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I have done a terrible thing

(28 Posts)
Inapickle123 Tue 30-Jul-13 11:38:15

I am completely and totally consumed by a mistake I've made and I'm so frightened that I'm about to lose everything.

Its quite a long story so bear with me.

I've been with my husband since we were 21 (9 years) and married for 3. We went through a really bad patch earlier this year when we were told we definitely couldn't have children due to health issues (me, not him)

To be honest, I fell apart. This had always been on the cards (I've been unwell for years and had numerous ops to alleviate pain etc.) and I'd always been told that it would be "difficult" but not impossible. So, to change to "impossible" just threw me. My husband-the eternal optimist-wouldn't talk about it and I just felt like such a failure. The one thing he has always wanted to be is a dad and, knowing I couldn't give that to him just sent me on a downward spiral. In my head, he would be with me out of duty (because he couldn't leave his barren wife without looking like a heartless sod) but , eventually, he would meet a nice, beautiful, young...fertile girl and leave me. Old and alone.

We stopped speaking. We'd literally come in from work, do the polite "how was your day" and that was it for the evening. I felt so sad and alone.

Meanwhile, a colleague told me that he had feelings for me. We'd always been close and a little flirty but I didn't realise that he felt that way. So I started having an emotional affair. There was NEVER anything physical but we got on so well. It was uncomplicated and there was just a lot of talk. He wanted me to leave my husband. I told him that I wasn't ready to do that-I needed time to think about what I needed and wanted. After a few months of texting and chat, he decided he didn't want to wait on a "maybe" and I totally respected that. I was actually really relieved; I knew I was giving this "relationship" my attention when it should be going on rebuilding my marriage. I threw myself into being with my husband and realised that this is where I was supposed to be. I'd been running away from my problems and "grass is greenering" and my husband is an inherently good man. We may not be setting the world alight in terms of love, but I know ill never find someone who gets me the way he does. I'm very lucky to have him in my life and certainly don't deserve him after the way I've behaved.

About a month ago, I got very unwell and was sent for tests at hospital. It was a scary time and even more so when the consultant called us in and told us that we were pregnant. Im high risk and need to be monitored weekly. Shocked doesnt even cover how we felt. Obviously, we are delighted but my happiness is tinged by the fact that I will soon (I'm pretty far along) have to tell work and, with that, my colleague. I have no idea how he will react and I'm petrified he's going to go down the bitter/evil route. He can be very harsh (he's was horrible to me following his decision to cut contact-excluding/cutting comments/being rude etc.) and I'm terrified he'll go ballistic and find a way to tell my colleagues and husband about our "affair". It's what I deserve-I've done something I never thought I was capable of and deserve to be held accountable for it-but the thought of losing my husband when we've finally got what we wanted.

I don't know what to do. Should I tell the colleague before the rest of my work? Should I bite the bullet and tell my husband? I've wanted to but just to get rid of my guilt. I'm not sure that's fair.

Please, please don't judge me-I'm doing enough of that myself. I don't know what to do and feel sick with worry all the time.

LoisPuddingLane Tue 30-Jul-13 11:43:18

Firstly, congratulations on your pregnancy.

I would say don't do anything rash. Why do you think your colleague will react badly?

janey68 Tue 30-Jul-13 11:51:25

Congratulations, and I hope your pregnancy goes smoothly.

I agree with the advice to sit tight and not do anything. I wouldn't be so sure the man will reveal all. Surely he has far more to lose in that he actually wanted you to leave your husband. You were the one holding back. Ok so he finally finished it, but it sounds as though he would have carried things through IF you'd let it happen.

You feel guilty because in your heart you feel you crossed an emotional line and in that sense betrayed your DH. But you have NOT had a full blown affair. Tbh, unless this man is really nasty and lies about it, what can he actually say? All he can say truthfully is that he got extremely close to you emotionally, he wanted you to leave your DH but you wouldn't . Anything else would be a lie. Being honest, I don't think it would even feel like a massive deal to most people anyway. Unless there's the scandal of actual sex involved, they probably wouldn't be shocked.

If he does turn nasty and starts lying and implying you had a sexual affair, then that's altogether different and you could probably get him into serious shit at work if he spreads lies about you.

Inapickle123 Tue 30-Jul-13 11:53:18

Best case scenario-he keeps treating me like an outsider. I can deal with that. I'm sad that the friendship is gone but I can't expect anything else.
My worry is that the bad behaviour he exhibits towards me is because he resents me for not "choosing" him. Other people at work have noticed just how mean he is to me and it Can get very uncomfortable. I'm scared that this resentment will see him say horrific things to me, about me and to others. He may hold it in at work but I'm almost positive that, when he has a drink, it'll all come spilling out in a bitter tirade.
I'm not arrogant enough to think he still has feelings; things "ended" a good while ago and, for all I know, he's seeing someone new (I hope he is-if he's happy, he's less likely to want to "ruin" me)
I know how to pick em'

impatienttobemummy Tue 30-Jul-13 12:01:11

Don't ruin this for yourself he is unlikely to say anything and as Janey says what will he actually say? Be excited and let him find out with everyone else. It feels more to you than it looks and hormones amplify worries you have don't do anything rash! Just see how it goes.
Congratulations!!

McBalls Tue 30-Jul-13 12:05:06

I reckon you're over-thinking it. He finished with you after all.

McBalls Tue 30-Jul-13 12:06:32

And anyway...what can he possibly tell people?
Nothing happened!

Inapickle123 Tue 30-Jul-13 12:07:45

I hate the fear sad

ImperialBlether England Tue 30-Jul-13 12:16:12

What can he tell people? "We used to get on really well - nothing sexual - and I wanted her to leave her husband. She refused and I couldn't handle that so I stopped talking to her."?

Were your messages to him flirtatious and/or sexual? Might he still have these?

PeerMon Tue 30-Jul-13 12:18:00

Congratulations!

Don't ruin this for yourself and your husband. Do not tell him. IMO telling him would be selfish as it would make you feel better for 'coming clean' but only add worry and heartbreak to him at a time when he is probably on top of the world!

Everything impatienttobemummy says really!

Inapickle123 Tue 30-Jul-13 12:29:19

Messages were never sexual. I certainly told him I was unhappy and that I was thinking of him. Mainly they were silly/jokey things. Certainly , if my husband read a few of the more "ott" ones (I vaguely remember one telling him that I wanted only him-I'm kicking myself now) he would be devastated, I know I would be.
The two do not know each other, have never met and probably never will unless he decides to spill the beans.
At my most rational, I know he won't say/do anything. What could he possibly gain? It's not as if he would break up the marriage and then STILL want to be with a woman who is pregnant with another man's child! He would do it only out of spite and who has the energy for that?
I know he will make work unbearable but if that's all that happens then i can live with that. It's awfully sad as he was my best friend there but I did this to myself so if its the worst that happens, I should be thrilled.
I guess the guilt is something I'm going to have to just carry. I'm hoping it will fade over time as its still keeping me awake and causing my anxiety.
It's very odd to think that you're capable of doing something that you never thought possible. It's made me reevaluated self a lot and there is a lot of disgust there.

niceupthedance Tue 30-Jul-13 12:31:17

You'll be on maternity leave before long and won't have to worry about it.

ImperialBlether England Tue 30-Jul-13 12:33:45

How are you going to tell him? I think you should tell him separately from the others. I know you say he's been very difficult with you and I'd say all the more reason to tell him on his own.

Treat him as you would a friend. Send him an email and ask whether he has time to go for lunch with you as you have some news. Tell him gently and ask for his good wishes for your future.

Do you think he feels you strung him along?

LoisPuddingLane Tue 30-Jul-13 12:33:51

I would suggest deleting (if you have not already) any texts and emails to/from this guy. And yes, you'll feel guilty for a while.

ImperialBlether England Tue 30-Jul-13 12:35:32

And by the way, your husband hasn't covered himself in glory. You heard devastating news about your own fertility and he wouldn't talk to you about it. That was not decent behaviour.

schmarn Tue 30-Jul-13 12:38:58

OP - can I ask what actually happened with the OM? Not the gruesome details, just so that we know what damage the OM could do if he decided to cause trouble. When you say nothing happened, it's hard to equate that with him asking you to leave your husband. Generally that's not the kind of thing you ask someone until you are unbelievably close. At the moment, the most he would have is a bunch of emails and texts which show you had feelings for him which would not be great but wouldn't be disastrous. Or is it worse than that?

Also, what was the time lapse between ending the EA and finding out you were pregnant? If there is overlap, he is more likely to cause trouble but if it's been a year I doubt he would say anything.

McBalls Tue 30-Jul-13 12:42:58

He's not going to cause trouble...get rid of the fear, honestly you're being irrational.

If your life was a movie then perhaps but it's not. Just have a quick chat with him, DON'T indulge in any swoony nonsense, explain your situation, part on good terms, done.

Inapickle123 Tue 30-Jul-13 13:03:39

It was literally texts/emails. We met a few times for coffee-during the day-but nothing ever happened.
The content of these is worrying. I feel I did lead him on a bit. At the time I was seriously considering leaving my husband- not necessarily for the other man, although I'd imagine we would have started seeing each other -but because I was so unhappy and because I didn't know what I wanted. It was an easy out and one I was convinced would be better for everyone.
He told me that he loved me on numerous occasions. I never reciprocated. I told him I had strong feelings for him but I wasn't there. I was genuinely honest about my need for time and that I could never give him a definite answer. I guess some days leant towards him a bit more than others but, following a particularly horrible name calling incident, I told him that I didn't think I could ever leave. I imagine he did feel led on a bit but I made no promises. I guess he was just hopeful that my misery in my marriage would outweigh my doubts over him. They didn't.
The timing is unfortunate. I literally got pregnant the first time we had sex after the rough patch and this was only shortly( a week/two) after the colleague ended it. We had gone three months with nothing so it seems abstinence=babies in my body.
I'm over-thinking. He's going to be hurt-I would be-but to ruin a relationship (for someone you don't even particularly like anymore) and get a reputation at work, its not worth it.

Twinklestein France Tue 30-Jul-13 13:17:01

In order to make life 'unbearable' for you at work he would have to behave very unprofessionally, and as you say other workmates have noticed. Is he really likely to jeopardise his standing at work just to get even?

Given that you were going through such a bad patch in your marriage - not discussing the fertility issue, not really talking to each other, and you fearing your H would leave you - it's not that surprising that you became too close to someone.

I think your fear that this guy will expose is probably more to do with guilt than any real likelihood of it happening.

janey68 Tue 30-Jul-13 14:12:33

I think it's unlikely he'll say anything. If he's ready acting cool and other people have noticed, tbh they are probably already thinking that he's not very nice or reliable, so if he starts spouting stuff, he's just going to paint himself in a worse light.
Worst case scenario- your DH finds out something went on .. You then sit down and have a sensible talk about how alone and unhappy you felt. He knows the marriage went through a bad patch so it won't be a total surprise. You can then explain that this guy was a shoulder to lean on but that NOTHING happened physically even though he pushed for it.
Even if this happens, (and personally I don't think it will get this far) it doesn't mean your marriage is over .. You both have a new baby to look forward to, your DH must be over the moon as you never thought this could happen. You may even find that he is so focused on the baby that it minimises the impact of anything you have to tell him

Inapickle123 Tue 30-Jul-13 14:33:12

Thanks folks. I know I just have to take it as it comes. Logically, nothing will happen but there's this "wild-card" possibility which has me questioning everything. I just need to stop thinking about it and see how things go.

I'd stay quiet and not say a thing, Congrats on your pregnancy , don't let this taint it just enjoy every minute x

hardtohandle36 Tue 30-Jul-13 14:41:17

Congratulations!
I dont think you should tell your "colleague" first. I think it should be a general announcement to everyone or your manager first?
You really dont need this stress at the moment..
Your colleague should not be treating you in this way and if he continues, report him. It would be very cruel if he did.
Dont beat yourself up ..

schmarn Tue 30-Jul-13 14:44:56

Thanks OP. I think it unlikely that he will say anything although I can see why you are nervous. He sounds like a prideful twat and so he will be reluctant to let it be known by everyone at work that he made a play for you and lost (and then tried to sabotage your marriage).

This is one of those occasions where the truth is not the best course. The chances are that the OM will say nothing and your husband will never find out. With a child on the way and with your renewed commitment to your marriage, this is for the best. Of course if your husband were to find out, you should be honest about everything. But for now, think of it as your punishment that you have to live with this on your conscience. For what it's worth, while an EA is never a good thing, you did very well not to allow it to develop. Not many people manage that once they have started off on that path.

On a completely separate and unimportant point, it must have been depressing for you to see how the OM turned out once he didn't get his way. It's a lesson for anyone contemplating an EA with someone they have painted as being their perfect soulmate in their mind.

Inapickle123 Tue 30-Jul-13 15:15:30

I'm totally with you on that one. I have a tendency to go for "broken/difficult" men (I feel the need to fix everything) and, in the beginning, he was just so lovely and kind to me. Saying all the right things and I was, stupidly, sucked in.
My husband and I had drifted and the OM gave me the attention and commitment that I needed at a really low time.
However, when I didn't do things as and when he wanted, the horrible comments started;he always apologised and professed that these words "weren't like him-that's not who he is" but, as time has told, they are exactly who he really is.
Please-anyone reading this who is in a similar situation (how likely is that!?) don't go down the same road. I know that I did "well" to avoid the physical side of things-it took a lot of self-control-but I personally think the emotional side of things is a worse form of cheating. This may be the female perspective but, had the shoe been on the other foot and I had found out, I would be more hurt by the thought that my husband had "clicked" with someone and shared a connection that was deeper than ours, than by the thought of them sleeping together.
I know I have learned my lesson. If i get out of this with my
Marriage intact, I will never, ever, ever dip my toe in the emotional affair pool again.

Crinkle77 Tue 30-Jul-13 15:21:43

You haven't done anything to feel guilty about as you didn't do anything. You leaned on someone other than your husband too heavily but you realised that you needed to rebuild your marriage. Nothing physical happened so give your self a break.

TippiShagpile Tue 30-Jul-13 15:22:07

Don't tell him first. If you do he'll think he's got some power over you or that you still have feelings for him.

Treat him just as you would any other colleague and look forward to your maternity leave away from him.

Good luck with your pregnancy. smile

Chubfuddler Tue 30-Jul-13 15:29:43

What they all said. And if he makes any threat to speak to your husband, report him to HR for harassment.

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