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DHa Affair revealed

232 replies

RaeraeH · 18/03/2023 16:12

I am in shock and trying to get my head round the discovery (or revealing) of my husbands affair. The OWs DH found an email discussion between OW and my H which makes clear the two of them are in love and it seems to have been going on for around 18 months, possibly longer. They have had sex before but not within the past year, which the emails state however it seems it has continued emotionally on and off.
A week ago OWs DH found me on Instagram and contacted to inform me of what he had discovered and subsequently has shared said email discussion with me which was heartbreaking to read.
Things like he's only with me for our 3 kids and he wishes to be on her arms, will always be there for her etc :(
I'm reeling. We've been together for 20 years and he's been an incredible husband overall.
H is begging me not to divorce him and wants to work through it.
From what I gather though, OW put the brakes on the physical side of things because he wouldn't leave me.
My head is a mess. Where do I begin.

OP posts:
RaeraeH · 19/03/2023 22:33

YukoandHiro · 19/03/2023 19:25

"At one point he says that his connection with her is on a different level to anything else he has experienced"

I couldn't get beyond that tbh. Either it's true in which case the relationship between you has been fatally undermined, or he's willing to lie to a woman about something like this to get a shag.

I don't think he's worth your time. Concentrate on your DC.

Absolutely. This is what I'm struggling with most.

OP posts:
Dery · 19/03/2023 23:04

If she’s his only affair so far, the connection may be different. After all, the secrecy, the scheming, the generally illicit nature probably does create a massive thrill. And he’s been sharing that with her. The same would probably apply to any affair partner, mind you, so it’s not her who’s particularly thrilling, it’s the situation.

Thewookiemustgo · 20/03/2023 00:11

@DJhowzy absolute mic drop after that amazing post, I identify with everything you say.
@RaeraeH the emotional stuff you hear hurts ten times more than the sex side of things, describing it as feeling like being stabbed is no exaggeration. However, most affairs are on Fantasy Island and everyone is presenting a version of themselves, listening intently for what the other person wants to hear, saying anything that will perpetuate the excitement and the high of the illicit situation. If everything he said was how he really felt, why on earth would he want up stay with you? If she’s so amazing to him, if there is an incredible connection like nothing he ever felt before, then your finding out should bring relief to him, that now he can finally stop the charade and skip off into the sunset with this amazing woman. If he’s staying for the children, finances, fear of people finding out about him, he will never, ever keep this up because people need what they need and nobody, especially a man who is weak enough to cheat, can possibly sustain his new found nobility of sacrificing this huge happiness he’s allegedly found for the allegedly unhappy situation he felt the need to have a little holiday from. If he was ever that noble and self sacrificing he wouldn’t have cheated in the first place. Maybe when the affair bubble burst he got the arse kick needed to see what he really values in his life and does not want to lose. They say all sorts of cobblers to the OW and (to quote my DH) “felt like James Fucking Bond” during the affair. It’s a huge ego trip and the high of the secrecy and the ‘unrequited love’ fantasy get them stupidly carried away. As long as nobody knows it carries on and gets crazier then pow, somebody finds out and reality shines its light into the bollocks of it all and these idiot men and their desperate accomplices all act accordingly. Maybe he’s a serial cheat and he’s lying to you and it’s time to get rid and move on, only you can decide that. Maybe he’s genuinely feeling like the awful shit he’s actually being, not James Bond at all, just another midlife idiot with kids who got his ego fanned at a weak moment and thought nobody would ever know, so why not grab a bit of excitement before he gets too old? The emotional connection comes about because they only ever meet in situations which are all about them. No kids, partners, obligations, routine, familiarity. It’s all new and exciting and like being teenagers again so both are invested in making it look like all they care about is each other, listening hard constantly to see what the other needs to hear to think they are amazing, alluring, to get them into bed, both desperately trying to be such bloody special people that literally anything could come out of their mouths. It feeds the high. My husband said that with hindsight it was the situation he was in love with, desperate to perpetuate it because he felt like a hero, God’s gift to women, adored and so bloody special. He said she could have been anybody actually, it was the fucked up situation and filling of a need that he was chasing. They only ever met in restaurants and hotels, dressed to the nines and with one purpose in mind. So of course it would work and feel like that forever…(not) Because real life is always like that after all….. ffs. It’s a slog to work through what he said and did and it will only ever work if he wants it as badly as you do. It doesn’t matter how badly he wants it, however, if too many boundaries have been crossed and it’s a deal breaker, then leave and save yourself the hard work of trying. If any of your decisions to stay are based on fear (the kids, finances, can I make it in my own etc) then don’t bother, it won’t work no matter what you do. But it’s your choice, if he’s sincere and wants you and the marriage and proves it, then there’s no shame in trying again. Then again, even if he is sincere, and you can’t see yourself ever moving forward, then there’s no shame in leaving, either. Only you can know this, nobody else. Look after yourself, the pain is excruciating and life changing no matter what you decide. But those saying it can never work are wrong, that’s just their experience. I know four couples it worked out for for decades afterwards. But it’s not right for everyone, sometimes sadly it’s just over. Only you can know and decide that. Sending love, this hurts abominably, I know it does. X

NevieSticks · 20/03/2023 00:55

My impression from all the cheating husbands I know are that they ALL beg to stay at first - it seems to be a panic reaction to being discovered. They minimise too but often it reoccurs or never goes away. I let mine stay and after 4 years he walked out on me.

Ladybugzrock · 20/03/2023 07:04

I sit firmly in the line of thinking presented by @DJhowzy and @Thewookiemustgo

Its not a case of ‘they love the AP’ or are ‘lying to the woman they want to sleep with’, it’s much more complex than that. There is a lot at play, affairs are highly addictive and in a person with normally good moral compass they have to create a narrative that works to sustain the dopamine hits they’ve become used to. Very few want to be that person who is just cheating for the hell of it, so cognitive dissonance takes over and voila, it’s true love, soulmates bs until it’s found out and they start questioning their own reality. Affairs are rarely about bad marriages and meeting true love. They’re most likely about validation, selfishness and entitlement.

@RaeraeH if I were you I’d heed the wise advice from @MsDogLady. Your husband might well want to reconcile, he might well want you over the AP that is entirely plausible but his reactions and minimising this as a fantasy situation is not healthy. He needs to really understand why he believed the validation seeking and cheap thrills from another women was worth the possible destruction of your family. What on earth possessed him to do this? Right now he’s not remorseful and I’d agree not a good candidate for reconciliation.

I also think you need to really take the time to work out whether all of this is a deal breaker for you. As these threads always show some people can not get past an affair and that is absolutely their right. Some can and that is their right too.

I strongly believe in these cases knowledge is power. Surviving infidelity had been mentioned, affair recovery videos are excellent. How to help your spouse heal from you affair (McDonald) is a great book for you to understand remorse and not just friends (glass) helps you understand current thinking around all this. I’m sure there are other resources but these ones are tried and tested. And if you feel you can’t move through this chump lady site is also great.

Right now I’d be getting legal advice and counselling to help me make my decision moving forward. And watching his actions closely.

LooseGoose22 · 20/03/2023 07:50

AcornGreen · 19/03/2023 10:18

He knew that OPs husband had no intention of leaving her.

How does telling her help him feeling better? Unless his intention was to destroy the marriage of the man his wife was in love with. See what a man’s bruised ego can do!

Lol at people who think leaving a betrayed spouse in a marriage with someone cheating on them for two years and saying they gave a connection they've never had with their cheating partner ..... To be further cheated on, lied to and gas lit, possibly blind sided, possibly dumped - with every possible implication for their physical, mental health, finances ...... Id the right thing to do

Everyone deserves to know what their apparently monogamous marriage is, if it is not.

Don't shoot the messenger. No-one should ever have to fall on their sword and cover up for and lie by omission for cheaters.

LooseGoose22 · 20/03/2023 07:58

Op had a right to know , and the ow's husband had a right to.tell ..... Stop with this nonsense blaming the betrayed spouses for telling relevant people.

And what a fairy land, fake, ridiculous "reality" you want preserved for the other betrayed spouse. It's not reality.

You say "He knew her wasn't going to leave her so .."

First off, he doesn't know that. He's not fucking psychic. If he magically knew the contents of ops husband's mind, presumably he'd have stepped in before he started sticking his dick in his wife. He doesn't know what ops h will do, now or in future.

Secondly what ops husband wants to do, does, or will do; is not the fucking point! He is not in a marriage on his own, he is one partner in a marriage of two people. Two people who both have the right to agency. Two people who gave the right to know whether they are in a monogamous exclusive relationship any more, two people who get to make decisions about their lives, based on facts .... Not a fair reality that only exists because people who know one partner has another partner and has decided they're opting out of monogamy; have not told the other partner.

Why would this need explained.

LooseGoose22 · 20/03/2023 08:02

Then there's the fact that even if ops h didn't leave her for this affair partner, he has a proven precedent for cheating on her... And may do it again in future.

But, by all means, stick with the "how dare the other betrayed spouse tell op the truth about her marriage, out of ego; how dare he try to destroy their marriage, if only op had been left in blissful ignorance - like a stupid, deceived child with no right to agency in her own life; everything would he fine".

LooseGoose22 · 20/03/2023 08:03

Unless his intention was to destroy the marriage of the man his wife was in love with.

Here's a tip for you; since you don't seem to get it yourself; the ow's husband didn't destroy ops marriage. Someone else did; can you guess who?

LooseGoose22 · 20/03/2023 08:19

On top of everything else, this man's care for his children is abysmal.

He is willing to either leave their Mum and break up their family unit for an affair partner he's gotten involved with, or he's willing to risk their Mum separating from him, which she has every possible right to do, and therein their family unit breaking up by having an affair.

If he wanted out, he could have done so with integrity and tried to set up an amicable fair coparenting arrangement and see his kids half the week. Then pursue other relationships.

A good father also doesn't abuse his kids Mum, and infidelity (whether there no intention of it, that's irrelevant) is a type of abuse.

LooseGoose22 · 20/03/2023 08:30

He's very much put himself first; ahead of your welfare, afraid of his kids welfare. That's who he is, when the chips are down.

Noone instantly falls into an affair, there are dozens of openings, and boundaries and lines that are taken or crossed on to way; many many small decisions to proceed when you know you should halt. He went ahead through all of them and has kept it up for two years so far; that's who he is.

Notice that his affair partner's husband has fucked her out, whether she wanted to.fk or not. That is typical, I find. While women beat themselves up and go for the "grey" and take on responsibility and submit to the reconciliation industry Bullshit, and wreck their MH trying to stick with these fuckers; most men do none of those things. They see it the way it should be seen, they don't take on responsibility for their partner's lack of integrity, they recognise their partner had irreparably broken something. There aren't many things women should follow men's example in, but this is one of them.

LooseGoose22 · 20/03/2023 08:31

Notice that his affair partner's husband has fucked her out, whether she wanted to go or not.

LooseGoose22 · 20/03/2023 08:35

just another midlife idiot with kids who got his ego fanned at a weak moment and thought nobody would ever know, so why not grab a bit of excitement before he gets too old?

Fuck me, the minimisation.

I'll.just focus on one point or I'd be typing all day.

Two years (and counting if his affair partner's hubby hadn't caught them out) is not a "moment".

Even if ops husband's two year (so far) affair is a one off, that doesn't make it acceptable or forgiveable as you seem to imply.

LooseGoose22 · 20/03/2023 08:40

just another midlife idiot with kids who got his ego fanned at a weak moment and thought nobody would ever know, so why not grab a bit of excitement before he gets too old?

And if op felt, approaching mid life and peri menopause, perhaps feeling underappreciated/undervalued/unseen, bored with sex with one person (even if he is good-looking) for 20 years, bored with the humdrum and drudgery of family life m; had had a two year affair with another man to "grab a bit of excitement before she gets too old"; would that be ok .... or is it only male "idiots" (nice infantalisation and minimisation there) this monumental betrayal is minimised for?

Most importantly would her husband accept and forgive it?? Doubt it. He'd probably leave or down the line cheat too and then leave.

LooseGoose22 · 20/03/2023 08:45

I'd also winder how comfortable he'd feel trying to continue their marriage knowing her affair partner is now available, having been (entirely correctly fucked out the door on his ass by his spouse) given she's told him she feels more for him than anyone else to date, and she's managed to cover up an affair with him for two years on her end ... Who wants to take on a second job as the CIA trying to monitor the many many ways in which someone can have contact with another person secretly; noone.

findmeonthesunnyside · 20/03/2023 11:20

Happy belated Mum’s Day, OP. Curious how your DH behaved.

findmeonthesunnyside · 20/03/2023 11:37

Most of us can agree that you NEED some space to think. And that DH is trying to take back control by minimising things, begging to stay, staying in the house, etc. He’s been away on a holiday from his marriage, but you’ve said he’s a good father. It might not feel like it but you are the one in control and he’s watching, closely. Might be time to take care of you. The Canary Islands are nice and sunny. 2 weeks away to clear your head and make plans. He’d be shitting himself. You’re in control, not him.
I actually go away alone each year to take care of me and my DH and DC love to have a refreshed me on my return. Plus, they enjoy the daily beach pics, etc. It’s amazing how clearly one can think when they’ve slept in, taken lovely walks each day, go sailing and diving, eaten fresh fish, worked on a killer tan, read full books.. your sense of perspective changes. You start noticing the beauty of nature, people in love around you, etc. Your sense of focus on wants and needs becomes pin sharp. Can you imagine telling the kids “Daddy just bought a mummy 2-3 week holiday for mummy’s day! Isn’t that so exciting!”

Thewookiemustgo · 20/03/2023 14:29

@LooseGoose22 I wasn’t minimising any of it, it’s how many, many of these things start and whether it’s a week or a year the pain it causes can be the same. The ‘weak moment’ I was referring to was not the whole thing, I meant the start of it, that weak first decision to cross the line. I wasn’t saying it was ok or a small thing to do. I wasn’t referring to the duration of what OP’s husband did, I was referring to how it probably started. What happens after that depends on the individual and just much it hurts or can be moved on from, together or apart, also depends on the individual. I would never, ever minimise cheating or excuse it in any manner. I know of people who have taken their own lives because they couldn’t live with themselves afterwards. I know people with mental health issues because of betrayal. I was kind of them. There is nothing to minimise about any of it. I’m minimising nothing. I’ve just known a frightening amount of people affected by this who either had a one night stand or long term affair describe the start of it as being like that. A crossing of a line in one weak, selfish moment which made continuing crossing that line easier each time. Some have instant regret and stop doing it, others revel in the high it gives them and it becomes like a drug. The less opportunity they think there is for anyone to ever find out, the longer it can go on for. It’s not excusing or minimising, it’s just a fact. What I was minimising for OP was how much of what she has read is probably true. Getting invested in every word he wrote and taking it as the absolute truth of the matter of how he felt is probably not a great idea because of the LaLa Land nature of affairs. Those who have affairs have to be good liars, not only to their partners, but to the affair partner to keep up the appearance of being a decent person (who wants to think well of them despite usually knowing that they are the OW or OM) but above all, they need to be bloody good liars to themselves. They need to be able to justify it all in their head, to tell themselves they are still good people despite doing what they are doing, so they lie to themselves about their partners, relationship, even their own feelings. They can choose to stop or get help at any time. Some do, some don’t until being discovered bursts the bullshit bubble. At that point the people who are having exit affairs where they use the affair as their reason to leave, usually do leave for the affair partner. The vast majority don’t. And not because they are suddenly hit by a huge wave of morality or nobility, but because they are hit with a huge wave of realising that they’d rather have their wife and the life they had before than their allegedly beloved AP and LaLa Land, whatever crap they made up at the time. It’s shitshow of epic proportions for all involved. Nobody escapes unhurt. I apologise to anyone who thought my post was about minimising cheating. It’s certainly not. It’s about trying to help OP come to a decision as to what to do next. Until he’s behaving like a remorseful safe partner, even if OP is considering continuing the relationship, he’s not a good bet to put it mildly. But or leaving is up to the OP, not any of us. And I’ll never, ever imply that there is shame or stupidity involved in either option.

LooseGoose22 · 20/03/2023 14:52

Until he’s behaving like a remorseful safe partner

Someone who's cheated on you for two years is never a safe partner.

And you seem to speak like she could or should continue the marriage if he were those things - but that's not a given, not at all.

Justforlaffs · 20/03/2023 14:53

AcornGreen · 19/03/2023 09:18

Let him go to her.

Shame on her husband and is bruised ego telling you, when he already knew your husband wanted to stay with you.

I would be thanking the husband for telling me! Why the hell should he keep it a secret?

You know what he is now op - a deceitful piece of shit who lies to two women to get what he wants - stability and a lovely home life from you with presumably no mundane tasks such as cleaning and cooking or doing the bulk of the childcare ( I’m guessing that’s your job op?) And the little illicit thrill of “the woman he lusts after and has SUCH an emotional connection to but can’t have” - except he did have her a while back! Yuk.

No, I couldn’t come back from this. He’ll talk out of both sides of his face to get what he wants from both you and her - right now he’ll be shitting himself as his cozy little setup has been blown right up into the air. He’s probably telling her to hang fire whilst he calms things down, and like the idiot she is she’ll probably be dangling on a string waiting for him. Don’t be like her.

Either get him to leave or leave yourself for a bit - you need some time alone to get your head around this without him manipulating you.

LooseGoose22 · 20/03/2023 14:59

They can choose to stop or get help at any time.

Of they can choose not to gave an affair in the first place. Believe it or not, that's what you're looking for in life; not the ones who are good liars to everyone including themselves but who stop or get help eventually.

Pro Reconciliation posters, who are usually that because they have accepted infidelity/adultery themselves, always speak like every man is a cheater and it's "normal"; because they want to believe that ... But that is not actually the case. As many men don't cheat as cheat (by the figures available). You're not looking for a "good", reformable cheater as your life partner; you're looking for a non cheater.

As others have pointed out, the ones who cheat are fundamentally selfish, entitled, irresponsible, low integrity, lacking empathy, and I would add that they simply do not believe their partner has equal rights to them in a relationship; otherwise they would propose an open relationship or not cheat (or end the relationship). They believe they have rights their partner doesn't. You cannot have an equal relationship with them. .

Are those qualities you want in a long term partner?

LooseGoose22 · 20/03/2023 15:04

I'd also point out that a significant portion of divorced women in this forum who forgave & accepted infidelity during their marriage, ended up divorced due to further infidelity dish the line. Whether it was years later, the ultimate result was that they cheated again, and left. And most of them (the women) feel those interlude years were wasted.

Once you see that capability and inclination in someone"s character, you can expect to see it again (much as the pro reconciliation posters want to write it off as isolated/a blip).

LooseGoose22 · 20/03/2023 15:16

*down the line, obviously

LooseGoose22 · 20/03/2023 15:20

Getting invested in every word he wrote and taking it as the absolute truth of the matter of how he felt is probably not a great idea because of the LaLa Land nature of affairs

Ultimately does it matter that much if he told his affair partner that he feels more for her than anyone else before due to affair "fog" or due to truth (or both)?

Any of the options leave him as an adulterous cheater who's betrayed his partner of 20 years and by default his kids (because it's their family unit he's heavily risked). And who kept it up for two years and who hid it from op successfully for two years. He's a high risk partner, whether he believes his BS or not.

LooseGoose22 · 20/03/2023 15:22

And whatever they believe; the fundamental point is that they give themselves permission to pursue an affair, to cheat, to betray their partner, to decisive their partner, to risk their family unit, to take knowledge, consent, agency and choices out of their partners hands while keeping them for themselves ....

Others do not give themselves permission to do that.

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