Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Moving from being the OW to being his girlfriend...

(744 Posts)
beingmyself Wed 26-Jun-13 14:41:19

I've got my flameproof suit on and will start by saying I know being in an affair is a selfish and cruel thing to do. I did it. He did it. We decided we wanted to be together so after having an affair for several months we both left our spouses. He has moved out and so has my h.
We are not living together though and are not intending to for a while. We are also still secret and will remain so for some time.

Is anyone who has been there brave enough to come and talk to me about the highs and lows of finally getting to be together? I knew it would continue to be a rollercoaster and would really appreciate anyone who's willing to talk about it with me to do so here or to PM me!

Thanks

DistraughtL Mon 29-Jul-13 03:57:40

You know, I signed up just so that I could post this. I'm a child of divorce, and let me tell you. My mother cheated on my father, she was banging a neighbour, but they didn't divorce - they should have, but they did not.

I grew up hearing the stories of what happened. My father never really got over it. My brother and I both have zero respect for my mother. I love my mother, always will BUT I also think that she's trashy and lacks morals.

The man my mother is with now - he had a hell of a time with me. He was not the reason my parents divorced, he came way later, but none the less I was a kid who was determined to hate whoever she brought home. I warmed up much later though, and frankly now I love the man, and respect him way more than I do my own mother - but then I know he wasn't the cause of the breakdown between my parents.

I would love to meet the man who was screwing a married woman with two small children at home. He and my mother, together completely destroyed our childhood.

I'm an adult now, and nothing is black and white, but when people have kids, and do crap like this, it just makes me sick. I mean really, really ill.

Be prepared for the meltdown of your children, and be prepared for the hatred that's going to spew from their mouths when you do get together and things are open. They'll eventually learn of what happened, but even if they don't, chances are they're still going to hate this guy JUST because he'll be seen as the reason their lives have been turned upside down.

stepmooster Thu 11-Jul-13 05:48:32

If OP and her partner decide to keep the affair secret, then I don't see how they can say they are BF/GF. They are not in a real life relationship. If they continue believe they are putting the emotional needs of their ex wives and husbands before their own desire to be together then they are just 2 people who are still having an affair.

How long should they keep this secret going? 3 months, 6 months, a year? I am cynical, if my sister ditched her husband and 3 months or even 6 months later found her 'soul mate' who just happened to be recently divorced and was someone who was an acquaintenance before they split. I would put 2+2 together and assume 'affair' and get it right.
I doubt many women who leave a bad marriage suddenly end up in another relationship so quickly, they tend to want to enjoy the single life, get their kids settled and not rush into another bad relationship.
I would have thought a year would be minimum.

I also think its pretty shit to pretend to be single whilst going through a financial settlement as I said upthread DH could have pretended I didn't exist (not an OW before I get flamed) so he could get a greater share of the marital assets in order for his own housing needs to be met (the size of the mesher charge). So your partner's poor ex is coming to terms with being a single mum, the breakdown of her marriage, and she's got to try and get a fair settlement for herself and the kids without knowing all the facts.

I bet when your partner decides its time to finally start this relationship, you'll only be seeing each other 3 nights a week, and he won't be spending any money on romantic weekends because his ex will be going through his finances with a tooth comb.

So what then? You are going to wait until the settlement is over? And continue to have your emotional needs placed below his ex wife.

Then you've got the kids to think about. His kids will hate you because you aren't their mum and your kids will hate him because he's not their dad. Blending that family has got to be taken very slowly. So if you wait one year before you can even pretend you've been on one date, you've got to wait another 6 months to a year before you introduce the kids, and maybe another 6 months before he moves in.

so really to move from being OW which you still are to the girlfriend you want to be is going to take over a year especially if you want it to look like you are both 'innocent'.

I don't begrudge you a relationship with this man, but have you thought about the practicalities involved?

mathanxiety Thu 11-Jul-13 01:03:39

No-one is saying one size fits all, Dame. However, claiming that these two people are special cases to whom ordinary morality does not apply is laughable.

What 99.9% of posters are saying is that
(1) starting out dishonestly does not bode well for the future of the relationship with the OM. When lying is so easy to justify in one case why not keep at it as circumstances seem to demand? You are what you do. These people are liars.
And
(2) the other people here should know the truth in order to help them to accept that there is no way to salvage their relationships, and to help them decide what sort of custody and visitation arrangement they would like to see, given that there will be another father and mother figure in their children's lives.

Whatever about having an affair - the wrongs and rights of this are irrelevant - to deprive a father and a mother of information they need in order to help decide what is best for their own children from here on out is cruel and selfish and as wrong as it gets.

Bogeyface Thu 11-Jul-13 00:01:30

SHE will be fine, that is not in question because she is determined to make sure that she suffers not one second of hardship in all of this. You are rather spectacularly missing the point that I and many others made, that the wife, husband and children in this may NOT be ok.

But hey, who gives a toss about them if she is in love?

FFS, I have read some tripe in my time.......

Cutitup Wed 10-Jul-13 23:40:18

When you fall genuinely in love, things fall into place. You will be fine, OP.

LittlePeaPod Wed 10-Jul-13 22:21:35

Come on more than 95% of people have disagreed with the OP. Sorry but your argument reads rather weak! Its simple the lying is all to do with self interest. It has nothing to do with protecting the feelings of the innocent people (her husband, his wife and both sets of children) in this situation. It's simply to protect themselves. Full stop.

If the OP had genuinely honourable reasons for continuing her deception then she would happily share these. Plenty of people have asked her so they can understand but she hasn't explained. Why not just shareit if its all to protect the innocent people involved. confused

Bogeyface Wed 10-Jul-13 22:12:45

Sorry, my point is that the odds are that the wife would want to know, it is a tiny chance that she wont but if the figures on this thread are anything to go by, it is a very small chance indeed.

Bogeyface Wed 10-Jul-13 22:11:53

I know what you mean about one size not fitting all. But the vast majority of posters on here have said that they would want to know, doesnt that tell you something?

I have been the wife with a crazy making husband who I just knew was cheating but I couldnt prove it. This man happily saw my getting treatment for antenatal depression because of my "paranoia" rather than be honest with me. I didnt know what was going on, I genuinely thought I was losing my mind. The absolute relief when I found out that I had been right all along, that I wasnt imagining things, wasnt jealous or possessive was immense. And that feeling is echoed in 90% of posts you see on relationships from women who know something is wrong but have no idea what it is.

Finding out that you have been cheated on is flooring, you're right. But it is a pain that will pass. Having a marriage taken away from you, becoming a single parent, perhaps having a worse financial situation for no reason that you can fathom really is crazy making. It could taint her future relationships for the rest of her life, wondering if she will again do that unknown thing that drove away her husband and wreck her current relationship. She wont of course, but she doesnt know that and that is cruel, so so cruel.

DameEdnasBridesmaid Wed 10-Jul-13 22:06:16

My point is one size doesn't fit all. Yes it's wrong for some but not for others. People think they want the truth but if they got it, it would completely floor them. Some never get over being told what someone else thinks of them, it affects them for the rest of their life. Whilst the person who' got it all off their chest, told the truth carries on unburdened.

Bogeyface Wed 10-Jul-13 22:06:04

I should add that on threads where an OP has cheated I have said to not confess. This has been when the affair is over and if the marriage has been repaired and the OP has learnt their lesson or if the marriage is over but both parties have successfully moved on. I see no point, in those circumstances in inflicting pain just to salve the cheaters conscience.

But in this case, the affair is not over, the lying is ongoing and the wife is clearly struggling to deal with the end of her marriage. The only fair thing to do is to be honest so that the poor woman doesnt spend the rest of her life wondering what she did wrong or what she could have changed to save her marriage.

But that will involve the OP being the bad guy and THAT is the real reason she doesnt want to be honest.

Bogeyface Wed 10-Jul-13 22:01:24

Dame if the OP's decision to keep everything secret was genuinely from a sense that the wife and husband really wouldnt want to know and that it really would make everything worse then I wouldnt be saying she should 'fess up.

But throughout the whole thread, the OP has made it clear that she is thinking only of herself, not her ex, his ex or any of the children. She is keeping the secret because she doesnt want anyone to know that she had an affair and they broke up 2 families. The "reasons" she gives for not telling the truth are laughable and cannot be backed up with any proof. At no point can she offer any proof that the wife doesnt want to know other than her OM (a proven liar) says so. Hardly a compelling case.

LittlePeaPod Wed 10-Jul-13 21:49:28

Dame. I am confused. Not sure what your point is? I didn't say everyone thinks its worse. I said I think it's wrong to continue the deception, its wrong to apportion blame on the OM wife (stating he is EA ect.) and I don't understand why lie in the first place. The lies and inability to take ownership and responsibilty for their actions says a lot about them. It's just wrong, doesn't matter how its sliced. It's wrong.

DameEdnasBridesmaid Wed 10-Jul-13 21:33:19

littlepeapod so not all then? Not everyone thinks it makes it worse. We agree.

And, as the OP has pointed out, there are plenty of other mmsntrs who have pm'd her rather than post on here because they can't face the vitriol on here

FernandoIsFaster Wed 10-Jul-13 21:09:51

Fucking hell! By staying together. An affair is horrible and I regret it every day but it doesn't automatically spell doom.

FernandoIsFaster Wed 10-Jul-13 21:08:17

Posted too soon! And has several children with his new wife. We would all have been miserable by tay

FernandoIsFaster Wed 10-Jul-13 21:06:46

I will stick my head above the parapet and say dp and I had a short affair before leaving our respective partners. It was like we met each other and thought 'Oh, so this is what a proper connection feels like' and it was in stark contrast to the way we felt in our old relationships.

I won't lie, it was hugely difficult and we had 2 years of depression (him) related to guilt and anxiety for me.

However we have worked through those issues, are very happy and have a beautiful dc.

My previous partner is now deliriously happy

tessa6 Wed 10-Jul-13 21:01:49

Clearly this is getting caught up with a moral agenda which is fine but people rarely act on principle alone when it comes to personal relationships. I think it's probably OP won't tell anyone concerned, mostly out of self-interest and self-protection, yes. But I think the important questions are these:

Is there a likelihood that the injured parties will find out from others down the line that they have been deceived, and suffer the humiliation and 'last to know' ness that characterises that sort of revelation?

Are either partner struggling to comprehend the reality of what has happened because it does not make 'sense' to them and suffering the confusing distress of feeling like they are going mad and halfway hoping that the absent partner will come home?

Would either partner benefit from the clarity and severance a reveal would provide and allow them the righteous anger and understanding to detach from the former relationship more cleanly and independently?

If any of these apply, there is a duty to tell the truth. Only the OP and her partner know and they still may not be able to be honest with themselves about that. There are some relationships which end with mutual self-confidence and closure where revealing past infidelity does nothing but cause unnecessary sadness. But if the above apply, the kind thing to do is come clean.

I'm afraid I can understand that if an OW is going to become stepmum to those children, it is in the interests of the children that the relationship between all 3 people is cordial. This is more likely if the OW did not destroy the original marriage. Making it seem as if that is the case is a lie but it could have that advantage if that lie was believed, which is unlikely in most cases.

LittlePeaPod Wed 10-Jul-13 20:58:29

I may be wrong but I have only seen one person on this thread say they wish they hadn't found out and two people say they would rather not know. The majority seem to agree that honesty is the best policy.

DameEdnasBridesmaid Wed 10-Jul-13 20:50:18

Not according to some posters on the thread, some wished they'd never found out and others didn't want to know.

So clearly it doesn't make it worse for everyone.

LittlePeaPod Wed 10-Jul-13 07:53:54

In this situations they will be hurt even further not only by the affair but by the deceit that's going on when it all comes out! Lying will not stop the hurt or injury.. It will just make it worse and much more painful!

DameEdnasBridesmaid Wed 10-Jul-13 07:25:31

tell the truth unless to do so will hurt or injure others

LittlePeaPod Wed 10-Jul-13 06:50:43

As the sayings goes.....

"Every lie is two lies — the lie we tell others and the lie we tell ourselves to justify it."

Or

"Worse than telling a lie is spending the rest of your life staying true to a lie."

DameEdnasBridesmaid Tue 09-Jul-13 21:18:27

beingmyself I think you should do what feels right for you and your DC's. That's what everyone else will be doing in this situation. That's what all the posters here are doing, just saying what they think is right from their own experience or opinions.

You have my admiration keep coming back on here to try and explain.

MaryRose Tue 09-Jul-13 21:06:58

The fact is beingmyself the truth will come out and then you'll wish you had the guts to front up originally. I don't judge you for having an affair but I do think you need to man up and tell the truth. Your ex may be wondering what the he'll happened. When I left my abusive XH for my new partner numerous do gooders told me I should have kept it quiet and 'got together' a few months down the line. Bullshit. I'm glad I told the truth. It won't be easy for you whatever happens and it does sound a bit like you think you are living out some wonderfully romantic secret. I've been with the man I had an affair with for 8 years now, married for 6. XH and I are now friends and he has got engaged to his long term partner. So it can work out but you need to start facing up to reality first if this relationship stands any chance

ProphetOfDoom Tue 09-Jul-13 20:59:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now