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The predictable lines that married cheats use?(6 Posts)
A friend of mine is having what I would call an EA with a married man. Nothing physical has happened, but it just sounds to me like he's spinning her a line and trying to set her up for an affair. My friend says it's not like that, but they are spending a fair amount of time together and I know she's pretty vulnerable right now.
He tells her that he is only with his wife for the sake of the kids, that they don't have sex, that he sleeps in the spare room. But those are the old cliches aren't they?
I'm really not sure I believe him, or whether his wife sees it that way. Particularly as they have a four month old baby boy (as well as two older DCs) and the wife certainly acts like she sees them as a couple AFAIK.
And FWIW my DP is currently sleeping in the spare room too, but because it suits us to do that with a young baby in the house, not because we're not together any more. It's pretty normal isn't it?
I care for my friend, and I am worried about her getting hurt. She sees him as a decent man in a tricky situation, not a liar and a cheat. (The wife and kids have feelings and a part in this too of course, but I don't know them so my concern is for my friend right now).
I wondered, what lines do married men usually say? I thought, if he's following the script, and we can tell her what those lines are likely to be before he even says them, maybe that'll help her recognise the situation for what it is.
Or, any other advice on (sensitively) getting her to see this for what it is?
It's like watching a car crash in slow motion, I want to pull her out of the way but don't know how! Or at the very least alert her to the danger so she recognises what's he's up to.
Your friend has her eyes wide open and wants to believe what he tells her, that's her decision. She can't have much self worth or morals to actually think it's alright, and they have a 4 month baby, that's just so wrong.
I suggest you have a look at the following websites ( and maybe your friend could too)
TOW - The Other Woman - many many stories of women who got involved with married men. The similarities between their stories are shocking.
Baggage Reclaim - has some excellent articles on the truth of relationships with married men.
It's a horrid situation to be in. These men are master manipulators and unfortunately she will live to regret it. Just be there for her as its a bit like being a drug addict, no matter what you say to her, it's only her that can break the habit...
They say 'we don't have sex anymore, we just share a house' (referring to his wife).
They say ' I'm going to leave her' (at some point in the future).
I don't think you need to talk about the script. It's the sort of thing that people involved in affairs rarely acknowledge unless it's with the benefit of hindsight. At the time, their situation is different, even if they concede that what you're saying is true in most cases.
I would instead keep talking about the wife and family (personalising them will make them harder for your friend to ignore), and pointing out that no matter how misunderstood and 'honourable' your friend's MM may present himself to be, the fact is that he's lying to his DW in order to maintain the EA with your friend.
Ask your friend to think of a situation relevant to her own frame of reference where she might have a problem in an area that's important, and the only way she can fix it is by co-operating with another person. And she wants to fix it because what's at stake is important to her. Ask her what she thinks would happen if she chose to deal with the problem by doing something completely different to what she needs to do and not only that but with someone else. Then get her to compare that back to the MM and his marriage and ask her if she sees how at best it's misguided and at worst something else entirely. Does she really want to be with someone who could treat her with the same lack of insight?
Get her to focus on reasons why he should either fix his marriage or walk away, because staying for the DC is never a good idea - particularly since you could argue that at 4 months old, the baby is best placed to cope with separated parents the sooner the better.
Try to get her to see through his particular BS by focusing on her, him and their own specific situation, rather than saying "that's what they all say". I think it will hit home more effectively.
You are a good friend.
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