Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

How do women get close to married men
171

Nineuser17887 · 05/08/2022 13:40

For various reasons, I think my husband may have had some sort of inappropriate relationship with a woman a few years ago. He denies an affair but he says he was naieve and 'got too close' but in a friendly way, he says.

There has been quite bad fallout from him keeping elements of his relationship secret from me. He never suggested that the reason he was keeping secrets from me was because he thought I would be jealous or suspicious. It was only after I suggested this as a reason to him, that he agreed that it might have been the case. But he acknowledged that this didn't make any sense because I had never shown any signs of being like that previously.

We have reconciled and I choose to accept his explanation but there is one question which bothers me still. What impression he gave her of our life together to make her feel it was ok to carry on a secret relationship with him over a number of years.

He has somewhat dodged my questions concerning this. At least, I can't get much sense from him.

I would be interested to know from anyone who has been close to a married man as to how you think the situation came about and also what impression he gave you or you got about his home life.

I am aware these questions might raise criticisms of OWs. I hope that doesn't happen because I am looking for clarity about how his behaviour might have influenced the situation.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

EmeraldShamrock1 · 05/08/2022 13:49

I would be interested to know from anyone who has been close to a married man as to how you think the situation came about and also what impression he gave you or you got about his home life.
I had a very close male married friend, there wasn't anything sexual going on but looking back we talked and shared personal information.
I thought that he was a lovely husband who suffered with depression, the second part was true.
He was a kind, shy, approachable man who always offered to help, unfortunately it was a mask.

I fell out with him because he took pleasure in hurting his wife, he was a sly selfish person who played the victim.

I wanted to kick myself for being so foolish.

Different situation to you.

Some women enjoy the attention and feel DW is not their responsibility.

Please
or
to access all these features

SweatyChamoisPad · 05/08/2022 14:00

In my case it's over-familiarity over a period of time. I haven't done anything and I haven't even been slightly tempted to - I'm not married, but have a partner that I don't live with.

I have a colleague who is in another region who I need to interact with on a regular basis to get reports. He is constantly derailing chats with topics about holidays, what am I up to at the weekend, what's my favourite pie, flavour of crisps etc. He is charm personified and an outrageous flirt. I am constantly on my guard to head off anything that could be understood to be engaging, and have to fight hard to get the conversation back on the rails. I'm really happy with my partner, so have no intention of messing about with that, but I think there is a small sub-section of society who would fall for that kind of interraction.

Please
or
to access all these features

StillHappy · 05/08/2022 14:03

My DH is good friends with some of my female friends, and he’d have to be blind not to find them extremely attractive.

A couple of them work in the same company as he does, so will often see him for a coffee, or at drinks after work.

I’m not particularly concerned about it, he’s not having sex with any of them, and they remain good friends of mine.

Please
or
to access all these features

LightandMomentary · 05/08/2022 14:05

I had a contractor who I had to work with on a regular basis. He always pushed the friendly boundaries, wanting to drive to sites together to discuss the work on the way (nope - lots of personal chat), calls when an email would have sufficed etc. He also eventually dropped into the conversation about his open marriage...

I emailed only from that point on, my colleagues fielded his calls etc because he just wouldn't stop the 'over-friendly, over-sharing' behaviour. Thankfully he moved on shortly after this. If he hadn't been moving I would have been open and up front to stop it.

Please
or
to access all these features

35965a · 05/08/2022 14:08

The guy gets an ego boost so encourages the friendship/flirtation/relationship. You can only get close to someone if they let you. The women don’t care he has a wife.

Please
or
to access all these features

Crikeyalmighty · 05/08/2022 14:08

@Nineuser17887 I was in a very similar situation- my H became infatuated with someone who occasionally helped in our business- she was 21, he was41 at the time. This all came out a lot of years later as I found stuff he had written- all very mills and boon - I don't know if I have the full truth but there was a lot of texting at the time (I had bills to go back to) plus a lot of popping around to help her mother with the computer (who she lived with) - presuming it was just a one sided infatuation he told me, she genuinely saw it as a close friendship and was used to texting men and women frequently (as she was a student ) he saw it as a 'huge crush' from his side because so many other shitty things in life were happening at the time- business issues, his mum dying- and he saw it as a pleasant and cheerful distraction. He says conversation never involved me or our son at all- although she knew me well - it was as if I didn't exist. It stopped to a large extent when she moved abroad for work.

I think men compartmentalise in this way bettter than many women. He said he didn't feel bad about it at the time as for him nothing sexual was happening and he didn't expect me to find out- Problem is I've never since 100% felt the same about us or him- as I've read the stuff he wrote and I certainly never had anything written about me and we've been married 26 years

Please
or
to access all these features

Vainandjustrealised · 05/08/2022 14:08

I am very careful about crossing boundaries with married men to be honest

I would never message / call etc outside of work - I just do not think it is appropriate
Friendship wise I am mindful of their partner and how they may feel

I know one woman who goes out of her way to flirt with married men (sometimes at the same events as their wives) and I think its desperate and embarressing so cannot offer any advice on woman who do this and what goes on in their head - other than being complete idiots

Please
or
to access all these features

Mamato3boysand2dogs · 05/08/2022 14:25

A friend of mine has been seeing married men for years. Always married or attached. She has her reasons but i hear a lot about what the men say and do. A large majority are apparently happy at home, they dont slag their wives off, they just say they are bored, the spark has gone. They want something more, but without upsetting the family structure. No intention of leaving their wives.

Please
or
to access all these features

Riapia · 05/08/2022 14:29

They make themselves irresistible.
The poor man is helpless.
My ex was a victim.

Please
or
to access all these features

ComtesseDeSpair · 05/08/2022 14:33

A lot of married men are slogging through the tedium and drudgery of having small children and a wife who gives 100% as a mother but very little as a partner, so they’re living like housemates who parent and the relationship is going stale. Covers the base for the majority of affairs or “inappropriate” friendships.

I think there are women - especially if they are a bit younger and not married and childfree - who sympathise with that and think he’s just a poor lonely man with a shitty, boring home life, and are more than happy to offer attention.

Please
or
to access all these features

ThisBusThatBus · 05/08/2022 14:35

NC to avoid the inevitable.

  1. Platonic male married friend/ex-colleague, bonded over a shared hobby. We don't talk about any intimate details of our relationships, just our shared interest and what's been going on in our lives e.g. holidays, new jobs, what former colleagues are up to. We have lunch a couple of times a year, exchange emails every couple of months around the time of significant events relating to our hobby.

  2. Relationship with married colleague when I was single and in my early 20s, before mobiles and social media. He was a lovely man with serious MH issues. With hindsight, his wife was probably suffering from 'compassion fatigue' but I was too young and naive to recognise that. I thought I could 'fix' him. He gave the impression of looking for someone to shower affection on, he was very romantic, a gentleman. Didn't bad-mouth his wife as a person, but did talk about his unhappiness in his marriage, what he said he'd tried to do to improve things and why it wasn't working. I was coming from a place of low self-esteem and was flattered this older man liked me. I ended up being an exit affair for him. We split up a few years later, unrelated to infidelity, it was a relatively amicable split.

  3. Online relationship with married man in another country. Met via a Tumblr-style fetish site. Both otherwise happily married but in near-sexless relationships, initially both just looking for some online fun but have developed something of a connection, as far as it's possible to tell from something entirely online where people can present any version of themselves. He's 99% respectful about his wife (occasionally the other 1% of the time he lets slip a little frustration at being expected to 'live like a monk' as he puts it) but as we've got to know each other more beyond just sex he has shared some information that I imagine his wife would find hard - sometimes just day to day stuff about their routines, sometimes slightly more personal but still respectful, he never trash-talks her. I know she struggles with her weight, for example - he's never once insulted her but I asked once why she doesn't join him in some of his more physical hobbies and he matter of factly said something like "she thinks she's too fat". He shares photos of his daily life, I've seen the interior of their house, their cat, their holiday home, I know where he works etc. As far as I can tell they have a decent marriage with some shared interests, he enjoys his life and doesn't want to split, but they have very mismatched sex drives and he finds it hard to not just have no sex, but not much in the way of physical affection of any sort or of feeling desired by his partner.
Please
or
to access all these features

ManAboutTown · 05/08/2022 14:39

It's work usually.

Had a few female colleagues over the years whose advice I really valued. Nothing untoward happened but certainly conversations occasionally strayed into the personal from time to time.

Please
or
to access all these features

Mamato3boysand2dogs · 05/08/2022 14:40

There is definitely a pattern. Most of her APs are late 30s to mid 40s, married around 10 years, couple of small kids. It's like a carbon copy every time.

Please
or
to access all these features

EBearhug · 05/08/2022 14:41

There are a lot on online dating apps. Some are quite open about wanting duscreet NSA sex, so they're easy to avoid, but some totally fail to mention it at any point. It can still be fairly easy to spot if they don't have their face in any profile pics, or are really flakey about agreeing to meet up, and keep wanting to rearrange, but there probably are others who come over as plausible until people are already involved. Women may also do this, but I'm not looking to match with women.

I sm friends with married men at work, but in most cases, I've met their wives and children at some point, and to be anything more would be like getting together with a brother and beyond weird (I assume - I only have sisters.) I have slept with more than one other colleague who is single, though, so I can't claim to be one of those who doesn't mix that sort of thing with work.

Please
or
to access all these features

Nineuser17887 · 05/08/2022 14:41

It's difficult for me to get my head round him having never mentioned me because that would be alien to me not to mention him in similar circumstances. Simply in the ordinary course of conversation with acquaintances, at some point I'd ask 'how's (name of girlfriend or wife)?'. In situations where I haven't known the name, the name invariably comes out in the guy's answer, even when I've never met her.
I know two people in a marriage are obviously still individuals but there is always an element of talking about people as a couple at least sometimes? All the attached people I've ever known have naturally mentioned things about their partners. Like this morning, a woman acquaintance of mine referred to her partner (by his name) giving her a lift, yet I've never met the guy.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Decidualcast · 05/08/2022 14:41

I have a friend who is married (unhappily, according to him, but he has all the great perks of being married). He has tried to push boundaries and I’ve reigned him in. He’d quite happily cheat on his wife given the opportunity, but I was having none of it. I can see how it would be easy to fall into something with a married man if you start out as friends, but I’d say you need very strong boundaries in place. Anyway, our friendship is petering out. He’s asked to meet up when his wife is away. I said no. The attention is tempting, especially if you are low or lonely. These men can be manipulative, but depends on the other woman also.

Please
or
to access all these features

Nineuser17887 · 05/08/2022 14:45

ComtesseDeSpair · 05/08/2022 14:33

A lot of married men are slogging through the tedium and drudgery of having small children and a wife who gives 100% as a mother but very little as a partner, so they’re living like housemates who parent and the relationship is going stale. Covers the base for the majority of affairs or “inappropriate” friendships.

I think there are women - especially if they are a bit younger and not married and childfree - who sympathise with that and think he’s just a poor lonely man with a shitty, boring home life, and are more than happy to offer attention.

OK, but what if that wasn't the case, as in my case? What impression would a man have to give for the younger, single woman to think that was the case?

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

TheOrigRights · 05/08/2022 14:46

My experience: I am in a running club. Many of my friends are married men.
Some of them overstep the boundaries. I saw this particularly when I was going through my divorce and then when I was single.
Men who I had been good friends with seemed to see a vulnerability in me and a good opportunity. I was disgusted with a couple of them TBH. I was friends with their wives and also clearly not in a place to have a relationship with anyone, let alone them.

I am much more tuned to it now - when I was married it felt 'safer' to have a laugh with married men because I was unavailable so clearly I wasn't flirting.

Now I have to be on my guard a bit more. I miss having uncomplicated relationships with men.

Please
or
to access all these features

ComtesseDeSpair · 05/08/2022 14:51

Nineuser17887 · 05/08/2022 14:45

OK, but what if that wasn't the case, as in my case? What impression would a man have to give for the younger, single woman to think that was the case?

Similar version, I’d imagine: that your marriage wasn’t what it used to be / not enough sex /you’d grown apart / were more like friends than lovers but that he didn’t want to leave you because he’d feel too guilty (or, a common one, you’re mentally ill and he was scared you’d go bonkers / kill yourself.)

I’d imagine that’s why he dodges your questions, he knows he painted you in a poor light and isn’t exactly going to want to own up to it.

Please
or
to access all these features

Overpaymymortgage · 05/08/2022 14:54

When I was younger (19/20) I was very friendly with my married boss (40s). He was a happy, jovial man and fun to be around. We would go out for lunch together most days, never anything inappropriate and he never made me feel uncomfortable. Looking back I imagine it gave him an ego boost to have a young female friend out with him. My impression of his homelife was that it was happy and he was settled. His wife was a "real grown up" in my head. A beautiful woman who had given up her career to raise their children and was doing a good job. He never spoke badly of her or implied he was unhappy. He had quite a fun loving childish side and that seemed to come out with me and work colleagues, whereas I presume at home he had to be a grown up and unload dishwashers. He would speak of weekend plans with his wife or what he had for dinner, nothing was hidden from us regarding her. It was a constant joke of how lucky he was and us not knowing why she put up with him and his dad dancing etc. I have no idea if she knew anything about our friendship as she never acknowledged me when she came into work to meet him (very rare in itself).

Please
or
to access all these features

Camesawconquered · 05/08/2022 14:58

DH has just done something similar.

OW claimed he told her we'd split which is why she continued to message/meet him.

He claims she was fully aware of our situation. I'm not overly sure which to believe as I know he removed his wedding ring when he saw her, but I also saw her messages telling him to delete their conversations in case I found out.

Please
or
to access all these features

OldFan · 05/08/2022 14:59

I've been an OW several times (never again.)

They say their marriage is effectively over and/or they have a sexless marriage.

Please
or
to access all these features

saltwaterandsuncream · 05/08/2022 15:02

99.9% of the time, the man does the chasing / gives the opportunity / allows things to happen. You should worry about your husband, not other women.

Please
or
to access all these features

ILoveMonday · 05/08/2022 15:06

35965a · 05/08/2022 14:08

The guy gets an ego boost so encourages the friendship/flirtation/relationship. You can only get close to someone if they let you. The women don’t care he has a wife.

Of course, it's the other woman not giving a shit about the wife. Men are never sexual predators, are they?

Please
or
to access all these features

Nineuser17887 · 05/08/2022 15:07

saltwaterandsuncream · 05/08/2022 15:02

99.9% of the time, the man does the chasing / gives the opportunity / allows things to happen. You should worry about your husband, not other women.

That's why I presented the question in the way I did.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.