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I'm the other man

(112 Posts)
Knottinghill Mon 13-Jul-20 19:49:17

So... gotta to share. It’s chewing on me if I’m honest. Don’t really have anyone to talk to about this, not really pub chat. Besides, the pubs are closed.

Single guy here - over last 3 - 4 years struck up a close friendship with a married work colleague - culminating in an intense emotional affair (meets, messages, that kinda thing). I know, I know - judgement is due I suppose. It’s pretty clear that her relationship was utter crappy, with lots of emotional abuse, manipulation and control from her fella - with her bestfriend aware of me and really kind and supportive of our relationship. Gaslighting has been talked about and I’m on the same page.

Recently, when push came to shove, she says that she can’t face bring herself to leave him - and basically sticking with it for her kids - her bestfriend is completely of the view he is abusive and she should leave him, and even her folks have suggested she leave too.

am at a complete loss to know what to do - break off all contact and leave her to it, or stay in contact as I believe that she’ll genuinely need my support when, undoubtedly, her marriage deteriorates to nothing? I know it sounds abit corny, but I do really care about her - whether she actually wants to be with me or not.

she said to me recently about the prospect of not speaking to me anymore that it would be like a part of her had died. Sad times.


OP’s posts: |
ginandcv Mon 13-Jul-20 19:54:57

Walk away. She's made her choice.

It's not up to you to support her.

I was that woman and honestly the guy wanting to 'help' just prolonged the agony.

PicsInRed Mon 13-Jul-20 19:57:03

So... gotta to share. It’s chewing on me if I’m honest. Don’t really have anyone to talk to about this, not really pub chat. Besides, the pubs are closed.

Pubs aren't closed.

You write this a few weeks back?

ExplodingCarrots Mon 13-Jul-20 19:59:36


*So... gotta to share. It’s chewing on me if I’m honest. Don’t really have anyone to talk to about this, not really pub chat. Besides, the pubs are closed.*

Pubs aren't closed.

You write this a few weeks back?

The pubs have been closed here in Wales. He might not be in England .

Knottinghill Mon 13-Jul-20 20:01:27

sorry - i wrote this today - bit of a mindblank about the pubs - can't get used to them being open again. My mistake.

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Crystalspider Mon 13-Jul-20 20:08:47

Don't wait for her, carry on with your life, there will be another woman you have to all to yourself but you need to move on to find happiness don't waste your time on a woman unavailable.

JudyGemstone Mon 13-Jul-20 20:11:30

One could argue that by being with her you have been (unwittingly) enabling her to stay in her crap marriage. If you remove yourself and she no longer gets the reprieve of being with you, the pressure will build between them and they will either sort their shit out properly or split up.

Keeping on hanging on in there giving her that pressure valve is not working for you and won't be the way to get her to leave him.

JudyGemstone Mon 13-Jul-20 20:13:05

Oh and 'for the kids' is a half truth. It's never just for the kids. It's for fear of change, security, finances, intolerance of uncertainty, what will the neighbours think, etc etc.

Ughmaybenot Mon 13-Jul-20 20:13:42

You’re wasting your time, buddy. You’ll pine after her for months, even years, and she will never give you what you want.
You’ve a choice. Break it off now and feel hurt, or leave it even longer and feel even more hurt the longer it’s left.
She isn’t the one.

rvby Mon 13-Jul-20 20:16:25

If you need some pain and drama to occupy your time, then you're in a good situation for that. Many people prefer these types of setups because an actual relationship is too real and scary, so they sniff out ways to sort of have a relationship, without ever being beholden to a partner etc.

If you want a close, trusting, intimate relationship where everything just falls into place, then you should end this one. She doesn't want you, she probably isn't a very nice person herself, etc. You probably boost her ego. Also - as long as you're around, she is nice and supported in that you meet her emotional needs, so that she can stay with her partner and put up with him. You're essentially a life support system for her marriage.

Again, if that's what you want, you've come to the right place.

If you want something deep, real, trusting, etc. then you need to change your choices quite a bit. Up to you really.

Northernparent68 Mon 13-Jul-20 22:59:27

Op, you only have her word her husband is abusive. She won’t be the first person to exaggerate their spouses failings to justify having an affair.

SepticTankYank Mon 13-Jul-20 23:27:18

It's the classic cliche.

It's not you. She was having her cake and eating it. Move on and find what you deserve. you may not have been the first and there will definitely be others. Respect yourself. You're worth more.

Also, avoid married women. Nothing good ever comes.

Iflyaway Mon 13-Jul-20 23:30:38

Leave her.

This can only turn into a horrible mess and you deserve so much better.

MsDogLady Tue 14-Jul-20 00:08:03

Staying in contact to support her = Continuation of the affair

Channeling your emotional energy, time and attention into this dead-end situation will bring you perpetual anxiety and unhappiness.

Hopoindown31 Tue 14-Jul-20 08:59:09

Cheaters are full of bullshit. She is bullshitting you and her husband and wanting to have her cake and eat it.

Walk away.

Knottinghill Tue 14-Jul-20 09:21:44

so it turns out he's called her on it - he found some messages, etc - and she's gone into self-preservation "it wasn't me it was him" mode..... so the posters on here would appear to be correct.

Should I share some of the actual messages with her fella so he isn't just hoodwinked by her and fed a pack of more lies?

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PolloDePrimavera Tue 14-Jul-20 09:28:50


so it turns out he's called her on it - he found some messages, etc - and she's gone into self-preservation "it wasn't me it was him" mode..... so the posters on here would appear to be correct.

Should I share some of the actual messages with her fella so he isn't just hoodwinked by her and fed a pack of more lies?

No. Unless he starts being abusive to you or similar. Cut ties. Draw a line. Block and delete. I know it's hard wine

LessCumbersome Tue 14-Jul-20 09:30:09


Unfortunately, giving inflammatory evidence of a partners infidelity to someone you say is abusive is a terrible idea. What if things go too far and there are serious repercussions? No matter how tempting it is to give your side of it.

The fact if it is you will never come out well anyway. You have your answer now.

backseatcookers Tue 14-Jul-20 10:08:43

How did you find that out OP djd her husband make contact with you?

MaeDanvers Tue 14-Jul-20 10:14:48

I think in this instance I would say don't share the messages. If he is abusive she may be scared of him and blaming it all on you to try and mitigate abuse.

I think the best thing to do would be to cut her out of your life and try to move on. And spend some time to come to terms with why you accepted having an affair rather than finding someone who was single. I do feel for you and for her if her husband is abusive but this situation was never going to lead to a happy ending and you need to take responsibility for your part in having an affir.

Sunshineandflipflops Tue 14-Jul-20 10:18:09

Can I also just add that while I don't want to minimise a potentially abusive relationship...having been on the receiving end of an affair, the person having the affair will tell their affair partner anything they want to hear to make them stick around.

I had the misfortune of finding messages between my exh and his OW and the lies he told her about our marriage were the worst part of it all and what I find hardest to get over.

Don't believe everything you're told.

ShitStain Tue 14-Jul-20 10:33:44

Things are probably fine with her and her partner and she’s just wanting extra attention.

Block and move on.

Seychelles98 Tue 14-Jul-20 10:37:50

@Knottinghill what do you really want if you could choose your perfect situation right now? Do you love her? Is there a big age gap between you and her?

TheVanguardSix Tue 14-Jul-20 10:39:55

Oh no. I know, it's not ideal falling for a married woman. I won't judge in the least. But unless she was going to face the music, be honest with her husband, end the marriage, and make a choice to be with you, this was always going to end badly. So now her husband knows and she's put the onus on you. She has shown you who she is. She doesn't love you enough. She may love you... but not enough to do right by you, to do right by her husband. And that's painful. I am so sorry to say this, but if she did love you, she would have shown you respect by either ending your relationship far, far, far sooner or by being really honest with her husband early on about the two of you and starting a committed relationship with you. How she has chosen to handle this affair tells you who she is. I feel very sorry for you because you've invested in something that must have been breaking your heart all along, but you believed that, eventually, you two could finally be together, hence the reason you've willingly lingered in this unethical limbo together- again, this is not a judgemental comment. I have been there, OP! And what is hard is knowing that there is this unethical element in the background of this relationship. A joyless cloud hovers over an affair. And if the affair doesn't transition into a loving, committed relationship, that cloud remains. You stay because you've fallen in love. And you stay because you believe that eventually, you'll be together and that cloud will pass. It should have happened by now.
If you were meant to be together, she'd have left her husband miles back. People do have affairs and do leave marriages and do go on to have happy, long fulfilling relationships with those they've had affairs with. It's not what people like to hear on MN, but it's true. It does happen. But in your case, it's all come crumbling down and I don't think there is any hope of happiness. You will go through a massive bereavement here. If you can remind yourself that you no longer have any obstacles in the way of meeting someone to love -wholly, freely, and happily- this helps!

I would, for your own head and heart, disengage completely and utterly. I'd go stone-cold turkey on her and drop the whole thing. I would not respond to messages. I would not send anything to her husband. Disengage. It's about self-preservation at this point. How hard will this be to do? It will be the biggest challenge ever. It will be an Everest climb for you, not contacting her. And it will be searingly painful. But you will absolutely ride out this wave. There will be another side to all of this pain. It will pass! I'd keep my pride in check, go silent, and just put one foot in front of the other. Keep a diary! Writing it all down helps. It is really cathartic. Write her the letters you would never send. I'd even suggest some therapy. Or start swimming or running. You almost have to cleanse this period of your life from your spirit. It sounds corny, I know, but if you don't, it'll eat away at you.

I wish you all the best. And remember, love is out there. She's out there somewhere. When the time is right and when you least expect it, you will find happiness again. But for now, focus on some internal house cleaning and healing from this relationship.

Knottinghill Tue 14-Jul-20 10:45:19


same age, give or take a year. And ideally I'd keep her - am in no doubt her marriage is dreadful - the abuse has sent her down a rabbithole of needing antidepressants for well over a year - hence the concern that by me walking away and remove that support I dread to think what may come of her. Her bestfriend is exceptionally pragmatic and level-headed, and is very concerned about her situation. Ultimately I'll kick myself if in 3 months or so she gets really rather ill.

OP’s posts: |

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