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Affair advice please (only those who've been in affairs themselves please)

(183 Posts)
BrokenandEmpty Sun 15-Oct-17 15:05:29

Please don't judge me - I need advice and help not to be told how awful I am which I already know.

I am married with two young children and had had an affair with an also married man who has children. Our affair started three years ago, both unhappy in our marriages where we were missing the spark and not feeling loved but knew neither of us was investing in our marriages either. I hate writing and saying this but for me, it was like sharing life with a roommate and nothing more. For MM I know it was the same and our affair spiralled out of all control and over the last few of years I have fallen completely in love with him. His wife found out and forgave him but their marriage was even worse and we tried so many times to stop but we haven't been able to at all. I don't doubt that he loves me but we decided that we couldn't do this to our children - couldn't ruin there lives for our selfishness. We tried but failed and we resumed our affair and decided we were both so miserable without each other so started to take steps to leave our marriages in a way that would cause the least pain to both our spouses - to anyone who hasn't had an affair I know that reads pathetically.

Despite this, he completely broke down and told his wife that he is in love with me. But this is the killer - he didn't tell her he wants us to be together and is now staying to work on his marriage. I am so confused and heartbroken - on the one hand he and I started to plan our life together and now this.

For those of you that have been in this position, did you tell your husband about your affair even if it meant not being with the OM?

Will he ever actually leave his wife? She has forgiven him again and is now even more loving and does everything he asks.

I need to get over this don't I? He is never going to actually leave for us is he? I am completely devastated by the extent to which I've ruined my own marriage which feels irreparable. And I am even more devastated by the fact that it's come to this point and he is staying. He said his marriage will "probably end now anyway" but that shouldn't be enough to keep me hanging on or enough for me to completely devastate my husband by telling him now should it?

I haven't told anyone at all about any of this and I'm a complete mess inside. I think I just need to talk to anyone who has been through this and what you did. What happened? Did your MM leave? If not, how did you get over it? Did you tell your husband everything or just keep going with this enormous shameful secret? It's just too much to bear and the weight of it all is crushing me.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sun 15-Oct-17 15:12:38

He isn’t going to leave his wife for you. It will hurt, but as soon as you accept that, you’ll start to feel clearer.

He doesn’t want to leave her. He might love you and he may well have thought he wanted to go through with the plans you made; but when it comes down to it, he doesn’t. There’s no changing that. Don’t wait for him.

For your sake, you need to go no contact now. He’s made his decision; don’t be tempted to be a backup option.

As for your marriage, it sounds over. Is that how you feel?

Whisky2014 Sun 15-Oct-17 15:13:53

He won't leave. Move on

gamerchick Sun 15-Oct-17 15:15:41

Total no contact OP, you know it’s the only way. He knows his wife will forgive him so he has no reason to change anything.

You need to wean yourself from this addiction and sort your own life out.

gamerchick Sun 15-Oct-17 15:17:05

You don’t need to tell your husband but you do need to end your marriage so he has a chance to find happiness with someone who wants him 100% you’re not being fair to him.

Rhubarbginn Sun 15-Oct-17 15:20:22

It is an addiction. You need to wean yourself off him first. No contact. It will be hard. Maybe start a thread on how to do this and find support.
Then when you're in a better and more rational place, then think about your marriage and the best thing to do for it.
I do hope no posters come on and start to kick you. Offers no help at all.

BrokenandEmpty Sun 15-Oct-17 15:30:02

I'm devastated and thought he was the one I was going to grow old with and the little self esteem I had before we even started our affair has been crushed and I just feel helpless and useless and as pathetic as it sounds betrayed by him. How can he flip from being so in love with me and so committed to a life together to this. I don't understand how his wife has forgiven him so readily too and how all of a sudden he is fine and happy without us.

I know I need to break the addiction but after three years it feels impossible. As for my marriage, it hasn't been great for 7 years since my eldest was born but I've made it worse by not investing in it and putting all my attention into my relationship with MM. everything feels so broken and I don't know where to begin to mend it.
Is being a back up option really that bad? Has that worked out for anyone or will it just throw me over the edge emotionally if that doesn't work either. and I'm not suggesting being a back up without ending my marriage first. I have ruined my marriage and I don't know how anyone recovers after they've had an affair when they stay with their spouse.

Rhubarbginn Sun 15-Oct-17 15:37:19

Try to put it in a box. It is over. Focus on trying to detach and don't prolong the agony. It will take a lot of strength. Time is a healer.
I don't know about your marriage, but before you really think about that, you need to take proper steps away from mm. small targets in the early days. Sean yourself off the hit.

Rhubarbginn Sun 15-Oct-17 15:37:34


Dadaist Sun 15-Oct-17 15:38:48

So that was a very long ‘will he leave his wife?’ post and the answer seems to be not unless she leaves him, which sounds unlikely if they are still together and everything is out in the open.
Your next question is more ‘can I feel ok about not confessing to my husband?’ - ad the answe is no, it’s not OK. The length of time of your affair (3 years) means the pain you will have caused him will have driven him mad - wondering why your relationship faultered - when in fact it never stood a chance.
Someone said ‘believe me - God won’t send you another woman’s husband!’
And believe me - your husband already knows on an intuitive level - so a confession would help him make sense of his life. With a bit of luck he has also had an affair - and you can be part to blame together. But honestly? I think the only chance of living your life with peace of mind will be to confess the whole awful truth - and find out who you are now. That crushing sensation you feel is not just guilt - it’s fear for the future holding on to secrets and lies. The truth is uttered and becomes your past and you are free to live a better self. A lie becomes part of your future - and will never leave your side for long if it undermines your very existence every day.
I don’t know your husband- but he might be relieved to finally know the truth. There is forgiveness in this world, and understanding and redemption. But not for those that will never admit what they have done, or show no remorse or think they can get away with it the rest of their lives.
Yours is a really big thing - and it won’t go away unless you are capable of finding sociopathic narcissistic traits to your character - (or already have them?) or you confess and put it in your past and not your future.

Hissy Sun 15-Oct-17 15:40:44

How can he flip from being so in love with me and so committed to a life together to this. I don't understand how his wife has forgiven him so readily too and how all of a sudden he is fine and happy without us.

Erm... because he’s a cheat?? That’s a good place to start.

A low life scumbag liar, betraying his wife, his kids, all his friends and family

Oh, and you.

He lied to you, the whole time. He never was going to leave her.

He’s told his wife a whole sack of lies too, and she’s believing him, as you’ve believed him.

The question is not “why would she take her h back, work to save her marriage?” The question should be why would you settle for a scum bag who can lie like that to everyone? Why do you think he’d go against every cell of his being, everything he’s ever done, to be a completely different person with you?

A completely different person that doesn’t actually exist.

He’s shown you who he is for 3 years. Just you who has chosen not to see.

Have you told your own H?

swingofthings Sun 15-Oct-17 15:48:25

If he'd wanted so desperately to leave her for you, he would have done so. Many men do (my step-dad left his wife and 5 children, the youngest being under 1) for my mum. They married, then went on to have my sister, and in the end, everyone recovered and my mum had a good relationship with 4 of the 5 children and I even got to meet the ex-wife as I attended a party given by one of the children and I got only great with her, of course many years later.

The point is that he had more to lose than to gain by leaving and that's why he stayed. Most likely, despite their issues, he does love her and would rather be with her with those issues sorted than with you.

It's hard to in that position, but that's the risks you took. You played the game and lost, but at least you had three very good years, so you did get something out of it.

user21 Sun 15-Oct-17 16:02:13

The problem here is that you're believing the words of a liar and a cheat.

You have no idea what he's told his wife or what their relationship is like. Chances are he's been spinning you more lies than her

Ts27 Sun 15-Oct-17 16:19:22

His wife has stayed because he has lied to her. She has stayed because he has asked her to.

It's difficult to see the truth when you're so involved- read the responses above- they are unbiased views. Your husband and children deserve more, you deserve more. This man will continue to make his life work with his wife and you will wake up one day and realise to have ruined your life and will find yourself all alone. Be realistic and kind to yourself. This has gone on for 3 years. It cannot go on any longer.

BrokenandEmpty Sun 15-Oct-17 16:25:07

In my heart I know you're all right. Dadaist - you are exactly right about why I feel I need to tell my husband - under the weight of this crushing secret any part of us that might make it though won't. I know I have to tell him. Hissy and Swingofthings- what you have said is what I need to hear but it's just devastating having someone say it out loud. I have never felt so low, used or completely broken and it's all my own fault.

Swingofthings- I wasn't playing a game though. Three years of love (that I just can't believe wasn't mutual) and this wasn't something I saw that I would win or lose. But you're right, i have lost him and it just hurts.

hahahaIdontgetit Sun 15-Oct-17 16:28:26

If you only have his word that he told her that he loves you, then I'd be doubtful that ever happened.

He has chosen to work on his marriage and live full time with his children. The alternative, for both of you, is to be with your children on a part time basis. They will be hurt and angry.

You do not ride off into the sunset after an affair, even if you end up together. There is months of pain going through a divorce, and then you're down to the day to day.

The monotony of your current life with your husband, you'll have that with new man. If you can't create a fulfilling life with your husband and children now, you certainly won't be able to when you're dealing with step relationships and angry exes.

God forbid you are in the same social circles as your MM and his wife, if so, prepare to lose all your friends as well.

Bambamrubblesmum Sun 15-Oct-17 16:36:22

How have you managed to lie to your husband for 3 years? That will answer your question as to how he was able to string you along for so long. You were getting what you wanted and so was he. Albeit turns out you wanted different things.

When his wife found out then he was no longer getting what he wanted anymore (a bit on the side) so he dropped you.

There was no 'us'. It was part of his setup.

I'm being very black and white but that's the only way to see things clearly.

Think about why he never told her. It took for her to find out. That says it all.

You need to do the decent thing and end your marriage. Let your husband find someone who wants to be with him. Don't use him as a safety net, that would be wrong.

user21 Sun 15-Oct-17 16:39:15

Be prepared for his DW telling your DH too.
You don't call all the shots on your marriage. You gave up that right the day you decided to involve yourself in theirs

swingofthings Sun 15-Oct-17 16:42:12

using the words 'playing a game' was an euphemism. I didn't mean it literary, but that mean 'game' in that you went along with it knowing that there was always a risk to end up where you are.

Another reason why he might have decided to stay is that he didn't want to take that same risk. After all, you were waiting for him to leave her to leave your husband. Why if he had left her and then you'd changed your mind? He would have been left with nothing.

A friend of mine left his wife (also a friend) last year. He said it was because they'd grown apart etc.... then the affair came out after he'd left. He said that he felt he had no choice but to do it, that he didn't want to hurt his wife or mess up his kids but he couldn't have stayed. Then the girl he had an affair with decided that she didn't want a relationship with him and he is now alone and miserable. His wife has now moved on enough (still hurt and can't talk about it without tears coming up) to not want to give him another go and his three adult/teenage children are refusing to have anything with him (he told them he had a right to happiness, that didn't go down too well!).

Hold on to the fact that you had something very special. Not everyone experience the level of passion you would have shared with him.

Wildaboutoscar Sun 15-Oct-17 16:46:37

He is not going to leave his wife.
Break all contact with him.
Concentrate on yourself - go to the gym, start running , start a class - anything that will absorb you.
Not sure whether you should tell your husband or not ?
Good luck and sending flowers

BrokenandEmpty Sun 15-Oct-17 16:50:30

His wife confronted me at home after he confessed that he loved me so I know she knows. What she doesn't know is true extent of our relTionship (how long, truthful details) but she knows that it wasn't only physical and we had talked about and planned to commit to each other. The ultimatum when she found out the last time was me or his children and that was why we had planned to end our marriages without our affair being the reason. Stupid I know now.

Yes the only one thing is that we don't live near each other or have any common friends. But my only friends are also my husband's and is why I've never been able to talk, cry or ask for help from anyone. All of this is irrelevant, he made his decision, she has accepted his 'truth' and I have to learn how to get over him and work out how I can sort my marriage out for my children.

OldGuard Sun 15-Oct-17 16:55:27

1. Cut all contact
2. Start exercising (any form - walking is a good start)
3. See a therapist to work on yourself and go from there

You will, in time, look back and see this man and your relationship with him for what it really is .... but it will take some distance first

Hissy Sun 15-Oct-17 16:59:23

Hold on to the fact that you had something very special.


That’s a good one! What a crock!!

Op had NOTHING!! Just lies! What she “had” was never hers, it was all a lie!

Cheats live in their bubble of lies and reality is the absolute death of their relationship, the consequences of their lies are to be avoided at all costs.

It’s why those men who DO walk away from their wives and kids often do so with not much more than a backward glance and put their new stolen or hastily put together families first.

Please, go ahead and support a “sister” who thinks very little of other sisters, be there to hear the incredulous “but he can’t have lied to meee...” but please don’t tell the poor woman that what she actually never had in the first place was special.

It was a lie. Three whole years of sordid lies. Hundreds of thousands of lies. Sneaking about and lying to dozens and dozens of people.

Yeah it hurts, but it was all so avoidable.

He’s a cheat. Does what it says on the tin.

userxx Sun 15-Oct-17 17:00:40

Can you not end your marriage, it doesn't sound like you've been happy for a long time, even before the other man came along.

As someone else said if he really wanted to leave his wife he would have. Men and women leave their marriages all the time after falling in love with someone else.

Go no contact, it's the only way to get over someone.

Belleoftheball8 Sun 15-Oct-17 17:01:01

All those feelings your feeling magnify it and put yourself in your lovers wife shoes, how would you imagine she must feel. He was never going to have a moral compass as he's had an affair with you for three years. Most decent people would end the relationship before embarking on a new one. You need to be honest with your husband and leave.

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