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having an affair - is it always wrong?

 
 
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2014 10:16 am
I'm in my 40s, been married 7 years and am having an affair. My husband doesn't have a clue, and sometimes I feel really guilty, other times I know I couldn't get through life without my other man.

My marriage isn't exactly happy - we get on fine most of the time, but haven't slept together in 2 years (my choice) due to problems in our relationship. My husband is an alcoholic, and also lies to me a lot. I love the person he used to be, before alcohol took over him, and in the times when he is sober and trying to quit he becomes that man again. He won't get help from a counsellor, most of my friends don't even know he has a problem, he only drinks at home and it doesn't impact on his work, just on our relationship. Due to his lieing we also have major trust problems and I just don't feel about him now like I should as a wife. He's very verbally abusive to me when he drinks and puts me down a lot which leaves me feeling very unconfident. Despite all this I still love him.

However, I have been sleeping with a friend for the last year. We're best friends, have been for ages and one day it just kind of happened. We're not in love love - I mean I have strong feelings for him, but it's more kind of friendship with sex as a bonus for us both! He's married too, again not happily, and he's had affairs before. He's my rock when things are tough and we are incredibly open with each other. I don't know where it's going, or if this is all we will ever be to each other, I'm not sure whether I want more from him or not. But I know I don't want to be without him. Again absolutely no-one knows. A few mutual friends have joked about it, but they're so used to seeing us together as friends anyway that no one really thinks about it.

I don't want to hurt my husband, or my lover, or myself, but at the moment I can't see any other way for my life to work. I need the support of my lover to help me when things are bad with my husbands drinking, or lieing, and I know I can ring him at 2 in the morning, or 2 in the afternoon and he'll be there for me. I do the same for him with his marriage problems. There have been lots of nights when my husbands been asleep or passed out through drinking, and my lovers rung me with problem sand we've both snuck out and sat somewhere quiet in the car just holding each other and getting through it before we both go back to our real lives. I've asked my hubby to see a marriage counelsor, or to try an open marriage, or anything to get our relationship back on track and he won't, he says it's fine and problems will sort themselves out in time. Is my affair really so wrong?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 7 • Views: 1,363 • Replies: 19

 
PUNKEY
 
  5  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2014 10:50 am
You have this all justified in your own mind so I'm not sure what you want from us.

I was married to an alcoholic and can sympathize with you. but I drew the line in the sand and said either get sober, get help or get out. I had 3 kids and just could NOT go on like that. (He was a bar drinker, so I spent a lot of time alone.) There was no other man in my life, but I sure was lonely. Instead, I did the things I had to do to get my life in order. Then found a great man to be married to for 25 wonderful years.

Why do you stay with your husband? Money? the house? the kids? You list no redeeming qualities about him.

(You know, your lover has it good, doesn't he? Wonder what he would do if you were single)

0 Replies
 
CoastalRat
 
  5  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2014 11:00 am
@giselle32,
No, it is not always wrong. IF you don't believe your wedding vows mean a darn thing. IF you believe it is ok to lie and sneak around behind your spouse's back. IF morality and honesty mean little to you, then go ahead and cheat. It is ok. Why be faithful?

Quote:
sometimes I feel really guilty
Good. At least that shows you know you are wrong.

Quote:
other times I know I couldn't get through life without my other man.
Then leave your husband, get a divorce and make a go at life with this other man. After all, it does sound like you have valid reasons for walking away from your marriage. He drinks, is verbally abusive, he lies and he won't seek help. Why would you even want to stay in a marriage like that? Get out. Maybe this other guy will help you.

Quote:
He's married too, again not happily,
So he tells you. Of course, what else would he say? He may be getting the best of both worlds here. Why not tell him that you are leaving your husband and you want him to leave his wife (after all, he also has it so bad at home) and see what he says.

Having an affair is simply not fair to either you or your husband.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2014 11:16 am
@giselle32,
Why are you staying in your marriage?
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2014 12:01 pm
@ehBeth,
I wanna know how she's going to handle it when her abusive husband finds out. You know, not if, but when.

Someone always screws up. It's inevitable.
0 Replies
 
giselle32
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 07:40 am
@giselle32,
Thank you all for your replies, guess I need all your opinions, even if they're not what I want to hear! I do love my husband, and he is a good man when he's not drinking. We get along fine day to day with all the mundane things, but it's more like flatmates would, rather than as a loving couple. I have a teenage daughter and I don't want to leave my husband, I just wish he would turn back in to the man he was before the drinking got in the way. And I've really really tried to help him with his alcohol problem but he won't accept any help, or see anyone about it. He's great with my daughter most of the time, and I cover for him when he's not. I really hope he will eventually get help and turn back in to the man I married and my feelings for him come back so we can be a proper couple again.

I really don't know what is going to happen in our future. I keep telling myself that if we can get through the next few years til my daughter has gone to university the by then things will be better or the relationship will be over. But maybe I'm just burying my head in the sand.

My lover genuinely is in an unhappy marriage, I've known him for a very long time and know how difficult his situation is. He's got kids too, his son is the same age as my daughter, that's how we first met and became friends, and he stays in his marriage purely for his kids. If I was single, we'd still be together as we are now, we've both always been clear about that. In the future, who knows, but that seems a very long way away at the moment.

I'd hate for my husband to find out, and I know there is always that risk, but I kind of feel it's a risk worth taking as at least with my life the way it is, my husband is happy, my daughters life isn't disrupted, and my friend helps me and makes me happy when he can. Without him life would be empty and very lonely. Aren't I entitled to a little bit of happiness some of the time?
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 07:52 am
@giselle32,
giselle32 wrote:
.... I cover for him when he's not....


Stop doing that. You're enabling his drinking.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 07:58 am
@giselle32,
Quote:
Aren't I entitled to a little bit of happiness some of the time?


No or at least not in the way/manner you are doing it.

By the way most women who are murder are murder by their partner either husband or boyfriend then by anyone else.

So right now you are sitting on a volcano that could eruption at anytime placing you and your husband and your lover at risk.

I am, at least in my opinion a fairly stable person, without a drinking or drug problem so even those I would feel like she had plunge a knife into my heart if I found out my wife was cheating I do not think I would turn violence.

Can you said the same about your husband?

0 Replies
 
CoastalRat
 
  3  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 08:02 am
@giselle32,
Quote:
and he stays in his marriage purely for his kids
So he stays only because of the kids? Wonder how the kids will feel when they find out dad is cheating on their mom with some other woman? But yeah, it is only for the kids. You can both keep telling yourselves this all you want. If he were thinking about the kids, he wouldn't be cheating on their mother.

But whatever. You're gonna do what you're gonna do.
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 08:04 am
@giselle32,
Yes. Especially if you have to ask.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 08:29 am
@giselle32,
Your husband isn't going to change if you keep covering for him.

If you truly love him you will stop enabling his drinking.

You're in a truly unfortunate situation and you're the only one who can change it.

Do you really believe your daughter doesn't see what is going on? Are you setting a good example for her in developing her own adult relationships?
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 08:50 am
@ehBeth,
Quote:
If you truly love him you will stop enabling his drinking.


LOL she might start acting like a caring wife and spend the efforts to maintain her relationship with her lover on her husband also.

Either that or walking away from her marriage in an open manner instead of this nonsense.
0 Replies
 
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2014 07:26 am
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

Your husband isn't going to change if you keep covering for him.

If you truly love him you will stop enabling his drinking.

You're in a truly unfortunate situation and you're the only one who can change it.

Do you really believe your daughter doesn't see what is going on? Are you setting a good example for her in developing her own adult relationships?

I agree...if you love somebody you try to help if you know they're in trouble...skipping out and having an affair is not what I would call "giving" or courageous. It just means you're riding the wave.
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2014 07:29 am
@Germlat,
Germlat wrote:

ehBeth wrote:

Your husband isn't going to change if you keep covering for him.

If you truly love him you will stop enabling his drinking.

...

I agree...if you love somebody you try to help if you know they're in trouble...skipping out and having an affair is not what I would call "giving" or courageous. It just means you're riding the wave.


Further, seriously, by enabling his drinking, and then justifying the affair with the husband's drinking, the OP is the architect of her own behaviors. Keep him drinking; it justifies the affair. That's an awesome lesson for the kids!
Germlat
 
  3  
Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2014 07:31 am
@jespah,
jespah wrote:

Germlat wrote:

ehBeth wrote:

Your husband isn't going to change if you keep covering for him.

If you truly love him you will stop enabling his drinking.

...

I agree...if you love somebody you try to help if you know they're in trouble...skipping out and having an affair is not what I would call "giving" or courageous. It just means you're riding the wave.


Further, seriously, by enabling his drinking, and then justifying the affair with
the husband's drinking, the OP is the architect of her own behaviors. Keep him drinking; it justifies the affair. That's an awesome lesson for the kids!

You've got your fingers on the pulse!!
0 Replies
 
Joeblow
 
  3  
Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2014 09:30 am
@giselle32,
Giselle, you must know that conventional wisdom has it that there's no point in marriage counselling so long as one continues drinking anyway. He'll need to deal with that demon first, and either he will eventually, or he won't, right? So, where does that leave you? Why not learn about yourself, your role in the dynamic, and how you can change your own behaviour. Leave the self-serving bullshit behind. Try Al-anon. Start with this:

Don't say anything if you are about to complain, condemn or criticize.

It'll be an eye-opener.

Bet you keep your mouth shut for days.



0 Replies
 
Love Unplugged
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2014 04:08 am
@giselle32,
I read all the entries to this post. I'll pick on a few themes which need challenging.

There too much mention of choice for choice sake, love for love sake, attempting to address each other's problems, and wanting to keep the values in the marriage and the affair. There is an element of duty and sacrifice in such scenario which ensures and books in ongoing personal torture. It's not making your situation more palatable, it's ensuing your own dissatisfaction including hubby's is maintained.

Good for those which mention covering for his drinking encourages it. But, challenging the drinking is also a negative. Meaning, just like withholding sex from your husband is an element of force meant to control your husbands lies and drinking. By taking action to curtail the drinking is a force like a gun or threatening fist. It grows resentment and a reciprocal emotional backlash from any husband. A bit like your question scenario.

You paint a tormenting emotional picture in your scenario. The only positive picture I could see is the man he is when not effected by alcohol - only the case for work and doesn't seek that for you at home. Not a husband's motivation which is encouraging. You seem to hang on by a thread to ensue that vow duty virtue is fulfilled. If this was such a value then one wouldn't seek an affair. Vows just seem to be there as a decorative piece in one's ethical makeup. Shame is a substantial reason for not breaking a marriage. People seem to reference the vow card as a rationalization for continuing a sub-functioning marriage. This is hard to reason through and many could stay in the most horrendous scenario to ensure shame is not experienced. Unsure if you relate to this but it is to many.

Finally, there is an ethical dilemma you are ensuring yourself. One concern is the comment of asking hubby to attend counseling. This is a blame undercurrent. To face slap the pride and ego of any individual, male or female is a they're at fault emotional reception. For any individual to swallow pride at the expense of thinking there will be no change in the event of counseling is pride lost, to the extent of a damaged soul. Never mind there may be precipitants to the alcoholism. Even at the start of the marriage. The amount of people I discuss their relationships with acknowledge that many relationship issues were always there to some degree from the start also.

Your pulse feeling is a good option here. Endure the status quo with the built in possibility of being busted (well done to those who see this risk). Many seek an affair as a reality test and a test of values observed in others. More likely the loss of values in your husband. I would encourage you to leave the current marriage. Kids are more resilient than we think. Seems like your husband has chosen the helpless hopeless route of coping, and also perhaps believes in the duty ethic which seems so noble. Financial heartache from a divorce is no match for an emotional torture. We really need to think of ourselves more in relationships. And this starts with better initial assessments of your partner and not ignoring small incompatibilities while falling for appetizing values which have a shelf life.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  5  
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2014 07:07 am
It's like a bunch of psychology terms were thrown into a Cuisinart and then frappé was engaged.
Love Unplugged
 
  0  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2014 02:54 am
@jespah,
Er... It's only 8th grade English. Imagine if I threw in actual psychology terms such as counter transference and heuristics.
Germlat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2014 10:33 am
@Love Unplugged,
Love Unplugged wrote:

Er... It's only 8th grade English. Imagine if I threw in actual psychology terms such as counter transference and heuristics.

It's not simply vocabulary...context counts.
0 Replies
 
 

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