Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
I'm the other woman, not proud of it, confused - anyone been in this situation?(356 Posts)
I realise this is going to prompt an onslaught of criticism, fair enough. I just wondered there are people who could help me as I can't talk in real life.
I'm not excusing my behaviour but context: I had previously only had two relationships - my 'first love' at college, and my husband of 11 years. We have 4 dc. Our relationship was on the surface fine in the early days, but as we had children, and I know people will think 'how could you not know' - his behaviours became more and more difficult to live with, and we embarked on marriage counselling, and eventually dh was diagnosed with Asperger's. We both tried to deal with this as best we could, but after a further year and a half of counselling and best efforts, we both mutually agreed to separate.
I was diagnosed with clinical depression, and felt like my life was not worth living. Single parent, in 40s, part-time work, scraping money together, dealing with loss and disappointment of marriage and the impact of living with emotionally unavailable man who always seemed so harsh/manipulative but also vulnerable, making it hard for me to see the wood for the trees.
I became close friends with a couple, our kids get on well, and we spent time together over the next year or so. Fast forward to a party earlier this year, the man in this couple gets v. drunk and makes a pass at me. I think I'm being really careful to avoid hurting his feelings, and my good friend his wife, and stop things in their tracks. However, I wasn't prepared for how it made me feel. To him it was probably just a drunken fumble. To me, it was highly significant - one of the few times in my life that someone has shown me such attention. He contacted me afterwards and we 'talked', discussing the fact that neither of us 'did this kind of thing' and that it was no big deal, a mistake, hadn't gone too far, no harm done. But then over a period of weeks and months our friendship has gradually developed. To begin with it seemed he was stuck in an unhappy relationship and spending a very brief time talking to me helped him, and me, to feel less lonely. However, now I feel like it is me who has fallen deeply in love with this person, and he is either (a) regretting his actions and looking for a 'safe' exit strategy, (b) in denial and scared about the strength of his initial feelings, worried about everyone else's reaction if it was discovered etc or (c) just chaotically enjoying the rare moments we do get to spend time together, but feeling guilty otherwise. I've obviously tried to talk about it but it never really goes anywhere. He knew before we got together that I was depressed. He knows I find it tough being on my own with the kids, but I genuinely believe he thinks I can help him and he can help me. I swing between being horrified at myself for putting myself in this situation - I know how low my behaviour is, I know what is at stake, I know I can't have much self-respect if I let him basically take what he wants when he wants. But, I do feel so much better for having a connection with someone for the first time in my adult life. I obviously thought I had it with my stb ex dh but was bewildered by his condition, hoodwinked by his manipulation and brought down by the endless negativity and anxiety that our relationship brought to bear on me. Part of me thinks 'why shouldn't I?' but then I remember that I'm not even happy as everything is on his terms. I think I know what people are going to say, and honestly I will read your comments and will think carefully. I know it will be too painful for some people to try to imagine from my perspective, but if anyone has experiences to share that might help me, I would be grateful. Thank you.
Walk away, there is no happiness to be gained from this.
He may be one of the few people who has shown you affection and attention, OP. But he isn’t the only person who could. Find someone who is free to do so. Leave this man alone.
I completely understand the feelings of boredom and disappointment in your marriage but would you actually look twice at OM if you were happy in yourself?
He knows you are vulnerable and he has picked up on that. It's honestly not worth the heartache for your family and his.
If you think your life is bad now, the shitstorm that will be unleashed when this comes to light will make it look like a walk in the park
Save yourself and your kids, walk away. Nothing nothing good will come of this. You won't listen though. Your emotional death wish will keep you going until all is laid bare
So not just an affair, an affair with your friend’s husband?
Yep that is low!
He’s taking advantage of the situation you are in. This will bring you and his wife unhappiness in the long term and he’s really not worth it.
You are extremely vulnerable. No wonder that spark set off a forest fire
Without going into too much detail, walk away now. Screw up ALL your strength and courage and end it. Bcs, I assure you, if you felt shit before you'll feel a hundred times worse before too long.
I don't feel quite so charitable towards him. If he cared for you he wouldn't hit on you and continue to hit on you when it is such a monumentally SHIT deal for you. And that's not to mention what he is doing to his unsuspecting wife..
Let this be a wake up call - that you are an emotionally starved woman through no fault of your own. Look at ways to nourish your emotional life - this has to be a project, you have to make this your top priority. Wrap yourself in a blanket, have a regular massage, be kind and nourishing to yourself ; do things that validate you, with people who value you.
Which isn't him. He doesn't value you. Step away
This isn't making you happy. He isn't the answer to your loneliness. He's not a nice or good man. He's using you.
You deserve more than this. And his wife deserves a fuck load more from her husband and her friend.
There is no good to come of this.
He has used you and you were in a very vulnerable position and have fallen for the feeling of being wanted...I don't think it's so much him, although your mind will make you think it's him.
You can find that with someone else....someone unattached.
Would you want to be with someone who can cheat on their wife and lie to them? No. You deserve better, cut contact and find someone decent who is proud to have you as their only partner!
I know that feeling of being DESPERATE for affection and, maybe, finding it in the wrong places. But it's not love. It's a kind of hunger for someone to notice you, to touch you and hold you.
This man made a drunken pass at you, without any idea that you would reciprocate, but you were so starved of affection you did...he must think all his Christmasses have come at once. I reiterate, it's not love. You want someone, anyone, and he happens to be there and wants the same thing. Unfortunately, he should be finding it with his wife, and you need to walk away and find someone else to hug.
He's not a good guy. He's not in love. He's using you as a bit on the side because he's bored. I'm sure you're worth more OP.
I understand how potent and overwhelming it is when you begin to feel desired by someone and all the attention he gives you but he will throw you under the bus to save himself and his marriage if need be.
Married men say a lot, they can love bomb you, they say they sleep on the sofa, they say they barely speak to their wives anymore, they say there's no intimacy, they say its like living with their sister etc etc etc.... Don't believe it OP.
You must break away before he breaks you.
If you are feeling lonely and neglected, it is no wonder you will cling to this "non-relationship" because if you are desperate for touch, warmth, kindness and validation you won't want to give it up.
The problem here - as you know - is this is a car crash absolutely waiting to happen. It has no happy ending for you and you know it. You say you have fallen deeply in love. So what are the possible outcomes here:
- he dumps you off his own bat- either because he's found another OW or because he gets bored. You will be broken hearted and feel even worse than you feel now.
-his wife finds out. He will dump you then. You lose a friend and him at the same time. You will be broken hearted, feel even worse than you feel now and you may also lose alot more in terms of your reputation in your social circle and your kids play dates.
- you walk away now. You will be broken hearted but you'll probably get over it more quickly because (a) you'll be in control and (b) your self-respect will increase because you did the right thing even though it was hard.
-he leaves his wife and sets up shop with you. This is about as likely as a snowman catching on fire but let's go with it for a moment. You won't ever trust him so you'll never be really at peace in the relationship. You'll have to deal with all the trauma, guilt and social fall out of this.
-Or you just carry on as you are getting more emotionally invested, feeling more shit about yourself because you love someone who won't be with you, self-esteem spiralling ever downward - until one of the above happens (which it will). The effects on you then will be EVEN worse than now.
Having said all of that, this is nothing you don't know. I wish for you with all my heart you find the strength to end it but I know that realistically if you feel the way you are feeling with your vulnerability the chances of you managing that are low. People tend to do what they want to do and cede all control to "their heart" or lust or whatever you want to call it.
I've walked in those shoes so wouldn't criticise you but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it's not the oncoming train. If you can struggle through the darkness of the tunnel you will come out the other side and you will find happiness with an available man.
I wish you strength and lots of luck.
Not much of a friend to his wife are you?
you are an emotionally starved woman through no fault of your own. Look at ways to nourish your emotional life - this has to be a project, you have to make this your top priority
What advice would you give to someone in this situation? If you are emotionally starved and have no one in your life, how can you nourish your emotional life?
I'm not talking about friends/family and so on - but if you are in that dark lonely place of craving an intimate relationship and physical sexual affection, how do you go about getting out of that place of desperation?
People say massage helps - but it really doesn't - you end up feeling that the only person who will ever touch you is someone who you have to pay.
I think it becomes a self fulfilling black circle actually - that you feel desperate - get involved in an affair/unsuitable emotionally unavailable relationship - that damages your self esteem more - feel more desperate and like this is the only option - then cling harder to the unsuitable relationship.
If you do get out, then the future seems really bleak because you think no one would ever want to be with you which affects your self esteem which is very unattractive anyway. If you are travellling round with an "I'm repellent, I haven't been touched for years, no one wants me" vibe, no one will want you even if it is just in your head.
It's a very hard cycle to break.
At a very low point of my life someone suggested to me I went on a personal development course. It wasn't my type of thing. But what I brought out from it was the concept of self honesty. I would feel like a total shit for a long to come if I'd caused some other family to break up.
I get that you're at a very difficult point in your life. But this isn't the answer. Do you really think your welfare is more important than that of his dc? We don't have to have people we fancy - that's something that comes with being an adult. What you have here is a choice. Make the right one. Get a grip and walk away. Bad lives (not always but) very often result from bad choices.
I'm not excusing my behaviour You absolutely are. Are you still socialising with his family?
Honestly, if he is treating you this way he doesn't respect or care about you. As far as I can tell it doesn't seem to be about him to you either but rather the attention. Leave him and look else where for the attention, preferably from someone who actually cares about you.
All the wrong reasons for any kind of a relationship. Walk away.
You have done this because you are lonely, but this isn't the answer.
I bet he has done this before. He realised you were vulnerable and chose to use the opportunity to his advantage. But you are a grown woman and know this is not right.
Imagine his wife finding out and everyone knowing - your kids, your neighbours, your parents.
Then imagine him telling his wife you meant nothing to him, you were just sex, just an ego boost, because that's what happens when they're discovered.
My god, to betray a friend for a few stolen moments with a shitbag like this. Scrape your dignity together and walk away.
OP nobody can get you out of this except yourself. You can either:
1) Stay with him. Take the crumbs of his time and affection. Never live a full life. When it implodes (as it will, honey, they all do) you will feel a million times lower than you've ever felt, your friend will hate you, your kids will be affected and this man who claims to care about you will turn his back on you in a heartbeat.
2) Walk away, accept that this has identified a need in you, and find other ways to fill that need.
You say in your thread title, 'I'm not proud' - well you get the choice in all this. Do you want to live a life you are proud of? What kind of person do you want to be? This is totally in your control. Yes he's taken advantage, yes you've had a shitty time before this but what happens next is YOUR CHOICE. Make it, and own it - and all that may come with it.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.