hopingforhappiness
Hi, 
 
I’ve never posted on a forum before but I wanted to share my story and ask for any advice as I am feeling totally lost. Apologies for the length of it!
 
I started an affair with a MM last October. Like a lot of affairs we completely fell in love, we felt a connection like neither of us had experienced before each other, and became incredibly close during the time period. He is married (officially, but they are having a big wedding at the end of this year) and has three little children. At the beginning I never thought it would turn into anything, and so didn’t feel a great deal of guilt about his family, and then as time went on and I fell in love it became hard for me to feel guilty for his wife and children. I had become so focused on how much I felt for him, and how hurt I was in not being his. I know that sounds awful and very selfish of me.
 
I also have a boyfriend of 3.5 years… he is wonderful in so many ways. He makes me laugh every day, I fancy him, he would be a fantastic person to go through life with. But I am also lacking any passion with him, I really don’t want sex from him at all if I am honest. This started even before I met MM. My boyfriend is 26 and I am 32, and I also know I am wishing he was the manly secure figure that MM is. 

MM has always been honest and open about how he feels about me, he has told me several times he hasn’t felt love like this, neither have I. He met his wife in college when they were 19, so he describes their relationship as all he has ever known, they are good friends and amazing parents, he loves her too. They have a good relationship but he tells me he was missing the passion, and connection, and then I came along and everything changed for him. 
 
During the affair we only saw each other 6/7 times in a 7 month duration, but spoke nearly every day, sometimes for hours on FaceTime when he was away with work. I went to visit him abroad several times, and we had incredible times, so many memories I can’t forget. 
 
We dreamed of being together, but saw no possible scenario for us to do so. His wife is from another country, and so would take the three children back to her family in the USA if she found out about the affair, or he told her the truth. He cannot bare to be without his children, and I wouldn’t want that for him. He wanted to tell his wife the truth, he hated keeping it from her, and said he hated the man he became lying to her if she questioned anything. I felt elated when I was with him, or we were speaking, and then like utter trash/devastation when we weren’t able to speak (when he was at home/on holiday with his family). I can’t tell you how much it hurt to see the person you love spend all their life with someone else, and know that you will never have that. Even though I knew deep down that she deserved him too, and more than me in many ways.
 
Both of us tried to stop the affair several times, knowing that it couldn’t go anywhere and we were hurting ourselves and falling more for each other. However we couldn’t deal with not speaking, and so always ending up getting in contact after a few days/a week. 
 
Eventually someone told his wife that he was having an affair (someone spotted us), but didn’t give too many details so his wife didn’t know the extent of it. She understandably was incredibly upset, got very angry at him, wanted to know exactly what the affair was, and threatened to leave him, took off her engagement ring etc. He told her nothing sexual had happened, and that we just liked each other and met up a few times. She wanted to speak to me, so I spoke to her on the phone and went along with this lie as I didn’t want him to lose his kids. I was also scared she would shame me online, or message my boyfriend. MM had a bad few weeks at home trying to pick up the pieces and make it work for the kids. They are now semi back on track, still planning on getting married, and things have calmed down at home. 
 
This brings me to now. I feel totally lost. Where does all of this leave me? I am starting to regret lying to her, wishing that she knew the truth, and how much I meant. I feel like a nothing even more now. I am also wishing she would leave him - partly so he would hurt as much as me, and partly because maybe there would be a chance for us to be together. I don’t know how to forget him. I don’t know how to forget how it felt to be with him. That’s all I want and crave in life now. I am dealing with massive grief and feel sad a lot of the time. I lost my Dad a few years ago and my little sister when I was a teenager, and just can’t deal with any more loss. 
 
I want him to cancel the wedding, I want him to tell her the truth. I want her to realise he is lying. I understand why he can’t because he will lose the kids, but I also can’t go on living like this. I am utterly devastated, cannot sleep well, feel sick a lot of the time, but mainly just sad. He feels awful, and says he is a broken man from seeing the pain he has caused everyone, and is petrified of having his life thrown upside down. I half feel so angry at him, and then half hate to see him so hurt.
 
I don’t know what to do about my current boyfriend? Would I be silly to leave him? Am I just caught up in the MM to see how good my current relationship is? I just don’t see how I can move forward with my boyfriend having experienced a real powerful love and connection with someone else. I will always compare. 
 
I would appreciate any advice or thoughts. I am not able to talk to anyone about how I am feeling, and feel so alone. 
 
Quote 0 0
EasyAsABC
There’s a lot of similarities between your story and mine. I was also the OW for a man that wasn’t technically married (though they weren’t engaged, and weren’t planning on getting married). 
I met him after partially leaving a relationship where I felt no passion, no love, and I was horribly mistreated. We also fell head over heels in love. He helped me finish fleeing from my abusive ex husband after living in an in home separation for months. 
So, I know where you’re coming from. 
The man I was seeing also chose to stay for his child. He told me over and over again that he wasn’t in love with his child’s mother, but that he just couldn’t justify making his child live in a split parent home, there were also similar worries that his child’s mother would move out of state if he left her. I was never contacted by her, but I almost wish I was, because he spun a web of lies to convince her he was serious about staying, all the while still seeing and talking to me. 

All that said, I know the incredible heartbreak and loss you’re feeling. The first time he “chose” to stay where he was, I shut down for 4 days. I did nothing but cry, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t function. I slowly came around but kept struggling this way. I will tell you, looking back, I wish I had cut off all communication with him much earlier than I did. I would probably be further along in my recovery if I hadn’t let him continue to suck me back in to his mess. 
If you haven’t, you need to cut all lines of communication. Trust me, it hurts a lot now, but future you will thank you for it. If you still contact him, even only occasionally, it just keeps this wound fresh, and you’ll never heal. 
Its been almost 4 months since I’ve seen the man I was involved with, and I still miss him deeply, but the pain is far more manageable now. I did slip up and contact him over text a few weeks ago, and that was a huge set back, but I’m managing. 

I’ve also been plagued by guilt over the lies told by the man I was seeing, I realize that you also lied, but at this point in time, I think it’s important for you to remember that this is their relationship, and you need to completely remove yourself from it. I wouldn’t contact her yourself, if she contacts you again, then sure, give her the truth. However, until that day, you need to just let them be. If he lied and she chose to believe or accept that, then there’s nothing you can do about it. If you were to contact her now at this point to clear the air, you’d just look jealous and scorned. 

Hang in there. Your pain is more than valid.
BS to an abusive H 2009-2018
OW 2018-2019
I wear many hats.
Quote 0 0
Vanessa
Hoping,
Your story of heart ache is sadly not at all unusual.  I understand that you are feeling heartbroken, but try to see this situation clearly and not in the "fog" of your infatuation. 
A man who is married or engaged (not sure from your story) to the mother of his 3 children chose to engage in an emotional and sexual affair with a woman who was also involved with someone (your hapless boyfriend).  This man is not honorable - affairs don't "just happen" they are created by a series of lies, betrayals, and secrets.  Yes you feel that you love him - but don't you deserve a man who is not a liar?  A man who cares enough for his children to not put them at risk by engaging in an affair?  If your sister or dear friend was dating a man who was doing this, would you encourage her to give her heart to such a liar? 
I hope you can spend some time working on your self esteem so that you see that you are worth the full attention of an honorable man and not being some married (or engaged) man's side piece.  And yes, you owe it to your boyfriend to come clean and let him make decisions about his life and his future based on all the facts, not just those he was allowed to know.
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Vanessa
Hi, 
 
I want him to cancel the wedding, I want him to tell her the truth. I want her to realise he is lying. I understand why he can’t because he will lose the kids, but I also can’t go on living like this. I am utterly devastated, cannot sleep well, feel sick a lot of the time, but mainly just sad. He feels awful, and says he is a broken man from seeing the pain he has caused everyone, and is petrified of having his life thrown upside down. I half feel so angry at him, and then half hate to see him so hurt.
 


Hoping I think you are missing some unpleasant truths here:
You want him to cancel the wedding so you two can live together happily ever after.  That is not going to happen.  If he does cancel the wedding, he may resent you for keeping him from having the "intact family" with his kids.  If/when they are old enough to understand what happened the kids may be disgusted by him and probably hate you.  Are you thinking you will have happy family holidays?  Not likely. 

Don't listen to the "I can't because of the kids lie"  Courts don't just let parents run away to other countries with kids - so he MIGHT have less or limited time with his kids or he might not.  It was his actions of having an affair that put their future in jeopardy, not the fact that his wife found out.   He is a coward, not a hero. 

You have been living in a fantasy world, not reality.  Fantasies are fun!  But daily life is still daily life and that fantasy world will not continue forever.  Unclogging toilets is never fun when with your "soul mate" -

Please look into therapy to help you get over this selfish man.
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Keepabuzz
Hopingforhappiness,

To answer your question of your boyfriend, you have abused him. So yes, the kindest thing you can do is come clean and leave him, never to be seen or heard from again. Let him go find someone who will actually value him.  

You talk an awful lot about this MM, lying, etc.  You have done literally ALL of the same things.  He lies to his wife, and you to your boyfriend. You're literally the same person, just one has a penis. So be careful hating him too much, because that woman you see in the mirror is the same person.  You need to figure out what is broken inside you that allowed you to abuse your boyfriend and be a party to the abuse of your AP’s wife. Yeah, fix that and don’t repeat this terrible behavior. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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ThrivenotSurvive
I am sorry you are hurting.  Really.  I may be a former BS (betrayed spouse) but I find no solace in the fact that APs (affair partners) get hurt.  Pain only begets pain.  

The end of any relationship is hard - the end of one that was based more in longing and fantasy vs. everyday realities, even more so.  Nothing can, or will, measure up except perhaps another relationship built on longing and fantasy.  Real life always takes some of the sparkle off. 

All the above points are valid - I'd like to mention a few others that came to mind. 

Right now you see him in this gallant, tortured hero role.  Someone who is sacrificing his (and your) happiness to be a good father.  Right?  

I would say wrong.  If he'd chosen to work on his relationship with his wife before starting an affair - then he'd get to play the long-suffering hero role.  However, here's what he is really doing:

He's maximizing his comfort and happiness - while stealing his GF/wife's and yours.  

He's unwilling to lose time with his kids - so he stays with her, likely telling her he's crazy about her - while not being truthful that the parameters of their relationship have changed.  She's still playing by the old rules and trust me - he likes it that way.  He doesn't want to have HER having sex with someone else and getting all romantic about them  That'd be a knock to his ego.  That's the mother of his children!  He hasn't told her he wants an open relationship so she could be free to leave or have her own fantasy fun on the side.  Maybe it really is only about his kids or maybe it's because he wants her and you.  Regardless it says he's willing to steal her opportunity to be loved the way she deserves (or chose to live in an open relationship) because HE doesn't want to experience discomfort.  That isn't heroism, it's selfish.  

You are being equally selfish with your boyfriend.  Do you think he deserves to be lied to?  To stay with someone who will likely cheat again as she feels no "passion" for him?  Who seems to see him as less of a catch than a guy who cheats on the mother of his 3 kids?  I think not.  He's clearly a catch in his own right, as you've explained.  Tell him the truth (all of it - including the lack of desire).  It may save him a lifetime of wondering why he feels like he never quite measures up.  Giving him half of your love is not kind, it is selfish and cruel.

Here's one more terrible tidbit to consider.  The MM is one of two things - a serial cheater or a one-off affair.  If he's a a serial cheater - he's such a consummate liar that you won't likely know it and believe everything he told you hook line and sinker. 

If this is his first and only affair, his feelings for you (and yours for him) may, in fact, be far more about where you are in life - then each other.  I am not saying it isn't possible that you are star-crossed lovers that somehow never found one another - it's possible.  And I know that he's telling you that he's never felt this way before.  But he's lying to her right now - what makes you think that he's not lying to you (or even himself) as well? 

Here's a scenario that seems to play out all too often with the one-off affairs (male and female):

In the beginning, he and his SO were very in love - but three kids changed the dynamic in the relationship.  She started putting all the time and energy she used to pour into him into their kids.  He began to feel taken for granted, pushed aside.  He wanted that great feeling where he's the center of attention and grew resentful.  Somewhere in here - you walk in the door.  You admire him, laugh at all his jokes, think he walks on water.  It feels amazing.  It hasn't been this way with her in years.  He feels like he loves you, adores you.  It's a dream!

But then DD comes and he has to face losing you or her.  He starts realizing that he doesn't want to visit his grandkids with you some day.  He doesn't want to see his GF/wife with another man.  And as the consequences of losing her (and their family unit) become clearer to him - the fantasy with you becomes far less appealing.  He starts to realize that what he was in love with was how you made him FEEL.  And now she's refocused on their relationship and him, he sees that they have a chance to get back to where they used to be and he jumps at it.  Because THAT is what he was really looking for - not a new mate - but a chance to recapture that feeling, of being special, wanted, needed, desired.  

But how can he tell you that?  How can he say that he has realized that he really does love her and that he made a mistake getting involved with you?  That he should have tried to rekindle the fire with her for his own sake, her sake and their kids sake?  That in his weakness and selfishness, he used you.  Remember - this is the same coward who couldn't tell his wife he was feeling ignored the first time - so he doesn't tell the truth to YOU either.  He says that it is just for the kids, that it is really you he loves.  Because that keeps him looking good in your eyes (and he DOES care about you.) Of course, once again being selfish and leaving you thinking you just lost the love of your life, when in reality, that "love of your life" is working hard to save his relationship with his wife/GF.  

About 4 months after no contact with his AP, my husband and I were talking and he said that one of the things that he was most ashamed of was how he'd convinced himself (and her) that the relationship was something more than it really was.  That at the time it had felt like he was deeply infatuated, maybe even falling "in love", but after DD it was like the world changed on its axis.  Suddenly, he realized it was all about HIM.  He was in love with the reflection of HIMSELF she gave back to him and all the attention.  He couldn't believe that he had hurt me, her, our daughter and himself for a feeling that practically disappeared overnight.  He still felt guilt and shame for hurting her - but not one ounce of regret over his decision.

Unfortunately, it took him making that HUGE mistake to make him realize that he had been being a coward about asking for what he wanted in our relationship and then in his resentment that I wasn't meeting his "needs" - acted out to get those needs met elsewhere.  He got serious about becoming more authentic and willing to own his needs - and in doing so, became more "integrated" (having integrity).  This allowed him to be someone he genuinely liked again (he HATED who he'd become - he despised liars and couldn't believe he'd sunk so low.) 

I see often on this forum that for the one time cheaters - this is not a unique story.  They reach an unhappy point in their life, feel invisible, resentful, depressed, etc. - and start an affair thinking it will cure all their ills.  Then DD comes and they realize they've only made their own problems worse - and drug someone else into it.  And IF THEY ARE LUCKY, their spouse is willing to stand by their side while they FINALLY get to the bottom of the real problem,  THEMSELVES.

This might not be your MM - but there is a very good chance that it is.  It is RARELY just about the kids.  Most people do what they WANT to do.  He obviously had no problem doing what he wanted before.  I knew a couple once that fell out of love but both wanted to be with their kids full time.  So they shared a house that had a Mother in Law suite that the husband moved into (separate entrance, etc).  They both had BF/GFs, while they raised their kids together.  With honesty a lot of things are possible.  Your MM doesn't either know how to deal with difficult situations and work towards compromise - or he doesn't WANT to leave her.  Neither make him attractive for you.  

You have taken yourself down a very dark rabbit hole.  You have been party to lies to your own SO - and party to the lies the MM told his wife - both before DD and after.  You  stole an opportunity from her to know the truth.  But now sadly, EasyasABC is right - you can't go back and undo it.  The likelihood is she will do some digital digging - and she may uncover his dishonesty on her own.  If she contacts you again - be HONEST.  And be ready to hear that you may have been told some BIG untruths about the state of their relationship as well.  But do not reach out.  If she wants your input, she will come looking.  Otherwise, focus on YOU and how to get back to a healthy, honest place in YOUR life.  

Because you may be a victim of his lies, but you are leaving victims in your wake as well.  Unfortunately there is always a price for selfishness and deceit. Maybe now, maybe later.  But always.

Start living authentically.  Forget about him. Save yourself and remember - if you can't be honest about it, it isn't worth doing.  REALLY.  

You are human, you have made some pretty big and ugly mistakes.  You have not shown great courage or character in this situation.  You stand at a crossroads now.  You can be the person you have been being - or start being someone stronger, kinder, more honest with more integrity. 

You have been putting your emotions first and your values second,  That is what got you here.  Try putting your VALUES first and emotions second.  I think you will find that in 6 months to a year, you will be in far happier and more integrated place.  

Because that is the great thing about being human - we may be fallible - but we are also always redeemable.  You just have to own your mistakes - and go to great lengths to learn from them and not repeat them.  

Wishing you peace and clear thinking during the months ahead.
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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hurting
Gosh. I’m with Keep... you are every bit the selfish liar that he is. Look in the mirror and see yourself properly. 

Yes you should leave this ‘wonderful boyfriend’ of yours. Because quite frankly, you don’t deserve him. You have been abusing his trust and lying to him. Come clean and let him go. 

As for the MM and his wife? It is a shame that you lied the first time. As things stand, it isn’t your place to intervene any more. If she reaches out to you again, then yes you should tell her the truth. But unless that happens, stay out of their lives. 

It’s always amazing to me, how affair stories are so similar. It’s always the same claims: ‘I’ve never felt this way about anyone else before!’ 

Yet when push comes to shove... suddenly the OW finds themselves dropped like a rock. Never mind how they were ‘special’. There’s always a ‘reason’ of course for this. Maybe it’s because of the kids. Maybe they will claim their wife is now suicidal or depressed. Whatever reason is used though, the fact remains. The MM whom you fell for is a liar. He has been lying to everyone. You, his wife, himself. He chose to act without integrity, to act in a way which makes him feel good about himself, just like you did. His children were NOT his priority when he participated in an affair. He knew he would risk losing them, yet he still went ahead. Is that because he made YOU his priority? NO. Because then he dropped YOU like a tonne of bricks on being caught out. His only priority is himself.

I’m not going to beat around the bush here, but he likely as not told you whatever he thought you needed to hear in order to feel ‘special’ enough to participate in an affair, and to keep you around. There really is nothing special about that other than he played and used you, as he is his wife. And you let him. 

You are hurting. I can see that. Yet it is of your own choosing. That does not diminish the pain, yet you did know what you were getting into. 

The best way forward from here, is to cut all contact with him. You will never be able to heal if there is ongoing contact as you will keep getting drawn back in. Remove him from your life in every way, then focus on yourself. Learn why you chose to go down such a path, what you were looking for and what is lacking in your life. Learn from your bad choices, and make better ones in the future. 

You are not fit to be ANYONE’s significant other as you are. Figure yourself out. You have work to do before you can be a suitable partner for anyone else again.
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triplehooks
== THE CONTENTS OF THIS POST HAVE BEEN DELETED DUE TO VIOLATION OF COMMUNITY STANDARDS ==
Tim T / Admin

View: Good Behavior Standards
Quote 0 0
EasyAsABC
triplehooks wrote:


It may be worth re-reading the guidelines for this particular part of the forum. This kind of response is why OW/OM are few and far between on here. 
Please realize that there is a healing process involved for “other” people, and this is likely the first step for this poster. This forum is not designed for betrayed spouses only, and in fact this particular category is supposed to be free of responses such as this one. 
No one can heal and move on when confronted with a response like this. There is a difference between “tough love” and an attack, this was an attack. 
I understand that for some, compassion is hard to extend in this situation. I’m not asking you to extend compassion, just pointing out that if you are unable to extend some compassion, that maybe you keep your virtual distance from this part of the forum. 
BS to an abusive H 2009-2018
OW 2018-2019
I wear many hats.
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ThrivenotSurvive
Triplehooks -

EasyAsABC is right.  Tim has reiterated a number of times that this is a place of healing for ALL parties.  And I, for one, have at times benefited from the insight that some of our former WS and APs have shared.  

I recognize that your intention is probably to shake hopingforhappiness out of her erroneous, selfish thinking that is leading her to hurt herself and others - but few of us respond to being yelled at or demeaned.  Actually, it makes most people shut down.  So if the desire is to actually be heard and understood, then truth (even brutal truth) needs to be provided in a manner that allows the person we are talking to "hear" it.  To treat that other person as a human being and not in a demeaning way.  

Again, I understand where you are coming from - but this part of the forum is intended to be a safe space for APs to work out their issues and feelings and hopefully make choices that lead to a healthier outcome for themselves and those they are affecting.  
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
Quote 0 0
JORGE
You're failing many people. You're failing yourself, your lover's wife, your lovers kids and your boyfriend. You're the common denominator and the straw that stirs the entire affair drink. Consider the devastation that has yet to come into reality, but soon will. You can control it by being truthful to yourself, then your boyfriend, then your lover whom you should refuse to accept being his side piece, as you're probably worthy of more but don't know it or believe it. 

So is your boyfriend by the way. Decide to live a life of integrity. It's never too late. Once decided upon, you'll stop betraying yourself, which is what you're doing, whether you wish to acknowledge this or not. Then tell your boyfriend of your 3 plus year affair. You have placed his emotional and physical health in the balance.

He will be emotionally traumatized finding out you are not who he thought you were. Physically you are placing him at risk because I highly suspect you're not using protection with MM, as 99% of sexual affairs going that length have not seen a condom in years.

Men who have side pieces often have another one or two on the side. They are as opportunistic as a lion having come across a herd of wildebeest.  You're his regular side piece and the chance of him having one or two others whom he taps 2-3 times a year is pretty good. Married men who have affairs are as adept at hiding, and making their side piece feel special, as you are with your boyfriend. If you don't think this is the case, he has you exactly where he wants you. Cheating men like two things. Compliance and no problems. Be happy and don't stir things up. 

If I am correct and your lover is opportunistic with a hookup here and there, then he can expose you and your boyfriend to sexually transmitted diseases, so you'd be smart to get tested. Your boyfriend is clueless and to say he is undeserving of such pain and drama is a major understatement. Protect him from the f'd up-ness you and your lover has brought upon him and your lovers family. He deserves better. Inform him and then tell him you are moving on with your lover. It's best for all involved.  He'll be hurt, but in the long run, it's best for him. 

Then go to a counselor for guidance and confide in a close friend  to make you accountable and help ween you off the lover you no doubt are addicted to. You will not be able to do this by yourself. You will fail miserably, get hurt, and then seek to hurt him through informing his wife, which actually wouldn't be a bad idea, as she'll have his ass on lock-down for a while. So, going nuclear on his world, will actually help yours. 

Not judging here hopingforhappiness. Just telling it like it is, to the lost soul you are. Allow your name (hopingforhappiness) to be your mission. If so, you no longer have to hope for it, it'll come. You just have to do what's right and right now you're doing nothing right. Everything is wrong and you're simply to weak to confront and defeat your brokenness.
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UrbanExplorer
It's really common for emotions in an affair to be almost comically heightened. I believe you that you feel this intense love and devastation. However, I promise you that you won't look at it the same way in a year or two. It's an impossible relationship that would never be clean, even if he left his family for you. It's more like an addiction. It is filling a need for you, and that need is a real and valid thing but you are destroying yourself to try to address it rather than probing just what it is you need out of life.

Cutting him loose, even though it might feel impossible right now, is the best thing for you. There is something in you being smothered by this, a part of you that is being lessened (temporarily, because I don't believe anyone is irredeemable).

Look, life is hard and no one makes all the best choices. Stop giving away your energy to this. It is hurting other people who don't deserve it but also hurting you. 
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Experiencethedevine29
It upsets me greatly when people ignore the children caught up in this awful mess.,.on BOTH sides...

He’s such a ‘wonderful’ Father, deliberately putting his own flesh and blood in a situation with the potential for a good deal of psychological damage, whether discovered or not, kids aren’t stupid.

The ‘other’ is equally responsible for enabling such effed up behaviour, and with that amount of self indulgence  they’re willing to damage the innocents...vile...Just vile...🤢🤮


ETD 🌻
Quote 0 0
ABurris105
I am sorry you are hurting.  Really.  I may be a former BS (betrayed spouse) but I find no solace in the fact that APs (affair partners) get hurt.  Pain only begets pain.  

The end of any relationship is hard - the end of one that was based more in longing and fantasy vs. everyday realities, even more so.  Nothing can, or will, measure up except perhaps another relationship built on longing and fantasy.  Real life always takes some of the sparkle off. 

All the above points are valid - I'd like to mention a few others that came to mind. 

Right now you see him in this gallant, tortured hero role.  Someone who is sacrificing his (and your) happiness to be a good father.  Right?  

I would say wrong.  If he'd chosen to work on his relationship with his wife before starting an affair - then he'd get to play the long-suffering hero role.  However, here's what he is really doing:

He's maximizing his comfort and happiness - while stealing his GF/wife's and yours.  

He's unwilling to lose time with his kids - so he stays with her, likely telling her he's crazy about her - while not being truthful that the parameters of their relationship have changed.  She's still playing by the old rules and trust me - he likes it that way.  He doesn't want to have HER having sex with someone else and getting all romantic about them  That'd be a knock to his ego.  That's the mother of his children!  He hasn't told her he wants an open relationship so she could be free to leave or have her own fantasy fun on the side.  Maybe it really is only about his kids or maybe it's because he wants her and you.  Regardless it says he's willing to steal her opportunity to be loved the way she deserves (or chose to live in an open relationship) because HE doesn't want to experience discomfort.  That isn't heroism, it's selfish.  

You are being equally selfish with your boyfriend.  Do you think he deserves to be lied to?  To stay with someone who will likely cheat again as she feels no "passion" for him?  Who seems to see him as less of a catch than a guy who cheats on the mother of his 3 kids?  I think not.  He's clearly a catch in his own right, as you've explained.  Tell him the truth (all of it - including the lack of desire).  It may save him a lifetime of wondering why he feels like he never quite measures up.  Giving him half of your love is not kind, it is selfish and cruel.

Here's one more terrible tidbit to consider.  The MM is one of two things - a serial cheater or a one-off affair.  If he's a a serial cheater - he's such a consummate liar that you won't likely know it and believe everything he told you hook line and sinker. 

If this is his first and only affair, his feelings for you (and yours for him) may, in fact, be far more about where you are in life - then each other.  I am not saying it isn't possible that you are star-crossed lovers that somehow never found one another - it's possible.  And I know that he's telling you that he's never felt this way before.  But he's lying to her right now - what makes you think that he's not lying to you (or even himself) as well? 

Here's a scenario that seems to play out all too often with the one-off affairs (male and female):

In the beginning, he and his SO were very in love - but three kids changed the dynamic in the relationship.  She started putting all the time and energy she used to pour into him into their kids.  He began to feel taken for granted, pushed aside.  He wanted that great feeling where he's the center of attention and grew resentful.  Somewhere in here - you walk in the door.  You admire him, laugh at all his jokes, think he walks on water.  It feels amazing.  It hasn't been this way with her in years.  He feels like he loves you, adores you.  It's a dream!

But then DD comes and he has to face losing you or her.  He starts realizing that he doesn't want to visit his grandkids with you some day.  He doesn't want to see his GF/wife with another man.  And as the consequences of losing her (and their family unit) become clearer to him - the fantasy with you becomes far less appealing.  He starts to realize that what he was in love with was how you made him FEEL.  And now she's refocused on their relationship and him, he sees that they have a chance to get back to where they used to be and he jumps at it.  Because THAT is what he was really looking for - not a new mate - but a chance to recapture that feeling, of being special, wanted, needed, desired.  

But how can he tell you that?  How can he say that he has realized that he really does love her and that he made a mistake getting involved with you?  That he should have tried to rekindle the fire with her for his own sake, her sake and their kids sake?  That in his weakness and selfishness, he used you.  Remember - this is the same coward who couldn't tell his wife he was feeling ignored the first time - so he doesn't tell the truth to YOU either.  He says that it is just for the kids, that it is really you he loves.  Because that keeps him looking good in your eyes (and he DOES care about you.) Of course, once again being selfish and leaving you thinking you just lost the love of your life, when in reality, that "love of your life" is working hard to save his relationship with his wife/GF.  

About 4 months after no contact with his AP, my husband and I were talking and he said that one of the things that he was most ashamed of was how he'd convinced himself (and her) that the relationship was something more than it really was.  That at the time it had felt like he was deeply infatuated, maybe even falling "in love", but after DD it was like the world changed on its axis.  Suddenly, he realized it was all about HIM.  He was in love with the reflection of HIMSELF she gave back to him and all the attention.  He couldn't believe that he had hurt me, her, our daughter and himself for a feeling that practically disappeared overnight.  He still felt guilt and shame for hurting her - but not one ounce of regret over his decision.

Unfortunately, it took him making that HUGE mistake to make him realize that he had been being a coward about asking for what he wanted in our relationship and then in his resentment that I wasn't meeting his "needs" - acted out to get those needs met elsewhere.  He got serious about becoming more authentic and willing to own his needs - and in doing so, became more "integrated" (having integrity).  This allowed him to be someone he genuinely liked again (he HATED who he'd become - he despised liars and couldn't believe he'd sunk so low.) 

I see often on this forum that for the one time cheaters - this is not a unique story.  They reach an unhappy point in their life, feel invisible, resentful, depressed, etc. - and start an affair thinking it will cure all their ills.  Then DD comes and they realize they've only made their own problems worse - and drug someone else into it.  And IF THEY ARE LUCKY, their spouse is willing to stand by their side while they FINALLY get to the bottom of the real problem,  THEMSELVES.

This might not be your MM - but there is a very good chance that it is.  It is RARELY just about the kids.  Most people do what they WANT to do.  He obviously had no problem doing what he wanted before.  I knew a couple once that fell out of love but both wanted to be with their kids full time.  So they shared a house that had a Mother in Law suite that the husband moved into (separate entrance, etc).  They both had BF/GFs, while they raised their kids together.  With honesty a lot of things are possible.  Your MM doesn't either know how to deal with difficult situations and work towards compromise - or he doesn't WANT to leave her.  Neither make him attractive for you.  

You have taken yourself down a very dark rabbit hole.  You have been party to lies to your own SO - and party to the lies the MM told his wife - both before DD and after.  You  stole an opportunity from her to know the truth.  But now sadly, EasyasABC is right - you can't go back and undo it.  The likelihood is she will do some digital digging - and she may uncover his dishonesty on her own.  If she contacts you again - be HONEST.  And be ready to hear that you may have been told some BIG untruths about the state of their relationship as well.  But do not reach out.  If she wants your input, she will come looking.  Otherwise, focus on YOU and how to get back to a healthy, honest place in YOUR life.  

Because you may be a victim of his lies, but you are leaving victims in your wake as well.  Unfortunately there is always a price for selfishness and deceit. Maybe now, maybe later.  But always.

Start living authentically.  Forget about him. Save yourself and remember - if you can't be honest about it, it isn't worth doing.  REALLY.  

You are human, you have made some pretty big and ugly mistakes.  You have not shown great courage or character in this situation.  You stand at a crossroads now.  You can be the person you have been being - or start being someone stronger, kinder, more honest with more integrity. 

You have been putting your emotions first and your values second,  That is what got you here.  Try putting your VALUES first and emotions second.  I think you will find that in 6 months to a year, you will be in far happier and more integrated place.  

Because that is the great thing about being human - we may be fallible - but we are also always redeemable.  You just have to own your mistakes - and go to great lengths to learn from them and not repeat them.  

Wishing you peace and clear thinking during the months ahead.


SO WELL SAID!  Thank you for this Thrive.  It is so helpful to me as a BS to be reminded of what really is/was truth.  Keep the good advice coming.  
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