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Emotional affair

(35 Posts)
CatsAreLikeChocolates Wed 28-Sep-16 18:38:21

Before I start, let the record show that I fully expect to be flamed, I know I deserve it, but I need someone to talk some sense in to me, give me a slap, and tell me to sort my shit out. In the absence of that in rl... there's you.

So, I think I'm in love with someone else's husband. He is a former work mate who I have always got on really well with, thanks to shared interests and a similar sense of humour. Since we no longer work in the same office we have spent the last 3 or 4 months exchanging funny, if increasingly flirty, emails. Then he began to call me more often. We used to speak on the phone a lot when we worked together, but less since I moved jobs. Now we talk on the phone several times a day, about all sorts of things. He makes me laugh and feel happy and relaxed in a way I haven't felt for years.

He always used to complain about his wife back when we worked together, sometimes in a joking way, but more recently he has confided that he's really unhappy in his marriage but doesn't want to hurt his wife and children by leaving them. He also tells me that he feels unloved and trapped. I am also struggling in my marriage as my husband is cold and unaffectionate. We rarely if ever have any intimacy, and have only had sex once since May. I have tried to talk to my husband about this, but he just shrugs me off and says that we're both just tired. I sometimes feel that he's tired of me. Meanwhile the former work mate has begun to talk about how good he and I are together and how happy we could be.

I know that I'm ticking every cliché in the book (my wife doesn't understand me ffs!) and I don't know what I expected this thread to achieve, but I honestly don't know what to do. It feels like the only person I can talk to about this is the work mate, but doing that is drawing me ever closer to an emotional affair with him... and away from my husband. I don't know if I will ever be brave enough to leave him, not least as he is the main breadwinner and my kids' beloved dad, but equally staying feels like sacrificing my happiness, sex life and sanity. Right now I just want to stop the world and get off.

So relationshipers... what do I do?

Myusernameismyusername Wed 28-Sep-16 18:43:54

You have to go no contact with the other man and truely focus on what the future is for your marriage.

This is just a distraction for both of you and isn't based on any thing real or good. Love borne out of misery is always disaster

Desmondo2016 Wed 28-Sep-16 18:50:07

there surely is the alternative ending in that you end the dead marriage and if this ultimately means you and him end up with something good then great. obviously if you want to save the marriage then NC is the only.option.

CatsAreLikeChocolates Wed 28-Sep-16 18:50:41

Thanks for reading my epic op and replying. I know you're right. I have tried to go nc but missed having him to talk to. I suppose I should try harder.

CatsAreLikeChocolates Wed 28-Sep-16 18:53:07

I know you're right, but I am struggling to be brave enough to end an OK, but not awful marriage. Need to get my big girl pants on!

CatsAreLikeChocolates Wed 28-Sep-16 18:55:31

And Desmondo , I think it is the dream of that which is keeping me going. It's as if I can see where I'd love to be in the distance but have no idea how to get there.

TheNaze73 Wed 28-Sep-16 19:07:23

Really OP? You know the answers & what you need to do here.

CatsAreLikeChocolates Wed 28-Sep-16 19:26:35

Really? I was fully expecting to be flamed and told to go nc and make my marriage work.

WingsofNylon Wed 28-Sep-16 19:30:38

I second no contact. Then get to work out if your marriage has any life left in it. Yes everyone deserves happiness but you don't have to get it through hurting someone you used to love.
Step away.

AyeAmarok Wed 28-Sep-16 19:31:49

Why would you be told to make your marriage work?

You said yourself that neither you nor your husband particularly like one another or enjoy spending time together, and you're only really with him for finances.

So separate.

Do what you like with your married man friend after that. But separate first.

CatsAreLikeChocolates Wed 28-Sep-16 19:40:52

I don't think it's fair to say that I don't like dh. I do still love him, but in a more platonic housemates kind of way. If I didn't love him it would be an easier decision. I also think that my former colleague may never leave his wife, as he fears her taking the kids back to the other end of the country where she's from if they were to split. Apparently that's something she has said in the latest argument.

LongDaysHotNights Wed 28-Sep-16 19:42:46

I was in the same situation as you.
I ended my marriage. It was the hardest thing I've ever done and it didn't happen overnight. It took time to get the strength I needed. I went to counselling before I ended it to work through my feelings, it really helped. I suggest you do the same. Work out if you want to save your marriage. I would guess you don't, if that's the case then you've just got to bite the bullet and get on with it.
It's been 5 months since I moved out.
What I've learnt is that life goes on, people just get on with stuff. Yes there's hurt and anger but I'm lucky also that my husband (can't even bring myself to say ex yet) has not brought bitterness and animosity into it and we are able to co parent really well. We even sometimes go out for dinner together with our son.
I'm much much happier, less frustrated, less stressed. And in time I know my husband will be too.
It doesn't have to be the end of the world, it can even maybe be the start of something new and wonderful for both you and your husband. And if he's as unhappy as you are then one of you just needs to be brave enough to make the change.

KatieScarlett Wed 28-Sep-16 19:45:08

Do he's got his excuse in already? I can't leave because of the kids? Please don't tell us you swallowed that one.
Get a grip and sort your shit out, far away from the wannabe cheating chancer.

ImperialBlether Wed 28-Sep-16 19:51:04

I think your marriage stands no chance while you're having an emotional affair with someone else. It's interesting you haven't had sex since you've started talking like this.

I don't think this man will leave his wife. The threat of her moving away seems to be enough to stop him taking that step (as it would to many people.) I would imagine you're not the first woman he's got involved with like this.

It's weigh-up time. You need to weigh up staying with your husband and having your children with you full time and having a certain standard of living with living separately, having the children for a portion of the week and hoping to find a man who gives you everything you need. This guy isn't the one, though.

Just for information, though - telling your children that you're splitting up ranks amongst the worst thing in the world. Telling them it's because of something you've done must top that. Think of their faces as you tell them you're in love with someone else. Think of his children, too.

CatsAreLikeChocolates Wed 28-Sep-16 20:29:55

I hadn't thought of it like that Imp but you're right. Things have been particularly bad whilst my mind has been elsewhere, but the issue of our mismatched sex drives has always been there. I do take your, and previous posters', point about him not leaving his DW. I suppose that's one of my fears in leaving my husband, that and breaking his and the kids' hearts. It's just so hard to imagine being like this forever. I feel old before my time and stifled. It's just all such a mess. I know I need to take a step back and find some time to think, but it's hard to be objective when the main person I have to talk to has his own relationship problems, and may not be entirely unbiased!

riceuten Wed 28-Sep-16 20:34:17

You don't want to be with your husband

You want to be with what you think this bloke is like

He has no interest in leaving his family (you're his bit on the side)

Fairly stark, but it needs to be said. Decide if you want to be with your husband. If not, leave. I doubt your friend wants you to be anything other than a lover - if you're happy with that, fine, but I think you won't be.

CatsAreLikeChocolates Wed 28-Sep-16 20:43:37

Thanks riceuten . I think you've hit the nail on the head. I may well be in love with the man I think he is, instead of my husband (who I know better than anyone, flaws and all).

foxtrotoscarfoxtrotfoxtrot Wed 28-Sep-16 21:01:15

It's ok to end a marriage that isn't working, but it isn't ok to turn the process into a train wreck, damaging your DH and dc in the process by bringing another man into the equation.

Talk to your DH about separation.

ALaughAMinute Wed 28-Sep-16 21:20:16

There are children involved and you're both married. End the affair and get counselling. Do what you know to be the right thing for the sake of your children.

CatsAreLikeChocolates Wed 28-Sep-16 22:53:50

Thank you wise Mumsnetters

HappyJanuary Thu 29-Sep-16 05:53:47

The only correct response to a married man coming on to you is utter revulsion. What a prince among men. I suspect he enjoys the flirtation and would be up for an affair, but would run a mile if you were single and asking him to leave his wife. You are both making your inadequate marriages worse as you indulge yourselves.

If you want to save your marriage go nc, talk to your DH and get some counselling.

If you want to separate, start the ball rolling and hope your mm will wait for you to be single.

Don't be the person who destroys their marriage with an affair. Imagine your kids, parents, neighbours knowing that and do things in the right order.

confusionoftheillusion Thu 29-Sep-16 06:43:46

Hi OP - I was in your situation 4 yrs ago.
Everyone told me what they are telling you.
I didn't end my affair but we did both end our marriages and are together now.

I bitterly regret the way I handled it and WISH I had gone completely NC and focused on my marriage. I'm confident it would have ended anyway and maybe I would have got together with my DP in time but it would have been a much more emotionally healthy and less deceptive way to do it.

Neither of our exs or anyone else knows we had an affair so they didn't have that to deal with (and contrary to popular mumsnet belief I think that is/was best for them). However the process of moving from affair to relationship has been very tough.

DPs ex also threatened to take the kids to the other end of the country but didn't. The difference in "our" story vs yours is that DP decided very quickly he would leave his wife. It was more me who wasn't sure. I had a husband who sounds similar to yours.

It has been hard, I find being a step-parent hard and I hate only seeing my son 50% of weekends.

I still love DP with all my heart and both our exes have moved on and seem happy. Both have acknowledged the marriages weren't in a good place back then. I do wish we'd handled things differently though.

Take time out from your OM. Seriously. Focus on what you want to do in your marriage without him in the picture.

Good luckflowers

CatsAreLikeChocolates Thu 29-Sep-16 08:33:16

Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I know that you're right and I should cut this man out of my life, at least for now, whilst I focus on my marriage. It's not going to be easy, as I have fallen for him or at least fallen for the man I think he is. I wish there was a way I could get to know him more without making things worse. I will really miss talking to him though. Being with him feels right, and I've got to the point where being with my husband feels wrong. I know I will need to find so much will power to stay away. Talking to him has become the highlight of my day, and it's a habit that will be hard to break. But I think I need to take some time out sort my head out. I owe it to my family to try and do that. He owes it to his family to do the same. Wish me luck...

PollyPerky Thu 29-Sep-16 08:41:37

It's ok to end a marriage that isn't working, but it isn't ok to turn the process into a train wreck, damaging your DH and dc in the process by bringing another man into the equation

I know this is classic MN Wisdom but out of interest I once discussed this with a counselling friend. She had a very different view and said there were no absolutes in the way marriages end. In fact she went so far as to say that sometimes it IS okay to leave for someone else.

Food for thought.

6demandingchildren Thu 29-Sep-16 08:49:59

This om is your best friend and you share so many things. But if you get together he will know what's going on in your life and you his so there won't be so much to talk about and things will get a bit stale, what if he then finds another best friend to talk to.
Put the energy you are giving him into your marriage instead and see how it goes.

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