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Your opinions please? Dating a man who was unfaithful.

(60 Posts)
akaWisey Fri 21-Mar-14 08:49:50

I've been on two dates with a man who contacted me OD. We hit it off immediately on the first date, enough for both of us to want to meet again (which we have). Second date was really good and we got on very well. There's a spark there which isn't, for me, based upon his appearance (although I am attracted to him too IYSWIM) So far he's interesting, funny, unpretentious, clever, considerate (yes, did the waitress test) and up front about why he's dating - he says his goal is to find a committed relationship, which is mine too. He would like to marry again (I wouldn't and was honest about that).

He also volunteered upfront why his marriage broke down some years ago. He had an affair which ended before his DW found out. He made no excuses, didnt blame-shift, says he wanted, and tried, to save the marriage and make up for the pain he'd caused his DW and DC's but the situation was irretrievable. I got the sense he was telling me this now to gauge my response (which was, to say the least, hmm) and because he wants me to know the truth from the start. He repeatedly said he will never make that mistake again (well, he's hardly going to say otherwise obviously).

That piece of information has altered my view of him, yes, but I'm not sure in which direction. I'd say, on the one hand, he's the real deal so far but on the other he was (is?) capable of deceit on an epic scale. Other than that theres no 'mirroring' no love-bombing, no fast-forwarding, no pressure of any kind but, rather, what feels like a desire to get to know me on my terms (and there will be no other way if I proceed). I like him so far but I don't like what he did and made that really clear.

So - I'm no fool, it's only been two dates and that's no time at all. If I never saw him again I'd be <shrug> but at the same time I respect that he told me at the start.

I guess I'm seeking some views. This kind of scenario tends to generate split responses from "once a cheater.." to "people make mistakes.."

Some of you will remember me and my first (last) dating mistake grin and I'm not that woman any more - I'm a fairly seasoned MN'er now!

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Fri 21-Mar-14 08:53:29

I think the fact that he has been open and honest and accepted responsibility means a lot.

People can, and do, learn from their mistakes.

Dinnaeknowshitfromclay Fri 21-Mar-14 09:02:40

I too agree people can change especially with age! I suspect a large number of men you meet, not just OD ones, have cheated but keep it quiet. This one has been honest, that is the difference. There is the him wanting to re-marry while you do not thing, though which may cause problems as he is setting out his stall honestly with this fact too.

daisy0chain Fri 21-Mar-14 09:02:41

I genuinely think some people can cheat once an never again and then some are serial cheats.

I would take him at face value. Why would he tell you if he wasn't intending remain faithful?

Everyone of us is capable of straying but most choose not too. You never know who's who until it happens.

Everyone makes mistakes and had regrets doesn't mean they should pay for them forever.

Bowlersarm Fri 21-Mar-14 09:04:49

It doesn't mean he will automatically do it again.

akaWisey Fri 21-Mar-14 09:07:09

He has just text and asked me for lunch and a stroll tomorrow afternoon. I've said yes. I think he'll want to re-visit the conversation again.

maleview70 Fri 21-Mar-14 09:07:54

And it doesn't mean he won't either!

JohnFarleysRuskin Fri 21-Mar-14 09:09:27

It will be interesting in how he understands it and how he frames it.

I was unfaithful in the past and wouldn't be again.

BitchPeas Fri 21-Mar-14 09:30:16

DP cheated on his ex, I was friends with him and her. We also had a lot of mutal friends. So I saw the whole thing unfold. Saw why it had happened tbh, he ended it the next day and he felt so shitty (quite rightly) then stayed single for a year.

So even though he did it, I'm as confident as I can be that it was a one off and it isn't his usual behaviour.

The fact he told you is good IMO. If he puts it down too, oh she was ignoring me, wasn't giving me enough sex, had let herself go. Then not so good.

arsenaltilidie Fri 21-Mar-14 09:33:05

If he was telling you to gauge your reactions so there is obviously much more to that story. He isn't going to tell you everything in one go to gauge your reactions.

I used to play a lot of sport and used to travel a lot. Now I travel only a few games a year.
It has always the same men that cheated on ALL their GF/DW.
I have never met a man who's only cheated once and never did it again.

akaWisey Fri 21-Mar-14 10:08:50

Thanks all.

OK he did tell me more detail but I"m not going to share it here. All I can say is there was nothing original about it, it's been done to death many times. But he framed it as a twattish and selfish mistake on his part for which his then DW was in no way responsible for and for which he paid a very high price in terms of damage to relationships all round. I respect him for that as I would anyone (even my own ex H, if he were but to take his head out of his arse for long enough).

JohnFarleysRuskin Fri 21-Mar-14 10:11:29

That sounds like a fair/thoughtful analysis.

I'd give him a go!

Jan45 Fri 21-Mar-14 12:32:47

He made a mistake and hopefully has learned from it, I think it's good he has shared his honesty with you.

RecentlySpotted Fri 21-Mar-14 12:59:59

Not so sure. How much detail has he given you about the reasons for it? Whatever caused him to have the affair, has he overcome similar hurdles in other parts of his life (ie does he become self destructive under pressure)? What stopped him from stopping it?

AMumInScotland Fri 21-Mar-14 13:09:45

It doesn't sound like the sort of thing that means you should run a mile. You need to take things as they come, and see how your relationship develops. If nobody ever got the chance to date again because of a single mistake, there'd be a huge number of single and celibate people out there!

Be cautious, same as you would anyway no doubt, and see how this fits in with what you learn about him in other ways.

TeeBee Fri 21-Mar-14 13:11:59

Personally, I would have respect for someone that makes a mistake and owns it the way he is doing. It is very courageous to open himself up to potential dumping the way he has so early on. It shows great maturity and emotional intelligence and as though he is on a path of self-forgiveness. Laying himself open like that from the beginning makes it so much easier than you stumbling across the information way down the line. Also, I think someone who acknowledges making such a mistake and does not let him from working on what he wants to achieve, I would have some faith in the fact that I could make mistakes and could be open about them too. Misdeeds do not define who you are forever - if you do not let them. Personally, I would give him a go.

akaWisey Fri 21-Mar-14 13:35:49

He's given me enough detail to understand why he did it Recently. This was all voluntary and I didn't press him, but gave him my perspective both as a stranger whom he doesn't know and as a woman who's been on the receiving end (I told him, but in no detail, why my marriage ended).

And yes, I've heard he's overcome a lot of other pressures since then and he really does seem to know who he is….It was a long time ago and so far I haven't been told anything else which would worry me, but who knows what else he has yet to tell me? I also don't know what I might tell him about me which could make him hmm.

struggling100 Fri 21-Mar-14 15:50:13

People make mistakes. And you can never really judge someone for them until you've stood in their shoes.

I understand your concerns, but I think it's good that he's told you and that you shouldn't be worried!

cozietoesie Fri 21-Mar-14 17:23:13

What would concern me more than his past mistakes was the fact that (from what you imply) he's wanting to dwell upon them so much of the time. Is most of your conversation based upon his needs/emotions/regrets or do you actually discuss ideas, music, books ... or who knows what?

He may want to clear the decks before he gets to know you in depth but I think I'd be looking for a little more than continued soul searching, mutual or otherwise. That can become addictive and isn't necessarily conducive to maintaining a relationship in the long term.

akaWisey Fri 21-Mar-14 17:44:42

Ah, no we spent 95% of the time discussing everything under the sun - politics, music, travel, aspirations….. I mean we covered a lot of ground and the conversation about his past was really only a tiny part spanning about 10 minutes if that. So no, he's not preoccupied and that was a really good question to ask cosie thank you. I'm probably more preoccupied by it than he was.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Fri 21-Mar-14 17:50:33

I cheated in a previous relationship, totally regret it. It's not something I'd ever do again.

He's told you, that's a good thing. I guess it's up to you what you do with that information. I wouldn't say it would be the end, if it was me.

akaWisey Fri 21-Mar-14 17:56:05

Ok, thank you. I'm seeing him tomorrow and I think I'm going to see how things go, after all there's tons more neither of us know about each other yet.

cozietoesie Fri 21-Mar-14 17:58:32

I'd relax a bit then and see how it goes tomorrow.

Good luck.

badbaldingballerina123 Fri 21-Mar-14 21:23:14

People often need to go through a quite serious period of self examination after an affair , in order to prevent it happening again. I would say that at this stage it's impossible to know whether he is playing lip service to having made changes or if he really has. It's quite a massive thing to do . A person has to learn better boundrys , better communication , better coping strategies , to also unlearning a whole load of other things.

People struggle to tell whether they're spouse of twenty years has successfully made these changes or if they're just paying lip service.

I'm a bit concerned you've said that he's given you enough detail to understand why he did it . What does this mean ?

Considering the amount of single men out there who haven't cheated on the wives and children , I'd be passing on this one. But then I'm a cynical old goat.

Viviennemary Fri 21-Mar-14 21:27:42

Well I wouldn't be keen I have to say. To cheat when you are married is a huge fail. But at least he told you. I suppose you could give him a chance and see how it goes. I think that's what I'd do.

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