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On infidelity

(28 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 02-May-13 08:43:23

In her guest post for us this week Kate Figes looks at why affairs happen, whether there's anything to do to reduce the likelihood - and whether you can ever get over your partner being unfaithful. Do add your comments here

cathy Thu 02-May-13 17:52:13

I feel that there are different types of infidelity,

A, Its just the person and they can not change their ways and do not really want to.

B, It happens just the once due to various circumstances

C, You can not help yourself and wish you could be different

I have met all three kinds of cheaters, as for can you forgive again it, depends on what kind of a person YOU are, my friend was with her husband 26 yrs and he cheated on her, she tried to patch things up, carry on but she just could not, she still loves him very much and is a mess without him, even now 6 years later but she just can not take him back.

AmazingGran Fri 03-May-13 16:42:28

I was very judgemental & somewhat narrow minded, with hindsight, due to my upbringing in a "Christian" sect.
After 30 years of unsatisfactory marriage, which I had viewed as a life long commitment, I fell in love with a much younger man whom I met as a volunteer working with a Charity.
I fought this feeling with all my strength, but as he too (also married but with wife & child abroad) felt the same way, we eventually had an affair which lasted 4 years, until his wife came over to the UK.
At this point I ended our relationship, as I didn't feel I wanted to carry on in a clandestine manner, although this broke my heart at the time. My ex husband & I separated over other long standing unresolvable issues a year after my affair started.
I felt no guilt as we didn't hurt anyone & brought each other great joy & happiness, far more than I ever experienced during my marriage.
This is a simplified account, but as a consequence I am no longer either 'Christian' or judgemental over anyone's life choices, as I know that human relationships are very complex!
I am very happy, having lived alone for 11 years by choice, with loved family & good friends!

Moonwind Fri 03-May-13 17:35:42

Anyone seen 'Last Night' movie with Keira Knightly? Claustrophic, doomed atmosphere as cracks appear in 3 year marriage. Made me see how 'It Can Only End in Tears' before it's even started.
Can the 'lost, loving feeling' ever be restored? Tips please. I feel at the 'silent screaming' stage; an affair is inevitable...

AmazingGran Sat 04-May-13 15:09:31

'Silent screaming', yes I know that feeling though I haven't seen film.
You have my sympathy!

Charleygirl Fri 17-May-13 12:30:19

Can one ever get over one's partner being unfaithful? No!

susieb755 Fri 17-May-13 21:59:24

I couldn't stay married if he was unfaithful, its such a breach of trust -we both agree that if the other ever falls for someone else, we are to be honest straight away , rather than cheat - I can forgive falling out of love, but not cheating and lying

upsydaisy Sat 18-May-13 21:20:15

When I saw Kate Figes, I thought I know that name. I've read What about me? and What about me too, both written by Kate. I loved them both, thought they were brilliant. I love diary type fiction.

jeanie99 Sun 19-May-13 03:59:02

Habitual adulterers do not change, my first husband was one and was irresponsible enough to father several children.

He married three times at the last count and did the same to his future wives as he did to me.

Why he continued to marry I could never work out as he could have had as many girlfriends as he wanted without marrying them.

You can't get inside someone elses mind.

Divorcing him was the best thing I ever did, I met my now husband three years later and have been married for 43 yrs.

Maceymay123 Sun 11-Aug-13 23:29:02

Please don't try to excuse infidelity, my husband left me in January for a woman he met on the internet, is that excusable. He has been meeting and staying hotels with probably hundreds of women for at least 11 years. He has also been financially cheating, even signed my name on a mortgage I knew nothing of, stolen money from my savings, been abusive and has been lying to me for all those years.
Don't try to make this okay. I was married for 39 years and he moved straight in with the woman he'd been having an affair with the day he left me, where he still lives, and yes she knew he was married.

Joan Mon 12-Aug-13 03:47:14

I have another take on it all. Firstly, I don't think the one-off mistake should ruin a marriage. in fact, as long as they used protection, the adulterer should keep the guilt to him/herself.

But I have a friend who was married for nearly 2 decades to a man who was either gay or asexual. He did not want sex, and used the excuse, as a catholic, that sex is only for procreation. He would shower immediately after sex, and never wanted to hug or cuddle, ever. Sex happened about twice a year.

She had the opportunity to have an affair, but stuck to her wedding vows instead, even though she had little religious belief. After she left him and got divorced, she had a great time, making up for all those years, and eventually married a man who wanted plenty of sex. Looking back, she says she should have had affairs.

I don't think we should ever be judgmental, but I do believe a serial adulterer should never marry. it is simply unfair on most of the women involved. it is all a matter of being true to yourself.

nanaej Mon 12-Aug-13 08:30:35

Yes, because I have.

It was a very painful four years, two of his deceit and two building up trust again. I had put the house on the market, I made him move out and went to see the lawyers. We screamed and yelled at each other, I hit the bottle, had a fling, went crazy for a while but I was not happy. He was not happy. We decided to go to Relate. It worked for us. That was 26 years ago.

I would not recommend it to all but reconciliation was right for us. It took time and commitment from both of us but it has worked. We are happy with each other, enjoy each others company and are good friends and lovers. We make each other laugh, have fun, enjoy our family, share good friends. Life is good.

Ella46 Mon 12-Aug-13 10:16:14

It's good to hear that some people can work it out in the end, flowers nanaej

nanaej Wed 14-Aug-13 18:00:07

Thanks Ella I think the energy and effort we both put in has made the relationship stronger than it might have been without the infidelity. We might have just drifted along and become OK companions whereas we mad a conscious decision to have a good relationship.

Greatnan Wed 14-Aug-13 18:22:44

I became very close to a young man teacher - I think he regarded me as a mother figure. He confessed that he felt he wanted an affair, because his wife was religious and had told him that she always thought God was watching them making love and it made her too tense to enjoy it. He loved her dearly, but was desperate for some normal, guilt-free sex. I suggested he tried to get his wife to have some counselling, but he was sure she would never discuss sex with a stranger.
I did wonder if it would be safer for his marriage if he used a prostitute, providing he used proper protection -the problem with 'no strings' attached affairs is that one of the pair may fall in love and demand more from the relationship.

annielizzie Fri 29-Nov-13 17:18:22

My husband,B developed psychoses this summer about our money, house subsiding, neighbours spying etc. Eventually admitted the truth( and was admitted into a psychiatric unit) that was masking all these other 'problems' - he had been having an ongoing affair for 40 years which began on a degree course when he was 38 and she was 23.We had been married for 17 years and had four lovely young children. My daughters and I have been able to verify her name and place of work, address and phone no. and other events now seem clear. He has been incredibly devious, using only cash for his holidays with her and masking his dalliance with school games events, meetings etc.Now he is a broken old man who feels he has nothing to live for. The family is in pieces about his affair but my bitterness is reserved for her. She is now 61 and in a year or two will pick up a handsome pension, has no dependants( she did get married but soon divorced -he says that even then the affair 'was always there') and will soon be living the 'Life of Riley'. I am in counselling and fully intend to have a new, and a good life, but am still eaten away at the thought of them together and the sex they had whilst, at home, I had none. My children and friends throughout have been wonderful and supportive but how can I get through this bitterness and not knowing? I cannot question him any more - he is a wreck. If only I could question her! My daughters have emailed her and even put a letter through her door. But the answer is silence. I feel powerless, though I would regard myself as a strong woman.

Lona Fri 29-Nov-13 18:24:20

I have recently discovered that my first husband was an opportunistic cheater right from the beginning of our 25 year marriage.
I had suspicions sometimes, which he poopoohed by telling me how stupid I was to even think such a thing.

He has published two books, in which he boasts about his sex life, without any thought for the feelings of his children, or grandchildren.

So, who's the stupid one?

Nonu Fri 29-Nov-13 18:38:52

Hope you take this in the spirit I mean it, What goes round comes round , it may take time , hang in there though. x

janerowena Fri 29-Nov-13 18:49:35

How very, very sad, for both of you. I have three sisters and between us we have been married ten times. Now, I look back at the men we first married and think that any one of those failed relationships (I am the only one still married, second time round) would have made a good book, but like nanaej I realised that my current relationship was worth saving when no2 had a fling, we have been very happy for the past ten years but it did take me about four years to completely get over it.

I read somewhere that women are attracted to alpha males initially, because they look to be the best gene pool, physically. That they should have babies with them, but then find someone kinder and gentler later on in life to be happy with. That certainly seemed to be what my sisters and I were doing. Those very same alpha males are the ones who seem to need to spread their genes far and wide the most. Not all of them, obviously, but one of my sisters discovered that not only did her husband have five regular girlfriends, he was also paying £500 a night for less reputable ladies. No wonder he managed to eat so much yet stayed so slim.

JessM Fri 29-Nov-13 18:52:21

annielizzie you have really been through it lately. I do wonder why you are angry with her and not him. Is it because he is pathetic and mentally ill now?
Lona ... or you!!! never mind the kids and grandkids. You would appear to have been the main victim. That is quite specially insensitive, writing books about it, but he obviously has a sensitivity bypass.

Lona Fri 29-Nov-13 19:25:03

The sad thing for me, is that I've never had a happy, successful relationship with a man.
I think I'm just rubbish at picking them.

Ana Fri 29-Nov-13 19:32:02

You're not stupid, Lona. We want to believe them, and actually do, at the

annielizzie Fri 29-Nov-13 22:10:06

JessM - I am angry with Him because he deceived me so successfully over the years with such organisation and cunning and because whilst he was being such a pathetic excuse for a husband and father(why did I put up with it?) his colleagues far and near thought he was Mr Wonderful. But I am bitter that She has been able to wreck so many lives and apparently got away scot-free.
Nonu - you said 'what goes around comes around' . I only hope it does. I console myself with the fact that I have got four great children and four wonderful grandchildren as well as supportive friends. When she retires I wonder what she will have - especially as she was labelled on a website as a 'Bully'.

JessM Sat 30-Nov-13 18:39:31

annie she doesn't sound like someone to be envied to me. Women who hang on in affairs with married men for many years, often being told by the man that they will leave their wives except for... (fill in excuse) .... are often left lonely in the end. Maybe unable to visit the man in his final illness because he is surrounded by family and sitting alone in the back row at the crematorium while the widow has her children to support her and the sympathies of everyone else.
Has this affair wrecked your children's lives really or it just yours, his (maybe) and hers that have been damaged?
I know the feeling of looking back and wondering at why one put up with things. Some of us are too easy going maybe.

janerowena Sat 30-Nov-13 21:51:05

The younger generations won't be. The women expect to work and be self-sufficient on the whole, and the men are expected to do more for themselves. When you think it's not that long ago that women had to leave their jobs as soon as they got married, to make way for soldiers returning from war, it's not surprising that so many women put up with so much for too long. And unfortunately women like me watched and learned from them.