I do understand how all consuming those feelings of passion are, and your normal day to day life can't compete with that. But they're not real. You really do need to be hardheaded and start to understand how unrealistic you're being.

Back off and make some decisions about your marriage..

scaevola Wed 22-May-13 15:28:02

You don't have to leave your DC, whichever man you choose (or neither).

Tough of course gpfamily life changes a lot after separation.

But if you are that unhappy with H, then it is what you need to do, and so start making proper plans for achieving it now. When it's still possible to do so relatively kindly.

For if OM's wife finds out, you may find you have a much worse set of options available. And if you choose to do nothing, and just drift on agonising about this, then the potential consequences of that choice are far less appealing than what you are faced with now.

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 15:28:04

That is really helpful, thank you. One of the things that scares me the most is the long-term impact on the kids and I don't want to affect their ability to trust people so I know I have to end this really. I just haven't had (still haven't) the courage to do it so far.
I couldn't end my marriage without mentioning the affair as there really is no other justification. So it's the affair that has to end.
I know it but I just can't do it.

Moanranger Wed 22-May-13 15:28:13

This may well be the love of your life, but walk away from it now. Just because you feel a passion for this man does not mean that either of you need to act on it. You can treasure it for what it is - but leave.
I left the love of my life because he was married to someone else, and I am not and never will be a homewrecker. I cherish is still for what it was, but ultimately I never harmed anyone.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Wed 22-May-13 15:29:07

What happens if you leave your husband, but he doesn't leave his wife? What happens if you sleep with him, and then he decides he has got what he wants and moves on?

Are you absolutely sure its the real deal?

I think you should either leave the relationship you are in, if you are so unhappy, or try to deal with the issues in your marriage and cut all contact with the OM.

You sound like a bored housewife. I would be very careful that the grass isn't always greener.

Also, why didn't things work out 18 years ago?

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 15:30:47

Well, 18 years ago ... he cheated.
Enough said.

dufflefluffle Wed 22-May-13 15:31:01

I'm very sorry for you. No-one would choose to be in a situation like this. I think the best advice is probably as others have said, to put the new relationship on hold and sort out your marriage. ie finish it if you think that's what's going to happen. I get the impression you would stay in your marriage if you thought it wouldn't work out with the new man - that's not fair to your husband, your kids, your marriage or yourself. Leave your marriage if you no longer love your husband but don't bet your happiness on a relationship which may not work and which will end up with you resenting yourself, your kids, your husband, your new man, and worst of all: regretting letting a good husband (??) go and unsettling your children. Leave your marriage, if you must, for your own sake only.

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 15:31:45

Bored housewife yes. Though I do work part-time / go to gym / run etc but yes, still bored.
Haven't found a cure for that.

Snorbs Wed 22-May-13 15:31:48

If you do split from your husband why are you so sure you would end up with the children anyway? You could only be sure of that if you were a stay at home parent and your husband was out at work all day.

dufflefluffle Wed 22-May-13 15:31:57

Hollie, they say that a man who marries his mistress creates a vacancy - he has form!

So he cheated on you once, and now he is cheating on his wife. Hmmm, what do you think the long term chances are in a relationship with him?

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 15:35:07

I have thought about leaving the marriage, not mentioning anything about this other guy, but I can't think of any valid reasons I would give DH. I know that 'I'm bored' is totally NOT a valid reason for all the disruption / heartache that would be caused.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Wed 22-May-13 15:35:11

Oh dear...

No wonder you're opting for your safe DH...

Timetoask Wed 22-May-13 15:35:14

You THINK he is your soul mate, ofcourse you do. You see each other once a month and say nice things to each other! You don't have to share the daily grind of life, the ups and downs.

I am of the thinking that, once we have kids, we need to forget about our own selfish needs and think about the children first (unless there is any sort of domestic violence).

Please work on your marriage, on keeping your lovely family together, and forget this other guy.

EuphemiaLennox Wed 22-May-13 15:35:55

Right Hollie are you actually prepared to think about anyone else??

YOU want to be with your soulmate, YOU would be unhappy with your DH, YOU couldn't bear to be without your children.

Presumably your DH wants to be with you, and doesn't want to be without his children.

Your children want to be with you and Daddy.

Soulmates children want Daddy to stay at home.

(don't know about soulmates wife but would hazard a guess she wants him to be faithful and committed)

But what you want trumps all this??

Not saying you should sacrifice yourself, but some serious thought to others would be good, and it seems no serious thought at all has been given to this beyond 'I want x,y and z and will be unhappy if I can't have it.'

On the plus side, if you stayed with DH, soulmate man would forever be your imaginary perfect partner, unlike if you leave and shack up when the reality of ex spouses money issues and step kids will crush soulmate talk pretty quickly I'd imagine.

cestlavielife Wed 22-May-13 15:36:07

"Well, 18 years ago ... he cheated" ha ha ha. very funny dont you think ??? what script are you reading from? how does this hollywood movie end?

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 15:38:38

No, I know what I want doesn't trump any other people's needs. My Mum was there to pick up the pieces after my Dad left and I could never create the kind of chaos he did and I would sacrifice everything for the kids.
I know, I need to end it. I know it. I just can't so far.
I think I'm getting closer to it though because just thinking about how hurt the kids could be is making me cry right now and I can't do that to them.

Grammaticus Wed 22-May-13 15:40:18

Soulmate my arse.

He's a serial cheater. He cheated on you, he's cheating on his wife. What do you think will happen after the excitement is over and you are together day to day dealing with contact issues and step parenting?

Delayingtactic Wed 22-May-13 15:40:27

I'm trying not to flame you I really am. But exactly how old are you? Your passivity in managing your own emotions and life are as if you're in your twenties. Get a hold of yourself, stop saying things like 'I know I need to stop but I just can't'. Of course you can. It'll be upsetting and take time to get back to normal but just cut contact. Send a text/email saying enough is enough, no texts, no calls, no emails. Ignore ignore ignore any and all further attempts at contact because you are a grown assed woman.

Decide once and for all if you will stay with your husband. If yes work at your relationship. Don't stay for the dc - he deserves better than that. If not leave and be on your own for awhile. If after all that time you and OM still want to be together you can rekindle your relationship as free agents.

Bant Wed 22-May-13 15:40:53

OP - has the OM told his wife he's going to leave her? Have you discussed having those discussions?

At the moment you've got the love chemicals zooming through your brain, which you haven't had in years from your Husband. You're elated and happy and also guilty. You can't make any decisions while in this state, at least not ones you'd feel happy about later.

What you should do is - go cold turkey on the soulmate. Discuss it with him first, say you can't have any contact with him for a year. He has that time to sort his life out, you have the time to sort yours out. One year - say 1st of June 2014 you'll get back in touch. If it's already been 18 years then surely you can wait. No contact, no texting, nothing.

Then -go back and try and sort out the issues with your H without the distraction. There will still be some, of course, but after a few weeks it will fade and you can work out whether you want to be separate from your H or fix things. Because if you run into the OM's arms, it's probably going to fail. The shine will fade, you'll realise you're not sexually compatible, or he's abusive, or he's just not the dream you thought he was and you'll blame him for you leaving your H.

Get some distance, work out if you can (and want to) save the marriage, and then make the choice. At the moment, the OM is just a distraction, a cipher, being all the things your H isn't.

But after a year, you may get back in touch with OM having left your husband and find out he's fixed things with his wife - or is still with her, at least.

Oh, and if you choose to leave your H, and take your children away from him, who he adores, that makes you a horrible person. Splitting up with him is going to be difficult enough, taking his children away is just evil, no matter how much you may love them. He should get at least 50/50 with them, if not more.

BornToFolk Wed 22-May-13 15:41:07

Not how hurt the kids could be but how hurt the kids will be. They will be hurt and your DH will be hurt and your family and friends will be hurt.

Grow the fuck up, end it with your soulmate and then tell your husband what you've been doing. He deserves to know the truth.

Bluegrass Wed 22-May-13 15:43:09

These things really do seem to follow a script.

I bet you've had intense conversations about how last time round it was a case of right person, wrong time, but now fate has given you a chance to put things right as you were always meant to be (and now he realises that that time he cheated on you was a terrible mistake, no one was ever as right for him as you if only he could have seen it at the time...). At that point you mull over how electrifying the sex used to be, a whistful look in your eyes etc etc

EuphemiaLennox Wed 22-May-13 15:46:15

Hollie don't underestimate the wonderful contented type happiness that can come from bringing a family up together, being with someone who you know you can rely on, creating something really good and long lasting together.
This is so underestimated.

And the passionate, soul combining headrushing lust filled love affair is so over rated.

One lasts and gives years of a deep contented happiness, the other is brief but gives a high like no other whilst it's happening.

So many people have lost the long term happiness, because of the lure of the passion induced high.

You are obviously right in the middle of this now, and can't see straight and are in danger of loosing or sacrificing a whole lot for not that much.

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 15:46:56

The not being in touch for a year thing is really helpful - because in my heart I know I would never leave DH in that time. So one year on I would be in the same position. Which means I don't really want to end the marriage.
So, I need to end the affair.
It's starting to sink in.

He cheated on you 18 years ago and he's now cheating on his wife. Sounds like a keeper. A real stellar bloke.

BornToFolk Wed 22-May-13 15:49:12

That's good, and I hope you do end the affair but you need to tell your DH about it. It's not fair to continue in a marriage hiding that big a secret.

If it was you, if your DH had been having an affair with someone he described as his soulmate and was seriously considering leaving you, wouldn't you think you had the right to know?

juneau Wed 22-May-13 15:50:02

I'm bored too, but it doesn't mean I'm off looking for a new bloke. Seriously, life is not that exciting on a day-to-day basis for the vast majority of us. Can you think of someone you know who has kids and also has an exciting life? I've racked my brains and I can't think of a single person.

You need to break off contact with this man completely. No good is going to come of this and he's not your soul mate. You broke up with him 18 years ago because he was a cheat and guess what? He's still a cheat, as this little episode is showing you.

So have the balls to end this silly little flirtation. This is not love. It's an infatuation. Recognise it for what it is and re-invest all that energy you're spending day-dreaming about Mr Cheater on your DH. You don't want to break up your marriage, so don't. Stop now, while you still can and before you sleep with this OM and risk losing everything.

Timetoask Wed 22-May-13 15:53:25

Good for you. You will do the right thing by ending it.
You are so lucky to have a lovely family right now.
EuphemiaLennox write with so much sense!

You will be bored with this soulmate guy within 3 years, and then what?.

Booyhoo Wed 22-May-13 15:54:37

OP is holliehelen the names of your dcs? or you? because if so that is prett identifying. you might need to get this deleted.

Cerubina Wed 22-May-13 16:03:14

I think to give you courage you need to speak to a RL friend about this. Shine some real daylight on what you're doing. At the moment, you've been having these lovely butterfly-in-your-stomach feelings about how amazing he is, he's your soulmate bla bla - so far, so teenage and frankly so divorced from reality. Today you've come on an internet forum for some input from faceless people who don't know you, or him, or your family - still divorced from reality.

My husband left me for an OW and he didn't talk to anyone about doing so but her. I wish he'd had one single, solitary buddy that he could have gone for a beer with who could have said 'what the fuck are you doing? Are you mad?'

In the pressure cooker environment of an affair, with rose coloured specs glued on and no sense of consequences or what happens in your ever after when you've wandered off into the sunset, there is no perspective and no real vision of what you're doing. At all.

I'll tell you what life after going off with your OM is like. You hurriedly find a rented property near to where one of you lived (and then can't get away from the vengeful ex-spouse) and, in your situation, you live hundreds of miles away from where the other one lived. The house you rent needs furnishing and equipping, so you spunk a load of cash on crappy furniture to tide you over. You pine for your children and have to make do with seeing them a couple of times a week (if you live in your old neighbourhood) or maybe once a week if you moved to where he is. All your time with your children is rushed and doesn't feel like enough. You have to see look of hurt and bewilderment and anger on your ex's face, and try to pretend for the children that everything's basically fine. When you see them you realise that they are doing things that you're not part of any more, because you moved out.

Meanwhile he is also trying to fit in when he will see his children. When you take out all the evenings and weekends when one or other of you is having contact, you don't have a lot of time left together in your romantic idyll. When you are together, no doubt you have a lot of sex in your rented bed but the rest of the time you are trying to get used to each other's ways of doing things. And maybe he's not so perfect when you sit on the toilet seat that he dripped on, or he sits there moping about his children and wondering if he did the right thing.

Your parents, your husband's parents and all your friends look at you and wonder how on earth they judged you so wrong. They wonder how you could do that to your children and hypothesise about how long the new relationship will last.

You have less money than before, and so does he, because you are now maintaining three homes rather than two. You have grief from both spouses, especially the wife, who wants to take him to the cleaners financially.

That's really just for starters. For goodness sake shine a bright light onto what you're doing and stop talking like some drippy 14 year old.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 22-May-13 16:13:00

When you wrote that you just could not imagine/face having the conversation with your DH about you leaving him for OM it was sort of obvious that you actually didn't really want to leave. That is how it seems to me anyway. I have had several friends in a similar situation to yours. One did leave her DH, but she was incredibly unhappy with the marriage anyway and she didn't leave for the OM she was single for a few years. The other 2 avoided their "crush" and the feelings eventually went away.

Brilliant post Cerubina.

PoppyAmex Wed 22-May-13 16:17:04

Cerubina good post, really sobering.

Viviennemary Wed 22-May-13 16:22:30

Sometimes this sort of thing can work out. Just look at Camilla Parker Bowles. But often it ends in tears.

scarletforya Wed 22-May-13 16:29:55

Well said * Cerubina*

OP that's your future. Think about it.

itwillgetbettersoon Wed 22-May-13 16:33:48

My husband, out of the blue, left me and the kids for the OW. I hope for your sake that the OMs wife doesn't find out and contact your husband. If she does ( and wives do notice that husbands are behaving different so I'm sure yr husband and his wife have noticed) you will lose everything especially if OM stays with his wife and your husband kicks you out. Don't assume that he will leave the house and kids - he might ask you to do it. Is it really worth it? If the marriage is dead then leave but not for OM.

You are in love with the idea of your own life 18 years ago. You have stepped back into the role of the high school girl with the fab boyfriend and her entire life ahead of her.

Breaking up your, and his family to re-live this dream is not just pathetic, it is pure midlife crisis. This is 40 year old balding man buying a Ferrari he cant afford (and us women laughing branding it his "penis extension") territory. You know that dont you? This is you realizing you are no longer that young girl. With her life ahead of her. This is the bored wife with 2.5 kids rebelling in her mind thinking "is this all there is to life?" and "How did I get so side tracked?" "What happened to passion, to lust, to longing, and planning your future?" You live in the future you planned back then, and it does not look anything like what you planned.

You need to stop texting, stop sexting, and stop daydreaming, and refocus your mind to YOUR life and what you really and realistically can do to make your life exciting and full.

TotallyBursar Wed 22-May-13 16:40:33

Cerubina has painted your future but I'll add to the end of it:

The daily stresses make him realise he was right 18 years ago, he's broke, stressed and you are not his Cinderella...he thinks about his kids, he thinks about his wife...he begs to go back, even if she says no you are still fucked over because oh, here comes the 'baggage' free new intern/secretary/MD/whoever & she's pretty & flirty & younger than you maybe, less stressed definitely - she still wants it 3 times nightly & has no little ones waiting to have a cuddle & bedtime story...well after a 10minute screaming abdab.

I want to say this is not your choice anymore, you need to tell your husband that you think he's worthless and deserved no kindness or respect from you so you cheated; sold his future out from under him and then see if he wants you. He deserves more than he's been dealt so far.
However it seems the one thing you need to learn how to do is stop pretending passivity is all you've got - you can do it. You don't want to.

You have a lot of non judgemental answers. I'm afraid I am not in that camp. If his wife came on here I would council her to drop him faster than a handful of dogshit.
When did your husband, this good man, become just a thing to you? He is not spoken of as a person who will sob until he retches when his life is turned on its head, the innocent party from whom you would take his kids because 'you couldn't bear to leave them' he is an afterthought in your posts.
Wise up - you are not a special snowflake, he is not a knight in shining armour you are not love's young dream. You are far from that.
Leave if you are unhappy but not for Sir Serial Cheat & his magic, transient , promises.

If you want a fantasy escape have a crush on someone uncontainable - a movie star, a gay friend, whoever - so long as it stays in your head. Soul mate sounds a serial charmer-cheater & full of too much drama. Stick with the good father. You haven't really expressed a reason not to be with him other than you want charmer-cheater / who doesn't sound a great catch tbh.

LadyMaiBlossom Wed 22-May-13 16:45:51

Does the OM snore?

Can you imagen all the hurt to people you care about just to find out he snores and you have a few years of not sleeping before he cheats sgain on you?

So not worth it.

Weegiemum Wed 22-May-13 16:52:44

Dh and I are coming out of the end of the real intense parenting (pausing to take a deep breath before getting into teenagers!!!)

It all got a bit mundane etc over the last 3 years (dc are now 13,11,9, so from about when they were 10,8,6 - lots of transporting, organising etc and dd2 (youngest) had a temporary disability, now resolved afterv6 years).

We've both had depression, and I've developed a lifelong neurological disability. But you know, we've made the effort (and yes, for both of us it's been an effort) to be "us", even when it was hard.

I lived through my parents divorce. I'm prepared to work hard enough (and he's worth it, my dh is an awesome guy, a GP committed to his patients, a son committed to his parents, a father committed to his 3 children and a husband totally committed to me!) to make our marriage, despite the up and downs something I'm happy in!

Fuckwittery Wed 22-May-13 17:00:44

How have you managed to text and contact this man every day so much with out being found out. Think about the last few texts you sent each other? Now imagine your husband reading them, how would he feel? How would you feel, having made him feel like that? What would the consequences be? This could happen tonight, whenever you forget to delete a text or he finds your other phone. Would it have been worth it?

Distrustinggirlnow Wed 22-May-13 17:17:48

OP you've had some good advice and by the sounds of it you're taking it on board.

I won't bang on about stuff that has been suggested up thread, but just want to emphasise three points for you to consider...
1. If when your DH finds out he may decide that he can't come to terms with you cheating and leave. Just like that
2. The MN advice when someone discovers their partner is cheating is to ask them to leave, even if only temporarily, to give them time to think. He may therefore ask you to leave.
And 3. OMs DW may discover your affair. She will already be suspicious, trust me. She may confront you, that will be messy. She may tell your DH what is going on. She may forward onto him the texts and/or emails that she has discovered.

It's naive to think you will get away with this so please act now, because there's a very real chance you will loose everything.

springymater Wed 22-May-13 17:20:09

I'm finding it hard to start this post without breaking talk guidelines.

Yes, your husband does seem somewhat two-dimensional in your story. Why is that? Read this thread to get some taste of the immense pain people go through when they discover their spouse/partner has cheated. You need to do your research, I guess, to pop your bubble.

Get real, sweetheart. He cheated on you once - was your heart broken? that'll be NOTHING when if he does it to you again - maybe leaves you 'at the alter' as it were, doesn't go through with your dewey plan; or gets a roving eye somewhere down the line. He cheats. Repeatedly. He's told you who he is - listen.

He's cheating on his wife. THINK ABOUT THAT.

I can't help thinking your soulmate stuff is pure bullshit. YOu're bored? go to a therapist and find out why you're bored, what bored means to you, particularly. Put in the effort instead of tripping off into the sunset with the prince among men, who cheats. Repeatedly.

Have you not done the deed because you think that by not doing it you haven't technically cheated? How self-delusion works, if so.

This is real and this is serious. You have to get that.

Heres another scenario for you OP. This is what happened to my friend.

Married 15 years, bored. EA with bloke at work "her soulmate". She confided in me and I BEGGED her to stop before it went too far. I told her to just stop contact, change phone etc etc. She said she would. Two months later, sexual affair begins - her infatuation increases and its like talking to a 15 year old.

Again, I beg her to stop before she is found out.

She gets found out - husband suspects something up and checks her phone and finds lovey dovey texts. It all blows up in her face, husband leaves, OM runs scared and teenage daughter devastated.

Fast forward 4 years, husband now in new happy relationship, teenager self harming and in therapy for depression and my freind is desperately lonely and full of regret and guilt. Her life is totally fucked and she wishes she could turn back the clock and appreciate her 'boring' husband.

ABigMess Wed 22-May-13 17:35:33

Hi Hollie,
I was in a very similar situation (but with no DCs) 6 months ago so feel like I have some perspective.
Firstly, looking back I realise that at this stage I didn't have a clear picture of either relationship. My relationship with DH, even though nothing changed from the outside, was damaged by the amount of time I spent talking/ texting/ visiting the OM and not with him. All those thoughts of "DH doesn't get me as much as OM" are coloured by this as you are sharing your most personal self with OM, not DH. My relationship with OH felt "soulmate" like because you are both able to project exactly what you want onto it, because you're not in each others real lives. Plus I think you project the soulmate crap into it to justify it to yourself.
What I decided to do was as someone above suggested; give myself a year to invest in my marriage without using OH to plug the gaps. It was one of the hardest things I've done, but I'm sure it was the right thing. I am loads more happy with DH because I am putting more effort into being loving, and addressing issues rather than getting cross about them and projecting them onto "if I was with OH...".
It was incredibly hard to begin with. I am confident in my decision, and confident that I will now be with DH forever, but that doesn't stop the fantasies and fear that I could've been happier. It takes strength of mind to stop yourself when your mind wanders to OH. You have to find something to fill the brain space; new hobbies, exercise etc.
Contrary to what others have said, and I'm not saying I'd recommend this, but OH and I have stayed in touch, very irregularly and never in person/ speaking, but maybe a text once a month. It's still raw now, and others will probably blast me for this, but I do really hope one day we'll be friends again.
Good luck Hollie, and remember you are in control here. All of the "I can't control myself" stuff is shit; feelings are one thing but you have a choice about how you act, don't try to dress it up in anything other than your own choices.
X

springymater Wed 22-May-13 17:51:13

ime (just saying!) men who get a bucket of cold water chucked over them, mid sniffing up your skirt, turn off like a switch - just. like. that.

I'm sure you'll bleat that it's not like that, that you really do love one another and he is holding off the sex to prove it blah de blah de blah. Sorry but that's bullshit. Sex is on his radar big time.

So the 'I love you! I'm in love with you! I've always been in love with you! All my life/ever since I met you!' is really 'I want to fuck you'.

Sorry to be so animal about this but you're kidding yourself if you don't see that this is a huge component of what is going on for him, at least. If not you, too.

LineRunner Wed 22-May-13 18:11:06

Anne Boleyn.

That turned out well.

End the affair. You need to give your marriage a serious go before you earn the right to consider leaving your husband and disrupting your DC's lives.

Spice17 Wed 22-May-13 19:10:36

The only thing I would like to add is that my 'D'F had an affair that resulted in him and DM divorcing.

I would have respected him SO MUCH MORE if he had just told my DM that he wasn't happy/didn't love her any more and hey had separated that way.

I find it hard to hold him in any kind of high regard any more and the poor man has really tried but it's almost like the Dad I thought I knew, with his faults and good qualities, died and there's no going back from that in my mind - EVER

What's that Phillip Larkin Poem? Something like 'They fuck you up your Mum and Dad, they don't mean to but they do' So think carefully OP.

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 19:54:19

Thank you everyone. This is giving me a much needed wake-up call. It's hard to take but I know you're right.
OM texted me 4 hours ago and I haven't replied yet. This probably sounds like nothing but I normally reply within a minute. I have no idea what to do now as I don't want to hurt him either (though know that sounds crazy). But head space is needed.
HH

18 years ago he was a cheat.

Nowadays he is a cheat.

If you don't stop this, he will have turned you into a cheat.

These strong feelings this obsession you have, are for a man who has already cheated on you.

From what you say about your DH, he deserves to be treated better than this.

There is some very good and thoughtful advice on this thread. To help you get on and decide quickly instead of prolonging the agony, I suggest you have another read through the whole thread.

There are so many difficulties ahead if you end your marriage to be with him, not least the fact you live in different parts of the country, so somebody's children are going to be hurt by not having regular contact with one of their parents. Will they be yours? Or his? Because somebody's children are going to lose out big time.

Perhaps, if you decide to end this affair, and go cold turkey about it, you could then go and have some counselling on your own to help you sort your head out. Tell your DH you have a got a few things bothering you and you need to go to counselling. Then, you can help yourself to get over it so you can start to put all of yourself back into your marriage.

frogwatcher42 Wed 22-May-13 21:05:02

'If I turn my back on this, I might regret it my whole life, and then I would resent the kids as being the only thing holding me back from finding happiness. '

What about the kids happiness? Is your happiness more important than theirs? My thoughts are that you give them 19 years of your life then do what you want - its not a lot in real terms.

I was really badly affected by my parents divorce. I pretended to cope and fooled everybody by my happiness and laid back style. Many years of on and off counselling later I can safely say I have never forgiven my dad for leaving. Funnily enough both my parents say the grass wasnt greener and regret their decisions, as do my dmil and dfil who also split and remarried.

I thought most kids managed it better than me. But I have been horrified at the number of my dc's friends that have actually told them how lucky they are having a mum and dad living together. I have even had two break down and cry at the dinner table when over for tea, as the parents have split within the past couple of years and it is still raw. Their parents think they are fine but one minute they were laughing with us all and the next crying.

Split if things are terrible and the kids are suffering. But imo don't if not - the kids come first.

Dozer Wed 22-May-13 21:16:09

shock about your comment about resenting the kids. I can't abide the selfish, entitled "I just had to put my own happiness first" (at children's expense) bollocks. You are hurting your children already, and could hurt them much much more if this goes on.

You don't know if OM is your "soulmate", but (even if you believe in soulmates) it's unlikely, more likely he's got flaws like anyone else, and your lurve and shared fantasies (more DC! What the actual fuck? What about the wellbeing of the DC you already have!) wouldn't last five minutes after the bucket of water springy describes.

If you left your H to be with OM, and OM was up for that (not likely) where would you live? Would you uproot the DC (and take them away from their - loving and caring - father) or expect OM to leave his behind? Ridiculous to think it could work out.

Putting this silly, unreal romance above your DC would be selfish and cruel.

If you want to end your marriage, fair enough. But don't fuck up the DC's lives by doing it in a shitty way and bringing OM into it.

Branleuse Wed 22-May-13 21:25:52

hes not your soulmate. Youre just really into him at the moment. Hes not your husband and he will never be your partner.

your family dont deserve to be cheated on.

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 22:06:33

I know in my heart what I should do. I think I do need counselling as it's scared me how easy it's become to lead a double life and it's hard to work out what my true feelings are. Is it possible to go through a midlife crisis in your early 30s?

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 22:11:04

Not trying to make excuses for OM but when he cheated before we were really young (teenage) so very different circumstances. I don't think he will ever leave his DW and I think I have been more into this whole thing than him. It is really my problem and I have to be the one to sort it.
HH

eatmydust Wed 22-May-13 22:12:28

If you really did feel 'sick with guilt about kids' you wouldn't be in contact with this man.

You need to wake up quickly before you destroy your family and cause an immense amount of hurt to innocent people. Alternatively - carry on and have a good time, but you'll have to live with the outcome.

If your marraige isn't right -talk to your DH and work to improve it. If you can't improve it then leave. You don't just throw things away that are broken but can be mended and replace them with a cheap subsitute - or maybe you do????

scaevola Wed 22-May-13 22:12:55

This isn't a mid life crisis. There's no need to dress it up in fancy terms. It's simple. You fancied someone else and acted on it.

If you mean to break off your affair, just I it. Send him a reply saying that you have realised that what you are doing is wrong and you have no desire to continue. Your DH and shower the most important things in your life and you are going to devote yourself to being the wife and mother they deserve. You expect OM to respect your wishes and never make contact again.

If you can't face doing that, then you really do need to think about ending your marriage.

What you mustn't do is nothing.

frogwatcher42 Wed 22-May-13 22:13:49

Hollie - is it too harsh to suggest that you just forget about your own feelings and accept that you have a family relying on you and that you need to concentrate on thinking about them. If you accept that then you won't need to work out what your feelings are and lets be honest as a mum you have commitments that come first.

I reckon we could all over-think our situations with our dh/dps, kids, 'boring lives', responsibilities etc etc. The conclusion would be that for loads of us we would feel unfulfilled, bored, or any manner of negatives. Being a wife, mother, daughter, friend etc all takes its toll. But it is what we chose and our kids didnt ask to be born.

You can have a life crisis at any point - it doesnt have to be mid life.

HollieHelen Wed 22-May-13 22:19:54

Don't know where to start talking to DH about improving the marriage? Mentioning OM would cause DH needless hurt and he would lose all respect for me which we need to carry on. Or should I just work on improving my side of things as this is none of DH's doing?

Heavywheezing Wed 22-May-13 22:23:27

Soulmate? Please grow up.

ABigMess Wed 22-May-13 22:23:57

Hi Hollie.
Sounds like you've made a really good decision. The next bit is hard though. I had some online counselling with relate when I was coming up to ending my affair (you can access this free on their website), and one of the things that they said was that it would feel like a loss, a grief, and just because you know you have been "bad" and don't deserve any sympathy doesn't mean it will be easier. Your grief here is the consequence of your actions and there's no easy way to deal with it.
I'm sure lots of people will blast me, and I'm not suggesting we should feel sorry for you... But do feel free to PM if you want some non-judgey listening.

frogwatcher42 Wed 22-May-13 22:27:35

Work on both. Concentrate on the things you like with DH as you have been pretty positive about him so far from what I can remember. And concentrate on him as the dc father.

Accept that marriages can get a bit dull and life can get dull with children! Get hobbies, get time with dh, spend time all together having fun.

I have no idea what to advise really and hopefully somebody better will come along - I just know that my marriage has good times and very bad times, fun time and dull as dishwater times all lasting a long time! I also know that I cant put my happiness first unless dh was dreadful (having affair, abusive or a bad father etc). And I have got happy again and more contented again. It seems to go in stages.

lowercase Wed 22-May-13 22:29:56

This is an obsession, which has nothing to do with love.

If you tell your DH you can work together on improving the relationship rather than being dishonest and resentful, pining away for your ex and potentially door is open for contact in future.

Shut the affair down.
Cut it off.
Don't feed into it.
Stop romanticising, it's like throwing glitter on shit.

Get honest, the truth ain't pretty, but it's a solid foundation.

Do the right thing.

scaevola Wed 22-May-13 22:32:17

Individual counselling for you might be helpful as it would let you explore why you did what you did, and build on your resolve to work on your marriage by actively considering what was wrong and what a better version would look like.

Alongside that, you need to direct the time you previously spent talking and thinking about OM towards your DH. Talk to him, about anything and everything. Think back to the kind of things you enjoyed with him before your affair. Can you plan a few things now that would foster that same mood?

lollydollydrop Wed 22-May-13 22:35:19

I'm so glad OP has mumsnetters to talk some sense into her. Please take the advice OP they know of what they speak.

lollydollydrop Wed 22-May-13 22:36:59

Why do people having affairs always try to justify it by calling them their 'soulmate'? Utter bullshit, doubt she's even fooling herself.

musickeepsmesane Wed 22-May-13 22:45:05

He knows where I am but thinks me and this other guy are just old friends

Your poor DH. He trusts you.

Selba Wed 22-May-13 23:28:04

Two excellent contributions by Frogwatcher

chipmonkey Thu 23-May-13 00:13:25

lowercase that is a brilliant expression "throwing glitter on shit"!

Hollie, first of all, what do you mean by soulmate? Is it just an expression you use to describe a perfect relationship? Or do you believe that on this earth, there are certain souls/spirits who are meant for each other and will be together in the afterlife?

If the former, then, frankly you can't possibly know if he is or not, based on the amount of contact you have. It is so easy to have a perfect relationship when you have none of the joint worries and stresses that couples have. You don't have to deal with him coming home in a bad mood because something didn't go well at work or the fact that he leaves the toilet seat up or leaves pubes in the shower. His wife has to deal with that. And he in turn, doesn't have to put up with you snapping at him because your period is due or that you fart in bed. Your husband has to deal with that.

If you believe in souls/spirits and that you were meant to be together, then I can relate a story to you. I read a lot of books on spirits and souls after my dd died. One was by a medium who was visited by people who wanted to talk to their loved ones who had passed over. One lady came to him because she wanted to talk to her OM who had passed over. When he was alive, she and he had described each other as soulmates and had said that he should have married her instead of his dw. She went to that medium expecting to be told that he would be waiting for her and that she had been his true love. But the message the medium passed on was that no, although he had loved her on earth, his true love was in fact his wife and that he had treated his wife very badly by having an affair with her. She left the session quite upset but in no doubt that it was a message from her OM.

I am not going to say that that last story is definitely true because you never can tell if that kind of story is true but because a lot of the stories in that book rang true for me, I was inclined to believe it. There are many here who will say it's patent nonsense which is also a valid point of view!

If your husband is a good man and a good father, then he doesn't deserve the fallout of your affair. Neither do your children who are innocent parties in all of this. Neither does the OM's wife and neither does his dc. So the only people who can possibly benefit are you and the OM. And even at that, your lives would still not be blissful, there will be battles over custody/access, stress over money and heartbreak because both of you will have periods of time when your children are with other people. Your children might not get on with your OM, and his child might not get on with you and possibly resent you for taking his/her Daddy away.

And there's the additonal issues that could arise. How can you ever trust each other if you know that the relationship started as cheating?

Do the right thing and end it. It will be hard and it will hurt but will result in less pain for everyone in the end. And you will be able to put more effort into your marriage.

Inertia Thu 23-May-13 00:29:14

Well, as your perspective appears to be all about what you want, you need to think about what you'll end up with.

OM cheated on you before. He's cheating on his wife now. It's entirely likely that once you become available he won't actually want you any more- he'll want his home comforts, and want to spend time with his own children rather than yours. Even if you got together, you'd always , always be wondering where he was, who he was with, whether he was cheating with his ex-wife or somebody else entirely.

You could well end up without your H or you children, and without OM as well. Or with him but in a thoroughly miserable life.

You aren't a teenager anymore. Grown-up relationships are not all about illicit snogs and raging hormones- real adults in real relationships work at it, put the hard hours in, and put their children first.

Stop before the choice is taken out of your hands. The MN boards are full of people discovering their partner's affair by accident. The partner is then asked to leave and they are not wanted back, however much they might have some sudden change of heart/realisation of their stupidity.
So please stop the affair/emotional entanglement now and delete all the messages.

springymater Thu 23-May-13 00:48:22

It was you who contacted him though, wasn't it? What did you expect?

You say your children are the only thing in the way of 'happiness' - what about your husband? Isn't he 'in the way' too? Is he a nothing and a nobody? It sounds like he is to you.

bellabelly Thu 23-May-13 01:08:56

If this man (the OM) were truly your soulmate, you'd have had sex by now, he'd have been begging you, since the first kiss, to leave your DH, you'd have left by now. Honest. The OM wants to have his cake and eat it. You don't want to see that right now but it's true, I promise. (I have been in a similar position, thankfully pre-kids.) I'm not judging you but if you DO end up leaving your DH, do it because you want to leave him, NOT because you're expecting OM to "rescue" you - the chances are that he won't.

Charbon Thu 23-May-13 01:12:32

Why do people having affairs always try to justify it by calling them their 'soulmate'?

Because women especially are socialised that illicit lust is only sanctionable if romantic love is involved, but more generally across the sexes, it's a common defence mechanism to claim that a Higher Power has been invoked and only that would have caused the person to act against their values and personal integrity. Unfortunately, many people believe that Romantic Love is a credible defence for inflicting grievous harm against others and this is a common characteristic in abusive relationships (I only hurt you because I love you so much) and triangular relationships of any kind.

The OP's marriage doesn't sound unhappy or miserable at all. In fact, remarkably given that she is in the midst of an affair which is likely to have evoked considerable dissatisfaction with her marriage and her husband, the OP has said throughout that this happened because of her own poor mechanisms for coping with feeling a bit bored and trapped, both of which are feelings experienced by most people at some stage of their lives.

The latter is a really crucial point.

Most people with marriages, jobs and children get to a stage in their lives when their existence seems to be all about Responsibility. Few people experiencing that don't occasionally yearn for something that is just for them, where they can briefly escape from the pressures and be carefree and selfish. An emotionally healthy person might negotiate a safe release valve within her partnership, or at least might share those feelings of restlessness and unease.

Someone with poor self-soothing and coping mechanisms will instead fail to take that risk with a partner and let him in (the OP admits she has shared none of her feelings with her partner) and will seek out a 'quick fix' escape mechanism to help her to function in life. To make this choice more palatable, she will dress it up as a Grand Love affair with her One True Soulmate.

Admiraltea Thu 23-May-13 02:14:21

De-lurking...as happy partner of very moral, good and decent man. His DW was out the door in less than a day after messages found.
Apparently v. sad that she wasn't allowed to "explain".
My good grin

Admiraltea Thu 23-May-13 02:24:12

Being a lot more serious, my marriage ended many years ago, no affairs and yet the irrational feelings I have occasionally towards my children's very lovely stepmother..relationship started 4 years after divorce...are pure jealousy..because I miss my kids when they are not here and want to share every memory with them... and that is from an ending nowhere near as messed up as yours will be.

Lovingfreedom Thu 23-May-13 05:30:52

A cautionary tale. My exH did this with a woman he once nearly had a thing with years ago. he told her he loved her...lots and lots of times. Then when I saw the messages he told me that in this case 'I love you' didn't mean 'I love you' but 'I LOVE you' and that really he loved me, his wife. Yes, it makes no sense whatsoever. After putting up with it and 'trying again ' for a while I kicked him out. Nothing like moving from a comfortable family home to a life on benefits to put your teenage fantasy life in perspective, I'm guessing. How romantic for him...and to her? (Who?) I say 'cheers!'....wine

plannedshock Thu 23-May-13 05:51:07

Sorry if I'm repeating what anyone else has posted but I've read your post and commented straight away.
You selfish selfish cow. Not the affair, the might resent the kids part. You might resent your kids for not ending your marriage to save their happiness. Just wow.
End your marriage and be with the other guy, stay with your husband and make it work, where does resenting the kids come into it? You should be ashamed of that statement.

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Thu 23-May-13 06:01:34

What would you do if dh found out today what you'd been doing ?

HollieHelen Thu 23-May-13 07:15:34

If DH found out today in a way I'd be relieved as I would like to talk through some of this with him but can't start the conversation.
I am ashamed of what I said about resenting the kids. I know none of this is their fault and they didn't ask for a crappy mum like me.

SoupDragon Thu 23-May-13 07:26:57

FFS, take a step back and wake up. He cheated on you before, he is cheating on his wife, you are cheating on your husband (clearly not your "D"H. Soulmate? Really? That doesn't say much about the state of your soul.

EuphemiaLennox Thu 23-May-13 07:37:55

Great post by Charbon.
Hollie I hope you've read that. If so, read it again.

You're not a terrible person or a crappy mum, you're a flawed individual struggling with emotions which are a frequent experience for so many people, just look at the relationships boards, although there you mostly see the fallout.
People ae trying to help you see more clearly, to prevent you causing unnecessary heartache and having huge regrets yourself.

Your feelings are normal, understandable even commonplace but now you have to make some choices about how you deal with those feelings.

cory Thu 23-May-13 07:50:05

From everything I have heard and seen in life, children suffer far less from an open divorce than from finding out by accident that the parent they trusted is a liar. And sooner or later they will find out- even if they never find the courage to tell you.

So out of three possible solutions:

A) stop seeing the OM

B) get a divorce to be with him

C) carry on as you are and end up being found out

C) is the one option that is absolutely guaranteed to damage your children. You have a choice between A and B. And you have to make it now.

HollieHelen Thu 23-May-13 07:57:28

Thank you, yes, Charbon's message is really useful. It seems my coping mechanisms are really bad.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Thu 23-May-13 08:10:18

Take on board the advice given.

It takes two to make a happy marriage, you must speak to your husband. You don't need to mention the OM, you could just say you are feeling unfulfilled, neglected, whatever, and start to discuss ways to improve things.

If he is totally unaware that there is a problem, you need to speak to him. Give him a chance.

Cut contact with the OM. You say he cheated when you were teenagers, well hey ho, looks like he never grew up as he's obviously not changed!

Your ego is being stroked at the moment, you are in the honeymoon stage/the exciting new relationship stage. You know it doesn't last. Work on getting the spark back with your husband.

I would suggest marriage counselling.

If after trying all avenues you decide you don't want to be with your husband, then work out how to leave. Finish one relationship before starting another.

Hollie, I feel a bit sad for you. You seem to be willing to throw away a good man and your family life for a serial cheater. To an objective bystander that is just insane, and a recipe for years of unhappiness.

HollieHelen Thu 23-May-13 08:21:00

Yes DH is really unaware and I know I need to speak to him but I just don't want him to feel that I'm accusing him of anything as this is not his fault in any way. I need to find a way of broaching the subject that makes it clear it's my problem.
HH

itwillgetbettersoon Thu 23-May-13 08:22:39

OP, please be careful. You mention that if your husband found out today you will discuss it with him. When I found out about my husbands affair I was in no place to discuss it with him! I kicked him out that day. Your husband may do the same - then what? There is no way I would take my husband back - he never had the opportunity. He broke my trust, respect and unconditional love for him. He lives with the OW but it isn't a life I am envious of. Please think again.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Thu 23-May-13 08:23:27

Just be honest with him. You married the man, you must be able to speak to him.

You don't have to point a finger at him and blame him for anything. Just tell him that you think the sparkle needs reigniting, or suggest some time out together alone. Do you get much time together?

HollieHelen Thu 23-May-13 08:23:34

I have tried other things - gym, running, trying to get a new job, talking about moving house to be closer to family for more support (my family, DH's are overseas). Nothing's helped so far but I know my current behaviour is not the solution.

AnyFucker Thu 23-May-13 08:24:25

Car.Crash.Waiting.To.Happen

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Thu 23-May-13 08:25:12

Not trying to make excuses for OM but when he cheated before we were really young (teenage) so very different circumstances.

Examine this statement of your own that you made.

When he was young and naive ... he cheated.

When he's matured, married and fathered children ... he cheated.

Yes, two very different circumstances. And what was his response to both? Then and now? To cheat.

Think about this.

The phrase 'once a cheater, always a cheater' is simplistic and often erroneous. But it looks like it applies extraordinarily well to this man.

musickeepsmesane Thu 23-May-13 08:30:38

If DH found out today in a way I'd be relieved as I would like to talk through some of this with him

Now you expect him to be understanding and listen while you dump your selfish, toxic waste on him?

I agree with all the comments above, but lets concentrate on helping the OP move forward given that it seems she has taken on board the advice?

1) Yes you have to end it to give your marriage (& his) a chance. You have to reconnect with both your partners individually.

2) You don't need to have any soul baring convo with DH just now WRT your emotional affair, but be frank with him that you feel you are drifting apart and want to commit to BOTH of you working on it

3) I bet he HAS been feeling shut out and disengaged from you even if he doesn't officially know why. Make a list of things you could do together just the two of you AND as a family to try & get some spark back.

You will have to get a grip here, be more proactive and see if you can move forward...good luck.

Snorbs Thu 23-May-13 08:41:31

OP, you may find an explanation of limerence enlightening. You have an infatuation. The chemical changes this has caused in your brain is blinding you to reality.

AuntieStella Thu 23-May-13 08:49:35

I'm not surprised you feel like a crappy mum. What you are doing right now is indeed crap and the fallout on the children could be huge.

If you want to stop being a crappy mum, you can do it.

It's your decision. Do you end the affair and really work at your marriage? Or do you end your marriage and work to establish a new life that provides well for DC?

Or do you just carry on being crap?

I don't think it matters which man you choose, or how you got into this mess. But how you deal with it now is crucial.

HollieHelen Thu 23-May-13 09:54:05

I don't expect DH to be understanding. I know he would be devastated and I don't want to hurt him as he is a good man and deserves more than this.

Bant Thu 23-May-13 10:05:49

OP - if you had slept with the OM, I think you should come clean with your H - but you haven't. You don't need to mention it to him but you do need to have the talk with your husband about fixing the marriage. You know that's what you need to do as you can't see yourself leaving him.

Shut out the OM - just do it. He wouldn't work out for you in the future anyway and you're at a point where you can seriously fuck up your life, and your kids lives, if you don't do it now. It'll hurt but it will hurt a lot more if you don't just stop it now.

CelticPromise Thu 23-May-13 10:07:23

I haven't read the whole thread, but listen to Euphemia. She speaks sense.

springymater Thu 23-May-13 10:14:42

Book a therapist NOW. It looks like you have the means, so book a few sessions a week. You have to speak in RL about this. it makes it real. (you will find reality surprisingly welcome, despite what you may think)

Please, please don't choose your husband as the one you speak to about how unhappy and unfulfilled you are in the marriage. Speak to someone unconnected first. Get yourself sorted a bit and, with the therapist's support, perhaps then start tackling things with your husband.

howlingcow Thu 23-May-13 10:16:57

You admit you need to reinvest emotional energy in your dh-is there any way the two of you can get away on your own for a weekend or longer leaving your dc's with parents/friends? Maybe you and dh are in a rut and that's why you're focusing elsewhere.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 23-May-13 10:35:03

Some brilliant advice here for you OP especially Charbon. One of my dearest friends got into a very intense crush like this a few years ago. It really was just a crush because she never even spoke to the man, they just exchanged longing glances at the gym/bus stop etc! My friend was in a very difficult place in her life/relationship. Basically she and her DH had had the most awful run of bad luck you can imagine, illness, loss of both their jobs, difficulties with one of their DCs, money worries, family worries. I think my friend was just absolutely looking for some sort of superficial escape. It was as if it was not the "real her" that was fantasising about this man but a sort of dream version of her!

Anyway, I did find it very hard to listen to her sometimes BUT she is a dear friend having a very, very diffcult time. It would seem that after a few months, while things began improving in their lives generally her crush disappeared. Her marriage is not perfect but she and her DH are working on it. I think it is human to be attracted to people outside your relationship occasionally. The difference is whether you act on it.

Whatever you decide to do I really think you need to cut off all contact with the OM for a long period and break yourself of that coping mechanism.

Ilikethebreeze Thu 23-May-13 10:38:19

It seem to me, that you have tried all sorts of things re the affair, but the one thing you have not tried very hard withm if at all , is actually talking to your husband about your own marriage.

Why not?

No need to mention the other man at all at this point.
But there seems to have been no emotional energy put into talking through what you would like different from your marriage.
Why not?
What are you afraid of?

HollieHelen Thu 23-May-13 11:26:55

Am just afraid DH will think I'm nagging him or asking him to change when he's not done anything wrong. Neither has OM really I've kind of pressured him into this situation. I am such a bad person.
HH

HollieHelen Thu 23-May-13 11:35:01

Not been in touch with OM since yesterday now and he has texted but haven't replied and I'm feeling guilty about that too ... Obviously even more guilty about DH and the kids. Just feel really worthless at the moment. Don't expect sympathy as I know I have caused all of this.
HH

BornToFolk Thu 23-May-13 11:39:26

If DH found out today in a way I'd be relieved as I would like to talk through some of this with him

shock That is so incredibly self centred! If your DH found out you'd been betraying him, you'd be relieved so that you could talk about it?! Your DH would be devastated, humiliated, angry, incredibly sad and confused.

And this is not all your problemm, this is not all about you. You are one of a couple, a partnership. You don't seem to have considered the impact on your DH at all, apart from how it will effect your life.

Do you have any respect left for your DH? If you are afraid to have an open, honest talk with him about the state of your relationship then there really is no hope for you, is there?

Ilikethebreeze Thu 23-May-13 11:45:28

HH.
Not sure if I am understanding you correctly.

A marriage is supposed to be a partnership.
If one person is not happy about something, they are supposed to tell the other one, so the two people can try and works things out.

I dont think I can understand what it is about your husband that you no longer like.
Perhaps you dont either?
Or you do, but are afraid to say anything, so every thing gets brushed under the carpet.

I think alarm bells rang for me when you said that you do not have rows.
Some people do not have rows in a marriage, because one or either or both are too afraid to say anything at all.

AuntieStella Thu 23-May-13 11:51:58

I'm not surprised you feel worthless at the moment, and you are unlikely to recover a sense of self worth whilst you choose to allow yourself to remain passive.

Once you actually break it off, you can then start to get things back on track.

EuphemiaLennox Thu 23-May-13 11:52:06

You know Hollie I actually think what you probably need to do is not necessarily discuss this with your dh right now or do anything to address your marriage.

What I think you probably need to do is just work on realising what a good thing you've got, the happiness and contentment you're looking for will come with that realisation.

You've obviously got lovely children who you love very much. Youre married to a man who is a good partner a good father and who is committed to your family. Yiuve won the jackpot but you just can't see it.

I know at least 2 people who's family life has been destroyed in different ways, and they've said that looking back those daily dull days if family life were what happiness is, its just they didnt realise tgat at tge time or until it was to late.

I could almost guarantee you that if you put this affair behind you, address your inner discontentment, and work on enjoying the actual life you have, that in 10 years time, when yiyre children are teens and youve years of memories of family life from their childhoods and you and your dh are celebrating your umpteenth anniversary reflecting on what you've done together in that time and chatting about the kids future plans, you'll have no regrets.

HollieHelen Thu 23-May-13 11:58:09

Yes I think you're right I need to work on seeing the good in what I have. The kids are amazing and I love them to bits. I respect DH enormously he is a wonderful dad, dedicated to his job, a good man in all respects really. I need to find a way to reconnect with him emotionally.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 23-May-13 12:00:28

Hi OP, something you said up thread was a real red flag. I'm no expert but you talked about trying to make it work with your dh because it would be better for the kids.
What about you ? Not better for you, at all?

I think this affair is a fantasy and a wake up call that you are not happy with your dh. This needs addressing irrespective of any affair. I think if it wasn't this affair you'd be with somebody else.
Be honest to yourself and your dh and get it sorted, for everyone's sake.

EuphemiaLennox Thu 23-May-13 12:06:59

Sorry for all the typos on my phone.

Hollie I can relate to you as I suspect you're someone who just exists with a feeling of almost constant discontentment for no quantifiable reason, I too suffer with this, but throughout my 30s came to understand this more about myself and how destructive it can be.

Im now in my 40s my marriage is stronger and happier than ever and I'm so glad I've learnt to read myself better,, control myself better and understand what it is I actually do want and what does make me happy.

I think this could be a period for you where you discover a lot about yourself, some of it not good but that's ok because once you recognise something it starts to lose its power, and tge future is instantly more hopeful than if you just keep blindly ploughing the idea that bliss exists somewhere beyond what you have.

Hope im making sense? cant read or edit on phone! !

howlingcow Thu 23-May-13 12:10:09

Remind yourself of what it was about your dh that made you fall in love with him in the first place. Maybe your dh is bored too but doesn't feel he can speak to you about it? You both need time together to reconnect.

Rhiana1979 Thu 23-May-13 12:13:57

I can't go into a full detailed post as I'm on my phone but felt the need to say this in the hope it opens your eyes and gives you a big 'ol slap in the face with a wet fish.

My father had an affair when I was a child and left.

My mother put her happiness first throughout my entire childhood. Many many times and in many many ways. She is a very selfish woman who always put her relationships before her daughter. My stepdad and her split several times over the years and he'd walk out and take everything in the house that he could fit in the car. But she always took him back. There were other men in between.

I dont see my father, havent since i was 10 years old.

Throughout the first few years of being with my husband I was convinced he would leave me. Because as far as I knew that's what men did.

Since having my own daughter 17 months ago I've felt an intense hatred towards my mother that I cannot control. I've had PND from trying so hard to be a good mother and not be like her. I wanted to be perfect. I've since had some counselling and realise my baby girl loves me warts and all. As long as I do my best by her. That's my point, I need to do the best by my daughter and I will fiercely protect her from harm all her life. Something my mother never did.

That's what affairs do to children. That's what selfish behaviour does to children.

It never leaves.

Rhiana1979 Thu 23-May-13 12:14:37

Emotional ramble there that I couldn't proof read properly. Apologies for errors.

Rhiana1979 Thu 23-May-13 12:15:35

Forgot to add.

If you haven't told your husband there's a problem then you can't talk through with him how to fix it.

springymater Thu 23-May-13 12:17:07

I can't see how you can spend time with your husband when he has become a cardboard cutout to you.

I'm wondering if you tend to see things in black and white? re married = should be happy/fulfilled. Bored = must get something from somewhere (hence initiating this affair).

You sound fucked up my darling. Join the club - plenty of us are. Go to a specialist who is trained to address fucked-upness. A therapist. Book a therapist, don't sit around telling yourself you are crapper than crap (it's a big self-indulgent to do that!). What you have done is crapper than crap, but that doesn't mean you are - it means you're making some crap choices. Get that under a microscope with a therapist who won't judge and will give you the space to explore all this. Therapists won't be shocked! Far from it.

If you can't do this for you, and you can't do this for your husband: do it for your kids! They are breathing this shit, whether you realise it or not sad

Havent read the whole thread.

There's nothing wrong with feeling trapped also nothing wrong in having feelings for somebody else.

But it is wrong to conduct a relationship of any form behind your poor dh back.

Why not split with dh spend some time sorting your head out and then see where you stand with om?

EuphemiaLennox Thu 23-May-13 12:18:15

Ok Hollie tell us more about your Dh.

Tell us in what ways he supports you.
Tell us what kind of father he is.
Tell us how you work together as parents.
Tell us what shared values you have.
Tell us when you last had a happy time together as a family.
Tell us when you last enjoyed time together as a couple.
Tell us what he would say about you.
Tell us how you felt on your wedding day.
Tell us about the plans you have for tge2 future.
Tell all about your hooes together as a family when your children were born.
Tell us who you can rely on most in the world.

Ok so this is a simplistic an obvious technique but im sure you've been minimising all tgese facts in your mind with a 'yes I know but OMs my Soul mate' type thoughts.

SomI'm saying change your thinking change your focus, and a change of feelings will follow.

HollieHelen Thu 23-May-13 12:45:23

DH supports me in that he lets me try new things if I want, e.g. running / new job.
He is a wonderful hands-on dad who comes home early from work to do bedtime then works all evening to catch up.
We work together as we are a bilingual family so language is an important issue and we really agree on it.
We both believe in similar parenting techniques, quite strict about behaviour, rudeness etc.
We went away as a family May bank holiday weekend which was lovely.
Not much time enjoyed as a couple.
He would say I was a good wife and mum.
On my wedding day I felt nervous but happy and hoped I was building a marriage to last.
We would like to move to be closer to my family.
We both thought we would like a big family but 2 kids has proved incredibly challenging so we are sticking with that and trying to do our best for them.
I can rely on my mum most in the world. But I cannot tell her any of this as she would never, ever forgive me.
HH

Ilikethebreeze Thu 23-May-13 12:55:03

Good questions and answers.

How much time do you spend with your husband?

EuphemiaLennox Thu 23-May-13 12:55:03

Ok does all that open up any chink in you thinking on soul mates and where your happiness may actually lie?

Again, I'm not suggesting making one list is going to solve your problem but it may be a step on the way to changing how you feel.

HollieHelen Thu 23-May-13 12:59:24

I would not describe DH has my soulmate but previous posts have suggested the term is pretty meaningless anyway. I would describe him as a fantastic dad and a good husband but we definitely do not spend enough time together without the kids (5 and 1) and there is little physical attraction between us any more.

HollieHelen Thu 23-May-13 13:01:24

At the moment I feel like working on the marriage for the kids's sake is definitely the right thing to do. I don't know if it will make me happy but maybe that will be clearer down the line and at least I wouldn't be feeling so guilty all the time, and the kids will be far better off.

squeaver Thu 23-May-13 13:03:40

I think you're getting a lot of very constructive help on this thread. I just wanted to pick up on something you said earlier about the OM "I think I'm more into this than he is." And you said he'd never leave his wife.

I don't necessarily think that the fact he cheated on you when you were teenagers is relevant. BUT, please try to see this situation for what it is. He is using you. He's getting off on the fantasy that you're creating around the situation. He's storing up some nice memories for his wank bank. And he's doing it all guilt-free.

Of course, he's not cheating on his wife!! He hasn't had sex with you, after all. Do you really think he's going through the same anguish and guilt that you are? Do you really think he believes that you're his soulmate? Maybe realising this will help you appreciate what you've got.

I think many people want the excitement, hearts and flower's ect.

But with responsibility that fades its a given.
Whats more important is somebody who loves you unconditionally and is there for you.

Ilikethebreeze Thu 23-May-13 13:08:46

HH.
I think you need "date nights",[or whatever the MN phrase is] or somrthing similar.

But above all, I think you need to do it for you, for HollieHelen.

I get the distinct impression that you have lost yourself somewhat in your relationship with your husband.

creole Thu 23-May-13 13:09:52

De-lurking...I like this article in the psychologytoday about soulmates, makes for interesting reading....

Soul mates

EuphemiaLennox Thu 23-May-13 13:22:06

How do you think your dh would respond if you said that you wanted to spend more time together alone. That you missed that and wanted it back. With him!

Could you prioritise this? Would your mum have the kids for few days?

Think about how and when you and your dh really used to connect.
For me it's as boring as going to the pub together. I just love and need that feeling of a bottlof wine and talking all evening - as we can go without hardly speaking properly for days! For others it's a shared hobby or place that nyst takes you together out of the mundane and you focus on each other.

It wont be fireworks it won't have the thrill of elicit texts, but it will be you sharing a good time with your husband and it will be REAL.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 23-May-13 13:23:28

OP... this is a topic close to my heart. I'm 'nursing' a friend through her break-up with OM, which has left her bereft and almost suicidal. sad

You've had some fantastic advice on this thread. You obviously do love your husband even if you've had your head turned by OM. It happens. I think the advice from squeaver about ignoring your teenage relationship is excellent; I think you're a little too fixated on that and it's getting you through the 'hard times' of realising that he's not into this as much as you are... See the reality for what it is and try not to dress it up as something else because that way leads to a world of pain and hurt for you and anybody else who finds out.

Can you speak to somebody confidentially about this? I'm asking because I think you should keep it a secret. That's not a commonly agreed philosophy but, if you tell, you have no control over what happens to that information and, if you want your marriage to work you may lose that option. Also, if you are prepared to end this affair now, before anybody knows, you can draw a line and make your marriage what you want it to be. There's no harm in telling your husband that you feel there isn't enough 'couple time' or that affection is in short supply sometimes, it's something you can both work on. Telling your husband about the affair - if it's over - is not going to help your marriage and I don't believe you'd be able to cope with the ongoing lack of affection and couple-time COMPOUNDED by the pain and anguish that this revelation will cause.

Can you keep a secret? I mean, REALLY keep it? Building on your marriage and your hopes that you had on your wedding day? See this as the inconsequential 'blip' it can be viewed as? You have much to lose - and much to gain - by keeping silent. Can you do that?

EuphemiaLennox Thu 23-May-13 13:27:01

First things first though.
Ditch the daydream and the man. Properly with no going back because we can't quite do it scenarios.

Givr yourself week to come to terms with it realky being a dead dream...then make yiur marriage your priority.

I heard a phrase once, obviously aimedrat men 'the best thing you can do for your children is to love their mother. '
the reverse of this is true for you.

musickeepsmesane Thu 23-May-13 13:28:12

HH aren't you lucky everyone is being so understanding and trying to help you?

You have cheated on your husband. You have put two marriages in jeopardy. You are self indulgent and selfish. Your posts are all about you and your feelings and, to be frank, I don't think you are taking on board most of the good advice here. I think you only care about yourself, you want, want want for very little input from yourself. You are the very epitome of what is wrong with marriage today - all me, me me and no give. Grow up or leave your husband. He sounds like he deserves better.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 23-May-13 13:32:53

What's the alternative, musickeepsmesane? Give the OP a verbal slapping? To what end? OP is coming around to her own thoughts on making her marriage work, only she can do that. I don't see the point of sending her off with insults ringing in her ears.

Everybody is selfish sometimes and everybody lies sometimes... <shrugs>

Samu2 Thu 23-May-13 13:38:57

Soulmates are made, not born.

You have been given some great advice here. It's been lovely to see people offer advice instead of just slating you.

I really hope you take all this aboard. Your OM is not your soul mate, it's just a fantasy.

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Thu 23-May-13 13:39:52

Rhiana1979. No, what you describe is what your parents did to you.

My Dad was a serial shagger who left my Mum when I was 6. She married a man I tolerated and best, and loathed quietly at worst. I am neither bitter nor scarred by either of those facts and have an excellent relationship with both my parents. Because despite their own personal shortcomings they never let them affect me. I'm sorry that your experience is the same, but your experience, like mine, is just anecdote, and doesn't mean that the OP's will be the same as either of ours.

<hijacks slightly to wave to LyinWitch, it's me Bucharest!> I am also nursing a friend who has just been dumped (thankfully tbh) by her married man. As ever MN threads are invaluable in helping me decide what to say to her...

Hollie

Everything you've said SCREAMS to me that you haven't worked hard enough to save your marriage yet.

It truly is starting to sound like it's dawning on you that you want to try.

I don't think you should walk away without trying!

When DH and I hit a similar point a few years ago (no affairs but some equally difficult shit going on) that is what I thought - ok, my marriage may not be what I want, but I haven't tried everything I can yet to save it. I owe it to DH, the DCs and myself to try my damndest to fix it and find my happiness within my family. Then if I'm still unhappy, I will know that I did everything in my power to try and fix things, but it just didn't work out, and then I would be able to leave with a clear understanding that I was doing it for the right reasons. A clear conscience.

We worked bloody hard, counselling, forcing ourselves to be more physical, starting with things like cuddles and massages and working our way up to sex, definitely going on more "date nights" (really hate that term), finding small ways to be kind to each other, talking more (our counsellor even had us on a script "Tell me 3 best things and 3 worst things about your day") and so on.

Now no marriage is "perfect" but we are happy. And content. We are real partners now, us against the world.

Don't tell your DH about the affair. That is just unfair - hurting him just so you can have the luxury of "being forgiven" (BIG IF) and a "clear conscience". I am afraid the guilt and the fear and self-loathing are your crosses to bear for acting this way in the first place.

Good luck.

musickeepsmesane Thu 23-May-13 13:47:02

When a wife whose husband is cheating comes on, she is encouraged to LTB. Here we have a wife who is cheating. She needs a verbal slap. We are all selfish sometimes - lies sometimes - yes. Sometimes. She is lying all the time. 24/7. To her husband. Who trusts her.

At the moment I feel like working on the marriage for the kids's sake is definitely the right thing to do. I don't know if it will make me happy but maybe that will be clearer down the line and at least I wouldn't be feeling so guilty all the time, and the kids will be far better off.

It is still about her. For the kids sake? Really? The ones she resents? What about her husband? Sounds like she is stringing him along, waiting to see if things are going to get better 'down the line'. Also, working on a marriage for the kids sake doesn't work. A marriage has to be an equal and trusting partnership.

HollieHelen Thu 23-May-13 13:48:55

Thank you for the suggestions about talking to DH about couple time / alone time - I have known for a while I need to do this but have been ignoring the feeling but I really need to make time for this now.
I think I can keep a secret - I know some people have said the truth is the only solid foundation for a marriage but if I tell DH about this I don't think we'll have any chance of rediscovering things.
The best thing I can do for the children is to love their father ... this means a lot to me. I think I need to explain to DH that we need to be husband and wife first not the kids' mum and dad first if that makes sense.

HollieHelen Thu 23-May-13 13:50:22

Working on the marriage IS for the kids' sake - if there were no kids involved I would already have left DH. However there are so I have to face that and deal with the marriage.

Ilikethebreeze Thu 23-May-13 13:54:54

yes yes yes, especially to your 13.48pm post.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 23-May-13 14:11:19

<quick wave to the lovely Bucharest... was wondering where you were>. Maybe a bit relevant to this thread but, we're both nursing friends with broken hearts... I wonder if either of them would have swapped that first exhilaration for the 'nothing' of not starting the affair?

HollieHelen... You still have a chance to put things right with almost zero damage (except to you for a while). Don't be in the position of being forced to deal with a break-up that you don't want.

TonytheFish Thu 23-May-13 14:48:37

"HollieHelen Thu 23-May-13 13:50:22
Working on the marriage IS for the kids' sake - if there were no kids involved I would already have left DH. However there are so I have to face that and deal with the marriage."

And once the children are no longer young, but adults with their own lives...do you think your DH will get kicked to the curb?

He also deserves to be happy and be with someone who loves him. I doubt he wants someone who will just "deal" with the marriage.

You do not want to leave as you do no want your life disrupted, you will not leave the children behind as you could not bear to be without them(seemingly forgetting your Dh will be in the same boat but he has no choice in the matter).

If you plan on staying with your Dh, and not tell him the truth, then your entire marriage, the rest of your lives will be built on a lie. You will have to lie to him every day for the rest of your life.

You have already said that you will resent the children from stopping you being happy and what has changed? Do you think you will resent your children and husband, as they have stood in your way?

Charbon Thu 23-May-13 14:55:12

Personally, I would make no hard and fast decisions about being honest with your husband about your actions. There are in any case pros and cons for that, but it is in my view not the most pressing issue here.

That is to end the affair and tell the OM that you want no contact with him at all, asking him to respect your decision.

Then I'd suggest you get some individual therapy where you can reflect on this experience. It would be helpful to focus on you as an individual and the coping mechanisms we've discussed, how much your father's actions and your altered childhood has influenced your choices, an objective assessment of your marriage (particularly before the affair started) and to give you a safe space to grieve the end of the affair and cope with addiction-weaning, plus some discussion about the potential consequences of honesty and keeping the secret.

I'd recommend that you talk to your husband and permit some initial honesty about your misgivings about your personal relationship, but I would try to think a bit more laterally here and recognise that some of your feelings might not be isolated to your marriage but also your lifestyle in general. As others have suggested, it would be remarkable if your husband did not have his own disappointments and frustrations both with life and with your relationship.

There is a risk with a conversation like this that your husband might ask you directly whether you have romantic feelings for the friend you have been having an affair with, in plain sight. Telling a lie at this point will have its own consequences, so I'd advise you to think very carefully about what you might do in that event.

Prioritise what needs to be done first, but please reject an inertia option.

lifeshocker Thu 23-May-13 18:57:11

The only people who use the term soul mates are people like you trying to justify their affars and lies. It makes me cringe everytime I hear that expression

lifeshocker Thu 23-May-13 18:57:36

The only people who use the term soul mates are people like you trying to justify their affars and lies. It makes me cringe everytime I hear that expression

ashamedgay Thu 23-May-13 18:58:54

Why do you call him your soulmate, and that you don't think your DH is??

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Thu 23-May-13 20:26:03

What about the people married to their soul mates, lifeshocker?

Snog Thu 23-May-13 20:33:36

I think you have already moved on from your marriage and would be living a lie to pretend otherwise which serves nobody. You are kidding yourself that it serves either your dh or your dc imo.

I think you need to leave this marriage.

Doughnutmaestro Thu 23-May-13 20:54:36

I think you're fooling yourself if you think your husband doesn't know, my mum had affairs all through my childhood and even though my dad never said anything about it he knew what was happening but desperately tried to keep the family together and stay with the wife he loved. My dad died when I was 21 and my mum was remarried within a year, I never forgave her for how she behaved and We ended up being estranged, I haven't seen her in years and she died a month ago never having met my ds (I reached out to her but she was too wrapped up with her new husband) we all grew up knowing about what mum was doing and I grew up with the idea that men were there just to be used to get things from and I thought women had to use sex to make men do what they wanted.
It's taken me a long time to get to a place where I can be the wife and mother my family deserves, but ill never forgive my mother, I wish she had just left and let my dad find someone else or be happy alone I even think we would have been better off in care than in that environment do you really want that for your kids?
Your husband knows what's going on, he knows you've been spending time with om and will have noticed you deliberately being more attentive and will probably have noticed you texting so to think that you can get out of this without hurting him is deluded you already have hurt him.

I say leave him and leave the kids with him. If you want to leave you leave but you have no right to take them away from their father and home.
If you're going to stay cut contact with om, spend time being a good wife for your husband and a good mother to your children and if any man ever turns your head again you need to have a good strong talk to yourself and wonder whether its worth ruining so many lives so you can have a bit of excitement.

I'm sorry if that's harsh but if you were a man posting this everyone would have told you straight off that you are wrong.

HollieHelen Thu 23-May-13 21:56:26

Have contacted OM tonight, said we have no future together as am going to work on marriage for kids' sake. He has no intention of leaving wife and baby.
We have drawn a line under it.
Now I need to try and talk to DH and also try and be there properly for him and the kids rather than acting a part half the time.
HH

HollieHelen Thu 23-May-13 22:01:58

If I can work out childcare etc will also try and see a counsellor.

musickeepsmesane Thu 23-May-13 22:02:09

Well done you. I hope you find the spark with your DH. He sounds lovely. If you find it a struggle maybe you should get some extra help, maybe some counselling as suggested by others. I hope it works out for you and your family

musickeepsmesane Thu 23-May-13 22:02:32

sorry x post!

Cherriesarelovely Thu 23-May-13 22:06:35

Good luck OP and well done. I also hope things work out for you all.

HollieHelen Thu 23-May-13 22:17:24

This has been really helpful. I'd not dared to talk to friends or family and this has really woken me up to how people perceive what I was doing.

Distrustinggirlnow Thu 23-May-13 22:50:01

I know it may not feel like it HH but you have so done the right thing smile
Stay strong and spoil your DH, he sounds so lovely.
Sending you thanks

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Thu 23-May-13 22:57:09

You have done the right thing, so credit where credit is due.

Hopefully the insights and wisdom and kindness on this thread has been helpful, and something you can reflect back on if and when your marriage goes into another trough, as it inevitably will. Likewise, enjoy the peaks when they come. smile

apatchylass Thu 23-May-13 23:18:29

Oh the 'soulmate' has a wife with a small baby? What a catch he'd turn out to be. Good news that you gave him the boot.

In long marriages people fall in and out of love with their DPs. Work on it. Enjoy time with him, alone, with friends and as a family. One day you might well surprise yourself and suddenly turn round and think, 'Phwoar' again at your DH. Or if not 'phwoar' at least that lovely warm rush of love you get for someone you have been through life's major events with. That counts for far more than a bit of furtive fumbling with a bloke whose wife is changing his baby's nappies.

Good luck HH and post again if you need to talk more as you go through the process

springymater Fri 24-May-13 01:18:21

Well done. You've done the right thing.

Whatever it takes, get to a therapist. It's vital you do imo xx

I have followed yours, & others comments all the way through. Congratulations on making the correct decision for all concerned, it will be hard at first, to not dwell on this soul mate relationship ending like this. Let the hours turn into days, & the days into weeks,etc: you will soon be back on track.thanks best wishes.

Yogii Fri 24-May-13 08:45:36

Tell your H it's for the kids' sake that you're with him. If that's the only reason you're going to spend the next decade or more with him, he deserves to know.

TonytheFish Fri 24-May-13 09:39:08

"Yogii Fri 24-May-13 08:45:36
Tell your H it's for the kids' sake that you're with him. If that's the only reason you're going to spend the next decade or more with him, he deserves to know."

Yep cant help but get the impression this man is going to be dumped as soon as the kids have left.

Look, if you think you can really make it work with your husband, and not just a "for now until the children are old enough" but in a growing old way, then yeah go for it, but if not, at least have the decency and show your husband some respect for once and let him have a say in this decision.

Otherwise, ten, fifteen years down the line, he is going to have his world ripped apart out of the blue, while you have spent the last 10 years merrily planning for that day. You let him know now, he may want to try and work on it with you, or he may not, and that is it and he has the chance of finding someone who actually loves him, but at least he will have the choice.

This is all about you making decisions and choosing, while the poor sod you are married to knows nothing.

Snog Fri 24-May-13 10:15:07

I agree with Tony, can't really see that you treat your dh with respect and without respect really what is there?

LadyMaiBlossom Fri 24-May-13 10:42:16

Imo you need to tell your dh you fancy someone else and it is causeing problems in your relationship. That you will not see or contact the person you fancy but need counciling and to work on your marrage with dh.

He has a right to know his marrage is at stake and how you feel about him.

I would say if you cant be honest with him there is no way it will work or change as dh doesnt know the whole situation.

He is not just your dh but a person in his own right with feelings, needs and wants of his own. Respect him enough to handle the truth and make his own choice.

Tell him the truth, move out to give him some thinking space and take it from there.

Charbon Fri 24-May-13 11:42:20

It's good that you've ended this affair but I hope that means absolutely no contact at all with the OM.

One of the things I feel you need to address is your motivation for ending it. From what you've said about you being more committed to the OM than he was to you, I wonder whether you ending this has been motivated by self-interest again, rather than an altruistic motive to stop doing something you know will be harmful to others.

I think you need to be honest with yourself about that.

If the OM had promised yesterday to leave his wife and baby and set up home with you, what would you have done?

This greatly affects what happens next in your marriage and in what you will learn about yourself. If you've worked out that you weren't as important to the OM as he was to you and that he was therefore never going to be able to give you what you wanted, ending this has been self-protective. But it also means that you might now view your husband as the 'second prize' and you might also be at risk of having another affair in a quest to make a man choose you above all others.

Affairs like this don't always start because of low self-esteem, but when they end like this, they are notoriously bad for it. It's not unusual therefore for someone whose ego is disproportionately defined by men's attention to keep having affairs in the hope that eventually, a man will make the ultimate sacrifice for her. So this is something I'd urge you to think about and take steps to avoid.

I'd think about how 'losing' in this affair is going to impact on your feelings for your husband, too. Your attitude towards him and your marriage are not going to be helped by regarding him as the safe option after this loss.

Loulybelle Fri 24-May-13 11:52:09

I feel sorry for your husband, hes a last resort, an after thought, and an inconvenience to your selfish drives, its all about you and no one else, this man you'll resent for being there and he doesnt even know about it.

Do you really want your marriage to work ie for life or just til the kids are old enough, then rip his life apart and take him for a ride?

From what I've read so far, if this cheater said lets go into the sunset, you'd drop your DH and rip the kids away from their home, just to get what you want.

You need help for yourself to help discover why you so selfish towards the ones who love you, and give yourself to a man who only wanted to shag you.

ashamedgay Fri 24-May-13 12:39:01

I don't buy that she has drawn a line under it and agree not to talk again. I know how many times you tell OM that it's over but always go back regardless

tumbletumble Fri 24-May-13 12:47:32

Well done OP, you are doing the right thing. Good luck.

TonytheFish Fri 24-May-13 13:10:48

How is it the right thing? She holds all the cards and has all the choosing to do. Her Dh is the unknowing fool in this little drama. He is not being allowed to even know that there is an issue, and knowing that he is second choice.

And i doubt she has gone from:

" But I just can’t reconcile that with the way I feel about this other guy who truly is my soulmate. - If I turn my back on this, I might regret it my whole life, and then I would resent the kids as being the only thing holding me back from finding happiness. "

To cutting contact completely and actually working on her marriage on 2 days.

Her choice has been between OM and DH, and if OM would leave his wife and small baby, then OM would be her choice. So her DH is second choice, and if he is second choice, she should have the guts to leave him regardless of what the OM is doing. Her Dh deserves to be first choice for someone and be loved for who he is, not just because he is a good father and you don't want to have to share custody of your kids or lack the courage to actually leave and be alone.

HollieHelen Fri 24-May-13 13:27:28

DH is not second choice because he is the kids' dad and they adore him so that makes us a family. OM and I are not a family.
If there were no kids involved and OM said let's ride off into the sunset then yes I would, but there are kids involved so I have to stay for them. And by that I don't mean until they're grown up. My dad left when I was 17 and that was terrible.

OrmirianResurgam Fri 24-May-13 13:27:30

I have an idea. Email your soulmate and tell him you are going to tell your H about the affair and then your H will tell Mrs Soulmate. Tell him how excited you are about finally getting together with him without all the lies. Then see what happens.

OrmirianResurgam Fri 24-May-13 13:29:13

Hurrah! Just read your update.

But please tell your H. Tell him that you got too close to someone and it frightened you that it could happen. And that you need to work on your connection with him.

HollieHelen Fri 24-May-13 13:29:58

Why would I do that? I know what would happen - he would say that he wasn't going to leave her. Anyway I'm not going to leave DH like I said.

Loulybelle Fri 24-May-13 13:38:38

Hollie, its not about either men, its about the thrill and drama this has created, its curing you of your bordem. You've created a fantasy with a willing person, and you get off on the thrill of it, now your too far in, and realising what the fuck am i doing.

Stop thinking about how boring your life is, and start looking at your life as it is, all the nice yummy things you like about your life.

Write a list about all the nice things you value in your husband as the person he is and what about being his wife and having him as your husband, and being in a couple that you once enjoyed

Write about being a mother and what being a mother to your children means to you.

Instead of putting all your fantasies into a user, put them into writing and enjoy them.

TonytheFish Fri 24-May-13 13:44:32

"If there were no kids involved and OM said let's ride off into the sunset then yes I would"

This makes him second choice. As a man, he is second choice.

You leaving would not stop him being the kids dad or them adoring him.

So, what is your plan when the kids have left home? You plan on being with dh for the rest of your lives? Since you have admitted you are only staying with him because of the children.

You have to stay for the kids, you you you. Well you know what, your dh is very unlikely to want to stay with you knowing that you are only staying with him because you have children together.

You have been selfish carrying on this affair, knowing that you would never really leave your dh, as "I have to stay for the kids" as if it is you making the huge sacrifice here. And you will continue to be selfish and having to lie to your husband, unless you actually let him know what has been going on.

Why don't you come clean (including the bit about running off into the sunset with the om if you didn't have children)and ask him if he feels like he is second choice or not eh?

HollieHelen Fri 24-May-13 13:48:22

Yes I will stay for the rest of our lives - we'll still be the kids' parents even when they've left home.
I will look into counselling before thinking about telling DH as if this is just all in my head I don't want to hurt him just because of a stupid fantasy of mine.

Charbon Fri 24-May-13 13:59:57

Are you going to have no contact at all with the OM?

HollieHelen Fri 24-May-13 14:07:03

Not texting will be really hard but I am going to try. We live far apart and have no mutual friends so there's no chance of meeting other.

HollieHelen Fri 24-May-13 14:07:46

That should have been meeting each other.

HollieHelen Fri 24-May-13 14:10:11

When I say not texting will be really hard I'm not looking for sympathy what I mean is it has come to dominate my life, which I find scary, so now I need to use that time and brain space to do stuff with/for DH and the kids.

Loulybelle Fri 24-May-13 14:16:33

Delete his number and anything else that means you cant give into temptation.

Charbon Fri 24-May-13 14:21:15

Has there been any contact since the break-up conversation then?

EuphemiaLennox Fri 24-May-13 14:41:30

You know I can probably also say that I wouldn't be with with DH still if we hadn't had kids. In fact I've had that conversation with my DH.

This is because I think of I hadn't had kids I would have continued my pattern of serial monogamy without ever really having a reason to break it. I know enough about my flawed pesrsonality to know that I seek and thrive on the excitement of a new relationship, I seek those heady thrills at the start, I 'fall in love' easily, and out again easily, I get bored, I get critical, I get discontented, I move on.

Or at least I used to and I suspect without children I would have continued to, and would have ended up divorced, and unhappy.

This does not mean I only stay with my DH 'for the children' as some of you seem to be implying of Hollie.

I stay because I want and love being a family unit, I love that my DH is commited to us, and I'm commited to him and them, I love that we're united in bringing up the children who are ours and who only we can love as we do as their parents, I love that we have a shared goal in life that we both put this above everything else, I love that we work hard together for this, I love that together we create family memories that we can share forever.

This is why marriage is about more than just the romantic love, and why I've given up my endless pursuit of high of romantic love highs because of the children or our family not forthe children.

And I'm thinking this is what Hollie is now also hoping to achieve.

It's probably more accurate to say its because we are a family rather than because of the children. Because we had children my DH became my family and not just a man I'd fallen in love with and married.

He is the only man who could be the father of my children (that I have) but I know I could go around 'falling in love' quite easily.

I hope Hollie, that this episode is a learning curve for you, about your own flaws, reactions, coping mechanisms, and what it is you really want.

Sorry if I've rambled a bit there about me, I just thought it may help address all the simplistic 'don't just stay for the kids comments.'

Once again Charbons post are spot on about this, please read those carefully I think they should be very useful to you.

ashamedgay Fri 24-May-13 17:49:14

When things start to go wrong again in your current relationship you will go running back to OM for a pick me up, gurantee it. It is hard to break off something that makes you feel alive but it's not real and you have to look at what you have that you could lose. I don't think any of this needs to come out, just think you need a good time to think, get it out your system. Fall back in love with your husband, make him your soulmate I'm sure your his, keep your chin up x

TonytheFish Fri 24-May-13 18:35:34

"In fact I've had that conversation with my DH" And there is the difference.

You know, I probably could not 100% say I would be with Dh if we didn't have kids, as it is a hell of a lot easier to walk away when you don't have children to add into the mix. So certain things we have overcome, we did because we are a family and there is love and respect. With no children our lives would have taken a different path, so who knows where we would be now.

She has admitted she does not see her Dh as her "soul mate" and she has no intention of letting her Dh in on the fact that there are serious issues within his marriage and that his wife has been dreaming away about running off with some bloke. That is what is wrong. There is no respect here since she plan on pretty much lying to him for the rest of their lives, and that is what she will gave to do.

There was a thread on here a cpl months ago, where a woman, 12 years after the fact, ended up drunkenly admitting she had had a bit of a one night "fling" with a female friend. To her, it was 12 years ago and not a big deal, to her Dh, it was like yesterday,and that was it, marriage over. he felt betrayal more that she had stayed married to him, had more children with him, all the while, in the knowledge that the marriage was not what he thought it was. These things have a way of coming out, maybe not now, but say in ten years or so, and to him, it will be like it just happened.

Snog Fri 24-May-13 20:23:29

Do you respect your dh, OP?

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