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having an affair, need to stop but don't know how

(302 Posts)
howdiditcometothis12 Fri 03-Feb-12 18:33:16

The title says it all really. I know that many people post on threads here about their DH/DW having an affair, so I apologise if I offend or upset anyone, it isn't intended. I suppose I would like to hear from women who have been in a similar situation and how they handled it, but all views are welcome. I'm prepared for a complete flaming, I know I deserve it. Everything is just such a mess at the moment, I'm confused and I feel sick.

DH & I have been together for 10 years, married for 4. We're both 30 years old and we have no children. Our relationship is generally good, but we miss out on a lot of quality time together as we work opposite shifts. This can mean that we're sometimes quite moody with one another due to tiredness and our sex life is affected, sometimes we can go months without having sex. I also miss affection, DH freely says that hes not a naturally 'touchy feely' person, but I am. Despite this, DH is kind, sweet and funny and I love him. I would never leave him and not a day goes by that I ever regret marrying him.

About 2 years ago I moved to a new department at work. OM already worked there. We just had a normal working relationship. However about 8 months ago we were paired up for a work project and had to spend many hours in one another's company. We ended up becoming close friends, but as we opened up to one another, I found myself becoming attracted to him and we were quite flirty with each other. I know I should have stopped it there and then but I honestly thought that it was just a silly crush, two friends mucking about, and that it would all stop once the work project was over. Once it finished and the intense daily contact was over, I thought I was right. But then about four months ago we had a work do, at the end of the night there was just me and OM left and we ended up kissing, then I went home (alone). I was mortified the next day and swore to myself nothing would happen again. But within a few weeks there had been another kissing incident, then another time we ended up having sex. I should have seen it coming really. The guilt was awful and I was disgusted in myself. I decided not to confess to DH as I know he'd leave me immediately, and I thought that the terrible guilt was punishment enough. I also promised myself that I'd never be so stupid to let myself get into a situation like this again.

Fast forward to now, and you've guessed it, I'm having a full blown affair with this man. We don't contact each other at home in case our partners are around and so keep contact to work only, but arrange to meet about once a week for sex. I'm ashamed to say that I like the attention, the ego boost and the sex. I tell myself that every time is the last time but it never is. He's like a magnet that I can't stay away from. I can't believe that my life has come to this, I've never strayed before and am usually so shy and reserved, people who know me would be horrified if they knew. It feels like OM has brought out a side to me that I never knew existed and I have no idea who I am anymore. Its not all good though, I'm painfully aware that OM is just using me for sex, he has no emotions involved at all. This hurts, but he's never lied to me or tried to make out that its something its not.

I just don't know what to do anymore. I want it to stop, I want to get my relationship with DH back to how it was. It would be easier to cut all ties with OM if we didn't work together but there is no chance of moving jobs in my industry at the moment. I keep telling him its over but then I am weak and I go back. I don't know how to change this.

How do I live with DH knowing what I've done? Do I confess? He would definitely leave me if he knew and my world would fall apart. But then thats my own doing isn't it? Maybe its what I deserve. sad

Lizzabadger Fri 03-Feb-12 18:53:32

Tell your husband so he can make an informed decision whether he wants to stay with you or not (probably not).

RockinD Fri 03-Feb-12 18:57:15

What you do may depend who knows about this. Assuming you have been as discreet as you think, tell the OM again that it's finished and this time stick to it. Go home, pick up the threads and never mention it again, to anyone.

Least said, soonest mended.

It takes some nerve to carry that off, but it can be done.


howdiditcometothis12 Fri 03-Feb-12 19:01:30

Lizza that would be the right thing to do. He definitely wouldn't stay with me though, I know that.

rockin nobody knows at all. Our colleagues are oblivious and I've not told a soul, like I said my family and friends would be horrified and disgusted - and quite rightly so. This thread is actually the first time I've admitted to myself that what I've been doing these last few months has been an affair

I know I need to end it with OM. But whether I have the nerve to keep it from DH forever, I'm not sure yet.

KatieScarlett2833 Fri 03-Feb-12 19:03:25

How do you feel about the OM?

Mum1369 Fri 03-Feb-12 19:04:15

You sound like you are quite sure your husband will never find out. You do say that losing hm would be devastating. You need to realise that it is a distinct possibility that he will find out, more likely the longer it goes on. Try and put yourself in the position of what would happen if he did, how he would feel, how you would feel, how in laws and siblings, parents, friends would feel, what would happen to your house, your stability, your day to day life. If you can look at all that and still believe this 'magnetism' is working it's magic I would suggest you are kidding yourself. You are doing it because you enjoy it and are getting away with it, that's not a realistic situation. I can understand how you feel, i just think if you are truly not prepared to lose everything you have, then you have to end it now, and do whatever it takes to distance yourself and ensure (not only that) it never happens again, but also there is no chance of DH finding out. May not be morally correct, but I don't think that's what you were asking. If you end it and get away with it, just thank all your lucky stars.

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 19:06:38

I guess this is par for the course for cheating. What a pile of poo. Honestly. Why are you acting as if you belong in a soap opera? You are a woman of 30 with responsibilities both at home and at work. And here you are coming on like Anna Karenina. My new theory about affairs is that people get together because they've found one another person who can take such nonsense seriously.

fiventhree Fri 03-Feb-12 19:08:41

I dont think you have alot of faith in your husband. Nobody likes to hear a man say he would never tell- really he is just thinking about himself. I suppose at least you are open about that.

Why not tell him, and use the experience, if he will let you, to have a complete relationship overhaul.

Then you wont just be brushing the affair or the problems which led to it under the carpet.

biggestregret Fri 03-Feb-12 19:09:46

I disagree. I did the same thing as you Howdidit. Similar set up, similarly lovely husband, similarly stupid set of mistakes. I never told my husband, ended the affair and had to speak to a counsellor as I couldn't handle the guilt. She advised me not to tell my DH as all it would do would transfer some of my pain to him and he was blameless. Instead I worked on my 'issues' with self confidence and needing attention (albeit the wrong sort). Told myself I had a lucky escape and worked on my marriage only to find myself in another depressive pit 2 years later and left my husband rather suddenly. He was bamboozled as were friends and family and still no-one knows my guilty secret. Looking back though I can see the marriage wasn't going to last - not with me and all my baggage. I screwed him up and me up but I still think not telling him was right. Just take time to think this through. Stop seeing the OM, take some time away from married life and work life (if that is possible) and think about what you really want. Not what you think everyone one else thinks, but you. And if you can find one friend to confide in then be brave and do it. OK you have made a mess of this, but you need some help to get through it otherwise you are no use to anyone. I won't flame you. I think it takes guts to say what you have said. I really hope you find your way. By the way, I moved on eventually and met another lovely person and had a very surprise baby. I still regret what I did, but I did it and none of us are perfect. I learnt along the way that I am responsible for my own actions but I am not responsible for others' lives. My ex husband deserved better than me and I hope he finds it. Hugs x

mrsravelstein Fri 03-Feb-12 19:13:17

i really don't understand why you'd stay with your husband, or why you say you'd never leave him. You haven't got kids. The marriage clearly isn't working out, since you're feeling starved of affection/sex and seeing someone else. Honestly, just leave, you're only 30, you've got no reason to stay with dh if you're being unfaithful and you know he wouldn't stick around if he knew.

Hattytown Fri 03-Feb-12 19:14:01

It's interesting that you say the only need your H doesn't meet is affection and there was therefore an inference that this is what attracted you to the OM and say he's just using you for sex and has no emotions invested in you. You also say yourself that you like the sex, the attention and the ego boost.

This has therefore got nothing to do with your husband or your relationship with him. This is all about you and your issues.

So I'd end it with the OM and stick to it, going complete no contact. Then go to see a counsellor on your own and try to sort out those issues within yourself.

something2say Fri 03-Feb-12 19:21:46

Biggest regret, that was a good post imo.

My advice to the op is as follows.

I recently had a few dates with a man after ending a relationship with another man. The new man, well I had cause to go home and get all dressed up, and went out in the dark, somewhere I didn't know, and talked about myself honestly and listened to another. It was a lovely few dates.

I thought, 'Gosh I hadn't realised what I had been missing!!!'

Therein lies the crux of my advice. You are in a 10 year relationship. I bet it gets stale. Find a way to change that and bring the magic back.

I'm sorry you have to live with the guilt tho. I once slept with a man while on holiday but had a longterm guy at home. I told him after about 2 weeks because it was in my mouth all the time. The truth was, he wasn't for me and I was scared to admit that. I had grown to think him a fool. If you still admire and respect your partner, try and keep it alive.

I think life is going to be like this at times and we want the longterm thing, we have to find ways to keep the magic alive, espesh after that early years with kids time (not that I have kids, just saying.)

Good luck to you. Gather thy threadbare cloak of dignity about thee!

howdiditcometothis12 Fri 03-Feb-12 19:27:16

katie I think I am infatuated with the OM, but I am not in love with him.

mum you're right, I'm pretty sure at the moment that DH would never know, but you hear all the time about people getting lazy with covering their tracks the longer that the affair goes on. I honestly mean it when I saw I'd be devastated if DH caught me, if he has to know I'd rather I told him myself.

nkf I actually sort of agree with you - its pathetic.

five yes, maybe I could tell him in order to wipe the slate clean. But it wouldn't be to ease my guilt as I suspect I'd still feel just as bad, and would also now need to deal with the added guilt of hurting DH. I'm struggling with whether it would be kinder not to tell him at all.

biggest thank you for being so honest. I completely identify with the 'self confidence and needing attention' issues. Glad to hear that you were able to deal with this eventually. Yes maybe I should confide in my best friend, she'd hate what I've done but I'm sure she'd still support me. To be honest, the whole reason I think I started this thread was in response to the fact that I've had no one to talk this through with the whole time. I know now that its time to end it, I suppose I just needed to talk to someone about it to make it seem more 'real' and have some sense talked into me, if that makes sense.

howdiditcometothis12 Fri 03-Feb-12 19:35:45

mrsravel I see where you're coming from but I love DH, and at the moment I really want to work things out with him. Leaving him is not an option for me at the moment.

hatty the OM is very affectionate when we're together, which obviously I do enjoy, but I'm pretty sure this is all a show to make sure he still gets his weekly shag. I'm actually starting to hate him. You're right, I must have issues. I just never realised it until I got myself into this situation. Seeing a councillor could be a good idea, as I need to sort myself out and be sure that nothing like this will ever happen again.

Thanks for the advice something, I agree that our relationship may have gone stale, taking each other for granted, etc. Despite this, I am 100% confident that he would never cheat on me. But then I bet he'd say the same about me sad

biggestregret Fri 03-Feb-12 19:44:31

You sound more positive already. Speak to your best friend. As you have shown yourself, we all have secrets and skeletons and not everyone will judge you as harshly as you think.

I look back now and can see that I thought I had it all - good job, nice husband married, nice house. Or I had what I thought I should have in a 'perfect' life. But internally something wasn't right - hence the going off the rails bit. You need time for yourself. I have come out the other side and I although I regret the affair bitterly, it is part of me - good and bad. I won't be doing it again. I would quite like to cut the ex-OM's bollox off though just for good measure wink

biggestregret Fri 03-Feb-12 19:46:10

PS thank you something2say

nizlopi Fri 03-Feb-12 19:52:27

I feel really bad for your poor husband.

ClaraSage Fri 03-Feb-12 20:10:02 too!
Poor lad.

Blabbers Fri 03-Feb-12 20:13:58

Just to say you're not the only one and that you're doing better than me. I'm over a year into it and know I should end it but don't want to. I know it's not right.

End it but don't tell your husband. This was your affair, so you should deal with the guilt. Don't try and make you feel better by sharing it. If you're sure it was a mistake and that you're not going to do it again, then you will gain nothing by telling him. You need to deal with why you did it and the guilt either by yourself or with the help of counselling. But he will not thank you for downloading all the details to him. He will thank you for turning your attentions back to your marriage.

Well done for recognising that it needs to end.

Hattytown Fri 03-Feb-12 20:17:07

What I would discourage you from doing is reaching any conclusions about what this means about your marriage OP, because it doesn't look from what you're saying as if it's got anything to do with why you're having an affair. I'm sensing you're clued-up enough to realise that some people in your situation go hunting for non-existent dissatisfactions in order to justify what they are doing and sometimes friends (and other posters) will try to tell you that there must be something wrong at home for you to do this. Let's face it, most marriages would benefit from a bit of a shake-up every now and then, but that doesn't mean they are so bad that it justifies cheating.

I'd be very careful about confiding in your friend. You are giving her a hell of a burden and she might also want to give you 'marital excuses' rather than acknowledging that you're like a lot of people who have affairs - doing so because you could and because there seemed to be a very low risk of being found out, especially as the OM is also attached. I'd suggest you see the affair like that yourself and put a stop to hating or blaming the OM. He's behaving just the same as you isn't he? You're both using eachother and I can't see why you'd hate one another? There should be no more shame attached to a woman having a fairly meaningless affair than is attributed to a man. So don't get into a dangerous game of feeling more shame because you're a woman and re-packaging this affair as being a woman-in-love-who-was-spurned-by-a-cruel-man. It is what it is and the best thing is to take responsibility for it.

EnjoyResponsibly Fri 03-Feb-12 20:26:25

End it with OM. Instead of meeting him for your weekly affectionless snags, use the time to see a counsellor. Decide what you really want from life. Until you know, keep schtum.

Teaandcakeplease Fri 03-Feb-12 20:26:30

My ExH cheated on me, I always told myself if he ever cheated I'd leave him, but actually when it all came out, I wanted to work through things and waited 5 months for him to come to his senses, he didn't, but I truly wanted nothing more than to fix things.

I know I'm a woman and not a man, but for me it was a relief to know why things in our marriage had been so odd and to know what was going on, so we could work on things. What I'm trying to say in a round about way is, he may not necessarily leave you. But that is just my opinion, based on my own limited experience.

There is a great book that is always recommended on threads similar to this by Shirley Glass, called Not Just Friends. It's a book on how to repair your marriage after infidelity. It is a good book, as I read it myself at the time. Whatever you decide to do, the book is worth a read imo. Good luck.

Lizzabadger Fri 03-Feb-12 21:00:02

Would you want to stay married to your husband if he were having an affair?

TooEasilyTempted Fri 03-Feb-12 21:16:19

You're kidding yourself if you think your colleagues don't know what's going on.

howdiditcometothis12 Fri 03-Feb-12 22:06:38

lizza I would be absolutely devastated if I found out my husband was having an affair, I can't say if I'd want to stay married to him or not but I know I'd feel like all our time together has been tainted. He's always said how anti-cheating he is (and believe it or not, I used to say the same thing), and I just can't see how he would forgive this. He's a very proud man.

tooeasily why do you think our colleagues would know? We've certainly never told anyone and I don't believe that we act any differently in the workplace now than we did before.

hatty yes I do need to take responsibility for what I've done. Its my mess and I need to fix it.

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