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Affair advice - please don't flame me(38 Posts)
I know I was in the wrong, I know I did something I shouldn’t have but I could do with some advice.
I met Bloke A and had a ‘relationship’ with him nearly 3 years. Which I now realise was very much one sided and I have come to realise he is a true narcissist and I don’t know how I was so blinded by it before.
I stopped speaking to Bloke A, met DH, had a whirlwind romance (10 months) and got married in 2017. As we got back from our honeymoon little cracks started to appear, we didn’t get along as well as we did before and settling in to married life was hard. DH also did a few things which stopped me trusting him - I don’t want to go in to too much detail but petty little things which kind of added up. I know this is no excuse whatsoever but just trying to explain my state of mind.
After 4 months of being married Bloke A messages me. I responded, and it led to him asking for us to meet. I held off for a few weeks and caved. Like the stupid person that I am. This stayed like this, on and off, for 11 months. In this time. I decided I was going to leave DH because it wasn’t fair on him and I was driving myself crazy with the guilt. Bloke A is getting married in May. To someone he really doesn’t want to marry but sees as back up (I know this bit is true, I’ve seen text messages between him and various people saying the same thing).
I honestly thought I would leave DH and then Bloke A and I would ride off in to sunset together (stupid I know). Bloke A told me last night, he doesn’t have any feelings for me and also doesn’t know why I have feelings for him. I know I was weak, but he messaged me first, telling me he missed me, he loved me, I made a mistake, it was always him etc. I’m so angry with Bloke A, I’m so hurt and upset and I feel like the guilt is eating me up inside.
I want to tell DH but I know that would only make myself feel better and him feel shit. I honestly don’t know what to do, I messaged Bloke A a whole load of abuse last night, I said horrible things I would never say to anyone ever, but I was so hurt.
It kills me to have to put a ‘brace face’ on in front of DH when all I want to do is break down and cry that I have been so stupid but also crazily, that I will never see Bloke A again.
Has anyone ever been in a similar position? What did you do? Did you stay and keep quiet or did you tell the truth and deal with the fallout? Any advice appreciated.
I think you have two issues.
1. You need to go completely non contact with A now. Delete and block his number, email and profile from every source. Do not make any contact again, ever. It's over.
2. Do you want to continue your marriage? I think you need to tell your DH. And I think the two of you need counselling. If he is willing to try and save your relationship.
It's time to start sorting it all out I'm afraid.
Why why why? Stay away from bloke A! Don't say anything to your husband and move on.
You need to cut off Bloke A now, for good. No good will ever come of him, and you wouldn't want him nearly as much if he wasn't pulling this hot-and-cold rubbish on you.
If there's anything worth saving in your marriage, you are also going to have to get honest with your husband and work together on whether you have a future, or this will happen again. Confess to him and get counselling together.
I have been in a situation that has some parallels. I can't say too much as it would out me but it concerned a friend, who'd always held a torch for me but for whom I didn't have romantic feelings for, making troublesome (and untrue) statements during the course of my relationship. This friend, too, was engaged to someone 'as back-up', hence the parallel.
I would want absolutely nothing to do with someone who would see the person they're about to marry as a 'next-best option'. You don't need poisonous people like that in your life. Neither does his poor fiancee, but that is a matter for her.
It sounds like you got the measure of Bloke A the first time round, and you've got the measure of him now, but narcissistic people do have a way of wheedling their way back in. He will have tactics and techniques to make the people around him rush to make him feel better. It sounds like you've got caught up in that. It's manipulation, pure and simple.
Whether or not you tell your husband about any affair you might have had can only be your call. No one else can tell you what to do here, as it's a personal morality issue. It might be helpful to see any issues within your marriage as separate from your interactions with Bloke A, however. Correlation is not causality. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't be honest with him if you feel that's the best way forward.
My advice is stop all contact with bloke A and secondly to stop being such a vile and deceitful betrayer to your dh.
He is such a horrid manipulator and I’m so far wound up in his stupid web of lies that I still can’t believe he could have been so fake when he pursued me after I got married, I mean what did he plan on achieving from that?
I feel so so ashamed, I can’t tell anyone in real life, even writing it down makes me feel sick about what I’ve done. I got caught up in the moment and at the time I felt no guilt.
It’s only now after Bloke A said the no feelings stuff which make me feel guilty. I feel guilty cause my lies were for nothing, I feel guilty that I fucked up and it didn’t work. This then makes me feel worse, I think there must be something wrong with me to not feel guilt beforehand. How could I have done this to DH. If he did this to me I would be heartbroken.
I want to be with DH. But I don’t think he should be with me. I want to be alone and accept and suffer for what I’ve done but I can’t admit the truth to DH. I can’t. The fallout, the repercussions, I can’t even begin to think about that. But DH won’t let me go with any other excuse.
My mind is so messed up.
I still can’t believe he could have been so fake when he pursued me after I got married, I mean what did he plan on achieving from that?
The sole motivator of a narcissist is to keep the people around them visibly, tangibly in service to them. He needed you to boost his ego, shave his back, tell him he had a big dick, whatever it was. Once you stop doing that, you're no use to him, so he lashes out. Perversely, by hurting you it keeps you emotionally wrong-footed because he's already created the scenario where you're reliant on his patronage, and more likely to come back for more.
I hear you regarding the guilt, what you've said makes sense (i.e. I understand your thought process).
One way forward might be to take that guilt and turn it into momentum to sort both these issues out, once and for all. The Bloke A situation is pretty simple, unless there's more to the story you should cut ties with him. Block, delete, ignore, move on. If you know him to be a manipulator you will never gain anything, including any peace of mind whatsoever for yourself, by continuing to exist in his tangle. Just keep reminding yourself that he has a whole entire woman, a person with thoughts and feelings and hopes and ambitions, in his life who he treats like a spare tyre in the boot of his car.
Once you've sorted that one out, you might find your mind is clearer to find the right way forward with your marriage.
I think you should leave your DH - you don't trust him and he certainly can't trust you. And never let A back into your life.
"He is such a horrid manipulator and I’m so far wound up in his stupid web of lies that I still can’t believe he could have been so fake when he pursued me after I got married, I mean what did he plan on achieving from that?"
You chose to accept his overtures because you wanted to and it felt good and at that time you put your own desires above the commitment you'd made to your husband. Not judging you for that but you're a grown woman and you can't get away with playing the 'he manipulated me' card when you knew you were married and that you'd made a commitment to your husband.
You're telling yourself that telling your husband would only make you feel better and hurt him because that's a convenient way for you to keep your marriage now man A doesn't want you. But it's not your call to make. Your husband deserves to know who he's married to and that he has not been in a monogamous marriage and that he can't trust you. Then he can decide if he wants to be with you or leave, in possession of the facts. It's grossly unfair to keep him in the dark about this and make unilateral decisions about the marriage when you're the one who couldn't be trusted to protect it in the first place. Tell him.
You say you can't deal with the fall out and repercussions and it will be hard but you owe it to your husband to tell him. You were happy to deal with the fall out and repercussions when you were cheating. Suddenly now you can't bear it? Now the first guy doesn't want you? Convenient. Sorry to give tough love but you need to hear it as you're doing too good a job of talking yourself into further lies, and self preservation. Think of your poor husband, I'm sure he's not perfect but he married a woman and has no idea that she's been having it off with another man for a large proportion of his marriage. Putting his sexual health at risk. If a woman came on here and her husband had done that to her he'd be rightly castigated and she'd be urged to run.
Wow @PlausibleSuit that’s exactly what he has done. For the last 4 years, ever since I’ve known him. At this moment in time, I feel like I’ll never recover from the mental headfuck he’s put me through or I put myself through. I honestly can’t believe people like that exist. And even now, I feel like I just want to fix him. If he came back and professed his love, I’d be there and that’s what’s scaring me so so much. Part of me wants to be out of this circle of stupid behaviour and the other half wants him to be sorry.
My DH - he’s an awesome person. Yes he’s not perfect but he is a really genuine guy, someone who treats me well. He was the safe option in my life. I chose the safe option but sexual attraction and misguided love took me back to Bloke A.
Bloke A is now blocked and deleted from everything in my phone. But I’ve been here before. I’ve stopped contact before and either I succumb to my weakness or he uses another method to get in touch which I never even would have thought of (messaging my work twitter, calling off unknown number etc) and I’ll ignore him the first time round but it sets of the cycle again. I start thinking about him again and missing him again. Will he ever leave me alone?
DH won’t leave me, I know he won’t. Even with our problems we’ve been having he still thinks I’m the love of his life. We’ve not been getting along recently, just from problems of our own and we’ve discussed splitting up and it literally broke his heart. This will hurt him so much to know what I’ve done and I know he’s gonna put brave face on and try and deal with it but maybe I should tell him
and when it’s all out in the open we can move on from it somehow.
Well, then tell him. At least take a shot at having a relationship built on honesty and trust and not lies and a rebound fling.
The hard truth is you really don't know your husband very well, nor he you, and literally as soon as reality intruded, the wheels started coming off. I don't know whether there's anything there worth salvaging or not, but you've undermined the foundation of your relationship even before it really got built, so either you do the hard painful work together now, or this is all going to blow up in your face spectacularly in the future.
Bloke A pursued me the whole time I was engaged and at the time when everything was ok with DH I rejected him every single time. The second we hit a bump in the road and Bloke A pursued me once again I was weak and just gave in. I don’t think I handled ‘real life’ well and wanted to escape. I felt like I got married too quickly and Bloke A was the one I should have been with. But that was wrong, I know that now. But that’s on me, I messed up. I think I need to tell DH and just deal with it. He should be aware of everything and then he can decide on how he wants to deal with everything.
Also - myself and Bloke A. In the 11 months of this insane stupidity, without going in to too much detail, for the most part it wasn’t sexual. It was us spending time with each other talking, about life, about family, how we used to do before DH was in the picture. I know that even with this, it still was wrong, maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better but it was still wrong. Every bit of contact, every meeting was wrong. I know that.
DH should be home in a bit. Time to face up to reality and what I’ve done.
Cut A off completely. Block and never talk to him again.
Also leave your ‘D’H as you’re clearly miserable with him hence looking elsewhere, hence not trusting him. Absolutely pointless staying with him. Have a clean break.
I do trust DH, I do. With huge things in life and our marriage yes I trust him. It’s day to day stuff we struggled with but since the conversation we had recently where I told him how I was feeling (didn’t tell him about Bloke A then), he understood completely where I was coming from and he understood he had made mistakes which resulted in me distrusting him about little things. We both promised to work on these things and since then it’s been better but that’s because both of us have been on our best behaviour especially DH.
Whereas I’ve been living this stupid double life. I’ve felt like such a fake and I know this is all my own fault. It’s something I’ve really been struggling with, it’s affecting my mental health, I can’t even fake being nice to DH, I’ve just been quiet every single day, mentally kicking myself for messing up. And it’s hard admitting that I’ve done this to myself. I’ve ruined our marriage, whether I tell DH or not. I’ve ruined the beginning of our marriage. Because I’m weak.
He was the safe option in my life. I chose the safe option but sexual attraction and misguided love took me back to Bloke A.
It sounds like your husband represents safety but not someone you really want to commit to. You are craving him now because you feel in desperate need of safety. If you get your safe world back so you can relax I'd expect you'd start looking around again for another escape route.
@nauticant I think it’s fair to say most of that is right. DH is safe, so safe. If we stay together I can guarantee being around looking after until the day I die. And I do the same with him. I know it’s stupid but when I’m not living the stupid double life, me and DH are good together. We’re such good friends, make each other laugh, and 95% of the time get on like a house on fire.
I don’t know if I would do this again. I can’t say that for sure and that scares me. Every part of me wants to say I wouldn’t ever do anything like this ever again but a year ago, I would never have said I would ever have had an affair. I’ve shocked myself with what I’ve done.
Tell your dh - it's not fair on him to think you've been giving him the cold shoulder over what he's done, when it's actually about what you've done.
Have you considered that probably the main reason you haven't been getting on with your husband is because you've been investing your emotional energy in someone else?
I started switching off from DH because he did something. I don’t want to get in to too much detail as this may be outing. I know a few family members are on MN but somewhere along the line of DH having had a gambling addiction along time ago and still paying off some old but pretty large debt. I found out. We’re working through it. We got past it. And we really are working through it.
And this is not excusing my behaviour at all but I was so used to Bloke A hurting me and the back and forth but always thought DH was just perfect. But I trust DH enough that we can work through it. Most days.
I’ve been sad at home because I’ve been thinking maybe DH wasn’t the one. Bloke A deffo isn’t but maybe also DH isn’t. And that’s why I’ve been very sad. My dad recently had a heart attack and I think everything in my life combined has just made me have a really sad/depressive outlook on life. One where I’d just rather be alone, without the hassle of ‘real life’, punished for what I’ve done rather than try and work through it with DH.
My mental health is literally all over the place at the moment
I suggest therapy by yourself to sort out your own head. Being involved with a narcissist will really mess with one's head, and personal therapy would be my recommendation to anyone who had gotten free from a narcissist (regardless of the details of the relationship). Have you seen this web site:
It's about personality disorders in general, but has tons of stuff on narcissist personality disorder.
As far as your marriage, try to have fun together. Honestly, that's my rock solid marriage advice. Set aside time for it, and then do fun things together. As your head clears in personal therapy, some things about your marriage may naturally fall into place. Having fun together is really underrated, but can do more to build up a relationship than tons of heavy conversations. Good luck!
Oh my goodness, it's like a tv drama! Bloke A is clearly out of the way now...although if he is a true narcissistic, he'll be back hoovering you up. What did he hope to achieve? He wanted to win, win you back, and he did, end of. By the sounds of it, you were in 'Limerence' with your DH, look that shit up. Leave both men and learn more about why you 'settle'. Good luck
First of all sweetheart, have a massive hug from me. You're clearly very upset and down on yourself, so have a nice big hug xxxxxx
Secondly, what to do?! Well.
There is the possibility that husband, lovely as he is, is not enough for you.
I also think that the ex partner is possibly not a good guy. The love and feeling you have for him shines right through to me, but this could be heartbreak time. He's messed you about, and I tell you what, I KNOW when I love someone, and you know how much you love him, but he doesn't know how much he loves you. It just isn't there in him, otherwise it would be apparent. He has hurt you and then swanned back into something serious you've got going on, and hurt you again.
Therefore I sadly suspect he is not right for you either.
This means in my mind, you could end up never hearing from your ex again and therefore healing from it, and you will heal, mark my words... you may also split up with your husband and be alone.
And that's not so bad. Many women I admire spend periods of time alone to become their own woman away from the shadow of a relationship. And then they meet someone they love who loves them and settle down.
Being alone for a period of time is no bad thing, if this is what it eventually comes to.
And as for telling or not telling, I have always believed generally that to tell the truth exactly how it is is the best course of action in difficult situations. If you own your part and what you did, then others can too, and how they respond is not up to you, and how you respond is not up to anyone else either. So if you are of a mind to, why not tell your husband the truth, give it a few days to think both of you and take it from there.
Tell the truth to yourself too, if you don't think he is enough for you, because that is the one kindness you can still do xxx and it wouldn't be the end of the world either xxxxxxxxxxx if it is true, then it is true and the cards fall as they may xxxxx
There is an awful lot going on in your post. It took you some time to get into this situation and you should perhaps give yourself some time to get through it.
I think a pp's suggestion that you should have some individual counselling is right. You have separate issues to work through:- how you feel about Bloke A, how you feel about yourself that caused you to get involved with a narcissist in the first place, how you feel about your dh, how you feel about yourself that you chose to 'settle' for him and then, finally the question of whether and how to tell your dh. It doesn't seem fair to drop this maelstrom on him. You don't see sure exactly what it is that you might want to tell him, or not. Perhaps working through some of that first could help you explain yourself better or might give you strength to manage your guilt and go on with your marriage without telling him.
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