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Anyone had an affair with a good outcome or is it always mayhem and destruction?

(108 Posts)
GoodGirlGoneBad74 Fri 16-Nov-12 10:09:33

Am feeling terribly confused right now. Don´t really want to go into why I´m asking this but conventional wisdom and the traditional view is that it´s the worst possible thing to "cheat" and have an affair and that it only leads to suffering, horror and pain.
Can anyone tell me otherwise? Have any of you had an affair and it´s had a happily ever after ending? Looking for experiences (good and bad) of those who´ve been there.
Any of you had an affair, enjoyed it, ended it and then carried on with their marriage without anyone finding out or slipping into an abyss of insane guilt?
All comments welcome and flame me if you´s all good therapy probably!

madmomma Tue 20-Nov-12 22:19:00

brycie I absolutely agree. It's shocking to hear a child's family being split discussed as if it's a matter of a few trivial arrangements.

I admire anyone who keeps their family together despite their own emotional lives being less than perfect. (excluding of course abusive relationships)

McBuckers Tue 20-Nov-12 11:21:31

I think a serious discussion about where we saw ourselves in a few years time and a bit more upfront honesty about situations and issue we would accept and not accept would have been beneficial.

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Tue 20-Nov-12 10:57:17

Perhaps before marrying, people like your husband and possibly me too, should be put through an aptitude test before any licence is issued! Some people are just better at commitment and "forever" than others. I think it´s all about personality type probably. Monogamy suits some, serial monogamy suits others and perhaps polygamy the rest of ´em!
All so much clearer in hindsight. Wish Apple and co would develop a Crystal iBall so we could all look ahead and avoid all this trouble!
Hope you soon start to feel better...and it´s a cliché but pretty sure it was "him and not you", so have faith that you will be loved again :-)

McBuckers Tue 20-Nov-12 10:43:21

I guess I didn't because not only did I love him but I thought that most marriages have ups and downs especially when you've got small children and no support network around you. It's easy to get sucked into the humdrum and not make the effort to enjoy being together as a couple.

I think my husband needed more excitement in his life, more things to look forward to, I think he may have felt like he was on a treadmill by the end and he chose to escape in the most destructive way possible. I'm not excusing his affairs, I'm just trying to understand what led to them. I think there's probably also something in the personality of cheaters that allows them to justify the hurt and suffering they cause to others by somehow offsetting it against their own personal happiness. My husband claimed he'd done nothing wrong "all I've done is fallen in love".

If he had simply left I would still be devastated but I don't think it would feel as bad as it does now - to put another person before his family and to lie and deceive me and his family has left my self esteem in tatters.

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Tue 20-Nov-12 10:26:04

Oh dear, McBuckers...sounds like you should have ditched him 1st! Sorry, being flippant and boy do I know that it is a lot more complex than it sounds! I´m sure in the long run though, you will find you are a lot happier without having to deal with all that crap from him.
I look back now and realise I just followed the path most travelled....husband, kids, mortgage, etc because it´s what you do and I didn´t have the strength or maturity to question any of it back then. Now I´m questioning everything whereas my husband is still totally convinced that it is what he wants...THAT is the huge problem. Wish to God we were on the same page sad

McBuckers Tue 20-Nov-12 10:10:53

I think you could be on to something with the high ideals and expectations. We all stand there saying "for better and for worse" but I don't think some people are quite prepared for the responsibility of marriage - even before kids come along.

All the arguments i had with my husband were about issues related to the nature of partnership and responsibility. My husband never thought he should have to tell me when he went out for a few beers after work, even when he came back at 3am. When the kids came along he resented having to use "his" money on family things, still went out til the wee hours 3 or 4 times a month, sometimes put less money in the joint account without telling me, never did his share of the chores etc etc.

I think he resented anything that impinged on his freedom and never fully appreciated what partnership and commitment were.

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Tue 20-Nov-12 09:48:12

Really sorry to hear your experiences on the receiving end. I suppose most "cheaters" don´t set out to cause hurt....they probably hope they will get away with it and never have to tell (except, of course, those who go heartlessly galavanting in London and leave ex´s with the kids ...grrrr!)
I just find myself questioning the whole state of marriage, commitment, etc at the moment. I was so traditional and conservative when we married, now I´m not convinced it´s a very successful practice all in all, if what all the stuff written here and elsewhere is anything to go by! We have such high ideals and expectations at the start and it seems like the majority find it disappointing. Not to say that for some people it isn´t a very happy state, but not sure they are in the majority at all.
The problem is coming up with a workable alternative....tricky one hmm

McBuckers Tue 20-Nov-12 08:27:47

The first time my husband strayed it felt like a physical pain that just wouldn't go away.

Now that he's left us to be with another woman he recently met at work I'd say it feels like a bereavement.

And what's worse is watching the effect it is having on the children and their behaviour.

I think what my husband did was incredibly selfish, he might be enjoying a "happy outcome" at the moment as he swans about London enjoying nights out, lie-ins and freedom, the outcome for us has been a lot less happy.

Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 08:00:01

" The om, however, has been wracked with guilt and a few days ago has put the relationship on hold until he can move out. It's not the physical side that he's guilty about but the lying and deceit. I believe him when he says that he wants to build our relationship on trust. "

Oh, so you started fucking did you? Imagine what his wife would feel reading that bunch of ass blowing. I am a deceived wife and I found it hugely hurtful! Has it not occurred to you that his M difficulties could also be down to him? And no, your relationship will never be built on trust, and statistically it has a 3% chance of working. I think he is thinking better of it and has gone back to his wife.

come on guys, affairs are WRONG.

GGGB, "DH has not made any real friends ... He just wants to do everything as a family or with me and I feel trapped, stifled and bored a lot of the time. Kids are not easy and weekends spent with just the 4 of us often end very miserably! " it is just incredibly how much this crops up, isn't it?

THIS is what was wrong with our marriage, and he was furious if ever I brought my dissatisfactions up, and f*cked OW to passive aggressively tell me how angry he was. Well, it wasn't true love was it, or he would still be with her instead of dumping her the minute I found out.
And filled her ear up with the same stuff Discretion has been lapping up. angry

Whatever wrong I did as a person, a woman and a wife, I did NOT deserve this level of pain and deceit.

Split up first, come on!

VoiceofUnreason Mon 19-Nov-12 08:50:36

I'm afraid I am with Yoga on this. If you get to the point where you are considering having a physical affair with someone, you either commit to working on the marriage/partnership 100% or bail out. Have the courage to treat your OH with some decency.

I once had a brief relationship with a woman which got very intense surprisingly quickly. We'd slept together a couple of times at my place when one morning she said she needed to tell me something. Turns out she was married (unhappily) with two small kids. She'd found assorted excuses for the three overnight stays. I was absolutely taken aback. I asked her to leave after a fairly short conversation (!) and had no communication with her again, much as she tried. I had absolutely no idea (no rings etc) and even though I knew nothing I felt guilty as hell.

Yogagirl17 Mon 19-Nov-12 08:29:26

I haven't read the whole thread, only the first couple of posts but:

a)If is horrible, selfish thing to do. There's no two ways about it. You are consciously choosing to lie, manipulate and hurt someone who trusts you. I don't care what your reasons are but if you tell yourself they make your affair ok you are only trying to justify it to yourself to make yourself feel better. Don't. You should feel like utter shit.
b)I don't think it matters if you are the married partner or the OW, it takes two people to make an affair happen and you are both making a conscious choice to do something you know is wrong. I don't really know why you're bothering to ask to be honest - are you really hoping someone on here is going to say there, there it's ok, don't you worry? It's just more attempts at self-justification. It's wrong. Face up to it and stop trying to pretend otherwise for even one tiny little second.
c)Don't say you "can't" end your existing relationship. That's just as much utter crap as trying to justify the affair. There is ALWAYS a choice. It might be a fucking hard choice to make, but it's still a choice. Again, just more attempts to justify doing something totally, morally bereft.

Discretionadvised Mon 19-Nov-12 06:38:34

The hard bit for me is stepping back from something athat has already become intense. Despite knowing rationally that is for the best doesn't make it hurt less when the OM does the sensible thing. Just want him so badly that it hurts having to wait whilst we put our lives in order. If Id known how much it would hurt then I would have wanted to wait. Sadly the luxury of hindsight isn't one I can have so now hurting and confused whilst the OM sorts his life out. Trying to give him space is killing me and Im not very good at it as so insecure and impulsive

cronullansw Sun 18-Nov-12 23:14:40

I was a serial adulterer, not one nighters, but more established affairs.

Then I met one who I thought was VERY special, we got close, we got careless, we got caught. DP then left and was going to try to take the DS, I realised at this point how much they both meant to me and we both managed to put it behind us and go forward.

it wasn't easy for a while, I did get reminded on many occasions with little verbal digs, but we did it, we moved on and 11 years later we are still super happy. On the other hand, DP is currently on an overseas trip and not answering the phone for the last 12 hours after going to a pub where they know a lot of people.... smile

Discretionadvised Sun 18-Nov-12 21:41:16

A flippant way of putting it. But in some the sentiment is true of the parents are unhappy. Not good for them either

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 21:39:20

kills meaning kids of course

i mean how can anyone even think along those lines! it's so callous

Brycie Sun 18-Nov-12 21:38:51

"small kids.... flexible, portable and more resilient than most people think"

oh my goodness, that's so casual


"small kills.... have to fit it with whatever you want at the time, easy to take from the other partner and you won't know what damage you've done until later"

Discretionadvised Sun 18-Nov-12 21:35:03

Interesting story rabbit. I did wonder how much of my feelings were due to the situation rather than him. However I am so head of heels (and hurting) at the moment that it doesn't feel like anything other than him.

I got no excitement from the lying, illicit meetings but have become a text addict. But did /do love being with him.

However the constantly wishing your were with some,es doing something else is horrid. Although that has begun to stop as dh and I separate an do the essential together only (kids)

rabbitonthemoon Sun 18-Nov-12 21:29:45

Well can an affair have a good outcome is a very difficult question. I had one. The outcomes were bad, for a long time and then came good again as in the end, after a very bad and hurtful mess, I met my husband. And that wouldn't have happened otherwise - life is a funny thing.

I was in an abusive relationship for 10 years. In the last year, I had an affair with someone from work who made me feel amazing. In hindsight, I should have ended my relationship first but I was scared and weak. To this day I am appalled at what I did. We didn't have children and weren't married but it was still a shitty, wretched thing to do to someone, even if they were pretty horrible to me. An affair really is like taking drugs in terms of not being able to stop. And it involves a lot of lying and wishing you were in a different place with a different person. The small highs of texts/emails/illicit meetings/kisses/tummy lurches/sex are entirely outweighed by feelings of guilt and panic at covering your tracks. Well, that is my story anyway. When my ex actually found out, it was the worst day ever and I have to purposely not ever think about it.

I quickly realised after my relationship inevitably broke down (in spite of trying to fix it) that when I was free to see my affair, I didn't love him at all. He was quite boring actually. And the magical sex went stale very quickly too.

Now I am in a happy place! But I regret what I did every single day. I feel for you that it has come to you having to ponder on this. But be careful. It won't be like you think.

Discretionadvised Sun 18-Nov-12 21:23:07

So who's the OM? I guess the hardest part for me is now feelings are involved having my emotional state completely dependent on someone else's. I guess no different to any full on early relationship.

Mines hard as I also work with him so see him everyday

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Sun 18-Nov-12 21:07:29

I think the problem is that he will cling on for dear life because he loves me and because being alone would terrify him. It would be pretty devastating for him :-( So you see why I considered an affair in the 1st place.... What he doesn't know, blah blah... But yes, if i had one and he found out ... 100 times worse!

MyLittleFireBird Sun 18-Nov-12 20:34:41

Wish I could do the " amicable split" thing but he won't be capable. It will be horrendous, messy and full of acrimony
I have always thought that knowing a split would be acrimonious is evidence it's probably a good idea. i.e. only a relationship with some healthy elements can split amicably

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:33:00

Oh and PS discretionadvised ... Good luck. Let us know what happens. I won't even attempt to give advice! What do I know? whichever way it works out though look forward and don't look back- it will all be fine in the long run- you've taken the decision and it sounds right. Never live with regrets :-))
That was advice, wasn't it? Oh well, just hoping it all goes fine for you xx

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:27:44

So, yes, the theory of doing the right thing is all fairly clearcut.... The practical though is that this is NOT a time in my life or my kids life when I can split - it isn't unbearable, I've lived this way for ages. I must try and feel committed to the relationship and make it work and this is why I am here..... The whole crux is that I find myself struggling terribly to really WANT to make it work and make the effort. What your head wants and what your heart wants are two different things sometimes!

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:20:35

Hi all :-)
You're right, mamaslatts - I guess I AM pretty lonely! Moved to my DH's country, had to learn lingo, unfriendly locals, 2 small kids without support network, blah blah... But hardest of all has been lack of social life! I have been the one who has gone out and made friends. It's usually through me that anything social gets arranged. DH has not made any real friends after 6 yrs here - his country but not the city he's from, you see. He just wants to do everything as a family or with me and I feel trapped, stifled and bored a lot of the time. Kids are not easy and weekends spent with just the 4 of us often end very miserably!
Oh oops, sorry, I am banging on with my sob story aren't I ?
Just want to escape this cage and perhaps this OM has just been a breath of fresh air for me!
Wish I could do the " amicable split" thing but he won't be capable. It will be horrendous, messy and full of acrimony as he's a pretty hot headed guy when upset :-(

Discretionadvised Sun 18-Nov-12 20:01:50

I have found this thread really helpful to read. Dh and I have been together for 14 years and have three young children. I posted my full story a couple of weeks ago but then asked to delete it as both I and the om were identifiable.

I have been unhappy for a number of years. Stayed for the kids etc etc. then a horrid accident tipped things over. Ever since I tried to make it work but felt increasingly wanting out. Two months ago I became involved with another unhappy man who was desperate to get out of his relationship but staying for daughter. A affair began and emotions most definitely involved. It has been the catalyst for me to end my marriage and the process has started with dh moving out after Christmas.

I feel deep,guilt about the effect of splitting up on my kids but not about the affair. I was unhappy. The om, however, has been wracked with guilt and a few days ago has put the relationship on hold until he can move out. It's not the physical side that he's guilty about but the lying and deceit. I believe him when he says that he wants to build our relationship on trust.

I respect him for this and know its the right thing but hurting so terribly much. I feel sick. I have fallen for him completely and utterly and never felt like this before. I am prepared to wait but terrified of losing him. Either way my marriage is over and that's good. I want him so badly it hurts. We both hope to have a future together and I have to trust him. He says stepping back will expedite moving out. I guess I won't know whether there can be a happy ending until that happens. Meanwhile hurting and having to remind myself constantly that this is the right way to do it. My rational side knows if its meant to be then e can both wait, my feelings though are in turmoil.

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