Are happy endings possible?

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Registered: 12-31-1969
Are happy endings possible?
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 5:42pm

I have to wonder if I'm delusional.


My AP and I are planning to dissolve our current relationships so we can be together.  We've been together 5 months and I have to say I've never in my life felt so perfectly matched and happy - at least when we're together.  But an affair is far too stressful for me and I just don't feel right about it.  But more than that, we both seem to feel that we belong together.  It's not at all what I was looking for, but there's no fighting it anymore.  I can afford to live without my husband and there shouldn't be any legal problems...

Has anyone left their H/W for an AP?  Was it a mistake?  Did you end up missing the ex?  Was it harder than you imagined?  Was the relationship, once it was legitimate, no longer what you thought?

I guess I sound like a naive fool.  But it really, honestly feels like the right thing to do.  That said, I feel like it's only right to question a decision of this magnitude.

I should also add that there's nothing terrible about my marriage.  He hasn't met my needs in some years (sexual or emotional) but it's not as though life isn't comfortable and easy.  He has never and would never be abusive or even unpleasant. 

Is it kinder to leave if you can't remain faithful? 


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2012
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 6:43pm

My AP and I became serious very quickly too. I hated being in the A and with H at the same time. But we both felt that leaving our Ms for each other (and that being the main reason) was not good enough. I went through many months of MC. Eventually chose to D but only after I was certain that I still wanted the D even if AP was not in the picture. All As tend to have the feelings involved that you describe. Not to say that they are not real. But 5 months is really not that long to know absolutely for sure that you will be together. Are you ok with the fact that it may not work out with your AP? If things didn't work out with your AP would you want to stay in your M? If so, then leaving your M soley for AP would not be wise. What if your AP says he will leave his M but then chickens out. Think this through. Very carefully. I am now D and still with AP. He is still M as I knew he would be. Only time will tell if he actually leaves his W. He still claims he will. If not, I still am glad I made the decision to D. My marriage was over. And nothing was changing that. In about a year, if AP is not separated from his W, I'm ending the relationship and moving on as I will probably be ready to date and move on in general then.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2012
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 11:45pm
After-hours, there are posters and old posts over at the 'After your Affair' board, as well as, 'Making a Second Marriage Work' board, that share the experiences of those who have BTDT.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2010
Sun, 08-19-2012 - 6:20pm

Hello!  I've been thinking a lot about this topic lately, and I have made a sort of vague observations.  I think that in life in general, if you want to be happy again, you have to go through the pain.  I think in relationships, many of us jump from one to the next to avoid the painful period of loneliness and self-reflection that follows the end of an R.  BUT I think that sad time is vital for giving closure to the past R (even ones that have seemed dead for a while).  I think when people try to move directly into a new R, then end up delaying that process.  I don't think the process is optional, though...I think you have to move through it in order to move on. Maybe it is like the grieving process, you can put it off, but it will eventually come out, and usually in unhealthy ways the longer you delay it.  I think the reason so many after-A relationships fail is because one or both partners did not go through the process.  I hear some people say that they already went through the grieving stage while they were married, because they weren't really living much of a life together.  While I think you do go through some of the pain at that point, there is a whole other part of the healing that comes from just being alone...really alone, making your own decisions, sleeping in your lonely house by yourself at night, etc.  And also, part of if comes from coming to terms with the idea of being alone, maybe forever.  You miss all of these parts of healing and growing when you already have a new partner picked out.

When you begin to rely on a new person immediately for emotional support and other types of support, you're not fixing the issues within yourself that led to the breakdown of your M.  For me, I didn't even really recognize some of the issues that I had until those long lonely nights when I felt enough pain to start digging deep.  And we have all done things that led to the breakdown of our Ms.  Don't get me wrong---if AP had wanted to be in a R with me immediately, I would have gladly gone to him.  But I am glad it didn't work out that way.  I don't want to go through the end of another M.  I don't want to feel lonely enough again and end up in another A down the road.  I don't want to go through the effort of creating a new life with somebody only to discover many of the same problems I had with my last A (and I like you did not have an awful husband...just a M that became unfulfilling).  

I think that is why people warn us not to get into As in the first place.  Instead of allowing us to work the pain of the end of the M naturally, it clouds the issues.  It makes you wonder if you are making the right decision, or if the fog is blinding you.  And I think that is why people warn us that you should give yourself time alone after the end of a M to heal before you get serious with somebody again.  There are reasons why these pieces are advice are out there...because many others before us have BTDT.  It's not to say that a happy M couldn't come from a R that began as an A, but I think it would be a very hard road.

I'm not sure what advice I'd give you, as you care about him and you don't want to lose him, and I think it would be hard to walk away from that, no matter how important healing alone is.  Maybe you can come up with a better solution than I have been able to find.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
Tue, 08-21-2012 - 3:53am
Dear after_hours, I left my prev relationship not because I primarily wanted to be with AP. My exF and i decided we are not well matched in terms of libido. The people here at MAS helped me figure that out. Shortly after, my AP filed for D frm his W. It came as a shock to me he did it. But up till now I do not know why he decided to leave his M.

It's been about 2 mths we are IRL now and AP has even officially proposed. Though it's wonderful to finally get to be together, the stress of the divorce process is taking its toll. I am now posting in Making 2nd Marriages Work.

Like you, I have been in an A for less than a yr. Though we were probably in an EA for much longer.

Before your relationship goes real life, you need to prepare yourself for the eventuality that you will not end up with AP. That you will be alone. If you're prepared for that eventuality then welcome aboard :smileyhappy:

To you there may not be legal complications. But have you thought about your H? My AP/DF's STBX was according to him, "The sweetest and most harmless person you could ever know." A BS is more than capable of making the least complicated thing complicated. AP was pretty sure he'd be officially divorced before March next year as he thought, "Not much legal complications" too. He has only been married for about 4years and his DS is only 1yr. But oh boy, never underestimate a BS! They are hurting, they are angry and this fuels some unknown strength in them.

And I have learnt, a BS can also enlist friends & family to turn against you. You must be prepared.

But YES it is much kinder to leave a M that is going nowhere than to stay.

Does being IRL change the way I feel about AP/DF? Not majorly but then again it's only 2 months? Thankfully my AP/DF was honest about everything except our A of course. So i am not suffering any shocks regarding any behavioral changes. He is i'm sure (not many things you can be sure of nowadays) the same man I fell in love with almost a year ago. So if you and AP have been pretty honest with each other, the transition from A to IRL will be pretty smooth.

I wish you all the best and hope that when you leave your M it's not for AP but for yourself and your child. Ending up with AP is simply the icing on the cake. Your own happiness is paramount. ((((HUGS))))
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
Tue, 08-21-2012 - 4:04am
A happy ending is definitely possible if both parties are committed to making the relationship work. As Love_My_Tiramisu has mentioned, you can go troll the After Your Affair and Making Second Marriages Work because well it's a whole new ball game starting a new relationship when kids, exes, what have yous are in the picture.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Tue, 08-21-2012 - 11:40am


Sireanita, this is one wise post.

Just wanted to say.

Sorry to hear month 11 revealed negative traits...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Tue, 08-21-2012 - 11:46am


Happy endings are possible, IMHO. Two things about your situation make me feel very unsure though:

 - that you've only known your AP for 5 months. This is nowhere near enough. You don't really know him. I'd say you only begin to truly get to know someone after you've been with them for about 2 years. And you need to have lived with them for at least some months.

- that you haven't yet had sex. Omg this is a big one. You can't seriously be committing yourself to a man whom you don't know sexually? What if you're totally incompatible? Quality/quantity-wise?

IMHO you need to spend an awful lot more time together than 5 months to make a life-altering decision like that, and you also need to ..have sex... Simple but true..