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Did your relationship start out as an affair?(154 Posts)
Please no flamers as I am looking for support in a bit of a lonely and dark time
Me and DP have been 'together' 2 years. We had an affair for 6 months. Mostly emotional, plenty of "1st base" physical, slept together twice.
We then both left our marriages. We kept our relationship quiet for a 6-12 months (different lengths to different people) and for the last 6-12 months have been "out". (Basically he kept me a secret for longer than I kept him a secret as was worried everyone would realise he'd left his ex for me). My friends knew my marriage was "dead" before I left so that bothered me less.
So nobody ever found out about our affair.
I wondered if anyone else out there who's relationship started as an affair would be able to chat (post on here or privately message). This whole situation has brought out lots of issues as having an affair is something I never thought I would do. (He'd never cheated before either.) We are still very in love and very much want to be together (and for the most part have a great relationship) but there are so many emotions involved and so much "baggage" to deal with. Obviously in hindsight I wish I'd left my marriage first and then got together with him but I can't change that now.
Would really appreciate some people to talk to. thanks
Don't have experience of this but think that you might not have fooled people as well as you think. It's a stereotype (for a reason, natch!) but generally men don't leave a marriage unless the OW is lined up in the shadows. Some do of course, but most don't. If I knew you, I wouldn't buy the part where your DP had been single 6 months ish.
Anyway, looking forwards, if there are no kids involved, you both can/have presumably made quite clean breaks so in time, you'll think of your first marriages less. What baggage is there that is worrying you?
Same situation as you, although my marriage was so dead I didn't keep DP a secret from anyone. Tbh DP's family know he left for me, but are polite enough not to raise it.
I don't think there's much "baggage" for us though, so I'm not sure I can help out much there.
Is there anything specific you'd like to chat about?
I know of two couples very close to me that their relationships started off as affairs and kept secret (they thought).
Both couples (and one still does) went through terrible times at first from the guilt and betrayal etc bringing out anger, jealousy etc.
Both couples though have survived a long time and I guess they just calm down after a while once they realise that people (their respective wives/husbands) are no longer bothered by them and moved on. Obvioulsy the friends and family that guessed the affair have problems with the new partner as relationships were formed with previous partners and the hurt and betrayal was witnessed.
It all comes good in the end though, you just need to get past the shitty bit first.
Yes, an emotional one
I could say that it was worth it because I'm still with and very much in love with that person. But to be completely honest, I do still struggle with the guilt. I know I should have ended things with my ex before things crossed the line, like you op, but I was really messed up at the time and was scared.
I think since seeing my ex with someone new and seeing him happy, has made things slightly easier with the guilt.
Not really advice, more story sharing.
well we both have children although I don't like to refer to them as "baggage"!
I do wonder if people wonder if we had an affair but if they do they've been too polite to raise it. If either ex thought we had there would be some reaction so I don't think they do.
I have found it hard to trust him because he kept me for a secret for so long. Even up to 4 months ago when I took him abroad for a weekend and his ex rang (kids from her phone) he lied about where he was and who he was with as he didn't want her to know, I trust 100% there is nothing going on with them but he just didn't want to "rock the boat" till they were divorced.
As far as other cheating goes I did trust him implicitly, I guess cause I knew I had cheated with him but wouldn't on him so assumed it would be the same and then a year ago found a text on his phone to someone who he'd met on a night out. From then I have had more of a nagging in the back of my mind and the feeling of "am I a total mug to trust this guy?" but his remorse was evident and he is always very open with phone etc and my gut says he wouldn't do it again.
About a month ago I told him we needed a break as I couldn't cope with it all. (His ex has said things to the kids, they've gone from liking me to telling dad they want us to split up), on top of that I have this nag on the trust front. I can't explain it, I don't think he will cheat but I can't trust 100% that he won't... but after cheating myself I don't know whether I would ever trust anyone 100%.
I also have NEVER felt how I feel about him. And it scares me. I push him away and sometimes am so vile because I guess I am trying to see how much he loves me. God it sounds so fucked up doesn't it. He has been nothing but patient, kind and loving.
When I told him we needed a break he was devastated and we did remain in contact and didn't actually "split" but I kind of laid out what I needed to move the relationship on. And he's done it, every single one. So I now see a man who loves me, realises what a prat he's been and wants to move forward. Every day I see little behaviours from him which are different and more of how I want things to be. He says he was so racked with guilt and shame from having an affair that he couldn't focus on me and love me as I needed and now he can see that all and knows what he wants, and has to do.
But somehow I am still stuck in the past and in the horrible feeling of being hidden, kept away and have lots of guilt about how messed up his kids are. (mine are fine) His ex has said so many awful things to them/in their presence but as I am the one who essentially 'caused' the marriage breakup I feel guilty too.
I feel bad that my marriage split for the kids but not for me and my exh as we are both much happier now and get on fine.
Gosh what a waffly mess. Thanks if anyone has bothered to read this!!
REALLY appreciate the thread and (so far!) the lack of anyone slaughtering me for having the affair
So, he is a confirmed cheat with you and already he has form for inappropriate texting with another woman ? But he was remorseful so that makes it ok.
Yes, I would say you have a problem here.
was waiting for you to pop along AF. Thanks.
Yes, about a year ago we were having a rough time. I was being kept a secret by him whereas I had started to let him into my life. I'd had enough of it and we were in a bumpy place... although were in no way split or on a break.
He went on a boys night out. They all thought he was single, (I was still hidden cause they were friends with his ex.) He was allegedly cajoled into getting a number though totally freely texted this girl after the night out asking if she wanted to meet up sometime. When I found out we obviously talked lots but the up shot was that he thought I was going to end "us", had been foolish and stupid and feeling awful about himself as everywhere he looked people were unhappy (his ex, kids, me) and had foolishly looked for a confidence boost from someone else. Says he woke up and realised what a prat he'd been and would have never contacted her again. (Never known why he didn't delete the message as he'd covered his tracks well with me.) I found out as that following night he left his phone in his coat pocket whereas he always leaves it out. He'd been acting weird at dinner too so I looked through his messages.
That was a year ago and I do 99% believe it was a one off but it sewed the seed more than the fact he had an affair actually as I always "justified" that by the fact I had one too but know he can trust me.
I want to move into the new place which is ready and waiting for us but the past seems to be really holding me back
Yes - I did. Both left 20+ year marriages after an extremely short emotional affair. Terrible fall out from both sides, DP ex-wife had a breakdown, his children still won't speak with him. Very sad. But neither of us regret meeting, we just wished we met in different circumstances. I trust him implicitly as he had been with his wife for over 30 years and had never cheated, nor ever thought of it. We just met & fell in love & couldn't keep apart. We were and still are as kind as we can be to our ex-spouses. They have never seen us together, we didn't broadcast our relationship, four years on we are very discreet. We certainly should both have left our marriages years before & been more honest with our partners. Do we feel crippling guilt? No. Are we very happy? Extremely. If we had to we would both do it all again.
Yep. I was single, DH was living with someone. We've been married for 7 years. Don't regret it as were are still deeply in love.
He was probably still sleeping and gas lighting his ex when he kept you as a secret.
And we are meant to believe his friends 'forced' him to get her number.
And forced him to text said girl.
And also they didn't know you existed
My advice is stop being a mug.
My DP was married until his DW left him for an OM. They are still crippled by guilt and unable to deal with going public or moving in together 5 years on. He meanwhile grieved for his marriage then moved on, met me and is very happy.
This just illustrates why it is better to end one relationship before starting another, not just to behave well towards a current partner but because the foundation of your future relationship is clean and untarnished by past events.
no-one forced him to text her but he says he was "cajoled" into it. no excuse.
So does everyone think I'm a mug to trust him then?
Oh dear I see the thread has moved on and OP has bigger problems to deal with than shaky foundations. This man is not trustworthy is he? Your gut is telling you that but you have so much invested in this relationship that you can't bear to look at the evidence in front of you.
It is good that your XH is happier now. Some good has come out of this sorry mess.
Yes, a very similar situation to you actually. My BF also hasn't told his ex he's with me so I struggle to trust him too. I don't think anything's going on but there's just this nagging feeling that we've both shown what we're capable of. I'm hoping that this will lessen over time.
I had never cheated before, never thought I would, and am sure I won't again. I just need to trust BF feels the same.
who "cajoled" him into opening up an innappropriate conversation with another woman ?
as a practiced cheat and liar you would expect him to have enhanced self awareness of what constitutes crossing a line. He couldn't even pretend to be naive and say he didn't realise what he was doing, can he ?
the problem with continuing a relationship with your affair partner is that you have both lost so much to be together, devastated so many people and the sunk costs are very high indeed. It can make it harder to apply objectivity when protecting your boundaries
You know my gut tells me that he is trustworthy and that he fucked up. It's just my head (and all the things I read on mumsnet!) which is making me doubt him.
I want to let go of the past and forgive his mistake and move on.
AF no-one cajoled him into texting her as I said upthread.
You are right though as we had had several conversations about the line and what constituted cheating so he knew what he was doing although told me the things you would expect "wasn't thinking", "was feeling bad about myself" blah blah.
I guess I know what it's like to make a mistake and I wanted to forgive him as I love him and want to be with him.
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