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affairs and family fallout

(16 Posts)
Noisygirls Wed 08-Nov-17 17:36:48

Anyway, recent affair has come to light in the family. While the couple are working it out and most likely will split, the rest of us are left shocked and horrified that the wife had an affair. I know it didn't happen to me and I'm trying to be neutral and supportive, but I'm really angry at them for fucking up so badly. They were unhappy I can see that, but they didn't need to do this. There are young children in both sides involved. I just can't get my head around it. And then I remind myself they are family but it isn't my business. Don't really know what I'm asking! Just think I'm surprised how angry and hurt I am.

kittensinmydinner1 Wed 08-Nov-17 17:51:57

This is mumsnet. How dare you care about anyone else except you and your immediate DH/dcs. ?? Get back inside your insulated bubble and other peoples problems will disappear...

Ok. Enough sarcasm but someone is guaranteed to pop up any moment and tell you to mind your own..

The reason you are is upset is because you realise the wider implications of an affair are not just the effect on the people involved but the whole wider family. Including the effect on children. Will you lose contact if the children leave with mother and you are fathers side of family.. gps will also be worried and you will worry because they are worried. It’s all normal but not nice stuff. Take care of yourself .

Pancakeflipper Wed 08-Nov-17 18:02:57

As Kittens says in MN world it's none of your business.
But it does have a big impact on other people.
When my Aunt had an affair and left her husband and children it was horrific. So much upset for family and friends.

When my DP's brother had an affair and left his partner of 15yrs, I was gutted. I really liked his partner. We'd come close friends over the years and to see her in absolute pieces was horrid. Took me by surprise at my anger and upset.

Thankfully time does help heal things. But I think initial hurt and anger is natural. Cos' when things are good for family and friends you are happy for them - so guess when the opposite occurs then you react too.

FitBitFanClub Wed 08-Nov-17 18:09:11

The other thing that many posters on here will tell you is that "life moves on" and it will soon be your job to welcome the new partner into the family like a long-lost friend. Sweep aside any (natural) feelings of upset you have at the family being fragmented, and move on. Who gives a shit about the cheated-on partner?

I despair of this place sometimes.

Noisygirls Wed 08-Nov-17 19:48:20

Thank you for replying. I think the shock of what they have done, the lies and frankly appalling deception has made me question whether I knew this person at all and I thought we were close. Don't assume to know their secrets but didn't think they would be so utterly selfish. And how do you make yourself stay neutral and bite your tongue?!

User452734838 Wed 08-Nov-17 19:58:01

I think news of affairs can make people a bit unnerved too. When you find out about someone and you think "oh my god, they seemed so happy" it almost brings home that it can literally happen to anyone.

A man I know (family) had an affair with someone 20 years younger. He had what everyone thought was a perfect life/wife/relationship but he was tempted when said younger lady made it clear she was interested in him. The affair was brief but it could have blown his marriage and family apart. Fortunately for him his wife bought his dumbed down version of events and whilst it was frosty for a while, they seem back to their old selves again now. He is mortified by the risk he took but said the feelings were intoxicating at the time.

I guess it can happen to anyone.

SandyY2K Wed 08-Nov-17 20:01:58

People often forget how many are affected by their actions. It's much better to end an unhappy relationship.

My DB was unhappy. He filed for a D... moved out and is now remarried.

We were able to welcome his new partner into the family and retain a friendship with ex SIL... And hard feelings.

If he had an affair.... I would have been dead against it ... as would the rest of us.

headinhands Wed 08-Nov-17 20:03:36

I dunno, I think the fallout for the relationship happens before the affair. My mum had an affair and my parents split. I can see that it was never going to work between them and the affair was the tipping point. I only speak for my own experience though as know that people have managed to repair marriages after affairs. I couldn’t have seen it with my parents though.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 08-Nov-17 20:06:21

Lots of ever-helpful hyperbole on this thread as per... 'welcome new partner as a long-lost friend'? I've never seen that. I've seen and agreed with posters saying that better to stay away from the affairee(s) if they find it too difficult to be civil to them. You don't have to accept new partners at all; just know that this could come with consequences itself.

The couple in question will need time and space to sort their arrangements out, whatever they are going to be and, until the decision has come down from them, the only thing you can do is actually be supportive, eg. take their children out so that they have time without them to talk.

I get why you're angry OP but what is there about this that gives rise to you being hurt? Respectfully, this is a family member and they're not disposable. You may feel as if you don't know them but in my opinion, you never really know anybody body and soul and perhaps we're not supposed to. People are always shocked by how their families and friends act because it's 'out of character' and perhaps that's something to hold onto - they don't always behave this way so an instance of bad behaviour (that doesn't meet heinous standards) doesn't mean that this is the person that they now are and they need to be 'written off'.

Yes, affairs are a selfish act. No getting away from that and there aren't any excuses that would be valid but presumably, you care about the people involved - and the children who are most directly involved and that is how you will remain civil and bite your tongue. Because this really and truly doesn't affect you in the same way that it does them.

I'm sorry though, you do sound shocked and saddened and it is a serious thing for a family to have to deal with but they/you will deal with it and get through it.

GoodLuckTime Wed 08-Nov-17 20:36:15

I don't think you have to completely bite your tongue to stay neutral.

You can't go on and on about it, but I think picking your moment to say to the person who had an affair, once and directly how you feel / see it can be great for clearing the air for the future.

Not comparable, but when I was a student, a friend of mine (let's call her Sarah) stole another close friends (let's call her Clare) boyfriend. Sarah and the boyfriend slept together the night Clare and boyfriend broke up, while on a big group holiday. Clare got up in the morning to find her ex of about12 hours naked on a sofa with Sarah.

Sarah and boyfriend were together for quite a while subsequently.

As a close friend of both I was in a v tricky position. The next time I saw Sarah I said 'I need to tell you I think what you did was completely out of order.' She said 'I know'. It cleared the air and then it was easier to move on and stay out of subsequent fall out that wasn't my business. A few other mutual friends did similar. Think it helped Sarah realise how out of order it was (the boyfriend was out order too but I didn't know him nearly so well.)

I remained friend with both. Sarah learned from her mistakes, has never done similar, and remains one of my closest friends 20 years later.

I think you are entitled to say your piece, briefly, once. And doing so is likely to make it easier to move on in due course.

Barbaro Wed 08-Nov-17 20:52:42

Eh I would just call the person who cheated a tramp/whore etc whatever you want to call them and be done with it. They frankly deserve it and at least the cheated on person feels like someone is on their side.

Not really comparable as it's a TV show but it's the best I have, but look at what happened to that doctor on the BBC show Dr foster. Her close friends and family forgave her cheating husband and were happy to see him with the woman he cheated with, despite saying they wouldn't go to the party. I wouldnt do that to be honest, I can barely talk to an aunt of mine that cheated on her husband without snarling at her. But I hold grudges for a very long time and she is an awful woman anyway.

There is nothing to be gained by pretending everything is fine when it isn't. Be honest with people and get on with it. Best to tell them what they are rather than them think they've got away with it, they'll just do it again then if they think everyone will turn a blind eye.

headinhands Thu 09-Nov-17 21:38:55

Nope. It’s all very well thinking we have the higher ground to go around passing judgement on others but we don’t. Affairs seem to be the easy target for people to judge others. Only because the fall out it is invariably so public and spreads out socially to those around the people directly involved.

Maybe it’s because I’m yonks old but it wouldn’t occur to me to bestow my judgement on other consenting adult’s personal relationships. As soon as you pass that verbal judgement on someone you’re suggesting it could never happen to you. It’s massively short sighted.

IAmBreakmasterCylinder Thu 09-Nov-17 21:49:14

This happened in my family too and I found it really hard. It was a man who had cheated, he came home from work one day, told his DW who had no clue, packed a bag and left, all in front of 3 young DC.

He has continued to behave appallingly, not seeing his DCs or providing for them all the while slagging ex w off on social media.

I can't even look at him now. He seems to think that as time has passed we should all move on. Shame he can't do the same and leave his poor ex w alone.

Sorry you're going through this Noisy flowers

user21 Thu 09-Nov-17 21:54:15

Fortunately for him his wife bought his dumbed down version of events

That’s an unkind comment.

headinhands Thu 09-Nov-17 22:05:29

told his DW who had no clue, packed a bag and left, all in front of 3 young DC.

But would you want an ex partner back if the only reason they wanted to try again was because a third party had told them off? Does anyone change who they are by being ‘told off’ by a friend?

GoodLuckTime Thu 09-Nov-17 22:57:54

I didn't 'tell off' my friend in the hope of changing her behaviour. I told her to clear the air between me and her so we could move on with our friendship. Which we did.

What happened in the affair wasn't my business.

I a, advising the OP to say her peace to enable her to have an OK relationship with the cheater who as a family member will continue to be around

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