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Is this cheating

(52 Posts)
MECmad Tue 07-Jul-20 12:34:36

Please don't flame me. Here for genuine advice on what to do for the best for all parties involved.

Marriage has been drifting on for years, nearly split on a number of occasions but put the problems under the carpet & carried on. During shutdown, things came to a head & we agreed to separate. We (H) decided that we would not tell people (including the DC) until lockdown was over. Since then we have been living separately in the same house.

Since then, a new guy stated where I work. We get on really well and started swapping flirty text messages. I have been honest with him about the situation between me & H. Nothing else as happened although if it wasn't for lockdown I'm not sure that would be the case.

H has found out about the text messages and kicked off this morning. On the one hand he accepts that we had already agreed to split before the other man started work with me however H has accused me of cheating. I am concerned that he is now going to tell everyone we split as I cheated on him but I don't think that is the case - we had already agreed to split. I get that it probably doesn't look good that I've been texting someone else but we are not together.

I think H wants to come across as the victim in this and make me look the bad guy.

How do I handle this?

OP’s posts: |
hellsbellsmelons Tue 07-Jul-20 12:37:29

It's an emotional affair and yes, I would consider this cheating, IF you were still together.
If you are properly separated and living separate lives then it's not really cheating as such.
It's a bit of a grey area though as you are still 'together' as you are living together.
It's complex.

stressedhousebuyer Tue 07-Jul-20 12:42:49

I personally would not see that as cheating at all... unless during this time you blurred the lines by sleeping with your husband or you were actively working on your marriage.
You said you had both separated, just because you couldn't physically separate into different houses doesn't mean anything

Dery Tue 07-Jul-20 12:46:53

I think technically it's not cheating since you have decided to split, but, as hellsbells said, this may be a bit of a grey area since you're still living together. Perhaps you are more ready to move on than your H. Given that you've nearly split before but haven't, he may have been thinking that this split would also be resolved whereas your behaviour shows that this is the end of the road for you and that may have upset him.

In the end, you can't control what he tells other people but if you are concerned about it, could you perhaps say that you didn't realise he would mind given the decision which has been reached but out of respect for him you will discontinue the flirting/texting etc for now? If the other guy has anything about him, he will understand and take a step back for now.

MECmad Tue 07-Jul-20 12:53:41

Thanks both. Nothing physical between me & H for a while pre-split. Not working on marriage either.

We are going to talk tonight - H told me he knew about the messages just before he went to work this morning.

My worry is that H is going to use this to fight dirty in the divorce - I had hoped to be amicable but I know now that I've blown that. He knows I won't want the DD to think I've cheated - especially when I don't think I have!

OP’s posts: |
MashedSpud Tue 07-Jul-20 12:57:08

You agreed to separate. You don’t have to wait to the decree absolute to start flirting.

Your h is just pissed off you’ve moved on but what does he expect?

LillyJean1 Tue 07-Jul-20 12:57:38

I don't think it's cheating. In these circumstances it wouldn't have been feesable to move to separate homes with lockdown. You said you made it clear it was done and were living seperate lives. So you are over. You can't control what someone else thinks it perceives of the situation unless you weren't making it clear. However u have said the guy didn't start working at your work until after you split with your husband.

You haven't cheated and you have a right to move on. What I will say on the flip side is, everyone is different.. what he tells others you can't control. Some people will find it disrespectful because that is their own opinion and they aren't in your situation, u will have people say yeah u should have waited until one of you had moved out. On the other hand you will have others saying... Live your life as you please. U both agreed to separate.

He may also see it as, finding this may make him question if there were others during your marriage. Purely because its a whirlwind of emotions and people prosess things differently.

How would u feel if the shoe was on the other foot? It may be a shock to discover even though you are moving on?

I think if he wants to play the victim you just be firm with people and say no that is not what happened. There was no cheating. We mutually split and soon after I had some flirty messages with someone. And kindly tell them to kind their own business.

Windmillwhirl Tue 07-Jul-20 13:05:07

Not cheating at all. You had BOTH agreed to separate. Let him kick off all he wants. You e moved on. Was going to happen at done point. You had clearly checked ofvthis marriage a while ago.

If he tries to paint you as the bad cheater, you can explain what happened to your daughter and make it clear the relationship was over.

WB205020 Tue 07-Jul-20 13:09:13

Simply put no its not cheating and your (soon to be ex) DH is behaving like an idiot.

If you had both agreed the marriage was over and you had split but due to lockdown decided to remain in the same house until you told everyone then you have already separated and can do what you want, within reason obviously.

When my ex wife and i split she got involved with someone very quickly and then got pregnant by him. It meant by the time we met up 9 months later she was very pregnant. My solicitor told me i could change the reason of divorce to adultery but i chose not too as things were almost done. I believe if you are still married but split then get involved with someone else you are technically committing adultery but its an old old thing and not really seen that way anymore. If you split you are single.

Tlollj Tue 07-Jul-20 13:10:55

I think it’s cheating. You’re still married.
Won’t make any difference to the divorce though.
Let him tell people what he wants, if your conscience is clear?

MECmad Tue 07-Jul-20 13:32:36

I've spoken to OM (technically he's not but still!) & we have agreed to cool things for now to see how things go over the ext few days/weeks.

I get that H is hurt but I didn't plan this! I wanted to explore my feelings with OM first to see whether it was real or rebound - I've not had attention for so long that I wanted to make sure if the feelings were real before telling anyone if that makes sense!

@Tlollj my conscience is clear. We had agreed to split before I met OM. I am concerned that it will affect the divorce as I think he will try and use it to get more in terms of finances etc.

I think I am stressing myself out unnecessarily! I have a tendency to overthink things. I will have to wait unto H gets back from work & see what's what. It's only been text messages & nothing physical so far.

OP’s posts: |
amillionwishes Tue 07-Jul-20 13:53:28

Of course it's not cheating! Living in the same house but separated you are not together. I lived in the same house as exh for months after we split while I looked for somewhere else, he met someone else, then I did. Neither of us considered ourselves cheated on.

user1481840227 Tue 07-Jul-20 14:07:22

It's not cheating, however I can understand why your husband might feel hurt and upset. That doesn't mean that you've done anything wrong, but it's natural for people to feel that when their ex is showing signs of moving with all relationship break ups there are different stages, grief, regret, sadness, anger and so on.

It's also very difficult for people to even start moving through those stages and getting over it while they are still living together.
The biggest shock and the realisation that it's really over doesn't tend to come until one person has moved out, and you don't see the other person all the time.

It might not be as bad as you think, he might have just reacted this morning in the moment after feeling a flush of confusing emotions!

Livandme Tue 07-Jul-20 14:22:30

Yes it's cheating as still married but I would be ok with it as the circumstances meant you couldn't separate.
Would your h tell anyone you were cheating? Kids?

Littlebyerockerboo Tue 07-Jul-20 14:33:49

Past experience of this. I lived with my H, separated, and i started seeing someone else. H saw the messages and did the same as yours.

Several years on, ex H claims I was a cheat, his narrative to make him look better since he ended up with his OW. Im afraid if your Ex H wants to story to be that you were a cheat, then that will be his narrative.

You can only have your story, which is you were 100% faithful, as is the absolute truth.

Cannot help on advice re: divorce, as I was the one who filed, and i cant remember the details as just I had to give a reason and ex could say that he agreed or didn't.
His response was he didn't agree to my reasons but he did agree to divorce and it was all very straight forward.

Unfortunately you cannot control what EX H goes on to say about you, if my ex and his OW was to be believed I was the worst wife ever and cheated repeatedly. Im sure there are many people who believe(d) this rubbish.. but in the end it doesn't really matter, please dont stress yourself over what you ex might say about you.

In relation to your messages, no you are not cheating. Your marriage is over, it just happens you are under the same roof. I lived with my ex H amicably for over a year separated, and had a relationship with someone else during this time.

PinkMonkeyBird Tue 07-Jul-20 14:45:21

No it isn't cheating if you have both agreed to live as separate people under the same roof. He's using your new relationship as leverage to garner sympathy when people know about your split. As one of the other PP has pointed out, technically it is seen as cheating as you are still legally married. Have you got a Separation Agreement?

It's not great timing for you to be having a relationship so soon after you be honest I'd have cooled it until your living arrangements were sorted to avoid ructions.

Clumsyduck Tue 07-Jul-20 14:49:21

It’s not cheating at all . It’s not something I would rub in an exes face ( not saying you are ) but it isn’t cheating . this is a very similair situation to me and my now ex who then told everyone we broke up due to my “affair” no we broke up because you were a bullying horrible prick !

bitofasleuth Tue 07-Jul-20 14:59:40

My first question would be: how did he find out about these text messages?

Onemansoapopera Tue 07-Jul-20 15:02:13

Not cheating but massively hurtful. You'll just have to accept that. It is insensitive to start a new thing when still living under the same roof as your ex and presenting yourself as together to your children. But you'll have to live with that

TheStuffedPenguin Tue 07-Jul-20 15:06:09


Thanks both. Nothing physical between me & H for a while pre-split. Not working on marriage either.

We are going to talk tonight - H told me he knew about the messages just before he went to work this morning.

My worry is that H is going to use this to fight dirty in the divorce - I had hoped to be amicable but I know now that I've blown that. He knows I won't want the DD to think I've cheated - especially when I don't think I have!

Bad behaviour by one party does not make any difference to the outcome of a divorce.

blondehalo Tue 07-Jul-20 15:16:01

No it is not cheating - you agreed to split. DH has no right to be 'hurt' by your actions...after all you are separated, agreed on both sides.

How did he find out? By going through your phone? If so change your password and don't let him near it.

I suspect this attention you have been receiving has given him a pang of regret hence his reaction.

dootball Tue 07-Jul-20 15:21:14

It partly depends on if it was a true agreement to split , or if you were driving it.

mrsmummy111 Tue 07-Jul-20 15:33:00

No I’m sorry I don’t believe this can be classed as cheating. It’s very difficult because imagine if the shoe was on the other foot and (ex)H had met another woman? Without a doubt it would be incredibly hurtful and you’d be very upset about it i’m sure, I also don’t doubt there’s also a large degree of jealousy involved on his part.

That being said, just because it’s hurtful and upsetting for him, it doesn’t make it cheating. You agreed to separate and didn’t specify the parameters of that agreement, which means that you can both argue that you believed it meant different things (you - that it’s ok to speak to other people. Him - not so much) but neither of you are wrong or right.

CloudPop Tue 07-Jul-20 15:52:37

He shouldn't be poking around your text messages though

PopPopPopPopPop Tue 07-Jul-20 15:52:50

It won't make any difference to your divorce settlement because fault is immaterial, it will just make life more uncomfortable and potentially cost you more in solicitor's fees if he argues every point. Probably best to either calm things down or go seriously underground with it until the divorce is done.

If you sleep with OM before decree absolute then yes, this is legally adultery. If STBXH tries to divorce you for adultery when all you have done is exchange text messages, and you deny it then he will have to prove it and that will clearly be impossible (depending on what your text messages say of course)

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