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I have been letting this bloke string me along for nearly a year now, and I just don't know why I am allowing it to happen.

(81 Posts)
DreamStory Fri 12-Oct-12 10:08:36

I feel like such a fool.

I am married. He is married. We both settled down very young and are now in our late 30's. We have 5 primary school aged children between us.

We used to work together and gradually became very good friends. I was never physically attracted to him when we first met.

Over time, we became very close and it was obvious to both of us that if things were different, we could be very happy together.

Physically, we have never taken things any further than kissing. Indeed, since I have moved departments we very rarely see each other at all, but do keep in touch on a daily basis.

I would love to see him again, but we seem to be going round in circles. He talks about how much he misses me, and how often he thinks about me, but as soon as I suggest meeting up he goes quiet. So then I back off a bit, keep the chit-chat more casual until eventually he starts to talk about how he would "love to see me but......"

He has always been a very loyal and devoted family man, so the whole thing was very unexpected really. He says that he will never do anything to jeopardise his family's happiness, but yet he his happy to stay up late nearly every night texting me, telling me I'm special, and umming & ahhing about meeting up.

I expect that I am going to get crucified for this on here, but I just can't help how I feel. The dawning realisation that I would be quite prepared to take this relationship further given half a chance has hit me like a ton of bricks. I never thought that I would be capable of that.

In a way, a part of me is grateful to him for not allowing me to do that. I'm sure that many blokes would have let me chuck my marriage away by now. He is far too kind and decent for that (but of course, this just makes me like him more).


CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 12-Oct-12 10:20:16

Yes, you'll get flamed but I'm going to say 'don't beat yourself up'. You wouldn't be human if you didn't respond to a bit of flattery and at least you've had the good sense to realise that you've been used before things got too much out of hand. He's made it clear he's no intention of leaving his wife so it's going nowhere. He isn't kind and decent, therefore, he's just a user. I know a few 'devoted family men' that are just like this on the QT... illicit thrills without any real commitment. Sorry to bust your bubble but you're basically a good value sex chat line when you probably think it's 'love'.

If this is a work contact it's probably a good idea to change job completely, delete him from the phone and make all other efforts to get him out of your life. At the same time, take a hard look at your marriage. Is it over really? Could you work on it? Those are the things to really look at.

aleene Fri 12-Oct-12 10:26:50

You know the truth of this man - he is stringing you along. You need to go cold turkey, no more contact. That will take the rosy glow off it and you will be able to think clearly.

DreamStory Fri 12-Oct-12 10:29:07

Thank you smile

I think most of what you say, is probably right.

I don't really know what he gets out of it anymore though. Initially, I think he was responding to that same human desire for attention and flattery.

But then he woke up to the consequences and tried to knock it on the head long before I did.

So why was that not the end? He doesn't get sex (or indeed any sexual texts) from me. We just chat about our lives and talk about how much we miss each other.

Now, I know why I do this - because I want to see him. Why on earth does he do it?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 12-Oct-12 10:31:55

It's still attention and flattery. It's what they call an 'emotional affair'... getting affirmation and so on from a secret friend rather than a partner.

cupcake78 Fri 12-Oct-12 10:33:09

He's a devoted family man hmm. That's why he tells you he misses you hmm.

Sorry but he is not a devoted family man and yes he seems to be doing it to get his own kicks. He's not as nice as you think he is! A devoted family man who cares about his wife and kids does not pursue other women.

solidgoldbrass Fri 12-Oct-12 10:34:41

Well, he probably likes chatting with you and considers you a friend. And because there's no sexy texting going on and you have not actually touched each other There, he probably also considers that you are 'just friends' and he isn't doing anything wrong.
Unfortunately, while you haven't really done anything wrong either (no sexy texting, no bonking) you are starting to get unhealthily obsessed with him, so for your own sake it's best just to cut contact. Don't make a big deal out of it and give him formal notice that you are Recommitting to Your Marriage or anything like that, it will make you look like a prat; just stop texting him.

Then have a think about whether your marriage is worth saving, and if it isn't, start working out how to end it as kindly and cleanly as possible. Best of luck.

DreamStory Fri 12-Oct-12 10:52:41

I think part of the problem is that we must both be getting different things out of our relationship.

This is going to sound crap in the extreme written down, but bear with me.

I am basically, a lot better looking than he is. For me, he is the first person I have ever been attracted to 100% based on personality and how well we get on together. I never thought that I could feel sexual attraction to someone based on that. It is a huge surprise. My husband was the school heart throb and I fancied him long before I ever spoke to him!

Conversely, for him, it would appear that I am probably the most attractive person that has ever paid him any attention in this way. He looks at me with such pain in his eyes. He says it's like his lottery numbers have finally come up, but now he's lost the ticket.

Consequently, I think the big problems are all mine. He might not be as kind & decent as I think he is, but he is the one who is prepared to put his family first whilst I am somewhere away with the fairies sad.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 12-Oct-12 10:58:55

Wow... you have hidden shallows... If you've discovered, in the course of this affair, that the real problem is that Mr Teenage Heartthrob 1990 is as dull as ditchwater, then that's the problem to fix. Either by telling the poor guy that it's all over or working out ways to find him more interesting.

DreamStory Fri 12-Oct-12 11:01:43

Wow indeed.

"Mr Teenage Heartthrob 1990 is a dull as ditchwater"...........I couldn't have put it better myself.

But I have built a life and a family with this man which I just cannot see a way out of.

New man is witty, intelligent, thoughtful. Everything that dh is not.

DreamStory Fri 12-Oct-12 11:03:05

And the hidden shallows..... yes, and it is new man that has made me realise this and opened my eyes to life.

That's why the attraction to him is so strong, I guess.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 12-Oct-12 11:07:32

It's strong because you're as big a user as he is! Must give your ego a massive boost luring this guy in with your amazing beauty hmm - who I am almost starting to feel sorry for but you're both as bad as each other.

The 'way out' of this is honesty. Facing up to the truth.

geegee888 Fri 12-Oct-12 11:10:19

He's a coward, and a user. A nice little quiet wife at home that bores him and you to keep him excited, without too much effort on his part. The curse of good looks - you get "decent" men behaving like this around you, thinking they are doing you a favour by "behaving well". Bloody pains in the arse.

As for you, people change. Its not a crime. Do what makes you happy. But it doesn't sound like this cowardly man is doing so.

lubeybooby Fri 12-Oct-12 11:14:51

Being attractive means fuck all. I feel sorry for the bloke expected to feel grateful that someone better looking than him likes him - wtf.

And you are throwing your toys out the pram because you haven't entirely won him over.

It sounds like your marriage is pretty dead but this OM's isn't.

Leave him alone and sort your own life and marriage out so you can meet someone available who isn't dull

DreamStory Fri 12-Oct-12 11:18:20

Yep, Cog - that is exactly what I did.

He would never have had the confidence to start flirting with or teasing me back in the beginning.

But he was only too happy to respond.

I don't know why I did it. The 'buzz' was just too good to turn down maybe? Dh is not one for affection in any way (physical or emotional) and OM gave me this in spades.

I never banked on falling for him in the way I have though. And I certainly never banked on realising how different a relationship can be when it is based on personality instead of looks.

So it has all backfired on me quite spectacularly, and I am not quite sure where I go from here.

dippyeggs Fri 12-Oct-12 11:22:25

All I can say is, I understand. You're human. But if you possibly can, and you really must try.. sort out your marriage, as Cogito and Lubey etc say. Stop, take a deep breath and some space and time away from the distraction of flirting and see if you can still live your own life. Easier said than done. Good luck.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 12-Oct-12 11:24:55

If you are in a loveless, affection-free, emotionless marriage then deal with it maturely and constructively. Yes, it's difficult to stand up and say 'this needs fixing or I want out' because, if it can't be fixed, people are going to get hurt, lives are going to get changed and all the rest. Doing nothing is not a solution because you're clearly dissatisfied with your life. Throwing yourself at a married man is not the answer either because that just kicks the stone further down the road & also means you risk making another family as miserable as yours.

DreamStory Fri 12-Oct-12 11:27:37

As I have learnt the hard way sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 12-Oct-12 11:49:39

So what are you going to do? Assuming the OM is now well and truly out of the picture and given that 'doing nothing' is not an option....

DreamStory Fri 12-Oct-12 11:55:02

I wish I knew.

As I say, all this has been going on for almost a year now.

Over that time, I have been going round and round in circles of trying to re- focus on my marriage and then getting sucked back in to texting the OM.

I am trying to cling on to the hope that I only feel this way about dh because of what has happened with OM.

But somewhere deep down, I think I now the truth is that the OM thing only happened because I feel this way about dh.

It's a bit 'chicken and egg', and I thought that if I 'gave it time' I would find some clarity in my own head. But as I say, nearly a year and there is no sign of me finding the answer.

Dozer Fri 12-Oct-12 11:58:57

This is all a fantasy, you have fallen for a fantasy of his personality, the side of himself he's shown you, and the ego boost (your looks etc), it's just not real! You don't really know him at all.

You are just wallowing in the drama, excitement, sexual tension and "what might be". Even setting aside your H, If you care about your DC you need to get a grip, cut contact with OM and sort out your real life.

Say you did both leave and got together, or your H found out about the (current, emotional/kissing) affair and ended your relationship, reality would be pretty hard. Angry, hurt exes and (entirely innocent but had their lives devastated) DC, financial issues, custody issues, practical issues, social disapproval in and outside work, step-parenting DC who would hate you etc etc.

Hardly a fun, sexy prospect. OM clearly wants none of it, he just thinks he can enjoy the attention/sexual thrills and, if caught, say to his wife "it was only kissing". Is total rubbish and a standard line about "if things were different we could be great together", you just can't know and chances are you wouldn't!

oM will have flaws like the next person (he's hardly treating you or his wife or DC well right now for a start), you just don't know what they are yet, apart from that he's someone happy to cheat on his wife, string you along, and put himself before her and his DC.

If you really, really don't want to be with your DH, fine, find a way to leave in some way and at some time that hurts him and the DC as little as possible, eg no other parties involved until everyone is used to the new situation etc. Get legal and financial information and think it all through. But if you think there is a brighter future with this OM, or indeed any other bloke who appeals because he seems exciting and different, you need to get real.

solidgoldbrass Fri 12-Oct-12 12:04:09

Hmm. When you say your H doesn't do affection, are you describing a man who is sort of neutral around you, ie might chat in passing about his day or what's in the news but never pays you compliments or wants to discuss emotions, or are you with a man who is actively negative towards you, whether that's completely ignoring you or constantly criticising you?
If your marriage is actively bad, then this other chap is not the answer but he's been the transitional factor in showing you that your marriage is bad and you need to get away. However, it's generally not a good idea to expect a new relationship to be the answer to your problems and subconsciously you probably know that, because you've picked a man who is basically unavailable to you - one who likes you but who has no intention of leaving his wife for you or even risking his comfortable marriage by shagging you.

QuintessentialShadows Fri 12-Oct-12 12:04:18

"he is the first person I have ever been attracted to 100% based on personality and how well we get on together."

Personality eh?
Get on with, chuckle?

But he is married, and so are you, so I can see how well you fit together...

You have a cheating heart in common, for one! And if you are attracted to a man who can string another woman along (because he likes the thought of an attractive face gagging for him) then more fool you!

FangsGoForTheMaidensThroat Fri 12-Oct-12 12:05:23

"He says that he will never do anything to jeopardise his family's happiness, but yet he his happy to stay up late nearly every night texting me, telling me I'm special, and umming & ahhing about meeting up"

He is not "kind and decent"", he sounds like a creep.

Dozer Fri 12-Oct-12 12:10:47

As sgb says, if your marriage is bad or your DH not good to you, you have options.

but chasing this OM isn't a good one.

Taking an entirely different angle, chasing someone and having to persuade them to be with you, even for a meet-up, is unlikely to lead to true love and is demeaning and undignified!

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