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I had an affair and I have no idea what to do now...

72 replies

WanderingLost167 · 11/12/2019 09:34

Not sure where to start with this, but my head is a mess and I have no idea what to do.

I have been married for over 10 years, two young children.

About 18 months ago I was unhappy in my marriage and found myself in an online affair, which made me realise how negative I felt about my DH, our lack of intimacy. I then embarked on a physical affair, and pulled away from my DH even more. The affair was never going to be a leaving for each other and starting again sort of thing, although I fell in love and maybe hoped we had a future of some sort.

It ended recently, his wife got suspicious and he decided to sort out once and for all whether they can work it out or leave. I respect that decision, but miss him hugely. The way we were together just highlighted everything I don't feel in my marriage. Desire, affection, loved.

Last week my husband hacked an old mumsnet account of mine, finding messages where I had talked about having an affair. I didnt deny it, didn't resort to the Cheaters script, just gave my reasons.

His response was as you would expect, furious, hurt, telling me how awful I was. Which I deserve. I took a cowards way out, having an affair rather than leaving when I felt it was over.

But at the same time I had made the decision to leave my marriage, with no one to go to, just knowing that if I stay I will cheat again.

DH initially told me he wanted to divorce, and I agreed, and making plans to make that happen.

He now says he wants to work at the marriage, give it 6 months. My reaction is to be overwhelmed with a feeling of trapped. I'm the bad person here, I know that, but I am not sexually or romantically attracted to him anymore. I can't make myself do it, I've tried. If I stay I will either live in a marriage where he keeps hoping I'll change my mind, and I'll long for what I know I could find with someone else. Or not. Maybe I won't, but it's easier than living with the weight of someone else's expectation for sex I can't bare to give.

Divorce is not going to be easy, but if I stay I think it will be worse for the kids.

He wants to do couples therapy, which I think will delay things but maybe will explain to him how I can't stay.

Its a mess. I don't want to break his heart, again.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

194 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
LigPatin · 11/12/2019 13:35

Never has a first reply to a thread ever summed up the answer so neatly and succinctly.

@Keepmewarm has it spot on.

Whattodoabout · 11/12/2019 13:39

You could try therapy but it sounds as though you’re past that point to me. You don’t love him anymore, there’s no point in staying. He deserves to find someone who will treat him well.

OoohTheStatsDontLie · 11/12/2019 13:45

If you do the therapy just make it clear to him that you are definitely leaving (or leave first) and out of respect for him are going to do it to talk through the reasons why

TatianaLarina · 11/12/2019 13:47

A clear ‘no’ is better than a false promise.

Rainbowhairdontcare · 11/12/2019 13:47

As many others have mentioned go to therapy and explain your points. Sometimes therapy helps to end things

elmosducks · 11/12/2019 13:53

Don't lead him on. The kindest thing here to be not let it be dragged out

Insideimsprinting · 11/12/2019 13:57

Yabu in the sense that your clearly not happy in your marriage and clearly don't see the pinpoint In working on it. So...... To be Frank...... Stop pissing about and leave, get divorced and move on. Yes divorce will be hard but you don't want therapy and affairs are obviously bad crack and are just going to make it even more worse you having already had one.
There is no easy way to resolve this so just get on with it and leave.

CassandrasCastle · 11/12/2019 13:59

I just want to say, of the posters who are like 'YOU ARE A BAD PERSON' - No, OP, you're not. The world is not black and white like that.

HeadLikeAFuckinOrange · 11/12/2019 14:04

You won't find a welcoming crowd as the cheating party on MN I don't think, OP. Many people have seen or experienced the hurt caused by an affair, and very few will admit to actually being a cheating partner on here.

And many people like to convince themselves that previously devoted, innocent Husbands get unwillingly seduced by "homewrecking slags" all the time, and men have zero control over their own penis actions.
It makes the hurt of being betrayed by your loved one seem less humiliating, I think.

The truth is, people who are completely content and happy don't have affairs. You obviously weren't happy. Okay you didn't go about things the right way, at all, but at least you aren't now blaming your DH for your own actions & trying to return to the safety net of him because your OM has buggered off.

If you really wanted to be with your DH, you'd be thanking your lucky stars and praising the heavens he found it possible to forgive you, and still see a future for the marriage. But you don't, you feel trapped and unhappy.

You clearly don't want to be with your Husband any more. If you are transparent about the fact you don't see a future for the marriage, counselling may help you both (him especially) come to terms with the end of the marriage, work out the logistics of arrangements going forward, and help you both to find ways to co-parent effectively in the future.

Goldenchildsmum · 11/12/2019 14:12

Good lord. Just tell him you want a divorce. You're not his bloody mother or Norland nanny to mollycoddle him.

Leave. Get on with your life. Allow him the space to get on with his.

Mediation will give him hope when you know there is none. It will also give him space to beat you emotionally should he choose to. A space to vent his anger


MinisterforCheekyFuckery · 11/12/2019 14:19

He wants to do couples therapy, which I think will delay things but maybe will explain to him how I can't stay

A few posters have recommended therapy to help you have a 'good' divorce, rather than attempt to save the marriage as it's clear you don't want that. I see their point, but if you're going ahead with therapy I think you need to leave first, or at the very least be honest with him that you will be leaving. It would be cruel to let him believe that your willingness to engage in therapy means you still love him and have some faith left in the relationship. There's nothing worse than false hope.

NameChangeNugget · 11/12/2019 14:19


If you were happy, you’d not been in the market to letting other men fuck you

PepePig · 11/12/2019 14:21

Your poor husband. Your poor kids.

YouretheChristmasCarcass · 11/12/2019 14:24

He hacked your MN? Does he have form for other controlling behaviours?

Listen, I'm not excusing your affair. It was 100% wrong wrong wrong! But it sounds to me as if your marriage had major problems long before you cheated and those problems weren't only on your side.

I'd probably just say nope we're done and separate. But if you'd feel better going through the motions of counseling and using it to make the break gently, by all means do so. Either way, you need to contact a solicitor to find out where you stand legally wrt divorce.

LigPatin · 11/12/2019 14:27

He hacked your MN? Does he have form for other controlling behaviours?

If the OP posted on here about suspecting her husband was having affair - the first advice is always to check his online history. Not a great move, but he clearly had good reason to be snooping - his wife was having an affair!

NomDeQwerty · 11/12/2019 14:30

Don't go to counselling as a couple but do go alone. While you're still writing 'found myself in an online affair', it's clear that you have a lot of work to do on yourself.

sweeneytoddsrazor · 11/12/2019 14:38

@ YouretheChristmascarcass. Where are you on every thread which starts with a new woman has justed started work with my DH . He mentioned her once should I be worried?
MN - yes look at his phone see what you can find.

Zzzz19 · 11/12/2019 14:47

OP- If you know that it is over then don’t prolong the agony. If you agree to therapy, he will be going to this thinking there is a chance when it is clear that there isn’t and you are done. You need to tell him that you no longer feel that way about it and those feelings won’t come back (They won’t). Just try and make the split as amicable as possible. Often the wronged party cling on to any hope initially as they have not had the time that you have had to process your thoughts.

Good luck.

MummyJasmin · 11/12/2019 15:03

Leave him. He deserves someone better.

Warmfirechocolate · 11/12/2019 15:08

Maybe I won't, but it's easier than living with the weight of someone else's expectation for sex I can't bare to give.

Of course he will expect and want sex if you stay. You are being cruel to consider staying with how you feel. It really is simple, you divorce or you subject your DH to an awful life.

I’m sorry but you remind me of my DH, we are separating. He also had an affair, but we stayed together (he begged me to come back). A couple of times he let slip that he felt ‘emotionally blackmailed’ and that ‘couldn’t I just admit it was over’

I’ve never been so humiliated. My DH will not admit that in reality he wants his cake and to eat it too, he doesn’t really want us to separate and is delaying the process. Whilst telling others he would leave but doesn’t want to hurt me. Does that honestly ring true for you? If it does, please leave! That your DH wants to make another go of it probably means that whether you know it or not, you are giving him some confusing signals.

SpiderCharlotte · 11/12/2019 15:16

Definitely leave. You're not happy, he will never really be happy with you again no matter what you do. You need to end your marriage and both move on.

MiniMum97 · 11/12/2019 16:55

Doing couples therapy if you can start quickly may help you both extricate yourself from the marriage. It doesn't have to be about staying together it can be about how you split. You need the split to be as friendly as possible as you need to continue to have a relationship with him for many years due to the children.


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