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Having an affair with ex boyfriend - how to move on

(119 Posts)
goldengoddess Mon 29-Sep-14 19:12:12

I'm not sure if anyone can help but I need some advice and reassurance on how to get over an ex boyfriend who I am currently having an affair with. Basically I first went out with him 30 years ago (yes 30, that's not a typo!) when I was only 21. We went out together for about a year, I was totally in love with him, and then he finished the relationship - think he was on the rebound and was really badly hurt by his previous girlfriend who he'd only just split up with when we met .Anyway, I was heartbroken, and he was clearly in two minds about it as we continued to see each other on and off for the next five years. Looking back on it, I can't believe that I continued to leap into bed with him at any opportunity, but back then I thought that the best way to get him to love me was to sleep with him. If only I'd known that men have the ability to compartmentalise love and sex in a way that woman (or most women, me included), find very difficult.

Anyway, he met and married someone else in 1990, and then I didn't see him again for 24 years, during which time I'd met and married someone else, and have two children with him. however, our marriage is now on the rocks - he's having an affair with someone else, but I don't blame him because things have been bad between us for years, and we had been increasingly leading separate lives.

Last summer I resumed my relationship with my ex - we met up for lunch after meeting again via Linked In, and the attraction was mutual - it was amazing, after all this time I honestly didn't think there would be any spark between us.... how wrong I was. Of course, we embarked on a torrid affair, which was so so exciting, but became increasingly difficult for me. By Christmas I'd had enough of being the other woman and the bit on the side, and said that I wanted more from the relationship. He's always been very honest with me and made it clear from the outset that he never had any intention of leaving her. So we decided to end it in January this year, however, I find it really hard to let go, and we have been pretty much in touch ever since, and then I made the fatal mistake of meeting up with him again in July and had the most lovely afternoon with him, and then met up with him last week, and again had a fantastic time, lovely lunch, and amazing passionate sex.

sorry that this is so long, but I just want to know how I can sever all links with him, and how do I get over him? Is it possible? I seem to have fallen for him all over again, and can't quite believe that history is repeating itself. I am aware of the fact that I am very vulnerable at the moment - going through a break up with my husband - and that my ex represents a familiar safe outlet. But my heart is breaking all over again, I love him so much and find it so hard to come to terms with the fact that he has rejected me not once but twice.
Any advice gratefully received.

AnyFucker Mon 29-Sep-14 19:20:50

"of course we embarked on a torrid affair"

"I seem to have fallen for him all over again"

"I made the fatal mistake of meeting up with hi again"

You make it sound like these things just happened to you when in fact they were under your voluntary control

Until you accept that you have a choice here, then you will come to terms with nothing.

Fairenuff Mon 29-Sep-14 19:32:07

Looking back on it, I can't believe that I continued to leap into bed with him at any opportunity, but back then I thought that the best way to get him to love me was to sleep with him

Can't believe it? You are still doing it.

Stop seeing him, get out of your unhappy marriage and give yourself a chance to meet someone who is available to you. Emotionally as well as physically.

kaykayblue Mon 29-Sep-14 20:46:21

* Finish your marriage. The only sliver of saving grace here is that your husband had an affair first. That doesn't make what you did right, but it does make it pretty bloody clear that the marriage is dead in the water.

* Cut contact with your piece of shit ex. Read some of the threads on here from women whose husbands have had affairs. Try and understand how this whole thing could blow up someone's life. This isn't just about you.

* Agree with the poster above - you need to grow up and take responsibility for your actions. You are a grown adult. There is no "can't help myself". No-one is holding a gun to your head. You are making a conscious decision to keep talking to this man. So stop. Delete his e-mail address. Delete his phone number. Hell, change YOUR phone number.

You need to wake up and smell the morning beverage of your choice. Look in the mirror and try to understand what this man sees when he looks at you. Someone who he had crawling over themselves to shag him regardless of how he treated her. And who, more than 20 years on, is still willing to throw any notion of self respect or morality out the window, at his beck and call.

goldengoddess Mon 29-Sep-14 21:01:35

Yes you are all absolutely right. I know that I have made these decisions voluntarily, and no one was holding a gun to my head. As for my ex being a 'piece if shit' according to Kaykayblue, sorry, that's just not the case. He's a kind considerate man who is struggling in the face of considerable temptation.,good people do bad things, can you all look in the mirror and honestly say you've never done anything you've been ashamed of? Just because you've done something stupid or misguided shouldn't define you for ever more as a piece of shit.,anyway, that's all by the by, the point is I know I need to stop seeing him but am finding it bloody difficult to do so, that's all. Has anyone else been in a similar position and eventually got over Mr Very Wrong?

MiniTheMinx Mon 29-Sep-14 21:09:05

I agree with Fairenuff I am sorry OP, although you have fallen for this man twice, it would seem that he didn't and doesn't feel quite the same way about you. He is no more a victim of circumstances than you. He chose to end it once and he is choosing to see you even though he knows this situation will inevitably hurt you. If he really loved his wife he wouldn't cheat, if he really loved you he would leave her. The fact is he doesn't love or respect either of you. He is prepared to run the risk of hurting her and losing her, and he is prepared to hurt you. He isn't someone worth loving. He neither deserves you or his wife to love him.

kaykayblue Mon 29-Sep-14 21:12:03

This guy has been fucking his ex girlfriend whilst married, the same ex girlfriend he strung along for five years beforehand in order to get an easy lay (that's laying the fault with him, not with you).

"Decent men" do not conduct torrid affairs whilst happily acknowledging they will never leave their wife. "Decent men" - at the very first get go, work to protect their marriage. If something DOES happen, then they go straight back to their wife and promise to do whatever it takes in order to save the marriage, and cut contact with the other woman.

What they NEVER do is keep shagging around.

I have indeed done things in my life which I am ashamed of. Thing is, normally when you do something that you are ashamed of, YOU DON'T DO IT REPEATEDLY FOR WEEKS OR MONTHS ON END. Also, putting it out there - no, I have never cheated, nor played mistress to another woman's husband.

kaykayblue Mon 29-Sep-14 21:13:11

OP - The point of this isn't to have a go at you - it is to try and get you to open your eyes a little. This man is a douchebag. If you can recognise that, then it will be easier to let go.

But considering that many women on this forum have been the victims of adultery, you shouldn't expect too much sympathy for a mistress.

goldengoddess Mon 29-Sep-14 21:23:23

I'm not expecting sympathy, and I'm more than aware that my ex has a wife who thankfully has no inkling of any of this. I just need practical strategies to help me to stop seeing this bloke and to get over him for once and for all. I am completely aware that the relationship is going nowhere and I will end up being hurt again, so I need to bale out now. As I said I am very emotionally vulnerable at the moment, going through what is in effect two relationship break ups. It's just all so shit to be honest. Ex is currently on holiday with his wife for a fortnight so that should provide some breathing space for me to toughen up and face up to the situation.

questions2008 Mon 29-Sep-14 21:45:50

arnie the best and only way to do this is to go no contact. Absolutely none. Delete numbers, FB, linked in, email addresses etc and block wherever possible, on your phone, email account. So that you don't get his messages if he wants to send you anymore. Of course with social media being what it is, you could easily find him again. But if you do the whole lot in one go, every time you feel the urge to contact him, you'd have to actively search and add and so on, so gives you a chance to think twice.

For very different reasons, I found this the only way to let go of an ex who was just really bad for me, but yet I hung on to him for almost a year after we'd supposedly broken up. I'm now 4 months in the clear - see it as being a recovering alcoholic scenario - and I can safely say I have no urge to send him a message or try and see him, even though I know his email address, name etc and could easily do so if I wanted to.

Practically, that has to be the first step. The rest is much harder of course, the emotional side of things. No one can stop you from contacting him, apart from you unfortunately and sometimes that's the person we have the least control over, it seems, until you realise that you have all the control.

Frogisatwat Mon 29-Sep-14 21:46:01

Practical strategies? Delete his number. Ignore his emails. Do not call him. No contact. Read breaking up and moving on by cutting contact on the baggage reclaim website. Is he a svengali?

goldengoddess Mon 29-Sep-14 21:59:14

Wow questions2008, you have done incredibly well in a relatively short space of time to get over your ex. I wish I were as confident that I had your strength.
Frogisatwat, not entirely sure what you mean by a Svengali figure, but there has always been an incredible chemistry between the two of us. Don't think he's trying to control me in any way though!
Anyway I already feel a lot more positive about the situation, thanks guys, though still struggle to imagine him not being in my life anymore.

Notmadeofrib Mon 29-Sep-14 22:09:48

You need to get it turned around in your mind, he is a user and not very nice. Dress it up anyway you want but that is all I can see when I read your post.

Bad habits need cold turkey. Tell him to leave you alone, then delete, remove and block.

questions2008 Mon 29-Sep-14 22:13:00

arnie I'm not sure I would say I was over him yet - I'm still talking about him here and having to exercise some control of not being in touch, it's just less of a struggle now. But I understand the urge to contact him, the thought of not having him in your life, the lack of strength. Not being in touch with him is the first step to starting to see that all of these things are possible.

goldengoddess Mon 29-Sep-14 22:41:02

Thanks for your advice, good to hear from someone who's been through it and emerged in one piece the other side!
Notmadeifrib, I find it difficult to think of my ex as a user, he's honestly never led me on or given me hope that we have a future. Which doesn't paint me in a very good light, god I can see how weak and pathetic I must appear now. Time to toughen up! I have now resolved not to contact him and go the cold turkey route as you suggest. Wish me luck!

Vivacia Tue 30-Sep-14 06:34:48

wife who thankfully has no inkling of any of this.

She might not know that her husband is having sex with another woman, but she'll have an inkling. There'll be things that don't make sense, she'll feel she's going mad, but she'll have an inkling.

I feel really sorry for her. He's having sex with you, and then coming home to have sex with her and she doesn't know and therefore can't protect herself.

magpiegin Tue 30-Sep-14 07:30:10

Try telling his wife when she finds out that her husband and you are shagging behind her back that he is 'kind and considerate', sure she'll be telling the nurse that when she is being checked for stds.

Just cut all contact. He knows he can get sex from you whenever he wants and that's all he's after.

Fairenuff Tue 30-Sep-14 08:05:00

Well if he's been completely honest with you and told you that he is an accomplished liar and cheat then you know what sort of man he is.

Considerate is not a word I would use to describe someone who does this to the woman he claims to love.

pinkfrocks Tue 30-Sep-14 08:08:08

You've had lots of good suggestions so just to reiterate, go no contact.
It's easy to see how you fell into this- DH having an affair, you still carrying a torch for the old flame perhaps never having really got over him (You were the one to make contact after 30 years) , and hoping it might pan out in your 'favour' walking off into the sunset together.

If it were to work out, you'd each need to leave your marriages and then decide if your relationship was a go-er. But that's way down the line and doesn't sound as if he wants it.

Meanwhile, you should think over where you want your marriage to go. I suspect that if the ex had not been so available you'd have tried to repair your marriage rather than put it on the back burner.

Question now is- do you want to save it- does your DH?- and if not, then plan a dignified divorce together.

Meanwhile, do not contact the ex and do not respond to his calls or emails. It will only prolong the torment you are feeling and it's unlikely to change his behaviour. If you really want to see if he wants you then the only way is to be on your own out of your marriage and see if he makes the same choice to end his.

goldengoddess Tue 30-Sep-14 16:31:28

I feel sorry for his wife as well, but it takes two to tango, and to be honest, he is the one who is deceiving her, not me. I know that what we're doing is wrong, and I'm going to stop seeing him, after some stern words from some of you on here. It's been a bit of a wake up call, sometimes, even when you know the answers, you still need them spelled out to you in black and white, which is what I hoped to get from fellow mumsnetters, and I've not been disappointed.

Pinkfrocks, my marriage is over. DH has been having an affair for at least 18 months, I think it started around March last year, but it could have been earlier. I suspected straight away that something was amiss, but he denied it and denied it for months. Meanwhile, I embarked on my affair with my ex in June, and it wasn't until the september that my husband finally admitted the truth to me. He was so racked by guilt, and could barely look me in the eye, which is why I decided it wasn't fair not to tell him about my affair; it didn't seem fair that he was shouldering the burden of guilt when I was being equally duplicitious.

Cricrichan Tue 30-Sep-14 16:40:43

Tell that pathetic excuse for a man that if he ever contacts you again, you will tell his wife. That should do it.

And you, go find someone who wants to be with you.

goldengoddess Tue 30-Sep-14 16:43:11

Yikes, that's tough. I don't think I would do that. I think that a dignified silence might be the best way to handle it.

Jan45 Tue 30-Sep-14 16:48:21

I cannot believe you are an adult in your 50s, you sound so young. Wise up OP, he's never been `that into you`, he's a user and a cheat, what the hell is nice about that.

It never fails to piss me off when I read about people your age pissing about sexually behind each other's backs and then you wonder why you got yourself into this situation. It's really quite simple, if you want to have sex with other men apart from your husband and vice versa then stop playing games with each other and get on with separating, it's so selfish hanging on, what, until someone better comes along.

Yes you both sound as bad as each other, grow up time, no contact, and get your of your sham of a marriage, your bit on the side is using you cos you are making it easy.

Yeah you aint deceiving her, is all him, yeah, yeah.

Whiskwarrior Tue 30-Sep-14 16:52:58

You're 51? Really? You write like an immature woman attempting a Mills & Boon (torrid affair?).

I'm 11 years younger than you and I'm cringing at your story. If nothing else, I'd be embarrassed to be in your position. And please think of this twat's poor wife - she's being treated like shit, by both of you.

Just cut contact, ffs, you're an adult. Act like one.

goldengoddess Tue 30-Sep-14 17:02:13

Jan 54. Yes, reading back over my post I do sound ridiculously immature. Don't know what's so offensive about people of "your age" messing around, as opposed to someone of a different generation?? What's age got to do with it? You might like to think that as you get older you also gain some wisdom, but I have to say when it comes to affairs of the heart, it's just like being 18 again, you experience exactly the same emotions and heartache.

Anyway, I am in the process of separating from my husband, so I'm not hanging on until "someone better comes along". as you infer.

I think as his husband of 20 plus years, then my ex is certainly being more duplicitous than me when it comes to his wife. I'm not saying that my behaviour is exemplary, and am not blaming him, just that he surely has to bear the majority of the burden of guilt in this instance. Anyway, if I have anything to do with it she's never going to find out. And I mean that in the nicest possible way, after all ignorance is bliss.

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