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Moving from being the OW to being his girlfriend...

(744 Posts)
beingmyself Wed 26-Jun-13 14:41:19

I've got my flameproof suit on and will start by saying I know being in an affair is a selfish and cruel thing to do. I did it. He did it. We decided we wanted to be together so after having an affair for several months we both left our spouses. He has moved out and so has my h.
We are not living together though and are not intending to for a while. We are also still secret and will remain so for some time.

Is anyone who has been there brave enough to come and talk to me about the highs and lows of finally getting to be together? I knew it would continue to be a rollercoaster and would really appreciate anyone who's willing to talk about it with me to do so here or to PM me!


mirry2 Wed 26-Jun-13 14:43:23

At least you've parted from your partners so now you don't need to feel guilty

GetStuffezd Wed 26-Jun-13 14:43:25

CBA to moralise, but you do know you'll never be able to fully trust him, don't you? He can cheat without effort, lie to a partners's face. It's a matter of time before it happens again.

glamstretchmarks Wed 26-Jun-13 14:46:01

No advice but agree with mirry2 - at least it wasn't a long affair, and you have both eventually had the decency to leave your poor spouses.

You wont be able to trust him, nor he you, so it will probably end in disaster or stay distrustful. Time will tell.

ChipsNEggs Wed 26-Jun-13 14:46:26

Why did you make your husband move out? You were the one cheating so you should have left.

alphacourse Wed 26-Jun-13 14:47:54

Well done you for bagging a deceitfull liar. What a catch.

NotAnotherPackedLunch Wed 26-Jun-13 14:48:09

I guess you've now created a vacancy.
Will you ever be able to stop wondering which SituationsVacant column he's going to use this time?

AuntieStella Wed 26-Jun-13 14:48:11

There aren't any highs, except the relief that you're no longer a secret. A bit double-edged though, as secrecy tends to fuel an affair and although you hope a solid new relationship will emerge, it's by no means a given.

The lows are, I'm afraid, numerous. Especially if either of you has DC. Families tend to remain polite, but friends will divide. Expect to lose many - especially if you and OM had overlapping circles.

MexicanHat Wed 26-Jun-13 14:49:36

I really hope that there are no DC in this situation.....

Justfornowitwilldo Wed 26-Jun-13 14:50:00

'Moving from being the OW to being his girlfriend ...'

... creates a vacancy?

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 26-Jun-13 14:50:52

so after having an affair for several months - in whose book is this not a long affair hmm - certainly not the person who has been cheated on, whose partner has 'checked out' of the relationship.

what goes around comes around - please look forward to that one.

it is still a secret - so neither of you had the decency to tell your partners why you were leaving them and have just left them wondering where it all went wrong. Brilliant. hmm

Why not post on another website - why pick one for parents, where a fair few are now single parents due to this selfish kind of behaviour? Surely there are websites for people who can't exert a bit of self control?

EldritchCleavage Wed 26-Jun-13 14:53:55

Well, I find it interesting that it is still a secret, even though you've both left your partners. Are you hooked on the secrecy? I'd say the biggest risk is not being able to adjust to the mundanity of an open, ordinary relationship.

glamstretchmarks Wed 26-Jun-13 14:54:02

Chipping - true, I guess I still have the ten and a half year example in my head...

Clargo55 Wed 26-Jun-13 14:55:29

Why on earth did your husband have to move out of his home?
You cheated, you wanted to be with another man, you should leave.

TSSDNCOP Wed 26-Jun-13 15:03:05

So in fact you are still deceiving your spouses, to whom you are both still presumably married.

Why is that?

It it because it will effect the settlement of potential divorces? I hope it doesn't screw any kids out of financial support.

Leavenheath Wed 26-Jun-13 15:03:09

Seeing as your relationship is still secret, it's still in that unreal phase where you can't act naturally and honestly. The only relevant advice therefore would be from people who also lied to their partners, children, friends and family about why their marriages broke up and how that impacted on all those relationships and not just the hidden one. Plus maybe some advice about how it's possible to continue to live with yourself as a liar. In other words how your relationship with yourself has been affected.

You might hear from people who say it's all gone swimmingly and they have no regrets, but bear in mind that people twist reality to fit the situation they are in and there is a tendency for denial to live on until they can face the truth.

GiveMumABreak Wed 26-Jun-13 15:04:13

My uncle left my aunt for his OW (and OW left her spouse too) yes, there were small children involved - 32 years ago (it was a HUGE scandal in our family some family members never did talk to him again!) they have been happily married for over 30 years - they are soul mates....

Take it from me - they never change!
Karma has come to bite me on the arse 2 1/2 years later.
It was all over the place at first.
The guilt he felt and the to-ing and fro-ing.
Really not worth it.
He's still a lying cheating scumbag to this very day.
I seriously wouldn't bother.
You won't ever trust him. You will always be on edge wondering if anything happening else where.
I'm sure there will be some happy stories along soon?????

glamourousgranny42 Wed 26-Jun-13 15:18:19

OP I personally hope that you and your man are able to find happiness together. Speaking as someone whose husband left me after he had an affair, it was difficult, but life goes on. He wasnt happy, i thought we were together for life, seems not.
All these people shouting about lying and deceit and never trusting anyone again, ignore them. You have to make a decision that is right for you. We only get one life and there is no extra time for being responsible for someone else happiness at the expense of your own.
It will be difficult for the children, but if their parents are happy, they will be too.
FWIW I think that not being open about the relationship is good as it means you are not rubbing your spouses nose in it.
We have a right to happiness and we cant responsible for the happiness of other people (adults). Look after yourself and your children and enjoy your new love

beingmyself Wed 26-Jun-13 15:19:00

My h moved out cause he'd never really liked our house and didn't want to stay in it! I gave him the choice of who moved out.

Our marriages were both close to separation before we met. I'm not saying that justifies an affair but more that our spouses aren't left wondering what went wrong as there were already problems which were being discussed in the context of separation. Of course we should have left earlier and not had an affair. But we didn't.

I trust him completely. I really trust my own judgement on him. All the threads on MN say "he won't leave his wife" and of course often men do, equally threads say "once a cheat.... Always a cheat" which I don't believe is always the case. People are individuals and don't behave the same way in every relationship. Of course I am not naive enough to think we don't have to work on ourselves and our relationship but fundamentally I trust him and he trusts me.

chipping - I posted on this forum as I am a parent and this is a forum about relationships. The title makes it clear what it's about so if it is going to offend people I would hope they would ignore it and rise above me if they are so much better than me!

The risk of not being able to adjust to a normal mundane relationship is something we talk about a lot and will work on.

The friends dividing is also something we have talked about a lot. I know we will both lose friends and that is something I am prepared for.

beingmyself Wed 26-Jun-13 15:21:53

glamourous granny - what a lovely kind post. Lump in throat now! Thank you

Vivacia Wed 26-Jun-13 15:22:35

I've just seen this happen in an extended circle of friends only the OW didn't have a partner. It's been difficult for all involved. The wife is heart broken, confused and knows less than any local in the pub. She's lost her home, her future, her children's father and her husband (although he's still acting like a friend in some ways - daily phone calls, daft texts, chores etc). The children are devestated. They are late to mid teens and other kids at school knew before them due to patents gossiping. There have been problems at school.
The husband seems to be doing fine, people aren't really judging him.

The woman he's had an affair with also seems to be fine, she's got her man and they seem happy. She isn't aware of what people are saying about her and has enough family and friends that she needn't care. She doesn't realise that her new boyfriend is still confiding in his wife.

Wellwobbly Wed 26-Jun-13 15:28:04


why can't you be by yourself for a bit? Jumping from one relationship to the other smacks of dependency, and also HOW are you going to grieve your losses and your mistakes?

The end of ANY relationship is a loss, where is the mourning or are you just covering that up with a new high?

How do you know Mr Soul Mate won't come to mourn his lost relationship and dreams? What would you do if he became sad and depressed, would you understand?

Life has pain in it, and when we do things to run away from the pain (like affairs/instant new luurve etc), that pain doesn't go away, it starts collecting interest. Just saying.

Lweji Wed 26-Jun-13 15:42:04

TBH, I think you may have a chance that it will go well, eventually.

Yours sound more like get away affairs (assuming his was too), and you have left before you were caught.

I do think you should be truthful to your exs at some point, earlier rather than later.

Leavenheath Wed 26-Jun-13 15:42:42

Why are you still lying to everyone then?

BTW you sound like the poster who had a thread a few weeks ago who was trashing and criticising her OM's devastated wife when he said he was leaving her. He hadn't mentioned an affair to his wife either - and the OP had omitted that little detail when having relationship discussions with her own husband. Is this you again?

FeegleFion Wed 26-Jun-13 15:43:43

Are you seeing my DP, I suppose exdp now, OP?

That was slightly tongue in cheek but let me tell you this, if I find out DP has been seeing an OW, I will make both of them wish they'd never been born!

I hope your poor shit on respective spouses find out and make your lives a living fucking hell.

HTH grin

Damnautocorrect Wed 26-Jun-13 15:44:01

Not sure why you've posted?!

mrsmciver Wed 26-Jun-13 15:45:38

Is there children involved?

cooooodle Wed 26-Jun-13 15:55:42

I have been with my dp for 12 years. He was married when we met; I was single.

Downsides were the pain caused, of course, and his family's reaction as well as some knee-jerk judgement from a few people. He has one dc, and it has been very, very hard for him not to live with his child, and for both of us to manage a split family. Stepparenting is challenging, even if your dsc is very lovely (as mine is). Financially it has been a struggle.

Upsides were that he left an unhappy marriage and way of living, and that we have a wonderful relationship. We have a sense of appreciation and care for each other which I think comes from the fact it was a hard decision to get together and we almost didn't do it. We are actively grateful for each other and we enjoy the small things - like having breakfast together - because we longed so much to live together. I have a good relationship with my dsc, and am the key person they confide in when troubled (which I take as a real compliment).

My only advice would be to not get caught up in trying to justify yourself to people. You have to do what is right for you in order to be happy, but you also have to face the consequences (which might be the loss of some friends or family members). Good luck.

beingmyself Wed 26-Jun-13 15:59:44

damn - read the OP! That's why I posted!

Yes - there are children involved.

wellwobbly - I know what you mean about grieving the end of our marriages and that is something we have both talked about too. We are both fully aware we need to address everything that a marriage ending brings up so we don't have any 'issues' rearing their heads later down the line. I guess I don't KNOW anything about how he may or may not feel in the future, but I am obviously confident in what I think and what he tells me. I think you are very right to point it out though and we are going very very slowly. It's important for me to know that I am ok by myself. At the end of it all I left my marriage knowing there was a chance I would be single as we didn't agree to both leave together so I don't feel dependent but you are right that I do need to watch out for that.

leaven - we are lying cause I think it would be more selfish to declare our amazing love and happiness now. Given that there are kids involved we also want to give that some time before anyone meets anyone's children or before the children find anything out which will be inevitable once gossip spreads.

I don't understand what you want from your OP?

Are you wondering about the sex perhaps; will it remain exciting now that it isn't illicit and thrilling or the fact that it may become boring and predictable now that you're not skulking behind the backs of your ex-partners?

GiveMumABreak Wed 26-Jun-13 16:00:28

I bet you're glad you donned that flameproof suit Op it looks like you needed itwink

Sparklysilversequins Wed 26-Jun-13 16:00:31

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Sparklysilversequins Wed 26-Jun-13 16:02:53

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Amazing love and happiness! grin hmm

Pass me the sick bucket someone.

beingmyself Wed 26-Jun-13 16:04:39

Maybe the OP wasn't clear - I wondered if there were any people who'd been in the same boat as me who'd be willing to discuss it.

I expected a flaming. It doesn't bother me. I know what I did was wrong and I'm not proud of that. I've done a lot of beating myself up about this all and am moving on from that as its not helpful to anyone. I'm not boasting at all! I Just wondered if there would be anybody who'd been in a similar position out there....

Leavenheath Wed 26-Jun-13 16:05:20

There's no self-interest involved in still lying then?

Not a scrap of not wanting any blame to come your way for not leaving your marriages before another person wanted either of you?

How long have you known this man and what do you intend to tell your loved ones and ex-partners when you go public? That you just met or that you were deceiving them for a long time beforehand?

beingmyself Wed 26-Jun-13 16:05:29

The "amazing love and happiness" was intended to be tongue in cheek....! Oh I'm not doing very well here!

FeegleFion Wed 26-Jun-13 16:06:11

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mrsmciver Wed 26-Jun-13 16:06:22

How did you meet? You are not telling us very much so it is hard to give advice when the details are very sparing.

beingmyself Wed 26-Jun-13 16:06:43

coooooodle - thanks for the helpful post. I think when it's been a challenge to be together (a challenge in whatever way) then you do appreciate it more! That will be my aim anyway!

Heartbrokenmum73 Wed 26-Jun-13 16:08:59

It hasn't been a 'challenge' to be together - this isn't fucking Jane Eyre! The challenge would have been to work on your respective relationships. The challenge's will now be for your respective lied to (and still being lied to) ex-spouses and any dc involved to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and start over - although they are ultimately better off without either of you in them.

Stay single a while. Give your kids a chance to adjust.

Or are they maybe not important?

Did you maybe let your spouses take your children so you could both start a fresh and really enjoy your amazing love and happiness?

Sparklysilversequins Wed 26-Jun-13 16:09:36

You need to tell your H what has lead to his marriage break up. The wishy washy I love you but I am not in love with you/I need time crap is even crueller because they are always holding a little spark of hope that it will be ok. He deserves to know what's going on so he can know what is really going on and start to move on.

Sparklysilversequins Wed 26-Jun-13 16:09:52

You need to tell your H what has lead to his marriage break up. The wishy washy I love you but I am not in love with you/I need time crap is even crueller because they are always holding a little spark of hope that it will be ok. He deserves to know what's going on so he can know what is really going on and start to move on.

ExcuseTypos Wed 26-Jun-13 16:11:13

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ExcuseTypos Wed 26-Jun-13 16:11:57

X posted with your 'explanation' hmm

No personal experience but I can tell you of my friend's situation.

She had an affair with someone who she described as the love of her live. They were both completely wrapped up in each other, and left respective their partners. He even moved countries to be with her.

When he moved in she found him to be selfish, and self absorbed... used to being looked after by his wife. I think the final straw was when she came home from a business trip to find her flat an absolute pigsty, and a weeks worth of washing up left for her to do.

She also found it hard to deal with the fact his 5 year old daughter was still a big part of his life, and was quite difficult (probably as a result of her parents separating).

After 3 years of splitting up, getting back together, splitting up (repeat ad nauseum) he eventually went back to his wife. The wife in the meantime had discovered she preferred life without him so threw him out. Both ended up single, without each other, or their previous partners. neither are happy.

Sparklysilversequins Wed 26-Jun-13 16:13:20

You know I totally agree that no one should stay in relationships that don't make them happy. I understand that sometimes you meet other people and its too strong to deny plus you don't really want to anyway. What I can't stand is your fluffy whitewashing of a really shit situation where lots of people are left in pieces (including your kids).

I cannot reiterate enough what a test that makes you sound.

YoungBritishPissArtist Wed 26-Jun-13 16:13:33

Do you worry about him cheating, cooooodle? I'm not judging, just genuinely curious.

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Wed 26-Jun-13 16:14:01

My friend's sister was in the same situation as you OP. smile

They were both married when they met. And when they started their relationship. They both left their respective spouses and are now married with a young child. He had a child from his first marriage.

Good luck in your new life together. It might not work out, who is to say? I presume neither of you would have started down this road if you had been completely happy in your former relationships.

Sparklysilversequins Wed 26-Jun-13 16:15:05

Test should have been Twat btw.

MirandaWest Wed 26-Jun-13 16:16:41

As someone whose XH had an affair three years ago and is still with his girlfriend now I think it can work. And seeing as she is now part of the DCs life I hope it does work tbh. She has DC as well and although they don't live together yet (they live a couple of hundreds of miles apart) I'm sure they will at some stage.
I suppose I have accepted that our relationship did Peter out and although I would have preferred it if he hasn't had an affair as it was very shite of him the overall result is probably better for everyone. And that includes my DC as well (can't actually comment on hers).

beingmyself Wed 26-Jun-13 16:22:44

If it sounds like I am whitewashing and being fluffy I apologise.

I do take the whole thing extremely seriously - especially the children.

However - I am happy. Really happy. And although I don't know what the future holds, the uncertainty of where I am now is a whole lot better for me (and DCs I believe) than the place we were before separation.

Of course I don't know my new partners' kids and him and his ex will be best placed to support them, however from what I hear they seem to be doing very well with the separation. They are no longer living in a row filled house and will hopefully benefit from having happier parents who don't live together as I hope will be the case for my DC.

This thread has turned into me justifying myself which was never the point so I think I will bow out but would really like to talk to anyone who's been in the same boat so do please PM me if you have!

cooooodle Wed 26-Jun-13 16:22:47

young No I never worry about that. Not for a minute. Our relationship is genuinely good, and he is a very decent person (probably the best, kindest person I know). We probably would say that we are soulmates, but neither of us believe in the concept in a cosmic sense of the word.

Why is everyone assuming that since the OM cheated in his wife he will also cheat on the OP and leave her. Surely by the same logic she's also "once a cheat always a cheat" and has a vacancy for another man? Is he more likely to cheat first just because he's male?

expatinscotland Wed 26-Jun-13 16:32:59

Yeah, so much better for all the children involved. NOT.

expatinscotland Wed 26-Jun-13 16:36:11

She won't tell her spouse. She got him to move out, fgs.

AuntieStella Wed 26-Jun-13 16:36:30

Yes, there's a huge risk that either/both (having used an affair as an exit once) would in future turn to a third try rather than to partner/spouse when dissatisfied with he primary relationship. Especially as they appear to have gone straight to each other, with no period of single life in between to reflect and to process what they have learned from the first marriage.

I think you need to be out in the open about being together. You are still lying to everyone. That is a bad place to be.

LineRunner Wed 26-Jun-13 16:48:23

I feel that the children are collateral damage in this joke of a relationship.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 26-Jun-13 16:50:33

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SoTiredAgain Wed 26-Jun-13 16:54:57

You know what? I think you need to bite the bullet and tell your husband that you had an affair. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, there will be fall out but I can't get my head around how you can still lie about it to everyone, including your children. With your children, it would be age appropriate, of course. You are giving everyone false hope, especially your children.

How long are you going to keep it secret for? You say you are doing this partly for the children. So, is it 6 months, 1 year? 2? Until the children have grown up?

And lastly, how can you have a normal relationship with him if you are still secret? The everyday mundane stuff. What about going out and things?

SoupDragon Wed 26-Jun-13 16:56:15

you'll never be able to fully trust him

That's OK because he won't be able to trust her either.

juneblues Wed 26-Jun-13 17:00:46

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LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 26-Jun-13 17:02:24

I really like GlamorousGranny's post.

As some posters have pointed out, they are bitter because of what has happened to them. The affairs were not of their doing but relationship breakdowns are the 'fault' of both in a couple. Bitterness clouds judgement and I think OP that you should just ignore the posters berating you. Your thread was perfectly clear and some posters seem to leap on these threads just to attack.

I've been where GlamorousGranny is, a partner cheated on me, left for OW and they've been together a long time. It was very sad to begin with but I didn't see why I should carry that around with me forever, I wanted my own life to recover.

I think it was Confusius who said, "If you want revenge, better dig two graves". Karma, if it exists, bites revenge-obsessed people just as often as others and I think the trite terms and sayings should be disregarded. The worst one is the 'vacancy', untrue. Painful as that may be to revenge-seekers, it's not true. I don't listen to these rubbish sayings or accept them and I'm happy in my soul just the same.

You've ended your respective relationships and the rest is up to you both now.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 26-Jun-13 17:03:49

... and who the hell is anybody here to say that he will never trust you nor you him? Some people are impossibly smug - and deluded!

juneblues Wed 26-Jun-13 17:09:07

Thanks for the reminder breakdowns are the fault of both in a couple. Thanks for telling me I was at fault for my husband beating me up. My own FIL told me that too. So tell me, what makes me at fault?

PostBellumBugsy Wed 26-Jun-13 17:10:32

I can't give you any advice - but here are some real life examples of relationships like yours that have worked.

My ex-H left me for the OW. They have been together ever since - so for 8 years now & have two children together.

My boss left his ex-wife for the OW and they have been together for 7 years & have two children together.

One of my girlfriends is with her OM and they've been together now for 15 years

My ex-H's best mate left his wife for the OW. They've been together for 9 years and have one child together.

My ex-H's Mum left his Dad for the OM and they were together for over 30 years until ex-H's step-Dad died.

As far as I know, none of the above were serial adulterers or cheaters and have all gone on to have successful long-term relationships with the Other Person.

It really bugs me that the people bang on about the leopard never changing its spots, creating vacancies etc etc. I think it only applies to a small number of cases and perpetuating such myths is not helpful.

TheOwlService Wed 26-Jun-13 17:17:34

Some posters may not agree with what the OP has done but why all the bad language?

No need.

TheOwlService Wed 26-Jun-13 17:20:51

PS There is no such thing as Karma "getting you". Another myth regularly perpetuated on this forum.

onefewernow Wed 26-Jun-13 17:23:57

The only too I have is that you should not expect your children not to lie. Since you do, and still are.

Imnotscareditsonlytheinternet Wed 26-Jun-13 17:26:06

*You take it seriously? There are children? So what about their feelings? Not just the partners left behind?

God help you.

Your poor children.

Some people just cannot put the needs of others before themselves and when you put the needs of yourself before those of your children, then I shake my head in disbelief. Don't try and justify your actions by claiming the children will be happier. I just hate it when people say that. It's the ultimate cop-out to dampen the guilt at knowing you've changed the lives of others for your own personal gains (which may not be).

It's great you're happy, and in the mean time, all those children, partners, ex partners, all those affected by your decision to do something that makes you happy.

God help you.*

Firstly, I am very sorry that your H hit you, NOBODY deserves that and you did nothing to make that happen.

Serioulsly though, do you think people should stay in unhappy marriages, just to keep everyone else happy?

prism Wed 26-Jun-13 17:27:01

FWIW Mrs Prism and I are together because we had an affair. Well, I had an affair- she wasn't with anyone else. I have been through a lot of opprobrium, some of it imagined, some of it real.

It would be nice if people who are dead miserable in their relationships could simply say "I think it would be better if we parted" and got on with that, before getting together with someone else; but in the real world that is not always, or even often, how it happens. I wish I'd had the courage to do speak my mind, rather than have an affair, but the end result would have been the same.

My ex and I now get on pretty well, having had a number of the conversations we should have had a long time ago. Neither of us wishes we were still together, but we managed to be parents to our DD without rancour.

For the record, my ex has just divorced her third partner (and second husband) since we parted, while Mrs Prism and I are still together (12 years later). She is a very good step-parent, as I think I have alluded to here on MN before now. I've become a better parent because of having to take her views into account (which are sometimes better than mine).

I know one or two really good parents and step-parents who got together though infidelity, and this idea that the way you got together taints you as an individual or as a couple for ever, is rubbish, in my opinion. If you are happy together, there is no reason you can't be just like any other well-suited couple, and woe betide anyone who suggests otherwise. Judge not, lest ye be judged.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 26-Jun-13 17:28:57

Good grief, onefewernow - are you seriously trying to suggest that you've never lied? You've never pretended to enjoy a meal prepared for you that you didn't like, you've never paid a compliment that wasn't 100% genuine, that you've never made up an excuse for why you were late / didn't make an appointment etc. Really?

AuntieStella Wed 26-Jun-13 17:33:21

There's a world of difference between little lies to spare the feelings of someone you care about, and whopping great lies to initiate and sustain a major betrayal of someone you no longer care about.

OP: I think you need to ditch the lies,a nd come clean about why the marriages ended. The keeping of secrets is corrosive. And chances are it'll all come out. Better get it done with, so that everyone can move on with healing.

mrsmciver Wed 26-Jun-13 17:34:57

I don't want to jump on the bandwagon here, but i think it is best to be truthful. Your ex partners may be left wondering what is going on, the turmoil they will be in will be horrendous.
At least let them know, why the secrecy?
My husband left me 10 weeks ago after I found some e-mails about him and another woman. I don't know if there is something going on or not. It is not fair to either of your partners to not let them know.
You owe them that much.

feelingvunerable Wed 26-Jun-13 17:39:27

My friend was the ow.
She has been happily married for 12 years now.
She doesn't have children though and he has lost all contact with his dcs as a result of the affair.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 26-Jun-13 17:44:21

June... Don't be silly, how on earth would I know? Only you know what your relationship was like. Of course the hitting wasn't your fault. Do you really need a chatboard random to tell you that? Get some help to deal with your feelings on this because they're seriously off the compass.

beingmyself... Decide for yourself whether to tell your ex-partner about the reason for the breakup. I don't see what can be served by telling him that you were having an affair. Just an 'I don't want to be in the relationship anymore' is enough - for either party. Why some people need to know warts and all is anybody's guess but they don't actually have the right to it. The relationship has ended and you are now able to build a life with your partner. I wish you well.

nkf Wed 26-Jun-13 17:48:26

My ex has recently married the OW. They handled the transition in the following ways:

- pretending the OW was just a friend
- waiting to introduce her to the kids
- screaming blue murder if anyone ever hinted that the affair predated the end of the marriage
- saying the first marriage hadn't been religious and so didn't count

They seem happy.

mrsravelstein Wed 26-Jun-13 17:50:58

my best friend's dad left his wife of 20 years for his OW, they've now been married for 25 years very happily.

2 of my close friends had affairs with married men. one now been happily married to him for 12 years and has 5 kids with him. the other happily married to him for about 15 years and 2 kids with him.

i was unfaithful to my exh, and have now been happily and faithfully married to my 2nd husband for 7 years. it's laughable rubbish to suggest that a person who has ever cheated can never be trusted again with a different partner.

MoodyDidIt Wed 26-Jun-13 17:55:02

*OP I personally hope that you and your man are able to find happiness together. Speaking as someone whose husband left me after he had an affair, it was difficult, but life goes on. He wasnt happy, i thought we were together for life, seems not.
All these people shouting about lying and deceit and never trusting anyone again, ignore them. You have to make a decision that is right for you. We only get one life and there is no extra time for being responsible for someone else happiness at the expense of your own.
It will be difficult for the children, but if their parents are happy, they will be too.
FWIW I think that not being open about the relationship is good as it means you are not rubbing your spouses nose in it.
We have a right to happiness and we cant responsible for the happiness of other people (adults). Look after yourself and your children and enjoy your new love*

i came on the thread to say pretty much this ^^

good luck - you will need it! and i mean that kindly x

happyyonisleepyyoni Wed 26-Jun-13 17:56:25

My dad's friend left his wife and child, who was in my year at school, for an OW in 1986. It was a major scandal.

They moved away, had 2 children of their own and are still together, 27 years on.

ProphetOfDoom Wed 26-Jun-13 18:00:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AuntieStella Wed 26-Jun-13 18:02:53

The reason I recommend honesty is because affairs tend to come to light despite best efforts, and there is a real chance of a delayed discovery which will magnify pain. The new relationship is unlikely to grow healthily if it's still under full affair secrecy, and indeed I suspect that secrecy will be harder to maintain as it just won't seem so important now separated. A chance sighting might mean everything falls into place (especially if there have been any traces left behind).

cuillereasoupe Wed 26-Jun-13 18:04:48

Two things strike me:

1/ I wonder if your husband would have been as OK with leaving you the family home if he knew you were planning to move someone else into it.

2/ You haven't even met each other's kids yet? Boy are you in for some fun.

nenevomito Wed 26-Jun-13 18:06:02

You'd better hope that he finds the grass really IS greener on the other side.

That's the problem when affairs end marriages. Once they discover that its not all excitement any more and the day to day drudge kicks in, they go back to their wives - if they are dumb enough to take them.

MirandaWest Wed 26-Jun-13 18:18:17

That is a good point about the DC meeting the new bf/gf - although XH was obviously seeing OW from when the affair started the DC didn't meet her until about 9 months after we separated (which was a year after the affair started). I also knew when they were going to meet her.

If you all move in together quickly I can see things could get more complicated. XH and I both do put the DC first as much as we can (and both have lives of our own too)

nkf Wed 26-Jun-13 18:19:19

Lots of second marriages are happier than the first one. It makes me feel strange because for years, it was my husband and me, but it's true. Some people are better suited and they might meet when each are married. There is no guarantee though. No guarantee that the affair partner will be a good spouse, but then there's no guarantee that the teenage sweetheart will be too.

I would feel uncomfortable with it and I would hate to tell people how we met. But then I'm the brooding, overthinking type and it would taint my happiness a bit. I would feel guilty especially if there were children involved. But that's me.

I think the truly shitty thing to do is to say it's the ex's fault. And I know that my ex does that. I know he blames me for everything and is utterly dismissive of everything I am. I think that's shitty on our children.

2cats2many Wed 26-Jun-13 18:23:35

I know several people who have had affairs and then gone on to marry the OW or OM. Only one ended badly. The others are still together.

Good luck to you OP. Some really vile and unnecessary comments on here. I hope everyone involved in this finds happiness.

happyyonisleepyyoni Wed 26-Jun-13 18:31:24

It's very easy to preach from the moral high ground but real life is messy and complicated

mrsmciver Wed 26-Jun-13 18:46:09

Yes real life is messy and complicated but affairs are very damaging to all concerned. The fallout from the parties that are left behind can be horrendous. The grief, shock and trauma to the person who has been left can be so damaging. They are left bewildered, not understanding.

You have to be honest, you have to tell the truth op.

ExcuseTypos Wed 26-Jun-13 18:46:55

Yes life is messy and complicated Happy but that doesn't give you an excuse to lie.

I personally never 100% trust someone who's had an affair. If they can lie and lie again to the person they live with, fuck knows what they lie about in other areas of their life.

AmberLeaf Wed 26-Jun-13 18:53:05

My Dad had an affair and then married the OW, they are well suited [more so than him and my Mum ever were], happy and still married 30 years later. I'm glad about that. Better that than it all had been for nothing.

It may go to shit, or it may work, time will tell.

Good luck OP.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 26-Jun-13 18:54:45

Excuse... That makes no sense. Somebody you live with has more of an impact on your life therefore there is more reason to lie - and EVERYBODY lies sometimes.

People in the street? More distant relations? Friends? Randoms on a chatboard? Pfft - no reason to lie at all to them.

Nobody is perfect but it sounds like you have a criteria or a checklist. So... a cheater? 50% trust maybe - what about somebody who hit their former partner? 60% trust? Somebody with a gambling problem - or used to have one? 65%?

I trust people - to the degree I want to - until they give me reason not to. I'm rarely disappointed in people because I'm not expecting them to fail. We're all different, I suppose but these silly generalisations and 'judgements' drive me up the wall. <shrugs>

Needtostopbuyingcrap Wed 26-Jun-13 18:54:58

You're a pair of rodents.
I hope karma bites you both on the bum.

Leavenheath Wed 26-Jun-13 19:06:18

Personally, I don't have any strong views either way on whether relationships that started as affairs have a chance. That must be down to the people involved. I'd imagine that trust might be difficult and that it might be tempting to stick with the relationship beyond its sell-by date in order to prove all the doubters wrong, but I assume some of these couples don't blame their exes and former relationships exclusively and that at least some of these individuals examine their own ways of coping and ensure that if they are attracted to others in the future, they won't go down the affair route again. Because of course they will fancy other people in the future and assuming they are reasonably attractive personalities, others will find them attractive too. I suspect the ones who make it work are those who don't just assume that they'll never think 'what if?' about anyone else ever again, or that if their relationship is great, that threat won't be present again.

Overall, I'm always relieved when people who've been deceived for a long time get given the chance to start living their lives and meeting new people if they want.

But I have a real problem with people who having left their relationships, continue to lie about what was the final kick to them leaving. It's horribly shoddy treatment to lie to everyone in a life in the first place and to continue lying even after the event. Just like her last thread, this OP continues to delude herself about the motives for her and her new partner's actions, before and now. The reason for the continuing lack of honesty is as much to do with self interest as anything the OP claims- probably more, IMO.

As we've all seen on mumsnet threads and possibly in real-life, knowing that someone's been capable of lying and deceit can help people move on and realise they wouldn't want that sort of person back even if if it was an option. It gives people who've been in the dark some clarity and understanding.

To deny people you've once loved that opportunity is shabby and cruel.

ExcuseTypos Wed 26-Jun-13 19:07:30

No, Lying I don't have a criteria or checklist.

I do however have real life experience of both my parents cheating and messing up the lives of 4 children. Both my parents cheated, both married other people, both carried on cheating.

I don't trust cheaters. I would NEVER EVER cheat on my Dh because I know that lying and cheating cause ramifications for children. I found it very difficult to trusted my father or mother again, because of the lying.

Laquila Wed 26-Jun-13 19:17:53

I am baffled by the posters making sweeping generalisations that amount to saying that ALL the children of parents who have had affairs will ALL be horrifically damaged and would be better off if their parents stayed together (regardless of the awful environments that might mean that the children get raised in). I just don't understand how this can always be true.

I remember a lady I used to work for saying that as a 12yr old, she felt the most incredible relief on hearing that her dad was having an affair as she knew that it meant her parents would split up, and that she and her siblings wouldn't have to endure the toxic atmosphere and traumatic home life that they'd been subjected to for years. Her dad went on to marry the OW, she got step-siblings on both sides (her mum remarried) to wom she is now very close, and was always very very grateful that her parents hadn't stayed together "for the sake of the kids".

As a previous poster has mentioned, OP you would be well-advised to ignore those hurling abuse and muttering darkly about karma, and to focus on doing the best you can to ease the path for you and your new partner's children. Good luck.

juneblues Wed 26-Jun-13 19:24:03

I think ExcuseTypos' statement says it all. Children get hurt in these things. Children turn into adults. Our jobs are parents is to ensure that the amount of negative baggage from childhood into adulthood remains at the smallest level possible. When you enter a relationship and when you have children, you become responsible not just for yourself but for others. You all depend on each other. Children will get hurt when an affair ends the relationship between parents. With that in mind, people should think of their actions and responsibilities.

fackinell Wed 26-Jun-13 19:25:06

FFS!!!! Not another one. I seriously need an OW filter!! Here, have a biscuit

ExcuseTypos Wed 26-Jun-13 19:25:33

Laquila I don't think people have said that anywhere.

If a marriage isn't working of course you should separate. It should be done in a calm, measured way to ensure the least upheaval for the children.

What people on this thread do not like is when someone lies to their partner, decides their marriage is over, then lies again to cover up the previous lies and the affair. That is shit behaviour for all concerned.

YoniSingWhenYoureWinning Wed 26-Jun-13 19:27:57

Haven't read whole thread. Just wanted to point out that he has already demonstrated that he is a cheater so please don't fall over with shock when he cheats.

VBisme Wed 26-Jun-13 19:28:31

My best friend left for OM, but she sat her DH down and talked it through, and left him in no doubt that the split was nothing to do with anything that he did / didn't do.

He was hurt and angry for a time but at least he had a reason.

They are good friends now, and have stayed in touch (no kids involved which I expect would bring its own complications).

VBisme Wed 26-Jun-13 19:29:23

Oh and she and her new DH seem to be very happy together.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 26-Jun-13 19:31:12

fackinhell... Can you not read? The thread title was really quite clear, what does it take for your 'filter' to kick in then?

juneblues Wed 26-Jun-13 19:32:55

well done to VBisme's best friend for taking responsibility. That's what OP and the man she is having an affair with need to do to both families whose lives will have been changed forever.

sarahseashell Wed 26-Jun-13 19:34:44

As another one whose h left for OW (very painful at the time) I think OP is getting a very hard time here and I know a number of very nice people who have met other people while already in a relationship (and gone on to have long relationships with them) it's just sometimes what happens.

OP I'd just make sure you have a mental 'backup plan' in case the relationship doesn't work out, ie be prepared to go it alone if necessary, which I'm sure you are. I think one downside is you won't get the confidence boost which being single can give before going into your next relationship. I hope it all works out for you and I agree you should tell your respective exes sooner rather than later.

skyeskyeskye Wed 26-Jun-13 19:35:27

A woman I know was engaged, had an affair with work colleague. Married her fiance, in a wedding costing thousands. Then resumed the affair with her colleague, as her H didnt understand her. Left her H a few months later, moved in with colleague. Divorced and then married colleague, so now on her second marriage. She then turned to my then H for the emotional support that her H cant give her. My now XH is her H's best friend. She is still with her H, still texting my XH for "support". and that support includes spending secret time together that her H doesn't know about. history repeating itself....

so no. you don't always end up happy. My OW obviously isn't or she wouldn't be turning to another man. If she ever ends up with my XH, she will no doubt do the same again.

maybe yours will work out, maybe it won't.

RaisingHooligirls Wed 26-Jun-13 19:37:57

My post is not really to the OP but to the many many posters who've insulted her, patronised her, wished her 'karma' and sneered at her and so on.................

How many of your husbands have been unfaithful and you don't even know it? a fair few on this thread I'm sure. So they have a liar and a cheat and are unaware of it. It happens. I really can't believe the posts. "you've bagged a liar and a cheat". At least this man ended his marriage so presumably he didn't want his cake, and ............ more cake. Like a lot of men.

No advice for the OP as I've never been in this situation, from any perspective.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 26-Jun-13 19:38:40

Children get hurt when the parents don't handle the situation properly. When my parents were rowing and then splitting up, the most pain caused to me was seeing my mother cry. It made me feel unsafe and insecure. Break-ups happen; they just do - it's up to both parents to make sure that their childrens' worries and fears are managed properly and that their sense of self isn't damaged.

I really wonder, reading some of the posts on this thread and on this board in general, how many parents kid themselves that they haven't unwittingly let their own bitterness and disappointment spill over so that their children see it? It IS hard, nobody's saying differently but it's not about the adults really when there are children to consider.

I've read some superbly strong posts from people who've been through infidelity and come out the other side and on the same board some breathtakingly selfish posts from some who seem to think that their ex must pay forever for leaving them. I don't believe that it's all 'vent' here either, some posters truly terrify me for what their homelife must now be like.

Growlithe Wed 26-Jun-13 19:40:11

A relationship of two people with a track record of getting bored and getting out once the excitement has worn off.

Can't see this one lasting long really. Sorry.

RaisingHooligirls Wed 26-Jun-13 19:42:59

I agree Lying, there are so many environments that can be damaging to a child, so many ways to parent badly :-( i'm a single parent and I left my x because i was miserable with him so i'm glad i removed the children from a miserable 'family' conventional though it was, but i'm sure i'm guilty of a few parenting mistakes. I would never presume to be so smug and judgemental and sneering as some of the posters on this thread.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 26-Jun-13 19:43:00

yy RaisingHooligirls, many affairs go unnoticed. Some of the posts here are disgusting towards the OP. How hard is it to ignore a thread that you just know is going to push your buttons?

night1971 Wed 26-Jun-13 19:46:15

It's not GRANT Bovey is it?!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 26-Jun-13 19:47:29

x-posted with you, RaisingHooligirls, I'm glad there's a bit of balance on this thread and hell, don't we ALL make mistakes - parenting or otherwise? I feel the same as you do and think that smug, judgemental and sneering says much about the person doing it.

My best friend is recently out of an affair that has ripped her apart; I don't know if she'll ever pull it together because other than me, she has nowhere she could go to talk without judgement. She's still a person and one in pain. Nobody is saying that affairs are fantastic things but they do happen and can happen to anybody.

Bogeyface Wed 26-Jun-13 19:49:08

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ExcuseTypos Wed 26-Jun-13 19:49:21

OP- I've got my flameproof suit on and will start by saying I know being in an affair is a selfish and cruel thing to do. I did it

I'm surprised some of the posters on here are shocked at the responses the OP is getting, because she clearly was expecting it.

RaisingHooligirls Wed 26-Jun-13 19:49:23

Yeh, I fear for 'ow' who post here. They must feel like they need to justify, explain, defend.... they are not evil they are people, and they come to mumsnet hoping to seek absolution confused probably precisely because life is not so simple and because they are not bad bad people.

So often I read threads and it's the man who turns out to have lied and lied and left a trail of destruction behind him. He's not here on mumsnet seeking forgiveness and understanding and a kind word, something to 'prove' that they're not bad, not 'Scarlet'.

For the OP, they have both left their spouses and that's not done on a whim. At some point maybe people are entitled to make a decision and believe that it is the right one? MAYBE????? If OP can live with it and doesn't regret it then I don't think she stick around her inviting people to take a swipe at her. This is her life, not some other memory/experience/fear

MissStrawberry Wed 26-Jun-13 19:50:06

Surely if you were so confident it will all work out you wouldn't need to hear other people's stories and, btw, they are irrelevant as they aren't you and you aren't them.

Stop lying. Stop treating your children like idiots and stop being a cheat.

Bogeyface Wed 26-Jun-13 19:51:39

Nobody is saying that affairs are fantastic things but they do happen and can happen to anybody.

I couldnt disagree more. They happen when married people are selfish, regardless of the old "But we were so unhappy, we married too young, we grew apart, I think he cheated on me.....". Only selfish people cheat.

RaisingHooligirls Wed 26-Jun-13 19:53:53

bogeyface "you are the lowest of the low and I cannot being to articulate my contempt for you".

Seriously?! Get.a.grip.

She ended a marriage and is with a man who ended his marriage.

I left an abusive man and I was entitled to. I defend anybody's right to leave a relationship if they no longer want to be in it. That is not "the lowest of the low" and if that provokes your contempt then you need to stop being so judgemental.

Bogeyface Wed 26-Jun-13 19:54:15

Raising so you think that its ok that she is still lying to her husband, who thinks that his marriage is over because of something he has done because that is what she has implied? If she was the decent yet misguided person you seem to be saying she is, then she would at least have told him the truth. But she didnt. Classic cheaters script!

She has followed it to the letter. All we need is her to beg him to take her back in the next year or so and we will have a full house.

FeegleFion Wed 26-Jun-13 19:54:49

Relationships can and should end before either party votes with their crotch.

What an immoral bunch some of you are.

ExcuseTypos Wed 26-Jun-13 19:55:15

"Nobody is saying that affairs are fantastic things but they do happen *and can happen to anybody*"

What like catching a cold or getting run over?
FFs grow up, stop making excuses, stop blaming everything other than the selfish idiots who take part in it.

Affairs occur because people want them to, they don't just 'happen'

Bogeyface Wed 26-Jun-13 19:56:24

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RaisingHooligirls Wed 26-Jun-13 19:56:43

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LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 26-Jun-13 19:58:05

Bogeyface... affairs can happen to anybody. Either as the affair partner or to the cheated on partner. Affairs affect everybody involved.

Your contempt for the OP is completely unreasonable. Why post just to attack? That, I really don't understand and never will.

ExcuseTypos Wed 26-Jun-13 20:00:04


You are saying you hedge your bets, stick with your partner until someone better comes along. I've heard it all now!

mrsravelstein Wed 26-Jun-13 20:00:57

agree with raisinghooligirls. affairs happen, they are a risk in any relationship. some of the people i know who've had affairs were the absolutely last people i'd have expected to do it.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 26-Jun-13 20:01:32

Excuse... I don't need to grow up, thank you. I have compassion and I'm not judgemental.

Some people just seem to have a pack mentality, coming onto threads they hate just to spout venom and bile. That's not ok in my book, in fact, it's very low.

Whilst the affair partner is always wrong, I wonder if the reasons they do it are not so clear cut as people think. I wouldn't like to live with some of harsh and judgemental posters here.

ExcuseTypos Wed 26-Jun-13 20:02:02

If anyone thinks people are being attacked please report to MNHq and they will be deleted.

No one is attacking, they are just telling the truth based on thier own experiences.

I suppose it hurts to hear that, when you've been a cheater.

RaisingHooligirls Wed 26-Jun-13 20:02:14

Bogey, that is ridiculous. Lower than rapists? murderers? paedophiles? thieves? Have you never done anything ill-judged? never made a mistake? never hurt another person?

seriously think about what you are saying. I think you must be really really scared of your marriage ending and you think that by demonising 'cheaters' to this extreme extent you are making cheating less likely? NOt sure that it works that way.

I am not defending 'cheating'. I am just appalled by the venom here. And like lying said, humans feel pain, women who are not wives also feel pain. That might be a shock to you.

fackinell Wed 26-Jun-13 20:03:16

Lying, I did read the title but its those I want to filter out!! They make my blood boil. I think it's largely antagonistic what these OW and OM post. They know its wrong and you can't move on from from it because the cheat will always be looking over your shoulder for someone better. So where's the need for advice?

I haven't read it and nor will I, I only came on to comment my disgust at affairs in general. I know too many lives that have been ruined by infidelity.

I'd like to see a tumbleweed emoticon for such posts. Or better still ignore and let it die a death like the relationship probably will in a few months when he's buggered off with his other OW!!!

Bogeyface Wed 26-Jun-13 20:03:21

So, what do you do, the very moment you feel some doubt, feel some distance, you say "hey this is all over" or do you stick with it coasting trying to figure it out rationally, trying to talk yourself IN to love with platitudes like 'how happy can I expect to be anyway?'. Then one day maybe you do actually click with somebody. Do you race home and end the marriage at that point?

Actually that is almost word for word what I did do. When my first marriage was failing I tried to get my husband to go to counselling but as he was happy, he didnt see the point. 4 years later I found myself developing feelings for someone else, very deep feelings. I didnt act on them, didnt tell the man concerned and kept away from him. I realised that if I could feel that way about someone else then my marriage really was over, so I ended it. A few months later I met the man who became my second husband.

FeegleFion Wed 26-Jun-13 20:03:47

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juneblues Wed 26-Jun-13 20:04:59

There is no defending the OP's behaviour, some of the insults have been a bit hard to read, I don't like to be completely horrid to anyone. But the OP now needs to deal with the fallout she has caused. Yes her behaviour and her new partner's behaviour is pretty bad, but they could at least help those hurting as a result to come to terms with what has happened. And yes god help her if she cannot do this or her new partner.

RaisingHooligirls Wed 26-Jun-13 20:05:09

excuse that's not what I said. If you have to put words in to my mouth to 'win' your point then do you have as strong a point as you think you do?

What I said was, at what point to you end your marriage? do you not understand that?! Do you wake up one morning and what was good yesterday is suddenly over the next morning? or, is it a gradual process where you try and persuade yourself that the distance is not as wide as you fear, or the intimacy is not as diminished as you feel it is.

Bogeyface Wed 26-Jun-13 20:05:47

I am immature? Yet you post about rapists and paedophiles?! Knee jerk much?

Sam937 Wed 26-Jun-13 20:05:55

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FeegleFion Wed 26-Jun-13 20:08:54

If it's a gradual process, you owe it to the person who is oblivious to discuss how you're beginning to feel.

Honesty, communication and parting as amicably as possible is exactly right.

RaisingHooligirls Wed 26-Jun-13 20:09:30

FeegleFion, a family is not a marriage and vv. A marriage can end but it doesn't dissolve the family, no more than a miserable parent.

People talk about protecting the children but what they really mean is protect the marriage. No matter WHAT.

RaisingHooligirls Wed 26-Jun-13 20:10:52

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FeegleFion Wed 26-Jun-13 20:13:28

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ExcuseTypos Wed 26-Jun-13 20:14:50

Raising, I really don't think there are rules as to when you end a marriage as everyone is so different.

There are however moral obligations NOT to go shagging someone else whilst you make your decision.

Why do you find that so hard to understand?

FeegleFion Wed 26-Jun-13 20:16:06

Never any need to continue when your shiteing all over someone's trust.

Don't lie, don't be a coward, walk away and then start something else.

Very simple.

RaisingHooligirls Wed 26-Jun-13 20:22:31

Excuse, I do understand what marriage is meant to be thank you. I have managed to retain the ability to feel compassion and empathy for any human being in pain though. I wouldn't kick a dog when it's down. I have plenty of sympathy for wives who discover they're being cheated on.

Life is complicated and nobody is judge, jury and executioner. You are not as entitled as you seem to believe you are to judge somebody else "the lowest of the low". How hard is that to understand? I don't think this is about the OP though, not for you. This must be about YOU. I feel sorry for you that you live in such fear, so full of judgement, so quick to dehumanise anybody who has cheated.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 26-Jun-13 20:22:34

fackinell... I don't agree with you; OW/OM have as much right to post here as anybody else. The subject of affairs is painful; I know this, I have experience of it having been left, and sad, for a good while. I don't agree with the vicious and pretty clueless posts and wonder what they add.

I think we all get it - nobody is going to start an 'affairs fan club'. Popping on to post disgust isn't going to achieve the effect you want of a thread dropping off the page, is it?

I think these thread are useful and clearly I'm not alone in that. Too few people spout far too often with far too little insight or understanding because they come onto these threads to vent their spleen at the OW/OM and aren't listening to what's being said. How pointless.


LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 26-Jun-13 20:25:14

Again, yy, RaisingHooliegirls, you write fab posts fully of empathy and understanding, you really do. smile

RaisingHooligirls Wed 26-Jun-13 20:28:03

Thank you Lying. In case anybody thinks that I have cheated, I have not. I left a marriage in 2007 and it was the most incredibly painful thing. The whole episode left me with too much empathy, if that doesn't sound ridiculous. On another thread, I could be very supportive to the wife of the OP's new partner. But I just can't see the moral high ground in encouraging somebody else to feel shit about them self. I think that's quite toxic behaviour. Jmo.

juneblues Wed 26-Jun-13 20:30:14

I feel the most compassion and empathy for those in the most pain and I would expect those to be the ones who have been left behind, the left partners and most importantly the children.

RaisingHooligirls Wed 26-Jun-13 20:31:35

Are you the judge of who is in the most pain?

BAUagent Wed 26-Jun-13 20:32:56

I have to say that my DM cheated and as a result ended up marrying the man she had an affair with. Both she and my DF married again, both ending up with much better suited partners and both incredibly happy. My sister and I were sad when they split but never felt the impact in the way that some posters are suggesting - our lives weren't ruined or devastated because of their divorce in the slightest. Rather, we had two sets of loving parents and got to see how happy they were as individuals rather than being 'trapped' in an unhappy marriage. Nor do I intend to cheat on DH as a result of a parent doing that. But I do understand that life throws things at you that you don't expect, and I know that my DM couldn't help falling in love with another man and certainly didn't choose to do so and break up the family. FWIW my DH's dad is also married to someone he had an affair with during his first marriage and they, and my DM and step dad, have been happily married for nearly 20 years. I hope all the posters on here who are being so judgemental and awful about a situation they know nothing about never have to face the pain of making a choice between what the rest of society thinks you should do and being happy. I know which would have been more damaging to my family's happiness in the long run. I wish you luck OP, and I hope that you and your DC are happy.

beingmyself Wed 26-Jun-13 20:36:13

Thanks everyone who's taken the time to come on and post. I am reassured by a lot of the posts seeing me as a human (flawed in some ways and good in others) who has handled a situation badly but is moving on. I am reading everything (and a lot of PMs) with interest.

nkf Wed 26-Jun-13 20:37:11

Why are people being so oh dear poor old OP. She said she put her flameproof suit on. Presumably, she knows what MN is like and hopes that she will get some useful stuff in among the insults. She's had some pretty cheery and cheering posts even from women who have been cheated on and from children of divorced (due to an affair) parents. I'm sure she can take the brickbats. Stop acting as if every woman is a tragic flower. Personally, to do what she's doing takes nerves of steel. Why assume she's all sensitive and vulnerable?

fackinell Wed 26-Jun-13 20:37:12

That's ok, Lying, I can agree to disagree with you and I appreciate what you're saying.

I saw a 'single' man for a year before I found out he had a wife at the other side of the country. I was angry with him and myself and apologised profusely to his wife. I know how much pain it caused her and I was a mistress by default. He was a prick of the highest order and I really don't understand how someone could knowingly break up a marriage!!

beingmyself Wed 26-Jun-13 20:38:55

BAUagent what a lovely post! Thank you.

I know a few friends who's parents "stayed together for the kids" and they all have suffered dreadfully for it. I am terribly worried about the impact of my choices on DCs though I also know the alternative would have had its own negative consequences. So whilst I do feel dreadfully guilty they won't have a "nuclear" family, I am confident they will have a loving one.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 26-Jun-13 20:42:06

That's really awful, fackinell. How were you supposed to know? He must have been some piece of work to cover that up for so long.

Having watched my friend 'lose it' over a married man, by degrees, I can see that it starts of with friendship/flirting and slides right out of control, slip, slip, slip... neither thought it would break up their marriage and as far as I know, it didn't break up his.

mistakeallround Wed 26-Jun-13 20:43:03

beingmyself...Jesus look at my username.. please please please dont do this. I am still paying the consequences 9 years on. Gave everything up for a complete fuckin twat who could charm eskimos to buy snow. I wish you were my friend in real life and if you knew my story would run to the other end of the earth with your dh and make a go of things. Jesus I could write a book which would prevent other women completely throwing their life away .

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Wed 26-Jun-13 20:44:18

I was just coming back to post virtually what BAUagent just has.

My parents divorced as a result of my Dad's affair. He has been married to my lovely step-mother for the past 41 years now. I am not some scarred quivering dysfunctional adult as a result. smile I have had 2 lovely step parents and 2 half sisters.

As ever on these threads "the woman scorned" spitting vitriol at another woman who is not the woman her husband fell in love with over her is really rather sad.

In every sense of the word.

Gretagumbo Wed 26-Jun-13 20:47:27

Meh, I am a romantic and believe you only get one life. I think that people should chase love as long as that is what it is. What's the alternative? Stay in a loveless marriage and possibly subject your husband/wife to years of pointless lies when they could also be released to find love elsewhere. At least you have both taken action which is some type of honesty. I hope it all works out, you do trust each other and I hope your spouses move on to find love. Peace out.

Sparklysilversequins Wed 26-Jun-13 20:50:48

That's not true *thebirds+ I have read quite a few posts from women whose husbands left them for OW being very reasonable and some actually agreeing with the OP on this thread.

nkf Wed 26-Jun-13 20:53:43

The vitriol has been mainly from married women. That's my impression anyway. And - all those handwringers should notice that this is the Internet. Not some cosy coffee morning.

scottishmummy Wed 26-Jun-13 20:55:59

I knew an ow married him.upshot she went from glam bit on side to constantly worried missus

fackinell Wed 26-Jun-13 20:56:37

Yep, Lying, he was something all right!! That poor woman called me out of the blue and then I found out about all the other OW!! (Because he told me.) nobody could believe I had no idea but I really didn't.

Sorry about your friend. BTW. I do like putting flirtatious married men in their place these days with a very loud 'AND HOW IS YOUR WIFE?'
It's kinda a blood sport to me now grin

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 26-Jun-13 21:01:52

How lovely that you can move on - don't you think you should afford your ex partners the same opportunity by being honest with them about why you have both left your marriages?

Leavenheath Wed 26-Jun-13 21:02:48


As far as I can tell, no-one is suggesting that people should stay in 'loveless marriages'. I won't even get into the fact that not all affairs occur in this crazy stereotype of the 'loveless marriage', but this tripe about posters recommending people to lie in beds of their own making is the usual straw man who appears on threads like this.

Ideally - and even the OP admits this - people should have the courage to end their marriages before getting involved elsewhere. And once they've decided to end their marriages, they should be honest about what finally prompted them to leave.

I've got endless understanding of human frailty and the fact that at some time in our lives, we'll all behave in a way that's short of the ideal.

But let's not dress this up as a legitimate way of behaving, or ignore the fact that far from learning from the experience and regretting the deceit and lies committed, the OP and her partner are still lying and intend to go on lying in order to protect their own interests.

That is indefensible.

meditrina Wed 26-Jun-13 21:04:43

The title of the thread is a rather misleading.

She's not his girlfriend. She's still a secret shag. And will be until they come out.

Leavenheath Wed 26-Jun-13 21:08:19

Something else I'll call bullshit on is the OP and her partner's revisionist concern for their children living in unhappy families. They were both obviously quite content to let that situation continue while they had no rescue exit of their own but rather conveniently, the children's 'happiness' is being dragged out of the excuse box as being a justification for their current actions.

Transparently disingenuous.

ExcuseTypos Wed 26-Jun-13 21:10:17

Raising I think you're confusing me with someone else. I have never called anyone the 'lowest of the low'. As I explained above my own parents had affairs and would not call them that.

You have no need to feel sorry for me.[Smile] I have been very happily marred for a very long time. I do not live in fear and I don't dehumanise people. I do however judge people who lie to their partners and have affairs.

Wossname Wed 26-Jun-13 21:15:19

Why have you framed it as 'moving from being the other woman to being his girlfriend'? Why not start a thread about moving your other man into the boyfriend category? Bit more inflammatory this way, eh?

Upnotdown Wed 26-Jun-13 21:17:14

How long has it been since he left his wife? I wouldn't count your chickens yet...

You sound like a decent person (apart from the cheating) and I'm not being sarcastic - I really wouldn't hold your breath that he's out for good, no matter what he's told you.

I've been on the receiving end - it hasn't made me bitter but it's opened my eyes. My DP (in response to me asking 'Why did you tell her that?') said 'I told her a lot of things I didn't mean - it was like living in a film. None of it was real.' She was under a completely different impression. Don't let him lead you around by the nose, for your own sake as well as his wife's. You have no idea what he's saying to her right now.

nkf Wed 26-Jun-13 21:17:26

That's a good point about unhappy families suddenly becoming bad for children when there is a new person in the picture. I hadn't noticed how people do that. Not the OP so much. They were already discussing separation. But yes.

I was cheated on. My (soon to be) ExH had a 2 year affair which spanned the conception, gestation and first 6 months of our DD2's life. He left me for her. 9 months ago. I think they're both deluded as he was a serial cheater and has admitted he probably always will be. But there are exceptions to this, if your partner has not cheated before, nor have you, and the marriages were failing, then there's every chance you will be happy for life.
I do however, think you should tell the truth as you are just delaying the inevitable, and these things have a way of coming out and causing more pain and hurt.

nkf Wed 26-Jun-13 21:20:31

The OW was kept secret from my children. I was so intimidated by my ex I didn't dare say anything. It would have been better if they'd been told the truth right from the start.

OP, I do think you are rather playing this to suit yourself.

akaWisey Wed 26-Jun-13 21:45:23

I can only tell you one thing I know FOR SURE, OP.

What will be, will be.

Dahlen Wed 26-Jun-13 21:52:03

I really would advise you to come clean to your respective Xs as soon as possible. It's extremely likely that even if you manage to keep up the pretense until you are ready to inform them (as opposed to being found out or someone else telling your Xs), once it comes out in the open, your Xs will put 2 and 2 together. Then you can expect a lot of anger borne of pain, which will set you back several stages. Far better to get it all out now.

Personally, if I was the partner who was left, the insult to my intelligence made by pretending there was no one else would make me far angrier than being left.

I think it's nice to kid yourselves that you're keeping things secret out of respect for other people's feelings, but are you possibly deluding yourself because it allows you to paint yourselves as innocent parties, considering other people's feelings? It's tempting and I can understand it, but if you want to herald the start of your relationship with honesty and integrity, you need to mark the end of the previous ones with the same.

FWIW I wouldn't hold your affair against you IRL. While I think it's wrong, you're human and humans make mistakes. What you do next will define you.

Cutitup Wed 26-Jun-13 22:13:57

Men and women who leave their marriages for OW / OM often find the experience quite traumatic. Of course it is. There is massive upheaval and upset for everyone.

It's reductive to suggest that "once a cheater, always a cheater". That may the be the case for a man (or woman) who casually cheats. But to actually leave a marriage for someone else takes a tremendous amount of courage and I would auger that most people who have have been through it would NEVER do it again. It is horrendous for everyone.

And yes, I use the word courage with great thought.

bottleofbeer Wed 26-Jun-13 22:42:54

Why does she have to tell her ex every bloody detail? so he can move on and be free to find love elsewhere? what, will he end up a complete wreck and unable to move on - ever - unless he knows everything?

What rot. She's ended the bloody marriage. Maybe he will spend the rest of his life chewing his fist, wondering what went wrong. Probably not though.

I've been cheated on. I felt like I was dying, I was absolutely vociferous in how much I hated affairs and as for OW? my god they were pure scum with no exceptions. Then life threw a big curveball my way and I had to have a major re-think because life isn't as clear cut as I thought it was. However strongly you feel right now, there is a real possibility that a life event might force you to re-evaluate.

Good people can do bad things and it can happen to anybody.

Leavenheath Wed 26-Jun-13 23:23:09

nkf if this is the poster I think it is (and she evaded the question when I asked it outright) this marriage was not 'close to separation' before she met the OM, according to her earlier thread. Whether the OM's was, only he and his ex-wife together in a room could verify that. The OP certainly doesn't know that as she wasn't there and can only rely on what he's telling her, just as he only knows her side of the story and not her exh's.

Yes bottleofbeer I think it does help people to move on quicker if they know there was someone else involved. The bereavement period when a relationship breaks up includes healthy anger and learning that a partner has unilaterally chosen to make a relationship non-monogamous without discussion makes people very angry indeed. For some, it's like a switch and getting over that person is made easier. For some people, it's the ultimate dealbreaker, even outstripping abuse and violence. While I don't understand that myself, I accept that others feel that way. I don't accept that people are unwitting victims of curve balls though. There are always choices involved. However I agree that no-one- and no relationship- is impenetrable. Unfortunately too many people assume they are and so they get addicted to relationships that will hurt others and sometimes themselves.

SoTiredAgain Wed 26-Jun-13 23:23:31

I don't think she has to tell him every detail. Just that she had an affair and planning to live him eventually. But then again, she doesn't have to do anything that strangers tell her to.

Secrets will out at some point, why not now? If she waits and then ex finds out at some point, then she will have to deal with the repercussions when she has moved on, but where for ex it will be still raw.

I am coming from the angle that it will come out anyway, why not be the one to control how it comes out?

My ex-h cheated on me with OW and as far as I am aware they are still together and have children. But you know what? Shit happens. Life moves on.

Bogeyface Wed 26-Jun-13 23:26:54

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

Leavenheath Wed 26-Jun-13 23:32:44

I'd point out too that there are always loads of threads on this board from people who've been left by a partner and given no reason for it, other than the tired old script of 'I love you but I'm not in love with you'.

Wise heads suggest an OW/OM and are often shouted down by other posters who suggest depression or illness in the person leaving and wanting to clutch at straws, a lot of those OPs hang on to false hope believing that as soon as their partner 'gets better' or 'sorts his head out' he or she might return. This can go on for months and months.

That's so outrageously cruel.

Bogeyface Wed 26-Jun-13 23:39:38

Are all of you apologists forgetting that cheaters will always create a bad marriage in order to validate their choice to cheat?! How many MNers post to say that their OH is distant from them, picking fights etc and then finds out that he is cheating?

Seems to me that whether cheating is OK or totally unacceptable depends entirely on your gender on MN. Well not for me. A cheating scumbag is still a cheating scumbag whether they have tits or testicles.

LineRunner Wed 26-Jun-13 23:46:49

I agree, Leavenheath, that there is no excuse really for unnecessary cruelty.

akaWisey Wed 26-Jun-13 23:49:11

Just when I thought it couldn't get any crazier - I discover a view that validates my ex's affair (and all that went with it)

He is courageous, a hero and a brave soul. Cheers for that cutitup, are you my ex or his OW I wonder?

waitintoolong Wed 26-Jun-13 23:52:49

I'm glad you said you'd got your flame proof suit on... wow. Some of these messages! I just want to say that life is short and you should follow your heart. Generalizations do not help at all and comments loaded with other people's "baggage" don't help you either. I wish you all the best. I have been through fire to follow my heart....and I was right to do so. You do what feels right for you x

LineRunner Wed 26-Jun-13 23:52:56

I was thinking, akaWisey, that the posts which give the OP the support she craves are a bit ... from the odd side.

With support like that who need reality? smile

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 26-Jun-13 23:56:10

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

akaWisey Thu 27-Jun-13 00:04:52

Maybe 'some' cheaters don't 'create' a bad marriage to excuse themselves for cheating. They sure as fuck create a bad marriage in the act of cheating though (that's my view).

LineRunner Thu 27-Jun-13 00:05:05

Yes, Bogey, you are right that there have been many threads on this Relationships board that follow the pattern you describe, sadly. Fortunately there is also lots of good advice given, as well, by people with empathy and emotional intelligence.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 27-Jun-13 00:10:42

Yes they do, Wisey, no argument from me on that.

I suppose we all project our own experiences to the various threads here. Sometimes we miss the mark, sometimes it's too close for comfort, but I don't see the point in calling people 'apologists', particularly when those same people have been on the receiving end of cheaters and have their own experiences of that.

LineRunner... In what way are the posts on the 'odd side'? Is there some kind of moderation processs that I'm unaware of? Is there some kind of 'manual of instructions' that we should be following?

LineRunner Thu 27-Jun-13 00:15:26

I agree, akaWisey, that it is hard to see cheating as anything other than a negative act, really.

Leavenheath Thu 27-Jun-13 00:16:49

When ever I'm on these threads, I always try to remember that some of the posters responding will be terribly hurt and angry- and their pain still fresh and raw. To be fair to the OP, I think she understands that rather better than some of the posters supporting her. I don't agree with name-calling but neither do I support angry and attacking posts from people who are supposedly neutral and which seem to have no empathy for people's very visible pain.

A little understanding about the place people might be in would go a long way IMO. It's possible to say 'that wasn't my experience but I accept it was yours', isn't it?

bottleofbeer Thu 27-Jun-13 00:18:07

Yes there are choices but by the time you realise a choice has to be made it becomes a very, very painful choice to make and this is where the problem lies imo. Someone said you slip into these things, slowly, slowly and it's true. Nobody wakes up one day and just decides to begin something inappropriate with somebody. And yes sometimes they do happen because of distant/critical/whatever Husbands or wives.

You're down, you're not happy and then in the most random chance circumstances you meet someone who blows your socks off. It's wrong, you can't eat, you don't sleep and everything you knew just seems different. It can be an overpoweringly strong pull towards this other person who is treating you the way you should be getting treated at home but you're not and you've concluded you just don't have the right words to make your spouse listen up because this shit is a really slippery slope now but nothing physical has happened and I can tell myself it's just friendship...

Then you've slipped that bit further and you pine for them (genuine chemical, primal reactions that you really can't control and more to the point, don't want to because you're in love and you feel amazing and that is the kind of high it's very difficult to come down from). I'll just see him one last time and walk away. You're not actually being a selfish boot, you find the thought of people hurting because of you and your actions physically painful to contemplate - so you don't.

You bury your head in the sand of knowing it will come out and it will hurt everyone involved but just a little bit more of the drug I've become so addicted to and then I'll deal with it.

In the end I walked away from the affair and concentrated on my family (yes, I did tell my husband and in all honestly I'm not entirely sure it was the right thing to do) because I do love my husband, I'd put my life on the line for him. I've done a bad, bad thing that I feel has totally tainted me as a person. But I'm really not a bad person.

Walking away is so much easier said than done. Maybe we could have been happy, maybe I threw away that one chance of passionate love but I fucked up, tough shit on me if it hurts till the day I die but ultimately I must have loved my husband more. Or maybe I did what society expected me to do. Either way I do now have a good marriage because ironically it made me husband wake up to how miserable he'd been making me for so long. But I'll bet my house on it that there are loads of families/people out there who will have been in this situation. An untold lie or omission of a few truths does not mean a marriage will always go down the pan. I guarantee people have their secrets and continue to live a perfectly normal life, their blip way behind them and a marriage that survived. There are nowhere near as many foregone conclusions that people would have you believe.

Bogeyface Thu 27-Jun-13 00:26:24

Keep your generalisations - and wrong assumptions - to yourself, please. It's annoying to those of us who KNOW differently, actually having been in the relationship.

2 points. Firstly I dont have to keep my thoughts to myself as this is a public forum and by posting, one invites answers from all comers, whether they agree or not. Secondly, I have been in that relationship. I tried again after my husband cheated on me, and he did it again. I dont much care about the sex but I do care about the lies. He lied to me over and over, even when the evidence was irrefutable. It is the lies that I have such issue with. The OP's cheating I find disgusting, however that is her choice to make, but why continue to lie after she has left the marriage? She is being selfish, she is protecting her own self image rather than be honest and allow her husband to heal fully. Unless he is an idiot of the highest order, I am sure he knows that there is more to this than "I love you but I am not in love with you". She owes him honesty if nothing else.

Leavenheath Thu 27-Jun-13 01:07:25

Your description of what happened bottleofbeer sounds very credible and to be honest believable. Some of it mirrors what a relative of mine's husband said about his affair, although he's always said it was infatuation, not love. I think all relationships go through a bit of a 'meh' phase at some time or another and sometimes it's sheer bad luck if one of the couple meets someone else at that point. After that it's a test of willpower and trying not to get addicted, I'd have thought. I really can see how easy it is to go down that slippery slope and it's not that in itself that I take issue with.

It's the lying- and when relationships that were at worst in a bit of a rut get revised after the fact as shockingly bad and destructive to children. I've read wiser posters than me describe this as re-writing history.

While I will always understand why some affairs start, I have no respect for people who don't take responsibility for what they do and who try to blame their partners and embellish the past to justify their current decisions. Or people who do all this and then lie about even having an affair in the first place. It's spineless and it's cruel. I don't suppose those character traits end with the old relationship either and must present a hefty risk in the new one.

I wonder whether some of the successful relationships that posters have talked about here didn't have those facets? That is, once the decision was made, no continuance of lies, no blaming of others for their own choices and no rewriting of history?

meditrina Thu 27-Jun-13 06:49:07

I don't think that only those who have pain that is "fresh and raw" are critical of adultery and it's consequences. It's shouldn't be about making assumptions about posters to stereotype and diminish them.

OK, some people don't like reading condemnation, whether muted or strident. OP asked about the "lows" of her situation. Well one of them is widespread condemnation of the adultery, plus the effect on the DC. And it'll hurt, because only a parent serious lacking in normal empathy doesn't worry about effect on children and feel guilt when they are sad.

And of course these DCS would be sad; the marriage wasn't abusive, and IIRC OP's earlier reads, home life was amicable. And OP has, furthermore, decided to continue to lie to them. That is hardly going to foster the building of a new, healthy set of relationships.

beingmyself Thu 27-Jun-13 07:22:21

I'm not sure where the comments about me telling my h "I love you but I'm not in love with you" came from.

I tried for a long time to 'fix' us.... Both pre my affair and when I ended the affair (or took a break from it as it turns out). My h and I both agreed we could not make each other happy. Not did I chuck him out bogey... As I mentioned upthread he said he would rather move out as he didn't really like the house we are in.

I do understand the view of people saying 'tell the truth' if someone is confused and unsure but in my case I don't think it would help anyone - and of course I include myself in that.

I also would have had the most judgemental contempt for people who've had affairs but the fact is - it happens. I will never be proud of how we got together but I do hope we can build something from here that we are both happy with and in which we can be supportive adults to ours, and each others children too.

newbiefrugalgal Thu 27-Jun-13 07:26:38


LineRunner Thu 27-Jun-13 08:13:11

I think those are wise words, meditrina, that the more successful 'new' relationships are likely to not involve blaming the previous partner(s) for what has happened, but rather to show them some respect and concern.

Bant Thu 27-Jun-13 08:19:47


Out of curiosity, how would it make you feel if your XH told you he'd been having an affair while you were together? Relieved? Upset? Justified?

There are a lot of people on here banging on about karma, once a cheater always a cheater, you deserve unhappiness etc. That's all rubbish. Every relationship is different and no one not in the situation can know what it's like or know what'll happen, they're just projecting.

But.. While relationships born out of affairs can last, the dynamic can change so greatly when you become public that it can cause things to fail.
Take your time and try to protect all the DCs involved.

Good luck

EleanorFarjeon Thu 27-Jun-13 08:27:52

I know of two couples who divorced as the result of affairs.

My (from aeons ago)ex boyfriend's dad had an affair. He is married to the other woman and has been for 20 years. Entire extended family seem very happy and close.

My good friend's husband left her for the OW when my friend had a small baby. He has married the OW, they're very happy still 10 years on & my friend has remarried too. No animosity between them.

beingmyself Thu 27-Jun-13 08:46:00

Well bant - funny you say that as my h actually gave me the "I love you but I'm not in love with you" so I had wondered if he'd been playing away but I don't think so... Having said that he is as much 'not the type' as me. Which just shows there is no type!

If he was playing away I would feel "why wasn't I good enough?" but I wouldn't feel bitte or angry. We don't work together. As long as whoever ends up with my STBX is good to the DCs that's all I can ask for and all I have a right in now we are separated...

meditrina Thu 27-Jun-13 08:58:04

Well, OP has an opportunity to build the new relationships. Whether continued lying is going to feature is up to her. But I can only see complications if STBX is unaware of the new life she is moving towards. The DC may not need to know the full details at this stage (it does depend so much on age), but getting everything out to STBX may cause short term pain, but gives an honest foundation to the next stage. And allows him to be a full participant, not a continuing dupe.

LineRunner Thu 27-Jun-13 09:01:02

I think the key seems to be avoiding any unnecessary animosity with the partner you are breaking up with. No blame. Show kindness.

beingmyself Thu 27-Jun-13 09:07:17

line - I have a very good friend who is a child pyschologist and have talked a lot to her about affect on children and her main advice (which is obvious really) is to maintain a good relationship with the other parent. So far that looks to be possible and yes I am worried if I tell h the truth that that will not be possible. Because he is in a good emotional place and wants to split too I genuinely don't think it would do any good to tell him.

juneblues Thu 27-Jun-13 09:33:04

You still don't get it do you? Tell your husband and tell your children too. You are deluding yourself you think it is helping, your lying. Or finish the affair. Sort out your separation. Then when you're divorced, if you still feel the same, then is the time to start a new romance. Stop hurting those you are morally responsible for.

PostBellumBugsy Thu 27-Jun-13 09:33:53

beingmyself - be careful how you manage the telling him thing. On the one hand, I understand that you want to protect you H & the relationship between you to a certain extent - but on the other hand if he finds out later, then your relationship may be damaged very badly indeed - which as you rightly point out is not in the best interests of your children.

How likely is it that he would find out. Are there people who know you & your OM who also know your H? Have you told anyone at all in RL that you have been having an affair? Information will haemorrhage out, if there is any information out there.

As someone whose H left them for the OW, in an odd kind of a way, it was better to have it all out in one hit so to speak. It was ghastly, horrific & felt like essential organs were being removed from me - but at least it happened all at once & I didn't go through some fake leaving with talk of non-compatibility & then discover some time after the event that he'd been boffing someone else.

ExcuseTypos Thu 27-Jun-13 09:39:46

I agree that unless you have told no one else, these things do come out eventually. I was told things about my parents affairs as a 30 year old, by an aunt. (I asked her to be honest with me and she was) I then started asking other people questions and I found out a lot of things.

It's not nice to find out you've been lied to all your life. So unless you can guarantee your H and children will never find out the truth, you should tell them about when you started this new relationship. (Of course that depends on the DCs ages)

MorrisZapp Thu 27-Jun-13 09:46:16

Sorry but it's ridiculous to ask adults to stop seeing their new partner until a divorce is finalised. The op is no longer with her dh. They are separated. There is no need for her to 'be single' either as a front, or as reality.

People break up and move on all the time. Given that op is already in the new relationship, there's no benefit in her pretending not to be now just to tick some 'correct marriage ending behaviour' boxes as randomly dictated by others.

Bant Thu 27-Jun-13 09:56:19

If they were mutual friends while married (sorry I've only read the first 100 or so posts and not sure if this came out at some point) then when the OP and new man 'move in' together or come out publicly, there will always be suspicion that they were having an affair anyway. So they'll have to choose to lie to people 'oh no, we'd both been separately single for a while after mutually separating coincidentally at the same time'

or cut pretty much all ties with anyone from the past who knows their exes (friends, family etc) - and it will still get back to their exes. People will gossip, people will make (true) assumptions, and it could all just get worse.

OP while you don't want to hurt your ex, and your OM doesn't want to hurt his - it is incredibly highly probably that they'll come to that conclusion anyway, that you were both cheating.

I'm not going to say you should tell them the truth, that's down to you and your other half. But it will come out at some point, or you can potentially spend the rest of your lives lying to everyone - including your DC. Which will put it's own pressure on your relationship. And then it will still come out, years down the line. Some facebook photo, someone putting 2 and 2 together, someone just assuming that's what happened and telling people - it'll come out. And what you've got to think is, will it have been worth all the deception in the meantime to save your Ex a bit of justified anger, when that very deception could ruin what you could potentially have with the new man?

Think about it, do it by letter, whatever. You won't be financially penalised because it was an affair, rather than irreconcilable differences, that caused the divorce.

It's probably best for you to be honest in the long run.

LineRunner Thu 27-Jun-13 10:45:29

I agree it'll come out eventually.

I think the most hurtful thing for children sometimes can be to find out from someone else. Or to slowly work it out for themselves. And then to have it minimised by the responsible parent, or feel too emotionally afraid to ask about it.

There are a lot of threads on this Board testifying to this.

dollyindub Thu 27-Jun-13 12:34:08

Agree with all the posters saying be honest OP.

I found out my ex had been having an emotional/physical affair when I told him I was pregnant. I'd had suspicions previously and he'd followed 'the script' (if only I'd known about it then!) by calling me insecure, jealous, irrational etc.
He picked fights with me, was hyper critical and basically admitted later that he was too cowardly to finish things hmm
Meanwhile I was making excuses for his crappy behaviour and trying to be the 'perfect partner'...

He's now living with OW and although I hope it works out for them (all the pain and upheaval has to be worth something)

The lies were worse for me. Being made a fool of. The humiliation.
It's completly battered my self esteem and I'm now on ADs and in therapy.

Telling the truth won't be easy, but long term it will be better for all concerned.

As an aside, my dad had an affair with my mum's best friend. The fallout was immense - she had kids the same age and gender as me and my siblings. He moved in with them. They are still happily together 40-odd years later but none of us kids is married, 2 of us are estranged from the other parent of our kids, one is a commitment-phobe and another is in a marriage to someone that treats them like rubbish a lot of the time... Coincidence?

I'm not suggesting that my parents wouldn't have split, but the lies, deceit and hurt have stayed with me, and I think affected my ability to meet a decent partner.
Hopefully something I'll resolve in therapy.

Be honest OP, there will be fallout, but not nearly as bad as it could be if you're not.

I hope things work out for you.

Pinkdaisy4 Thu 27-Jun-13 13:37:35

Just don't lend him money!!!!!!

OneMoreChap Thu 27-Jun-13 13:54:34

My OW became my ex, became my GF, then became my DW

It was discovered and that was difficult.
Living together was cool as is marriage.

We sorted out finance carefully; worked out likely issues (why was she OW etc.)

Still married, never strayed again, nor think likely to. So don't worry all that much about trusting him

Children can put a strain on things.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 27-Jun-13 15:38:03

Bogeyface, of course you have the right to post what you want. For clarification, I was talking about my relationship. Nobody else can know what that was like as they weren't in it. Ditto yours and everybody else's. I'm sorry that your husband kept on lying and didn't take the chances offered.

I don't to come across as a supporter of affairs; I've said many times that I am not, yet I can't ignore the pain of the people involved in them, I just can't and I have my reasons for that. My friend is a shadow of herself and it makes me very sad.

At least OP's relationship has been ended - as has other man's. Both parties are free to move on and the lies have stopped. I don't know what the benefits are of telling of an affair; what's to be gained by that? People end relationships all the time and I think they have the right to privacy of the reasons, even to former partners. Once relationships have ended, there's nothing really left to say and further disclosures can just cause immense pain when there was no need for them.

I think if OP and her partner can decide on a strategy with their former partners, to introduce the children at some point, they can move forward with their own relationship. I can understand the 'secrecy' for now; it would be the same if either of them had met somebody new, not necessarily the other man/woman.

MardyPants Thu 27-Jun-13 17:29:27

The OW in my marriage was the OW in someone else's marriage, a couple of years prior. It appears she has a penchant for other people's husbands (OW in 2 marriages that then broke down, by the age of 29) but then gets bored of them when reality kicks in a couple of years down the line, and moves onto someone else's husband. I suspect the thrill and excitement of the affair, and the feeling of 'success' at 'winning' someone else's husband is far more of a motivation than actual love.

So basically, all 3 of them are the sort of person who will cheat on their spouse, and because there is a child from the first marriage, they are all inextricably linked for life, and I really think they deserve each other.

So, OP, as you and your new partner are both the sort of people who will cheat on their spouse / leave for someone else, I think you deserve each other too. Lucky escape for your exes.

MardyPants Thu 27-Jun-13 17:37:19

P.S. I was convinced it was all my fault as whassisface just said he thought we had marital problems (6 months after our wedding, 12 months after he started his affair). To find out the truth off OW's H, who found out by accident, was actually a relief as I thought we had a great relationship and was tearing myself to pieces. So man up, stop being so fucking selfish and tell your poor partners the truth so they can actually understand and try and move on, they deserve that much at least.

FinallyMrsFC Thu 27-Jun-13 18:16:10

Not telling exW and exH is a good thing. Why make things more complicated?

Don't expect it to be plain sailing at the outset. As others have said, you will both be grieving your marriage. Also you'll both need to get to know each other all over again. Real life is just so different to affair life.

Take it so so slowly, don't put pressure on it having to work out. Just enjoy being BF and GF for a while. And enjoy the rest of your life together smile

Imnotscareditsonlytheinternet Thu 27-Jun-13 18:32:56

Why are some people having such a go at the OP? I thought that was what you were supposed to do! leave your spouse rather than having an affair! they have left, no what they do is up to them, IMO telling all and sundry will just cause upset and hurt.

I can completely understand the need for keeping things secret. Why throw another relationship into the childrens lives? let them get over the split first, then introduce it gradually.

Good luck OP.

happyyonisleepyyoni Thu 27-Jun-13 18:39:19

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

happyyonisleepyyoni Thu 27-Jun-13 18:39:41

Is NOT your ex's OW lol

Bogeyface Thu 27-Jun-13 19:36:28

But they DID have an affair I'mnot then left and didnt have the decency to tell their respective OH's why. I am sure that the wife and the husband left behind will be going around in circles wondering what they did wrong that made their spouses leave. Being honest about why the marriage is over is the only decent thing to do.

And is your user name indicative of the fact that you have personal experience of this FinallyMrsFC?

FinallyMrsFC Thu 27-Jun-13 20:44:15

Or maybe it just took a while for him to propose smile

PenelopePortrait Thu 27-Jun-13 21:05:11

I don't see the point in telling X's, it just makes for a whole load more grief. The marriages are over, no need to pick the scab. Why open it all up again?

If one partner doesn't want the marriage to be over, no matter what they are told, it won't be enough. In the end it doesn't matter who's 'fault' it is, it's over. Move on.

Heartbrokenmum73 Thu 27-Jun-13 21:21:43

As someone who has recently (two months ago) been given the 'I love you but I'm not in love with you' schtick and having a horrendous time with it all, I would much rather know if there's someone else. As someone said up-thread, what if I'm still thinking he might change his mind 6 months on? Me and our dc are moving down South to start over and while it may all be great for us there I just know I'll move on quicker if I'm not wondering a) if he may change his mind once he realises what he's lost and/or b) if he's moved someone else into our house once we've gone.

OP, my way of thinking is that if you ever loved your exH you need to show him the respect he deserves and come clean for once and for all. Because to do anything else is just plain wrong.

Imnotscareditsonlytheinternet Thu 27-Jun-13 21:24:42

Bogeyface they are trying to make it OK for everyone, telling everyone what is going on will surely be rubbing their faces in it!

WHat is wrong with keeping quiet, laying low for a while? it looks to me like they are trying to do the best for everyone!

Heartbrokenmum73 Thu 27-Jun-13 21:30:18

But Imnotscared isn't it widely recognised that for anyone to have full closure in these circumstances they need full disclosure from their partner?

PenelopePortrait Thu 27-Jun-13 21:33:40

How do they ever know they've got full disclosure?

Leavenheath Thu 27-Jun-13 21:35:02

What is 'wrong' is exactly what I pointed out upthread and is what heartbrokenmum has so eloquently explained. The only reason people don't tell is so as not to attract any blame, not just from their spouses, but children, family and friends. It's self-interest. Any other excuses given for lying are in fact, more lies. It's cringeworthy to see people who are probably bringing their children up not to tell lies, encouraging others to do just that and to keep on doing it.

PenelopePortrait Thu 27-Jun-13 21:56:46

I don't believe that the only reason people don't tell is so as not to attract any blame. It may be the reason for some but for others it's not. I don't see how telling someone the honest truth about how they feel about you would help them. It would be downright cruel.

Heartbrokenmum73 Thu 27-Jun-13 22:01:23

No, it's cruel to leave people hanging (exactly as I am at present) and wondering what THEY'VE done wrong in the relationship to cause the other person to leave, when in actual fact that other person knows exactly why they're leaving. It's cruel and cowardly to be so underhand and downright deceitful.

As I am now, I would much rather know if there was someone else - that way I'd know for certain that it's 100% over (whether he changes his mind or not) and that I can move forward without the constant nagging little voice.

Leavenheath Thu 27-Jun-13 22:09:45


It's got nothing to do with 'telling people how you feel'. That much is obvious by the relationship ending in the first place. An affair doesn't suggest that the feelings towards an ex partner are any worse than they would have been if the relationship had broken down without any outside intervention. In fact, many people testify that it was much easier to deal with the break up of a relationship because of an affair than it was to deal with the prospect that a partner would rather be on his own than in the relationship.

It's much crueller to tell lies about what was the catalyst for leaving.

There are threads galore on here over the years from people who have said they would have much preferred the truth, whereas I've yet to see one in 7 years from someone who said 'I'm glad I didn't know'. Even if one popped up now (which would be suspicious wink) it would still be unusual.

Heartbrokenmum73 Thu 27-Jun-13 22:15:40

many people testify that it was much easier to deal with the break up of a relationship because of an affair than it was to deal with the prospect that a partner would rather be on his own than in the relationship.

Yes, this exactly. This exactly sums up how I feel at the moment. I've even said this to my STBEx. If this is the case (as it is in the OPs case) then it's only fair to give the other person that closure and the chance to let the relationship go fully. And also to go through the emotions attached to it.

PenelopePortrait Thu 27-Jun-13 22:15:53

heartbrokenmum but what if you haven't done anything wrong or whatever it is, there is nothing you can or could've have done about it?

If they are seeing someone else, that might just be the catalyst for them to realise the relationship/marriage is not right, it may not be the person they want to spend the rest of their life with.

Sometimes people go along with a relationship thinking that it's right, then when they really do meet someone and feel different, they realise the other relationship wasn't right. Nobody has done anything wrong, it's just not what one party wants anymore.

Leavenheath Fri 28-Jun-13 01:57:52

So, in the hypothesis you outline, it would be the kindest thing to say that to the partner you are leaving. Adding, perhaps a sincere apology for not raising any doubts or misgivings about the relationship in an open way when they first started having feelings for someone else and started thinking that perhaps the current relationship wasn't right after all.

Dealing only with that example and not other types of affairs where there's been longstanding and openly discussed unhappiness, or affairs where people think that fancying someone else must mean the current relationship is terrible even if they'd been truthfully happy beforehand, being honest with someone you've once loved and whom your children still do love, gives them some choices.

In your example, the healthiest response from the person left behind would be: "Okay, this isn't my fault. My partner didn't raise any unhappiness with me before he chose to have an affair and I can see that an intense, dangerous and exciting new relationship will always show an established, safe, comfortable one in a negative light. There's nothing I could have done to stop that and although I wish that he'd shared his doubts with me before getting too involved in the affair and I feel very angry about the deceit while it lasted, this was outside of my control. I won't beat myself up about doing anything wrong and if I have a relationship again, I'll talk to a new partner about how important it is for him to share any doubts or wobbles about the relationship as soon as he has them."

Contrast that with the alternative of leaving a marriage with children, refusing to attempt (or engage with) counselling, claiming longstanding (but previously unexpressed) unhappiness and insisting no-one else is involved.

If there's one person on the receiving end of that little speech who doesn't constantly torture themselves with an inner dialogue of 'what did I do wrong? will he change his mind? Is he ill? Why has he changed so much? Why won't he try to work on things? How can he not want to wake up with his children every day?' then I've yet to meet them, or encounter them on Mumsnet.

It's cruel and indefensible to lie and it's never done for altruistic motives. Pretending it is, is just another layer of lies.

Mimishimi Fri 28-Jun-13 02:52:32

If you are happy and secure in your love, you should not be hiding this. You need to tell your partners ... it will make it easier for them as well because they will not have to torture themselves (as much) with questions of what they might have done wrong. Are you choosing to keep it a secret for financial settlement reasons? Does an extramarital relationship have any bearing on that?

nkf Fri 28-Jun-13 06:24:48

The person who said upthread that people having an affair create unhappy marriages got it right. My own now ended marriage was rocky but it was also very real and very resilient in many ways, but when he became involved with another woman, he revised everything. It had always been awful, I had always been awful etc..

LineRunner Fri 28-Jun-13 08:45:57

Contrast that with the alternative of leaving a marriage with children, refusing to attempt (or engage with) counselling, claiming longstanding (but previously unexpressed) unhappiness and insisting no-one else is involved.

Leavenheath, Yes, that is a cruel tactic, commonly and sadly seen on this Relationships board.

The person left behind is then often blamed for being 'impossible to live with' or characterised as 'mad'. Why else would a loving parent up and leave their spouse and children when 'There is no-one else involved. Honest.'

It's very abusive, really. Quite the opposite of honesty, kindness, care and concern.

I suppose the OP is arguing that she could attempt discretion as opposed to honesty. If she can add in kindness, care and concern, it may be possible to do this without animosity; but I do think there's a danger that it'll all come out in the end and potentially be a right old mess for the DCs.

Imnotscareditsonlytheinternet Fri 28-Jun-13 08:52:14

"But Imnotscared isn't it widely recognised that for anyone to have full closure in these circumstances they need full disclosure from their partner?"

Widely recognised by who?

My ExH is now in a relationship with his OW (from years ago) I believe they were having an affair on and off for about 10 years, I have no proof and im simply not interested, I dont see how me knowing full details will help anyone !! I cant change anything !! their relationship is also 'secret' as it is quite complicated. THe children dont need to know anything, or have full closure, they know me and their Dad have split up and that we both love them.

NameThatTuna Fri 28-Jun-13 09:40:48

I think it's hard to say if moving on from an affair to a relationship will last, every relationship is different just like every person is different.

You may think he's the love of your life now, but didn't you think that when you married your DH. Look how that turned out.

As for telling him about OM, I think you should. I'm not going to flame you, I'm looking at this from my DP's experience.

He was in a long term relationship which ended when his GF had an affair. He was devastated. He use to say he wished he didn't know about OM. It made him feel he wasn't good enough for her and his self esteem hit rock bottom knowing she chose this man over him.

Now? He's bloody glad he knew about OM. She tried to get back with DP numerous times a few years following the discovery, while still with OM. He couldn't ever forgive her and knowing how she made him feel after she left him, he knew he would always be wondering if she would do it again.
I think because he had the truth about why she left, it helped him move on, otherwise he would've still been trying to flog a dead horse IYKWIM. Their relationship wasn't going too well anyway, he understands why the affair happened but he chose not to cheat, she did.

It's making me question why you won't come clean. Is it really to do with not hurting him? Or is it because you want to leave the door open with your DH, should anything go wrong with OM, you can try again?

Poogate Fri 28-Jun-13 15:07:44

Wholeheartedly agree with everything LyingWitchInTheWardrobes has said.

There are some very vindictive and judgemental posts on this thread. Some of you should be ashamed of yourselves, your venom and bitterness towards the OP is contemptible. Being in an unhappy marriage is lonely, depressing and utterly miserable. Living in a loveless atmosphere is very toxic for children and if handled correctly, children can flourish when they are away from that environment.

Leavenheath Fri 28-Jun-13 15:15:47

Living in a loveless atmosphere is very toxic for children and if handled correctly, children can flourish when they are away from that environment.

No-one is saying anything different to that. So it's a straw man.

But if the OP and her new partner were content to subject their children to a 'loveless toxic atmosphere' until a new sexual and romantic relationship slotted into place, I don't think that's commendable and unselfish parenting, do you?

Not that the OP has said her marriage was that bad, on this or her other thread. And no-one knows what her new partner's family life was like, apart from him and his own family.

Straw men.

Bogeyface Fri 28-Jun-13 18:00:22

Funny how it wasnt lonely or or depressing until she met a new man.

I am not at all ashamed of anything I have posted, I stand by every last word. I am disgusted at the lies, the self absorption and selfishness the OP has shown, and I reserve the right to voice that disgust.

parttimer79 Sat 29-Jun-13 12:57:02

Ok I've been in this situation, both DP and I left marriages to be together, we didn't live together at first but we do now and are expecting a child.
And pretty much everyone knew why - my ex, his ex, families, friends.
At first perhaps this made it harder but in the long run it made much more sense as the whole relationship wasn't predicated on a lie which we had to live in public.

It was bad enough to lie for the few weeks of our affair (we then went NC, went to counselling with our respective spouses, and chose to get back together a few months later). If I had to do that for the rest of my life it would have destroyed me and certainly destroyed our relationship.

Part of our reasoning was that if you make such a huge decision (and as people have said it is a choice, not something which just happens) and you are sure it is right you need to have the courage to live that decision or what chance does the relationship really have.

From my perspective a few years down the line I would say I am now in an very happy and successful relationship. By being honest about how we caused our marriages to fail I like to think at least we know how those weaknesses could impact on this relationship and try to stop that happening.

I don't buy the vacancy/karma/once a cheater vitriol on here but I do see that facing your own bad behaviour (and lets not kid ourselves an affair is anything but bad behaviour) with some level of honesty and self awareness is vital.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 29-Jun-13 13:44:33

Leavenheath... I note that on another thread, you've referred to this one and said pretty much that anybody who doesn't agree with the complete disclosure POST break-up is either a current OW or an ex-OW. You're generalising and quite wrong. I'm not a current OW or an ex-OW either and I don't appreciate the 'slur' even if it is accompanied by the wink you seem so fond of.

If my husband met somebody else, he would tell me. If he had an affair, ended our relationship and went off with an OW then the fact that there is an OW wouldn't tell me anything about my own relationship. I just be sad that it had ended and we couldn't make it work. If I met somebody else and wanted to have a relationship with him, I would tell my husband. I wouldn't put the blame on him in any way. My ex, although a bastard, didn't put the blame on me either funnily enough. Blame is the key, not disclosure of other people's involvement. That's my opinion anyway, based on my experiences.

I really do have a problem with generalisations. We can only talk of our own experiences not those of others because we just weren't involved or even there. I don't think it is the slightest bit helpful to a bereft poster to do that because it's just false and pointless really. Same goes for spouting 'karma' and the other platitudes... the poster clinging to this kind of fakery will inevitably be disappointed when it doesn't come to pass.

Anybody can have their opinions on a chatboard forum but it's really disingenous - and wrong - to state things as fact which are nothing more than an opinion.

Leavenheath Sat 29-Jun-13 13:46:11

Great post.

And is one of the answers I was seeking upthread when I wondered how many of the successful second relationships written about, involved being honest with everyone at the point of break-up, about the existence of an affair. I agree it's a very poor foundation for a relationship if it's predicated on a lie that has to be upheld for years. I think it's also insulting to people's intelligence too and in a way, treating them with contempt. Not just the ex spouses either- but children, parents, friends.

I'd imagine that a sort of 'dance' ensues, where perhaps to the couple's face everyone appears to buy this story about a coincidental meeting after both left marriages around the same time, but privately those people think otherwise and deeply resent the attempt to treat them like incurious fools.

Leavenheath Sat 29-Jun-13 13:51:03

Anyone can write anything on a chatboard forum Lying. I never blindly assume that people are telling the truth. As it happens, I wasn't even referring to you on that other thread so I'm not sure why it has touched a nerve. I was referring to another poster and if you've read posts on that other thread, it seems I was right in my suspicions.

ihearsounds Sat 29-Jun-13 14:05:25

It can work.
I have friends, they were both in relationships with other people. She was married, had serious doubts beforehand, but was reassured that it was wedding jitters and everyone felt this way. So she went through with it.
He was her hubbies best mate and was seeing someone.

She really, really tried and made it work. But in all honesty she was miserable, in a loveless marriage. Anyway, her and the bf started spending time together, it was all innocent to start with. There was a spark, and they both tried to fight it. Long story short, they have now been together, properly as a couple for 20 years, apart from a period of about 2 months, after they had left their partners. They now live together, have a child, recently got engaged, and never looked back.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 29-Jun-13 14:28:57

I didn't think you were talking about me, Leavenheath, I'm one of several voices telling you that you're incorrect in your assumptions. You were referring to people AT LARGE who don't agree that full disclosure is necessary. I would have called it on that thread but the OP is very sad and doesn't need to have that point hammered home so I didn't. This thread is different, it's relevant and the OP is making a new life having ended her current relationship. She's not an OW, she's a free woman.

You aren't right in your suspicions, you're just suspicious and taking a tiny sample of people back-patting you as validation. That's your prerogative.

Far, far too much labelling of people, willy-nilly, here there and everywhere, it's ridiculous.

Leavenheath Sat 29-Jun-13 15:33:02

More straw men.

Especially since I largely agree with you Lying- and have on a recent thread- that there is not enough listening any more on Mumsnet and too many ridiculous 'once a cheater' kneejerk responses. Not once have I personally written anything like that. I do however believe that two people who have lied for months while having an affair and intend to go on lying are not addressing the attitudes and behaviour that led to them cheating in the first place. But as I also pointed out upthread, I don't assume that everyone who's left for an OW/OM is like that.

Where I profoundly disagree with you is that lying about the existence of an overlapping relationship is the right course of action. This is based on never encountering a single person whose marriage has broken up, who wouldn't have wanted to know about the existence of a third party. At least one poster on this thread who has recently had this happen to her, explains what many others have every week on Mumsnet; why knowing helps.

I do find it odd when true neutrals can't see that. I find it less odd if people have a 'don't tell' view because that's precisely what they did.

This thread was upsetting the OP of another thread, who is devastated about her husband leaving extremely suddenly just as his daughter was about to sit her GCSEs. Despite the existence of E mails between him and another woman, he is insisting that no-one's involved. That OP was appalled to read this thread and the views that upheld her husband's right to lie to her. I suggested it was likely that some of the people espousing that view had been party to exactly the same behaviour and I don't regret that for one minute. At no point did I say that any of you with these views were definitely secret harbourers, nor have I ever said anything about 'karma' or 'once a cheater' or any of that bollocks.

On any thread ever.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 29-Jun-13 16:19:03

Fair enough Leavenheath.

I've been giving this some thought, specifically around why I hold the view that knowing details once the relationship has ended would be superfluous for me yet perhaps not for other people. I've come to the conclusion that it's because of what I alluded to in my earlier post - the concept of 'blame'.

Even though my ex conducted himself really poorly, was very hurtful in his actions and there was an OW; when he told finally told me (what I already knew) that we couldn't keep going on this way, he didn't blame me for my part in the relationship breakdown. He never did this actually, the non-blame thing was a big part of the attraction for me as I was surrounded by people when I was growing up who always needed to attach blame somewhere, anywhere...

Perhaps I should be more vitriolic towards him, but I can't. I just don't feel that way. He's a decent person and I actually think that most people are decent inside, even when they make awful decisions or bad mistakes. It's the response to those which is all important for me.

In the circumstances you describe - overlap of relationship, with all the mess and deflection that can bring if a partner doesn't disclose AND does the usual trying to attribute responsibility for the affair to the non-cheating partner; I'd probably feel exactly as you describe. It just goes to show that each person's experience is different and a slight variation can lead to a completely different result.

Maybe I'm just too shallow to focus on the actions of other people? I can't give them headspace (the actions) once they've been resolved and whilst I don't forget, I do forgive. Perhaps that is because to not do so would cause me pain that I just don't want?

It is really interesting to read the views of others and I do acknowledge that you don't trot out the platitudes. There are plenty of posters who do - and they're entitled to do just that - but I think it's not very healthy the way some people focus on wishing the 'downfall' or 'retribution' towards somebody who meant something to them; somebody they often still have close links to because of children, family, etc.

I truly feel for the OP as she has a hard slog in front of her and she may never know what it is like to have an unencumbered relationship with her now/new partner. Relationships are absolutely fraught with uncertainty and there are just no guarantees of anything. I hope that if my husband and I ever split, we will be honest with one another and work hard on the split to make it as 'good' as it can be. Idealistic? Certainly. Possible? Maybe... I'd like to think so.

Leavenheath Sat 29-Jun-13 16:55:59

Thanks- and I have been thinking about this too.

I completely agreed with your post that infidelity doesn't tell you very much at all (if anything) about your relationship. But it tells you something about the person who was unfaithful- and who chose that course of action instead of others. As I said upthread, if that disclosure is accompanied with no blame apportioned to the person left behind (as you say occurred in your own break-up) then there's more chance of a person being able to move on and not attach any blame to herself.

Unfortunately as we see all the time on here and in real-life, departing spouses very often do apportion blame, whether they admit to an affair or not. And the ones left behind are far more likely to blame themselves if either their former partners are dishing out the blame or are claiming that the relationship has become untenable despite no-one else being involved.

If you know someone else is involved, in the best of circumstances a person can move on and acknowledge that it would have been an impossible feat to compete with the pull of a new exciting relationship and that it wasn't necessarily a reflection of the old relationship or the former partner. If on the other hand the relationship had been very unhappy and this was in the open domain, some people can look beyond the hurt pride and anger about the deception and recognise that the relationship would have ended anyway. Sharing the responsibility for the breakdown in a relationship- if that breakdown had been previously openly acknowledged- is different to taking erroneous responsibility for someone's decision to have an affair, after all.

I suspect one of the reasons that people 'don't tell' is because they don't want their exes to focus on the affair to the exclusion of the problems that were evident and openly acknowledged in the relationship. So they want to keep the moral high ground and public image of the long-suffering spouse who'd tried everything to rescue the marriage and has now run out of steam. Any challenge to that martyr status would be uncomfortable, especially if others knew of the struggles and were supportive of the person leaving the relationship.

But that's not fair either. And it's not truthful or plausible to blame one person for every bit of bad behaviour in a marriage that has failed.

It's far more dignified in my view and far better for a good future co-parenting relatonship if a person can say 'we were both at fault in this marriage, but I was wrong to lie to you and have an affair with someone else before I left. I apologise for that'.

I must stress this only applies to situations where there have been openly discussed problems in the marriage. As I suggested upthread, it's a different conversation entirely if no grievances or problems have ever even been raised.

missbopeep Sat 29-Jun-13 18:52:30

Reading both your responses here , Leaven and Lying, surely the obvious answer to all of this is that every person and every couple has different needs?

I don't often pop onto the Relationships forum too much these days partly because I used to, and got tired of the platitudes, cliches, holier-than-thou and purely vitriolic posts from the quite a number of posters.

I am sure that this forum works well for some posters. BUT what strikes me is that the 'advice' trotted out here is more about posters' opinions ( and strongly held ones at that) than what is best for the OP AND ( to get to the point at last) is a million miles removed from counselling which is completely non judgemental and throws the ball firmly into the client's court: 'what would work for you' they ask.

I think it's highly dangerous for anyone who is not qualified, to label people and their behaviour ( sociophobic, narcisstic, passive aggressive, to name just some of the favourites) based on a quick google.

What worked for you may not work for anyone else - or another couple. And to advise as if it would is not terribly helpful.

That's what I think, anyway!

Leavenheath Sat 29-Jun-13 20:04:13

It's not our remit to be counsellors. If anyone said that they were, there's a warning on the top of the page that people might not be what they seem. In fact this is something that I often point out on threads. People aren't necessarily what they seem.

It's an internet forum, not a counselling room. People can offer what opinions, advice and judgement as they see fit. I think it often helps an OP if a respondent discloses why they hold a particular view, but it's not mandatory and in any case, not everyone tells the truth as I've pointed out on this and other threads. So best to keep an open mind, especially if it's an unusual or minority opinion that's at odds with what a lot of other posters are saying.

When trying to reference why I personally believe it's better for people to know about the existence of an overlapping relationship, I've referred to the shared experience that is Mumsnet and the plethora of threads we've all seen where posters say they'd rather know. My rational brain tells me that there are too many of them all saying the same thing in different ways, for it not to be their truth. Plus this reference point is something that all posters can access, in a way that they cannot if just one poster came on to talk about a friend or relative's situation and what worked for them.

As I haven't mentioned anything about my own relationship, I'm not sure who you are referring to when you say What worked for you may not work for anyone else but if it's Lying I think it's very helpful to read that she valued the fact that her ex partner refused to blame her. That shared experience seems highly pertinent to the thread.

FWIW I agree with you that it's impossible to diagnose any condition on the internet and that this maxim applies to learning disabilities and general health queries as well as personality disorders. But it's sometimes helpful if a poster says 'have you thought about...?' and suggests that the OP takes it up with a professional if they are minded to investigate further. It bothers me though if posters say 'I'm an expert/qualified in x, y or z and I think you should consider b' because that gives a false and unverifiable validity to their suggestions. But it's up to posters to read the guidelines too and accept that what people say they are, might not be the case.

tessa6 Sat 29-Jun-13 20:45:10

To go back to basics of the OP's first post, I'd offer this advice. Be certain and consistent, even when you're not sure. It's the wavering and indecision that breaks people's hearts and wastes their time. Try and encourage detachment but support for the injured party but never give them false hope of return or 'fall back into bed with them' as a result of being used to having both options. Do not want to be liked so much you are prepared to flit between them. Do not punish them in any way for your wrong. If they need to hate you, let them. Anger is a powerful protector.

Go straight into counselling with the new partner. There are going to be massive and painful bumps along the way, particularly for the first few years and managing them is hard. Be honest, but don't torture each other with thoughts of regret and memories of the other party. Keep some of yourself sacred, to grieve and respect the person you loved enough to marry.

Bear in mind others will gossip and speak badly of you, extended families will pick sides and play games. Only think of the children. Your reputation is not important.

Try and be a team, but bear in mind you don't actually know each other very well yet. No affair has two whole people in it. Prepare to be shocked and even disappointed. Try and laugh about it.

Encourage trust and deal firmly and honestly with why you had the affair in the first place. Do not hide behind the idea of unmet needs. You will have unmet needs in this one too.

Life has an inherent sadness in it somewhere. Before you believed it was because you were not with each other. Now you may find it is because you are. Learn from it.
Eventually, forgive yourself.

akaWisey Sat 29-Jun-13 22:41:18

tessa6 a really, really balanced and thoughtful post.

missbopeep Sun 30-Jun-13 08:50:59


On most points I agree with you. In fact I was one of a number of MNs who was proactive, a few years back, in suggesting to MNHQ ( off forum) they have the disclaimer at the top of this forum ( about posters not being qualified.)

I wasn't directing my post at you- I used the word 'you' rather than 'one'.

It's worth bearing in mind that 90% of posters here are women. What women want may not be what men want- and this thread was about whether a man ought to know. IME of REAL LIFE experiences ( not mine, but friends and family) of this, some men ( or women) may want to know, but equally some may not. Each couple is different. That's why on balance it's questionable whether (IMO) advising on the basis of what worked for 'you' ( the poster) as you are not the OP or in their marriage etc.

I think it is perfectly valid to recount experiences - which may be helpful or maybe not- but to say 'this worked for me so it's what you must do' is not right.

stepmooster Sun 30-Jun-13 09:40:37

I think it was parttimer79, who said that not being honest with the world would make things difficult years down the line.

Now I come from this as the wife of a man whose ex cheated on him, but never admitted it. She was adamant that they were just friends and someone she talked to occassionally for advice. What the ex didn't know was that my DH had found her inbox open on the PC and read all the sordid exchanges. So my DH confronted his ex and she lied and he divorced her. To this day she will swear blind nothing was going on. DH never called her out on why he knew she was lying for sake of their son but it did not sit well!

They divorced, and the settlement took ages, years in fact. The ex had to pretend that her lover was not living with her, the 3 nights a week rule. She needed the money from my ex, and I can see why she had 3 kids to support (2 from another relationship) but my DH refused to give in and would always maintain they had been in a relationship from the beginning and had been living together. DSS confirmed as much to him. So the ex had to keep her finances totally separate, pay for every bill herself for years. DH thought the new bloke was a sponger and dishonest for not committing to his ex.

DH was was living on a sofa bed and just wanted the settlement to be fair. The ex not being able to admit to the world what was plain to see, really ruined any chance of anything amicable. They were a couple and they continued to live a lie (FOR 3 YEARS!)

Before the settlement was finalised DH met and married me. We were honest from the start even if it did affect the settlement outcome. We did not want to lie or wait to start our life together. I can only imagine how awful it must have been for her. Waiting for the settlement to be over to finally come clean with the relationship. Then you have to witness your ex get married.

Finally a month before the 2nd hearing the ex confessed to the relationship and DH was geniunely happy for her that the new bloke was willing to settle down with her. The settlement was resolved and 2 months after that the ex got married.

Now DSS was young at the time of separation and had no clue. He is always asking his dad questions about his mum/dads relationship and his stepfather, like he was mums friend who moved in when you left home. DH feels rubbish in having to lie about everything, feels like he has been made to be the one who abandoned them. He also wants to ask about how we both met so we tell him. How on earth the ex answers these questions I have no idea. And of course there is always the chance that DSS will realise the truth one day, and how he reacts to that?

Hi OP if you are prepared to live a lie for sake of your ex then please think carefully about your kids. They grow up and ask questions, they are clever and come to conclusions.

Dadthelion Sun 30-Jun-13 10:00:39

If my ex wife had an affair when we were married I wouldn't want to know. Looking back she probably was, I don't want to know.

Our children wouldn't need to know.

She's been with her partner six years, good for her now she's happier.

We're amicable, if I'd have found out she'd been having an affair it would have made that difficult, and now down the line doesn't make any difference, the marriage was dead.

beingmyself Sun 30-Jun-13 10:10:41

Thanks tessa.

Thank you as well for the many and advice filled and supportive PMs. I will reply but manic with DC!

Have been reading every post in detail and following the thread carefully too. It is making me think about whether we should just tell everyone. As I said before my h is happy about the separation anyway so he's not wondering "why"... But I think my new partner's wife may be and I do feel sympathy for that. I will talk to him about it

beingmyself Sun 30-Jun-13 10:16:38

My main worry is that his w has already started to 'use' the children and I fear this would just get worse if she knew their dad was with someone else in a happy relationship. I know many of you will scoff but I am genuinely thinking about the children here. I'm sure their mum is a great parent and obviously I know what she is going through must be awful but she projects every emotion she has onto the kids (both under 5yrs) and I can only see this getting worse if she knew the full truth. As it was their marriage had been bad for a long while (by her admission too) so it coming to an end without her knowing about me isn't the biggest shock in the world.

beingmyself Sun 30-Jun-13 10:18:50

I think what I mean is that if I were in her shoes I wouldn't understand why even though things were awful, my husband didn't even want to try counselling or something. However she was EA to him and as MNet always seems to advise, tha is a deal breaker. He did try to talk to her many times about it but was always met with silence or "if you really loved being with me you wouldn't need to see your friends" etc

nkf Sun 30-Jun-13 10:37:02

What you have been told about his relationship with his ex is only what you have been told. I would counsel against taking it as truth. As you know yourself, a marriage is a mysterious thing. You are making decisions based on assumptions about other people, but then I think you are making life choices based on all sorts of assumptions. You do not know the truth about his ex wife. You really don't.

nkf Sun 30-Jun-13 10:38:43

She probably suspects there is another woman. I think men rarely leave without the prompt of another woman. So, you are probably not being as discreet as you think.

onefewernow Sun 30-Jun-13 10:51:57

His friends??

minkembernard Sun 30-Jun-13 11:03:39

Op. i went from being the OW. he was not married or cohabiting but we were still cheating. it did me a lot of damage. and I was paranoid. However, he was a serial cheater and abusive and I was foolish. I did worry a lot about what he was up to and it was destructive. as far as I know he actually did not cheat.

I have a friend who left her failing relationship for the OM. they struggled for a few years because she had trust issues but they got through them and are now married and happy.
However she did lie to her x when he asked her straight out. lied repeatedly and that did a lot of damage.

i would say and this is a personal opinion, don't tell your h is he is not looking for reasons. he gains nothing by you telling him. arguably you gain more by getting it off your chest.
but do not lie if he straight out asks you now or in the future when you go public as to do so is extremely insulting when some one already knows. it will damage you co parenting rs.

i would caution though beware the unfaithful man who claims his wife is abusive. she may be but that is also.precisely what an abusive man would say....and he is the one who had an affair...

brace yourself to bale if he turns out not to be that he seemed. don't do what i did and stay to punish yourself because of the way you got together.

what is done is done. i hope all parties can work this out in way that is best for the dcs who it must be remembered were given no voice in this at all. the main thing is that they must beunderstand is that although adults make choices that affect them, they are never to blame. because kids do blame themselves when things go wrong.

Upnotdown Sun 30-Jun-13 11:12:31

How do you know so much about his wife? Do you know her on a personal level?

IMO I think you should be careful about putting all of your eggs in one basket. Not to piss on your parade but I suppose it's in your best interest to stay in the dark. When infidelity is thrown into the mix, some marriages/relationships are completely dead but others are easier to repair (as the problems that needed addressing are all out in the open.)

You only know for sure about your own relationship - everything else is just what he wants you to know/think. Keep your wits about you - blind trust in your situation (OW/OM) is not really an option, is it x

parttimer79 Sun 30-Jun-13 11:50:45

being there is a big difference between knowing a relationship is going badly and being prepared for it to end. I don't mean to be patronising but you really have no idea what his ex is thinking.
I have no idea, even after some years, how DPs ex felt or what went on in the marriage pre breakdown from her perspective.

Also what looks like "using the kids" may be the adjustment of having to learn to co-parent when you were not expecting this, you need to step back from that and leave them to it and this will give you the chance to work on co-parenting with your ex (if that is relevant to you).

I really wish someone had said to me, this will be really difficult and shitty but concentrate on your own relationship and don't spend so much time obsessing over his ex and what is going on with her as you will never know! So I'm saying it to you smile

parttimer79 Sun 30-Jun-13 11:51:45

btw tessa6 great post

juneblues Sun 30-Jun-13 12:09:45

How do you know the ex of your lover was emotionally abusive? It's easier to say this, but if you're not in that relationship, you really don't know. For the past couple of years, every single time I have asked my husband to help like doing washing up, hoovering etc, he has screamed back to me that I am a bully, this has really shocked me, it's effectively claiming I'm emotionally abusive towards him and he's told his parents this - what he didn't tell his parents was that he beat me up, put me down with his words of criticism, everything he did in the last couple of years has been with complete disregard for his family. So his parents now have the impression I am emotionally abusive and he thinks I am because I dare to ask him to contribute help with the housework. So be careful to take "sides" and be careful you think the ex of your lover is using the children, try instead if possible to put yourself in that ex's position and imagine how she is currently coping. I'm guessing her husband is no longer in the house, suddenly everything lies on her shoulders, from the practical to emotional, add on to that the trauma the children will be going through to have lost a parent from their home.

tessa6 Sun 30-Jun-13 12:14:19

As for the X wife, you need to have a bit less acceptance of his picture of her and a lot more sympathy for her pain. This 'using the kids' thing is, as others have said above, maybe a combination of fury, compassion for them and fear and confusion about the change that has just happened. For a man to marry someone, have kids with them and then up and leave without intense attempts to try is a betrayal of his vows and her expectations. She is going to flounder for a long time. It is possible that anger with his lies and infidelity would help her detach from him and get on with her life, but yes would almost certainly deteriorate their co-parenting relationship further.

As much as I hate to say it, there are occasions where the damage done by admitting to an affair after the fact have been detrimental to everyone involved. It depends what her perspective is and what she needs right now. Your new partner will not be able to see any of this objectively and will cast everyone and everything as rationalising the decisions he's made.

Of course she was annoyed about him going out and seeing his friends all the time. He was having an affair. She was being betrayed and lied to and made to feel crazy. Of course the marriage had not been good for a while. He was neglecting her and HAVING AN AFFAIR and looking for a way out.

Your concern for the children is understandable and not without basis. But own your choice to break apart this family. Concern for the children was not enough to cease embarking on the affair, so it is always a toss up in these situations. It can still all be okay, and the children can absolutely get through it and thrive. Ultimately it is your DH's choice about whether he comes clean and of course his tendency will be not to, to protect his sense of self and reputation. The 'noble' thing to do would be to tell the truth and face the consequences but actually the practical thing to do may be not to, in the hope of long term better relations within which to raise these children.

tessa6 Sun 30-Jun-13 12:23:48

Bit worried about your description of her as 'EA'. Of course this may be true but you seem awfully accepting of a rather cliched explanation for his infidelity and leaving when there are no real concrete examples of this you've given except her not wanting him to go out so much (when he was actually having an affair) and concerns about the children (phrased as 'using the children' in a way that's vague and may be unfair). You may well find she is eminently reasonable, OP, and that he is flexible with the truth to justify what he wants. If that is the case it might be useful for him to have to face the consequences of what he has done fully and be honest with everyone, and you might find it better and more healthy for you to be allowed to be out in the open and have channels of communication with who you need to.

prettybird Sun 30-Jun-13 12:32:42

I got together with (now) dh when his previous marriage was in its dying throws. It was a long distance relationship - at the time I lived over 200 miles away. Ours was a friendship which developed into something more.

He and his wife (who I had got to know through him) did try relationship counselling for a while - but (according to him) she was only interested in "how to stay together" rather than exploring "what was best for both of them - including the possibility of amicably splitting up".

I'm not sure she ever knew that our relationship actually overlapped the end of their marriage. She knew we were friends and that we got together (officially) shortly after they formally separated.

Ironically, in the early days, most of the arguments that dh and I had were where I was taking his wife's side and telling him that she was being reasonable in the circumstances. I was always careful never to bad mouth her.

Fortunately, there were no children involved. One of the reasons that they split up was that she was pressurising him to have kids and he wasn't ready.

Dh also went to counselling for a while on his own as he was going through the separation.

Dh and I got married about 5 years later and have now been married 15 years. We have gone through major problems but have stuck together. One thing I have never worried about is him cheating on me.

gettingeasiernow Sun 30-Jun-13 12:51:33

Please tell me you have considered carefully why it is better to keep your relationship a secret still. I speak as someone who spent years "wondering why" - I know I would rather have the pain upfront, and see the logic of why I was left, rather than spend years unable to rest because I don't understand why it happened and continually searching for the reasons within myself. I really do believe honesty is the best policy, far less painful long term, easier to move on from. Please bear in mind no matter what the state of the relationships you left, it is far easier to be cushioned by the excitement of new love than it is to be left lonely and confused. Think of the functional co-parenting relationships you should now be aiming for with your ex partners and how important honesty and respect will be in making those work. Good luck.

Leavenheath Sun 30-Jun-13 12:51:58

OP you know nothing about your partner's marriage, or his ex-wife's reaction to it. All you know is what you've been told. The only thing you can testify to accurately is that your partner had an affair and lied to her.

If however she is angry, sad and devastated, at least some of that is probably being made worse by your partner continuing to lie to her about why he left her. If she has been left with two children under 5 and the bulk of the childcare too, I'm sure she is very angry. For him to have found the time to meet up with you for the last few months must have made serious dents in the time he's had to pull his weight at home, too. In her shoes, I think I'd be furious too.

Legally it makes no difference to residence or his contact with the children, that he had an affair. Just as your ex-husband wouldn't be able to deny you residence or contact with the children if he knew the truth. Being practical, it might make your partner's contact with such small children a bit more difficult in the short term if his exwife chose to restrict contact, but he will need a residence order just like many other parents. However, you have no evidence that his wife is 'using the children' and even if she's threatening to, that is likely to change as she starts to recover from her shock and starts realising that your partner needs to step up and be a proper father caring for his children single-handedly, giving her a break- and the children the benefit of spending time with Dad alone.

WRT partners being told the truth, this isn't gendered and it's rather silly to infer that women might want the truth more than men. This is about individuals.

But moreover, as lots of people have pointed out over and over again, this is not just about telling the truth to ex-partners. It's about being honest with everyone and therefore not living a lie for the rest of your lives- with your children, your respective parents, your friends and also any future friends you make as a couple. If you haven't told your own parents and friends the truth about this for example, why is that?

missbopeep Sun 30-Jun-13 13:05:05

Interesting that the only (?) man to post here said he didn't want to know. I have a male friend who suspected his ex W had affairs but he didn't want to know either. In the end he left her but her possible dalliances were not remotely the reason behind the split.

I think it may well be possible for this to be more gender-specific than people think- men are often more able to compartmentalise (I think this is proved by research). They are often much keener to avoid talking about relationships and 'issues' and I can see that many men would prefer not to know, as it's a huge ego blow.

When couples split because one has found someone else most, in my experience, have a token period of living separately - just to 'save face' and protect the feelings of their ex, then it's left to speculation whether the relationships overlapped.

If I were the OP I'd do what was kindest to my ex- if he was the sort who was wanting to know- and asking questions, saying he wants the truth at any price to his feelings- that's her lead.

Leavenheath Sun 30-Jun-13 13:16:10

Two anecdotes are not data.

Any 'research' that attempted to 'prove' that men are more easily able to compartmentalise than women would be laughed out of town.

People are individuals and what people believe about the differences between men and women are just opinions, not proof.

nkf Sun 30-Jun-13 13:23:00

OP, how do you know the ex knew the marriage was coming to an end?

missbopeep Sun 30-Jun-13 14:23:54

leaven- I didn't post that lightly- the comment about compartmentalising. It wasn't for one minute based on 2 anecdotes- I didn't link the 2 comments if you read carefully.

Do some of your own research and I think you'll find there IS evidence. My work/training involves psychology and although I can't link to the evidence just now, it is out there.

It's ONE reason why SOME men can find it easier to have affairs- W in one box, OW in another.

Leavenheath Sun 30-Jun-13 16:23:01

Sorry I just can't take posts like that seriously MissBoPeep. It's just your opinion and you're entitled to it. As for ^ My work/training involves psychology^ like I said before about posters claiming expertise, you could be a lorry driver or unemployed for all we know wink. In any case, none of it has got anything much to do with the OP's issues.

Having read the other thread again and seeing some of the OP's posts on this one about her ex-husband's apparent agreement to the split, I think other posters (and the OP now herself) were right to raise the possibility that he had started an affair himself. If true, that's got nothing to do with compartmentalising and more to do with two people lying to eachother.

But he's only part of the story. There are all the other people in the OP's life who are being lied to- and all the people in her partner's life too.

This isn't just about lies to ex-partners.

stepmooster Sun 30-Jun-13 16:32:51

OP how are you going to keep this relationship secret whilst at the same time making sure you both put the effort in to make it survive?

For instance can you even go to the shops together without possibly being seen? Presume you have to wait until when the children aren't with you before you can even be together? Have you read the step parenting boards? There are lots of mums and dads arguing over contact/parenting often for petty reasons for years/decades!

You sound almost ashamed, or your OH does for what has happened? Does he have huge guilt? Ok so your marriage ended fairly well, your ex husband saw no future in it. Do you think your DP may think he could possibly have tried harder? I think its also a bit cheap to keep blaming everything on his ex. He was having an affair after all she probably had her suspicions and didn't want to let him out of his sight, she probably already knows more than both you realise.

Wellwobbly Sun 30-Jun-13 16:38:39

Bopeep, another word for compartmentalising is 'splitting'. I think it describes it better.

Very very primitive psychopathology.

I would have loved to have been able to deal with my part to play in our marriage, Witch. But that would have involved him acknowledging the issues I brought up, empathising with my need to work towards a better outcome, and responding to my attempts to connect.

I eventually gave up and withdrew, and he complained along with ardent devotions to OW that 'I dont' love my wife, she doesn't care about me'.

Now, OW: a co-worker, dressed and groomed lovely for work (it makes NO difference whether I am a size 6 or 14, I have tried), never given birth so is nice and tight, gazes at him admiringly and doesn't talk about the roof/guttering/car repairs and bills but tells him what a WONDERFUL boss and executive he is. I am trying to live in the real world, and he doesn't want to. He does, however, want me to stay married to him and keep the house/children etc going.

Could you let me know how any of the above is my fault? And how I was supposed to change it?

PenelopePortrait Sun 30-Jun-13 18:16:46

I believe my X was having/had an affair.

I got an anonymous letter (can you believe it?), I think it written by her, her motive being I would throw him out? He laughed it off, said it was someone at work who was trying to make trouble for him and was jealous of his success. I didn't believe him then and I don't believe him now. He always denied despite starting to see her after he left.

Would it have made any difference to me to know for definate. No.

I would have just liked to know I was right, it wouldn't have helped with the marriage or the aftermath. She wasn't the reason we split up, maybe the catalyst, and I thank her for that.

They are not together now BTW.

Leavenheath Sun 30-Jun-13 18:36:28

But weren't you seeing someone else yourself Penelope? At least that's the impression you gave on the other thread we were on?

Like (possibly) the OP's husband's situation, I'd imagine that makes quite a difference.

PenelopePortrait Sun 30-Jun-13 18:45:59

Yes after all this had happened, when he said he wasn't to split, he didn't love me and wanted to sell the house ( my house as it happens but he still ended up with half). We went for counselling but he wouldn't acknowledge any of his EA, even when the counsellor said "this is domestic abuse" Nd that I had to have a strategy to get out of his way when he started.

So the marriage was in its death throws when I started to see my now DH, but all that did was give X a chance to make out that everything was my fault and he was the injured party and totally blameless. And still does to Nyone who will listen.

LineRunner Sun 30-Jun-13 18:51:46

By the way, when a divorcing couple with children go for mediation, if one party is lying/withholding, then that mediation - which is for the sake of the children as much as anything else - is going to be compromised, surely?

I went to voluntary mediation with my ExH and he was lying his face off throughout about his affair. I believe such mediation will now be compulsory in some circumstances?

The problem for my ExH was that the Big Lie started to snowball.

LineRunner Sun 30-Jun-13 18:55:05

Penelope I had to learn from MN that any counselling or mediation for couples shouldn't happen where there is any sort of abuse going on.

The mediation session I went to with lying, manipulating ExH was one of the single most vile experiences of my life.

LineRunner Sun 30-Jun-13 18:56:12

(But I still think seeing another person is a poor exit strategy.)

PenelopePortrait Sun 30-Jun-13 19:57:09

lineRunner I didn't realise it was EA until she pointed it out. It seemed so obvious then, I felt a prize idiot. She said it was how I managed my life (putting up with it, walking on eggshells etc).

I accept what you say about my exit strategy now but at the time I didn't see it like that. I'll be slated for saying that it just happened. But it did, it evolved, I didn't set out to have an affair - butnI'm glad I did. We are very happy, this relationship feels right for both of us.

lunar1 Sun 30-Jun-13 20:16:13

Its disgusting to keep this from your ex, he and your om's wife should get checked for STD's.

Leavenheath Sun 30-Jun-13 21:09:37

Thanks for answering Penelope. Like I said, I think it must make such a difference if a person's got secrets of his/her own.

I was also thinking about what you were saying about your ex-husband's emotional abuse, which I'm sorry to hear about. I'd guess you'd never have left your children with him and gone off with your OM?

Yet here we have a man (the OP's partner) who claims his wife is emotionally abusive, but who has left his very young children with her and as far as we can tell, appears not to be intending to go for full residence.

Funny that.

PenelopePortrait Sun 30-Jun-13 21:26:15

Dear God no, I would never have left them with him.

This thread has made me think though, about the decisions we make at the time. Not all those decisions turn out to be wise do they?

I also think that relationship splits bring out the worst in some people (I include myself in that). I wish I would have had the guts to get out before things really went sour but that's with the gift of hindsight and knowing what I know now, knowing it wasn't as bad as I envisaged it would be. I didn't work at the time and X had a good job. But being poor was better than than being with him, if I'd have known what it felt like once we were on our own, I would have done something long before but I was a complete coward.

beingmyself Sun 30-Jun-13 21:27:39

lunar - there is no need for anyone to get checked for stds. Of that I am sure.

To be clear his w has always given him a difficult time for seeing friends or having any life independent from her.

It was me who realised she was EA towards him through reading threads on this board. He thought she was 'normal' and that all women were like that.

I know I only have his account of his marriage to go on but I believe and trust him 100%.

I do have huge empathy for his w in the fact her marriage will end against her wishes. He wanted 50/50 with the kids but she doesn't want him to have that. Says its painful enough splitting up the family without him "taking away her children half the week". I have massive sympathy for this too. He has pretty much asked her what she wants to do by the children and said he will not contest if it's reasonable. So he hasn't upped and left her with the kids.

There are things she says and does which I struggle with but then I am very different from her.

Maybe my h has met someone - I don't think so but time will tell.

I think even though it will be secret with me and my new partner we can still work on the relationship. In fact we both work hard at it already. It not all work of course but as we are getting things off the ground in less than ideal circumstances there are issues which need addressing, and we do that very well.

I suppose time will tell whether we did the right thing but we only get one life.

beingmyself Sun 30-Jun-13 21:31:49

Re her being EA and the kids... Partner and I are both worried about that but he is concerned that his w will really go off the boil if he tries to get more time with the children than she wants. I keep wavering between thinking she is (a) a mum who is hurting and upset and saying things she shouldn't through lack of thought and (b) a mum who will damage her children's emotional well being long term... But then I realise theyre not my children so shouldn't be my concern, but of course I am massively concerned about them. Everytime he tries to talk to his w about this she just flips and cries and hurls abuse at him for leaving. It's tough, I don't know whether to get involved or not.

Upnotdown Sun 30-Jun-13 21:33:33

So he hasn't upped and left her with the kids.

Hasn't he? confused

Leaving the house for another woman and lying about why he did it...Sounds exactly like he's upped and left her with the kids.

juneblues Sun 30-Jun-13 22:10:51

this just gets more and more ridiculous and I hope anyone planning to wreck another family's life by having an affair and reading this will stop and think first about what they are about to embark on. Infidelity is the worst thing you can inflict on another family.

LineRunner Sun 30-Jun-13 22:13:41

OP The bottom line is if she is bonkers then he shouldn't be leaving the DCs with her.

But he is leaving the DCs with her, and she isn't bonkers.

TalkativeJim Sun 30-Jun-13 22:18:16

I think that's the second time you have made a point of saying that you trust him '100%'.

I wish you all the luck in the world.

But what a puzzling statement to make.

As others have said, the only thing you actually KNOW about this man at the deepest level of his personality is that he is a liar.

He may be a good man in many ways - you don't really know that yet, you don't have sufficient history with him - but the one thing you do definitely know, from the one 'situation' you have seen him deal with so far - is that he is able to lie, again and again, to the person he loved and married.

Right now, you and he are loved up.

He felt like that about his wife, once. All that amazing stuff... he was like that with her. More than that, they decided it was special enough to get married, and make it permanent. More even than that, he's gone through the experience of having children with her. Nothing tops that, really.

And yet now that he feels differently, having had all that between them doesn't inspire him to even pay her the compliment of not cheating on her and lying to her about the reason all that history has come to an end.

Maybe it's right that their relationship is ended - that's not the point. Maybe she treated him badly too. You'll never know that.

But when you say 'He'd never treat me badly - he wouldn't do x or y' - you are 100% wrong.

He may not, but he absolutely could treat a once much-loved partner extremely badly, and he has. He is.

He cannot be trusted and you would be a fool to trust him. Trusting him is not logical.

I guess you don't want to hear that, as you have trodden the same path. You laughed and loved with your H once the way you do with your OM now, presumably. Now you are lying to him. At some point in the future, you may do the same to your OM.

Anyway. You asked about the highs and lows. I don't know first hand, but I'd say an important part of getting to grips with a relationship that starts this way is to be brave enough to face that unpleasant little truth right in the face. You KNOW he is able to cheat and lie. He could lie to his once-much-loved wife - ergo, he can lie to you. More than that, he's likely to have lied to you already, because another thing you can say about a cheater is that they tend to take the easy way out. He may be right about the way his wife treated him, but sadly it's really very possible that it's another lie to smooth the path, both practically and within his own head.

In the same way, you are now lying to yourself in so many ways about how you have treated your children. Both of you could have finished your respective relationships before starting to see each other, which would have been the right thing to do, and easier and better all round for all the children and your once-loved spouses. But you didn't, because you put yourselves first. But you will lie and lie and lie about the efects of that on your children, to each other and yourselves.

So. It's hard not to see you as foolish when you go on about 'trusting him 100%'. When you parrot the things he's told you as if they are facts. Continue to do that and you may come very unstuck. I hope things work out for you.

nkf Sun 30-Jun-13 22:18:54

OP, the more you write, the worse you sound.

Heartbrokenmum73 Sun 30-Jun-13 22:21:30

<Applauds Talkative Jim's post>

Leavenheath Sun 30-Jun-13 22:30:04

Oh so it's you who's suggested his wife is 'emotionally abusive'?

You've learnt nothing from any of your threads have you? You're still trashing another woman who's in pain, despite nothing you've heard about her having been corroborated by anyone but a known liar.

Men like your partner must be rubbing their hands in glee at finding women so gullible and competitive with other women that they'll have affairs with them and persuade them that a woman who was repetitively left with two under fives to care for was 'emotionally abusive' and not just sick and tired of living with a man who rather than pull his weight at home and look after his children, spent time with an OW then left her and lied about it.

Your lack of empathy for that woman is astonishing. Not to mention your gullibility.

beingmyself Sun 30-Jun-13 22:39:04

I do know others who know the wife so its not just what my partner is saying.

I do have empathy for her but that doesn't mean I don't have an opinion on some of the things she is doing.

My partner told his w he Would like to take the children full time to give her some time to sort herself and her issues (which they'd openly discussed) out. she said "no way", he then wanted 50/50 and she said no way so he is fitting with what she wants cause he feels that's all he has a right to cause he Is the one leaving.

jim - I spent months feeling like your post "all I know is that he can lie" so everything he ever said to me I prefixed with "he's a liar" but at some point I chose to trust my instinct on him. Yes I know he can lie but we have talked a lot about why, are seeing a counsellor both together and separately and aren't abdicating the responsibility for cheating. We didn't start the relationship how we should have done but I'm not going to beat us up about it for the rest of my life.

beingmyself Sun 30-Jun-13 22:39:54

Ps leaven - my situation is not your situation!!

ProphetOfDoom Sun 30-Jun-13 22:42:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnyFucker Sun 30-Jun-13 22:53:18

Your "partner" sounds like one cruel fucker hmm

Has he reported his ex wife to social services as an "unfit mother" yet ?

burberryqueen Sun 30-Jun-13 23:02:11

I know many of you will scoff but I am genuinely thinking about the children here
scoff scoff scoff

Leavenheath Sun 30-Jun-13 23:06:57

Your situation certainly isn't my situation, thank goodness. I could never think like you appear to think, or act like you appear to act. And I would never, ever want a man like your partner based on what you've told us about him.

Oh and while you're talking about your partner's 'rights'- you've got that wrong. His children are the one with rights. He's got responsibilities to them. Ones he appears to have abdicated to a distressed woman he's still lying to.

burberryqueen Sun 30-Jun-13 23:12:12

and if you were 'genuinely thinking of the children' why did you hi-jack their family?
now you and your prince charming think it would be a good idea to remove them from their mother?
i feel a bit ill and may have to drive to the nearest town for fags.

LookingForwardToMarch Sun 30-Jun-13 23:15:31

Anyone else pretty certain that op's OM is still probably trying to keep his wife sweet?

Hence needing secrecy so his wife is available to worm his way back in with.

AnyFucker Sun 30-Jun-13 23:18:05

I have never smoked but I am considering taking it up. BQ, can I bum one of you ?

burberryqueen Sun 30-Jun-13 23:20:30

yep may also purchase a small brandy if u would care for one

AnyFucker Sun 30-Jun-13 23:23:32

I would

LineRunner Sun 30-Jun-13 23:32:51

AnyFucker, Perhaps an 'unfit mother' report to SS, and a stressful (for the mother) application for a court contact order that he has no intention of sticking to?

AnyFucker Sun 30-Jun-13 23:35:43

Perhaps, LR

Whatever is going on here, it sounds fucking horrendous. Not exactly "love's young dream" is it ?

LineRunner Sun 30-Jun-13 23:36:03

Oh, and sticking to the script, there will be a disagreement over child support.

tessa6 Sun 30-Jun-13 23:36:59

Oh being, i've got no ace to grind and nothing but empathy for anyone in pain but really you don't sound savvy at all yet.

Naivety can be great and if it can be maintained it can actually produce workable relationships but seriously, are you really surprised she didn't leap at the offer to have her children taken away from her altogether for a while so she could work on her 'issues'?!?! She's been married to aam who has been having an affair and lying to ber about it, do you have any idea what that does to the psyche, to esteem, to the sense of self and reality? She will feel totally unloved and confused, physically undesirable, at sea, and now she's been left, in utter grief. Her children will be the only sure, affectionate, pure thing she holds onto. I have no idea how you can be so blinkered or certain in your outlooks. 100%? Really? God love you if so, but i don't trust my alarm clock 100% and it's not lied continuously to those people that matter most for years.

You do not know the truth about this marriage.
That's okay. But you don't.

What's worrying is you don't seem to know that you don't know.

Trust me, i want to support you. But she is doing absolutely nothing in your description that is out of order. What you and he have done and continue to do (in terms of lying etc) is out of order. At least have the awareness to own that.

All best.

LineRunner Sun 30-Jun-13 23:37:08

If I were OP, I would run for the hills.

AnyFucker Sun 30-Jun-13 23:41:25

tessa you are saying what I am thinking with a coating of sweet understanding

OP, you are stupid, naive and party to not only another family's downfall but also that of your own personal equilibrium

any sympathy I might have felt for you was your support for the idea that it would be ok for this man to take these children away from their mother

who the fuck thinks that is ok, who is so blinded by poor choices, sunk costs and manipulation that they don't see the great waving red flag right there ?

you, OP

LookingForwardToMarch Sun 30-Jun-13 23:44:04

Op won't run for the hills, she'll be high from the iddy biddy power trip she's getting from 'winning' this booby prize off his wife.

Still reckon she'll hang around until om gets bored and tries to flee back to his good old wife.

Or will live happily ever after with om ( happily because she trusts him 100% she won't cotton on that he's banging some young thing in his car grin )

LineRunner Sun 30-Jun-13 23:47:29

My ExH and his OW thought it was a good idea to split our DCs up. They would have our DS, what with OW having her own little girl the same age (3), and I could 'keep' my daughter (5).

I had forgotten about that till reading this thread. There was so much shit like that that they came up with at the time of their madness.

He dumped her two years later for another woman.

(I shut the door in his face, by the way.)

SoggySummer Sun 30-Jun-13 23:54:31

I can share an experience. A friend/colleague was the OW for about 6 months with another chap in the office. Both married. Me and the friend worked in a little office just the 2 of us and she used to tell me lots of details and stuff about their affair.


Left spouses. kept their little secret for a while. moved in together and became the "so in love soppy couple". Gushed publicly all over each other lieing to everyone that that had only recently got together but everyine knew it was bullshit and was sniggering behind their backs. Got engaged 2 years or so down the line. The it went tits up. He was found shagging another woman from our office who when confronted by my friend put up the defence that she wasnt the first and that he had shagged X in the print room as well. More people sniggerd at her and she got really down and had to move out of their luxury dockside apartment into a shitty bedsit on a shit part of town. She left soon after as she became the target for all the gossip and sniggering and cracked on by a few fat old sleazy married bastards who thought they may be in with a chance with her. In short - she gained a reputation. Not saying this is right - but it is what happend.

A simple rule in life is that if you play with fire - you will at some point be burnt. How badly burnt is anyones guess?

Dadthelion Sun 30-Jun-13 23:54:32

Now I'm going to assume more women don't post about having affairs because of the stick they get.

Or don't women have affairs?

LineRunner Sun 30-Jun-13 23:56:29

I think woman having affairs is the point of the thread.

AnyFucker Sun 30-Jun-13 23:59:14

Any woman that colludes with an unscrupulous man in this way will attract my vitriol

He "suggested" to his wife that the children live with him full time ?

I can imagine the way that went down. Nothing to do with any grubby extramarital fluid-sharing.

LineRunner Sun 30-Jun-13 23:59:19

And I think that the OP is in need of a lot of luck and I still think she should run for the hills.

AnyFucker Mon 01-Jul-13 00:00:52

This woman needs a reality check about the man she has hitched her wagon to

I consider that an act of sisterhood. Others may not.

Bogeyface Mon 01-Jul-13 00:04:36


Really, wow.

"I am leaving you because although I love you, I am not in love with you. Yes I know you think that I am having an affair but really I am not! Oh btw, I will take the children with me because I think you are nuts. What? How will I cope? Well I have this "friend".....erm I mean...erm...I will get a nanny! Yes I know I said that we couldnt afford for you to go back to work but I am sure I will manage. Have you met my new friend Being btw?"

This is the gift that I really wish didnt keep giving.

Either you are the single most vicious and selfish woman in the history of the world or you are a fucking moron.

I hope that you are a moron.

Dadthelion Mon 01-Jul-13 00:21:03

I still think there must be a lot of unhappy women who have affairs who daren't post on here, as they'll get ripped to shreds.

AnyFucker Mon 01-Jul-13 00:22:39

You can think what you like, DTL, but you might be best sticking to the actual situation at hand

Or else your input to this thread seems somewhat superfluous

Bogeyface Mon 01-Jul-13 00:28:38

They will DTL and you know why?

For the same reason as men who have affairs get ripped to shreds. Because you cant claim to love someone, care about them, do "the best thing for everyone", whilst simultaneously being a selfish arsehole.

The "someone" they claim to love is often their child and yet they will still happily rip that childs life apart in the name of "you only get one life".

Yes, you do. What gives anyone the right to tar the life of that child in the name of their own selfishness?

Selba Mon 01-Jul-13 01:05:29

Lyingwitch, excellent, thoughtful posts .
OP good luck and I am glad you and your partner left your unhappy marriages. More people should do the same .

Bogeyface Mon 01-Jul-13 01:10:04

Selba Do you think that more people should have affairs and then lie til their dying day in order to leave unhappy marriages? I left my first marriage without having an affair, many people do.

And I ask again the question that wasnt answered before, why wasnt the marriage considered "unhappy" until there was a better offer?


I don't generally post on "OW" type threads having been left for an OW myself (they did and do still lie about when their relationship started) and have been and am continuing to go through related parenting and custody issues.

But trying to put some of that aside I think the best thing that you can do is some/all of the following:-

1. Irrespective of the who's, why's and wherefore's of your new relationship you need to OWN the fact that its genesis did not come about ideally and has and will cause deep pain to your previous partners and DC involved.

2. As such, irrespective of whether or not your are personally comfortable with it, you need to take on board that it will and has 'unfortunate' consequences that again, you need to own rather than make excuses for.

3. IMHO lying about your relationship 'to make things easier' is a crock of shit. It will make your lives easier right now, make the confusion worse for ex-partners and intensify anger when the 'truth' comes out.

4. If your relationship is for real (and I do know of some people who are still together post being affair partner and seem very happy) then you also need to take on board that ex-W is going to be part of your life for a very long time. It is unlikely to be an easy relationship to begin with, if ever, but layering on deception to the start of it probably isn't going to make things any easier over time.

5. I'd caution against buying into the Kool-Aid of what their marriage was like. It may have been terrible, it may have been great, it may have been dead, it may just have been a marriage that is as good as anyone's and you came along. Who knows. But what I do know is that most men don't ever say "was pretty happy, wife was nice, but then along came X and blew me away and I decided to leave wife as I preferred x" that sounds, well a bit lame. So instead in many (but not all times) ex-W becomes unhinged/depressed/harridan/my life was misery as this makes a better story. Support your partner but don't fuel or become involved with his interactions.

6. Like all things in life, take a moment to walk in her shoes. Imagine if your marriage was ending against your wishes and time with children about to be carved up when she has previously been with them 100%. Of course your partner also needs to maintain and build relationship with them but the do unto others as you would have done rule applies more than ever here.

I have no idea if you are nice or not nice as a person but you do need to own that what you guys have done is not a very nice thing. Sometimes really nice people make poor decisions, maybe you will turn out to live happily ever after but own the situation and don't spent too much time justifying and making ex partners the scapegoat to justify actions.

Own it, act as well as you might in the circumstances, be mindful that a bomb has just gone off in someone else's lives and take care with your thoughts, actions and counsel.

Bogeyface Mon 01-Jul-13 01:39:44


That is the best post I have ever read on MN.

Selba Mon 01-Jul-13 03:28:17

Bogey,, no

Selba Mon 01-Jul-13 03:31:24

Dolly, what's your evidence for number 1) ?
Perhaps the ops husband and her lover's wife are relieved the marriage is over

Selba Mon 01-Jul-13 03:32:13

When my friend's husband left her for someone else she was very relieved. They had been miserable for years.


My 'evidence' for number 1) is that whilst the OP has said her husband is fine with the split she says of the STBEW "I do have huge empathy for his w in the fact her marriage will end against her wishes.... Says its painful enough splitting up the family without him "taking away her children half the week". But of course I can't know (nor can anyone else) how the ex-W feels. It is to some degree conjecture based on what has been written.
My contribution was based on what I have read, the way that the original OP's narrative and exchanges developed, I added my advice having been on the other side of the fence as to what she may wish to consider. I was careful not to be personal about it. We don't know the individual or circumstances.

Irrespective, I'm not really interested in getting into a that is right/that is wrong type of exchange as everyone will have different experiences and views; it is not a binary thing.

OP may read think its rubbish, think its sanctimonious, think it does not apply to her circumstances, or may take on board a kernel of something she hadn't considered. That is the nature of these boards.

Dolly x

LittlePeaPod Mon 01-Jul-13 04:58:41

Op not read through all comments (saw a couple) so just replying to original post. I feel sorry for both sets of kids. It's so unfortunate for them to have two lying, deceitful and selfish parents. Really hope the other two parents will be able to provide / teach the children better morals than you and your new boyfriend r clearly capable off. I am also disgusted that you have the front to accuse his wife of been EA. You have no idea whether that's true other than hearing it from your new boyfriend, whom we already know is deceitful (as are you) from your own affair.

I hope bith your ex partners get what they deserve in the divorce including the kids (if that's what they want). Sorry but those kids need better role models. Then you two can go off and start your lovely new life together.

To be clear, I would say this regardless of whether you were a man. I find this sort of deceitful behaviour aborant and have no sympathy for anyone in the situation except for the children and your ex partner.

LittlePeaPod Mon 01-Jul-13 05:42:07

(b) a mum who will damage her children's emotional well being long term

Oh god the more of your comments I read Op, the lower my opinion of you as a mother, decent human and woman. You really are one nasty self centered piece if work... The only two people damaging these children's emotional well being are you and your new boyfriend. You created this situation and you have psychoanalysed what's happening to suit your own needs (eg branding his wife EA and clearly manipulating him into thinking that). You are damaging these kids well being not their loving mother. Get a grip and take ownership of the destruction and pain your selfish behaviour has caused!

beingmyself Mon 01-Jul-13 06:38:51

Thanks * dolly* that is a useful post with lots of advice on it.

The insults arent so helpful but everyone can have their view so fine...

The thing I don't understand is that my partner was slated on here by people saying he'd left his w With the kids and left her to look after 2 under 5s, then he was slated for offering to take them full time/50,50 so what is a man leaving a marriage supposed to do on the childcare front?

It hurts to hear all the stuff you are saying about me. Even though i know a lot of it isnt true. This whole thing has really challenged a lot of my beliefs and of course it takes working through. You're way off the mark with comments about my partner too, but then I would say that wouldn't I!

There are LOTS of women who have/had affairs who are nice people. A lot of them have PMd me! And yes - most of the messages begin "I don't want to post on the forum but....". It is very helpful to have that support and constructive advice without bitterness and anger.
I understand this is an open forum but some of the recent posts felt less than constructive.

Thanks to all those people who've taken the time to give advice/constructive comments.

beingmyself Mon 01-Jul-13 06:47:10

And the comment about us doing the damage to the children's emotional well being has really made me think so thank you for pulling me up on that

beingmyself Mon 01-Jul-13 06:48:20

I know the w deserves more empathy. You are right to say that and I will work on it

marriedinwhiteagain Mon 01-Jul-13 07:12:15

I haven't read all of this but as I have a dear friend going through similar let's set a few things straight.

The family (his) are heartbroken - teenagers and a long marriage where there was no unkindness or cruelty but you know what after 20 years life does get boring especially with kids and the fluffly love cloud is replaced with companionship, togetherness and a deeper caring love. No reason to leave whatsoever except a little lady hugely younger than him popped up at work and they had a secret affair. But people aren't stupid, they were seen together in the early evenings in places that weren't en-route to home. Their entire workplace is sniggering and if this gets out to the clients there will be braying for their departure. What will probably happen is that she will leave in disgrace - no job, no partner, no family, no home. He will go back to his family (hopefully) and gradually with the help and support of good friends they will repair what they had.

He was someone else's husband - if you wanted a little spice - then you should have found your own bloke not someone else's. Hope you can live with yourself. I know my friend, the wife is in bits - as are the children.

scaevola Mon 01-Jul-13 07:18:59

"Get a grip and take ownership of the destruction and pain your selfish behaviour has caused!"

That's a pretty good summary of how OP's previous thread turned out too.

marriedinwhiteagain Mon 01-Jul-13 07:24:14

Oh, and on the std front there is a need for someone to be checked actually. Him before he goes back to his wife.

beingmyself Mon 01-Jul-13 07:30:45

I have been taking a lot of ownership but I think in recent weeks because of things being said have felt that I am not responsible for how the w reacts.

You are right though - I am partly responsible for what she is going through and I need to be more mindful of that.

burberryqueen Mon 01-Jul-13 07:36:40

There are LOTS of women who have/had affairs who are nice people
yes those are the ones who keep it distant and do not break up families.
not you however you want to spin it.
as for 'what is a man supposed to do on the 'childcare front' ? - er, not dump his wife for some unprincipled floozy and then remove the children from her care too, no.

burberryqueen Mon 01-Jul-13 07:38:22

the 'worry' about the emotional harm the ex is doing to the children when you have just broken their family is astounding.

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 01-Jul-13 07:41:44

I know of two examples where both parties were already married when they got together, and have gone on to have happy marriages together (longer than their first marriages, in fact). I don't know what they did that made it work that time round, but I would hazard a good guess that it involved being honest (with each other and others involved) and being prepared to weather some awful storms together (eg children not speaking to their fathers for 15 years).

I don't, as it happens, buy the "once a cheater, always a cheater" rhetoric, as I think that each relationship is different and people are allowed to change as people. Maybe I'm naive.

mathanxiety Mon 01-Jul-13 07:43:12

I feel terribly sorry for his wife and her children. The word 'cruel' has been used about your OM's behaviour towards her, and I agree.

You have got yourself involved with a nasty piece of work and this will not end well.

Tell your H and his W the truth about your affair. They do not deserve to be lied to. They deserve to be told the truth.

beingmyself Mon 01-Jul-13 07:43:14

burberry - so is it the nice women who have affairs but don't leave spouses and start relationships? I'm genuinely curious cause I don't understand what you're saying.

And my question re: childcare was another genuine one about when a man leaves, what do people think he should do re childcare? It's not about the fact he shouldn't leave as that choice has been made.

I understand what you say about my concern for the kids but I am not solely responsible for their family splitting up. I see my role in it but there are 2 other people who had a major role in what happened in the family (before I came along!)

burberryqueen Mon 01-Jul-13 07:50:30

if you really need me to spell it out for you, I mean decent people, men or women, might get carried away and have an extra-marital affair but would not break up a family over a good shag.

And what you say about childcare, is kind of faux naif and a bit sick making.

As for your last comment, why are you blaming the wife again? You do realise that much of what this man tells you about his relationship is going to be lies, don't you?

beingmyself Mon 01-Jul-13 08:00:23

burberry - it's not just what he tells me. Other people I know know her. I'm not blaming her, just saying that (at least till her husband had an affair) she was partly responsible for her marriage.

burberryqueen Mon 01-Jul-13 08:06:53

yes well whatever.
if you think you can build a happy family off the back of one you have destroyed, you are deluded.

LookingForwardToMarch Mon 01-Jul-13 08:22:35

Nice women, I mean truly nice women would end their relationship if they were not happy in a dignified, sensitive way that puts their childrens well being first.
They wouldn't lie, cheat and generally behave disgustingly. They wouldn't behave in a way that would leave their ex and children destroyed when(notice I said when, not if) it gets found out.
On top of all that, a nice woman would not touch
another womans man with a barge pole

OneWhyOrAnother Mon 01-Jul-13 08:24:42

"And my question re: childcare was another genuine one about when a man leaves, what do people think he should do re childcare? It's not about the fact he shouldn't leave as that choice has been made. "

The choice may have been made but the consequences of that choice still have to be lived up to! Only young kids say 'well yeah, I did it but now I want to forget about it'. For me this one question sums up your naive and frankly horrible attitude to your partner's family - because they still are part of his family even though he's buggered off.

He, presumably willingly, had dc with his wife, making his choice, and when he goes off with someone else and leaves her raising them alone it is NOT a 'solution' to suggest taking them off her 50% of the time and you come across as either callous or an idiot (feel free to let me know which it is) if you can't understand why she wouldn't jump at this offer. She's entitled to want to be with her kids as much as possible AND be furious/devastated that he's removed his support in raising those kids. A real solution is for him to work out how he can offer more support, both practically, financially and even emotionally if and when she's ready, however much it interferes with your Disney relationship, and to consistently offer that support no matter how much it inconveniences him or how many times his wife understandably has a go at him. Does that answer your question?

LookingForwardToMarch Mon 01-Jul-13 08:26:52

And Im a bit sceptical of those cheats that have apparently sailed off into the sunset with no more issues.

Personally other women (such as the op) seem determined to stuck their heads in the sand, hum la la la and ignore any mans faults in order to 'win'

I suspect that those men do cheat again ( have seen it quite a few times ) but ow dont want to/ seem to know.

Im speakinh as the ow daughter

juneblues Mon 01-Jul-13 08:28:17

You and your man are wholly responsible for the reactions of his wife and children. It's so sad for those you've inevitably hurt, along with your man.

beingmyself Mon 01-Jul-13 09:00:04

burberry - lots of posts on this thread show that families built after affairs can be very happy loving places.

I know it will be incredibly hard. I'm not taking that lightly but I don't think the children are in for a life of misery due to our choices. You are right that I need to be more compassionate to their mother though.

marriedinwhiteagain Mon 01-Jul-13 09:02:45

You are entirely responsible for how the wife reacts - you are at least 50 per cent responsible for her reaction. You'll be telling us you and your lover have a spiritual faith next.

You have behjaved dreadfully. End it now and find your own man or can't you do that?

burberryqueen Mon 01-Jul-13 09:03:56

if you feel good building a "happy loving place" on another family's misery then carry on, but no good will come of it in the end, twenty or even thirty years down the line, there will be all kinds of dark stuff, estrangement, mental illness, whatever.
just carry on ok?

LittlePeaPod Mon 01-Jul-13 09:05:44

its not just what he tells me. Other people I know know her. I'm not blaming her, just saying that (at least till her husband had an affair) she was partly responsible for her marriage.

Oh please, you gossip about the wife before you break the family up and use it as an excuse for the break down of the marriage. We don't know in what context these conversations happened. We have to take your word for it and how can we when we know you are so capable of deceit. You could have lead those conversations and twisted things to suit yourself (as per the psychoanalysing on the EA). Anyway everyone on here knows you are deceitful so how can we trust that what you say is the truth and not events twisted to suit your own needs?

The insults arent so helpful but everyone can have their view so fine...

No one has insulted you. People are just reacting to your disgraceful behaviour in the same way they would any other deceitful lier that breaks a family up and then to top it off tries to blame the wife to gain sympathy.

The facts are:
-You are a cheat and a lier!
-You are a home wrecker and you cant flower that up and make it anything other than what it is!
- You are causing now end of emotional damage to innocent children just to suit your selfish needs!

What did you expect, lots of encouraging moral support? That would make us complicit to your appalling home wrecking behaviour. What you are hearing is exactly what people will be thinking, saying and talking about (behind your back like you have about his wife historically) once your nasty little affair comes out. Because the Ruth always comes out in the end!

You are right though - I am partly responsible for what she is going through and I need to be more mindful of that.

Actually no, you and your boyfriend are totally responsible for the pain and distraction currently happening. His wife, your husband and both sets of children are completely innocent victims of your actions.

AGAIN, stop shifting blame and take full ownership of your behaviour.

reggiebean Mon 01-Jul-13 09:22:52

As I'm posting this, I see I'm on page 10 out of 15, so apologies for going so far back, but Leavenheath said, "There are threads galore on here over the years from people who have said they would have much preferred the truth, whereas I've yet to see one in 7 years from someone who said 'I'm glad I didn't know'. Even if one popped up now (which would be suspicious ) it would still be unusual."

As someone who was cheated on, I would have very much preferred to not know. Thinking we broke up because of his feelings changing was something I could cope with. Finding out that the years that we spent together were all a sham because as I was next to him in his car, he was texting her how much he loved her, as he would call to tell me good night, she was next to him, absolutely tore me apart. It made it extremely difficult for me to move on, as I couldn't trust any man I was with, nor could I trust myself and my judgement.

It's been almost ten years now, and I still say, I would have preferred to not know.

LookingForwardToMarch Mon 01-Jul-13 09:28:41

Your children may not be miserable but when they find out the truth they will lose respect for you, it is inevitable.

My ow mother had a very tough time when we found out as teenagers. She basically lost any moral high ground and was reminded of it constantly.

Your supposed to look up to your mother and something disturbs you deep down when you realise your mum is capable of lies and selfish behaviour.

Have fun in the teenage years. Your kids will lose respect for you so it should be hilarious to see how his kids treat you. Or did you imagine he loves you so much that he will take your side?
Warning, when the guilt kicks in so will his disney dad behaviour and you my dear will be very put out.

KarlaPilkington Mon 01-Jul-13 09:29:32

No matter what went on in your new man's previous marriage, I think you need to prepare yourself for the fact that a) his kids at some point will hate your guts when they come to realise that you had an affair with their Dad and upset their mum and b) your kids will hate your new man as he is the reason why their Dad has moved out. In addition to that, you may lose a lot of friends yourself as they realise that you are not to be trusted around other peoples husbands and have no qualms about wrecking a family.

Sorry to be so blunt but you did ask about a transition period. I don't blame you or judge you for having an affair. However, for every action, there is a reaction. As the saying goes think before you drink, before you drive.

antimatter Mon 01-Jul-13 09:41:04

I split with my ex when I realised/found out there was OW
Our 2 kids lost closeness with their father, they get on, but my DD would never confide in him. They hate guts of OW (he split up with her after 2 years together).
My DS didn't want to meet his second gf as well even though he is closer to his dad than his sister.
Siblings of exH hate him for how he treated me. I am on very good terms with them.

I ended up with depression I think had he left and then decided on another relationship I would not have felt bad about being lied to. He would have had much better relationship with his children and siblings.

THis was massive price to pay for what he's done. I don't care what he felt - but he damaged his children and that could have been prevented.

LookingForwardToMarch Mon 01-Jul-13 09:45:50

People like the op rarely consider how their actions will REALLY affect the children involved. They seem to conjure up a fantasy where the truth will never be found out, or if it is that it will cause a bit of upset then die down.

They seem to forget that one day those children get older, they develop their own opinions and will be most likely disgusted and disturbed when they discover what kind of people their mums/ dads are.

BasicallySFB Mon 01-Jul-13 09:51:05

I could have been the OW....

I was in a relationship with my exP from 16-22.

At 21 I met a man, D, through work. D had an exW, who he had (and has) an excellent relationship with, 2 DC (then 14 and 15), and a DP who he'd been with since shortly after separating from his DW 8 years previously.

After knowing each other as friends for about a year, I had major surgery. My own DP went on holiday the day I was discharged from hospital. D was there every single day. We both developed feelings for each other.

Nothing happened for 3 months. Then he left his DP and told mr he loved me. I had very strong feelings for him too. I left my DP a few weeks later.

We then didn't see each other - deliberately - for 2 months, so we could a. Be on our own and b. Figure out if there was genuine feelings, or just result of stressful situation evoking feelings.

After this time we started 'dating'. I then moved in @ 6 months after our respective relationships broke up. I met his DC after we'd been together properly for @ 9 months.

We've been together 8 years now and have our own DS. I have a great relationship with his DC (not as 'step-mum' at all given relatively small age gap) and great relationship with his ExW, their mum.

Feelings do develop for other people when you're in relationships. We both took our feelings as a sign that things weren't great in our current relationships.

But we didn't have an affair. Or lie. Or cheat.

As adults, surely you have enough self control to not have an affair but to separate, thing through feelings, then start relationship?

parttimer79 Mon 01-Jul-13 09:51:39

I find it a little odd the glee that some posters show at kicking someone else, does it make you feel better about yourselves?

I agree with the very sensible sentiments of dolly and talkative that you are not really facing up to what has happened and what the fall out of your actions will be.

But the idea that no-one who has an affair will ever be happy again or will be atoning friendless forever is just reductive, sorry but it is. Is everyone judged in life solely on one act - so many of these posts say not "you lied and cheated" which is true but "you are a liar and cheat (and will remain so forever ner ner ner)".

People will talk, friends will judge and then everyone outside the situation will move on as frankly their own lives are more interesting and important to them.

If you end a relationship to be with someone else is not easy, it is not good behaviour, it will be extraordinarily hard particularly if there are children involved. And the big repercussions will be on you, your exes and your kids - this is where you should concentrate your attentions.

You need to focus on being more savvy moving forward - I can almost guarantee his ex is not some EA crazy lady hell-bent on ruining your lurve, she is a woman who will be part of your life and family possible for the rest of your days (I assume you view your new relationship as permanent). He may be lying he may not, but I don't think it is wise to blindly trust anyone.

LookingForwardToMarch Mon 01-Jul-13 09:53:12

Now that is a perfect example of how a real woman does it!

burberryqueen Mon 01-Jul-13 09:58:29

I find it a little odd the glee that some posters show at kicking someone else, does it make you feel better about yourselves
actually no it is quite 'triggering' but if just one OW takes some notice of what people are rightly saying, it will be worth it.

LittlePeaPod Mon 01-Jul-13 09:59:49

Op. BasicallySFB is an example of what a decent, good and honourable person would do.

LittlePeaPod Mon 01-Jul-13 10:02:59

I find it a little odd the glee that some posters show at kicking someone else, does it make you feel better about yourselves

No one is taking any glee in this tragic situation. Just been very frank with a woman that is not taking responsibility for her actions.

parttimer79 Mon 01-Jul-13 10:05:20

We both developed feelings for each other.

This is what happened with DP and I - and we told our spouses and had time apart, counselling and lived apart and didn't meet the kids until a year after we got together. We knew we had feelings for each other that went beyond friendship, even if we didn't act upon them it still felt like an affair. He was not just my friend, it was what is often called on here an emotional affair.

I still think I was OW and he was OM as we left our spouses to be together. Surely this is the case?

Or do I get to be part of the real woman club now...

BasicallySFB Mon 01-Jul-13 10:06:36

Also had no DC before meeting now-DH, and he had been separated from his exW for many years and had no DC with his then DP.

If there had been children directly involved (ie I had any / D was living with his) then I think I'd have waiting even longer after separating.

I also wanted to know if the 'grass is greener' syndrome was there, or if we did in fact have true feelings... If they're true feelings then they'll wait. I think I'd struggle to trust anyone who I had had an affair with, personally.

And we were honest to our respective partners - that nothing had happened, that the feelings we had may or may not have been 'the real thing', but that the fact we had them indicated all was not well in our then-current relationships. Wasn't an issue with my the-DP - he'd cheated several times when we were together. D's then-DP was hurt but relieved nothing had happened - I didn't know her, but knew some of her friends - I felt enough guit over their relationship breaking down - Christ alone knows how I'd have felt if we'd had an affair. As I was, I didn't tell D about my feelings (though I think he prob knew I had some) until he'd left his DP and told me he loved me.

MarshaBrady Mon 01-Jul-13 10:08:33

A friend did this. But she wasn't married. Met man at work, had an affair, in love and said they'd lie about when they met afterwards so it would be better.

Very young children involved, going for 50:50 residency.

Must admit it was the thought of the wife having half a week contact with her two year old that upset me the most.

I didn't care much about the adults and how they choose to live their lives but my god the sympathy for the mother. I think I reacted too emotionally but was hard to hear.

Lots of talk about how hard it would be for them, the new couple, too.

LookingForwardToMarch Mon 01-Jul-13 10:14:08

Parttimer it is not unusual for feelings to develop between people that are unexpected.
You and Basic handled it well, with dignity and respect for others.
If everyone behaved with some honour then there would be a lot less devastation in families.
I hope op heeds your examples and next time attempts to be a better person than she is right now.

BasicallySFB Mon 01-Jul-13 10:14:40

parttimer79 - yes, I think it probably would have come under the umbrella of 'emotional affair' - but in the three months after my recovery from surgery before he left his P, we only saw each other through work, deliberately, and had no contact outside of that - precisely because I didn't want to be part of an affair.

My mum was the OW - it's not something that sits comfortably with me and I remember as a kid knowing she was having an affair with a married man (my parents were divorced) and being seriously screwed up.

Hence my massive guilt over us falling for each other, despite nothing happening until we'd both separated. I still feel guilty that now-DH fell for me while in a relationship - more guilt than over my own then-DP certainly, who was an arse.

BasicallySFB Mon 01-Jul-13 10:22:10

Also - I'm not trying to suggest DH and I were 'right' or should have been guilt-free - just to point out that when feelings develop (which if course they do) there is a 'lesser of two evils' approach that leads to less devastation than an affair.

LittlePeaPod Mon 01-Jul-13 10:50:41

Op just a thought but maybe you should read how this sort thing can impact on a wife!

beingmyself Mon 01-Jul-13 10:51:02

Agree I would have liked to have done things the way SFB did... But I didn't. Can't change the past but will try and change the future and LEARN from all of this. I am listening

LittlePeaPod Mon 01-Jul-13 10:56:29

Op you still can. Break up with him, live separate lives for a year and if its meant to be then go for it then. After you have honourably separated/divorced your respective partners.

AnyFucker Mon 01-Jul-13 10:59:46

It's not too late to right the wrongs, is it OP ?

You haven't told anyone yet have you ? So renegotiate the terms of this Brave New World you two lovebirds are heading towards.

Complete your divorces, live apart then resume.

I reckon it will all fall apart in the meantime, but hey-ho, it would have fallen apart anyway. Which I reckon you know is true, deep down and one of the reasons why you are so keen to swallow the bullshit of a proven liar and join him in his rewriting of history.

FrancescaBell Mon 01-Jul-13 11:07:09

If this is all secret, who are these people you talk to, who know his wife and what their relationship was like?

LittlePeaPod Mon 01-Jul-13 11:21:45

And another really sad story but this time it back fired on the OW.

BasicallySFB Mon 01-Jul-13 11:27:39

What littlepea said ^^

You can still change things. You can figure out if it's the Real Thing or something else. You can let your DC recover from the separations before you move on. You can let your respective ex's recover. If it's meant to be, it'll happen. If not, you've lost nothing but kept your, you DC's and the other people's dignity.

Selba Mon 01-Jul-13 23:26:05

" your children will inevitably lose respect for you "
What utter shite

mathanxiety Tue 02-Jul-13 04:15:04

And my question re: childcare was another genuine one about when a man leaves, what do people think he should do re childcare? It's not about the fact he shouldn't leave as that choice has been made.

Are you seriously thinking it would be ok for him to take them from their mother and land them with some childminder?

(Or have you not yet cottoned on to the fact that the childminder he has in mind is you? And do you realise how ballistic his wife will be when she finds out who she has to share her children with?)

You are not in love. You are besotted worse than any horny teenager and you are not doing your thinking with your brain.

I'm not taking that lightly but I don't think the children are in for a life of misery due to our choices
So turn it into an absurdity -- but all of the children here will have their young lives turned upside down because of your choices. All of them will get very familiar with their suitcases and the weekends marked on the calendar. That changes a child's life dramatically in the here and now - which is really the only thing a child has.

When are you going to tell your H the truth?
When is the OM going to tell his wife?

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 02-Jul-13 07:41:52

My generation is probably the first where large numbers of our parents got divorced, therefore I know quite a few people whose parents aren't together anymore. I'd say roughly half are well rounded people able to form normal adult relationships, with genuinely no ill feelings towards their parents. About a quarter have a difficult relationship with one parent (usually the dad); and the other quarter are (emotionally) complete fuck ups.

Saying that all chidden of divorcees are condemned to a live of misery is reductionist and pretty insulting. I know you're trying to give the OP a short hard shock to make her understand the enormity of what she is doing, but pedalling stuff like this isn't exactly helpful for other MNers who have experienced the fall out from affairs and divorce themselves

juneblues Tue 02-Jul-13 08:22:42

On the last post half of children's lives are fucked up when their parents fuck theirs up. Is that not reason enough to think twice about commencing relationships with men and women who already have a partner and children together? Actions have consequences and sometimes those consequences are horrific on the innocent parties, ie the children and partner left behind. It's not just emotional, it's academic under performance of the children, it's the monetary situation, it's a whole load of things which indicate that exta-marital relations are bad for many many children and their parents. Who are the winners out of this? Do the guilty parties really win? Many lose contact with their children, does that make them happier than they were before? Oh please think of our actions on others.

LittlePeaPod Tue 02-Jul-13 08:32:06

Juneblues very well said. There is a new thread on relationships right now. She's a 13 week preganat woman with two little ones. Her DP of 6 years has walked out following an affair and she is left living in one room in her parents house with her children.

Her DP is an complete arse but the OW is just as responsible for the suffering this woman and her children are now going through. I don't care if I get flamed for this but I don't understand how anyone can support any woman that has knowingly been party to destroying other people's lives including those of small children! OP you need to think about the consequences of your actions and do the right thing!

juneblues Tue 02-Jul-13 08:41:08

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

Missbopeep Tue 02-Jul-13 08:44:51

As far as I can see the OP has disappeared.

Not surprising given the bashing here.

I just wonder why on half the MNs threads about separation etc, the argument is 'leave if you are unhappy, your kids will be fine and don't subject them to parents who don't get on' - and other threads where some posters rage at anyone who leaves a marriage.

It would be wonderful if no marriages ended because of the OW or OM but sadly it happens a lot, always has and always will. I think the OP was asking for support- it's her decision and both she and the OM have left their marriages.

Missbopeep Tue 02-Jul-13 08:47:04

June- I'm very sorry for your situation but your anger should be directed at your ex- he walked. No one made him, and no one can take someone away from anyone else if they don't want to go. I hope your life gets better.

juneblues Tue 02-Jul-13 08:48:20

Oh and I forgot, it's not just the families left behind who suffer, there are all those family and friends who are left helping the left behind families to cope with their ruined lives, it must have a terrible affect on them too. Then when those children might turn into quite damaged adults and may not quite be able to parent or become well rounded partners themselves, following their experiences in childhood. The ramifications can be enormous and descend generations. All that just for some sexual gratification!!!

LittlePeaPod Tue 02-Jul-13 08:49:22

Lets not forget she was also trying to blame OMs wife and accusing her of EA to gain sympathy...

juneblues Tue 02-Jul-13 08:54:12

It just seems always about the adults and their immediate happiness. Children have feelings too and in this thread, the children's feelings didn't even get much of a look in at first. Children are entitled to happiness to and when us adults put our feelings above theirs, the result can be disastrous. My husband and that woman are both responsible for our children's despair, it's me left with the job of soothing their broken hearts.

reggiebean Tue 02-Jul-13 09:01:57

It's a bit presumptuous, all the people on here who are crying about the children's feelings in all of this. I will forever remember hearing my parents scream and fight constantly. I don't know for sure, but looking back, I assume my mum had an affair before she left my dad, which was a blessing in disguise. It was the catalyst she needed to break up with my dad and let them both live their own lives, which allowed them to be much better parents to my sister and I than had they been at each others throats constantly.

The idea that its better for a child to grow up in an unhappy home with two unhappy parents, rather than have two happy homes to go to, is bullshit.

LittlePeaPod Tue 02-Jul-13 09:09:02

Yes I am sure the two little kids now homeless living in one room with their pregnant mother because daddy hangedthe locks are much happier.

LookingForwardToMarch Tue 02-Jul-13 09:09:28

Reggie I don't think anyone is saying that people should stay together if they are unhappy, thats ridiculous.

People are just pointing out that there is a dignified and sensitive way to do this that does not cause such pain or devastation.

For example: ending an unhappy relationship, putting your kids feelings first and taking time to grieve before moving on.

My nan was right. If you have to lie about something then it wasn't the right thing to do.

reggiebean Tue 02-Jul-13 09:10:21

At the moment? Probably not. In the future? Probably so.

reggiebean Tue 02-Jul-13 09:16:42

Looking I'm not at all disagreeing that affairs are terrible things, but the women here who are crucifying the OP, and using her children to make their point, are way off base. There are just as many kids who were subject to parental affairs/divorces as a child who grow up to be healthy, fully-functional adults, capable of real, loving relationships, as there are kids who had two loving parents who grow up to become complete train wrecks.

I'm not saying what the OP did was right in any way, just that her children shouldn't be used to project other poster's negative experiences on to.

LookingForwardToMarch Tue 02-Jul-13 09:20:31

Selba, what experience are you drawing that from?

Did one if your parents cheat?

Did it destroy a family that you thought was happy?

Mine did, and yes as you get older, you lose respect for that parent.

I used to wish my mother had had the honesty to just leave the marriage. Many of my friends parents got divorces and they were handled very well. I used to be jealous of them.

LittlePeaPod Tue 02-Jul-13 09:23:41

I don't believe anyone has used her kids against her. I believe people have pointed out the damage and hurt she is causing at the moment. If you read through the thread you will see the Op was the one accusing OMs wife of damaging the kids and EA him. She even convinced him when he didn't think his wife was EA. That's when people pointed out that she had no evidence of EA and in all likihood the deception and affair were more damaging than the support provided by their loving mother.

LookingForwardToMarch Tue 02-Jul-13 09:24:20

Reggie I agree the kids can turn out great or badly whatever happens.

I think posters were trying to drive home to the op that she could have done things better by them, and that their feelings were important too ( she only really talked about the problems for om kids not her own)

She still could if she took a break from om for a while.

juneblues Tue 02-Jul-13 09:26:42

My children were in a very happy home and had been for almost 2 decades and if that woman who got on the phone and told my suicidal disabled son it is better that his dad abandons him and his brothers, sisters and mum thinks she was helping by telling him that, she is very wrong. My husband suffers from a mental illness, she'll soon find out, but the family were happy nonetheless. Our children's lives are shattered. Don't assume unfaithful men and women are leaving behind unhappy families, some might be and some might not be. My husband had no problem living with his happy family for almost 2 decades, so he certainly could not use the "unhappy children" excuse as a reason to now abandon them. It's almost 2 months since he had spoken to one of them and has only seen one of them in that time. The other woman has neither met or no does not know my children, yet she had the gall to get on the phone to tell a disabled teenager his dad was better with her. she and my husband have destroyed our happiness and their lives will never be the same. I'm the one left dealing with the fallout, not him or her. I hope their consciences catch up with them some day, I'd find it hard to live with myself knowing I'd destroyed the lives of so many others.

The 2 kids living with their mum in 1 room, well I'd be happy to house them for the moment, at least I am lucky enough to have our home for a few more months before having to move us all. I'd take anyone in right now and I always have done for those who are in need.

reggiebean Tue 02-Jul-13 09:31:18

I have read through the thread, and have been following it since it started, thanks. My post was in reaction to the people who were saying things like "Your kids will never respect you." Etc., etc. I'm not saying it will be a walk in the park, but personally, I don't think anything less of my mother for having an affair because it got her out of her marriage to my dad (btw, he wasn't violent or EA, they were just a terrible match together). I know many of my friends who grew up the same way, and who feel the same way now.

Yes, she runs the risk of damaging her kids, but that could happen as much during a messy divorce as it could as a result of an affair.

She's clearly made her choice, right or wrong, but the important thing is to make sure the kids still know they're loved by both parents, and eventually, both partners as well. There's no guarantee that her kids will turn out great, but there's also no guarantee that she's ruined them for life, and I just wanted her to know that.

Missbopeep Tue 02-Jul-13 09:34:07

I agree Reggie.

OP- I think that if the OM was going to leave anyway ( regardless of whether he set eyes on you or not) that's one thing.
If you in any way encouraged the split and initiated his leaving, then that's another .

On a more general note, even the so-called 'experts' cannot agree on whether children do worse in unhappy relationships ( between their parents) or when fighting, unhappy parents split up. I don't think a few anecdotes here- however impassioned-prove either case. What is ideal is that 2 parents stay together and are happy- but with divorce at 40% of all marriages, it just doesn't happen.

June- I think you crossed a line by naming someone here and giving a location, no matter how angry and sad you are - don't you?

reggiebean Tue 02-Jul-13 09:34:51

June I'm sorry you've had such a shitty situation happen, but your experience isn't necessarily someone else's.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 02-Jul-13 09:46:14

juneblues... I'm really sorry about your situation, it sounds horrendous BUT people do NOT leave happy homes, they just don't. They might have affairs just because they can but you're not telling me that men and women (mostly men) up and leave? It's a huge upheaval, public condemnation, wrath of ex partners, extended families... I really think you're kidding yourself there. Are you also this angry about it? Your children will absorb that and don't think for a minute that you're an expert in covering it up. My mum thought that; she was wrong.

It's awful when marriages break up but they do for whatever reason. the OW/OM is really incidental in my view because if somebody doesn't love you and want to be with you anymore, isn't that the ultimate 'slap in the face'? It happens and when you've got kids the onus is on both parents to make it easy for them or as smooth as it can possibly be.

You really ought to report your own post 'naming and shaming', it's beneath you - and I mean that nicely. It's beneath any woman to do that. This was your partner's doing, put it at his door. OW was party to that but you don't denigrate your ex in the same way, do you? That's unfair.

Reggie's posts make a lot of sense to me. Put the children first - that goes for BOTH parents. Break-ups happen; if you can't face the reality of that, don't have children with anybody and don't have a relationship with them either. We do; that's the human condition. It doesn't always work out the way we'd want it to but it DOES always work out in the end.

juneblues Tue 02-Jul-13 09:48:29

well I actually haven't a clue where this woman is I wish I did! My husband has just disappeared off the face of the earth, the occasional call to a go-between, all I know is he must be somewhere within an hour's drive from London and I don't even know her real name.

Missbopeep Tue 02-Jul-13 09:49:01

I've seen almost every situation posted about here, in RL- kids where the parents have affairs throughout their marriages, kids where parents divorced without their being an OW/OM, kids where parents left for someone else. I don't know any who are seriously fucked up due to it. No more than kids whose parents stayed married. My parents are late 80s and cannot stand each other now and I seriously wish they had split up years ago as visiting them is a nightmare.

If couples do split for whatever reason they need to do so with dignity, compassion, and pay the cost of it all.

June- I wonder why your ex is not funding his kids even though he has left?

Missbopeep Tue 02-Jul-13 09:52:12

But why name her June, as if you did? There will be SOME woman called Nikki in E Grinstead, and you've just made her day [ shock].

reggiebean Tue 02-Jul-13 09:56:34

I've already reported it, FWIW. I understand that you're angry June, but agree with the others, it's really not on to publicly name someone and give their location.

Especially now that you say you made it up, and don't know her name or where she lives? confused

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 02-Jul-13 09:57:20

I'm really wondering why the 'wronged' partners are so determined to torture themselves with this thread? When you're that obviously angry and hurt, nothing they say is balanced and is often unfair. Nobody is going to take advice based on that and some of the posts on this thread are disgraceful. All haranguing and name-calling has ever done is show the poster up. confused

carolst Tue 02-Jul-13 10:01:41

I don't think it's about once a cheat always a cheat BUT once you have shown the ability to lie to that extent then you cannot be trusted. Most people can tell white lies, but the level of lying involved, bare faced to a partner you once loved to cover up an affair is an extreme amount. That takes a certain type of person. You are both now that type so neither can be trusted. Fact. It doesn't mean one of you will cheat but shows you can carry out high levels of deceit.

Having affairs is wrong. Fact. Continuing to keep it secret is wrong.

It makes me laugh that posters jump to defend OP from receiving a bit of stick on a forum she entered willingly. It shows there is no real Karma as the poor families left behind have a much harder battle to face. So she has some stick on here, big deal, she was expecting it. She is "happy" where as I'm sure the kids and partners aren't.

I have a friend who was the OW. She is now in a relationship with the man. She admits that her affair had a lot to do with how she felt about herself. Not good enough. It was an escape. She said that now she is with someone who is level as they both had affairs, and so neither are better than the other morally. How sad I thought. She hasn't resolved her issues but they are not in the forefront of her mind, as she admits she is with someone who also wasn't good enough. I found that totally strange and very sad but at least she isn't trying to pretend it's OK. As it isn't. She has thought a lot about her actions and admits that once the new man was involved it tainted how she thought of her marriage. Twisting things to justify the cheating in her head and to others. She isn't happy deep down, but now admits she will not end this new relationship as then all the heartache caused to her H and kids would be for nothing. This was a deep conversation one night, but day to day she puts on her happy face and pretends it's all good. This is two years on.

Everyone makes mistakes, but affairs aren't one mistake, they are a consuming web of lies, mistake after mistake after mistake.

It is also not true that relationships would fall apart anyway if the OW/OM hadn't come along. All to often the relationships could be saved, but the OW/OM gives an escape route instead. This said, I am not saying that all relationships can be saved, but affairs ruin the possibility. They taint everything. If the relationship needs to be ended it should be done without seeing someone else. If you are meant to be with them you can hook up in future once who have sorted the end of the current relationship and the children etc. When you chose to have kids you are agreeing to put someone else before yourself. That means any relationships need to be worked on, and if they need to end, handled correctly. Affairs puts yourself above everyone else including the kids.

I find it very interesting that the OP discovered his EA. How nice of you to save the poor man from it.

Do the other partners involved seriously have no idea at all that there is someone else? Do they even know you exist maybe as a "friend" but not know the full extent of the affair? They must have wondered I would have thought, it is a common question when relationships there someone else?

ProphetOfDoom Tue 02-Jul-13 10:11:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 02-Jul-13 10:12:36

Wel carolst... I'm a cheated-on ex and I don't agree with the 'stick' you think is so amusing. Hold yourself up to scrutiny if you think your 'morals' are any better? You associate with cheaters... yet hold yourself up as something 'better'?

I also have a friend who had an affair - a serious one that left her in a heap. The difference is I don't judge her and I don't 'give stick' either. How juvenile.

That's the only bit of your post I really disagreed with btw but it really annoyed me.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 02-Jul-13 10:19:33

Schmaltzing... Fair enough but I think affairs are one thing - actually leaving the family home? No. That takes much more impetus than an OW/OM. Regarding a husband/wife saying that they're 'happily married'; we have NO idea what they actually tell people as we hear it second or third hand and goodness knows what they tell OM/OW.

LittlePeaPod Tue 02-Jul-13 10:26:21

Carolst well said. I am lucky not to have experienced this level of deception in a relationship. For me it's black and white. Affairs are wrong and there is no justification for it. Everyone knows its wrong to have an affair so why get yourself into such a situation? If someone is that unhappy in a relationship, then leave the relationship with some dignity. Have some compassion for the other person. Don't start an affair and create further hurt. I will never understand anyone that can justify an affair. It's just wrong!

ProphetOfDoom Tue 02-Jul-13 11:03:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

carolst Tue 02-Jul-13 11:20:18

I am honest with my friend. I don't agree with what she did. She knows that. I don't rub her face in it, but am not as close to her now and do not socialise like we used too (but then it was couples). That said, when we had this deep conversation I listened and wouldn't turn her away.

I still think we don't know enough facts about OP to comment on the potential "highs and lows" of the whole situation. How old are your children OP? Does no-one suspect your affair? or did they suspect and you both denied it? You say that you and your stb exh are on good terms, have you both sorted access or do both parties still need this issue resolved? All this matters when trying to gauge highs and lows. What about the properties. I know your H moved out but are you selling. Is your new man selling? Either way one of the lows will always be how your relationship started based on deceit and hurt. Can't you both take a proper break and get things in order first?

carolst Tue 02-Jul-13 11:21:34

SchmaltzingMatilda - yes I agree totally.

beingmyself Tue 02-Jul-13 11:21:36

I have been away on business with no time to check mnet but just catching up on the thread.

I'm sorry you had such a terrible time June and that another poster is left in a living room.

My partner will be contributing financially over and above what he has to voluntarily. No issue there.

I won't be used as a childminder! My partner, his ex and myself all have well paid jobs so nobody will be used. In any case I won't be meeting his children for a long time until they are used to the situation with their parents.

Of course I am concerned about my own DC however it's slightly different as me and my h are both comfortable with the split and are therefore not saying potentially damaging things to the children such as "daddy's leaving us because he doesn't love us." I know his w is hurting but I think repeating this to young children is wrong.

I've been thinking a lot about the assumption that OW are always awful selfish people and the wives are always "loving mothers"... It's surely a sweeping generalisation to make.

Also thinking about the fact women on here are often advised to leave marriages which are unhappy and "kids will be fine" but then suddenly on this thread mine and my partners kids are guaranteed a life of instability, upset, academic underperformance, emotional turmoil etc. I believe each situation is unique and will do my utmost to make sure the fallout is as minimal as possible. Indeed before My partner had met me his daughter would say things like "mummy stop shouting at daddy" and get upset about the things that went on at home. (a friend told me this, not him, and said friend knows nothing about me and him).

Anyway - what I am trying to say is that I did a bad thing but I will focus on the future. I'm not going to stop seeing him till we are divorced... But we will take it easy, we aren't planning on meeting kids or anything for a LONG time so we will just carry on building our relationship.

Thanks for all the posts

Missbopeep Tue 02-Jul-13 11:40:28


I think your post is far too black and white and you appear to have a lack of reality over how relationships sometime evolve- which is not all neat and tidy.

In an ideal world, no one would leave a relationship for someone else. But it happens. And for some people the impetus to leave an unhappy relationship comes when they meet someone else- often when they are not looking. There are many, many marriages that are dead in the water for years but neither party has the courage ( or finances these days) to just jump ship and leave. Sometimes meeting someone else gives them the push to make changes.

That scenario is a whole lot different to men or women who have ' bits on the side' throughout their marriages , unless of course they have an agreement to have some kind of 'open' relationship.

carolst Tue 02-Jul-13 11:45:33

Wives aren't always loving mothers but having an affair and lying constantly, and now continuing to lie is selfish. Fact. So OW/OM are selfish.

Has your partner filed for divorce?

I would advise all couples to truly try and work out their differences, try counselling and try and re-spark the love they originally felt, talk about how things are going wrong and try to resolve them. If you don't believe this you shouldn't get married in the first place. If this doesn't work, and it is unhappy then no-one would say stay together but the addition of a third party OW/OM detracts from trying to save the original relationship as affairs are highly consuming. Trying, but then agreeing to split is totally different to having an affair and walking out.

As previous posters have said. Own what you have done and be honest. It's not "a" bad thing, it's a constant daily pile up of bad things, every time you both lie and continue to do so.

badinage Tue 02-Jul-13 11:57:57

I've been thinking a lot about the assumption that OW are always awful selfish people and the wives are always "loving mothers"... It's surely a sweeping generalisation to make.

Indeed. I worry when we see threads like these that every OW will be tarred with your brush. Having had friends who were OW, I'd hate people to think that they were like you've come across on this thread OP. I saw this thread the other night and in fact showed it to one of those mates. She was appalled at some of the things you've said on this thread.

I'm sure it must help you to think that people are prejudiced towards you because of who you're having sex with, but actually I think it's personal

You come across very badly indeed. As a person.

Missbopeep Tue 02-Jul-13 12:01:07

carolst- that's all very 'commendable' advise- but what you seem unable to understand is that people are humans- they are fallible and have these things called 'emotions'. I used to write- and think- like you did when I was about 16, and saw the whole world in terms of black and white and everything was oh so simple. Now I'm pushing 60 and have seen a lot of people's lives, I am more compassionate.

carolst Tue 02-Jul-13 12:06:54

Missbopeep, I haven't said it's simple have I? I can see how compassionate you are by comparing my writing and thoughts to a 16 year old. When if you read my posts I haven't wished OP a bad life or sadness or showed any lack of compassion. I think I am just VERY compassionate and don't like to see people betrayed and lied to as whether your 16 or pushing 60 lying to this extent about real lives is wrong.

Missbopeep Tue 02-Jul-13 12:19:56

So you don't ever tell lies and behave in a 100% good, kind, compassionate way? If so I am confused as to why you post rather hurtful comments condemning another person's behaviour.

carolst Tue 02-Jul-13 12:26:23

Where are my hurtful comments. I said lying is selfish and wrong. Do you disagree? Do you think affairs are good? I am not saying it doesn't happen but know it's wrong. Even OP states it's wrong.

I do make mistakes, but admit to them and try not to do it again. I wouldn't continue to lie for months and months. I didn't say I was perfect or that OP should try to be so.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 02-Jul-13 12:32:01

Schmaltzing... I agree with you but that's a bit of a different scenario. What I was referring to is the more usual - or more talked about - scenario of partner having an affair, happy to stay married and keep 'status quo'. Assuming that there isn't the 'push' from the cheated on partner, I would say that a happily married man/woman is unlikely to actually leave the marital home given that there are huge emotional and financial costs that would accompany such a move.

Crinkle77 Tue 02-Jul-13 12:35:26

I would just wonder what the relationship will be like now all the illicit excitement has gone out of it. I think that maybe once reality sets in it might not live up to expectations.

LittlePeaPod Tue 02-Jul-13 12:48:24

Missbopeep humans have emotions but we can choose how we act on those feelings/emotions and how we behave. I may not have been cheated on but I had the opportunity to enter into an affair and he was willing to leave his wife if I went ahead with it. At the time I was single with no ties (7 months out of an 11 year relationship). He on the other hand had been married for 5 years but with his wife for about 10 years. He had been on secondment in another city for 16 months and in that time his DW and him had only seen each other over the weekend. That 16 months placed a huge strain on their marriage because he was under a huge amount of pressure and his DW was also under pressure having been in the last year of her nursing degree whilst both working and living apart. When he returned we worked very closely together and did develope feelings for each other (nothing ever happened). He wanted us to get together and i later found out he had told most of his friends how he felt about me and that he didn't love his wife anymore and wanted out. In the meantime his relationship with his wife deteriorated and he saw me as his escape. He thought everything would work out fine and we should start a relationship because of how we felt. I told him straight. There was no way I would ever have an affair or be involved in the break up of a relationship. I told him if he was unhappy he needed to live his wife and live on his own as a single man for some time before I would entertain a relationship. But I also warned him that by leaving his wife he would be taking a risk because I could meet someone else in that time. He didn't understand why i wouldn't get involved in a relationship and his reasoning was "you cant help who you fall for". But as far as i am concerned you may not be able to help who you fall for but you have full control over your actions and behaviour. I made it clear as day an affair or relationship whilst he was married even if separated was out of the question. Guess what! He never did leave his wife and they are due to have a baby in August. This is the same man that was telling everyone how he didn't love his wife and was happy to leave her if he could jump out of her bed and straight into my bed.

I stuck to my morals and its one of the best decisions i have ever made. I am now due to marry someone with similar morals who I know would leave me before shacking up with OW. Whoever said only weak people have affairs was right. These people are weak because they can't control their selfish behaviour and are quite happy to be party to destroying another persons life. Even when it's for a short period of time to save others suffering. It's the strong people that walk away with dignity. Having an affair is a choice people make. It's not a mistake and its not uncontrollable emotions that drive it.

skyeskyeskye Tue 02-Jul-13 12:50:50

The irony of my situation is that when my XH's friend was seeing his married girlfriend, my XH didn't want to spend time with them because he didn't approve of his friend seeing a married woman. He didn't like her and thought his friend was mad to marry her. Once she actually left her first H and married her second H, my XH's friend, we did socialise with them a bit because they were then married and no longer a dirty little secret.

The fact that my XH then eventually ended up in the position that his friend was in, is just unbelievable. Obviously he is no longer deceiving me, as I divorced him, but he is betraying his best friend and she is deceiving her H. That doesn't make either of them good people in my book.

and as for her H? well he knew what he was getting when he married a woman who was happy to cheat on her first husband.

Lying is selfish. My XH was still happy to make love to me and pretend that everything was OK, whilst texting OW telling her how awful his marriage was. It's a shame that he didn't bother to tell me how bad his marriage was......... the partner that is in the dark is inevitably going to end up very hurt, when their partner leaves out of the blue.

A bad marriage, where there are continual rows and upsets is very different to one where all appears well and one partner has no idea that the other is telling OW how unhappy he is..

beingmyself Tue 02-Jul-13 12:52:29

I can see how some of what I've said has come across badly badinage. Its sometimes hard to explain well and when people don't know the individuals or their situations it is all to easy to judge. Ive done it in the past too.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 02-Jul-13 12:56:17

PeaPod... so, this man was willing to leave his wife for you, based on nothing more than conversation? You say you were close but you didn't have a relationship? What about your emotional affair then? Did you have one of those?

I don't believe a word of your insufferably smug posts.

Missbopeep Tue 02-Jul-13 12:57:04

I hope you feel better for getting all of that out.

And I hope your crystal ball proves correct. I am now due to marry someone with similar morals who I know would leave me before shacking up with OW

You did indeed behave honourably, and I'm sure the outcome for everyone was the best, but a little compassion for others who don't meet your high moral standards would not go amiss amongst all the self promotion.

beingmyself Tue 02-Jul-13 12:57:53

humans have emotions but we can choose how we act on those emotions

I agree with this peapod... But up thread lots of people were telling me I and my partner were responsible for how his wife is acting. So do the wives have no responsibility for their actions? Are they exempt from all behavioural responsibility because they are the ones being left?

I KNOW I am partly responsible for what she is going through and after a lot of self reflection yesterday feel truly awful about that. But I don't think what she chooses to DO is my fault. Much like I wouldnt say I couldn't help being intimate with her husband because I had feelings for him. I had the feelings and chose what to do with them, is it not the same for the wife?

Missbopeep Tue 02-Jul-13 13:04:08

Peapod- if you 'developed feelings' for each other which culminated in his wanting to leave his wife, that surely amounted to more than a quick chat about the weather over the vending machine.

I think there is a certain amount of self-delusion on your part about exactly what relationship you had ( even if it did not involve sexual intercourse.) No man would pursue a woman as you describe here, and tell his friends he wanted to leave his wife for her, if that woman had not reciprocated his feelings for some of the time and encouraged him.

Maybe you need to do some more naval gazing into your own part in it all.

LittlePeaPod Tue 02-Jul-13 13:05:07

Lying I have worked with him and known him for years. Yes he told me all about his situation but I wasn't the only one. He was the one doing all the chasing. If he had been single then yes I would have dated him. I made it clear very time he broached the subject that there was No way on earth I would entertain an affair. We worked very closely together for three years and saw each other every day. You may not believe it but its true. You don't want to believe it because you cant accept that people are can walk away from theses situations. People do have control on their chooses. I find it insufferable that people make excuses for tis kind of behaviour.. Get a grip. It happens and people with morals walk away all the time.

Upnotdown Tue 02-Jul-13 13:10:34

Give your boyfriend's wife a fighting chance - she's acting the way she is (if at all, we only have her husbands word for that) because you've decided to keep her in the dark.

The minute she has the truth she'll stop thinking it's because he doesn't love her/she's boring/not putting out enough/not scrubbing his undies right and realise it's because he's shagging you.

Then she'll be on a level footing. Then you can pass comment on her actions without sounding like a (complete) twat.

badinage Tue 02-Jul-13 13:10:41

Oh FFS as people have said over and over again on this thread (Lord knows why they've had the patience) you don't know how is wife is feeling, acting or behaving.

Even if there's a smidgeon of truth in these tales you're being told, FFS the woman's in shock and people behave very differently in that state than in others. Your judgement of her is horrible to read.

BTW I've seen lots of threads of yours over the months. I don't believe that someone can come across as badly as you do on so many threads and people's reaction to you is just because they don't know you personally, or would feel much differently if they did. If you came out with this shit in real life, you'd get just the same reaction. But you don't know that yet do you? You've kept the whole shebang a secret. Probably because of that very reason. You know what people would think of the way you've behaved and are behaving - and they'd quite rightly tell you to get your head out of your backside and start taking responsibility.

LittlePeaPod Tue 02-Jul-13 13:13:45

I think there is a certain amount of self-delusion on your part about exactly what relationship you had ( even if it did not involve sexual intercourse.) No man would pursue a woman as you describe here, and tell his friends he wanted to leave his wife for her, if that woman had not reciprocated his feelings for some of the time and encouraged him.

That's says alot about your perception of peoples behaviour and how these things can start. also how you view men! He saw me as an escape and he couldn't understand why I wouldnt do it. Why, because people think its ok if two people feel something to go ahead and have an affair... Well it's not. So yes I do and will always judge those people that behaviour in this way..

As for my DF and I. He thinks this situation is as appalling as I do. Shared it with him whilst we are here sunny ourselves and having a lovely time together on holiday.

Missbopeep Tue 02-Jul-13 13:18:20

Pea It's quite hard to believe your version of events. Either you are living in some fantasy world over what this guy wanted ( ie- it was never really as serious as you are trying to make out) or you are being economical with the truth, to make yourself sound whiter-than-white.

So you 'weren't the only one'. Meaning- he was asking other women out and going to leave his wife for them?

Your posts are an insult to MNs intelligence, and the phrase ' she doth protest too much' is ringing in my ears.

Get over yourself and see this for what it- and you- are.

LittlePeaPod Tue 02-Jul-13 13:24:08

Oh please he was talking to people we associate together with about it. Everyone that we are closely associated with at work knew what he was up to. Look I don't care if you believe me or not. Your opinion frankly doesn't matter because we clearly have different standards on this issue. You just can't accept people have morals. So get on with it..

Actually I agree with one thing. It wouldn't surprise me if he was trying it on with others. Because people capable of this behaviour will do it with anyone if they get a chance to!

reggiebean Tue 02-Jul-13 13:24:20

LittlePea If the two of you like to spend your time on holiday, lying in the sun and passing judgement on mumsnet posters then I think you are probably on exactly the same moral level, and very well suited indeed.

Missbopeep Tue 02-Jul-13 13:25:05

x-post Pea.

He would only have seen you as an escape route if you dangled the ladder in front of him for long enough.

My post says nothing about how I see men, or how people's behaviour evolves, in the way you imply. But yours show more and more about you and the hole is getting deeper and deeper- so you should think hard before digging more.

NO man gets close enough to a woman to even begin to consider her as an escape route unless she engages with him at some level, other than a friendly colleague.

I'd have more respect for you if you admitted that you started something which developed and then you withdrew- rather than paint yourself as entirely innocent.

Missbopeep Tue 02-Jul-13 13:28:55

It's a hoot, Pea. Really.

Everyone at work knew what he was up to- eh? And you were some poor innocent bystander who was the object of his romantic dreams ?

I feel I have stumbled into a Mills and Boon novel.

LittlePeaPod Tue 02-Jul-13 13:29:42

Missbopeep you are talking hors sh*t and I won't get dragged into a debate about something you find difficult to believe. It ends up with "oh it's the woman that leads the man on. Otherwise he would not talk to her about anything personal, even if they have known each other for years. She must have lead him in. " Utter balls.

carolst Tue 02-Jul-13 13:30:25

So posters defend the person who had an affair and moan at the person who didn't.

LittlePeaPod Tue 02-Jul-13 13:33:15

Carlst I know! its very amusing, shows the level of moral standards on this issue clearly. Ha ha ha

Missbopeep Tue 02-Jul-13 13:37:45


I am not defending affairs or the OP .

I am asking why people in glass houses think it's a good idea to throw stones.

If you had any kind of relationship- and you admit you got 'close'- with this man, then you were culpable of the very thing you now condemn, except you stopped it before he left his wife, as you got cold feet and your conscience kicked in- albeit a bit late.

The only other explanation is he is a complete loon who wanted to run off with a colleague whom he chatted to.

tessa6 Tue 02-Jul-13 13:38:07

Oh for goodness sake, being, yes of course it's bad for the children for someone to say, 'daddy left because he doesn't love us anymore'. But there are SO many things to take into account here that your judgement of her seems incredibly high-handed and inappropriate. The noble way to behave in your position is to NEVER criticise the ExW for a start. It is not your place to do so. You are perpetuating an intimacy with your partner by sharing perceived slights of hers and it is mutually beneficial, so that you feel less bad about your breaking up a family and he feels he was within his rights to leave. The only thing you have brought up that is in any way out of order on her part is her telling the children he doesn't love the family unit anymore, and though that is deeply unhelpful and potentially damaging, the moving out and rejection of them is going to FEEL like that to them anyway, so getting on your high horse over words is a little embarrassing.


1. You do not even know that she said this. You were not there. Children get things wrong or even lie, so do men, as you'll know too well by now. She may have said because he doesn't love ME anymore and this has been misinterpreted or she may have said he loves someone else MORE. In any case, you just don't know the words, the context, or the meaning behind them.

2. She might have said this but said it in the heat of anger, in total sadness, or some state of emotional pain that does not excuse it, but mitigates it and she might go on to correct this.

3. She might have said it deliberately and coldly to express her pain and try and fuck up her kids relationship with their father for revenge. EVEN SO it is not your business. It is not good for children to feel unloved and it is your partner's job to redress this feeling which the children will have for many reasons right now. You blaming their mother is a contributor to the bad feeling and pain of the children, NOT a corrective.

You can absolutely live together in your bubble but you are winning yourself no friends here or in life by justifying so vociferously her 'wrongness'.

beingmyself Tue 02-Jul-13 13:40:32

reggie LOL @ lying in the sun passing judgement on mumsnet posters

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 02-Jul-13 13:41:33

PeaPod, you've rather painted yourself into a corner.

Either you entered into discussions with this man that overstepped the bounds of what a person with your moral compass would do... or you're such a provocative and potent woman that we should all be very afraid and falling down in gratitude to you for your admirable restraint. He must be very, very smitten by your conversation to leave his wife of such long-standing on that basis.

I'm curious though... at what point in your long three year working relationship did he suggest leaving his wife? What was your response? Did you remain friends after that? Did you think that your conversations about widgets had taken a bit of a leap? Did you shut him down immediately once he'd moved on from Widget-gate to Wife-gate?

I posted to Schmaltzing earlier about the circumstances a man/woman might leave a relationship/happy home but never, in my wildest dreams, did I think it would happen based on a never.a.foot.wrong.working.relationship.honest.guv scenario.

I consider myself educated and you're rumbled.

carolst Tue 02-Jul-13 13:44:55

I agree Tessa6

Also you wanted stories of highs and lows but haven't given facts that would affect that. Like how old is your child? Has your partner actually filed for divorce? If not, this is another upset on it's way. So obviously a low.

I also know of a man who continued to keep the affair secret after leaving as he was still sleeping with his wife. She thought there was still a chance as he hadn't been honest about his affair and was still spending a lot of time at home with her and kids and sending very mixed signals. Very cruel. Does your new partner play happy families with his wife and kids still?

beingmyself Tue 02-Jul-13 13:44:57

tessa - I've been thinking a lot of what you've said of course. I am trying to act with more empathy towards her. I just found peapod's comment about people taking responsibility for their actions as double standards when only the cheaters are expected to do so. But then seeing some of the latter posts from peapod maybe sitting within double standards is a comfortable place to be!

LittlePeaPod Tue 02-Jul-13 13:45:04

If you had any kind of relationship- and you admit you got 'close'- with this man, then you were culpable of the very thing you now condemn, except you stopped it before he left his wife, as you got cold feet and your conscience kicked in- albeit a bit late.

Let me clarify. I didn't get cold feet because I would never have an affair. His still a friend but not as close as we used to be, my choice not his! I would never have done it because I have always believed its wrong. No grey areas its black and white. You either choose to do it or you choose not to do it. I don't understand how people don't see that!

LittlePeaPod Tue 02-Jul-13 13:46:28

Lying I don't think so. You would like to paint me into a corner. The point is its black and white. You choose to have an affaire or you don't.

LittlePeaPod Tue 02-Jul-13 13:47:53

Only have 10% power on IPad so will have to hear what the threads has to say later..

beingmyself Tue 02-Jul-13 13:48:29

Funny how the power is low now wink

LittlePeaPod Tue 02-Jul-13 13:51:04

Tess you make some great points...

AnyFucker Tue 02-Jul-13 13:51:07

Pea sorry love, but what you describe is an emotional affair with a married man. No more, no less.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 02-Jul-13 13:51:14

I can't tripe on your keyboard, PeaPod. Whatever the true picture is isn't what we're seeing but well, that's your affair, isn't it.

carolst Tue 02-Jul-13 13:51:48

being, please see my post above. Does he still play happy families and send the wrong signals?

AnyFucker Tue 02-Jul-13 13:52:33

tripe ?

Yes, that about sums it up smile

Sorry, couldn't resist

Missbopeep Tue 02-Jul-13 13:52:44

Oh the convenient lack of battery ! LOL.

Really Pea- just put your hands up and no one will think any the worse of you.

You simply won't admit will you that you must have done something to make a man confess his feelings and want to run off with you- unless you are so alluring that all men are just helpless in your company and immediately want to leave their wives for you.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 02-Jul-13 13:54:51

Indeed, AF, can't type - but tripe? No problem. smile

LittlePeaPod Tue 02-Jul-13 13:54:58

Being please will don't you read what people are saying about your behaviour and take some ownership. From at least one persons post it seems this has been said to you before on other threads. I know it helps to try and defuse it by using me as an escape via two people who have your level of morals and think their posts make a slight bit of difference to me. But it's not me that is party to distroying a family by shagging my way into the husbands affections!

MarmiteNotVegemite Tue 02-Jul-13 13:55:07

Oh for goodness sake, being, yes of course it's bad for the children for someone to say, 'daddy left because he doesn't love us anymore

Has anyone commented that the children may feel it's their fault? Not in a general way, but quite specifically?

It happened in my family: there was an OW, but the children were never told. There had been lots of rows in the house -- between the exH and his children, as much as between the husband & wife. It all came out a few years later that the eldest child in particular (who was a pubertal teenager at the time) thought she was the reason her father left. He had never told her about the OW.

Such thoughtlessness by her father made it all the more cruel.

LittlePeaPod Tue 02-Jul-13 13:57:09

As for the others trying to make me feel or look however it is. I don't believe we will ever agree so why don't you give the Op some valuable advice on how she continues with her affair.

beingmyself Tue 02-Jul-13 13:59:55

No - he doesn't play happy families at all though is "friendly" to his w which I fully support.

I AM taking responsibility, not trying to deflect onto you peapod. I know I did stuff wrong. I am human, I chose to act on something earlier than I should have done. I'll always feel bad for that. But his w made lots of choices of her own over the years and I am not responsible for them.

I sympathise with someone's husband leaving them, but that doesn't mean I am going to paint her as a saint and an incredible wife and mother.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 02-Jul-13 14:00:35

Missbopeep... Well actually, I will. I've been reading this thread since the start. I'm not at all backing-up being for having an affair, I've never said that I'm in favour of them and, having been on the receiving end, I know the damage that they can do.

However... give me 100 beings for just one PeaPod any day of the week. I can't tolerate the hypocrisy, the misplaced judgements and completely unnecessary comments from her all through the thread. Not just once but many, many times, slating and being as spiteful as possible. I mentioned it and got pompous and smug justification back as a response.

Yes, I think less of PeaPod for that and I doubt very much that I'm the only one. Still, all there for everybody to read and form their own opinions, isn't it.

beingmyself Tue 02-Jul-13 14:01:22

And yes - I know I only know what he tells me. I trust him. Many of you will laugh but I do.

I don't believe you can apply blanket rules to individuals.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 02-Jul-13 14:03:44

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