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Getting over an affair and fixing a broken marriage

(32 Posts)
Cliche101 Tue 23-May-17 21:14:32

I'm a long time lurker, new account for obvious reasons.

I've been with my husband for 10 years and we have two children. I'm a stay at home mum and he works very very long hours, often works away. Our relationship has never really had a great deal of chemistry but we had things in common, were instantly comfortable with each other, wanted the same things etc in recent years our relationship has got worse and worse to the point we barely communicate other than regarding parenting. I am fairly sure he would like to try and improve things between us but as communication is so bad we've never discussed it. Our sex life is virtually non existent.

I'm not making excuses for myself but I feel I've lost myself a bit since giving up work (it was a joint decision in order to support husbands career progression and I was happy to do it, no pressure from him although it does make his life much easier with me being at home) I've also had a few major family issues and bereavements in recent years which have left me feeling very low.

Anyway, cut to the chase, I've just ended a 3 month affair. The OM is someone who lives and works locally so our paths cross but it shouldn't be too hard to avoid him for the most part. I will definitely see him but we won't be alone. It started when OM (who I was familiar with for a while but nothing more than a few brief chats) contacted me through FB and basically told me that he was attracted to me and had been for over a year. He was very complimentary and I was incredibly flattered. He is also married with a child. Nothing started straight away but we got into the habit of exchanging messages regularly which quickly got more and more flirtatious. The physical chemistry between us is off the scale, incredibly strong, more so than I have ever experienced before. At the point when we started to discuss meeting up, he backed off and said he couldn't do it, wanted to stay friends etc. The following week we kissed. Then again the next week. Then last week I finished it, said we should just be friends etc. Saw him today and we kissed again but later on agreed that we absolutely will not do it again and we've agreed this time, no contact and we will actively try to avoid each other for a while.

I know that I am a terrible person for doing it and I know that I should be focussing my attention on trying to fix my marriage or if it can't be fixed, considering divorce so we can both move on and be happy. The one thing I absolutely know having felt this way recently is that I can't live the rest of my life without that passion.

I don't even know what I'm expecting people to say other than slate me for cheating (which I know I deserve) Maybe that's what I need to hear. I know I need a slap. I just feel really lost and obviously can't talk to anyone about this. I'm confident that the OM isn't some great love or soulmate, it's just a physical thing and I'm ashamed that I couldn't control that desire.

Has anyone else been in this situation and come through it? Is it possible to fix a marriage that seems so broken?

jouu Wed 24-May-17 01:43:36

I really don't think you will be able to come back from this. You say yourself you don't think you can live your life without that physical side. And while obviously I don't think it was ethical or a good idea for you to have an affair, I also know that I too would not be able to live without a full and healthy sexual life.

Imo you'll end up having another affair if you stay married. It's that or feeling you're constantly missing something. Generally, human beings can't live for long with that feeling without getting very depressed. Or, cheating again.

If you insist on attempting to make your marriage the thing that meets your sexual needs, you're going to need to tell you dh and then access counselling together to see what can be done. In my experience though, people don't change, and physical chemistry can't be manufactured out of simple attachment. And - generally relationships don't survive affairs. Sorry.

So, I think it's two choices -

1. End the marriage. It will be awful but you will at least have the chance to find another partner who better meets your needs.
2. Tell dh about the affair and how you feel, and see whether he (a) wants to try to save things and (b) if counselling helps.

user1486956786 Wed 24-May-17 01:53:23

How do you feel about your husband knowing about the affair? If he reacted badly and divorced you, do you think you'd be okay with that, or would it be that huge light bulb moment where you don't realise what you've got until it's gone? (And too late)

I'll confess my sex life isn't where I'd want it to be. I don't feel huge sexual urges / chemistry with my partner but I do still look at him and admire how hot I think he is, especially suited up! And I love every other part of our relationship so I am happy to forgo the chemistry / prepared to work on it.

Pallisers Wed 24-May-17 01:55:02

Just realise your marriage is over, figure out how to end it, and move on.

Cliche101 Wed 24-May-17 06:26:43

I can't imagine telling my husband about the OM. I don't think he'd get over it. It would be one thing if I said I'd become close to someone else but the fact that it was such a strong physical connection would hurt him more I think as he knows himself that we've never had that.

My life is very good otherwise. Financially stable, nice house, lovely kids, great friends and social life. I've got a lot to lose.

user1486956786 Wed 24-May-17 06:42:46

Read your posts back to yourself. It comes across as the only thing your husband is good for is financially providing for your life. Don't get me wrong, you are looking after your kids and house whilst he's away so I'm not discounting that at all. But the only thing that he's really done wrong is not have sexual chemistry for you. An affair seems very cruel and I'm glad it's over.

Not sure what you want advice on. Simple really, end marriage or make an effort to try and change things.

Cliche101 Wed 24-May-17 07:02:19

Thank you for responding. I am aware that's how it must come across. I purposely didn't list all the things that I perceive are wrong with my relationship with my husband as I didn't want it to look like I was blaming him or justifying my affair. I know it was cruel and wrong and I was acting incredibly selfishly.
My husband is a decent guy but he's not blameless in the deterioration of our relationship. He is distant, often quite selfish and moody and uses work as a distraction I think. There is no physical affection there and I feel very unappreciated. Before anyone says it I am sure he feels much the same as me. Communication or lack thereof is our biggest problem.
He's a good dad and I know he would never want to be apart from our kids.
It's a mess.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 24-May-17 07:14:20

"My life is very good otherwise. Financially stable, nice house, lovely kids, great friends and social life. I've got a lot to lose".

Was your life very good otherwise?. You had an affair for many reasons; one of which being that your own needs were (and still are) not being met by your H here. Problems were in this marriage pre the affair as well; its never been properly addressed by either of you.

How can a man whom you also describe as distant along with selfish and moody actually be a "good dad" to his children. Women in poor relationships often write that comment when they can think of nothing positive themselves to write about their man.

I would ask what you think you are both teaching your children about relationships here; is this really what you want to model to them and teach them?. Would you want them to have a marriage like this?.

You cannot fix a marriage on your own; he will have to put the work in as well.

revolution909 Wed 24-May-17 07:56:12

Your marriage sounds unhappy and should end it. One thing it was only a couple of kisses and nothing else?

Cliche101 Wed 24-May-17 07:58:39

No he is a good dad. He is distant and moody with me not them. Probably because he resents how bad our relationship is and he doesn't know how to fix it. I feel like we are both avoiding the conversation as we both fear it will end in divorce and that's scary.
He is a very good guy, but he's not emotional or demonstrative. He is with the kids, just not with me. He would be if I was with him I think. We had a good relationship and I did love him once although there was never the heat between us that I've had with the OM.

I know it's both of our responsibility to work on the relationship. He's not blameless but i don't think he would have done what I've done.

Cliche101 Wed 24-May-17 08:02:53

Revolution we kissed on three occasions. Very passionately and it could easily have lead somewhere but we stopped ourselves taking it too far. Definite sexual contact but no actual sex. There has been lots of sexy messages over the three months, a few flirty photos.

Cricrichan Wed 24-May-17 08:15:52

You're having a clandestine relationship with OM - of course that's going to be heated and passionate in a way that your husband can't compete with.

It's a shame you didn't try and work things with your husband before starting something with OM. Also, what do you find attractive about a married man with a child who messages and propositions a married woman?? Yuck. This isn't at all fair on anyone. See if you can sort your relationship or get back working or something otherwise split up and you can snog who you want .

user1486956786 Wed 24-May-17 08:21:23

One thought, do you think he's distant and moody because he's tired from work? Do you think he may resent you because you don't work and he's exhausted from working? I do find a lot of men suggest wives not to work but then don't respect them as much for it (which really pisses me off by the way!).

Do you think if he was nicer to you then you'd be willing to accept no chemistry? If you really genuinely liked him as a person you may not have cheated?

Lack of physical chemistry is obvious issue but I think there are a lot of underlying issues which contribute to this also which can or can't be fixed.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 24-May-17 08:32:01

"No he is a good dad. He is distant and moody with me not them"

That can be very confusing for children to witness, they see all too clearly how he treats you and your reactions, both spoken and unspoken to same.

This is not what you both want to be modelling to them relationship wise is it?. Both of you have contributed to the relationship being as it is now.

Cliche101 Wed 24-May-17 08:54:10

Cric - this might sound weird but although I knew things weren't perfect I wasn't exactly unhappy before. I just thought that this was how it was going to be. It's the affair that has clarified things for me really. It's difficult to explain and I'm sure many wouldn't see this but the OM is a genuinely nice guy too. He had feelings for me for a long time before ever telling me about it and things just developed and spiralled a bit. We got caught up in it. We both know we've done wrong and have ended things before having sex.

User - yes I think me not working is a massive thing. He recognises that it's in his interests for me not to work but I do think he finds me less interesting as a result. His work is all consuming at times and he gets lost in it. It takes all his energy and I don't think he has anything left for us at the end of it most of the time.

Attila - I completely agree about the role model thing. I wouldn't want my kids to end up in a relationship like this one. Although it could be much worse. We are both so demonstrative with them but they never see us being like it with each other.

Demesne Wed 24-May-17 10:05:44

Personally I wouldn't call three kisses and a few texts 'an affair'. I know some posters think any emotional contact with a member of your chosen sex of attraction is worthy of 100 lashes, but meh. It's really not a big deal. And no, don't tell your husband.

But, what is he expecting? He's all-consumed with work, doesn't talk to you, have sex with you or even stay in the house a lot of the time. He isn't putting anything into the marriage but cash. Big deal. I've had this shit with my DH, that I'd rather have him, have conversation and contact, than pointless fucking money when I've nothing to spend it on because the person I would enjoy it with isn't here. And it doesn't really sink in, and he fucks off and obsesses over work some more, and I'll be damned if I'm going to sit in the living room for the next 50 years waiting for something to happen.

It isn't going to happen, basically.

You could light a fire under him. Tell him you're returning to work. That you need a life and you're not going to exist just sitting around keeping house while he ignores you. Suggest counselling (he won't agree). You get two things out of this - one, you get to return to work and craft an independent life, and two, he knows he's fucking it all up and he can choose what he does about it. He can rejoin the family and start acting like a husband, or he can choose not to, and frankly if he's going to piss off to his office and choose work over you, I wouldn't feel guilty doing whatever I wanted after that.

Adora10 Wed 24-May-17 10:19:58

Sick to death of reading posts from folk who are so unhappy in their marriages rather than being honest and doing something about it, start an affair with another married person instead; utter selfishness with no moral compass whatsoever.

Neither man is suitable OP and you should really give yourself a wake up call because the way you are behaving is really horrible.

End it with both of them and find a man that can love you unconditionally.

Cliche101 Wed 24-May-17 10:59:17

Thank you Demesne. It has felt like an affair albeit a short one. It could so easily have lead to more. We both felt like we were doing something wrong and we know we shouldn't have done it. Hence ending it. I need to have the conversation with my husband about our relationship.
Counselling is a good call. We need to learn to communicate and he does need to put in come effort too. It's not just me that's lead us to this point

Cliche101 Wed 24-May-17 11:00:19

Adora - I know it's selfish and we have ended it. As I've said above, I didn't feel terribly unhappy before. These feelings have been clarified for me by what's happened.

toomanyloos Wed 24-May-17 13:49:36


He works very very long hours, and often works away
Sex is non-existent and there has never been much chemistry
He is distant and moody with you

I'd question whether he is the devoted spouse you think he is. A lot of opportunity and plenty of motive.....

It's the distant and moody line that makes me suspicious. Been there.

It really is time for some proper communication, or failing that separation. You're both miserable.

MyheartbelongstoG Wed 24-May-17 13:57:20

Agree with Adora.

Leave your husband, don't stay because you're financially stable and have a nice house.

Your husband deserves to know the truth.

Everything from here on in is a lie unless you tell him about on.

And stop fucking getting off with other people's husbands. That is just fucking nasty!

Dadaist Wed 24-May-17 15:04:56

It's sooo sad that people choose to marry with someone they can live with - and not think the 'chemistry' matters. I often think it's like stealing another persons life really, and so hurtful to know someone married you when they weren't that into you.
OP - I'm not going to skate you for the infidelity (which was deliver calculating and prolonged) because I can see you know it was a Erin path and have prevented it escalating. But I do think you have been selfish and cruel - in settling for someone you go on to deny and betray. Maybe even his chemistry will improve for you when you part and you see him as someone separate from you with choices again about who to love?

Dadaist Wed 24-May-17 15:06:40

Sorry - typos - * wrong path (not Erin!)

HildaOg Wed 24-May-17 16:56:00

You're an idiot (and obnoxious) for having an affair with someone local. His wife can and likely will, cause a lot of trouble for you if she finds out.

OM is obviously one of those little creeps who sends fb messages to everybody they think might be a bit easy, on the chance that there's always one who'll fall for it. You degraded yourself and by extension your husband for being that one.

Ship0fFools Wed 24-May-17 17:30:55

I would bet my house on your DH already having an affair tbh

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