Looking for insight (apologies for length)

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2013
Looking for insight (apologies for length)
5
Sun, 08-18-2013 - 8:37pm

          For the last 5 years I have been involved with a married man, begun innocently enough, but evolved into not only a very close friendship, but a sexual relationship as well.  Around the inception of said relationship, his wife was filing for divorce.  They worked things out and remained married, although she has since threatened divorce on other occasions as well.  About a year into our affair, she had suspicions about our relationship, but no evidence, so forbid contact, though after a couple months of no contact, we were in touch and continued the affair. There have been times over the years that we were not involved sexually at all (for almost two years at one point) but were still in daily contact, as we have been very close friends and I suppose, become somewhat dependant on each other in that respect.  Recently, she had become suspicious of the very frequent contact and eventually, as a result did end up turning up evidence of our affair, and confronted him.  He did not deny anything (couldnt with the evidence she presented) and after very little discussion it was decided that divorce was the only option, and that is where we are now.  At the point that he and his wife both contacted me to tell me that she knew, and what was going on, I expected to not hear from him for a long while, as he is very broken up about the impending divorce, however, only a few days later he was contacting me and insisting on continuing contact daily, and even came over to see me around a week after his wifes confrontation.  My confusion lies in this: why after losing his marriage because of me, would he want to continue with our relationship? He seemed genuinely surprised and confused when I told him I did not think I would hear from him for a very long time, and also didnt understand why I thought that. In my mind, I would think that rather than face the humiliation and other downsides of having to admit his marriage ended because of this affair, he would just let go and try to forget it even happened and carry on his life without the stigma of continuing a relationship with the homewrecker that ruined his life.  I honestly do not know what to think of these actions and he hasnt been very helpful in helping me to understand what is really going on in his head, and why he is continuing this as if his life hadnt just hit a major speed bump. Very confused, and searching for some sort of clarity or insight. Thanks in advance,

                                                                                 Anne

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Sun, 08-18-2013 - 9:31pm

I'm guessing that he doesn't think that you wrecked his life. And IMO you didn't. He made a choice to be with you despite the fact that he was married, his wife was suspicious, and he probably knew that if she ever discovered the truth the marriage would end. Its not like it was all your fault and he's without blame for what happened to their marriage. The major responsibility falls on him. As a previously BS (betrayed spouse) I don't think its right to get involved with somebody else's husband, but that said, the husband has the responsibility to the marriage, not the AP.

So, maybe he wants to continue the relationship because he considers you his best friend and doesn't want to lose everything at the same time. Was there ever talk between you two about what would happen if he and his wife split? By calling yourself "the homewrecker" I guess you feel guilty for what happened?

"I would think that rather than face the humiliation and other downsides of having to admit his marriage ended because of this affair, he would just let go and try to forget it even happened and carry on his life without the stigma of continuing a relationship with the homewrecker that ruined his life." How would it change any of this if he dumped you? He has to admit why his marriage ended, to himself and possibly some other people; I don't think its possible to just forget about a 5 year relationship and pretend that it never happened; and the stigma lies in the actions that damaged the marriage, not in what he does afterwards, unless he and his wife decide to reconcile. Maybe he's not concerned with what the neighbors or coworkers or wife's friends think of him--assuming that the wife is telling everybody that he cheated, but its possible that she is not.

That's my insight, but I'm not the one that really needs to answer your questions. You need to be asking him these questions.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2008
Mon, 08-19-2013 - 9:42am

Maybe the guy has a fear of being alone and figures you are 'waiting in the wings' for him.  He has been caught so he knows he can no longer deny or hide it.  Maybe he just doesn't care what other people think about him.

As the other poster said, he is the one who will give you the answers.

Ollie

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Mon, 08-19-2013 - 12:03pm

It sounds like you're looking at your ongoing affair as a "love affair" that would go on forever, because you're "best friends".  The truth of the matter is that if he really loved you, and didn't love his wife, he would have left her to be with you on a permanent basis.  He didn't do that because he wanted the best of both worlds.  A respectable married man to the world, and you secretly on the side.  You may BE his best friend, and now that his marriage is over, you're also available sexually, meaning you fill all his needs for the time being.  That doesn't mean he's going to propose marriage to you, and the two of you will live happily ever after.  It means nothing more than the fact that you're there for him.  Why would he turn his back on you now?  You're all he has now, since his wife is leaving him.  Why would he "blame" you for his problem?  He's just as much to blame as you are. 

It's obvious to you that he's not mad at you and that he's going to keep you in his life.  The question is, for how long.......and that's something only he can answer.  The problem is that he had no qualms about cheating on his wife, and once a cheater, usually always a cheater.  I had a friend who had a long term affair with a man who DID leave his wife for her, then married her.  Within a few years, he was cheating on her, too. 

You need to have a long talk with him about his future plans, and how you will fit into those plans.  If you want a permanent relationship with him, then you need to tell him that.  This isn't only about his life, and his feelings, this is now about your life, your feelings, and what the future will (or won't) be for you.  Start communicating. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 08-19-2013 - 1:32pm

I really can't understand why he is all broken up about the divorce.  I mean, his DW was suspicious a long time ago, yet instead of that making him cool things off and behave, he continued to carry on an affair.  His DW also threatened divorce on other occasions too--so could it have really been a big surprise to him that if his DW found out about the affair, that she'd want a divorce?  But even though I don't condone your behavior, he is the one who broke the marriage vows--it's a lot more his responsibility for the divorce than yours, so I don't know why he would blame you as a "homewrecker."  to me, the homewrecker label should be for the person who deliberately sets out to have an affair w/ someone who's married and doesn't care about the consequences--doesn't sound like that here, plus  you were friends even when you weren't having a physical affair (although probably should be considered an emotional affair).

So why does he want to be with you?  Well if you really are such good friends and it's not just a physical thing, maybe he actually loves you.  He will never forget the reason why his marriage ended even if he had no more contact with you & he couldn't pretend otherwise either.  But maybe if he ends up with you, at least he can tell himself that the affair was worth all the trouble he's going to have now.  Otherwise, he loses his DW plus his best friend.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2007
Tue, 08-20-2013 - 1:58pm
I don't believe the once a cheater theory. I cheated in my first M (exit affair) for three months and I have been M eighteen years to my current H and would never cheat. It isn't always the case that someone cheats on one spouse and will always cheat. What are you looking for in this man Annie. Are you looking for a long term relationship or are you OK with having him part time. If you have shown him that you are OK with sharing nine times out of ten you will share him for as long as YOU stay in the relationship. Are you afraid of a real committed relationship where you don't have to share? It's time you focus on what you want instead of worrying about him. He has his own junk to sort out. Spend some time dealing with what you want in a relationship and ask yourself why it is OK for you to be that secret woman on the side. What's going on with Annie. The only person you can truly understand is yourself. It's a waste of time trying to figure out why other ppl make decisions.