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getting over an affair when you're still in love

(97 Posts)
catandthechristmasttree Tue 27-Dec-16 17:54:15

I'm married with two children, but for the past three months I've been having an affair with my ex, whom I also work beside... We were together a long time ago for a couple of years and have always been good friends since we split up. He also has a long term partner and children with her.

We know we can't have a future together, neither of us wants to be responsible for splitting up two families, and it would be catastrophic for work if the truth got out. The last time we were together was last week, we had a big chat and decided that it has to be over. Although we've said it before a few times, I know this time it's real. It has to be over as it's totally messing with our minds and we can't have our other halves finding out - they'd be devastated. I know we were completely wrong to start it in the first place, and I don't know how we got to be in 'that place' again, but the fact is it did happen, we can't change that.

My problem now is I'm so confused. I do love my husband, but I know we have problems (obviously) and at the moment I have no motivation to sort them out, which is just wrong! However, I've realised recently that I also love the OM. I felt myself falling in love with him all over again, but tried to ignore it. That was until last week - we'd both had a bit to drink, nothing had happened at this point, but when we were saying goodbye and gave each other a hug neither of us could break apart. We had a kiss, another 'what are we doing' conversation, and then after another hug he told me 'I do love you, you know' - I asked him to repeat as I didn't think I'd heard him properly, and he said it again. I told him I loved him too.

The next night when we were together was when we said we had to end it. He can't face the repercussions if we were to keep going. He, like me, isn't happy in his relationship, but wants to try to make it work for the kids. I couldn't imagine either of us splitting up with our OHs because the fall out would be horrendous, which is why we've ended it, but I can't get him out of my head. I love him, I want to be with him, but I can't and it's tearing me apart. I know it's all my own doing, and it's entirely my fault I feel like this, but having nobody to talk to is killing me. I can't tell my husband, it's not an option. Both families are friends and we had agreed not to say anything, so I can't spill even if I wanted to. I can't cut him out of my life because we work very closely with each other and that's unlikely to change. I'm completely torn. I love OM but can't be with him without causing a massive amount of heartache, and I'm not willing to do that. I know I need to get my marriage back on track, but I don't know how to at the moment because I miss my OM so much.

Has anyone been in a similar situation before???

QuiltedAloeVera Tue 27-Dec-16 17:57:25

You need to change jobs and pay more attention to your husband and children.

gamerchick Tue 27-Dec-16 18:01:29

Yeah you can't work with this person.

Personally it sounds like your marriage is over. Use the energy spent on the affair to sort out your relationship and go cold turkey on the other man.

Scooby20 Tue 27-Dec-16 18:02:19

That's all quite self indulgent.

Basically you have been seeing your ex who is a work colleague and you and dh are friends with him and his wife?

And you won't Confess because it's the best thing for involved?

You need to get a grip. Change jobs, stop seeing them socially and concentrate on your family. Or actually be upfront with your husband.

EmeraldIsle100 Tue 27-Dec-16 18:17:59

Maybe if you imagine the scenario where all the children involved find out what you are doing and imagine them crying and trying to understand how their loving parents could lie to them so easily and imagine the hurt that that will cause them now and for the rest of their lives and think about how they will ever be able to trust that someone that claims to love them is telling them the truth.

Grow the fuck up and be honest to both your spouses. The passion you are feeling may feel very romantic and full of longing but imagine sitting in a divorce court hearing how your house is up for sale and your children have to change schools and lose their friends.

You are both so fucking fake it is unbelieveable.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Tue 27-Dec-16 18:20:05

You need to change jobs and pay more attention to your husband and children.

^ this

Your post just screams me me me.

Cricrichan Tue 27-Dec-16 18:26:38

You split up with your ex for a reason. If you couldn't make it work when there were no kids or complications involved, you wouldn't be able to make it work now, even if you both split up with your respective spouses.

Of course it's exciting when it's an affair. They're whole focus is on you. There's no boring day to day shit to deal with.

But remember that unlike with OM, you once felt much more strongly towards your DH as he's the one you chose to marry and have children with.

So forget about the OM and work out whether you want your marriage to work. I'm not sure it can ever recover from this affair , especially without confessing all, but decide what it is you want to do. I think that it's absolutely stupid and reckless on both your parts to have had an affair with each other when your families are interlinked. And I also think your spouses deserve to know the truth.

Hurleygirl123 Tue 27-Dec-16 18:30:36

I don't think you need the insults, if only we were all perfect and never made mistakes!?
I couldn't be in close proximity, it's too hard. Can you plan to change work situation? Can you engineer some time to yourself to clear your head...back of from everything for few days, tell your dh you need bit of space. If you can get your head clear, you will be more able to see if your marriage is worth saving. Affairs don't knacker a relationship, there's already big problems there to be addressed, the affair is proof of that. Good luck, and remember folk who are judgemental have their own issues!

EmeraldIsle100 Tue 27-Dec-16 18:37:42

Hurley You are right it is judgemental to suggest that someone who is lying to their spouse and fucking someone else should be honest. I was in a relationship and the only issues I had were that I wasn't in love with the person so I decided to be honest with the person and end the relationship.

CashelGirl Tue 27-Dec-16 18:41:00

Start looking for a new job. Because if you seriously want to get over this you need to put some distance between you and your lover. Every time you think of him you need to shut it down. Think of the look on your husbands face if he were to find out.

It is too late now to worry about hurting your families - the damage is done. Now you need to both decide whether you are both going to keep the secret and continue the lie, or tell the truth and face the consequences. Continuing the lie means continuing the intimacy, a shared secret.

So if you want to stop thinking about him, I think you need to remove yourselves from temptations way. Get another job, far away, and don't look back.

category12 Tue 27-Dec-16 18:42:07

I think the only way you're genuinely going to stop this affair is for one or other of you to get a different job.

catandthechristmasttree Tue 27-Dec-16 18:43:27

everything you're all saying is totally true. I don't want sympathy, I know I don't deserve it at all. I know what we did was completely and utterly wrong and we 100% should have made a better effort to stay apart, but in the end we didn't. We made the decision to end it many times, then when we found ourselves alone again we gave in to temptation. I don't even think it was passion as someone said, it was affection more than passion, which I suppose is more dangerous.

Yes our relationship all those years ago ended, probably because we were too young and immature. Cricrichan you're totally right, DH is the one I chose to marry and start a family with, and he doesn't deserve this at all, which is why we're stopping it and not risking him or the OM's partner finding out either.

Cutting contact and changing jobs isn't an option. I can't just give up my work, and it's a small company we work for, so it's not as if either of us could request a transfer etc.

Hurleygirl123 thank you for your advice, I do definitely need to clear my head, one of the reasons I posted was to try and get it out of my head and clear it out a bit. I know I need to concentrate on my marriage, but I need to be in the right headspace to do that...

category12 Tue 27-Dec-16 18:45:29

What there are no other jobs anywhere that you or he could do?

catandthechristmasttree Tue 27-Dec-16 18:49:11

not in this field. I know it sounds like an excuse, but it honestly isn't! it's a very new company and therefore very small, only a handful of us work there. We've been able to completely separate work from what's been going on, and I honestly don't think anyone would suspect for a minute. things have always remained the same there, and I think we'll get back to how things were before.

this is the end of the affair now, nothing else will happen, we've both agreed that, regardless of our feelings. we both know we need to concentrate on our relationships at home and that's what we're going to do

Whathappensnowthen Tue 27-Dec-16 18:56:34

You've done wrong and you know it. It's done now and you need to move on. I can have sympathy for you because I'm in a similar situation and am finding it equally hard to move on, even though I know it's the right thing to do. I also work with my OM, the difference for me is that I'll be leaving my husband, I planned to ages ago but couldn't get finances sorted (and then OM came along and muddied the waters). Anyway, I have gone NC since last week, deleted my FB account etc. I know I will have to see him next week after the holidays, we also work in a small office and it's just not practical to change jobs right now. So I'm using this OM-free time to try to get my head straight. I can't change what has already happened, but I can change what happens from now on. When I get back in the office next week I want to be able to look at him as a colleague, treat him as a colleague and nothing more. I will avoid being alone with him, I will have my lunch in the car rather than at my desk if necessary. I'm planning it all now so that I am prepared for next week as otherwise I fear I will lose my resolve. I'm struggling, I won't lie, but I know it's the only way to move forward. I'm sure you can do it too.

Livelovebehappy Tue 27-Dec-16 18:58:37

If you both love each other, it's only a matter of time before things start up again. A bad day, cross words with your DH etc will just give you an excuse to go running back to him if you are working together, as the temptation is always going to be right there under your nose. If you can't get a job in the same sector that you currently work in, then you need to consider a career change. At the moment you don't seem to be trying hard enough to really put a line under it all.

catandthechristmasttree Tue 27-Dec-16 19:01:38

Whathappensnowthen - thank you for that. You sound like you're doing well getting your head sorted. We're having time apart over the holidays too in the hope that we can start afresh when we get back to work in Jan. Like you I can't just change jobs, and neither can he, so we have to make it work. Some days I'm totally fine, but others I really find it hard. I know folks say this is self indulgent, and yes it is, I've been completely selfish with this affair, and I'm the first to admit it. I suppose it was just all too easy in the beginning, but I'm paying for that now. I do still love him and that's what makes it oh so hard. I have got to let my head rule over my heart...

catandthechristmasttree Tue 27-Dec-16 19:03:00

Livelovebehappy - you are right, we didn't try hard enough at all, but that's changed now. It won't happen again, even without the devastation it would cause I simply cannot go through all of this again. The line has been drawn and we're both committed to staying on the right side of the line now.

CashelGirl Tue 27-Dec-16 19:03:55

And I can promise you that people at work know. You may think you are discreet but I have worked in lots of places and everyone has always known about the "secret" affairs. They just don't talk to you or him about it.

category12 Tue 27-Dec-16 19:04:00

Yeah, soppy bollocks you need to stop indulging yourself in.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Tue 27-Dec-16 19:18:08

I honestly don't think anyone would suspect for a minute.

I'd be very suprised if they didn't know.

Hurleygirl123 Tue 27-Dec-16 19:20:42

Emerald, excellent, glad it was straightforward, not everyone is in same boat remember. I think it's interesting on MN how for some, giving advice with a clear derisory, disapproving tone, is like a form of therapy to the advice giver? I prefer to focus on the way forward.. Keep it positive wink

Hurleygirl123 Tue 27-Dec-16 19:21:44

Cashel, you need a more fulfilling job! grin

catandthechristmasttree Tue 27-Dec-16 19:28:46

Hurleygirl123 I appreciate your advice, thank you. I know what I've done was completely wrong and am looking for ways to get over it without causing others any more hurt. I can't come clean. OM and myself agreed we wouldn't tell anyone so we can hopefully both get our relationships back on track. telling them would only hurt them, I don't see how it would help...

EmeraldIsle100 Tue 27-Dec-16 19:29:17

To be honest Hurley it wasn't one bit straightforward but I knew my marriage was over. I was terrified to admit that it was over and I was really scared about the future with my infant DCs but I always felt that honesty was the best approach.

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