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Issymum and the tall German ........

(46 Posts)
Issymum Mon 14-Feb-05 09:43:22

I should really change my name for this, but I can't be bothered and I think it will make more sense if you know it's me!

My company is looking at buying a small business in a university town in Southern Germany ("Kutesberg"). I appointed some German lawyers and corresponded with the partner ("Heinrich von Bratwurst") over dull legal stuff. We had to go to a meeting in Kutesberg on Friday so von Bratwurst and I arranged to meet up for dinner on Thursday to discuss the legal issues. As I was waiting in the hotel bar for the inevitable greying, 50-something, short and portly Bavarian, an immensely tall and rather attractive man of my age with impeccable English introduced himself - von Bratwurst. We drove to a hill-top restaurant and talked, laughed, disclosed and drank too much red wine. I have had countless client dinners with lawyers; it has never felt like a date before. And it may well be that I misread the signals, but when he explained half-way through the meal that he was divorced, it seemed like an invitation. And for the first time since I was married over 10 years ago, I was tempted - very tempted. Kuteburg is like a filmset, Von Bratwurst was lovely and everything was slightly slow motion, unreal and flattering.

But I didn't. I worked DH's disability into the conversation and, as I expected, that changed the atmosphere - it's hard to cuckold the guy in the wheelchair. We left the restaurant at midnight, spent Friday in a meeting and parted with a grave handshake and, from Von Bratwurst, 'Give my regards to your husband'.

So this is the question for anybody out there in what they consider to be a happy marriage, has this ever happened to you? What did you do? Did you regret not following through or were you relieved knowing that ultimately it would end badly. And what does it say about my marriage? I think it says that we love each other but by failing to do the fun, glamorous and intimate stuff, we've left a wide gap in our marital defences that was nearly breached that night. Or is it more serious than that?

noddyholder Mon 14-Feb-05 09:47:02

there is a whole section in yesterdays times along these lines about having flings etc within a marriage Very interesting I wouldn't(i think)but it would be very tempting to do something reckless and glamorous and in the setting you describe it would be hard to say no.

vvvvomito Mon 14-Feb-05 09:50:25

It can't help that today is valentine's day..... do you still have business stuff to sort out with him, or is that all finished.

ks Mon 14-Feb-05 09:50:28

Message withdrawn

WideWebWitch Mon 14-Feb-05 09:51:15

No, I don't think it's more serious than that Issymum, I really don't. I think you had a night away from responsibility (I mean you were away, on your own) and were presented with a romantic set of circumstances that you might have gone for had you been single. But you're not and you didn't so maybe you just need to arrange to be in similarly great circumstances with your husband? I am in a happy relationship although this hasn't happened to me. I don't think you'll regret not going any further (lol at von bratwurst) but I think it's made you realise that your marital defences are lower than you thought, but only when presented with extreme provocation. I started reading a book recently where a couple talk about their screens coming up whenever one of them is tempted. Sounds like yours came down, but only a little.

Tinker Mon 14-Feb-05 10:09:19

Issymum - I think you behaved admirably too. Without wishing to pry, did you had many relationships prior to your marriage and did you behave well then? I know my previous behaviour influences my current behaviour a lot now. I don't think being tempted or flattered necessarily says anything serious about your marriage but is a wake-up call to attend to it a bit more maybe?

anorak Mon 14-Feb-05 10:19:16

Issymum, you suspected that talking about dh's disability would put him off, but you still mentioned it. In your subconscious you probably didn't want to take things further, although you enjoyed the flirtation.

You obviously love you dh. All marriages have gaps in their defences. When we are committed we plug them ourselves

binkie Mon 14-Feb-05 10:33:34

If I were in your place I would test this (rather magical, actually ) experience by considering whether I'd tell dh about it. I'm pretty sure I would, because when all the dust settles he's the one I'm happy to have know all about me, and I trust his trust of me, if you know what I mean.

What do you feel?

CountessDracula Mon 14-Feb-05 10:38:01

Goodness me, you have done NOTHING wrong, in fact quite the opposite. Anyone who says that they have never fancied someone else is telling big fat porkies IMO.

I think it is fun to have this sort of dalliance once in a while, defo not fun to follow through and do something about it though. It keeps you on your toes.

I bet your dh has had them too. DH and I both definitely have. But in 15 years neither of us has been unfaithful.

beachyhead Mon 14-Feb-05 10:39:13

What a lovely evening - I have been in this situation and I have a very happy marriage, but you have just had a very pleasant evening in the company of a good looking man who made you laugh. There is nothing you have done that you need to apologise over - he gave you the hint, and let you know he was available and you rebuffed in a very nice way with the husband comment - so no harm done, no teasing and a great evening had by all.

I know you felt like your defences were down, but I don't think that you have a 'wide gap' in your marital defences at all. Everyone has tiny gaps (and its good that you know they are there) but actually, I think you and your dh seem fortress like - I think (if you ever told him, which I would advise you don't) that he would be very proud of your actions (or non actions!!!)

It's so nice to feel fancied again!!!!!!Bet you will be glowing for weeks.....

binkie Mon 14-Feb-05 10:39:49

sorry, I never seem to manage to get the tone I want: what I meant by telling dh was not at all envisaging some kind of dramatic apologetic confession - rather it would be a kind of light-hearted "can you believe this happened to me?!" anecdote - & we would both have a chuckle & he would say how assistants in shops have been flirting with him and do I think it's his new spectacles.

Issymum Mon 14-Feb-05 10:47:57

Binkie, I didn't say this before as I thought the post was long enough already, but that's exactly what I did do. Horrible timing as I got back on his birthday, but it felt a bit now or never. I told him pretty much what I've told you and his response? Very calm and entirely understanding. He said he'd just read an article in The Times about how working parents feel so guilty about neglecting their children that they spend every spare moment with them and consequently neglect their marriage and how he thought that this rather applied to us and we should make more time for ourselves. He also said that he understood the lure of the affair - as he put it, an affair never includes re-heating microwave meals, putting the bins out or scooping poop out of the litter tray.

There was of course a second reason to tell DH. It scuppers any chance of taking up the maybe-invitation from Von Bratwurst (the deal goes on so we'll definitely meet again). I can hardly conduct an affair in Germany when DH knows the score .....

I think my defences may also have been weakened by an over-indulgence in chick-lit (second-hand from my nanny). All that sappy, romantic, happy-ending stuff is bad for one's moral fibre.

WideWebWitch Mon 14-Feb-05 10:50:38

And issymum, that chick lit stuff is all about romance and can make one feel that everyone else is more glamorous/having more sex/having an exciting life because people in novels are! Your dh's response sounds good.

Ihadtochangemyname Mon 14-Feb-05 10:53:22

About 5 years ago, I was in a similar situation. Went to Shanghai on a business trip with my project manager. We had been working on this project together for a long time, and I felt I had more in common with him than DH at the time. We had a fabulous time in Shanghai - our hosts treated us like royalty and it felt like I was on some big romantic adventure rather than a business trip. On the last night, we had dinner together in the hotel, got quite drunk and said things to each other that we shouldn't have. I spent all night lying awake in my room, wishing that he would knock on the door. He never did.
The next morning we were very embarrassed and had to fly home together. We both made a point of talking about how much we missed our families, and he talked of all the gifts he had bought for his sons.

When I got home, I had a good long talk about life with DH. I did not mention what had (not) happened, and afterwards we became much closer.
I realised what a mess it could have been.
This man had flattered me, made me feel like I was the most desirable person in the world, yet I knew he was married and it was wrong.
Much later I spoke to him about what had happened, and he said he had exactly the same feelings about it as me. He had been tempted, but only because he had spent so much time with me and so little time with his wife. He knew it was wrong too.

Issymum Mon 14-Feb-05 10:53:47

Sorry, posted before I saw the other postings. Thank you for all the reassuring stuff - it does happen even in happy marriages. And Beachyhead you're so right, it does feel great to be fancied again.

And this is probably too much information but DH's other response was that since we ought to be more intimate and it was his birthday and we had been drinking champagne and the kids were in bed and the nanny was away for the weekend and the cats were shut in the kitchen and just for once we weren't in an exhausted heap we could ......

And we did.

binkie Mon 14-Feb-05 10:59:23

Excellent!! Your dh does sound lovely.

Reading: a dose of Middlemarch is indicated, I think.

WideWebWitch Mon 14-Feb-05 11:02:40

Not TMI Issymum, a very good thing indeed I think

anorak Mon 14-Feb-05 11:04:15

Issymum, your marriage sounds wonderful!

Issymum Mon 14-Feb-05 11:07:04

Thank you Ihadtochangemyname. You've absolutely pinpointed how it feels and that odd mixture of regret, embarrassment and knowing you've done the right thing!

Ihadtochangemyname Mon 14-Feb-05 11:10:57

I have never been so tempted since then, but I still fancy other men now and again. If we never fancied anyone we wouldn't be human would we. I agree with CountessD. It doesn't mean that we don't love our partners.

noddyholder Mon 14-Feb-05 11:12:59

Having read this over again I have decided we all need an encounter like that every now and then to remind us who we are and that we can still be desired

beachyhead Mon 14-Feb-05 11:13:30

what a lovely ending....

england....1 germany.....nil

Prufrock Mon 14-Feb-05 11:38:01

Issymum I think von Bratwust was very very good for you and your marriage. An occasional reminder to both yourself and your dh that you are not just a highly succesful lawyer, devoted wife and wonderful mother, but also a bit of a fox is a very good thing.

motherinferior Mon 14-Feb-05 11:38:08

You fox you

snafu Mon 14-Feb-05 11:52:07

Issymum, haven't read the whole thread, everyone's probably said this already, but fwiw I think you should be hugely reassured and even cheered by this.

We cannot go through life with blinkers on. There is nothing wrong whatsoever with finding other people attractive from the safety of a committed relationship, and there is nothing wrong with a bit of temptation. But you (both) behaved impeccably, imo, and this appears to be one of those lovely situations where a flirtatious encounter actually does the marriage a little bit of good.

I think you sound lovely, your dh sounds lovely, von Bratwurst sounds charming, and you should feel nothing but a warm glow inside about the whole thing.

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