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End of the affair, little hand hold

(30 Posts)
fullycaffeine Thu 19-Sep-13 11:48:22

I posted a few months ago about my marriage being in a bad place, and having a crush on someone I was working with.

My crush developed into a 3 month emotional affair.

Conversations with the other man developed into talking about being together, how it might work practically being together etc.

We ended up sharing a tent on a work trip away (my work is not conventional!) and had a bit of a cuddle, and talked more about being together.

To cut a long story short, hubby found out about our night in the tent, was understandably furious, we separated for a short while, and through counselling and open communication we are now piecing things back together. It's a slow process, but things are better than they have been in a long time.

I have 2 dc's (young), and realised that I wasn't willing to simply uproot them and move directly in with someone else, and came to the realisation that neither was I willing to just chuck my marriage away without first seeing whether the spark could be reignited.

When I ended the affair, OM got pretty angry and upset that I wasn't willing to immediately jump in to living with him, and basically denied any involvement, saying nothing had happened. Physically it hadn't but it certainly had emotionally on both sides. OM painted himself as victim to my advances, when it was very much mutual.

We still carried on working together as we had work events we had to fulfil as part of a team.

Fast forward a few months, and working with him has become impossible. He's being vile - my work and social life crosses over, so working with him, and my DH being in the same room was proving to be very tense.

Our work commitments came to a temporary stop. I then found out that OM had been badmouthing me to the colleague we both work with. In addition, he told me that a particular element of our project was 'crap', 'poor', 'weak' and said that because I was a mother to two children I would be unlikely to achieve all I wanted in my work.

I snapped, and decided that enough was enough and it was time to move on and get this person out of my life - for me, my sanity, and my marriage going forward.

I ended our working relationship by email (I know, I could have done it face to face, but I had had enough), he was owed some money, which I settled by sending via post.

He has been in touch today with a vitriolic message berating me for being so immature in ending things without seeing him face to face (in my view, his denial of everything, plus badmouthing me was enough to justify my way of ending it).

I feel I have been fair (I paid him), and patient (not arguing back, or slagging him off publicly, or telling anyone about what happened). I've tried to be polite with him.

Not looking for sympathy, as I know I made mistakes, but I guess I need some reassurance that I've done the right thing by cutting all contact. I just feel I need it to move forward with life & my marriage. DH is obviously really pleased.

Feels difficult, and I suspect the badmouthing may continue to a wider circle of work colleagues which I guess I can't stop. Our paths are unlikely to cross, as in seven years of living where I do I had never met him.

I do now feel immature, but he has been so horrible and hurtful to me, at the same time I just don't see why I should care so much!

Feel a bit better for getting it off my chest, sorry so long.

OrmirianResurgam Fri 20-Sep-13 15:37:02

Good luck fluffycaffeine. It won't be easy but you have taken the first steps xx OM is being ridiculous. You didn't make vows to love him and stay with him forever. Can you move jobs? I would if I were you for my own convenience not for his.

Dahlen Fri 20-Sep-13 13:52:54

fullycaffeine - this is in response to the latest post about your work circumstances on the duplicate thread (thanks for clearing that up).

From what you've said, you don't really have to worry too much about professional damage limitation. It sounds as though your XOM has something of a reputation already, which existing clients are already aware of. Potential clients would, I expect, be most hmm if he started badmouthing you to them, thinking it would more than likely be professional jealousy. Furthermore, IME when it comes to business relationship, most people don't give a damn about rights, wrongs, fairness or whatever, simply getting the job done at the price they want in a timescale of their choosing. Since you don't actually work together and won't have to see him again, I think professionally you can put it all behind you and concentrate on the emotional fallout.

Your initial post concentrates all on the breakup between you and OM, and while I know you've been hauled over the coals for focussing on that rather than your marriage, I'm going to go against the grain and think that you should carry on thinking about it. Until you've got OM out of your system, you can't really make a go of it with your H. Definitely do not contact him, but think about ways you can move on.

You've been on MN long enough to have read that affairs are not about the OM/OW but what people feel about themselves in the process of conducting that affair - alive/desirable/excited, etc. That's why so many of them fail once the novelty wears off and the attraction to the real person is found to be lacking (or even entirely absent). The reason you feel so hurt is because you're experiencing rejection, despite the fact that you're the one who broke it off. The OM's behaviour now is a rejection of everything you thought he was. That's making you feel inadequate because your realise it was all an illusion, which makes you feel foolish and not quite 'enough'. You've actually had a lucky escape from him IMO but that's another story.

Once you can examine what shortcomings in your own life you were looking for this man to solve for you, you are ready to concentrate on your marriage. It may be that your marriage is lacking in something, but very often it isn't that at all, it's something else entirely, a more deep-rooted sense of dissatisfaction with life. But you need to work it out because if the cause of your malaise is not your H, no amount of working at the marriage will solve it. Conversely, it may be the case that you do need to leave the marriage, and you shouldn't stay out of a misplaced sense of guilt. You'll need to be brutally self honest to get to the bottom of this, which is why I'd recommend single counselling as well as joint.

missbopeep Thu 19-Sep-13 18:13:15

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

missbopeep Thu 19-Sep-13 18:11:53

Oh take your judgy pants off for once.

You and I know nothing about the work circs but it doesn't take much imagination to understand how work and social life can cross over. Who are you to assume the OP could have cut the work contact?

She and her DH have had counselling, she's contrite and they are trying to patch things up.

What do you want for her? A stoning?

familyscapegoat Thu 19-Sep-13 18:08:48

There's a difference between doing the right thing for the right reasons at the right time and doing the right thing for self-serving reasons at a time that was long overdue.

Few people have to socialise with work colleagues, even if there's a 'cross-over' between work and social life like the OP's described. Taking a professional hit for not being able to attend these social functions would have been a price worth paying rather than subject the husband to the indignity of having to be in the same room as the OM.

Initially, the OM who presumably wasn't married, was no more of a 'cad' than the OP who dumped him unceremoniously when this relationship no longer suited and was causing her problems at home. After that, his behaviour should have been reported to senior management as harassment in the workplace but I daresay the OP didn't want to have to admit to anyone that she'd been indiscreet with a work colleague and so again, put her own interests first.

Too right I'd say this to someone who asked for my opinion and advice about this in real life.

missbopeep Thu 19-Sep-13 17:25:56

OP- You did the right thing and yet you are being flamed for it. Hmmm..some people are very helpful confused I don't see why she sounds 'ridiculous'. Some people are so unkind here- are you all like this in real life or just behind an anon forum?

People make mistakes in life. Those without sin cast the first stone etc etc....might be something for some posters to consider a bit. And by 'sin' I don't mean affairs- I mean all kinds of behaviour that falls short of the ideal.

The OM has treated you badly and maybe it's proof that the relationship would never have worked anyway. He sounds a cad, to put it mildly.

It must have been terrible for you having to work with him and see him socially with your DH there too.

All I can say is thank goodness it only lasted for 3 months before you saw the light.

Move on and make the most of what you have now. You seem to have a good man in your DH and hopefully it will work out for you.

Take care.

fullycaffeine Thu 19-Sep-13 17:13:53

Apologies, computer was playing up earlier. Have alerted MNHQ - hopefully they will delete the duplication.

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Thu 19-Sep-13 16:58:27

Why have you posted this twice under different titles?

Jan45 Thu 19-Sep-13 16:45:20

Good, so perhaps my advice did help, even if it was extremely blunt!

And yes, you did take that well on the chin, a lot wouldn't have returned!

Jeremiad Thu 19-Sep-13 16:41:26

Good for you, OP. You took that on the chin.

fullycaffeine Thu 19-Sep-13 16:40:05

Hands up, yes, I fucked up and made a mistake. I was selfish, and horrible. And my behaviour was indefensible.

There wasn't any hedging of bets, simply contracted work commitments to fulfil - which I did with DH's go ahead.

Agree, Jan45 it all sounds utterly ridiculous - think perhaps my posting on here was rather pointless, but was having a shit day and have always found MN good for support. Not when you are in the wrong, it seems, but we are indeed all allowed our opinions!

Now that it's all over, it is indeed time to continue working with DH to repair my marriage & stop dwelling on what has, regrettably, happened.

FridaKarlov Thu 19-Sep-13 16:16:38

Just ignore the other man, cut all contact and focus on repairing trust with your husband.

Jan45 Thu 19-Sep-13 16:02:56

BLA: well on a public forum you are going to have judgements, just because you don't agree with our opinions doesn't give you the right to tell us to shut up but again, it's a forum so you can also say what you like!

Sometimes people need a good frank straight answer, she's been given it. Perhaps it will help her realise how ridiculous it all sounds and she can concentrate on her marriage instead of tying herself in knots over what the OM thinks.

mynewpassion Thu 19-Sep-13 15:50:34

The affair ended awile ago not just in the past couple of weeks. Wonder if she was hedging her bets.

mynewpassion Thu 19-Sep-13 15:47:35

Yep to familyscapegoat. She could have rid herself ofthe other man long ago for her family and marmarriage.

familyscapegoat Thu 19-Sep-13 15:45:14

The OP is sorting this out now because she is being inconvenienced by the OM's behaviour. The time to sort it out was when the affair ended, because that would have been best for her husband, their relationship together and as a by-product, herself.

There is no requirement to be non-judgemental on a forum. The only thing that is unacceptable are personal attacks, but that doesn't mean posters can't say if they think someone's behaviour is beyond the pale.

Jeremiad Thu 19-Sep-13 15:45:09

Frankly, I think the OP should feel worse.

Jeremiad Thu 19-Sep-13 15:44:13

i didn't know we were meant to judge and make catty remarks on mumsnet.

Bloody hell, you don't know much.

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Thu 19-Sep-13 15:37:03

And you dont think it sounds like shes sorting it out. And its not all advice is it? A lot of its judgemental, pointless rubbish aimed at making op feel worse.

meditrina Thu 19-Sep-13 15:36:22

OP, in the end you did the right thing.

Choosing to (metaphorically) shit on your own doorstep by choosing a colleague does of course make the aftermath worse. I know it's a tough job market, but you need to dust off your CV and look for a new job. It's part of the cost of a betrayal that was in you workplace. OM might stop bad mouthing you at some point, but some of the mud might stick, and a fresh start (if at all possible) could be the best thing for you.

Jan45 Thu 19-Sep-13 15:31:03

BLA: we are not going to shut our mouths, we have gave our opinions to be helpful, the OP needs to grow up as it sounds like her and the OM have just played a big game and are still continuing to do so.

If you don't like the comments that are made, don't post on a public forum - simple.

mynewpassion Thu 19-Sep-13 15:06:23

Makes me wonder what her dh is planning. She kept humiliating him and he allowed it.

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Thu 19-Sep-13 14:56:23

You're bound to have mixed feelings after everything. It may of taken you a while but you're doing the right thing cutting him off.

As an aside, i didn't know we were meant to judge and make catty remarks on mumsnet. If people dont have anything helpful to say they should keep their mouth shut. The OP knows she fucked up and is trying to sort her life and marriage out.

Jan45 Thu 19-Sep-13 14:26:44

Tbh you both sound as bad as each other.

familyscapegoat Thu 19-Sep-13 14:20:42

I agree you're getting off on the drama of this. I couldn't believe what I was reading when you said that you subjected your husband to social events with this awful man. People who do stuff like that are getting off on the buzz for sure, but it's so cruel. Yes, this man sounds appalling, but if I was your husband I would be questioning the judgement of his wife that she even gave this man any headspace, let alone had an affair with him. Your choice of OM says a lot about you, if you did but know it.

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