Apologies and a little pre-warning - not everyone is going to agree with what I write here. But this is my experience and I’m being as honest as I can ....

I am a married woman in my early thirties. I love my husband dearly, but there are times when our relationship can be “dry”. I am not blaming him for this at all, we are both to blame and at times, could make more of an effort with one another. However, we both get on and he has never been bad to me! Quite the opposite I suppose. 

My story begins early last year. A new guy stared at work and I was instantly attracted to him. We got on well and I had a feeling he liked me too. Anyway, he’s in a relationship and after a little Facebook snooping I realised he seemed happy enough and tried to put him out of my head. Let’s call him Tom to keep things simple.

One night I had been out with friends and had posted a few photos on Facebook. Tom liked them and I was feeling rather chuffed with myself. Anyway, when I got home I logged back into my account and noticed that he had sent me a private message. I messaged back immediately and let’s just say things got rather heated quite quickly. We both admitted that we fancied each other and if things were different, would take things forward.

This continued for a few weeks until we both had to spend time at work working on a joint project. One night once everyone else had left he asked if I wanted to come to his (his gf was working late and my husband was on a stag do). I knew I shouldn’t have but I found it very hard to say no and to keep the story short, we kissed. This happened on a few more occasions with us eventually spending more and more time together. 

Fast forward a few months and we are seeing each other after work most days and text every hour. We are literally obsessed with each other. He compliments everything about me and I think the world of him. I am so madly attracted to him that I still get nervous any time he is close to me . I know he feels the exact same and he will go above and beyond to show how much he cares about me.

His gf has seen a few messages and pictures on his phone but has forgiven him and taken him back. My husband knows nothing. We have spoken about leaving our current relationship and getting together and had been planning on doing so ... but I had to put a stop to this before Xmas due to a possible work promotion (our relationship may have jeopardised this). 

Things have continued to bumble along and all I can say is that we care very deeply about one another. Until .... a fortnight ago he has told me that his gf is 4 weeks pregnant and can’t walk away from her as they thought they couldn’t have kids. As you can imagine, this has broken my heart completely. I have ended things altogether but I feel as if I have went through the worst breakup imaginable.  I try to be happy for them (a new life is to be celebrated) but I miss him so much .....

Having to work with him is difficult. Soon people will be congratulating them on their happy news and I will be hurting inside. He’s also keen to remain friends and has since sent me a few more flirty messages but I can’t even look at him now. 

In addition, I have betrayed my husband in the worst way possible. As I said before , he is a wonderful man and I let my selfishness and lust get in the way of an amazing marriage. I feel so guilty and heartbroken for ruining my marriage , and lost and saddened at a love I can’t have. 

So please take caution. The heart is not something to be played with ... people say that u can’t truly love two people but for a little while I did, and now I feel more lonely than ever. 

Some will not be able to see past the fact I have cheated on my husband, but when you have an instant attraction with someone who promises the world it can be hard to say no. I’m only my human after all. 

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You are correct, you are only human.  And you have done something many before you have done.  However, you have also learned the hard way that it comes at a resoundingly high price.  And truthfully, you haven't even begun to pay it.  When your husband finds out, you will find out that there is a far greater price to pay - and he will be unfairly burdened for your choices.  

I am going to give you the kindest, most thoughtful advice I can.  Do not even consider being "friends" with your ex-AP.  It doesn't work.  As you have already found, it steals energy that should be put into the primary relationship. 

Now there is a innocent pregnant woman and unborn child in the picture.  Your "friend" is feeling very happy.  This is the "honeymoon' period of having a baby.  Everyone is congratulating him, he feels very masculine and they are drowning in happiness.  In 9 months to a year, he's going to be faced with a hormonal mother of his child, a screaming infant, very little sleep and less sex.  Guess who he is going to come running to?  You.  And the single worst thing you could do for yourself, him, that child or that woman is allow even one iota of room for something to start. 

Next I am going to tell you something I have found to be true.  What you are feeling is infatuation.  Not love.  Infatuation, under the right circumstances, can become love.  But real love, lasting love can't grow in the shadows.  It has to face all the un-fun stuff and still come out the other side.  It has to face health problems, losing parents, losing jobs, falling out of love and then finding a way to fall back in love... this is the love that lasts lifetimes. 

What you are currently experiencing is delicious - but it isn't love.  It's a chemical storm of happy hormones because for the first time in a long time you felt REALLY seen.  Maybe somewhere along the way you lost yourself.  Maybe you lost that deeper connection to your husband.  And then someone came along and made you feel desirable, sexy, funny, special.  And it felt good.  And what you haven't realized yet is that that FEELING is what you are in love with.  Not him.  If you had to deal with the real him - the one she gets 24/7 - he'd be pretty normal.  Maybe a good guy, maybe a two-timing jerk (certainly the current situation puts neither you or him in the best light) but whatever the case he wouldn't be sending you all aflutter.  Only infatuation can do that.  And then it flames out - or gently cools into the long-lasting love of that kind I mentioned before.  But nothing burns white hot 24/7.  A really good love match manages to burn white hot, and then cool, and then burn hot again in cycles. 

Remember that it is human nature that what you can't have is ALWAYS more attractive.  Ever heard the term the "grass isn't greener on the other side" - there is a long human history to show for it. 

The problem is that right now, you can't stop the chemical soup.  You've become addicted to the high of dopamine that was released in your system every time he made you feel special.  So you are like the heroin addict who can't get a fix.  Seeing him all the time makes it even worse.  

I HIGHLY suggest you read some books about affairs.  A fast and helpful one is "How to help your spouse heal from your affair" by Linda MacDonald.  There are others that you should look for that go more into the overwhelming chemical/hormonal stimulation that are going on in your head/body right now that may help you see more clearly.  

So my first piece of bad news is that you need to drop your AP like your life depends on it.  There is nothing but pain and misery down that road for you, his SO and that baby - him as well if he has an ounce of self-awareness in him.  And I can almost guarantee he will come around wanting to be friends first - and friends with benefits later.  Don't do it.  Your misery will multiply. It will be a short-term fix, for a long term withdrawal.  

Now for the FAR, FAR bigger reckoning.  You need to deal with YOU and YOUR marriage.  You, because that is where all your problems are stemming from.  You are having a midlife crisis.  It may be a cliche - but it doesn't make it any less real to the person going through it.  You need a counselor sooner rather than later.  And one who will make you face your demons, not one who just tells you it's all okay.  Your marriage becuase your husband is being cheated - cheated of honesty, of compassion, of the emotional energy that rightfully belongs to him and most importantly of his right to know all the pertinent facts about HIS life.  This isn't just YOUR life - it's HIS.  And he is being kept in the dark about something that directly affects his well-being. 

There are only two routes of integrity from here:

1) Ask your husband for a divorce.  Come clean and be as gentle and fair with him as you can in the divorce proceedings.  He deserves to be loved deeply, wholly.  He deserves respect and honesty.  One of the hardest things I read in your post is when you said you put "being together" with your AP on hold due to a possible promotion at work being jeopardized.  You could stop for your career - but not for your husband.  That says a lot about the level of value you place on him and your marriage.  That isn't a judgment, but a statement of fact.  He (and everyone in this world) deserves to be valued by their mate more than that. 

2) If, as you slowly come out of limerance (the infatuation state), you realize you really DO love your husband in the way a lifelong mate should and you are ready to fight tooth and nail for your marriage (which is what will likely be required), then you need to read the book I mentioned above FIRST.  Then think about what you want to say and how to say it and come clean.  Really clean - you don't have to give salacious details but answer his questions honestly.  Then beg for him to give you a chance to redeem yourself.  And follow all the instructions in that book. 

You will be VERY tempted to sweep this under the rug.  "It's not worth hurting his feelings", " I am being selfish unburdening myself." etc.  

I can tell you as a betrayed spouse who has successfully and lovingly rebuilt her marriage with her ex-wayward husband - there is NO intimacy in a marriage with secrets.  And secrets don't stay buried.  Look into the story of one our forum members Phoenix who cheated on her husband 17 years ago.  Even though she cut it off and didn't cheat again for 17 years, when he found out he could not handle it. 

The cheating was bad - but what he felt was an equal, if not greater betrayal, was hiding it and making his every day for 17 years a lie (in his eyes). That is a common feeling among betrayed spouses here.  The longer you hide it the more of their life feels unreal to THEM.  If you love or respect your husband DO NOT let him be like Phoenix's husband.  I know she would give anything to go back and change things, but she can't.  Neither can you, but you can keep from compounding your mistakes.  And more lying doesn't make previous lying better.  

My heart hurts for you.  You were selfish - but your were also human and you and your husband are going to pay a VERY, VERY big price for it.  But all I can say is this.  You have been acting from your FEELINGS.  Feelings are transient and while beautiful can get us in a lot of trouble.  Start acting from your VALUES.  Decide the kind of woman you want to be from here on out and start living up to it.  To have integrity our thoughts, feelings and actions need to be in alignment.  And you can get back there - but you have to make a conscious choice to do the hard things now.  Cut this "friend" off.  Now.  It is the best thing for everyone.  

Then take a hot moment and really think about your marriage and how much work you are ready and willing to put into it.  If it isn't much, let your husband go.  Being half-loved is no way to live. 

If you are ready to value him the way YOU want to be valued, then prepare to fight.  Because you will have to tell him - and if he doesn't leave you, you will need to read books together, do classes together, talk more frankly than you have in ages and work hard to rebuild a connection with tons pain, anger and resentment all swirling around.  

There so much more to say, but that is enough for now. 

But I will leave you with this.  Either path of integrity that I gave you can lead to great happiness.  In the short term either one will be hell, make no mistake.  But my husband spilled his guts, begged for forgiveness, read the book I mentioned and applied it religiously.  He didn't get everything perfect but he was committed to figuring out how, after a lifetime of being an honest person, he'd become someone selfish and dishonest.  Someone he didn't respect.  And in healing those parts of himself, he became a kinder, gentler, better man.  The first two years after he came clean (DDay) were painful and hard, with small bright spots.  But in years three and four we've blossomed into a relationship that is deeper and more connected than we have ever experienced - even in the beginning infatuation stage.  

And if you take the other route and leave (but stay away from that AP) - you can take some time to refind yourself and what you are really looking for.  Because I can guarantee you - what you looking for is INSIDE - not OUTSIDE.  And once you sort that out, you will find that it easy to find happiness with or without the perfect mate.  

I feel for you - and I hope you find the clarity and wisdom you so desperately need.  Read these threads... there is a lot of hard-won wisdom in these virtual pages.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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Matilda 101 
U said 
So please take caution. The heart is not something to be played with ... people say that u can’t truly love two people but for a little while I did, and now I feel more lonely than ever. 
U were  truly in love with two ppl  u mean your Ap & your husband? Are u sure ?
Did u , treat them both the same ? 
How can u say loved 2, if u love one  how can u think  but actually act on  it (to be with someone  else) 
Sorry , I'm not attacking  u (Even  it seam that way) but that is my problem with my husband now 
He think he does loves us both , but when I keep asking lots of questions it gets out of control we have big fights.
So please explain to me  your version how can anyone love two ppl 
If one is your husband/wife for years  and the other is your lover  for a short time and ONLY  time u spend with them always is full of good time/great sex /holidays ...... How can your partner compares to that ?  When he lives in the real world ...
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The best thing you can do is to tell your husband and be completely honest. My husband lied about his affair for 2 months after I discovered texts on his phone. He only told me the truth after I kept looking and finally found undeniable evidence and asked him to move out. It has been the most painful, traumatic thing I’ve ever experienced. But it would have been easier if he’d told me instead of me finding out and having to play detective for 2 months.

And if you want to try to work it out with your husband, you’re going to have to really see yourself. Whatever might have been missing from your marriage or your partner is absolutely not an excuse for cheating so be very careful about the reasons you give him for cheating. I second the comment about you needing therapy too. 

Female BS - Together 21 years - 2 kids -  DDay February 16, 2020
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Matilda wrote: "Apologies and a little pre-warning - not everyone is going to agree with what I write here. But this is my experience and I’m being as honest as I can.."

Not that I agree with everything you wrote...but I have to say that I found your presentation of your affair to be kind of refreshing...the best I've read thus far. While you are still struggling with what you have done - still in the 'fog', you seem to take full responsibility and avoid throwing out mitigating phrases of self-preservation like, "It just happened."

Maybe someone has already told you this: If your AP is still at your place of employment, you need to quit your job and impose the 'No Contact' rule. Execute a plan - all I required from my wife, who had a workplace emotional affair, was that she be actively looking for a new job. It took her a few months before she left but I was OK with that since her affair had pretty much ended several months before she told me of it.
BH, 5+ Mo EA, DDay 3/8/18
"...regarding all as God after God."
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I had an intense affair about 5 years ago and felt similarly to you when I was in it. Mine eventually blew up and nearly destroyed me, the people I love, and my former AP's family.

In hindsight, and after talking to lots of other people who have been through this, I can tell you with high confidence that the obsession you have for your AP doesn't mean he's your soulmate or your husband is wrong for you. The affair is an escape from the problems and boredom and emptiness of life that we all have to work with. It's a crutch like alcohol or drugs or gambling or workaholism, something that allows you to avoid dealing with yourself and instead feeling special and attractive and interesting and wanted. It kills the person that you used to be.

I don't think you can really keep working with an AP or former AP without it blowing up or keeping you  stuck in an unhealthy, obsessive cycle. And in my experience, when you move on from an AP and really commit to becoming the person you are meant to be (a brave and honest person who speaks up for what she wants and needs instead of building a secret life), it's so clear that the AP was a derailment of your life and he doesn't seem quite so appealing. 
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@ThrivenotSurvive that was beautifully and kindly said. I agree with everything you said there. 

Please even if you do not listen to us BS, listen to what Urban has said to you. 
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100% agree with what Thrive wrote. And if you want the marriage at all, cut off all ties with AP and confess the affair. My WS and I are over two years now since D day and our marriage is good, probably better than ever. I can say with confidence that would not have been possible without his commitment to completely cut out AP and provide a full honest confession. If you want to continue the affair, the only kind thing to do is to leave the marriage. Anything else is cruel at this point.
Female, BS 2 years post DDay
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Matilda 101
The way I see it, you have three choices.
1.  Keep quiet and never tell your husband what transpired.
2.  Divorce your husband and never tell him the truth.
3.  Tell your husband the whole truth about your affair and let him choose what he wants to do.

I feel your husband has the right to decide for himself what he should do with his life.  It’s his life, and it’s not up to you to decide for him.  When you keep your affair a secret, you are robbing him of the choice of how he should run his life.  You had your chance to decide how to run your life for yourself.  You didn’t ask your husband for his opinion on how to run your life, and you chose extremely poorly.  It’s very cruel to take away the choice that he should make for himself on what to do next after finding out about your affair.  He’s going to feel like such a fool if he were to find out about the affair through someone else.  If he does find out through someone else, I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes.  

There is not one person on this earth that is worth breaking up a family.  The value of your affair partner does not equate to the value of your family.  If your affair partner was so eager to help you deceive your husband, that person is not of good moral standing.  I hope you have learned that already.
Having a conversation, go to therapy, leave your spouse, divorce him—- these are all better choices than having an illicit affair.  

Both you and your husband need to be tested for STDs ASAP.  In case you passed something on to your husband, he definitely has a right to know so you can get medical assistance.  You can’t take STDs lightly.  Sometimes these things last forever.  You can’t be sure that your affair partner is not having sex with someone else other than his girlfriend.  

Being open and honest is the only option so that your husband can decide for himself if he thinks your marriage is worth saving.  He is going to be hurt beyond description.  He will lash out, call you names, possibly leave you, confront the affair partner, or divorce you.  If you are lucky enough that he wants to stay and work on your marriage, count yourself the luckiest woman on this earth.  Go to therapy for however long it takes to fix his broken heart.  Don’t get defensive, take it when he lashes out, apologize and humble yourself every single day.  He’s going to feel like the biggest fool when you tell him what you did and who you did the deed with.

 Your husband will probably feel you are his enemy.  The sooner you tell him the better.  No time like the present.  Don’t keep making a fool out of him.  If he had cheated on you, how would you like to be treated?  

Good luck to the both of you.  You’re going to need it.


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