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Can a "good guy" ever cheat on his wife?

(299 Posts)
confusionoftheillusion Tue 22-Jan-13 15:15:08

I met a guy last summer and became friends. Had a drunken kiss in November. Since then have been meeting once/twice a week. 

Both married and recently have started to talk in detail about the problems we both have at home. He is talking about wanting to be with me, as in leave his wife and be with me together as a couple. I think he is wonderful in so many ways but also think that if he is that comfortable cheating on his wife he must be a bit of a dick. We haven't slept together but that is due to me being pretty upfront about the fact I wouldn't do that. I am also aware that me cheating on my husband makes me a not great person either. 

As always the situations either side are not quite as straightforward as we would like. 

I feel an awful lot for this man. However I am so conscious that we are having an affair so it's not the real world. How would I ever know if it would work in the real world? And is there ever a time when a 'decent' man has an affair? I feel that he is a "good guy" but then logically I think that he can't be as he is lying to his wife. 

parttimer79 Wed 23-Jan-13 09:01:20

Right, I'm going to put my head above the parapet here.
My current DP and I got together after exit affairs on both our parts.
Do I think this brands us as terrible people, bad sons/daughters, bad friends? No.
Do I think it is a shitty thing to do, done only by people who need to take a good hard look at themselves, their ideas of what is acceptable in a relationship and whether they put their own needs ahead of the needs of others. Yes,yes I do.
It has taken a lot of counselling, time and work to get to a point we can both see this so if this looks like the shiny happy option, trust me it is not.
We now have a very strong, honest relationship, very different to the marriages we were both in before but I would far rather havegot here without hurting other people.
My advice would be stop getting caught up in the star crossed lovers thing. Decide if your marriage is sustainable, with or without OM as a safety net and then act. Affairs prolong a state of indecision where you feel like you have to take no responsibility for your actions.
Sorry for the essay btw.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Wed 23-Jan-13 09:27:30

You can delete his number. Can you identify what's stopping you?

confusionoftheillusion Wed 23-Jan-13 09:35:32

parttimer thanks for your real life post. You're right. I know I'm being totally selfish here. I need to end it. I am seeing him tomorrow so will have the conversation then. It has to be done.

hotdamn - what is stopping me from deleting his number? The feeling of emptiness at having no contact with him and going back to my boring marriage with a man I admire greatly as a parent but not a man I see a long happy future for myself with. My husband is a good man but he doesn't have enough to interest me for the next 50 years I don't think.

I would have to delete his number though. The temptation would be too great otherwise.

justarandomguy Wed 23-Jan-13 09:47:25

@confusionoftheillusion - Do I want to end it, honestly no.
How did I end up in it? initially I thought it just happened then I began to wonder why and Charbon's analysis of how affairs can happen has confirmed what I was thinking. I'm not going to disclose on here what that is but I think it is connected to an external event.

MegaClutterSlut Wed 23-Jan-13 10:14:01

sorry haven't read the whole thread but op if you are unhappy in your marriage why don't you end it and find someone (not OM) who can make you happy?

So many people get hurt when affairs are found out (which they always do in the end)

In your op it's clear you would never trust OM even if you two were to become a couple and no he is not a good guy, he is betraying his wife and kids (if he has them) but then so are you. I know I wouldn't have 100% trust if my relationship was started by an affair so it wouldn't work from the get go imo

MummyIsMagic79 Wed 23-Jan-13 10:17:37

Confusion of the Illusion - search my posts/threads and see what you are doing to everyone involved.

You're not friends with his wife by any chance are you?

MarilynValentine Wed 23-Jan-13 10:27:30

I think the issue here is the DV.

Forget about agonising over the affair for a bit. You 'greatly admire' your DH but he attacked you. It was after that you began your affair.

You are hiding from the enormity of what happened (an isolated incident *so far*) in the arms of your OM, who you don't really trust.

Your H was violent towards you but seems less affected by it than you are.

Your OM is being unfaithful, just as you are, but seems less affected by it than you are.

Neither of these men are in sync with you, there is a disconnect, a lack of empathy, feeling.

I think you need to focus on that fact that your husband attacked you. Why are you minimising it? It wasn't ok.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Wed 23-Jan-13 10:37:14

It's interesting that you are asking whether a man who is willing to have an affair can be a "good man", one you can trust in a relationship. Instead of asking whether a man who is willing to attack his wife can be a "good man", one you can trust in a relationship.

Is it fear of being single, confusion? You want to be certain that you can transition straight into another relationship before you take steps to end your current one?

Don't be afraid of being single.

Being single is a wonderful strengthening process, in which you discover who you really are, and what you really want (and deserve). It is a great thing to do in between relationships.

scaevola Wed 23-Jan-13 11:00:24

Interesting question, hot can a good man make a bad mistake in having a singe violent outburst? What weight can ever be put on seemingly genuine attempts to make up (not putting a foot wrong since then etc). And, in thhis case, what made it happen? OP says she had already met OM, so perhaps she had made more of a perceptible shift away than she realises.

OP: if you think my question is fluent bollocks: do you also think that he is a danger to you because the DV makes him irretrievably no longer a "good guy"? For DV is different to an affair because of the immediate physical danger. And you need to prioritise your safety above all else.

MarilynValentine Wed 23-Jan-13 11:08:36

scaevola - agree that the OP needs to put her safety first.

But let's be clear, what 'made' the DV happen was NOT the OP's fault/caused by any behavioural shifts on her part. The reason her H was violent was due to inadequacies/issues inherent in him.

I'm sure you didn't mean it to sound like that but just wanted to make that clear for the OP. Sorry if I misinterpreted you.

Charbon Wed 23-Jan-13 13:31:53

Right, so it's becoming clear that the relationship with the OM was never built on an ordinary friendship that changed into something else. It was always built on sexual attraction so it was an affair in your heads the moment you met. I think you need to acknowledge that because I get the sense that you think the affair actually started some time later, which is why you're insistent that the DV occurred 'before anything had happened' with the OM. Something had already happened with the OM though. Just because the mutual attraction was unspoken and not acted upon, makes no difference.

What usually happens is that as soon as someone else has taken up occupation in your head, the process of withdrawal and distance from the existing relationship starts in earnest.

When the DV incident occurred, was there anything else going on in your husband's life? You say you were both drunk, so was this violence connected to drink on his part and has aggressive drunkenness been a problem in the past? In other words, was this behaviour completely atypical?

I think the only connection between this incident and your affair is that it became part of your permission-giving process to move the affair on to the next stage. That might sound very calculating, but when ostensibly 'good' people have affairs they usually need to have a rationale for doing something they instinctively know is wrong. Sometimes it's consequence focused (this doesn't have to hurt him/her and he'll never find out.) Sometimes (especially in previously good marriages) it's engineered so the disharmony and negative reactions from a partner are purely the product of the affair, but the gap is created that is necessary to act. Sometimes it's a bit of both. In marriages that have always had problems, previous incidents are resurrected and magnified and given far greater significance than they were at the time.

DV is at the extreme end of the scale and would for many, be relationship- ending in its own right. The problem for you is that the affair has impacted your judgement about it.

There are likely to be competing pulls going on here.

Had you not been having an affair and not felt some guilt about that, you might have decided this was the death knell to a marriage devoid of sexual chemistry. But your affair and guilt might have prolonged a marriage that should have ended there and then.

Then having stayed in the marriage, the DV became a permissible reason to do something that you would have done anyway i.e. progressed the affair.
I think you might need to be very honest with yourself about that. If it wasn't the DV, it would have been something else.

If you're going to end it with the OM, make it final. Any suggestions that there might be future scope if your marriages end is effectively signing those marriages' death warrants. If it's easy to avoid the OM, this really is about going cold turkey and permanently deleting any means of contact. It will require great willpower and it's likely you'll need some other prop such as your own counselling to get you through it.

Charbon Wed 23-Jan-13 13:37:40

By the way, I'd advise against seeing the OM in person when you end it. The tearful farewell kisses just add to the drama and are unnecessary and indulgent.

You should also ask him to respect the no-contact rule and insist he doesn't contact you and put his number back in your phone. If he genuinely cares for you he will comply with that request.

confusionoftheillusion Wed 23-Jan-13 14:03:31

mummyismagic No - I don't know his wife. Never met her but have heard things about her through other people who do know her. I am acutely aware I am betraying another woman, another mum, that does not feel good.

scaevola I may have made some shift in the months leading up to the DV as I was coming out the other end of having depression. However I still don't think this gives my husband the right to hit me!

hotdamn - yes, I am afraid of being single. I agree with all the things you've said about it but I still would rather be in a happy relationship. I know I am not now so something has to change.

marilyn your comment about neither man being emotionally in sync with me really resonates. My dh is most certainly NOT emotionally in sync with me. I always thought this was a good thing as I thought he could be the rational one and I could be the emotional one but maybe not!

charbon more wise words from you. I suppose when the DV happened I did want to end it. But if I am honest I didn't feel I could throw away 10 years because of one night. Because it was just the isolated time. He hasn't been an angry drunk before.

Maybe counselling for me would be a good idea.

scaevola Wed 23-Jan-13 14:12:48

Of course it doesn't give your DH the right to hit you! As pointed out it's totally unacceptable and based on flaws within him.

Which bring us back I suppose full circle: an affair is also unacceptable behaviour based on flaws.

Your interest in finding counselling could be a good idea. It will put you in a stronger position to work out if you (and perhaps later the two of you) can accept each other, flaws and all, with genuine intention to get back the good bits and find secure controls to prevent the unacceptable manifestations of the flaws in future.

Charbon Wed 23-Jan-13 14:13:41

So he hasn't been an angry drunk before or since?

This seems odd. Can you explain more about the row? Was there violence on both sides? Did anything other than drink affect your husband's violence? What form did it take?

MarilynValentine Wed 23-Jan-13 19:53:29

confusion I do really feel you are overly focused on your OM and the inevitable drama of an affair to distract yourself from the impact of that one incidence of DV.

DV is a deal-breaker. Once is enough to end a marriage.

Do you think part of your motivation towards having an affair was to do with distribution of guilt?

i.e. your DH hurts you. It's too much to process. You want to make it less impactful. You have an affair. Guilt on both sides. Makes your DH's violence feel less damaging.


Sounds a good idea to go no contact with the OM - to clear your head and address the problems in your marriage.

Hope you're ok.

cronullansw Wed 23-Jan-13 20:14:28

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

confusionoftheillusion Fri 25-Jan-13 07:01:01

marilyn - yes I think you're right and the affair may have been to do with distribution of guilt. I also think it was just selfish physical and emotional attraction to OM who is not like my DH in many ways.

I ended it yesterday. Today i feel sick.I haven't slept a wink. I know it's the right thing to do but it still hurts like hell. I don't expect anyone to have sympathy for me cause I got into this place knowing that it would end badly, and I just selfishly thought of me and him when getting into it but still I am feeling very upset about the whole thing. He was upset too but understood everything I was saying and why I needed to end it. I did do it face to face charbon and yes the were tears on both parts but I just couldn't face doing it over the phone.

I also know I need to talk to H about our marriage which again makes me feel sick to the pit of my stomach. It's such a mess. One step at a time I guess.

Thanks for all the posts on this thread and for taking the time to write. It has been really helpful.

wrinklyraisin Fri 25-Jan-13 11:22:43

You've done the right thing. Now concentrate on yourself and your marriage, whether working on it or ending it. It hurts now, but honestly you'll feel more self respect and good karma from this in the long run. Affairs are so unnecessary and destructive IMHO. Take care of yourself. I hope life works out well for you whatever happens next op.

MarilynValentine Fri 25-Jan-13 11:38:03

Well done confusion.

Please don't let your understandable guilt about the affair diminish the terrible enormity of your H turning on you physically.

Good luck.

lemonstartree Fri 25-Jan-13 11:46:27

^Do I think it is a shitty thing to do, done only by people who need to take a good hard look at themselves, their ideas of what is acceptable in a relationship and whether they put their own needs ahead of the needs of others. Yes,yes I do.
It has taken a lot of counselling, time and work to get to a point we can both see this so if this looks like the shiny happy option, trust me it is not.^

This is a very honest and truthful comment. There are not many people who end up together as a result of betrayal, who end up in an honest comfortable relationship unless you are (both) prepered to take long hard and brutal looks at yourselfs (as parttimer and her dp/h have done) Would you be able to do that ?

Charbon Fri 25-Jan-13 12:08:02

Yes I think you would have probably carried on into an affair anyway regardless of this incident with your husband, so I'm glad you've recognised that.

I don't have a huge amount of confidence that you will stick to this decision though - you've been here before after all and the break-up/make-up thing in affairs becomes almost as addictive as the affair itself. It will be especially hard if the OM contacts you or if you start convincing yourselves that you can now be 'just friends' (which you can't). If the OM does contact you - or you contact him - it will be for selfish reasons and not love though; just so you are clear about that.

It's notoriously difficult to save a marriage after something like this has happened and remains a secret. Whether it's true or not, the narrative about your husband having no sexual appeal might have become locked as a justification in your head and for some women, an unknowing cuckold is the antithesis of a sexually attractive man.

I'm also interested that you have evaded questions about the violent incident, what happened and what might have been behind it. If it's too painful to revisit, that's fair enough - but if this has also had a different narrative applied to it by you after the event, I think it would be more helpful to deal with the truth.

AnyFucker Fri 25-Jan-13 12:25:49

You have posted before about your violent husband. It's ok to end your marriage on the basis of one incident, since what you describe demonstrates he clearly killed any love you still felt for him

The Om aside, your marriage is now a sham and that is completely understandable

LaQueen Fri 25-Jan-13 18:23:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LaQueen Fri 25-Jan-13 18:25:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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