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Affairs - lets talk

This is question is sparked by another post that wasnt about affairs but several people started talking about affairs. Who has had one? Why? Did you cheat on your partner or were you the one they were cheating with? Did you know you were the other woman/man or did you think they were single? If you knew why did you do it? How many of you have put relationships back together? What are you and do you struggle with? Id like to hear all sides. From the cheater to the partner being cheated on to the other woman/man. I ask all this as im trying to put a marriage back together after my husband had a long term affair. Im trying to understand a lot and it seems there are several of you in a simular situation to me. Would love to hear a mans perspective too from any position.


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Answers (21)

Thank you "other" women! It was very brave to share your story... for me I don't blame the other women I blame my ex! He was married even it he got offered he should have just turned around and said no! I was at home with a new born and he went into a mid life crisis and pretended he was single.... But on the other hand if he was really sorry and regretted it and made an effort to be a husband and father, I would have made an effort to save the marriage but he wasn't so he pretended to be single and now he is... He is not a part of his child's life and that is fine with me.

 Reassuring to hear someone with rationality!!!
Op I understand your hurt and angry at her and it's easier to direct feelings that should be toward your husband at her- anyone who's worked through an affair can tell you that.
But recognise it had nothing to do with her. If it wasn't her it would be someone else regardless of how she Perseud or still Perseus him. A faithful partner won't be unfaithful. It's that simple and it's wasted energy on the other woman if it's directed all at hubby you work through that phase faster. And it's gets easier. You need to accept the affair was 100% his fault. Accept that part of him. If you shift any blame at all onto her you can't fully accept and ultimately move past what he did

helpful (6) 
 Op here i appreciate your perspective but i guess im not in that place yet to put no blame on her, i dont see how i can. She came to my house, i cooked her dinner, i drank with her, i looked after her kid. I wasnt 'imaginary' to her. She knew me, our house, our life, our kids and still chose to be a part of trying to destroy that for her own gain and now wants to be a victim. If she had stronger morals she wouldnt have let it happen and she wouldnt be grieving a married man who chose his wife over her. She knew what she was getting involved in. I have zero sympathy for her and i do lay some blame with her and always will. That doesn't mean my husband is off the hook by any means.
helpful (9) 
 I was cheated on by my husband, this woman came to my house also, knew my kids, I wasn't friends with her, I was under the impression she was his sister's cousin (different mum's). I trusted him because obviously I loved him.
It was so fcked up! Sister didn't even know who she was but I guess he didn't think I'd be chatting to his sister without him present, so thought he could get away with the lie. We stayed together but I never got over it. Recently separated years later for other reasons. I don't know why I stayed. Or why he didn't just leave and live with her. But he insisted he wanted "us"to work and I believed it. I blame them both. It was emotionally & mentally the worst

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I was the other woman. I DID NOT KNOW - he told me he was single. Someone mentioned to me that 'doesn't he have a girlfriend?' I said no he is single. I asked him again and he came clean. I never saw him again and I was so mad. I'm not that person and he did that to me and to his poor girlfriend who he later married.

OP poster here. This topic isnt meant to be an 'other woman' bashing. I actually really appreciate hearing your perspectives. Its the closest i can get to getting the answers/closure i need because i cant go have a convetsation with 'her'. To the person who finds it a depressing subject, yes it is, but its a reality many of us have no choice but to live with regardless of the roll we played. Quick version of my story goes back 3 years, i met her (at our house!) and instantly red flags and they never went away. My husband finally admitting the affair a few months ago. He was going to leave me for her but never could then we started to reconnect and it messed up his plans to be with her becsuse he realised he wanted to be with me. They had made plans for the future. She text him for a while after saying he ruined her life (ahhh hello? You were with a married man! You were helping and knowingly destroying my life! Makes me angry when she tries to play the victim). So thats my very short story. My husband is making HUGE efforts to reassure me and give me what i need and put our life and marriage back together and make it better than ever. We generally manage quite well, but i do have fits of rage where i lash out or wake in the middle of the night and cant stop crying. There are so many emotions surrounding a life event like this.

 You're doing better than me OP. My husband met and left me for another lady. He realised he'd made a huge mistake and I tried to work on getting our marriage back on track but just couldn't. It's been two years and although I still miss having him being my husband, I know I could never have gotten over it. If I'd stayed I would have turned into a horrible miserable witch and he would have stayed in the marriage miserable too, not leaving because of the guilt. We actually have quite a good CO parenting relationship and even sit and have coffee having a fun chat when we're doing the 'child swap'.
Although I still need to work on the hurt I still feel with a counselor, I'm happy with my new life.
Good luck, I wish you well.

helpful (3) 
 It made me furious when she tried to play the victim with me as well!
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I was the other woman. I was single and had an affair with a married man that lasted for about a year. It was, for me purely physical but towards the end he started talking about leaving his wife and that was not what I wanted. And around that time was when his wife found out and confronted me. And that is where our affair ended.

So, as to what motivated me to sleep with a married man, I can't give you a strait forward answer. I had left a long term relationship not long before and I was lost, lonely, vulnerable. And I clicked with this man, whom I worked with. We had a chemistry, neither of us fought it, and he made me feel wanted again.

I did not think about his wife and his kids, I was just thinking about myself. I did not wish for his marriage to end. Which I know sounds ridiculous considering I was helping him destroy his marriage. I guess what I wanted was unrealistic. I was happy being the other woman. I was not at all bothered that he had a wife he want home to every day. Now I'm married and I'm a mother, I think about them now and how'd id feel if someone did to me what I did to her. I wish I could take it all back now. I was so, so wrong to think I could be the other woman and it not have an effect on his marriage.

I don't know what happened to him and his marriage after our affair ended. I left my job, moved house, changed my phone number and moved on.

I also know, if it wasn't me he was sleeping around with it would have been someone else. Because his wife told me I wasn't the first woman he cheated with, and I believe her. Not that that makes me feel any better about it, but it's the truth.

 Do you find you can't get good men to commit to you, even now?
helpful (1) 
 Did you read my comment? I'm married now. Not proud of what I did, so I probably deserve your sarcastic comment but the answer to your question is no, clearly not.
helpful (4) 
 I checked out after reading you felt vulnerable so being with a married man made you feel wanted again. Never mind the wife and kids he has at home or anything.
helpful (2) 
 I didn't purposely seek out a married man. It was him and he happened to be married. And no, as I said I didn't consider his wife and kids. I know you're trying to make me feel like a shit, I've read your similar responses to other replies that say they were the other woman too, and if you read my reply properly you will see I did feel awful, but unfortunately not until it was too late. It's been more than 10 years now, and I still feel bad about it. I've grown up a lot since then. I was so selfish. Wish I had a time machine and could change the past, sadly I can't. But maybe others who read this might learn from my mistake and think twice before sleeping with a married man.
helpful (7) 
 Thank you for your response.
I'm a betrayed wife.
It does help to understand an affair.

helpful (4) 
 Oh poster of this comment, don't feel the need to apologise to this person who clearly has unresolved issues that keeps hounding the "other women" posters. You did your time, you repented and moved on and you don't need to apologise anymore than you have.
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 OP of this comment. It's ok, clearly this poster has been hurt and is angry. Even though I don't really appreciate her snark and no I don't owe her anything I can understand why she is lashing out.
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Everyone is responsible for their own choices. A man or woman who cheats is the one responsible, NOT the person they cheated with. If someone is going to cheat, they're going to cheat. Nothing will stop them. If they don't get it from one person, they'll go to the next. People cheat because a need in their life is not being fulfilled. Whether it be physical or emotional. "the heart will wander if it's not fulfilled" a quote from my ex husband that has stuck with me for years...........

Sometimes you just fall in love with the wrong person. You spend too much time together and sparks fly. For the other woman it is possible to forget he has a family for the hour or so of time you manage to find to spend together.
Its an escape from reality there are no fights about money no kids to look after no house to clean. You get that new relationship feeling all the time. You convince yourself you don't know his wife and don't owe her anything.

 I really can't comprehend this response. If you fall in love with the wrong person you end it there and then. I had a really strong connection with one of my past bosses but I was married and was there to work. It's so wrong on so many levels.
helpful (0) 
 Ok let's say they do that, end it with their SO. Then what constitutes an "appropriate" amount of time before moving on with the other? A week? A month? 6 months. They'll be crucified regardless, not that I'm trying to excuse the overlap because I'm not I'm just bringing up another point.
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Well I have been in all 3 situations so here goes my story:

Being the cheater: I am not a monogamous person, I have accepted that of myself and I believe monogamy isn't actually a natural state in humanity, a little research into human nature makes that glaringly obvious. I have cheated on numerous partners, it's the thrill I guess, the chase being chased, being admired and wanted. A new person looks all shiny and fun, in reality we have day to day lives and lets face it relationships get boring when you have to deal with kids and bills and things so a person who you have no responsibilities with seems like much more fun.

Being cheated on: My husband had a short lived affair, the fact that he went elsewhere for sex when I was always begging ready and waiting for it hurt a bit but I forgave and accepted that he needed a little variety for whatever reason. I am a prime example of that. We moved on, he hasn't had another (that I know of) and I would more than likely forgive him if he did. Our family, home and life is worth so much more than sex with a random person.

Being the other woman: I had an affair with a married man. We were both in sexless relationships, we wanted variety and hot sex. He was not about to leave his wife and I was not about to leave my relationship. we were there for sex and sex alone. She has no idea and he went home and continued to be the loving father and husband and I did the same.

I guess in all situations sex has been the driving force, I do think an emotional affair when a person thinks about leaving their spouse is much worse, that usually does not bode well for fixing the relationship but an affair for the sex? Life is complicated and societies view of cheating is very skewed. How is a whole life together sometimes years of happiness and love worth less that a blow job from a random person? How have we got to a point where we throw away family and life because of a sexual slip up or 2? Anyway thats just my thoughts and I'm sure the women of this site will crucify me but hey you asked and I'm telling the truth.

 I hope nobody tries to crucify you for being honest.... Did your husband know about your affair? Did he have his affair to seek revenge?
helpful (1) 
 Im the OP I won't crucify you! I appreciate your response and yes i asked for all perspectives. Everyone is different with different experiencesand values and while i don't necessarily agree with everything you said i appreciate that that is your thoughts/feelings on the subject. I asked those question because i hoped it would help me and give me some diffetent points of view or make me think about things i hadnt considered - a form of therapy i guess! So thank you for taking the time to respond.
helpful (2) 
 No he doesn't know about the affair and i did it years after he had his. I didn't do it for revenge, we were in a pretty shitty place in our relationship at the time i had the affair and this man was paying attention to me and making me feel great. In hindsight i probably wouldn't have done it but i don't really regret it and i will never tell my husband. He doesn't need to know, i did what i did and i can't change it I'm of the opinion that an affair like i had is mine to live with and telling my husband would only serve to hurt him and in a way make myself feel better about it which is a selfish act. I will live with the knowledge that i did something 'bad' and i won't hurt someone i love just to make myself feel better
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 Replying to the OP- after reading your responses i think your situation is very different. An emotional affair like the one you have found yourself in is much harder to deal with. I think i would react in a similar way if my husband had planned to leave me for the other women as opposed to just sex. Despite my own views on monogamy in a sexual sense i do expect monogamy in an emotional sense.
helpful (2) 
 Too wordy.
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 Well its a pretty complicated topic short answers really wont be of any help will they!
helpful (4) 
 Your life and you're entitled to your opinion on how you view sex outside of a marriage. But my problem with this is that you're not having sex with someone (other than your husband) who is single and doesn't have responsibilities. You're having sex with the husband of someone else. And the wife of this husband you're having sex with will most likely not share your views on how it's just a blow job'. If she finds out it will most probably hurt her deeply. She didn't ask for this betrayal from her husband. And yes, ultimately it is his betrayal but if you're aware that you're in need of fooling around with a new partner then maybe you could do your best to find someone who isn't married or long term partnered.
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 I don't think anyone seeks out a married person at least not a sane person anyway. Shit happens in life and yeah your right she would more than likely be hurt but sometimes adults make bad choices and learn from them
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 Except that some don't learn from their mistakes. And some even love the thrill of chasing married men.
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I find this all interesting - hearing people's perspectives. I have never cheated but came close to having an emotional affair. I was in denial about a close male friendship.
I don't have contact with that friend anymore and there are days when I miss him because I've never had that kind of connection with some one before.
At the time, my relationship was rocky and my friend was like a knight in shining armour - everything I wanted in man. But I was in deep with my relationship and being that I had a step child there were more than just 2 people who would get hurt so I stayed and ended up marrying.
But if my friend had made a move, my story could have been different.

 Are you happy with your decision?
helpful (1) 
 I am happy...I would say yes. I believe I made the logical, sensible. My husband and I are team mates. I can see a future with him.
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 Logical, sensible decision **
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I was the other "woman" at barely 17, he was 21 and my manager at my first job. I didn't know he had a partner, when I found out he told me he was ending it with her. The night he was supposed to do it he came and told me she was pregnant. Claimed it wasn't his child as they hadn't slept together in 6mnths. I believed him because I was naive, I did it because it was exciting, I thought we were being secretive because we worked together. Turns out she was over 6mnths pregnant and the reason they hadn't had sex was because she freaked out and hadn't told anyone yet. She was only a year above me at school, she approached me saying she'd heard rumours about me and him. She didn't believe them because, apparently, he would never touch the likes of me. I was labeled a s**t when it all came out, didn't matter that he was only the second I'd been with or that he had lied about his relationship, people yelled out nasty names at me from cars, across the school yard. Yet she stayed with him and they're now married with 2 children.

I had an affair, we were both married. I was actually his 5th affair so clearly he was very good at it. At the time I was depressed and when I look back now I realised he took advantage of me but at the time he was a godsend. I became addicted to the affair but the lows are just not worth it. I felt terrible for his wife but figured if it wasn’t me it would be someone else. I would never risk destroying someone else’s life ever again.

 Same here, he'd done it before but I hadn't. It was the thing that saved me from misery and though it was wrong it got me through. I needed to be loved and it improved my sense of self-worth.
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Not anyone to blame except the men who can't keep it in their pants!

Let's face it. Someone who has a one night stand or an affair most likely started it without really thinking through the consequences. He or she isn't really thinking about how much hurt this will cause their partner or damage they'll do to their family.
They will most likely end up regretting it either because they realise how much they actually still love their partner or because of the financial/social/family and mental losses they'll experience.

My husband had a one night stand, enjoyed the thrill and thought he wanted this new exciting life to continue. He was messed in the head from ptsd too. She didn't know he was married with young children on that first night so I couldn't blame her for the betrayal. But once she did find about our family she went and pursued him anyway. I'm still aware he was the married party who gave in but I also feel like she had a moral obligation to stay away once she found out.
Karma bit back though as he ended up breaking her heart too. Lucky no other kids were involved.
We never got back together. He has apologized on many occasions and is having ongoing intense counselling to try to sort himself out. I support him with this and try to have a good relationship with him because he's my kids dad and I made a vow to stick by him through thick and thin. It doesn't mean we have to stay married for me to do this. I can't stay married, he crossed a boundary I know I can't forget.
I often think of the girl he cheated on me with. I'm obviously not over the hurt and still blame her to some degree. It's a process and I'm working on it. I would like to think that one day she'll look back and feel bad about it and try to be a better person from the experience.
Wishful thinking but an apology would be nice too. I'm easily found through fb, she knows who I am and I often fantasise that she'll pm me. Messed up yes but as I said, it's a process and I'm working through it.

Op here again (should have clicked that bloidy button!) Can i just say if you arent happy in your relationship try to fix it or own it and end it before moving on. I wish id been given that courtesy and respect. Sometimes things just don't work out, people change and grow apart etc. It can hurt but not as much as an affair. Nothing is black and white and blanket comments about how you should have kept your husband happy are very naive and usually come from someone who has never been cheated on. I never thought my husband woukd actually cheat on me. I thought i was or we were 'above' that. But it happened and it happened big time and now im part of a club i never thought i would be in and never wanted to be in and i got no choice in it.

I thought we were committed enough to get through the change in our relationship that comes with having children. We'd adjust and grow. I did, he didn't. He went on to have an affair as well as generally behaving badly. I joined that club with no choice in the matter.
It can happen to anyone. Don't ever sit on your high horse believing it could never happen to you. It could...but I hope it doesn't as it hurts so much.

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What a depressing topic 😖

 Yes, but unfortunately a reality for many
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