Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Men who have affairs get caught. Women who have affairs leave.


When a man has an affair, he gets caught.  When a woman has an affair – she leaves her husband.

The other day, I bumped into an old acquaintance.  I hadn’t seen him for a few years – and we had never been close.  So when he asked me the predictable “Hi!  How are you?  How was your Christmas?”  I realised that he probably had no idea that since our last meeting, I had left my ex-husband and divorced him. 

He noticed my hesitation, so I thought it best to explain.  He was somewhat taken aback.  And for the first time in ages, I felt a slight lump in my throat and my eyes started to tingle…  But I won the battle against the tears.  Without in any way being critical of my ex-husband, I explained, and he was very sympathetic.  And I appreciated that.

As the conversation progressed, I told him that what had tipped me over the edge was meeting someone I had a connection with. Not having an affair, but knowing that if I didn’t leave, I probably would.  

Then he piped up and mentioned an article he had read in GQ Magazine (I think it was GQ!).  The article (which I have not read, as I don’t buy GQ Magazine!) was discussing the subject of affairs and from what he told me, the conclusion seemed to be:

Men who have affairs get caught; women who have affairs leave their husbands.

It really stuck in my head and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

And I’ve been thinking about the people I know, men and women who’ve had affairs, and the outcome once the affair has been uncovered.  I have to be honest -  it is a very accurate statement. 

But why?

I believe very strongly that an affair is a sign of a bad marriage.  Whilst I’m totally against affairs, I don’t force my views on others.  And I don’t believe that all blame can be laid at the foot of the person who goes off and has an affair.  This post is not about fault…

Of the men I know who have had affairs (but stay once caught!), whilst they may not be happy in their ‘marriage’ they still have comfortable home lives.  Their meals are cooked, the kids are looked after and their clothes are returned, clean and ironed, to the wardrobe.  This is quite a lot of comfort to forfeit.  And if they can muddle along at home, with the support of a woman on the outside, providing a distraction, emotional support, or just sex, there is no real incentive to leave.  So if the wife 'forgives' or 'gives another chance' - in general, they stay.

But women are a very different species.   For us (and I’m really talking about those of us with children) an affair is a very different matter.  Firstly, whether you’re working or not, an affair would have to be fitted-in around the kids routines, and / or work.  Not always that easy!  And as a general rule (with notable exceptions, I’m sure) women are less driven by purely sexual desires.  If they get involved in an affair, it is probably the emotional needs that they are seeking to address.  And if that’s the case, it takes the affair to a different level.

Women who leave their kids behind when they leave a marriage, are the exception.  It happens.  But it is not that common.  Most women who leave a marriage have their kids in tow.  At the point they get involved in an affair, they are aware that they have kids to consider.  So when a woman has an affair, she knows that the worst case scenario (if it goes ‘tits up’) is that she could be on her own looking after the kids.  Therefore, she probably won’t get involved with someone unless she believes they are serious about a long-term commitment.  An affair is not an easy cop-out. To have even got to this point is a sign that for the woman, the marriage is all but over.

After all, an affair is a very, very big gamble. Men are less forgiving of infidelity than women.

I know. My husband would never have given me a second chance.  Conversely,  would have put up with a great deal, if I thought it was in the children's best interest.

But now, like many women, I am on my own with two kids to raise. 

It’s not easy.

But I do have peace of mind.  I did get involved with the rebound guy – and I knew it wouldn’t last.  But he gave me the confidence to get through my divoce.  And I know that leaving was the right thing to do. 

And I will move on.  Life will improve.  And at the end of the day… 

I’m not living a lie….

35 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. You arent living a lie. That is well put.

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  2. Yes well done and i know it sounds cliched but "at least you have your kids". I am 40+ no kids living with a guy who has a 6-yr old daughter. I would like a kid but he would not. i have reason to believe he is not faithful in the sense of a committed relationship and suspect he is having affairs. he is comfortable at my place. i have found emails/ sms's but he knows and has now "tightened security". do i respect this and say at least he is being respectful and cares about me finding out, do i make a choice about living with the consatnt suspicions and his 'disappearing acts' or do i do like the European women and be happy to have a man and keep the home and peace and just love him. I m tempted to have an affair but am not good at "hiding" things...

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    1. Thank you for your comment - and apologies for the delay in replying.

      Firstly, I cannot see how your having an affair is going to help the situation. But it does beg one very big question: Why are you still with this man?

      If you feel tempted to have an affair, it sounds like you are ready to move on. But the type of man who is happy to have an affair with you, is not going to be an honourable one - so I don't recommend it.

      As hard as it may sound, if you want to have your own child, you need to move on.

      "Tightening security" is not a sign of his being respectful. It is a sign of his not wanting to get caught. And do not be fooled by the image of European women being happy if their man has an affair. There may be some women who are prepared to put up with it, but many more who aren't.

      Whatever you decide, it has to be your decision. When you look back in five years time, you have to know you did the best thing for you.

      I wish you luck and happiness.

      Lara

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  3. Interesting - but too much of a generalisation. The vast majority of the women I know and am friendly with have had an affair or several. They haven't left. They weren't looking for a replacement partner. Just a bit of fun, titillation, flattery, excitment... I suppose I'm not comfortable with the whole 'men and women have different reasons for seeking sex with a.n.other'. In my experience, men and women's reasons are remarkably similar.
    In fact, my pals and I were discussing this very issue and many of us actually concluded that they men we knew were very 'loyal' and generally easy to please and happy with their lot. It was the women who were a bit wild and predatory and looking for something more... Another almost-generalisation, but one which we had plenty of evidence for. The bit thing for most of my women friends has been 'opportunity'. My pals all work - and always have done. They have the same opportunities for affairs and flirtations which our menfolk have had a monopoly on til the advent of the working wife.

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  4. I'm testing this reply as I want to be anonymous. I had an affair because the man was kind and thoughtful in ways that grabbed my heart in a vice grip. I realized that I did not experience that kindness in my marriage.. In my marriage I did not feel emotionally safe, yet with my friend, I had never felt so safe, emotionally. I am an abuse victim from a close family member. I was young. As I grew up, boys thought me frigid, closed up. My husband believed the abuse was no big deal and likened it to his babysitter playing doctor with him once. My husband liked strip bars. And asked me alot if I would do threesomes(of course I was too shy). When he raised his voice and got nasty after the second nightly cocktail, if I asked him to lower his voice, he would say "F you" mimicking my voice, which was overly quiet and timid. (in work, I am outgoing in successful) So, I had an affair with a man who was gentle, giving and who adored me and made me feel safe. He was also married, we connected when he told me his marriage was failing, we had already been friends a long time previously. I fell in love with him. My husband found out. We divorced. He re-married within a year. Six years later, I live alone, kids off to college and I still adore my friend, he is divorced for the last 5 years and adores me. But I am consumed with guilt now, 6 years later. Anything that goes wrong with my kids, I blame myself and the divorce. Yet, I stayed single for all these years and focused on raising them and working. I never had any men stay at the house. I went overboard trying to be a good mother and lived with guilt and remorse for my divorce every day. Yet, in divorce, their father would not pay child support recently, even though he is a lawyer in a successful law firm in a rich community and I had to take him to court so my son could afford college. This is awful, but in a way confirms I guess, why I'm divorced. I wish I could lose the guilt. I am a loving moral person in every other way, must I take this guilt to my grave, will I be able to let go? I want to be with my friend who is a magnificent man, but the guilt may prevent me from accepting his full love.

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    1. Thank you for you message. I totally relate to what you have said about finding someone who was kind to you, when you had no kindness in your marriage. And it is terrible to be in a situation where you are mocked, or where the other party has different sexual tastes, which you don't feel comfortable with. These things are not your fault. And it was inevitable that when someone was kind to you and made you feel safe, that something was going to happen.

      We are all human and need to be loved and treated with kindness and respect.

      In having an affair, all you were doing was looking for what everyone needs.

      You have clearly made huge sacrifices for your children. I understand that plenty of us blame ourselves when things go wrong with our kids. But I think you have to stop blaming.

      When I was a child, none of my parents friends were divorced. Those who were unhappy simply "stayed together for the sake of the children". It's just what that generation did. And later on, when the kids left home, those who were really unhappy, finally got divorced. Having spoken to numerous people whose parents did this, the one thing they all said was: "I wish my parents had got divorced sooner."

      Your ex-husband's behaviour indicates that he was not happy either. By divorcing, you set him free to find someone else.

      You only have one life. It's time to stop punishing yourself and allow yourself a bit of happiness with the man who you love. And if your children love you, they will want you to be happy too.

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  5. wow, really? not me, I have had an affair and live wracked with guilt. I guess it goes to show, we are all different. Maybe I should blog with you, you seem to be free of guilt, whereas the guilt almost crippled me...(p.s. I wrote a detailed anonymous blog just now explaining

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  6. Why after being found out does the man distance himself and say its not a good idea to see/talk to the other woman? Even when he has strong feelings and wants to be with her? Why would he say not to wait and move on knowing very well he is hurting and misses her? He's not happy so why shut out the other woman?

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  7. I googled this topic as I am in such a situation at present

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  8. This is an add on to my previous reply as I was testing your commenting process - I have been having an affair for the past 2.5yrs- we are both married, have a 26yrs age gap and we are of different race groups - I fell really hard for him and he is a great guy, he has promised that he would leave his wife soon but I am also not ready to leave my husband just yet- he has grown kids not living with him and I have two small kids living with me - the situation is always complicated and I always try to end the affair with him but he can never let go, and often wears his heart on his sleeve for everyone to see - I also have trouble saying no to him - we have both been very careful but his wife read a very private and emotional conversation between us just yesterday and he sent me a message saying not to contact him as she wants to file for a divorce etc.his words were he is trying to control the fallout and do collateral damage- he always stated his marriage was more of an economic arrangement rather than emotional involvement- This is all new to me and I can't concentrate on anything else since his wife caught him- I'm not scared of her as I believe she is too proud and haughty to contact me - in the past he's gone overboard to keep me, always at my beck and call, his last message wasn't what I expected- I agree with your article because I find myself toying with the idea of leaving my husband-I strongly believe I have two options either leave for this guy and be happy or stay and be annoyed all the time, I also worry about his age (63) - I'm married for 17yrs and my husband is slightly bi-polar - mood swing and anti-social, but he loves me intensely almost obsessively - I'm in such a predicament because the situation is not playing out the way I envisaged - I can't tell whether he's going ahead to save his marriage or if he's going ahead with his divorce - I have my husband's happiness to consider and the kids and I feel as if women were born with a defective DNA where we are pre-programmed to sacrifice our own happiness for the sake of everyone else around us- I would love any feedback as I don't imagine my situation to be unique

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  9. It would be a heart attack for your husband to know your affair after 17 years. I feel sorry for him. Im not being judgmental but in my opinion a person, who is possessed about you will suffer heavily after hearing the news. I think he deserves better. Tell him and leave him. His love is not meant to be wasted on someone, who doesn't require it. That possessiveness is for someone else, who will love him for what he is.

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    1. All I can say is that you are correct. What a selfish low life she is. How would she have liked to be treated by her husband and have him treat her the same way. To many people are fraud and use she is a low life user.

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  10. Interesting. But, the research does not support the conclusion. Current research suggests that women today are going through a phenomenon similar to one experienced by men in the early 1900's. That is the "mid-life crisis". This also seems to show in the "who files for divorce" statistics. in 1940, 60% of all divorces were filed by men, and typically between the ages of 35 to 45. Today, 66% of all divorces are filed by woman, the majority in the age range of 33 to 43 years of age.

    Why do current psychological studies believe this. It comes down to an age of opening up and a sense of freedom. In the early 1900s, especially post WW1 and WW2, an enlightenment was occurring among men. They didn't need to follow in their fathers footsteps. The education system was opening up, and a world of careers were opening up. Just because you father was a farmer, didn't mean you couldn't be a doctor. As the education system opened up to men, there also seemed to follow a higher rate of divorce... although seemingly in the non-educated sector. Why? Because information, enlightenment, longer life spans, and many other factors ... Pre 1900, men and women experienced a period of crisis in their 40's (todays mid age). But, life expectancies were shorter, social pressures to work things out were higher, and believe it or not, society was more willing to help people work through their problems (and, affairs happened... plenty of them). Over time mens mid life crisis have been tamed due to understanding of the problem, newer ways to channel the crisis energies.

    Women today are experiencing a similar enlightenment. But, it is sadly coupled with a "Disney" entitlement perception. There is a great book caller "The Greener Grass Syndrome" that goes into great detail as to what is happening... And, it is a book I recommend often. Women have more freedom, and ability to move than ever before. The courts often side with the woman in child custody and support. Potentials in education, and even welfare, make divorce manageable. And, the stigma of divorce has been softened by media. All this together has allowed women to look at many options when they hit a crisis period of their life. The "female mid-life crisis" has actually been viewed in many articles as potentially much more socially changing than the "male mid-life crisis". It is uncertain if this is because their are more options today than there were 60 years ago for adults in general, or if this is because of current media based perceptions, or ...

    Note: Your comment about woman having emotional affairs as opposed to men. Many male affairs in the 20's-40's were very emotionally charged. Most men who left their wives at that period commented that they did so because they felt a strong emotional connection to their new partner that they did not feel with their wife. Often they felt that they married too quickly, they did not really know their wife, they married for looks, and were left empty.

    Anyway... I enjoyed your read. But, look over the articles that are now coming out about the "female mid-life crisis". They are highly enlightening. And, I think it will be many years before the full impact of this crisis period of a woman's life is understood.

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  11. So I have a question and probably know the answer. I am divorced and having an affair with a married women for 2 yrs. She is in a mentally/emotionally/ and somewhat physical abusive marriage of 14 yrs.
    She is put down and has no say. He is worth a lot of money...very secure.
    We have an incredible emotional/loving/supportive/communication relationship. The best we have both ever had.
    She says she will leave him, but hasn't taken any steps. They can literally go 2-3 week stretches without seeing eachother.

    She will call me constantly even when they are together.

    I m trying to be patient, but losing hope she will ever do anything. I have about cutting it totally off and let her deal with whatever she has to deal with.

    I feel like I am giving her all the emotional / loving support she truly wants and needs, but stays with him.

    Do you think she will ever do anything with this scenario and when do I just stop?

    Thanks

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    1. Why would you hook up with a married woman. If she is cheating o. Her husband now, do you seriously think she won't do the same to you. You must be delusional or just basically a low life preying on woman in a midlife crisis. Shame on you. I hope she dumps how and works it out with her husband.

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    2. I am in a similar situation. It's been 6 years. She moved out after two but due to extreme emotional abuse to the children by their father as a means to punish her, as well as documented physical abuse to the wife, she's been unable to move forward.

      Her guilt is unbearable and her fear of her children being further hurt has crippled her. She's a shell of the person I once new. There's never been a person more deserving of a safe and happy life. Breaks my heart

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  12. How did the married wife find out about the affair?

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  13. I was married to a nice, intelligent very sexy woman whom I never found to be attractive enough to actually feel "in love" with. She was always very kind and caring and for that reason I always overlooked her facial flaws. Eventually I learned to love her in every other way. We had a child and I was beginning to believe we were happy. Suddenly after 15 yrs she decided that she was not happy with me anymore. I didn't know if I should have felt relief or sadness. But I said, "If this makes you happy, then I am happy". Part of me is sad because I thought about our child. I now feel its too late to ever be "In Love" because of my age and income.

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  14. To guy in affair with married woman: You should have never started! That is her married life to figure out and no man should put assunder, you being the one wanting to assunder cause your all connected and emotionally/loving/blah blah blah. 5 years in you'll be her old man complaining because she forgot to buy the orange juice you asked when she went shopping. Quit trying to be the white knight here, your actions are less then noble. Find someone not married and have some real dignity for yourself. If not ,I hope she strings you along for the putz you are!!

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    1. Not every person cheated on is the victim. Not every cheater is a mongrel. Not every affair partner is an sleazy opportunist.

      Of course obviously being a man you view women as your possession. I notice you didn't have anything negative to say about the married men cheating.

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  15. We tend to let society decide how we should act and feel. We only live once; and happiness is very important. 'It is better to be alone than to be with someone and feel lonely.'

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    1. I agree totally. Very very true.

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  16. Wow, this article and these comments are disgusting. Why does anyone even get married anymore?

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  17. I was in a second marriage of 15 years. I have never been so lonely in all of my life. He would go DAYS and not speak. I tried everything I could to stay. I simply did not love him anymore. I had a single neighbor man, who was sweet, friendly, great father, and he often came over for coffee with my husband and I. My attraction to him became overwhelming. He was just as lonely as I was. My husband began accusing me of having an affair with him. The truth is that I wasn't but wanted to. My husband became more and more verbally and emotionally abusive as if he wanted to DRIVE me away. I told him I wanted a divorce. So of course instantly according to him I had been banging the neighbor..(not at all) However the neighbor man and I began formally dating on New Years Eve. I have to say, even with all of the rumors, and ugliness, I am Not sorry. I am convinced this man and I were made for each other.I am just sorry that my husband and I wasted all of that time trying to make something work that was not ever going to. Everyone deserves happiness. Living a lie is almost as bad as an affair. It is only fair to Woman up and be truthful with yourself and your spouse.

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    1. Yeah yeah, poor you. You were having an affair, it just called an emotional affair. You are a cheater, admit it and move on. Stop pretending.

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  18. I was married for 20 years with 4 children. My marriage wasn't great but not awful either. I ran into an old flame who also wasn't in a great marriage with three kids. He told me he had an affair previously which led to a child. After just 5 weeks of being "together" we promised we would leave our spouses for each other and live happily ever after! Well i filed for divorce, nearly lost my kids, lost most of my friends and family due to the infidelity my husband discovered, sold my house at a loss to quickly move into a rental together with this man and signed divorce papers so quickly I didn't fight for a thing because my "love" promised he would take care of me. It is 16 months later and guess what? He still lives with his wife and children, "visits and sleeps over often" and promises and promises he is leaving her. I constantly try to end things and he says fine, goodbye. Then a few days later I go running back saying Im sorry and it starts all over again! I gave up so much for this man and i am so afraid of being alone! I can't believe how much i screwed up my life! I hate myself but I just can't let go. Anyone else ever in this kind of situation?

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    1. You should have loved the one you were with and not someone else's husband. You deserve all the pain you are getting. You did it, you suffer through it now. Did you honestly think you were better than his wife. Like him, you are a cheater. Your relationship would not work anyway.

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    2. Mary, I seen you posted your story on July 17, 2013. If the man you left your marriage and lost most of your family and friends to is still married, its most likely he will never divorce his wife for you. Not to be mean. But you gave up so much just to become the guy mistress.

      You said your marriage was not great and not awful. You still had the chance of making your marriage work. By talking and working with your your formal husband instead of ending your marriage.

      If your old flame is still married, he will never leave his wife for you. With having you on the side, willing to keep running back to him saying your are sorry for trying to end your relationship. He will keep playing his games with you. If he can't be with his wife for his sexual needs, he will use you to fulfill his needs and go back to his wife.

      You already taking your first step by realizing you screwed up big time. You are so afraid of being alone, you are holding on to false hope so you wont be alone. Your next step is to dump your old flame, he never going leave his wife. Your third step, is to see or call a hot line and talk to a professional counselor that deals with this type of situation, instead of seeking for help on a website message broad. See or talk to a women counselor.

      You may also want to write a letter explaining that you are sorry to your ex husband. Married or divorce, you both always be part of each other lives because of the children. You never know, he may forgive you over time and take you back.

      You are not the only one that falls into this situation. Two people I know jump first without thinking. One is real lucky that her almost ex husband forgive her. Both are see a counselor. To other person was not as lucky since he waited so lone realize what he did wrong, his ex wife has already moved on and even out of the state.

      I wish you the best of luck. I will also say a pray for you, that you will find peace and happiness.

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  19. Just how much things have changed has really become more evident to me lately. I'm single and have a two bedroom apartment downtown in a major US city. My spare bedroom is frequently used by friends visiting from out of town or those not wanting to make the trip out of town late at night. I grudging joke the mattress in that room see more action than the mattress in my own room.

    I recently had a good college friend come into town for a week on business and stay the weekend. We went out on a Friday and lost each other sometime during the night, I'd provided her with a key so figured she might even be home already. Sometime just after I arrived home I hear the key in lock and then a male voice (not cool strange guy in my apartment). It however got worse as the bedrooms share a far to thin wall. More bizarre it keeps going and going until I finally find some ear plugs and get some sleep.

    The next morning while I'm having coffee alone in the living room it starts up again. This time however it stops and a younger man awkwardly shuffles through my living room and lets himself out. To my surprise it starts up again and about 1/2 an hour later another young man makes his way to the door.

    My friend has been married for 12 years, has three kids, and the picture perfect life- yet she's having a threesome in my spare bedroom with two younger guys she just met??? WTF??? So ten minutes later she comes out with a glazed over look and reeking of sex. No apologies but rather, "Do you have any plan B?"Double WTF now!!! Bareback with two different guys you just met, I don't know this woman.

    There's a mental change going on out there right now as I'm seeing more women acting in ways we only used to expect men too.

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  20. Wow, been thinking a lot my husband had affair and now I feel like I may need to step outside my marriage. Try to talk to him and he just don't get it or just don't won't to. But my feeling right now are up In the air maybe I will or maybe I wont

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  21. I was recently informed by my wife of 15 years that we would be happier with someone else. I discovered she was having an affair and she filed for divorce. we were still living together as we were getting divorced. I woke up to police at our home and was charged with non-consensual sex. (Rape).This was all done in an attempt to keep the kids and get even with me for exposing the affair. This was a situation were we were going to just get divorced and split our assets. This is going to cost me close to100k to clear my name and get my kids back, Please think twice about the ugliness of divorce.and how your best friend can become your biggest enemy. what I have learned about adultery is that the person having the act usually wants to find a way to look justified to all the friends and family. I accept the fact that i wasn't meeting the needs of my wife but this Is a warning to those who are contemplating an affair and the potential damage.

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  22. I'm the other man in an affair that has seemingly just ended...Not looking for sympathy here, just want to share what happened and where I'm at now with this giant destructive mess that I alone created.

    My lover was a married woman of 4 that I've known and been extremely close with for 20+ years. In our twenties, she and I shared a kinship unlike any other relationship I have ever known, it was as if we saw everything the same and in a platonic way were electric together, each compelled by the other. Our lives took different directions and after 17 years I decided to look her up and see how she was. When I found her it was like only a day had passed since we last talked...sheer blissful joy to hear her voice.

    I knew she was a married mother of 4 and I was in no way looking for anything except a reunion with a dear friend from my past. Things were so comfortable between us that she confided dissatisfaction with her married life, but not unhappy so to speak. We began to talk on the phone regularly and before you know it, we realized that we had been in love from the beginning and it was an unfortunate thing that we couldn't cultivate it into a legitimate relationship. Pandoras Box was open though and our selfish hearts got the better of us. We began to conjure up scenarios of us together and shortly thereafter we made it happen..and it was beautiful. Things got serious quick and we got swept up in fantasy, all the while battling guilt because neither of us wanted her marriage to suffer, he's a good man and had done nothing to deserve what was happening, his only fault was his rather boring nature.

    Well, he found out about us and the affair is over. I will not chase her because now I have a chance to do what I should have done in the first place, be her friend and walk away. I guess the point I am trying to make is this...some wolves don't know they are wolves until its too late. I don't know what the future holds for she and her husband, I pray I have not destroyed my best friends family.

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  23. Everyone makes mistakes. Admitting it and trying to rectify it shows great courage as you have done "Wolf". I too hope your friend is trying to make her marriage work. Unless she was in an abusive relationship with her husband, i think it was right for her to go back. Please do forgive yourself first. Because although you say you do not need advice, i can sense intense guilt in your words.
    Move on with a person who really needs you and wants you in her life. And especially a person who is capable of being with you as your committed mate. Doesn't matter if she is a divorcee or still married and undergoing divorce. She need not be single or unmarried. But make sure she is available both emotionally and physically. Totally cut off from her ex partner. There are many women waiting for true affection and compassion. Find someone like that and then give it to her. :)
    Much luck to you.

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