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Do you think an affair can be harmless if it's never discovered?

(241 Posts)
Dietxokebreak Thu 17-Oct-13 18:23:54

And if its mainly physical, neither party had any intention of leaving their partner and it's conducted at times they would be away from their families anyway?

Locketjuice Thu 17-Oct-13 18:26:48

It's never harmless.
Feelings change you see people differently

cupcake78 Thu 17-Oct-13 18:27:26

IMO affairs are always destructive. Even if never found out the people having the affair change.

Be it an ability to live with guilt or to cut off from it. Usually an affair doesn't last and you come out damaged in some way as a result.

An affair is never a good idea!

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 17-Oct-13 18:35:37

It's possible but it requires both parties to 100% adhere to the conditions you state in order for it to work and maintain complete discretion. However, even something that starts out purely physical and is intended to remain purely physical can end up becoming an emotional connection. Then people can get hurt.

MissScatterbrain Thu 17-Oct-13 18:39:04

No because the betrayed partner will feel things have changed but won't be able to put their finger on it. The cheater's behaviour will be different.

Secrets and deceit are destructive.

fieldfare Thu 17-Oct-13 18:41:06

It's never harmless. Have some respect for yourself and your partner.

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 18:46:53

No, because looking at it from the cheater's POV (ooo, that's a novelty for me...) how could you fail to lose respect for the person who have deceived and made a mug of ? To look at them and be aware how much they are oblivious to. It takes a certain kind of cruelty to think there is "no harm" in that.

Are you a cheater, OP ?

Or are you being told by a cheater that they thought as long as they get away with it, no harm is done ?

VerySmallSqueak Thu 17-Oct-13 18:47:00

I think it can be harmless to the innocent party if they never find out. What you don't know doesn't hurt you.
But they'd need to be completely and utterly unaware with no suspicions whatsoever.
Which I think is living in cloud cuckoo land if anyone thinks that can happen.

But it's not harmless to the person having the affair.

If you're looking for an excuse for an affair op (and I'm not saying you are),I can't give you one.

People need to have the decency to end one thing before they start another.

"No because the betrayed partner will feel things have changed but won't be able to put their finger on it. The cheater's behaviour will be different"

^ This

Cheaters are depressing to live with. They become cold, critical, and remote. Their partner is left feeling rejected and lonely, without understanding why.

Onebuddhaisnotenough Thu 17-Oct-13 19:09:58

The only people who use this as an excuse for affairs are the type of people who HAVE affairs. The selfish, spineless pathetic lying type of person.

lalalonglegs Thu 17-Oct-13 19:21:58

I know people who have been married to people having affairs and haven't had a clue (and some still don't). I think it's part of the narrative of just desserts that the philandering partner's behaviour always changes and their partner always has suspicions. Some people are extremely good at covering their tracks.

I also know people who have had affairs (albeit very short ones) and they have made them realise that (a) the grass isn't always greener (b) they really value their partners. As a consequence, they've put a great deal of effort into their marriages.

But I've known some really depressing and flagrant cheaters who have humiliated their partners because they were too cowardly to call time on a marriage/relationship that they weren't entirely committed to.

So, in conclusion: yes, an affair can be harmless if it isn't discovered and doesn't last very long and everyone behaves sensibly afterwards. But that's quite rare

EdithWeston Thu 17-Oct-13 19:27:33

It deprives the primary relationship of some of its intimacy; by removal of time, attention, planning , buzz. Just think how much better it would be if the effort of running an affair were out into the parent, home and family.

If undiscovered, then perhaps the drama and devastation does not occur. But the primary relationship and definitely suffered.

Also because information is power. The one kept in the dark is being controlled. The person they are meant to be able to trust above all other is withholding from them. It's a pernicious imbalance.

MissScatterbrain Thu 17-Oct-13 19:34:07

I know people who have been married to people having affairs and haven't had a clue (and some still don't).

I didn't and put down the changes in him to work & family stress and things being hum drum. It was a horrible time for me and it was only when I found out he was cheating that everything made sense.

The cheater will naturally put more energy and effort in the affair than in the marriage.

yeghoulsandlittledevils Thu 17-Oct-13 19:41:27

No, I think the deceit would be a flaw in the relationship. It might not be obvious to the innocent party, they might not be able to detect it, but the relationship would not be the same as the one where there had been no affair.

I also think it is cruel. Own up and give the innocent one(s) the right to the truth.

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 19:42:24

So, OP. Are you going to tell us why you are asking ?

Leavenheath Thu 17-Oct-13 19:44:08

What does mainly physical mean?

And why are you posing this question?

There is an absolute myth that something's only wrong if you get found out. So for me, it's not a question of what's harmful or harmless. Deceiving other people and lying to them is just wrong.

lunar1 Thu 17-Oct-13 19:47:17

Sti's are Never harmless.

cantthinkofagoodone Thu 17-Oct-13 19:51:10

This is silly. If you want to sleep with someone else, end your relationship. It IS that black and white.

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Thu 17-Oct-13 19:53:00

Why do you assume you wouldn't find out or act in such a way that would make your partner feel untrusting of you? How would you then handle your partners mistrust?

cupcake78 Thu 17-Oct-13 19:53:44

I also know of serial cheaters who are sadly still married to very lovely people.

It does affect the relationship. The cheater begins to think they are cleverer than they really are. The mental and physical energy and time that is going into cheating could be invested into the marriage. It makes a mockery of the innocent party.

The only people who think its a good idea are those who are considering it or those who are already doing it.

Deceit and living a hidden life does cause internal conflict. To think you can do this and it not affect a relationship is arrogant. But then it takes arrogance to think its an ok thing to do and to think you will get away with it!

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 20:01:08

Are you going to answer our questions or not, OP ?

str8tothepoint Thu 17-Oct-13 20:02:23

it would just mean the relationship they are currently in is fake and sorry for the DP as they are at risks of STI's and also never living life with someone who is totally devoted to them and only them

Lazysuzanne Thu 17-Oct-13 20:23:44

It's impossible to know..of course there is a good argument that it is morally wrong, but no one gets to know about affairs which are kept secret, we only get to hear about the ones which are discovered and the ensuing trauma, this leads to a belief that all affairs will cause trauma.

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 20:26:59

If I don't see a tree fall in the woods, it has still fallen

RadagastTheBrown Thu 17-Oct-13 20:27:29

Easiest answer ever. No and you knew that before asking - don't look to us to validate what you are considering. Cheating on someone is wrong, end of!

Dietxokebreak Thu 17-Oct-13 20:39:50

Ok I know I will be flamed but I'm asking as I'm the ow

I'm single though, he's a colleague, married with children. It's not actually physical that often but what I meant by mainly physical was that there's no great emotional connection - we are basically just friendly colleagues who occasionally cross the line. I wouldn't want a proper relationship with him and I'm sure he feels the same way and has no desire to leave his family.

I suppose I'm just kidding myself that what we're doing isn't so bad as he seems to be a good husband in every other way and says he is happy with his wife and I don't want a proper relationship right now as I am moving back home soon.

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 20:42:49

Yes, you are kidding yourself. You will look back on this and feel very ashamed of yourself one day. Find a single bloke to be your Fuck Buddy, you won't get any support from here.

End it.

MissScatterbrain Thu 17-Oct-13 20:43:17

A good husband?! He is a liar and a cheat who and is risking the happiness and welfare of his wife and DC.

Sidge Thu 17-Oct-13 20:44:39

Affairs are based on deceit, concealment and selfishness. How can that ever be harmless?

And how can a man who cheats on his wife be a good husband? He's a liar, a cheat, a coward and a user.

How you can find that attractive enough to want to fuck him I have no idea...

BornToFolk Thu 17-Oct-13 20:44:59

as he seems to be a good husband in every other way

Every other way apart from the most important one i.e. being faithful.

Affairs are always damaging and people (including his children by the way, have you even considered them?) always get hurt. And I think that people who get involved in affairs are pretty fucked up, tbh.

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 20:45:32

You won't be the first, and possibly not the only current one.

Whatnext074 Thu 17-Oct-13 20:46:54

Read my thread, try and understand the heartache and pain that I am going through every minute of the day even before my suspicions were confirmed and then re-think what you are doing.

If he says he's a good husband to you, he is lying to you as well to justify his actions.

The physical and emotional pain is immeasurable!

Onebuddhaisnotenough Thu 17-Oct-13 20:47:56

Lol at you. You think you're his only funk buddy ? How very sad.

Onebuddhaisnotenough Thu 17-Oct-13 20:48:34

Oops. Typo.

MissStrawberry Thu 17-Oct-13 20:49:44

So a good husband in every way except the way he really should be. hmm

Why are you allowing yourself to be used like this? Are there no other men within a million miles of where you live?

Have a bit of self respect you silly woman.

MissStrawberry Thu 17-Oct-13 20:50:21

You had better be using condoms.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 17-Oct-13 20:50:50

He is damaging his marriage - he will act differently towards his wife as he is getting attention elsewhere and because he will look at her with contempt because she is 'so easily deceived' - he will lose respect for her (ironic isn't it).

It is up to you if you are prepared to be party to doing that to someone else's marriage and think about how you will feel in years to come... will you be happy with your actions?

ALittleStranger Thu 17-Oct-13 20:50:57

I love the way you minimise the emotional connection etc, as though it makes it better that he's risking his family for so, so little. hmm

I'll be honest, I've cheated on a couple of boyfriends (never with marriage/kids involved]. Once I wasn't caught, the other time I confessed after we broke up. Even at that level it was damaging. In my experience you always end up judging your partner for not guessing/calling you out on it. At the same time they know something is up but can't quite put their finger on what. It erodes the intimacy. They'll also be constantly checking themselves in the relationship in case they use the wrong in-joke, allude to the something that happened with the other person. Compartmentalising becomes very difficult and the upshot is they have to disinvest. I think it's also hard not to judge yourself and that can lead to all kinds of risky behaviours/choices.

If you don't want a proper relationship find yourself a willing fuck-buddy. There are enough single men who don't want a relationship out there.

RadagastTheBrown Thu 17-Oct-13 20:52:52

As a married bloke, I can categorically say he is NOT a good husband - neither his nor your actions can be condoned. If you had a shred of decency you would end it right now!

Chibbs Thu 17-Oct-13 20:53:13

i think it is totally harmless. in my younger wilder days i did have several affairs with married men, it was purely sex and i never wanted any of them to leave their wives.

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 20:53:55


Leavenheath Thu 17-Oct-13 20:54:25

Are you having sex and relationships with other people as well?

If not, what's in this for you?

I can't see how irregular sex with a liar is a lifestyle aspiration but I guess it depends on how important sex and/or intimacy are to you as a person.

I'm looking at the self-interest angle here because you wouldn't be in a relationship with a MM if you cared tuppence about the other woman in this triangle, or her kids. So why is this enough for you?

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 17-Oct-13 20:55:50

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

Chibbs Thu 17-Oct-13 20:58:14

that was MY opinion chipping, and you know even less then fuck all about if it damaged their marriage then i apparently do!

also no i am not a troll

MissStrawberry Thu 17-Oct-13 20:58:19

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

Chibbs Thu 17-Oct-13 20:59:31

neither miss, just giving my opinion on something i have experianced.

marriedinwhiteisback Thu 17-Oct-13 21:03:47

No. It is a complete sentence. Remember the vows:

The avoidance of sin
The procreation of children
Mutual comfort

RadagastTheBrown Thu 17-Oct-13 21:03:54

Chibbs - you never wanted them to leave their wives, well that makes it all OK then, I guess. You hide behind 'younger and wilder' - I can think of many more suitable adjectives to describe both your attitude and behaviour!

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 21:04:09

The whole thread is a suspect premise, tbh

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 21:05:12

Yup, it's real wild to have grubby sex with a deceitful knob.

PopcornGrace Thu 17-Oct-13 21:05:41

What you are doing is wrong. And you know it. I'm glad you posted on here though - brave - because you know that you are going to get the truth that you have refused to face.

I'm married but even in my most desperate single days I would never even consider a married man - and made it very clear to any advances. Frankly at that time I found any married man hitting on me so incredibly depressing. Maybe you need to look inside yourself to see why you are so keen to be used. Many great self esteem books out there or if you have a faith that is a good place to start.

LeBeauReve Thu 17-Oct-13 21:06:01

I had an affair once, and no matter how much you try and convince yourself it is harmless it definitely does change how you behave and treat your DP/DH.
Also, no matter how much you think you can, very very few women can have any kind if sexual relationship without becoming emotionally involved or attached.

Chibbs Thu 17-Oct-13 21:11:12

i dont have to defend my decisions! - if i was still single now and found someone that i wanted to have a physical relationship with, regardless if married or not then i still would. I am quite capable of having a sexual relationship without becoming emotionally involved - as are quiet a few men, so not all men doing that would have an impact on their family life.

Leavenheath Thu 17-Oct-13 21:11:15

Thing is, the OW/OM know fuck all about whether their affairs are 'harmless'. The OW and OM never get to see their lovers disparaging their spouses, shouting at the kids or being shitbags at home or in company. You'd have to think someone was a 'good husband' and sweetness and light at home to carry on without your conscience pricking you, if you're even halfway decent.

While I'm sure there are OW and OM who get off on the idea their lovers are horrible to their spouses, I don't think everyone's that twisted. All you can speak of as an OW is the harm it's doing to you. The rest is an unknown quantity, but going by the posts on here, the compartmentaliser who's a doting husband doing his share of the housework who looks after his kids while his wife goes out for her social life, appears to be rarer than hens' teeth.

Most people on here report on here that their husbands underwent a personality transplant from a good bloke to a nasty, abusive and entitled twat.

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 21:12:17

Are you in a monogamous relationship now, chibbs ?

lottieandmia Thu 17-Oct-13 21:13:19

Of course it's never harmless. You are lying to the other person in your relationship and the relationship is therefore a lie.

Chibbs Thu 17-Oct-13 21:13:54

no i am not SF.

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 21:15:04

You said if you were "still single". You are in an open relationship then ?

ALittleStranger Thu 17-Oct-13 21:15:45

Chibbs but you haven't experienced it, you weren't in the relationship where the cheating occured and have no idea what was going on.

LeBeauReve Thu 17-Oct-13 21:17:05

The whole notion of "girl code/woman code" is so false. In my experience.

yeghoulsandlittledevils Thu 17-Oct-13 21:19:43

Dietxokebreak tell his wife to her face and give her the chance to tell you exactly what she thinks. Do you really think she would say,

'Yes Die, of course it's alright! Go ahead and have it away with my DH, the father of my children any time you please. After all, when he isn't with me I can'[t be having him, so you might as well be making good use of him.'

Go on, try it. Give her your real name and your contact details and see what she has to say for you.

Chibbs Thu 17-Oct-13 21:19:46

we are not in an open relationship per say, but we do enjoy others joining.

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 21:21:25

So, chibbs, if your partner shagged someone else without you "joining in" and without your knowledge, how would that go down ?

MissStrawberry Thu 17-Oct-13 21:21:53


Leavenheath Thu 17-Oct-13 21:21:57

Oh FFS are you really that stupid and naive Chibbs?

Of course men and women can have sex without emotional involvement, but those aren't the only emotions involved are they?

What about the stress and worry of living a double life, or the feelings associated with knowing you're deceiving loved ones and lying all the time? Or the constant fear that any day someone's going to find you out?

There are very few people if any who don't feel those emotions when they are screwing around behind a partner's back. It requires a split in oneself to carry it off and the only ones who can do that successfully have sociopathic tendencies.

What a crock of shite that this is just about emotions for a sex partner.

RadagastTheBrown Thu 17-Oct-13 21:23:26

Chibbs - you appear to have no morality when it comes to affairs so I wonder what you would consider 'off limits' in your strangely drawn map of the world?

Leavenheath Thu 17-Oct-13 21:23:30

arf at 'per say' grin

ALittleStranger Thu 17-Oct-13 21:24:27

I think Chibbs may be my sister in law, or else all people with boringly "alternative" sex lives feel the need to divert attention to themselves.

Chibbs Thu 17-Oct-13 21:26:21

i dont think that would happen sf, why have one when you can have 2?

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 21:33:34

Of course it can happen, chibbs. It's "wild" and exciting to get one over on someone, isn't it ? It's just too boring to always have what you know is allowed, even if that is two at once.

When you have a certain mindset, everything gets boring after a while. I would watch out if I were you.

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 21:35:24

Perhaps that repressed, uptight school mum who has only slept with one bloke in her life starts to look like a challenge to a proppa swordsman like your Nigel. I can picture it now smile

Chibbs Thu 17-Oct-13 21:36:15

well yes of course there is always the chance it could happen, but that is life isnt it. fortunatly we are very open and honest with each other, as well as very trusting - it does help that he works at home and we live in middle of no where. wink

Nagoo Thu 17-Oct-13 21:36:22

It's different in an open relationship. No one is getting fucked over and lied to.

The betrayal will be there whether the other party can prove anything or not. The deceit makes a mockery of the marriage more than the shagging about IMO.

Chibbs Thu 17-Oct-13 21:37:46

i dont think my "nigel" would consider himself a "swordsman" considering our lifestyle he does not have many notches on his bed post.

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 21:41:42

But chibbs, where there's a will, there's a way. Those long days out in the countryside can get tedious looking at the same pair(s) of tits over the cornflakes.

How strange you are so "trusting" when you have seen first hand how some cheaters will lie like fuck to get a grip of a different pair of tits.

Chibbs Thu 17-Oct-13 21:43:24

you have to have trust, how on earth would our relationship work if we didnt have trust?

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 21:46:38

Your relationship wouldn't work without the trust would it, you are quite right

Well done.

RadagastTheBrown Thu 17-Oct-13 21:49:07

A relationship won't work without trust and yet you have (and would do again) had sex with a bloke for whom trust meant jack shit. Discuss.......

Chibbs Thu 17-Oct-13 21:50:48

i wouldnt want a relationship with those men. - just sex

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 21:51:04

Rad, I think it went whooooosh grin

RadagastTheBrown Thu 17-Oct-13 21:52:18

No but the point is they WERE in relationships where trust should have been important......

ALittleStranger Thu 17-Oct-13 21:53:13

I think we just have to accept that Cripps has an astonishing lack of empathy and can't comprehend that harm could be done to someone other than herself.

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 21:57:45

I think she's proppa kewl innit. Perhaps one day she will be on the receiving end of Nigel dipping his Golden Wick elsewhere, without her knowledge.

RadagastTheBrown Thu 17-Oct-13 21:58:53

Continually chanting 'oooooooommmm' to get my blood pressure back down. And breathe.......

Chibbs Thu 17-Oct-13 21:59:23

of course i can comprehend the harm it could do to someone else - perhaps i just dont give a shit!

RadagastTheBrown Thu 17-Oct-13 22:01:25

Thank you and good night!

Leavenheath Thu 17-Oct-13 22:02:27

I think we've had quite enough of the attention seeker now haven't we?

I'd get that keyboard fixed if I were you though love. Must be a pain never to be able to use capital letters.

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 22:02:36


Chibbs Thu 17-Oct-13 22:04:03

may as well be honest

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 22:05:09

It's ok, chibbs. We didn't think for one moment you are any sort of decent person. No illusions shattered here smile

RadagastTheBrown Thu 17-Oct-13 22:05:17

So you have one redeeming quality, who knew?!?

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 22:07:56

In other news, I remember when MN was mostly populated by people with more than two brain cells to rub together.

RadagastTheBrown Thu 17-Oct-13 22:09:36

Is MN becoming a poor person's Jeremy Kyle, I wonder.....

Leavenheath Thu 17-Oct-13 22:10:06

Me too, Scary. Me too...

yeghoulsandlittledevils Thu 17-Oct-13 22:10:29


For you: thlbiscuit with added karma.

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 22:14:25

Sometimes I miss an intelligent argument, with people who are articulate and know how to structure a nuanced response

"perhaps i don't give a shit" isn't really cutting it sad

changeforthebetter Thu 17-Oct-13 22:15:37

Ok, so if I steal money from someone and they don't realise, that's ok then........ ?

Nah! The only way is a truly open relationship otherwise it's lying.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 17-Oct-13 22:20:42

I think you need to ask yourself how you would feel if you were his wife. The person he promised to stay faithful to, forsaking all others.
How can you have anything to do with a man who would do this to somebody.
There are plenty of single blokes out there who will give you respect, which in turn will give you some respect, because you can't have much nor self esteem to stoop so low.

RadagastTheBrown Thu 17-Oct-13 22:25:50

I don't know, SF, I'm all for reasoned, balanced and considered statements intended to establish a proposition but in this Twitter dominated 140 characters or fewer World, perhaps we need to accept that 'Argument Lite' is the future!

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 22:32:25

Bollocks to that, Rad grin

At least use "I" when referring to oneself.

I am not exactly verbose myself.

RadagastTheBrown Thu 17-Oct-13 22:42:43


ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 17-Oct-13 22:51:10


In other news, I remember when MN was mostly populated by people with more than two brain cells to rub together

Me too - it feels like a very fucking long time ago though!!

Dietxokebreak Thu 17-Oct-13 22:53:01

Apart from not telling her when he is with me I don't see why he would be treating her any differently to how he did before he ever knew me

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 22:54:19

Case in point ^^

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 17-Oct-13 22:56:15

Because you see the other person differently. You see them as someone who is too daft/stupid/dense to see what is going on under their noses. You pity them. You think them a fool. You lose respect for them. You feel 'better' because you can 'get away' with it. Then, if you are half decent guilt eats away at you, you become snappy & difficult to be around - you blame it on work, the kids playing up, the other person. You make the other person the scapegoat and you make them feel utterly fucking shit about themselves. Until they find out - and the penny drops.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 17-Oct-13 22:57:10



cjel Thu 17-Oct-13 22:58:04

No, its always harmful as it involves hiding part of your life from your other half.

Dietxokebreak how would you feel if a partner did this to you? You must have had serious partners in your life. Would you have minded if they had set up a nice little physical arrangement with a work colleague when they were with you?

I don't get how people can do this myself. My once best friend was an OW she argues until she is blue on the face she didn't do anything to hurt anyone. The man's wife left him, the daughter no longer speaks to him, he's single, she's married to someone else. So much heart ache for for many people all over a 'harmless' shag.

AuntieStella Thu 17-Oct-13 23:12:53

"Apart from not telling her when he is with me I don't see why he would be treating her any differently to how he did before he ever knew me"

Pretty big secret. A deception covering up something that would be a deal breaker for most. And you think that makes no difference? You think he really compartmentalises his life like that? A psychopathic trait?

Or perhaps you 'don't see' because you aren't looking?

yeghoulsandlittledevils Thu 17-Oct-13 23:17:36

It's like putting poison into someone's food. The other person doesn't have to be able to detect it for it to harm them.

If a man were having an affair I reckon it would affect eeverything. The level and type of his expression of love for his wife, from the type of tokens of endearment to the way he touched her, to whether he put her first in ways he would gave done before. His thinking would be different, it would affect his motivation and how he expressed himself.

reelingintheyears Thu 17-Oct-13 23:19:14


Dietxokebreak Thu 17-Oct-13 23:24:56

Is it so rare (psychopathic trait?) that someone would be able to compartmentalise to the extent that it doesn't change how they behave?

alterego2 Thu 17-Oct-13 23:24:58

yeg - that is it. From one who has been on the receiving end, that is it in a nutshell.

alterego2 Thu 17-Oct-13 23:26:26

Diet - yes, I think it is just that rare

Viviennemary Thu 17-Oct-13 23:35:07

I do not think it's ever harmless. For a start there is no guarantee that the affair will remain undiscovered for ever. There is the risk of transmitted sexual infections. And even unwanted pregnancy. So it's not all clandestine meetings, and moonlight and roses.

reelingintheyears Thu 17-Oct-13 23:46:20


Let's face the music and dance.

<<off into the sunset>>

Homeiswherethefartis Thu 17-Oct-13 23:46:35

Affair are harmful. People who have affairs change and become deceitful.
My relationship with my life long best friend has Changed since she started an affair. Subtle things like not calling me when her house is empty like she always did so we could have an uninterrupted catch up (we live 50 miles apart). Because I am the only person who knows what she is upto my invites to drunken bbqs etc at her house (where her husband and family will also be present) have dried up cos she is terrified I may let something slip if I am pissed.
Her affair is harming our friendship as well as jer marriage.
People who have affairs really try and justify it with a million reasons but they are just kidding themselves.

FreckledLeopard Thu 17-Oct-13 23:48:36

My mother is adamant that my father's liaisons during their 42 year marriage did not hurt her. He was away at sea and had casual encounters in various countries. She always knew he adored her and would never leave her, which was true.

I honestly don't think any party involved was upset. But, my mother is a unique kind of a person and freely admits to never having fallen in love in her life and never being ruled by her heart. So, whilst it's possible that no-one can get hurt, I'd say it's the exception rather than the rule.

There is a great bit in The Tall Guy when the man says, "she meant nothing to me" and the woman says, "while you were with her I meant nothing to you". Or something along those lines.

If you are having an affair (as the MM or MW) you are; doing something you know would hurt your OH if they knew; lying; treating your OH with contempt; this is the worst AFAIAC robbing them of their right to make decisions based on what is really happening.

Maybe they would leave, maybe they would also sleep around too. The MM is making a decision based on a frankly condescending and nasty assumption that they know better than their OH what is OK for their relationship. I wish people would just be honest and let the other person make their own decisions based on reality.

cronullansw Fri 18-Oct-13 02:56:46

Dietxokebreak - how do you feel now you've been accused of being a lying home wrecker with a range of STI's?

Personally, I'm (amazingly) with Cogito in this - yes, an affair can be harmless.

needingsomething Fri 18-Oct-13 03:56:46

What with never any hope of getting sex here from one month to the next, could honestly do with a harmless little affair. It'd save a lot of money.

str8tothepoint Fri 18-Oct-13 06:23:20

I really hate how because your the OP we all get burnt by everyone else on here. Yes cheating is wrong, yes we are idiots. BUT most of us aren't cold hearted evil bastards, we are still humans with feelings regardless of making a wrong decision. Yes the people who find out bout affairs deserve to be angry and upset but we OP don't play victims or give a sob story. We haven't killed anybody, we all make major mistakes in life that also impact on other people's feelings which can also cause damage. We all aren't innocent but having an affair is not a crime. I'm not blaming the DP or saying they don't have a right to destroy the OP but I think people on here should not hang the OP who is looking for advice/support/help. If your friend/family member was having an affair which they confided in you would you turn your back on them when they were on the verge of suicide????

ScaryFucker Fri 18-Oct-13 06:51:21

The people on this thread getting the flak don't believe they are doing anything wrong, str8

One of them is positively gleeful about her lack of compassion

So it's not the same as someone suicidal about where their choices have taken them

If you read MN without your biased eye, you will see there is sympathy and compassion, even from people on the receiving end of such appalling behaviour, for those that are desperately unhappy

This shower think what they are doing is simply a lifestyle choice

nooka Fri 18-Oct-13 07:23:33

I have been confided in by someone I love very much and whilst I didn't turn my back I did tell them that what they had done was very very wrong. Which of course they knew perfectly well. I also totally understand why they had an affair, and have every sympathy for the position they were n which was indeed very very difficult, but none of that changes the fact that what they did was wrong.

In some ways to me it's particularly bad that the OP's bit on the side has no intention of telling his wife or leaving that relationship despite playing away. Essentially he's saying that his wife (and family) has done nothing wrong at all, but he'd like to fuck up their lives anyway. Just for a bit of steamy sex - how little he truly values them.

AuntieStella Fri 18-Oct-13 07:29:56

The best advice for this OP is walk away whilst you still can.

Either he's demonstrating psychopaths traits (excessive compartmentalisation, combined with disregard - or just lack of comprehension - for normal human emotional connectedness) or he's lying to you as well about the impact on DW and family life. For time/thought/effort stolen to give to you isn't a 'romantic' gesture; it's a sign of weakness, and every such theft makes a difference to the marriage (whether the other family members know soup has been poisoned or not - I did like that image). And of course it makes a difference to the betrayer too - it makes them so much less than they could be.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Fri 18-Oct-13 07:38:13

I wonder where your own self respect is in all of this OP?

I don't think OP has any concerns about her self respect. She is arguing that it's just a bit of harmless fun, and that gives the impression that she is using him as much as he is using her.

They're both very self absorbed people imo.

yeghoulsandlittledevils Fri 18-Oct-13 07:52:00

We haven't killed anybody, we all make mistakes...

Not all poison kills. Sometimes it just changes the flavour and causes a little gripe or some headaches. Sometimes it marrs the meal (marriage) so much that there is no saving it and it needs throwing out. What a waste! A perfectly good marriage/meal gone to waste! Sometimes married women being cheated on have an idea that there partner may be cheating on them, and that the flame has gone, but without anything to compare it to they don't realise and continue with a marred and pointless, loveless life. Their H is full of empty words and lies, or says no words of encouragement or affirmation. Years go by. If they had known it would be like that, they would have left years before and found someone else. Now the stakes are higher and there are children. If they had proof, they could justify their feelings and ltb. But there is none and so they remain trapped with someone who has contempt for them.

cjel Fri 18-Oct-13 08:25:21

I'd like to add that I don't think an affair is a mistake. it is a choice that two people make from a very selfish self absorbed point of view.

TheOnlyOliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 18-Oct-13 08:35:42
cakeordeath1963 Fri 18-Oct-13 09:09:05

You think you are too clever to ge caught; you're not!

The truth ALWAYS comes out, maybe not at the time it's sometimes years down the line but it always comes out.....

Hope you're both prepared to deal with the fall-out

Anniegetyourgun Fri 18-Oct-13 09:30:15

Or, if the cheated-on spouse knew, maybe they could stop trying to be faithful themselves and go out and have a little fun with all those attractive men/women they'd been turning down out of a misplaced sense of loyalty. So much for loving your spouse, if you are happy to deprive them of something whilst filling your own boots behind their back.

Basically, if you have to be sneaky about it, something's wrong.

redundantandbitter Fri 18-Oct-13 09:32:54

Sorry but having been on both sides I can tell you it's a big ball of s**t. I haven't read all your thread - at work til 0400 and now on school run yawn - but I engage with mind body and soul and I didn't/couldn't separate feelings out if the equation. People s**tting on their 'loved ' ones .. Wives they made vows too. It all comes out. My v young dd outted her dad by saying his g/friends name. We were both seeing other people. I wasn't something I could maintain or mentally cope with. Certainly NOT all moonlight and roses. More like tears in tesco car park. But everyone is different I guess. Sorry I' m having a bad day sad

Wellwobbly Fri 18-Oct-13 09:37:23

Diet just remember you are actively and knowingly participating in the emotional, sexual and financial abuse of an unwitting person.

The fact that they don't know (see Chibb's posts) doesn't mean it is not happening.

Would you have thrown stones at little Jamie Bulger on the railway line (lets pretend he didn't die, it was just a nasty incident)? - no, of course not.

Would you have watched stones being thrown at him? - no, of course not.

Would you sit in your house two suburbs away, knowing that he was having stones thrown at him?

- that is what you are doing.

I really wish the hurt and pain of infidelity wasn't so minimised.

Wellwobbly Fri 18-Oct-13 09:39:43

What's all a bit bag of sh*t, Redundant? <puts kettle on>

This sounds interesting! I would love to hear your thoughts.

redundantandbitter Fri 18-Oct-13 09:58:01

wellwobbly get your brew and a big stick and you can hit me with it while you sip your tea

Lazysuzanne Fri 18-Oct-13 10:32:10

I can't believe someone has made an analogy with the Jamie Bulger case
What a sick comparison!

We all know cheating is morally wrong, in whatever area of life.
But to assert that the truth will aways come out, well that's just naive

yeghoulsandlittledevils Fri 18-Oct-13 10:38:55

I agree Lazysuzanne (on both scores).

Let me reiterate or reword my point. Cheating on someone who is married is like introducing (non-deadly) poison into their home. The man carries it with him, and it doesn't go away just because he's not with the OW.

I am NOT advocating any kind of use of poison on anyone whatsoever. It is an analogy. Sheesh.

Tweetypie27 Fri 18-Oct-13 10:44:30

No it's not harmless I've been cheated on and it's an awful feeling it hurts it's betrayal at the end of the day and when the injured party finds out it ruins everything you thought you knew about the person you have given your life to!
Don't disrespect your partner by doing to this to them I hope your not doing this because I will never agree to cheating of any form you know what your doing is wrong !

Tweetypie27 Fri 18-Oct-13 10:46:29

It is true that the truth always comes out I found out about my partners cheating three years after it happened it still hurt as much of it had happened last week! Don't do it

Lazysuzanne Fri 18-Oct-13 10:46:42

Infidelity, affairs, extra marital liaisons, betrayal,cheating, two timing, double crossing, it's always happened, in all cultures throughout history.
A painful but normal part of human experience.
I don't know what the OP hoped to gain from this thread, surely she can't have expected redemption?
Ya should've known it'd be the usual hysteria and brow beating.

No I'm not condoning affairs, but it's just part of life FFS

OrmirianResurgam Fri 18-Oct-13 10:57:10

"Apart from not telling her when he is with me I don't see why he would be treating her any differently to how he did before he ever knew me"

1. He will be distracted at home, by guilt, thinking of you, wondering when he will see you again, wondering if he will get caught.
2. He will compare the two of you and when his wife gets mad at him or they have a row, the comparison won't be in her favour. You'll be the fun, no-strings option. WIfe will be the boring, responsible, everyday option.
3. He will be irritable at times because of all the things I mentioned in 1.
4. She will have a constant sense of unease because something id 'off' but she won't know what it is. She will blame, stress, ageing, illness...anything other than infidelity because she trusts her husband. She will start to think that maybe she has done something wrong...that sucks!
4. Your affair may well be discovered and if that happens all bets are off... no-one can predict what will happen.

Of course you are not married to her, you owe her nothing other than the basic human decency you owe every human being. He's the guilty party, but in the end both of you are hurting someone else.

If I were in your shoes I would end it..but I am not so I can only advise you.

Tweetypie27 Fri 18-Oct-13 10:57:11

Yes it's part of life but it's morally wrong don't get married and have kids if you want to fuck about it's not hard

OrmirianResurgam Fri 18-Oct-13 10:58:03

"No I'm not condoning affairs, but it's just part of life FFS"

So is german measles but we developed a vaccine for that

Lazysuzanne Fri 18-Oct-13 11:06:08

It'll be a cold day in he'll before we can immunize against cheating...any fool can see that your analogy is very weak Ormir

OrmirianResurgam Fri 18-Oct-13 11:08:53

Weak? Oh no....I am mortified... grin

To answer the actual OP only.

No. Because your focus will shift out of your marriage and onto a third party. And if you allow your feelings of lust take over you will be overcome by giddy feelings you easily confuse with love. You get the "in love" feeling, but with a person other than your partner. And this is not fair on neither him nor you. It is painful, I believe.

I am speaking from a standpoint of knowing what it feels like to be in love, and hypothesizing what this means when the feelings relate to somebody who is not your partner , not from the experience of having cheated.

FrancescaBell Fri 18-Oct-13 11:28:45

If you're having an affair with a married man you have to assume that he is taking it out on his wife, kids and employer or that he's personality disordered and feels nothing. How are either of those options favourable?

Having spoken to a lot of MM who were having 'bit of fun' affairs for the first time, it wasn't the emotional pull to the OW that was the problem, it was the stress of what they were doing that caused them to dissemble, acting nasty at home and being utterly useless at work.

Really, only people who have been in an affair think they can ever be harmless.

Wishihadabs Fri 18-Oct-13 11:50:19

I have been in an affair, I don't think their harmless. Big, big mess. Step away OP before you get splattered. However I do believe that monogamy isn't terribly natural and that some people (risk takers, adrenaline junkies maybe) find it harder than others. I am currently faithful to DH, I would realy rather not know if he isn't. If he brings any trace into the house (emotional ties or STI s) into the house h e will be out on his ear. He knows this and is not stupid, so I trust him to be if not faithful then discrete and sensible.

FrancescaBell Fri 18-Oct-13 12:00:01

Oh yes, I'm not suggesting that all the people who've been in an affair think they are harmless. I know plenty who know better. But I've personally never met someone who hasn't had an affair or isn't thinking about having one, who is that naive or deluded.

merlincat Fri 18-Oct-13 12:20:54

What happened to moral absolutes? Lying is WRONG, stealing is WRONG isn't it?

I'm into week eight of discovering Dh's passionate afternoon with a former close friend of mine. My faith in human nature, friendship, my own intellectual acuity and any reasonable future for myself and my kids is totally FUCKED. The after-shock has entered into areas of mine and my kids life that I would never dreamed possible. OP, if you do this you are reducing your moral stature; you will never be as good a person again. Is a shag worth that? If you think it is then so be it, it's just a pity that his wife won't be able to weigh up her own options from a position of being lied to.

Lazysuzanne Fri 18-Oct-13 12:30:29

There are affairs that stay secret, no one knows except the Two persons concerned, some people can keep secrets.

We can't speak about what happens in these cases because they are always hidden.

On this thread people are talking about examples of affairs which were discovered and then extrapolating to all affairs.

merlincat Fri 18-Oct-13 12:33:15

So lying and stealing are ok as long as you're not found out?

FrancescaBell Fri 18-Oct-13 12:39:15

On this thread people are talking about examples of affairs which were discovered and then extrapolating to all affairs.

No we're not.

I've seen a few affairs at close quarters that weren't discovered, either at all or not yet. Harm was certainly done, but it's very reductionist to believe that we're just talking about harm to couple relationships. There's often harm caused to businesses, client relationships, manager-employee relationships, collegiate relationships, friendships, those within the extended family and with children.

EldritchCleavage Fri 18-Oct-13 12:39:21

Apart from not telling her when he is with me I don't see why he would be treating her any differently to how he did before he ever knew me

That's your assumption (and without meaning to sound unkind, you would say that, wouldn't you?), but by definition you're never going to know if it is actually the case.

I think (I'm married, never cheated or been an OW) that it is unlikely to be the case. At the least, he is looking to you for excitement and sex, and it isn't unreasonable to assume, looking less to his wife for those things as a result.

Be honest and admit you just don't know how your liaison will affect his marriage. If these things are to be done at all, they are best done with no pretence to yourself, just clear-sighted acceptance of the range of possible consequences.

Lazysuzanne Fri 18-Oct-13 12:42:21

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

FrancescaBell Fri 18-Oct-13 12:44:50

shock at inferring a woman is 'dim' when she's just posted about her pain.

Now why would you do that?

Lazysuzanne Fri 18-Oct-13 12:44:58

Francesca, if you knew about the affairs in question then they were, by definition, not secret (unless you were one of the 2 persons involved)

Lazysuzanne Fri 18-Oct-13 12:47:11

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

FrancescaBell Fri 18-Oct-13 12:49:07 is entirely possible to discover an affair without the two people saying anything at all LazySuzanne. Do you think people in affairs are never careless and get found out, not by what they say but by what they do?

Lazysuzanne Fri 18-Oct-13 12:54:12

Besides the point Fran, there will be affairs which are never uncovered, betrayed neither by words or deeds

I appreciate that this makes people feel very uneasy, no one likes to think that cheats prosper

OrmirianResurgam Fri 18-Oct-13 12:56:55

Lazysuzanne - I and several other posters have explained why an undiscovered affair can have an impact on a marriage.

Lazysuzanne Fri 18-Oct-13 13:00:39

And I have explained that you cannot account for undiscovered affairs, you are only talking about what you imagine will happen.

Or have you conducted research into undisclosed affairs?

OrmirianResurgam Fri 18-Oct-13 13:03:20

I have 'conducted research' into my H's affair. I know that particular one quite well. And you only have to read posts from other people, here and elsewhere, who have had affairs or been cheated on to see that most of them acknowledge that there was an impact.

Lazysuzanne Fri 18-Oct-13 13:04:51

The plural of anecdote is not research

OrmirianResurgam Fri 18-Oct-13 13:08:29

Oh... I see. So if people tell you their experiences you will refuse to beleive them unless they and a few others have their experiences written up in a 'scientific' report. OK.

FrancescaBell Fri 18-Oct-13 13:14:12

But how would you know there are affairs that are never discovered? How can you prove a negative? How can you possibly prove that no-one in those people's lives knows?

This doesn't make me feel uneasy, probably because I haven't really known any cheats who've prospered; there's always been a negative effect to them as well as other people.

It does make me feel more than uneasy when a poster writes about her painful experience and another poster says she is 'dim'. There are kinder ways to broach disagreement and conflicts of opinion.

Lazysuzanne Fri 18-Oct-13 13:14:44

Orm, perhaps you are willfully misinterpreting me, perhaps you are also dim but it's not to do with disbelieving individual accounts, it's the ubiquitous extrapolating from personal experience.
The extreme credulity of posters who can't see that the Mumsnet window on the world is utterly biased and subjective

MissStrawberry Fri 18-Oct-13 13:18:18

I think I would be happier to be dim than rude.

EldritchCleavage Fri 18-Oct-13 13:20:58

I don't see anything wrong with people setting out their experiences and then drawing inferences from it to apply to the OP's situation. It is anecdotal, but that is generally how we discuss relationships isn't it?

We don't advise or counsel based on research, we talk about the experiences we or our acquaintances have had and variously wonder/assume/infer/extrapolate from that. All the time accepting we may not be typical, or average, or usual.

And I agree we can't, by definition, say much about undiscovered affairs. It's a known unknown (or an unknown unknown-where's Donald Rumsfeld when you need him?)

FrancescaBell Fri 18-Oct-13 13:23:35

No, it's because your arguments are irrational and illogical LazySuzanne.

None of us are able to 'prove' that there are affairs that are completely undetected by anyone. Even some partners know about it but turn a blind eye and there are often several other people who know but say nothing.

Because of that, none of us can state with certainty that there are affairs that remain secrets with no effects or impacts. We just can't know that.

brokenhearted55a Fri 18-Oct-13 13:23:52

My sister cheated on her husband. She thought it was funny....he's never found out.

She's remorseless and always was. don't assume that behavior changes.

OrmirianResurgam Fri 18-Oct-13 13:24:02

" it's the ubiquitous extrapolating from personal experience." No extrapolating here. I simply stated in reply to the OP who asked 'can an affair be harmless if never discovered' that on the contrary IME an affair CAN be harmful even if never discovered. I certainly didn't claim that ALL affairs are harmful if never discovered. One assumes that if she wanted research rather than personal anecdote she could have googled that. All we here can do is give our opinions.

I agree MN isn't the whole world. But you don't have to search very far to find experiences similar to mine.

But hey as I am 'dim' and my analogies are 'weak' I guess you don't really want to know what I think. And as you seem to be quite agressive and insensitive I will exercise my right to ignore you.

AuntieStella Fri 18-Oct-13 13:29:17

If the non-betraying partner has detected signs of neglect and lack of consideration in the marriage before discovery of an affair (maybe were explained away by tiredness, stress, or the thousand and one other excuses, set against the utter unthinkableness of the person you trust above all others being faithless) then the marriage has indeed been damaged. Discovery demonstrates that the affair was the cause. But the damage was happening, and noticed, totally separately from knowledge of betrayal.

Missbopeep Fri 18-Oct-13 13:48:00

The problem with this thread and all those where there are mainly black and white opinions, is that the views are often limited to the posters' experiences - whether they have had an affair, been betrayed, or have observed other people's affairs. It's rare to have impartial and unemotional responses that allow for shades of grey smile

The problem with this is that these opinions and experiences are written as if they are facts and apply to everyone in the same situation.

For example, it's not true that all affairs are discovered. In RL I know of some which have never been ( and no, I don't mean me before anyone jumps in with that accusation.)

Similarly I've known of couples where affairs have been openly conducted and tolerated, because they have a different expectation of marriage.

There are hundreds of examples of well known people- over the centuries- who have openly had affairs and their spouses have accepted this or turned a blind eye.

I'm not saying this is right or wrong- but what I am saying is that no matter what you post here it is YOUR opinion only.

On balance, my opinion is that most affairs cause hurt to one or more people - but at the same time I accept that some couples can accept affairs and they aren't such a big deal to them as they are to other people.

Missbopeep Fri 18-Oct-13 13:53:43

Francesca- LS is right I'm afraid- if you 'discovered' an affair then it was not secret. Unless it was all in your imagination. I think you need to admit that there are affairs going on that no one- absolutely no one- knows about, but may hear about in some way years after it's ended.

FrancescaBell Fri 18-Oct-13 13:55:00

For example, it's not true that all affairs are discovered. In RL I know of some which have never been

No, you don't know that. It's just not possible to prove it. For all you know, someone knows or several people know, but say nothing to anyone.

Missbopeep Fri 18-Oct-13 14:01:39

Francesca- let me be more plain. By 'discovered' I mean by the spouses or partners of the people involved.

Please don't tell me what I know or don't know.

I could say that you seem to have spent a lot of your career assuming colleagues were having affairs when it may have been totally innocent!

FrancescaBell Fri 18-Oct-13 14:09:36

Ah but I wasn't talking about just partners and spouses. But even if you were, you can't prove it. Some spouses or partners know but don't tell anyone.

I can most certainly tell you what you don't know, because logically, it's impossible for you to prove this negative.

I think I'm as baffled with some posters lack of logic as their lack of empathy.

dawntigga Fri 18-Oct-13 14:20:08

yes, I know of at least 2 relationships that were saved by well placed discreet affairs. In both cases the people concerned did not tell their respective partners of the affair and have realised the grass is not greener.

It usually doesn't work that way though because they either get caught or feel so bad about it they tell their partners.


yellowutka Fri 18-Oct-13 14:22:49

Lazysuzanne, I fail to see why experiences regarding harm caused by affairs before they were discovered cannot be extrapolated to potential harm caused by affairs which are never discovered. I particularly fail to see why affairs discovered by other parties, who perceive that these have caused harm, are qualitatively different to affairs not discovered by anyone. I also fail to see why you are expecting a "scientific" level of evidence on a forum which is informed mainly by experience. I further wonder if you have ever heard of qualitative evidence: often applied in research within the social sphere. And, forgive me, I take an extremely 'dim' view of your attitude to other posters, perhaps that's just me grin.

EldritchCleavage Fri 18-Oct-13 15:13:27

Actually, the main problem on this thread is rude dissenting, rather than dissenting per se.

No names, no pack drill.

merlincat Fri 18-Oct-13 15:46:49

Ooh, I'm dim, how exciting. Disclosed, discovered or not, affairs are always wrong because they always involve lying and theft. Those offences are always wrong in the - admittedly simple - moral universe that I inhabit.

Missbopeep Fri 18-Oct-13 15:47:10

Francesca - don't be insulting about people's grasp of logic.

I am fully aware you can't prove a negative but you are being a little overly pedantic. Let's just agree that there are affairs which as far as we know - but which could not be proved 100%- are unknown to the spouses of those involved. It is quite possible for a spouse to say to a friend' My DH/ DW would never be unfaithful and I know they never have been', when we know differently. We aren't talking about proof as if in a court of law- but in everyday life.

Missbopeep Fri 18-Oct-13 15:50:56

Please don't tell me what I know or don't know.

If you meant this then grin I could tell you about lots of things I don't know - if you asked me about them then you'd see my ignorance! An exam or test can prove what someone doesn't know. You can have a 'negative' result for something.

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Fri 18-Oct-13 16:02:03

good husbands don't risk seeing their kids every other weekend for a fuck budy that doesn't mean anything

QuiteSo Fri 18-Oct-13 16:19:28

Op, next time you're shagging your lying, cheating married boyfriend, spare a thought for his wife.

She's probably at home, doing boring domestic things liking wiping bottoms, clearing up spills at the dinner table or supervising homework. Perhaps she's reading bedtime stories to the kids. When they ask why Daddy's not home, she's explaining that he has to work late again.

She probably is older than you, has stretch marks and gets tired in the evenings. She's frumpy and boring. She does the essentials that need to get done at home so Hubby can stay out every night humping a desirable young slut. That's you.

redundantandbitter Fri 18-Oct-13 16:24:49

Well in my case my Dc's dad admitted I'd done him a favour when my relationship with another man came to light. We never actually discussed it - which sounds incredulous I know - but it was a great chance for him to jump ship . He moved in with a colleague from work who I suspect he had been seeing for some time. He moved to another county and the round trip is 90 mins. He doesn't speak to the kids every night, has them when he dictates via a spreadsheet and married 11 months later. Not totally crap , but He's just not arsed. Just like he was in our relationship. Please don't tear a strip off me

cjel Fri 18-Oct-13 16:26:23

I'd like to say that the dw at home is also probably having to make financial cut backs for her family as her H is telling her money is short while spending it on OW. thats also harmful.

ScaryFucker Fri 18-Oct-13 16:29:17

Remember though, Op, that woman getting ignored and disrespected in favour of the carefree and "wild" young woman could be you one day.

Be sure to remember your selfishness right now, won't you ?

FrancescaBell Fri 18-Oct-13 17:13:17

Er no, I didn't mean Please don't tell me what I know or don't know on account of the fact that you said that, not me MissBoPeep confused

Going back to your earlier post, all we can say is that in our opinion there are probably people who are completely unknowing about an affair. As you also said though, we can't ever state as fact that the people concerned - or anyone else for that matter - definitely don't know.

What we know even less about though are the effects on people's lives, that are often not immediately attributed to an affair, but are effects nevertheless. I am at pains to point out that those effects are not merely confined to couple relationships.

Taking this right back to the OP then, how is she to know that her lover isn't making terrible fuck ups at work which, even though they might work together, he might be minimising? How is she to know that managers haven't clocked what's going on and are starting to query expense claims and time paid for by the firm that's been spent on this affair? Or the misuse of office tech for communications? Or that some cowardly co-worker isn't right now writing a poison-pen letter to his wife? Or that he isn't messing up his friendships because he daren't see anyone in case he lets something slip? Or that he's avoiding mutual friends of him and his wife? Or that he isn't shouting at his mum who suspects something's up, but he can't tell her?

These are all the 'hidden effects' and there are probably loads more.

SpookyWerewolf Fri 18-Oct-13 17:15:39

I don't think it can be harmless. Surely the MM is regarding his wife with disrespect, contempt, and a lack of care by not letting her know something fundemental to their relationship that she believes to be faithful.

If she knew her husband was a liar and a cheat, she might make different choices about HER life. She might decide that she doesn't want to be faithful to him, that she wants an open relationship, or to 'turn a blind eye' and put up with his infidelity (whilst taking extra precutions against STDs). Or maybe she would rather be single or have the opportunity to have a meaningful relationship with someone else. We don't know what she would like, because she isn't being treated as an adult with a right to make informed choices about her own life.

This is causing her harm. It causes this harm whether or not she is ever aware of it. It is not the action of a loving husband and father who respects his wife. He is treating her as a lesser person whose job is to stay at home, put his children to bed, look after the house and dutifully await his return.

In addition, he may be exposing her to STDs, not casting aspersions on you in particular OP, but if he is having unprotected sex at home, he could be harming her, and who knows who else he is sleeping with too.

In order to justify this extramarital excitement and sex to himself, he may well be changing how he percieves and treats his wife. Deciding that she doesn't do enough for him and that therefore he is entitled to have his fun elsewhere. Maybe he's been criticising her, telling her that she's not fun anymore, that she's less attractive, etc. That would also be harm, even if she never finds out that the cause was an affair.

And then there is the spectacular hubris in assuming that the affair will never be discovered. Maybe some affairs arent - who can say? But a lot of affairs are discovered, there are plenty of threads here about women who have discovered their partner is cheating, there are lots of ways for that to happen. And others can infer that its going on from their partner's changes in behaviour even if they never get proof. Don't you think that those cheating spouses thought they were clever and discrete too? Just because he doesn't intend to tell her, doesn't mean she'll never find out.

OP, you don't know about MM's marriage, no matter what he tell you. There have been women on here who have discovered their partners/husbands have been having affairs while they were pregnant, undergoing IVF, looking after a newborn, undergoing chemotherapy, while they were caring for an elderly relative etc. I bet none of their husbands told thier mistresses the circumstances of why DW's attention wasn't on him every second of the day. How would it make you feel about him if you found that your MM was of this order of pathetic excuses for human beings? Not very sexy huh?

TheOnlyOliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 18-Oct-13 17:44:19


ScaryFucker Fri 18-Oct-13 17:55:05

< hands Olivia a Strepsil >

cjel Fri 18-Oct-13 18:07:08

scary - behavegrin

ScaryFucker Fri 18-Oct-13 18:31:45

I am trying to be helpful smile

plinkyplonks Fri 18-Oct-13 18:32:44

Affairs are always destructive IMO.

no trust = no relationship as far as I am concerned.

cjel Fri 18-Oct-13 18:41:05

smile scary!

yellowutka Fri 18-Oct-13 21:43:32

Sorry Olivia, but what SpookyWerewolf said, absolutely.

Missbopeep Fri 18-Oct-13 22:26:44

Francesca- love to know why you keep going on about affairs in the workplace, whenever you discuss them- you must have worked in a real hot-bed of extra marital goings on! Were you one of those people who spilled the beans I wonder? You seem to be very certain that people 'know' or will be told, and seem pleased that you sussed what was going on, when it was probably none of your business.

It's pure speculation on your part whether the affair affects the work of either of these people, or if it involves two colleagues.

RadagastTheBrown Fri 18-Oct-13 23:20:23

I'm not sure, but methinks this thread has touched a few raw nerves along the way.

BerstieSpotts Fri 18-Oct-13 23:35:31

If the situation is as stated in the OP, then why not just be honest about it?

Because it would hurt the other partner, is the obvious one. Because they have signed up for a monogamous marriage, not one where it's okay as long as it's in a different postcode - if you want that why not find someone likeminded in the first place? confused This always baffles me. Enough people have affairs, there must be a sizeable proportion of the population that think it's acceptable to have extra-marital sex in this situation or that or if these specific parameters are in place.

Would you be upset if the shoe was on the other foot? You either think it's morally okay or you don't. If you don't, don't do it. If you do, then find someone else who shares that moral code in the first place to marry, (and accept they have the right to do it too) or accept that your own marriage isn't truly compatible, which either means leaving, keeping it in your pants or admitting it and giving your spouse the chance to see the full story.

I don't think it's fair to trick someone into thinking that their marriage and their spouse is something/someone different from what it actually is. That's not what a marriage is!

FrancescaBell Sat 19-Oct-13 01:40:37

None of my business MissBoPeep? grin

As the owner of the company, it certainly was (and is) my business if efficiency suffered, profits were down and there were complaints from clients about unprofessional behaviour.

And yes, in the industry I work in, there are lots of opportunities for affairs which is why like many businesses in our field, we've included 'no relationship' clauses in our employment terms and conditions. It's a disciplinary offence.

Of course it's speculation whether the OP's lover is a colleague, or whether he's experiencing the effects I listed. I never suggested it was anything other than speculation which was why I used the term 'how is the OP to know?'

Missbopeep Sat 19-Oct-13 08:19:20

I'd say it was more a case of 'How are we to know' rather than how is she to know. She could know if he told her that his work was suffering or his colleagues were giving him the cold shoulder if they suspected.
But it's all la-la land because she has never said they even work together.

It's not for me to tell you how to run or could have run a business. But the no-relationship clause does seem a tad draconian in my opinion. What if it were 2 single people? Presumably you forbid that too?

It implies a complete lack of trust and good judgement between employees. If people fiddled expenses, or their work suffered,that would be disciplinary behaviour regardless of whether another employee was involved or not. I don't think it's down to an employer to dictate employees personal behaviour including who they choose to have a relationship with, though it is their role to respond to fraud and poor performance.

meditrina Sat 19-Oct-13 08:31:01

Lots of workplaces have a 'no shagging within the line management chain' stipulation (whether single, or whether adulterous), and will move one or both partner if a relationship is disclosed. This is because it is important to remove (and be seen to remove) both the opportunity for misuse of workplace resources and to remove the opportunity of stirring up accusations of unfair treatment.

Scope for sexual favouritism is never a good thing to have clouding the workplace, especially if promotions and pay rises are involved.

Missbopeep Sat 19-Oct-13 08:54:21

If you say so. But in all my time in my working life I've never encountered it. In fact I know of many happy couples who met at work. I thought employment laws sufficed to contain this type of poor behaviour ( favourtism etc etc) if it arose.

bragmatic Sat 19-Oct-13 09:16:36

Where I am, you can't dictate to people who they can or can't sleep with. You can make it policy that they must disclose relationships that have, or may be seen to have a conflict of interest. So non-disclosure is a disciplinary matter, not the relationship, as such.

Leavenheath Sat 19-Oct-13 10:38:15

I've worked in several firms that have this policy. I'm more surprised there are posters who've never heard of it before as it's been standard practice for years.

Furthermore, I've worked in firms where employees had to disclose a relationship with an employee of a competitor company as well.

It's good practice because it stops senior managers abusing their authority with junior employees, negates allegations of favouritism based on personal relationships and I've often thought, protects employees from themselves to a degree, as well as the company. I've been involved in various disciplinaries in my career where people who would not normally fiddle expenses or defraud their employers, end up doing just that when they are involved in secret affairs. Because they have to hide the expenditure at home either in leave taken or money spent on their affairs, so their firms are used as a laundering vehicle.

Anyway, where's the bloody OP? grin

Missbopeep Sat 19-Oct-13 10:49:44

I'd be very interested to know which companies have this policy!
Someone in my immediate family is the company's UK ombudsman (for a long established multi-international company) and they occasionally have to deal with favouristism and sexual harassment type issues. Most large international companies ime use employment law and conditions of employment ( ie not abusing expenses etc) to manage these issues, and don't dictate who can have relationships with whom.

Leavenheath Sat 19-Oct-13 14:15:40

Sexual harassment is of course an entirely different issue to a reciprocal sexual relationship and is amply covered by employment law, but there is no specific employment legislation to cover 'favouritism' and even no employment law that specifically covers general workplace bullying. And of course if fraud is uncovered all firms have the option to invoke normal misconduct procedures, as well as reporting matters to the police, so the clause we are discussing doesn't replace all other internal policies or existing employment laws, it augments them.

Although I'm still a little surprised this appears to be new information, I understand you might not have heard of this practice if you haven't worked in a corporate environment in the last 15 years or so- and I wouldn't expect people to have an up-to-date grasp of employment law if they've never managed large teams or don't currently manage staff, but this really is bread-and-butter stuff for those of us who do. Every potential new employee has the right not to apply for a job with this clause in their contract of employment and therefore if you disagree with the restrictions this might place on your personally, you don't have to work there.

Wellwobbly Sat 19-Oct-13 14:35:25

'wellwobbly get your brew and a big stick and you can hit me with it while you sip your tea'

<hands Redundantandbitter a large olive branch> no beating I promise.

What I heard in your words was that you knew what it was like from both sides??

That tells me you know exactly what you are talking about, and I was genuinely interested to hear your thoughts. Sorry I haven't been here to reassure you about this, I have great respect for your experiences.

Wellwobbly Sat 19-Oct-13 14:36:38

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

JaceyBee Sat 19-Oct-13 17:54:21

I work in the NHS and there is a policy that relationships have to be disclosed. They don't necessarily mind but do want to know about them. I'm not a psych nurse but I do recall that psych nurses have one of the highest rates of inter-staff relationships of any profession.

Wobbly, I'm not looking for a ruck but that comment comparing sleeping with someone who is married to knowingly allowing a two year old child to be tortured to death is fucking batshit love! And in rather poor taste.

Missbopeep Sat 19-Oct-13 22:30:22

I don't want to bang on about this really as it's a bit off topic in a way- BUT- have checked with DH who works for a large multinational , is a snr manager and says he's never heard of this in his entire international career. In fact 2 colleagues of his married not long ago and the guy was her boss.
Similarly other family members work in FTSE 100 companies- huge organisations - household names- and there's a wedding coming up for a couple who've met at work in one of them.

Leavenheath Sat 19-Oct-13 22:47:07


Many of us have heard about it and have worked to these contracts for years.

What does it matter that neither you nor your husband and family have experience of it?

That doesn't invalidate our experience or the fact that these contracts exist and are commonplace in some firms and organisations. For example, I didn't know the NHS operated this policy, but it makes sense now I think about it. I learnt something today, so that's a good thing isn't it?

Missbopeep Sun 20-Oct-13 07:58:21

The 'and' Leaven is that perhaps it's not as common as you'd like everyone to believe.
I'm not for a moment saying it doesn't exist. I am saying that in my own circle of people who work in some of the largest organisations/ employers in the world, ( private companies not public sector) the policy does not exist. I don't want to name these companies, for obvious reasons, but they are household names with hundreds of thousands of employees worldwide. In my own experience I could easily name several couples who are now married or living together and who met at work. So you aren't wrong- it's just perhaps not as widespread as you'd have people believe.

meditrina Sun 20-Oct-13 08:09:58

My first hand experience was in a major UK public sector employer. Yes, people struck up relationships with colleagues. But if in same line management chain, one/both would be moved.

Though OP doesn't say if the absences during which the affair is carried out are down to work or a hobby or something else.

I'm not convinced those having an affair with a colleague consult the terms of their employment contract and disclose it. I personally think those terms aren't worth the paper they are written on.

I asked DH what his work would think about his affair. He reckoned they wouldn't care, given the (married) head of HR was herself having an affair with a (married) very senior partner. Says it all really.

Leavenheath Sun 20-Oct-13 11:59:42

You appear to be misunderstanding what posters are telling you Miss.

We are saying that some firms prohibit relationships full stop, some have rules only about disclosure and of course others have no such rules at all. The size of the organisation or whether they are 'household names' is irrelevant. The determining factor is the nature of the industry or work, obviously.

So the couples you know who met at work probably work for firms who either have no contractual rules about personal relationships because their business/code of ethics doesn't require them to, or it was fine as long as they disclosed them.

I have no need for you to believe these policies are 'widespread and common'. They are of course both, within particular industries and sectors that you might have no experience of. Because they've been around for many years, I was surprised when you said you hadn't even heard of them- and even more surprised when you seemed to think there was an employment law that protected people against sexual favouritism- but like everyone else on here, I have to accept that what's common knowledge in my world, isn't in others.

Dietxokebreak Sun 20-Oct-13 12:18:25

I'm still here - don't really know what else to say as seems general opinion is that it is very rare that someone can be involved with something outside their marriage and not let it affect it.

I know it sounds pretty hollow but I really don't want to hurt anyone and I think I have naively told myself up to now that because neither of us want anything more from this that it wouldn't have an impact on his family. Obviously I don't know for sure how he behaves at home but I get the impression he compartmentalises pretty well and he tells me he is happy with his wife.

We do work together, it's obviously not something that's known about at work although our company is fairly small and doesn't have any specific rules against relationships or about disclosure. He's more senior than me but is not my manager and there is no favouritism.

Leavenheath Sun 20-Oct-13 12:36:38

Speaking for myself only I've never met anyone who can compartmentalise an affair and it always has a harmful effect on someone, somewhere- or more typically, a lot of people in a lot of places.

What do you get out of it then? Are you saying this isn't harming you at all? I asked this early on in the thread before it got overtaken by an attention seeker and then you abandoned the thread for days.

That's the angle I'm focusing on- what harm if at all it might be doing to you?

I can see it's a salve to your conscience believing it's not having a harmful effect on his life or the people in it, but unless you say differently I don't suppose it would matter too much if it was, or cause you to change course.

So the self-interest angle's probably more relevant. What are you getting out of this, why are you doing it and what (if any) harm is it doing to you, your life and your view of of yourself?

Dietxokebreak Sun 20-Oct-13 13:41:14

I'm starting to realise there isn't really anything in it for me. I'm living away from home and if I'm honest am fairly lonely here, I guess he is a distraction. I know I should have found myself another distraction but I'm not very confident with meeting guys and always saw him as just a friend at work until it went too far. I know this is not an excuse as I let it happen when I should have stopped it but I never went after him or pursued it.

I don't really understand why he risks it all - he says his wife would leave him if she found out and he doesn't want that to happen but when I say we should stop as it's not worth risking hurting everyone for what we have he says he doesn't want to.

cjel Sun 20-Oct-13 13:53:30

Are you starting to feel perhaps you should be the one to end it and not take him back?x

ScaryFucker Sun 20-Oct-13 14:14:14

What do you think you wanted from it in the first place ?

Leavenheath Sun 20-Oct-13 14:42:37

But why does a distraction have to involve meeting men?

Even if it does for you personally, wouldn't you get more out of seeing a bloke who could see you whenever or wherever, with whom you could have regular sex?

He's risking it all because he thinks he's cleverer than he probably is, and possibly because his wife trusts him and has got better things to do with her time than check up on him. Let's face it, she might be one of those people who thinks that if her marriage is okay and her husband's saying he's happy and loves her, nothing untoward could ever happen. Most of us know life's not like that, but I could understand it if some people still believed all those old tropes. That's not to say she might not be noticing some odd behaviour of course, but if posters on here are anything to go by, she might be putting that down to the hoary old chestnuts that he's stressed at work or depressed.

It's obvious what he's getting out of it and why he doesn't want to stop then, but it's good you're questioning what's in it for you.

Dietxokebreak Sun 20-Oct-13 14:43:37

Yes - he tells me that I shouldn't feel bad because he's the one doing wrong but seems he just doesn't feel bad enough to stop so am starting to feel i'll have to walk away and not let myself be part of it.

I never thought it through and made a concious decision that it was a good idea. I know it is not but think it was probably your classic slippery slope from 'harmless' flirting to being way too involved without really seeing it and then I wanted to believe that it wasn't so bad even though I know it is.

ScaryFucker Sun 20-Oct-13 14:48:44

It certainly sounds like you should end it for your own sake too

Like I said many posts ago on this thread, you will look back on this period of your life and feel ashamed

A way to ameliorate that shame is to resolve to end it yourself (before you get traded in for another model, because you will) immediately

Leavenheath Sun 20-Oct-13 15:11:09

He doesn't want you to feel bad because then you'd pull the plug on it.

He knows damned well that a lot of women in your situation would feel bad and just can't make those sort of bargains. As Scary says, there'll probably be others who can. As you can see from him, people are able to twist all sorts of things to justify why they do what they want to.

Your little bargain to do what you wanted to was that it wasn't doing anyone or anything any harm. Now you've faced up to the unlikelihood of that and have acknowledged there's not much in this for you either, hopefully you can't deceive yourself any longer.

Wellwobbly Sun 20-Oct-13 15:31:05

Here's how you end it:

tell him that you being together makes you so happy and him happy also, and so you are going to tell his wife so she can be happy for you both.
very important to act dim and happy

You will not see him for dust!

meditrina Sun 20-Oct-13 15:37:27

As you can never rule out chance discovery, I hope you're keeping your CV up to date, and have skills transferable to other sectors if your reputation is wrecked beyond short-term fix in your current field.

Missbopeep Sun 20-Oct-13 17:40:18

Don't you think HE should be the one keeping his CV up to date?
Married, senior, 'taking advantage' of a younger and perhaps vulnerable woman?

ALittleStranger Sun 20-Oct-13 17:56:43

I think it's very unlikely that the OP could "trash" her reputation enough to not be employable in her sector! And if that were the case then we should all be a little outraged.

nooka Sun 20-Oct-13 19:24:11

Sector issues seem unlikely, but given the guy is senior to her and it's a small company I don't think that it is unreasonable to speculate that the OP may be at some risk employment wise if things end badly (for whatever reason). Not necessarily that she may be sacked but that she may find things made very uncomfortable.

Dietxokebreak Sun 20-Oct-13 22:05:36

It would be awkward and I wouldn't want people to know but i'm moving to another office next year so there's not much longer that i'll be around him anyway.

meditrina Sun 20-Oct-13 22:14:13

It's not a case of who "should" be keeping their CV up to date. It's a case of how it will work out - the junior one is the expendable one. And a reputation for shagging the boss (or similar) can haunt you for years, especially if it's a line of work where everyone knows everyone. It'll be career limiting as you will be typecast into the 'lightweight' category. It won't be the affair partner 'trashing' her reputation - it'll be everyone and their gossip that'll do that.

I agree that all that is wrong. But I doubt societal attitudes will have changed in time to help OP if discovered. Hence need for planning for a different career.

Diet forget the CV, forget all of that. You'll not get fired. Everyone is far too scared of a sexual harassment case to so much as threaten you with a disciplinary.

Perhaps just have a heart. Read the threads on here from women going through the discovery of their partner's affair. You can practically taste the pain. Read them all, and then read them again. Try and understand, just try.

Her DH is the one breaking his vows, but you don't have to make it quite so easy for him.

Chelsealady Sun 20-Oct-13 23:02:16

Would you see it as harmless if your partner was to cheat on you? I very much doubt it so why should you do it? I beleive on treating your partner how you wish them to treat you!

Dietxokebreak Sun 20-Oct-13 23:37:33

Chelsealady- if I knew about it of course I'd be hurt and it wouldn't be harmless. What I meant was whether it was possible that if an affair wasn't know about or ever discovered/disclosed that the innocent partner wouldn't be impacted in any way or whether there was always a change in behaviour/damage done to the relationship

Leavenheath Sun 20-Oct-13 23:41:20

So what are you going to do OP?

blueshoes Sun 20-Oct-13 23:44:07

meditrina, you are just scaremongering.

Wellwobbly Mon 21-Oct-13 07:43:27

flowers thanks
'Her DH is the one breaking his vows, but you don't have to make it quite so easy for him.' flowers thanks

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