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How can someone cheat if they love their partner?

(34 Posts)
Whathappensnowthen Mon 26-Dec-16 09:16:12

I'm feeling pretty low at the moment and trying to make sense of things. I'm not looking for sympathy, but perhaps some rationale behind things.

I have started making plans to leave my husband in the new year. The financial side will be most difficult to sort and I still have things to find out, but if all goes well I may be in a position to buy out my husband from our property. I finished things with the OM because, obviously, that was the right thing to do anyway (and shouldn't have happened in the first place), but the whole thing has hit me hard, harder than I thought it would. My situation with this chap was FWB at best. I had long ago fallen out of love with my husband and although still married, felt emotionally detached from him. I guess that made me more susceptible to 'falling' for someone else (although I thought I could handle a FWB situation). However, one thing that always stuck out was how much my OM professed his love for his wife. When I first knew him as an acquaintance he rarely spoke of her and when he did it sounded like their marriage was in trouble. When he first did this I tried to end things, but he talked me round.

I'm not trying to justify my behaviour, I'm ashamed enough as it is, but how can you cheat on someone if you really love them that much? I couldn't have done what I did if I still loved my husband, I know that much. I'm feeling so low because I have completely cut ties with OM and, quite frankly, I miss him. I don't have the right to miss him, he was never 'mine', but I feel pretty bereft actually.

Ultimately I have to knock some sense into myself as I have all my children to care for and soon (hopefully) I will be sorting our lives out for the better, but I just need help in moving forward.

Kr1stina Mon 26-Dec-16 09:27:29

Don't waste your time trying to figure out why your affair partner cheated on his wife.

You have enough to do trying to work out why you felt entitled to cheat on your own husband. Sit down today and tell him that you are no longer in love with him , you have been seeing someone else and you want to separate . He's entitled to know the truth.

SVJAA Mon 26-Dec-16 09:29:26

The short answer is that they can't. You can't love someone and then disrespect them that way.
But I agree with Kristina forget about the OM, you need to sort out what is happening in your own marriage. Your husband deserves to know the truth and to make his own decisions from there.

ScruffyTheJanitor Mon 26-Dec-16 09:30:18

Is t it a similar question as to,
How can someone have such disregard for someone else's feelings and have such little respect for them to sneak around and cheat on them when really they should tell them the truth and split up first?

category12 Mon 26-Dec-16 09:38:07

Oh I think they can. I am sure my serially cheating ex never intended on leaving me and that he loves me still, as much as he is capable. It was a massive shock to him when I chucked him out. It's just his love ain't worth shit.

TheNaze73 Mon 26-Dec-16 13:01:01

They can't or they wouldn't do it

SandyY2K Mon 26-Dec-16 13:37:00

People get into situations where they become greedy. They enjoy the attention of another, but still 'love' their spouse. They loose sight of what they have and what they stand to loose, in favour of the ego strokes an affair gives.

I guess love means different things to different people and men especially can compartmentalise sex and love very easily.

Sammygold Mon 26-Dec-16 13:57:00

I think it's simplistic to suggest that you can't love the person who you cheat on. You can't really apply such a binary judgement on human emotions. It certainly is possible to compartmentalise your feelings and especially so, given the thrill and novelty of an affair. That's not to say that it's is not a selfish act; it most certainly is. But human emotions are complex.

Esoteric Mon 26-Dec-16 14:23:31

My husband it would seem had an affair 'in his head' wrote songs and recorded them but twattily hid them only for me to find them 11 years later, he is adamant nothing 'happened' and I know the person and we are all friends , so would be suprised if it was more than that. He says she knew nothing of it and it was never about not loving me, more feeling he needed 'more emotion' at a time he wasn't getting that much from me and we had a lot of shit going on in life generally. I'm most unhappy about it, still not sure if I can get over it, but I don't think he ever didn't love me too, more that I didn't 'love him' in the way he needed and wanted .

Branleuse Mon 26-Dec-16 15:13:15

i dont think youre in any position to judge your OM

tribpot Mon 26-Dec-16 15:22:01

Dwelling on this is just another way to keep your thoughts on the OM, instead of on sorting your own life out.

Branleuse Mon 26-Dec-16 15:29:38

do you think your part in it wasnt as bad because you fell out of love with your husband before embarking on an affair?

sweetbabboo Mon 26-Dec-16 15:31:36

I'm in a similar position, except I'm past the missing stage. I'm even through the anger and sadness stage too. Block all lines of communication and concentrate on your own relationship.

Whathappensnowthen Mon 26-Dec-16 15:47:20

The problem I have is that I work with this guy in a small office, we are the only two who do the job we do so there's no getting away from him in that sense. I have a week off over Christmas/New Year so need to get my head straight so I can face him and be totally professional next week. He would have happily carried on our arrangement, even though he could see I was struggling with the emotional detachment. I have gone no contact over the next week as I feel I need to sort my head out as best I can, I don't want to 'fall' for him all over again. I need to be strong as clearly I was in the wrong, irrespective of his motives or reasons. I hoped if I could understand things better then maybe I could move forward. I would move jobs if I could, but the irony is that my boss has been very happy with my work in my first 6 months and given me a patriae, which in turn will enable me to set up home on my own. I will be extremely unlikely to find another job as well paid. I know I got myself into this mess, I just need to move forward somehow. I'm just finding it hard.

Whathappensnowthen Mon 26-Dec-16 15:49:32

*pay rise

sweetbabboo Mon 26-Dec-16 15:56:31

I just remind myself that that I've had a lucky escape. I had a meltdown, stopped everything and felt consumed by guilt and grief at what I had done. OM response was to immediately move onto the next bit on the side.
I'm processing my own guilt and shitty behaviour, I'm no longer interested in his.

lizzieoak Mon 26-Dec-16 15:56:34

Some people compartmentalise really well. Some people are able to love two people romantically at the same time.

Probably he didn't love her if he rarely spoke of her before the affair. Likely he later said he did as a way of maintaining power in his relationship w you.

Proseccopanda Mon 26-Dec-16 15:58:25

I don't know how, but it's possible.

LynetteScavo Mon 26-Dec-16 17:19:16

Its wanting to have your cake and eat it.
Basically greed. If you think you can get away with it, with out hurting your partner, and won't feel too much h guilt what's holding you back?

trickycat Mon 26-Dec-16 17:59:32

Because they like the adrenaline rush and chemical high they get from doing something secret.
Because they feel entitled.
Because they have high egos.
Because they are disordered.

Yes I am bitter fwink

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 26-Dec-16 18:00:45

He was telling you he loved her to keep you at arms length. He probably doesn't care about either of you at all.

talkingtoclarry Mon 26-Dec-16 18:06:19

Because they can, I think that is the bottom line.

Ineedmorelemonpledge Mon 26-Dec-16 18:38:05

I'm not sure if they are in love or just enjoy the benefits of receiving love.

Or they like the aspect of reliable support and attention from their innocent spouse.

I'm sure I read somewhere that when a spouse cheats the married sex life can actually increase as they feel more aroused and excited. hmm

But I'm sure a lot of cheaters compartmentalise and try and balance the bad with the good as if they do their partner a favour (I mean the ones that intend to stay) - for example my wife doesn't like sex, but she's still a great mum to the kids, we have a social circle together, she entertains my family well, and I'll be financially worse off of i go....So I'll just get what I want somewhere else and then I'll be 100% satisfied.

Idrinkandiknowstuff Mon 26-Dec-16 18:42:11

Short answer, he's lying. He doesn't love her. It's a nice convenient excuse to stop you asking for commitment. He "loves" his nice cosy life, with trusting wife with whom he can get away with this shit and doesn't want to rock the boat.

FlowerOfTheValley Mon 26-Dec-16 18:45:53

I think people have different perceptions of love. I have never cheated and couldn't on someone I love. If someone is really happy then they don't pursue a path that could lead to cheating. The interest isn't there to do so.

But I do know people who appear to be in love but still cheat on their partners. Compartmentalising, ability to control guilt and an ability to kid themselves it will only hurt their partner if they find out.

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