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Affair

(146 Posts)
BellaLasagna Thu 10-Oct-13 14:40:11

I await the flaming.

So I am having an affair with my ex.

I love my husband. We have two children. I can never leave my husband as he is the best father on the planet and I could never let the children be brought up by a web of step parents as I was. I know that if he found out about my infidelity it would of course be a deal breaker.

But after years of being with someone who doesn't love me back, who doesn't really do sex or emotion or anything of any depth I am finally feeling the love/passion/emotions that I used to feel when I was with normal people.

I'm not prepared to sacrifice the stability of my children's lives for the sake of my own happiness. I have made a conscious choice to make my life bearable for the foreseeable future.

And I think I'm starting to not feel guilty about it all.

CharlieAlphaKiloEcho Thu 10-Oct-13 14:42:34

But clearly you ARE prepared to sacrafice your childrens stable life or you'd not be doing this.

EdithWeston Thu 10-Oct-13 14:44:10

Do you think you'll feel good about it when you're discovered and it all comes crashing down? Your DC's stability is already under a damoclean sword. And you are the one who chose to out it there.

Better all round to end you marriage, and then pursue the relationship you prefer. For at least that way, you can plan the best arrangements for your DC, rather than have chaotic breakdown thrown at them.

maleview70 Thu 10-Oct-13 14:47:20

I have always wondered why when people make
Choices like this that they often choose someone where the danger of being caught is much higher and the chance of feelings developing is very high.

An ex? Is he not an ex for a reason?

TheCrumpetQueen Thu 10-Oct-13 14:57:41

Why are you telling us?

BellaLasagna Thu 10-Oct-13 14:59:08

I shouldn't have married DH. I ignored a number of warning signals from the start (the lifestyle got in the way). I am almost sure that DH is gay. He is an amazing father and a good man. But he is in a heterosexual relationship with a woman and he is not really into women. I think that I fit his idea of what an ideal wife should be rather than having any real genuine feelings for me IYSWIM

No big deal regarding the ex. We weren't right for each other at the time. 15 years later and now we are. Life moves on. I don't live near him. He has never met DH. Separate lives really.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Oct-13 14:59:50

Surely step-parents are better for DCs than parents that don't like each other and/or shag around? hmm How long are you expecting to carry on like this?

BellaLasagna Thu 10-Oct-13 15:01:23

I don't know Crumpet Queen.

Possibly because I just wanted to see what people think about this. I don't really talk to anyone about the secret part of my life. Curious to understand just how people would perceive the situation.

WhatTheRainKnows Thu 10-Oct-13 15:02:01

If you want validation, you're not likely to find it here. If you are not happy, do you really think the best thing for your children is for you to stay in an unhappy marriage? What if somehow you manage to keep this secret and they find out as adults the reason you're in an unhappy marriage is because of them?

As someone who was cheated on by their husband, I promise you if he doesn't already know he will find out.

Do him a favour, don't tell him it's with your ex. That's probably even worse than if it were someone new.

BellaLasagna Thu 10-Oct-13 15:03:05

It's not that we don't like each other. DH and I just don't really fit.

Shagging around as you refer to it has been going on for last 2 years.

I am planning on carrying on until the kids no longer need us to be together.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Oct-13 15:05:33

Good luck then.

BucketArse Thu 10-Oct-13 15:06:48

I am planning on carrying on until the kids no longer need us to be together.

Wow. Way to fuck up your kids.

My mother stayed in an unhappy marriage 'for the sake of the kids'.

I've never forgiven her for the burden of guilt and resentment that's left me with.

The only decent thing you can do is end this sham of a marriage, OP. Your children won't thank you for maintaining this farcical situation until they're old enough to hate you for it.

EdithWeston Thu 10-Oct-13 15:09:54

Did your DH have any input into this "plan"? Does he know you want to dump him?

Better to get on and end the marriage, I think. Give him the opportunity to find a more loving partner.

WhatTheRainKnows Thu 10-Oct-13 15:11:10

That's a good point Edith, letting him have the opportunity to be with someone that really loves him. She clearly doesn't.

JustinBsMum Thu 10-Oct-13 15:11:41

Well, the DCs are being subjected to a home life with unloving parents which must have some influence on their understanding of married life and will affect their future relationships.

Perhaps the reason your relationship with ex is so good this time is because it's just sex and not commitment. Perhaps this suits you best coming from the background you do.

Perhaps as children get older they will realize something is not quite right.

But if homelife is genuinely happy despite this then best of luck.

makemineatripple Thu 10-Oct-13 15:12:57

Hmmmm, you're awaiting the flaming, but are you actually awaiting advice?

I'm not going to "flame" you. You're an adult, you know what you're doing and I assume you know the consequences. However, I think you're being slightly naïve to think that this will carry on undiscovered until your children grow up and don't need you to stay together anymore, as you put it. They will always need you. They don't necessarily need you to stay together, but they need you to be fair to them and them no doubt finding out in the future that you were having an affair for years is probably going to really affect them, don't you think?

Hatpin Thu 10-Oct-13 15:19:19

Why do you think if you left your DC would end up being brought up by a web of step parents? On your side at least you could choose not to involve a new partner too closely in your DC lives.

What about the practical aspects of a split - how would that affect you?

Albiebee Thu 10-Oct-13 15:23:20

I won't flame you, but I will tell you a true story.
A friend of mine recently found out that her parents had the same kind of marriage as you have. It devastated her to know that her parents, who she thought were happy were not, and that the strangeness of their lack of attraction to each other had affected how she dealt with relationships of her own and made her question, at the age of 30, her whole life and all of her relationships.
She only found out after her mother died lingeringly of cancer, after which her father decided to come out 'because life is too short'. It was utterly devastating and confusing to her to think that they had been unhappy all of their lives. She questioned her own existence, saying 'if only I hadn't been around perhaps they would have been happy'.

Do NOT do this to your children, be HONEST. I implore you.

Mojavewonderer Thu 10-Oct-13 15:30:20

I am confused about this thread. What are you asking for op? Someone to say its ok? I promise you when it all goes tits up and your husband dumps you it'll be even worse than if you just left your husband and rationally sorted things out. You will upset everyone around you including your kids who will be devastated.

BellaLasagna Thu 10-Oct-13 15:34:58

There wouldn't be a web of step parents from my side. It would just be me and my partner.

My DH is gay. Whether he chooses to acknowledge it or not he is. I love him. We love each other. If things were different I would choose to be in a 'I love you until the end of time' relationship with him and he would love me as much as I love him. Unfortunately there is this small problem where I am not attractive to him.

If we were to split then I am sure it would be amicable - I am not reliant on him for money etc. I have a business of my own that does well and I am more than capable of providing for myself and my children with or without a partner.

My parents split when I was young and I had two different step families. I hated it. All of it and could not bring myself to make this the life for my on children. I don't judge those who do but it is not a choice that I am able to make. There won't be a big reveal that devastates the lives of the kids - No 'oh and by the way, I have been shagging someone else for years' moment. There is no need for them to know really.

Life does not have to be one big soap opera and the eastenderd dumdumdums does it?

Can people not just get on with their lives quietly? See the 'other' person occasionally and still get on with family life? We are to all intents an purposes happier now than we have ever been as a family. I no longer expect to be 'loved' i.e. made love to, complemented, be aroused as I have found another emotional channel and DH is pleased to be left alone on that front. We laugh, joke, do things together and I have a bit on the side.

EdithWeston Thu 10-Oct-13 15:38:53

Does he have "a bit on the side" too?

If he doesn't, do you see how unfair you are being?

Goatshavestrangeeyes Thu 10-Oct-13 15:42:05

May I ask how you know he is gay?

Two people can be fantastic parents separately (I know plenty) and children can and often thrive in those situations rather than being in an environment where their parents are not happy.

Life really is too short to be in an unhappy marriage. You owe yourself, your husband and your children more than that.

BellaLasagna Thu 10-Oct-13 15:43:00

I don't know whether he does or not.

Three years ago I would have been devastated. That is the last time we had sex. Before that we hadn't had sex since my daughter's conception which happened 4 years before that.

If he has a bit on the side now then I am fine with this. This is no longer a deal breaker for me.

I just wouldn't want him to leave us as a family to be with anyone else as I wouldn't want to break the happiness of my children.

If you are certain he is gay, then would it be possible to chat about both of you having people on the side?

SoupDragon Thu 10-Oct-13 15:45:26

How do you know he's gay? Perhaps he just doesn't fancy you and is looking for a way out himself.

Have you actually talked to him to sort this out?
Perhaps he wouldn't want to stay with someone who is being unfaithful - that should be his choice, not just yours.

I love my husband

But you don't respect him or care about him at all.

WhatTheRainKnows Thu 10-Oct-13 15:45:27

If you genuinely get on with him and it's just about the sex life, maybe you could talk to him about having an open relationship, where you'd agree you can both sleep with other people to satisfy that part of yourselves. I'm not really sure how it would work in the long run. It's quite unfair for you to be able to satisfy that part of yourself and he can't.

Are you sure he's gay? Have you actually talked to him about this? Or are you convincing yourself he is so you feel better about what you're doing? Maybe he just has a really low sex drive, which could just be how he is or could be a hormone imbalance (I'm sure men can get them too).

It really seems like rather than trying to talk to him about this you decided you'd just go solve it by cheating on him.

poppingin1 Thu 10-Oct-13 15:49:14

If you are unhappy, end your marriage and move on properly or find a solution like what has already been suggested. Open marriages are no big deal IMO as long as you both agree on terms etc..

This is why I understand when some people have affairs. To be stuck in a marriage where one partner is not emotionally of intimately invested and wont acknowledge a problem must be very difficult. But still, it is always better and the right thing to do, to move on before finding someone new and risk more hurt.

BellaLasagna Thu 10-Oct-13 15:49:37

We have discussed the issues at length forever. He is not able to discuss this, not with me. He isn't able to come to terms with this. His reaction has always been to deny and ignore. Long story involving domineering father and a big stock pile of inheritance.

I suspect this matter will not be up for discussion until his father is no longer around. Having spent a long time trying to get him to discuss/have therapy/speak to someone I have to say that I have in effect given up.

EdithWeston Thu 10-Oct-13 15:50:32

If the deal has changed, and it's friendly co-parents with discreet other partners and both parties agree to that then it's fine.

But as a unilateral decision it's utterly shit. And the devastation of affair discovery cannot be over-estimated. I do not think any betraying partner has really, imaginatively though about how awful it will be - including or the DC. Perhaps because so many have a completely misplaced belief that they won't be found out.

jojoanna Thu 10-Oct-13 15:51:02

You wont feel guilty because it’s becoming normal and you haven’t been found out.

makemineatripple Thu 10-Oct-13 15:51:36

I wouldn't normally do this, but you married him, you took vows, promises. You promised to be faithful to him didn't you? Look, people have affairs all the time, so it's nothing new, but what alarms me is how you're trying to justify it as being no big deal. Nobody needs to know, nobody get's hurt etc, but of course they will. You sound like an intelligent woman, so I'm struggling to understand how you can really believe this.

Of course, you being sexually rejected and not being show any affection is awful and completely unacceptable and unacceptable being the operative word. It can't happen anymore, but an on going affair, I promise you, isn't the answer.

You really need to listen to what everyone has told you about their and their friends personal experiences of future resentment. There is no easy option where nobody get's hurt at all, but you can limit the damage and the first thing you need to do is split from your husband.

Jan45 Thu 10-Oct-13 15:51:37

Both of you living a complete pretence of a life together and your kids, if not now will soon discover it's all been a big fat lie, yeah, you're not being selfish at all.

Having an affair isn't sacrificing your happiness, it's the opposite.

Good luck to you, I could never live a life based on so much deceit.

flowerpotgirl12 Thu 10-Oct-13 15:52:05

Lies have a way of catching up on you, so whether you want your kids / husband to find out, it is more than likely they will.

If you believe your husband to be gay, have you spoken with him about it?

You may not have liked having step parents but honestly do you think that a mum sleeping with a bit on the side and a dad that is gay, who have no intimacy, is setting a good example to your children as to what a relationship should be like. Children look up to their parents for a template on marriage/partnerships and you are doing them a disservice.

You both deserve to have a partner that loves and wants them in every sense, split up before this mess gets any worse.

redundantandbitter Thu 10-Oct-13 15:54:26

Having been in an affair and it all going tits up I would strongly suggest you sit down with your DH and come clean. His sexuality and your 'bit on the side'. Wouldn't it be better for everyone to know where they stand and he could have a life too? He must have some idea that 'something' is afoot with you disappearing off to see your lover. If you think you can manage a future togethet in a civil manner then sit down and talk. Or try Relate if you need a third party to help ask those difficult questions., what does your OM think of the arrangement?

Jan45 Thu 10-Oct-13 15:56:24

Hubby's probably been doing and is doing exactly the same, except perhaps with other men.

WhatTheRainKnows Thu 10-Oct-13 15:58:11

"He is not able to discuss this, not with me. "

Well there's your answer really (not that you asked a question). If he can't talk to you about something as fundamental as his sexuality I have no idea how you expect to be able to raise your kids like nothing's wrong. There is this great big elephant in the room and he will only drive you apart until you argue all the time.

I don't see what his dad has anything to do with what he feels like he can tell you. My DP knows I'm find women attractive, but if my parents knew I don't know if I could face them. Does he not trust you to not tell his dad?

I can completely understand you wanting to be satisfied sexually. It's natural to want that. But I just don't understand how you've convinced yourself staying with your husband is the best thing for your children.

Why don't you talk to him? If you are friends, and yet he doesn't want a normal sexual relationship then an open marriage might be a way forward. Perhaps not forever but until you both are sure where you are going.

The very worst thing about my ex's affair was the lying and deceit. I could cope with the fact that he no longer wanted to be with me and that sexually we were different at that point in time, but the lies - gosh - I will never forgive him for putting me a position where I had to lie to DC.

OrmirianResurgam Thu 10-Oct-13 16:09:30

I wouldn't have a problem with this if your H was aware. If he knew and accepted it it might be a pragmatic solution. As it is I think it's unfair and cruel. Is your ex married too?

wannaBe Thu 10-Oct-13 16:10:37

It is often easy to flame someone for having an affair, brand them a bad person etc.

The truth is that affairs are never black and white. There are all sorts of reasons why people do end up having affairs, and sexless relationships are probably more common a reason than many others.

But, while affairs can often be explained, and while issues from the other party can lead someone into a position where they do embark on an affair, it is never a justification for doing so.

Nobody should have to live in a sexless relationship, and if this makes you unhappy to the point where you feel you need to seek sex elsewhere then you need to discuss it with your dh rather than go behind his back and seek emotional and physical gratification with someone else.

Because while at the moment you say your marriage is happy, for your dh, it is built on dishonesty and deceit.

If you were both happy in a sexless marriage where there was no expectation of physical contact and your dh was aware that you were in a sexual relationship with someone else that would be one thing. It may not be conventional but as long as all parties are aware and in agreement it’s perfectly ok.

However the situation you are now in means that your current marriage is completely unbalanced. Because your dh believes that you are happy together, that the relationship is working fine the way it is, what he is not aware of is that you have checked out of a part of the marriage in favour of someone else. In fact the fact you said in your op that if he found out it would be over says exactly why what you are currently doing is not and can never be ok or justified.

And ask yourself this. You say you don’t want your children to grow up with stepparents, can you not see that you are projecting your own childhood experiences on to them? Whereas if you live this life they will have their own childhood experiences to project on to their children one day – that they wouldn’t want their children growing up in a house where their mother had a bloke on the side and their dad was oblivious, and they knew but she didn’t know they knew and they felt caught in the middle between the responsibility of telling their father and the loyalty to their mother.

And what of the OM? Does he not have more self worth than to be someone’s bit on the side for the foreseeable future? One day he will want a stable relationship of his own, and how will you feel then once he moves on?

I am not judging the affair. We’re all human and these things do happen.

But you cannot arrogantly retain control of everyone else’s life just so that you can live the life that you want. The other people in your life have a say in how they live their own lives, you may be the master of your own destiny but you are not the master of theirs.

If you want to stay in your marriage then you need to speak to your husband about what needs to change. If change is impossible then you need to think about how to end the relationship in order that you all be allowed to move on and find your own happiness. And that includes your dh.

captainmummy Thu 10-Oct-13 16:12:58

Why do you think it would be a dealbreaker if he found out? If he's gay, I'd have thought it would be a relief to him. And no reason why you can't co-parent, if you can't fulfil your marriage vows properly.

Why are you allowing this man who doesn't do emotion etc to bring up your children. The relationship you two have make you both shit role models for your children as they will endeavour to cultivate relationships like that of you and your husband.

BellaLasagna Thu 10-Oct-13 16:48:54

Madamecastafiore - he is gay not emotionless. He doesn't feel emotion for me. He feels plenty towards our children.

I work hard at ensuring that the children have the best deal possible. Their parents both love them very much. We also love each other just not in the conventional sense of the term marriage. I would change that in an instant if I could. Over time I have come to terms with the fact that I can't. There is no huge charade being played out here. No deception for the benefit of the kids.

I work away on business a couple of times a month. OM comes with me. I don't tell DH and he really doesn't need to know.

Fairenuff Thu 10-Oct-13 16:55:28

Wow you really don't like your dh do you.

So you want to have your cake and eat it. Bit childish but if you don't care about the people in your family that you are hurting, why should strangers on the internet care.

You said he doesn't do emotion in you original post.

Your children will see that you do not act in a loving way towards each other and think this is normal.

I seriously doubt your kids would thank you for staying together when he emerges from the closet after they have left home and your little charade is no longer going on.

BellaLasagna Thu 10-Oct-13 17:02:41

I really like my DH. I love him.

I have to admit that it has been a rollercoaster of emotion to say that without resentment or anger or feeling terribly let down by him. It has taken all of my strength to get to that.

I have no desire to hurt him. I am not punishing him. I wished for years for things to be different. In the end I stopped wishing and I guess that is when I stopped kidding myself that things were going to change and just got on with reality.

Had the kids not happened this is not where we would be. But they did and here we are.

BellaLasagna Thu 10-Oct-13 17:04:09

Madamecastsfiore - my apologies. I meant that he doesn't do emotion with me. Not the kids - he is the perfect dad to the kids.

Fairenuff Thu 10-Oct-13 17:05:51

You don't love him! You don't treat someone you love with contempt.

BellaLasagna Thu 10-Oct-13 17:12:18

Well - that's me told then.

Jan45 Thu 10-Oct-13 17:18:20

I work hard at ensuring that the children have the best deal possible. Their parents both love them very much. We also love each other just not in the conventional sense of the term marriage. I would change that in an instant if I could. Over time I have come to terms with the fact that I can't. There is no huge charade being played out here. No deception for the benefit of the kids.

You can actually both continue to love your children and be honest with them about who you both are you know. Sorry, but it sounds to me that you are accustomed to your life as it is and you're not changing it through your own choice.

You are not chained up to this man, you can leave whenever you want.

Leavenheath Thu 10-Oct-13 17:19:37

You say you're curious to know how others perceive your situation and that's the reason you started this thread.

That is as much a delusion as your take on the future and the situation you're currently in, actually.

You knew exactly how most others would 'perceive your situation' so this thread has either been started for reasons of goadiness, or because you want a load of strangers to start unpeeling those layers of denial and delusion plus maybe you think you should feel some guilt and are using Mumsnetters to kick-start it again.

It must be a very odd and uncomfortable feeling not feeling guilty for doing something like this.

BellaLasagna Thu 10-Oct-13 17:23:00

You're right Jan45. I can leave. I'm choosing not to.

Whether it is right or wrong - I am choosing not to bring absolute chaos to any of our lives.

I don't want the kids to have to deal with it. The fact that their parents aren't conventionally in love shouldn't be their concern really. Their dad chooses not to confront his demons. I choose to make the best of a rubbish situation and we both choose not to hurt the kids.

Jan45 Thu 10-Oct-13 17:25:59

Of course it's their concern when their mother is off shagging another man behind their father's back and their father is in fact gay.

You are completely deluded, and tbh I find the whole charade bonkers.

So what do you think the affair will lead to, will you just be fuck buddies, no chaos at all then could occur?

VoiceofRaisin Thu 10-Oct-13 17:30:00

I understand where you are coming from and how you have got into this situation. I just wonder if it is as stable as you believe and hope it to be. In a year or two, you are going to want to be able to have a weekend with OM, to cook him a meal, to watch TV with him, to introduce him to your friends, to host a dinner party together. You won't be able to do any of that with him as an affair.

I am also not sure you have thought through the future regarding the DC - at what age will you feel able to be open with the DC and to leave for OM? Teenaged years are very traumatic for DC anyway, they are fragile when they first leave for uni, they want the same home to come back to in the holidays for years after that. I would have thought a quick clean split when they are little would be the fairest on them actually. And best for all of you. If you don't, in 15 years time you could be looking back and wishing you had taken action earlier as you almost certainly won't find it any easier when the DC are in their late teens or early twenties and really I don't suppose you want to wait for them to hit middle age.

I counsel you to leave soon and enjoy a lovely family unit with OM and the DC. Your DH may even find the courage to confront his own sexuality and find happiness in that as well as fatherhood. I know a family where the DF came out as gay when they were in the teens and the DC were completely traumatised. If you leave now, your DC will just take it as a given that their DF is gay, and not care tuppence. It is easy to delay such a tough move as you will have a difficult year, but then think how happy you could all be.

Vivacia Thu 10-Oct-13 17:32:18

Apart from his reluctance to have sex with you, is there any evidence that he's gay?

pookyandponky Thu 10-Oct-13 17:37:41

I'm not going to shoot you down. I know what it's like to live In a sexless marriage for the sake of the children. I did it for 4 years. Meeting someone else made me realise it's no way to live for you or your children. I left my husband, OM left the woman he didn't love too. We live in separate houses. We haven't involved our kids with each other yet.
What I will tell you is that my kids are happier now, they knew things weren't right. His kids are also happier. Mummy and daddy happy in different houses is better for everybody. I'm not going to tell you it's easy or that there won't be upset. But modelling a disfunctional relationship is not good for the children.
Keep strong and do the best to show your children what a good realationship should be.

redundantandbitter Thu 10-Oct-13 18:15:54

pookyandponky yours in the same story as mine.. Exactly.. We met each others children a year ago... Though the kids never met each other thank god... He just left me for another woman. What you think
Is happy can turn into something different very quickly . Still think the OP should leave her H for her own sake and not assume the OM will be there . The kids will be upset but it can be handled well.

Junebugjr Thu 10-Oct-13 18:19:07

No judgement here, you've lived a long time without sex or affection, so I don't blame you for going elsewhere. Surely though for yourself, you want more of a 'relationship' with someone your intimate with, holidays spent together, meeting your friends, being in each others lives on a daily basis. It sounds like your depriving yourself of a 'real' relationship.

EdithWeston Thu 10-Oct-13 18:21:31

I am choosing not to bring absolute chaos to any of our lives.

This just isn't true, though, is it. You have put the risk of utter chaos and devastation right in their path. A chance word or sighting brings it all down. As so many have found out he hard way. And that devastation is your choice.

You can minimise it by soI the decent thing, ending the dead relationship (and amicably co-parenting on an honest footing) and then moving on to whatever future you want.

Do bear in mind that DH will have his desires for the future too. He deserves the chance to go forward too, not stay in a web of someone else's (rather patronising) deceptions.

Yes the fact that their parents are not conventionally in love will concern them as there will not be the casual intimacy that comes with being part of a loving couple that children learn from.

notanyanymore Thu 10-Oct-13 18:28:04

I don't see much wrong with your present situation, but I would be concerned how things might develop... whether OM was also in another relationship, whether he might want more from his relationship with you, how you'd cope if he ended your relationship, or if you wanted more from the relationship etc.
I sympathize with your situation, I think you need to still be extremely careful with your emotions as the whole set up has the potential to kick off like a nuclear explosion.
FWIW I don't think your being selfish, your attempting to put your children's emotional needs ahead of your own whilst still retaining something of yourself.
I hope it works out for all of you.

Wellwobbly Thu 10-Oct-13 18:39:53

Hi Bella,

why don't you just set out the tarpaulin, as it were, for building a new relationship with your H.

What I mean is, even if his father does't accept him for who he is, you can let him know that you love him like him and care about him just the way he is.
sort, of, make him feel safe in a 'I know who you are and I love/like you anyway'.
If/when he ever is in a place to be open, you can then talk about open relationship because you have already established yourself as his friend.

How did you get back in touch with your ex? What is he like? Is he a cocklodger, that he can come with you on business? What about his business and what relationship does he have?

AvonCallingBarksdale Thu 10-Oct-13 18:47:34

What happens, just out of interest, if your OM decides he wants more out of the relationship, or meets someone else? Presuming he's not married himself, that is. As your children get older, they will know and they won't thank you for it when they're older. Plenty of blended families work perfectly well, it doesn't have to be the end just because the parents are no longer together.

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Thu 10-Oct-13 19:16:04

You seem thoroughly halt with your choices so I'm not sure what it posted.
I'm sorry you are in a marriage that doesn't work. But I find it horribly arrogant that you think toy are staying for anything other than selfish reasons. Your husband deserves the knowledge to make his own choices and you don't have the right to do that for him.
Staying in a marriage for anything other than love is stupid and will destroy your kids far more than an amicable and respectful split. This collection of hundreds of step parents are you planning to have lots of future relationships? Would your dh?
You make a lot of assumptions.

What kind of response did you want from posting on here? You are doing something awful. I don't mean cheating- although that's bad enough- I mean not allowing anyone in your family to live an honest and happy life.

Hatpin Thu 10-Oct-13 19:40:09

Unfortunately though you are choosing not to acknowledge it, children are concerned by their parents relationships. Thread after thread in this board make reference to dysfunctional relationships between parents and how this has gone on to affect posters in adulthood.

It is typical of someone in denial of how their own actions and choices affect those closest to them, however.

Hatpin Thu 10-Oct-13 19:42:32

Unfortunately though you are choosing not to acknowledge it, children are concerned by their parents relationships. Thread after thread in this board make reference to dysfunctional relationships between parents and how this has gone on to affect posters in adulthood.

It is typical of someone in denial of how their own actions and choices affect those closest to them, however.

Fairenuff Thu 10-Oct-13 19:49:18

Is the OM single OP?

GreenGiant3 Thu 10-Oct-13 19:55:06

shock

It sounds as though your biggest fear is letting the DCs down by introducing the chaos of divorce (as you know it) into their lives.

But perhaps, as you've also said that any split would be amicable, things would be very different for your DCs in the case of divorce, than they were for you as a child. Because you and your DH will make sure you handle it decently, surely?

You care about your DCs and how they feel growing up. So, perhaps you could think about the values of integrity, honesty and respect as being helpful and decent things to pass on to them.

Also think about what you want to pass on to them about what loving, fulfilling relationships look and feel like.

How can you do this if your relationship with your DH is a lie, and your other relationship is a secret?

The path you are on is littered with deceit, secrecy, subterfuge, compromise. You are unable to have a full relationship with your DH, but you also cannot have a full relationship with the other man. Would you be happy for any of your DCs to grow up and live like this?

Do you not want and honest and open relationship with your DCs, both now and when they are adults? sad

And putting yourself aside for a moment... what about your DH's life? and the other man's life? For you to do things your way, both men have to fall into line, and stay in line, forever... how likely is that? At some point one of them might want things to be different.

saferniche Thu 10-Oct-13 20:43:14

'I really like my DH. I love him.'

Dear Bella, nearly everyone is suggesting the same thing - talk to your dh. Don't carry on this way. Find a way to tell him how you feel. Otherwise it will almost certainly end badly and in a way you can't control.

Twinklestein Thu 10-Oct-13 20:45:44

I really don't understand why MNs have to judge & attack people who live outside perceived social norms. It's very bizarre.

OP - you haven't talked about your ex's setup. Is he married?

The problem with the current status quo is that if your H found out, it could put a bomb under your family's stability, & it could cause the chaos you want to avoid.

Have you ever broached an open relationship? Posters have asked, but I may have missed the answer...

Twinklestein Thu 10-Oct-13 20:51:14

To add to personal anecdotes: an old friend of mine found out that her parents had an open relationship at 19 when her dad died suddenly. She was absolutely fine with it... (She was devastated that her dad had died when he was relatively young, but she was fine with how her parents had chosen to live their life).

Conventional setups don't always work for everyone. But for the sake of stability, it's easier if the partners involved know what's going on.

Wellwobbly Thu 10-Oct-13 20:52:20

I hope what I wrote wasn't an attack.

I did not mean it to be one.

PS love the nic, I used to rather enjoy watching Fireman Sam w the littlies

IHateWinter Thu 10-Oct-13 21:03:29

I'm going to go against the grain and say I think its a good thing that you are trying to ensure your childrens security and putting them first. No matter what people say, divorce is actually very disruptive and traumatic for children if only for a little while.

I have a friend whose parents divorced amicably and continued being friends, to the point that her mother even babysat her half siblings when her father remarried.

She says she and her siblings were more upset by this because they couldn't understand why everything had to change when nothing was different IFYSWIM.

At least when its obvious things are bad children can understand why their lives have to change.

I think you should discuss things with your DH and see if he would agree to an open relationship.

LittlePeaPod Thu 10-Oct-13 21:14:02

So you are having an affair, you don't want your DH to find out because he will leave you, but you are sleeping with an ex and you don't care.

Can I ask. What's the point of your post?

Vivacia Thu 10-Oct-13 21:21:17

No matter what people say, divorce is actually very disruptive and traumatic for children if only for a little while.

Perhaps, but more traumatic than one parent cheating on the other, lying to the children and their loved ones?

SecretJewel Thu 10-Oct-13 22:30:27

I understand, Bella. I really do.

If the OM asked you to leave, would you go?

Panthering Fri 11-Oct-13 06:00:52

As a woman I understand.......I really feel for you and you are brave to post as people judge situations really easily...you must have so many emotions right now .... Sending a hug x

meditrina Fri 11-Oct-13 06:37:48

Is the divorce likely to be more, or less, traumatic if it comes in the aftermath of discovery?

For OP is counting on enduring secrecy surrounding her affair. This is an unwise assumption.

BellaLasagna Fri 11-Oct-13 09:32:18

OM was in the middle of a divorce when we first met up again. He has 2 DCs and shares custody with his ex wife.

We spoke at length in the first year that we were back in touch about me leaving DH. I came close to it a couple of times but in the end I just couldn't. You can judge me for my decisions but at the end of the day we are all the product of our past and in addition I had to weigh up the glaringly apparent fact that my DCs are happy, well balanced and loving children. I couldn't contemplate taking their lives as they know now away from them because I misjudged who I was marrying. I don't feel that I have the right to cause the destruction of their happy world for the sake of my happiness. I know that there is a good probability that things would be ok if we were to divorce. I just don't want ok to be the outcome. I don't want them to suffer in any way as a result of this situation.

The reasons that I know DH is gay:
Images found on laptop. Crashed in on a particularly tender looking moment between him and a friend that we have not seen since that night. His friends are gay. His friends have talked to me about the fact that he is gay but 'so far in the closet' etc. He is gay. End of. Every conversation that I have ever had with him about all of these issues have ended in a row where he denies it and accuses me of being mad. If more evidence is required I can provide...

OM wants me to leave. I can't. Since I concluded that I can't I have made it very clear to him that I would understand totally if he chooses that the situation is no longer for him. He has the option to walk away - I am not controlling his life - he is a grown up with a mind of his own. I love him, I wish things were different but they are not. I hope one day to be brave enough to make the jump but until then this is what it is.

OM works on a freelance basis so is available to travel with me rather than being a 'cocklodger' as it were!

Vivacia Fri 11-Oct-13 10:25:26

I can see that this is upsetting for you, but I really feel for your husband.

Could you not say to your husband Look I know you're gay and I need a sexual life and could we both discreetly so what we need to do for ourselves while staying married and together for the children? Then you would at least get rid of the dishonesty factor.

Discreetly do what we need to do

Pancakeflipper Fri 11-Oct-13 12:53:34

It's a horrible mess really isn't it BellaL - because at the moment you must be going through the motions thinking of a future and not really 'living' for now.

My concern for you is that the OM might not be there for you in the future. He might not want a few business trips away. He might want a proper relationship with someone and if you won't commit one way or the other then he may get on with his life without you.

I feel for your children because finding out our childhood wasn't what you thought it was can lead them as young adults/adults to question relationships because they just cannot trust and take things at face value.

Sounds like you and your DH are both scared. Scared of different things but still scared and that is keeping you both together for now.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 11-Oct-13 13:10:58

I think that as time goes by you will - accidentally or not - slip up and your H will find out. You say if he finds out it, it will be a dealbreaker. Whether gay or not he thinks this arrangement is working and I question how fair it is to keep letting him think things are stable. Obviously you know him we don't but how do you think he will react? An ex of all people. You say you love him and value his parenting qualities and are trying to be dignified and spare him pain now but I don't see how you can honestly trust this is all going to pan out agreeably until you and ex finish or H proposes splitting up or FIL dies. Life isn't always that accommodating. Then the children really will see the fall out.

I am planning on carrying on until the kids no longer need us to be together.
If your youngest is only 6 or 7 you might have years of this. When your DD reaches 18 btw she won't automatically stop being affected by her parents' behaviour and attitudes. She and her siblings will compare notes and wonder.

You say you don't feel in the least guilty so I hope that continues because otherwise it won't be worth it will it. Doesn't the secrecy tarnish it or are you just using OM? Otoh it all sounds very adult and clever and clear cut but why do I get the feeling you are yet again settling for less.

Well right now you are teaching your children that; if you are a man you don't need to show your wife any affection at all and if you are a woman you don't need any affection in your life. Just put up with the man as he is.
Nice lessons you are letting them learn there!
I'm sure they will end up in lovely loving relationships based on what you 2 have taught them! NOT!!!!!!

WhatTheRainKnows Fri 11-Oct-13 13:20:35

Ah I see it now. OM wants a full relationship with you, but you either don't or are not sure, so you're keeping your options open by leading them both on. You're a coward and don't want to face what you're doing. Do you know how destroying it will be when your 'D'H finds out how long you've been cheating on him? How someone he thought he could trust was lying to him all that time. It will destroy his ability to trust people and the longer you wait before this all comes out the worse it will be. And how is it fair to OM to be stringing him along? You are so very selfish.

butterballs9 Fri 11-Oct-13 15:01:52

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

butterballs9 Fri 11-Oct-13 15:11:08

Okay, the flip side to this coin is the serial monogamist. I know a few of these. Once they get bored in their marriage or relationship involving children (if children aren't involved I don't see why it matters.....) and especially when they meet someone else they want to have sex with, they decide to dump the old model and start up with a new one. While this is now socially more acceptable than having a mistress, or lover, on the side, it is not necessarily any more successful at raising children.

What tends to happen is that the whole scenario repeats itself after the honeymoon is over and a trail of ex-spouses, half and step siblings are left trailing in the wake of the serial monogamist. This tends to happen when ego and sex drive are the driving force rather than a commitment to put one's children first.

I, for one, will forgo any other sexual/emotional/romantic partners even though I have been married for far too long and it is far from perfect because family life is more important (to me!!) than swinging from the chandeliers. That is my choice and it is the right one for me. It is also my husband's choice and the right one for him.

And what anyone else thinks is completely irrelevant. And, yes, our children are extremely well-adjusted young adults.

Leavenheath Fri 11-Oct-13 15:12:08

Gosh the wine has started early for some eh?...

Look OP, no-one gives a stuff what you do. But if you're right and your husband's gay and doesn't want sex with you - and you appear to tolerate his own infidelity and want to stay married despite it - what's stopping you telling him you're doing the same?

Or is it that you don't want to lose the buzz of having this secret and it would spoil that for you, if he knew?

DeMaz Fri 11-Oct-13 15:22:45

I don't condone what you're doing OP but I sympathise with your situation.

I do feel sorry for your hubby though! He must be completely and utterly miserable not being able to live a life that he should!

happy ever after' (and none do) and being honest
But she's not being honest about it - that is our point here.
If it was all OK and her husband knew and it was an open marriage etc... then no-one would have a thing to say.
The fact is her husband doesn't know and it would be a deal breaker if he found out speaks volumes here.
The fallout from him finding could lead to the exact scenario the OP is trying her best to avoid!!

RabbitFromAHat Fri 11-Oct-13 15:37:16

I'm sorry you're in this situation but I really do think you're just kicking this problem down the road, you're not solving it.

Your parents divorcing when you're an adult is arguably much more painful than when you are a child. Because they stayed together 'for the sake of the children', it is your fault your parents lived an unhappy lie. Don't make your children bear the burden in adulthood of your mistake in marrying a gay man.

You can be wonderful co-parents. You don't have to take up with OM. Just don't do this to your children. Separate now before you make their entire childhood a lie, and teach them the unhealthy lesson that relationships are about lying and self-abnegation.

Jan45 Fri 11-Oct-13 15:43:51

Well, well, well - the usual rather unimaginative responses from the morality marriage monogamy crowd - a great many of whom have failed to achieve lifelong marital bliss with one person. Even though they are more than happy to lay the boot into anyone who challenges the rather tired old cliches.

Lots of words but very little meaning there.

You also say marriage is about forgiveness, how can the poor sod forgive if he doesn't even know his wife's having an affair? Oh wait, he will when it all comes crashing down on top of him and oh wait, still, the children too - yeah we're being really unimaginative.

Albiebee Fri 11-Oct-13 15:55:11

I also find it staggering that the OP still thinks what the kids don't know won't hurt them. The way they interact in their own relationships in later life are HUGELY affected by what they observe in the 'loving' relationships around them in their formative years. I too am a child of divorce, and I'd far rather have experienced that than the lies and evasions of the sham of a marriage my friend in my earlier post did.

Cake and eat it spring to mind, as does the word 'delusional'.

RabbitFromAHat Fri 11-Oct-13 16:03:15

I'm not that gone on the idea of monogamy let alone marriage, and I still think the OP is making a big mistake, so butterballs9 I think your post is....patronising, to be polite.

Jan45 Fri 11-Oct-13 16:37:33

Imagine on a regular basis having to lie to your husband about where you are going, to do what, and when you'll be back and worst still, having to say the same to your children when they wonder where you are going, have been.....is it me or is this just not plain daft as well as cruel when all you have to do is admit defeat and start a new life? hmm

Not to mention the X having a meltdown outside your house in full view of all of suburbia, including your family - how can any of that be more preferable to living a life of truth and honesty.

And of all the above was carried out for the benefit of the OPs children - bonkers.

Fairenuff Fri 11-Oct-13 17:33:51

So, what did you start this thread for? confused

AnyFucker Fri 11-Oct-13 17:35:21

OP, do you believe it is ok for your gay husband to have romantic liasons but you are not allowed to ?

What's that all about then ?

What is actually stopping you from saying "I know you are gay. I have already caught you out at the very least in an emotional affair with another man. Whats sauce for the goose, etc. I am letting you know that I am also seeking a romantic life outside our marriage. If it's ok for you, it's ok for me, deal with it or we split"

AnyFucker Fri 11-Oct-13 17:37:18

I have reported your post, BB, as being offensive towards a particular group of MN'ers that you appear to have singled out in your own mind.

Just give OP your advice/opinion without slagging off others at the same time. It's not difficult (although you do seem to make a habit of it)

Fairenuff Fri 11-Oct-13 18:03:39

I don't think it's so much to do with marriage vows, more about respect for self and others. and raising the children in an emotionally secure environment.

AnyFucker Fri 11-Oct-13 18:09:18

And faire

AnyFucker Fri 11-Oct-13 18:09:51

Wrong thread, sorry

BellaLasagna Fri 11-Oct-13 19:59:10

Dear lord - Anyfucker - mumsnet royalty! Sorry, I've been a shameful lurker forever.

Thank you all for your opinions - good or bad.

ForTheLoveOfSocks Fri 11-Oct-13 21:36:17

If you are ok with your situation OP, then why are you seeking approval on here? It seems strange to really

Annabelllll Fri 11-Oct-13 22:49:32

I just wanted to say that I really understand where u coming from. U wont hear a bad word from me.
I 'm just worried about u / it would be lovely if u could be in a happy loving and healthy relationship.

blueshoes Sat 12-Oct-13 00:09:10

I agree with butterballs.

My parents stayed together for the kids. My father had numerous affairs and I found out in the most dramatic way (mother yelling at father) when I was around 11. It was very unsettling to me and my siblings.

But my father would not abandon the family and my mother swallowed her pride and kept the family together. To this day I am eternally grateful they put their personal needs aside to keep the family unit intact. My siblings and I have happy marriages. It taught me what to avoid in a relationship. But I was not scarred or dyfunctional. I had trust issues with men but that was because of my father's philandering, not because of my parents staying together in a marriage of convenience.

There are far worse things than parents being unhappily married, so long as it is civil. I understand why the OP does not want to introduce chaos into her children's lives and putting her children into a step family scenario. If the trade-off is a business-like marriage, it is not a big deal.

blueshoes Sat 12-Oct-13 00:10:56

OP, do you think your dh suspects?

nouvellevag Sat 12-Oct-13 01:17:07

My parents divorced when I was 26 and about to have my own child. It fucking hurt. Four years on it still hurts like hell, if I'm honest - I don't really bring this up IRL, because I've no right to demand they stay together unhappily and I'm big and ugly enough to get on with life, but at heart I feel uprooted, like nothing is quite solid enough to count on, like any home I make for myself might disappear from under me. It would be a lot worse if I didn't genuinely believe my parents had wanted to make a life together during my childhood. IME there isn't some magical age at which it stops being a big deal if your parents split up.

Leavenheath Sat 12-Oct-13 01:29:52

Yes but your mother knew your father was as you say 'a philanderer' and she decided to stay despite that knowledge. Just like the OP has decided to stay in a marriage with a bloke she suspects is gay. But her husband doesn't know his wife is having an affair and that's the big difference.

Honestly, despite Butterballs usual rantings and frothings about Mumsnetters, no-one gives a stuff what arrangements couples come to in order to stay in a marriage. But most people do have an opinion on the unfairness of deceit and lies. That's what makes the difference, as always.

If these two want to stay together and get their jollies elsewhere, although it isn't an ideal relationship to model to kids, I can see that the alternatives are not necessarily always better for children (although I think these decisions are nearly always about what's better for the adults and the kids are used as an excuse a lot of the time.)

But this is so transparently not about a mature, adult decision between two people to contract out their sex lives to discreet others. This is just another very ordinary illicit affair that is being kept secret to deny the other person their own choices. Trying to dress it up as anything else is a complete delusion. The most obvious solution to this problem is for the OP to tell her husband what she's doing and for them to come to an agreement.

But she hasn't done that and hasn't responded to goodness knows how many posters suggesting she does, or querying why she hasn't.

So this is just another yawntastic affair- nothing to see here and move on.

Leavenheath Sat 12-Oct-13 01:30:52

My post was to Blueshoes, incidentally.

BellaLasagna Sat 12-Oct-13 06:12:56

Of course I wish my life was different.

I'm not sure why I posted here. Possibly out of frustration, possibly because I keep the whole scenario so secret that I don't know anybody other than my ex who knows about this and his perception of things is his own and is therefore clouded/influenced by his own desires. And so I am interested in knowing what other viewpoints are on this.

Those of you who have declared me a coward are possibly right. I am not brave enough to take on the responsibility of devastating the lives of the children. All I dreamt about as a child was that my parents would be together - I craved even having the memories of my parents being together - I only have one vague picture in my mind of this scenario and I'm not sure if this is an imagined picture. My memories of childhood are full of resentment and unhappiness - my experiences were always of not ever quite being wanted because with the best will in the world by step parents would not have chosen to have me there given the choice.

I love OM. But I don't want him to be a 'Father' figure in my children's lives. He is a fantastic dad to his own children by all accounts. But he is not the father of mine. Being great with his own does not qualify him to be a father to mine if that makes sense. I am a good mother to mine - I love them more than anything on the planet but that doesn't mean I should be a great parent to OM's kids. I don't think I would be good in that role. I don't want to be in that role.

As for DH's emotional affairs. I have forgiven him. At the end of all of this I love him, I want him to be ok and happy. The situation is full of deceipt - I no longer have the energy to address. I have tried for years - I spent years being angry with him, feeling cheated, feeling let down. And in the end I suppose I forgave because what else was there to do. I was 'stone-walled', accused of being mad, accused of being everything but sometimes people do not have the capacity or the inclination to confront their issues. And what if DH had said - 'yes, you've caught me - I am gay and I am leaving you to explore that' - would that have been less traumatic for the DCs than nothing has changed? With hindsight, I am relieved that this was not the outcome. To have their dad as an occasional visitor in their lives rather than th permamnent fixture who looks after them.

Perhaps I am scared of the big reveal in case DH makes some decisions and exits. I don't know if he would but is there not a case here for saying 'DH - you promised to love me forever and that I was the only one for you except in reality, you don't feel that way about me and you would actually prefer a quick bunk up with other men. Therefore, you have cheated on me since the start - albeit without intention.' Not wanting to go for the tit for tat argument but this marriage has not lived up to the promises made. In terms of the intention bit - I did not intend to be having an affair with my ex. But 10 years into the marriage and having only had sex on a handful of occasions post vows - what's a girl to do?

Black or white or shades of grey? I understand the moral high ground. I understand the monogamy piece. I understand the viewpoint of those who make step families a good experience for all concerned. I just don't think it's something I am brave enough to bet the happiness of all of us on. At least this way, the kids get to see us all together and our relationships towards each other are loving and respectful and happy. DH and I cuddle and we cuddle the kids. Think 'gay best friend'. We are affectionate just he is not where I get my jollies from as it were. I am away from the children twice a month for a couple of nights at a time when I am genuinely on business and OM comes along and we have a great time and are to all intents and purposes a couple for the time that we are away.

One day - I hope that I will be brave enough to make the jump, but I can't see that this will be anytime soon whilst the kids need us to be together. DD is 7 and DS is 9. I don't know when they won't need us to be together and I am sure that there will be a devastating effect for them even when they are in the 20s. I just think that their childhood shouldn't be clouded with crap decision making by their parents and more so it don't think that my happiness and DH's happiness or even the happiness of OM should come before their rights to a settled, happy childhood where they are adored by both parents rather than 'put up' with by step parents.

blueshoes Sat 12-Oct-13 11:50:03

Bella, if I were in the situation you were in, I would make the same choice. Your last post resonated with me.

I share your feelings about the sanctity of the original family unit, and would fight tooth and nail to keep it together, even if it is at the expense of my happiness and fulfilment. I prefer not to put my children through a step family situation. I understand what you say about your dh being their father and no one else. The front of a gay best friend marriage is not ideal but very workable and a respectable one for your dcs to live within, much better than a lot of marriages out there. Your relationship is stable and affectionate but not sexual. What dc wants to think of their parents having sex anyway?

Your not telling about your affair is a big risk. You are well aware of that. It could blow up in your face. But will it? Both you and dh are stalemated. I asked whether your dh suspects. He cannot be so stupid as to think you have suddenly given up and gone into celibacy heaven. He knows that if he questions you, you have an equal right to question him about his emotional affairs or worse. Most likely, he does not want to go there because he is in denial. It could be he'd rather you quietly go off and fulfill your sexual needs discreetly than open this can of worms with him.

Let's consider what happens if you do confess to your dh. If he goes off on one, you might bring up how he won't have sex with you. You will question 'why'. This brings his sexuality into the picture. You will bring up his previous emotional affairs with other men. You will bring the sceptre of divorce into the comfortable family unit (which is a shield for his homosexuality). If you divorce him or he divorces you, all that shit will be out there. I'd keep quiet too, if I were you. I'd want to keep everything under wraps too, if I were him. If you stay in the marriage, it is only a bad deal for you (if you are not allowed to have sex) - he has an outwardly happy marriage which gives him a socially acceptable family life but at the expense of your happiness. He is asking you to live a lie and you are an accomplice if you do it. So you go off and find discreet fulfilment and everyone is happier (except possibly OM) and all issues stay below the parapet.

It could work.

It is a calculated risk for you. But if I was a gambling man, I can see why you would take that risk until the children are older ....

Fairenuff Sat 12-Oct-13 12:37:35

What about your dh's right to choose if he wants this set up?

even if it is at the expense of my happiness and fulfilment

Perhaps that naval gazing phrase would be more honest if it were 'even at the expense of my husband's happiness and fulfilment'.

You can't even be honest with yourself, let alone anyone else. But then, you're a cheat, so I suppose no-one should expect honesty.

blueshoes Sat 12-Oct-13 13:20:56

Fairenuff, you are presuming the OP's dh wants to know. It is not as black and white as that. The OP's circumstances are such that he may not want to go there and might secretly be happy with not knowing.

Her dh may very well prefer to live in happy ignorance because the truth would require him to confront too many things in himself. She takes the risk that she could be wrong, of course. But I would not definitely say that the dh's happiness and fulfilment is at risk from the OP's choices.

blueshoes Sat 12-Oct-13 13:23:30

Put it this way, the OP is wearing the cheater's tag to spare her husband's feelings and preserve his social respectability and to keep her family intact for as long as she can.

Wellwobbly Sat 12-Oct-13 13:25:25

I still think you should go down the 'I love you just the way you are, you are my friend' path, a message of acceptance and space so that if and when he decides to explore that, you have signalled your knowledge and acceptance for a long time. Look at Harold Nicholson and Vita Sackville-West.

Is OM married?

maras2 Sat 12-Oct-13 13:40:13

Nothing more to add.However can't help thinking that it's going to end in tears,probably your childrens'.OM is divorced,WW.

maras2 Sat 12-Oct-13 13:41:53

Sorry,meant to add 'Good Luck' at the end of last post.

Fairenuff Sat 12-Oct-13 13:42:50

Put it this way, the OP is wearing the cheater's tag to spare her husband's feelings and preserve his social respectability and to keep her family intact for as long as she can

Oh, sorry, I completely misunderstood. I didn't realise she was the hero in this sorry story. She is saving him from himself. Let me polish that medal for her hmm

Hey, does that mean that all these men who cheat on their wives are also heros? All these heartbroken women on mn, discovering their partners' infidelities, should be grateful for their discretion and for saving them the trouble of having to think for themselves.

What. A. Crock. Of. Shit.

blueshoes Sat 12-Oct-13 13:57:26

Fairenuff, I am addressing the OP's circumstances. Obviously for you one size fits all.

Farahilda Sat 12-Oct-13 14:37:38

"he found out about my infidelity it would of course be a deal breaker"

Both spouses ought to know what the 'deal' is, and decide whether to continue with it or not.

WiddleAndPuke Sat 12-Oct-13 15:06:36

Similar to what I read on a recent thread; you don't need to prove to your DH that he's gay. You don't have to prove to him that you know.

You need to say "Look, I know you're gay. I don't want to be married to a gay man. We can be just as friendly and parent just as well apart as we are now. Now, what's the next step?"

I wouldn't mention the OM at all. I wouldn't ordinarily say that but really - your husband is gay. He married you knowing he's gay. I think that counts as exceptional circumstances and you can't really be slated for what you're doing now. In effect, he was having a form of Affair in his head from the moment you were declared man and wife - he certainly wasn't all yours was he?

Good luck.

daysandnight56 Sat 12-Oct-13 16:26:01

Whatever decision you make it will affect your children in a negative way - the positive thing you can do is minimise their pain as much as possible and if you are both good parents you will do this. I left my husband 6 months ago for another man. I had not started a relationship with this man until I had left my husband - but I did start a relationship immediately after. My children have not met my partner yet and are still devastated that my husband & I have split - as is my husband. But together - my husband - or should I say ex-husband - have minimised the effect on our children and in the past 8 weeks they have really settled into their new lives and are happy - they are very loved and we both show it all the time. They both feel secure and they are showing this - they have started to misbehave again which shows to me that they don't feel they need to be on their best behaviour and are just being normal. I do believe I made the right decision, I am happier than I have ever been with my new partner and my children are not showing any signs of any long term damage - my house if full of laughter all the time.

I wish you luck OP and hope you make the right decision for YOU - as life is too short not to.

PrimalLass Sat 12-Oct-13 17:23:52

He married you knowing he's gay. I think that counts as exceptional circumstances and you can't really be slated for what you're doing now. In effect, he was having a form of Affair in his head from the moment you were declared man and wife - he certainly wasn't all yours was he?

I agree with this. I am not sure why you are getting such a hard time OP as your husband married you under false pretenses and was dishonest. You sound like you have had your heart broken by him, and I certainly understand why you are doing things the way you are.

Wellwobbly Sat 12-Oct-13 17:32:16

Don't confront him, Bella, just say it as kindly and as acceptingly as you can.

Tell him you want to stay married. But would he mind if you very discreetly got some relief elsewhere, how would that make him feel?

Opening up the debate, like.

Lucca22 Sat 12-Oct-13 19:28:28

Once you step over the line there is usually no go back, men are supposedly worse then women for forgiving! You'd be throwing a lot away for what? To be with an ex, they are your ex for a reason.....if he truly loved you he'd be the one you'd have married.

Rewindtimeplease Sat 12-Oct-13 19:45:44

Oh Bella, you don't see it, but you are setting the most awful impression of marriage for your children that will have such a profound impact on their lives.
If it's as bad as you say, presumably you don't ever touch DH or he you, laugh with DH, share a secret, kiss in front of them etc. what do you think they will think marriage iS all about? Such co existing for the sake of the children.

Yes, you think he is a wonderful father but a wonderful father also sets a good example to his children of how to behaves in relationships. So they have this wonderful father who is as cold as a fish to their mother. It will mess with their minds, it really will. Be brave.

joannesroom Sat 12-Oct-13 21:24:47

Hi Bella

I don't really know what you wanted to get from your post, but you must have known that it would cause quite a storm.

Although I do have a lot of sympathy for your situation , there are a number of things I take issue with.

Firstly, one's sexuality is entirely subjective, and no one can assign a sexual orientation on another person. If your husband identifies as straight, that is what he is, and will remain until he chooses to identify as not straight. Even being his wife does not give you the right to say 'He is gay. End of.' There might be a number of pointers that he is gay and maybe he knows this at some level, but until he owns this, and is ready to act on it, he remains a straight man.

That said, there is no reason why you should accept a sexless marriage, and that itself is grounds for separation. It sounds as though you have had sex with your husband once in seven years. As you are doubtless aware, good sex is a barometer of a healthy relationship, and if you husband is withholding sex, there is a big problem. I presume that the two of you were not able to address this together, or he declined to acknowledge this as a problem.

In the light of the obvious mismatch in sexual desire, and what sounds like an inability to address the issue, it is not surprising that you sought emotional and physical intimacy elsewhere.

You sound quite confused as to your feelings towards your husband now, and I can't help wondering why you are concealing your new relationship from him. Would this be a deal breaker? Would he want to divorce? He must surely be aware of the problems in the marriage, and surely would not be surprised that you were seeking sex elsewhere, if he was refusing it.

I am quite sure that many marriages accommodate these secret, discrete affairs with one partner either being unaware, or turning a blind eye. If the marriage is solid in other ways, it might be what actually helps it survive.

I have to say though, yours does not sound particularly solid. It sounds as though you bear quite a lost of unresolved anger towards you husband.

The other aspect of your dilemma that I am not in full agreement with, is your assertion that you must stay together for the sake of the children. They sound lovely well-adjusted children now, and would most probably stay lovely well adjusted children in the face of a separation. You do not have to repeat the mistakes of your own parents and could quite possibly navigate a split which did not involve huge upheaval. In a way you have the advantage of knowing how not to do it.

Although the situation you have created for yourself at the moment might be working for now, is it really sustainable in the long run? Won't there come a time when you want a full relationship, not an occasional night in a hotel. OM might also want more than you are currently able to give him.

I would urge you bite the bullet and have this difficult conversation with your husband about where you are going, because wherever that is, it seems unlikely it will be together.

something2say Sat 12-Oct-13 21:50:22

Well I can see what you are saying Bella and I understand. I also think you sound like a nice lady making the best of a bad situation. The only risk I can think of is what if you are making a mistake with the sins of the fathers being visited upon the ins? You are projecting your experiences onto your children. What if it is different for them? What if being in a step family works out alright for them, yet you gave up a chance of a happy life and an intimate love for nothing?

WiddleAndPuke Sun 13-Oct-13 02:25:26

"If your husband identifies as straight, that's what he is".

Ok. So if an abusive husband identifies himself as a nice bloke, that's what he is? hmm

The guy is clearly as gay as a yellow duster and married the OP under false pretences. He can insist he's straight til the cows come home but it doesn't make it true.

joannesroom Sun 13-Oct-13 10:11:24

Eh? I wouldn't dream of likening someone's sexuality with being abusive, and frankly find it immensely insulting that anyone would.

78bunion Sun 13-Oct-13 11:01:00

If your husband is gay he might well want an agreed arrangement that you can each discreetly see other people. Perhaps sound him out on that. There is that gay man who wrote a book about this issue and has been in the press and he offered his wife a deal where he stayed married but he could see gay lovers on the side.

blueshoes Sun 13-Oct-13 11:06:14

The only difficulty with an agreed arrangement, which is a sensible thing to do, in OP's case is that her dh is still in denial about his sexuality ...

78bunion Sun 13-Oct-13 12:01:51

Good point.
So she can either stop what she is doing, keep it up but hide it (risky) or tell him/be careless enough he finds out (even more risky).

78bunion Sun 13-Oct-13 12:02:27

So might be wise to get the ducks in a row in case of divorce - have copies of marriage certificates, all his P60s and P45s and tax returns and pension documents and bank statements and property details.

blueshoes Sun 13-Oct-13 12:08:27

Getting the OP's financial ducks in a row in case of a divorce is so practical. I like your style, bunion. At least it minimises disruption to the family, if divorce were just a matter of time anyway.

This is supercynical however ...

WiddleAndPuke Sun 13-Oct-13 12:22:49

Oh get a grip joannesroom. Of course being gay isn't the same as being abusive. I'm making the point that you can "identify" as anything you like but it doesn't make it true.

If I identify as a goat it doesn't make it true, no matter how much I might want it to be.

Now go ahead and take offence on behalf of gay people and goats hmm

Fairenuff Sun 13-Oct-13 13:30:16

It's different with sexual orientation Widdle

If I say you're gay, does it mean you are? No, of course not. Only you can identify your own sexuality.

WiddleAndPuke Sun 13-Oct-13 13:43:36

If you say I'm gay, it doesn't mean I am, no. But if you said I was gay you'd have nothing to base the statement on would you?

Whereas the OP has plenty on which to base her suspicions on.

He can claim to be straight til he's blue in the face. He can desperately WANT to be straight. But he is gay.

Fairenuff Sun 13-Oct-13 13:49:20

Not true Widdle.

The only person who knows if he is gay is him. Looking gay does not make it so. Mixing with gay people, does not make it so.

Even having a gay sexual experience, does not mean you are gay. Can you really not understand that?

joannesroom Sun 13-Oct-13 14:12:50

Widdle, I can assure you I do not need to get a grip.

I would recommend that you curb your thinly veiled homophobia, and refrain from using language that is, at best, extremely offensive, but might be viewed by some as verging on hate speech.

WiddleAndPuke Sun 13-Oct-13 14:36:51

Oh FGS. I'm not homophobic and I haven't written anything that could be viewed as such.

The OP is married to this man. She seems to have reason to strongly believe he's gay. His friends have told her he's gay. He doesn't want sex with her.

Being gay is no big deal. Marrying someone under false pretences IS a big deal.

WiddleAndPuke Sun 13-Oct-13 14:40:13

In fact there's a lot less evidence that I'm homophobic than there is that the OPs husband is gay, but you're very quick to label me aren't you lol!

Fairenuff Sun 13-Oct-13 15:24:40

She seems to have reason to strongly believe he's gay. His friends have told her he's gay

So? It still doesn't mean that he is until he decides to say so.

If OP doesn't like it, she is free to leave but she has already said that she doesn't want to, so life can't be all that bad for her after all.

She is enjoying her home comforts too much to put herself out.

Twinklestein Sun 13-Oct-13 20:49:15

I can see OP that you are in a very difficult position, because if it is, in part, conservatism that makes your husband choose not to self-identify as gay, then that same conservatism may mean he wouldn't be happy with ménage a trois situation. You say that you know that the OM would be a deal-breaker for him, which confirms this. (Although I do think this somewhat hypocritical - he doesn't want you, but he doesn't want anyone else to have you either).

I don't know that it's realistic, though, to think that you can keep this going until your children have grown up.

For a start, at some point your husband may get the courage to act on his feelings for men. Or you may break down with the stress of it all.

The person who is in the worst situation is the OM. You have your husband & your family, your husband has his family & his gay friends, while the OM has a bit of snatched time with you. This can only be making him very unhappy. And a sensible man is not going to put up with the status quo for very long, it's unliveable.

I think you really need to examine your own childhood & ask yourself why you see this as the only template for divorce/remarriage.

Because I have friends whose step-parent was better a parent to them than their real one, who became extremely close to their step-siblings. I also have a friend who is an excellent mum to her 2 step kids & treats them exactly the same as her own daughter.

And although I can't deny that divorce is traumatic for children, your interpretation of the narrative after divorce is wholely negative. It doesn't have to be. Some remarriages & blending of families are very happy.

If you truly love your ex, then I'm sure you could make it work, and I'm sure that, even if you don't think you want to now, you could make a good step-mum to his kids. I'm sure, equally, that he could be a good stepfather to your daughters. You would both be very aware of your own experience and have the life skills to circumnavigate the problems you encountered as a child. It's odd that you talk about not wanting your children to have a dad whom they only see as an 'occasional visitor, 'not a permanent fixture who looks after them'. That does not have to be scenario here. You could have joint custody for a start.

The longer this affair goes on the more likely your husband is to find out, and that might propel you into an acrimonious divorce, when it would be possible to negotiate an amicable one, to the least disruption to your children.

I don't really believe it will be possible to keep the relationship with OM going long term, & it's not fair on him. If you lose that you could end up feeling so bitter to your husband that you are no longer able to continue in the marriage. All the more so if your husband does end up coming out at some later point (perhaps after his father has died).

You cannot protect your children forever from the fact that your relationship with their father doesn't work. That can work ok while they're small, but when they're older, no. And you will be giving them a strange model of a relationship for them to build their own relationships on.

I would try to talk to honestly with your husband about the fact that the relationship does not work for you emotionally, and that if he doesn't want to be honest about his sexuality, he does at least need to be honest about that. That would be a start.

Annabelllll Wed 23-Oct-13 16:11:03

How r u?

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