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Ripe for an affair?.....I know it's wrong, but what do I do.

(19 Posts)
makemineaquadruple Fri 16-Sep-11 13:58:15

Hi everyone!

Firstly, please don't hate me for asking this highly controversial question. I know several of you have posted about your dp/dh's having affairs and you have been crushed. Who wouldn't be?

I actually posted a while back regarding advice on whether to leave my dp or not. The main reason I feel I stay with him is for our dd(possible asd) and she is at such a crucial point in her life. Just started school full time. I think the general feeling was that I should just stick at it. I did mention that the love is definitely there, but that i'm not sure i've ever really been in love with him...........or lust for that matter. Hence the above question.

As a red blooded woman, I have obvious desires, but these desires are being left in the bottom drawer so to speak. That's not to say that he doesn't try, but i've just lost that "got to have you now!" feeling. Usually we end up together simply because it's been so long and he practically begs me for it. I know i'm being very open here, but I feel it's important to put you in the picture before hopefully offering me some advice.

Now, I don't work currently and there's nobody i've got my eye on or anything like that. I'm not going out looking for an affair to happen. I'm just desperately seeking some kind of spark. Some kind of electricity that I don't think i've ever really experienced.

As i've mentioned before, I love my dp very much and would never want to hurt him. I don't feel I can leave him as he says the very thought of being without me sends him insane. I think he believes I have made him into a better person and fears he will go back to the old dp he was before we met. If that were the case I wouldn't particuarly want him round dd, as before we met he was rather immature, aggressive and sometimes oblivious to the feelings of others. You could say selfish. So yes, he has changed. He still fights those characteristics, but overall I think I have helped him. Therefore I suppose I can understand why he feels the need for us to stay together. If we were to break up and he went back to his original self, I have to be honest, I wouldn't want dp looking after dd on her own. I don't think he would be responsible enough. He doesn't know her the same way I do, but it's ok normally because i'm there and our different parenting skills balance one another out(most of the time). He loves her more than anything and would die before letting anything happened to her, but he can just be a little slow to react to her needs sometimes.

So i'm not really asking you to give me the ok for an affair, i'm just asking for some general advice I suppose. My head is in such a mess as I can't stop thinking about it. I know i'm not a bad person, but obviously i'm feeling tremendous guilt for even thinking about doing this.

I know most of you will probably just say i'm better off leaving him and then i'm not capable of having an affair. But, i've explained(I hope) the reasons why it's just not that simple.

Please somebody, help me unscramble this.

Thanks for reading and please don't judge me too harshly.

sickofsocalledexperts Fri 16-Sep-11 14:03:37

I wouldn't judge any one of us SN mums - I think what you are seeking is a little escapism. An SN mum's life is pretty hard, and pretty lacking in spark. Have you got gangs of girl mates you can go out with and have a few drinks and some belly laughs - I know that is not the same as an affair, but perhaps you could try and see if it allows you to let off steam a bit. The trouble with affairs is that they usually get messy, someone often falls in love (or lust, masquerading as love), and then things go pear-shaped. No real advice, just a few random thoughts. It is a bit much of your DP to say , effectively , "stay with me or I'll go insane and become the I was before I met you". Rather odd reason to stay!

makemineaquadruple Fri 16-Sep-11 14:50:10

Hi Sick

I do have friends that I can go out with and have a well needed laugh. I just feel that I can't laugh this one off I suppose.

I'm going out with one of my friends tonight actually and i'm considering bringing this up with her. She tells me all her issues with her dp and I usually keep quiet about my problems regarding my dp. I just hope she doesn't judge me too much.

If i'm being honest, I don't really think i've got it in me to actually have an affair. I enjoy flirting and I have to admit I enjoy male attention(to an extent), but I think most women do. Maybe i'm getting it all confused. Maybe it's not actually a full blown affair that i'm craving. I don't do much mixing these days, so maybe i'm actually just craving more contact with men AND women iyswim. I suppose I just feel repressed in many ways, as do a lot of you other sn mumsnetters. I really don't know though. When I was working I still felt like this looking back. I always felt we were so different. It's a classic, can't live with him, can't live without him dilema. I think our relationship has always been like that really.

I have to slap myself back in to reality sometimes when I get signals from other men. I think to myself, they're more on my wave length or they would make me laugh or respect me more etc. My imagination goes wild(not in that way) and then I realise that i'm doing that with so many different men that chances are, vast majority of them aren't right for me and that it's just another case of the grass is always greener.

My dp thinks there's something wrong with me when I keep rejecting his advances. I have explained that it's nothing to do with a lack of sexual desire(definitely not), but that it's actually a lack of connection between the two of us, which to be fair to him, he takes pretty well. Nothing ever changes though and he still can be moody and disrespectful in the day and then go to bed and expect me to be bubbling with lust. I don't think so.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 16-Sep-11 15:33:45

What are you getting out of this relationship now?.

I am of the school of thought that remaining within a failing relationship purely for the sake of the child is a bad idea. End it cleanly if you do ultiamtely decide to do so; an affair will only muddy dark waters further and leave you in a far worse position.

Better to have two parents apart and happier than to be together and either one or both of you miserable. If the relationship needs work then both of you will have to work at it; it cannot be just you alone.

I am troubled by your man's assertion that he would revert back to being the bad old person he was if you did not remain within this. I think that smacks of power and control. You are and have never been responsible for his actions and choices.

You cannot act as a rescuer and or saviour within a relationship; both approaches are doomed to failure.

You could talk this through with Relate; they would see you on your own.

makemineaquadruple Fri 16-Sep-11 16:07:10

Attila, I suppose what i'm getting out of this relationship is love and security. Not so much financial(not my style), but security in the loyal sense I suppose. Which when you read what i've wrote makes me sound terrible!!

I know an affair is NEVER a good idea. I don't believe it's ever the answer really. I suppose I just really wanted to get out everything that i've been hiding for so long and shamefully I suppose, these thoughts have included other men. Is this so unusual?

I must stress that these thoughts aren't just sexual, they're more about being with another man who I simply get on with. I don't know if I believe in soul mates, but if they do exist then we definitely are not. I suppose that's what i'm longing for more than anything. A connection. Someone who really knows me and doesn't just say they do. Someone who makes me laugh and stimulates my mind. I'm not saying dp never does, but i'm sad to say it's unusual.

I know he'd be absolutely crushed if he read this. I know I am his world and that he would do anything for me. The thing is, the one thing he can't do is become a different person.

ouryve Fri 16-Sep-11 16:08:06

This: I don't feel I can leave him as he says the very thought of being without me sends him insane. I think he believes I have made him into a better person and fears he will go back to the old dp he was before we met. If that were the case I wouldn't particuarly want him round dd, as before we met he was rather immature, aggressive and sometimes oblivious to the feelings of others. You could say selfish. So yes, he has changed.

This is not ever a reason to stay together. These things should be his responsibility and not yours. You should never put the blame on yourself if he reverts to how he used to be. You are not his conscience.

Right, now I've got that out of the way, like others, I'm wondering if what you're really missing is friendship and a chance to let your hair down with female friends. I know I never get out, but I'm not a highly social person, anyway, so that is less important to me, but what I do have is a hobby that takes me away from the ASD which dictates so many aspects of my life and
puts me in touch with people I can discuss this hobby with. It gives me a sense of me-ness, if you like.

Relationship wise, I'd suggest that counselling is a priority. Not necessarily to help you to stay together, but to give you both a more informed idea of where you want to go from here and how to achieve it (and I'd bet my boots that a counsellor would echo the first thing I picked up - that guilt and a sense of responsibility for your partner and his behaviour should not cloud your judgement.)

EllenJaneisnotmyname Fri 16-Sep-11 16:23:38

Me, I'm a bit biased. But the most hurtful thing about the whole of my breakup were the lies and deceit. If there could be any chance of him finding out you had been having an affair behind his back (and how could you guarantee that there wouldn't be a chance he could find out?) then don't do it. Always better to be honest, because it's not him you are protecting, it is yourself.

littlefirefly Fri 16-Sep-11 16:31:19

I think that generally I would agree with others to say that it's better to have two happier parents apart than miserable together. OTOH, I am a LP with a child with ASD and I would say it's much tougher to find a new relationship in these circumstances. A child with ASD takes up so much time and emotional energy, plus childcare is harder to come by so it's hard to even get the chance to meet anyone new. And realistically, it's quite a bit of additional baggage than a typical LP (e.g. I can't work and DS has behavioural issues, which has a lot of financial/lifestyle implications, for even the most generous/accepting of men). I'm not saying that should put you off leaving an unhappy relationship, but it's worth keeping in mind.

I found your description of your DP's previous behaviour quite interesting ('immature, aggressive and sometimes oblivious to the feelings of others'), as I'd say they describe aspects of DS' ASD, and of course ASD is known to have genetic links. I don't know if that would make a difference in understanding your DP at all really, but I suppose it makes me think of my own DS in the future and how much he'll need an understanding partner.

makemineaquadruple Fri 16-Sep-11 16:58:15

ouryve, I completely understand your point, as I think everyone would. When I read it back it does sound ridiculous and i'm pretty sure if someone else had wrote it or a friend was telling me the same thing I would probably be giving the same advice. I guess when you're actually living it, it's a very different story and a much more complicated one.

I know i'm not his conscience, but unfortunately our relationship(8 years worth) was always like this I think. I always saw so much potential in him and felt that I could bring it out. In some ways I feel I have. I know that sounds hugely considending and even smug, but trust me that's the last thing I am. I know he's a happier and better adjusted person and i've not tried to mould him into some kind of compatable robot for me. I hope that's not how it's coming across. If I genuinely at the beginning thought there was nothing worth working on then I would have left then.

If you met him you could very easily say I was crazy. To an outsider he's good looking, outgoing, friendly, attentive, easy going and respectful. He did used to be an actor though so I think he finds it easy to pretend to be somebody he's not. Unfortunately that's only around friends and clients though. As soon as we get home the "flaws" come out again and I sometimes think "well who are you?" To be fair to him, he probably doesn't know who he is at times. He hasn't had the best start and I know he's desperate to leave all that behind.

So, if the love's still there from both of us, he's willing to do anything and we've stuck at it for this long, does a lack of a spark on my part still mean I should leave? How important is a spark? How important is it that you have experienced those butterflies for no longer than a few weeks, as it was in our relationship(for me).

I don't believe in perfect relationships, or people for that matter. But the idea of never having that bounce again is so sad.

makemineaquadruple Fri 16-Sep-11 17:11:33

littlefirefly, I know exactly what you mean about the asd type traits I was describing. I've always known it's a very genetic condition and i've always noticed certain traits in him. Certainly in his dad! His dad is completely oblivious to other peoples feelings and can say some really inappropriate things. Dp is no where near that bad though and he's very much aware that his dads behaviour can be really inappropriate. I hope your ds does have an understanding partner in the future. I am a firm believer that these social skills can be taught slowly but surely. The thing is with dp's dad, he's from a time when if you didn't sound like Rainman, then it wasn't autism, it was "they're just a bit weird, or a bit slow", or in his case, very rude. So he never got the help.

Can I ask, have you found anyone else since becoming a lp? I do find what you're saying very sad. Although I already guessed it would be so much harder when you have a sn child to look for somebody new.

I suppose that' s another reason why I haven't left actually.

makemineaquadruple Fri 16-Sep-11 17:19:28

Just read one of my posts back. I meant to say condescending, not whatever it was I wrote before. I think I was on just not thinking and typing too fast. I'm sure there's loads more where that came from blush

ouryve Fri 16-Sep-11 17:22:09

This is why counselling is so important - to help you answer these questions and to help you both to negotiate either a way through, or out of the relationship.

A strong relationship doesn't necessarily still have that first spark (I roll my eyes at DH far more than he gives me butterflies, but still love him to bits) but it does have to go both ways, with both of you willing to put the same amount into it, regardless of who is watching. And your ability to support your DP through his difficulties isn't a bottomless pit. I'm guessing that your DD is taking a lot from the pot, too, with her suspected ASD.

It really isn't surprising that you're wondering if life could be a bit better for you in certain ways, because you probably are giving more than you are getting.

I know it's MN and not traditional, but I'll offer {{{hugs}}} anyhow.

unpa1dcar3r Fri 16-Sep-11 17:23:31

Hi Makemine..
your post struck such a chord with me as you may as well have been describing my own relationship with my DS's father...
I have finally got the courage to end it after 18 yrs, the love-as it should be-in the relationship died a looong time ago and i've been going through the motions, inc regarding sex (on my list of chores; hoover, washing, quick bonk, feed animals etc) and him the same, almost begging me for it...nothing he's done to put me off in that dept but of course other things which have made me lose respect for him have put me off!
He adores me, praises me constantly about what a 'man' I've made of him etc and for a long time I stayed due to the boys. I desperately don't want them upset. And I didn't want him to revert back to what he was before (rather like yours)
But I woke up a few months ago and had a bit of an ephiphany; I don't want to live like this anymore. I don't want anyone else to complicate things but I cannot keep doing this and being unhappy, just making the best of it all the time. The guilt keeping me with him...
Can't say we've not tried but once 'that' love isn't there you're flogging a dead horse really.

All I can say is I wished I'd had the courage to really end it years ago. Now I'm much older- older than you by loads I'd guess- and finally realised I have to let go.
If you feel like this now and believe there's no going back to that 'buzz' or that deep deep love please don't leave it years to regain and recalim your life.
Your daughter will cope, she will get used to it. Don't let him emotionally blackmail you with saying what he's saying about reverting back to his old self, he won't, and if he does then he really isn't this 'great' person he tries to be anyway.

coff33pot Fri 16-Sep-11 17:56:20

The choices as I see it are

You love him, he loves you so stay with him and dont have an affair

Leave him yes it will hurt him but then build a new life and meet someone who doesnt have to be an affair to start with and build an honest relationship for a start.

Stay with him for the sake of your child and have an affair and risk being found out which may result in hurt for both your dh and your dd.

I dont judge as I dont live your life or really know your circumstances. But I know that sometimes ppl get so comfortable with each other that the spark does disapear but maybe with councelling it could return.

I havent had an affair but friends I know have. One ended up hurting her dh and herself in the long run because she became attached to the other man and he was having none of it as far as he was concerned it was a laugh. The other ended up leaving her dh after having a string of affairs for fun, eventually ppl talk. The poor man spent years not trusting women and it ruined any chance of happiness for him and left him questioning himself as to where he went wrong.

Another woman is living happily ever after with the affair of her dreams and her husband has moved on. Its all such a gamble to take with ppls feelingson which way things would go.

Also you could wind up hurt yourself as those that partake in affairs are not necessarily trustworthy ppl, some are stealing other ppls partners because there are no ties or should eventually you leave your dh for another on the basis of an affair, there is nothing stoping that man doing the exact same thing to you by finding someone else.

It really isnt up to us to give you advice as we are not in your marriage but I wish you luck in whatever path you take smile

makemineaquadruple Fri 16-Sep-11 18:25:43

coff, very wise words. Thank you. As I said before, I actually don't think i'd be capable of an affair and i'm not actively looking for one. I suppose I was just concerned that I was becoming more and more detached from dp and probably was just fantasising about a better life. A happier one.

On the other hand, I can't lie and say that i'd be happy with just love alone. I think that's the biggest problem. Yes the love is still very much there and I think it always would be, but is it really all you need? Love and stability? Is it stable if you're having these thoughts? No, I don't think it is. Oh bloody hell I wish I knew the answer!!

oodlesofdoodles Fri 16-Sep-11 19:49:53

Makemine - I'm wondering how much support you get from your extended family. Do you and DP ever get any time out together? Most of the time I feel like DH and I are running a project together: sort out ds, give dd some attention, keep house clean and watertight, manage finances, cut grass etc. It's not very exciting stuff. Our families aren't particularly helpful, but when I do put my foot down and insist that DH and I need a date, even if it's just a walk in the park together, it really helps.
Just to be controversial, I have to say that I'm quite sceptical about couple counselling. Making DP go to a meeting with you and another woman to talk about his failings doesn't sound like a great way to rekindle lust!

rabbitstew Fri 16-Sep-11 21:58:48

No, a spark is not necessary - no spark lasts forever. Frankly, I personally don't feel the need for anything more than love and trust (but then I'm little miss boring!). If the set-up you have is providing a secure, safe and stable environment for you, your dp and your dd, then on my scale of relationship problems, I would say you have no genuinely good reason to mess all that up in the hope of something better, or more exciting, or in the hope of finding someone more compatible - not now you have a dd (with or without ASD). You did lose the right to think of acting only on the basis of your own desires and daydreams when you had a child with someone, as did they. But that's me. Most people don't think like that these days. I'd be interested to know how you'd react to your dp telling you he'd had enough of the relationship himself, though, and was planning to leave to be with someone more exciting and compatible with him than you. Would you be shocked and angry that he dare give up so easily on a relationship you were trying to stick with, despite its flaws, and upset about the effect on your dd, or would you be relieved?

I would say your dp's apparent neediness of you is a big part of the problem, though - it's a huge turn off to feel someone needs you rather than wants you and is terrified of losing you instead of happy to be around you, and is not what you want out of an adult relationship. And don't let him make you believe you did him good - you didn't make him a better person at all, he changed his behaviour all by himself because he thought you were worth it and that's different, because it puts you less on an artificial and uncomfortable pedestal from which you daren't step off and is less patronising of him and his ability to behave himself perfectly nicely without anyone's help, thank you very much. The more your dp behaves like a needy child, the more you are likely to want to pull away and dream of an alternative, so it will all become a vicious cycle of neediness and pulling away unless you both make an effort to change your behaviours. And if you don't make an effort, then in the long run resentment will probably ruin the security, safety and stability that makes the relationship worth sticking with. (ie you need to do something about the dynamics of your relationship before you build up years of resentment without having made the slightest effort to stop drifting apart). And I really wouldn't fantasise about some perfect relationship where you go home to someone who is witty, totally unmoody, shares your deepest feelings, loves talking to you all the time and is generally as constantly interesting and funny in private as they appear to be in public, because that person really doesn't exist, albeit it's a nice fantasy when you're feeling suffocated.

makemineaquadruple Sat 17-Sep-11 12:49:06

oodles, we do actually get quite a bit of time to ourselves and we also do get out a fair bit. We do talk and sometimes have a laugh, but we mostly talk about dd(usually my instigation) and I know that just brings us both down. We don't usually get anything sorted regarding dd or our relationship. We just go round and round and end up where we started, which is frustrated and basically unhappy.

Had a really bad morning with dd. She decided that she wasn't going to do anything herself and was very snappy and demanding. This didn't go well with two grumpy ridicuously overtired parents. Dp lost it with her completely. Dd started biting and in the face which is a new one!! Anyway, I told him he was over reacting and needed to calm down(well shouted i'm ashamed to say) and then said he needed to act more like a dad confusedblush, to which he replied "well you need to act more like a partner!"shock I completely understand where he's coming from, but I didn't realise that i'd been so obviously distant. He very quickly tried to make peace with me. Lots of coffees and cuddles, to which I responded to and appreciated.

I'm so exhausted and drained.

rabbit, I understand your point. Although I do think that many people would say it was an old fashioned idea, I completely agree that you have given up lots of rights when you have children. Having said that, I don't believe you can ever just stay together purely for the sake of your children. Whereas I understand that most people will expect the spark to fizzle at some point, I wonder how many people would be happy for it to fade after just a few months. I know many of you will ask why on earth didn't you leave then. By then though I already felt committed to him. We were already engaged and I felt it was almost my duty to stay with him. Does that make any sense to anyone? I know it sounds strange, but that's really the reason I didn't walk away at the beginning I think.

Triggles Sat 17-Sep-11 16:48:28

It's difficult, isn't it? I would never have an affair, I just don't have it in me. And to be frank, I don't have the time! hmm Or the energy! grin

DH & I have gone through some dreadful times in the last year or so - mostly tied to the stress of DS2's difficulties and DH's depression, as well as debt. I would say that we have far more on our plate as far as stress is concerned than is healthy. The OT has, on more than one occasion, told us that we should consider some further support as she knows we are dealing with mammoth amounts of stress right now. We've told her we'll consider it, but won't commit to it right now.

I will admit that I've mulled over the idea of ending it with DH a number of times, but right now the GP has been messing with his meds and we've had some major stressers (my dad dying, health problems, etc) and I realise that I need to work to get things into a better place slightly before making any major decisions. With DS2 back in school, the stress has lessened ever so slightly. DH's work is going to put him on dayshift, so he will no longer be working nights. Another major stresser taken away. I've purchased a zumba game for our Wii, and DH has agreed to do it with me (should be good for a chuckle for both of us anyway) - as we both recognise that regular exercise helps with stress. And our adult DD babysat during the school day last week so DH & I could actually get out together without children for a few hours and have lunch - something we haven't done since last November!! We actually had a pleasant time, and were pleasant to each other, so I think it illustrates that part of our problem is not taking some time away together here and there. I think in the stress and hassle of our life, we have forgotten it's important to have time as a couple. So DD has agreed to do that again in the near future.

So while there could be the possibility things will fall apart, I'd like to think we're taking to fix things slowly. It didn't come unglued overnight, so I suppose it will take quite some time to repair. But an affair would only completely derail everything. There are some days I get aggravated and think "oh bollocks to it all!" but reason prevails.... barely. hmm It definitely has it's ups and downs. I've noticed that marriages on here tend to take quite a beating. All the stress, I suppose. Using all your energy to fight for things for your child doesn't seem to leave any energy to fight for your marriage, possibly. Sometimes it seems like too much...

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