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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. 

confusionoftheillusion Sat 02-Feb-13 10:41:37

I don't know about losing respect from your dh for taking him back after cheating. I know OM said he respected me a lot for putting the brakes on 'us'. I believe most men (the type I know anyway) are attracted to strong women

Bobbybird40 Sat 02-Feb-13 11:57:25

Aye well I take the psycho babble bit back - sorry charbon, I agree wholeheartedly with your comments later in this thread.

Charbon Sat 02-Feb-13 12:48:28

Thank you all for that understanding and feedback.

Confusion it's certainly possible that your husband's ambivalence is tied up with lessening respect for you because you stayed, but again I think it depends on the person and the circumstances.

In the cases I mentioned where the one-off DV was completely atypical and caused by extraordinary factors, the people concerned have been so horrified at their behaviour that they have had trouble forgiving themselves but towards their partners, have shown nothing but admiration and thankfulness that there is a willingness to forgive and get past it. That's also been my experience with people who've been given a second chance after infidelity; their admiration and respect for a partner who puts their pride and ego to one side and is willing to work on forgiveness, are huge.

But yes I've come across other people who don't respect a partner for forgiving, but that's mainly because they know they will be abusive/be unfaithful again and inwardly, they can't understand how their partner doesn't realise that. These are the people who do no work on themselves to prevent it ever happening again and want it brushed under the carpet.

OP you've mentioned a couple of times that you'd be ending your marriage 'for one thing - the DV' but that seems an odd contradiction given the other factors you've mentioned: never fancying your husband, poor physical chemistry, which you insist pre-date the DV and the affair. This again makes me wonder whether there's a bit of history re-writing going on because of the affair. But if you ended your marriage, the affair would be a hugely significant factor, by the sounds of it as much if not more of a factor to you personally than the DV. Saying that you'd be ending your marriage because of the DV alone feels disingenuous and self-deluding to be honest.

You're still in touch with the OM aren't you?

Abitwobblynow Sat 02-Feb-13 13:36:24

Affairs are such an addiction.

Charbon Sat 02-Feb-13 13:41:25

Also, please don't rule out that your husband's ambivalence might be because he has had his head turned by someone else. I alluded to this in an earlier post and I've seen that happen several times. People having affairs are nearly always quite arrogant and complacent about their sanctioned partners and it never occurs to them that the distance they've created leaves their own partner vulnerable to someone else getting close. The same of course applies to the OM and his own wife.

confusionoftheillusion Sat 02-Feb-13 17:19:49

The truth is that I probably didn't feel that "not fancying dh" was a good enough reason to end our marriage and if I'm honest I felt the DV gave me the 'valid reason' I felt I needed to end it.

But now I am faced with the thought of ending it I don't know if I could do that to dh. He says he is bothered but hopes we can work it out - that's why he's not getting all upset about it...

confusionoftheillusion Sat 02-Feb-13 17:20:48

I think I would be relieved if dh had found someone else. If he has they're not in touch via phone as his is constantly out!

Charbon Sat 02-Feb-13 17:31:51

Yes, people often say they'd be relieved - until it happens.

If you're still in touch with the OM (and I think you are) and you're still prevaricating about ending your marriage, you're making yourself stuck. Usually that's because something about the current situation is more appealing than the alternative.

But that's just not fair on all the other people involved. If you believe yourself to be a good person, then do the right thing. The status quo benefits no-one.

Abitwobblynow Sun 03-Feb-13 17:38:47

My H said he was relieved when I found out -

what is that all about??????

VanderElsken Sun 03-Feb-13 17:50:55

Relieved presumably because the lying and sneaking and management of an infidelitous relationship is incredibly stressful and guilt-ridden as well as the excitement and rush that often gets described. If someone actually falls for another party they don't want to hurt either person and become responsible for managing everyone's pain (which is inevitable because any joy on one side by definition is pain on the other).

Any thing that stops the cycle and fear and shame, even revelation and attendant agony becomes welcome after a while. And this can be the point when the affair is seen for what it really is, because the romantic rose tinted glasses came off a while ago amongst all the deception and protection. Imagine having another secret 'job' that you hide from your partner, day in day out, and all the stress and lying that would entail. That's how an affair feels after a while and being able to be honest is a relief.

confusionoftheillusion Wed 13-Feb-13 11:20:10

Well I have answered my original question in that I do believe a good guy can cheat on his wife. I do believe OM to be a good person.

I am after some advice though... Was going to start a new thread but since the background is all on this one i'm hoping some of the helpful posters might still be lurking!

I've decided what i should do is to really focus on my marriage and give it everything I can and then if it doesn't work we will separate. My question is though, how do I 'give everything'?

My thoughts were:
1. Less tv, more talk or games or just better quality time.
2. Going for days out as a family. Just us, no phones.
3. Talking more about how we are both feeling. (this is hard as 1.dh isn't a talker really and 2.i can't be honest with him about the affair.)
4. I am already in counselling so carry that on. We can't do couples counselling as I won't tell him about the affair.
5. Maybe take a holiday?

I don't actually want to have sex with him, or do anything physical. Do I just have to suck it up (pardon the phrase) and do it at some point? Or essentially we are flat mates. Or do I have to accept that if I don't fancy him it is all but dead in the water.

I feel I owe it to dc, and the fact we made some promises (which we have both broken admittedly) to give it a decent shot.

Advice would be welcomed.
Thank you

notanotherstatistic Wed 13-Feb-13 12:15:32

I'm going to be blunt, but I don't think that it is very unlikely, given the circumstances, that you and your DH have a future. I speak from personal experience.

Firstly, the affair and the OM still loom large in your life - everything that you have said shows that your are very strongly attached to the OM and not to your DH.

Secondly, you just don't want to have sex with your DH, and from what you have said that predates your affair.

Thirdly, and this is the clincher, you are not willing to come clean about the affair, in which case counselling is out. Now, you don't necessarily have to have counselling, but this secret will erode your already low level of respect for your DH.

I think your best option, is to be honest with your DH. He may make the decision for you, and decide that he wants to end the marriage. In any case, it sounds to me that separation may be the best option for all concerned.

notanotherstatistic Wed 13-Feb-13 12:16:25

Mean to say "don't think it is very likely. Sorry.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 13-Feb-13 13:56:03

The problem is that your emotions are already engaged elsewhere and you have been leading a double life. Secrets can be very damaging even if your DH does not know what has been happening, he will have been aware at some level that things have changed but could not put a finger on exactly what is different.

Your best option is to come clean.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 13-Feb-13 13:58:38

Also I think its cruel to make him compete for you when he does not know that he is already being set up to fail.

MarilynValentine Wed 13-Feb-13 14:21:06

What about the DV?

What is your husband going to do to deal with the fact that he physically attacked you?

confusionoftheillusion Wed 13-Feb-13 15:38:07

He has come off the medication he was on at the time and the mood change is noticeable. He has also done a lot of reading around his anger. He didnt drink alcohol for 3 months though I have said that I don't mind if he does so on occasions he has a couple of drinks. I am not scared of him and I don't think this would happen again. I do howeve think I has changed things.

I see how coming clean might be my best option but I am too gutless to do that.

MarilynValentine Wed 13-Feb-13 15:48:30

You sound utterly squashed OP sad

It really doesn't sound as if you really want to be with your H.

FellatioNels0n Wed 13-Feb-13 15:49:30

Anyone can fall in love with someone else. Anyone at all. Obviously if you are unhappy to start with you will be more receptive to the signs that someone is interested in you, but even 'perfectly happily married people' can find themselves inexplicably head over heels with someone else. It happens.

If you really do want to be the good guy/good girl you do the right thing and remove yourself from the other person's company at the first sign that there is a sexual/emotional frisson that could get out of hand. It's the decent thing to do. Allowing yourself to indulge in more and more intimate contact, even if you don't actually shag, is just asking for trouble. There is always a point at which you know you should back off. If you don't, then fine. But don't try to pretend you had no idea it was happening until it was too late.

(Although I do tend to think that if you are reasonably young and in a marriage/LTR with no children yet, and you get an uncontrollable urge to be with someone else you should just follow the urge. If you can't stay faithful when you are supposed to be in the happiest most carefree phase of your relationship then what is the point in going forward with it?)

confusionoftheillusion Wed 13-Feb-13 16:13:01

I feel squashed!

MarilynValentine Wed 13-Feb-13 16:32:33

Unsquash yourself, woman! smile

Maybe it's time to stop making lists about what you SHOULD do to force yourself back into a relationship you don't really want, and start having a think about what you want from a relationship, and how it might feel to be single for a while.

confusionoftheillusion Wed 13-Feb-13 17:06:13


That is the first emotion that comes to mind

And the huge guilt for dh who loves me and dc who loves having us both together

But you're right!

rockinastocking Wed 13-Feb-13 19:18:56

I find it very difficult reading your posts, confusion, because I could have written it at any point over the last three years. Word for word, except for the DV.

Speaking bluntly, your marriage is over. You have emotionally checked out, and because you're a nice person, this terrifies you and you are trying to do the 'right thing'.

But that right thing sounds like it's the right thing for everyone else - not necessarily for you.

Leave your husband. Not for the OM, but for yourself. Once you're single, you can decide what to do about OM - but first thing's first.

Leave your husband.

confusionoftheillusion Thu 14-Feb-13 07:15:37

Hi rockinastocking given what we just talked about on the other thread it's quite scary, but interesting that you could have written my post.

I keep thinking if I could jut get OM out of my head then maybe I could work on it with dh. He is a really nice person an a brilliant dad. We get on and compared to a lot of people we have a good relationship. We're kind and supportive to each other and thoughtful and respectful. (once you removed DV and an affair of course) but I we can get past that I wonder If there is a chance we could make it work, and therefore if we could keep the family together for ds.

Of course the fact I'm not sexually attracted to him is an issue. A big one. I can see he is good looking, in good shape, smells good, no bad breath!!! So why dont I feel it?

And now I have to fake my way through valentines day!! sad

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 14-Feb-13 07:42:48

You don't feel sexual attraction probably because you are too engaged with OM and have lost all. I would get Shirley Glass's Not Just Friends and read it - it will explain what is going on in your head and help you work out what you need to do to repair the damage.

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